Collect the weeds.
As the collecting work progressed, the distinction between true Christians and false ones became ever clearer. By 1919, it became evident that Babylon the Great had fallen. What especially set true Christians apart from imitation ones? The preaching work. Those taking the lead among the Bible Students began to stress the importance of sharing personally in the Kingdom preaching work. For instance, To Whom the Work Is Entrusted, a pamphlet published in 1919, urged all anointed Christians to preach from house to house. It stated: “The work appears stupendous, but it is the Lord’s, and in his strength we will perform it. You have the privilege of sharing in it.” What was the response? From that time onward, reported The Watch Tower in 1922, the Bible Students stepped up their preaching activities. Before long, preaching from house to house became a hallmark of those faithful Christians—as it is till this day.
It is true that Jesus referred to the field being ripe for harvest, but he lamented that the field workers were few in number. That is why he urged his disciples to beg the master of the harvest to send out more workers into the field. Surely, that is the way we ought to view the worldwide preaching sponsored by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. Since 1919 the number of workers being sent into the field has steadily increased.
However, in his illustration of what is to occur during the conclusion of the system of things Jesus indicated that the harvesters are not few in number. In fact, those who conduct that symbolic harvest during the end times are not even human. Jesus said that the angels will be dispatched as reapers and “they will collect out from his Kingdom all things that cause stumbling and people who practice lawlessness, and they will pitch them into the fiery furnace. There is where their weeping and the gnashing of their teeth will be.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses should thoughtfully consider how it is that if the angelic reapers commenced the harvest back in 1919, or whenever, in what way have the “weeds” been pitched into the metaphoric fire of eternal destruction? Is there any evidence that the common churchgoer has been made to experience fits of weeping and gnashing of their teeth because they have been made aware that they have been forever disbarred from the Kingdom?
And if that is the case, if churchgoers have been uprooted by Christ’s powerful angels and bundled up, as it were, then can they be unbundled or even snatched from the fiery furnace?
That may seem like a stupid question, but it merely follows the illogic that the Watchtower espouses; that is because, obviously, the preaching work that the Watchtower sponsors, which it says clearly distinguishes the true Christians from the false, preaches the message of salvation to the very weed-like persons whom the Watchtower claims have already been bundled up by the angels and pitched into the fiery furnace! Or, if we suppose that the furnace of destruction is the judgment that lies ahead in the tribulation (which is surely the case) how is it that multitudes of false Christians in past generations will be thrown into the “fire”? Isn’t there an earthly resurrection for them?
Not only that, but if the harvest began nearly a century ago that means that not only were the weeds removed from the field back then, but successive generations of weeds have been replanted and grown to maturity over the past 100 years! We might ask: At what point are they then bundled up and thrown into the fire?
This gives rise to even more unexplainable difficulties in the Watchtower’s “explanation.” That is because in the natural world, upon which Jesus based his illustrations, agriculture follows a strict pattern of seasonal change. First comes the cultivation of a field. Then the planting of the seeds. That is followed by an extended growing season. Then comes the harvest. After the harvest the field usually lies dormant until the next planting season begins the cycle anew. Surely, no sane farmer would plant seeds in the same field that was being harvested!
Do you see the illogic of the Watchtower’s teaching? Jehovah’s Witnesses are required to believe that the harvest season just keeps going and going and going. All the while, the field is replanted with more wheat and also presumably over-sown with more weeds. Be honest with yourself. The Watchtower’s interpretation is sheer nonsense!
Conveniently, the Watchtower neglects to even consider the most significant aspect of Christ’s illustration, and that is, in what way were all things that cause stumbling and persons practicing lawlessness removed from Christ’s Kingdom in 1919, or anytime since then?
If we believe that the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses is the true congregation under Jesus’ headship, which I do, that would mean that there are no stumbling blocks within. That would mean that since 1919 there have been no persons who have practiced lawlessness. That would certainly be an incredible thing — if it were true. But, of course, it is not true. That is why the Watchtower doesn’t even attempt to “go there.”
Or, are we to believe Jesus was simply using hyperbole — an exaggerated figure of speech, when he said that the angels will collect out from his Kingdom “all things” that cause stumbling?
The simple but profound truth is this: The harvest of the wheat and the weeds has not begun; hence, neither have the angels been sent out as reapers, nor are we living during the conclusion of a system of things. Ironically, one of the many stumbling blocks that will inevitably be removed when once the harvest commences is the very teaching that Christ has already come!
But especially, the harvest will involve removing the phony sons of the Kingdom that have taken root among Jehovah’s Witnesses and who have heretofore been indistinguishable from the true sons of Jehovah’s planting. No doubt it is their baleful influence that promotes the ridiculous notion that the weeds of Jesus’ illustration were removed long ago.
The commencement of the harvest will result in their being uprooted and exposed. They will find themselves put out of Christ’s Kingdom to face the blackness of oblivion during the day of Jehovah. “There is where their weeping and the gnashing of their teeth will be.”
“Let the one who has ears listen.”