The False Prophecies
Watchtower and Bible Tract Society
Witnessing to the Jehovah’s Witnesses
False Prophet Biblical Defined
The Watchtower has claimed to be a Prophet
A FALSE PROPHET: BIBLICALLY DEFINED
the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not
commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the names of other gods, that
prophet shall die.’
might say in your heart, ‘How will we know the word which the LORD
has not spoken?’
a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about
or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. . . . ”
(Deut. 18:20-22; emphasis added).
saith the LORD of hosts,
not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you, They are
leading you into futility; They speak a vision of their own imagination,
Not from the mouth of the LORD. . . .
did not send these prophets,
did not speak to them,
they prophesied. . . .
heard what the prophets who prophesy falsely in My name, saying, ‘I had a
dream, I had a dream!’
long? Is there anything in the hearts of the prophets who prophesy
falsely, even these prophets of the deception of their own heart, . . .
behold, I as against the prophets,” declares the LORD, “who steal words from
I am against the prophets,” declares the LORD, “who use their
own tongues and declare, ‘the LORD declares. . . ’
will bring punishment upon that man and his household” (Jer. 23:16, 21, 25-26,
30-32, 34; NASB; emphasis added).
a biblical description of a false prophet was someone that prophesied in the
name of the Lord and what he prophesied did not come to pass. Further, a
false prophet always taught a false God (cf. Deut. 13:1ff.; Matt. 7:15-29; 1
John 4:1ff.). The biblical definition is clear; there are no modifications or
conditions. The New Testament definition of a false prophet is the same as the
Old Testament. When Jesus was discussing the events that would mark the last
days, He was concerned that false prophets would not deceive His church:
And Jesus answered and said to them, “See that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many.… Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. . . . For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible even the elect” (Matt. 24:4, 11, 24).
what I found to be effective in witnessing to the Jehovah’s Witnesses
(hereafter JWs) is to ask first, “What is a false Prophet?”
They will usually admit the above definition is true, that is, someone who
prophesies falsely. Even more, most agree that anyone who says, “the Lord
says,” and then it does not come to pass, he or she is a false prophet. And
after they clearly define what a “false prophet” is, then it
is most important to demonstrate by their own material (i.e.,
photocopies, references, etc.) that the Watchtower (hereafter WT) is a false
prophet. Again, under his or her own definition the WT is shown to be a false
in mind, the main reason that the JWs do not believe in the doctrine of the
Trinity, the deity of Jesus Christ, justification by faith alone, and other
essential doctrines of biblical Christianity is that their religious
organization, their source, told them that these doctrines are false.
you need to undermine the source first. By demonstrating that the
source is unreliable, the door swings open to utilize Scripture.
as David killed Goliath with his own sword, the theology of the
JWs can be demolished by using their own material. For that
reason, it is productive to discuss first the subject of the WT’s failed
prophecies. Think about it, if the WT is really a true “mouthpiece
for Jehovah,” as they arrogantly assert, then what they prophesy should
come to pass. Though when the JWs are confronted with the WT’s false
prophecies, the common response is asserted: “We never claimed to be
a prophet . . .
people can make mistakes.” But the fact is, the WT has claimed
to be a prophet many times!
the examples below of statements made by the WT in its own publications:
So does Jehovah have a prophet to help them, to warn them of the dangers to come? These questions can be answered in the affirmative. Who is this prophet? . . . This prophet was not one man, but was a body of men and women. It was a small group of footstep followers of Jesus Christ, known at that time as International Bible Students. Today they are known as Jehovah’s Christian Witnesses (WT, 1 April 1972, 197).
Who will be Jehovah’s prophet? Who will be the modern day Jeremiah? The plain facts show God has been pleased to use Jehovah’s Witnesses (ibid., 15 January 1959, 40-41).
God has on earth a people, all whom are prophets, or witnesses for God . . . Jehovah’s Witnesses (Awake, 8 June 1986, 9).
of course is but a few of the many times that the WT has claimed to be a
prophet. Although many times when confronted on this subject the JWs will also
argue that “The Apostle Peter was wrong concerning
the second coming of Jesus, so we can be mistaken, we are not perfect.”
However, it must be pointed out to them that Peter never
claimed to be a prophet nor did he say, “Thus saith the Lord.”
