End "Soon", "Imminent" or "Shortly"
For over 100 years Witnesses have been constantly told that the end is soon or imminent. The American Heritage Dictionary provides a definition of soon as "In the near future; shortly" and imminent as "About to occur". Has the Watchtower accurately included these terms when over 100 years have past since they first started being used?
Studies in the Scriptures, The Plan of the Ages 1886 p.344
"And from the prophets we learn that this kingdom is soon to be established in the earth; …"
Universal War Near 1935 pp. 26-27
"The Scriptural evidence and the physical facts strongly indicate that such witness work is now almost done, and when it is done the universal war will begin. Universal war is absolutely certain to come, and that soon, and no power can stop it.... During the few remaining months until the breaking out of that universal cataclysm the powers that rule the nations of the earth will continue to make treaties... They will continue to persecute and oppose Jehovah's witnesses who are trying to get the truth to the people"
Watchtower 1936 Dec 1 p.365
"It is not for them to know just how soon the curse will fall, that is to say, just what hour or year Armageddon will take place. They certainly know that it cannot be far removed from the present day, because that work marked out for them, and which they are doing,immediately precedes Armageddon"
Watchtower 1951 September 15 p.547
"For our expecting this old world to end soon means we are looking for a new world to begin with the most wonderful opportunities for living. It is not a false, baseless optimism, but is based on God's own Word." Watchtower 1966 6/1 p.328
"Yes, the present system of things is soon coming to its end!"
Watchtower 1958 4/15 p.237
"The United Nations belongs to this old world, which is facing a disastrous end very soon."
Watchtower 1970 6/1 p.339
"Very soon the world empire of false religion, Babylon the Great, will come to its destructive end."
Watchtower 1971 8/15 p.490
"They trust that Jehovah God will soon bring a speedy end to all wickedness in his war of Armageddon."
Awake 1996 10/22 p.19
"To settle the issues Satan raised, God will soon bring an end to all wickedness."
Watchtower 1999 9/15 p.5
"And very soon, Jehovah will end poverty and oppression-in fact, all suffering"
Watchtower 2006 7/15 p.23
"Soon this wicked system of things will end, and the Messianic Kingdom will take full control of mankind's affairs."
Watchtower 2006 5/1 p.12
"Very soon, Bible prophecy shows, God will bring this vicious, cruel system of things to an end:"
Watchtower 2012 Jun 15 p.18
"We are living in the days of the seventh head. No more heads will appear on this beast before it is annihilated. The Anglo-American World Power will be the dominant world power when false religion is eradicated. The prophecies of Daniel and John have been fulfilled to the smallest detail. We can be confident that the destruction of false religion and the battle of Armageddon will soon come. God has revealed these details in advance. Will we pay attention to the prophetic warnings? (2 Pet. 1:19) Now is the time to take sides with Jehovah and to support his Kingdom."
Watchtower 2015 Jul 15 p.11
"What events similar to those in 66 C.E. will we soon face?"
Watchtower 2001 4/1 p.26
"In 1940, Lloyd's mother visited Australia, and Lloyd told her that we were thinking of marriage. She advised him against it because the end of the system of things seemed imminent."
Watchtower 2001 7/15 p.11
"God's heavenly Kingdom was established in the hands of Jesus Christ in 1914, and we are now proclaiming the message of hope with more urgency than ever before. Why? Because among the blessings of Kingdom rule is the imminent end of the present wicked system."
Watchtower 1996 7/15 p.23
"Because the end of this system of things is imminent, and problems are more pressing than ever."
Watchtower 1993 6/1 p.16
"the imminent end"
Awake 1988 4/8 p.3
"So how can anyone be sure that Jehovah's Witnesses are right in announcing the imminent end of the present world system and the extension of God's Kingdom rule over the earth?"
Watchtower 1952 12/1 p.709
"But now, by occurrence of every detail of the great sign Jesus gave, we know that we face the imminent end of the present world system."
Watchtower 1912 12/1 RS139
"Just now, all the nations of the world are fast approaching the most terrible crises of their national existences. In a great time of unparalleled trouble, which is even now imminent, they are about to reap what they have sown. They have sown to the wind the seeds of selfishness, and now they are about to reap the whirlwind of terror and the destruction of all law and order, and of national and social organization."
Yearbook 2017 p.5
"Until this “short period of time” allotted to the Devil runs out, that wicked rebel is bent on using every means at his disposal to divert us from our course of remaining steadfast in our integrity to Jehovah."
Watchtower 1938 Sep 1 pp.269-270
"To be sure, no man can say precisely what day or yearJehovah’s battle at Armageddon will be fought, but it is easy to be seen that now conditions among the people are such as to indicate that a great crisis is near. ... God’s kingdom has begun to operate. His day of vengeance is here, and his terrible battle at Armageddon is near and certain to fall upon 'Christendom', and that within an early date. God’s judgment is upon 'Christendom' and must shortly be executed...."
Informant May 1937 p.1
"All witnesses for the Lord must be unusually diligent to carry the truth to the people now, and this work must becompleted before Armageddon, which will follow shortly after the Hierarchy has reached the zenith of its arrogance and power"
Few Years (or Months)
Watchtower 1941 September 15 p.288
"Receiving the gift, the marching children clasped it to them, not a toy or plaything for idle pleasure, but the Lord’s provided instrument for most effective work in the remaining months before Armageddon"
Face the Facts 1938 p.50
"Those Jonadabs who now contemplate marriage, it would seem, would do better if they wait a few years, until the fiery storm of Armageddon is gone"
This Means Everlasting Life 1950 p.248
"Not only is the life of all children endangered by the nearness of Armageddon, but their eternal destiny is involved."
Yearbook 1940 pp.132,192
"It is quite evident that the witness work is near an end in continental Europe, and this is further proof that Armageddon is near at hand.... One brother writes: ’Jehovah knows that our company had not a sound-car. It is doubtful if we shall have it before Armageddon. For that reason he has blessed our company with more than usually strong rowers, and boats, and provided us with a territory very rich in lakes' "
Informant 1940 May p.1
" 'The year 1940 is certain to be the most important year yet, because Armageddon is very near.' It behooves all who love righteousness to put forth every effort to advertise THE THEOCRACY while the privileges are still open"
Informant 1940 Sep p.2
"The Watchtower clearly proves that Armageddon is not far off. It therefore behooves all of the anointed and their companions to work with even greater diligence than ever before while it is still day. There is no time now to slack the hand.
Yearbook 1941 pp.246,249
"Whether it shall be the Lord’s will that another Yearbook be published before Armageddon, of course, no one can say. What the immediate future holds it would be unwise to try to predict. All the surrounding circumstances, however, indicate that the battle of Armageddon is near at hand, which means the end of wickedness in the earth and the full ushering in of righteousness.... The trying experiences of the year past, the persecution and reproach of God’s people by the enemy, and which persecution daily increases, testifies that we are near Armageddon and that soon we shall see a complete change. The present time is the day ’when the wicked spring up as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish’. Never at any time has there been such wickedness and lawlessness against Christians in America as today....Comfort and aid those of good-will. The day of deliverance is near!"
Government and Peace 1939 p.61
"That the day of final settlement of the rulership of the universe is here and that the issue will be settled at Armageddon, which is near; that all nations of the earth are rapidly assembling for that conflict,..."
Watchtower 1894 July 1 p.1674
"We can wait patiently, although not without interest and deep concern, for the development of God’s great plan of the ages, now so near its consummation."
Government and Peace 1939 p.25
When may we expect the Theocratic Government to rule? Satan's time is up, and Jehovah has now enthroned Christ Jesus and sent him forth to rule while the enemy still stubbornly holds on and refuses to vacate. (Psalm 110:2; Revelation 11:18) What, then, must quickly follow? The Scriptures answer, Armageddon, the battle of the great day of God Almighty.