The older WTS publications to be contrasted with the more recent claims:
"The time of the Lord’s second
presence dates from 1874, as above stated." --The
Harp of God, p. 231
"The Scriptural proof is that the second
presence of the Lord Jesus Christ began in 1874 A.D."-- Prophecy (1929), p.65
"In this chapter we present the Bible
evidence proving that the full end of the times of the Gentiles, i.e., the full
end of their lease of dominion, will be reached in A.D. 1914; and that that
date will be the
farthest limit of the rule of imperfect men. And
be it observed, that if this is shown to be a fact firmly established by the
Scriptures, it will prove:
Firstly, That at that date the Kingdom
of God, for which our Lord taught us to pray, saying, "Thy Kingdom
obtain full universal control, and that it will
then shortly be"set up," or firmly established, in the earth, on the
ruins of present institutions.
Secondly, It will prove that he
whose right it is thus to take the dominion will then be present as earth's new
Ruler; and not only so, but it will
also prove that he will be present for a considerable period before that date;
because the overthrow of these Gentile governments is directly caused by his
dashing them to pieces as a potter's vessel (Psa. 2:9; Rev.
2:27), and establishing in their stead his own righteous government.
Thirdly, It will prove that some
time before the end
of A.D. 1914 the last member of the divinely
recognized Church of Christ, the "royal priesthood," "the body
of Christ," will be glorified with the Head; because every member is to
reign with Christ, being a joint-heir with him of the Kingdom, and it cannot be
fully "set up" without every member.
Fourthly, It will prove that from
that time forward Jerusalem shall no longer be trodden down of the Gentiles,
but shall arise from the dust of divine disfavor, to honor; because the
"Times of the Gentiles" will be fulfilled or completed.
Fifthly, It will prove that by that
date, or sooner, Israel's blindness will begin to be turned away; because their
"blindness in part" was to continue only "until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in" (Rom.
11:25), or, in other words, until the full number from among the
Gentiles, who are to be members of the body or bride of Christ, would be fully
Sixthly, It will prove that the
great "time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation,"
will reach its culmination in a world-wide reign of anarchy; and then men will
learn to be still, and to know that Jehovah is God and that he will be exalted
in the earth. (Psa. 46:10) The condition of things spoken of in symbolic
language as raging waves of the sea, melting earth, falling mountains and
burning heavens will then pass away, and the "new heavens and new
earth" with their peaceful blessings will begin to be recognized by
trouble-tossed humanity. But the Lord's Anointed and his rightful and righteous
authority will first be recognized by a company of God's children while passing
through the great tribulation--the class represented by m and t on the Chart of
the Ages (see also pages 235 to 239, Vol. I); afterward, just at its close, by
fleshly Israel; and ultimately by mankind in general.
Seventhly, It will prove that before that date God's Kingdom,
organized in power, will be in the earth and then smite and crush the Gentile
image (Dan. 2:34)--and fully consume the power of these kings. Its own
power and dominion will be established as fast as by its varied influences and
agencies it crushes and scatters the "powers that be"--civil and
ecclesiastical--iron and clay." --The Time is at Hand (1889),
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 the "battle
of the great day of God Almighty" (Rev. 16:14), which will end in A.D.
1915, with the complete overthrow of earth's present rulership, is already
commenced." -- The Time is at Hand (1912 edition), p. 101 § 1
"The Watch Tower, and its companion publications of the
Society, for forty years emphasized the fact that 1914 would witness the
establishment of God’s kingdom and the complete glorification of the church.
During that period of forty years God’s people on earlh were carrying on a
witness work, which work was foreshadowed by Elijah and John the Baptist. All
of the Lord’s people looked forward to 1914 with joyful expectation. When that
time came and passed there was much disappointment, chagrin and mourning, and
the Lord’s people were greatly in reproach. They were ridiculed by the clergy
and their allies in particular, and pointed to with scorn, because they had
said so much about 1914, and what would come to pass, and their ‘prophecies’
had not been fulfllled.
One wearing sackcloth usually puts it on
himself. God’s people on earth, after the reproach that came upon them
following 1914, put sackcloth upon themselves as an evidence of mourning. (Lam.
2 : 10) This is proven by what appeared in The
Watch Tower." -- Light, Volume I, p.194.
"The campaign is briefly, yet
graphically, described in the prophecy, verses 40 to 44; and being completed in
1799, marks, according to the Prophet’s own words, the beginning of the “time
of the end”." --The Harp of God, p.229
"Twelve-hundred sixty years from A.
D. 539 brings us to 1799-another proof that 1799 definitely marks the beginning
of “the time of the end”." --The Harp of God, p. 230
"There are two important dates here
that we must not confuse, but clearly differentiate, namely, the beginning of “the
time of the end” and of “the presence of the Lord”. “The time of the end”
embraces a period from A. D. 1799, as above indicated, to the time of the
complete overthrow of Satan’s empire and the establishment of the kingdom of
the Messiah. The time of the Lord’s second presence dates from 1874, as above
stated. The latter period is within the first named, of course, and at the
latter part of the period known as “the time of the end”." --The
Harp of God, p. 231
"From and shortly after 1799, the
date of the beginning of “‘the time of the end”, we should expect to find an increase of knowledge, particularly
with reference to the Bible." --The Harp of God, p.232
"This great increase of knowledge and
the tremendous running to and fro of the people in various parts of the earth
without question is a fulfillment of the prophecy testifying as to “the time of
the end”. These physical facts cannot be disputed and are sufficient to
convince any reasonable mind that we have been in “the time of the end” since
1799." --The Harp of God, p.234