In the 1870’s, a small group of sincere truth-seekers got together and formed Bible classes. With humble hearts and open minds, those sincere Bible Students, as they called themselves, made a careful and prayerful search of the Scriptures. The Bible Students’ diligent study of the Scriptures yielded rich results. Those loyal men and women exposed false doctrines and spread spiritual truths, publishing and distributing Bible literature far and wide. Their work won the hearts and convinced the minds of many who were hungering and thirsting for spiritual truth. An intriguing question therefore arises: Were the Bible Students in the years that led up to 1914 the appointed channel through which Christ would feed his sheep? No. They were still in the growing season, and the arrangement for a channel to provide spiritual food was still taking shape.
In many respects those original Bible students did set a fine example for Jehovah’s Witnesses today. And their diligent search of the Scriptures was fruitful.
But the International Bible Students could only understand things in a limited way. It has been up to their successors to build on the foundation.
Sadly, the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses today have not imitated their diligence and courage and have not followed through in making sure of all things. That is why Jehovah’s prophetic rebuke aptly applies to Jehovah’s Witnesses today: “Who is blind except my servant, So deaf as the messenger I send? Who is so blind as the one rewarded, so blind as the servant of Jehovah? You see many things, but you do not keep watch. You open your ears, but you do not listen.”
As a stark example of their blindness, consider what has been published in the Watchtower article upon which today’s text is based. The comment above refers to “the growing season,” which in the agricultural world precedes the harvest, obviously. And as all of Jehovah’s Witnesses surely know according to the Watchtower the harvest began in 1914.
But that would mean that the growing season and the harvest run concurrently. A farmer might find that to be a very odd thing in the natural world, upon which Jesus based his illustrations. Or are we to assume that Christians are no longer required to grow to maturity since 1914?
And supposedly successive generations of wheat-like individuals have been harvested all during this post-growing season. And the weed-like persons that are mingled among the wheat as plantings of the Devil are apparently continually bundled and thrown into the fire, even though according to the Watchtower the wheat and the weeds were separated in 1914. Although in his harvest illustration Jesus specifically said the weeds are collected first and then, afterwards, the wheat is harvested.
Confusing? That would be the kindest thing that could be said.
According to Jesus’ explanation of his own illustration the removal of the weeds by the angelic harvesters signifies the complete removal of all persons doing lawlessness and all things causing stumbling out from his kingdom. Perhaps Jehovah’s Witnesses might inquire of the Governing Body how we are to understand this. If the weeds are those individuals making up the membership of the churches of Christendom, just how have they been removed from Christ’s Kingdom? Furthermore, are we to suppose that Jesus is intent on purifying Christendom by removing the multitudinous stumbling blocks from within it?
The reason the Watchtower is forced to promote this sort of nonsense is because they are inseparably attached to 1914, which they inherited from the Bible students whom they praise as being diligent researchers.
The truth is the harvest has not begun. When it does begin it will not stretch out over successive generations. It will take place in an “hour.” It will commence simultaneous with the now-looming crash of the present system, which will mark the beginning of the conclusion of this system of things. Didn’t Jesus say the harvest is a conclusion of a system of things?
That the harvest is carried out in a relatively short period is evident from what we read in the book of Revelation, which states: “Another angel emerged from the temple sanctuary, calling with a loud voice to the one seated on the cloud: ‘Put your sickle in and reap, because the hour has come to reap, for the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.’ And the one seated on the cloud thrust his sickle into the earth, and the earth was reaped.”