The following is just a small introduction into the lives of two of the founders of the sect.
Note that on Russell's (and several other JW's) grave was a depiction of a cross, two pieces of timber in the shape of a cross, representing how Christ died. Early publications from the society also used the cross liberally.
In 1886, Russell published The Divine Plan of the Ages projecting that 1914 would witness Armageddon and the dawn of Christâ€™s thousand-year rule on earth. The date was later changed to 1915.
October 31st, 1916 Russell died aboard a transcontinental train in Texas. He was buried in Pennsylvania and was succeeded by Judge Rutherford. In Russellâ€™s cemetery, where early Jehovah Witnesses are buried there stands granite pyramid, measuring nine feet at its base with the name WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY with a Cross inside of a crown.
Russell taught and wrote that the Great Pyramid of Gaza was designed by Jehovah and was a blueprint to end-times chronology. This teaching was held by the Jehovah Witnesses till November 15th 1928 when Judge Rutherford reversed the teaching calling it Satanâ€™s teaching
One of the more embarrassing episodes of Rutherfordâ€™s tenure is known as Beth Sarim. Rutherford prophesied that Abraham and the other prophets of Hebrews 11 would soon rise from the dead by 1925. Beginning in 1920, Rutherford declared, "As we have heretofore stated, the great jubilee cycle is due to begin in 1925. At that time the earthly phase of the kingdom shall be recognized."
How would it be recognized? What event would trigger the ushering in of the kingdom? Rutherford explained,
"Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the Apostle in Hebrews chapter eleven, to the condition of human perfection" (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, pp. 89-90).
Watch Tower members were excited. Jehovah Witnesses saw their organizationâ€™s vindication in the eyes of the world. In 1925 when Abraham and the rest of the prophets did not come, some of Rutherford's followers left. Still others believed, the arrival, the Hebrews 11 prophets would be soon. Though it had not occurred by 1929, it was still a topic of much excited anticipation. Therefore, Rutherford gave instructions to build them a house. In his book, Salvation, Rutherford mentions this house and the purpose for building it.
"At San Diego, California, there is a small piece of land, on which, in the year 1929, there was built a house, which is called and known as Beth Sarim. The Hebrew words Beth Sarim mean `House of the Princes;' and the purpose of acquiring that property and building the house was that there might be some tangible proof that there are those on earth today who fully believe God and Christ Jesus and in His kingdom, and who believe that the faithful men of old will soon be resurrected by the Lord, be back on earth, and take charge of the visible affairs of earth"
Salvation (p. 311).
With the house now built, there was nothing to do but wait. In the meantime, Judge Rutherford lived in this house while his wife lived in another part of the country. Moreover, Witnesses waited until 1942 when after the death of Rutherford, the house was sold.
Reproduced from http://www.truthnet.org/pdf/cults/5Jehovâ€¦
Once they join, they are shown the Watchtower Society's own history book. It admits to certain things that the enthusiastic Bible Students got wrong, long ago. The impression is given that they had to adjust their views as God's light got brighter; they never claimed to be infallible, so what's the problem? The problem is that they are only told half the story, combined with not being told other facts that would place many more question marks on their Society's doctrines and practices.
Today, new members are told to expect persecution and that everyone who criticises their religion will either be an apostate or an agent of Satan. They are warned never to read such criticism. That is why I doubt you will get any member responding with a reasoned answer. You are likely to have already been branded by them as an apostate. They will avoid you like the plague. But don't let that stop you broadcasting facts and asking legitimate questions!
I am amazed by the concept of a Great Pyramid in Gaza though...
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