The Peace and Unity of Jehovah’s Witnesses
1. What is the essential for peace and unity among Jehovah’s witnesses?
TO DO the right thing always brings satisfaction and an inward peace. The doers of Jehovah’s will know that “abundant peace belongs to those loving your law, and for them there is no stumbling block.” (Ps. 119:165) This is certainly true concerning Jehovah’s witnesses, who live together in peace and unity world-wide. As ordained ministers they recognize that loving Jehovah’s law and abiding by it are essential to peace and happiness in life. Seeking peace and pursuing it is the wise course, and one can be confident that Jehovah’s eyes will be upon him.
2, 3. To insure peace and unity, what example set by the angels can humans take to heart?
2 While many men do not recognize or believe that real satisfaction in living can come from doing Jehovah’s will, yet others rejoice to learn what the will of God is and then do it. The Bible informs us that the angels listen to the voice of his word. Should not we humans? “Jehovah himself has firmly established his throne in the very heavens, and his own kingship has held domination even over everything. Bless Jehovah, O you angels of his, mighty in power, carrying out his word, by listening to the voice of his word. Bless Jehovah, all you armies of his, you ministers of his, doing his will.”—Ps. 103:19-21.
3 Surely the angels of heaven in Jehovah’s organization are not obstinate. Rather, they appreciate Jehovah’s sovereignty over everything and that his will is done. Furthermore, “you ministers of his,” Jehovah’s ordained ministers on earth, must recognize that Jehovah is the Sovereign Ruler and that you, too, must be “doing his will.” His will is for you to preach this good news of the Kingdom in all the world for the purpose of a witness.
4, 5. (a) Why cannot Jehovah’s people he isolationists and how does Paul show unity must exist? (b) Therefore, how is unity maintained?
4 Without question, Jehovah God has a visible and invisible organization. As to Jehovah’s visible organization the apostle Paul says that it will work together as one man. No one individual can claim really to be a Christian and still say that he is not needed in God’s organization and separate himself from it. Isolationism does not fit in with the doing of Jehovah’s will. Paul had this fact very clearly in mind when he wrote to the Corinthians, saying: “If the foot should say: ‘Because I am not a hand, I am no part of the body,’ it is not for this reason no part of the body. And if the ear should say: ‘Because I am not an eye, I am no part of the body,’ it is not for this reason no part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If it were all hearing, where would the smelling be? But now God has set the members in the body, each one of them, just as he pleased.” (1 Cor. 12:15-18) So all Christians must be in this body or the one organization that God is using. There is no isolationism in your own body, is there?
5 One who professes to be a Christian must always be part of Jehovah’s visible organization. He must always be a “working part” of the body, not dead tissue and waste or useless matter, which are cast off through the proper channels. To be a part of this Christian body one must always be a full-time minister, “listening to the voice of his Word” and “doing his will.” No Christian can ever say to another Christian, “I have no need of you.” Only peace and unity, oneness in organization, must exist for Christians to be really doing the will of God. Paul went on to describe this oneness of Christians: “The eye cannot say to the hand: ‘I have no need of you’; or, again, the head cannot say to the feet: ‘I have no need of you.’” (1 Cor. 12:21) Jehovah’s witnesses recognize this principle and that is why there are no divisions in the New World society of Jehovah’s witnesses. All of them together are his ordained ministers and individually they must live as Christians. All of them have an obligation to preach the good news and around the world they do just that.
THE RESULTS OF DILIGENT SERVICE
6. What growth has taken place among Jehovah’s unified servants in the past ten years?
6 In their preaching assignment Jehovah’s witnesses’ sole desire is to help others understand the Word of God. They are diligent in their teaching work and that of helping others to seek peace and pursue it. In the year 1959 there were 803,482 of Jehovah’s witnesses, on the average, who preached the good news of God’s kingdom every month. Comparing this with ten years ago, there were 279,421 preaching regularly every month throughout the year 1949. This means a growth in the organization in but ten years’ time of 524,061 of Jehovah’s witnesses. It was peace and unity in the organization that made this possible. “For Jehovah’s eyes are upon the righteous.”—1 Pet. 3:12.
7, 8. What has been the growth in just one year, and what new peak of Kingdom proclaimers was attained?
7 Let us see just how much growth took place during the year 1959. In the year 1958 there were, on an average, 717,088 of Jehovah’s witnesses preaching every month, and 803,482 in 1959. That means that during the year 86,394 persons from all nations, kindreds, tongues, tribes and languages have joined themselves with Jehovah’s witnesses so that they, too, may declare this peaceful message to the world. A 12-percent increase in the number of those who “seek peace and pursue it” was made.—1 Pet. 3:11.
8 But note this too: before the service year of Jehovah’s witnesses ended there were 871,737 persons who associated themselves with Jehovah’s witnesses and did ministerial work. That means that from the average number of ministers in 1958, which was 717,088, to the peak in 1959 there was an increase of 21.5 percent.
