Measuring the Visible Part of the Restored City
1. What questions come to mind, especially in view of the many not yet given the opportunity to take a stand?
THE big question that comes up in the mind of many people is, Just how long will it be until the battle of Armageddon? and when will the accomplished end come? How long must I keep on working? The Lord Jesus answers the question in the 24th chapter of Matthew, wherein he says, “And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for the purpose of a witness to all the nations, and then the accomplished end will come.” (Matt. 24:14, NW) Then, as long as this witness must be preached to the nations, the end will not come. It is quite evident that there are thousands upon thousands of persons who have not yet been given ample opportunity to take their stand on the side of the Kingdom. What shall be done? With thousands of persons of good will coming to the Lord’s organization and becoming ministers of the gospel after a period of study, and this at the rate of 49,000 a year, one would think that the Theocracy’s increase would be even greater. Could it be greater each year? Is each one consecrated to God getting a firm hold on everlasting life by declaring the right confession publicly? It is good for every one of Jehovah’s witnesses to carefully analyze his work in line with these questions. What would your answer be in view of what follows?
2. During 1950 how many reported publishing, in how many lands, and for how many hours?
2 Reports have come in from 115 countries, islands, provinces and different territorial divisions of the nations, and we find that there are 328,572 of Jehovah’s witnesses scattered even to the ends of the earth who have been proclaiming the good news of God’s kingdom every month throughout the year. That is splendid. They devoted a lot of time to seeing to it that this message was preached. The Society keeps a record of the hours that are spent in preaching the message, and we find that 54,707,445 hours were used during the 1950 service year to preach the Word. This good work of preaching the Word of God has ascended to heaven as a sweet savor in the nostrils of the Lord, and to his servants, on the earth it brings satisfaction because we know we have been able for another year to preach that Jehovah is King.
3. To what persons are we especially interested in talking? With what result in back-calls and book studies during 1950?
3 The Lord’s people are not interested in just talking to everyone and everybody, although they will; but they are primarily interested in talking to those who have an ear to hear. They go from door to door to find such and then they arrange to call back on those persons who have shown interest. Perhaps someone of the many persons spoken to has obtained a book or a magazine or a booklet, so this interest is followed up. During the year the many thousands of Jehovah’s witnesses made 18,782,972 back-calls on persons interested in God’s Word. As you read the report in the Yearbook you will note that many miles were traveled in order to reach these eighteen million people and then these ministers would spend perhaps an hour or more with them, answering their questions on the Bible and bringing the good news from God’s Word to their attention. In addition to making these back-calls it has been found advisable to study regularly with people who really want to learn. So these publishers of the good news have been making 234,952 calls on persons every week, conducting Bible studies in their homes. But is this enough? No. We must help them to get a firm hold on everlasting life and help them to declare the right kind of confession publicly. We want them to know God so well that they will be able to preach to others also, doing so because they want to, not from coercion, but rather because of love for the truth and a desire to see Theocracy’s increase.
4. What was the 1950 peak of publishers? So what can be done to improve the activity generally?
4 It is observed that in the over-all picture among these 115 nations there has been an 18 per cent increase; or, there were 49,151 more persons proclaiming the message of the Kingdom this past year, 1950, than during the year of 1949. That is excellent progress and it shows that many more people have come to renounce unrighteousness, having taken to themselves the name of Jehovah, and being blessed by him in their service toward him. But what can we do in 1951 to improve that activity? If the general trend is to increase, then our individual results must also take an upswing. As we go over the report for last year, we find that sometime during the year each country had a peak in publishers. In other words, a greater number of all those associated with the organization of Jehovah’s witnesses world-wide were out in the work in one particular month than in any other month. Adding all these peaks of publishers who were witnesses for the Kingdom, we note that there was a total of 373,430 persons doing ministerial work. If these 373,430 persons engaged in the field service every month, the witness would be tremendous, and the shout that would go forth to the Lord’s praise would be as the voice of a great crowd and the sound of many waters. So it should be.
5. How mighty was the voice of the great crowd John heard? So what questions may we properly ask?
5 In Revelation 19:6-8 (NW) it is stated, “And I heard what was as a voice of a great crowd and as a sound of many waters and as a sound of heavy thunders. They said: ‘Praise Jah, you people, because Jehovah our God, the Almighty, has begun to rule as king. Let us rejoice and be overjoyed, and let us give him the glory, because the marriage of the Lamb has arrived and his wife has prepared herself. Yes, it has been granted to her to be arrayed in bright, clean, fine linen, for the fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the holy ones.’” It is time now for this great crowd to shout forth the praises of the Most High and declare Jehovah as King, and this sound must be so great that it will appear to be the sound of many waters and as heavy thunder. The questions might be asked by all of Jehovah’s witnesses, Is the sound that is going forth that strong? and, Shall we, by the Lord’s grace, make it that strong?
6. How many lands had a 50 per cent or more increase? How many 34 per cent or more? What questions may therefore be asked?
6 It cannot be denied that the great multitude of men and cattle are being gathered to this unwalled city. It cannot be denied that we see Theocracy’s increase. It cannot be denied that Jehovah God is protecting his people as though we were under the shadow of his hand. It cannot be denied that this gospel of the Kingdom is being preached world-wide. But, being servants of the Lord, we ask ourselves the questions, Can we do better? Can we do more? Are we finding all of the “other sheep” and aiding them properly? Look over the chart as it is published and observe that 28 countries had a 50 per cent or more increase in publishers. Are we to say that these countries have more “sheep” in them than can be found now in other countries? Or are we to assume that those working in these countries are working more diligently as far as back-calls, Bible studies and house-to-house work are concerned? Are the efforts that they are putting forth in their homelands reaping greater results because of better efficiency, using the time to greater value? Are they right in the homes with the people, talking to them and studying with them? or are they just standing on the street corner holding the magazines and saying nothing? Are they going from door to door enthusiastically and continually talking to those who have an ear to hear? Is our work efficient? These are questions that we can all propound to ourselves. Then again as we look over all of these countries, we find that 45 countries out of the 115 report at least a 34 per cent or more increase in their publishers in the field on the average every month as compared with last year. We wonder, How can they have such a marvelous increase” Again the same questions might be asked.
INDIVIDUAL ACTION TOWARD INCREASE
7. To see Theocracy’s increase during 1951 as never before, what task may we set ourselves individually?
7 When we look at our task and the results thus far, the 18 per cent increase for all nations on the average is splendid; but if we are going to see Theocracy’s increase as we have never seen it before, what must we do during the year 1951? Individually, we cannot bring in a half a publisher or a third of a publisher, but we can, as publishers of the new world, aid another creature to understand God’s purposes, help him in going out in the work, grounding him well in the truth, and letting him see his privilege of being a minister of the Most High to join in this great shout like that of thunder and sing praises that Jehovah is King. By Jehovah’s undeserved kindness a far greater crowd will sing these praises before Armageddon, and Jehovah’s witnesses will share in gathering them. Would it not be well, then, for every one of Jehovah’s witnesses today to try to help at least one person to gain sufficient knowledge of the truth during the coming year so as to aid him to become a regular publisher? We may have to conduct many studies to gain one for the Lord; but if we are able to do this and everyone made it his goal, regardless of in what land, territory, city, village or countryside he lives, the number of publishers would be doubled by the end of the service year.
8. Besides our regular quota, what goal of increase may we strive for and with what total of publishers by the end of 1951?
8 Every company will continue to strive for the quota of a 10 per cent increase as it has in previous years, but it should not stop at that. Why not, in addition, have every company, by the Lord’s grace, strive for at least a 34 per cent increase on its peak number of publishers? In other words, let every company take the peak of publishers that it had during last year and add 34 per cent to that and make that your quota for your peak to be reached during your 1951 service year. If every organization, company, country or branch, can accomplish this, it will mean that by the end of 1951 we will have over a half million ministers interested in preaching this good news of the Kingdom. That will mean 500,396 persons, to be exact; surely a great crowd whose voice will sound like many waters and like heavy thunder, proclaiming that “Jehovah our God, the Almighty, has begun to rule as king”.
