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1975 - Stay Alive to Seventy Five

Expectations of Armageddon were running at an all time high amongst the Jehovah’s Witnesses just prior to 1975.  The excitement was being fueled by various publications and key speeches at the numerous annual conventions.

So strong was the belief that Armageddon would arrive in the fall of 1975 that many rank and file Jehovah’s Witnesses gave up work, sold their houses and went pioneering.   Why were they all so convinced? The reason was that the Watchtower had worked out that mankind had been on the Earth for 6,000 years and that it would be a very appropriate time for Armageddon.

The Watchtower were advising young couples to put off marriage and having children so they could devote more time in the field service. Even further education and careers were frowned upon

When the fall of 1975 came and past many Jehovah’s Witnesses became dissatisfied and left the organization. The Watchtower, , rather than take any responsibly over the false hopes, blamed their rank and file members for reading to much into the year 1975.

Please read the following quotes from the Watchtower and see for yourself what the Watchtower was saying about the year 1975 and whether the rank and file Jehovah’s Witnesses were right to get excited about the year 1975?

Is this the correct “spiritual food in due season”, or another embarrassment brought against Jehovah’s name by his chosen organization?

Please also see, 1975 - Sermon and God's Prophet

Kingdom Ministry May 1974 p.3 How Are You Using Your Life?

Yes, the end of this system is so very near! Is that not reason to increase our activity? In this regard we can learn something from a runner who puts on a final burst of speed near the finish of a race. Look at Jesus, who apparently stepped up his activity during his final days on earth. In fact, over 27 percent of the material in the Gospels is devoted to just the last week of Jesus' earthly ministry!—Matt. 21:1-27:50; Mark 11:1-15:37; Luke 19:29-23:46; John 11:55-19:30.

By carefully and prayerfully examining our own circumstances, we also may find that we can spend more time and energy in preaching during this final period before the present system ends. Many of our brothers and sisters are doing just that. This is evident from the rapidly increasing number of pioneers.

Yes, since the summer of 1973 there have been new peaks in pioneers every month. Now there are 20,394 regular and special pioneers in the United States, an all-time peak. That is 5,190 more than there were in February 1973! A 34-percent increase! Does that not warm our hearts? Reports are heard of brothers selling their homes and property and planning to finish out the rest of their days in this old system in the pioneer service. Certainly this is a fine way to spend the short time remaining before the wicked world's end.—1 John 2:17.

[Emphasis Added]

All Scripture is inspired of God and Beneficial, 1963, 1983, 1990, pp. 286-287

13 Of what significance is this today? The first edition of this book, published in 1963, stated: "Does this mean, then, that by 1963 we had progressed 5,988 years into the 'day' on which Jehovah 'has been resting from all his work'? (Gen. 2:3) No, for the creation of Adam does not correspond with the beginning of Jehovah's rest day. Following Adam's creation, and still within the sixth creative day, Jehovah appears to have been forming further animal and bird creations. Also, he had Adam name the animals, which would take some time, and he proceeded to create Eve. (Gen. 2:18-22; see also NW, 1953 Ed., footnote on Ge 2 vs. 19) Whatever time elapsed between Adam's creation and the end of the 'sixth day' must be subtracted from the 5,988 years in order to give the actual length of time from the beginning of the 'seventh day' until [1963]. It does no good to use Bible chronology for speculating on dates that are still future in the stream of time.-Matt. 24:36."

[Emphasis Added]

Watchtower 1966 October 15 pp.628-9 Rejoicing over "God's Sons of Liberty" Spiritual Feast

Only a liberated people can preach a release to captives, conventioners were told in the speech "Preach a Release to the Captives," which thrilled them with its hopeful outlook. "Jehovah, the God of freedom and liberty, has freed his people from Babylonish bondage and has given them a work of liberation to do. That work of liberation and salvation must go on to the finish! To give aid today in this critical time to prospective sons of God," announced President Knorr, "a new book in English, entitled 'Life Everlasting-in Freedom of the Sons of God,' has been published." At all assembly points where it was released, the book was received enthusiastically. Crowds gathered around stands and soon supplies of the book were depleted. Immediately its contents were examined. It did not take the brothers very long to find the chart beginning on page 31, showing that 6,000 years of man's existence end in 1975. Discussion of 1975 overshadowed about everything else. "The new book compels us to realize that Armageddon is, in fact, very close indeed," said a conventioner. Surely it was one of the outstanding blessings to be carried home!

[Emphasis Added]

Life Everlasting in Freedom of the Sons of God (book) 1966 pp. 26-30

The time is fast drawing near for the reality that was foreshadowed by the Jubilee of liberty to be proclaimed throughout the earth to all mankind... Most certainly the near future would be the most appropriate time for it. God's own written Word indicates that it is the appointed time for it... In this twentieth century an independent study has been carried on that does not blindly follow some traditional chronological calculations of Christendom, and the published timetable resulting from this independent study gives the date of man's creation as 4026 B.C.E. So six thousand years of man's existence on earth will soon be up, yes, within this generation.. Since the time of Ussher intensive study of Bible chronology has been carried on. In this twentieth century an independent study has been carried on that does not blindly follow some traditional chronological calculations of Christendom, and the published timetable resulting from this independent study gives the date of man's creation as 4026 B.C.E. According to this trustworthy Bible chronology six thousand years from man's creation will end in 1975, and the seventh period of a thousand years of human history will begin in the fall of 1975 C.E. So six thousand years of man's existence on earth will soon be up, yes, within this generation. Jehovah God is timeless, as it is written in Psalm 90:1, 2: "O Jehovah, you yourself have proved to be a real dwelling for us during generation after generation. Before the mountains themselves were born, or you proceeded to bring forth as with labor pains the earth and the productive land, even from time indefinite to time indefinite you are God." So from the standpoint of Jehovah God these passing six thousand years of man's existence are but as six days of twenty-four hours, for this same psalm (verses 3, 4) goes on to say: "You make mortal man go back to crushed matter, and you say: `Go back, you sons of men.' For a thousand years are in your eyes but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch during the night." So in not many years within our own generation we are reaching what Jehovah God could view as the seventh day of man's existence. How appropriate it would be for Jehovah God to make of this coming seventh period of a thousand years a sabbath period of rest and release, a great Jubilee sabbath for the proclaiming of liberty throughout the earth to all its inhabitants! This would be most timely for mankind. It would also be most fitting on God's part, for, remember, mankind has yet ahead of it what the last book of the Holy Bible speaks of as the reign of Jesus Christ over earth for a thousand years, the millennial reign of Christ. Prophetically Jesus Christ, when on earth nineteen centuries ago, said concerning himself: "For Lord of the sabbath is what the Son of man is." (Matthew 12: 8). It would not be by mere chance or accident but would be according to the loving purpose of Jehovah God for the reign of Jesus Christ, the 'Lord of the Sabbath,' to run parallel with the seventh millennium of man's existence.

[Emphasis Added]

Awake! October 8 1966 pp.19-20

'How Much Longer Will It Be?'

6,000 Years Completed in 1975 … In what year, then, would the first 6,000 years of man's existence and also the first 6,000 years of God's rest day come to an end? The year 1975… Hence, the fact that we are nearing the end of the first 6,000 years of man's existence is of great significance. Does God's rest day parallel the time man has been on earth since his creation? Apparently so. From the most reliable investigations of Bible chronology, harmonizing with many accepted dates of secular history, we find that Adam was created in the autumn of the year 4026 B.C.E. Sometime in that same year Eve could well have been created, directly after which God's rest day commenced … There is another chronological indication that we are rapidly nearing the closing time for this wicked system of things. It is the fact that shortly, according to reliable Bible chronology, 6,000 years of human history will come to an end.. After six thousand years of toil and bondage to sin, sickness, death and Satan, mankind is due to enjoy a rest and is in dire need of a rest. (Heb. 4:1-11) Hence, the fact that we are nearing the end of the first 6,000 years of man's existence is of great significance.. In what year, then, would the first 6,000 years of man's existence and also the first 6,000 years of God's rest day come to an end? The year 1975. This is worthy of notice, particularly in view of the fact that the 'last days' began in 1914, and that the physical facts of our day in fulfillment of prophecy mark this as the last generation of this wicked world. So we can expect the immediate future to be filled with thrilling events for those who rest their faith in God and his promises. It means that within relatively few years we will witness the fulfillment of the remaining prophecies that have to do with the 'time of the end.'

[Emphasis Added]

Watchtower 1966 October 15 p.631 Rejoicing over "God's Sons of Liberty" Spiritual Feast

THE YEAR 1975

At the Baltimore assembly Brother Franz in his closing remarks made some interesting comments regarding the year 1975. He began casually by saying, "Just before I got on the platform a young man came to me and said, 'Say, what does this 1975 mean? Does it mean this, that or any other thing?'" In part, Brother Franz went on to say: 'You have noticed the chart [on pages 31-35 in the book Life Everlasting-in Freedom of the Sons of God]. It shows that 6,000 years of human experience will end in 1975, about nine years from now. What does that mean? Does it mean that God's rest day began 4026 B.C.E.? It could have. The Life Everlasting book does not say it did not. The book merely presents the chronology. You can accept it or reject it. If that is the case, what does that mean to us? [He went into some length showing the feasibility of the 4026 B.C.E. date as being the beginning of God's rest day.]

