Jehovah Witness

Religions, Cults & Worldviews: Valuable Answers for Valid Questions.

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."

The verse above is quoting the words of Jesus which describes what eternal life is. He says that it is from “knowing the one true God and Jesus Christ You have sent.” It is clear from this a simple “I believe in god”, “I love Jesus”, “Ask Jesus into your heart”, or “Personal relationship with Jesus” are all meaningless when it comes to eternal life. It is a matter of knowing the “One true God” and “Jesus Christ whom He has sent”. This is the problem with cults and with the Jehovah Witness beliefs. 

Truth Chiselled Into Rock

The Jehovah Witness believes in a god named “Jehovah” and in a Jesus but is their god the one of the Bible? the “One true God” that Jesus spoke of in John 17:3? Is their Jesus the Jesus of the Bible who was actually sent by the one true God and preached by the Apostles? The following paragraphs will clearly answer that for us. Have a quick view of the following short video and take a look at the comparison chart which follows to compare the Biblical account of the one true God vs the god of the Jehovah Witness.

Jehovah Witness beliefs

(Here is a hint: the beliefs are not what the Apostles passed down to us in Scripture) – this video is an excerpt for educational purposes, from Leonard Chretien’s film “Witnesses of Jehovah”.

Many religious organisations use persons, doctrines and terms found in the Bible to frame their doctrine and belief systems but it should be noted that the true meanings behind those persons, doctrines and terms are completely different from the Biblical usage. In the words of a preacher, they use the “same vocabulary but a different dictionary”. 

For clarity sake, let’s view a quick comparison between authentic, historical Christianity, and the doctrines of Russell and Rutherford as propagated by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society in Brooklyn, NY.

* – Many thanks to the work of Ron Rhodes “Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Jehovah’s Witnesses” which was used to track down many of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society sources of Jehovah Witness doctrine.

* – Many thanks to bible.ca for an amazing collection of these many failed prophecies of the Watchtower: https://www.bible.ca/Jw-Prophecy.htm

Essential Doctrine

Nature of God (theology proper)

Biblical-Historical View

Watchtower (JW) View*

  • Unitarian – god Jehovah is a single person and only this single entity “Jehovah” is god and creator. (c.f. Allah of Islam)
  • Jehovah is spirit 2 Corinthians 3:17,    1 Timothy 1:17
  • No one has or ever “can” see Jehovah – 1 John 4:12, Isaiah 40:18
  • The god of Charles Taze Russel, Judge Rutherford and the Watchtower has made nearly 150 false prophecies (see next section for 40 of these false prophecies)
  • Claim that the Trinity is pagan and not in Scripture, Jehovah is fully understandable whereas a Trinity is a freakish being

Deity of Jesus (Christology)

  • Created being: formerly Michael the Archangel prior to his coming. Will become Michael once again upon his return. – The Watchtower, 15 May 1969 p307, 15 Dec 1984 p29
  • Claims that Jesus differentiates himself from God the Father in John 17:3
  • John 10:30 “I and the Father are One”, Jesus is only “one” in purpose and union as he prayed this for the disciples in John 17:21-22 – Reasoning from the Scriptures p 424
  • Overcoming Christians are said to be “sons” of the Alpha and Omega in Revelation 21:6-7 yet Christians do not have a sonship relationship with Jesus but are “brothers” Reasoning from the Scriptures p 412-413

The Holy Spirit

(pneumatology)

The Holy Spirit is a person who is Deity, Creator, 3rd Person of Trinity. Can be lied to, can be grieved just as the Father and the Son. Acts 5:3-4; 1 Corinthians 2:11, Acts 13:6, John 16:13-14 

  • To have a “personality” a being must have mind/intellect, will and emotion which neither a spark, force nor electricity have or exhibit in any way
    • The Holy Spirit of the Bible has a mind1 Corinthians 2:10, Romans 8:27
    • Has emotionsEphesians 4:30
    • Has a will and actions which come from His will1 Corinthians 12:11 (same Greek word to describe Jehovah-God’s will in James 1:18)
    • The Jehovah Witness must consider if they consider “evil spirits” to be personal beings. If they do (and they do) so too is the contrasting Holy Spirit! – “Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Jehovah’s Witness”, Ron Rhodes 1993
    • Many unclean spirits and evil God-serving angels are not given personal names this does not mean they are not persons
  • The Watchtower teaches its followers that the holy spirit of Jehovah Witness is ”Not a person but a powerful force that God causes to emanate from Himself to accomplish His holy will” – Reasoning from the Scriptures, Watchtower BTS, 1989, p20
  • It is (like electricity) “a force that can be adapted to perform a great variety of operations” – Should You Believe the Trinity? Watchtower BTS 1989 p20
  • Because the Holy Spirit doesn’t have a name like Jehovah or Jesus it can’t possibly be a person

Salvation

(soteriology)

  1. All of mankind has and does sin either by transgression, trespass or both (Romans 3:23, 5:12, 1 John 1:9)
  2. All sin is rewarded with a wage and that wage is death (Rom 6:23) – this is in addition to physical death which comes to all. The wages speak of an eternal death which is separation from Almighty God from whom all good comes (James 1:17)
  3. God sent His eternal Son as mediator to pay this eternal debt against Himself by mankind (John 3:16, Heb 9:11-28) being both God and man, Christ was the perfect mediator (1 Tim 2:5-6)
  4. Whosoever calls on the name of the Lord and puts their faith in Him, receives eternal life (presence with the Lord forever) (Rom 10:13 – no reference to the name ‘Jehovah’ whatsoever in context ‘Lord’ is referring to Jesus, quoting from Joel 2:32 same as Peter in Acts both quotes equate Jesus to Yahweh mentioned in Joel. Also John 5:24)
  • No hell – (tormenting place of separation from God) but just soul sleep (annihilation) for the ungodly, wicked, evil people upon death (c.f. no hell of Mormonism and other cults
  • No heaven except only for the 144,000 that filled the ranks nearly 100 years ago. Spirit life in heaven is from being born again which was only available to the ‘anointed class’ the rest have a goal of everlasting life in the restored earthly paradise – The Watchtower 15 Feb 1986 p14
  • For the rest of “righteous” Jehovah’s Witnesses there is only everlasting life in the earthly Paradise and this is only possible by coming to Jehovah’s organisation which is the Watchtower BTS
  • Unless we are in touch with this Watchtower channel of communication that God is using, we will not progress along the road to life, no matter how much Bible reading we do. – The Watchtower 15 Nov 1981 p21; 1 Dec 1981 p27 
  • We must identify this organisation and serve god as part of itThe Watchtower 15 Feb 1983 p12-13
  • To get one’s name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will depend upon one’s worksThe Watchtower 1 Apr 1947 p204
  • Calling on the proper name of god ‘Jehovah’ is absolutely necessary for salvation – Rom 10:13 – Reasoning from the Scriptures p149 – the Lord referred to in this verse was said to be Jesus in the Watchtower magazine May 1 1978 p12, this was changed to referring to ‘Jehovah’ in The Feb 1, 1980 version p61
  • Grace is an opportunity for one to ‘workout their salvation’ obeying god’s commandments can mean an eternal futureMaking Your Family Life Happy, Watchtower BTS 1978, pp182-83 15 Nov 1981 p21
  • Cannot know for sure whether they have salvation during this life (as it is dependent upon an unknown amount of works) – Life Everlasting – In Freedom of the Sons of God, Watchtower BTS, 1966, p398
  • Christ only wiped away the original sin of Adam.(c.f. Mormon atonement for original sin only) He could not have been God or the ransom would be too much (c.f. Mormon salvation) – 1 Tim 2:5-6; Should You Believe in the Trinity? p15
    • A perfect man’s death balanced the scales of justice from Adam’s fall – Reasoning from the Scriptures p308

Hell

  1. A location completely removed from God whereby nothing good exists: No comforts, no joy, no love. 
  2. It is utterly separate from God and therefore utterly devoid of anything remotely pleasing or good to anyone. 
  3. No companionship nor comraderie (both good things from the Father of Lights James 1:17) therefore they are no where to be found. 
  4. Only wailing (extreme eternal sorrow for one’s self) and gnashing of teeth (extreme eternal rage against the God whom they rejected in life)
  5. Hell/separation from God are the wages mankind earns for his sin against God. He receives the eternal death penalty if he rejects God’s provision of eternal payment of the fine.
  • Consistent with nearly every cult, hell doesn’t exist for the Jehovah Witness, but instead those who are rebellious and sinful toward their Maker for their entire lives will simply experience “soul sleep” or “annihilation” when they die. This is decidedly unbiblical
  • This man-made doctrine comes from an unholy god with no attribute of justice nor of righteousness
  • Removing any idea of hell is the favored doctrine of cults and false religions as it removes the righteous requirement of God upon mankind to repent and put their faith in the Jesus preached by the Apostles in Scripture.

The Church

  1. The body of genuine believers in Christ Jesus, who have been converted through repentence and faith in the Lord Jesus. 
  2. They are the “invisible church” as they can’t necessarily been “seen” and exist within the visible church (denominations) which can be seen. 
  3. However, the visible church is NOT the actual church of the Bible as it is primarily filled with false converts and many that care nothing for Jesus nor the Gospel. 
  4. Jesus said he would build His church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it.
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses do not use the word “church” but refer to it as “Kingdom Hall”.
  • They believe that the many denominations are a sign of an apostate church and that they all believe a false Trinity, Jesus and Gospel. 
  • The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is the only organisation with the “true” gospel (c.f. Mormonism)

Failed prophecies of Charles Taze Russel, Judge Rutherford and the Watchtower Society

The Lord God, Creator of heaven and earth, the one true God preached by the prophets and Apostles in the Bible has given us a clear method of knowing whether He is God or someone else’s version of god is god.

In Isaiah chapter 46 He declares that He and He alone can tell the end from the beginning and declare the former things that were:

“Remember this, and be assured; Cause it to return to your heart, you transgressors. Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My counsel will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’,

In Isaiah chapter 41 , the One true God also tells us how to know a false god, such as the god of Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witness, Charismatic cults, etc.

“Bring near your case,” Yahweh says. “Bring forward your mighty arguments,” The King of Jacob says. Let them bring it forth and declare to us what is going to take place; As for the former events, declare what they were, That we may establish our heart on them and know their outcome. Or cause us to hear of what is coming; Declare the things that are to come afterward, That we may know that you are gods; Indeed, do good or evil, that we may anxiously look about us and fear together. Behold, you are nothing, And your work is non-existent; He who chooses you is an abomination.

Knowing that the God of the Bible has never failed in his prophetic statements let’s look at nearly 150 failed prophecies of the god of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. This is how we can say with confidence that the god preached by the Jehovah Witness is indeed a false god and those that believe in it are an abomination to the God preached by the prophets and the Apostles and recorded for us in the Bible:

Failed prophecies 1877-1908

1877 ‘The End Of This World; that is the end of the gospel and the beginning of the millennial age is nearer than most men suppose; indeed we have already entered the transition period, which is to be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation Dan. 12:3.” (N.H. Barbour and C.T. Russell, Three Worlds, and the Harvest of This World, p. 17).

1879 “Christ came in the character of a Bridegroom in 1874…. at the beginning of the Gospel harvest.” (Watchtower, Oct 1879, p. 4)

1880 “We need not here repeat the evidences that the “seventh trump” began its sounding A.D., 1840, and will continue until the end of the time of trouble, and the end of “The times of the Gentiles,” A.D., 1914, and that it is the trouble of this “Great day,” which is here symbolically called the voice of the Archangel when he begins the deliverance of fleshly Israel. “At that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince (Archangel) which standeth for the children of thy people and there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation.” Dan. xii. 1. Nor will we here, again present the conclusive Bible proof that our Lord came for his Bride in 1874, and has an unseen work as Reaper of the first-fruits of this Gospel Age. (Zion’s Watchtower November, 1880 p. 1)

1886 “The outlook at the opening of the New Year has some very encouraging features. The outward evidences are that the marshaling of the hosts for the battle of the great day of God Almighty, is in progress while the skirmishing is commencing. … The time is come for Messiah to take the dominion of earth and to overthrow the oppressors and corrupters of the earth, (Rev. 19:15 and 11:17, 18) preparatory to the establishment of everlasting peace upon the only firm foundation of righteousness and truth.” (Zion’s Watchtower, January, 1886;Watchtower reprints I, p. 817)

1888 “In this chapter we present the Bible evidence proving that the full end of the times of the gentiles, i.e., the full end of their lease of dominion, will be reached in A.D. 1914; and that the date will be the farthest limit of the rule of imperfect men. And be it observed, that if this is shown to be a fact firmly established by the Scriptures, it will prove; Firstly, that at that date the Kingdom of God, for which our Lord taught us to pray, saying, Thy Kingdom come, will obtain full, universal control, and that it will then be set up, or firmly established, in the earth, on the ruins of present institutions.” (The Time Is At Hand, 1888, p. 76, 77)

1889 “Be not surprised, then, when in subsequent chapters we present proofs that the setting up of the Kingdom of God is already begun, that it is pointed out in prophecy as due to begin the exercise of power in A.D. 1878, and that the ‘battle of the great day of God Almighty (Rev. 16:14) which will end in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth’s present rulership, is already commenced. The gathering of the armies is plainly visible from the standpoint of God’s word.” (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, The Time Is At Hand, 1889 Ed., p. 101. The 1915 Edition of this texts changed “A.D. 1914” to read ‘A.D. 1915’)

1889 “Here we furnish the evidence that from the creation of Adam to (but not including) A.D. 1873 was six thousand years. And though the Bible contains no direct statement that the seventh thousand will be the epoch of Christ’s reign, the great Sabbath Day of restitution to the world, yet the venerable tradition is not without a reasonable foundation.” (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, p. 39. 1889)

1889 “If, then, the seventh thousand-year period of earth’s history be an epoch specially noted as the period of Christ’s reign, we shall by showing that it began in 1873, be proving that we are already in it.” (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, p. 40. 1889)

1889 “In the coming 26 years, all present governments will be overthrown and dissolved.” (C.T. Russell, Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, p. 98-99, 1889)

1889 “In this chapter we present the Bible evidence which indicates that six thousand years from the creation of Adam were complete with A.D. 1872; and hence that, since A.D. 1872 are chronologically entered upon the seventh thousand or the Millennium.” (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, p. 33, 1889)

1889 “Remember that the forty years’ Jewish Harvest ended October A.D. 69, and was followed by the complete overthrow of that nation; and that likewise the forty years of the Gospel age harvest will end October, 1914, and that likewise the overthrow of ‘Christendom,’ so-called, must be expected to immediately follow.” (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, p. 245)

1894 “Seventeen years ago people said, concerning the time features presented in Millennial Dawn, They seem reasonable in many respects, but surely no such radical changes could occur between now and the close of 1914: if you had proved that they would come about in a century or two, it would seem much more probable. What changes have since occurred, and what velocity is gained daily? ‘The old is quickly passing and the new is coming in.’ Now, in view of recent labor troubles and threatened anarchy, our readers are writing to know if there may not be a mistake in the 1914 date. They say that they do not see how present conditions can hold out so long under the strain. 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.” (Zion’s Watchtower, Can It Be Delayed until 1914? C. T. Russell July 15, 1894, Also in Watchtower Reprints, l894 p. 1677)

1894 “A few more years will wind up the present order of things, and then the chastened world will stand face to face with the actual conditions of the established Kingdom of God. And yet the course of the Church is to be finished within the space of time that intervenes.” (Watchtower p. 56, 1894)

1894 “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.” (Watchtower July 15, 1894, p 266; p 1677 reprints)

1894 “We see no reason for changing the figures nor could we change them if we would. They are, we believe, Gods 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.” (Watchtower, July 15, 1894, Reprints p. 1677)

1897 “…this measurement is 3416 inches, symbolizing 3416 years…. This calculation shows A.D. 1874 as marking the beginning of the period of trouble….” (Russell, Studies in the Scriptures: Thy Kingdom Come, Series III, p. 342, 1897 edition [1916 edition changed to read: “We find it to be 3457 inches, symbolizing 3457 years…. Thus the Pyramid witnesses that the close of 1914 will be the beginning of the time of trouble….”] note: the measurement was the length of an interior passageway discovered inside the Pyramids. It has no reference in Scripture.)

1897 “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.” (C.T. Russell, Studies in the Scriptures, IV, p. 622, 1897)

1897 “Our Lord, the appointed King, is now present, since October 1874, A.D….and the formal inauguration of his kingly office dates from April 1878, A.D.” (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol.4, p.621, 1897)

1897 “The distillery, the brewery, the saloon, the brothel, the pool-room, all time-killing and character-depraving business will be stopped; and their servants will be given something to do that will be beneficial to themselves and others. “Similarly, the building of war-vessels, the manufacture of munitions of war and defense will cease, and armies will be disbanded. The new Kingdom will have no need of these, but will have abundant power to execute summary justice in the punishment of evil doers… “The banking and brokerage business, and other like employment’s, very useful under present conditions, will no longer have a place; for under the new conditions the human race will be required to treat each others as members of one family, and private capital and money to loan and to be needed will be things of the past. Landlords and renting agencies will find new employment also, because the new King will not recognize as valid patents and deeds now on record. “…namely, that with present conveniences, if the whole people were put to work systematically and wisely, not more than three hours labor for each individual would be necessary.” (Studies, Vol. IV, pp. 633-635, 1897)

1902 “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 by the end of A.D. 1914.” (The Time Is At Hand, 1902 edition, p. 99)

1903 “When Uranus and Jupiter meet in the humane sign of Aquarius in 1914, the long-promised era will have made a fair start in the work of setting man free to work out his own salvation, and will insure the ultimate realization of dreams and ideals of all poets and sages in history.” (Watchtower, May 1, 1903, p. 130-131; p3184 Reprints)

1904 “According to our expectations the stress of the great time of trouble will be on us soon, somewhere between 1910 and 1912, culminating with the end of the ‘Times of the Gentiles,’ October, 1914.” (The New Creation, Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 6, p. 579, 1904)

1908 “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; 1889; 1908 ed.; p. 99)

1908 “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” (The Time Is At Hand; 1889; 1908 ed.; p. 99)

Failed prophecies 1914-1917

1914 “Even if the time of our change should not come within ten years, what more should we ask? Are we not a blessed, happy people? Is not our God faithful? If anyone knows anything better, let him take it. If any of you ever find anything better, we hope you will tell us.” (Watchtower, Dec 15, 1914, p. 376.)

1914 “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.” (Watchtower, November 1, 1914, p. 325)

1914 “While it’s possible that Armageddon may begin next Spring, yet this purely speculation to attempt to say just when. We see, however, that there are parallels between the close of the Jewish age and this Gospel age. These parallels seem to point to the year just before us part particularly the early months.” (Watchtower Reprints, VI, Sept 1, 1914, p. 5527)

1914 “There is absolutely no ground for Bible students to question that the consummation of this Gospel age is now even at the door, and that it will end as the Scriptures foretell in a great time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation. We see the participants in this great crisis banding themselves together… The great crisis, the great clash, symbolically represented as a fire, that will consume the ecclesiastical heavens and the social earth, is very near.” (Watchtower Reprints, VI, May 1, 1914, p. 5450)

1915 “The present great war in Europe is the beginning of the Armageddon of the Scriptures Rev 19:16-20). It will eventuate in the complete overthrow of all the systems of error which have so long oppressed the people of God and deluded the world. We believe the present war cannot last much longer until revolutions shall break out” (C.T. Russell, Pastor Russell’s Sermons, p. 676, Sometime during World War I)

1915 Here we furnish the evidence that from the creation of Adam to A.D. 1873 was six thousand years. And though the Bible contains no direct statement that the seventh thousand will be the epoch of Christ’s reign, the great Sabbath Day of restitution to the world, yet the venerable tradition is not without reasonable foundation. (The Time Is At Hand; 1889; 1915 ed.; p. 39)

1915 If, then, the seventh thousand-year period of earth’s history be an epoch specially noted as the period of Christ’s reign, we shall, by showing that it began in A.D. 1873, be proving that we are already in it. (The Time Is At Hand; 1889; 1915 ed.; p. 40)

