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Watching Watchtower History
AUTHOR: Branch, Rick/ Walker, James
PUBLISHED ON: May 2, 2003
DOC SOURCE: CCN

                   Watching Watchtower History
             Research by Rich Branch, Arlington, TX

Compiled and written by James Walker and Rick Branch, Arlington,
TX

                              1870

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 re-
established. 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).

                              1874

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]

                              1876

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).

                              1877

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]

                              1879

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).

                              1884

Growth: “Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society” incorporated in
Pennsylvania (Jehovah’s Witnesses In The Divine Purpose, p. 27).

                              1886

Higher Powers: In volume 1 of Studies in the Scriptures released
by Russell the “Higher Powers” of Romans 13 are identified as
human government (p. 266). [see 1929 and 1962]

                              1889

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, 1932 and 1968]

                              1891

Cross and Crown logo adopted for the cover of all Zion’s Watch
Tower magazines (1975 Yearbook, p. 148). [see 1928 and 1931]

                              1893

Growth: First “national assembly” attracts 360 people (Jehovah’s
Witnesses In The Divine Purpose, p. 33).

                              1894

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, 1932 and 1968]

                              1899

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).

                              1900

Growth: The first foreign Branch Office opens in London, England
(Jehovah’s Witnesses In The Divine Purpose, p. 32).

                              1904

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 and 1973]

                              1906

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).

                              1909

The “People’s Pulpit Association” is incorporated in the State of
New York (Jehovah’s Witnesses In The Divine Purpose, pp. 48-49).

                              1910

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]

                              1913

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).

                              1914

WORLD DOES NOT END [See 1894, 1929 and 1930]

Second Coming: Christ returns invisibly (Golden Age, 1930, p.
503; 1934, pp. 379-80). [see 1874, 1889, 1894, 1932, and 1968]

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]

                              1916

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 F., 1919, 1923, 1927,
1969 and 1973]

                              1917

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).

“Abaddon” of Revelations 9 clearly identified as “Satan the
Devil” (p. 159). [see 1969]

Faithful and Wise Servant: Pastor Russell identified as, “that
wise and faithful servant” giving “meat in due season” (pp. 4-5).
[see 1904, 1916, 1919, 1923, 1926, 1927, 1969 and 1973].

                              1918

CHURCHES ARE NOT “DESTROYED WHOLESALE.” [see 1917, 1929 and
1930].

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).

                              1919

Growth: First issue of The Golden Age appeared (Jehovah’s
Witnesses In The Divine Purpose, p. 89). [see 1937 and 1946]

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 F.,
1923, 1927, 1969 and 1973]

                              1920

ALL HUMAN GOVERNMENTS AND “REPUBLICS” DO NOT “DISAPPEAR” [see
1917 D.]

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, Jacob… to the condition of
human perfection” (pp. 89-90). [see 1922, 1924, 1925, 1932, 1942
and 1968]

                              1922

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,
1932 and 1968]

                              1923

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 F., 1919, 1927, 1969 and 1973]

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?…

“Our thought is, that 1925 is definitely settled by the
Scriptures…” (Watchtower, 1 April 1923, p. 106). [See 1924,
1925, 1932, 1942 and 1943]

                              1924

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 1920, 1922, 1925, 1932
and 1968]

                              1925

ABRAHAM AND COMPANY ARE NOT  RESURRECTED. [see 1920, 1922, 1924,
1929, 1930, 1932 and 1968]

                              1926

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]

                              1927

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 and 1973]

                              1928

Cross and Crown logo “…to Brother Rutherford’s mind was
Babylonish and should be discontinued.” He said they are, “…not
only unnecessary but objectionable” (1975 Yearbook, p. 148). [see
1891 and 1931]

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).

                              1929

Higher Powers of Romans 13 are identified as “Jehovah God and
Christ Jesus” (The Truth Shall Make You Free, p. 312). [see 1886
and 1962]

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…. 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]

                              1930

False Prophets: The Society again explains how, “…to know
whether one is a true or a false prophet…. 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 þ Deut. 18:21-22” (Light, Book
Two, p. 47).

                              1931

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]

Growth: The name “Jehovah’s Witnesses” adopted for the first time
(1932 Yearbook, pp. 22-23). Cross and Crown logo finally dropped
from the Watchtower (1975 Yearbook, p. 148). [see 1891 and 1928]

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]

                              1935

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).

                              1937

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).

Growth: The Golden Age changes its name to Consolation (Jehovah’s
Witnesses In The Divine Purpose, p. 89). [see 1919 and 1946]

                              1938

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]

                              1941

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 1941, 1987 and
1992].

                              1942

False Prophecy: Originally predicted to return in 1925, Abraham
and the, “…faithful men of old may be expected back from the
dead any day now” (The New World, p. 104). [see 1925, 1929 and
1974]

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).

                              1943

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]

                              1944

Blood transfusions are forbidden (1975 Yearbook, p. 222).

                              1946

Growth: Consolation changes its name to current title, the Awake!
magazine (Jehovah’s Witnesses in The Divine Purpose, p. 89). [see
1919 and 1937]

                              1949

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).

                              1950

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]

                              1951

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]

                              1952

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]

                              1953

Growth: A new peak of one half million “preachers” is reached
(Jehovah’s Witnesses In The Divine Purpose, p. 312). [see 1964,
1974 and 1986]

                              1957

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).

                              1959

Jehovah’s Witnesses are identified as God’s prophet to the
nations for today (Watchtower, 15 January 1959, pp. 40-41).

                              1961

Scripture: The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures with
both the Old and New Testaments combined in one volume is
released. [See 1950]

                              1962

Higher Powers: It is, “…made clear that the `superior
authorities’ or `higher powers'” of Romans 13 are “secular
governments” after all (1975 Yearbook, p. 238). [see 1886 and
1929]

                              1964

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]

                              1965

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]

                              1965

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]

                              1966

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]

                              1967

Organ transplants are forbidden and called “cannibalistic”
(Watchtower, 15 November 1967, p. 702). [see 1980]

                              1968

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]

                              1969

Abaddon of Revelation 9 clearly identified, “…as picturing
Jesus Christ, the Son of Jehovah God” (Then Is Finished the
Mystery of God, p. 232). [see 1917]

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 1973]

                              1971

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).

                               
                              1972

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).

SIX THOUSAND YEARS OF HUMAN EXISTENCE ENDS AGAIN… NOTHING
HAPPENS [see 1929 and 1943]

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]

                              1974

Beth-Sarim: The Society claims that the San Diego “Beth-Sarim”
house was built “…for Brother Rutherford’s use” (1975 Yearbook,
p. 194). [see 1929 and 1942]

Growth: Total number of “Christian witnesses of Jehovah…
declaring the good news,” passes the two million mark (1975
Yearbook, p. 257). [see 1953, 1964 and 1986]

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).

                              1975

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]

                              1976

Growth: Membership reached a total of 2,248,390 (1977 Yearbook,
p. 30). After this year the membership would begin a downward
trend. [See 1977 and 1978]

                              1977

Knorr dies. Frederick W. Franz becomes fourth President.

Growth: Watchtower loose more members than they gain. Membership
stands at 2,223,538 (1978 Yearbook, p. 30). [See 1976 and 1978]

                              1978

Growth: Membership totals slip again reaching a three year low of
2,182,341 (1979 Yearbook, p. 30). [See 1976 and 1977]

                              1980

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]

                              1981

Growth: The Truth That Leads To Eternal Life book’s total
printing reaches 100 million. [see 1968]

                              1986

Growth: Average number of “publishers” exceeds three million
(Watchtower, 1 January 1987, p. 13). [see 1953, 1964 and 1974]

                              1987

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]

                              1988

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
SodomGomorrah 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]

                              1989

AGAIN: THE WORLD DOES NOT END! [see 1929, 1930 and 1988]

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 þ the
spreading of the Gospel þ to be completed prior to the year 2000?

                              1990

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]

                              1991

True Religion: Some good advice from the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
“What will guide us in choosing the right religion? The
Encyclopedia Universalis is correct when it highlights the
importance of truth. A religion that teaches lies cannot be true”
(Watchtower, 1 December 1991, p. 7).

                              1992

ARMAGEDDON STILL NOT HERE! [See 1938, 1941 and 1989]

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 Bible and Tract Society.

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