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1914 - End of the Gentile Nations

 

AT the time of writing 91 years have past since 1914, so we’re nearly one tenth into the millennial reign of Jesus’ rule on Earth. . Have events that the Watchtower predicted to happen on or after 1914 actually happen?  No they have not.

Prior to 1914 the watchtower made a number of predictions but the outbreak of war in Europe was not one of them. On the whole the Watchtower was expecting Armageddon.

Have we seen the “wonderful manifestations of divine judgments against all unrighteousness”? No we have not.

Have we seen the churches of Christendom fall? No we have not.

Have we seen the end of the gentile nations?   Certainly not, for the fact is that the number of nations has actually tripled  since 1914, so for at least 2 thirds of all the nations currently on earth this is their time of their beginning not the time of their end.

And just how does the Watchtower get to their 1914 date. Simple, they take the “Seven Times” prophecy in Daniel and convert this to 7 years, they then calculate that 7 years are equal to 2,520 days (on the basis that there 12 months in a year each with only 30 days making a Watchtower year equal to 360 days and not 365). The Watchtower then convert these 2,520 days back into years and add them to the date of 607 B.C.E., which they believe was the date of the fall of Jerusalem, and finally arrive at the date of 1914. Simple isn’t it!

However, as every single authority on Babylonian history will tell you, the fall of Jerusalem actually occurred in 586/587 B.C.E. which is 20 years after the Watchtower’s 607 B.C.E. date.  So quite clearly they are wrong with their own calculation, if the Watchtower uses the correct date for the fall of Jerusalem they would arrive at the date 1934.

Here are some important quotes from the Watchtower about 1914. Please notice how they initially expected that 1914 would see an end to all trouble, as opposed to their current thinking that it is time that marks the start of all trouble.

The Watchtower Reprints, October 1890, p. 1243

The Millennium of peace and blessing would be introduced by forty years of trouble, beginning slightly in 1874 and increasing until social chaos should prevail in 1914

[Emphasis Added]

The Watchtower Reprints, January 15, 1892, p.1355

The date of the close of that ‘battle’ is definitely marked in Scripture as October, 1914. It is already in progress, its beginning dating from October, 1874.

[Emphasis Added]

The Watchtower Reprints, October 1890, p. 1243

The Millennium of peace and blessing would be introduced by forty years of trouble, beginning slightly in 1874 and increasing until social chaos should prevail in 1914

[Emphasis Added]

The Watchtower Reprints, July 15, 1894, p. 1677

We see no reason for changing the figures — nor could we change them if we would. They are, we believe, God’s dates, not ours. But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble.

[Emphasis Added]

The Watchtower Reprints, September 15, 1901, p. 2876

The culmination of the trouble in October, 1914, is clearly marked in the Scriptures; and we are bound therefore to expect a beginning of that severe trouble not later than 1910; — with severe spasms between now and then.

[Emphasis Added]

The following quote is very interesting notice how the Anarchy has to precede 1914 and not after

The Watchtower Reprints, August 15, 1904, p.3415

Question. — If the ‘Times of the Gentiles’ can be changed as suggested in the July Tower, so that the anarchy will follow 1914 A.D., instead of preceding it, might not similar changes be made in respect to all the various lines of prophetic time proof set forth in Millennial Dawn, Vols. II and III?

Answer. — You are entirely in error. Not a figure, not a date, not a prophecy is in any sense or degree affected by the article to which you refer. Indeed the harmony and unity of the whole is the more fully demonstrated… The harmony of the prophetic periods of the correctness of out Bible chronology. They fit together like the cog-wheels of a perfect machine. To change the chronology even one year would destroy all this harmony, — so accurately are the various proofs drawn together in the parallels between the Jewish and Gospel ages.

[Emphasis Added]

 

The Divine Plan of the Ages, 1905, end notes

THINGS YOU OUGHT TO KNOW AS CHRISTIAN BIBLE STUDENTS

DO YOU KNOW THAT

We are now living in "the Time of the End" of this Gospel age?

— Our epoch is "the Day of God's Preparation" for the Millennial age?

— The "Days of Waiting" are ended and the "Cleansing of the Sanctuary" — the Church, — the separating of its Wheat and Tares, is now in progress?

— This is the reason for the beginning of the Return of Divine Favor to Fleshly Israel — blinded for centuries — to permit the gathering of an elect class from among the Gentiles?

— This favor is gradually taking shape and known as Zionism?

— Immanuel's Kingdom is now in process of establishment?

The Great Pyramid in Egypt is a Witness to all these event of the ages and of our day — testifying in symbols?

The Pyramid's downward passage under "A Draconis" symbolizes the course of Sin? Its First Ascending Passage symbolizes the Jewish age? Its grand Gallery symbolized the Gospel age? Its Upper Step symbolized the approaching period of tribulation and anarchy, "Judgments," upon Christendom? Its King's Chamber the Divine Nature, etc., of the Overcoming Church — the Christ, Head and Body? Its Ante-Chamber the Correction in Righteousness of the "Great Company" etc.? Its Queen's Chamber those of Israel and the world who attain Restitution?

All these interesting topics with ten Pyramid illustrations can be had in "Thy Kingdom Come" [Studies in the Scriptures vol III]

[Emphasis Added]

The Time Is at Hand (SS-2), 1907 ed., p. 76-78

In this chapter we will present the Bible evidence proving that the full end of the times of the Gentiles, i.e., the full end of their lease of dominion, will be reached in A.D. 1914; and that date will be the farthest limit of the rule of imperfect men...

Firstly, That at that date the Kingdom of God, for which our Lord taught us to pray, saying, "Thy Kingdom come," will obtain full, universal control, and that it will then be "set up," or firmly established, in the earth, on the ruins of present institutions.

Secondly, It will prove that he whose right it is thus to take the domination will then be present as earth’s new Ruler...

Thirdly, It will prove that some time before the end of A.D. 1914 the last member of the divinely recognized Church of Christ, the "royal priesthood," "the body of Christ," will be glorified with the Head...

Fourthly, It will prove that from that time forward Jerusalem shall no longer be trodden down by the Gentiles...

Fifthly, it will prove that by that date, or sooner, Israel’s blindness will begin to be turned away...

Sixthly, It will prove that the great "time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation," will reach its culmination in a world-wide reign of anarchy...

Seventhly, It will prove that before that date God’s Kingdom, organized in power, will be in the earth and then smite and crush the Gentile image (Dan. 2:34) - and fully consume the power of these kings.

[Emphasis Added]

The next two quotes show a classic example of how the Watchtower easily switch their views

Thy Kingdom Come (Studies in the Scriptures Vol.3) (1908) p.228

That the deliverance of the saints must take place some time before 1914 is manifest, since the deliverance of fleshly Israel, as we shall see, is appointed to take place at that time, and the angry nations will then be authoritatively commanded to be still, and will be made to recognize the power of Jehovah's Anointed. Just how long before 1914 the last living members of the body of Christ will be glorified, we are not directly informed; but it certainly will not be until their work in the flesh is done; nor can we reasonably presume that they will long remain after that work is accomplished. With these two thought in mind, we can approximate the time of the deliverance.

[Emphasis Added]

Thy Kingdom Come (Studies in the Scriptures Vol.3) (1937) p.228

That the deliverance of the saints will take place some time after 1914 is manifest, since the deliverance of fleshly Israel, as we shall see, is appointed to take place thereafter, and the angry nations will then be authoritatively commanded to be still, and will be made to recognize the power of Jehovah's Anointed. Just how long after 1914 the last living members of the body of Christ will be glorified, we are not directly informed; but it certainly will not be until their work in the flesh is done; nor can we reasonably presume that they will long remain after that work is accomplished. With these two thought in mind, we can approximate the time of the deliverance.

