1975 – Watchtower Society Fred Franz’s Talk (audio and text) on Whether Armageddon is Coming in 1975
Nathan Knorr introduces Fred Franz who gave the talk,
“Time in Which We are Now Interested” (Los Angeles, February 1975)
*Special thanks to “Sons of Thunder”, (“Eric”) who discreetly recorded his 2016 disfellowshipping trial, wherein the 1975 Franz talk was mentioned by an elder. A search was performed after watching Eric’s video to locate the live talk found below. (Click here to watch the entire video of Eric’s disfellowshipping.)
About the Talk
Most of the entire talk is typed out below for those who are hearing impaired or prefer reading instead of listening. For those who prefer to listen to the talk instead, please click here to hear it in it’s entirety. At the beginning of the introduction, word for word dialogue isn’t used, however, it is used further down the article, so as to keep wording close to the original talk.
* Franz never came out and said that Armageddon would happen in 1975.
* Great emphasis was used on certain words and phrases, many times in which Franz was shouting into the microphone, while accentuating 1975.
* Franz went off on a tangent regarding Adam and Eve toward the talk, emphasizing that timing of Eve’s creation would account for the unanswered question as to how quickly [after September 5, 1975] Armageddon would come.
* Audience claps during an awkward moment when Franz stipulated that “we are not saying”. Thereafter, he emphasized 1975 as a crucial year.
* The topic of 1975 is maintained throughout 85%-90% of the talk. Much focus is placed on the possibility that Armageddon could happen.
*Brothers were warned NOT to go out and get good paying “engineer” jobs or get married, or have kids. There was NO TIME LEFT. This further nailed 1975 into the listeners heads.
* A circle of manipulation was taking place heavily during the talk, as listeners would be left very confused, wondering if they would see Armageddon in September, October, November, December. Conflicting statements were made multiple times.
* The objective listener would likely attest that the talk was “leading” and “coercive” in nature.
*Some words were unintelligible and noted as such. *The first part of the speech is notes only, and doesn’t become word for word until later in the talk.
Note: Kingdom Ministry Quote
Note the statement made in 1968 warning of a timeframe of man’s existence being COMPLETED:
“Just think , brothers, there is only 90 months left before 6000 years of mans existence on earth is completed… the majority of people living today will probably be alive when Armageddon breaks out.” (Kingdom Ministry pg.4 Mar.1968)
THE TALK (click here for audio version)
Fred Franz: Los Angeles, 1975
22,000 JWs attended the convention in a sports arena in city of angels, Los Angeles, which played a marked part in theocratic history: In 1918 L.A. was part of a world shaking message.
USA was in first year in first world war in 1918.
The 7th vol of Studies in Scriptures the Finished Mulystery had been published and Jerusalem had been captured by British. And governments of British empire had in mind to establish a homeland of Jews in Palestine.
Feb 24, 1918 Rutherford gave an astounding speech called MILLIONS NOW LIVING MAY NEVER DIE. The text was changed to Millions now living WILL never die. This focused attention on a class of people with only an earthly expectation of future. The class was expected to survive Armageddon and live on earth. These people were not identified other than that they were righteously disposed and God would respect their desire to live a righteous life and they’d be spared Armageddon. These millions now living were expected to survive Armageddon. Well…that was… premature. The vast majority of people living in 1918 have died. We are now back in Los Angeles.
Sheep and goats was Rutherford’s speech Matt 25:31-46 which revolutionized thinking with regard to sheep and goats. Up until then, sheep were thought to be people living in the millennium. The brothers of Christ were not the spirit begotten brothers of Jesus but they were thought to be the members of humans living under Christ’s established kingdom.
They were visiting those in prison, which paralleled to sheep and goats. But that speech delivered by Rutherford, it was a revolution of thought. The sheep were the inhabitants of the earth NOW and they were doing good NOW. The least of the brothers were not members of humans in general but they were begotten by Gods holy spirit. They were members of spiritual body of Jesus. They were people now loving who did good. They were giving literal food to eat, they were visiting them in sickness and visiting them in literal prisons. The attention was narrowing down to a general righteously disposed class who were thought to be millions now loving would never die to sheep people.
