About Charles
Charles Smith Testimony Anything of good report in this testimony has nothing to do with me but all to do with God and His generous grace. As a child I was happy and grateful to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.  It was wonderful, I believed, to be “born into the truth.” My mother and father were good parents and instilled in me a love of God’s word, the Bible, “you can always trust the Bible,” dad would tell me, and I believed him. The Watchtower Organization would sponsor “circuit” assemblies in the fall and spring and “district” conventions in the summer.  It was a privilege to work at these conventions.  I can remember as a small child carrying lunch trays for old ladies, as a teen working parking lot duty, and as an adult decorating the stage or platform from which the talks and demonstrations were performed. On a local level I gave my first “talk” when I was nine years old at the Overland Congregation of Jehovahs Witnesses in Overland Missouri.  I “pioneered” in my late teens after graduation from High School.  We were discouraged from attending college as the time was too short for such things.  Those in control of the circuit and district assemblies assigned me talks and other assignments to be delivered before as many as 2500 people.  It was a joy and privilege to do these things and to be used by “Jehovahs Organization”. One developed many friends growing up as a Witness in the 50’s and 60’s.  The young folks got together for parties, all well chaperoned, and we were like family.  I will always have a warm spot in my heart for all the boys and girls I knew and were my friends as we went through our teenage years.  One adult in particular was what I would have called a “youth minister” although Witness’ did not have such things.  Her name was Alice Whitney and she had a natural love for young folks and her house was always open to us on the weekends. Then, in 1966, a new publication was released by the organization.  “Live Everlasting The Freedom of the Sons of God.” It hit the Witness world like a bomb shell.  Six thousand years of human existence was up in 1975 and the next 1000 years was to be the millennial reign of Jesus Christ!  As the May 1974 issue of Kingdom Ministry stated. on page 3, “yes the end of this system is so very near!  . . . Reports are heard of brothers selling their homes and property and planning to finish out the rest of their days in this old system in pioneer service.  Certainly this is a fine way to spend the SHORT TIME REMAINING before this wicked worlds end.”  1John 2:17 . When the “Freedom Book” came out in 1966 my dad said, “That’s great, now if nothing happens, they’ll call us false prophets again.”  Again? The year 1975 came and went with no millennial reign of Jesus Christ.  I was married by this time and it was troublesome to me that this prophecy went unfulfilled. The term “false prophet” had a particularly abhorrent effect on my mind.  To disrespect your parents, to steal, to commit adultery these were horrible things to be guilty of, but they were primarily sins against fellow humans.  But to “prophecy falsely” in Jehovah’s name was direct sin against God Himself.  To associate God with a lie, in my mind, was as ugly as the sin of murder! But “we all make mistakes,” even Moses and the Apostles made mistakes” and after all, where else could one go?  Why those stupid “Christians” celebrate Christmas!  At least we had love for one another! Did we?  I can remember a circuit assembly held in St. Louis on Loredo Avenue.  This “Brother” was advising us on how to treat “dis- fellowshipped” or excommunicated persons who were being reinstated or allowed back into the congregation.  Usually we would clap or applaud when it was announced that someone was reinstated.  This “Brother” said “there should be no applause or demonstration at the time of this announcement, after all we don’t really know what THEIR MOTIVES ARE, THEY MAY JUST WANT TO CLEAR THERE NAME!”  This hit me like a ton of bricks.  Didn’t Jesus say the angels cheered when one lost sheep was found? Didn’t the father in the parable of the prodigal son, rejoice when his son returned to the family?  They had a party for him.  How cold these words seemed in light of scripture! Then came this book by Ray Franz, “Crises of Conscience.”  Ray Franz was a member of the elite “Governing Body” and was in a position to see and hear things none of the common Jehovahs Witnesses could hear.  What he experienced was troubling to him and led to his eventually leaving the Brooklyn headquarters and resignation from the Governing Body.  The book was forbidden by the leadership of the organization to be read by rank and file Jehovahs Witnesses.  It was described as spiritual pornography and full of lies.   Well if it were full of lies, the truth would prevail.  I read the book and it was full of truth.  The true history of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.  The truth being that it had prophesied falsely in the name of Jehovah many times.  Now it became apparent what dad had meant when he said “again”. 1914 was to be the “full limit of rule by imperfect men” Not the beginning of the end. 1918 would see the end of all the Churches, Church member being killed by the millions. 1925 was to mark the beginning of the resurrection of the great men of the Bible, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David etc. etc.  It was predicted in one publication that Hitler would defeat America and Britain. There were just a “few remaining months” before Armageddon, according to the September 15 1941 Watchtower page 288. The Bible is direct with what we are to do with false prophets.  We are to reject them!  