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Was Pastor Russell wrong about 1914?

After 1948, Hal Lindsey and many fundamentalists, on the basis of Israel and the generation of Luke 21:29-31, predicted that Jesus would return within 40 years of 1948.  Excited over the new state of Israel, Billy Graham in 1950 told a rally in Los Angeles, “Two years and it’s all going to be over.”  For several years before 1994, Harold Camping of Family Radio fame vigorously predicted on radio and by printed page the return of Jesus in 1994.  All of these 20th Century theologians were wrong, but they were never accused of being false prophets.

In 1920 Rutherford predicted that “1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old”  (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, pp. 89-90).

Pastor Russell was the only Christian teacher to accurately predict the date of a major future event (WWI), and he is accused of being a false prophet.  Can anyone out there tell me of a Christian Leader who accurately predicted a future date and event based on scriptural evidence and got it right?  I will be anxious to hear from you.

In a 1909 Watchtower, page 371, Pastor Russell said, ” While our faith and hopes would be equally clear and logical whether this age ends in October, 1914, or a century later, nevertheless our expectation that “Gentile Times” will conclude October, 1914, undoubtedly has a stimulating effect upon our hearts and influences all of life’s interests and helps to “wean” us from earthly joys and ambitions and to set our affections on things above!”

Notice that Pastor Russell did not say that “this age” would end in 1914, but that he expected the Times of the Gentiles to end in 1914.  He indicated our faith would be equally clear even if this Gospel Age continued another hundred years.

In the 1916 forward of “The Time is at Hand,” Pastor Russell said the following.

This Volume sets forth, what its author has been preaching for over forty years, that the “Times of the Gentiles” chronologically ended in the fall of A.D. 1914. The expression, “Times of the Gentiles,” in Bible usage signifies the years, or period of time, in which the Gentile nations of the world were to be permitted to have control, following the taking away of the typical kingdom from natural Israel, and filling the hiatus between that event and the establishment of God’s Kingdom in the hands of Messiah– “whose right it is.” Ezekiel 21:27

We could not, of course, know in 1889, whether the date 1914, so clearly marked in the Bible as the end of the Gentile lease of power or permission to rule the world, would mean that they would be fully out of power at that time, or whether, their lease expiring, their eviction would begin. The latter we perceive to be the Lord’s program; and promptly in August, 1914, the Gentile kingdoms referred to in the prophecy began the present great struggle, which, according to the Bible, will culminate in the complete overthrow of all human government, opening the way for the full establishment of the Kingdom of God’s dear Son…


The author acknowledges that in this book he presents the thought that the Lord’s saints might expect to be with Him in glory at the ending of the Gentile Times. This was a natural mistake to fall into…


Our mistake was evidently not in respect to the ending of the Times of the Gentiles; we drew a false conclusion, however, not authorized by the Word of the Lord. We saw in the Bible certain parallels between the Jewish Age and the Gospel Age. We should have noted that these parallels follow the nominal systems to destruction in both cases, and do not indicate the time of the glorification of the New Creation. This explanation will help the reader as he studies “THE TIME IS AT HAND.”

In the September 1916 Watchtower, Pastor Russell said the following: (R5950, p263)

It still seems clear to us that the prophetic period known as the Times of the Gentiles ended chronologically in October, 1914. The fact that the Great Day of Wrath upon the nations began there marks a good fulfilment of our expectations. The Gentile nations were guaranteed a certain amount of possession and control for a certain period of time. That time having expired, dispossession proceedings are now in process. The winds of strife, winds of war, are let loose with great damage to the whole world, weakening the kingdoms of Europe in respect to their best blood and their financial strength.

81 comments to Was Pastor Russell wrong about 1914?

  • sidgi

    peter,

    yes, of course I believe the different time prophecies you mention have significance, and it is certainly incumbent on everyone caring about the outcomes involved with them, to seek their meaning. I think it demonstrates a persons faith, and willingness to act accordingly, in searching the bible for the answers, and looking to current events, or historic events, to determine what, if anything, can be clearly ascertained.

