They're getting older...
My 1982 "You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth" is still making
a plea for 1914 as a significant date: "After drawing attention to the many things that have marked the period from 1914 onward, Jesus
said: 'This generation will by no means pass away until all these things [including the end of this
system] occur.' (Matthew 24:34, 14). Which generation did Jesus mean? He meant the
generation of people who were living in 1914. Those persons yet remaining of that
generation are now very old. However, some of them will still be alive to see the end of this
wicked system." (You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, 1982, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania).
The Lord has long experience with such eager servants: "'I have not sent these prophets, yet
they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.'" (Jeremiah 23:21).
1914 started out as the Watchtower Society's prediction for the
end of the world:
"The Watchtower Society always has been marked by a
degree of eccentricity. They loved sensationally to predict dates for
the end of the world. They had originally predicted the end of the
world for 1914. But in that year many Bible Students who believed
this prediction were left in the lurch when the Kingdom for which
they looked failed to appear. This, of course, left a bad taste in
the mouth of many. It did not, however, dismay the leaders.
the ensuing years, especially in the pamphlet The Fall of Babylon the
Great and in the booklet Millions Now Living Shall Never Die, the
Watchtower Society merely switched to 1925. They kept that new date
prominently before us and all the people, as the year when the
Kingdom would come with the reappearance on earth of the Old
Testament worthies or the princes amid Bible Students."
(Schnell, William J. 30 Years a Watchtower Slave: The Confessions
of a Converted Jehovah's Witness (p. 32). Baker Publishing Group.)
As these successive dates fell by the way-side, they were obliged
to improvise, because if 1914 turned out to be a date of no
significance, they were shown up as false prophets. As it recedes into
the rear-view mirror, it will simply have to be dropped.
"My Father is Greater than I":
In John 14:28, Jesus said, "My Father is greater than I."
Does this mean that Jesus is a lesser god, subordinate to 'Jehovah'?
The Angel of the LORD
Who is the theophanic Angel of the LORD? He says that He is God:
“Moreover He said, 'I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the
God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.'” (Exodus 3:6). Is He Who He says He Is?
Favorite Verses of the Jehovah's Witnesses
Jesus Christ: Creator or creature?
The Watchtower Society teaches that Jesus is Himself a created
being, although He created all [other] things: "Jehovah's first creation answers our question for us, at
Revelation 3:14, 21, in these words: 'These are the things the Amen
says, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation
by God...' (NW) Jesus Christ, now glorified in heaven since his
return there nineteen centuries ago, is the one who thus identifies
himself as God's first creation...Likewise the corresponding
expression 'the firstborn of all creation' means he was the first
one to be created. He is a creature; he was not coeternal with God.
Being heavenly, he was spirit like God." (New Heavens and A New
Earth, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, Inc., 1953, p. 23-24). What
does the Bible teach: Creature or creator?:
- “And Jesus said to him, “'Assuredly, I say to you, today you will
be with Me in Paradise.'”
- (Luke 23:43).
What happens when we die? Do those of us who love the Lord go to
be with Him? The Watchtower thinks not, despite what the Lord told the
thief on the cross: "Where is Paradise? Well, where was the paradise God made at the beginning? It was on earth, was it not?...Jesus Christ,
of course, will not be right here on earth with the former criminal. No, Jesus will be in heaven ruling as king over the earthly
Paradise." ('You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth,' Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 1982).
Psst: Wanna buy some "Miracle Wheat"?
Charles Taze Russell was the visionary who got this movement
rolling. The strange tale of Russell's 'Miracle Wheat' begins with the announcement,
in Zion's Watch Tower, of a startling new discovery:
ZWT: 03/15/1908 page 86
The public press is telling of the origin of "Miracle Wheat"
in answer to prayer. The description has the earmarks of truth to it, in that it gives the
address of the man whose prayers are said to have been answered -- "K. B. Stoner, a farmer of
Fincastle, Botetourt county, Virginia." It would appear from the account that the original stalk of
wheat appeared in the midst of a crop of the ordinary kind, but with "142 heads of grain."
"Mr. Stoner was amazed. It seemed incredible. When a Frenchman, in 1842,
announced that he had discovered a species of wheat in the Mediterranean country which produced four
heads to the plant, people said he was crazy.
"But here was a plant with 142 heads!
"Naturally Mr. Stoner carefully preserved the heads, and the
next year sowed the seed, continuing to do this each year, for he realized he had discovered a
phenomenal brand of grain. And each year his amazement increased.
"That first year after discovering the plant he got 2000
grains. In 1906 he got sixteen bushels, and has now raised the crop of wheat, all carefully
preserved for seed, to 800 bushels.
"What is most remarkable about the wheat is this: Whereas there
is produced in the wheat sections of that country an average at the best of seventeen bushels to an
acre, the average yield of the "miracle wheat" during the last three years has been fifty-six
bushels to the acre; and whereas from eight to ten pecks of seed are required to plant an acre in
Virginia, Mr. Stoner uses only two pecks, and, in comparison to the yield of ordinary wheat in the
neighborhood, which is eight bushels for each bushel of seed, Mr. Stoner gets about seventy-five
bushels for one. An ordinary stalk of wheat covers about four inches of space. The miracle
wheat covers twelve."
This astonishing account in Zion's Watch Tower concludes by asking breathlessly,
"IS IT RESTITUTION WHEAT?"
"If this account be but one-half
true it testifies afresh to God's ability to provide things needful for the 'times of
restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world
began.'" -- Acts 3:19-21.
Zion's Watchtower of October 1, 1908, brings further
reports of 'Miracle Wheat' with the rapturous hope, "Our thought is that in this natural way God is
preparing for the Millennium, when 'the earth shall yield her increase.'"
Religious claims were made on behalf of this humble commodity:
ZWT: 09/01/1910, page 279
"RESTITUTION WORK BEGUN"
"The Divine purpose will not be thwarted by the permission of sin to mar the
original. The sacrificial death of Jesus is the complete offset to the penalty pronounced on
Adam and his race. Restitution to perfection and Divine favor will result in God's 'due time.'
And we believe that time near at hand.
"Do we not see the promised blessing coming? What are
our vast irrigation schemes by artesian wells and by aqueducts but fulfillments of the prophecies
pertaining to the reign of Messiah and the blessing of the earth? Hark to the message: Streams
shall break forth in the desert; and the wilderness shall bloom as the rose. -- Isaiah 35.
"Burbank and others are under Divine guidance working miracles
in horticulture, just as Edison and others have been the instruments of Providence to give us
electrical devices. What beautiful fruits and flowers are the result! It is difficult to
imagine greater perfection either in Eden of old or in the world-wide Eden to be restored!
"Referring to the 'times of restitution' of Messiah's reign the
Prophet declares, 'The earth shall yield her increase.' (Ezek. 34:27.) Behold preparations
for the fulfillment of this promise: About three years ago a Virginia farmer found one abnormal
bunch of 120 stalks of wheat from one root -- the offspring of one grain of wheat. Under the
name of 'miracle wheat' it is now being developed slowly in various parts -- the average yield
appears to be about 1,200 grains from one kernel..."
No doubt by this time readers of Zion's Watch Tower down on
the farm were eager to get their hands on this miraculous seed. What do you know, the
ZWT: 06/15/1911 :R4844 : page 178:
"A DONATION OF MIRACLE WHEAT"
"Brother Bohnet writes us that he
has gradually accumulated a crop of miracle wheat from the few grains he obtained as a start.
He prefers that the first opportunity for obtaining this wheat shall go to THE WATCH TOWER
readers. He will sell it for $1 per pound, including postage, and give the entire proceeds to
our Society. All orders for this wheat should be addressed, Miracle Wheat Bohnet, 17 Hicks
street, Brooklyn, N. Y. This will keep mail on this subject separate from his personal mail and
At trial, Mr. Russell admitted the seed packets had been
mailed from the Watch Tower offices: "For the accommodation of our readers, we allowed this
seed-wheat to be put up in pound packages and mailed from THE WATCH TOWER Office, just as the
U.S. Government handles such seeds at Washington." (ZWT 02/15/1913).
So did the farmers who sowed this miraculous wheat -- note, the "proceeds"
from the sale of which went to "our Society" -- notice streams
breaking forth in the desert or the wilderness blooming as the rose? Well,
no, the results from this exorbitantly priced strain of wheat were not
remarkable. The Watchtower Society was founded by a flim-flam man
who made his way in the world by selling 'Miracle Wheat' to the rubes.
Date of Christmas
Why do Christians celebrate Jesus' birthday suspiciously close to
the Winter Solstice?
Is an autumn date for the nativity more likely?
Early Church History
The Jehovah's Witnesses enlist the early church writers for their cause.
Are these ancient authors draftees, or volunteers?:
- “For we do not say, as the heretics suppose, that...the Son has been generated
from the Father from no substance at all, that is, outside His own substance,
so that there would be a time when He was not...just as light can never
exist without splendor so neither can the Son, who is said to be the 'express
stamp of His substance' [Heb. 1:3] and His Word and Wisdom, ever be understood
without the Father. Therefore, how can it be said that there was
a time when the Son was not?...But what is said about the Father, the Son,
and the Holy Spirit must be understood above all time, above all ages,
and above all eternity. For that only is the Trinity which surpasses
every sense of our understanding, not only temporal but also eternal. It
is other things that are outside the Trinity that must be measured in ages and times.”
- (Origen, On First Principles, Book IV, Chapter 4, 1.).
Were Christian authors like Tertullian and Irenaeus Jehovah's Witnesses? Some early church writers describe a hierarchical trinity. But do any of these authors
describe the Son as a created being or deny His eternity?:
Will the real Jehovah's Witnesses please stand up?
Illustrious Arians of the modern era include physicist Sir Isaac Newton, poet John Milton, and Barton Stone.
A Great Multitude
"After these things I looked, and behold, a great
multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing
before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and
crying out with a loud voice, saying, 'Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to
the Lamb!'" (Revelation 7:9-10).
Is there any Biblical evidence for the kind of spiritual apartheid practiced
by the Jehovah's Witnesses, with an elite group of 144,000 who only are
born again, and a vast herd of also-rans? To the contrary: "There
is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your
calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who
is above all, and through all, and in you all." (Ephesians 4:4-6).
In the church, there are no differing classes, all hold the same hope.