Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses say that God’s Kingdom was established in 1914?
Two lines of evidence point to that year: (1) Bible chronology and (2) the events since 1914 in fulfillment of prophecy. Here we will consider the chronology. For fulfillment of prophecy, see the main heading “Last Days.”
Read Daniel 4:1-17. Verses 20-37 show that this prophecy had a fulfillment upon Nebuchadnezzar. But it also has a larger fulfillment. How do we know that? Verses 3 and 17 show that the dream that God gave to King Nebuchadnezzar deals with the Kingdom of God and God’s promise to give it “to the one whom he wants to . . . even the lowliest one of mankind.” The entire Bible shows that Jehovah’s purpose is for his own Son, Jesus Christ, to rule as His representative over mankind. (Ps. 2:1-8; Dan. 7:13, 14; 1 Cor. 15:23-25; Rev. 11:15; 12:10) The Bible’s description of Jesus shows that he was indeed “the lowliest one of mankind.” (Phil. 2:7, 8; Matt. 11:28-30) The prophetic dream, then, points to the time when Jehovah would give rulership over mankind to his own Son.
What was to happen in the meantime? Rulership over mankind, as represented by the tree and its rootstock, would have “the heart of a beast.” (Dan. 4:16) The history of mankind would be dominated by governments that displayed the characteristics of wild beasts. In modern times, the bear is commonly used to represent Russia; the eagle, the United States; the lion, Britain; the dragon, China. The Bible also uses wild beasts as symbols of world governments and of the entire global system of human rulership under the influence of Satan. (Dan. 7:2-8, 17, 23; 8:20-22; Rev. 13:1, 2) As Jesus showed in his prophecy pointing to the conclusion of the system of things, Jerusalem would be “trampled on by the nations, until the appointed times of the nations” were fulfilled. (Luke 21:24) “Jerusalem” represented the Kingdom of God because its kings were said to sit on “the throne of the kingship of Jehovah.” (1 Chron. 28:4, 5; Matt. 5:34, 35) So, the Gentile governments, represented by wild beasts, would ‘trample’ on the right of God’s Kingdom to direct human affairs and would themselves hold sway under Satan’s control.—Compare Luke 4:5, 6.
For how long would such governments be permitted to exercise this control before Jehovah gave the Kingdom to Jesus Christ? Daniel 4:16 says “seven times” (“seven years,” AT and Mo, also JB footnote on verse 13). The Bible shows that in calculating prophetic time, a day is counted as a year. (Ezek. 4:6; Num. 14:34) How many “days,” then, are involved? Revelation 11:2, 3 clearly states that 42 months (3 1/2 years) in that prophecy are counted as 1,260 days. Seven years would be twice that, or 2,520 days. Applying the “day for a year” rule would result in 2,520 years.
When did the counting of the “seven times” begin? After Zedekiah, the last king in the typical Kingdom of God, was removed from the throne in Jerusalem by the Babylonians. (Ezek. 21:25-27) Finally, by early October of 607 B.C.E. the last vestige of Jewish sovereignty was gone. By that time the Jewish governor, Gedaliah, who had been left in charge by the Babylonians, had been assassinated, and the remaining Jews had fled to Egypt. (Jeremiah, chapters 40-43) Reliable Bible chronology indicates that this took place 70 years before 537 B.C.E., the year in which the Jews returned from captivity; that is, it took place by early October of 607 B.C.E. (Jer. 29:10; Dan. 9:2; for further details, see the book “Let Your Kingdom Come,” pages 186-189.)
How, then, is the time calculated down to 1914? Counting 2,520 years from early October of 607 B.C.E. brings us to early October of 1914 C.E., as shown on the chart.
CALCULATING THE “SEVEN TIMES”
“Seven times” = 7 X 360 = 2,520 years
A Biblical “time,” or year = 12 X 30 days = 360. (Rev. 11:2, 3; 12:6, 14)
In the fulfillment of the “seven times” each day equals one year. (Ezek. 4:6; Num. 14:34)
Early October, 607 B.C.E., to December 31, 607 B.C.E.= 1/4 year
January 1, 606 B.C.E., to December 31, 1 B.C.E. = 606 years
January 1, 1 C.E., to December 31, 1913 = 1,913 years
January 1, 1914, to early October, 1914 = 3/4 year
Total: 2,520 years
- Reasoning From the Scriptures, published by the WTB&TS, in 1985
Why do Jehovah's Witnesses accept 607 B.C.E. as the date for Jerusalem's destruction by the Babylonians, instead of 587/6 B.C.E.?
Simply put, Jehovah’s Witnesses accept the detailed testimony of the Bible, the inspired Word of God, over the present understanding of secular history. “Christians who believe the Bible have time and again found that its words stand the test of much criticism and have been proved accurate and reliable. They recognize that as the inspired Word of God it can be used as a measuring rod in evaluating secular history and views.”—“Let Your Kingdom Come,” p. 187.
Concerning the date of Jerusalem’s destruction, many scholars claim to be concerned about harmonizing their views with the Bible, but in fact, are more concerned with not contradicting secular chronology. On the other hand, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses have paid “more than the usual attention” to detail, and they have arrived at the only conclusion that they conscientiously can. (Hebrews 2:1) Their methodology involves adhering to the Bible in its entirety and not compromising on issues that might seem insignificant to secular historians. To do otherwise would make them guilty of distorting Jehovah’s intended message.
So, how do Jehovah’s Witnesses arrive at 607 B.C.E. as the year for Jerusalem’s destruction by the Babylonians? http://onlytruegod.org/jwstrs/607BCE.htm
This website has shown that 607BCE — not 587BCE — is indeed the year that Jerusalem was desolated according to irrefutable evidence in God’s word the Bible. Even some of those who have previously tried to discredit Jehovah’s Witnesses by saying 607BCE is incorrect, are now forced to admit that it may indeed be the right after all, because they have no clear answer for the Biblical evidence presented.
In light of this, not wanting to admit that Jehovah’s Witnesses indeed have the truth, they now have resorted to this view: 'So what. It doesn't matter if it was 607 or 587! This proves nothing about 1914. It is still an artfully contrived story with no basis in the Bible. There is no evidence that 607 began the Gentile Times and that 1914 was the end of those Gentile Times.'
So the question begs to be answered from a Biblical standpoint: did the 7 times begin in 607 and end in 1914? Did the 7 times begin when the ruler on Jehovah’s throne in Jerusalem, Zedekiah, was cut down in 607 and end in 1914 with the rightful ruler, Jesus, the twig of Jesse, becoming the King in God’s Kingdom in heaven? How Long Are the Seven Times?
Briefly, Revelation 12:6 tells us: “And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and sixty days.” Later in verse 13 of the same chapter we read, “the woman, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place; there is where she is fed for a time and times and half a time away from the face of the serpent.”
We can clearly see that 3.5 times = 1260 days. By doubling both figures we can easily conclude that 7 times = 2520 days. Then, by applying a-day-for-a-year, we deduct that 7 times = 2520 years. Amazing as it may seem, it is 2520 years from 607BCE to 1914CE. Are the seven times of Daniel chapter 4 to be applied in connection with the Gentile Times and God’s rulership? http://jehovahsjudgment.co.uk/607/default.html
In the course of their Bible studies, these searching students took up a consideration of the “times of the Gentiles,” as spoken of by Jesus at Luke 21:24 (AV), and they associated those Gentile Times with the “seven times” mentioned four times in Daniel, chapter four, verses 16, 23, 25, 32। What did those Bible students determine to be the date for those “seven times” of Gentile domination of the earth to end legally before God? Well, at that time there was a monthly magazine being published in Brooklyn, New York, by one George Storrs, and it was called “Bible Examiner।” In the year 1876 the twenty-four-year-old Russell made a contribution on the subject to this magazine। It was published in Volume XXI, Number 1, which was the issue of October, 1876. On pages 27, 28 of that issue Russell’s article was published under the title “Gentile Times: When Do They End?” In that article (page 27) Russell said: “The seven times will end in A.D. 1914.” http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2008/06/seven-timesthe-times-of-gentiles-in.html