The Jehovah’s Witness organization is the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. They maintain that this organization is God’s “channel of communication” to rightly interpret and explain Scripture and to provide godly direction and counsel for all the people on earth.
Any group can make such a claim. However, it is another matter to measure up to it. The Bible is very clear that we are to test those who make such claims: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (I Jn 4:1). In the Bible, God has given us standards (scriptural guidelines) by which we can test teachers and prophets, and distinguish between the true and the false.
The Lord said, “And many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many” (Matt 24:11). One who deliberately and repeatedly distorts the truth would not be a true prophet. The heavenly Father also warned, “When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him” (Deut 18:22). “Then the LORD said to me, “The prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name. I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divination, futility and the deception of their own minds” (Jer 14:14). “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. “You will know them by their fruits” (Matt 7:15-16). The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society cannot be trusted because it has a history of false prophecies and has taught many false doctrines.
Throughout the history of this organization, various leaders have made numerous false prophecies. Beginning in 1914, Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, wrote, “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, p. 99). Therefore, the end of the world or the battle of Armageddon, “will end in A.D. 1914,” according to the Jehovah’s Witnesses (The Time is at Hand, p. 101). In 1889 Russell wrote: “In the coming 26 years all present governments will be overthrown and dissolved.” (Studies, Vol. II, pp. 98, 99). Russell predicted there would not be any government, bank, or churches by 1914, “Complete destruction of ‘powers that be’ of ‘this present evil world’ – political, financial, ecclesiastical – about the close of the ‘Time of the Gentiles’, October, A.D. 1914.” (Studies, Vol. IV. P. 622). Russell wrote, “The distillery, the brewery, the saloon, the brothel, the pool-room, all time-killing and character-depraving businesses 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 evildoers,. “The banking business and brokerage business and other like employments, 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 other 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).
Mr. Russell actually expected the end of the present order of things in 1914 as can be seen by his statements above. All of his predictions for 1914 failed completely. These prophecies were followed by others which also predicted the end of various institutions or the world itself in 1918, 1925, 1975 and 1989. When each of these predicted ends failed to arrive, many followers left the organization, understandably so, in light of what the Lord said in the above passage (Deut. 18:22).
Mr. J. F. Rutherford (president after Russell) apparently didn’t learn from the mistakes of Mr. Russell. In 1920 Mr. Rutherford published a booklet; (it is now out of print) titled Millions Now Living Will Never Die.” He wrote, “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.” (p. 97). Has anyone met any of the Old Testament worthies who have been resurrected and are now supposed to be living???? Is Mr. Rutherford now living???
After time proved the book, Millions Now Living Will Never Die, to be false, many left the movement and it was observed that Rutherford was never the same. According to Edward J. Ford, Jr., Rutherford began to drink to excess and, when drunk, the staff at their headquarters felt the wrath of his cursing tongue. Those associated with that time period declare that future Society presidents, Frederick W. Franz and Nathan Knorr, tried to get the drunken and declining Rutherford out of the limelight by building him a home in California and then declared that the house was for the ancient prophets that were due back any day in the pre-armageddon resurrection. After the ancient prophets of the Bible failed to be resurrected and arrive at Rutherford’s appointed time and destination, the house was eventually sold. Instead of admitting that Rutherford’s claims were a hoax, the Society has amended their teaching and now claims that Christ will make princes of all of these prophets in all the earth, which was a neat and tidy cover-up.
Time and again the leaders of the Jehovah’s Witness’ organization have proven themselves to be false prophets by their failed prophecies. They have also proved themselves to be false teachers by the many false doctrines they have taught throughout the years. False teachers twist Scripture through pseudo-scholarship, by deleting and inserting words, by focusing on texts out of context, and by employing unrelated verses put together to say something different from the truth. The next several articles will deal with some of these false doctrines. No, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society cannot be trusted.