44 reasons why the Watchtower Society could never be God’s Organization


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The concept that held about a thousand members of The People’s Temple captive was their belief that Jim Jones was God’s chosen individual to teach them God’s truths. The concept that holds millions of Jehovah’s Wit­nesses captive is their belief that the Watchtower Society is God’s chosen organization to teach them God’s truths. Former Jehovah’s Witness and Governing Body member, Raymond Franz, had this to say in his book, Crisis of Conscience (p 296):

I try in my own mind and heart to understand the feelings of all Jehovah’s Witnesses, including those of the Governing Body. Based on my own [60 years] experience among them, I believe that they are, in effect, the captives of a concept. The concept or mental image they have of “the organization” seems almost to take on a personality of its own, so that the concept itself controls them, moves them, or restrains them, by molding their thinking, their attitudes, their judgments…

Total belief in this concept explains why Jehovah’s Witnesses are so willing to accept whatever comes to them from the Watchtower Society no matter how complicated it is or how impossible it may be to understand, even if it doesn’t make any sense at all. They view what comes from “God’s organi­zation” as coming from God himself. The Society promotes the belief that whatever they say, it is as if God is the One who is speaking. For example, the February 1, 1967 Watchtower asks, “How can one identify the organization through which God is speaking to mankind today?” (p 72). And in the May 1, 2000 Watchtower, the Governing Body reminds Witnesses that, “Jehovah speaks to us through the Bible and by means of ‘the faithful and discreet slave’ [organization]” (pis).

The concept of “the organization” becomes the domi­nant, controlling force in their lives without them realizing it. Everything is explained and understood from the standpoint that the Society is “God’s organization.” This concept keeps most Jehovah’s Witnesses from noticing anything wrong no matter how wrong it is. The May 1, 1957 Watchtower said,

If you have become thoroughly convinced that this is Jehovah’s organization [once you are captive to this concept] …you shall not be unsettled by anything that happens.. If you really have faith you will know that if something is wrong God will straighten it out eventually (p 284).

For example, although they know that the Bible says that one must come to Jesus Christ for salvation, it doesn’t concern them when the Society claims that mankind must also come to them for salvation. The November 15, 1981 Watchtower said, “Our witness yet includes the invitation to come to Jehovah’s organization for salvation” (p 21).

Belief in this concept has given the men of the Governing Body tremendous control over the thinking of the rest of Jehovah’s Witnesses. To question them, to doubt them, to disagree with them becomes the same as questioning, doubt­ing and disagreeing with God himself! Witnesses don’t notice how often they accept what comes from the Society simply because they believe it is God’s organization rather than because they can prove it to themselves from the Bible.

The Point: Of all the things that can be known about this religion, there is only one thing that needs to be known- Is the Watchtower Society God’s organization? In other words, they can tell you about paradise earth, everlasting life (you will never die), God’s name “Jehovah,” God’s name is not “God” or “Lord,” God is not a trinity, Jesus is not God, the Holy Spirit is not a person but just an active force, Jesus didn’t die on a cross, the soul is not immortal, hell is not hot, the dead are not conscious, Armageddon, etc., etc. But the only thing that you need to know isIs the Watchtower Society God’s organization?

When Jehovah’s Witnesses are asked why they believe the Watchtower Society is God’s organization, they will give a variety of answers which usually have to do with what the Society is teaching and doing today. But according to their official teaching, whatever is going on today has nothing to do with whether or not the Watchtower Society is God’s organiza­tion. The only way any organization could be God’s organi­zation would be if God had appointed it as such. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the Watchtower Society received that appointment in the spring of 1919 in fulfillment of Mat­thew 24:45-47. On the Watchtower’s official website under the heading, “What Jehovah’s Witnesses Believe,” they list 40 of their teachings. But their most important teaching, the only teaching that needs to be known-“The Watchtower Society is God’s organization”-is not mentioned.


It’s not necessary to agree or disagree with their interpretation of this passage. It is necessary to understand it, and then hold them to it. Whether their interpretation of it is biblically correct doesn’t matter. The only concern here is if it is historically correct. That is, does what went on in their history agree with the way they interpret Matthew 24:45-47…

45 Who really is the faithful and discreet slave [organization] whom [Jesus] appointed over his [disciples], to give them their [spiritual] food at the proper time? 46 Happy is that slave [organization] if [Jesus] on arriving [in 1914] finds him doing so. 47 Truly I say to you [in the spring of 1919] he will appoint [the Watchtower Society] over all his [earthly interests].

They teach that the Second Coming of Christ occurred in 1914 to begin Jesus’ “invisible presence” in fulfillment of Matthew 24:3. (For the purpose of this study, it helps to temporarily assume that Jesus did return in 1914 and then hold them to that teaching.) Then in 1918 he began to make an examination of all the religions claiming to represent him to see if any of them had been faithfully and discreetly providing true teachings of the Bible (spiritual food) at the proper time during his absence. They say the only religion he found doing so was the Watchtower Society, and therefore Jesus appointed them over all his earthly interests in the spring of 1919. Their God’s Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Ap­proached book explains this very critical point (pp 350-355):

The serving of food, the right sort of food at the proper time was the issue. It had to be according to this that a decision must be rendered by the returned master [Jesus] …On inspecting [the Society] in the year 1919. Jesus Christ did find the appointed “slave” faithful and discreet in the feeding of his [disciples].

This was the most important event in Watchtower history. And while the Governing Body prefers to draw attention to what is presently being taught by the Society, it is evident that Jesus would not have made a decision in 1919 based upon what the Society is teaching today. He would have made his decision based upon what they had been teaching up until 1919. He would check the “quality” of those teachings to make sure they were the right things to be teaching and the right time to be teaching them (“the right sort of food at the proper time”). What was Jesus’ decision? The above book simply asserts-they “met the test” (p350). This is the only official basis for their claim to being God’s “faithful and discreet slave organization” and “the only true religion” today. The only way to know if the Watchtower Society is God’s organization today is to examine the same teach­ings they say Jesus examined in 1918-1919. Jehovah’s Witnesses have never done this! While the Society no longer publishes any of the literature they say Jesus examined then, they have made such an examination possible today with the publication of the organization’s history in their book- JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES Proclairners of God’s Kingdom (1993).

The Watchtower always has strict standards when judg­ing other religions, thus according to Matthew 7:2, Jesus would have judged the Society’s teachings (from their begin­ning in 1876 up until 1919) using those same standards. We have mentioned two of those standards already. The June 1, 2001 Watchtower gives us two more: “To enjoy God’s backing, one must (1J teach only what God reveals in his Word, and (2) reject teachings based on human wisdom” (p14). These Watchtower standards will visually show which of the 44 teachings being considered did or did not pass the test.


40 years too early, then 29 years too late

Today the Watchtower teaches that Jesus returned in 1914. But the Proc./a/Viers book says that this was not what they were teaching before, during and for many years after Jesus’ inspec­tion in 1918-1919. It says (pp 46,47) that in 1876 Second Advent­ist Nelson Barbour “succeeded in convincing Charles Taze Russell that Christ’s invisible presence [Second Coming] had

begun in 1874.” Page 133 mentions this again along with a footnote explaining that “a clearer understanding of biblical chronology [pointing to 1914] was published in 1943.” The footnote refers to the 1943 book The Truth Shall Make You Free that changed the date of Jesus’ return from 1874 to 1914. Page 209 of God’s Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached refers to this same 1943 book where the Society’s new under­standing of the end of six thousand years of man’s existence “did away with the year 1874 C.E. as the date of the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Even if Witnesses notice what the Proc./a/Viers book says, they don’t realize what it means.

(1) The Society didn’t meet any of their own standards relative to their teaching about the Second Coming of Christ.

