In the Watch Tower of October 15, 1966 (pp. 613-626) The Jehovah’s Witnesses present an article titled What Has God’s Kingdom Been Doing Since 1914; and, since we ourselves being intimately familiar with the events that have occurred since that date, we believe our readers will welcome an analysis – a presentation of Fact against Fiction. In their treatise the Witnesses stress the year 1914 as the time for the establishment of God’s Kingdom on earth – with themselves as the earthly visible representatives of that Kingdom. That 1914 is a very marked date in human history needs no argument; nor is any argument necessary for informed Bible students that that year is also clearly set forth in Old and New Testament prophecy. Clearly enough, then we have no objection to the date itself; it is then only with the events that occurred in 1914 – and since and their Biblical and secular significance that we part company with the Witnesses’ expressions.
Let us first consider Mal. 4:5,6: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the Prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And He shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” These are the last words of Old Testament Holy Writ; and for centuries that have intervened the Jews have given a literal interpretation to the prophecy – so much so that many of them to this day have a vacant chair at their Passover table each year, for the use of Elijah – just in case he should make unexpected appearance. But a critical examination of Matt. 11:14 will reveal clearly enough that Jesus interpreted Elijah as a type of the Gospel-Age Christ Company, which, coupled with the Malachi text, sets him forth as a type with specific purpose – namely, Elijah prefigured the Gospel-Age Church in its endeavors to reform “this present evil world” to reform the irreformable – which task has never yet been accomplished.
In discussing John the Baptist, and his status, Jesus had said of him: “If ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was to come.” The American Revised Version gives the text like this: “This (one, John the Baptist) is (represents) Elijah that is (literally, the one being about) to come.” And what John did then on a small scale for Israel in preparing “the way of the Lord” for Israel makes him an antitype of Elijah. Note now Matt. 17:12,13: “Elias is come already, and they knew him not... Likewise shall also the Son of Man suffer of them. Then the Disciples understood that He spake unto them of John the Baptist.” And, since John antityped Elijah announcing Jesus at His first Advent, so the Gospel-Age Church would antitype Elijah in much greater degree in announcing Jesus at His second Advent in power and great glory.
Jesus having so clearly marked Elijah as a type, we are now justified in studying the events in Elijah’s life for helpful information concerning the antitype. In 1 Kgs. 19:8 it is stated that “he did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the Mount of God.” In Heb. 12:18-20 St. Paul very clearly declares that Horeb (or Sinai) was a type of the greater mountain (kingdom), which would be the answer to the prayer: “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven.” And Elijah’s going “forty days” in the strength of the food he received would antitype the Greater Elijah (the Gospel-Age Church) going forty antitypical days (or forty years) from 1874 to 1914 – when, for the first time in Gospel-Age history “the stone cut out of the mountain without hands” (Dan. 2:45) was collectively and individually sufficiently complete to begin to “break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms.” The end of the Gentile Times had been reached, and their eviction then immediately begun. This is in exact harmony with Brother Russell’s teaching on the subject.
SINCE 1914 – A SECOND COUNTERFEIT KINGDOM
The foregoing is probably not too much at variance with what the Witnesses themselves believe of the situation up to 1914; but we shall now examine some of the happenings since that time. One of the first major undertakings of the Witnesses after the death of Pastor Russell in October 1916 was the publication in 1917 of Volume VII of Studies in the Scriptures – under the name of the International Bible Students Association, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, as they were then known. That Volume VII was also titled “The Finished Mystery,” was hailed as the seventh vial fulfillment of Rev. 16:17; and certain statements in that book concerning patriotism, etc., were construed by the United States Government as a decided interference with their prosecution of the war against the central powers, resulting in eight of the organization’s leaders being sent to Atlanta Penitentiary in 1918 (from which they were subsequently pardoned in 1919).
