Arrival of War in 1914 a Shocking Development

by berrygerry 20 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • berrygerry

    One comment-giver during the Rules study, remarked that WW1 was predicted by WT to arrive in 1914, despite the fact that everyone expected an era of unparalleled peace.

    This was something continuously drilled into our heads - how peaceful everything was prior to WW1.

    When you look at WT Library under 'World War I' - "unexpected" - the results are all offline - there are no recent references ( unexpected: re 106; w92 5/1 4-5; yb87 124; w86 2/15 5; w86 11/1 6 )

    The offline quotes are as follows:

    Rev Climax page 106

    “The 19th century’s faith in progress received its fatal blow in 1914. The year before the outbreak of war, Danish historian and politician Peter Munch wrote optimistically: ‘All evidence is against the probability of a war between the great European powers. “The danger of war” will also disappear in future, as it has done time after time since 1871.’

    May 1, 1992 Awake page 4

    Suddenly, in August

    “The spring and summer of 1914 were marked in Europe by an exceptional tranquillity,” wrote British statesman Winston Churchill. People were generally optimistic about the future. “The world of 1914 was full of hope and promise,” said Louis Snyder in his book World War I.
    True, for many years there had been intense rivalry between Germany and Britain. Nevertheless, as historian G. P. Gooch explains in his book Under Six Reigns: “A European conflict appeared less likely in 1914 than in 1911, 1912 or 1913 . . . The relations of the two governments were better than they had been for years.” According to Winston Churchill, a member of Britain’s 1914 cabinet: “Germany seemed with us, to be set on peace.”

    1987 Yearbook page 124

    Since 1876, the attention of the Bible Students had been directed to the year 1914 as a turning point in history. The 2,520 years known as the Times of the Gentiles were then to end. (Luke 21:24) Sister Berta Obrist remembered how her family often scoffed at her when she told them about a war that was due to occur. “Now stop talking about this 1914!” her grandmother would say angrily. But how surprised and impressed her grandmother was when war really did break out in 1914!
    The parents of little Hulda in Schaffhausen just could not believe that a big change in world events would take place in 1914 as an acquaintance repeatedly explained to them from the Bible. But Sister Hulda Peter remembers that her mother was really beside herself when the war did break out.

    Watchtower Nov 1, 1986 page 6

    For over three decades before 1914, Jehovah’s Witnesses called attention to the significance of this date. Interestingly, however, the book International Crisis, by Eugenia Nomikos and Robert C. North (1976), says that there was “little or no evidence of a steady rise or a ‘snowballing’ of conflicts and tensions leading directly to the outbreak of war.” On the contrary, “by late 1913 and early 1914 . . . relations among the major powers appeared to be more settled than they had been for many years.”

    Feb 1, 1986 Watchtower page 5

    The 1914 Generation
    Referring to “the relatively peaceful and prosperous Victorian age of Great Britain,” former Prime Minister Harold Macmillan said that he considered ‘the world he was born in’ to be one that would get “better and better.” But “suddenly, unexpectedly, one morning in 1914 the whole thing came to an end.” Calling it the end of “100 years of peace and progress,” Macmillan recalled how World War I signaled “the end of an era” and the “start of the confusion that is still happening.” Many others, particularly those who lived through 1914 and are still alive, know this to be true.
    Yes, as this magazine has drawn to the attention of its readers over the years, the evidence points to the 1914 generation as the generation spoken of by Jesus. Thus, “this generation will by no means pass away until all these things [including the apocalypse] occur.”
    Even though more than 70 years have gone by since 1914, there are still individuals around who lived through that era.

    Now, this is a quite concise summary of history leading up to WWI.

    Small wonder why WT is again rewriting its past (although it is still passed around verbally).

  • prologos

    listening with one ear to this week's study on 1914 at the hall, (kingdom rules!) it struck me how totally in the dark the wt leadership was. How could the future rulers of the universe not be "in" on the establishment of their government in heaven? If these are supposed to be the administrators of billions of galaxies and their inhabitants, interesting times would be ahead with that kind of incompetence. .

  • Half banana
    Half banana

    Yes, well said Prologos.

    The only claim to prophetic success which Jehovah’s Witnesses will make is that they “got 1914 right” as Tony Morris recently quoted on JWTV. Shaking his head in wistful awe, he praised to the heavens “those guys back there” (Russell and co), wishing that he too could come up with a snappy magical insight to save his failing religion.

