Search This Blog

JW.ORG and Watchtower Library in one search box:

Friday, May 17, 2013

Have Jehovah’s Witnesses Ever Claimed to be INSPIRED Prophets?

The accusation that Jehovah’s Witnesses have claimed to be inspired prophets or have tried to foretell the future is absolutely false.

The flat-out truth is that the Watchtower Society has NEVER claimed to be inspired, infallible, or to be foretelling the future as Prophets.

Rather, it is an irrefutable fact that Jehovah's Witnesses' very doctrine has ALWAYS been that the gifts of inspired prophesying and direct communication from God ceased after the Apostles died. This is a belief that has NEVER changed from their modern day inception as Bible Students to the present day. Therefore, any claim that Witnesses have claimed to be prophets can only be viewed as a misrepresentation of the facts.

Notice this sentence in the "Purpose" statement that appeared in EVERY issue of the Watchtower up to the mid- 70's:

"No, The Watchtower is no inspired prophet, but it follows and explains a Book of prophecy..."

"It is not our intention to enter upon the role of prophet to any degree, but merely to give below what seems to us rather likely to be the trend of events—giving also the reasons for our expectations."–WT 3/1904.

There are scores of similar Watchtower quotes that go back to the 1800's.

Rather than claiming to foretell the future or be infallible, Jehovah's Witnesses have always been willing to change as they gained knowledge.

No Jehovah's Witness has ever claimed to be inspired or to have received a dream or vision from God. But I can show you several well known Evangelical Trinitarian ministers who have claimed exactly that (usually when they need more money, or to claim God has forgiven them for moral sins).

The "Father of Protestantism," Martin Luther, taught Christ would return by 1564. Does that mean that all Protestants are false prophets? No, of course not. But they are if we equally apply the reasoning of those who accuse Jehovah's Witnesses.

Irish Bishop James Ussher's prediction was for 1996. Puritans Issac Watts, Joseph Mede and the Mathers in America were date-setters. The most famous one was actually a Baptist....William Miller who predicted 1843.

Pastor Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel predicted the Rapture in 1981.
Dr. Jack van Impe speculated that the end would come between Sept 1999 and 2000.
Philip B. Brown stated that the millennial reign of Christ would begin Apr 6, 2008.

Now, did early Jehovah's Witnesses (Bible Students) have incorrect understandings of Bible prophesy? Yes, of course, as did nearly every other religion of that age. I can give you quotes from well known Protestant clergymen from 1823-1870 who pointed to some of the same dates that Bible Students did. You can trace almost every religion's roots back to some of these clergymen! Now just because they were wrong in their timing, does it prove that their current doctrine is wrong? No. Only the Bible proves doctrine right or wrong. Does it mean they were false prophets? No, just honestly mistaken. Virtually every religion was influenced by the "Advent Movement" of the time, and thus had incorrect expectations!! Since these "false prophet accusations do not take this into consideration, they are faulty and prejudicial reasoning.

Now is it fair of me to go back fifty to a hundred years to your religions roots and point out everything that was wrong, especially when they have commendably corrected wrong understandings? No, although a effective debate tactic, it would be unreasonable and a logical fallacy.

Any logic that says "they were wrong so that makes them false prophets" would make the Apostles "false prophets." Because even the apostles had incorrect understandings of end-times and had to be corrected. Their writings were misunderstood and misinterpreted several times by fellow Christians. Were these condemned as false prophets? Only by their enemies (Acts 28:22). They were humble enough to correct themselves, just as Jehovah's Witnesses have.

Jesus didn't say you would identify the true religion because they never misunderstood prophesy (indeed that would exclude the apostles). He said that you would discern the true Christian Organization from the false "by their fruits," or the results of their Biblical teaching (Mat.7:16,20).

We can examine the “fruitage” of all religions in light of scriptural requirements. Do their adherents even agree on abortion, homosexuality, special gifts, or baptism? (1Cor.1:10). Does its members shoot and kill each other at the command of Governments. Would Christ or the apostles do this? My religion imitates Christ, and this proves that they are True Christians! WWJD?

SOURCE: This is an answer provided by BAR_ANERGES to a question at Yahoo Answers.

Also see:
Inaccurate False 'Prophet' Claim Made Against Jehovah's Witnesses - Links to Accurate Information (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

            BACK TO HOME PAGE           INDEX