UN investigating WTBS for false 1991 application

by wannahelp 17 Replies latest jw friends

  • sweetone2377

    Since coming to this site, I have decided to do some investigating of my own.....only I have no WTS publications in my home, not even a NWT Bible! Thank the lord for libraries!

    "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." ~ Matt. 5:6

  • anglise

    This is the info I am sending to the UN

    I am attaching a file with evidence taken from the literature of the WTBTS showing how they manipulate their people and that Human Rights are only considered in connection with the rights of the WTBTS to have total control over their members even so far as controlling their consciences.

    We were involved with the WTBTS for about 18 years and my husband was an elder up until 2 years ago so we are fully aware of how their system works.

    There are many other quotes and personal experiences that we could supply you with to fully demonstrate the underhand and cruel methods that this group uses to keep people in its ranks, but I am sure that many others will write and tell you the same so I will keep this brief.

    *** w87 9/1 12-15 "A Time to Speak"-When? ***
    “A Time to Speak”—When?
    MARY works as a medical assistant at a hospital. One requirement she has to abide by in her work is confidentiality. She must keep documents and information pertaining to her work from going to unauthorized persons. Law codes in her state also regulate the disclosure of confidential information on patients.
    One day Mary faced a dilemma. In processing medical records, she came upon information indicating that a patient, a fellow Christian, had submitted to an abortion. Did she have a Scriptural responsibility to expose this information to elders in the congregation, even though it might lead to her losing her job, to her being sued, or to her employer’s having legal problems? Or would Proverbs 11:13 justify keeping the matter concealed? This reads: “The one walking about as a slanderer is uncovering confidential talk, but the one faithful in spirit is covering over a matter.”—Compare Proverbs 25:9, 10.
    Situations like this are faced by Jehovah’s Witnesses from time to time. Like Mary, they become acutely aware of what King Solomon observed: “For everything there is an appointed time, even a time for every affair under the heavens: . . . a time to keep quiet and a time to speak.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7) Was this the time for Mary to keep quiet, or was it the time to speak about what she had learned?
    Circumstances can vary greatly. Hence, it would be impossible to set forth a standard procedure to be followed in every case, as if everyone should handle matters the way Mary did. Indeed, each Christian, if ever faced with a situation of this nature, must be prepared to weigh all the factors involved and reach a decision that takes into consideration Bible principles as well as any legal implications and that will leave him or her with a clear conscience before Jehovah. (1 Timothy 1:5, 19) When sins are minor and due to human imperfection, the principle applies: “Love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8) But when there seems to be serious wrongdoing, should a loyal Christian out of love of God and his fellow Christian reveal what he knows so that the apparent sinner can receive help and the congregation’s purity be preserved?
    Applying Bible Principles
    What are some basic Bible principles that apply? First, anyone committing serious wrongdoing should not try to conceal it. “He that is covering over his transgressions will not succeed, but he that is confessing and leaving them will be shown mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13) Nothing escapes the notice of Jehovah. Hidden transgressions must eventually be accounted for. (Proverbs 15:3; 1 Timothy 5:24, 25) At times Jehovah brings concealed wrongdoing to the attention of a member of the congregation that this might be given proper attention.—Joshua 7:1-26.
    Another Bible guideline appears at Leviticus 5:1: “Now in case a soul sins in that he has heard public cursing and he is a witness or he has seen it or has come to know of it, if he does not report it, then he must answer for his error.” This “public cursing” was not profanity or blasphemy. Rather, it often occurred when someone who had been wronged demanded that any potential witnesses help him to get justice, while calling down curses—likely from Jehovah—on the one, perhaps not yet identified, who had wronged him. It was a form of putting others under oath. Any witnesses of the wrong would know who had suffered an injustice and would have a responsibility to come forward to establish guilt. Otherwise, they would have to ‘answer for their error’ before Jehovah.
    This command from the Highest Level of authority in the universe put the responsibility upon each Israelite to report to the judges any serious wrongdoing that he observed so that the matter might be handled. While Christians are not strictly under the Mosaic Law, its principles still apply in the Christian congregation. Hence, there may be times when a Christian is obligated to bring a matter to the attention of the elders. True, it is illegal in many countries to disclose to unauthorized ones what is found in private records. But if a Christian feels, after prayerful consideration, that he is facing a situation where the law of God required him to report what he knew despite the demands of lesser authorities, then that is a responsibility he accepts before Jehovah. There are times when a Christian “must obey God as ruler rather than men.”—Acts 5:29.
    While oaths or solemn promises should never be taken lightly, there may be times when promises required by men are in conflict with the requirement that we render exclusive devotion to our God. When someone commits a serious sin, he, in effect, comes under a ‘public curse’ from the One wronged, Jehovah God. (Deuteronomy 27:26; Proverbs 3:33) All who become part of the Christian congregation put themselves under “oath” to keep the congregation clean, both by what they do personally and by the way they help others to remain clean.
    Personal Responsibility
