Remembering Rutherford

by Sea Breeze 156 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    TD, in line with your comment about the illustration of the WT's literature coming from Jehovah's hands, page 243 of the Preparation book says 'Repeatedly the Lord, through his publications, has given warning to these heady "elective elders" who have wanted merely to talk and exhibit their own learning and express their own wise opinions and who decline to get in line with God's organization and to proclaim the message of his kingdom and to give glory to the Lord.' That statement in Rutherford's book sure seems to say that Rutherford's books and the other WT literature are the publications of the Lord (Jehovah and/or Jesus). See . If the book is saying that then that would would seem to mean that all of the false predictions and other false teachings (including ones that the WT now acknowledges were false) were ascribed to being the Lord's. That is a very bad thing to do. I think some early WT literature even used an expression something to the effect of 'these dates are the Lord's dates' in regards to predictions of the WT. Maybe these kinds of statements should be understood as the WT making claims of being in effect a prophet and thus also evidence of the WT being a false prophet.

    The sentence quoted above from Rutherford's book is an example of Rutherford criticizing those who were elective elders. On page 118 he makes a veiled reference to those who believed that the Russell's last will and testament should be strictly followed. In the reference Rutherford makes disparaging remarks not just about those who believed Russell's will should be fully adhered to, but he also disparages Russell. Note that on pages 118 - 119 Rutherford says the following.

    "Prior to 1916 those in a covenant with Jehovah were in a prosperous condition for that time. The great adversity and captivity to Satan's organization came in 1917 and 1918. Thereafter the dreamers, who are opposers, wept and howled, and still weep and howl, because 'the last will and testament of a dead man was not strictly followed', assuming that any man could put a restriction upon God's work. Jehovah by his prophet says to them that instead of being sticklers for adhering to the words and opinions of a deceased man they should study the prophecies, which were aforetime written for the comfort and aid and instruction of God's people, and that they should feed upon these words of the Lord and be diligent to obey his commandments. The Lord caused the prophet Isaiah to write concerning the same class. (Isa. 58:4,5) The Watchtower called attention to this prophecy and urged upon the lukewarm and the weeping ones to awaken and become obedient to the commandments of the Lord. But they continue to go on in their own way and give no heed to the Word of God. — The Watchtower, 1929, pages 131,147.

    Now the time has come to preach the truth and the remnant must give the strictest heed to all the commandments of the Lord. (Acts 3: 22, 23) If they will avert the great calamity of going into captivity to Satan's organization and therefore falling at Armageddon, they must follow closely the Word of God as set forth by his prophets and which Word was written for the

    special aid and comfort of the temple class. It behooves every one of the temple class to now walk circumspectly and render full obedience unto the Lord.

    God's covenant people are commissioned to declare the judgments previously written and to render justice unto others. "AND THE WORD OF THE LORD CAME UNTO ZECHARIAH, SAYING, THUS SPEAKETH THE LORD OF HOSTS, SAYING, EXECUTE TRUE JUDGMENT, AND SHEW MERCY AND COMPASSIONS EVERY MAN TO HIS BROTHER." (7 : 8, 9) Those who have agreed to do the will of God are admonished that they should not show partiality or exalt the name of man. (Ps. 50:20; Luke 16:15)'
  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze

    All the Watchtower has ever done is exalt themselves. Game Over Watchtower.

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    Page 320 of the Preparation book says "Big Business, acting by its hirelings, now grabs the radio stations and other means of communication between the people, and uses such for its own selfish purposes and against Jehovah; but let all who trust in Jehovah be of good courage and know that when Jehovah's due time arrives he will use the radio and everything else to his glory." Regarding the future pages 331-332 say the following.

    'All the families of the earth will be required to come together at a stated time and for one purpose, and that in order that "they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent". (Zeph. 3: 9) Jesus said that the hour would come in which the people would not worship at the literal city of Jerusalem, but only "the true worshippers" would "worship the Father in spirit and in truth". (John 4: 21, 23) The actual place for the assembly of the people will not be in Palestine; but regardless of physical location, all shall assemble unto God's organization, devoting themselves to the

    King and the kingdom. The arrangement of the Kingdom will permit everybody on earth to hear the name of the Lord and join in the praise of his name. No selfish men or commercial interest will then have anything to do with the radio stations; but with one grand radio station operating without interference, and with unlimited power, such will enable the people at all times, with their superfine receiving sets, to hear the message of the Lord and join in praise to his name.'

