While there are MANY problems with the Watchtower Society, we're going to focus in this article on their false prophecies. Now, most Jehovah's Witnesses will deny that the Watchtower Society is any kind of prophet or mouthpiece of God. Some simply do not know JW history while others will intentionally try to cover it up or act as if "the past is the past." I've talked to a few Witnesses who even claim that it doesn't matter much anyways since the Watchtower Society is in no way a governing structure.
Let's consider a few quotes...and these are from Jehovah's Witnesses and Watchtower Society publications.
"If the six volumes of 'Scripture Studies' are practically the Bible, topically arranged with Bible proof texts given, we might not improperly name the volumes 'The Bible in an arranged form.' That is to say they are not mere comments on the Bible, but they are practically the Bible itself. Furthermore, not only do we find that people cannot see the divine plan in studying the Bible itself, but we see also that if anyone lays the 'Scripture Studies' aside, even after he has used them, after he has become familiar with them, after he has read them for ten years - if he then lays them aside and ignores them and goes to the Bible alone, though he has understood the Bible for ten years, our experience shows that within two years he goes into darkness. On the other hand, if he had merely read the 'Scripture Studies' with their references and had not read a page of the Bible as such, he would be in the light at the end of two years, because he would have the light of the scriptures." (from Watchtower, Sept. 15, 1910, page 289)
"So let the literature speak for itself. The scholarliness of it, the logical presentation of the Scriptures it sets forth and its faithful adherence to the Bible are things that should impress the reader and that should convince him that this is the Bible truth. Worldly scholarship is not the thing to be required...With these things in mind, we encourage all who seek the Bible truth to see the prime necessity of the possession of the holy spirit on the part of those who are responsible for the material that goes into the publications of our Society. The evidence of the holy spirit in the quality and content of the writings published by the Watch Tower Society should be the thing that satisfies, that convinces, together with a comparison of these things with the inspired word of God, the Holy Scriptures." (Watchtower, Oct. 1, 1959, page 608)
"So, does Jehovah have a prophet to help them, to warn them of dangers and to declare things to come?...This 'prophet' was not one man, but was a body of men and women. It was a small group of footstep followers of Jesus Christ, known at that time as International Bible Students. Today they are known as Jehovah's Christian Witnesses." (Watchtower, Apr. 1, 1972, page 197)
During a legal case against the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society in 1940, the question was asked, "Who subsequently became the Editor of the magazine, the main editor of the 'Watchtower' magazine?" The answer was, "Jehovah God." I've got a scanned copy of the transcript, Kings County Clerk's index, No 15845 - year 1940.
"Thus the Bible is an organizational book and belongs to the Christian congregation as an organization, not to individuals, regardless of how sincerely t hey may believe that they can interpret the Bible. For this reason the Bible cannot be properly understood without Jehovah's visible organization in mind." (The Watchtower, Oct. 1, 1967, page 587)
"The WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY is the greatest corporation in the world, because from the time of its organization until now the Lord has used it as his channel through which to make known the glad tidings to many thousands." (spoken by Judge Rutherford, the leader of the Watchtower organization following the death of the founder, Charles Taze Russell)These are only the quotes I have on hand and I'm certain that there are many others like it. The point is, the Watchtower Society as an organization has always made the claim that it has prophetic power, that it is a God-ordained corporation, that what it says is FROM God and that one cannot possibly understand the truth without its help. So an individual JW who is ignorant of its organization's history may deny any blind allegiance to some prophetic, Spirit-filled organization, but these quotes are sufficient to prove the JW wrong! They will squirm when you read these quotes, and they may even grow angry, but if they will listen, this needs to be your next move...
Read to them Deuteronomy 18:21-22:
"And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath NOT spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him."Also consider reading Jeremiah 23:16; 14:14-16; 29:9; Gal. 1:8 and Revelation 22:18. All of these verses make the same basic point, that if someone claims to be a prophet, or a representative of God, and yet what they say is wrong, or their prophecies fail, then they are a FALSE prophet and worthy of the condemnation of God. Remind the JW of the Watchtower's claims (listed above) and ask them this question: "If I can prove to you that the Watchtower Society has made very specific prophecies that never came to pass and that clearly failed, will you accept that the Watchtower Society is a false prophet?"
At this point, the JW will either leave and ne'er return, or they will sit and listen. Tomorrow, Lord willing, I'll tell you where to go next if the JW remains seated and lets you continue.
Click here to read the 2nd installment in this series.