“So we have this street?” I asked.
“Uh, yes,” Steve replied.
“Well, these two houses are for sale,” I said. “And they both look empty. And Elder Nathan said that we’re to avoid house number 114, which is that one.”
“Well, let’s try this one,” Steve said. We walked to the door and I rang the doorbell.
“Good evening, sir,” Steve said. “We were in your neighborhood and thought we’d stop by.”
“Well, it’s good to see you,” the man replied. “My name’s Collin Martin and yours is?”
“Steve Johnson,” Steve replied.
“Richard Davidson,” I replied, shaking his hand.
“Anyways,” Steve continued, “we came to offer you our latest Watchtower magazine. This one has an interesting article about ‘Maintaining Your Marriage.’ We’d like to leave this with you and also offer you a free home Bible study.”
“Well I’d be happy to take this magazine in a minute,” Collin replied. “But can I ask you a few questions first?”
“Alright,” Steve replied hesitantly, looking at me.
“Who is your final authority?” Collin asked.
“Well, it’d be the Bible,” I answered.
“If I could prove, from the Bible, that Jesus is, indeed, God, and not Michael the Archangel, would you believe it?”
“You can’t,” Steve challenged. I, for one, was eager to see if someone could, since Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus is Michael the Archangel, not God.
“Well, let’s turn to Isaiah 9:6,” Collin said, “and let’s read it:
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
“Well,” Steve countered, “it says ‘Mighty God’; not ‘Almighty God.’”
“No,” Collin replied firmly, “it says ‘The Mighty God’. Your Society agrees with the King James Version; they still use it today. The King James says ‘The Mighty God’.
“Turn to Isaiah 7:14,” Collin continued. He turned to the passage and read:
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
“Look at Matthew 1:23,” Collin said. “Steve, will you please read it?”
Steve looked at his Bible and read:
“‘Look! The virgin will become pregnant and will give birth to a son, and they will name him Immanuel,” which means, when translated, “With Us Is God’.”
“With us is God,” Collin repeated. “Look at that: even the New World Translation calls Jesus God.”
“Well—” Steve began.
“Turn to John 5:17-18,” Collin said, “and let’s read it:
But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.”
“We have to go,” Steve interjected. “Have a good day.”
We turned and took several steps away from his house. “Don’t be late for your next appointment!” Collin called after us. “For eternity in Hell is a long time to be wrong.”
I paused briefly, then continued walking. What did he mean?
“He must be one of those born-agains,” Steve told me a little while later.
“Maybe,” I replied.
A couple of weeks passed. I kept reading those verses over and over, pondering what Collin said. “Don’t be late…long time to be wrong.” What did he mean? I knew we would use “another appointment” when we could see that the person was not listening during a Bible study. Is that what Collin was referring to?
“Brother Davidson, good to see you,” John Tyler greeted me after a meeting. “I suppose you heard Rachel Bevins was disfellowshipped?”
“Rachel Bevins,” I repeated, trying to recollect who John was talking about.
“You remember,” John said, “the girl who got pregnant—“
“Oh her,” I said, remembering. “Disfellowshipped, huh? Poor girl, she has no money.”
“That’s her fault,” John said. “If she’d kept in line, she’d still be here.”
“True,” I said. “Well John, I’d better be going.”
“Alright. See you next time,” John replied.
As I drove home, I thought about the disfellowshipping process. The person was brought before three elders, faced the charges, and then punished accordingly. Disfellowshipped ones were not to be spoken to, helped, or contacted in any way. “And people like Rachel, I don’t think it will take long for her to get back in line,” I said to myself. Those who repented were often welcomed back into the organization sometime later. I had faced that committee of three elders once myself: until I finally dropped all contact with my born-again uncle. He had been a JW, but was converted…
Converted. Converted how? By someone like Collin? I couldn’t write to my uncle; one of the brethren worked in the post office. I couldn’t call him; it was too dangerous. Then an idea struck me:
“I wonder if Collin could contact him?” I asked myself as I drove into the driveway. “But then, I’d have to contact Collin.”
As I ate my lunch the next day, I thought of something. I could get Mike to go with me to talk to Collin. “No, that wouldn’t work either,” I said. “Someone might report me.”
I did not have to think about it too much, though. When I got my mail that day, there was a letter from 115 Lincoln Drive. “115 Lincoln Drive,” I muttered as I walked back inside my house, “who would that be?”
Sitting down at my desk, I tore open the seal and unfolded the letter:
I am writing to tell you more about the issue of Jesus being God. Jesus is unique; He’s the “only begotten son of God.” Michael, according to Daniel 10:13, is “one of the chief princes.”
Jude 9 says that Michael refused to “bring against him [the devil] a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.” Jesus, according to Matthew 4:10 and Luke 4:8, did rebuke Satan.
As to Jesus being God: See the following passages in a King James Bible:
John 8:58-59—“I am” also Jehovah God, Exodus 3:14
John 10:30-33—Jews were going to stone Him for blasphemy
Romans 10:9-10, John 10:17-18—Jesus has power over His own life
Revelation 1:8—Jesus is speaking here!
Isaiah 43:11—Jehovah only Saviour
-God is called the Saviour
-1 Timothy 1:1, 2:3, 4:10
-Titus 1:3, 2:3, 3:4
-Jesus is called the Saviour
-2 Timothy 1:10
-Titus 1:4, 2:13
Isaiah 45:23—Jehovah says all will bow to Him
Philippians 2:9-11—all will bow to Jesus
There are more, of course Richard, but these are just a sample.
If Jesus wasn’t God Almighty, Richard, then He couldn’t be our Saviour, and all mankind, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, are doomed to Hell.
Please consider what I have said. Feel free to contact me.
Collin S. Martin
I folded the letter. Could Jesus really be God? I would have to look at this.
“Hey Richard,” Steve greeted me the following Sunday. “Did you hear?”
“I doubt it,” I replied.
“You remember that born-again we met several weeks ago?” Steve asked.
“Yeah,” I answered, trying to conceal my uneasiness.
“Apparently Rachel Bevins got help from Collin and his wife Kathy,” Steve said. “She’s got a job and rents one of their apartments. And she’s been converted, too.”
“Only makes sense,” I replied. “Get kicked out, you’re bound to go somewhere.”
“You’re not an apostate, are you?” Steve demanded.
“No, I’m just saying what is the obvious,” I hastily replied.
“No more apostates,” Steve warned. “We’ve had enough.”
I said good-bye and left. As I drove home, my mind was again thinking. I had shared my letter with Rena, my prospective fiancé, and her parents. “He’s got a lot of Scripture,” her father remarked.
One Saturday, Rena’s father called me. “Richard,” he said, “do you have anything to do today?”
“No, I don’t think so,” I replied. “My field service card is all filled up for this month.”
“Do you think Collin’s busy?” he asked.
“Did you want to speak to him, Brother Sam?” I asked.
“Yes,” he answered, laughing.
“I think he’ll be there,” I answered. “115 Lincoln Drive.”
“Just come here and we’ll all go there,” Sam told me.
“Alright,” I agreed.
Within thirty minutes, all of us had arrived at Collin’s and were seated on his back patio with him and his wife. We discussed many things: the unscriptural disfellowshipping practices, that, while Collin agreed that separation is good, the ones in the wrong should not be “counted as an enemy”, but admonished “as a brother.” We discussed the many false prophecies, the issue of blood transfusions, holidays, Bible versions, etc. Not all that Saturday; that would have taken too long. Collin discussed these issues with us over the course of a few weeks. All of it had to be kept from the elders, though, for we ran the risk of being disfellowshiped.
We did a lot of reading, both of the Bible and other books. Our field service reports weren’t very good, but we covered by stating “Bible study” on days when we would talk to Collin and his wife.
Rena and I were engaged in this time, and within a week of our engagement, she received Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Saviour.
Rena’s mother, Samantha, was the next one to become a born-again. It was exactly two weeks to the day after that Sam and I became born-again believers in Christ. I asked God to forgive me, cleanse me of my sin, save me, and accept me as His son. It was because of Jesus’ work on the cross (not torture stake) that I was saved.
For the next three weeks we went to Collin’s Baptist church that he had started. During this time we grew in the Lord and wrote our disassociation letters.
When the elders came to my house, they questioned me as to what happened. When I told them everything and that I had studied the Bible, one of them told me, “If you study the Bible alone, without the Society’s publications, you’ll become an apostate or—a born-again.”
“You’ll be hearing from the committee,” Elder Nathan threatened as he prepared to leave.
“No I won’t,” I said. “Here’s my letter of disassociation.”
He took the paper and left.
“Don’t be late for your next appointment,” I called, remembering what Collin said a couple of months ago, “for eternity in Hell is a long time to be wrong!”