That is if you are a faithful follower of Jehovah!  Deuteronomy 18:20 - 22  But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death."  21  You may say to yourselves, "How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?"   22  If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.  (NLT) I knew the “organization” was a false prophet but what should one do? I prayed.  I ask Jehovah to show me, from His word, what it was that I had to do to be approved by Him.  I prayed that if this “organization” was His, for Him to show me and that I would be the best Witness that I could be. I began to read the Bible for the first time, not to prove somebody was wrong but to see what God had to say to me, a seeker of truth. One Sunday, while listening to a talk at the Kingdom Hall, we were asked to read a scripture in 1 John.  I continued to read and it was like a kaleidoscope of love and truth; how one knows he is a Christian and how one should view Jesus.  Then it came to 1John 5:9 We accept man's testimony, but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son.   10 Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.  11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.   12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.   5:13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.   God’s witness, Jehovahs witness to me was and that I had eternal life now if I had Jesus.  I didn’t have to wait a 1000 years to receive life, I had it now if I put my trust in Jesus! I shared these and other truths gleaned from the Bible, and most of my witness friends thought I had lost my mind. A Christian friend asked me to attend church with him and to my surprise, these folks believed the same things I did! I shared the Jesus I had found with my wife and parents and they believed me to be either crazy or demonized! If I had been a person who believed the Witnesses were right I would be expected to bring my children to the Kingdom Hall.  I took my children to church  twice, then one evening no one was home and I received a knock at my door.  It was a Sheriff’s deputy serving me with divorce papers.  Claiming I was harming my children by taking them to church.  I had 15 minutes to get out of my house. I was told in no uncertain terms that I had to become a Witness again or there would be no marriage.  It was explained by me that people could have different religious views and still be married.  I suggested that she could continue to take the kids to the Kingdom Hall if I could take them to church and then the kids could make up their minds which was right or wrong.  NO DEAL. I continued to reach out to my relatives who were witnesses and only two of my cousins responded in a positive way, others, I’m told, threw the letters away before ever reading them. I met a fine and decent Christian woman who had two children.  Her husband had left her and married a woman in California.  We were married and both of her children Marty and Amy are now Christians.  The boy graduated from Midwestern Theological Seminary with a masters in Biblical languages.  The girl is a good Christian woman raising her children in the Lord. My son has nothing to do with me and as far as I know is a non-believer.  My daughter came to Jesus and was baptized while attending college in Springfield Missouri.  She is now married to a good Christian man and has three beautiful girls! I’ve been a Christian for thirty years and God has used me in different ways.  It’s been my privilege to aid many to reject the Watchtower false prophet and put their faith in the real truth, Jesus. It was a joy to serve for twenty years as part of the Southern Baptist Interfaith Outreach Department.  as an associate teaching Christians how to reach out to Jehovahs Witnesses, Mormons and Muslims. It’s been a blessing to serve! However the greatest blessing of all is to realize what one truly has as a true follower of Jesus. Eternal life!  A life changed from not knowing if one is good enough to be loved by God to knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are His child in Christ. I can remember as a Witness, 20 years old, going out knocking on doors 100 hours a month, placing 100 or more magazines and 20 or 30 books, conducting 5 to 7 bible studies a week, attending 5 meetings a week at the Kingdom Hall, and serving as a ministerial servant and elder, but never knowing if I was really doing enough.  I would go to one of the Watchtower conventions and there would be an 80 year old lady conducting more studies and doing more than me and I’m 20 years old!  I had thought I was doing ok.  I sure didn’t feel that way after hearing about her “service”. But in Christ, it’s what He has done not what you do. The simple truth from the mouth of Jesus is this “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my words and believes Him who sent me (1 John 5:9 – 13) HAS ETERNAL LIFE, and will not be condemned; he has CROSSED OVER FROM DEATH TO LIFE.’ What do we do?  Believe and trust what Christ has done!  He has done the work of salvation, He has accomplished the work that brings life! Paul likewise says, “For it is by GRACE you have been saved through FAITH – NOT BY WORKS, so that no one can boast.”  (But where do works come in?)  Paul goes on to say, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, what God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:8-10)  The works come but do not save.  God may call you to preach, serve the homeless,  start a school in Africa for orphans or start an outreach to Jehovah’s Witnesses.  You will work but it is what God wants you to do not what some false prophet organization tells you to do.
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