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Pay Attention to Daniels Prophecy?
In its usual bossy manner, the Watchtower
Society issued its latest attempt at explaining the Bible book of Daniel with the directive to its followers, in its latest book, "Pay Attention to Daniel's Prophecy!".
While I agree we should pay attention to Daniel's prophecy as found in Holy Writ, I'm afraid I can't agree to pay attention to the Watchtower's sorry attempt to apply it all to themselves!
This is their latest ploy to bring the faithful back in line by dangling the prophecy carrot in front of their glazed eyes, one more time. And believe me, anyone's eyes would glaze over trying to wade through this one!
It reminds me of a jumble sale where nothing is sorted out and the reader must rummage through all kinds of junk (i.e. the Watchtower's interpretations) to find the treasures (the actual Bible prophecy).
To begin with, I can hardly believe they are still flogging their old, tired, and proven false dates. I would have hoped for at least a mealy-mouthed hint at an apology, and a correction. However, that was not to be, so the reader is stuck with 607 BCE for the beginning of the Watchtower's counting of years, a most dubious date.
This leads the reader to (surprise!) 1914 as the establishment of the Kingdom in the heavens by the Watchtower Jesus. Of course, when he didn't show up in person, this happening was interpreted to be a "presence", conveniently invisible.
This date of 1914 was repeated over and over again throughout the pages of this book, so often in fact, that one hardly noticed that all references to the "last generation", which heretofore had always been linked with 1914 were missing. Did you notice how long and tedious my last statement was? Well, I learned this from reading this latest Watchtower publication. If you put in enough extra words, by the time the reader gets to the end of the sentence, he's forgotten the beginning! Clever, huh? So, I'll restate my point.
The word "generation" was never linked with 1914 in this new book. This breaks a practice of over 100 years by the WT Society. For a century they taught that the generation that saw 1914 would see Armageddon. They also taught that a generation could not exceed 70-80 years. Simple addition shows that this prophecy became false by 1994.
We fearlessly predicted in advance that they would have to either ditch the 1914 date, or reinterpret the word "generation". They reinterpreted. In fact, they deleted!! Apparently, one of us is a false prophet, and it isn't me!! Now, before you get all upset, I am not a prophet, never claimed to be one, and am just having my little joke. So, hold the letters, okay?
DANIEL BOOK BROWSING
I am not going to critique every small detail as that would involve another book. However, I would like to comment on a few items of interest I found.
On page 14, the Watchtower admits,
"A lot is at stake here. It is not just the reputation of this ancient book but also our future that is involved."
I 'm confident Daniel's reputation is quite safe. I can't say as much for the future of Watchtower devotees if they believe the far-out interpretations put on poor Daniel and his writings by their leaders.
Jesus Christ doesn't fare much better in the "Daniel" book. He is constantly misrepresented and maligned. Page 28 again quotes the wrong tense of the Greek verb to try and make Jesus appear "created", when He is, in fact, eternal. (1 Tim. 1: 16,17). Same old, same old. Worse is yet to come.
The Watchtower introduces its "weasel" phrases on page 42 to try and cover their own behind by pointing out that Daniel never actually prophesied in Jehovah's name, yet he had the "guidance of God's holy spirit". He could "understand" and "interpret" and show "Jehovah's purpose". These are all claims they have made for themselves and they are trying to draw a parallel between themselves and Daniel. It will never work, folks, since only one of them ever had the true Holy Spirit, and that was Daniel, God's man.
Throughout the book we also find the tried and true WT method of adding phrases. An example is found on pages 50 and 51. Daniel himself said to the King, "...you yourself are the head of gold" (Daniel 2:37). Pretty plain, isn't it? Now read the Watchtower interpretation, "...So the head of gold in the dream image represented not just Nebuchadnezzar but the entire Babylonian line of rulership". Stated as a fact, but in reality, just conjecture! And not just conjecture, but conjecture with dubious dates attached to it! Did we mention that on page 183 of "The Kingdom is At Hand" this statement is made, "Satan the Devil is the golden head of the image.."., but then, that's old light, best forgotten by faithful followers!
Out of nowhere I found a strange paragraph I want to comment on.
Page 69 begins chapter 5 by saying,
"Should your devotion be directed to God or to the land in which you live? Many would answer by saying, "I pay homage to both. I worship God according to the dictates of may religion; at the same time, I pledge allegiance to my homeland".
They left this amazing statement hanging without further comment. Every JW knows they are not allowed to be patriotic or pledge allegiance.
I can't help but wonder if this paragraph was "snuck in" so they could quote it at their trials in countries where they are in trouble for not being patriotic! How very odd. We'll keep an eye on this one.
The Watchtower publishers just could not stop themselves from "Trinity-bashing", managing to clump Babylon's false gods into groups of three on page 71. They miss the point entirely that since the Triune God of the Bible is the True God, of course there would be counterfeits of the real thing! Why counterfeit something false?
