In 1937 WTS taught that Jesus presence began in 1918...

by still_in74 10 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • still_in74

    I found this at freeminds,

    Does anyone here have the book "Enemies" and can add to this quote where the WTS stated that Jesus presence began in 1918?

    Did the WTS really teach in 1937 that Jesus presence started in 1918? If so for how long until they changed back? What was the reason for the change?


    Published in 1937, this book captures exquisitely the paranoia of then Watchtower Leader Joe Rutherford. Like "tricky Dick" Nixon, Rutherford had a long "enemies list." It included anyone who opposed him, questioned him or even looked at him funny!

    Little known fact: Central to the JW doctrine is the year of Christ's return, and there have been MANY dates for it, including 1874 and 1914. When this book hit the presses, they thought Christ had returned in 1918!

    "The proof shows that the time of his coming was in 1918... Those who deny this are against God and his kingdom, regardless of what they may claim."

  • blondie

    I think you will find that is different than his coming as king in the adjusted 1914 date. in 1918 it was felt that Jesus came to inspect the temple and choose his faithful followers.

    *** w04 3/1 p. 14 par. 8 ‘The Faithful Slave’ Passes the Test! ***Then in 1919 something unexpected happened. We read: "Right in the middle of the night there arose a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Be on your way out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and put their lamps in order." (Matthew 25:6, 7) Just when things seemed darkest, there was a call to get active! In 1918, Jesus, "the messenger of the covenant," had come to Jehovah’s spiritual temple to inspect and cleanse God’s congregation. (Malachi 3:1) Now, anointed Christians needed to go out and meet him in the earthly courtyards of that temple. It was time for them to "shed forth light."—Isaiah 60:1; Philippians 2:14, 15.

    *** w93 5/1 pp. 15-17 pars. 1-4 Expanded Activities During Christ’s Presence ***CHRIST’S presence—the long-awaited event! The time like "the days of Noah," which Jesus spoke of in connection with "the conclusion of the system of things," arrived in the year 1914. (Matthew 24:3, 37) But what would Christ’s presence, or pa·rou·si´a, mean for the anointed remnant of "the faithful and discreet slave"? (Matthew 24:45) Why, that they would have to become increasingly more active as light bearers! Marvelous things were due to happen! An unprecedented gathering work was about to begin.


    First, though, these anointed Christians needed cleansing. As Malachi 3:1-5 had foretold, Jehovah God and his "messenger of the covenant," Jesus Christ, came to inspect the spiritual temple in the spring of 1918. Judgment was to begin with "the house of God." (1 Peter 4:17) Malachi 3:3 foretold: "He [Jehovah] must sit as a refiner and cleanser of silver and must cleanse the sons of Levi; and he must clarify them like gold and like silver." It was a period of refining and cleansing.


    Passing through this judgment, which climaxed in 1918, the remnant of the slave class was cleansed from worldly and religious defilement. Why did Jehovah cleanse them? Because his spiritual temple was involved. This is the templelike arrangement for worshiping Jehovah on the basis of the propitiatory sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Jehovah wanted his temple to be in a clean condition so that when large numbers of worshipers with earthly hopes were brought there, they would find a place where his universal sovereignty is respected, where his divine name is sanctified, and where his righteous laws are obeyed. Thus, they would appreciate Jehovah and join in making known his grand purposes.




    In 1919 the cleansed slave class could look forward to ever-expanding activities. Back in 1914, Jesus Christ, their Master, had obtained a heavenly Kingdom. When he returned to his household staff to inspect all his "domestics," he was arrayed in royal dignity, which he had not possessed when he was down here on earth. What did he find? Was the slave class busy caring for the Master’s interests? As recorded at Matthew 24:45-47, Jesus asked a question that challenged each anointed disciple to examine his personal devotion to Jehovah’s Messiah: "Who really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics, to give them their food at the proper time? Happy is that slave if his master on arriving finds him doing so. Truly I say to you, He will appoint him over all his belongings."

  • Leolaia

    The context is clear that Rutherford was talking about Jesus coming to the temple company in 1918:

    "The second coming of the Lord and the beginning of his reign must precede by three and one-half years his coming to the temple and gathering unto himself his faithful ones....Before the coming of the Lord Jesus there must be, as the Scriptures point out, a preparatory work done concerning Christ's second coming. The facts show that for forty years prior to 1918 the Lord caused his faithful followers to proclaim throughout the earth the second coming of the Lord, to the end that those who was faithfully devoted to him might be prepared to receive the Lord...The proof shows that the time of his coming was in 1918 and that he has since been at the temple. Those who deny this are against God and his kingdom, regardless of what they may claim" (Enemies, 1937, pp. 315-317).
  • VM44

    "Those who deny this are against God and his kingdom, regardless of what they may claim"

    So that is the proof Judge Rutherford offers? If you disagree with what I have said, you are against God and his kingdom?


    I am not impressed.

  • still_in74

    thanks for clarification on this. I have to admit the way freeminds highlighted it as a temporary change in the 1914 teaching had really surprised me!

  • VM44

    ...and yet, one cannot say that Judge Rutherford was not a success. He was successful at being the head of a religious organization and printing company and being the leader of a group of people, nothing else.

  • potentialJWconvertswife

    I cannot wrap my mind around this teaching. It makes no sense whatsoever. There are passages in teh Bible that state (wish I could remember where- John?) that Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father. That is a present tense statement. So how does that mesh with the WT doctrine? He's sitting there doing nothing until 1914??? In another verse it says that Jesus has dominion over all things...

  • still_in74

    "Those who deny this are against God and his kingdom, regardless of what they may claim"

    So that is the proof Judge Rutherford offers? If you disagree with what I have said, you are against God and his kingdom?

    Yes, all the facts show...... current events prove.......... the facts prove......... etc. etc. How can a lawyer talk so much and yet NEVER ONCE substantiate a single word that he has ever spoken/written ?

    I cannot believe that hatred I have developed for this man. What an ass!

  • TD

    Leolaia is right. From the Rutherford era on, JW's believe that Christ "Arrived" (Became present) in 1914, but that he "Came" (To the temple for judgment) in 1918.

    The reason they must go through these gymnastics is that in order to preserve the doctrine of Christ's invisible presence, they must differentiante the use of the word Parousia at Matthew 24:3 & 27 from the use of the word Erchomai at Matthew 24:30.

    In other words, Christ's "Presence" and Christs "Coming" must be two separate and distinct events. --Else it would become apparent that the two words as they are used in the Olivet are practically synonyms and the doctrine of Christ's invisible presence would crumble.

  • Deputy Dog
    Deputy Dog

    What I would like to ask the JWs is; Are we talking about Jesus presence, or Michael's?

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