(This was a changed doctrine admitted)
At L.A. assembly of 1923 after his speech where an explanation of sheep and goats was given, a resolution was adopted. It was unanimously adopted by all but a Christendom preacher. People were told to stick to this position though. The sheep weren’t invited to mingle with the remnant of the spiritual body.
1935- Washington DC assembly held in Spring. Last Friday of May, again Rutherford main speaker and gave a discourse dealing with the great multitude described in Rev 7:9-17 showing that the great crowd was not a secondary spiritual class, but it was an earthly class. And these were the ones that would survive the great tribulation. And THESE were the sheeplike ones. They were a class now upon the earth.
The next day, there 800 baptized. The majority didn’t expect as a result of their dedication that they’d be begotten to a heavenly inheritance. But that God might reserve them for an earthly inheritance to live forever on earth. Thereafter, the remnant KNEW they were engaged in gathering in a great multitude of sheep who would have everlasting paradise. This continued a long time.
Here we are in 1975, practically 40 years since the gathering of dedicated baptized other sheep has begun. We are now nearer to something than we were 40 years ago when this operation began. Apostle Paul said your salvation is now nearer than it was at the time when you became believers. NOW IN THIS YEAR 1975 WE ARE NEARER THAN AT THE TIME when we first became believers. That is absolutely certain! (Applause) But the big question is this! IS THIS YEAR, 1975, THE FINAL YEAR…THE LAST YEAR…FOR THE INGATHERING OF THE OTHER SHEEP? Now, we’re all interested in that! This is our 20th stop around the world and we inquired among the brothers what they’re talking about amongst themselves, what they’re interested in! We found that just like you here, they also were interested in THIS CURRENT YEAR OF 1975. WHAT DOES IT SIGNIFY FOR GODS PEOPLE? IS IT THE YEAR, THE FINAL YEAR, THE LAST YEAR for the gathering of the other sheep, before the great tribulation, and reaches its climax at Armageddon? Is this the year that will lead into the establishment of the millennial reign of Jesus Christ?
What is to be expected? Just this morning, New York Times called and expressed interest in this year, 1975. They’re interested in 1975 outside as well as inside of the organization.
We recall in 1923 when the resolution was adopted with regard to the sheep of the parable of Matt 25:31-46 and the appeal was made…
1922 a series of 7 assemblies took place. There, a declaration was adopted by those assembled in conventions. And this declaration was entitled Declaration Against Satan and For Jehovah! The 7th and last plague plague was poured out and the 7th trumpet began to be sounded. The 7th plague coincided with the 7th trumpet! (Rev 16) And the 7th trumpet has somewhat different presentation of matters, from that given in connection in the 7th plague. In Rev 10, the glorious angel was described…. And how he lifted his hand to heaven in an oath! (Reads v 6) THERE WILL BE NO DELAY ANY LONGER! THERE WILL BE NO DELAY!! ANY LONGER. The mystery is indeed brought to a finish! Something is about to be brought TO A FINISH! THERE WILL BE NO DELAY!!!
What is this mystery of God? Go on to the 11:15 the sacred secret is NOT! THE CHURCH! of the congregation of which the Lord Jesus Christ is the head! 144K members under him! No, its something else! V11 says (reads)… “…Now the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our lord….(yelling….) …” So! That sacred secret of God is brought to it’s conclusion in the day of the sounding of the 7th trumpet. That mystery is the KINGDOM of God, the messianic kingdom of 1000 years!
*** So we have something to DEAL with in this matter, to determine just where we are in the stream of time and how near we are to utter destruction…. And thereafter the binding of the devil… and the demons. This kingdom is specifically stated to be 1000 years. And we can be SURE that those thousand years have a definite starting point and a definite terminal point. It has a DEFINITE DATE! FOR IT TO BEGIN. So we can count from the date of the BEGINNING of the millennial reign of the Lord Jesus and know when it is going to end!