Shortly after their release from durance vile, a sharp and widespread controversy arose among the former adherents of Brother Russell over the chronology which he had produced from the Scriptures; and the leaders of the Society made valiant correct and commendable defense against those who were attempting to find the chronology wrong by some nineteen years. Both Volume VII and the chronology were made tests of fellowship; and an extensive division resulted. Many were disfellowshiped because they could not accept the multitudinous errors in Volume VII, and others were disfellowshiped because they could not accept the true chronology as given by Brother Russell. But it was only a few years until the Witnesses themselves forsook the true chronology, and rejected their own Volume VII so much so with the latter that it is now ‘Index Expurgatorious’ to their own members. This poses a timely question: If Volume VII is wrong now, was it not equally wrong in 1917 when the uproar occurred concerning it? And, if they have been the visible Kingdom of God on earth since 1914, what explanation do they now offer for such a colossal blunder on the part of the Lord? “God is not the author of confusion.” Furthermore, if the chronology was right fifty years ago, it should still be right. Mathematical calculations are the same – yesterday, today and forever!
SATAN CAST OUT OF HEAVEN
The article under discussion also proceeds to say that in 1914 Satan was cast out of Heaven, and “his angels were hurled down with him.” The account of the angels that sinned is discussed by the Apostle Peter, and we now quote it from Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott translation (2 Pet. 2:4-6): “God did not spare the angels who sinned, but having confined them in Tartarus (translated ‘Hell’ in the King James version – from the Greek Tartaroo, meaning the thick murky atmosphere about this earth) with chains of thick darkness, delivered them over into custody for judgment; and did not spare the Old World, but kept in safety Noah, the eighth, a Herald of righteousness, bringing a deluge on the world of impious men; and condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, reducing them to ashes, making them an example for the impious hereafter.” It should be noted that all of this text is stated in the past tense – that it is a chronological narrative, giving the events in order of time. Thus, the first one mentioned is “the angels who sinned”; the second, the “deluge on a world of impious men”; and third, and final, Sodom and Gomorrah. Surely, this is clear evidence that the “angels who sinned” had been cast down to Tartaroo (confined to the atmosphere of this earth) even before the flood destroyed the “world that was.”
Further corroboration of Scriptural fact against the Witnesses’ Fiction is to be found in the performance of Jesus and the Apostles on numerous occasions casting out demons – evil spirits – fallen angels – Satan’s partners in the master crime of all Ages. Just a few such citations are: Matt. 4:24, 8:16; Mark 3:22; Luke 4:41, 10:17; Acts 5:16, 16:16-18 and 19:12, etc. Also, the words of Jesus, Luke 10:17, 19, Dia.: “The seventy returned with joy, saying, Lord, even the demons are subject to us by thy name.
And He said to them, I saw the Adversary falling from Heaven like lightning.” Certainly, this is a clear statement by the Lord Himself that Satan had been cast out of Heaven before this Gospel Age had even begun. Also, 1 Pet. 5:8, Dia.: “Your opponent, the enemy (Satan), like a roaring lion, is walking about, seeking to devour.” Who are the “Your” in this text? We answer, they are the people to whom St. Peter addressed his letter – “To the sojourners of the dispersion, of Pontus, Galatia,” etc. It needs no argument that those Jewish “sojourners of the dispersion” were people here on earth, so it would be interesting to hear from the Witnesses how Satan walking about in Heaven could devour human beings here on earth. But perhaps the most compelling of all argument against their fiction is our Lord’s prayer: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven. How could God’s will be done in Heaven if Satan was there “as a roaring lion,” seeking to devour?
