Some Watchtower *LIES* analyzed [ADULTS ONLY]

by Focus 58 Replies latest members adult

  • Focus

    This is strictly for ADULTS ONLY, as there is Spiritual Pornography (i.e. quotes from the Beast of Revelation, and the Great Whore of Babylon) below.

    Jehovah's Witnesses / Watchtower *LIES* Exposed & Analyzed

    The mid 1800s yielded lots of false prophesies and false prophets.

    Who Predicted . . . . . . . . . Prediction . . . . . . . Outcome
    Adventist William Miller . . . .Return of Christ in 1843 Failed
    Adventist William Miller . . . .Return of Christ in 1844 Failed
    George Storrs . . . . . . . . . .Return of Christ in 1870 Failed
    Nelson H. Barbour . . . . . . . Return of Christ in 1873 Failed
    Nelson H. Barbour . . . . . . . Return of Christ in 1874 Failed

    Miller, originally a Baptist preacher, and his Millerites were succeeded after his above failures by a number of derivative groups (Advent Christian Church, Life and Advent Union, Second Adventists and Seventh-day Adventists). George Stetson was a pastor of the first-named of these splinters. Storrs published the "Bible Examiner" periodical, founded the second-named of the offshoots - and around 1855 wrote a book called "The Watch Tower"! He and Stetson met and raised one Charles Taze Russell in the Adventist mould - Russell attended their churches, and there is mounds of evidence from Russell's millions of published words that he had greedily assimilated their teachings.

    Nelson H. Barbour was a Second Adventist and editor of "The Midnight Cry and Herald of the Morning", whose last issue was dated October 1874, the month when Christ's fiery return had been predicted by him. This having failed spectacularly, in June 1875 he came out with a new paper, "Herald of the Morning". That year, a past contributor, B.W. Keith, thought of a way out. He referred Barber to the 1864 NT translation, "The emphatic Diaglott", compiled by Benjamin Wilson. There, describing Christ's return, the Greek word "parousia" was translated as "presence" and not as "coming". Neither Keith nor Barbour had any relevant knowledge of Greek, and Keith suggested that the word "presence" allowed for the return to have possibly been invisible. This was a good wheeze, as a claimed invisible return of Christ meant that Barbour's prophecy about Christ returning in 1874 could not be falsified if the return was invisible! That the Bible so inconveniently makes other references to Christ's return being highly visible was, naturally enough, ignored, or deemed to be part of a second stage.

    The idea was not as new as Keith and Barbour thought. Back in the 1820s, a London banker Henry Drummond, who later founded Edward Irving's Catholic Apostolic Church, postulated an "invisible presence" followed by a visible one. The Plymouth Brethren (followers of John Nelson Darby) spread the idea to the United States and elsewhere. Around 1866 Revd. Robert Govett of England publicized the secret rapture concept widely.

    Before 1875 had ended, this ingenious get-out had become a key part of the Barbour creed. It was a necessary saviour, for his record had received a fair deal of public ridicule after the vaunted return in October 1874 had failed to occur. One is reminded of the invisible fine "New Clothes" of that Emperor whose story is found in the old fairy tale:
    "The Emperor with No Clothes"
    There, it was claimed that only the intelligent could see the fine clothes worn by the Emperor. No one wished to be considered foolish, so all - bar one child - pretended that they could see the fine garments on the naked Emperor. Keith and Barbour's version of this was:
    "The Emperor with No Body"
    since the King Christ had allegedly returned, but had no body.

    Of course, being taken to be the sole visible representative of a wholly invisible Lord could mean that one could do pretty much what one liked, claiming that one is just following - EVEN RELAYING - an invisible Lord's commands. Little wonder that this appealed to 24 year old Charles Taze Russell, an ambitious youth who had already proven himself financially astute and who had been schooled in Adventist philosophy by Stetson and Storrs.

    In January of the next year, Russell happened to read the very visible "Herald of the Morning". Page 18 of the 1959 Watchtower history book, "Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose", acknowledges that the "invisible" idea had come from one of Barbour's group to Barbour and thence to Russell. No claim was made in it that Russell had already had the idea separately.

    However, by 1993, the official Watchtower history book, now "Jehovah's Witnesses: Proclaimers of God's Kingdom", had added a significant spin. Page 133 states (bold by me) in article entitled "Growing in Accurate Knowledge of the Truth":

    "In 1876, when Russell had first read a copy of Herald of the Morning, he had learned that there was another group who then believed that Christ's return would be invisible and who associated that return with blessings for all families of the earth."
    "another" ? ? ?

    In context, this use of "another" instead of "a" could only imply that Russell was already aware of this teaching (no other group besides his own and Barbour's having been mentioned in the book here as believing in an invisible presence), and neighbouring text suggests that this was his own belief that he had separately passed on to his own group before reading it in the paper! That is, it was Russell's own idea (taught by him to his group) - found later by him to have also been published in Barbour's magazine. We shall see how credible is this revised account.

    Apologists may suggest there is another interpretation of the text in this Proclaimers book, as if it had stated: 'In 1876, when Russell had first read a copy of Herald of the Morning, he had learned that there was another group, who then believed that Christ's return would be invisible' (notice the comma after the word "group"). But, besides the obvious point that the new sentence would be an absolutely pointless one to make, there is no comma after "group".

    A booklet by Russell does exist, which contains the bones of this "invisible" idea. It is his first-ever publication, and is called "The Object and Manner of Our Lord's Return". In its 64 pages, it contains 15 references to "invisibility", 4 to "parousia", and one to the abovementioned Diaglott.
    The most telling passage within it is on page 51:

    "THE PRESENCE (PAROUSIA) OF CHRIST .. Some may have confounded our remarks on the presence of Christ in a spiritual body, with the presence of the spirit of Christ; but they are quite distinct. The latter never left the church; consequently in that sense He could not 'come again.' Of His spiritual presence He said: 'Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.' We refer to the personal presence which did go away, and will come again, - a spiritual body. The Greek word generally used in referring to the second advent- Parousia, frequently translated coming - invariably signifies personal presence, as having come, arrived (7) and never signifies to be on the way, as we use the word coming. This fact is recognized by many who are looking for the Lord, but the error under which the church in general is laboring"
    and the footnote 7 states, three pages later:

    "'The emphatic Diaglott,' a very popular translation from the New Testament from Griesbach, we believe makes no exception, always translating this word Parousia - presence."
    Now, when was that pamphlet written and published? If it was before Barbour published the "invisible return" doctrine in 1875, then Russell had a good case. Let us examine the evidence.


    "The Watchtower" of January 1, 1949 on page 6 claims "The Object and Manner of Our Lord's Return" was published in 1873. So does the 1959 official history book, "Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose" on pages 557 and 575, the 1984 "Centennial of the WTBTS of Pennsylvania" on page 4 and the 1930-1985 Index (under the heading "Watch Tower Publications, Booklets") on page 916. The 1986-1990 Index plays it safe and does not list the tract at at all!

    The abovementioned 1993 Proclaimers book, however, gives the pamphlet a date of 1877, but buries this fact far, far away from page 133 (where the very same material is discussed, and which would have been a logical place to mention the date) on page 47. Of course, an 1877 publication date for the tract would not sit well with the above-made claim (at page 133) that Russell had the idea of an invisible return independently, when he had admitted encountering it in Barbour's periodical in January 1876! The Proclaimers book often plays this spacing trick...

    The 1975 Yearbook on page 36 is most clear it is 1873:

    "Earnestly endeavoring to counteract such erroneous teachings, in 1873 twenty-one-year-old C.T. Russell wrote and published at his own expense a booklet entitled 'The Object and Manner of the Lord's Return.' Some 50,000 copies were published and it enjoyed a wide distribution."
    Other Watchtower publications place the publication date at 1874 instead - for example, "The Watchtower" of April 15, 1970 says on page 250:

    "Questions That People Ask About Jehovah's Witnesses .. In modern times Jehovah's witnesses began their activity in the early 1870's. In 1870 Charles Taze Russell, brought up by God-fearing Presbyterian parents, was not satisfied with the sectarian explanations of the Bible given him, so he started a Bible-study class with several of his friends. They discovered many of the Biblical truths that had been hidden by Christendom's traditions. In 1874 they published information to debunk the religious theory of the earth's being destroyed by fire at Christ's second coming. They pointed out that the second coming of Christ would be invisible, as the apostles had long before known."

    1873 or even 1874 (before the autumn) is indeed a very convenient time to claim for publishing the "The Object and Manner of Our Lord's Return" tract. Not only would it show that Russell had the idea before Keith (1875) - but indeed, that Russell had the idea before the failure of the key Second Adventist prophecy (October 1874) - truly inspiring! It seems unlikely that Russell would have even had access to The emphatic Diaglott that early - but, not impossible.

    However, Russell's own first account of the chronology does not support an 1873 or 1874 date. Let us first examine the tract itself, whose text suggests in the clearest manner that it was not written until after Russell and Barbour befan collaborating in 1876, at which time Russell accepted all of Barbour's Second Adventist eschatology. On page 62 appears (the emboldening is mine):

    "But it is not my object in this pamphlet to call your attention more fully to the time of the second advent than I have above, in answering some of the chief objections to the investigation of it. (Those interested in knowing the evidences as to the time, I would refer to Dr. N.H. Barbour, editor of the 'Herald of the Morning,' Rochester, N.Y.) I simply add that I am deeply impressed, and think, not without good scriptural evidence, that the Master is come and is now inspecting the guests to the marriage. (Matt. 22:11) That the harvest is progressing, the separation (mental) between wheat and tares now going on, and that the two in the field, mill and bed may be bodily separated at any moment, the wise virgins go into the marriage, and the door to the high calling be forever shut."
    The vigilant reader will have found two clues above that the date of writing of the text within the pamphlet could not have been 1873!

    Firstly, as stated in the beginning of this essay, Barbour's journal until June 1875 had been called not "Herald of the Morning" but "The Midnight Cry and Herald of the Morning". So Russell could not have written the above until after the start of 1875.

    Secondly, and compellingly, Russell would obviously have referred to both the Coming of "the Master" and the commencement of "the harvest" in the future tense had the text been written before October 1874! Instead, he referred to the Coming as being a past event - a fait accompli - and "the harvest" as being in progress (so its commencement was already over).

    Russell was an expert writer. The above evidence is, in my opinion, quite conclusive.

    But there is much more.

    Russell's first reference to the tract in his other publications is in the very first issue (July 1, 1879) of "Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence": an account where he mentions the tract only after - and immediately after - mentioning several 1877 publications by Barbour. Russell makes no claim whatsoever to have reached a conclusion about an invisible return for Christ prior to reading about it in Barbour's "Herald of the Morning". It would have been a logical place for Russell to make this claim had it been true, as this first issue of the Watchtower marked his breaking away with Barbour and contains many statements critical of Barbour and supportive of Russell. But it did not contain any claim that Russell had the idea first, or even independently. Why not? Well, there was no doubt that Barbour would have studied the first issue of this "splinter" magazine (relying as it did almost entirely on the subscription list for his own journal, acquired by Russell) for any factual distortions, and given publicity to any outright lies told by Russell.

    It is 11 years before Russell first retold the story - by which time Barbour was a spent force, and not to be feared. As Russell was never one to hide his light under a bushel (even a bushel of "miracle" wheat!), this in itself is significant. Many, many minor incidents in his life, in which he claimed to have bettered others (especially men of religion) were recounted with ill-concealed glee in the pages of his publications. As a young man, to have independently come to the conclusion that other, far more established religious authorities later adopted, and to be able to prove this by producing a booklet whose date of printing would have established that he, Russell, had sort-of "got there first" would have been an irresistible story... and when it was told, Russell would hardly be ambiguous as to "who got there first"!

