The Finished Mystery – the book Jesus approved

By “Alfred”

A few months ago a friend sent me a copy of The Finished Mystery – published in 1917. This wasn’t a PDF download, but an actual copy of the book. I must say that this was the most disturbing book I’ve ever had the displeasure of reading. But I read it because this was the main publication that was being distributed worldwide when Jesus supposedly chose the Watchtower in 1918. I basically wanted to see for myself what Jesus saw in the Watchtower Society that would compel him to choose this religious corporation over all other religious denominations.

Anyway, if anyone is interested in knowing the actual contents of this book, here are some bullet points I’ve put together from some of the notes I took while reading the book:

  1. Charles Taze Russell is the “faithful and wise servant.” (p.4)
  2. Jesus gave Russell the key to understanding God’s mysteries in the last days. (p.6)
  3. Jesus is the “Alpha and Omega” in Revelation 1:8, 21:6, and 22:13. (p.15, p.318, p.336)
  4. The Adventist Nelson Barbour showed Russell Biblical proof that “Jesus was present since 1874” – and Russell found this evidence satisfactory. (p. 54)
  5. As per Russell, there’s no need to learn the Hebrew or Greek languages to gain a correct understanding of the Bible since the “Presbyterians and Methodists have good versions of the Bible at reasonable prices.” (p. 55)
  6. The “remnant” will be taken to heaven in 1918. (p. 64)
  7. The “7 messengers” in Revelation are Paul, John, Arius, Waldo, Wycliffe, Luther and Russell. (See illustration after page 64)
  8. The “7 trumpets” in Revelation 8:2 are the trumpets of the Lutherans, the Anglicans, the Presbyterians, the Baptists, the Methodists, the Evangelical Alliance, and The Bible Students. (chart after page 64)
  9. Jesus began his reign officially in “1878.” (p. 66)
  10. A three-page list of Biblical texts prove that Jesus’ second advent occurred in “1874.” (p.68–71)
  11. The “behemoth” mentioned in Job 40: 15-24 is the “stationary steam engine.” (p. 84)
  12. The “leviathan” mentioned in Job 41:2-19 is the “locomotive.” (p.85)

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Watchtower forgets that “Content is King”

Adapted from a post by “LostGeneration”

“Content is King” is a popular guideline to follow for those who run websites and mass communication outlets. It makes perfect sense, as demonstrated by sites like Jehovahs-Witness.net (and this one) that provide entertaining content for their targeted audiences. Even better, when content is added daily, users return repeatedly. Popular TV shows and movies are loved because they entertain customers with new content provided free or at low cost.

On the other hand, you have the content provided by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, delivered though the pages of the Watchtower and Awake! magazines and during their weekly meetings. Several recent threads on Jehovahs-Witness.net have discussed meetings and what value (or lack thereof) they offer to their audience. A recent thread by forum member “Flipper” discussed how the Watchtower Society constantly hammers meeting attendance on their “sheep.” It’s obvious that the leadership feels that too many Witnesses are skipping out on their spiritual food by missing meetings. However, there is a good reason for a lack of enthusiasm on the part of Jehovah’s Witnesses to show up for meetings at their local Kingdom Halls.

It’s the content of those meetings.

For years it’s been getting progressively worse. Those who actually attend are not learning anything new – only a constant rehash of everything they’ve already heard before. This is further complicated by the fact that Jehovah’s Witnesses are specifically told not to research the Bible without using Watchtower Society publications – meaning they only absorb the material they read through the rose-colored glasses of the Governing Body.

When they comment during the Watchtower or book study meetings, they are told that they should stick to the paragraph being read, not to add anything to the material, and not take up too much time. Even the Watchtower Study conductor (who used to have a little leeway in adding his own thoughts) has been reined in lately. They are told to “walk the line and keep your own input to a minimum.”

Sitting through a typical Watchtower Study…
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeidZmxHLiY

Adding to the problem is the business-like nature of the meetings. People going to church are looking for a “spiritual” experience, a connection with their God. During the 30-something years I went to meetings, I never once felt anything approaching a “spiritual connection” to a higher power. I felt like I was attending an annual corporate shareholders meeting, just with different people getting up on stage trying to explain God and His message – with very little passion in their minds or hearts.

