An article from the July 2016 online edition of The Watchtower provides a great illustration of how the Watchtower organization takes symbolism from the Old Testament, applies it to itself, and uses it to teach its doctrines.
The “Questions from Readers” section contains the following: “Ezekiel chapter 37 describes two sticks that became one stick. What does this mean?”
The first sentence of the answer states, “Through his prophet Ezekiel, Jehovah foretold that his people would return to the Promised Land and that they would be united as one nation again.” The article goes on to explain that the two sticks represented the southern kingdom of Judah (which consisted of two tribes of Israel) and the northern kingdom of Ephraim (which consisted of the other ten tribes).
So far, so good.
But then it says, “What did Ezekiel’s prophecy foretell about pure worship? That Jehovah will cause all those who worship him to “become one.” (Ezekiel 37:18, 19). Has this promise come true in recent times? Yes. The prophecy began to be fulfilled in 1919. Before that, Satan had tried to divide God’s people permanently. But in 1919, they were gradually reorganized and reunited.”
1919? But Israel didn’t become a nation again until 1948. Here’s the switch. According to the Watchtower, there’s a latter day fulfillment of this prophecy that applies—not to “fleshly Israel” (whom they believe Jehovah has cast off)—but to the Watchtower organization!
Nor does the Watchtower just apply this prophecy to itself. It also claims that the prophecy is about the two class salvation system that it teaches.
According to the Watchtower, “Judah” represents “the anointed,” meaning the 144,000 Witnesses of Jehovah whom it believes will go to heaven and rule as kings and priests with Christ. This is the smaller of the two groups.
“Ephraim” then represents the larger group, all the “other sheep.” They will not go to heaven. Instead, they will live forever in paradise on earth.
Since 1919, the article states, these two groups were reorganized and are now reunited and live in unity as one flock.
Not surprisingly, no evidence is given for any of these claims. Jehovah’s Witnesses simply accept without question whatever the Watchtower says.
The best way for you to get them to get through to them with regard to such matters is to ask them questions that they would never think to ask themselves.
If you discuss this article with any Witnesses, I suggest that you ask them the following questions:
- Where does Ezekiel say that this will apply to a religious group in 1919 and not to the nation of Israel itself?
- Where does Ezekiel say that this has anything to do with some people going to heaven and others not?
- Why was Israel divided into two kingdoms in the first place? Wasn’t it because of Solomon’s idolatry and civil war between two of his sons?
- How does that symbolize God creating two different classes of Christians—one chosen to go to heaven and the other to live on earth? Why would God use a two-class model that had its roots in Solomon’s idolatry and his son’s civil wars?
Have you had Jehovah’s Witnesses show you Bible prophecies or history and then claim that it really applies to the Watchtower organization? What do you think of kind of questions I proposed as a way of challenging these types of claims?
Share your thoughts in the comments.