This post is a consideration of Watchtower Study article #8 for 2024, entitled: Keep Following Jehovah’s Guidance.
In recent years the Watchtower has been subtly conditioning Jehovah’s Witnesses to expect to receive “life-saving instructions” when once the globe-rocking tribulation begins. This is not to imply that the Watchtower has not been used to accomplish the preaching and disciple-making work Christ mandated to be accomplished before the conclusion or that the organization has not been a source of reliable guidance and helpful counsel and direction in the past.
It does, however, seem presumptuous of the Governing Body to boast that they or their helpers will be the purveyors of “life-saving instructions” during the world’s darkest night, when the sun turns black and the moon goes on the wane and the stars of heaven fall from the sky and the very powers of the heavens are shaken.
Please be reminded that Jesus appoints a slave before he comes. The appointed slaves are assigned to provide their fellow slaves with spiritual food at the proper time. Their assignment will be terminated when the master arrives to pass judgment as to their faithfulness in his absence. And his coming initiates the conclusion.
Before 2013, the Watchtower had claimed that the master of the house came in 1914 and the slaves were accordingly rewarded and others punished. For many decades Jehovah’s Witnesses were led to believe that the faithful slave had already been appointed over all of the master’s belongings and the evil slave had been thrown out, they being the splintered sects of Bible Students who did not accept Rutherford’s leadership after Russell unexpectedly died. Now, consider what is stated in paragraph 11 of the study article:
Jehovah continues to lead his people today. He has been doing so by means of his Word and his Son, the head of the congregation. Can we see evidence that God has also continued to use human representatives? Yes. Consider, for example, certain developments that took place in the late 1800’s. Charles Taze Russell and his associates began to discern that the year 1914 would mark a turning point regarding the establishment of God’s Kingdom. (Dan. 4:25, 26) In reaching that conclusion, they depended on Bible prophecy. Was Jehovah guiding their Bible research? He clearly was. In 1914 world events confirmed that God’s Kingdom had begun to rule. World War I broke out, followed by pestilences, earthquakes, and food shortages. (Luke 21:10, 11) Jehovah was indeed using those sincere Christian men to help his people.
As many longtime readers are aware the Watchtower’s 1914 doctrine has been thoroughly debunked. It is the foretold operation of Satan designed to create a fake parousia. To that end, it has been an overwhelming success. Because it is an elaborate hoax it can only be maintained by falsehood and lies.
Did Charles Taze Russell really discern that the year 1914 would mark a turning point regarding the establishment of God’s Kingdom? No. C.T. Russell believed that the Kingdom had already been established in 1878. The Bible Students had been led to believe that 1914 would be the end of the world at Armageddon.
Of course, everyone who is part of the Watchtower establishment knows this to be true. They are all meticulous students of theocratic history. So, those whom God is using as “human representatives” knowingly endorse this sort of deception. They are also surely aware that the Watchtower did not attach the Kingdom coming to power to the date of 1914 until many years after the fact—around 1930.
“Was Jehovah guiding their Bible research”? If God was their guide why has the Watchtower been forced to resort to trickery and deception to make it appear as if the “human representatives” had it right all along?
As regards the operation of Satan that Jehovah allows, the wise apostle foretold that “the lawless one’s presence is by the operation of Satan with every powerful work and lying signs and wonders and every unrighteous deception for those who are perishing, as a retribution because they did not accept the love of the truth in order that they might be saved. That is why God lets a deceptive influence mislead them so that they may come to believe the lie, in order that they all may be judged because they did not believe the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness.” — 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
The Devil is the god of this world. He possesses superhuman powers that we cannot comprehend. For instance when Moses performed miracles before Pharaoh the magic-practicing priests in Pharaoh’s court were able to duplicate the first two. Very impressive.
The demons are well aware of what is stated in the Bible. It is nothing extraordinary that Russell had it fixed in his mind that the seven times had some special prophetic significance. That is what the Adventists believed before Russell came on the scene. Russell had also been heavily influenced by occult pyramidology, which he said was a “witness in stone” confirming 1914 as the year.
Although nothing the Bible Students anticipated actually happened, and in fact, the vast majority were stumbled because of their unrealized expectations, the Devil triggered the Great War to sync with the phony chronology and then orchestrated the persecution of Rutherford and company. Lying signs and wonders galore! Throw in the horrific Spanish Flu pandemic and numerous other unrighteous deceptions and to this day the deceptive influence has become the core of “pure worship.”®
There are so many loose ends to the Watchtower’s 1914 doctrine and all the many prophecies that have been attached to that year that it is beyond the scope of this article to address them all. Suffice it to say that there are hundreds of posts on this site that discuss the manifold contradictions of the Watchtower’s eschatology.
There are two primary follies of 1914. One, Jesus said, “When you see all these things, know that he is near at the doors.”
Have you seen all these things? According to the Watchtower, we have not. For example, in Luke’s account, Jesus foretold that “There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and on the earth anguish of nations not knowing the way out because of the roaring of the sea and its agitation. People will become faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”
Although recently the Watchtower has absurdly claimed that weather phenomena associated with climate change is the fulfillment of the fearful sights Jesus foretold, (See article below) obviously, even the spin doctors at Bethel cannot make a convincing case for the signs in the sun and moon and stars and the roaring of the sea being in evidence now. That being true, that means that you have not seen all these things.
If we are honest with ourselves, we will acknowledge that we have not personally seen any of the things Jesus foretold. Were you on hand in 1914 to witness the beginning pangs of distress? If so, congratulations because you are probably in the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest living human. But seriously, did Jesus intend for his disciples to be told about wars and pandemics that occurred long before they were born rather than being actual eyewitnesses to the many things as they occur? Does Jehovah expect us to put faith in a sign that we have not witnessed, that has to be explained to us by others who did not personally witness it either?
