This is an updated article that was published some time back but which was taken down, for reasons I cannot recall.
According to the Watchtower 1914 was the most important date in all of human history. As all of Jehovah’s Witnesses know, virtually all prophecy has been anchored to that date. Up until about 1970, the Watchtower insisted that the great tribulation had even begun back in 1914, but that God had cut it short and the world was in that eye-of-the-storm interval.
Supposedly, too, the eighth king began ruling for his prophesied one hour way back in the immediate post-World War One period, when the League of Nations was established. But, of course, none of Jehovah’s Witnesses can explain how the League of Nations may have prevented everyone from buying and selling or how the beast may have caused to be killed those who would not worship the image. Neither can anyone provide a reasonable answer as to why God would arbitrarily condemn anyone to everlasting death for having once thought the now-defunct League was an admirable institution.
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Satan’s “short period of time” to terrorize the world has been ongoing for over a century, even though the world, in general, has been enjoying an extended period of relative peace and prosperity since the Second World War, although it seems that is about to change.
At Revelation 3:10 Jesus spoke of another time period—“the hour of test,” saying: “Because you kept the word about my endurance, I will also keep you from the hour of test, which is to come upon the whole inhabited earth, to put a test upon those dwelling on the earth. I am coming quickly. Keep on holding fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.”
And just when is this “hour of test” that is going to come upon the world? The hour began in 1918—at least according to the Watchtower. Supposedly, “the hour of test” has been ongoing for the past 100+ years! Only sheer dogmatism accounts for a symbolic “one hour” and “short period of time” amounting to more than a century. Here is what it stated in the Grand Climax publication:
What, though, is “the hour of test”? No doubt, those Christians in Asia had to cope with a further wave of terrible persecution from imperial Rome. Nevertheless, the major fulfillment is the hour of sifting and judging that finally arrived during the Lord’s day, climaxing from 1918 onward. The test has been to determine whether one is for God’s established Kingdom or for Satan’s world. It is for a comparatively short period, an “hour,” but it is not over yet. Until it is, we must never forget that we are living in “the hour of test.”
But anyone who chooses to use their mind to correctly reason on the Scriptures ought to arrive at a very different conclusion. Take note that the passage above connects the hour of test with the Second Coming of Christ. That is why Jesus is referring to why he said “I am coming quickly.”
According to Jesus his arrival and the commencement of the Lord’s day, or day of Jehovah if you prefer, will also come in upon the whole world, just as the “hour of test,” and that the unprepared will be ensnared. At Luke 21:34-36, Jesus stated: “But pay attention to yourselves that your hearts never become weighed down with overeating and heavy drinking and anxieties of life, and suddenly that day be instantly upon you as a snare. For it will come in upon all those dwelling upon the face of all the earth. Keep awake, then, all the time making supplication that you may succeed in escaping all these things that are destined to occur, and in standing before the Son of man.”
Even the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses recognizes that these words of Christ have not been realized yet. We all must stand before the Son of man during the time when the world is suddenly plunged into chaos. And some will fail that test of faith—they will not escape. So, obviously, the salvation the Scriptures hold out has not been attained yet by anyone. Christians must hold fast now so that Jesus will support them during the horrible “hour of test” that is yet to come upon the world.
In his first letter, Peter wrote concerning the “tested quality” of our faith. Even Jesus was tested, was he not? He was tested and tried in many ways. But can Jehovah’s Witnesses really boast of having that sort of faith? Have Jehovah’s Witnesses really been tested? True, we are subjected to numerous trials and temptations that are common to everyone. But that is not because we are in the “hour of test.”
Some of Jehovah’s Witnesses in times past were certainly tested. For example, during the Second World War men were marched off to prisons and concentration camps. But that was a long time ago. Most of Jehovah’s Witnesses who lived through those difficult times are no longer alive. There is an entirely new generation that has not been subjected to that severe a test.
So what is “the hour of test” that is coming upon the entire world? The hour must coincide with the symbolic one-hour that the eighth king will rule the world. Prior to that, though, the present Anglo-American economic and political system must collapse. It is already in the beginning stages, only being staved off by financial fraud on a massive scale. But in the immediate future, during a time of global war, famine and pestilence, the whole system will crash—plunging a carefree society into a dog-eat-dog frenzy for survival.
According to prophecy, the Anglo-American beast will make a miraculous recovery, symbolized in Revelation as the healing of the seemingly mortal wound suffered by the head of the seven-headed beast. In that same chapter, a two-horned beast rises up from the earth and gives the command for an image of the beast to be made. This pictures the Anglo-American duo returning, rising up from the earth as if coming out of the grave.
But in that post-crash world, the lamb-like two-horned beast will begin speaking as a dragon. In other words, the beast will be an absolute tyrant—like Satan, the dragon. The world will be subjected to a genocidal monster that will liquidate a vast portion of the population. “The hour of test” will no doubt involve some sort of coercive campaign to force Christians into compromising their faith.
In times past wars were more straightforward and in spite of the barbaric nature of war, the state leaders were more gentlemanly. They at least made formal declarations of war. But that era is over. Now the empire uses terrorists as mercenaries and pretends to be at war with them while covertly supplying and directing them against nations.
Financial wars are already well underway. Cyberwars too. Propaganda is the mainstay of all of the big news sources. And it seems most probable that the Anglo beast has released the Covid virus as a form of biological warfare against the world. The shooting wars cannot be far off. According to the latest Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, they have moved the minute hand of their Doomsday clock to 100 seconds before midnight. The hour of test is approaching.
As already pointed out, Jehovah’s Witnesses have come through the fires of test in times past. What might constitute a severe test of faith for Jehovah’s Witnesses in the future?
From what may be discerned from the prophecies the real test for Jehovah’s Witnesses will come about when they are forced to demonstrate their faith without the support, guidance, and hand-holding of the Watchtower Society. Not only that, but reality will eventually impinge upon the beloved delusion that Christ returned back in 1914.
No wonder Jesus posed the somewhat discomforting question by saying, “Nevertheless, when the Son of man arrives, will he really find the faith on the earth?”