Christ’s Second Coming in 1874

Watchtower Standards                                       Yes No

  1. 1.   Right teachings                                                            X
  2. 2.   Right time to be teaching them                                  X
  3. 3.   Teachings that God revealed in his Word                 X
  4. 4.   Rejected because of human wisdom                          X

(2) It also means that if Jesus did return in 1914, neither President Russell nor President Rutherford ever knew it! Russell died in 1916, and Rutherford died in 1942. According to the Proclaimers book, the date for Christ’s Second Coming was not changed to 1914 until the year following Rutherford’s death. So if Jesus returned in 1914, neither man ever knew it. It’s possible that there’s not a single Jehovah’s Witness that realizes this. What are the chances that God would select such prominent men for his sole “channel of communication” but then never communicate to them when his Son had returned?

(3) It isn’t just that they didn’t know that Jesus Second Coming was in 1914. They both insisted that they did know that it happened in 1874. What are the chances that “the God of truth” would deliberately allow his earthly channel to mis­inform the whole world about his Son’s return for almost seven decades (1876-1943)?

(4) The title of The Watchtower magazine included the words “Herald of Christ’s Presence.” According to what they teach today, from 1879 to 1914 it was announcing that he was present when he wasn’t!

(5) Since they believed Jesus returned in 1874, it means they were not “watching” for his return in 1914. And yet in Luke’s parallel account (12:37) Christ said that they would be “happy” only if “on arriving [he] found them watching for his return.” But he would not have found them watching in 1914 because they believed he had already arrived 40 years earlier.

(6) Luke 12:36 says, “… at [Jesus’] arriving and knocking they may at once open to him.” But if he arrived and began knocking in 1914, but they didn’t acknowledge his arrival until 1943, it means that he would have had to knock for twenty-nine years before they opened to him.

(7) Since in 1914 they were the only religion that believed that Jesus had already returned, it means that they were theonly Christian religion that was not watching or waiting for his return in 1914. And yet Jehovah’s Witnesses have been led to believe that they were the only religion that was watching for his return in that year! Page 713 of the Proc./a/Viers book refers to the December 1, 1984 Watchtower. That magazine contains a series of articles dealing with “Christian watchful­ness.” On page 14 it says, “So when Christ’s invisible presence began in 1914, happy were [Jehovah’s Witnesses] to have been found watching.” But that’s not true, is it? There wasn’t any­one associated with the Watchtower Society watching for Christ’s “invisible presence” to begin in 1914 because they all believed it had already begun forty years earlier.

So the Watchtower Society had not been either faithful or discreet relative to the time of the Second Coming of Christ. And yet the only way they even have a chance of being God’s organization today is if they had been both faithful and discreet from 1876 to 1919. They had not been “faithful” by waiting for God to reveal the date of Christ’s Second Coming; and they had not been “discreet” when they announced the wrong date, not only up until 1919, but all the way until 1943 (67 years).

#2 CHRIST’S 1000-YEAR REIGN-1873

Today Jehovah’s Witnesses are looking forward to the begin­ning of “the 1000-year Reign of Jesus Christ.” But the “spiri­tual food” that Russell had provided right up to his death was that Christ’s Reign had already begun. In his Foreword to the 1916 edition of The Time is at Hand, he said,

The Bible chronology herein presented shows that the six great thousand-year Days, beginning with Adam were ended, and that the great Seventh Day, the thousand years of Christ’s Reign, began in 1873.

Russell placed great emphasis on the modern inventions that had come into existence since 1873 as proof that “Christ’s 1000-year Reign” had begun in that year. The very first inven­tion he offered as proof was “the sewing machine, one of the first, began to reach its perfection 43 years ago” (Ibid.).

