ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY YEARS BEFORE the actual events came to fruition in the Middle East, two dedicated Bible scholars predicted accurately several key years in the then approaching conflict for tenure of the holy Land and Jerusalem, involving a long prophesised regathering of the Jews to their Promised Land, after nearly 2000 years of Diaspora.

Doctors Clarke and Guinness pointed well in advance to the coming years 1902, 1917, 1947-8 and 1967 AD, having based their predictions on the 2,500 year old Biblical book of Daniel.

Not only did their advance forecasts prove accurate decades later, but those key 'Signpost Years’ continue to mark events and developments in the holy Land, ever since their occurrence in modern times, that now represent the specific themes of serious contention in the struggle for Peace in that region today.

These following NOTES explain the rational behind the Clarke-Guinness thinking in as fast and concise a form as possible, and elaborations will follow. A second critical aim here is not to prove 'The Signpost Years' correct, but rather to use the scientific approach of attempting their falsification first. You can help either way by passing on any objective comments to this site.

PART 1 Is an Introduction and looks at each of the Signpost Years as they were foretold in the writings of Guinness and Clarke. It looks at many of the side issues and has a number of detailed footnotes.

PART 2 Looks at the period 1901 – 1903, and the first of the Signpost Years predicted by Clarke in 1825. This part explains the huge significance of the period and sets the scene for a further link that comes in Part 4.

PART 3 Begins to address some of the typical questions that might arise in the mind of the reader regarding the Signpost Years. Items are added to this from time to time as new considerations are brought to light. Again, feel free to contribute any comments that will add to those pages.

PART 4 Looks at the Signpost Years in the light of the last 6 months of Christ’s Ministry, and especially the last week of messages He imparted to His followers for the future. It ties directly back into PART 2.




Click on QUICK LINKS to Parts 1 to 4 of the Signpost Notes:
Part 1: Introduction, Timelines, Conclusion.
Part 2: The SignPost Year 1902 AD and Max Nordau
Part 3: Q & A on the Signpost Years
Part 4: Jesus and the Signpost Years

Sunday, 15 February 2009


“In the book of Daniel, the term ‘constant feature’ occurs five times. It refers to a sacrifice of praise – ‘the fruit of lips’ – regularly offered to Jehovah God by his servants (Heb 13:15). Its foretold removal is referred to at Daniel 8:11, 11:31, and 12:11).

During both world wars, Jehovah’s people were severely persecuted…The removal of ‘the constant feature’ took place toward the end of World War I when the preaching work was all but suspended in mid-1918 (Daniel 12:7).

During World War II, ‘the constant feature’ was similarly ‘taken away’ for 2,300 days by the Anglo-American World Power (Daniel 8:11-14).” p 298


[December 1914 to June 1918 And January 1919 to September 1922]

In the middle of 1918, leading members of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, including its president J.F. Rutherford, were convicted on false charges, sentenced to long terms of confinement, and imprisoned. God’s holy ones did indeed see their work ‘dashed to pieces,’ their power broken. Counting back (1260 days) from mid 1918 brings us to the end of 1914
….So this first condition of the prophecy – the removing of ‘the constant feature’ – was brought about in mid-1918 when the preaching work was virtually suspended. (pp 296, 298)

What, though, about the second condition – ‘placing’ or installation of ‘the disgusting thing that is causing desolation’? …This disgusting thing was first the League of Nations and re-emerged later as the United Nations. Both are disgusting in that they have been heralded as the only hope for peace on earth. Thus, in the hearts of many, these institutions actually take the place of God’s Kingdom! The League was officially proposed in January 1919. At that time, then, both conditions of Daniel 12:11 were met.

So, the 1,290 days began in early 1919 and ran until the autumn of 1922. During this time, did the holy ones make progress toward becoming whitened and cleansed in God’s eyes? They certainly did! In March 1919 the president of the Watch Tower Society and his close associates were released from prison. They were later exonerated of the false charges against them. Aware their work was far from over, they got busy immediately, organising a convention for September 1919. In the same year, a companion magazine to The Watch Tower was first published. Originally called The Golden Age (now Awake!), it has always supported The Watchtower in fearlessly exposing the corruption of this world and in helping God’s people to remain clean. By the end of the foretold 1290 days, the holy ones were well on the way to a cleansing and restored standing.

In September 1922, right about the time when this period ended, they held a landmark convention at Cedar Point, Ohio, USA. It gave tremendous impetus to the preaching work. However, there was still a need for making more progress. That remained for the next marked period.” (pp 296 – 303)


[September 1922 to May 1926]

“Jehovah’s angel concludes his prophecy regarding the holy ones with these words: ‘Happy is the one who is keeping in expectation and who arrives at the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days!’ (Daniel 12:12). The angle gives no clues as to when this period begins or ends. History suggests that it simply follows on the heels of the preceding period. In that case it would run from the autumn of 1922 to late spring of 1926 (Northern Hemisphere). Did the holy ones come to a state of happiness by the end of that period? Yes, in important spiritual ways.

Even after the convention in 1922, some of God’s holy ones were still looking longingly to the past. The basic study material for their meetings was still the Bible and the volumes of Studies In The Scriptures, by C T Russell. At the same time, there was a widely held view that pointed to 1925 as the year for the resurrection to begin and for Paradise to be restored to the earth. Thus, many were serving with a fixed date in mind. Some proudly refused to share in the work of preaching to the public. This was not a happy state of affairs.

As the 1335 days progressed, however, all of this began to change. Preaching came to the fore, as regular arrangements for everyone to participate in the field ministry were established. Meetings were scheduled study The Watch Tower each week. The issue of March 1, 1925, carried the historic article ‘Birth of the Nation’, giving God’s people a full understanding of what had happened in the 1914-19 period.
After 1925 passed, the holy ones no longer served God with an immediate, explicit deadline in view. Rather, the sanctification of Jehovah’s name was paramount. This vital truth was highlighted, as never before, in the January 1, 1926, Watch Tower article, ‘Who Will Honour Jehovah?’ At the convention in May 1926, the book Deliverance was released. This was one of a series of new books designed to replace Studies In The Scriptures. No longer were the holy ones looking to the past. They were looking confidently to the future and the work ahead.

As prophesised, the 1335 days therefore ended with the holy ones in a happy state.Of course, not all endured through this tumultuous era. No doubt that is why the angel had emphasised the importance of ‘keeping in expectation.’ Those who endured and kept in expectation were greatly blessed. An overview of Daniel chapter 12 makes this clear.
As foretold, the anointed were revived, or resurrected, in a spiritual sense. They were given outstanding insight into God’s Word, being empowered to ‘rove about’ in it and, guided by the holy spirit, to unlock age-old mysteries. Jehovah cleansed them and made them shine spiritually, as brightly as stars. Consequently, they brought many into a righteous standing with Jehovah God.With all these prophetic marks to identify ‘the holy ones of the Supreme One,’ what excuse can there be for failure to recognise and associate with them? (pp 303 –305)


[June 1 (or 15) 1938 to October 8 (or 22) 1944]

“No one can stand against the Prince of Princes – not even a king as ‘fierce in countenance’ as the Anglo-American World power! This king’s attempts to desolate God’s sanctuary do not succeed. After a period of ‘two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings,’ says the angelic messenger, ‘the holy place will certainly be brought into its right condition’, or ‘shall emerge victorious.’ Daniel 8:13, 14. The New English Bible.

