Jehovah's Witnesses of the Watchtower False Prophecy - 1914


Where did the 1914 date come from?


We see too that not only are the harvests of Jewish and gospel ages parallel in point of beginning, but also in length of duration; theirs being in all 40 years from the time of Jesus anointing [at beginning of their harvest, A.D. 30,] to destruction of Jerusalem, A.D. 70. So, ours, beginning in 1874 closes with the end of the "day of wrath" and end of the "times of the Gentiles," 1914--a similar and parallel period of 40 years. The first seven years of the Jewish harvest was especially devoted to the gathering of ripe wheat from that church; three and one-half of it was while he was present as the Bridegroom and three and a half of it after he had come to them as king and had entered into glory, but it was all under his supervision and direction. Watchtower, January 1881. (the end of the world will be in 1914)


It may be observed here, as has often been shown, that the harvest of the Gospel age, as mentioned by the Saviour, in the parable of tares and wheat, (Matt. 13) is parallel to the Jewish harvest, and also has its three elements, separation, gathering and burning. Then, it was the Jewish nominal church, wheat and chaff, that was disposed of; now, it is the nominal Gospel church, wheat and tares, that is to be disposed of. The harvest here, according to the prophetic periods, [see "Day Dawn"] also covers a period of forty years, reaching to and including the year 1914. The Saviour says: "The harvest is the end of the age," (verse 39) and in the next verse includes the burning of the tares in the closing work of the age; so let us not overlook the fact that in some sense the age, and therefore the harvest reaches to 1914. The tares are not to be burned after the end of the age, but in the end of the age. According to the order of events, as the Saviour explains them, the shining forth as the sun is not due until after the tares are burned. We believe it must be "Day Dawn" until 1914. Of course the exaltation to glory precedes the shining forth in that glory. Watchtower, March 1881. (the harvest of true believers will end in 1914)


We will quote and apply this prophecy: "Then shall the Lord [Jehovah] go forth and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle." The scene is laid in "the time of trouble," probably near its close, (perhaps, as we read the prophecy, about 1914 A.D.) It is surely during "the day of the Lord" (verse 1) when the first return of Israelites to Palestine will have taken place [a second and greater returning mentioned by the prophets evidently will not take place until after the time of trouble.] The Israelites will have been in comparative peace and security there and measurably free from the trouble which, meantime, will have been disturbing and overturning and impoverishing the nations of the earth. Their wealth and prosperity excite the cupidity of the nations, which we read come up against "my people Israel dwelling safely in their own take a spoil and a prey." (Ezek. 38:8,12.) Watchtower, October/November 1881. (Jews will begin returning to Palestine in 1914)


But, not only was a blessing to be upon some of the living, when this “harvest” or end of the age should come, in 1874, but Daniel was told that his hope lay here. Sometime during this “harvest,” (which commenced at the end of the 1335 days, and which from other prophecies, we learn will last for 40 years, or until 1914,) Daniel was to have a resurrection--”Go thou thy way till the end [harvest] be, for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.” Watchtower, February 1882 supplement. (Daniel was to rise from the dead sometime between 1874 and 1914)


Yet bear in mind, "Gentile Times" do not fully end as scripturally shown until 1914 A.D.; consequently their overthrow may be less rapid than would now seem probable. The trouble may be expected as birth pangs to a mother--each succeeding one more severe until full deliverance. This is Paul's illustration of it. (1 Thes. 5:3) It is in fact the birth of a new era or age; and its birth involves pain and death to the present age and its corrupt systems and customs. Let us remember, too, the words of Jesus, that "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." Hence, if Gentile Times end in 1914, the Jews will not have an independent national existence before then. This furnishes ample time for their regathering and Jerusalem's rebuilding on her old heaps. Watchtower, June 1882. (Jews will have their own country before 1914)


As our readers are aware, we understand that we are now living in the days of the voice of the Seventh Angel. The evidence has already been furnished (and will appear again --in the forthcoming Millennial Day Dawn,) that these trumpets mentioned by the Revelator and by Paul (1 Cor. 15:52; and 1 Thes. 4:16; and Rev. 11:15), are symbolic of a series of events. The sixth of these, we believe, ended Aug. 11, 1840, since which we have been living under the "seventh trumpet," or "last trump," or "trump of God," which continues until the kingdoms of this world, by a great time of trouble, become the kingdoms of our Lord. (Rev. 11:15.) This, prophetic Scriptures show, will not be fully accomplished until A.D. 1914. This is called the Trump of God, probably because during its period of time God exercises his great power over the nations, breaking them in pieces, and grinding to powder the abominable systems of error which have so long flourished and made desolate and void God's Word of truth. And another thing, God, during this period, will finish the mystery by letting his saints (Col. 1:27) come to a full appreciation of his glorious plans. It is thus that we account for the great, beautiful and harmonious light, and the strengthening food now being given us as members of the body of Christ, of which Jesus is the glorified Head. Watchtower, July 1882. (the seven trumpets of God are symbolic with the sixth trumpet having ended on August 11, 1840 while the seventh trumpet to end in 1914)


In our next, we expect to show that the first six plagues will be upon the nominal church--Babylon--the results of which will be to "gather," or array the people and their rulers against each other, and that this general conflict between priest and people, rulers and ruled, capital and labor, is the "battle" or conflict represented by the seventh plague--the conflict of the great day of God Almighty, in which all oppression and bondage shall cease, by the overthrow of the great and mighty in church and state; (Rev. 19:18-21) a preparation for the true King of earth to exercise his authority. This will not be fully accomplished, as we read prophecy, until A.D. 1914. Watchtower, August 1882. (the full destruction of human governments and religion will not be fully accomplished until 1914)


As we find the forty years, from 1874 to 1914, A.D., prophetically marked out as the time for the change of earths administration, it would seem not unreasonable to suppose that the proper physical changes might occur during the same period. "Not that we expect all changes to be completed in the specified forty years, but that by that time the new systems and arrangements will be thoroughly introduced, which will be gradually improving, and will reach absolute perfection at the same time that mankind in general will reach absolute perfection by restitution. Thus the perfect earth and its perfect Lord (man) will both be prepared to enter upon the ceaseless ages of perfection into which shall never enter sin, death, pain or sorrow. Watchtower, September 1883. (the ceaseless ages of perfection will begin in 1914)


The nation began its existence at the death of Jacob, in Egypt. While he lived they were not counted a nation, but a family, and in his dying blessing for the first time they are called tribes. The promise of national blessing and favor was given through Judah. "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a law-giver from between his feet, until Shiloh [Christ] come." This God fulfilled, and though He often chastised them, and allowed them to go into captivity for their sins; yet he always showed them favor, brought them back, and preserved their national existence through Judah, as he had promised, and did not utterly cast them off from him until they had rejected and crucified the Lord of glory, a period of 1,845 years. Since that time, as they themselves say bitterly, God has shown them no favor; they have been outcasts "a reproach and a hissing among all people." (Jer. 29:18). Since their chastisement was to be of the same length, as the favor previously shown, it will be 1,845 years. It began with the crucifixion of Christ, A.D. 33, and the 1,845 years of their punishment, consequently ended in 1878. But we must not expect too much in a day. As they were 37 years in falling nationally--from A.D. 33, to A.D. 70, when their national existence terminated: so their rising again to favor and national prominence will require the same length of time, and will therefore not be complete until 37 years after 1878, or until the close of 1914. We also find another and distinctly separate line of prophecy (which we will give at another time), teaching that they will not obtain full control, of Palestine until A.D. 1914, which gives a period of 37 years for their rising, or a parallel to the time of their falling. Where is the Scripture which proves that their chastisement is equal to the favor that they once enjoyed? you ask. Turn with me to Jer. 16:13-18 and read: "Therefore [because of sins before mentioned], will I cast you out of this land into a land that ye know not, neither ye nor your fathers; and there ye shall serve other gods [rulers] day and night; where I will not show you favor." This was not the Babylonian captivity, for Abraham came from Ur of the Chaldees. Neither could the Syrian captivity be thus referred to, for Jacob was a Syrian (Deut. 26:5), and this was to be "a land that ye know not, neither do ye nor your fathers." This was to be their punishment: They were to receive no favor from God, but were to be driven out of their own land, and, as the next verse shows, were to become exiles in every land, just as we now find them. Watchtower, March 1884. (Jews will regain full control of Palestine in 1914)


