Appendix 4. New teachings introduced in the first half of 2016
The Watchtower “public edition”, Awake!, Our Kingdom Ministry
Since 2016 monthly magazines Awake! and The Watchtower “public editions” became bimonthly (The Watchtower “study editions” are published without change).
Since 2016 the monthly Our Kingdom Ministry was replaced by another monthly called Our Christian Life and Ministry—Meeting Workbook.
“Babylonish bondage” of Jehovah’s Witnesses
Babylonish bondage before 1874
Fulfilled prophecy shows that about 1874 and thereafter the Lord began to shed gradual light upon his Word and to bring the true Christians out of Babylonish bondage and restore to them an understanding of the great fundamental truths which had been taught by the apostles but which had been hid by the blinding influence of the Devil. (Deliverance 1926 p. 233).
A.D. 1881 BABYLON FALLS (The Time is at Hand 1902, 1927 p. 219).
Babylonish bondage in the years 1918-1919
From 1918 to 1919 was a period of great travail and suffering. At that time the church was practically in captivity to Babylon, which is one of the names for Satan’s organization. (The Watchtower December 15, 1928 p. 373).
Babylonish bondage in the years 1914-1918
During the first world war of 1914-18, the remnant of spiritual Israelites experienced a captivity at the hands of Babylon the Great and her political paramours. (Worldwide Security Under the “Prince of Peace” 1986 p. 33).
See also From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained 1958 pp. 187-188.
Babylonish bondage in the years 1918-1919
As discussed in previous chapters of this book, that nation underwent Babylonish captivity in 1918 but was restored in 1919 to a state of spiritual prosperity (Isaiah’s Prophecy—Light for All Mankind II 2001 p. 168).
Babylonish bondage from the second century C.E. to 1919 (teaching from 2016)
When were God’s people held captive by Babylon the Great? That spiritual captivity lasted from the second century C.E. to 1919. (...) For a number of years, we explained that this captivity began in 1918 and involved a brief period of time when God’s people came under the control of Babylon the Great. (...) With these Scriptural details in mind, it becomes clear that the captivity of God’s people to Babylon the Great must have been much longer than the events of 1918-1919. (...) That captivity began sometime in the second century C.E. and continued until the cleansing of the spiritual temple in the time of the end. (The Watchtower March 2016 pp. 29-30).
Applause during the reinstatement of formerly disfellowhiped ones
Applause is not appropriate
Is it appropriate to applaud when a reinstatement is announced?
(...) Even so, as joyful as we are when a relative or acquaintance is reinstated, a quiet dignity should prevail at the time that the person’s reinstatement is announced in the congregation. The Watchtower of October 1, 1998, page 17, expressed matters this way: “We must remember, however, that most in the congregation are not aware of the particular circumstances that led to a person’s expulsion or to his reinstatement. In addition, there may be some who have been personally affected or hurt—perhaps even on a long-term basis—by the wrongdoing of the repentant one. Being sensitive to such matters, therefore, when an announcement of reinstatement is made, we would understandably withhold expressions of welcome until such can be made on a personal basis.” Although we are very happy to see someone return to the truth, applause at the time of his or her reinstatement would not be appropriate. (Our Kingdom Ministry No. 2, 2000 p. 7).
Applause allowed (custom since 2016)
How can the congregation express its joy when an announcement is made that someone has been reinstated?
(...) When someone is reinstated in the congregation, we have good reason to rejoice. The person will have to keep on maintaining his integrity to God, but he had to be repentant in order to be reinstated, and we are glad that he repented. Accordingly, there may well be spontaneous, dignified applause when the elders make an announcement of a reinstatement. (The Watchtower May 2016 p. 32).
Since when the mark of Ezekiel 9 is imprinted on the foreheads of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and who does that task
Nobody knows who puts the “mark”
In the years 1879-1915, and even until November 1916, the Watchtower Society did not comment the text about “the man with inkhorn” (Ezekiel 9).
The one imprinting the “mark” is C.T. Russell
[Ezekiel] 9:11. And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which had the inkhorn by His side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as Thou hast commanded me. — Pastor Russell was faithful to his great task of writing and publishing the Truth and imprinting the "tav" of Present Truth in the minds of the spirit-begotten. In October, 1916, he died, and beyond the veil has, ere this, undoubtedly, reported in the presence of Christ that he has done the work he was given to do. (The Finished Mystery 1917, 1926 p. 420).
See also The Watchtower December 1, 1916 pp. 6011-6012, reprints; The Watchtower September 15, 1921 s. 277.
The “remnant” of the anointed Jehovah’s Witnesses puts the “mark”
Not too long ago, in the year 1931, a Biblical book was published entitled “Vindication.” This book, which had a wide distribution throughout Christendom, was published by the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society. It was a commentary on the first twenty-four chapters of the prophecy of Ezekiel. It made clear that the prophecy of the man “clothed with linen” had not been fulfilled in any one man in contact with Christendom, say, for instance, in Charles Taze Russell, the first president of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, who died October 31, 1916, thereby finishing his earthly work as a Christian, in the midst of World War I. (...) ‘The man with the writer’s inkhorn by his side,’ therefore, clearly represented the anointed “servant” class of the Lord on earth, which class is a part of God’s organization. (“The Nations Shall Know That I Am Jehovah”—How? 1971 pp. 171-172).
We understand that in the fulfillment of this prophecy, the man “clothed in linen” represents the remnant of spirit-anointed Christians. By means of the preaching and disciple-making work, the anointed class puts a symbolic mark on those who become part of Christ’s “other sheep.” (John 10:16) What is the mark? It is the evidence, as if displayed on their uncovered foreheads, that such sheep are dedicated, baptized disciples of Jesus Christ and that they have put on the Christlike new personality. (The Watchtower July 15, 2008 pp. 5-6).
The one who will put the “mark” is Jesus with His angels during the “great tribulation” (teaching since 2016)
Whom do the man with the secretary’s inkhorn and the six men with smashing weapons described in Ezekiel’s vision symbolize?
They picture heavenly forces that were involved in the destruction of Jerusalem and that will also be involved in the destruction of Satan’s wicked system at Armageddon.(...) In the past, we have explained that in the modern-day fulfillment of this vision, the man with the secretary’s inkhorn represented the anointed remnant. It was thought that those who respond favorably to the message being preached are now marked for survival. In recent years, however, it has become clear that an adjustment needs to be made to this explanation. According to what is stated at Matthew 25:31-33, Jesus is the one who judges people. He makes his final judgment during the time of the great tribulation, separating the sheeplike ones, who will survive, from the goatlike ones, who will be destroyed. (...) In the modern-day fulfillment, the man with the secretary’s inkhorn represents Jesus Christ, the one behind the scenes who marks those who will survive. The great crowd will receive their mark when they are judged as sheep during the great tribulation. This will put them in line to receive everlasting life here on earth.— Matt 25:34, 46. In the modern-day fulfillment, the six men with smashing weapons represent Jesus’ heavenly armies with Jesus himself at the head. They will soon destroy the nations and all wickedness.—Ezek. 9:2, 6, 7; Rev. 19:11-21. (The Watchtower June 2016 pp. 16-17).