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An Examination of Watchower Prophecy
What is A Prophet of God? The Test:   Armageddon in 1941  
       
Christ's Return: 1873 or 1874?   Armageddon in 1957: Pastor Puts Armageddon in Disrepute  
       
Armageddon in 1914   Armageddon in 1975  
       
God Will Destroy The Churches in 1918   Watchtower Convicts Itself  
       
Promised Return of Abraham Isaac and Jacob in 1925   What Does The Bible Say About False Prophets?  
       
A Lesson Learned?    Questions  
       

  "The Watch Tower" (4/1/1919) P. 6414
"Is not the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society the one and only channel which the Lord has used in dispensing his truth continually since the beginning of the harvest period?"

 

WHAT IS A PROPHET OF GOD?

THE TEST:

1. One who speaks in the name of the Lord about something that will come true Dt. 18:22

a) A prophet will not mix truth with falsehood Jer 23:21-29

2. A genuine prophet serves the living God Deut 13:1-5

3. Old truth is never dismissed in light of new truth (God's Word is unchanging, and he does not contradict himself) Jer 23:21-29 , Jn 14:26

4. Does the prophecy made by the prophet come to pass?

 

Christ's Return: 1873 or 1874?
The Time Is at Hand, page ii, (forward) 1916
"The Bible chronology herein presented shows that the six great 10000 year days beginning with Adam are ended, and that the great 7th Day, the 1000 years of Christ's Reign, began in 1873."

but then again...

1897
"Our Lord, the appointed King, is now present, since October 1874,"
Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 4, page 621.

 

Armageddon in 1914
1899
"...the 'battle of the great day of God Almighty' (Revelation 16: 14), which will end in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth's present rulership, is already commenced."
The Time Is at Hand, page 101 (1908 edition).

"The Watch Tower" (7/15/1894) P. 1677
"There is no reason for changing the figures; they are God's dates, not ours; 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but the end!"

* Below note the change from 'these are God's dates' to 'we are not confident.....'

"The Watch Tower" (1/1/1914) P. 5373
"As already pointed out, we are by no means confident that this year, 1914, will witness as radical and swift changes of dispensation as we have expected."

*The Watchtower now totally denies the date setting

"The Watch Tower" (11/1/1914) P. 5565
"We did not say positively that this would be the year."

 

 Summary of 1914 Date

1914 "The battle of the great day of God Almighty' which will end in A.D.1914 with the complete overthrow of earth's present ruler ship. is already commenced"(Studies In Scriptures vol 3 p 153)
When did Christ return? Which date?
1) For the first 50 years the Great Pyramid was the basis for the 1914 theology established by C.T. Russell (Studies In The Scriptures, vol 3, Thy Kingdom Come, p342).
2) In 1929 the Watchtower Society rejected the views of C.T. Russell & successor Rutherford
3) What was once considered the 'witness of the Lord' (The Watchtower, May 15, 1925, p.148) was now called 'Satan's Bible' (The Watchtower, Nov 15, 1928, pp341,344.)

 

God Will Destroy The Churches in 1918
The Finished Mystery, 1917 ed., p.484
"The Churches To Cease To Be . . . Also, 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 Watch Tower" (10/1/1917) P. 6149
"...the Great Pyramid, the measurements of which confirm the Bible teaching that 1878 marked the beginning of the harvest of the Gospel age...the harvest would close forty years thereafter; to wit, in the spring of A.D. 1918...we have only a few months in which to labour before the great night settles down when no man can work."

 

Promised Return of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob in 1925
"The Watch Tower" (10/15/1917) P. 6157
"There will be no slip-up...Abraham should enter upon the actual possession of his promised inheritance in the year 1925 A.D."

Millions Now Living Will Never Die, page 89, 1918
"Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the Apostle in Hebrews 11, to the condition of human perfection."

Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 1920, p.97
"Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, . . . 1925 shall mark the resurrection of the faithful worthies of old and the beginning of reconstruction,"

"The Watch Tower" (7/15/1922) P. 217
"This chronology is not of man but God... of divine origin... absolutely and unqualifiedly correct."

Consider for yourself whether the chronology of the Watchtower is from God or from the follies of man!

The Watchtower 9/1/1922, page 262.
"The date 1925 is even more distinctly indicated by the Scriptures than 1914."

The Watchtower, page 106 4/1/23.
"Our thought is, that 1925 is definitely settled by the Scriptures. As to Noah, the Christian now has much more upon which to base his faith than Noah had upon which to base his faith in a coming deluge."


* Notice the following Watchtower tract below and the backtracking used to 'escape' the obviously mistaken prophecy


The Watchtower, 1/1/25, page. 3.
"The year 1925 is here. With great expectation Christians have looked forward to this year. Many have confidently expected that all members of the body of Christ will be changed to heavenly glory during this year. This may be accomplished. It may not be. In his own due time God will accomplish his purposes concerning his people. Christians should not be so deeply concerned about what may transpire this year."

  A Lesson Learned?
Vindication, page 338. 1931
"There was a measure of disappointment on the part of Jehovah's faithful ones on earth concerning the years 1917, 1918, and 1925, which disappointment lasted for a time... and they also learned to quit fixing dates."
 

Armageddon in 1941

The Watchtower, Sept 15,1941 p.288

"Receiving the gift, the marching children clasp it to them, not a toy or plaything for idle pleasure, but the Lord's provided instrument for most effective work in the remaining months before Armageddon"

  Armageddon in 1957: Pastor Puts Armageddon in Disrepute
Watchtower, Oct. 15, 1958, p. 613
"Sometime between April 16 and 23, 1957, Armageddon will sweep the world! Millions of persons will perish in its flames and the land will be scorched.' So prophesied a certain California pastor, Mihran Ask, in January 1957. Such false prophets tend to put the subject of Armageddon in disrepute."
  Armageddon in 1975
The WatchTower, 8/15/68, p. 499
"According to this trustworthy Bible chronology six thousand years from man's creation will end in 1975, and the seventh period of a thousand years of human history will begin in the fall of 1975 C.E." "It would not be by mere chance or accident but would be according to the loving purpose of Jehovah God for the reign of Jesus Christ, the "Lord of the sabbath," to run parallel with the seventh millennium of man's existence." "Are we to assume from this study that the battle of Armageddon will be all over by the autumn of 1975, and the long-looked-for thousand-year reign of Christ will begin by then? Possibly, but we wait to see how closely the seventh thousand-year period of man's existence coincides the the sabbathlike thousand-year reign of Christ. . . . It may involve only a difference of weeks or months, not years."

 

 The Watchtower Convicts Itself !
Awake, 10/8/68.
"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 evidence that he was using and guiding them."

If these prophecies have not been fulfilled, and if all possibility of fulfillment is past, then these prophets are proven false. Prophecy, p22 (1)

 

What Does The Bible Say About False Prophets?

1. How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophecy the delusions of their own minds? Jer 23:26

2. You may say to yourselves"How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?" 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. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him. Dt 18:21-22

3. Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. Matt 7:15-20

 

 Question: Since the Watchtower was wrong about their end time predictions for 1873, 1874, 1914, 1918, 1924, 1941 and 1975 do you think that this religious organization is trustworthy?

Question: Do you agree with the Bible that if a prophet speaks 'In the name of the Lord' and it does not come to pass that you should not listen to such a person? Dt 18:22

Question: Do you agree with the Watchtower that if prophecy is not fulfilled then they are proven false(and should not be listened too)?

BACK

(1) Rhodes, Ron. Reasoning From The Scriptures with the Jehovah's Witnesses: Harvest House Publishers 1993

* Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry J. Slick, B.A., M. Div. welcomes your comments via E-mail at mslick@connectnet.com