The Watchtower Society Answer A Few Questions
Question – Does the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society claim to be a true prophet of God?
“The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society is the greatest corporation in the world, because from the time of its organization until now the Lord has used it as his channel through which to make known the glad tidings.”
(Watchtower January 15, 1917, Page 22)
Question – But how can a person distinguish true prophets of God from false prophets?
“The best method of proof is to put a prophecy to the test of time and circumstances. The Bible invites such a test.”
(Watchtower March 1, 1965, p. 151, “Basis for Reliance on Prophecy”)
Question – Should the prophecies of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society be publicly examined?
“The Watchtower … invites careful and critical examination of its contents in the light of the Scriptures.”
(Watchtower August 15, 1950, Page 263, “Name and Purpose of The Watchtower”)
“Over the years, representatives of different churches have published many books and brochures for the purpose of ‘exposing’ Jehovah’s Witnesses as heretics… Naturally, we are not afraid of this kind of publicity …”
(Watchtower August 1, 1978, p. 12, “A Growing Paradise in Sweden”)
Question – What prophecies has the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society made?
“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 …”
(The Time is at Hand [Studies in the Scriptures, vol. II], 1908 reprint [1889 orign.], Pages 98,99)
“The date of the close of that ‘battle’ is definitely marked in Scripture as October, 1914. It is already in progress, its beginning dating from October, 1874.” (The Watchtower Reprints, January 15, 1892, p. 1355)
“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.” (The Watchtower Reprints, July 15, 1894, p. 1672)
“The culmination of the trouble in October, 1914, is clearly marked in the Scriptures; and we are bound therefore to expect a beginning of that severe trouble not later than 1910; – with severe spasms between now and then.” (The Watchtower Reprints, September 15, 1901, p. 2876)
“The people who are the strength of Christendom shall be cut off in the brief but terribly eventful period beginning in 1918 A.D. A third part are ‘burned with fire in the midst of the city.’ Fire symbolizes destruction. One large part of the adherents of ecclesiasticism will die from pestilence and famine. (Deut. 32:24.) … After 1918 the people supporting churchianity will cease to be its supporters, be destroyed as adherents, by the spiritual pestilence of errors abroad, and by the famine of the Word of God among them. The Sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17), which is the Word of God, will be wielded in the hands of ‘Present Truth’ believers in such a manner as to cause conscientious supporters of ecclesiasticism to cease to be supporters.” (The Finished Mystery [Studies in the Scriptures vol. VII], 1917 ed., pp. 398-399)
“They are to be resurrected as perfect men and constitute the princes or rulers in the earth … 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 … based upon the promises set forth in the divine Word …” (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 1920, pp. 89,90,97)
“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 with the sabbathlike thousand-year reign of Christ. If these two periods run parallel with each other as to the calendar year, it will not be by mere chance or accident but will be according to Jehovah’s loving and timely purposes. Our chronology, however, which is reasonably accurate (but admittedly not infallible), at the best only points to the autumn of 1975 as the end of 6,000 years of man’s existence on earth. It does not necessarily mean that 1975 marks the end of the first 6,000 years of Jehovah’s seventh creative ‘day.’ Why not? Because after his creation Adam lived some time during the ‘sixth day,’ which unknown amount of time would need to be subtracted from Adam’s 930 years, to determine when the sixth seven-thousand-year period or ‘day’ ended, and how long Adam lived into the ‘seventh day.’ And yet the end of that sixth creative ‘day’ could end within the same Gregorian calendar year of Adam’s creation. It may involve only a difference of weeks or months, not years.” (Watchtower, August 15, 1968, p. 499, “Why Are You Looking Forward to 1975?”)
“The apostle Paul was spearheading the Christian missionary activity. He was also laying a foundation for a work that would be completed in our 20th century.” (Watchtower, January 1, 1989, p. 12, “The Hand of Jehovah Was With Them” [as originally published in Watchtower magazine])
Question – Have any of the Watchtower’s prophecies actually failed?
Answer – “Ever since ‘The Watchtower’ began to be published in July of 1879 it has looked ahead into the future … No, ‘The Watchtower’ is no inspired prophet, but it follows and explains a Book of prophecy the predictions in which have proved to be unerring and unfailing till now. ‘The Watchtower’ is therefore under safe guidance. It may be read with confidence, for its statements may be checked against that prophetic Book.” (Watchtower, January 1, 1969, p. 2)
Question – If any of the Watchtower’s prophecies had failed, what would be the result?
Answer – Deuteronomy 18:20-22: “‘However, the prophet who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded him to speak or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die. 21 And in case you should say in your heart: “How shall we know the word that Jehovah has not spoken?” 22 when the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word does not occur or come true, that is the word that Jehovah did not speak. With presumptuousness the prophet spoke it. You must not get frightened at him.’ [New World Translation]
Question – Suppose someone decided that some prophecies of the Watchtower had failed; what would be the Watchtower’s response?
Answer – “Yet there are some who point out that the organization has had to make adjustments before, and so they argue: ‘This shows that we have to make up our own mind on what to believe.’ This is independent thinking. Why is it so dangerous? Such thinking is an evidence of pride.” (Watchtower, January 15, 1983, “Armed for the Fight Against Wicked Spirits”)
Question – If the Watchtower Society had made any failed prophecies, would they try to conceal such prophecies from the public?
Answer – “God’s Word commands: ‘Speak truth each of you with his neighbor.’ (Eph. 4:25) This command, however, does not mean that we should tell everyone who asks us all he wants to know. We must tell the truth to one who is entitled to know, but if one is not so entitled we may be evasive … As a soldier of Christ he is in theocratic warfare and he must exercise added caution when dealing with God’s foes. Thus the Scriptures show that for the purpose of protecting the interests of God’s cause, it is proper to hide the truth from God’s enemies.” (Watchtower, June 1, 1960, p. 351, “Questions from Readers”)
Question – If the Watchtower Society was dishonest with me, what should be my response?
Answer – “God, who is himself ‘the God of truth’ and who hates lies, will not look with favor on persons who cling to organizations that teach falsehood. (Psalm 31:5; Proverbs 6:16-19; Revelation 21:8) And, really, would you want to be even associated with a religion that had not been honest with you?” (Is This Life All There Is? 1974, p. 46, “What Is This Thing Called ‘Soul’?”)