Jehovah’s Witnesses Push On
After reading the acts of Jehovah’s witnesses in modern times, we cannot help but recall Paul’s words 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) Those words also fit our circumstances today. Jehovah’s witnesses have certainly not shown cowardice but, rather, power and love and soundness of mind. They have worked hard and suffered evil for the “good news”! Jehovah’s witnesses will not shrink back, but, filled with zeal, will press on in this unprecedented expansion work.
There are millions of people of all nations who are observing the zeal of Jehovah’s witnesses, and on Friday night, April 9, 1971, 3,453,542 persons came to the Kingdom Halls of Jehovah’s witnesses to observe the Memorial of the death of Christ Jesus. They have an appreciation of what he did for mankind. Of this number, there were 1,590,793 of Jehovah’s witnesses, all of whom shared in declaring the good news during the past year, and a like number were having private home Bible studies to prepare themselves to accept the undeserved kindness of God through his Son Jesus Christ. Now that they have started to make spiritual progress, will you help them to stay in the right way? During the year the 27,154 congregations of Jehovah’s witnesses arranged for 1,190,748 public meetings, Bible discourses, to aid all these nearly 31⁄2 million persons. Also, it is truly marvelous that 13,846 special pioneers and missionaries, along with 81,655 regular pioneers and the many hundreds of thousands of congregation publishers, are helping those new in the truth to learn from God’s Word and then to share in declaring the good news of God’s kingdom. At the same time, circuit and district servants have rendered excellent service to the congregations, providing spiritual things needed by all of us. In addition, the circuit assemblies and the district assemblies have proved to be a wonderful comfort to God’s people everywhere. All together, an excellent effort was made to preach “the good news according to the power of God.”
The Watch Tower Society is very grateful too that, from your heart, you have made such generous monetary contributions—$7,042,020.01—to help keep the missionaries in their foreign assignments and the special pioneers in their work as well as to pay the expenses of the circuit servants and district servants in traveling to the congregations. We appreciate very much the gifts of you brothers. By your contributions you also helped out in the great expansion work that the Watch Tower Society is doing in building new printing plants and furnishing them with equipment to print the good news of God’s kingdom.
The Bethel family members enjoy to the full their privileges in the branches and offer themselves willingly to learn how to do housework, office work and cooking, to operate laundries, run linotype machines, plate-making machines and printing presses, binding books and shipping them to all parts of the earth. Together, in 93 branches, they are accomplishing a tremendous task. Together Jehovah’s witnesses everywhere want to fulfill their dedication to do the will of God in whatever capacity they are called on to do it.
Thirty years ago, in January of 1942, Brother Rutherford finished his earthly service, and changes had to be made in the officers of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania and other corporations that Jehovah’s witnesses were using. Those remaining of the governing body of Jehovah’s Witnesses were not dismayed, but continued on faithfully, seeking Jehovah’s will, and it is very evident that Jehovah by his holy spirit has guided and directed the “faithful and discreet slave” class and has blessed its visible governing body right up to this day.
In 1942 one of the first things that the governing body decided upon was the inauguration of the Theocratic Ministry School in the Bethel home, which led up to starting the Theocratic Ministry School the following year in all of the congregations of Jehovah’s witnesses. Then in 1943 the Society started the Watchtower Bible School of Gilead for the training and sending out of missionaries to the ends of the earth. In 1942 there were twenty-five branches of the Society operating in the earth and the good news of the Kingdom was being preached in fifty-four countries. Now, after thirty years under the direction of Christ Jesus, the Society has established ninety-three branch offices and pushed the work of declaring the Kingdom good news out into 207 different lands and islands of the sea.
In the past thirty years it has been the pleasure of the governing body of Jehovah’s witnesses to compile over sixty bound volumes, including thirty yearbooks, and to arrange for the manufacture of 230,530,314 copies of the Bible and Bible study aids. During the same period they also arranged to produce 532,179,367 copies of the 32-page and 64-page booklets. These have been used extensively in home Bible studies throughout the entire earth in more than 160 languages. During the past three decades 2,206,704,870 Watchtower magazines have been printed and distributed in addition to 1,973,204,860 copies of Awake! magazine. In other words, the organization of Jehovah’s witnesses world wide in but thirty years has seen to it that 4,942,619,411 publications were printed that could be used in the evangelistic work of Jehovah’s witnesses.
The governing body of Jehovah’s witnesses continues to provide spiritual food not only for the remnant of the “faithful and discreet slave” class, but also for a great crowd of people standing before Jehovah’s throne.
Now we look forward with keen anticipation to a new year, grateful to Jehovah God for the strength we have and joyful that we have some more time in which to declare this good news before the end comes. As Jehovah’s Christian witnesses, how wonderful it is to contemplate this assignment in connection with Peter’s words: “Though you never saw him, you love him. Though you are not looking upon him at present, yet you exercise faith in him and are greatly rejoicing with an unspeakable and glorified joy, as you receive the end of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Pet. 1:8, 9) True, Peter was talking to the anointed ones, but certainly the great crowd of dedicated Christian witnesses of Jehovah before His throne feel the same way as the anointed ones do. They, too, truly love the Son of God, Jesus Christ, and in showing love for him they show intense love for the Father, Jehovah. So, together, all of them are determined to be Jehovah’s Christian witnesses throughout the days ahead, to accomplish whatever there is to be done in the way of giving a greater witness, to the honor and glory of Jehovah’s name.
When submitting their yearly reports the branch servants throughout the world requested that the love of the brothers in their territory be conveyed to all of their fellow workers world wide, and this can best be done through this message of greeting to all of Jehovah’s faithful servants. This warmth of Christian love is found in all Christian congregations. Having read this Yearbook, all of us can feel the oneness of Jehovah’s Christian witnesses world wide. From them a mighty shout will continue to arise and, together, they will “Say among the nations: ‘Jehovah himself has become king.’”—Ps. 96:10.
Your fellow servant,
N. H. Knorr, President
Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania