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In my discussion with some Jehovah Witnesses, they claimed 1914 was the year referred to in revelation and that Satan came to earth. According to their belief, this is why from 1914 the world has never known peace: thus the world wars, famine escalated, and so on...

Revelation 12:9-12

9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time

Are there other traditions that agree with this claim?

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I think you'd be hard pressed to say that the world really knew peace before 1914 either. There were still disturbances in the Balkans, there were wars fought in 1909, 1912, and 1913 (and all of these involved the European powers). I think that the last time you could say that the whole world was at peace would have been the middle of the 18th century after the French and Indian War. –  Ignatius Theophorus Sep 19 '12 at 14:05
1912-1913: Balkan war 1911-1912: Italo-Turkish war 1910-1920: Mexican Revolution And now I'll get lazy: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_1900%E2%80%931944 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_1800%E2%80%931899 –  Ignatius Theophorus Sep 19 '12 at 14:26
@IgnatiusTheophorus were those world wars too? –  tunmise fashipe Sep 19 '12 at 14:32
Would you consider Vietnam (which really only involved troops from U.S., N & S Vietnam, and France) and Afghanistan (under the Russians, not the one in the 21th century) world wars? I certainly would not consider the invasion of Iraq to be a "World War," there were only four nations primarily involved: U.S., U.K., Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. –  Ignatius Theophorus Sep 19 '12 at 15:17
@IgnatiusTheophorus - when you count all the other UN and Coalition countries involved, it's pretty close to "world" –  warren Sep 20 '12 at 15:31

2 Answers 2

While I find the premise factually incorrect (see the comments), I think it might be important to bring up the fact that there is a legend that Leo XIII had a vision not long before that (1886). In this supposed vision, the devil was given 100 years to destroy the Church. Other versions of the vision have this happening later in Leo XIII's life and saying that the Devil had "chosen the 20th century." Both of these legends are likely apocryphal.

As to the year 1914, once again, it is relatively easy to show that there have been few years of peace from the 18th century onward. To my knowledge, no major congregation or sizable sect within Christianity holds 1914 to be any more significant than the start of a terrible tragedy. It is certainly not something which is held significant in the Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Presbyterian, Reformed, Methodist, Baptist, Congregationalist, etc.

To be honest, this more has the feel of Harold Camping's dubious numerology. (When was the rapture supposed to be again?)

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It would be tough to make a New Testament argument that Satan was not on or active on Earth at that point in time.

In 1 Peter you have an image of him prowling like a lion, presumably on the Earth at that time:

1 Peter 5:8

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Paul refers to him as 'God of this age' which would infer that he was and is active in the world, at that time.

2 Corinthians 4:4

The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Finally Jesus himself refers to him a 'prince of this world', note the 'of this world' would imply that Satan exists in the world presently.

John 14:30

I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me,

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This really doesn't answer the question directly. Also you're skipping over the fact that very many denominations do in fact belive that Satan has had limited or restricted access to earth for the last two thousand years but that he will be given looser reign at some point. The case is made quite strongly from revelation and elsewhere. The question that needs answering is whether anybody believes that loosing happened in the middle of the twentieth century. –  Caleb Sep 21 '12 at 11:35

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