    Jesus words concerning the times of the nations were not ambiguous. They were concise and direct……”For there will be great necessity upon the land and wrath on this people; 24 and they will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations, until the appointed times of the nations are fulfilled”…….He didn’t say the times of the nations started at the destruction of Jerusalem, he had just spoken of, but he did say that the trampling would continue until those times are fulfilled.

    As far as the restoration of Israel, Ezekiel 38, and 39, furnish some information. When Daniel speaks of Michael standing up, in Daniel 12, he is told that all of his people would escape. Both of those prophecies seem to be about the same time period. If they are relating to the circumstances recorded in Rev.20 then it would seem that the times of the nations reach till then. I personally don’t think so. This is the statement Jesus made……”37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the killer of the prophets and stoner of those sent forth to her,—how often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks together under her wings! But YOU people did not want it. 38 Look! YOUR house is abandoned to YOU. 39 For I say to YOU, YOU will by no means see me from henceforth until YOU say, ‘Blessed is he that comes in Jehovah’s name!’”…..there was a limit on the condemnation, the statement of “until” put’s a time on it, and also is consistent with the Ezekiel and Daniel prophecies I mentioned.

    sidgi

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Sidgi – Thanks for your response. I appreciated what you said about respecting the importance of time prophecies. If I understand you correctly, you do believe that the scriptures prophecy that natural Israel is to receive some blessing from Jehovah, but that you see the timing of that as being in the future. You have made some thought provoking comments and I am tempted to respond further, but I learned from my dear wife that I shouldn’t always feel I should have the last word. So with that, I thank you for sharing and I think we all hope to hear more from you again.

  • sidgi

    peter,

    you mention the 70 weeks prophecy as having a starting date, and an ending date within the confines of scripture. I agree. However, the other prophecies you mention, rely on interpretation by individuals, not scriptural evidence. To connect the two circumstances as having equal credibility, doesn’t strike me as being sensible. one actually happened, and the other is based on the imaginings of a man, or men. Who’s to say the the 1878, and 1948 dates have any relevancy at all? Israel is to this day harassed, and down-trodden by the nations, no matter the political theatrics that have been displayed over the years mentioned. the reality is what matters. Bringing the papal circumstances into it is reaching way out of the box, scripturally speaking. it is no better than the so called “faithful and wise servant” application to anything other an illustrative description of how it would turn out for a faithful servant, in regards to their relationship with Jehovah, and Jesus, and likely, it applied specifically to his apostles. I see no reason to expand it further.

    men seem to need visible support, and special “understanding” to make them comfortable, instead of relying on just God’s word. It makes me think that the same motivation that drove the Israelite’s to ask for a visible king to rule over them is at work in them. I haven’t seen anything other than, possibly plausible, man-sourced explanations, not biblically driven understanding, in the interpretations you show.

    sidgi

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Sidgi – Thanks again. My opinions have not special importance and I appreciate you sharing your perspective. I do not want to challenge you, but I would like to understand your point of view more clearly. When we look at Daniel’s Bible time prophecies like 1260, 1290, 1335 and 2300 days, would you say that it is wrong for the Christian to try to understand and interpret the meaning? How do you understand these days? Are you saying that it would be wrong to consider a historical application to any time prophecies, with the exception of the 70 weeks prophecy of Daniel 9? You do not need to answer. I am just curious.

      You said that “Israel to this day is harassed and down-trodden by the nations.” On this website, under the section on Israel and prophecy, we bring scriptural evidence (i.e. Jerusalem being a burdensome stone to the nations, etc.) to support the very idea you are expressing, that there is much turmoil and trouble in Israel. From the numerous scriptures we refer to on this site, we believe the prophecies teach that Israel goes through much trouble, turmoil and battles, and even defeat, before they repent and Jehovah delivers them (i.e. Zech 12:6-10). Rather than rehash all the scriptural evidence that convinces me, if you are correct, I ask myself the following question. If Jesus’ words, “your house is left to you desolate” represented Jehovah’s permanent and final judgment against the nation, I cannot understand how against Jesus’ pronouncement and Jehovah’s will, the Jews have apparently thwarted Jehovah’s intent and re-established a nation in Israel. Is denying the miracle of the rebirth of the nation of Israel similar to denying any relevance to Jesus’ miracles at his first advent? I don’t mean this in a contentious way. This is just my reasoning on the matter.

  • sidgi

    peter,

    I am familiar with the different end-time prophecies and their interpretations per bible students, and WTBTS (who, by the way are somewhat similar in their approach).

    My questions about them, revolve around the so-called wisdom used to arrive at the starting points. When did the “times of the nations” begin? All I’ve seen in reference to that, are assumptions applied to the premise that it “must” be this or that, because it seems to fit the facts.

    I’ve found that if you just “let it be what it is”, and look at it from the present day circumstances, it also fits the facts. Following men isn’t a good idea at any stage of your life, even if that man happens to be yourself. (I’m including myself in the critic) Using secular history as measuring factor, over hundreds, and thousands of years, is silly, when the last days are on your doorstep, so to speak.

    I’m not condemning everything on this site, or even any whole article that I’ve read, in fact I’ve learned some things, and will apply them to my own study. I just tend to be simple in my approach, and straight forward in my assessments.

    cordially,
    sidgi

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Sidgi – Thank for your thoughtful response. We welcome differences of opinion here, especially when backed by scriptural evidence. So we appreciate your feedback. I hope not to be argumentative here, but please let me share some thoughts. In my comments I am not necessary attempting to scripturally prove each point. I am trying to keep the discussion simple to convey concepts and if specific questions are asked looking for scriptural support, I would be glad to share what I believe is the Biblical support. I agree with you that it is silly to rely on secular chronology, mainly because its evidence is contradictory and unreliable. However, I think it is sensible to rely on Bible Chronology. It seems that Jehovah provided the Bible Chronology for a purpose. We are able to add up the years from Adam to the Jewish desolation at the time of Nebuchadnezzar thru Cyrus strictly from scriptures alone. Is it not reasonable to suppose that Jehovah provided chronology in order to have an accurate timeline for applying time prophecies? We know that the 70 weeks prophecy of Daniel has a starting and ending date and brings you to Jesus Baptism at the end of 69 weeks to 29 C.E. So there can be no question that we have at least one historical time prophecy. Other time prophecies are referenced in the Bible. The double prophecy explained recently in comments to John Stoutenburg points to 1878 for the beginning for the return of Jewish favor and 1948 for when Israel became a nation. If this prophecy is not valid, it is once again another lucky guess by C.T. Russell. Other Bible time prophecies found in Daniel and Revelation include 1260, 1290, 1335 and 2300 days. Most Christians apply these prophecies in the future and discount as ridiculous a historical application without any investigation into the evidence. By the way, Bible Students disagree with JW applications of time prophecies except for the 70 weeks. Although we agree the times of the gentiles ended in 1914, Bible Students see this as the period of domination of the Gentiles over natural Israel, which is very different than the JW view.

  • sidgi

    I tend to take biblical things literally, unless there is a reason to take them otherwise.

    This is what Jesus said…..”! For there will be great necessity upon the land and wrath on this people; 24 and they will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations, until the appointed times of the nations are fulfilled.

    From what I can see, this is still happening. That being so, the appointed times of the nations are still in effect. There isn’t any biblical number attached to this prophecy. It is just a statement of fact, given by Jesus. When Jerusalem is no longer being trampled on by the nations, and the Jews aren’t the victims of wrath, then the times of the nations will be fulfilled.

    sidgi

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Sidgi – I understand your point of view and can see how how you are looking at it. I believe that Jehovah implements his plans and purposes in stages. Israel lost favor in stages and it is being restored in stages.

      ISRAEL’S LOSS OF FAVOR
      33 CE – Jesus condemned Israel saying, “your house is left to you desolate.
      68-70 CE – Jerusalem and the temple destroyed. Millions of Jews killed and scattered
      132-136 AD – The remaining Jews were killed or dispersed as a result of the the Bar Kokhba revolt

      ISRAEL’S RETURN OF FAVOR
      1878 CE – Berlin Congress of Nations permits Jews to purchase land in Palestine. First settlements begin. (this is the end of Israel’s prophetic double. See volume 2 of Studies in the Scriptures.)
      1914 CE – World War I produces the Balfour Declaration in 1917, setting aside land in Palestine for a Jewish State
      1948 CE – Israel becomes a nation (end of 2nd prophetic double)
      1967 CE – In Six Day War, Israel takes permanent possession of Jerusalem in fulfillment of Zech 12:6

      Just as Israel lost favor in 33 CE and the nation conquered in 68-70 CE, So Israel’s favor returned in 1878 and in 1914 the Gentile domination over the Jews ended. No longer would the Jews be scattered and trampled upon. Now it was time for them to return to their land, in preparation for their future repentance (Zech 12:10) and the establishment of Jerusalem as the world’s capital on Paradise Earth.

  • Jeff

    Thank you Novi for this interesting quotation. Many are not aware of the changes that were made in the Studies in the Scriptures as time approached 1914.

    I am not sure though what you mean by the “century beginning 1833” means. I noticed that you mentioned

    On this prediction, he was correct, but he was not the only one. Other Christian expositors of the time (such as Henry Grattan Guinness) had also suggested similar things regarding the sprouting of the fig tree.

    Pastor Russell had pointed out that the fig tree would blossom beginning in 1914. It was the first world war that begain in 1914 that was directly responsible for the returning of the fig tree, Israel. This led to the 1917 Balfour declaration, and the failed promises of the British government until the second world war and the return of Israel as a nation in 1948.

    The fig tree prediction is the one point of Pastor Russell’s thinking that the Jehovah’s Witnesses have dropped. It is the strongest evidence of fulfillment, the one interpretation that they have attempted to apply to themselves. If this be true, then all of the old testament prophecies about Israel’s return to the land in unbelief in a land without the holy spirit until the time when all nations will come against them to battle, would apply to the JWs of today.

    I am sure they would not apply these verses to their organization. It is rather inconsistent to apply only the good prophecies to themselves and the bad prophecies to everyone else.

    The Jewish nation are Yahweh’s true Witnesses, not the group that calls themselves the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    • Jacqueline

      Hello Br. Jeff, I know you are replying to Novi, but I wanted to speak on the part about Israel return to the land in unbelief. They say this applies to apostate Christendom clergy class. (now same sentence)” until the time when all nations come against them to battle”. They indeed apply this part to nations come up against Bethel hdqrters to be exact. This is in the Isaiah book, we studied it around 2004. I keprt answering in Book study that it was inconsistent to make these applications between christendom clergy and the GB. I finally stopped going to book study and never went back because of such application. I didn’t want to create a disturbance if no one else saw this/ I remained a witness but never attended book study again until it came to the KH only in Dec of 2008. Just wanted to let you know they do apply it to them when it is good things and christendom when it is bad. (ref. Isaiah book)

  • Novi

    Peter – I refer you to a quote from Vol 4, Page 604, 1908 ed. “…the harvest or gathering time begining October 1874; the organization of the Kingdom and the taking of our Lord of his great power as the King in April 1878, and the time of trouble or day of wrath which began October 1874 and will end October 1914.”
    In the newer editions the wording was changed to:…the “harvest” or gathering time beginning October 1874; the organization of the Kingdom and the taking by our Lord of his great power as the King in April 1878, and the time of trouble or “day of wrath” which began October 1874, and will cease about 1915; and the sprouting of the fig tree. Those who choose might without inconsistency say that the century or generation might as properly reckon from the last sign, the falling of the stars, as from the first, the darkening of the sun and moon: and a century beginning 1833 would be still far from run out. Many are living who witnessed the star-falling sign. Those who are walking with us in the light of present truth are not looking for things to come which are already here, but are waiting for the consummation of matters already in progress. Or, since the Master said, “When ye shall see all these things,” and since “the sign of the Son of Man in heaven,” and the budding fig tree, and the gathering of “the elect” are counted among the signs, it would not be inconsistent to reckon the “generation” from 1878 to 1914–36 ½ years– about the average of human life today.”
    Peter, this will be my last post on this subject, Christian love…Titus 3:9

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Novi – It’s always good to hear from you and I welcome you to comment as much as you would like. Per your Titus 3:9 quote, the Jews were in fact arguing about Genealogies (not Bible Chronology), some probably arguing that they were a decedent of a prominent Jewish person. Many argued about issues of the Law of which they were no longer under. However Chronology and Time-Prophecy were necessary to accurately understand the 70 weeks prophecy of Daniel, bringing us to Jesus death and baptism. As in Jesus day, many students of prophecy believed the Messiah was due to come and overthrow the Romans and establish the earthly Kingdom. They were basically correct in calculating that the 70 weeks brought them to their day, but they expected too much. C.T. Russell made the same mistake. Since you have not explained your quote, perhaps you feel it speaks for itself showing that C.T. Russell was incorrect in his prophetic interpretation. If your standard of judging a prophetic student/teacher is that they need to be more accurate than C.T. Russell was, then you are welcome to draw that conclusion according to your conscience. However, I would argue that no prominent prophetic teacher has ever come so close to predicting the future as C.T. Russell. I believe the mistake of many prophetic students is to expect prophetic events to be fulfilled suddenly and quickly. However, I think the opposite is usually true. The 70 weeks appointed for Israel ended in AD 36. Yet Jerusalem was not destroyed till AD 68-70 and the Jewish people not fully conquered until AD 136 in the Bar Kochba revolt. And so, I believe the symbolic heavens (governments & religious authorities) and earth (the social order) – 1 Pet 3 – have been on fire for over a century. The increase of knowledge (Dan 12:4) has spread information around the planet like wild fire. “There is nothing hidden that shall not be revealed.” (Luke 8:17). This bright shining information is destabilizing Satan’s world (based on lies and darkness). Psa 97:4 says, “4 His lightnings lightened the world: The earth saw, and trembled.”

  • Novi

    David, look at my post of July 19th of last year. I quoted the same article you did. CT Russell admitted in that article that if 1915 came and his predictions did not come to pass, as they didn’t, then his chronology and everything associated with it would fall apart. It’s from his own words, what more can be said? Those that follow CT Russell’s teachings should follow ALL his teachings, not pick and choose.
    But as he stated, chronology should not be our basis for faith in God. That’s wha happened to many JW’s in 1975. Jesus told His disciples to be alert and WATCH, he purposely did not tell them more details. Acts 1:7-8

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Novi – C.T. Russell said, “…suppose that AD 1915 should pass with the world’s affair all serene…” Had nothing happened, then he would have changed his mind, but WWI broke out in 1914. The heavens and earth have been on fire ever since with growing trouble like a woman in labor (1 Thess 5:3), the labor pains (time of trouble) become more frequent and severe until the birth of the child (birth of the earthly kingdom after Armageddon).

  • David

    I agree that Russell was not dogmatic about 1914. In fact at one point he wrote “”Let us suppose a case far from our expectations,…suppose that AD 1915 should pass with the world’s affair all serene and with evidence the very elect had not all been changed….What then? Would not that prove our chronology wrong? Yes surely! And would not that prove a keen disappointment? Indeed it would! It would work irreparable wreck to the parallel dispensations and Israel’s double, and to the Jubilee calculations, and the prophecy of 2,300 days of Daniel, and to the epoch called Gentile Times….What a blow that would be! One of the strings of our harp would be broken!
    “However, dear friend, our harp would still have all the other strings in tune and that is what no other aggregation of God’s people on earth could boast. We could still worship a God so great and grand that none compare to him. We should still see the grandeur of his salvation in Christ Jesus- a ransom for all.” (Watch Tower, Oct. 1st, 1907, page 4067)
    He also wrote early on that is chronological viewpoints may be mistaken “:”We are not prophesying; we are merely giving our surmises . . . We do not even aver that there is no mistake in our interpretation of prophecy and our calculations of chronology. We have merely laid these before you, leaving it for each to exercise his own faith or doubt in respect to them” (emphasis mine – Zion’s Watch Tower, January 1, 1908 (reprint) page 4110) Russell preached with confidence about the year 1914, believing it was marked year in the Bible, but nevertheless, admitted that he may be wrong about about some things that may occur in that year.
    Now Rutherford, while confidently writing that 1925 will mark the day of the resurrection, but even in the same Millions booklet he writes at least twice “we MAY confidentially expect” that to happen in 1925…he does not say MUST. And in 1923 he wrote “”But, beloved of the Lord, what difference does it make whether things expected to transpire in 1925 do transpire or not?” (WT, 2/1/23, page 35) And just as 1925 started he reiterated by writing “The year 1925 is here. With great expectation Christians have looked forward to this year. Many have confidently expected that all members of the body of Christ will be changed to heavenly glory during this year. This may be accomplished. It may not be. In his own due time God will accomplish his purposes concerning his people. Christians should not be so deeply concerned about what may transpire this year.” (The WT, Jan. 1st, 1925, page 3) He also, like Russell, emphasized that he was not an inspired prophet, not having the gift of prophecy.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      David – Thanks for sharing this information. I agree that C.T. Russell had a loving spirit, even with brethren who disagreed with him. When 1914 came and went, he never changed his mind on the chronology or time prophecies. In the 1916 forward to Volume 2, The Time is at Hand, he said, “Our mistake was evidently not in respect to the ending of the Times of the Gentiles; we drew a false conclusion, however, not authorized by the Word of the Lord. We saw in the Bible certain parallels between the Jewish Age and the Gospel Age. We should have noted that these parallels follow the nominal systems to destruction in both cases, and do not indicate the time of the glorification of the New Creation.”

      Luke 21:24 says, “…Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” NASV. Amazingly, when British Forces took Palestine during the World War I, Britain issued the Balfour Declaration in 1917 which brought forth the concept of a homeland for the Jews. The Berlin Congress of Nations then gave full civil rights to the Jews of Palestine. C.T. Russell was correct. Yet, just as with the 70 Weeks prophecy of Daniel 9, it pointed to Jesus baptism and death, but the students of prophecy then thought that the Messiah would deliver them from the Romans. They got the prophecy correct, but expected more to happen than was actually indicated in the prophecy. C.T. Russell mistakenly expected too much as well, but the Times of the Gentiles prophecy pointed to favor returning to Israel and a beginning to the destruction of the nominal systems (Church/State rule broken in WWI), just as surely as the 70 Weeks prophecy pointed to Jesus death in AD 33.

      I stand amazed at how so many view C.T. Russell as a false prophet (not you David) when no other prominent Religious figure can be pointed to who accurately identified a future date (i.e. 1914) based on scriptures. Israel, becoming a nation in 1948 is a further vindication of his teachings. The attacks that have been made on C.T. Russell comparatively make it look like the Mainstream News Media adores Sarah Palin.

  • Vanderhoven7

    Hi Peter

    We agree on many things. Yet we disagree on what I see as non-essential teachings .

    How many real biblical scholars (those with credentials) see 1914 as a biblical date? The Bah’ai use a similar calculative approach to come up with the Bab’s (forerunner) birthday.
    JW’s view 1914 as a biblical date based on other calculations related to Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the fallen tree (Dan.4)

    I believe 1914 is as biblical as 1874. Pastor Russell claimed the 1874 date was critical …right up to his death in 1916. 1914 did not change anything just as Christ’s alleged 1874 return did not change anything during the 40 years from 1874 to 1914…except perhaps in people’s imagination.

    Christians do not need Russell’s writings or 1914 for salvation, justification and/or sanctification or abiding in Christ. Therefore they are redundant to the gospel of our Lord.

    The Bible is sufficient and does not require theories and calculations of men to produce the fruit of the Spirit.

    So we disagree. In your eyes, does that make one of us more spiritual or acceptable to God…or in or out of the “truth” as the WTS puts it?

    Vander

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Vander – Perhaps you missed my previos response to you here: http://www.friendsofjehovahswitnesses.com/2010/06/was-pastor-russell-wrong-about-1914/comment-page-1/#comment-1542

      We can rejoice in the many things we agree on. I imagine that you too look forward to the future fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham to bless ALL the families of the earth.

      Biblical Scholars with credentials generally believe in hell, trinity and immortality of the soul. In Jesus day, the religious authorities with credentials killed him. So I don’t place much faith in the type of credential that even the Apostle did not have.

      Yes, there are other calculations to arrive at 1914. Among these are Nebuchadnezars 7 times/years of madness among beasts before he was elevated back to a glorious king. This typifies Israel 2520 years (7 x 360) years of domination among the beasts of the field (gentile nations are beasts as in Daniel 7), before they are elevated to the World Captial on Paradise Earth.

      The tree stump of Daniel 4 also shows the 7 times. The Iron (Rome) and Brass (Greece) covering the stump shows the domination of Gentile powers over Israel until the Times of the Gentiles ended in 1914 AD. (The metals are the same as in the giant image from Daniel 2)

      Everything changed after 1874. We know from 2 Peter 3 that in the last days people questioning Jesus return will argue that things have been continuing on as always not realizing that the day of the Lord has already come and that the current heavens and earth are being burned up with fire. Fire pictures destruction and we have seen the present order of Satan’s empire being destroyed over the past century. In 1914, the European kings were removed from their thrones and church/state rule ended. No more of the “Divine Right of Kings.” Empires have crumbled and dozens of new independent nations have risen from the ruins. Israel has become a prosperous nation. Signs from Dan 12 fullfiled include the increase in knowledge and travel, favor returning to Israel and the understanding of the book of Daniel finally being revealed. For more information, just read the Studies in the Scriptures series.

      You say that Christians only need the Bible and not Russell’s writings. I partly agree with you. I agree that all our conclusions must be based on the objective study of scriptures. That we can only know we have the Truth when all scriptures in the Bible on a topic harmonize and seeminly conflicting scriptures can be satisfyingly aswered. That we should not blindly follow mans word, but “test the spirits” and check everything out against the word of God, just like the Berean’s of Acts 17:10,11. However, the Berean’s did not tell Paul, we can not hear what you have to say. We will only look at Old Testament scriptures and figure it out for ourselves. They investigated his teachings to see if they were supported by the Word of God.

      But why shouldn’t People check out what C.T. Russell had to say? We go to hear everything else everyone else has to say. So why is he off limits? People keep saying C.T. Russell was wrong about this or that, but generally the people who criticize him have never read through the Studies in the Scriptures series to check him out. I can hardly think of anyone I know of who has ever read volume 1, “The Divine Plan of the Ages” that wasn’t totally amazed and excited by it, exclaiming, “This all makes so much sense! The Bible makes sense! This is the Truth!”

      Unfortunately, few people realize how doctrine and prophecy relate to our personal character development. God is the author of doctrines and prophecies. They reflect his character and the character of Jesus. We are told in the Bible to behave like God and Jesus. We are to be like them. A correct understanding helps us to do that. The Catholics believed in the Doctrine of Hell, so it was easy during the dark ages to torture dissenters (heretics) since they believed that God was sending them to hell to be tortured anyway.