    The average JW today might believe and cherish 1914 as evidence for God’s interest in the Watchtower Organisation.

    But what a colossal Watchtower deception 1914 is!

    If we were to distil the reason for the life and existence of the WTBTS and the whole sorry mess which is the JW org today: it would be CT Russell’s brainchild to rehabilitate the failed Adventist prophetic year of 1874. Russell claimed that God’s kingdom had not failed to arrive then...he said Jesus had actually returned in that year on cue... but had done so, wait for it..................INVISIBLY! (pull the other leg Chucky)

    To justify this stance, he borrowed someone else's interpretation of the Greek word 'parousia' and backed it up merely by a stab at a ‘Biblical’ forty year period beyond the failed Adventist claim of 1874 for the visible manifestations of the arrival of Jesus in “Kingdom glory” to become apparent.

    By 1914 at the outside, Russell's Watchtower claimed (based on misapplying the infallible, inerrant Bible) that Christ would be ruling the world with the Earth completely restored to a paradise after all of God’s enemies have been brutally destroyed.

    Not only was the Watchtower prophecy another advent date-failure but please note that world war was precisely the opposite of what the Watchtower had promised to happen by 1914.

    By putting the JW belief system in context with Adventism (which should always be done but rarely is because JWs fabricate a religious contamination with God’s so called “enemies”) it can be seen that the Watchtower is just another uninspired doomsday cult bewitching their followers with threats of death and glory.

    The true success of the JW org is therefore never in prophecy or truth-telling; primarily it is in making money, and secondly it is by their skill in being able to perpetually shift the goalposts into the future and yet retain membership of their increasingly uneducated and lobotomised followers.

  • TD

    The original target date of the Second Advent movement was 1843/1844. When the fall of 1844 came and went uneventfully, a few of the more prominent leaders within the movement "spiritualized" the prediction, teaching that Christ had in fact, arrived right on schedule, except that instead of descending to earth, he had entered into the most holy of the heavenly temple. Since this was an invisible, spiritual event, it was impossible for any human to either prove or disprove.

    Not everyone accepted that explanation. Nelson H. Barbour who had joined the Millerites at the age of 19 lost his faith completely, left the U.S., and became a miner during the Australian gold rush. It was during his voyage home that he found what he believed to be the critical error in Miller's reckoning. Barbour reset the date to 1873/1874, publishing his findings in both the Advent Christian Times and World's Crises. (Two leading papers of the Advent Christian Association.) In 1873, he started a monthly of his own, titled, The Midnight Cry and Herald of The Morning. When the fall of 1874 passed uneventfully, B.W. Keith, a reader of Barbour's periodical noticed that Benjamin Wilson's, Emphatic Diaglott (An interlinear translation of J.J. Griesbach's recension of the New Testament) rendered parousia as "presence." Based upon this rendering, he suggested that perhaps Christ really had come in the fall of 1874 after all and that this had been an invisible event. Barbour, who was unwilling to abandon his intricate chronology found this solution attractive, so once again, the prediction was, "spiritualized."

    All of this happened before Russell ever met Barbour, so it's easy to forget how much the former borrowed from the latter. Russell accepted Barbour's 1874 date for the parousia as well as his prediction that the next forty years would be a period of ingathering, culminating in 1914, at which point God's kingdom would be established on earth.

    1914 came and although a large war did break out, this is not what was supposed to happen as Half Banana points out above. In 1925, J.F. Rutherford announced that God's Kingdom had been established right on schedule, only this had been a heavenly, invisible event. For a third consecutive time a failure of Adventist date setting was explained away by "spiritualizing" what were supposed to be tangible, visible events.

    During the years that followed, the Barbour/Russell chronology was systematically shifted forward forty years so that 1914 became the date for both the parousia as well as the start of the "Time of the end." Not content with this, the leaders of the JW movement, who have proven to be more dishonest than most, attempted to cover their tracks by claiming that what they believe today vis-à-vis 1914 is what they actually taught all along.

    And this is why berrygerry's post is important. The idea that Russell predicted the great war of 1914 is part and parcel of this dishonesty, which sadly, most JW's today believe.

