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This is of the third video in our series about 1914 and the sixth in our YouTube channel discussion on Identifying True Worship.  I chose not to name it “Identifying True Religion” because I now realize that religion is doomed to end up teaching falsehood, because religion is from men.  But worship of God can be done God’s way, and so can be true, though this is admittedly still rare.

For those who prefer the written word over a video presentation, I am including (and will continue to include) an accompanying article to every video I publish.  I’ve abandoned the idea of publishing a verbatim script of the video because the unedited spoken word doesn’t come across so well in print. (Too many “so”s and “well”s at the start of sentences, for example.)  Nevertheless, the article will follow the flow of the video.

Examining the Scriptural Evidence

In this video we are going to look at the scriptural evidence for the doctrine of Jehovah’s Witnesses  (JW) that Jesus was enthroned invisibly in the heavens in 1914 and has been ruling over the earth since then.

This doctrine is so important to Jehovah’s Witnesses that it is hard to imagine the Organization without it. For example, core to JW belief is the thought that we are in the last days, and that the last days began in 1914, and that the generation that was alive then will see the end of this system of things. Beyond that, there is the belief that the Governing Body was appointed by Jesus in 1919 to be the faithful and discreet slave, the channel by which God communicates with its flock on earth. If 1914 didn’t happen—that is, if Jesus was not enthroned as the messianic King in 1914—then there is no basis to believe that five years later, after his inspection of his house, the Christian congregation, that he settled on the group of Bible students which became Jehovah’s Witnesses.  So, in a sentence: No 1914, no 1919; no 1919, no Governing Body appointment as the faithful and discreet slave.  The Governing Body loses its divine appointment and any claim to be God’s appointed channel of communication. That’s how important 1914 is.

Let’s start our consideration by looking at the Scriptural basis for this doctrine exegetically.  In other words, we’re going to let the Bible interpret itself.  The prophecy in question is found in Daniel chapter 4, the whole chapter; but first, a little historic background.

Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon had done what no king before him had ever accomplished. He’d conquered Israel, destroyed its capital and its temple, and removed all the people from the land.  The ruler of the previous world power, Sennacherib, had failed in his attempt to conquer Jerusalem when Jehovah sent an angel to destroy his army and send him back home, tail between his legs, where he was assassinated.  So, Nebuchadnezzar was feeling very proud of himself.  He had to be taken down a peg or two.  Consequently, he was given troubling visions of the night.  None of the Babylonian priests could interpret them, so his first humiliation came when he had to call upon a member of the enslaved Jews to get the interpretation.  Our discussion opens with him describing the vision to Daniel.

“‘In the visions of my head while on my bed, I saw a tree in the midst of the earth, and its height was enormous. 11 The tree grew and became strong, and its top reached the heavens, and it was visible to the ends of the whole earth. 12 Its foliage was beautiful, and its fruit was abundant, and there was food on it for all. Beneath it the beasts of the field would seek shade, and on its branches the birds of the heavens would dwell, and all creatures would feed from it. 13 “‘As I viewed the visions of my head while on my bed, I saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from the heavens. 14 He called out loudly: “Chop down the tree, cut off its branches, shake off its leaves, and scatter its fruit! Let the beasts flee from beneath it, and the birds from its branches. 15 But leave the stump with its roots in the ground, with a banding of iron and of copper, among the grass of the field. Let it be wet with the dew of the heavens, and let its portion be with the beasts among the vegetation of the earth. 16 Let its heart be changed from that of a human, and let it be given the heart of a beast, and let seven times pass over it. 17 This is by the decree of watchers, and the request is by the word of the holy ones, so that people living may know that the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind and that he gives it to whomever he wants, and he sets up over it even the lowliest of men.” (Daniel 4:10-17)

So looking only at what the Scriptures themselves say, what is the purpose of this prophetic pronouncement upon the king?

“That people living may know that the Most High is ruler in the kingdom of the heavens and that he gives it to whomever he wants”.  (Daniel 4:17)

In other words, what Jehovah is saying is, “You think you’re something Nebuchadnezzar, because you conquered My people? I let you conquer my people! You were just a tool in my hands. They needed to be disciplined, and I used you.  But I can take you down as well; and I can put you back up, if I chose to.  Anything I want, I can do.”

Jehovah is showing this man exactly who he is and where he stands in the scheme of things.  He is just a pawn in the mighty hands of God.

According to the Bible, how and when are these words fulfilled?

In verse 20 Daniel says, “The tree…it is you, O King, because you have grown great and become strong, and your grandeur has grown and reached to the heavens, and your rulership to the ends of the earth.”

So who is the tree? It’s the King. It’s Nebuchadnezzar.  Is there anyone else?  Does Daniel say there’s a secondary fulfillment? There’s another King? No. There is only one fulfillment.

The prophecy was fulfilled a year later.

Twelve months later he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon. 30 The king was saying: “Is this not Babylon the Great that I myself have built for the royal house by my own strength and might and for the glory of my majesty?” 31 While the word was yet in the king’s mouth, a voice came down from the heavens: “To you it is being said, O King Nebuchadnezzar, ‘The kingdom has gone away from you, 32 and from mankind you are being driven away. With the beasts of the field your dwelling will be, and you will be given vegetation to eat just like bulls, and seven times will pass over you, until you know that the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind and that he grants it to whomever he wants.’” 33 At that moment the word was fulfilled on Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven away from mankind, and he began to eat vegetation just like bulls, and his body became wet with the dew of the heavens, until his hair grew long just like eagles’ feathers and his nails were like birds’ claws. (Daniel 4:29-33)

Witnesses contend that these seven times represent seven literal years during which the King went mad.  Is there a basis for that belief?  The Bible doesn’t say.  The Hebrew word, iddan, means “moment, situation, time, times.”  Some suggest it could refer to seasons, but it can also mean years.  The book of Daniel isn’t specific.  If it is here referring to seven years, then what type of year?  A lunar year, a solar year, or a prophetic year?  There is too much vagueness in this account to get dogmatic.  And is it really important to the fulfillment of the prophecy?  What matters is that it was a period of time sufficient for Nebuchadnezzar to understand the power and authority of God.  If seasons, then we’re talking about less then two years, which is sufficient time for a person’s hair to grow the length of eagle’s feathers: 15 to 18 inches.

The second fulfillment was the restoration of Nebuchadnezzar’s kingship:

“At the end of that time I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up to the heavens, and my understanding returned to me; and I praised the Most High, and to the One living forever I gave praise and glory, because his rulership is an everlasting rulership and his kingdom is for generation after generation. 35 All the inhabitants of the earth are regarded as nothing, and he does according to his own will among the army of the heavens and the inhabitants of the earth. And there is no one who can hinder him or say to him, ‘What have you done?’ (Daniel 4:34, 35)

“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, am praising and exalting and glorifying the King of the heavens, because all his works are truth and his ways are just, and because he is able to humiliate those who are walking in pride.” (Daniel 4:37)

If you look at those verses, do you see any indication of a secondary fulfillment? Again, what was the purpose of this prophecy?  Why was it given?

It was given to make a point, not just to Nebuchadnezzar, who needed to be humiliated because he had conquered Jehovah’s people and thought it was all him, but also for all humans, and all kings, and all presidents and dictators, to understand that all human rulers serve at the pleasure of God. He allows them to serve, because it is his will to do so for a period of time, and when it’s no longer his will to do so, he can and will take them out as easily as he did King Nebuchadnezzar.

The reason I keep asking if you see any future fulfillment is because for 1914 to factor in, we have to look at this prophecy and say that there is a secondary fulfillment; or as we say, an antitypical fulfillment. This was the type, the minor fulfillment, and the antitype, the major fulfillment, is the enthronement of Jesus.  What we see in this prophecy is an object lesson for all human rulers, but for 1914 to work, we have to see it as a prophetic drama with a modern-day application, complete with a time calculation.