Likewise we have seen that resurrection does not merely mean to lift men from the tomb with only a spark of life, but includes this and all the process following it, which brings them up entirely out of the dying condition to the perfection of their human nature. Thus seen, there will be no occasion for others to enter the tomb when the kingdom of heaven has been fully established in the earth. [Which we understand will be about 1914 A.D.] The Great Physician--the Christ--will then be among men in power and the work of healing and restoring all things, but faintly foreshadowed by Jesus' earthly miracles, will commence. The resurrection work will progress both with those who are in their graves and also those not so far down in the dark "valley of the shadow of death," and all will have the strength and help provided, by which they may regain the mountain top of human perfection and life which Adam lost the right to through sin, but which right was redeemed for all by Christ. Watchtower, March 1884. (Jesus Christ will restore paradise earth in 1914)


In harmony with this same thought we find in Zech. 14:3,5, a description of when and how Jehovah will establish his feet, or residence. This Scripture, as well as some of those above quoted, which evidently apply to the Father-- Jehovah--are often misapplied to our Lord Jesus; and while Jesus and his Church will doubtless be the active agents of Jehovah in subduing all things (Phil. 3:21), yet the fact remains, that the work here mentioned is Jehovah's, and the Hebrew text leaves no question about it. We will quote and apply this prophecy (verse 3): "Then shall the Lord [Jehovah] go forth and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle." The scene is laid in "the time of trouble," probably near its close, (perhaps, as we read the prophecy, about 1914 A.D.) It is surely during "the day of the Lord" (verse 1) when the first return of Israelites to Palestine will have taken place [a second, and greater returning mentioned by the prophets evidently will not take place until after the time of trouble.] The Israelites will have been in comparative peace and security there, and measurably free from the trouble which, meantime, will have been disturbing and overturning and impoverishing the nations of the earth. Their wealth and prosperity excite the cupidity of the nations, which we read come up against "my people Israel dwelling safely in their own land, take a spoil and a prey." Ezk. 38:8,12. Watchtower, May 1885. (God will destroy the nations who have come up against the Jews dwelling safely in 1914 Palestine)


Monday following, all day was spent in an examination of the prophetic time proofs, which show that we are living in the Day of the Lord's presence since 1874--that there, the times of restitution, the Millennial Age, began--that the forepart of that age is the "day of vengeance" or "day of trouble," a period of forty years from 1874 to 1914, and that the grand blessings of restitution are really begun in this trouble, which is a blessing in disguise, breaking in pieces and removing the present governments and systems represented in Nebuchadnezzar's image (Dan. 2:31-33), as incidental to the establishment of the Kingdom of God for which we have long prayed, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven." The matter was illustrated by charts, and will be given in full in Millennial Day Dawn (not yet ready; but of which notice will be given in the TOWER). Watchtower, May 1886. (God's day of vengeance and the blessings of restitution will occur at the same time from 1874 to 1914) 

Harvest time is the most busy time of all the year, and every member of the Church who is interested in the Lord's work, should be on hand ready to engage in it to the full extent of his ability. The harvest time is a very brief period compared with the time for sowing. The sowing has progressed for nearly nineteen centuries; the seed has now been scattered among all nations, and some fruit should be expected in almost every quarter of the globe, and yet the time appointed for the harvest is only forty years--from 1874 to 1914. The harvesters should expect just what they find, only here a little and there a little wheat in the midst of a great mass of tares with which the whole field is overrun, and that comparatively small number must be sought out with great care; for it is of great value. And those who rightly estimate the real value of even one grain of wheat will find little reason for discouragement, even though their success be comparatively small. Watchtower, September 1886. (the few Watchtower slaves is evidence of a little wheat in comparison to the great mass of tares that will be destroyed by 1914) 

But the spirit which inspired the words of the apostles and prophets could see that while from God's standpoint the end of all things was at hand in the fifth day of the week, and these words were, therefore, true in this sense when declared to the early church, would also be true from the human standpoint when fully understood by the church in the end of the age. How true it is, therefore, in our day, when we are made to see clearly that the year 1914 will be the full end of the Times of the Gentiles, and that the next twenty-four years, therefore, must bring about the full consummation. Watchtower, February 1890. (all human forms of government will be destroyed in the next 24 years and be finished in 1914) 

Ah! yes: it is the harvest time of the Gospel age, the day of reckoning, the very day in which we are now living--from 1874 to 1914--the latter part of which is to witness the great conflict foretold, and the preparations for which are now going on in the world. The wheat and tares of nominal Christendom are now being separated, and the latter bound in bundles--tied up tightly in great organizations--preparatory to the symbolic burning or trouble of the closing days of this age and the ushering in of the Millennial day. Watchtower, January 1892. (Ah! yes: the churches of Christendom will be destroyed by 1914) 

So we are to look for the existence of the "false," "foolish," "idol" shepherds, whose "arm" of power shall not be "clean dried up," and whose "right eye" (mind's eye or right understanding) shall not be "utterly darkened" till the end of the thirty years, 1908.--Zech. 11:17. That the overthrow of the present nominal ecclesiastical systems shall precede the overthrow of the civil powers is thus indicated--the former continuing only until A.D. 1908 and the latter until A.D. 1914. [We differ slightly here. The Editor expects from Rev. 19:20 that the final overthrow of present governments will be at the same time as the fall of ecclesiasticism and will be followed by from five to seven years of socialism and anarchy, to end with 1914 by the establishment of Christ's Millennial government.] Watchtower, August 1892. (the churches of Christendom will be destroyed by 1908 while governments will be destroyed by 1914) 

Meanwhile, we have the evidence that their Covenant continues in force in the fact that, as a nation, they have for centuries been receiving the very "curses" specified under their Covenant.--See Deut. 28:15-67. Verses 49-53 describe the Roman siege, etc.; verses 64-67 describe the condition of Israel since. (Isa. 59:21.) As heretofore shown*, the Lord in Leviticus (26:18-34-45) declared the symbolical "seven times," 2520 years, of Israel's subjection to the Gentiles; and their deliverance --A.D. 1914. Thus their present experience was foretold as a part of their covenant. Watchtower, November 1894. (Jews will delivered from Gentile oppression in 1914) 

Zion Associations of Jews are being organized in Great Britain as well as in the United States, their central thought being a National Movement--the re-establishment of a Jewish Kingdom in Palestine. Jewish journals long silent on this subject, if not opposed to the project, are now devoting space in almost every issue to its consideration. We are glad to see this. It is a "straw," pointing in the direction indicated by prophecy. Trust in the Lord and wait patiently for him, and he will bring to pass all that he has promised. But do not expect it before his time, his fixed time. While the time to favor Zion began in 1878, the treading down of the Gentiles will not be at an end until 1914 A.D. The interim, however, will be more and more a time of turning away of blindness from Israel;--the blindness which happened unto all Israel except the elect remnant, after they as a nation and individually rejected Christ.--See Rom. 9:27-33; 10:1-3; 11:1,7-11,25-32. Watchtower, February 1895.(Jews will be awaking to statehood over the next 20 years with their own country by 1914) 

Seeing this trend of events with Israel, we look in another direction to see in what way the Lord will open the gates to permit their return. And as we can now see a providence and blessing in the retarding of their emigration for a time, until the divine favor upon the land should center upon it the interest of all Jews, we shall expect ere long to see the doors opened wide, and that many not only of the poor, but also of the rich of Israel will seek Palestine as a home. We do not expect, however, as the Zionists do, that they will succeed speedily in organizing an independent Jewish state. This cannot be until the full end of Gentile Times--in the end of A.D. 1914. See MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. II., Chap. 4. Watchtower, July 1897. (the Jewish state will happen quickly after the destruction of Gentile countries at the end of 1914) 

If the length of the harvest period from October 1st, 1874, to October 1st, 1914, be considered as a day, part of which is light and part darkness, we can easily find what portion of the forty-year period will correspond with the daylight. To begin with, we will reduce the forty years of "harvest" to months. 40 times 12 equals 480 months. Now, taking the length of the average harvest day, we have 14 hours and 36 minutes =14.6 hours=14.6/24 or 146/240 or 292/480 of the day. The 14 hours and 36 minutes from sunrise to sunset, therefore, corresponds to 292 months from the time when the Sun of Righteousness arose, October 1st, 1874. (MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. II., p.188.) 292 months equals 24 years and 4 months. 24 years and 4 months from October 1st, 1874, brings us to February 1st, 1899, as marking the close of this harvest day (sunset), and would seem to indicate that by that time the harvest work [of gathering from the world] will be finished [--tho much threshing and winnowing may still be in order]; i.e., that the last of the "overcomers" will have been sealed with the knowledge of present truth, and the shadows of the night, wherein no man can work, will then begin to settle down. Moreover, since then the work of "sealing" the saints has progressed in an orderly, systematic and wonderfully thorough manner. During all this time the winds of the time of trouble have been held and the "silence in heaven" which commenced, as we have shown, on April 1st, 1878, still continues. The seventh seal, by way of contrast with the other seals, is called the "Seal of the living God." It lies wholly within God's day,--the seventh thousand-year day, the Millennium, --and the events which occur under it are specially under God's direction. The scale, therefore, by which the half hour of silence should be measured is not the "year for a day" scale by which God measures human events, but is the scale by which God measures his own work. In speaking of the events of this day of judgment, Peter says, "one day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years is as one day." (2 Peter 3:8.) Using this divinely provided scale it becomes a very easy matter to find the length of the half hour. One half hour is one forty-eighth of a literal day. One forty-eighth of a thousand years is 20 years and 10 months. 20 years and 10 months from April 1st, 1878, brings us again to February 1st, 1899, as marking the date when the last overcomer will be sealed, and the storm of the great time of trouble will begin to break. Perhaps it will be worth mentioning that by this scale one hour would be 41 years and 8 months, this corresponds with the period from the beginning of the seventh thousand years or Day of the Lord, to October 1st, 1914, and reminds one of Rev. 18:10,17,19, where it is thrice repeated that "in one hour" the judgment and desolation of Babylon takes place. Watchtower, March 1898. (the harvest of true believers began on October 1, 1874 and will end on February 1, 1899 while doomsday is October 1, 1914) 

The Gospel age did not begin with our Lord's birth: it began after our Lord's death and resurrection, when he commissioned his disciples to "preach the Gospel to every creature." (Our Lord's previous work during the three and a half years of his ministry was the offering of the Kingdom to the fleshly house, to test them, and to prove that they were unready to receive the true Kingdom.) Applying the foregoing measurements of the Jewish age to the Gospel age, beginning it at the time of our Lord's death and resurrection and the Pentecostal blessing, in the Spring of A.D. 33, we find that the period of 1841-1/2 years from the death of Jacob to the beginning of our Lord's ministry, would measure from the Spring of A.D. 33 to the Autumn of 1874; and the 1845 years of the Jewish age, from the death of Jacob to the rejection of fleshly Israel, applied here, measuring from the Spring of A.D. 33, would reach to the Spring of 1878; and the 1881-1/2 years from the death of Jacob to the full destruction of Israel's polity in A.D. 70, finds its correspondence in this Gospel age, by measuring 1881-1/2 years from the Spring of A.D. 33, which would bring us exactly to (Autumn) 1914 A.D.--the very year and time shown us by Daniel's prophecy to be the full end and limit of the "Gentile times." Can this be accidental? Nay; it is design. What stronger testimony could be asked by the eye and ear of faith. Surely, anything plainer or clearer would be sight and leave no room for faith. Watchtower, September 1898. (it is by design that doomsday would be in the Autumn of 1914) 

So far as the Scriptures guide us, we expect the climax of the great time of anarchous trouble in October, 1914. Our opinion is that so great a trouble would necessarily last in violent form at least three or four years before reaching that climax. Hence, we expect strenuous times by or before October, 1910. And this agrees well with the corresponding and typical trouble with which the Jewish age ended. Watchtower, February 1903. (Armageddon will be in October 1914) 

It will be vain for Zionists to hope to establish an independent government in Palestine. None of the civilized nations would favor putting the Land of Promise wholly into their control; and if they did God would not favor it. Palestine will be "trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be filled full"--viz., October, 1914, A.D. By that time the heavenly Kingdom will be in power and the ancient worthies--Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and all the holy prophets--will be resurrected and constitute the earthly representatives of the spiritual and invisible Kingdom of Christ and his Bride--the Gospel Church. Watchtower, October 1903. (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the holy prophets will be resurrected in October 1914 to rule from Palestine) 

WHAT seems at first glance the veriest trifle and wholly unrelated to the matter, has changed our conviction respecting the time when universal anarchy may be expected in accord with the prophetic numbers. We now expect that the anarchistic culmination of the great time of trouble which will precede the Millennial blessings will be after October, 1914 A.D.--very speedily thereafter, in our opinion --"in one hour," "suddenly." Watchtower, July 1904. (stop the presses...Armageddon will be after October 1914) 

"In your patience possess ye your souls," declares the Master. We are living in a momentous time. Much is accomplished in one year. What may we expect by October, 1914, the date of the termination of Gentile times? Let us not speculate, but let us keep awake and mark the stately steppings of our present Lord amongst the affairs of mankind--leading onward to the inauguration of the glorious Kingdom of the Son of God, and, through it, to the blessing of Israel and all the nations of the earth. Watchtower, October 1910. (don't speculate about Gentile nations being destroyed in October 1914) 

We are in the morning of the New Dispensation. We give thanks to the Lord daily for the privilege of living in this wonderful time--and for the privilege of having our eyes of understanding opened to appreciate the Divine Plans for this day. If, then, it should prove eventually that the crisis of earthly government will not be reached by the end of 1914, should we not be very faithful anyway, and remember that had it not been for that alarm clock which helped to awaken us from the worldly stupor, we might not yet have been sufficiently awake to appreciate and enjoy the wonderful spiritual blessings which daily crown our lives? Watchtower, January 1911. (if doomsday doesn't happen in 1914 just be faithful to the Watchtower) 

The chapter in SCRIPTURE STUDIES, Vol. II, showing the parallels between the Jewish and Christian Dispensations, makes prominent four dates, viz., (1) October, 1874; (2) April, 1878; (3) October, 1881, and (4) October, 1914; these dates being parallel to four in the Jewish harvest, viz., (1) The beginning of our Lord's ministry; the beginning of the trial or harvest time of the Jewish nation, October, 29; (2) The end of our Lord's ministry, His crucifixion, and the rejection of the Jewish nation as a nation, April, 33 (See SCRIPTURE STUDIES, Vol. 2, chapter 7); (3) The close of the "seventy weeks" (Dan. 9:24-26) of favor upon the Jewish nation--October, 36--after which the Gospel privileges were open to the Gentiles, Cornelius being the first convert; (4) The full end of trouble and destruction which came upon Israel's polity, October, 69. Noting these parallels, we find 1874 as the beginning of this "harvest" and the gathering together of the "elect" from the four winds of heaven; 1878 as the time when Babylon was formally rejected, Laodicea spewed out--the time from which it is stated, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen"--fallen from Divine favor. The parallel in 1881 would seem to indicate that certain favors were still continued to those in Babylon up to that date, notwithstanding the rejection of the system; and since that date we would understand that that relationship has been in no sense an advantageous one, but has been in many senses of the word a distinct disadvantage, from which only with difficulty could any free themselves, the Lord's grace and truth assisting. And in harmony with this parallelism, October, 1914, will witness the full end of Babylon, "as a great millstone cast into the sea," utterly destroyed as a system. Watchtower, June 1911. (we changed our minds...doomsday will be in October 1914) 

When God removed the typical kingdom of Israel and His typical throne in the world, as represented by David's family, he gave over the earthly dominion to the Gentiles; and this lease of power, as represented in Daniel's prophecy, was to continue for "seven times"--2,520 years. In other words, during the same period that Israel would be having "seven times" of tribulation and subjection, the Gentiles would be having "seven times" of prosperity, and both will terminate at the same time--in 2,520 years from B.C. 606--October, A.D. 1914, the close of the Gentile Times. If any be disposed to dispute the exactness of these figures we need have no quarrel, but simply say that any difference in the calculation must of necessity be but small--possibly one year, possibly twenty years--but in so long a period how trifling would be such a variation. Watchtower, August 1911. (we changed our minds again...doomsday may possibly be within the next 20 years) 

Let us remember that we are living in most wonderful times. More can be accomplished in one month now than could have been done in years some time ago--more in one hour than in days formerly. We are still in the waiting attitude, so that the Lord can indicate His will in the matter to us. We believe that the year 1915 will be even more wonderful than the present. We fully believe that the year 1914 will see the end of the Gentile Times, for we cannot find even one flaw in our Bible chronology. But we do not claim infallibility. To err is human. If, therefore, the Father permits us to blunder in respect to His Word in this matter, nevertheless, He will undoubtedly have a great blessing for us. And if it should be that the year 1914 should not mark the close of the Gentile Times, we would still believe that the time could not be very far distant; for the nearer we come to that time, the nearer we see the fulfilment of the things which the Scriptures indicate will then occur. Watchtower, October 1912. (1915 will be better than 1912 worldwide) 

Indeed, as respects the date 1914, which we have emphasized, and respecting which we have repeatedly expressed our faith, our conviction--even respecting this date we have never knowingly spoken in infallible terms. We have always admitted that it is a matter of faith and conviction, rather than of absolute knowledge. We invite a careful re-examination of the chapter on chronology, as such a reading will prove helpful, sobering. Therein we point out that if our knowledge were wholly based upon chronology we would be far from certain of the date-- that our faith in it is based largely upon the corroboration, interlacing and intermeshing of various prophecies which seem to prove the reliability of the Bible chronology and of our use of it in connection with this date. Watchtower, June 1913. (Charles Russell placed his faith in the date 1914 instead of Jesus Christ) 

As we understand this matter, the Church will be glorified before that time. When the lease expires, it would seem that the new tenants will be ready to take possession. And we cannot see how the new tenants could be ready to take possession unless they were glorified beforehand. If they were still in the flesh, they would not be ready to take possession. So if the Church is here in 1915, we shall think that we have made some mistake. We do not understand how they will all die between now and the close of 1914--how so many people, all over the world--people of one mind--will all pass beyond the veil in so short a time. Watchtower, October 1913. (the Watchtower made a mistake) 

Nevertheless, we have all probably been inclined to think more particularly of the world's Time of Trouble-- to look for it, to expect it daily, or by October, 1914, as one result of the closing of the Gentile Times, or years. Perhaps we have neglected to some extent the fact that great Babylon apparently is dealt with before that world-trouble comes. The thought has been borne in upon the Editor very forcefully during the past two weeks that to expect the world's great trouble to begin on or before October 1, 1914, would be to expect astounding things during the intervening months. Watchtower, November 1913. (Charles Russell expected huge events to happen first before Armageddon) 

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. We merely left every one to look at the facts of history and reckon for himself. Would this date be the time or would it be some other date? we asked. Many of us concluded that as far as we could see, October of this year would show the end of the Gentile lease of power; for when October comes we are getting down to the end of the Jewish year. The year 1914 actually ended Sept. 20, 1914, Jewish reckoning. Now the question comes, Have the Gentile Times ended or not? Some perhaps may be inclined to say, "No; they have not ended." Others would say, "When the Gentile Times shall have ended, we would expect that the Gentiles would be entirely ousted from all power and control, and that Christ's Kingdom would be established. Were there not a great many things that we expected would take place when the Gentile Times would end?" Watchtower, November 1914. (Charles Russell had to print a lie to cover for his false prophecy) 

As we have previously pointed out, the Bible indicates very clearly that Israel's last great lesson of oppression under the Gentiles closed in 1914. The period of chastisement, twenty-five hundred and twenty years long, began where the crown was taken from King Zedekiah, B.C. 606. (Ezekiel 21:25-27.) They have not been an independent nation in all these twenty-five hundred and twenty years. As the Lord declared, Zedekiah was the last of the line of David who should reign until Messiah's Kingdom would be established. The end of Gentile Times, then, marks the beginning of Messiah's Kingdom. Everywhere we see manifestations that He as the great Judge is taking over the affairs of the world, and that Israel's final deliverance is at hand. Watchtower, December 1914. (Jerusalem was destroyed by Babylon in 587 BC) 

CHANGES IN "SCRIPTURE STUDIES" – Watchtower, March 1915.

We call attention to a few slight changes which have been made in four pages of Vol. II. and six pages of Vol. III., "STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES." These are all trivial and do not alter the real sense and lesson, but conform to the facts as we have them today. The pages containing these corrections are as follows:

Vol. II., page 77, line 1, "will be the farthest limit," reads "will see the disintegration."

Vol. II., page 77, line 6, "will obtain full universal control," reads "will begin to assume control."

Vol. II., page 77, lines 16,17, "end of A.D. 1914," reads "end of the overthrow."

Vol. II., page 81, line 9, "can date only from A.D. 1914," reads "could not precede A.D. 1915."

Vol. II., page 170, line 16, "at that time they will all be overturned."*

Vol. II., page 221, line 25, "full favor until A.D. 1914," reads "full favor until after 1915."

Vol. III., page 94, line 29, "in this end or harvest," reads "at the end of this harvest."

Vol. III., page 126, line 12, "at A.D. 1914," reads "after 1914."

Vol. III., page 133, line 21, "ere the harvest is fully ended."+

Vol. III., page 228, line 11, "some time before 1914," reads "very soon after 1914."

Vol. III., page 228, line 15, "just how long before," reads "just how long after."

Vol. III., page 362, line 11, "some time before," reads "some time near."

Vol. III., page 364, line 14, "must not only witness," reads "may not only witness." 

We remember that when the Lord would take up Elijah into the heavens He brought certain things to pass that would make a parallel to the taking away of the last members of Christ. We believe that this is a reasonable inference. We have seen how the Lord, upon the day that Elijah was to be taken away, sent him to four successive places--Gilgal, Bethel, Jericho and Jordan. At each of these different places Elijah evidently thought that the Lord would take him. And so it has been with us. During this Harvest of the Age the Lord, through His Word, has seemed to send His people to four different points of time--1874, 1878, 1881 and 1914. At each of these points of time the watching saints who realized that the end of the Age was upon the Church have thought that the "change" might come. They watched for it. When they came to each of these points, the Lord said, "Go to another place." Finally we reached the last place of the four--October 1st, 1914. This was the last point of time that Bible chronology pointed out to us as relating to the Church's experiences. Did the Lord tell us that we would be taken there? No. What did He say? His Word and the fulfilments of prophecy seemed to point unmistakably that this date marked the end of the Gentile Times. We inferred from this that the Church's "change" would take place on or before that date. But God did not tell us that it would be so. He permitted us to draw that inference; and we believe that it has proven to be a necessary test upon God's dear saints everywhere. Watchtower, February 1916. (God is testing the faith of the Watchtower slaves by not having Armageddon occur on October 1, 1914) 

We cannot help it that many of the dear friends continue to tell what THE WATCH TOWER believes, and to misrepresent its teachings. Our kindest thought must be that they are not giving much heed to its teachings. Otherwise they would know from its columns that we are not looking forward to 1925, nor to any other date. As expressly stated in THE WATCH TOWER, we are simply going on, our last date or appointment having been passed more than a year ago. We believe that the dates have proven to be quite right. We believe that Gentile Times have ended, and that God is now allowing the Gentile Governments to destroy themselves, in order to prepare the way for Messiah's Kingdom. The Lord did not say that the Church would all be glorified by 1914. We merely inferred it and, evidently, erred. We see, however, that the different times and seasons which the Lord's providence sent to His people in hope of resurrection "change" correspond closely with the different places to which Elijah, the Prophet, was sent before his translation. The last place to which he was sent was Jordan, which, we believe, corresponds to October, 1914. After that, Elijah and Elisha went on without having any definite point in view. Our thought is that something very important to us all is implied in Elijah's use of his mantle in smiting the waters of Jordan and dividing them. After so doing, Elijah and Elisha continued to go on until the chariot of fire parted them. It was after that that Elijah went up to Heaven in the whirlwind. We may discuss these matters more at length again, but now suggest that we have no different time in mind from the Scriptures on the subject, and do not expect to have any. However, the division of the waters might require either years or months--who could say? Watchtower, April 1916. (Though we are in error, the 1914 date is still correct and we are not looking forward to any other date) 

We see no reason for doubting, therefore, that the Times of the Gentiles ended in October, 1914; and that a few more years will witness their utter collapse and the full establishment of God's Kingdom in the hands of Messiah. But by that time, the Elijah Class will have passed beyond the Veil; for "when He [Jesus] shall appear in His glory, we [the Church] also will appear with Him." Watchtower, September 1916. (just a few more years till Armageddon)




Watchtower magazine - April 15, 1984 (1914 is not a focal point of Bible prophecy)



Watchtower magazine - May 1, 1984 (the date 1914 is not important to you)



Watchtower magazine - May 15, 1984 (the generation pictured has all passed away)