  • Finkelstein

    The real truth of the matter is the WTS proclaimed that Christ had returned in 1874 and that Armageddon would occur in 1914 , not WWI

    The WTS's leadership has never been openly honest from a theological viewpoint, the reason being is because their expressed doctrinal theology is devised to support the proliferation of literature, therefore its tainted with lies, ignorance and corruption, an indefensible truth.

    The fact is all throughout human history even in prehistoric times mankind had been waring in the endeavor to survive., that includes the era when the writings of the bible occurred.

    The only real compelling distinction pertaining to the 20th century was that the human population had dramatically increased and mechanization of waring devises added to the overall destruction in human lives and property.

    The WTS used and held onto 1914 decades after because of its significance in history and exploited that year to appeal their corruptly propagation that mankind was living in the last days and therefore Armageddon is imminently soon.

    The JWS religion was founded upon fear, ignorance and self serving suspected corruption, another indefensible " Truth "

  • sir82

    That is completely nuts. EVERYBODY was preparing for and expecting war. If it hadn't been 1914, it would have been 1915 or 1916 or 1917.

    Here is a pretty good intro:

  • Crazyguy

    The fools back then expected a war alright Armageddon. They thought they were all going to heaven.

  • darkspilver

    I would move that, with the advent of techological advances at that times, and the general detachment that the domestic market generally had of international affairs at a time - a time of no TV and very slow moving news. That despite what was going on politically on the international stage - with the huge number of alliances and treaties being made in order to avoid a major war - the view of the man (and woman) in the street was one of detachment and feelings of peace - and a faith in the political system to avoid a war, at least on home soil and/or the home army. Remember you are not talking just about July 1914, but rather the years leading up to it.

    My history books are stored away, but below is an interesting piece which partly explains the contradictory nature of this - the principle of 'you stop war, by preparing for it.'

    International relations of the Great Powers (1814–1919)

    Coming of World War

    The main causes of World War I, which broke out unexpectedly in central Europe in summer 1914, included many factors, such as the conflicts and hostility of the four decades leading up to the war. Militarism, alliances, imperialism, and ethnic nationalism played major roles. However the immediate origins of the war lay in the decisions taken by statesmen and generals during the Crisis of 1914, which was sparked by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand (the Archduke of Austria Hungary) by a Serbian secret organization, the Black Hand.

    By the 1870s or 1880s all the major powers were preparing for a large-scale war, although none expected one. Britain focused on building up its Royal Navy, already stronger than the next two navies combined. Germany, France, Austria, Italy and Russia, and some smaller countries, set up conscription systems whereby young men would serve from 1 to 3 years in the army, then spend the next 20 years or so in the reserves with annual summer training. Men from higher social statuses became officers.

  • OrphanCrow

    This following Bible Student article, I think, is critical background to understanding why Charles Russell made his 1914 prediction and how his doctrine was embedded in political concerns of the time:

    Regarding the significant Land issue, Pastor Russell's position is reflected in a statement he made while Palestine was yet part of the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire. In 1911 he proclaimed:
    "The message to them [Jews] now is that the land is theirs -- that their period of chastisement is at an end and that shortly divine blessing will come to them -- not as Christians, but as Jews."
    In November 1914 after showing that the "sevenfold" or "seven times" period of gentile possession of the Land (Leviticus 26:23-42) had expired, Pastor Russell said:
    "Now we are able to tell them [Jews] that the Gentile Times have expired, and that they may go up and take possession of the land. We do not know how soon they will take possession. According to their faith it will be unto them."
    The Pastor also stated that every effort should be made to buy the land from a nearly bankrupt Turkey since if Turkey lost Palestine in the war, it would be a total loss.
    When Pastor Russell died October 31, 1916, the Herzl Year Book observed: 10
    Russell himself, according to the testimony of the American Jewish Press from the years 1910 to 1916 maintained excellent and friendly relations with the leaders of American Jewry to his last days.
    Historians observe that Zionism was at its lowest ebb between 1904 and 1917. But Pastor Russell just before his death was gratified to observe that he did much to revive it. The work of Pastor Russell on behalf of the Jewish People can best he summed up by recognizing that never before had the Jewish People opened their hearts to a Christian minister...And never before had a Christian minister brought such heartening comfort to the Jewish People.
  • Crazyguy

    I didn't realize until yesterday that Nelson Bourbor also was in to pyramidalogy. I realize now that they were predicting Armageddon and using the pyramid measurements as proof. I always thought Russell went to Egypt and used The measurements to confirm the date.

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