|Perhaps the most
frequently repeated lie in the Watchtower Society's (WTS) publications is that
from 1876 onwards - 38 years before 1914 - they forecasted that 1914 marked
the START of "the conclusion of the system of things".
In support the WTS
often quotes the Bible Examiner. This paper was published by one
George Storrs (1796-1879) who greatly influenced Charles Russell the first president
of the WTS. Russell wrote in the Bible Examiner of 1876 an article called Gentile Times: When Do They End? This article is frequently referred
in WTS publications but has never been quoted in full for obvious reasons.
We are quoting below
an extract from this article to show that what WTS now says about what Russell
actually wrote in 1876 is dishonest. Russell referring to the Gentile Times
as a period of 2520 years wrote:
commencement of our Christian era, 606 years of this time had passed…which deducted
from 2520, would show that the seven times would end in 1914…We will ask, but
not now answer, another question: If the Gentile Times end in 1914, (and there
are many other and clearer evidences pointing to the same time) and we are told
that it shall be with fury poured out; a time of trouble such as never was before,
nor ever shall be; a day of wrath etc., how long before does the church escape?
as Jesus says, "watch that ye may be accounted worthy to escape those things
coming upon the world".
The fact is that the article
by Russell does not and could not have referred to 1914 as the START of the "conclusion
of the system of things". Russell firmly believed that "the conclusion of the
system of things" (also called the "time of the end") began in 1799, and that
Christ came invisibly in 1874 and that the church would "escape" before 1914.
It was taught by Russell almost right up to 1914, that 1914 was going to be the
END of the "system of things".
Bible Examiner October 1876 pp. 27-28
no reason in 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.
The Watchtower July 15, 1894 p. 226
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.
Following are a few extracts
from WTS's CD-ROM acclaiming or implying their sham prescience about 1914 marking
the START of "the conclusion of the system of things".
The Time Is At Hand 1889 p. 76-77.
Awake! 1973 1/22 p. 8
Of all men used by God to prophesy, Jesus is outstanding. Based
on what he said, along with the words of Daniel and John, Jehovah's witnesses
pointed to the year 1914, decades in advance*, as marking the start of "the
conclusion of the system of things."
*See, for example,
the Bible Examiner, Vol. XXI, No. 1 (Whole No. 313), October 1876, pages 27,
Awake! 1973 10/8 p.18
So counting from 607 B.C.E. when the Gentile nations gained
exclusive domination of the
earth, when do those "appointed times" end? The answer is 1914. Jehovah's witnesses
pointed to that year as early as 1876 in an article written by C. T. Russell
and published in the Bible Examiner. Thirty-eight years later that marked year
of 1914 arrived.
What should be remembered
is that the present leaders of the WTS have rescued only the phrase "end of the
Gentile Times" from pre-1914 WTS publications as can be seen from the above quotations.
What they deceitfully do not tell is that 1914 marked, in pre-1914 publications,
the end of the world and the ushering in of Armageddon at that time.
Even earlier, however, C. T. Russell wrote an article
entitled "Gentile Times: When Do They End?" It was published in the Bible
Examiner of October 1876, and therein Russell said: "The seven times will
end in A.D. 1914." He had correctly linked the Gentile Times with the "seven
times" mentioned in the book of Daniel. (Dan. 4:16, 23, 25, 32) True to such
calculations, 1914 did mark the end of those times and the birth of God's
kingdom in heaven with Christ Jesus as king. Just think of it! Jehovah granted
his people that knowledge nearly four decades before those times expired.
The Watchtower 1981 2/15 p. 10
Hence, another respected authority (Harold Macmillan) adds his
voice to those of numerous statesmen and historians
who, in looking back, recognized the significance of the year 1914. Yet, decades
before that year arrived, dedicated students of Bible prophecy
were able to identify 1914 as a climactic turning point. (The "Bible Examiner,"
October 1876, pp. 27, 28) These Bible prophecies also reveal that the "generation"
that saw the events beginning in 1914 would also see the "conclusion of the
system of things."—Matt. 24:3, 7-22, 32-35.
The Watchtower 1983 5/15 p. 16
As early as in the year 1876, in an article that he submitted
for publishing in The Bible Examiner, the president had pointed forward to
1914 as the date for "the times of the Gentiles" to end, with serious consequences
for the whole world of mankind. (Luke 21:24, Authorized Version) Amazingly,
at the time that the president announced to the Brooklyn Bethel family that
the Gentile Times had ended, the first world war of all human history was
in its 66th day.
Revelation - Its
grand Climax At Hand! (1989) p.105
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.
The Watchtower 1990 10/15 p. 19
For 38 years prior to 1914, the Bible Students, as Jehovah's
Witnesses were then called, pointed to that date as the year when the Gentile
Times would end. What outstanding proof that is that they were true servants
Our Incoming World
Government (1977) p. 131
Ever since the year 1876 those who became associated with the
Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society and the International Bible Students Association
had been publicly declaring
that the Gentile Times would terminate in early autumn of 1914.
The Watchtower says:
that teaches lies cannot be true. (WT December 1, 1991 p. 7)
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