    These are some of the Bible principles Mary likely considered in making her personal decision. Wisdom dictated that she should not act quickly, without weighing matters very carefully. The Bible counsels: “Do not become a witness against your fellowman without grounds. Then you would have to be foolish with your lips.” (Proverbs 24:28) To establish a matter conclusively, the testimony of at least two eyewitnesses is needed. (Deuteronomy 19:15) If Mary had seen only a brief mention of abortion, she might have decided conscientiously that the evidence of any guilt was so inconclusive that she should not proceed further. There could have been a mistake in billing, or in some other way the records may not have properly reflected the situation.
    In this instance, however, Mary had some other significant information. For example, she knew that the sister had paid the bill, apparently acknowledging that she had received the service specified. Also, she knew personally that the sister was single, thus raising the possibility of fornication. Mary felt a desire lovingly to help one who may have erred and to protect the cleanness of Jehovah’s organization, remembering Proverbs 14:25: “A true witness is delivering souls, but a deceitful one launches forth mere lies.”
    Mary was somewhat apprehensive about the legal aspects but felt that in this situation Bible principles should carry more weight than the requirement that she protect the privacy of the medical records. Surely the sister would not want to become resentful and try to retaliate by making trouble for her, she reasoned. So when Mary analyzed all the facts available to her, she decided conscientiously that this was a time to “speak,” not to “keep quiet.”
    Now Mary faced an additional question: To whom should she speak, and how could she do so discreetly? She could go directly to the elders, but she decided to go first privately to the sister. This was a loving approach. Mary reasoned that this one under some suspicion might welcome the opportunity to clarify matters or, if guilty, confirm the suspicion. If the sister had already spoken to the elders about the matter, likely she would say so, and Mary would not need to pursue matters further. Mary reasoned that if the sister had submitted to an abortion and had not confessed to this serious transgression of God’s law, she would encourage her to do this. Then the elders could help her in accord with James 5:13-20. Happily, this is how matters worked out. Mary found that the sister had submitted to an abortion under much pressure and because of being spiritually weak. Shame and fear had moved her to conceal her sin, but she was glad to get help from the elders toward spiritual recovery.
    If Mary had reported first to the body of elders, they would have been faced with a similar decision. How would they handle confidential information coming into their possession? They would have had to make a decision based on what they felt Jehovah and his Word required of them as shepherds of the flock. If the report involved a baptized Christian who was actively associated with the congregation, they would have had to weigh the evidence as did Mary in determining if they should proceed further. If they decided that there was a strong possibility that a condition of “leaven” existed in the congregation, they might have chosen to assign a judicial committee to look into the matter. (Galatians 5:9, 10) If the one under suspicion had, in effect, resigned from being a member, not having attended any meetings for some time and not identifying herself as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, they might choose to let the matter rest until such time as she did begin to identify herself again as a Witness.
    Thinking Ahead
    Employers have a right to expect that their Christian employees will ‘exhibit good fidelity to the full,’ including observing rules on confidentiality. (Titus 2:9, 10) If an oath is taken, it should not be taken lightly. An oath makes a promise more solemn and binding. (Psalm 24:4) And where the law reinforces a requirement on confidentiality, the matter becomes still more serious. Hence, before a Christian takes an oath or puts himself under a confidentiality restriction, whether in connection with employment or otherwise, it would be wise to determine to the extent possible what problems this may produce because of any conflict with Bible requirements. How will one handle matters if a brother or a sister becomes a client? Usually such jobs as working with doctors, hospitals, courts, and lawyers are the type of employment in which a problem could develop. We cannot ignore Caesar’s law or the seriousness of an oath, but Jehovah’s law is supreme.
    Anticipating the problem, some brothers who are lawyers, doctors, accountants, and so forth, have prepared guidelines in writing and have asked brothers who may consult them to read these over before revealing anything confidential. Thus an understanding is required in advance that if serious wrongdoing comes to light, the wrongdoer would be encouraged to go to the elders in his congregation about the matter. It would be understood that if he did not do so, the counselor would feel an obligation to go to the elders himself.
    There may be occasions when a faithful servant of God is motivated by his personal convictions, based on his knowledge of God’s Word, to strain or even breach the requirements of confidentiality because of the superior demands of divine law. Courage and discretion would be needed. The objective would not be to spy on another’s freedom but to help erring ones and to keep the Christian congregation clean. Minor transgressions due to sin should be overlooked. Here, “love covers a multitude of sins,” and we should forgive “up to seventy-seven times.” (Matthew 18:21, 22) This is the “time to keep quiet.” But when there is an attempt to conceal major sins, this may be the “time to speak.”
    Mary is a hypothetical person facing a situation that some Christians have faced. The way she handles the situation represents how some have applied Bible principles in similar circumstances.
    In their Commentary on the Old Testament, Keil and Delitzsch state that a person would be guilty of error or sin if he “knew of another’s crime, whether he had seen it, or had come to the certain knowledge of it in any other way, and was therefore qualified to appear in court as a witness for the conviction of the criminal, neglected to do so, and did not state what he had seen or learned, when he heard the solemn adjuration of the judge at the public investigation of the crime, by which all persons present, who knew anything of the matter, were urged to come forward as witnesses.”
    [Picture on page 15]
    It is the right and loving course to encourage an erring Witness to speak with the elders, confident that they will handle the problem in a kind and understanding way