'What about the year 1975? What is it going to mean, dear friends?' asked Brother Franz. 'Does it mean that Armageddon is going to be finished, with Satan bound, by 1975? It could! It could! All things are possible with God. Does it mean that Babylon the Great is going to go down by 1975? It could. Does it mean that the attack of Gog of Magog is going to be made on Jehovah's witnesses to wipe them out, then Gog himself will be put out of action? It could. But we are not saying. All things are possible with God. But we are not saying. And don't any of you be specific in saying anything that is going to happen between now and 1975. But the big point of it all is this, dear friends: Time is short. Time is running out, no question about that.

'When we were approaching the end of the Gentile Times in 1914, there was no sign that the Gentile Times were going to end. Conditions on earth gave us no hint of what was to come, even as late as June of that year. Then suddenly there was a murder. World War I broke out. You know the rest. Famines, earthquakes and pestilence’s followed, as Jesus foretold would happen.

'But what do we have today as we approach 1975? Conditions have not been peaceful. We've been having world wars, famines, earthquakes, pestilences and we have these conditions still as we approach 1975. Do these things mean something? These things mean that we're in the "time of the end." And the end has to come sometime. Jesus said: "As these things start to occur, raise yourselves erect and lift your heads up, because your deliverance is getting near." (Luke 21:28) So we know that as we come to 1975 our deliverance is that much nearer.'

"Let us make the most of the time and get in all the good hard work to Jehovah while the opportunity affords," he urged.

[Emphasis Added]

Public Address by District Overseer Bro. Charles Sunutko in Spring 1967 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin

"Serving with Everlasting Life in View"

[...]

But in this run for life, some of us looking forward to a change in this old system and its destruction for many years now, there are some of us who get a little weary. And a little tired. And sometimes we just want to throw our hands up and say 'I just don't know if I can go on any further.'

But, just like a runner when he's running a course, and he gets near to the end, just about the time he thinks he can't go on any further, he realizes 'well there's the goal ahead of [inaudible]' He's come around the last lap, and there it is! Well all of a sudden he just seems to get some reserve power from nowhere, and with a sudden surge of energy, on he goes to break the finish line rope and win the prize.

Well now, as Jehovah's Witnesses, as runners, even though some of us have become a little weary, it almost seems as though Jehovah has provided meat in due season. Because he's held up before all of us, a new goal. A new year. Something to reach out for and it just seems it has given all of us so much more energy and power in this final burst of speed to the finish line. And that's the year 1975.

There's been a lot of talk about the year, in fact even this week some individuals have been wondering, 'well, what does it mean? Do we dare talk about it? Is it something we can discuss among ourselves, even though we may not talk much about it in public? Do we really know what it means?'

Well, we don't have to guess what the year 1975 means if we read the Watchtower. Because the Watchtower has been very explicit as to what the year 1975 means to us. If you wish to write down the page, 262, in the [May 1] 1967 issue of the Watchtower, we read:

What does the year 1975 mean for humankind? The end of 6000 years of human existence, and possibly, [voice raising dramatically] the time when God executes the wicked and starts off a thousand-year reign under his son Jesus Christ.

Unquote. What did it say? The end of 6000 years of human existence and that's all? NO, it gave us a little more to think about there. Did it say for certainty the time when God executes the wicked and starts off a thousand year reign by Jesus Christ? No. But it did give us a glimmer of light. It says [voice rising] possibly, possibly the time when God executes the wicked and starts off the thousand year reign of his son Jesus Christ, [voice returning to normal] 1975.

Doesn't that give you a little bit of excitement about the future? Even if there is the possibility, [voice rising] that's it, when God will bring the battle of Armageddon, and clean this old Earth off? And you'll be ushered right into a paradise Earth for ever more [voice returning to normal]. Never again to be afflicted with this old Satanic system of things. It will be GONE, DOWN. That should excite all of us.

There are the skeptics who say 'well, I'm not going to think about it and not worry about it. I'm not going to pay attention to it.' Well now remember brothers, the faithful and discreet slave is used by Jesus to to what? Jesus says 'to provide meat in due season.' This is meat, and it's come at the right time. And it's in its due season. And it's not wrong to think about it, and to look forward to it.

As far as knowing for sure? Well, we know what we know for sure. We just read it. [voice rising] 'The end of Six Thousand years of human history, and possibly the execution of the wicked and the beginning of the Thousand year reign.' And that should be exciting enough, and talk enough for us.

When you think about it, what a fantastic, short span of time that is.

[...]

How little time there is left. How much to happen.

[...]

There's only one thing that's going to count when that time comes, and that's that we are inside. And we hope that all of us here tonight are going to listen to the Society's imploring.

We're going to listen to their agonizing entreaty "Brothers get in" because they know what's coming! And it's coming fast. And don't wait 'till 1975. The door is going to be shut before then.

[...]

As one brother put it, "Stay alive to Seventy-Five"

[Emphasis Added]

Watchtower 1967 January 1 p.28 Have You Read Your Copy?

Have You Read Your Copy?

"READ my copy of what?" you ask. Why, your copy of Life Everlasting-in Freedom of the Sons of God! It has been four to six months since most of you in the United States, Canada and Great Britain received your copies. If you have not already read it, do so now.

Why? Well, if you do not, you are missing out on a spiritual treasure. That Bible-study aid contains a wealth of Scriptural information designed to aid you as one of Jehovah's witnesses both in facing the problems of life and in instructing others. True, in due time it will be a textbook for congregational studies, but do not wait until then to gain this precious information. Get an overall, bird's-eye view of it, as it were, right away by reading it from cover to cover.

Of course, this book is not only for Jehovah's witnesses. Are you studying the Bible with one of Jehovah's witnesses? Then you will want to read it through on the side, so to speak; it will hasten your progress in learning God's will. Really, reading this book is strongly recommended for all before they dedicate themselves and get baptized.

[…]

But, without a doubt, nothing has created more interest in this textbook than the first chapter with its chart and fine information regarding the 7,000 years of God's rest day. The observation that 1975 may well mark the beginning of mankind's great Jubilee has intrigued many.

[…]

Time is precious, use it wisely. If you have a copy of Life Everlasting-in Freedom of the Sons of God you have a marvelous book in your possession. Time used to give it at least a quick preliminary reading is time well spent. When you come to something new to you, you may want to slow down and make it your own, but do not put off your first reading of the book for lack of time to study it thoroughly. Make time to read it now!

[Emphasis Added]

Watchtower 1967 April 15 pp.229-37 Mankind's Millennium Under God's Kingdom-Why Literally So

Mankind's Millennium Under God's Kingdom-Why Literally So

[…]

25 Fifteen centuries ago the Roman Catholic "Saint" Augustine spoke of six thousand years of history and referred to the millennium as a "Sabbath," the seventh-day rest period. But he did not hold to this. For centuries now the Bible chronology as worked out by Archbishop James Ussher has been followed by both Catholics and Protestants. This chronology reckons that the first man Adam was created in the year 4004 before Christ, and so six thousand years of human existence on earth will end before this twentieth century ends, or in 1996 C.E. According to a more recent calculation of the Bible timetable, six thousand years of man's existence will end in the latter half of the year 1975, which is well within this century. The Bible millennium is ahead of us, and, according to the count of time and the events of world history, it is approaching. It is not ending, as Roman Catholic comments on the Bible would make us believe.

[Emphasis Added]

Watchtower 1967 May 1 p.262 Where Are We According to God's Timetable?

THE END OF 6,000 YEARS

In examining these Scriptural facts, something else also captures our attention. According to Bible chronology, we are already over fifty-two years into the wicked system of things' "time of the end." That time began in the autumn of 1914 C.E., at the termination of the "appointed times of the nations," and it is already far advanced. Jesus said that "this generation" that saw the beginning of this time period in 1914 would also see its end. The generation that was old enough to view those events with understanding in 1914 is no longer young. It no longer has many years to run. Already many of its members have died. But Jesus showed that there would still be members of "this generation" alive at the time of the passing away of this wicked system of things in both heaven and earth. (Luke 21:32, 33) How much longer will it be, then, before God takes action to destroy the wicked and usher in the blessings of his Kingdom rule?

Interestingly, the autumn of the year 1975 marks the end of 6,000 years of human experience. This is ascertainable from reliable chronology preserved in the Bible itself. What will that year mean for humankind? Will it be the time when God executes the wicked and starts off the thousand-year reign of his Son Jesus Christ? It very well could, but we will have to wait to see. Yet of this we can be certain: the generation that Jesus said would witness those events is nearing its close. The time is close at hand. On God's "timetable" we are in the closing days of a wicked system of things that will soon be gone forever. A glorious new order is immediately before us. This is, therefore, good reason for Christians everywhere to rejoice. Yes, they rejoice because fulfillment of their prayers for the kingdom of God is now at hand.-Luke 21:28.

