Does anyone have WTS quotations showing that the call of the great crowd did not begin before the 20th century?
Great Crowd Started Forming in the 20th Century
This comes close. It's from the Feb. 1, 1995 Watchtower, "A Great Crowd of True Worshipers--From Where Did They Come?" pp. 9-14. The quote is from pp. 13-14:
"For many years Jehovah’s people had talked about God’s promises regarding the earth. Because of what they expected to occur back in the 1920’s, they proclaimed that “Millions Now Living Will Never Die.” But there were not millions who embraced God’s provisions for life at that time. In the majority who did accept the truth, holy spirit engendered the hope of heavenly life. Especially after 1935, however, a marked change took place. It was not that The Watchtower had ignored the hope of eternal life on earth. For decades Jehovah’s servants had talked about this and had looked for those who fit the Bible’s description. In Jehovah’s due time, though, he saw to it that these manifested themselves."
The next article, "A Great Crowd Rendering Sacred Service," (pp. 14-15) stated:
"ON May 31, 1935, there was great joy among the delegates at a convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Washington, D.C. There, for the first time, the great multitude (or, great crowd) of Revelation 7:9 was clearly identified in harmony with the rest of the Bible and in accord with events that had already begun to unfold.
About six weeks earlier, at the celebration of the Lord’s Evening Meal in congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 10,681 of those present (about 1 out of 6) had not partaken of the emblematic bread and wine, and 3,688 of these were active proclaimers of God’s Kingdom. Why did they refrain from partaking of the emblems? Because on the basis of what they had learned from the Bible, they realized that God had not called them to heavenly life but that they could share in Jehovah’s loving provisions in another way. So at that convention, when the speaker asked: “Will all those who have the hope of living forever on the earth please stand,” what happened? Thousands rose to their feet, followed by prolonged cheering on the part of the audience.
What the delegates learned at that convention gave fresh impetus to their ministry. They came to appreciate that now, before the end of the old system, not just a few thousand but a great multitude of people would be given the opportunity to come within Jehovah’s arrangement for the preservation of life, with a view to living forever on a paradise earth. What a heartwarming message was there presented to lovers of truth! Jehovah’s Witnesses realized that there was a great work to be done—a joyous work. Years later, John Booth, who became a member of the Governing Body, recalled: “That assembly gave us much to rejoice over.”
This might have some info you are looking for.
This gem below actually has wtBtS INC admitting that in the scriptures, the great crowd will not exist before Armageddon.
The wt magazine April 15, 1995: Question from readers: page 31?
"Hence, though Revelation 7:9 is describing this crowd after the tribulation, we may apply the term "great crowd" to all-- now" bold added.
You may of course, but remember what Revelation says about those that add or subtract from the words, their meaning.
I also found this from Watchtower, "The Kind of Fruit Bearing That Glorifies God," December 15, 1978, p. 26:
"During the last four years of the life of the League of Nations as a peacekeeping organization the foretold “great crowd” began to form of men and women who were made glad by the Kingdom fruit that was held forth by the branches of “the true vine."
Thank you Ding, Blondie and Waton. There are other quotations I'm sure, but these are ample.
I am preparing 12 yes/no questions which JWs will not want to answer honestly to new prospects...followed by answers their literature provides....a great way to determine the honesty of visiting Witnesses.
great way to determine the honesty of visiting Witnesses.
Excellent idea Vandy I find it so disappointing just how dishonest most witnesses are. I think to myself 'could I have been that way'? Perhaps I'm being delusional, but I just feel its getting worse.
Yes and I have personally caught them boldfaced lying about shunning and who dies at Armageddon etc. Here are the first 3 sample questions...
1. Do you believe your religion is the one and only true religion on earth?
2. Do you believe that all the churches of Christendom are satanic or part of Satan's organization?
3. Do you believe that God will destroy all the remaining churches and their supporters at Armageddon?
I could ask, "Does your religion teach...1,2,3" but then I would feel somewhat dishonest asking since I know the answers to the questions.... whereas I do not know if their beliefs necessarily follow the party line.
From UW Chapter 13
the apostle John was shown in vision that there would be a great crowd that would actually survive the “great tribulation” and, without dying, have the prospect of living forever.—Rev. 7:9-17.
Identifying the “Great Crowd”
2. What led up to a clear understanding of the identity of the “great crowd” of Revelation 7:9?
2 For centuries the identity of this “great crowd” was not understood. But the progressive understanding of related prophecies prepared the way. In 1923 it was discerned that the “sheep” of Jesus’ parable at Matthew 25:31-46 and the “other sheep” to which he referred at John 10:16 were persons now living who would have opportunity to dwell forever here on earth. In 1931 the ones described in Ezekiel 9:1-11 as being marked in their foreheads by the man with the secretary’s inkhorn were identified with the “sheep” of Matthew chapter 25. Then, in 1935, the “great multitude,” or “great crowd,” of Revelation 7:9-17 was seen to be the same as the “sheep” of Jesus’ parable of the sheep and goats. Although back in 1923 it was realized that some such sheeplike individuals had already begun to manifest themselves, it was not until 1935 that their numbers began to grow rapidly. Today there are literally millions who are seeking to be identified as part of that divinely favored “great crowd” of the “other sheep.”
From the 1984 publication, Survival Into a New Earth.
It is one of the best (IMHO) because shows that the alleged proximity of "The end" is what makes the identification of the "Great Crowd" possible.
"Especially beginning in 1935, when the identity of the “great multitude,” or “great crowd,” was clearly understood, large numbers of these began to manifest themselves. At first there were hundreds, then thousands, later hundreds of thousands, and now there are millions spread around the globe. God’s infallible Word depicts this group as ‘coming out of the great tribulation,’ being survivors of it, living right on into God’s New Order without ever having to die. (Revelation 7:9, 10, 14; John 11:26) The early members of this group are now in their 60’s or 70’s or older. Jehovah did not allow the ingathering of this group to begin too soon. The “great crowd,” including many of the earliest members thereof, will survive into the “new earth.”"