Christ’s Reign Began in 1873

Watchtower Standards                                     Yes No

  1. 1.   Right teachings                                                            X
  2. 2.   Right time to be teaching them                                  X
  3. 3.   Teachings that God revealed in his Word                X
  4. 4.   Rejected because of human wisdom                         X


In February of 1918 (just when they say Jesus began his exami­nation) President Rutherford began a worldwide public cam­paign with the above dramatic title. In 1920 he published a booklet with the same name. The reason why millions of people then living would never die was because Jesus was going to begin his “1000-year Reign” in 1925. He also assured everyone that they “may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old” (p 89). They and many other “faithful men of old” would then become “Princes” in all the earth to help in the administration of “Christ’s Kingdom on earth.” Then just


as confidently he concluded: “Based upon the promises set forth in the divine Word, we must reach the positive and indisputable conclusion that millions now living will never die!” (p 97). But as it turned out, millions then living did die. Jesus didn’t begin a 1000-year Reign, and he didn’t resurrect anyone in 1925. The reason this matters so much is because Jesus’ illustration doesn’t allow for his “faithful and discreet slave” to be proclaiming a false teaching or prophecy at any time, especially not all during the time he was examining them.

Millions Now Living Will Never Die-1925

Watchtower Standards                                      Yes No

  1. 1.   Right teachings                                                           X
  2. 2.   Right time to be teaching them                                  X
  3. 3.   Teachings that God revealed in his Word                X
  4. 4.   Rejected because of human wisdom                         X

4-31 taught by Russell-32-4o taught by Rutherford

#4 1799: The beginning of “the last days” or “time of the end”

#5 1829: The beginning of an understanding of the mysteries of prophecy

#6 1844: Wise virgins went forth to meet the Bridegroom

#7 1846: God’s sanctuary was cleansed

#8 1873: End of 6000 years of human existence

#9 1874: The beginning of the 40-year “Harvest” or preaching work

#10 1874: Second cry, “Behold the Bridegroom”

#11 1874: The beginning of the Battle of Armageddon

#12 1878: God’s Kingdom was “set up” in heaven

#13 1878: Beginning of Christ’s Kingdom Rule

#14 1878: The fall of “Babylon the Great” (false religion)

#15 1878: Beginning of “Times of Restitution”

#16 1881: Close of “the heavenly calling” (spiritual Israel)

#17 1881: Resurrection of all the “dead in Christ”

#18 1914: The anointed Christians would be taken to heaven before 1914

#19 1914: The end of the “Harvest” or preaching work

#20 1914: God’s Kingdom would be firmly established in the earth

#21 1914: Jesus would be present as earth’s new Ruler

#22 1914: All Gentile nations would be destroyed by God by the end of 1914

#23 1914: Jerusalem would begin to rise from the dust of divine disfavor to honor

#24 1914: Israel’s blindness would begin to be turned away

#25 1914: This year would be the farthest limit of the rule of imperfect man

#26 1914: Battle of Armageddon would end

#27 1914: Peaceful blessings would begin to be recognized on earth

#28 1914: Complete destruction of “Babylon the Great” (all other religions)

#29 1914: The “last days” would end in 1914

#30 1915: God’s Kingdom will be fully established near the end of 1915

#31 1915: Anointed Christians would be taken to heaven soon after 1914

#32 1918: God’s “fire” from heaven would fall on Christendom

#33 1918: Millions of church members of Christendom would be destroyed by God

#34 1918: Christendom would go down to oblivion as a system

#35 1918: God will destroy the churches wholesale

#36 1920: There would be worldwide all-embracing anarchy

#37 1920: All earthly governments will pass away

#38 1920: All republics will disappear in the fall of 1920

#39 1925: Anointed Christians would be taken to heaven

#40 2914: End of the thousand-year Reign of Christ

The references to all the above can be found at http://www. freeminds.org/history/partl.htm under the heading, “Spiri­tual Food at the Proper Time.” Russell’s Studies in the Scrip­tures and Rutherford’s The Finished Mystery are available at http: //www.freeminds. org/s ales /temps ale. htm. In the July 1894 Watchtower Russell stated, “We see no reason for chang­ing the figures—nor could we change them if we would. They are, we believe, God’s dates, not ours.” Rutherford said his date of 1925 was “indisputable.” All of the above dates/ events were said to be in fulfillment of Bible prophecies, but they all turned out to be unfulfilled Watchtower prophecies. Keep in mind that the Society now acknowledges that all of these teachings were not true. Although Jehovah’s Witnesses treat all of this “wrong food” at the “wrong time” as having no importance today, these teachings would have been very important to Jesus in 1919 if he was examining them to make sure they were serving the “right food” at the “right time.”

