1975 – 40 years later (Download, right click Save as)
It was in 1966 – before many of you were even born or aware – the Watchtower pointed forward to the year 1975 as the end of 6,000 years of human existence.
It has been surmised that because in Genesis God referred to the great epochs of creation as “days” and the days we are familiar with from our earthly vantage point are of equal length, that the seven days of creation must be of equal length too. And since the seventh day – upon which God rested – is still ongoing and cannot end until God’s creation is perfected and he declares it to be ‘good’, the thousand year reign of Christ’s Kingdom, also known as the great Sabbath and Jubilee – must cap the final years of God’s “day” of rest.
Since the year of Adam’s creation is established by biblical chronology as being in the year 4026 BCE – the 6,000th year being 1975 CE – the Watchtower raised expectations among Jehovah’s Witnesses that the 1,000 year reign would begin then, which of course would mean that this world would end then too.
Of course, obviously, the world did not end then.
What went wrong? Was the Watchtower’s chronology off?
Yes, it was.
And there were a few clear-thinking Jehovah’s Witnesses back then that pointed it out.
What was it?
While it is possible to use the lifespans and linage from Adam to Christ, along with other pivotal dates, to count back to the very year that God blew life into Adam’s nostrils, that is not when God began his great sabbath day. As everyone knows, Jehovah then made a companion for the first man, whom Adam named Eve. It was only after God fashioned Eve from Adam’s rib that he declared his intention to rest from any more earthly creation. It was God’s will that his two human creations should finish his earthy project by means of procreation. It is still a work in progress.
Unfortunately, the Bible does not reveal how long Eve lived; hence, it is impossible to establish when she was created; consequently, we do not know when the seventh “day” began.
The question is, how long was Adam alone in the Garden of Eden before Jehovah provided him with a wife? Again, it is not possible to determine. But, it must have been quite a few years. Why should we believe that? For one thing, we have to realize that life in paradise would have been much different – certainly not the frenzied rush that we call “life” now. The clock of life ticked much, much slower.
I mean, if you have forever, what’s the hurry? Why rush?
To demonstrate that point, before Eve appeared Adam named all the animals that Jehovah God had created. We shouldn’t imagine, though, that the animals queued up and passed by in a steady stream from sun up until sun down, day after day, until the chore was done. Reasonably, Adam simply observed the various insects, animals, birds and fish as they flitted about – grazing, browsing, playing – interacting with him, so that he could give them meaningful – perhaps, humorous names.
That Adam was alone for many years is most evident from his poetic outburst when he first laid eyes on our Mother, exclaiming: “This is at last bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. This one will be called Woman, because from man she was taken.”
“At last” Adam had a non-animal companion.
But, while it is evident that Adam was alone for a considerable period – undoubtedly years – still, the exact length of his bachelorhood is unknowable. Therefore, the year of the commencement of the seventh day is likewise unknown. Or is it?
There is, in fact, a great many persons alive at this very moment who were on hand when God blessed the seventh day and made it sacred. They know exactly when Jehovah’s sabbath began and they most certainly know when the 6,000th year is too. These persons are the multitude of angels who witnessed all of God’s creative work, who are spoken of in the 38th chapter of Job as shouting in applause over the work that God had done.
Unfortunately, a good many of those angels have long since become demons. As the implacable enemies of God and man, the Devil’s angels are keenly interested in matters having to do with the coming of Christ’s Kingdom because they know it will be the end of their world and the beginning of their incarceration on death row. Knowing that the day of Jehovah is coming they are determined to make a last stand and to try to destroy the remnant of the seed of God. Ultimately, expressions inspired by the demons will lure the leaders of this world to the place called Armageddon.
This would explain how the demons know in advance when the time of the end will commence and why they are able to maneuver things so that they are able to trigger a war with push-button ease the moment they are hurled down from heaven.
Given the fact that 40-year and 40-day periods are prevalent throughout the Scriptures, it may well be that Adam was 40 years old when Eve was presented to him and the seventh “day” began. Indeed, this may be why 40 year periods are embedded so thoroughly into the Bible. For instance Isaac was 40 years old when he married Rebekah. Moses was 40 years old when he first tried to liberate the Hebrews. Then he spent another 40 years in exile before leading the Israelites through the wilderness for 40 years. The book of Judges records numerous periods of 40 years when there was no further disturbance. Eli judged Israel 40 years. David ruled as king 40 years. So did his son, Solomon.
Did you know that the Jewish system ended exactly 40 years to the day after Jesus entered the temple courtyard for the first time as the Messiah and threw out the money changers during the Passover of 30 CE?
Then there are numerous 40 day periods. For example, the actual Deluge lasted 40 days. Moses was on the mountain with Jehovah for 40 days. Jonah’s message to the Assyrian city of Nineveh was: “Forty days more and Nineveh will be overthrown.” Elijah fasted for 40 days after feasting on angel food cake. Jesus fasted for 40 days before being tempted by the Devil. And Jesus appeared on earth for 40 days after his resurrection before he ascended back to heaven.
For whatever it is worth, C.T. Russell formed his original Bible study group 40 years before 1914. And it was exactly 40 years from the time J.F. Rutherford first introduced the “great multitude” to the world in 1935 until the 1975 fiasco. And now we are exactly 40 years removed from 1975. So what, you ask?
These past 40 years may be comparable to the Israelite’s wilderness wanderings – during which time Jehovah put them to the test and when the entire generation over 20 years of age who had been part of the exodus died off.
Certainly the general expectation of Jehovah’s Witnesses leading up to 1975 was that they were on the threshold of the new world. But it was as if Jehovah did not allow them entry. Consequently, many were crushed with disappointment. The entire generation of leadership has since died off. Jehovah has certainly tested our faith.
But given the present state of affairs – the growing chorus of warnings regarding the danger of world war and global financial collapse – it appears as if 2015 is the year. The 40 years of wandering in the wilderness are over! A new phase is about to begin – the time of the end and the beginning of the 1,000 year Jubilee.