How to argue with a JW who says the org never said the end in 75
In its issue of July 15, 1976, The Watchtower, commenting on the inadvisability of setting our sights on a certain date, stated: "If anyone has been disappointed through not following this line of thought, he should now concentrate on adjusting his viewpoint, seeing that it was not the word of God that failed or deceived him and brought disappointment, but that his own understanding was based on wrong premises." In saying "anyone," The Watchtower included all disappointed ones of Jehovah's Witnesses, hence including persons having to do with the publication of the information that contributed to the buildup of hopes centered on that date.
Nevertheless, there is no reason for us to be shaken in faith in God's promises. Rather, as a consequence, we are all moved to make a closer examination of the Scriptures regarding this matter of a day of judgment. In doing so, we find that the important thing is not the date. What is important is our keeping ever in mind that there is such a day - and it is getting closer and it will require an accounting on the part of all of us. Peter said that Christians should rightly be "awaiting and keeping close in mind the presence of the day of Jehovah." (2 Pet. 3:12) It is not a certain date ahead; it is day-to-day living on the part of the Christian that is important. He must not live a single day without having in mind that he is under Jehovah's loving care and direction and must submit himself thereto, keeping also in mind that he must account for his acts."
(So how set the date, the rank and file jws or those who picked the date? Who say that God speaks only through them, the GB? Who prints the publications and chooses the content, the GB. I wonder how many jws pointed out Matthew 24:44 and suggested all be cautious in using a date only to be labeled as disobedient to the GB?)
The Watchtower 1980 March 15 p.17 stated:
"In modern times such eagerness, commendable in itself, has led to attempts at setting dates for the desired liberation from the suffering and troubles that are the lot of persons throughout the earth. With the appearance of the book Life Everlasting-in Freedom of the Sons of God, and its comments as to how appropriate it would be for the millennial reign of Christ to parallel the seventh millennium of man's existence, considerable expectation was aroused regarding the year 1975. There were statements made then, and thereafter, stressing that this was only a possibility. Unfortunately, however, along with such cautionary information, there were other statements published that implied that such realization of hopes by that year was more of a probability than a mere possibility . It is to be regretted that these latter statements apparently overshadowed the cautionary ones and contributed to a buildup of the expectation already initiated.
(Notice here how the WTS uses the passive voice not naming any individuals or groups as responsible. It is as if the words jumped onto the page of the publications and out of the mouths of the WTS representatives without the GB having a hand in it as a group/organization. Has led, as if the book wrote itself, who roused considerable expectation, Fred Franz, and other GB and Dos and Cos. One older sister who questioned was told that she was not being obedient and would be removed as a regular pioneer if she did not stop talking about not using a date. Why would jws not accept the latter statements in the publications and WT representatives since new light replaces old.)
Their "apology" doesn't really address what to me, is the single most damning quote of all:
***w69 10/15 p.623par.42 The Approaching Peace of a Thousand Years***
42 In order for the Lord Jesus Christ to be “Lord even of the sabbath day,” his thousand-year reign would have to be the seventh in a series of thousand-year periods or millenniums. (Matt. 12:8, AV) Thus it would be a sabbatic reign..... Would not, then, the end of six millenniums of mankind’s laborious enslavement under Satan the Devil be the fitting time for Jehovah God to usher in a Sabbath millennium for all his human creatures? Yes, indeed! And his King Jesus Christ will be Lord of that Sabbath.
Maybe the writer didn't mean it the way it came out. Regardless, attaching conditions to Jesus' claim of being Lord of the Sabbath pitted the honesty of Jesus Christ himself against any possible failure of the prediction.
Wikipedia has a huge list w citations.
The bible states "liars will not inherit God's kingdom". Prior to 1975 the RF was preaching
at the doors the End will be here before the end of 1975.