    Notably, though, when Russell retells the story, he is deliberately vague. This is what the same magazine of May 1890 says on page 4:

    "Thus passed the years 1869-1872, and the years following, to 1876, were years of continued growth in grace and knowledge on the part of the handful of Bible students with whom I met regularly in Allegheny. We progressed from our first crude and indefinite ideas of restitution to clearer understanding of the details, God's due time for clearer light not having come until 1874. During this time, too, we came to recognize the difference between our Lord as 'the man who gave himself,' and as the Lord who would come again, a spirit being. We saw that spirit-beings can be present, and yet invisible to men, just as we still hold and have set forth in Millennial Dawn, Vol. II., Chap. x. And we felt greatly grieved at the error of Second Adventists who were expecting Christ in the flesh, and teaching that the world and all in it except Second Adventists would be burned up in 1873 or 1874, whose time-settings and disappointments and crude ideas generally of the object and manner of his coming brought more or less reproach upon us and upon all who longed for and proclaimed his coming Kingdom. These wrong views of both the object and manner of the Lord's return led me to write the pamphlet - 'The Object and Manner of The Lord's Return,' of which some 50,000 copies were published. It was about January 1876 that my attention was specially drawn to the subject of prophetic time, as it relates to these doctrines and hopes. It came about in this way: I received a paper called The Herald of The Morning, sent by its editor, Mr. N. H. Barbour."
    So without exactly saying it, he implies by the sequence in which he recounts events that the pamphlet pre-dated 1876. This is an early example of Watchtower weasel-wording - the account might have been a little more credible had the story, as recounted earlier by Russell, agreed with it. Of course, Russell relied on the fallibility of people's memories - 11 years had elapsed since that last telling. However, a careful reading even of this account shows that if it was only in 1874 that God allowed for "clearer light", Russell could hardly have written the tract (which he went on confidently selling for decades) before then in 1873 (as claimed by the Watchtower later). The suggestion here is therefore that Russell wrote "The Object and Manner of The Lord's Return" in 1874 or 1875.

    Sixteen years later, Russell tells the story again - with some small but significant changes. An issue of "Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence" in 1906 uses virtually identical words to describe the events. However, there is one difference - whose significance is subtle enough to slip by even the most diligent reader. See if you can spot it with assistance of the emboldening I have added to the text.

    I first repeat the already-quoted passage from the May 1890 issue:

    "the years following, to 1876, were years of continued growth in grace and knowledge .. We progressed from our first crude and indefinite ideas of restitution to clearer understanding of the details, God's due time for clearer light not having come until 1874."
    and now the material from the July 15, 1906 issue on pages 229-230:

    "The years following, to 1876, were years of continued growth in grace and knowledge .. We progressed from our first crude and indefinite ideas of restitution to clearer understanding of the details; but God's due time for the clear light had not yet come."
    So, while in 1890 Russell claimed that clearer light had come in 1874, in 1906 he stated that clear light was not yet due even in 1876. Of course, the reason for the change is that Russell, by 1906, already had to amend so many of his earlier prophecies (their time having passed without anything happening) that he could hardly claim the divinely-provided interpretive light had been clear 32 years earlier.

    But while doing , Russell - a very able writer - willingly and readingly dropped the implication that "The Object and Manner of Our Lord's Return" was written earlier than 1876. The need to lie about it had passed, or had been subordinated to the need to give the impression that he had not been making a variety of failed predictions for 27 years even after God had thrown new light on the scriptures!

    A further ten years on, Russell again tells the story (he believed in recycling his writings to fill up his books and magazines) on page 171 of the June 1, 1916 issue of "The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence". The text is basically as for 1906, with "the" omitted from in front of "clear light".

    Shortly after Russell died, the magazine included a long and eulogistic telling of Russell's life (entitled "Biography") in its December 1, 1916 issue, stating on page 357:

    "Between 1872-6 he discovered that the Scriptures clearly teach that the Lord would not return in a body of flesh, but would return as a spirit being, invisible to human eyes, and that His second presence was due in the autumn of 1874. This led to the publishing of a booklet entitled, 'The Object and Manner of Our Lord's Return,' which had a phenomenal circulation."
    This would hardly have been the way to express things if "The Object and Manner of Our Lord's Return" had been published in 1873. Or in 1874. Or in 1875. Or even in very early 1876! The tract could not have been published until it had been written in full, and it could not have been written in ful until his discoveries were over (in 1876).

    As an aside, the above Biography was not the only one published by the Watchtower. In 1919 they produced another - a whole booklet devoted to Russell - entitled "The Messenger of Laodicea". From 1923 through to 1927, each annual edition of Russell's first seminal work "The Divine Plan of the Ages" (Volume I of the Studies in the Scriptures) included a biography of him on pages 1-30. Curious then is this statement from the 1959 official JW history book, "Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose", on page 63:

    "'But, is it true you have never published a biography of Pastor Russell? John: That's right. Jehovah's witnesses admire the qualities he possessed as a man, but were we to give the honor and credit to Pastor Russell, we would be saying that the works and success were his; but Jehovah's witnesses believe it is God's spirit that guides and directs his people."
    With characteristic slyness, the Watchtower present the above "facts" as being a conversation between two admittedly fictional JWs, thereby attempting to disclaim responsibility for its truth!

    Returning to our main theme - in the next year, 1917, the truth was really told, in "The Finished Mystery", on pages 386-7:

    "1878 - the year in which the clergy were cast off as representatives of the Divine Word, and when Pastor Russell began his work by the publication of 50,000 copies of Object and Manner of the Lord's Return. In 1878 the stewardship of the things of God, the teaching of Bible truths, was taken from the clergy, unfaithful to their age long stewardship, and given to Pastor Russell."
    The Watchtower slipped up again in 1921 (five years after Russell died) and gave the game away, when in "The Harp of God" they admitted on page 238 that the writing of "The Object and Manner of Our Lord's Return" occurred no earlier than 1875, or more probably 1876:

    "About 1875, while carefully and prayerfully studying the Scriptures, he became convinced of the Lord's second presence, resulting in his writing and publishing a booklet entitled, 'The Object and Manner of Our Lord's Return,' which had a phenomenal circulation amongst the Christian people of the world."
    The above suggested that 1876 was the year of writing the pamphlet. This fits in well with Russell's having encountered Barbour's work in January 1876, as he admitted in the quote from the magazine of July 15, 1906 given above.

    And the 1930-1960 Watchtower Publications Index gives the whole game away and lists the publication date for "The Object and Manner of Our Lord's Return" as 1877.

    On the strength of all the above information, the reader can see that the evidence that the tract was written after Russell had read the "Herald of the Morning" in January 1876 is overwhelming. Whether he wrote it in 1876 or 1877 is irrelevant: it was published in 1877.

    But there is even more proof that the 1873 date for the tract is a false one.

    Unfortunately for the Watchtower, many copies of "The Object and Manner of Our Lord's Return" have survived to the modern day.

    They all - without exception - bear the publication date of 1877, and there is no reference whatsoever to any earlier date of publication or printing, or that it is a second or later impression, a revision, a reprint, a re-release or anything of the sort. They all have "ROCHESTER, N.Y. OFFICE OF HERALD OF THE MORNING 1877" on their front and "Those who may wish to obtain this pamphlet, for distribution or sale, should address order to 'The Herald of the Morning,' Rochester, N.Y." on their back.

    Attempts to get any data supporting an 1873 or even 1874 date from the Watchtower International Headquarters in Brooklyn is met with stony and total silence, and no copy at all of the booklet is maintained in any Watchtower library open to Witnesses - other than those at the very highest levels of the Society. The textual content of the pamphlet is not the reason for this censorship - I have caused it to be placed on the internet, and it is decades out of copyright.

    The reason is that the Watchtower does not have any copies of "The Object and Manner of Our Lord's Return" besides the ones dated after 1876. Just one single example would prove the Watchtower's case. But - none ever existed.

    Since the Watchtower is the one repeatedly making the bold assertion of an 1873 date, it can be seen to be an outright and deliberate lie. The careful separation of the component statements by 86 pages in the 1993 history book, and the deliberately non-chronological telling of the story on page 133 thereof, are like a smoking gun. The motive for this shameful distortion is obvious: to give Russell an air of inspiration, and to hide the plain fact that he borrowed another man's cover-up and built it into an empire - ruled by an invisible Jesus but a very visible Russell!

    So the much-repeated Watchtower claim that the "The Object and Manner of Our Lord's Return" tract was published in 1873 or 1874 has been shown to be a bare-faced lie.


    The established facts are that in 1877 Russell joined Barbour in a business capacity, and worked with him for several years, managing the financial side of the publishing business as well as participating editorially as an assistant. He provided financial backing for the paper.

    Poor naive Barbour! With the subscription list in his possession, Russell then broke away in the summer of 1879, allegedly because he could not agree with Barbour over the atonement. Russell took with him the other assistant editor, J.H.Paton, and many of the readers, and began publishing his own magazine, with basically the same contents and message. He kept to the proven formula: 1799 as the start of the time of the end, and 1874 marking Christ's invisible return, and a whole host of Adventist Millennial doctrines. The magazine he called "Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence", the direct ancestor of "The Watchtower" of today.

    No longer was there a "partner" with whom to share the sizeable profits.

    Paton's role was but one of contributor, and he later fell out with Russell over the ransom teaching. The Watchtower under Russell never varied from this borrowed (as shown above) creed, that Jesus had returned invisibly in 1874. In fact, this same doctrine was held forth for many years, until Russell's death. This appears in the foreword to "The Time Is At Hand", second of Russell's six volume "Studies In Scriptures" series, in its 1916 edition on page ii:

    "The Bible chronology therein presented show that the six great 1000 year days beginning with Adam are ended, and that the great 7th Day, the 1000 years of Christ's Reign, began in 1873."
    And in an article printed just a month before Russell died, the following appeared (in "The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence", September 1, 1916 page 264):

    We see no reason to question the date, October, 1874, as the beginning of the Harvest time and the parallel to the time when Jesus began His ministry in the Harvest time of the Jewish Age.
    Russell never wavered from this. His works include over four hundred explicit references to the year "1874"! Even after Russell died in 1916, the teaching of the invisible return in 1874 was strictly followed, as we can see from the following quotes, the first being from the abovementioned eulogistic biography of Russell:

    "Pastor Russell adhered closely to the teachings of the Scriptures. He believed and taught that we are living in the time of the second presence of our Lord, and that His presence dates from 1874; that since that time we have been living in the 'time of the end' - the 'end of the Age,' during which the Lord has been conducting His great Harvest work; that, in harmony with the Lord's own statement, this Harvest work is separating true Christians designated as 'wheat,' from merely professing Christians, designated as 'tares,' and gathering the true saints into the Kingdom of the Lord. It is here interesting to note that Jesus said, 'Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his Lord hath made ruler over His Household, to give them meat in due season?"
    "The Finished Mystery", 1917, made over twenty references to 1874 as marking the date of Christ's second coming, and, on page 68, states that:

    "Some of the Scriptures, which, when understood in their connections and significance, prove that the Lord's Second Advent occurred in the fall of 1874 are as follows:"
    - followed over the next three pages by an astounding eighty-eight (!) scriptural "proofs" that the Watchtower is correct in saying Christ returned in 1874!

    1874, while still a central plank of Watchtower eschatology, was not pushed quite as hard for the next few years. For example, in "Millions Now Living Will Never Die", 1920, the only reference to 1874 in its 128 pages is a quote on page 28 from the Jewish Enclopedia which states:

    "Lord Beaconsfield, a Jew, came into power in 1874. As Premier of Great Britain Beaconsfield sent the English fleet into the Dardanelles and brought Indian troops to Malta and made a demonstration against Russia. She yielded and agreed to a discussion of the whole affair at Berlin. Accordingly from June 13 to July 13, 1878, the Berlin Congress was held. Beaconsfield compelled Russia to greatly modify her treaty. Turkey was enfranchised and made independent, but upon condition that civil and religious rights be granted to the Jews."
    But this is because a new "key" date, 1925 (though for something quite different) had to be emphasized. This omission was more than made up for in "The Harp of God", 1921, where on pages 229-30, 234-5, 237 and 241 appeared the amazing:

    "The most important thing to which all the prophecies point and for which the apostles looked forward has been the second coming of the Lord. It is described by the Prophet as a blessed time. Daniel then says: 'Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.' (Daniel 12:12). The watchers here, without question are those who were instructed by the Lord to watch for his return. This date, therefore, when understood, would certainly fix the time when the Lord is due at his second appearing. Applying the same rule, then, of a day for a year, 1335 days after 539 A.D. brings us to A.D. 1874, at which time, according to Biblical chronology, the Lord's second presence is due.. The harmony of the ten primary Bible teachings .. It was in the year 1874, the date of our Lord's second presence that the first labor organization in the world was created. From that time forward, there has been a marvelous increase of light, and the inventions and discoveries have been too numerous for us to mention all of them here, but mention is made of some of those that have come to light since 1874, as further evidence of the Lord's presence since that date, as follows: Adding machines, aeroplanes, aluminum, antiseptic surgery, artificial dyes, automatic couplers, automobiles, barbed wire, bicycles, carborundum, cash registers, celluloid, correspondence schools, cream separators, Darkest Africa, disk plows, Divine Plan of the Ages, dynamite, electric railways, electric welding, escalators, fireless cookers, gas engines, harvesting machines, illuminating gas, induction motors, linotypes, match machines, monotypes, motion pictures, North Pole, Panama Canal, pasteurization, radium, railway signals, Roentgen Rays, shoe-sewing machines, skyscrapers, smokeless powder, South Pole, submarines, subways, talking machines, telephones, television, typewriters, vacuum cleaners, and wireless telegraphy.. We mark a wonderful fulfillment of this statement of the Lord as further corroborative proof of the Lord's second presence from 1874 forward.. The great work of the harvest, that is to say, the proclaiming of the second presence of the Lord and the gathering together of those who truly love his appearing, has been so remarkably fulfilled since 1874 that it is one of the most striking and conclusive proofs of the Lord's second presence."
    "The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence", March 1 1922, pages 67-8 contained:

    "The fact of our Lord's second coming is definitely settled by the Scriptures.. The Scriptures show that his second presence was due in 1874.. This proof shows that the Lord has been present since 1874 .. The indisputable facts, therefore, show that the 'time of the end' began in 1799; that the Lord's second presence began in 1874; that the harvest followed thereafter and greater light has come upon the Word of God"
    In the September 15, 1922 issue of the same magazine, on page 278 appeared:

    "No one can properly understand the work of God at this present time who does not realize that since 1874, the time of the Lord's return in power, there has been a complete change in God's operations."
    "The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence", November 1 1922, on pages 333 and 346 was even bolder:

    "Bible prophecy shows that the Lord was due to appear for the second time in 1874. Fulfilled prophecy shows beyond a doubt that he did appear in 1874. Fulfilled prophecy is otherwise designated the physical facts; and these facts are indisputable. All true watchers are familiar with these facts, as set forth in the Scriptures and explained in the interpretation by the Lord's special servant.. Since he has been present from 1874, it follows, from the facts as we now see them, that the period from 1874 to 1914 is the day of preparation.. Since 1874 the King of glory has been present; and during that time he has conducted a harvest and has gathered unto himself the temple class.. The importance of the message of the kingdom cannot be overstated. It is the message of all messages. It is the message of the hour. It is incumbent upon those who are the Lord's to declare it. The kingdom of heaven is at hand; the King reigns; Satan's empire is falling; millions now living will never die. Do you believe it? Do you believe that the King of glory is present, and has been since 1874? Do you believe that during that time he has conducted his harvest work? Do you believe that he has had during that time a faithful and wise servant through whom he directed his work and the feeding of the household of faith? Do you believe that the Lord is now in his temple, judging the nations of earth? Do you believe that the King of glory has begun his reign? Then back to the field, O ye sons of the most high God! Gird on your armor! Be sober, be vigilant, be active, be brave. Be faithful and true witnesses for the Lord. Go forward in the fight until every vestige of Babylon lies desolate. Herald the message far and wide. The world must know that Jehovah is God and that Jesus Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords. This is the day of all days. Behold, the King reigns! You are his publicity agents. Therefore advertise, advertise, advertise, the King and his kingdom."
    "The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence", January 1 1924, page 5 stated:

    "Surely there is not the slightest room for doubt in the mind of a truly consecrated child of God that the Lord Jesus is present and has been since 1874."
    "The Golden Age", March 25 1925, said on page 407:

    "The Truth that The Golden Age stands for is that Christ Jesus returned to earth in 1874."
    "Creation", 1927 edition, included on pages 120-1, 289-298:

    "The second presence of Christ dates from about 1874. From that time forward many of the truths long obscured by the enemy began to be restored to the honest Christian. As William Tyndale was used to bring the Bible to the attention of the people, so the Lord used Charles T. Russell to bring to the attention of the people an understanding of the Bible, particularly of those truths that had been taken away by the machinations of the Devil and his agencies. Because it was the Lord's due time to restore these truths he used Charles T. Russell to write and publish books known as Studies in the Scriptures by which the great fundamental truths of the divine plan are clarified.. The Scriptural proof is that the period of his presence and the day of God's preparation is a period from 1874 A.D. forward. The second coming of the Lord, therefore, began in 1874; and that date and the years 1914 and 1918 are specially marked dates with reference to his coming.. Twelve hundred and sixty years from 539 A.D. brings us to 1799, which is another proof that 1799 definitely marks the beginning of 'the time of the end'. This also shows that it is from the date 539 A.D. that the other prophetic days of Daniel must be counted.. From shortly after 1799, the date of the beginning of 'the time of the end,' we should expect to find an increase of knowledge, particularly with reference to the Bible.. There are two important dates here that we must not confuse, but clearly differentiate; namely, the beginning of 'the time of the end' and the beginning of the presence of the Lord. 'The time of the end' embraces a period from 1799 A.D. to the time of the complete overthrow of Satan's empire and the establishment of the kingdom of the Messiah. The time of the Lord's second presence dates from 1874 and is during the latter part of the period known as 'the time of the end'."
    In the foreword on page 4 of the 1927 edition of "The Divine Plan of The Ages" appeared:

    "Charles Taze Russell .. Like other Christians he was looking for the second coming of Christ. Between 1872-6 he discovered that the Scriptures clearly teach that the Lord would not return in a body of flesh, but would return as a spirit being, invisible to human eyes, and that his second presence was due in the autumn of 1874"
    "The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence", February 15 1927, said on page 54:

    "The proof is quite clear and convincing that the second presence of our Lord dates from 1874, and that from that time forward the Lord Jesus has been gathering together those who have made a covenant with the Lord God by sacrifice."
    "Prophecy", 1929, pages 65-6 stated:

    "The Scriptural proof is that the second presence of the Lord Jesus Christ began in 1874 A.D.. This proof is specifically set out in the booklet entitled Our Lord's Return."
    We can therefore see that from the very start, through to the death of Russell in 1916 and for 13 years thereafter, 1874 was consistently taught by the Watchtower to be the date of Christ's return, or second presence. During the later, more authoritarian period of Russell's presidency of the Society, and that of his successor "Judge" J.F. Rutherford (who was always dictatorial), any deviation therefrom would have been viewed as traitorous, heretical apostasy, punishable by excommunication ("disfellowshipping").

    The first reference to 1914 and not 1874 as marking Christ's second presence or coming was in 1930, where on page 503 of "The Golden Age", May 14 1930, appeared:

    "Jesus has been present since 1914"
    This was presented without explanation - indeed, any explanation would have had to say that the new date 1914 contradicted over fifty years of Watchtower teaching on an absolutely vital doctrinal point! Of course, the real reason for the change was that nothing relevant had happened in the 56 years since 1874, so a more recent date was needed... The same issue also moved the date of the "beginning of the last days" from 1799 to 1914.

    The Watchtower pendulum swung back, though, when in "Creation", 1939 edition, page 310, there appeared:

    "The Scriptural proof is that the period of his presence and the day of God's preparation is a period from 1874 A.D. forward. The second coming of the Lord, therefore, began in 1874; and that date and the years 1914 and 1918 are specially marked dates with reference to his coming."
    And it was not until 4 years later that they decided how to play it! "The Truth Shall Make You Free", 1943, page 300, contained:

    "Jesus came to the Kingdom in A.D. 1914, but unseen to men."
    And in 1944, "The Kingdom Is at Hand" confirmed this 180-degree tacking in Watchtower teaching. 1799 and 1874, taught for over fifty years to be the cornerstone of reliable scriptural chronology by the Watchtower, were now entirely discarded without apology or shame!

    1 Corinthians 14:33 teaches:
    "For God is not the author of confusion .."

    While the Watchtower has from time to time been compelled in its revisionist history books to admit that there was a change (of course, they make it out as being a minor adjustment - after all, that for forty years Watchtower followers believed that Lord Jesus Christ was present, when the Watchtower later said he was not, was just a mere trifle!), every now and again it makes statements which present a very different view. Invariably, the Watchtower commits this deceit to show that what it now says was the significance of 1914 was also what it said then, i.e. prior to 1914.

    These oft-made claims by the Watchtower that prior to 1914, the year World War I broke out, "they" were looking forward to 1914 for the return of Christ are clearly, in the light of the proof presented above, seen to be entirely false and deceitful. During the entire period from 1879 to 1930, and at least once later, the official teaching had been that Christ had already returned invisibly in 1874.

    Here follow a half dozen examples of this type of outright lie (emboldening is by myself and is dor emphasis only). "The Watchtower", June 15 1954, page 370, states:

    "The Revelation of Jesus Christ .. Why, then, do the nations not realize and accept the approach of this climax of judgment? It is because they have not heeded the world-wide advertising of Christ's return and his second presence. Since long before World War I Jehovah's witnesses pointed to 1914 as the time for this great event to occur."
    "The Watchtower", February 1 1961, page 78 states:

    "SIGN OF CHRIST'S PRESENCE .. Yes, it is high time to awake from the gloomy darkness that envelops the old world system, including its religious organizations, and to enjoy the refreshing light of truth. It is already over forty years since the manifold sign of Jesus' second coming began to be observed with the outbreak of World War I in 1914."
    "The Watchtower", July 15 1965, page 428 states:

    "Jehovah's Advancing Organization .. As we look back over the years, we can clearly see how God's organization in modern times has progressed in understanding. For example, it learned that Christ's second presence was to be in the spirit, and not in the flesh as many professed Christians believe. His rule would be from the heavens. This was a new revelation of great importance to God's people who had been anxiously awaiting his second presence toward the end of the nineteenth century."
    "The Watchtower", April Fool's Day 1984, page 16 states:

    "That year 1914 - what of it? .. Today, Jehovah's Witnesses point to the 'sign' given by Jesus and look back upon 1914 as the year when his invisible presence in Kingdom power became a reality. But how could they have had advance knowledge of such a momentous event? Not because of extraordinary human wisdom. No, but because they have prayerfully studied the Scriptures, heeded God's prophetic word and paid more than usual attention to what God's Son foretold."
    "Jehovah's Witnesses Unitedly Doing God's Will Worldwide", 1986, states on page 8:

    "Russell and his associates also saw that Christ's presence was to be invisible, in spirit. The Gentile Times, during which period God's sovereignty was not being expressed through any government on the earth, were to end in 1914. Then God's Kingdom would be established in heaven. These teachings are identified with Jehovah's Witnesses today. Russell and his companions announced these truths far and wide by talks and printed page."
    "Awake!". March 22 1993, stated on page 10:

    "Why Such Eager Expectation of the New World? .. How Near? .. If you are inclined to dismiss all of this as pie in the sky, too good to be true, pause again and reflect. In addition to the features of the composite sign of Christ Jesus' presence, there is Bible chronology that pointed to 1914 as the beginning of his presence. Jehovah's Witnesses published the date 1914 as a significant year in the development of Jehovah's Kingdom rule of the earth, doing so in the Watch Tower magazine of July 1879."
    This last quote is double deception, as not only was there no reference to 1914 until the December 1879 issue, but it was 1874 not 1914 that was taught as marking the date of Christ's presence by the Watchtower at all times from 1879 to 1930, and then on and off until 1943. 1914 was given a wholly different significance.

    These are all LIES as they imply or state that the Watchtower was teaching prior to 1914 that one should be looking forward to Christ's second coming in that year, while in fact the Watchtower had consistently taught until 1930 that the said event had already occurred in 1874!


    "The Watchtower", October 1 1959, page 607 admits:

    "Regardless of who may write certain articles, they are checked carefully by members of the governing body before they are published; so they are properly viewed as coming from the Society."
    Of course, since 1930 the Watchtower has quietly replaced 1874 with 1914 (which previously had been given a very different significance, as marking the very end of Armageddon) as the date of Christ's presence. Which means that from 1879 through the first 35 years of its existence, the Watchtower Society had been falsely proclaiming that Jesus had already returned.

    Matthew 24:23-7 has something to say about people who make precisely such claims:
    "Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."

    We therefore see that even by their own admission, the Watchtower was a "false prophet" and is not to be believed.

    Let us move on to other Watchtower deception. In "Reasoning From The Scriptures", 1985/9, on page 202, we find:

    Are Jehovah's Witnesses a Cult? .. Jehovah's Witnesses are not an offshoot of some church"
    If you need to, read once again the origins of the Watchtower movement at the start of this essay, and you will see that the above statement is most deceitful!

    And to me, the "secret chambers" where Christ is not to be found according to the gospel of Matthew sounds very much like a reference to an "invisible place" where the Watchtower taught from 1879 that Jesus has been hidden since 1874 (date revised to 1914 in 1930, confirmed after some wavering in 1943).

    So we have seen how unstable, unsure and untrustworthy are the promises and predictions of the Watchtower, which have failed time and again. Why let yourself be carried along with them in a steadily downward course to ultimate disaster due to rejecting God's will? God's prophetic Word has not failed. Time has confirmed its truthfulness, its unerring accuracy.

    So who do you think the Watchtower was speaking about when, in "The Watchtower" of February 1, 1971 on page 69, they published the same words:

    "Men of this world offer you nothing stable, nothing sure. Their promises and predictions of better things have failed time and again. Why let yourself be carried along with them in a steadily downward course to ultimate disaster due to rejecting God's will? God's prophetic Word has not failed. Time has confirmed its truthfulness, its unerring accuracy."
    ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

    Clearly, they were warning hapless jWs about listening to their own self-styled "Mother" Organization, guilty as it was of each and every accusation levelled therein! That article went on to say:

    "The generation that saw the start of the time of distress that began in 1914 is now dwindling in numbers. Before it passes off the scene the prophesied 'great tribulation' will come. You can be among the joyful survivors, experience deliverance from a world system that has proved oppressive, unworkable and death dealing."
    Well, this generation has given the Watchtower a few headaches. From the 1930s for two decades, the teaching had been that individuals would have had to be at least 30 years old (the statement was much vaguer) in 1914 to qualify as being part of that generation, as they had to view the events of 1914 with maturity. This meant they had to have been born earlier than 1885. There were only minor adjustments to this dogma until 1968, when the age requirement in 1914 was reduced to 15 years (clearly mature enough, in the view of the Watchtower). This provided a breathing space, as now everyone born before 1900 qualified, and there a lot more of such people (the 1885'ers were 83 years old or older). But time ticked on, so ten years later the elastic generation was stretched a little bit more - so that anyone older than a baby at the time of World War I (1914-1918) qualified. This meant that everyone born before 1914 qualified. This seemed too much to be able to justify, so, probably heartened by demographic data showing that in some parts of the world, people were living much longer, the stretchable generation was in 1980 compressed by the Watchtower and now only those at least 10 years old in 1914 would qualify - so everyone born before 1905 would qualify. Time continued to pass, though, and four years later a considerable extension was given, so that babies born during World War I would have been OK - so everyone born before 1919 would qualify. A generation was now a definite number of years.. But, this would have included people in the generation of 1914 who had not even been born three years after 1914, so a further adjustment had to be made in 1988, when the simplest interpretation was used: "all those alive in 1914". In summary:
    . 1931-1951 1885 (approx)
    . 1952-1967 1882 (approx)
    . 1968-1977 1800
    . 1978-1979 1914
    . 1980-1983 1905
    . 1984-1987 1919
    . 1988-1994 1915

    But sure enough, and true to form, the Watchtower finally quietly dropped even the above teaching that the generation that saw the start of the time of distress that began in 1914 would not pass away before Armageddon. They did this by redefining the word "generation": "The generation that saw the start of the time of distress that began in 1914" simply became "the generation of 1914" and by the new definition of "generation", that could include people who had not even been born in 1914:

    "Rather than provide a rule for measuring time, the term 'generation' as used by Jesus refers principally to contemporary people of a certain historical period, with their identifying characteristics."
    This bit of creative wordplay is found in the November 1, 1995 issue of "The Watchtower", justified in an article on page 16 that stretches for FIVE whole pages and contains many, many leaps of fantasy.

