This video will focus on the September 2022 monthly broadcast of Jehovah’s Witnesses presented by Stephen Lett of the Governing Body. The goal of their September broadcast is to convince Jehovah’s Witnesses to turn a deaf ear to anyone who questions the teachings or actions of the Governing Body. Essentially, when it comes to the doctrines and policies of the Organization, Lett is asking his followers to write the Governing Body a spiritual blank cheque. If you are one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, you must not question, you must not doubt, you must only believe what you are told by men.
To promote this unscriptural position, Lett seizes on two verses out of the 10th chapter of John, and—as is typical—substitutes some words, and ignores the context. The verses he uses are these:
“When he has brought all his own out, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they know his voice. They will by no means follow a stranger but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” (John 10:4, 5)
If you are an astute reader, you will have picked up on the idea that here Jesus is telling us that the sheep hear two voices: One they know, so when they hear it, they immediately recognize it as belonging to their loving shepherd. When they hear the other voice, the voice of strangers, they do not know it, so they turn away from that voice. The point is that they hear both voices and recognize for themselves which one they know as the voice of the true shepherd.
Now if someone—Stephen Lett, yours truly, or anyone else—is speaking with the voice of the true shepherd, then the sheep will recognize that what is being said comes, not from a man, but from Jesus. If you are watching this video on your phone, tablet, or computer, it is not the device that you trust, nor the man speaking to you through that device, but the message—assuming, of course, that you recognize that message as originating from God and not from men.
So the sane criterium is: Don’t be afraid to listen to any voice, because by listening, you will know the voice of the fine shepherd and you will also recognize the voice of the stranger. If someone tells you, don’t listen to anyone but me, well, that is one humungous red flag.
What is the message being conveyed in this September 2022 JW.org Broadcast? We’ll let Stephen Lett tell us.
The Christian Scriptures do not speak about Jehovah’s sheep. The Sheep belong to Jesus. Does Lett not know that? Of course, he does. So why the switch up? We’ll see why by the end of this video.
Now the rest of the title might seem okay, but it all depends on how it is being applied. As we’ll see, the Governing Body doesn’t want you to listen to other voices, determine which is that originating from our Lord Jesus and which voice come from strangers, and then reject the latter and follow only the true voice of our shepherd. Oh no. Stephen and the rest of the Governing Body want us to summarily reject any and all voices that do not speak for them. You may think that they don’t trust their flock to know the voice of the true shepherd and so are making the decision for them. But that would not be true. It’s not that they don’t trust Witnesses to recognize the voice of Jesus. Quite the opposite. They’re afraid that many of the flock are finally starting to know that voice and are leaving, and they are desperately trying to plug the holes in the leaky vessel that is JW.org.
This is yet another attempt at damage control by the Governing Body. For almost two years, Witnesses have been away from Kingdom Hall meetings due to the pandemic. It would appear that many are starting to question the blind obedience that they have been giving to self-appointed rulers who have substituted themselves for Christ. We all know that the Governing Body won’t allow anyone to question them. No one does that unless he has something to hide.
Stephen Lett and the other members of the Governing Body claim to be the anointed of God. Well, when it comes to self-declared anointed ones, we need to remember what Jesus, God’s true anointed one, once told us that “false anointed [ones] and false prophets will arise. They’ll perform such great omens and signs that they could possibly mislead even the elected!” (Matthew 24:24 2001Translation.org)
I’ve made a number of assertions here. But I have yet to give you proof. Well, that starts now:
Whose sheep is Lett reading about? The sheep of the Governing Body? The sheep of Jehovah God? Clearly, these are the sheep that belong to Jesus Christ. Okay, we’re all good so far. I’m not hearing the voice of a stranger yet, are you?
Lett is preparing a very subtle bait and switch tactic in this video. Jesus doesn’t say that his sheep reject the voice of strangers, but that they don’t follow the voice of strangers. Isn’t that the same thing? You might think so, but there’s a subtle difference that Lett is going to exploit once he gets you to accept his terminology.
He says that “sheep listen to the voice of their shepherd and reject the voice of strangers.” How is it that the sheep know to reject the voice of strangers? Does someone like Stephen Lett tell them who the strangers are, or do they figure that out for themselves after hearing all the voices? Lett wants you to believe that all you need to do is to trust him and his fellow Governing Body members to tell you who not to trust. Yet, the illustration he’s about to use points to a different course of action.
“Yet, when the shepherd called them, though he was disguised, the sheep came at once.”
When I read that, I immediately thought of this account in the Bible: On the day of Jesus’ resurrection, two of his disciples were travelling to a village about seven miles outside of Jerusalem when Jesus approached them, but in a form that they did not recognize. In other words, he was a stranger to them. For brevity’s sake, I won’t read the whole account, but just the parts that relate to our discussion. Let’s pick it up at Luke 24:17 where Jesus is speaking.
He said to them: “What are these matters that YOU are debating between yourselves as YOU walk along?” And they stood still with sad faces. In answer the one named Cleopas said to him: “Are you dwelling as an alien by yourself in Jerusalem and so do not know the things that have occurred in her in these days?” And he said to them: “What things?” They said to him: “The things concerning Jesus the Nazarene, who became a prophet powerful in work and word before God and all the people and how our chief priests and rulers handed him over to the sentence of death.”
“After hearing them out, Jesus says, “O senseless ones and slow in heart to believe on all the things the prophets spoke! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into his glory?” And commencing at Moses and all the Prophets he interpreted to them things pertaining to himself in all the Scriptures. Finally they got close to the village where they were journeying, and he made as if he was journeying on farther. But they used pressure upon him, saying: “Stay with us, because it is toward evening and the day has already declined.” With that he went in to stay with them. And as he was reclining with them at the meal he took the loaf, blessed it, broke it and began to hand it to them. At that their eyes were fully opened and they recognized him; and he disappeared from them. And they said to each other: “Were not our hearts burning as he was speaking to us on the road, as he was fully opening up the Scriptures to us?”” (Luke 24:25-32)
Do you see the relevance? Their hearts were burning because they recognized the voice of the shepherd even though with their eyes they did not perceive who he was. The voice of our shepherd, the voice of Jesus, sounds even today. It may be on a printed page, or it may be conveyed to us by word of mouth. Either way, Jesus’ sheep recognize the voice of their Lord. However, if the writer or speaker is sounding forth with his own ideas, as false prophets do to mislead the elect, the chosen ones of God, then even if the sheep will hear the voice of a stranger they will not follow it.
Lett claims that Satan doesn’t use serpents anymore, but that isn’t completely accurate. Remember that Jesus referred to the Jewish rulers, the Governing Body of Israel, as the offspring of vipers—poisonous snakes. The Bible tells us that Satan “keeps disguising himself as an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14) and adds that “his ministers also keep disguising themselves as ministers of righteousness.” (2 Corinthians 11:15)
These ministers of righteousness, this brood of vipers, might dress up in suits and ties and pretend to be faithful and wise, but it is not what the sheep see that matters, but what they hear. What voice is speaking? Is it the voice of the fine shepherd or the voice of a stranger seeking his own glory?
Given that the sheep recognize the voice of the fine shepherd, doesn’t it make sense that these strangers, these fake ministers of righteousness, would use demonic tactics to keep us from hearing the voice of our fine shepherd? They’d tell us not to listen to the voice of Jesus Christ. They’d tell us to stop up our ears.
Wouldn’t it make sense that they’d do that? Or perhaps they would lie and slander anyone who echoes the voice of our Lord, because they speak with the voice of “the evil ventriloquist, Satan the Devil.”
These tactics are nothing new. They are recorded in Scripture for us to learn from. We do well to consider the historical account where both the voice of the fine shepherd and the voices of strangers are heard. Turn with me to John chapter 10. This is the same chapter that Stephen Lett has just read from. He stopped at verse 5, but we’ll read on from there. It will become very evident who the strangers are and what tactics they use to keep luring the sheep to themselves.
“Jesus spoke this comparison to them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. So Jesus said again: “Most truly I say to you, I am the door for the sheep. All those who have come in place of me are thieves and plunderers; but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the door; whoever enters through me will be saved, and that one will go in and out and find pasturage. The thief does not come unless it is to steal and slay and destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it in abundance. I am the fine shepherd; the fine shepherd surrenders his life in behalf of the sheep. The hired man, who is not a shepherd and to whom the sheep do not belong, sees the wolf coming and abandons the sheep and flees—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them— because he is a hired man and does not care for the sheep. I am the fine shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me…” (John 10:6-14)
Are the men of the Governing Body, and those who serve under them, true shepherds who imitate Jesus Christ? Or are they hired men who are thieves and plunderers, who flee from any risk to their own hides?
The only way to answer that question is to look at their works. I say in this video that the Governing Body never exposes the so-called lies that they claim apostates make about them. They always speak in generalities. However, every once in a while they get a little too specific in their generalities as Stephen Lett does here:
If you know of a child sexual predator, and you stand before a judge who demands you reveal the name of that criminal, would you obey the superior authorities as Romans 13 commands you to do and hand the man over to justice? What if you had a list of known abusers? Would you hide their names from the police? What if you had a list numbering into the thousands and were told that if you didn’t turn it over, you would be held in contempt of court and fined millions of dollars? Would you turn it over then? If you refused and paid those fines using money others had donated to support the preaching work, would you be able to stand up in public and claim that anyone who says you protect pedophiles is a “bald-faced liar?” That is what the Governing Body has done and continues to do, and the evidence is available on the internet from reputable sources for anyone who cares to look for it. Why are they protecting these criminals from justice?
The hired man is only concerned with protecting his hide. He wants to secure his assets and wealth and if it costs the lives of a few sheep, so be it. He doesn’t stand up to for the little one. He isn’t willing to risk everything to save another. He’d rather abandon them and let the wolves come and eat them up.
Some will try to defend the Organization by saying that there are pedophiles in every organization and religion, but that’s not the issue here. The issue is what are the so-called shepherds willing to do about it? If they are just hired men, then they won’t risk anything to protect the flock. When the Government of Australia set up a commission to learn how to handle the problem of child sexual abuse within the nation’s institutions, one of those institutions was Jehovah’s Witnesses. They subpoenaed Governing Body member Geoffrey Jackson who was in the country at that time. Rather than act like a true shepherd and take this opportunity to address a real problem in the Organization, he had his lawyer lie to the court claiming that he had nothing to do with the policies of the organization dealing with how to handle child sexual abuse within the congregation. He was just there handling translations. Since we are talking about bald-faced lies, I think we have just revealed a whopper, don’t you think so?
The commissioners were made aware of this lie and compelled him to come before them, but he demonstrated the attitude of the Governing Body to be one not of a true shepherd, but of a hired man intent only on protecting their assets, even if that means abandoning the little sheep.
When someone like myself points out this hypocrisy, what does the Governing Body do? They imitate the Jews of the first century who opposed Jesus and his disciples.
“A division again resulted among the Jews because of these words. Many of them were saying: “He has a demon and is out of his mind. Why do you listen to him?” Others said: “These are not the sayings of a demonized man. A demon cannot open blind people’s eyes, can it?”” (John 10:19-21)
They couldn’t defeat Jesus with logic and with truth, so they stooped to the age-old tactic used by Satan of lying slander.
“He’s demonized. He speaks for Satan. He’s out of his mind. He’s mentally diseased.”
When others tried to reason with them, they cried: “Don’t even listen to him.” Stop up your ears.
Okay, I think we are ready to proceed with listening to what the Governing Body, speaking through the voice of Stephen Lett, has to say. But let’s go back just a bit to refresh our memory. Lett is about to build a strawman argument. See if you can pick it out. It’s pretty obvious.
Is Stephen Lett one of Satan’s ministers of righteousness, or is he speaking with the voice of the fine shepherd, Jesus Christ? Jesus would never use a strawman argument. Did you pick it out? Here it is:
Would you accept that we should trust the faithful and discreet slave that Jesus appoints over all his belongings? Of course. Once Jesus has appointed his slave over all his belongings, that slave has full authority. So, of course, you would trust him and obey him. That’s the strawman. You see, the issue isn’t whether we should trust the faithful slave, but whether we should trust the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Stephen Lett expects his listeners to accept that the two are equivalent. He expects us to believe that the Governing Body was appointed as the faithful slave in 1919. Does he make any attempt to prove that? No! He just states that we know this to be true. Do we? Really?? No, we do not!
Actually, the claim that the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses was appointed in 1919 to be Christ’s faithful and discreet slave is ludicrous. Why do I say that? Well, consider this excerpt from my recently published book:
If we accept the Governing Body’s interpretation, then we must conclude that the original twelve apostles don’t make up the slave and so will not be appointed over all of Christ’s belongings. Such a conclusion is simply preposterous! This bears repeating: There is only one slave whom Jesus Christ appoints over all his belongings: The Faithful and Discreet Slave. If that slave is confined to the Governing Body since 1919, then men like J. F. Rutherford, Fred Franz, and Stephen Lett are expecting to be presiding over all things in heaven and earth, while the apostles, like Peter, John, and Paul stand on the sidelines looking on. What outrageous nonsense these men would have you believe! We all are fed spiritually by others, and we all have the opportunity to return the favor when someone else is in need of spiritual nourishment. I have been meeting online with faithful Christians, true Children of God, for some years now. While you might think I have some considerable knowledge of Scripture, I can assure you that not a week goes by that I don’t learn something new at our meetings. What a refreshing change that has been after enduring decades of boring, repetitious meetings in the Kingdom Hall.
Shutting the Door to the Kingdom of God: How Watch Tower Stole Salvation from Jehovah’s Witnesses (pp. 300-301). Kindle Edition.
The Governing Body, by means of this broadcast, is also doing a classic bait-and-switch. Lett starts off by telling us to reject the voice of strangers. We can accept that. That’s the bait. Then he switches out the bait with this:
There is so much wrong with this I hardly know where to start. First, notice that the word “trust” is not in quotes. That’s because nowhere in the Bible are we told to trust any slave, faithful or otherwise. We are told not to trust men at Psalm 146:3—specifically, men who claim to be anointed ones, which is what princes are. Second, the slave is not declared faithful until the Lord returns and, I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen him roving about the earth yet. Have you seen Christ return?
Finally, this talk is about distinguishing between the voice of Jesus, the fine shepherd, and the voice of strangers who are agents of Satan. We don’t simply listen to men because they claim to be God’s channel, as the Governing Body does. We listen to men only if we can hear the voice of the fine shepherd through them. If we hear the voice of strangers, then like sheep we flee from those strange men. It’s what sheep do; they flee from the voice or voices of those whom they do not belong to.
Rather than rely on truth, Lett falls back on the tactic used by the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. He tries to get his listeners to believe him based on the authority he presumes to have received from God, and uses that assumed status to discredit those who oppose his teaching, those he labels “apostates”:
“Then the officers went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, and the latter said to them: “Why did you not bring him in?” The officers replied: “Never has any man spoken like this.” In turn the Pharisees answered: “You have not been misled also, have you? Not one of the rulers or of the Pharisees has put faith in him, has he? But this crowd who do not know the Law are accursed people.” (John 7:45-49)
Stephen Lett doesn’t trust Jehovah’s Witnesses to recognize the voice of strangers, so he has to tell them what they look like. And he follows the example of the Pharisees and the Jewish rulers opposing Jesus by slandering them and by telling his listeners not even to listen to them. Remember, they said:
“He has a demon and is out of his mind. Why do you listen to him?” (John 10:20)
Just like the Pharisees that accused Jesus of being an agent of the devil, and a crazy person, Stephen Lett is using his self-assumed authority over the flock of Jehovah’s Witnesses to condemn all who disagree with him, which would definitely include me. He calls us “bald-faced liars” and claims we twist the facts and pervert the truth.
