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Jehovah's Witnesses In The Divine Purpose

CHAPTER 26

Expanding the Preaching Service to Find and Feed the "Great Crowd"

JOHN: When the year 1938 brought into the ranks of Jehovah's witnesses a completely theocratic arrangement, the structure of the organization was relatively simple. You remember the organization had been designed and had developed primarily to accommodate the work of gathering and feeding the anointed remnant. But after 1931 and particularly since 1935 the anointed recognized a need to look for the "other sheep" and prepare for a real increase. The beginning of this intensified campaign brought to light many significant factors regarding the organization and the work itself. Basically the features of the preaching service were all begun when Pastor Russell was administering the affairs of the Society, but now, with changing conditions internally and externally, various developments in the techniques were necessary.

For example, one of the first works performed by the early associates of the Society was the volunteer service. You recall that this service was carried on by many of the anointed and consisted of the free distribution of tracts on Sunday mornings to persons as they left church or from home to home. This work continued until the disruption of the entire preaching program in 1918, but when the other features of the service were revived in 1919 and thereafter, the volunteer service as such was not pushed and it was eventually discontinued.

Then, in February, 1940, a new provision for street work was opened up. This was not to be limited to offering literature to churchgoers. Instead, Jehovah's witnesses took positions on busy street corners in the business sections of town and offered to passers-by the two magazines The Watchtower and Consolation, each on a contribution of 5c a copy. Specially designed magazine bags were worn over the shoulder with lettering to identify the two journals and the contribution price. To millions of people it now became a familiar sight to see these Witnesses standing weekly on the street corners calling aloud their arresting announcement of the theocratic government. a Beginning too as it did in the midst of nationwide persecution, this street work was to provide a striking target for those bent on framing mischief by law and violently opposing these peaceful messengers of good will.

Another feature of service that began to assume an important place in the preaching program was the follow-up work, that is, making special calls on those who mani-

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fested interest and encouraging Bible study. The need for Bible study, especially group Bible study, was recognized from the time Pastor Russell organized the first group of his associates in Allegheny-Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1872. From that time forward it had formed an essential part of the program of spiritual development of all associated with the "ecclesias" or congregations. It is only natural therefore that newly interested persons would be drawn into such studies, and if they were found by colporteurs in isolated territory, it would be expected that studies would be encouraged in their own homes. The Watch Tower in 1907 said:

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A report from one group of Colporteurs recently received showed that after their canvass of a small city they were able to locate a number of deeply interested Christians, some of whom had purchased from them, while others already had the DAWNS in their possession. These were gathered to a little meeting in one of their homes. The Colporteur talked over with them the Divine Plan of the Ages for a whole Sunday, and on the following Sunday he urged that they have regular meetings. This was decided upon by a vote of twenty, and one of their number, who manifested not only a deep consecration but a clear knowledge of the Truth, was chosen as their Elder or leader for further cooperation in the studying together of the Divine Plan. b


Soon this method of extending the study activities of the Witnesses was taken up by the congregations themselves. You remember this was the class extension work that we discussed in some detail. Regular congregation book studies were organized following a series of lectures and, if interest warranted it and a sufficient number attended, new congregations would be formed. This class extension work began in 1911. c You will recall too that when the new book The Harp of God was released in 1921 a special course of Bible study was provided for the book's obtainers.

With this background of development it is not surprising therefore that when the portable phonograph was pressed into service in 1933 one of its first practical uses in the field was in the back-call feature of service. d By 1936 the Society was emphasizing and encouraging these return visits on all interested persons. It was urged


at all back calls take the phonograph; and if you know you will be back in the territory the following day, you can often leave it overnight with some interested, reliable persons, for them to use until you pick it up the next day for your field service. e


In connection with such return visits the publishers were encouraged to invite these persons of good will to the regularly conducted congregation book studies then being held in the book Riches.

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Then in 1937 when the Society withdrew from commercial radio broadcasts a new instrument was released to make the back-call work more effective. This was Model Study booklet No. 1, designed to be used with the Society's booklet Uncovered and in conjunction with the phonograph record series entitled "Exposed." The Uncovered booklet and record series were produced by the Society as a result of the petition addressed to radio station WIP.

LOIS: I remember, it was a petition requesting a debate between Judge Rutherford and some Roman Catholic official. I believe you said station WIP ignored the petition and no Catholic official would debate.

JOHN: That's right. So the Society issued the booklet Uncovered and the phonograph record series "Exposed," presenting basic Bible doctrines particularly as a refutation of false doctrines taught by the Roman Catholic Church. f

This feature of the educational program designed for the benefit of the "great crowd" now manifesting themselves enabled the Kingdom publisher to sit down in the home of the person of good will and conduct an orderly and systematic study in the Bible. The Witness making the return call would first play the phonograph record while the householder followed in the booklet Uncovered. Then questions would be considered from the Model Study question booklet and these would be answered by the householder with the aid of the Bible and the Scripture citations in the booklet. In this way the householder became acquainted with God's Word and received answers to his questions directly from the Bible. It was not until 1938, though, that a written record was made of these return visits and they were reported to the Society. In the first year of reporting, the record showed 298,489 back-calls made in the United States. g

During 1940 Model Study booklet No. 2 and the recordings "Government and Peace" and "Victory" were in use. An interesting variation of the class extension work was tried out in Britain and described in the annual report of the Society's president:


These timely instruments proved to be very effective in teaching people of good-will the message of The Theocracy and an aid in building up such good-will interest. With Brother Rutherford's approval a nation-wide campaign of public model studies was organized. . . . The extension service consisted of a series of four weekly meetings held at a good public hall. The people were invited to attend by the regular distribution of handbills and personal letters addressed to those known as interested. The British public enjoyed getting questions answered directly from the Bible. The Model Study booklet No. 2 was used as the basis for these questions and answers. Our records show that 4,176 such public meetings were held during the year, with a combined attendance of 157,663, of which 31,111 were strangers. This extension work resulted in the building up of almost 40 new service units and contributed greatly toward our 3,000 new publishers for the year. h

EXPANDING THE VISITATION PROGRAM

Another need the Society had always recognized that must be met was the strengthening and upbuilding of the congregations by regular visits from a direct representative of the Society's headquarters. That is why Brother Russell himself personally made visits to the various congregations and, as the number grew, used other qualified brothers to assist in this important function.

TOM: Those were the pilgrims, I believe you said.

JOHN: Yes, and you recall the work began in 1894. i An effort was made to reach each congregation in the United States and Canada at least twice a year by these visits. Then in 1928 the name designating

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these servants was changed to "regional service director" and their privileges of service were enlarged to "visit the classes, instruct them how to organize and to work efficiently in the field, and at the same time serve them by delivering discourses upon the present truth." j

By 1929 this feature of the service had increased to the point that thirteen English-speaking, one Ukrainian and two Polish brothers were engaging in the regional service work. The Yearbook reports on this:


The English brethren visited and served 902 classes for a period of three days or more at each class, and gave instruction to 17,589 different brethren in the service work. They traveled a total of 111,034 miles, all at the expense of the head office of the Society. Much of the increased activities of the classes in the field is due to the efforts of these regional service directors. They have helped the classes to study and overcome adverse conditions in their territory, and enabled them to more thoroughly perfect their plans for carrying on the work. k


Recognizing Jehovah's blessing upon this more centrally organized arrangement of service, in 1932 the Society began to take a more direct interest in the local activities of the congregations. Do you remember what that step was toward fuller theocratic organization?

LOIS: Wasn't that when it was shown that electing of individuals to the office of "elder" was unscriptural?

JOHN: That's right At the same time The Watchtower presented Scriptural authority for the Society to appoint a brother to serve each local company as a service director. l At first only brothers who were of the anointed remnant were selected for such positions, m but in 1937, when the relationship of the "great crowd" was identified as that of "companions" to the anointed, some from that great crowd also were used in such service positions. n

Gradually the New World society was being strengthened and gathered together into a more solid, unified association. With emphasis being placed on the education of the people in God's principles as recorded in the Bible, the success of this New World society was assured. Now, with the theocratic organization beginning to follow more closely the pattern of the primitive congregation of the first century, all the Kingdom publishers throughout the world were able to receive instructions from headquarters and be assisted in carrying them out by brothers appointed by the Society.

The relationship of these Society appointees to the brothers in the congregations was emphasized in 1936, when, in July, the Society announced that the name "director" would no longer be used to designate the position "company director" and "regional service director." Instead, brothers holding these positions would be referred to as "company servant" and "regional servant." It was at this same time that the name of the monthly service bulletin, "Director," was changed to "Informant." o

It had been learned from the experiences of the divisional campaigns, which operated from 1933 to 1935, that congregations banded together in open field witnessing were able to withstand persecution and opposition and that unusual unity and strength were manifested thereby and deepened. This led to the commencement of the zone service.

About twenty congregations in a particular area were formed together as a "zone." The Society appointed a "zone servant" to spend one week with each congregation to strengthen it on an organizational basis and to aid it in its field witnessing activity. From time to time a

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"zone assembly" would be held with the twenty or more participating congregations getting together for further instructions and spiritual upbuilding. Special servants were sent from the Society's headquarters to serve at these assemblies. October 1, 1938, the Society made provision for 148 zone servants and eleven regional servants to cover the country regularly. p During 1939 a redivision of the territory made provision for 153 zones and six regions, each covered by its own servant. q

REORGANIZING THE COLPORTEUR SERVICE

Now there is another feature of the service that came in for considerable readjustment and improved efficiency at this point. This was the service of the colporteurs, later called pioneers. The 1932 report of the Society shows a splendid work being done by these pioneer witnesses, many of whom were working in isolated territory throughout the United States. In addition, pioneers were working outside the United States under the supervision of the headquarters office in Brooklyn, extending their operations into the Canal Zone; Colombia, South America; Costa Rica; Cuba; Dutch Guiana; Hawaii; Honduras; El Salvador and the Philippine Islands. Pioneers were particularly active among the foreign-speaking peoples of the United States as well, there being among this faithful band in the field those who were born in thirty different countries outside the United States and who had immigrated to America and who were working among people of their own national extraction. r

Then on the eve of full theocratic organization an important forward step was taken in the ranks of the pioneer service. It is outlined in the Society's report for the year 1937:


At the conclusion of the fiscal year the Society organized a company of "special pioneers", equipping these for field service and sending them forth to do special work. Each one of such pioneers is equipped with a phonograph and records, which will be daily used in the witness work. These special pioneers will receive necessary aid from the Society and will devote their entire time to calling on the people and personally presenting to them the Kingdom message, both by phonograph and through the printed publications. It confidently appears that this method of preaching the gospel will be more effective than the broadcasting by radio stations, and money that would otherwise have been used to pay commercial rates for programs on the radio will now be employed to increase the means of giving testimony by phonograph. s

TAKING THE LEAD WITH THE PHONOGRAPH

These special pioneers took the lead in the phonograph work when the Society voluntarily withdrew from commercial use of the radio.

To learn of the effectiveness of this new program let's read from the 1940 Yearbook, which presents the report for the 1939 service year:


The special pioneer work was announced at the Columbus convention in September, 1937, and that work has continued now for two years with good results. When the special pioneer work began the company publishers were not convinced of the value of making back-calls and the regular daily use of the phonograph.

