Under the microscope – the Watch Tower Society’s claims to divine direction (part 4)

The Finished Mystery – a book that was in widespread circulation when Christ is said to have selected our organization

Part 4 – Was our organization chosen in 1919?

In the fourth and final installment of my “Under The Microscope” series, I will examine the concept that Christ selected the Watch Tower Society to represent the earthly part of God’s organization some time between 1918 and 1919. This is the primary reason given in the Society’s literature as to why the Slave Class should be viewed as God’s channel of communication with mankind.

There are three lesser lines of reasoning for reaching this conclusion, and these have already been discussed at length in the following articles. If you haven’t already done so, I would encourage you to read these articles and reach your own conclusions on the information presented:

Many of you reading this web page will be zealous Jehovah’s Witnesses who want to support the “Slave Class” in reaching the entire earth with the message of good news from the bible. Your motives and enthusiasm are to be commended, particularly since you view your primary objective as that of helping others. However, it would be wise for you to take a moment to analyze your beliefs, if only to ensure that you are worshipping God with “truth”. (John 4:23-24) After all, just imagine for a moment that it could be proven beyond doubt that this isn’t “the Truth” after all, and all your time, efforts and enthusiasm are being misappropriated and channeled to support an entirely human organization. “Impossible!”, you might say. But if that were the case, how would you come to know the real truth without tracing all things with accuracy and continually “testing whether you are in the faith”? (Luke 1:3; 2 Cor. 13:5)

Besides, is it right that we constantly ask others whom we meet on our public ministry to scrutinize their own beliefs without first scrutinizing our own? Does not the real truth always stand up to close scrutiny, however invasive such scrutiny might be? It is with these questions in mind that I urge you to read this article, and give the contents thoughtful consideration. It may be that, after reading, you reach the conclusion that Jehovah’s Witnesses and their “Slave Class” could not possibly have been chosen by Christ in 1919 after all. On the other hand, you may still consider this teaching to be true. Regardless, if what we have is really “the Truth”, then there can be no harm in reaffirming this for ourselves by exploring all possible objections that others might raise with us.

Why is 1919 so important?

It is worth reminding ourselves briefly of what the Society actually claims happened between 1918 and 1919. According to their interpretation of bible prophecy, in 1918 Christ fulfilled Malachi 3:1 by coming to inspect Jehovah’s “spiritual temple”, which is said to represent the anointed followers of Christ. After doing this, it is said that in 1919 he chose the Bible Students as his “Slave Class” based on the “spiritual food” they were distributing at that time. This is well reflected in the following quote from a 2007 magazine article:

“‘On arriving’ to inspect the ‘slave’ in 1918, Christ found a spirit-anointed remnant of faithful disciples who since 1879 had been using this journal [the Watchtower] and other Bible-based publications to provide spiritual ‘food at the proper time.’ He acknowledged them as his collective instrument, or ‘slave,’ and in 1919 entrusted them with the management of all his earthly belongings.” (The Watchtower 2007 4/1 p. 22)

It is interesting to note the emphasis that is placed here on the literature being circulated by the Bible Students prior to Christ’s arrival. This is because the principal duty of the “Slave Class” according to Matthew 24:45 is that they should give Christ’s domestics (or followers) “their food at the proper time”. Logically, therefore, if Christ were to “inspect” his disciples in 1918 as to their suitability to fill this special role, it would be on the basis of the “spiritual food” they were distributing at that time. This is precisely what the Society frequently infers in its publications, although for some reason, it never seems to explain things quite this clearly.

Clayton J Woodworth – one of the writers of The Finished Mystery

The above quote refers to the Watchtower magazine and “other Bible-based publications” being used as a vehicle for “spiritual food” by the “Slave Class” at the time of Christ’s inspection. One publication in significant circulation by the Bible Students at that time was the book The Finished Mystery, which was first published in 1917 (only a year before Christ’s supposed inspection). This book, often referred to in the “Revelation Climax” book, was hailed as the posthumous work of Charles Taze Russell, but in reality it was written by Clayton J. Woodworth and George H. Fisher after these two men were assigned to the task by the Watch Tower president and two other members of the board of directors. It was the seventh and final volume of a widely distributed series of books entitled Studies In The Scriptures.

Here’s what one Watchtower article had to say about the distribution of The Finished Mystery in particular during that time:

“In the latter half of 1917 the faithful forefront preachers of the ‘discreet slave’ class energetically took up distribution of The Finished Mystery, for within seven months the Society’s outside printers were busy on the 850,000 edition. ‘The sale of the Seventh Volume is unparalleled by the sale of any other book known, in the same length of time, excepting the Bible.’” (The Watchtower 1955 4/1 p. 206)

It is therefore safe to say that The Finished Mystery was being distributed extensively by the time Christ ostensibly arrived to inspect anointed Christians in 1918. As one of the primary sources of “spiritual food” being distributed to the “domestics” at that time, it is inconceivable that Christ would have neglected to examine the contents of this book during such an inspection. Having thus read it, it is similarly difficult to imagine that he would have looked on the book favorably, since it contained some astoundingly flawed interpretations of scripture that were fanciful at best, and disturbingly misleading at worst.

