Never Was a "Jehovah's Witness,"
LETTERS continue to ask, "Were you ever a 'Jehovah Witness'? Members of that sect have told me you were."
Although I have stated positively and definitely on the radio program a number of times and in articles in The PLAIN TRUTH that I never belonged to the sect known as "Jehovah's Witnesses,"or the Seventh Day Adventist denomination, it seems that many, especially of
"Jehovah's Witnesses" sect, continue spreading the claim that I once belonged to them.
Let me once again make the truth PLAIN.
I have never been a member of these so-called "Jehovah's Witnesses," nor of the Seventh Day Adventists. I have never in any manner, shape, nor form, had any remote connection with them, or associated with either sect or denomination. I have never had any fellowship with them.
I have never attended a regular meeting or church service of either, altho I have attended a very few week-night evangelistic campaign services conducted by Seventh Day Adventist evangelists.
I have never, however, attended any meeting of the "Jehovah's Witnesses" sect of any kind. I have never had any kind of fellowship with any of their leaders or members. I never knew, or ever saw, their late leader, Judge Ruthford - tho strange tales reach me that I spent some time with him in prison. I have never been in prison or in jail.
I have never belonged to, attended any meeting of, or had any remote semblance of fellowship with the "Jehovah Witnesses" predecessor, the "Pastor Russell" people.
I did not learn any of God's TRUTH from the "Jehovah's Witnesses" sect. I have, of course, read some of their writings and their books, and I have been glad to find that they have certain truths, as all sects and denominations have (though mixed with dangerous errors), but God had already revealed these truths to me long before I read of them in their literature. I LEARNED NOTHING THAT I BELIEVE AND TEACH FROM THIS SECT. If they boast of having taught me anything, they misrepresent.
I learned God's TRUTH directly from GOD - thru His WORD - the Holy Bible. I did not learn it from any sect or denomination.
But I say unto you, as the Apostle Paul said:
"I certify you, brethren, that the GOSPEL which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, BUT BY THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST . . . But when it pleased God, who . . . called me by His grace, to reveal His Son in me that I might preach Him to THE WORLD; "immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood" - neither went I to any sect or denomination or organized "church," but I went directly to the WORD OF GOD, and on my knees asked God thru His Spirit to open my understanding - to correct me, reprove and rebuke, and instruct in His Truth and His righteousness; . . . then after three years I went to some of the humble of God's people in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, and preached to them. (Please compare with Galatians 1:11 -18.)
My ambition and zeal was not persecuting God's true Church, as was Paul's, but climbing the ladder of business success and making money. God struck me down three times successively, by taking out from under my feet the businesses I had started, wiping me out, financially. Then God brought me to the study of His Word by causing me to try to refute the eternal validity, and good of God's spiritual Law, which He had revealed to my wife, and which I at first bitterly opposed.
During that six-months' study of more than fourteen hours per day, I read very little literature favorable to the Law, but I read everything I could find which opposed it - but mostly I studied
- just the BIBLE! After six months' intensive study I was forced, in honesty before my God, to swallow the most bitter pill of my life. It literally "killed" me - and I died - surrendered wholly to God, gave my life henceforth to Him to use "if He could."
I had been brought up from birth in the Friends Church (Quakers), though I had never been converted or begotten as a child of God, and at age 18 I strayed almost wholly away from all church interest or attendance, and devoted my whole energies to business. I had just passed age 30 when God forced me into this study of His Word, and total surrender to Him and His rule over my life.
From then on, I studied the Bible ON MY KNEES. Time after time it corrected me. Repeatedly I had to suffer reproof, and acknowledge I had been wrong in my beliefs and desires. God chastened and corrected me repeatedly, not only thru revealing His Truth in this way, but by continual circumstances. I had been conceited, proud. But now by bitter experience, by suffering, by circumstance, and by God's Word, I was brought low and humbled. But also I began to experience the unmatched joy of learning truth NEW to me, as God little by little, yet more and more, revealed TRUTHS so wonderful they produced spiritual ecstasy. For the first time in my life I found what HAPPINESS really is!
God launched me in His work, and after my first evangelistic effort in a church in Harrisburg, Oregon, I experienced the greatest thrill of my life so far, upon realizing a few precious lives
had been brought to repentance, to surrender to God, to FAITH in Jesus Christ - CONVERTED - CHANGED! Truly it is more blessed to give than to receive!
That process of being corrected, of GROWING in grace and the KNOWLEDGE of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, has continued, now, lo these 30 years - more than a quarter century. And it is still continuing! God grant it shall forever!
No, MEN did not teach me what I preach to you. I was not taught of men, but of GOD! I do not speak to you by authority of men, or any politically organized church of men - but in the name, and by the AUTHORITY of JESUS CHRIST, the living HEAD of the true CHURCH OF GOD!
These words of Christ, which He received from the Father - the very words and Gospel of CHRIST which I speak and write to you - they are SPIRIT, and they are LIFE!
by Herbert W. Armstrong