In my book and on the Beroean Pickets web site and YouTube Channel, I challenge the Governing Body on such doctrinal teachings as their overlapping generation, the 1914 presence of Jesus Christ, 607 BCE as not the year of the Babylonian exile, the other sheep as a non anointed class of Christian, and many more. If I’m speaking with the voice of a stranger, why doesn’t Stephen expose what I say as lies. We are, after all, using the same Bible, are we not? But instead, he tells you not even to listen to me or others like me. He slanders our name and calls us “bald-faced liars,” and mentally diseased apostates, and desperately hopes you won’t listen to what we have to say, because he has no defence against that.
Yes, they do, Stephen. The question is: Who is the apostate? Who is lying repeatedly? Who has been twisting Scripture since before I was born? Maybe it is done unwittingly though that seems increasingly difficult to believe.
The Governing Body is not done yet. The message they want to get across is that we shouldn’t even hear the voice of strangers. We should rely on men to tell us who are the strangers so that we don’t hear what they actually have to say. But if you were that stranger, if you were intent on having Jesus’ sheep follow you, and not Jesus, isn’t that exactly what you would tell the sheep? “Don’t listen to anyone but me. I’ll tell you who the strangers are. Trust me, but don’t trust anyone else, even someone who has cared for you your whole life, like your mother or father.”
Sorry mom, but the Jade that questioned everything is gone, consumed by the kind of thought control that has nothing to do with Christianity and everything to do with a mind-control cult.
Notice she says that the news stories are negative and slanted, but that doesn’t mean they are false, does it? Now, in the Spanish version of the broadcast, the Spanish version of Jade (Coral) actually says mentiras, “lies” instead of “slanted,” but in English the script writers are not so brazenly misrepresenting the facts.
Notice that she doesn’t tell her friend what the news stories were about, and these young women are oddly not curious to know either. If these news stories and “apostate” web sites were really telling lies, why not reveal those lies? There is only one good reason for concealing the facts. I mean, how could they depict Jade’s mother showing her daughter evidence of the 10-year Watch Tower Society affiliation with the United Nations, the dreaded Image of the Wild Beast of Revelation? That would be negative, but not untrue. Or what if her mother shared news stories about the millions of dollars the Organization is paying out to victims of child sexual abuse, or the huge fines they’ve had to pay for contempt of court when the Governing Body has refused to turn over its list of tens of thousands of names of suspected and known child abusers to the superior authorities? You know, the ones Romans 13 refers to as God’s minister for punishing wrongdoers? Jade can’t know about all that because she won’t even listen. She is obediently turning her back.
This is an excellent example of how Satan’s ministers of righteousness twist scripture to their own ends.
Lett read from John 10:4, 5 and here we see how he expects his listeners to apply it. But let’s not listen to his voice, but rather the voice of the fine shepherd. Let’s reread John 10, but we’ll include a verse Lett left out:
“The doorkeeper opens to this one, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought all his own out, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they know his voice. They will by no means follow a stranger but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.”” (John 10:3-5)
Listen carefully to what Jesus says. How many voices do the sheep hear? Two. They hear the voice of the shepherd and the voice (singular) of strangers. They hear two voices! Now, if you are a loyal Jehovah’s Witness listening to this September Broadcast on JW.org how many voices are your hearing? One. Yes, only one. You are being told not even to listen to any other voice. Jade is shown refusing to listen. If you will not listen, how do you know whether the voice is from God or men? You are not allowed to recognize the voice of strangers, because the voice of a stranger is telling you what to think.