The big problem with this is that we must make this into an antitype despite any clear basis in Scripture for doing so.  I say problem, because we now reject such antitypical applications.

David Splane of the Governing Body lectured us on this new official policy at the annual meeting in 2014.  Here are his words:

“Who is to decide if a person or an event is a type, if the word of God doesn’t say anything about it?  Who is qualified to do that?  Our answer: We can do no better than to quote our beloved brother Albert Schroeder who said, “We need to exercise great care when applying accounts in the Hebrew Scriptures as prophetic patterns or types if these accounts are not applied in the Scriptures themselves.”

“Wasn’t that a beautiful statement? We agree with it.”

“Well in recent years, the trend in our publications has been to look for the practical application of Bible events and not for types where the Scriptures themselves do not clearly identify them as such. We simply cannot go beyond what is written.”

This marks our first assumption toward making Daniel chapter 4 into a prophecy about 1914.  We all know how dangerous assumptions are.  If you have a steel-link chain, and one link is made of paper, the chain is only as strong as that weak paper link.  That is the assumption; the weak link in our doctrine.  But we don’t end with one assumption.  There are close to two dozen of them, all critical to keeping the chain of our reasoning intact. If only one proves false, the chain breaks.

What’s the next assumption?  It was introduced in a discussion Jesus had with his disciples just before ascending to heaven.

“So when they had assembled, they asked him: “Lord, are you restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?” (Acts 1:6)

What is kingdom of Israel? This is the kingdom of the Davidic throne, and Jesus is said to be the Davidic king.  He sits on the throne of David, and the kingdom of Israel in that sense was Israel itself. They didn’t understand that there would be a spiritual Israel that would go beyond the natural Jews.  What they were asking was, ‘Are you going to start ruling over Israel now?’  He answered:

“It does not belong to you to know the times or seasons that the Father has placed in his own jurisdiction.” (Acts 1:7)

Now hold on just a moment. If the prophecy of Daniel was intended to give us an accurate, to the month, indication of when Jesus was to be enthroned as king of Israel, why did he say this?  Why wouldn’t he say, ‘Well, if you want to know, look at Daniel. I’ve told you just over a month ago to look at Daniel and let the reader use discernment. You’ll find the answer to your question in the book of Daniel.’  And, of course, they could have gone into the temple and found out exactly when this time calculation started, and worked out the final date.  They would have seen that Jesus wouldn’t be returning for another 1,900 years, give or take.  But he didn’t say that.  He told them, “It doesn’t belong to you to know”.

So either Jesus is being dishonest, or Daniel chapter 4 has nothing to do with calculating the time of his return.  How does the leadership of the Organization get around this?  The cleverly suggest that the injunction, “it does not belong to you to know”, applied only to them, but not to us.  We are exempt.  And what do they use to attempt to prove their point?

“As for you, Daniel, keep the words secret, and seal up the book until the time of the end. Many will rove about, and the true knowledge will become abundant.” (Daniel 12:4)

They claim these words apply to the last days, to our days.  But let’s not abandon exegesis when it has served us so well.  Let’s look at the context.

“During that time Michael will stand up, the great prince who is standing in behalf of your people. And there will occur a time of distress such as has not occurred since there came to be a nation until that time. And during that time your people will escape, everyone who is found written down in the book. 2 And many of those asleep in the dust of the earth will wake up, some to everlasting life and others to reproach and to everlasting contempt. 3 “And those having insight will shine as brightly as the expanse of heaven, and those bringing the many to righteousness like the stars, forever and ever. 4 “As for you, Daniel, keep the words secret, and seal up the book until the time of the end. Many will rove about, and the true knowledge will become abundant.” (Daniel 12:1-4)

Verse one speaks of “your people”. Who were Daniel’s people?  The Jews.  The angel is referring to the Jews.  ‘His people’, the Jews, would suffer a time of unparalleled distress during the time of the end.  Peter said that they were in the time of the end or the last days when he spoke to the crowd at Pentecost.

