The Watchtower and 1975

by Luke Wayne
6/3/16

The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (the governing body of the Jehovah's Witnesses) has produced many false prophecies which completely undermine its claims to be God's organization. These attempts to use the Bible to predict the future on the authority of God's revelation have also exposed their incompetence in interpreting the Scriptures. The numerous contradictions in their literature only reinforce this conclusion. One clear example of all of this is their failed prediction that the end of this system of things and the dawn of a new era of peace on earth would come in 1975.

The idea was first introduced in the Watchtower book, "Life Everlasting in Freedom of the Sons of God." It explains:

"The time is fast drawing near for the reality that was foreshadowed in the Jubilee of liberty to be proclaimed throughout the earth to all mankind now oppressed by many enslaving things. In view of the earth-wide situation and the world's condition, it appears most urgent for the liberation like that of the Jubilee to come soon. Most certainly the near future would be the most appropriate time for it. God's own written Word indicates that it is the appointed time for it," (Life Everlasting in Freedom of the Sons of God, 1966, pg. 26-27).

After arguing for specific dates for creation and other key biblical events, it goes on to explain:

"According to this trustworthy Bible chronology six thousand years from man's creation will end in 1975, and the seventh period of a thousand years of human history will begin in the fall of 1975 C.E." (Life Everlasting in Freedom of the Sons of God, 1966, pg 29).

After cobbling together some verses from the Psalms to imply that God literally perceives every thousand years as a 24 hour day, the book goes on to say:

"So in not many years within our own generation we are reaching what Jehovah God could view as the seventh day of man's existence. How appropriate it would be for Jehovah God to make of this coming seventh period of a thousand years a Sabbath period of rest and release, a great Jubilee Sabbath for the proclaiming of liberty throughout the earth to all its inhabitants! This would be most timely for mankind. It would also be most fitting on God's part, for, remember, mankind has yet ahead of it what the last book of the Holy Bible speaks of as the reign of Jesus Christ over earth for a thousand years, the millennial reign of Christ. It would not be by mere chance or accident but would be according to the loving purpose of Jehovah God for the reign of Jesus Christ, the 'Lord of the Sabbath,' to run parallel with the seventh millennium of man's existence," (Life Everlasting in Freedom of the Sons of God, 1966 pp.29-30)

And then, drawing again on the Levitical year of Jubilee as a prophetic type of the dawning of the new age, it continues:

"The blessed time for its introduction is fast approaching. Shortly, within our own generation, the symbolical trumpet will be sounded by divine power, proclaiming "liberty in the land to all its inhabitants," (Life Everlasting in Freedom of the Sons of God, 1966 pp.30)

This was not the first time the Watchtower had used the law of the "year of Jubilee" to produce this kind of false prediction. They had previously used it to arrive at the date 1925, about which they wrote:

"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, 1918, p. 89).

The same bad approach to Scripture will continue to produce the same failed results. In the same year that "Life Everlasting in Freedom of the Sons of God" introduced the 1975 prediction, another Watchtower publication elaborated on it:

"Does God's rest day parallel the time man has been on earth since his creation? Apparently so. In what year, then, would the first 6,000 years of man's existence and also the first 6,000 years of Gods rest day come to an end? The year 1975. This is worthy of notice, particularly in view of the fact that the "last days" began in 1914, and that the physical facts of our day in fulfillment of prophecy mark this as the last generation of this wicked world. So we can expect the immediate future to be filled with thrilling events for those who rest their faith in God's promises. It means that within a relatively few years we will witness the fulfillment of the remaining prophecies that have to do with the 'time of the end'," (Awake!, Oct. 8, 1966, pp.19-20).

The idea of 1914 and the "last generation" is another biblical error that has led to multiple failed Watchtower predictions. Here it was used to reinforce yet another one. The same Awake! magazine also explained:

"It was to our generation that Jesus referred when he added the key thought: 'this generation will by no means pass away until all things occur.' (Matt. 25:34) The generation that saw the beginning of woes in 1914 would also see the end of Satan and his entire wicked system of things. Some who were alive then would still be alive when 'the end' comes. It is to be carefully noted that the youngest of those who saw with understanding the developing sign of the end of this system of things from its start in 1914 are now well over sixty years of age. In fact, the greater part of the adult generation that experienced the start of the "last days" has already passed away in death," (Awake!, Oct. 8 1966, pg. 18)

The Watchtower was not merely mistaken on one or two verses. Its interpretation of passages throughout the Bible, along with its central and defining doctrines like the matter of 1914, all pointed to 1975. The year came and went, and nothing happened. Nothing happened because the Jehovah's Witnesses are wrong. Their interpretation of Scripture, their core doctrines, their alleged identity as God's prophet and chosen organization are all plainly and demonstrably false. Let their own words indict them:

"True, there have been those in times past who predicted an 'end to the world', even announcing a specific date. Yet nothing happened. The 'end' did not come. They were guilty of false prophesying. Why? What was missing? . . . Missing from such people were God's truths and evidence that he was using and guiding them," (Awake, Oct. 8, 1968).

"Jehovah God is the Grand Identifier of his true messengers. He identifies them by making the messages he delivers through them come true. Jehovah is also the Great Exposer of false messengers. How does he expose them? He frustrates their signs and predictions. In this way he shows that they are self-appointed prognosticators, whose messages really spring from their own false reasoning – yes, their own fleshly thinking!" (Watchtower, 1997 May 1, pg. 8)

Trust in the true Word of God, not in the false teaching and fleshly thinking of these deceitful men.