Predictions of the Second Coming by Jehovah's Witnesses

by Matthew Allen

"Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight" (Acts 1:9-10). From that time until the present, men have been anxiously awaiting the return of Jesus Christ. Throughout the centuries, some men have even tried to predict His second coming. Should we believe the predictions of when Christ will return? One thousand years ago as a new millennium approached, men were trying to predict the second coming of Jesus Christ. Stories of people destroying all of their earthly possessions, going out to the highest hill and awaiting the return of the Savior were common. All predictions were proven false.

Moving closer to our time, certain religious groups have made bold predictions even specifying the place, date, and time of return. For example, Jehovah’s Witnesses have made many such claims over the last one hundred thirty years:

  • 1889 - The 'battle of the great day of God Almighty' ... which will end in A.D. 1914 ... is already commenced. [Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, The Time Is At Hand, 1889 ed., p. 101.]
  • 1904 - The stress of the great time of trouble will be on us soon, somewhere between 1910 and 1912 - culminating ... October 1914. [Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 6, The New Creation, 1904 ed., p. 579]
  • 1914 - The great crisis, the great clash...is very near. Armageddon may begin next spring. [Watchtower Reprints, Vol. VI, May 1, 1914, p. 5450]
  • 1922 - The date 1925 is even more distinctly indicated by the Scriptures than 1914. (The previous date [1914] was proven to be false.) [Watchtower, Sept. 1, 1922, p. 262]
  • 1923 - Our thought is, that 1925 is definitely settled by the Scriptures. 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, March 1, 1923, p. 106]
  • 1925 - The year 1925 is here. Many confidently expect that all members of the body of Christ will be changed into heavenly glory during this year … [Watchtower, Jan. 1, 1925, p. 3]
  • 1926 - 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]
  • 1930 - The great climax is at hand. [J. F. Rutherford, Light, Vol. II, 1930, p. 327]
  • 1941 - Armageddon is surely near….soon….within a few years. [J. F. Rutherford, Children, 1941, p. 366]
  • 1946 - Armageddon….should come sometime before 1972. [They Have Found a Faith, p. 44]
  • 1969 - Within months, or at the most five years, the end of the world as we have known it will occur and a thousand year reign of Jesus will begin. [Marie H. Walling, Arizona Republic, August 24, 1969, "Witnesses give world five years at most", http://www.blueletterbible.org/study/cults/exposejw/expose28.pdf]

    It is amazing that ANY MAN would try to make a prediction of Christ's return when we read the words of Jesus Himself in the gospel accounts. Notice what Jesus instructed His apostles….

  • Matthew 24:36 - But of that day and hour no one knows, no, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.
  • Matthew 24:42, 44 - Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming; Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him.
  • Mark 13:32-33 - But of that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch, and pray; for you do not know when the time is.
  • II Peter 3:10 - But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, as the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.

    Are you prepared for the return of Christ? There is no need to trust in the dates that men make up. We need only to obey the gospel of Christ, influence others to do the same, and heed His words in Mark 13:37, "And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”