Comment: This later page (above) of Zion's Watch Tower, October-November 1881, p289 reveals that no Jehovah's Witness could become a member of the 'little flock' of 144,000 after October 3, 1881 - this must be a severe disappointment to the many who have claimed to be in the 144,000 since that date!
However, the WBTS have adjusted their dates so often in their history that this is no real problem to them!
What is a huge problem for the WBTS (one of many) is the fact that the Bible does not teach their doctrine that only 144,000 go to heaven - as we will prove later!
When the 'prophecy' that Jesus would return visibly in 1874 was endorsed by C.T. Russell - and obviously failed - we find that he behaved in the pattern which the WBTS has followed ever since those early days: he changed his 'prophecy' in 1877 to try and make his FALSE PROPHECY come true by claiming that Jesus returned in 1874 - INVISIBLY - although they had clearly expected Jesus' VISIBLE return!
The fact that the Lord Jesus Christ clearly warned of those who claim He has returned (Matthew 24:23-27) somehow escaped the WBTS (see later).
When we read the excuses made by the WBTS:
'Looking back to 1871, we see that many of our company were what are known as Second Adventists, and the light they held briefly stated, was that there would be a second advent of Jesus ...'
we see that they simply shared the same errors of 'Adventists' who still exist today in the form of the Seventh-Day Adventists cult:
'that he (Jesus!) would come to bless and immortalize the saints, to judge the world and burn up the world and all the wicked. This they claimed would occur in 1873, because the 6,000 years from the creation of Adam were complete then'.
There are many other statements made by the WBTS that show how they made repeated guesses about the physical return of Jesus.
Fortunately the old magazines of the WBTS are available, both as official 'Reprints' and as archived scanned magazines and books on the Internet and in private libraries, and further evidence is widely available when necessary.
By examining the early 'chronology' of the WBTS we can draw the following comparisons to their modern-day claims:
Russell emphasized a number of years, including 1915 and 1918, and so the WBTS cannot claim that they pointed exclusively to 1914.that 1914 event, above all else, as 'proving' Russell's 'prophecies'.
In fact, the record shows that the nearer 1914 came the more Russell doubted his original 'prophecies'.
Russell first said that the 'Gentile Times' ended on 20 September 1914, and later saw 'no reason for doubting' October 1914.
Russell always said that the kingdom would be an earthly one.
What the Witnesses teach today about Christ's invisible reign has nothing to do with Russell's teaching of the end of the world's governmental systems.
Neither by December 1914, nor by his death in 1916, had Russell received the 'light' that he claimed God had promised to his true children and not once did he claim that the kingdom was set up in 1914.
The very first issue of Zion's Watch Tower clearly taught Christ's literal, physical coming and this view has been slowly modified over the years.
Today the WBTS claim
How can a Society that blatantly twists the words of its own founder be the mouthpiece of 'Jehovah' God?
The record shows that in seeking to prove that they are God's prophet they have deceived and lied.
The next two pages are from Zion's Watch Tower, January 1886, title page - the WBTS give their view of the current state on earth: