Comparing Jehovah's Witnesses History with Jehovah's Witnesses History
Charles Taze Russell "by accident" happens into a religious meeting where "Second Adventism" was being taught by Jonas Wendell. Russell's "wavering faith" in the Bible is reestablished. Eventually he concludes that, "We were living somewhere near the close of the Gospel Age" (Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence, 1916, pp. 170-171). Charles Russell, his father and others form a small Bible study in Allegheny, Pennsylvania (Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence, 1916, pp. 170-171).
Second Coming: Another Second Adventist, Nelson Barbour, announces Christ's invisible second presence in 1874 (Zion's Watch Tower, February 1881, p. 3; Oct./Nov., 1881, p. 3) Christ returned invisibly (original date) and Armageddon began (The Finished Mystery, pp. 485, 513 and Zion's Watch Tower, 15 January 1892, p. 22). [see 1914]
Charles Taze Russell reads Herald of the Morning, a magazine by Second Adventist, Nelson Barbour, and receives its message with "surprise and gratification" (Zion's Watch Tower, 15 July 1906, pp. 230-31). Russell personally meets with Barbour who convinces him of the invisible presence of Christ in 1874 (Zion's Watch Tower, 1916, pp. 170-171).
Second Coming: Russell and Barbour jointly publish Three Worlds or Plan of Redemption. "This book set forth their belief that Christ's second presence began invisibly in the fall of 1874 and thereby commenced a forty-year harvest period. Then, remarkably accurately, they set forth the year 1914 as the end of the Gentile times" (Qualified To Be Ministers, p. 300). [see 1914]
Growth: Russell publishes the first issue of Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence forerunner of today's Watchtower with an initial printing of 6,000 (The Finished Mystery, p. 4).
Growth: "Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society" incorporated in Pennsylvania (Jehovah's Witnesses In The Divine Purpose, p. 27).
False Prophecy: Volume II of Studies in the Scriptures, entitled The Time is at Hand announces, "that six thousand years from the creation of Adam were complete with A.D. 1872." It also predicts Battle of Armageddon, "will end in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth's present rulership" (pp. 76-77, 99, 101). [see 1894, 1914, and 1968]
Growth: First "national assembly" attracts 360 people (Jehovah's Witnesses In The Divine Purpose, p. 33).
Joseph Rutherford begins his first study with Watch Tower representatives (Jehovah's Witness In The Divine Purpose, p. 65).
False Prophecy: Under the heading, "Can It Be Delayed?" until 1914, Watch Tower readers write with a serious question. "Now, in view of recent labor troubles and threatened anarchy, our readers are writing to know if there may not be a mistake in the 1914 date. We see no reason for changing the figures nor could we change them if we would. They are, we believe, God's dates, not ours. But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble" (15 July 1894, p. 226). [see 1889, 1914, and 1968]
Russell begins a program for passing out millions of the Society's tracts in front of Christian churches (Jehovah's Witnesses In The Divine Purpose, p. 40).
Growth: The first foreign Branch Office opens in London, England (Jehovah's Witnesses In The Divine Purpose, p. 32).
Faithful and Wise Servant: "Who then is the faithful and wise steward whom his Lord shall set over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? The implication seems to be that when the right time should come for understanding the parable, it would be clearly set forth: that at the time of the parable's fulfillment the Lord would appoint a servant in the household to bring these matters to the attention of all the servants, and that certain responsibilities would rest upon such a one respecting the dispatch of his duties" (Watch Tower, 15 April 1904, p. 3355-3356). [see 1919, 1923, 1969]
Joseph Franklin Rutherford, who will become the second president of the Watchtower organization, becomes an "ordained" Jehovah's Witness minister (Jehovah's Witnesses In The Divine Purpose, p. 65).
The "People's Pulpit Association" is incorporated in the State of New York (Jehovah's Witnesses In The Divine Purpose, pp. 48-49).
Bible: Jehovah's Witnesses are told not to read the Bible by itself, because it is not the final authority. "Furthermore, not only do we find that people cannot see the divine plan in studying the Bible by itself, but we see, also, that if anyone lays the Scripture Studies (Studies in the Scriptures) aside, even after he has used them, after he has become familiar with them, after he has read them for ten years if he then lays them aside and ignores them and goes to the Bible alone, though he has understood his Bible for ten years, our experience shows that within two years he goes into darkness. On the other hand, if he had merely read the Scripture Studies with their references, and had not read a page of the Bible, as such, he would be in the light at the end of two years, because he would have the light of the Scriptures" (Watch Tower, 15 September 1910, p. 298). [see 1922 and 1951]
Intelligence: Russell provided this insight into determining the intelligence of a being. "Stand a man alongside of a dog. Look at their heads. The one slopes back; there is no place for the intellectual qualities at all, or at least a very small place for the thinking apparatus man has. He has more brain than the dog. If we could make a dog with the same head as a man, he would think the same as a man" (The Watch Tower, 15 March 1913, p. 667).
Second Coming: Mankind has entered the time of the end. "The Gentile times ended in the autumn of 1914, and Jesus was enthroned as Jehovah's Representative in The Theocratic Government. Three and a half years after that would end in the spring of 1918. The old heavens and earth having thus been disposed of, this wicked world, which has been in its `time of the end' since 1914, will come to its final end" (The Kingdom Is At Hand, pp. 328 and 350). [see 1918 and 1988]
Russell dies October 31st on a train in Texas (Jehovah's Witnesses In The Divine Purpose, p. 61).
Faithful and Wise Servant: "Thousands of the readers of Pastor Russell's writings believe that he filled the office of `that faithful and wise servant,' and that his great work was giving to the household of faith meat in due season. His modesty and humility precluded him from openly claiming this title, but he admitted as much in private conversation" (Watch Tower, 1 December 1916, p. 5998). [see 1904, 1917, 1919, 1923, 1927, 1969]
Joseph F. Rutherford becomes the society's 2nd President (Jehovah's Witnesses In The Divine Purpose, p. 64).
Growth: Volume VII of Studies in the Scriptures titled, The Finished Mystery, was published as the "posthumous work of Pastor Russell." It taught:
Nelson Barbour is identified as "the Evil servant" of Matt. 24:48-51 (pp. 54, 386). [see 1876]
Jesus is the "Almighty" of Rev. 1:8 (p. 15).
False Prophecy: "Also, in the year 1918, when God destroys the churches wholesale and the church members by millions" (p. 485).
Human government will end. "Even the republics will disappear in the fall of 1920" (p. 258).
Splinter group: Controversy over the release of The Finished Mystery creates splinter groups (e.g. Dawn Bible Students Association and Layman's Home Missionary Movement) over the next few years (Jehovah's Witnesses In The Divine Purpose, pp. 72-73).
Canadian Government: In February, the Canadian government forbids anyone to possess copies of Watchtower periodicals. The government alleges the material contains seditious and anti-war statements (Jehovah's Witnesses In The Divine Purpose, pp. 75-76).
Faithful and Wise Servant: In the Topical Index published by the Watchtower Society, for the years July 1879 through June 1919, under the heading "The Servant," was found the following: "An individual, not a class" (p. 6611). [see 1904, 1916, 1917, 1923, 1927, 1969]
ALL HUMAN GOVERNMENTS AND "REPUBLICS" DO NOT "DISAPPEAR" [see 1917]
Millions Campaign begins (Jehovah's Witnesses In The Divine Purpose, p. 98).
False Prophecy: The book Millions Now Living Will Never Die predicts, "Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob¼ to the condition of human perfection" (pp. 89-90). [see 1922, 1924, 1925, , 1942 and 1968]
Faithful and Wise Servant: Divine Truth came only from Charles Taze Russell. "There is no one in present truth today who can honestly say that he received a knowledge of the divine plan from any source other than by the ministry of Brother Russell, either directly or indirectly" (Watch Tower, 1 May 1922, p. 132).
Faithful and Wise Servant: Russell still the only true channel, "Every indication of the Lord's providence has shown that God gave Brother Russell to the church to be as a mouthpiece for him; and those who claim to have learned the truth apart from Brother Russell and his writings have been manifested by the Lord as deceivers, ready to lead the flock of God in their way. Satan has attempted by many attacks upon this fact to break it down; to cause the Lord's people to believe: (1) that Brother Russell was not the only channel by which the Lord would lead his people" (Watch Tower, 15 September 1922, p. 279). [see 1910 and 1951]
False prophecy: "The date 1925 is even more distinctly indicated by Scripture because it is fixed by the law God gave to Israel" (Watch Tower, 1 September 1922, p. 262). [see 1920, 1924, 1925, and 1968]
Faithful and Wise Servant: "The one who fills that office is made ruler over all the Lord's goods during the time of his incumbency in office. We believe that all who are now rejoicing in present truth will concede that Brother Russell faithfully filled the office of special servant of the Lord; and that he was made ruler over all the Lord's goods" (Watch Tower, 1 March 1923, p. 68). [see 1904, 1916, 1917, 1919, 1927, 1969]
False Prophecy: This same year a Watchtower reader wrote to Watchtower headquarters with a very serious question. "Have we more reason, or as much, to believe the kingdom will be established in 1925 than Noah had to believe that there would be a flood?"
False Prophecy: "The year 1925 is a date definitely and clearly marked in the Scriptures, even more clearly than that of 1914" (Watch Tower, 15 July 1924, p. 211). [see >A HREF=http://www.watchman.org/articles/jehovahs-witnesses/comparing-jehovahs-witnesses-history-with-jehovahs-witnesses-history#1920>1920, 1922, 1925, and 1968]
False Prophecy: Realizing they had made a false prophecy, when the Jehovah's Witnesses reprinted their own book, they altered the wording. "Also, in the year 1918, when God begins to destroy the churches and the church members by the millions" (Finished Mystery, 1926 ed., p. 485). No indication was made to alert the new reader that this portion had been altered. [see 1917]
Faithful and Wise Servant: "This erroneous thought that Russell himself was the `faithful and wise servant' was cleared up." The "servant" had now become a "class" (1975 Yearbook, p. 88). [see 1904, 1916, 1917, 1923, 1969]
God's Home Planet: Where does God live? "The constellation of the seven stars forming the Pleiades appears to be the crowning center around which the known systems of the planets revolve even as our sun's planets obey the sun and travel in their respective orbits. It has been suggested, and with much weight, that one of the stars of that group is the dwelling-place of Jehovah and the place of the highest heavens."
"The constellation of the Pleiades is a small one compared with others which scientific instruments disclose to the wondering eyes of man. But the greatness in size of other stars or planets is small when compared with the Pleiades in importance, because the Pleiades is the place of the eternal throne of God" (Reconciliation, p. 14).
Beth-Sarim: A house in San Diego, California called "Beth-Sarim" is built for "the purpose of acquiring that property and building the house" for "the faithful men of old (Abraham, etc.) will soon be resurrected by the Lord" (Salvation, p. 311; parenthesis added). [see 1925, 1942 and 1974]
False Prophets: Concerned about the many false prophets in the world, the Watchtower provides the following instructions: "While they claim to speak in the name of the Lord, their predictions neither come true nor tend to magnify Jehovah's name. According to the divine rule they prove to be false, and the Lord promises that in due time he will deal with them as he does with all hypocrites. Matt. 24:51."
"From the rules by which the prophets would be tested or judged it is evident that some things which were spoken in the name of Jehovah by the prophets were to have fulfillment soon after the time spoken. But the coming to pass of some of these events was not alone sufficient to prove one a prophet."