9. How did Jehovah’s people render sacred service day and night during the 1959 service year?
9 These are not just people who have associated themselves with Jehovah’s witnesses—that number is far greater—but these are Christian persons preaching the good news. How can it be proved that they have been doing good work? Consider their hours in field service! The 1959 service year report shows that these men and women from all walks of life have preached 126,317,124 hours. This is an increase of 15,926,180 hours more than during the previous year. You may remember how John, in the writing of the Revelation account, in the seventh chapter, said: “I saw, and look! a great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, . . . and they are rendering him sacred service day and night in his temple.” (Rev. 7:9, 15) We can say that this great crowd is literally doing this now. If you reduce this 126,317,124 hours to represent days and people, it means that there would be 14,414 individuals preaching twenty-four hours a day, day and night, for 365 days of the year. Where is there another organization today that has that many ministers preaching twenty-four hours each day from house to house, actually talking to other persons about the wonderful promises of God?
10. What accounts for the great increase in Kingdom proclaimers?
10 Many individuals ask why Jehovah’s witnesses are having such a marvelous increase in numbers. Why this fast upsurge in persons wanting to do good? It is because Jehovah’s witnesses are preaching the truth from the Bible, and the truth frees them from false religious error. It is as simple as that. God’s ordained ministers have a real faith in the Bible and they want others to have that same faith. They do not hide their faith. They let their light shine, and when other persons see the truth they let that truth in them shine too.
11. How many were in attendance at the Memorial celebration of Christ’s death, and how do Jehovah’s witnesses declare their belief in the ransom sacrifice?
11 On March 23, 1959, Jehovah’s witnesses celebrated the death of Christ Jesus, and there were 1,283,603 persons at their meetings around the world. There were only 14,511 of those in attendance who claimed to be of the body of Christ and who properly partook of the emblems, the wine and bread. The rest so declared themselves to be, or wanting to be, of this “great crowd” who are before the throne of God rendering sacred service day and night along with God’s anointed remnant. Very likely, on the tenth day of April, which falls on Sunday in 1960, there will be many more joining this great throng in the celebration of the death of Christ Jesus. This day is truly worth celebrating because “salvation we owe to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb.” (Rev. 7:10) Salvation comes no other way, and Jehovah’s witnesses are happy to declare that they believe in the ransom sacrifice of Christ Jesus, not only by going to this celebration of the Memorial just once a year, but, in addition, by working one with the other, doing the will of their God all year long.
12, 13. Before 86,345 people symbolized their dedication by water baptism, what work had Jehovah’s witnesses performed toward them?
12 In 1959 many more persons in the world wanted to show their faith in Jesus Christ and be Christians and they proved it by their works. There were 86,345 men and women who were baptized by being completely immersed under the water, indicating that they had dedicated their lives to the service of Jehovah and that henceforth they were going to live full Christian lives to Jehovah’s praise. They are now demonstrating their faith by good works.
13 These individuals who were baptized during the year were first helped to understand the Bible by having Bible studies in their own homes. Jehovah’s witnesses visit the homes of interested persons weekly and carry on a one-hour-long free Bible study in one of the publications of the Society along with the Bible itself. During the 1959 service year Jehovah’s witnesses in all the 175 lands in which they are carrying on their work conducted 606,075 Bible studies every week.
14, 15. What increase in Bible study activity took place? Why are Bible studies important?
14 What a marvelous increase in the number of Bible studies has been achieved! Comparing 1958 with 1959, we see there was an increase of 97,755 Bible studies. Ten years ago Jehovah’s witnesses were conducting 174,404 Bible studies every week. Now they are going into 606,075 homes weekly presenting God’s message for mankind. How far-reaching this good work is Jehovah knows, for his “eyes are upon the righteous.”
15 Jehovah’s witnesses appreciate that if they can sit down in peace and quiet in the homes of the people and use the Bible of the person with whom they are studying, they can show him what the true purposes of God are and what his will is. Any individual that will study the Bible one hour a week with a teacher is going to be amazed at what he will learn in that very short period of time. The more time one spends in the study of God’s Word, the more anxious he will be to see fulfilled that prayer that most persons throughout Christendom have prayed some time or other: ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is done in heaven.’ True Christians want to do that will now and forever.
16. What are the various means Jehovah’s witnesses employ to carry on preaching, and what did they do in 1959 by these various means?
16 Jehovah’s witnesses, in trying to help as many people as they possibly can, augment their preaching work by offering Bible-study helps to interested persons. They distribute Bibles, bound books, booklets, obtain subscriptions for the Watchtower and Awake! magazines and distribute individual copies of these magazines. Millions of tracts that arouse interest in Bible study are distributed yearly by them. They sponsor public talks at their Kingdom Halls, and all these different avenues of preaching the good news have a tremendous effect on those who will listen and learn. To give you an idea of what Jehovah’s witnesses do in a year, the comparison of work done in 1958 and 1959 is set out in the following table.
