Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania: Wikis

  
  

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The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania is a non-stock, not-for-profit organization[1] headquartered in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, United States. It is the main legal entity used worldwide by Jehovah's Witnesses to direct, administer and develop doctrines for the religion and is often referred to by members of the religion simply as "the Society". It is the parent organization of a number of Watch Tower subsidiaries, including the Watchtower Society of New York and International Bible Students Association.[2] Membership of the society is limited to between 300 and 500 "mature, active and faithful" male Jehovah's Witnesses.

The organization was founded by Charles Taze Russell, a Christian Restorationist minister, who served as editor of its journal, Zion's Watch Tower. Initially, William Henry Conley was president of the society, with Russell serving as secretary and treasurer. The society was officially incorporated in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1884 with Russell as president.[3] The corporation quickly grew to become a major publisher of religious publications, including books, tracts, magazines and bibles. By 1979, the society had 39 printing branches worldwide.

The society has had two name changes since its incorporation. It was formed as Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society, changed to Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society in 1896 and to Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania in 1955. Its charter was amended in 1945, significantly altering the terms of membership and stating for the first time that its purposes included preaching about God's Kingdom, acting as a servant and governing agency of Jehovah's Witnesses and to send out missionaries and teachers for the public worship of God and Jesus Christ. Since January 1, 1976 all activities of the Watch Tower Society and of the congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide have been brought under the supervision of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, reducing the power of the president.[4] The society has described the 1976 change in governance as "one of the most significant organizational readjustments in the modern-day history of Jehovah's Witnesses".[5]

The role of the society underwent a major change under the presidency of J. F. Rutherford, Russell's successor.[6] Although formed as a "business convenience" with the purpose of publishing and distributing Bible-based literature and managing the funds necessary for that task, the corporation from the 1920s began its transformation into the "religious society" Russell had insisted it was not, introducing centralized control and regulation of Bible Student congregations worldwide.[7] In 1938 Rutherford introduced the term "theocracy" to describe the hierarchical leadership of Jehovah's Witnesses, with Consolation explaining: "The Theocracy is at present administered by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, of which Judge Rutherford is the president and general manager."[8] The society appointed "zone servants" to supervise congregations and in a Watchtower article Rutherford declared the need for congregations to "get in line" with the changed structure.[9][10]

Seven directors and officers of the society, including Rutherford, were sentenced to 20 years' jail in 1918 after being convicted of charges of sedition under the Espionage Act. They spent nine months in jail before being released on bail when an appeals court ruled they had been wrongly convicted. In May 1920 the US government announced all charges had been dropped. The society was banned in Canada in February 1918[11] and a number of other countries in later decades over the issues of conscientious objection and religious proselytizing.

In 1990 it was reported that in one year the society printed 696 million copies of its magazines, The Watchtower and Awake! as well as another 35,811,000 pieces of literature worldwide, which are offered door-to-door by Jehovah's Witnesses.[12] A total of 19,820 Jehovah's Witnesses are employed at branch facilities,[13] with about 5800 employed in the United States alone.[14] The society describes its headquarters and branch office staff as volunteers, not employees,[14] and identifies them as members of the Worldwide Order of Special Full-Time Servants of Jehovah's Witnesses.[13] Workers receive a small monthly payment[15] with meals and accommodation provided by the society. The "Bethel family" in the Brooklyn headquarters includes hairdressers, dentists, doctors, housekeepers and carpenters, as well as shops for repairing personal appliances, watches, shoes and clothing without charge for labor.[16]

The society files no publicly accessible financial figures, but reported in 2008 that it had spent more than $141 million that year "in caring for special pioneers, missionaries and traveling overseers in their field service assignments".[13] Donations obtained from the distribution of literature is a major source of income, most of which is used to promote its evangelical activities.[17]

Critics including Raymond Franz, Edmond C. Gruss and James Penton have accused the society of being authoritarian, controlling and coercive in its dealings with Witnesses. Franz, a former Governing Body member, has claimed the Watch Tower Society's emphasis of the term "theocratic organization" to describe the authority structure of Jehovah's Witnesses, which places God at the apex of its organization, is designed to exercise control over every aspect of the lives of Jehovah's Witnesses[18] and condition them to think it is wrong for them to question anything the society publishes as truth.[19][20] The Watch Tower Society has been accused of employing techniques of mind control on Witnesses including the direction to avoid reading criticism of the organization,[21][22] frequent and tightly-controlled "indoctrination" meetings, regimentation, social alienation and elaborate promises of future rewards.[23][24] Apart from life stories, the authors of all Watch Tower Society magazine articles and other publications are anonymous and correspondence from the society does not typically indicate a specific author or personal signature.[25]

In February 2010 the society announced its intention to establish the "World Headquarters of Jehovah's Witnesses" at a proposed complex in Warwick, New York.

Directors

Current

  • Richard E. Abrahamson, director since 2000, secretary-treasurer since 2000
  • Don Alden Adams, director since 2000, president since 2000
  • Danny L. Bland, director since 2000
  • William F. Malenfant, director since 2000, vice-president since 2000
  • Robert W. Wallen, director since 2000, vice-president since 2000
  • Philip D. Wilcox, director since 2000
  • John N. Wischuk, director since 2000

Former

Directors are listed generally from most to least recent. List may not be complete.

  • Milton George Henschel (director 1947–2000, vice-president 1977–1992, president 1992–2000)
  • Lyman Alexander Swingle (director 1945–2000)[26]
  • W. Lloyd Barry (director ?–1999, vice-president ?–1999)
  • Frederick William Franz (director 1945–1992, vice-president 1945–1977, president 1977–1992)[27]
  • Grant Suiter (director 1941–1983, secretary-treasurer)[28]
  • William K. Jackson (director 1973–1981)[29]
  • Nathan Homer Knorr (director 1940–1977, vice-president 1940–1942, president 1942–1977)[30]
  • John O. Groh (director 1965–1975)
  • Thomas J. Sullivan (director 1932–1973)[31][32]
  • Alexander Hugh Macmillan (director 1918–1966)
  • Hugo Henry Riemer (1943–1965)[33][34][35]
  • William Edwin Van Amburgh (director 1918–1947, secretary-treasurer)[36][37][38]
  • Hayden Cooper Covington (director 1940–1945, vice-president 1942–1945)[39]
  • Joseph Franklin Rutherford (director 1916–1942, 2nd president of Watch Tower Society)[40]
  • Charles H. Anderson (director 1918–?, vice-president)[41]
  • J. A. Bohnet (director 1917–?)
  • George H. Fisher (director 1917–?)
  • W. E. Spill (director 1917–?)
  • Andrew N. Pierson (director 1917–1918, vice-president)
  • Robert H. Hirsh (director 1917–1917)
  • J. D. Wright (director ?–1917)
  • Isaac F. Hoskins (director ?–1917)
  • Alfred I. Ritchie (director 1916–1917, vice-president)[42]
  • Henry Clay Rockwell (director ?–1917)
  • Charles Taze Russell (director 1884–1916, 1st president of Watch Tower Society)
  • Maria Russell (nee Ackley) (director 1884–1897, then-wife of Charles Taze Russell)[43][44]

Foundation

On February 16, 1881 Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society was formed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA for the purpose of organizing the printing and distribution of religious tracts written by Charles Taze Russell,[3] founder of what is now known as the Bible Student movement.[45] The society's formation was announced in the April 1881 Zion's Watch Tower.[46] William Henry Conley, a Pittsburgh businessman, was appointed president, while Russell served as Secretary-Treasurer.[3]

Three years later, on December 15, 1884, the society was incorporated as Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society in Pennsylvania as a non-profit, non-stock corporation with Russell as president. The corporation was located in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. In its charter, written by Russell, the society's purpose was stated as "the mental, moral and religious improvement of men and women, by teaching the Bible by means of the publication and distribution of Bibles, books, papers, pamphlets and other Bible literature, and by providing oral lectures free for the people".[47]

Charles Taze Russell

Russell, writing in 1894, explained that the society had been formed "at the time of the free distribution of 1,400,000 copies of the pamphlet, Food for Thinking Christians ... It consisted of five of the Lord's children, and its affairs were entirely in my charge. Later, in 1884, at the instance of friends of the cause, who advised that matters be put upon a legal footing so that the work might not be interrupted in case of my sudden death, the Society applied for a charter under the laws of the State of Pennsylvania."[48] Incorporation of the society meant that it would outlive Russell, so individuals who wished to bequeath their money or property to him would not have to alter their will if he died before they did.[49]

Russell emphasised the limitations of the corporation, explaining: "Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society is not a 'religious society' in the ordinary meaning of this term"[50] He also stated, "This is a business association merely ... It has no creed or confession. It is merely a business convenience in disseminating the truth."[48]

On September 19, 1896 the name of the corporation was changed to Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society.[51] In 1909 Russell instructed legal counsel Joseph Franklin Rutherford to determine whether the society's headquarters could be moved to Brooklyn, New York.[52] Rutherford reported that because it had been established under Pennsylvania law, the corporation could not be registered in New York state, but suggested that a new corporation be registered there to do the society's work. Rutherford subsequently organized the formation of the People's Pulpit Association, which was incorporated on February 23, 1909,[53] and wrote the charter, which gave the president—who would be elected for life at the first meeting—"absolute power and control" of its activities in New York.[52] The society sold its buildings in Pittsburgh[54] and moved staff to its new base in Brooklyn. Although all New York property was bought in the name of the New York corporation and all legal affairs of the society done in its name, Russell insisted on the continued use of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society name on all correspondence and publications.[52]

The move from Pennsylvania to New York occurred during court proceedings over the breakdown of Russells' marriage. His wife Maria had been granted a "limited divorce" on March 4, 1908, but in 1909 returned to court in Pittsburgh to request an increase in alimony,[55] which her former husband refused.[56] Authors Barbara Grizzuti Harrison and Edmond C. Gruss have claimed Russell's move to Brooklyn was motivated by his desire to transfer from the jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania courts. They claim he transferred all his assets to the Watch Tower Society so he could declare himself bankrupt and avoid being jailed for failure to pay alimony.[55][57][58]

In 1914 the International Bible Students Association was incorporated in Britain to administer affairs in that country. Like the People's Pulpit Association, it was subsidiary to the Pennsylvania parent organization and all work done through both subsidiaries was described as the work of the Watch Tower Society. The Watchtower noted: "The editor of The Watchtower is the President of all three of these Societies. All financial responsibility connected with the work proceeds from (the Pennsylvania corporation). From it the other Societies and all the branches of the work receive their financial support ... we use sometimes the one name and sometimes the other in various parts of our work – yet they all in the end mean the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, to which all donations should be made."[59]

Governance and membership

The society's 1884 charter provided for a board of seven directors with three of them serving as officers—a president, vice-president (initially William I. Mann) and secretary-treasurer (initially Maria Russell). The charter stipulated that the officers be chosen from the directors and be elected annually by ballot. Board members would hold office for life unless removed by a two-thirds vote by shareholders. Vacancies on the board resulting from death, resignation or removal would be filled by a majority vote of the remaining board members within 20 days; if such vacancies were not filled within 30 days an appointment could be made by the president, with the appointments lasting only until the next annual corporation meeting, when vacancies would be filled by election.[48]

Anyone subscribing to $10 or more of the society's Old Testament Tracts or donating $10 or more to the society was deemed a voting member and entitled to one vote per $10 donated.[48] Russell indicated that despite having a board and shareholders, the society would be directed by only two people, stating: "The affairs of the Society are so arranged that its entire control rests in the care of Brother and Sister Russell as long as they shall live. ... The fact is that, by the grace of God, Sister R. and myself have been enabled not only to give our own time without charge to the service of the truth, in writing and overseeing, but also to contribute more money to the Tract Society's fund for the scattering of the good tidings, than all others combined."[48]

Russell said that as at December 1893 he and his wife owned 3705, or 58 percent, of the 6383 voting shares, "and thus control the Society; and this was fully understood by the directors from the first. Their usefulness, it was understood, would come to the front in the event of our death ... For this reason, also, formal elections were not held; because it would be a mere farce, a deception, to call together voting shareholders from all over the world, at great expense, to find upon arrival that their coming was useless, Sister Russell and myself having more than a majority over all that could gather. However, no one was hindered from attending such elections." The influx of donations gradually diluted the proportion of the Russells' shares and in 1908 their voting shares constituted less than half the total.[60][61] From 1908 Russell required the directors to write out resignations when they were appointed so Russell could dismiss them by simply filling in the date.[62]