Yet the Witnesses now make great claim that their proclamation of these errors – this fiction – is the expression of God’s Kingdom on earth since 1914! And in all this they have been casting aside one truth after another since 1914 – truths for which they stoutly contended at least through 1916. Not only so, but they have been changing their own teachings with great rapidity year after year in distressing confusion – although the Scripture is very emphatic that “God is not the author of confusion” – and when His Kingdom is actually established on earth “the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.” (Isa. 35:8) They have modified and changed much of their teaching since this paper was first published in 1966. However, in spite of this clear promise, we believe it is a fair appraisal that the large majority of the Witnesses’ dedicated adherents do not now have a clear understanding even of what they themselves should believe – one strong reason for this being that, as one prominent official, their vice-president, put it some years ago: “We don’t believe this year what we did last year, and we probably won’t be believing next year what we believe this year.” Can such bedlam possibly be the “desire of all nations” which is promised to come when God’s Kingdom really begins to operate on earth?
At this point it is in order also to call attention to another very radical change they have made in their teachings since they have been the “representatives of God’s Kingdom,” so we quote from p. 134 of The Finished Mystery: “Instead of teaching that the saved of our race will all be saved to the same thing, the Scriptures show two degrees or kinds of Heavenly salvation (which is correct, and exactly as Pastor Russell taught it—JJH) .... the Little Flock, who are to sit down with Christ in His Throne; the Great Company who are to stand before the Throne, having palms of martyrdom but without the crowns of glory . “
At present the Witnesses have made their “Great Company” of Rev. 7:9 a “large multitude” of human beings – their present dedicated devotees, who are to live right on through Armageddon and continue to live forever right here on earth – a complete reversal of what they received from Brother Russell, and which they enthusiastically taught some fifty years ago – after 1914; so our readers may determine for themselves which is fact and which is fiction in this extreme change they have made. However, they have modified their teaching about the “great multitude” living through Armageddon, as quite a few of their faithful followers have since died.
COMFORT FOR THE JEWS
Another complete reversal is their present teaching on the re-gathered Jews in Palestine to what it was forty years ago. In 1925 their then President J. F. Rutherford produced a new book – COMFORT FOR THE JEWS – and here is some of the comments to be found on the Frontispiece:
“Judge Rutherford, known throughout the world as a friend of the Hebrew people, is vigorously supporting the claim of the Jews to the Holy Land ... His lectures to large audiences, which have been broadcast throughout the world, on ‘JEWS RETURNING TO PALESTINE,’ have created an intense interest. This Volume is the first unbiased presentation of the subject from the Scriptural viewpoint published.” Then on the next page is quoted Psa. 122:6: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: They shall prosper that love thee.” All of this is correctly based upon the clear Scriptural declaration (Isa. 2:3), “Out of Zion (the Glorified Messiah and His Elect Bride, who are the primary seed of Abraham, who are to bless all nations—Gal. 3:8) shall go forth the Law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” – which city will contain the true earthly ‘princes’ (rulers – representatives) of the Kingdom. All of this is now categorically denied in the Watch Tower of October 15, 1966:
“The earthly Jerusalem has nothing to do with it,” they say; “Since Jesus was put to death on Calvary outside the walls of Jerusalem in the year 33 C.E. that city has no connection with God’s Messianic Kingdom.”
