Julie’s Story: From Jehovah’s Witness to Preterist

 So much can be learned from each other when we have the courage to share our stories. Here is Julie’s story about coming out of a Jehovah’s Witness background into a Fulfilled or Preterist view.

Julie McAllen says:

Under my previous religion, our message was not the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our message was “the Kingdom”. The kingdom was the gospel and we were fulfilling the preaching campaign foretold by Jesus at Matthew 24:14. I regularly went door-to-door asking people what “the Kingdom” for which they prayed in the Lord’s prayer meant to them. Seldom could anyone give me an answer. And neither did they tell me their testimony of what the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ meant to them personally. The most I got out of “Christians” on the other side of the door was the address of their church and bake sale they had there. It continued to feed my conviction that I had the truth and my religion was the only true dispenser of it, for I knew the gospel, they didn’t. I was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

I …became disillusioned with my religion and wondered if we really had the right message. Endeavoring to read the Bible sans Watchtower [the Jehovah’s Witness publication], I filled pages with verses trying to answer the question myself, “What is the good news of the Kingdom?” At the time, the addictive quality of mind control brought me right back to the vomit of the cult as I determined that the kingdom was a heavenly government comprised of 144,000 individuals, a remnant of which existed in the Watchtower organization… but the latter part was where the doubt crept in. How did I know the remnant was really just in THAT religion?

More discouragement and finally I broke away from the constant inculcating of their teachings. It took a few years of detox at home (praying, reading my Bible) before I came to the conclusion that the good news was the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And that did not come as a result of some denomination’s indoctrination for I was still under the Watchtower-instilled paranoia of going to another church. I simply read my Bible and I came to the simple truth that Jesus died for my sins. I believed in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and I began to share that as good news with others trying to escape the Watchtower demons in their head. Paul states clearly in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 that it is the gospel by which we are saved. And I can testify that my faith in that saved — DELIVERED ME — from the condemnation I experienced when the religion who claimed to represent God had tossed me out of their kingdom. The gospel saved me and I believed I had entered a ew Kingdom having been taken out of darkness and born from above. I became “the church” and was now enabled and eager to fellowship at an actual church too.

I got comfortable visiting churches and the language we toss around about being “saved” and “born again”…

Then a funny thing happened just as I was starting to get comfortable in mainstream Christianity. I was reading my Bible one day when I noticed the writer of Hebrews thought HE was in the LAST DAYS. And I noticed Peter got so carried away at Pentecost that PETER THOUGHT HE WAS IN THE LAST DAYS also. I determined that the ‘last days’ BEGAN IN THE FIRST CENTURY and [so I thought then] we were still in them.

I was visiting non-denominational churches at the time and didn’t even know terms such as Amillennialism or Preterism…I was a bit shy about bringing up this nutty idea of a “first century last days” among my new aquaintances. It felt nice to fit in for a while…and let the Holy Spirit be my teacher, not any religion.

The Holy Spirit taught me how to worship and open my mind to the Scriptures without fear of reprimand from elders… for I didn’t have any now! The idea of the kingdom became more pronounced that I was LIVING IN IT. I was in a spiritual kingdom every day!

When I slipped and commented on some of my ideas about the last days beginning in the first century, a woman… accused me of “Preterism” and sent me a magazine called “Israel My Glory” along with some articles by authors against this “heresy” I was evidently falling into. I immediately recognized her error…pushing the Kingdom to a future hope.

I was moving in prayer power by this time because… I tasted the power of the present Kingdom and the spiritual dominion I had been granted. To say Jesus had not been enthroned yet and wait for Him to show up in Jerusalem was a step back into insanity!..I sure wasn’t about to go back. The blessings I received in prayer coming before a living, reigning king could not be substituted with a carrot dangling in front of me about some future return. After reading the material she sent to ‘straighten me out’, I was only too happy to learn there were others like me! And now I had a name to Google… P-R-E-T-E-R-I-S-M.

 Ahhh….yes, validation. We ARE in the present kingdom! This IS the new earth! That is the Good News which the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ brought forth. It is a spiritual Kingdom! And those invited into it must be born of His Spirit, therefore, it was necessary for Him to die and ascend to heaven to pour it out. Yes, the gospel of the Kingdom INCLUDES the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, for it brings out the power of this Kingdom! And it IS good news to me! But once again, I find myself at odds with institutional religion and hesitant to share my new beliefs.

After being shunned by my former friends at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses for believing the good news of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, I’m not super thrilled about the ‘heretic’ label that awaits me among institutional Christians with their hearts set on the soon return of Jesus Christ to set up His earthly kingdom. Sigh.

I find the message very confusing when Christians talk about ‘victory’ yet still ‘wait’ for their king and kingdom to arrive. If Jesus has not taken all authority yet, then there is no power in his kingdom. What power is there in prayer for those without a king or kingdom? …

I feel very privileged to have been kicked out of my former religion and taught by the Spirit. I intend to not let a religion dictate my beliefs again.

