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A second look at 1914, this time examining the evidence the Organization claims is there to support the belief that Jesus began ruling in the heavens in 1914.
Hello, my name is Eric Wilson.
This is the second video in our subset of 1914 videos. In the first one, we looked at the chronology of it, and now we’re looking at the empirical proof. In other words, it’s all well and good to say that Jesus was installed as king in the heavens invisibly in 1914, sitting on throne of David, ruling in the Messianic Kingdom, but we have no proof of that unless, of course, we find proof directly in the Bible; but that’s what we’re going to look at in the next video. Right now, we want to see if there is evidence in the world, in the events that surrounded that year, that would lead us to believe that something invisible in the heavens happened.
Now the organization says that there is such proof. For example, in the June 1st 2003 Watchtower, on page 15, paragraph 12, we read:
Bible chronology and world events coincide in pinpointing the year 1914 as a time when that war in heaven took place. Since then, world conditions have steadily worsened. Revelation 12:12 explains why saying: “On this account be glad you heavens and you who reside in them! Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the devil has come down, having great anger, knowing that he has a short period of time.”
Okay, so that indicates the 1914 was the year because of the events that happened, but exactly when did this happen? Exactly when was Jesus enthroned? Can we know that? I mean how much precision is there in understanding the date? Well, according to the July 15th 2014 Watchtower pages 30 and 31, paragraph 10 we read:
“Modern day anointed Christians pointed in advance to October 1914 as a significant date. They based this on Daniel’s prophecy about a large tree that was cut down and would go again after seven times. Jesus referred to this same period as “the appointed times of the nations” in his prophecy about his future presence and “the conclusion of the system of things.” Ever since that marked year of 1914, the sign of Christ’s presence as Earth’s new king has become clear for all to see.”
So that definitely ties it down to the month of October.
Now, the June 1st 2001 Watchtower, page 5, under the title “Whose Standards Can You Trust” says,
“Woe for the earth came when World War 1 broke out in 1914 and brought to an end an era of standards very different from those of today. “The Great War of 1914 to 1918 lies like a band of scorched earth dividing that time from ours,” observes historian Barbara Tuchman.
Okay, so we know that it occurred in October, and we know that World War 1 is a result of the woes, so let’s just go again through the chronology: Revelation 12 talks about the enthronement of Jesus Christ. So, we say Jesus Christ was enthroned as a Messianic King in October of 1914 based on the belief that in 607 BCE—October of that year—the Jews were exiled. So it’s exactly, to the month, 2,520 years to get to October, 1914—possibly the fifth or sixth by some of the calculations you’ll find in the publications, early October. Okay, what was the first thing Jesus did? Well, according to us, the first thing he did was to wage war with Satan and his demons, and he won that war of course and Satan and the demons were thrown down to the earth. Having great anger then, knowing that he has a short time, he brought woe to the earth.
So the woe to the earth would have started in October at the earliest, because prior to that, Satan was still in the heavens, wasn’t angry because he hadn’t been thrown down.
Okay. And it mentions that the great difference that happened between the pre-1914 world and the post-1914 world as stipulated by historian Barbara Tuchman as we’ve just seen in the latest, or the last of the quotes. I happen to have read Barbour Tuckman’s book, the one they’re quoting from. It’s an excellent book. Let me just show you the cover.
Do you notice anything strange about it? The title is: “The guns of August”. Not October… August! Why? Because that’s when the war started.
Ferdinand, the Archduke who was assassinated, whose assassination triggered the First World War was killed in July of that year—July 28th. Now because of the odd circumstances, the kind of haphazard and bungled way the assassins attempted to kill him, it was only by sheer luck—and very bad luck, I guess for the Duke—that they stumble upon him after a failed attempt and still managed to assassinate him. And in publications of the organization, we have gone through that, leading to the conclusion that obviously it was Satan who orchestrated the thing. At least that was the inclination that one was led to.
Okay, except that it resulted in a war that occurred, that started, two months before Satan was on Earth, two months before Satan was angry, two months before the woes.
It actually is worse than that. Yes, the world before 1914 was different from the world after. There were monarchies all over the place, and a lot of them ceased to exist after 1914, after the war; but to think that it was a peaceful time compared with a different time now is to overlook the fact that to kill 15 million people—as some reports say happened in the First World War— you need hundreds of millions, if not billions of bullets. It takes time to manufacture that many bullets, that many guns—millions and billions of guns, artillery shells, artillery pieces.
There was an arms race going on for ten years prior to 1914. The nations of Europe were arming for war. Germany had a million-man army. Germany’s a country you could fit into the state of California and leave room left over for Belgium. This tiny country was fielding a million-man army, during the time of peace. Why? Because they were planning for war. So, it had nothing to do with Satan’s anger at being thrown down in 1914. This had been going on for years. They were all set up for it. It was just a happenstance that the 1914 calculation happened to fall when the greatest war of all time—to that date—happened.
So, can we conclude that there is empirical evidence? Well, not from that. But is there something else perhaps that would lead us to believe that Jesus was enthroned in 1914?
Well, according to our theology, he was enthroned, looked around, and found all the religions on earth, and picked of all the religions, our religion—the religion that became Jehovah’s Witnesses, and appointed over them a faithful and discreet slave. That was the first time the faithful and discreet slave had come into existence according to a video produced by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society in which Brother Splane explains this new understanding: There was no 1,900 years slave. There was no slave from 33 CE onward until 1919. So that is part of the evidence that should be there if we’re going to find support for the idea that Jesus was acting as king and selecting his faithful and discreet slave. The March, 2016 study article, study Watchtower, on page 29, paragraph 2, in “Questions from Readers” answers the question with this misunderstanding.
“All the evidence indicates that this captivity [that’s the Babylonish captivity] ended in 1919 when anointed Christians were gathered into the restored congregation. Consider: God’s people were tested and refined during the years following the establishment of God’s kingdom in the heavens in 1914.”
(They go to Malachi 3:1-4 about that, which is an antitypical application of a prophecy that was fulfilled in the first century.) Okay, so from 1914 to 1919 Jehovah’s people were tested and refined and then in 1919 the Watchtower continues:
“…Jesus appointed the faithful and discreet slave over God’s cleansed people to give them spiritual food at the proper time.”
So, all the evidence points to 1919 as the appointment date—that’s what it says—and it says also that they were cleansed for five years from 1914 to 1919, and then the cleansing was complete by 1919 when he made the appointment. Okay, so what evidence is there for this?
Well, we might think Jehovah’s Witnesses were then appointed, or among Jehovah’s Witnesses there was appointed, a faithful and discreet slave. That was the Governing Body in 1919. But there were no Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1919. That name was only given in 1931. What there was in 1919 was a federation, or an association, of independent Bible study groups around the world, who read the Watchtower and used it as their principal teaching aid. The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society was a legal corporation that printed articles, that produced printed material. It wasn’t the headquarters of a worldwide organization. Instead, these international Bible student groups pretty much governed themselves. Here are some of the names of those groups. There was the International Bible Students Association, the Pastoral Bible Institute, the Berean Bible Institute, the Stand Fast Bible Students Association—interesting story with them—Dawn Bible Students Association, Independent Bible Students, New Covenant Believers, Christian Discipling Ministries International, Bible Students Association.
Now I mentioned the Stand Fast Bible Students Association. They stand out because they separated from Rutherford in 1918. Why? Because Rutherford was trying to appease the government which was seeking to bring charges against him for what they considered treasonous literature in the Finished Mystery which he published in 1917. He was trying to appease them so he published in the Watchtower, 1918, page 6257 and 6268, words in which he explained that it was okay to buy war bonds, or what they called Liberty Bonds in those days; it was a matter of conscience. It wasn’t a violation of neutrality. Here’s the excerpt one—one of the excerpts—from that passage:
“A Christian to whom may have been presented the perverted viewpoint that the Red Cross work is only the aiding of that killing referring to the war which is against his conscience cannot help the Red Cross; he then gains the broader viewpoint that the Red Cross is the embodiment of helping the helpless, and he finds himself able and willing to help the Red Cross according to ability and opportunity. A Christian unwilling to kill may have been conscientiously unable to buy government bonds; later he considers that what great blessings he has received under his government and realizes that the nation is in trouble and facing dangers to its Liberty and he feels himself conscientiously able to lend some money to the country just as he would lend to a friend in distress.”
So the Stand Fasters stood fast in their neutrality, and they separated from Rutherford. Now, you might say, “Well, that’s then. This is now.” But the point is, this is what Jesus was looking at, supposedly, when he was trying to decide who was faithful, and who was discreet or wise.
So the issue of neutrality was an issue which was compromised by many of the Bible students. Indeed, the Man’s Salvation book, in chapter 11, page 188, paragraph 13, says that,
“During World War 1 of 1914-1918 CE, some of the remnant of spiritual Israel accepted non-combatant service in the fighting armies, and thus they came under bloodguilt because of their sharing and community responsibility for the blood spilled in war.”
Okay, what else would Jesus have found in 1914 to 1919? Well, he would have found that there was no Governing Body. Now, when Russell died his will called for an executive committee of seven and an editorial committee of five. He named names as to who he wanted on those committees, and he added auxiliaries or replacements, in case some of those should precede him in death. Rutherford’s name wasn’t on the initial list, nor was it high up on the replacement list. However, Rutherford was a lawyer and a man with ambitions, and so he seized control by getting himself declared president, and then when some of the brothers realized that he was acting in an authoritarian way, they wanted to have him removed as president. They wanted to go back to the governing body arrangement that Russell had in mind. To defend himself against these ones, in 1917, Rutherford published “Harvest Siftings”, and in it he said, among many other things:
“For more than thirty years the president of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society managed its affairs exclusively [he’s referring to Russell] and the Board of Directors, so-called, had little to do. This is not said in criticism, but for the reason that the work of the society peculiarly requires the direction of one mind.”
That’s what he wanted. He wanted to be the one mind. And over time he managed to do that. He managed to dissolve the Executive Committee of seven members, and then eventually the editorial committee, which was keeping him from publishing the things he wanted to publish. Just to show the attitude of the man—again not being critical, just saying this is what Jesus was seeing in 1914 to 1919. So, in The Messenger of 1927, July 19th, we have this picture of Rutherford. He considered himself the Generalissimo of the Bible students. What is a Generalissimo. Well, Mussolini was called the Generalissimo. It means the supreme military commander, the general of generals, if you will. In the United States this would be the commander-in-chief. This was the attitude that he had toward himself which was achieved by the late 20s, once he’d established better control over the organization. Can you picture Paul or Peter or any of the Apostles declaring themselves the Generalissimo of the Christians? What else was Jesus looking down on? Well, how about this cover of the Finished Mystery which Rutherford published. Notice, the cover has a symbol on it. It doesn’t take much to find on the internet that this is the pagan symbol, the Egyptian symbol, of the Sun god Horus. Why was that on a publication? Very good question. If you open up the publication, you’ll find that the idea, the teaching, of Pyramidology—that the pyramids were used by God as part of his revelation. In fact, Russell used to call it “the stone witness”—the Pyramid of Giza was the stone witness, and measurements of the hallways and the chambers in that pyramid were used to try to calculate different events based on what the Bible was speaking about.
So Pyramidology, Egyptology, false symbols on the books. What else?
Well, then they also celebrated Christmas in those days, but perhaps one of the more egregious things was the “Millions Now Living Will Never Die” campaign which began in 1918 and carried on until 1925. In that, Witnesses would preach that millions now living would never die, because the end was coming in 1925. Rutherford predicted that the ancient worthies—men like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Daniel—would be resurrected first. In fact, the society, with dedicated funds, purchased a 10-bedroom mansion in San Diego called Beth Sarim; and this was supposed to be used to house these ancient worthies when they were resurrected. It ended up being the winter home for Rutherford, where he did a lot of his writing. Of course, nothing happened in 1925, except a great deal of disillusionment. The report we have from 1925 from the memorial of that year shows over 90,000 partakers, but the next report which doesn’t appear until 1928—one of the publication’s shows that the number had dropped from 90,000 to just over 17,000. That’s a huge drop. Why would that be? Disillusionment! Because there was a false teaching and it didn’t come true.
So, let’s go over it again: Jesus was looking down, and what does he find? He finds a group that’s separated from Brother Rutherford because they would not compromise their neutrality but he overlooks that group and instead goes to Rutherford who was preaching that the end would come in just a few more years, and who was seizing control for himself and had an attitude that eventually resulted him declaring himself the supreme military commander—the Generalissimo of the Bible Students—presumably in the sense of spiritual warfare; and a group that was celebrating Christmas, that was believing in pyramidology, and putting pagan symbols on its publications.
Now either Jesus is a terrible judge of character or that didn’t happen. He didn’t appoint them. If we want to believe that he appointed them despite all those facts, then we have to ask ourselves on what do we base it? The only thing we could still base it on is something clear in the Bible that indicates that despite everything to the contrary, that’s what he did. And that’s what we’re going to look at in the next video. Is there clear incontrovertible biblical evidence for 1914? This is the most important thing because it’s true that we don’t see any empirical evidence, but we don’t always need empirical evidence. There is no empirical evidence that Armageddon is coming, that the kingdom of God will reign and establish a new world order and bring salvation to mankind. We base that on faith, and our faith is placed in the promises of a God that has never let us down, never disappointed us, never broken a promise. So, if our Father Jehovah tells us this is going to happen, we don’t really need evidence. We believe because he tells us so. The question is: “Has he told us so? Has he told us that 1914 was when his son was enthroned as the Messianic King?” That’s what we’re going to look at in the next video.
Thank you again and see you soon.