By Fred Holthouser
After the death of Russell in 1916, the board of directors met to elect a new president, just like the board of cardinals of the Catholic Church meets to elect a new Pope. Joseph F. Rutherford, sometimes called Judge Rutherford, was elected President with much controversy. This led the people into calling them Rutherfordites. They carried this name until 1931 when they took the name by which they are now known.
Millions Then Living Are Now Dead
In Rutherford’s book Millions Now Living Will Never Die, he talks of the Jubilee years that the nation of Israel was to celebrate every fifty years until seventy of them had been celebrated. This was to start from the time they entered the land of Canaan, which was fifteen hundred and seventy-five years before the year one in the calculation followed by Rutherford. The passages on the Jubilee years were Leviticus 25:1-12 and 2 Chronicles 36:17-21. Now anyone can figure that seventy times fifty would be thirty-five hundred years. So counting from fifteen hundred and seventy-five years before the year one, count thirty-five hundred years and that would bring us to the year of 1925 in the fall of that year. In this time period, according to the book Millions Now Living Will Never Die (pp. 88-89), would occur the resurrection of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the other faithful men of old mentioned in Hebrews 11. This would see the people of this earth brought back to the perfect human life form which one would see no death, sorrow, sickness, no more graveyards, and would be in fulfillment of Revelation 21:1-4. All of the people of the earth that had gained life would grow back to their young manhood or young womanhood and never grow any older.
I would like to ask them, “If this Scripture had its fulfillment in 1925, why is it that I have lost loved ones since that date?” Why is it that I had to spend a month and two days in the hospital during late 1979? Also why do I keep getting older as each year passes by? Would one of the Witnesses answer these questions for me, as this was not supposed to happen to anyone after 1925, according to their own book which they called the truth.
The word of God teaches that if a prophet speaks and the thing that he says does not come to pass, then he is a false prophet (Deut. 18:22). Now who are we going to believe, God or the Witnesses? As for me I will take the word of God. There is another question I would like to ask the Witnesses. If Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the other faithful men of old were supposed to have been resurrected in 1925 in the fall, I would like to know just where have they been hiding? It surely must be a good hiding place as I have never met anyone that has ever seen them nor have I ever seen them myself. And, I have traveled all over the country, both while I was in the Navy and when I was driving a truck. Neither have they been seen by any one that I have talked to.
The House of Princes
In Rutherford’s book Salvation (p. 311), the Judge talks about a house the Witnesses bought in San Diego, California. He named this house Beth-Sarim, which means house of princes. It was to house all of the faithful men of old that had been resurrected in 1925. Now this house was not bought until 1929 or four years after they were to have been resurrected. Again, a question for the Witnesses which they have not answered after many years of inquiry: Where did these faithful men of old live from 1925 when they were supposed to have been resurrected until the house was bought for them in 1929? It is only logical that they would have needed some place in which to live.
No one was ever allowed to live in this house except Rutherford, who suffered with tuberculosis most of his life. One time a man came to the door of this house and said, “Hello, Judge, I am David.” It did not take the Judge long to put this man off the property and down the road! No one was going to cut in on the good thing the Judge had going for himself. This house caused the Witnesses so much trouble because of people making fun of the fact that this house was bought for the purpose of housing the men of old that it was sold after Rutherford’s death. He had blocked the effort of the board of directors to sell it while he was living – and they say that the President does not control them!
The New Name
An Assembly was held in Columbus, Ohio in 1931 and attended by Witnesses from all over the world. An account of this can be found in their book Let God Be True (p. 221): “That it be resolved and elected by all those present from all over the world that in fulfillment of Isaiah 43:10-12 that they would hence forth be called by the name that Jehovah had given them and that is of being his Witnesses.” Now the new name for God’s people was not promised until the sixty-second chapter of Isaiah, but 43:10-12 speaks of the Jews alone being testimony to the true God in the midst of Gentile idolatry. By making “Witnesses” the new name, the Society has the fulfillment of the new name for God’s people nineteen chapters before it was ever promised.
To see what the new name for God’s people is, look at Acts 11:26 (“the disciples were called Christians”). You will find there what God said His people would be called. I can find no other new name in the Bible for the people of God to wear except that of Christians. It was given during the first century, not 1931. This taking by the Witnesses of their new name can also be found by lpoking at their Yearbook of 1941 (pp. 30-35). Who would ever think that an all-powerful God would have to have a group of people meet and by voice vote bring to fulfillment one of His prophecies?
Elected to Absolute Power for Life
At the death of Rutherford, the board of directors met again just like the board of Cardinals meets to elect a new Pope. The board of directors met to elect a new president of the Watchtower’ Bible and Tract Society, which was Nathan H. Knorr. When they elect a new president, it is for life, just like the Catholics elect the Pope for life. The Witnesses condemn the Catholics for this and talk about the way the Catholics are dominated by the Pope. Here is a shining example of the pot calling the kettle black. This has been done in the past and is still being done. Since I have come out of the New World Society, Knorr has died and once again the board of directors met and elected a new president, which is Fred W. Franz.
One must understand that, just like the Pope in Rome, when the President makes a decision concerning what the Witnesses are to believe, then that is what they are to believe. The president has an editorial staff to advise him but the final’ decision is his to make or not to make as he sees fit. If you cause any trouble by questioning what you are to teach or to believe, then you face trouble with the hierarchy of the so-called New World Society. Watchtower slaves must change their beliefs every time the masters change their prophecies and doctrines.
The prophecy of the world coming to an end has been changed many times (to be fully discussed in a later article). Every time a Witness starts to wind down – just like a spring-driven-toy will do – and lags in putting out enough of the society’s books and magazines, he is threatened with the idea of the end of time. The authorities warn him to get busy, for the battle of Armageddon is just about to happen, which will end the world as we know it. If you are not doing all that you can for the Society in slavery to them, then you will not be spared in this great battle that will take place. So now the toy is wound up again and ready to get busy, since the harder you work the greater the chance that you will be spared in this battle. The chance is always held out as a “maybe” and the harder you work the more sure the maybe becomes. In Matthew. 25:13 Jesus tells us to watch, therefore, for we know not when the son of man will come. The Witnesses believe that they can know. Which will you take: the word of God’s Son as revealed in the Bible or the fickle claims of the Witnesses?
Truth Magazine XXIV: 44, pp. 710-711
November 6, 1980