And that brings us to the second folly. By what method of reasoning is it deemed impossible for “all these things” that Christ foretold to quickly unfold in the future? What is the basis for those who boast of being true guides to have assured Jehovah’s Witnesses there cannot be another world war? If there was ever an example of gamblers taking the wrong side of a bet, this is it. World War Three is not only inevitable, it has already begun. Cyber wars, proxy wars, economic wars, propaganda galore, it is leading up to a global war. All the warring sides have already been drawn up. It is NATO against the BRICS+.
Then there is the fact that of the millions of illegal immigrants flooding into America, many of them are single, military-age men from China, Russia, Ukraine, Pakistan, and other Islamic nations where terrorists are trained. So, civil war is bound to be an aspect of nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom. It appears as if the Devil is intent on igniting the conflagration in the Middle East, specifically in Israel. That ought to get the attention of the Evangelical Zionists.
In paragraph 13 the Watchtower blindly repudiates their own 1914 dogma. It says:
Looking back, we can clearly see that Jehovah was guiding his people during that difficult time. Since World War II, Jehovah’s people in many lands have enjoyed a measure of peace and freedom while carrying out the preaching work. In fact, the work has flourished.
Let us consider what is written in the book of Revelation regarding the fiery colored horse: “It was granted to the one seated on it to take peace away from the earth so that they should slaughter one another, and he was given a great sword.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses well know that the opening of the seven seals coincides with the ouster of Satan and his angels from heaven. “Woe for the earth and sea,” the angel proclaims, “because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing that he has a short period of time.”
How is it that the Devil has come down in a rage and is waging war against the holy ones and yet they have been enjoying an extended period of freedom and peace? Has Satan mellowed out? Has the peace that was supposedly taken from the earth 110 years ago been restored? It would certainly seem to be the case. Really, this exposes yet another Watchtower folly. Jesus did not say that the preaching of the good news would take place during the conclusion. He said the good news must be preached first. First before what? Let the Lord answer:
“As for you, look out for yourselves. People will hand you over to local courts, and you will be beaten in synagogues and be put on the stand before governors and kings for my sake, for a witness to them. Also, in all the nations, the good news has to be preached first. And when they are taking you to hand you over, do not be anxious beforehand about what to say; but whatever is given you in that hour, say this, for you are not the ones speaking, but the holy spirit is. Furthermore, brother will deliver brother over to death, and a father a child, and children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. And you will be hated by all people on account of my name. But the one who has endured to the end will be saved.”
Have we seen Christians brought before governors and kings? If so, give an example. Have brothers delivered brothers to death? Or have children risen up to hand over their parents to death? Let the Watchtower provide the names of those executed for Christ. The reason none of the horrible things Christ foretold have happened is because Satan has not been cast down. His short period of time has not yet begun. But when it does this world will be turned upside down. Then you will see for yourself “all these things.”
In the 12th paragraph, the boasters of Bethel allude to the fact that during World War Two Nathan Knorr supposedly discerned that the scarlet-colored beast of Revelation was about to ascend out of the abyss. And lo and behold! Just weeks after WW2 ended the United Nations was formed and declared to be the emergence of the beast from the abyss. Was Knorrs’ remarkable insight true or another lying sign? Be assured it is the latter.
Another aspect of the unrighteous deception the Devil has conjured was the appearance of the League of Nations in 1922. Some clergymen hailed it as the “political expression of God’s Kingdom on earth,” which the Watchtower has seized upon to claim that Satan set up the League as a counterfeit to the established Kingdom of God. Except, as has already been discussed, the Watchtower did not attach the coming of the Kingdom to 1914 until some 15 years later. That being true, why would Satan set up a counterfeit before the Bible Students were aware that the Kingdom had come to power in 1914? In reality, the coming of Christ’s Kingdom in 1914 and the beginning of an artfully contrived invisible parousia is the counterfeit.
The League of Nations simply could not have been the beast that was given authority over every nation, tribe and tongue. The United States was not even a member. Nor is the United Nations that beast given the fact that it too is an impotent institution. However, that may change when the Devil overturns the present nation-state system and the beast is plunged into the abyss only to emerge in a more monstrous form.
Finally, it is incumbent upon me to point out one more bit of flimflammery. Paragraph 14 states:
Still, Christ is carefully guiding the faithful slave and the appointed elders, and he will continue to do so “all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.” (Matt. 28:20) We therefore have every reason to trust the guidance that he is providing through those appointed to take the lead.
According to the Watchtower’s own teaching, the conclusion of the system began in 1914. Jesus’ parting words recorded at Matthew 28:20 state that he would be with his disciples all the days until the conclusion. The dictionary definition of “until” means “up to the time.” If words mean anything what Jesus was saying is that he would be with his disciples up to the beginning of the conclusion. Then what? In another illustration, Jesus said the harvest is a conclusion of the system of things. That is when the angels will physically remove all persons doing lawlessness and all stumbling blocks. Then the chosen ones will shine as brightly as the sun in their Father’s Kingdom. That is because they will experience the manifestation of Christ and see him as he is.
Contrary to everything that Jehovah’s Witnesses have been led to believe, the conclusion of the system has not begun yet. All indications are, though, that it is about to begin. Needless to say, the Watchtower will not be providing any “life-saving instructions” or guidance of any kind during the time of the end, especially to those who will see the glorious presence of the Son of man.