Early October 2014 will mark precisely 100 years of Christ’s invisible rule from the heavens – according to the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
As this website has already pointed out, the passage of the centenary should be a cause of some embarrassment to the Watch Tower Society, who for decades have taught that the interval between Christ’s 1914 enthronement and Armageddon would only be a “short period of time.” (Rev. 12:12)
But rather than understate the significance, there has been a concerted effort in recent publications to capitalize on the year 2014 with the apparent aim of heightening expectations among Witnesses. A clear example of this can be found in the new March edition of the Witness-only journal, Our Kingdom Ministry.
The final paragraph on page 2, in an article about the forthcoming Memorial, reads as follows…
Witnesses will be quick to point out that the above paragraph doesn’t definitively say the 2014 Memorial WILL be the last. Even so, it is beyond reasonable doubt that its careful wording is intended as a nod towards the 1914 Centenary, since the writers describe the 2014 Memorial as a “unique opportunity to show gratitude.” Why should this year’s Memorial be more unique than any other year if not for the Centenary?
Though the writers are rightly careful about making any firm predictions, they can certainly be said to be toying with Witnesses – encouraging them to entertain the prospect of Armageddon coming in 2014.
Such teasing may produce a short-term effect, with perhaps some Witnesses deciding to muster one last push for the 2014 Memorial season. But in the long run, falsely building up expectations can only backfire, as we saw in the years following 1975 when significant numbers left the organization in the wake of its failed prediction for that year.
There will always be goldfish Witnesses with short memories who will readily respond to ANY goading from Watchtower over the nearness of Armageddon, no matter how repetitive it may be. But then there are elephant Witnesses who refuse to forget the past as readily as Watchtower would like them to.
As far as the latter are concerned, Watchtower needs to tread carefully.