About 200 specially chosen pioneers throughout the country took upon themselves the responsibility of really putting to use the phonograph. They were sent into the large cities where companies were organized, and there it was proved, without question of doubt, that the phonograph had an important place in the proclamation of the Kingdom. In the past two years, because the publishers of the Kingdom became phonograph-minded, more than 20,000 phonographs had to be manufactured at the Brooklyn plant, and then we were unable to keep up with the demand. During the past year the special pioneer group has been increased to 300 at one time, but the average for the year shows there were 256 special pioneers engaging in the work regularly each month.

In the year these special pioneers made

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516,982 setups. They had an attendance of over one million persons who heard the lectures, and these few brethren made 124,206 back-calls. The special pioneer work as originally outlined at the Columbus convention has accomplished its purpose in that all publishers now throughout the world know that the phonograph is a great aid in advancing the Kingdom interests.

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To aid these special pioneers during the past year to accomplish the work they set out to do, the Society assisted them to the extent of $41,123.98.

The special pioneer work now takes on other duties. Those who are listed by the Society as special pioneers will now assist the zone servants where assigned throughout the country. Their principal work from now on will be to assist the zone servant in the organization of new companies, and in those companies that are slow in moving ahead with the Kingdom interests the Society is appointing a special pioneer as its company servant, so that the work may progress at a greater pace. These special pioneers devote all their time in the Kingdom service and will be a real aid to the publishers throughout the country at the points where they are assigned. t


In this way not only did the Society provide a new theocratic arrangement whereby the Kingdom work might be advanced in unity throughout the world, but it also provided qualified servants to assist the brothers in the individual responsibilities that each Kingdom publisher bore.

UNITY AND ANOTHER NEW WORK

However, in 1941, Brother Rutherford wrote a letter to the brothers that was published in the November Informant. His letter was dated October 24, 1941, and addressed "To ALL PUBLISHERS FOR THE THEOCRACY:"


From and after December 1, 1941, the regional and zone servants will be discontinued and the regional and zone servants will be assigned to the work hereinafter described.

UNITY: For some time the THEOCRATIC organization has been operating, and by now all companies have had ample opportunity to be in full harmonious action and able to carry on without the aid of regional or zone servants. The church, including the remnant yet on earth, is now at full unity and everyone should be able to assume and carry out his or her responsible duty without aid from any human creature. Company servants and all other servants of each company know their respective duties, and each one must be diligent to perform such duties fully and faithfully. Everyone in the organization, including the remnant and their companions, has a duty to perform, and each one should lean on the Lord and look to the Lord for admonition and instruction and follow specifically the instruction given at Proverbs 3:5, 6. . . .

THE WORK: The "strange work" of the Lord is drawing to an end, and requires haste, with watchfulness, sobriety, and with prayer. Since the organization of God's people on earth is in good condition, there must be one united, forward movement of all the publishers or workers, because all are engaged in one work of publishing or advertising THE THEOCRATIC GOVERNMENT. With full determination to be obedient to the Lord, let these words of the apostle be a guiding slogan: "This one thing I do," that is, to advertise THE THEOCRACY. . . .

From and after December 1, 1941, the following will be the method of work for all publishers: The phonograph and the Children book, together with the booklet Comfort All

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That Mourn, will be the chief instruments to begin the work. Each publisher being assigned a respective territory will fully and thoroughly work that territory, the chief objective being to organize study classes in the Children book, to be carried forward systematically until it is deemed wise to use other literature in these studies.


The president's letter then continued to outline in detail how this work was to be done. Every home in the territory was to be called upon, none were to be skipped. The phonograph with the record "Children" was to be used to introduce the publisher. The Children book was to be placed wherever possible and then arrangements were to be made for a back-call to begin a study. Where several in the neighborhood had obtained the book and manifested interest an effort was to be made to gather them together into one study.

TOM: That sounds almost like another variation of the class extension work.

JOHN: In a sense it was, although no public talks were given in connection with the program. Studies were to be held once each week, and after a section of territory had been thoroughly covered and studies were being conducted, the publisher was to move on to another small section of territory and repeat this same procedure. The special publishers, or special pioneers, were now being moved almost exclusively into isolated territory where no company organization existed. In these assignments the special pioneers were to work as just outlined until the entire territory had been covered at least four times. Only if sufficient interest manifested itself would they be continued in that assignment beyond that period.

After about one year's activity in this new work for special pioneers this report appeared in the 1943 Yearbook:


Early in the fiscal year the Society organized a new work. It was organized under the name of "special pioneer publishers", and when it began there were 784 brethren reporting for this field of service. It has grown and expanded until now it has reached a total of 1,578 special pioneer publishers reporting each month. These brethren have maintained a splendid record in the field service even though great opposition has been brought to bear against them in many parts of the country. As a group they have been very consistent in their activity, averaging 175 hours a month in the field service, which is a requirement, and also conducting more than 50 back-calls and arranging for studies in the publications of the Society.

It is interesting to note that less than 2 percent of the publishers in the United States, which they represent, put in more than 12 percent of the hours, make 17 percent of the back-calls, and place 13 percent of all the literature, in the country. . . .

During the past year there were 259 cities completed; that is, the special publishers have gone over that territory at least four times. The new companies organized by these pioneer publishers during the year totaled 244. . . .

In 35 cities in the United States it was impossible to complete their work of witnessing, due to mob violence. Mississippi stands out as the principal state in violation of constitutional privileges. Nine cities in that state alone were abandoned because of mob violence. Texas came next, with six cities driving out Jehovah's witnesses. ... It may be some time later that other publishers can return and reach the people of good-will. u


You must remember that during these years of development from 1938 onward persecution in the United States was intense. For the years 1940, 1941 and 1942 there were over 3,000 arrests each year, with about 600 mobbings reported for 1940 and about 300 for 1941. But Jehovah's witnesses were determined to fulfill the divine purpose for them; so in their eyes there was only one way to go and that was forward.

J. F. RUTHERFORD'S LAST ASSEMBLY

LOIS: you mentioned a book called "Children" in connection with the new work that began in December, 1941. Was that a new publication of the Society?

JOHN: Yes, it was released that summer

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at an assembly in St. Louis, in Judge Rutherford's home state, Missouri. That convention, August 6-10, 1941, was to be the last assembly that the Society's second president, Joseph F. Rutherford, was to attend, and it was at this assembly that, for the first time, the great issue of universal domination involving the supreme sovereignty of Jehovah was made clear to God's people.

Considerable opposition was manifested toward the entire assembly arrangement. Although much pressure was brought to bear by Catholic Action and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the management of the arena where the assembly was to be held refused to cancel. Immediately, through the Catholic churches, propaganda was circulated among housewives, causing them to cancel rooming accommodations that they had rented to Jehovah's witnesses for those planning to come to the assembly. Newspaper publicity was unfavorable and even some union officials interfered with installation plans until they recognized by personal observation that the work of Jehovah's witnesses was truly Christian. Then, impressed by the spirit displayed by those engaged in preconvention activity, they co-operated fully and preconvention activities progressed. To add to the facilities for housing, a trailer city was arranged that grew up in three days to a population of over 15,000.

The opening day of the assembly the Society's president delivered a talk on the subject "Integrity," which was published in The Watchtower of August 15, 1941. It was in this talk that the issue of universal sovereignty was discussed. In analyzing the drama of Job the speaker said:


The issue between Satan and Jehovah was not raised for the first time in Job's day, but centuries before that time. The prophetic drama of Job discloses what Jehovah requires of all creatures who shall receive his boundless blessings. While the question for determination raised by the prophetic drama was and is, "Can Jehovah put men on earth who, under the most severe test, will prove faithful and true to God?" yet that great issue embraces much more. The Scriptural record is that . . . long before that time Satan had challenged the supremacy of JEHOVAH and raised the great issue. Many other Scriptures support that conclusion. Satan's accusing charge was made before the angels of heaven, and hence was known among all the host of heaven, but not properly understandable and appreciated amongst men till the present time. God's due time now appears when those on earth devoted to him are given an understanding of the real issue. The primary issue raised by Satan's defiant challenge was and is that of UNIVERSAL DOMINATION. v


One of the high lights of the assembly was the program Sunday morning, August 10, and previously announced as "Children's Day." The children had been registering at the assembly from the time they arrived; and on Sunday morning, in a specially reserved section occupying half the space in the arena and in a place similarly designated at trailer city, 15,000 children between the ages of five and eighteen were seated. The convention report expressed the reaction of all others in attendance:


It was a sight that is beyond description in words; and this session of the convention made one feel glad more than ever that he knew the Lord. Looking at these children, with their beaming faces, youth, and gladness of heart, it just did something to one that couldn't be expressed; but it brought to mind the words, 'Out of the mouths of babes Jehovah has perfected praise.' w


Brother Rutherford then delivered a talk full of hope for the great multitude that had assembled at this place by the thousands. Then after addressing the convention in general he directed his remarks to the 15,000 children seated centrally before him. The report continues:


One thing that will always stand out in the minds of those who attended the convention . . . will be the sight of these children rising in response to the statement, "All of you children who have agreed to do the will of God

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and have taken your stand on the side of the THEOCRATIC GOVERNMENT by Christ Jesus and have agreed to obey God and His King, please stand up." They rose as one body; and then Brother Rutherford exclaimed, "Behold, more than 15,000 new witnesses to the Kingdom!" The very timbers in the roof of The Arena rattled because of applause and shouts of joy. It was a sight never to be forgotten. x


As a climax to this stirring talk to the children Brother Rutherford introduced the new book Children, also received with shouts of joy and tremendous applause.

The public meeting announced for Saturday was on the subject "Comfort All That Mourn." Because of the great publicity that had attended the preconvention activity great crowds came to this talk on Saturday afternoon. This talk on Daniel 11 was designed to show the end of the Axis powers, and immediately following this talk the brothers went forth in thousands to distribute the lecture in printed form. The brothers took away from the assembly grounds 450,000 copies of the booklet containing the talk "Comfort All That Mourn," and the greater portion were placed in the hands of the people that day. y

DEATH OF JOSEPH F. RUTHERFORD

At the time of this convention Brother Rutherford was seventy-two years of age, and from then on he continued to decline rapidly in health until finally on January 8, 1942, he sealed his ministry in death. He had served as president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society for twenty-five years and two days. Official notice of his death appeared in The Watchtower:


To ALL LOVERS OF THE THEOCRACY: On January 8, 1942, our beloved brother, J. F. Rutherford, faithfully finished his earthly course as a warrior for The THEOCRATIC GOVERNMENT and a minister of the Word of God. Knowing of your deep concern and of your prayers to God for him ever since his serious illness prior to the Detroit Convention of July, 1940, we hasten to notify you.

It was Brother Rutherford's desire to "die fighting with his boots on"; and this he did. The Lord graciously spared him to complete the report of the 1942 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, therein showing that the greatest witness ever given had been accomplished and that the year's distribution of books and booklets reached the grand total of 36,030,595 copies. He always had foremost in mind to DO THIS ONE THING, to declare the name of Jehovah and his kingdom, to keep covenant with Him, and to look well to the interests of his brethren. —1 John 3:16.

To him it was a joy and comfort to see and know that all the witnesses of the Lord are following, not any man, but the King Christ Jesus as their Leader, and that they will move on in the work in complete unity of action, as they unanimously expressed at the Theocratic Assembly of Jehovah's witnesses in St. Louis.

All those standing steadfast for THE THEOCRACY will now not mourn or be disturbed or fearful, but will rejoice that their faithful fellow servant and brother has maintained his integrity toward the Lord, in sickness and in health, through evil report and through good report, and has now entered a higher field of service forever with the Lord.—2 Tim. 4:7, 8.

Brother Rutherford's consistent faithful activity and unbending devotion to THE THEOCRACY, especially since becoming president of the Society, January 6, 1917, has been and continues to be a true and blessed example to us all as of one who 'fought a good fight and kept the faith' and proved worthy of a part in the vindication of Jehovah's name by Christ Jesus; and for this we give thanks to God.

With you keeping on working, determined, by the Lord's grace, to let nothing stop us until the Lord's "strange work" is finished, we are, your brethren and fellow servants, WATCHTOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY, INC. z

THE THIRD ADMINISTRATION BEGINS

TOM: Did the death of J. F. Rutherford result in another period of indecision like that experienced at the death of C. T. Russell, the first president of the Society?

JOHN: On the contrary. Listen to this record of the transition as it appeared in The Watchtower:


The Lord's work never stands still; it is always progressing. It is always on scheduled time. The Lord often changes the personnel of his visible earthly organization, but the work of witnessing to his Theocracy by Christ Jesus

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goes grandly on. All the opposition that the great adversary can muster cannot interfere with Jehovah's Theocratic arrangement for doing his "strange work".

In 1916 the Lord God called to rest one whom he had long used prominently on earth in connection with His work, and the adversary did everything possible to disrupt the work entirely. . . . But this in no wise interfered with the Lord's accomplishing his purpose through his organization.

Jehovah duly raised up another servant, and the work thereafter increased by leaps and bounds, and all today associated with and active in the Society can bear testimony to the privileges enjoyed in that great work. Now the Lord has called home that faithful servant whom He has greatly used in the proclamation of Jehovah's name and Kingdom, to receive his reward. But the Lord's work is now so well organized under the leadership of the Lord himself that there is complete unity and harmony in the field at large, at the Bethel family, and among the members of the boards of directors of both the Pennsylvania and the New York corporation of the Society. There are no "fifth columnists" of the adversary anywhere manifest, as were so noticeable from 1916 to 1918. This of itself is great evidence that Jehovah is working through the hearts of his devoted people, directly guiding them and directing the work of the organization through which he carries on his present work on the earth. . . .

On the afternoon of January 13, 1942, the full membership of the two boards [of the Society's two corporations] convened in the parlor at the Brooklyn Bethel home. Nathan H. Knorr, who at the last general election at Pittsburgh was elected vice-president, had requested several days before that the members of the boards make it a point to earnestly seek divine wisdom by prayer and meditation, that they might be guided aright; and this they did. The joint meeting opened with prayer, especially requesting that Jehovah God might grant wisdom in the choice of such servants as He desired to represent him in a legal way under the organizations.

After due and careful consideration the following brethren were respectively nominated and unanimously elected, namely, Nathan H. Knorr, as president, and Hayden C. Covington, as vice-president, of the two corporations. Later that same day, at a gathering of the Bethel family at Brooklyn, the results of the election were announced by the secretary of the board of directors, and met with an enthusiastic response. aa


From many parts of the world letters and cablegrams were received expressing delight in this choice of president. All manifested eagerness to assist him and cooperate with him in his new position of responsibility.

Now the third administration of the Watch Tower Society was beginning and, as was the case with the second administration, the change came in the midst of a world conflict. World War II in the European theater was already far advanced, and on December 7, 1941, only a month before Judge Rutherford's death, Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor precipitated entry of the United States into the struggle. All the major nations of the world were now committed to one side or the other in their fight for supremacy, but as for the New World society, The Watchtower of February 15, 1942, from which we have just read, made this one meaningful comment:


There are several indications that the Lord still has a great work to do before the final battle of Armageddon. To this end it is necessary that his people be in proper condition to fight on as one.


Their weapons were not the weapons of this world's war but already their effectiveness had been well demonstrated. Still, the progress and unity that Brother Rutherford had come to experience within the organization and which he had described in his letter of October 24, 1941, just before his death, was only a sweet foretaste of what was yet to come through the program of personal ministerial education due to begin.



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