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1914 ? When The Day of Wrath Would Dawn


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The ‘International Bible Students’ . . . have been proclaiming to the world that the Day of Wrath prophesied in the Bible would dawn in 1914.”

It is a historical fact worth noting that, on the basis of the points and evidence above presented, the March 1880 edition of the Watch Tower magazine identified the year 1914 as the time for the close of “the appointed times of the nations” (and the end of the lease of power granted the Gentile rulers). 

This was some 34 years before the arrival of that year and the momentous events it initiated. In the August 30, 1914, edition of The World, a leading New York newspaper at that time, a feature article in the paper’s Sunday magazine section commented on this as follows: “The terrific war outbreak in Europe has fulfilled an extraordinary prophecy. 

For a quarter of a century past, through preachers and through press, the ‘International Bible Students’ . . . have been proclaiming to the world that the Day of Wrath prophesied in the Bible would dawn in 1914.”

The events that took place from and after the year 1914 C.E. are well-known history to all, beginning with the great war that erupted, the first world war in mankind’s history and the first to be fought over the issue, not of the domination of Europe alone, nor of Africa, nor of Asia, but of the domination of the world.—Lu 21:7-24, 29-33; Re 11:15-18.

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I appreciate that information. I've still heard it in a talk too, but I don't recall if it is any any of the latest outlines. I remember some bros in correspondence like Bro Malone and Bro Pritchard.

The ‘International Bible Students’ . . . have been proclaiming to the world that the Day of Wrath prophesied in the Bible would dawn in 1914.” It is a historical fact worth noting that, on the ba

The only problem with this claim is that the newspaper got it wrong. The Bible Students had NOT been claiming that the Day of Wrath would dawn in 1914 for a quarter of a century. In that past quarter

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35 minutes ago, Bible Speaks said:

For a quarter of a century past, through preachers and through press, the ‘International Bible Students’ . . . have been proclaiming to the world that the Day of Wrath prophesied in the Bible would dawn in 1914.”

The only problem with this claim is that the newspaper got it wrong. The Bible Students had NOT been claiming that the Day of Wrath would dawn in 1914 for a quarter of a century. In that past quarter of a century before 1914, the Bible Students had been claiming that the Day of Wrath had ALREADY dawned and that it would END in 1914. (According to the Watch Tower.)

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7 hours ago, JW Insider said:

The only problem with this claim is that the newspaper got it wrong. The Bible Students had NOT been claiming that the Day of Wrath would dawn in 1914 for a quarter of a century. In that past quarter of a century before 1914, the Bible Students had been claiming that the Day of Wrath had ALREADY dawned and that it would END in 1914. (According to the Watch Tower.)

http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200000316

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14 hours ago, Bible Speaks said:

The ‘International Bible Students’ . . . have been proclaiming to the world that the Day of Wrath prophesied in the Bible would dawn in 1914.”

This is incorrect. Here is what the Watchtower ACTUALLY said about the Day of Wrath in 1880:

*** Watch Tower, July 1880, "The Closing Work" p. 3, [Reprints p. 115] ***

From these statements, the parallels, and other scriptures, we conclude that the day of wrath is included in the Gospel harvest, and, therefore, that the age and harvest extend to 1914, covering a space of forty years from the Spring of 1875 . . . 

So the "day of wrath" covers a portion of the 39 years of harvest starting some time after the Spring of 1875 and extending up to 1914. 

In fact, the article goes on to show that anyone who claimed that the "day of wrath" might extend beyond, or after 1914, were considered to be "opposers" of the Watchtower's teaching:

*** Watch Tower, July 1880, "The Closing Work" p. 4, [Reprints p. 116] ***

Then the idea we advance that Christ entered upon the official work of King in 1878 is in harmony with the application of the harvest here given.  But what becomes of the idea of those who now oppose us in these things, that Christ does not come into possession of His crown, until after this day of wrath? . . . that the harvest and the treading of the winepress must be located away beyond 1914? It seems too much like desperation for them to take such ground, . . .  Will any one be so reckless as to take the ground that. . . . the time of trouble or day of vengeance with which those times end, take the ground that the day of wrath extends beyond 1914? 

