faithful witness is one that will not lie, but a false witness launches forth
mere lies. (Proverbs 14:5 NWT)
THE SCRIPTURES SHOW JESUS RETURNED IN 1874
Charles T Russell (who founded the Watchtower Society-the publishing/legal channel
of the Jehovahs Witness sect) promoted 1874 as the date for Christs
return and the start of Christs invisible presence.
returned in 1874 was official doctrine until 1930. Note:
Bridegroom came in the Autumn of 1874, and he appeared to the eyes of faith-seen
by the light of the lamp-the Word.
(Zions Watch Tower Reprints October/November 1881 p. 289)
presence as Bridegroom and Reaper was recognized during the first three and
a half years, from A.D. 1874 to A.D. 1878. Since that time it has been emphatically
manifest that the time had come in A.D. 1878 when kingly judgment should begin
at the house of God.
(Studies in the Scriptures Vol. II 1889 p. 239)
[Jesus] would in reality assume the kingly office, power, etc.; viz., in the
spring of 1878, three and a half years after his second advent at the beginning
of the harvest period, in the fall of 1874.
(Studies in the Scriptures Volume III 1891 p. 234)
the appointed King, is now present since October 1874, A.D., according to
the testimony of the prophets, to those who have ears to hear it: and the
formal inauguration of his kingly office dates from April 1878, A.D.
(Studies in Scriptures Vol. IV 1897 p. 621)
Russell...believed and taught that we are living in the time of the second
presence of our Lord, and that his presence dates from 1874...
(WT December 1, 1916 p. 5998)
A.D. Second Advent of the Lord
(The Finished Mystery 1917 p. 60)
the Scriptures, which, when understood in their connections and significance,
prove that the Lords Second Advent occurred in the Fall of 1874 are
[A list of 88 interpretations followed]
and these are but 88 of the proofs hastily collected.
(The Finished Mystery 1917 pp. 68, 71)
of the Lords second presence dates from 1874...
(The Harp of God 1921 p. 231)
show that the second presence (of the Lord) was due in 1874... This proof
shows that the Lord has been present since 1874...
(WT March 1, 1923 p. 67)
there is not the slightest room for doubt that in the mind of a truly consecrated
child of God that the Lord Jesus Christ is present and has been since 1874.
(WT January 1, 1924 p. 5)
coming of the Lord therefore began in 1874...
(Creation 1927 pp. 289, 291, 297, 298, 318)
proof is that the second presence of the Lord Jesus Christ began in 1874 A.D.
(Prophecy 1929 p. 65)
onward is the time of the Lords second presence, as above stated
This circumstantial evidence fulfilling prophecy is what constitutes the physical
facts, and is proof corroborative of the Lords presence since 1874
His presence beginning in 1874, he has carried on his harvest work from 1874
(Our Lords Return 1929 pp. 27, 33, 37)
JESUS RETURN SWITCHED FROM 1874 TO 1914
Christs return and presence was switched from 1874 to 1914.
In The Golden
Age magazine (1930 p.503) Joseph Rutherford, the second president of the WTS,
wrote Jesus has been present since 1914 but he gave no supporting
explanation. In 1932:
The prophecy of the Bible, fully supported by the physical facts in fulfillment
thereof, shows that the second coming of Christ dates from the fall of the
(What is Truth? 1932)
there was little further mention of this doctrinal change. Then in 1943 the
WTS published The Truth Shall Make You Free which revised the WTSs Bible
chronology by bringing the date of Adams creation 100 years forward. This
removed any remaining prophetic significance of 1874. Christs return in
1914 thus became the official truth for Jehovahs Witnesses (JWs).
Jesus return from 1874 to 1914 the WTS writers began to claim
or imply that their early Bible Students had anticipated 1914 as the date of
Christs presence from their beginnings!
DECEITFUL CLAIM REGULARLY REPEATED
the time of Christs second presence, Daniels prophecy is again
the one that gives the chronology for it. (Dan. 4:16) It was figured out as
pointing to A.D. 1914, and The Watchtower called notice to the significance
of 1914 in the year 1879.
(WT 1952 November 1, p. 658)
do the nations not realize and accept the approach of this climax of judgment?
It is because they have not heeded the world wide advertising of Christs
return and his second Presence. Since long before World War I Jehovahs
witnesses pointed to 1914 as the time for this great event to occur.
(WT 1954 June 15 p. 370)
chronology also fixes the time for Christs second presence and the assuming
of his right to rule as at 1914; this date was published in the Watchtower
as early as 1879, 35 years before 1914.
(Tract: Sign of Christs Presence 1955 p. 3)
confirms that Jehovahs witnesses were the only Christian group found
awake as to 1914
(WT 1960 July 15 p. 433)
look back over the years, we can clearly see how Gods organization in
modern times has progressed in understanding. For example, it learned that
Christs second presence was to be in the spirit, and not in the flesh
as many professed Christians believe. His rule would be from the heavens.
This was a new revelation of great importance to Gods people who had
been anxiously awaiting his second presence toward the end of the nineteenth
(WT 1965 July 15 p. 428)
thirty years before that date and for half a century since, Jehovahs
witnesses have pointed to the year 1914 as the time for the end of the
appointed times of the nations and the time in which Christ would begin
his Kingdom rule. (Luke 21:24)
(WT 1966 February 15 p. 103)
you believe in the second advent of the Lord? I asked the young man
[a WTS colporteur in 1928] who came to the door.
Christs second advent was realized in 1914 he answered.
In astonishment, I told him that was impossible. You should read this
book, he said, handing me The Harp of God. I was baptized the following
year, March 23, 1929...
(WT 1988 May 1 p. 22)
Nowhere in The Harp of God (1921) is the second advent of Christ
put in 1914. On the contrary, 1874 as the date of the presence
of Jesus is mentioned in The Harp of God on pages 230, 231, 234, 235, 236,
237 241, 244, 271). Also the young man could not have known in
1928 that Christs second advent was realized in 1914
because that teaching had not been published at that time! Even the later
editions of The Harp of God (1937 & 1940) retained 1874 as the date of
WTS colporteur of 1921] explained to me that Jesus had been present since
1914, invisible to man. This was the most thrilling news I had ever heard...
In late 1921 I was transferred back to England, and in the spring of 1922,
I was discharged from the army.
(WT l990 September 1 p. 11)
[Note: When this purported conversation occurred in 1921 no WTS publication
had mentioned 1914 as the date for the return of Christ-nor
for nine years afterwards!]
has consistently presented evidence
that Jesus presence in heavenly
Kingdom power began in 1914. Events since that year testify to Jesus
(WT 1993 January 15, p. 5)
prophecy providentially caused sincere 19th-century Bible students to be in
expectation. By linking the seven times of Daniel 4:25 with the
times of the Gentiles, they anticipated that Christ would receive Kingdom
power in 1914.
(WT 1998 September 15 p. 15)
IGNORANT DUMB DOGS REJECT 1874
was the 1874 date still in 1929 that Rutherford, the WTSs second president,
warned against ministers who disagreed with that date as follows:
a real Christian. He was not a D.D., unable to understand, such as are the
D.D.s of this present time. (Isaiah 56:10, 11) Here the prophet says
that some who claim to be watchmen will be blind and ignorant; and that these
would be d-d-s, sleeping and lying down, loving slumber. He then
says that they are greedy, never able to get enough, shepherds of congregations
that can not understand; that they look out only for themselves, to get gain
from their own congregations.
(Our Lords Return 1929 p. 21)
of Rutherford the abbreviation D.D. or d.d. meant dumb
dog but was also a pun on Doctor of Divinity. The pun was a Rutherford
joke for 25 years:
[C T Russell]
too much of Gods work to do to pay attention to the yelpings of little
men-of the D.Ds of Christendom (Isa. 56:10), who love slumber, but who
snarl and bite when disturbed in their dreams of peace, peace
(Jer. 6:14), social and civic gospels, church unity, and evangelistic raids
on the pockets of the masses.
(The Finished Mystery 1917 p. 383)
magazine (1940 March 6 p. 24 Australian edition) carried the joke further with
a photo of a dog wearing a sign advertising a Rutherford lecture. The caption
to the photo is NOT A DUMB DOG.
church ministers and Doctors of Divinity were people most likely to demonstrate
the nonsense of Christs return in 1874. Hence the booklet Our Lords
Return - prior to discussing 1874 in detail - disposed of them as blind,
ignorant and D.D.s
thousands of anti-church comments like the above between 1917 and 1942 - mingled
with ever-changing doctrines all labelled truth and with self-praises
such as peaceful Christians, saintly, watchful,
enlightened, etc. - were leading causes of persecution of JWs during
that era. But thats another story. Here the quote regarding D.D.s
is used to show how certain the 1874 date still was in 1929.
WHAT WAS PREDICTED FOR 1914?
JWs or Russellites did preach about 1914 but not as the date for Christs
invisible presence since that, to them, occurred in 1874. What they
did predict for 1914/1915 is that they themselves would ascend to Heaven, the
worlds nations and religions would be destroyed, and the survivors would
be ruled by the Old Testament heroes like Abraham who would be resurrected and
live in Jerusalem! For example:
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.
1915, with the complete overthrow of earths present rulership, is already
(Studies in the Scriptures Volume II, 1889, p. 101)
the end of A.D. 1914, what God calls Babylon, and which men call Christendom,
will have passed away, as already shown from prophecy.
(Studies in the Scriptures Volume III, 1891, p. 153)
JWs ADMIT MISTAKES
sometimes publish recollections of aged JWs-like the two above.
Their reminiscences - that in the 1920s it was taught Christ came in 1914 -
are false. Historically the things remembered are anachronisms and
could not have happened. Anyone who taught in the 1920s that Christ returned
in 1914 would have been expelled and shunned for apostasy!
say that JWs admit mistakes:
enough to admit a mistake
In striking contrast to the position taken
by the popes is that taken by the Christian witnesses of Jehovah. They readily
admit to having made mistakes as to doctrine and worship.
(WT 1972 November 1 p. 643-644)
publish lies about what was predicted for 1914, yet boast that the early followers
were correct regarding 1914 even though they were wrong, and then boast again
that JWs readily admit
mistakes when in fact they dont
readily do so! Thats why this article is called Boastful Lies.
that teaches lies cannot be true.
(WT 1991 December 1, p. 7)
MAGAZINE No. 72 2000 May