The Watch Tower Society — Rich Kelsey

7. “Is not the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society the one and only channel which the Lord has used in dispensing his truth continually since the beginning of the harvest period?” (Watchtower, April 1, 1919, p. 6414)
Doctrinal Position of The Watch Tower Society

Would You Believe This?

On October 22, 1914, when Jesus Christ allegedly returned in power taking his place on the heavenly throne, Christ’s work had just begun. The next thing on his agenda was to judge among his servants on earth.

By the year 1918[1] Christ had allegedly judged his church. In the spring of 1919, the selection was made. Jesus Christ supposedly picked the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society as the Lord’s,

“… one and only channel …”[2]

to dispense his truth, since the beginning of the harvest period.

History Tells a Different Story:

In 1909, Charles Taze Russell who was the founder of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, wrote these words:

“… of his [Christ’s] presence, he [Jesus] would bring forth from the storehouse of Grace, Wisdom and Truth things ‘new and old,’ and that he would select at that time one special channel through which those blessings would be called to the attention of the household of faith.“ (Watch Tower, October 1, 1909 p. 292)

What Russell expressed in that 1909 Watch Tower magazine is that the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society’s governing body had been selected by Christ as the,

“… one special channel …” (Watch Tower, October 1, 1909 p. 292)

long before the year 1919.

In Russell’s mind, Jesus Christ’s presence began on October 22nd, 1874; not in 1914. 

Therefore, when Russell penned the words,

at that time,” (Watch Tower 1909, October 1, 1909 p. 292)

he was speaking of the first time the Watch Tower Society claimed Christ returned, which was in the 1870s!

In 1919 the Society was teaching that the year 1878[3] marked the beginning of the

“harvest period.”[4]

The beginning of this supposed harvest period was pushed ahead in the early 1940s when the year of Christ’s return was changed from 1874 to 1914.

The Society’s

“… one and only channel …” (Watchtower, April 1, 1919, p. 6414)

claim, conveniently moved ahead with the change in dates for the



“… the second presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.”[6]

According to the Watch Tower Society, these events go hand in hand. Jesus Christ had to return in power first before he could judge among the churches.

The Watch Tower Society, What It All Comes Down To:

The Watch Tower Society claimed that they were,

“… the one and only channel which the Lord has used …,” (Watchtower, April 1, 1919, p. 6414)

forty-one years before Jesus Christ supposedly chose them in 1919. If they were the one and only channel God was using from the beginning of the harvest in 1878, why would Jesus pick them again as the one and only channel 41 years later?

Watch Tower History, The Story Continues:

Out of all the Christian sects worldwide, the Watch Tower Society was supposedly picked because of their outstanding record of providing,

“… the Christian household with food at the proper time.”[7]  

If this really was the case, that between 1914 and 1919, from the time Jesus Christ allegedly returned in power, to the time Christ supposedly selected the Watch Tower Society as his only channel of communication, they were providing,

“… the right sort of food …” (Watchtower Publication: God’s Kingdom a Thousand Years Has Approached, 1973)

or in other words, teaching, to Christ’s flock, we should be able to look back to those critical years and see correct teaching coming forth from the Watch Tower Society. This was not the case. In 1914, the 1913 edition of the Watch Tower book,


was being widely distributed; here is an excerpt from page 33:

The Time Is at Hand Study II, p.33

“In this chapter we present the Bible evidence which indicates that six thousand years from the creation of Adam were complete with A.D. 1872.” (The Time Is at Hand Study II, p. 33)

Here the Watch Tower Society claimed six thousand years of human history ended in 1872.

This is important because in the 1960s, the Watch Tower Society changed the year of this supposed event from 1872 to 1975, as spelled out in the Watchtower magazine:

“Interestingly, the autumn of the year 1975 marks the end of 6,000 years of human experience.” (The Watchtower May 1, 1967, p. 262)

Let’s Do Some Math:

By changing the date for the close of six thousand years of human history from 1872 to 1975, the Jehovah’s Witnesses admitted that they were wrong about their earlier date by a whopping 103 years. Therefore, it only stands to reason that the Watch Tower Society was not providing,

“… the right sort of food …”[8]

to the faithful, during the supposed time that Christ was deciding whether or not The Watch Tower Society was going to be his one and only channel.

This is noteworthy because the Society’s ideas about when Armageddon would occur and Christ’s Kingdom would be ushered in, are based upon the close of six thousand years of human history.

So, one basic formula the Jehovah’s Witnesses used to proclaim that Armageddon was near, and Christ’s Kingdom was at the door, was amiss by 103 years during the first 88 years of their history!

Could this mean that the Watch Tower Society’s other date-setting formulas are also off by 103 years? At one time they harmonized with each other; adding to their supposed evidence of Christ’s return. 

The Watch Tower Society Record Gets Worse:

In 1915, during the very years Jesus Christ was supposedly judging the household of faith, the Watch Tower Society, speaking of World War I, penned these words:

“The Battle of Armageddon, to which this war is leading, will be a great contest between right and wrong, and will signify the complete and everlasting overthrow of the wrong, and the permanent establishment of Messiah’s righteous kingdom for the blessing of the world …” (Watchtower Reprints, April 1, 1915, p. 5659)

Obviously, World War I did not lead to Armageddon and the permanent establishment of Messiah’s righteous kingdom.

Then, in 1916 the Watch Tower Society proclaimed,

“We see no reason for doubting, therefore, that the Times of the Gentiles ended in October, 1914; and that a few more years will witness their utter collapse and the full establishment of God’s kingdom in the hands of Messiah.” (Watchtower Reprints, Sept 1, 1916 p. 5950)

God’s kingdom was not established within a few years from 1914, which indicates that the Society’s “Gentile Times” chronology was seriously flawed. This is a real problem for the Jehovah’s Witnesses because if nothing significant happened in 1914, then the years 1918 and 1919 would also have no special meaning. Because events that allegedly took place in 1918 and 1919 are dependent upon the October 22, 1914, date.

The 1917 Watchtower book, The Finished Mystery claimed on page 485,

In the year 1918 God will destroy the churches wholesale and the church members by the millions. Any that escape shall come to the works of pastor Russell to learn the meaning of the downfall of ‘Christianity.’”

To say that Christ’s sheep suffered malnutrition from the food they were served by the Watch Tower Society during the years Christ was allegedly judging the household of faith, from 1914 to 1918, would be much more accurate than saying they were being fed, the right sort of food.

The Record Gets Even Worse: 

In 1938, the Watchtower magazine claimed:

“… mark the words of Jesus, which definitely seem to discourage the bearing of children immediately before or during Armageddon … It would therefore appear that there is no reasonable or scriptural injunction to bring children into the world immediately before Armageddon, where we now are.” (Watchtower Nov 1, 1938, p. 324)

Is the admonition not to have children because Armageddon is near really the type of message Jesus Christ would have conveyed to his church back in the 1930s? Children born in 1938 would be over 81 years old today, and Armageddon still hasn’t occurred.

More problems arise when one takes into account that the Jehovah’s Witnesses claim divine inspiration for their publications:

“The Watchtower is not the instrument of any man or set of men, nor is it published according to the whims of men. No man’s opinion is expressed in The Watchtower. God feeds his own people.” (The WATCH TOWER, November 1, 1931, p. 327)

They also claim that angels work with their writing staff:

“You likely know that after 1919 the anointed remnant got busy in the preaching work in cooperation with the angels …” (The Watchtower, June 15, 1992, p. 21)

This brings us to the dilemma: If what the Jehovah’s Witnesses say is true, that the Watch Tower Society is:

● “in cooperation with the angels

and they are,

● under the direct supervision of Christ[9]

then, we should expect to see proper teaching coming forth from the Watch Tower headquarters from 1919 on.

