The Watchtower Society focuses on the scripture in Proverbs 4:18 as support of their changing or developing doctrines. That verse states:
"But the path of the righteous ones is like the bright light that is getting lighter and lighter until the day is firmly established."
Far from being justification for an organization's change in doctrine, the verse when read in its context (In other words, read the entire chapter) concerns advice from a father to his children. It is not to be taken in part as an excuse or a crutch to be used by an organization for modification of their teachings.
Nonetheless, we will go along with the notion that Proverbs 4:18 is justification for light of an organization getting brighter - aka - explanation for a complete change in doctrine. The problem though with this and as Jehovah's Witnesses should be aware of is the light should always become brighter and understanding clearer. Jehovah certainly would not lead His organization back to an old teaching! Even more so, He would not lead an organization into spiritual darkness on a matter for decades. That just would not make any sense.
What do the facts prove?
-1961 = Conscience choice.
[Watchtower August 1, 1961 'Question from Readers']
-1967 = Cannibalistic.
[Watchtower November 15, 1967 ‘Questions from Readers’]
-1980 = Conscience choice.
[Watchtower March 15, 1980, page 31]
So, the light in 1967 becomes brighter than it was in 1961 and Jehovah's Witnesses are taught Organ Transplants are now cannibalistic. However, 13 years later the light becomes brighter again and in 1980, Jehovah's Witnesses are taught Organ Transplants are no longer cannibalistic but a conscience choice, which is actually returning back to their previous stance in 1961.
Resurrection of the Men of Sodom...
-1879 = Yes.
[Watchtower July 1879, page 8]
-1952 = No.
[Watchtower June 1, 1952, page 338]
-1965 = Yes.
[Watchtower August 1, 1965, page 479]
-1982 = Yes.
[Live Forever Paradise Earth 1982 edition, page 179]
-1988 = No.
[Watchtower June 1, 1988 page 31]
-1988 = Yes.
[Insight on the Scriptures Volume 2, page 985]
-1989 = No.
[Our Kingdom Ministry, December 1989, page 7]
-1989 = No.
[Live Forever Paradise Earth 1989 edition, page 179]
The number of times the Watchtower Society's teaching changes concerning the resurrection of the Men of Sodom is staggering. Does the above read as divine direction, "brighter light" coming from Jehovah, or just an organization haphazardly guessing and arbitrarily deciding what to teach?
Superior Authorities (Romans 13:1)...
-1886 = Worldly Governments or Authorities
[Studies in the Scriptures Series I - The Divine Plan of the Ages (1886 edition) page 250]
-1916 = Worldly Governments or Authorities
[Studies in the Scriptures Series I - The Divine Plan of the Ages (1916 edition) page 266]
-1929 = Jehovah God and Jesus Christ
[Watchtower June 1 and June 15, 1929]
-1950 = Jehovah God and Jesus Christ
[This Means Everlasting Life (1950) page 197]
-1962 = Worldly Governments or Authorities
[Babylon the Great Has Fallen! God's Kingdom Rules! (1962) page 548]
-1990 = Worldly Governments or Authorities
[Watchtower November 1, 1990, page 11]
So the "Superior Authorities" were Worldly Governments or Authorities from 1886-1929. From 1929-1962 new light flashed forth making the "Superior Authorities" Jehovah and Jesus. Then finally more new light flashing forth brought the teachings of “Super Authorities” to Jehovah's Witnesses from 1962 onward back to the original teaching of 1886.
This Generation (Mathew 24:34)...
-1927 = The Anointed
[Watchtower February 15, 1927 page 62]
-1942 = Anyone alive to see 1914
[Watchtower July 1, 1942 page 204]
-1995 = Wicked People alive today
[Watchtower November 1, 1995 page 19]
-2008 = The Anointed
[Watchtower February 15, 2008 page 24]
From an analysis of the Watchtower Society’s teaching concerning "This Generation" as recorded in Matthew, it was first ‘correct’ in 1927. But brighter light caused it to become an incorrect teaching of a couple of different things over the course of 81 years, only to return back to the original ‘correct’ 1927 teaching. Again, why would God direct His organization in such a fashion?
While the Watchtower Society loves to focus attention to Proverbs 4:18, perhaps Jehovah's Witnesses should be paying more attention to the verse that follows it. In Proverbs 4:19 it states:
"The way of the wicked ones is like the gloom; they have not known at what they keep stumbling."
Based on the facts above, which scripture better describes the teachings of the Watchtower Society?