1925:

Millions Now Living Will Never Die!

 

 

 


As we have heretofore stated, the great jubilee cycle is due to begin in 1925. At that time the earthly phase of the kingdom shall be recognized.... Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old,...

J. F. Rutherford, Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 1920, pp. 89, 90.

 

What a happy prospect! Though mistaken, they eagerly shared it with others.

Jehovah's Witnesses--Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, 1993, p. 632.


 

 

 

Starting in 1918 when angels began transmitting information into his mind, Rutherford began to speak on the subject, 'Millions Now Living Will Never Die.' In 1920 the talk was being given around the world by various representatives of the Society and Rutherford published it in booklet form under the same title. In it he said that in 1925 the earthly phase of God's Kingdom would be set-up on earth and the patriarchs of old such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would be raised from the dead to help usher in Paradise:

... there will be a resurrection of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and other faithful ones of old,... we may expect 1925 to witness the return of these faithful men of Israel from the condition of death,... and made the visible, legal representatives of the new order of things on earth. Messiah's kingdom once established... there will be peace and not war.... [1]

Since 1925 was to witness the setting-up of God's Kingdom on earth, those who obeyed the 144,001 gods from the Pleiades would never have to die. (Millions, p. 97) Heaven was located in the Pleiades star cluster they said, and the "anointed" would be resurrected by 1925 to rule earth from there. One Bible Student was asked what he would do if the prophecy failed and he was still here in 1925. His response was "I believe I will be home in the Pleiades before then." [2]

In reporting on Rutherford's delivery of the Millions talk to an audience in San Francisco the Golden Age reported:

SPEAKER positively declared that those living in 1925 would not need to die if they obeyed the plain Scriptural injunctions respecting righteous living, etc. His arguments were based primarily upon prophecies that have been fulfilled during the past five years, supplemented by other prophecies which have been in the course of fulfillment since 1878, and which will have their culmination in 1925, the official beginning of the new era during which everlasting life will be possible to whosoever will have it. [3]

This prophecy was proclaimed up to 1925. In a confidential "Letter of Instruction to Directors" from the Society's service department they said:

... the direct appeal is what should be pushed very strenuously during 1925, for it is apparent that 1925 is going to contribute much to the ending of the present order and arrangement of things. [4]

My favorite quote on the 1925 prophecy is from an advertisement for the Millions booklet that appeared on the back page of several Golden Age magazines:

Do these things appeal to you? Unending human life; perpetual health;... no more fear of the landlord, the doctor, the sheriff, the employer, of evil men and angels, of vicious animals, of dependent old age; no more blindness, lameness, deafness, dumbness; no more bald heads, glass eyes, false teeth, or wooden legs; no more sickness, disease, or pestilence; no more ignorance or superstition; no more sorrow; no more tears!

No, we are not trifling: these things and more are absolutely sure, because promised by the Word of God. The world has already ended,... earth's times of restitution, its springtime, begins to count in 1926.

When that times comes, all the above blessings will not come instantaneously, but will come speedily on those who live through the next five or six years of trouble. [5]

 

Scan of above Golden Age (218k!)

 

The Gospel of the Kingdom

The 1925 millions message was not only a prophecy by Rutherford, but was THE GOSPEL mentioned by Jesus in Matthew 24:14 that was to be preached in all the world for a witness before the end came in 1925. They said:

We are glad to report that while in Athens arrangements were made for a wider distribution of the message of the kingdom, particularly the book entitled "Millions Now Living Will Never Die". We feel quite sure that it is the Lord's will that this message go to all the nations of Christendom as a final witness before the final end of the present order. [6]

Surely the words of the Master are now in course of fulfillment: "This gospel ["The World Has Ended: Millions Now Living Will Never Die"] shall be preached in all the world for a witness, and then the end shall come. [7]

This prophecy and gospel concerning 1925 was, as usual, put forth in the strongest, most dogmatic way imaginable. They said of the 1925 chronology that:

... this chronology is not of man, but of God.... the addition of more proofs removes it entirely from the realm of chance into that of proven certainty.... the chronology of present truth [is]... not of human origin. [8]

... Scripturally, scientifically, and historically, present-truth chronology is correct beyond a doubt.... Present-truth chronology is correct beyond the possibility of a doubt.... The chronology stands firm as a rock. [9]

Despite such statements Rutherford had the gall in 1931 to say about the 1925 chronology that "The chronology was good at the time, but it always left some doubt in the mind of a careful student." 10 In 1938 in speaking of those much hated "elective elders" he said:

They had preached that in an early time God would overthrow "Christendom". Many had emphasized the year 1925 as the date, and then when that date did not materialize the date was moved up to 1932. Again, 1932 came and "Christendom" was not destroyed.... Because men tried to fix the date when God would destroy modern Nineveh and God did not back up their prophecy... is that any reason to be peeved? [11]

It is true that in 1931 in his book Vindication 1 he said that it was "God's people" who were responsible for setting the 1925 date, [12] but I believe it was reasonable for followers of his to be "peeved" at this false prophecy and gospel and his trying to shift the blame for it back to the "elective elders." The Society at times have continued to misrepresent their past dogmatic statements about 1925 by saying that their followers were "reading into" their published statements that it was a certainty when they only claimed it was a possibility and merely an expressed opinion anyway. [13] A review of their comments, including the few representative statements above, demonstrates the falsity of these claims. [14] This reminds me of the advice they gave others in the Watchtower of October 15, 1959 in an article titled, Be A Man - Shoulder the Responsibility. In it they said [p. 626]:

"A POOR writer blames his pen." That adage points out the common human failing of wanting to shirk responsibility when it comes to shouldering blame.... when we try to shift the blame upon others, more likely than not there is something wrong with our hearts, revealing pride, dishonesty and selfishness.

According to The Watchtower Rutherford did admit that he made an "ass" of himself over his 1925 prophecy. [15] The fact is that this 1925 prophecy and gospel was clearly false. If angels were responsible for him proclaiming it, as his later statements would indicate, the angels were making an "ass" out of him which further indicates the nature of these spirits.

 

 

 

 

References and Notes:

1. Rutherford, J. F., Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 1920, p. 88.

2. The Watch Tower, Nov. 1, 1920, p. 334.

3. The Golden Age, July 21, 1920, p. 632.

4. LETTER OF INSTRUCTION TO Directors, February 1, 1925, p. 1.

5. The Golden Age, January 19, 1921, p. 240.

6. The Watch Tower, December 1, 1920, p. 356.

7. The Watch Tower, October 15, 1920, p. 310. Material in brackets in original.

8. The Watch Tower, July 1, 1922, p. 217.

9. The Watch Tower, June 15, 1922, p. 187. Italics in original.

10. The Watch Tower, January 1, 1931, p. 22.

11. The Watchtower, February 15, 1938, p. 55.

12. Rutherford, J. F., Vindication 1, 1931, pp. 146, 338, 339.

13. 1975 Yearbook, p. 146; 1980 Yearbook, pp. 62, 63.

14. For a complete recording of what they actually said about 1925 see our document pack on this subject that reproduces every statement they made on this that I have found.

15. The Watchtower, October 1, 1984, p. 24. The Watchtower, December 1, 1993, p.12 states that Rutherford said he made a "fool" of himself over the 1925 date, apparently editing out his more colorful expression. There they use this admission as evidence of humility on his part!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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