All of these people were or are Jehovah’s Witnesses
The Jehovah’s Witnesses have 7,659,019 members in 236 Countries. Dallas, Texas, has more than 80 congregations of Jehovahs Witnesses, and Houston more than 150 They spent about 1,707,094,710 man-hours of labor and “door to door” witnessing annually. They are absolutely convinced that they are “The Only True Church.” They have Adventist roots I Have a sneaking admiration for their courage
Presence of Jehovah’s WitnessesNo Presence of JW
Active Jehovah’s Witnesses (Publishers) who spread the Message (May require up to 12 hours a week) 7,400.000
people who attend Jehovahs Witnesses annual commemoration of the Memorial ofChrists death includes active Witnesses, their children, and others
20,000 -25,000 JW in Germany in 1933 They refused : to salute flags, to raise their arms to "Heil Hitler,“ to serve in the German army To stop preaching. The group was banned in April 1935. Those Witnesses who defied the ban on their activities were arrested and sent to prisons and concentration camps 8,800 German JW that were incarcerated, 2,800 of them were put into concentration camps. 1,500 JW that died under Nazi tyranny ( 950 Germans), 370 were executed.
Gestapo Order to arrestJehovah’s Witnesses and Sympathizers The Kusserow family was active in their region distributing religious literature and teaching Bible study classes in their home. The result was Helene Gotthold, a Jehovahs Witness, was beheaded for they were arrest and its members’ her religious beliefs on December 8, 1944, in Berlin. She interned in various concentration is pictured with her children. Germany, June 25, 1936. camps. Most of the family remained — US Holocaust Memorial Museum incarcerated until the end of the war.
Concentration Camp Mark of JW Marked with purple triangular badges
u s tr ia ) o ri a l P la q u e s (A M a u th a u s e n M e mJehovah Witnesses were victims of terrorin this Concentration Camp, they sufferedand died for their Christian Convictions
JW from my county, executed on Feb. 23, 1943 TechelsbergLetter to his Parents am Wörther See "Dear parents! I have been notified that the verdict I have received, has been approved by the Court and that I will be beheaded this evening at 6:30 PM. Dear parents, these are the few lines that I can write to you. I ask you once again not to be sad because I am to die and not to cry because I am now lost. No, because God our Lord will resurrect us and give us new bodies, in which we can serve Him forever. Liberated from sin on the new Earth, in peace and justice. In the last three years I have had to suffer much because of my faith. And likewise I will present myself to this same suffering today, in my final hour, with strength and braveness and an upright conscience, in front of my Lord.
Jehovah’s Witnesses and Communism – East Germany DDR- Process against Jehovah’s Witnesses (1950)Until 1989 5000 JW were sent to prison and work camps. 60 died during incarceration. 325 of these had also been in Nazi Prisons or Concentration Camps
Jehovah Witness in the USYoung Jehovah’s Witnesses refused to salute the flag intheir classroom. They were kicked out of school. Teachers who were Jehovah’s Witnesses were fired, Parents who wouldn’t salute the flag at work were firedThere was hysterical and brutal suppression ofthe Witnesses during the 1930s and 1940s.Their legal resistance transformed the civilliberties of all Americans.."--NormanDorsen, Stokes Professor, NYU "The stories of persecution are horrendous..."--Journal of American History
“A religious sect known as Jehovah’s Witnesses Jehovahs Witnesses in the United Stateshave been repeatedly set upon and beaten. were "the principal victims of religiousThey had committed no crime; but the mob persecution ... in the twentieth century," United States Solicitor General, Archibald Coxadjudged they had, and meted out mobpunishment.Solicitor General Francis Biddle Mob action against Jehovah’s Witnesses in Springfield, Illinois 1942
10 year old Billy Gobitas explained why he would not salute the U.S. flag, November 5, 1935 - Library of Congress In 1940 Supreme Court by an eight-to-one vote ruled that Gobitas, the government had the 1943 authority to compel respect for the flag as a key symbol of national unity. Minersville v. Gobitis In 1943 the Supreme Court by a six-to-three vote in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, another case involving the Jehovah’s Witnesses, reconsidered its decision in Gobitis and held that the right of free speech guaranteed in the First Amendment to the Constitution denies theBarnette government the authority toexpelledfrom compel the saluting of theSchool American flag or the recitation of the pledge of allegiance. Billy Gobitas
