How long have Jehovah's Witnesses been proclaiming the 1914 kingdom of Jesus?
"This is the heavenly Messianic kingdom that Jehovah's Christian witnesses have been proclaiming world wide since the year of its birth in the heavens at the end of the Gentile Times in the year 1914." (The Watchtower, October 15, 1975, p. 621)
"There was a great deal of work for God's anointed to do before their course on earth would be over. Furthermore, in 1925, for the first time, it was seen and understood that the Kingdom was actually BORN in 1914, that it was a fact. No longer was it a matter of proclaiming the time had come for the Kingdom, that the day was here for Satan's world to end, but the Kingdom had come and was ruling from heaven, and already a war in heaven had been fought. The Watchtower for March 1, 1925, published this information." (emphasis in original) (The Watchtower, July 15, 1951, p. 433)
"In the year 1943 the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society published the book, 'The Truth Shall Make You Free.' In its chapter 11, entitled 'The Count of Time,' it did away with the insertion of 100 years into the period of the Judges and went according to the oldest and most authentic reading of Acts 13:20...Naturally this did away with the year 1874 C.E. as the date of return of the Lord Jesus Christ and the beginning of his invisible presence or parousia...Page 324 of the above book positively says: 'The King's presence or parousia began in 1914.' Also, in the Watchtower issue of July 15, 1949 (page 215, paragraph 22), the statement is made: '...Messiah, the Son of man, came into Kingdom power A.D. 1914 and . . . this constitutes his second coming and the beginning of his second parousia or presence.'" (God's Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached, 1973, pp. 209-20)
So was it 1914, as the first quote says, 1925 when they actually realized it for the first time, as the second quote says, or 1943 when it actually became new light, as the third quote says?
LOTS of great answers so far...thanks everyone! But I don't think I've heard from any Jehovah's Witnesses yet.
Bar-Anerges, thank you for your attempt to help me reconcile these quotes, however I don't know how you can suggest this with a clean conscience if you know Watchtower history as well as you appear to. I do have Russell's book, "The Time is at Hand" from 1907. On page 101, it states, "Be not surprised, then, when in subsequent chapters we present proofs that the setting up of the Kingdom of God is already begun, that it is pointed out in prophecy as due to begin the exercise of power in A.D. 1878, and that the "battle of the great day of God Almighty" (Rev. 16:14), which will END in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth's present rulership, is already commenced."
Then in 1912 Russell explained that he did not know how to account for the year 0 between B.C. and A.D. and that the end could be in either 1914 or 1915. The 2520 years of Daniels seven times prophecy extends from 606 to 1915 once the year zero between B.C. and A.D. is removed. (See Watch Tower 12/1/1912, pp377-78)
So, after October 1914 passed, Russell used this explanation to change the date forward to 1915. See The Time is at Hand, 1915 ed., p. 101, which is available at Google books: http://books.google.com/books?id=baI3AAAAMAAJ&pg=P...
When 1915 didn't pan out, the date was changed to 1917 (The Finished Mystery, 1917, p268): "And the other.— The final form, of Arbitrator (whatever be the official title). Is not yet come.— But is due to make its appearance with the close of the war, some time about October 1st, 1917. (See comments on Rev. 16:17-21; Ex. 10:23.) Pastor Russell foretold the DARKNESS would come Oct. 1st. 1914, and it did!!" (emphasis in original)
Then it was changed to April or spring
of 1918 (WT 10/1/1917, pp 292-93; WT 12/15/1917, pp373-74); then in late 1918, the date was again changed to the fall of 1920 (The Finished Mystery, 1918 ed., pp. 179, 258, 313, 542); and finally the date was changed once again to 1925 (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 1920, p89; WT 4/1/23, p106).
Concerning the 1925 date, the Watchtower organization said, "The date 1925 is even more distinctly indicated by the scriptures than 1914." (WT 9/1/22, p262)
So, the REAL reason the 1914 date was rehashed in 1925 was because the latest prophecy had failed.