    Oh really?? That sure is a bold claim about a future radio station. Notice also that Rutherford did not have enough foresight to predict television, nor the internet, nor smart phones, nor 'broadcasting' over the internet.

    Pages 344 -359 of the book state's Rutherford's/WT's self-serving interpretation of the 2,300-day period spoken of in the book of Daniel (though perhaps the WT later revised or abandoned that interpretation). In part, those pages say that 'On the 25th day of May, 1926, Jehovah's covenant people, and therefore his witnesses, assembled in convention at London, England, and adopted and widely published a resolution addressed to the rulers of the world, setting forth that the League of Nations is of the Devil and is an abomination in the sight of Jehovah God, and that the clergy are liars and that they had deceived the other rulers of the nations. ...

    By The Watchtower of August 15 and September 1, 1932, the Lord made known to his covenant people that there is no Scriptural authority for the office of "elective elder", made so by the vote of other creatures, but that all who are brought into full unity in Christ at the coming to the temple, and who are chosen and anointed, are elders in fact. This is further illustrated and emphasized by the prophecy of Zechariah 14: 21, as above stated. On the 15th of October, 1932, exactly at the end of the twenty-three hundred days, The Watchtower published a Resolution that had been adopted concerning the Scriptural method of organization of the Lord's work and which excludes selfish "elective elders". So far as known, no one on earth at the

    time of the publication of that Resolution knew that it marked the end of the twenty-three hundred days. The facts fully support this conclusion concerning the prophecy, however, and that this conclusion is correct. It must therefore be considered that the cleansing of the temple took place at that time.'

    I don't believe that the above mentioned Resolution(s) made by the WT/JWs (and thus by Rutherford) was(were) under the direction of Jehovah. Instead Rutherford timed it(them) so that later he and the WT could later say it fulfilled biblical prophecies in the book of Daniel. The same thing goes regarding the Resolutions made by the WT which the WT later says fulfilled parts of a 'revelation'/prophecy in the book of Revelation. I am convinced that those teachings of the WT are a bunch of nonsense. I first noticed such (at least regarding the verses in Revelation which the WT applied to itself) while studying the WT's Revelation Climax book during one of the years it was used in the congregational book study in the 1990s. In the 2000s when I attended a WT/JW convention (probably the last one I attended) the convention issued another proclamation/resolution and I realized it was a bunch of falsehood in regards to the idea of it being under the direction of Jehovah God and Jesus Christ.

    The WT repeatedly exalts themselves religiously. Though I don't go so far as to say that is all it ever does, I do say that it does such a very large percentage of the time. That behavior is figuratively such a heaping smelly pile of dog dung, considering that the WT's claims of having ones who are anointed of God and faithful slaves of Jehovah God and/or Christ are falsehoods and considering so many other falsehoods the WT has taught while claiming that its publications are the Lord's publications.

    I am starting to agree with those who claim the WT organization consists of willful charlatans, at least in regards to some of its past directors and some of its writers and probably some of the governing body members that have been affiliated with it.

  • TD


    Fred Franz declared in a 1940's court case that Jehovah was the editor of The Watchtower when in truth old Freddie was really the editor. So here you have the single most important member of the JW organization from the 40's clear up through the 70's claiming that he was for all practical purposes, inspired. And that idea was never repudiated

    It really comes down to the fact that JW leaders and policy makers want it both ways. They want to be regarded as more than sincere students of the Bible because all Christian religions have an identical and equal right to that claim. So they play fast and loose with definitions. They wrap themselves up in the notion of spirit direction, but deny that this qualifies as inspiration.

    That's semantic legerdemain because direction is a defining term of the word inspiration. The fundamental meaning is that the person or group has thought or acted in a way that would not otherwise have happened without at least a nudge in the right direction from God.