I noticed a new view of the time Daniel and his companions were to bow down to the image of gold set up by Nebuchadnezzar. Previously JW's were taught that the Jews were the "targets" for this ceremony (see for example "Let God Be True" p.153, 1946 ed. ). Now, however, the light has apparently "brightened". We read on page 73,
"Some believe that Nebuchadnezzar arranged for this ceremony in an attempt to force the Jews to compromise their worship of Jehovah. Likely this was not the case...".
So, the "light" goes off and on and the JW's are just supposed to accept it without questions. Sounds like mind control to me.
I was highly amused to read on page 96 that there is a "Scriptural rule" that one must take "A day for a year". Two scriptures are cited in support of this strange statement. If we actually look these up we find in Ezekiel 4:6,7 the "year for a day" was in private instructions to Ezekiel for a specific prophecy concerning the siege of Jerusalem. Nothing further was implied.
The one in Numbers 14:34 is even funnier. The Israelites sent to spy out the Promised Land took 40 days and most brought back a bad report. For their unfaithfulness, God had his people wander in the wilderness for 40 years before they could finally enter the Promised Land.
Now I ask you, how could this possibly be the basis for a "Scriptural rule" that governs every prophecy given in Scripture? That's really stretching it! However, it's the only way JW's dates can be made to "fit" (sort of). Their whole dating system rises or falls on this "year for a day" business. JW's are basing their hopes for eternity on this weak interpretation without solid biblical support. Dangerous!
Just think, if their invented "Scriptural Rule" is wrong, so is their statement on page 97,
"Thus the "seven times" or 2,520 years, ended by Tishri 15 or October 4/5, 1914 C.E. In that year "..the appointed times of the nations" were fulfilled, and God gave rulership to "the lowliest one of mankind"--Jesus Christ...".
Setting aside the fact that I don't much like Jesus Christ being called "the lowliest one of mankind", their whole dating system is shaky in the extreme.
From about the midpoint in the book, emphasis shifts from ancient fulfillments of Daniel to the modern ones. I'm sure it won't surprise you to learn that they are all fulfilled on Jehovah's organization. That is, the good ones are. The bad pronouncements are all for everyone else! Did you already guess this?
For example, in 1919, Babylon the Great fell, and "...Jehovah's people were...blessed with divine approval". (page 112). Moreover, the USA and Britain are the "horn having eyes", and they are acting as a "false prophet". (page 141).
Now, is that the pot calling the kettle black, or what? It's the Watchtower organization who has been falsely prophesying for over 100 years, while the US government hasn't uttered one prophecy to my knowledge!
Also, did anyone out there see the Jehovah's Witnesses preaching in "sackcloth" beginning in December of 1914?
This book claims they did on pages 142 and 143, also calling themselves "holy ones". They were also reported "killed". However, this time period supposedly ended June 21, 1918 when Judge Rutherford went to prison. Can you believe this was foretold in the Bible? Neither can I!
They claim on page 144 that the Judge was exonerated upon his release. The truth about this time period can be found by reading the documentation package we have on the Nazi's. The information will enlighten and surprise you. Shame on the Judge!
The JW viewpoint of all the rest of us, except them, is clearly stated on page 145,
"All human governments will be obliterated..".
They can hardly wait.
All the rest of the book they refer to themselves (the anointed remnant) as the "holy ones". They actually allow Jesus to be the "chief holy one", but they plan to rule and reign with him over all else. (Page 146). Twisting the scriptures to their advantage requires a very massive ego!
Never missing an opportunity to slam the church, this book has added this insult to God's church, namely that
"The Church fathers...grafted Greek philosophy onto Christian doctrine".
That's news to those of us who carefully check everything out with God's word, and have never dreamt of validating anything with "Greek philosophy".
Would you believe that this book interprets Revelation 14:1-5, which refers to "the army of the heavens", applying it to "the remnant on earth of the 144,000 "holy ones"".
Now that requires a leap of faith to go from being an "army of the heavens" to a few scraggly men on earth! Blatant, isn't it?
Page 176 goes on and on about how the Nazi persecuted these "holy (JW) ones". The real truth is out there--get the facts on their Nazi involvement from us.
They even refer to their organization as "...the rightful domain of the Most High God--"the established place of his sanctuary".
Now God lives in Brooklyn, New York?!!
This particular publication has such a spirit of arrogance and exultation of the "anointed" ones of the Watchtower Society that alarm bells should be ringing loudly for Jehovah's Witnesses.
We will continue on next issue with our review of "Pay Attention to Daniel's Prophecy!" If you just can't wait and want to have a copy now, it is in booklet form on our order form.