I like being part of a faith community once again and would love to plug in there more, but I hold back as if I will be disfellowshipped there too… for the Gospel of the Kingdom now that I’m a Preterist. I’ve gotten the ‘heretic’ label already and I think I am ready to wear it again if it should come. I know without a doubt that I love my Lord more than approval from any fellow believer, regardless of their eschatology. But I am human, and as such, a social creature meant to fellowship. What a shame that religion often makes Christian fellowship so difficult!

So what is the gospel really? Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so…. and keep yourself in God’s love.

Julie

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  1. Thanks for sharing your story Julie. I became a full prederist about a year ago after being a partial for several years. Makes total sense to me now. Stuck my neck out a few days ago while having a few christian friends over and reluctantly shared my views on the end times. Caused quite a stir and my christian friends behaved quite rudely toward me and my wife. I just told them I expected that and that it’s quite a shock to here that stuff for the first time and didn’t really blame them, although there is no real excuse to behave rudely anytime. And of course, as expected, they thought I was getting in to a cult. Funny because I believe everything they do about the end times, just believe a very different time for it. It did upset my wife though and when I asked the Lord what I may have done wrong, He clearly told me I should have simply stopped everything at the beginning of the discussion and prayed. What a novel idea…duh! I do believe this truth needs to be told…in love and in the power of the Spirit. Although I do think it’s such a shocking thing for most Christians to hear, they absolutely will not be able to receive it. But I think the shock of it will also help to get it out there because it will make them talk about it with one another, even in a “can you believe what Jim said” kind of a way, it will be talked about and eventually become more popular and eventually received and believed. It will probably take at least a generation, but it has to happen.
    Jim

  2. I also am an ex-JW. I was baptized in that religion in 1973. I have been out for about 17 years. I had many questions about the Bible and was always told to leave it to Jehovah and just believe that the Society has it right and to never question their authority. Since being out, I could never really accept mainstream religion. I did, however, join a wonderful Christian Church for the fellowship and Bible reading, but still was unsettled about statements made by Jesus and the Apostles. Those statements didn’t seem to add up to what the Christian, or any, church was teaching. I thought there had to be more than what was being taught. I would cry and ask God to please help me to know truth. It took 17 years to find there are others like me. I happened to find websites dedicated to this teaching of “preterism”. I had never heard of it before. Soon I was learning all kinds of wonderful things that finally made sense. Like you, I hold back from telling too many people about my new beliefs for fear of ‘shunning’. I need to be bold and speak out in faith. Your story is encouraging. Thank you for sharing it.

  3. Thanks for your story, Julie. I’ve faced similar issues with “Christendom’s” churches, in that I’m watching another group stick to outdated ideas and also be ready to die for them, even if they are as meaningless as a belief in 1914’s ‘end of the Gentile times’. When Paul instructs us to ‘not forsake the gathering of ourselves together’ I can’t help but feel that all that’s left for us who genuinely rely on the Holy Spirit for instruction are support groups that get us past our previous religion’s lunacy. Thanks again for taking the time to relay your revelation and insights.

  4. I’m a former JW as well and am somewhere between a partial and partial preterism. I think there is still we don’t know because we have partial knowledge and see through a hazy mirror, so I try not to be too dogmatic about it. I attend a church that believes in freedom in non-essentials. People have many theological viewpoints and people don’t make an issue of them.

  5. I’m with you, Julie. 100%. My wife is still a devout Jehovah’s Witness. I don’t hold out much hope of her ever seeing the REAL truth. We have been married for over 28 years. Most of that time I was enslaved to the Watchtower and didn’t even know it. She still doesn’t know it. God bless. I’ll see you soon in the heavenly kingdom of God.

  6. One little prob…there’s not one quark of PROOF/EVIDENCE/DOCUMENTATION that all the prophecies of the Olivet Discourse and revelation have been fulfilled. Consigning their fulfillment to the “spirit world’ won’t cut it. There’s not one peep of SCRIPTURE relegating Jesus’ return to the “spirit world”. Instead, he said EVERY EYE would see His coming. Who does that leave out?

    Again…NO proof, evidence, or documentation these events have already occurred.

    • Robycop3, If you are really seeking answers to these questions to pose I do in fact outline the answers in great detail on my site here. I used to think like you but the evidence and proof convinced me that Jesus kept his promise to come to that generation.

      All the evidence is recorded in history by Josephus, Tacitus, Eusebius and especially the bible itself. Read on! Look at it for yourself. Don’t be afraid of what people say or if changing your mind. You will find truth if you seek it with your whole heart.

      Also I wrote an explanation of the “every eye will see” verse on my site. For example, in that context, every doesn’t mean every person in the world as we think of it today, but everyone of the people who were preached to in that context and time.

      One proof of this use that I document: Are you aware that the New Testament says 5 times that the Gospel was preached to “everyone” and “all creatures” and the “whole world” before 70ad? You and your pastors probably weren’t attuned to those passages. But they’re there! And does Paul mean that every person in the whole world was preached to in 65ad? No! He means everyone in HIS world, like the Roman Empire.

      Another example is in the beginning of Luke it says that Caesar took a census of the population of the “whole world” but we all know that he means the Roman Empire. Some NIV bibles even change it to say that. But the original Greek says “whole world”. One must consider the context of what THEY meant the words they used.

      So yes, Josephus does say that the whole world, or everyone who knew about the destruction of Jerusalem knew that it was Gods judgment.

      It was a coming of God in that sense but also in the very real and visible way that Josephus and Tacitus record. See my tab called “signs” for the exact wording. They record that chariots of Fire flew all over the skies above all the cities in Judea. That men in arm our were in battle in the skies. And many people saw this incredible sign. And many more unbelievable heavenly signs. Recorded by respected historians with no vested interest in lying!

      Who do you think those people were driving the chariots? Could one of the soldiers in battle have been Jesus? Next to Elijah? Who? And all this happened right before the destruction of Jerusalem. And after all 7 signs that Jesus gives leading up to it were fulfilled, like the beginning of wars, earth quakes, pestilence a, etc. Which many many theologians through church history have said was the fulfillment of the Olivet Discourse. Orthodox Christianity has always taught that. Eusebius is the father of church history and in the 300’s wrote how the Olivet Discourse was totally fulfilled and how it proved Jesus’ integrity. The Catholic Church also teaches this and they are the oldest and by far the biggest church on earth. Sorry, but history and theology are on the side of there being by far enough evidence to say the Olivet Discourse was fulfilled in 70ad.

      They only get inconsistent in saying that the heaven and earth passing that Jesus mentions in the Olivet is somehow different from the heaven and earth passing mentioned at the end of Revelation.

      It’s seriously worth looking into. No Preterist that I know just stumbled into it. Every one of the many thousands – and growing everyday – has studied deeply both scripture and history and wrestled with both until they finally couldn’t deny the truth any longer. I hope that you will count yourself among those faithful to that calling someday. If you do, you will be welcomed into a family of thoughtful, courageous and finally spiritually FREE believers.

  7. Hi Julie. I to am an ex-JW. I’ve been disassociated now, by choice, since 1999. I to have found myself a full preterist. I’ve even written a book called ‘We are the Nation’s’. It didn’t get any circulation with the exception of my personal distribution of about 400 books in my community. The research I’ve done has truly enlightened me. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Jimmy

  8. Wow, what a wonderful testimony, and sounds so familiar! I just love testimonies and so glad the Lord had you in His hands all along too! Isn’t it great to be in His kingdom! Aside from the Jehovah’s Witness because they are of the antichrist community, I find that Christians of today too are looking to what’s ahead and not realizing that He is at hand. They say that salvation is a free gift from God, yet in some sort of way, they are working for their salvation because they believe that Jesus’ return is up and coming and can’t wait, when in fact, He is here in our hearts. The churches I have attended can’t stress enough for His return and pray He comes quickly, and that settled right with me, and the reason is because I prayed for His patience, if in fact He was to come. I would tell my fellow brethren that we have Him now and to pray for His patience and all of them looked at me like I had three heads, and of course, the personal shunning began. Boy did I feel alone after that. God put it into my heart that He was here, in me and I in Him, I just didn’t know how to show anyone this in scripture. Long story short, I left the “church club house seen” and then the Lord had me get into His word so that I can begin my journey, and of course I didn’t know what to expect, He just put in on my heart to seek His face and His only; to go after His own heart, and MAN, what a blessing!

    It’s amazing how if we totally submit to Him in all aspects of our walk, He will show us things that we never saw or heard before concerning the truth in HIS WORD! I find it very interesting how so many who have never met, let alone have studied together, can come to the same belief. A true testimony of the power of God! Let us not forget this one fact though; it was God Himself who has allowed us to see Him fully, well, as much as is written about Him anyways; but He chose us, we didn’t choose Him. But once we start seeing His face, we want more of Him, and that my friends can’t be taken away! We are spoiled now with His Spirit, and we will not be sold a lemon again.

    God put a wonderful woman of Him in my life in 2005, we got married in 2006, yet we were so unevenly yoked spiritually; me being a jw, and her being a true born again. I fought the law (God) form 5 years, and the Law won in Feb. of 2010. God had to show me what Christ love was for 2 years, and it wasn’t until 2012 that I started my journey in His word. When He started to give me revelations, I was scared, and my brain said “this can’t be,” but my spirit within said “yes, it is.” Over a period of time, God lead me to a likeminded person named Mike, and it blossomed from there will others. 2 Cor. 3:17 comes to mind, “Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” So true, I feel liberated now, and all glory to the Lord for putting it in my heart to seek Him out!

    Ok, enough said. Love all testimonies here and keep on keeping on! Oh, one more thing; I just up and left the wtbts without any warning. Feb. 04, 2010 was my last look of the wtbts, and they never got the satisfaction of publically disfellowshipping me, it at all. God took me out and that was that! God bless all here and may His light get brighter!