We start with the clearest evidence that the WBTS is not what it claims to be today - and how it has desperately tried to cover up its past history in various, blatantly obvious, ways.
First, let us look at how the WBTS tries to teach Jehovah's Witnesses to ignore what the Bible clearly shows us regarding men, women, and groups, who claim to be directed by YHWH (YHWH is the original 'tetragrammaton' in the Hebrew and the only known 'Name' of the God of the Old Testament - ref. Exodus 3v14). We will add 'Comments' (high-lighted in this way) after placing a line across the page).
The WBTS supplies Jehovah's Witnesses with the small book, Reasoning from the Scriptures (1985 Ed. by Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of Pennsylvania). On page 132-137 the book deals with 'False Prophets' and, first, defines the subject as follows:
Definition: Individuals and organizations proclaiming messages that they attribute to a superhuman source but that do not originate with the true God and are not in harmony with his revealed will. (high-lighting added)
The WBTS continues as follows:
How can true prophets and false ones be identified?
True prophets make known their faith in Jesus, but more is required than claiming to preach in his name
1 John 4:1-3: "Test the inspired expressions to see whether they originate with God, because many false prophets have gone forth into the world. You gain the knowledge of the inspired expression from God by this: Every inspired expression that confesses Jesus Christ as having come in the flesh originates with God, but every inspired expression that does not confess Jesus does not originate with God."
Matt. 7:21-23: "Not everyone saying to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will. Many will say to me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name . . . ?' And yet then I will confess to them: I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness."
True prophets speak in the name of God, but merely claiming to represent him is not enough
Deut. 18:18-20: "A prophet I shall raise up for them from the midst of their brothers, like you [like Moses]; and I shall indeed put my words in his mouth, and he will certainly speak to them all that I shall command him. And it must occur that the man who will not listen to my words that he will speak in my name, I shall myself require an account from him. However, the prophet who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded him to speak or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die." (Compare Jeremiah 14:14; 28:11, 15.)
Jesus said: "I do nothing of my own initiative; but just as the Father taught me I speak these things." (John 8:28) He said: "I have come in the name of my Father." (John 5:43) Jesus also said: "He that speaks of his own originality is seeking his own glory." - John 7:18.
If any individuals or organizations claim to represent God but decline to use God's personal name, and make it a practice to express their own opinions on matters, are they measuring up to this important qualification of a true prophet? (high-lighting added)
Comment: In time we will examine every underlined point in the statement of the WBTS to see how they measure up to their own words! Here the WBTS also introduce a subject dear to them - how it is supposedly important to 'use God's personal name'. We will examine this 'personal name' elsewhere. Note also that they comment on those who 'make it a practice to express their own opinions on matters' - indicating that it is not something a true prophet does! But let us also look at their other references:
Jeremiah 14:14: 'Then the LORD (LORD is Hebrew YHWH - the tetragrammaton) said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination (qecem - divination or witchcraft), and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart'.
Jeremiah 28:11-15 'And Hananiah spake in the presence of all the people, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years. And the prophet Jeremiah went his way. ... Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; The LORD hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie.'
Why didn't the WBTS include the full quote of Jeremiah's words? Is the mention of divination/witchcraft and 'lying' too close to home? We will soon see!
The article continues as follows:
Ability to perform "great signs," or "miracles," is not necessarily proof of a true prophet
Matt. 24:24: "False Christ's and false prophets will arise and will give great signs ["miracles," TEV] and wonders so as to mislead, if possible, even the chosen ones."
2 Thess. 2:9, 10: "The lawless one's presence is according to the operation of Satan with every powerful work and lying signs and portents and with every unrighteous deception for those who are perishing, as a retribution because they did not accept the love of the truth that they might be saved."
On the other hand, Moses performed miracles at Jehovah's direction. (Ex. 4:1-9) Jehovah also empowered Jesus to perform miracles. (Acts 2:22) But more than the miracles gave evidence that God had truly sent them.
What true prophets foretell comes to pass, but they may not understand just when or how it will be
Comment: the WBTS admit that 'What true prophets foretell comes to pass' - but why this emphasis that 'they may not understand just when or how it will be'?
The article continues as follows:
Dan. 12:9: "Go, Daniel, because the words are made secret and sealed up until the time of the end."
1 Pet. 1:10, 11: "The prophets . . . kept on investigating what particular season or what sort of season the spirit in them was indicating concerning Christ when it was bearing witness beforehand about the sufferings for Christ and about the glories to follow these."
1 Cor. 13:9, 10: "We have partial knowledge and we prophesy partially; but when that which is complete arrives, that which is partial will be done away with."
Prov. 4:18: "The path of the righteous ones is like the bright light that is getting lighter and lighter until the day is firmly established."
The apostles and other early Christian disciples had certain wrong expectations, but the Bible does not classify them with the "false prophets." - See Luke 19:11; John 21:22, 23; Acts 1:6, 7. (high-lighting added)
Comment: None of these passages concerning prophecy indicate that true prophets would ever prophesy falsely! Clearly, they cannot for it would mean certain death! And if the WBTS were to try and suggest that 1 Corinthians 13:9-10 justifies being 'partially correct' we would point out that it does not state that but is stating the obvious: the verse is comparing 'partial knowledge' (we do not know everything about the truth of God's plan for the rest of time) and, in the same way we receive 'partial prophecies' about these things - but a true prophet is always given a 100% accurate word about that portion of the truth being revealed by God. Otherwise - obviously - no Christian could ever trust any word of prophecy given by any prophet in the church. But why does the WBTS introduce this verse from Proverbs which has nothing to with prophesying or prophets? Verse 18 is clearly comparing 'the path of the righteous ones' with that of the wicked (Proverbs 4:14-19):
Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.
The WBTS then quotes three other passages:
Luke 19:11 'And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear'.
John 21:22-23 'Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?'
Acts 1:6-7 'When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.' (high-lighting added)
Comment: We can easily see that the WBTS wrote 'The apostles and other early Christian disciples had certain wrong expectations' because they wanted to put the thought in the heads of the unwary Jehovah's Witnesses that 'the Bible does not classify them with the "false prophets".' Of course they are not classified as 'false prophets' - because they were not 'prophesying' and nowhere in the passages does it say that they were! On the other hand, the WBTS made it clear that they were 'prophesying' in every case in their books and magazines!
Regarding Luke 19:11, we find that it had earlier been made clear to the disciples that the kingdom of God had arrived in some sense and was present in Jesus' ministry (Luke 11:20). Since Jesus and the disciples were "near Jerusalem" (the capital city), some thought that the completion of God's kingdom purposes was near at hand - despite Jesus' continued teachings, however veiled, of His coming suffering and death at Calvary. For this reason, to deal with the disciples' wrong "imagining," Jesus told them a parable (Luke 19:12-27) with a view to showing them that there would be an interval of time before the kingdom was consummated. Jesus used the parable to correct their thinking and to dispel their overeager hopes.
There is no indication in Luke 19:11, or any other text of Scripture, that the disciples or prophets ever taught such false notions as part of God's "Thus-saith-the-Lord" revelation to mankind. Whenever the prophets or apostles were speaking as God's mouthpieces to humanity, they never communicated any false beliefs or ideas at all. No true prophet of God ever made a mistake while uttering a prophecy because he was delivering God's words to mankind, not his own words. Hence, it is utter foolishness for the WBTS (which claims to be God's voice to the world) to draw a parallel between its many, consistently false, prophecies and the occasional false notions of God's disciples or prophets when they were not speaking authoritatively for God. There is absolutely no legitimate comparison between the two.
The New World Translation of Acts 1:6 reads:
"When, now, they had assembled they went asking him: 'Lord, are you restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?'"
This verse, cited by the WBTS in support of the contention that the disciples made mistakes or had erroneous views (since the kingdom was not being restored to Israel at this time), does not excuse or justify their own errors for a second. The WBTS argument that these individuals held wrong views and yet were not condemned, therefore the WBTS should not be condemned for its errors in the past, fails totally. As was true with Acts 19:11, we accept that Christ's disciples occasionally held false notions as human beings - but they were not speaking as prophets and never claimed their view emanated from God and His angels (as the WBTS have clearly done - as we will see by examining their printed works)!
By contrast, when the apostles or prophets spoke as God's mouthpieces, there was no possibility of error because they were communicating direct revelation from God, as the following passages reveal:
"I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him" (Deut. 18:18).
"The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me; his word was on my tongue" (2 Sam. 23:2).
"When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. 'Sovereign Lord,' they said.... 'You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David'" (Acts 4:24-25).
"We speak, not in words, taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words" (1 Cor. 2:13).
The WBTS then moves onto another case from Scripture that they hope will establish their false reasoning in the head of the unsuspecting Jehovah's Witness:
'Nathan the prophet encouraged King David to go ahead with what was in his heart regarding the building of a house for Jehovah's worship. But later Jehovah told Nathan to inform David that he was not the one who would build it. Jehovah did not reject Nathan for what he had said earlier but continued to use him because he humbly corrected the matter when Jehovah made it plain to him. - 1 Chron. 17:1-4, 15.'
Comment: The WBTS seems to be telling the truth - but there is a subtle, important point that totally destroys their aim to deceive the unwary! The Scripture quoted reads (1 Chronicles 17:1-2):
'Now it came to pass, as David sat in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, Lo, I dwell in an house of cedars, but the ark of the covenant of the LORD remaineth under curtains. Then Nathan said unto David, Do all that is in thine heart; for God is with thee.'
Notice carefully: the Word of God says that David said these words to 'Nathan the prophet' and Nathan replied 'Do all that is in thine heart; for God is with thee.' Nowhere in the passage does it say this was 'a prophecy' or that God had spoken to Nathan in his role as a prophet and told him to say these words to David. If Nathan, like any genuine prophet, had spoken words of advice to another person that were his own personal opinion, would he have been accused of being 'a false prophet' if the advice was wrong? Obviously not! Imagine the rage if Nathan had said to a neighbour standing on a ladder to repair his roof: 'Be careful or you'll fall off and break your neck, or worse!' If the neighbour failed to fall off the ladder and completed his repair unscathed, would that make Nathan a 'false prophet'? Absolutely not, for he was only giving his opinion and not a 'word from the Lord'.
In the same manner we easily see the answer to the deception attempted by the WBTS by simply reading the verses which follow (1 Chronicles 17:3-4):
'And it came to pass the same night, that the word of God came to Nathan, saying, Go and tell David my servant, Thus saith the LORD, Thou shalt not build me an house to dwell in ...'
See how easy it is to demolish the false teachings of the WBTS? That 'same night ... the word of God came to Nathan' and clearly gave him the instructions 'Thus saith the LORD' which were the opposite of Nathan's personal opinion. That is the vast difference between an opinion of a man - albeit a man who was chosen to prophesy when he heard from the Lord - and an actual prophecy from God given to that man and delivered as the Word of the Lord: man is always fallible, but the Word of the Lord Almighty never fails!
If you read verses 5-15 you will find nothing that helps the attempt by the WBTS to deceive you:
'For I have not dwelt in an house since the day that I brought up Israel unto this day; but have gone from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to another. Wheresoever I have walked with all Israel, spake I a word to any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people, saying, Why have ye not built me an house of cedars? Now therefore thus shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, even from following the sheep, that thou shouldest be ruler over my people Israel: And I have been with thee whithersoever thou hast walked, and have cut off all thine enemies from before thee, and have made thee a name like the name of the great men that are in the earth. Also I will ordain a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, and they shall dwell in their place, and shall be moved no more; neither shall the children of wickedness waste them any more, as at the beginning, And since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel. Moreover I will subdue all thine enemies. Furthermore I tell thee that the LORD will build thee an house. And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee: But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore. According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.'
So that part of the WBTS argument is totally refuted.
To further tidy up the subject of prophets we should ask where there is a single example in Scripture in which a prophet was issuing a "Thus-saith-the-Lord" prophecy direct from the Lord which was subsequently shown to be in error (bearing in mind that some prophecies are complete in days, weeks or months, but others will be fulfilled centuries later). When delivering prophecies from God, the prophets were never in error.
The WBTS article continues with the following header:
The pronouncements of a true prophet promote true worship and are in harmony with God's revealed will
Deut. 13:1-4: "In case a prophet or a dreamer of a dream arises in your midst and does give you a sign or a portent, and the sign or the portent does come true of which he spoke to you, saying, 'Let us walk after other gods, whom you have not known, and let us serve them,' you must not listen to the words of that prophet or to the dreamer of that dream, because Jehovah your God is testing you to know whether you are loving Jehovah your God with all your heart and all your soul. After Jehovah your God you should walk, and him you should fear, and his commandments you should keep, and to his voice you should listen, and him you should serve, and to him you should cling."
Since the Bible says that "a friend of the world" is an enemy of God, are clergymen who urge their parishioners to get involved in the affairs of the world promoting true worship? (Jas. 4:4; 1 John 2:15-17) The true God said that the nations "will have to know that I am Jehovah," and the Bible states that God would take out of the nations "a people for his name," but are religious organizations that minimize the importance of using God's personal name acting in harmony with this revealed will of God? (Ezek. 38:23; Acts 15:14) Jesus taught his followers to pray for God's Kingdom, and the Bible cautions against putting one's trust in earthling men, so are clergymen or political organizations that urge people to place their confidence in human rulership true prophets? - Matt. 6:9, 10; Ps. 146:3-6; compare Revelation 16:13, 14. (high-lighting added)
Comment: we will examine every high-lighted point the WBTS make and see whether their claims stand up to careful examination.
The WBTS article continues with the following header:
True prophets and the false can be recognized by the fruitage manifest in their lives and the lives of those who follow them
Matt. 7:15-20: "Be on the watch for the false prophets that come to you in sheep's covering, but inside they are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will recognize them. . . . Every good tree produces fine fruit, but every rotten tree produces worthless fruit . . . Really, then, by their fruits you will recognize those men."
What characterizes their way of life? "The works of the flesh are . . . fornication, uncleanness, loose conduct, idolatry, practice of spiritism, enmities, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, contentions, divisions, sects, envies, drunken bouts, revelries, and things like these. . . . Those who practice such things will not inherit God's kingdom. On the other hand, the fruitage of [God's] spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control." - Gal. 5:19-23; see also 2 Peter 2:1-3. (high-lighting added)
Comment: the first deception the WBTS attempt is to change the meaning of Matthew 7:15-23 which is another Biblical test given by God to ensure that any believer who is serious about their faith will know how to test anyone claiming to be a prophet of God. Jesus gave this teaching to His disciples and to all who would believe in Him and His Word and it clearly bears out the interpretation of the Deuteronomy (Chapter 13 and 18) passages (Matthew 7:15-23):
15 "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 "You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 "So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 "A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 "So then, you will know them by their fruits. 21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' 23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'
the subject is false prophets who come disguised as genuine followers of God (they look like 'sheep,' not like the 'wolves' they are);and the WBTS are in serious trouble on both grounds, anyway!);
the 'fruits' are their prophecies - not the quality of their lives (
a 'good tree' - a prophet of God - cannot ever produce a false prophecy or teaching (they are always 100% accurate - this disqualifies the WBTS immediately, as we will soon show!);
a 'bad tree' - a false prophet - will be thrown in the fire in the End Times (ref. Revelation 19:20: 'And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshipped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.');
'signs and wonders' (prophesies, deliverance from demons, and other miracles - such as those performed by Pharaoh's magicians in Exodus 7-11 q.v.) do not prove a false prophet, false teacher, or miracle worker to be doing the wonders with the approval of God, but by Satanic means (later, we will examine the methods employed by the WBTS);
thus verse 22 shows that even these false workers can perform wonders - and even get the occasional 'prophecy' correct - but they will never be 100% accurate with their prophecies (and, in the case of the WBTS they have a 100% record of failure!);
notice, finally, that Jesus says He never knew them because they practiced lawlessness;
from a Biblical perspective, revelations from a new prophet must agree with the revelations of former prophets, assuming all these prophets were genuine spokesmen for the same one true God (examination of the WBTS reveals a mass of devastating contradictions in their 'prophecies' and 'doctrines'!).
This principle was illustrated clearly through the inspired apostle Paul, who wrote:
"even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned" (Galatians 1:8)
We will prove later how the WBTS brought 'another gospel'.
The WBTS article continues with the following header:
Have not Jehovah's Witnesses made errors in their teachings?
Jehovah's Witnesses do not claim to be inspired prophets. They have made mistakes. Like the apostles of Jesus Christ, they have at times had some wrong expectations. - Luke 19:11; Acts 1:6.
The Scriptures provide time elements related to Christ's presence, and Jehovah's Witnesses have studied these with keen interest. (Luke 21:24; Dan. 4:10-17) Jesus also described a many-featured sign that would tie in with the fulfillment of time prophecies to identify the generation that would live to see the end of Satan's wicked system of things. (Luke 21:7-36) Jehovah's Witnesses have pointed to evidence in fulfillment of this sign. It is true that the Witnesses have made mistakes in their understanding of what would occur at the end of certain time periods, but they have not made the mistake of losing faith or ceasing to be watchful as to fulfillment of Jehovah's purposes. They have continued to keep to the fore in their thinking the counsel given by Jesus: "Keep on the watch, therefore, because you do not know on what day your Lord is coming." - Matt. 24:42.
Matters on which corrections of viewpoint have been needed have been relatively minor when compared with the vital Bible truths that they have discerned and publicized. Among these are the following: Jehovah is the only true God. Jesus Christ is not part of a Trinitarian godhead but is the only-begotten Son of God. Redemption from sin is possible only through faith in Christ's ransom sacrifice. The holy spirit is not a person but is Jehovah's active force, and its fruitage must be evident in the lives of true worshipers. The human soul is not immortal, as the ancient pagans claimed; it dies, and the hope for future life is in the resurrection. God's permission of wickedness has been because of the issue of universal sovereignty. God's Kingdom is the only hope for mankind. Since 1914 we have been living in the last days of the global wicked system of things. Only 144,000 faithful Christians will be kings and priests with Christ in heaven, whereas the rest of obedient mankind will receive eternal life on a paradise earth.
Another factor to consider regarding the teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses is this: Have these truly uplifted people morally? Are those who adhere to these teachings outstanding in their communities because of their honesty? Is their family life beneficially influenced by applying these teachings? Jesus said that his disciples would be readily identified because of having love among themselves. (John 13:35) Is this quality outstanding among Jehovah's Witnesses? We let the facts speak for themselves. (high-lighting added)
Comment: In due time we will examine every high-lighted claim of the WBTS. But, on these pages, we will first examine the facts concerning their claim that: Jehovah's Witnesses do not claim to be inspired prophets. They have made mistakes. Like the apostles of Jesus Christ, they have at times had some wrong expectations. We have already refuted the difference between 'wrong expectations' and being a 'false prophet'. The WBTS have seemingly asked one correct question: 'We let the facts speak for themselves'! But they do not tell the ignorant and unwary that they try to prevent Jehovah's Witnesses from examining these facts by employing cunning advice in books and magazines. We will also prove this fact by supplying the actual pages of the publications in which the WBTS claimed to be 'prophets' inspired by 'Jehovah' and then try to stop Jehovah's Witnesses from examining 'the facts'!
The article continues with the WBTS advice to a Jehovah's Witness when questions are asked over their 'prophecies':
If Someone Says -
'My minister said that Jehovah's Witnesses are the false prophets'
You might reply: 'May I ask, Did he show you anything in the Bible that describes what we believe or do and that says people of that sort would be false prophets? . . . May I show you how the Bible describes false prophets? (Then use one or more of the points outlined on pages 132-136.)'
Or you could say: 'I'm sure you'll agree that specific evidence should back up such a serious charge. Did your minister mention any specific examples? (If householder refers to some claimed "predictions" that did not come to pass, use material on page 134, and from the bottom of page 135 to the top of 137.)'
Another possibility: 'I'm sure that if someone accused you of something similar, you would welcome the opportunity at least to explain your position or point of view, wouldn't you? . . . So may I show you from the Bible . . . ?' (high-lighting added)
Comment: since the WBTS states clearly 'I'm sure you'll agree that specific evidence should back up such a serious charge' and 'you would welcome the opportunity at least to explain your position or point of view, wouldn't you?' we are going to do exactly that using the Bible and photocopies of the original WBTS books and magazine articles!
First we will look at several more Scriptures and the important matter that has concerned the WBTS from its inception:
How did God reveal to man the future of this world? How did God reveal His will, plan, and truth for this age? We read:
'God, having of old time spoken unto the fathers in the prophets . . .' (Heb. 1:1) and
'... for no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit'. (2 Pet 1:21)
So, according to Scripture, God revealed His will, truth, and the future of this world to us through a special group of men called "prophets."
In the WBTS book, Aid to Bible Understanding (Published by THE WATCHTOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY OF NEW YORK, INC.; 1969, 1971 Edition, p1347), a "prophet" is defined as:
"One through whom Divine will and purpose are made known." (Luke 1:70; Acts 3:18-21) The "prophecy" given by the prophet is defined as "an inspired message: a revelation of divine will and purpose" (p. 1344).
It is further stated (Aid to Bible Understanding, p1344):
'The source of true prophecy is Jehovah God. He transmits it by means of His Holy Spirit or, occasionally, by Spirit-directed angelic messengers'. (2 Pet. 1:20, 21; Hebrew 2:1, 2)
So the WBTS also makes it very clear that we must listen to God's prophet, for whatever they say comes from God Himself.
Thus we can see why Moses warned of God's judgment if we reject His prophet and see that the WBTS have quoted major Scriptures which deal with these warnings in the articles from Reasoning from the Scriptures.
We can see how, in agreement with the teaching of Moses, Jesus also points out (in Matthew 7:15-20) the supreme test to distinguish between true and false prophets:
'Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves. By their fruits ye shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but the corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Therefore by their fruits ye shall know them'.
We have already pointed out the manner in which the WBTS deliberately avoids the clear meaning of this passage: the "fruits" of the tree are the prophecies of the prophet in question. Just as a good tree NEVER bears evil fruit, a true prophet NEVER gives a false prophecy. Jesus said, "By their fruits [prophecies] ye shall know them."
In the WBTS book Aid to Bible Understanding (p1348), we read:
The three essentials for establishing the credentials of the true prophet, as given through Moses were:
the true prophet would speak in Jehovah's name;
the things foretold would come to pass (Deut. 18:20-22);
and his prophecies must promote true worship, being in harmony with God's revealed Word and commandments. (Deut. 13:1-4)
In agreement with these statements another WBTS book, Make Sure of All Things, Hold Fast To What Is Fine, gives Deut. 18:21-22 as the scripture reference under the heading, "Distinguishing Between True and False Prophets."
In the October 8, 1968 AWAKE! Magazine (see photocopy), an article appeared entitled, "A Time to 'Lift Up Your Head' in Confident Hope". It stated, on page 23:
'True, there have been those in times past who predicted an "end to the world," even announcing a specific date. Some have gathered groups of people with them and fled to the hills or withdrawn into their homes waiting for the end. Yet, nothing happened. The "end" did not come. They were guilty of false prophesying. Why? What was missing?
Missing was the full measure of evidence required in fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Missing from such people were God's truths and the evidence that he was guiding and using them.
God's will, truth, and plan for the future of this world was revealed through prophets. A true prophet proved that he spoke as the messenger of God by giving true prophecies concerning the future. His prophecies always came true. A false prophet, even though he spoke in Jehovah's name, gave false prophecies which failed to come to pass. The supreme test for all prophets according to Moses and Jesus is whether their prophecies come true.
So we need to answer these questions:
has the WBTS ever claimed to be Jehovah's prophet today?
Is the WBTS "the Servant of 'Jehovah'" who proclaims inspired prophecies received from angelic communication (quote: '... by means of His Holy Spirit or, occasionally, by Spirit-directed angelic messengers')?
Is the Watchtower "God's channel" and "God's messenger" today?
You need to read all of the evidence on the following pages and answer these questions honestly for yourself! The following pages consist of photocopies of official WBTS literature - some have also been made available by the WBTS as 'Reprints'. Where possible, the entire page or article has been reproduced in order to give the context to their article and:
to clearly show the full claims of the WBTS, their views of other organisations, and whether they are honest about their own failures;
to reveal the way they deal with people who attempt to check out the claims of the WBTS and how they try to prevent a Jehovah's Witness from examining this kind of evidence!
To assist you in seeking the truth, dates and relevant notes and questions are superimposed on some of the reproductions (which are arranged in chronological order, as far as reasonably possible), or attached to the edge or bottom of the pages, or the successive page, and high-lighted in bold italics as before.
The Periodicals of the WBTS total:
The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence, renamed The Watchtower and Herald of Christ's Presence in 1931, The Watchtower and Herald of Christ's Kingdom on January 1, 1939, and The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah's Kingdom on March 1, 1939, the title as of this time.
In July 1919, a set of Watch Tower Reprints was published consolidating articles from the first forty years into seven large volumes, 6,622 pages in all.
It is significant that the magazine's name was changed during Second President 'Judge' Rutherford's administration from one proclaiming "Christ's Presence" to one announcing "Jehovah's Kingdom." The same period saw a change in doctrinal emphasis from concentration on Christ (albeit heretically) to focus on the Father, with the new stress on the name Jehovah that hinted at a gradual Judaizing of the organisation. And, rather than the King, Rutherford put the kingdom to the forefront, with the Watchtower organization presented as the visible earthly manifestation of God's kingdom.
The Golden Age, first published on October 1, 1919; renamed Consolation in 1937 and Awake! in 1946 - offered 'door to door' along with The Watchtower, this new magazine featured articles on non-Biblical subjects.
Bulletin, first published in 1917; renamed Director in 1935 and Informant in 1936; later renamed Kingdom Ministry (1956), Our Kingdom Service (1976), then Our Kingdom Ministry (1982) - a members-only monthly publication featuring instructions for carrying on the house-to-house ministry, as well as news about the organization's conventions and new publications.
Books written by the WBTS will be titled as appropriate.
We will begin the history of the WBTS false prophecies from Zion's Watch Tower, February, 1881, p3, 188, 289 (next page):