by Chariklo 16 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • AnnOMaly

    If I remember correctly, it was originally to do with parallels between Jesus' first advent and the second one. Very roughly:

    29 CE/1874 CE - Jesus' baptism and ministry starts/presence starts,

    33 CE/1878 CE - Jesus hailed as king riding into Jerusalem/Jesus' installation as king in the heavens; Jesus inspected Jerusalem's temple (threw out the extortioners)/Jesus inspected spiritual temple; also the "church of the Scribes and Pharisees" 1 was cast off/apostate, Babylonish Christendom was cast off. 2 Also resurrection of Jesus/first resurrection of the Christ class.

    Later in Ratherflawed's time, these parallels were transposed onto the 1914-1918/19 period and built upon.


    1 As at the end of his three-and-one-half year's ministry, Jesus wept over that church, gave them up and said: "Your house is left unto you desolate," so we believe that at the parallel point of time--the spring of 1878, the nominal gospel church was given up and their house left desolate. Until the harvest of their age, all outward Jews--"wheat and chaff" were spoken to and of as Israel but Jesus did a separating work--"His fan is in his hand" to winnow the chaff from among the wheat and when the work of separation is accomplished the wheat only is recognized. So here true and false grow side by side in the church and together they are nominally "The kingdom of Heaven"--"Let both grow together until the harvest"-- but in the harvest of this age "He will gather out of his kingdom all things that offend," &c. 'Matt. 13:30,41'. But since the spring of 1878 we believe that the nominal church is cast off and now only the wheat--"the little flock"--is to be considered the church and we believe this to be the date of the beginning of the fall of Babylon church, the parallel to the date of the fall of the church of the Scribes and Pharisees--hypocrites, who encompassed sea and land to make one proselyte." Their fall was gradual, so is Babylon's. - ZWT 1879, Nov., p. 2 [R46].

    2 'To our understanding, as already shown in the MILLENNIAL DAWN series, 1878 marked the date for our Lord's assumption of Kingly authority and his judgment upon Babylon the Great, characterizing her as "fallen," and calling for all the people of God to come out of her: and that it marked also the date for the faithful overcomers of the past to have a share in the first resurrection--to enter into the joys of their Lord, and hear his words, "Well done, good and faithful servants."' - ZWT 1901, Feb. 1, p. 60 [R2765].

  • 00DAD

    All that being said, it is informative to consider that current JW beliefs are essentially COMPLETELY different than what they were when supposedly "chosen" in 1918/1919.

    This brings up a logical dilemma:

    1. If Current Beliefs are correct, then what JWs believed in 1918/1919 was wrong. If what they believed then was wrong, then Jesus would have categorically rejected them as representing either him or True Worship; or,
    2. If JW beliefs in 1918/1919 were correct, then JW beliefs now are incorrect and should be rejected as apostate, false teachings.

    You don't even have to examine any specific doctrinal points to see the power of this line of reasoning: either way JWs are NOT the true religion, not then, not now, not ever.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    For clarification, there are essentially only two beliefs that have remained from Russell's time until now:

    1. Soul Sleep, taken from the Second Adventists, which has two sub-beliefs:

    • No Hell
    • No Immortality of the Soul

    2. Gentile Times ended in 1914 which came from:

    • an idea advanced by John Aquila Brown in 1823
    • expanded upon in the 1830's by a farmer named William Miller
    • later tweaked by Apollos Hale and Sylvester Bliss, whoever they were
    • exposed as false in 1840 by John Dowling, whoever he was
    • reworked by Second Adventists, such as Barbour after 1844
    • then finally take over by Charles Taze Russell as an end time prophecy, with the Gentile times expected to herald the conclusion of Armageddon, not the beginning of the Last Days.

    So practically EVERYTHING taught in Russell's time has been since discarded except two basic beliefs, one of which he got from another religion and the other conceived of and then twisted and mangled by a bunch of crackpots all vying for one-upsmanship to prove their personal understanding of the incontrovertible Word of God!

    Also, some would argue that 1914 shouldn't really be included on this list. What Russell and the early Bible Students believed about 1914 is completely different from what Witnesses believe today. They clearly and unequivocally taught that 1914 was when Armageddon was coming and that it would be THE END of things, not the "Beginning of the End." In fact, the only thing about 1914 that stayed the same was calling it "The End of the Gentile Times", but what that meant to Russell wouldn't even be recognized by a modern JW.

    Of the two beliefs, the evidence is clear that the second is false and the first is, from our perspective as living human beings, completely unverifiable either way. Also the idea of soul sleep is not unique to JWs so it alone would not have gotten them "chosen" in 1918/1919. The closer you look the uglier it gets.

    Nice. Must be holy spirit, excuse me: Holy Spirit!!! Definitely got the fingerprints of God all over this one!

  • thetrueone

    The application of relational logic and religious cults such as the JWS are not synonymous with one and another. Back in the early 1900's the IBSA and the WTS. run by Russell were just another fringe religious group framed by the present Adventist theology, which in reality was a great religious theology for commercial exploitation, in selling literature and drawing crowds to public talks. The commercial aspect of this religious organization was seen advantageous even when most of its predictions failed to evolve. It was still seen as a viable source of money and power for those who wanted to precede on in the way it had by the previous leader, namely C Russell. When Rutherford grasp hold of the publishing house the game was his play with, even though he too was a incompetent bible theologian.

  • Chariklo
    Later in Ratherflawed's time, these parallels were transposed onto the 1914-1918/19 period and built upon.

    Yes, built upon and fantasised around, but all that reasoning is exactly how it was explained to me. I think I'd have asked a better question is I'd asked "Just how do they actually believe all this?" because it is so clearly ridiculous. Well, to me at any rate.

    Yet the extraordinary thing to me is that they kept emphasising it, stressing it as a prime item of belief. And elder brought it up with me as recently as mid-February. And it was just one of the reasons I am no longer there!

    Interesting 00DAD, especially about the Gentile Times. That too is made a big thing of in the local congregation. Or so it seemed to me.

    All very strange.

  • breakfast of champions
    breakfast of champions

    To be honest, no one gives a rat's ass about 1919 or 1918 or whatever. It comes down to pure emotion: you offer everlasting life in paradise = me likey very much.

  • LostGeneration

    Good point there BOC, that really is the bottom line isn't it? People either don't want to or can't accept death, thus they will do the 'mental gymnastics' routine to prove to themselves that "this life is temporary" and that a "real life" is "just around the corner"

  • thetrueone

    The majority of JWS today know nothing about 1919 and what significance it holds for the JWS . Rightly since the IBSA was still in effect established at the hands of J Rutherford. Since Rutherford didn't take on the name of the JWS until 1931. JWS today barely know very much about 1914 and the GB doesn't want to bring that out for obvious reasons.

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