• The Effect of False Prophecies on Watchtower Credibility - In last week’s post, I looked at the harm the Watchtower’s false prophecies has done to Jehovah’s Witnesses who, in faith, oriented their lives around those failed end times predictions. But what has it done to its own credibility and to that of Jehovah’s Witnesses who work tirelessly to spread the Watchtower’s message door-to-door?
  • Real Life Consequences of False Prophecies - If you were truly convinced that Armageddon and Christ’s millennial kingdom were coming in the next couple of years—because “the faithful and discreet slave” told you so—what radical changes would you make in your life? For the Watchtower organization, it meant increased meeting attendance, increased revenue, increased witnessing activity, and increased membership. But what was the impact on ordinary Jehovah’s Witnesses?
  • The 20th Century and the End - Projection is the attribution of one's own ideas, feelings, or attitudes to other people. Here is a prime example from the Watchtower. "Down through the centuries since Jesus’ day, so many unfulfilled predictions have been made that many no longer take them seriously. … Undeterred by previous failures, some seem to have been spurred on by the approach of the year 2000 and have made further predictions of the end of the world. … The flood of false alarms is unfortunate. They are like the wolf-wolf cries of the shepherd boy—people soon dismiss them, and when the true warning comes, it too is ignored." (Awake! “Why So Many False Alarms?,” March 22, 1993, pp. 3-4)
  • 1975—An Appropriate Time for God to Act - In 1931, Watchtower president Joseph Rutherford wrote that after 1914, 1918 and 1925, Watchtower leaders “learned to quit fixing dates for the future and predicting what would come to pass on a certain date.” (J. F. Rutherford, Vindication, pp. 338-339) That is, until Watchtower vice president Fred Franz (as he then was) declared that 1975 would be an appropriate time for God to act. (Life Everlasting in Freedom of the Sons of God, 1966, p. 30)
  • A Prophetic Sabbath Day Rest - Despite the failure of its prediction and accompanying disappointment, the Watchtower continued to teach that 1914 was a marked year in Bible prophecy but that God’s prophetic Sabbath day rest—Christ’s millennial kingdom rule would begin later. But when? In 1943, the Watchtower changed its chronology and recalculated.
  • Return of the 1914 Generation Which Now Extends by Overlapping - In 2010, in order to revive a sense of urgency, the April 15 Watchtower announced yet another change to the generation doctrine. So, what does “this generation” that “will by no means pass away” mean now? The “anointed”? The generation of 1914? Both—but with a twist!
  • Return of the Generation of the Anointed - Last week, when we looked at the Watchtower’s definition of “this generation” that would “by no means pass away,” it meant, “peoples of earth who see the sign of Christ's presence but fail to mend their ways." (The Watchtower, November 1, 1995, p. 19) But in 2008, the meaning of “this generation” changed again!
  • The 1914 Generation Discarded - In 1995, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses bit the bullet. “This generation” referred to by Jesus was untied from the generation of 1914!
  • The 1914 Generation Contracts and Expands - It all seemed so simple when Jehovah’s Witnesses explained the 1914 generation teaching to me in 1972. The 1914 generation would by no means pass away until Armageddon came and Christ’s millennial Kingdom on earth would begin. But then the Watchtower’s definition of “generation” kept shifting.
  • “This Generation” Means the 1914 Generation - In 1951—less than a decade after Rutherford’s death—the Watchtower changed its understanding of “this generation.” No longer was it tied to the anointed. Now it applied to anyone, including those upon whom God’s judgment would fall. Because the signs of the end began in 1914, the end of the wicked system and the beginning of Christ’s millennial kingdom had to come within one generation of 1914.