I am sending my messenger, and he must clear up a way before me.
John the Baptizer was the ‘messenger who cleared up the way.’ When he came in 29 C.E., a time of judgment for the nation of Israel had drawn close. Jesus was the second messenger. He cleansed the temple in Jerusalem twice. What is the larger fulfillment of Malachi’s prophecy? During the decades leading up to 1914, C. T. Russell and his close associates did a work like that of John the Baptizer. That vital work involved restoring Bible truths. The Bible Students taught the true meaning of Christ’s ransom sacrifice, exposed the hellfire lie, and proclaimed the coming end of the Gentile Times. Still, there were numerous religious groups who claimed to be Christ’s followers. So a crucial question needed to be answered: Who among those groups were the wheat mentioned in Jesus’ parable? To settle that question, Jesus began to inspect the spiritual temple in 1914.
Today there are many more “Christian” sects than there were in 1914. Some of their spokesman and so-called evangelizers are quite prominent.
The trend in recent years has been the growth of mega-churches in metropolitan areas, at least in America. Millions of persons watch their weekly television broadcasts or listen to sermons on the radio.
Whereas, Judge Rutherford pioneered the radio and the New World Society, as it used to be call itself, dabbled in television back in the 50s, Jehovah’s Witnesses have virtually no presence in mass media.
The point is, how was the question of who are true Christians settled in 1914?
The Watchtower claims that the harvest began in 1914 and it is still ongoing. At the risk of irritating the reader, or listener, by repeating myself, in the agricultural world the harvest concludes the season, which of course begins with planting and a prolonged growing season. But according to the Watchtower’s interpretation the angels are involved removing weeds and harvesting wheat all during the time that other seeds are being planted and growing. And this has supposedly been going on for a century? It is illogical and frankly, absurd.
Besides, when Jesus explained the illustration to his perplexed apostles he told them that the harvest is when the master will send out his angels. And what will the angels accomplish? Not only will they gather the wheat into the “storehouse,” but they will remove all persons doing lawlessness and all things that cause stumbling. Conveniently, the Watchtower’s writers simply avoid that aspect of the harvest. They know the Jehovah’s Witnesses are not likely to think very deeply about it.
But the truth is, the beginning of the harvest will mark the end of the worldwide work of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
As revealed in the book of Joel the army of Jehovah, symbolized as an onrushing swarm of locusts, cockroaches and creeping caterpillars, devours the harvest causing the fieldworkers to mourn the loss.
Isaiah also speaks of the sudden loss, saying: “For you have forgotten the God of your salvation; you have failed to remember the Rock of your fortress. That is why you plant beautiful plantations and set it with the shoot of a stranger. In the day you carefully fence in your plantation, in the morning you make your seed sprout, but the harvest will vanish in the day of disease and incurable pain. Listen! There is a commotion of many peoples, who are as boisterous as the seas! There is an uproar of nations, whose sound is like the roar of mighty waters!”
Did not Jesus refer to the roaring of the sea and its agitation, when the nations are in anguish not knowing the way out? And is that not to occur during the conclusion of a system of things? Indeed, even the Watchtower admits that even though all the features of the sign of conclusion have been in evidence for a century, this aspect has not occurred.
It is not that the harvest will not occur, but it is the Watchtower’s version of the harvest by means of the organized preaching work that will vanish “in the day of disease and incurable pain.”
The true harvest will occur over a short period of time and will be accomplished by angels, not humans. All indications are that it is about to begin.
Watchtower Review – The Harvest Is a Conclusion of a System