However, the excuse most utilized by the JWs in their effort to defend their
blundering prophetic track record is that “The light is getting brighter and
brighter, we are consistently seeing new light, that is how we know that we are
Jehovah’s mouthpiece on the earth.” First of all, this idea of “new
light” is derived from a faulty interpretation of Proverbs 4:18 which reads:
But the path of the righteous ones is like a bright light that is getting lighter and lighter until the day is firmly established.
they stop at verse 18, but notice verse 19:
The way of the wicked ones is like the gloom; they have not known at what they keep stumbling (NWT).
context and in complete opposition to their interpretation, verses 18 and 19 are
contrasting “the path of the righteous” with “the way of the
wicked.” Therefore, ask the JWs if they think using the concept of “new
light” would have been a valid excuse for a so-called prophet in the Old
Testament who promulgated false prophecies. As we seen above, God clearly
defines what a false prophet is:
“When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. . . . ” (Deut. 18:22).
the WT’s own magazine said:
Of course, it is easy to say that this group acts as a ‘prophet’ of God. It is another thing to prove it. The only way that this can be done is to review the record (WT, 1 April 1972, 197).
after reviewing the record, all we find is false prophecies and consistent
changes in the WT’s doctrine. The fact is, according to its own statements
printed in its own publications, and according to the biblical definition, the
WT is clearly a false prophet of Jehovah.
following are examples of false prophecies and doctrinal changes that
will no doubt, be an effective way to reach out to the JWs when they come to
your door. Also take into account that there
are no biblical scholars or Greek grammarians involved with or in the WT. Hence,
it is of no great wonder as to why the JWs undeniably lack a clear understanding
of the basic rules of biblical interpretation. As with all non-Christian
only believe what their ultimate authority, that is, their religious
organization (i.e., the WT) has taught them.
Our Lord, the appointed King, is now present since October 1874, A.D. . . . and the formal inauguration if his kingly office dates form April 1878, A.D. (Studies in the Scriptures, vol. 4, 621).
Fall 1874 A.D. Second Advent of the Lord (ibid., vol. 7, 60).
the beginning of the Times of Restitution, A.D. 1874 (ibid., 64).
The Millennium began in 1874, with the Return of Christ (ibid., 386).
The second coming of the Lord therefore began in 1874. . . . (Creation, early ed., 289; and late ed., 312).
The Scriptural proof is that the second presence of the Lord Jesus Christ began in 1874 A.D. (Prophecy, 65).
there are many more WT prophecies of the alleged “invisible return” of
Christ in the year 1874.
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 (Studies In The Scriptures, vol. 2, 1908 ed., 101).
That the deliverance of the saints must take place some time before 1914 is manifest. . . . (ibid., vol. 3, 1913 ed., 228; emphasis added).
That the deliverance of the saints must take place very soon after 1914 is manifest. . . . (ibid., vol. 3, 1923 ed., 228; emphasis added).
We did not say positively that this would be the year (WT, 1 November 1914, 5565).
It seems conclusive that the hour of Nominal Zion’ travail is fixed for the Passover of 1918 . . . the fallen angels will invade the minds of many of the Normal Church people . . . leading their destruction at the hands of the enraged masses. . . . (Studies in the Scriptures, vol. 7, 128).
It is the Day of Vengeance, which began in the world war of 1914 and which will break like a furious morning storm in 1918 (ibid., 404).
The churches will cease to be. . . . culminating in 1918, to remove it with a stroke or plague of erroneous doctrines and deeds Divinely permitted (ibid., 1917 ed., 484).
the 1926 edition of Studies in the Scriptures removed the phrase
“culminating in 1918” and replaced it with “culminating shortly.”
Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old. . . . (Millions Now Will Never Die, 89-90; note: for an original photocopy of this citation contact this ministry: Department of Christian Defense, www.christiandefense.org
1925 shall mark the resurrection of the faithful worthies of old. . . . (ibid., 97).
1914 ended the Gentile Times. . . . The date 1925 is even more distinctly indicated by the Scriptures … by then the great crisis will be reached and probably passed (WT, 1 September 1922, 262).
1925 is definitely settled by the Scripture . . . the Christian has much more upon which to base his faith than Noah had (so far as the Scriptures reveal) upon which to base his faith in a coming deluge (ibid., 1 April 1923, 106).
The year 1925 is a dated definitely and clearly marked in the Scriptures, even more clearly than that of 1914 (ibid., 15 July 1924, 211).
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 the year. This may be accomplished. It may not be (ibid., 1 January 1925, 3; emphasis added).
the year 1925 finally arrived, the WT began to tone down this prophecy
that was, a few years prior: "definitely settled by the Scripture.”
Thus, the year 1925 came and left.
The year 1925 came and went. Jesus’ anointed followers were still on the earth as a class. The faithful men of old times-Abraham, David and others-had not been resurrected to become princes in the earth. (Ps. 45:16) So, as Anna MacDonald recalls: ‘1925 was a sad year for many brothers. Some of them were stumbled; their hopes were dashed. . . . Instead of it being considered a “probability,” they read into it that it was a “certainty,” and some prepared for their own loved ones with expectancy of their resurrection’ (1975 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 146).
the JWs did not learn their lesson. After 1925, the JWs continued to promulgate
false prophecies and fixing dates (e.g., 1975); claiming that these prophecies
were “definitely settled by the Scripture.”
when the JWs are questioned concerning false prophecies, the usual response is:
“We know that we are the only true church because the light keeps getting
brighter and brighter” (see response to this Prov. 4:18 assertion above, p.
5). However, if that is true, then, why do the JWs go back to the old
light? In other words, if the “light” is getting “brighter and
brighter” it would follow that at the time when the WT held to and taught the
old teachings the WT was in darkness.
Anything but doctrinal brightness is the WT, who after receiving the so-called
“new light” returned to its old teaching on that subject—the
times the WT has gone back-and-forth on various teachings. Simply, if they
were really Jehovah’s “mouth piece” as they claim, they would not
flip-flop from old light to new light and return back again to the old
in mind that the WT has claimed to be “a modern day Jeremiah” and the
“prophet … known as Jehovah’s Witnesses” (see p. 4 above). Let us now
observed some of the WT’s doctrinal flip-flops:
Prophecies about the Men of Sodom:
The men of Sodom will be resurrected (WT, July 1879, 8).
The men of Sodom will not be resurrected (ibid., 1 June 1952, 338).
The men of Sodom will be resurrected (Ibid., 1 August 1965, 479).
The men of Sodom will not be resurrected (ibid., 1 June 1988, 31).
The men of Sodom will be resurrected (You Can Live Forever In Paradise On Earth, early ed. 179).
The men of Sodom will not be resurrected (ibid., later ed., 179).
The men of Sodom will be resurrected (Insight On The Scriptures, vol. 2, 985).
The men of Sodom will not be resurrected (Revelation- Its Grand Climax at Hand, 273).
point of fact, the WT has changed its position concerning the men of Sodom no
less then eight different times! As one writer said, the light is
not getting brighter and brighter but rather it’s flickering on and off.
Powers” (Rom. 13:1-7)
WT, as with most biblical commentators, first taught that the “higher
powers” in Romans 13:1-7 were
human rulers, man’s government. Before long, a decade after World War
1, the WT taught that the “higher powers” were Jehovah and Jesus (cf.
The Truth Shall Make You Free, 312).
in 1959 they switched back to their original view (cf. Jehovah’s
Witnesses In The Divine Purpose, 91). Then, soon afterward, they changed again
to the teaching that the “higher powers” were Jehovah and Jesus (cf. Babylon
The Great Has Fallen! 1963, 548).
more, and not at all surprising, 17 years later they changed it again back to
the old teaching that man’s government was the “higher powers (cf. WT,
15 May 1980, 4).
WT prophecy of the “generation that will not pass away” (taken from Matt.
24:34). is the most recent of the WT’s prophetic blunders. It
must be understood first, that the JWs are taught that the “1914
generation” (i.e., those who witnessed the signs of the invisible return
of Christ in 1914) is part of the “anointed class.” That is, as the JWs tell
us, they are included in the so-called group of the “144,000” which
are the only ones that will enter into heaven.
The rest of the JWs, well, as they inform us, will reside on earth (i.e.,
“paradise”) forever. According to “Jehovah’s
prophetic word” as claimed by the WT (see p. 14) the 1914 generation would
not die off until Jehovah restores a peaceful new secure world (as we
will see below). Nevertheless, as the years passed so did the 1914 generation.
Hence, this caused a serious dilemma for
the WT. What was the WT to do?
for starters, they could say that the 1914 generation included young teenagers
to buy more time. And, that’s exactly what they did.
in 1968 they defined the 1914 generation as:
Those who were old enough to witness with understanding what took place when the ‘last days’ began. . . Even if we presume youngsters 15 years of age would be perceptive enough to realize the import of what happened in 1914, it would still make the youngest of ‘this generation’ nearly 70 years old today. . . . Jesus said that at the end of this wicked world would come before that generation passed away in death (Awake, 8 October 1968, 13-14; emphasis added).
WT made that statement above in 1968. But by 1984, many of that
“generation” died. So to accommodate the decreasing numbers, they started to
teach that babies were now a part of the 1914 generation! This
enabled the WT to buy even more time and avoid the possibility of yet another failed
prophecy. Again, they were prophesying that the earth would be restored
to a “peaceful and secure new world”: before the 1914 generation dies.
the hole even further, as early as 1975 the WT started claiming that the
prophecy “of a new order of lasting peace and true security within our
generation” was now the “Creator’s promise,” who the JWs say
is Jehovah! On page 2 of the Awake magazine, January 8, 1975, the WT
Most importantly, “Awake!” provides hope, giving you a basis for confidence in the Creator’s promise of a new order of lasting peace and true security within our generation (emphasis added).
by 1982, the WT became even more explicit. For on the same page,
they added to the former prophecy in order to make a bolder
pronouncement. Now it was the “Creator’s promise” that before the 1914
generation passes away He
(Jehovah) will restore the world to a “peaceful and
secure new order”:
Most importantly, this magazine builds confidence in the Creator’s [Jehovah’s] promise of a peaceful and secure new order before the generation that saw 1914 C.E. passes away (Awake, 8 January 1982, 2).
above purpose statement remained until the January issue of 1987. Then,
they redesigned their statement, moving it to page 4 with a slight rewording.
However the “thus saith the Lord” pronouncement: the “Creator’s
promise,” that before the 1914 generation passes away there
will be a new world, was still staring at all of its readers:
Most importantly, this magazine builds confidence in the Creator’s promise of a peaceful and secure new world before the generation that saw the events of 1914 passes away (Awake, 8 January 1987 through 8 October 1995, 4; emphasis added).
the JWs say, “We never said, ‘thus saith the Lord’” or
“We never spoke for Jehovah” is an assertion that is
contradicted by their own Awake magazine declaration: “the Creator’s
promise.” The Creator is Jehovah, and I do not think that any JW would
ever disagree. Easily shown then, is that the WT was speaking for Jehovah for 13
years! (1982 through 1995). However, it was not only in the Awake
magazine that the WT spoke in the name of Jehovah. We find the
same speaking for Jehovah pronouncements in other WT literature:
From a purely human view point, it could appear that these developments could hardly take place before the generation of 1914 disappears from the scene. But the fulfillment of all the foretold events affecting the generation of 1914 does not depend on comparatively slow human action. Jehovah’s prophetic word through Christ Jesus is: ‘This generation (of 1914) will by no means pass away until all things occur.’ (Luke 21:32 And Jehovah, who is the source of inspired and unfailing prophecy, will bring about the fulfillment of his Son’s words in a relatively short time. . . . (WT, 15 May, 1984, 6-7; emphasis added).
Which generation is this , and how long is it? . . . It applies to Christ’s followers and others who were able to observe that war and the other things that have occurred in fulfillment of Jesus’ ‘composite sign.’ Some of such persons ‘will by no means pass away until’ all of the present wicked system (ibid., 1 October 1978, 31; emphasis added).
we saw above how for over 13 years the WT spoke in the name of
Jehovah, that is, it was the “Creator’s promise
of a peaceful and secure new world before the generation that saw
the events of 1914 passes away.” But that “generation” of 1914, is dying
off and only a relatively few are left. Just as little children will cross their
fingers behind their back and say, “it doesn’t count,” the
totally changed the 1914 generation prophecy with no explanation whatsoever.
page 4 of the November 8th 1995 edition of the Awake
magazine, they omitted the words “before
the generation that saw 1914 passes away.” Notice how the change now reads:
Most importantly, this magazine builds confidence in the Creator’s promise of a peaceful and secure new world that is about to replace the present wicked, lawless system of things (note that all present eds. of the Awake magazine contain this reading—so far).
In a God who cannot get it right the first time? Remember this is not some human
fallible error, the WT said that it was Jehovah’s promise, His
“prophetic word.” For 13 years (concerning the “generation”
prophecy alone), they allowed themselves to be the Deuteronomy 18 false
the WT’s entire doctrine of “this generation” has changed. Before 1995,
the “1914 generation” was the faithful “anointed class” (i.e., part of
the 144,000). Now, since November 8, 1995, the “generation” is defined as
the “lawless wicked ones” that saw the signs of the invisible return of
Christ in 1914 but did not change their evil ways and become JWs (cf. WT,
1 November 1995, 19). Clearly then, the WT is a false prophet that tells its
devotees that Jehovah spoke to them when in fact Jehovah did not.
with the many false prophecies, the WT has also countless doctrinal flip-flops.