This is our second look at the Watchtower's Publication
regarding Daniel's prophecy. (April 2000)
The complete article on "Daniel" is on our web page in the JW section. Also available in printed fomat in our catalog of booklets..
We are reviewing the publication in page order, offering our comments and observations. We concluded our article in issue 51 of "News & Views in the World of the Cults" with this observation:
"This particular publication has such a spirit of arrogance and exultation of the "anointed" ones of the Watchtower Society that alarm bells should be ringing loudly for Jehovah's Witnesses."
Now read on,
They say on page 177 that Daniel 7:25 actually is "associated with the first world war". News to Daniel!
They also claim on pages 178 and 179 that their 1944/45 Charter Amendment marked the closing of the bible time period of 2,300 days and that the " "holy place" was again in its "right condition"". If you really want to see what was in that Charter Amendment, we have a critique of it, as well as a copy. Write to us. Very interesting reading. ($3 postpaid).
After pages of tangled dates with strange interpretations, they finally said something true. Page 181 says, "Jehovah is the Great Timekeeper. Under his control are all the times and seasons connected with his work". To which I say, "Amen", and also say to Watchtower publishers "Time is the enemy of a false prophet".
The publication also dismisses Israel altogether and appropriates all scriptures dealing with Israel to themselves,"spiritual Israel". However, God is not finished with the nation of Israel yet. There are still prophecies to be fulfilled.
The book points out on page 186 that "..Daniel knew that he was a sinner in God's eyes and readily confessed his sin". Would that the Watchtower would do the same instead of denying, covering up, and outright lying about their sins. We are all sinners who all need to repent, confess our sins, and accept Christ's grace. There is no other way.
Again downgrading Jesus Christ, this book says on page 191 and 192 that he did not become "Christ" or "anointed" until the time of his baptism. The Bible on the other hand says in Luke 2:11,
"for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord".
Sounds to me like He was "Christ" at His birth, not His baptism.
Throughout the book we find phrases like the one on page 196, "Historical records show..." with no references. How then can we check out their dates? They fervently hope we won't!
Again demoting Jesus Christ, they devote a lot of time to trying to prove that Christ is merely an angel, Michael to be exact, not unique, but "... one of the foremost princes" (page 203). Michael may be "one of the foremost princes" but Jesus Christ is the Lord of Lords, and King of Kings. (1 Tim. 6:14-16).
The Watchtower misrepresents Jesus Christ as the Archangel Michael both before and after His death. (page 205). Blatant heresy! Jesus is not any kind of an angel (Hebrews 1:4-8).
On page 233, quoting Daniel 11:16, the statement is made that "the land of the Decoration" is "the Roman province of Judea". but by page 278 is "the spiritual estate of Jehovah's people". Not only has the Watchtower dismissed the natural Israelites in favor of themselves--now they've appropriated their land as well!
The section on the identity of the King of the North and the King of the South is hilarious. On page 240 they have "Queen Septimia Zenobia" as the "King of the south". What a gender bender!
After declaring that the Kings of the North and Kings of the South are determined by their geographic locations from Israel, either North or South, by pages 243, they are giving locations not North and South, but East and West for the Kings of the North and South!
Page 244 finally identifies the "King of the North" as "Germany", and the "King of the South" as the Anglo-American (USA & Britain) powers. (p.247).
They made the mistake of quoting one of their older publications, namely the Watch Tower of March 1880. Since they did not give a specific quote or a page number we knew they were hiding something! What they said on page 261 of the "Daniel" book was,
"As far back as March 1880, the Watch Tower magazine linked the rule of God's Kingdom with the ending of "the appointed times of the nations", or "the time of the Gentiles". Sounds like the same points they are trying to make now, but what does it really say?
It really says "...we believe the seventh trumpet will continue to sound until the year 1914, which includes, between now and then, the day of wrath and angry nations, which is the period, not only of restoration of the earthly Jerusalem, but of reward to the church, or the upbuilding and glorification of the heavenly Jerusalem" (page 81 Watchtower reprints).
Oh my, oh my! Just the opposite of what they are now teaching! Notice 1914 was the end of all things, not the beginning! Armageddon had to come prior to 1914. Earthly Jerusalem had to be restored, and the "holy ones" had to be glorified to heaven. Now, let's stop and count the mistakes. Four of them in all. All four would be considered heresy today by the JW's. Be warned, today's light could quickly become tomorrow's errors!
Some of their minor, but silly interpretations include ones like the "ships of Kittim" being interpreted as the "ships of Britain". No resemblance in any way except in their minds.
On page 265 they again slam the churches calling them "...those leaving the holy covenant" and link them up with Hitler. They should read their own history. Judge Rutherford publicly supported Hitler, but this well-documented fact is not mentioned of course.
