When Did God’s Kingdom Begin Ruling? – part 1

In the October 1, 2014 Watchtower, a “conversation article” is published whereby a Jehovah’s Witness discusses 1914 with his neighbor.  It was obviously not a real discussion, but described as a “typical conversation” nonetheless.  While the neighbor is nowhere near as skeptical as myself, he still asked some decent questions.  In fact, many of the questions are ones that I would ask!  The problem is, the answers provided by the JW were quite problematic.  I would encourage you to read the article for yourself before proceeding here.  It begins on page 10 and goes to 13.  Since the article is “part 1,” I assume there will at least be a part 2.

Rather than interacting with the “conversation” directly, I would like to create a conversation of my own; using some of the specific arguments and answers provided by the JW.  The difference is, the non-JW will not only ask good questions; he’ll provide rebuttals to the JW answers.  While it’s difficult to create a fictitious “real life” conversation, I will do my best to emulate one based my history of discussions with JW apologists.  In honor of my favorite JW apologist, “Fred Torres,” I will use “Fred” as the name for my fictitious JW apologist and “Carl” for the Christian apologist (i’ll let you figure out where Carl came from).

Fred: Carl, it was great to meet with you for the first time last week.  I enjoyed getting to know about your life, family, and especially your religious background.  You did mention that you had done some research on Jehovah’s Witnesses in the past.  Am I right on that?

Carl: Yes, i’ve done quite a bit of research, both from JW and non-JW sources.  I’ve always been interested in the major religious groups who claim the title “Christian” for themselves.  The JW’s are certainly “up there” in terms of worldwide influence and worthy of investigation.

Fred: I’m assuming then, after all the research you’ve done, you have some hangups regarding our teachings?

Carl: As a matter of fact, I do.  Unfortunately, when I try to point out some of these doctrinal problems, JW’s often retreat and want nothing to do with me.  I’m hoping that won’t be the case with you?

Fred: Not at all.  I’m sorry you had some negative experiences in the past with the JW’s.  I can assure you that our leaders encourage us not to avoid challenges to our faith.

Carl: Well that’s good to hear.  Mind if I ask you some questions about your doctrine then?

Fred: Go right ahead!

Carl: Great!  What is it that you find to be so “biblical” about the year 1914? In my opinion, it seems to be an unnecessarily complex chronological system that no one could figure out, even if they spent decades studying the Bible.

Fred: First of all, JW’s do not believe that Christians should separate themselves from the teachings of the FDS.  Just like the first century, we need a Governing Body to keep us unified.  And this means teaching us what the Bible says.  So I can say with confidence that all of our beliefs are backed up with Scripture, due to years of in-depth research by the Watchtower Society.

Carl: Well i’m glad you seek to defend your beliefs with the Bible, but what i’m curious about is how you derive 1914 from the Bible?  After all, aren’t you always arguing that the Trinity isn’t in the Bible?

Fred: I suppose you’re right about that.  But the difference is, I can prove from the Bible that 1914 is when God’s Kingdom started ruling.  Unfortunately for you, this cannot be done with the Trinity; whether the word can be found or not.  So let’s start with Daniel chapter 4.  Are you familiar with the story?

Carl: Yes, this is the dream of Nebuchadnezzar.

Fred: Since you seem to have already studied our arguments to some depth, I assume then that you understand why we interpret this dream the way we do?

Carl: Yes, but I don’t quite understand why you think there are two fulfillments of this dream?  I think that only a preconceived theological agenda could come up with such a conclusion.

Fred: On the contrary, I think there are some very compelling reasons as to why there should be two fulfillments of this dream.  But before I move on, can you tell me what you think we believe the two fulfillments are?

Carl: If I understand your beliefs correctly, the first fulfillment happened when King Nebuchadnezzar’s rulership was interrupted and the second has to do with the interruption of God’s rulership.

Fred: That’s correct. So let’s talk about the second fulfillment since i’m sure we agree on the first.  What does your Bible say in Daniel 4:17?

Carl: “This sentence is by decree of the angelic watchers and the decision is a command of the holy ones, in order that the living may know that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whom He wishes and sets over it the lowliest of men.”

Fred: Thank you. What do you think about the phrase, “the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind?”  Don’t you think this is talking about more than just Nebuchadnezzar?

Carl: Of course the dream has implications for more than just Nebuchadnezzar, but what makes you think this is referring to an event taking place thousands of years later?

Fred: Well, it’s talking about God’s rulership over mankind, right?

Carl: Of course.  Jehovah has always been the sovereign ruler over mankind.  Wouldn’t you agree?

Fred: Yes, but 4:17 is specific in that “the living” may know this.  In addition, the dream involves “the realm” or “kingdom of mankind.”

Carl: That’s correct, but does this text mention anything about mankind recognizing Jehovah’s rulership?

Fred: Sure it does.  Who else would “the living” be?

Carl: If you think this is universal, then you are reading more into the text that is actually there.  Mind if I ask you about a few texts to better explain my point?

Fred: Please do.

Carl: Ok. Who is said to recognize the “granduer which [God] bestowed on him” according to Daniel 5:19?

Fred: It says, “all the peoples, nations and men of every language.”

Carl: And didn’t all these ones tremble before Nebuchadnezzar because of his ruthless power?

Fred: Sure.

Carl: Well then, wouldn’t you say that Nebuchadnezzar’s being “driven away from mankind”, his restoration and recognition of God’s sovereignty would be known by his people?  After all, doesn’t Nebuchadnezzar say, “And my majesty and splendor were restored to me for the glory of my kingdom, and my counselors and my nobles began seeking me out; so I was reestablished in my sovereignty, and surpassing greatness was added to me.” (4:36) The next verse is the kicker: “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.” (4:37)  So wouldn’t you think Nebuchadnezzar’s people now recognized who was really in sovereign control given how openly he proclaimed these things?

Fred: I see your point, but…

Carl: Let me just show you one more point really quick if you don’t mind…

Fred: Go ahead.

Carl: What do you think Daniel 2:21 means when it says, “It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding?”

Fred: Basically, Jehovah is in charge even of kings!

Carl: That’s right!  So my point is that “the living” mentioned in 4:17 most certainly have, do, and will know that Jehovah is the ruler of all mankind.  Nebuchadnezzar’s exile and restoration is just one of countless examples of this.  How many times beyond Nebuchadnezzar did kings and people of many nations recognize God’s sovereignty?  Probably a great many, wouldn’t you agree?

Fred: I see your point, but our argument regarding a dual fulfillment isn’t based on one verse.  Daniel 2:44 and 7:13-14 teach that God’s kingdom will have a global rulership.

Carl: I completely agree with that.  God’s kingdom certainly will put an end to all the worldly kingdoms.  But what does this have to do with a dual fulfillment in Daniel 4?

Fred: Well, it just goes to show that the prophecies are universal.

Carl: But those prophecies aren’t talking about Daniel 4 are they?  Doesn’t Daniel 4 have it’s own context?  After all, 4:28 says that “all this happened to Nebuchadnezzar the king.”  Well, did it or didn’t it?

Fred: Of course it did, but due to the fact that Daniel 2:33, 7:13-14 and other places speak of a universal kingdom, then this must be the context of Daniel 4 as well.

Carl: Ok, let’s say I agree with you for the sake of argument.  Where is the connection with 1914, even if Daniel 4 is speaking of a universal recognition of the kingdom?  I’m leaning towards the idea that God’s kingdom was not universally recognized in 1914 any more than it was in 1913.

Fred: We interpret the interruption of the king’s rulership as a second fulfillment of the prophecy.  So God’s rulership will be interrupted for a period of time.  This is what we believe happened in 607 BCE when God’s rulership was interrupted when the Babylonians conquered the Israelites.  Therefore, the “seven times” from Daniel 4 began it’s second fulfillment.  At the end of this time period, God’s kingdom would begin to rule again.

Carl: Wow, you really know how to open up a can of worms don’t you?

Fred: What do you mean?  Everything I just stated can be proven from the Scriptures.

Carl: I think you take it for granted that you can import so many theological assumptions into a few sentences.  You’d have the same reaction if I did the same for some of my beliefs, and rightly so!  At any rate, we would really need to take the time to unpack each of those ideas, though i’m unpersuaded that Daniel 4 has a dual fulfillment.  Furthermore, i’m surprised such a complex and speculative doctrine can have such an important role in your religion’s doctrine.  And you thought the Trinity was unnecessary!

Fred: I understand where you’re coming from, but we really do have a solid grasp on this doctrine and why it can be backed up Scripturally.  However, we do need to get together again to discuss it further; especially why the “seven times” can lead us from 607 BCE to 1914.

Carl: That sounds great and i’m looking forward to it!

…to be continued

56 thoughts on “When Did God’s Kingdom Begin Ruling? – part 1

  1. Octavio says:

    Before the year 1914, the Watchtower said:

    “But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble.”( Zion’s Watch Tower 1894 Jul 15 p.226)

    Note that Russell’s followers were expecting, not the BEGINNING, but the End of the time of trouble of the World. But it happened the contrary, because the First World War began. However, note how a recent edition of the Watchtower tells us a false history:

    Decades before 1914, Jehovah’s worshippers declared to the nations that the end of “the appointed times of the nations” would come in that year and that the world would enter into an unequaled period of trouble. (Luke 21:24) How did the nations respond? Instead of paying heed to that timely warning, political and religious leaders scorned and persecuted those zealous anointed evangelizers. In doing so, these world leaders mocked Almighty God himself, for anointed Kingdom ambassadors represent “heavenly Jerusalem”—the Messianic Kingdom—of which they are a part. (w13 2/15, “Stay in Jehovah’s Valley of Protection”)

    A big lie, because they preached the contrary. This is another reason for rejecting the false prophecy of 1914. Furthermore, the world leaders did not mock the Almighty God, they mocked the Watchtower followers who were proclaming, as always, false expectations.

