Do the JW's actually want me?

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Mr. Personality
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Re: Do the JW's actually want me?

Post by Mr. Personality »

I've never heard anything of 1925. 1975 was some (a lot, I don't know, I wasn't around, only have accounts from my family who were JWs then) people who figured 1975 was exactly 6000 years after Adam (or something) and flipped out. As far as I've been told by people who were around, the Watchtower Society never officially adopted this belief.

1914 was "The beginning of the end" not the end itself. 1914 marked the final chapter in society and civilization as we've known it. It was not the end of the world.

One of the core beliefs of JWs is that in the end, Jesus will come "as a thief in the night" so no one can predict when it will happen.
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Mr Danksworth
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Re: Do the JW's actually want me?

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http://www.religioustolerance.org/witness8.htm

Jehovah's Witnesses:

Predictions of TEOTWAWKI

(The End Of The World As We Know It)


Overview:

From the 1870s, when it was founded, to 1994, the Watchtower Society (WTS) made many predictions about the timing of TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it). Their concept of the end is similar to the beliefs of other conservative Protestant denominations. It will include the War of Armageddon, and the return of Jesus Christ to earth to establish his kingdom. God will conduct a mass genocide during this time which will involve the deaths of billions of people. This will be the greatest genocide the world has seen. However, they teach two beliefs not shared by other conservative Protestants:

Disfellowshipped Jehovah's Witnesses, Jews, Muslims, most Christians, and followers of other religions will be exterminated. The WTS teaches that only active adults in good standing of the Jehovah's Witnesses will survive the killing fields. The fate of children and of mentally disadvantaged adults will be up to God.
They believe that the Rapture has already happened in an invisible form during 1918-9. There will be no Christians elevated to meet Jesus in the sky at the time of the world's end.
All of the WTS past prophecies about the date of the end of the world have been wrong. They still teach that Armageddon will happen in our near future. However, they no longer predict a fixed year.

A description of their major past predictions follows:



1914:

Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916), the WTS founder, believed that Christ had secretly arrived in the year 1874 and that he would establish the Kingdom of God on Earth in 1914-OCT. Russell based this prophecy on a "bewildering number of dates" which he recovered from his studies of the Bible and the Great Pyramid. A key component to the calculation was derived from the book of Daniel, Chapter 4. The book refers to "seven times". He interpreted each "time" as equal to 360 days, giving a total of 2,520 days. He further interpreted this as representing exactly 2,520 years, measured from the starting date of 607 BCE. This resulted in the year 1914-OCT being the target date for the Millennium. 20 Russell's belief became a key teaching of the Jehovah's Witnesses (Watchtower Bible and Tract Society). Since late in the 19th century, they had taught that the "battle of the Great Day of God Almighty" (Armageddon) would happen in that year.

Some specific predictions by Russell:

"And, with the end of A.D. 1914, what God calls Babylon , and what men call Christendom, will have passed away, as is already shown from prophecy." Studies In The Scriptures, Vol. III, (1897) 2
"...we consider it an established truth that the final end of the kingdoms of this world, and the full establishment of the Kingdom of God, will be accomplished by the end of A.D. 1914" (1889). 1
"In the coming 26 years, all present governments will be overthrown and dissolved." Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. II, (1889) 2
However, in 1912, he back-peddled somewhat:

"...he wrote that, while the prophecy remains valid, the power of the Gentiles could end either in October 1914 or in October 1915." 21
"Russell's movement expanded rapidly" in the years leading up to 1914. 20 However, the year 1914 came and passed without the visible appearance of Christ, the massive genocide, and the new Kingdom of God. The WTS regarded the start of the World War 1 as confirmation that the process leading to TEOTWAWKI, and to Christ's return, had started. They decided that 1914 was the year that Jesus invisibly began his rule from heaven.



1915, 1918, & 1920

In 1914-NOV, immediately after Russell's prophecy had failed, he wrote that the period of transition could run a "good many years." 21

The Watchtower magazine suggested that the destruction would happen "...shortly after 1914 with the utter destruction" of other Christian denominations and the inauguration of Christ's millennial reign. They first predicted that this would happen in 1915. Drawing a parallel with the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman Army in 70 CE, the authors of the 1915 Edition of The Time Is At Hand wrote: "The Gentile Times prove that the present governments must all be overthrown about the close of A.D. 1915; and Parallelism above shows that this period corresponds exactly with the year A.D. 70, which witnessed the completion of the downfall of the Jewish polity." 3

After Russell's death in 1916, the WTS rewrote large portions of his Studies in the Scriptures to reflect the new belief that the year 1914 was merely the beginning of the end of Gentile times. 21

The WTS later delayed the millennium to 1918. 4 A 1917 WTS publication, "The Finished Mystery" stated: "...in the year 1918, when God destroys the churches wholesale and the church members by millions, it shall be that any that escape shall come to the works of Pastor Russell to learn the meaning of the downfall of Christianity." 5 That year also passed uneventfully, except for the end of World War I.

