Are there two hopes, two classes of Christians, as Joseph Rutherford taught, and Jehovah’s Witnesses teach today? What is the history of these ‘two hopes’ and is it in the Bible?

“The time has come when the whole world must be concerned about me. From now on American Christianity must follow me” – Sun Myung Moon, Leader of the “Moonies”

The Jehovah’s Witness organisation has emphasised that the historical roots of a belief or practice is a valuable area of study [1]. It follows that an examination of the development of the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW) may allow us beneficial insights into the religion today.

Joseph Franklin Rutherford, a qualified lawyer and “special judge”[2] was elected as the second President of the organisation in 1917. Over 25 years he transformed the organisation entirely, so much so that thousands of previously faithful “Bible Students” refused to follow him.[3]

Rutherford made significant doctrinal changes, not least, the teaching that there are “two classes” of Christians, two hopes[4]. This article will examine the development of this teaching from a historical standpoint, considering the influences upon Rutherford and whether the justifications for this belief are valid scripturally.

Two Hopes?

There are two hopes, two different, eternally separated destinations for Christians receiving eternal life?

There appears to be no record of this two hopes teaching in nearly 1900 years of church history. Yet the Jehovah’s Witnesses today maintain that there are two hopes for Christians, a “heavenly hope” and an “earthly hope”[5].

This is a core teaching of the group, who suggest that the number of humans going to heaven is limited to 144,000. An unnumbered group of Christians receiving salvation will be eternally on the earth.

In this belief the JWs are unique. It certainly seems that not one Christian in the early church had ever taught two separate destinations for Christians, two hopes, nor anyone in subsequent church history.[6]

The JW organisation similarly did not teach this for the first 50 years of their existence.[7] [8] What follows is a consideration of the early history of the group, focusing in particular on what influenced the development of current JW doctrine.

A Prophesy Fails

In the early 1920’s Rutherford initiated a campaign backed by his book entitled “Millions Now Living Will Never Die”. The emphatic statement that “millions now living will never die” referred to the teaching that Armageddon was about to arrive and millions alive would not suffer a physical death (since they would go straight into God’s new world)[9].

Moreover the bold assertion was made that the prophets would return from the dead in 1925, coming to live with Rutherford in his luxurious Californian mansion named “Beth Sarim”[10]

The JW publication “Proclaimers” (1993), wherein the JWs summarise their own history, explains:
“We may confidently expect,” stated the booklet Millions Now Living Will Never Die, back in 1920, “that 1925 will mark the return [from the dead] of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old … to the condition of human perfection.” … The year 1925 came and went. Some abandoned their hope.” [11]

This was a false prophesy. A hundred years later, we can clearly see how misleading this “prophesy” was. It appears that so did many of the Bible Students at the time, since many left the organisation at that point and abandoned Rutherford. This was a blow for Rutherford’s leadership.

William Schnell, author and former Jehovah’s Witness, claims that three-quarters of the original Bible Students who had been associating with the Watch Tower Society in 1921 had left by 1931.[12] In 1930 Rutherford himself stated that “the total number of those who have withdrawn from the Society… is comparatively large.”[13]

This is unsurprising when one considers that these claims were never presented as opinions or possibilities, but rather the words of God himself. The Watchtower 1922, July 15th p217 claimed “… this chronology is not of man, but of God…the addition of more proofs removes it entirely from the realm of chance into that of proven certainty…the chronology of present truth [is]… not of human origin.”[14]

Rutherford “Tans the Old Lady’s Hide”

Rutherford, no doubt, carefully considered the reasons for this exodus from the organisation. He would likely note that up until the early 1920’s, the Bible Students resembled mainstream churches in a number of significant ways. Jesus was worshipped, the symbol of the cross was used and holidays such as Christmas were observed.

In fact, Zion’s Watch Tower 1904 Dec 1 p.364 said “We may as well join with the civilized world in celebrating the grand event [Christ’s birth] on the day which the majority celebrate – “Christmas day.””.

As such, those leaving the leadership of Rutherford could either follow the “Bible Students” movement which continued the teachings of it’s founder (C.T. Russell) or they may integrate relatively easily into another Christian church.