      1. rotherham2 says:

        Hello Mike,

        It’s not that its required, but one would have to ignore too many contextual coincidences to say it couldn’t fit. As it is, the establishment of 1914 comes from many different directions, not just Daniel 4.

        But any time you would like to discuss it in a thorough manner, let me know.

        Regards,
        Rotherham

      2. rotherham2 says:

        Plus, the above mentioned article shows that 1914 works with Daniel chapter seven, whereas 33 CE or 70 CE does not. It’s just not a refutation of preterism, it is one of the primary tentpegs in establishing 1914.

        Regards,
        Rotherham

      3. rotherham2 says:

        Hi Mark,

        Not much stands by itself when it comes to understanding prophecy and potential prophetic dramas. The one about 1914 would be the same. What article are you talking about? Is it the one above? That appears to be more of a half finished dialogue rather than an article. If there is an article I will prepare a response to it.

        Regards,
        Rotherham

      4. theapologeticfront says:

        Rotherham-

        Sorry, I was referring to my mock dialogue. Either Daniel 4 has a dual fulfillment or it doesn’t. The WT cited several arguments to substantiate their view. Similarly, if you think their arguments are valid or have more of your own, feel free to share.

      5. rotherham2 says:

        Hi Mike,

        Rather than responding to a mock dialogue, I would prefer to have a real dialogue with you about the topic, such as we did before which establishes a good permanent record of the discussion.

        Regards

      6. rotherham2 says:

        Hi Mike,

        I guess I don’t understand why you would start the ball rolling without the proper time to follow up, which is inevitable when you “roll the ball”.

        Regards

      7. theapologeticfront says:

        Rotherham-

        Maybe I misunderstood you in the first place? If you have a comment to leave here, I’m happy to address it when time permits.

        However, if you’re talking about a structured forum discussion like we’ve done before, I don’t have time for it.

        By the way, my primary intention for posting anything on my page is for learning purposes for my readers. Discussions in the comment sections are only a supplement if I have the time to do it, which is 99% of the time from my phone. So there really is no “getting the ball rolling” as if I’m expecting to have a debate in the comment section on every single post.

      8. rotherham2 says:

        I can wait. Meantime, I may post something here or a link that your readers also might be interested in, in regard to the topic.

        Regards

  2. Octavio says:

    Rotherham says:

    ========
    However, if it can be demonstrated that the kingdom of Christ could not have been established during the heyday of the Roman Empire, the first century CE, but rather much later in history, then Preterism fails at the very start to be a valid interpretation of the timing of the establishment of the kingdom by Christ.
    =========

    If that were the case, this would not prove, per se, that the Kingdom of Christ began in 1914.

    After arguing against the Preterist view of Daniel 7, Rotherham Says:

    ========
    The small horn would exist and harass the holy ones clear up until the time comes for them to join Christ in his heavenly kingdom……..We must remember that the fourth beast, the Roman Empire was destroyed before Christ takes his throne. That is clearly established by the context of Daniel 7 above.This makes it impossible for the kingdom of Christ to have been established in the first century and even for many centuries further into the future.
    =========

    Of course, no earthly kingdom of Christ was established on earth in the first century, in the same sense that no earthly kingdom of Christ began in 1914. Moreover, The Watchtower conveniently links the year 1914 with the three and one-half times of Daniel 7:25. Let us read firstly the verse in Daniel 7:25:

    =========
    He [the small horn] will speak words against the Most High, and he will continually harass the holy ones of the Supreme One. He will intend to change times and law, and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.(Daniel 7:25)
    ========

    The Watchtower Society presumptuously identifies “the holy ones” of Daniel 7:25 with those “champions” of false proclamations: Rutherford and friends. In fact, Rutherford did this self-identification in one of his books:

    ==========
    Forty-two months of thirty days each, or 1260 days, which is equivalent to three and one-half years solar time, beginning the first week in November 1914, would end on the 7th day of May, 1918. Now note that the Revelation account says: “And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast…shall overcome them, and kill them.” (Rev. 11:7) Exactly forty-two months after the publication of the aforementioned “sackcloth” article in The Watch Tower [7 November 1914], to wit, on the 7th day of May, 1918, all the officers of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, and who were then publishers of The Watch Tower, were “overcome”, in this, that they were arrested under warrant charging a violation of the espionage law and trading with the enemy, and their work stopped. They were “overcome” by stopping the work that day, and on the 20th day of June thereafter these same officers of the Society were sentenced to eighty years’ imprisonment and, symbolically speaking, the work of the Society was killed. (Light Volume 2, 1930 p199)
    ===========

