WT: World War I started in October 1914 (not July 1914)

by Calebs Airplane 31 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • steve2

    While the Watchtower's numerous end-times predictions are spectacularly - and embarrassingly - devoid of any success and subject to ongoing revision, the Watchtower itself is capable of attracting "awards" for its revised predictions.

    Here's the latest:

    The 1914 Doctrine:

    In the running - yet again - for The Most Elastic "Scripturally Calculated" End-Times Prophecy of All Time.

  • Vanderhoven7


  • processor

    I had some correspondence with the WTS about this issue. Actually I asked why the "Seven Times" should start with the murder of Gedaliah and NOT with the displacement of Zedekiah - since Zedekiah was the last king, so it would be logical to have "7 times" from Zedekiah - not Gedaliah - to Jesus. I also mentioned the issue with WW1 - because if they would count the 7 times from Zedekiah's displacement, the seven times would end BEFORE the war started. Their replies were nonsense though; first they wrote why the 70 weeks started after Gedaliah's murder (but the question was about the 7 times and not about the seventy weeks); on 2nd attempt they replied that it was always stood like that in the Watchtower and that's why it must be correct.

    Anyway ... yes, the official JW doctrine says:

    - in October 1914, the seven times ended and Jesus was enthroned. At that time, a war started in heaven

    - LATER, when this war was over, Satan was cast out of heaven

    - THEN Satan started to stir up the rulers so that they would start the war

    - THEN the war started

    But, the war started in July ...

  • Chariklo

    There was I thinking it was caused by the shooting of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

    Shows what little I know.

  • kepler

    Had I encountered someone peddling this idea back in the 1960s, I would have waved around a copy of Barbara Tuchman's book The Guns of August. It spends several hundred pages discussing the dimensions of warfare in the above named month.

    Later on, I might have referred them to another so-named book, August 1914 by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. This discusses the Russo-German conflict in East Prussia. Russia lost a whole army corps, incidentally; that is, before the devil decided to intervene and start the battle! A video variation on that presentation was the Russian TV mini-series "Gibel' Imperii" - "Death of Empire"in which those events are depicted.

    The Germans were very anxious about the East Prussian outcome because they already had a campaign going on in northern France... The advance on Paris was deflected by the end of the Battle of the Marne in September of 1914.

    Then, of course, there is the collective memory of any family in France, Germany, Italy, the Balkans, Central Europe, the Ottoman Empire or the British Commonwealth who had veterans of that war affected by events in the first few months.

    Considering that this "revisionist" history is promoted by an organization claiming those with cognitive memory of 1914 would live forever on paradise Earth, the proponents don't seem to have a very good recollection of events themselves.

    If you use an Occam's razor approach to the idea of an October start for the War, or the notion thereof, the simplest solution would be that Russell, after wavering for several months about whether this was truly a big one ( "The Great War"), finally decided he had hit the jackpot and published a proclamation accordingly, figuring like Publications Clearing House "You may already have won!" In the US (still neutral), people and churches already concerned about the dimensions of the war were already organizing national days of prayer. Russell denounced this because God's verdict was irrevocable, as proclaimed in the WatchTower. From his experience with forecasting, he should know.

    But with precedence of using invisible or undocumented events both to trump visible and documented ones and to infer the occurence of further invisible milestones, one's mind gets numbed after a while to the absurdities encompassed.


    The Battle of Tannenberg was an engagement between the Russian Empire and the German Empire in the first days of World War I. It was fought by the Russian First and Second Armies against the German Eighth Army between 26 August and 30 August 1914. The battle resulted in the almost complete destruction of the Russian Second Army. A series of follow-up battles destroyed the majority of the First Army as well, and kept the Russians off-balance until the spring of 1915. The battle is notable particularly for a number of rapid movements of complete German corps by train, allowing a single German army to concentrate forces against each Russian army in turn.

    Post-war legacy The battle is at the center of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's novel August 1914.

    The Guns of August (1962), also published as August 1914, is a volume of history by Barbara Tuchman. It is centered around the first month of World War I. After introductory chapters, Tuchman describes in great detail the opening events of the conflict. Its focus then becomes a military history of the contestants, chiefly the great powers.

    The Guns of August thus provides a narrative of the earliest stages of World War I, from the decisions to go to war, up until the start of the Franco-British offensive that stopped the German advance into France. The result was four years of trench warfare. In the course of her narrative Tuchman includes discussion of the plans, strategies, world events, and international sentiments before and during the war.

    The book was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-fiction for publication year 1963.[1] It also proved very popular. Tuchman would later return to a subject she had touched upon in The Guns of August, i.e., the social attitudes and issues that existed prior to World War I, in a collection of eight essays published in 1966 under the title The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War, 1890-1914.[2]


  • Bobcat


    Thank you for that WWI history. You're quite a fund of historical information. I hope you keep hanging around here.

    I actually started reading this thread from the end (save for the opening post) and was going to work my way back thru the posts. But I had to stop after this post just to express appreciation before I delve further.

    Take Care

    Edited to add:

    This thread reminds me of the recent WT idea expressed that England only became a world power after 1914, "in the Biblical sense."

  • processor

    the simplest solution would be that Russell, after wavering for several months about whether this was truly a big one ( "The Great War"), finally decided he had hit the jackpot and published a proclamation accordingly, figuring like Publications Clearing House "You may already have won!"

    Wasn't this idea (that Satan was cast out of heaven in 1914) only invented in the 1920s? After all, the Bible Students foretold Armageddon for 1914, not a war, and later they claimed that instead of "early October 1914" it would be "soon after 1914".

    The statement "We were right with 1914 but wrong about what would happen" was made later AFAIK.

  • kepler


    Good to hear from you. Will try to stay involved - for a while at least.

    Thought I would look up something related to that previous note. Here is a record of the declarations of war. I added a minor note in CAPS

    World War One: Declarations of War

    According to the U.S State Department's list, the nations involved in the conflict made declarations of war as follows:

    July 28, 1914 Austria against Serbia

    Aug. 1, 1914 Germany against Russia

    Aug. 3, 1914 Germany against France

    Aug. 3, 1914 France against Germany

    Aug. 4, 1914 Germany against Belgium

    Aug. 4, 1914 Belgium against Germany

    Aug. 4, 1914 Great Britain against Germany

    Aug. 6, 1914 Serbia against Germany

    Aug. 6, 1914 Austria against Russia

    Aug. 7, 1914 Russia against Germany

    Aug. 8, 1914 Montenegro against Austria

    Aug. 9, 1914 Montenegro against Germany

    Aug. 9, 1914 Austria against Montenegro

    Aug. 13, 1914 France against Austria

    Aug. 13, 1914 Great Britain against Austria

    Aug. 23, 1914 Japan against Germany

    Aug. 27, 1914 Austria against Japan

    Aug. 28, 1914 Austria against Belgium


    Nov. 3, 1914 Russia against Turkey

    Nov. 5, 1914 Great Britain against Turkey

    Nov. 5, 1914 France against Turkey

    Nov. 23, 1914 Portugal against Germany (authorizing intervention)

    Nov. 23, 1914 Turkey against Allies

    Dec. 2, 1914 Serbia against Turkey

    May 19, 1915 Portugal against Germany (granting military aid)

    May 24, 1915 Italy against Austria

    May 24, 1915 San Marino against Austria

    Aug. 21, 1915 Italy against Turkey

    Oct. 14, 1915 Bulgaria against Serbia

    Oct. 15, 1915 Great Britain against Bulgaria

    Oct. 16, 1915 Serbia against Bulgaria

    Oct. 16, 1915 France against Bulgaria

    Oct. 19, 1915 Italy against Bulgaria

    Oct. 19, 1915 Russia against Bulgaria

    Mar. 9, 1916 Germany against Portugal

    Aug. 27, 1916 Rumania against Austria (accepted by Austria's allies)

    Aug. 28, 1916 Italy against Germany

    Aug. 29, 1916 Turkey against Rumania

    Sept. 14, 1916 Germany against Rumania

    Nov. 28, 1916 Greece (Provincial Government) against Bulgaria

    Nov. 28, 1916 Greece (Provincial Government) against Germany

    Apr. 6, 1917 United States against Germany

    Apr. 7, 1917 Cuba against Germany

    Apr. 7, 1917 Panama against Germany

    July 2, 1917 Greece against Bulgaria

    July 02, 1917 Greece against Germany

    July 22, 1917 Siam against Austria

    July 22, 1917 Siam against Germany

    Aug. 4, 1917 Liberia against Germany

    Aug. 14, 1917 China against Austria

    Aug. 14, 1917 China against Germany

    Oct. 26, 1917 Brazil against Germany

    Dec. 7, 1917 United States against Austria-Hungary

    Dec. 10, 1917 Panama against Austria

    May 23, 1918 Costa Rica against Germany

    Dec. 16, 1917 Cuba against Austria-Hungary

    Apr. 22, 1918 Guatemala against Austria-Hungary

    Apr. 22, 1918 Guatemala against Germany

    May 24, 1918 Nicaragua against Germany

    July 15, 1918 Haiti against Germany

    July 19, 1918 Honduras against Germany

  • Bobcat


    Thanks again for the info. Just as a matter of curiosity (an extract from the list):

    May 23, 1918 Costa Rica against Germany
    Dec. 16, 1917 Cuba against Austria-Hungary
    Apr. 22, 1918 Guatemala against Austria-Hungary
    Apr. 22, 1918 Guatemala against Germany
    May 24, 1918 Nicaragua against Germany
    July 15, 1918 Haiti against Germany
    July 19, 1918 Honduras against Germany

    All these South American/Caribbean nations joining the war in 1918. If I remember, I think the guns went silent in Nov 1918. I wonder what their motive was this late in the fight? I kinda doubt they had much in the way of military force to contribute. Did declaring war put them on the reparations receiving list? (The question is actually for anyone who might know.)

    Take Care

  • kepler


    Speculative for now:

    I think the April-May 1917 declarations were direct results of the American. Throughout this period there was a succession of intervention in Gulf and Carribean countries by Roosevelt, Taft and Wilson administrations. Some instances were not directly related to WWI; in some cases, simply to restore civil order - on US terms. But a consequence of a Central American declaration of war probably did not mean much in terms of troop movements or casualties. Probably it meant an embargo on shipping or trade, a prohibition of ships stopping in port for stores and fuel or additional protection to the Panama Canal.

    Of course, the declarations in this part of the world seem one-sided. Barbara Tuchman, in another book, gives the background of the Zimmerman note, an offer from Germany to Mexico in 1915 for assistance in regaining the SW - for a declaration of war against the US. I guess the devil made them do it. But Mexico had enough internal problems (civil war), might not have had a chance to read it ( in private) and as the record would indicate, must have declined.

    Question for readers: If this was an end of the world conflict, how come more temples were not destroyed?

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