Watchtower Society Falsifies Its History
By B. J. Kotwall
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:

At the 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".
Bible Examiner October 1876 pp. 27-28
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".

For example:

We see 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
…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.
The Time Is At Hand 1889 p. 76-77.
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".

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, 28.

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.

Yearbook 1975 p.37
 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 of Jehovah!

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. 

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.

The  Watchtower says:

A religion that teaches lies cannot be true. (WT December 1, 1991 p. 7)
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