Another Blog from UK Partnerships for Christ (www.upfc.org.uk)

Watchtower Hymns by Jason Wright

 watchtower singing

Watchtower Hymns by Jason Wright

Introduction

Jehovah’s Witnesses, like many religious groups over the decades, have produced numerous musical compositions. These hymns, affectionately called “kingdom songs”, are sang at kingdom halls, circuit assemblies and conventions the world over. At a kingdom hall, meetings traditionally begin with two songs and end with one. Songs are sung to accompanying piano music played from a CD provided by the Society. Consequently, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not use live musicians in their meetings. There is therefore no such thing as a specialist “choir or worship team”.

The ability to lift one’s voice in praise of the Creator is indeed a wonderful human gift. However, praise (singing) is far different from worship. Worship is not just about praise but relates to our whole life (Romans 12:1). We are to renew our minds in spirit and truth in order to worship God (John 4:24). Jehovah’s Witnesses would (I hope) concur with this statement.

It could therefore be said that from within a correct theological matrix spiritual worship naturally occurs. Consequently, while music and moving lyrics can invoke emotional responses, these alone cannot produce worship, rather worship flows from the heart; an expression of your inner relationship with God.

Do Jehovah’s Witnesses experience such worship when singing kingdom songs? Many no doubt would confess to emotional responses to certain lyrics or tunes, but could a Witness, hand on heart, confess to experiencing existential worship; that is, a personal connection between the worshiper and God? As we shall see: if your theology is skewed, your worship will be too.

In this article I wish to explore the following points: firstly, what is the historical development of Watchtower hymnals and, secondly, what do their lyrics convey concerning their theology? Moreover, do their hymns reflect a biblical concept of true worship?

Overall, it will be argued that Jehovah’s Witnesses fail to enter into authentic Christ-centered worship when singing kingdom songs because their songs are based upon theological error. God cannot respond to error.

In conclusion we will review the evidence and then explore what exactly true worship is according to scripture and how a person can enter fully into such worship; the unlocking key being Jesus.

Historical Development & Theological Implications

There is no doubt that early Watchtower hymnals during the presidency of C.T. Russell were far closer to orthodoxy than “kingdom songs” developed under the tenure of later presidents. Indeed, Jesus himself was given an exalted position in those embryonic years.

It was in 1879 that Zion’s Watchtower published their first hymnbook entitled “Songs of the Bride”[1] reflecting their theological understanding that an end time harvest of the remnant church was taking place prior to the great tribulation.

songs of the bride cover songs of the bride inside cover

This collection of 144 songs adapted music and lyrics from protestant composers including Fanny Crosby, Philip Doddridge, Isaac Watts and Charles Wesley! Below are two hymns used by Bible students which highlight Jesus’s exalted position.

Song 3 (W.H. 13)[2]

Verse 1

Alas! And did my Savior bleed?

And did my Sovereign die?

Would he devote that sacred head

For such a worm as I?

Chorus:

Jesus died for you,

And Jesus died for me;

Yes, Jesus died for all mankind;

Bless God! Salvations free

Verse 3

Well might the sun in darkness hide,

And shut his glories in,

When Christ the mighty maker died

For man the creature’s sin

Verse 4

Thus might I hide my blushing face,

While his dear cross appears;

Dissolve my heart in thankfulness

And melt mine eyes to tears

Song 6 (W.H. 32).

Verse 1

All glory to Jesus be given

That life and salvation are free

And all may be washed and forgiven

For Jesus does save even me

Chorus:

Yes Jesus is mighty, might to save

And all his salvation my know,

On his bosom I lean, and his blood makes me clean

For his blood can wash whiter than snow

Wow!! Can you believe these lyrics? Herein is a sense of sin and the need for salvation; a free gift to all! Do you notice that there is no mention of Jehovah? Jesus, Jesus and more Jesus – Amen!

However, while I can agree with these lyrics, we must caution ourselves in the knowledge that C.T. Russell would have interpreted these far differently than orthodox Christians. For example, while Jesus is quite clearly exalted and “worshiped”, Russell nevertheless never viewed Jesus as the Almighty God; only a divine creation. In this sense Russell (and his progeny) teach a type of polytheism wherein the Father is acknowledged as “Almighty God” alongside Jesus – the divine son – who is viewed as “a” god.

In 1890, Zion’s Watchtower published “Poems and Hymns of the Millennial Dawn” comprising of 151 poems and 333 songs, most of which were well-known compositions. This was the Watchtowers official hymnbook until 1928.[3] The hymnbook went through two editions (1902; 1908). In 1905 the 333 songs were published with musical notation and entitled “Hymns of the Millennial Dawn”.

After the death of Russell in 1916, Joseph Rutherford, nicknamed “the Judge”, became president. His tenure reflects a move towards ridding the society of any last vestiges of “Christendom” which included borrowed musical compositions. Herein watchwords and themes such as the “Kingdom” and the name “Jehovah” begin to take precedence. This was especially so after 1931 when the society adopted the name Jehovah’s Witnesses.

In 1925 a new children’s hymnal containing 80 songs was published entitled “Kingdom Hymns” followed in 1928 by “Songs of Praise to Jehovah”.

songs of praise to jehovah

Note how the word “hymn” so often used by Christendom is replaced by “song” and the once adoration of Jesus displaced by Jehovah[4].

In 1942 Nathan H. Knorr became the third Watchtower president. Incidentally the Watchtower amended its charter in 1944 stating that the purpose of their organization was for the “worship of Almighty God and Christ Jesus“.[5] This is still the official charter of the W.B.T.S! A useful tool when discussing the worship of Jesus with a JW!

Also in 1944, a new songbook containing 61 songs was released entitled “Kingdom Service Song Book” (revised 1948) followed by “Songs to Jehovah’s Praise” in 1950 containing 91 songs. Some of the music in these publications still retained hymn and classical tunes from non-Witness sources, although the lyrics were changed.

In 1966 a new – rather wordy – songbook was published entitled “Singing and Accompanying Yourselves with Music in Your Hearts” (Ephesians 5:18-19).

Singing and Accompanying Yourselves with Music in Your Hearts”

This songbook contained 119 songs and adopted a firm new position. All songs, tunes and lyrics were to have been written by Jehovah’s Witnesses (although some non-Witness material was retained).

A perusal of the index titles reveals only two which reference Jesus; Christ our Exemplar (118) and the King Christ Jesus Calls (3) juxtaposition with the name Jehovah included in 25 song titles. The song “We are Jehovah’s Witnesses” encapsulates this transformation of focus from Jesus to Jehovah.

Song 62 (page 65)

Verse 2

You’re my witnesses God said; other gods you need not dread

I am Jehovah, Sovereign Lord and Head!

I both saved and showed to you

When no other gods you knew

Keep publishing my name near and far

Prove that my witnesses you are!

Chorus:

We’re Jehovah’s witnesses; We speak out in fearlessness!

Ours is the God of true prophecy; What he foretells comes to be!

Well what can we say? The theology is clear; Jehovah’s Witnesses must publish, proclaim and declare the name Jehovah in order to prove themselves God’s witnesses! No mention of Jesus whatsoever! In contrast a Christian – as the name suggests – proclaims Jesus Christ as Lord, which of course is the commission laid out in the NT. Here are a few examples of the centrality of Christ in apostolic teaching.

1) In whose name are demons cast out? Jesus or Jehovah?

Luke 10:17 “The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!”

2) For salvation, in whose name do we confess lordship? Jesus or Jehovah?

Romans 10:9 “…because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

3) In whose name and in whose power do the assembled church gather? Jesus or Jehovah?

1 Corinthians 5:4 “When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus

4) Whose name is it that the disciples and we today proclaim? Jesus or Jehovah?

2 Corinthians 4:5 “For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake”.

Finally, are we, according to Jesus, his witnesses or Jehovah’s witnesses?

Act 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

You see the name Jehovah is a red herring. It throws a Witness off the source of their eternity and happiness, viz. Jesus. If you are a Jehovah’s Witness please understand that Christendom – contrary to Witness teaching – does acknowledge and worship the divine name. However, the difference is Christians understand the fullness of NT revelation, viz. the Tetragrammaton encompasses the divine godhead: Father, Son and Holy Spirit and therefore the name “Jehovah” is not limited to only the Father. [6]

Moving on, in 1984 – under the tenure of the Watchtower’s fourth president Frederick W. Franz – a new songbook containing 225 songs was published entitled “Sing Praises to Jehovah”.

sing praises to jehovah

Again, the lyrics focused evermore on Jehovah and Watchtower theology rather than on Jesus and NT revelation. Any vestiges of non-Witness melodies were, in this publication, expunged.