The 2,300 days constitute a prophetic period. Hence, a prophetic year of 360 days is involved (Rev 11:2,3; 12:6, 14). This 2,300 days, then would amount to 6 years, 4 months, and 20 days. When was this period? Well, in the 1930’s, (Jehovah’s Witnesses) began to experience increasing persecution in various countries. And during World War II, Jehovah’s Witnesses were fiercely persecuted in the lands of the Anglo-American dual world power. Why? Because of their insistence on ‘obeying God rather than men.’ (Acts 5:29) Therefore, the 2,300 days must be associated with that war. But what can be said about the beginning and the end of this prophetic period?

For ‘the holy place’ to be ‘brought’, or restored, to what it should be, the 2,300 days must have begun when it previously was in the ‘right condition’ from God’s standpoint. At the earliest, this was on June 1, 1938, when The Watchtower published part 1 of the article ‘Organisation.’ Part 2 appeared in the issue of June 15, 1938. Counting 2,300 days (6 years, 4 months, and 20 days on the Hebrew calendar) from June 1 or 15, 1938, brings us to October 8 or 22, 1944. On the first day of a special assembly held at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, on September 30 and October 1, 1944, the Watch Tower Society’s president spoke on the subject, ‘The Theocratic Alignment Today.’
At the annual corporate meeting on October 2, the Society’s charter was amended in an effort to bring it as close to a theocratic arrangement as the law would allow. With the publication of clarified Biblical requirements, theocratic organisation was soon more fully installed in the congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
While the 2,300 days ran their course during World War II, which began in 1939, the offering of ‘the constant feature’ at God’s sanctuary was severely restricted because of persecution. In 1938 the Watch Tower Society had 39 branches supervising the work of the Witnesses world wide, but by 1943 there were only 21. Increases in the number of Kingdom proclaimers were also small during that period.As we have noted, during the closing of World War II, Jehovah’s Witnesses reaffirmed their determination to magnify God’s rulership by serving him as a theocratic organisation. It was with this objective that the rearrangement of their work and governing structure was initiated in 1944. In fact, the Watchtower of October 15, 1944, contained the article entitled, ‘Organised for Final Work.’

It and other service-oriented articles of the same period indicated that the 2,300 days had ended and that ‘the holy place’ was again in its ‘right condition.’The enemy’s vicious attempts to desolate and destroy ‘the holy place’ had failed completely. Indeed, the remaining ‘holy ones’ on earth, along with their companions of the ‘great crowd’, had come off victorious (Revelation 7:9). And the sanctuary, in its rightful theocratic state, now continues to render sacred service to Jehovah.” (pp 177 – 179)

- ‘Pay Attention to Daniel’s Prophecy!’ Published: Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. USA. 1999.


Concluding our look at other groups who have used some level of Signpost thinking, the third of these are the Adventists. The comments here are from an excellent book, 'The Kingdom of the Cults', and it is very interesting to note how Dr Martin points to the fact that many biblically skilled writers of the time had come to a basic view which is today in line with the Signpost Year proposal. He means, of course, writers such as Clarke and Guinness.

“Seventh-day-Adventism sprang from the ‘great second advent awakening’ that shook the religious world about the middle of the nineteenth century, when a re-emphasis about the second advent of Jesus Christ was rampant in Britain and on the continent of Europe. Before long, many of the Old World views of prophetic interpretation crossed the Atlantic and penetrated American theological circles.

Based largely upon the apocalyptic books of Daniel and Revelation, the theology of the Advent Movement was discussed in the newspapers as well as in theological journals. New Testament eschatology competed with stock market quotations for front-page space, and the ‘seventy weeks’, ‘twenty-three hundred days’ and ‘the abomination of desolation’ (Daniel 8,9) were common subjects of conversation.
Following the chronology of Archbishop Ussher, and the interpretation of the 2300 days of Daniel 8 as 2300 years, many Bible students of various denominations concluded that Christ would come back about the year 1883.