9. What attendance last year shows this is possible? And what does Zechariah 8:23 indicate we must do?
9 Can we expect such things to happen as we draw nearer to the battle of Armageddon? There is no reason why we should not, if all the good-will people are to be gathered into God’s organization. Take last year’s Memorial figures for example. There were 511,203 persons who assembled to celebrate the Lord’s death. Why not aid one and all to proclaim him as King? When the prophet Zechariah said, “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘In those days, ten men, from nations of every language, shall lay hold of him who is a Jew, saying, “Let us go with you; for we have heard that God is with you!”’” what did he mean? (Zech. 8:23, AT) He meant a greater crowd would manifest themselves. Ten men would take hold of the skirt of a spiritual Israelite or Jew, a witness for Jehovah, one who is diligent in service and wholly devoted to the Lord, because they will hear “that God is with you”. Will we not then let them hear that God is with us and show them the evidence of it? It is very essential for us to make proclamation of the Kingdom so that all who will may share in our blessing and rejoice in Theocracy’s increase.
10. What special workers will support the companies toward this goal, and in what numbers?
10 The company organizations world-wide will be supported by the 14,093 pioneers serving full time in all parts of the world. In this group are found 779 missionaries situated in 79 countries outside the United States of America. With their aid the 34 per cent increase over last year’s peak will be made easier, especially since we have 511,203 persons coming to our Memorial service. The Society is sending out more graduates from its school of Gilead and will continue to do so as long as the Lord provides the funds to support them in their mission fields. They have been trained as are all of God’s servants to help in this great gathering work now going on.
11. What quantities of literature have been made available for the people? So what responsibility rests with us?
11 To accomplish the increase the message of the Kingdom must be taken directly to the people, in the form either of the Bible or of the other publications as we print them. Good work has been done along these lines, for in the year 1950 there were 15,954,418 bound books and booklets distributed along with 17,376,611 magazines (Watchtower and Awake!), in addition to the 622,094 year’s subscriptions that were taken. This is feeding the people well with literature, but the question is, Has the proper follow-through been made to bring about Theocracy’s increase? We cannot stop with placing literature, but we must continually and regularly call on the people and study with them. Millions of tracts and handbills were distributed throughout the world. In fact, the Society in all of its printing plants shows a combined total of Bibles, books and booklets printed in the number of 12,650,267. As to the Watchtower and Awake! magazines, this total for the year reached to 46,084,937. The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society is in position to print more if the demand comes from the field, and nothing would make the members of the branch offices happier than for that to happen. In addition to all this printing there were 242,215,027 other pieces of literature run off the presses, such as handbills, placards used for advertising public meetings, as well as the Informant, letters, letterheads, etc. The literature is available, and as far as the people of the world are concerned the majority of them can be reached with the good news. The responsibility to bring it to them rests with the Lord’s people as they preach the Word, and, by Jehovah’s grace, that they will do.
HOLDING ON FAITHFULLY
12. By whom has God spoken in these last days, and why does it behoove us to heed the commands of that one?
12 Jehovah’s witnesses know that long ago the Supreme One of the universe spoke to the faithful men of old, and that he spoke to them by means of the prophets. But now, at the end of this old system of things, he speaks to us by means of his Son, who is his appointed heir of all things. (Heb. 1:1, 2) We have a record of what he said and we can study it. Not only that, the greatest event in history has occurred, namely, Christ Jesus has been placed upon his throne and is ruling as Jehovah’s king! He is God’s reflected glory and the exact representation of his being. He is much better than the angels because he has inherited a name more excellent than any of these. If what the angels said happened, more surely will the sayings of the Son of God take place. Certainly we must listen to his commands and do them.