At this point, I must recognize that most people reading this article will NOT have read The Finished Mystery, either in whole or in part. For the most part, this is because the Society no longer publishes the work, and only occasionally refers to it in modern publications. It should also be recognized that this book, along with other older literature and magazines, is frequently considered as “old light” and therefore not worthy of our attention.

I will explain later in this article why the very idea of “old” and “new” light runs contrary to the scriptures, but for the time being, let’s remind ourselves of the significance of The Finished Mystery. This was the principal book being distributed by the Bible Students at the time of Christ’s inspection in 1918, and it was on the basis of the contents of this and other publications that the Society was chosen in 1919 to represent Christ as his “Slave Class”. Therefore, irrespective of whether it was “new light” or “old light”, we can reasonably assert that Christ should have been able to find at least a decent portion of wisdom and truth befitting of “spiritual food” in the words he would have read.

For the purpose of enlightening readers who have not yet had opportunity to examine The Finished Mystery, I have prepared a 2-page PDF that goes through some “highlights” of the book. You are invited to download the PDF, either in A4 or letter format, and check the references provided against the book itself to ensure that I have represented everything accurately. The PDF is designed to be printed ‘double-sided’, so that it can be folded and inserted into publications such as the Revelation Climax book.

Below are just a few of the more striking observations from The Finished Mystery. You are encouraged to look up the pages in the book yourself to see that I am not exaggerating.

  • The book claimed that Russell’s estrangement from his wife Maria was prophesied in the Bible

    Charles Taze Russell was the “faithful and wise servant” (or “faithful and discreet slave”) and he was also the “seventh angel” mentioned in the book of Revelation. (pp.4-6, 53, 169)

  • The book of Ezekiel prophesied that God would separate Russell from his wife, Maria, and make her “dead” in his eyes. (pp.483-484)
  • Russell continued to supervise the harvest work, even after his death. (pp.144, 256)
  • Ezekiel 33:22 foretold Russell speaking from beyond the grave by means of The Finished Mystery. (p.530)
  • The Finished Mystery was “divinely provided” to humanity, and is the “incense burner” referred to in Revelation 8:5. (p.145)
  • Revelation 14:20 predicted the precise traveling distance between where The Finished Mystery was written, and where it was printed. (p.230)
  • The “loud voice” in Revelation 14:18 was a “disappointed cry” because Russell did not have time to complete The Finished Mystery himself. (p.227)
  • The “behemoth” of Job 40 is the stationary steam engine, and the “leviathan” of Job 41 is the steam locomotive. (pp.84-85)
  • The rider on the white horse in Revelation 6:2 is the “Bishop of Rome” who is the “personal representative of Satan”. (p.106)
  • Michael and his angels, as described in Revelation 12, are the Pope and his bishops. (p.188)
  • The “voice out of heaven” in Revelation 18:4 is the voice of the Watch Tower Society. (p.276)
  • Revelation 18:1 describes the glory of Christ causing enlightenment for the world from 1874 onwards, resulting in a lengthy list of inventions and discoveries including: barbed wire, cash registers, typewriters and vacuum cleaners. (p. 273)

According to The Finished Mystery, passages in Job describing the “behemoth” and “leviathan” were describing different types of steam engine

I could go on, but I’m sure you get the picture. The above assertions, all of which are taken from the pages of The Finished Mystery, are both wildly speculative and embarrassingly spurious. I don’t believe I am being unkind in dismissing the book as complete absurdity from beginning to end. Indeed, the whole process of reading The Finished Mystery, or even simply leafing through its pages, can be quite a mentally and emotionally draining experience. For a born and raised Jehovah’s Witness like myself, it is comparable to walking in on a respected elderly relative in an embarrassing moment of indignity, such is the unbridled self-indulgence with which the writers give free rein to their wildest imaginings.

There is also scarcely a page where lavish praise is not heaped on the then recently departed Charles Taze Russell, who is heralded as “the most prolific writer of bible truth that ever lived” (p.65) and “a true priest of the Almighty” (p.368). Without meaning any disrespect, at times it is difficult to determine whom the writers are worshipping more – God or Russell.

Despite all this, it is astonishing to note the voracity with which modern Watchtower publications defend this publication as evidence of Christ’s direction of the organization and/or favoring of it. The 1988 “Revelation Climax” book is an excellent example. The writers of Revelation – Its Grand Climax At Hand herald The Finished Mystery as “a powerful commentary on Revelation and Ezekiel” (see page 165) and attribute it with playing a key role in fulfilling the prophecy of the “Two Witnesses” spoken of in Revelation 11. Note the following quote, taken from a box on page 208:

“Thus, rather than following the example of faithful Peter, these and other popes were an evil influence. They allowed bloodguilt and spiritual and physical fornication, as well as a Jezebel influence, to corrupt the church they ruled. (James 4:4) In 1917 the Bible Students’ book The Finished Mystery set out many of these facts in stark detail. This was one way that the Bible Students in those days ‘struck the earth with every sort of plague.’—Revelation 11:6; 14:8; 17:1, 2, 5.” (Revelation – Its Grand Climax At Hand!, box on page 208)

It is safe to say that the writers of the “Revelation Climax” book would have felt comfortable describing The Finished Mystery as a book of “facts” given that they knew the vast majority of readers would never have the opportunity to read the work for themselves. Despite endorsing the book and awarding it a prominent role in the fulfillment of bible prophecy, it is interesting that even the “Revelation Climax” book struggles to be consistently generous in its adulation of the work…

“After his [Russell’s] death in 1916, many of his writings were collected and published in a book entitled The Finished Mystery. In time, though, this book proved to be unsatisfactory as an explanation of Revelation.” (Revelation – Its Grand Climax At Hand!, page 159)

Despite the errors in The Finished Mystery, the “Revelation Climax” book still credited it with a role in fulfilling bible prophecy

It is difficult to comprehend how the writers of the “Revelation Climax” book could fail to see the irony in their assertions. A book that “proved to be unsatisfactory” as an explanation of the bible book of Revelation is simultaneously said to have fulfilled it! It is also noteworthy that, despite referring to The Finished Mystery as “powerful”, “fearless”, “polemic” and even “controversial”* in its publications down through the years, the Watch Tower Society nearly always shies away from specifically endorsing or repeating its actual contents in print. Rather, it hails the brazenness and audacity with which the book condemned the leaders of other Christian faiths of the period. The book is thus indulged as though it were a spoilt and unruly child – its indiscretions overlooked, but its energy and exuberance praised.

The publications give the impression that The Finished Mystery’s provocative nature alone gave sufficient grounds for it to play a role in the outworking of God’s purpose. However, surely Christ would have no interest whatsoever in how controversial or opinionated such publications would prove to be. Almost certainly his primary focus in inspecting “spiritual food” would be its merits in terms of accuracy and effectiveness in dispensing words of bible truth to his followers. (John 8:31-32; 14:6; 16:13) On such a criterion, The Finished Mystery falls woefully short by anyone’s standard.

Despite this, one Watchtower article goes so far as to assert that Christ actually disciplined the Society for removing pages 247-253 of the book due to government censure! The pages in question delved unashamedly into the realm of politics, criticizing the US government’s involvement in World War 1. The Society relented to external pressure, and asked the brothers to remove these pages from any existing copies. However, more recent publications have declared this to have been a sin for which Christ rebuked the organization, leading to the imprisonment of senior officials.

“Organizationally they remembered their sins, such as compromisingly cutting out pages 247-253 of The Finished Mystery, their seventh volume of Studies in the Scriptures, to please would-be censors, The Watch Tower encouraging its readers to set aside May 30, 1918, as a day of prayer and supplication as requested by the American Congress on April 2 and as proclaimed by President Wilson May 11, their tendering of compliments to governments of this world, and their dabbling in nonreligious enterprises. As a body they confessed, ‘We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly.’” (The Watchtower, 1955 5/1 pp. 266-267)

If Jesus had truly taken an active interest in the exploits of the Bible Students during this period, I’m fairly certain he would have applauded them for removing pages of this awful book rather than chastising them for it. In reality, by ceasing to print The Finished Mystery and failing to encourage people to read it, the modern organization has effectively torn out all of its pages in their entirety. Should Christ discipline them again for doing so?

The truth is, it is highly unlikely that Christ took any interest in this or any other publications of the Society during this period. In his book In Search of Christian Freedom, the late Raymond Franz (a former Governing Body member) provides an overview of the literature being circulated by the organization at that time, including The Finished Mystery. He summarizes quite eloquently as follows:

“A direct investigation of the publications of the Watch Tower organization in the years from 1914 to 1919 reveals none of the prudent discretion that causes a man to ‘keep his lips in check’. It would be an insult to Christ Jesus to say that he selected this organization on the basis of what it was teaching, uniquely and distinctively, as of 1919.” (Raymond Franz, In Search of Christian Freedom, page 145)

Former Governing Body member Raymond Franz believed that the 1918/1919 teaching was an insult to Christ

Having researched The Finished Mystery and other publications from those years myself, I can wholeheartedly agree with the above words. It would indeed be an “insult” to suggest that Jesus could endorse the ideas and concepts being propounded in these publications, either doctrinally or otherwise. I have recently published an article on another website highlighting the racism that flourished in publications during the presidencies of Russell and Rutherford. These racist articles surfaced both before, during and after Christ’s supposed inspection. To suggest that Christ supported such bigoted outbursts would also be an insult, as it would imply that he sympathizes with racist ideology when in fact the bible tells us that “God is not partial”. (Acts 10:34,35)

The light gets brighter?

This brings us to a commonly voiced objection by many who will be familiar with the Society’s teachings. We are constantly informed in the publications that any errors in books or magazines from years gone by were due to the “light getting brighter”. In other words, the brothers during the days of Russell, Rutherford and Knorr were not granted full understanding of the bible or God’s purposes for them. As a result, their publications contained many errors, which render them unworthy of any serious consideration by Jehovah’s people today.