    Worse, the Society is even proud for the distribution of The Finished Mystery (full of false prophecies), so it links this book with the “three and one-half times”:

    ============
    29 For the anointed Christians, World War I meant a time of testing. By the end of 1914, they were expecting persecution……On February 12, 1918, the British Dominion of Canada banned the recently published seventh volume of Studies in the Scriptures, entitled The Finished Mystery, as well as the tracts entitled The Bible Students Monthly. The following month, the U.S. Department of Justice pronounced the distribution of the seventh volume illegal. The result? Why, homes were searched, literature was confiscated, and Jehovah’s worshipers were arrested!……Harassment of God’s anointed ones climaxed on June 21, 1918, when the president, J. F. Rutherford, and prominent members of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society were sentenced on false charges to long prison terms. Intending “to change times and law,” the “small” horn had effectively killed the organized preaching work. (Revelation 11:7) So the foretold period of “a time, and times and half a time” ended in June 1918. (PAY ATTENTION TO DANIEL’S PROPHECY, pages 142, 143, 1999 edition)
    ============

    Doesn’t it prove the absurdity of the escathological rubbish around the 1914 teaching?? Could Rutherford and friends be the “holy ones of the Supreme one” given into the hand of the small horn?

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Octavio-

      That’s a great point about the Finished Mystery. I wonder if JW’s today tried to reprint and redistribute that book, would the GB try to stop them? Sounds like the GB today would have in part been in agreement with those who tried to stop the distribution of the volume in 1918.

  3. Octavio says:

    Hi Mike,

    Prominent members of the Watchtower Society declared in the Walsh Trial about their views on their false prophecies. May be you are aware about it. The Walsh trial began on November 23, 1954, in Scotland. It centered around a Scottish Jehovah’s Witness, Douglas Walsh, who was selected to be a test case regarding conscripted military service in Scotland. During the Scottish trial the directors of the Watchtower Society admitted that they demand UNITY AT ALL COSTS.

    The Watchtower Society has published very sparse information regarding the Walsh Trial….. They published an article in the June 1st (1955) Watchtower (pp.329-332), which gave a very brief rundown of some of the trial’s hightlights, and eighteen years later published an even briefer piece in their 1973 Yearbook. These two mentions of the Walsh Trial are heavily edited to show that, although the Jehovah’s Witness’s were recognized as a legal denomination in Britain, their description of “ministers” didn’t fit the court’s legal preconceptions, and thus Jehovah’s Witnesses were being unfairly targeted for conscripted military service. This is pretty much all that the Watchtower Society says about the matter. (see http://www.witness-outreach.com/Walsh.html)

    The following testimony excerpts are from the Pursuer’s Proof of Douglas Walsh vs The Right Honourable James Latham Clyde,MP, PC, as representing the Minister of Labour and National Service. Copies of the complete transcript or parts thereof may be obtained from the Scottish Records Office, H.M. General Register House, Edinburgh, Scotland. The numbers following the quotations show the transcript page on which the testimony is found.

    HAYDEN C COVINGTON – Former Lawyer for the Watchtower Society

    Q. Is it not vital to speak the truth on religious matters?
    A. It certainly is.

    Q. You have promulgated – forgive the word – false prophecy?
    A. We have. I do not think we have promulgated false prophecy, there have been statements that were erroneous, that is the way I put it, and mistaken.

    Q. It was promulgated as a matter which must be believed by all members of Jehovah’s witnesses that the Lord’s Second Coming took place in 1874?

    (A short discussion of evidence given by Fred W Franz about 1874 takes place here.)

    Q. That was the publication of false prophecy?
    A. That was the publication of a false prophecy, it was a false statement or an erroneous statement in fulfillment of a prophecy that was false or erroneous.
    Q. And that had to be believed by the whole of Jehovah’s Witnesses?
    A. Yes, because you must understand, we must have unity, we cannot have disunity with a lot of people going every way, an army is supposed to march in step.
    Q. Back to the point now, a false prophecy was promulgated?
    A. I agree to that.
    Q. It had to be accepted by Jehovah’s witnesses?
    A. That is correct.
    Q. If a member of Jehovah’s witnesses took the view himself that that prophecy was wrong, and said so, would he be disfellowshipped?
    A. Yes, if he said so, and kept on persisting in creating trouble, because if the whole organisation believes one thing, even though it be erroneous, and somebody else starts on his own trying to put his ideas across, then there is a disunity and trouble, there cannot be harmony, there cannot be marching …… Our purpose is to have unity.
    Q. Unity at all costs?
    A. Unity at all costs, because we believe and are sure that Jehovah God is using our organisation,the governing body of our organisation, to direct it, even though mistakes are made from time to time.
    Q. A unity based on an enforced acceptance of false prophecy?
    A. That is conceded to be true.
    Q. And the person who expresses his view, as you say, that it was wrong, and was disfellowshipped, would be in breach of the covenant, if he was baptised?
    A. That is correct.
    Q. And as you said yesterday expressly, would be worthy of death?
    A. I think….
    Q. Would you say yes or no?
    A. I will answer yes, unhesitatingly.
    Q. Do you call that religion?
    A. It certainly is.
    Q. Do you call that Christianity?
    A. I certainly do.

