The Church Before the Watchtower

9 09 2015

If one is to believe the claims of the Watchtower in regards to them being God’s chosen organization on earth, and the only trustworthy interpreters of the Bible then we have to ask ourselves what was before the Watchtower. The watchtower as an organization only dates back to July of 1879. This is over 1800 years after the time of Christ.

Was God without witnesses? Was there no one to herald the news of the kingdom? Did no one during this time follow God and thus merit resurrection in the kingdom?

I have asked this question many times in conversation with witnesses and they never seem to have an answer. It does seem strange that God would leave Himself without witness. The problem is that they have been taught not to question and herein lies the problem. This was the great problem in the time of Christ.

The people had been taught by their leaders what Messiah was to do when He came and when Jesus came many rejected Him because they never stopped to question whether their leaders were right. If I felt that something didn’t make sense I can’t imagine my church telling me to just ignore it. Telling me this would raise more questions.

Was there no correct Bible? The Watchtower Society claims that their Bible is the true Word of God and that all other Bibles have been corrupted. The New World Translation wasn’t released until 1961. Before this time even the Jehovah’s Witnesses used the King James Version.

If the claims of the Watchtower are true then God left us over 1900 years before giving us an accurate translation of His Word. This also means that for 82 years the followers of the Watchtower themselves used a corrupt Bible. How can their doctrines be trusted? How can their claim to God’s truth be substantiated?

For all those centuries before 1961 or even 1879 who interpreted truth? I have heard witnesses say that it’s dangerous for a person to interpret the Bible on their own. How can this be that there was no interpreter for the majority of history? Will anyone before this tie be in the kingdom? How could they be if salvation is only through an organization that didn’t exist for nearly 1900 years?

For someone like myself there is no crisis with this question. As a Baptist I can tell you that my church did not exist throughout church history. The good thing for me is that salvation doesn’t come from my church it comes entirely from Christ. My church follows a line of believers throughout history who followed God and His Word.

Those called Christians have always existed. They took different titles and worshipped often in different ways but they were true to the Word of God and salvation by faith alone. The truths I cling to were not derived in the last few years as the Watchtower was but rather passed down by faithful testimony and holy men.

The King James Bible I use is not the only true translation of the Word of God. The Watchtower claims that no one including their own organization had the Word of God uncorrupted prior to 1961. My Bible has existed since around 1789.

It was preceded by the 1611 King James which was preceded by the Geneva Bible, Bishops Bible, Tyndale Bible, and so on. All of these contained the Word of God preserved and uncorrupted. There is no point in history that a true and perfect Bible did not exist. The Watchtower and its followers cannot make this claim.

Is the Watchtower the keeper and interpreter of God’s truth? This question must be asked. Whenever an organization makes a claim in regards to God we must test the claim. The apostle John would agree.

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1)

Let’s ask a few questions to test the claim of the Watchtower. The first question I suppose is simply where did this authority come from? Do we see a passage in Scripture where Jesus empowers the Watchtower? Well of course not because they didn’t exist until nearly 1900 years later.

The Bible tells us that God’s truth is held up and supported by the church. This means the keeper of God’s truth is His church.

“These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” (1 Timothy 3:14-15)

The church existed for all the years leading up to 1879 and then someone starts another group which claims to be the sole source of truth. What seems more likely that God left Himself without witness for 1900 years or that the group that rose much later strayed from the truth? I think the obvious answer is the second one.

If salvation is through the Kingdom Hall then reason tells us that no one could have been saved prior to its inception. I have brought this up to many witnesses who admit they don’t have an answer. They go on to tell me that they feel uncomfortable with the conversation. Why is that? I sure don’t. The answer is that they have been taught not to question the organization that controls their salvation.

The second question is who started the Watchtower? Who gave it authority? The Bible claims that Jesus Christ founded the church.

“When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:13-8)

The Bible claims that the Holy Spirit empowered the church at Pentecost.

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

The church was founded by Jesus Christ and empowered 2000 years ago and yet the Watchtower which was founded by a man named Charles Taze Russell nearly 1900 years later claims it is the true church. They cannot claim to be Christian. They deny that they are part of the church that He founded. When the church was empowered with the Spirit 2000 years ago Jesus said that from that time they would be His witnesses and yet the Watchtower which arose nearly 1900 years later possesses the true witnesses.




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