This idea brings with it a great contradiction, because although errors in the publications are freely admitted, they are still indirectly attributed to God as having been provided as “spiritual food” by his holy spirit through his earthly organization. Again, the exact relationship between God’s holy spirit and the writers of Watchtower publications seems to be rather obscured in the literature, but here is just one example of how the Society claims that God’s holy spirit takes an active role in the actual preparation of the publications, however error-strewn they may subsequently turn out to be:

“If we are sorely tried and do not know what to pray for, ‘the spirit joins in with help for our weakness, pleading for us with groanings unuttered.’ God answers such prayers. (Romans 8:26, 27) Let us pray for holy spirit and allow it to produce in us those of its fruits particularly needed to face a certain trial. (Luke 11:13) We will also increase our joy if we prayerfully and diligently study God’s spirit-inspired Word and Christian publications prepared under the spirit’s guidance.” (The Watchtower, 1992 3/15 pp. 21-22)

The Society claims that those who prepare their publications are guided by Jehovah’s holy spirit, even when mistakes are made

Thus, the bible is “spirit-inspired”, whereas the Watchtower publications are said to be prepared “under the spirit’s guidance”. Try as hard as I may, I have yet to find a single Watchtower article that satisfactorily explains the difference between “spirit-inspired” and “spirit-guided”. To my mind, both terms mean one and the same thing. Either way, it is clear from the above quote that the Society claims guidance from God’s holy spirit as playing a key role in the preparation of Watchtower publications. If this is the case, why would God deliberately “guide” the planting of erroneous thoughts and teachings in material intended for his worshippers?

The Society frequently uses three scriptures to impress upon Jehovah’s Witnesses their teaching of “increased light”. These are as follows:

Into the path of the wicked ones do not enter, and do not walk straight on into the way of the bad ones. Shun it, do not pass along by it; turn aside from it, and pass along.For they do not sleep unless they do badness, and their sleep has been snatched away unless they cause someone to stumble. For they have fed themselves with the bread of wickedness, and the wine of acts of violence is what they drink. But the path of the righteous ones is like the bright light that is getting lighter and lighter until the day is firmly established. The way of the wicked ones is like the gloom; they have not known at what they keep stumbling.” (Proverbs 4:14-19, New World Translation)

“Consequently we have the prophetic word [made] more sure; and YOU are doing well in paying attention to it as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until day dawns and a daystar rises, in YOUR hearts. For YOU know this first, that no prophecy of Scripture springs from any private interpretation. For prophecy was at no time brought by man’s will, but men spoke from God as they were borne along by holy spirit.” (2 Peter 1:19-21, New World Translation)

“And as for you, O Daniel, make secret the words and seal up the book, until the time of [the] end. Many will rove about, and the [true] knowledge will become abundant.”And I saw, I Daniel, and, look! there were two others standing, one on the bank here of the stream and the other on the bank there of the stream. Then one said to the man clothed with the linen, who was up above the waters of the stream: “How long will it be to the end of the wonderful things?” And I began to hear the man clothed with the linen, who was up above the waters of the stream, as he proceeded to raise his right [hand] and his left [hand] to the heavens and to swear by the One who is alive for time indefinite: “It will be for an appointed time, appointed times and a half. And as soon as there will have been a finishing of the dashing of the power of the holy people to pieces, all these things will come to their finish.” Now as for me, I heard, but I could not understand; so that I said: “O my lord, what will be the final part of these things?” And he went on to say: “Go, Daniel, because the words are made secret and sealed up until the time of [the] end. Many will cleanse themselves and whiten themselves and will be refined. And the wicked ones will certainly act wickedly, and no wicked ones at all will understand; but the ones having insight will understand.” (Daniel 12:4-10, New World Translation)

Unquestionably, the scripture in Proverbs 4:18 is the most frequently used of the above three when driving home the idea of “increasing light”. However, the context of the scripture clearly shows that the “path of the righteous ones” is merely analogous of the favorable consequences enjoyed by righteous people in comparison with “wicked ones”. Bible prophecy or even “God’s word” is mentioned nowhere in this scripture. The “prophetic word” in 2 Peter 1:19 is a “lamp shining in a dark place” – it neither brightens nor dims. Daniel 12 describes the wicked ones failing to understand his prophecy, but only the “ones having insight” understanding. Indeed, according to this verse, whether or not bible prophecies are correctly understood seems to be an indicator of whether or not the one “roving about” is wicked or righteous! There is certainly no room for changes in interpretation, or going back to an original idea. You either understand, or you don’t.

The truth is, when read in their full context, none of the above three commonly used scriptures describe a scenario in which Jehovah God would use his holy spirit to knowingly and deliberately issue false information to his worshippers as a “makeweight” until true information is revealed at a later stage. This is simply not how the “God of truth” goes about doing things in the scriptures. (Psalm 31:5) Rather, when God wants his servants to know something, he tells them unequivocally and with no ambiguity or innuendo. In the case of a prophecy, for example, the words of a true prophet speaking on behalf of Jehovah are said to always come true without fail. The bible even tells us that you can identify a false prophet simply by noting whether the words he has spoken in Jehovah’s name have come true or not. (Deu. 18:20-22)

Faced with the evidence, there is therefore no scriptural reason for believing in the Society’s teaching of increasing light. Either the Society speaks as God’s representative in all things, or not at all. They must choose for themselves, as must their readers.

In reality, the “increasing light” teaching provides a convenient escape hatch whenever the Society is confronted with evidence of past teachings that are either suspect or downright misleading. It also allows the Society to change their prophetic interpretations whenever history proves the previous teachings to be false. However, wherever the “increasing light” doctrine came from, it most certainly doesn’t originate from the bible – that much is clear. The bible has simply been misquoted in a number of places in such a way as to apparently lend support to the notion. Indeed, the bible speaks clearly and unequivocally of those who speak falsely in Jehovah’s name, and its judgment of such ones is far from flattering.

What it all means

If you are one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and you have read this far in the article, you are to be commended for your bravery and thirst for real truth. Without wishing to sound too dramatic, if I could reach out and embrace you, I would do so! It is never easy facing the realization that so much of what you have learned and accepted as “truth” over the years is nothing more than human opinion. The publications and magazines of the “Slave Class” have, from the very beginning, been strewn with errors and very human ideas, including failed predictions and harsh teachings. Does this mean that the Society was wrong to “rove about” in God’s word, and offer their thoughts and ideas as to what certain scriptures might mean? Absolutely not!

The Governing Body claims to serve as “representatives” of the anointed, even though it has no interest in knowing who these ones are

Everyone is free to read the bible and publish his or her own ideas on what scriptures might mean. However, the Watch Tower Society has always gone one step further, and insisted that, as God’s sole organization on the Earth, their interpretation alone is to be considered the final word on all scriptural matters. In particular, the Governing Body has usurped the position of the “Faithful and Discreet Slave”, claiming to act as their “representative” when, in fact, none of the nearly 12,000 members of the anointed outside the world headquarters receive any contact or individual acknowledgment from the Governing Body. This is strange for the following reasons:

  • It was the “faithful and discreet slave” and NOT the Governing Body who were said to have been chosen by Christ in 1919.
  • The term “governing body” is found nowhere in the bible, neither does Jesus ever allude to a “governing body” as being necessary in order to represent his “Slave Class”.
  • If the Governing Body was truly a “representative” of the nearly 12,000 anointed, they would at least show some interest in the identity of such ones. Instead, a recent Watchtower article said that the Governing Body has no intention of contacting such ones, and even insinuated that memorial partakers other than the individual members of the Governing Body might be insane! (see w2011 8/15 p22)

Hopefully, if you have had chance to ponder on the above information, you will reach the realization (as I have) that Christ didn’t choose the organization in 1919 after all. The Society may continue to insist that it did, but in so doing it relies on the fact that there is nobody left who is old enough to remember the events to which so much prophetic significance is attached. The publications are therefore free to ‘wax lyrical’ and embellish accounts of these events in our organization’s history to give the impression that they were of supreme importance in the outworking of God’s purposes, when in fact they were nothing of the sort.

This, coupled with the absence of tangible evidence that God is indeed blessing the growth of the organization to the extent implied by the Society leaves one with the undeniable realization that Jehovah’s Witnesses, however well-meaning, are just another human religion. They enjoy no special relationship with God. Furthermore, it is unrealistic for them to aspire to such a relationship in the future while they continue to promote harsh, unloving and even life threatening teachings such as shunning, the rejection of blood transfusions, and the protection of child abusers if such ones falsely claim they are innocent.

“Where do I go from here?” you may well ask. Please let me reassure you that, contrary to what you have been led to believe, there is more to life than simply having everything you believe dictated to you by a human organization. There are many meaningful and fulfilling things you can do with your life, and there are many people in your situation who can sympathize with your dilemma and help you to break free from the Society’s influence.

Of course, everyone has different circumstances. You may not be in a situation to make a stand for what you honestly believe due to family, or other similar concerns. Each one must make his or her own decisions as to what they think is best based on individual circumstances and what they know to be true. If someone reaches the decision to remain as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses for family or other reasons, then I would be the last person to criticize them for doing so. After all, I am in a similar awkward position myself.

Whatever you choose to do, please be assured that you are not alone in your doubts, and there are many others like you throughout the world that share in your struggle. Hopefully, by coming together on websites such as this, we can begin to make a difference.







*The descriptions of The Finished Mystery I allude to can be found in the following Watchtower references: w95 5/15 p21; w70 4/1 pp.200-201; w67 2/15 p108; w64 7/15 p442.

Read the books referred to for yourself (from Internet Archives):

The Finished Mystery 1918 edition

Revelation Climax – 1988


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20 Responses to Under the microscope – the Watch Tower Society’s claims to divine direction (part 4)

  1. Cedars says:

    We received the following comment from somebody called “Dave” who was unable to comment. Here are his remarks:

    “Interesting article!