However, it was laid aside when the next date was set sometime in the early 40's. The Messenger, 9/1/40, p6 said: "The Kingdom is here, the King is enthroned. Armageddon is just ahead. The glorious reign of Christ that shall bring blessings to the world will immediately follow. Therefore the great climax has been reached. Tribulation has fallen upon those who stand by the Lord."
Then The Watchtower of 9/15/41 stated that we are "in the remaining months before Armageddon." (p288)
So, the REAL reason the 1914 date was finally settled upon in 1943 is because ANOTHER prophecy had failed.
Bar-Anerges, I'm curious...do you work out of Bethel?
Most of the publications I cited can be downloaded at the following link, although I have originals of many: http://www.a2z.org/wtarchive/archive.htm
I believe that Big Guy's analysis is very close to correct based on my research. The only difference in our opinions is at what point did "greed" enter the mix? I agree that financial greed probably did start with the reign of Rutherford, who lived in a mansion and drove Cadillacs through the Great Depression era. But a different form of greed was introduced prior to that, when the man who might have started out as a "young boy with good intentions" who warned against the dangers of organization published The Battle of Armageddon, teaching that the faithful and prudent servant was an individual (p. 613). Subsequently, he published articles about his great accomplishments, allowed his friends to proclaim him as "The Servant" and published letters praising him as "The Servant." So, I think the earliest greed manifest in Watchtower history was the greed for power.
- Big Guy 360Lv 69 years agoBest Answer
Judge Rutherford was still preaching the 1874 date up and until his Death. He, had no ideal or concept of the 1914 date as it stands today. He died in 1942 and it was not until 1943 the ideal or concept came to life as you have quoted. 1925 was Rutherford's prediction of the end of times and when it didn't happen, he did say that he would never do that again, and until his death he made no more predictions like the 1925 date. He stuck with the tried and true dates that keep the money coming in and his Mansion and Cadillacs in shape. They had been talking about the failed 1914 date since the death of Charles Taze Russell but nothing but talk. My understanding is they alluded to it, sample the waters, so to speak, but never come out with it until 1943 but come out with it in such a way as though it has always been that way.
You have to look at it this way, once Charles Russell died, it was all up in the air. It was Russell that made the whole thing stay together, he was the glue of the Watchtower. After his death Judge Rutherford took over in a hostile take over, he needed his edge. He needed his mark, the end was nearer then he thought, not to the world but to the Watchtower. Rutherford had to resurrect the Watchtower and he did this by keeping the Russell legacy alive with the changing dates with timely excuses until such excuses ran out in 1925 at that point a redefining moment. Rutherford had a business that was making a lot of money and he couldn't let it die. Redefining it and pushing dates out and using new excuse as new light and the door to door preaching established to bring in new members that were lost to the failed dates with new sales tactics. Look closely at all the publications from the time of Russell and that of Rutherford, he used what Russell was famous for and added his greed into the mix and came up with a new partner, the partner of deception which has been partnered with every president of this organization since. Deception, confusion and disowning the lie with excuses and blame. This is an evil organization, one that stared with all the good intentions of a young boy but fell to greed of the flesh and has never looked back since, just covering it's backside and stealing all the souls it can get.
Edit for last time:
You have completely destroyed their 1914 date with their own words, their own publications, their own history but they still will not believe. I believe somewhere in the book of John it tell us of the god of this world causes this blindness.
- 4 years ago
The March 1, 1925 WatchTower magazine has the article "Birth Of A Nation", and it states there that "Michael, who is Christ The Lord, has been present since 1874" - page 69. Couldn't see any reference to 1914 as the date for the birth of the kingdom in heavens.
- Grey TowerLv 79 years ago
This is very confusing. Let’s look at the publications starting from the earliest one and working to the most recent you’ve quoted from:
1943 The Truth Shall Make You Free, chapter 11 explains how the year 1874 was NOT the return of Jesus Christ or the start of his invisible presence as previously thought. On page 324 it says “The King’s presence or parousia began in 1914.”
