A Little Watchtower History
If you’ve done some digging around about the beginnings of how the Watchtower came to be there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Charles Taze Russell. He’s known as the founder of the Watchtower cult. What you may not know is how the name “Jehovah Witnesses” came about?
When Charles Taze Russell started the organization the magazine he published in July 1879 then was called Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence.
In 1909 the name was changed to The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence. In 1920, the Watch Tower Society reprinted all issues from 1879–1919 in seven volumes, known as the Watchtower Reprints, which have since been reprinted by various “Bible Student” groups.
On 15 October 1931, the magazine was renamed The Watchtower and Herald of Christ’s Presence; in January 1939, The Watchtower and Herald of Christ’s Kingdom. After Rusell’s death on October 31, 1916, Pampa, TX, a man by the name of Joseph Franklin Rutherford coveted to be in charge, and it’s a known fact that Rutherford didn’t like Russell and renamed the magazine in March 1939 until the present, now called The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom.
Where does the name Jehovah Witness come from?
Rutherford took a verse out of Isaiah which mentions the word “witnesses”. It can be found in Isaiah chapter 43 which reads.
Isaiah 43:10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
Yes, the name comes from this verse. All Jehovah Witnesses believe that Jehovah God has declared the Watchtower to be the only true “organization” that’s capable of teaching the Bible. The truth is Rutherford wanted control of its members hence the name changes to distance himself from Russell.
It’s crazy to believe that this verse referring to Israel as God’s witness to pagan nations in Old Testament times seven centuries before Christ came into the world, would apply to a modern-day cult nineteen centuries after the time of Jesus Christ. Is the Watchtower willing to admit that they believe God had no witness for over eighteen centuries of church history? It’s a historical fact that the Jehovah Witnesses began in the nineteenth century.
JESUS CHRIST IS GOD ALMIGHTY
The Watchtower teaches that Jesus is not God, but is this true what does the Bible say in regards to Christ and His deity? It’s interesting that the Jehovah Witnesses get their name from Isaiah 43:10 and twist the context of the verse. That chapter is not speaking about
Jehovah Witnesses in fact what the chapter is really speaking of is that God was saying the nation of Israel has been a witness to God’s power. The beginning of the chapter gives us the context in which the LORD is proclaiming His omnipotence in lew of the people of the surrounding nations which worships false gods.
Isaiah 43:1-3 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.
Notice God mentions “O Jacob” which is a name for Israel, God mentions again “O Israel”. Clearly, it’s the Jewish nation God is speaking too. Here’s the point the very word in verse Isaiah 43:10 they adore “Witnesses” proves Jesus Christ is God.
In the book of Acts in the New Testament, we have the Ascension of the Lord Jesus. The apostles asked the Lord “…they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6) and the Lord Jesus replied saying.
Acts 1:7-8 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. 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.
There you have it straight from the Bible, God says in the Old Testament “Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD” (Isaiah 43:10) and Jesus Christ says “and ye shall be witnesses unto me” (Acts 1:8). I guess the Watchtower forgot to changes those scriptures to try to hide the fact that Jesus Christ is God.