‘“And in the last days,” God says, “I will pour out some of my spirit on every sort of flesh, and your sons and your daughters will prophesy and your young men will see visions and your old men will dream dreams, 18 and even on my male slaves and on my female slaves I will pour out some of my spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. (Acts 2:17, 18)

Jesus foretold a similar tribulation or time of distress to what the angel said to Daniel.

“for then there will be great tribulation such as has not occurred since the world’s beginning until now, no, nor will occur again.” (Matthew 24:21)

“And there will occur a time of distress such as has not occurred since there came to be a nation until that time.” (Daniel 12:1b)

The angel told Daniel that some of this people would escape, and Jesus gave his Jewish disciples instruction on how to escape.

“And during that time your people will escape, everyone who is found written down in the book.” (Daniel 12:1c)

“then let those in Ju·deʹa begin fleeing to the mountains. 17 Let the man on the housetop not come down to take the goods out of his house, 18 and let the man in the field not return to pick up his outer garment.” (Matthew 24:16-18)

Daniel 12:2 was fulfilled when his people, the Jews, accepted the Christ.

“And many of those asleep in the dust of the earth will wake up, some to everlasting life and others to reproach and to everlasting contempt.” (Daniel 12:2)

“Jesus said to him: ‘Keep following me, and let the dead bury their dead.’” (Matthew 8:22)

“Neither go on presenting your bodies to sin as weapons of unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, also your bodies to God as weapons of righteousness.” (Romans 6:13)

He’s referring to spiritual death and spiritual life, both of which result in their literal counterpart.

Daniel 12:3 was also fulfilled in the first century.

“And those having insight will shine as brightly as the expanse of heaven, and those bringing the many to righteousness like the stars, forever and ever.” (Daniel 12:3)

“You are the light of the world. A city cannot be hid when located on a mountain.” (Matthew 5:14)

Likewise, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your fine works and give glory to your Father who is in the heavens. (Matthew 5:16)

All of these verses found their fulfillment in the first century.  So, it follows that the verse in contention, verse 4, likewise was fulfilled then.

“As for you, Daniel, keep the words secret, and seal up the book until the time of the end. Many will rove about, and the true knowledge will become abundant.” (Daniel 12:4)

“the sacred secret that was hidden from the past systems of things and from the past generations. But now it has been revealed to his holy ones, 27 to whom God has been pleased to make known among the nations the glorious riches of this sacred secret, which is Christ in union with you, the hope of his glory. (Colossians 1:26, 27)

“I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master does. But I have called you friends, because I have made known to you all the things I have heard from my Father.” (John 15:15)

“…in order to gain an accurate knowledge of the sacred secret of God, namely, Christ. 3 Carefully concealed in him are all the treasures of wisdom and of knowledge. (Colossians 2:2, 3)

So far, we are up to 11 assumptions:

  • Assumption 1: Nebuchadnezzar’s dream has an modern-day antitypical fulfillment.
  • Assumption 2: The injunction at Acts 1:7 “it does not belong to you to know the times and seasons which the father has put in his own jurisdiction” does not apply to Jehovah’s Witnesses.
  • Assumption 3: When Daniel 12:4 says the “true knowledge” will become abundant, that included knowledge that fell within God’s own jurisdiction.
  • Assumption 4: Daniel’s people referred to at 12:1 are Jehovah’s Witnesses.
  • Assumption 5: The great tribulation or distress of Daniel 12:1 does not refer to the destruction of Jerusalem.
  • Assumption 6: Those who Daniel was told would escape does not refer to Jewish Christians in the first century, but to Jehovah’s Witnesses are Armageddon.
  • Assumption 7: Per Daniel 12:1, Michael did not stand up for the Jews in the last days as Peter said, but will stand up for Jehovah’s Witnesses now.
  • Assumption 8: First century Christians did not shine brightly and did not bring many to righteousness, but Jehovah’s Witnesses have.
  • Assumption 9: Daniel 12:2 speaks of many Jehovah’s Witnesses who were asleep in the dust waking up to everlasting life. This does not refer to Jews getting the truth from Jesus in the first century.
  • Assumption 10: Despite Peter’s words, Daniel 12:4 does not refer to the time of the end of Daniel’s people, the Jews.
  • Assumption 11: Daniel 12:1-4 had no first century fulfillment, but applies in our day.