13. Why should we be more diligent than ever for Theocracy’s increase?
13 It is because of the instruction of the Son of God that Jehovah’s witnesses go out and proclaim the message of the Kingdom. Paul said to us, as God’s spokesman, at Hebrews 2:1 (NW): “That is why it is necessary for us to pay more than the usual attention to the things heard by us, that we may never drift away.” We must keep in mind that the one speaking and giving directions is the only-begotten Son of God. We are to walk in his steps and follow his example, preaching the Word. This is not the time to become lax and indifferent and to think that the battle of Armageddon is far away. “The time left is reduced.” (1 Cor. 7:29, NW) He revealed to the apostles the sign of the end of this world and of his second presence, and we have proof that he is invisibly here. One of the marks of his presence is the great preaching work. Therefore, it is necessary for Jehovah’s servants on the earth to be more diligent than ever concerning Theocracy’s increase. “Do your utmost to present yourself approved to God, a workman with nothing to be ashamed of, handling the word of the truth aright.”—2 Tim. 2:15, NW.
14. What do we seek first, and so we interest ourselves mainly in what assembling, and where?
14 Jesus said, ‘Seek you first the kingdom of heaven, and all these things will be added unto you’; so then, we must have this one principal idea of seeking first the Kingdom, and then follow it through to the finish. That is why Paul said to Timothy, “For this very cause I remind you to stir up like a fire the gift of God which is in you through the laying of my hands upon you. For God gave us not a spirit of cowardice, but that of power and of love and of soundness of mind. Therefore do not become ashamed of the witness about our Lord, neither of me a prisoner for his sake, but take your part in suffering evil for the good news according to the power of God.” (2 Tim. 1:6-8, NW) We must expect persecution; we may expect imprisonment, even as Paul, who spent time in prison. We may expect to find many faithful even though behind totalitarian iron curtains, forced out of communication with the rest of God’s people. We may expect to find some when we are in concentration camps or scourged by mob violence. This one thing we know for sure: we cannot expect favor from this wicked world, for this old world is not for God’s kingdom. Jesus said, “My kingdom is no part of this world.” (John 18:36, NW) And we know this, too. We have been warned concerning these conditions, and despite them all we will interest ourselves only in the assembly of the “other sheep”, for this is in vindication of Jehovah’s name.
15. What rule of faithfulness should we apply now, and in view of what future demands of service upon us?
15 If we are to gather persons of good will into the unwalled city now because it is Jehovah’s time, and that at a rate of 34 per cent increase over the previous year’s peak, Jehovah’s witnesses want to be prepared to take care of them. By the kindness of God his servants have been faithful in the work entrusted to them, and we remember Jesus’ words at Luke 16:10 (NW): “The person faithful in what is least is faithful also in much, and the person unrighteous in what is least is unrighteous also in much.” Those who have taken up the faithful service of the Most High must be faithful in all their work, large or small. The little details relative to house-to-house witnessing are just as essential to faithfulness as the looking after a large company. We have greater work ahead of us, the gathering of a big crowd of the “other sheep”; for they are coming in now in greater numbers than ever before and we must be in position to receive them. Should we cringe back and say it is too much for us when ten persons take hold of our garments and demand our time to tell them the truth because they have heard about our God and that he is with us? No! We will be glad they have joined in the song, “Praise Jah, you people, because Jehovah our God, the Almighty, has begun to rule as king.”—Rev. 19:6, NW.
16. With what assurance of protection do we press on?
16 When these thousands, yes, maybe millions, someday come into Jehovah’s unwalled city before Armageddon, he will protect them no matter where they may be on the face of the earth. When the opposers of Jehovah’s kingdom harm one of these his little ones it is like touching the pupil of his eye, for “Jehovah knows those who belong to him”. With this assurance Jehovah’s witnesses press on in the grand work of preaching the good news of Jehovah’s kingdom, all to his honor and in true worship of our Sovereign Lord.
[Chart on page 16, 17]
1950 SERVICE YEAR REPORT OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES WORLD-WIDE
(See bound volume)