This next portion is "disgusting". It's disgusting that they can't keep their own "new light" straight! The "Daniel" book was published in 1999 and identifies the "disgusting thing" standing in the holy place as the League of Nations and then the United Nations (page 269). At the same time, in the Watchtower of May 1, page 16, also 1999, it says the "disgusting thing"... "apparently is yet to stand in a holy place". Would the real "disgusting thing" please stand up and identify itself!
The Soviet Union is interesting in that it is first part of the "King of the South" but by page 270, it is "King of the North". Page 281 admits that the Kings keep changing identities (!). Then they say, "We are wise not to speculate". A little late for that statement, when they have been speculating for 281 pages already!
Would you believe, after all this, that they are stressing again in 1999 that they are "anointed ones" and "prophets"? Just read these boastful comments from pages 286 and 288,
"Yes, Jehovah is very protective of his faithful anointed ones. Psalm 105:14,15 tells us: On their account (Jehovah) reproved kings, saying: 'Do not you men touch my anointed ones, and to my prophets do nothing bad'". Would you not agree then, that in these turbulent times, it would be wise for the expanding "great crowd" to associate as closely as possible with these holy ones?"
However, not all is going smoothly in their "spiritual paradise" as evidenced by this further warning, "Even those who do find the "little flock" and associate with them must fight to maintain faith, for this world constantly seeks to erode faith". It is hard to keep faith in an organization that keeps changing its doctrines!
Page 290 begins a discussion on the "re-creation", which they call "resurrection", but their definition is not the biblical one of dying and then being raised to life. They are re-created from "Jehovah's limitless memory" during the "Thousand Year Reign". They even quote Daniel 12:2 on page 290,
"There will be many of those asleep in the ground of dust who will wake up, these to indefinitely lasting life and those to reproaches and to indefinitely lasting abhorrence." Sounds like eternal life or eternal damnation to me, how about you? Somehow they turn "indefinitely lasting abhorrence" into the penalty for us "apostates" who "left God's service"!
On page 292, they claim they "shine like stars", having "insight..like the brightness of the expanse", and are "holy ones of the Supreme One". They go on to say, "After all, who but the faithful anointed remnant had the insight to discern that Michael, the Great Prince began standing as King in 1914?" I agree, who but them could teach such monstrous heresy in the guise of truth, and give themselves such titles to boot? It's amazing.
They claim Jesus even prophesied about them in Matthew 13:43. No lack of self-esteem here!
Then they go on to claim Daniel himself prophesied about them on page 293, in that they "roved about" in the pages of God's Word. I believe they have to jump about from passage to passage like they do, because, in context, nothing would apply to them!
They do briefly touch on one of their many false prophecies on page 303, briefly mentioning 1925, calling it a "widely held view". They accept no responsibility. They published false dates, but blame the "sheep" as usual.
The next page, 304, contains a bare-faced lie. "After 1925 passed, the holy ones no longer served God with an immediate, explicit deadline in view". They have conveniently forgotten 1975 and the war years. They ask "what excuse can there be for failure to recognize them and associate with them?" I have an excuse that comes to mind--they are proven false prophets under death sentence according to the Bible.
The closing pages pile on the guilt and urge works to be saved. "He that has endured to the end is the one that will be saved". (an out-of-context reading of Matthew 24:13).
Their light on "angels" has shifted too. Page 310 says, "Ours may not be the era for such angelic visits". I guess they forgot they made this statement in "Vindication" volume III, 1932, page 250,
"...the heavenly messengers or angels of the Lord now used by the Lord in behalf of the remnant...these invisible messengers pass such instruction on to the remnant".
One can only speculate that since these angels visiting the remnant were "invisible", perhaps they heard voices? Automatic handwriting perhaps? All of it occult.
In "Light" Vol. 1, 1930, p. 120 it says, "Again God put it in the mind of his people by his angel, to act and carry out his purposes."
I can't find a single Bible precedent for angels putting things in the minds of believers. Watchtower devotees should read Galatians 1:8,9, and heed the warning there.
Page 316 promises the faithful that Daniel will have an early resurrection so he can help out on the paradise earth. Strangely, they don't mention their latest light on the "Chieftain" class, comprised of modern-day elders who will continue to rule in the new earth if they behave themselves today.
Page 319 closes (finally!) by saying, "Waiting is not easy". "...'keep in expectation' of the end even if it should delay" so "endure faithfully".
Same old, same old. Promise the new system of things just ahead. Keep setting dates and flogging the faithful. Keep selling magazines and literature. How sad that so many people have put their faith in this organization for over 100 years of disappointments.
Why not, instead, put your faith in the true Jesus Christ of the Bible? Ephesians 2:8, 9 says,
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast".
You don't need to associate with the "remnant", but Jesus Christ alone. Don't let some organization get between you and your God. Go direct! Enjoy the relationship each of us can have for the asking with our Lord and Savior. It's a free gift. Why not receive Him today? Write to us if you need help.