    *** w88 4/15 27-8 Discipline That Can Yield Peaceable Fruit ***
    10 We can be just as sure that God’s arrangement that Christians refuse to fellowship with someone who has been expelled for unrepentant sin is a wise protection for us. “Clear away the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, according as you are free from ferment.” (1 Corinthians 5:7) By also avoiding persons who have deliberately disassociated themselves, Christians are protected from possible critical, unappreciative, or even apostate views.—Hebrews 12:15, 16.
    What About Relatives?
    11 God certainly realizes that carrying out his righteous laws about cutting off wrongdoers often involves and affects relatives. As mentioned above, when an Israelite wrongdoer was executed, no more family association was possible. In fact, if a son was a drunkard and a glutton, his parents were to bring him before the judges, and if he was unrepentant, the parents were to share in the just executing of him, ‘to clear away what is bad from the midst of Israel.’ (Deuteronomy 21:18-21) You can appreciate that this would not have been easy for them. Imagine, too, how the wrongdoer’s brothers, sisters, or grandparents felt. Yet, their putting loyalty to their righteous God before family affection could be lifesaving for them.
    12 Recall the case of Korah, a leader in rebellion against God’s leadership through Moses. In his perfect justice, Jehovah saw that Korah had to die. But all loyal ones were advised: “Turn aside, please, from before the tents of these wicked men and do not touch anything that belongs to them, that you may not be swept away in all their sin.” Relatives who would not accept God’s warning died with the rebels. But some of Korah’s relatives wisely chose to be loyal to Jehovah, which saved their lives and led to future blessings.—Numbers 16:16-33; 26:9-11; 2 Chronicles 20:19.
    13 Cutting off from the Christian congregation does not involve immediate death, so family ties continue. Thus, a man who is disfellowshipped or who disassociates himself may still live at home with his Christian wife and faithful children. Respect for God’s judgments and the congregation’s action will move the wife and children to recognize that by his course, he altered the spiritual bond that existed between them. Yet, since his being disfellowshipped does not end their blood ties or marriage relationship, normal family affections and dealings can continue.
    14 The situation is different if the disfellowshipped or disassociated one is a relative living outside the immediate family circle and home. It might be possible to have almost no contact at all with the relative. Even if there were some family matters requiring contact, this certainly would be kept to a minimum, in line with the divine principle: “Quit mixing in company with anyone called a brother that is a fornicator or a greedy person [or guilty of another gross sin], . . . not even eating with such a man.”—1 Corinthians 5:11.
    15 Understandably, this may be difficult because of emotions and family ties, such as grandparents’ love for their grandchildren. Yet, this is a test of loyalty to God, as stated by the sister quoted on page 26. Anyone who is feeling the sadness and pain that the disfellowshipped relative has thus caused may find comfort and be encouraged by the example set by some of Korah’s relatives.—Psalm 84:10-12.

    *** w95 7/15 26 Disfellowshipping-A Loving Provision? ***
    The Effect on Others
    When a member of the congregation commits a serious sin, such as adultery, he is not making Jehovah’s heart rejoice. (Proverbs 27:11) Any Christian who succumbs to sexual immorality certainly is not thinking as Joseph did when Potiphar’s wife tried to get him to have sexual relations with her. Joseph’s reaction was: “How could I commit this great badness and actually sin against God?” (Genesis 39:6-12) Joseph respected Jehovah’s holy standards and fled the scene. On the other hand, an adulterer seems to lack sufficient love for God to refrain from satisfying his fleshly passion.—Galatians 5:19-21.
    A baptized person who violates God’s commandments is not manifesting concern about the damage and pain he will cause his believing relatives. The emotional impact is more than some can bear. After discovering that her son was immoral, one Christian woman lamented: “Very few, if any, brothers and sisters seem to understand how hurt and devastated we are. . . . We are crushed at heart.” The good name of an entire family may be brought into question. Depression and a measure of guilt may beset faithful family members. The wrongdoer’s wicked course thus brings heartache to the family.
    Loving Help for Family Members
    Faithful Christian family members of expelled individuals need to remember that disfellowshipping is both loving and protective. Every possible effort is made to help the wrongdoer. But if he proves to be disobedient to God and is stubbornly unrepentant, the congregation needs to be protected and has no alternative but to act as God’s Word directs: “Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.” (1 Corinthians 5:13) As one Witness said, “disfellowshipping is about loyalty to Jehovah.”

    *** w92 6/1 18-19 Make Wise Use of Your Christian Freedom ***
    14 Sometimes, in order to keep the congregation clean, elders have to disfellowship an unrepentant wrongdoer. (1 Corinthians 5:1-5) This protects the congregation. It may also help the wrongdoer. Often, such discipline has helped to bring a sinner to his senses. What, though, if the one disfellowshipped is a close friend or a relative? Suppose the individual is our father or mother or our son or daughter. Do we nevertheless respect the action taken by the elders? True, it may be difficult. But what an abuse of our freedom it would be to question the decision of the elders and continue to associate spiritually with one who has proved to be a corrupting influence in the congregation! (2 John 10, 11) Jehovah’s people as a whole are to be commended because of the way they cooperate in such matters. As a result, Jehovah’s organization remains undefiled in this unclean world.—James 1:27.

  • Kent

    This is a pretty interesting development. I guess the outcome will be nothing, and the Watchtower will keep its NGO status, but the UN might come up with some demands.

    On the other side, I doubt it. The "Freedom of Religion" is valid for "Christians", contrary to Muslims. Christians can do what they want - but maybe the latest developments will change the attitude. In old magazines in Norway they actually wrote that JWs dod NOT have to follow Norwegiab laws, as Norway was lead by Satan!

    Yakki Da


    I need more BOE letters, KMs and other material. Those who can send it to me - please do! The new section will be interesting!!