In 2009, under the incumbent president Don A. Adams, the current songbook “Sing to Jehovah” was released.

sing to jehovah

This songbook contains a revised number of 135 songs, 42 of which are new. 2014 witnessed the first revision with a number of new songs.[7]

Watchtower “Worship” Propaganda

Whilst researching this article I wanted to understand how Jehovah’s Witnesses worship God. In order to help me with this, I went on to jw.org and typed in the keyword “worship”. To my surprise worship articles did not actually relate to praising God in song. Rather, worship (it seems) related only to practical works such as attending meetings, ministry, and other “good works”. One particular presentation caught my eye entitled “Family Worship: The Challenges—The Rewards”. Please have a watch before coming back to the article.

I must admit that, as opposed to being encouraged to “worship God”, I felt pity for the Witnesses involved. Each family claimed to be “worshipping” God by laying aside one day of the week for family worship. While it is true that to worship God involves our whole life (Romans 12:1; John 4:24) in this presentation worship is adroitly reduced to a Watchtower study. Let us be clear; this video is produced to encourage its members to “worship God” the Watchtower way! In other words, behind the games and rhetoric is Watchtower bibles, books, magazines and teaching.

What if a member dared to introduce to their family worship outside sources such as Christendom’s concordances, systematic theologies, bible dictionaries etc.? What would be the result? Not only would the witness be challenged other members would be suspicious of such aids; even fearful that the information may in some way “turn them from Jehovah”. There is then no freedom to explore “worship” outside of Watchtower materials. In truth this so called time of family worship is nothing more than Watchtower inculcation; brain washing at its very best (or worst?).

For example, one family (time: 5:48) amazingly wrote out the book of Isaiah as a scroll. Certainly this must have been an interesting and no doubt rewarding exercise, bringing alive the transmission process, but aside from that what spiritual lesson was learnt? A girl answered (time: 5:51) “It really helps me realize how Jehovah’s organization makes it easier for us to find scriptures that we are looking for and not to make it complicated like in Jesus’ days”.

Another young boy, when asked how family worship helped him, stated that (time: 8:02) “I think it encourages me to keep being a Witness and not move aside from the truth” another boy expressed how family worship helped him (time: 8:38) “cut down association with worldly friends”.

A father asked his young son (time 8:54) “Can you imagine if we said, you know what, on Mondays were not going to do family worship anymore, how would you feel about that?” His son answers “sad” – the father asks “why would you feel sad about that?” – the son answers “because I want to do it” – the father then questions his son “tell me why you want to do it?” the son answers “so I can colour the pictures and read the bible” the father answers “Right! – Do you think Jehovah is happy when you do things like that?” – the boy nods his head!

Now to the untrained eye this may all seem very innocent. However, the video is clearly scripted and aimed to point attention to one thing only: Jehovah and his organization. The two are synonymous in Witness thinking. This is nothing more than Watchtower propaganda – a method that reaches right into the home and controls its members at arm’s length. This is a top-down program of inculcation. The elders are pressured to set the example in “family worship“ and any families not conducting themselves in this way will be viewed as less spiritual than those participating and thus more dangerous associates. Next, the children are under pressure to “be obedient”. The terrible tragedy is that parents can offer no assurances to their children of God’s unconditional love because within the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion you must earn God’s love. Thus together all members of this cult come under condemnation if they fail to conduct “family worship”. Guilt is the ace card, which the society plays over and over again.

Heartbreakingly, a young girl expressed how (time 8:24) “During prayers we are able to see [that] Dad’s relationship with Jehovah is really close” I say heartbreakingly because she is confessing that only her dad prays during their time of family worship and from my experience the Father’s prayers will likely revolve around blessing the “faithful and discreet slave” and remaining faithful to “Jehovah” i.e. the “watchtower organization”. However, biblically speaking, in any gathering of the Ekklesia men, women and children should all have opportunity to pray for one another, sing psalms and worship God in the freedom of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:19-20; Colossians 3:16).

Act 2:42 “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

Therefore there is no real freedom in the Jehovah’s Witness community to worship freely as the spirit leads. Life is essentially organized and scripted around the organization. Such an atmosphere of oppression is clearly perceivable in this video. Children obey out of abject obedience, guilt and fear. Where is the love?

Furthermore where is the worship in this so-called “worship”? Where is the adoration and exultation of God with song? You may have noticed that towards the end of this video (time: 9:27) an astonishingly modern song is played. Is this the worship song? The lyrics go like this:

Caught up in circles

I don’t know which way to turn

My heart moves and my head says

I’ve fallen in love

To do what’s right is a constant fight

Don’t want to let my heart decide

Want God’s word to be my guide

It’s so hard to break free

This desperate heart inside of me

Makes wrong feel right and right feel wrong

But Jehovah makes me strong

He says know that I love you

I don’t want to lose you

Trust in me in all you do

I’ll be here to help you through

Our life is shaped by the choice we make

We have to realize what’s at stake

Right from the start it’s a war for our heart

But it’s our to give away to safeguard in these hours

Walking back the choice I made

To do things Jehovah’s way

Seemed so hard emotions strong

But Jehovah helped me along

Wow! Is it just me? – or is this a depressing, almost suicidal bunch of nonsense! Where is the assurance of God’s unconditional love, his forgiveness and care? Where is the personal relationship? There simply is none. This song is about overcoming by one’s own strength in order to please Jehovah and his organization the Watchtower! It is simply disgusting to portray the God of holy writ in such a distant cold fashion. A God who demands constant perfection is not the God of scripture. Contrast the above despair with Jesus warm invitation:

Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

John 18:9b “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.”

Revelation 22:17 “The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.”

Also on jw.org under the heading “becoming Jehovah’s friend” are a number of animated songs designed for children. You can have a listen to them here: become Jehovah’s friend

become jehovahs friend

One song I picked out was “entitled “Gaining Jehovah’s friendship”[8] The lyrics read:

Verse 1

Who is your friend O God?

Who in your tent my dwell?

Who gains your friendship?

Who gains your trust?

Who really knows you well?

Verse 2

All who embrace your word

All who have faith in you

All who are loyal

All who are just

Living the truth for you

Verse 3

Who is your friend O God?

Who may approach your throne?

Who brings delight and makes your rejoice?

Whose name to you is known?

Verse 4

All who exalt your name?

All who obey your word?

All who are faithful honest in heart

Truthful in all they say

Verse 5

Rolling our cares on you

Bearing our hearts in prayer

Drawing us closer

Bonding in love

Feeling your daily care

Verse 6

We yearn to be your friend

Long may our friendship grow

No greater friend would we ever gain

No greater friend we’ll know

Notice how witness children are encouraged through this song to become Jehovah’s friend. This insidious concept that you must earn God’s approval in order to become God’s friend is not only unbiblical but engenders fear and guilt. The motivational response to serve Jehovah is not because “he first loved us” (1 John 4:19) but because Jehovah demands obedience. No mention of Jesus, salvation, redemption; only works. The ultimate key to God’s friendship according to this song is stated in verse four, viz. “All who exalt your name” – what name? The name “Jehovah” of course – who else?

Again these slick animations are designed to inculcate the societies doctrines and practices into young children. Brainwash children early and you have a Watchtower slave for life! Easy to learn repetitive songs are perfect tools. Furthermore children are actually the life-blood of the Watchtower organization especially in the west where external growth via conversions is negligible.

Contrary to Watchtower teaching, the NT revelation is all about Jesus not Jehovah. Every NT scholar on the planet will tell you that. Indeed, not one Greek manuscript carries the Tetragrammaton, not one. Jesus is the final revelation to man. He is the key to true worship! Jesus died to restore our lost relationship with God, not through obedience to the Watchtower organization or by exalting the hybrid name Jehovah but by his grace.

Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God

Titus 2:11 “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people”

Titus 3:7 “so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

Furthermore children do not have to earn God’s love and friendship, Christ loves children (Mark 10:13-16, 7:24-30; Luke 8:40-56) and his sacrificial death already atones for the sins of those below the age of accountability

Jesus died for little children

All the children of the world

Every colour every race

All are covered by his grace

Jesus rose for all the children

They are precious in his sight[9]

1 John 2:2 “He [Jesus] is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.”

“This verse is clear that Jesus’ death was sufficient for all sins, not just the sins of those who specifically have come to Him in faith. The fact that Christ’s death was sufficient for all sin would allow the possibility of God’s applying that payment to those who were never capable of believing.”[10]

Consequently while we encourage our children to live moral, ethical lives, and serve God wholeheartedly they do not have to earn God’s friendship – they already have it! As children reach the age of accountability they remain in God’s care and are eternally secure in him through faith in Jesus (cf. Romans chapter 8). To burden a child through song with the notion that they must earn God’s love is a diabolical lie.