There are more assumptions to come.  But first let’s look at the reasoning from JW leadership on 1914.  The book, What Does the Bible Really Teach? has an appendix item that attempts to explain the doctrine.  The first paragraph reads:

APPENDIX

1914—A Significant Year in Bible Prophecy

DECADES in advance, Bible students proclaimed that there would be significant developments in 1914. What were these, and what evidence points to 1914 as such an important year?

Now it’s true that Bible students did point to 1914 as a year of significant developments, but what developments are we talking about?  What developments would you assume are being referred to after reading the concluding paragraph of this appendix item?

Just as Jesus predicted, his “presence” as heavenly King has been marked by dramatic world developments—war, famine, earthquakes, pestilences. (Matthew 24:3-8; Luke 21:11) Such developments bear powerful testimony to the fact that 1914 indeed marked the birth of God’s heavenly Kingdom and the beginning of “the last days” of this present wicked system of things.—2 Timothy 3:1-5.

Clearly, the first paragraph intends us to understand that it was the presence of the enthroned Jesus Christ that was proclaimed decades in advance by these Bible students.

This is false and very misleading.

William Miller was, arguably, the granddaddy of the Adventist movement.  He proclaimed that 1843 or 1844 would be the time in which Jesus came back and Armageddon would come.  He used Daniel chapter 4 for his prediction, but he had a different start year.

Nelson Barbour, another Adventist, pointed to 1914 as the year for Armageddon, but believed 1874 was the year in which Christ was present invisibly in the heavens.  He convinced Russell, who stuck with the notion even after breaking with Barbour.  It wasn’t until 1930 that the year for Christ’s presence was moved from 1874 to 1914.[i]

So the statement in the opening paragraph of the Appendix is a lie. Strong words?  Perhaps, but not my words. That is how Gerrit Losch of the Governing Body defines it.  From the November 2017 Broadcast we have this:

“A lie is a false statement deliberately presented as being true. A falsehood. A lie is the opposite of the truth. Lying involves saying something incorrect to a person who is entitled to know the truth about a matter. But there is also something that is called a half-truth. The Bible tells Christians to be honest with each other. “Now that you have put away deceit, speak truth”, wrote the apostle Paul at Ephesians 4:25.  Lies and half-truths undermine trust. The German proverb says, “Who lies once, is not believed, even if he says the truth”.  So we need to speak openly and honestly with each other, not withholding bits of information that could change the perception of the listener or mislead him.”

So there you have it. We had the right to know something, but instead of telling us what we had the right to know, they hid it from us, and led us to a false conclusion.  By Gerrit Losch’s definition, they have lied to us.

Here’s something else of interest:  If Russell and Rutherford received new light from God to help them understand that Daniel chapter 4 applied to our day, then, so did William Miller, and so did Nelson Barbour, and all the other Adventists that accepted and preached this prophetic interpretation.  So, what we’re saying by our belief in 1914 is that Jehovah revealed partial truth to William Miller, but he just didn’t reveal the whole truth—the start date.  Then Jehovah did it again with Barbour, and then again with Russell, and then again with Rutherford.  Each time resulting in great disillusionment and a shipwreck of faith for many of His faithful servants.  Does that sound like a loving God?  Is Jehovah a revealer of half-truths, inspiring men to mislead their fellows?

Or maybe the fault—all the fault—lies with men.

Let’s continue reading the Bible teach book.

“As recorded at Luke 21:24, Jesus said: “Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations until the appointed times of the nations [“the times of the Gentiles,” King James Version] are fulfilled.” Jerusalem had been the capital city of the Jewish nation—the seat of rulership of the line of kings from the house of King David. (Psalm 48:1, 2) However, these kings were unique among national leaders. They sat on “Jehovah’s throne” as representatives of God himself. (1 Chronicles 29:23) Jerusalem was thus a symbol of Jehovah’s rulership.” (par. 2)

  • Assumption 12: Babylon and other nations are capable of trampling on God’s rulership.

This is ridiculous.  Not only ridiculous, but we have proof that it’s false.  It’s right there in Daniel chapter 4 for all to read.  “How did we miss this?”, I ask myself.

First, in vision, Nebuchadnezzar gets this message in Daniel 4:17:

“This is by the decree of watchers, and the request is by the word of the holy ones, so that people living may know that the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind and that he gives it to whomever he wants, and he sets up over it even the lowliest of men.” (Daniel 4:17)

Then Daniel himself reiterates those words in verse 25:

“You will be driven away from among men, and your dwelling will be with the beasts of the field, and you will be given vegetation to eat just like bulls; and you will become wet with the dew of the heavens, and seven times will pass over you, until you know that the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind and that he grants it to whomever he wants.” (Daniel 4:25)

Next, the angel decrees:

“and from mankind you are being driven away. With the beasts of the field your dwelling will be, and you will be given vegetation to eat just like bulls, and seven times will pass over you, until you know that the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind and that he grants it to whomever he wants.’” (Daniel 4:32)

Then finally, having learned his lesson, Nebuchadnezzar himself proclaims:

“At the end of that time I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up to the heavens, and my understanding returned to me; and I praised the Most High, and to the One living forever I gave praise and glory, because his rulership is an everlasting rulership and his kingdom is for generation after generation. (Daniel 4:34)

“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, am praising and exalting and glorifying the King of the heavens, because all his works are truth and his ways are just, and because he is able to humiliate those who are walking in pride.” (Daniel 4:37)

Five times we are told that Jehovah is in charge and can do anything he wants to anybody he wants even the highest King there is; and yet we say that his kingdom is being trampled on by the nations?! I don’t think so!

Where do we get that?  We get it by cherry picking one verse and then changing the meaning of it and hoping that everybody else looks only at that verse and accepts our interpretation.

  • Assumption 13: Jesus was talking about Jehovah’s rulership at Luke 21:24 when referring to Jerusalem.

Consider Jesus words at Luke.

“And they will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations until the appointed times of the nations are fulfilled.” (Luke 21:24)

This is the only place in the entire Bible where the phrase “appointed times of the nations” or “appointed times of the Gentiles” is used.  It appears no where else.  Not much to go on, is it?

Is Jesus referring to Jehovah’s rulership?  Let’s allow the Bible to speak for itself.  Again, we’ll consider the context.

“However, when you see Jerusalem surrounded by encamped armies, then know that the desolating of her has drawn near. 21 Then let those in Judea begin fleeing to the mountains, let those in the midst of her leave, and let those in the countryside not enter into her, 22 because these are days for meting out justice in order that all the things written may be fulfilled. 23 Woe to the pregnant women and those nursing a baby in those days! For there will be great distress on the land and wrath against this people. 24 And they will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations until the appointed times of the nations are fulfilled. (Luke 21:20-24)

When it refers to “Jerusalem” or “her”, is it not clearly speaking about the literal city of Jerusalem?  Are any of Jesus’ words found here expressed in symbol or metaphor?  Is he not speaking plainly and literally?  So why would we imagine that suddenly, in mid-sentence, he would switch to referring to Jerusalem, not as the literal city, but as a symbol for God’s rulership?

