Since the recent tomahawk bombing of a largely abandoned Syrian airbase and the saber-rattling over North Korea, the phrase “world war three” has been entered into Google search more frequently than at any other time, ever. Of course, the same googleers might also do a search for the best porno or make-up tips; but the [...]
There is a saying that the first casualty of war is the truth. How true that is. Virtually every war in modern history has been ignited with so-called false flag operations and patriotic propaganda. Now with instantaneous communications and everyone in possession of a personal camera, it is possible to propagandize masses of people very [...]
For three and a half years Jesus walked the length and breadth of Israel performing all manner of miracles and teaching the people about the Kingdom of God. He also trained his disciples and sent them out by twos to preach a call of repentance, for the Kingdom of the Heavens had drawn near. [...]
It has been called the most significant U.S. presidential election in our time. And there is no reason to doubt that. Even Jehovah’s Witnesses, who, being non-political —hardly giving notice to politics at all —seem to have more than merely a passing interest in this election result. That being so, a few readers have asked [...]
“Now my advice to you is to use ‘money’, tainted as it is, to make yourselves friends, so that when it comes to an end, they may welcome you into eternal habitations.” - Jesus Christ (Luke 16:9 J.B. Philipps New Testament) . They say that “money makes the world go around.” If that is [...]
OnOctober2nd, 1914, Charles Taze Russell, the President of the Watch Tower Society, announced to the Bethel staff at their morning breakfast: “The Gentile times have ended; their kings have had their day.”
At the time those words were unquestioningly accepted by the International Bible Students; after all, a couple of months before that announcement the nations of Europe had virtually all declared war upon each other and the clouds of war were indeed hanging low. Before too many more months would pass Europe would be plunged into the worst war in history up until then – The Great War, as it was called until the greater war erupted two decades later.
Now, though, only three years shy of a full century later, C.T. Russell’s bold announcement is virtually meaningless. A question thinking Jehovah's Witnesses ought to ask is, in what way have the nations and their kings had their day? Presumably, when the prophetic appointed times are fulfilled should it not be expected that the nations of the world would be prevented from any longer tyrannizing mankind? Back during that horrible time of the First World War the Bible Students expected the war to bring all the nations to ruin, with anarchy reigning and leading directly to the world-ending war of Armageddon. Instead, the nations recovered and fought an even more destructive and deadly war, from which the nations have also long-since recovered.
This is an enlargement and revision of a previously published article (September, 2014) Jehovah’s Witnesses have accomplished the greatest evangelical work in history. Under the direction of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society the good news of God’s grand Kingdom has been preached to the ends of the earth. As an example of the reach of [...]
1975 - 40 years later (Download, right click Save as) It was in 1966 - before many of you were even born or aware - the Watchtower pointed forward to the year 1975 as the end of 6,000 years of human existence. So what? It has been surmised that because in Genesis God referred [...]
Jehovah's Witnesses believe the Lord's day began 100 years ago this month, evidenced by the First World War. But a careful consideration of related Bible terms reveals otherwise. The expression “the Lord’s day” only appears one place in the Bible — at Revelation 1:10, where John wrote: “By inspiration I came to be in [...]
Audio of 1938 speech by J.F. Rutherford: Face the Facts With the ominous storm clouds of a second world war in as many decades looming large, on September 11, 1938, J.F. Rutherford delivered a public address at a convention of Jehovah's Witnesses from the prestigious Royal Albert Hall in London – challenging [...]
New World Order (Right click for MP3 download) There are various and sundry conspiracy theories that come under the rubric of “new world order” – much of which is either intentionally diversionary or simply outlandish nonsense, seemingly intended to discredit everything categorized by the mainstream as a “conspiracy theory.” (For example, London’s Telegraph, [...]
The gospel writer and most-beloved disciple of Jesus, John, was apparently the last surviving apostle of Christ. Toward the end of his long life he wrote all of the letters that appear in the Bible with his name – including the book of Revelation. At I John 2:18 the aged apostle wrote concerning the coming [...]
2014 has begun with a much-ballyhooed push for a long-elusive peace in the Middle East. On January 4, the WhiteHouse published Secretary Kerry’s remarks regarding the renewed campaign for a two-state solution, so that Israelis and Palestinians can live together in peace and security. Since the “Six-day War” in 1966 Israel and its Arab neighbors have [...]
The Watchtower Society published a minister’s handbook in 1989 called Reasoning From The Scriptures, which provides Jehovah’s Witnesses with a handy scriptural reference in support of basic Bible doctrines. It also offers suggestions for overcoming various “conversation stoppers” and objections that may be raised by householders.
For the most part the “reasoning” of the Society is unassailable – at least in matters of doctrine, which really are not open to interpretation.
But prophecy, or rather – interpreting prophecy and matching it to events in the past or even projecting to the future – is another matter entirely. And in this regard the title of the Watchtower’s original minister’s handbook is apropos: “Make Sure of All things.” But have Jehovah’s Witnesses really made certain of all the things they believe and teach? Consider the following: Under the heading “Last Days” the Reasoning book presents all the “evidence” to support their teaching that the last days of this present system began in 1914. And as Jehovah’s Witnesses surely know, the last days of the system commence when Jesus is given the throne of heaven and the kingdom of God comes to power.
On two occasions Jesus warned his followers to stay on the watch for his return, because he was coming at an hour they did not think to be it. He likened his unexpected return to a thief breaking into a home, saying: “But know one thing, that if the householder had known in what watch the thief was coming, he would have kept awake and not allowed his house to be broken into.”
Significantly, the context on both occasions had to do with his coming to judge the slaves of his household. Jehovah's Witnesses, of course, are convinced that Jesus came in 1914. And the Watchtower teaches that in 1918 Jesus cleansed the so-called spiritual temple, as foretold in the third chapter of Malachi. And it was on that occasion that Jesus is supposed to have appointed his faithful slave over all of his belongings. At least that is what the Watchtower used to teach, but evidently that is all about to change.
The Watchtower first moved to Brooklyn in 1908. For 40 years prior to that the International Bible Students had operated out of a small building in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, which is now part of Pittsburgh. Although shuttered for about a year from 1918 to 1919, ever since its reopening when Rutherford was released from the Atlanta penitentiary the Watchtower has acquired more and more properties in Brooklyn.
For more than a half-century the Watchtower facility has had a dominant presence in the heart of one of the most populous and important cities in the world – being situated right across the river from bustling Manhattan and Wall Street; and its signage has been a venerable landmark. Bethel even displays the name of Jehovah before the thousands of daily passerby.
To serve at Bethel is considered the greatest honor and privilege among Jehovah's Witnesses. Only spiritually mature men and women are even allowed to apply. And the many hundreds (1,500) of Jehovah's Witnesses who serve at the world headquarters also attend the dozens of congregations scattered throughout the greater New York City area and are considered to be an important spiritual presence and and a valuable influence. Not only do the Bethelites work what amounts to a full-time job, but like all other Jehovah's Witnesses they also have a public ministry. Some particularly energetic and zealous Bethelites even serve as auxiliary pioneers.
The Watchtower Society has done it again!
I have never really used the word "umpteenth" before, at least not in print, but it may be applicable now - as in the expression: the "umpteenth time"the Governing Body has revised and redefined that which is an integral part of their teaching on prophecy having to do with the return of Jesus Christ.
At this year’s Annual Meeting, held at the posh Stanley Theater in Jersey City, the eight member Governing Body of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society declared itself to be the embodiment of the faithful and discreet slave. And now all the individuals, including both the anointed and those who are defined as the great crowd, are the domestics that are fed by the slave. Okay. But alas, there are a number of inherent contradictions with this newly revised view.
But first, though, I stand corrected.
This is a revision and an update from a previous blog entry.
Apparently this is to be an annual occurrence, necessitated by the fact that the Watchtower sends representatives to an annual hedge fund conference about this time every year, and I, accordingly, am compelled to publicize their unseemly affairs. (The Watch Tower Society is on the 2012 attendees list under Investors.)
But what is wrong with the Watchtower investing in hedge funds? For one thing, the Society is a tax-exempt organization based upon the supposition that it is a non-profit institution. (Not to be confused with its non-prophet status) But is it even ethical for a non-profit organization to operate as a hedge fund or to invest in hedge funds seeking maximum profits? At the very least it is questionable and may even violate the rules governing tax-exempt organizations. Ultimately, their avarice may well be their undoing, as it is not out of the question that they may at some point lose their tax-exempt status for this very reason.
But it is not just that. Everything the Watchtower does now is either done to save money or to make money. For example, some assembly halls have evidently installed cash machines so that Jehovah's Witnesses can donate money straight out of their bank accounts. Apparently the donation boxes at every exit just weren’t enough. (Be reminded that Jesus became indignant because of the presence of moneychangers in his Father’s temple.)
