By Marvin Noble
If you answer your door and are greeted by neighbors who claim to be Jehovah’s Witnesses, beware! John warns that many false prophets have gone out into the world, and that we must test them to know if they are from Jehovah (1 Jn. 4:1, 6). Your visitors might tell you that they are servants of Jehovah’s organization, and that He exercises theocratic rule over the Watchtower Society in which they serve. These bold statements need to be tested by history and by the Bible. I encourage you to examine their claims concerning the second coming of Jesus. Here are some early Watchtower assertions: “Thus we found the time of our Lord’s second advent clearly proven to be 1874-in October of that year” (Studies In The Scriptures, Vol. III, p. 127); “And, with the end of A. D. 1914, what God calls Babylon, and what men call Christendom, will have passed away” (Studies, Vol. III, p. 153); “The final end of the kingdoms of this world, and the full establishment of the Kingdom of God, will be accomplished at the end of A. D. 1914” (Studies, Vol. II, p. 99). Of course history has shown these predictions to be false, and even the Society has repudiated the old dates of Christ’s presence and now says He came in 1914. Thus the Watchtower pronounces its own judgment-it was a false witness.
Consider the claims made for Charles Russell-the one who made those early predictions. In the seventh volume of Studies In The Scriptures, The Watchtower endorsed him as “the messenger of the Church of Laodicea sent of God to this generation” (p. 3) and pronounced its blessings upon the seventh volume (p. 7) in which Russell’s inspiration was described as follows: “In all his warnings he claimed no originality. He said that he could never have written his books himself. It all came from God, through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit” (p. 387); “The Lord assumes an interest in and responsibility for the complete series of Studies In The Scriptures” (p. 295); “Jehovah says that none of the words spoken through His servant Pastor Russell, shall wait any longer for fulfillment, but the things shall come as spoken” (p. 431). Mr. Rutherford, long time a president of the Society, wrote: “Without a doubt Pastor Russell . . . was therefore that wise and faithful servant ministering to the household of faith meat in due season” (Harp of God, 657,000 edition, p. 239). The Watchtower now contradicts these claims (Then Is Finished The Mystery Of God, pp. 110, 111), but cannot do so without making itself a liar, and Rutherford a false witness.
The “Witnesses” have taught that when Jesus comes, the faithful on earth will begin to be restored to perfect health. Rutherford made such predictions in the Watchtower book, Millions Now Living Will Never Die. He said, “In 1925 Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would be fully restored to perfect humanity and made the visible representatives of the new order of things on earth” (p. 88). He further wrote, “When the restoration begins (1925 according to Rutherford) a man of seventy years of age will gradually be restored to a condition of physical health and mental balance. The Lord will teach him how to eat, what to eat, and other habits of life; and above all, the truth, how to fix his mind upon holy things. And by the gradual process of restoration he will be lifted up by the great Mediator and restored to the days of his youth and live on the earth forever and never see death” (p. 100). Did such take place? Certainly not. Moreover, the Watchtower now says this is yet to be fulfilled. (See Life Everlasting, p. 395-400.) If Rutherford’s predictions were false, how could he be Jehovah’s witness?
The Bible teaches, “When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him” (Deut. 18:22). Russell and Rutherford do not pass the test. Some of their predictions have failed. Therefore, they were false prophets. But this is a society which boasts of theocratic rule “from the top down.” Thus, if their leaders are in error, then the whole group becomes false witnesses-not Jehovah’s witnesses. Jesus’ words describe them well: “They be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Matt. 15:14).
This year should present a great opportunity to teach many Watchtower believers; 1975 is their crucial year. The Society has put itself on record that by this autumn, the 1000 year reign of Christ shall begin. The book, Let God Be True, states: “And now the battle of Armageddon is near and Christ’s reign of 1,000 years will begin immediately after it, during which time redeemed mankind will be given the privilege of entering into God’s rest . . . It being the seventh day of a week, the weekly sabbath foreshadowed the last 1,000 years of God’s rest day of 7,000 years. That thousand years God has assigned to the Lord Jesus, to reign then without disturbance from the Devil’s organization in either heaven or earth” (pp. 178, 179). Life Everlasting gives the date: “According to this trustworthy Bible chronology six thousand years from man’s creation will end in 1975, and the seventh period of a thousand years of human history will begin in the fall of 1975” (p. 29). “It would not be by mere chance or ‘accident but would be according to the loving purpose of Jehovah God for the reign of Jesus Christ, the `Lord of the sabbath;’ to run parallel with the seventh millennium of man’s existence” (p. 30). Their teachings demand that all earthly government be destroyed, all false religions be put down, and that the devil be bound before the millennium begins. (See God’s “Eternal Purpose” Now Triumphing, pp. 185, 186.) “The visible part of the new world will be a disease-less ‘new earth’, for the curative power of the divine Physician will be turned toward mankind. Aches and pains will die out, ,as radiant health, unmarred by cancer, influenza, or even a toothache implants itself in every soul . . . ” (Let God Be True, pp. 267, 268).
“Jehovah’s Witnesses” should be made aware that Jesus has been reigning over his kingdom since Pentecost (Acts 2:30-36); that no man knows before hand the time of Christ’s coming (Matt. 24:36); that when He does come, everyone will know it (Rev. 1:7); and that “at His corning” it will be “the end when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God” (I Cor. 15: 23, 24). False witnesses testify that He returns to receive a kingdom, but the Bible testifies that He returns to deliver up the kingdom. Warn these people that they dare not have hopes of continuing on this earth. On “the day of the Lord” (when Christ comes, 2 Thes. 2:1) this earth shall be destroyed completely by fire (2 Pet. 3).
Try to help these neighbors to see that they are working for an organization that was founded upon deception, proved untrue by history, and is against the teachings of the Bible. Point out their folly when they waste their lives and jeopardize their souls by trusting their future to an organization with ‘such a history of blunders. Rescue them from the faith shattering experience of seeing 1975 pass without the fulfillment of their expectations. Help them to see that Jehovah has no connection with the Watchtower Association. When it fails, He has not failed; “He abideth faithful.”
Truth Magazine XIX: 26, pp. 409-410
May 8, 1975