"This is an important point in studying prophecy, and the student must keep it in mind. The test was provided by Jehovah, and to such test all the prophecies must be subjected.¼ If these prophecies have not been fulfilled, and if all possibility of fulfillment is past, then these prophets are proven false" (Prophecy, p. 22). [See 1894, 1920 and 1968]
False Prophets: The Society again explains how, "To know whether one is a true or a false prophet¼. If he is a true prophet, his message will come to pass exactly as prophesied. If he is a false prophet, his prophecy will fail to come to pass" (Watch Tower, 15 May 1930, p. 154).
False Prophets: In speaking about other prophets, Rutherford explains in another of his books, "They have been thus prophesying particularly since 1918, and everyone knows that their prophecies to date have not come to pass; and that alone is strong evidence that they are false prophets. It is therefore seen that they fail to meet a single one of the requirements to prove that they are true prophets - Deut. 18:21-22" (Light, Book Two, p. 47).
Vaccinations are called a "great evil." "Vaccination has never saved a human life. It does not prevent smallpox" (Golden Age, 4 February 1931, pp. 293-294). [see 1965]
False Prophecy: Concerning the various false dates predicted in this Watchtower history, Rutherford wrote, "There was a measure of disappointment on the part of Jehovah's faithful ones on earth concerning the years 1914, 1918, and 1925, which disappointment lasted for a time. Later the faithful learned that these dates were definitely fixed in the Scriptures; and they also learned to quit fixing dates for the future and predicting what would come to pass on a certain date" (Vindication, Vol. 1, pp. 338-39). This statement is interesting because of the two things learned by the Watchtower. They learned the dates were correct and to stop fixing dates! It was a lesson they would soon forget. [see 1914, 1925, 1943, 1968, 1988 and 1989]
Two Class Salvation: The 144,000 or "anointed class" are joined by the "other sheep," called the "Jonadab class" or the "great crowd" class. Those of the second class or "other sheep" are not born again and have no hope of heaven but hope to survive Armageddon to live on paradise earth (Jehovah's Witnesses In The Divine Purpose, p. 140).
American Flag: Saluting the flag is declared an "act of worship" and therefore forbidden (Jehovah's Witnesses In The Divine Purpose, p. 144).
Growth: The Society withdraws from commercial radio and begins major phonograph campaign using portable record players door-to-door (Jehovah's Witnesses In The Divine Purpose, p. 188).
False Prophecy: Because the end is so close Jehovah's Witnesses are told to wait until after Armageddon to "marry and rear children" (Watchtower, 1 November 1938, p. 323). [Note: 1 Tim. 4:3]
False Prophecy: This idea is again reiterated in the book Face The Facts when it says "If this conclusion is Scripturally correct, then it would mean that those men and women forming the `great multitude' will marry and bring forth children in righteousness and unto life."
"Would it be Scripturally proper for them to now marry and to begin to rear children? No, is the answer, which is supported by the Scriptures."
"Those Jonadabs who now contemplate marriage, it would seem, would do better if they wait a few years, until the fiery storm of Armageddon is gone, and to then enter the marital relationship and enjoy the blessings of participating in filling the earth with righteous and perfect children" (pp. 46 and 50). [See 1941 and 1992]
False Prophecy: Armageddon is said to be only "months" away (Watchtower, 15 September 1941, p. 288). Because, "Armageddon is surely near" fictional Jehovah's Witness couple John and Eunice decide to "defer" plans for marriage and children until paradise earth is established (Children, p. 366). [see 1987 and 1992].
Joseph Rutherford dies in the "Beth-Sarim" home and Nathan H. Knorr becomes the Society's third president (Jehovah's Witnesses In The Divine Purpose, pp. 194-195).
Gilead school opens at the "Kingdom Farm" in New York (Jehovah's Witnesses In The Divine Purpose, pp. 202-203).
Space Flight: In this same year, in its uninspired fashion, the Witnesses explained, "Man on earth can no more get rid of these demonic `heavens' than man can by airplane or rockets or other means get up above the air envelope which is about our earthly globe and in which man breathes" (The Truth Shall Make You Free, p. 285). This was proven incorrect on April 12, 1961 when the U.S.S.R. sent cosmonaut Yuri A. Gagarin into space.
False Prophecy: This same Jehovah's Witness book, The Truth Shall Make You Free, also demonstrated that 5,971 years of humanities possible 6,000 years, according to Witness theology, had already elapsed. Therefore, only 29 years were left. Adding 29 years to 1943 would bring the end in 1972. After several pages of calculations, the book states, "We are therefore near the end of six thousand years of human history, with conditions upon us and tremendous events at hand foreshadowed by those of Noah's day" (p. 152). [See 1923, 1968 and 1972]
Blood transfusions are forbidden (1975 Yearbook, p. 222).
Growth: Jehovah's Witnesses are now operating in over 100 countries and the annual number of hours spent "preaching" surpasses fifty million for the first time (Jehovah's Witnesses In The Divine purpose, pp. 312-313).
Scripture: Individual volumes of the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures are printed. This rendition supports the Watchtower's own unique doctrines through a number of mistranslations including the "a god" rendering in John 1:1. [See 1961]
Bible: Jehovah's Witnesses are told the Bible is the standard by which to judge all truth. "The Bible reveals the development and progress of the pure religion in contrast with all the false kinds and shows its early triumph over all error of belief and practice. It sets forth principles that are eternal and unchangeable. It is a Book of liberation from all the power and evil of the false religion. Already in this day of world change the Bible stands vindicated as his Word of truth. There can be no question about it: The Holy Scriptures of the Bible are the standard by which to judge all religions" (What Has Religion Done For Mankind?, p. 32). [see 1910, 1922 and 1990]
Sodom Resurrection: Will the inhabitants of Sodom be resurrected for Judgement? No! "Another judgement period is brought into view when those championing resurrection for exterminated Sodomites quote Jesus' words on a certain occasion. From this some argue that there is a future judgement, in the millennial reign, for both Sodom and these Jewish cities."
"If we take this expression to mean that, then it would contradict Jude's statement that Sodom had already undergone the `judicial punishment of everlasting fire'" (Watchtower, 1 June 1952, p. 338). [See 1965 and 1988]
Mother Organization: The Society is identified as "our mother" and Jehovah God as "Father." "If we are to walk in the light of truth we must recognize not only Jehovah God as our Father but his organization as our mother. Today, also, God requires and exacts from his children obedience honor and respect. These must be rendered not only to the living God himself, but to his wifely organization as well" (Watchtower, 1 May 1957, p. 274).
Jehovah's Witnesses are identified as God's prophet to the nations for today (Watchtower, 15 January 1959, pp. 40-41).
Scripture: The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures with both the Old and New Testaments combined in one volume is released. [See 1950]
Growth: The active number of Jehovah's Witnesses reaches a milestone. "There are now more than one million Kingdom publishers proclaiming the good news worldwide" (1964 Yearbook, p. 287). [see 1953, 1974 and 1986]
Vaccination: "There can be little doubt that vaccinations appear to have caused a marked decrease in contagious diseases," including "smallpox" and "polio" (Awake!, 22 August 1965, p. 20). [see 1931]
Sodom Resurrection: Will the inhabitants of Sodom be resurrected? Yes! "Since Jude 7 shows that Sodom and Gomorrah became a `warning example by undergoing the judicial punishment of everlasting fire,' does that not bar the inhabitants of those cities from a resurrection?"