After correctly discussing the dispersion and the terrible afflictions of the Jews all during this Gospel Age, the Judge then proceeds to say on p. 45 (also correctly):
“But is Israel cast off forever? The answer is No indeed! Mark the statement made by our Lord to Ezekiel at the time of pronouncing the final decree against them. It is: ‘I will overturn, overturn, overturn it; and it shall be no more until He come whose right it is; and I will give it Him’—Eze. 21:27. (Emphasis by the Judge) The mere fact that the Lord said He would overturn it until a set time, is conclusive proof that it is God’s purpose to restore Israel to His favor upon certain conditions. But when? The answer is, With the coming of Shiloh, the Messiah, to whom shall the gathering of the people be, as promised in Gen. 49:10. Then He of whom Moses was a type shall come into His own... That will mark the time when the favor of God may be expected to return to Israel.” (“Comfort For The Jews” by J. F. Rutherford)
This clear and emphatic statement by the Judge is indeed the truth, and the Witnesses believed it to be the truth forty years ago; but THEY DON’T BELIEVE IT NOW – although they claimed to be witnessing to God’s Kingdom then, just as they claim to be doing so now. Thus, again the question: Were they teaching fiction then or – are they teaching fiction now? To help our readers to arrive at the correct answer to this question, we now quote Zech. 14:1-3: “Behold, the day of the Lord cometh (the times of restitution spoken by the mouth of all the Holy Prophets—Acts 3:19-23), and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations (Gog and Magog, the hosts of merciless plunderers of regathered Israel) against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle” – as He did for Joshua against the Amalekite kings at Gibeon (Josh. 10:1-14), as He fought for David against the Philistines at Baal-Perazim (2 Sam. 5:17-21), and as He miraculously delivered Israel from the hosts of Midian by Gideon and his band of 300 men, the Midianites and the Amalekites being “like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels without number, as the sand by the seaside for multitude.” (Judges 7:1-25 This miraculous help is to come to the Jews at Jerusalem in “the day of the Lord” (just before the real Mediatorial Kingdom is established at Jerusalem), clearly testifying that this delivery from their enemies is an event yet in the future.
A BRIEF RESUME
In the foregoing pages we have detailed only a few of the major reversals of teaching by the Witnesses over the past forty years. If we attempted to analyze all of their variations, it would no doubt require a good-sized book. Clearly enough, a great part of their “witnessing” could be nothing less than fiction – either then, or now – because they now teach just the reverse of what they did a few years back. For the benefit of our readers, we now offer some Scriptures which will help determine if their present-day witnessing is fact or fiction:
“When thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness” (Isa. 26:9). Have the inhabitants of the earth really been learning righteousness by this somersaulting change in teachings with each succeeding year? “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my Holy Mountain (Kingdom): for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:9). Which shall we consider “the knowledge of the Lord” – what the Witnesses gave us forty years ago, or what they are giving us now? And have men ceased to “hurt or destroy” as a result of their “knowledge,” or do we not see more hurting and destroying than ever before in human history?
All of this performance by the Witnesses is an identical twin to the Papacy claims during their false “kingdom” from 799 to 1799, when they also went from one error into another, freely excommunicating the ‘heretics’ who did not agree with them – just as the Witnesses also now do. And, as they now claim to be separating the Sheep from the Goats, so Papacy also claimed to be separating the saved from the damned – then, the same as now, offering false promises to the ‘faithful,’ and decreeing false punishments to the ‘unfaithful.’ And, also like the Papacy, they have been guilty of drastic mistranslation of the Scriptures to make them fit their present contentions.
Let us emphasize the very close similarity of the first counterfeit Kingdom of the Papacy in 799-1799 to the second counterfeit now being preached by the Witnesses. Said the Papacy, If you do not accept us, you are lost – in eternal torment. Say the Witnesses, If you do not accept us, you are lost – in unending death. Said the Papacy, We are the Vicar of Christ on earth, the infallible repository of God’s Word - no salvation outside of our domain. Say the Witnesses, We are the visible representatives of God’s Kingdom on earth since 1914, no salvation outside of us and the teachings we offer. And in both counterfeit kingdoms the teachings were repeatedly changed – diametrically contradicting previously-held beliefs, yet loudly proclaiming themselves to be the Mouthpiece of God on earth, while shouting anathema at all dissidents, excommunications for so much as a question against what comes from the “Channel.”
As That Servant has so aptly said, “When the Truth comes in conflict with error, when the Sword of the Spirit, wielded by some of the Lord’s simple followers, proves mighty in the overthrow of error – when the light of Present Truth, and the clearness in which it is presented, and the beauty in which it can be seen and appreciated, is contrasted with the error, the result is either that the Truth is seen in its beauty, or the erring one opposing it becomes more densely blinded than before.”
And it is a very pleasant observation that the Truth always deals much more generously with the errorists than do the errorists with those who have the Truth. During Brother Russell’s ministry the preachers of error all over Christendom were consigning him to “the hottest corner in Hell” – all the while he himself was allowing for them the “Gospel (good news) of the Kingdom” under the benign mediatorial reign of the Christ. Likewise, the Scribes and the Pharisees were labeling Jesus as an emissary of “Beelzebub,” as He himself was predicting for them that they would “see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God.” (Luke 13:28) So also the Papacy during their counterfeit kingdom – not only sentenced the “heretics” to eternal torment, but actually started the torment for many of them by splitting their noses, pouring molten lead into their ears, tearing them apart limb from limb on the rack, while the recipients of their heinous torture were praying peace and forgiveness for their tormentors. In similar manner, the Witnesses now consign to everlasting extinction those who reject their errors – although those of us who have the Truth allow for the deluded devotees of their “kingdom” a full opportunity to imbibe the “knowledge of the Lord” (the Truth) under benign real Kingdom conditions. Recently one of the Witnesses called at our residence, while we were absent, with intent to berate us. At the end of a courteous hearing, he said of us as he left the house, “He’s a dead man!” It is indeed a sad commentary that the tendency of errorists always seems to be to heap imprecations, excommunications (“make fire come down from Heaven in the sight of men”—Rev. 13:13) and revilings upon those who expose their errors – even while those with the Truth make generous allowance for those in error. All of the Heathen Gods are cruel Gods, as can be seen from their hideous portrayal on the totem poles and other idol constructions.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses claim Pastor Russell as their founder, but this is what he says about the true Kingdom in the very year of 1914 – a most forceful contradiction to their present claim that the appearance of their organization constitutes the visible Kingdom on earth:
“The Ancient Worthies (not their earthly organization!—JJH) will be the earthly representatives of the Messianic Kingdom (See the 11th chapter of Hebrews for a list of the names of some of these faithful Ancients—JJH). The Christ, however, will be the great Teacher in glory, from whom all instructions will come through these earthly representatives. As people begin to get the true, the real knowledge about the glorious character of God, they will begin to see how inferior they are. Then (when “Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and all the prophets, are in the Kingdom” – in Jerusalem – Luke 13:28—JJH) they will be in condition to receive instruction.” (See Reprint 5583, Dec. 1, 1914) The prophets were “holy men of God’ (2 Pet. 1:21), so they will be “in the Kingdom.”
The Witnesses’ have promised their dedicated “Large Multitude” life eternal through Armageddon and on through the Ages to come (although they have modified their teaching on this since this article was first written) is also a complete reversal of their past teachings. We quote now from p. 3 of the Publisher’s Preface of The Finished Mystery:
“In the light of Divine Prophecy, now being daily fulfilled and made clear to ‘the watchers,’ the following from the pen of Pastor Russell is further proof that he was sent of God to this generation. Long years before the beginning of the trouble now upon nations he wrote: ‘The four exhibitions of the Lord, given to Elijah, represent, we believe, four manifestations in which the Lord is about to reveal Himself to mankind, the first three of which will prepare men for the final one, in which will come the desired blessing to all the families of the earth. These are:
“(I) The mighty winds rending the very rocks. Blowing winds seem to be used in Scripture for wars ...
“(2) An earthquake. Throughout the Scriptures an earthquake seems always to represent revolution.... conditions which would follow such a war would make revolution the next thing in order.
“(3) The fire from Heaven – an epoch of Divine judgments and chastisements upon a maddened, but unconverted world, wild in anarchy, as other Scriptures show us. The results of their wars, revolutions and anarchy, in the failure of their schemes, will have a humbling effect, and will prepare mankind for God’s revelation of Himself in
“(4) The still small voice. Yes, He who spoke to the winds and the waves of Galilee will, in due time, speak peace to the peoples.”
The foregoing is now also repudiated by the Witnesses in some of its major parts, because it makes a shambles of their present claims and fictional hopes presented to their dedicated devotees; but, as we said in our February l966 paper, Time itself is making them appear very ridiculous. In the Witnesses’ present feverish endeavors to separate the Sheep from the Goats, there is one determining question which should prove beyond the shadow of doubt to all unbiased minds if their present teaching is fact or fiction: IS SATAN NOW BOUND?
It is clearly stated in Rev. 20:1-3 that “An angel laid hold on that old Serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years. And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more.” Would any one of sound mind – or even the Witnesses themselves – contend that Satan is now bound? And, if he is not bound, then he must still be deceiving the nations. And, if the nations are being deceived, how can they possibly be held accountable for their deception? It is exactly the same as a sleight-of-hand performer tricking his audience by his manual manipulations. The Witnesses keep right on separating the Sheep from the Goats, however, with high reward for those who accept them and eternal death to all others who do not join them before Armageddon.
Be it noted that Papacy made exactly the same mistake in their counterfeit kingdom from 799 to 1799, when they also were separating the Sheep from the Goats – except that they now claim that Satan was indeed bound then – that he has been “loosed for a little season” since 1799. Thus, their counterfeit kingdom was an improvement – in theory, at least – upon the present kingdom of the Witnesses. The Witnesses do not claim that Satan is bound – at least not yet have they made such claim. But perhaps we should give them time! But for now let us keep in mind the promise of Rev. 21:3-4: “Behold, the Tabernacle of God is with men... and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain.” During the Papal counterfeit kingdom there was just the reverse of this great promise – violence, cruelty and oppression, prevailed in all quarters. And during the Witnesses’ kingdom since 1914 it is also evident that violence – “nation against nation” – is the prevailing order of the day. Judge Rutherford was wont to stress the “physical facts” in his lectures and writings forty some years ago; therefore, we would now call upon the Witnesses to catalog the “physical facts” to prove that the benign Kingdom of God is now with us. However, we now place ourselves on record in predicting an even greater “Armageddon” delusion than was their “Millions Now Living Will Never Die” delusion before 1925. “He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear.”
Let us consider also the promise of the conditions when the separation of the Sheep and Goats is in order: “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain (Kingdom): for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord.” (Isa. 11:9) Today we find just the reverse of this in the earth – “men’s hearts failing them for fear” – the violence of the atomic bombs, etc., is multifold greater than was the violence that filled the earth in the “world that was.” (2 Pet. 3:6; Gen. 6:11) Also, according to the Witnesses’ own contentions, the vast majority of religious teachers in the earth today are rank frauds – deceiving the people with error, instead of teaching them the “knowledge of the Lord.” But, when God’s true Kingdom is actually in operation in the earth, “they shall no more teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them.” (Jer. 31:34) It should need no argument that millions upon millions of human beings today have not the mental capacity to recognize the truth when it is presented to them; that is why it is so easy for “grievous wolves” to prosper greatly today – something all should expect in this great “Time of Trouble.” (Dan. 12:1)
However, the Witnesses do teach a reign of “righteousness and Truth” after Armageddon, with them as the chief rulers in the earth. But, they say, “The generation now living who do not accept us before Armageddon will perish in that holocaust, and will have no part in that Kingdom – nor any opportunity of ever being resurrected.” This is a gross perversion of the true Kingdom – the “Good Tidings of Great Joy, which shall be to all people.” In that true Kingdom, “All that are in their graves will hear his voice and come forth.” (John 5:28,29) This “all” will include the present generation, as well as past generations. The Worthies will be the earthly representatives then – and the “Word of the Lord” will go forth from Jerusalem. (Isa. 2:3) Their Gospel(?) is very “bad news” to the large majority of this generation – and cannot be too joyous for some of their adherent who will have relatives and friends perishing in Armageddon – if they fail to accept and join the Witnesses beforehand.
“Now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.” (Mal. 3:15) This is just the reverse of what we may expect when the true Kingdom of God is here – when “the Tabernacle of God is with men.” “Do you therefore, Beloved, being forewarned, be on your guard, lest being led away by the deceit of the lawless, you should fall from your own stability; but grow in favor and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (2 Pet. 3:17,18, Dia.)
(Reprint of No. 194, Aug. 1, 1971)
Sincerely your brother,
John J. Hoefle Pilgrim
QUESTION OF GENERAL INTEREST
QUESTION: – Will you please give us your analysis of the May 15, 1978 Watchtower article on “What Draws You to God”?
ANSWER: – What draws men to God is His Truth. He is not drawing “all sorts” during this Faith Age – only those of a “good and honest heart” – and only those who are “of the Truth.” “Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.” (Jn. 18:37) “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” (John 17:16,17) The Witnesses are sanctifying all people, whether “of the truth” or not, when they come with them (set them apart for service – so many hours a week, etc.). Many are “sanctified” because of fear of Armageddon annihilation.
“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” (John 12:32) Here is the Berean Comment on this text: “During the Millennium.... By giving them a knowledge of the Lord.” The Jehovah’s Witnesses make changes in texts to be different and to suit their teaching; so in this text they say “He will draw all sorts” instead of “all men.” (p. 5, col. 2, par. 2)
In this same paper they tell us “that the Devil has caused the negative way of thinking to permeate every form of false religion.” (p. 7, col. 1, par. 1) If the Devil is now causing the “negative way” of thinking, then how can they expect such people whose minds are blinded by “the god of this world” to “discern between good and evil,” Truth and Error? (Heb. 5:14) In that glorious Kingdom the “eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.” (Isa. 35:5) Most assuredly that Kingdom will include the people of this generation, as well as those of past generations, whose eyes have been blinded by the “god of this world.” (2 Cor. 4:4) This is indeed the Gospel – “Good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” (Luke 2:10)
They do suggest that their adherents ask themselves: “Am I doing so with a willing and happy heart? Or, is it possibly with the thought of avoiding destruction at the fast approaching day of Har-Magedon?—Eccl. 12:13; Rev. 16:15,16.” (p. 7, col. 2, par. 1) No doubt they well realize that many of their adherents come with them because of such fear. One former Witness told us that he left that organization some time before their Armageddon prediction for 1975, but when 1975 drew near he thought he had better “get right with God” beforehand, so he went back with them. However, when their prediction proved to be another hoax, he left them again.
For now, as well as all during the Gospel Age, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:44) The Father is not “drawing all sorts” – nor all men – during this Faith Age – only the called ones: “For many be called, but few chosen.” (Matt. 20:16) “For you see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.” (I Cor. 1:26) Those who are called are “footstep followers” of Jesus, and walk the “narrow way to life.” (See Matt. 7:14) All who are not called in this Age will have an opportunity to walk up the Highway of Holiness: “And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.” (Isa. 35:8) The “wayfaring men” are those who didn’t walk a “narrow way” to life in this Age – and since there will be no error taught then, they will learn Truth and Righteousness. “God is faithful that promised.” (Heb. 10:23)
LETTERS OF GENERAL INTEREST
Thank you for the two editions recently sent to me regarding What is the Soul? and Where are the Dead? Did someone give you my name and address to send these to me? I have not heard of this group before. I would like to read what you say regarding the Scriptures – The Resurrection of the Dead, Two Salvations and The Three Babylons.
Very truly yours ------- (FLORIDA)
Dear Brother Hoefle: Grace and peace!
Hoping you are keeping well and all in the Bible House with you. I was very glad to get two Truth papers from you the other day. I see in them the great Pastor and Teacher (RGJ) is falling down before the good truths that are left to his care – either because he is like Charles the first of England, he is too ugly to look into the glass or what – but something is wrong! The Class in Kingston is split in two...........
Please send me one or two parcels of tracts for the Gideon work.
Yours, dear Brother, in the good hope of the Kingdom ------- (JAMAICA)