Did the second coming of Jesus Christ occur invisibly in 1914, as claimed by the Jehovah Witness organization?


The Jehovah Witness group is obviously wrong on this claim. The claim that Jesus came back in 1914 is clearly wrong biblically.  If you look at the history of this claim, it will become even more obvious that it is just plain wrong.

The history of this bogus claim is this:  Charles Russel, the founder of the Jehovah Witness group made the claim to his followers that Jesus would come back in 1914 based on a highly questionable misinterpretation of Daniel 8:14.  In this passage, the angel tells Daniel that it will be 2300 evenings and mornings until God will rescue the Jews from the persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes.  Russel claimed that these evenings and mornings were years without any biblical precedent. In fact, they are literal days (see my book Daniel, Prophet to the Nations for the correct interpretation. The prophecy was fulfilled in 164 BC. Russel then used a questionable and arbitrary date for the initiation of the vision which does not even make sense, given the vision, and came up with the year 1914.  Never mind that Daniel 8:14 has no reference to the second coming of Jesus!  He did NOT claim that the return would be invisible, so his followers expected that they would see Jesus returning in 1914.

His followers were eagerly waiting for Russel’s vision to be fulfilled.  Well, 1914 came and it went and Jesus did not come back. What Russel ought to have done at this point was the obvious–admit he was mistaken.  Unfortunately, his credibility was so much dependent on his claims to be a prophet that he could not admit his mistake. So, what did he do?  He came up with the ad hoc explanation that Jesus did in fact come back in 1914, but he came back invisibly!!!!  He began the “investigative judgment” at this point.  This is when he began to choose his 144,000 to go to heaven.  Naturally, all of the 144,000 will be members of his organization.

If Russel had said ahead of time that the return would not be visible in 1914, then perhaps we could give him some credence, but when he conveniently changed his story after the fact, in my opinion he lost all credibility.  One would have to be rather gullible to be convinced of this rather obvious fabrication.

Unfortunately, this was not the only bogus unfulfilled prophecy made by Charles Russel and by his successor “Judge” Rutherford.  Rutherford predicted that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would rise from the grave in 1925.  The Witnesses have predicted the immanent return of Jesus more than once. The Witnesses were expecting Jesus to come back visibly in 1975. Bottom line, Russel and Rutherford were false prophets. Therefore everything they say and everything published by the Watchtower Society should be rejected by all Christians.

John Oakes

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