    The title of the article, however, is very apt indeed.

    It is: "A Time To Keep Awake"

    And I agree. It is most surely a time to keep awake. If you do not keep very awake and alert, you will be tricked by those masters of lying and deceit, the Jehovah's Witnesses and their Watchtower Bible & Tract Society.

    Is it a coincidence that if you look up "JEHOVAH" in their earlier Bible Encyclopedia "Aid To Bible Understanding", you find the entry on page number:

    666 ?

    Revelation 13:11-18 says:
    "And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred and sixty six."

    The number of Jehovah-of-the-Watchtower sure is 666 - and the jWs are "a people for his name".

    The Watchtower Society and the Jehovah's Witnesses Cult is an embodiment of SPIRITUAL PORNOGRAPHY, a WOLFISH TRICK, a MOST FILTHY LIE, a CHEAT, a SCAM, a DISGUSTING ABOMINATION, a BLASPHEMOUS INSULT, a WICKED FRAUD, a DISGRACE, a SCANDAL - and a DAMNED OUTRAGE from start to finish. Why argue about it?


    Prominent Bethelite.

    "We need not here repeat the evidences that the 'seventh trump' began its sounding in A.D. 1840, and will continue until the end of the time of trouble" {WT Nov 1880 p1}; "masturbation is no mere innocent pastime but rather a practice that can lead to homosexual acts" {WT May 15 1970 p315; also WT Oct 1 1970 p604}; "If heaven were made the receptacle of the heathen, savages, barbarians, the idiotic, simple, insane and INFANTS, it would cease to be heaven to a considerable extent, and become a pandemonium .. billions of ignorant, imbecile and degraded .. never formed characters [not] fit companions for saints" {WT Oct 15 1896 p245} Fine JW Wisdom!!


    It is FULLY IN ACCORDANCE with the teachings of the WATCHTOWER Bible & Tract Society (WTBTS) for every member of JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES to Carefully Study the above-referenced LIST, which comprises truly fine scriptural food from its own publications. Remember the WTBTS told you to confirm whether what was taught by the WTBTS was in harmony with the Bible - and if not, not to circulate it {WT Mar 1 1894 repr p1629}, to confirm WT teachings against the Bible {WT May 1 1934 p131}, to invite critical examination of your faith {WT Aug 15 1950 p263}, that, far from being wrong, it is your duty to examine religion to see if it is true or false {WT Nov 15 1963 p688}, that you should actively examine your own religion {The Truth That Leads To Eternal Life 1968 p13, a WTBTS publication}, that you should check and examine BOTH sides of a matter {Awake! Oct 22 1973 p6}, that your religion was in no way afraid of being exposed to scrutiny {WT Aug 1 1978 p12}, that you should to be willing to submit everything to scrutiny {Awake! Aug 22 1984 p22/28}, that you should not have a closed mind {WT Nov 22 1984 p3-4}, that you should actively refer to the older publications {WT Jun 15 1985 p12}, that all people are encouraged to examine other religions with an open mind {WT Apr 1 1991 p17} and that you are encouraged to exhibit freedom of thought {Awake! Jun 8 1994 p21}. So, please follow the advice of the WTBTS as just given, and study this LIST very carefully. "You will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free."(John 8:32). Fine advice indeed!

    THE LIST IS PRODUCED IN DIRECT RESPONSE TO A RECENT REQUEST BY THE WTBTS in {WT Dec 1 1990 p19}, where it quotes {WT Dec 15 1914 p377-8}: "If any one knows anything better, let him take it. If any of you ever find anything better, we hope you will tell us." Kindly, Prominent Bethelite has duly obliged. Having read it, if you find the WTBTS has ever told falsehoods, follow the WTBTS advice clearly given in {WT Dec 1 1991 p7} "A religion that teaches lies cannot be true."; if you find the WTBTS has even made one false prophecy, follow the WTBTS advice clearly given in {WT Feb 1 1992 p3} "Beware of False Prophets!" - and cut yourself off from these Foul Cheats.

    (The Greater Anti-Antitype of what the Watchtower demonizes as being the Filthy, Disgusting, Vomit-Eating, Apostate Class)

  • refiners fire
    refiners fire

    Ive often thought about that turncoat Barbour.
    His expectation failed. I wonder,did he realize he was wrong,a false prophet?
    Maybe he was more honest with himself than all the rationalizing justifiers who followed after him.

  • sf

    Dear Focus,

    Focus ---> sf Apr 27, 2001 23:39

    I will telephone when the time is right/ripe. It is not (yet) so.

    (Cuddly, furry, unjellyfishlike Class)

    Is it "soup" yet?



  • ISP

    Hi Focus,

    Great stuff! Glad to see you are OK and fighting fit!


  • TR

    Thanks for that info, Focus. I appreciate it.

    Say, has there ever been a member of the writing staff besides R.Franz that got sick of the bogus teachings, and left the WTS?


    I'm gonna make mince meat outta that Osama!

  • Flip

    Great info Focus, thanks.

    However, it says at Filipians Chapter 8:12, “…behold Brooklehem…an increase in publication sales and the surprising ease of acquiring real estate beats the exposure of failed prophecy hands down, every time, sayeth Jehovah.”


  • AlanF

    Focus, have you returned, or has the above long post been posted by someone else?


  • zerubberballs

    All hail the return of Strider uncrowned king of free men

    cheers frodo, (the "simple truth always defeats complicated lies" classless inhabitant of the under world)

  • bluesapphire

    EXCELLENT! I am copying it and saving it on my file permanently. Thanks for your hard work and nice to see you back. By the way, is Focus the same person as Prominent Bethelite?

  • SixofNine

    Cuddles is back!!

    Me-ouch says the WT kitty.

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