Friday, May 7
Satan . . . is misleading the entire inhabited earth. —Rev. 12:9.
A major way in which Satan and the demons try to mislead people is through spiritism. Those who practice spiritism claim to know or control things that humans cannot normally know or control. For example, some claim to be able to know the future by using divination or astrology. Others may act as though they were speaking to those who have died. Some practice witchcraft or magic, and they may try to cast a spell on another person. A survey conducted in 18 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean found that about a third of the people surveyed believe in magic, witchcraft, or sorcery, and nearly as many believe that it is possible to communicate with spirits. Another survey was conducted in 18 countries in Africa. There, on average, more than half of the people surveyed say that they believe in witchcraft. Of course, wherever we live, we must be on guard against spiritism. w19.04 20-21 ¶3-4
According to the Insight on the Scriptures under the topic of Divination, the practice “embraces generally the whole scope of gaining secret knowledge, especially about future events, through the aid of spiritistic occult powers. Practitioners of divination believe that superhuman gods reveal the future to those trained to read and interpret certain signs and omens, which, they say, are communicated in various ways.”
The founder of the Watchtower, C.T. Russell, certainly sought to gain secret knowledge about future events. He delved deeply into pyramidology, which involved the practice of measuring secret passageways deep within the mysterious, Great Pyramid of Giza. The measurements in increments of inches and feet supposedly represent years, which was presented as verification of Bible chronology. Russell theorized that the pyramids were constructed by Hebrew slave labor and because of that Jehovah inspired the builders to incorporate secret messages therein—sort of like the Bible code in stone.
Russell was certainly not the first to seek esoteric, occult, knowledge from the mysterious monuments. Issac Newton was reportedly quite fascinated with the Great Pyramid.
According to an article published by BBC the occultist and founder of Theosophy and the modern New Age movement, Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, published a book in 1888 entitled The Secret Doctrine that claimed the Great Pyramid was “the everlasting record and the indestructible symbol of the Mysteries and Initiations on Earth.” The article goes on to say:
Thanks to Mme Blavatsky, the Pyramid became an essential point of pilgrimage for all self-respecting occultists. Among the notable necromancers and magi who made the journey were the Russian mathematician and mystic PD Ouspensky, whose cult is still alive in various forms today…
Charles Russell made a pilgrimage to Giza too in order to examine the massive stone structure for himself. It is surely no coincidence that just three years after Blavatsky published her Secret Doctrine, Russell introduced Watchtower readers to pyramidology.
Amusingly, the BBC article states:
Egyptology came of scientific age with the accurate and painstaking excavations of Sir Flinders Petrie and others from the late 19th century onwards. At the same time ‘pyramidiocy’, as it is sometimes called, reached epidemic proportions, with countless cranks purporting to explain just how the Giza structure predicted the First World War, the Second Coming of Christ, the Third Reich and what have you.
To be sure, Russell did not claim that the Great Pyramid was the sole source of his arcane, chronological calculations. He claimed the pyramid was merely a second witness, calling it “the Bible in stone.” Even so, there seems to be little reason to doubt that Russell was also influenced by the occultist, Blavatsky.
No doubt the Watchtower would have gone out of publication and Russell’s divination would have been forgotten long ago had something extraordinary not happened. Uncannily, Russell’s prediction for 1914 came true—kind of. Russel had pointed to 1914 as the year for the great upheaval, the rapture and the end of the world. Instead, the Bible Students settled for the Great War and the Spanish Flu pandemic. And sure enough, the Bible foretold those very things!
Over the past century the Watchtower has worked and reworked the facts, long ago ditching the pyramid inch/years, but retaining the stitched-up seven times chronology Russell had adopted from the Adventists.
It is noteworthy that the Insight information on divination omits any discussion of the fact that in the prophecies, particularly Jeremiah and Ezekiel, God’s condemnation of divination was directed against those who prophesied in His name. For example, through Jeremiah Jehovah said: “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or commanded them or spoken to them. A lying vision and a worthless divination and the deceit of their own heart is what they are prophesying to you. Therefore this is what Jehovah says concerning the prophets who are prophesying in my name, though I did not send them, and who say that no sword or famine will occur in this land: ‘By sword and by famine those prophets will perish. And the people to whom they are prophesying will be cast out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword, with no one to bury them—them, their wives, their sons, or their daughters—for I will pour out on them the calamity they deserve.’” (14:14-16)
Today there is only one source, one organization, that claims to be a “prophet” who speaks by the authority of Jehovah. That is, of course, the Watchtower. Surely, God did not inspire Russell to prophesy that the world would end in 1914. Jesus plainly said that no one knows the day or hour, not the angels, not even the Son himself, and yet the Watchtower boasts of having ascertained this unknowable date from the Bible. After more than a century has elapsed since Jesus is supposed to have invisibly returned and begun ruling the world is it not apparent that the Watchtower’s 1914 doctrine, the very centerpiece of its teaching, is “a lying vision and a worthless divination”?
Through Ezekiel Jehovah goes onto say: “For you have disheartened the righteous one with your falsehood when I was not causing him distress, and you have strengthened the hands of the wicked one, so that he does not turn back from his bad way and stay alive. Therefore, you women will no longer see false visions and practice divination; and I will rescue my people from your hand, and you will have to know that I am Jehovah.’” (13:22-23)
It is ironic that C.T. Russell, although clearing away centuries of accumulated Babylonish, spiritistic doctrines, came under the influence of occultists, even the likes of Helena Blavatsky. Through her demonic influence, it is as though she has cast a far-reaching spell. Although Rutherford long ago (1928) discarded the pyramidology that captivated Russell, the 1914 spell remains.
Since divination is used to divine the future and the Watchtower has undeniably practiced a form of divination and promoted false visions—otherwise known as prophetic interpretations—the God who knows the future long ago determined the outcome. “This is what Jehovah says against the prophets who are leading my people astray, who proclaim ‘Peace!’ while they bite with their teeth but who declare war against him who puts nothing into their mouths: ‘You will have night; there will be no vision; there will only be darkness for you, no divination. The sun will set on the prophets, and the day will turn dark for them. The visionaries will be put to shame, and the diviners will be disappointed. All of them will have to cover over the mustache, for there is no answer from God.” — Micah 3:5-7
Pastor Russell may be excused for having been lured into seeking occult knowledge. The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses today is far more reprehensible for promoting a worthless vision. They war against anyone who does not bow to their expert divination.
So, with the horses of the Apocalypse braying at the gate, the inevitable outbreak of global war, food shortages, pestilence, and great earthquakes, the sun will set on the Watchtower. The diviners will not be able to spin it. The spell will be broken. The “prophet class” will be finished.