What Happened in 1914?

According to the book, “Pastor Russell – Founder of the Bible Students,” published by Bible Students Christian Classics:

So what did happen in 1914? Is there any evidence to support or deny the position of Pastor Russell? The outbreak of an unprecedented world war caused the following reaction from the publisher of a noted periodical.  The August 30, 1914, issue of The World Magazine in a feature article about Bible Student predictions reported:

The terrific war outbreak in Europe has fulfilled an extraordinary prophecy. For 25 years Bible Students have been proclaiming to the world that the Day of Wrath prophesied in the Bible would dawn in 1914. The Bible speaks of a “time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation.” This prophecy of Daniel Bible Students identify as the “Day of Wrath,” the “Time of the Lord,” and the so-called “End of the World,” references which are plentiful in the Scriptures.

Historians have much to say about that eventful year 1914. The following is a part of the historical record.

Edmond Taylor while quoting Arnold Toynbee said:

“Looking back from the vantage point of the present we see that the outbreak of World War I ushered in a twentieth-century “Time of Troubles”… from which our civilization has by no means yet emerged. Directly or indirectly all the convulsions of the last half century stem back to 1914: the two World Wars, the Bolshevik Revolution, the rise and fall of Hitler, the continuing turmoil in the Far and Near East, the power-struggle between the communist world and our own. More than 23,000,000 deaths can be traced to one or the other of these upheavals.”

Britannica Great Books, THE GREAT IDEAS TODAY:

“A world mesmerized by Science and progress mocked the mysticism of religious sects which had long predicted that the world would end in the year 1914; fifty years later the world isn’t so sure that it didn’t end in 1914.”


“If ever there was a year that marked the end of an era and the beginning of another, it was 1914. That year brought to an end the old world with its sense of security and began a modern age whose chief characteristic is insecurity on a daily basis.”

1914 is clearly marked by unbiased historians as the ending of a world. The convulsions since are at once the processes of its disintegration and the birth pains of a new world. Britannica editors, as noted, observed that a religious group (actually known as Bible Students) predicted 1914 would mark the ending of a world in just this manner.

The list of writers describing the unprecedented destructive forces unleashed in 1914 is phenomenal and more continue to add their observations to this day.

In his book, OUT OF CONTROL, Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor and professor of American Foreign Policy at John Hopkins University, notes that the 20th century began amid great hope and promise, but became the century of insanity. In elaborating on his observation of 175 million slaughtered in the name of the “politics of organized insanity,” he says:

“Contrary to its promise, the twentieth century became mankind’s most bloody and hateful century of hallucinatory politics and of monstrous killings. Cruelty was institutionalized to an unprecedented degree, lethality was organized on a mass production basis. The contrast between the scientific potential for good and the political evil that was actually unleashed is shocking.  Never before in history was killing so globally pervasive, never before did it consume so many lives, never before was human annihilation pursued with such concentration of sustained effort on behalf of such arrogantly irrational goals.”

These observations of history confirm Pastor Russell’s prediction that the old world began to end in 1914 and is currently being ushered completely out of existence by a consuming process of wars, revolutions and anarchy. The evidence of history clearly teaches that 1914 is the most significant date in modern times as it marks a sharp break with the past. The wars and upheavals, social turmoil and unrest since 1914 are greater, deeper, and more unrelenting than anything mankind has ever experienced. Were Pastor Russell’s expectations then flatly and patently wrong? Was he indeed a false prophet? NO! Pastor Russell was correct concerning 1914 being the beginning of the end. He was indefinite as to the length of this trouble that would terminate our world or social order Without making a prediction, he allowed that it could last a hundred years after 1914. No one has given a better explanation of the events of the 20th century.

