Does WTS claim that Jesus 2nd presence was in 1874 or 1914? (non-JW asks)

by whyizit 8 Replies latest jw friends

  • whyizit

    I'm not a JW, nor have I ever been, so some of the things that my JW friends tell me just don't seem to make sense. To avoid conflict in our friendship, sometimes I just let things slide, rather than argue.

    I am, however, a Bible-believing, non-denominational Christian who reads and studies the Bible frequently, and loves Yahweh.

    My JW friend just slipped yet another WT magazine in my door and it says that: "Jesus Christ began to rule as King of God's Kingdom in 1914." pg. 7 WT July 15, 2006 issue.

    I have some WTS books that I aquired at auction. One of them is called PROPHECY. It states on page 65: "The Scriptural proof is that the second presence of the Lord Jesus Christ began in 1874 A.D..This proof is specifically set out in the booklet entitled Our Lord's Return." That is a direct qoute.

    It is also repeated in one of the other WTS books called The Harp Of God on pages 230-231.

    This is my question:

    Do JWs believe that Jesus came back in 1874, but did not begin ruling until 1914? Or are there two separate predictions of when exactly it was that Jesus returned?

    If 1914 is the date they now believe as the second coming of Christ, since the earlier books state that Jesus returned in 1874, did God make this mistake, or did the WTS teach the wrong thing? To the best of my knowledge, the Bible has never changed, but it seems that the WTS has changed it's view on Christ's 2nd presence. I believe that God does not make mistakes. That leads me to this next question:

    If the man who wrote that Jesus came back in 1874 was wrong, then I safely presume that he is guilty of misleading many, since this is clearly not what is being taught now. Since this man basically lied to many people who believed the 1874 date to be true, is it safe to assume that this man will NOT be part of the 144,000? Infact, wouldn't he be at serious risk of not being ressurrected at all? Because isn't this a false teaching - false prophecy? Didn't many JWs at that time believe this to be the absolute truth?

    What happened to those who correctly presumed this to be a false teaching?

    I know that there are several former JWs as well as active JWs on this site, and would just like to know their thoughts on this matter. Thanks for any insight you have to offer!

  • skeptic2

    How old is the Prophecy book?

  • undercover
    Do JWs believe that Jesus came back in 1874, but did not begin ruling until 1914? Or are there two separate predictions of when exactly it was that Jesus returned?

    If you mention 1874 to most JWs today, you're gonna get a blank look back. Most of them do not know that in the early days of the Bible Students and the Watchtower Society it was taught that Jesus returned in 1874 and that there would be 40 years of trouble leading up to Armageddon in 1914. Even after 1914 came and went and other predications failed as well, 1874 was still seen as the year Jesus returned. I don't have the references handy, but I think it was sometime in the 30s or early 40s before it was changed that Jesus returned in 1914 instead of 1874.

    The revisionist history of the WTS would have anyone who reads their publications today to beleive that they taught all along that Jesus returned in 1914. But as you've already seen, that's not true.

    As for trying to get a current JW to understand the points that you brought out, well, good luck. Most of them are trained to not listen to anything critical of the religion. Most will not listen to anything negative no matter how researched and factual the info may be. Only when they start to question on their own, will they then open up to this type of information.

  • aniron
    How old is the Prophecy book?

    Published in 1929

    One of J.R.Rutherfords books.

  • TD

    Prophecy contains the last mention of 1874 in connection with Christ's "Presence" ever to appear in JW literature. The date for this event was gradually replaced by 1914 during the early to mid 1930's

    However the JW's continued to claim that 1874 marked the end of 6000 years of Biblical chronology clear up until the year 1943

  • Ginosko

    Hi Whyizit,

    Some pictures published by the WTBT before 1900 could gives us some light about this question.




  • Honesty
    My JW friend just slipped yet another WT magazine in my door and it says that: "Jesus Christ began to rule as King of God's Kingdom in 1914." pg. 7 WT July 15, 2006 issue.

    I say reciprocate in kind:

    Here is some information I have compiled in regards to the Babylonian kings and how the lengths of their reigns can be calculated to arrive at the date of the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar.

    I am totally clueless whenever the subject of the chronology leading to back 607 B.C. as the date for the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar comes up.

    It turns out this stuff is a piece of cake!

    Using only literature published by the Watchtower Society and one scripture we can rather easily see the chronology regarding the destruction of Jerusalem.

    There is really not much to learn here, either:
    No astronomy, no neo-Babylonian tablets, and no confusing Bible versus will be presented. Just the names of five people and several quotes from Watchtower publications will be used. Also, there is no need to quibble over things like regnal years, ascension years, cardinal and ordinal numbers, etc. Remember, 607 B.C. is a full 20 years earlier than the accepted date of 586/87 B.C. and all the tinkering with a few months here and a few partial year reigns there cannot make up a difference of twenty years.

    Another tricky part to remember is that people were very primitive in those years before a sensible calendar that actually counts FORWARD as you go forward rather than BACKWARD as you go forward was incorporated.

    We have to start AFTER the date of Jerusalem's fall with a date and event that is agreed upon by both the WTS and secular historians.

    From this date we will count backward by counting forward.

    That date is 539 B.C., the date that Babylon fell to Cyrus the Mede.

    Keep in mind we are trying to find the date Jerusalem fell.
    Insight on the Scriptures published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society in volume 1 on page 425 under "Chaldea" has a complete list of the Babylonian kings from Nabopolassar to

    "Particularly was this domination manifest during the seventh and sixth centuries B.C.E. when Nabopolassar, a native of Chaldea, and his successors, Nebuchadnezzar II, Evil-merodach (Awil-Marduk), Neriglissar, Labashi-Marduk, Nabonidus, and Belshazzar, ruled the Third World Power, Babylon."

    Insight on the Scriptures published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society in volume 2 on page 480 under "Nebuchadnezzar" tells us that he ruled as king for 43 years:

    Second ruler of the Neo-Babylonian Empire; son of Nabopolassar and father of Awil-Marduk (Evil-merodach), who succeeded him to the throne. Nebuchadnezzar ruled as king for 43 years...

    An article entitled, "The Rejoicing of the Wicked Is Short-lived" on page 29 in the January 1,1965 Watchtower magazine lists the regnal years of Nebuchadnezzar II's successors from Evil-Merodach to Nabonidus who, in this article the Watchtower confirms was ruler of Babylon when Cyrus conquered it in 539 B.C.:

    Evil-merodach reigned two years and was murdered by his brother-in-law Neriglissar, who reigned for four years, which time he spent mainly in building operations. His underage son Labashi-Marduk, a vicious boy, succeeded him, and was assassinated within nine months. Nabonidus, who had served as governor of Babylon and who had been Nebuchadnezzar’s favorite son-in-law, took the throne and had a fairly glorious reign until Babylon fell in 539 B.C.E.

    Insight on the Scriptures published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society in volume 2 on page 457 under "Nabonidus" tells us that he ruled some 17 years:

    Last supreme monarch of the Babylonian Empire; father of Belshazzar. On the basis of cuneiform texts he is believed to have ruled some 17 years (556-539 B.C.E.). He was given to literature, art, and religion

    Let's summarize (remember we have to go backwards starting in 539 B.C. with Nabonidus):

    Nabonidus ruled Babylon for 17 years until it fell in 539 B.C. to Cyrus.

    Labashi-Marduk ruled for 9 months.

    Neriglissar ruled for 4 years.

    Evil-Merodach ruled for 2 years.

    Nebuchadnezzer ruled for 43 years.

    17 years + 9 months + 4 years + 2 years + 43 years = 66 to 67 years.

    Starting at 539 B.C. and going back 66/67 years we arrive at 605/606 B.C. for the start of the reign of Nebuchadnezzer.

    2nd Kings 25:8-10 tells us that Jerusalem was destroyed in the 19th year of Nebuchadnezzer's reign, so if we go forward 19 years from 605/606 B.C. we will have the approximate years of the destruction of Jerusalem.

    Nineteen years after 605/606 B.C. brings us to 586/587 B.C. which agrees with all secular evidence.

    That's it!

    The "Faithful Discreet Slave" doctrine rests solely upon the date of Jerusalem's destruction by Nebuchadnezzar. According to the Watchtower publication "You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth" (WTBTS 1989) in Chapter 16, "God’s Government Begins Its Rule" pages 138-141 paragraphs 14-21 Jesus Christ began to rule as king of God’s heavenly government in 1914.

    According to the Watchtower Society, Jesus inspected all organizations who claimed to represent Him shortly after He became enthroned as king in 1914:

    WT 87 6/15 p. 10 A Time of Testing and Sifting
    WT 87 6/15 p. 15 Testing and Sifting in Modern Times
    Revelation- It's Grand Climax At Hand! chapter 27 page 183

    Jesus picked the modern-day Jehovah's Witnesses.

    Prove 607 B.C.E. as the date for Jerusalem's fall and you have proved the authority of the Governing Body of JW's.
    Prove that 607 B.C.E. is not the date for Jerusalem's fall and you have just one of many apocalyptic doomsday religions that use fear and intimidation to maintain their authority and control over their followers.

    Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."

    Will you go to Jesus in prayer so that you may have everlasting life?

  • VM44

    Christ returned in 1914 and then waited a few years until 1918/1919 when Rutherford was in control of the Bible Students before selecting them (really Rutherford) to be his representative on earth.

    The funny thing is that it was over 25 years AFTER Jesus had returned in 1914 before they became aware of it.


  • Pastafarian

    One of the best and cleanest layout of changing nature of dates in jehovah-land is found in Wikipedia. Funny how ignorant of all this when I was in. Oh well.....

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