"For it to be `more endurable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah' than for others, it would be necessary for former inhabitants of that land to be present on Judgement Day. It is not the literal land, the ground, that is to be judged. Revelation chapter 20 shows that it will be persons raised from the dead who will stand `before the throne.' Nor will judgement be passed on them as groups, as former inhabitants of certain lands, but they will be `judged individually according to their deeds' during the time of judgement. So apparently individuals who used to live in that land will be resurrected" (Watchtower, 1 August 1965, p. 479). [See 1952 and 1988]
False Prophecy: The Watchtower predicts, "According to this trustworthy Bible chronology six thousand years from man's creation will end in 1975." The seventh millennium is to "begin in the fall of 1975 C.E." And the "reign of Jesus Christ to run parallel with the seventh millennium" (Life Everlasting in Freedom of the Sons of God, pp. 29-30). [see 1968 and 1975]
Organ transplants are forbidden and called "cannibalistic" (Watchtower, 15 November 1967, p. 702). [see 1980]
False Prophecy: The Watchtower, again, predicts the end of 6,000 years of human history. "According to reliable Bible chronology, Adam was created in the year 4026 B.C.E. Thus, Adam's naming of the animals and his realizing that he needed a counterpart would have occupied only a brief time after his creation. Since it was also Jehovah's purpose for man to multiply and fill the earth, it is logical that he would create Eve soon after Adam, perhaps just a few weeks or months later in the same year, 4026 B.C.E. After her creation God's rest day, the seventh period, immediately followed."
"To calculate where man is in the stream of time relative to God's seventh day of 7,000 years, we need to determine how long a time has elapsed from the year of Adam and Eve's creation in 4026 B.C.E. bring us to the autumn of 1975, fully 6,000 years into God's seventh day, his last day. Hence, when Christians note from God's timetable the approaching end of 6,000 years of human history, it fills them with anticipation" (Watchtower, 1 May 1968, p. 271). [see 1943, 1966, 1975]
False Prophecy: The Society condemns others who have in times past, "Predicted the end of the world even announcing a specific date." They explained "The `end' did not come. They were guilty of false prophesying" (Awake!, October 8, 1968, p. 23). [see 1914, 1925, 1943, 1972, 1975 and 1989]
Growth: The Society releases the 192 page book, The Truth That Leads To Eternal Life, and accompanying six month study program (1975 Yearbook, pp. 239-40). [See 1981]
Scripture: The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures is published.
Faithful and Wise Servant: "Jesus foretold that among his people there would be a `faithful and discreet slave' class who would be providing the spiritual food to God's family of devoted servants on earth, acting as his channel of communication and overseeing the carrying out of the Kingdom interests world wide" (Watchtower, 15 January 1969, p. 51). [see 1904, 1916, 1919, 1923 and ]
Prophet: Jehovah's Witnesses are called, "the modern day counterpart of the prophet Ezekiel" (The Nations Shall Know That I Am Jehovah, p. 58-60).
Prophet: The Jehovah's Witnesses are identified as today's "prophet to help them, to warn them of dangers and to declare things to come" (Watchtower, 1 April 1972, p. 197).
Faithful and Wise Servant: "From this it is clearly seen that the editor and publisher (Charles Taze Russell) of Zion's Watch Tower disavowed any claim to being individually, in his person, that `faithful and wise servant.' He never did claim to be such" (God's Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached, p. 345-346; parenthesis added). [see 1904, 1916, 1919, 1923 and 1969]
Beth-Sarim: The Society claims that the San Diego "Beth-Sarim" house was built "¼for Brother Rutherford's use" (1975 Yearbook, p. 194). [see 1929 and 1942]
False Prophecy: The Society praises the "brothers selling their homes and property and planning to finish out the rest of their days in this old system in pioneer work. Certainly this is a fine way to spend the short time remaining before the wicked world ends" (Kingdom Ministry, May 1974, p. 3).
SIX THOUSAND YEARS OF HUMAN EXISTENCE ENDS AGAIN; STILL NOTHING HAPPENS
False Prophecy: Watchtower endeavors to escape a false prophecy. "Does this mean that we know exactly when God will destroy this old system and establish a new one? Franz showed that we do not, for we do not know how short was the time interval between Adam's creation and the creation of Eve, at which point God's rest day of seven thousand years began" (Watchtower, 1 May 1975, p. 285). This seems an odd statement, as just a few years earlier the Watchtower knew precisely when Eve was created! [see 1929, 1930, 1966 and 1968]
Knorr dies. Frederick W. Franz becomes fourth President.
Organ transplants are now "a matter of personal decision. There is no Biblical command pointedly forbidding the taking in of other human tissue" (Watchtower, 15 March 1980, p. 31). [see 1967]
Growth: The Truth That Leads To Eternal Life book's total printing reaches 100 million. [see 1968]
False Prophecy: "John and Eunice," now well past child-bearing age, have been waiting over 45 years to be married and have children. [see 1941]
False Prophecy: On the cover of the Awake! magazine is the question, "Are We In The Last Days?" Than the Jehovah's Witnesses are reminded that while "most of the generation of 1914 has passed away," the "generation" will not pass away until the end. They are also told that, "The Hebrews reckon seventy-five years as one generation." (NOTE: 1914+75 = 1989) What is the average Jehovah's Witness to conclude? (Awake!, 8 April 1988, p. 14). [see 1914 and 1989]
Sodom Resurrection: The question is again asked, will the inhabitants of Sodom be resurrected? No! "Hence, Jesus' saying that it `would be more endurable on Judgement Day for Tyre or Sodom' did not necessarily mean that those people will be present on Judgement Day.
"The mere fact that Jesus paralleled Sidon with Sodom does not establish the future prospects of those wicked ones whom God destroyed with sulfur and fire. But let us see what else the Bible says on the question."
"In this light, Jude 7 would mean that the wicked people of Sodom\Gomorrah were judged and destroyed everlasting. It is apparent, then, that those whom God executed in those past judgments experienced irreversible destruction" (Watchtower, 1 June 1988, pp. 30-31). [See 1952 and 1965]
False Prophecy: Since the world did not end, did the Watchtower Society push the date a few years further forward? "The apostle Paul was spearheading the Christian missionary activity. He was also laying a foundation for a work that would be completed in our 20th century. Toward the close of the 19th century Charles T. Russell, the first president of the Watch Tower Society, saw the need for missionary activity" (Watchtower, 1 January 1989, p. 12). Do the Witnesses expect Paul's work - the spreading of the Gospel - to be completed prior to the year 2000?
Growth: Watchtower announces they will distribute their materials in the U.S. on a donation basis only. The Society implies that the Watchtower is sent out world-wide on a freewill donation basis, "Now published in 107 languages as part of a world-wide Bible education work that is supported by voluntary donations" (Watchtower, 1 June 1990, p. 2). Actually, only U.S. Watchtower subscriptions are supported by "voluntary donations." The vast majority of the "107 languages" are still distributed around the world on the basis of paid subscriptions.
The Society suggests that if donations are not sufficient, the average Jehovah's Witness may have to personally finance those subscriptions he places; saying, "When an interested person cannot give a donation and a subscription is placed, the publisher (Jehovah's Witness) who obtained the subscription may have an increased responsibility and privilege to honor Jehovah with his valuable things (i.e. cash)" (Our Kingdom Ministry, April 1990, pp. 1-7).
Bible: Echoing their long standing opinion on the insufficiency of the Bible, they state, "We have the opportunity to show love for our brothers who take the lead in the congregation or in connection with Jehovah's visible organization worldwide. Let us face the fact that no matter how much Bible reading we have done, we would never have learned the truth on our own" (Watchtower, December 1, 1990, p. 19). It is true that no one becomes a Jehovah's Witness by reading the Bible alone. [See 1910 and 1951]
Growth: Membership of the Watchtower reaches another milestone by announcing a total of 4,017,213 members (1991 Yearbook, p. 44). [See 1964]
True Religion: Some good advice from the Jehovah's Witnesses. "What will guide us in choosing the right religion? The Encyclopoedia Universalis is correct when it highlights the importance of truth. A religion that teaches lies cannot be true" (Watchtower, 1 December 1991, p. 7).
Growth: Current membership shows an increase of another two hundred thousand, reaching 4.2 million members. These Jehovah's Witnesses spend 951,870,021 hours in 1991 going door-to-door (Watchtower, 1 January 1992, p. 13).
False Prophets: In bold letters on the cover of the 1 February 1992 Watchtower magazine, appeared this warning: "Beware of False Prophets!" An interesting insight considering the prophetic and theological history of the Watchtower.