Of this studious number was one William Miller, a Baptist minister and resident of Low Hampton, New York… As Miller himself put it, ‘I was thus brought in 1818 at the close of my two-year study of the Scriptures to the solemn conclusion that in about twenty-five years from that time all affairs of our present state would be wound up.’
…At length his associates set October 22, 1844, as the final date when Jesus Christ would return for His saints, visit judgment upon sin, and establish the Kingdom of God on earth. One need only read the words of the Lord Jesus Christ to realize that Miller was teaching in contradiction to the Word of God. Jesus said, ‘But of that day and hour knoweth no man, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only’ (Mat 24:36)
….Certainly this should have been deterrent enough for William Miller and his associates, but sad to say it was not…the Milleristes set the exact date (22 October 1884). And history bears a bitter record of their terrible disappointment.

Lest anyone reading the various accounts of the rise of Millerism in the United States come to the conclusion that Miller and his followers were ‘crackpots’ or ‘uneducated tools of Satan’, the following facts should be known: The great advent awakening movement which spanned the Atlantic from Europe was bolstered by a tremendous wave of contemporary Biblical scholarship. Although Miller himself lacked academic theological training, actually scores of prophetic scholars in Europe and the United States had espoused Miller’s views before he himself announced it. In reality, his was only one more voice proclaiming the 1883/1884 fulfilment of Daniel 8:14, or the 2300 days period allegedly dating from 457 BC, and ending in 1883-1884.…
Clearly it may be seen that although Miller popularised the 1883-1884 concept of Christ coming again, he was by no means alone. If we condemn him, we must also condemn a large number of internationally known scholars who were among the most highly educated men of their day. Yet they too had a blind spot in prophetic interpretation and endorsed this fallacious system of date-setting.
Regardless of the number of scholars who confirmed his errors, however, the fact remains that Miller and the Millerite movement operated contrary to the express injunctions of Scripture. Both Miller and his followers lived to reap the reward of their fool hardy quest and to suffer crushing humiliation, ridicule and abject despair…The outcome can best be summed up in the words of Dr Josiah Litch, a Millerite leader in Philadelphia, who wrote on October 24: ‘It is a cloudy and dark day here – the sheep are scattered – the Lord has not come yet.’

The entire superstructure of the Millerites’ prophetic interpretation was based upon their view of the book of Daniel chapters 8 and 9, with particular emphasis upon Daniel 8:14 and 9:24-27. The Millerites believed that the prophecy of the seventy weeks of Daniel nine must date from the year 457 BC, which as recent archaeological evidence confirms, was the exact date of the decree of King Artaxerxies to rebuild Jerusalem (9:25). Tracing the seventy weeks of Daniel on the theory that, as the Hebrew indicated, it should be rendered ‘seventy weeks of years’ or 490 years, the Millerites arrived at the date 33 AD; that is from 457 BC to AD 33. Since this date reliably refers to Christ’s crucifixion, Millerites then linked it to Daniel 8:14, ‘Unto 2300 days, then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.’ Thus, if you subtract 490 years (adding of course AD 1 to 33), the figure 1843 is arrived at.

Many Biblical scholars have historically shown that in Scripture a day frequently symbolises a year; further, that the seventy weeks could have begun on the same date. And that date, according to the Millerites, was 457 BC. In The Prophetic Faith Of Our Fathers, Dr LeRoy Froom shows that many expositors had embraced the same method of interpretation, which is no argument for accepting it, but a strong argument for the right of the Millerites to do so.

On…the morning following the ‘Great Disappointment’, Hiram Edson …suddenly received a great spiritual ‘revelation’… ‘instead of our high priest coming out of the most holy of the heavenly sanctuary to come to earth….at the end of the 2300 days, He for the first time entered on that day the second apartment of that sanctuary, and that He had a work to perform in the most holy before coming to earth.’ The sanctuary was not the earth but was located in heaven! Instead of coming to earth, therefore, Christ had passed from one ‘apartment’ of the sanctuary into the other to perform a closing work now known as the ‘investigative judgement.’

- "The Kingdom Of The Cults. Walter Martin. Bethany House Publishers. USA. August 1977 revised edition. pp 361 -364