This article was originally written in October, 2013, but has not been updated as of October, 2014.
As all of Jehovah’s Witnesses realize – and many others besides – 2014 marks 100 years since the kingdom of God is purported to have begun ruling. And apparently the Society is not waiting for October to do damage-control, but is being preemptive with the very first Watchtower of the year and two articles entitled: 100 Years of Kingdom Rule – How Does It Affect You? and “Let Your Kingdom Come.”
Instead of taking the apologetic approach to the fact that it has now been a century since C.T. Russell announced to the gathered Bethel family on the morning of October 2nd, 1914, that the kings of this world have “had their day,” as only the Watchtower can do, in the first article the writing staff have cleverly turned the 1914 debacle into a centennial celebration, of sorts; using the occasion to tout the accomplishments of the Watchtower Society over the past 100 years!
And as of October 2014 the celebration of a century of Kingdom rule is in full swing. Over the Summer conventions a publication was released entitled God’s Kingdom Rules! And the theme of the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Watchtower Society was touting the historic nature, not merely of what occurred in 1914, but rather 2014 – as marking a grand century of Kingdom rule. (The program for the 2014 Annual Meeting can be watch in its entirety on the new tv.jw.org website.) As part of the celebration a video was produced featuring JW actors, one even dressed up as C.T. Russell, who reenacted the “historic” scene when Russell appeared in the Bethel dining hall on the morning of October 2nd and clapped his hands three times to get everyone’s attention, then announcing: “The Gentile times have ended. Their kings have had their day.”
But as regards the aforementioned articles, let us now breakdown the Society’s presentation and consider more closely what is stated, and perhaps more importantly – what is not. The second paragraph states:
“Jehovah will use the Kingdom to unify his family in heaven and on earth. That divine purpose will be realized. In fact, Jehovah has already become King in our day! The thrilling events of the past 100 years are proof of this. God is performing great and wonderful works in behalf of millions of loyal subjects. (Zech. 14:9) And yet, Jehovah’s becoming King is not the same as the coming of God’s Kingdom for which Jesus taught us to pray. How do these events differ, and how do they affect us?”
I invite all readers to be like the noble-minded Beroeans, who carefully examined the scriptural references Paul provided to see if the things he preached were really so. So, checking the cited reference in the 14th chapter of Zechariah, what do we find? Well, it certainly uses the expression implied regarding Jehovah becoming king, stating: “And Jehovah must become king over all the earth. In that day Jehovah will prove to be one, and his name one.”
(Note to the reader: The Watchtower’s online articles provide handy hyperlinked scriptural references that allow you to go to their online Bible and read the cited verse in context. However, due to coding and formatting issues on my blog platform that arise from pasting in the entire contents of paragraphs with hyperlinked footnotes and verses, I generally delete the hyperlinks, with a few exceptions – such as above.)