Adding Luster to the Truth
Having just read the history of Jehovah’s witnesses in a few countries, we can see that the big thing is the presenting of the truth to all kinds of people. They know that a person’s prospects for eternal life depend on his having a knowledge of Jehovah and his Son. Jesus Christ stated this very clearly: “This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.” (John 17:3) Fully appreciating this, Jehovah’s witnesses have stressed the study of the Bible, and Jehovah has blessed them.
Rightly so, those coming to a knowledge of the truth and associating with Jehovah’s witnesses ask, ‘What does God require of us?’ Jesus said: “The good news has to be preached first.” (Mark 13:10) And while individuals preach the good news they can adorn it or enhance its appeal by the way they live. As the prophet Micah says: “What is Jehovah asking back from you but to exercise justice and to love kindness and to be modest in walking with your God?” (Mic. 6:8) This way of life is really observed by the peoples of the nations, and this attracts some persons to the truth. As a result, there has been good growth among Jehovah’s witnesses over the years.
The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania was incorporated back in 1884, ninety-one years ago. It had a small beginning, but soon thousands of people were attending their meetings. When world war broke out in 1914, great persecution fell upon Jehovah’s people all over the earth. From 1914 to 1918 the records show that the number of publishers of the Kingdom dropped from 5,140 to 4,136. However, in 1919 there was a great reawakening. Jehovah’s witnesses saw the importance of preaching the good news as never before. In 1922 a great call went out to ‘Advertise, advertise, advertise the King and Kingdom.’ By 1928 the annual report of the Watch Tower Society showed 44,080 persons preaching the good news. This was a surprise to many, because Christendom thought they had just about killed off Jehovah’s witnesses. But the Christian witnesses of Jehovah loved Jehovah and his kingdom and made this the paramount thing in their lives. In the next 20 years, by 1948, the number preaching the good news rose to 260,756, and by 1968, another 20 years elapsing, there were 1,221,504. Then what happened in the next seven years? That number nearly doubled, and the year’s report for 1975 shows there were 2,179,256 persons declaring the good news of the Kingdom the world over. Their fine conduct, their peacefulness, their honesty and trustworthiness, their good example have added luster to the truth of God’s Word.—Titus 2:10, NE.
People in 210 lands are listening and Jehovah’s witnesses are taking pleasure in making disciples of peoples of all nations. From 1970 to 1975, there were 1,264,059 persons who dedicated their lives to God’s service and were baptized. That means that more than one half of all those preaching the good news today were baptized in the last six years. Why? Because this is Jehovah’s time for it. A “great crowd” is being gathered for survival through the “great tribulation.”—Rev. 7:9, 10, 14.
Jehovah’s witnesses feel the urgency of the times. They are well aware that “in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here.” (2 Tim. 3:1-5) Millions of people throughout the world are thoroughly disgusted with conditions. So are Jehovah’s witnesses, but they have faith. Bible prophecy shows them that these are the last days of this system of things. This past year Jehovah’s witnesses spent 382,296,208 hours preaching the good news and distributing millions of copies of Bibles, books, pamphlets and magazines so that peoples of all nations may know the only true God. The Watch Tower Society sent out missionaries, special pioneers and circuit and district overseers at a cost of $10,248,848.91 into all parts of the world to work along with the millions of congregation publishers to get this work done before the end comes. In addition, the Society has operated 96 branch offices, where 3,734 members serve. They produce literature, ship it, handle correspondence, care for Bethel homes and, in addition, share in the preaching of the good news on weekends. Their willingly and joyfully working together in love certainly has added luster to the truth.
The branch offices, in sending in their reports to the Society, have asked that the warm love of their Bethel families and of all the congregations in their territories be sent to their brothers everywhere around the world. So, just as Paul wrote to Titus we say to you: ‘All those with us send their greetings. Give our greetings to those who have affection for us in the faith. May the undeserved kindness be with all of you people.’—Titus 3:15.
Your brothers and fellow servants,
WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA