J Ws: Their Prophetic Record
(Investigator 4, 1989 January)
"True, there have been those in times past who predicted an 'end to the world', even announcing a specific date. Yet nothing happened. The ‘end' did not come. They were guilty of false prophesying. Why? What was missing? Missing from such people were God's truths and the evidence that He was using and guiding them." - Awake 8th October, 1968, p 23, published by the Watchtower Society.
"When the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word does not occur or come true, that is the word that Jehovah did not speak. With presumptuousness the prophet spoke it. You must not get frightened at him." – Deuteronomy 18:22
Jehovah's Witnesses view themselves collectively speaking as God's modern-day prophet. However, when pressed on this claim, they retreat somewhat by denying that they are inspired in the same sense as the ancient Hebrew prophets such as Jeremiah and Ezekiel. And yet members who challenge the Society's record of numerous predictions are said to be challenging Jehovah God Himself.
In the April 1st 1972 Watchtower page 197, under "They Shall Know that a Prophet Was Among Them" the question was raised as to whether in modern times Jehovah God has had a prophet to help the people, to warn them of dangers and declare things to come.
The answer given was yes, and the prophet was identified as the organization known as Jehovah's Christian Witnesses. According to this article, the group was commissioned by Jehovah as the modern-day anti-typical Ezekiel, to proclaim the impending destruction of the modern-day anti-typical Jerusalem, namely Christendom. To prove this assertion, the article invites the reader to "review the record" of the organization's ‘prophetic' activities. And indeed, this is what we will how attempt to do.
1799 to 1914: "The ‘Time of the End', a period of one hundred and fifteen (115) years, from A.D.1799 to A.D.1914, is particularly marked in the Scriptures." - Thy Kingdom Come, (1891), Pg 23.
1873: The end of the six great 1000 year days beginning with Adam and the beginning of the great 7th day, the 1000 years of Christ's reign. - The Time is at Hand, (1916), Pg2.
1874: The beginning of Christ's Presence and ‘the Harvest', the gathering of the Bride into the place of safety which would take seven years ending in 1881. - WT Jan 1881. - Thy Kingdom Come, (1891), Pg 121.
1874 to 1914: A period of 40 years, being the duration of the harvest work, at the end of which all prophecies relating to the close of this age will terminate, being fulfilled. - Ibid1878:
Christ assumes his full Kingdom power as King of Kings;
the beginning of the judgement of the house of God;
the Fall of Babylon the Great (changed 40 years later to 1919);
the beginning of the resurrection of the saints.
- The Time is at Hand, (1889), Pg 239.
The translation of the living saints from the natural to the spiritual condition (the ‘rapture' concept is no longer taught);
the closing of the door, ie the opportunity to become a member of the Bride;
the time when C.T, Russell was fully appointed as the Lord's Servant. WT Jan 1881.
1906: "A great storm is near at hand. Though one may not know exactly when it will break forth,it seems reasonable to suppose that it cannot be more than twelve or fourteen years yet future." - WT June 1893, Pg l94.
1910: "…but a trouble chiefly upon the Church may be expected about 1910 A.D."
- Studies in the Scriptures, Vol, 3, (l891), Pg 364.
1910 to 1912: "According to our expectations the stress of the great time of trouble will be on us soon, somewhere between 1910 and 1912...culminating with the end of the ‘Times of the Gentiles', October, 1914."
- Studies in the Scriptures, Vol 6, (1904) Pg579.
The complete end of Babylon the Great (false religion);
the full end of the Gentile Times and the farthest limit of the rule of imperfect men;
the Kingdom of God will have obtained full universal control and will be firmly established in the earth;
the presence of Christ as earth's new ruler and the overthrow of all Gentile governments) sometime before the end of 1914;
the last member of the anointed will be glorified or resurrected to be with Christ;
Jerusalem (literal) shall no longer be trodden down of the Gentiles;
by that date or sooner, Israel's blindness will begin to be turned away;
the Great Tribulation will reach it's culmination in a worldwide reign of anarchy.
- The Time is at Hand, (1889), Pgs 77, 78, 98, 99
- WT 15/1/ 1892 ; July 1894; 1/10/1907
Keep in mind that virtually all of what was called "present truth chronology" has now been rejected by the Watchtower.
Remember that these statements were made after 1919 when the Witnesses believe they were appointed as "the faithful and discreet slave" dispensing food at the proper time. Once again, those who doubted this chronology were portrayed as repudiating God and Christ. (see WT 1/5/1922)
1975: The end of 6000 years from man's creation and the probable beginning of Christ's millennial reign. - Life Everlasting in Freedom... (1966), Pgs 29, 30.
Jehovah's Witnesses continue to defend their poor record of predictions with platitudes such as "the light of truth gets brighter", a reference to Prov 4:18, or "we have never claimed to be perfect!"
Franz,a former member
of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, makes this telling
in his book 'Crisis of Conscience':-
South Australia 5017
To the W B T S
I've been getting the Witness magazines for years. Only recently, however, did I accept a Study with brother ***** of Port Adelaide Congregation.
I wish to ask a question. The magazines sometimes say things as follows:
"The evidence from fulfilled Bible prophecy shows that we are very, very late in the ‘last days' of this wicked system of things." w1977 4/1 p. 198
The words "very late" suggest that the greater part of the last days had by 1977 passed. In 1977 the "last days" were 63 years old. If the greater part had passed then the remainder should be less than 63 years as measured from 1977.
In other words the 1977 Watchtower is predicting that Armagedon will be over before the year 2,040 i.e. 1977 + 63).
Similar reasoning follows from:
"We also know that the 1914 generation is well into the evening of its existence, thus allowing only little time…" (w1985 5/1 p.7)
"Having started in 1914, the time of the end is now well advanced." (w1986 10/15 p.7)
Brothers, do you agree with my conclusion especially the underlined parts?
This approach means that in addition to false prophecies for about 25 specific dates like 1915 or 1975, there are many more false prophecies for less-specific periods.
of JW Leaders is
therefore worse than anyone realized! No wonder then that the letter
no reply. They couldn't answer "Yes"; they couldn't answer "No".
A very dear friend of mine, Mrs Lorenz, showed me a letter she sent you and your reply. She asked you:
"Can you please tell me exactly what the Jehovah Witnesses predicted for the year 1914?"
Your reply, in part, was:
"When these appointed times would conclude the world would enter its ‘last days' and we could expect a great time of turmoil and trouble culminating with ... Armageddon." (Copy of your letter is attached)
You also supplied pages from REASONING, which present only your current interpretations, and said: "These pages ... will answer your question."
This implies that your current interpretations are exactly the same as what was originally predicted for 1914.
Only 2 weeks prior to Mrs Lorenz's letter I sent you a 9-page summary of Witness predictions for 1914 and other dates. I showed that no prediction for any date was ever fulfilled. One quote I supplied was: "But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble." (w1894 July)
I pointed out that your founder, Mr Russell, predicted Armageddon for c.1910 and world peace, under the rule of resurrected Jews in Israel, for 1915.
You men at the Sydney office know about the false prophecies of your American bosses. You could have told Mrs Lorenz the truth about what they originally predicted. Instead you tried to mislead her. Shame on you! …
past prophecies were all false then how can any
sensible person trust your present claims?
Remember the story of the shepherd boy who lyingly kept crying, "wolf"? When the real wolf came no one believed him and he lost all his sheep.