In Revelation 11 the TWO WITNESSES are given power to prophesy for 1260 days dressed in sackcloth.. In verse 7 they are killed, In verse 11 they are resurrected . Do you remember what book and when the earliest application of this scripture to the President of the Society and I think the vice president occurred ? I believe they said it occurred in 1918 or 1919. Can you believe they thought the nations and all the earth were attuned to their little group and that a couple of them thrown in prison meant that they had fullfilled this prophecy. What arrogance seemed to be displayed even back then or did they think it fullfilled prophecy back then?
2 witnesses slain
What arrogance seemed to be displayed even back then
You're right, utter arrogance. I don't know when the references were first made, but even Russell allowed the organization to think of him as the Faithful and Wise Servant. Arrogance and power go hand in hand.
Welcome to the board!
Welcome to JWD!!
(Revelation 11:9-10) And those of the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their corpses for three and a half days, and they do not let their corpses be laid in a tomb. And those dwelling on the earth rejoice over them and enjoy themselves, and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those dwelling on the earth.
Can you believe they thought the nations and all the earth were attuned to their little group and that a couple of them thrown in prison meant that they had fullfilled this prophecy.
I also thought exactly the same thing when I studied the WT's interpretation of Revelation. How come the world would pay attention to such an insignificant event, specially when you consider that a World War was taking place?
I don't know when they came up with that interpretation, maybe in the thirties with Rutherford, but they explain away the 'earth taking notice' of their "death" by the reaction of part of the US media and clergy to the imprisonment of the WT board of directors. The Revelation Climax book says:
*** re chap. 25 p. 168 Reviving the Two Witnesses ***
The Rejoicing of Revelation 11:10
In his book Preachers Present Arms, published in 1933, Ray H. Abrams refers to the clergy?s bitter opposition to the Watch Tower Society?s book The Finished Mystery. He reviews the clergy?s endeavors to rid themselves of the Bible Students and their "pestilential persuasion." This led to the court case that resulted in sentencing of J. F. Rutherford and seven companions to long years of imprisonment. Dr. Abrams adds: "An analysis of the whole case leads to the conclusion that the churches and the clergy were originally behind the movement to stamp out the Russellites. In Canada, in February, 1918, the ministers began a systematic campaign against them and their publications, particularly The Finished Mystery. According to the Winnipeg Tribune, . . . the suppression of their book was believed to have been directly brought about by the ?representations of the clergy.?"
Dr. Abrams continues: "When the news of the twenty-year sentences reached the editors of the religious press, practically every one of these publications, great and small, rejoiced over the event. I have been unable to discover any words of sympathy in any of the orthodox religious journals. ?There can be no question,? concluded Upton Sinclair, that ?the persecution . . . sprang in part from the fact that they had won the hatred of "orthodox" religious bodies.? What the combined efforts of the churches had failed to do the government now seemed to have succeeded in accomplishing for them." After quoting the derogatory comments of a number of religious publications, the writer referred to the reversal of the decision in the Court of Appeals and remarked: "This verdict was greeted with silence in the churches."
Yeah, I remember that but don't remember what publication it was in originally. Even as a kid I remember thinking this was a very dumb thing for them to assert given the huge things going on in the world at the time, and two conscientious objectors going into the clink was the fulfillment of the history altering scripture? There were a lot of people who went into prison for their beliefs at that time, and worse. But, it is really one of the WTBTS idiosyncrasies to paint anything that happens to them as being so much more important than anything that happens to outsiders.
It really used to piss me off how they stated that Jews who were slaughtered under Hitler were not martyrs but the JW's were. This is because, supposedly, in order to be a martyr one had to have a choice or not as to whether or not they would die for their beliefs and the Jews would have been rounded up anyhow and had no choice. I guess that means that Stephen of the bible was not a martyr either, because I really don't think he had any choice in his fate; the mob was going to find some way to stone him one way or another.
Looks like you saw it all for baloney too. LOL
I think Rutherford began to give the modern JW understanding of Revelation in a two-volume work entitled Light (published 1930). I don't know if this contained the current understanding of the "two witnesses" or not. Perhaps someone can do the research. I seem to recall that he claimed at that time that the seven trumpets and the seven last plagues were fulfilled in seven annual conventions (from 1922 through 1929). Also, he thought that the seven congregations (churches) of Revelation were fulfilled simultaneously (rather than being seven church ages as Bible Students formerly believed), only he thought the fulfillment occurred during the Russell era rather than post-1914.
Welcome to JWD disciple! Are you researching Revelation or just commenting on the egomaniacal leadership of the witlesses? If the former, you may be interested in other interpretations of that tome.
So where's the URL?
An expansion on Justin's comment that the 1930 Light book contains an explanation:
Light, Book one, chapter VI
- the 1260 days started with a Watchtower atricle in 1914 (page 198), they ended with the arrest of the Society's officers (page 200)
- the two witnesses are not referred to as individuals, but as the Society in general
Yeah, this kind of stuff tends to change over the years. But it always seems to point to that little sellf-important society.
And if you're interested, disciple:
"The Finished Mystery", published in 1917 and referred to a the the "Posthumous work of Pastor Russell" referred to the 1260 days as literal years ending in 1799 and theat period was the "papacy's establishment as a temporal power" - page 173
The two witnesses are defined as "the Old and New Testament Scriptures." - page 173
Thanks, Buster, for letting us know what the Light book actually had to say about the "two witnesses." I don't believe it was ever thought that the "two witnesses" were actually two individuals, but rather (since the publication of Light) that they represented the entire anointed remnant. However many of the Society's officers were imprisoned in 1918, that represented the entire association. When Rutherford said "the Society," he meant everyone, because the average Bible Student was considered to be a member of the Society (which is no longer the case).