On the other hand, it has come to my attention that this year the Watchtower asked Jehovah’s Witnesses (at least in France) to print copies of the convention program off the Internet to save the Society the printing expense. Apparently, that means that in their view it is a waste of money to provide programs for those who attend their conventions and that the money might be more wisely allocated by placing million dollar bets with the high rollers in the global financial casino. The Society’s sophisticated money masters make the Miracle Wheat fiasco of the organization’s founder seem amateurish by comparison.
According to the Watch Tower 1914 was the most important date in all of human history. As all of Jehovah’s Witnesses know, virtually all prophecy has been anchored to that date. Up until about 1970 the Watch Tower insisted that the great tribulation had even begun back in 1914, but that God had cut it short and the world was in that eye-of the-storm interval.
Supposedly, too, the eighth king began ruling for his prophesied one hour way back in the immediate post World War One period, when the League of Nations was established. But, so far not one Jehovah’s Witnesses has accepted my challenge to explain how the League of Nations may have prevented everyone from buying and selling and just why God would arbitrarily condemn anyone to everlasting death for having once thought the now-defunct League was an admirable institution?
And, of course, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Satan’s “short period of time” to terrorize the world has been ongoing for nearly a century, even though the world in general has been enjoying an extended period of relative peace and prosperity since the Second World War.
The symbolism that Jehovah employed when issuing the original Edenic prophecy regarding the serpent bruising the heel of the seed of the woman and the seed of the woman crushing the head of the serpent, would seem to be more fitting than is casually apparent.
On the one hand, Jehovah’s Witnesses have an appreciation of the paramount matter of Jehovah’s as-of-yet unresolved universal sovereignty, and the related issue regarding the faithfulness and integrity of all intelligent creation.
Jesus was, of course, the foremost witness of Jehovah and the grand champion of God’s rightful sovereignty. Having left the comfort and security of his lofty position next to God, Jesus willing exposed himself to the serpent Tempter; ultimately submitting himself to an unimaginably horrible, torturous death, in order to fully submit to Jehovah’s will; hence, the serpent bruised the seed upon the heel.
But Jehovah’s Witnesses are here behooved to consider the serpent bruising analogy in practical terms: Imagine yourself walking through a patch of tall grass and suddenly feeling a searing sting on your lower leg. Looking down you instantly realize you have been bitten by a venomous snake. A person’s instinctual reaction might be to stomp on the snake’s head and make sure it was crushed dead – so that it might not strike again. (Merely stomping upon the reptile’s body would more than likely result in another snakebite.)
At Matthew 24:6 is recorded Jesus’ words of warning to his disciples: “You are going to hear of wars and reports of wars; see that you are not terrified. For these things must take place, but the end is not yet.”
Next Christ foretold: “For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be food shortages and earthquakes in one place after another. All these things are a beginning of pangs of distress.”
Are we to believe that the “beginning pangs of distress” span generations, only to give way to a prolonged period of relative peace, and that the generation who heard the original reports of wars passes away long before all things are fulfilled? As strange as it may seem that is exactly what Jehovah’s Witnesses now believe.
But since wars and reports of wars precede the big war in which nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Christ’s prophecy regarding nation warring against nation was fulfilled in 1914-18, Jesus’ words regarding the “wars and reports of wars” that precede all-out war have no relevance whatsoever for Jehovah’s Witnesses today. For that matter, neither does the aspect of nation rising against nation. It is all dead history of fulfilled prophecy to Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The name of God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and consequently the God of Israel, was represented in written form by the four Hebrew consonants YHWH. Probably the first appearance in writing of the so-called Tetragrammaton took place when God carved out the two stone tablets upon which he wrote the Ten Commandments for the Israelites. There, chiseled in stone by the very finger of God, the name of God appeared eight times.
Over the course of 15 centuries as the Bible was compiled by various writers, ultimately the name of God appeared in the vellum and papyrus scrolls in nearly 7,000 places – more than any other proper name. Originally the name of God was freely spoken by the Jews and used in everyday language. Hebrews often named their offspring names that incorporated some form of the divine name. For example, the common name, John, is a shortened form of the Hebrew name, Jehohanan, which means “Jehovah has been gracious.”