True Biblical Worship

“Humans are instinctively worshiping creatures. The psalmist best expressed this when he wrote: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God” (Psalm 42:1).”[11] All humans, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, are in desperate need of authentic worship. However, in order to worship in spirit and truth you must first attain God’s spirit. You must be born again (John 3:1-8; 1 Peter 1:3). Only then can you experience existential worship that moves beyond the mind and affects the spirit.

As I said at the beginning of this article, if your theology is skewed so will your worship experience be. Consequently lyrics must be theologically accurate. Furthermore, while worship involves a lifestyle not a moment in time (1 Corinthians 10:31) hymns comprise a very important aspect of our worship life and should be cherished. “Singing to the Lord and to one another conveys truth set to music as a form of teaching” (Colossians 3:16); “singing with both the spirit and the mind in order to produce understanding on the part of those involved” (1 Corinthians 14:15-16).[12] Thinking back, I don’t recall that the singing in the kingdom hall ever made me feel alight with existential encounters! Indeed towards the end of my time as a Witness I could not even bear to read the lyrics or sing. I simply hung my head in utter despondency. Maybe you felt the same way?

True worship involves more than reading and singing words and worship is more than praise. Praise recounts what God has done for us (Psalm 18:3) whereas worship is reserved for God alone and encapsulates adoration of the divine. Worship through hymns “is the art of losing self in the adoration of another. Praise can be a part of worship, but worship goes beyond praise. Praise is easy; worship is not. Worship gets to the heart of who we are. To truly worship God, we must let go of our self-worship. We must be willing to humble ourselves before God, surrender every part of our lives to His control, and adore Him for who He is, not just what He has done.”[13]

In Christendom there are many expressions of worship. Some churches choose to sing acapella while others seek the assistance of musicians; such as an organist, choir, or worship team. In this way the worshiper is drawn, through music, into a closer relationship with God.

In some of the more formal churches the hymnal approach is liturgical. Despite its formality each hymn invariably carries within it deep theological reflection. Many Christians are moved in worship of the divine through such hymnals.

Evangelicals and Pentecostals are a little more expressive: “oftentimes, services will begin with joyous praise songs, followed by transition to a quieter, more introspective opportunity for worship”. This can be interspersed with prayer, thanksgiving and scripture reading. For me this is authentic spirit led worship, although even here danger lurks. Sadly Christians can end up worshiping “worship” instead of worshiping God. Modern hymnals often emphasize the individual. In such cases worship can end up all about “me”. Rather than self-gratification worship is actually about glorifying God with thankful hearts from which flows a natural enlarging of our faith and consolidation of our personal relationship with God.

Intertwined with worship is surrender: “It is impossible to worship God and anything else at the same time (Luke 4:8)”. In other words you must enter into worship putting aside all extraneous thoughts and distractions. “The physical acts often associated with worship—bowing, kneeling, lifting hands—help to create the necessary attitude of humility required for real worship.”[14] If we consider first century Jewish believers, their worship too would have been demonstrative as are messianic fellowships today.

Despite physical expressions true worship is not raw emotionalism rather holy worship while demonstrative is controlled – it is holy worship – built upon a personal relationship with God. In such cases God is a living, active reality. Furthermore worship itself can often act as a corrective call from the Lord affecting positive changes in ones personal life. I myself have experienced both joy and conviction during times of worship. This is Christ-centered worship. [15]

Furthermore true authentic worship requires preparation. “Several years ago Pastor John Killinger was preaching in a small Tennessee church. From the minute he entered the sanctuary, he felt a spirit there that he hadn’t felt in many sanctuaries. The prayers, the music, and even the silences were extraordinary.

He relates: I feel sure that I preached over my head—that my own spirit was measurably quickened and deepened by the unusual sense of worship prevailing in the minister and the congregation.

Later, I commented about this to two laymen.

“I hope you know,” I said, “what a rare and exhilarating kind of worship you enjoy in this church.”

They smiled knowingly at one another. “Have you seen The Cloisters? – The shed up in the woods behind the preacher’s house?” I had seen the building, but I didn’t know it by the name they used.

“That’s what the preacher calls it,” they said. “It’s where he goes to pray. And sometimes he takes some of us there, too. He goes up there every Saturday evening to pray for our services on Sunday. His wife says sometimes he stays two or three hours.”

