1914 Generation Revisited

Norman Hovland

The desperation in Brooklyn is beginning to show more and more in the magazines. The recent decline in "service" and number of publishers in many countries has given the Governing Body the shivers big time. So now they have mustered all their old tricks trying to scare the friends into a new Armageddon frenzy. It is the old Schroeder recipe, "Instill a sense of urgency in the Brothers" over again for the umpteenth time.

First we had the good old "Millions" slogan again:

"In the early 1920's, a featured public talk presented by Jehovah's Witnesses was entitled "Millions Now Living Will Never Die." This may have reflected overoptimism at that time. But today that statement can be made with full confidence. Both the increasing light on Bible prophecy and the anarchy of this dying world cry out that the end of Satan's system is very, very near!

18 (a) Why can we confidently expect that "millions now living will never die"?
(The Watchtower, January 1, 1997, p. 11)

They talk about quibbling about signs and ages. Well who's the major quibblers here? They are even starting on the "how many years removed from 1914 are we" game again, unbelievable. They must think that the brothers have jelly for brains, well they must have if they fall for this stuff:

Ohh, 83 years since 1914 folks:

"3 In 1914 this world entered its "last days." (2 Timothy 3:1-5, 13) We are now 83 years into that period and are nearing its end when, as Jesus foretold, the following will take place: "There will be great tribulation ..." (The Watchtower, April 1, 1997, p. 7-8.)

Let me give you some examples of this kind of reasoning from the past, "the good old days":

Oh, its now 36 years since 1914, folks:

w50 419.
"The thirty-six intervening years since 1914, instead of postponing Armageddon, have only made it nearer than most people think. Do not forget: "This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." (Matt. 24:34) Consequently, the important question is: What is the most profitable way in which to use the remaining time? If you are wise you will not dodge or side-step the answer. -- Eccl. 8:5."

Who's doing the dodging and the side-stepping now?

w53 648.
"These events began to occur on earth in the year 1914, and continue to assert themselves to the present day. Not just one or two of these momentous happenings have come upon this generation, but all of them. NO FALSE ALARM THIS!"

Wonder what you guys really call false alarm, then?

Oh, it's now 40 years since 1914 folks:

w54 478 -- 18
"18 There is no time to lose. This is a most urgent message. Time is fast running out for Satan and his system of things, for they refuse to recognize that the "Gentile times" ended in 1914 and Christ Jesus was then enthroned as earth's rightful Ruler. We are now forty years within "this generation," the generation that witnessed the eventful year 1914, the generation doomed to experience Armageddon. (Matt. 23:36; 24:34) Make no mistake about it, that final war is a fixed date on the divine calendar, just as sure to occur on time as all the other purposes of Jehovah have. "For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven." "For to every purpose there is a time and judgment." (Eccl. 3:1, 17; 8:6, AS) Really, it is much later than most people think!"

Oh, it is now 50 years since 1914, folks:

w66 613.
"What Has God's Kingdom Been Doing Since 1914?
THE year 1914 is now more than fifty years in the past. Yet it lives in the memory of millions of people today living. The first world war that began then and the train of events that has followed are part of the personal experience of those millions of living people. The year 1914 and what happened then is, for them, no mere human history that happened before their time."

Oh, it is now 52 years since 1914, folks:

w66 325 -- In this prophecy he foretold the outbreak of world ...
"True, fifty-two years have flown by since these things began to occur and because of this some have allowed themselves to be complacently lulled to sleep, feeling that the time is yet many years away."

Oh, it is now 54 years since 1914, folks:

w68 754.
"We of "this generation" have seen these foretold things "start to occur" in 1914, and now for the last fifty-four years we have seen them occurring. So our convictions have been confirmed. From a long train of foretold events we know that the kingdom of God is getting near to its act of destroying this system of things and its supporters at Armageddon and bringing about our glorious deliverance."

Oh, it is now 60 years since 1914, folks:

w77 734.
"Today, we are more than 60 years into the "conclusion of the system of things," and we rejoice that there are still with us some of the generation of 1914 who, like the apostle John, are living examples of faithful endurance."

Oh, dear, it is 67 years since 1914, folks. Just mentioning it, it has no significance of course, but you know what the Bible say about "your age shall be 70, and with great strength 80". But we haven't implied anything, right? Then we can always blame it on Brother "SOME" later you know. Wonder how Brooklyn could know in 1981, that time had nearly "run out"? Could it be because it was only 3 years before 1984, when the magic number 70 years since 1914 would come up?:

w81 11/15 11.
"Already 67 years have passed since the "generation" of 1914 saw the start of these troubles. (Matt. 24:34) So time has nearly run out on this "crooked and twisted generation."

Yes Brothers, the generation could of course live until the end of the century but now we are living in 1984, and gasp...

w84 3/1 18
"And Jesus has told us to rejoice at seeing the dark storm clouds of Armageddon gathering since that time. He has told us that the "generation" of 1914 -- the year that the sign began to be fulfilled -- "will by no means pass away until all these things occur." (Matthew 24:34) Some of that "generation" could survive until the end of the century. But there are many indications that "the end" is much closer than that!"

Uh... oh, flagging confidence in Brooklyn, but the generation is now 70 years old, folks, just mentioning it:

w84 5/15 5.
"If Jesus used "generation" in that sense and we apply it to 1914, then the babies of that generation are now 70 years old or older. And others alive in 1914 are in their 80's or 90's, a few even having reached a hundred. There are still many millions of that generation alive. Some of them "will by no means pass away until all things occur." -- Luke 21:32."

Oh well, it is now more than 70 years since 1914, folks, but hang in there:

w86 2/15 5.
"Even though more than 70 years have gone by since 1914, there are still individuals around who lived through that era. According to The American Legion Magazine for December 1984, in the United States some 272,000 World War I veterans are still alive, and it is similar in other lands. Nevertheless, the number is diminishing quite rapidly. So how long will it be until the last World War I veteran marches into history?"

All right, (what's going on here) it is now 72 years since 1914, folks, it gotta be a short time now, sniff:

w86 11/1 7.
"So today, in 1986, this means that we are already 72 years into "the time of the end." Jesus promised that some members of the generation of people old enough to witness its beginning would still be alive when the great tribulation brought it to its completion. -- Matthew 24:34."

Well, 74 years have now passed since 1914, folks, but hey, there are still people from the generation living today, so...

w88 10/15 4.
"Seventy-four years have passed since the outbreak of World War I in 1914. From a human viewpoint, this may seem a very long time. But some eagle-eyed Christians who saw World War I are still very much alive. Their generation has not passed away."

Ok, its now 80 years since 1914, folks, so now it gotta be the end SOON, please:

g94 11/8 10 "The Real Significance of 1914
This time of the end is, however, to be a relatively short period -- stretching over one generation. (Luke 21:31, 32) The fact that we are now 80 years beyond 1914 indicates that we can soon expect the deliverance that God's Kingdom will bring. This means that we will see "the lowliest one of mankind" -- Jesus Christ -- take complete control of "the kingdom of mankind" and bring about a peaceful and just new world. -- Daniel 4:17."

It is really unbelievable but they really have started this game AGAIN! Will these people never learn?

It is now 86 years since 1914, folks... Gimme a break!