Let the reader note that this was not the last word of Pastor Russell on the subject—that the world would end amidst the greatest and most widespread trouble ever before experienced by man. NO! The trouble of the present time and recent past is merely the passing of the old order as a new order of righteousness, peace, and everlasting life is to be ushered in for the benefits and blessing of all the families of the earth who accept and obey God’s words of life. This is the real reason the doomsayers opposed him.   Their theology could not accept this good news of the Gospel of the Kingdom for the vast majority of humankind.

144 comments to What Happened in 1914?

  • Anonymous

    Peter, in all fairness what is said in this article is not the whole story. I direct you to the 1902 edition of The Time Is at Hand, pages 76-78. Br Russell changed his teaching in 1916 when what he had predicted did not occur.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Anonymous – Thanks. I am not sure what your point is. How is the 1902 edition different from the 1916 edition? Although much of what he said began to be fulfilled in 1914, it is also true that Brother Russell expected the kingdom to be set up and the Church glorified. In the 1916 Forward to Volume 2, he acknowledges that mistake. However, that same mistake was made with the 70 weeks prophecy, the Jews expecting the Messiah to defeat the Romans and bring in the earthly Kingdom. However, the over-expectation did not invalidate the 70 weeks prophecy any more than Brother Russell’s over-expectation invalidates the 1914 prophecy. Interestingly, although the Times of the Gentiles calculation (7 x 360) is based on a prophetic year (360 days), there seems to be a secondary application based on the solar year rounded to a whole number (7 x 365 days) which brings you to 1948, when Israel became a nation.

      • Anonymous

        Here is an interesting article on the differences in the editions of the Volumes.


        • Anonymous

          Sorry, you have to scroll down to “The Doctrinal History of the Invisible Presence of Christ”.


          • Peter K. (admin)

            Anonymous – If you cite the example(s) in your own words, I will respond.

            • Anonymous

              Peter, it’s OK if you don’t want to reply. The article will not allow me to cut and paste and it’s too long to type it all out. The differences are there for you to read or not, your choice. The article shows not only the differences in the volumes but differences in the reprints. I especially like the October 1, 1907 and January 1, 1914 articles in the Watch Tower. Your answer to Jerome regarding Mat 24:36 & 42 is very interesting. You said, “That doesn’t mean that Jesus would never know, any more than it means that we would never know when Jesus had returned and is present. Once Jesus had returned, the scriptural evidence would demonstrate that fact to the watchers.” Br. Russell takes the times and epochs to build his chronology from the O/T. What part of it did Jesus not know? He created Adam, could he not count 6000 yrs from then? Did he not know the period of the Judges, or the years of desolation or when the temple was rebuilt? You think he didn’t know when Jerusalem was destroyed, either 587 or 607 BC? What new information do we have that he was not aware of? He lived through all the times and epochs and yet he said he did not know. When his apostles asked him when Israel would be restored he told them …“It is NOT FOR YOU TO KNOW the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.” (Acts 1:7) BTW, I notice you put up links to articles in your replies.

              • Peter K. (admin)

                Anonymous – I just gave up trying to find the article you were referring to. It is normal for authors to update their books with each edition. To the best of my knowledge, there were very few significant changes in the studies in the scriptures with new editions. It would be up to you to explain any concern you have over a particular change.

                As far as reprint changes go, I think that is probably not relevant to Bible Students. The electronic Watchtowers we have on the Internet are transcribed and error check off of the originals Watchtowers. The Reprints were published under Rutherford’s watch, so Brother Russell could not be held responsible for any changes made.

                You asked regarding Jesus and Chronology,”What part of it did Jesus not know?” Your point seems to be that if we can calculate the date of Jesus’ return today, then why could Jesus have not run the same calculations 2,000 years ago? So your conclusion must be that even though time prophecy (Daniel 9) confirmed the first advent of Jesus, time prophecy would not be for confirming the 2nd advent.