Now its 1000 years in length. And Jesus taught us to pray that Gods name should be sanctified and his kingdom should come and his will be done on Earth as it is in heaven. Discusses Genesis 1-3 God on 7th created day. His name was made sanctified because in the 7th day He was resting from all His work which He created for the purpose of making. So Gods rest day had definite objective. It’s to be blessed and sacred.
Since the 1000 years of Jesus Christ has that very objective, it is only logical that before the seventh created day of God terminates that this 1000 years of the reign of Christ for this purpose should be realized. It should find its place within that 7 days, in fact be the FINAL 1000 year period within that 7th created day of Jehovah God. That would mean, how many years preceding it has mankind been traveling along through this iniquitous system of things.
The apostle Paul shows in Hebrews 4 that Gods rest day it is not a 24 hour day! Already in the Apostle Paul’s day, Gods rest day has run more than 4000 years. And it was going to run for more! And here we are over 1900 years past the time of the apostle Paul’s death.
AND if we add that to these 1900 years, to all the years that we can calculate according to the bible chronology, we find that we are about 6000 years along in human history! And we have yet to see before us the 1000 year reign of Jesus Christ. So that if we add the two together, the millennial reign of Christ with the six thousand years of human history till now we can see that the sum totals to 7000 years. And by this we know that the sixth created day were not 6 24hr days. But they were 6 days of each 7000 years. And when man came on the scene it was approximately 42000 years in progression.
Well then the big question for us now to determine is this. If we all go to this red book here, “Everlasting Life in Freedom of the Sons of God”, and we turn to Pages 31 through 35. We find there a chart which is a chart of significant events from the creation of man through the year 7000. 7000 from the creation of man. And the first one is dated 4026 on the Common Era and the item is the creation of Adam in the Early Autumn of that year. Not in January of that year of 4026, but in the early Autumn of that year, so that we measure the years from Autumn to Autumn! And then if we turn to page 35 we are starting to see the year 1975!!! Where we actually are! And what does it say with regards to 1975?
It says the end, now notice this! It says the end of the 6th one thousand year day of man’s existence in early autumn. And then it carries us beyond that, beyond that year, the next date is 2075, a thousand years from now. And what does it say regarding that? The end of the seventh thousand year day of human existence in the early Autumn. Now that’s all it says about 1975. (Stops talking…applause)
That’s all we can say to to John [Dark?] He was the Senator of the Los Angeles Times. Or anyone else out there who wants to know what we have public regarding this critical year! We know it’s a critical year!! We know we’re near something! But we are not saying. (Stops talking. Audience applause)
We are well along in this year 1975. I don’t mean that we are here July, rather February the 10th, just a little over one month in 1975, I mean we are well along in the BIBLE YEAR 1975! We know that Nations and organizations have their years by which they make a tally of their operations and their accomplishments, or make up their budgets for the coming year like the United States has a fiscal year which I believe begins in July, not January 1st. And so, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society also has a year which does not begin with January 1. It’s a sabbath year! And it Talley’s all the service records from which all the countries that Jehovah’s Witnesses are operating and that service year begins September 1 and runs to the following August 31. And then the year is complete and their forthcoming when the annual yearbook of Jehovah’s Christian Witnesses.
So, the BIBLE YEAR does not start with this manmade commencement of the secular year of January 1. But it is a lunar year! And just as it says here in this book, the creation of Adam was in the Early Autumn of the year. So with regard to this year in 1975, measures by bible times would be a lunar year! And this lunar year 1975 according to the Jewish calendar begin Monday at sundown on September 16th, ran through midnight and the following morning and afternoon to sundown of September 17th! THAT WAS THE FIRST DAY OF THE LUNAR YEAR, 1975! And according to the same lunar calendar, why, tonight we are at the beginning of the 29th day of the month [unintelligible]! And tomorrow night, why, the new month of Agar (?) the sixth month of the lunar calendar, begins. So you see that we are right at the end of the first 5 months of the lunar year 1975 and WE JUST HAVE 7 MORE MONTHS TO GO! Tomorrow night after Sundown the month Agar will begin. And then in March the month Nisan will begin and on the 27 of March, we will be celebrating the Lord’s supper at the memorial of the death of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
And if we measure 12 lunar months in September the 16th and 17th it brings us down to September 5, and at sundown on September 5, the lunar year 1975 ENDS. So you see we haven’t got much left to the year 1975. It’s going to end at sundown of September 5th. Now our inquiry from around the world from the brothers as to what they’re expecting to occur between now and the end of 1975, it’s revealed that SOME are very [unintelligible] about matters in the near future, and they’re expecting the Great Tribulation to a car and the destruction of Babylon the Great and the annihilation of all of the political systems of this world and The binding of Satan and his demons and they’re [unintelligible] to occur before this year is ended, this year 1975, and immediately thereafter, the 1000 year reign of the Lord Jesus Christ shall begin. So, they’re expecting a great deal! And they’re mentioning their views to the brothers and sisters in the congregation, and raising their expectations very, very high indeed. Well now, we are not saying that by the end of this year 1975, all these things CANNOT TAKE PLACE, that God cannot bring all these things ABOUT! He CAN! He’s Almighty! And this omnipotent one can bring this about in a HURRY if he wants to do so. But in view of what the scriptures inform us are we warranted in expecting so much to occur by September 5, 1975? Does September 6th at sundown when 1976 lunar begins mean that it is time for the thousand year reign of Jesus Christ to begin? And does it mean that we are six thousand years advanced into the 7th day? The 7th created day of Jehovah God, his rest day, his Sabbath day. Does it mean that? No, not according to this book, and what’s been published since! And why do we say that? Well all this book says is that 1975 marks the end of the 6th 1000 year day of man’s existence. Well that period of time the six 1000-year days which man has survived til now, began when? They began ON the 6 created day of Jehovah God. They began when Adam was created, the first man!
Return to Genesis 6 chapter one and it’s right to the point in Genesis chapter 1 verse 26 where God speaks to His companion workmate and he says “let us make man in our image according to our likeness”. That’s what the morning text says but the verse 26 goes on to say and let them have in subjection the vision of the and the flying creatures of the heavens and every moving thing that is moving on the Earth. Denver 7 says God created Man In His Image in his likeness, male and female. Not male alone, but male and female, and God bless them and God said to them be fruitful and the fill the Earth and subdue it…”
So, God produced male and female and marry them and gave them their Commission and this occurred when? On the 6th created day because the last verse of Genesis 1 verse 31 says after that, after all of these created works God saw everything that he had made and look! It was very good which meant it was a work perfectly done. His activity is perfect Deuteronomy says…..and the closing verse says the closing of the morning and evening came to be the sixth day. It used to be taught that Adam was created on the sixth day and when the sixth day ended Eve was created in the beginning of the 7th Day. So the Bible doesn’t put it that way. Both female and male both male and female were created on the 6th thousand-year day of Jehovah God.
But the point is this. Were the male and the female created at the same time simultaneously? Well if they were created simultaneously at the same instant of time, then the year 1975 would Mark the end of the sixth 1000-year day of human existence including the existence of Eve the woman the female as well as the existence of Adam, the male, the man. But is that the case? No, to find out whether Adam and Eve, the male, the female according to Genesis chapter 1 were created instantaneously simultaneously we have to turn to Genesis the second chapter where were given more details on the matter inverse 7 goes on to say that God formed man of the dust of the ground and he breathed through his nostrils the Breath of Life and the Man became a living soul and God took the man that he created and put him in the Garden of Eden…to cultivate it…he gave him a job to do. Now this account shows us that the man the male, was all alone for a while, the only human occupant in the Garden of Eden the paradise of pleasure… and we know this to be the case because after that God caused all the animals to be brought before Adam for him to name so to name them he would have to observe them characteristically and their habits, their appearance, and give them a fitting name. And the Bible says that whatever Adam called each animal that was its name! Now this took time time didn’t it? It didn’t take place in one day bringing all the animals before this man and his inspecting them and giving them an appropriate name, it must have taken time. It doesn’t mean that God brought before Adam every variety of every species of every animal and flying creatures. No it doesn’t necessarily mean that. When he was naming them he was naming the whole species like the dog family, the cat family, and so on. And how long did this take? Not necessarily a very long time all depending on the speed which God brought these animals before Adam. In the case of Noah he was told to bring all the animals into the ark, and he took specimens, not every variety, he took specimens of all these animals into the ark and it only took him a week to do that. So Adam could have likewise named all the animals inside of a week and get fully acquainted with them but the Bible is not specific on how much time it took but it comes to this conclusion. That Adam after he had named all of these specimens of animals before him (unintelligible)…. Likewise he felt lonely. And he desired a companion. Through he had a companionship with God. But God was invisible as well. And they had loving family converse between themselves. (Unintelligible….unintelligible… Unintelligent… ) sexual human contact with the beasts of the earth. And God saw the state of Affairs and he proceeded to say it is not good for man to be by himself alone. I will create a helper for him, a compliment for him. So God proceeded to create something, the sixth day was not yet ended. What did he create? He could have created another man like Adam and that man could have been a pleasant companion for Adam. They could have had a pleasant conversation communication and association between themselves. But if the Earth had to be filled God would have to make a direct creation of each additional man to fill the world and if there was sin that entered into the world with all of these men God would have to provide [unintelligible] for each and every one of those sinful man. But God is a great economist. He made a deep sleep fall upon Adam and the operation that he performed on him was painless surgery and he opened up his side’s, took out a rib which was full of marrow, that can produce blood and he closed up the… [Unintelligible]
… to here upon this Earth but procreation by means of the birth of the first human pair be put upon the Earth, the male and the female. That becomes apparent that there was a time between the creation of Adam and the creation of Eve and it was finished with the creation of Eve, that the 6th day ended. Because there’s no record in the Bible that God created anything Earthly after he created Eve. And it says in Hebrews 4 verse 3….. And God produced the first male and female, and told them to procreate there a God [unintelligible] the whole world of mankind that would fill this Earth comfortably in a Paradise.
Consequently the sixth created day came to an end with the creation of Eve. Now how long after the creation of Adam that was the Bible does not specify. We cannot calculate but it was a period of time shorter or longer.
****Now if it was just a month after Adam’s creation then six thousand years from its creation would still end in the calendar year of 1975 it would end in October. If it were two months after Adam’s creation then it would end two months after September 5th. If it were three months after Adam’s creation that it would end in December early in December well before December 31st. But if it were longer than three months or if it were a full year after Adam’s creation, that he was created, then the six thousand years of human existence including the eve would end in 1976. If it were two years then it would end in 1977.
So you see WE CAN EXPECT THAT AFTER SEPTEMBER THE 5TH, 1975 there will be a period of time caused by the intervals of Adam and Eve’s creation and this period of time will run on for how long we don’t know until six thousand years of Eve’s creation… takes place, uh.. terminates. In other words 6,000 years from the end of the sixth created day will terminate at the definite interval of time. Well if this is the case then we do not have to even expect that everything is going to be over with by the September 5th of this year. But rather if there is an interval of time of 6000 years of creation of Eve coming on the scene things could happen in that interval of time that remains in our experience. Before the thousand years of Jesus Christ begins… therefore we think that’s September 5th of this year does not mean that we are six thousand years into the seventh Creation day of Jehovah God and that immediately after September 5th, that the millennial Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ must begin in order to fulfill the final Thousand Years of God’s great 7th created day.
***Well, then AFTER September 5th, things could happen and IT LOOKS VERY LIKELY THAT THEY’RE GOING TO HAPPEN, according to the way that affairs are going in the world, and according to the admission of the ruling class of this world. Then there could come the Great Tribulation in which Babylon the great the world Empire of false religion will be utterly wiped out and the Earth be cleansed of all false religion. And this to be followed by the annihilation of all the political powers and superpowers of this world in the battle of the great day of the almighty of Armageddon and then instantly following that the chaining of Satan and his demons and the hurling of them into the abyss for a thousand years and after that the thousand years of the Lord Jesus Christ would begin.
So we see that God could accomplish this in that interval of time that follows September 5th 1975 and God could make a speedy work of it! He says he’s going to make a short work of it! And didn’t the Lord Jesus tell us that [unintelligible] that if it were not cut short then no human being would survive, the chosen ones that God has chosen, HE has come forth today! And therefore SOME flesh WILL SURVIVE! And that’s where the great crowd the sheep and their hope are being preserved through the Great Tribulation the battle of Armageddon and the finale and The Binding of Satan and the [unintelligible] into the righteous new system of things [unintelligible] under the Heavenly Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
So it can come quickly within a short time after the terminal day of the lunar year 1975 and we should not jump to wrong uhhh.. decisions on that account. [Unintelligible] the time after September 5th 1975 is indefinitely long and for the [unintelligible] for me to realize my human aspirations. Getting married and raising a family, kids. Or going to college for a few years, and learning engineering. Or finding a position as a civil engineer or an electrical engineer or some other prominent fine paying job. NO!!! THE TIME DOES NOT ALLOW FOR THAT DEAR FRIENDS! The time is short as the apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:29 THE TIME LEFT IS REDUCED!!! HE SAID THAT 1900 YEARS AGO AND IT’S 1900 YEARS REDUCED BY NOW!!! THE YEAR 1975…AND EVIDENTLY, THERE’S NOT MUCH TIME LEFT! So Jesus said the time is coming like a thief in the night….and He said in Luke 21 that one the Fig Tree and all the other trees bud, you’ll know that summer is near in the same way that you will so when you see these things occur you will know that the kingdom of God is near!! [Unintelligible] I SAY TO YOU! THIS GENERATION WILL BY NO MEANS PASS AWAY UNTIL ALL THINGS ARE FULFILLED!! HEAVEN AND EARTH WILL PASS AWAY BUT MY WORD WILL BY NO MEANS PASS AWAY! And we hear of this generation particularly those [unintelligible] like Brother Howard John in 1914 , they have lived already 61 years into this generation, beyond 1914!! This generation is pretty well near the close of the life expectancy here on this Earth and Jesus said this is going to come within this generation. So if we know anything then we know that the kingdom of God in the [unintelligible] work towards the devils organization and the ushering in of the great Sabbath day of which the Lord Jesus Christ, that day [unintelligible…..] is HERE!!!
Now let’s not fool ourselves about the matter and start making plans which are not warranted by the [unintelligible] of the hour! Even if we don’t know how long after the date September 5th 1975 that time will extend itself! Let us take the cooperative view with regards to 1975 AND NOT MAKE UNWARRANTED PREDICTIONS TO BE FOUND TO BE FALSE PROPHETS. But just [unintelligible] of what the bible has to say, and take the same view of the matter and live accordingly! And if things extend themselves in this old system of things beyond 1975 September 5th, then let us rejoice that they we are still here on the earth with the wonderful prospect of surviving the great tribulation which is ni at hand! And let us keep on in this work which we know is the right work the Bible’s work it’s the work approved by Jehovah God and he’s shown his approval visibly by blessing the activities of his people till now and giving us marvelous increases in the membership of the Theocratic organization all around the world. (Applause)
So now is the time to preach the word and keep on preaching it and may Jehovah God help all of us as we approach this crucial year, our month, that are ahead. And may we do just what Jesus says in Luke 21 vs 34 to 36, not become overwhelmed with heavy drinking and overeating and the pleasures of this life and anxieties of this life for he says keep walking and continue to supplicate that you may succeed and [unintelligible] before the Son of Man. May Jehovah God help us all to continue on that course.
(Speaker: stand and sing song #119, Keep Your Eyes on the Prize”