“Millions Now Living Will Never Die”

Beginning in 1918 and in the early 1920s, the term, “millions now living will never die” was the slogan that the Bible Students were talking about even though the prophetic failure of the 1914 date to see the end of the “time of trouble,” was obvious.

Of course, many were disappointed that 1914 did not fulfill their exciting expectations based on this strong statement made in 1889 by Russell:

In view of the strong Bible evidence, we consider it an established fact that the final end of the kingdoms of this world and the full establishment of the Kingdom of God will be accomplished by the end of A.D. 1914.

Although such expectations did not materialize, it did not prevent the Bible Students’ leaders, Rutherford and his associates, from pointing to other dates postulated to keep the flock still interested.

In the book, The Finished Mystery, notice a new date:

Also, in the year 1918, when God destroys the churches wholesale and the church members by millions, it shall be that any that escape shall come to the works of Pastor Russell to learn the meaning of the downfall of “Christianity.”

Further, in that same book it states,

And every island fled away – even the republics will disappear in the fall of 1920. And the mountains were not found – every kingdom of earth will pass away, be swallowed up in anarchy.

To make sure the dangling carrot of hope that the establishment of the kingdom of God would soon rule the earth remained in front of the Bible Students, in February of 1918, Rutherford, for the first time, lectured in California on the theme, “Millions Now Living Will Never Die.” Then in that other marked year, 1920, the lecture was published in booklet form and given wide distribution.

Note what the “Millions” booklet said on page 97:

Based upon the arguments heretofore set forth, then, that the old order of things, the old world, is ending and is therefore passing away, and the new order is coming in, and that 1925 shall mark the resurrection of the faithful worthies of old and the beginning of reconstruction, it is reasonable to conclude that millions of people now on the earth [in 1920] will be still on the earth in 1925. Then, based upon the promises set forth in the divine Word, millions now living will never die.

When 1925 was right at the door, Rutherford unwaveringly stated in the September 15, 1924 Watch Tower,

Assured of the fact that we are standing now in the presence of the Lord at the beginning of his reign, and certain of the fact that the kingdom of heaven is at hand, and that we are standing at the portals of the Golden Age, it is with confidence that we announce that millions now living will never die.

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Gary Richardson

Gary Richardson

The confidence spoken of in these Watch Tower quotes is clearly not in God but in the organization that calls itself the only channel on earth that God uses. This actually subjects God’s voice or will under Watch Tower direction, which makes God seem like a liar. Where salvation is truly to be found is always the underlying issue. Let God be true in every matter!( Romans 3:4, 1John 1:10, Job 25: 1-6)

John Hoyle

John Hoyle

Thank you for your comment, Gary Richardson. Sorry, it has taken me so long to reply. The most important fact that shows that the Watchtower is clearly not the voice of Jehovah and does not get inspiration from Jehovah (ever), is because everything that was written 10, 20, 30 years ago has been modified somewhat. Fifteen years ago the Watchtower was building new Kingdom Halls and area meeting halls at a feverish pace. They had equipment and crews that were sent out to support the local JWs in building those meeting places. And then, almost overnight, the Watchtower started combining and selling off their Assembly centers and Kingdom Halls. Now, almost every week we hear of two or more Kingdom Halls going up for sale. An inside contact of mine indicated that nearly one-third of all Kingdom properties in the United States have been sold or put up for sale in the past 30 months. I was also told that the ultimate objective is to sell off everything with the possible exceptions of some regional meeting halls that can be rented out to non-witness organizations during weekdays and not JW active weekends – thereby making them profitable and a source of additional cash flow. We must wait and see, but it does seem that is the way they appear to be going at the moment.

DK Fennell

DK Fennell

What is surprising to me is not that the cult survived by that Rutherford retained his iron grip on the organization. But I guess if you follow authoritarians you get habituated to following no matter what. Stalin refused to believe that the Germans were about to attack although his army gave him ample proof. When they did attack, destroying a large number of troops and Soviet forward positions, Stalin refused to leave his dacha. When party representatives came to see him, he thought they were coming to arrest and execute him. Instead, they were there to politely ask him to return to lead them.