      No church denomination explains to us that the future mission of the Little Flock (bride of Christ) for which we are now being developed and prepared, is for the purpose of blessing all the families of the earth. Most Christians have no idea that the reason for developing a Christ-like character is to prepare them, as Christ’s body members, to be mankind’s future kings and priests, brining them up the highway of holiness (Isa 35:8) on Paradise earth. How can Christian’s develop that character (Rom 12:1,2), if they don’t even realize that this is what they are being trained for. It would be like sending a doctor into surgery, without him ever going to medical school or through residency.

      The importance of understanding prophecies (including time prophecies) as well as signs is that God has various purposes to accomplish in different ages and periods of times. In this harvest of the Gospel Age, we have a special mission to perform. How can we be obedient to God and perform the work of the Harvest if we do not even understand what it is all about.

      In the Bible, God has always sent various prophets, judges, kings, etc. to lead God’s people. Revelation tells us that during the Gospel Age, he sent seven messengers, each with a message for their time period. I believe that in this Harvest period of the Gospel Age that C.T. Russell is the final messenger that made God’s whole plan clear. Whether or not that is true, if you are willing to hear what everyone else has to say, why not also check out the Studies in the Scriptures, the only place where you will find the “Ransom for ALL,” “the future mission of the Church explained,” and much more that is not understood by the various Church denominations?

      With love in Christ – Peter

  • After studying the Bible I came to see/realize that God have ever known that He wrote regarding ancient events in an “hidden way” , and so, He didn’t command to his worshipers to “find the real/exact chronology” of humankind and its empires and states from Adam until today
    in case He would command this , knowing how difficult is to come to an conclusion in chronology and how much time it requires , then God’s worshipers would be called “historians” not “christians”
    But now , though, a certain “chronology” there is , and God does invite us to understand it , even in order to “know the judgement”
    Ecclesiastes 8: 5. Whoso keepeth the commandment shall know no evil thing;
    and a wise man’s heart discerneth time and judgment
    Yes , it is a good thing to know the time of God’s judgement
    here are Jesus words / Luke 19
    41. And when he drew nigh, he saw the city and wept over it,
    42. saying, If thou hadst known in this day, even thou, the things which belong unto peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.
    4.3 For the days shall come upon thee, when thine enemies shall cast up a bank about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,
    44. and shall dash thee to the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another;
    >>> because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

    here we are able to see that is a good thing to be able to recognize the time of our “visitation” >> that implies a few knowledge of “chronology”
    BUT what chronology ?
    The chronology God requires fro us to search for, is part of prophecies regarding “God’s people during the latter days” , as He said to Daniel
    in cpt 10
    14. Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall
    –> thy people
    –> in the latter days; for the vision is yet for many days:

    It follows that the chronology God is requiring from us/His worshipers is in fact “the chronology of the latter days” !

    Here is a research on the “latter days chronology” , as I was able to put it in english:
    http://reslight.net/forum/index.php/topic,1207.0.html

    rus virgil

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Russ – Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It seems evident to me that the Lord wanted us to be able to understand Bible Chronology since we find a complete Chronology in the Bible from Adam to the time of the Babylonian captivity. Why would God have put it all there if he didn’t want to give us the ability to calculate it? The confusion has been from trying to reconcile the unreliable chronology of the Persians, Greeks, Babylonians, and Egyptians. This link helps to show how unreliable the secular scholars are.

      http://folk.uio.no/rolffu/Chronlgy.htm

      C.T. Russell has a short and simply chapter on “Bible Chronology” in Volume 2 of Studies in the Scriptures in the book the “Time is at Hand.” In that chapter he relies almost entirely upon the Bible itself for the chronology calculation.

      The final test of Bible Chronology is when a number of historical time prophecies perfectly fit into the chronology scheme as you see in the chart linked below.

      http://www.biblechronology.org/charts/ChronologicalParallelsRedrawn.pdf

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