Watchtower Bible & Tract Society – False Prophets

by William J. Stewart

In last week’s article, we listed several quotes taken directly from Watchtower publications, some explaining that it is impossible for folks to understand the Bible without the help of the Watchtower materials, others claiming the Watchtower Society to be the ‘Mother’ of man’s salvation. Aside from these blasphemous claims, we also noted that the Jehovah’s Witnesses claim their Watchtower Bible & Tract Society to be God’s prophet on the earth today.

In Deuteronomy 18:20-22, we read, “But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die. And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall 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 happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.”

What shall it be? Is the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society indeed a true prophet of God, or are they accursed before God, presumptuously speaking where he has not given revelation? Understand, if there is just one prophecy given by the Watchtower Society which is false, they are false prophets, deserving of death according to the law of Moses. Perhaps fortunate for them, we’re no longer subject to Moses’ law. However, they will still have destruction reserved for them according to the law of Christ.

There is a myriad of false prophecies which we could look at. Truly sufficient space fails us. What is listed in not even the tip of the iceberg. Regardless, let us consider some prophecies given by the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Earth’s Governments & Christendom will be dissolved in 1914…
“In the coming 26 years, all present governments will be overthrown and dissolved.”
(1889 — Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. II)

“And, with the end of A.D. 1914, what God calls Babylon, and what men call Christendom, will have passed away, as is already shown from prophecy.”
(1897 — Studies In The Scriptures, Vol. III)

“Complete destruction of the ‘powers that be’ of ‘this present evil worlds – political, financial, ecclesiastical – about the close of the Time of the Gentiles; October A.D. 1914.”
(1897 — Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. IV)

“True, it is expecting great things to claim, as we do, that within the coming twenty-six years all present governments will be overthrown and dissolved… In view of this strong bible evidence concerning the Times of the Gentiles, we consider it an established truth that the final end of the kingdoms of this world, and the full establishment of the Kingdom of God, will be accomplished at the end of A.D. 1914…”
(1908 Ed. — Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. II)


World War I began in 1914, but unfortunately for the Witnesses, it did not fulfill the things which Russell prophesied. All the governments of the earth have not been dissolved, nor has ‘Christendom’ passed away.
Could the date have been wrong? Maybe?
“We see no reason for changing the figures – nor could we change them if we would. They are, we believe, God’s dates, not ours. 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.”
(1894 — The Watchtower, July 1894)

“The Gentile Times prove that the present governments must all be overthrown about the close of A.D. 1915; and Parallelism above shows that this period corresponds exactly with the year A.D. 70, which witnessed the completion of the downfall of the Jewish polity.”
(1915 Ed. — The Time Is At Hand)

“Studying God’s Word, we have measured the 2520 years, the seven symbolic times, from that year 606 B.C. and have found that it reached down to October 1914, as nearly as we were able to reckon. We did not say positively that this would be the year.”
(1914 — Watchtower, Nov. 1914)

“No doubt Satan believed the Millennial Kingdom was due to be set-up in 1915… Be that as it may, there is evidence that the establishment of the Kingdom in Palestine will probably be in 1925, ten years later than we once calculated.”
(1917 — Studies in the Scriptures, Vol VII)

“…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”.”
(1917 Ed. — Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. III)


If the dates belong to Jehovah, and the 1914 date stands, why in 1915, after the 1914 date had failed, did the Witnesses change the date? I guess something went wrong??

So, when was it to be,
– 1914? NOPE!
– 1915? NOPE!
– 1918? NOPE!

Notice, in the 1894 quote, the dates belong to Jehovah, but in the 1917 quote, Satan seemed to have played the deceiver with them. Not good, not good!

Patriarchs will return in 1925… Well, maybe not…
“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.”
(1918 Ed. — Millions Now Living Will Never Die)

“The date 1925 is even more distinctly indicated by the Scriptures than 1914.”
(1922 — Watchtower, Sept. 1922)

“There will be no slip-up… Abraham should enter upon the actual possession of his promised inheritance in the year 1925.”
(1917 — Watchtower, Oct. 1917)

“…we may expect 1925 to witness the return of these faithful men of Israel from the condition of death, being resurrected.”
(1920 Ed. — Millions Now Living Will Never Die)

“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.”
(1923 — Watchtower, Apr. 1923)

“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 due time God will accomplish his purpose concerning his people. Christians should not be so deeply concerned about what may transpire this year.”
(1925 — Watchtower, Jan. 1925)

“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 to the work.”
(1925 — Watchtower, Sept. 1925)

“Some anticipated that the work would end in 1925, but the Lord did not state so. The difficulty was that the friends inflated their imaginations beyond reason; and that when their imaginations burst asunder, they were inclined to throw away everything.”
(1926 — Watchtower, 1926)


The patriarchs are coming! Oh, wait, false alarm.

But didn’t they say “we may confidently expect” it. It is “even more distinctly indicated” than the 1914 date was (remember how that prophecy ended??)

Interesting, after saying several times that the patriarchs would come in 1925, on Jan 1, 1925, they tell folks not to expect it. Then, in Sept, they attribute the prophecy to Satan. Then, in 1926, of those who turned away from the Watchtower, they speak as though it was their faulty imagination, and not a false prophecy from the Society. Hmmmm!!

Application of Matthew 24:34 to 1914 Generation:
“Some of that “generation (of 1914)” could survive until the end of the century. But there are many indications that “the end” is much closer than that!”
(1984 — Watchtower, Mar. 1984)

“Today, a small percentage of mankind can still recall the dramatic events of 1914. Will that elderly generation pass away before God saves the earth from ruin? Not according to Bible prophecy, ‘When you see all these things,’ Jesus PROMISED, ‘know that he is near at the doors. Truly I say to you that THIS generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.’ – Matthew 24:33,34.”
(1992 — Watchtower, May 1992)

Of the generation in Matthew 24:34, “…apparently refers to the peoples of earth (now) who see the sign of Christ presence but fail to mend their ways.”
(1995 — Watchtower, Nov. 1995)


Jesus spoke of His own generation, not those of 1914, as supposed here. Approximately 40 years after this word was spoken, it was fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem (70 A.D.). We are 90 years removed from 1914, and that generation is almost (if not completely) gone. Oooops!!
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