  • dropoffyourkeylee

    One aspect of the WT religion that I think needs explored more is the role of the radio broadcasts in the landscape of the '20s and '30s. An old time JW I knew in the '80s told me that 'Rutherford and Father Coughlin hated each other'. There was a by her account a vitriolic on-air feud between the two, and a lot of the diatribe against Catholicism and priests was a thinly veiled attack on Coughlin. Coughlin was particularly divisive, and I think it would be interesting to explore some of the outrageous statements of Rutherford in the context of the Rutherford/Coughlin feud.

  • Earnest

    TD : Fred Franz declared in a 1940's court case that Jehovah was the editor of The Watchtower when in truth old Freddie was really the editor.

    There was a whole thread on this nineteen years ago, linked here. Still worth reading for context of the statement.

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    Thanks TD for your post about "... JW leaders and policy makers want[ing] it both ways ...."

    Thanks Earnest for the link to the older thread. I notice on the first page of that thread a post says in part the following.


    This Resolution was adopted by congregations of Jehovah’s witnesses
    throughout the earth.

    The announcement in the Watchtower magazine of October 15, 1932, at the end of 2,300 evenings and mornings was:

    "the official notification made by Jehovah"

    through his visible channel of communication that his sanctuary of anointed "living stones" had been cleansed, vindicated and justified."

    Watchtower, October 1. 1959, page 601-2. Italics mine.'

    That comment directly ties into my quote of the Preparation's book description about a Resolution printed in the 15th of October, 1932 issue of the WT. [A pdf of the 1932 WT magazine issues can be read at .] But what I didn't know until today is that WT issue of October 1. 1959, page 601-2 in paragraph 48 said an announcement was claimed as "the official notification made by Jehovah" and that the WT claimed it was made at the end of the 2,300 days. WOW! You can read those pages at . There it says in part the following.

    'This Resolution was adopted by congregations of Jehovah’s witnesses throughout the earth. The announcement in the Watchtower magazine of October 15, 1932, at the end of 2,300 evenings and mornings was the official notification made by Jehovah through his visible channel of communication that his sanctuary of anointed “living stones” had been cleansed, vindicated and justified. It had been restored to its rightful state as regards the elimination of democratically elected “elders” and as regards the theocratic appointing of the congregational overseer.' [The bold facing is mine, for emphasis.]

    But it gets much worse for the WT. That is because says the current WT teaching regarding the 2,300 days is for the time period of "From June 1st 1938 to October 15th 19444"! Was Jehovah God wrong making an official notification through his visible channel of communication about the announcement? Or is it just that the 2,300 days ended later than previously taught, but that the announcement of the change of the policy regarding democratically elected elders was still Jehovah's announcement? Or did Jehovah have nothing to do the announcement and is it the case that the WT is not Jehovah's visible channel of communication?

    Furthermore, in an earlier post I mentioned the Sanctified book says the Elisha work period began right after the death of Rutherford. Well in Rutherford's Preparation book (and I think it is also in another of his books) Rutherford says it began in the year 1919! also provides documentation of the change in the definition of when the Elisha work (according the WT) began.

    The WT has a poor track record of trying to interpret biblical prophecy. Perhaps they would do better if they stopped trying to interpret prophecy, at least in making interpretations that differ radically when those of mainstream Bible scholars.

  • TD

    Thanks Earnest. I actually remember that thread, have a transcript myself and am still in agreement with Alan Feuerbacher on this. Any claim of direction above and beyond being a sincere student of the Bible crosses the line into inspiration

    For those interested:

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    TD a moment ago I read a considerable portion, and quickly skimmed the rest, of the web page you linked to at but I don't see what it has to do with claims of direction or inspiration. It just seems to about legal matters pertaining to expulsion from the religious organization/society, libel, and defamation. What statements in it pertain to divine inspiration?

    It does use the word "inspired" twice, but only in the naturalistic nonsupernatural sense. There it says the following. "The writing of the article may have been inspired by plaintiff's conduct, but that has no legal significance. From the earliest times, general or abstract religious and philosophical meditations and observations have been inspired by particular instances of conduct."

  • TD

    The was the denial of the motion to dismiss.

    Here is the testimony I referenced above:

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