                Well, I don’t think time prophecy allows us today to confirm the “day” or “hour” Jesus returned, just the year (1874). Even so, I am not sure that Jesus would have run these calculations if it was not due time for the Holy Spirit to reveal it to him. Yet even if we presume that the Holy Spirit would allow him to calculate the date, he would be missing vital pieces of information. For example, the 1335 days/years of Daniel 12 could bring him to 1874, but he would have to see into the future and know that 539 C.E. would be the start date, when Emperor Justinian granted civil authority to the Roman Bishop. To calculate 6,000 years from Adam, he would need the anchor date of King Cyrus first year. The Jewish authorities were confused on this date and Jesus would have had to travel to the library at Alexandria Egypt to sort through conflicting chronological and historical data to hopefully arrive at the correct date. Similarly, the start date for the times of the Gentiles prophecy would be unknown to Jesus without divine Revelation. Yet clearly he saw the significance of the Times of the Gentiles, mentioning it in Luke 21:24.

                • Anonymous

                  “To the best of my knowledge, there were very few significant changes in the studies in the scriptures with new editions. “ The changes are extremely significant, scroll down to the bottom of the website, click on the “Load More” button and you will see the document entiled, “The Doctrinal History of the Invisible Presence of Christ “
                  As regards to your reasoning regarding Jesus’ knowledge, I am completely baffled by it. Jesus was alive as the Logos when Cyrus came to power, do you really think he “would have had to travel to the library at Alexandria Egypt to sort through conflicting chronological and historical data to hopefully arrive at the correct date.” Really? The angel Gabriel gave the prophecy of 1335 days to Daniel, but you think that the Logos didn’t know what Gabriel was talking about? The Gentile Times started with the destruction of Jerusalem. But you said that Jesus, as the Logos, alive at the time, “… the start date for the times of the Gentiles prophecy would be unknown to Jesus without divine Revelation.” Why would Jesus need divine revelation? He saw everything first hand! Peter, I’m sorry, but I think you’re grasping at straws.

                  • Peter K. (admin)

                    Anonymous – If Jesus could remember his pre-human existence, why was he asking the religious teachers questions at age 12? Luke 2:46. When did Jesus ever say that he could recall or remember events from his pre-human existence, other than what he could discover directly from scriptures?

                    • Anonymous

                      “If Jesus could remember his pre-human existence, why was he asking the religious teachers questions at age 12?” What was Jesus’ answer to his parents in Luke 2:49? Jesus did not have a realization of his pre-human existence after his baptism? Check these scriptures; John 6:38, John 7: 16, John 8:26, John 17:5 & 24, there are others I’m sure. Don’t forget the angels, they were eye witnesses also, don’t you think they could put 2 and 2 together? If you read the document and research the topic, you’ll see that Br Russell did not come up with the date 1914 himself. Also notice what he says in reprint of October 1, 1907 and January 1, 1914 regarding the parallels and Israel’s double.

                    • Peter K. (admin)

                      Anonymous – Thanks for sharing those excellent scriptures. To me they confirm that Jesus was aware of his pre-human existence from the scriptures as well as through his communication with the Father and angels. We are aware of Jesus pre-human existence, but we don’t have his memories of it. So Jesus could know about it, without remembering it. I don’t see any scripture that indicates that he had an actual memory of these experiences. Also, I am not sure how a physical mind is capable of storing spiritual memories. If spirit beings exist on another dimensional level, a human mind, even if perfect, can only perceive reality in our four dimensions. However, I am no quantum physics expert. If we accept your premise that Jesus was able to remember everything from his pre-human existence, then yes, I agree that He would have had the knowledge to calculate when 6,000 years would end from the fall of Adam. What date do you think 6,000 years from Adams fall points to? What do you think happened or will happen on that date?

                  • Peter K. (admin)

                    Anonymous – Thanks. Got the link. So what do you conclude from all this? It doesn’t bother me. Brother Russell made the mistake of expecting the kingdom to come in 1914, although he was correct about other things beginning to happen. He made some corrections to volume 2 and explained his mistake in the preface. That seems perfectly transparent and legitimate to me. He did not attempt to lie or deceive, but merely to correct his mistake.

                    In Acts 1:6, the Apostles asked Jesus, “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” If all during Jesus ministry, the Apostles had expected Jesus to set up the Kingdom on earth, I can’t blame Brother Russell for making the same mistake.

                    In 1914, WWI began, which resulted in the removal of kings, end of church/state rule and led to Balfour Declaration setting aside Palestine as a homeland for the Jews. Let me ask you, do you think Brother Russell just got lucky at guessing at 1914? Was all this just a lucky coincidence?

                    Let’s not stop there. How about the double of 1845 years of favor and 1845 years of disfavor bringing us to the year 1878, when the Berlin Congress of Nations allowed Jews for the first time in nearly 2,000 years to purchase land in Palestine, at which time they established their first Jewish settlement, called Petah Tikva. We can now see that the double has occurred in stages, with the second stage being 1880 years, bringing us to 1948 when Israel became a nation. So is this all lucky coincidence too?

  • Anonymous

    this is a load of bullshit instead of listening to this crap why not listen to the true god the lord jesus christ only he can give you the real answers not a load of endoctered knob heads

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Anonymous – Can you give an example of what you feel is nonsense here. I think this is all sound information. Enlighten us please. Thanks.

  • Hi Don,

    I’d like to add one thing. In my opinion, much of the prophecy is in regards to the nation of Israel. Since the Jehovah’s Witnesses have replaced Israel with themselves in the prophecies of the Old and New Testaments, their view of what the meaning of 1914 is has changed.

    What did Pastor Russell teach regarding 1914?

    “Twenty-five hundred and twenty years would seem to be the measure of Israel’s subjection to the Gentile governments, 2,520 years. Well, were they subject to the first? Yes. To whom? To Nebuchadnezzar. Were they subject to Medo-Persia?
    Yes. Were they subject to the Grecians, represented by the brass? Yes. And the Romans, represented by the iron? Yes. They have been subject since then? You know they have been subject. Twenty-five hundred and twenty years, come this fall, as nearly as we are able to reckon. What does that mean? Why, that means that the time for Israel’s deliverance from Gentile dominion should be the end of this year. Well, what will that mean? Well, we do not know yet what it will mean, but we rather think there will be something or other, either in the way of the downfall of these kingdoms represented in the image, or in some other way it will be shown that God’s favor is returning or has returned in special
    form to Israel. Are there any signs along that line? Yes, some signs; for instance, we have the Zionistic movement, which began only quite recently, and this Zionism is looking just in that direction, hoping for the restoration of national power to the Jewish people–hoping for it, desiring it, laboring
    for it. And where did the Jews get that idea? Ah, we are not wise enough to say. We should not wonder at all if the Spirit of the Lord stirred them up at the appropriate time to look for and wait for and strive for the restoration of their national entity at the right time. We believe so.”

    Israel’s return as a nation was what Jesus referenced when he mentioned the blossoming of the fig tree in Matthew 24. Many of the Old Testament prophets, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Isaiah, etc… all mentioned Israel’s return as a nation in the last days.

    Note some of the following quotations from Russell’s first article on this subject in George Storrs’ Bible Examiner magazine three years before he started his own Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence.

    “Jesus does not foretell its treading under foot of the Gentiles, as Rome had her foot upon them at that time. He does tell us, however, how long it will continue so, even the disciples thought ‘that it was he would should have delivered Israel. . . comparing these Scriptures, we learn, that God has scattered Israel for a period of seven times . . . This gives us a clue at least, as to how long until the Jews are delivered. . . . This is the same time at which Israel is to be delievered, (for ‘Jerusalem shall be dtrodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled’) . . . Jerusalem shall be delievered forever, and the Jew say of the Deliverer, ‘Lo, this is our God, we have waited for Him and He will save us.'” Bible Examiner, October 1876.

    If the prophecy relates to Israel, then we must ask, what came out of the first world war that began in 1914 for Israel?

