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The False Prophecies of the Watchtower: 

an Effective Witnessing Tool




    Watchtower Claims: 


        The Watchtower has claimed to be a Prophet



    False Prophecies: 







“…But 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.’

“You might say in your heart, How will we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’

“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. 18:20-22; emphasis added).


Thus saith the LORD of hosts,

“Do 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.…

“I did not send these prophets,

But they ran.

I did not speak to them,

But they prophesied. . . 

“I heard what the prophets who prophesy falsely in My name, saying, ‘I had a dream, I had a dream!’

“How long? Is there anything in the hearts of the prophets who prophesy falsely, even these prophets of the deception of their own heart, . . .

“Therefore behold, I as against the prophets,” declares the LORD, “who steal words from each other.

Behold, I am against the prophets,” declares the LORD, “who use their own tongues and declare, ‘the LORD declares…’


“I will bring punishment upon that man and his household” (Jer. 23:16, 21, 25-26, 30-32, 34; NASB; emphasis added).



Clearly, a biblical description of a false prophet was someone who prophesied in the name of the Lord and what they 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).


The Watchtower has claimed to be a Prophet

 Though when confronted with the WT’s false prophecies, the common response made by most JWs is “We never claimed to be a prophet, people can make mistakes.” But the fact is that the WT has claimed to be a prophet many times!


For example:


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).



This of course, is but a few of the many times that the WT has claimed to be a prophet. More then likely, when confronted on this subject, the JWs will state, “The Apostle Peter was wrong concerning the second coming of Jesus, so we can be mistaken, we are not perfect.” But you need to inform them that Peter never claimed to be a prophet nor did he say, “thus saith the Lord.” (only in his authorship [1 & 2 Peter] were his words theopneustos, “God breathed out”). 

Though the phrase most utilized by the JWs in their effort to defend their blundering prophetic track record is: “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 their 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.


However, 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).


In 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 be a valid excuse for a prophet in the Old Testament who promulgated false prophecies? As we seen above, God says in Deuteronomy 18:20-22, “that prophet must die” (NWT). Interestingly, 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 truth is, according to their own statements published in its their own publications, clearly, the WT is a false prophet of Jehovah.





The following examples of false prophecies and doctrinal changes that will, no doubt, be an effective way to reach out to JWs when they come to your door. Also keep in mind, that there are no biblical scholars that are involved with WT, nor do they have a basic understanding of the rules of biblical interpretation; they only know what the WT has taught them.



False Prophecies about 1874


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.



False Prophecies about 1914


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; emphasis added).


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 Nov. 1914, 5565).

False Prophecies about 1918


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; emphasis added).


Note, the 1926 edition of Studies in the Scriptures removed the phrase “culminating in 1918” and replaced it with “culminating shortly.”


False Prophecies about 1925


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 Here.


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 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).


And still, 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.”





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 light.

Keep in mind that the WT claimed to be “a modern day Jeremiah” and the “prophet … known as Jehovah’s Witnesses” (see 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).


They changed this teaching eight different times! As one writer said, the light is not getting brighter and brighter but rather it’s flickering on and off.



“Higher Powers” (Rom. 13:1-7)


The WT as with most 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 they taught that the “higher powers” were Jehovah and Jesus (cf. The Truth Shall Make You Free, 312). However, 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 their teaching that Jehovah and Jesus were the “higher powers” (cf. Babylon The Great Has Fallen! 1963, 548). And, not at all surprising, 17 years later they changed it again and taught that man’s government was the “higher powers!” (cf. WT, 15 May 1980, 4).



The Generation That Will Not Pass Away


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).


The 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 died. 

As early as 1975, the WT was claiming that the prophecy of the 1914 generation, as not passing away, was the “Creator’s promise,” who the JWs say is Jehovah! On page 2 in their Awake magazine, on January 8, 1975 the WT stated:


Most importantly, “Awake!” provides hope, giving you a basic for confidence in the Creator’s promise of a new order of lasting peace and true security within our generation (emphasis added).

  Then, by 1982 they became even more explicit in their prophecy. For on the same page they changed the former prophecy to make a bold pronouncement that it was now the “Creator’s promise” that a restored new world would happen—“before the 1914 generation passes away.”


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).


The 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 Oct. 8, 1995, 4; emphasis added).


That 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 statement that this prophecy is 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). It was not only in the Awake magazine that they spoke in the name of Jehovah.



We find the same 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 [1914], and how long is it?.. It applies to Christ’s followers and others who were able to observed 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).



Change of Prophecy


    Now, 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.  

    In the November 8, 1995 Awake magazine they omitted the words “before the generation that saw 1914 passes away.” Notice how the change 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 (Awake, 4; emphasis added; note that all present eds. of the Awake magazine contain this reading—so far).


For 13 years (concerning the “generation” prophecy alone), they allowed themselves to be the Deuteronomy 18 false prophets.

Additionally, the WT’s entire doctrine of “this generation” has changed. Before 1995, the “generation” was the faithful anointed class. Now, since November 8, 1995, the “generation” is the lawless wicked ones that saw the signs of the invisible return of Christ but did not change their evil ways and become JWs. Clearly then, the WT is a false prophet that tells its devotees that Jehovah spoke to them when in fact Jehovah did not.

Along 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. And 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?

 Sadly, millions of faithful followers are told that the WT is Jehovah’s sole channel of communication:


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).



Who is the False Prophet?


January 8, 1982 through October 8, 1995, page 4:


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 October 8, 1995, 4; emphasis added; brackets indicate the 1982-1987 variant reading on page 2).


November 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 Awake magazine; emphasis added).



So, whom can you trust? You can’t trust the Watchtower.


“For I, the LORD, do not change . . . ” (Mal. 3:6).