    BTW, on the “Spirit-inspired” thing:

    Notice both of those words contain the same root, ‘spir’ (which is also found in words like respire, expire, aspire, perspire).

    Israelites believed, just as their Babylonian and Egyptian “hosts”, that the organ of cognition was found, not in the head (i.e. the brain), but in the torso; specifically, they thought the centers of cognition were the lungs, the heart, the kidneys, and spleen. Even Aristotle was wrong on this point, as he also believed the heart was playing the role that modern men all know the brain actually plays.

    But back to ‘spire’:

    The word ‘respire’ properly refers to air entering the lungs to supply oxygen to the bloodstream. However, ancient men believed that ideas were formed in the lungs, and in a pre-literate (oral communication, only) world, ideas were also expressed by talking, which requires exhaling of breath and passing to the listeners.

    They also believed that Gods could directly inject ideas into mortals by “inspiring” them, literally breathing the ideas into their organ of cognition, the lungs. The air/ideas thus injected was the spirit of God at work.

    So now you can see that “spirit-inspired” is a redundant phrase, a construct that reflects an ignorance of the etymology.

    Speaking of divine inspiration, God is quoted in Genesis as referring to “evil thoughts found in the hearts of men” when explaining why he Flooded the Earth. That was no figure of speech: Hebrews literally believed the heart, along with the lungs, served as the center of cognition. It only became a figure of speech AFTER millenia of endorsement from the Bible!

    So God is quoted directly as believing incorrect anatomical functions for the heart, as espoused by the famous (but incorrect) Egyptian/Babylonian scientists of the day which the scribes relied on to write the account.

    Now, would a God who created mankind NOT understand the anatomical role of the heart? Or forgot the role of the brain, the crowning achievement of his mankind, which is not even mentioned ONCE in the Bible?

    The same goes for the kidneys role being incorrect in Psalms…

    The Bible is chock-full of old anatomical misbeliefs of ancient men. “Divinely-inspired”?”

  2. Jibrael says:

    I also have read “The Finished Mystery,” and it was quite a shocker. The Revelation Climax book argues that many of the prophecies of Revelation actually foretold this exact publication, so I was excited to find a copy… until I realized that none of this stuff was remotely true. The only part I found inspiring was its condemnation of WWI, but JWs were not the only religion decrying that war; in fact, the anti-war passages in “Finished Mystery” were all quotes from a Catholic priest!
    For those really interested in Revelation, I recommend either Marcus Borg’s “Reading the Bible Again For the First Time,” or “Revelations” by Elaine Pagels. Both are scholarly works, and far from Watchtower teaching, but the logic is sound, and the intepretations are something I can get behind.

  3. Naima says:

    My question was. .’could the holy spirit have misled them to test our loyalty?’…I now have my answer thank you. .most of us are hostages for obvious reasons. .

  4. Don Cameron says:

    ”You’ll never get sick. You will never grow old. And you will never die.”

    Although the above words come from the movie “Cocoon,” they could have come
    from the Watchtower Society because this is the same thing they have been proclaiming for decades as part of “the Creator’s promise of a peaceful and secure new world that is about to replace the present wicked, lawless system of things.”*

    This very appealing prospect attracts many people to begin to study the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses. It then sustains them as they eagerly wait for the fulfillment of this promise.

    But during the course of their study they get drawn into an illusionary concept involving the Watchtower organization that gradually takes over their decision-making process and even their conscience without them realizing it. It happens because of a mistake that everyone makes before they decide to become a Jehovah’s Witness.

    Captives of a Concept identifies both the concept and the mistake that causes people to become captives of it. The book also offers a few suggestions about how to help Jehovah’s Witnesses correct their mistake and teach themselves the truth about their religion.

    The book is designed to help the reader understand the illusionary concept mentioned by Raymond Franz on page 296 of his Crisis of Conscience, which holds Jehovah’s Witnesses (and even their Governing Body) captive by dominating and controlling how they think and act.

    It explains how the leadership has been able to keep themselves (apparently) and millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses convinced that “the Watchtower Society is God’s organization” no matter what the Bible says or what went on in the organization’s history.

  5. Ant Lloyd says:

    Do you know Cedars,

    I really appreciate your well-written articles.

    I find it funny that we are encouraged to follow the example of the Beroean Christians and at the same time we are berated if we voice an opinion just an ounce out of what the ‘slave’ teaches. We are constantly told of the need to read the Bible daily, like the Beroeans did. Now, the Beroeans were commended by Paul for ‘receiving the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so.’ (Acts 17:11) I’ve always noticed that they didn’t take things at face value, but they checked if what Paul preached to them 1) was scriptural and 2) was really so. Now, even though Paul was an apostle chosen by none other than Jesus it didn’t mean they shouldn’t think for themselves. So, why should it be so wrong that we do the same? That we check whether what are told or taught ‘is really so’ according to the scriptures? That we do what we tell others to do and use our own Bible-based conscience instead of just accepting what others tell us is right? That we think?

    A quick search in the publications will show that the GB has used the expression “independent thinking” rarely in the past decade. Funnily enough it was used a lot in the 80’s. Perhaps they realize how damaging it looks from the outside to not encourage critical thinking. Now, other expressions I couldn’t help noticing was in that talk by James Rayford about how close the end is, in which he uses the terms ‘governing body’ and ‘faithful slave’ interchangeably. And that was in 2007. And he was telling us ‘what the GB thinks about Matthew 24:14 and the time of the end’. He wanted us to know what they really thought. In light of the “new light”, was he subliminally telling us that the GB was the FS? Was he already laying the groundwork for that change? Was he telling us that they actually thought they were the FS as well?

    So, we should be like the Beroeans and carefully examine the scriptures as to what we are told is really so. And there is nothing wrong with that.

    “That you may PROVE TO YOURSELVES the good and acceptable and perfect will of God”. (Rom 12:2)

  6. Christinethomas7788@yahoo.com says:

    – I have written to the society on several occasions to share with them some seemingly reputal information that I had been working on for years – They refused to read my findins and labeled me as an Apostate and told me I was demonized and mentally ill -I would like to share a few that I sent to them here – and see if you also think that I am a demon posessed apostate – I willl submit below – please click on the link – WILL GOD’S PEOPLE BE STUMBLE BY THE TRUE NAME OF CHRIST – “JEHOSHUA”?

  7. Christine says:

    – Am I a demonized Apostate ?

  8. 70wksofyrs says:

    I am reading an earlier article from this mag with a new perspective it states…………………….


    Apollos was helped to improve the effectiveness of his ministry

    We want to stay up-to-date with the understanding of Bible truth so that we can share accurate knowledge with others. With that in mind, how would you answer the following questions?
    Whom did Jesus have in mind when he spoke of “this generation” mentioned at Matthew 24:34?—The Watchtower, April 15, 2010, pages 10-11.
    When does the separating of “the sheep from the goats” described at Matthew 25:32 take place?—The Watchtower, October 15, 1995, pages 21-23.
    As stated at Luke 21:26, when will “men become faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth”?—The Watchtower, February 15, 1994, pages 19-20.

    By augmenting daily Bible reading with careful personal study, we will be able to help others walk in the ever-increasing light that Jehovah sheds on his written Word.—Prov. 4:18.

    ………………. quite frankly this part of the article shoots the whole article in the foot……….with the new light doctrine setting up us for the new George Orwell teaching of some pigs are more equal than others but telling us to research the Bible ourselves??????????????

  9. 70wksofyrs says:

    Sorry I am a novice blogger………….wrong thread

  10. Anonymous says:

    As you your self said where do you go from here? You say some interpertations are wrong but offer no bible based truth in return. In truth “”All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness” And in the end no one will be given a pass. In the end we all must each come to inpired understanding of these Scriptures and only with Jehovah’s help can that happen. Give people some credit we are all shaped by our experience’s which can not be denied. Not even you. Thanks C.J. Born and rasied this way. Thru the the bible teaching followed by a good Mom, saved my life not by any ones direction.

    • messenger says:

      Anonymous, you already know….know where to go that is. To the Truth. The Bible does not say that is a religion, but it is the Christ. The facts about him is what we are told teach in the Bible. So we must watch and screen our personal teachings. Do you agree friend? I use to teach what I was told to teach, accepting what someone else told me to teach, putting faith that God accepted it. But now I’ve decide to only teach what I believe to be Biblical proven. Remember Christ said the hour is coming and it is now when God’s worshipers would not worship God in a designated place, or let me also add by designated customs of worship, but they would worship him with spirit and truth. Truth there means factually. The other truth means Christ. Both are necessary.

  11. Arno says:

    With Ant Lloyd, above, I can but concur that I really appreciate these well written articles of yours that I’ve read so far, Cedars, and with special reference to these last four *Under The Microscope.*

    What I also appreciate is your un-emotional, objective, logical, and kindly approach. I wish more *critical* JW websites were like this one 🙂

    Anyway, this very topic of Christ having come in 1919 to inspect his *spiritual temple* and subsequent WT anomalies as to date setting and chopping and changing doctrine whilst claiming to be directed/inspired/whatever by holy spirit, caused me to be declared an apostate after a severe judicial meeting…and the rest hurtful and sad history. My wife are still for all practical purposes a Witness. I just couldn’t do what you are doing, i.e. going through the motions.

    I really feel for all of you who are stuck inside and having to go undercover to escape the terrible consequences that *that* body of old men (all died out now I guess) and replaced with ANOTHER body of not so young men, can do to YOUR personal and family lives. Although we are not divorced today, we are separated since 1999. At times I regret that I stood up to the whole hoax…but then again, in retrospect, I’m also glad I did what I did. I just couldn’t rape my own conscience… Spiritually I’ve grown stronger, and still am.

    Please, do not read at all that I think that you guys and girls who chose to go undercover are weaklings or in any way are *raping* YOUR integrity. Far from it. It’s just the way I experience it personally 🙂 I know it’s landmine territory out there in Witness-land. I’m just very glad to have stumbled on this site of yours.

    I wish you all strength and just the very best that God can and *will* throw your way. Be of good cheer.

  12. LMC says:

    After reading all of these articles and especially The Finished Mystery which btw I always thought was highly acclaimed by the WTS (at least in many of their WT articles) I always believed what I was told. After reading some of the beliefs that Charles Taze Russel indulged in I have to conclude that this man was a KOOK!

  13. Joe says:

    GB has clarified how we should understand this attitude of the Beroeans resent watchtower. I think some time last year or so. They said the Beroeans where not searching outside what the Apostles has thought them.

    • messenger says:

      What the GB claimed about that is not true, if they did in fact state what you claim here. What the scriptures say is the Beroeans were searching the scriptures to see if those backed up what they were being taught about Christ. The scriptures referred to are the Jewish scriptures. The thought doesn’t make any sense otherwise. The Beroeans were not searching what the apostles taught them to see if it agreed with what the apostles taught them; they were searching what the Jewish prophets said about the messiah. It’s really easy to relate scriptures such as Isaiah chapter 53 to patterns and incidents in Christ’s life as his life is related to us and to the Beroeans by the apostles. It’s a lot bigger leap to believe that a historical scripture about ancient Jews also applies to a convention at Cedar Point Ohio in the 20th century as WT claims. And most people might believe it apostasy to claim that measurements inside an Egyptian pyramid relate to and prove Bible prophecies, as CT Russell did. Yet the Finished Mystery proclaims Russell is the most prolific writer of Biblical truth that ever lived. If the WT was never proven wrong God would still want us to think, to use our God given minds to reason. How much more because that is not the case. They are frequently wrong.

  14. jannapr says:

    Divine direction.. Thats a little frightning how they could say that. The reason why is because Satan has them mislead and using the bible, twisting the scriptures.(2Peter 3:16) They acually tell on themselves; in The Prodigal Son Returns video. The man thats influenced is a Jw ,who is influenced by a respected popular Jw “”A brother”” He never gets busted. The whole piont is these corrupt influences are in the congragation. So they need to really adjust their thoughts and know Satan is surrounding them and CAN because of their haughtiness.

  15. Jay Laflamme says:

    I think it is very important to emphasize how FILTHY RICH the governing body is. Anyone who gets into that space is controlling a huge amount of money. It would be good to see how the governing body rewards itself. Those men must have some material weaknesses that only a billionaire can have?? Where do they live? How much do they spend on clothes or personal effects? Jewelery? Technology? It would be very interesting to see how they live behind closed doors.

  16. messenger says:

    It seems there are reasons why the governing body’s assertion that they alone are given the ability to interpret God’s word, and that whoever does not believe and follow what they say is either a false Christian, an apostate, or in a demonic religion is absurd and an illogical teaching. God is logical, and he created us with an ability to use logic. That being true, does it make sense that God would require all humanity to follow a small group of men, requiring all people to accept that small group’s interpretations of His word when they do not even accept their own interpretations, but they are constantly changing those interpretations? Seems to me if God were to require that of humanity without at least supplying some sort of proof that he backs up that small group of men, and proof that they speak in his name with his approval, even when getting it wrong, then God would not be just, but we know he is just. But what proof do they have….miracles? No! Predictions that already came true? No! Nostradamus had more. Is there a record of God using a group or a person in the Bible that constantly got it wrong….but was used by God anyway and others were required to follow them at risk of death, although God supplied no proof that they had his backing? None I’m aware of….Daniel was told to seal up what he did not understand…not spread inaccurate interpretations to others. Moses did bring water from the rock in his own name. Yet God supplied proof Moses was God’s spokesman. And Moses did not constantly get it wrong as the GB does. Would it be just for God to require people to follow the teachings and interpretations of other people who don’t even believe those teachings themselves for very long, and for God to kill all that don’t follow those men, even when those other people that don’t follow these false interpretations love God and Christ with their whole hearts, while attempting to live by God’s word? To me that’s the great fallacy of Watchtower teachings, and it might put some taking that position in a dangerous position with Christ who is their judge; for Christ told us a story of an evil slave that saw his master’s return was delaying and began to beat his fellow slaves. And when the master returned he dealt with that evil slave in a harsh way.

    • Winston Smith says:

      Sound reasoning Messenger. Jesus said: “If I am not doing My Father’s works, don’t believe Me. But if I am doing them and you don’t believe Me, believe the works.” What works are the GB doing that we might believe they are God’s spokesmen? Failed predictions and constantly changing interpretations are not much to go on. The JW will answer: “they are doing the preaching work.” But if what is being preached is not accurate, what good is it? Deut 18:20 gives the standard: “When a prophet speaks in the Lord’s name, and the message does not come true or is not fulfilled, that is a message the Lord has not spoken.”

      Another point of reasonable argument: As the creator, God is responsible for the creation of every human on earth. However according to JW dogma, he needs to exterminate 99.9% of his creation, because they apparently don’t follow the correct man or group of men on earth today. So basically, as a creator, God is only 0.1% successful. That’s pretty poor for an omnipotent being. Any manufacturing company that only had a 0.1% quality rating wouldn’t last very long.


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