Places were also named names that honored God’s name. For example, when God prevented Abraham from offering Isaac upon a makeshift altar and instead provided a ram as a substitute, a grateful Abraham named the mountain Jehovah-Jireh, which means “Jehovah will provide.” Incidentally, Jewish tradition has it that the place Abraham named Jehovah-Jireh was the site where Solomon’s temple was built almost 1,000 years later, and which became known as the place where Jehovah caused his name to reside.
Immediately after Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River and anointed by God as the promised Messiah he was promptly led by the holy spirit into the wilderness in order to be tempted by the Devil.
But that was just the beginning. After having failed to tempt Jesus into an act of disloyalty to Jehovah the gospel writer Luke noted that the Devil concluded the temptation, only “until another convenient time.” Some time later Jesus exposed his tempter as the wicked ruler of the world, the father of the lie and the original manslayer – charging his fellow Jews as being those desirous of doing the will of the wicked one.
On the night he was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus told his captors that it was their hour and the authority of darkness – meaning that Jehovah had removed his protection from Christ in order to allow the wicked one to test him to the limit. If you recall, on several occasions during his ministry the murderous Jews tried to kill Jesus, but could not. On other occasions the leaders wanted to have Christ destroyed but they were in fear of those who accepted him as a man of God. But all impediments to his destruction were swept away on that fateful Passover.Jesus forewarned Peter that Satan had also demanded to have them, the apostles, in order to sift them as wheat, and by extension, everyone who has been called into the kingdom of Christ. That would include Jehovah's Witnesses today, would it not?
In the aftermath of the devastating terror attack on September 11 – now a decade ago – in 2003 a former CIA director, one James Woolsey by name, is quoted as saying that the United States had embarked upon World War Four. (He was counting the Cold War as World War Three.)
He went on to identify Iraq and Iran as the primary enemies, along with Syria, Egypt and even Saudi Arabia, and of course, the conveniently ephemeral al-Qaeda. Laughably, Woolsey claimed that America was intent on bringing democracy to all the oppressed peoples of those lands ruled by dictators.
(As a side note, not only has the world’s most sophisticated military superpower failed to eradicate the sandal-shod, ragtag Taliban in Afghanistan in ten years of war – a Taliban who had nothing whatsoever to do with the 9-11 attack – since the invasion of Afghanistan heroin production has soared, particularly in the British-held Helmand province. Not only are the hundreds of billions of dollars of illicit dope money being laundered through the offshore banking/hedge fund conduit in order to prop up the bankrupt European banking system, but also the deadly drug itself is being deployed primarily as a weapon against the people of Russia. The US has resolutely refused to destroy the poppy crop, which it could easily do.)
As regular readers of e-watchman are aware, not only is it my unwavering conviction that Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watchtower Society have heretofore played a vital role in the outworking of Jehovah’s grand purpose, but I also stand convinced that the present system of things is poised to implode in the immediate future – commensurate with the authentic arrival of Jesus Christ and the actual ouster of Satan and his demons from Jehovah’s heavens. Even though no mortal knows the precise day and hour when the Son of man will make his thief-like presence manifest, thereby plunging the world into a brief period of unimaginable chaos, the conditions are undeniably overripe for a calamity of apocalyptic proportions to suddenly overtake the present wicked system of things.
“For, according to their wish, this fact escapes their notice, that there were heavens from of old and an earth standing compactly out of water and in the midst of water by the word of God; and by those means the world of that time suffered destruction when it was deluged with water. But by the same word the heavens and the earth that are now are stored up for fire and are being reserved to the day of judgment and of destruction of the ungodly men.” – 2 Peter 3:5-7
de·lu·sion (d-lzhn) n 1: (psychology) an erroneous belief that is held in the face of evidence to the contrary 2: a mistaken or unfounded opinion or idea 3: the act of deluding; deception by creating illusory ideas If you are one of Jehovah’s Witnesses you no doubt believe that Jesus Christ arrived in the glory [...]
“What the near future holds” is the title of a talk outline presented by elders of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Representatives of the Watchtower Society have also delivered variations of the discourse in recent years.
Over the years the Watchtower Society has published volumes of interpretations of Bible prophecy. Aside from their saying “peace and security,” the destruction of Babylon the great and the actual war of Armageddon, Jehovah’s Witnesses have been led to believe that nearly all prophecy has already been fulfilled. In fact, the Watchtower is fond of saying that prophecy cannot really be understood until after it is fulfilled.
