What is the 1914 Doctrine?

It is the teaching that Jesus began his invisible presence, his “parousia,” in the year 1914.

It is also the teaching that Jesus began his Messianic rule in the year 1914.

Is it the teaching that the “last days” began in 1914.

It is also the teaching that Satan was cast out of heaven in 1914. 

Non-JWs may not be aware of what we mean by “invisible presence” or “parousia”. Non-JWs may not be aware of why we speak of Jesus and his “Messianic Rule” or exactly what we mean by the “last days”. Or why we even refer to Satan being cast out of heaven.

To explain these terms in their context, we will list several of them and attempt a short explanation for each of them.

It is the teaching that Jesus began his invisible presence, his “parousia,” in the year 1914.

Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that while many persons are waiting for a future Parousia, sometimes called the “Second Coming,” these terms have meanings that are missed by other religions. This doctrine is one of the most unique doctrines of Jehovah’s Witnesses. JWs also teach other doctrines that are relatively unique, but this doctrine and others that are based upon it, is taught by no other religion.

JWs do believe that there will be a future “Second Coming” also called “Judgment Day” “Day of the Lord” “Day of Jehovah” among other terms and phrases the Bible uses for it. In this sense the belief of JWs is not so different from many other major religions categorized as Christian.

What is different is that we believe that there is a special time in history when Jesus starts his reign in heaven in a time period that leads up to that Judgment Day. We believe that Jesus started his reign in 1914, and that this final period of the “last days” constitutes the final generation that lives to see all these things occur.

It’s about Matthew 24

This period of “last days” corresponds to the prediction that Jesus made from the Mount of Olives that we find in Matthew 24. Most of the elements of that chapter are also found in Mark 13 and also in Luke 21 with some of the elements of that prediction also found in Luke 18. Because Matthew 24 is the account that consolidates the most relevant material into one chapter it is most often used as the basis for discussion.

By reading the chapter, it is easy to see that the disciples of Jesus had just asked Jesus when the temple of Jerusalem was going to be destroyed in the complete manner that Jesus had just described.

Jesus answers their question in a manner that gives them all the details they would need to know about the immediate answer to that question about the Temple. We know from history that the Temple was completely destroyed in the year 70 CE and that this question was asked most likely in the year 33 CE. But Jesus also gives an answer with clearly farther-reaching implications. Jesus adds phrases like “a tribulation such as never been seen since the worlds beginning and which will never be seen again” “the gospel would be preached in all the inhabited earth” there would be great wars and plagues that would precede this destruction. And the primary reasons for the belief that Jesus meant to extend his response well beyond the time period.

 

What does this doctrine have in it’s favor.

The Bible in Matthew 24, and the parallel accounts in Luke and Mark present Jesus answering a question about an event in their own generation that clearly has one or more portions of its final fulfillment in a time period far beyond what happened in 70 AD.

What happened in 70 AD was related to the “Times of the Nations” being fulfilled. The times of the Gentiles.

 

 

(GENERATION: The term generation must therefore be used in the sense of contemporaries.

 

 

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