Another Blog from UK Partnerships for Christ (www.upfc.org.uk)

J.F Rutherford and the date 1925 by Jason Wright

millions leaflet

In this study we will be investigating the date 1925 in Watchtower Chronology. How was the date arrived at? Who believed in this date? What was expected on this date? Do modern day Jehovah’s witnesses uphold this date? These are some of the questions we will explore. The overall goal is to ascertain if 1925 is a prophetic and biblically credible date.

As with any investigation primary source material is advantageous. This should have been readily available from the official WBTS website www.jw.org however a quick search through the online Watchtower library uncovered very little information on the date 1925 cf. http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/s/r1/lp-e?q=1925&p=par

As can be ascertained from a perusal of the above link, most references to 1925 relate to personal testimonies. References to the actual prophetic date 1925 are limited and many of the official links are defunct – perhaps willfully so? This limited access to WBTS history forms a barrier to critical enquiry. Worst still it leaves the JW member “hamstrung” when investigating the date 1925.

Consequently modern Watchtower literature invariably obscures the historical milieu from which the date 1925 emerges. In essence the society presents “sound bites” of information tailored for the new 2014 generation of members, which conveniently avoids awkward questions concerning 1925. One official online article I located, concerning 1925, was in the February 15th Watchtower magazine 2006 under the sub-heading “Jehovah Illuminates the Path Doctrinally” we read on page 28-29:

Jehovah is also progressively illuminating the path of his people doctrinally. Revelation 12:1-9 provides an example. The account refers to three symbolic characters—“a woman” who is pregnant and gives birth, a “dragon,” and “a son, a male.” Do you know whom each figure represents? They were identified in an article entitled “Birth of the Nation,” which appeared in the March 1, 1925, issue of The Watch Tower. That article gave God’s people a better understanding of the prophecies about the birth of the Kingdom, insight that made it clear that there exist two distinct organizations—Jehovah’s and Satan’s. 

This all too brief paragraph simply reinforces the main WT article, but provides no explanation as to how important the date 1925 was to Bible students living in that era, nor how the date was arrived at. The article just presumes the date is correct without qualification. Subsequently to get to grips with 1925 we must divest ourselves of Watchtower revisionism and take a step back into real History.

We begin with the March 1st 1911 edition of the Watchtower magazine.[1] Under the sub-heading “Some calculations on the Jubilee Cycles” Hal Kaup writes about three prophetic calculations involving the year 1925. The following article is a heady mix of dates, numbers and presuppositions concluding in a complicated “end-time” chronology. However these antecedent ideas must be explored in order to understand 1) How Russell and 2) How Rutherford understood the date 1925 and 3) How the modern organization understands 1925.

Please note in 1911 Bible students firmly believed that the Jews were entering a period of restoration. This understanding motivated sincere inquiry into “dates and times” wherein this restoration may be expected. Explication was drawn from the Israelite system of Jubilee years. Jubilee was viewed as a “type” which pointed forward to the archetype. Please read carefully Hal Kaup’s calculations:

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:–
Your calculation of the Jubilee Cycles (as published in September issue of Overland Monthly, 1910) beginning the count from the time Israel entered the land of Canaan, is so remarkably simple that I am surprised it did not come to my attention sooner; as it is with this added new viewpoint that certain questions which have somewhat puzzled me before have now been thoroughly cleared up in my mind, I am noting them for your consideration. They are as follows:

1. Why did not Israel celebrate 20 instead of only 19 Jubilees in the land before the great Cycle of 50 Jubilees began their count, so that the entire 70 Jubilees would be complete?

2. Why did the Jews remain in their land 19 years after the celebration of their last typical Jubilee? Why did they not immediately go into captivity?

3. Did the 70 years of desolation typify anything? If so, what?

As a result of your article in the Overland Monthly[2] I have been helped to a solving of these questions, and I am sending you herewith my calculations and conclusions for any comments or added thoughts you may have or can suggest.

FIRST CALCULATION

This is my understanding of your reckoning as presented in Overland Monthly:

“To fulfil the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfil three score and ten years.”–2 Chron. 36:17-21.

In the above quotation we find the entire number of Jubilee years the Lord purposed for Israel to be 70, which mark 70 cycles or periods of time. Each cycle was 49 years and its Jubilee the 50th year.

70 times this number (50 years) would be………. 3,500 yrs. And this period, measured from the time Israel entered Canaan, which occurred before the date known as A.D. 1…………1,575 ”
Hence the years since A.D. 1, to complete above period of 3,500 years, are…………1,925 ”

Or 1925 A.D. marks the date when the full number of Israel’s Jubilees would have been accomplished as indicated by the Lord through Jeremiah the prophet.

THE SECOND CALCULATION

This calculation is based on the Jubilees from the standpoint of the Law which was given to Israel as a nation and to which they bound themselves, and which has been and is now being fulfilled with regard to the Jews.–Lev. 26.

This calculation in no way antagonizes the view as expressed in SCRIPTURE STUDIES, Vol. 2, chapter 6, paragraph 2, page 180; also page 181; but is considering it only with regard to the Jewish nation and their land and not with regard to the restitution or antitypical Jubilee as set forth in S.S., Vol. 2.

The multiplying of the Sabbath or 7th day by
7 (7 x 7 = 49) pointed out Pentecost, the 50th day, or Jubilee day, which followed.

The multiplying of the Sabbath or 7th year by 7
(7 x 7 = 49) made the cycle which pointed out and led to the 50th year or Jubilee year.

The multiplying of the Sabbath or 50th year by 50 (50 x 50 = 2,500) made the cycle which pointed out and led to the 51st cycle or Jubilee cycle.

As the Jubilee day was not celebrated on the last or 49th day, but on the following or 50th day, and the Jubilee year was not celebrated on the last or 49th year, but on the following or 50th year, so the Jubilee cycle (of 50 years) was not celebrated on the last or 50th cycle, but on the following or 51st cycle.

The Law required that where the typical system ended, the antitypical counting should begin.

Total number of years in Great Cycle………2,500 yrs.

From the celebration of the last Jubilee by Israel to the year A.D. 1…… 625

The number of years since A.D. 1 necessary to complete the cycle of 2,500 years…….1,875 ”

If the year 1875 A.D. marks the end of the Great Cycle of 50 x 50 years, then the following 50 years, or from 1875 A.D. to 1925 A.D., will be the Jubilee Cycle or period of time during which the Jews will be returned to their possessions. (This date, 1925 A.D., as we have seen, is the date originally intended by Jehovah as marking Israel’s full number of Jubilees.) And how harmoniously does this agree with the ending of the Times of the Gentiles, which terminate during this Jubilee period; their lease of power departing from them allows the Law to be fulfilled toward the Jew, who can now come into his possessions.

Here we get the key to the matter regarding the celebration of only 19 and not 20 cycles before the Great Cycle (of 50 x 50 years = 2,500 years) began to count. The last or 20th Cycle of 50 years was reserved for the Jubilee Cycle to follow the Great Cycle.

Jubilees celebrated in the land by Jews……….. 19

Jubilees represented in Great Cycle……….. 50

Jubilee period representing the time in which the Jew, according to Jubilee celebration, should return to his possessions…………1 — 70

THIRD CALCULATION

“And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof; it shall be a Jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.

“A Jubilee shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of thy vine undressed.”– Lev. 25:10,11.

Here we have two statements made respecting the Jubilee year:

1. The RETURN of every person to his possession; and 2. The REST of the land.
“Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies’ land; even then shall the land REST and enjoy her sabbaths. As long as it lieth desolate it shall REST; because it did not REST in your sabbaths when ye dwelt upon it.”–Lev. 26:34,35.

Here again we find that while Israel celebrated the Jubilee when they dwelt in the land, and each man may have returned to his possession and family at the Jubilee period, nevertheless the Lord declares that the land “did not REST” in its Sabbaths when they dwelt upon it.

So the Lord provided the REST feature of the Jubilee for the land when Israel went into captivity for 70 years, and here the 70 Jubilees of REST were accomplished for the land, but during that time the other feature of the Jubilee was neglected (the RETURN of each man to his possession and family), for we find the very reverse of this condition to be true. The Jews, instead of returning to their possessions during that time, were in captivity to and serving the King of Babylon. How, then, and when will this returning feature of the Jubilees be accomplished?

As shown in SCRIPTURE STUDIES, Vol. II., chap. 6, Israel celebrated 19 Jubilees before going into captivity, and we have no reason to doubt that at each of these celebrations the RETURNING of the people to their possessions was accomplished to the best of their ability.

Now, as 70 was the number of Jubilee Sabbaths or years of REST celebrated for the land (during the captivity), but only 19 Jubilees or years with the RETURNING feature were celebrated, when will the other 51 Jubilees or years with the RETURNING feature be fulfilled? We answer:–

70–Full number of Jubilee Cycles ordained of God.

19–Cycles (with Jubilees) celebrated (50 years each) = 950 yrs.

51–Cycles remaining (without Jubilees) celebrated (49 years each) = 2,499 ”

Total years = 3,449

Number of years Israel entered Canaan before the date known as A.D. 1…..1,575 ”
Total number of years since date known as A.D. 1 to complete above period of 3,449……………. 1,874 ”

Or the year 1874 A.D. completes the above period as was actually fulfilled. This date, 1874, is just 51 years prior to the year 1925 A.D., which, in the first calculation, was found to be the date originally intended by Jehovah as completing the Jubilees for Israel.

Here we have the 51 Jubilees or years to be celebrated all at one time and not individually as were the first 19. What wisdom on the part of our Heavenly Father! The land has already enjoyed the REST feature of the Jubilees (while the Jews were serving in captivity to Babylon) and now Israel, being deprived of the privileges of the RETURNING feature of the Jubilees for 51 Cycles (of 49 years each), can celebrate the 51 Jubilees with RETURNING feature from 1874[3] A.D. to 1925 A.D. And this we find fully corroborated, for in 1874 the first Jewish colony was founded in Palestine. (Overland Monthly, September, 1910, page 324, 7th line from top of page.) And we see every year the increase of Jews RETURNING to their land and fulfilling the purpose of these 51 Jubilees.

The further question as to why Israel remained in the land 19 years after the celebration of the last Jubilee, is answered, to my mind, as follows:–

IS THIS TOO FAR-FETCHED?
If a day symbolically represents a year in Scripture, and 7 days mark to Israel the Sabbath which was carried out in the larger or 7-year system, would not the year symbolically represent the next greater time measure, or the Cycle period? If so, then, after the typical feature had ceased and the Great Antitypical Cycle began to count, Israel’s 19 years in the land and 70 years captivity would fitly represent, or typify, the 19 Jubilee Cycles which Israel celebrated in their promised land, and 70 Cycles or (70 x 50 years = 3,500 years) 3,500 years of captivity before they would be permitted to FULLY POSSESS again their land.

Number of years in 70 cycles………3,500 yrs. Number of years Israel celebrated their last Jubilee

before the date known as A.D. 1…… 625

Number of years after date known as A.D. 1. when the 70 cycles end……… 2,875 ”

The year 2,875 A.D. is just 1,000 years from 1875, the time the Jews began to return to their possessions. At that time, we trust, according to the sure promises of the Lord, the Jews, as well as all mankind, will not only be established in their land but be capable of POSSESSING it and WILL POSSESS it; and it shall be for Abraham and his seed for an everlasting POSSESSION.

Your Brother, sincerely for truth, in love, HAL KAUP.

—————————————-

WOW! Is that heavy enough for you? You may have to read the article a few times to get the gist of it? Certainly when compared to modern Watchtower magazines it is strikingly obvious how flaky, dull and unremarkable modern WT literature is. At least the “old stuff” got the grey cells working – albeit squiffy!

So what do these calculation reveal? Well first, the writer believes that the term “seventy Sabbaths” should be counted in terms of seventy cycles of Sabbaths. Adopting this method an eschatological spin is imbued upon the text. This typological interpretation invokes the day for a year principle. One calculation proposed is that 70 cycles of Sabbaths = 70 x 50 = 3,500 years. Then by counting from 1575 B.C. (Bible Student date for entry into promised land) forward 3,500 years we arrive at 1925. Thus according to all three calculations in 1925 the Jews would FULLY POSSESS the land of Palestine.

Unfortunately this method of interpretation involves elaborate systems which read history back into the original text – in this case 1925. However an impartial examination of the biblical text both in Jeremiah and Chronicles limits interpretation to seventy literal years – period. The purpose of the seventy years exile was to pay back the Sabbaths, which the Jews had failed to keep. In no way is the writer suggesting further eschatological application.[4] The James Fausset-Brown Commentary notes:

“until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths” —The return of every seventh was to be held as a sabbatic year, a season of rest to all classes, even to the land itself, which was to be fallow. This divine institution, however, was neglected—how soon and how long, appears from the prophecy of Moses (cf. Leviticus 26:34), and of Jeremiah in this passage (cf. Jeremiah 25:9-12), which told that for divine retribution it was now to remain desolate seventy years.

The point to note is the prophecy of Jeremiah HAS BEEN FULFILLED! We need not try and expand upon the clear literal meaning. Additionally the proposed date of 1575 B.C. for entry into the promised land is questionable. Modern evangelical scholarship alongside archaeological evidence propose two main dates circa 1406-1410 or 1240-1280 B.C. This in itself throws into disarray Klaup’s calculations. However despite the obvious facts those who buy into Russellite “end-time” speculation ignore the plain meaning and instead look for hidden meaning – latent Gnosticism?

How then did C.T. Russell understand the year 1925? Did he adopt the suggestions of Hal Kaup? After-all Kaup based his calculations on articles written by Russell in the “overland Monthly”. I’ll let Russell speak for himself. In the April 15th 1916 Watchtower magazine[5] under the heading “Interesting Letters” Russell writes:

We cannot help it that many of the dear friends continue to tell what THE WATCH TOWER believes, and to misrepresent its teachings. Our kindest thought must be that they are not giving much heed to its teachings. Otherwise they would know from its columns that we are not looking forward to 1925, nor to any other date. As expressly stated in THE WATCH TOWER, we are simply going on, our last date (1914) or appointment having been passed more than a year ago. We believe that the dates have proven to be quite right. We believe that Gentile Times have ended, and that God is now allowing the Gentile Governments to destroy themselves, in order to prepare the way for Messiah’s Kingdom.

So there we have it, six months before Russell’s death he was convinced that 1914 marked the terminus date and NO FURTHER dates are indicated in scripture. Russell directly refutes WT readers who were promulgating 1925. Clearly to Russell the Gentile times had ended and the Messianic Kingdom was soon to be established. Included in that Kingdom was the full restoration of the Jews to Palestine.

Hindsight has a nasty habit of showing us up for what we really are. Russell did not live to see the end of WW1. Had Russell lived to see peace would he have grappled with another date? Perhaps, but the reality was J.F. Rutherford was the man who had to make sense of the ongoing existence of “this evil system” after 1916. Certainly Rutherford still believed in much of Russell’s chronology including 1874 (Christ invisible return). However Rutherford began to add dates, which previously had been rejected – one of which was 1925.

This revision began in February 1918. As is common with eschatologically motivated groups Rutherford was able to re-ignite urgency into the remaining followers by announcing a new slogan “The World has ended – Millions Now Living May Never die!” later in March the title was changed to the more compelling “The World Has ended – Millions Now Living will Never die[6] The WBTS official History book notes this new date:

“What an exciting message they proclaimed–“Millions now living will never die!” Brother Rutherford had given a discourse on this subject in 1918. It was also the title of a 128-page booklet published in 1920. From 1920 through 1925, that same subject was featured again and again around the world in public meetings in all areas where speakers were available and in upwards of 30 languages.”[7]

How though did Rutherford arrive at the prophetic date 1925? In a nutshell he used calculations similar (if not borrowed?) from the article written by Hal Kaup. Note the similarities:

Seventy jubilees of fifty years each would be a total of 3500 years. That period of time beginning 1575 before A.D. 1 of necessity would end in the fall of the year 1925, at which time the type ends and the great antitype must begin. What, then, should we expect to take place? The chief thing to be restored is the human race to life; and since other Scriptures definitely fix the fact that there will be a resurrection of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and other faithful ones of old, and that these will have the first favour, we may expect 1925 to witness the return of these faithful men of Israel from the condition of death, being resurrected and fully restored to perfect humanity and made the visible, legal representatives of the new order of things on earth.” [8]

Thus according to Rutherford 1925 would witness the restoration of Israel to the land along with the resurrection of the Patriarchs. At this time the “new order” would be fully established.

“The Bible and “The Bible in Stone” [the Pyramid of Giza] give the date 1914: for the beginning of the great change. History proves that the ouster proceedings began promptly on time. Prophecy indicates that 1925-1926 will see the greater part of the ousting completed. All the world’s statesmen are dreading the next few years.”[9]

Here Rutherford refines the 1914 date claiming it is only the beginning of the ousting (of earths rulers), and that 1925-26 would see the completion.

“When you take up a more advanced study of the Bible, you will find that the year 1925 A. D. is particularly marked in prophecy.”[10]

Please note Rutherford claimed these dates were not his own but from “God himself”:

“… this chronology is not of man, but of God…. the addition of more proofs removes it entirely from the realm of chance into that of proven certainty…. the chronology of present truth [is]… not of human origin.”[11]

“The year 1925 is a date definitely and clearly marked in Scriptures, even more clearly than that of 1914[12]

Expectations for 1925 included:

1) the end of Christendom

2) the return of earth to a paradise

3) the resurrection of the dead to earth, including the Patriarchs

4) the Zionist teaching of the reestablishment of Palestine

5) The rapture of the elect including the Great Company

6) Opportunity to those unbelievers living to enter restoration

millions pic 2millions-will-never-die-stand

 

Advertisement: “This means what it says – It is a fact”

The above predictions were part of a vocal campaign between 1918-1925. The goal was to whip up expectation among Bible Students, much like Russell had done for forty years prior to 1914. Figures from the era show positive results:

“This resulted in bringing into the sanctuary many more to be members of this remnant consecrated by Jehovah. This was evident from the increasing attendance at the annual celebrations of the Lord’s evening meal,

32,661 participating in 1922;

42,000 in 1923;

62,696 in 1924; 

90,434 in 1925″[13]

These impressive figures plummeted as 1925 came and went and many left the organization thoroughly disillusioned. Interestingly no figures for the “memorial” were provided in the years 1926 and 1927. When finally in 1928 attendance figures were published again – “memorial” attendance had dropped from 90,434 to 17,380 with average publishers of 44,080.[14]

Despite failed predictions, Rutherford doggedly held to the imminent return of the Patriarchs. In 1929 to welcome these ancient worthies back to earth Rutherford acquired a palatial mansion in San Diego California that he named “Beth Sarim” (House of Princes). The deed for “Beth Sarim”, written by Rutherford, said that the property was to be held “perpetually in trust” for the Old Testament “princes” and was to be surrendered to them once they arrived!”[15] This house stood as a monument to failed prophecy. It was eventually sold in 1948 as yet another embarrassing episode in Watchtower history.

house of princes beth sarim

In the March 1st 1925 edition of the Watchtower magazine Rutherford presented “New light” in addition to what he had predicted in his “Millions” campaign. His article was entitled “Birth of the Nation” – many have interpreted this move as an attempt to prepare early for what might be another prophetic failure! We might call it a pre-emptive strike!

In summary, Rutherford explained that the birth of the nation (God’s Kingdom) had taken place in 1914. At that time Satan and his host had been cast out of heaven, and in 1918 he (Satan) began to “persecute the members of the Church on earth” (WBTS officials). Society officers were imprisoned, and after their release on March 26th, 1919, the true Church “fled into the wilderness for 1260 literal days…at the end of which period the remnant of the Church on earth makes a bold proclamation of its allegiance to the King and his Kingdom, and announces its determination to begin and press the fight against Satan’s empire until it is excluded from the earth”[16]

Russell had always understood the 1260 days of Daniel 7:25 and Revelation 12:6, 14, to be interpreted as years. Russell applied the 1260 years to the begging and end of papal power 539-1799. What was Rutherford claiming? Firstly that the 1260 days[17] of revelation 12:1-7 applied to the officials of the WBTS, and secondly, that the birth of the male child (Rev 12:5) was fulfilled in 1914 with the birth of Gods Kingdom. This is a shocking contradiction to the Finished Mystery of 1917 pg. 183[18], which identifies the “Child born” as the clergy class/Papacy or anti-Christ! Rutherford completely changed the meaning reading the societies 1914-1919 experiences back into scripture (eisegesis). To this day Rutherford’s interpretations are upheld in modern Watchtower publications:

“Therefore, the birth seen by John closely involves Jesus Christ. No, it is not Jesus’ being born of a virgin back before the first century of our Common Era; nor could it refer to Jesus’ being raised again to spirit life in 33 C.E. Furthermore, it is no transmigration. Rather, it is the birth of God’s Kingdom in 1914 as a reality, with Jesus—now in heaven for close to 20 centuries—enthroned as King.”[19]

The after-math of 1925 along with Rutherford’s new doctrines impacted the lives of Bible students in various ways. Prior to 1925 many people had given up jobs, sold homes, failed to plant crops all in the hope that very soon they would be living in a paradise earth or be raptured to heaven. William J. Schnell reminisces:

“This expectation was fanned by every publication of the organization of that time…I well remember that in the fall of 1924 my father offered to buy me a much needed suit of cloths. I asked him not to do it since it was only a few months to 1925, and with it would come the Kingdom”[20]

As has been expressed after 1925 thousands left the society. However marketing strategies aimed at absolving the society of responsibility appeased doubting members. The official line was; members had “wrong expectations” or “God was using this “wrong expectation” to sift the wheat”. These are classic examples of shifting blame upon members. Sadly with the passing of time such rhetoric restored confidence in the society and over time with each generation of new believers 1925 sank into obscurity.

Interestingly the modern society actually misrepresents the “Millions” campaign, for example the Watchtower 1963 May 15 p.294 reads:

“The “Millions Now Living Will Never Die” slogan applied only to the “great crowd” of “other sheep,” mentioned in the Scriptures at Revelation 7:9 and John 10:16, whose destiny is an earthly paradise.”

Notice the  claim is “Millions now living will never die” applied to members of the Great Crowd class. However this misrepresents the doctrinal position of the watchtower in 1925 (and prior). While the society acknowledged both a “Little flock” and “great crowd” class, BOTH groups were viewed as inheriting eternal life in heaven!

“… all the facts and the scriptures bearing upon the matter under consideration show that those who form the great multitude constitute a spirit class, born on the spirit plane.” (Watchtower 1927 15 Jan pp.19-20 “The Great Multitude)

The difference between the “little flock” and “Great Crowd” was one of assurance and election:

“Does the Great Company receive life direct from God on the spirit plane? Answer — Yes, they receive life direct in that they have been begotten of the Holy Spirit, and when they are begotten they are just the same way as the little flock, because we are called in the one hope of our calling. They do not make their calling and election sure, but not being worthy of second death, they therefore receive life on the spirit plane.  (What Pastor Russell Said p.297)

In Vol. six of “Studies in the Scriptures” 1904, Russell wrote:

The Great Company (Great Crowd) who will come up out of the Great Tribulation and wash their robes and make them white in the blood of the lamb; but while gaining a SPIRITUAL PLANE (Heaven) and great blessings and participation in the MARRIAGE SUPPER of the lamb as guests, they will, nevertheless, loose the privilege which is to go to the VERY elect only…He (Jesus) will lead these (Great Crowd) to perfection on a lower plane of SPIRIT-BEING” pg. 168-169

So the “Millions” whom Rutherford was speaking about were un-saved humanity who would enter into the “trial for life” in the Millenium! This is a little known fact. The 1921 book “The Harp of God” had inscribed on the cover “Proof Conclusive that Millions now Living will never Die”. This book went into great detail to explain the generosity of God to save the majority of humankind to be educated in this new system of things. After describing life in a New System with reference to Isaiah 35:4-6 The Harp of God p.331 said:

“when these great miracles begin to be performed on the earth, then the most sceptical it is to be hoped, will believe that the Lord Jesus reigns.”

Only later in Rutherford’s tenure did he down-grade the “Great Crowd” to an earthly class. This “new light” provided much needed impetus to the preaching work. When enacted a “new and important” ingathering of the “Great crowd” class began. Slowly Rutherford re-defined the Watchtowers doctrinal position creating ever more dualism between those in “God’s organisation” and those in “Satan’s world”.  Most modern witnesses today would have no idea that Russell and Rutherford (for many decades) previously taught that ALL faithful watchtower members would “go to heaven”!

That the modern day Watchtower society can cover over and willfully distort historical facts is alarming. Robert Bowman notes that the primary doctrinal system of the Watchtower creates a self-correcting, self-authenticating matrix. In other words whatever doctrine the Watchtower decides to create, is interdependent and thus both rely on each other and serve each other to reinforce each other. This interrelationship helps enforce doctrinal revision and thus makes breaking free from WT theology extremely difficult even in the face of failed prophecy.[21]

It is clear that threating articles[22] written by the society during and after 1925 intended to intimidate and discredit anyone who would disagree with Rutherford’s “new light”. However, despite contrary claims, the Watchtower society in 1925 WAS complicit in proclaiming FALSE predictions IN THE NAME OF GOD, which resulted in much mental anguish, emotional turmoil and material loss for members. No losses were ever reimbursed. No apology to members was ever made. 1925 was NOT and is NOT a credible biblical date.

According to the plumb line of scripture a false prediction IN THE NAME OF GOD is not just a “mistake” it is a theological CRIME and BLASPHEMY.

Deuteronomy 18:21-22 “And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the LORD has not spoken?’— when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.

If you are a disenfranchised Jehovah’s witness or Bible student, if you are confused over the various failed watchtower predictions please note what Moses said: YOU NEED NOT BE AFRAID OF HIM. Who? The watchtower society! I urge you NOT to fear the Watchtower false prophets. Scripture is very clear these men; these so-called “anointed ones” are in practice false prophets. Check the record yourself – every date has failed. 1925 marks yet another landmark failure. Additionally the WT hermeneutical procedure of reading contemporary WT history back into scripture is an exegetical non-starter. It simply has no merit and is confirmed as defunct by failed predictions.

Where though can we find “truth”? What is the “way” in which we should walk? How can we obtain eternal life? If “truth” is not to be found in the Watchtower society where can we find it? Please meditate on Jesus words and what they mean for you and your eternity.

John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

1 John 5:13 “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.” 

Unlike men Jesus will not fail you. He calls you to himself and offers eternal life as a “free gift” to those who believe. No more worrying about “Armageddon” no more worrying about knocking on doors to be “right” with Jehovah. Jesus offers pure unconditional love to those who believe in him.

Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

May Yahweh God richly bless you as you seek truth and righteous in and through our LORD and Saviour Jesus. I pray that in God’s providence and foreknowledge he will release many more from Watchtower bondage.

Shalom

Jason

FOOTNOTES:

[1] WT Reprints 4778 page 76.

[2] Read Russell articles here: http://www.heraldmag.org/olb/contents/russell/OVM.pdf

[3] Bible students believed that Christ returned invisibly in 1874. For further discussion see: https://watchtowerinvestigated.co.uk/2014/06/17/c-t-russell-and-the-date-1878-by-jason-wright/

[4] I am not suggesting the Jews do not have a role to play in the divine plan. Please see Romans chapter 9-11.

[5] Reprints 5888.

[6] cf. “Jehovah’s Witnesses Proclaimers of Gods Kingdom”, page 719.

[7] Ibid., p.425

[8] WBTS “Millions Now Living Will Never Die” p.88

[9] WBTS “The Way to Paradise” pg. 171.

[10] Ibid., pg.220.

[11] Watchtower magazine July 1st 1922, pg.217.

[12] Watchtower magazine July 15th 1924, pg.211.

[13] Watchtower magazine May 1st 1960 pg.282.

[14] WBTS “Jehovah’s witnesses proclaimers of God Kingdom” pg.313.

[15] Golden Age magazine March 19th 1930 “Beth Sarim Deed” pg.404–407.

[16] Gruss Edmond C. “Jehovahs Witnesses – their claims, doctrinal changes, and prophetic speculation” Xulon Press 2007, pg.193.

[17] This 3.5 year period is understood by pre-millennialists to refer to a period of end times tribulation.

[18] Revelation 12:4 “For to devour her child”. — Absorb it, make it a subordinate feature of the Roman system of government.

“As soon as it was born” — As soon as the development of the clergy class and others equally unfaithful to Christ had made it impossible for them to be retained longer in the true Church.

Revelation 12:5. “And she brought forth a man child.” — The papacy.

Cf. http://www.strictlygenteel.co.uk/finishedmystery/fmr12.html

[19] WBTS “Revelation – its Grand Climax at Hand” 1988 pg. 179-180.

[20] Schnell William J. “Thirty years a Watchtower slave” Grand Rapids: Baker Book House 1956 pg. 33.

[21] Bowman Robert M. Jr. “Understanding Jehovah’s Witnesses” Baker Book House 1992, pg. 91-92

[22] Cf. Watchtower magazine March 1st 1925 pg. 74 and June 1st 1925 pg. 175

Data also drawn/quoted from the following websites:

http://www.jwfacts.com/watchtower/1925.php#fn2

http://www.jwfacts.com/watchtower/failed-1914-predictions.php

http://jwfacts.com/watchtower/great-crowd-other-sheep.php

For a Bible Student defence of 1575 as the entry into Canaan see:

http://www.biblechronology.org/studies/chron2m.pdf

For a scholarly review of the entry date into Canaan as 1406 see:

http://www.academia.edu/2163608/Evidence_for_Inerrancy_from_a_Second_Unexpected_Source_The_Jubilee_and_Sabbatical_Cycles

http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2009/03/30/The-Biblical-Date-for-the-Exodus-is-1446-BC-A-Response-to-James-Hoffmeier.aspx#Article

Please contact me direct at jason02061990@btinternet.com if you wish to talk more.

 

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Categorised in: 1878, 1925, False Prophecies

3 Responses »

  1. Hi Jason,

    Excellent and accurate piece of research. Just one small error which might be a typo :-

    “This revision began in February 1918. As is common with eschatologically motivated groups Rutherford was able to re-ignite urgency into the remaining followers by announcing a new slogan “The World has ended – Millions Now Living will Never die!” later in March the title was changed to the more compelling “The World Has ended – Millions Now Living will Never die”[6] The WBTS official History book notes this new date: Original title of Millions lectures was Millions Now Living May Never Die”.

    Initially it was Millions May Never Die. By April 1918 the title had been changed to Will Never Die.

  2. OK thanks for the update. Can you provide the source references so I can amend. Many thanks – Jason

  3. OK update done – typo error – my apology. Jason

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