(Investigator 119, 2008 March)


To tell the crippled and maimed of World War One that they will live to see God create worldwide paradise and cure their injuries would have been a cruel hoax. But here it is:

During the World War millions were maimed and disfigured in various ways, and many deprived of one or both arms or legs.
Because the Lord is now present, putting his kingdom into operation, it is to be expected that many of these crippled and maimed ones will be among the first to receive the restoration blessings.

As they come to a knowledge of the fact that the Lord is giving these blessings, and render themselves in obedience to his righteous rule, they will be thus blessed. Happy will be their portion when they begin to be restored. (The Harp of God 1921, p332)

The Harp of God (1921) is an official book of Jehovah's Witnesses (JW) authored by their second president Joseph F Rutherford (1869-1942).

In the book Rutherford compares "ten fundamental doctrines" to the ten strings of a harp. (pp 20-21)

STRINGS 1 to 6

The first six "strings" of the harp are:

  • Creation i.e. the Adam and Eve story;
  • Justice (including "Satan" and mankind’s "fall");
  • Abraham as the ancestor of Jesus;
  • Birth of Jesus;
  • The "Ransom";
  • Christ’s resurrection.
  • These six "strings" are still acceptable to JWs today.

    Some claims, however, are weird such as this explanation of the Christmas Star: "Satan and…the demons associated with him, have power to produce lights…" (p93)

    There are also wrong claims of fulfilments of Bible prophecy:

  • Job 38:35 and Isaiah 60:8 foretell wireless telegraphy and airships;
  • Nahum 2:3-6 "gave a clear and particular description of the railway train and the manner of its operation…";
  • Daniel 12:4 refers to automobiles and electric cars. (Page 16)
  • Such interpretations may have impressed "the crippled and maimed" but were false, and JWs later discarded them.

    STRING 7

    String 7 ("Mystery Revealed") is about Jesus being predicted in the Old Testament and that Christians will rule with him from heaven over creation.

    JWs looking at "String 7" today might see no error.

    In 1921, however, Rutherford's followers believed they would all go to heaven, the entire cult, and do so in 1925 (See below). Later, in 1935, JWs divided themselves into two classes – one group goes to heaven, the other will live forever on Earth.


    String 8 ("Christ's return") has snapped completely. And Strings 9 ("Glorification") and 10 ("Restoration") have failed because the time frame has expired.

    Page 221 says Christ's coming "will not be visible to human eyes" but "discernible in the physical facts which will occur in fulfillment of prophecy…" (p223)

    What "physical facts"?

    The campaign of the great warrior Napoleon Bonaparte is clearly a fulfillment of this prophecy [Daniel 11:40, 41], as reference to the historical facts concerning his campaign plainly show. (p228)
      Napoleon’s campaign in Egypt was in 1799. Therefore:
      1799 definitely marks the beginning of the time of the end. (p230)
      Rutherford also:
  • Added 1260 years to A.D. 539 to get 1799 (pp 229-230);
  • Cited the rise of Bible societies around 1800 (p232);
  • Repeated the supposed prophecies about trains and telegraph (p233);
  • Noted the rise of the first "labor organization" in 1874 (p234);
  • Listed various inventions such as typewriters, cars and submarines. (p235).
  • From these "facts" it followed that:

    The time of the Lord's second presence dates from 1874… (pp 230, 231)   
    Another "fact" was "the harvest of the gospel age". The harvest involved getting all people who are right with God into one religion. That religion was the early JWs or Russellites – the cult of C T Russell:
    During the presence of the Lord from 1874 to 1878 he was making preparation for the harvest of the gospel age. The Jewish harvest covered a period of forty years, ending in A.D. 73. We should expect, then, the general harvest of the gospel age to end in 1918. (p236)

    The Harp of God next identifies C T Russell as the "faithful and wise servant" spoken of by Jesus in Matthew 24:45-47 –  "Without doubt Pastor Russell filled that office…" (pp 237, 239)

    All of this, yes all of it, was of course nonsense.

    JWs subsequently deleted Napoleon from Bible prophecy, dropped 1799 and 1874 from Bible prophecy, relocated the "gospel age" to 1919, changed Christ's coming to 1914, removed Russell as the "faithful and wise servant", and no longer saw prophetic significance in trains, labor organizations, typewriters or submarines.


    If the "general harvest of the gospel age" ended in 1918, why was Rutherford's cult preaching and selling The Harp of God in 1921?

    Because a short "gleaning work" remained to bring in stragglers!

    We should therefore expect to find a harvest period from 1878 to 1918, and thereafter for a time a gleaning work going on. (p236)
    When the "gleaning" was finished, then would come the "Restoration" (String 10). "Restoration" referred to paradise on Earth and people being made perfect under the guidance of ancient Jews raised from their graves such as Daniel and Moses:
    Hence these faithful men of old may be expected on earth within the next few years. They will be the visible representatives of the kingdom of heaven. (p340)

    The proof cited herein shows the old world (social and political order) ended and began to pass away in 1914, and that this will be completed in a few years and righteousness fully established. (p333)

    Only a "few years" – counting from 1921!

    In his previous book titled Millions Now living Will Never Die (1920) Rutherford predicted the return of the "ancient worthies" for 1925.

    "The next few years" therefore meant four years!

    This was a false hope even now unfulfilled, therefore a cruel hoax, and all the "crippled and maimed" of WWI are now dead.


    The Watchtower Society practiced a cruel hoax with The Harp of God (1921).
    Did they do that only once or is there a pattern? Find out on this website:

    Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses at: