By Fred Holthouser
In establishing the fact of whether a person or an organization is a true prophet or a false one, we must go to the Word of God. That should be the standard that we go by. There are three things that one must consider. First, we must consider whether the thing prophesied is true. Deuteronomy 18:22 tells us that if a prophet speaks and the thing that he has spoken does not come to pass, then that prophet has not spoken what the Lord has said and is a false prophet. Everything that a true prophet says must come true just like he spoke it without change or else we are not to pay any attention to such a person. We had better not follow such a one or we will lose our souls in hell.
Secondly, that which a true prophet speaks must promote true worship. That is to say that it will cause one to want to do God’s will and to be a member of the true church that we can read about in the pages of God’s word. In John 4:24, we find that God is a spirit and those that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.
Thirdly, whatever is prophesied must be in harmony with the revealed will of God. It must be in accordance with what we can find in the pages of God’s word. From 1917 to 1928, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society changed its doctrines or what it prophesied no less than 148 times. This can be clearly and simply proven from their own books of that time period. Now we must remember the three points just mentioned. It takes only one false prophecy to make a person a false prophet. It is not necessary to miss as many as are on the record of the Witnesses.
As can be seen from God’s own word, a true prophet must meet and pass all of these requirements or else be labeled a false prophet. Obviously, a person is not speaking the words of Jehovah if he changes again and again what he has prophesied. A prophet who changes his message many times surely must be false. We should try to teach them the truth of God’s word so as to save their souls from hell if they will let us. We must not let them take us into the error of their ways so that we will be lost also.
Let us look at the claim of the Watchtower and Tract Society to being the visible and legal representatives of God here on earth. Does not that have a familiar sound since the Catholic Church makes the same claim for themselves as do the Witnesses? They are both wrong according to the word of God. This claim is one of assumption and cannot be backed up by any Scripture that I know of. Maybe someone else does know of one that they will share with us, but I do not think that they have found one either. I do know that in Matthew 7:21 Jesus says that not everyone who says to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.
If this failure of the fulfillment of prophecies can cause one to be labeled a false prophet, then what has the record of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society done for them? Just look at some of their books and magazines to see how many things they have taught and the outcome of those things that were taught. Not one of the prophecies that they have ever made has come true on the date set for them. And to think that they have the gall to say that they are the visible and legal representatives of God here on earth! In every case they have failed to meet and pass any of the three points that a true prophet must meet and pass in order not to be called a false prophet by God’s word. There is only one conclusion that can be drawn. That conclusion is that, just like the Catholic Church, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society are false prophets. They are to be avoided as blind guides lest they lead us into a burning hell to which all false ‘prophets will go.
Most of this information I got first hand from over twenty years as a Watchtower slave and by making a study of their literature. Other information was obtained by talking to old time Witnesses and seeing the books, magazines, and other things that they had on the Society. I used to have a lot of their old publications myself, but when I got sick they disappeared from out of my house somehow. I still have a few of them left, enough to show what they used to teach that they have now changed. What they once taught as the truth is not the truth to be taught anymore (see Jude 3). They do not want me to get my hands on any of their literature because they know what I do with it. It is used to teach people how false the Witnesses are, and to show people from the Bible that the Witnesses are false teachers.
People React Differently To Truth
In 1975 I went to Waverly, Tennessee to conduct a gospel meeting on the errors of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and to give what help I could to a lady there that had been studying with the Witnesses. She was a member of the Lord’s church, but she got so angry that she stormed out of the building and never came back for the rest of the meeting. She still wanted to believe in the doctrine of the Witnesses that there is no burning hell for the wicked to go to after the judgment. I asked her if she believed in everlasting life in heaven, and of course she said that she did. So I pulled a half dollar out of my pocket and asked her to pick up that half dollar and just take the head side but leave me the tail side lying there. She told me that you know I cannot do that. I told her neither could she accept the doctrine of life in heaven without accepting torment in hell. Just like the heads and tails of a coin go together, so do the doctrines of life in heaven and torment in hell that will continue forever. She got angry because she could not have her cake and eat it too. The reason I put this in this article is to show you the effect that a false teacher can have even on a member of the church. We should not wonder at this since Peter said in 2 Peter 2:18 that there were false teachers at work in the days of the Apostles.
Not everyone reacts as that lady did. While holding a meeting in Tompkinsville, Kentucky, I taught the same truths and a man came to the meetings that had been studying with the Witnesses. He was about to join that false organization. But he attended our meeting four nights; on the fourth night he obeyed the gospel and was buried with his Lord in baptism and was raised to walk in newness of life, all previous sins blotted out. The same thing happened in Mason, Ohio, only this time it was a lady and she had been studying with the Witnesses for quite some time. But after hearing the lessons for a week, she continued to study. It must have been a few months later that she obeyed the gospel in obedience to what the Lord said for her to do and stopped studying with the Witnesses. So you can see the effect that God’s word has on honest hearts in spite of the false teachers of any and all false religious organizations.
I have had brethren in Christ tell me that I was wasting my time in presenting these types of lessons. If that is the case I pray that God keeps on letting me waste my time as long as it will save one person from joining these false teachers and false prophets. Then it will be time well spent. In addition to the two that have already been helped to leave these false teachers alone, there was another lady in Newton, North Carolina, that I hope I also helped. My desire is to see them all obey the gospel for the forgiveness of their sins as found in Acts 2:38, to the glory of the God of heaven and to the saving of their souls.
Since I have left the New World Society or the Jehovah’s Witnesses, they have branded me as an evil servant (using Matt. 24:48). According to them, I do not even come in for a resurrection if I should die before the Lord comes again. The only way I could get life is to be able to hide until the battle of Armageddon was over. (Speaking of false teachings and false prophets, I will leave the battle of Armageddon for a later article; it will take several pages to discuss all that they teach on this one subject, and none of it is true according to God’s word.) My “sin” is that I reject false prophets! Let us not fear what men call us when we stand with truth and against error.
Guardian of Truth XXVII: 2, pp. 39-40
January 20, 1983