JWINSIDER #020: ALL aspects of 1914 doctrine are now problematic from a Scriptural point of view


The original context is found here:  https://www.theworldnewsmedia.org/topic/39516-all-aspects-of-1914-doctrine-are-now-problematic-from-a-scriptural-point-of-view/

[Responses or questions from other forum participants are removed, unless brief]

So I wonder, could we say Jesus became an uncrowned king in 33 CE and a crowned king in 1914? The definition of “uncrowned” being :“having royal rank or power without occupying the royal office”. Wouldn’t this be scripturally compatible?

You could say it, but why? What’s the reason we don’t want to say Jesus was ruling as king in 33? We don’t think he was occupying the royal office? Then why does Paul call him “King of Kings”? A crown is just another way of describing that he is king. One can also say he is ruling at God’s right hand. There may be no such thing as a physical crown in heaven, or probably even our human concepts of “left” and “right.” The Bible doesn’t make a distinction about a crowned and an uncrowned king, so why should we?

Also, when the Watch Tower publications first spoke about Jesus not having the royal office until 1878 (which later become 1914) it was because he had not shown his power in any physical way yet. But now, since he had been physically present since 1874 he was going to make a physical mark on the world by removing humans in 1878 and taking them to heaven, a “harvest” if you will. Russell was sure enough of this to sell his belongings so as to distribute as many of Barbour’s pamphlets as possible in time for the 1878 “rapture.” (“Three Worlds, Harvest of This World”). The same idea became true of 1881, then 1910, then 1914, then 1918, then 1920, then 1925. Jesus was about to prove that he was MORE than just a king of his congregation.

Now, of course, nothing happened with any of these expectations except disappointment. The Watchtower’s later claim in 1914 that the “world had ended” (but only those with spiritual discernment could see it) was based on all those prior expectations that nearly all earthly institutions would physically collapse within months of 1914. But the nations were not smashed with an iron rod. No major institutions collapsed. If anything many of them became more powerful than they were prior to 1914. It’s as if all the talk about an invisible kingship became the new replacement for the expectations of a visible parousia in 1874 that Barbour had spoken about. It was only after the failure that Barbour and some of his contributors scrambled to make it an invisible parousia. Similarly, it was only after the failure of all the expectations of 1914 that Russell and some of his contributors made it an invisible end of the nations. Prior to that it was a physical end of the nations. (End of the times of the Gentile nations.)

To me, it’s a little bit like we are participating in a cover-up.

[Above] I mentioned the big rush that Russell got behind to finance Barbour’s “Three Worlds.” It might be confusing to some that they thought the end of the time of trouble would occur in 1914. (Later, in 1904 this was changed to the start of a time of trouble, lasting until about 1915, or the end of 1915.)

If they thought that the end would be in 1914, how could they think of the rapture in 1878? It’s because they thought that there was a higher heavenly calling in 1878 for people like Russell and Barbour and other “wise virgins” who recognized that Barbour was the one whom Jesus had used to call out the “midnight cry” beginning right around 1859 — halfway between Miller’s 1844 and the “dawn” or the “morning” in 1874. Russell later recognized that the word for “midnight” in Greek was not an exact time but a range of time, and pretty much removed Barbour from the equation as God’s mouthpiece.

Those of the higher calling would go to heaven, called to the marriage of the Lamb for the 144,000, while other Christians would stay on earth for as long as they lived, at least up to 1914, and be changed when they died. This is how the “great crowd” would get to heaven. After all the Christians were in heaven, the millennium activity would be mostly about Christians working from heaven to transform the non-Christians who would inherit the earth.

Another interesting piece of information is that the chart that folds out at the beginning of “Three Worlds” uses 606 BCE, when Nebuchadnezzar received universal domination. This is actually much closer to the Bible’s timetable, because it does not depend on when Babylon finally destroyed Jerusalem, 20 years into that domination, after several deportations of Jews. Note the image which can also be found here: