“Become Doers of the Word, and Not Hearers Only”
1. What is the “word” that must be preached now, and how only can it save the lives of those who hear it?
JEHOVAH’S command to those in the New World society is to “preach the word.” That word is the truth about Jehovah God and his Son, Christ Jesus, the new world of righteousness and all the things the Creator of the universe has revealed to us through his written Word from Genesis to Revelation. That message must be preached! There are many individuals who have heard part of the Word, but even that part has never been implanted in them. It is “the implanting of the word” that will save lives. However, “the implanting of the word which is able to save your souls” must not just stop there. (Jas. 1:21, NW) That Word is able to save your souls if you do what that Word says. It is not only hearing, it is preaching to others the things you have heard. Each individual must choose whether he will serve Jehovah God or stay with the Devil’s wicked organization. So do not become hearers only, as millions of religionists are, but be doers of the Word. Follow the command of the Sovereign Ruler to preach, which shows you want to worship Jehovah.
2. How many persons symbolized their dedication by water immersion during 1953, and what can be said concerning these?
2 During the service year of 1953 there were 50,665 individuals that symbolized by water immersion their dedication to Jehovah God’s service. It can be said of these that they individually were choosing the destiny of eternal life. (Deut. 30:19, NW) They forsook the old world and its offer of death, for “the way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.” (Prov. 4:19, AS) Those dedicated to Jehovah learned that “every good gift and every perfect present is from above.”—Jas. 1:17, NW.
3. (a) How many times did Jehovah’s witnesses call back on persons of good will during 1953, and for what purpose? (b) How many studies were held regularly, and why were the other sheep willing to have such studies conducted with them?
3 The time has come to gather together the other sheep; and when they hear their Master’s voice they will follow. Jesus Christ, the Shepherd-Prince, is seeing to it that those seeking truth and righteousness will have the opportunity of hearing and learning the truth. Jehovah’s witnesses, being doers of the Word, have gone from house to house and then called back on the interested people 22,990,305 times during the year, so that they could hear more. Out of all these millions of revisits 50,665 persons decided that this is the truth and that they too would become doers of the Word. It was not just going back to visit the interested people and making a social call. Jehovah’s witnesses had to show Jehovah their God that they were skilled in their work of being teachers of the Word. They must be able to wield “the sword of the spirit, that is, God’s word.” (Eph. 6:17, NW) So every month throughout the year there was an average of 281,219 Bible studies conducted in the homes of the other sheep. These were willing to be taught by Jehovah through his Word, for Jehovah is the great Teacher and he has expressed his principles, his purpose and his mind in his written Word for the benefit of the human family. It is essential, therefore, for all of us to take instruction from Jehovah. “It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by Jehovah. Everyone that has heard the Father’s teaching and has learned comes to me.’” (John 6:45, NW) So the other sheep are delighted to learn and come into Jehovah’s New World society and be his witnesses, always learning, always teaching.
4. (a) What does the 1953 report show as to the number of different persons taking part in praising Jehovah’s name, and in how many different lands? (b) How many new congregations were established during the year for a total of how many throughout the world? (c) Each day during 1953 how many persons on an average dedicated themselves to do Jehovah’s will?
4 It is because, year by year, 50,000 or more persons dedicate their lives to Jehovah God that the organization of Jehovah’s witnesses grows so rapidly. Now we find by the close of the 1953 service year 519,982 different individuals, scattered throughout 143 countries, colonies and islands of the sea, are ‘daily praising Jehovah’s name.’ The majority of these are associated in congregations, of which there are now 14,163 throughout the world. During the service year 221 new congregations were established. It certainly is wonderful to see these newly interested ones want to become part of the New World society and preach the Word. Just imagine, each day of the 365 days in the year 139 individuals, on the average, have dedicated their lives to serve Jehovah. That daily number is a fine congregation in itself. All of these new ones who are coming out of the Devil’s organization want to enjoy the field service regularly and carry on the pastoral work with the Shepherd-Prince. For the details of what has been done in the world by these witnesses of Jehovah, study the chart of countries reproduced herewith.
NEW WORLD SOCIETY GROWING STEADILY
5. In what figures as regards average number of publishers and per cent of increases for 1953 do Jehovah’s witnesses rejoice, and why?
5 It makes our hearts glad to see 468,106 different individuals in all parts of the world engaging in the field service every month without letup. That was the average number of witnesses preaching the good news each month during the year 1953. This is 10 per cent better than the average number of publishers who engaged in the work the previous year. Better still, the peak of publishers for the year, 519,982 was 21 per cent better than the average number of publishers for 1952. Taking the report for the world, Jehovah’s witnesses reached the quotas they set for themselves. In this they rejoice, because they see the harvest of their planting. Jehovah has given the increase. They have found, too, that there is greater happiness in giving than in receiving. (Acts 20:35, NW) These more than a half million publishers have given the truth to others and will keep on doing it by preaching, talking and explaining the Scriptures to the people they meet, in all languages under the sun.
6. (a) To what extent was a witness given to the honor of Jehovah’s name in 1953 by means of distribution of books and booklets, subscriptions obtained and individual copies of magazines placed? (b) What admonition of the apostle Paul regarding their business was heeded by Jehovah’s witnesses during the past year, and to what extent? (c) What lands saw an increase of 100 per cent or more during 1953? (d) How many full-time ministers, pioneers, were active throughout the world during 1953? (e) In what lands were more than 10,000 public meetings held, and what was the world-wide total? (f) In spite of certain restrictions, what progress was made in Argentina? Dominican Republic? Spain? (g) What results did underground activity bring in “4 Other Countries”? (h) What other remarkable information does the above chart contain?
6 Because Jehovah’s witnesses cannot be with all the people all the time to answer their questions they find it very wise to leave with those to whom they have talked literature explaining in detail the wonderful promises of Jehovah God. During the twelve months of the 1953 service year 22,116,916 books and booklets were left in the homes of the people, as well as 882,296 new subscriptions taken for the Watchtower and Awake! magazines in their various languages. Add to this the 25,115,729 copies of the Society’s magazines distributed by these publishers from house to house, store to store and on the street corners and you have quite a witness given in honor of Jehovah’s name. They were happy indeed to give this literature to the people of the world for a small contribution, and what little contributions they received they sent in to the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society so that more literature could be printed and distributed to the ends of the earth. They know that this good news of the Kingdom must be preached in all the world for a witness, and they are doing it. They have heeded the words of Paul, where he said, “Do not loiter at your business. Be aglow with the spirit. Be slaves to Jehovah.” (Rom. 12:11, NW) They proved they did not just sit around at home hearing the Word and reading the Word. They have been working with the Word, because they have spent 72,344,728 hours in talking to people all around the earth. What other religious organization has spent that much time preaching the good news of God’s kingdom? Where else in the world do you find an organization of ministers, every one of them having dedicated his life to give a witness concerning Jehovah’s kingdom and to speak well of his Father’s name and to bless Him every day of his life? These ministers are determined never to let up in this, but to walk in Jehovah’s name forever.—Mic. 4:5, AS.
7. Why will Jehovah’s witnesses not let up in this preaching activity during 1954, and in view of what attack by whom must they give Jesus’ prophetic warning?
7 Jehovah’s witnesses are not going to let up now with 1954 at hand, forty years after the Kingdom was born. They do not feel that the work is done, because they still see ahead horrible distress and great perplexity in the world and hundreds of thousands of people sighing and crying for the abominations that exist in this present system of things. Year by year thousands of persons will make their flight to the mountains for safety. This was Jesus’ advice to Christians as he expressed it in Luke 21:20, 21. The time is growing short for persons to leave the Devil’s organization and find refuge in the mountains of Gilead, in the New World society. Millions of people must be told where to go and how to get there. Where all these people, the other sheep, will come from we do not know, but Jehovah God has seen to it that his witnesses are scattered throughout the world now in 143 principal lands to give the warning. Gog of the land of Magog is going to assault especially those who have taken their stand for Jehovah and who are announcing his kingdom. He is going to do everything he can to direct them away from the service of the Most High, and all of those who are prisoners within Satan’s organization he is going to try to hold there and not allow them to grasp the freedom that comes through knowing Jehovah God and his Son, Christ Jesus. So the warning of the assault of Gog of Magog must be given to all the peoples of all the continents of the world and the islands of the sea. The report that follows does not show great numbers of witnesses in any one of these places, but the report does show that there are busy witnesses there, talking diligently long hours in hot and cold climates, up in the mountains, down in the valleys and on the plains. Day by day they are blessing the New World Sovereign’s name.
8. (a) The Bible School of Gilead was opened in what year, thereby providing to satisfy whose desire for what? (b) What did Jehovah’s witnesses world-wide show themselves anxious to do regarding this missionary work? (c) How does the number of publishers, missionaries and hours spent preaching in 1942 compare with the report for 1953 as regards Africa, Asia and Europe? (d) How do number of lands, publishers and missionaries in the Islands of the Atlantic, Caribbean, Mediterranean and the Pacific in 1942 compare with the report for 1953? (e) Compare the world-wide totals for 1953 with those for 1942. (f) What other noteworthy points does the above chart contain?
8 In the chart of continents given here you will see the advance of the New World society since 1942.
Place Lands Hours Gilead
Witnessed Total Spent Graduates
To Publishers Preaching Teaching
1942 ( 11 lands) 10,070 2,200,163 None
1947 ( 17 lands) 24,896 6,298,189 20
1952 ( 32 lands) 72,228 15,460,243 84
1953 ( 34 lands) 81,793 16,979,027 80
1942 ( 6 lands) 406 93,223 None
1947 ( 8 lands) 475 140,661 17
1952 ( 19 lands) 2,274 504,301 164
1953 ( 19 lands) 2,698 597,050 173
1942 ( 13 lands) 22,796 5,344,006 None
1947 ( 19 lands) 74,196 12,819,994 21
1952 ( 24 lands) 158,867 19,147,879 177
1953 ( 24 lands) 179,374 19,433,567 216
ISLANDS OF THE ATLANTIC, CARIBBEAN AND MEDITERRANEAN
1942 ( 6 lands) 1,297 237,057 None
1947 ( 12 lands) 6,429 1,448,810 135
1952 ( 15 lands) 15,659 2,200,647 149
1953 ( 29 lands) 17,421 2,248,941 133
ISLANDS OF THE PACIFIC
1942 ( 3 lands) 4,275 701,037 None
1947 ( 6 lands) 7,385 1,390,228 13
1952 ( 12 lands) 26,690 3,590,037 51
1953 ( 13 lands) 31,980 4,214,497 49
1942 ( 7 lands) 75,589 19,668,961 None
1947 ( 12 lands) 91,740 20,787,495 163
1952 ( 12 lands) 168,752 25,810,384 493
1953 ( 12 lands) 193,542 26,734,105 674
1942 ( 8 lands) 807 219,905 None
1947 ( 12 lands) 2,431 956,928 117
1952 ( 13 lands) 11,795 1,990,208 303
1953 ( 12 lands) 13,174 2,137,541 301
GRAND TOTALS FOR THE WORLD
1942 ( 54 lands) 115,240 28,464,352 None
1947 ( 86 lands) 207,552 43,842,305 486
1952 (127 lands) 456,265 68,703,699 1,421
1953 (143 lands) 519,982 72,344,728 1,626
In that year the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society was not sending out missionaries to all parts of the world. But in 1943 the Bible School of Gilead was opened by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, and from then on the Society’s world-wide missionary work began. The desire of many young, strong, healthy Christians was to go somewhere where the message of Jehovah’s kingdom had not been preached to any great extent, if at all. Jehovah’s witnesses world-wide were anxious to support this new arrangement and made sufficient contributions to the Society to increase this missionary work. To this day Jehovah’s witnesses have supported the missionary work financially, and the chart shows what was done in the different sections of the world in the year 1942, to compare with 1947, 1952 and 1953. You can see from this report alone how the expansion work reached out into new fields. Observe, too, the increase in the number of Jehovah’s witnesses and the hours they spent during these years in talking. The last column shows the number of graduates of Gilead working in the different countries in these years.
9. (a) What are the plans and determination of Jehovah’s witnesses for 1954? (b) How many persons attended the 1953 Memorial celebration? What is their desire, and how can they be helped to realize it?
9 Jehovah’s witnesses have big plans for the year 1954, plans designed to praise Jehovah’s name and make it known to even greater numbers of persons. Their determination is, to quote their principal thought for the year, “‘All day long will I bless thee, and praise thy name forever and ever.’ (Psalm 145:2, AT)” It is their hope to aid many people of good will in their quest for truth and righteousness. We now see thousands upon thousands, month by month, taking their stand for Jehovah’s kingdom, and we see a great crowd coming from all nations, kindreds and tongues to Jehovah’s witnesses to hear the truth from God’s Word. At the Memorial celebration there were 742,565 persons, all of whom showed keen interest in the message we preach. They want to live now as a New World society. They must be taught and helped in this way to eternal life. As they come into the organization they must get rid of their old habits, the filthy things of the old world, and accept the pleasant and good things Jehovah God has for them to do. They are happy to do his will and to preach the Word. They rejoice that someone came to them and their ears were open to hear. Now they want to be doers of the Word, and not hearers only. They want to live so that ‘every day they can bless Jehovah and praise his name forever and ever.’ Will you “become doers of the word, and not hearers only”?
[Chart on page 21-23]
1953 SERVICE YEAR REPORT OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES WORLD-WIDE
(See bound volume)