Beginning in 1918 and in the early 1920s, the term, “millions now living will never die” was the slogan that the Bible Students were talking about even though the prophetic failure of the 1914 date to see the end of the “time of trouble,” was obvious.
Of course, many were disappointed that 1914 did not fulfill their exciting expectations based on this strong statement made in 1889 by Russell:
In view of the strong Bible evidence, we consider it an established fact that the final end of the kingdoms of this world and the full establishment of the Kingdom of God will be accomplished by the end of A.D. 1914.
Although such expectations did not materialize, it did not prevent the Bible Students’ leaders, Rutherford and his associates, from pointing to other dates postulated to keep the flock still interested.
In the book, The Finished Mystery, notice a new date:
Also, in the year 1918, when God destroys the churches wholesale and the church members by millions, it shall be that any that escape shall come to the works of Pastor Russell to learn the meaning of the downfall of “Christianity.”
Further, in that same book it states,
And every island fled away – even the republics will disappear in the fall of 1920. And the mountains were not found – every kingdom of earth will pass away, be swallowed up in anarchy.
To make sure the dangling carrot of hope that the establishment of the kingdom of God would soon rule the earth remained in front of the Bible Students, in February of 1918, Rutherford, for the first time, lectured in California on the theme, “Millions Now Living Will Never Die.” Then in that other marked year, 1920, the lecture was published in booklet form and given wide distribution.
Note what the “Millions” booklet said on page 97:
Based upon the arguments heretofore set forth, then, that the old order of things, the old world, is ending and is therefore passing away, and the new order is coming in, and that 1925 shall mark the resurrection of the faithful worthies of old and the beginning of reconstruction, it is reasonable to conclude that millions of people now on the earth [in 1920] will be still on the earth in 1925. Then, based upon the promises set forth in the divine Word, millions now living will never die.
When 1925 was right at the door, Rutherford unwaveringly stated in the September 15, 1924 Watch Tower,
Assured of the fact that we are standing now in the presence of the Lord at the beginning of his reign, and certain of the fact that the kingdom of heaven is at hand, and that we are standing at the portals of the Golden Age, it is with confidence that we announce that millions now living will never die.