In years prior to 1975 The Watchtower Society put great emphasis on preaching, in order to reach the biggest possible number of people who could be ‘saved’ from destruction in Armageddon. Publishers were ‘asked’ and ‘threatened’ to take up the pioneer service. The literature gave examples of publishers who sold their businesses, their houses and properties. Preaching Jehovah’s Witnesses were promised to receive special blessings in the remaining years, “few years” or months. They were reminded that they “need to work out one’s salvation!”.
The following are typical statements to that point:
There are marvelous blessings for those who take up the full-time ministry as Jehovah’s witnesses. You might serve at one of the Watch Tower Society’s Bethel homes or as a special pioneer or in the missionary work, possibly as a circuit servant, visiting and serving congregations. The years remaining before the end of this system of things are very few; the privileges now open will never be repeated; this is the time to take advantage of them. (The Watchtower November 15, 1966, pp. 702-703);
Sufficient is it for God’s servants to know for a certainty that, for this system under Satan, time is running out rapidly. How foolish a person would be not to be awake and alert to the limited time remaining, to the earthshaking events soon to take place, and to the need to work out one’s salvation! (The Watchtower May 1, 1968, p. 273);
Even if one cannot see beyond 1975, is this any reason to be less active? The apostles could not see even this far; they knew nothing about 1975. All they could see was a short time ahead in which to finish the work assigned to them. (...) So too with Jehovah’s faithful witnesses in this latter half of the twentieth century. (...) They have not dedicated their lives to serve Jehovah only until 1975. (The Watchtower August 15, 1968, p. 501);
This is the most serious time in human history, and you are living in this time of change. (...) Yes, there is a purpose behind this study; there is a future attached to it. (...) In view of the short time left in which to do their work, Jehovah’s witnesses do not continue to study the Bible with any who fail to respond to its urgent message within six months. The nearness of this system’s end compels them to use their time in the most effective way possible. So they feel obligated to spend their time calling on someone else who might respond by attending meetings at the Kingdom Hall and by speaking to others about the Bible truths learned. (The Watchtower May 15, 1969, p. 312);
And today, with less than seven years remaining to the end of six thousand years of human history, and with all the prophetic evidence that Christendom is about to be shaken from her proud foundations, are we not fired with zeal to get round our territory seven times and more? Time is short, and the message must be sounded! (The Watchtower October 1, 1969, p. 597);
They also spend evenings and weekends in engaging in the Christian ministry. What a fine way for young people to serve their Creator in the few remaining years of this present violent system of things! (The Watchtower March 1,1970, p. 146);
The time is very short now for further preaching and teaching of God’s kingdom among the political nations. (...) The few remaining years of this generation do not give much time during which we can show Jehovah we truly want to be pleasing to him so that we will be privileged to enjoy life at his hand in the new system of things. (The Watchtower May 1, 1970, pp. 276-277);
In view of the short period of time left, we want to do this as often as circumstances permit. Just think, brothers, there are only about ninety months left before 6,000 years of man’s existence on earth is completed. (Kingdom Ministry No. 3, 1968, p. 4);
In view of the short time left, a decision to pursue a career in this system of things is not only unwise but extremely dangerous. (...) Many young brothers and sisters were offered scholarships or employment that promised fine pay. However, they turned them down and put spiritual interests first. (Kingdom Ministry No. 6, 1969, p. 3);
If you considered pioneer service, do not hesitate, but take up it now! Do not put it aside from winter to summer, and from summer to winter. Trust Jehovah! Make this service your goal of life! Although it is true that you would not spend in it 40, 20 or even 10 years, but undoubtedly you will find great joy and blessings in it, enjoyed by all who made fulltime service their life vocation (Polish Kingdom Ministry No. 4, 1970, p. 6);
Reports are heard of brothers selling their homes and property and planning to finish out the rest of their days in this old system in the pioneer service. Certainly this is a fine way to spend the short time remaining before the wicked world’s end. - 1 John 2:17. (Kingdom Ministry No. 5, 1974, p. 3).
Such individual case of selling house and funds which were enough to live till 1975 was mentioned in a publication:
At our district convention in 1957 in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A., there was a talk on serving where the need for Kingdom proclaimers was greater. (...) In 1959 we sold our house, loaded up our belongings, and drove to Montreal, Canada. (...) Finally, we arrived in Mombasa, Kenya (...) In 1975, when our funds were depleted, we were sad to leave the friends we had come to love so dearly. (Awake! March 8, 2008, pp. 13-14).
Aware of our responsibility before our Creator, let us be alert, using every opportunity to give testimony to the truth, to lend The Watchtowers and to start new Bible studies. Let us do it not only because the 6,000 years from man’s creation are coming to an end. Beware of telling about 1975 more than “slave” told us. We are not entitled to do this! Also we would not like terrify people by that date, but to prompt their hearts to serve Jehovah from their own free will (Polish Kingdom Ministry No. 1, 1971, p. 12).
There is only a little time for this perishing system of things. Being aware of solemnity of the situation we lead our personal matters in that way that we could buy as much time as possible to reach people with the life-giving truth. (...) He gathered his whole family and said: “I heard that the last year Jehovah’s witnesses had a convention abroad and that there was a speech on 1975”. After we explained the role of big conventions and the meaning of Bible chronology, we proclaimed the message (Polish Kingdom Ministry No. 2, 1975, p. 3);
Diligently busy in work on Jehovah’s lea we had not noticed that we reached the last month of the service year. With what kind of results we will close that year? What the future holds for us? It depends on this how we use the last days of “the year of goodwill on the part of Jehovah”. Knowing the after that year inevitably comes “the day of vengeance on the part of our God”, do not cease to support the preaching work, so far as Jehovah God wills (Polish Kingdom Ministry No. 7, 1975, p. 12).
For other, similar quotations, see above, the chapter “Higher Education and 1975”.