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Watchtower’s Pecking Order

Adapted from a post by “Mad Sweeney”

Let’s face it: The Watchtower Society is really just a big publishing corporation that happens to print and distribute religious literature. Like any corporation, it has an “organization chart” that outlines its structure, showing the various levels and what they are supposed to do. Each level supervises the level below and reports to the level above. By looking at the organization chart, you can tell “who does what to whom.” The Watchtower Society calls each of its organizational levels “classes.”

Over the history of the Watchtower, the leaders have defined so many levels and rankings that now they’ve given up trying to use the word “classes” to describe them anymore. Let me help you understand how the organization is supposed to work.

Heavenly Headquarters

At the very top you have, of course, JEHOVAH. Being “Almighty God,” He is nominally in charge of everything but doesn’t actually do anything.

Reporting only to Jehovah and in second position, you have “The Now Reigning King,” JESUS CHRIST – who, like Jehovah, is supposedly in charge of everything – but also doesn’t actually do anything.

Next in line are those of the 144,000 ANOINTED who have already died and been resurrected to heaven. They are in place and waiting to rule as “kings and priests” for a thousand years. Like their brother Jesus, and Father Jehovah, these ANOINTED also have nothing to do at present.

Earthly Headquarters

Down here on Earth, the leaders of the organization are the legal CORPORATE OFFICERS and ATTORNEYS for the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. Besides being visible, this group is the first that actually does anything as you head down the Kingdom’s corporate ladder. These are the guys who decide what the “Governing Body” can and will tell the all other Jehovah’s Witnesses what they are supposed to do. Although these guys are human and therefore “visible,” for the most part they try to hide in the background and remain “invisible” as much as possible.

Supposedly “in charge” is the GOVERNING BODY. These seven men sort of do some things. For example, every Wednesday morning they meet for a couple of hours. They talk about the work their committees are doing and then decide to agree that the status quo is treating them all pretty well. If they’re feeling saucy (or mischievous), they may discuss some “new light” to spring on rank and file Jehovah’s Witnesses later in the year. They will then commission someone in the “Service Department” to put this “new light” into a talk outline – or have the “Writing Department” include it in a Watchtower or Awake! magazine article. Otherwise, the members of the Governing Body spend their time rubber-stamping orders from the corporate types above them or suggestions from the Department Heads below.

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Disfellowshipping – who’s at fault?

By Len Miller

The announcement, “John (or Mary) Doe is no longer one of Jehovah’s Witnesses,” is repeated some 70,000 times each year in Kingdom Halls throughout the world. The Watchtower Society wants its followers to believe that these individuals became so unrepentantly contaminated with evil that it became necessary to remove them from association with faithful members.

I suggest that nothing can be further from the truth. I think these former members lost their trance-like acceptance of Watchtower teachings long before those formal announcements.

When I was a faithful adherent, I felt that if the Watchtower had asked me to stand on my head and stack greased BB’s, I would have given that task a valiant effort. That’s the way it is with hypnotized folks. It doesn’t matter what the suggestion might be, they’ll try to do it. From Wiki, James Randi, a famed professional magician and skeptic, offers the following definition of hypnosis:

“. . . [It’s] a mutual agreement of the operator and the subject that the subject will cooperate in following suggestions.”

Enter credibility. Nothing destroys confidence between parties more than when one of them sees chinks in the armor of the other. Husbands and wives encounter this all too frequently, often resulting in divorce. “Familiarity breeds contempt,” goes the expression – and that is displayed daily among couples. One spouse fails to hold up his end of the bargain by exhibiting unfaithful behavior, poor hygiene, or a general lack of respect and attention – and the other sees it. Even behavior that was viewed as “humorous” before marriage is soon seen as contemptible – after the “knot is tied.”

In the Watchtower structure, many folks are finally seeing chinks in the Society’s armor. The Watchtower’s contradictions and flip-flops in doctrinal matters are among the major issues. And yet it’s not surprising when the leaders of the Watchtower say there are no problems with what they teach. “Wait on Jehovah,” is their usual defense to these issues. “Simply put it on the back burner,” is another suggestion frequently used by those in authority. Many of the JW old timers have learned to just accept these responses.

The problem here is that back burners have only so much room. In my opinion, an individual’s sense of propriety becomes the overwhelming control factor. The old saw, “the Society makes mistakes because they’re human”, no longer cuts it with many JWs. Why?

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A letter to the Watchtower

By “AA”


Editor’s Note: This is a copy of “AA’s” letter to the Watchtower. He wrote this when he had just started his intensive research into their beliefs and history. He never received a reply back from anyone at headquarters (he says it might have been because he didn’t include “Attn: Writing Committee” when he addressed it). He was hoping for and expected some kind of answer back from them – in spite of its somewhat aggressive tone. He also admits that he was bit scared asking the questions in this letter, so he’d like to know what you think. Feel free to share your comments at the end of the article. His original version (with commentary) can be found by clicking on this link to Jehovahs-Witness.net.


Dear Brothers,

I am writing this letter concerning some questions that I have acquired over time; although most have arisen from my own study, many have come from witnessing to others and discussions with my non-Witness wife. I have found adequate answers on most through deeper study, but still have a few that I think you would be better suited to address. Throughout the following paragraphs I will try to convey my questions in the fullest and most accurate way possible. With that being said, please remember that while I have these concerns I do not intend to question the authority of the Organization in any way, it is only that I have not been able to reconcile everything I have studied and have concluded that I wont be able to on my own. As 1 Thessalonians 5:21 says, “Make sure of all things; hold fast to what is fine.”

One major confusion for me has been dates. The more I study the more there seem to be, and although some are still held to be true, others have been entirely discarded or the significance has changed. The two most important dates in modern times seem to be 1914 and 1919, the former involving the invisible return of Christ, and the latter his selection of Jehovah’s Witnesses as his chosen representatives. Concerning 1919, I have not been able to discern why it is this year is important prophetically. I do know the Organization recognizes that until this date the Bible Students were still a part of Christendom’s false religion, as the May 1, 1989 Watchtower explains on pages 3 and 4. Interestingly it brings out “without any Biblical basis, they were observing birthdays and Christmas. The cross was still prominent in their thinking” as just a few reasons for not being acceptable to Christ. Paradoxically further research reveals that the cross appeared on the front cover of every issue of the Watch Tower up to October 15, 1931 and Christmas was still celebrated at Bethel until around 1925. If the Bible Students were not acceptable to Jesus before 1919 because of these practices, then how did they become accepted after while still involved in these apostate activities?

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An open letter to the Governing Body

By “Brother Siam”


Editor’s Note: This article was originally published as a post on the JWN forum. With the kind permission of its author, we are republishing it here in a slightly edited format. [Here is a link to the original version.] “Brother Siam” is an active Jehovah’s Witness living on the West Coast of the United States. A Witness his whole life, he served as a pioneer for several years, and as an elder for seven years. He hopes that other elders in his position will read this and reconsider their responsibilities to their assigned flock. He invites your comments…


The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses
Watchtower Society, Inc.
New York, USA

Dear Brothers,

I served for seven years as an Elder in the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I recently relinquished this privilege for the following reasons:

1. My whole life I was taught that Armageddon is going to be here any moment and is “imminent.” The direction from the Holy Spirit said that the end was going to come in 1914, 1925, 1975, and before the end of the 20th Century. Your followers would “never grow old” or “fulfill any career.” That didn’t happen. “Imminent” and “soon” stretched on for over 100 years. These interpretations of Bible prophecy have proven to be false, and yet you continue to pretend that they were “directed by Jehovah.”

2. I was taught that there would be very few “anointed” left when the end came and that the number will decrease as the end drew near. The number of “anointed” is actually increasing.

3. I was told that field service is a “life saving work” that must be performed with a “sense of urgency.” So far not one person’s life has been saved. And even though the work is “urgent,” the antiquated method of calling on empty houses is still used as the primary way of trying to reach people. Television, the Internet, email, postal services, and social networking are not being used – even though the effectiveness of these methods has been proven. I doubt that you feel that this is a “life saving work” yourself.

4. We are taught as an organization that “the light gets brighter” as Jehovah blesses his servants with Holy Spirit and increased understanding. Is Jehovah responsible for flip-flopping doctrines such as the “generation” of Matthew 24:34? Organ transplants? Blood transfusions? The identity of the “superior authorities”? Or is it the men who claim to be “inspired”? Despite these changes, each time the credit (or blame) is given to Jehovah. If the members of the Faithful and Discreet Slave class were actually “inspired,” “faithful,” or “discreet,” these teachings would have never changed.

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