(This article was contributed by one of Jehovah's Witnesses. Edited by Robert King) In the near future those who love and worship Jehovah God, and who desire to follow and obey his Son, will have a life and death decision to make. Their lives and the lives of their children and their families will hang [...]
The Watchtower first moved to Brooklyn in 1908. For 40 years prior to that the International Bible Students had operated out of a small building in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, which is now part of Pittsburgh. Although shuttered for about a year from 1918 to 1919, ever since its reopening when Rutherford was released from the Atlanta penitentiary the Watchtower has acquired more and more properties in Brooklyn.
For more than a half-century the Watchtower facility has had a dominant presence in the heart of one of the most populous and important cities in the world – being situated right across the river from bustling Manhattan and Wall Street; and its signage has been a venerable landmark. Bethel even displays the name of Jehovah before the thousands of daily passerby.
To serve at Bethel is considered the greatest honor and privilege among Jehovah's Witnesses. Only spiritually mature men and women are even allowed to apply. And the many hundreds (1,500) of Jehovah's Witnesses who serve at the world headquarters also attend the dozens of congregations scattered throughout the greater New York City area and are considered to be an important spiritual presence and and a valuable influence. Not only do the Bethelites work what amounts to a full-time job, but like all other Jehovah's Witnesses they also have a public ministry. Some particularly energetic and zealous Bethelites even serve as auxiliary pioneers.
Since the rebellion in Eden God’s purpose has been to produce a seed. Because of his faith Abraham was chosen as the one through whom the seed would eventually come. Abraham’s grandson, Jacob, whose name God changed to Israel, had twelve sons that produced the twelve tribes of Israel. For that reason in later centuries God referred to the nation as “Jacob” and more commonly “Israel.”
Eventually, Judah produced the Christ and after that others were anointed to become part of the seed along with Jesus. Because they are to be the actual seed of blessing God promised would come through Abraham, the Christian seed is the real Israel of God. Paul explained these things in his letter to the Galatians.
At any rate, the Christian Israel of God became corrupt too, just like Israel had before it – even as the founding apostles foretold would occur. But before the conclusion of the system a new generation of anointed persons would appear in the world, thus constituting the Israel of God in modern times. Since its inception the Watchtower Society has been the seedbed for anointed Christians (and consequently the weed patch as well) first called the International Bible Students and since 1931, Jehovah's Witnesses; making Bethel a sort of capital city for the spiritual nation that has formed.
The October 15th, 2011, study edition of the Watchtower Magazine carries the leading article, entitled: Keep on the Watch - Why So Important?
As all of Jehovah’s Witnesses well know, it is vitally important to be ready for the coming of the day of Jehovah, or the day of the Lord as it is alternatively termed, even as on several occasions Jesus Christ exhorted his followers to stay on the watch and keep ready. But ready for what, exactly?
According to the Watchtower Magazine’s mission statement on the inside cover, the purpose of the Watchtower is to explain the significance of world events in the light of Bible prophecy. Here is what it says specifically:
“Just as watchtowers in ancient times enabled a person to observe developments from afar, so this magazine shows us the significance of world events in the light of Bible prophecies.”
The question posed here is: Has the Watchtower fulfilled its mission statement?
While the Watchtower frequently reminds Jehovah's Witnesses of its supposed prophetic prowess of yesteryear, such as divining the year 1914 and predicting the reformulation of the League of Nations in some form during the waning years of the Second World War, in more recent times the Watchtower seems to have gone silent.