Per MGA’s admission, his God told him that Esa (As) was dead in late 1890, MGA then issued an announcement to that effect.  He began calling himself the Promised Messiah in 1891.
However, in the quote below he seems to deny his claim altogether.  He admits to claiming Maseel-e-Maseeh in 1883, with BA- vol.-3, and he calls anyone that accused of him of ulterior motives as being stupid.

The Quote

“I have claimed to be Maseel Maseeh, which stupid people think that it is The Promised Messiah.  I have never claimed to be the Messiah ibne Maryam. Anyone who accuses me of it, he is absolutely a liar and fabricator. For the last eight years, I have been announcing that I am only Maseel Maseeh; By that I mean that certain spiritual properties and nature and habits and virtues of Jesus(AS) has been given to me as well by God Almighty.” [Ruhani Khazain: Volume 3, Page # 192], (direct link to the page)(Izala Auham P190-191)


I am waiting for any Ahmadi to give me an explanation and with quotations from the sons of MGA.  Or quotations from any official source.  What the heck is MGA talking about here?  He seems to make no sense at all.