The year 1914 is very important to Jehovah's Witnesses. Reasoning From the Scriptures reads:
- The Bible uses the expression “last days” to refer to the concluding time period leading up to a divinely appointed execution that marks the end of a system of things.... The present wicked system of things, which extends worldwide, entered its last days in 1914, and some of the generation alive then will also be on hand to witness its complete end in the “great tribulation.” (Reasoning From the Scriptures (Watch Tower Publications Index 1986-2014) Page 234)
In the same book, the Watchtower gives a list of beliefs that all Jehovah's Witnesses are to hold to. Number 8 reads:
- (Jehovah’s Witnesses) believe.... that some who saw the events of 1914 will also see the complete destruction of the present wicked world; that lovers of righteousness will survive into a cleansed earth. (Reasoning From the Scriptures (Watch Tower Publications Index 1986-2014) Pages 199-200)
Notice Jehovah's Witnesses are told to believe that some who were alive and saw the events of 1914, will also still be alive to see the complete destruction of the present wicked system. This Watchtower illustration is very clear and to the point...
It's been over 100 years now since the Watchtower's version of the "Last Days" had begun. Would those who saw those events still be alive today? Think about this. It would hardly be reasonable to suggest those who saw the events would include those born in 1914. I was 9 months old when Moscow announced they put the first man in orbit around the earth, Major Yuri A. Gagarin, on April 12, 1961. My lack of perception skills at such an early age would certainly disqualify me as being a witness to that historic event. The same would go for those born close to 1914. Anyone born after 1914 definitely do not qualify as a group of people who saw what happened in 1914. It appears time has run out.
Here's something interesting. The Watchtower now has a new explanation called the "overlapping
generation" (watch this video from the Governing Body).
In their 2014 book, God's Kingdom Rules!, the "overlapping generation" is what the Watchtower is now teaching...
GROUP 1: Anointed ones who saw the beginning of the fulfillment of the sign in 1914
GROUP 2: Anointed ones who were contemporaries of the first group; some of these will live to see the great tribulation (God's Kingdom Rules!, pages 11-12)
Notice the illustration above extends the destruction of the present system after the first group dies. This is the Watchtower's most recent explanation, found in the same book:
- The term “generation” often refers to people of varying ages whose lives overlap during a particular period of time..... all the foretold events during Jesus’ presence, from its beginning in 1914 until its culmination at the “great tribulation.”
- The generation consists of two overlapping groups of anointed ones—the first is made up of anointed ones who saw the beginning of the fulfillment of the sign in 1914 and the second, anointed ones who for a time were contemporaries of the first group. At least some of those in the second group will live to see the beginning of the coming tribulation. The two groups form one generation because their lives as anointed Christians overlapped for a time.
- What may we conclude? ....the anointed ones who are still alive and part of “this generation” are getting on in years; yet, they will not all die off before the great tribulation begins. Therefore, we can conclude that very soon indeed God’s Kingdom will come and exercise its rule over the earth. (God's Kingdom Rules!, pages 11-12)
It is quite clear the Watchtower's new explanation is their attempt to buy more time. This is also seen in their April 2010 Watchtower:
- "What does this explanation mean to us? Although we cannot measure the exact length of “this generation,” we do well to keep in mind several things about the word “generation”: It usually refers to people of varying ages whose lives overlap during a particular time period; it is not excessively long; and it has an end. (Ex. 1:6) How, then, are we to understand Jesus’ words about “this generation”? He evidently meant that the lives of the anointed who were on hand when the sign began to become evident in 1914 would overlap with the lives of other anointed ones who would see the start of the great tribulation. That generation had a beginning, and it surely will have an end. The fulfillment of the various features of the sign clearly indicates that the tribulation must be near. By maintaining your sense of urgency and keeping on the watch, you show that you are keeping up with advancing light and following the leadings of holy spirit.—Mark 13:37."
Don't miss this drastic change the Watchtower made...
- Some of those in the second group will live to see the beginning of the coming tribulation. (God's Kingdom Rules!, page 11)
Take special notice! It's NOT those in the first group who will live to see the beginning of the coming tribulation, but some of those in the second group! Notice also that the illustration shows the end will come after the first group dies off. Compare this to what Reasoning From the Scriptures says Jehovah's Witnesses are to believe?:
- Some who saw the events of 1914 will also see the complete destruction of the present wicked world. (Reasoning From The Scriptures, page 200)
That's clearly the first group!
So which one is right? Both cannot be true.
Either... Reasoning From the Scriptures is wrong according to God's Kingdom Rules!
Those who saw the events of 1914 WILL NOT be alive to see the complete destruction of the present wicked world.
Or... God's Kingdom Rules! is wrong according to Reasoning From the Scriptures.
Those who saw the events of 1914 WILL be alive to see the complete destruction of the present wicked world.
Perhaps the organization should consider their announcement of the events of 1914 is not a fulfillment of Matthew 24.
There would be too much at stake if the governing body of the Watchtower said they were wrong about 1914. But it would be the right thing to do.
This is no small matter! The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society claims God's Kingdom rules the earth solely through them with Jesus Christ leading the way! These are not merely mistaken ideas. They are what Jehovah's Witnesses were told they must believe. These prophetic utterances of the end times have a huge impact on people's lives! Read how their past false prophesies are viewed. Instead of apologizing, they say, "God’s people have had to adjust their understanding on a number of occasions." And, "In our zeal to see God’s promises fulfilled, we have on occasion drawn wrong conclusions." This is what the governing body of the Watchtower says on pages 37, 38 and 50 about these false prophesies they made about the end times:
- Jehovah’s servants have faith that all the promises in God’s Word will come true. They show humility when they admit that they misunderstood exactly how those promises would be fulfilled. (God's Kingdom Rules!, page 37)
- Because God’s people are humble and willing to be corrected, Jehovah has allowed our understanding of his purpose to become more complete. True knowledge has become abundant! (God's Kingdom Rules!, page 38)
- Do mistaken ideas such as these cast doubt on whether Jesus was guiding those faithful ones by means of holy spirit? Not at all! (God's Kingdom Rules!, page 50)
I give a resounding, "Yes, it should cast doubt!"
The Bible says:
the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath
not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.”
Deuteronomy 18:20-22 KJV
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For the Watch Tower to declare its own humility and humbleness is in itself not humility at all, but prideful and boastful.