According to ‘God’s Kingdom of a Thousand Years has Approached,’ published in 1973, the 15 July 1949 Watchtower, page 215, confirms the date 1914.
According to the 15 July 1951 Watchtower, page 433, it says that “The Watchtower for March 1, 1925 published this information [about 1914]." It also claims in that article that it was in 1925 that it was first seen and understood that the Kingdom was actually BORN in 1914, and that it was a fact.
Then the 15 October 1975 Watchtower, page 621, declares that “"This is the heavenly Messianic kingdom that Jehovah's Christian witnesses have been proclaiming world wide since the year of its birth in the heavens at the end of the Gentile Times in the year 1914."
Unless someone can find an original copy of the 1 March 1925 Watchtower, we shall never know if they first started to proclaim that Jesus’ second presence and the invisible establishment of the kingdom in heaven actually happened in 1914 rather than in 1874.
However, since they didn’t make the chronological changes (to amend the date from 1874 to 1914) till the publication in1943 of the book ‘The Truth Shall Make You Free,’ I fail to see how it was possible that they had been proclaiming the date 1914 since 1925.
EDIT: Jehovah’s Witnesses have preached about 1914 from the 1870s - but what they believed about that year has changed. Pre-1914 it used to be that Armageddon would be over by then because Jesus had returned invisibly in 1874. So 1874 marked the beginning of the time of the end, and the time of the end would be 1914. Then, post-1914, they changed the message. Now 1914 marked the beginning of the time of the end, not the end of that period! Here is some background information:
The ground was cut from under the deceased Russell's feet with the posthumous publication of The Finished Mystery in 1917. All Russell's calculations were set adrift and new, adjusted calculations were offered, pinpointing 1918 to be the year that would see the destruction of Christendom and the prospering of Zionism. The establishment of the kingdom of God in Palestine was expected in 1931, followed shortly after by the assault upon Palestine which Russell had described in 'The Battle of Armageddon' (though he had assigned an earlier date for that.) By 1927 what stocks remained of Russell's books were disposed of and no further editions were published. By 1930 the limit was reached of Russell's chronology being feasible. It was quietly dropped entirely and Rutherford pressed on with the new calculations. Now 1914 was seen as the date when Christ returned invisibly in kingdom power, and once the separating work of the sheep from the goats was completed, Armageddon would start.
From Robert Crompton's book "Counting the Days to Armageddon".
- Dr. PatrickLv 49 years ago
The logic and interpretations are so faulty that they can be knocked down various ways. Here are some examples:
Luke 21:24 is speaking of a future catastrophe that will take place, not one that has been on going since 607BC. The captivity of 607BC was long over with, and the Jews had already long built the Second Temple. The Haydock Commentary on Luke 21:24 gives a very clear and concise Catholic interpretation.
Luke 21:24 says nothing about Christ being installed as King - plus Jesus was already King long before 1914AD.
The date 607BC for Babylon conquering Jerusalem is not derived from Scripture, since Scripture doesn't record time in that manner. Not even secular historians accept this date (but rather 586BC), and it's all guess work anyway based on the unreliable and scant secular historical records available. No Christian should base their salvation on such 'data' and educated guesses.
Daniel 4 (read it!) says nothing about the Jews or anything related. It is explicitly and strictly talking about the King of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, who loses his kingdom and gets it back. Nothing more. The "seven times" mentioned are totally unrelated to Luke 21 and any other such event.
Revelation 12:6,14 does say "3.5 times" is "1,260 days," but there is no evidence it can be or is applied to Daniel 4. Further, Daniel 12:7,11 says "3.5 times" is equal to "1,290 days," a whole 30 days longer, yet the JWs ignore this for obvious reasons. In short: the Bible is not a secret-code book!
Revelation 11:2-3 speaks of a time when the Gentiles will trample Jerusalem, and uses the same Greek word for "trample" as Luke 21:24. But 11:2 says this trampling would last 42 months and equates this to 1,260 days, making the JW calculations off by half! Of course, they ignore this as well.
Since "nothing happened" after 2,520 days, the JWs jump to the conclusion these "days" must really represent "years." That's ridiculous. It means they will "keep trying" until they make this (already wrong) number mean something. Further, Num 14:34 & Eze 4:6 are not speaking prophetically, but rather in a specific case, not to be applied at will.
The final calculation...607BC + 2,520 = 1914AD...is a blatant math error! The years 607BC and 1914AD are Roman Years, while 2,520 is Jewish Years. It's adding the wrong units! It's like adding "2feet + 3meters = 5feet." The Roman calendar is 365days/year while the JewishBiblical Year is 360days/year (see Gn7-8 where 5 months = 150 days = 30days/month and especially Rev 11:2-3 which says 42 months = 1,260 days = 3.5 years).
With all this in mind, the date1914 is truly a house built on sand.
Spread the word!!
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- AnnLv 44 years ago
we were the only ones to warn people because we were the only ones who took it seriously. it was prophesied in the bible that 1914 was a time of dramatic events. not directly but certainly through the signs portrayed throughout the bible. careful examination of the WHOLE bible was needed in order to get to the time of 1914, but with Jehovahs help it was accomplished and the part that those witnesses had to play was that of warning those who were humble enough and alert enough to react.
- Anonymous9 years ago
There really is no contradiction in the quotes presented in this question. The only problem is that the questioner causes a false dichotomy by confusing several different events mentioned in the quotes: 1.) Christ’s presence, 2.) the birth of the kingdom in heaven and 3.) the establishment of Christ’s kingdom on earth.
A little more knowledge of what the early Witnesses believed would show that the quotes accurately convey the gradual changes in what was believed regarding these events.
The Witnesses have been proclaiming the arrival of the Messianic kingdom since long before 1914 as the quotes below will prove.
It is true that in 1925 the Witnesses “understood that the Kingdom was actually *born* in 1914.” Prior to that time they felt the kingdom was *born* in heaven in 1874 but would not be “fully established” or “hold sway” over the earth until 1914. And so they had been proclaiming its birth since the 1800's, but now they simply corrected their preaching to reflect its birth in 1914.
It is also true that by 1943 the Witnesses recognized that 1874 did not mark the return and beginning of Christ’s parousia. They now realized that Christ’s spiritual presence coincided with 1914. So the statement in 1949 is also true by stating that all three events occurred at the same time.
So EVERY statement in the quotes was accurate. The only falsehood was in the claim that there is any conflict with these statements from the WT literature.
Now notice these quotes which prove that JWs were in fact “proclaiming the 1914 kingdom of Jesus” “world wide since the year of its birth in the heavens at the end of the Gentile Times in the year 1914":
"The Times of the Gentiles extend to 1914, and the heavenly kingdom will not have full sway till then, but the kingdom of God is set up...The kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord."
w8/1882; 1 and w7/1882; 2:
“...the true King of earth to exercise his authority will not be fully accomplished until A.D. 1914.”
“when the kingdom of heaven has been fully established in the earth. Which we understand will be about 1914 A.D.”
“the final overthrow of present governments will ... end with 1914 by the establishment of Christ's Millennial government.”
“the great prophetic period...will end with 1914...and the establishment of the Kingdom of God's Son.”
w7/ 1899; 172:
“the "Times of the Gentiles" merely means the years ...between the time of the removal of God's typical kingdom and the time of the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom Oct 1914.”
“... in respect to the time of the establishment of the Kingdom...We might say that the volumes of Millennial Dawn have been announcing the Kingdom,... that it will reach full establishment in October, 1914.”
“October, 1914, A.D. By that time the heavenly Kingdom will be in power.”
“Our Lord's presence, as shown in MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. II., dates from October, 1874, ...The Kingdom will be fully established or "set up" by October, A.D. 1914, as already pointed out.”
“1914 A.D. is the date when ...he, will take his power and reign.”
“The next thing in order, following the expiration of the "seven times" will be the establishment of Messiah's Kingdom ...The date, Oct., 1914, and the setting up of Christ's Kingdom.”
“the Divine Plan presented in the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES...the close of the year 1914--namely, about 10/1914--will mark the closing of the Times of the Gentiles, and the beginning of the Messianic Reign.”
“So far as our judgment goes, the Year 1914...marks the date for the beginning of Messiah's Kingdom...We believe that the Parousia of our Redeemer took place thirty-nine years ago and ...the conditions will shortly lead up to the establishment of His own Kingdom.”
“The next point of time Scripturally marked was 10/1914--the close of the Times of the Gentiles...and the full establishment of Messiah's Kingdom in the control of earth.”
So as usual, such criticisms only demonstrate how people take advantage of others' ignorance and misrepresent the facts.
No room, but your main additional point has been answered regarding the start of the Kingdom in heaven in 1874, then its coming to earth and Armageddon in 1914.
You also falsely misrepresent the reason for 1915. This date was regularly discussed as a possibility several years BEFORE 1914 (w/8/1911; 238, w12/1912; 377) so was not changed after the fact!
Seeing as they always said that prophecy fulfilment would only be really known AFTER the fact, there is no problem with trying to discern other dates for the *earthly* coming of the Kingdom. But, you notice that 1914 for the Presence in *heavenly* power became more firm.Source(s): w11/1913; 344: “the full establishment of the Kingdom of God will be accomplished at 1914." 5/1914; 133: “the Gentile Times expire with the close of 1914...by the establishment of the Kingdom of His dear Son with great and glorious power.”
- crosseyedLv 69 years ago
was definitely not 1914 or 1925, as in 1929 they were still going on about 1874.
"From 1874 onward is the time of the Lord’s second presence, as above stated… his circumstantial evidence fulfilling prophecy is what constitutes the physical facts, and is proof corroborative of the Lord’s presence since 1874…His presence beginning in 1874, he has carried on his harvest work from 1874 forward…
Our Lord’s Return 1929 pp. 27, 33, 37
i have read previously that it was 1933 they switched, but i'm unable to find it again at the moment.
1927 Creation, p.312
"To understand the events concerning the Lord's second presence from 1874 to 1914 requires one to be spiritually minded...."
hyuk hyuk. apparently modern jws are not spiritually minded.
1929 Prophecy, p.65
"The Scriptural proof is that the second presence of the Lord Jesus Christ began in 1874 A.D."
oh, it's scriptural proof is it? not watchtower interpretation?
face it. the watchtower is caught in their lies again.
- 9 years ago
Thanks for pointing that one out. Have not thought of that one before but it is obvious. Funny how we can overlook the obvious things at first when we are listening to the spew from the WT society. You are entirely correct to point this out and yes, another lie from the WT society.
EDIT: peacelilly you asked BAR ANERGES "I'm curious...do you work out of Bethel?". I have wondered about that one myself. The line of reasoning behind what this person uses is so twisted, you would swear that you were reading a watchtower. A lot of what this person uses, seems a cover up skill somewhat not too dissimilar, to the art of someone who had a part in the writing of the WT
- buddhamasterLv 59 years ago
They declared it in 1914, but they have postponed the agrmageddon several times. The last date was in 1976.. But i have lost track of it. Theist seems to like making prophesies and always miss the date like the jews have been waiting for the messaiah since moses's time. I must confess that I have completely lost all belief in prophesies altogether. even if it is purportedly attributed to nostradamus or no-stradamus. I am getting hopelessly skeptical.
- Anonymous9 years ago
Ever since Russell stole the debunked concept from Nelson Barbour of the Adventists, then manipulated it to fit his whacked idea to interpret the Great Pyramid of Giza, then it failed, but was readopted by the opportunist/con artist Joey Rutheford who found some retarded way of using scripture to reestablish this otherwise "just another year in history" as significant to a bunch of brainwashed fools.
Dr. Patrick: You are the man!