    The result of the allied victories in the war through the help of both the Arabs and Jews brought promises from the British and French nations to create homelands for both groups. After the war these promises of Britain, France, and the League of Nations were not fulfilled. This would not come until the United Nations after the Second World War.

    The Jews were promised a homeland in the British Balfour declaration of 1918, but like the treatment of the Arabs, the British and Frech did not keep their promises and attempted to control the middle east and the oil wealth there for the next several years. Arbitrary lines were drawn on a map dividing arab’s into nations regardless of relgious or ethnic divisions. Much of the troubles of the Middle East we have today originated from this period of time.

    When Hitler came to power and attempted to destroy the Jews, the result of his defeat was to remind the nations of Britain’s promise of a Jewish homeland in the 1918 Balfour declaration. This resulted in the 1948 declaration of Israel as a nation in the United Nations. The six day war of 1967 returned the control of Jerusalem to the Jews.

    The events of 1914 have indeed caused Israel to be no longer trodden down of the Gentiles as the prophecies about Israel’s return have stated.

    Was Brother Russell dogmatic about the timing?

    No not really. Consider the following —

    “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.” (R4867)

    I find much of the Jehovah’s Witness interpretation on this subject a tad confusing.

    Unlike the Jehovah’s Witness claims of today, Pastor Russell was not suggesting that Jesus would return in 1914.

    Note how the following quotations tend to parallel the concepts of “second coming” and “gentile times” with Pastor Russell’s predictions.

    “When World War I broke out in July 1914, we Bible students were not exactly shocked. For some time we had been waiting for evidences concerning the end of the Gentile Times. When the war erupted, we recognized it at once as a sign and as proof that we were right. Our joy was great, for we were expecting great things to happen. At the time I was with Brother A. H. Macmillan in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Brother Macmillan gave the two final talks at the conclusion of the film showing. The first one was “Pastor Russell’s Teachings Examined,” and the second discourse was “The Second Coming of Christ.” Brother Macmillan was at his best! He reflected in those lectures the thrill and joy all Bible students felt in seeing Bible prophecy being fulfilled right before their very eyes! We were right. 1914 was a marked year!” 5/15/1967 WT.

    “At that time there also were reasons for rejoicing. For years God’s people had pointed forward to 1914 as the year that would mark the end of the Gentile Times. Their expectations did not lead to disappointment. On July 28, 1914, World War I erupted, and as time marched on toward October 1 more and more nations and empires got involved. As Jehovah’s Christian witnesses know from their Scriptural studies, the period of uninterrupted Gentile world rule ended in 1914, with the birth of God’s heavenly kingdom with Jesus Christ as king. (Rev. 12:1-5)” (1975 Yearbook)

    “On October 2, 1914, Charles Taze Russell, then president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, boldly announced: “The Gentile Times have ended; their kings have had their day.” How true his words proved to be! Unseen to human eyes, in October 1914 an event of world-shaking importance took place in heaven. Jesus Christ, the permanent Heir to “the throne of David,” commenced his rule as King over all mankind.—Luke 1:32, 33; Revelation 11:15.”

    As can be seen by the quotations earlier in my post, this isn’t what he predicted at all!

    Some other food for thought.

    With the events of the Middle East now and over the past decades, we can see from the prophecies that Israel will be attacked by many nations, but will come out victorious with God’s assistance.

    “And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.” Zechariah 12:9

    The result will not only be the miraculous pouring out of the spirit on their nation so that the entire nation will be converted and recognize Jesus as Messiah (note…the entire nation, not just 144,00 literal Jews as some state).

    “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.” Zechariah 12:10

    Through God’s grace, not only with Israel be given opportunity for salvation at this point of the coming of Christ….

    “Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.” Zechariah 14:3-4

    ….but these nations will also be given opportunities of salvation miraculously in the day when Christ returns with his saints. . . .

    “Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths.” Zechariah 14:16

  • Peter K. (admin)

    Don – I think you are refering the August 30, 1914, issue of The World Magazine in the article referenced above that said that “The terrific war outbreak in Europe has fulfilled an extraordinary prophecy. For 25 years Bible Students have been proclaiming to the world that the Day of Wrath prophesied in the Bible would dawn in 1914.” There is no 25 year prophecy. The magazine simply pointed out the Bible Students had been talking about this great trouble coming for 25 years. The supporting evidence is presented in volumes 2-4 of Studies in the Scriptures. The most direct on this point is chapter 4 of Volume 2, which you can find here: http://www.mostholyfaith.com/bible/volumes/B04.asp

    Also look here for more information: http://www.christsecondpresence.com/When/gentile.htm

    For a more technical study, look here: http://www.biblechronology.org/studies/datingdesolation.pdf

    In the 1916 forward of Volume 2 of Studies in the Sciptures, C. T. Russell stated 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.

    My own thought Don is that this process has been going on for nearly 100 years now. As knowledge, travel, technology and enlightenment grow, the world clamers for liberty and rights as never before. The Kings are gone. The Church no longer crowns kings. Israel became a nation. From the European colonies independent nations have emerged. (The fig tree blossemed and all the trees) As the new age is coming in, the old age is going out in a great and growing time of trouble which will culminate in Armageddon. In Jesus day, many were in expectation of Messiah and could have calculated his general time of arrival from the 70 weeks prophecy. However, even though correct, many expected too much to happen all at once; that Jesus as the king of the Jews would conquer the Romans and immediately establish the Kingdom. Just as they were right about the time, but expected too much to happend too quickly, so C. T. Russell was correct about 1914, but thought everything would wrap up more quickly.

  • RE: “The terrific war outbreak in Europe has fulfilled an extraordinary prophecy.”

    I have not been able to find that “25-year prophecy” in Pastor Russell’s writings.

    I only found the one mentioned in the article’s title – “The End of All Kingdoms in 1914” – p. 99 in “The Time Is At Hand.”
    – which of course didn’t happen.

    One other thing has to do with what Russell said in his July 15, 1894 Watch Tower…

    “Bear in mind that the end of 1914 is NOT the date for the BEGINNING, but the END of the time of trouble.”

    Can you direct me to Russell’s 25-year prophecy
    about a war that would begin in Europe in 1914?

  • Rainbow Witness

    i find the date 1914 very significant but from a different perspective

    when Jesus came to earth, 33 1/2 years later, he established “spiritual israel”

    in 1914 Jesus became king in heaven and 33 1/2 years later he re-established physical israel

    as promised in psalm 106

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Thanks. That is a very interesting comparison. I will give it some more thought. You might find the chapter “Parallel Dispensations” interesting. It is in the book, “The Time is at Hand” Volume 2, of Studies in the Scriptures. You can find links to the electronic copies of Studies in the Scriptures under our “Friends Links.” Thanks for sharing this interesting thought.

    • Mike

      Every eye will see him coming on the clouds, not just a couple of old men at Bethel.

      • Mike,

        Have you seen the movie “Left Behind”? It was from that movie that I came to understand that many rapture believing Christians understand that Jesus comes invisibly for his saints, and only later returns with them for the judgement of the earth.

  • Vanderhoven7

    Actually Pastor Russell never believed 1914 was the year of Christ’s advent/return/parousia.

    1914 is based on far-fetched chronological interpolation as well as misinterpretation and misapplication of the signs of Christ’s coming in Matthew 24


    • Peter K. (admin)

      Vander – Thanks. That is right! C.T. Russell never believed that Jesus returned in 1914. J.F. Rutherford adopted that teaching over a decade later after he had chased off 75% of the original Bible Students out of association with the Watchtower Society.

      Regarding the nation of Israel, Jesus said in Luke 21:24 that, “Jerusalem will be trampled by the Gentiles, until the Times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” Evidently the Times of the Gentiles have been fulfilled since Jerusalem is no longer trampled by the Gentiles and that city is but back in the hands of the Jews. World War 1, which began in 1914, produced the Balfour Declaration in about 1917, where the British Parliament set aside land in Palestine for a Jewish State. If this “Times of the Gentiles” prophecy is not correct, then C.T. Russell made the luckiest prediction in history. I highly recommend that you read C.T. Russell’s own thoughts in the “Times of the Gentiles” chapter of volume 2 of his famous Studies in the Scriptures series. It is important though that you first read his 1916 Forward to fully understand his point of view.

      Thanks for your comments.

    • while 1914 has some significance for world’s history ,
      it has no connection with the spiritually things related to God’s Kingdom, except the fact that by believing in Jesus “second coming” in 1914 , it has resulted in a wrong course for the believers (The J.W’s )which is bringing a disastrous outcome for them – a collapse of their organization and community as well as the collapse of their system of interpreting the “end-time” prophecies …
      the real understanding only now is coming
      I consider it is worth to be read (the link above)
      — in fact , this “collapse” of the JW’s “kingdom” gives the occasion for the “real” Kingdom of God to come on earth , as it is written in Daniel 2:44.
      with love, in Christ
      rus virgil

      • Peter K. (admin)

        Rus – Thanks for sharing your point of view. For Bible Students, the classic explanation of the Times of the Gentiles prophecy is found in Volume 2 of Studies in the Scriptures, “The Time is at Hand.” There is a chapter on the “Times of the Gentiles.“ It created world wide interest and excitement on the subject back at the beginning of the 20th century. To begin to understand the topic, one must at least read the 1916 Forward, plus the chapter. But for a complete understanding, one should read the whole book. Thanks again.

        • Mike

          One cannot ” make sure of all things” if the organization they are testing is giving them books of their own to justify their teachings.

          • Jacqueline

            For unity sake ,Mike, that’s why they want you not to research. One brother said, “when all persons think a lot, it is generally because onlyu ONE person or body is thinking.

      • “the real understanding only now is coming
        I consider it is worth to be read (the link above)”
        I’m sorry to see that the linked forum was closed

        the similar content may be found in the posts on this thread


        the posts on this thread are “studies” , during the time they will be better understood and corrected where necessary.

        rus v.

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  • Observer

    C.T. Russell speculated on and tried to predict many things that would happen in 1914. The destruction of Babylon the Great, the restoration of Israel, the establishment of God’s kingdom on earth and the church being taken “beyond the veil.” His mistake stemmed from his parallel theory. The year 1914 was to parallel the year 69 AD when the Romans began the seige of Jerusalem. He lived long enough to realize his mistake, but he still thought that that his parallels were correct. Before his death he wrote that instead of 1914 these things would yet occur in 1918 to parallel the Jewish defeat at Masada in AD 73.
    His problem was the fact that his chronology which he borrowed from Barbour, in his book The Three Worlds, is wrong.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Thank you friend for sharing your thoughts regarding Pastor Russell’s predictions of 1914. I would like to respond in love with my own thinking. Personally I find the parallels to be faith strengthening. I would encourage you to read Pastor Russell’s explanation here: http://www.mostholyfaith.com/bible/volumes/B07.asp

      I am not sure where you are getting the idea of a parallel for Masada (73 AD) and 1918. You might be referring to an incidental comment Pastor Russell made in a September 1916 Watchtower [R5951 : page 265] where he says, “Incidentally we remark that some historians put the end of the Jewish Time of Trouble as April A. D. 73, which would correspond to April 1918.” He sort of makes this comment in passing and leaves it to the reader and history to decide.

      You can find a detailed response to your comments on our website in the category “1914” under “Articles and Posts.” Refer to the answers to the following two questions: 1) What does the Bible say about the Times of the Gentiles? and 2) Was Pastor Russell wrong about 1914?

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