To this day, the city of Jerusalem is being trampled on. Even the independent, sovereign state of Israel cannot lay exclusive claim to the city which is disputed territory, split between three distinct and opposing religious groups: Christians, Muslims, and Jews.

  • Assumption 14: Jesus got the verb tense wrong.

If Jesus were referring to a trampling that began with the Babylonish exile in Daniel’s time as the Organization contends, then he would have said, “Jerusalem will continue to be trampled on by the nations….”  Putting it in the future tense, as he does, means that at the time of his uttering those prophetic words, Jerusalem—the city—had not yet been trampled on.

  • Assumption 15: Jesus’ words apply to Daniel 4.

When Jesus speaks as recorded in Luke 21:20-24, there is no indication he is talking about anything other than the forthcoming destruction of Jerusalem in 70 C.E.  For the 1914 doctrine to work, we have to accept the totally unsubstantiated assumption that Jesus is referring to something pertaining to Daniel’s prophecy in Chapter 4.  There is simply no basis for such an assertion.  It’s conjecture; pure fabrication.

  • Assumption 16: The appointed times of the nations began with the exile to Babylon.

Since neither Jesus, nor any Bible writer, makes mention of “the appointed times of the nations” outside of Luke 21:24, there is no way of knowing when these “appointed times” began.  Did they begin with the first nation under Nimrod?  Or was it Egypt that can lay claim to the starting point of this period, when it enslaved God’s people?  It’s all conjecture.  If it were important to know the start time, the Bible would have expressed it clearly.

To illustrate this, let’s look at a true time-calculation prophecy.

“There are seventy weeks that have been determined upon your people and upon your holy city, in order to terminate the transgression, and to finish off sin, and to make atonement for error, and to bring in righteousness for times indefinite, and to imprint a seal upon vision and prophet, and to anoint the Holy of Holies. 25 And you should know and have the insight [that] from the going forth of [the] word to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah [the] Leader, there will be seven weeks, also sixty-two weeks. She will return and be actually rebuilt, with a public square and moat, but in the straits of the times.” (Daniel 9:24, 25)

What we have here is a specific, non-ambiguous span of time.  Everyone knows how many days there are in a week.  Then we are given a specific start point, an unambiguous event marking the beginning of the calculation: the order to restore and rebuild Jerusalem.  Finally, we are told what event would mark the end of the period in question: The arrival of the Christ.

  • Specific starting event, clearly named.
  • Specific span of time.
  • Specific ending event, clearly named.

Was this useful to Jehovah’s people?  Did they determine beforehand what was going to happen and when it was going to happen?  Or did Jehovah lead them to disappointment with only a partially revealed prophecy?  The evidence that he did not is found at Luke 3:15:

“Now the people were in expectation and all of them were reasoning in their hearts about John, “May he perhaps be the Christ?” (Luke 3:15)

Why, after 600 years, were they in expectation in 29 C.E.?  Because they had Daniel’s prophecy to go by.  Plain and simple.

But when it comes to Daniel 4 and Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, the time period is no clearly stated.  (Exactly how long is a time?)  There is no start event given.  Nothing to say that the exile of the Jews—which had already happened by that time—was to mark the start of some calculation.  Finally, nowhere is it stated that the seven times would end with the enthronement of the Messiah.

It’s all made up. So to make it work, we must adopt four more assumptions.

  • Assumption 17: Time period is not ambiguous but equals 2,520 years.
  • Assumption 18: Event making the start was the exile to Babylon.
  • Assumption 19: The exile occurred in 607 B.C.E.
  • Assumption 20: The time period ends with Jesus enthroned in heaven.

There is no scriptural proof for any of these assumptions.

And now for the final assumption:

  • Assumption 21: Christ’s presence would be invisible.

Where does it say this in Scripture?  I kick myself for years of blind ignorance, because Jesus actually warns me and you against such a teaching.

“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look! Here is the Christ,’ or, ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will perform great signs and wonders so as to mislead, if possible, even the chosen ones. 25 Look! I have forewarned you. 26 Therefore, if people say to you, ‘Look! He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out; ‘Look! He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For just as the lightning comes out of the east and shines over to the west, so the presence of the Son of man will be. (Matthew 24:23-27)

“In the wilderness” or “in the inner rooms”…in other words, hidden from sight, kept in secret, invisible. Then, just to make sure we get the point (which we didn’t) he tells us that his presence will be like sky lightning.  When lightning flashes in the sky, do you need an interpreter to tell you what just happened?  Doesn’t everyone see it?  You could be staring at the ground, or inside with the curtains drawn, and you would still know that lightning has flashed.

Then, to cap it off, he says:

“Then the sign of the Son of man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will beat themselves in grief, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” (Matthew 24:30)

How can we construe that as an invisible—hidden from public view—presence?

We can and have misconstrued Jesus’ words because of misplaced trust.  And they still want us to trust them.

In the March Broadcast, Gerrit Losch said:

“Jehovah and Jesus trust the imperfect slave who cares for the things to the best of his ability and with the best of motives. Shouldn’t we then trust the imperfect slave as well?  To appreciate the extent of Jehovah’s and Jesus’ trust in the faithful slave, reflect on what he has promised its members. He has promised them immortality and incorruption. Soon, just before Armageddon, the remaining members of the slave will be taken to heaven.  Since 1919 of our common era, the slave has been put in charge of some belongings of Christ. According to Matthew 24:47, when the anointed are taken to heaven, Jesus will at that point entrust all his belongings to them.  Does this not reveal immense trust? Revelation 4:4 describes these resurrected anointed as corulers with Christ.  Revelation 22:5 says they will rule, not only for a thousand years, but forever and ever.  What immense trust Jesus shows toward them.  Since Jehovah God and Jesus Christ completely trust the faithful and discreet slave, should we not do the same?”

Okay, so the idea is, Jehovah trusts Jesus. Granted.  Jesus trusts the Governing Body. How do I know? And if Jehovah gives Jesus something to tell us, we know that whatever Jesus tells us is from God; that he does nothing of his own initiative.  He does not make mistakes. He does not mislead us with false expectations.  So, if Jesus gives what Jehovah gave him to the Governing Body, what happens in transit?  Missed communication?  Garbled communication? What happens?  Or is Jesus just not very effective as a communicator?  I don’t think so!   The only conclusion is that he is not giving them this information, because every good and perfect present is from above. (James 1:17)  False hope and failed expectations are neither good nor perfect presents.

The Governing Body—mere men—want us to trust them. They say, “Trust us, because Jehovah trusts us and Jesus trusts us.” Okay, so I have their word for that. But then I have Jehovah telling me at Psalm 146:3, “Do not put your trust in princes.” Princes!  Isn’t that what Gerrit Losch has just claimed they are?  In this very broadcast, he claims to be a future king.  Yet, Jehovah says, “Do not put your trust in princes nor in a Son of Man, who cannot bring salvation.”  So on the one hand, men who proclaim themselves to be princes tell me to listen to them and trust them if we want to be saved. However, on the other hand, Jehovah tell me not to trust such princes and that salvation does not lie with men.

It seems a simple choice to make as to whom I should listen.

Afterword

The sad thing for me when I first discovered that 1914 was a false doctrine was that I didn’t lose my trust in the organization. I lost my trust in these men, but to be honest, I never really had that much trust in them anyways, having seen their many failures.  But I believed that the organization was Jehovah’s true organization, the one true faith on earth.  It took something else to convince me to look elsewhere—what I call the deal breaker.  I’ll talk about that in the next video.
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[i] “Jesus has been present since 1914”, The Golden Age, 1930, p. 503

Meleti Vivlon