Therefore, keep in mind the admonition of the Lord Jesus when speaking of our day: "Keep awake, then, all the time making supplication that you may succeed in escaping all these things that are destined to occur, and in standing before the Son of man." (Luke 21:36) The prophecy is sure; the time is short.

[Emphasis Added]

Awake! January 8 1968 p.19

It is just as a former United States Secretary of State noted in the June 13, 1960, issue of U.S. News & World Report. He declared that our time is 'a period of unequaled instability, unequalled violence,' and warned: 'I know enough of what is going on to assure you that, in 15 years from today, this world is going to be too dangerous to live in.'

[Emphasis Added

The Truth that Leads to Eternal Life (book) 1968 pg.9

[as published in original 1968 edition]

Also, as reported back in 1960, a former United States Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, declared that our time is "a period of unequaled instability, unequaled violence." And he warned: "I know enough of what is going on to assure you that, in fifteen years from today, this world is going to be too dangerous to live in."

[Emphasis Added]

The Truth that Leads to Eternal Life (book) 1981 pg.9 ch.1 Grand Blessings from God Near at Hand!

[as published in 1981 edition]

Also, as reported back in 1960, a former United States Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, declared that our time is "a period of unequaled instability, unequaled violence." Based on what he knew was then going on in the world, it was his conclusion that soon "this world is going to be too dangerous to live in."

[Emphasis Added]

The Truth that Leads to Eternal Life (book) 1968 p.88-89 ch.10 God's Kingdom Comes to Power in the Midst of Its Enemies

[as published in original 1968 edition]

11 During and after World War II widespread food shortages added to the distress. Shortly after the war Look magazine observed:

"A fourth of the world is starving today. Tomorrow will even be worse. Famine over most of the world now is more terrible than most of us can imagine. . . . There are now more people hunting desperately for food than at any other time in history."

More recently, the book entitled "Famine-1975!" [by W. & P. Paddock, 1967, pp. 52, 55, 61.] said concerning today's food shortages:

"Hunger is rampant throughout country after country, continent after continent around the undeveloped belt of the tropics and subtropics. Today's crisis can move in only one direction - toward catastrophe. Today hungry nations; tomorrow starving nations.

By 1975 civil disorder, anarchy, military dictatorships, runaway inflation, transportation breakdowns and chaotic unrest will be the order of the day in many of the hungry nations."

[Emphasis Added]

The Truth that Leads to Eternal Life (book) 1981 p.88-89 ch.10 God's Kingdom Comes to Power in the Midst of Its Enemies

[as published in 1981 edition]

11 During and after World War II widespread food shortages added to the distress. Shortly after the war Look magazine observed:

"A fourth of the world is starving today. Tomorrow will even be worse. Famine over most of the world now is more terrible than most of us can imagine. . . . There are now more people hunting desperately for food than at any other time in history."

More recent reports have shown that a constant lack of adequate food, resulting in chronic malnutrition, has become the "major world hunger problem today." The London Times reported:

"There have always been famines, but the scale and ubiquity [presence everywhere] of hunger today is on a totally new scale. . . . Today malnutrition is said to affect more than a thousand million people; perhaps as many as 400 million live constantly on the brink of starvation."-June 3, 1980.

[Emphasis Added]

Our Kingdom Ministry March 1968 p.4

 

Making some special effort to do more than the usual helps us live up to our dedication. In view of the short period of time left, we want to do this as often as circumstances permit. Just think, brothers, there are only about ninety months left before 6,000 years of man's existence on earth is completed… Do you remember what we learned at the assemblies last summer? The majority of people living today will probably be alive when Armageddon breaks out, and there are no resurrection hopes for those who are destroyed then. So, now more than ever, it is vital not to ignore that spirit of wanting to do more.

[Emphasis Added]

Watchtower 1968 May 1 pp.271-3 Making Wise Use of the Remaining Time

THE SEVENTH DAY

4 According to reliable Bible chronology Adam was created in the year 4026 B.C.E., likely in the autumn of the year, at the end of the sixth day of creation. Then God brought the animals to man to name. Yet, of Adam, Genesis states these words of Jehovah: "It is not good for the man to continue by himself." (Gen. 2:18) Adam would realize this lonely condition very quickly, perhaps in just a few days or a few weeks. He would realize he needed another earthling with whom he could communicate, share his experiences, and his life. Nor would his naming the animals take an unduly long time. The basic animal kinds could have been relatively quickly named, for when such basic kinds were taken into the ark in Noah's day, it did not involve millions of beasts, but perhaps only a few hundred basic kinds. Thus, Adam's naming of the animals and his realizing that he needed a counterpart would have occupied only a brief time after his creation. Since it was also Jehovah's purpose for man to multiply and fill the earth, it is logical that he would create Eve soon after Adam, perhaps just a few weeks or months later in the same year, 4026 B.C.E. After her creation, God's rest day, the seventh period, immediately followed.

5 Therefore, God's seventh day and the time man has been on earth apparently run parallel. To calculate where man is in the stream of time relative to God's seventh day of 7,000 years, we need to determine how long a time has elapsed from the year of Adam and Eve's creation in 4026 B.C.E. From the autumn of that year to the autumn of 1 B.C.E., there would be 4,025 years. From the autumn of 1 B.C.E. to the autumn of 1 C.E. is one year (there was no zero year). From the autumn of 1 C.E. to the autumn of 1967 is a total of 1,966 years. Adding 4,025 and 1 and 1,966, we get 5,992 years from the autumn of 4026 B.C.E. to the autumn of 1967. Thus, eight years remain to account for a full 6,000 years of the seventh day. Eight years from the autumn of 1967 would bring us to the autumn of 1975, fully 6,000 years into God's seventh day, his rest day.

6 After 6,000 years of misery, toil, trouble, sickness and death under Satan's rule, mankind is indeed in dire need of relief, a rest. The seventh day of the Jewish week, the sabbath, would well picture the final 1,000-year reign of God's kingdom under Christ when mankind would be uplifted from 6,000 years of sin and death. (Rev. 20:6) Hence, when Christians note from God's timetable the approaching end of 6,000 years of human history, it fills them with anticipation. Particularly is this true because the great sign of the "last days" has been in the course of fulfillment since the beginning of the "time of the end" in 1914. And, as Jesus said, "this generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur." (Matt. 24:34) Some of the generation that discerned the beginning of the time of the end in 1914 will still be alive on earth to witness the end of this present wicked system of things at the battle of Armageddon.-Rev. 16:14, 16.

7 The immediate future is certain to be filled with climactic events, for this old system is nearing its complete end. Within a few years at most the final parts of Bible prophecy relative to these "last days" will undergo fulfillment, resulting in the liberation of surviving mankind into Christ's glorious 1,000-year reign. What difficult days, but, at the same time, what grand days are just ahead!

8 Does this mean that the year 1975 will bring the battle of Armageddon? No one can say with certainty what any particular year will bring. Jesus said: "Concerning that day or the hour nobody knows." (Mark 13:32) Sufficient is it for God's servants to know for a certainty that, for this system under Satan, time is running out rapidly. How foolish a person would be not to be awake and alert to the limited time remaining, to the earthshaking events soon to take place, and to the need to work out one's salvation!

[Emphasis Added]

Watchtower 1968 August 15 p.488 The Book of Truthful Historical Dates

The Book of Truthful Historical Dates

2 But what about the distant past before our time? What do we know about dates and events that were no part of our personal experience? For example, do we know what year Jesus was born or, more important, the date of his death? After all, he was the greatest man ever to walk this earth. Do we know what year Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians? That particular date is highly important if we are to understand why certain events have occurred in our lifetime. Where are we today on the stream of time? Do we know that the seventh year from now will conclude the 6,000th year since Adam was created? And if we live to that year 1975, what should we expect to happen?

[Emphasis Added]

Watchtower 1968 August 15 pp.494-501 Why Are You Looking Forward to 1975?

Why Are You Looking Forward to 1975?

WHAT about all this talk concerning the year 1975? Lively discussions, some based on speculation, have burst into flame during recent months among serious students of the Bible. Their interest has been kindled by the belief that 1975 will mark the end of 6,000 years of human history since Adam's creation. The nearness of such an important date indeed fires the imagination and presents unlimited possibilities for discussion.

[…]

29 After much of the mathematics and genealogies, really, of what benefit is this information to us today? Is it not all dead history, as uninteresting and profitless as walking through a cemetery copying old dates off tombstones? After all, why should we be any more interested in the date of Adam's creation than in the birth of King Tut? Well, for one thing, if 4,026 is added to 1,968 (allowing for the lack of a zero year between C.E. and B.C.E.) one gets a total of 5,993 years, come this autumn, since Adam's creation. That means, in the fall of the year 1975, a little over seven years from now (and not in 1997 as would be the case if Ussher's figures were correct), it will be 6,000 years since the creation of Adam, the father of all mankind!