    Daily News On The Watchtower and the Jehovah's Witnesses:

  • Kent

    I guess the letter from Letter from James N. Pellechia to Religious Movements Research Centre that I just posted on the Watchtower Observer should be REALLY interesting in this case!

    Yakki Da


    I need more BOE letters, KMs and other material. Those who can send it to me - please do! The new section will be interesting!!

    Daily News On The Watchtower and the Jehovah's Witnesses:

  • wannahelp


    reguardless of what happens, I'm just hoping that somehow, somewhere the news of a judicial committe being formed by the UN itself investigating the WTBTS for possible fraudulent application to become an NGO status becomes 'news-worthy' all by itself.. Just imagine, without anyone having to say anything to JW's, the JW's will learn that their organization solicited the UN to become an NGO back in 1991, and now the UN is looking at the app, investigating for fraud..

    Hmmm, I would assume that may score some points with R&F JW's, even hard-line JW's??

  • MacHislopp

    Hello Wannahelp,

    thanks for your interesting comment.

    Could you post it on the main threadfor this issue, i.e.

    "United Nations, NGO's and the WTBS "??

    Thanks for your effort.

    Greetings, J.C.MacHislopp

    " One who has an accurate knowledge
    of God's Word will have no problem
    in refuting false religious ideas".

  • MacHislopp

    Hello Anglise and Norm,

    this to thank you for the

    excellent quotes and comments as reminders.

    They'll be very usefull in the near future!

    Greetings, J.C.MacHislopp

    " One who has an accurate knowledge
    of God's Word will have no problem
    in refuting false religious ideas".

  • sf

    Adding to thread:

    < http://www.adam.com.au/bstett/JwPeaceAndSecurity30.htm


    Carl Olof Jonsson

    (From: Investigator No. 30 1993 May)

    To apocalyptic movements the “end” has always been at hand. Without doubt this has been the key to their success. How many people wouldn’t like our world of endless problems to disappear and be replaced by a better one? Any movement that is able to keep such expectations alive has a guaranteed increase.

    War and Peace as “Signs of the Times”

    Such expectations are created by interpreting different world events as prophetic ‘signs’, which indicate that the end is close. There are always Scriptures which, by the aid of a little imagination, can be applied to the current world situation. In times of war Jesus’ words about “nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom” (Matt. 24:7) are quoted. And during more peaceful periods attention is drawn to other biblical statements. At such times the Watch Tower Society has commonly referred to the words of the apostle Paul at 1 Thessalonians 5:3. This text says, according to the New World Translation:

    “Whenever it is that they are saying: ‘Peace and security!’ then sudden destruction is to be instantly upon them just as the pang of distress upon a pregnant woman; and they will by no means escape.”
    The Society interprets this text as follows, according to The Watchtower of May 15, 1984, page 6:
    “This prophecy makes it clear that, just prior to the end of this system of things, ‘peace and security’ will be declared in some exceptional way, whether by the United Nations or independently by political and religious leaders. What will follow that declaration? Paul said: ‘Then sudden destruction will be instantly upon them.’—1 Thessalonians 5:2, 3”
    An “Unmistakable Sign”?
    Seventy-six years have now passed since 1914, when, according to the Society, the ‘last generation’ began. That the present peace efforts have heightened the expectations among Jehovah’s Witnesses is, therefore, nothing to wonder at.

    Thanks to Gorbachev’s ‘glasnost’ policy a new period of relaxation between the great powers has developed. A number of protracted wars have ended, the dictatorships in Eastern Europe are falling, and important steps have been taken in the negotiations on peace and disarmament. Will this development result in a proclamation of “Peace and Security” around the world? This is, at least, what Jehovah’s Witnesses are now being led to look for.

    According to the Society, such a proclamation will be “the signal for God to move into action”, yes, “an unmistakable signal that world destruction is imminent.” - Awake!, April 8; 1988, page 14; “True Peace and Security - How Can You Find It?” (1986), page 85.

