Wednesday, April 7, 2010

1914 - "Quaking" in the Lord's Day

“Everything would get better and better. This was the world I was born in. . . . Suddenly, unexpectedly, one morning in 1914 the whole thing came to an end.” (statesman Harold Macmillan, reflecting on the peaceful start of the 20th century)

“The terrific war outbreak in Europe has fulfilled an extraordinary prophecy. For a quarter of a century past, through preachers and through press, the ‘International Bible Students’ [as Jehovah’s Witnesses were then known] . . . have been proclaiming to the world that the Day of Wrath prophesied in the Bible would dawn in 1914.” (New York newspaper The World of August 30, 1914)

click on the box to read the captions (pg 105 of Revelation-Its Grand Climax At Hand!)

The *signs* which indicate that we're living in the "Lord's day" or "presence" which began in 1914, are accompanied by both literal and figurative "quaking" ... so I thought I'd do a post on this topic since there was *another* big earthquake Sunday, (which I actually felt here in AZ, by the way)...I was in my room and heard the window glass rumbling and felt my bed start swaying from side to side slightly, but I didn't realize what it was. Until my mom told me that there had been an earthquake (in Mexico/southern CA),...she was out to eat with some sisters after the meeting and they all noticed that the tables and hanging light fixtures in the restuarant started shaking.

So anyway, I wanted to address this topic, but from a different angle,...since I think most people would be surprised to learn that other major Christian religious denominations have agreed that the climactic world events which began with WWI in 1914, pointed to the beginning of the "Lord's day" or "presence" and the end of the Gentile Times, however, they didn't announce this or make it known to the people...

Convention of the Bible Students in London, England, May 25-31, 1926 - (photo and following info on pgs 147 & 148 of: Revelation-Its Grand Climax At Hand!)

At this convention,...a new book entitled Deliverance...included a Scriptural discussion of the sign proving that the ‘man child’ government, Christ’s heavenly Kingdom, had been born in 1914. (Matthew 24:3-14; Revelation 12:1-10) Thereafter, it quoted the manifesto published in London in 1917 and signed by eight clergymen, who were described as being “among the world’s greatest preachers.” They represented the leading Protestant denominations—Baptist, Congregational, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, and Methodist. This manifesto proclaimed that “the present crisis points toward the close of the times of the Gentiles” and that “the revelation of the Lord may be expected at any moment.” Yes, those clergymen had recognized the sign of Jesus’ presence! But did they want to do anything about it? The book Deliverance informs us: “The most remarkable part of the affair is that the very men who signed the manifesto subsequently repudiated it and rejected the evidence which proves that we are at the end of the world and in the day of the Lord’s second presence.”

...This [convention] featured a resolution, “A Testimony to the Rulers of the World,” and a public talk at the Royal Albert Hall on “Why World Powers Are Tottering—The Remedy,” the complete text of both of these being printed in a leading London newspaper the following day. (50 million copies of that resolution were later distributed worldwide)—a torment indeed to the clergy! Years later, people in England still spoke of this stinging exposé.

(pg 216 of What Does the Bible Really Teach?)

This is a good visual diagram or timeline that shows how the "seven times" or "appointed times of the nations" were calculated in advance by the Bible Students, almost 40 years prior to 1914. And here's a more indepth explanation from: (pgs 215-218 of the Bible Teach book), showing how those calculations were arrived at.

1914—A Significant Year in Bible Prophecy

As recorded at Luke 21:24, Jesus said: “Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations, until the appointed times of the nations [“the times of the Gentiles,” King James Version] are fulfilled.” Jerusalem had been the capital city of the Jewish nation—the seat of rulership of the line of kings from the house of King David. (Psalm 48:1, 2) However, these kings were unique among national leaders. They sat on “Jehovah’s throne” as representatives of God himself. (1 Chronicles 29:23) Jerusalem was thus a symbol of Jehovah’s rulership. How and when, though, did God’s rulership begin to be “trampled on by the nations”?

This happened in 607 B.C.E. when Jerusalem was conquered by the Babylonians. “Jehovah’s throne” became vacant, and the line of kings who descended from David was interrupted. (2 Kings 25:1-26) Would this ‘trampling’ go on forever? No, for the prophecy of Ezekiel said regarding Jerusalem’s last king, Zedekiah: “Remove the turban, and lift off the crown. . . . It will certainly become no one’s until he comes who has the legal right, and I must give it to him.” (Ezekiel 21:26, 27) The one who has “the legal right” to the Davidic crown is Christ Jesus. (Luke 1:32, 33) So the ‘trampling’ would end when Jesus became King. When would that grand event occur? Jesus showed that the Gentiles would rule for a fixed period of time. The account in Daniel chapter 4 holds the key to knowing how long that period would last. It relates a prophetic dream experienced by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. He saw an immense tree that was chopped down. Its stump could not grow because it was banded with iron and copper. An angel declared: “Let seven times pass over it.”—Daniel 4:10-16.

In the Bible, trees are sometimes used to represent rulership. (Ezekiel 17:22-24; 31:2-5) So the chopping down of the symbolic tree represents how God’s rulership, as expressed through the kings at Jerusalem, would be interrupted. However, the vision served notice that this ‘trampling of Jerusalem’ would be temporary—a period of “seven times.” How long a period is that? Revelation 12:6, 14 indicates that three and a half times equal “a thousand two hundred and sixty days.” “Seven times” would therefore last twice as long, or 2,520 days. But the Gentile nations did not stop ‘trampling’ on God’s rulership a mere 2,520 days after Jerusalem’s fall. Evidently, then, this prophecy covers a much longer period of time.

On the basis of Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6, which speak of “a day for a year,” the “seven times” would cover 2,520 years. The 2,520 years began in October 607 B.C.E., when Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians and the Davidic king was taken off his throne. The period ended in October 1914. At that time, “the appointed times of the nations” ended, and Jesus Christ was installed as God’s heavenly King.—Psalm 2:1-6; Daniel 7:13, 14.

Just as Jesus predicted, his “presence” as heavenly King has been marked by dramatic world developments—war, famine, earthquakes, pestilences. (Matthew 24:3-8; Luke 21:11) Such developments bear powerful testimony to the fact that 1914 indeed marked the birth of God’s heavenly Kingdom and the beginning of “the last days” of this present wicked system of things.—2 Timothy 3:1-5.

From October 607 B.C.E. to October 1 B.C.E. is 606 years. Since there is no zero year, from October 1 B.C.E. to October 1914 C.E. is 1,914 years. By adding 606 years and 1,914 years, we get 2,520 years. For information on Jerusalem’s fall in 607 B.C.E., see the article “Chronology” in Insight on the Scriptures, published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Here's a previous post that relates to the Gentile Times or "appointed times of the nations":
World Powers of Daniel's Prophecy