Monday, September 05, 2011

What was expected to happen in 1914?

*** w89 4/15 pp. 6-7 par. 8 The Infamous Harlot—Her Fall ***
8 For some 40 years the Bible Students boldly proclaimed that the year 1914 would mark the end of the Gentile Times. As expected, that year brought world-shaking events, not the least of these being the first world war. 

One has to wonder how the Watchtower can portray their own history in this light.  But then again, many JW's and non-JW's reading the literature may be unaware of its history of failed predictions.  Therefore, such ones would see no reason to question these commendations.

However, when one considers the nature of the actual predictions made pre-1914, it would be difficult to deny that such words are not an accurate portrayal.  Some may even conclude that such a misrepresentation of pre-1914 predictions are nothing short of dishonest.

Compare the above quotation to what was really said about 1914:

“The date of the close of that ‘battle’ is definitely marked in Scripture as October, 1914.  It is already in progress, its beginning dating from October, 1874.” –Zion’s Watch Tower Jan. 15, 1892 p. 22 
“We see no reason for 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.  We see no reason for changing from our opinion expressed in the View presented in the Watch Tower of Jan. 15, ’92.  We advise that it be read again.” –Zion’s Watch Tower, July 15, 1894 p. 226 
“True, it is expecting great things to claim, as we do, that within the coming twenty-six years all present governments will be overthrown and dissolved…In view of this strong Bible evidence concerning the Times of the Gentiles, we consider it an established truth that the final end of the kingdoms of this world, and the full establishment of the Kingdom of God, will be accomplished at the end of A.D. 1914.” –The Time is at Hand (1908 ed.) p. 99 
“Be not 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 due ‘battle of the great day of God Almighty’ (Rev. 16:14), which will end in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth’s present rulership, is already commenced.” –Time is at Hand (1911 ed.) p. 101

It should be readily obvious to anyone that there was more going on than predictions merely about "world shaking events" and the "end of the gentile times."  Thus, what happened in 1914 was not expected, contrary to what the Watchtower would have us believe according to the above quotation.  On the contrary, what was expected was "the complete overthrow of earth's present rulership." 


Anonymous said...

Hi Mike. I understand you have quite a relationship with Standfirm. He has asked, Mistakes - What of it?

One of the main 'saving' explanations he and his pal, Servant,l have is that the WTBTS has never claimed infallibility. You yourself has said that this is not the main issue, but it is the claim to authority on the Earth at this time.

Interestingly Standfirm has gone silent with my raising that their claim to fallibility is what destroys their argument.

I have asked them to furnish ONE PROPHET who was fallible. They can't deny that the WTBTS has, historically, claimed to be God's Prophet, but if they are fallible, especially in these Last Days when so much is at stake for so many people, then how can they be that prophet.

Adding a fifth definition to the dictionary (Encarta Online) just doesn't do it for me.

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify. The Bible contains the intricate prophecies of a number of prophets. When they conveyed their prophetic messages to the people they were always infallibly given and this was demonstrated by the event coming true.

If the event did not then the prophet was not from God and he was liable to death.

How is it that in this modern day matters are different? As the next 'chapter' in the unfolding of the divine will why would a modern prophet be fallible?

Perhaps you could throw some light on this, Mike.

Encarta Online Dictionary:prophet

1 somebody who claims to interpret or transmit the commands of a deity

2 somebody who predicts the future

3 somebody who advocates a cause or idea

4 somebody considered to be an inspired leader or teacher

I don't see the definition: "One who interprets the information conveyed by earlier prophets" here.