From Jehovah's Witnesses to Christianity--Jeramiah A. Giehl's Story

My name is Jeramiah A. Giehl. I was raised in a JW home . . . well, my mom was JW, but my dad wasn't. I went to a JW congregation. I had no reason to doubt, but God had different plans for my life. When I was eight, I knew the Bible so well my mom would ask me how to spell hard words. When I was 12, I had read the Bible two and a half times through.

About this time, God started dealing with me. I was reading Isaiah 9:6 which says "The mighty God, the eternal father." God spoke to me and reminded my about the JW teaching that at Deuteronomy 6:4 it says, "Yahweh or Adonai is one Elohim" or "Jehovah our God is One Lord." God reminded me that there was one true God and, in fact, their Bible here was calling Jesus God. I felt God say, if my Scripture calls Jesus God, He is God. So I didn't argue that, but I knew the JW's taught otherwise. So I asked my mom how could the JW's believe that Jesus was a created archangel. It made no sense. She tried to explain it away saying that Jesus is The Mighty God and Jehovah is The Almighty God. Then they go further and deny the divinity of Jesus and make him an archangel because of one Scripture that says that he spoke with the voice of an archangel.

They demoted him to a created being. These statements made sense if he was eternal father. I did not know that Revelation 1:7-8, 17 referred to Jesus as "the almighty God" and Isaiah 10 refers to Jehovah as "the mighty God" or that when Jesus said, "'I and the father are one,' . . . . They picked up stones to stone him . . . . Because he, a mere man, claimed to be God." Jesus also said of God the father, "He abides in me and I in him," (John 10:30, 33, 38). "If you have seen me, you have seen the father" (John 14:9). "Jesus is truly God manifest in the flesh, He is the image, the likeness of his glory, true God from true God, begotten" (meaning chosen, not made)." [who said that?] Now I know that. Then I did not, but I knew what God told me, and I was determined let God be true and every man a liar. So I asked, "How could He be the eternal father, and you say He was created?" I continued to say, "That means from eternity to eternity He is, was, and will be the father and that He has not and will not change--that Jesus is the eternal father. He could not be created. He just is eternal father."

Remember this is at the age of twelve. My mom could not explain it to me, so she took me to one of he elders to help me out. I knew he was going to do the Almighty/Mighty God difference. Again, at the age of twelve, I was outthinking adults, but this was only by the power of God. So when we got there, I asked him, "If Jesus is eternal father, that means from eternity to eternity he is father. How can you say that he is a created archangel?" To me it made no sense that one Scripture said that he spoke with the voice of an archangel and they thought he was an archangel. As a kid, I could impersonate a lot of voices . . . if I talked like E. T. It didn't make me E. T. This seemed childish to me, but I still didn't have it all together. I was still trying to listen to God. Especially when I was talking to them, I was asking for God's help. So the elder started trying to do the difference between Almighty God Jehovah and Mighty God Jesus--not making any sense, just trying to prove a point with a liberal theology. The theology says every time a Scripture says something opposing their doctrine, it is figurative. Contrary to a recent book they wrote called, "All scripture is [/scriptures are] inspired of God, beneficial for teaching, reproving and setting things straight." [title?] They left out the part, "That the man of God may be fully equipped." It didn't make sense: if they said that all Scripture is inspired, why can't you and why don't you take it literally. The elder would not answer my question. He just talked all this other stuff, and I believe God just protected my heart. I had a strong belief to respect my elders, so I just said, "Yeah! Unhunh!" until he was satisfied. He ended up saying, "Yeah, you won't understand everything. Eventually you have to just accept it." I said, "Unhunh, yeah." He was more or less proving my point that you can't understand why Jesus is God. You have to accept it.

I kept it to myself because I did not want to be manipulated into some untruth. This debate I believe is in answer to a prayer I prayed when I was eight. Someone said that only the 144,000 could go to heaven because they know the truth real well. So, I sat in front of the JW church looking at the elder in the back of church, and I prayed to God and said, "I want to know your truth, God. Teach me your truth, God. I want to go to Heaven. I want to know the Bible." Then I said, "I want to know your real truth whatever it is." That was like my first personal altar call I guess. I don't know. God worked with me sovereignly. God has answered that prayer.

I am now attending Southwestern Assemblies of God University In Waxahachie, Texas, serving God. I feel called to be an evangelist to God's sovereign pleasure. God in those early years taught me to pray and read His word. And when I prayed and read His word, He would touch me and change me. I remember one day at school. I wanted to tell people about God because of what I was feeling. It was awesome. I was feeling the power of God inside me, and I hadn't fully gotten delivered from all the JW stuff . . . I was still going to their church--not knowing what to do. I was still about twelve or thirteen. So I went out witnessing that afternoon, and my whole face, body and everything was dead. I could not smile, laugh, nothing. I had no life. It was the opposite of what I felt at school away from my mom’s house. I felt like and knew something was wrong.

When I was at one JW service, I felt God call me to lift my hands and worship him. I felt awkward because JW's don't do that, and I felt called to worship God. It was another one of those soul-rending occasions of seeking God to find out what he wanted and had for my life. I would always go out and enjoy nature and the beauty of what God created. It always brought me nearer to Him. I respected my family’s wishes out of honor until I was eighteen. I asked God if I should be baptized as a JW or a Christian. That was the last time I ever went to a JW church. After that, I felt and knew God wanted me to be a Christian.

I've never been witnessed to except one time. "The power team" came to my school brook brick's [?] and lead us through the sinner's prayer and all. I felt God there. One other time while still under my mom's roof, a friend of mine who was one of my Karate instructors, asked me If I wanted to go to church with him. I said I couldn't because my mom wouldn't let me. Not long after, another one of my friends went with his friend to church one weekend, and the next weekend I went just because I felt like going. The first church I ever went to was Family Fellowship Church of Oceanside. It is an Assemblies of God Church. I felt God there, but the worship was awkward. I was raised in the ghetto, so I grew up on rap, and the worship music sounded like rock and roll. It tripped me out. But I felt God in it. The preaching was good and soft. I felt Jesus in it. I felt like this was my home church, but I wasn't ready to listen to that kind of music. I started going to a home church where they had only acoustic guitars and did a lot of the mellow Vineyard worship music. I love it. It was focused on healing. They did a little prayer counseling with me.

Then I got injured real bad in my Karate. I had torn both of my rotator cuffs, and I was useless. I quite my job because I couldn't work. I heard about a healing crusade by Wayman Mitchell, the founder of "Potters house" and "The Door International." So I went. The day before, I went I could not drive a block without asking someone else to drive. The day after, I drove from Oceanside, California, to Rancho Bernardo, California, and back twice. This was like a three-hour drive in my VW bus and back twice. It was awesome. I was totally healed. It was the first time I ever responded to an altar call. It was cool. When he was preaching he used the name, "Jehovah Rapha." He used God's divine name which at the time I thought Christians didn't use enough. He explained healing, sin, repentance, and salvation. He talked about Adam and Eve, the fall, the provision sacrifice. He talked about how God had to shed animals' blood to cover their naked bodies and how Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice, how He atoned for sin and that He was alive, present, and here to heal today. Everyone shouted. I thought it was exciting. At the end, he gave the altar call, and I got prayer for healing. It was awesome. I ended up going back to the AOG church, getting filled with the spirit of God with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Feeling the call to ministry, I started looking for a Bible college to attend. I started hearing about revival, so I started studying past revivals, the Bible, praying, and seeking God on it. I started to experience revival. I tested the fruit to see if it lined up with God. I got prayed for. I got drunk in the spirit. I laughed. I fell. I was pinned to the floor. I loved God more. We started an outreach to downtown Oceanside. I started witnessing to people on the bus because my bus was not working anymore.

I started witnessing to JW's at the bus stops as I came home from Palomar Community College. God was doing mighty things. I began to do the work God has called us all to, proclaiming the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I hope this testimony has and will touch you. God bless you.

Live in His love. In His light there is love.

Jeramiah Giehl, His servant

 
 
About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.