By Ed Brouillette
Note: The following article appeared in the San Jose Mercury News, World Section, page 29-A, Sunday, November 12, 1995.
“Jehovah’s Witnesses Revise End-time Date
London Armageddon has been delayed and the end of the world is no longer nigh, say Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Charles Russell, founder of the movement that now boasts 5 million members, first forecast the world would end in 1914.
Two more “false alarms” occurred in 1925 and 1975 and now the movement has decided not to give any more exact forecasts on Judgment Day, when it believes only its followers will be saved.
Senior church figures, cited in its official Watchtower Magazine, called for an end to Armageddon speculation.
“We do not need to know the exact timing of events,” they said. “Rather, our focus must be on being watchful, cultivating strong faith and keeping busy in Jehovah’s service.”
Some of us have been trying to teach Jehovah’s Witnesses the truth for a long time. In discussion with them I have used their book (which they have seen fit to no longer print) Millions Now Living Will Never Die to prove their founders and foundations to be false. Their excuse has been, “Men make mistakes.” This would be acceptable if their founders had not claimed inspiration.
In Studies in the Scriptures, Series VII, the Finished Mystery, International Bible Student’s Association, Brooklyn, 1918, the claim is made, ” the following from the pen of Pastor Russell is further proof that he was sent of God in this generation” (3).
In making comments upon Revelation 10:7 concerning the “voice of the seventh angel,” the following is claimed, “Pastor Russell was the seventh angel” (169).
Then, on page 377, we read, “When the full import of the Word was discerned, Pastor Russell took a firm stand. The spirit, power, influence of God entered into him, never to leave.”
We read in Deuteronomy 18:21-22:
But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. 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.
Other quotations from the works of Russell, Rutherford, and other prognosticators among Jehovah’s Witnesses could be quoted to show that their entire system is false but these should suffice for the honest seeker of truth. From the claims made and from the Scripture reference we can conclude one of two things: (1) Pastor Russell was a false prophet and was not sent from God, neither was he the seventh angel of Revelation. His prophecies were false because they did not come to pass and The Watch-tower being built upon such foundation is a false institution and should be exposed, (2) If Pastor Russell was indeed prompted by God to make the predictions then God led him into falsehood, or God was directing Russell to made predictions about which he, himself, was ignorant. I cannot accept the second conclusion for it is blasphemous.
I am told by Scriptures that God is omniscient and that God will not lie. I prefer to reject Pastor Russell and his system and plead with all who have been entrapped by his falsehoods to leave this false religion. Just saying, “We are men and men make mistakes,” is not enough. The claim of inspiration was made and the leaders of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society need to acknowledge that all along their system has been based on falsehoods and manufactured “time tables.”
Guardian of Truth XL: No. 17, p. 11
September 5, 1996