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The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family Lecturer : Roberto di Stefano Critic and Observer of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

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Presentation on theme: "The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family Lecturer : Roberto di Stefano Critic and Observer of Jehovah’s Witnesses."— Presentation transcript:

1 The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family Lecturer : Roberto di Stefano Critic and Observer of Jehovah’s Witnesses religious movement Apocalyptic cults: failed utopias and consequences for followers FECRIS Annual Conference Saturday, October 13, 2012 Multipurpose hall, Salses-le-Château – France

2 Contents Lecturer’s profile JW beliefs: doctrinal and eschatological JW: their message Failed expectations 1975 expectations and deceptions JW current message, prophecies and expectations The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family2

3 Lecturer’s Profile Roberto di Stefano Born in Alexandria Egypt to a catholic family Brought-up as Jehovah’s Witness at age 2 Baptized as Jehovah’s Witness at age 12 Served as “Elder” for almost 30 years Left the movement at age 59, 8 years ago The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family3

4 JW beliefs: doctrinal and eschatological More than doctrines, eschatological beliefs have the highest impact on their life and expectations You are attracted by their message You become a witness because of their message You remain a witness because of their message The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family4

5 JW beliefs: their eschatological message The Stick The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family5 The Carrot “End of the world”Paradise Earth SALVATION

6 JW beliefs: their Survival condition message The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family6 Charles Taze Russell - original belief -Armageddon period of 40 years Culminating with Rapture of the Saints in October The conversion of the Jews to Christianity -The destruction of all human institutions – Political, Commercial, Babylon the Great -The survival of most of mankind into Paradise Earth Joseph Franklyn Rutherford - current belief -Armageddon is the final judgment day for ALL mankind -Only Jehovah’s Witnesses will survive Armageddon p. 34: “He is the source of all life, and all creatures who live must serve him. All will have to take their stand on one side or the other, either for or against Jehovah, and all who take their stand on God's side must now become his witnesses.”

7 Failed expectations Dates published by JW in relation to the “end of the world” Source: 539 AD s th century (?) The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family

8 Last Failed “Prophecy” The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family8

9 1975 expectations and deceptions Start of the Millennium Chronology – End of 6000 years of existence Chronology – Length of “The Generation” Chronology – Sealing & death of Saints “Sign of the End” The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family9

10 The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family expectations and deceptions Chronology 1. End of 6000 years of existence Creation days (7000 years each) 1 st 2 nd 3 rd 4 th 5 th 6 th 7 th |_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______| 7 th day 4026 B.C. -> >1914 AD >-----> > >2975 Adam Christ’s return end 6000 years end 7 th day Armageddon -> Millennium DECEPTION: Abandoned Silently - Adam would have lived 37 years before God realized … he needed a woman … Eve!)

11 The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family expectations and deceptions Chronology 2. Within This Generation (Matthew 24:34)...Truly I say to YOU that this generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur... (Psalm 90:10)...In themselves the days of our years are seventy years; And if because of special mightiness they are eighty years... w p.4-7 “1914—The Generation That Will Not Pass Away” 1914 > >1994 ? Christ’s return Armageddon DECEPTION: Abandoned in 1995 w p A “Time to Keep Awake” - Interpretation changed 6 times - today would be over 100 years old!

12 The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family expectations and deceptions Chronology ’000 - Sealing and Death of Saints 33 A.D. -> >1935 > > > > ? Armageddon Pentecost Sealing of 144’000  Death & Rapture # ’465 10’55011’824 DECEPTION: Abandoned in 2007 w p.31 -Age of last 1935 ‘sealed’ (Anointed) Saints in 2011 over 95 years old! -Number ‘Anointed’ increase instead of decrease 1994=8’ =11’824

13 The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family expectations and deceptions 4. “Sign of the end” – war, food shortages, earthquakes, man’s behavior … (Matthew 24:7) 7 “For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be food shortages and earthquakes in one place after another. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)... in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, self-assuming, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal, 3 having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness, 4 betrayers, headstrong, puffed up [with pride], lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godly devotion but proving false to its power. DECEPTION: Only sign left !!! - Common and ordinary for human beings since the age of time

14 1975 – Impact of Failure – On the Watchtower’s Organization – On individual members The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family14

15 1975 – Impact of Failure On the Watchtower’s Organization The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family15

16 1975 – Impact On the Watchtower’s Organization Rate of increase in % in number of publishers The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family16 Annual average increase in % 1970-> %peak point % in > % low point - 1.4% in 1978

17 Rate of increase in % in number of publishers The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family17 Annual average increase in % 1940-> %peak point % in > % low point % in 1945

18 1975 – Impact of Failure On individual members The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family18

19 1975 – Impact On individual members The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family19 -Sold house & property -Left their rewarding job -Gave up education -Built-up food stock -Postponed dating / marriage -Postponed having kids -Took on debts -Gave-up medical treatments / operations 1966

20 How members are indoctrinated The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family20

21 How members are indoctrinated Mind control techniques to recruit & retain Between the many techniques: The power of an illustration, image, picture The overwhelming number of articles The weight of words Ending up in: -Absolute loyalty to the Organization -Blind belief and commitment The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family21

22 The power of an illustration The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family22 Armageddon according to Jehovah’s Witnesses

23 1975 – just an opinion? The Watchtower (16) October 15, 1966, pp ; x 10 January 1, 1967, pp ; February 1, 1967, pp ; April 15, 1967, pp ; May 1, 1967, pp ; July 15, 1967, pp ; April 15, 1968, pp ; May 1, 1968, pp ; August 15, 1968, pp ; August 15, 1968, pp ; x 10 December 15, 1968, pp ; February 1, 1969, pp ; July 15, 1969, pp ; September 1, 1969, pp ; October 1, 1969, pp ; October 15, 1969, pp ; Awake! (14) October 8, 1966, pp ; November 8, 1966, p. 26; January 22, 1967, p. 26; September 8, 1967, p. 29; January 8, 1968, p. 19; February 22, 1968, p. 31; July 22, 1968, p. 30; September 22, 1968, p. 29; October 8, 1968, pp x 10 January 22, 1969, p. 15; January 22, 1970, p. 6; December 22, 1970, p. 10; July 8, 1971, p. 7; October 8, 1971, pp. 7, ; The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family23 Books, brochures (7) - Life Everlasting - In Freedom of the Sons of God 1966, pp , 35, 357; - The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life 1968, pp. 9, 88-89; - Is the Bible Really the Word of God? 1969, p. 125; - Aid to Bible Understanding 1971, p. 1100; - Paradise Restored to Mankind - By Theocracy! 1972, p. 282; - God‘s Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached 1973, pp. 14, 44; Yearbook of Jehovah‘s Witnesses, pp. 240, 256. The Watchtower (16) February 15, 1970, pp ; May 1, 1970, pp ; May 1, 1970, pp ; September 1, 1970, p. 539; September 15, 1971 pp ; October 15, 1971, pp ; December 15, 1973, pp ; January 1, 1974, pp. 5-8; April 1, 1974, pp ; June 15, 1974, pp ; July 1, 1974, pp ; October 15, 1974, pp ; December 15, 1974, pp ; March 15, 1975, pp ; May 1, 1975, p. 285; July 15, 1975, p. 445 Awake! (13) October 8, 1971, pp. 7, 27-28; April 8, 1972, p. 16; July 22, 1972, p. 12; October 22, 1972, pp. 9-12; June 22, 1973, pp. 3-6; July 8, 1973, p. 29; September 22, 1973, p. 29; October 8, 1973, p. 5; October 8, 1974, pp ; November 8, 1974, p. 10; December 22, 1974, p. 29; February 22, 1975, p. 29; April 22, 1975, p. 29. The overwhelming number of articles -> 66 !

24 1975 – The weight of words The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family24 *** km 5/74 pp. 3-6 How Are You Using Your Life? *** - excerpts This is something for all of us to give serious thought to: It would be entirely inappropriate for us, while professing to be Jehovah’s people, to try to live our lives with regard to ourselves only. As the apostle Paul wrote: “You do not belong to yourselves, … Are we not thankful that Jehovah God has purchased us … with the life of his own dear Son … Does it not cause you to want to show Jehovah your deep appreciation? … Are there ways in which you could share more fully in doing the will of God? Jehovah makes clear … that his will for us [is to] accomplish … a great work … we have such a short time left now in which to complete the Kingdom-preaching … Yes, the end of this system is so very near! Is that not reason to increase our activity? By carefully and prayerfully examining our own circumstances, we also may find that we can spend more time and energy in preaching during this final period before the present system ends. Many of our brothers and sisters are doing just that.

25 1975 – The weight of words The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family25 Reports are heard of brothers selling their homes and property and planning to finish out the rest of their days in this old system in the pioneer service. Certainly this is a fine way to spend the short time remaining before the wicked world’s end. … pioneer ranks include many who have health limitations, as well as some persons with families … do not be too quick to dismiss the possibility that you, too, may be able to pioneer. Give it careful and prayerful consideration. …an analysis will reveal that your life is encumbered with needless weights ask yourself: How am I using my life? Can I make adjustments that will enable me to pioneer? If I can, will failure to do so indicate to Jehovah that I am living to satisfy personal desires, rather than to do His will? So do not delay in giving serious consideration to this matter of how you are using your life. *** km 5/74 pp. 3-6 How Are You Using Your Life? *** - excerpts

26 The weight of words Km “How Are You Using Your Life?” Personal experiences: – Mimma: 35 years after – Silvano: how he ruined his life The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family26

27 How about today? The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family27

28 What about today? Have they changed their message or their mind control techniques? What are their last prophecies and current expectations? The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family28

29 What about today? Their today’s message The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family29

30 JW – Has their message changed? The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family30 - w1989 9/1 p. 19 §7 “Remaining Organized for Survival Into the Millennium” “Only Jehovah’s Witnesses, those of the anointed remnant and the ‘great crowd’, as a united organization under the protection of the Supreme Organizer, have any Scriptural hope of surviving the impending end of this doomed system dominated by Satan the Devil”. - w2006 5/15 p. 22 §8 “Are You Prepared for Survival?” “During … Flood, Noah was a faithful ‘preacher of righteousness.’ (2 Peter 2:5) In these last days … Jehovah’s people are making known … good news about the possibility of surviving into the new world. (2 Peter 3:9-13) Just as Noah … preserved in the ark, survival of individuals today depends on their faith and their loyal association with the earthly part of Jehovah’s universal organization.” Read: “baptized and active (preacher) Jehovah’s Witness”

31 What about today? Their today’s mind control techniques The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family31

32 Continued Indoctrination “The truth about Armageddon” “When will the war of Armageddon come” Weekly WT congregation study “Learn Watchfulness from Jesus’ apostles” “Imitate Jesus’s example of Watchfulness” “Maintain your sense of urgency” “Do not look at ‘the things behind’” “Jehovah safeguards us for salvation” “Trust in Jehovah; the God of ‘Times & Seasons’” “Jehovah reveals what ‘must shortly take place’” “Let Jehovah lead you to True Freedom” “How this World will come to an End” “Peace for a thousand years – and beyond” “Obey God and benefit from his Sworn Promises” The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family32 The overwhelming number of articles

33 Youngster’s indoctrination The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family33 Rejoicing in our hope “The Watchtower” March 15 – page 24 Note: Family head studying with children the Noetic illustration of the End of one World and its application to the current days, as taught by Jesus. Drawing Parallels! Rejoicing in our hope “The Watchtower” March 15 – page 24 Note: Family head studying with children the Noetic illustration of the End of one World and its application to the current days, as taught by Jesus. Drawing Parallels! Keep the hope alive in your family

34 What about today? Their last prophecies and current expectations The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family34

35 Today’s expectations Start of the Millennium Chronology – End of 6000 years of existence Chronology – Length of “The Generation” Chronology – Sealing & death of Saints “Sign of the End” The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family35

36 What do JW expect to happen today? The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family36 Satan will maneuver both governmental and military agencies into an all-out assault on those who worship Jehovah God. The scale of the attack will be global. The response from Jehovah God will be of a magnitude greater than any action that he has taken in the past. - w p.7 “The truth about Armageddon” “How this world will come to an End” - w p.4

37 JW and the end of the world – 2034? *** w03 12/15 p. 15 Our Watchfulness Takes On Greater Urgency *** “Warned of ‘Things Not Yet Beheld’” 6 In Noah’s day, Jehovah declared: “My spirit shall not act toward man indefinitely in that he is also flesh. Accordingly his days shall amount to a hundred and twenty years.” (Genesis 6:3) The issuance of this divine decree in 2490 B.C.E. marked the beginning of the end for that ungodly world. Just think what that meant for those then living! Only 120 years more and Jehovah would bring “the deluge of waters upon the earth to bring to ruin all flesh in which the force of life is active from under the heavens.”—Genesis 6:17. 7 Noah received the warning of the upcoming catastrophe decades in advance, and he wisely used the time to prepare for survival. “After being given divine warning of things not yet beheld,” says the apostle Paul, “[Noah] showed godly fear and constructed an ark for the saving of his household.” (Hebrews 11:7) What about us? Some 90 years have passed since the last days of this system of things began in We are certainly in “the time of the end.” (Daniel 12:4) How should we respond to warnings we have been given? “He that does the will of God remains forever,” states the Bible. (1 John 2:17) Now is therefore the time to do Jehovah’s will with a keen sense of urgency.”” The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family > 120 years >

38 JW and the end of the world – 2034? 120 Years B.C > >2610 Noetic decree Flood A.D > > 2034 Christ’s parousia Armageddon(?) The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family38

39 The end is yet to come Don’t worry ! The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family39

40 Jehovah’s Witnesses & the end of the world The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family40 Armageddon is still around the corner

41 Thank you! THE END Of the speech … not the world! The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family41

42 The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family42

43 1975 – Impact On the Watchtower’s Organization The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family43 Publishers Yearpubl.% increase p.a.5 years36 years % % % % % %9.8% % % % % %1.1% > % 1975-> %

44 1975 – Impact On the Watchtower’s Organization The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family44 Newly Baptized ratio to Publishers & hours Yearpubl.BaptizedratioHoursratio

45 The prophecies about the end of the world as experienced by a Jehovah’s Witness family expectations and deceptions 1. Chronology Creation days (7000 years each) 1 st 2 nd 3 rd 4 th 5 th 6 th 7 th |_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______| 7 th day – Millennium 4026 B.C  1914 AD  1975 AD  2975 AD Adam Christ’s returnend 6th millennium end 7 th day (Adam would have lived 37 years before God realized … he needed a woman … Eve!) silently abandoned since 2. Within a Generation The 1914 would have seen the end >1994. Interpretation changed 6 times – abandoned in 1995 (today they would have been years old) 3. Rapture of the Holly ones Sealing of 144’000 ->1935: 1975 ~60 - abandoned in Watchtower May p.31 (today they would have been 110 years old) 4. “Sign of the end” Mt.24; Luc 21; Marc 13 – war, food shortages, earthquakes … Only one left


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