Did the Last Days begin in 1914? Did Jesus become King in that year? Some say this is evidenced by Matthew 24 and parallel passages, which are supposed to point to a composite Sign that appeared in 1914. An unprecedented increase of Wars, Pestilences, Famine, Earthquakes, Lawlessness are all said to be features of this Sign which make the world since 1914 markedly different than before that year. It is not any one feature in isolation, they proclaim, but the composite of all of these features together. However, the Olivet Discourse begins with a stern warning that Christians must take seriously lest they be misled.
At Matthew 24:7, Jesus said, “for nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom.” Is War a feature of a “composite sign” and has that feature manifested since 1914? While we have always had wars, some argue, since 1914, the world has seen an increase of war. First, we need to examine the framework of this argument and what is said about War since 1914.
With that framework in mind, we now examine the argument of whether since 1914 there has been an increase in war, fulfilling a feature of a “composite sign”, and proving we have been in the Last Days since that time. World War I is seen a significant jumpstart to the Last Days, a turning point that interrupted a time of peace and optimism. What is the significance of WWI in the context of history? What is a world war exactly? What is a total war? Was WWI greater than previous wars? And what about other wars since then? Has the 20th century up until now been the most bloody, the most warlike in humanity’s history? Are wars “worse than ever”? Do conditions “continue to deteriorate”?
At Matthew 24:7, Jesus said, “And there will be food shortages.” Some say that in 1914 another feature of the “composite sign” began to appear: increase in famine. However, has famine increased since 1914? We will review a handful of famines in Europe, China, and India before and after 1914. We will also see what food experts and historians have to say on the matter.
Since 1914, has pestilence been on the rise? Has pestilence tightened its grip on humanity despite advances in medicine? Was the Spanish Flu the greatest pestilence the world has ever known? We will touch on a few examples through history to see if pestilence before 1914 was any different in terms of frequency and loss of life, starting with outbreaks of smallpox, a disease that humanity finally eradicated in 1979.
Are earthquakes part of a Composite Sign? Have the number of earthquakes increased since 1914? Have earthquakes become greater, more intense? In proportion to the world population, has the proportion of earthquake fatalities been on the rise? Where can we go to find the answers?
Has crime and lawlessness gotten worse since 1914? Does it fulfill a prophecy Jesus gave at Matthew 24:12 that indicates a feature of a composite sign of his “presence”? Isn’t the daily litany of crimes reported by the newspaper and newscasts evidence of this? Are morals on the decline? If so, does that mean our period is profoundly different in this than previous generations?
In review, did a Composite Sign of wars, earthquakes, food shortages, pestilences, and lawlessness begin to appear in 1914? When do the Last Days begin? Can we use the features of Matthew 24 to determine where they are in the stream of time? What warning did Jesus give and in this regard and what is the danger for us?
Did Jesus become King in 1914? Can we calculate this date from Daniel 4? Are the “Seven Times” the same as the “times of the Gentiles” in Luke 21:24? What is the framework for the teaching of the “Seven Gentile Times”?
The teaching of “Seven Gentile Times” ending in 1914 is contingent on many factors. If one of these factors is not firm, the whole structure can collapse. The Gentile Times equation is 607 BC + 2520 = 1914. Was Jerusalem destroyed in 607 BC? Did Jesus become King in 1914? Is it true that after Jerusalem was destroyed, the Gentiles dominated that city for an uninterrupted 2520 years? What exactly is the “Gentile Times” of Luke 21:24? Is it related to the “seven times” of Daniel 4?
Where did the idea of the Seven Gentile Times come from? How did the date of 1914 come to be predicted? Tracing the idea to the source and watching the cycle of repeated history can be very enlightening. Those who do not know history are bound to repeat it, but a bit of wisdom found in the Bible might help us personally to break this reoccurring cycle.