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Various False Prophecies of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society
 

 

by James White
 

1972 “So, does Jehovah have a prophet to help them, to warn them of dangers and to declare things 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 the small group of footstep followers of Jesus Christ, known at that time as the International Bible Students. Today they are known as Jehovah’s Christian witnesses.” (Watchtower, April 1, 1972, p. 197)

1880 “As the beginning of that change was marked by the coming of Christ from heaven, so the 2300 years above mentioned indicated that Christ was due to leave the most holy place - ‘heaven itself’ - in 1844.” (Watchtower 7/1880 p. 3, Reprints p. 115)

1881 January: “Matt. xxv and the parallelism of the Jewish and Gospel ages, seem to teach that the wise of the virgins ‘who are alive and remain’ must all come in, to a knowledge of the Bridegroom’s presences, by the fall of 1881, when the door - opportunity to become a member of the bride - will close.” (January 1881 Watchtower, p. 4) February: “And now we come nearer to the time when our change seems due (we know not the day or hour, but expect it during 1881, possibly near the autumn when the parallels show the favor to Zion complete and due to end, the door the marriage shut and high calling to be the bride of Christ, to cease) and light on the subject is becoming clearer...” (Watchtower, February, 18814, p. 5) Note: the closer they came to October 1881 the less definite the Watchtower became regarding the “change.” July/August: “We look to October of this year, as the limit of favor - the end of ‘the acceptable year (time or age) of the Lord’ - the closing of the ‘straight gate’ to the ‘narrow way’ of the opportunity to become a member of the bride of Christ and partaker of his Divine Nature.” (July/August Watchtower, 1881, p. 6)

1889 “In this volume we offer a chain of testimony on the subject of God’s appointed times and seasons, each link of which we consider Scripturally strong...it is beyond the breadth and depth of human thought, and therefore cannot be of human origin. (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, 1889, p. 15)

1892 “The date of the close of that ‘battle’ is definitely marked in the Scripture as October, 1914. It is already in progress, its beginning dating from October 1874.” (Watchtower Reprints, January 15, 1892, p. 1355)

1897 “Our Lord, the appointed King, is now present, since October 1874 A.D., according to the testimony of the prophets, to those who have ears to hear it.” (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 4, 1897, pl. 621)

1914 “The war will proceed and will eventuate in no glorious victory for any nation, but in the horrible mutilation and impoverishment of all. Next will follow the Armageddon of anarchy.” (The New York Times, October 5, 1914, p. 8)

1916 “In the meantime, eyes of understanding should discern clearly the Battle of the Great Day of God Almighty now in progress; and our faith, guiding our eyes of understanding through the Word,, should enable us to see the glorious outcome - Messiah’s Kingdom.” (Watchtower Reprints, September 1, 1916, p. 5951)

1917 “The data presented in the comments on Revelation 2:1 prove that the conquest of Judea was not completed until the day of Passover, A.D. 73, and in the light of the foregoing Scriptures, prove that the Sprint of 1918 will bring upon Christendom a spasm of anguish greater even than that experienced in the Fall of 1914.” (The Finished Mystery, p. 62(1918 ed.) (some later editions have changed the dates for obvious reasons) “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’” (p. 485)

1920 “Even the republics will disappear in 1920...The three days in which Pharaoh’s host pursued the Israelites into the wilderness represent the three years from 1917 to 1920 at which time all of Pharaoh’s messengers will be swallowed up by the sea of anarchy. The wheels will come off their chariots - organization.” (The Finished Mystery, 1918 ed., p, 258)

1920 “As we have heretofore stated, the great jubilee cycle is due to begin in 1925. At the time the earthly phase of the kingdom shall be recognized...Therefore we may confidently expect that the 1925 will mark the return of Abraham...” (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 1920, p. 89)

1922 “The date 1925 is even more distinctly indicated by the Scriptures because it is fixed by the law God gave to Israel. Viewing the present situation in Europe, one wonders how it will be possible to hold back the explosion much longer; and that even before 1925 the great crisis will be reached and probably passed.” (Watchtower September 1, 1922, p. 262)

1925 January: “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. In his own due time God will accomplish his purposes concerning his own people. Christians should not be so deeply concerned about what may transpire during this year that they would fail to joyfully do what the Lord would have them do.” (Watchtower, January 1, 1925, p. 3)

September: “It is to be expected that Satan will try to inject into the minds of the consecrated the thought that 1925 should see an end of the work, and that therefore it would be needless for them to do more.” (Watchtower, September 1, 1925)

1940 “The year 1940 is certain to be the most important year yet, because Armageddon is very near. It behooves all who love righteousness to put forth every effort to advertise THE THEOCRACY while the privileges are still open.” (Informant, May 1940, p. 1) September: “The Kingdom is here, the King is enthroned. Armageddon is just ahead. The glorious reign of Christ that shall bring blessings to the world will immediately follow. Therefore the great climax has been reached. Tribulation has fallen upon those who stand by the Lord.” (The Messenger, September 1940, p. 6)

1941 “Meantime the German people are awakening to their horrible predicament. They no longer laugh as decent men and women were made to laugh, but their faces are white, pinched and filled with forebodings of what the near future will bring and is already hastening to bring to them - Armageddon, the battle of the great day of God Almighty.” (Consolation, October 29, 1941, p. 11)

1968 “Just think, brothers, there are only about 90 months left before the 6000 years of man’s existence on earth is completed...The majority of people living today will probably be alive when Armageddon breaks out.” (Kingdom Ministry, 3/68, p. 4)

1974 “Reports are heard of brothers selling their homes and property and planning to finish out the rest of their days in the old system in the pioneer service. Certainly this is a fine way to spend the short time remaining before the wicked world’s end.” (Kingdom Ministry, May 1974, p. 3)

As the preceding conclusively proves, the Watchtower should have been speaking of itself when it said: “True, there have been those in times past who predicted an ‘end to the world,’ even announcing a specific date. Some have gathered groups of people with them and fled to the hills or withdrawn into their houses waiting for the end. Yet, nothing happened...Why? What was missing?...Missing from such people were God’s truths and the evidence that he was guiding and using them.” (Awake! October 8, 1968, p. 23)


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