I have been asked to write an article on what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe with regard to Jesus’ return or presence in 1914. Here are some quotes from official J.W. sources that I know about:
The 2,520 years began in October 607 B.C.E., when Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians and the Davidic king was taken off his throne. The period ended in October 1914. At that time, “the appointed times of the nations” ended, and Jesus Christ was installed as God’s heavenly King. Just as Jesus predicted, his “presence” as heavenly King has been marked by dramatic world developments—war, famine, earthquakes, pestilences. (Matthew 24:3-8; Luke 21:11) Such developments bear powerful testimony to the fact that 1914 indeed marked the birth of God’s heavenly Kingdom and the beginning of “the last days” of this present wicked system of things.—2 Timothy 3:1-5. https://www.jw.org/en/library/books/bible-teach/1914-significant-year-bible-prophecy/
From a secular source, I found this:
They believe the Greek word parousia (usually translated as "coming") is more accurately understood as an extended invisible "presence", perceived only by a series of "signs". Witnesses base their beliefs about the significance of 1914 on the Watch Tower Society's interpretation of biblical chronology, which is hinged on their assertion that the Babylonian captivity and destruction of Jerusalem occurred in 607 BC...
They teach that after the war of Armageddon, Jesus will rule over earth as king for 1000 years after which he will hand all authority back to Jehovah. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eschatology_of_Jehovah%27s_Witnesses
I also understand that Ray Franz, a former Witness who was on the governing board from 1971 to 1980, said:
They’ve been insisting on this as a definite truth for more than 40 years... This is a monumental change after all this time. Initially, it was taught that ‘this generation’ started with people who were old enough to understand the events of 1914 [when World War I broke out], but as the decades passed it began to include anyone born in that year.
I believe there have been further 'adjustments' to the teaching about the generation born in 1914 who were supposed to be alive to see the end of this wicked system of things.
Nathan Knorr, former president, said this on February 19, 1975, at a meeting in which the Governing Body listened to Fred Franz’ taped talk on 1975:
There are some things I know – I know that Jehovah is God, that Christ Jesus is his Son, that he gave his life as a ransom for us, that there is a resurrection. Other things I’m not so certain about. 1914 – I don’t know. We have talked about 1914 for a long time. We may be right and I hope we are. (Crisis of Conscience, page 260)
To sum up, Jehovah’s Witnesses say that Jesus second “presence” happened in October 1914 when he became King. This was not a literal “coming” because this event was invisible and only they understood what was happening in the heavenly realms, namely, that Jesus began to rule as King from heaven. After the tribulation period Jesus (who is known in heaven as Michael the Archangel) will bring judgment on all who oppose him and who persecute his people (Jehovah’s Witnesses).
However, 107 years have elapsed since 1914, a date that “marked the birth of God’s heavenly Kingdom and the beginning of “the last days” of this present wicked system of things.” The Great Tribulation (which precedes Armageddon) is still some time future. What is the official explanation for this seeming delay? What has Jesus, enthroned as king in heaven, been doing for all this time?
My information is incomplete, and may be out of date, so I would appreciate an up to date explanation from official sources so that I can write an article that accurately represents the views of Jehovah’s Witnesses as they understand events since 1914 till today.
There is no intention to belittle or refute the official view with regard to 1914, rather I wish to present an accurate account.