Of significant note is that the movement’s founder taught the Bible Students that they should be wary of “organization” and should be careful to protect their Christian freedom.

Beware of “organization.” It is wholly unnecessary. The Bible rules will be the only rules you will need. Do not seek to bind others’ consciences, and do not permit others to bind yours. Believe and obey so far as you can understand God’s Word today, and so continue growing in grace and knowledge and love day by day.” – Watchtower 1895 Sep 15 reprints p.1866.[15]

Yet 40 years after Russell wrote this, it had become possible for the Bible Students as an organised movement to have worldwide influence. In the secular world, Rutherford saw the incredible advances in transportation which opened up the economy from local or regional sales to worldwide markets[16].

This led to increased product marketing, with brands like Coca Cola and Kellogg’s becoming world dominating from 1900 onwards. For example, in 1931 Coca Cola paired their drink for the first time with Santa Claus resulting in incredible profits[17].

Product advertising boomed, with companies the world over developing strategies to make their product unique. Branding, that is labelling your product with a unique name and logo, became extremely important so that consumers knew which product to purchase.

Another strategy was to point out the flaws in the product offered by the competition. This cultural backdrop no doubt influenced Rutherford and his contemporaries in various ways.

There are only two organisations on earth, God’s organisation or Satan’s organisation.

Rutherford required the right marketing strategy. For Rutherford, it first became essential to identify the Bible Students as distinct from the other Christian faiths. So, faced with damaging disloyalty from many members, in 1925 Rutherford introduced a radical new concept: There are only two organisations on earth, God’s organisation or Satan’s organisation. “Proclaimers” explains:

““Birth of the Nation”—that was the title of a dramatic article appearing in the March 1, 1925, issue of The Watch Tower. It presented an enlightened understanding of Revelation chapter 12 that some found difficult to accept. The symbolic characters mentioned in this chapter of Revelation were identified…..On the basis of this, something was clearly explained for the first time: There are two distinct and opposing organizations—Jehovah’s and Satan’s.” “Indeed, the really earnest and sincere ones did rejoice over the new explanation. It was now so clear to them: everyone belongs either to Jehovah’s organization or to Satan’s.” [18]

This was a significant deviation from Russell’s teaching and mainstream Christian thought, which is why the above quote states that some found the change “difficult to accept”.

Whilst the teachings of some Christian denominations had already been condemned by the writings of Russell and Rutherford, this was a new and radical claim: That the organisation of which Rutherford was currently President is the only organisation on earth which is true and which “belongs to Jehovah” God.

All other organised religions (all other churches) are immediately put into the category of belonging to Satan! A Bible Student hearing this information for the first time would no doubt recall that the scriptures say that those putting faith in the Lord Jesus Christ are his body upon the earth and that this body performs different functions (1 Corinthians 11:3, Romans 12:3-8, 1 Corinthians 12:27-31).

This biblical teaching facilitated inter-denomination acceptance and unity in core faith. Yet now, those who happened to not fellowship with the Bible Students group were immediately categorised as following Satan.

This demonisation of other churches was at the level of total insult. The Proclaimers book (1993) proudly states:

“On Saturday, September 18, following his morning discourse, Brother Rutherford released the tan-colored book Enemies. It denounced false religion as “a great enemy, always working injury to mankind.” False religionists were identified as “agents of the Devil, whether they are aware of that fact or not.” When presenting the book to the audience, Brother Rutherford said: “You will notice that its cover is tan, and we will tan the old lady’s* hide with it.” To this the audience gave loud and enthusiastic approval.” (*the Footnote clarifies who the “old lady” is as follows: “A reference to “the great harlot,” mentioned in Revelation chapter 17.”)[19]

The message was clear: Only the organisation being led by Rutherford was approved of by Jehovah God. Other churches are an old harlot who will have her “hide tanned” (a term meaning being punished by beating), notably not by Bible truths but by his own book entitled “Enemies”.

