What you see below is a direct quote taken from a publication of the Jehovah’s Witnesses called “Salvation”, published in 1939 pages 311 and 312. I will summarize: In 1930, the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses, after having publicly and wrongly predicted Armageddon multiple times already (mainly in 1914 and 1925), stuck to their guns that it was still right around the corner. In fact, their fervent apocalyptic belief led them to actually build a mansion in southern California that they surnamed “Beth Sarim”…..which means in Hebrew, “House of the Princes”. Why would they purchase a mansion if they believe Armageddon was imminent? Because their belief was that the “Faithful Men of Old” (i.e. David, Joseph, Samuel etc) would be resurrected by God and then they could all live together in this mansion.
Seriously. Read for yourself below.
They wanted “tangible proof” for all to see that their prediction was about to come true. Did you notice the quote on page 311? “It was thought well and pleasing TO GOD that the aforementioned house be built AS A TESTIMONY TO THE NAME OF JEHOVAH”. Based on their words and not mine……apparently God WANTED them to falsely prophesy about the resurrection of long deceased biblical characters, even going so far as to spend donated money by individual Jehovah’s Witnesses (then known as “Bible Students”) to build a mansion for these ones…..and to top it all off…….credit “the name of Jehovah” for it. I wonder how happy God is about his name being attached to this false prophecy? Well, actually, the bible tells us. The following scripture is taken directly from THIER New World Translation Bible:
“However, the prophet who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded him to speak or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die. And in case you should say in your heart: “How shall we know the word that Jehovah has not spoken?” when the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word does not occur or come true, that is the word that Jehovah did not speak. With presumptuousness the prophet spoke it.” Deuteronomy 18:20-22
Now…..compare the above false prophesy with another quote straight from a different publication of theirs:
“True, there have been those in times past who predicted an “end to the world,” even announcing a specific date. Yet nothing happened. The “end” did not come. They were guilty of false prophesying. Why? What was missing? Missing from such people were God’s truths and the evidence that he was guiding and using them.” Awake! 1968 Oct 8 p.23
Isn’t it amazing that the words of Deuteronomy 18:20-22 apply to others when they make predictions that don’t come true, yet somehow they don’t apply this scripture to themselves?
Below are pictures of what the home actually looked like as well as a very hard to read copy of the actual deed:
The second picture admittedly isn’t very good but I thought it might make a nice point. The point being that when the picture was taken, the United States was mired in the heart of the Great Depression. Yet there stood Joseph Rutherford, leader of the Jehovah’s Witnesses at that time, outside of a mansion……and in front of his 16 cylinder (extremely rare) Cadillac……posing for a picture.
The third picture you see is the deed. Let’s look at some of the wording. Actually, for those that may have difficulty reading it, I will quote below exactly what is found in the picture of the deed above:
“Both the grantor and the grantee are fully persuaded from the Bible testimony which is the word of Jehovah God and from extraneous evidence that God’s Kingdom is now in the course of establishment and that it will result beneficially for the peoples of earth; that the governing power and authority will be invisible to men but that the kingdom of God will have visible representatives on the earth who will have charge of the affairs of the nations under supervision of the invisible ruler, Christ. That among those who will be thus the faithful representatives and visible governors of the world will be David, who was once King over Israel; and Gideon, and Barak, and Samson, and Jepthai, and Joseph, formerly ruler of Egypt, and Samuel the prophet and other faithful men named with approval in the Bible at Hebrews 11th. chapter. The WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY (leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses) 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. Any persons appearing to take possession of said premises shall first prove and identify themselves to the proper officers of said Society as the person or persons described in Hebrews chapter eleven and in this deed.”
Do those sound like the words of a sane, clear thinking, non-apocalyptic cult? I don’t think so either. It is no wonder that, after this failed prophecy, in the 1940’s, the house was quietly sold while the excitement and zeal of the failed message was quickly swept under the rug. The only relatively current mention of this debacle can be found in the 1993 Publication of Jehovah’s Witnesses known as their “Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom” book. Page 76 of that book says the following under the subheading “House of Princes”:
“Brother Rutherford had a severe case of pneumonia after his release from unjust imprisonment in 1919. Thereafter, he had only one good lung. In the 1920’s, under a doctor’s treatment, he went to San Diego, California, and the doctor urged him to spend as much time as possible there. From 1929 on, Brother Rutherford spent the winters working at a San Diego residence he had named Beth-Sarim. Beth-Sarim was built with funds that were a direct contribution for that purpose. The deed, which was published in full in “The Golden Age” of March 19, 1930, conveyed this property to J. F. Rutherford and thereafter to the Watch Tower Society.
The problem here is that this “Proclaimers” book of theirs is widely distributed amongst them and is explained by leadership to the rank and file witnesses as though it represents a candid look at their history. Only…..it is anything but candid. It is filled with half truths, partial admissions, logical fallacies and deceit. This is just one example. Notice how they act like the house was predominantly built for the health of Joseph Rutherford. Perhaps he did spend a lot of time there. After all, I have posted a picture of him outside of it on this very blog. But make no mistake, their early publications show the REAL reason it was built, as does the ACTUAL DEED! Let me state it again for the sake of clarity. The deed was actually made out in the names of ancient bible characters that they expected to be resurrected because that is what they imagined their God had told them! Is it any wonder the real reason for the construction of this house has been carefully concealed from the public and from current JWs? Do you think it is because they know how cultish the stark reality sounds?