    But how “unmistakable,” really, is the “signal” the Witnesses have been told to look for? Most of them are completely unaware of the fact that the Society repeatedly during its past history has proclaimed that the period of “peace and security” is immediately at hand, or even that this period already has begun. Each time, however, the “unmistakable signal” has turned out to be a mistake!

    “Peace and Security” in the Period 1899-1914

    Towards the end of his life Charles Taze Russell, the first president of the Watch Tower Society, arrived at the conclusion that 1 Thessalonians 5:3 was fulfilled in the period 1899-1914. When, during a question and answer session at a convention in 1915, he was asked how this text should be understood, he answered:

    “We think that this saying of ‘peace! peace!’ has been going on for some years. The Church systems and everybody have been claiming, ever since the first Peace Conference at The Hague (in 1899), that war had to come to an end, that we were having the time of peace that the Bible tells us about.”
    According to Russell’s interpretation, this period of “peace and security” was cut off in 1914 by the “great tribulation”, which was to culminate in the predicted world destruction. - See the book: What Pastor Russell Said (written by L. W. Jones, a close associate of Pastor Russell), page 529

    Peace and Security in 1918

    Russell’s interpretation turned out to be shortlived. In 1917, when world developments indicated that the war, instead of culminating in world destruction, would soon come to an end, Russell’s interpretation was changed by the new president, J. F. Rutherford. The war would end, he wrote, and be followed by “a short period of peace,” when the people would say “Peace” in accordance with 1 Thess. 5:3. Soon after that the end would come. - The Watch Tower, Jan. l, 1917, pp. 4-5; Dec.1, 1917, p. 358

    “Peace and Security” in the 1930s

    The “sudden destruction” expected to follow quickly upon the peace that commenced in 1918 turned out to be long in coming. In the middle of the 1930s, therefore, the time was due for a new application of the ‘peace prophecy’. Thus, in 1936, Rutherford, in the booklet Choosing Riches or Ruin?, wrote that they “now” were in the period when the prophetic words in 1 These. 5:3 would be fulfilled. But prior to this imminent peace period, Rutherford predicted, the nations on earth, headed by religious leaders, would silence the preaching work of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Thereafter they would proclaim “Peace and security” worldwide. - See also pages 291-294 of the book Enemies, published in 1937. On page 293 of the latter book Rutherford wrote:

    “The old ‘whore’ (Roman Catholic Church) sitting upon the back of the beast may soon be expected to say: ‘Peace and safety; we have silenced all opponents.’ Then Jehovah’s ‘strange act’ will begin, and sudden destruction comes upon her ‘as travail upon a woman with child’.”
    “Peace and Security” After 1945
    In 1939, however, World War II broke out without having been preceded by the predicted world peace. Once again, therefore, Rutherford had to postpone the peace period. In 1940 he foretold that the war would soon be interrupted by a brief peace period, immediately followed by God’s war Armageddon. - The Watchtower August 15, 1940, page 246 and September 1, 1940, pp. 259, 260, 265, 266.

    Early in 1942, in the middle of the war, Rutherford died. His successor, N. H. Knorr, stuck to this latest interpretation. In the booklet Peace - Can It Last?, published in 1942, Knorr explained that the peace period soon to come “will be very short-lived”, as it would quickly be followed by the battle of Armageddon. (Page 26)

    But the peace period that began after the end of the war in 1945 was not to become as “short-lived” as the Watch Tower Society had predicted! We are, in fact, still living in that peace period! Historians now point out that such a long era of peace between the great powers is unique in history! Historian Robert Jarvis, for instance, wrote in 1988 that,

    “Such a long period of peace between the mightiest states is without precedence.” (International Security, Vol. 13 1988, p. 80)
    And two years earlier K. J. Holsti noted that,
    “By historical standards a forty-one year period without an intra-Great Power war is unprecedented.” (International Studies Quarterly, 30 December 1986, p. 369)
    This peace period has now lasted over 45 years

