Sunday, November 18, 2007

God's Sacred Secret -- Its Glorious Climax!

“The sacred secret comes to its happy climax! Gloriously, magnificently, it is brought to a triumphant finish in 1914 when the Lord Jehovah enthrones his Christ as associate King…. When the sounding of the seven trumpets got under way in 1922, the Bible Students’ convention at Cedar Point, Ohio, featured a talk by J. F. Rutherford based on the scripture ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand’… The trumpet blast of the seventh angel was reflected in highlights of the Bible Students’ convention in Detroit, Michigan, July 30-August 6, 1928… Here, then, is the third woe. It comes quickly! It is Jehovah’s means of bringing ruination to those who desecrate his ‘footstool,’ this lovely earth on which we live. It is set in motion by the Messianic Kingdom—the sacred secret of God. God’s enemies, and Christendom’s leaders in particular, have been tormented by the first two woes—resulting principally from the locust plague and the armies of cavalry; but the third woe, which Jehovah’s Kingdom itself administers, brings more than torment. It provides the death stroke in ousting a ruinous human society and its rulers. This will come as the climax of Jehovah’s judging at Armageddon…” Revelation, Its Grand Climax is at Hand

According to the Grand Climax commentary the awesome angelic trumpeters long ago sounded notice that Jehovah’s glorious purpose had been accomplished back in 1914. The seventh and final trumpet was supposedly sounded 80 years ago, in 1928, and was reflected in a long-since forgotten public address by Joseph Rutherford. According to the Watchtower God's glorious purpose has already been concluded!

Reasonably, thoguh, the symbolic trumpet blasts heralding the revelation of Jehovah’s judgments are sounded as an immediate prelude, before such judgments are carried out. Obviously that has not been the case with the seventh trumpet, which is intended to serve notice of the finale; when God brings ruination upon the ruiners of the earth.

This is simply another evidence that the Watchtower Society’s 1914 parousia doctrine is nothing more than an artfully contrived false story.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Below is an excerpt from the Revelation chapter in the book Jehovah Himself Has Become King:

Concerning the great earthquake that kills “seven thousand persons,” the Grand Climax commentary claims that the revival of the Bible Students resulted in “great convulsions in the realm of religion,” and that “the ground seemed to move under the leaders of the established churches as this body of revivified Christians got to work.” Oddly, again, Christendom seemingly has no recollection of that cataclysmic earth-moving experience of nearly a century ago. Even more absurd, the Society claims that the seven thousand killed by the quake were individuals who were formerly churchgoers before 1918, but who merely requested to have their names removed from their respective church membership rosters; and were thus only symbolically killed from Christendom’s standpoint. Specifically, the Grand Climax book states:

“The “seven thousand” and the “tenth of the city” in Revelation 11:13 are those who respond to the restored two witnesses and abandon the sinful great city. They die, as it were, to Christendom. Their names are taken off her membership roles. They no longer exist as far as she is concerned.”

As for the significance of how “the rest became frightened and gave glory to God” the Grand Climax offers the following highly inventive explanation:

“But how did ‘the rest [of Christendom] give glory to the God of heaven’? Certainly not by abandoning their apostate religion and becoming servants of God…To her chagrin, Christendom had to acknowledge that the God of the Bible Students had performed a great act in restoring them to Christian activity. It may be that the clergy gave this acknowledgment only mentally, or to themselves. Certainly, none of them went on record as publicly acknowledging the God of the two witnesses. But Jehovah’s prophecy through John helps us to discern what was in their hearts and realize the humiliating shock that they experienced in 1919.”

It should be evident to thinking persons that the Watchtower’s 1914 teaching is entirely artificial and contrived and does not pass the test of being an authentic and reliable interpretation of the grand apocalyptic vision. In view of the Watchtower’ unsatisfactory teachings, how might the second woe actually unfold in the future? What is the meaning of the seven thousand who are killed in a great earthquake that causes a tenth of the city to fall?

Monday, November 5, 2007


The Watchtower teaches that the two witnesses dressed in sackcloth, which are depicted in Revelation preaching for 42 months, was fulfilled by the International Bible students during the First World War.

The 12th paragraph of this week’s lesson states: "The John class had to preach this message for a definitely stated time: 1,260 days, or 42 months, the same length of time that the holy city was to be trampled underfoot. This period seems to be literal, since it is expressed in two different ways, first in months and then in days. Additionally, at the beginning of the Lord’s day, there was a marked period of three and a half years when the hard experiences of God’s people matched the events prophesied here—starting in December 1914 and continuing to June 1918. They preached a “sackcloth” message concerning Jehovah’s judgment of Christendom and the world."

Just how it is that the Bible Students may have preached in sackcloth is not clearly explained. In reality, the activity of the Bible Students during the period from 1914 through 1917 does not appear to have been very much different then during the period prior to that time. In fact, the Watchtower even admits as much. For instance the Kingdom Proclaimers book states on page 423: “During the early years of the war, there was little hindrance except in Germany and France. Tracts were freely distributed in many places, and there was continued use of the “Photo-Drama,” though on a much more limited scale after 1914.”

The release of the Photo-Drama of Creation in 1914 was really the pinnacle of the Watchtower Society’s efforts to educate the public. And as the Proclaimers book acknowledges, the Photo-Drama was presented to audiences in America and Europe, with two notable exceptions, all during the period of the First World War. So, if the Society was the embodiment of the symbolic “two witnesses” there is simply no evidence that they were made to preach in a mournful and lowly state, as is symbolized by the sackcloth.

The truth is, the Society’s 1914 teaching and the interpretation of the two witnesses of Revelation are merely artfully contrived false stories. (See commentary: Do you believe the Lie?)

For a fuller discussion of the two witnesses see the article The Revelation of Christ and the Two Witnesses.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A sweet and Bitter Message

The Grand Climax lesson for this week focuses on the 10th chapter of Revelation. As with most of their interpretation of the Apocalypse, the Society supposes that it was fulfilled in 1914. But reasoning on the import of Revelation 10:5-7, that simply cannot be. Those verses read: “And the angel that I saw standing on the sea and on the earth raised his right hand to heaven, and by the One who lives forever and ever, who created the heaven and the things in it and the earth and the things in it and the sea and the things in it, he swore: ‘There will be no delay any longer; but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to blow his trumpet, the sacred secret of God according to the good news which he declared to his own slaves the prophets is indeed brought to a finish.’”

What is meant by the angel’s expression “There will be no delay any longer”? Surely it is reasonable to assume that this aspect of Revelation occurs immediately prior to the consummation of God’s judgments. But according to the ardent belief of the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses, incredibly, the final period of “no delay any longer” began almost a century ago and is still ongoing! How does the Grand Climax commentary account for this glaring discrepancy? They don’t. They simply juggle some words around pertaining to the meaning of the Greek expression that they translated and put on a bold face and say: “No delay any longer”—how those words appeal to the aging John class today!”

Of course, the entire generation of Bible Students who lived during the 1914 period is not merely aging; they have long since passed away! But to further obfuscate the uniqueness of the grand climax of God’s eternal purpose, the Watchtower goes on to add their predictably arcane commentary to the next verse, saying: “In what respect is there no delay? John informs us: “But in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to blow his trumpet, the sacred secret of God according to the good news which he declared to his own slaves the prophets is indeed brought to a finish.” Jehovah’s time is here for bringing his sacred secret to its happy climax, with glorious success!””

Just how Jehovah may have brought the sacred secret to "glorious success" is not clear. No doubt the Watchtower simply expects Jehovah’s Witnesses to believe that God’s glorious purpose was “brought to a finish” back in 1914. In fact, C.T. Russell’s posthumous work entitled “The Finished Mystery” was published in 1916. But isn't it reasonable to expect that if God’s sacred secret were actually brought to a finish in 1914 that those who were serving God at the time would have been fully enlightened as to the details of God’s purpose? Yet, Russell’s Finished Mystery book was anything but enlightening. In fact, it has long since been consigned to the rubbish heap, along with all of Russell’s prophetic speculation -- as the lesson acknowledges. The fact is, the Watchtower did not come up with the notion that Christ’s kingdom came to power in 1914 until the year 1925. So, apparently it was not until nine years after God’s the sacred secret was brought to a finish that the Watchtower understood what had occurred. That seems pretty far-fetched -- more evidence of the "artfully contrived false stories" that the Watchtower promotes as gospel.

Saturday, October 6, 2007


This week’s lesson covers the last three paragraphs of the 22nd chapter. Under the subheading “World Rulers Put on Notice,” paragraph 18 states: “The modern-day locusts had a job to do. The Kingdom good news had to be preached. Errors had to be exposed. Lost sheep had to be found. As the locusts went about these tasks, the world was forced to sit up and take notice. In obedience to the angels’ trumpet blasts, the John class has continued to expose Christendom as deserving of Jehovah’s adverse judgments. In response to the fifth trumpet, a particular aspect of these judgments was emphasized at a convention of the Bible Students in London, England, May 25-31, 1926. This featured a resolution, “A Testimony to the Rulers of the World,” and a public talk at the Royal Albert Hall on “Why World Powers Are Tottering—The Remedy,” the complete text of both of these being printed in a leading London newspaper the following day. Later, the locust band distributed worldwide, as a tract, 50 million copies of that resolution—a torment indeed to the clergy! Years later, people in England still spoke of this stinging exposé.”

First, Revelation does not depict the locusts going about preaching the good news or searching for lost sheep, as the paragraph implies. A careful reading of the text in the 9th chapter of Revelation reveals that the only task assigned to the locust band is to sting the men who do not have the seal of God. As stated previously, that can only come about after the final sealing is concluded. Even by the Society’s own reckoning the sealing of the chosen ones has still not been concluded.

While the scope of the Society’s work back then is truly impressive, the events of the 1920’s simply could not have been the fulfillment of the blowing of the symbolic trumpets of Revelation. That’s because the judgments of God heralded by the angelic trumpeters take place after the opening of the 7th seal – after the start of the great tribulation.

The most absurd aspect of the Society’s interpretation of Revelation and their tying it to events that took place 80 years ago is that the entire generation that supposedly heard the announcements of Jehovah’s impending judgments against Christendom has passed away; yet in 2007, Christendom is in many respects more powerful and influential as ever. Reasonably, we would expect that when the Destroyer actually unleashes his army of stinging locusts it will be swiftly followed by the destruction of Jehovah’s enemies.


After the locusts are released from the abyss the blowing of the 6th trumpet unleashes a fire-breathing, lion-headed cavalry! Revelation 9:13-19 words it this way: “And the sixth angel blew his trumpet. And I heard one voice out of the horns of the golden altar that is before God say to the sixth angel, who had the trumpet: ‘Untie the four angels that are bound at the great river Euphrates.’ And the four angels were untied, who have been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, to kill a third of the men. And the number of the armies of cavalry was two myriads of myriads: I heard the number of them. And this is how I saw the horses in the vision, and those seated on them: they had fire-red and hyacinth-blue and sulphur-yellow breastplates; and the heads of the horses were as heads of lions, and out of their mouths fire and smoke and sulphur issued forth. By these three plagues a third of the men were killed, from the fire and the smoke and the sulphur which issued forth from their mouths. For the authority of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents and have heads, and with these they do harm.”

As the Climax commentary points out, the symbolic cavalry are very similar to the locust, in that, the locusts are said to have the teeth of lions, whereas the horses have heads like a lion. Both the locust and the cavalry men are wearing protective breastplates – reminding us of the Christian armor of the breastplate of righteousness. Also, both have stinging tails that torment and kill.

What is the significance of the four angels being untied “that are bound at the great river Euphrates”? Again, the Society’s commentary rightly makes the connection to the Jewish exile in Babylon. However, as all of Jehovah’s Witnesses are aware, the Watchtower teaches that the grand prophecies related to the spiritual liberation of Christians from Babylon the great have already been fulfilled, back in 1919.

Hence, the fourth paragraph states: “Jehovah is a precise Timekeeper. He has a timetable and is keeping to it. Hence, these messengers are released exactly on schedule and in time to accomplish what they have to do. Imagine their joy on coming forth from bondage in 1919, ready for work! They have a commission not only to torment but finally “to kill a third of the men.” This is related to the plagues heralded by the first four trumpet blasts, which afflicted a third of the earth, the sea, the creatures in the sea, the fountains and rivers, and the heavenly light sources. (Revelation 8:7-12) The four angels go further. They “kill,” exposing to a completion Christendom’s spiritually dead condition. Trumpeted pronouncements, made from 1922 onward and continuing to the present time, have accomplished this.”

Over the course of the past five years the Society’s 1914 teaching and all that goes with it, such as the Watchtower’s interpretation of Revelation, have been thoroughly dissected and shown to be what the apostle calls “artfully contrived false stories.” There is, therefore, no reason to reiterate here the falsity of the notion that Jehovah performed a mighty liberation of his people in 1919. (See essay: Babylon the Great – When Does it Fall?)

The Watchtower is fond of saying that prophecy cannot be fully understood until after it is fulfilled. But is that really true? Isn’t that really just a cop-out for having no insight into God’s prophetic word as regards his future judgments?

A question to be considered in this regard is this: Was it possible for the Israelites to understand the prophetic messages of the prophets before they were fulfilled? Yes, of course it was! That was the point of Jehovah issuing messages in the first place – he wanted his people to understand his judgments in order that they might take action to avoid his wrath.

For example, the prophecy of Jeremiah clearly spelled out that Jehovah was going to cause the Babylonians to destroy Jerusalem if the Jews did not repent. There was no ambiguity. The majority of Jews may have refused to believe it but at least they understood what the prophets were saying.

Now take the Society’s approach to prophecy: they claim to be a Jeremiah class of prophet. If that is true, though, why didn’t the Society foresee the calamity that befell them back in the 1916-1918 period, which was supposedly in fulfillment of dozens of prophecies, including Revelation? Why was it that it was not until decades later that the Watchtower concocted an elaborate explanation of prophecy regarding the fall of Babylon and the supposed liberation of spiritual Israel in 1919?

The truth is – the reason Bethel cannot understand prophecy before it is fulfilled is because they are blind. (See essay: Who is Blind as the Servant of Jehovah?) The prophecies themselves foretell that it suits God’s purpose to withhold understanding from his people until such time as Jehovah gives light.

The 47th chapter of Isaiah contains Jehovah’s denunciation of ancient Babylon, and by extension Babylon the great. Then in the next chapter Jehovah addresses himself to his chastened nation, saying to them at Isaiah 48:3-7: “The first things I have told even from that time, and out of my own mouth they went forth, and I kept making them heard. Suddenly I acted, and the things proceeded to come in. Due to my knowing that you are hard and that your neck is an iron sinew and your forehead is copper, I also kept telling you from that time. Before it could come in, I caused you to hear it, that you might not say, ‘My own idol has done them, and my own carved image and my own molten image have commanded them.’ You have heard. Behold it all. As for you people, will you not tell it? I have made you hear new things from the present time, even things kept in reserve, that you have not known. At the present time they must be created, and not from that time, even things that before today you have not heard, that you may not say, ‘Look! I have already known them.’”

According to the prophecy of Isaiah, Jehovah holds things in reserve until a certain time. But “before it could come in” Jehovah caused his people to hear his judgments, at the “present time.” Clearly, that disallows the sort of after-the-fact interpretation that characterizes the Society’s present method of interpretation.

Although it is presently beyond the grasp of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the prophecies foretell that God’s nation is due to go into spiritual captivity to Babylon the great during the tribulation. (See essay: What is the Holy Place and the Great Tribulation? )

The four angels that are released from bondage at the great river Euphrates at the sounding of the 6th trumpet coincides with the liberation of spiritual Israel from Babylon the great. The things that Jehovah has held in reserve are the judgments that his servants will then issue. That is why Revelation refers to the cavalry being prepared “for the hour and day and month and year.” God’s purpose in keeping his servants in ignorance until then is in order to discredit their idol, which is the Watchtower Society itself. (See essay: My Own Idol Has Done Them)


Friday, September 28, 2007

The Locust Plague Today

In last week’s lesson we were asked to consider the first century fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel.

The Society teaches that the original Christians were the symbolic locust plague, just as are Jehovah’s Witnesses today, supposedly.

While it is true that the apostle Peter, while under inspiration, applied a portion of Joel’s prophecy to the outpouring of holy spirit that had just taken place. In some respects it could be said that the sun had turned dark and the moon to blood due to the fact that just 40 days before Pentecost, on the Passover, Christ had been put to death and Jehovah literally blotted out the sun for several hours. Also there was a great earthquake. Still, though, the inspired apostle made no mention of locust.

If we were to thoroughly examine all the occurrences of locusts in prophecy it would become apparent that God uses locusts to symbolize marauding invaders. For example, as regards the Midianites, who plundered Israel in the days of Gideon, Judge 6:5-6 says: “They would come as numerous as the locusts, and they and their camels were without number; and they would come into the land to ruin it. And Israel became greatly impoverished due to Midian; and the sons of Israel began to call to Jehovah for aid.”

Of the Egyptians Jeremiah 46:23-24 says: ‘“They will certainly cut down her forest,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘for it could not be penetrated. For they have become more numerous than the locust, and they are without number. The daughter of Egypt will certainly feel shame.’”

The prophecy of Nahum depicted the Assyrian Empire like locusts, saying of them: “Make yourself heavy in numbers like the locust species; make yourself heavy in numbers like the locust. You have multiplied your tradesmen more than the stars of the heavens. As for the locust species, it actually strips off its skin; then it flies away. Your guardsmen are like the locust, and your recruiting officers like the locust swarm. They are camping in the stone pens in a cold day. The sun itself has but to shine forth, and away they certainly flee; and their place is really unknown where they are.” (Nahum 3:15-17)

The key to interpreting the meaning of the locust of Joel is found in the prophecy of Isaiah. There, Isaiah depicts the despoilers of Jehovah’s people as both cockroaches and locusts. Isaiah 33:1-5 reads: “Woe to you who are despoiling, without you yourself being despoiled, and to you who are dealing treacherously, without others having dealt treacherously with you! As soon as you have finished as a despoiler, you will be despoiled. As soon as you have done with dealing treacherously, they will deal treacherously with you.

O Jehovah, show us favor. In you we have hoped. Become our arm every morning, yes, our salvation in the time of distress. At the sound of turmoil peoples have fled. At your arising nations have been dispersed. And the spoil of you people will actually be gathered like the cockroaches when gathering in, like the onrush of locust swarms that is rushing against one. Jehovah will certainly be put on high, for he is residing in the height.”

Nevertheless, the Society insists that the locusts and cockroaches of Joel represent Jehovah’s Witnesses. (See essay: Joel – The Day of the Locust Attack)

(Some non-JW’s may be inclined to agree with the Society's interpretation, albeit for different reasons)

The opening paragraph of this week’s lesson states: “Reasonably, we could expect Joel’s prophecy to have a final fulfillment in the time of the end. How true this has proved to be! At the Bible Students’ convention at Cedar Point, Ohio, U.S.A., September 1-8, 1919, a notable outpouring of Jehovah’s spirit activated his people to organize a global campaign of preaching. Of all professed Christians, they alone, recognizing that Jesus had been enthroned as heavenly King, spared no effort in publishing abroad that good news. Their relentless witnessing, in fulfillment of prophecy, became as a tormenting plague to apostate Christendom.”

While it is notable that the tiny band of intrepid Bible Students seemingly sprang to life back in 1919 and the Society’s spokesman relentlessly exposed the clergy by means of radio, sound cars and the printed page; still, the notion that this phenomenon was in fulfillment of Joel or Revelation or that the time of the end began in 1914, is wholly unfounded. (See essay: The Harvest)

The Society claims that the symbolic tormenting locusts were unleashed in 1919, to sting the hypocritical religionists of Christendom only. However, the 9th chapter of Revelation indicates that the locusts are commanded by the king of the abyss to only sting those men who do not have the seal of God upon their forehead. (The seal of God is the name of Jehovah and Christ, which Revelation 14:1 reveals is symbolically written upon the foreheads of the 144,000 chosen ones only.)

So, reasonably, the locusts begin their macabre work of tormenting the condemned only after the sealing is completed, which Revelation 6:7 shows takes place after the beginning of the great tribulation.

Elsewhere in Revelation the chosen ones are said not to have received the mark of the beast – contrasted with the condemned who do. It seems then, that, those described as not having the seal of God is simply another way of saying that they have received the mark of the beast. Those who receive the mark of the beast are condemned to everlasting death. That being the case, it should be obvious that that judgment is not issued until the actual commencement of Judgment Day. (See essay: Judgment Day - The Last Hour of the Eighth King)

What is symbolized by the locusts of Revelation then? Other then the erroneous timing tied to 1914, the Society’s interpretation seems reasonable. The locusts apparently represent the sealed sons of the kingdom after they return from being laid low by Jehovah’s discipline.

Please note that the locusts have what appear to be crowns of gold upon their heads. Recall, though, that Paul reproved the Corinthians for assuming a superior attitude, chiding them sarcastically: “You have begun ruling as kings without us, have you? And I wish indeed that you had begun ruling as kings, that we also might rule with you as kings.” Clearly, Paul did not take the view that anointed Christians had already been given the kingdom. However, at the coming of Christ the kingdom will be given the holy ones, even while the remnant is upon the earth. That takes place when Christ gathers his chosen ones from the four corners of the earth. At that time the holy spirit will be poured out in full measure upon the then-revealed sons of God. (See essay: Will Christianity Survive the End of the World?)

Please note too, that, the 9th chapter of Revelation also depicts the kingly locusts as having the mouths of a lion. The prophecy of Micah sheds light upon this; portraying the re-gathered remnant of Jehovah’s spiritual nation as roaring lions, as they herald Jehovah’s sovereignty to the friends of God and pronounce doom upon the peoples and nations that refuse to submit to the rule of the kingdom. Micah 5:7-9 states: “And the remaining ones of Jacob must become in the midst of many peoples like dew from Jehovah, like copious showers upon vegetation, that does not hope for man or wait for the sons of earthling man. And the remaining ones of Jacob must become among the nations, in the midst of many peoples, like a lion among the beasts of a forest, like a maned young lion among droves of sheep, which, when it actually passes through, certainly both tramples down and tears in pieces; and there is no deliverer. Your hand will be high above your adversaries, and all enemies of yours will be cut off.”

It is evident, then, that the locusts represent the sons of the kingdom immediately prior to the outbreak of Armageddon; as they announce Jehovah's final judgments upon Satan's doomed system of things.


Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Opening of Seals 3 & 4

The opening of the 3rd and 4th seals of the apocalyptic scroll unleashes the symbolic horses of famine, pestilence and death. The Grand Climax commentary, of course, places the start of their deadly gallop across the globe back in 1914. But it seems more likely that the seals have not been unsealed yet. One reason for that view is the fact that that Revelation 6:8b states that horsemen of the apocalypse are given authority over a fourth part of the earth. But the problem is that the combined deaths caused by all the wars of the 20th century, all the food shortages and death by disease, have not even afflicted nearly a quarter of the world’s population. For instance, the combined deaths caused by the First World War and the Spanish Flu of 1918-1919 represented only a mere 3% of the world’s population then. (See essay: A Closer Look at 1914)

The Society’s commentary on Revelation 6:8b brushes off the significance of the verse by saying that it is not necessarily a literal fourth of the earth’s population that is affected by war, famine and pestilence, but simply a large part of it. Hence they have rendered the prophecy more or less meaningless. The question thinking Jehovah's Witnesses ought to ask is why God would say the horsemen of the apocalypse will have authority over a quarter of humanity if he merely intended to say that a relatively small percentage of earth’s inhabitants would be laid low by war, famine and disease, as has been the case these past 93 years?

The sobering truth is that the world presently stands poised to be plunged into an unprecedented period of global war, food shortages and pandemics on a scale that vastly exceeds what has taken place since 1914.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Magnificence of Jehovah's Celestial Throne

After Christ concluded relating his messages to the seven congregations John is invited into the heavens. The 4th chapter of Revelation opens with these words: “After these things I saw, and, look! an opened door in heaven, and the first voice that I heard was as of a trumpet, speaking with me, saying: “Come on up here, and I shall show you the things that must take place.”

Next john writes: "After these things I immediately came to be in the power of the spirit: and, look! a throne was in its position in heaven, and there is one seated upon the throne. And the one seated is, in appearance, like a jasper stone and a precious red-colored stone, and round about the throne there is a rainbow like an emerald in appearance.”

The Watchtower Society believes that the Lord’s day began in 1914. They also believe that the anointed remnant comprises a John class; that is to say, they re-enact the actual fulfillment of what John only saw in vision. So, if the Lord’s day began in 1914 then what evidence is there that the anointed remnant experienced anything paralleling the rapturous heavenly vision John received?

Stated differently, if the visions of Revelation had really begun to be unveiled back in 1914 shouldn't we, at the very least, expect God to have enlightened his people as to the meaning of Revelation back then? After all, that’s what revelation means – an unveiling. And no doubt that is what is portrayed in the fact that John is invited into heaven itself. In other words John was enlightened. And by the time the revelation to him was concluded there were no more sacred secrets hidden from him, and by extention to any of God’s chosen ones living during the Lord's day.

But, the realty is, the International Bible Students were woefully ignorant of much of Revelation long after 1914. Consider, that, in 1917 the Watchtower published the book called The Finished Mystery. The book has long since been discarded by the Watchtower – and for good reason. It is littered with childish nonsense. And even though much of the silliness has been refined out of their latest Revelation commentary, the embarrassing fact is the Watchtower still does not understand Revelation. For example, how reasonable is it that judgment day began in 1919 with the advent of the League of Nations and then again in 1944 with the institution of the United Nations? Indeed, is it sensible that mankind has already been given the mark of the beast and doomed to everlasting destruction simply for passively supporting or even being ambivalent towards the United Nations? Most sensible people can quickly see the foolishness of such a view, and yet the Watchtower teaches that very thing at the present moment. (See the chapter on Revelation in the book Jehovah Himself Has Become King.)

No, the vision of Revelation has not been unveiled yet. It remains sealed until the Lord removes the seven seals and the apocalypse begins. First though, the evil and foolish slaves must be expelled from the midst of the congregation, just as was envisioned in Christ’s letters to the seven congregations. Then indeed Jehovah will invite the remaining approved ones to “come up here!”

(Incidentally, the term “remaining ones,” or “remnant” in some translations, applies to those who are remaining over on earth after the harvest removes the lawless ones and the first resurrection begins. Since neither the harvest nor the first resurrection has begun yet it is inappropriate to refer to the anointed as the remnant.)

Sunday, April 29, 2007


The study assignment for the first two weeks of May is chapter 13 of the Grand Climax book, which discusses Christ’s counsel to the congregation in Laodicea.

Like their commentary on Christ’s messages to the other congregations, the Watchtower applies Jesus’ words to both Christendom as well as to Jehovah’s Witnesses. But how can that be? The letters to the seven congregations are addressed to those who are actually part of Christ’s congregation – not those who merely claim to be part of Christ’s congregation. Elsewhere in their writings the Watchtower unequivocally states that Christendom is not, nor was it ever Christian. So, the question naturally comes to mind as to why Jesus would address himself to them. Obviously, he doesn’t. Jesus is speaking to those who have been called by God to rule with Christ but who are in danger of missing out on the final choosing of the chosen ones.

Although it may be hard for Jehovah’s Witnesses to accept, Jesus’ rebuke directed to the Laodiceans applies more to individuals within the leadership of the Watchtower Society then they would ever admit.

Consider the particulars of Christ’s rebuke of those whom he says are merely lukewarm in their service to God: “Because you say: ‘I am rich and have acquired riches and do not need anything at all,’ but you do not know you are miserable and pitiable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire that you may become rich, and white outer garments that you may become dressed and that the shame of your nakedness may not become manifested, and eyesalve to rub in your eyes that you may see.”

In the 8th paragraph the Society applies Jesus’ words to the rank and file Jehovah’s Witness who may become materialistic. But is that really who Jesus is speaking to? Are the imagines “acquired riches” necessarily material riches? That may be one aspect of the reason for the Laodiceans self-confidence, but Paul’s writings to the Corinthians show that more than likely Jesus meant that the Christians in Laodicea felt that they had already acquired spiritual riches. At 1 Corinthians 4:8-12 Paul wrote: “You men already have your fill, do you? You are rich already, are you? You have begun ruling as kings without us, have you? And I wish indeed that you had begun ruling as kings, that we also might rule with you as kings. For it seems to me that God has put us the apostles last on exhibition as men appointed to death, because we have become a theatrical spectacle to the world, and to angels, and to men. We are fools because of Christ, but you are discreet in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are in good repute, but we are in dishonor. Down to this very hour we continue to hunger and also to thirst and to be scantily clothed and to be knocked about and to be homeless and to toil, working with our own hands.”

As should be apparent, Paul intended to say that some of the Corinthians felt spiritually fulfilled. They didn’t need any more. On the other hand, Paul and the other apostles did not share their good fortune.

However, what about the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses today? Do they not claim to have possession of spiritual riches? Are they not honored and held in high esteem by the organization, like those Corinthians? And although Bethelites are now required to take a vow of poverty certainly the Governing Body live like kings, in that their every need and expense is taken care of by the organization.

Embarrassingly, the Governing Body even boasts of their imagined spiritual riches in the very lesson under discussion. In the 11th and 12th paragraphs the Society states that C.T. Russell and the Bible Students purchased refined spiritual gold from Christ, which is evidenced by their knowing, among other things, that God is not a trinity and that the Gentile Times ended in 1914! But does our merely knowing the basic doctrinal truths mean that we are no longer spiritually blind? The Society seems to think so, stating in the concluding sentence of the 14th paragraph that the pages of the Watchtower, and not Christ, is the source of the healing eyesalve.

Also, in the 21st paragraph the Society boasts of understanding the prophecies. They write: “As a result, from 1919 onward their eyes have been opened to the meaning of Bible prophecies. They have enjoyed a period of great enlightenment.” But alas, their eyes are not as opened as they imagine. For example, consider the Society’s ridiculous interpretation of Joel or their blasphemous interpretation of Habakkuk. Virtually everyone of the Society’s prophetic interpretations are in varying degrees of error – as can be seen by a critical analysis of their teachings, which numerous essays on e-watchman have undertaken to present. (See essay Who is Blind as the Servant of Jehovah? )

In view of the falsity of the foundation teaching of 1914 and a host of other prophecies that have been built upon it, it is the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses who are unaware that it is they who are pitiable, naked and blind.

Appropriately, Jesus concludes his message to the Laodiceans and all the congregations with the very similar admonition with which he concluded the parable of the wheat and the weeds: “Let the one who has an ear hear what the spirit says to the congregations.”

Saturday, April 14, 2007

They will bow down to you

At Revelation 3:9 Jesus said: “Look! I will give those from the synagogue of Satan who say they are Jews, and yet they are not but are lying—look! I will make them come and do obeisance before your feet and make them know I have loved you.”

Who are those whom Jesus depicts as belonging to “the synagogue of Satan”? The Society says that they are simply Jews that become Christians. In the 11th paragraph we read: “Perhaps, as in Smyrna, the congregation has had problems with the local Jews. Jesus designates these as “the synagogue of Satan.” Nevertheless, at least some of those Jews are about to realize that what the Christians have been preaching about Jesus is the truth. Their ‘doing obeisance’ will likely be in the manner described by Paul at 1 Corinthians 14:24, 25, so that they actually repent and become Christians, fully appreciating Jesus’ great love in surrendering even his soul in behalf of his disciples.”

The Watchtower’s explanation makes absolutely no sense. Nowhere does Jesus say that those who fraudulently claim to be Jews are forced to do obeisance to the Philadelphian Christians by actually become converts. Why would Jesus force Satan’s agents to become Christians?

Secondly, the Society offers no explanation of what it means to falsely claim to be a Jew. Why would anyone try to pass themselves off as Jewish if they were not actually Jews?

Those who falsely claim to be Jews must claim to be spiritual Jews – that is to say, they lyingly claim to be anointed and participants in the new covenant. Like the symbolic weeds in Jesus’ harvest illustration that were over-sown by the enemy Devil, and like the evil and sluggish slaves that are thrown out of the master’s service, those of the synagogue of Satan must represent the agents of the Devil operating within Christ’s congregation at the moment the master arrives. They will cringingly do obeisance by being forced to recognize the true sons of God when the revealing of the sons of God takes place. That is where the weeping and gnashing of their teeth will occur.

Furthermore, the nations that offer themselves to the sons of God do so after Jehovah repurchases his people from the nations. That is destined to occur during the tribulation – not before.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Coming as a Thief

Jesus’ following message to the Christians in Sardis is the basis for the first part of this week’s book study: “Become watchful, and strengthen the things remaining that were ready to die, for I have not found your deeds fully performed before my God. Therefore, continue mindful of how you have received and how you heard, and go on keeping it, and repent. Certainly unless you wake up, I shall come as a thief, and you will not know at all at what hour I shall come upon you.”

Under the subheading “coming as a thief” the Society asserts that Jesus came as a thief in 1918, even though in the very same paragraph they acknowledge that no one knows the day and hour of his coming. One would think, though, that if that were really true then that would be the end of it. But no. The Watchtower goes on to insist that Jesus is coming as a thief, again. But how reasonable is it that Jesus comes as a thief on two occasions?

Furthermore, the Society goes on to boast: “The John class today is itself awake to the need for stimulating God’s people to keep spiritually alive.” They then cite timely articles that were written back in 1919, 1925 and 1942! But do articles written more than a half century ago prove that the would-be watchman class of today is still on the watch? Hardly.

In the 6th paragraph the Society declares that the parable of the wise and foolish virgins was fulfilled in 1919. If that were true, though, that would of necessity mean that the marriage of the Lamb has already taken place and that the calling of choosing of bride class ended back then. That’s because Jesus’ parable of the wise and foolish virgins illustrates the fact that once the wise virgins are allowed entry into the place of the marriage feast the door is then shut. Appropriately, Jesus concluded the parable of the ten virgins by warning his disciples to keep on the watch because they do not know the day or hour.

Now the question that begs to be asked is this: Does the Watchtower’s insistence that the parable of the ten virgins has already been fulfilled stimulate Christian wakefulness or does the 1914 teaching dull our sense of anticipation of things to come?

Please note that in Jesus’ illustration all the virgins nodded and went to sleep – even the wise virgins that took along extra oil for their lamps. More than likely, then, the Society’s 1914 teaching serves as a lullaby to that end.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Tribulation Ten Days

As this lesson points out, The International Bible Students and Jehovah’s Witnesses have been viciously persecuted by a variety of political and religious institutions. Truly, no other people have been made to suffer for their faith as have Jehovah’s Witnesses. In accord with Jesus’ message to the congregation in Smyrna, we may be sure that the Devil is the unseen promoter of the persecutions of Jehovah’s people.

In light of the concluding paragraphs of the lesson wherein the Society boasts of having written numerous articles in decades past that were instrumental in fortifying Jehovah’s Witnesses to endure persecutions, we might now ask: Why hasn’t the Watchtower better readied Jehovah’s Witnesses for what lay immediately ahead? Specifically, are Jehovah’s Witnesses mentally and spiritually prepared for the unanticipated collapse of the Watchtower Society and the inevitable lawlessness and confusion that will ensue? Why hasn’t the Society specifically prepared young men and women for the likelihood of mandatory military service in the Anglo-American realm in the near future? Or does the Watchtower merely assume that the Game-boy generation is sufficiently spiritually equipped to face the lion’s den?

Saturday, February 10, 2007


No one is as blind as those who are convinced that they see. That was the case of many of the leading priests and Pharisees in Jesus’ day and it is also the sad spiritual state of the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses today. (See essay Who is Blind as the Servant of Jehovah?)

Ironically, the Society revised their commentary on Revelation -- making minor wording changes -- and yet did not see fit to reconsider some of the more absurd aspects of their teaching. So it is, that after more than a century of searching the Scriptures the Watchtower Society evidently remains absolutely convinced that Jehovah’s awesome judgment day has already begun and that Jesus’ powerful presence is a mundane affair that can only be determined by means of chronologic calculations; calculations which were originally based on the measurements of the inner chambers of the Great Pyramid of Egypt; but now, are ostensibly based upon Bible prophecy -- supposedly divining the very day and hour of Christ’s return on the first or second day of October in 1914.

Thus, the opening paragraphs of the 5th chapter of the Grand Climax book states that “the Lord’s day” began in 1914. In the 2nd paragraph the Society cites several verses from the writings of Paul, as if these confirm the 1914 invisible presence doctrine. Nothing could be further from the truth. Consider closely several of cited verses in context:

“I always thank God for you in view of the undeserved kindness of God given to you in Christ Jesus; that in everything you have been enriched in him, in full ability to speak and in full knowledge, even as the witness about the Christ has been rendered firm among you, so that you do not fall short in any gift at all, while you are eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will also make you firm to the end, that you may be open to no accusation in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” -- 1 Corinthians 1:4-8

Notice, please, in the verse above that Paul relates "the day of our Lord Jesus Christ" (or Lord’s day) to the event called “the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Also, Paul clearly indicated that the day of the Lord was the end of a Christian’s faith. That being the case, did the revelation of Jesus Christ take place in 1914? Was that the end of the tests of our faith? Obviously not. (For a detailed consideration of the revelation of Christ and the parousia see the essays The Visible Presence of Christ and the Revelation of Christ and the Two Witnesses.)

Another verse cited in the 2nd paragraph is 2 Corinthians 1:14, which reads: “Just as you have also recognized, to an extent, that we are a cause for you to boast, just as you will also be for us in the day of our Lord Jesus.”

In this verse Paul intimates that the “day of our Lord Jesus” will involve the resurrection. How else could the apostles, who have long since passed away, rejoice over their fellow believers?

At Philippians 1:6 Paul writes: “For I am confident of this very thing, that he who started a good work in you will carry it to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.”

Again, the verse the Society cited indicates that “the day of Jesus Christ” is the end of our faith. It is when Jehovah’s purpose in connection with Christ’s congregation is victoriously concluded. Thinking Jehovah’s Witnesses ought to ponder the question: Is it reasonable to believe that God’s work was completed in 1914? Obviously, as far as Jehovah’s Witnesses are concerned, 1914 was the beginning of an ongoing disciple-making work -- not the completion. Reasoning on the Scriptures provided in the lesson ought to convince clear thinking persons that the Lord’s day has not begun yet.

As the writings of Paul indicate, as well as the very account in Revelation, the Lord’s day is when Jesus comes to initiate judgment upon his anointed congregation. It is also when he ultimately reveals himself to them, just as he revealed himself to John in the vision; which, of course, takes place during the Lord’s day.

Jesus’ supernatural appearance to John in Revelation is similar to the close encounter Daniel had while in captivity to the empire of that time. (For a more detailed discussion of the significance of Daniel see the blog entry: Daniel is Strengthened by an angel of God.) Interestingly, John was also in captivity when he was given the Revelation, due to his being persecuted by the Roman Empire. This would seem to foreshadow the fact that Christ’s anointed congregation will exist in a state of captivity to Babylon and Rome’s imperial successor during the time of Christ’s actual presence during the Lord's day.

Friday, January 19, 2007


The third chapter of the “Grand Climax” book opens with these words: “You should be deeply concerned about world events today. Why so? Because this world cannot escape God’s execution of judgment.”

We are not told specifically which world events should cause us deep concern. However, the fourth paragraph makes the comment: “Today, however, the evidence abounds that all the things foretold will take place on schedule. Never before in history has the very survival of mankind been at stake.” Considering that the Society published their Revelation commentary 19 years ago, in 1988, perhaps they had in mind the events associated with the Superpower Cold War between the U.S.S.R and the West. But, alas, the Soviet Union went belly up a couple of years after the “Grand Climax” book was published and the period following the collapse of Soviet communism has been marked by a period of relative peace and prosperity.

Ironically, though, we “should be deeply concerned about world events today” more then ever. That’s because the world stands on the brink of the actual apocalypse that will far surpass the horrors of World War One. Apparently, though, the Watchtower sees no significance in present world events such as the looming threat of nuclear war and an H5N1 global pandemic.

In saying that everything “will take place on schedule” the WT is being disingenuous. What they should have said is that ‘all things have already taken place on schedule.’ As most readers know, the Society’s own commentary teaches that most of Revelation has already been fulfilled back way back in the early years of the 20th century. In essence the things which the angel reveals to John that must “shortly take place” have already taken place – at least according to the Watchtower.

In the 6th paragraph the Society boasts of their having already unlocked the secrets of Revelation, saying that God “uses this John class in unlocking the meaning of the prophecy.” The 7th paragraph points out that John was not only an observer but a participant in the actual visions of Revelation, which is true. But did John personally unlock the meaning of the visions, as the Society suggests he did? No. God’s angel explained the meaning of the visions. In fact, on several occasions John confessed his ignorance; such as when the angel asked John who the great crowd was and John confessed to the angel “you are the one that knows.” And when shown the harlot and the beast John was struck by great wonderment so that the angel said to him: “Why is it you wondered? I will tell you the mystery of the woman.”

In actuality, the Watchtower has not unlocked the meaning of Revelation. Instead they have locked it and hidden the key. While adding valuable insights into the symbolisms employed in the book of Revelation the Society’s irrational attachment to 1914 has prevented Jehovah’s Witnesses from discerning vital details of Jehovah’s future judgments. Their mindset is vividly demonstrated in the concluding paragraph of this week’s lesson where we read: “When Jesus was here on earth, he stated that only his Father knew “that day or the hour.” Looking ahead to the troubles that have multiplied on earth from World War I onward, Jesus also said: ‘This generation will by no means pass away until all these things happen.’ So the appointed time for executing God’s decision must be drawing perilously close.”

Shortly after the publication of the “Grand Climax” book the Watchtower was forced to unceremoniously drop the “this [1914] generation will by no means pass away” from the inside cover of the AWAKE Magazine. And in the November 1st, 1995, issue of the Watchtower Bethel completely redefined the meaning of a generation in order to retain their 1914 dogma.

Still, though, judging from present “world events” the appointed time for Jehovah to commence the execution of his judgments, beginning first with the house of God, is indeed, “drawing perilously close.” Now, nearly 20 years after the publication of the GC book, as we stand on the brink of what appears to be the third world war, perhaps this latest reconsideration of the book of Revelation is timelier than Jehovah's Witnesses can even imagine.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


While this blog is intended to hold the Watchtower's interpretation of Revelation up to a critical examination this portion of the study material gives the student important background material for understanding the symbolisms of Revelation, particularly the entity known as Babylon the Great and the wild beast.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Chapter Two -- Week of January 15th, 2007

This segment of the material discusses the over all theme of the Bible and the symbolisms used.

See essay: Who is the Woman of Bible Prohecy?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Study for the week of January 8th

It would seem that the Watchtower Society’s “Revelation, Its Grand Climax at Hand” book is misnamed. A “grand climax at hand” suggests that much of the revelation of Christ has already been accomplished and that only grand climatic events are yet to take place.

Indeed, that is exactly what is implied not only by the book’s title but by the Watchtower’s very creed. As all of Jehovah’s Witnesses know, the organization’s foundational teaching is that the Lord’s day of Revelation commenced in 1914. Supposedly that is when the seven symbolic seals of the sacred prophetic scroll were unsealed. The Society's teaching has effectively made the apocalypse anti-climatic.

As regards the meaning of the word apocalypse, from which is translated the word “revelation,” the 4th paragraph of the Grand Climax book states: “But what really is an apocalypse? Though dictionaries define it by using terms such as “an imminent cosmic cataclysm,” the Greek a·po·ka´ly·psis basically
means “unveiling” or “uncovering.” Thus, the last book of the Bible is properly entitled “A Revelation.”

The 6th paragraph goes on to review the various commentaries on Revelation the Watchtower has published in the past century, beginning with the so-called seventh volume of the Studies in the Scriptures known as the Finished Mystery and a two volume set published in 1930 entitled Light. But the very fact that most of what the Watchtower had originally published in those early works has been discarded is proof in itself that the “unveiling” of the mysteries of God has not occurred yet.

The Watchtower believes that God has gradually enlightened his servants over decades of time and allowed them to bumble and fumble around during the whole process. However, in view of the fact that the revelation of divine truth occurs suddenly, as if a scroll is unsealed in heaven and heralded on earth as if by powerful angelic trumpeters, shouldn’t we expect God’s messengers here on earth to be imbued by the spirit to comprehendingly convey God’s revelation without all the trial and error? Worded another way, if the apocalypse began in 1914 why were the Bible Students so profoundly ignorant of the meaning of Revelation long after the time when the Lord’s day of enlightenment is believed to have begun?

The brutal truth is that much of the Finished Mystery book is nonsense, so much so that the religious enemies of Jehovah’s Witnesses use the Finished Mystery to discredit the Watchtower Society.

In the 8th paragraph we have out first contradiction – one of many. Here’s what it says:
“It is important that we be well informed. As the apostle Peter wrote concerning divine prophecy: ‘You are doing well in paying attention to it as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until day dawns and a daystar rises, in your hearts.’”—2 Peter 1:19.

The context of the epistle of Peter pertains to the Transfiguration of Jesus, which Peter said had to do with the presence of Christ. Peter thus exhorted Christians to keep “paying attention” to prophecy until such time as the “day dawns and a daystar rises in your hearts.” Once the day dawns there is no need to continue to use a lamp. Yet, according to the Society the day has already dawned, in 1914 of course. If that were true, though, why should anyone keep paying attention to the light of Scripture? If Christ has been unveiled and the mystery of God is all but finished why are Jehovah’s Witnesses compelled by Bethel to study this material over and over and over? Shouldn’t we expect the reality of Christ’s powerful presence to render unnecessary the continued groping for the light?
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