They declare (as Jehovah’s mouthpiece on earth) principles and doctrines for
its people. Then, years later, change it, because of the supposed “new
light.” But then, after a while, they change it again back to the original
teaching, as with the men of Sodom being resurrected. Jehovah’s mouthpiece?
millions of faithful followers are told that the WT is Jehovah’s sole channel
Those who are convinced that The Watchtower is publishing the opinion or expression of a man should not waste time in looking at it at all. . . . Those who believe that God uses The Watchtower as a means of communication to his people, or of calling attention to his prophecies, should study The Watchtower (WT, 1 January 1942, 5; emphasis added).
January 1982 through 8 October 1995:
Most importantly, this magazine builds confidence in the Creator’s promise of a peaceful and secure new world [order] before the generation that saw the events of 1914 [C.E.] passes away (Awake, 8 January, 1982 through 8 October, 1995, 2[1982-1987], 4 [1987-1995]; emphasis added).
8, 1995 to the present:
Most importantly, this magazine builds confidence in the Creator's promise of a peaceful and secure new world that is about to replace the present wicked, lawless system of things (4; and in all present eds. of the Awake magazine; emphasis added).
can you trust? You cannot trust the Watchtower.
I, the LORD, do not change. . . . ” (Mal. 3:6).
is called “The God” (o
Matthew 1:23: “they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “the God [ho theos] with us.”
John 20:28: Thomas said to Jesus (direct address): ho kurios mou kai ho theos mou, lit. “the Lord of me and the God of me” (see the WT’s Greek interlinear: The Kingdom Interlinear Translation).
tou megalou theou kai sōtēros hēmōn
Christou Iēsou, lit. “the great God and Savior of us
Christ Jesus.” Note, in 2 Peter 1:1 is the same grammatical
construction (i.e., article-noun-kai-noun
[“the”-“God”-“and”-“Jesus”]): tou theou hēmōn
kai sōtēros Iēsou Christou, lit. “the God
of us and Savior Jesus Christ (cf. 2 Peter 1:11; 2:20; 3:2, 18; 2 Thess.
1:12; see Gk.).
Hebrews 1:8: “But of the Son He [the Father] says, “YOUR THRONE, O GOD IS FOREVER AND EVER. . . . ” (ho thronos sou ho theos, lit. “the throne of thee the God. . . . ”).
Absolute claim to BE the “I AM” (egw eimi, egō
(Mark 6:50; John 8:24; 8:28; 8:58; 13:19 [cf. Isa. 43:10; LXX]; 18:5; 18:6; and 18:8)
*Why is it important to know and teach that Jesus IS God? Besides that of John 4:24; 17:3 and 1 John 2:23, Jesus declares in John 8:24:
“Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I AM He [egw eimi, egō eimi], you will die in your sins” (emphasis added; note: “He” is not in the Gk., lit.: “Unless you believe that I AM you will die in your sins”; no supplied predicate).
by way of biblical authorship (viz. 1 & 2 Peter) were Peter’s words theopneustos,
“God breathed out” (cf. 2 Tim. 3:16).
 Specifically, the JWs are taught that in 1935 God stopped calling people to heaven (cf. WT, 15 December, 1982, 19). Thus, the total number of people that will enter into heaven is 144.000 (also called the “anointed class” and “little flock”). The JWs say that they will be “spirit creatures” (without “flesh and blood”) as Christ is. Also included in the 144.000 are the ones (viz. the 1914 generation) who witnessed the signs of the so-called invisible return of Christ in 1914. The rest (i.e., the “other sheep” or the “great crowd” which comprises the majority of JWs) will have to live on earth for eternity. It is only the 144.000 that can be “born again” (cf. WT, 1 April, 1988, 18); be justified before God (cf. Life Everlasting-in Freedom of the Sons of God, 1966, 391); and partake in communion services. Note that in WT theology, the Old Testament prophets are not even a part of the heaven bound “anointed class” rather they will live on earth forever.
 According to the Statistics: 2001 Report of Jehovah's Witnesses Worldwide there are only 8,730 left of the 1914 generation.