Cults – Jehovah’s Witnesses
Have Any of the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Predictions of Future Events Ever Been Fulfilled?
By Dr. Paul M. Elliott (From the Teaching theWord Bible Knowledgebase)
This is the sixth in a series of articles about the doctrines and practices of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. Read part five.
Jehovah’s Witnesses’ numerous prophecies and date-settings have all gone unfulfilled. Often, they have changed the originally predicted dates more than once – especially when their first dates as well as subsequent revised dates proved wrong. Despite this, they have never been right a single time.
It is characteristic of many cults to set dates and make sensational predictions about future events, none of which come to pass. Yet these clear and repeated falsehoods never seem to deter cult leaders, who usually invent new stories to explain away past failed predictions. Sadly, most cult followers seem to unquestioningly accept their leaders’ explanations, and willingly embrace their latest prophetic revisions. Here are but a few examples from the Watchtower Society.
The End of the World
Jehovah’s Witnesses founder Charles T. Russell and his followers made much of the year 1914. They originally stated that the beginning of the “time of the end” of the world was in the year 1799, but later they changed the date to 1914.
The Return of Christ
They claimed that Christ’s “invisible presence” in the world would begin in 1874, but later changed that to 1914.
They claimed that the Battle of Armageddon would end in 1914, but later changed the date of Armageddon to be “still future.” In 1924, they stated that the Battle of Armageddon would begin in 1925. But in 1950, they stated that 1914 was the starting date for the last generation before Armageddon. Elsewhere they have stated that people who were alive in 1914 would live to see Armageddon. But in 1995, when the youngest of those people were now past 80 and Armageddon had not yet happened, they changed their position to say that Armageddon has no relationship to the year 1914.
Authentic Christianity in Contrast
Bible-believing Christians rely on the statements of Scripture – including many by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself – warning fallible man not to set dates for future events in God’s plan, not to embellish His plan in any way, and not to follow after date-setters, but to trust in Him:
“You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.” (Deuteronomy 4:2)
“Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.” (Deuteronomy 12:32)
“Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.” (Proverbs 30:5-6)
“Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.” (Matthew 24:11)
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” (Matthew 24:35-36)
“When they had come together, they asked Him, saying, ‘Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’ And He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.’ ” (Acts 1:6-7)
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1)
“For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” (Revelation 22:18-19)
We rely upon our all-wise, all-knowing, loving, sovereign God to bring to pass His plan for all things, in His time, in His way, for His glory, and for our best, knowing that
“all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:28-32)
“Remember this, and show yourselves men [i.e., take courage]; recall to mind, O you transgressors. Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure,’ calling a bird of prey from the east, the man who executes My counsel from a far country. Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it.” (Isaiah 46:8-11)