The "End" of mankind, which has been long predicted by Jehovah's Witnesses, could happen as soon as THIS YEAR - according to latest announcement from the Christian religion.
In the latest edition of Jehovah's Witnesses monthly publication Watchtower, an article – translated into 700 languages - urges people to join the religion or face certain death when God sends his forces from the heavens to "remove all world leaders," "exterminate his enemies" and "rid the world of Satan".
Critics have lambasted the warning of a coming Armageddon as yet another "failed prediction" by the religion, which has previously delivered similar alerts such as a foretold apocalypse in 1975.
Indeed, Jehovah's Witnesses have been warning people of the need to recognise Jehovah or face certain death when the "End" comes for more than 100 years.
The Christian-based religion was founded in the 1870s by Charles Taze Russell in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US, as an offshoot from the Bible Studies movement.
Today, there are 8.2million Jehovah's Witness evangelists, while 19.9 million celebrated their annual Memorial festival – marking Christ's death - worldwide in 2014.
Followers do not believe in military service and will not accept blood transfusions.
In a new eight-page article, Watchtower said Jehovah's Witness leaders are now "convinced" humans are in their "final days" before the Armageddon.
They cite an increase in global armed conflict, such as the rise of the Islamic State terror group, as well as natural disasters such as volcanoes and earthquakes.
The lengthy article, written by an unnamed author, said: "Will God let humans continue to dominate one another and threaten the future of mankind? No, as we have seen, he will step in and bring an end to centuries of misery and oppression. "The Creator of humans and the Earth wants you to know that his time to take action is approaching.
"God has given us his Word, which describes striking global trends. As we see those landmark events unfolding, we become convinced that we are in the time period leading up to the end.
"The publishers of this magazine and many of its readers have no doubt that this unique period really is the last days and that the end is near.
It adds: "We can readily discern this much: God will send an army of angelic creatures to exterminate his enemies."
The article also claims that, although the "End" will be horrific and involve "destruction not seen since the world was formed", there is a way for humans to survive.
But, it is not through stockpiling resources such as tinned food.
The article states: "Clearly, if we were to stockpile material goods, that would not save us from such a destruction. Really, our survival involves being devoted to Jehovah God and learning about the kind of conduct and deeds that please him.
"Rather than following the majority today and ignoring the clear signals that we are living in such important times, we need to 'keep close in mind the presence of the day of Jehovah.'
"Jehovah’s Witnesses can show you from the Bible how you can be a survivor of this upcoming day."
However, according to a group that publishes research about Jehovah's Witnesses, which is a religion practiced in 240 countries, the creed has a history of prematurely warning of the "End" - before trying to erase such pronouncements from its history.
Monitors point to several previous predictions, such as a forewarning of Armageddon in 1914 – although Jehovah's Witnesses later claimed they had foreseen the outbreak of the First World War, which began in the same year.
A spokesman for website jwfacts.com said: "One of the most misleading statements in Watchtower publications is that they accurately foretold 1914 to be the 'start' of the conclusion of this system of things.
"Rather, 1914 was predicted to be the 'End' of the system of things, the conclusion of Armageddon and the start of the Earthly paradise."
"From 1966 to 1975, the Watchtower regularly implied that Armageddon would arrive in 1975. However, ask one of Jehovah's Witnesses about this date and they will invariably deny there ever being such statements."
How the Watchtower article explains the Armageddon occurring:
•Earth as we know it will be destroyed, but the planet will survive forever with a select few beings.
•A scheduled event set by God will occur, who already knows the date of it.
•Armageddon will not be triggered by nuclear war or by an Earth-destroying meteorite, but by God sending in his angelic warriors to slay rivals and non believers.
•It will herald the end of "failing world governments" and the setting up of a permanent government ruled by God forever.
•The apocalypse will bring an end to all war, violence and injustice and all other religions.
•Anyone who supports or takes part in the current global leadership system will perish.
•The Armageddon precedes a 1,000-year 'judgement day' when all dead people will rise to see if they should due let into a new kingdom.
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