Franz Reiter, a young Austrian Jehovah’s Witness…refused to join the German armyOn the grounds of conscience; along with him were five other young Witnesses from his hometown. On theevening of January 5, 1940, he wrote to his mother: “I am strongly convinced in my belief that I amacting correctly. Being her, I could still change my mind, but with God this would be disloyalty. All of ushere wish to be faithful to God, to his honor…And now, my dear Mother and all my brothers and sisters,today I was told my sentence, and don’t be terrified, it is death, and I will be executed tomorrowmorning. I have my strength from God. Reiter died by guillotine for being a conscientious objector .J. Chu, Judaism Today, N.14, 16-17
Expansion of Civil Rightsthe Witnesses have helped to widen thedefinition of civil liberties in mostwestern societies, hence broadening therights of millions of people, due to theirfirm stand and determination. JudgingJehovahs Witnesses, Shawn Francis Peters, to exercise free speech to exercise freedom of association, freedom of the press, freedom of religion medical self-determination Conscientious Objector Lower risk of post -operative infection More economical
Austrian SDAs are denied full legal recognition as a religious community and they relie on the work of the Jehovah’s WitnessesThe Church of Seventh-day Adventists‘ request for full legalrecognition as religious community was rejected according to Section11.1 of the Religious Communities Act.The Church of Seventh-day Adventists lodged a complaint against thatdecision with the Austrian Constitutional CourtThe Church of Seventh-day Adventists also reliedon the case Jehovahs Witnesses vs Austria (ECtHR,31.07.2008, Appl. 40.825/98), where the ECtHR pointed out that thelegal status of a registered church or religious community has to begenerally accessible in a fair proceeding based on objective facts.Bernhard Moser, Freedom of religion and legal recognition as a church or religious community: VfGH 16.12.2009,B 516/09
General Information about the JWThey publish an enormous amount of materialIncluding two magazines AWAKE! and The Watchtower . They produced their own version of the Bible: The New World Translation.
Their own Bible was first published in serial form and as a single volume in 1961. Only the organization can correctly interpret the Bible. “the Bible…belongs to the Christian congregation as an organization, not to individuals, regardless of how sincerely they may believe they can interpret the Bible” (Watchtower, 1 Oct 1967, p. 587). The New World Translation has been printed in whole or in part in more than 60 languages, with a total printing of more than 145,000,000 copies!
Began as a “Bible Study” led by Charles Taze Russell in Allegheny, Pennsylvania (USA) in 1870. Officially organized in 1884 as the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society with Russell as the President.
“I confess indebtedness to Adventists.” Russell, THE WATCH TO WER, JULY 15, 1906 C. T. Russell Friend of Adventist Jonas Wendell George Stetson Russell attended Adventist meetings of Jonas Wendell, George Stetson and George Storrs . Russell learned "much" about theology from Adventists soul sleep Prophetic calculations Predictions about the Advent and End French writers call the JWs: Les Témoins de Jéhovah :Ch. T. Russell, Co-publisher of Adventist Une secte AdventisteProphecy Magazine with N. H. Barbour (An Adventist Sect)
Russell came from a wealthy family, was a member of the Presbyterian Church, was a businessman and writer. He began the group in 1884. He was not trained in theology or biblical studies. His religious ideas were presented in his six volume work: Studies in the Scriptures. Many of his ideas were changed by later leaders.
This is where Charles Taze Russell (founder of the Jehovahs Witnesses and 33rd degree Freemason) is buried.Russell’s headstone at Rosemont United Cemetery, Pittsburgh. The inscription reads LAODICEANMESSENGER. His followers were told that he was the "faithful and wise servant" and "the Laodicean Messenger," Gods seventh and final spokesman to the Christian church.
After Russell’s death there was a power vacuum which the clever “Judge” Joseph Rutherford was able to fill by outmaneuvering his competitors to become the President of the Watchtower Society. The results, however, were splits into various groups with the Watchtower Society being the largest. . Rutherford renamed his group Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1931. Most of the theology and principles were formulated by Rutherford, including the “door to door” witnessing, and the publication of the AWAKE! magazine. He financed the organization and his lifestyle through the distribution and selling of a vast amounts of literature and the “voluntary” labor of his followers Separated from his wife and appeard to have problems with alcohol
Beth-Sarim Palatial San Diego home built by Rutherford 1929 It would be used by the resurrected O.T. "princes” Abraham…
Since 1884 there have been only six Presidents:William Henry 1881 December, 1884ConleyCharles Taze 1884 October 31, 1916RussellJoseph Franklin 1917 January 8, 1942RutherfordNathan Homer 1942 June 8, 1977KnorrFrederick 1977 December 22, 1992William FranzMilton George 1992 October 7, 2000HenschelDon Alden 2000 incumbentAdams
“Jehovahs Living Organization.” “ Obedience - This is the basic formula upon which the organization rests and operates” Watchtower 1967 June 1 p.335 Move Ahead with Jehovahs OrganizationNo PastorsVoluntaryAppointed
The Jehovah’s Witnesses DO NOT believe: in the Doctrine of the Trinity. in Christ as God , but rather the First Created being who before his human birth was the Archangel Michael in Christ crucified on a cross, but rather on a stake in the bodily resurrection of Christ. He rose with an invisible body in of person of the Holy Spirit. He is seen as a “force” not an person of the Trinity. In Hell and eternal punishment.
What Do They NOT Believe? No celebrating Christmas No celebrating Easter No celebrating birthdays No celebrating Mother’s Day No saluting of the national flag No service in the army No blood transfusions
Salvation: Salvation requires "taking in knowledge" of God and Jesus Christ , repentance of sins, acceptance of Jesus, and obeying the teachings of the Christ as stated in the Bible and interpreted by Jehovah’s Witnesses. Good works play a very important role. “It is for the reward of eternal life that every last person on earth should be working for” (Watchtower 15 Oct 1972, p. 492). “Jehovah God will justify, declare righteous, on the basis of their own merit all perfected humans who have withstood that final, decisive test of mankind [the release of Satan from bondage after the 1,000-year reign of Christ]” (Life Everlasting-In Freedom of the Sons of God , 1966, p. 400). They believe that salvation is impossible outside of the Watchtower.
The Best 144,000 Christians & Jehovah’s Witnesses Go to Heaven
What Do They Believe? 1874 1000 year reign of Christ (millennium) to begins Invisible return of Christ (second presence) 1914, JESUS RETURNED INVISIBLY. Jesus has full control. Gentile governments overthrown. World-wide anarchy. Full establishment of invisible Kingdom God in the Earth. Gods Kingdom replaces mans governments. 1918 God will destroy the "churches wholesale" and "church members by millions“ 1920 will bring "world-wide all embracing anarchy 1925 will bring the resurrection of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and other Patriarchs 1940 was to be "the most important year yet" because Armageddon was very near 1975 End of the World. 1000 year reign of Christ (millennium) begins
History of Eschatological Doctrine Last Days Christs Christ Resurrection Judgment of Great Begin Return as King of 144,000 Religion Tribulation 1914, 1915,1879–1920 1918, 1920 18781920–1925 1925 1799 18741925–1927 1878 18781927–1930 1914 within generation of1930–1933 19141933–1966 19181966–1975 1975? 1919 within1975–1995 generation Invisible return of of 1914 Christ and beginning of1995-present millennium imminent
All of those on the cover are dead“this generation will by no means pass away”
“In view of the short time left, a decision to pursue acareer in this system of things is not only unwise but extremelydangerous… Many young brothers and sisters were offeredscholarships or employment that promised fine pay. However,they turned them down and put spiritual interests first.“Kingdom Ministry; June 1969, p. 3Do not pursue higher education. There is very little time left! Makepioneer service, the full-time ministry with the possibility of Bethel ormissionary service, your goal. Watchtower 15th March 1969 p171No Jehovahs Witness should want to go to college. Rather, work inthe Watchtower Organization! Watchtower 1st September 1975 p543
Courageous souls Active Proclaimers (“Publishers) Conservative standards Expanded our Civil Rights“ Their door-to-door message may be annoying but theiruncompromising faith hasn’t hurt our freedom. In some surprisingways, it’s actually helped define it.”Joel P. Engardio, filmmaker of “Knocking” about the JW
When they locked up the social democrats,I remained silent;I was not a social democrat.When they came for the Jehovah Witnesses,I did not speak out;I was not a (Jehovah Witness)*When they came for the Jews,I remained silent;I wasnt a Jew.When they came for me,there was no one left to speak out. Martin Niemöller*(Jehovah Witness) – my insertion