When a JW awakens he soon becomes aware of the vast number of false prophecies that the Watchtower society has given. Recently that topic was addressed on the post http://www.jwstruggle.com/2011/06/a-review-of-the-societys-prophetic-record/
The scripture in Deuteronomy 18:20-22 is familiar to most of us which lets us know how to identify a false prophet and a true prophet. It is quite simple, if someones claims to speak in God’s name or claims to be God’s mouthpiece and his prophecy proves to be incorrect he is a false prophet. See the linked post mentioned above to see that the Watchtower has claimed to be a prophet and God’s mouthpiece.
Isaiah 44:25,26 (NLT) – ” I am the one who exposes the false prophets as liars by causing events to happen that are contrary to their predictions. I cause wise people to give bad advice, thus proving them to be fools. 26 But I carry out the predictions of my prophets! When they say Jerusalem will be saved and the towns of Judah will be lived in once again, it will be done!”
Samuel was an example of a true prophet of YHWH. Notice what 1 Samuel 3:19,20 says (NWT) – “And Samuel continued growing up, and Jehovah himself proved to be with him and did not cause any of all his words to fall to the earth. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Be´er-she´ba became aware that Samuel was one accredited for the position of prophet to Jehovah.”
Now let us read 1 Samuel 9:6 (NWT) – “But he said to him: “Look, please! There is a man of God in this city, and the man is held in honor. All that he says comes true without fail. Let us go there now. Perhaps he can tell us our way that we must go.”
Why was Samuel viewed to be a prophet of Jehovah? Because all that he said came true. Therefore Samuel was a true prophet.
Now let us consider a biblical example of another kind of prophet. The prophet’s name is Hananiah. His prophecy and experience is recorded in Jeremiah 28:1-15. I would encourage you to read these verses. Basically Hananiah prophesies peace for Jerusalem at the same time Jeremiah is prophesying calamity. Hananiah says in Jeremiah 28:2-4 (NWT) – “This is what Jehovah of armies, the God of Israel, has said, ‘I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon. 3 Within two full years more I am bringing back to this place all the utensils of the house of Jehovah that Neb·u·chad·nez´zar the king of Babylon took from this place that he might bring them to Babylon.’” 4 “‘And Jec·o·ni´ah the son of Je·hoi´a·kim, the king of Judah, and all the exiles of Judah who have come to Babylon I am bringing back to this place,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘for I shall break the yoke of the king of Babylon.’”
Hananiah here makes a time prophecy. Not only will YHWH break the yoke of Babylon over Judah but it will be within 2 years. Jeremiah admits this would be desirable. All Jews yearned for relief from the Babylonian oppression. However notice what Jeremiah says in vs. 9 – “As regards the prophet that prophesies of peace, when the word of the prophet comes true the prophet whom Jehovah has sent in truth will become known.”
A true prophet does not make false prophecies. Therefore when a prophet makes a false prediction he has proven to be a false prophet. Notice what Jeremiah was instructed to say to the false prophet Hananiah in vs. 15-17 “And Jeremiah the prophet went on to say to Han·a·ni´ah the prophet: “Listen, please, O Han·a·ni´ah! Jehovah has not sent you, but you yourself have caused this people to trust in a falsehood. 16 Therefore this is what Jehovah has said, ‘Look! I am sending you away from off the surface of the ground. This year you yourself must die, for you have spoken outright revolt against Jehovah.’”
By making a false time prophecy Hananiah misled the people into believing a lie. This was considered as outright revolt against Jehovah. It was true that YHWH would eventually break the yoke of Babylon and set His people free, but this was not going to happen for many years. Hananiah claimed that God would do it within 2 years.
Do we see the similarities? Do we also see a modern-day organization that claims to be a prophet and claims to be God’s mouthpiece? Has this “modern-day prophet” also made time prophecies like Hananiah that have also proven to be incorrect? Can this organization claim they haven’t made false time prophecies in the Creator’s name?
In the Awake! March 22, 1993 they claim that they have never made predictions “in the name of Jehovah”, yet on this very same page they make a false prophecy in Jehovah’s name “… the Creator’s promise of a peaceful and secure new world before the generation that saw the events of 1914 passes away” Don’t you just love the irony!
Even the Watchtower doesn’t dispute that this did not come true. Was this “the Creator’s promise”? Or was it a time prophecy based on wishful thinking just like Hananiah’s prophecy? Since the Watchtower organization has “caused the people to trust in a falsehood”, can we not say then that this is “outright revolt against Jehovah”?
Shemaiah was another prophet that proved to be false. Read Jeremiah 29:24-32. He also attempted to speak in YHWH’s name saying that he was to replace another man as priest and chief officer. Notice what God says to Jeremiah regarding Shemaiah in Jeremiah 29:31,32 (NWT) – “For the reason that She·mai´ah has prophesied to YOU people, but I myself did not send him, and he tried to make YOU trust in falsehood, 32 therefore this is what Jehovah has said, ‘Here I am turning my attention upon She·mai´ah of Ne·hel´am and upon his offspring.’ “‘“‘He will not come to have a man dwelling in the midst of this people; and he will not look upon the good that I am doing for my people,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘for he has spoken outright revolt against Jehovah.
Shemaiah made the claim that Jehovah had said that he should occupy a prominent position. In reality YHWH had not appointed him to this position nor told him to prophesy anything. Does this same claim sound familiar in our day? Is there a group of individuals that claim to be appointed to a very prominent position by God but show that it is not true by the multitude of their false prophecies? In what position have these modern-day false prophets put themselves? Just like Shemaiah they have “spoken outright revolt against Jehovah”.
This evidence cannot be brushed lightly aside. Uttering false prophecies is a very, very serious matter in God’s eyes. Now that we have been liberated, at least mentally, from one false prophet let us never again fall prey to another one.
Tags: false prophet