To the reader:
A. H. Macmillan is known to Jehovah's witnesses all over the
world. His long and prominent association with the Watch Tower Bible and
Tract Society and his faithful record of service as a Christian minister
have endeared him to his many friends.
Toward the end of 1955 Mr. Macmillan asked permission to use the
Society's files to write an account of his experiences in the ministry.
Since he is a trusted member of the headquarters staff, he was granted
permission. A few months ago he informed me the work was finished, and at
his request I agreed to read the manuscript for technical accuracy. I soon
found myself engrossed in the story which the account of his life and
association with Jehovah's witnesses had produced.
This book is more than the story of one man's growing faith. I believe
Mr. Macmillan has made a sincere effort to capture and portray the very
essence of the religion that he acknowledges has given meaning to his life.
He reveals Jehovah's witnesses as human. He admits their mistakes and
explains why no human organization can be infallible. At the same time he
reveals their hopes, and presents sound Scriptural reasons for the appeal
of these hopes to all kinds of men.
The book is a straightforward and truthful account. It is unique only in
the personal experiences of A. H. Macmillan. In many other respects it
could be the story of any one of hundreds of Jehovah's witnesses whom I
N. H. KNORR,
President, Watch Tower Bible
and Tract Society of Pennsylvania
Brooklyn, New York
"CALLED OUT OF DARKNESS"
CHAPTER 1. A TURNING-POINT
I AM A WHITE-HAIRED OLD MAN, in my
eightieth year of life, as I begin to
tell you these facts. For nigh onto sixty years I have been associated with
a movement that today is commanding world attention on a widening scale. It
is a religious movement that has seemed new and recent to millions of
people, a movement that has been fought tooth, tongue and pen by the
dominant religions of this world, a movement that has been misrepresented,
persecuted, cursed and damned, prayed against to the God of heaven, and
subjected to mobbing, bans, confiscation and proscriptions, driven
underground by Nazi, Fascist and Communist dictators, all this under the
influence of religious leaders, all of them together up in arms against
this lone movement. I know. I have gone through enough of it along with
this movement to know whereof I speak and write. I myself have spent nine
long months in prison for my faith before I was released with my
fellow-sufferers and then
CALLED OUT OF DARKNESS
cleared of all the untrue charges that put us behind bars. Since then I
have talked to hundreds of young men likewise put behind bars for their
faith. In the course of the years I have traveled through many countries,
including Palestine where Jesus and the apostles preached the same message;
talked to hundreds of thousands of people from the public platform,
frequently through the aid of an interpreter, yes, and from house to house
as the apostles did; and at present it is my privilege to address untold
numbers by the modern means of radio over a pioneer station in New York
City, answering people's questions, giving them Bible counsel delivered
straight from the shoulder. From the horse-and-buggy days, when as a young
lad I learned to handle an ox-cart, I have lived down through the years
into this age of jet- propulsion and thermonuclear explosives, through two
world wars into the most terrifying situation of all human history. But I'm
not afraid, for being with this religious movement has made me fearless of
the future. I'm not afraid of what is ahead of the human race in the
purposes of the great Creator, even though come, as it must, the worst time
of trouble that mankind has ever experienced. To know a movement you've got
to live with it, even be an official in it, as I have been. Besides that, I
have lived through to the end of two presidencies of the religious society
that governs this movement, and I'm now living under the presidency of the
third man in that office in the Society. I've seen things grow, I've seen
the understanding of things clear up, I've gone through the ups and downs
of this religious movement. Yet I am holding on, and that with more zest
than ever before. More than ever I am convinced that it is right, that it
has the truth, that it is giving a right lead to all the people of good
will throughout the earth. Why?
I FOUND A FA1TH
Have you ever wondered whether you had the right religion and have you
tried to find the right one, to find the truth that solved your questions
about God and his purposes toward mankind? I have, and I know what a battle
it means. But it's worth the battle. Today people are feeling after
religion, because life without the truth about God and man does not
satisfy. These people fumbling about don't know where this world is going.
Once I, too, did not know. I did not know where I myself was going. As a
lad in my teens, I was just an ordinary boy, with a desire for play and fun
that all of us enjoy. Still I had a deep feeling that I would like to know
more about God and why this earth was made and people put on it for such a
short time, only to die and go no one knows where, perhaps never to see
family or friends again. Asking questions on the subject from those who
were supposed to know the answers, I received little or no information. But
I kept on looking, believing that the answers must be somewhere to be
found. They are, for I have found what I was looking for. I was still a
young man. But that makes no difference. What I have found thousands of
people are still finding every year. And they are people just like you and
me, because they come from all nationalities, races, walks of life and are
of all ages. Truth is no respecter of persons. It attracts all kinds of
persons and those who are following it find themselves being drawn ever
closer together, away from a world that is showing a rapidly diminishing
regard for personal, or even national, integrity. Now I do know where I am
going. I am confident too that I know where the world is going. I have been
watching it travel that road for almost sixty years. A short space in the
span of history, you say? Perhaps, but these years are destiny-
CALLED OUT OF DARKNESS
shaping, never to be repeated. These are years that were longed for
centuries ago, years that were seen in prophetic vision, years that are
climaxing six thousand years of human history. Why am I so sure of that?
Because that is the message I have learned from the Bible and I have seen
it being fulfilled with my own eyes during the eighty years of my life.
From my first glimpse of the promises held out to sick and dying mankind my
hope in what that message of the Bible has revealed has not faded. Right
there I determined to find out more about what the Bible teaches so that I
might be able to help others like myself who are seeking knowledge about
the Almighty God, Jehovah, and his good purposes toward mankind.
THE FAITH OF MY FATHER TESTED
My first real opportunity came sooner than I had anticipated. After
about a year of study I was called home to see my father, who was
dangerously ill. Like many people he had always been a strong believer in
his religion. I wondered how he would react to my presentation of what I
had learned since I last saw him. It was so different from what he had
taught me. Being still a youth, I journeyed home to Canada with some
misgivings as to my ability to inform my father, for he was a well-educated
man. However, I determined to discuss my new-found beliefs with him if at
all possible, trusting the Lord to help me show him the things I had
learned about Jehovah's purpose to bless mankind. After arriving home, I
went to my father's bedside. I saw he was very weak and would not live much
longer. He was an old man, about the age I am now. As I approached the bed,
he held out his hand and, with a faint smile, he said: "Son, I'm glad you
came home to see me before I pass away. You were
the only one of my children that gave much evidence of deep interest in
religion, and I want to talk to you about the Bible. "I believe many more
people will be saved than my minister has led me to believe," he continued.
This surprised me somewhat because my father was a Calvinist and believed
in predestination. However, I was pleased that he should feel that way and
replied, "I agree with you, Father. I'm sure the Bible shows God is willing
that all men should be saved, and come to a knowledge of the truth, and if
any are lost, it is because they refuse to take the way he has opened up.
God did not predestinate that any individuals should be lost and tormented
forever, as many believe." As we went on with our talks I could see father
seemed no longer interested in what Calvin taught. Apparently he had been
reading and thinking very seriously about the Bible itself. He started
asking me questions about the new world mentioned in the Bible. Surprised
again, I asked what led him to that line of thinking and he replied:
"Before I became so ill I read a book issued by one of the Bible and tract
societies in the United States, and that answered many questions that have
bothered me." Then he told me the title of the book. You can imagine my
surprise and delight to find it was the same book 1 was studying and from
which I had already received so much comfort and satisfying knowledge. This
lively hope being kindled in my father seemed to rally him somewhat and for
the next few weeks we had many happy studies together. He would ask the
neighbors, who came to visit him, to join us in our studies, and those did.
The new world was generally our theme. I pointed out from the Bible that
the earth was created to be inhabited by perfect men and women who would
live forever in peace without anything to mar their complete happiness.
None of them had ever heard of such a possibility. But it sounded good to
HOPE OF A NEW LIFE
All who joined us in our studies said they believed the Bible was the
Word of God, and they would accept what was written there. Some of them had
read only a little in the Bible, and they soon learned that it contained
many things they had never realized. We read that the earth would become as
beautiful as the garden of Eden was when Adam and Eve were living in it as
their God-given estate. I was able to find for them where that was written
in the Bible. Naturally, what the condition of our health would be at that
time came up for discussion. I assured them, one of the prophets had said
that in that new system of things to be established after Armageddon no one
would say he was sick. Furthermore, it had been revealed to the apostle
John that there would be no more crying or pain — not even any more
death! My father, who was suffering much physical pain, said: "How I wish
that time were here now!" And all agreed with him, for they were thinking
of their own loved ones, many of whom were no longer with them. Then I read
an excerpt from our Bible-study aid that brought tears of joy to my
father's eyes: 
The human race are God's children by creation — the work of his
hands — and his purpose with reference to them is clearly revealed
in his Word. Our Lord, and all the prophets since the world began,
declare that the human race is to be restored to that glorious perfection
This is the portion God has arranged to give to the human race. And
what a glorious portion! Forget for a moment the misery and woe,
degradation and sorrow that still prevail on account of sin, and picture
before your mental vision the glory of the perfect earth....There
sickness shall be no more; not an ache nor a pain — not even the
fear of such things. Think of all the pictures of comparative health and
beauty of human form and feature that you have ever seen,
and know that perfect humanity will be of still surpassing loveliness..
The inward purity and mental and moral perfection will stamp and glorify
every radiant countenance. Such will earth's society be; and weeping
bereaved ones will have their tears wiped away, when Christ's kingdom
work is completed.
HOPE FOR THE DEAD
Of course this brought up a number of questions, some of which may be in
your own mind. One was, what hope can we have in that new world if we die
before that happy time arrives? This I could answer through the clear-cut
promise of the resurrection. Then my father asked me the direct question:
"Son, will I be lonesome in the grave while I am waiting for the kingdom to
begin its work of filling the earth with perfection? " That was a question
a young man could not readily answer to the satisfaction of an older person
who had never thought along that line. In reply I asked him: "Father, did
you sleep well last night?" He answered, "Yes, my son, I did after the
doctor gave me some sleeping pills." "Were you lonesome while you were
asleep?" "No, I was not. I wish I could sleep all the time, for then I feel
no pain." Then I remembered something I had read about Job, who was
suffering much bodily pain after he lost everything he had including his
family. I read to my father what Job had said: 
"Oh that thou wouldest hide me in Sheol [the grave], . . .until thy
wrath be past, . . . Thou wouldest call, and I would answer thee." . . .
"There the wicked cease from troubling;
And there the weary are at rest. There the prisoners are at ease
together; They hear not the voice of the taskmaster. The small and the
great are there: And the servant is free from his master." "So you see,
father," I explained, "the dead are in a death sleep and know nothing while
in that condition, so how could they be lonesome? Too, the Bible says 'the
dead know not anything.' When you fall asleep in death no one will bother
you; you will have no pain either. When God's proper time comes and Jesus
calls you, then you will come to life in a world where there will be no
pain, sorrow or death." As my father breathed his last I read to him the
heart cheering words of the twenty-first chapter of Revelation: "Behold, the
tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall
be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And
God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more
death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain:
for the former things are passed away." Yes, my father died with a glorious
hope and I know the sting of death was relieved by that hope. That same
hope, as outlined in God's Word, has been mine for over half a century. It
has brought me peace of mind and joy of heart. It has sustained me through
many dark hours. It has taught me a reverential fear of my God and a deep
and sincere love for my fellow man. It has brought to me a new way of
CIVILIZATION'S SHAKY FOUNDATION
I do not need to tell you that mankind are enjoying many comforts and
pleasures in this life, yet still there is great fear as to what the future
holds for this generation. You know the nations are armed to the teeth with
the most deadly weapons
ever invented or constructed. Those who should know tell us bombs are
now made that could destroy a good-sized city in a few moments. They also
tell us that deadly guided missiles carrying atomic warheads can be
accurately delivered to distant targets in a matter of minutes. They
further claim that other death-dealing weapons exist that are too terrible
to talk about. Even limited tests are restricted for fear of the results.
Some believe that the Communists are determined to destroy every nation on
earth that will not come around to their terms or surrender to their way of
life, which is slavery for the many, and all the luxuries of the land for a
few ruthless rulers or dictators. The "free nations," at the risk of
bankrupting their own economy, are spending billions of dollars to aid
others remain "free." But even if compromises are achieved, even if the
policy of co-existence is developed to where it seems workable, is there
not only one inevitable outcome? On what kind of foundation do you think
modern security rests? Can you truly be happy at prospects of our future,
with the nations sitting on stockpiles of thermonuclear explosives? With
fear, hatred and suspicion sitting at the conference table, with distrust
and deceit undermining even hard-won peace negotiations and efforts at
disarmament, how small a spark would be needed to set the world aflame? Is
the destiny of modern civilization dependent solely on the volatile
emotions of selfish, greedy and unscrupulous dictators who loudly hold
forth the palm of peace while only partially concealing the strong arm of
fission-fusion might? What is your honest opinion of world conditions?
Beware of shrugging it off with a noncommittal air of, "Oh well, we have
survived in the past, we'll find a way out." Is there any evidence
whatsoever that the direction of the world has radically changed in the
relation of man to man, nation to nation? Does the history of the world
— even of the last few decades —
reveal we have found a safer, saner approach to solving international
controversies? How far must we go before we have reached "the end"? Those
who turn to the Bible learn that everything we now experience was foretold
by the prophets of old, who spoke under divine inspiration. Why do the
clergymen of Christendom remain silent? Why do they say nothing about the
threatened end of this system of things or about the blessings of the new
world, which are certain to follow the battle of the great day of God
Almighty so near at hand? It is only by such a war as Armageddon, fought by
Jehovah God and his invisible forces, that the earth can be cleansed of all
unrighteousness and the way opened for lasting peace on earth. Consider the
evidences for yourself. The Bible was written by men like us, men from all
walks of life, but men whose faith surpassed all fear of man. You can read
the Bible and understand it, too.
WHY MY FAITH ABIDES
When I first began to look for these answers they were not nearly so
apparent as they now are. In fact, the evidences we now accept as everyday
occurrences did not even exist. They were at that time only prophecies of
the Bible that were being interpreted in many different ways by different
groups. But one group of earnest Bible students presented matters in a way
that made sense to me. Now I see my confidence was well grounded. You ask
me why I am still an active part of that movement, why my zeal is keener
and my conviction stronger than ever? I'll tell you. It's because I've
lived to realize already much of the hope that so filled my young life.
It's because I've lived to see prophecies of the Bible which we held dear
and sacred — yet which were mocked and scorned by unbelievers —
come true. It's because I've lived to see this same movement hunted and
persecuted by those who claimed to serve God until it lay beaten in death
— only to survive and come to rebirth in a new way of life,
reorganized for an even more powerful work, yet dedicated to the same
standards of righteousness which have characterized its operation from the
beginning. I have seen this movement hold fast to those standards, refusing
to compromise them for the sake of expediency. I have seen ambitious men
rise up within the organization and seek to pervert it, only to meet with
complete defeat because the majority of those associated with this movement
are unalterably dedicated to serve God, not man. I have found
companionship, yes, real brotherhood, with people of all races and nations.
These are the things I have desired from my youth. Can you tell me why a
man who — not once, but many times — has seen things come into
existence that he was told he would see; why a man who has watched the
outworking of God's foretold purpose and the fulfillment of prophecies;
— can you, I ask, tell me why such a man should not have faith? My
faith is stronger each day. And having seen so much come true already I am
more and more confident that those things for which I still hope will some
day be realized as well.
FACING THE FUTURE WITHOUT FEAR
I am most thankful to share with you this message of hope that is now
being preached in many lands throughout the earth. Because they see that
this old system of things is doomed, hundreds of thousands of people are
grasping and devouring the knowledge now available on the subject. This
hope is tangible, reasonable and real. Men and women on this earth, even
with many troubles, do not want to grow old and die.
is not surprising, for man was created to live on this earth and he
enjoys himself when he has a reasonable amount of the blessings now
possible to obtain. To every thoughtful person it is apparent that mankind
has reached a turning-point in history. A day of judgment is upon us. Even
Satan the Devil himself knows that but a short time remains in which the
human race, yes, this generation, must decide the greatest issue ever put
before mankind. The issue is this: Will you continue to support and bear up
a system of things that has filled the earth with suffering, sorrow, sin
and death? Or will you choose, and fit yourself for God's love filled new
world? Running with the world means, in the near future, eternal death.
Walking with God and the New World society and devoting yourself to the
principles of the new world will mean peace, happiness and real freedom
with an endless life in perfection on a paradise earth. Everywhere people
are rallying to this hope. My personal experience may help you. With you I
hope I can live through the fast-approaching world catastrophe, the most
appalling in all universal history, and then enter alive into the new world
that Almighty God in his love has promised to establish for all those who
seek to know him and to love and serve him. So now let me get along with my
story, setting out the facts and experiences of my personal history that
have some importance, some bearing on the big, decisive issues that face
you and me.
CHAPTER 2. BEGINNING A NEW WAY
WHEN YOU CHANGE OVER the pattern of your thinking it means changing your
way of life, yet the apostle Paul said that for Christians it is necessary
to:  "Quit being fashioned after this system
of things, but be transformed by making your mind over, that you may prove
to yourselves the good and acceptable and complete will of God. "That is
the battle that goes with finding the right religion.
It was this interest in solving the questions about God, interest in him
as a personality who loves, thinks — even hates — that led to
the understanding of God's will now being proclaimed world-wide by
Jehovah's witnesses. Religions for centuries had been placing emphasis on
man and his salvation or damnation, with little regard to the name of the
God responsible for these destinies. All concepts of God were fashioned,
not particularly from the Bible, but from man's interest in himself.
For centuries men had depended on the religious clergy to attend to the
matter of salvation. If the layman concerned him-
self with the Bible, it was viewed almost as heresy; he was a doubter.
This made salvation dependent upon men. Eventually some rebelled. They
wanted to show that men had nothing to do with the salvation of others. So
they said Almighty God had fixed their destinies before he ever created one
of the human family. Each man was predestined before birth to a heaven of
bliss or a hell of fiery torment. Another reformer said, "This conception
of God is my conception of the Devil. If a man is not saved it's his own
fault, because God has made all arrangements for him to obtain salvation,
but mankind will not accept it." This puts God in competition with the
Devil and robs God of his power because it looks like the Devil is getting
more converts. If we are to obtain the Scriptural perspective of God's way
of salvation, then we must realize that a period of readjustment is
necessary. Throughout this time of revaluation we will be faced with many
mental and spiritual pitfalls. Some may seem small and insignificant, but
to survive them we must completely subordinate our personal preferences. To
rely on Jehovah's direction is the way of wisdom. 
SEEKING GOD'S WILL
Sometimes small happenings can affect one's entire life for good or for
bad and can extend even into the lives of others to change their course.
Some have said that just such a chain of reactions was set in motion when,
about 1870, a young man (whose life, later, had considerable influence on
my own), upon hearing religious singing in a little dingy hall on one of
the dark streets of Allegheny, Pennsylvania, turned aside and walked in.
While in many respects this young man was quite like most boys of his age,
in other ways he was unusual indeed. Born of Scottish-Irish parents
February 16, 1852, he had been brought
up in the Calvinistic doctrine to believe that men before birth were
selected or predestinated by God to spend eternity either in the joys of
heaven or in the torments of hell. This did not seem reasonable to his
inquiring mind; so at an early age he had begun searching for the truth.
From earliest youth he had been extremely devoted to the service of God. In
fact, his mother had dedicated him to the work of the Lord when he was
born. So he was a serious minded young man; he wanted to serve Jehovah God
to the best of his ability. But when still a lad he had become so concerned
about the doctrine of immortality of the soul and eternal torment that he
could not rest. He was completely unsettled in mind. "That's not
reasonable," he would insist; "that's not God-like. It just can't be true."
However, with nothing else to take its place, at the age of fourteen he
would go out Saturday nights to where men gathered on Sundays to loaf, and
would write Bible texts on the sidewalk with colored chalk. In this way he
had hoped to attract their attention, so that they might accept Christ and
avoid being lost and going to eternal torment. At this early age his
boundless energy was demonstrated in his eagerness to advertise God's will
for man as he saw it. All the time he wanted to be doing something. Finally
he left the Presbyterian Church because its teaching on doctrine was too
narrow; he joined the Congregational Church, which he found more liberal.
He had become particularly interested in the Y.M.C.A. "There's the place I
can work with other young men," he reasoned. He had never wanted to sit
around the church looking pious or just listening to singing and someone
preaching on matters that were unreasonable, horrifying and unlike a God of
love. He wanted to be active — trying to save men from going to
eternal damnation. So he had worked and studied, continuing to search for
TRADITIONALISM ENCOURAGES INFIDELITY
He had examined all the different creeds — read up on what they
generally taught. He had found disappointment in all of them. All this
while he was trying to find something that would blend the obvious
attributes of the Most High God, his love, justice, wisdom and power. He
reasoned simply that if a theory or a doctrine does not square with those
four attributes it must be wrong and any approach to Bible study must keep
those four basic principles in mind. Any doctrine that violates any one of
the attributes of God or which raises contradictions among them could not
originate with God because he does not deny himself. In discouragement he
finally turned to an investigation of the claims of the leading Oriental
religions, all of which he found to be unworthy of credence; hence we see
him arriving at manhood's estate with a mind unsatisfied, a mind which,
despite all efforts to the contrary, was still subject to its occasional
bad hours on account of its "first impression" on the eternal torment
theory. "What is left to believe?" he finally asked himself. "If all the
different religions that I have investigated can't present a clear and
understandable picture of the Bible, then the Bible itself must be
unreliable, so why believe it?" Like many serious thinkers before and
since, finding the traditional teachings of religious Christendom
untenable, he was falling an easy prey to the logic of infidelity. At the
age of seventeen, then, this had become his conclusion: "Now my father is
in business here in Pittsburgh and is doing quite well. There is no use in
my trying to find out anything reasonable about the future from any of the
creeds or even from the Bible, so I'm just going to forget the whole thing
and give all my attention to business. If I make some money I can use that
to help suffering humanity, even though I cannot do them any good
With that in mind he had thrown all of his dynamic force and personality
into his father's business and it had really begun to prosper. He and his
father had developed the idea of a chain of stores in several communities
and soon had expanded their one store in Allegheny into additional
establishments there and in adjacent cities. Seemingly he was well on the
way to realizing his ambition to organize a corporation that would operate
all over the United States. It was while he was in this frame of mind that
something happened — the chance encounter that seemed to alter the
pattern of his entire life.
THE BIBLE STRENGTHENS WAVERING FAITH
On this evening about 1,870 he had been walking along one of the dark
streets in Allegheny when he heard singing. He paused for a moment. Being
young, he had an insatiable thirst for knowledge. As a reverential lad, he
still had a desire for faith in the Supreme Being. He had heard that
religious services were conducted here, so he asked himself, "Is it
possible that the handful of people who meet here have something more
sensible to offer than the creeds of the great churches?" He turned,
entered the dusty little mission, and sat down to listen to the sermon. The
preacher was Jonas Wendell. His exposition of the Scriptures was not too
clear; many questions were left unanswered. But one thing was certain: this
youth's wavering faith in the inspiration of the Bible was immeasurably
strengthened; he was now convinced from what he had heard that the records
of the apostles and prophets are indissolubly linked. Here was something
upbuilding, something sensible to a sensitive and inquiring young mind. A
renewed determination to continue his search for the truth opened a new
chapter in this young man's life. Taking down his already well-worn Bible,
he began a careful and systematic study of the Bible itself. As he read he
thought, and the more he pondered the more convinced he became that the
time was drawing near for the wise watching ones of the Lord's children to
get a clear picture of God's purposes.
Fired now with real enthusiasm, he approached several young men with
whom he had been associating, some in a business way and others socially.
He told them of his rekindled interest, of his purpose to continue his
direct study of the Bible without any consideration of established creeds.
Immediately recognizing the possibilities, they said, "Well, suppose we get
together and study in a systematic way during certain hours each week." So
it started. This young man, who at eighteen years of age organized this
little Bible class, was to become one of the best-known Bible students of
his generation. He was to become one of the best-loved and the most hated
— one of the most praised and most maligned men in modern religious
history. That was Charles Taze Russell, later globally known as Pastor
JESUS RANSOM REVEALS GOD'S ATTRIBUTES
The study method these young men adopted was simple but effective and
has set the pattern for Bible study of Jehovah's witnesses ever since. It
was based on the method used by the Christians of the first
century. Someone would raise a question.
They would discuss it. They would look up all related scriptures on the
point and then, when they were satisfied on the harmony of these texts,
they would finally state their conclusion and make a record of it.
Their findings did not come all at once. They soon learned that the
Bible clearly taught that the soul is not immortal and that when a person
dies he is actually dead, unconscious, and
that the wages of sin is death. This was
certainly a departure from the spiritual fare they had been receiving
through the creeds based on tradition. It enabled them to discern answers
to questions they never could have understood otherwise.
They learned that God had not created man to die. The father of the
human race, Adam, had been created perfect and had been given a perfect
wife; had been placed in a perfect home under perfect conditions and had
been advised that obedience to the divine law would enable him to maintain
this way of life in perfection. The
Scriptures revealed to them that Adam violated the law of God and was
sentenced to death and was driven out of his perfect home to eke out a bare
existence in the unfinished earth until death overtook him. While he was undergoing this sentence Adam, for the
first time, exercised his power and authority to reproduce; and under the law of heredity his children were born
under the condemnation of death and without the right to life. Being unconscious in death, they were without hope
unless some provision should be made to restore them to life.
Although this early period of study revealed only the general outlines
of God's purposes, it was a profitable time of unlearning many
long-cherished errors as well. For instance, in considering man's hope of
restoration to life they asked themselves, What did Adam really lose? Did
he lose a chance to go to heaven? — as they all had been taught to
believe. No, they discovered. After careful study of the inspired Record
they summed up Adam's loss in these three things: First, he lost fellowship
with God; second, his beautiful home in Eden — he was forced out;
third, he lost life and his right to it, for he was told that he would have
to struggle in the sweat of his face until he returned to the ground from
which he was taken. That means that he would die in the effort to keep
alive. This added new meaning to Jesus' words, "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save
that which was lost. "Now how was this to be accomplished? They began to
that for Jesus to qualify as a redeemer he must at some time and under
some condition have an opportunity to buy back these three things that were
lost to the human race through Adam. Now, for the first time, they could
see God's attributes in true perspective! His justice required Adam's
execution for disobedience, yet his love was revealed in promising a ransom
for the obedient ones of Adam's children. His wisdom made it possible for
him to provide this means of restoring the way of life begun in Eden and
his almighty power made it certain to be carried out.
OBJECT AND MANNER OF CHRIST'S RETURN
After further study it became clear that Jesus left heaven as a spirit
creature, came to earth and became a perfect human being and had to do so
in order to become the redeemer. That meant
he was not part man and part God. Only by
becoming a man as Adam had been could Jesus satisfy the righteous
requirements of God's just law on the basis of an eye for an eye, a tooth
for a tooth and a life for a life. They
learned that when Jesus died as a ransom sacrifice he actually
died, but when Jehovah raised him from the
dead and he returned to heaven he was given the divine nature or
immortality, which he now has.
What a prospect this opened up to them! Now, they realized, when Jesus
comes again — and the Bible shows that he will — he is coming
as an exalted spirit creature to give to obedient humans the benefits
accruing from his sacrifice. That was their conclusion; their joy was
unbounded. Young Russell wrote of this joyful awakening in the words of the
disciples who encountered Jesus on their way to Emmaus after his
resurrection  "Did not our heart burn
within us, while he
talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?"
But how was Christ Jesus to come? It was during this same period of study,
from 1870 to 1876, that they came to recognize the difference between our
Lord as "the man who gave himself," and our Lord as he would return, in
spirit form. It had become clear to them that spirit creatures could be
present, yet invisible; so they could not accept the teachings of the
Second Adventists who expected Christ to return in the flesh. These groups
were making so many unscriptural predictions as to the object and manner of
the Lord's coming, and the things they expected were so fanciful, that they
brought great reproach not only on themselves but on all Bible students who
were earnestly watching for and proclaiming the coming Kingdom. Having an
unusually logical mind, young Russell would not jump to a conclusion,
merely accepting certain premises and theories advanced without foundation.
He must have Scriptural support and sound reason. That, of course, excluded
the Second Adventists' theories because many of them were unreasoning
extremists who believed that when Christ came he would burn up the earth
and all people on it except second Adventists. In a sincere effort to
counteract the harmful effect of their erroneous teachings, in 1873 Russell
wrote and published at his own personal expense a booklet, The Object and
Manner of Our Lord's Return. Thousands of copies were distributed.
THE PROPHECIES SHOW PRESENCE IMMINENT
However, the time features of the Lord's second coming were till
somewhat vague to these young Bible students. They realized it was to be
soon, but found it impossible to agree with current claims of chronology.
Strangely, it was in this
very connection that circumstances were again to alter Russell's course
and another seemingly insignificant occurrence was to revolutionize his
At the age of twenty-four, during the winter of 1875-76, Russell went to
Philadelphia. His purpose was to open up some men's furnishing stores there
and to buy some merchandise, since this was something of a wholesale center
at that time. Still fresh in his mind, also, were the many truths that had
been revealed to him, uppermost being that of the "restitution of mankind"
at the Lord's invisible presence.
One day in January he came to his office and saw a magazine lying on the
desk. It was the Herald of the Morning. Seeing by the picture on its cover
that it was connected with Adventism, he picked it up with some curiosity,
saying to himself, "I wonder what idea they have now about the Lord's
coming and what the new date is that they have set for the burning up of
He opened it and, much to his astonishment, observed the conclusion set
forth somewhat cautiously that the Lord was already present and that Jesus'
illustration of dividing the "wheat" and "tares" in judgment was already in progress.
Russell refused to allow his personal views to dissuade him from
investigating. Immediately he wrote to the editor, Nelson H. Barbour, at
Rochester, New York, where the magazine was published. He learned enough
about Barbour's time calculations to arouse his deep interest. Barbour told
him that a reader of Herald of the Morning who owned a new Bible
translation, The Emphatic Diaglott, had noticed a somewhat peculiar
variation in the rendering of Matthew 24: 3 (as well as verses 27, 37 and
39). Instead of "What shall be the sign of thy coming" (as in the common
version), this new translation read: "What will be the sign of thy
presence." Here was a new thought. Surely
if our Lord were to return invisibly to mankind he would give some
necessary evidence as to the time of his arrival. This was a reasonable
Still Russell wanted convincing proof, and since there were no books
explaining these points of chronology he sent at once to Rochester and paid
Barbour's expenses to Philadelphia. Here Barbour proceeded to set forth
enough proofs from Bible prophecies to convince Russell that the harvest
period had begun in 1874.
THE HARVEST MESSAGE BEGINS
Russell was a man of action as well as conviction, and he was fully
dedicated to the Lord. "Mr. Barbour," he said, "the Lord's time is here for
us to tell the people about this. The harvest is already two years under
way." "There's no use in doing anything any more," Barbour replied. "The
subscribers to the Herald of the Morning are discouraged because 1874 has
passed and the Lord didn't come. Some of them lived in 1844 with Miller and
the Lord didn't come then, and now they've become discouraged. The printing
outfit we have in Rochester is about worn out and we're just getting out
the Herald now and then when we can raise some money. Now there's no use
trying to revive it." Russell was not to be stopped so easily. "Mr.
Barbour," he said, "now is the time to get busy; we have something to tell
the people — something you never had before." "What do you mean?"
"We're going to tell them that the time for the harvest is here! We can now
carry the good tidings that Christ's kingdom is due to bring to mankind the
blessings he purchased for them on Calvary. We've preached restitution
before but we have never yet been able to point out that we are living when
those blessings are to be restored to mankind. This should be preached on a
That was Russell's enthusiastic response, and in the years that followed
his zeal never diminished.
PREACHING AND PUBLISHING
Immediately he set to work. He gave Barbour some money and authorized
him to return to Rochester to begin preparation of a book which they were
to co-author. He purposed to set forth for the first time in printed form a
Scriptural explanation of the blessings of the restitution combined with
the time prophecies of Christ's second presence. This book, The Three
Worlds, was published in 1877. Russell now determined to curtail his
business and spend his entire time traveling and preaching. It became clear
to him at once that, while public lectures aroused interest, something was
needed to hold and develop it. To accomplish this he determined to begin
active publication of a monthly journal. Although Barbour was acquainted
with printing and had been editor of the Herald for some years, he raised a
number of objections as to the advisability of reorganizing the printing
establishment. However, Russell had real enthusiasm for the work and
finally it was agreed for Barbour to buy new type and other printing
equipment, which Russell himself paid for. So publication of Herald of the
Morning was resumed, with Barbour as editor and Russell associate
MAINTAINING THE MIND OF THE LORD
Expecting the Lord Jesus to come in 1878 to catch them up miraculously
to be with him in heaven, some who had been Second Adventists (including
Barbour) were disappointed when that miracle did not occur. Russell,
though, "did not for a moment feel cast down," but "realized that what
had so plainly declared must some time have a fulfillment"; and he
"wanted to have it just in God's time and way." 
On one occasion while talking with Russell about the events of 1878, I
told him that Pittsburgh papers had reported he was on the Sixth Street
bridge dressed in a white robe on the night of the Memorial of Christ's
death, expecting to be taken to heaven together with many others. I asked
him, "Is that correct?"
Russell laughed heartily and said: "I was in bed that night between
10:30 and 11:00 P.M. However, some of the more radical ones might have been
there, but I was not. Neither did I expect to be taken to heaven at that
time, for I felt there was much work to be done preaching the Kingdom
message to the peoples of the earth before the church would be taken
It was right at the time of this disappointment, as Russell
shows, that a permanent breach began
between Barbour and Russell. Paul's words at I Corinthians 15:51, 52, were
being wrongly construed, Russell had pointed out. There, in Paul's
statement, "We shall not all sleep," the word sleep is
not synonymous with die, though some had so understood. Rather,
here sleep means state of unconsciousness of those who in
death must wait for Christ's second coming to awaken them out of such
sleep. Russell showed how Paul
clearly meant by his words that those alive on earth when Christ returned
would not need to go into such sleep of death to wait for a future
awakening, but at the instant of their death they then would be "changed"
or resurrected immediately, to be with Christ in heaven as spirit persons.
This harmonizes with Paul's words in this same chapter, verse 36: "That
which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die."
But Barbour rejected this simple explanation of Paul's words, feeling
that he had to "get up something new to divert attention from the failure
of the living saints to be caught away en masse." Soon afterward Barbour
wrote and published in the Herald
"that Christ's death was no more a settlement of the penalty of man's
sins than would the sticking of a pin through the body of a fly and causing
it suffering and death be considered by an earthly parent as a just
settlement for misdemeanor in his child." That denial by Barbour of the
basic Bible doctrine of the ransom value of Jesus' sacrifice came as a real
shock to Russell. Russell, who now had been regularly contributing to the
Herald, immediately wrote and published a powerful defense of the ransom.
Then, in the same journal, Barbour and a few supporters continued attacking
the ransom doctrine while Russell and others kept on upholding it. Herald
readers were confused; it also greatly disturbed Russell. To him the ransom
was the keystone, the great foundation of human hope. To attack it was to
shake the basis of God's provision for reconciling sinful man to himself.
However, Russell soon realized that continued wrangling would not settle
the problem. He determined, therefore, to withdraw his support from the
Herald, to which he himself had given new life in order to preach the good
tidings of the harvest work. But just to withdraw, he saw, would not be
sufficient. The ransom must be defended and the work of proclaiming our
Lord's return must be continued. In July, 1879 the first issue of Zion's
Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence was published by C. T. Russell.
In 1884 the nonprofit, charitable corporation was chartered that now is
known as Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. It has served
as the legal and business agent of Jehovah's witnesses ever since. From
these small beginnings a tremendous growth has resulted. The message
contained in The Watchtower has never halted. From a first distribution of
six thousand copies its circulation had grown by 1957 to more than three
million copies in forty-six languages. Its message of comfort and hope has
assisted an ever-growing host of supporters to change over
their thinking and to make straight paths for their feet. By 1957 the number of persons actively engaged in
preaching this good news of Jehovah's kingdom had expanded to well over six
hundred and fifty thousand.
WHAT BIBLE STUDY REVEALED
Now the issue begun in Eden is to be settled for all time. The good news
being preached holds out a prospect of endless life in a world of God's
making. You can be sure the way of life begun by God in Eden is not to be
lost to mankind. The disobedient act of Adam and Eve has not altered God's
purpose. What the first pair did in wrongfully eating of the tree was a
little thing, a small happening; but it changed the history of the world.
Their yielding to their own personal preference lost for themselves and for
their offspring the widest range of individual freedom. It was a corrupting
of their minds. Do you think if we persist
in their way that it will bring us closer to God? Truth is more important
than individuals. It is not a matter of adopting "the religion of your own
choice." That is what Adam and Eve did. It is a matter of finding and
holding to the one true religion that is God's choice for us.
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: . . . he
humbled himself, and became obedient unto death."
CHAPTER 3. "GOD'S WORD IS A FIRE"
NO DOUBT YOU have heard some religious observers of Jehovah's witnesses
deplore the lack of zeal in their own organizations. They say that if their
workers would go from house to house as Jehovah's witnesses do much could
be done to stimulate interest in their own way of life. But is a
doorbell-ringing campaign enough to inspire faith? A man is only as strong
physically as the food he eats. Spiritually, then, what gives Jehovah's
witnesses the vigor that sends them out to the homes of strangers?
Obviously it is their spiritual diet, the same food that invigorates those
whom they serve to join them in active worship. Throughout the centuries
Jehovah's witnesses have been impelled by the same active force of God.
That which moves them is the message they bear. If their belief were not of
sufficient vitality to make them
out:  "I planted, Apollos watered, but
God kept making it grow." This is the growth to which Jehovah's witnesses
accredit their increase.
THE IDENTIFYING TAG
Shortly after publication in 1886 of C. T. Russell's first Millennial
Dawn volume, The Plan of the Ages, a convention had been arranged for
Allegheny, Pennsylvania, on the occasion of the annual Memorial celebration
of Christ's death. In those early days at our conventions it was customary
to have a meeting at which different ones present would rise and give what
we called a testimony. On this particular occasion Russell himself had
charge of the meeting and was encouraging new ones from other cities
present to join in the expressions. He was getting a ready enough response
from some of the regular attenders but none of the visiting friends were
inclined to volunteer, and yet there were a number of new ones present.
After the meeting had been in progress for some time an elderly man poked
his head in the doorway at the rear of the hall, looked around, then
straightened up and walked in. Although there were still a few seats at the
rear, he struck out for the front row and that's where he sat down. Russell
looked at him. He bore unmistakable marks of a traveler who had come from
some distance. His clothes were quite dusty and with him he had a small
package of personal belongings that he deposited carefully under his seat.
For a while he sat quietly, listening to the various testimonies. Then
finally he got up. The chairman wondered, "Now what is he going to say?"
But having called for comments from visitors, he thought,
"Well, this is the Lord's meeting, so we'll give him a chance." He did
not have long to wait. "Well, I'm here! " the stranger began. That brought
a laugh. The fact was obvious; but the old fellow wanted everyone to
realize he was glad to be there. "Now I'm not going to say much," he
continued, "but I just arrived in town. I came down from New England and I
had to change trains up the road here a piece. I had about an hour, so I
thought I'd hand out a few tracts to the people on the platform. I noticed
some men standing around a platform truck and they were all laughing; so I
walked over to them. " 'What's all the excitement?' I asked. "They pointed
to a goat in a crate on the truck. " 'What's wrong with the goat?' "
'Nothing. They just don't know where to send him, that's all.' " 'Well,
doesn't he have a tag on him?' " 'He had a tag when he started out; but he
got hungry and ate it up. Now they don't know what to do with him.' "Now,
folks," the old fellow continued to the audiences, "my name's George M.
Kellogg. I'm a deacon in the Presbyterian Church and now I'm like that
goat. I got a copy of this book and read it (here he drew out of his pocket
a copy of The Plan of the Ages, holding it up), and I'm like that goat. At
one time I had a tag but I ate it up and now I don't know where I belong;
so I came here because I want to find out." That was all it took to get
them started. Stirred by Kellogg's remarks many of the visitors stood up as
opportunity afforded and said they were in the same position. They were
Methodists, Baptists and Presbyterians, but their tags were gone too and
they would like to know where they belonged. Before the convention was over
they all found out and Kellogg, for one, lived for a number of years as a
faithful minister in Jehovah's service.
Like Charles Russell, my own association with the work began in my
youth, as I've already mentioned. I, too, was seeking a way to serve God in
an acceptable manner, and, though my first acquaintance with the doctrines
and work of Jehovah's Witnesses brought me much joy, it required a real
change-over in my thinking. I was born July 2, 1877, in Canada. Both my
parents were strict Presbyterians and active church members. However, I was
brought up in a Catholic community in Nova Scotia where there was no
Protestant church, just a Catholic church. We did have a hall in town where
we had Sunday school and prayer meetings, and that was the extent of our
religious activities. It was three or four miles out to the regular
Presbyterian church, and when we attended church that is where we would go.
As a youngster I did not study much about things of the Bible but I had a
reverential attitude toward church matters. I accepted what my father and
mother told me as true. My oldest brother was a skeptic and finally shocked
us boys greatly by admitting privately he was an agnostic. He said: "If
there is a God then he's something different from what the Calvinists say
he is. I don't believe what they teach about predestination. If God
assigned some humans to eternal torment and others to heavenly glory before
they were born, where is there any justice? Then they tell us those in
heaven sing God's praises and that's why he takes them there —
because he enjoys that. But they also say those in hell-fire are there
because it's God's pleasure. All I can say is he must enjoy the groans of
those suffering in hell more than he enjoys the singing of those in heaven
because he is taking only a little flock to heaven but they claim he has
sent billions to hell I can't believe in such a God." That horrified
A FAMILY TRAGEDY
I never became active about my religion until a real tragedy occurred in
our family. One winter when I was about thirteen my younger sister and I
were out on a Saturday with our hand sleds, coasting. We got overheated.
The next morning my little sister came down with diphtheria. They called it
membranous croup. Monday evening she was dead. This came as a great shock
to me. I said, "Life is short and uncertain. If what we do here has any
bearing on what we will be hereafter, then we would be very foolish if we
didn't devote our time to serving the Lord now with the hope of having
something better throughout eternity. As for me, I'm going to take my stand
and do what I think will be pleasing to the Lord." In our town here were
only a few Protestant boys and they did not understand why I got so
religious all at once. Nevertheless, I held on and did the best I could to
serve the Lord as we understood it in my church.
When I reached the age of sixteen I decided to be a preacher. I went
away to school some distance from home, preparatory to attending a
theological seminary. For some reason not clear to me now I suffered a
nervous breakdown and had to quit. I came home discouraged and almost
brokenhearted, not knowing what to do. However, my father was very
considerate and kind and did not reprimand me in any way but offered to do
anything he could for me. I obtained some money from him and went away to
Boston, Massachusetts. Alone in that large city, I was uncertain indeed as
future. But I intended to look around to see what I could find in the
way of a religious life. I had not been there long until Dwight L. Moody
and his associates Ira David Sankey, Francis Murphy and Sam Jones came to
town to hold a revival. For about two weeks Moody spoke twice a day in the
Tremont Temple and it was a truly exciting experience to me to see such
large crowds coming to church. Their idea was to "surrender yourself to
God" and be saved by his grace. How well I remember the turmoil in my young
mind as I tried seriously to consider all of the consequences of such a
responsible act. One night I lay awake until after midnight, tossing and
turning, trying to tear my mind free of the prospect of all the natural
pleasures of life. I was by nature a happy sort of person, and laughter and
joking were as much a part of me as breathing. Would I have to give up
these things, I thought? Religion and a religious life had always been
painted to me as one of austerity, with a long-faced pious attitude that
would not tolerate much levity. I was told Jesus never laughed, but he
often wept. Still I knew that I could not be truly happy unless I could be
serving God in some way. That night is as clear in my mind as if it were
yesterday. Finally I made up my mind. I got down on my knees and
"surrendered" myself to God. I know now that was one of the most important
acts of my life and since then I have never had cause to regret it. I did
not experience a great flash of light coming on me but I know that from
that night forward I have grown steadily in understanding and appreciation
of what it means to serve God. I have learned, too, that my previous
notions as to what it meant to be "serious" about religion were all wrong.
I have never lost my sense of humor. I made up my mind then, saying, "Now I
know definitely what I'm going to do. I'm going to be a missionary of some
kind if I can't become a regular minister." So I planned to go
to the Moody School at Northfield, Massachusetts, and study to be a
THE MESSAGE UNFOLDS
Not long after this and before I could make arrangements to attend the
Moody School, I was discussing religion with some of the men in the
commission house where we were working. A middle-aged man came in, listened
to us a minute, and then joined in the conversation. I could see that he
knew more than I did about the Bible, so I inquired where he got his
information. He invited me to come to a meeting at No. 4 Park Square in
Boston, at 3:30 P.M. the next Sunday. I accepted. The speaker at that
meeting, Alexander M. Graham, was giving a talk on the progressive ages of
man's history in his relation to God. I could not follow him too well
because the material was new to me. He talked fast and I did not have time
to consider the meaning of all the figures, lines and curves on the chart
he was using to illustrate his talk. However, I enjoyed the meeting; but,
more important, there I obtained the first Millennial Dawn book, The Plan
of the Ages. That very night I began to read. The first chapter quoted
Psalm 30:5 — "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the
morning." The writer (whose identity was unknown to me at the time, for the
book did not contain his name) described briefly the sufferings of humanity
for the past six thousand years; he pointed to the morning of a new day at
hand. "Well, that sounds like the truth!" I thought. "That's reasonable;
that's what I want; that's Godlike. This will answer my questions as to
man's destiny and God's purpose for man's being on earth." In the next
chapter proof was submitted that there is a God; another viewed the Bible
as a divine revelation in the light of
reason. Next, epochs or dispensations of the world's history were
explained and the main outlines of the "three worlds" given.
Chapter 5, entitled "The Hidden Mystery," cleared up a question I had
never been able to understand: Why are efforts of the church to convert the
world making so little progress? The matter of man's salvation was of deep
concern to me. In chapter 8 this was explained. Centuries ago, as recorded
in the Bible, God had promised his faithful witness Abraham that he would
bless all the families of earth through Abraham's seed. But who was that Seed? I didn't know. Here it was
explained that Jesus Christ and his bride, the true church, was the
Seed. Furthermore, that Seed would not be
completed until all members of the true church had been gathered in the
final harvest. Since that harvest was still going on it was not yet time to
bring the promised blessings to the faithful ones of mankind.
"HIS WORD A BURNING FIRE"
Now it was clear to me why the world was not being converted, and what
else was necessary before mankind in general would be restored to a
peaceful way of life. I was so happy about this that I literally could not
contain myself. I would go out on the street and stop people to tell them
what I had learned. Today many, especially relatives and friends, cannot
understand why it is that, when one becomes really acquainted with the work
of Jehovah's witnesses and accepts Bible truths and begins to preach them,
he sometimes appears to be a little extreme at first. Perhaps that has been
your own experience with one of Jehovah's witnesses. Well, persons who are
happy about anything seldom are quiet about it. They generally are
very expressive, showing their joy. They want everyone else to share
So, when one really sees from the Bible the glorious picture of the
blessings God has promised obedient human beings during the thousand-year
reign of Jesus Christ just ahead, he does not want to keep it to himself.
He has to go out and tell others about it, especially those who are near
and dear to him It reminds me of what the prophet Jeremiah of old said when
he deliberately tried to keep quiet about the message he had been given to
proclaim, "His word was in mine heart as a
burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I
could not stay." That is exactly the way I felt when I learned about the
promised blessings for all families of earth through Abraham's seed.
One day, as I recall, I approached a stranger on the street. Without any
other greeting I asked him, "Do you know about the great promise God made
to Abraham, that through his seed all the families of the earth would be
blessed? " Looking at me in surprise, the man asked, "What Abraham are you
talking about? — the Abraham that has that pawn shop down on Salem
That was all the interest he had in my message. I'll never forget how
disappointed I was at his reaction. True, I still was quite young, but the
blessing of mankind was to me at that time the most important matter I
could think of. However, I was not discouraged by this man's seeming lack
of interest. I continued talking to anyone who would listen. Later, of
course, I learned a more tactful and less startling approach.
Then I almost lost all I had gained.
STUMBLED BY TRADITION
on a religious campaign. They were connected with the Moody School at
Northfield. Some of their talks were exposing teachings of the Unitarians.
The Unitarians did not believe that Jesus had a pre-human existence or that
he was the redeemer of mankind. To them he was just a remarkable man who
set a good example to be followed.
I had attended many of the campaign meetings held by those clergymen.
They were fluent speakers. They told many stories that were designed to
attract and interest the unlearned. I recall one of them said: "All of the
apostles called Jesus 'Lord' but Judas; he called him 'Rabbi.' . . . Oh
well," the speaker added, "Judas was a Unitarian and that's why he did
that." This had impressed my youthful mind because I certainly did not want
to be like Judas. These thoughts were still in my mind as I continued
reading my precious book, The Plan of the Ages.
I came to its chapter 10: "Spiritual and Human Natures Separate and
Distinct." There I read this statement: 
We are told that Jesus, before becoming a man (in his pre-human
existence), was "in a form of God" — a spiritual form, a spirit
being; but since to be a ransom for mankind, he must be a man, of the
same nature of the sinner whose substitute in death he was to become, it
was therefore necessary that his nature be changed; and Paul tells us
that he took not the nature of angels, one step lower than his own, but
came down two steps, and took the nature of men — he became a man;
he was "made flesh."
Jesus nothing more than a perfect man on earth? That statement left me
confused. I was greatly shocked. Violently I threw the book to the other
end of my room, saying to myself, "I'm certainly not going to be a
Unitarian, but the author of this book must be!"
"MADE IN THE LIKENESS OF MEN"
For a few moments I sat there in serious thought. I felt depressed, and
finally concluded, "I've lost something that was very precious and dear to
me. That book brought me more joy and peace and satisfaction than anything
I have come in contact with. Now why throw it away because of the one point
that I can't understand? Should I allow something that some men have said
prevent me from considering the evidences, at least? " (Of course I learned
later that C. T. Russell had no connection with the Unitarians.)
I walked across the room and took the book up from under the table where
I had thrown it, dusted it off and began to read it all over again. Then I
saw why Jesus had to become a man. It was in order to meet the terms of the
sentence God had pronounced against the perfect man Adam. The perfect Adam
had brought the curse of death upon all his offspring for any to be
redeemed it would require a perfect man's sacrifice. Jesus could accomplish
this only by becoming a man.
Now that was reasonable, I thought. Just assuming the form of a man
while retaining his spirit nature would not answer God's law of an eye for
an eye, a life for a life. Besides, if he were part God all this time, what
must he have been thinking for the nine months he was in Mary's womb, or
for the time he was growing from infancy to manhood? Certainly he was not
just acting a part all those years. That would have made him a hypocrite.
Yet if he were really God, then he must have been conscious of more than a
real child; otherwise God is no different from men.
Now I could see what Paul meant when he wrote that Jesus took upon him the form of a servant, and
was made in the likeness of men." Realizing, too, that there is a legal
basis for the hope God has given us, it makes even stronger our certainty
that the God who cannot deny himself will carry it out. The joy that this
understanding brought me has not diminish
with the passing years. From that day to this I have never had any
difficulty in understanding and appreciating any of the points of doctrine
that have been revealed relative to the redemptive work of Jesus, the
resurrection and the restoration of the way of life begun in Eden.
FIRE NOT LITERAL
At that time I was a member of the Tremont Temple in Boston and we had
there a Bible class of some two hundred young men and women. Many spent
more time socializing than they did in studying, but to me it was really an
opportunity to gain more knowledge of the Bible. One Sunday we were
considering the parable of the sheep and goats for our Sunday school
lesson. Mr. Jamison, a broker down on State Street, was leading the study.
He was talking about the goats' being cast off into the fire of eternal
torment as he summed up the lesson. When he had finished, I got up and
said, "Mr. Jamison, I would like to ask a question. If the goats and the
sheep in this parable are just symbols of human creatures, the sheep of
good people and the goats of wicked ones, then why do you say that the fire
is literal and that the goats are going to be tormented forever?" He turned
around to the class and shook his finger at me and said: "That young man by
that question has destroyed in this class all the good I've done teaching
during the whole quarter." That was an indication to stay away, and I did;
although there were a few who felt the question was a reasonable one and
wanted to discuss it with me further. From that time on I began to attend
meetings at the Park Square hall where I had obtained the book, The Plan of
the Ages. I continued to study there and to engage in the work that was
available to us at that time.
C. T. RUSSELL GREETS A YOUTH
Next summer saw the turn of the century and I met Pastor Russell. It was
at a convention in Philadelphia. June 17 was Bunker Hill day in
Massachusetts and, of course, a holiday. There were special train rates to
Philadelphia at that time because the Republican party was also holding a
convention there. That year they nominated William McKinley as president
and Theodore Roosevelt vice-president of the United States. So I took
advantage of the holiday and special rates and went to the Bible students'
convention sponsored by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. There, as
I now recall, Russell talked to the public on the subject, "Salvation from
what, to what?" The theme of his discourse was that men are not saved from
eternal torment, which does not exist. They are saved from eternal death to
everlasting life. After the talk I was delighted to meet the speaker. He
was an extremely kind man. I was just about the only young person there.
All others present seemed mature in years. His willingness to talk to me
impressed me greatly, because I knew of no man of his importance on the
public platform who would talk face to face with young people from his
audience after his lectures. I recall that in Boston Dwight L. Moody would
leave the hall immediately after his sermons and go to his hotel nearby.
Anyone who desired to ask questions would have to go to others of Moody's
party. But C. T. Russell always made himself personally available to anyone
who wished to talk to him.
INVITATION TO HEADQUARTERS
From that time I never missed any convention that was held in the East
or the Middle West. In September, 1900 after returning from Philadelphia to
Boston, I was baptized by total
immersion in water, the service being conducted by Hayden Samson, a
traveling representative of the Society. In July, 1901 I was ready to
realize my ambition to become a missionary and entered the full-time
ministry in Massachusetts. In September of that year we had a convention in
Cleveland and I attended. It was at this time that President McKinley was
assassinated at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, so there
was much excitement throughout the country. The convention at Cleveland
ended Sunday night and Russell invited me to make my home at the Watch
Tower Society's headquarters in Allegheny, though I was not a member of the
staff. When I went there to the Bible House (where the headquarters
"family" lived and worked) I was in my early twenties. C. T. Russell was
very kind to me. I had no home, both my parents having died; so he took me
under his wing and made me feel at home with the headquarters family. He
was thoughtful and considerate in every way, and as I would go out on a
trip or special assignment he always would say, "Brother, the door is open
for you when you return. This is your home." In October, 1902, I attended a
convention in Washington, D.C., where I was married. My wife and I then
spent a year in California, returning in 1904 to Allegheny. In 1905 I made
a nation-wide convention tour with Russell. It was on this trip that I met
J. F. Rutherford, whom I baptized in 1906 and who became the second
president of the Society. In 1909, due to expansion of the organization
world-wide, headquarters were moved from Allegheny to Brooklyn, New York.
There, at 13-17 Hicks Street, a mission annex of the Plymouth
Congregational Church, called "Plymouth Bethel" was purchased and new
operating offices of the Society were installed and a large auditorium
utilized for meetings. The building was called the "Brooklyn Tabernacle."
At the same time the former residence of the Plymouth church's famous
preacher, Henry Ward Beecher, was purchased
This was at 124 Columbia Heights. Here the headquarters family were
housed and the structure was named "Bethel" supplanting the term "Bible
House" used for the Society's building in Allegheny. International
headquarters of the Society and the headquarters family are still at this
address and, after all these years, I am still a happy member of that
DARKNESS LIGHTENING INTO DAY
As I consider the years that I have been associated with the
organization of Jehovah's witnesses I can appreciate more and more the
value of the path along which we have been led by Jehovah God. Until I
first began to study I had never been able to find any religious teaching
that answered all my questions. And yet the knowledge of God's Word that
was available to us at that time was so limited (compared with what we now
rejoice in) that it would be like coming out of the faint light of dawn
into the brightness of high noon. But the gradual growth in knowledge, as
well as in numbers of persons associating in the work, has strengthened and
developed the organization and brought it to maturity. C. T. Russell had no
idea of building a strongly knit organization. At that time we saw no need
for it. We expected 1914 would mark the end of this system of things on
earth. Our big concern at that time was to preach as effectively and
extensively as possible before that date arrived. In the meantime, we
thought, we must prepare ourselves individually to be ready to go to
heaven. Exactly what would occur in 1914 we did not then know, but of one
thing we were certain: The year 1914 would see the beginning of the worst
time of trouble the earth had yet known; for so many Bible prophecies
foretold that. Our faith was strong and our hopes were based on much more
than mere human speculation. Yet 1914 and the years that immediately
followed proved to be a time of severe testing for the developing New World
society. Had we realized then the trials we were still to face or the years
that were to elapse before our preaching commission was due to expire,
perhaps we would have entered the year with far more agitation of mind.
CHAPTER 4. END OF ALL KINGDOMS IN 1914
THE YEAR 1914 IS marked for all time to come. On our hope's horizon, for
months, yes, years, that date had loomed ahead of us. We had viewed it with
constantly increasing expectancy. So much was to be realized, yet so many
things were to be feared. Time prophecies of the Bible had been checked and
rechecked. We did not doubt them. Still, we knew this date would usher in
the worst time of trouble the world had yet known. Would we be able to
Opinions as to what, exactly, was to occur varied. Of course The Watch
Tower had stated the matter rather clearly, but at that time there was far
more independent thinking and private "interpretation" than the Scriptures
themselves allow for. This was one lesson we were yet to learn and our
experiences during this time of crisis did much to clear our thinking and
understanding as to what constitutes private interpretation. I certainly
have reason to recognize its dangers.
Ever since 1879 The Watch Tower had been calling attention
to the foretold end of the present systems as due to begin in 1914. But
while we were all looking forward to 1914 and the end of wickedness and
sorrow in the earth, many of us were thinking more of our own personal,
individual "change" than anything else. On August 23, 1914, as I well
recall, Pastor Russell started on a trip to the Northwest, down the Pacific
coast and over into the Southern states, and then ending at Saratoga
Springs, New York, where we held a convention September 27-30. That was a
highly interesting time because a few of us seriously thought we were going
to heaven during the first week of that October. At that Saratoga Springs
convention quite a number were in attendance. Wednesday (September 30) I
was invited to talk on the subject, "The End of All Things Is at Hand;
Therefore Let Us Be Sober, Watchful and Pray." Well, as one would say, that
was down my road. I believed it myself sincerely — that the church
was "going home" in October. During that discourse I made this unfortunate
remark: "This is probably the last public address I shall ever deliver
because we shall be going home soon." Next morning (October I ) about five
hundred of us began the return trip to Brooklyn, including a lovely ride on
the Hudson River Day Line steamer from Albany to New York. Sunday morning
we were to open services in Brooklyn, this to conclude our convention.
Quite a number of the conventioners stayed at Bethel, the home of the
headquarters staff members. Friday morning (October 2) we all were seated
at the breakfast table when Russell came down. As he entered the room he
hesitated a moment as was his custom and said cheerily, "Good morning all."
But this morning, instead of proceeding to his seat as usual, he briskly
clapped his hands and happily announced: "The Gentile times have ended;
their kings have had their day." We all applauded.
We were highly excited and I would not have been surprised if at that
moment we had just started up, that becoming the signal to begin ascending
heavenward — but of course there was nothing like that, really.
Russell took his seat at the head of the table and made a few remarks,
and then I came in for some good-natured twitting. He said, "We are going
to make some changes in the program for Sunday. At 10:30 Sunday morning
Brother Macmillan will give us an address." Everybody laughed heartily,
recalling what I had said on Wednesday at Saratoga Springs — my "last
Well, then I had to get busy to find something to say. I found Psalm 74:
9, "We see not our signs: there is no more any prophet: neither is there
among us any that knoweth how long." Now that was different. In that talk I
tried to show the friends that perhaps some of us had been a bit too hasty
in thinking that we were going to heaven right away, and the thing for us
to do would be to keep busy in the Lord's service until he determined when
any of his approved servants would be taken home to heaven.
"THE WRONG THING AT THE RIGHT TIME"
This had been exactly the view of C. T. Russell all along. He had
observed with considerable disgust the fantastic predictions of some of the
extremists among the Second Adventists who had brought upon themselves and
all other sincere students of the Bible unnecessary reproach from those not
sufficiently informed to see the difference. Time after time their
predictions had proved false, and some of the groups began to disintegrate
through continued disappointments.
As 1914 approached, we, too, were expecting the end. But when that date
arrived and we did not go to heaven, did things end for us? When it
appeared that not all events expected
for 1914 were to materialize that year, did we fall apart? Did we lose
sight of our hope Was the confident voice of The Watch Tower silenced? No!
Why? Well, this is the way C. T. Russell put it even as the year 1914 was
If later it should be demonstrated that the Church is not glorified by
October, 1914, we shall try to feel content with whatever the Lord's will
may be.... We believe that the chronology is a blessing. If it should
wake us . . . earlier in the Morning than we would otherwise have waked,
well and good! It is those who are awake who get the
blessing.... If in the Lord's providence the time should come
twenty-five years later, then that would be our will. This would
not change the fact that the Son of God was sent by the Father, and that
the Son is the Redeemer of our race; that He died for our sins; that He
is selecting the Church for His Bride; and that the next thing now in
order is the establishment of the glorious Kingdom at the hands of this
great Mediator, who ... will bless all the families of the earth.... If
October, 1915 should pass, and we should find ourselves still here and
matters going on very much as they are at present, . . . then we would
think, Have we been expecting the wrong thing at the right time? The
Lord's will might permit this.
Russell was not confused on the major events due to take place. He
recognized that whether the individual members of the spiritual "little
flock" were left on earth or not it would not alter or affect the time
schedule for bringing an end to the nations' uninterrupted rule. That is
why he emphasized "the next thing now in order is the establishment of the
glorious Kingdom at the hands of this great Mediator," the Son of God,
Jesus Christ. This, he knew, must occur when "the Gentile times have
ended," and that is what he wished to emphasize.
Russell did not say without good reason in October of 1914 that "the
Gentile times have ended." Many years before this
he had published information which clearly developed Jesus'
statement, "Jerusalem shall be trodden down
of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." He pointed
out that this term "the times of the Gentiles" applied to the period
beginning with the time that kings ceased to rule in God's typical
theocratic nation of Israel and ending with the setting up of Jesus Christ
as the rightful King of the whole world. He said this period began in the
year 607 B.C. and was due to end A.D. 1914.
Here is the way the chronology was determined:
King David, first of the Judean kings of Israel, was said to sit "on the
throne of Jehovah." His dynasty thus
continued theocratic rule until it was overthrown in the days of Zedekiah
at the destruction of Jerusalem. This date
is reckoned from secular and Biblical history as the fall of 607
B.C. At that time it was foretold that the
theocratic line of Israel's kings would be interrupted until he came "whose
right it is." In view of Jerusalem's
capture by a pagan king this would infer a period of rule by Gentiles until
he time for God to set up his own Kingdom.
Jesus, during his first advent, spoke of these "times of the Gentiles" and
indicated they would expire at his return or second advent. If it could be determined how long the "times of
the Gentiles" were to last, then the time for Christ's return and the
setting up of his kingdom would be known as a certainty.
Now, of course, the date 1914 itself is not given in the Bible. Neither
was the date of Jesus' first advent, for that matter, yet the Jews were
expecting him. Just so, the length of the
period referred to as the "times of the Gentiles" is indicated in the Bible
but it is given in symbolic language. Foretelling a temporary period of
insanity for Jerusalem's captor, Nebuchadnezzar, because of his high-handed
disregard of Jehovah's rule, the prophecy says:  "They shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and
seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that
the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever
This prophecy was literally fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar as a symbol of
the rule of the nations. When the time expired his kingdom was restored to
him and he recognized the supremacy of Jehovah. That is why the restoration
of theocratic rule in the hands of Jesus Christ was to be expected at the
end of the "Gentile times" and after "seven times" had elapsed. The clue
for the length of this period is given at Revelation 12:6, 14 in connection
with another prophecy though not related to this one. There, 1,260 days are
shown to equal "a time, and times, and half a time." This must be figured
as "one time, plus two times, plus one-half time" or three and one-half
times, since another unrelated prophecy at Revelation 11: 2, 3 shows 1,260
days as 42 months, which is obviously three and one-half years of 360 days
each. On this basis, "seven times" would be twice 1,260 days, or 2,520
If the prophecy of Daniel were figured literally as applied to the
"Gentile times" then the "seven times" would be only seven years and would
have expired long before Jesus' first advent, yet as we have seen, he spoke
of the times of the Gentiles as still carrying on. How, then, is this
period to be figured?
On two different occasions at least, in the matter of judgment, Jehovah
used a day to represent a year. Following
this pattern, 2,520 days in the prophecy become 2,520 years in the
fulfillment. If the length of time of uninterrupted Gentile rule of earth's
nations was to be 2,520 years, then the period would run from the fall of
607 B.C. to A.D. 1914. On the basis of this chronology the time of Christ's
second presence and the beginning of his kingdom rule was confidently
expected in the fall of A.D. 1914, and Russell was prompted to announce
confidently in October, 1914, "The Gentile times have ended; their kings
have had their day."
END OF THE WORLD DOES NOT WORK
Believing so thoroughly that 1914 marked the end, some of us were
assuming that it also marked the time when the church would be
"translated." But the Scriptures did not say that, as Russell had tried to
suggest to us. Prophecies of the Bible said the nations' uninterrupted rule
of the earth would come to a close and Jehovah's kingdom under Christ Jesus
would begin to operate at the end of Gentile times, but we have since
learned that many other things must occur before the last member of the
spiritual "little flock" would finish his earthly course.
That is why Russell wrote as he did in January, 1914, warning us that
events might continue for some time after the expected beginning of trouble
in the fall of the year. Although many of us still thought we would leave
this earth, at least by October of 1915 Russell, who was a good reasoner,
saw that there was too much work yet to be done by Jehovah's enlightened
people on earth. Again he pointed to the Bible for a careful study of the
declared purposes of Jehovah.
Russell's comments on Psalm 149:5-9, as published in May of 1914, show
further his desire not to walk ahead of Jehovah's direction and his efforts
to encourage us to that same course. The Psalm reads:
"Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.
Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in
Russell wrote: "Heretofore we had not
questioned that this description of the glory of the saints applied to them
beyond the veil (i.e., in heaven) — beyond the completion of the
First Resurrection. But a more careful investigation of the words forewarns
us that we may not be too sure in such a supposition. We suggest as a bare
possibility that a time may
come when a part of the saints will be in glory beyond the veil, and
when those on this side of the veil in the flesh will enter very fully into
the joys of their Lord and into participation in His work. But the word
beds here, in harmony with usage elsewhere in the Bible, would signify a
rest of faith — that these saints were at rest in the midst of
conditions to the contrary... Again, . . . they have the two-edged sword in
their hand, according to the prophecy. This 'two-edged sword' is evidently,
as elsewhere, the Word of God. We can scarcely imagine the saints beyond
the veil as handling the Word of God.... On the contrary, this would seem
to imply that the saints described are on this side of the veil, using the
Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, . . . clearing His name from
the dishonor attached to it through the ignorance, superstition and creeds
of the Dark Ages."
Little did I dream in 1914 when I read those words in be Watch Tower
that over forty years later I would still be here on earth associated with
hundreds of thousands of others in preaching the good news that God's
kingdom did begin in 1914 and that the climax was to arrive in our own
generation. Had I realized then what I know
now I would not have made that "last public address" remark at the 1914
Saratoga Springs convention. How many public addresses I have given since
then I'm sure I can't remember.
Yet here, as early as the spring of 1914, Russell was describing the
work that actually has become a part of the present-day history of
Jehovah's witnesses. He recognized that at least some members of the
anointed "little flock" might remain on earth to participate in the
vindication of the name of Jehovah. Although at that time he could not
foresee all that would take place, he vividly realized that the end of all
Bible-preaching activity on earth could not come during 1914 — after
he had restudied Psalm 149, as indicated above.
RUSSELL FORESEES A POST-WAR EXPANSION
On this point I had an experience with Russell that ever since has kept
me constantly enthusiastic about the continuous expansion of this
Kingdom-preaching work. It was an interview I had with him a short time
before his death in 1916. He pictured the work spreading out much as we see
it today, small groups or congregations working independently of the
head-quarters as far as meetings are concerned, but all working as part of
one unified organization. He discussed the matter at length, and although
his concern seemed to be primarily with New York City I could glean from
his description that he expected the arrangement would likely spread over
the whole world.
So it is that we realize that Jehovah has never revealed all his purpose
at one time to any of his witnesses, ancient or modern. Knowledge and
understanding of the establishing of the kingdom in heaven and of its
operation in earth has come gradually — as the rising of the morning
sun. The witnesses of Jehovah walk by faith, not by sight. Jehovah reveals
to them only such information as they need to equip them to carry on the
particular work to which they are assigned for that time. If there was any
question in our minds before 1914 that Jehovah God was directing the
affairs of the Watch Tower Society, the events that began that year have
thoroughly dispelled such doubts. Says an ancient maxim:  "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire
fulfilled is a tree of life." So it has proved to us.
Instead of our organization withering away because some expected things
did not materialize, those of us who had not received the clearest possible
view of things tightened our spiritual belts, took a prayerful view of the
Scriptures to determine our mistake and continued to advance in knowledge
and understanding of God's purposes. Since our hope was
based on something real it remained firm and unshaken. This has been a
lesson well learned.
MAJOR FULFILLMENT OBSCURED BY DETAILS
Jehovah's witnesses expected the "End of All Kingdoms in 1914." We were
At first it looked as if we might come in for real recognition on the
part of some leading observers. A foremost American newspaper  of that time (in its Sunday issue with front-page
headline: "Germans Now Only 70 Miles from Paris") carried a special article
entitled: "End of All Kingdoms in 1914 'Millennial Dawners'' 25-Year
Prophecy." The article stated in part:
The terrific war outbreak in Europe has fulfilled an extraordinary
prophecy. For a quarter of a century past, through preachers and through
press, the "International Bible Students," best known as "Millennial
Dawners," have been proclaiming to the world that the Day of Wrath
prophesied in the Bible would dawn in 1914....
Rev. Charles T. Russell is the man who has been propounding this
interpretation of the Scriptures since 1874....His surmises have seemed
to the average person of no more importance than a mystic's dream. And
yet on the date set we are in the midst of a world-wide war.
However, even such limited popular recognition was shortlived. As 1914
passed, then 1915 and 1916, the reproach heaped upon us increased. In our
effort to discern the meaning of Bible prophecy before the expected events
had actually occurred, I admit some partially inaccurate public expressions
were made. But when these minor details did not develop, the more important
major fulfillment that actually did occur was entirely overlooked by those
lacking full faith in God's Word. Instead of viewing the increasing number
of facts, actual
events, piling up world-wide from day to day since 1914 as undeniable
proof of the correctness of the marked date publicized by The Watch Tower
from 1879, scoffers seized upon some minor point of Russell's writings to
ridicule and mock. Russell concluded:  "Our
thought is that we should look for still further evidences . . . that God's
kingdom has begun its work."
THE TURNING-POINT AT 1914
What have events since 1914 revealed? Do they show we were justified in
our persistent preaching for decades before 1914, that a great time of
trouble was due to begin in that year? Aside from the question as to how
long that period of greatest trouble was to last, what are the facts since
the beginning of World War I in the summer of 1914?
A marked year indeed was 1914!
As informed, sober-minded persons now look back to it, they admit that
there has been no year like it in man's history. Its unprecedented events
will never be repeated.
That 1914 marked the end of an era was openly admitted forty years later
by an outstanding American newspaper editor, who wrote:  "The last completely 'normal' year in history was
1913, the year before World War I began."
A famed scientist, one of the creators of the atom bomb, in 1951 said:
 "We have not had a peaceful world since
But the new era was the beginning of far more than just the atomic age.
An associate professor of history at Columbia University wrote:  "It is indeed the year 1914 rather than that of
Hiroshima which marks the turning point in our time, for by now we can see
that, whatever the future may hold in store, it was the first world war
that ushered in the era of confused transition in the midst of which we are
Another newspaper editor recently commented:  "It seems
likely that when the history of the twentieth century is written, August
4, 1914, the day hostilities became general in Europe, will loom larger
than even the date of the outbreak of the Second World War or the dropping
of the first atomic bomb. That August day, we are beginning to realize,
marked a dividing line in history. An era of peace, progress and security
ended, and an age of war and revolution began."
This view was taken by another leading journalist in making a comparison
of the two world wars:  "The first war
marked a far greater change in history. It closed a long era of general
peace and began a new age of violence in which the second war is simply an
episode. Since 1914 the world has had a new character: a character of
international anarchy....Thus the first World War marks a turning point in
Another competent observer said:  "Forty
years ago the world overnight goose-stepped from the 'golden age' into a
volcanic epoch marked by bloody wars." And the noted British author,
Bertrand Russell, remarked: "Ever since 1914 the world has been reeling
drunkenly toward disaster."
Those of you who have lived through this period will no doubt add your
own personal testimony to the unmistakable trend in human history since
1914. To deny the change is to ignore the facts.
RUSSELL RECOGNIZES THE RISING COMMUNIST THREAT
In 1879 the new Watch Tower magazine's twenty-seven-year-old
editor, Charles T. Russell, clearly recognized that there would be a rapid
increase in violence, world-wide, and realized its outcome. In that
journal's third issue his remarkable discernment of this growing threat was
described in these words: 
Very many Scriptures seem to teach that the kingdoms of earth will be
overthrown by a rising of the people: goaded to desperation from lack of
employment and seeking relief from the oppression of bloodthirsty
governments. Such a rising and overturning Socialists, Communists and
Nihilist of today would gladly bring about if they could.... And it is
astonishing how very rapidly these things once looked at as absurd and
impossible are becoming realities. When we with a few others declared
these things only a short time since, and called attention to the fact
that trouble was taught to be occasioned by a rising of the people and
the overthrow of governments — Communism — we were laughed
at; there was truly little sign then of Communism; but today every
civilized nation is in dread, and Nihilism, Communism and Socialism are
household words, and we see "men's hearts failing them for fear and for
looking after those things coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven
[governments] shall be shaken." (Luke 21: 26)
The Communist uprising, according to this 1879 description, was due to
begin in 1914 or shortly thereafter, and the dreaded storm's climax was
expected to follow immediately. The First World War and the resulting 1917
Bolshevist Revolution in Russia did become the world-shaking event
envisioned by Russell almost forty years before. But the final outcome has
not yet been seen. After the tremendously turbulent decades of 1914 to
1954, the 1953 death of the Soviet dictator Stalin has seemed to be leading
toward a gradual settling — a continuing period of globe-encircling
social revolution. Is anyone on earth today unmindful of the immeasurable
power of what outstanding human leaders in all lands call Soviet
But as to the length and the meaning of this turbulent transition period
that began in 1914, how could we properly understand it from the viewpoint
of the Bible prophecies as early as 1879, when these events were still over
forty years ahead of us? That is why, as 1914 approached, Russell
more convinced the transition would take longer than originally
anticipated, but this in no wise changed the nature of these startling
events themselves that we knew must have a beginning at that time.