ADAM CREATED AT CLOSE OF "SIXTH DAY"

30 Are we to assume from this study that the battle of Armageddon will be all over by the autumn of 1975, and the long-looked-for thousand-year reign of Christ will begin by then? Possibly, but we wait to see how closely the seventh thousand-year period of man's existence coincides with the sabbathlike thousand-year reign of Christ. If these two periods run parallel with each other as to the calendar year, it will not be by mere chance or accident but will be according to Jehovah's loving and timely purposes. Our chronology, however, which is reasonably accurate (but admittedly not infallible), at the best only points to the autumn of 1975 as the end of 6,000 years of man's existence on earth. It does not necessarily mean that 1975 marks the end of the first 6,000 years of Jehovah's seventh creative "day." Why not? Because after his creation Adam lived some time during the "sixth day," which unknown amount of time would need to be subtracted from Adam's 930 years, to determine when the sixth seven-thousand-year period or "day" ended, and how long Adam lived into the "seventh day." And yet the end of that sixth creative "day" could end within the same Gregorian calendar year of Adam's creation. It may involve only a difference of weeks or months, not years.

31 In regard to Adam's creation it is good to read carefully what the Bible says. Moses in compiling the book of Genesis referred to written records or "histories" that predated the Flood. The first of these begins with Genesis 1:1 and ends at Genesis 2:4 with the words, "This is the history of the heavens and the earth . . . " The second historical document begins with Genesis 2:5 and ends with Ge verse two of chapter five. Hence we have two separate accounts of creation from slightly different points of view. In the second of these accounts, in Genesis 2:19, the original Hebrew verb translated "was forming" is in the progressive imperfect form. This does not mean that the animals and birds were created after Adam was created. Genesis 1:20-28 shows it does not mean that. So, in order to avoid contradiction between Ge chapter one and chapter two, Genesis 2:19, 20 must be only a parenthetical remark thrown in to explain the need for creating a "helper" for man. So the progressive Hebrew verb form could also be rendered as "had been forming."-See Rotherham's translation (Ro), also Leeser's (Le).

32 These two creation accounts in the book of Genesis, though differing slightly in the treatment of the material, are in perfect agreement with each other on all points, including the fact that Eve was created after Adam. So not until after this event did the sixth creative day come to an end. Exactly how soon after Adam's creation is not disclosed. "After that [Adam and Eve's creation] God saw everything he had made and, look! it was very good. And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, a sixth day." (Gen. 1:31) After the sixth creative day ends, the seventh one begins.

33 This time between Adam's creation and the beginning of the seventh day, the day of rest, let it be noted, need not have been a long time. It could have been a rather short one. The naming of the animals by Adam, and his discovery that there was no complement for himself, required no great length of time. The animals were in subjection to Adam; they were peaceful; they came under God's leading; they were not needing to be chased down and caught. It took Noah only seven days to get the same kinds of animals, male and female, into the Ark. (Gen. 7:1-4) Eve's creation was quickly accomplished, 'while Adam was sleeping.' (Gen. 2:21) So the lapse of time between Adam's creation and the end of the sixth creative day, though unknown, was a comparatively short period of time. The pronouncement at the end of the sixth day, "God saw everything he had made and, look! it was very good," proves that the beginning of the great seventh day of the creative week did not wait until after Adam and Eve sinned and were expelled from the Garden of Eden.

1975! . . . AND FAR BEYOND!

34 Bible chronology is an interesting study by which historic events are placed in their order of occurrence along the stream of time. The Watch Tower Society over the years has endeavored to keep its associates abreast with the latest scholarship that proves consistent with historic and prophetic events recorded in the Scriptures. Major problems in sacred chronology have been straightened out either due to fulfillment of Bible prophecies or by reason of archaeological discoveries or because better Bible translations convey more clearly the records of the original languages. However, several knotty problems of chronology of a minor nature are not yet resolved. For example, at the time of the exodus from Egypt when Jehovah changed the beginning of the year from autumn time on the secular calendar to spring time on the sacred calendar, was there, in the Jewish calendar, a loss or a gain of six months?-Ex. 12:1, 2.

35 One thing is absolutely certain, Bible chronology reinforced with fulfilled Bible prophecy shows that six thousand years of man's existence will soon be up, yes, within this generation! (Matt. 24:34) This is, therefore, no time to be indifferent and complacent. This is not the time to be toying with the words of Jesus that "concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father." (Matt. 24:36) To the contrary, it is a time when one should be keenly aware that the end of this system of things is rapidly coming to its violent end. Make no mistake, it is sufficient that the Father himself knows both the "day and hour"!

36 Even if one cannot see beyond 1975, is this any reason to be less active? The apostles could not see even this far; they knew nothing about 1975. All they could see was a short time ahead in which to finish the work assigned to them. (1 Pet. 4:7) Hence, there was a ring of alarm and a cry of urgency in all their writings. (Acts 20:20; 2 Tim. 4:2) And rightly so. If they had delayed or dillydallied and had been complacent with the idea the end was some thousands of years off they would never have finished running the race set before them. No, they ran hard and they ran fast, and they won! It was a life or death matter with them.-1 Cor. 9:24; 2 Tim. 4:7; Heb. 12:1.

37 So too with Jehovah's faithful witnesses in this latter half of the twentieth century. They have the true Christian point of view. Their strenuous evangelistic activity is not something peculiar to this present decade. They have not dedicated their lives to serve Jehovah only until 1975. Christians have been running this way ever since Christ Jesus blazed the trail and commanded his disciples. "Follow me!" So keep this same mental attitude in you that was in Christ Jesus. Let nothing slow you down or cause you to tire and give out. Those who will flee Babylon the Great and this Satanic system of things are now running for their lives, headed for God's kingdom, and they will not stop at 1975. O no! They will keep on in this glorious way that leads to everlasting life, praising and serving Jehovah for ever and ever!

[Study Questions]

[…]

37. So what will you be doing between now and 1975? And beyond that, what?

[Emphasis Added]

Awake! October 8 1968 pp. 14-15

6,000 Years Nearing Completion […] The fact that fifty-four years of the period called the 'last days' have already gone by is highly significant. It means that only a few years, at most, remain before the corrupt system of things dominating the earth is destroyed by God. Today, many years later, we may ask, What does the phrase 'the immediate future' mean? How many years are 'a few years at most'? […] According to reliable Bible chronology, Adam and Eve were created in 4026 B.C.E.. There is another way that helps confirm the fact that we are living in the final few years of this 'time of the end.' (Dan. 12:9) The Bible shows that we are nearing the end of a full 6,000 years of human history. What significance does this have? When God gave his laws to ancient Israel, one of those laws involved keeping the sabbath day holy. On the seventh day of the week there was to be no labor. The people were to rest from all their toil. (Ex 20:8-11) The Bible states that 'the Law has a shadow of the good things to come.' - Heb. 10:1. Revelation chapter 20, verse 6, shows that God's heavenly kingdom will rule over the earth for one thousand years after the end of this system of things. That millennium will bring a sabbath-like rest to the earth and all those then inhabiting it. Hence, the first six thousand years since man's creation could be likened to the first six days of the week in ancient Israel. The seventh one-thousand-year period could be likened to the seventh day, the sabbath, of that week. - 2 Pet. 3:8. How fitting it would be for God, following this pattern, to end man's misery after six thousand years of human rule and follow it with His glorious Kingdom rule for a thousand years! .. only seven more years from the autumn of 1968 to complete 6,000 full years of human history. That seven-year period will evidently finish in the autumn of the year 1975[…] Concerning political instability, former U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson said in 1960: 'I know enough of what is going on to assure you that, in 15 years from today (or, by 1975), this world is going to be too dangerous to live in.' […]

[Chart] 1975 C.E. END OF 6,000 YEARS

[…] In the book Famine - 1975! food experts W. and P. Paddock state: […] 'I forecast a specific date, 1975, when the new crisis will be upon us in all its awesome importance.'

[Emphasis Added]

Awake! 1969 May 22 p.15

If you are a young person, you also need to face the fact that you will never grow old in this present system of things. Why not? Because all the evidence in fulfillment of Bible prophecy indicates that this corrupt system is due to end in a few years. Of the generation that observed the beginning of the 'last days' in 1914, Jesus foretold: 'This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.' Therefore, as a young person, you will never fulfill any career that this system offers. If you are in high school and thinking about a college education, it means at least four, perhaps even six or eight more years to graduate into a specialized career. But where will this system of things be by that time? It will be well on the way towards its finish, if not actually gone! This is why parents who base their lives on God's prophetic Word find it much more practical to direct their young ones into trades that do not require such long periods of additional schooling… True, those who do not understand where we are in the stream of time from God's viewpoint will call this impractical. But which is really practical: preparing yourself for a position in this world that soon will pass away? or working toward surviving this system's end and enjoying eternal life in God's righteous new order?