The return of Jesus Christ will be the most profound occurrence of all time. Christ’s revelation will set into motion a chain if events that will forever change the affairs of men on earth. But what exactly is the revelation of Christ? As the word implies, the revelation has to do with the revealing or [...]
There is a war wracking the world today. It is not a conflict between individual nations or even blocks of nations. It is not so black and white as that. It is not confined to national borders, as wars of the past typically have been. It might best be described as a war between the rulers and the people. But that does not really tell the whole story either, because in the USA the government is “by the people” – ostensibly. More specifically, the conflict is really between two systems of rule – the empire and the republic, or neo-colonialism and the nation-states.
If you are one of Jehovah’s Witnesses you been given a great gift. Because of your having acquired an accurate knowledge of the precious truth contained in the Sacred Scriptures and a meaningful Christian ministry, you are in a position to be blessed by God, such as no people have ever been blessed before. By [...]
This is a revised and expanded article that appeared on the original Watchman site in 2005.
The April 1st, 2004, Watchtower Magazine carried an article on the meaning of Revelation’s mysterious 666 – the name and mark of the wild beast. Under the subheading on page four, the Watchtower asks the rhetorical question: “Do you enjoy solving a mystery?” Notably, that statement implies that the Watchtower Society has already solved the mystery. But have they really? In keeping with the apostolic exhortation: “Do not believe every inspired expression, but test the inspired expressions to see whether they originate with God,” we do well to take a closer look at this important topic.
What is the day of Jehovah or Jehovah’s day, as it is alternatively worded in the New World Translation? Jehovah’s day is not a mere 24-hour day. It is the period of time during which God expresses his long-restrained anger – beginning with his own house first, as the Scriptures indicate in several places, and [...]
t has been a couple of weeks since the Watchtower Society's Governing Body lost Ted Jaracz in death. I try to keep the Jehovah's Witnesses in the News blog up-to-date with links to the latest information appearing in the news, and so I have been scannning Google search results for the Watchtower's press release of the death of Theodore Jaracz. So far, there has been no mention of it in any newspaper.
Who are Jehovah’s Christian Witnesses? Are they the true worshippers of God – the true light-bearers, as the Watchtower Society claims? What makes the witnesses of Jehovah so special? Do they really believe that they are the only ones who will receive salvation? After all, many accuse Jehovah’s Witnesses of being a satanic cult. How could such a maligned sect possibly be the only true faith?
According to the Watchtower Magazine’s mission statement on the inside cover, the purpose of the Watchtower is to explain the significance of world events in the light of Bible prophecy. Here is what it says specifically:
“Just as watchtowers in ancient times enabled a person to observe developments from afar, so this magazine shows us the significance of world events in the light of Bible prophecies.”
The question posed here is: Has the Watchtower fulfilled its mission statement?
While the Watchtower frequently reminds Jehovah's Witnesses of its supposed prophetic prowess of yesteryear, such as divining the year 1914 and predicting the reformulation of the League of Nations in some form during the waning years of the Second World War, in more recent times the Watchtower seems to have gone silent.
When Christopher Columbus returned to his native land with the news of his discovery Europeans immediately began to refer to it as “the New World.” For the past half millennia the Americas have been called the New World. For desperate millions the New World offered the hope of a fresh start, free from the grinding poverty and oppression of the remnants of a feudalistic system in Europe, that at the time of Columbus’s discovery still had not fully recovered from the ravages of the Black Death, famine and the so-called Hundred Year’s War, which combined, had reduced the population in some parts of the Old World by as much as two-thirds.
The world was shocked in the days following the night of April 14 of 1912, as the news spread of the sinking of the Titanic on its maiden voyage across the Atlantic. The vessel was the largest ship ever built up until then and it was touted as the safest. It employed the state-of-the-art technology of the time and was thought to be virtually unsinkable by some people.
This article has been slightly edited - originally published in April 2008
The course of history for the past 500 years has been dominated by an ongoing conflict between the forces of tyranny and the human struggle for liberty. For over a millennium following the collapse of the Roman Empire Europe was dominated by a bestial Feudal system, enforced by the Roman Catholic Church, which enslaved the vast majority of the population in perpetual poverty and ignorance. But the Renaissance began to change that miserable situation.
The June 1st, 1997, issue of the Watchtower carried an article entitled “Secret Societies: How Great the Threat?” It gave a superficial overview of how some secret societies are believed to function and their purposes. While not terribly enlightening, the article ended affirming the question posed: “Yes, indeed. Who can really know how many secret [...]