1915 Firstly, that at that date [1914] the Kingdom of God, for which our Lord taught us to pray, saying, “Thy Kingdom come,” will begin to assume control, and that it will then shortly be “set up,” or firmly established, in the earth, on the ruins of present institutions. (The Time Is At Hand; 1889; 1915 ed.; p. 77)

1915 “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 near the end of A.D. 1915. (The Time Is At Hand, 1915 edition, p. 99)

1915 “Be not surprised, then, when in subsequent chapters we present proofs that the setting up of the Kingdom of God is already begun, that it is pointed out in prophecy as due to begin the exercise of power in A.D. 1878, and that the ‘battle of the great day of God Almighty’ (Rev. 16:14), which will end in A.D. 1915, with the complete overthrow of the earth’s present rulership, is already commenced.” (The Time Is At Hand; 1889; 1915 ed.; p. 101)

1915 “As in the type that date – three and a half years after the death of Christ – marked the end of all special favor to the Jew and the beginning of favor to the Gentiles, so we recognize A.D. 1881 as marking the close of the ‘high calling,’ or invitation to the blessing peculiar to this age – to become joint-heirs with Christ and partakers of the divine nature.” (The Time Is At Hand; 1889; 1915 ed.; p. 235)

1915 So it was in this harvest also up to A.D. 1878 the time prophecies and the fact of the Lord’s presence, substantially as here presented, though less clearly, was our message. Since then the work has widened, and the view of other truths has become brighter and clearer; but the same fact and scriptures, teaching the same time and presence, stand unchallenged and incontrovertible. (The Time Is At Hand; 1889; 1915 ed.; p. 236)

1915 The Gentile Times prove that the present governments must all be overturned 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. (The Time Is At Hand, 1915 edition, p. 242)

1915 We are already living in the seventh millennium – since October 1872. (The Time Is At Hand; 1889; 1915 ed.; p. 363)

1915 The Battle of Armageddon, to which this war is leading, will be a great contest between right and wrong, and will signify the complete and everlasting overthrow of the wrong, and the permanent establishment of Messiah’s righteous kingdom for the blessing of the world. … Our sympathies are broad enough to cover all engaged in the dreadful strife, as our hope is broad enough and deep enough to include all in the great blessings which our Master and his Millennial kingdom are about to bring to the world. (Watchtower Reprints, VI, April 1, 1915, p. 5659)

1915 To our understanding the general call to this joint heirship with our Redeemer as members of the New Creation of God, ceased in 1881. (The New Creation; 1899; 1915 ed.; p. 95)

1916 “The Bible chronology herein presented shows that the six great 1000 year days beginning with Adam are ended, and that the great 7th Day, the 1000 years of Christ’s Reign, began in 1873.” (The Time Is At Hand, Foreword, p 2, 1916)

1916 We see no reason for doubting, therefore, that the Times of the Gentiles ended in October, 1914; and that a few more years will witness their utter collapse and the full establishment of God’s kingdom in the hands of Messiah.” (Watchtower Reprints, VI, Sept 1, 1916, p. 5950)

1917 ‘There will be no slip-up…Abraham should enter upon the actual possession of his promised inheritance in the year 1925’ (Watchtower Oct. 15, 1917, p. 6157)

1917 The Spring of 1918 will bring upon Christendom a spasm of anguish greater even than that experienced in the Fall of 1914…. The travail that is coming is to be upon nominal Zion- “Christendom” … “Babylon”; and it will be a great and sore affliction- “A Time of Trouble such as was not since there was a nation.” (The Finished Mystery p. 62 [stated to be the “Posthumous Work of Pastor Russell” on p. 2])

1917 ‘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.’ (Studies In The Scriptures, Vol 7, The Finished Mystery, p. 128)

1917 Some interesting developments in connection with the setting up of the Kingdom may occur in 1920, six years after the great Time of Trouble began. It would not be strange if this were so, when we recall that after forty years wandering in the wilderness the Israelites came into possession of the land of Canaan after a further six years. As these matters are still future we can but wait to see. We anticipate that the “earthquake” will occur early in 1918, and that the “fire” will come in the fall of 1920. [The Finished Mystery, 1917, p. 178, Comments on Revelation 11:13. [The 1926 ed. reads: “and that the ‘fire’ will follow in due course.”])

1917 “And the mountains were not found. Even the republics will disappear in the fall of 1920. And the mountains were not found. Every kingdom of earth will pass away, be swallowed up in anarchy.” (The Finished Mystery, 1917 edition, p. 258)

1917 Pastor Russell’s mission, in large part, was to advise Christendom of its impending end, in the time of world-wide trouble. It is the Divine judgment upon the nations. … There will be no chance of escaping from destruction, through the nations. … The trouble is due to the dawning of the Day of Christ, the Millennium. 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.” (The Finished Mystery, 1917, p. 404)

1917 “Until 1878 the nominal church had been in a sense God’s sanctuary or temple; but He was from then on, culminating in 1918, to remove it with a stroke or plague of erroneous doctrines and deeds Divinely permitted. The Church was the strength of Christendom, that about which its life centered, and around which its institutions were built. It was the desire of the eyes of the people, that which all Christians loved. Nevertheless, God was to make manifest the profanation which ecclesiasticism had made of the Christian Church, and to cause the church organizations to become to Him as one dead, an unclean thing, not to be touched, or mourned. And the ‘children of the church’ shall perish by the sword of war, revolution and anarchy, and by the Sword of the Spirit be made to see that they have lost their hope of life on the spirit plane — that ‘the door is shut.”‘ (Studies in the Scriptures, vol. 7, 1917 p. 484.)

1917 Also, in the year 1918, when God destroys the churches wholesale and the church members by million, it shall be that any that escape shall come to the works of Pastor Russell to learn the meaning of the downfall of Christianity. (The Finished Mystery, 1917 edition, p. 485)

1917 As the fleshly-minded apostates from Christianity, siding with the radicals and revolutionaries, will rejoice at the inheritance of desolation that will be Christendom’s after 1918, so will God do to the successful revolutionary movement; it shall be utterly desolated, “even all of it.” Not one vestige of it shall survive the ravages of world-wide all embracing anarchy, in the fall of 1920. (Rev. II: 7-13) (The Finished Mystery, 1917, p. 542, [The 1926 ed. reads: “in the end of the time of trouble.”])

1917 This vision of the prophet Ezekiel depicts the established theocratic Kingdom of God on earth, civil and religious, spiritual and earthly. . . . The Temple . . . is a type and symbol of “better things to come,” after the wars, revolutions and anarchy of the period from 1914 to 1925 have passed. (The Finished Mystery, 1917, p. 569 [The 1926 ed. reads: “of the time of trouble have passed.”])

Failed prophecies 1918-1924

1918 “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.” (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, p. 89)

1920 ‘…we may expect 1925 to witness the return of these faithful men of Israel from the condition of death, being resurrected’ (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 1920, p. 88)

1920 “A simple calculation of these jubilees brings us to this important fact: Seventy jubilees of fifty years each would be a total of 3500 years. That period of time beginning 1575 before A.D. 1 of necessity would end in the fall of 1925, at which time the type ends and the great antitype must begin. What, then, should we expect to take palace? In the type there must be a full restoration; beginning of restoration of all things. The chief thing to be restored is the human race to life; and since other Scriptures definitely fix the fact that there will be a resurrection of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and other faithful ones of old, and that these will have the first favor, we may expect 1925 to witness the return of these faithful men and Israel from the condition of death, being resurrected and fully restored to perfect humanity and made the visible, legal representatives of the new order of things on earth. (Millions now living will never die, 1920 p 89-90)

1920 ‘Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old’ (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 1920, p. 89-90)

1920 “Based upon the argument heretofore set forth, then, that the old order of things, the old world, is ending and is therefore passing away, and that the new order is coming in, and that 1925 shall mark the resurrection of the faithful worthies of old and the beginning of reconstruction, it is reasonable to conclude that millions of people now on the earth will be still on the earth in 1925. Then, based upon the promises set forth in the divine Word, we must reach the positive and indisputable conclusion that millions now living will never die.” (Millions Now Living Will Never Die. 1920 p. 97)

1921 “‘The time of the end’ embraces a period from 1799 A.D., as above indicated, to the time of the complete overthrow of Satan’s empire and the establishment of the kingdom of the Messiah. The time of the Lord’s second presence dates from 1874, as above stated. The latter period is within the first named, of course, and in the latter part of the period known as “the time of the end.” (The Harp of God, 1921 p. 236)

1921 “In Biblical symbology a time means a year of twelve months of thirty days each, or 360 days. Each day is considered for a year… Here are mentioned, then, three and a half times of 360 prophetic days each, or a total of 1260 prophetic days, equal to 1260 years. The Prophet then was shown that 1260 years would mark the beginning of the time of the end of this beastly order. Twelve-hundred sixty years from A.D. 539 brings us to 1799 — another proof that 1799 marks the beginning of the ‘time of the end.’ This also shows that it is from the date 539 A.D. that the other prophetic days of Daniel must be counted.” … “The most important thing to which all the prophecies point and for which the apostles looked forward has been the second coming of the Lord. It is described by the Prophet as a blessed time. Daniel then says: ‘Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.’ (Daniel 12:12). The watchers here, without question are those who were instructed by the Lord to watch for his return. This date, therefore, when understood, would certainly fix the time when the Lord is due at his second appearing. Applying the same rule, then, of a day for a year, 1335 days after 539 A.D. brings us to A.D. 1874, at which time, according to Biblical chronology, the Lord’s second presence is due. If this calculation is correct, from that time forward we ought to be able to find some evidences marking the Lord’s presence.”(Harp of God, 1921, pp. 229-230.)

1921 “The natural harvest was used by the Lord to illustrate his harvest of Christians. In the Jewish natural harvest it was customary to glean the field after the regular harvest was over. We should therefore expect to find a harvest period from 1878 to 1918, and thereafter for a time a gleaning work to be done, which we will indicate. The question now is, Do we find a period of harvest in the gospel age after 1874 which serves as a fulfillment of the prophecy of the Lord?” (Studies in the Scriptures, Volume 7 1921, p. 236.)