[Emphasis Added]

Watchtower 1969 October 15 p.623 The Approaching Peace of a Thousand Years

42 In order for the Lord Jesus Christ to be "Lord even of the Sabbath day," his thousand-year reign would have to be the seventh in a series of thousand-year periods or millenniums. (Matt. 12:8, AV) Thus it would be a sabbatic reign. Since early in the existence of mankind Satan the Devil has been on the loose, making the human family to toil in hard bondage, causing the earth to be filled with violence before the global flood of Noah's day and inducing the same old earth to be filled with even greater violence today. Soon now six millenniums of his wicked exploiting of mankind as his slaves will end, within the lifetime of the generation that has witnessed world events since the close of the Gentile Times in 1914 till now, according to the prophetic words of Jesus in Matthew 24:34. Would not, then, the end of six millenniums of mankind's laborious enslavement under Satan the Devil be the fitting time for Jehovah God to usher in a Sabbath millennium for all his human creatures? Yes, indeed! And his King Jesus Christ will be Lord of that Sabbath.

[Emphasis Added]

The Approaching Peace of a Thousand Years (book), 1969, p.25

 

More recently earnest researchers of the Holy Bible have made a recheck of its chronology. According to their calculations the six millenniums of mankind's life on earth would end in the mid-seventies. Thus the seventh millennium from man's creation by Jehovah God would begin within less than ten years.

[Emphasis Added]

God's Eternal Purpose Now Triumphing For Man's Good (book) 1974 p. 51

Would there be another creative 'day,' a seventh 'day,' at the close of the 'morning' of which the whole earth would be populated with a human family and be a global Paradise? 'Evening' of seventh creative 'day' begins, 4026 B.C.E.

[4026 B.C.E. + 6000 years adds to start of the seventh day = 1975]

[Emphasis Added]

God's Eternal Purpose Now Triumphing For Man's Good (book) 1974 pp. 131-132 ch.11 The Messiah of God's "Eternal Purpose"

"MORNING" OF SEVENTH CREATIVE "DAY" BEGINS, 526 B.C.E.

5 The first half or "evening" period of God's seventh creative "day" was now closing, 3,500 years from creation of Adam and Eve

[so another 2,500 years of the 6,000 would bring us to 1975]

[Emphasis Added]

Watchtower 1970 May 1 p.265-71 Keep Close in Mind "The Conclusion of the System of Things"

21 Time magazine reported that in the previous five years before its issue the world's population had increased twice as fast as its food production. It has been calculated that it took from the beginning of human history until the year 1800 for the population of the earth to reach one billion, 130 years more to reach 2 billion and just 36 years later the population had jumped to 3.28 billion. In recent years the United States has been feeding one out of twenty persons in Africa, Latin America and parts of Asia. It has been reported that India devoured a quarter of the United States' wheat crop in 1966 as compared to a fifth the year before and an eighth five years earlier. No wonder the book Famine-1975! reports there will be "a famine that will happen no matter what anyone does." Certainly a new system of things is needed to overcome the specter of mass starvation as the "black horse" continues its famine-striking course.

[Emphasis Added]

Watchtower 1970 May 1 pp.271-7 An Ingathering Affecting All Mankind

A CRITICAL TIME

5 Everyone would like to know how much longer the present system will continue and when God's purpose will be accomplished on earth in the same full way as in heaven. Jesus answered that "this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth . . . and then the end will come." Here in the Greek Bible text he used the word telos or "end" to distinguish what he meant from the syn·téleia or "conclusion" of the system of things, the harvest period, in which we now live. (Compare Matthew 24:3, 6, Diaglott.) How close we may exactly be to the end of the present divisive system of things cannot be predicted, as Jesus reported that even he did not know the day or the hour at the time of his earthly ministry. (Matt. 24:36) However, Bible chronology which indicates that Adam was created in the fall of the year 4026 B.C.E. would bring us down to the year 1975 C.E. as the date marking 6,000 years of human history with yet 1,000 years to come for Christ's Kingdom rule. So whatever the date for the end of this system, it is clear that the time left is reduced, with only approximately six years left until the end of 6,000 years of human history. (1 Cor. 7:29) This corroborates the understanding of Jesus' words that the generation alive in 1914 with the outbreak of World War I would not pass away until the end comes. Only a short time, then, remains for persons who love righteousness to show God that they want to be in his "ark" of protection and live to see the blessings of the new system of things.-Matt. 24:34-42.

[Emphasis Added]

The Nations Shall Know That I Am Jehovah - How (1971) p.216

Shortly, within our twentieth century, the "battle in the day of Jehovah" will begin against the modern anti-type of Jerusalem, Christendom.

[Emphasis Added]

Watchtower 1974 October 15 p.635 Growing in Appreciation for the "Divine Purpose"

The publications of Jehovah's witnesses have shown that, according to Bible chronology, it appears that 6,000 years of man's existence will be completed in the mid-1970's. But these publications have never said that the world's end would come then. Nevertheless, there has been considerable individual speculation on the matter. So the assembly presentation "Why We Have Not Been Told 'That Day and Hour'" was very timely. It emphasized that we do not know the exact time when God will bring the end. All we know is that the end will come within the generation that sees fulfilled on it the sign that Jesus Christ said would then be in evidence. (See Matthew chapters 24, 25.) All indications are that the fulfillment of this sign began in 1914. So we can be confident that the end is near; we do not have the slightest doubt that God will bring it about, the speaker stressed. But we have to wait and see exactly when, in the meantime keeping busy in God's service.

[Emphasis Added]

Watchtower 1974 December 15 pp.759-66 Benefits and Rewards from Being Spiritually Secure

29 On Sunday afternoon, July 26, 1931, at the international convention of the I.B.S.A. in Columbus, Ohio, there came the heartfelt adoption of the Resolution in favor of embracing the New Name, Jehovah's witnesses. Thereafter this Resolution was adopted by congregations around the world that thenceforth identified their religious organization as Jehovah's witnesses. To advertise the divine name still further, on March 1, 1939, some months before World War II broke out, the official magazine of the Witnesses came forth with the new legend, "The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah's Kingdom." And now, as the critical year of 1975 enters, it may well be asked: Has the Most High God of prophecy made a name for himself? The answer is self-evident, Yes! By whom? Not by Christendom or by Jewry, but by Jehovah's Christian witnesses!

[…]

36 Only from the end of the year 1928 was the prospect opened up to the spiritual understanding of the anointed remnant of the "Israel of God" to survive the "war of the great day of God the Almighty" at Har-Magedon and enter here on earth into Jehovah's righteous new order. (See The Watch Tower under date of December 15, 1928, page 376, paragraphs 35, 36.) And now, as the year 1975 opens up, some thousands of the anointed remnant, still alive on this earth, look ahead to realizing that joyful prospect. The increasing "great crowd" of their sheeplike companions look forward with them to entering the New Order without interruption of life. In the New Order Jehovah God will add to the "length of days" of the anointed remnant on earth to the point of satisfying the members thereof. It remains to be seen whether they will be yet retained here on earth to see the start of the resurrection of the earthly dead and to meet faithful witnesses of ancient, pre-Christian times. They would enjoy that, before being taken off the earthly scene to the heavenly reward with Christ.

[Emphasis Added]

Watchtower 1975 January 1 p.11 Will You Live to See Christ's "Coming"?

In view of all these facts, along with Jesus' prophetic words, millions of people now living will see the "day" of Christ's coming to mete out justice upon this system of things, religious, political, commercial and social.

[Emphasis Added]

Public Address by Bro. Fred W. Franz in early 1975 in Australia

[…] wondering now, in, uh, the next few months, of this, uh, lunar calendar, what's gonna happen? And is it likely that the destruction of the whole wicked system of things will take place at the hands of Jehovah God, uh, the Great Executioner of his judgments against Satan and his wicked, uh, organization?

Well, uh, a lot will have to happen if it's to occur by September the fifth, the end of the lunar month of year Nineteen Hundred and Seventy Five, a *LOT* will have to happen. And when you consider how much has to happen and uh, how if it depended on the normal, uh, outworking of things it seems very, uh, improbable, very unlikely, that all that has to take place in fulfillment of prophecy, will be accomplished by September the fifth, at sundown.

Not to say that God can not bring it about by then. He is almighty, and he has his time, and he acts on time. He is a precise timekeeper, and if it's, uh, his will to have everything accomplished by September the fifth, sundown, of this year, why it certainly can come to pass.

But then when we see how things are moving along, just gradually, and there is much to be accomplished according to the pross.. uh, prophecies, why uh, we begin to wonder, well, now will *ALL* these things happen in so short a period of time that is left?

[Emphasis Added]

Public Address by Bro. Fred W. Franz in early 1975 in Australia

[…] We know that, uh, God, is a creator. He is also a destroyer — that's what James tells us — "There is one who is able to save and destroy, that is Jehovah".