JESUS' DISCIPLES MISTAKEN AS TO THE KINGDOM
An incident comes to mind that occurred some years after World War II. I
was giving a talk in California. One of the old-timers who had survived the
period since 1914 came to me just before I was scheduled to go on and said,
"I have a question to ask you, Brother Mac, something that has puzzled me
for some time." I agreed to discuss it with him after the discourse and
then went on with the talk.
In the course of the talk I pointed out that a few years after 1914 we
saw that what we were looking for, namely, the establishment of God's
kingdom, actually did take place in 1914; but it was a heavenly kingdom
— the beginning of God's rule earthward from the established "kingdom
of the heavens."
We learned that Jesus, enthroned in heaven that year, had immediately
begun his war on Satan and his demon associates in heaven. Satan and his
demons, those rebel spirit creatures associated with him, had been whipped
and hurled to the earth, never to return to heaven. The Scriptures stated this event was to mark the
beginning of Jehovah's rule by Christ Jesus and the beginning of a time of
unparalleled trouble in the earth.
"Now," I pointed out in my talk, "had Jehovah's great warrior, the Lord
Jesus, continued the assault against Satan and his angels after that first
skirmish which ousted those rebels from heaven, it all would have been over
before this. That had been our view before 1914. Jehovah's war at
Armageddon would be done but, according to Jesus' statement, no flesh would
have been saved. So, for the sake of God's
own people, and
to fulfill his purpose, Jehovah ordered a temporary halt to the war
against Satan. Jehovah 'cut short' those days of tribulation against the
invisible rebel spirits by stopping his war for a period before he would
resume active combat against Satan's forces at Armageddon. Furthermore,
according to the prediction at Revelation 16, gathering of the kings of the
whole world must occur. Gathering them
where? To Armageddon! — to the war of the great day of God Almighty
— this to climax Jehovah's war against all wicked forces.
"So while the time of trouble for Satan and his demons began in heaven
in 1914, exactly on time, and while the uninterrupted rule of earth's kings
then had ended and the Lord Jesus was placed by Jehovah on the throne as
king of the new world, still, as Jesus foretold in Matthew 24:14 (New
World Translation), 'This good news of the kingdom [as being just
established] will be preached in all the inhabited earth for the purpose of
a witness to all the nations, and then the accomplished end will
come.'" (Italics mine.)
My purpose in this speech at California was primarily to show why the
war in heaven was halted after Satan had been cast out and how a "great
multitude" was being gathered by the Lord, as foretold in the Bible book of
During the talk I made reference to the mistake Jesus' disciples had
made when he was on earth. They thought he was going to break the yoke of
Rome and establish his kingdom right there.
They were wrong as to both the time and place of his setting up his
kingdom. The mistake C. T. Russell had made, I pointed out, was not as to
the time, 1914, but his error was only as to where the kingdom had
been established — in heaven instead of on earth.
After giving that talk, and while riding with that friend to the
railroad station, I said: "Now what's your question, brother?"
"Well," he said, "you've already answered it."
C. T. RUSSELL'S LAST TRIP
C. T. Russell did not live long after the stirring 1914 climax to his
In the fall of 1916 he went on a preaching tour to the West. He did not
return alive. That trip proved to be his last. His final talk was in Los
Angeles where he had been so weak that he had to remain seated during the
As reported in the New York Times for November 1,1916:
OCTOBER 31 — Charles Taze Russell, pastor of the Brooklyn
Tabernacle, and known all over the country as "Pastor Russell," died from
heart disease at 2:30 o'clock this afternoon on an Atchison, Topeka Santa
Fe train, en route from Los Angeles to New York. He complained of feeling
ill after leaving Los Angeles, his secretary said, and gradually grew
worse. The end came while the train was stopped at Pampa, Texas.
At seven o'clock the next morning (November 1 ). I entered Bethel dining
room with a telegram just delivered. Members of the family were all seated
in their customary manner and did not know anything about Russell's serious
illness or death. I read them the telegram and a moan went up all over that
dining room. Some wept audibly. None ate breakfast that morning. All were
At the end of the meal period they met in little groups to talk and
whisper, "What is going to happen now?" Little work was done that day. We
did not know what to do. It was so unexpected, and yet Russell had tried to
prepare us for it. What would we do?
The first shock of our loss of C.T. Russell was the worst. For those
first few days our future was a blank wall. Throughout his life Russell had
been "the Society." The work centered around his dynamic determination to
see God's will done. He had been a man of action. He had never had any
for those merely looking to go to heaven. To him, worship of God was to
expend himself in service to God, and that he had truly done. So he did not
stop preaching because 1914 did not bring all that had originally been
hoped for. He died as he had lived — happy in his work of preaching
We had no real organization. There had seemed no need for it. Russell
had learned through many hurtsome experiences that few men could be trusted
with serious responsibility. Since his prime objective was to do the
harvest work, he was for getting it done before 1914 would (as he had
thought until just before his death) bring an end to it. Then, as the date
approached, he realized more and more that there was a far greater work to
be done than the few remaining years — then months — would
allow for. So with the waning of his own physical powers he had made an
effort to strengthen the Society as best he could in order to keep things
WHY 1914 DID NOT BRING DISAPPOINTMENT
After his funeral we returned to Bethel and began to study again. The
more we studied the more determined we became to keep going in the work.
One thing we knew we still had. That was something no man could take from
us. It was the truth of God's Word. We had truly been "called out of
darkness into God's marvelous light" and were constantly more determined to
give Jehovah praise for that enlightened understanding. How much more truth
we were to receive or how we were to receive it we did not know. We did not
then see how anyone else could be used as Russell had been. He had written
six volumes of Studies in the Scriptures, and we had always expected a
seventh. Almost as he died Russell had said reassuringly, "Don't worry, the
Lord will take care of it." We were willing to wait and see.
Our hope was real; it was a living hope. When Russell died
I was but thirty-nine. For sixteen years I had been developing a new
Christian outlook. It was not something to put on or take off as suited my
convenience. My faith was my very life. I did not now intend to surrender
it because the future was momentarily dark. The Bible record is full of
those who faced such situations, and Jehovah God always came to their
rescue. We believed sincerely he would do as much for us.
We could not then have realized what we were being prepared for. But the
Lord knew what he was doing in permitting these experiences to come to us,
and now, forty years later, it is quite clear to us.
In those few dark years following 1914 we were experiencing the pains of
travail. The New World society as it has now come to maturity was then not
yet born. The dark clouds which had only begun to gather in 1916 were
merely a warning of the approaching storm that was to come as close to
wrecking the entire organization of Jehovah's witnesses as anything
experienced before or since. The next few years truly proved to be a test
of Christian fortitude and integrity.
BIRTH OF A NATION
CHAPTER 5. GOD'S JUDGMENT BEGINS AT HIS HOUSE
C. T. RUSSELL WAS DEAD. But the work for which he had given so much was
not yet completed. We did not fully realize that then. Some were sure that
his death would bring an end to the "harvest" work, even though he had told
us plainly that there was much work yet to be done. Jesus warned the
apostles frequently that he would be put to death at Jerusalem; still, when
he died, they were all perplexed. We knew that Christ Jesus was Lord of the
harvest, but our relationship with Russell had led us to believe that
Russell himself had some special assignment that could never be filled by
another. Yet Russell was dead and the work still lay open before us. We had
to do something. We were perplexed for a time. It was to our advantage that
the date to elect officers for the Society was two months away. We had time
to think things over, and get our minds settled, and make arrangements
for the coming election. No one, at that time, wanted to take over the
responsibility of control; I certainly wasn't seeking it. I felt I was just
a preacher. Executive responsibility had never been my desire. We got
together and formed a committee composed of J. F. Rutherford, the Society's
legal counsel, who was not then an officer of the Society; W. E. Van
Amburgh, who was secretary-treasurer; and A. I. Ritchie, vice-president. I
was to serve as aide or assistant to this executive committee. Then we
started to operate, to see what could be done to keep the work going. At
first we tried merely to hold things together, to encourage those
associated with the Society to continue active and not lose their courage
or their confidence. The Watch Tower continued to appear regularly with
material that Russell had completed before his death. As the day for
election of the Society's officers approached tension began to mount. A few
ambitious ones at headquarters were holding caucuses here and there, doing
a little electioneering to get their men in. However, Van Amburgh and I
held a large number of votes. Many shareholders, knowing of our long
association with Russell, sent their proxies to us to be cast for the one
whom we thought best fitted for office.
INDIVIDUALS ARE UNIMPORTANT TO GOD'S WORK
That was a grave responsibility. In order for you to appreciate the
position I was in personally, perhaps I should relate an experience I had
with C. T. Russell shortly before his death. Russell always spent the
forenoon from eight o'clock until twelve in his study preparing articles
for The Watch Tower and any other writing he had to do that called for
research on the Bible. Nobody went to the study in the morning unless he
was sent for or had something very important, a life or death case.
About five minutes after eight one morning a stenographer fix said to
me, "Brother Russell wants to see you in the study." I thought, "What now?"
I walked up and knocked on the study door. He said, "Come in, brother.
Please walk into the drawing room." (This was the room adjoining his
study.) "I'll be with you in a moment or two." When he walked in, with a
serious expression on his face, he said, "Brother, are you as deeply
interested in the truth as you were when you began?" I looked surprised. He
continued, "Don't be surprised. That is just a leading question." Then he
described his physical condition, and knew enough about pathology to know
that he would now live many more months unless he had some relief. "Now,
brother, this is what I want to talk to you about: I am no longer able to
take care of the work alone. I must have someone who can be an assistant to
the president. The work is increasing rapidly, and it will continue to
increase, for there is a world-wide work to be done in preaching the
'gospel of the kingdom' in all the world." He gave me a word picture of the
work that I now see in progress in building up the New World society. He
saw it from the Bible. I thought he was talking about something he would
like to see, but to me there was not much hope that he would see it. Then I
made an unfortunate remark. "Brother Russell, what you're saying doesn't
add up right in my mind." "What do you mean, brother?" "Your dying and this
work going on. Why, when you die we all will complacently fold our arms and
wait to go to heaven with you. We will quit then." "Brother, if that is
your idea, you don't see the issue. This is not man's work;
parts of the country because of your extensive travel serving
congregations. You can tell me who you think would be suitable for the
position." We discussed various ones from different parts of the country
who were active workers preaching the kingdom message, but he did not seem
to think any one of them would be suitable, or in a position to come to
Brooklyn. I moved to leave then, as it was about 11:30 A.M. There was a
sliding door from the drawing room out into the hallway, and he pushed that
door open. As I was going out he took hold of my arm and said, "Just a
minute. You go to your room and pray to the Lord on this matter and come
and tell me if Brother Macmillan will accept this position." He closed the
door and I stood there half dazed. I did think it over, very seriously, and
prayed about it for some time before I finally told him I would be happy to
do all that I could to assist him. This was shortly before he went away on
his final preaching tour. Before he left he wrote letters to what we then
termed the heads of the different departments, outlining their duties and
informing them that "A. H. Macmillan is to be in full charge of the office
and the Bethel Home during my absence. Anything he says for you to do you
must do; it doesn't make any difference whether you agree or not. If he
tells you incorrectly, I'll attend to him when I get home." Then he handed
me copies of all the letters and said, "You have the skeleton organization.
Go to work and do things." This matter weighed heavily on my mind during
the two months preceding that election. Obviously Russell expected the work
to go on. I had been willing to assist him in his absence, but the thought
of taking full management of the entire organization appalled me. I
dismissed it. Then someone said to me, "Mac, you have a strong chance of
getting in yourself. You were Brother Russell's special representative when
he was gone, and he told all of us to do
it as you say. Well, he went away and never did return. It looks like
you're the man to carry on." "Brother," I said, "that's not the way to look
at this matter. This is the Lord's work and the only position you get in
the Lord's organization is what the Lord sees fit to give you; and I am
sure I'm not the man for the job."
A NEW PRESIDENT TAKES OFFICE
We were still faced with the question, Who would be put up for office?
Van Amburgh came to me one day and said, "Brother, who do you think we
should put up for president?" I answered, There is only one man who is
competent and qualified to take charge of this work now, and that is
Brother Rutherford." He took me by the hand and said, "I'm with you." That
was all that was said about it. Rutherford did not know what was going on.
He certainly didn't do any electioneering or canvassing for votes, but I
guess he was doing some worrying, knowing if he was elected he would have a
big job on his hands. On January 6, 1917, J. F. Rutherford was elected
president. There is no doubt in our minds that the Lord's will was done in
this choice. It is certain that Rutherford himself had nothing to do with
it. W. E. Van Amburgh was elected secretary-treasurer and A. N. Pierson
vice-president. Directors were not elected, as these had been elected by
Russell for life. This he could do because he held the majority of votes
although, according to the charter, they should have been reelected to that
office every year as we learned later. J.F. Rutherford was warmly welcomed
in his new capacity as manager of the Society's affairs by the majority of
those associated with the organization at that time. But from the outset it
became apparent that a few, especially at head-
quarters, resented him. Some of these thought they should succeed
Russell and considered themselves better qualified for the position of
president. The fact that Rutherford was approved by the shareholders of the
Society and that he made every effort to follow the arrangements made by
Russell during his administration did not seem to impress them. It is true
that Rutherford was an altogether different type of man than Russell. Their
backgrounds may have had something to do with it. It is certain that the
home life of Russell had a definite bearing on his temperament. His father
was quite well-to-do and this boy was the idol of his heart. He was brought
up in the lap of luxury and in an atmosphere of parental love, although his
mother died when he was quite young. Everything that he was taught he
seemed to receive and respond to, and he developed a spirit of mildness and
affection. There was nothing crude or rough about him in any way. He
inherited that disposition and his father nourished it to the end. As he
grew older and began to associate with others in his preaching activity
these characteristics became even more marked. Occasionally he had to be
severe with those in the organization, but he was extremely generous,
long-suffering and kind when dealing with those whom he hoped could be
recovered. But with all his generosity and kindness he was by no means
soft. He would never tolerate anything that would be contrary to what he
clearly understood the Bible to teach. He was so strict about that, he
would permit nothing that would seem to show a compromise when it came to
an issue of the truth. J. F. Rutherford's background was totally different.
He was born November 8, 1869, on a farm in Morgan County, Missouri. He had
no youthful life. When he was sixteen he decided to be a lawyer. In order
to get his father's consent to do this he had to hire a man to fill his
place on his father's farm, as well as pay tuition fees and other expenses
education since his father would not help him. A friend gave him a loan
with no security other than his word, and this money enabled him to finish
his schooling. As soon as he was able he repaid the debt in full. So he
received little encouragement at home. His father was a strict
disciplinarian, which deprived young Rutherford of any emotional life. When
he identified himself with the work of Jehovah's witnesses and entered the
ministry his pattern of life was well fixed; he already was a mature man,
approaching forty, trained in the practice of law and politics. As legal
counselor for the Watch Tower Society from 1907 on he developed a full
knowledge of the Society's business affairs and of Russell's way of doing
things. Rutherford had always manifested a deep Christian love for his
associates and was very kindhearted; but he was not naturally of the same
gentle, quiet-mannered disposition as Russell. He was direct and outspoken
and did not hide his feelings. His bluntness, even when spoken in kindness,
was I sometimes misunderstood. But he had been president only a short time
when it became apparent that the Lord had chosen the right man for the
AN ADMINISTRATIVE CHANGE PROVIDES A TEST
To understand the current expansion of Jehovah's witnesses and the
nature of their New World society it is necessary to understand the
progressive development of the Society to 'meet the conditions that existed
at each period. Russell had the necessary vision and business ability to
lay a firm foundation during his administration. This was effective and
accomplished Jehovah's purpose to gather together a people devoted to his
Kingdom activity. Rutherford, however, shouldered the responsibility when
not only the affairs of the Society but even world conditions
were in a precarious position. It was at the height of World War I, and
at a time when many of those associated with the Society expected the work
to end with Russell's death. Here Jehovah gave opportunity to those that
were in line for His kingdom to show whether thy were fully devoted to him
or not, and the tests and trials that came really identified those who were
more interested in themselves as individuals than they were in carrying the
good news of God's kingdom to the scattered sheep. This sifting did not
come during Russell's day but it came suddenly, almost without warning,
during the first two years of Rutherford's administration. Russell had been
president of the Society from the time it was incorporated until he died,
in 1916 and some looked up to him with what almost amounted to creature
worship. His mature understanding of the Scriptures and his ability to
expound them was so far beyond that of any other person that very few would
criticize or find fault with him or his explanations of the Bible. However,
Rutherford was not only an entirely different type of man, but he had come
into association with our movement later than some of those who opposed
him. So when he became president it began to appear that some were
associated with us not because of the love of the truth or the desire to be
in the service of Jehovah, so much as for the personal enjoyment of
fellowship with a man like Russell. But when Rutherford came in he was all
for advancing the work. His attitude was, "Let's get the work done. Don't
come around palavering over me." To some this was a severe test. They had
so admired the natural qualities of Russell that they thought they must and
could develop the same qualities. Some became so full of that idea they
could not see the strength and integrity of a man like Rutherford, nor
could they reconcile these attributes with the love that he kept on trying
to manifest toward all. So to some it became a matter of personalities
altogether; and the question
we all were forced to decide was, Are we in the organization just to
associate with a man who has a pleasing disposition and who brings comfort
and joy, or are we in here because we love Jehovah and want to share
unitedly with him and Christ Jesus in doing his work? It was a time of
trying experiences, of great pressures within and without the organization,
and Rutherford himself learned much about dealing with his associates as
well as establishing the preaching organization of Jehovah's witnesses.
PERSONAL AMBITION DISRUPTS THE WORK
Russell gave me definite instructions before leaving on his last
preaching tour. He suggested certain changes in the office force: some were
to be assigned to different work. I at once made these changes. However,
after Russell's death I was criticized for doing so. Another instruction
Russell gave me before leaving was to arrange to send one of our traveling
representatives, P. S. L. Johnson, to England. He should try to preach the
good news to the troops wherever possible. Talking to the soldiers about
the Kingdom of God would comfort them as they prepared for action. The
executive committee, of which Rutherford was chairman, arranged to send
Johnson to England according to Russell's wish as expressed to me. In
addition to preaching to the troops, he was to make a tour of England and
visit the congregations scattered all over that land, and comfort them in
their war-time anxiety, encouraging them to continue steadfast in the work
of preaching the Kingdom of God as the hope of mankind. In general he was
to learn all he could about the progress of the work in England. He was to
make a full report on conditions there and offer suggestions as to how
things might be improved. This report was to be made to the
Society, but Johnson was not to make any changes in the personnel at the
British headquarters. If anything of that kind seemed necessary, the
Society would consider it on the basis of his report.
When Johnson arrived in England in November, 1916, he was given a warm
and hearty welcome by the friends. They were having many problems to solve
after the death of Russell, and were glad to have a representative from
headquarters with them. Johnson was welcomed everywhere he went. He could
tell them many things about Russell's death, and the progress the work was
making in America.
The attention heaped upon him began to warp his judgment and finally his
reason, until he came to the ridiculous conclusion that he was the
"steward" of Jesus' parable of the penny.
He later thought he was the world's high priest. His conduct in England
caused much confusion and deep concern about the work there. He tried to
seize control of the Society's bank account in London and summarily
dismissed some of the London headquarters' staff with no authority to do
so. Rutherford, who in the meantime was elected president of the Society,
saw that he must act promptly to save the work in England from
He cabled Johnson, canceling his appointment and recalling him to the
United States. After many cables were sent by Johnson trying to show that
he was much needed in England and that he should be given control of the
British field, he finally heeded Rutherford's recall. After his return to
America he tried to persuade Rutherford to return him to England to
complete his work there, but, was unsuccessful. His failure to get back to
England led him to think that Rutherford was not the right man to be
president of the Society. He, Johnson, was the man with the ability
necessary to be president.
The next step was to influence the board of directors to compel
Rutherford to send him back to England. Seemingly he had little trouble
gaining the support of four of them. He
persuaded them to oppose the president in an effort to run the Society
in their own way. They concluded that they were going to take a hand in the
Johnson matter and show their authority. "It isn't good for Rutherford to
control the management of the Society's affairs. We'll inform him that he
can be the president; that is, he'll just be a figurehead. He will go out
on the road under our direction to lecture but, as a board of directors, we
will manage the Society, direct its policies and look after all its
affairs. Van Amburgh will be our secretary-treasurer and we will have the
whole thing in our own hands." This was in the spring of 1917. Rutherford
knew that Johnson was counseling them in this matter, still he was
extremely patient throughout the entire ordeal. In view of what Johnson had
done to show his lack of real concern for the Society's welfare, Rutherford
had every reason to dismiss him from the Bethel home. But he didn't.
Neither did he take action to interfere with the rebellious plot being
hatched to oppose him in his office as president. He did everything that he
could to help his opposers see their mistake, holding a number of meetings
with them, trying to reason with them and show them how contrary their
course was to the Society's charter and to the entire program Russell had
followed since the organization was formed. He even came to several of us
and asked, "Shall I resign as president and let those opposing ones take
charges" We all replied, "Brother, the Lord put you where you are, and to
resign or quit would be disloyalty to the Lord." Furthermore, the office
force threatened they would quit if these men got control.
Matters began to come to a head when, at an extended session of the 1917
annual meeting, these four directors endeavored to present a resolution to
amend the by-laws of the Society to place administrative powers in the
hands of the Board of Directors. This was not only contrary to the
organizational arrangement practiced by Russell for the entire thirty-two
years of his administration, but it was contrary to the
expressed wish of the shareholders. Rutherford was forced to rule the
motion out of order, and from then on the opposition grew stiffer and more
REBELLIOUS ACTION FORCES A SHOWDOWN
Faced with the certainty that these men would try to tie up the funds of
the Society by court action (as Johnson had attempted in London),
Rutherford decided he would have to act. The time for strategic action in
the interest of all concerned had come.
He was preparing to go on a preaching trip to the West and was much
concerned about what his opposers might do while he was gone. He said to
me: "Brother, these men may try to start something while I'm away, but
don't be fearful or worried about what they might try to do."
"If they try to take hold of things while you are gone what shall I do?"
"If they get too obstreperous and indicate they want to start action
against the Society, call a policeman."
"What! A policeman?"
"Yes, if it becomes necessary, don't hesitate."
But I did not understand the operation of his legal mind. Well, sure
enough, one day while Rutherford was away, I was in the office down on
Hicks Street with our office manager, Robert J. Martin. These four
dignitaries who thought they were directors marched down to Van Amburgh's
desk in the rear of the office and said, "Brother Van Amburgh, we order you
upstairs to the chapel." That was on the second floor right over the mice.
"We want you up there to transact some business."
Van Amburgh knew what was coming and said, "Don't bother me, friends. Go
about your business; I have my work to do."
"We want you up there. We need to have a quorum." where were four of
them, which was a majority of the board. There were seven on the board, and
to transact legal business a quorum of five was necessary. I was watching
what was going on. The other workers were all looking on nervously and
worrying about what was going to take place.
The four went upstairs and sat down and began talking about what they
would do. I was worried too. I knew that if they could obtain a quorum to
transact business they could railroad new bylaws through that would change
the complete structure of the organization. I waited a little while and
said, "Brother Martin, let's go up and see what those brothers are doing."
When we got up there they ordered me out.
"We've had enough of you. You've been trying to run this place because
Pastor Russell left you in charge of the work, but now we are in charge!
You get out of here."
At that time I was vice-president of our New York corporation. Therefore
in the absence of President Rutherford, I had control and responsibility
for the property owned by the Society. I did not remind them of this point
but told Martin to call a policeman.
He found an old Irishman, a typical old fellow, who came in twirling a
long night stick around in his hand. He said, 'Well, gentlemen, what's the
I said, "Officer, these men have no business here. Their place is up at
124 Columbia Heights, and they are disturbing our work here. They refused
to leave when we ordered them to. Now we just thought we would call upon
They jumped up and began to argue. The policeman twirled his stick
around and said:
"Gentlemen, it's after being serious for you now. Faith, and I know
these two, Macmillan and Martin, but you fellows I don't know. Now you
better be after going, for fear there'll be trouble."
They grabbed their hats and went down the steps two at a time, and
hurried up to Borough Hall to get in touch with a lawyer. They were fighting
mad. Rutherford told me afterward that is the very reason he had told me to
bring the policeman in, to draw their fire. They had been sneaking around
in an underhanded way trying to disturb the congregations and interfere
with the work. He knew that, and calling the policeman brought the issue to
a head. Now the matter must be settled in some way in order to restore
unity to the organization.
Although thoroughly familiar with the legal organization of the Society,
he took the matter to a prominent corporation lawyer in Philadelphia to
determine the status of the board of directors. Through a written opinion
he received, he discovered that these four men were not legally members of
the board at all! Russell had elected them as directors for life but the
law stipulated that directors must be elected by the vote of the
shareholders each year. However, Rutherford, Pierson and Van Amburgh were
directors because they had been elected to the office of president,
vice-president and secretary-treasurer. The fact that they were elected as
officials made them members of the board. Since the four opposers were not
legally elected they had no legal authority to act for the Society; and
since the attitude they had displayed showed they were not qualified, it
was a simple procedure for Rutherford to appoint other directors for the
existing vacancies until the next legal election.
The climax came in July of 1917 only six months after Rutherford had
been elected president. He had arranged to produce the seventh volume of
Studies in the Scriptures. Russell had written the first six. The seventh,
called The Finished Mystery, was really a compilation of material from
notes and writings of Russell and was issued as a posthumous work of
Russell's. Since, according to the bylaws, the president of the Society was
also manager of the Society's affairs, Rutherford
had not consulted the board of directors and the four who thought they
were members raised vehement objections. As a result, their opposition to
the policy and work of the Society became so bitter that it was impossible
to maintain unity at headquarters as long as they remained. They were asked
to leave the Bethel home or get in line with the work. They chose to
However, it was not Rutherford's wish to ignore them altogether. He gave
them every opportunity to manifest a spirit of cooperation and even offered
them the position of traveling representatives of the Society, but they
refused. Finally, they completely withdrew themselves from association with
the Society and started an organization of their own.
SPIRITUAL FOOD FOR THOSE APPROVED
You may wonder why I'm telling you all of these things, why I should be
willing to "air our family troubles," so to speak. It certainly was one of
the most painful experiences I ever went through in my entire life, to see
those who had once manifested a zeal for the Lord's work, with whom we had
been closely associated for a number of years, now, because they did not
receive the honor they thought was due them, try to get control of the
Lord's organization. But that is why it becomes such an important part of
my story. Not only are these events a matter of actual record, but they
form a significant part of the evidences in fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
This was a weeding out, a time of judgment, a cleansing of the entire
organization set apart to become the household of God's servants.
All of those associated were forced to make a decision. Would they
continue with the organization which Jehovah had been using up to that time
and which he had obviously
blessed, or would they follow some individuals more interested in
personal opinions than in carrying on the harvest work? Some left the
organization with their disgruntled leaders; although the majority did not
hesitate to show their appreciation for the course Rutherford had taken and
to manifest their confidence in his determination to see the Lord's will
All of us were inclined to wonder and to exclaim, "How strange that we
should have such trials now!" Then we were reminded of the words of the
apostle Peter:  "Beloved, do not be
surprised at the fiery ordeal which comes upon you to prove you, as though
something strange were happening to you."
True, Jesus had said:  "By this all men
will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." But
on the very day he uttered these words he was betrayed by one of those
professing love for him! It is not strange, then, that some within the
modern congregation would follow the same kind of course, disrupting the
family peace and threatening the life of the organization itself. In fact,
one of the four opposers said they would rather see the Society wrecked
than have Rutherford control it.
Such a division was inevitable in view of the prophecy Jesus gave of how
he would clean out all of those not truly interested in feeding his flock.
He promised to return and seat his servants at a table to eat food that he
himself would serve. But, he pointed out,
some of the watchers would not be faithfully performing their duties; in
fact, they would be beating and abusing their fellow-servants. These, he
said, he would gather out and cast aside.
The important work which lay ahead, for which the Lord was preparing his
people, would require a unified organization composed of only those who
were willing, obedient and faithful.
The prophet Malachi foretold a necessary cleansing before
this great work of giving the witness to the whole world would be
undertaken. Said he:  "The messenger of the
covenant, whom ye desire, behold, he cometh with Jehovah . . .and he will
purify the sons of Levi, and refine them as gold and silver; and they shall
offer unto Jehovah offerings in righteousness." These would be fed at the
table of Jehovah in order to receive strength to carry out their
The internal struggle which was now successfully weathered had taken its
toll. But our worst encounter was yet to come.
CHAPTER 6. "MISCHIEF FRAMED BY LAW"
THE FIRST SEVERE SHOCK of internal dissension had failed to disrupt the
organization. Those of us who held fast were drawn even closer together in
our determination to uphold Scriptural principles and press on in the
harvest work which some of us still were thinking might be drawing to a
close. But our preaching activity was much like the sackcloth" condition
described in the book of Revelation.
External opposition had been mounting for some time Especially the
leaders of most of the religious organizations were bitter in their
denunciation of our activity. They resented our calling attention to the
evidences that pointed to 1914 as the beginning of the end, and especially
the awkward position in which it placed them due to their own active
participation in world affairs of the time. William Jennings Bryan, as
Secretary of State to President Woodrow Wilson, had made a tour of the
country urging the United States of America to stay out of World War I,
while most of the clergy
were urging the government to get into it. Bryan resigned when, April 6,
1917, the United States entered the war.
February 12, 1918, a number of the Society's publications, including the
book, The Finished Mystery, were banned in Canada. The public
press there recognized and openly mentioned the prominent part the clergy
played in this action. The Winnipeg Tribune at that time said:
"The banned publications are alleged to contain seditious and antiwar
statements. Excerpts from one of the recent issues of the Bible
Students Monthly were denounced from
the pulpit a few weeks ago by Rev. Charles G. Patterson, Pastor of St.
Stephen's Church. Afterward Attorney General Johnson sent to Rev. Patterson
for a copy of the publication. The censor's order is believed to be the
The day following this order in Canada prohibiting circulation of
The Finished Mystery, United States Government agents of the
department of secret service seized the books of the Watch Tower Bible and
Tract Society at 17 Hicks Street, Brooklyn. Nothing detrimental was found.
Then, February 24, 1918, Rutherford delivered for the first time a lecture
that has since become world famous. The startling subject was "The World
Has Ended — Millions Now Living May Never Die." This was delivered at
Clune's Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. In developing his evidences
that the world really did end in 1914, Rutherford pointed, among other
things, to the world war then raging, as part of the "sign," foretold by
Jesus. He then fixed much of the responsibility for these conditions on the
world's religious leaders. He admitted there were good clergymen as well as
bad, just as there are good and bad lawyers, but he pointed out:
As a class, according to the Scriptures, the clergymen are the most
reprehensible men on earth for the great war that is now afflicting
mankind. For 1500 years they have taught the people the satanic doctrine
of the divine right of kings to rule. They have mixed politics and
religion, church and
state; have proved disloyal to their God-given privilege of proclaiming
the message of Messiah's kingdom, and have given themselves over to
encouraging the rulers to believe that the king reigns by divine right,
and therefore whatsoever he does is right. So thoroughly has this been
impressed upon men that the great law writer, Black stone, incorporated
in his commentaries: "The king can do no wrong."
The following day (February 25, 1918) a full-page report of the lecture
was printed in the Los Angeles Morning Tribune. Prominent
clergymen were so angered by this report that the ministerial association
held a meeting that same day and sent its president to the manager of the
paper, demanding an explanation as to why they had published so much about
the lecture. It was only three days later that the United States Army
Intelligence Bureau at Los Angeles took possession of our Los Angeles
headquarters, confiscating many of the Society's publications. Now began a
period of constant harassment by members of the Intelligence Bureau in an
effort to dig up something that could be used in evidence against us on a
charge of violating the Espionage Law.
A CONSPIRACY COMES TO LIGHT
On June 15, 1917, Congress had provided for conscripting manpower by
passing the Selective Draft Act, which also provided that men who had
conscientious scruples against engaging in war because of religious belief
might be exempted from combatant service. Many young men wrote the Watch
Tower Society and asked Judge Rutherford what course they should take. He
refused to give advice as to what they should do, but stated, in effect,
"If you cannot conscientiously engage in war, Section 3 of the Selective
Draft Act makes provision for you to file application for exemption. You
should register and file your application for exemption, setting forth
the reason, and the draft board will pass on your application." He never
did more than to advise them to take advantage of the Act of Congress.
Great pressure was put on him to do more. A number of young men of draft
age associated with the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society had been sent
as conscientious objectors to Camp Upton, Long Island, New York. This army
camp was under the direction of General James Franklin Bell.
Bell made a personal visit to the office of J. F. Rutherford and tried
to persuade him to write a letter instructing these young men to take
whatever service he might assign them, even if it were across the sea.
Rutherford refused, pointing out it was a matter for everyone to decide for
himself. His reply angered General Bell.
Later Rutherford, accompanied by Van Amburgh, visited General Bell at
Camp Upton. There General Bell, in the presence of his aide and the two
officers of the Watch Tower Society, made a startling admission, as
Rutherford reported years later  in a
published statement. Bell told about a conference of a large number of
clergymen in Philadelphia in 1917. These men had appointed a committee to
visit Washington, D. C., to insist on a revision of the Selective Draft Act
and the Espionage Law. They selected John Lord O'Brien of the Department of
Justice to introduce a bill to have all cases against the Espionage Law
tried before a military court with the death penalty imposed as punishment.
Bell stated with considerable feeling: "That bill did not pass, because
Wilson prevented it; but we know how to get you, and we are going to do
ACCUSED OF OPPOSING THE DRAFT
In the meantime, at the request of the Attorney General, Congress was
undertaking to amend the Espionage Law to
make it more effective against the dissemination of propaganda. However,
a provision called the France Amendment was introduced to exempt from the
provisions of the Espionage Act any individual who uttered "what is true,
with good motives and for justifiable ends." This amendment was adopted by
the Senate after a long debate in order to exclude from punishment as
seditionists those who indulge in what the Senators called honest
criticism. Later, at the instance of the Department of Justice, the House
and Senate conferees on other amendments for the Espionage Act eliminated
the France Amendment, recommending to Congress that the Espionage Act be
amended without it. When the conferees' report was presented to the Senate,
it was argued that inclusion of the France Amendment would make convictions
extremely difficult; and a letter was read into the Congressional
Record from John Lord O'Brien, Special Assistant Attorney General,
strongly opposing it. He said: 
The Espionage Act has proved a fairly effective weapon against
propaganda, and if amended as requested by the department by making
attempts to obstruct enlistment impossible, there is every reason to
believe that it will be thoroughly effective. Its effectiveness for the
purpose of killing propaganda, however, has come from the principle that
motives prompting propaganda are irrelevant.... For example, the most
dangerous type of propaganda used in this country IS religious pacifism:
i.e., opposition to the war on the ground that it is opposed to the Word
of God. This is a type of propaganda which was extensively used in
weakening the Italian armies. The statements used in it generally consist
of quotations from the Bible and various interpretations thereof.
Convictions against this type of propaganda are only possible where the
motive is irrelevant and our juries can be made to infer the
intent from the natural effect of a propaganda.
On May 4 another letter from O'Brien was read into the Record
to buttress the Justice Department's position, and in
it he cited and commended the position taken on this point of intent by
a United States District Judge of Vermont, Harland B. Howe. (We of the Watch Tower Society were unaware of
Howe's views until after he had been chosen to preside, later, at our own
trial.) That our Society then already was definitely marked for prosecution
is clear according to an other memorandum submitted at the same time by the
Attorney General and also placed in the Congressional Record. Speaking of
printed matter which, in the opinion of the Intent genre Service, "could
only serve to stir men up to mutiny and tend to disintegrate our entire
army," the memorandum stated: 
One of the most dangerous examples of this sort of propaganda is the book
called The Finished Mystery, a work written in extremely
religious language and distributed in enormous numbers. The only effect
of it is to lead the soldiers to discredit our cause and to inspire a
feeling at home of resistance to the draft. The Kingdom News, 8 of Brooklyn, prints a petition demanding that
restrictions on The Finished Mystery and similar works should be
removed, "so that people may be permitted, without interference or
molestation, to buy, sell, have, and read this aid to Bible study." The
passage of this amendment would reopen our camps to this poisonous
The International Bible Students' Association  pretends to the most religious motives, yet we
have found that its headquarters have long been reported as the resort of
As a result of this intense campaign of the Department of Justice, on
May 4, 1918 the Senate approved the Conferees' Report, and the amended
Espionage Act was approved, without the France Amendment, May 16, 1918. Ten
days earlier (May 7) the Department of Justice had obtained warrants from
the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
authorizing the arrest of the Watch Tower
Bible and Tract Society's officers. These included J. F. Rutherford, W.
E. Van Amburgh, F. H. Robinson, R. J. Martin, C. J. Wood worth, George H.
Fisher, Giovanni De Cecca and myself.
The next day, May 8, the Department's agents pounced upon us, arresting
those of us who were at Bethel. Eventually all eight of us were taken into
Bail was set at $2,500 each, and we were released until the day set for
trial, June 3, 1918, in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of New York.
That was a painful experience for us and brings to mind the Scripture at
Psalm 94:20, 21 (Revised Standard Version), "Can wicked rulers be
allied with thee, who frame mischief by statute? They band together against
the life of the righteous, and condemn the innocent to death."
Temporarily free on bond, we continued our work comforted with the
thought expressed in Verse Twenty-two of this Psalm: "But the Lord has
become my stronghold, and my God the rock of my refuge."
CHAPTER 7. SENTENCED TO EIGHTY YEARS FOR PREACHING THE GOSPEL
ONE DAY just before our trial was due to begin a group of men came into
Bethel and asked to see J. F. Rutherford. Since he was busy at the time l
asked them: "Gentlemen, what do you desire?"
"Well," the spokesman said, "we represent an organization that is
interested in civil liberties and we want to know something about this
prosecution. We read in the paper about your arrest."
"As far as we know, gentlemen, it is just the anger of one powerful
religious organization working against us because we have exposed some of
their false teachings."
"Don't fool yourself, sir, it isn't just one organization that is active
against you. There is a definite campaign on to stop your work."
"How do you know that?"
"We are interested in such things and this kind of activity
is rampant just now. There are a large number of minority groups that
are not popular and those in certain places of authority are pouncing on
them, trying to wipe them out, and that is what they are going to do to you
if they can."
That is what proved to be the case.
TRIED FOR CONSPIRACY
The trial opened June 3, 1918. Because of the feeling that had been
manifested in our preliminary hearings we filed affidavits showing why we
believed Judge Garvin was biased against us. This automatically transferred
the case to Judge Chatfield, but Since there was no qualified judge without
bias and prejudice who wanted to try the case, United States District Judge
Harland B. Howe was brought in from Vermont to preside. This was the same
Judge Howe mentioned by O'Brien in the letter I referred to earlier. So,
while it was known to the Government that Howe had special prejudice in
favor of the prosecution of the law and against the defendants charged with
violating it, it was not known to us. But we were not left long in the
dark. From the first conference of the attorneys in the judge's chambers
before the trial began his animosity was manifested, and he indicated, "I'm
going to give these defendants all that is coming to them." However, it was
now too late for our attorneys to file an affidavit of prejudice on the
part of the judge.
Our indictment was in four counts, each count charging a separate and
distinct offense under different parts of the statute. This statute, known
as the espionage Law, was enacted June 15, 1917, and was strictly a war
measure. It would be impossible to violate it when the country is at peace.
The indictment as originally returned charged that a conspiracy was entered
into some time between April 6, 1917 the date the United States declared
war, and the sixth day of
May, 1918. Upon motion the Government specified the date of the alleged
offense as between June 15, 1917 and May 6, 1918.
A conspiracy is an agreement between two or more persons to commit an
unlawful act. At the trial the Government contended that The Finished
Mystery was written and published designedly to hinder the United
States in raising an army and prosecuting the war and that the defendants
had written letters to members of the Society within draft age that
interfered with the raising of an army. The Finished Mystery was
offered in evidence by the Government and portions of it read, particularly
the preface, pages 247-252, 406, 407, and 469. The Government counsel
contended that these pages were designedly hidden in different parts of the
book for the purpose of getting a person interested in some other part of
the book and then influencing him by the statements concerning war; that
publishing the book, The Bible Students Monthly and The Watch
Tower, as well as writing letters to conscientious objectors, all were
overt acts in carrying out the conspiracy.
On June 10 Mr. Eland, Special Assistant Attorney General, as prosecutor for
the Government, said:  "The Government
rests, if your Honor please, except for some motions."
Judge Howe asked: "Now, have you introduced some evidence tending to show
some act of each of the defendants are in furtherance of this alleged
"As to Rutherford and Van Amburgh, I am clear about, and the two defendants
who wrote the seventh volume I am clear about them, Woodworth and Fisher.
Now, as to the defendant De Cecca, who was the one who wrote these letters,
I am clear about him, and Martin, who was the manager, I am clear about
him, and Robinson. That leaves Mr. Macmillan."
"As to Mr. Macmillan," Eland replied, "there is a check
in evidence which the witness, Mr. Conkey, said was in payment of the
books, of these books, [that check being] countersigned by Mr. Macmillan;
then the additional fact testified to by the first woman witness, Mrs.
Campbell, that Macmillan was the general manager in the absence of Mr.
Rutherford, attending to the correspondence in Mr. Rutherford's absence. As
I recall it, she testified that Macmillan was the general manager and he
was Mr. Rutherford's assistant, that is what she said, and acted whenever
he was absent. Some testimony was given by that same witness, Mr. Hudgings,
that in Rutherford's absence he took — he ran the whole place in
"You have not shown any act or acts of Macmillan except his signing of the
"That is the only act outside of the fact that I asked this lady and she
said in Mr. Rutherford's absence he gave her directions as to what to do in
the office and I asked the same fact of Mr. Hudgings. I think I asked her
if she had general directions in Mr. Rutherford's absence — "
Mr. Fuller, one of our attorneys, interrupted: "I think the testimony is
that she understood that he looked after matters in Mr. Rutherford's
absence; in respect to the correspondence she said she couldn't say,
testified that he sort of helped out. In other words, that she understood
he was in a representative capacity, but could not specify with any degree
of particularity what character of duties he performed."
Judge Howe then said: "If there is no evidence tending to show he
conspired, he will be discharged."
It was then established that the check was turned over in payment on a
general open running account for printed literature. Actually, it became
apparent that the Government expected to convict me of conspiracy simply on
the fact that I had countersigned a check used in part for payment in
printing the questionable book, which according to the evidence
submitted I might never even have seen before it was published. Then
Judge Howe said, "Well, the Government rests. What will the defendants do
THE PROSECUTION MAKES ANOTHER ATTEMPT
Immediately our attorneys submitted motions for dismissal in our behalf
on the ground that no cause of action had been proved. The Government had
admitted that the book was written before the United States entered the war
and before the Selective Draft Act and Espionage Law had been passed, so no
intent to interfere with these laws could be shown in the writing of the
book. The effort was then made to show that after the laws had been passed
by Congress continued sale of the seventh volume constituted intent and
Judge Howe denied all of the motions to dismiss us except that in my favor,
and he reserved decision on that until the next day.
Some of our people who were attending the trial later told me that one of
the attorneys for the Government had gone out into the hallway, where he
talked in low tones to some of those who had led the opposition within the
Society. They said, "Don't let that fellow go; he's the worst of the bunch.
He'll keep things going if you don't get him with the others."
That night the eight of us gathered in our attorneys' office to discuss the
evidence that had been put in and decided on what points should be brought
out when court reconvened. Finally one of our attorneys turned to me,
saying, "Do you know that tomorrow morning we can have you released? Do you
want to go to prison if you are convicted? "
I said: "Mr.Fuller, if these men, my friends, are going to
the Atlanta prison or any other place for preaching the gospel, I want
to go with them."
"Do you mean that? That might mean something serious to you."
"I mean every word of it."
He smiled, and said, "Now if you are convicted and you remain there, it
will help our case on appeal."
The next morning the Government reopened its case and introduced a paper
which they testified had been taken from the Society's offices. They read
parts of it to the jury and said it was a record of a meeting of the board
of directors during which publication of The Finished Mystery was
discussed. The prosecution indicated it was signed by all of the Society's
officers including me. They said that the seventh volume was the issue in
prosecuting us, and if I had endorsed the publication, then I was in the
This is what the record indicated as to my part in the publication of the
book. The quotation is from a signed statement of facts read by Rutherford
to the board to acquaint them with his activities since he had become
president about seven months previous. Among other things it said: "It
seemed good to the Lord to have the seventh volume prepared, and two
faithful brethren, Brothers Woodworth and Fisher, did this work, other
faithful ones assisting in the mechanical part of it. I have read
considerable of the manuscript and printers' proof while traveling on
trains. When the time came for publishing this work we were in the midst of
much opposition [from the four of our associates who believed themselves
directors] and, knowing that to consult the opposers would hinder the
publishing of the volume, I took counsel with Brothers Van Amburgh,
Macmillan, Martin and Hudgings, of the office force. After praying over the
matter the Lord seemed to open the way so that the opposition might not
interfere. A certain brother, without solicitation, placed in my hands the
necessary money with which this book should he published, and the
Lord's favor seeming to be upon it the publication was undertaken."
Then the question came up as to my signature on this paper. Nobody could
identify it. The prosecution called to the stand William F. Hudgings, who
had charge of all the Society's printing. They put him on the stand, and
because he insisted he could not identify my signature Judge Howe finally
adjudged him guilty of contempt of court and ordered him committed to jail
— even though he was the Government's witness. On the same day the
grand jury indicted him for perjury. Pleading not guilty, he obtained an
order for release on bail but was unable to avail himself of it because he
continued to be held under the commitment for contempt. In fact, the
commitment directed that it should continue in force until the witness had
purged himself of the contempt for which he was being punished. It was not
until a writ of habeas corpus was allowed by the Supreme Court of the
United States and a decision rendered in his favor that he was released on
bail December 12, 1918 Finally, April 14, 1919, ten months after his
commitment, the Supreme Court decision in his favor was announced. In
writing the opinion of the Supreme Court,
Chief Justice White stated that the lower court "had exceeded its
jurisdiction by punishing as a contempt an act which it had no power to so
punish, and that even if the act punished was susceptible of being treated
as a contempt the action of the court was arbitrary, beyond the limits of
any discretion possessed, and violative of due process of law under the
Fifth Amendment." This "arbitrary" attitude of Judge Howe, identified
expressly in the Hudgings opinion by the Chief Justice of the
United States, well represented Howe's attitude throughout the trial.
After Hudgings failed to identify my signature a former officer of the
Society was sworn in and he said he could identify the signature. He
couldn't remember ever having seen me write anything but he said, "That is
OUR DEFENSE SHOWS NO INTENT
After the Government had completed its case we presented our defense. In
essence we showed that the Society is wholly a religious organization; that
the members accept as their principles of belief the Holy Bible as
expounded by Charles T. Russell; that C. T. Russell in his lifetime wrote
and published six volumes, Studies in the Scriptures, and as early
as 1896 promised the seventh volume which would treat Ezekiel and
Revelation; that on his death bed he stated that someone else would write
the seventh volume; that shortly after his death the executive committee of
the Society authorized C. J. Wood worth and George H. Fisher to write and
submit manuscript for consideration without any promise made concerning
publication; that the manuscript on Revelation was completed before the
United States got into the war and all the manuscript of the entire book
(except a chapter on the Temple) was in the hands of the printer before the
enactment of the Espionage Law; hence, it was impossible for any such
conspiracy as charged to have been entered into to violate the law.
We testified that we never at any time combined, agreed or conspired to do
anything whatsoever to affect the draft or interfere with the Government in
the prosecution of the war, nor did we have any thought of so doing; that
we never had any intention of interfering in any manner with the war; that
our work was wholly religious and not at all political; that we did not
solicit members and never advised or encouraged anyone to resist the draft;
that the letters written were to those whom we knew to be dedicated
Christians who were entitled under the law to advice; that we were not
opposed to the nation going to war, but as dedicated Christians could not
engage in mortal combat.
At the trial it was apparent to us that the prosecution, with consent of
Judge Howe (and also in his charge to the jury), aimed for conviction,
insisting our motive was irrelevant and
that intent should be inferred from our acts. The Attorney General had
designed the Espionage Law to make such prosecutions possible even though
having "a clear idea of the results which would follow from the enforcement
of this statute." Later O'Brien himself admitted this, reporting that all
United States Attorneys had been immediately warned "against dangers of
abuse under this law." Publicity given the law "fanned animosities into
flame, vastly increasing the amount of suspicion and complaints throughout
the country." Even influential Felix Frankfurter wrote Secretary of War
Baker that "conscientious objectors . . . be turned over to the Fort
Leavenworth authorities for treatment." We
were caught in a tide of popular opinion.
The case went to the jury June 20 about 5 P.M., and at 9:40 P.M. the same
night they came in with their verdict. The Clerk of Court said, "Have you
reached a verdict, gentlemen?"
"Yes. Guilty on all four counts."
"Is Defendant Macmillan found guilty also?"
Next day at high noon Judge Howe pronounced sentence.
COMMITTED TO THE PENITENTIARY
We all were present; the courtroom was packed. When asked by the court
if we had anything to say none of us responded.
Judge Howe in sentencing us said, in a spirit of anger: "The religious
propaganda in which these men are engaged is more harmful than a division
of German soldiers [1,200 men] . They have not only called in question the
law officers of the Government and the army intelligence bureau but have
denounced all the ministers of all the churches. Their punishment
should be severe." (Italics mine)
We remarked at the time as to the similarity of these Words with those used
against Stephen, the first Christian martyr.
The religious leaders stirred up the people against Stephen because they
were unable to resist the wisdom and spirit by which he spoke. They charged
that "this man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy
place [the Jewish ecclesiastical system], and against the law."
We were sentenced to eighty years in the penitentiary. Sentence for
Giovanni De Cecca was delayed for further information. He finally received
forty years. All sentences were on four counts, to run concurrently; which
meant that seven of us could look forward to twenty years in Atlanta.
We were kept in Brooklyn's Raymond Street jail. It was the dirtiest hole I
ever got into. C. J. Woodworth, one of our group sentenced, said there were
four kinds of bedbugs there; and I asked him how he knew. "Why," he said,
"I have four kinds of lumps on my body."
We navigated along there for a week. Then we were sent for another week
down to Long Island City prison. Finally on the fourth of July we were
bundled up and sent to Atlanta by train.
From the tone of some of the newspaper accounts, there was considerable
rejoicing in certain quarters over our conviction. It was obvious that the
clergymen of some religions thought they had the Watch Tower Society killed
and out of the way for all time. Circumstances that developed certainly
seemed to indicate that. It made me think of John the Baptist when Herod
had him beheaded, and of how John's disciples came and took the body and
buried it. In other words, after being killed, John was put back to the
dust he came from. The Society was organized and incorporated in Allegheny,
Pennsylvania. Well, those left in charge at Brooklyn were forced by
circumstances to take the Society's headquarters right back where it came
from and bury it there — in a bit of a building on Federal Street.
Judge Howe and, later, Circuit Judge Martin Manton both
denied bail pending appeal of our case, so we were hurried away to
Atlanta before a third application for bail was heard at Washington by
Justice Brandeis of the Supreme Court of the United States. Getting into a
new home with prospects of being there twenty years was a trying
THE DEPUTY WARDEN BECOMES DISTURBED
At first we were put in the tailor shop making buttonholes and sewing
buttons on prisoners' clothes. They put Rutherford to making those little
jackets the prisoners wear. There was no collar on them, just sleeves and
pockets. Giovanni De Cecca, who is still a member of our headquarters
staff, relates how Rutherford worked on one for a long time and even then
he did not finish it. One of the guards, Giovanni said, was just a little
fellow but he "trimmed the judge down," and Rutherford was a big man, six
feet, four. But the guard was so unreasonable that some of the other
prisoners, three or four Italians and some Jews, out of pity for him, took
hold of the jacket and finished it in just a few minutes. For that
consideration and kindness shown by these other prisoners who never had
seen him before, Rutherford actually had tears in his eyes. Eventually
Rutherford was transferred to the library, where he was much more at home
with the work.
At first most of the prisoners and guards were against us, because they had
been given a false impression. But gradually their attitude changed. Then,
when Christmas time came, our friends outside sent us so many things that
we could not use all of them ourselves. Rutherford asked permission from
the warden to pass some around to prisoners who had not received anything
from home. He readily granted permission, and even provided paper bags for
our use. We were able to give out about fifteen hundred packages of
Of course I got into some trouble there, as I do almost every place I
go; but it was not really serious. One of the trusties approached me and
offered to sell me a little trunk, a sort of box to keep things in my cell.
He said, "Put a lock on it, put your personal things in it and when a
trusty comes in to clean up your cell during the day he can't get into it."
"Well, what do you want for it?" I had no money, of course, but finally we
settled for a safety razor and I put the box in my cell. Where did he get
it, do you Suppose? Later I found out what trusty had stolen it from the
officers' mess. It was a bread box they had made to keep bread in so it
would not get stale.
The guards started searching the whole plant from one end to another. They
even looked in the stall of old Bill, the mule, to see if it was in there.
Then they found it in my cell. The Deputy Warden called me down to his
office. He was judge, jury and executioner for any crime inside the
penitentiary. The dungeon was right bask of his office, in through a narrow
door, and there you were put if found guilty. We called it "the hole." Of
course, the prisoners knew about this "frisking" that had been going on. By
this time all the prisoners had become acquainted with us and when they saw
me going down to the Deputy's office they said, "Oh Mac is in, he'll be in
the hole for six months."
When I entered the Deputy's office he said, "Well, you know what I called
you for. You were found with contraband in your cell."
"Yes, I got a box in there."
"Where did you get it?"
"What did you give him for it?"
"A safety razor."
"Do you know where he got it?"
"No, I haven't the slightest idea."
"Why, he stole it from the officers' mess."
"Well, I didn't know that."
"Well, we'll forget it. I know you didn't. But I want to talk to you. What
do you think of this place you are in anyway?"
I said, "Deputy that is rather an embarrassing question. If I tell you what
I think, you wouldn't enjoy the speech I'd make. I'm not enjoying it a bit
We talked about our various activities and I talked at some length to him
about my religious convictions and finally I said, "Deputy, if we are wrong
in what we teach, we are the greatest enemies of this old world that exist
and every one of us ought to be in the penitentiary; but if we are telling
the truth about God's Word and his purposes, and I believe we are, then God
help the Government and the people who persecute us."
He folded his arms and his head dropped down. He never said a word and I
got up and went out. He had not dismissed me but I thought, "If he's going
to pray, I'm going to get out of here."
On the way out I met one of the officers going into the Deputy's office.
The next morning I saw the same officer in the field and he said, "Come
over here, Macmillan." I don't think he called me Macmillan, he said "8639,
come over here." That was my number.
"What do you want, Officer?"
"What did you say to the Deputy as you were leaving the office?"
"What do you mean?"
"When you were leaving the office yesterday."
"Why, why do you ask? " I was stalling.
"Well, when I went in there I stood for a half minute, probably more, and
he had his arms folded and his head bowed and never said a word to me.
Finally he said, 'Macmillan is right. Macmillan is right.' Repeating it.
What did you say?"
Then I told him.
PREACHING IN PRISON
The Deputy seemed really worried about the matter, and afterward he
treated us with every consideration. That was quite a change from the
treatment when we arrived. Our experience with the Sunday school is an
instance of that. Going to church was mandatory; you couldn't get out of it
unless you were sick and had a doctor's excuse or a certificate. The
Catholics went in at eight and they got through at nine. We went in at 9:15
or 9:30 and got through at l0:30.
The Deputy told us when we first arrived there, "You men are in this prison
for a long time. We are going to give you some work to do. Now, what can
"Deputy," I answered, "I've never done anything in my life but preach. Have
you got anything like that here?"
"No, sir! That's what you are in here for, and I tell you now you are not
doing any preaching here."
That was in July. Toward fall, in September, they grouped up different ones
into Sunday school classes. I was given a class of about fifteen Jewish
men. Judge Rutherford had a class, and Giovanni De Cecca had an Italian
class. Finally we each had a class.
We were following the Quarterly Sunday school lessons and, strange to say,
our lessons began with Abraham, the promises made to him and Isaac and
Jacob — all the way down the line. Nothing could have been better for
me to teach to a class of Jewish men.
One day I met the Deputy out on the field and he said, "Macmillan, those
lessons you are having there are wonderful. I attend them all and I think
that in time you will take all those Jews into the Promised Land. I'm
hoping for that."
"Well," I said, "Deputy, when I came in here you told me I wasn't to do any
"Oh, forget that," he said.
The flu came long and our Sunday school was discontinued
for a time. But just before we left all the classes were united in honor
of our leaving. We were going on Monday, and that Sunday Rutherford talked
for about three-quarters of an hour to that group. We had a number of the
officers in there and many of the men had tears running down their cheeks.
They were deeply impressed. We left a little group in there that was
organized to continue their study.
AN EVIDENCE OF JEHOVAH'S FAVOR
Several weeks before we were released something happened that left a
deep impression on me. At New Year's time the Society held its annual
election of officers in Pittsburgh. Of course Rutherford knew that those
opposing the Society within the organization would come to the fore now and
try to get him and all the rest of us out of office, and get a new set in
whom they could run. Saturday afternoon, the first of January that year,
was the time of the election. I was out at the tennis court playing. We had
a tournament among the prisoners. That was the only relaxation we could
get, so I was all for it.
Rutherford said, "Mac, I want to talk to you."
"What do you want to talk to me about?"
"I want to talk to you about what's going on at Pittsburgh."
"I'd like to play this tournament out here."
"Aren't you interested in what's going on? Don't you know it's the election
of officers today? You might be ignored and dropped and we'll stay here
"Brother Rutherford," I said, "let me tell you something perhaps you
haven't thought of. This is the first time since the Society was
incorporated that it can become clearly evident whom Jehovah God would like
to have as president."
"What do you mean by that?"
"I mean that Brother Russell had a controlling vote and he
appointed the different officers. Now with us seemingly out of
commission the matter's different. But, if we got out in time to go up to
that assembly to that business meeting, we would come in there and would be
accepted to take Brother Russell's place with the same honor he received.
It might look then like man's work, not God's."
Rutherford just looked thoughtful and walked away.
Next morning he rapped on the cell walls and said, "Poke your hand out." He
handed me a telegram saying that he had been elected president and C. A.
Wise vice-president. He was very happy to see this display of assurance
that Jehovah was running the Society.
That day we were in the field; the tennis tournament was over and I was
quiet again. We got down to the corner and he said, "I want to tell you
something. You made a remark yesterday that is working in my mind; about us
being put in Brother Russell's place. It might have influenced the election
and then the Lord would not have had a chance to demonstrate whom he wanted
in. Why, brother, if I ever get out of here, by God's grace I'll crush all
this business of creature worship if I have to get kicked out for doing
He was surely worked up. I sympathized with him a good deal but I did not
believe he could do it. I was not counting on what was to take place in the
CHAPTER 8. A NEW NATION COMES TO LIFE
MARCH 25, 1919 we were released. We had been in the Atlanta penitentiary
nine months. Judge Howe, who had sentenced us to eighty years, denied us
bail while our attorneys were preparing our case for hearing on appeal.
Bail was also summarily denied by Judge Martin Thomas Manton. However, our attorneys made application to United
States Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Branders, and under his order another
application was made to the Circuit Court of Appeals at New York.
Apparently the Department of Justice and Judge Howe, for reasons of their
own, were extremely interested in causing withdrawal of the appeal. Our
attorneys received from Howe a copy of a letter he had sent to the Attorney
General at Washington, D.C., in response to a telegram the Attorney General
had sent him. This letter was dated March 3, 1919, and in it he stated:
My principal purpose was to make an example, as a warning to others, and
I believed that the President would relieve
them after the war was over. As I said in my telegram, they did much
damage, and it may well be claimed that they ought not to be set at
liberty so soon, but as they cannot do any more now, I am in favor of
being as lenient as I was severe in imposing sentence. I believe most of
them were sincere, if not all, and I am not in favor of keeping such
persons in confinement after their opportunity for making trouble is
past. Their case has not yet been heard in the Circuit Court of Appeals.
CLEARED OF AN ILLEGAL JUDGMENT
However, this effort at commutation of our sentences failed because
March 21, 1919, the Circuit Court ordered that all of us be admitted to
bail in the sum of $10,000 each. Then, on May 14 following, the court
reversed the decision of the lower court and the case was remanded for
retrial. Judge Ward, writing the opinion, said:  "The defendants in this case did not have the
temperate and impartial trial to which they were entitled and for that
reason the judgment was reversed."
The Court of Appeals in its decision held that it was for the jury to
decide whether or not the defendants were guilty. But the Government didn't
want to risk losing the case on another jury trial. The prosecutor was
afraid that it would be lost, since the war hysteria that had helped the
Government to convict us in 1918 no longer existed by the time the case had
been reversed in 1919. The war had ended, and prejudice was then not so
rampant. The Government was afraid that if an unbiased jury heard the case
again it would be lost. It was this fear of losing the case that forced the
Government to dismiss the indictments by motion to Nolle prosequi.
Occasionally since that time some of Judge Rutherford's enemies have
referred to him as an "ex-convict." Nothing could be further from the
truth, and, in view of all the well-known evidence to the contrary, this is
an obvious attempt to
prejudice persons who may not be in a position to know the facts.
If the conviction against him had not been reversed, Judge Rutherford would
have been disbarred as a lawyer. An ex-convict can't be a lawyer. A lawyer
who is an ex-convict must be disbarred. Yet Rutherford never lost his
After his erroneous conviction in 1918 Rutherford repeatedly appeared
before the Supreme Court of the United States as counsel and remained a
member of the bar of that court from his admission in May, 1909, until his
death in 1942. Since the conviction was reversed and the stigma erased, it
is wrong to say that Rutherford was an ex-convict. The facts are that he
was wrongly imprisoned under an illegal judgment.
We were a happy bunch in Atlanta when a telegram came to Rutherford saying
that bail had been granted. Our friends came down on Saturday so that we
could leave Monday morning for New York, where arrangements for bail were
completed. That weekend, of course, was a very exciting one to all of us.
The guards in the prison were very kind, the Deputy warden in particular,
and congratulated us on getting away.
We came to the Federal Court Building in Brooklyn, where bail was granted.
It seemed very strange to walk out and go just where we wanted to without
having guards shouting at us or asking us where we were going or requiring
A MARK OF CONFIDENCE
Our friends had a real "welcome home" celebration for us in New York,
but now that we were out of prison we had no place to go to carry on our
work. The Tabernacle was sold and the Bethel was dismantled. That of course
was a blow. Practically everything was gone. We needed an office and a
place where we could do a little printing.
Rutherford went to California while R. J. Martin and I
went to Pittsburgh to look at the offices where our equipment had been
moved, to see if there was anything we could do. C. A. Wise was there too.
He had been elected vice-president while we were in prison. We were buried
on the top floor of a new building on federal Street in Pittsburgh, and few
people knew where we were. We were trying to get things going and increase
the work if possible, but we were completely handicapped owing to the fact
that all of our printing facilities were gone and our plates and other
equipment that we needed to expand the work were destroyed. It seemed there
was not a thing we could do. We would have to begin from scratch.
One morning a man walked into our office. There was no special entrance
there and nobody at the door as receptionist. You could walk right into the
office. I looked up from my desk and there he was — a man who had
been associated with the work for many years and whom I knew well. He was a
man of considerable means from one of the Southern states. He motioned for
me to come out to see him and we went into a room we had fixed up as a
living room or parlor.
"Who's in charge of the work here, Brother Mac," he asked. I told him.
"Is Brother Rutherford here?"
"No, he's in California. But Brother Van is here and Brother Wise and the
rest of us."
He said, "Have you got a private room here?"
"Well, we'll lock this door. This is private. What do you want to do
He began to take his shirt off as I talked to him. I thought he had gone
crazy. He looked a little dirty and travel-worn, whereas ordinarily he was
a tiny and well-kept man. When he got down to undershirt he wanted a knife.
Then he cut out a little patch he had on there and took out a bundle of
money. It was about $10,000 in bills.
He put it down and said, "That'll help you to get this work started. I
wouldn't send a check because I didn't know who
was here. I didn't travel in a sleeper because I didn't want anybody to
come and take this away from me if they suspected I had it, so I sat up all
night. I didn't know who was in charge if the work. But now that I see you
brothers here whom I know and I trust, I am glad that I came!"
"Well, George, you sure look like you had a hard time but we're certainly
glad that you came too." It was a pleasant surprise and certainly an
encouragement. Eventually funds began to come in when it became known that
Rutherford was back in his position as president and the rest of us were
busy at work with the same old organization getting started again. But that
really did not take place until after we got back to the Bethel in New
A TEST OF STRENGTH IS MADE
In the meantime Rutherford, in California, decided to try a test to see
if the work could be revived, or if it might be indicated that our work was
already done. Some of us were still ready to go to heaven right away. We
thought our characters should be developed just about right after we had,
in a way, spent "eighty years" in the penitentiary. We thought we would
surely be ready then, if we had not been in 1914.
However, Rutherford was anxious about the work. He was just in his prime,
and he could not figure out why the Lord would make such extensive
preparation in starting a great work of this kind and then letting it stop
without accomplishing any more than had been done up to this time. If
matters had come to a climax after World War I, and Armageddon had really
been due to begin then, we would have been satisfied. We would have said,
This is the end. But the war was over. The nations had patched up an
armistice and it looked as if they were going to have peace. Now what were
we going to do about it? We were not about to sit around idle and
twiddle our thumbs waiting for the Lord to take us to heaven. We
realized we would have to get busy and do something to determine what the
Lord's will in the matter really was. Rutherford announced that on Sunday,
May 4, 1919 he would lecture in Clune's Auditorium on Fifth and Olive
Streets in Los Angeles. The advertised subject of his talk was: "The Hope
for Distressed Humanity." Newspaper advertising called attention to our
illegal conviction with the promise that the reasons for it would be
explained. That was the test case. If nobody came to that meeting, we were
done. It was reported to us that some of the clergy had said, "There won't
be a soul there to hear it. Perhaps a few tramps will go in. The
International Bible Students and the Watch Tower are done." I suppose from
the looks of things they had every reason to believe that. Rutherford was
at the Trinity Hotel waiting. Within about twenty minutes after they opened
the doors of the auditorium that place was so jammed you could not get
another person in. About 3,000 had turned out to hear the talk. Well, there
it was. Of course Rutherford was thrilled. He hurried down to the
auditorium and that day he really talked! About 600 had been turned away
with a promise that an overflow meeting would be held on Monday night.
Although Rutherford had been ill in bed all day Monday, he went to the
auditorium that night to talk to the 1,500 assembled, but after about an
hour he had to give up and an associate completed his lecture. For several
weeks he was in serious condition and we thought he might not survive. Due
to his weakened condition he had contracted pneumonia. The doctors said his
trouble was due to the poisons in his system from impure air and poor food
while in the Atlanta penitentiary. He and Van Amburgh were in a cell that
had no circulation of air. There was something wrong with the fan and, not
getting enough oxygen,
their systems became filled with poisons. At any rate he was seriously
ill and never fully recovered.
NEW LIFE STIRS US TO ACTION
By July Rutherford was back to work and right then arrangements were
made for an assembly at Cedar Point, Ohio, and scheduled for the first of
September. What a thrilling time that was! We had not known what to expect.
The public season closed that year on September 1 and we had arranged with
the hotels to take possession of all their facilities on noon that day. The
week before this the weather had been very unsettled with much rain, but
Monday dawned fair and clear. On Monday morning our people began to arrive
and when the convention began there were about a thousand present. The
hotels at Cedar Point accommodated approximately three thousand and we had
hoped to fill them, so we were somewhat disappointed at this small
beginning. However, later in the day special trains began to come in and it
seemed that everyone was arriving all at once. The managers of the local
hotels were completely swamped. Long lines formed waiting for assignments
but everyone was cheerful because it seemed so good to get together again
in a general convention. We had not been able to hold such an assembly
since 1916. Martin and I volunteered to help out in assigning
accommodations. I had had experience in hotel work and Martin's wide
experience in once management made him valuable. We were behind the counter
until after midnight, assigning rooms, while Rutherford and many of the
others were having the time of their lives acting as bell boys, carrying
the baggage and helping the friends get to their rooms. Everyone was
thoroughly enjoying the experience and before we finished that
night around three thousand persons were on the grounds and settled.
Still they continued to come. The hotels in Cedar Point were filled and
overflowing into nearby Sandusky, where soon not only the hotels but
hundreds of private homes also were filled. By Friday six thousand were in
attendance, and Sunday at the public lecture delivered by J. F. Rutherford
there were seven thousand persons present.
This was the evidence of an organization truly come to life! If our enemies
had had their way we would still have been in the penitentiary, just
beginning our twenty-year internment. Now, instead of that, here we were
— free — finally realizing that there was a real work ahead of
us, and eager to get at it.
THE "GOLDEN AGE" COMES INTO VIEW
Announcement was made of the release of a new magazine as a companion to
The Watch Tower, which was to be published twice a month and which
was to be called The Golden Age.
In his talk to the convention when he announced the release of the new
magazine, J. F. Rutherford answered a question that was in many minds as to
our future activity. He said:
Faithful followers of the Master . . . know that soon they must finish
their course and pass off the earthly stage of action; and yet they know
there is something, by God's grace, that they will be privileged to do,
and, if faithful to him, will do, before they pass over. Beyond the time
of trouble by the eye of faith they see the Golden Age of the glorious
reign of the Messiah, which will bring peace and the blessings of life,
liberty and happiness to the groaning creation of earth. They count it as
their chief duty and privilege to announce to the world the coming of the
Golden Age. It is part of their God-given commission....
St. Paul said: "Woe is me if I preach not the Gospel." We are sure that
he here expressed the heart sentiment of every child of God who has the
opportunity of proclaiming the message. The door of opportunity is
opening before you. Enter it quickly. Remember as you go forth in this
work with the new magazine you are not soliciting merely as the agent of
a magazine, but you are an ambassador of the King of kings and Lord of
lords, announcing to the people in this dignified manner the incoming of
the Golden Age, the glorious kingdom of our Lord and Master, for which
true Christians have hoped and prayed for many centuries. You are an
angel of peace, bearing to a war-torn, sin-sick, sorrowing and
broken-hearted world the glad message of salvation. How wonderful is our
We had truly come to life and were looking forward to years of work if
necessary in order to fulfill our commission. Many of the discourses at
this assembly were on service themes. The talk which I gave on Thursday
highlighted the words of Jesus when he was on trial before Pilate:
"To this end was I born, and for this purpose came I into the world, to
bear witness to the truth." These words of our Lord Jesus to Pilate at
the time of his trial set forth one of the main objects of Christ's life.
The Master here showed with clearness that one of the main objects of his
advent into the world was not to delve into Jewish politics, not to spend
his time in various moralistic and humanitarian works, great and
admirable though such works would be, but to bear testimony to the truth
concerning God's aims and purposes for the blessing of mankind. It is
true there were other objects in his leaving the heavenly glory which he
had with the Father before the world was: he came to "seek and to save
that which was lost"; he came to "give himself a ransom for man"; but his
bearing witness to the truth was almost inseparably bound up with those
That kingdom, the true testimony of which the Lord bore and which true
testimony he passed on to the apostles and
through them to his faithful followers of this Gospel age, will prove to
be the very thing which man has wanted and needed all along. It will be
the "desire of all nations." For the privilege of testifying to that
message our Lord and all his faithful followers have counted shame,
ignominy, imprisonment, persecutions and death as nothing. If they called
the Master of the house Beelzebub for his faithfulness in declaring the
Messianic kingdom and for the things necessarily associated with that
declaration, it need not be surprising if they apply similar epithets to
his followers who are, of course imperfect and much more likely to call
forth the criticism of the enemies of the truth.
WORLD-WIDE PREACHING IS THE GOAL
So the idea began to take hold, "Now we have something to do." We were
not going to stand around any more and wait to go to heaven; we were going
to work. The clear demonstration of growing interest that was manifested in
our message at Clune's Auditorium the preceding May made us realize the
people did want to hear why we were so opposed, and what kind of hope we
had that could make us persist in spite of it. Then we began to realize a
truly world-wide preaching campaign was ahead of us. The response at our
convention also demonstrated that our people were eager to go ahead with
it. With this thought of increased activity in mind we set out to move
headquarters back to Brooklyn, New York. It took some work to refurnish
Bethel and equip our offices there, but by the first of October, 1919, we
were beginning to operate. The Watch Tower was beginning to look
as it had before. Rutherford's articles were being printed again, and our
people began to respond with voluntary contributions in a fairly liberal
way. It was remarkable how the Lord was providing just what was needed and
thus we were able to spread out and increase our activity.
After our convention in 1919 The Watch Tower really began to
emphasize the service for everybody. At first, a group of about seven
thousand within the congregational organization carried on the bulk of the
witness work. These had been active in distributing the seventh volume and
now this small group reorganized and began to press forward again in their
Later The Watch Tower commented on Jesus' commandment, "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached
in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end
come." It was pointed out: 
After the fiery experiences coming upon the church, and after admonishing
his followers to endure cheerfully to the end, he then specifically
states the general work that must be done throughout Christendom.... It
will be noted he does not say the gospel that has been preached to the
meek throughout the entire Gospel age shall be preached. What gospel then
could he meant? The gospel means good news. The good news here is
concerning the end of the old order of things and the establishment of
Messiah's kingdom. It means the dark night of sin and sorrow is passing
away. It means that Satan's empire is falling, never to rise again. It
means the sun of righteousness is rising rapidly, its healing beams
penetrating the darkness and driving back that which obscures the truth
and bringing to the people that which will bless, comfort, strengthen and
uplift them. It means the coming in of the Golden Age, the glorious time
of which all the prophets wrote and of which the Psalmist sang songs of
gladness and hope.... Plainly this would seem to indicate that now the
church must engage in the proclamation of this good news as a witness to
the nations of earth, and then the old order will entirely pass away and
the new will be here. Surely there could be no tidings so good, no news
so comforting and helpful to the peoples of earth in this time of
distress. Evidently this verse means that the witness must be given to
the nations designated as Christendom. All of Chris-
tendom is now in distress and perplexity. They have experienced great
trouble, but there is even greater trouble yet to come. Before that
greater trouble comes, this message must go to the people as a testimony.
Here, clearly defined, is the first official expression of the
world-wide preaching work as it is now actually being carried out. Here, in
its issue of July 1, 1920 The Watch Tower was pointing to the commission
that has served as the dynamic stimulus for all of Jehovah's witnesses from
that time forward.
PUBLICITY AGENTS FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
Unmistakable as those words were, our commission was to become even
clearer, and with it, our responsibility was to be sharpened. This was at
another convention in Cedar Point, Ohio, September 5 to 13 1922. The talk
was J. F. Rutherford's.
After explaining that Jesus Christ would occupy the throne appointed by God
he pointed out that God had arranged for others to be associated with him
as kings, and these would rule with him for a thousand years. Preparation
for these had begun when he was on earth and God had been selecting them
from that time forward. However, when Jesus was due to return and take up
his power as King, he would gather together the last of those on earth of
this group and prepare them for the work they were to do. Then the Lord
would suddenly appear at his temple [i.e., the organization built of human
"stones"] for a judgment of those in line
for the Kingdom to determine which were faithful to their
covenant. From Isaiah's prophecy he showed that even those faithful ones would be
found in a spiritually unclean condition and would have to have their lips
cleansed as with fire in the prophecy. This called for a great change in
the work, and a witness for the kingdom began in earnest.
