The False Prophecies of the Watchtower

The Jehovah’s Witness religion has a chequered history of giving false prophecies and setting dates for the end of the world. These are some examples:

A) 1880- “As the beginning of that change was marked by the coming of Christ from heaven, so the 2300 years above mentioned indicated that Christ was due to leave the most holy place- ‘heaven itself’- in 1844.” (The Watchtower, 7/1880, 3)

B) 1892- “The date of the close of that ‘battle’ is definitely marked in the Scripture as October 1914. It is already in progress, its beginning dating from October 1874.” (Watchtower Reprints, Jan 15, 1892, 1355)

C) 1917- “…the Spirit of 1918 will bring upon Christendom a spasm of anguish greater even than that experienced in the fall of 1914…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.'” (The Finished Mystery, 1918, 65, 485)

D) 1920- “Even the republics will disappear in 1920…The three days in which Pharaoh’s host pursued the Israelites into the wilderness represent the three years from 1917 to 1920…The wheels will come off their chariots- organization.” (Finished Mystery, 258)

E) 1925 “…1925 shall mark the resurrection of the faithful worthies of old…based upon the promises set forth in the divine Word, we must reach the positive and indisputable conclusion that millions now living will never die.” (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 1920, 97)

F) 1940- “The Kingdom is here, the king is enthroned. Armageddon is just ahead. The glorious reign of Christ that shall bring great blessings to the world will immediately follow. Therefore the great climax has been reached. Tribulation has fallen upon those who stand by the Lord.” (The Messenger, Sept 1940, 6)

G) I968 – “Just think, brothers, there are only about 90 months left before the 6000 years of man’s existence on earth is completed…The majority of people living today will probably be alive when Armageddon breaks out” (Kingdom Ministry, 3/68, 4)

H) 1975- “Reports are heard of brothers selling their homes and property and planning to spend the rest of their days in this old system in the pioneer service. Certainly this is a fine way to spend the short time remaining before the wicked world’s end.” (Kingdom Ministry, 5/1975, 3)

When you point these out to JWs they will quote Proverbs 4:18: “But the path of the righteous ones is like the bright light that is getting lighter and lighter until the day is firmly established.” They would say though their leadership made errors in the past, their paths are now shining brighter and they have received “new light” on their doctrines over the years. They quickly assume that they are the righteous ones the Bible speaks of! This is classic circular reasoning.

God doesn’t take the issue of those who prophesy lies or mislead people lightly. He says:
“Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying unto you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD” (Jer. 23:16). When a religious group makes false predictions, they are proclaiming “false visions, divinations, idolatries and delusions of their own minds” and we are not listen to them (Jer. 14:14).

Yet JWs wrote:
“True, there have been those in time past who predicted an ‘end of the world’ even announcing a specific date…Yet nothing happened…Why? What was missing?…Missing from such people were God’s truths and the evidence that he was guiding and using them.” (Awake! Oct 8, 1968, 23)

Based on their history, the truth of God is missing from the Watchtower Society. Some JWs will tell you that the Watchtower Society has never claimed to be a prophet of God. But this is a deliberate lie to cover an obvious fraud.

The Watchtower April 1972 edition says:
“The scroll was doubtless delivered to Ezekiel by the hand of one of the cherubs…This would indicate that Jehovah’s Witnesses today make their declaration of the good news of the Kingdom under angelic direction…And since no work of Jehovah can fail, for he is God Almighty, the nations will see the fulfilment of what these witnesses say as directed from heaven.” (p. 200)

The Watchtower organization claims to be under angelic direction in what it writes and says its predictions will be fulfilled, yet they weren’t fulfilled. Evidently they are false prophets.

Interestingly, they wrote:
“False prophets will try to hide their reason for feeling shame by denying who they really are” (Paradise Restored to Mankind- By Theocracy! 1972, 354).

Of course, this is an apt self-description. That they admit giving false prophecies does not change God’s sentence hanging over them: “If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken…” (Deut. 18:22).

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