And, we know that, uh, uh, he created, uuuhhh, the conditions on this earth for Man's habitation, uh, during a succession of creative days, six in number, each day being seven thousand years long, and the six totalling up to forty-two thousand years from when God, uh, began the preparatory work, and — until, uh, he finished his uh, human creation.

And then, God's seventh creative day, began. Not that he was creating on that day, but it was a creative day, in this great creative week. It was really a rest day for god. A day in which he desisted from his earthly work. And he entered into a great Sabbath keeping, a rest, uh, for him, as far as further earthly creations was concerned. Although he as very active, and, uh, operated with regard to all the rest of the universe, just as Jesus said, uh, when he was doing work on the Sabbath day, and was criticized for it, " My Father has kept working until now, and I work too, even on, uh, this Sabbath day, doing good work. Work of healing and work of teaching."

And now we are living in this seventh creative, uh, day, of Jehovah God. And the question arises therefore, how far along in this seventh creative day are we?

Now we know that, uh, that this seventh creative day, being, uh, seven Millenium in length, it can therefore be divided up into, uh, seven periods of one thousand years each. And, uh, if God, uh, purposes to bring a full realization of his original purpose regarding the Earth — to have it fully inhabited, by a perfect human race — accomplished by the end of the seventh creative day, why then it's very, uh, uh, reasonable, and scriptural, to direct that the final, seventh, one thousand year day of God's propehcy, would be the period in which Jesus Christ would reign.

And, uh, he would, as he said, be the "Lord of the Sabbath day" . And he would, uh, usher men out of this work-week of toil, and moil, and suffering, and sour, and hardship, and death, in which mankind has found itself, for the past millenium, and he will usher them into a period of rest, of cessation from such undesirable, uh, hardships. And he will also usher them into the great rest of Jehovah God himself. As the apostle Paul tells in Hebrews chapter four, that, uh, we who have [inaudible] from our work of self justification, uh, we have, uh, entered into God's rest, by faith in the arrangement, in the provision, that he has made.

So, the question arises, will September the fifth, at sundown, mark the begining of God's uh, seventh millenial day, as this, uh, final creative day of his, and therefore will it mark the beginning of the thousand year reign of Jesus Christ, in which he will be "Lord of the Sabbath".

Well, now, uh, that being the case, then we have to find out when, the great creative day of God began. And, uh, does September the fifth, at sundown, mean that we have already been six thousand years into God's Sabbath day? And that now, the time has come for God to make it a *REAL* sabbath day for mankind, by giving them the Millenial kingdom of his son, the "Lord of the Sabbath".

So, we have to find out, therefore, just when that seventh, uh, creative day began, and when the Sixth creative day ended.

Well, now, when did the sixth creative day end? And what relation has the year nineteen hundred and seventy five, uh, to this matter.

Well, now, uh, we have not said, that nineteen seventy five, uh, will mark the end of this visible organization of satan the devil. We're not making any such prediction as that.

We remember the mistake that was made with regard to Nineteen-Fourteen , predicting what it was going to signify. And we remember, uuuhh, the mistake that was made regarding the year Ninteen Hundred and Twenty-Five. Whereby calculations based upon the old chronology, that was used up til then, why it was figured that the Grand Jubilee of Jubilees, uh, would begin. And, uh, that, that year would be marked by the return of the ancient worties, as we called them, the men of faith, uh, of pre-Christian time. And I remember that, uh, Brother Rutherford said there, in a discourse, a public discourse, given in Cusement [sp?] Temple, in Brooklyn, New York, that he said, "If you die after Ninteen Hundred and Twenty Five it will be your own fault".

[See Watchtower Quotes regarding 1914 and 1925]

And so all kinds of predictions were regarding that year, and, uh, well I recall at a table discussion, uh, after the year had passed, and the matter came up, uh, for, uh, talking about, discussing there at the bethel table. Well, uh, Brother Rutherford, uh, made this statement with regard to Ninteen-hundred and Twenty-Five. He said, "I made and Ass of myself". That's the way he felt about it. And, then, he came out with a statement, uh, using the King James, uh, rendering, found in Revelation chapter Ten [verse 6] "Time is no more." And by that he meant we were not going to, uh, set dates in the future, calculate certain future dates, by fiddling with chronology, and make predictions, regarding what was to happen, on those dates which we have fixed upon.

No, time was no more, there would be no, uh, such, uh, nonsense as that.

[Emphasis Added]

Watchtower 1975 May 1 p.85 A Contrast-Missionaries with an Urgent, Lifesaving Work

Another speaker, F. W. Franz, the Society's vice-president, forcefully impressed on the audience the urgency of the Christian preaching work. He stressed that, according to dependable Bible chronology, 6,000 years of human history will end this coming September according to the lunar calendar. This coincides with a time when "the human species [is] about to starve itself to death," as well as its being faced with poisoning by pollution and destruction by nuclear weapons. Franz added: "There's no basis for believing that mankind, faced with what it now faces, can exist for the seventh thousand-year period" under the present system of things.

Does this mean that we know exactly when God will destroy this old system and establish a new one? Franz showed that we do not, for we do not know how short was the time interval between Adam's creation and the creation of Eve, at which point God's rest day of seven thousand years began. (Heb. 4:3, 4) But, he pointed out, "we should not think that this year of 1975 is of no significance to us," for the Bible proves that Jehovah is "the greatest chronologist" and "we have the anchor date, 1914, marking the end of the Gentile Times." So, he continued, "we are filled with anticipation for the near future, for our generation."-Matt. 24:34.

[Emphasis Added]

Watchtower 1975 October 1 p.579 The End of 6,000 Years of Man-Rule Approaches-What Has Been Accomplished?

The End of 6,000 Years of Man-Rule Approaches-What Has Been Accomplished?

SINCE a new Jewish lunar year began in September 1975 a significant point in human history was reached. What was that? According to the Bible's count of time, mankind then completed 6,000 years of existence on earth. Yes, the first man Adam, if he had chosen to remain obedient under God's rulership, would have still been alive and 6,000 years old in September of this year.

Does this mean, then, that mankind has now reached 6,000 years into the 7,000-year period that God 'blessed and made sacred' as his great "rest day"? Does it mean that Christ's millennial Kingdom rule, as the final 1,000 years of that "rest day," is to be reckoned from September 1975?-Gen. 1:27, 31; 2:2, 3; Rev. 20:1-6.

No, it does not mean that. Why not? Well, the Bible record shows that God's creations on the "day" just preceding that 7,000-year "rest day" did not end with Adam's creation. It shows a time lapse between the creation of Adam and that of his wife, Eve. During that time, God had Adam name the animals. Whether that period amounted to weeks or months or years, we do not know. So we do not know exactly when Jehovah's great "rest day" began, nor do we know exactly when it will end. The same applies to the beginning of Christ's millennial reign. The Bible provides us no way to fix the date, and so it does us no good to speculate when that date may be.-Gen. 2:18-25; Matt. 24:42, 44.

However, the Bible's time clock does indicate to us that 6,000 years of human history end in this year 1975.

[Emphasis Added]

Yearbook 1975 p.256 United States of America (Part Three)

Just think where we are in the stream of time! Its importance was deeply impressed on our minds back in 1966. God's people then received the absorbing book Life Everlasting-in Freedom of the Sons of God. It did not take long for most of them to note the chronological chart in it that identified 1975 as the "end of 6th 1,000-year day of man's existence (in early autumn)."

This certainly raised questions. Does this mean that Babylon the Great will go down by 1975? Will Armageddon be over, with Satan bound, by then? 'It could' acknowledged F. W. Franz, the Watch Tower Society's vice-president, after posing similar questions at the "God's Sons of Liberty" District Assembly in Baltimore, Maryland. However, he added, in essence: 'But we are not saying. All things are possible with God. But we are not saying. And don't any of you be specific in saying anything that is going to happen between now and 1975. But the big point of it all is this, dear friends: Time is short. Time is running out, no question about that.' Among other things, Brother Franz urged: "Let us make the most of the time and get in all the good hard work to Jehovah while the opportunity affords."

[Emphasis Added]

Watchtower 1976 July 15 pp.435-437 Keeping a Balanced View of Time

Keeping a Balanced View of Time

[…]

16 What, then, has God revealed to us about this? He certainly has not left us without guidance. By prophecies such as those just considered he enables us to know where we are in the stream of time. The fulfillment of his prophetic word convinces us that God is not sleepy nor slow, and as the apostle Peter said regarding those acting wickedly, "the judgment from of old is not moving slowly, and the destruction of them is not slumbering." (2 Pet. 2:3) We have ample information and evidence to cause us to be confident that we live in the "time of the end" as regards the present unrighteous system of things. Yet, beyond this, there are things that God has not revealed to us. One of those things is the time for the outbreak of the "great tribulation" prefigured by the tribulation that came upon Jerusalem, a tribulation that will be global in its fulfillment.