This attitude has continued until today, with subsequent JW leadership maintaining the teaching that all other Christian denominations are under the control of Satan (see the JW official website under “Babylon the Great” and “false religion”). [20]

Securing the “Ivory Tower”

Having claimed his organisation was the only one approved by God, Rutherford continued to “dig his moat” around his ivory tower by condemning celebrations that bring families (and denominations) together.

Whilst the Bible shows that Christians are not to judge each other in regard to the celebration of festivals (Col 2:14-16, Rom 14:5-8), the organisation began to impose sanctions upon nearly every social celebration. The “Proclaimers” book explains:

“As the 1920’s and then the 1930’s progressed, more flashes of Bible understanding followed. Worldly celebrations and holidays, such as Christmas, were put away. Other practices and beliefs were also discarded when it was seen that they had God-dishonoring roots”[21]

It is significant that in 1928, the use of the Christian symbol of the cross was now condemned:

“The Bible Students cherished the cross-and-crown emblem. Starting in the late 1920’s, however, Christ’s followers were progressively enlightened regarding the use of the cross. Reflecting on the 1928 assembly held in Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A., Brother Grant Suiter, who later served on the Governing Body, recalled: “At the assembly the cross-and-crown emblems were shown to be not only unnecessary but objectionable.” Over the next few years, more enlightenment followed. It was clear that the cross has no place in worship that is pure and spiritually clean.”[22]

In the same year (1928), Mothers Day, Birthdays and other socially relevant celebrations were disparaged.[23] This move resulted in the members of the organisation being increasingly isolated from their family and friends who were not members, under the guise of maintaining purity. It was certainly no longer easy to leave the Bible Students and integrate into another church.

A New Brand

The name “Bible Students” was insufficiently unique. In 1931 Rutherford announced that the movement was now to be called “Jehovah’s Witnesses” based upon the verses in Isaiah 43:10,11 in which God’s words to the nation of Israel are recorded.

This certainly gave the organisation a unique, easily identifiable name, despite the fact that it contradicted the command of Jesus that Christians be witnesses of Him (Acts 1:8, Acts 4:12, Phil 2:11). The Tetragrammaton in anglicised form, “Jehovah” now became more prominent than the name of Jesus. This is reflected today in all JW publications.[24]

Rutherford had successfully chosen a unique brand name for the organisation and had effectively created a doctrinal and social chasm between the members of the organisation and mainstream churches. The symbol of the cross and all Christian holidays had been demonised.

As the JW publication “Proclaimers” says of Rutherford’s new teaching, “Indeed, the really earnest and sincere ones did rejoice over the new explanation. It was now so clear to them: everyone belongs either to Jehovah’s organization or to Satan’s.”

The Number Dilemma

An important issue had arisen, however. The “elect” were said to number 144,000 only. The “Great Company” of Revelation was thus far said to be a “less faithful” class of individuals who would be “delivered over to the Adversary – to suffer” and be tested[25]

The Finished Mystery (1918) says:

7:4. And I heard the number of them which were sealed.—”We have every reason to believe that the definite, fixed number of the Elect Is that several times stated in Revelation, namely, 144,000 ‘redeemed from amongst men.'” (P179; Rev. 14:1.) This is the equivalent of one saint fully developed for each five days of the Age. – The Finished Mystery page 129 (Emphasis added)[26]

Thus, the claim was made that God’s elect were 144,000 individuals only. This was to include all Christians from the 1st century down to the 20th century.

The January 1, 2016 Watchtower confirms this teaching, suggesting that all others who claimed to be Christians were actually false converts:

Jehovah began choosing anointed ones [to number no more than 144,000] after Jesus’ death and resurrection, and it seems that all in the first-century Christian congregation were anointed. From the first century until the beginning of the last days, the vast majority of those who claimed to follow Christ were false Christians; Jesus likened them to “weeds.” Watchtower January 2016 Study Edition, “We want to go with you” p15.[27]

However, historians estimate that by the year 250A.D. there were over 1 million Christians.[28] Since these early Christians accepted the basics of Christian doctrines it seems tenuous to suggest that the majority were “false Christians”. The JW organisation has simply ignored the evidence put forth by historians on this matter.

Rutherford himself could not deny that there were at least tens of thousands of [what he would term “true”] Christians gathered in the first and second centuries, since the Bible account shows 3,000 were baptised in one day (Acts 2:41).

Now Rutherford’s organization was growing quickly; 90,434 attended the memorial celebration in 1925[29] Despite it’s loss of membership following 1925, the organisation in 1933 reported over 53,000 “company workers” (see fig 1).

The organisation was becoming too large to sustain the teaching that it would total 144,000 “elect” Christians since the 1st century.

The “Two Hopes” Teaching Appears

Rutherford knew a change was needed which allowed for the organisation membership to grow exponentially. There were two options: either the 144,000 number had always been symbolic and the organisation made an error in positing it as literal, or, the number was literal and Rutherford needed to explain the growing numbers of faithful Jws.

Since the JW organisation has changed teachings in the past, labelling changes as “new light” (using Proverbs 4:18 as weak justification) it was possible for Rutherford to discard the literal number 144,000. Yet, keeping it would prove to serve a very important purpose.


Therefore, Rutherford kept his literal 144,000 “elect” Christians and simply added another group, who were unnumbered, and who would have an “earthly hope”. It is interesting to note that current JW publications admit that the development of the doctrine was influenced by the number of members in the organisation at the time.

“Their being identified in 1935 as the great crowd of other sheep was an indication that the choosing of the 144,000 was then about complete.“ (Revelation It’s Grand Climax At Hand! 1988, p125)[30]

“At that time, in 1935, attention began to be called to another class of sheeplike disciples of Jesus.” “The remnant of the “little flock” now came under the obligation of starting off the gathering of this “great crowd” of the “other sheep.” (Luke 12:32) This was because the number of discreet virgins needed to complete Jesus’ bride had now been filled. “ [31] (Emphasis added)

It is plain that rather than this doctrine appearing after biblical study or revelation from God, the true root was the realisation that the number 144,000 had been reached. What resulted was no doubt a situation of biblical eisegesis,[32] wherein Rutherford and associates looked for Bible passages to help them explain the situation. They decided that the “Great Crowd” would be upon the earth eternally and were unnumbered, thereby allowing for unlimited organisational growth.

A consideration of the biblical aspects is to follow, but for now it’s simply relevant to say that this change solved Rutherford’s “number problem”. It also offered him something far more important which would greatly influence the members of the Jehovah’s Witness organisation.

Salvation by Association

To the casual observer this may all seem moot. So they claim there are two hopes, two destinations for Christians, so what? But this teaching morphed from a simple explanation of how many Christians there are into something which denied millions of people all of the basic Christian blessings and liberties.

Rutherford, in one fell swoop, had created an elite group of Christians (his “anointed” 144,000) whom all other Christians must be associated with. The “Great Crowd” with the earthly hope were now reliant upon him and the anointed ones for their very salvation.

A priestly class of Christians, few in number, the only “elect” of God, are now established

The “anointed class” were now described as the “faithful and discreet slave” whom Jesus appointed over his belongings (a “new understanding” of the parable of Matthew 24) and if the Great Crowd class were to have any hope of salvation, they must eat the “spiritual food” being dispensed by this “faithful slave”[33]

“Although the ever-growing great crowd do not have the heavenly hope, they are proud to be associated with those who do. They have attached themselves to the Israel of God. By doing this, they are included among those whom Jehovah calls “my people.”” Watchtower 2010 Mar 15 p.28 [34]

“That faithful slave is the channel through which Jesus is feeding his true followers in this time of the end. It is vital that we recognize the faithful slave. Our spiritual health and our relationship with God depend on this channel.” Watchtower 2013 Jul 15 p.20 (Emphasis added) [35]

The establishment of a priestly class of Christians, few in number, the only “elect” of God, was the perfect way for Rutherford to secure loyalty. All those who would later become Jehovah’s Witnesses, from that day to this, would be required to acknowledge and obey their priestly leaders, staying loyal to the JW organisation lest their salvation be lost.

Moreover, in 2012, the title “faithful and discreet slave” was narrowed further to refer only to the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, thereby securing more power for the leaders of the JW organisation[36]

“In effect, Jesus also conveys Jehovah’s voice to us as he directs the congregation through “the faithful and discreet slave.” (Matt. 24:45) We need to take this guidance and direction seriously, for our everlasting life depends on our obedience.Watchtower 2014 Aug 15 p.21 (Emphasis added) [37]

“But we are acting against Jehovah’s purpose if we do not obey the faithful and discreet slave or if we choose to obey only what we think is important. And if we act against Jehovah’s purpose, we cannot be his friends. “ “We need to obey the faithful and discreet slave to have Jehovah’s approval.”Watchtower 2011 Jul 15 p.24 Simplified English Edition [38]

What is more, whilst previously condemning Roman Catholic excommunication as “pagan” carried out by “mean and unmanly scallywags”[39] in 1952 the JW organisation introduced the practice of “disfellowshipping”.

This meant total social ostracisation for any member who sinned unrepentantly. This included “sins” such as celebrating a (now forbidden) holidays, or openly disagreeing with current teaching.

“Those who are acquainted with the situation in the congregation should never say Hello or Goodbye to him. He is not welcome in our midst, we avoid him. Such an individual has no place in the clean organization or congregation of God. He should go back to the wicked group that he once came from and die with that wicked group with Satan’s organization.” Watchtower 1952 Mar 1 pp.131,134 [40] (Emphasis added)

The “Great Crowd” lose their Father

One would imagine that the creation of a “second class” group of Christians would be enough to secure loyalty from the rank and file JW membership. Yet astoundingly, the so called “Great Crowd” lost several essential Christian blessings as the years went by.
The official JW teaching today (2020) is that the “Great Crowd” also termed “Other Sheep”:

1. Are not children of God (are not truly adopted “Sons of God”) [41]
2. Do not have a Mediator [42]
3. Are not part of the New Covenant [43]
4. Are not “born again of the Spirit” [44]
5. Are told that for them to partake of communion (or Eucharist), the bread and wine, is to partake “unworthily”. Therefore they do not ever partake in communion. [45]

All of the above five blessings are said to be given only to the 144,000 “anointed” elite Jehovah’s Witnesses. Of particular note is the obscure teaching introduced in the 1950’s that Jehovah God is the “Grand Father” of those with an earthly hope (being only “Father” to the “anointed”) with the Organisation being their Grand Mother:

Not only will eternally saved mankind on the paradise earth rejoice evermore but also the great heavenly Husband Jehovah and his faithful, beloved wife [the 144,000], his universal organization in heaven under Jesus Christ. Jehovah as an affectionate Grand Father and his universal organization as a tenderhearted Grand Mother will forever join in expressing their loving-kindness to their grandchildren, their God-fearing offspring on earth.“ Watchtower 1956, October 1st, p605 [46]

This astoundingly unscriptural teaching has not been changed by the JW organisation (as far as the author’s research). Whilst it appears that Jehovah’s Witnesses today do not refer to God as their Grandfather, or the organisation as their Grandmother in general speech, it remains nonetheless that God cannot be truly their Father.

According to official teaching the majority of JWs are not truly adopted sons of God[see endnote 41]. Moreover, the insertion of a “Mother” figure would fit with the requirement of unquestioning loyalty that the organisation demands, even today.

“Since Jehovah God and Jesus Christ completely trust the faithful and discreet slave, should we not do the same?” [47] (Note: the “faithful and discreet slave” is the term used today for the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, currently 8 individual men who lead the organisation). [48]

Is the “Two Hopes” Teaching Biblical?

The reality is that the two hopes teaching of JWs came out of eisegetical desperation and does not match the message of the Bible. The core problem is a misinterpretation of John 10 and a false linking of John 10 (the “sheep folds”) with Revelation chapters 7 and 14.

Far from offering two eternally separate hopes for Christians, the Bible offers one hope, with no distinction between Christians in terms of salvation and it’s associated blessings.

“There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:4

Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.“ Galatians 3:28

When Jesus spoke of two sheep folds which would eventually become one, Christians have understood for centuries that this refers to the Jews (a “little flock” from the Jewish nation who would accept Jesus, Matt 15:24, Luke 12:32) and the Gentiles (non-Jews who were welcomed after Jesus ascension, Acts 10, Ephesians 2:11-22).

These made one flock with one hope, not two hopes (Eph 4:4). This one hope is the eventual Kingdom of God, described in Revelation chapters 21 and 22 as a “new heaven and new earth” wherein the nations, having received a physical resurrection, will dwell with God himself (Rev 21:1-4, 22-27, Rev 22:1-5).
All Christians are born again of the Spirit (1 John 5:1, Titus 3:4,5, Rom 8:9).

All Christians are “Sons of God” and have God as their true Father (John 1:12, Rom 8:13-17,29,30).

All Christians are part of the New Covenant for forgiveness of sins (Matt 26:26-28, Jer 31:32-34).

All Christians, therefore, have Jesus Christ as their Mediator (1 Tim 2:5,6, Heb 9:15).

All Christians partake of the bread and wine in communion, since all Christians are redeemed by his body broken and his blood shed for us (Isaiah 53: 1 Peter 2:24, 2 Cor 5:21)

A more thorough analysis of this teaching from a biblical standpoint, including counter arguments for JW assertions may follow in a future article. A three part video series about the two hopes teaching is also linked in references. [49]

Conclusion

By introducing and elaborating upon his “two hopes” teaching, Rutherford successfully ensured the authority of leadership, loyalty of members and subsequent growth of the JW organisation. Like Sun Myung Moon, quoted at the outset, Rutherford ensured that the JWs would follow him.

Today, all JW members accept the leadership and “spiritual food” dished out by the Governing Body of 8 men, lauding them as God’s own mouthpiece on earth. [50]
Yet for Christians, Jesus is our Way, Truth and Life (John 14:6), our only Mediator and Lord (Rom 10:9). Christian freedom is found in Jesus Christ himself, who by his death and resurrection has offered each human being the opportunity to receive all the abundant blessings promised in the scriptures.

Far from there being two separated classes of Christians, all believers are given the honour of entering into the Kingdom of God today (Eph 2:6, Col 1:13) and have the one true hope of eternal life in the very presence of God.

References

  1. Jehovah’s Witnesses – Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom, (1993) “They are no part of the world”, p188-189 by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania here

  2. Biography of JF Rutherford

  3. Bible Students movement official website here and a historical background here

  4. The current website of Jehovah’s Witnesses details many articles referring to separate “classes” of Christians, despite this term not appearing in more modern articles. A list appears here

  5. Watchtower (2012) March 15th, “Rejoicing in our Hope” paragraph 2. Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania

  6. Quotations from the Early Church Fathers on Salvation

  7. Jehovah’s Witnesses – Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom (1993), Advertise the King and the Kingdom (1919-1941) pages 72-89 by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania.

  8. The History of Jehovah’s Witnesses

  9. A detailed analysis of the 1925 prophesy with references can be found here

  10. Jehovah’s Witnesses – Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom, (1993) Advertise the King and the Kingdom (1919-1941) box on page 76 and footnote “House of the Princes” by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania

  11. Jehovah’s Witnesses – Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom (1993), Unrealized Hopes Are Not Unique to Our Day” Advertise the King and the Kingdom (1919-1941) pages 72-89 by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania

  12. Schnell, William J (1956), Thirty Years a Watchtower Slave, Grand Rapids: Baker as cited by Rogerson 1969, pp.52. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible_Student_movement

  13. The Watch Tower November 15, 1930 p. 342 col 1. Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania

  14. The current website of Jehovah’s Witnesses details many articles referring to separate “classes” of Christians, despite this term not appearing in more modern articles. A list appears here

  15. The Watch Tower 1895 Sep 15 reprints p.1866. Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, Cited at Does Jehovah require an organization? Historical Development

  16. The History of Marketing, 19th and 20th Centuries

  17. Coca Cola official history

  18. Jehovah’s Witnesses – Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom, (1993) Which organisation Jehovah’s or Satan’s? Advertise the King and the Kingdom (1919-1941) pages 72-89 by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania available

  19. Jehovah’s Witnesses – Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom, (1993) pages 72-89 “Tanning the Old Lady’s Hide” by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania available

  20. Watchtower Library, Babylon the Great article list

  21. Jehovah’s Witnesses – Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom, (1993) You are my Witnesses, Advertise the King and the Kingdom (1919-1941) pages 72-89 by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania

  22. God’s Kingdom Rules! (2014) Chapter 10, p13, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania

  23. Yearbook 1975 p.147 Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania cited at jwfacts

  24. See Jw.org where “Jehovah” produces 32,136 results compared to “Jesus” producing 21,643 results.

  25. The Finished Mystery, (1918), p140 “The Great Company will pass through a great tribulation, … This class, particularly large in the present day, will be delivered over to the Adversary—to suffer in a Time of Trouble such as was not since there was a nation—the great time of trouble with which this Age shall end. Such of them as fail to respond to those tribulations and to seek the Lord will die the Second Death, but such as respond faithfully will be counted as overcomers.”

  26. The Finished Mystery, (1918), by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society p129

  27. Watchtower (2016) January Study Edition, “We want to go with you” p15.

  28. Stark, Rodney in The Rise of Christianity: A Sociologist Reconsiders History (1996) p.7. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press

  29. Watchtower, 1960, May 1st p282 and Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses (1933) pdf available online *note, total “publishers” is difficult to ascertain since the organisation focused on literature placement figures at that time. The 1979 Yearbook of Jehovah’s witnesses puts publisher numbers in 1938 at 47,000. See Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses 1979

  30. Revelation It’s Grand Climax At Hand! (1988 reprinted 2006) p.125, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania

  31. Worldwide Security under the Prince of Peace (1984) chapter 6, p47 Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, available at https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1101986076?q=%221935%22&p=par

  32. Eisegesis(/ˌaɪsəˈdʒiːsəs/;) is the process of interpreting a text or portion of text in such a way that the process introduces one’s own presuppositions, agendas, or biases into and onto the text. This is commonly referred to as reading into the text.

  33. A full summary of the teaching of Jehovah’s Witnesses on Salvation is found here

  34. Watchtower (2010) Mar 15 p.28, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania

  35. Watchtower (2013) Jul 15 p.20, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania

  36. Annual Meeting Report (2012) Quote: ““The faithful and discreet slave” was appointed over Jesus’ domestics in 1919. That slave is the small, composite group of anointed brothers serving at world headquarters during Christ’s presence who are directly involved in preparing and dispensing spiritual food. When this group work together as the Governing Body, they act as “the faithful and discreet slave.”” available here

  37. Watchtower (2014) Aug 15 p.21 Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania

  38. Watchtower 2011 Jul 15 p.24 Simplified Eglish Edition, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania (note: the second quotation appeared in a “picture box” in the original printed edition)

  39. Consolation (1937) Nov 17 p.5, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, cited here at jwfacts

  40. Watchtower 1952 Mar 1 pp.131,134, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania cited at jwfacts

  41. Insight on the Scriptures, (1988) Volume 2, “Sons of God” p998, by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania

  42. Insight on the Scriptures, (1988) Volume 2, “Mediator” Those for whom Christ is Mediator p362, by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania

  43. Insight on the Scriptures, (1988) Volume 1, “Covenant” p520-525, by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania Quote: “The parties to the new covenant are Jehovah, on one side, and “the Israel of God,” the spirit-begotten ones in union with Christ, making up his congregation or body, on the other side.“

  44. Watchtower (2020) January 15, p20-25, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania

  45. Watchtower (1957) April 1st p197 Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania

  46. Watchtower (1956) October 1st, p598 Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania

  47. Watchtower, (2009) February 15th , p 27 Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania

  48. “Governing Body” series of articles available here

  49. “Do only 144,000 go to heaven?” Playlist at the “Witness for Jesus” YouTube Channel

  50. Watchtower, (1994) Oct 1st, p4 Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania available see also a list of articles on “Channel of Communication”