Rutherford’s Hostile Welcome in New Zealand

When “Judge” Rutherford visited New Zealand in 1938 he met a mostly hostile reception. As Rutherford was driven to the Auckland Town Hall to deliver a lecture, “…his attention was drawn to a newspaper placard bearing a distortion of the title of a lecture he had given years earlier.” [Watchtower, March 1, 1985, p. 28]

What was the name of that original lecture? What was the theme and promise that was part of Watchtower president J. F. Rutherford’s world famous public-speaking program that began on September 25, 1920 and continued for many years after?

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Examining Apocalypticism

Are you studying the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses? Or are you no longer one of Jehovah’s Witnesses? Or perhaps you are a Witness who is considering leaving the religion? Whatever your circumstances, do you assume that the Witnesses are probably right about the nearness of Armageddon (the “Apocalypse”) because of the unstable world conditions? If you do, then the following information could be for you.

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A Letter From Sweden

Finished-Mystery-bookThe Finished Mystery, considered as Volume 7 of Studies in the Scriptures, was first published in 1917 by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. It was advertised as the posthumous work of Pastor Charles Taze Russell but written by C. J. Woodworth and George Fisher and authorized for publication by J.F. Rutherford, second president of the Watch Tower Society.

At the end of the book’s Preface, Rutherford commented: “Some will murmur and find fault with this book; some will grow angry, and some will join the persecutors. But, we believe, every saint whose heart is filled with love for God and for His people will rejoice and give praise to the Lord for this further evidence of His blessed favor.”

That’s not quite what happened. It wasn’t “some” will murmur and find fault; “some will grow angry; and “some” will become persecutors, but the numbers of those who disapproved of the new book were beyond all expectations.

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Rutherford Blames the Bible Students

By the time 1925 rolled in, Rutherford’s backpedaling about his predictions for that year was in high gear when he said in the February 15, 1925 Watch Tower: “No one may safely predict exactly what will take place, even within the next year; but God has given general indications in his Word of many things which are yet to come to pass. He has not specified exactly their chronological order…”

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