This post is the first in a series of articles making a critical examination of the July 2022 Watchtower beginning with the article: The Kingdom Is in Place.
Those who will be blessed to survive the end of Satan’s world may well look back upon what they had once ardently believed and taught others and regard it to be the biggest hoax ever perpetrated. 1914, like all demon-inspired delusions, once embraced as inspired truth is very difficult to dislodge from the mind. What makes the delusion so powerful is that it has a biblical ring to it. Keep in mind though, that both the apostle Paul and John warned Christians to be on guard against “inspired statements.” John specifically wrote: “Beloved ones, do not believe every inspired statement, but test the inspired statements to see whether they originate with God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” — 1 John 4:1
The inspired apostle might well have added parenthetically (seemingly) to modify what he meant by inspired; that is because Paul indicated that the demons can make “inspired statements,” which would obviously be the source of the “inspired statements” issued by the many false prophets who have gone out into the world. For example, Paul wrote: “However, the inspired word clearly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to misleading inspired statements and teachings of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of men who speak lies, whose conscience is seared as with a branding iron.” — 1 Timothy 4:1-2
Notice, please, that there are two sources of inspired statements. The true source was inspired to foretell and forewarn that there will be “misleading inspired statements” that emanate from the demons. Paul went on to enumerate a few demonic teachings that help us to identify the Catholic and Orthodox religions of antiquity.
But Paul alerted his anointed brothers to another form of misleading “inspired statements” that are of the utmost relevance for Jehovah’s Witnesses today. At 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 the apostle stated: “However, brothers, concerning the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you not to be quickly shaken from your reason nor to be alarmed either by an inspired statement or by a spoken message or by a letter appearing to be from us, to the effect that the day of Jehovah is here.”
In this instance, those who issue inspired statements do so through spoken messages, such as public addresses and talks, as well as by letters—written messages, perhaps in the form of magazines like the Watchtower. The message is, that the presence has begun and the day of Jehovah is here. That has been the Watchtower’s core message for as long as it has existed. Interestingly, the messengers pretend to be apostles—just like the Governing Body of the Watchtower. (See article: Those Who Say They Are Apostles) With that in mind, let us follow the apostolic exhortation and test the “inspired statement” in the Watchtower.
In the first paragraph, the Watchtower implies that the breakdown of civilization we are witnessing, the details of which are listed in 2 Timothy 3:1-5, is proof the Kingdom is in place. They assert that it “is impossible for any sincere person to deny, [and it] provides evidence that Christ Jesus has begun ruling as King of God’s Kingdom.”
In order to test the inspired statement above, let us ask a few questions. Since the apostles of the Watchtower claim that Jesus began ruling in 1914 why was not society’s breakdown evident back then? Were the Roaring 20s difficult times hard to deal with? For example, were men lovers of themselves and lovers of money, fierce and open to no agreement to the same degree as now, say, in the 1950s? And the answer is, of course, no. If you have lived as long as me (70) then you too have witnessed the gradual decay of morals over many, many decades and it gets worse with each passing year. But the genuine inspired statement did not indicate that the last days will be characterized by a long, steady process of societal degradation. No, Paul warned that the last days will be critical times hard to deal with because men will already be thus and so. (See article: How We Know These Are Not the Last Days)
Read Daniel 4:10-17. The “seven times” represent a period of 2,520 years. That time period began in 607 B.C.E. when the Babylonians removed the last king from Jehovah’s throne in Jerusalem. It ended in 1914 C.E. when Jehovah enthroned Jesus —“the one who has the legal right”— as King of God’s Kingdom. —Ezek. 21:25-27.
Probably more than any other aspect of the Watchtower’s 1914 teaching, the “seven times” is passed off as an “inspired statement”—decipherable only by the most astute adepts. Evidently, the writers at the Watchtower realize that the less they say the better. Going into an in-depth explanation would only raise more questions; hence, the little snippet of a paragraph is all you get!
There is no reason to discuss the date 607 and debate whether that was when Babylon destroyed Jerusalem. Neither is the seven times worth the time to consider. It can all be condensed using a very simple mental exercise called common sense. Use your imagination to put yourself in the company of Jesus’ apostles. The year was 33 C.E. The Messiah had triumphantly arrived in Jerusalem riding a donkey’s colt. He was hailed as the Son of David and King of Israel. Shortly afterward the disciples were showing Jesus how much they admired the temple when he bluntly told them it was going to be knocked down. Not even a stone would remain standing upon another stone. A few days later the apostles approached him privately and said: “Tell us, when will these things be?”
The book of Luke is the only Gospel that recorded what Jesus said regarding Jerusalem being destroyed and afterward trampled upon by the nations until the appointed times of the nations are fulfilled. (See article: A Conversation Regarding 1914)
If you had been listening to Jesus at that very moment would you have drawn the conclusion that Jerusalem was already being trampled? No, of course not. Jesus indicated that there was going to be a great tribulation that would destroy the rebuilt city and temple and thereafter Jerusalem would be trampled on by the nations for a specified time. The 11th chapter of Revelation reveals that “time” to be 1,260 days.
But, it is a legitimate question: When did the one come who had the legal right to the vacated throne of David? Did the Son of man come in 1914 and that is when Jehovah gave him his legally entitled inheritance? No. Absolutely not. How do we know? We who know the truth can be absolutely certain that Jesus did not acquire the throne then because he had already become heir to the throne when he was on earth. That is why Paul was inspired to make the following statement: “For example, to which one of the angels did God ever say: “You are my son; today I have become your father”? And again: “I will become his father, and he will become my son”? But when he again brings his Firstborn into the inhabited earth, he says: “And let all of God’s angels do obeisance to him.” — Hebrews 1:5-6
Besides the amusing conclusions Trinitarians draw from the inspired statement above—concluding that Christ could not be an angel—Paul was affirming the extraordinary event that took place when Jehovah anointed Jesus. It was while Jesus was a man that Jehovah spoke from the heavens declaring him to be his son. Of course, as the Word of God and the Only-begotten Son, Jesus has always been God’s Son. Why then did Paul indicate Jesus was on earth when the initial phase of the second Psalm was fulfilled? Because that was when Jehovah fathered Jesus in a very special way, begetting him as a spirit. “Today” was the day of his baptism and anointing.
Referring to the Psalm Paul quoted from, it portrays the Father saying: “You are my son; today I have become your father. Ask of me, and I will give nations as your inheritance and the ends of the earth as your possession.”
Jesus had the legal right to the throne of David by virtue of his birth into the tribe of Judah. Both his genetic mother and adoptive father were of the lineage of David. The anointing of Jesus by the holy spirit served the same purpose as the anointing oil that was ceremonially poured upon the heads of the kings of Judah. Hence, on the day Jehovah anointed him Jesus acquired his inheritance, which was the throne of David. Upon his resurrection, Christ’s legal right to the throne was transferred to heaven with him. That is why in the second Psalm Jehovah said the following: “I myself have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.” When did this installation of earth’s king take place? Again, when Christ was received back to heaven. All of the prophecies ascribed to earthly Zion, the highest pinnacle of the city of Jerusalem, were transferred to Jesus’ throne in heavenly Mount Zion. Christ would sit at the right hand of the God of gods until such time as he will begin ruling in the midst of his enemies.
How can this prophecy benefit us? Knowing about the “seven times” reassures us that Jehovah fulfills his promises right on time. Just as he set a definite time for the establishment of his Kingdom, he will also see to it that all the other prophecies will be fulfilled according to his timetable. Yes, Jehovah’s day “will not be late!” —Hab. 2:3.
Jesus assured us that no one knows the day and hour for the Son of man to be revealed. There is no chronological prophecy that pinpoints the year when the Kingdom of God will move against Satan and his world. We do know that the Devil himself has a keen interest in the coming of Christ, obviously, since that will be the culmination of the enmity between the seed and the serpent.
There is a reason the Watchtower will not let go of 1914. Jesus specifically warned his disciples to be on guard for false prophets and false Christs in the lead-up to his coming. In fact, the deception will be so effective that even the chosen ones might be deceived if that were possible.
End of part one