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A BRIEF HISTORY OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES
by Mark J.
marks_ebay (nospam) msn.com (unverified)
11 Oct 2005
A BRIEF HISTORY OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES
Since 1876, when WatchTower Society founder Charles Taze Russell started preaching that Jesus Christ had returned in 1874, and that the rapture would occur in 1878 (thereafter revised to 1881 for obvious reasons), the religious group known today as "Jehovah's Witnesses" have repeatedly published prophecies which did not come true, after which they revised their own history in order to conceal their failures from the next bunch of victims whom they would snare with their next bunch of false
Charles Taze Russell preached for four decades that the Bible's "Battle of Armageddon" would occur in October 1914. When that WatchTower prophecy did not come true, Russell re-prophesied Armageddon for October 1915. After Russell's second failure in as many years, many of Russell's followers finally realized that Russell was a false prophet, and fled the cult. Fully exposed for the charlatan that he was, Russell's health deteriorated, and he died the following October 1916 (interestingly on Halloween Day).
By the time Russell died in 1916, the loss of book buyers and book sellers had nearly resulted in the cult's financial collapse. Doing what they did best, Russell's remaining followers decided to replenish their depleted ranks and depleted coffers by publishing a new book with new prophecies of calamidy for all who did not join the WatchTower cult. By mid 1917, THE FINISHED MYSTERY was rushed off the presses, and as planned, the sensational prophecies found in its pages made it a guaranteed moneymaker, as literally hundreds of thousands of copies were snatched up by Americans terrified by World War I.
However, the need for quick cash had resulted in poor business judgment. Russell's followers failed to heed the lesson Russell had learned the hard way back in the late 1870s, when Russell had set his 1878 and 1881 false prophesies too close in time.
THE FINISHED MYSTERY boldly prophesied: "Also, in the year 1918, when God destroys the churches wholesale and the church members by millions, it shall be that any that escape shall come to the works of Pastor Russell to learn the meaning of the downfall of 'Christianity.'" -- TFM, page 485.
As if setting calamitous prophecies for "the year 1918" was not sensational enough to foster book sales in mid-1917, THE FINISHED MYSTERY went on to set "April 27, 1918" as the time when GOD would destroy millions of churches and church members because they had not joined in as cult followers of Charles Taze Russell:
"Pastor Russell's voice was stilled in death on October 31, 1916. If
an application of Ezekiel's period of dumbness is valid here as a time feature, the tidings, the realization that Christendom is smitten by the onslaughts of revolution, might be expected to flash throughout the world on or about April 27, 1918, a year, five months and twenty-six days after the death of God's great watchman. As in Ezekiel 24:27,
this would be a sign, an indication to Christendom of the truth of Pastor Russell's commission from the Almighty." -- TFM, page 530.
According to THE FINISHED MYSTERY, around the same time that GOD would destroy the millions of churches and church members "on or about April 27, 1918", loyal followers of Charles Taze Russell would be raptured to heaven. Various calamities would follow in 1919, and then:
"As the fleshly-minded apostates from Christianity, siding with the radicals and revolutionaries, will rejoice at the inheritance of desolation that will be Christendom's after 1918, so will God do to the successful revolutionary movement; it shall be utterly desolated, "even all of it." Not one vestige of it shall survive the ravages of world-wide all-embracing anarchy, in the fall of 1920."
These excerpts are only a sampling of the numerous (and now humorous) prophesies found in the nearly 600 pages of THE FINISHED MYSTERY. Whether the WatchTower Society was a "true prophet" or a "false prophet" speaks for itself.
By 1920, the WatchTower Society was promoting a new sensational book to replace THE FINISHED MYSTERY as the WatchTower Society's latest "cash cow". This new book had the appealing title: MILLIONS NOW LIVING WILL NEVER DIE. This new book prophesied:
" ... we may expect 1925 to witness the return of these faithful men of Israel from the condition of the dead, being fully resurrected and fully restored to perfect humanity and made the visible, legal representatives of the new order of things on earth. ... the great jubilee cycle is due to begin in 1925. At that time the earthly phase of the kingdom shall be recognized. ... Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the faithful prophets of old, ... ." -- pages 88-90.
This cycle of false prophecies repeated itself during the following decades, but the WatchTower Cult continued to grow as it always retained some victims who were willing to replace the last failed prophecy with the glowing promises of the next.
It took the WatchTower Society from the 1870s until the mid-1960s to reach their first 1,000,000 members. However, by the mid-1970s membership reached 2,000,000 members. How did the WatchTower manage to double its membership in such a short timespan? You guessed correctly. In 1966, the WatchTower Society started prophesying that the "Battle of Armageddon" would occur in October 1975. Again, whether the WatchTower Society was a "true prophet" or a "false prophet" speaks for itself.
Since 1975, there were "hints" at 1984 (70 year generation after 1914) and 1994 (80 year generation after 1914), and Jehovah's Witnesses now count nearly 6,500,000 door-knockers, with roughly an additional 10,000,000 victims and potential victims attending their meetings.
In 2005, the WatchTower Society teaches that in 1918 that Jesus Christ conducted an audit/inspection of all christian-professing religions in order to select one single group as his sole earthly representatives. The WatchTower Society teaches that they were the only "christians" who were teaching "truth" in 1918, and that Jesus Christ selected them in 1919 to be his sole representatives on earth to preach his truth before he returns to destroy all persons who fail to become "Jehovah's
Evidently, today's Jehovah's Witnesses do not have a clue what their "faithful and discreet slave" was teaching in 1918 or 1919.