In other words, since Jesus officially became King in 1878 (according to the Watchtower) the "day of wrath" began at about that same time, and runs from 1878 to 1914. Only desperate opposers would be so reckless as to think that this day of wrath could extend beyond 1914. 

This was still clear in 1896, only 18 years prior to 1914. Note below that "the Day of Wrath" does not begin in 1914 but it ENDS IN 1914!

*** Watch Tower, May 1896, "True Bible Chronology..." p. 112, [Reprints p. 1980] ***

Hence, the year ending Oct. A.D. 1872 was the year 6000 [Note: 6,000 years of human history ended in 1872 and the Millennium DAWNED in 1872] . . . . The year ending Oct. 1914 A.D. will be 6042 and the full forty year "day of wrath" from October, 1874, will end Oct. 1914 A.D., the full limit of Gentile Times to tread down Jerusalem and its people.

In fact, the Watch Tower Society continued to promote campaigns to distribute the "Studies in the Scriptures" books up until about 1933, where the only adjustments to the book on this topic were the changes to some of the references about 1914 to extend them to 1915:

*** Studies in the Scriptures, [Millennial Dawn], Volume IV, ["The Day of Vengeance" later changed to "The Battle of Armageddon"], p. 604-605. ***

A "generation" might be reckoned as equivalent to a century (practically the present limit) or one hundred and twenty years, Moses' lifetime and the Scripture limit. (Gen 6:3) Reckoning a hundred years from 1780, the date of the first sign, the limit would reach to 1880; and, to our understanding, every item predicted had begun to be fulfilled at that date; the "harvest" or gathering time beginning October 1874; the organization of the Kingdom and the taking by our Lord of his great power as the King in April 1878, and the time of trouble or "day of wrath" which began October 1874, and will cease about 1915; . . . Those who are walking with us in the light of present truth are not looking for things to come which are already here, but are waiting for the consummation of matters already in progress. Or, . . . it would not be inconsistent to reckon the "generation" from 1878 to 1914--36 1/2 years-- about the average of human life today.

There are literally dozens more such quotations in the Watch Tower publications, all in perfect harmony with the above. It should also be noted that in 1904, just 10 years prior to 1914, the teaching about "time of trouble" or "tribulation" was adjusted. This particular "time of trouble" was previously expected to last a few years prior to 1914, and was adjusted to include a time beginning in 1914 and lasting for a period of time that was sometimes indicated to last until about the end of 1915. But this was not the same as "the Day of Wrath" which would run from 1874 until 1914, and especially apply from 1878 until 1914. 

So, no Bible Students were ever proclaiming that the Day of Wrath would dawn in 1914!

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8 minutes ago, Bible Speaks said:

This is from the latest information on wol.jw.org site. Perhaps the other was not included for a reason?

There has been an ongoing debate for many years both inside and outside the Bethel headquarters about how to present the information about 1914. In a few Watchtowers the predictions that were made prior to 1914 have been presented more accurately. 

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24 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

There has been an ongoing debate for many years both inside and outside the Bethel headquarters about how to present the information about 1914. In a few Watchtowers the predictions that were made prior to 1914 have been presented more accurately. 

Do you mean about this mess of 1874-1878-1914-1915...?

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1 hour ago, Bible Speaks said:

Yes do you have other links? That is what I found only, 

What you are quoting was written in the original Insight book in 1988. If you have the latest 2016 Watchtower Library on CD/DVD you can see what happened. Just search on:

1914 "The World" newspaper

Look at the oldest references first, and pay attention especially to the years of these publications:

You will see the quotation in the Watchtower in 1955, 1960, 1961, 1967 and 1984. I'll just quote that last one:

*** w84 4/1 p. 5 1914 a Marked Year—Why? ***
the ‘International Bible Students [Jehovah’s Witnesses],’ best known as ‘Millennial Dawners,’ have been proclaiming to the world that the Day of Wrath prophesied in the Bible would dawn in 1914. ‘Look out for 1914!’

It had also been used in the 1975 Yearbook the same way.

And the very last use of it in this way was in the Revelation Climax book in 1988, (same year as the Insight book). That false portion of the quote has never been used in any of our books written after 1988.

AFTER 1988

The most important point is to notice the Proclaimers book from 1993 is the last time this newspaper is referenced. But the Proclaimers book was researched by persons who had reviewed the actual teachings about the "Day of Wrath" and had tried to give a much more accurate picture of the beliefs about 1872/1873 being the Dawn of the Millennium. And they knew that the "Day of Wrath" ran parallel with the "Harvest" from 1874 to 1914. They didn't want statements in this book that opposers could pounce upon to prove that it was not accurate. (A few crept in anyway, some during the final editing process, but that's the nature of publishing.) 

So the Proclaimers book researchers, in 1993, knew that they could not use the entire quote, and reduced it to only the portion of that newspaper that we could claim was an accurate assessment of what the Bible Students and the Watch Tower had actually been saying:

*** jv chap. 5 p. 60 Proclaiming the Lord’s Return (1870-1914) ***
“Look Out for 1914!”
 When World War I broke out in 1914, “The World,” then a leading newspaper in New York City, stated in its magazine section: “The terrific war outbreak in Europe has fulfilled an extraordinary prophecy. . . . ‘Look out for 1914!’ has been the cry of the hundreds of travelling evangelists, who, representing this strange creed [associated with Russell], have gone up and down the country enunciating the doctrine that ‘the Kingdom of God is at hand.’”—“The World Magazine,” August 30, 1914.

Note that they specifically left out the false portion of the quote this time, in 1993, and this 1914 newspaper has never been used again in a Watch Tower publication written after 1993.  (And it has not been used incorrectly since 1988.)

The subject matter is relevant to the book "God's Kingdom Rules" of course, but in the same place where we would usually expect this newspaper reference in prior publications we now only find the following:

*** kr chap. 2 p. 15 par. 10 The Kingdom Is Born in Heaven ***
The faithful anointed writers who contributed to that journal saw that Daniel’s prophecy regarding the “seven times” had a bearing on the timing of the fulfillment of God’s purposes regarding the Messianic Kingdom. As early as the 1870’s, they pointed to 1914 as the year when those seven times would end. (Dan. 4:25; Luke 21:24) Although our brothers of that era did not yet grasp the full significance of that marked year, they proclaimed what they knew far and wide, with long-lasting effects.

*** kr chap. 2 p. 22 par. 29 The Kingdom Is Born in Heaven ***
Long before 1914, the Bible Students said that a time of trouble would begin in that marked year. But even they could not have imagined how accurate that prediction would turn out to be.

The idea that a "time of trouble" would begin in that marked year dates from the Watch Tower in 1904, so this is what is now meant by "long before 1914." As early as the 1870's the one thing still considered to be correct is that the "seven times" also called "the Gentile Times" would end in 1914. Of course, at the time this meant that all the Gentile Kingdoms would see their final end in 1914, so they didn't even get the idea about the "Gentile Times" right, either. Interestingly, the newspaper "The World" did get that particular belief correct (that the WT had predicted the end of all kingdoms in 1914) but this is a portion of the newspaper article that we have almost never quoted.

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4 hours ago, JW Insider said:

What you are quoting was written in the original Insight book in 1988. If you have the latest 2016 Watchtower Library on CD/DVD you can see what happened. Just search on:

1914 "The World" newspaper

Look at the oldest references first, and pay attention especially to the years of these publications:

You will see the quotation in the Watchtower in 1955, 1960, 1961, 1967 and 1984. I'll just quote that last one:

*** w84 4/1 p. 5 1914 a Marked Year—Why? ***
the ‘International Bible Students [Jehovah’s Witnesses],’ best known as ‘Millennial Dawners,’ have been proclaiming to the world that the Day of Wrath prophesied in the Bible would dawn in 1914. ‘Look out for 1914!’

It had also been used in the 1975 Yearbook the same way.

And the very last use of it in this way was in the Revelation Climax book in 1988, (same year as the Insight book). That false portion of the quote has never been used in any of our books written after 1988.

AFTER 1988

The most important point is to notice the Proclaimers book from 1993 is the last time this newspaper is referenced. But the Proclaimers book was researched by persons who had reviewed the actual teachings about the "Day of Wrath" and had tried to give a much more accurate picture of the beliefs about 1872/1873 being the Dawn of the Millennium. And they knew that the "Day of Wrath" ran parallel with the "Harvest" from 1874 to 1914. They didn't want statements in this book that opposers could pounce upon to prove that it was not accurate. (A few crept in anyway, some during the final editing process, but that's the nature of publishing.) 

So the Proclaimers book researchers, in 1993, knew that they could not use the entire quote, and reduced it to only the portion of that newspaper that we could claim was an accurate assessment of what the Bible Students and the Watch Tower had actually been saying:

*** jv chap. 5 p. 60 Proclaiming the Lord’s Return (1870-1914) ***
“Look Out for 1914!”
 When World War I broke out in 1914, “The World,” then a leading newspaper in New York City, stated in its magazine section: “The terrific war outbreak in Europe has fulfilled an extraordinary prophecy. . . . ‘Look out for 1914!’ has been the cry of the hundreds of travelling evangelists, who, representing this strange creed [associated with Russell], have gone up and down the country enunciating the doctrine that ‘the Kingdom of God is at hand.’”—“The World Magazine,” August 30, 1914.

Note that they specifically left out the false portion of the quote this time, in 1993, and this 1914 newspaper has never been used again in a Watch Tower publication written after 1993.  (And it has not been used incorrectly since 1988.)

The subject matter is relevant to the book "God's Kingdom Rules" of course, but in the same place where we would usually expect this newspaper reference in prior publications we now only find the following:

*** kr chap. 2 p. 15 par. 10 The Kingdom Is Born in Heaven ***
The faithful anointed writers who contributed to that journal saw that Daniel’s prophecy regarding the “seven times” had a bearing on the timing of the fulfillment of God’s purposes regarding the Messianic Kingdom. As early as the 1870’s, they pointed to 1914 as the year when those seven times would end. (Dan. 4:25; Luke 21:24) Although our brothers of that era did not yet grasp the full significance of that marked year, they proclaimed what they knew far and wide, with long-lasting effects.

*** kr chap. 2 p. 22 par. 29 The Kingdom Is Born in Heaven ***
Long before 1914, the Bible Students said that a time of trouble would begin in that marked year. But even they could not have imagined how accurate that prediction would turn out to be.

The idea that a "time of trouble" would begin in that marked year dates from the Watch Tower in 1904, so this is what is now meant by "long before 1914." As early as the 1870's the one thing still considered to be correct is that the "seven times" also called "the Gentile Times" would end in 1914. Of course, at the time this meant that all the Gentile Kingdoms would see their final end in 1914, so they didn't even get the idea about the "Gentile Times" right, either. Interestingly, the newspaper "The World" did get that particular belief correct (that the WT had predicted the end of all kingdoms in 1914) but this is a portion of the newspaper article that we have almost never quoted.

Perhaps the views have changed or it would be on the website. Some info is blocked on the site. I am sure Jehovah will reveal it all when we will understand it. I will wait and allow his perfect timing. At least we know 1914 was a marked year and soon all of God's enemies will be destroyed by our warrior King Christ. We will keep on the watch! It is soon. 

Agape, 

Bible Speaks 

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