This is a paper I’ve prepared on the false prophecies of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. God’s word is very clear on false prophesy. Deuteronomy 18:20-22 (see right) tells us that God has the death penalty in store for all who claim to be his prophets and prophesy anything that does not “come to pass.” God bless, Anna (BananaJackson.com)
11-01-05 Bob, I know you told me that you don’t think the Society has ever claimed to be a prophet, so you can’t hold them to the prophet’s standard in Deut. 18. However, it’s vitally important that you realize that’s not true. In this copy of The Watchtower (4-1-72) the Society makes it clear that the “body of men and women… known as Jehovah’s Christian witnesses,” are prophets of God. Now, no matter what you’ve been told, you can see clearly that The Watchtower considers itself to be a prophet. And having made that claim, once and for all, all the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society’s material must be measured against God’s standard. In Deut. 18:20-22 God says that if anything they have prophesied has not “come to pass,” then they are worthy of the death penalty.
The next page come from The Time is at Hand written in 1908. Here is the title page:
I’ve reduced the size of these two pages from The Time is At Hand, 1908, so you can read them together more easily, since one of the quotes spans the two pages. In this book, the Jehovah’s Witnesses prophesy that “the final end of the kingdoms of this world, and the full establishment of the Kingdom of God will be accomplished at the end of A.D. 1914.” This is not talking about an “invisible” return of Jesus. As clearly stated in the first marked quote, they are saying Armageddon is going to occur in 1914. This prophesy was false. One false prophesy is all God requires for a false prophet to have earned the death penalty, but there are many more false prophesies made by the Watchtower.
When Armageddon did not occur as prophesied in 1914, the Watchtower revised the prophesy to 1918â€Ś giving them a few extra years to hope that it would come true. These pages are from The Finished Mystery, 1917. Notice that Armageddon is clearly prophesied to occur in 1918. Of course this prophesy also proved false.
Here we have one of the clearest false prophesies in Jehovah’s Witness literature. In this book, Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 1920, the Watchtower prophesies that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will return in 1925. This of course that prophesy didn’t “come to pass.”
One of the most recent false prophesies has been within my lifetime (but not yours). As I understand it, Jehovah’s Witnesses are now taught that there was really never any prophesy made about 1975… that it was only speculation. And that some people just got overly excited, and were wrong. They are taught that the Watchtower never ever encouraged people to leave their homes and jobs to do pioneer work… they never actually said that 1975 was going to be the year for Armageddon… and so forth. However it is easy to prove that all of what Jehovah’s Witnesses are currently taught about the 1975 prophesy is false. Read what it has to say here in Live Everlasing—In Freedom of the Sons of God, 1966.
Here is further confirmation on the false prophesy of 1975 from The Watchtower magazine.
Here is one small piece from Kingdom Ministry showing that the Watchtower did indeed encourage people to sell all their possessions, give up their careers, and go on the road in full time pioneering, because Armageddon would begin in 1975.
A true prophet of God won't err in prophesying. Only a false prophet does. The Jehovah's Witness organization, that claims to be a prophet of God, is really a false prophet. Jesus warned us by saying, "For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect -- if that were possible" (Matt. 24:24). Even though there are many more false prophesies I could go over, I’m going to give a little more time and attention to this one because it has occurred during your own lifetime. In other words, we’re not talking about something that happened bunches and bunches of years ago, before you were even born. You’ll easily be able to see this one appearing false before your eyes. Back when I started studying with the Jehovah’s Witnesses was in October of 1988. I was 17 years old. The first book they gave me was the red You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth. That book (which I still have… and I’ll be using here in a minute) made it very emphatic that the Jehovah’s Witnesses said that Jesus taught that the people alive in 1914 — that generation of people — would not die before the old system would pass away. I found this picture (to the right) on the internet, which pretty much sums up what the Jehovah’s Witnesses were teaching at that time. Below are some copies out of my Paradise book.
Take a look at the Awake magazine pledge from 1964 here… In it they are saying the “sure hope for the establishment of God’s righteous new order in this generation.”
January 8, 1964 Awake! magazine, page 2 (From online archives)
But in 1975 they took a drastic step in changing the wording. Look at this copy from 1975… see how they’ve now inserted the words, “the Creator’s promise.” (It’s in the last paragraph.) It was a very serious step to add this, because now the Watchtower was prophesying in the name of the Creator… in God’s name.
January 8, 1975 Awake! magazine, page 2 (From online archives)
Let me at this time repeat God’s warning against ever doing this… unless he commanded it. See Deuteronomy 18:20-22 to the right.
Did the Creator really command the Society to say the He promised the new order would come “within our generation”?
In other places they tell exactly what they meant by “this generation.”
Take a look at this from 1968 Awake magazine. It says, “Jesus was saying that some of those persons who were alive at the appearance of the ‘sign of the last days’ would still be alive when God brought this system to its end.” (Paragraph on the right-hand side of this first scanned image.)
Then in the first paragraph on this scanned image see what it says: “Jesus said that the end of this wicked world would come before that generation passed away in death.”
October 8, 1968 Awake! magazine, page 13-14 (From online archives)
In 1982 the Watchtower Society changed the prophecy on page 2 of each Awake! issue to include the same thought about 1914. It was no longer a vague "our generation" that would see the world’s end, but the generation that saw the events of 1914.
See this paragraph here —-> January 8, 1982 Awake! magazine, page 2 (From online archives)
The wording was changed slightly and continued through October, 1995. By then, however, the generation that saw the events of 1914 had largely passed away. All that remained were a relatively few surviving individuals in their late 90’s—people nearly a hundred years old. Obviously, the prophecy had failed.
October 8, 1995 Awake! magazine, page 4 (From online archives)
Like spoiled food, the expired prophecy began to stink. JW leaders in Brooklyn finally replaced it in the November 8, 1995 edition. Actually the prophecy on page 4 of each Awake! is only the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. It is the most prominent part of a whole chronological system of Bible interpretation that has proved false.
November 8, 1995 Awake! magazine, page 4 (From online archives)
One of the things Jehovah’s Witnesses have often told me, after being shown the false prophesies made by the Watchtower, is that the “light is getting brighter.” Because of this, it is necessary to show you some of the many instances where the “light gets brighter” excuse could not possibly apply, because the Watchtower Society taught a certain doctrine, reversed itself and rejected that doctrine, only to reverse itself again some years later and resume teaching the old rejected viewpoint. It would take a LOT of time and space for me to scan in all the following actual documents (the way I’ve done for everything else so far), but these should be very easy to check and see that I’m telling you the truth. •
Prior to 1975 it was taught that each Jehovah's Witness is a minister. Then, in 1975, it reversed this and began teaching that most members are not ministers, even changing the monthly Kingdom Ministry's name to Our Kingdom Service; then in 1981 it returned to the old teaching and again renamed the publication Our Kingdom Ministry.
The 1972 book entitled Organization, instructed that "none in the congregation should greet" disfellowshipped persons. (p. 172) Then the August 1, 1974, Watchtower reversed this by teaching that "Jesus' own example protects us against adopting the extreme view" of refusing to speak to them. (pp. 464-465) Then the September 15, 1981, Watchtower returned to the previous point of view. (pp. 24-26)
Originally the Watchtower Society taught that the "superior authorities" or "higher powers" of Romans 13:1 are the secular governments, but in 1929 this was rejected as a 'false doctrine.' (Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose, p. 91) The new teaching was that the "higher powers" are God and Christ. But decades later the old teaching was adopted again, so that J.W.'s now say Romans 13:1 refers to the secular governments. (The Watchtower, May 15, 1980, p. 4)
Will the men of Sodom be resurrected? The Society has answered 'yes' (Wt. July 1879, p. 8), 'no' (Wt. June 1, 1952, p. 338), 'yes' (Wt. Aug. 1, 1965, p. 479), 'no' (Wt. June 1, 1988, p. 31), 'yes' (1988 book Insight on the Scriptures, p. 985), 'no' (1988 book Revelation: Its Grand Climax At Hand!, p. 273). In fact, as pointed out in Our Kingdom Ministry (December, 1989, p. 7) early printings of the book You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth say 'yes' but later printings of the same book say 'no.' (pp. 178-179)
These changes in doctrine, affirming "truths" today, denying them as "errors" tomorrow, and returning to the discarded teachings the next day for recycling as "new truths" once again… is just one more evidence that the Watchtower Society is not God’s organization. And because the Watchtower Society knows that this information could devastate it’s claim, they try to cover up or deny the changes. But these flip-flops are total reversals… this is not any sort of forward moving “tacking into the wind process. When speaking about events leading up to the end of this wicked world, Jesus Christ warned that "many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many." (Matthew 24:11, KJV) Did he suggest that believers should follow such false prophets, loyally sticking to them through one prophetic failure after another, in the hope that they would eventually get it right? Far from it! Rather, Jesus warned, "Take heed that no man deceive you." (Matthew 24:4 KJV) If the Watchtower Society is a deceptive false prophet, where else can individual Jehovah's Witnesses turn for sound spiritual guidance? “Whom shall we go away to?” No one! -- is the Watchtower Society's answer, drilled into each Witness through constant repetition. Our organization is the only way, the only truth, the only life. This view of things makes it very difficult for Jehovah's Witnesses to leave the organization -- and very confusing and even frightening for those who do leave.
But the scripture verses that the Watchtower Society applies to itself actually apply to Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Jesus is the One the disciples were talking to when they said, "Lord, whom shall we go away to? You have sayings of everlasting life; and we have believed and come to know that you are the Holy One of God." (John 6:68-69 New World Translation) They were not speaking of an organization. And "the Truth" is not an organization, either. Scripture identifies Jesus Himself as "the Way and the Truth and the Life." (John 14:6 Modern Language Bible) Jesus did not teach, as the Watchtower Society does, that people should "come to Jehovah's organization for salvation" (The Watchtower November 15, 1981, page 21). Rather, he said, "No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6) The way of salvation that Jesus proclaimed was not through organizational membership or accurate knowledge of the Scriptures -- although these enter into it. In order to gain life, people had to come to Jesus personally. Under the new covenant there would be no other way to the Father, except through Jesus. God sent His Son to earth to fulfill the "new covenant" prophecy of Jeremiah, chapter 31. Under this new covenant "'they will all of them know me, from the least one of them even to the greatest one of them,' is the utterance of Jehovah. 'For I shall forgive their error, and their sin I shall remember no more.'" (verse 34 NW) Jeremiah was not offering a new covenant for just a handful of men in the First Century. Rather, it would be God's way of dealing with men from that time onward. For example, Paul's relationship with God through His Son began when Jesus appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus. Later on, Paul told of occasions when "the Lord stood near me and infused power into me" (2 Tim. 4:17 NW), and when Paul spoke to the Lord about his "thorn in the flesh." (2 Cor. 12:79) As a zealous Jew, Paul had had a relationship with God before, but only from a distance. Now, as a Christian, he really knew God. Stephen saw Jesus in a vision during his trial. Some time later, after his trial broke up and he was brought outside the city, Stephen called out to Jesus. "And as they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, 'Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.' And he knelt down and cried with a loud voice, 'Lord, do not hold this sin against them.'" (Acts 7:59-60 RSV) There is no indication that the earlier vision was repeated then. Rather, Stephen had an on-going relationship with Jesus and felt free to call upon Him. Were Paul and Stephen unique in having a personal relationship with the Son of God, calling upon Jesus in time of need? Evidently not, as Paul described Christians as those "who everywhere are calling upon the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ." (1 Cor 1:2 New World Translation) Jesus promised this continuing relationship with His disciples: "For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there I am in their midst." (Matt. 18:20 NW) In fact, we have Jesus' promise that "he that loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and will plainly show myself to him. ...and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him and make our abode with him." (John 14:21-23 NW) The Living Bible paraphrases it this way: "When I come back to life again...I will only reveal myself to those who love and obey me. The Father will love them too, and we will come to them and live with them." (verses 20-23)
Jesus does not usually reveal himself to people today in a blinding light, as he appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus. Rather, it is more as described at Galatians 4:6 -- "God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, 'Abba! Father!'" (Revised Standard Version) Christ assures at Luke 11:10-13 -- "For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or it he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" (RSV) So, the Gospel of the Christian Scriptures, the new covenant that Jeremiah 31 foretold, is not a new set of doctrines to learn or new facts about God (although many Watchtower doctrines need to be unlearned). Rather, it is a salvation that includes a new life right now, as a new creature by virtue of being born again and living a new Spirit-filled life. Jesus introduced this new life when He told Nicodemus, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God...Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." (John 3:3-7 KJV) All who come into the new covenant undergo this change: "You, however, are controlled not by your sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. ...Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit who makes you sons. And by him we cry, 'Abba, Father.' The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children." (Romans 8:9-11, 14-16 NIV)
The Father will help you grow as His child. You will form a longing for the Word, and the Holy Spirit will teach you as you read. You may have to admit, though, as Paul the Apostle did, that "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." (1 Corinthians 13:12, KJV). So, while 'accurate knowledge' of every detail is not yet available, and we cannot know ahead of time when Christ will return, it is the Christian's privilege to "know" God through a close, personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If you have not yet done so, tell God right now that you need Jesus as your Savior, and receive Him as your Lord. He invites you: "Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest." (Matt. 11:28 Today's English Version) "I will never turn away anyone who comes to me." (John 6:37 TEV) Please contact me when youâ€™ve read over all this so that we can talk face-to-face, 562-920-0482. There is nothing more important than what happens to you after death. Anna