    “Peace and Security” in the 1970s

    During the greater part of the peace period after 1945 the relations between the great powers have been strained, a situation that has often been described as ‘the cold war.’ The ‘peace prophecy’ at 1 Thess. 5:3, therefore, was generally pushed into the background. But early in the 1970s a relaxation, a detente, of the strained relations occurred. This was greeted in the Watchtower publication as an important “sign”, especially as the Society for a number of years had been stressing that 6,000 years since the creation of Adam would expire in 1975. “Strange events are taking place in our time,” said the Awake! magazine of October 8, 1972., on page 4. This special issue on the theme “World Peace Coming - Will it Last?” contained a series of articles discussing the peace efforts. On page 9 the magazine referred to the prophecy about “Peace and Security” at 1 Thessalonians 5:3 and stated:

    “This prophecy seems to be rapidly nearing its fulfillment.”
    Two books, both published in 1973, added more fuel to the expectations. True Peace and Security - From What Source? clearly related the detente in the world to the prophecy at 1 Thess. 5:3. And the other book, God’s Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached, said on page 364:
    “The current world events appear to be flowing toward the situation when men in control of affairs will jubilantly cry out in a self-congratulating way: ‘Peace and security!’”
    Similar statements appeared repeatedly in the Watchtower publications during the next two years.

    1986: “The International Year of Peace”

    Despite all the predictions and expectations for the 1970s, the decade passed without either world peace or world destruction. And when also the relaxation and peace talks between the great powers broke down, The Watchtower finally had to admit that “none of these efforts fit the description at 1 Thessalonians 5:2, 3.” (The Watchtower, November 15, 1981, p. 14)

    But toward the end of 1985 the speculations got a new start. On October 24, 1985, the United Nations, on its 40th anniversary, declared 1986 as “the International Year of Peace”.

    The Watchtower of October 1, 1985, stated that Jehovah’s Witnesses “watch the event with interest”, but “cannot say in advance whether this will prove to be the fulfilment of Paul’s words quoted above.” (Page 18) For safety’s sake, however, The Society dusted off one of the books from 1973, True Peace and Security—From What Source? and published it again in a new, revised edition during the peace year 1986 (renamed as True Peace and Security—How Can You Find It?). Referring to the United Nations declaration of 1986 as the “Year of Peace”, the book quoted the prophecy at 1 Thess. 5:3 and stated that:

    “this, no doubt, is a step toward the fulfilment of Paul’s above-quoted words.” (Page 85)
    Like all the earlier predictions and expectations, the “peace year” 1986, too, failed to “signal the imminent apocalypse.” (The Watchtower, February, 1986, page 6) The developments in recent years, however, during our present so-called “glasnost” era, have kept the expectations alive. At first, though, the statements in the Watchtower publications were framed somewhat more cautiously. One hundred years of failed predictions seemed to have left their marks. In Awake! magazine of December 8, 1989, the question was asked if the recent surprising world events could be a fulfilment of 1 Thess. 5:3. The answer given was:
    “We cannot say. Nevertheless, it is obvious that today, in December 1989, ‘peace and security’ is closer to realization than before.” (page 24)
    The issues of The Watchtower of April 1 and 15, 1990, both carried special articles on “world peace”, but still one could notice a palpable caution. The April 1 issue just briefly mentioned that 1 Thessalonians 5:3 will be fulfilled “very soon” (page 9), while the issue of April 15 didn’t mention Paul’s prophecy at all.
    This caution turned out to be short-lived. A few months later, at the Society's summer conventions a new book, Mankind’s Search For God, was released. On page 371 of this book we found the following bold statement

    “Already, another outstanding Bible prophecy is approaching fulfillment before our eyes.”
    Then, quoting Paul’s words at 1 Thess. 5:1-3, the Society applies them to the present world situation by saying it would appear that the nations that were formerly belligerent and suspicious of one another are now moving cautiously to-ward a situation in which they will be able to declare world peace and security. New expectations are thus, once again, being built up among the Witnesses worldwide. In view of the past record, it seems safe to predict that these expectations also will fail.

    “Timely Warnings to the Reading Public”?

    Time and again, for almost a whole century, the Watch Tower society has proclaimed that Paul’s prophecy about “peace and security” has been close to fulfillment. Each time these predictions have gone wrong. It might be expected that a movement that has failed so com-pletely in its predictions would finally assume a more humble attitude and begin to tone down its prophetic claims. But instead the movement continues, with stubborn presumptuousness, to speak as if it receives its messages directly from Jehovah himself: “We are confident that Jehovah will keep his people well informed”, said The Watchtower of May 15, 1987 (page 19) And in the same magazine, in the issue of September 1, 1987, the following promise is given on page 22:

    “To help you keep on guard, the Watch Tower Society will continue issuing in its publications timely warnings to the reading public, so that you will not be caught off guard by the coming pretentious proclamation ‘Peace and security’, as devised by the nations of this old system of things.”
    “Timely warnings”? How much is such a promise worth to the one who knows that every warning of this kind given in the past by this Society has been given in the wrong time? Not a scrap, of course. Unfortunately, however, millions of unsuspecting and confiding people will continue to take such promises in sober earnest and act accordingly. No one is so misled as the one who believes it is a grave sin to question those who misled him. (Matthew 15:14)

    What Did the Apostle Mean?

    Did Paul really predict that the nations, immediately before the end of the age, would proclaim a world peace? Did he say that this would be the “final signal” heralding that “sudden destruction” is imminent? (The Watchtower, May 15, 1987, page 19) The context, and especially the broader context, shows this conclusion to be totally wrong.

    Bible commentators often point out that the apostle Paul in 1 Thess. 5:1-11 simply gives a summary of Jesus’ own words about his coming as recorded at Matt. 24:36-44, Luke 17:26-30 and 21:34-36. Jesus had said that he would come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. It would be as in the days of Noah, before the Flood, and as in the days of Lot, before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. People back then were occupied with their daily activities and didn’t suspect anything; “they were eating and drinking, men were selling, they were planning, they were building.” In the middle of all this the destruction suddenly came upon them. Paul briefly sums up Jesus’ words:

    “Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well (from Jesus’ own words) that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety,’ destruction will come on them suddenly.” 1 Thessalonians 5.1-3 New International Version
    A thief does not announce in advance the “times and dates” of his coming. He does not “signal” his coming in any way. He comes unexpectedly, surprisingly, when people feel safe and secure. It was because of this absence of any “signs” or “signals” that Jesus urged his disciples to “keep awake” and “ready” and “sober”. (Matt. 24:42, 44; Luke 21:34, 36) Paul repeated these exhortations. (1 Thess. 5:6-8) To “keep awake” would not mean to keep looking for any “final signal”, but to “keep our senses and have on the breastplate of faith and love and as a helmet the hope of salvation”. (1 Thess. 5:8) The one clothed in that armor would not be taken by surprise by the “Lord’s day”. He would be ready, whenever it came.
    The Watch Tower Society has changed the sense of Paul’s words to mean exactly the reverse. They have made the predicted absence of “signs” and “signals”, which Paul expressed with the words “Peace and safety” (NW: “Peace and security”) to the “final signal” that world destruction is imminent!

    “Peace, Peace; When There Is No Peace”

    The Greek word used by Paul of “peace” is “eirene”. This word is used in the New Testament as an equivalent of the Hebrew word “schalom”, which often occurs in the Old Testament. Schalom did not merely refer to “peace” in the political sense, but also, and primarily, to God’s good will toward men, “God’s peace”. Paul’s use of the expression “Peace (eirene) and safety” is commonly supposed to be an allusion to Jeremiah’s words about the Jews of his time at Jer. 5:14 and 8:11 (ASV):

    “They have healed also the hurt of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.”
    There was no political peace at that time The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar was involved in a campaign of conquests aimed at subduing the whole Middle East, and Judah, too, was threatened. But the people felt safe, imagining that they had God’s protection, His “peace”. They expected “no evil” to “come upon” them. (Jer. 23:17) The destruction of Jerusalem and its temple in 587 B.C., therefore came as a shocking surprise.
    This too indicates that Paul’s words about “Peace and Safety” should not be understood as a political proclamation of world peace, interpreted as the “final signal” of “world destruction”.


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