The WTS introduced the concept that Christ would establish his millennial kingdom on earth "before the generation who saw the events of 1914 passes away." With many humans achieving a life span of over 90 years, this could place the War of Armageddon at any time between 1914 and the early 21st century.

1925:

The next estimate of the TEOTWAWKI was set at sometime in 1925.

In 1918, J.E. Rutherford -- the WTS' second president and the author of "Millions now living will never die" -- wrote: "...there will be a resurrection of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and other faithful ones of old ... we may expect 1925 to witness the return of these faithful men of Israel from the condition of death, being resurrected and fully restored to perfect humanity and made the visible, legal representatives of the new order of things on earth.... Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the Apostle in Hebrews 11, to the condition of human perfection." 6
In 1922, Rutherford wrote: "Fulfilled prophecy shows beyond a doubt that (Christ) did appear in 1874. Fulfilled prophecy is otherwise designated the physical facts; and these facts are indisputable....We understand that the jubilee type began to count in 1575 B.C.; and the 3,500 year period embracing the type must end in 1925....It follows, then, that the year 1925 will mark the beginning of the restoration of all things lost by Adam's disobedience." 7
In 1923, a Watchtower article predicted: "Our thought is, that 1925 is definitely settled by the scriptures. As to Noah, the Christian now has much more upon which to base his faith than Noah had upon which to base his faith in a coming deluge." 8
As the year approached, the WTS appeared to back-peddle somewhat:

Watchtower magazine predicted in mid-1924: "The year 1925 is a date definitely and clearly marked in the Scriptures, even more clearly than that of 1914; but it would be presumptuous on the part of any faithful follower of the Lord to assume just what the Lord is going to do during that year." 9
At the beginning of 1925, a Watchtower article commented: "With great expectations Christians have looked forward to this year. Many have confidently expected that all members of the body of Christ will be changed to heavenly glory during this year. This may be accomplished. It may not be... Christians should not be so deeply concerned about what may transpire this year." 10
1925 also came and passed uneventfully.

There were some additional predictions:

"Christendom to be overthrown" in 1932. 2
1941-Fall: The world is "...in the remaining months before Armageddon." 11


1975:

Some Witnesses expected a dramatic event to occur in 1966-JUN (6/66) because the number 666 was referred to as the Mark of the Beast in Revelation 13:18. It was in this month that the WTS published "Life Everlasting in Freedom of the Sons of God." It contained a chronological chart which shows that 1975 was the "end of the sixth thousand year day of man's existence." 22

They regarded the year 1975 a promising date for the end of the world, based on their original belief that it was the 6,000th anniversary of creation of both Adam and Eve at the Garden of Eden in 4026 BCE. They believe, along with many other conservative Protestant denominations, that the world would exist for exactly 1,000 years for each day of the creation week. Their Watchtower or Awake magazines taught that:

"according to reliable Bible chronology Adam was created in the year 4026 BCE, likely in the autumn of the year, at the end of the sixth day of creation." 12
"According to reliable Bible chronology, Adam and Eve were created in 4026 BCE" 13
"30 Are we to assume from this study that the battle of Armageddon will be all over by the autumn of 1975, and the long-looked-for thousand-year reign of Christ will begin by then? Possibly, but we wait to see how closely the seventh thousand-year period of man’s existence coincides with the sabbathlike thousand-year reign of Christ....Our chronology, however, which is reasonably accurate (but admittedly not infallible), at the best only points to the autumn of 1975 as the end of 6,000 years of man’s existence on earth." 14
This prophecy was reinforced in their publications, notably Watchtower and Awake, and at their assemblies. The close proximity of the end times encouraged the membership to increase their proselytizing efforts. Membership rose significantly in the years leading up to 1975. Some members sold their possessions, cashed in their insurance policies, etc. in anticipation of the Millennium's arrival.

