Reasoning with Jehovah's Witnesses
24. Watchtower Chronology-The Year 1914
24. Watchtower Chronology--The Year 1914
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that:
a. The duration of the "times of the gentiles" can be ascertained to be 2,520 years by a study of Daniel chapter 4.4
b. The Kingdom is not restored to natural Israel at the end of the "times of the gentiles."5
c. The return of Christ occurred invisibly in the fall of 1914 C.E.6
d. The signs of Christ's return occur after his return and give evidence that he is now invisibly present.7
e. The Watchtower Society is God's sole channel of truth for people on earth today, and has proven to be a faithful guide in the interpretation of Bible prophecy.8
* * *
Q1. What are some of Jehovah's Witnesses' doctrines that are dependent upon the coming of Christ in 1914?
1. The fulfillment of prophecies in Revelation [Rev 1:10-I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day]:
a. The seals, trumpets, and bowls judgments (Rev 6-16)
b. Sealing of the 144,000 (Rev 7:3-8)
c. The first resurrection (Rev 20:4-6)
d. Birth of God's Kingdom (Rev 12:5)
2. Faithful and discreet slave put in charge of all Christ's possessions :
Matt 24:45-47-faithful and sensible slave...when he comes ...he will put him in charge of all his possessions
3. Separation of the sheep and the goats:
Matt 25:31-32-when the Son of Man comes in His glory ...He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats
Q2. Is Daniel chapter 4 a prophecy pertaining to the duration of the "gentile times?"
This prophecy was fulfilled by Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4:24-37.
Q3. Is the Kingdom restored to natural Israel at the end of the "gentile times?"
Q4. Does the Bible indicate that Jesus' second coming will be invisible?
See THE RETURN OF CHRIST, Q4
Q5. Do the signs of Christ's return occur before or after His return?
Matt 24:7-8-"nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are [merely] BEGINNING of birth pangs.
Matt 24:33, Mark 13:29-"when you see all these things, recognize that He is NEAR [not here], at the door."
Mark 13:8-"...kingdom against kingdom...earthquakes... famines... These things are merely the BEGINNING of birth pangs."
Birth pangs must occur before, not after the birth of God's Kingdom.
Q6. Are we to know in what year Christ is to return?
Matt 24:42-"you do not know which day your Lord is coming"
Matt 24:44-"the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think [He will]"
Acts 1:6-7-"Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?" He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority..."
Q7. Should we expect to find persons in these last days prematurely announcing Christ's return?
Luke 21:8-9-"Take heed that you be not misled; for many will come in My name, saying...'The time is at hand'; DO NOT GO AFTER THEM. And when you hear of wars and disturbances, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end does not follow immediately."
Q8. Has the Watchtower Society made mistakes in the past when setting prophetic dates?
See THE FAITHFUL AND DISCREET SLAVE, Q3
* * *
a. The invisible return of Christ in the year 1914 is a foundational doctrine of Watchtower theology.
b. The duration of the "times of the gentiles" cannot be ascertained by a study of Daniel chapter 4.
c. The kingdom is restored to natural Israel at the end of the "times of the gentiles."
d. The return of Christ did not occur invisibly in the fall of 1914 C.E. This visible event is still future.
e. The signs of Christ's return are to occur before His return and give evidence that He is shortly to appear.
f. We should expect to find persons in these last days prematurely announcing Christ's return.
g. The Watchtower Society has made many serious errors when attempting to set prophetic dates.
* * *
Scriptures commonly used by Jehovah's Witnesses:
Matt 24:3-"Tell us, when will these things be, and what [will be] the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?"
John 14:19-"After a little while the world will behold Me no more..."
4. Reasoning from the Scriptures, pp. 95-97
5. Our Incoming World Government- God's Kingdom, pp. 88-89
6. Reasoning from the Scriptures, pp. 95-97; Make Sure of All Things, p. 89
7. Watchtower, 2/16/85, p. 16
8. Watchtower, 1/15/69, p. 51