Were the RF admonished for this blatant lie. My sister told my none-JW family members,
this is your last chance to be save. Isn't this a DF offense, lying on Jehovah? NO ONE was ever
told to stop preaching that message. I was there and I was a Elder, I had doubts but I also
preached the end was near.....
I have friends(not JW) who today still remind me, "James, remember back in 1975 when you
told me I will be BBQ in 1975".
One of my earliest memories is of the CO banging the lectern '1975 will soon be here ....'
James Mixon - "James, remember back in 1975 when you told me I will be BBQ in 1975".
"I will be BBQ"... Ha...!
I have argued with several JWs who are now being trained to deny the org ever said the end in 75, what is your approach?
Usually I show them the book God's Eternal Purpose Now Triumphing for Man's Good (1974 WTB&TS) Page 51 there is the subheading "Evening of the Seventh Creative Day begins 4026 B.C.E."
and page 131 paragraph 5 where it states,
"The first half or 'evening' period of God's seventh creative 'day' was now closing, 3,500 years from the creation of Adam and Eve. The morning of this creative 'day' was due to begin at 526 B.C.E."
This was under the heading, "Morning of the seventh Creative day begins 526 B.C.E."
and explain that from this I understand that the seventh creative day began in 4026 BCE and is 7000 year in length.
Then show page 186 where it says
"With all his earthly seed destroyed at Har-Magedon," it then asks the question "Are the original serpent and his invisible demonic seed to be left on the loose in the vicinity of our earth down to which they have been ousted from heaven? No!"
"By removing the Serpent and his demons from the nieghborhood of the earth and hurling them into the abyss and sealing them up there, bound as with chains for the next thousand years. Revelation 20:1-3 pictures this, not as a part of the war at Har-magedon, but as a follow up of that war." (Bold mine)
and then page 190 says,
"...God's seventh creative day will end up blessed, sacred, sanctified. Jehovah having blessed that day six thousand years ago..."
Explaining that 6000 years from 4026 takes you to the autumn of 1975 with the last thousand years of the devil being abyssed after Har-megedon.
This explains about the year zero
In the August 15 1968 Watchtower in the Article Why are you looking forward to 1975?
Well, for one thing, if 4026 is added to 1968 (allowing for the lack of a zero year between C.E. and B.C.E ) one gets a total of 5,993 years, come this autumn from Adam's creation. That means that, in the fall of the year 1975, a little over seven years from now..., it will be 6,000 years since the creation of Adam,
Then I say that in 1974 this was the lastest information that I believe we had, I was keeping up with my spiritual food and acting in accordance with it in pioneering.
In the September 1974 KM in the letter talking of the Divine Purpose district Assembly and this book it says,
'Have you finished reading these exciting new publications? If not, we urge you to do so without delay. Don't put this off until the material is covered in the series of public talks that are to be given. The information these books contain you need to know now.'
In the October KM 1974 there was the feature on the back page Presenting the Good News, with the "Eternal Purpose Book. Which as a pioneer I was doing and remember a fellow pioneer telling me how he had shared this good news with his study.
there is probably some psychological reason but I find it hard to understand how anyone who lived at that time can flat out deny it ever happened I gave up my accountancy studies when Freds book came out
I was there at the time as well. Although a child I remember the frenzy. My father gave up his job in 1974 & moved our whole family to serve " where the need is greater" for the last few months till Armageddon.
As well as the resources others have mentioned , there's a few talks here from a CO Sunutko which gives the flavour as to what a lot of the talks were like at that time. http://www.freeminds.org/wav/wav.htm The WTBTS were slightly more guarded about what they put into print.
But a lot of time has past now - 40+ years. The WTBTS has revised its history & it is basically forgotten - even those caught up in the hype have rationalised what happened - a bit like holocaust deniers , if that isn't too harsh a comparison.
Find these convention recordings online and ask what conclusions are logically drawn:
Spring 1967 Circuit Assembly "God Cannot Lie", Sheboygan Wisconsin
Sunday 5:40pm Charles Sinutko - "Serving With Everlasting Life In View"
2:00 "It almost seems as though Jehovah has provided meat in due season because he has held up before all of us a new goal, a new year, something to reach out for and it just seems it's given all of us so much more energy and power in this final burst of speed to the finish line. And that's the year 1975. There's been a lot of talk about the year, in fact even this week some individuals have been wondering, well, what does it mean? Do we dare talk about it? Is it something we can discuss among ourselves even though we might not talk too much about it in public? Do we really know what it means? Well we don't have to guess what the year 1975 means if we read the Watchtower because the WT has been very specific as to what the year 1975 means for us. If you want to write down the page, 262 in the 1967 issue of the WT we read "What does the year 1975 mean for humankind? The end of 6,000 years of human existence and possibly the time when God executes the wicked and starts off a 1,000 year reign under his son Jesus Christ".
6:37 "There's only 8 years until '75. How little time there is left..."
20:11 "There's only one thing that's going to count when that time comes and that's that we are 'inside', and we hope that all of us here tonight are going to listen to the Society's implorings. We're going to listen to their agonizing entreaties "Brothers get in" because they know what's coming. And it's coming fast and don't wait until '75. The door's going to be shut before then."
22:10 "As one brother put it, 'Stay alive 'til '75'. "
November 1968, District Overseer Duggan at the Pampa Texas Assembly
0:01 "So Jehovah's word is in your mouth. This Good News must be preached first, before Armageddon. There is, will be now a remaining few months. Not really a full 83 months remains, so let's be faithful and confident and we will be alive beyond the war of Babylon; we will be alive beyond the war of Armageddon. Yes, brothers and sisters, by doing this, having plenty to do, we will be alive in God's new system of things, to live and to share and to work for a thousand years, and there will be plenty to do for the next 1,000 years."
Note: November 1968 plus "a full 83 months" brings us to October 1975.
1968 BBC interview with Phillip Reece, the Assistant to the Presiding Minister at Watchtower House (UK bethel), discussing 1975
1:50 Journalist: "I challenged him that the threat of a year of doom, 1975, seemed to be a fairly wild and irresponsible surmise."
Philip Reece: "er well, I don't accept your term 'the year of doom 1975', but we don't, erm, put it as a threat. We firmly believe that in the near future this system of things is going to perish, because the Bible plainly says that all the way through it. But, er, we want people to appreciate that it is the prelude to the kingdom of God. You see you sweep away the old before the incoming of the new."
Journalist: "Well if the end does come in '75 will we all be dead?"
Philip Reece: "Yes, er, Armageddon when it comes is going to mean a sweeping away of this system, and the system of things, of course, is built up of individuals. That's why we do not tire of telling the people 'You must now come out of this system of things, Come out of Babylon the Great and take your stand for God's kingdom because that alone is going to survive'. "
Journalist: "What will happen to the rest of the people?"
Phillip Reece: "The rest of the people will perish."
Philip Reece: "By, erm, the, erm, by the forces of, er, God, just how I don't know, er, I don't know exactly how."
April 15th 1972 Lakeworth Florida
Ulysses V Glass - "Will Your Name be found Written in the Book of Life?"
6:09 "...the end will come when the witnessing has been completed in all the earth. And so they worry a lot about things; "What are you going to do with China, how are you going to get into China, how will you have reached all those people there, how are we ever going to reach them by 1975?, for example.
...It's His word and He knows what He's going to do before He brings the end on this system of things."
May 1972 Floyd Kite - "Are You Marked For Survival?"
52:16 "There are a dozen inexorable forces at work right now that are converging together inside of this decade that will spell disaster for this system of things, and there is nothing that no human can do to prevent it."
1972 "Divine Rulership" District Assembly
Day 4. 4:40 Brother Reese - "Closing Remarks"
15:23 - "We had that advice about 1975, Not changing a thing! Not changing a thing!... We have stronger reason to see that the middle 70's are going to see the complete change in earths affairs."