[Emphasis Added]

The Time Is at Hand (SS-2), 1907, p. 101

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.

[Emphasis Added]

The Watchtower Reprints, January 1, 1914, p. 5373

As already pointed out, we are by no means confident that this year, 1914, will witness as radical and swift changes of dispensation as we have expected.

[Emphasis Added]

The Watchtower Reprints, September 1, 1914, p. 5527

While it is possible that Armageddon may begin next Spring, yet it is purely speculation to attempt to say just when.

[Emphasis Added]

The Watchtower Reprints, November 1, 1914, p.5565

Studying God’s Word, we have measured the 2520 years, the seven symbolic times, from that year 606 B.C. and have found that it reached down to October, 1914, as nearly as we were able to reckon. We did not say positively that this would be the year.

[Emphasis Added]

Notice the Watchtower’s use of the third person plural, ‘they’, instead of the first person plural, ‘we’, in the following quote. This is a common practice that the Watchtower uses when trying to distance themselves from past failed prophecies.

Light, 1930 ed. p., 194

All of the Lord’s people looked forward to 1914 with joyful expectation. When that time came and passed there was much disappointment, chagrin, and mourning, and the Lord’s people were greatly in reproach. They were ridiculed by the clergy and their allies in particular, and pointed to with scorn, because they had said so much about 1914, and what would come to pass, and their ‘prophecies’ had not been fulfilled.

[Emphasis Added]

Vindication I, 1931 ed., p. 338-339

There was a measure of disappointment on the part of Jehovah’s faithful ones on earth concerning the years 1914, 1918, and 1925, which disappointment lasted for a time. Later the faithful learned that these dates were definitely fixed in the Scriptures; and they also learned to quit fixing dates for the future and predicting what would come to pass on a certain date.

[Emphasis Added]

Man's Salvation Out Of World Distress At Hand (book) 1975 p.98

20 However, suddenly, there came an end to World War I. It did not lead on, as Bible students expected, into world revolution and anarchy or the battle of Armageddon. And the sincere worshipers of Jehovah, who were in the new covenant with him through his Mediator Jesus Christ, found themselves still in the flesh on the earth. But still in captivity to Babylon the Great and her political, military, judicial paramours!

[Emphasis Added]

Man's Salvation Out Of World Distress At Hand (book) 1975 pp.190-191

20 Therefore the time for the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy concerning the transformation of the disposition of animal life dates from the postwar year 1919 C.E. onward. This marked the beginning of a period of education in the written Word of God from the standpoint that Bible prophecy is best understood after it has been fulfilled. So there needed to be a correction of our previous views, and the surviving remnant of spiritual Israel needed to be readjusted to the postwar realities and opportunities. The preaching of "this good news of the kingdom" now was to be, not of a coming heavenly government, but of God's Messianic kingdom now established in the heavens since the end of the "appointed times of the  [Gentile] nations" in the autumn of 1914. The liberated remnant were henceforth to be witnesses of the Lord God, the One who had taken his great power to reign in 1914 by means of the kingdom of his Christ. (Matthew 24:14; Luke 21:24; Revelation 11:15-17) This revised program of Bible education had a profound effect on the remnant. It oriented their work in the right direction.

[Emphasis Added]

Jehovah's Witnesses, Proclaimers of God's Kingdom (book), 1993 pp.635-6

1914—Expectations and Reality

In 1876, C. T. Russell wrote the first of many articles in which he pointed to the year 1914 as the end of the Gentile Times referred to by Jesus Christ. (Luke 21:24, KJ) In the second volume of Millennial Dawn, published in 1889, Brother Russell set out in a reasoned manner details that would enable readers to see the Scriptural basis for what was said and to check it for themselves. Over a period of nearly four decades leading up to 1914, the Bible Students distributed millions of copies of publications focusing attention on the end of the Gentile Times. A few other religious papers took note of the Bible chronology that pointed to the year 1914, but what group other than the Bible Students gave it ongoing international publicity and lived in a manner that showed that they believed that the Gentile Times would end in that year?

As 1914 neared, expectations heightened. What would it mean? In The Bible Students Monthly (Volume VI, No. 1, published early in 1914), Brother Russell wrote: "If we have the correct date and chronology, Gentile Times will end this year-1914. What of it? We do not surely know. Our expectation is that the active rule of Messiah will begin about the time of the ending of the lease of power to the Gentiles. Our expectation, true or false, is that there will be wonderful manifestations of Divine judgments against all unrighteousness, and that this will mean the breaking up of many institutions of the present time, if not all." He emphasized that he did not expect the "end of the world" in 1914 and that the earth abides forever, but that the present order of things, of which Satan is ruler, is to pass away.

In its issue of October 15, 1913, The Watch Tower had stated: "According to the best chronological reckoning of which we are capable, it is approximately that time-whether it be October, 1914, or later. Without dogmatizing, we are looking for certain events: (1) The termination of the Gentile Times-Gentile supremacy in the world-and (2) For the inauguration of Messiah's Kingdom in the world."

How would this come about? It seemed reasonable to the Bible Students then that it would include the glorification of any still on earth who had been chosen by God to share in the heavenly Kingdom with Christ. But how did they feel when that did not occur in 1914? The Watch Tower of April 15, 1916, stated: "We believe that the dates have proven to be quite right. We believe that Gentile Times have ended." However, it candidly added: "The Lord did not say that the Church would all be glorified by 1914. We merely inferred it and, evidently, erred."

In this they were somewhat like Jesus' apostles. The apostles knew and thought they believed the prophecies concerning God's Kingdom. But at various times they had wrong expectations as to how and when these would be fulfilled. This led to disappointment on the part of some.-Luke 19:11; 24:19-24; Acts 1:6.

When October 1914 passed without the expected change to heavenly life, Brother Russell knew that there would be serious searchings of heart. In The Watch Tower of November 1, 1914, he wrote: "Let us remember that we are in a testing season. The Apostles had a similar one during the interim between our Lord's death and Pentecost. After our Lord's resurrection, He appeared to His disciples a few times, and then they did not see Him for many days. Then they became discouraged and said, 'There is no use waiting'; 'I go fishing,' said one. Two others said, 'We will go with thee.' They were about to go into the fishing business and leave the work of fishing for men. This was a testing time for the disciples. So also there is one now. If there is any reason that would lead any to let go of the Lord and His Truth and to cease sacrificing for the Lord's Cause, then it is not merely the love of God in the heart which has prompted interest in the Lord, but something else; probably a hoping that the time was short; the consecration was only for a certain time."

That evidently was the case with some. Their thoughts and desires had been fixed primarily on the prospect of being changed to heavenly life. When this did not occur at the anticipated time, they closed their minds to the significance of the amazing things that did take place in 1914. They lost sight of all the precious truths that they had learned from God's Word, and they began to ridicule the people who had helped them to learn these.

Humbly, the Bible Students examined the Scriptures again, to let God's Word readjust their outlook. Their conviction that the Gentile Times had ended in 1914 did not change. Gradually they came to see more clearly how the Messianic Kingdom had begun-that it was established in heaven when Jehovah bestowed authority on Jesus Christ, his Son; also, that this did not have to wait until Jesus' joint heirs were raised to heavenly life but that they would be glorified with him later. In addition, they came to see that the spreading of the influence of the Kingdom did not require that first the faithful prophets of old be resurrected, but that the King would use loyal Christians now living as his representatives to set before people of all nations the opportunity to live forever as earthly subjects of the Kingdom.

As this grand picture opened before their eyes, further testing and sifting resulted. But those who truly loved Jehovah and took delight in serving him were very grateful for the privileges of service that opened up to them.-Rev. 3:7, 8.

[Emphasis Added]

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