Stephen Lett assures you in his round, sonorous tones and with his exaggerated facial expressions that he loves you and that he speaks with the voice of the fine shepherd, but isn’t that exactly what a minister who disguises himself in righteous robes would say? And wouldn’t such a minister tell you not to listen to anyone else.
What are they afraid of? Learning the truth? Yes. That’s it!
You are in a situation that this mother is in…if you are trying to help a friend or family member to see reason, and they refuse to do so. There is a solution. This next clip unwittingly exposes that solution. Let’s watch.
If a Witness friend or family member won’t listen to you, then listen to them—but with one condition. Get them to agree to prove everything from Scripture. For example, ask your Witness friend to explain how Matthew 24:34 proves the end is near. That will get them to explain the overlapping generation. Ask them, where does the Bible say there is an overlapping generation?
Do this with everything they teach. “Where does it say that?” should be your refrain. This is not a guarantee of success. It will only work if they are seeking to worship God in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Remember, the verse Lett didn’t read, verse 3, tells us that Jesus, the fine shepherd, “calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”
The only sheep that respond to Jesus are those who belong to him, and he knows them by name.
Before closing, I would like to ask you a question:
Who are the true apostates?
Have you ever looked at the pattern of history recorded in Scripture?
Jehovah’s Witnesses refer to the nation of Israel as God’s original earthly organization. What happened when they went wrong, something they did with alarming regularity?
Jehovah God sent prophets to warn them. And what did they do with those prophets? They persecuted them and they killed them. That is why Jesus said the following to the rulers or governing body of Israel, “Jehovah’s earthly organization”:
“Serpents, offspring of vipers, how will you flee from the judgment of Gehenna? For this reason, I am sending to you prophets and wise men and public instructors. Some of them you will kill and execute on stakes, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, so that there may come upon you all the righteous blood spilled on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.” (Matthew 23:33-35)
Did anything change with the Christian congregation that followed down through the centuries. No! The church persecuted and killed any who spoke truth, the voice of the fine shepherd. Of course, Church leaders called those righteous servants of God, “heretics” and “apostates.”
Why would we think that this pattern has changed within the congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses? It hasn’t. It’s the very same pattern we saw between Jesus and his disciples on the one hand and the “governing body of Israel” on the other.
Stephen Lett accuses his opposers of trying to get followers after themselves. In other words, he accuses them of doing the very thing the Governing Body has been doing all along: Getting people to follow them in the name of God and to treat their word as if it came from Jehovah himself. They even refer to themselves as Jehovah’s Channel of Communication and as the “Guardians of Doctrine.”
Did you notice how Lett kept referring to Jehovah’s sheep, even though John chapter 10 clearly shows the sheep belong to Jesus? Why does the Governing Body never focus on Jesus? Well, if you are a stranger who wants the sheep to follow you, it makes no sense to reveal the voice of the fine shepherd. No. You need to speak with a counterfeit voice. You’ll try to fool the sheep by imitating as best you can the voice of the true shepherd and hope they won’t notice the difference. That will work for the sheep that do not belong to the fine shepherd. But the sheep that do belong to him will not be fooled because he knows them and calls them by name.
I call out to my former JW friends to not give in to fear. Refuse to listen to the lies entangling you more and more till you will not be able to breathe for yourselves. Pray earnestly for holy spirit to guide you back to the voice of the fine shepherd!
Don’t depend on men like Stephen Lett, who tell you to listen only to them. Listen to the fine shepherd. His words are written down in Scripture. You are listening to me right now. I appreciate that. But don’t go by what I say. Rather, “Beloved ones, do not believe every inspired expression, but test the inspired expressions to see whether they originate with God, because many false prophets have gone forth into the world.” (1 John 4:1)
In other words, be willing to listen to every voice but verify everything from Scripture so that you will be able to distinguish the true voice of the shepherd from the false voice of strangers.
Thank you for your time and your support of this work.