This article has been updated from a previously published article originally posted on October 3, 2011
On October 2nd, 1914, Charles Taze Russell, the President of the Watch Tower Society, announced to the Bethel staff at their morning breakfast: “The Gentile times have ended; their kings have had their day.”
At the time those words were enthusiastically received by the International Bible Students. And why shouldn’t they have been? Virtually since its founding in 1879 the Watchtower had been pointing forward to 1914. And a couple of months before that announcement one-after-the-other, the nations of Europe officially declared war on one another. The clouds of war were indeed hanging low. Before too many more months would pass Europe would be plunged into the most destructive war in history up until then.
Now, though, more than a century later, C.T. Russell’s bold announcement is implicitly meaningless. A question thinking Jehovah’s Witnesses ought to ask is, just how have the nations and their kings had their day? What does that mean? Presumably, when the prophetic appointed times are fulfilled should it not be expected that the nations of the world would be prevented from any longer tyrannizing mankind? At the very least, should we not rightly expect the nations to be prevented from trampling upon God’s people? Yet, WWII and the Holocaust brought terrible hardships upon Jehovah’s Witnesses.
And perhaps many even otherwise knowledgable Jehovah’s Witnesses are not aware that the Watchtower has tied the prophecy in the eighth chapter of Daniel, which calls for a fierce-looking king to trample upon a holy place, to the events that transpired during the Second World War – long after the supposed appointed times for the nations to trample upon God’s things is claimed to have elapsed. What can account for such a blatant contradiction? (See article: There Will Stand Up a Fierce-looking King)
Back during the First World War the Bible Students expected the war to bring all the nations to ruin, with anarchy reigning and leading directly to the world-ending war of Armageddon. Instead, the nations recovered and fought an even more destructive and deadly war, from which the nations have also long-since recovered. But had the Bible Students back then known that their entire generation would pass away as well as succeeding generations, would they have been so receptive to Russell’s announcement? Probably not.
That being undoubtedly true, then why does the Watchtower still proclaim 1914 as the date for the expiration of the appointed times of the nations?
For these many decades the Watchtower Society has asserted that the 2nd Psalm was fulfilled back in 1914. Psalms 2: 1-2 reads: “Why are the nations agitated and the peoples muttering an empty thing? The kings of the earth take their stand and high officials gather together as one against Jehovah and against his anointed one.”
The Psalm goes on to say that Jehovah at that time will then speak derisively to the agitated nations, declaring to them in his anger that he has seated his own son upon his throne. Again, Jehovah’s Witnesses whole-heartedly believe that the foretold convulsion of the nations took place during the Great War of 1914-1918. Presumably, the agitation carried over to manifest itself as the Second World War. But if that was true, why is it that the nations have settled down, so-to-speak? Why has there been more than a half-century of relative peace and prosperity since the last world war?
Another question: In what way have the nations massed together as one against God? Surely the fabrication of the League of Nations could not possibly have been the fulfillment of the prophetic Psalm, since only 42 nations originally joined the League – the most notable absentee being the United States of America.
And besides, especially since the collapse of the avowedly atheist USSR, religion has enjoyed the protection and support of the political governments. Throughout nearly all of Europe, North and South America and the Pacific nations, Jehovah’s Witnesses are free to practice their faith. How have the nations massed together against God?
According to the Psalm Jehovah will speak to the nations in his hot displeasure at the same time that they gather together as one against his Kingdom. If the global tumult and subsequent gathering of the nations took place a century ago, why has God remained silent up to this very day?
There are many other unanswerable questions (from the standpoint of the Watchtower’s untenable position), such as why ought Jehovah’s Witnesses assume that Jesus intended the “appointed times of the nations” to begin with the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians? And if the appointed time for the nations to trample that which was symbolized by ancient Jerusalem ended in 1914, why are Jehovah’s Witnesses still in anticipation of the nations, in the form of a disgusting thing, to trample the holy place?
The Watchtower has successfully convinced millions of trusting adherents that Christ’s Kingdom began ruling in 1914 and that virtually all prophecy has already been fulfilled. Meanwhile, the world is perched on the precipice of a yawning abyss. It is a far, far more dangerous situation today than existed back in 1914 when Russell declared the kings of this world had had their day.
More and more America is taking on the characteristics of a wild beast – pushing the world, and America too, step-by-step, closer and closer to catastrophe. Driving the Anglo-American beast to this madness is the stark reality that London’s global financial and monetary empire is collapsing and the City of London and Wall Street are sitting at ground zero.
Already cyber warfare has begun. And the financial dominos are starting to fall one by one. Even London’s establishment Telegraph sees the proverbial writing on the wall. (Why Are So Many People Freaking Out about a Stock Market Crash in the Fall of 2015?)
In response to the looming financial blowout the Anglo-American military and intelligence juggernaut are relentlessly pushing the nations of the Middle East and South Asia, as well as Europe into war. There are numerous potential flash points. Ukraine is merely one of the most convenient detonators for plunging a reluctant Europe into war with Russia.
There has also been an escalation of provocations against China in the South China Sea. In an act of intimidation in the past week United States sent three more nuclear-capable B-2 bombers to Guam.
Up until now the nations that have been invaded and attacked by the US and NATO and their proxy insurgents have not been great military powers. However, Russia and China are. And they too are preparing for war.
One thing is clear: Things cannot continue as they are. At some point, soon, something has to snap. Bible prophecy points to the sudden destruction of the world’s economic system and the end of the nation-state system and a social upheaval, the likes of which have never occurred. The imposition of a global dictatorship is all but certain. (The convulsion of nations and their gathering as one)
It is no exaggeration to say that the world is facing the gravest crisis in history.