1921 “The same year, 1881, is prophetically marked as the time for the final withdrawal of favor from the churches, a favor which had begun to be withdrawn in 1878 — the year in which the clergy were cast off as representatives of the Divine Word, and when Pastor Russell began his work by the publication of 50,000 copies of Object and Manner of the Lord’s Return. In 1878 the stewardship of the things of God, the teaching of Bible truths, was taken from the clergy, unfaithful to their age long stewardship, and given to Pastor Russell. In the interim, until 1881, the new steward was setting the things in order, getting the truths of the Bible in logical and Scriptural form for presentation, until the last great item of the Hebrew tabernacle types, was ready. Then, in 1881, he became God’s watchman for all Christendom, and began his gigantic work of Witness.” (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 7, pp. 386-387 1921)

1921 “The Scriptures disclose a complete parallel concerning the Jewish and gospel ages. The parallel exists with reference to time as well as events. The Jewish age ended with a harvest, which harvest began with the ascension of our Lord in the year A.D. 33. By the term ‘harvest’ here used is meant the gathering of the remnant of the Jews to Christ. Jesus’ statement plainly is that the gospel age will end with a harvest, during which time he would be present, directing the work of that harvest. In the earth three and a half years from the time of his consecration and baptism, Jesus was preparing the Jews for the harvest of that age. We should expect to find a parallel of this reference to the harvest of the gospel age, and we do find it. Counting three and a half years from 1874, the time of his presence, brings us to 1878. During the presence of the Lord from 1874 to 1878 he was making preparation for the harvest of the gospel age. The Jewish harvest covered a period of forty years, ending in A.D. 73. We should expect, then, the general harvest of the gospel age to end in 1918.” (Harp of God, 1921, pp. 235-236, 1921)

1922 “The period must end in 1925. The type ending, the antitype must begin; and therefore 1925 is definitely fixed in the scriptures. every thinking person can see that a great climax is at hand. The Scriptures clearly indicate that the climax is the fall of Satan’s empire and the full establishment of the Messianic kingdom. This climax being reached by 1925, and that marking the beginning of the fulfillment of the long promised blessings of life to the people, millions now living on earth will be living then and those who obey the righteous laws of the new arrangement will live forever. Therefore it can be confidently said at this time that millions now living will never die.” (Golden Age, Jan. 4, 1922, p. 217)

1922 “The indisputable facts, therefore, show that the “time of the end” began in 1799; that the Lord’s second presence began in 1874.” (The Watchtower, March 1, 1922)

1922 “We have no doubt whatever in regard to the chronology relating to the dates of 1874, 1914, 1918, and 1925. It was on this line of reckoning that the dates 1874, 1914, and 1918 were located; and the Lord has placed the stamp of his seal upon 1914 and 1918 beyond any possibility of erasure. What further evidence do we need? Using this same measuring line…. it is an easy matter to locate 1925, probably in the fall, for the beginning of the antitypical jubilee. There can be no more question about 1925 than there was about 1914.” (Watchtower, p. 150, May 15, 1922)

1922 “It is on the basis of such and so many correspondencies — in accordance with the soundest laws known to science- that we affirm that, Scripturally, scientifically, and historically, present-truth chronology is correct beyond a doubt. Its reliability has been abundantly confirmed by the dates and events of 1874, 1914, and 1918. Present-truth chronology is a secure basis on which the consecrated child of God may endeavor to search out things to come.” (Watchtower, June 15 1922)

1922 “This chronology is not of man, but of God. Being of divine origin and divinely corroborated, present-truth chronology stands in a class by itself, absolutely and unqualifiedly correct….” (Watchtower, July 15, 1922 p. 217)

1922 ‘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’ (Watchtower Sept. 1, 1922, p. 262)

1923 ‘1925 is definitely settled by the Scriptures…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 the coming deluge’ (Watchtower April 1, 1923, p. 106)

1923 “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.” (Watchtower, p. 106, March 1, 1923)

1924 “No doubt many boys and girls who read this book will live to see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Daniel, and those other men of old come forth in the glory of their better resurrection, of perfect in mind and body. It will not take long for Christ to appoint them to their post of honor and authority as his earthly representatives. The world and all the present conveniences will seen strange to them at first, but they will soon become accustomed to the new methods. They may have some amusing experiences at first; for they never saw telephones, radios, automobiles, electric lights, aeroplanes, steam engines, and many other things so familiar to us. (The Way To Paradise, 1924, p. 226)

1924 “Surely there is not the slightest room for doubt in the mind of a truly consecrated child of God that the Lord Jesus is present and has been since 1874.” (Watchtower, Jan. 1, 1924, p5)

1924 “The year 1925 is a date definitely and clearly marked in Scriptures, even more clearly than that of 1914. (Watchtower 1924, p. 211)

1924 “We cannot be blamed for presenting from the Scriptures such evidence as they afford which leads us to believe that a certain event will take place at a given time. Some times the Lord has let His people looking for the right thing at the wrong time, and more frequently they have looked for the wrong things at the right time. But all the enemies of the cause of present truth in the earth are fervently hoping that the Bible students will not be so successful in 1925 in looking for the right thing at the right time as they were in 1914. if they are, however, it will be the other fellow that will have to do the explaining, and not we.” (The Golden Age, Feb. 13, 1924, p. 314)

Failed prophecies 1925-1935

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.” (Watchtower, Sept. 1925, p. 262)

1925 “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.” (Watchtower 1925, p. 56)

1925 “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 own due time God will accomplish his purposes concerning his people. Christians should not be so deeply concerned about what may transpire this year.” (Watchtower, Jan. 1, 1925, p. 3)

1926 “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.” (Watchtower 1926 p. 232.)

1927 The Scriptural proof is that the period of his presence and the day of God’s preparation is a period from 1874 A.D. forward. The second coming of the Lord, therefore, began in 1874; and that date and the years 1914 and 1918 are specially marked dates with reference to his coming. (Creation; 1927; p. 289 early editions, p310 later editions)

1927 Prophecy can not be understood until it has been fulfilled or is in the course of fulfillment. From 1874 to 1914 the prophecy concerning the Lord’s coming was being fulfilled and could be understood, and was understood, by those who were faithful to the Lord and who were watching the development of events, but not by others. (Creation; 1927; p. 290)

1927 “Napoleon began this Egyptian campaign in 1798, finished it, and then returned to France on October 1, 1799. The campaign is briefly , yet graphically described in the prophecy, verses 40-44; and its being completed in 1799 marks, according to the prophet’s own words, the beginning of “the time of the end.” (Creation; 1927; p. 293)

1927 “Twelve hundred and sixty years from 539 A.D. brings us to 1799, which is another proof that 1799 definitely marks the beginning of “the time of the end.” this also shows that it is from the date 539 A.D. that the other prophetic days of Daniel must be counted.” (Creation; 1927, p. 294)

1927 Applying the same rule then, of a day for a year, 1335 days after 539 A.D. brings us to 1874 A.D. at which time, according to Biblical chronology, the Lord’s second presence was due. (Creation; 1927; p. 298)

1928 “The time of the Lord’s second presence dates from 1874, as above stated.” (The Harp of God p. 236, 1928 edition!)

1929 “Both the grantor and the grantee are fully persuaded from the Bible testimony which is the word of Jehovah God and from extraneous evidence that God’s Kingdom is now in the course of establishment and that it will result beneficially for the peoples of earth; that the governing power and authority will be invisible to men but that the kingdom of God will have visible representatives on the earth who will have charge of the affairs of the nations under supervision of the invisible ruler, Christ. That among those who will be thus the faithful representatives and visible governors of the world will be David, who was once King over Israel; and Gideon, and Barak, and Samson, and Jepthai, and Joseph, formerly ruler of Egypt, and Samuel the prophet and other faithful men named with approval in the Bible at Hebrews 11th. chapter.” (Original legal deed to Beth Sarim, Rutherford, 1929)

1929 ‘If these prophesies have not been fulfilled, and if all possibility of fulfilment is past, then these prophets are proven false.’ (Prophecy, 1929, p 22)

1929 “The Scriptural proof is that the second presence of the Lord Jesus Christ began in 1874 A.D.” (Prophecy, 1929, p. 65)

1929 Many of such had been looking for the Lord to come and take them to heaven, and had particularly fixed the year 1914 as when this should be done. The year 1914 was a marked date; but these had merely contemplated something to happen which did not come to pass. (Prophecy; 1929; 1,589,000 ed.; p. 89)

1930 “But how will you identify King David or any of the other representatives from God?’ Rutherford was asked. ‘I thought all that out before I wrote the deed,’ the judge replied with a twinkle in his gray eyes. ‘I realized the possibility of some old codger turning up bright and early some morning and declaring he was David. The men whom I have designated to test the identity of these men are officers of my societies and have consecrated themselves to the Lord, they will be divinely authorized to know impostors from the real princes.”‘ (The San Diego Sun, Saturday, March 15, 1930)

1930 Judge Joseph Frederick Rutherford 60, lives in a ten room Spanish mansion, No 4440 Braeburn Rd, San Diego, Calif. Last week he deeded No 4440 Braeburn Road, and adjacent two car garage and a pair of automobiles to King David, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthae, Samuel and sundry other mighties of ancient Palestine. Positive is he that they are shortly to reappear on earth, Said he: ‘I have purposely landscaped the place with palm and olive trees so that these princes of the universe will feel at home.. (Time Magazine, March 31, 1930)

1930 “The Watchtower, and its companion publications of the society, for forty years emphasized that fact that 1914 would witness the establishment of God’s kingdom and the complete glorification of the church. During that period of forty years God’s people on earth were carrying on a witness work, which work was foreshadowed by Elijah and John the Baptist. all of the lords people looked forward to 1914 with joyful expectation. when that time came and passed there was much disappointment, chagrin and mourning, and the lords people were greatly in reproach. they were ridiculed by the clergy and their allies in particular, and pointed to with scorn, because they had said so much about 1914, and what would come to pass, and their prophecies had not been fulfilled. (Light, Book 1, 1930, p. 194)

1930 “The great climax is at hand. The kings of earth now set themselves against his anointed Stone.” (J.F. Rutherford, Light, II, 1930 p. 327)

1931 “God’s faithful people on earth emphasized the importance of the dates 1914 and 1918 and 1925. They had much to say about these dates and what would come to pass, but all they predicted did not come to pass.” (Vindication, vol. 1, 1931, p. 146)

1931 “God’s kingdom has begun to operate. His day of vengeance is here and Armageddon is at hand and certain to fall upon Christendom and that within an early date. God’s judgment is upon Christendom and must shortly be executed.” (J. F. Rutherford, Vindication, Vol. I, p. 147, 1931)

1931 “There was a measure of disappointment on the part of Jehovah’s faithful ones on earth concerning the years 1914, 1918 and 1925, which disappointment lasted for a time. Later the faithful learned that these dates were definitely fixed in the Scriptures; and they also learned to quit fixing dates for the future and predicting what would come to pass on a certain date, but to rely (and they do rely) upon the Word of God as to the events that must come to pass. (J. F. Rutherford, Vindication, 1931, p. 338-339)

1931 A gaunt unshaven tramp has been the lone claimant for the $75,000 Southern Californian mansion of David, king of Israel, since it was deeded to the Biblical character a year ago. This was revealed today by Judge James Rutherford, temporary owner of the luxuriantly furnished Spanish type mansion at 440 Braeburn Rd in the exclusive Kensington Heights district. In one of the oddest deeds ever recorded, Rutherford, president of the International Bible Students Association and the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, has placed in trust the magnificent estate for ancient kings and prophets of Israel The slayer of Goliath and his companions may occupy the 10 room modern home with it’s landscaped gardens and patio as soon as their credentials are approved by Rutherford and officials of his societies, divinely authorised to recognise them. One morning as I was going from the house to the garage, a queer looking creature approached me, tipped his dirty hat and cried ‘Howdy Judge, I’m David’ ‘Go and tell that to the winds’, I told him and he left without arguing the matter. I could see at a glance that he was not David. He didn’t look like I knew David would look.’ Asked how he expected David and his distinguished brethren to look, Rutherford, without hesitation, opened his huge Bible and pointed to a verse which said that the Princes of the Universe would be risen from the dead ‘as perfect men’. ‘I interpret that to mean’, the tall dignified Judge declared, ‘that David, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jepthae, Joseph and Samuel will be sent here to wrench the world from Satan’s grasp, clothed in modern garb as we are, and able, with little effort, to speak our tongue.’ Rutherford pictured the arrival of the biblical delegation perhaps in frock coats, high hats, canes and spats. At Beth Sarim (House of Princes) as Rutherford has named his mansion, David will find the most modern appliances that science has devised. When the distinguished guests walk up the circular stairway to the second floor, they will find a large office with red leather chairs and shiny flat topped desk with inverted lighting. Even French telephones await the touch of the princes. Opening a wide door, the native sons of Palestine will behold a large bathroom, resplendent in shiny black tile with needle shower and an amply filled medicine chest. What a thrill giant shouldered Samson, who wrecked a palace with his bare fists might find in the gold safety razor and strop! Rutherford built the second floor bedroom, which he temporarily occupies, large in order to accommodate several of the expected owners. With wide pane windows that look out on the purple Cuyamacas to the East and California’s first mission to the north, the bedroom is almost severe in it’s furnishings. The rulers of the universe will have simple tastes, the judge apparently believes, although the austere end tables sported gaily covered fiction magazines. Rutherford has imported some Koniach, Wasser from Cologne, Germany to freshen the princely faces after shaving. A black skull cap hangs over one of the bedposts. The coming of David and his companions will be the greatest news story of the ages, Rutherford predicted. ‘I am not a publicity seeker,’ Rutherford said with a twinkle in his kindly brown eyes, ‘but I feel that the world should know about their arrival. It will be a great news story.’ Word of his ‘House of king David’ has reached into every corner of the world, the judge stated. ‘Everywhere I went people asked me about this place,’ Rutherford said. ‘In Chicago a millionaire manufacturer offered to build another house for David, but I declined the offer. ‘Literally thousands have driven here to see this place,’ Rutherford continued. ‘Many have come to the door and my secretary has shown them about the place.’ The patio with it’s silver pool and olive and palm trees is gay with flowers. Down toward the canyon, paths have been landscaped to allow David and his friends to walk in meditation. Many of the fruits and trees, native to their Palestine, will greet the rulers when they arrive. In the two car garage next door stands a new, yellow 16 cylinder coupe which will be turned over to the rulers along with all the personal property on the place. ‘Everything will be theirs, the house, the land, the furnishings and even the clothes if they need them,’ Judge Rutherford said. ‘What will I do? Oh, don’t worry about me. I’ll manage somehow.’ the judge smiled. He had another ‘Watch Tower’ residence on Staten Island and practically an entire floor at Bethel. The seven famous men will not have long to rest at their San Deigo estate because they soon will lead the forces of the Lord to vanquish the minions of Satan at the battle of Armageddon, Rutherford believed. ‘But they will win out. The Lord will punish the devil and will show that the preachers and the politicians have been giving the people false counsel,’ Rutherford said confidently. Rutherford will sail May 9 for Europe where he will speak before conventions in Berlin Paris and London. (San Deigo Sun Newspaper report, Jan. 9, 1931)

1935 “…the scriptural evidence and the physical facts strongly indicate that such witness work is now almost done; and when it is done the universal war will begin. Universal war is absolutely certain to come and that soon, and no power can stop it. …during the few remaining months until the breaking of that universal cataclysm the powers that rule the nations of the earth will continue to make treaties and tell the people that by such means they will keep that world peace and bring about prosperity. (Universal War Near, 1935, p. 3, 26-27)

Failed prophecies 1938-1955

1938 “…mark the words of Jesus, which definitely seem to discourage the bearing of children immediately before or during Armageddon….It would therefore appear that there is no reasonable or scriptural injunction to bring children into the world immediately before Armageddon, where we now are.” (Watchtower, Nov. 1, 1938, p. 324)

1938 “They had preached that in an early time God would overthrow “Christendom”. Many had emphasized the year 1925 as the date, and then when that date did not materialize the date was moved up to 1932. Again, 1932 came and ”Christendom” was not destroyed, and now it was discovered that “Christendom” would be spared for a while longer for the sake of the Jonadab class, and this made the proud “elective elder” crowd very mad.” (Watchtower Feb. 15, 1938 p. 54)

1938 “Would it be scripturally proper for them to marry and begin to rear children? No, is the answer, which is supported by the scriptures….I will be far better to be unhampered and without burdens, that they may do the Lords will now, as the Lord commands, and also be without hindrance during Armageddon. … Those… who now contemplate marriage, it would seem, would do better if they wait a few years, until the fiery storm of Armageddon is gone.” (Face the Facts, 1938, p. 46, 47, 50)

1938 As far back as 1880 The Watchtower pointed to A.D. 1914 as the date marking the end of the world, at which time great trouble would come upon the nations; but at that time it was not seen by God’s people on earth that the trouble would be the battle of Jehovah against Satan’s organization. For many years it was believed by them, and so stated in The Watchtower, that “the time of trouble” would be a terrific clash between the various elements of the earth, such as capital and labor. Not until 1925 was “the time of trouble” Scripturally understood.” (Watchtower, p. 35, Feb 1, 1938)

1939 “The abundance of Scriptural evidence, together with the physical facts that have come to sass showing the fulfillment of prophecy, conclusively proves that the time for the battle of the great day of God Almighty is very near and that in that battle all of God’s enemies shall be destroyed and the earth cleared of wickedness.” … “Likewise today, all the nations and peoples of earth are face to face with the greatest emergency. They are being warned as God commands, that the disaster of Armageddon is just ahead.” (J. F. Rutherford, Salvation, 1939, p. 310, 361)

1939 At San Deigo, California, there is a small piece of land, on which, in the year 1929 there was built a house, which is called and known as Beth Sarim. The Hebrew words Beth Sarim mean ‘House of the Princes’; and the purpose of acquiring that property and building the house was that there are those on earth today who fully believe in God and Christ Jesus and in His Kingdom, and who believe that the faithful men of old will soon be resurrected by the Lord, be back on earth, and take charge of the visible affairs of earth. The title to Beth Sarim is vested in the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society in trust, to be used by the president of the Society and his assistants for the present, and thereafter to be forever at the disposal of the aforementioned princes on the earth…. It stands there as a testimony to Jehovah’s name; and when the princes do return, and some of them occupy the property, such will be a confirmation of the faith and hope that induced the building of Beth Sarim. (Salvation, 1939, p. 311)

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, April, 1940, p. 1)

1940 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, Sept. 1940, p. 6)

1940 The prophecies of Almighty God, the fulfillment of which now clearly appears from the physical facts, show that the end of religion has come and with its end the complete downfall of Satan’s entire organization.” (Religion, J. F. Rutherford, p. 336, 1940)

1940 The witness work for The Theocracy appears to be about done in most of the countries of “Christendom. … Now the totalitarian rule has suppressed the Theocratic message, and it should be expected that when they quit fighting amongst themselves all the totalitarian rulers will turn their attention to the complete suppression of everything pertaining to the Theocratic Government. What, then, does it mean that the Theocratic Government is now suppressed in many nations? It means that the hour is rapidly approaching when the “sign” of Armageddon will be clearly revealed and all who are on the side of Jehovah will see and appreciate it..” (Watchtower, Sept. 1, 1940, p. 265. [White, p. 335 quotes from the 1942 Yearbook (p. 29), completed by Rutherford just before his death: “The record as herewith published would, on the face of it, show that the Theocratic witness work on earth is about done.”])