    PP. 345-348

    ********************
    FREDERICK W FRANZ (President 1978 – 1999 )

    Q. Am I right that you put what is described as the end of the time of the Gentiles in October, 1914?
    A. Yes
    Q. Is it not the case that Pastor Russell put that date in 1874?
    A. No.Q. Is it not the case that he fixed the date prior to 1914?
    A. YesQ. What date did he fix?
    A. The end of the Gentile times he fixed as 1914.Q. Did he not fix 1874 as some other crucial date?
    A. 1874 used to be understood as the date of Jesus’ Second Coming spiritually. Q. Do you say. used to be understood?
    A. That is right.
    Q. That was issued as a fact which was to be accepted by all who were Jehovah’s Witnesses?
    A. Yes.
    Q. But it was a calculation which is no longer accepted by the Board of Directors of the Society?
    A. That is correct.
    Q. So that I am correct, I am just anxious to canvass the position, it became the bounden duty of the witnesses to accept this miscalculation?
    A. Yes.

    PP. 103-105

  4. Octavio says:

    The vision of the tree was clearly interpreted by Daniel:

    20 The tree you saw, which grew and became strong, so that its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth, 21 whose leaves were beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in which was food for all, under which beasts of the field found shade, and in whose branches the birds of the heavens lived— 22 it is you, O king, who have grown and become strong. Your greatness has grown and reaches to heaven, and your dominion to the ends of the earth. (Daniel 4:20-22)

    So, the tree who Nebuchadnezzar saw was Nebuchadnezzar himself. No more than that. “Do not go beyond the things that are written”. (1 Cor. 4:6)

  5. Octavio says:

    I have downloaded the Kingdom Ministry of October 2014

    http://adf.ly/r3m4k

    This is an inner monthly publication only for Jehovah’s Witnesses, which contains instructions and suggestions for the field service. Interestingly, in page 2 we read:

    Explaining Our Beliefs
    About 1914

    The Scriptures encourage us to be
    “ready to make a defense” of our be-
    liefs, “doing so with a mild temper and
    deep respect.” (1 Pet. 3:15) Realistically,
    we may find it challenging to explain
    deep Bible truths, such as how we know
    that the Kingdom started ruling in 1914.
    To help us, a two-part series entitled “A
    Conversation With a Neighbor—When
    Did God’s Kingdom Begin Ruling?” has
    been prepared. These articles appear in
    the issues of The Watchtower that we
    are featuring in our ministry during
    October and November. As you exam-
    ine these articles, consider the following
    questions regarding the approach taken
    by Cameron, the publisher in the sce-
    nario.

    How did he . . .
    ̇ use commendation to establish com-
    mon ground?—Acts 17:22.
    ̇ display humility when explaining his
    beliefs?—Acts 14:15.
    Why was it good that he . . .
    ̇ periodically summarized before cov-
    ering additional points?
    ̇ paused from time to time and asked
    whether the householder under-
    stood what he had explained so far?
    ̇ did not try to cover too much infor-
    mation in one discussion?
    —John 16:12.

    How grateful we can be to Jehovah,
    our “Grand Instructor,” for teaching
    us how to explain deep Bible truths to
    those who hunger for them!—Isa. 30:20

    ==================

    So, as we see, the goberning body says that it is a Bible truth that the Kingdom started ruling in 1914, though we may find challenging to explain it, realistically. Therefore, if this is a Bible Truth, those who deny it must be considered liars and false christians, doesn’t it?.

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Octavio-

      Glad you posted that. What’s more interesting to me is that apparently Jehovah teaches JW’s how to explain “truths” such as 1914. That’s news to me because I’m not aware of any such instructions from Jehovah. All I’m aware of are futile attempts from the Watchtower to explain a speculative and complex chronological system.

  6. Octavio says:

    Hi Mike, ….as you see, if as a Witness you deny this Bible Truth about 1914, you will be disfellowshipped. So, I suggest that the governing body should include it in the baptism formula.

  7. Octavio says:

    Hi Mike:

    Rotherham says ” they don’t want to believe, usually no matter what the evidence” . But the evidence is that in 1914 began the first World War and 100 years have passed. Is this what the Watchtower predicted? No. Let me quote again what the Society predicted two decades before 1914:

    “But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble.”( Zion’s Watch Tower 1894 Jul 15 p.226)

    So, the Society predicted that 1914 will mark THE END OF THE TIME OF TROUBLE. However, currently, the goberning body misleads its followers by telling a false history:

    “Decades before 1914, Jehovah’s worshippers declared to the nations that the end of “the appointed times of the nations” would come in that year and that the world would enter into an unequaled period of trouble”. (w13 2/15, “Stay in Jehovah’s Valley of Protection”)

    Note that the Society is lying by saying that Bible Students declared that “the world would enter into an unequaled period of trouble” before 1914. God can’t support dishonest people.

  8. Octavio says:

    Hi Mike,

    here there are more quotes which may clarify better how the Watchtower falsifies its history of false predictions:

    “Jehovah’s witnesses pointed to the year 1914, decades in advance, as marking the start of “the conclusion of the system of things.” Awake! 1973 Jan 22 p.8

    really?…let us read what they said in 1892:

    “… the battle of the great day of God Almighty … The date of the close of that “battle” is definitely marked in Scripture as October 1914. It is already in progress, its beginning dating from October, 1874.” Zion’s Watch Tower 1892 Jan 15 p.23

    ======================================

    “The Watchtower has consistently presented evidence to honesthearted students of Bible prophecy that Jesus’ presence in heavenly Kingdom power began in 1914.” Watchtower 1993 Jan 15 p.5

    really?…let us read what the Society said in 1897 and 1911:

    “Our Lord, the appointed King, is now present since October 1874, A.D., according to the testimony of the prophets, to those who have ears to hear it: and the formal inauguration of his kingly office dates from Apr 1878, A.D.” Studies in Scriptures Series IV (1897) p.621

    “The year A.D. 1878 … clearly marks the time for the actual assuming of power as King of kings, by our present, spiritual, invisible Lord – …” The Time is At Hand (1911 ed) p.239

  9. rotherham2 says:

    Hi Mike,

    There is no dishonesty. Although not everything Russell expected happened in 1914, the Gentile times did come to an end and the world did enter a period of unprecedented trouble. Note: there was a difference at that time between the beginning of the presence and the end of the Gentile times. The way we understand it now is that the presence and the end of the Gentile times coincide together, circa 1914.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

  10. Mike Felker says:

    Rotherham-

    Thanks for answering. I understand the distinction you’re making regarding the beginning of the presence and the end of the gentile time, but i’m not sure how that answers the apparent discrepancy.

    For instance, the Watchtower today says that pre-1914 JW’s claimed they would be entering the time of trouble in 1914. But what the JW’s pre-1914 actually said was that 1914 would be the end of the time of trouble.

    Also, why would the Watchtower claim that they’ve “consistently” taught Jesus’ presence began in 1914 when history tells us otherwise?

    1. rotherham2 says:

      Hi Mike,

      There is significant information about the beliefs of that time period that you are naturally not being fed which will explain what I said above. Maybe later today or the first part of next week I can present a fuller and more understandable picture for you. Take care, I’ll get back to you soon.

      Regards,
      Rotherham

      1. rotherham2 says:

        Hi Mike,

        Sorry for the delay. My son and his wife are about to depart for the Congo and this week will be very busy. Maybe next. Take care.

        Regards,
        Rotherham

  11. Octavio says:

    Rotherham says “There is no dishonesty “. Ok, let us read one more quote of the Watchtower literature of the 1952 year:

    “As for the time of Christ’s second presence, Daniel’s prophecy is again the one that gives the chronology for it. (Dan. 4:16) It was figured out as pointing to A.D. 1914, and The Watchtower called notice to the significance of 1914 in the year 1879.” Watchtower 1952 Nov 1 p.658

    Again we see that the Watchtower failed to tell us the true history. The Watchtower did not believe that Christ’s second presence began in 1914, but in 1874:

    “… he would in reality assume the kingly office, power, etc., viz., in the spring of 1878, three and a half years after his second advent at the beginning of the harvest period, in the fall of 1874.” The Time of the Harvest (1911 ed.) p.234

    “The second advent of our Lord in the end or harvest of the Gospel age, occurring in the fall of 1874, proves to be at a point of time exactly parallel to the time of his first advent, in the end of the Jewish age. … the Jubilee Cycles show October 1874 to be the date of our Lord s return. … While the time-prophecies thus point to and harmonize with 1874 as the date of our Lord s second presence, assuring us of the fact with mathematical precision, we find ourselves overwhelmed with evidence of another character; for certain peculiar signs, foretold by the Lord and the apostles and prophets, which were to precede his coming, are now clearly recognised as actually fulfilled. … The cleansing of the sanctuary was also accomplished as predicted, and at a time sufficiently in advance of 1874 to make ready “a people prepared for the Lord” a people in devout expectancy of his coming”” The Time of the Harvest (1911 ed.) pp.125,127,129

  12. rotherham2 says:

    Hello Mike,

    It appears some one has done the research for this issue regarding what Russell said and when and why. It can be found at http://ctr.rlbible.com/?p=40

    No reason for me to just repeat what he says. It sounds fairly accurate. You should like his comments because he doesn’t like JWs either. 🙂

    Since Jehovah’s Witnesses did not technically exist until 1931 when the name was adopted, it is true that they have consistently taught that the kingdom was established in 1914.

    Let me know if you have other concerns about this.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

  13. rotherham2 says:

    Hello Mike,

    It appears some one has done the research for this issue regarding what Russell said and when and why. It can be found at http://ctr.rlbible.com/?p=40

    No reason for me to just repeat what he says. It sounds fairly accurate. You should like his comments because he doesn’t like JWs either. 🙂

    Since Jehovah’s Witnesses did not technically exist until 1931 when the name was adopted, it is true that they have consistently taught that the kingdom was established in 1914.

    Let me know if you have other concerns about this.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

  14. Octavio says:

    Hi Mike :

    If technically Jehovah’s Witnesses did not exist until 1931, who were those who Jesus supposedly appointed in 1919?. This is a very convenient trick. As I see, Rotherham has not answered to you the points I addressed. I showed statements published in modern editions of the Watchtower that did not tell the facts as published in the literature printed by Russell.

  15. rotherham2 says:

    Hello Mike,

    Let’s assume, for the sake of discussion, that the statement made by the Watchtower is plain and simply inaccurate. I can see how one might argue the point one way or the other. Would it be deception? Or could it be regarded as simply a mistake, or an oversight? Since the WT and accompanying literature has time and again acknowledged, in the past and presently, that Russell and even Rutherford for many years believed the presence began in 1874, I wonder why our opposers immediately default to the “deception” argument, rather than seeing it as a simple oversight or a misstatement. Could an agenda be behind it?

    Regards,
    Rotherham

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Rotherham-

      It’s not that Rutherford or Russell was wrong. It’s that the WT would be misrepresenting their own history. This would be inexcusable and deceptive. No one, especially not a bunch of internet bloggers, should know JW history better than the WT.

      If the WT is wrong about this, they need to apologize. But when has the WT ever apologized for their mistakes?

      1. rotherham2 says:

        Hi Mike,

        We have publications that are quite straight forward in acknowledging our history, including Russell’s view of the presence and when it began. Nothing is being hidden. You are acting as if the 1993 statement is the only statement we have ever made about our history. It is a poor and desperate example of deception, thats for certain. When our literature has consistently stated that it is subject to error and that changes in understanding are to be expected as knowledge and understanding increases, it would be redundant and needless to apologize for every change that has been made. They are to be expected and we are all aware of that.

        Besides, i mentioned that the comment in question could be argued either way and it can. It should be noted that the name of the magazine used to be two words as “Watch Tower”. They changed it to “Watchtower” in 1931. So the statement is true from that standpoint. But regardless, there has been absolutely no attempt to hide our history. These are just pathetic and desperate attempts by our opposers who otherwise can not overturn our teachings so they try and find stuff like this to undermine us.

        They should know by now this kind of nonsense doesn’t work, but then again, if thats all they got, i guess they’ll use it.

        Seriously Mike, the way to undo Jehovah’s Witnesses is doctrinally, not historically or by pointing out mistakes we’ve made. We are all aware of the errors because we can read about many of the most significant ones in our own literature.

        I find it odd that you are now drifting from doctrinal discussions to more of this kind of stuff. Seriously, you are just beating the wind. You’re best bet is to soundly disprove our views with Biblical precedent.

        Regards,
        Rotherham

      2. theapologeticfront says:

        Rotherham-

        Remember, it’s your organization that makes the bold claims about themselves. I’m simply holding them to that standard. And if you don’t think that accurately representing your own history is a big deal, then I’ll leave you to your opinions.

        I do argue quite a bit doctrinally, as you know. But discussing the history and claims of the organization is also extremely important. If your organization would stop making all these bold claims about themselves, then perhaps I’d have little to say with regards to non theological issues.

        I assume then JW’s never argue against Catholic or Mormon history in terms how how accurately they represent it? From what I can tell, the WT has engaged in quite a bit of historical argument against other groups. Apparently, they don’t want their claims held to the same standard?

        Lastly, this actually has doctrinal implications. If you can’t trust the WT in accurately representing their own history, then why in the world would you trust them doctrinally? Remember, you are to trust them in everything, whether you understand it or not. Isn’t that similar to what they’ve stated recently?

      3. rotherham2 says:

        Hi Mike,

        You seem to be missing the point. Despite the bold claims, there has been absolutely no attempt to hide our true history. Like I said, our own literature talks about it. So i really dont know what you’re going on about.

        As far as discussing doctrine, although you did it in the past, like so many others, you seem to have switched to this kind of stuff. Believe me, its a dead end.

      4. theapologeticfront says:

        Rotherham-

        I never claimed it’s a hiding of history but instead a misrepresentation of history. If my own church did this, I would be very disturbed and probably leave if they did not correct the mistake and apologize.

        And it’s not a dead end because of books like Ray Franz’, who has caused quite a number to leave the org and embrace Christ.

      5. theapologeticfront says:

        Rotherham-

        Just to be clear, I’d hope you would correct me if I misrepresented your’s or anyone else’s religion’s history. If so, I would apologize and correct the mistake because I think accuracy is extremely important. I’m sorry if you don’t feel the same way.

  16. rotherham2 says:

    Hello Mike,

    Well, if we’re not hiding our history, how could we be misrepresenting it? I would think you would have to hide something in order to promote a misrepresentation.

    i have never seen a convicting example of where we deliberately misrepresent our own history.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Rotherham-

      That doesn’t follow at all. “Hiding” would be an active suppression of the information which would falsify the claim if found. The evidence is available. But the Watchtower could still say whatever they want to say since most JW’s aren’t going to challenge it. So when history says X but the WT says Y, what JW’s are going to seek to correct them? After all, you’re supposed to believe them even if you don’t understand it.

  17. rotherham2 says:

    Hi Mike,

    Regardless of whether its hiding it or misrepresenting it, or however else you would define it, I have never seen a valid example of either, including your recent one.

    When it comes to Biblical interpretations, we are supposed to be able to accept them, providing they do not contradict clear Biblical precedent. We’ve been over this, haven’t we? The same would be true if there were clearly lies involved. We would certainly not be required to believe it or accept it.

    REgards,
    Rotherham

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Well, that remains to be seen as I haven’t written in this example yet. From the looks of it, I’m probably not going to have time anyway.

      We’ve gone over this, yes. But I’m not convinced. It’d be nice if the WT qualified their explanations, as you seem to be doing for them.

  18. Octavio says:

    Hi Milke:

    The best way to know how the majority of Witnesses are deceived by his own organization is by asking them questions about the history of the Society. How many of them know the prophecies proclaimed in the Finished Mystery?…how many of them know that the Watchtower taught that 1874 was the year of Christ’s second coming? How many of them know that the holy spirit was taken away in 1918?….How many of them know that vaccination was regarded as a violation of God’s Law?, How many of them know that organ trasplantation was regarded as cannibalism?, how many of them know that in 1956 all blood fractions were under scriptural ban? How many of them know that the Watchtower said that 1925 was regarded as even clearer than 1914?

    “Our thought is, that 1925 is definitely settled by the Scriptures. As to Noah, the Christian now has much more upon which to base his faith then Noah had upon which to base his faith in a coming deluge.” Watch Tower 1923 Apr 1 p.106

    “The year 1925 is a date definitely and clearly marked in Scriptures, even more clearly than that of 1914;…” Watchtower 1924 Jul 15 p.211

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Octavio-

      The JW’s lack of historical knowledge is their own fault since it’s readily available to them. But given how utterly bad their history is, it shocks me that they don’t know more about it. The deception comes when the WT misrepresents their history, knowing full well that most JW’s are just going to take their word for it, whether they understand it or not. I’m doubtful that many JW’s would publicly call their leaders out if they catch them misrepresenting history. If one of my elders did that this Sunday, you can be sure if react publicly if he didn’t first accept my personal confrontation.

  19. rotherham2 says:

    Hi Mike

    In the greater context of their writings, they do qualify there explanations. They have stated many times that adjustments in understanding are to be expected and have clearly let it be known that they are not beyond making mistakes. In the beginning of our revelation book is a good example. It states that the interpretations within are not presented dogmatically but represent our current understanding of things. Informed JWs are all aware of this and be informed is just a matter of reading carefully

    Regards
    Rotherham

  20. Octavio says:

    …..Also, ….I have to say that I am the best example of a person being deceived by the Watchtower Organization. If I had known the true history of the Society before my baptism, I would leave it well before.

  21. Octavio says:

    Hi Mike: I have to say that in latin countries you can’t know about the Finished Mystery and Rutherford’s flip-flops, unless you can read English and get the old editions of the Watchtower (which are mostly in English). Furthermore, the Watchtower library in CD does not contain literature before 1970.

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Well, I can’t blame them for not translating those works as they’re pretty worthless theological for JW’s today. But I will say that the WT doesn’t make it overly easy to access their older literature, but it’s not impossible. Either way, most JW’s aren’t going to check this stuff out and will believe whatever their leaders tell them.

  22. rotherham2 says:

    Hi Mike,

    With what you have invested in anti-JW propaganda, i wouldnt expect you to buy it. Its about all you have left.😊

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