1914 a Marked Year
YEARS in advance Bible scholars realized that 1914 was to be a year of great significance. Bible chronology specifically points to that year,* and careful students of God’s Word knew that. They expected great changes to take place. In fact, they publicly pointed forward to the significance of the date 1914.
The August 30, 1914, issue of the secular publication called “The World” observed: “The terrific war outbreak in Europe has fulfilled an extraordinary prophecy. . . . ‘Look out for 1914!’ has been the cry of the hundreds of traveling evangelists who . . . have gone up and down the country enunciating the doctrine that ‘the Kingdom of God is at hand’.”
The facts of history confirm that 1914 was, indeed, a marked year. The London Evening Star of August 4, 1960, commented that World War I “tore the whole world’s political setup apart. Nothing could ever be the same again. . . . some historian in the next century may well conclude that the day the world went mad was August 4, 1914.”
In 1954, as the fortieth anniversary of that marked year approached, the historian H. R. Trevor-Roper said of the great change 1914 made: “It is instructive to compare the first World War with the second . . . the first war marked a far greater change in history. It closed a long era of general peace and began a new age of violence in which the second war is simply an episode. Since 1914 the world has had a new character: a character of international anarchy. . . . Thus the first World War marks a turning point in modern history.”*
World leaders have also commented on the significance of the year 1914. Former chancellor of West Germany Konrad Adenauer spoke of the time “before 1914 when there was real peace, quiet and security on this earth—a time when we didn’t know fear.” Then he added: “Security and quiet have disappeared from the lives of men since 1914. And peace? Since 1914, the Germans have not known real peace nor has much of mankind.”*
Note, too, the comment in the book entitled “1914” by J. Cameron: “In the year 1914 the world, as it was known and accepted then, came to an end. Far more than any year before or since was this the punctuation-mark of the twentieth century . . . from then on nothing could ever be the same.”—Pp. v, vi.
Satan the Devil and his demons know they have only “a short period of time” left before their destruction. (Rev. 12:12) Even when Jesus was on earth, the demons knew that someday they would be destroyed. They showed a vicious disposition back then, and now that they know their time is short they are more vicious and desperate than ever. (Luke 8:27-33) They are out to stir up all the trouble that they can, in order to direct the attention of mankind away from the kingdom of God. That is why this wicked system of things has been behaving so crazily since 1914. It is behaving like a top, a child’s toy, that wobbles crazily just before it tumbles to a complete stop.
Are we disheartened by this situation? Jesus said that his disciples would have reason to lift their heads up. Why? Because they realize the meaning of it all. They see in these events proof that deliverance is near! (Luke 21:28) And they do not keep this joyful news to themselves, but in all the earth they are preaching the thrilling news that the kingdom of God now rules.
In his great prophecy concerning the conclusion of the system of things Jesus foretold that this preaching would be done. (Matt. 24:14) In North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and the islands of the seas Jehovah’s witnesses zealously keep proclaiming this urgent message. In both large cities and small villages you will find them. Yes, this part of the “sign” is also being fulfilled.
Beyond all doubt, the evidence points to 1914 as the year when the kingdom of God went into operation, and that event is causing things to happen here on earth. In that same year “the present wicked system of things” entered its “last days.” (Gal. 1:4) Soon, now, the prayer for God’s kingdom to “come” will be answered, when it displays its great power by destroying Satan’s entire wicked system. Then God’s kingdom alone will operate as the one government to rule the earth throughout eternity.—Dan. 2:44.
Taking direct control of all earth’s affairs, God’s kingdom will shower down on obedient mankind blessings of peace, happiness and life. The prayer for ‘God’s will to take place, as in heaven, also upon earth,’ will have had glorious fulfillment, for God’s kingdom will have come to rule forever. And think of it! You may enjoy eternal life under the loving rule of that kingdom.—Matt. 6:9, 10.
For details concerning this, see the book “Babylon the Great Has Fallen.!” God’s Kingdom Rules!, pp. 174-181; also From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained, p. 173.
The New York Times Magazine, August 1, 1954, p. 9.
Cleveland West Parker, January 20, 1966, p. 1.