Another Blog from UK Partnerships for Christ (www.upfc.org.uk)

1914 by VIcky Gilpin


This article is about 1914 and the significance of this date to the watchtower society and those who listen to their teachings, the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

To understand the significance of this date and the teachings around it, we need to look at what the Watchtower Society said about this date before and after 1914.

Firstly we’ll look at what the Church presently teaches about 1914…

– Christ’s invisible “Second Presence” or (second coming) began in 1914
– Satan and his followers were cast out of Heaven in 1914
– The Last days began

The following quote is from www.watchtower.org, and is the churches current teaching on the date. They teach that Christ began His invisible reign in Heaven in 1914.

“Before we examine the visible evidence that we are living in “the last days” of the
present system of things; let us briefly consider an important event that happened in the invisible spirit realm. (2 Timothy 3:1) Jesus Christ became King in heaven in the year 1914. * (Daniel 7:13, 14) Immediately after receiving Kingdom power, Jesus took action. The Bible tells us: “War broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled.” (Revelation 12:7) “Michael the archangel” is Jesus Christ in his heavenly position. (Jude 9:1, Thessalonians 4:16) The dragon is Satan the Devil. How did Satan and his wicked angelic followers, called demons, fare in the conflict? They lost that war and were “hurled down,” or cast out of heaven, to the vicinity of the earth.

The Watchtower teaches that Satan has now come to earth. We are therefore living in the last days.

“Woe for the earth,” foretold the Bible, “because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing he has a short period of time.”—Revelation 12:12.d that we are now in the last days.  – (www.watchtower.org)

What does the Bible say about this? Well the Bible talks about Satan having already been cast down from Heaven, and obviously the Bible was written well before 1914.

2 Peter 2:4 (NIV)
 4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgement;

Jude 1:6 (NIV)
6 And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgement on the great Day. Notice the past tense!

Also the Bible say’s no one, but God himself knows when Christ’s return will be!

Matthew 24:36 (NIV)
36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

So lets look at what the Watchtower was teaching about the date 1914, before this date had occurred.

Before 1914 the Watchtower said…

“The year A.D. 1878, … clearly marks the time for the actual assuming of power as King of kings, by our present, spiritual, invisible Lord….” Studies in the Scriptures – Thy Kingdom Come (1911 ed)p.239

So here we have the Watchtower stating that 1878 (and not 1914,) is the year that Jesus assumed the position of King in Heaven.  It also calls Jesus “our present, spiritual, invisible Lord.” That would have to mean that Jesus began to reign invisibly before 1914.

“A.D. 33, to A.D. 70 was 36 ½ years; and so from A.D. 1878 to the end of A.D. 1914 is 36 ½ years. And, with the end of A.D. 1914, what God calls Babylon, and what men call Christendom, will have passed away, as already shown in prophecy.” Studies In the Scriptures Series III – Thy Kingdom Come (1891) p.153

“October, 1914, will witness the full end of Babylon, “as a great millstone cast into the sea,” utterly destroyed as a system.” Watch Tower 1911 June 15 p.190

The above two quotes prophetically predict that by 1914, Christendom, meaning Any Christian denomination, which does not adhere to the Watchtower teachings, will have past away! Christianity, is what the Watchtower identifies as Babylon.  And as stated above, October 1914,according to the Watchtower, should have seen the utter destruction of ‘this system.’

                                           So why are there still Many Christians upon the earth?

                                   Why is it now taught that Jesus began to reign invisibly in 1914?

The Watchtower now teaches that Satan came to the earth in 1914, thus began the last days, ‘the time of trouble.’ Which conveniently was the date for the beginning of world war one. Prior to 1914 However 1914 was seen as the date that would be the “end of the time of trouble.” And the forty years leading up to 1914 were to be troubled times, the last days.

“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. Zion’s Watch Tower 1894 July 15 p.226

“Now, in view of recent labour troubles and threatened anarchy, our readers are writing to know if there may not be a mistake in the 1914 date. They do not see how present conditions can hold out so long under the strain. 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.” Zions Watch Tower 1894 July 15 p.226

” The battle of the great day of God Almighty 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.” Zion’s Watch Tower 1892 January 15 p.23

“True, it is expecting great things to claim, as we do, that within the coming twenty-six years all present governments will be overthrown and dissolved…. In view of this strong Bible evidence concerning the Times of the Gentiles, we consider it an established truth that the final end of the kingdoms of this world, and the full establishment of the Kingdom of God, will be accomplished by the end of A.D. 1914″ (STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, Vol. 2, pp.98-99).

…. 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….”  (STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, Vol. 2, p.101).

So how could Gods ‘true Church change its teachings like this? Has it acknowledged that it made a mistake in the first place?

“The Watchtower has consistently presented evidence…that Jesus’ presence in heavenly Kingdom power began in 1914. Events since that year testify to Jesus’ presence. … Jehovah’s Witnesses have consistently shown from the Scriptures that the year 1914 marked the beginning of this world’s time of the end and that “the day of judgement and of destruction of the ungodly men” has drawn near.” Watchtower 1993 January 15 pp.5,9

The Watchtower has consistently shown 1914 as the year marking the beginning of the end? Would you call this statement a lie?

“From the mid-1870’s, Jehovah’s people had been anticipating that catastrophic events would start in 1914 and would mark the end of the Gentile Times.” Revelation – Its Grand Climax at Hand! (1988) P.105

Again, wouldn’t you call this lie!

The Watchtower Society has made a U-turn on it’s teachings about this date and then tried to say that it had taught the same thing all along regarding 1914, and this simply isn’t true.

So what can we say in response to this?

Acts 1:6, 7:
So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”  He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.”

Matthew 24:36 (NIV)
36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

The Bible tells us clearly that NO ONE will know the date Jesus is to return.

1 Thessalonians 5 (NIV)
2for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3While people are saying,

The Bible also tells us to be on our guard against false Prophets.

Matthew 7:15
15“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16By their fruit you will recognise them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?

The Bible tells us How to test a prophet, by their fruits you will recognise them! If a prophet says something will happen and it does not! This is a sure sign that they are not from God!

Jeremiah. 28:9, “But the prophet who prophesies peace will be recognised as one truly sent by the LORD only if his prediction comes true.

Deuteronomy 18:22-24(NIV)
22 If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.

Some Jehovah’s Witnesses might say, The Watchtower does not claim to be a prophet. But by making such claims as knowing the date of Christ’s return and the time Armageddon will begin, is to make statements of a prophetic nature. The Watchtower claims to be Gods only true Church on the face of the earth. And knows full well that any such statement will be acknowledged by it’s members as if they had come from the mouth of God Himself.

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3 Responses »

  1. I’m impressed with your research Vicky. Well done. One thing, this site often refers to The Watchtower. Is The Watchtower not just a magazine? I think the name of the organisation that controls all of Jehovah’s Witnesses is called The watchtower Bible and Tract Society? I may be wrong, because it’s been a while, but it might be worth checking. 🙂

    Interesting stuff. 🙂

    • I will pass that on Paula thanks, you are right about the full name of the WBTS however I think Vicky and often myself was just saying watchtower for short, having been in it for many years its understandable you would notice that more, thanks for the feedback

  2. Good work, Vicky.

    As far as the the Society’s denials of being a false prophet, the following quotation -, in which it is categorically stated that the Lord himself “has been verifying his promise to those in the proper attitude of watchfulness” and “has opened unto us the Scriptures, showing us truth concerning…the object, manner and time of his coming” etc. -,is inescapable evidence against them:

    “The next chapter will present Bible evidence that 1874 A.D. was the exact date of the beginning of the “Times of Restitution,” and hence of our Lord’s return. Since that time he has been verifying his promise to those in the proper attitude of watchfulness – “Blessed are those servants whom the Lord when he cometh shall find watching: Verily, I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.” (Luke 12:37) Even so, he has opened unto us the Scriptures, showing us truth concerning his present glorious nature, the object, manner and time of his coming, and the character of his manifestations to the household of faith and to the world. (Studies in the Scriptures SERIES 2 – THE TIME IS AT HAND – A HELPING HAND FOR BIBLE STUDENTS, pages 76,77,99,101 & 170, International Bible Students Association London, Brooklyn, Melbourne, Barmen-Elberfeld Orebro, Christiania 1914.) [Bold emphasis mine.]

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