1959 1958 DIFFERENCE
BOOKS PLACED 3,952,160 3,394,524 557,636 MORE
BOOKLETS PLACED 11,472,134 12,643,921 1,171,787 LESS
SUBSCRIPTIONS 1,247,972 1,255,047 7,075 LESS
MAGAZINES PLACED 92,310,778 86,498,251 5,821,527 MORE
BACK-CALLS MADE 44,240,218 36,398,025 7,842,193 MORE
BIBLE STUDIES 606,075 508,320 97,755 MORE
PUBLIC MEETINGS HELD 631,906 531,653 100,253 MORE
17. How extensive, language-wise, is the work of Jehovah’s witnesses?
17 The work of Jehovah’s witnesses was not confined to just one country or one language. The literature of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society is published in 128 different tongues. Its principal journal, the Watchtower magazine, is printed in fifty-five languages semimonthly and monthly. Awake!, its companion, is printed in twenty-one different languages. The truth is available for practically everyone in the world in some form or other if he wants it.
BEARING THE LOAD
18, 19. With the help of God’s people everywhere what work did the Watch Tower Society carry on in 1959, and to what extent financially?
18 Under the supervision of the Watch Tower Society Jehovah’s witnesses try to reach into every nook and corner of the earth so as to carry on missionary work. Many individuals put in their full time preaching from house to house and conducting Bible studies. There were 28,688 individuals, called pioneers, who devoted all their time to the preaching of the good news. Out of this group there were 5,442 that the Society calls special pioneers who were sent into isolated territory to start new congregations, and these were helped financially by Jehovah’s witnesses through the Society. Many of the special pioneer groups are missionaries who were trained at Gilead School and sent into foreign service.
19 For the Society to carry on its foreign service, help to support special pioneers and serve the congregations with circuit and district servants world-wide, it cost the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society $2,282,026.14. Breaking this amount down into its component parts, the Society spent $471,267.66 to support the missionary work in foreign fields, $1,451,145.74 to aid the special pioneers in various countries under the eighty-five branch organizations, and the balance, $359,612.74, for circuit and district servants as they traveled from congregation to congregation. However, in the latter case, this is by no means all the expense, because the circuit and district servants are usually taken care of by the brothers that they visit. These are housed by congregation publishers and food is provided for them, because the brothers deeply appreciate their services rendered to the congregations.
20, 21. Outline the increases enjoyed in various fields during the 1959 service year by God’s organization.
20 At the close of the 1959 service year there were 19,982 congregations in 175 lands of the world, and these were divided up into 1,492 circuits and 180 districts. Regular circuit and district assemblies are held each year so that Jehovah’s witnesses of the various congregations can assemble together for additional spiritual help and training in their ministerial work.
21 At the eighty-five branches throughout the world there are large and small Bethel families, and in this group there are 1,236 persons. They have had the wonderful opportunity of making and distributing the literature of the Society and keeping all the ordained ministers supplied with their needs of Bibles and other printed literature, and during the past year they have produced in their printing plants 5,367,197 books, 19,443,542 booklets, 89,007,520 copies of The Watchtower, 71,392,713 copies of Awake!, as well as 477,086,675 other pieces of printed matter like tracts, handbills advertising public lectures, 72,348,403 copies of the Resolution in fifty-three languages, calendars, letterheads and other office supplies.
22. Did the work decline in the face of opposition during the past year?
22 This work and this distribution of the literature in printed form and the preaching from house to house were not all accomplished without any difficulties. As far as the organization itself is concerned, there was peace and unity among these Christians, but great opposition was brought to bear against many of God’s people, particularly behind the Iron Curtain and in communistic countries. But even there it is wonderful to see that there has been an increase in the work despite working underground, because today there are, on an average, 120,952 publishers preaching in communistic lands and they have reached a new peak of publishers, 131,996, during the 1959 service year. In fact, in the communistic countries there has been a 22-percent increase in the number of those associating themselves with God’s people, dedicating their lives to his service and going out preaching the good news of the Kingdom.
23. (a) What will be evident from a reading of the Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses? (b) What blessed condition among Jehovah’s people will continue?
23 One who reads the 1960 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses will see that being a Christian in this old world is not easy. It has its hardships and its blessings beyond measure. Paul stated it very well: “If one member suffers, all the other members suffer with it; or if a member is glorified, all the other members rejoice with it.” (1 Cor. 12:26) How true that is! Jehovah’s visible organization is bound together so closely that if anything affects one part of the organization it is felt by the other members too, because they are all one body, one in spirit, one in mind, one in faith, serving Jehovah. Within the organization of Jehovah’s witnesses itself there is peace and unity, and no matter what pressures are brought upon it from the outside they will stand these pressures and together press on, proving themselves to be God’s Christian ministers pursuing peace and praising Jehovah day and night.
[Chart on page 20-22]
1959 SERVICE YEAR REPORT OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES WORLD WIDE
(See bound volume)