TIME FACTORS THAT GOD HAS NOT REVEALED

17 There are reasons why we cannot know this. For one thing, even though Bible chronology clearly indicates that we have reached the mark of six thousand years since the time of the creation of the first human, Adam, it does not tell us just how long after that event the sixth creative day came to its close and the seventh creative period or "day," God's great rest day, began. Genesis chapter two, verse three, says that Jehovah blessed and made sacred that "day," and it therefore seems reasonable that it will see within its bounds the removal of the wicked old order and the establishment of God's righteous new order by means of the thousand-year reign of God's Son. Thus there is reason for believing that that thousand-year period will form the closing part of that great rest day and will restore the earth and its inhabitants to a perfect state. That would enable God to say of that seventh day and its results-as he did of other creative days-that "it was good."-Gen. 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31.

18 But that great rest day did not begin immediately after Adam's creation. Other events took place after Adam's creation but before the close of the sixth creative day. One of these is of great importance to all of us. That is the creation of the first woman, Eve. Without that none of us would be alive today, for, as the apostle Paul states at 1 Corinthians 11:12, "just as the woman is out of the man, so also the man is through the woman," all of us needing a human mother to be born.

19 How much time elapsed between the creation of the man and that of the woman? The Bible does not reveal this. It could have been a relatively short time. Adam was created-not as a child or an adolescent-but as a full-grown, fully mature man, both physically and mentally. He did not have to crawl first to learn to walk, nor babble sounds until able to speak. He was created with these abilities and could communicate with his heavenly Creator and could be set to work to cultivate and care for his garden home. He could comprehend divine instructions and also the prohibition concerning the proscribed tree of the knowledge of good and bad. (Gen. 2:15-17) In those respects, then, he would have been in position to receive a wife at any time.

20 True, and yet Adam was in certain respects like a newborn infant upon being created. Why? Because, fully adult though he was, the day of his being created was still the first day he had lived. Everything he saw-every tree, flower, plant, every stream, lake, river, every creature of all the bird, animal and fish creation-he was seeing for the very first time. This was true of everything he did. When he walked he took his very first step; and so too with the experience of running, climbing, touching, smelling, tasting, eating-all were brand-new experiences for him. What enormous curiosity he must have felt as he examined the fascinating handiwork of Jehovah God and became acquainted with his garden home! How long would he be allowed time to satisfy that curiosity before taking on added responsibility as a family head?

21 That Edenic home does not seem to have been some tiny plot of ground. It contained all the varieties of trees within its boundaries, according to Genesis the second chapter. And there was a "river issuing out of Eden to water the garden," one large enough to separate and form the headwaters of four major rivers, some of which still flow today. (Gen. 2:8-10) It would take time for Adam to go exploring all of this in order to become familiar with the area he was assigned to care for and cultivate.

22 "But," one might ask, "would it not be pleasant if he were to share all these new experiences right away with a human companion, a wife, and thus learn together with her?" That might be, and yet might it not be more appropriate if he first gained considerable knowledge and experience beforehand? Then, when joined by his mate, he would be in position to answer her questions and explain things to her, thereby enhancing her respect for him as her informed head. (Eph. 5:22, 23) God's direct warning to Adam regarding the consequences of disobediently eating from the prohibited tree placed Adam in the position of God's prophet to the companion He would later create for the man.-Gen. 2:16, 17.

23 The only information the Bible actually supplies us is that, before creating Eve, God began bringing to the man all the creatures He had formed and "the man was calling the names of all the domestic animals and of the flying creatures of the heavens and of every wild beast of the field, but for man there was found no helper as a complement of him." (Gen. 2:18-20) It takes but a few words to describe this; but how long did it take in actuality?

24 The brevity of the Genesis account surely does not require our thinking that God simply gathered all the animals and birds into a big group and then had them file past Adam while he quickly called off names for them, one by one. True, he may have had to deal only with basic family kinds rather than all the varieties of creatures that have developed out of those family kinds. But even so, we cannot rule out the possibility that God's "bringing" these creatures to Adam may have involved their moving in sufficiently close to allow Adam to study them for a time, observing their distinctive habits and makeup, and then select a name that would be especially fitting for each. This could mean the passing of a considerable amount of time. And we may note that, when Adam did finally see his newly created wife, his first words were: "This is at last bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh." (Gen. 2:23) This too could indicate that he had waited for some time to receive his delightful human counterpart.

25 What, then, does this mean? Simply this: That these factors, and the possibilities for which they allow, prevent us from saying with any positiveness how much time elapsed between Adam's creation and that of the first woman. We do not know whether it was a brief time such as a month or a few months, a year or even more. But whatever time elapsed would have to be added to the time that has passed since Adam's creation in order for us to know how far along we are within God's seventh "day," his grand day of rest. So our having advanced six thousand years from the start of human existence is one thing. Advancing six thousand years into God's seventh creative "day" is quite another. And we do not know just how far along in the stream of time we are in this regard.

[Emphasis Added]

Watchtower 1976 July 15 p.441 A Solid Basis for Confidence

11 It may be that some who have been serving God have planned their lives according to a mistaken view of just what was to happen on a certain date or in a certain year. They may have, for this reason, put off or neglected things that they otherwise would have cared for. But they have missed the point of the Bible's warnings concerning the end of this system of things, thinking that Bible chronology reveals the specific date.

[…]

15 But it is not advisable for us to set our sights on a certain date, neglecting everyday things we would ordinarily care for as Christians, such as things that we and our families really need. We may be forgetting that, when the "day" comes, it will not change the principle that Christians must at all times take care of all their responsibilities. If anyone has been disappointed through not following this line of thought, he should now concentrate on adjusting his viewpoint, seeing that it was not the word of God that failed or deceived him and brought disappointment, but that his own understanding was based on wrong premises.

16 However, say that you are one who counted heavily on a date, and, commendably, set your attention more strictly on the urgency of the times and the need of the people to hear. And say you now, temporarily, feel somewhat disappointed; are you really the loser? Are you really hurt? We believe you can say that you have gained and profited by taking this conscientious course. Also, you have been enabled to get a really mature, more reasonable viewpoint.-Eph. 5:1-17.

[Emphasis Added]

1980 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses pp.30-31

The brothers also appreciated the candor of this same talk, which acknowledged the Society's responsibility for some of the disappointment a number felt regarding 1975.

[Emphasis Added]

Watchtower 1980 March 15 pp.17-18 Choosing the Best Way of Life

5 In modern times such eagerness, commendable in itself, has led to attempts at setting dates for the desired liberation from the suffering and troubles that are the lot of persons throughout the earth. With the appearance of the book Life Everlasting-in Freedom of the Sons of God, and its comments as to how appropriate it would be for the millennial reign of Christ to parallel the seventh millennium of man's existence, considerable expectation was aroused regarding the year 1975. There were statements made then, and thereafter, stressing that this was only a possibility. Unfortunately, however, along with such cautionary information, there were other statements published that implied that such realization of hopes by that year was more of a probability than a mere possibility. It is to be regretted that these latter statements apparently overshadowed the cautionary ones and contributed to a buildup of the expectation already initiated.

6 In its issue of July 15, 1976, The Watchtower, commenting on the inadvisability of setting our sights on a certain date, stated: "If anyone has been disappointed through not following this line of thought, he should now concentrate on adjusting his viewpoint, seeing that it was not the word of God that failed or deceived him and brought disappointment, but that his own understanding was based on wrong premises." In saying "anyone," The Watchtower included all disappointed ones of Jehovah's Witnesses, hence including persons having to do with the publication of the information that contributed to the buildup of hopes centered on that date.

[Emphasis Added]

Yearbook 1988 p.190 Korea

However, the first few months of the 1976 service year began with a marked decrease in publishers and home Bible studies. This downward trend was to continue for over three years, bottoming out in a 26-percent decrease in publishers, from 32,693 in August 1975 to 24,285 in November 1978. Memorial attendance dropped too, from over 68,000 in 1975 to 49,545 in 1978. The brothers at the branch were perplexed. Would the trend be reversed?

Of course, neither they nor the Society were just letting it slide by. The Society's letter of April 4, 1977, stated:

"We hope the brothers are careful in their teaching. Evidently some were very strong on the 1975 date, and so a good foundation was not laid. The foundation, of course, should be faith in Christ Jesus and the ransom sacrifice, and the dedication should be with understanding."

A very candid observation indeed! Too much emphasis was placed on a date by some Bible teachers. Many newly baptized ones took up the truth on a wave of emotion. Even some elders had their hopes pinned to 1975. In addition, materialism seeped into the land as a result of the rapid economic growth in Korea, and nationalism was on the rise. The effect: apathy among the brothers.

[Emphasis Added]

Jehovah's Witnesses, Proclaimers of God's Kingdom (book), 1993 p.104 ch.8 Declaring the Good News Without Letup (1942-1975)

"Say, What Does This 1975 Mean?"

The Witnesses had long shared the belief that the Thousand Year Reign of Christ would follow after 6,000 years of human history. But when would 6,000 years of human existence end? The book Life Everlasting-In Freedom of the Sons of God, released at a series of district conventions held in 1966, pointed to 1975. Right at the convention, as the brothers examined the contents, the new book triggered much discussion about 1975.

At the convention held in Baltimore, Maryland, F. W. Franz gave the concluding talk. He began by saying: "Just before I got on the platform a young man came to me and said, 'Say, what does this 1975 mean?'" Brother Franz then referred to the many questions that had arisen as to whether the material in the new book meant that by 1975 Armageddon would be finished, and Satan would be bound. He stated, in essence: 'It could. But we are not saying. All things are possible with God. But we are not saying. And don't any of you be specific in saying anything that is going to happen between now and 1975. But the big point of it all is this, dear friends: Time is short. Time is running out, no question about that.'

In the years following 1966, many of Jehovah's Witnesses acted in harmony with the spirit of that counsel. However, other statements were published on this subject, and some were likely more definite than advisable. This was acknowledged in The Watchtower of March 15, 1980 (page 17). But Jehovah's Witnesses were also cautioned to concentrate mainly on doing Jehovah's will and not to be swept up by dates and expectations of an early salvation.

[Emphasis Added]

Jehovah's Witnesses, Proclaimers of God's Kingdom (book), 1993 p.723 Noteworthy Events in the Modern-day History of Jehovah's Witnesses

1975 Governing Body is reorganized; on December 4, responsibility for much of the work is assigned to six committees, which begin to function on January 1, 1976

[Does not include any other significant events at the entry 1975]

Awake! 1993 March 22 pp.3-4 Why So Many False Alarms?

Why So Many False Alarms?

The World's End-How Near?

THE story is told of a boy who watched the sheep of the villagers. To stir up a bit of excitement, one day he cried out, "Wolf! Wolf!" when there was no wolf. The villagers rushed out with clubs to drive off the wolf, only to find that there was none. It was such great fun that later on the boy repeated his cry. Again the villagers rushed out with their clubs, only to discover that it was another false alarm. After that a wolf did come, and the boy sounded the warning, "Wolf! Wolf!" but the villagers dismissed his cry as another false alarm. They had been fooled too often.

So it has become with those who proclaim the end of the world. Down through the centuries since Jesus' day, so many unfulfilled predictions have been made that many no longer take them seriously.

Gregory I, pope from 590 to 604 C.E., in a letter to a European monarch, said: "We also wish Your Majesty to know, as we have learned from the words of Almighty God in Holy Scriptures, that the end of the present world is already near and that the unending Kingdom of the Saints is approaching."

In the 16th century, Martin Luther, progenitor of the Lutheran Church, predicted that the end was imminent. According to one authority, he stated: "For my part, I am sure that the day of judgment is just around the corner."

Concerning one of the first Baptist groups, it is reported: "The Anabaptists of the early Sixteenth Century believed that the Millennium would occur in 1533."

"Edwin Sandys (1519-1588), Archbishop of York and Primate of England . . . says, . . . 'Let us be assured that this coming of the Lord is near.'"

William Miller, generally credited with founding the Adventist Church, is quoted as saying: "I am fully convinced that sometime between March 21, 1843, and March 21, 1844, according to the Jewish mode of computation of time, Christ will come."

Does the failure of such predictions to come true convict as false prophets those who made them, within the meaning of Deuteronomy 18:20-22? That text reads: "The prophet who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded him to speak or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die. And in case you should say in your heart: 'How shall we know the word that Jehovah has not spoken?' when the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word does not occur or come true, that is the word that Jehovah did not speak."

There are some who make spectacular predictions of the world's end to grab attention and a following, but others are sincerely convinced that their proclamations are true. They are voicing expectations based on their own interpretation of some scripture text or physical event. They do not claim that their predictions are direct revelations from Jehovah and that in this sense they are prophesying in Jehovah's name. Hence, in such cases, when their words do not come true, they should not be viewed as false prophets such as those warned against at Deuteronomy 18:20-22. In their human fallibility, they misinterpreted matters.

Undeterred by previous failures, some seem to have been spurred on by the approach of the year 2000 and have made further predictions of the end of the world. The Wall Street Journal of December 5, 1989, published an article entitled "Millennium Fever: Prophets Proliferate, the End Is Near." With the year 2000 approaching, various evangelicals are predicting that Jesus is coming and that the 1990's will be "a time of troubles that has not been seen before." At the time of this writing, the latest occurrence was in the Republic of Korea, where the Mission for the Coming Days predicted that on October 28, 1992, at midnight, Christ would come and take believers to heaven. Several other doomsday groups made similar predictions.

The flood of false alarms is unfortunate. They are like the wolf-wolf cries of the shepherd boy-people soon dismiss them, and when the true warning comes, it too is ignored.

But why has there been such a tendency through the centuries and down to our day for false alarms to be sounded, as Jesus said they would be? (Matthew 24:23-26) Jesus, after telling his followers about different events that would mark his return, said to them, as we read at Matthew 24:36-42: "Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father. For just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be. . . . Keep on the watch, therefore, because you do not know on what day your Lord is coming."

They were told not only to be on the watch and to be prepared but also to watch with eagerness. Romans 8:19 says: "For the eager expectation of the creation is waiting for the revealing of the sons of God." Human nature is such that when we fervently hope and yearn for something and wait in eager expectation of it, a powerful temptation arises within us to see it at the door even when the evidence is insufficient. In our eagerness false alarms may be sounded.

What, then, will distinguish the true warning from the false ones? For the answer, please see the following article.

[Footnotes]

Jehovah's Witnesses, in their eagerness for Jesus' second coming, have suggested dates that turned out to be incorrect. Because of this, some have called them false prophets. Never in these instances, however, did they presume to originate predictions 'in the name of Jehovah.' Never did they say, 'These are the words of Jehovah.' The Watchtower, the official journal of Jehovah's Witnesses, has said: "We have not the gift of prophecy." (January 1883, page 425) "Nor would we have our writings reverenced or regarded as infallible." (December 15, 1896, page 306) The Watchtower has also said that the fact that some have Jehovah's spirit "does not mean those now serving as Jehovah's witnesses are inspired. It does not mean that the writings in this magazine The Watchtower are inspired and infallible and without mistakes." (May 15, 1947, page 157) "The Watchtower does not claim to be inspired in its utterances, nor is it dogmatic." (August 15, 1950, page 263) "The brothers preparing these publications are not infallible. Their writings are not inspired as are those of Paul and the other Bible writers. (2 Tim. 3:16) And so, at times, it has been necessary, as understanding became clearer, to correct views. (Prov. 4:18)"-February 15, 1981, page 19.

[Emphasis Added]

Yearbook 1995 p.227 Mexico

There Came a Time of Sifting

There were strong expectations concerning the year 1975 and what it might mean in the fulfillment of Jehovah's purpose. Some set their hearts on that date as the time when the old system would be destroyed and God's new world would be established. When those expectations were not realized, there were some who ceased serving God. A number became apostates. But the vast majority of Jehovah's Witnesses were motivated by love for Jehovah. They knew that God's Word would never fail.

[Emphasis Added]

Awake! 1995 June 22 p.9 Can You Trust God's Promises?

Bible Students, known since 1931 as Jehovah's Witnesses, also expected that the year 1925 would see the fulfillment of marvelous Bible prophecies. They surmised that at that time the earthly resurrection would begin, bringing back faithful men of old, such as Abraham, David, and Daniel. More recently, many Witnesses conjectured that events associated with the beginning of Christ's Millennial Reign might start to take place in 1975. Their anticipation was based on the understanding that the seventh millennium of human history would begin then.

These erroneous views did not mean that God's promises were wrong, that he had made a mistake. By no means! The mistakes or misconceptions, as in the case of first-century Christians, were due to a failure to heed Jesus' caution, 'You do not know the time.' The wrong conclusions were due, not to malice or to unfaithfulness to Christ, but to a fervent desire to realize the fulfillment of God's promises in their own time.

[Emphasis Added]

Yearbook 2000 pp.196-7 Czech Republic

"Six Thousand Years of Human Existence"

In 1969 the Watchtower magazine in Czech began publishing a series of articles based on the book Life Everlasting-In Freedom of the Sons of God. Chapter 1, under the subheading "Six Thousand Years of Human Existence Closing," contained an explanation of the Jubilee and of Bible chronology. This material influenced some in a positive way; it also led to many questions and much speculation.

The office in Czechoslovakia sent a letter dated February 22, 1972, to all congregations. It set out a lengthy explanation of reasons why we should not make any definite assertions about the date when Armageddon will strike. It pointed out that no publication of the Society had said that Armageddon will come in a certain year. The letter concluded: "Jehovah's Witnesses around the world are familiar with these facts, and no one should add any personal claims as to what will happen before or during the year 1975. There are no Scriptural grounds for any claims, and they could have a detrimental effect on the preaching work. Strive, therefore, that you 'all speak in agreement and that there be no divisions among you but that you may be fitly united in the same mind and in the same line of thought.' (1 Cor. 1:10) For concerning that day and hour nobody knows."-Matt. 24:36.

[Emphasis Added]

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