1941 “Armageddon is surely near, and during that time the Lord will clean off the earth everything that offends and is disagreeable. … From now on we shall have our heart devotion fixed on The Theocracy, knowing that soon we shall journey forever together in the earth. Our hope is that within a few years our marriage may be consummated and, by the Lord’s grace, we shall have sweet children that will be an honor to the Lord. We can well defer our marriage until lasting peace comes to the earth.” (J. F. Rutherford, Children, 1941, p.366)

1941 “Receiving the gift, [Rutherford’s book, Children] the marching children clasped it to them, not a toy or plaything for idle pleasure, but the Lord’s provided instrument for most effective work in the remaining months before Armageddon.” (Watchtower Sept. 15, 1941, p. 288)

1942 “Now, with Armageddon immediately before us, it is a matter of life or destruction. Those who would be of the Lords other sheep that shall compose the great multitude of Armageddon survivors and live joyfully on earth forever must find the answer to a very personal question, and very important.” (Watchtower, April 1, 1942, p. 139)

1942 “The New World Is At The Doors…The time is short. Those who do not inform themselves and who do not now choose the new world which Higher Powers shall establish will never live to enter into blessings and glories.” (The New World, 1942, p. 10)

1942 “The Lord Jesus has now come to the temple for judgment, and the remnant of the members of ‘his body’ yet on earth he has gathered into the temple condition of perfect unity with himself (Malachi 3:1-3), and hence those faithful men of old may be expected back from the dead any day now. The Scriptures give good reason to believe that it shall be shortly before Armageddon breaks. In this expectation the house at San Diego, California, which house has been much publicized with malicious intent by the religious enemy, was built, in 1930, and named ‘Beth Sarim,’ meaning ‘House of Princes.’ It is now held in trust for the occupancy of those princes on their return. The most recent facts show that the religionists of this doomed world are gnashing their teeth because of the testimony which that ‘House of Princes’ hears to the new world. To those religionists and their allies the return of those faithful men of old to rule with judgment over the people shall not bring any pleasure. But to the people whom the angels sang about, ‘men of good will,’ it shall be an occasion for unbounded jubilation, and they shall rally to the side of those princely representatives of the kingdom of heaven.” (The New World, pp. 104-105, 1942)

1942 Such activity in publishing God’s kingdom and clearing his name of the Devil’s reproaches by religion was mistakenly given a place secondary to the making of the bride of Christ class ready for the marriage with him in heaven, in 1914 as some thought. (The New World; 1942; 2,000,000 ed.; p. 273-274)

1942 Before the Lord’s Messenger came to the temple and began interpreting God’s will and teaching, the Job class had been darkening counsel by words without knowledge, it not then being due time for the disclosure of such knowledge. Some of the consecrated ones thought they must be taken home to heaven at a time certain in order to help God run the universe. (The New World; 1942; 2,000,000 ed.; p. 308)

1942 “The faithful acts of the men who were known as fathers in Israel are recounted in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews. Genesis 12:1-3; 28:13,14; Acts 7:2-5….These men will be the visible representatives of the Theocracy, which is the government created and built up by the almighty God as his capital organization and which shall rule the world. Further proof that these princes will shortly take office upon earth as perfect men is found in the prophecy of Daniel. But go thou thy way till the end be; for thou shalt rest and stand in thy lot at the end of the days. (Daniel 12:13) Daniel’s lot is that of these princes. Proof is now submitted that we are now living at the end of the days, and we may expect to see Daniel and the other mentioned princes any day now!” (Consolation, April 27, 1942, p. 13, brackets in the original)

1943 “Man cannot by airplane or rockets or other means get above the air envelope which is about our earthly globe…”(The Truth Shall Make you Free, p. 285, 1943 edition)

1943 “The final war will come as a most sudden and complete surprise…Nevertheless, the appearing of the ‘desolating abomination in the holy place’ is an unerring proof that the unknown day and hour of the beginning of the final war is dangerously near.” (The Truth Shall Make You Free, 1943, p. 341)

1944 [The establishment of the United Nations was seen] “as one of the most positive evidences that ‘the kingdom of heaven is at hand’ and that the end of the world arrangement is now near. Jesus foretold the setting up of that anti-Christ organization.” (The Kingdom Is at Hand, 1944, p. 342)

1946 “the disaster of Armageddon, greater than that which befell Sodom and Gomorrah, is at the door.” (Let God Be True, 1946, p. 194)

1951 “Under the guidance of God’s spirit of freedom the magazine today known as the Watchtower but known back there as Zion’s Watch Tower, began to be published in July, 1879. In the first year of its publication it pointed to the date 1914 as marked in the Bible.” (What Has Religion Done For Mankind?; 1951; p. 308)

1953 “After almost six thousand years of human sorrow, suffering and death, at last permanent relief is near at hand and will be realized within this generation.” (New Heavens And A New Earth; 1953; p. 7)

1955 “in the light of the fulfillment of Bible prophecy it is becoming clear that the war of Armageddon is nearing its breaking-out point.” (You may survive Armageddon into God’s new world, 1955, p 331)

1955 “The very fact that, as part of Jehovah’s secret, no one today is able to find out how much time Adam and later Eve lived during the closing days of the sixth creative period, so no one can now determine when six thousand years of Jehovah’s present rest day come to an end. Obviously, whatever amount of Adam’s 930 years was lived before the beginning of that seventh-day rest of Jehovah, that unknown amount would have to be added to the 1976 date.” (Watchtower, February 1, 1955, p. 95)

Failed prophecies 1961-1972

1961 Like Elijah of old, they became quite disconsolate, uncertain of life, thinking the end of existence and work was at hand. This was especially the case since the remnant was part of the virgin class espoused to Christ as his Bride and she failed to realize her hopes of being glorified to heavenly life with him both in 1914 and now in 1918. (Let Your Name Be Sanctified; 1961; p. 313)

1963 “Of what significance is this today? It means that by the fall of 1963 mankind has dwelt upon this earth 5,988 years. Does this mean, then, that by 1963 we had progressed 5,988 years into the ‘day’ on which Jehovah ‘has been resting from all his work’? (Gen. 2:3) No, for the creation of Adam does not correspond with the beginning of Jehovah’s rest day. Following Adam’s creation, and still within the sixth creative day, Jehovah appears to have been forming further animal and bird creations. Also, he had Adam name the animals, which would take some time, and he proceeded to create Eve. (Gen. 2:18-22; see also NW, 1953 Ed., footnote on Vs. 19) Whatever time elapsed between Adam’s creation and the end of the ‘sixth day’ must be subtracted from the 5,988 years in order to give the actual length of time from the beginning of the ‘seventh day’ until now. It does no good to use Bible chronology for speculating on dates that are still future in the stream of time.” (All Scripture is inspired of God and Beneficial, 1963, page 286)

1966 “According to this trustworthy Bible chronology six thousand years from man’s creation will end in 1975, and the seventh period of a thousand years of human history will begin in the fall of 1975 C.E Six thousand years of man’s existence on earth will soon be up, yea within this generation. The rein of Christ…to run parallel with the 7th millennium …” (Life Everlasting in Freedom of the Sons of God, 1966, p. 29-30)

1966 “Discussion of 1975 overshadowed about everything else. ‘The new book compels us to realise that Armageddon is, in fact, very close indeed,’ said a conventioneer.” (Watchtower 15/10/1966, p 629)

1966 “In this twentieth century an independent study has been carried on that does not blindly follow some traditional chronological calculations of Christendom, and the published timetable resulting from this independent study gives the date of man’s creation as 4026 B.C.E. So six thousand years of man’s existence on earth will soon be up, yes, within this generation.” (Life Everlasting in Freedom of the Sons of God, p29, 1966 [Note: 4026 BC to 1975AD = 6000 years])

1967 “Just think, 1975 marks the end of 6,000 years of human experience…..Will it be the time when God executes the wicked?….It very well could be, but we will have to wait to see.’ (Watchtower, 1/5/1967, p 262)

1968 “The immediate future is certain to be filled with climatic events, for this old system is nearing its complete end. Within a few years at most the final parts of Bible prophecy relative to these last days will undergo fulfilment resulting in the liberation of surviving mankind into Christ’s glorious 1000 year reign!” (Watchtower, 1/5/1968)

1968 Eight years from the Autumn of 1967 would bring us to the Autumn of 1975, fully 6,000 years into God’s seventh day, his rest day. (Watchtower May 1, 1968 p. 271)

1968 “Why Are You Looking Forward To 1975?” … “What about all this talk concerning the year 1975? Lively discussions, some based on speculation, have burst into flame during recent months among serious students of the Bible. Their interest has been kindled by the belief that 1975 will mark the end of 6,000 years of human history since Adam’s creation. The nearness of such an important date indeed fires the imagination and presents unlimited possibilities for discussion.” (Watchtower, Aug. 15, 1968, p. 494)

1968 “‘Adam Created At Close Of ‘Sixth Day’ 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 Sabbath-like thousand-year reign of Christ….It may involve only a difference of weeks or months, not years.’ (Watchtower, Aug. 15, 1968, p499)

1968 “I know enough of what is going on to assure you that, in fifteen years from today, this world is going to be too dangerous to live in.” (Truth That Leads To Eternal Life, p 9, 1968 edition, Quoting USA Secretary of State Dean Acheson in 1960, [1981 edition deleted “in fifteen years from today” ie. in 1975])

1968 “More recently, the book entitled “Famine-1975!” [by W. & P. Paddock, 1967, pp. 52,55,61.] said concerning today’s food shortages: “Hunger is rampant throughout country after country, continent after continent around the undeveloped belt of the tropics and subtropics. Today’s crisis can move in only one direction -toward catastrophe. Today hungry nations; tomorrow starving nations.” … “By 1975 civil disorder, anarchy, military dictatorships, runaway inflation, transportation breakdowns and chaotic unrest will be the order of the day in many of the hungry nations.” (The Truth That Leads To Eternal Life, p 88-89, 1968)

1968 “1914 a marked year. Years in advance Bible Scholars realized that 1914 was to be a year of great significance. They expected great changes to take place, and the facts confirm that 1914 was, indeed, a marked year.” (The Truth That Leads To Eternal Life; 1968; 40,000,000 ed.; p. 91)

1968 “The Bible speaks of the time in which we are living as the “last days” or the “time of the end.” (2 Timothy 3: 1; Daniel 11: 40) The facts show that this is a limited period that has a definite beginning and a definite end. It began in 1914 when Jesus Christ was enthroned as king in the heavens. It will end when God destroys this present wicked system of things. … How soon will that be? God’s own Son, Jesus Christ, gives the answer. After drawing attention to the many things that mark the period from 1914 onward as the “time of the end,” Jesus said: “This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.” (Matthew 24:34) Which generation did he mean? Jesus had just referred to persons who would “see all these things.” “These things” are the events that have taken place since 1914 and those yet to occur down to the end of this wicked system. (Matthew 24:33) Persons born even as much as fifty years ago could not see “all these things.” They came on the scene after the foretold events were already under way. But there are people still living who were alive in 1914 and saw what was happening then and who were old enough that they still remember those events. This generation is getting up in years now. A great number of them have already passed away in death. Yet Jesus very pointedly said: ‘This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.’ Some of them will still be alive to see the end of this wicked system. This means that only a short time is left before the end comes!” (Truth That Leads To Eternal Life, p. 94, 1968)

1968 “Just think, brothers, there are only about ninety months left before 6,000 years of mans existence on earth is completed… The majority of people living today will probably be alive when Armageddon breaks out, and there are no resurrection hopes for those who are destroyed then. So, now more than ever, it is vital not to ignore that spirit of wanting to do more.” (Kingdom Ministry, March 1968, p. 4 [note: 1968 + 90 months = 1975])

1968 “During world war 1, God’s people expected it to lead directly into Armageddon, but Jehovah prevented such a climax at that time. We didn’t succumb to such an expectation during world war II. (Kingdom Ministry, Jan. 1968, p. 5)

1968 “But what about today? Today we have the evidence required, all of it. And it is overwhelming! All the many, many parts of the great sign of the last days are here, together with verifying Bible chronology.” (Awake!, Oct. 8, 1968, p. 23)

1968 “True, there have been those in times past who predicted an “end” to the world, even announcing a specific date. Yet nothing happened. The ‘end’ did not come. They were guilty of false prophesying. Why? What was missing? Missing from such people were God’s truths and the evidence that He was using and guiding them.” (Awake, Oct. 8, 1968)

1969 “in view of the short time left, a decision to pursue a career in this system of things is not only unwise but extremely dangerous….Many young brothers and sisters were offered scholarship or employment that promised fine pay. However, they turned them down and put spiritual interests first.” (Kingdom Ministry, June 1969, p. 3)

1969 “There is only a short time left before Jehovah will destroy this wicked system of things.” (Watchtower, Jan. 15, 1969)

1969 More recently earnest researchers of the Holy Bible have made a recheck of its chronology. According to their calculations the six millenniums of mankind’s life on earth would end in the mid-seventies. Thus the seventh millennium from mans creation by Jehovah god would begin within less than ten years. Apart from the global change that present-day world condition indicate is fast getting near, the arrival of the seventh millennium of mans existence on earth suggests a gladsome change for war-stricken humankind. …In order for the Lord Jesus Christ to be Lord even of the Sabbath day, his thousand-year reign would have to be the seventh in a series of thousand-year periods or millenniums. (Matt 12:8, AV) Thus it would be a sabbatic reign. Since early in the existence of mankind Satan the Devil has been on the loose, making the human family to toil in hard bondage, causing the earth to be filled with violence before the global flood of Noahs day and inducing the same old earth to be filled with even greater violence today. Soon now six millenniums of his wicked exploiting of mankind as his slaves will end, within the lifetime of the generation that has witnessed world events since the close of the gentile times in 1914 till now, according to the prophetic words of Jesus in Matthew 24:34. Would not, then, the end of six millenniums of mankind’s laborious enslavement under Satan the Devil be the fitting time for Jehovah God to usher in a Sabbath millennium for all his human creatures? Yes, indeed! And his King Jesus Christ will be Lord of that Sabbath.” (Watchtower, Nov. 15, 1969, p. 622, 623)

1971 “Shortly, within our twentieth century, the “battle in the day of Jehovah” will begin against the modern antitype of Jerusalem, Christendom.” (The Nations Shall Know That I Am Jehovah; 1971; 2nd ed.; p. 216)

1972 “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. What does it show?” (Watchtower April 1, 1972, p. 197)

1972 “Does this admission of making mistakes stamp them [Watchtower] as false prophets? Not at all, for false prophets do not admit to making mistakes.” (Watchtower, Nov. 1, 1972, p. 644)

1972 “If it is his purpose to have this beautification of the whole earth accomplished by the end of his seventh creative day – Scripturally a period of seven thousand years, then the time is near at hand for the ruining of the earth by exploiters to be stopped by theocratic power and the blessed transformation to a delightsome garden to begin. Already, nearly six thousand years of man’s existence from the close of the sixth creative day have run their dreary course. We must be approaching the threshold of that thousand-year-long reign of Jesus Christ, which must be accompanied by Paradise according to what Jesus promised the sympathetic evildoer on the stake there at Mount Calvary.” (Paradise Restored to Mankind – By Theocracy, 1972; p. 18)

Failed prophecies 1974-1986

1974 “this remnant of anointed ones have identified themselves on the pages of history since 1914 C.E. Before this year members of this anointed remnant had been earnestly studying God’s Word apart from Christendom. They put the Holy Bible ahead of man-made religious traditions. As early as 1876 they were publishing that the Gentile Times of 2,520 years would terminate in the year 1914. Events that have taken place from that year onward prove they were not wrong.” (God’s “Eternal Purpose” Now Triumphing For Man’s Good; 1974; p. 178-179)

1974 “Yes, the end of this system is so very near! Is that not reason to increase our activity?…Reports are heard of brothers selling their homes and property and planning to finish out the rest of their days in this 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)

1974 ‘It also tells us that this millennium must be preceded immediately by the most destructive war in all human history. We can now see the political rulers… being gathered… for that War of all wars….’ (Watchtower, July 1, 1974, p 397)

1975 “The year 1925 came and went. Jesus’ anointed followers were still on earth as a class. The faithful men of old time – 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’s being considered a ‘probability,’ they read into it that it was a ‘certainty.’ and some prepared for their loved ones with expectations of their resurrection.” (Yearbook, 1975, p. 146)

1975 In time, a direct contribution was made for the purpose of constructing a house in San Deigo for brother Rutherfords use.. Concerning this property the 1939 book Salvation stated: ‘At San Diego, California, there is a small piece of land, on which, in the year 1929, there was built a house, which is called and known as Beth Sarim. (Yearbook, 1975, p. 194)

1975 “Does this mean, then, that mankind has now reached 6,000 years into the 7,000 year period that God blessed and made sacred as his rest day? … No, It does not mean that.” (Watchtower 1/10/1975 p. 579)

1975 However, suddenly, there came an end to World War 1. It did not lead on, as Bible students expected, into world revolution and anarchy or the battle of Armageddon. And the sincere worshippers of Jehovah who were in the new covenant with him through his Mediator Jesus Christ, found themselves still in the flesh on the earth. (Man’s Salvation Out Of World Distress At Hand; 1975; p. 98)

1975 Furthermore, the remnant of spiritual Israel had for decades, yes, since 1876, been looking forward to the ending of the Times of the Gentiles in the autumn of 1914. They were expecting God’s Messianic Kingdom to be fully established in the heavens by then and also for the remnant of spiritual Israel to be glorified with Jesus Christ in the heavenly kingdom at that time. All understanding of the Holy Scriptures was slanted in that direction or adjusted to that idea. And when the year 1914 ended amid the flames of World War 1 and the remnant of spiritual Israel found themselves still here on the earth, then they were inclined to think that they would be glorified in the year 1918, three and a half years after the end of the Gentile Times. (Man’s Salvation Out Of World Distress At Hand; 1975; p. 136)

1975 this marked the beginning of a period of education in the written Word of God from the standpoint that Bible prophecy is best understood after it has been fulfilled. So there needed to be a correction of our previous views, and the surviving remnant of spiritual Israel needed to be readjusted to the postwar realities and opportunities. … This revised program of Bible education had a profound effect on the remnant. It oriented their work in the right direction. (Man’s Salvation Out Of World Distress At Hand; 1975; p. 191)

1976 “It may be that some who have been serving God have planned their lives according to a mistaken view of just what was to happen on a certain date or in a certain year. They may have, for this reason, put off or neglected things that they otherwise would have cared for. But they have missed the point of the Bibles warnings concerning the end of this system of things, thinking that Bible chronology reveals the specific date.” (Watchtower, July 15, 1976, p. 440)

1977 Truly the year 1926 deserved to be marked as the happy climax of the close of the 1,335 days. Those of Daniel’s “people” who kept in expectation and reached the end of the 1,335 days were launched off into a happiness that has not diminished, but that, despite mounting persecution and World War II (1939-1945) and subsequent world troubles, has persisted and increased. (Our Incoming World Government-God’s Kingdom, p146-147, 1977)

1979 Because of this hope, the “faithful and discreet slave” has alerted all of God’s people to the sign of the times indicating the nearness of God’s Kingdom rule. In this regard, however, it must be observed that this “faithful and discreet slave” was never inspired, never perfect. Those writings by certain members of the “slave” class that came to form the Christian part of God’s Word were inspired and infallible, but that is not true of other writings since. Things published were not perfect in the days of Charles Taze Russell, first president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society; nor were they perfect in the days of J.F. Rutherford, the succeeding president. The increasing light on God’s Word as well as the facts of history have repeatedly required that adjustments of one kind or another be made down to the very present time. But let us never forget that the motives of this “slave” were always pure, unselfish; at all times it has been well-meaning. (The Watchtower; March 1, 1979; p. 24)

1979 Partly because of eagerness to be alive when Jesus Christ reveals himself in glory, there have been believers throughout the centuries who began looking for a particular period or a year for the windup of the ungodly system of things. this has happened right down to these “last days.” Since certain expectations were not realized, many stumbled and returned to the ways of the world. In fulfillment of Peter’s words, even today we hear the voice of ridiculers. (2 Peter 3:3,4) (Choosing The Best Way Of Life; 1979; p. 169)

1980 “With the appearance of the book Life Everlasting in Freedom of the Sons of God, and its comments as to how appropriate it would be for the millennial reign of Christ to parallel the seventh millennium of mans existence, considerable expectation was aroused regarding the year 1975. Unfortunately, however, along with such cautionary information, There were other statements published that implied that such realization of hopes by that year was more of a probability than a mere possibility. There were statements made then, and thereafter, stressing that this was only a possibility. It is to be regretted that these latter statements apparently overshadowed the cautionary ones and contributed to a buildup of the expectation already initiated….In saying anyone, the Watchtower included all disappointed ones of Jehovah’s Witnesses, hence including persons having to do with the publication of the information that contributed to the buildup of hopes centered on that date. (Watchtower, March 15, 1980, p. 17-18)

1980 If the wicked system of this world survived until the turn of the century (the year 2000), which is highly improbable in view of world trends and the fulfillment of Bible prophecy, there would still be survivors of the World War I generation. However, the fact that their number is dwindling is one more indication that “the conclusion of the system of things” is moving fast toward its end. (The Watchtower, Oct. 15, 1980, p. 31)

1982 “The Bible not only foretold these things, but indicated that they would occur on a worldwide scale. Also, the Bible said that all these things would happen upon the generation that was alive in 1914. Yet what were prominent world leaders foretelling just before 1914? They were saying that conditions promising world peace were never more favorable. Yet the terrible troubles the Bible foretold began right on time, in 1914! In fact, world leaders now say that 1914 was a turning point in history. After drawing attention to the many things that have marked the period from 1914 onward, Jesus said: ‘This generation will by no means pass away until all these things [including the end of this system] occur.’ (Matthew 24:34, 14) Which generation did Jesus mean? He meant the generation of people who were living in 1914. Those persons yet remaining of that generation are now very old. However, some of them will still be alive to see the end of this wicked system. So of this we can be certain: Shortly now there will be a sudden end to all wickedness and wicked people at Armageddon.” (You Can Live Forever In Paradise On Earth, p 154, 1982)

1984 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! (The Watchtower, March 1, 1984 pp. 18-19)

1984 “These definitions embrace both those born around the time of a historic event and all those alive at that time. If Jesus used ‘generation’ in that sense and we apply it to 1914, then the babies of that generation are now 70 years old or older. And others alive in 1914 are in their 80’s or 90’s, a few even having reached a hundred. There are still many millions of that generation alive. Some of them ‘will by no means pass away until all things occur.” (Watchtower, 15 May, 1984, p. 5)

1986 As far back as 1876, Jehovah’ s Witnesses realized that Bible prophecy marked the year 1914 C.E. as a time when major events would take place that would have far-reaching effects on human affairs. They gave the reason for this fact wide publicity. (True Peace And Security; 1986; p. 70)

1986 Prophetic information in the Bible about our day detail the following: … (4) The survival of at least some of the generation that saw the beginning of “the conclusion of the system of things.” (True Peace And Security; 1986; p. 70)

Failed prophecies 1989-1995

1989 “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, Jan. 1, 1989, p. 12 [bound volume changed “20th century” to “day”])

1989 In the early part of our 20th century prior to 1919, the Bible Students, as Jehovah’s Witnesses were then known, had to be released from a form of spiritual captivity to the ideas and practices of false religion. Although having rejected such false teachings as the Trinity and immortal soul, they were still tainted by Babylonish practices. Many had developed a self-righteous attitude in character development. Some were exalting creatures, indulging in a personality cult that focused on Charles T. Russell, the first president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. Without any Biblical basis, they were observing birthdays and Christmas. the cross was still prominent in their thinking. Some even wore a cross-and-crown lapel emblem, while others sought the respectability accorded Christendom. (The Watchtower; May 1, 1989; p. 3)

1989 “Back in 1904, the book The New Creation called attention to this new organization that came into existence in the first century C.E. (Studies In The Scriptures, Series VI, Study V, entitled “The Organization of the New Creation”) Owing to its view of what the end of the Gentile Times would mean, that book did not envision the remarkable organizational work that was due to take place after the crippling effects of the first world war of human history.” (The Watchtower; Sept. 1, 1989; p. 12-13)

1989 “Some Roman Catholics have claimed that Jesus Christ’s thousand Year Reign ended in 1799 when French armies captured Rome and deposed the pope as its ruler, so that he was deported as a prisoner to France, where he died.” (Watchtower; Sept. 1, 1989; p. 12 [Jw’s did too! See two 1927 Creation, quotes, p. 293 & p. 294. Another of the “pot calling the kettle black” quotes])

1989 The preservation of the remnant of spiritual new creation to the end of World War 1 in 1918 and their being kept alive in the flesh in the postwar year of 1919 came as a wondrous surprise. (The Watchtower; Sept. 1, 1989; p. 13)

1989 They have a modern Governing Body of older Christian men from various parts of the earth who give needed oversight to the worldwide activities of God’s people. these men, like the apostles and older men in Jerusalem in the first century, are anointed members of the faithful and discreet slave class designated by Jesus to care for all of his Kingdom interests here upon earth. History has proved that they can be trusted to follow the direction of the holy spirit and that they do not rely on human wisdom in teaching the flock of God the ways of genuine peace. (The Watchtower; Dec. 15, 1989; p. 6)

1990 Adult Christians too can be disappointed, and this has in some cases led to spiritual disaster. Some set their hope on a date when they were sure Armageddon would come. When nothing happened on that day, they felt let down. (The Watchtower; 4/15/1990; p. 27)

1992 “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.” (Watchtower May 1, 1992 page 3: The Year That Shocked The World)

1993 (The society’s latest ‘History’ book – “Jehovah’s Witnesses, Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom”, 1993) [Note: At the end of this book there is a chronological section called ‘Notable Dates’. The predictions for 1925 and 1975 don’t even get a mention! Talk about rewriting history to gullible young converts!]

1993 “Further, the widely circulated booklet Millions Now Living Will Never Die presented the view that in 1925, God’s purposes regarding the restoring of the earth to Paradise and the resurrecting of the faithful ones of old would begin to be fulfilled. … The year 1925 came to its conclusion, but the end was not yet! Ever since the 1870’s, Bible Students had been serving with a date in mind – first 1914, then 1925. Now they realized that they must serve for as long as Jehovah wishes.” (Watchtower; Nov. 1, 1993; p. 12)

1995 [Discussing the generation of Mt 24] “apparently refers to the peoples of earth (now) who see the sign of Christ presence but fail to mend their ways.” (Watchtower November 1, 1995 p.12)

1995 Bible Students, known since 1931 as Jehovah’s Witnesses, also expected that the year 1925 would see the fulfillment of marvelous Bible prophecies. … More recently, many Witnesses conjectured that events associated with the beginning of Christ’s Millennial Reign might start to take place in 1975. Their anticipation was based on the understanding that the seventh millennium of human history would begin then. (Awake, June 22, 1995 p. 9)

* – Many thanks to bible.ca for an amazing collection of these many failed prophecies of the Watchtower: https://www.bible.ca/Jw-Prophecy.htm

Background and history of Jehovah Witness

Founded by Charles Taze Russell in 1870. Russell was raised as a congregationalist and, like Joseph Smith of the Mormons, grew disillusioned with orthodox Christianity on the whole. He soon met a “Second Adventist” (a formation of Millerites and a forerunner for the 7th Day Adventists) by the name of Jonas Wendell. Wendell would breathe new life into Russell’s view of Christianity and eventually Russell would adopt the peculiar manner whereby the Adventists would erroneously predict the end of the world and the subsequent Second Coming of Jesus.

Jehovah Witness founder Charles Taze Russell 1870

Started as a simple Bible class in 1870 by Charles Taze Russell. Russell had extreme difficulties with the doctrines of heaven and hell which lead him on a search for a belief system that was most comfortable for him. He heard a “Second Adventist” preacher named Jonas Wendell. The following citation is from an official Jehovah’s Witness publication, published on truthnet.org

Seemingly by accident, one evening I dropped into a dusty dingy hall in Allegheny, Pa., where I heard religious services were held, to see if the handful who met there had anything more sensible to offer than the creeds of the great churches. There, for the first time, I heard something of the view of the Second Adventists, the preacher being Mr. Jonas Wendell."

The Second Adventists were a splinter group from the Millerites that were dispersed after their many predictions of the return of Jesus and the subsequent apocalypse failed and left them disillusioned. The Second Adventists would join with a few other splintered Millerite groups and eventually form what is today known as the Seventh Day Adventists.

It is from his own deep seated fears and this Adventist theology that Russell would emerge with beliefs that discarded many historic, orthodox, and scriptural Christian essentials like the Trinity, The Person and Deity of Jesus, The Person of the Holy Spirit, Heaven, Hell, and Salvation, deeming them “unbiblical” and “heretical”. It is important to note that the founder of Seventh Day Adventistism, Ellen G. White, was discredited as a false prophet who plagiarised much of her “revelations” from God from other false prophets of her day. Seventh Day Adventists were notorious for wrongly predicting the return of Christ repeatedly. Sadly this practice was carried on by the Jehovah’s Witnesses into the late 20th century.

What are Jehovah Witness beliefs?

In 1876, Russell sought to publish his aberrant beliefs and partnered with a friend to help continue the publishing of the “Herald of the Morning” formerly owned and operated the Stone-Campbell Restorationist offshoot known then as the “Adventists”; later to become “Seventh Day Adventist”. This group and particularly this publication had falsely predicted the return of Jesus in 1874. Jesus did not return in 1874 but rather than admit the mistake, Herald of The Morning publishers would claim that Jesus returned invisibly in 1874. He did not.

This obvious failed prophecy caused most to fall away from the “Herald” group. However, some then believed that the rapture would occur 3-1/2 years later in 1878. It did not. The “Herald” failed and Russell took it over for a song and renamed it “Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence”, publishing the first edition in 1879.

This little publication started by a 25 year old Bible Study “Pastor” would eventually grow into the “Watchtower Bible and Tract Society and would publish nearly 18 million issues in over 200 countries by the year 2010 and the link between Jehovah Witness, Seventh Day Adventists, and the heretical Restoration Movement would forever be linked in the printing of this magazine. To this day, no Jehovah Witness dares speak their own thoughts on theology but are diligent to repeat only the position of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.

  • All members of the Jehovah Witness organisation gather all doctrine, spiritual guidance, and advice for living from these publications of the Watchtower. They rely on the printed literature of this massive machine as much as Christians rely on the Bible.
  • Today, in similar fashion to the Seventh Day Adventists and Stone-Campbellite claim of Jesus secret return in the 19th century, the modern Jehovah Witness claims that Jesus has secretly returned and is in an “inner room” known only to a privileged few.
  • This claim, like the secret, hidden “Golden Plates” which supposedly authenticate the claims of Mormonism, or the Apostolic Prophecies of the New Apostolic Reformation, are typical of all cults who declare “special” revelation. Special revelation can never be proven, examined, or even witnessed by anyone…not even the regular everyday Jehovah Witness (or Mormon for that matter)
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