Then he quoted from Isaiah 43:8-12, "Ye are my witnesses, saith the
Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen," and pointed out:
Thus we see that those of the temple class are clearly designated as the
Lord's witnesses at this time, to bring a message of consolation to the
people, that the Kingdom of heaven is here, and that millions now living
will never die. Thus it is seen that God purposes that his name shall be
magnified, that the people shall know that he is Lord. Thus we see that
God purposes to have a people in the earth in this time of stress,
clearly marked as separate and distinct from all others, standing as his
witnesses, fearlessly crying out the message: "The kingdom of heaven is
at hand!" . . .
For six thousand years God has been preparing for this kingdom. For
nineteen hundred years he has been gathering out the kingdom class from
amongst men. Since 1874 the King of glory has been present; and during
that time he has conducted a harvest and has gathered unto himself the
temple class. Since 1914 the King of glory has taken his power and
reigns. He has cleansed the lips of the temple class and sends them forth
with the message. The importance of the message of the kingdom cannot be
overstated. It is the message of all messages. It is the message of the
hour. It is incumbent upon those who are the Lord's to declare it. The
kingdom of heaven is at hand; the King reigns; Satan's empire is falling;
millions now living will never die.... The world must know that Jehovah
is God and that Jesus Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords. This is
the day of all days. Behold, the King reigns! You are his publicity
agents. Therefore advertise, advertise, advertise, the King and his
Suddenly, as these words filled the auditorium, a platform length banner
was unfurled that echoed the stirring phrase: "Advertise the King and
A mighty shout went up from the assembly. Here was our answer. No more
could we doubt what Jehovah God would
have us do. Gone was any question as to whether we would
be working or "going home soon." The privilege and duty of all those
dedicated to Jehovah's service was to advertise the presence of the Lord
and to publicize his kingdom, now definitely known to be established
since 1914 This we must declare world-wide if we would prove our love and
loyalty to the Lord.
THE NEW WORLD SOCIETY IS BORN
Thus, was our work
revived. It was more than an old work
coming to new life. In the fall of 1919 a new nation was born. It was the
New World society of Jehovah's witnesses.
It did not all come at once. Conceived under trying conditions from its
inception in 1872, it was almost brought to a stillbirth by the pains of
travail from 1914 to 1918. Only Jehovah's healing hand was able to
deliver it to vigorous life. Growth has been steady though fraught with
tribulations and the rate of increase has multiplied in recent years.
With the regathering of Jehovah's people after their death-like
inactivity in 1918-1919 the germ of theocratic structure was implanted.
At that time the Society began appointing one person from each
congregation to represent it directly in organizing the new work of
witnessing with The Golden Age. Then, after we moved back to New
York in 1919 we found the quarters at 124 Columbia Heights insufficient,
so we expanded to 35 Myrtle Avenue, where we got several floors of a
building to work on and where we installed a large printing press to
print The Golden Age. Finally that building was too small. In
1922 we moved to 18 Concord Street, where we had four stories. Within
four years we were spilling out the doors and windows again. We realized
then that we would have to build our own factory.
In 1926 we purchased some ground at 117 Adams Street and
that winter erected an eight-story printing plant. In
1937 a four-story addition was made and in 1949 a nine-story annex was
built. These were all joined as though they were one building. In 1956 a
completely new thirteen-story building was constructed across the street
that doubled all of these facilities up to that time.
These have been remarkable years. When I look back on our experiences
since we entered Atlanta penitentiary in 1918 I am more than ever
convinced that Jehovah God is with us. Sentenced to twenty years, with
animosity against us so strong we could not obtain bail during appeal;
expecting to end our days in prison; seeing the organization we had
helped to build violently throttled to death — then, within one
year's tine, released and completely cleared of all stigma flowing to us
from our conviction, with the strength of our early planting shown in the
immediate restoration of vigorous activity — to me, this is a
miracle of Jehovah, evidence that the planting was not man's but God's,
revived by him to grow even more, with his spirit bringing the increase.
Yes. It is the spirit of Jehovah that moves his people. But remnants of
creature worship and human adulation still remained after the internal
rebellion in 1917. These must be completely cleared out if the Society of
Jehovah's witnesses was to be wholly dedicated to God's service.
Rutherford struck at the very heart of this structural weakness.
CHAPTER 9. JEHOVAH CHOOSES AND CLEANSES HIS CHANNEL
JF. RUTHERFORD'S interest after leaving the penitentiary was to get the
Society back on its feet and intensify the preaching work. But he had
another purpose. Before he left Atlanta he had determined to rid the
organization of creature worship. This he set about to do, and struck deep
at the shackles still binding us to false forms of worship. That is why I
think I should digress from my historical account for just a little to show
you the change in attitude that has taken place with Jehovah's witnesses as
regards the channel God is using to disseminate his truth. C. T. Russell
had grown up with the Society. In fact, during his lifetime he was the
Society. However, I would not want you to think he magnified his own
importance. He did not. He appreciated to the full the responsibility that
he had, but took no credit to himself for his position or the results of
this work. Still it is quite reasonable that those associated
with him would drift into the attitude they did relative to his
position. My own experience was similar to many others. On one occasion
when I was quite young, as I remember, I went into Russell's study, looked
around and said: "Brother Russell, those things that you explain in The
Watch Tower and the literature are so wonderful; it seems to me no man
could figure them out. Are you ever visited by angels here in your study to
explain these things to you?" He looked a little curious and rather amused,
and said, "No no, brother, everything necessary for us to know is in the
Bible." He put his hand on his Bible. "I'm a student of prophecy, but not a
prophet. God is blessing our efforts now and unfolding these truths as they
are due to be understood. And as we continue to study and work, the light
will increase and grow brighter." That settled my mind, of course; but I
still had that lurking suspicion that perhaps he had dreams or visions of
RUSSELL VIEWED AS THE CHANNEL
You are well aware of how most people view the leaders in their
religious organization. The religions with which all of us had been
associated had so thoroughly trained us to look up to individuals, we
didn't really at that time think of divorcing ourselves from such an
attitude. Some would occasionally say to Russell: "Brother Russell, we wish
we knew as much about God's Word as you do." He would reply: "If you do not
know as much about it as I do, it is your own fault, because everything I
know I put into print for you to read. I may know it a little sooner than
you do, but sooner or later you'll get the same information. You must keep
on studying." That was his view. His effort to minister and be of service
to those associated with him in the work was tireless. That is one of my
impressions of the man. When I talked to Russell at the assembly in
Cleveland in 1901 and he invited me to make my home at Bethel, I readily
accepted his invitation and returned to Allegheny with him that night by
train. Russell had given three talks that Sunday. He had spoken in the
morning with the conventioneers, in the afternoon he had delivered his
public lecture, and at night a sort of parting message to the assembly. In
those days public meetings would sometimes last two hours. When we got on
the train the car was full of returning conventioneers. It was brightly
illuminated and everyone was talking and laughing and I could see Russell
was quite tired. At about 12:30, getting on to one o'clock, I went up to
where he was seated in a double seat and said, "Brother Russell, you must
be very tired after this strenuous day's work and the number of people that
have been visiting with you here since we got on the train. Now the next
car ahead of us is a sleeping car and there's a lower berth there with
fresh clean linen all ready for you to slip into and lie down. Why don't
you go in and rest tonight?" "No, brother, I'd rather stay with the friends
here, thank you. It's very thoughtful of you, but I just want to stay with
the friends. If the friends must stay up all night, so shall I." That made
a lasting impression on my mind. Here was a great man, as I viewed him
— serving Almighty God in a way that nobody else on earth was serving
him at that time, and yet he was so anxious to minister to those who were
looking for information about God that he was willing to work hard all day
and then sit up all night if necessary giving more detailed instruction to
those who were feeling after God if happily they might find him. Others
were impressed in the same way. So, while Russell himself would never
elevate his position in relation to the rest of us, it was an easy matter
for us to conclude that he was a special servant. We found two places in
the Hebrew Scriptures and two
places in the Christian Greek Scriptures that seemed to support the
thought that Russell personally was the channel the Lord was using to
dispense his truths. Russell did not think it so, but most of the rest of
us did; and if any envied that he was that special servant we looked at him
a little askance and thought he was not fully in accord with our work and
did not understand matters properly.
One of those texts was in Ezekiel where it
speaks of the man with the ink horn, clothed in linen, marking the
foreheads of the people. That certainly pictured a work, but it was not, as
we later saw, an individual's work.
Then we found at Zechariah the passage Jesus quoted the night before he was
hanged on the tree, "I will smite the
shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered." That was all Jesus quoted but
we looked up the text and its context also, that said, "Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against
the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd, and
the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little
ones." Well, that man who was his fellow, we argued, must be Russell. We
thought he might be smitten too, and the Lord would put his power over the
little ones so they would not be scattered as they were in the case of
In the Christian Greek Scriptures we would turn to Matthew 24:45-47 where
Jesus speaks of his "faithful and wise servant" whom he would appoint over
all his goods. We felt certain this must refer to the work Russell was
doing. Then we also applied Revelation 19:10 literally to Russell.
If it had not been for his own sincere, conscientious attitude toward the
work he was doing, you can imagine how easily he might have been encouraged
to take advantage of the reliance on him and seek to establish himself as
an infallible guide to the Scriptures. His attitude to the last was just
the opposite — self-effacing.
RUSSELL VIEWS THE SOCIETY AS THE CHANNEL
Russell never claimed he was the channel the Lord was using to dispense
his truths. He maintained that he was only the servant who was working in
the channel at the time. He did not want to think or state that he alone
was the servant, or that he was a special servant above everybody else, but
rather that he was the one occupying a position in the channel together
with others. [he often pointed out that if the one responsible for the work
should prove unfaithful, he would immediately be set aside and somebody
else put in his place. If a man ever thought he was the author of this
truth, just that quickly he would cease to be a servant. The truth is
Jehovah's, and his servants were used to give it out to others.
From the beginning of the organization of the Society this was Russell's
thought. In announcing the application of the Society for a charter, he
wrote in Zion's Watch Tower, as it was then called, in the issue
of October, 1884: 
It seems tolerably certain that some of the saints will be in the
flesh during a great part at least of the "time of trouble"; and if
so, there will be need of printed matter, tracts, etc., as much then,
perhaps, as now, and possibly will be more needed; for when the judgments
of the Lord are "in the earth the inhabitants of the world will learn
righteousness." (Isaiah 26:9) Should those at present prominently
identified with the work not be the last to be "changed,
"[undoubtedly referring to himself] some interruption of the work might
result; but this may be obviated by having a legal standing, granted by a
Russell here clearly indicated that it was his thought that the
Society, as organized in an orderly manner, would carry on the work he
had begun. Often when he was asked, Who is that faithful and wise servants
Russell would reply: "Some say I am; while others say the Society is." Both
statements were true; Russell was in fact the Society (in a most
sense), in that he directed the policy and course of the Society. He
sometimes sought advice of others connected with the Society, listened to
their suggestions, and then decided according to his best judgment what he
believed the Lord would have him do.
Commenting on this parable of the "faithful and wise servant," he wrote in
Zion's Watch Tower in 1904: 
The implication seems to be that when the right time should come for
understanding the parable, it would be clearly set forth: that at the
time of the parable's fulfillment the Lord would appoint a servant in the
household to bring these matters to the attention of all the servants,
and that certain responsibilities would rest upon such a one respecting
the dispatch of his duties. If faithfully performed, a great blessing
would be his reward; and if unfaithful to his charge, severe penalties
would be inflicted. The implication would be also that if faithful the
servant would be continued in his service, and if unfaithful he would be
dismissed and another take the position and its responsibilities.
THE FAITHFUL AND WISE SERVANT IDENTIFIED
The belief of some of us, that Russell was the channel, led us to think
that when he died the work must be be finished. But when it became evident
that the work was only beginning, then someone had to carry on in his
place. I have already told you about the selfish ambition for personal
advancement that a few in the organization manifested and the sifting that
took place then in fulfillment of Bible prophecy. The rift that developed
helped us to realize that the clearness of our vision on this point must be
lacking. Further careful study along these lines brought a number of truths
to light and revealed to us that our attitude toward individuals was not
pleasing to the Lord.
Rutherford, having seen the disastrous results of elevating
an individual, refused to have anyone look up to him as either the
pastor or channel, or the one who was to bring the truths to the people as
an individual. As early as 1923 he reminded us that it was the Society as
an organization that was responsible for carrying forward the work. He
pointed out: 
The word Society as used herein is a generic term applied to the body of
consecrated, anointed Christians throughout the world engaged in the work
of representing the King and the King's interests on earth. It is an
organization for the purpose of doing the Lord's work in an orderly way.
This organization has its officers, elected in an orderly manner. The
officers are not the Society, but are servants of the Society. Should
every individual now in the Society prove disloyal, the Lord could put
others into their places, and still the Society would exist and continue
his work. Let us be wise enough to make the distinction between office
and individual. All the individual members of the Society may make
mistakes, being imperfect, but that would not mean that the Lord would
cast off his organization and go about doing his work in a disorganized
Later, in 1931, at London, England, Rutherford gave a talk on the ninth
chapter of Ezekiel, proving from the Scriptures that the man with the ink
horn was not an individual. He pointed out
that the other six men in that picture were not individuals but represented
Jehovah's invisible heavenly forces that he would use to destroy Satan's
organization, including false religion, at Armageddon. Now there were six
of those men with slaughter weapons and one man with the ink horn. If the
six were symbolic of a group, then the man with the ink horn must likewise
picture a group or an organization. So he concluded that the "faithful and
wise servant" could not be an individual, such as C. T. Russell, but was a
class of persons made up of those faithful Christians anointed with God's
holy spirit who were sharing in the commission to preach "this good news of
ONE ORGANIZATION IS MADE RESPONSIBLE
All associated with the organization were enthusiastic in their
reception of this understanding, and as time went on it became even more
fully established. In Isaiah 43:10-12 (American Standard Version),
it says, "Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant." Although a
number of witnesses are indicated, the term "servant" is in the singular.
"My servants whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and
understand that I am he." (Italics mine.) It can readily be seen that that
servant is made up of many witnesses. We realized then that the chosen
servant of Matthew 24:45-47 could not apply to one man, but must represent
a group of faithful Christians eating the same spiritual food at the same
spiritual table and all, according to Jesus' own promise, being served by
him at the time of his return.
It is true that in his dealings with mankind in times past Jehovah sent his
truth to the people in various ways, often through individuals. Some came
through Enoch and some through Noah as well as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob;
but a great flood of revelations came through the channel of the nation of
Israel in the days of Moses while the truth was being unfolded. Later on
came the prophets and then God's own Son through whom all of his Word is
now spoken. Since Jesus established the
early congregation there is no indication that Jehovah would especially
select an individual as set apart from others. The Scriptures show clearly
that he would use a visible or physical channel which Jesus called a
"faithful and wise servant," whom he said he would appoint over all his
"goods" or earthly interests of his Kingdom. This means there would be just
one organization authorized to dispense the good news to others. So, while
some head ship must be exercised and Rutherford was readily accepted in
that capacity, still it is the entire organization that has the
not just one man or even a small group of men at the head of the
This advancing view of the channel and the proper place of individuals in
the Society was a great blessing to us. It was also a source of assurance
that Jehovah's purpose was to maintain his own organization and keep it
clean. This was because God had put his name on his organization. That
knowledge made us all the more aware of our own individual
responsibilities, because we knew now more than ever that if any of us
would not keep ourselves in line with Jehovah's righteous requirements, he
would send his angels to gather us out of the organization. And since the prophecies had so clearly foretold
that only one united group would be used as a composite "servant," it meant
that all other organizations would be called up for an accounting.
SINCERITY ALONE IS NOT ENOUGH
This may be difficult for you to understand. Perhaps you've always been
taught that sincerity is enough. But just being sincere doesn't teach us
what God's will is, does it? So no matter how "sincere" we may be or think
we are, if we are associated with an organization that is not actually
doing God's will, then how can we expect God to approve us? Paul said at I
Corinthians 4:4 (Revised Standard Version), "I am not aware of
anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who
Some time ago in my house-to-house preaching I met a man who raised these
very objections. He said: "One thing that I can't understand or agree on
with you people is your coming to the doors of regular church members like
me. I have no objection to your practicing your own religion, but I have
been a member of my church as long as I can remember. My parents belonged
to the same church and I expect to
die in this faith. So why should I be interested in changing?" "My
calling at your door is not an evidence of doubt as to your sincerity," I
replied. "If I thought there were no sincere people other than Jehovah's
witnesses why would I even bother to go from door to door? But belonging to
an organization is not enough to gain salvation." "I know that," he
answered; "that's what my church teaches. If I don't practice my religion,
I can't expect to be saved." "But the matter goes deeper than that. I've
been a minister for over fifty years and at one time or another I have
talked to people from just about every religion there is, I suppose. And
I've learned something first-hand that you will no doubt be willing to
admit. It is that in all religions there are some, perhaps even many, who
do not practice their religion sincerely. Most of them don't even know too
clearly what their church teaches. Isn't that true?" "Yes, but it's their
own fault and they're the ones that will suffer for it. You don't think
that God is going to condemn a religion just because some who are
associated with it are insincere, do you?" "It really isn't what you or I
think about it that counts, is it? But what God himself thinks or has said
he will do. Religious organizations are like nations, they are made up of
people. No nation can be morally stronger or healthier than its nationals.
If the ones making up that society are not individually righteous, the
entire nation will be rotten to the core." "I'm not sure I altogether agree
with that conclusion," the church member stoutly contradicted. "God does
not condemn the righteous with the wicked. I believe the sincere few will
save the organization." "Perhaps for a time," I agreed, "but sooner or
later a time of accounting for the entire
"What is it?"
"It is that of the ancient commonwealth of Israel; the historical account
of its birth as a nation, its entry and occupation of God- assigned
territory and its rise to prominence in the ancient world."
"But how do we know that it is an example to us today?"
"Because the apostle Paul said that it was. In fact, he was speaking about
the division that had already begun in the early Christian congregation and
then he mentioned the various causes for deflection in the formative years
of Israel and said: 'Now these things went on befalling them as examples
and they were written for a warning to us upon whom the accomplished ends
of the systems of things have arrived.'
Are you familiar with that account of Moses and the Israelites in the
"I remember reading about it in Sunday school. That was some time ago," he
"Then suppose we refresh our memories along the line of this point of
INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY DEMONSTRATED
"When the Israelites were slaves in Egypt and Jehovah God sent Moses as
his servant to deliver them, they left Egypt en masse. They went out by
entire families, taking with them even people of the land who manifested
interest in their God. It was not difficult for them to go, viewing the
matter in one way, because there was some strength in their great
multitude. Since it is believed there were at least two million people in
that exodus, it can be seen that it would be much easier for a member of a
family to go along than to remain behind."
"It's always easier to go along with the crowd."
"That's the point. But they all didn't go out with full faith
in the delivering arm of Jehovah. That was soon clearly demonstrated.
Before they had reached the Red Sea some began to complain and show fear.
After they were again miraculously delivered and had witnessed the
destruction of Pharaoh's pursuing army in the sea, they still failed to
maintain unbroken solidarity in worship. They flagrantly flouted the simple
requirements of Jehovah and brought on themselves a speedy purge that God
commanded Moses and a few faithful followers to execute. "Again, in spite
of these experiences, the nation balked when the way of entry into the land
of promise lay open to them. Again they demonstrated lack of faith and
displayed fear instead. For this evidence of spiritual rottenness Jehovah
required them to wander in the wilderness for forty years. All of those,
with a few exceptions, who had been over twenty on leaving Egypt soon died
by the way and were left literally to rot in the desert. Now that the
spiritual strength of the nation was thus renewed it was permitted to enter
and occupy the land. Aside from the second generation of those leaving
Egypt, only a carefully selected faithful few were permitted to attain what
all had sought through the Exodus."
SPARED FOR GOD'S NAME'S SAKE
"But the nation was delivered in spite of the fact that most of them
died." "Yes, the nation was delivered, but not because of the few who
remained faithful. Moses warned the small remnant of survivors and the new
generation of this in a discourse he made to them just before they entered
the land. He said, 'It was not because of your being the most populous of
all the peoples that Jehovah showed affection for you so that he chose you,
for you were the least of all the peoples. But it
was because of Jehovah's loving you and because of his keeping the sworn
statement that he had sworn to your forefathers that Jehovah brought you
out with a strong hand, that he might redeem you from the house of slaves,
from the hand of Pharaoh the king of Egypt. And you well know that Jehovah
your God . . . will not hesitate toward the one who hates him. He will
repay him to his face.' In the Psalms it
shows further why God preserved the Israelites. It says, 'Nevertheless he
saved them for his name's sake, that he might make his mighty power to be
"What you are saying is that God saved them only because of his promise to
their forefathers and because he had put his name on them."
"That's right; the Bible says that."
"Then you believe that if the organization does not have God's name it will
not be spared for the sake of those in it who may be faithful or sincere?"
"Yes, that's my point. You see, true worship is an individual matter.
'Following the crowd' or the 'family religion' did not bring salvation to
those of Israel. And even the few faithful ones did not save the nation,
even though God had put his name on it. Eventually, because of the extent
of their apostasy in the days of Jesus, the nation was completely rejected
and God withdrew his name from it. Then A.D. 70 the nation was destroyed by
the Romans, and only a small remnant of those who clung to Judaism escaped.
But even these were not shown favor. Until just a few years ago the nation
has not been in existence, but even now modern Israel admittedly has not
returned to the government of the Mosaic Law Covenant. Only those, in
Jesus' day, who completely separated themselves from the traditions of the
Jewish apostasy were preserved by God. It was to these that he demonstrated
a new way of life and later they were joined by faithful persons from many
other nations on an equal footing in the Christian congregation."
APOSTASY BEGAN IN THE EARLY CONGREGATION
"Well I think I can agree with what you've said; but, of course, I
believe that God has put his name on my church. It has survived all these
centuries, and yours has only come up in the last generation. Why should I
believe that you are right? Doesn't the Bible say that false prophets will
"Yes it does. But the fact that a religion has survived for centuries does
not of itself make that religion true. Already in the days of the early
congregation the apostasy had begun. The apostle Paul called this to the
attention of the Corinthians in his first letter and warned them against
the divisions that had begun to arise in the congregation over
doctrine. Even before that he had
cautioned the Galatians about being drawn away by another good news that
was being preached and reminded them that 'a little yeast ferments the
whole lump.' It seems that even after the governing body had settled the
question of circumcision, some were still resisting and trying to establish
a teaching of their own. Still later Paul
wrote Timothy a warning against two men who were teaching a false doctrine
about the resurrection and he pointed out their false teaching 'will spread
"Then Paul wrote a letter about this to the Thessalonians. This was the
second letter he had written, because in the first he had been discussing
the second coming of Christ and some had read into his words that Jesus'
presence was imminent. So he wrote to them to correct that false impression
and said: 'Let no one seduce you in any manner, because it will not come
unless the falling away comes first and the man of lawlessness gets
revealed.' Then he added these words: 'True, the mystery of this
lawlessness is already at work.'
"So Paul pointed out clearly that false doctrine was already beginning to
work corruption within the organization and as a sort of farewell warning
to the overseers of the congregation at Ephesus he said: 'I know that after
my going away
oppressive wolves will enter in among you and will not treat the flock
with tenderness, and from among yourselves men will rise and speak twisted
things to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore keep
"You see, Paul did not believe the falling away or the arising of false
prophets would wait until the last days. He showed it had already begun.
Apparently by the end of the first century some had already begun to teach
that Jesus was part God while on earth because John, just before he died,
wrote: 'Many deceivers have gone forth into the world, persons not
confessing Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and
"Now the conclusion of the matter is this. Jehovah God does not change in
principle. He has no more reason now to approve a religion indiscriminately
of its adherents than he did centuries ago in the wilderness of Sinai.
Jehovah's witnesses do not believe that he will do so."
BEING SURE OF THE RIGHT RELIGION
"Then what do you think is the answer?"
"Jehovah's witnesses believe that the truths that have been lost through
the centuries are now being restored to all kinds of people. They believe
these people are being 'called . . . out of darkness into his wonderful
light,' and are being associated together in an organization dedicated to
God's service. The only way we can be sure
of our doctrine is to test it thoroughly by going to the Bible itself.
Those of the early congregation did. They did not leave it to someone else
do for them. They made sure of all the things they believed, and they were
approved by God. That is what Jehovah's
witnesses have done, too. That is why we believe we have the truth and why
we call at the homes of people of all faiths," I concluded.
Have you been told that Jehovah's witnesses are narrow and bigoted for
having these views? Before you make up your own mind on the matter,
remember this: Jesus and all of his disciples of the first century were
sure they had the right religion. They were so sure of it they were willing
to oppose all the popular and so-called orthodox views of the day. They were willing to persist in this course even
to the point where they sacrificed their lives for it.
We all live in the same world community. Therefore we should examine one
another's religions even if only for the purpose of understanding our
neighbors better. Besides, we should examine our own religion from time to
time. The apostle Paul said:  "Examine
yourselves, whether ye be in the faith."
To condemn a religion only because it claims to be the right one is to deny
God's promise to have only "one way" and is to condemn Jesus himself who
said,  "I am the way." True, many
religions claim to be "Christian" and therefore following that "one way,"
but remember, Jesus said also:  "Not every
one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;
but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."
Jehovah God does not have any contradictory "wills." He communicates with
us through one Word, the Bible. But he does not reveal his purposes
separately to each individual. His one will is expressed through one
channel that he himself has built up. No man can claim any credit for it.
No man or group of men could accomplish its work without God's spirit. That
makes it God's work.
But how does God express himself through his channel? Isn't it just a
matter of interpretation of the Bible? Perhaps we'd better settle those
questions, too, before I describe to you the growing pains of the new-born
New World society.
CHAPTER 10. INTERPRETATIONS BELONG TO GOD
YOU MAY HAVE heard someone say that Jehovah's witnesses interpret the
Bible to suit themselves. Now most people who try to please themselves look
out for their own interests and make things easy. Yet the interpretation of
the Bible Jehovah's witnesses adhere to has not been an easy one to follow.
Actually we do not interpret the Bible either privately or as an
organization. Remember, Jesus said concerning those who would be
watching, "The master ... will gird
himself and have them sit at table, and he will come and serve
them." (Italics mine.)
That means the entire Society or family are seated at the Lord's
spiritual table and all are fed together from God's Word at the hand of
their Master, Jesus Christ. Although they study individually also, it is
not a private matter with each one, because of their group study. In this
way, since all receive individual instruction, they all become individually
qualified for their ministry. Yet since they spiritually eat together at
the one source, their understanding is uniform. They are
not divided by conflicting private interpretations. Then how does the
FINDING THE HARMONY OF THE BIBLE
Not too long ago I got into a discussion with a man who had been a
sincere Catholic all of his life. Our conversation on the Bible led us to a
consideration of the doctrine of the trinity, and this point of
interpretation came up. "Now I'll admit," my friend said, "that the word
'trinity' does not appear in the Bible, and the Bible does not say
specifically that there are three distinct personalities in the Godhead.
But we Catholics believe that the Church has the authority to pronounce
dogma in order to express clearly those doctrines that are not distinctly
taught in the Bible." "But how can the Catholic Church have authority to
teach something that is not taught by the Bible, or that is contrary to
what the Bible states?" I asked. "Well, I don't think she teaches anything
contrary to the Bible," he replied. "But if the doctrine of the trinity for
example is not clearly expressed in the Scriptures, then why shouldn't the
Church add her voice for the benefit of her children? " "But that is rather
dangerous, don't you think?" "Why is it?" "Well, assume for a moment that
the Church does have that right. That doesn't leave much need for the Bible
itself does it? Take this doctrine of a trinity. Of what value are all of
the texts that might give light on the subject if, in the final analysis,
we rely on an authority aside from the Bible for the understanding? "
"Well, I believe the Church can interpret correctly." "Yes, because you are
a Catholic. But do you think the
average Protestant would accept an interpretation just on that
"All churches claim the right to interpret the Bible. Why shouldn't the
"I don't think any organization has that right. If a group cannot
demonstrate solely from the Bible that its teachings should be accepted,
what basis do they have for convincing anyone outside of their own
organization? It would be just one man's opinion against another's. The
Watchtower doesn't claim to interpret the Bible. Thee believe that God had
the Bible recorded so that in his due time a proper harmony of the
Scriptures on a certain point will reveal God's own mind on the matter.
That is the only correct interpretation."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, let me demonstrate it. We have just admitted that the Bible does
not discuss the trinity as a doctrine. Now what is the truth in regard to
the relationship of the Father and the Son? Certainly, God knows. And we
have every reason to believe that the writers of the Bible must have known,
too. They were inspired. Therefore their conception of the true
relationship of the Father and the Son would certainly appear in their
expressions when they are discussing that relationship. So we should make
an effort to determine the view they had by the things they actually said,
not by some interpretation that we would like to put on their words."
"Do you think that can be relied on for something as important as one of
the central doctrines of the Christian church?"
"How else can we determine if it really is one of the central doctrines?
You see, I still believe the Bible is sufficient. Paul wrote to
Timothy, 'All scripture, inspired of God,
is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice,
That the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good work.' That
text says the Bible will completely equip
us with doctrine and instruction and makes no suggestion that we need
tradition outside of the Bible to complete it."
"How can you determine what any writer meant on a subject if he is not
directly discussing that subject? That's where the interpretation comes
"Not at all. That is where most Bible students make their mistake, and
why we have so many differing interpretations."
"How would you do it?"
"By comparing his words with another's, or with his own when expressed
in different words or from a different viewpoint."
JESUS QUOTED SCRIPTURE AS AUTHORITY
"But that is one objection that I have always had to Jehovah's
witnesses. You take Scriptures from all over the Bible and put them
together like a jigsaw puzzle. You can prove anything that way."
"Not unless you take the Scriptures out of their proper context. Jesus
constantly quoted the words of writers of the 'Old Testament,' or Hebrew
Scriptures, to establish a thought. So did Paul and Peter. They did not
rely on their own interpretation. That is the proper way to determine what
a writer meant. Why, in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus actually made
twenty-one different quotations from eight different books of the Hebrew
Scriptures to establish the authority for
his doctrine. Surely you don't think he was misusing the Scriptures do
"He was God. That makes a difference."
"Well, he certainly had the mind of God. And that is what we should try
to get. But we can't if we insist on attaching meanings to his words that
he never intended. Let me illustrate it by a few texts that discuss the
relationship of the Father and the Son. Take the text at John 10:30
It says, 'I and the Father are one.' Now, what does that mean to you?"
"Just what it says. The Father and the Son are one. That means they are one
God." "Well, taking the Scripture by itself it might seem that way,
although it doesn't actually say they are one God, does it? In the first
place, he isn't talking about the identity of the Father or his own
identity. He says in verse 25: 'The works that I do in the name of my
Father, they give testimony of me.' So he's talking about their
relationship in their work, not in a 'Godhead.' But before we jump to any
final conclusions and read into the text something Jesus may never have
meant, suppose we turn to another place where he is also discussing his
relationship to his Father. Notice here he is comparing their own
relationship with that of those who would become members of his 'body.' It
is at John 17:20-22, Douay translation. 'And not for them only do I pray,
but for them also who through their word shall believe in me; That they all
may be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee; that they also may be
one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory
which thou hast given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, as we
also are one.' Now, you couldn't very well say he was discussing their
relationship as part of the Godhead, could you? Because then there would be
more than just three in one." "That's obvious, I believe." "Then why do we
say in the other text we just read that he was viewing his relation to his
Father in that mystical ways He was talking about his works there, too,
wasn't he? "
ONENESS OF JESUS WITH GOD IN THEIR WORK'S
"What about the text that says, 'If you have seen me you have seen the
Father.' That's plain enough, isn't it?"
"What is he talking about when he makes the statement? Notice the entire
reference at John 14:8-10 (Douay). Here again, as in both of the
other instances, Jesus is talking about the works he has done and the words
he has spoken, as he says: 'The words that I speak to you, I speak not of
myself. But the Father who abideth in me, he doth the works.'"
"But don't you see? He says right there that the Father abides in
"Let me caution you again, now. What right do we have to say he meant
anything different than when he very clearly prayed to his Father and said
about his disciples: 'that they all may be one, as thou, Father, in
me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us.'
If we attach a certain meaning to his words without just cause, then we are
truly wresting the Scriptures and making them subject to private
"What do you think he meant?"
"Jesus said he did nothing without authority from the Father. This shows
oneness of purpose. Besides, the one delegating authority is superior to
the one receiving it, so Jesus is not equal with the Father as the doctrine
of the trinity teaches. In fact Jesus
said, 'The Father is greater than I.'
"In this point of oneness," I concluded, "I can think of no statement in
the Bible which would more clearly infer that two persons could still be
only one, than the description of a man and woman who marry. Jesus
said: I 'For this cause shall a man leave
father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in
one flesh.' Now Jesus actually says these two become just one, yet
no one would interpret his words to mean they enter into a mystical oneness
similar to the 'three persons, yet one God' of the trinity. Why not?
Because it is obvious he really didn't mean that. Why, then, in the face of
so many statements to the contrary should we attribute such an obscure
meaning to references to the oneness of the Father and the Son? Besides,
none of these statements even mention a third 'person' like the 'holy
ghost,' so at best it
could only establish a 'duality,' and not a 'trinity.' That is why
Jehovah's witnesses refuse to interpret the Bible themselves. The true
meaning of any text can be determined only when it lS harmonized with the
rest of the Bible and in keeping with their contexts. That way, the
interpretation is God's, not man's."
PROPHECY UNFOLDS With ITS FULFILLMENT
Now I have tried, by relating this incident to you, to demonstrate an
extremely important point in this matter of interpretation. Isaiah
encourages us, "Come now, and let us
reason together, saith Jehovah: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall
be as white as snow." This makes it quite clear that we can and should
reason upon such doctrines of the Bible as salvation, the trinity and other
basic fundamental teachings. These foundations of Christian faith were
argued by Paul and others of the early congregation, and most of these
cardinal doctrines were restored early in C. T. Russell's study.
Restoration was necessary because, as both Peter and Paul foretold, they
would be lost. Such reasoning was not
done by man's wisdom, but by a comparison of scriptures under the Lord's
direction until complete harmony was found for all of them without
Prophecy, however, is different. The apostle Peter said: "No prophecy of
Scripture springs from any private release." That is, no one can "reason out" the fulfillment.
We have to wait until it happens. As events occur we need only to be aware
of them and be fully acquainted with the prophecies recorded. The
fulfillment becomes quite clear, unless, of course, we are still not clear
on the fundamentals of the Bible. As an illustration Paul wrote to the
Hebrews that he had some deep things to
say about Jesus, how certain promises made long beforehand were fulfilled
in Christ. 'But,'
Paul said, 'you still have to learn the basic teachings of Christianity
again. How can you understand these deeper aspects of the prophecies about
Christ,' he argued, 'if you still have to feed on the milk of God's
It was in this way that the fundamental purposes of God were revealed to
that little group headed by Russell who were watching for Jesus' return.
This channel the Lord has kept on using and it has grown in understanding.
Points of prophecy have been obscure at times because events had not yet
progressed sufficiently, but the light is getting brighter as those
foretold events occur. As the prophecies
are fulfilled, they are studied along with the physical facts and thus they
become "meat in due season" to all of those feeding at the table Jehovah,
through Jesus Christ, has set for his channel, his "faithful and discreet
OUR VIEW OF THE NEW WORLD SOCIETY CLEARS UP
Development of our understanding of prophecies in relation to the New
World society is an example of how the knowledge of God's purposes has
unfolded. It was not until some years after 1919 that it was understood
that there was a New World society being gathered and brought to maturity.
This, we then realized, was to be carried through the battle of Armageddon
as a nucleus of the new world arrangement to be set up during the thousand-
year reign of Christ. We made an effort to understand it, and were able to
get some important information that was helpful at the time; but the
details could not be understood until God's time to fulfill the prophecy or
until events were far enough advanced to see clearly the prophecies were
Birth of the New World society brought changes in our thinking as well
as in our activity. True, we knew that only a "little flock" had been promised the kingdom of heaven.
But Revelation 7 spoke of a "great multitude" in addition to this
limited number of 144,000 who compose the "little flock."
Furthermore, in the seventh chapter of Revelation we have the picture of
four angels holding back the four winds of the earth. This is the same
condition Jesus described at Matthew 24:22 when he said: "For the elect's
sake those days [of tribulation against Satan's wicked system] shall be
shortened." Following the war in heaven that began in 1914, the angels of
the Lord are not permitted to blow and wreck or destroy the things of this
world's organizations until a certain work is done. Now what was that work?
First it was the sealing of the 144,000 or completing the number of those
who would make up the "little flock." Then, after that was done, John saw a
great crowd or great multitude, standing before the throne, singing the
praises of Jehovah and thanking him that they were delivered from the
persecutions that were coming upon them. Now the question we had asked
ourselves was Who are these? And what are we to do for them? These and
similar questions had puzzled Bible scholars for years.
John was told they were a group to come out of great tribulation. This
and other features of the prophecy show a definite time element is
involved. Therefore, an understanding of this text in Revelation 7 was not
due until the time of this tribulation had begun and the time to deal with
this "great multitude" had arrived. After the beginning of the period of
tribulation on Satan's world which began in 1914 with the war in heaven,
and after the birth of the New World society in 1919, this time had come.
When these and other features of Bible prophecy began to clear up, an
exhaustive study was made of all the texts and subject-matter relating to
this prophecy in Revelation, and in view of conditions that had by this
time developed in the organization we realized that the great crowd was
composed of those who would be called by Jehovah and prepared for an
everlasting home on earth in
the new world. These must be gathered before Armageddon and be carried
through that great battle. This understanding did not come until 1935.
Now it is clear to all in the New World society; and their hope is to be
carried through the battle of Armageddon into the new world. If faithful to
the principles of that new world, they will live on to everlasting life and
be the "millions now living [that] will never die."
During the last ten or fifteen years, we have looked not so much for any
new unfolding of doctrine, but a clearer appreciation of those prophecies
already revealed. Now the light of truth is guiding us to know what to
expect before Armageddon. That is something we never understood in the
past. Events had not developed sufficiently. Now we know the New World
society must be fully developed, and that is a world-wide work. Although
some who oppose Jehovah's witnesses would like to make it appear otherwise,
we do not claim, "Chronology shows the final end will come on such and such
a date." The work will not end until it is completed. Matthew 24:14 says
this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a
witness to the nations, and then the end will come.
This principle of interpretation was stated many centuries ago in Egypt.
Joseph, a faithful worshiper of Jehovah, answered two officers of the
Pharaoh when they were puzzled because no one could reveal to them the
meaning of their dreams. He said, "Do not
interpretations belong to God?" Then, under inspiration, he explained to
them what the future held in store.
Even Daniel, the prophet, was made to realize that prophecy can be
understood only in God's due time. He reports: "And I heard, but I understood not: then said I,
O my lord, what shall be the issue of these things? And he said, Go thy
way, Daniel; for the words are shut up and sealed till the time of the end.
Many shall purify themselves, and make
themselves white, and be refined; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and
none of the wicked shall understand; but they that are wise shall
RESISTING GOD'S INTERPRETATION LEADS TO DISASTER
Development of understanding of God's purposes has been progressing
since the days of the early congregation. Even the disciples of Jesus did
not receive all their understanding during his presence with them. In fact,
when the holy spirit was poured out on them at Pentecost they did not have
it all. They had only one clear point at Pentecost, and that is that God
would select a people for his name from among the nations — first the
Jews. And how difficult it was for them later to see that any Gentiles
would be taken in. Why, some rebelled against it. "No Gentile can come in,"
they argued; "if he's going to be one of us he'll have to be circumcised
and keep the law." The apostle Paul had quite a time straightening them
out. It was such an important matter that they went to Jerusalem to the
governing body of the entire church and thrashed it out for several days
before they had it cleared up.
It was even after this that Paul had to clear up a point for Peter while
he was visiting in Antioch. Peter had been conducting himself as a Gentile
in regard to the Law until certain Jewish Christians arrived. Then he began
to keep certain features of the Law by separating himself from the Gentile
Christians. Paul asked him: "If you,
though you are a Jew, live as the nations do, and not as Jews do, how is it
that you are compelling people of the nations to live according to Jewish
practice?" Obviously Peter was not "infallible," even in this matter of
faith and morals.
As the truth unfolded gradually to the early congregation, so the truth
is gradually unfolding itself today. As some became offended and dropped
out then, so do some today.
They got themselves into a rut by saying, "Now this is as far as we'll
go. Accepting these advanced ideas involves too much change." The "popular"
religions of Christendom have done just that. They drew up a creed and
said, "That creed will show that we have not slipped away and gotten into
error." Instead the creed has kept them from going along in the increasing
light of truth. The rut has become a chasm with its dead end at
CHAPTER 11. BUILT ON A PRIMITIVE FOUNDATION
BIRTH OF THE New World society in 1919 Brought changes in our thinking
and in our activity. The period that followed was a time of constant change
and development. Strengthened by our trying experiences during World War I,
we were beginning to take firm root among people of all nations. But we
were not a part of this present system of things. Therefore, this world
could not understand our position or our aims.
Even though we had been cleared of an illegal judgment of seditious
conspiracy, we were viewed with suspicion and distrust from all sides. The
systems of this world were well established and set in their own pattern of
activity. They viewed us as "new," as an "upstart" society, and our
doctrine as "radical" and "impractical." The chasm which separated us was
of their making. They wanted it that way and resented any interference.
J. F. Rutherford, however, was not a man to "pull his punches." He spoke
as simply and directly to the people as he
knew how, and he was an extremely forthright man. He was thoroughly
convinced that what he had to say was the truth and that it was a matter of
life and death. As was the case with Russell it had not taken Rutherford
long to realize that the religions of Christendom were drifting further
away from the principles and truth of the Bible. Many of the Protestant
religions were turning to higher criticism of the Bible, and in a quiet,
underhanded way were destroying the confidence of the people in the
inspiration of the Bible as the guide for daily living. To many it had
become a book of philosophy. Catholicism had always taken the view that the
Bible was not sufficient to guide people in worship or in the affairs of
life, and had to add tradition to it. Expensive church buildings, the
collection plate, high-salaried clergy, church bazaars, raffles and bingo
parties — none of which were employed in early Christian worship
— all smacked of materialism and strengthened Rutherford's resolve to
emphasize a simple form of worship that involved individual dedication to
God and to his service. Rutherford repeatedly charged the leaders of
Christendom: "You are commercializing religion and making salvation just a
business proposition, a matter of money, rather than a matter of devotion
to Jehovah in covenant relationship with him." It was not just condemning
someone else's religion. God's name was involved and so was the individual
destiny of everyone on earth. So he was justified in his position and he
was fired with enthusiasm in proclaiming it. Of course, his plain
unvarnished speech made him many enemies, and when his slogan, "Religion is
a snare and a racket," began to appear their teeth were bared in earnest.
What our enemies had failed to accomplish in 1918 some of them now
determined must be done. A well-organized campaign was set in motion to
discredit, undermine and completely destroy our work of preaching the good
news of the Kingdom.
RUTHERFORD BEGINS TO UNIFY OUR WORK
Meanwhile, Rutherford realized we were too loosely organized for any
concerted effort of our own. With the birth of the New World society in
1919 a new spirit had come into us and we were eager to carry our message
of Jehovah's established kingdom to the ends of the earth. This meant we
must close up our ranks and unify our efforts. Russell had left it much to
the individual as to how we were to fulfill our responsibilities. When we
were sent out as speakers to visit the congregations we had our own way
about it. We selected our own subjects for our talks and, as a result,
there was considerable confusion as to what was said. Rutherford wanted to
unify the preaching work and, instead of having each individual give his
own opinion and tell what he thought was right and do what was in his own
mind, gradually Rutherford himself began to be the main spokesman for the
organization. That was the way he thought the message could best be given
without contradiction. At the same time we began to realize that each one
of us had a responsibility to go from house to house and preach. We were
shown that it was a covenant-keeping arrangement. We had a duty to God, as
well as a privilege and a duty to our fellow-men to see that they were
informed of God's purposes. God's favor and approval was not to be won by
developing "character." In 1927 we were shown that the way each individual
was to serve was to go from door to door. Sunday especially was stressed as
the most opportune day to find the people at home. What a furor that
started! Even within the organization a few objected. "I couldn't go to the
door on Sunday morning and offer someone literature," they said. "People
would think I was breaking the Sabbath. I'll stay home and I'll prepare a
nice sermon in the morning and in the afternoon or evening
I'll dress up in my frock coat and wing collar and I'll come up and give
them a good talk and that will be serving the Lord." That was the position
a few of the elders took. The majority, though, recognized it was the way
Jesus and the apostles did the work and took it up gladly.
PREACHING THE LORD'S WORD ON THE LORD'S DAY
The reaction of some of the householders whom we approached was
interesting, to say the least. One of Jehovah's Witnesses I had known for
some time was a prominent businessman and well known in the community where
he lived. On Sunday morning he appeared at a lady's home with some Bible
study aids, offering them for a small contribution, and the lady of the
house took him to task.
"Mr. Cuppett," she said, "I'm astonished to see a man of your standing
coming to people's homes on Sundays trying to sell something. There are six
days in the week that you could do this selling and not today."
"Well," he said, "Mrs. Knox, if you can show me from the Lord's Word
that it's wrong to do the Lord's work on the Lord's day, I'll quit and go
That took her by surprise and she stopped and reasoned with him on the
matter. He reminded her of the fact that Jesus performed works of healing
on the sabbath day and it seemed to the Pharisees looking on that he was
desecrating the sabbath. Cuppett opened his Bible and read to her: "There was a certain man before him which had the
dropsy. And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying,
Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day? And they held their peace. And he
took him, and healed him, and let him go; And answered them, saying, Which
of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen
into a pit, and will not straight way pull him out on the sabbath day?
And they could not answer him again to these things." Then Cuppett said:
"I'm calling on you for a good purpose. Like that poor son of Abraham that
Jesus cured, most of the people in the world today are in a worse condition
than the ox or ass that falls into a pit. We're not performing physical
cures today, but the spiritual healing that is available through these
Bible study aids I am offering you is far more important. This information
will show you and your family how to find lasting security for the future."
Mrs. Knox was like a number of people we used to meet, more so in the past
than in recent years. She had become so used to thinking of religion only
in connection with a certain type of building and service that she could
not understand how someone could call at her home with anything truly
religious. If it wasn't done the way it was done in her church, then there
must be something wrong with it, she argued. She thought nothing of her
minister passing the collection plate on Sunday to pay his salary and
otherwise finance her religion, but when Cuppett offered her a printed
sermon at her door for a contribution just to cover the printing cost, it
became something commercial to her mind. She didn't realize that Cuppett
wasn't even being paid for his work. In fact, it was actually costing him
money to visit her home. But when he explained how Jesus carried on his
work, then she was willing to take some of his books and look into the
matter. While this extensive house-to-house ministry met with an immediate
response, a small minority seriously objected. Most of these were
influenced by their clergymen and determined to put a stop to our work.
They stirred up the police and within a few months after our special Sunday
activity began, the first arrest occurred at South Amboy, New Jersey. That
was in 1928.
DANGERS SEEN IN DEMOCRATIC CONGREGATIONAL GOVERNMENT
Expansion and trouble went hand-in-hand. With it we soon saw the need to
strengthen the organization and readjust its structure in accordance with
the arrangement of the early congregation in the days of the apostles. It
was becoming more evident that with the growth of the organization, the
democratic method of electing "elders" and class "officers" would lead to
serious difficulties, besides being out of harmony with Jehovah's way of
doing things. The electing of elders and other officers in the
congregations, which was our practice before the present theocratic
arrangement was introduced, was a carry-over from the congregational
pattern Russell had been used to in his youth. But there were grave dangers
present with the system. In many of the religious organizations, such
elections were a regular political caucus. Some "sister" would like to have
one of her sons or her husband put into a prominent position, and she would
make a party for all the "sisters" so that they might come together and
have a lovely time. They might discuss a few Scriptures and one thing and
another, and then she'd bring up the question in an offhand sort of way:
"Who do you think should be elected as elder? Who should be so-and-so,
wouldn't my husband — ?" and so on. After Rutherford became president
he was not long in seeing that the democratic arrangement was not the
proper procedure for the Christian congregation at all. He had been a
lawyer and a politician in his youth, and he saw the corruption that was
possible in such method. So he turned to the Bible and studied carefully
the procedure followed by the disciples of Jesus. What he learned was
revealing and certainly ruled out any democratic arrangement if the modern
organization was to follow the primitive pattern of the apostles.
THE PRIMITlVE CONGREGATION WAS THEOCRATIC
The original congregation was theocratic. It was ruled by Jehovah God
through Jesus Christ. The apostles were selected by Jesus, not elected by the disciples. Every member of the
body of Christ was to be set in place by God himself. It was his organization, and he was directing its
Jesus organized the congregation with various ones performing different
responsibilities, so that the entire arrangement would be
complete. This didn't mean that the
governing body at Jerusalem ruled the others and held their power over them
as an arbitrary hierarchy. True, the governing body at Jerusalem were the
ones that finally decided certain matters regarding doctrine and practice.
As I've mentioned, when the question arose about Paul and Barnabas going to
the Gentiles with the message, it caused a furor among the old-fashioned
Jews. They said, "No, you can't accept a Gentile into the body of Christ
until he first becomes a Jew. He must become circumcised and practice the
keeping of the law as the Jews do, then he may be received." Finally the
difference became so sharp that Paul and Barnabas went to Jerusalem where
an assembly of the governing body was held as recorded in the fifteenth
chapter of Acts. After considerable
debate Peter reminded the assembly that God had sent him to the first
Gentile, then Paul and Barnabas told how the Lord blessed their work
amongst the Gentiles. James, who was the brother of Jesus and the presiding
minister of the Jerusalem congregation, finally summed up the matter that
the Gentiles should come in on an equal footing with the rest if they would
accept Christ. This decision was based on the written word of the prophets
and so recognized as directed by God. It was not an arbitrary decision by
the governing body.
As the apostles and others went around preaching the Kingdom message,
they did not tell the various groups to elect
servants or make elders out of those that were put up for office. The
apostles and a few others were authorized by the governing body to appoint
men who were already elders, that is, who were mature and well- established
in the faith. They were appointed to
positions in the various congregations as servants to carry on the
work. And this was generally supervised
by the governing body at Jerusalem.
Besides taking the lead in the preaching work the governing body was responsible to make
reproofs and corrections and direct the conduct of the
organization. This could not be done
unless those in responsible positions in the congregation were
representatives of the governing body, being appointed by it. These
appointments were not made by an organization of men, but by the power of
God's holy spirit. Hence, those who
opposed or resisted the theocratic arrangement were not opposing or
resisting men; they were striving against the spirit of God.
THEOCRATIC STRUCTURE RESTORED TO THE CONGREGATION
Now, we argued, if that is the way Jehovah God arranged the congregation
in the first place, what authority do we have for a different procedure
now? It was recognized too that the Scriptures foretold the theocratic
organization would be restored again when the time for Jesus' second
presence had arrived. "And he shall send
Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must
receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken
by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." These
prophets foretold the improved condition that would prevail and the amazing
increase that would result:  "For brass I
will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and
for stones iron: I will also make thy officers peace, and twine exactors
righteousness.... A little one shall
become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will
hasten it in his time."
When these points on organization were cleared up and published in
The Watchtower in 1938  a
further cleansing of the organization was provided. From the days of C. T.
Russell there were those who were called "elders," who wore frock coats and
black ties; a few spent their time studying and looking up ideas that were
not published or printed in the old Watch Tower. Their thought was to
attract attention to themselves by telling something new, and at times they
were doing exactly what Paul warned against in Acts 20:29, where he said,
"After my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing
the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse
things, to draw away disciples after them.
When the time arrived for Jehovah to gather together those that would
make up his spiritual temple, that was the condition he found, and he
proceeded to cleanse the temple from such a group. As I've already told
you, he permitted severe trials to come upon the entire Society and the
result was that many of these old-time elders were not able to survive and
move forward in the expanding service privileges.
Those who refused to swallow their pride and follow the example of Jesus
and his disciples in the door-to-door ministry soon found themselves out of
the organization entirely. They soon found that all the others of the
respective congregations were participating in the witness work which
developed them mentally and otherwise brought them along to maturity. These
active ones became true "elders" by reason of their loyalty and zeal in the
Lord's service. They were not elected to an office of "elder"; but they
became elders by their own service activity; then they were appointed to
positions of responsibility and service in the organization because they
had shown the proper qualifications.
As a result Jehovah's witnesses now prosper under the Theocratic
arrangement. Without it we never could have had the phenomenal increase
we now rejoice in. But all those associated with the Society recognized the
necessity for this theocratic arrangement and appreciated the fact that it
was laid on the primitive foundation of the apostles. Immediately all the
congregations all over the world voted to uphold the arrangement and asked
the governing body at the Brooklyn headquarters to appoint those in
respective congregations who would serve as overseers. Today there is no
confusion and there is no argument about how we proceed or who will have
the responsibility for the oversight in each congregation. It is all
settled through the theocratic arrangement, exactly as the apostles had it
in the days of old. The New World society is being developed and built up
and the arrangement that went into effect in 1938 will continue into the
new world and for a thousand years of Christ's reign.
THE PRIMITIVE FOUNDATION PROVIDES MATURITY
As in all other features of development, the theocratic structure of the
Society was a gradual process. Russell wanted to destroy the pagan idea of
the clergy-laity distinction. Rutherford saw that the democratic procedure
would inevitably lead to political haranguing. Now we can see it as the
Lord's direction. It certainly solves many of our problems. It provides a
unity and closeness world-wide that could not be maintained if all
congregations acted independently. Besides, continued expansion could not
be accomplished with the ease it now is. Let's say we have a congregation
of two hundred ministers, or publishers of the good news. How simple it is
to start another congregation. Two groups of one hundred each are divided
off into adjoining territories and each group recommends that certain men
of their number would be suitable overseers or servants. These names are
sent in to the theocratic
headquarters and if those recommended meet the requirements, then the
Society may appoint them. True, those who remain at the original location
miss the association of those in the other group for a time, but in a
little while empty seats are taken by new ones coming in, and the
congregation grows up again to be two hundred, and there will be another
division. Everything is handled in an orderly way and no serious problems
interfere. The same doctrine is taught and the same procedure of operation
is carried on in each new congregation. This theocratic arrangement has
carried us through a period of intense opposition. Without the unity of
action it has brought us, enabling Jehovah's spirit to move and direct our
course, the growing New World society would never have survived to
maturity. While this full development in organizational structure did not
come until close to twenty years after the New World society had begun to
operate, we were still in the midst of severe persecution. In fact, our
struggle for survival as a new nation had really only begun.
CHAPTER 12. A SECOND STRUGGLE TO SURVIVE
AFTER THE FIRST ARREST in 1928 for preaching on Sunday we began to
encounter a stiffening legal barrier to our work. Objections were based,
not on the fact that we were itinerant preachers, but on the message itself
that we were proclaiming to the world. As the years progressed this fact
became quite obvious in the almost unbelievable variety of laws that were
enacted or brought to bear against us.
In most democratic lands, at least, you can't be arrested just because
you insist on publicly disagreeing with the powerfully-entrenched major
religions of the world. Still, these groups, unable to answer the bold
charges made in open discussion and unable to endure the stinging rebuke
that was being administered, determined that some means had to be found to
put a stop to our work. Pressure was brought to bear on those in public
office, as we had experienced in 1918, and many times during those
turbulent decades we saw "mischief framed by law." This time, however, I am happy to relate,
the federal government of the United States refused to be drawn in.
Perhaps you've heard it said that it is neither brotherly nor
neighborly, not even gentlemanly, to speak against another man's religion.
Yet those who make this statement overlook the fact that Jesus spent his
entire ministry doing it. True, he healed the sick; he raised the dead; he
preached  "Happy are the merciful, since
they will be shown mercy." But he also told leaders of the Jews' religion:
 "Serpents, offspring of vipers, how are
you to flee from the judgment of Gehenna?" Jehovah's earlier prophet,
Jeremiah, was divinely commissioned "to root out, and to pull down, . . .
to build, and to plant."
Of course, neither Jesus nor Jeremiah was popular with certain groups
because they exposed error; but they proved themselves real neighbors
— brothers — to the multitudes who were being injured by
mistaught ideas of worship. Those people to whom they preached had not
realized their way of worship was wrong or injurious. But those who were
willing to listen and consider the evidences soon discovered the truth.
I'm sure you'll agree that persecution is not the tool of honest men.
None of those who really listened to Jesus persecuted him. Nor is there any
record that Jesus and his disciples, or, for that matter, any of the
faithful prophets of old ever raised a hand against their adversaries. They
exposed false teachings and pronounced God's judgments but never endeavored
to stir up the political rulers against their enemies. Both Biblical and
secular history show clearly it is only those who advocate false worship
who stoop to such means.
Jehovah's witnesses have never resorted to violence or illegal means in
defense of their worship. We've been outspoken against those doctrines and
religious practices which we do not believe are supported by the Bible but
have always relied entirely on the Bible as an offensive weapon, just as
the apostle Paul urged us to do.
PIONEERING IN RADIO PREACHING
SOUND CARS TAKE THE ROAD
At this same time another feature of the work was developed which
carried the transcribed lectures to thousands of people. This was the use
of sound cars. These automobiles and small panel trucks were equipped with
transcription machines and amplifiers connected to loudspeakers on top of
the car which broadcast the talks over an extensive area. These cars went
out over country roads, in small towns and even in the large cities. They
would stop at a point where the most people would be likely to hear and
would play recorded Bible lectures. Some of these talks were extremely
pointed and often brought an immediate reaction. One experience I recall
was in a Pennsylvania town on the Monongahela River in Fayette County. The
town is far down in a hollow and on its east side is a high hill. The town
attorney had tried to stop us from preaching with our magazines on the
street and to interfere with our service in every possible way. I was
appointed to go to see him one Saturday afternoon and
A SECOND STRUGGLE: TO SURVIVE
discuss the interference with him. I asked him what the reason was for
his trying to interfere with our religious work. "We teach the Bible and
nothing but the Bible," I pointed out, "and the United States Constitution
backs us up in our religious freedom." I dealt a good deal with the
prophecies of the Bible and described our interest in the new way of life,
showing him how we were teaching these things. The old fellow became quite
impressed but he said, "I'll tell you what's wrong. The people of this town
are very indignant. There are many Catholics here of foreign extraction
— they work in the mines. When that loud sound truck of yours got up
on the hill and turned on Judge Rutherford's talk, it swept up and down the
valley, and stirred the people up to a great extent. They came after us and
insisted we had to do something whether it was legal or illegal. It had to
be done. Now if you'll just go about it in a different way and in a quiet
way, then we'll not interfere with your parades or with your meetings. It
was only a few of the more radical sort that stirred up all the trouble,
but they made so much noise by their complaints, the police in many
communities became obsessed with the idea that the whole community was
against us. That has rarely been true. Except in some strong religious
communities we have mostly found the majority of people either willing to
listen or just indifferent. In spite of the widespread use of radio and the
extensive door-to-door work that was being done, few people really knew
what we believed. Most of the things they heard about us were from our
opposers who were making a concerted effort to prejudice the public against
ORGANIZING A PEACEABLE COUNTER-ATTACK
Arrests were on the increase and in some communities it was impossible
for our people to carry on their work. They would
be arrested before they had hardly begun. This called for a bold and
decisive campaign. We knew we were authorized from the Bible to preach and
we knew that, at least in the United States, the fundamental law of the
land guaranteed us that freedom. So we set about to exercise it in a way
that would accomplish results and defeat the opposition. We organized a
system in the United States that proved successful in covering the
territory with the Kingdom message. This is the way it operated. Volunteers
were organized into units that were prepared on any weekend to go to any
community within a given radius and preach from door to door. When trouble
arose, the one in charge of that particular area would send out a call for
as many car groups as would be needed to visit each home in the trouble
spot within a space of an hour or so. These volunteer workers would then
meet at a designated rendezvous and receive instructions as to which
section of the town they were to work, so that before they ever entered the
town each minister knew the exact blocks he would be expected to cover. The
cars would then drive into town individually and at a set time would start
to work. Within the allotted time of one or two hours every home in the
city would be visited and the people of the community given a proper chance
to hear for themselves the good news of God's kingdom. In the meantime, at
the hour designated for them to begin their house-to-house preaching, two
ministers of the delegation would go directly to the police department and
report what they were doing. We didn't go in there to ask a permit to do
the work. We had that right by virtue of the Constitution and as a
God-given commission. We went in there to inform them that we had a number
of our Christian workers in the community, presenting the Kingdom message
from door to door; and if there were any people calling up, telling them
about it, they would know exactly what was going on. Most
of the police appreciated this and it prevented arrests in many cases.
These campaigns kept the work going so that the people were being reached
even in territories where opposition was intense. But it by no means
stopped the arrests. Police as well as other city officials were still
misinformed about our work and constant pressure was being applied by the
element that had no concern for justice and the rights of others. Our
growing organization was still too young and the principles we stand for
were not yet recognized by those officials who make and enforce the laws.
Gradually, as the facts came out in the open, we began to find their faces
more friendly and the honesty of many forced them to recognize our position
as entirely within the law and justified. But this did not come in any
large measure for a number of years.
ONE JUDGE RENDERS A DECISION
One case that stands out vividly in my mind took place in Honea Path,
South Carolina. On that occasion two of our ministers who had been active
for a number of years were arrested, and had been in jail for several days.
The man who had charge of our divisional campaigns, Anton Koerber, was sent
down there to visit the townsfolk, and also to appear in court in behalf of
our ministers. He organized a group of about forty cars, with an average of
four people to each, so it represented about 160 workers. On the way down
to Honea Path for a radius of about twenty miles they covered all the small
towns and isolated houses. When they finally reached the central county
courthouse in time for the trial at two o'clock in the afternoon, they
found a large number of citizens gathered around outside the building; and
as they came on the scene the townsfolk began to mumble and point to them.
The Witnesses knew then that
these people were waiting for them. Just as the doors were opened and
they were about to enter the courthouse, they found that there were two
lines of men with clubs and guns, standing at the entrance in a very
menacing manner, as much as to say, "We dare you to come in here." Koerber
looked at McLamb, who was the presiding minister of Greensboro, North
Carolina, at that time, and one of the captains of the group. "McLamb," he
said, "I'm going in there; I have to. I'm scheduled to attend the trial.
You had better wait out here so that if anything happens you can get some
assistance. "No," McLamb said, "I'm going in with you; and — " So in
they started, side by side. The crowd lined up before the entrance glowered
at them, but did not raise a hand or club against them. Koerber and McLamb
went into the courtroom. The place was packed with townsfolk — our
people couldn't even get into the courthouse. No one knew what to expect,
but when the trial opened to our surprise and relief the judge permitted an
extensive defense, allowing our people to speak freely. He asked a number
of questions himself and finally dismissed the defendants with an apology.
When they were released and came outside all the inhabitants of the town
were waiting for them. Apparently they were as amazed as our people had
been because they began to ask questions, and just about took all of the
Bible literature that had not been disposed of in the campaign on the way
into town. Those who were there say they will never forget the scene as
they returned home just at dusk. As they put their headlights on, one could
see the stream of cars, at least a mile or so, and all of Jehovah's
witnesses singing songs of thanksgiving and praise for a wonderful day in
the Lord's service and for the victory he had given them for holding fast
to their worship. That was typical of the joy and the zeal manifested by
all those who had part in these divisional campaigns.
THE PHONOGRAPH IS DRAFTED FOR SERVICE
Opposition, however, continued to grow in intensity. Arrests increased,
mobbing became more frequent, even contracts with radio stations became
more difficult to obtain. Then, Rutherford announced Jehovah's witnesses
were voluntarily withdrawing from the air. He felt by that time our purpose
in using radio had reached its climax, and now a closer contact with the
public was being sought. By this time, use of portable phonographs as
vehicles for carrying the message had been attempted and found extremely
successful. Within a year ninety different four and one-half minute Bible
lectures were available in sixteen languages. Our purpose was not to start
an argument on some point of doctrine at the homes but to preach the good
news of Jehovah's Kingdom in a uniform and efficient way. Impressing the
phonograph into theocratic service had decided advantages over the more
impersonal method of reaching the homes through radio loudspeakers. Now we
were able to answer questions that arose in the minds of the listeners and
a much more effective presentation of our message was accomplished. Here
again, though, a few in the organization failed to recognize their
opportunities, refused to pocket their pride and balked at going from door
to door will the phonograph. They soon lost interest and now are no longer
associated with the organization of Jehovah's witnesses. This served as a
further test of our sincerity as to whether we were truly interested in
preaching to the world with the most effective means known at the time
regardless of how it might effect us personally. Our voluntary withdrawal
from the radio did not bring a halt to the opposition. The phonograph
activity was not so conspicuous but it was striking far too deeply and
accomplishing far too much good for our opposers to relent in their
campaign to suppress us.
A TOTALITARIAN THRUST IS THWARTED
Then, at the height of this bitter fight another element appeared. It
gave sure evidence that fascism was making serious inroads into the
American way of life. In Detroit, Michigan, a Roman Catholic priest,
Charles Coughlin, began to arouse a certain class of persons who formed
themselves into groups called "the Christian Front." In 1937 when Coughlin
was feeling his strength, a public address, "Government and Peace," by
Judge Rutherford, was widely advertised to be delivered on Sunday
afternoon, June 25, in New York's Madison Square Garden. It was to be
carried simultaneously by wire and wireless facilities to vast assemblies
in numerous cities in this country and other lands. Soon we discovered a
concerted effort was being planned to prevent this talk's being given, both
in New York and elsewhere. The police were notified days in advance of
threats that had been made that the meeting would be broken up, so when the
day for the talk arrived they were present in force. In the course of the
actual delivery of the lecture in New York a mob of Coughlin's "Christian
Front" men and women, who had planted themselves in the Garden at the last
minute, began to boo and shout. Their object was to start a riot and thus
break up the meeting. When the interruption actually began, the police made
no effort to stop it or assist the staff of Jehovah's witnesses assigned as
ushers who attempted to quell the disturbance. Eventually our own ushers
had forcibly to eject the troublemakers. Not only did the police refuse to
help, but upon insistence of some of the rioters, three of the ushers were
arrested and accused of felonious assault. When the case came to trial,
however, they were not only exonerated but the three-judge court commended
them for their firmness in resisting the attempt to break up the lawful
assembly after the police had wholly failed to perform their duty. Within a
few months Coughlin's influence began to wane.
The arrest of a number of men charged with fascist activities who were
reportedly associated with his movement brought such notoriety that soon
the organization's strength was dissipated.
THE U. S. SUPREME COURT SURRENDERS A FREEDOM
Lack of understanding of our work was aggravated by those who did not
wish the people to hear what we had to say. The instigators knew we were
not opposed to true Christianity or the Bible, but took the position that
since we openly disagreed with their interpretation of the Bible, that made
us a threat to organized society. Our position of strict neutrality in
world affairs also was misinterpreted and charged against us.
Probably the outstanding example of this was in Germany from 1933
onward. Hitler's rise to power brought extreme persecution to Jehovah's
witnesses in that country. There the controversy centered around these
Christians' refusal to "Heil Hitler," which was a salute to the
authoritarian power. Standing on the grounds of neutrality, Jehovah's
witnesses regarded their personal allegiance to any human government as
being contrary to the principle stated by Jesus:  "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's,
and to God the things that are God's."
Arbitrary opposition to this stand of Jehovah's witnesses was not
confined to Germany. Soon the international nature of a conspiracy to "get"
Jehovah's witnesses became quite evident. This same issue was raised in the
United States by a few patrioteers and finally came before the Supreme
Court in 1940 when Europe was in the first flush of World War II. With but
one dissenting vote this high court decided that school boards had the
right to choose to require children to salute the American flag. Many Americans who were more sober-minded began
to wonder to what extent true democratic
principles were being surrendered on the plea of "fighting fascism." On
June I6, 1940, the United States Solicitor General Francis Biddle was moved
to state on a coast-to-coast network of NBC:
". . . Jehovah's witnesses have been repeatedly set upon and beaten.
They had committed no crime; but the mob adjudged they had, and meted out
mob punishment. The Attorney General has ordered an immediate investigation
of those outrages.
The people must be alert and watchful, and above all cool and sane.
Since mob violence will make the government's task infinitely more
difficult, it will not be tolerated. We shall not defeat the Nazi evil by
emulating its methods."
This warning, however, did not prevent opposition. Indeed, that Supreme
Court decision of 1940 touched off the most violent wave of persecution yet
encountered by Jehovah's witnesses in the United States.
RESPECT FOR GOD GIVEN FIRST PLACE
But why, you might ask, would anyone not want to salute the flag?
It is not that Jehovah's witnesses do not respect the flag or the
government that it stands for; it is rather that we have a proper respect
for Jehovah God and his Word. We are not trying to convert the world to
refuse the salute of a flag. If anyone wants to salute the flag of any
nation or enter the armed services of any government that is his right and
it would be wrong for anyone, Jehovah's witnesses or anyone else, to oppose
him or try to prevent it. However, as the apostle Paul said, "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ." That
means Jehovah's witnesses, being dedicated to Jehovah God as his servants,
must maintain their position of strict neutrality toward the governments of
this world. No worldly ambassador would interfere with the internal affairs
of the nation where
he is serving the interests of his own country. So we do not. We stay
Saluting a flag, to Jehovah's witnesses, is to acknowledge salvation as
coming from the government the flag represents. Jehovah's witnesses
attribute salvation only to Jehovah God and Christ Jesus. So we cannot
salute the national emblem of any country without violating God's
commandment against idolatry as stated in his Word.
You may have difficulty in appreciating how the simple salute of a
respected emblem can amount to idolatry. If you sincerely feel that way we
have no argument with you. There are some issues we feel we must preach
about to the world. This issue is not one of them. It is strictly an
individual matter. We respect the flag for what it represents and try to be
as law-abiding as any citizens of a country can be, and will keep all laws
of our own countries that do not violate God's Supreme law. We do so not
because we are afraid of punishment for breaking the law but because it is
the right thing to do and the Bible commands us to do what is right. On the
other hand, if men make laws contrary to God's law, then we must do as the
apostles when they said, "We ought to
obey God rather than men."
Even in ancient times men made laws that conflicted with God's laws to
his people. One case was on this very point of rendering a salute to an
emblem erected as a symbol of the government. Jehovah had commanded his
chosen people, the nation of Israel: 
"Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any
graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that
is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou
shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them."
Would you think that saluting an emblem of a government would be a
violation of this law? Well, three of the Hebrew children of God
did. When Nebuchadnezzar, king of
Babylon, made an image to represent the authority of his state, Shadrach,
Meshech and Ahednego refused to bow down to it,
which was a form of salute. When you realize that these three men were
officials of the Babylonian government, you can see what a serious position
they put themselves in. Yet their action was approved by God because when
they were thrown into the fiery furnace as punishment, Jehovah delivered
them unscathed. So the Bible account itself interprets the meaning of God's
commandment to us and the position taken by Jehovah's witnesses is not just
an arbitrary one. As Paul indicated, we sincerely believe that these
things, as examples, "are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of
the world are come." And through this
same faithful apostle, God further instructed us, "Wherefore, my dearly
beloved, flee from idolatry."
THE INTERNATIONAL NOOSE DRAWS TIGHTER
However, during the heat of patriotic fervor fanned by world
conflagration, few persons were willing even to consider why anyone would
take such a position. In thousands of communities throughout the land,
certain religious elements and "would-be" patriotic elements led men
controlled neither by law nor reason to assault thousands of Jehovah's
witnesses, men, women and children; destroyed their property; drove them
from their homes, burned their houses, places of worship, furniture, books
and money; tied groups of them together and forced castor oil in large
quantities down their throats; herded them like beasts along hot, dusty
roads and railroad rights-of-way in many places, dragged them along the
main streets of the city by a rope around their necks and then strung them
up; induced public officials to break into homes of private citizens who
were Jehovah's witnesses, kidnaped and carried them from one state to
another, and broke up their private Bible-study assemblies.
Severe as this opposition was in the United States, it could not compare
with what our Christian brothers encountered in
Hitler's Germany and those countries influenced by fascist methods. From
1933 until the end of World War II thousands of Jehovah's witnesses were
imprisoned or banished by Hitler while other thousands were forced
underground in their preaching activity. As the Nazi juggernaut
steamrollered across Europe these same conditions began to prevail in
France, Spain, Poland, Belgium, Greece, Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, the
Netherlands, Rumania, Yugoslavia, Estonia, Finland, Denmark and even
Norway. In Africa, Northern and Southern Rhodesia, Nigeria and the Gold
Coast followed suit. Throughout the British Empire, from Canada to
Australia, bans were imposed and in England itself shipment of our
literature into the country was prohibited. As by a giant pincers being
applied, our outlying fields of activity were being nipped off one by one
and total worldwide proscription seemed imminent. While mob violence in the
United States was approaching its peak in 1940, this country still remained
isolated from the war and our preaching of the goods news still was free to
operate in the open, though seriously hampered by hostile conditions. Then,
December 7, 1941, America was electrified with the blow at Pearl Harbor in
a surprise attack. Immediate entry of the United States into World War II
raised serious questions in our minds. How would we fare this time? Would
our work at headquarters be violently brought to a standstill again? Or
would the closely knit organization under theocratic rule be able to
survive? Would our sincere efforts to prove to all men and nations that we
were not enemies of the state be recognized? Would we be permitted to
provide much- needed comfort and hope to war-ridden and nerve-tattered
people of all the nations indiscriminately? Would the position of strict
neutrality to which we were dedicated be acceptable and enable us to
perform our Godgiven commission to preach this good news of the Kingdom
without serious interference? Abruptly, for the second time, in the midst
of a real crisis
for our movement, the Society lost its president. J. F. Rutherford died
January 8, 1942.
FACING THE FUTURE WITHOUT FEAR
C. T. Russell had died when the world was at war, when the organization
of Jehovah's witnesses was still an embryo, when hostile forces surrounded
it, watching for a chance to jump in and finish it off. The years that
followed almost wrecked the organization. Now history seemed to be
repeating itself, bent on accomplishing an unfinished task. Again the world
was at war, again hostile forces were determined to exterminate the
preaching society of Jehovah's witnesses, again the organization was
without a "leader" — but this time there was a difference. Now we had
been rid of creature worship; we had come to recognize Jehovah's dealings,
not with an individual, but with a composite group of fully dedicated
servants; we were fully aware of our proper position in relation to worldly
governments — one of strict neutrality; we had shaken off the
corrupting influence of congregational rule in favor of theocratic
appointment through a central governing body; we had been brought to a
remarkably advanced position in regard to an understanding of Bible
doctrine. Would these things make a difference in what lay ahead of us in
the next few eventful years? Or was our work really finished? This time we
were not afraid. We faced the future confidently. Why shouldn't we?
Jehovah, our God, had been good to us. He had already shown his power of
deliverance. He had showered down on us such blessings that we asked for
nothing more. Yet the events that were still to come, the manifestation of
Jehovah's presence that was still to be revealed, have far surpassed any
dreams of the future we might have had.
THE NEW WORLD SURVIVES
CHAPTER 13. THE TRIUMPH OF THE GOOD NEWS
NATHAN HOMER KNORR became the third president of the Watch Tower Bible
and Tract Society with hardly a ripple to disrupt the steady operation of
our newly established theocratic arrangement. J. F. Rutherford had been
loved and was missed. But he had, himself worked diligently to tear out the
very roots of creature worship or dependency of the organization on
individuals. The transition from his presidency in the midst of crucial
conditions was a testimony to his success — and Jehovah's blessing on
the arrangement. When news of Rutherford's death came, I was in North
Carolina at Elizabeth City, a small place just south of Norfolk, Virginia.
That evening a number of us went up to Norfolk since there was no
congregation at Elizabeth City, where we were working. At Norfolk the
congregation had its regular meeting, and the one presiding that evening
made announcement of Rutherford's passing; but beyond that no more was said
about it. None said, "What are we going to do now?" or
"How will things go?" Though many individually expressed sorrow to each
other after the meeting, they talked generally about other interests of the
work and none expressed doubts or fears as to what his passing might mean
to the organization. That was typical of the reaction of all of Jehovah's
witnesses. As members of a theocratic organization, we now realized the
work would continue as the Lord directed, regardless of whoever might be
taking the lead on earth. Rutherford had continually expressed that thought
in The Watchtower; and by the time he died all associated in the work,
including those of the headquarters staff, had become more stabilized and
mature in their thinking. Although Rutherford was a vigorous and prominent
figure in the organization, yet his somewhat sudden death caused no great
upheaval in the work, as it would have if we had been following a man. But
Knorr had his work cut out for him from the start. N. H. Knorr knew the
organization inside and out. He had grown up with it — in fact had
done much toward its development even while Rutherford was alive. Born
April 23, 1905, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, he graduated from Allentown,
Pennsylvania, High School in 1923 and that same year entered the full-time
ministry and became a member of the Bethel headquarters staff. He worked
hard and immediately showed his ability at organizing. Martin, who was
general manager of the publishing office and plant, took a hand in training
him for the work there and when Martin died in l932 Knorr took his place.
Eight years later he was made a director and elected vice-president of the
Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society; when, on January 13, 1942 he became
president, he was only thirty-six years old. But in the nineteen years he
had been at headquarters he had made good use of the time and was well
equipped to take on the responsibility of so vast a work. Besides, he had
an unshakable faith in Jehovah's theocratic direction of the New World
society and a keen desire faithfully to fulfill his own appointment.
With the work seemingly closing down on all sides Knorr's interest was
in expanding the preaching. He had no thought of retrenching. He was
confident that we had not begun to scratch the surface of the world-wide
field that Jesus Christ had said was our preaching assignment. He set out
to push the limits of our theocratic boundaries to the ends of the earth,
to all lands and to all peoples. No corner was to be left untilled or
STABILITY AND STRENGTH DESPITE PERSECUTION
While World War II still raged, Knorr made his first official tour of
our branch offices down into Mexico, through the Caribbean area and on into
Central and South America. His purpose was to learn first-hand what the
conditions of our people were and how they could be helped to advance their
activity by sending specially trained missionaries into these fertile
fields. He was accompanied on this tour by Fred W. Franz, vicepresident of
the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, whose facility with the Spanish
language made him an invaluable traveling companion. Franz had already
shown his value to Knorr in assisting him to discharge his literary
responsibilities. A scholar from his youth, Franz is a keen student of the
Bible. Born in Covington, Kentucky, in 1893, he carried away the honors of
the University of Cincinnati and was offered the privilege of going to
Oxford or Cambridge in England under the Rhodes Plan. Instead, in 1914, he
entered the full-time ministry. His mother was a devout woman and a sincere
Bible student and had brought her children up in that way. When Franz came
to headquarters in l920, Rutherford saw at once that he was a young man of
literary ability and possibilities, so he put him to work as an
is conversant with French. He is also a scholar of Hebrew and Greek as
well as of Syriac and Latin, all of which contribute to making him a
thoroughly reliable mainstay on Knorr's editorial staff.
Knorr's trip into Central and South America proved extremely successful.
Not only were arrangements made to expand the ministry in those countries
where Jehovah's witnesses already were operating, but continued efforts in
this area saw new fields opening to these determined "husbandmen of the
Lord's vineyard." Then, as soon as the war was over, he headed out for
Europe with M. G. Herschel, a director of the Society and administrative
aide to the president. The following year Knorr made an extensive trip
throughout the Far, Middle and Near East. Again he was accompanied by
Henschel, his secretary-companion. In the many lands visited conditions
were studied and, as opportunity afforded, missionaries were scheduled and
The end of the war had brought some immediate relief to imprisoned
Witnesses while others were helped as conditions improved in territory now
occupied by the Allied forces. It can truly be said that the democratic
"earth" had "swallowed up" the totalitarian flood sent out against
Jehovah's witnesses, but the victory is
God's, not man's. All of our freedoms to preach did not come easily in
spite of the democratic conquest of totalitarianism. Constant effort and
repeated appeals were required by our local ministers in these countries as
well as a persistent battle by our headquarters staff.
What had been the result of totalitarian oppression? Had the voice
heralding true freedom for the people been silenced? Had Jehovah's
commissioned proclaimers of good news holed up for the duration, refusing
to speak out for fear of dictator control, withholding the only comforting
assurance of release and lasting peace through God's kingdom near at
The record speaks for itself. The stability and strength of our
newly-founded theocratic society is manifested in its
amazing growth in spite of persecution. In all of Europe Jehovah's
witnesses came out of the war three times as numerous as they entered! In
Poland alone this increase was six times, and within five years after the
war they had grown to eighteen times their number! Released from the ban,
after three years, Canadian Witnesses came above ground to find four
thousand more ministers added to their former six thousand; while in
Australia, after only two years, one thousand more had joined the 2,800.
Just so, continued growth was evident in all parts of the globe.
A SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGN ON THE HOME FRONT
While Knorr was developing the expansion in foreign fields, he was still
mindful of the bitter battle being waged against us in the United States.
When he became president the fight was at its height and getting more
intense. The battle for freedom of speech and worship in the United States
Supreme Court had already won for Jehovah's witnesses under the able lawyer
ship of H. C. Covington a number of significant victories, but Knorr did
not stop here. He knew that our enemies were still determined to finish us
as an organization by any means they could command. Deliberate lies about
us were being told to people who relied on their informers for the truth.
In America we were accused of being Nazis and Fascists, while all the time
our Christian brothers in Germany and Italy and other Axis countries were
being thrown into prison as American agents and sympathizers. This
patriotic passion, fired by World War II, was at white heat.
Then in 1943, when Covington, a director and legal counselor for the
Society, presented a new flag case to the highest court of the United
States of America, the Supreme Court reversed its judgment on the
flag-salute issue, ruling that
conscientiously-objecting children have a constitutional right
to refrain from saluting a flag. In denying school boards the right to
expel children from school for refusal to give the required salute to the
flag, the court said: "If there is any fixed star in our constitutional
constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what
shall be orthodox in politics, nationalisms religion, or other matters of
opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein."
The legal war on the home front in this country continued to be fought out
in the courts of the land. Issue after issue, every legal barrier thrown up
by the enemy was exposed and legally knocked out. Victory after victory was
chalked up until, by the middle of 1955, over forty favorable decisions in
the United States Supreme Court had buttressed our strong constitutional
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S LIBERAL VIEW
During this struggle Knorr refused to compromise the principles of the
Society in regard to our stand of neutrality. This firm position,
misunderstood as it was by the general public and misrepresented as it was
by our avowed enemies in clerical and "patriotic" circles, still was
recognized and respected by the Federal Government. Throughout the entire
period of World War II we were not disturbed on this government level. I
was talking to our legal counsel, Hayden C. Covington, about this the other
day, and his comments were interesting and revealing. "Hayden," I asked,
"why is it that, since the Espionage Law is still on the books, the
Government didn't try to prosecute us during World War II as they did in
1918 "The main reason why is because we weren't guilty and the Government
knew it," he answered. "Had Jehovah's witnesses or any of the officers of
the Society been guilty of illegal activity under the Espionage Law, they
been prosecuted during World War II under the same act. Failure of the
Government to take action under the Espionage Law in World War II proves
that none were guilty." "Hasn't the Government's attitude changed somewhat
about prosecutions under this law?" "Yes. It's now recognized that
conscientious objection to participation in the armed forces and
explanations of the reasons of such objections to the public are not a
violation of the Espionage Act. During the early part of World War II a
number of favorable decisions were rendered by the Supreme Court of the
United States concerning the validity of the work of Jehovah's witnesses
and the non-seditious character of their literature. These decisions
buttressed Jehovah's witnesses against a prosecution under the Espionage
law and the Department of Justice knew that." "Don't you think the
Government was more liberal during World War II?" "Yes, I do. The attitude
of the Federal Government during World War II was much more liberal than
during World War I." "Why do you suppose that was?" "I'll tell you the
reason. It's that a number of court decisions in favor of freedom of speech
were rendered after World War I and before World War II. These caused the
Department of Justice to change its old reactionary attitude for limitation
of freedom of speech of conscientious objectors. "It's commendable that the
Department of Justice was more liberal and less susceptible to war hysteria
under the Administration of President Roosevelt than it was under the
Administration of President Wilson. President Roosevelt and his Attorney
General, Francis Biddle, were highly in favor of allowing the maximum
amount of freedom of speech in the United States, even while the war was
being prosecuted. The very fact that Congress itself provided for the
exemption from military service of persons having religious objection to
in the war also helped to make the attitude of the Department of Justice
ARBITRARY DRAFT BOARDS SPURN THE LAW
"What, then, would you say was the reason we had so much trouble over
the draft in World War Il?"
"Most of our trouble resulted from the attitude taken by some local
boards and District Courts. A small proportion of the draft boards during
World War Il were extremely fair. At first great prejudice was shown by
many federal District judges. But after the large number of cases continued
to flow through their courts many of the judges began to change and mellow.
They afterward took a more restrained attitude in presiding at the trial of
cases involving Jehovah's witnesses.
"The National Headquarters of the Selective Service System, acting
through General Hershey, was also fair. Arrangements were made between him
and me for the exemption of our full-time ministers and members of the
Bethel Family. He wrote an opinion for guidance of boards on this policy.
Some draft boards obeyed this but others did not. It was the arbitrary and
capricious determinations that were made by these boards denying the
ministerial and conscientious-objector claims for exemption that resulted
in prosecutions against Jehovah's witnesses for violating the draft
"Approximately 4,500 of Jehovah's witnesses were sentenced to prison in
the District Courts because they were denied the right to show that draft
boards had violated the law in denying the ministerial or
conscientious-objector claims. This practice was approved by the Supreme
Court in the Falbo decision
rendered during the war. But after the war in Europe was over a change
came. Then the court decided the Estep case in our favor, reversing and condemning
practice of denying Jehovah's witnesses their rights to defend against
the indictments brought against them.
"The attitude of the District judges, with exception of one or two
throughout the entire United States, was totally antagonistic. They were
against any defense being made by Jehovah's witnesses at their trials. This
attitude, of course, changed when the Supreme Court decided the Estep case.
But this was too late to help the 4,500 men who had gone to prison without
a right to be heard."
COVERING A CIRCUIT OF TWENTY PRISONS
These 4,500 men presented a problem in the Federal prisons. Not that
they were unruly. On the contrary. But prison officials as well as our
Society had an interest in their spiritual welfare, and there were no
prison chaplains in a position to give our boys the sort of Scriptural
counsel they were seeking. Arrangements were finally made with Mr. James V.
Bennett, Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, for T. J. Sullivan and
me to visit the prisons regularly to preach to our boys, comfort them and
give counsel on the various Bible study meetings they were conducting among
themselves as well as to help them and their wardens on any problems that
might arise between them. In addition, arrangements were made for the
Society's literature to be mailed into the prisons.
I was assigned to visit about twenty of these institutions once every
six weeks. To make the circuit I traveled thirteen thousand miles. Trains
were crowded everywhere with soldiers and their families being moved from
place to place. I spent many nights in smoking-cars that made me feel like
a smoked ham the next day. I spent many hours in small stations at junction
points waiting for late trains. It was strenuous business traveling those
days but the joys of my assignment compensated me.
One of the more serious problems I had to deal with, as I remember, was
vaccinations. An order was received from the health department in
Washington for all the inmates and guards to be vaccinated. Some of our
boys in one prison in particular considered this the same as blood
transfusions, and refused to submit. This caused considerable trouble. Then
the order came from Washington to put all the men who refused to be
vaccinated in solitary confinement. This did not change our men. The prison
authorities hesitated to be overly strict about it; still they had their
orders from headquarters. Well, during the excitement I arrived on my
regular visit. Now the matter was put up to me to advise our men. I asked
the Warden to permit me to talk to all the men who refused to be
vaccinated. He said, "We can't do that because all the men are in solitary
on orders from Washington and they'll have to stay there until they
submit." "Well," I answered, "they'll be there all their lives, then, for
they're not the kind to go contrary to their consciences. Now if you'll
permit me to talk to all the men we can do something, but with some in
solitary I'm helpless." Then the Warden phoned Washington and told them
what I said. He was told to permit all the men to attend the meeting and to
allow them to spend as much time in the meeting as Macmillan thought best.
We had an interesting time. For about half an hour the men talked about the
evils of vaccination, and so on. After all had had their say, I told them,
"We're wasting time talking about the evils of vaccination because much
could be said both ways. The point for us to consider is what are we going
to do about being vaccinated. They have you all where they could vaccinate
an elephant, and they will vaccinate you all." Up spoke the leader of the
resistance and said: "What would you do if you were in prison and were
called up for vaccination? "
"I was in prison," I reminded them, "and I bared my arm and received the
shot. Furthermore, all of us who visit our foreign branches are vaccinated
or we stay at home. Now vaccination is not anything like blood transfusion.
No blood is used in the vaccine. It is a serum. So you would not be
violating those Scriptures which forbid taking blood into your
"You might think the vaccine would pollute the blood stream and that you
should refuse on those grounds. Remember the account of what happened to
Paul when he was shipwrecked. He went
with others to gather wood to keep a fire burning to warm them and a deadly
viper attached itself to his hand. The heathen natives of the Island
thought Paul might be a murderer who, since he had escaped death in the
sea, was to be punished by death from that viper's bite. However, Paul
shook the viper from his hand into the fire and suffered no harm.
"Now why don't you act as the prophet Jeremiah did when the princes were
urged by the clergymen to try him and have him put to death? He said:
 'I am in your hands, now do with me as
you wish, but know if you put me to death you will bring innocent blood on
yourselves and this city, for Jehovah sent me to tell you all these words.'
At that the Princes told Jeremiah that they did not think he was worthy of
HEEDING SCRIPTURAL COUNSEL
Our discussion lasted about two hours, then the men decided to submit to
vaccination after making a token resistance. Furthermore they agreed to
write a letter of apology for the trouble they had caused through their
first stand taken.
It was now about 10 P.M. I went down to the Warden's office where the
prison doctor and Warden were waiting. They wanted to know how I had got
along with the men. I
asked them, "If the men submit to vaccination, will any of their
privileges or good time be taken away from them for their refusal in the
first place?" The Warden answered, "No, all will be forgotten if they do as
you say. We like your men and believe they're sincere, and don't like the
idea of punishing them for refusing to do what they think is wrong." To
this the doctor agreed. "But what I'd like to know," the warden continued,
"is how did you get the men to agree to being vaccinated?" "Well, I simply
showed them their responsibility and pointed out that if evil resulted the
government would be held responsible." "We told them that, too, but it
didn't convince them." "The difference was, I talked the Bible to them, and
that Book Jehovah's witnesses obey." "Yes, I'm beginning to believe that,"
was the Warden's conclusion. The attitude of this warden was quite
generally manifested throughout the entire penal system. The Bureau of
Prisons and the wardens in the various institutions cooperated in every way
and all deeply appreciated the good relationship we were able to establish.
Early in the war all misunderstandings were cleared up and from then on
everything went smoothly. In fact, many of our boys incarcerated in prison
made lasting friendships with officers under whom they served. I know I
have in my own possession a letter, which I value highly, written to me by
Mr. Bennett. The concluding paragraph states: "I write this note just to
thank you for understanding our position and aiding your men to understand
it also. This is not the first time that you have helped us with some of
the perplexing problems with which we have been confronted. I most
earnestly hope that whenever you are in Washington you will drop in to see
me. You will be cordially welcome at any time."
OVERCOMING THE WORLD
The memory of these 4,500 young men imprisoned for their faith often
stirs my mind. Talking to them as I did, discussing their personal and
collective problems, my faith was immeasurably strengthened. Have you
considered what it costs a man to voluntarily submit to a penitentiary
sentence for his conscience's sake? I knew what those boys were up against,
for I had been in the same condition. Yet when I thought of our Christian
brothers in the concentration camps of Europe, as these boys also did, our
load seemed lighter.
Paul, the apostle, admonished us: 
"Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so
that you may not grow weary or faint-hearted. In your struggle against sin
you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood."
The perfect example for all whose Christian fortitude is being tested to
the limit is Jesus Christ. He died for us, yet through his death provided
release. "In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have
overcome the world."  Is not that victory
worth any price we must pay to attain it?
CHAPTER 14. EXPANDING THE EDUCATION FOR LIFE
EVEN BEFORE World War II came to an end, in fact while the work was
closing down on all sides, N. H. Knorr turned his attention to providing
even further strength to the organization with the thought of expansion. He
began with the individual minister. Knorr knew that the organization could
be no stronger than the individuals who compose it. He knew the New World
society could accomplish no more than its associated ministers were
qualified to do. He knew that if each one of Jehovah's witnesses were to
fulfill his own personal vow of dedication to Jehovah he must individually
be trained and equipped. (See Luke 12 47.) After he became president he
wasted no time in setting in motion what has probably become one of the
most extensive educational campaigns ever conducted. This is the way it
KNORR ORGANIZES FOR EXPANSION
Knorr's close association with Rutherford in his last days enabled him
to know precisely what he had in his mind concerning the operation of the
organization. Of course, he had thoughts too where the work could be
expanded; so when the theocratic organization began to operate in 1938,
even before he became president, Knorr saw the need of training those in
the organization to handle their work efficiently, and to coordinate all
efforts for expansion of the work. He encouraged and succeeded in setting
in motion an arrangement whereby all countries would be divided into zones,
each zone composed of twenty congregations. A zone servant was appointed to
visit the congregations in his zone. In addition assemblies were arranged
for all the congregations in a zone. Rutherford recognized the benefits
such an arrangement could bring, and on October 1, 1938, set it in
operation. Within three years the number of active ministers in the field
had more than doubled. However, Rutherford felt the work had accomplished
its purpose by that time, and it was discontinued December 1 1941 In a
special letter issued to all congregations he encouraged all of Jehovah's
witnesses to stand on their own feet and maintain their ministry, come what
may. This certainly seemed like needed counsel because, within a few days
after his letter was circulated throughout the United States, this country
was involved in World War II, and only a little more than a month later
Rutherford himself was dead. Knorr realized much work lay ahead and that
many more people were yet to see the need to dedicate their lives to
Jehovah God and serve him before the full end was to come at Armageddon.
Because of the severe trials coming on Jehovah's witnesses, they would need
further counsel and training, especially new ones associating with the
work. So in the fall of 1942, his first year as president, he reorganized
the zones into circuits and set in motion a revised arrangement of the
work. Four years later, he further revised the work and again arranged for
assemblies to be held twice a year in each circuit. Again expansion came
PERSONAL MINISTRY RECEIVES ATTENTION
Organizationally we were now on solid footing, and the maturity of the
Society as a whole was quite evident. But Knorr realized that every
minister must be personally equipped to preach. Rutherford had brought
unity to the work by carrying the one message to the public through his
radio talks, transcriptions and phonograph recordings. Now Knorr embarked
on a campaign to bring maturity to every one of Jehovah's witnesses and
especially prepare them to preach individually yet without contradicting
one another. Have you ever noticed how different ministers, representing
the same religious organization, teach somewhat different ideas on the same
subject? Conferences within their church systems are continually trying to
iron out these differences, yet they persist. Knorr believed that not only
should all Christians be ministers, but all should teach in exact unity of
thought. Would this be possible without making "parrots" of them? Knorr
believed it could be, and set out to do it. About forty or fifty years ago
we had many associated with the work who were well-informed as far as the
doctrines of the Bible were concerned; but to get a few men to go out and
give lectures to congregational meetings or to the public, even in small
halls, was a task. It would have been difficult to get as many as thirty or
forty to do that. Well now, as far back as 1902 we saw the necessity of
training, but our efforts along that line were limited. I was out in Kansas
City where we had a home for our full-time workers or "colporteurs." There
were five of us who knew little of the art of public
speaking, so we established what we called the School of the Prophets,
the object being that we would meet certain nights of the week and each one
would be allowed ten minutes' talking. We used a chart depicting the ages
of man's history in God's purposes and talked from that, and the others
would counsel or criticize him. It was mostly criticism and some of it
would certainly sound strange to us today. Of course, speaking from the
public platform in the early part of this century was totally different
from what it is now.
Still, much improvement was made since then in a general way in our
ability to present matters from the public platform. In fact, a number of
those in the organization were recognized as accomplished speakers. But
Knorr wanted everyone in the organization to be "ready always to give an
answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in
INDIVIDUAL TRAINING BRINGS MATURITY
Now the training program began in earnest. In April of 1943 special
schools were organized in every congregation of Jehovah's witnesses which
became a regular part of congregational activity. These schools provided
for an intensified course in public Bible speaking. All male persons
attending the meetings were invited to enroll, since training was to be
voluntary, and most did. Each week an instruction talk on some feature of
public speaking, composition, grammar and related subjects was considered
and, later, the Bible itself was discussed from every aspect. Then three
student talks were given by those enrolled, each taking his turn. They
spoke on assigned Bible topics and then were given counsel for improvement
by the one in charge of the school.
These schools, called Theocratic Ministry Schools, are still
a vital part of the program of each congregation, and as new male
persons become associated they are encouraged to participate. Since the
continuous course began, the entire Bible has been summarized through talks
given by students. It has also been read through, as well as its
outstanding doctrines discussed. No one graduates. They keep on giving
student talks and keep on working for improvement — many, like me,
having been enrolled since the schools started. Is it any wonder that now
there are associated with Jehovah's witnesses literally thousands who are
seasoned speakers from the public platform? Many of these speak regularly
at our conventions before hundreds and thousands of people. So it is that
individual preaching finally began to come into its own in 1943. Two years
after our Theocratic Ministry Schools had been started we began an
extensive public meeting campaign. Our purpose was to preach to all the
world that Jehovah's kingdom under Christ had begun, and now that qualified
public speakers were being developed in the organization we began to use
them. Everyone had a part. It was not just a matter of someone's preparing
and delivering an hour's lecture to an audience. An extensive campaign of
house-to-house advertising was conducted in the neighborhood of each talk.
Interested persons were given personal invitations and in many instances
those lacking transportation would be picked up and taken to the hall. All
of those associated with the congregations shared in this advertising work.
Saturday afternoons handbills were distributed at busy intersections as
well. As a result of this work more people became acquainted with the
message of Jehovah's witnesses and many who are now actively engaging in
the ministry themselves had their first contact with the organization at
one of these public Bible lectures.
GILEAD SCHOOL SPEARHEADS THE GLOBAL FRONT
Our schools of advanced ministerial training and the public meetings
organized in the congregations were really like an extension of something
else that had previously been set in motion to expand the training to the
ends of the earth. Much work had been done in the United States beginning
back in the 1880's and it had expanded to most of the major countries of
the world as we have seen. But in many places where there were none of
Jehovah's witnesses — or very few, as in Africa, Italy, Japan and so
on; there was considerable need to organize the work in a theocratic way.
Knorr found the solution in the Watchtower Bible School of Gilead. The
school was established on a seven-hundred-acre farm of the Society in the
beautiful "Finger Lakes" region of upper New York State, about 250 miles
from the Brooklyn headquarters. A rigid curriculum was provided in a wide
variety of subjects, particularly suited to prepare these young ministers
for the advanced field of foreign missionary activity. In 1943 the first
class of one hundred students graduated from the school and was ready to go
to foreign lands for an indefinite stay as missionaries. Their new
assignment was to be their new home. That was the agreement they made when
they volunteered to accept whatever location Knorr selected for them,
according to the needs of the field. It was planned that two groups of
approximately one hundred students each be given the complete course each
year, and by 1955 those enrolled had been drawn from forty-five countries,
trained and sent out to one hundred lands. Over 1800 are now happy in their
assignments and busy preaching. Missionaries of Jehovah's witnesses don't
carry on their work the same way other missions do. In these
places they carry top good news right to the homes of the people, no
matter if they have to go back into the bush of the native jungles to do
it. It means learning the language of the people and respecting their
customs, although in their own missionary homes they are free to maintain
American or European standards as much as is practicable. Many cases are
reported where those who were illiterate have been taught to read the Bible
for themselves so they might become proficient in the true doctrine. Some
missionary societies obtain converts by setting up establishments for
feeding and clothing the natives, but I think you'll readily agree a full
stomach doesn't necessarily make a man a Christian. Jehovah's witnesses, on
the other hand, have endeavored to teach these people how to live by God's
standards, to clean up their lives and their homes, and they show them what
is required of those who will share in the New World after Armageddon.
Those who dedicate themselves to God with this kind of understanding are
not easily shaken from their faith and their new course of life makes them
more highly respected in their community as clean-living people. Invariably
this changed outlook enables them to improve their own living standards,
and they learn to stand on their own feet and not depend on some foreign
society for continued handouts. The objective of Jehovah's witnesses in
these countries as in all our activity is not to get a large following, but
to have only persons of genuine faith in God and Christ associate with our
organization. If you're taught the pure Bible truth and encouraged to claim
Christianity because of true belief and not for personal gain, you'll
endure even under great persecution or trouble and will hold to your faith.
The history of those associated with the Society is proof of this. That's
pleasing to God. We believe in God and want to do what is pleasing to
SCHOOLING THE UNLEARNED TO READ
A few years ago a niece of mine graduated from the Watchtower Bible
School of Gilead and went to Chile with other missionaries. That was in
December, 1949. At that time there were only around two hundred of
Jehovah's witnesses in the whole country. Now there are over 1,100.
An experience she wrote me of some time ago demonstrates the response to
their work and the general attitude of the people there.
She was in the bank one day cashing a check from the Society to cover
her expenses. Waiting in line was a native clergyman. When she got up to
the window the priest said to her, "I see you have a check from New York.
Are you an American?"
"Yes, I am," she answered.
"Well, what are you doing down here, just visiting?"
"No," she said, "I'm a missionary."
"A missionary? Don't you know who I am?"
"Yes, I judge by your attire that you are a clergyman."
"Don't you think we will take care of the spiritual needs of the people
"Well sir, it's hard to figure why it is that we have to come down from
New York to teach your people how to read what's in the Bible. Why don't
you do it?"
Then the cashier spoke up, "Yes, Father John, I wondered about that
My niece reports that ended the conversation.
Chile is just one of the countries in South America that has had such
surprising success. Seeing this growing interest in Bible education on the
part of the people of the world is gratifying indeed, so I am always a
little amused when I read what some writers have to say about it. For
instance, Our Sunday Visitor recently stated,  "The masses of newly transplanted Puerto Ricans
of New York and the Mexicans of California
and the Southwest have contributed substantial numbers to the sect's
membership. Indeed, the organization is making some of its most sizable
gains in backward countries where illiteracy abounds." Yet some of those
countries where these "gains" are being made are those where this writer's
own religion has controlled the education of the people for centuries.
But what of Europe? Would you think this was a field for missionaries?
Probably many Europeans wouldn't. During the war years, as I've already
mentioned, the work tripled, but since 1942 — the year before any
graduates of Gilead were sent out by the Society — the work has
increased ten times! This shows expansion is not the result of persecution.
In 1942 there were 22,896 preaching Witnesses. In 1955 there were 227,374.
That means that in a little over a dozen years each witness of Jehovah has
become ten in Europe. Doesn't that sound like the prophecy in Zechariah
that says:  "In those days it shall come
to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations,
even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go
with you: for we have heard that God is with you."
NO DOCTRINAL MATCH FOR THE NOVICE WITNESS
There are millions of people in the world today who are in the same
mental attitude I was when I found the faith that has carried me through
more than half a century. They realize there is much about God and the
Bible that they should know and would like to know, but which they have not
been taught although many have attended their church for years. If you are
one of these then think seriously on the things I have been telling you.
There will be many who will try to discourage you. I have met some but I
have always tried to find out the facts. Those who do not have the truth
cannot argue against it. If they are opposed to the truth for some reason
own, then they will try to counteract it by telling things that are not
true. But the truth cannot be hidden for long if you are really interested
in finding it. Jesus said:  "Ye shall
know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
You may be told you can't understand the Bible, that you are too young
or too old or not educated enough or that it is a mystery intended for only
a select few who spend their entire lives at it as "specialists" in the
field. But in the days of the nation of Israel Jehovah God commanded that
everyone assemble to hear the Law read, even the babes in arms, and instructed the parents that they were to
teach their children in their own homes.
That means even those who were not priests were qualified to talk about
God's Word. You will remember, too, that Jesus said,  "Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to
come unto me for of such is the kingdom of heaven." The apostles Peter and
John were trained by Jesus, yet were looked down upon as "unlearned and
Jehovah's witnesses make a thorough study of the Bible, which equips
them far beyond any natural abilities they might have. This requires those
who are opposing our work to try to prejudice inquiring persons away frown
the message we are preaching. An interesting instance of this appeared
recently in Our Sunday Visitor.
It carried a series of articles on Jehovah's witnesses with the usual
misrepresentations of the personalities of Russell, Rutherford and Knorr.
If the name and truth of Jehovah God were not involved, many of the
statements would be laughable to me. I've lived through most of the entire
history of the Society and I've seen these things first-hand. Furthermore,
sufficient factual evidence is available to show anyone really seeking
information the truth of the matter. But the real significance of the
series to my mind was contained in a letter that appeared in the
publication a few weeks later.
The letter was addressed to John A. O'Brien, author of the
series. It read:  "This is to thank
you for the splendid articles on Jehovah's Witnesses in O.S.V. They are
factual and irrefragable. Last night a young matron of the parish came into
the office, all confused by the literature of the Witnesses. She had begun
by trying to convert them and — poor thing — with only a
grade-school education, she fell before their glib tongues. At first I
tried meeting her objections head on and got nowhere. Finally I pulled out
the current issue of O.S.V. and read your article to her. That did it. The
discussion was closed. 'If their founder was a rascal like that,' she said,
'I'm through with them.' Yours the credit, yours the merit Rev. Richard
The writer of this letter probably hasn't realized he is admitting that
when it came to a discussion of the straightforward doctrine of the Bible,
even with his years of college and Seminary training, he was no match for
this woman "with only a grade school education," who had studied with
Jehovah's witnesses for only a short time. He had to resort to "name
calling" and had a ready tool at hand provided by O'Brien. That's an easy
way to argue, isn't it? — if you can get away with it! But even Jesus
was called a man who had a "devil, gluttonous, and a winebibber."  And he said they would treat his true followers
the same way.
Evidences are mounting every day and every year that not all people are
as easily deceived as it is claimed this woman was. The records show that
Jehovah's witnesses are increasing in number by leaps and bounds. Not just
in "paying members" like so many of the modern revivalists seek, but in
live, active preaching ministers who give freely of their time and strength
to carry forward the good news of God's kingdom. Not only do these
individuals become acquainted with the Word of God themselves but they also
become qualified to teach others the things they have learned.
Jesus told Peter that if he would show his love for Christ, then he must
feed God's "sheep."  How can a man
someone else to Christianity until he is stabilized and mature himself
as a Christian? If he constantly depends on a "pastor" himself for food
then he will never be able to demonstrate his own love for Jesus by feeding
DOORSTEP PREACHING LOCATES THE SHEEP
All of the personal training and individual assistance that Knorr has
inaugurated has played an important part in the expansion program, and the
individual minister using the doorstep as his pulpit has really located the
sheep of the Lord. If people of the world are to be instructed in God's
will for them, it isn't just a matter of learning the Golden Rule and how
to live by it or sitting in a building listening to one man preach. It is
really a matter of trained men and women going to the people from house to
Today, if you want to be a mature Christian you must be a minister or
servant of Jehovah, for maturity means not only being acquainted with the
fundamental doctrines of the Bible but becoming mature in practicing the
truths in his Word. As a Christian, then, you must develop in maturity in
the study of God's Word, understanding what is written in his Word and
applying it in your life, helping those not yet brought to this deeper
understanding of God's requirements to do the same thing.
Ministers should be able to preach, and the special training program
being carried on in all congregations of Jehovah's witnesses has equipped
them to do that. Now Jehovah's witnesses who call at your door are prepared
to give short sermons on a variety of subjects depending on the
circumstances and the time you have to listen. The Scriptures are read from
the Bible so that we have a common ground for a discussion, and even if you
don't accept the Bible as God's inspired Word, at least it gives a
recognized foundation for considering cur-
rent world problems. It will be worth your while to listen carefully to
the next one of Jehovah's witnesses who comes to your door. Today, there is
really no distinction of clergy and laity in the organization of Jehovah's
witnesses. This is a society of ministers, each with his own pulpit, the
doorsteps of the people. Those who appreciate that there is always
something to be gained by an honest and friendly discussion of the Bible
listen to us at the doors and, while some do not agree with us, in recent
years we often hear the expression, "I think you are doing a good work
anyway." What a change in a few years! But it has been persistent walking
and talking that has accomplished it. Determined preaching in the face of
real adversity, faith in the conviction the people must be warned of
Armageddon's approach and comforted with the hope of a New World of
righteousness at hand. Don't you think an increase in the last ten years of
350 percent in those now preaching in 160 lands indicates how reasonable it
is to believe? But such an extensive operation as this costs money. Have
you been wondering how Jehovah's witnesses are financed? Many persons do.
Before I finish my story I'd like to tell you something about that.
CHAPTER 15. JEHOVAH PROVIDES FOR HIS FAMILY
"SEATS FREE, no collection" is a slogan that Jehovah's witnesses are
glad to use. We know of no other organization that has operated on any
large scale with absolutely no solicitation or collection. Yet from its
small beginning in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, in 1872, the Society has
reached its present worldwide extent, owning property worth millions of
dollars paid for and maintained completely by voluntary contributions.
This policy of operation was stated by Jesus in sending out his twelve
apostles to preach:  "Freely ye have
received, freely give." This text is often quoted during the "offertory"
service at churches, but it was not money Jesus was asking them to give
when he said that. It was works of service in the ministry they were to
give. Read the entire chapter and note what he said. Then he told them not
to worry about their financial return because he promised:  "The workman is worthy of his meat."
It was in line with this commandment of Jesus to give freely
that C. T. Russell published in the second issue of the Watch Tower
magazine: "'Zion's Watch Tower' has, we believe, JEHOVAH for its backer,
and while this is the case it will never be, nor petition men for support.
When He who says: 'All the gold and silver of the mountains are mine,'
fails to provide necessary funds, we will understand it to be time to
suspend publication." That was published in August of 1879 and today,
without ever having missed an issue since it started, three million copies
are printed each issue. C. T. Russell used his own personal fortune at the
outset, which helped give the work a good start. Rutherford financed many
of his preaching trips out of personal savings accumulated before he became
associated with the Society. And today, much of the money that is used to
carry on the work is spent out of the pocket of the individual minister of
Jehovah's witnesses as he engages in the work himself.
VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTIONS PAY IT ALL
You may never have realized it, but when Jehovah's witnesses come to
your homes and knock on your doors it is costing them money. They pay their
own carfare or automobile expense and the cost of any literature they give
away. They pay the printing cost of books they receive from the Society and
contributions they receive for them are used to obtain more. If they give
literature away, this money is out of their own pocket. Do you have any
idea how much is contributed to the work in this way? It is nothing for one
of the witnesses in most countries to spend two dollars in a month for
travel expenses carrying on his ministerial activity. Multiply that by six
hundred thousand ministers throughout the world and you can see what it
amounts to. Millions of dollars every year are spent by Jehovah's witnesses
personally just to visit you and your neighbors in your homes. In addition
to their own individual ministry, each one contributes voluntarily to
support the local congregation's expenses, such as rent, electric
for anyone who wishes to make a voluntary contribution. No one knows who
gives, or how much. But what about the other features of the work? Building
and operating large printing plants, shipping millions of pieces of
literature all over the world, maintaining hundreds of missionary homes in
over one hundred countries — that all costs money. Where do Jehovah's
witnesses get the financial support for all of this activity? One thing you
can be sure of. The contributions we receive for literature at the doors
wouldn't begin to pay for it all. In the first place, the amount of
contribution is figured to cover little more than printing cost. Then,
besides that, much of the literature is given to full-time ministers at
considerably below printing cost to help them defray their own distribution
expenses. So money for these other features of the work must come from
another source — and it does. For many years now the Society has put
a notice in The Watchtower once a year requesting each one who wishes to
contribute during the year to state how much he wants to contribute and how
the contributions would be sent, whether all at once or a certain amount at
a time. The reason this has been done is in order that we might know how to
lay out the work for the year to come; and the work is planned or expanded
on the basis of what is indicated by these expressions. This would indicate
the leading of the Lord in spreading the work. These statements of their
good hopes Jehovah's witnesses have never considered as promises or
pledges, just simply what they hoped to be able to contribute toward the
spreading of the work the coming year. Sometimes some would fall down
on them while others would double up what they had anticipated giving.
New ones would come in to the organization and many contributions would be
made by those who did not send in any expression of their hopes. This has
proved very satisfactory in arranging the year's work, and does not
constitute in any way a solicitation because no one is asked to give a
penny. Neither is an amount established as a goal to be attained. The work
progresses only to the extent of the voluntary contributions. That means
those entrusted with spending this money have a real responsibility, and
all three presidents of the Society have been extremely careful not to
spend it for things that would not bring some advancement to the work. Yet
when it is necessary they will spend thousands of dollars for equipment and
millions for new buildings to expand the preaching program. In doing all
this, Jehovah's witnesses have always managed to pay as they go.
THE PEOPLE BRING MORE THAN ENOUGH
There is an interesting story in that connection I'd like to tell you.
It has to do with building our first factory at 117 Adams Street in
Brooklyn. After the work was revived in 1919 our expansion was so rapid we
outgrew one place after another and finally the question arose about
building a real plant of our own that would meet all of our requirements.
Plans were drawn up and we concluded that it would require an eight -or
nine- story building. This was in 1926. It was going to cost a substantial
sum of money, so Martin, the factory manager, and I got together and talked
it over. We went to Rutherford and said, "Brother Rutherford, if you would
issue notes at a reasonable interest and offer them to our
own people you'll get all that is necessary to build the factory and it
would be in the family." "Oh," he said, "if I set out something like that
in The Watch Tower, that would cause a furor, it would disrupt the
organization. They'd say, Look at them now, they've started in begging."
"But you wouldn't be soliciting or asking for contributions. Just a loan.
Why don't you do this? Put a little supplement in there, not as a regular
part of the Tower. Tell the friends all about it, what the money's for and
how it will be used, and I'll guarantee you that in no time at all there
will be sufficient funds to build that factory, because everybody in the
truth that's devoted to Jehovah is as interested in it as we are and I
think it will thrill them to think they can have some part in it." Well,
Rutherford didn't say much after that but he became quite serious and
thought about it. Sure enough, he did issue that special edition of the
Watch Tower and sent it out. I left on a trip about that time and got back
in five or six weeks. Rutherford came to me with a very serious look on his
face, and said, "Brother, you were so sure that a few weeks after the Tower
would get out with that special notice in it that there would be enough
funds come in here to build the factory. Here it's been six or eight weeks
and just a few little dribbles have come in." "Brother Rutherford, you
haven't been out amongst our people as I have. The friends have their money
in savings banks or hidden away in a glass jar under the cellar stairs or
in the rafters of the barn — who knows where it is? Give them a
little time. They'll think it over — it will be two or three months
before it will begin to come in. Now I'm going away on another trip and
I'll be back in about two months, and if there's not enough in here then to
build that factory, I'll take you out and get you the finest chicken dinner
we can get in Brooklyn." (He always did like chicken.) "And if there is
enough in there, then Brother Martin and I will be looking for that
chicken as your treat."
I left on my next speaking trip then and came back in eight weeks. I met
Rutherford in the hallway and I said, "Well, Brother Rutherford, how are
the subscriptions for loans coming in?"
"Oversubscribed — had to send some back."
"Well," I said, "I have a thousand dollars in my pocket that's been
"Send it back, we don't need it." And we certainly didn't; we had more
Instead of borrowing money from a bank, we had borrowed it from our own
people and the Society gave them a note at the regular rate of interest,
although many of Jehovah's witnesses waived the interest. It was understood
by those receiving notes that they could request their money in full at any
time if they might unexpectedly have need for it. These received their
money at once and the rest were paid off as the regular voluntary
contributions made it possible. Before the notes had matured, all had been
This arrangement certainly reminded me of the account in the Bible when
Moses was told to build the Tabernacle for Jehovah in the
wilderness. Moses called the nation of
Israel together and itemized the materials that would be needed and asked
those of willing heart to contribute what they had. After awhile the men
assigned to do the work told Moses: "The people bring much more than enough
for the service of the work, which the Lord commanded to make.... So the
people were restrained from bringing. For the stuff they had was sufficient
for all the work to make it, and too much."
By 1946 we needed additions to the factory and in 1955 we needed an
entire new building of thirteen floors. Both were built with money loaned
the Society by Jehovah's witnesses themselves. In neither case were new
notes given out until all previous ones were settled.
THE FAMILY FORMS A PATTERN
Such an arrangement would not be possible except for the fact that all
of Jehovah's witnesses feel themselves a part of the organization.
Actually, they are. The New World society is a family and Jehovah's spirit
of giving poured out on them prompts them to support the work without their
having to. Since 1901 my home has been in and out of Bethel. All this while
I have enjoyed the close relationship that exists in our headquarters
family. Our seventy-eight branch homes, too, while not nearly so large,
operate on the same principles. So do our more than two hundred missionary
homes. Like any family, we have our own rooms where we can withdraw for
privacy, but we eat together and work together; our laundry is taken care
of; our beds are made and our rooms are cleaned, all the work being done by
those assigned to their particular tasks. The whole family is a happy lot
and extremely considerate and thoughtful of one another. Our meals are
particularly sociable. At Bethel we have about fifty tables, each seating
ten persons, and our entire family of 450 sits down together. The Society's
president, N. H. Knorr, is head of the family and presides at our meals. He
and his wife live at Bethel with the rest of us and so do all the directors
of the Society. Like all the rest of us, in addition to board and room,
they all get their $14 a month allowance for personal needs. At breakfast
we always have a short period of worship with a discussion of a Bible text
for that day. This is always a stimulating period and gives us the right
mental and spiritual start for the day's activity. After breakfast Knorr
always remains in the dining room for a time so that any member of the
family who has a question about his work or some personal problem can have
it settled without need to make an appointment. For a man with the
responsibility he has, Knorr is one of the most
approachable men I have known. He has a deep personal interest in every
member of the family.
Almost every family of Jehovah's witnesses I know who are all, or almost
all, active in the Christian ministry follow about the same pattern of
living. I've traveled around this country and Europe for many years, and
practically all of the time I have been entertained in the homes of
Jehovah's witnesses themselves. Everywhere I go I find the family
arrangement is always the same amongst those who are really a part of the
New World society; and at once I am made to feel a part of the family.
When they get up in the morning they always have the morning text read,
then perhaps a brief discussion, with the father usually summing it up from
printed comments for the day in the current Yearbook of Jehovah's
Witnesses. The children are encouraged to participate and generally
show real aptitude.
This sort of family relationship is something that the world has almost
forgotten. Even modern churches don't have it. It's old-fashioned now for
people to associate together as a Christian family. How many families do
you know that read the Bible in the home and have family worship? or even
return thanks at their meals? Yet this failure is considered by many
sociologists and by many who are concerned with the problem of juvenile
delinquency as one of the outstanding causes for broken homes and criminal
IDENTIFYING THE FAMILY OF GOD
The family is the foundation of society, of the world. And just as the
family is, so you might expect the whole nation to be. That is why, with
the strong family unit built up in the homes of Jehovah's witnesses, the
New World society is really a large family. When they come to their
congregational meetings, or
share in their house-to-house ministry, the individual family groups
make up the larger family group, for they are all acting in the same way.
They all live under the same principles at home. When they come to their
"Kingdom Hall" for their meetings they come there to study, to be informed
on the Doctrines of the Bible and proper methods of preaching, to ask
questions or to offer their comments. Then when they come together in a
large convention it is just another family arrangement on a larger scale.
Instead of having a few in a home, or 50 or 150 in a Kingdom Hall, they
have 50,000 or 100,000 in a great stadium. It is the same family, all
"brothers" and sisters" in the New World society, bound together in
relationship through Jesus Christ and the true worship of the Most High
God, with prospects of some day filling the earth with their way of
That's why our movement is truly international. It bridges all national
barriers, for it is the same world-wide. We live according to one standard,
a rule that unites us as one regardless of any other affiliation, for it
has its origin in the one Book, the Bible, and operates under the one
unifying active force, the holy spirit of God. Do you think that is
possible? Consider what the Bible says about the family of God. Jesus
showed the closeness of this relationship even beyond that of fleshly ties
with his mother, Mary, and his natural brothers, for he said:  "Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And
he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my
mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which
is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother."
What reason do we have for saying it should be different on earth today?
This unity existed within the early congregation. Why not now? Do you find
it in your church?
Wouldn't you like to feel yourself a part of the family of God? You can.
As surely as I have. From out of this world of people who do not know where
our civilization is heading,
you can find the right religion that will answer your questions about
God as mine have been answered and make life worth living. It may be a
struggle but it is worth it, and you can find it if you follow the way God
has outlined for us in his Word.
CHAPTER 16. YOU CAN LIVE FOREVER
I HAVE CONSIDERED with you the ups and downs of over half a century of
my personal association and activity with Jehovah's witnesses. Now, I come
to the conclusion of my story. But, although it may bring my story to a
close, it is by no means the end.
I am an old man in my eightieth year, yet life is just beginning- -for
me and for millions of those now living who may never die. Would you like
to be one of these?
When I became associated with this group of zealous Christians, those
who were active in the ministry could be numbered in the hundreds. Today
they are numbered in hundreds of thousands. The prophecy,  "A little one shall become a thousand, and a
small one a strong nation: " has begun fulfillment in my lifetime and I
have seen it taking place.
This is just one of the prophecies I've seen fulfilled. I've told you of
many and how they've strengthened my faith. From my youth I wanted to know
what the future held for this world and for its inhabitants who live here
such fleeting years.
To know its destiny is a comfort but to know that our destiny is tied up
with it is a blessing from God. Early in life I learned these things and
have carried them with me constantly as an assurance of the future. I have
shared this hope with thousands and am happy I have been able to share it
JEHOVAH DETERMINES THE WAY OF LIFE
In telling you of my religion I've tried to show you why I'm convinced
it's the right religion; why I'm convinced that religion is not a
philosophy just to control man's behavior, or a formal ritual to prepare
the "soul" for a "hereafter." I've tried to show you that the right
religion is a way of life, a changed pattern of thinking in order to
conform to specific requirements God has established for all who will have
his approval. I've tried to picture to you a completely new world society
that is living that religion, that is rising out of the present order of
greedy, wicked and selfish systems; a society that is composed of people
from all races, kindreds and tongues, yet united in the common worship of
I have pointed out why this new way of life became necessary; how our
first parents, Adam and Eve, disobeyed God's righteous requirements and
brought on us a condemnation of death; how the influence of Satan over the
earth for nearly six thousand years has made it a place of sorrow,
suffering and dread; how death has stalked through the earth with no one to
stop its ravages. I have reminded you how Christ Jesus redeemed mankind by
giving his life a ransom nearly two thousand years ago, yet the enemy death
still reigns supreme over humanity and, while men have vainly tried to
improve their conditions, little progress has been made because Satan is
still at large and is the god of this system of things.
Because of these conditions, only Jehovah God is in a position to
correct the situation. His purpose to do so and how
he will accomplish it form the theme of the entire Bible, as I have
explained in my story. Whether we will benefit by God's program of activity
depends entirely on how we view it and whether we are willing to accept it
and gladly fulfill his requirements for us.
Don't think you cam get into God's new world by taking "the way of your
own choice." We don't make the requirements that must be met. God does.
That is only reasonable. No country of this world permits prospective
nationals to stipulate individually the terms by which they should be
recognized and accepted. Why should God? Every government has its own
regulations and you must comply with them strictly, or you'll never be
accepted as a national of that government. So don't believe false
representatives of God's government who say, "You can get into God's
kingdom through the church of your choice. Pick out the one you like best
and go to it. Just be good and be sincere. God will take care of you." He
won't. Not that way.
Jesus said in the conclusion of his Sermon on the Mount:  "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide
and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it
are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life,
and those who find it are few." Then Jesus warned us against those not
bringing forth the good fruit of his kingdom and said they would be
destroyed. But those that built their house of faith on the rock-foundation
would be saved.
WHY MY FAITH HAS SURVIVED
What is the rock foundation? And how do we build on it? Early in his
study of the Bible, C. T. Russell recognized that our way of approach to
Jehovah is through the only one that
God has appointed, Jesus Christ. Since Jesus gave his life a ransom for
us he has purchased us; and therefore if we are to come to God we must come
through him, listening to his wise words and heeding them. No one else,
living or dead, can serve as a mediator. This provision, then, is the
foundation on which our faith is built. Russell recognized this and
realized it was now God's time to make its benefits available to mankind;
therefore, he spent his lifetime building on that foundation by preaching
the good news all over the world.
I've told you about the Society that grew up through this preaching,
just as the prophecies had foretold; how I became a part of the movement,
dedicating myself to God's service and being baptized in symbol of it; and
how all of us who were added to this congregation recognized the obligation
on us to preach also. But since Satan is the god of the present wicked
system of things that operates men's affairs and controls their thinking
from birth, and since he is still at large and bent on preventing any of
the human race from getting out from under his control, he has hated the
preaching work with extreme bitterness and has poured out his venom on
Jehovah's persistent preachers through any means or agency he could
dominate. I've given you concrete instances, perhaps much to your surprise
that the leading religions of Christendom were the chief ones who played
into his hands and permitted themselves to be his tools in an effort to
suppress or destroy the message of God's blessing and judgment. The
evidences are overwhelming that this is so. The methods themselves that
these systems have used brand them as being of their father the Devil, for
they duplicate in modern times the works performed against Jesus by those
Satan used then.
I have related to you how this new system of things has been violently
opposed from its inception; how it was hunted down and buried in death
during the closing years of World War I, only to survive and come to a
startling rebirth in a new way of life as a new nation, a New World
I explained how this violent, unrelenting opposition almost drove the
work underground on a global scale during World War II, but how the
divinely- appointed theocratic arrangement enabled it to continue and even
to expand numerically. No instrument devised against it has been able to
stamp it out. Neither will any power in
heaven and earth be able to prevent its continued growth. That is because it is ordained of God. It is in
fulfillment of his own Word. Its life force is his holy spirit.
Can you wonder why my faith is strong? It has had to be to survive these
extreme pressures brought against it. And can you wonder why my confidence
in the New World society is unshaken, why I am convinced it is the planting
and building of God, not man? I have seen men try to wreck it from inside
the organization, just as deliberately as those who fought it from without.
But I've seen these men discredited by their own actions and finally
separated by their own choice; yet the theocratic society has remained
intact in structure as well as in its standards of conduct. I've seen all
vestiges of creature worship, the plague of Christendom, rooted out and the
name of Jehovah given its rightful place of due honor.
THE ONLY PRACTICAL WAY IS GOD'S
Through this Society I've found a companionship and brotherhood with men
of all nations and races. It has convinced me that men who have been total
strangers all their lives can have complete confidence in each other and
can become fast friends in a few hours' time. This is because we already
have the firm foundation of a common understanding of our Creator and of
his will for us and are strictly bound by the same high moral standards,
regardless of how those peoples from whom we are extracted may live. We
know that to violate these principles for a momentary advantage may cost us
our everlasting life.
To us, it is not worth that. So, we can safely trust one another, and
do. I would not want you to conclude from this that Jehovah's witnesses are
gullible or easily "taken in" by impostors. A faker in our midst is as easy
to identify as a leopard amongst sheep. You can't counterfeit or sham the
principles that Jehovah's witnesses live by or put them out and take them
off like a coat. If they do not become a part of you by a continued
cultivating of God's spirit, Jehovah will weed you out and separate you
from his organization. I have seen it happen. Hundreds of thousands of
persons are recognizing that the wicked system of things that is Satan's
world cannot continue its downward trend much longer and continue to exist.
They observe the course of action being taken by Jehovah's witnesses and
the standards by which their New World society is conducted, and they are
in full sympathy with it. Their own hearts, feeling after righteousness, go
out to a people who are making a sincere effort to stay clear of the vice
and corruption of the world and who are endeavoring to honor and praise the
name of the Most High God. They eagerly grasp and devour all the knowledge
that is available about the new world promised in sacred prophecy and seek
to obtain positive proofs that it is reasonable, that it is a tangible
reality. Investigation provides such proofs in abundance. It is already
apparent to thinking persons that we have approached a turning-point in
history. Oh, it's true, you'll hear some social reformers claiming that the
viewpoint of Jehovah's witnesses is foolish, in looking to God to
accomplish the permanent cure for the world's ills. Yet while these critics
continue to struggle along by man's means, Jehovah's witnesses are already
living, as a society, the reforms the world seeks. No matter how our
enemies may vilify our society condemn our ideals or criticize our
practices — the record speaks for itself. Jehovah's witnesses do live
together in peace. We do not go onto the "field of battle" and shoot each
because we happen to be born in different parts of the earth. Neither are we divided within ourselves by
conflicting doctrines, opinions and party factions. These differences have been resolved quite
simply. We are theocratically united in our common worship of God.
If so-called "practical" opposers could point to the same or better
results within their own organizations, then perhaps their arguments in
behalf of their own systems would be believable. They're like the man who
saw a giraffe in the zoo for the first time. He stared at it in amazement
for a moment and then said, "There ain't such an animal."
But the New World society is real. It may look strange to the
man without faith, but results of its activity can be seen in the changing
pattern of the lives of a growing multitude of persons. It's just that
opposers refuse to recognize and acknowledge the power of God and his
spirit upon his people.
THERE IS NO MIDDLE GROUND
You, and every other living person in the world today, are facing the
most significant crisis mankind will ever encounter. We have reached a time
of judgment. It is not just the survival of modern governments that is at
issue. The entire concept of rule by man is in the balance.
The issue is sharp and clear: Will you continue to support and bear up
this present system of things that is filling the earth with suffering,
sorrow, sin and death? Or will you choose and fit yourself for God's
love-filled new world?
You must decide. You will take one way or the other. There is no middle
If you decide in favor of this doomed world you must reconcile yourself
to meeting its fate. But if you choose to cast your lot with those who are
upholding the standard of
God's righteousness, you have a prospect of endless life in peace and
happiness with real freedom.
The line of demarcation between the two sides is definite. It is a
rapidly widening chasm. Soon that division will be so complete there will
be no more passing over from one side to the other. When that time arrives
the preaching of the good news will have accomplished its purpose. Then the
last lost and strayed sheep will have been found and brought into the "one
flock" of the One Shepherd. Then the spiritual prosperity of the New World
society will have reached a new peak. The time will have come for the "time
of the end" to close, for the days of tribulation upon Satan's world to be
shortened no longer for the sake of God's chosen ones. The time will have
come for the wicked system of things under Satan to meet its accomplished
end. Then the final war will begin. That war is the battle of the great day
of God, the Almighty. It is called in scripture, Armageddon. None will survive except those who have taken
God's side of the issue we now face.
HOW YOU MAY TAKE GOD'S SIDE
What must you do to take God's side? What course must you follow now to
find God's favor and protection during Armageddon? The first step must be
to recognize the need. If you don't believe the world of mankind is
estranged from God and must seek his favor, if you're not convinced that
this world is approaching its complete end, then you may not see the need
to do anything at all. So the obvious answer to that is to investigate.
You must take the first step, exercising faith in God. Without faith it is impossible to please him. For
whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he
rewards those who seek him." If the time is really here
for Jehovah God to settle accounts and take over the kingdom rulership
of earth, nothing could be of greater importance to you, and anyone who
would attempt to dissuade you from learning of it is not your friend. To
consider the evidences that Jehovah's witnesses present to you as testimony
costs you nothing but your time. If, after careful study of the facts, you
are not convinced, you have lost nothing. On the other hand, you may
recognize that you have not yet begun to live. Jehovah's witnesses
earnestly repeat the words of warning Moses spoke to the Israelites as they
prepared to enter the Promised Land:  "I
call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set
before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that
you and your descendants may live."
You must repent of your past course
and be converted or turned around from following the way of this world and
base your actions on the standards of God's Word. That means you must recognize your only approach
to God is through Jesus and the merit of his shed blood as your
ransom. Thus you accept God's way of
doing things and follow the example of Jesus and others in unconditionally
dedicating yourself to God to do his will. As a symbol of dedication, to show that your will
is now alive to God's and you're seeking to conform your thinking to his
requirements, you must be baptized by total immersion in water.
Study of God's Word will acquaint you with his purpose and what he
expects from you as his servant. Paul said:  "Necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not
preach the gospel!" If you become convinced this necessity is laid upon
you, then you must be properly trained for the ministry, not by attending
expensive schools for years of unprofitable study of philosophy, sociology
and similar subjects. You are now interested in getting the mind of God, so
you study God's Word, the Bible, and enlarge your ability by putting into
practical use what you learn. Thus you help others as you are
being helped. Paul admonished a very young minister:  "Take heed to yourself and to your teaching; hold
to that, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers "
That is the way the entire New World society is being prepared to inhabit
the system of things that will operate when Armageddon is over.
RESTORATION OF EDENIC CONDITIONS
After the raging fury of Armageddon has spent itself in the destruction
of the enemies of Jehovah and righteousness, a serene calm will settle over
the earth, as on the sea of Galilee after Jesus rebuked the storm. All
human beings brought through the battle will be fully dedicated to Jehovah
and will then carry on the new work assigned to them, just as they are now
being trained to serve God.
Everyone you meet will have a kind word for you and will seek to do you
good. Earth will be a grand place to live. The old selfish system of greed
and graft will not be there but the law of brotherly love will prevail
where each one will love his neighbor as himself. With love at work, gone
are jealousies and disputes, and in their stead we see patient kindness as
men and women carry out the commands of their gracious God Jehovah.
Confronted as we are with sickness, suffering and death, we may find it
difficult to imagine that life could be different. But beyond Armageddon,
in our generation, human beings shall live forever in God's new world. Look
at these men and women as the restoration work progresses. Radiant with
health and beauty, they are perfect in form and feature, for the prophecy
foretells that a man can return to the days of his youth and his flesh can
become like a child's in freshness. What
an experience it will be to reverse life's journey and grow younger each
year instead of older! Mental, moral and
physical perfection will stamp the features of all who complete the
journey. As for wars, they shall cease,
and death will be no more. "Behold, the
dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his
people, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe away every tear
from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be
mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed
After mankind has reached a measure of perfection, they will be told to
make preparations for the restoration of their beloved dead. What a happy
thing it will be to prepare a room for Mother and Dad! Some day while
working about your lovely garden park home you will hear the familiar voice
of father or mother calling from the room you prepared for them. You will
run to their room and tell them about the new world and its joys and all
the things that happened on earth while they were asleep in death. How
happy they will be to have no more pain, for they will come back without
the sickness that caused their death, and they will have before them the
glorious hope of living forever on the perfected earth! This process will
go on until all in the memorial tombs are brought forth. Thus we behold the original purpose of Jehovah,
as stated in the second chapter of Genesis, fulfilled; to have this earth
subdued and brought to the perfection exhibited in the garden of Eden,
prepared as an example; to have it filled with perfect human creatures,
accomplished to God's glory.
HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE GOD?
Too good to be true, you say? On the contrary, would it not be poor
reasoning to conclude that fallen man could think of a better arrangement
for the future of creatures, made in the image of Jehovah, than the
all-wise loving Creator, who says
he loves his creatures more than a mother does her nursing child?
Eternity in perfection and boundless happiness is his promise. His purposes
cannot and will not fail. After every war there is a necessary period of
rehabilitation. That means that those who will represent the King, Jesus
Christ, must be trained and equipped before the final war so that no period
of anarchy will immediately follow it. The New World society is being
prepared now by the many lessons it has learned and by its experiences in
operating under all kinds of conditions, favorable and unfavorable. As a
result, there is being developed world-wide, a society of hundreds of
thousands of persons with a keen appreciation of God's righteous
requirements who are willing to accept any cost to themselves rather than
compromise or slacken their hold on the way of life that is pleasing to
God. They do this because they love God more than anything else. Talk to
them when they come to your door. They will be pleased to help you as they
themselves have been helped. Have you ever asked yourself: "How much do I
really love God? If I were to find that God's Word, the Bible, contradicted
what I have always believed, which would I follow? If I had to choose
between some respected or dearly-loved individual and my Creator, what
would be my decision? If I were suddenly forbidden by law to worship God,
if continued worship might cost me my life, what would I do?" You may some
day be confronted with such circumstances to determine whether you have the
right religion. It may be a real battle for you, but I am sure that if you
make the right choice it will give you peace of mind and will be pleasing
to God. I have been faced with each one of these decisions and many others
also, and today I am more determined than ever to keep on in my faith. It
has made life worth living for me. It is still helping me to face the
future without fear. I hope my story will help you to do the same. If it
does, then it will have been worth the telling.
All Biblical references are to the Authorized (King James) Version,
except where specifically stated otherwise.
- Millennial Dawn, Vol. 1 (1886) pp. 187-188.
- Job 14:13-15; 3:17-19, American Standard Version.
- Romans 12:2, New World Translation.
- Proverbs 3:5, 6.
- Acts 17:11.
- Ecclesastes 9:5, 10; Romans 6:23.
- Genesis 1:27, 28; 2:16, 17.
- Genesis 3:17-19.
- Genesis 4:1.
- Romans 5:12.
- 1 Corinthians 15:17, 18.
- Luke 19:10.
- Hebrews 2:14, 15.
- 2 John 7.
- Exodus 21:23, 24.
- Matthew 20:28.
- 1 Peter 3:18; 1 Timothy 6:16.
- Luke 24:32.
- Matthew 13:24-30..
- The full significance of the Greek word parousia here used
is clearly demonstrated in relation to its antithesis, apousia,
at Philippians 2:12: "Ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence
[parousia] only, but now much more in my absence
- Herald of the Morning, Vol. 7, No. 1, July, 1878, p.
- Zion's Watch Tower, Vol. 15, No. 8 ("Extra Edition"), April
25, 1894, pp. 101-104.
- John 11:11-14, 23, 24.
- Hebrews 12:13.
- 2 Corinthians 11:3, 14.
- Philippians 2:5-8.
- 1 Corinthians 3:6, New World Translation.
- Genesis 12:1-3.
- Galatians 3:8, 16, 27, 29.
- Jeremiah 20:9.
- Millennial Dawn, Vol. 1 (1886 edition), p. 174.
- See: Hebrews 2:16; Philippians 2:7, 8; John 1:14.
- Philippians 2:7.
- The Watch Tower, Vol. 35, No. 1, January 1, 1914, pp. 4,
- Luke 21:24.
- 1 Chronicles 29:23, American Standard Version.
- 2 Kings 25:1-12.
- This date is determined as follows: The length of Jerusalem's
desolation was foretold as 70 years. (2 Chronicles 36:21) It was also
foretold her captor, Babylon, would be destroyed at the end of that time.
(Jeremiah 25:11, 12; compare Daniel 9:2) The most authoritative
achaeological evidence shows Babylon as overthrown October 7, 539 B.C.
(See: Babylonian Chronology 626 B.C.-A.D. 45, by
Richard Anthony Parker and Waldo Herman Dubberstain [Chicago, 1942: The
University of Chicago Press], p. 11.) This would be the
accession year of Cyrus, successor Persian king. The following
April, 538 B.C., would begin his first regnal year. (See:
The Myserious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings, by Edwin Richard
Thiele [Chicago, 1951, The University of Chicago Press], p. 14.) Within
that year a decree was issued for the release of the Jews and by the fall
they had begun to resettle Jerusalem. (Ezra 1:1; 3:1, 2) Therefore, since
the foretold 70-year desolation ended in the fall of 537 B.C., it must
have begun in the fall of 607 B.C. with Jerusalem's destruction. [NOTE:
Although the archaeological evidences referred to here were not known in
1914, they have since only served to refine and corroborate Russell's
caclulations. For a detailed descussion see The Watchtower, Vol.
73, No. 9, May 1, 1952, pp. 265 ff.]
- Ezekiel 21:25-27.
- Psalm 110:1, 2; Daniel 2:44.
- Luke 21:24, 27.
- Matthew 2:3-6; Luke 3:15; 7:19, 20; John 1:19-21.
- Daniel 4:32.
- Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6.
- The Watch Tower, Vol. 35. No. 9, May 1, 1914, p. 135.
- Matthew 24:34.
- Proverbs 13:12, Revised Standard Version.
- New York World, August 30, 1914, Sunday magazine, pp. 4,
- The Watch Tower, Vol. 36, No. 4, February 15, 1915, p.
- Washington (D.C.) Times Herald, March 13, 1945,
- Dr. Harold C. Urey, in Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 9,
- Prof. Rene Albrecht-Carrié, in Scientific Monthly
(Washington, D. C., American Association for the Advancement of Science),
Vol. 73, No. 1, July, 1951, p. 16.
- Edmonton (Alberta, Canada) Journal, August 7, 1954,
- New York Times Magazine, August 1, 1954.
- Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, August 1, 1954, editorial.
- Zion's Watch Tower, Vol. 1, No. 3 September, 1879, pp. 1,
- Revelation 12:7-10.
- Daniel 12:1; 2:44; Isaiah 9:6, 7.
- Matthew 24:22.
- Revelation 16:14-16.
- Revelation 7:9, 10.
- Acts 1:6.
- Matthew 20:1-16.
- 1 Peter 4:17; Matthew 24:10, 12.
- 1 Peter 4:12, Revised Standard Version.
- John 13:35, Revised Standard Version.
- Luke 12:37.
- Matthew 24:45-51.
- Malachi 3:1-3; American Standard Version.
- Revelation 11:3.
- Title of a series of tracts published by the International Bible
- Bell (1856-1919), an exceptionally brilliant military leader, had
been Chief of Staff of the United States Army (1906-1910). He suffered a
fatal heart attack January 8, 1919. See Encyclopedia Americana,
- Consolation magazine, August 23, 1939, p. 5.
- Congressional Record (Vol. 56, Part 6), Senate, April 24,
1918, p. 5542. Also New York Times, April 25, 1918, April 25,
1918, p. 12.
- Congressional Record (Vol. 56, Part 6), Senate, May 4, 1918,
- Congressional Record (Vol. 56, Part 6), Senate, May 4, 1918,
- Kingdom News, Vol. 1, Nos. 1, 2 and 3, published by I. B. S
A. (International Bible Students Association), Brooklyn, N. Y., March 15,
April 15 and May 1918, respectively. Publication resumed July, 1939 (Vol.
1, No. 4), by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, Inc., and continued
until February, 1946 (Vol. 1 No. 15).
- International Bible Students Association was the generic
term used from 1910 until 1931 to identify those unitedly sharing in
Bible educational activities supervised by the Watch Tower Bible and
Tract Society throughout the world. That term as so used until 1931
corresponds, since 1931, with use of the term Jehovah's
witnesses to identify perticipipants in the continuing earth-wide
work, announcing Jehovah's kingdom. (See: The Watch Tower, Vol.
31, No. 7, April 1, 1910, pp. 110, 120; Vol. 34, No. 1, January 1, 1913,
pp. 6, 7, "The Harvets Work World-wide"; Vol. 52, No. 19, October 1,
1931, pp. 291-297.) Incidentally, the mentioned generic use of the term
"International Bible Students Association" from 1910 to 1931 should not
be confused with use of the very same name chosen for the corporation
created and registered at London, England, in 1914, and later also chosen
for the Canadian corporation, for supervising the Watch Tower Society's
activities in the United Kingdom and in Canada, respectively.
- Quotations are exactly as they appear in the court record.
- Ex parte Hudgings, 249 U. S. 378 (April 14, 1919).
- Civil Liberty in War Time by John Lord O'Brian (presented
before the New York State Bar Association, January 17 and 18, 1919).
Harlan Fiske Stone by Alpheus Tomas Mason (New York, 1956: The
Viking Press), p. 525.
- See New York Herald, June 22, 1918, Part 2, p. 5.
- Acts 6:9-15.
- This is the same Manton who, on December 4, 1939, was finally
adjudged guilty of accepting bribes totaling $186,000 while serving as
United States Circuit Judge. See United States v. Manton, 107
Federal (2d), p. 834.
- 258 Federal, p. 855 (May 14, 1919).
- The Watch Tower, Vol. 40, No. 18, September 15, 1919, pp.
- The Watch Tower, Vol. 40, No. 19, October 1, 1919, pp.
- Matthew 24:14.
- The Watch Tower, Vol. 41, No. 13, July 1, 1920, pp. 199,
- The Watch Tower, Vol. 43, No. 21, November 1, 1922, pp. 332
- 1 Peter 2:5.
- Malachi 3:1.
- Isaiah 6:1-11.
- Revelation 11:11.
- Ezekiel 9:2-4.
- Mark 14:27.
- Zechariah 13:7.
- Zion's Watch Tower, Vol. 6, No. 2, October, 1884, p. 2,
- Zion's Watch Tower, Vol. 25, No. 8, April 15, 1904, p.
- The Watch Tower, Vol. 44, No. 5, March 1, 1923, pp. 68,
- The Watch Tower, Vol. 52, No. 17, September 1, 1931, pp. 259
- Luke 12:37; 2 Timothy 4:8.
- Hebrews 1:1, 2.
- Matthew 13:41.
- 1 Corinthians 10:11, New World Translation.
- Deuteronomy 7:7, New World Translation.
- Psalm 106:8.
- 1 Corinthians 1:11-13; 3:3, 11.
- Galatians 5:9-12; 1:6-8, New World Translation.
- 2 Timothy 2:16-18, New World Translation.
- 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 7, New World Translation.
- Acts 20:29-31, New World Translation.
- 2 John 7, New World Translation.
- 1 Peter 2:9, New World Translation.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:21; 1 John 4:1; Acts 17:11; 2 Timothy 2:15.
- Acts 17:6, 7.
- Luke 23:14, 23, 24.
- 2 Corinthians 13:5.
- John 14:6.
- Matthew 7:21.
- Luke 12:37, Revised Standard Version.
- 2 Timothy 3:16, 17, Douay.
- Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, 2 Kings, Psalms, Isaiah and
- John 13:16; 1 John 4:9.
- John 14:28, Douay.
- Matthew 19:5, Douay.
- Isaiah 1:18, American Standard Version.
- Acts 20:29, 30; 2 Timothy 4:3, 4; 2 Peter 3:16.
- 2 Peter 1:20, New World Translation.
- Hebrews 5:11-14.
- Proverbs 4:18.
- Matthew 24:45, New World Translation.
- Luke 12:32.
- Revelation 7:4, 9.
- Genesis 40:8.
- Daniel 12:8-10, American Standard Version.
- Acts 15:1-29.
- Galatians 2:11-14, New World Translation.
- John 6:60, 66.
- Luke 14:2-6.
- Luke 6:13.
- 1 Corinthians 12:18; Mark 10:40.
- Ephesians 4:11-13.
- Acts 15:1-21.
- Titus 1:5.
- Acts 6:1-6.
- Acts 8:25; 1 Corinthians 9:16.
- 1 Timothy 5:19-22; Hebrews 13:17.
- Acts 13:2-4.
- Acts 3:20, 21.
- Isaiah 60:17, 22.
- The Watch Tower, Vol. 59, Nox. 11, 12, June 1 and June 15,
1938, "Organization," Part 1 and Part 2.
- 1 Timothy 3:10.
- Psalm 94:20, 21.
- Matthew 5:7, New World Translation.
- Matthew 23:33, New World Translation.
- Jeremiah 1:10.
- 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Ephesians 6:17.
- Don Rockwell (Ed.), Radio Personalities, 1936, p. 82.
- Mark 12:17.
- Minersville v. Gobitis, 310 U. S. 586 (June 3, 1940), 60 S.
Ct. 1010, 87 L. Ed. 1375; reversed June 14, 1943, see chapter 13, note
- 2 Corinthians 5:20.
- 1 John 5:21.
- Acts 5:29.
- Exodus 20:2-6.
- Daniel 3.
- 1 Corinthians 10:11, 14.
- See: Victor W. Rotnem, "Recent Restrictions Upon Religious Liberty,"
American Political Science Review (Madison, Wis., The American
Political Science Association), Vol. 36, No. 6, December, 1942, pp.
- Revelation 12:16.
- West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.
S. 624 (June 14, 1943, "Flag day"), 63 S. Ct. 1178, 87 L. Ed. 1628,
reversing Minersville v. Gobitis, 310 U. S. 586 (June 3, 1940);
see chapter 12, note 8.
- Falbo v. United States, 320 U. S. 549, January 3, 1944.
- Estep v. United States, 327 U. S. 114, February 4, 1946.
- Genesis 9:3-5; Leviticus 17:14; Acts 15:28; 1 Chronicles
- Acts 28:3-5.
- Jeremiah 26:14 [paraphrased].
- Hebrews 12:3, 4, Revised Standard Version.
- John 16:33, Revised Standard Version.
- 1 Peter 3:15.
- Our Sunday Visitor (Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., Huntington,
Ind.) Vol. 45, No. 3, May 20, 1956.
- Zecharaiah 8:23.
- John 8:32.
- Deuteronomy 31:11-13.
- Deuteronomy 6:6, 7.
- Matthew 19:14.
- Acts 4:13.
- Our Sunday Visitor (Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., Huntington,
Ind.) Vol. 45, Nos. 1, 2 and 3, May 6, 13 and 20, 1956,
- Our Sunday Visitor (Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., Huntington,
Ind.) Vol. 45, No. 5, June 3, 1956.
- John 7:20; Matthew 11:19.
- John 15:18-20.
- John 21:15-17.
- Acts 20:20.
- Matthew 28:19, 20.
- Matthew 10:8.
- Matthew 10:10.
- Exodus 36:5-7.
- Matthew 12:48-50. See also Matthew 10:37; 19:29.
- Isaiah 60:22.
- 2 Corinthians 4:4.
- Matthew 7:13-29, Revised Standard Version.
- John 8:44.
- Isaiah 54:17.
- Isaiah 9:7.
- Acts 17:26.
- 1 Corinthians 1:10.
- Revelation 16:14-16.
- Hebrews 11:6, Revised Standard Version.
- Deuteronomy 30:19, Revised Standard Version.
- Matthew 4:17.
- Romans 12:2.
- John 14:6; Romans 3:23-25.
- Hebrews 10:5-7; 11:24, 25.
- Matthew 28:19, 20.
- 1 Corinthians 9:16, Revised Standard Version.
- 1 Timothy 4:16, Revised Standard Version.
- Job 33:25.
- Isaiah 2:4.
- Revelation 21:3, 4, Revised Standard Version.
- John 5:28, 29.
A.H. Macmillan was born in 1877, thus was
80 years of age in 1957, year that
this book was published. You can read more information about the author