Russell & Rutherford’s 37 Dates/Events

Watchtower Standards                                        Yes No

  1. 1.     Right teachings                                                           X
  2. 2.     Right time to be teaching them                                 X
  3. 3.     Teachings that God revealed in his Word                X
  4. 4.     Rejected because of human wisdom                         X


On pages 200 & 201 the Prodaimers book mentions four other “Practices That Have Been Abandoned” sometime after 1919. They didn’t stop celebrating Christmas until more than seven years after Jesus’ inspection was completed. They didn’t stop celebrating birthdays until several years after 1919. Today they say the cross is of pagan origin. But it was predomi­nantly displayed on the front cover of every issue of the Watch­tower magazine up until October 15, 1931! The Proclaimers book says, “For some 35 years Pastor Russell taught that the Great Pyramid of Gizeh was God’s stone witness, corrobo­rating biblical time periods” (p 201). One of those time periods was that Jesus’ Second Coming occurred in 1874. Russell used internal measurements of this pyramid—one inch equals one year (“inch years”)—to arrive at his dates. He often referred to the pyramid as the “Bible in stone.” The Proclaimers book says that nine years after Jesus’ inspection was over Rutherford “abandoned the idea that an Egyptian pyramid has anything to do with true worship.”

Today these four teachings are considered so offensive to God that any Witness who believes or practices even one ofthem will be disfellowshipped—deserving of God’s “everlast­ing punishment.” If they are so wrong today when the Society doesn’t teach them, they must have been just as wrong during all the years they did teach them. If these teachings would fail an examination by Jesus today, they sure would have failed his examination in 1918-1919!

Christmas/Birthdays/Cross/Pyramid of Gizeh Watchtower Standards

  1. 1.   Right teachings
  2. 2.   Right time to be teaching them
  3. 3.   Teachings that God revealed in his Word
  4. 4.   Rejected because of human wisdom

So what would have happened at this most important event in Watchtower history—the appointment of Matthew 24:47? What decision would Jesus have made in the spring of 1919? Would he have agreed with former President Fredrick Franz who said in God’s Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached, “Jesus did find the appointed ‘slave’ faithful and discreet in the feeding of his disciples” (pp 349-355)? Or would Jesus have agreed with former Governing Body member Raymond Franz who said in In Search of Christian Freedom, “It would be an insult to Christ Jesus to say that he selected this organi­zation on the basis of what it was teaching as of 1919″ (p 145)?


All Witnesses fail to carefully examine the Society’s claim to being “God’s faithful and discreet slave organization” based upon what Russell and Rutherford had been teaching from 1876 to 1919 in fulfillment of Matthew 24:45-47. This is a BIG mistake! Because once people have come to believe that Jesus made that Matthew 24:47 appointment in the spring of 1919, from that moment on they become captives of that belief— captives of the concept that all of God’s direction to man­kind comes only through the Watchtower Society. It then dominates and controls the thinking of those who write the literature as well as the Witnesses who read it.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses Bible study program leads the student to believe that the Society is God’s organization for the wrong reasons. Those who do a history study sooner don’t ask for a Bible study later! It’s ridiculous to believe that any thinking person could imagine that the Watchtower Society could have ever passed an examination by Jesus in 1919! Once this is seen about the Society—what went on prior to 1919— then “God’s organization” becomes an illusion that exists only in the minds of Jehovah’s Witnesses! The organization that does exist is “The Watchtower organization,” which is governed, not by the Lord Jesus Christ from heaven, but by a few elderly men in Brooklyn, NewYork.

—Mooted from CAPTIVES OFA CONCEPT by Don Cameron Former elder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses

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