This did not happen: In the years following 1919, the Watch Tower Society continued its false prophecies. The 1920 Watchtower book,

Millions Now Living Will Never Die


“Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old.” (p. 89)

The resurrection of the dead did not happen in 1925. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are still in their graves. Also, the book’s claim that,

“… millions now living will never die …,”

was not true; anyone living in 1920 would be over 103 years old today.

In 1922 The Watch Tower Society Said:

“We have no doubt whatever in regard to the chronology relating to the dates of 1874, 1914, 1918 and 1925… it is an easy matter to locate 1925, probably in the fall, for the beginning of the antitypical jubilee. There can be no more question about 1925 than there was about 1914.” (Watchtower May 15, 1922, p.150)

The antitypical jubilee was thought to mark the beginning of God’s earthly Kingdom, which would start right after Armageddon. Between 1914 and 1922 the Watch Tower Society was forecasting Armageddon was imminent.

In 1922, it was still being taught that Jesus Christ returned 48 years earlier, in 1874. On this subject Joseph Franklin Rutherford, the second president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, proclaimed:

“Bible prophecy shows that the Lord was due to appear for the second time in the year 1874. Fulfilled prophecy shows beyond a doubt that he did appear in 1874and these facts are indisputable.” (Watchtower November 1, 1922, pp. 332-337)

It only makes sense that Jesus would have known he did not appear in 1874.

So, if Christ was actually,

“… feeding the members …”[10]

of the Watch Tower writing staff information, they too would have been aware that Jesus Christ did not return in 1874!

Obviously, Jesus was not relaying false information to the Watch Tower Society about the time of his return, the year the resurrection will take place, or when the Battle of Armageddon will happen!

The Failed 1920’s Resurrection Prediction:

Can you imagine Jesus Christ leading the Watch Tower Society to build a 10-room mansion in San Diego California for King David, Abraham, and other biblical princes to live in?

Watch Tower mansion: Beth Sarim
(Watch Tower mansion: Beth Sarim)

Yet, that is exactly what the Watch Tower Society did! The deed spelled out that the property was to be held:

“perpetually in trust,”[11]

for Old Testament princes, and the property was to be surrendered to the princes, once they arrived. Yet, the Society sold the property in 1948.

Beth Sarim, which is Hebrew for,

“House of the Princes,”[12]

is a major embarrassment to Jehovah’s Witnesses today. It stands as a monument to how blind the leaders were in the past when it came to perceiving God’s leading.

Watch Tower Society Reason Given for the Sale:

“At the time, it was believed that faithful men of old times, such as Abraham, Joseph, and David, would be resurrected before the end of this system of things and would serve as ‘princes in all the earth,’ in fulfillment of Psalm 45:16. This view was adjusted in 1950, when further study of the Scriptures indicated that those earthly forefathers of Jesus Christ would be resurrected after Armageddon.” (Jehovah’s Witnesses: Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom, Watchtower, 1993, p. 76)

This explanation is noteworthy. Because, in it the leaders of the Watch Tower’s governing body admit that they adjusted their view concerning when the resurrection would take place based on, further study of the Scriptures, not because of any special channel or leading from God!

In 1931 the Watch Tower Society Claimed,

“… concerning the years 1914, 1918, and 1925[13] … the faithful learned that these dates were definitely fixed in the Scriptures …” (Vindication I, 1931 ed., pp. 338-339)

Will the Society ever admit that the years 1914, 1918, and 1919 have no special meaning?[14]

Probably not?

One thing is certain: This one and only channel claim by the Watch Tower Society not only lacks corroborating evidence; history clearly shows it is a false teaching!

Articles of Interest:

What to say to Jehovah’s Witnesses — Rich Kelsey

Charles Russell / JW History — Rich Kelsey

○ 1874, Christ’s Invisible Presence

Full Article Index / JW Article Index


1. “By his spirit, the holy spirit, Jehovah God guides or leads his people up to a certain point of time, and thus he did until the time when ‘the comforter’ was taken away, which would necessarily occur when Jesus, the Head of his organization, came to the temple and gathered unto himself those whom he found faithful when he, as the great Judge, began his judgment, in 1918.” (Watchtower Publication: Preservation, J.F. Rutherford, 1932 p.p. 193-194)

2. “Is not the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society the one and only channel which the Lord has used in dispensing his truth continually since the beginning of the harvest period?” (Watchtower, April 1, 1919, p. 6414)

3. “…the harvest began in 1878, there is ample and convincing proof. The end of the harvest is due in the spring of 1918.” (Watchtower Reprints, May 1, 1918, p. 6243)

4. “For instance, as we look back and note that the Scriptures marked 1873 as the end of six thousand years from Adam to the beginning of the seventh thousand, and the fall of 1874 as the beginning of the forty- year harvest of the Gospel age…” (Watchtower Reprints, July 15, 1894 p. 1675)

5. “The parallel, therefore, would establish definitely that the harvest would close forty years thereafter; to wit, in the spring of A.D. 1918. If this is true, and the evidence is very conclusive that it is true, then we have only a few months in which to labor before the great night settles down when no man can work.” (Watchtower, October 1, 1917 p. 6149)

6. “The Scriptural proof is that the second presence of the Lord Jesus Christ began in 1874 AD.” (Prophecy, 1929, p. 65-66)

7. “Modesty on the part of the faithful and discreet slave class, commissioned to provide the Christian household with food at the proper time, prevents it from presumptuously running ahead and wildly speculating about things that are still unclear.” (Watchtower, June 1, 1997 p. 14)

8. “The serving of food, the right sort of food, at the proper time was the issue, It had to be according to this that a decision must be rendered by the returned master [Jesus Christ].” (Watchtower Publication: God’s Kingdom a Thousand Years Has Approached, 1973)

9. “Similarly today the power of appointment of all servants in congregations rightfully rests with the governing body of the ‘faithful and discreet slave’ class, which is under the direct supervision of Christ Jesus at the temple.” (Watchtower, June 1, 1955 p. 333 Part 11: Restoration of Theocratic Organization)

10. “As surely as Jehovah has an organization on the earth, just so surely he is feeding the members of that organization by the hand of Christ Jesus.” (Watchtower, November 1, 1933 p. 296)

11. “… that kingdom of God will have visible representatives on the earth who will have charge of the affairs of the nations under the supervision of the invisible ruler Christ; that among those who will thus be the faithful representatives and visible governors of the world will be David, Israel; and Gideon, and Barak, and Samson, and Jepthae, and Joseph, formerly the ruler of Egypt, and Samuel the prophet and other faithful men who were named with approval in the Bible at Hebrews the eleventh chapter… The condition herein is that the said Watchtower Bible and Tract Society shall hold said title perpetually in trust for the use of any or all of the men above named as representatives of God’s kingdom on earth and that such men shall have possession and use of said property hereinabove described as they may deem for the best interest for the work in which they are engaged… the said Joseph F. Rutherford in such lease or other paper writing shall have the right and privilege of residing on said premises until the same be taken possession of by David or some of the other men herein named and this property and premises being dedicated to Jehovah and the use of his kingdom it shall be used as such for ever.” (December 24, 1929)

12. “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.” (Watch Tower book: Salvation, p. 311)

13. “The date 1925 is even more distinctly indicated by the Scriptures than 1914.” (Watchtower, 9/1/1922, p. 262)

14. “… the harvest season began in 1914. In that year, a number of important developments began to unfold. Jesus was enthroned as King, and the last days began. (Rev. 11:15) From 1914 to the early part of 1919, Jesus accompanied his Father to the spiritual temple to do a much-needed inspection and cleansing work. * (Mal. 3:1-4) Then, starting in 1919, it was time to begin gathering the wheat. Was it finally the time for Christ to appoint one organized channel to dispense spiritual food? Yes, indeed!” (Watchtower, July 2013, Feeding Many Through the Hands of a Few)