The mystery of the great worship services suddenly evaporated. It was not a large congregation. They had no dynamic, colorful song leader. None of the cues were evident that usually indicate an exciting, impressive service of worship. But the most important ingredient of all was present: the minister and his people were prepared spiritually to come before God.[16]

Again Jehovah’s witnesses do not prepare spiritually for “worship” – how can they when they are not born-again? Neither do witnesses have “prayer meetings” either before services, during or after, not even in private. Corporate prayer is simply unheard of. Indeed many Jehovah’s Witness husbands have never heard their wives or children pray! What a terrible situation.

Conclusion

Modern “kingdom Songs” are designed to praise Jehovah and his organization. Lyrics often stress the importance of being a “faithful” witness. These songs naturally create a unity within the organization. The knowledge that millions of witnesses all over the world sing the same kingdom songs (albeit in different languages) provides both a corporate identify and a sense of organizational unity. Certainly at large conventions kingdom songs establish a comradery among the witnesses. Despite the outward appearance such unity is not the true organic unity of the Holy Spirit but a manufactured unity maintained by strict adherence to watchtower policies. In this way kingdom songs are used to reinforce Watchtower doctrine and organizational loyalty especially among children.

We have surveyed the historical development of Watchtower hymns from nigh Christian lyrics to outright heresy. We have noted how the Watchtower once freely exalted and worshipped Jesus in song (albeit as “a” god) and yet, over time, replaced Jesus with the name Jehovah, resulting in even more twisted theological lyrics that ultimately separate seekers of truth from the God of holy writ.

Painfully, because Jehovah’s Witnesses are not born again and do not know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, they are lost to the reality of true worship. Instead they live on a treadmill of work where they are forever seeking to please Jehovah yet never able to manage it. Trapped in this cycle many Witnesses end up depressed and crushed, oftentimes living a double life; on the outside they display themselves as “model Witnesses” while on the inside they cry out in spiritual agony. For those Witnesses who eventually leave the organization the aftermath often involves bitterness, anger, and disillusionment. Their experience of the Watchtower’s “Jehovah” leaves the ex-Witness skeptical towards any notion of God and oftentimes highly critical of scripture. However, it need not be that way.

1 John 5:11-12 “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

I urge all who have not yet met the Son of God to do so quickly. I cannot promise a perfect life full of riches and bliss, but I can pass on this testimony:

Romans 8:37-39 “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

John Newton (1779) sums up the Gospel nicely in his famous hymn:

Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me!

I once was lost, but now am found;

Was blind, but now I see!

Forgiveness of sin and a new life in Jesus is only a prayer away. For those in need of further assistance please contact a member of the UPFC team. For those who are born again please continue to pray for Jehovah’s Witnesses and this ministry. In line with this article I pray you enjoy meeting your LORD in true, authentic, spirit led worship – Amen!

Until he comes…

Shalom

Jason Wright

Footnotes:

[1] http://www.biblestudentarchives.com/documents/1879-Songs-Of-The-Bride.pdf

[2] The initial W.H. stand for “Winnowed Hymns” Rev. C. C. McCabe, Rev. D. T. Macfarlan, Pub. Biglow & Main, New York and Chicago, 1873. The number 13 relates to the hymn number in that publication.

[3] Two supplements were released that were written by members of the Society. Firstly, 11 songs published as “Zion’s Glad Songs of the Morning” on February 1st, 1896, in the Watchtower Magazine followed by a further 81 songs in “Zion’s Glad Songs” published in 1900.

[4] http://www.jwfacts.com/watchtower/worship-jesus.php

[5] http://www.biblicalanswers.net/w2jw_charter.html

[6] https://watchtowerinvestigated.co.uk/2015/01/12/the-name-jehovah-by-jason-wright/

[7] Conjectural subliminal image change? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjVFbW6-wvE

[8] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNGEeddElB4

http://www.jw.org/en/bible-teachings/family/children/become-jehovahs-friend/songs/106-gaining-jehovahs-friendship/

[9] Adapted from “Jesus Loves the Little Children” was written by C. Herbert Woolston (1856—1927).

[10] http://www.gotquestions.org/age-of-accountability.html

[11] http://www.gotquestions.org/worship-service.html

[12] Ibid.

[13] http://www.gotquestions.org/difference-praise-worship.html

[14] Ibid.

[15] As a caution much of todays Christian music has lost its meaning and become flack and silly. As Douglas O’Donnell points out in his book “God’s lyrics” (P & R pub. 2010) modern hymnals can often be summarized this way: “God, God, God, It’s all about Me, Me, and you; You, you and me. Oh, me, me, me!” As believers (and especially Pastors/Worship leaders) we must choose lyrics that reflect the great themes and truths of scripture.

[16] Killinger, J. (1990). “The Intangible Side of Worship. In Mastering Worship. Mastering Ministry” (17–18). Portland, OR; Carol Stream, IL: Multnomah Press; Christianity Today, Inc.

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12 Responses »

  1. Excellent piece of research, Jason. I remember the pre-1975 songs only for their lack of joy and the miserable tunes used. My parents paid for piano lessons so my sister and I could play at the Kingdom Hall – that was before the advent of CD’s of course. Oh, what a contrast to the inspiring hymns of Charles Wesley! His hymns are theologically sound as well as acts of worship.

    Did you know that Jehovah’s Witnesses scorn hymns like “Amazing Grace”? Perhaps that’s because they don’t know what God’s grace actually is.

    • Many thanks for your kind remarks, they are always much appreciated. I know the articles I write are long and perhaps for some too long but I like to be as thorough as I can! – so thanks again for reading it!

      Amazing Grace – Oh what a hymn! – It was this hymn that finally brought my wife to her knees as the full impact of what Gods grace was hit her. She had been stubborn towards the Gospel for some time and then in a wonderful atmosphere of spirit led worship “Amazing grace” pierced her heart and soul and the Gospel made sense – she was a sinner saved by grace – Amen! Its that simple. Oh if only JW’s could open their eyes and hearts to our LORD’s love and his wonderful gift of salvation in Christ.

      When I first heard real worship my hairs on my neck stood up. What a gift we have to worship our LORD and experience the interaction with him through deep theological lyrics. Truly a blessing.

      Oh and NO JW’s defiantly do not understand what grace is!

      God bless you
      Jason

  2. Jason, don’t worry about your articles being to long because they are very informative and a welcome read . It’s sad that Jw’s don’t understand God’s arrangement in the New Testament concerning proper worship and gaining His approval on how to properly honor Him . They are truly stuck in the Old Testament .

    I’ve always found it incredible how Jw’s can say they love Jehovah , they are grateful to Jehovah for the things He has done for them , and so they rightly tell Him personally they are thankful . Yet , when I ask them if they love Jesus , if they are grateful for what He did ( the ransom) , then I ask if they spend time thanking Him personally for this . The answer is that they are not allowed to pray to Jesus . So is the Father their friend ? Is’nt a main part of any friendship that of communication , telling your friend you appreciate them , love them etc ? Of course it is . Yet they can’t spend time every day telling Jesus how much they appreciate Him . That’s what I do every day because He and the Father are each a friend . I enjoy personal fellowship ( a one on one interaction with each of them directly — 1Cor 1:9 ) , that’s the essence of the Christian life . according to the New Testament . Jn 14:23

    I like what you said about Jesus , ” He is the key to true worship” . Amen !

    The Father draws all those in need of salvation to His Son — Jn 6:44-45 ; Jesus is the “way” to be accepted by the Father and receive life everlasting — Jn 14:6 ; Heb 7:25 .
    Today a right relationship with God starts by coming directly to His Son — Matt 11:28 because Jesus has the ability / authority to forgive sins and then to introduce persons to His Father , that’s the Father’s will and it pleases Him so — Jn 6: 37-40 ; Mk 2:10.

    May Jw’s discover what complying with the Father’s arrangement is all about — to gain His approval and a right standing before Him .This can happen if they will exchange their Watchtower publications for the Bible , and study it alone .
    We pray for them .

    • Hi Mike, thanks for your message. Much appreciated. It is true JW’s are stuck in the OT, they have to stay in that era because they have no place in the new covenant – that is those who confess to be of the Jonadab/Great Crowd class and robbed of the NT revelation.

      Jesus is indeed the key. JW’s claim to be Christian, followers of Jesus, but all they can do is hook into Jesus humanity and his obedience to the Father. However this is only one aspect of Jesus nature. They are thus blinded to Jesus true nature, i.e his deity and thus cannot experience fellowship and worship of Jesus. In turn they cannot know the Father. The circle is complete and the result is the worship of a man-made god, viz. Jehovah of the Watchtower. A god who demands perfect obedience at every level – and the WT dares to call such abject obedience worship?! Crazy!

      Again the only way a JW can be come to know and experience the fullness of worship is in a through Jesus. To meet with Christ they must lay aside the WT publications and simply read the Gospels with an open mind and preferably in a Bible other than the RNWT!

      God bless
      Jason

  3. “Incidentally the Watchtower amended its charter in 1944 stating that the purpose of their organization was for the “worship of Almighty God and Christ Jesus“.[5] This is still the official charter of the W.B.T.S! A useful tool when discussing the worship of Jesus with a JW!”

    Hi Jason,

    Article II of the charter was amended in 1955, “…and for public Christian worship of Almighty God and Christ Jesus” in the 1945 charter amendment was deleted leaving “arrange for and hold assemblies for religious worship.” This is consistent with banning the worship of Jesus in 1955.

    However the 1961 edition of the NWT at Hebrews 1:6 reads “And let all of God’s angels worship him.”

    The Watchtower November 1, 1964 issue informed JW’s that “…it is unscriptural for worshipers of the living and true God to render worship to the Son of God, Jesus Christ” (p. 671).

    Since joining a free evangelical church for me it has been very uplifting singing directly to our Lord Jesus and a new experience as you will appreciate as an ex-JW. In Christian Hymns there are 178 hymns to or about our Lord and in our own church hymn supplement 88. I am now singing Amazing Grace and When I survey the wondrous cross among other fine hymns. This as you will appreciate is normal for those who have been called by our Father into fellowship with Jesus Christ our Lord. 1Corinthians:9

    A very illuminating a well researched article Jason.

    God Bless,

    Michael

    • Thanks for the clarification. Most helpful.

      I am so glad you are enjoying “true worship” – you will find as you meet with the Lord Jesus through worship your prayers will flow together into one. You will embrace and enjoy both the Father and Son as well as receive the blessings and direction of both in and through the Holy Spirit, the third person of the triune God!

      You are on a wonderful journey which never ends for all eternity – God bless
      Jason

  4. Hi Jason.
    Firstly a Very Big Thank You for ALL the articles you have written. You can’t begin to imagin just how helpful they are in helping to get rid of false doctrine. It’s taken me 18 years to find the real truth after leaving the JW. I’m still on the journey and really loving the experience. To the absolute horror of my mother who has been a JW for more than 65 years. Keep up the good and vital work,you are truly blessed.
    Lots of Christian love
    Joyce

    • Hello Joyce,
      Many thanks for your kind words and encouragement. Leaving the Watchtower is a mixed journey with ups and downs but to know the living Christ, to know the real “Jehovah” of scripture is far more precious than any religion.

      May the LORD richly bless you and guide you into all HIS truth. Remember if the “Son” sets you free then you are free indeed! Amen! Amen!

      Happy to talk anytime – jason02061990@btinternet.com

      We will be praying for you and your mother – LORD bless Jason

  5. Since I woke up one year ago, I have read and reread your articles many times. Why? I have always loved God, but when you learn the dark side of the Watchtower, it is like you stumbled on something in the dark, and you lose your balance for a moment and try to get your bearings. Your articles have helped greatly in this regard, especially the article about atheism. After being a 110 percent witness for 45 years, i agree that the majority do not experience a personal connection with God through music. I know this because as a witness, it was extremely difficult to find another witness that could really get involved with an intimate conversation about Jehovah and Jesus. I say the majority, because personally, I have always felt God’s presence and personal concern for me as a person even within the Watchtower. I was like Paul. Zeal for God but without accurate knowledge. That is why I feel so alive inside now. God knew what was in my heart all along. That is why i could easily leave the Watchtower regardless of consequences. My relationship with God ( which was real) supersedes any organization.
    I was like a child who loves his parents and so in the process destroys the house trying to clean it and fix them breakfast. It was the thought that counted. My heavenly Father knew that about me. He has drawn me to him at this time. Again, thanks for writing such articles.
    PS: The longer the article, the better. 😌

    • Greetings in Jesus!

      Many thanks for sharing your experience and struggles. Our heavenly Father is truly a God of compassion, mercy and patience. He guides us and nurtures us until we are ready to step out of the cave into the glorious light of his Son.

      It is truly heartwarming and moving to read of your journey. The LORD is good!

      I am so pleased that my articles have helped you and I look forward to producing more in the LORD’s strength and to his glory.

      If you ever want to chat my e-mail is jason02061990@btinternet.com

      May the LORD shine his face upon you and lead you into ever richer pastures of fellowship unto that glorious day when you meet him face to face!

      God bless
      Jason

  6. Hello,brother Jason, may I use your photo(sing to Jehovah song book)
    I live in Taiwan ,just want it in our epub song book.
    in our local language song book first page.
    Thank you very much

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