(Question #8) How do you prove from the Bible that 1935 was the year for the selection to heaven stopped due to being filled? What is the difference between a Catholic appealing to “what the organization tells him” about December 25 being the date of Jesus’ birthday and a Jw’ appealing to “what the organization tells him” about the date 1935? Is it not hypocritical when you chide the “poor deluded Catholic” that his faith cannot find a Bible passage to support it, when the same goes for you and 1935?
This is a very convoluted question – one that Jehovah’s Witnesses should not even feel obligated to answer, particularly in view of Paul’s exhortation to turn down foolish questions.
First, it can be proven from the Scriptures that Jesus was not born in December. Although the Bible does not reveal the day of his birth we know it was not in wintertime, as the shepherds would not have been out at night with their flocks in the cold rainy season. Secondly, we know the exact day and hour Jesus died, it being in the month corresponding to our late March/early April. And Jesus was 33½ when he died. The half year would place his birth in the Autumn.
As for the 1935 being the cutoff date for the heavenly calling, there is a scriptural basis for it. I’ll try to explain.
Although the masses of churchgoers, and yes, “poor deluded Catholics” included, have never been taught the truth regarding God’s intention to recreate the Garden of Eden, globally, the original Bible Students realized that it was God’s purpose. Still, virtually all of the International Bible Students expected to go to heaven. But after the First World War that began to subtly change. More and more persons coming into association with the Watchtower did not feel that they had been called into the heavenly kingdom. Then in 1935 J.F. Rutherford explained to a convention audience in Washington D.C. that the growing numbers of persons who did not profess to be anointed were the great multitude that are destined to survive the end of the world.
As the years and decades passed those who embraced this so-called earthly hope began to far outnumber those who professed the heavenly calling. And this is a perfectly reasonable development inline with God’s stated purpose to gather all things under Christ, both the things in heaven and the things on earth.
Because 1935 was the year the Society officially recognized what is now called the “great crowd” eventually it was reasoned, probably sometime back in the 1960’s, that the heavenly calling must have stopped in 1935 and that any since then have been “replacements.” Of course, now virtually all of those who were anointed before 1935 have passed away, along with even those who were thought to be the great crowd.
But the 1935 cutoff date served an important purpose that not even Jehovah’s Witnesses or their Governing Body appreciate.
Jesus once told a story, likening the Kingdom of the heavens to a vintner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work his vineyard for the day. He hired several groups at different times throughout the day, even hiring a group on the 11th hour toward the close of the work day. When it came time for the workers to receive their pay the master paid the 11th hour workers the same wage as those who bore the brunt of the day. This didn’t seem right to the first workers.
How does this relate to 1935?
The fact that the Watchtower would presume to establish a cutoff date for God’s work marked an interesting inflection point. Although the 1935 date was long ago dropped the Society has more recently stated that if Jehovah were to anoint anyone at this late date it would be someone who already has established a long record of faithful service. This is astonishing, really. Not only were men trying to tell Jehovah his business, and in so doing making the heavenly calling a reward rather than an indescribable act of undeserved kindness, but they created an atmosphere that any newly anointed persons would be looked upon with suspicion or resented. Now anyone who professes to be anointed is usually persecuted in subtle and some in not-so-subtle ways. This oppressive environment has even spawned an underground of anointed persons among Jehovah’s Witnesses who do not openly confess their calling. These are the 11th hour workers.
Many First Will Be Last and the Last First