Leadership crisis

Russell died on October 31, 1916, in Pampa, Texas during a cross-country preaching trip. On January 6, 1917, board member and society legal counsel Joseph Franklin Rutherford, aged 47, was elected president of the Watch Tower Society, unopposed, at the Pittsburgh convention. Author Tony Wills claims there is evidence that nominations were suspended once Rutherford was nominated, depriving shareholders of the opportunity to vote for other candidates.[63][64] By-laws passed by both the Pittsburgh convention and the board of directors stated that the president would be the executive officer and general manager of the society, giving him full charge of its affairs worldwide.[65]

Joseph Rutherford

In February Rutherford encountered the first resistance to his use of his new powers, after ordering home Bethel pilgrim Paul S. L. Johnson, who had been sent to England the previous November to inspect the management and finances of the society's London corporation.[66][67] Johnson had dismissed two managers of the corporation, seized its funds and attempted to reorganize the body. When Rutherford, who was convinced Johnson was insane and suffering religious delusions, demanded that he return to New York, Johnson refused and claimed he was answerable only to the full board of directors.[68]

By June four of the seven Watch Tower Society directors—Robert H. Hirsh, Alfred I. Ritchie, Isaac F. Hoskins and James D. Wright— had decided they had erred in endorsing Rutherford's expanded powers of management[69] and debate surrounding his elevation to president was turning into what Rutherford later called a "storm".[70] The four directors claimed Rutherford had become autocratic, refusing to open the society's books for scrutiny and denying Johnson a fair hearing over his London actions.[71] At a board meeting on June 20, Hirsh presented a resolution to rescind the new by-laws and reclaim the powers of management from the president,[72] but a vote was deferred for a month after strenuous objections by Rutherford.[73] A week later, four of the directors requested an immediate board meeting to seek information about society finances. Rutherford refused the meeting, later claiming that by then he had detected a conspiracy between Johnson and the four directors, with the aim of seizing control of the society as he believed Johnson had attempted in Britain.[74]

Rutherford maintained that Russell, as president, had always acted as the society's manager, and that the January 6 vote by shareholders to approve the by-laws proved they wanted this process to continue under his successor.[75] He claimed it was a matter of efficiency and said the work of the society "peculiarly requires the direction of one mind".[76] Bible Student Francis McGee, a lawyer and an assistant to the New Jersey Attorney-General, responded: "This is then the crux of the matter. He says he is that one mind."[77]

In July Rutherford gained a legal opinion from a Philadelphia corporation lawyer that a clause of the Watch Tower Society charter stipulating that its directors were elected for life was contrary to Pennsylvania law, and that all directors were required by law to be re-elected annually. The legal opinion stated that because the January 6 shareholders meeting had elected only three men to office—Rutherford, Secretary-Treasurer William E. Van Amburgh and Vice-President Andrew N. Pierson—the remaining four board members, who had joined as early as 1904 and never faced re-election, had no legal status as directors of the society. Even Hirsh, who had been appointed by the board on March 29, 1917 following the resignation of Henry C. Rockwell, was said to have no legal standing because his appointment had taken place in New York rather than Alleghany, as required by law. It concluded: "The conclusion is irresistible that Messrs Wright, Hoskins and Ritchie are in no sense of the word legally members of the board of directors and any acts performed by them in that capacity would be void and of no legal effect." Rutherford claimed to have known these facts since 1909 but said nothing for fear of being accused of upsetting "the course of Brother Russell".[78]

On July 12, Rutherford traveled to Pittsburgh and exercised his right under the society's charter to fill what he claimed were four vacancies on the board, appointing A. H. Macmillan and Pennsylvania Bible Students W. E. Spill, J. A. Bohnet and George H. Fisher as directors.[79] Rutherford called a meeting of the new board on July 17, where the directors passed a resolution expressing "hearty approval" of the actions of their president and affirming him as "the man the Lord has chosen to carry on the work that yet remains to be done".[80] On August 1 the society published a 24-page journal, Harvest Siftings, subtitled "The evil one again attempts to disrupt the Society", in which Rutherford stated his version of events and explained why he had appointed the new board members. Rutherford felt the need to defend himself against rumors within the Brooklyn Bethel that he had used "political methods" to secure his election. Rutherford told Bible Students: "There is no person on earth who can truthfully say that I ever asked them directly or indirectly to vote for me."[81]

Ousted directors' rebuttal

The four ousted directors responded with a self-funded rebuttal of Rutherford's statement. The publication, Light After Darkness, contained a letter by Pierson, dated July 26, in which the vice-president declared he was now siding with the old board. Although he believed both sides of the conflict had displayed "a measure of wrongs", Pierson had decided Rutherford and been wrong to appoint new directors.[82] The ousted directors' publication also disputed the legality of their expulsion, stating that the clause in Pennsylvania corporation law prohibiting life memberships on boards had been only recently introduced and was not retroactive, exempting existing corporations from the statute.[83][84] They also claimed that the society's charter allowed only directors to be elected as officers. If, like the other four, neither Rutherford, Van Amburgh nor Pierson had legally been directors in January, then nor could they be elected as officers. Their advice from several lawyers, they said, was that Rutherford's course was "wholly unlawful".[85][86] A later pamphlet by Johnson suggested that if none of the dissident directors were legally on the board, there could not have been a quorum present at board meetings following Rutherford's election, therefore rendering null and void all acts of the board, including the passing of by-laws that gave Rutherford his expanded powers. He also added that if Rutherford had not been legally elected president, he had also lacked the legal power to appoint new directors. In the December 15, 1916 Watch Tower, Rutherford had named all seven board members without suggesting there were vacancies.[87]

The ex-directors' publication claimed Rutherford had required all Bethel workers to sign a petition supporting him and condemning the former directors, with the threat of dismissal for any who refused to sign.[88] Some workers complained they had signed under duress and it was claimed that as many as 35 members were forced to leave for failing to support Rutherford during his "reign of terror".[89][90][91] Rutherford denied anyone had been forced out for refusing to sign an oath of allegiance.[92] On July 31, Rutherford called a meeting of the People's Pulpit Association to expel Hirsh and Hoskins as directors on the grounds that they were opposing the work of the Association. When the resolution failed to gain a majority, Rutherford exercised shareholder proxies provided for the annual meeting in New York the previous January to secure their expulsion.[93][94] Despite attempts by Pierson to reconcile the two groups,[92] the former directors left the Brooklyn headquarters on August 8.[95]

Publications from both sides continued through late 1917, with Rutherford on one side and Johnson and the four expelled directors on the other, each accusing their opponents of gross misrepresentation and trying to usurp authority.[96][97][98] The controversy fractured the Bible Student movement and many congregations split into opposing groups of those loyal either to Rutherford or those he had expelled.[95][99]

Rutherford's re-election and legacy

Rutherford's four opponents made a final attempt to unseat Rutherford, claiming that although he had the backing of the most powerful shareholders, he lacked the support of Bible Students at large; they therefore called for a democratic vote from all the Bible Students.[100] Rutherford wrote in October, "I did not seek election to the office of President, and I am not seeking re-election. The Lord is able to attend to his own business."[101] In December, however, a month before the annual Pittsburgh convention, he organized a referendum of all Bible Students on whom they favored as officers and directors. Although they were not binding, votes were counted in more than 800 congregations in the United States, giving Rutherford 95 per cent of the presidential vote. His opposers ranked 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th on the list of prospective directors, with the highest support given to Rutherford's existing six co-directors.[100] On January 5, 1918, Rutherford was returned to office, receiving 194,106 shareholders' votes. Hirsh received 23,198 votes—the highest among the ex-directors—putting him in 10th place. A resolution was promptly passed to request that Hirsh resign from the Editorial Committee.[102]

Rutherford admitted at the convention he was aware he had made many mistakes.[102] By mid-1919 about one in seven Bible Students had chosen to leave rather than accept Rutherford's leadership,[103] forming groups such as The Standfast Movement, Paul Johnson Movement, Dawn Bible Students Association, Pastoral Bible Institute of Brooklyn, Elijah Voice Movement and Eagle Society.[104]

Following Rutherford's death in 1942, subsequent presidents have been Nathan H. Knorr (January 1942-June 1977); Frederick W. Franz (June 1977-December 1992); Milton G. Henschel (December 1992-October 2000) and Don A. Adams (October 2000-).

Amendments to Charter

At a series of talks given in Pittsburgh on September 30, 1944, coinciding with the society's annual meeting, it was announced that changes would be made to the 1884 charter to bring it into "closer harmony with theocratic principles". The amendments, most of them passed unanimously[105] took effect from January 1, 1945. The changes included:

  • An altered and expanded explanation of article II, detailing the purpose of the society. This included the preaching of the gospel of God's kingdom to all nations; to print and distribute Bibles and disseminate Bible truths with literature explaining Bible truths and prophecy concerning the establishment of God's kingdom; to authorise and appoint agents, servants, employees, teachers evangelists, missionaries, ministers and others "to go all the world publicly and from house to house to preach Bible truths to persons willing to listen by leaving with such persons said literature and by conducting Bible studies thereon"; to improve people mentally and morally by instruction "on the Bible and incidental scientific, historical and literary subjects"; to establish and maintain Bible schools and classes; to "teach, train, prepare and equip men and women as ministers, missionaries, evangelists, preachers, teachers and instructors in the Bible and Bible literature, and for public Christian worship of Almighty God and Jesus Christ" and "to arrange for and hold local and worldwide assemblies for such worship".
  • An amendment to article V, detailing the qualifications for membership of the society. Each donation of $10 to the society funds had formerly entitled the contributor to one voting share; the amendment limited membership to "only men who are mature, active and faithful witnesses of Jehovah devoting full time to performance of one or more of its chartered purposes ... or such men who are devoting part time as active presiding ministers or servants of congregations of Jehivah's witnesses". The amended article stipulated that "a man who is found to be in harmony with the purposes of the Society and who possesses the above qualifications may be elected as a member upon being nominated by a member, director or officer, or upon written application to the President or Secretary. Such members shall be elected upon a finding by the Board of Directors that he possesses the necessary qualifications and by receiving a majority vote of the members ... " The amendment limited membership at any one time to between 300 and 500, including approximately seven residents of each of the 48 states of the US. It also introduced a clause providing for the suspension or expulsion of a member for wilfully violating the society's rules, or "becoming out of harmony with any of the Society's purposes or any of its work or for wilful conduct prejudicial to the best interests of the Society and contrary to his duties as a member, or upon ceasing to be a full-time servant of the Society or a part-time servant of a congregation of Jehovah's witnesses".
  • An amendment to article VII, dealing with the governance of the society by its board of directors. The amendment deleted reference to adherence to the constitution and laws of Pennsylvania of the US. It also specified powers of the board including matters of finance and property.
  • An amendment to article VIII, detailing the office holders of the society and the terms of office and method of appointment of officers and directors. A clause stating that board members would hold office for life was deleted. The new clause provided for board membership for a maximum of three years, with directors qualifying for re-election at the expiration of their term.[106]

Property ownership

United States

The corporation was first located at 44 Federal St, Allegheny, Pennsylvania (the city was annexed by Pittsburgh in 1907), but in 1889 moved to "Bible House", newly-built premises at 56-60 Arch St, Allegheny, owned by Russell's privately-owned Tower Publishing Company. The new building contained an assembly hall seating about 200, as well as editorial, printing and shipping facilities and living quarters for some staff.[107] The title for the building was transferred in April 1898 to the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society.

In 1909 the society moved its base to Brooklyn. A four-story brownstone parsonage formerly owned by Congregationalist clergyman and social reformer Henry Ward Beecher at 124 Columbia Heights was converted to a residence for a headquarters staff of 30, as well as an office for Russell. A former Plymouth church building at 13-17 Hicks St was also purchased and converted into Watch Tower headquarters, with room for 350 staff. It contained an 800-seat assembly hall, shipping department and printing facilities.[108] The Watch Tower announced: "The new home we shall call 'Bethel,' and the new office and auditorium, 'The Brooklyn Tabernacle'; these names will supplant the term 'Bible House.'"[109] In October 1909 an adjoining building at 122 Columbia Heights was bought.[110] In 1911 a new nine-story residential block was built at the rear of Bethel, fronting on Furman St and overlooking the Brooklyn waterfront.[108] The Brooklyn Tabernacle was sold in 1918 or 1919.[111]

Printing facilities were established in Myrtle St, Brooklyn in 1920 and from the February 1, 1920 issue The Watch Tower was printed by the society at the plant. Two months later the plant began printing The Golden Age. In 1922 the printing factory was moved to a six-story building at 18 Concord St, Brooklyn; four years later it moved again to larger premises, a new eight-story building at 117 Adams St, Brooklyn, at which time the Bethel home was rebuilt and enlarged. In December 1926 a building at 126 Columbia Heights was bought and a month later the three buildings from 122-126 Columbia Heights were demolished and rebuilt for accommodation and executive offices, using the official address of 124 Columbia Heights.[110]

Watch Tower headquarters in Columbia Heights, Brooklyn.

In 1946, property surrounding the Adams St factory was bought to expand printing operations (when completed in 1949 the factory occupied an entire block bounded by Adams, Sands Pearl and Prospect Streets) and five more properties adjoining 124 Columbia Heights were purchased for a 10-story building.[112][113] In the late 1950s a property at 107 Columbia Heights, across the road from 124 Columbia Heights, was bought[114] and by 1960 a residential building for staff was constructed there.[115][116] More residences were built at 119 Columbia Heights in 1969.[116]

The Watchtower detailed further expansion in the 1950s and 1960s: "In 1956 a 13-story building was constructed at 77 Sands St. Then just across the street another (10-story building) was purchased in 1958. In 1968 an adjoining 11-story new printing factory was completed. Along with the factory at 117 Adams Street, these fill out four city blocks of factories that are all tied together by overhead bridges. Then, in November 1969, the Squibb complex, located a few blocks away, was purchased."[116]

The society bought the Towers Hotel at 79-99 Willow St in 1974 for accommodation[117] and the site of the former Margaret Hotel at 97 Columbia Heights about 1980[117] to erect an 11-story residential building.[118] In 1978 a property at 25 Columbia Heights underwent renovation for use as offices[116] and in the early 1980s properties were bought at 175 Pearl St and 360 Furman St for factory and office use.[119] A building at 360 Furman St was bought in March 1983 and renovated, providing almost 9 hectares of floor space[117] for shipping, carpentry and construction.[120] A property at 90 Sands St was bought in December 1986 and a 30-story residential building[117] for 1000 workers was completed on the site in 1995. A 1996 publication listed other Watch Tower residential buildings in Brooklyn including the 12-story Bossert Hotel at 98 Montague St (dedicated 1983), 34 Orange St (1945), Standish Arms Hotel at 169 Columbia Heights (1981), 67 Livingston St (1989), and 108 Joralemon St (1988).[117] A 1989 publication noted: "Altogether, the Brooklyn Bethel family now lives in about 20 residences in Brooklyn Heights, all within short walking distance of one another. In fact, the Towers, 124 Columbia Heights, 107 Columbia Heights, and 119 Columbia Heights, which accommodate nearly 2000 of the family, are connected by underground tunnels."[121]

Two properties known as Watchtower Farms, at Wallkill, 160km north of Brooklyn and totalling 1200 hectares, were bought in 1963 and 1967 and factories erected in 1973 and 1975.[116] In 1984 the society paid $2.1 million for a 270 hectare farm at Patterson, New York[122] for a development that would include 624 apartments, garages for 800 cars and a 149-room hotel.[123] Other rural purchases included a 220 hectare farm near South Lansing, New York and a 60 hectare farm near Port Murray, New Jersey.[122]

In February 2009 the society paid $11.5 million for 100 hectares of land in Ramapo, Rockland County, New York for an administration and residential complex.[124] The site was reported to be planned as a base for about 850 Watch Tower workers, creating a compound combining residential and publishing facilities currently located in Brooklyn. A Witness spokesman said the land was currently zoned for residential uses, but an application would be made to rezone it, adding that "Construction is several years in the future."[125]

A year later the society announced it planned to move the "World Headquarters of Jehovah's Witnesses" from Brooklyn to a proposed complex to be built on a 100-hectare Watch Tower property in Warwick, New York, 1.5km from its Ramapo site. A Watch Tower presentation to Warwick planning authorities said the complex would house up to 850 people.[126][127]

Brooklyn property sales

In 2004 the society began transferring its printing operations to its Wallkill factory complex.[128][129] The move triggered the sale of a number of Brooklyn factory and residential properties including:

  • 360 Furman St, sold in 2004 for $205 million;[130]
  • 67 Livingston St, (nicknamed the Sliver)[131] sold in 2006 for $18.6 million.[130]
  • 89 Hicks St, sold in 2006 for $14 million.[130]
  • Standish Arms Hotel, 169 Columbia Heights, sold in 2007 for $50 million.[132]
  • Bossert Hotel, 98 Montague St, for sale since 2008.[125] Media reports in 2008 claimed a deal had been struck for more than $100 million,[133] although the deal later fell through.[126]
  • 161 Columbia Heights, bought in 1988 and offered for sale in 2007.[129]
  • 165 Columbia Heights, offered for sale in 2007.[129]
  • 183 Columbia Heights, bought in 1986 and offered for sale in 2007.[129]
  • 105 Willow St, offered for sale in 2007.[129]
  • 34 Orange St, offered for sale in 2007.[129]

In 2006 the Watch Tower Society was reported to still own about 40 properties in Brooklyn;[14] a 2009 report calculated "a dozen or more" properties in the Brooklyn area, including two large parking lots with a residential zoning.[125] In a 2010 news report the Watch Tower Society said it was "not actively promoting" the sale of eight Brooklyn properties still on the market.[126]

Other countries

In 1900 the Watch Tower opened its first overseas branch office in Britain.[134] Germany followed in 1903[135] and Australia in 1904.[136] By 1979 the society had 39 printing branches throughout the world, with facilities transferred to farming properties in many countries including Brazil, Sweden, Denmark, Canada and Australia.[137]

See also

References

  1. ^ Pennsylvania Department of State.
  2. ^ Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1959, p. 49
  3. ^ a b c Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1993, pp. 575-576
  4. ^ Franz 2007, pp. 80-107
  5. ^ Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1993, pp. 108-109
  6. ^ Gruss 2003, pp. 25-27
  7. ^ Wills 2006, pp. 175, 176
  8. ^ Consolation, 4 September, 1940, pg 25, as cited by Penton, pg. 61.
  9. ^ Wills 2006, pp. 201
  10. ^ Watchtower, June 15, 1938.
  11. ^ Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1959, p. 75
  12. ^ Brooklyn Heights Press, March 15, 1990, page 1, as cited by Edmond C. Gruss, 2003, pages 72-73.
  13. ^ a b c Yearbook, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 2009.
  14. ^ a b c "Jehovahs loses comp case: Church may be forced to pay millions", New York Daily News, 6 January, 2006. Retrieved 3 October, 2009.
  15. ^ A 1990 news report stated that Brooklyn workers received $80 per month to buy personal needs. See "A sect grows in Brooklyn", Philadelphia Inquirer, August 2, 1990.
  16. ^ "A sect grows in Brooklyn", Philadelphia Inquirer, August 2, 1990.
  17. ^ Penton 1997, p. 231
  18. ^ Franz 2007, pp. 614-654
  19. ^ Franz 2007, pp. 69-124
  20. ^ The Watchtower, February 15, 1976, page 124, as cited by R. Franz, "In Search if Christian Freedom", page 107,"Would not a failure to respond to direction from God through his organization really indicate a rejection of divine rulership?"
  21. ^ "Do not be quickly shaken from your reason", Watchtower, March 15, 1986
  22. ^ "At which table are you feeding?" Watchtower, July 1, 1994
  23. ^ Franz 2007, pp. 391-431
  24. ^ Gruss 2003, pp. 110-114
  25. ^ Holden 2002, p. 32
  26. ^ Jehovah's Witnesses–Proclaimers of God's Kingdom. Watch Tower Society. 1993. pp. 91. 
  27. ^ "How the Governing Body Differs From a Legal Corporation", The Watchtower, January 15, 2001, page 28.
  28. ^ "Moving Ahead With God’s Organization", The Watchtower, September 1, 1983, page 13.
  29. ^ "The Governing Body", 1974 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, ©Watch Tower, page 258
  30. ^ "Background of N. H. Knorr", Jehovah's Witnesses - Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, ©1993 Watch Tower, page 91
  31. ^ "He Ran for “The Prize of the Upward Call” and Won!", The Watchtower, September 15, 1974, page 554, "On October 31, 1932, he [Sullivan] was made a member of the board of directors of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania; he was also one of the eleven-member governing body of Jehovah’s witnesses."
  32. ^ "A Time of Testing (1914-1918)", Jehovah's Witnesses - Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, ©1993 Watch Tower, page 71, "Thomas (Bud) Sullivan, who later served as a member of the Governing Body, recalled: “It was my privilege to visit Brooklyn Bethel in the late summer of 1918 during the brothers’ incarceration."
  33. ^ "Happy are the dead who die in union with the Lord", The Watchtower, May 15, 1965, page 320.
  34. ^ "Experiencing Jehovah’s Love", The Watchtower, September 15, 1964, page 571
  35. ^ "Announcements", The Watchtower, May 15, 1965, page 320, "Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society of Pennsylvania announces herewith the death of Brother Hugo H. Riemer on March 31, 1965. After years of service as a pioneer publisher in the field, he was called to the Society’s Brooklyn headquarters in 1918, since which time he served with the Society’s headquarters till his death at eighty-six years of age. He was on the boards of directors of both the Society’s Pennsylvania corporation and its New York corporation, also serving in the official capacity of assistant secretary-treasurer of both corporations."
  36. ^ "A Time of Testing (1914-1918)", Jehovah's Witnesses - Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, ©1993 Watch Tower, page 65, "So, two days after Russell’s death, the board of directors met and elected A. N. Pierson to be a member. The seven members of the board at that point were A. I. Ritchie, W. E. Van Amburgh, H. C. Rockwell, J. D. Wright, I. F. Hoskins, A. N. Pierson, and J. F. Rutherford."
  37. ^ "Moving Ahead With God’s Organization", The Watchtower, September 1, 1983, page 14, "The Society’s secretary and treasurer, W. E. Van Amburgh, had become incapacitated due to advanced age and illness and so resigned from his position. I was elected to succeed him on February 6, 1947, and Brother Van Amburgh died the following day."
  38. ^ "Testing and Sifting From Within", Jehovah's Witnesses - Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, ©1993 Watch Tower, page 622, "In 1916, W. E. Van Amburgh declared: “This great worldwide work is not the work of one person. . . . It is God’s work.” Although he saw others turn away, he remained firm in that conviction right down till his death in 1947, at 83 years of age."
  39. ^ The Watchtower of March 15, 2006, page 26, stated, "All members of the Governing Body are anointed Christians." The Watchtower of January 1, 2001, page 28, referred to "the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, which has always been made up entirely of spirit-anointed men [emphasis added]"; that article specifically named Covington and noted that he did not profess such an 'anointing'.
  40. ^ "A Time of Testing (1914-1918)", Jehovah's Witnesses - Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, ©1993 Watch Tower, page 68, "J. F. Rutherford, C. H. Anderson, W. E. Van Amburgh, A. H. Macmillan, W. E. Spill, J. A. Bohnet, and G. H. Fisher. From these seven board members, the three officers were chosen—J. F. Rutherford as president, C. H. Anderson as vice president, and W. E. Van Amburgh as secretary-treasurer."
  41. ^ "A Time of Testing (1914-1918)", Jehovah's Witnesses - Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, ©1993 Watch Tower, page 68, "J. F. Rutherford, C. H. Anderson, W. E. Van Amburgh, A. H. Macmillan, W. E. Spill, J. A. Bohnet, and G. H. Fisher. From these seven board members, the three officers were chosen—J. F. Rutherford as president, C. H. Anderson as vice president, and W. E. Van Amburgh as secretary-treasurer."
  42. ^ "Ritchie, A. I.", Watchtower Publications Index 1930-1985, "RITCHIE, A. I. vice president of Watch Tower Society (1916)"
  43. ^ "Part 1—United States of America", 1975 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, ©Watch Tower, pages 65-66, "During the trouble in 1894, Mrs. C. T. Russell (the former Maria Frances Ackley, whom Russell had married in 1879) undertook a tour from New York to Chicago, meeting with Bible Students along the way and speaking in her husband’s behalf. Being an educated, intelligent woman, she was well received when visiting the congregations at that time. Mrs. Russell was a director of the Watch Tower Society and served as its secretary and treasurer for some years."
  44. ^ The January 15, 1955 The Watchtower, page 46, referred to the former "Maria Frances Ackley, who had become a colaborer and a contributor of articles to the Watch Tower magazine. They came to have no children. Nearly eighteen years later, in 1897, due to Watch Tower Society members’ objecting to a woman’s teaching and being a member of the board of directors contrary to 1 Timothy 2:12, Russell and his wife disagreed about the management of the journal, Zion’s Watch Tower. Thereupon she voluntarily separated herself"
  45. ^ "Encyclopedia Britannica - Russell, Charles Taze"
  46. ^ Zion's Watch Tower, April 1881, Reprints page 214.
  47. ^ J.F. Rutherford, A Great Battle in the Ecclesiastical Heavens, 1915, p. 14.
  48. ^ a b c d e C.T. Russell, "A Conspiracy Exposed", Zion's Watch Tower Extra edition, April 25, 1894, page 55-60.
  49. ^ Wills 2006, pp. 75
  50. ^ Zion's Watch Tower, October 1894, page 330.
  51. ^ Pierson et al 1917, p. 22
  52. ^ a b c Rutherford August 1917, p. 16
  53. ^ Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1959, p. 48
  54. ^ Allegheny City was annexed by Pittsburgh in 1909.
  55. ^ a b Grizzuti Harrison 1978
  56. ^ Penton 1997, p. 39
  57. ^ Gruss 2003, p. 17
  58. ^ "Girl's midnight visit to Pastor Russell", Brooklyn Eagle, August 14, 1909, "His wife, whom he married 30 years ago, when she was Maria F. Ackley, obtained a limited divorce from him in Pittsburg on the ground of cruelty. The judge who decided for Mrs Russell granted her $100 a month alimony. Pastor Russell was slow in coming to the front with payments and finally stopped paying alimony altogether. An order was ordered for the pastor's arrest in Pittsburg, but Brooklyn is a comfortable enough place and Pastor Russell didn't like going back to Pittsburg where a yawning prison awaited him. He said that his friends had paid the alimony, anyhow, and that he was purged of contempt of court thereby."
  59. ^ Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1959, p. 49
  60. ^ Wills 2006, p. 91
  61. ^ J.F. Rutherford, A Great Battle in the Ecclesiastical Heavens, 1915, p. 14., "While there are nearly two hundred thousand shares, and it would be an easy matter to elect some other man as president, there never has been cast a vote against Pastor Russell. At the last election he was absent, his own votes were not cast, yet more than one hundred thousand votes of others were cast for him as president."
  62. ^ Wills 2006, p. 91
  63. ^ Wills 2007, pp. 115
  64. ^ An essay at the Pastoral Bible Institute website claims Macmillan chaired the meeting; Rutherford in Harvest Siftings II (pg 26) refers to Ritchie as the chairman.
  65. ^ Pierson et al 1917, pp. 5,6
  66. ^ Rutherford October 1917, pp. 31
  67. ^ Johnson 1917, pp. 2,3
  68. ^ Rogerson 1969, pp. 35,36
  69. ^ Pierson et al 1917, pp. 4
  70. ^ Rutherford October 1917, pp. 28
  71. ^ Pierson et al 1917, pp. 4
  72. ^ Rutherford August 1917, pp. 12
  73. ^ Pierson et al 1917, pp. 6
  74. ^ Rutherford August 1917, pp. 22-23
  75. ^ Rutherford October 1917, pp. 31
  76. ^ Rutherford August 1917, pp. 10
  77. ^ Pierson et al 1917, pp. 19
  78. ^ Rutherford August 1917, pp. 15, 16
  79. ^ Rutherford August 1917, pp. 14,15
  80. ^ Rutherford August 1917, pp. 1, 17
  81. ^ Rutherford August 1917, pp. 10.
  82. ^ Pierson et al 1917, pp. 8,9
  83. ^ Pierson et al 1917, pp. 7
  84. ^ Wills & 2007 95
  85. ^ Pierson et al 1917, pp. 7
  86. ^ Legal opinion, Davies, Auerbach & Cornell, New York, July 23, 1917.
  87. ^ Johnson 1917, p. 20
  88. ^ Pierson et al 1917, pp. 9
  89. ^ Rogerson 1969, pp. 37
  90. ^ Pierson et al 1917, pp. 15
  91. ^ Johnson 1917, pp. 17, 18
  92. ^ a b Rutherford October 1917, pp. 29
  93. ^ Pierson et al 1917, pp. 10
  94. ^ Rutherford October 1917, pp. 27,28
  95. ^ a b Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1993, pp. 68
  96. ^ Pierson et al 1917, pp. 1
  97. ^ Rutherford October 1917, pp. 1
  98. ^ Johnson 1917, pp. 9
  99. ^ Watch Tower publications since 1917 have vilified those who opposed Rutherford and make no attempt to convey their version of events. In its account of the events of 1917, the 1993 Proclaimers of God's Kingdom book refers to the opposing camps as "those loyal to the Society and those who were easy prey to the smooth talk of the opposers" (pg. 68). The 1975 Yearbook (pg. 87) dismisses the four ousted directors as "rebellious individuals who claimed to be board members" (pg. 92) and men who "ambitiously sought to gain administrative control of the Society". The 1959 history book Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose also incorrectly claims the legal advice given to the ousted directors confirmed that given to Rutherford. Their own journal, Light After Darkness, makes it plain their legal advice disagreed with Rutherford's.
  100. ^ a b Rogerson 1969, pp. 38
  101. ^ Rutherford October 1917, pp. 32
  102. ^ a b Rogerson 1969, pp. 39
  103. ^ Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1975, pp. 93-94
  104. ^ Rogerson 1969, pp. 39
  105. ^ Amendments to articles II, III, VII, VIII and X were passed unanimously, with more than 225,000 votes cast; the amendments to article V of the Charter, affecting qualifications for membership of the society, were passed 225,255 to 47.
  106. ^ Articles of amendment to Watch Tower Society charter, 15 February, 1945.Retrieved 4 October, 2009.
  107. ^ Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1959, pp. 27
  108. ^ a b Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1959, pp. 47-48
  109. ^ Watch Tower March 1, 1909, pages 67,68.
  110. ^ a b Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1959, p. 115
  111. ^ Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1959, pp. 97
  112. ^ Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1959, pp. 234
  113. ^ Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1959, pp. 253-255
  114. ^ Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1959, pp. 292
  115. ^ The Watchtower, September 1, 1989, page 29.
  116. ^ a b c d e The Watchtower, December 1, 1982, page 23.
  117. ^ a b c d e The Watchtower, April 15, 1996, page 24.
  118. ^ Yearbook, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1988, page 25.
  119. ^ Centennial of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, 1984, pages 8-9.
  120. ^ "New Shipping Facilities of Jehovah’s Witnesses", Awake!, August 22, 1987, pages 16-18.
  121. ^ Awake!, April 22, 1989, pages 25-27.
  122. ^ a b Awake!, February 22, 1987, pages 25-27.
  123. ^ "Watchtower project grows in Patterson", New York Times, April 18, 1983, 1993. Retrieved 3 October, 2009.
  124. ^ "Watchtower Society may move some NY offices", WCAX website, March 26, 2009. Retrieved 3 October, 2009.
  125. ^ a b c "A Witness to the future as Watchtower buys land upstate", The Brooklyn Paper, April 2, 2009. Retrieved 3 October, 2009.
  126. ^ a b c "Historic Turning Point: After Century in Brooklyn, Watchtower Pulls Out of Heights", Brooklyn Heights, February 23, 2010.
  127. ^ "The Witnesses Leave. Then What?", Brooklyn Daily Eagle, February 24, 2010.
  128. ^ "Increased Activity at United States Bethel", Our Kingdom Ministry, September 2003.
  129. ^ a b c d e f "Watchtower to sell 6 Brooklyn Heights properties", Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 26 April, 2007. Retrieved 3 October, 2009.
  130. ^ a b c "Selloff! But Witnesses say they will remain kings of Kings", The Brooklyn Paper, 12 May, 2007. Retrieved 3 October, 2009.
  131. ^ Yearbook, 1991, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, page 10.
  132. ^ "Have a seat in the Standish", The Brooklyn Paper, December 15, 2007. Retrieved 3 October, 2009.
  133. ^ "Bossert sold?", The Brooklyn Paper, May 10. 2008. Retrieved 3 October, 2009.
  134. ^ "Bible Truth Triumphs Amid Tradition", The Watchtower, May 15, 1985, page 27.
  135. ^ “Your Will Be Done on Earth”, The Watchtower, 1960, page 30.
  136. ^ Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society 1959, p. 33
  137. ^ "Building to Jehovah’s Glory", The Watchtower, May 1, 1979, pages 26-29.

Bibliography


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, headquartered in New York City, is the main legal entity used by the Jehovah's Witnesses religious faith. It is often referred to as The Watchtower, which is also the name of its best-known publication. This corporation usually holds copyrights to literature published by Jehovah's Witnesses.

Quotes

'The Watchtower' (1942) by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society Monthly religiously themed magazine.

  • "It clearly appears that Jehovah by Christ Jesus is doing his work on earth among his people and hence is guiding his people in the right way according to his promise... Thus the Lord declares he has entrusted his people with the privilege and obligation of telling his message... Jehovah having thus favored his people, they must be true to him and speak his word to others... The Lord does not say to speak the words of wisdom of man, nor to be influenced or guided by the word of man. Those who are convinced that The Watchtower is publishing the opinion or expression of a man should not waste time in looking at it at all, because a man's opinion proves nothing except when that opinion is based wholly upon the Word of God. Those who believe that God uses The Watchtower as a means of communicating to his people, or of calling their attention to his prophecies, should study The Watchtower with thankfulness of heart and give Jehovah God and Christ Jesus all the honor and credit and give neither honor nor credit to any man. The prophecy of Obadiah shows clearly that the identity of the persons or individuals engaged in God's service is not now material.
    • Source: The Watchtower. WTBTS. 1942 January 1. p. 5.  
    • Notes:
  • Why have Jehovah's Witnesses disfellowshipped (excommunicated) for apostasy some who still profess belief in God, the Bible, and Jesus Christ? […] Approved association with Jehovah's Witnesses requires accepting the entire range of the true teachings of the Bible, including those Scriptural beliefs that are unique to Jehovah's Witnesses. What do such beliefs include? That the great issue before humankind is the rightfulness of Jehovah's sovereignty, which is why he has allowed wickedness so long. (Ezekiel 25:17) That Jesus Christ had a prehuman existence and is subordinate to his heavenly Father. (John 14:28) That there is a "faithful and discreet slave" upon earth today 'entrusted with all of Jesus' earthly interests,' which slave is associated with the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses. (Matthew 24:45-47) That 1914 marked the end of the Gentile Times and the establishment of the Kingdom of God in the heavens, as well as the time for Christ's foretold presence. (Luke 21:7-24; Revelation 11:15-12:10) That only 144,000 Christians will receive the heavenly reward. (Revelation 14:1, 3) That Armageddon, referring to the battle of the great day of God the Almighty, is near. (Revelation 16:14, 16; 19:11-21) That it will be followed by Christ's Millennial Reign, which will restore an earth-wide paradise. That the first to enjoy it will be the present "great crowd" of Jesus' "other sheep."-John 10:16; Revelation 7:9-17; 21:3, 4.
    • Q&A from The Watchtower. WTBTS. 1986 April. pp. 30-31.  
  • The first essential for study is the right condition of mind and heart, appreciating that Jehovah grants understanding only to the meek, and not to the stiff-necked. If we have love for Jehovah and for the organization of his people we shall not be suspicious, but shall, as the Bible says, 'believe all things,' all the things that The Watchtower brings out, inasmuch as it has been faithful in giving us a knowledge of God's purposes and guiding us in the way of peace, safety and truth from its inception to this present day.
    • Qualified to be Ministers. WTBTS. 1955. pp. 156.  

External links

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