As you are aware, we commenced to examine false prophecy emanating from the Churches of God or their offshoots, or from organisations such as the Mormons, who derived their doctrines from an aggregation of Freemasonry and other strange teachings, seemingly based on now nonexistent gold plates. We examined the false prophecies on a progressive or calendar basis from year to year, showing the developments and the adjustments that were made and, in some cases, were just brazened out.
We will now turn to the Jehovah Witnesses (JWs) to examine their repeated false prophecies. Very few organisations have as many false prophecies and still claim the adherence of a gullible audience of unquestioning congregations. They were barely matched by the Adventists and the later emergence of the Radio and later Worldwide Church of God. The active false prophecy started with a declaration of the Advent of Christ in the form of a bridegroom. The Bible states quite clearly that every eye shall see him but some people will believe anything.
The JWs claimed in this year that:
“Christ came in the character of a Bridegroom… at the beginning of the Gospel harvest” (Watchtower, Oct 1879, p.4).
In 1880 they said:
"We need not here repeat the evidences that the "seventh trump" began its sounding A.D., 1840, and will continue until the end of the time of trouble, and the end of "The times of the Gentiles," A.D., 1914, and that it is the trouble of this "Great day," which is here symbolically called the voice of the Archangel when he begins the deliverance of fleshly Israel. "At that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince (Archangel) which standeth for the children of thy people and there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation." Dan. xii. 1. Nor will we here, again present the conclusive Bible proof that our Lord came for his Bride in 1874, and has an unseen work as Reaper of the first-fruits of this Gospel Age. (Zion's Watchtower November, 1880 p. 1)
The misidentification of the end of the times of the Gentiles was based on the misunderstanding of the timing of the battle of Carchemish in 605 BCE and its application in the determination of this time. The JWs relocated the battle to 607 BCE in later publications to justify this error and false prophecy. They did not understand that the time was controlled by a Bible prophecy uttered by God through the prophet Ezekiel. That was what is termed the Prophecy of Pharaoh’s Broken Arms and controls the dates from 605 BCE to 1916, and not 1914 as they stated. The prophecy continued for another eighty years in two arms of forty years. This error was also to emerge in the false prophecies of Herbert W Armstrong concerning the rise of Egypt and the Suez Crisis from 1953-1956 (see the paper The Prophecy of Pharaoh’s Broken Arms (No. 36)).
In 1886 the JWs were engrossed with this error and were not to be daunted. Between 1886 and 1914 it formed the basis of their recruiting and was to continue as a tool for many decades to come after that failure.
"The outlook at the opening of the New Year has some very encouraging features. The outward evidences are that the marshalling of the hosts for the battle of the great day of God Almighty, is in progress while the skirmishing is commencing. … The time is come for Messiah to take the dominion of earth and to overthrow the oppressors and corrupters of the earth, (Rev. 19:15 and 11:17, 18) preparatory to the establishment of everlasting peace upon the only firm foundation of righteousness and truth." (Zion's Watchtower, January, 1886;Watchtower reprints I, p. 817)
'The End Of This World; that is the end of the gospel and the beginning of the millennial age is nearer than most men suppose; indeed we have already entered the transition period, which is to be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation Dan. 12:3." (N.H. Barbour and C.T. Russell, Three Worlds, and the Harvest of This World, p. 17).
"In this chapter we present the Bible evidence proving that the full end of the times of the gentiles, i.e., the full end of their lease of dominion, will be reached in A.D. 1914; and that the date will be the farthest limit of the rule of imperfect men. And be it observed, that if this is shown to be a fact firmly established by the Scriptures, it will prove; Firstly, that at that date the Kingdom of God, for which our Lord taught us to pray, saying, Thy Kingdom come, will obtain full, universal control, and that it will then be set up, or firmly established, in the earth, on the ruins of present institutions." ((Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2), “The Time Is At Hand,” 1888, p. 76, 77)
"Be not surprised, then, when in subsequent chapters we present proofs that the setting up of the Kingdom of God is already begun, that it is pointed out in prophecy as due to begin the exercise of power in A.D. 1878, and that the 'battle of the great day of God Almighty (Rev. 16:14) which will end in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth's present rulership, is already commenced. The gathering of the armies is plainly visible from the standpoint of God's word." (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, “The Time Is At Hand,” 1889 Ed., p. 101. The 1915 edition of these texts changed "A.D. 1914" to read 'A.D. 1915')
The JWs were to ignore the sound work of Bishop Ussher and the reconstruction of the Bible Chronology as put forward in the first editions of the KJV, which placed the creation of Adam in 4004 BCE and instead placed a date that ended in 1873. The basis if this false claim is not advanced. They were to say:
"Here we furnish the evidence that from the creation of Adam to (but not including) A.D. 1873 was six thousand years. And though the Bible contains no direct statement that the seventh thousand will be the epoch of Christ's reign, the great Sabbath Day of restitution to the world, yet the venerable tradition is not without a reasonable foundation." (C. T. Russell, Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, p. 39. 1889)
The calculation of the Calendar of God is not all that difficult. All the clues remain in the Bible. The entire system is based on the jubilee of fifty years. That sequence is simply reconstructed from a number of references. CCG has done this restoration and the detail is outlined in the work Reading the Law with Ezra and Nehemiah (No. 250). The timing of the six thousand years of Satan’s rule of this earth must commence from the cursed earth and that could not have occurred any earlier than the first year of the first jubilee after the judgment of Adam, which could not have taken place until he was thirty years of age (i.e. in the year 3974/3 for the Jubilee year and the year 3975/2 for the commencement of the rule of Satan). The six thousand years could not therefore have ended before the 120th jubilee in 2027. These simple Bible facts would have made the errors of Russell and the other false prophets impossible. The real problem was that they had dispensed with the Laws of God and did not understand them. Because they were antinomians and had abandoned the Commandments of God, and especially the Fourth Commandment concerning the Sabbath, they incorrectly assumed God did not keep to His own Laws and Calendar. Their errors thus stemmed from this unconverted approach. In greater or lesser degree, this was to occur with the others down to the Armstrong system and on to the present day. Based on the Bible chronology, the Millennium cannot commence at the earliest date until 2028. Christ may well come earlier than that date, but the jubilee will still be in 2027 and all preparation would have to be done by that date. The sequence is dealt with in the paper Outline Timetable of the Age (No. 272).
"If, then, the seventh thousand-year period of earth's history be an epoch specially noted as the period of Christ's reign, we shall by showing that it began in 1873, be proving that we are already in it." (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, p. 40. 1889)
Thus it became JW doctrine that the Millennium had already occurred in 1873. Yet they were later to claim that Christ did not come until 1914. This is a complete perversion of the chronology and prophecy of the Book of Revelation. Yet, seemingly none of their gullible followers so much as batted an eyelid. They appear to have swallowed camels and baulked at gnats regularly. Russell went on unabashed.
"In the coming 26 years, all present governments will be overthrown and dissolved." (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, p. 98-99, 1889)
"In this chapter we present the Bible evidence which indicates that six thousand years from the creation of Adam were complete with A.D. 1872; and hence that, since A.D. 1872 are chronologically entered upon the seventh thousand or the Millennium." (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, p. 33, 1889)
"Remember that the forty years' Jewish Harvest ended October A.D. 69, and was followed by the complete overthrow of that nation; and that likewise the forty years of the Gospel age harvest will end October, 1914, and that likewise the overthrow of 'Christendom,' so-called, must be expected to immediately follow." (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, p. 245)
Remember Smith of the Mormons had made a prophecy ending before or by 1891. We regress to that prophecy. On 14 Feb 1835, Joseph Smith, the founder of the LDS or Mormon Church, attended a meeting of church leaders. He is reported to have stated that the meeting had been called because God had commanded it. He announced that Jesus would return within 56 years -- i.e. before 15 Feb. 1891 (History of the Church, 2:182)
"Seventeen years ago people said, concerning the time features presented in Millennial Dawn, They seem reasonable in many respects, but surely no such radical changes could occur between now and the close of 1914: if you had proved that they would come about in a century or two, it would seem much more probable. What changes have since occurred, and what velocity is gained daily? 'The old is quickly passing and the new is coming in.' Now, in view of recent labor troubles and threatened anarchy, our readers are writing to know if there may not be a mistake in the 1914 date. They say that they do not see how present conditions can hold out so long under the strain. We see no reason for changing the figures-nor could we change them if we would. They are, we believe, God's dates, not ours. But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble." (Zion's Watchtower, “Can It Be Delayed until 1914?” C. T. Russell July 15, 1894, Also in Watchtower Reprints, l894 p. 1677)
Any student of WWI will understand that 1914 was but the beginning of troubles. It was not until 1916 that the true and full measure of carnage was reached on the Western front, and the Russians did not reach full flight in the war until 1917. After the October Revolution there the war in the east ended for Russia. These people had no idea of the events before them. There was obviously not a prophet there in the Jehovah Witnesses of any power or authority at all. Nor was there to be one subsequently as we will see. God, and the direction of the Holy Spirit, was simply not with Russell, or with these people at all.
"A few more years will wind up the present order of things, and then the chastened world will stand face to face with the actual conditions of the established Kingdom of God. And yet the course of the Church is to be finished within the space of time that intervenes." (Watchtower p. 56, 1894)
"We see no reason for changing the figures - nor could we change them if we would. They are, we believe, God's dates, not ours. But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble." (Watchtower July 15, 1894, p 266; p 1677 reprints)
A prophecy was made upon a work concerning the measurement of the length of an interior passageway discovered inside the Pyramids. The measurement had no reference in or to Scripture. Russell was to use this novelty of the time and say:
"...this measurement is 3416 inches, symbolizing 3416 years.... This calculation shows A.D. 1874 as marking the beginning of the period of trouble...." (Russell, Studies in the Scriptures: “Thy Kingdom Come”, Series III, p. 342, 1897 edition.
The 1916 edition was changed to read: "We find it to be 3457 inches, symbolizing 3457 years.... Thus the Pyramid witnesses that the close of 1914 will be the beginning of the time of trouble...." They were then in the middle of WWI and the prophecies were so far wrong as to be a farce. There was still another two years of carnage to go as it turned out and then WWII would carry it on. What will be referred to as WWIII is the next major conflict and that was never envisaged by any of their number. We have commenced that series now and the war has not really started. When Christ comes it will be to save those who eagerly await him. If he does not intervene, there will be no flesh left alive. That Bible statement is fairly clear, one would have thought. Neither Russell nor the subsequent leaders understood this prophecy at all. This proclivity for rewriting facts and even science to justify their false prophecies has become endemic among their leaders and following.
"Complete destruction of the 'powers that be' of 'this present evil worlds - political, financial, ecclesiastical - about the close of the Time of the Gentiles; October A.D. 1914." (C.T. Russell, Studies in the Scriptures, IV, p. 622, 1897)
"Our Lord, the appointed King, is now present, since October 1874, A.D....and the formal inauguration of his kingly office dates from April 1878, A.D." (Russell ibid Studies in the Scriptures, Vol.4, p.621, 1897).
This type of statement is familiar to the student of Roman Catholicism where the bishop of Rome has assumed the mantle of the Vicar of Christ. Thus Russell had placed Christ on earth and seemingly known only to him and his group. As such, he was the spokesman for Christ. The JWs were thus little different from the Roman Catholics they attacked.
"The distillery, the brewery, the saloon, the brothel, the pool-room, all time-killing and character-depraving business 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 (sic) 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 and brokerage business, and other like employment's, 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 others 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 ibid, Vol. IV, pp. 633-635, 1897)
"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”, 1902 edition, p. 99)
The Watchtower organisation commenced to dabble in astrology and base predictions on astrological conjunctions. They were to write:
"When Uranus and Jupiter meet in the humane sign of Aquarius in 1914, the long-promised era will have made a fair start in the work of setting man free to work out his own salvation, and will insure the ultimate realization of dreams and ideals of all poets and sages in history." (Watchtower, May 1, 1903, p. 130-131; p 3184 Reprints).
No Bible prophet has defended stargazing.
"According to our expectations the stress of the great time of trouble will be on us soon, somewhere between 1910 and 1912, culminating with the end of the 'Times of the Gentiles,' October, 1914." (“The New Creation”, Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 6, p. 579, 1904)
"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 at the end of A. D. 1914." (The Time Is At Hand; 1889; 1908 ed.; p. 99)
"True, it is expecting great things to claim, as we do, that within the coming twenty-six years all present governments will be overthrown and dissolved" (The Time Is At Hand; 1889; 1908 ed.; p. 99)
"Even if the time of our change should not come within ten years, what more should we ask? Are we not a blessed, happy people? Is not our God faithful? If anyone knows anything better, let him take it. If any of you ever find anything better, we hope you will tell us." (Watchtower, Dec 15, 1914, p. 376.)
"Studying God's Word, we have measured the 2520 years, the seven symbolic times, from that year 606 B.C. and have found that it reached down to October, 1914, as nearly as we were able to reckon. We did not say positively that this would be the year." (Watchtower, November 1, 1914, p. 325)
Note they use the time 606 BCE instead of the real 605 BCE for the battle of Carchemish when Nebuchadnezzar assumed joint rule with his father on the victory. They did not realise that there was no year 0, and so they subsequently had to change it to 607 BCE to arrive at 1914 for the 2520 years or seven times. They saw the seven times of Nebuchadnezzar as relevant to the times of the Gentiles, but were fixated on 1914 because of their simple ignorance of history.
"While it's possible that Armageddon may begin next Spring, yet this purely speculation to attempt to say just when. We see, however, that there are parallels between the close of the Jewish age and this Gospel age. These parallels seem to point to the year just before us part particularly the early months." (Watchtower Reprints, VI, Sept 1, 1914, p. 5527)
"There is absolutely no ground for Bible students to question that the consummation of this Gospel age is now even at the door, and that it will end as the Scriptures foretell in a great time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation. We see the participants in this great crisis banding themselves together… The great crisis, the great clash, symbolically represented as a fire, that will consume the ecclesiastical heavens and the social earth, is very near." (Watchtower Reprints, VI, May 1, 1914, p. 5450)
"The present great war in Europe is the beginning of the Armageddon of the Scriptures Rev 19:16-20). It will eventuate in the complete overthrow of all the systems of error which have so long oppressed the people of God and deluded the world. We believe the present war cannot last much longer until revolutions shall break out" (C.T. Russell, Pastor Russell's Sermons, p. 676, Sometime during World War I).
Thus we see that after WWI erupted in 1914 and the dreadful carnage started rather than finished as Russell predicted earlier as we see above, Russell changed his views and used 1914 as the beginning of the war of Armageddon. It was not that event, as we all well know now. That prophetic event is yet ahead of us, and all that after two world wars and a series of sub-wars, such that we have barely been at peace for a hundred years.
The 1989 statements were reprinted to say:
“Here we furnish the evidence that from the creation of Adam to A.D. 1873 was six thousand years. And though the Bible contains no direct statement that the seventh thousand will be the epoch of Christ's reign, the great Sabbath Day of restitution to the world, yet the venerable tradition is not without reasonable foundation” (The Time Is At Hand; 1889; 1915 ed.; p. 39).
If, then, the seventh thousand-year period of earth's history be an epoch specially noted as the period of Christ's reign, we shall, by showing that it began in A.D. 1873, be proving that we are already in it. (“The Time Is At Hand” 1889,1915 ed.; p. 40).
Firstly, that at that date  the Kingdom of God, for which our Lord taught us to pray, saying, "Thy Kingdom come," will begin to assume control, and that it will then shortly be "set up," or firmly established, in the earth, on the ruins of present institutions. (The Time Is At Hand; 1889; 1915 ed.; p. 77)
Thus after the event, they were now claiming that the kingdom of God was being set up and WWI was part of the sequence of Christ’s rule. They began to move it to the end of 1916 however, so they would not appear in error.
"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 near the end of A.D. 1915. (“The Time Is At Hand”, 1915 edition, p. 99).
That did not work, as the war was still only heating up. The US did not even enter until 1917, and did very little, so they saw no real casualties in the US, and these sorts of ravings were not met with the stoning they deserved.
"Be not surprised, then, when in subsequent chapters we present proofs that the setting up of the Kingdom of God is already begun, that it is pointed out in prophecy as due to begin the exercise of power in A.D. 1878, and that the 'battle of the great day of God Almighty' (Rev. 16:14), which will end in A.D. 1915, with the complete overthrow of the earth's present rulership, is already commenced." (“The Time Is At Hand,” 1889; 1915 ed., p. 101).
Now that was a prophetic blooper was it not? 1915, as we all know, did not see the overthrow of anything much, other than the earth in the ditches of Flanders.
"As in the type that date - three and a half years after the death of Christ - marked the end of all special favor to the Jew and the beginning of favor to the Gentiles, so we recognize A.D. 1881 as marking the close of the 'high calling,' or invitation to the blessing peculiar to this age - to become joint-heirs with Christ and partakers of the divine nature." (“The Time Is At Hand” 1889, 1915 ed., p. 235)
So it was in this harvest also up to A.D. 1878 the time prophecies and the fact of the Lord's presence, substantially as here presented, though less clearly, was our message. Since then the work has widened, and the view of other truths has become brighter and clearer; but the same fact and scriptures, teaching the same time and presence, stand unchallenged and incontrovertible (“The Time Is At Hand”, 1889, 1915 ed., p. 236).
The Gentile Times prove that the present governments must all be overturned about the close of A.D. 1915; and Parallelism above shows that this period corresponds exactly with the year A.D. 70, which witnessed the completion of the downfall of the Jewish polity. (“The Time Is At Hand”, 1915 edition, p. 242)
1915 We are already living in the seventh millennium - since October 1872. (“The Time Is At Hand”, 1889, 1915 ed., p. 363)
The Battle of Armageddon, to which this war is leading, will be a great contest between right and wrong, and will signify the complete and everlasting overthrow of the wrong, and the permanent establishment of Messiah's righteous kingdom for the blessing of the world. … Our sympathies are broad enough to cover all engaged in the dreadful strife, as our hope is broad enough and deep enough to include all in the great blessings which our Master and his Millennial kingdom are about to bring to the world. (Watchtower Reprints, VI, April 1, 1915, p. 5659)
To our understanding the general call to this joint heirship with our Redeemer as members of the New Creation of God, ceased in 1881. (The New Creation, 1899, 1915 ed., p. 95)
Now the year 1915 ended, and we might imagine that the sane and rational members of the Watchtower and Bible Tract Society apologised for their incessant false prophecy and the dreadful and farcical representation of Scripture. They did no such thing. They simply pretended that none of it had happened. They went on with business as usual and commenced their false scenarios all over again.
They simply repeated the same old false prophecy they printed in 1873 and published it again in 1916.
"The Bible chronology herein presented shows that the six great 1000 year days beginning with Adam are ended, and that the great 7th Day, the 1000 years of Christ's Reign, began in 1873." (“The Time Is At Hand,” Foreword, p 2, 1916),
We see no reason for doubting, therefore, that the Times of the Gentiles ended in October, 1914; and that a few more years will witness their utter collapse and the full establishment of God's kingdom in the hands of Messiah." (Watchtower Reprints, VI, Sept 1, 1916, p. 5950)
They even roped 1914 in as the end of the Time of the Gentiles, and it was then only a few more years until their utter collapse into the hands of the Messiah. They then followed on until the collapse of Germany in WWII, and thus it was simply a matter of time then until the physical millennial system would take place. They do not understand the Resurrection of the Dead, or the spiritual and physical nature of the beings in that system. The demons have not lied to them. Indeed, every one that follows their doctrines and survives the tribulation will indeed get to go into the Millennium as a physical being. They think Abraham is going to be physical also, as will David and everyone else. Their leaders have cost these people the First Resurrection of the Dead, and they do not seem to understand what the demons have done to them through their false prophets.
'There will be no slip-up...Abraham should enter upon the actual possession of his promised inheritance in the year 1925' (Watchtower Oct. 15, 1917, p. 6157).
The Spring of 1918 will bring upon Christendom a spasm of anguish greater even than that experienced in the Fall of 1914.... The travail that is coming is to be upon nominal Zion- "Christendom" … "Babylon"; and it will be a great and sore affliction- "A Time of Trouble such as was not since there was a nation." (The Finished Mystery p. 62 [stated to be the "Posthumous Work of Pastor Russell" on p. 2]).
'No doubt Satan believed the Millennial Kingdom was due to be set-up in 1915...Be that as it may, there is evidence that the establishment of the Kingdom in Palestine will probably be in 1925, ten years later than we once calculated.' (Studies In The Scriptures, Vol 7, The Finished Mystery, p. 128).
Now the leaders were faced with picking up the pieces and making sense of what Russell had said and got wrong. They also said it, but we are to forget that embarrassing fact of history. It was then to be 1925. That was in the middle of the “Roaring Twenties” and such matters were far from the minds of the masses by then.
They continued in WWI to try to gain some credibility in what was a very serious time for the West.
“Some interesting developments in connection with the setting up of the Kingdom may occur in 1920, six years after the great Time of Trouble began. It would not be strange if this were so, when we recall that after forty years wandering in the wilderness the Israelites came into possession of the land of Canaan after a further six years. As these matters are still future we can but wait to see. We anticipate that the ‘earthquake’ will occur early in 1918, and that the ‘fire’ will come in the fall of 1920. [The Finished Mystery, 1917, p. 178, Comments on Revelation 11:13. [The 1926 ed. reads: "and that the 'fire' will follow in due course."])
They went on setting these false prophecies and false time schedules without regard to the Calendar of God and the actual words of Scripture. They simply altered the printed works after the time had passed and they had failed.
"And the mountains were not found. Even the republics will disappear in the fall of 1920. And the mountains were not found. Every kingdom of earth will pass away, be swallowed up in anarchy." (The Finished Mystery, 1917 edition, p. 258).
These absurd prophecies may have seemed eventual possibilities to an uninformed observer in the 1914-18 war, but the time sequence of the Bible shows the times to which they referred were yet quite some time off. To be fair, others, such as Herbert Armstrong, were to use the same techniques in the lead up to WWII.
In 1917 they began to prophesy of the impending storm that would break forth in 1918. This had an element of truth in that the Armistice was signed on 11 November 1918 and the carnage was ended. Germany, however, was faced with paying serious reparations. They then started prophesying the removal of the entire Christian Church from 1918.
“Pastor Russell's mission, in large part, was to advise Christendom of its impending end, in the time of world-wide trouble. It is the Divine judgment upon the nations. … There will be no chance of escaping from destruction, through the nations. … The trouble is due to the dawning of the Day of Christ, the Millennium. It is the Day of Vengeance, which began in the world war of 1914 and which will break like a furious morning storm in 1918." (The Finished Mystery, 1917, p. 404)
"Until 1878 the nominal church had been in a sense God's sanctuary or temple; but He was from then on, culminating in 1918, to remove it with a stroke or plague of erroneous doctrines and deeds Divinely permitted. The Church was the strength of Christendom, that about which its life centered, and around which its institutions were built. It was the desire of the eyes of the people, that which all Christians loved. Nevertheless, God was to make manifest the profanation which ecclesiasticism had made of the Christian Church, and to cause the church organizations to become to Him as one dead, an unclean thing, not to be touched, or mourned. And the 'children of the church' shall perish by the sword of war, revolution and anarchy, and by the Sword of the Spirit be made to see that they have lost their hope of life on the spirit plane -- that 'the door is shut."' (Studies in the Scriptures, vol. 7, 1917 p. 484.)
Also, in the year 1918, when God destroys the churches wholesale and the church members by million, it shall be that any that escape shall come to the works of Pastor Russell to learn the meaning of the downfall of Christianity. (The Finished Mystery, 1917 edition, p. 485).
The absolute farce that were the prophesies in this period are simply breathtaking in their scope and falsity. Yet, when these predictions failed, the JWs were still gaining adherents as though false prophecy is the actual key to gaining members. They have got nothing correct at this stage, (or since) and their record shows they are absolute false prophets who would have been stoned to death at the gates of Jerusalem in previous ages, yet they continued to recruit gullible people in many nations.
As the fleshly-minded apostates from Christianity, siding with the radicals and revolutionaries, will rejoice at the inheritance of desolation that will be Christendom's after 1918, so will God do to the successful revolutionary movement; it shall be utterly desolated, "even all of it." Not one vestige of it shall survive the ravages of world-wide all embracing anarchy, in the fall of 1920. (Rev. II: 7-13) (The Finished Mystery, 1917, p. 542.
The 1926 ed. of this work reads: "in the end of the time of trouble." This alteration was necessary after they failed in their predictions of worldwide anarchy in the northern autumn of 1920. So, the Passover of 1920 came and went, and then Pentecost, and their scenario went belly-up like the dead fish their prophets had proved to be. So what did they do? They simply changed the dates in the publications to vague them up a bit so the money would keep coming in, and they would not have to explain. Apologise? What does that mean? But 1917 was a good year for false prophets as the war was escalating. So they went on printing.
This vision of the prophet Ezekiel depicts the established theocratic Kingdom of God on earth, civil and religious, spiritual and earthly. . . . The Temple . . . is a type and symbol of "better things to come," after the wars, revolutions and anarchy of the period from 1914 to 1925 have passed. (The Finished Mystery, 1917, p. 569)
Again, we see the changes after the failed prophecies and the 1926 ed. reads: "of the time of trouble have passed."
In 1918 they confidently embarked on a 1925 time frame with no real explanation of how they got there. Perhaps they thought that God had appeared and told them he was changing His mind yet again.
"Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the Apostle in Hebrews 11, to the condition of human perfection." (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, p. 89)
Note that they seem to embrace this doctrine of human perfection and assume that there is no spiritual condition of the First Resurrection. The Bible statement is clear when it says: “It is appointed unto all men once to die.” The very title of the book was a farce as virtually everyone who read that book is now dead. The rest are all 87 or over.
After WWI the end of the world prediction began in earnest. Planetary conjunctions were the subject of pseudo-scientific conjecture. This pseudo science has continued to this day. The religious even got on the bandwagon concerning the 2000 or Y2K bug and made all sorts of bizarre and silly predictions, and on it goes.
Meteorologist Albert Porta predicted that the conjunction of 6 planets would generate a magnetic current that would cause the sun to explode and engulf the earth on 17 December.
Meanwhile, the “Witnesses” plodded on with false prophecy after false prophecy
in such bravery that a normal person would not have been able to hold his head
up in a supermarket. However, these intrepid babblers went on unabashed. 1920
saw the start of the new cycle of fiction.
'...we may expect 1925 to witness the return of these faithful men of Israel from the condition of death, being resurrected' (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 1920, p. 88).
They commenced to toy with the jubilee calendar, but as they did not even keep the Sabbath, they could scarcely be expected to understand any of it and, not surprisingly, they didn’t.
"A simple calculation of these jubilees brings us to this important fact: Seventy jubilees of fifty years each would be a total of 3500 years. That period of time beginning 1575 before A.D. 1 of necessity would end in the fall of 1925, at which time the type ends and the great antitype must begin. What, then, should we expect to take place? In the type there must be a full restoration; beginning of restoration of all things. The chief thing to be restored is the human race to life; and since other Scriptures definitely fix the fact that there will be a resurrection of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and other faithful ones of old, and that these will have the first favor, we may expect 1925 to witness the return of these faithful men and Israel from the condition of death, being resurrected and fully restored to perfect humanity and made the visible, legal representatives of the new order of things on earth. (Millions now living will never die, 1920 p 89-90)
They seemed not to understand that the year 1 AD was a fiction of the monk, Dennis the Short, and it stood for nothing. Christ certainly could never have been born in 1 AD and that was known at the time these babblers were writing. It seems as though they had never read anything about the chronology of Christianity and the Calendar of the Bible. As they did not keep the Law, they thought the Calendar and its sequence of no importance and hence, they invented these scenarios. They were disqualified from being prophets of God by this fact alone.
They also said:
'Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old' (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 1920, p. 89-90)
The reasoning was also thus:
"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." (Millions Now Living Will Never Die 1920 p. 97).
They assumed that, in their theology, after the return of Christ, all mankind will continue living on through the Millennium. The Bible does not say that. It certainly did not say it would happen in 1925, and the people who said it are all dead.
In 1921 they were playing with the period at the end of the French Revolution, as the Adventists had made that popular with another false prophecy of theirs. Much of this error stems from the errors concerning Justinian’s Revival in the late Roman Empire. This aspect is examined in the paper The Millennium and the Rapture (No. 95). They decided 1799 had some prophetic significance. This period was from 1799 to 1874. There is no explicable basis for either of these dates. They also commenced with some items, with a kernel of truth, as we will see, with the basis of a prophetic time of 360 days or years. They then proceeded to make a farce of that also.
"'The time of the end' embraces a period from 1799 A.D., as above indicated, to the time of the complete overthrow of Satan's empire and the establishment of the kingdom of the Messiah. The time of the Lord's second presence dates from 1874, as above stated. The latter period is within the first named, of course, and in the latter part of the period known as "the time of the end." (The Harp of God, 1921 p. 236)
"In Biblical symbology a time means a year of twelve months of thirty days each, or 360 days. Each day is considered for a year... Here are mentioned, then, three and a half times of 360 prophetic days each, or a total of 1260 prophetic days, equal to 1260 years. The Prophet then was shown that 1260 years would mark the beginning of the time of the end of this beastly order. Twelve-hundred sixty years from A.D. 539 brings us to 1799 -- another proof that 1799 marks the beginning of the 'time of the end.' This also shows that it is from the date 539 A.D. that the other prophetic days of Daniel must be counted." … "The most important thing to which all the prophecies point and for which the apostles looked forward has been the second coming of the Lord. It is described by the Prophet as a blessed time. Daniel then says: 'Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.' (Daniel 12:12). The watchers here, without question are those who were instructed by the Lord to watch for his return. This date, therefore, when understood, would certainly fix the time when the Lord is due at his second appearing. Applying the same rule, then, of a day for a year, 1335 days after 539 A.D. brings us to A.D. 1874, at which time, according to Biblical chronology, the Lord's second presence is due. If this calculation is correct, from that time forward we ought to be able to find some evidences marking the Lord's presence."(Harp of God, 1921, pp. 229-230.)
So here we see the basis of the error concerning 1874. They took the Adventists error concerning the 1260 years from Justinian’s revival, and their placement of its end in the French Revolution. They then added the time frame in Daniel of the 1335 days as years, and arrived at the date 1874. Basically, they logically added apples and oranges and laid another egg. What is amazing is that they have not fixed this error to this day. It is as though they are caught in a time warp and don’t know enough to find their way out. They added forty years to 1878, which appears to be three and a half years from October 1874, and got to 1918. But this was after the event and they seemed then to go on building up rationalisation of their errors.
"The natural harvest was used by the Lord to illustrate his harvest of Christians. In the Jewish natural harvest it was customary to glean the field after the regular harvest was over. We should therefore expect to find a harvest period from 1878 to 1918, and thereafter for a time a gleaning work to be done, which we will indicate. The question now is, Do we find a period of harvest in the gospel age after 1874 which serves as a fulfilment of the prophecy of the Lord?" (Studies in the Scriptures, Volume 7 1921, p. 236).
The entire sequence seems to be centred on CT Russell’s commencement of his publications as we see from the following text. Now, it is true that God works through humans and uses the body of Christ to do that. However, you have to be obedient to the Law of God or there is no light in you (Isa. 8:20). Russell had simply borrowed the structure of the Churches of God, and the errors of the Adventists, and then shed the inconvenient things like the Fourth Commandment; and then, so it seems from the prophecies here, he threw the Sixth and Ninth Commandments away as well, and then the rest went after that.
"The same year, 1881, is prophetically marked as the time for the final withdrawal of favor from the churches, a favor which had begun to be withdrawn in 1878 -- the year in which the clergy were cast off as representatives of the Divine Word, and when Pastor Russell began his work by the publication of 50,000 copies of Object and Manner of the Lord's Return. In 1878 the stewardship of the things of God, the teaching of Bible truths, was taken from the clergy, unfaithful to their age long stewardship, and given to Pastor Russell. In the interim, until 1881, the new steward was setting the things in order, getting the truths of the Bible in logical and Scriptural form for presentation, until the last great item of the Hebrew tabernacle types, was ready. Then, in 1881, he became God's watchman for all Christendom, and began his gigantic work of Witness." (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 7, pp. 386-387 1921)
"The Scriptures disclose a complete parallel concerning the Jewish and gospel ages. The parallel exists with reference to time as well as events. The Jewish age ended with a harvest, which harvest began with the ascension of our Lord in the year A.D. 33. By the term 'harvest' here used is meant the gathering of the remnant of the Jews to Christ. Jesus' statement plainly is that the gospel age will end with a harvest, during which time he would be present, directing the work of that harvest. In the earth three and a half years from the time of his consecration and baptism, Jesus was preparing the Jews for the harvest of that age. We should expect to find a parallel of this reference to the harvest of the gospel age, and we do find it. Counting three and a half years from 1874, the time of his presence, brings us to 1878. During the presence of the Lord from 1874 to 1878 he was making preparation for the harvest of the gospel age. The Jewish harvest covered a period of forty years, ending in A.D. 73. We should expect, then, the general harvest of the gospel age to end in 1918." (Harp of God, 1921, pp. 235-236, 1921).
In this text we see a glimmer of understanding of the requirements of the Sign of Jonah, but again no understanding of history. They thought that forty years after the death of Christ was correct for repentance of Judah, and therefore 73 AD would be a good year, if we assumed Christ died in 33 AD. The fact is that Christ died in 30 CE, and Judah was given forty years to repent and did not repent. On 1 Nisan 70 CE, Jerusalem was surrounded by a Roman army under Titus. Jerusalem was levelled by the end of 70 CE. Thus, nothing was left in 73 CE. These false prophets could not even get a prophecy right in hindsight, let alone prophesy about it. The sequence is detailed in the paper The Sign of Jonah and the History of the Reconstruction of the Temple (No. 13).
They then began to be more dogmatic about 1925, from 1922 onwards. Like everything else they were dogmatic about, they were wrong.
"The period must end in 1925. The type ending, the antitype must begin; and therefore 1925 is definitely fixed in the scriptures. Every thinking person can see that a great climax is at hand. The Scriptures clearly indicate that the climax is the fall of Satan's empire and the full establishment of the Messianic kingdom. This climax being reached by 1925, and that marking the beginning of the fulfilment of the long promised blessings of life to the people, millions now living on earth will be living then and those who obey the righteous laws of the new arrangement will live forever. Therefore it can be confidently said at this time that millions now living will never die." (Golden Age, Jan. 4, 1922, p. 217).
This was again based on these false time cycles and commencement dates. Bible Prophecy is like map reading. You have to know where you are when you start, to get to the end objective.
"The indisputable facts, therefore, show that the "time of the end" began in 1799; that the Lord's second presence began in 1874." (The Watchtower, March 1, 1922).
As in all logic, if you start with a false premise your conclusion will be wrong and they sure got it wrong.
"We have no doubt whatever in regard to the chronology relating to the dates of 1874, 1914, 1918, and 1925. It was on this line of reckoning that the dates 1874, 1914, and 1918 were located; and the Lord has placed the stamp of his seal upon 1914 and 1918 beyond any possibility of erasure. What further evidence do we need? Using this same measuring line.... it is an easy matter to locate 1925, probably in the fall, for the beginning of the antitypical jubilee. There can be no more question about 1925 than there was about 1914." (Watchtower, p. 150, May 15, 1922).
Thus they explain their logic, and an elementary Bible student could have shot holes in it. But their confidence was unshaken.
"It is on the basis of such and so many correspondencies (sic) -- in accordance with the soundest laws known to science- that we affirm that, Scripturally, scientifically, and historically, present-truth chronology is correct beyond a doubt. Its reliability has been abundantly confirmed by the dates and events of 1874, 1914, and 1918. Present-truth chronology is a secure basis on which the consecrated child of God may endeavor to search out things to come." (Watchtower, June 15 1922).
The text is touching in its appeal to ignorance. They have a “Present Truth
Chronology” here, which seems to mean: “What we say at present is the truth,
and we will change it after it proves false.” That this bizarre nonsense actually
appeals to a large number of people, is astounding to say the least. The readers
must suspend judgment when they come into contact with the doctrines. But after
all, in 1922 they said it was from God:
"This chronology is not of man, but of God. Being of divine origin and divinely corroborated, present-truth chronology stands in a class by itself, absolutely and unqualifiedly correct...." (Watchtower, July 15, 1922 p. 217)
They also said in 1922
“1914 ended the Gentile Times...The date 1925 is even more distinctly indicated by the Scriptures...by then the great crisis will be reached and probably passed'”(Watchtower Sept. 1, 1922, p. 262)
The reassured everyone again in 1923, that 1925 was definitely in the Scriptures:
“1925 is definitely settled by the Scriptures...the Christian has much more upon which to base his faith than Noah had (so far as the Scriptures reveal) upon which to base his faith in the coming deluge” (Watchtower April 1, 1923, p. 106).
And again in 1923:
"Our thought is, that 1925 is definitely settled by the Scriptures. As to Noah, the Christian now has much more upon which to base his faith than Noah had upon which to base his faith in a coming deluge." (Watchtower, p. 106, March 1, 1923).
Well, there would have been a fairly stranded Ark with a lot of puzzled animals at this rate.
Then in 1924 they reassured the children:
"No doubt many boys and girls who read this book will live to see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Daniel, and those other men of old come forth in the glory of their better resurrection, of perfect in mind and body. It will not take long for Christ to appoint them to their post of honor and authority as his earthly representatives. The world and all the present conveniences will seem strange to them at first, but they will soon become accustomed to the new methods. They may have some amusing experiences at first; for they never saw telephones, radios, automobiles, electric lights, aeroplanes, steam engines, and many other things so familiar to us. (The Way To Paradise, 1924, p. 226).
And for the doubters among them, that Christ was behind it all and had been since 1874, they said in the same year of 1924:
"Surely there is not the slightest room for doubt in the mind of a truly consecrated child of God that the Lord Jesus is present and has been since 1874." (Watchtower, Jan. 1, 1924, p5).
Any fool would have known that 1925 was more clearly marked in Scripture than even 1914 was, but they told the world.
"The year 1925 is a date definitely and clearly marked in Scriptures, even more clearly than that of 1914. (Watchtower 1924, p. 211).
To deal with the unconverted sceptics who might be watching, they said in 1924:
"We cannot be blamed for presenting from the Scriptures such evidence as they afford which leads us to believe that a certain event will take place at a given time. Some times the Lord has let His people looking for the right thing at the wrong time, and more frequently they have looked for the wrong things at the right time. But all the enemies of the cause of present truth in the earth are fervently hoping that the Bible students will not be so successful in 1925 in looking for the right thing at the right time as they were in 1914. If they are, however, it will be the other fellow that will have to do the explaining, and not we." (The Golden Age, Feb. 13, 1924, p. 314)
1925 arrived and there was no doubt that Satan would use this year to deceive the true believers into thinking that there might be an end to the work.
"It is to be expected that Satan will try to inject into the minds of the consecrated, the thought that 1925 should see an end to the work." (Watchtower, Sept. 1925, p. 262).
How do we deal with the fact that 1925 showed no sings of the promise and there was great disillusionment? It was all their fault so we were told:
"The difficulty was that the friends inflated their imaginations beyond reason; and that when their imaginations burst asunder, they were inclined to throw away everything." (Watchtower 1925, p. 56).
Don’t lose faith 1925 is here:
"The year 1925 is here. With great expectation Christians have looked forward to this year. Many have confidently expected that all members of the body of Christ will be changed to heavenly glory during this year. This may be accomplished. It may not be. In his own due time God will accomplish his purposes concerning his people. Christians should not be so deeply concerned about what may transpire this year." (Watchtower, Jan. 1, 1925, p. 3).
“God may not do what we said he was going to do so don’t be surprised if we are wrong once again”, or so they seemed to say. As we know, nothing happened and so in 1926 we saw them publish the back tracks.
"Some anticipated that the work would end in 1925, but the Lord did not state so. The difficulty was that the friends inflated their imaginations beyond reason; and that when their imaginations burst asunder, they were inclined to throw away everything." (Watchtower 1926 p. 232.).
Remember, we said this in 1925 so, we got something right didn’t we? The miracle is that their people accepted it all.
But they were not wrong. The Scriptural proof was there, or so it seems.
In 1927 they said so:
“The Scriptural proof is that the period of his presence and the day of God's preparation is a period from 1874 A.D. forward. The second coming of the Lord, therefore, began in 1874; and that date and the years 1914 and 1918 are specially marked dates with reference to his coming. (Creation, 1927, p. 289 early editions, p310 later editions).
In 1927, the Watchtower people seemed to be saying words to the effect of: “No one is to blame as prophecy cannot be understood until it is past and so, when it happens, we will understand it has happened”. In other words, when we get run over by the Armageddon war machine, and Christ tells us what has happened, we will then know and so, don’t blame us for being false prophets. They said:
“Prophecy cannot be understood until it has been fulfilled or is in the course of fulfilment. From 1874 to 1914 the prophecy concerning the Lord's coming was being fulfilled and could be understood, and was understood, by those who were faithful to the Lord and who were watching the development of events, but not by others. (Creation; 1927; p. 290).
In other words, some of them did understand, but made the false prophecies anyway. Amazing is it not?
That year they continued on in justification of the 1799 date by reference to Napoleon:
"Napoleon began this Egyptian campaign in 1798, finished it, and then returned to France on October 1, 1799. The campaign is briefly, yet graphically described in the prophecy, verses 40-44; and its being completed in 1799 marks, according to the prophet's own words, the beginning of "the time of the end." (Creation, 1927, p. 293).
It seems we have shades of Ellen G White and the false prophecies of the Adventist.
A few pages later they said:
"Twelve hundred and sixty years from 539 A.D. brings us to 1799, which is another proof that 1799 definitely marks the beginning of "the time of the end." this also shows that it is from the date 539 A.D. that the other prophetic days of Daniel must be counted." (Creation; 1927, p. 294)
Again four pages later we read:
“Applying the same rule then, of a day for a year, 1335 days after 539 A.D. brings us to 1874 A.D. at which time, according to Biblical chronology, the Lord's second presence was due.” (Creation, 1927, p. 298).
The miracle is that this false prophet was not tarred and feathered.
In 1928 and 1929, they continued developing the same false scenario that had failed them so miserably for the previous half century.
"The time of the Lord's second presence dates from 1874, as above stated." (The Harp of God p. 236, 1928 edition!)
"Both the grantor and the grantee are fully persuaded from the Bible testimony which is the word of Jehovah God and from extraneous evidence that God's Kingdom is now in the course of establishment and that it will result beneficially for the peoples of earth; that the governing power and authority will be invisible to men but that the kingdom of God will have visible representatives on the earth who will have charge of the affairs of the nations under supervision of the invisible ruler, Christ. That among those who will be thus the faithful representatives and visible governors of the world will be David, who was once King over Israel; and Gideon, and Barak, and Samson, and Jepthai, and Joseph, formerly ruler of Egypt, and Samuel the prophet and other faithful men named with approval in the Bible at Hebrews 11th. chapter." (Rutherford’s Original legal deed to Beth Sarim, 1929).
They then made a true statement but not as they imagined.
'If these prophesies have not been fulfilled, and if all possibility of fulfilment is past, then these prophets are proven false.' (Prophecy, 1929, p 22). Then they made another false statement.
"The Scriptural proof is that the second presence of the Lord Jesus Christ began in 1874 A.D." (Prophecy, 1929, p. 65).
No proof is offered or indeed possible for this error.
Many of such had been looking for the Lord to come and take them to heaven, and had particularly fixed the year 1914 as when this should be done. The year 1914 was a marked date; but these had merely contemplated something to happen which did not come to pass. (Prophecy, 1929, 1,589,000 ed.; p. 89)
Thus, it was marked but you could not see what happened. How convenient for the false prophets. It is rather like the story of the king with no clothes. They simply needed a little child to state the obvious. They had not been told that any who say that they are Christians, and who say that when they die they go to heaven, are not Christians but lie. We told the Romans that in the middle of the Second Century. Obviously, they had never read Justin Martyr.
But did they really expect David and the others to turn up in the imminent resurrection? No, they did not as we see below.
"But how will you identify King David or any of the other representatives from God?' Rutherford was asked. 'I thought all that out before I wrote the deed,' the judge replied with a twinkle in his gray eyes. 'I realized the possibility of some old codger turning up bright and early some morning and declaring he was David. The men whom I have designated to test the identity of these men are officers of my societies and have consecrated themselves to the Lord, they will be divinely authorized to know impostors from the real princes."' (The San Diego Sun, Saturday, March 15, 1930).
So the officers of the Society will determine who are the genuine articles. The will caused some notoriety, which was no doubt the intention. In 1930 the Times wrote:
“Judge Joseph Frederick Rutherford 60, lives in a ten room Spanish mansion, No 4440 Braeburn Rd, San Diego, Calif. Last week he deeded No 4440 Braeburn Road, and adjacent two car garage and a pair of automobiles to King David, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthae, Samuel and sundry other mighties of ancient Palestine. Positive is he that they are shortly to reappear on earth, Said he: 'I have purposely landscaped the place with palm and olive trees so that these princes of the universe will feel at home. (Time Magazine, March 31, 1930)
The false prophecies had caused much ridicule of the followers.
"The Watchtower, and its companion publications of the society, for forty years emphasized that fact that 1914 would witness the establishment of God's kingdom and the complete glorification of the church. During that period of forty years God's people on earth were carrying on a witness work, which work was foreshadowed by Elijah and John the Baptist. All of the lord’s people looked forward to 1914 with joyful expectation. When that time came and passed there was much disappointment, chagrin and mourning, and the lord’s people were greatly in reproach. They were ridiculed by the clergy and their allies in particular, and pointed to with scorn, because they had said so much about 1914, and what would come to pass, and their prophecies had not been fulfilled. (Light, Book 1, 1930, p. 194).
Yet Rutherford was continuing on as though it was all a reality. He said in this year 1930:
"The great climax is at hand. The kings of earth now set themselves against his anointed Stone." (J.F. Rutherford, Light, II, 1930 p. 327).
Having made a complete mess of Bible prophecy, Rutherford and the Society continued on in 1931, insisting that the faithful really did see the king’s new clothes.
"God's faithful people on earth emphasized the importance of the dates 1914 and 1918 and 1925. They had much to say about these dates and what would come to pass, but all they predicted did not come to pass" (J. F. Rutherford, Vindication, vol. 1, 1931, p. 146).
However, Armageddon was still to occur shortly, although they got it wrong three times beforehand.
"God's kingdom has begun to operate. His day of vengeance is here and Armageddon is at hand and certain to fall upon Christendom and that within an early date. God's judgment is upon Christendom and must shortly be executed." (Rutherford, Vindication ibid. p. 147).
"There was a measure of disappointment on the part of Jehovah's faithful ones on earth concerning the years 1914, 1918 and 1925, which disappointment lasted for a time. Later the faithful learned that these dates were definitely fixed in the Scriptures; and they also learned to quit fixing dates for the future and predicting what would come to pass on a certain date, but to rely (and they do rely) upon the Word of God as to the events that must come to pass. (J. F. Rutherford, Vindication, ibid, pp. 338-339)
So they stopped false prophecy and relied on the Bible. Yet, they still claim that these things came to pass, and they still knock on peoples’ doors and try to convince gullible people of the reality of this insanity.
There was a claimant in 1931, but the Judge knew it could not be David. Perhaps he had not read the section where Thomas had to put his fingers in the holes to know that it was Christ. However, they were pretty safe, as David had to be resurrected with everyone else. The report of the incident is as follows.
“A gaunt unshaven tramp has been the lone claimant for the $75,000 Southern Californian mansion of David, king of Israel, since it was deeded to the Biblical character a year ago. This was revealed today by Judge James Rutherford, temporary owner of the luxuriantly furnished Spanish type mansion at 440 Braeburn Rd in the exclusive Kensington Heights district. In one of the oddest deeds ever recorded, Rutherford, president of the International Bible Students Association and the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, has placed in trust the magnificent estate for ancient kings and prophets of Israel. The slayer of Goliath and his companions may occupy the 10 room modern home with it's landscaped gardens and patio as soon as their credentials are approved by Rutherford and officials of his societies, divinely authorised to recognise them. One morning as I was going from the house to the garage, a queer looking creature approached me, tipped his dirty hat and cried 'Howdy Judge, I'm David' 'Go and tell that to the winds', I told him and he left without arguing the matter. I could see at a glance that he was not David. He didn't look like I knew David would look.' Asked how he expected David and his distinguished brethren to look, Rutherford, without hesitation, opened his huge Bible and pointed to a verse which said that the Princes of the Universe would be risen from the dead 'as perfect men'. 'I interpret that to mean', the tall dignified Judge declared, 'that David, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jepthae, Joseph and Samuel will be sent here to wrench the world from Satan's grasp, clothed in modern garb as we are, and able, with little effort, to speak our tongue.' Rutherford pictured the arrival of the biblical delegation perhaps in frock coats, high hats, canes and spats. At Beth Sarim (House of Princes) as Rutherford has named his mansion, David will find the most modern appliances that science has devised. When the distinguished guests walk up the circular stairway to the second floor, they will find a large office with red leather chairs and shiny flat topped desk with inverted lighting. Even French telephones await the touch of the princes. Opening a wide door, the native sons of Palestine will behold a large bathroom, resplendent in shiny black tile with needle shower and an amply filled medicine chest. What a thrill giant shouldered Samson, who wrecked a palace with his bare fists might find in the gold safety razor and strop! Rutherford built the second floor bedroom, which he temporarily occupies, large in order to accommodate several of the expected owners. With wide pane windows that look out on the purple Cuyamacas to the East and California's first mission to the north, the bedroom is almost severe in it's furnishings. The rulers of the universe will have simple tastes, the judge apparently believes, although the austere end tables sported gaily covered fiction magazines. Rutherford has imported some Koniach, Wasser from Cologne, Germany to freshen the princely faces after shaving. A black skull-cap hangs over one of the bedposts. The coming of David and his companions will be the greatest news story of the ages, Rutherford predicted. 'I am not a publicity seeker,' Rutherford said with a twinkle in his kindly brown eyes, 'but I feel that the world should know about their arrival. It will be a great news story.' Word of his 'House of king David' has reached into every corner of the world, the judge stated. 'Everywhere I went people asked me about this place,' Rutherford said. 'In Chicago a millionaire manufacturer offered to build another house for David, but I declined the offer. 'Literally thousands have driven here to see this place,' Rutherford continued. 'Many have come to the door and my secretary has shown them about the place.' The patio with it's silver pool and olive and palm trees is gay with flowers. Down toward the canyon, paths have been landscaped to allow David and his friends to walk in meditation. Many of the fruits and trees, native to their Palestine, will greet the rulers when they arrive. In the two car garage next door stands a new, yellow 16 cylinder coupe which will be turned over to the rulers along with all the personal property on the place. 'Everything will be theirs, the house, the land, the furnishings and even the clothes if they need them,' Judge Rutherford said. 'What will I do? Oh, don't worry about me. I'll manage somehow.' the judge smiled. He had another 'Watch Tower' residence on Staten Island and practically an entire floor at Bethel. The seven famous men will not have long to rest at their San Deigo estate because they soon will lead the forces of the Lord to vanquish the minions of Satan at the battle of Armageddon, Rutherford believed. 'But they will win out. The Lord will punish the devil and will show that the preachers and the politicians have been giving the people false counsel,' Rutherford said confidently. Rutherford will sail May 9 for Europe where he will speak before conventions in Berlin Paris and London. (San Deigo Sun Newspaper, Jan. 9, 1931)
And so we await the return of David and Moses and all the true prophets. Has it stoped the false prophets? We next take up from the rise of Hebert Armstrong on the stage of the Church of God (Seventh Day), and follow both he and his ministry, and the Watchtower and Bible Tract Society in their pursuit of the elusive truth of the Bible.
The next phase covers the period from 1932 until the great failure of the Armstrong
false prophecy in 1975.
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