While this issue has a complex history and much can be written, I want to keep this as simple as possible. Let’s first cover what the Watchtower has stated regarding the work of the Holy Spirit since 1919:
*** ip-1 chap. 25 p. 340 par. 20 The King and His Princes ***
Happily, since 1919, Jehovah’s spirit has been poured out in abundance upon his people, restoring, as it were, a fruit-bearing orchard of anointed Witnesses, to be followed by an expanding forest of other sheep.
*** kj chap. 11 p. 208 par. 34 Disappointment in Store for Overconfident Ones ***
These anointed spiritual Israelites Jehovah has purified still more since their deliverance from Babylonish bondage in 1919 C.E. Under the guidance of his holy spirit these restored ones have done just as he foretold: “They will certainly come there and remove all its disgusting things and all its detestable things out of it.”
*** w63 11/1 p. 658 par. 12 How All Scripture Inspired of God is Beneficial ***
Since the close of World War I in 1918 we students of God’s Word have needed the assistance of God’s spirit just as much as those first Christians did on that day of Pentecost of A.D. 33. Otherwise we could not have discerned the marvelous fulfillment of the Bible prophecies giving proof to our eyes, minds and hearts that God’s Messianic kingdom was established in heaven A.D. 1914 to put down all God’s enemies and to give mankind a perfect government of righteousness.
What’s interesting is the manner in which Judge Rutherford, who is now considered to be or part of the Governing Body during his time of leadership, speaks of the work of the Holy Spirit.
“But when the Lord Jesus comes to his temple and gathers his approved ones into the temple, is there any further need for the office of the holy spirit as a helper and advocate? If not, then the advocacy of the holy spirit would there cease. Jesus, being in the temple and with his chosen ones, would act for them directly.” (Watchtower, September 1, 1930 p. 263)
“It would seem that there would be no necessity for the ‘servant’ to have an advocate such as the holy spirit, because the ‘servant’ to have an advocate is in direct communication with Jehovah and as Jehovah’s instrument, and Christ Jesus acts for the entire body.” (p. 263)
“‘The servant’ is anointed to do a specific work. ‘The servant’ is made up of Christ Jesus the Head, the resurrected saints, and the called and chosen ones on the earth who have been brought into the temple and who have entered into the joy of the Lord. Individually those of the remnant on earth must have their standing before God in the beloved One Christ Jesus, and the beloved One is their advocate. Being in the temple, however, there would seem to be no good reason why there should be an advocacy in their behalf by the holy spirit, since the Lord is now with them.” (p. 263)
“When the temple class is gathered the administration of the holy spirit as an advocate, it seems, would be at an end.” (p. 263)
“The holy spirit that had been the guide of God’s people, having performed its functions, was taken away, and the Lord Jesus himself, being present, represented his people and advocated in their behalf before Jehovah God, that is, in behalf of those who had fallen into distress because of their failure to properly use their lips in proclaiming the truth.” (Salvation, 1939 p. 217)
As the above quotes consider the work of the Holy Spirit or lack thereof, below will speak to the work of angels:
“But it seems certain that when Jesus came to his temple and began his work of judgment he would direct his holy angels to take the necessary action to cause the separation of the disapproved ones from the approved ones, and would use his angels to bear messages to them to direct the approved ones as to what to do…the angels are there for this purpose, and it is not the demonstration of the parakletos or holy spirit as a helper that directs men to do the separating work. If the holy spirit as a helper were directing the work, then there would be no good reason for employing the angels.” (p. 263)
“Instead of the ‘servant’s’ being moved into action by the operation of the holy spirit as a helper, the Scriptures seem clearly to teach that the Lord directs his angels what to do and that they act under the supervision of the Lord in directing the remnant on earth concerning the course of action to take. -Rev. 8:1-7″ (p. 263)
“It was the holy spirit that operated upon the minds of men in the early church to take certain action; but now the Lord Jesus himself has returned, is in his temple, and, acting by and through his holy angels, puts it into the mind and heart of the remnant class to take positive action to do a certain work; and this work has been going on, especially since 1922.” (p. 263)
“After the holy spirit as an advocate or paraclete ceased to function in behalf of the consecrated, then the angels are employed in behalf of those who are being made ready for the kingdom. ‘For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all they ways’ -Ps. 91:11″ (Preservation, 1932 p. 51-52)
“By his spirit, the holy spirit, Jehovah God guides or leads his people up to a certain point of time, and thus he did until the time when ‘the comforter’ was taken away, which would necessarily occur when Jesus, the Head of his organization, came to the temple and gathered unto himself those whom he found faithful when he, as the great Judge, began his judgment, in 1918.” (p. 193-194)
It seems undoubtedly clear that the angels replaced or took over the work of the holy spirit; the same work that took place in the early church. Therefore, it could be said that the holy spirit would no longer direct as he once did, and this would be given over to angels.
In light of these claims, it seems very difficult to justify the Watchtower’s current claims of the Holy Spirit guiding and directing the Governing Body when they argued in the 1930’s that this work had ceased. Therefore, let us consider a few questions:
1. Was the holy spirit directing the work of Judge Rutherford even though he denied it?
2. How could you be directed by the Holy Spirit and not know it?
3. Would Jesus Christ have chosen the Faithful Slave in 1918-1919, knowing full well that they would deny the directing work of the holy spirit?
4. When did the Governing Body abandon the false teaching of the holy spirit’s ceasing work in 1918? Did they make this abandonment clear?
5. Did the Watchtower ever make a sincere apology for their false teaching and leading other astray?
6. What about those faithful Jehovah’s Witnesses who died believing that the Holy Spirit’s role had ceased? Was their salvation lost as a result of believing such an absurdly false doctrine?
7. If the Watchtower can teach something so detrimental and false, what guarantee do you have that they can’t teach such falsities today?
If i’ve somehow misinterpreted or taken out of context Rutherford’s view of the holy spirit’s cessation, then i’m happy to be corrected. I’d welcome anyone to check the contexts of the quotes above and see for themselves what Rutherford was teaching. Therefore, i’ve posted the scans of the relevant pages in the links below: