I was born into the JW religion/cult, but as I grew older my family left them.
I began to find some very unusual thoughts and beginnings to "God's chosen mouthpiece on earth," which I tried not to dwell on too much assuring myself I was with God's chosen people. What I noticed was:
● The date for the fall of Babylon etc. was understood by Charles Taze Russell by measuring a pyramid! (Incidentally, his grave is indeed a pyramid.)
● Russell also taught leviathan is a locomotive and
● God lives on a star with the angels.
During a study of one of their modern books, the Daniel book, I found more problems with certain dates and the way they interpreted certain prophecy. (Just for general information, you may wish to search for the Millerite chart online. This is where the JW doctrine and incorrect date for the destruction of Jerusalem came from.) It seemed clear to me the prophecy could in no way mean what they implied.
Needless to say in searching for the truth, eventually I confronted an elder or two concerning this and what the bible actually said. They told me not to read too much as I would stumble myself! This fuelled the fire and eventually, I called a meeting to remove myself from the group as I knew the Lord had shown me I was not following Him in the correct manner. I presented them with many proofs as to why their doctrines are incorrect. Two are:
● They do not and will not worship Jesus Christ as Lord, when this is clearly presented in scripture
● The abuse of the Lord's supper where they forbid all but "The remnant" ( 144,000 ) to participate.
They would not even look at my research. And after one started shouting at me that I "didn't believe in God and I didn't believe His word" I simply looked to the other elders there and asked them if the elder shouting at me was in the spirit of God? They told me I was free to leave. Indeed I did -- feeling the freedom of God upon me, and the chains of man-made rules broken.
My family were also led out. My wife, and three children along with my mother and stepfather. Unfortunately, the way they ignored and treated my stepfather along with other factors caused him to take his own life. They have much to answer for. May God help them.
After leaving we attended many churches but seemed to notice the same certain thing about every church in which we tried to settle. A person could be living a completely Godless life and still be called a Christian (even if he had not attended church for years and made no effort to repent)! No matter how much I searched for this "once saved always saved" doctrine, I couldn't seem to find it in scripture. Anyone I spoke to, and said otherwise, would accuse me of being under law and not grace. The word of God was telling me, however, that I was saved by grace through faith Ephesians 2:8 (NASB):
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.
My faith had to be in Jesus and the blood which cleanses us of all sin, if we belong to Him. It was also telling me that faith without works is dead, James 2:18-20 (NASB):
But someone may well say, "You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works." You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?
Paul in Philippians was also telling me he didn't believe he had yet laid hold of the promise! Philippians 3:11-16 (NASB) say:
In order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.
This seemed a far cry from the churches, "I AM SAVED NO MATTER WHAT I DO." Jesus gave us commands brothers and sisters, through His mouth, His word and His Apostles. We are to heed these commands. They are there to keep us safe in the present time of Godlessness, where the world is full of immorality and perversion and wicked men have crept into the church. 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NASB) says:
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.
We are given the command of love. Love considers others before itself and lives a life pleasing to God, for God is love. 1 John 4:16 (NASB) says:
We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
May the Lord bless you as you walk the narrow path into life. I pray God that we may all meet one day knowing that our faith showed through our Godly deeds to bring us all into the fullness of Him who called us.