This prophecy also failed. Proselytism began to decline. The next two years saw an unprecedented decrease in the total number of publishers. The newly-elected head of the WTS, Frederick Franz and his leadership team had to find an explanation for the error. They appear to have settled on a double-pronged approach:

Recalculating the date: They changed their mind about the computing of the prophecy. They had originally believed that Eve was created in 4026 BCE -- the same year as Adam. They revised their thinking by concluding that Eve was created at a later time. Adam must have been alone for some years before God formed his partner/helper out of his rib. The WTS decided that:
"...no one knew exactly how long after Adam’s creation Eve came on the scene. Franz said that it was months—even years. Hence he was able to "stretch" the 1975 date to some indeterminate time in the future. In any case, Franz said that Witnesses would just have to wait, knowing the end is right around the corner." 15

In 1976, an article in the Watchtower stated that Armageddon will come after the time period corresponding with the interval between Adam's creation and Eve's creation. 16

Denial and purge: Following the failed 1975 prophecy, the WTS "leadership embarked upon a five-year period of denial and purge." 23 The general membership was blamed for misinterpreting the leaders' interpretation of 1975. The leadership maintained that there never was an explicit prophecy. The membership is highly disciplined and were quickly able to revise their thinking. Large scale disfellowshipping followed. In 1978 alone, nearly 30,000 Witnesses were expelled. Many in the writing committee were dismissed and disfellowshipped during 1980.


A reason for the prophetic failures:

The WTS Governing Body wrote in 1981:

"However, it may have seemed to some as though that path has not always gone straight forward. At times explanations given by Jehovah's visible organization have shown adjustments, seemingly to previous points of view. But this has not actually been the case. This might be compared to what is known in navigational circles as 'tacking.' By maneuvering the sails the sailors can cause a ship to go from right to left, back and forth, but all the time making progress toward their destination in spite of contrary winds'." 17



1994:

Some Witnesses interpreted Psalms 90:10 as defining the length of a generation to be 80 years. Since 1914 plus 80 equals 1994, they predicted Armageddon would occur around that year. This prediction came from the grass-roots level of the organization. The Watchtower Society itself did not officially proclaim it. This prophecy also failed.



Will TEOTWAWKI happen in our near future?

The WTS had taught that the generation that saw the events of 1914 would experience TEOTWAWKI. But the people who were born in 1914 or earlier are now 90 years of age or older. They are rapidly dying out. In 1996-APR, the WTS changed their criteria for TEOTWAWKI. "They now say that the generation that saw the events of 1914 is actually any generation that understands what happened" at that time. 18 This allows an indefinite delay in the arrival of the Millennium.

The latest estimate is 6,000 years after the creation of Eve, for which no date can be determined with any accuracy. The Jehovah's Witnesses are no longer setting absolute dates, but still expect that TEOTWAWKI may happen at any time in our immediate future. In their 1995-NOV issue of the Watchtower, the WTS suggested that earlier dates for Armageddon were speculation rather than settled doctrine. In 1995-DEC, Newsweek quoted Witnesses spokesperson Bob Pevy as saying: "The end is still close. We just can't put numbers on Jesus' words." 19

The "yeartext" for 2004, published in the WTS Yearbook is: "Keep on the Watch... Prove Yourselves Ready." It is a quotation taken from Matthew 24:42-44. This yeartext is accompanied with the following remarks:

"Consistently, God's Word reminds us that Jehovah's day will arrive with shocking suddenness. Hence, our yeartext for 2004 reflects Jesus' deep love for his disciples, whom he wants to preserve through 'the great tribulation.' (Rev. 7:14 ) How do we remain spiritually watchful and ready? By allowing nothing to distract us from our study of God's Word and from our privileges of sacred service." 2

The WatchTowerInformationService.org comments:

"Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the only chance for [personal] salvation is to actively preach the end of this world and the Kingdom of God . If they are not busy with their 'sacred service' when the 'day of Jehovah' will arrive with 'shocking suddenness' they believe that they will die with the wicked ones."

That is, they will be exterminated, along with all non-Christians, and with the vast majority of Christians who are not members in good standing of the WTS. 2



Criticism of the WTS estimates:

The WTS has been criticized by some conservative Christians for attempting to predict a precise date for Armageddon, in an apparent violation of Matthew 24:35-36: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." (KJV) However, the criticism does not appear to be valid, as the WTS' estimates have never involved the day and hour of the end -- only the year.
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Re: Do the JW's actually want me?

Post by sqrle »

Where did you copy and paste all that from?
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Air Wrench
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Re: Do the JW's actually want me?

Post by Air Wrench »

Where did you copy and paste all that from?

From the link there smarty-pants.
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Mr Danksworth
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Re: Do the JW's actually want me?

Post by Mr Danksworth »

Reality bites. I can hardly wait to see the linguistic backflips he/she will have to do to explain that away. :skyisfalling: :hailjo:
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Mr. Personality
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Re: Do the JW's actually want me?

Post by Mr. Personality »

Am I the he/she you refer to?

1 - It's he.
2 - I am not a practicing Jehovah's Witness. I was raised, for all intents and purposes, in the religion.
3 - In all my years growing up in JW-domm I was always told we have no idea when Armageddon (I never once heard the word "Rapture") will happen. I always thought that was sort of like saying "You don't know if Santa might be watching." but whatever.

4 -
Disfellowshipped Jehovah's Witnesses, Jews, Muslims, most Christians, and followers of other religions will be exterminated. The WTS teaches that only active adults in good standing of the Jehovah's Witnesses will survive the killing fields. The fate of children and of mentally disadvantaged adults will be up to God.

Umm...everything is up to God in their beliefs as far as who the righteous are or aren't. It has not so much to do with your standing in the Religion, as much as your standing with God himself. Of course, that's only what I was taught every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday for 14 years, so what would I know.

5 -
They believe that the Rapture has already happened in an invisible form during 1918-9. There will be no Christians elevated to meet Jesus in the sky at the time of the world's end.

144,000, most currently dead, will ascend to Heaven to sit at the right hand of God. Of course, that's only what I was taught every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday for 14 years. Maybe all the speakers and elders of the Religion itself are the questionable source while a website I've never seen before is totally credible, who knows.

As for the rest, I can't confirm the quotes and was never taught much about Russell himself. Actually other than the name, I really never learned anything about him. Cover up? Maybe. Considered irrellevant to the teachings of the Religion itself? More likely.

Again, I am not a Jehovah's Witness. I do not share many of their beliefs. What I do believe is that they're a group of people whose first ideals are kindness and love and who are chastised ad nauseum because they're annoying and kind of weird. I agree, they're weird and annoying, but they're not the freaks everyone loves to make them. They're just people, trying to get through life. Russel thought the world would end in 1914. Catholics had the entire western world believing the world was flat, oops. Kill yourself in the name of Allah and you get a crapload of virgins, right? Drink a glass of red wine a da...er, the blood of christ will get you into heaven. Unless of course, there isn't a priest around when you die, then you're hooped.

All Religion is ridiculous. Why focus on the one?
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Mr Danksworth
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Re: Do the JW's actually want me?

Post by Mr Danksworth »

Mr. Personality wrote:Am I the he/she you refer to?


Nope.



Mr. Personality wrote:All Religion is ridiculous. Why focus on the one?


I agree. I don't just focus on one. Maybe one at a time, but not just one.
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Re: Do the JW's actually want me?

Post by Mr. Personality »

I wasn't speaking solely to you. There are a lot of people who won't say a word about religion or God until the subject of JWs starts up. Then it's open season. I've also noticed (again not you, soulra) that it's pretty much ok to make up stuff about JWs or to back up ridiculous claims with "a friend said a friend said." I don't agree with a lot of their beliefs and views, but I also don't think it's right to spread lies.

I like to think of JWs as that kid in class no one ever really knew anything about. He gets picked on all the time but doesn't really complain about it. Everyone thinks he's completely weird because he's always trying to set up a game of D&D but once you start talking to him about something other than orcs and wizards, he's actually an ok guy.
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Re: Do the JW's actually want me?

Post by mixtape. »

:( Well I have to say myself, I am a Jehovah Witness, or J Dub as how rudely you have put it. I am only 16 and it is comments like these that have made my "childhood" so hard. I was raised in, pegan holidays are pegan and not to be followed, rules are rules, and disobey and you get punished. Many other guidelines but I wont get into those.

When I was in first grade (currently living in Saskatchewan) I had gotten eggs thrown at me because I was taught not to worship the flag (do not sign O Canada). I have been called names that many of you adults have never been. It is this reason why I suffer from the things I do suffer from. I can honestly say, I try, I believe in what I do. And there is reason to it.

When my parents were going through their divorce, the elders were there day in and day out with support and nothing but encouragement. I can tell you that although, the brothers and sisters dont do a whole lot for the world and how things are happening. We are trying, while spreading word is the easiest way, isnt that how everything starts? I can say with myself being a teenager it is hard for me to see my friends go out to birthdays and celebrate Halloween, but in the end I do know why I do not celebrate them.

I am not going to say I was deprived anything, by not celebrating anything. Because what good does Christmas or Birthdays too? Teach you to be greedy? There are many Jehovah Witnesses and many new people joining, and I will say that when a new person does come to a meeting, they are welcomed with kindness, and we do actually want you there. We will happily answer any question or try too. I have yet to hear a witness give an answer as "that is for god to know only". For someone to start a thread like this just to bash a religion is rude on your part. If you have ever read a magazine (which is usually what we hand out in service) it is not just filled with religious things, there are many articles about plants and natures wonders (featured mostly in Amaze!). I highly recommend it to children as the pictures are fascinating.

I do not bring up my religion with people who clearly have a different opinion as it is not my concern to 'force' them into anything. As it never has. For someone to say that this religion is a cult, which stops every other belief being a cult? There is nothing wrong with being Athiest, Christian, Muslim, Jewish or anything else for that matter. It is people who start up threads like this that make people who are "different" feel unwelcome. In this instance, I have to say I have been the target of many many jokes and pranks. It still bothers me though when I hear someone call the religion down, because in that fact you are bashing what I believe in, which brings me down. I dont see a difference from this to bullying. If you feel so strongly against Jehovah Witnesses then why is it so hard to keep comments to yourself?

If I was at work and someone and they had said something along the lines of "j dubs is a cult" I would repot this to a manager as this makes me feel uncomfortable. Not to mention it is rude.

Please keep your rude comments and jokes to yourself, or I can easily tell you what has come from comments like these. Anyone with questions about the religion (as I saw posted) I will answer any, although I must admit, I was never big on going out in service or "preaching".
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mechanic_virus
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Re: Do the JW's actually want me?

Post by mechanic_virus »

A co-worker of mine is JW, and lately I've been asking him a lot of questions regarding his religion. He knows I'm an atheist that will not be converted, but he's been very open about discussing his beliefs with me. For the most part, it really doesn't sound too bad.

Apparently the good-hearted will survive the clash between God and Satan, and after that everybody will be reborn onto Earth for another shot at things. Those who do wrong to others will die (as in buried in the ground, no Hell or anything), and those who live as good people, regardless of religion or lack-of, will go on to live forever on earth. The hundred and forty-four thousand most kind-hearted individuals will be promoted to help Jehovah run things as angels.

As the concept of some sort of eternal punishment sounds ridiculous to me, I find this to be one of the less hazardous religions.
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Re: Do the JW's actually want me?

Post by Tumult »

mixtape. wrote::( Well I have to say myself, I am a Jehovah Witness, or J Dub as how rudely you have put it.


I apologize if the term "J Dubs" upset you, but no rudeness or malice was intended, as I abbreviate it that way as a pseudo hip hop language quirk, just as I frequently say "Peace out, yo!" to friends and co-workers upon parting. My experiences with JWs have always been between civil and friendly but I feel it is perfectly legitimate to ask what the JWs do for the general populace besides try to gain converts and hand out literature. I agree that "bashing" JWs is rude but I think you will find individuals who "bash" all forms of religion with equal abandon on this forum, much to the dismay of those of us who actually wish to discuss them.
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Re: Do the JW's actually want me?

Post by mae »

Is it true that a JW cannot enter a church, or any other house of God but their own? I have relatives that are JW and they did not come to our daughters wedding or attend the funeral of another relative.
In fact it is really hard to get these relatives to even get together with other family members for something as simple as an afternoon tea. We have never made them feel uncomfortable and truthfully we are the ones that feel shunned.
Does the religion frown on socializing with family that are not JW.
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Re: Do the JW's actually want me?

Post by mechanic_virus »

As far as I know that's not an issue - my co-worker enters other churches as part of the job.
It might depend on the individual, as most things seem to.
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Re: Do the JW's actually want me?

Post by Fancy »

I understand JW's can't bear arms - no going to war, no police etc.
Truths can be backed up by facts - do you have any?
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Re: Do the JW's actually want me?

Post by mixtape. »

mae wrote:Is it true that a JW cannot enter a church, or any other house of God but their own? I have relatives that are JW and they did not come to our daughters wedding or attend the funeral of another relative.
In fact it is really hard to get these relatives to even get together with other family members for something as simple as an afternoon tea. We have never made them feel uncomfortable and truthfully we are the ones that feel shunned.
Does the religion frown on socializing with family that are not JW.



Nope, that doesnt matter. I went to a church for my grandfathers funeral. It really is just upon the person.

As for not bearing arms, that is true. Long story short- it is because it all is in saluting to the flag.

As I said earlier, I was brought up into this religion and I believe in it, although I do have to say somethings are not my "favorite".

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