Hello where ever you may be. I wanted to come in and post about a bit of a milestone-I've completed going through the Watchtower magazines from 1879-1949. Without giving away too much, I thought this project was going to only be about 1,000 pages in total. However, I've been quite wrong. 1879-1949 produced 719 pages alone! This shows me one thing, for all the doctrinal inconsistency this organization has displayed over the years there is one thing consistent-Armageddon.
Armageddon as I've been reading through has a few trends associated with it:
It is in nearly every single issue produced. Irony, Jesus never mentioned it. For an organization that claims to be "footstep followers of Christ," they focus more on the "end" of the bible, rather than the gospels.
Biblical events-This organization at times is like a "salesman who can sell a parka in the desert." Essentially, there are a number of events in the Bible (especially Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament) that the organization has liberally applied to various other verses and accounts in the Bible. The Witnesses who read this bought it hook, line, and sinker. I've not examined numbers yet but given there was growth in those days, I'm sure it played a part.
Control mechanism-A few weeks back, I spoke about how the organization uses Armageddon as a "carrot" for the Witnesses. It is used to spur further actions by the rank and file Witnesses as they engage in "field service." Not only did some folks forego careers, others forewent having families since there were times where Armageddon is "just around the corner" and they were to devote all effort to getting the preaching done since time is "short."
Rutherford was HEAVILY invested into it. Don't get me wrong, Russell mentioned Armageddon in "Zion's Watchtower" first in 1883, however as the organization established its "identity," this singular word was used in full force when Rutherford took control of the organization.
That being said, the Watchtower focus isn't love which is central to Jesus' message but fear since there are quotes that essentially say the "great crowd" associated with the Society may not even make it through at times. I'm going to revise my guess in terms of pages. I'm going to go with at least 2,500 pages in total. Time will tell. That's it for this quick update, I'll be back July 1 when I have my next meeting.