Did the WTS actually get it right in 1942?

by Olin Moyles Ghost 16 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Olin Moyles Ghost
    Olin Moyles Ghost

    Recently in the book study, we discussed Revelation 17:8 which says, in part, "The wild beast that you saw was, but is not, and yet is about to ascend out of the abyss, and it is to go off into destruction." In chapter 34, paragraphs 4-5, the Revelation Climax book relates that in September 1942, Knorr gave a talk called "Peace--Can it Last?" In that talk, Knorr noted that the League was in the abyss at that time as a result of World War 2. He asked "Will the League remain in the pit?" In reply, he predicted that "The association of worldly nations will rise again." This came to pass in 1945 with the United Nations.

    When we studied this, my wife pointed it out to me as an example of something the WTS actually got correct. While she recognizes that the WTS has a history of being wrong (1914, 1925, etc.), she thought it would be fair to consider this as an example where they were actually right.

    One tangentially related point came to my mind. A 1941 WT article refers to the "remaining months before Armageddon" or something to that effect. Also, the Judge died in 1942 before Knorr gave this talk. According to Knorr's talk, Armageddon would not come until the League of Nations came out of the abyss--certainly something that would take more than a few months. Thus, it appears that Knorr's talk was "new light"--i.e., different from what the Judge taught.

    So, did the Society actually get this one right? Or am I missing something?

  • NeonMadman

    I wasn't around in 1942 to tell you from personal experience, but here's my understanding:

    While the Judge was alive, the expectation was that the war that was ongoing (World War II) was going to escalate right into Armageddon. The Judge died in early 1942 and Nathan Knorr took over (with Freddy Franz as head theologian :P). A very short time prior to these events, there had also been a major change with regard to the war: the United States had entered it. This created a very different outlook for the future, and attention came to be focused on the likelihood that the war would end and be followed by (hopefully) world peace. So, yes, Knorr's talk presented "new light" on the subject in accord with the changed situation.

    If I had to make a bet, I'd guess that there was already some talk going around of a revival of the League of Nations, though possibly not in the form of a completely different organization, as actually happened. The League still existed officially at that time, but was obviously ineffective in its peacekeeping mission, given that most of the world was embroiled in war. When a glimmer of hope for peace appeared on the horizon, however, it was only natural to speculate that the LoN (or something very much like it) might have a role to play in the politics of the coming peaceful world.

    So, did the WTS get it right? In a sense, I guess you could say so, but not in a way that couldn't have been duplicated by anyone at the time who was reading the newspapers and thinking a bit about the future. I suspect that someone with more time on their hands than I have could probably root around and find quotations from non-JW sources at the time predicting the same thing. If God were really giving them their information, they should have known that the war would end BEFORE events in the world made it obvious to ordinary observers.

    Even if we did have to acknowledge that they got one right, it would be meaningless given the overwhelming number they have gotten wrong. The JW's qualify as a bona fide false prophet in the manner of Deuteronomy 18:20-22. They have repeatedly spoken in God's name ("Jehovah's prophetic word," "the Creator's promise," "God's dates, not ours") and their predictions have failed to come to pass. One failed prediction is sufficient to identify a false prophet; one correct prediction does not make one a true prophet.

  • mrsjones5

    I wonder...if the WTS happened to get one small thing right, would it cancel out the loads and loads for stuff they got wrong? I think not.

  • ninja
  • OnTheWayOut

    Ninja's link is great.

    Keep this in mind. They cannot really lay heavy claim to their rightness because
    they were still saying that "as a group" they are a prophet. If their old stuff that
    contained that "right" statement were analyzed in content, how much wrong would
    there be, would it make them a "false prophet" according to the Bible?

    If they made enough statements in the past about the future, they would be bound
    to be "right" in some of those statements. Their being "right" is kind of like saying
    Nostrodomus was "right" in a bunch of vague statements that are made to fit the
    current situation.

  • knock knock
    knock knock

    Thanks for the link ninja

    I had seen this long ago but it's good to re-read it. Research and references douse that "new light" every time.


    The thing about the WTBS is they use the SHOTGUN effect. Blow a bunch of crap in all different directions and sooner or later something's gonna stick.

    For example, Did Sister Heavy Makeup commit fornication for not screaming when whe was raped? Sure she did...just quote the precise WTBS article.

    OR...Did the PO's Daughter commit fornication for not screaming when she was raped? No Way! Just quote the precise WTBS article.



  • Poztate

    Here is the core point from Ninja's link.

    It came also, in the booklet Peace - Can It Last?, founded upon a speech by the same name delivered by the President of the Society, Nathan H. Knorr, in the autumn of 1942. The Hague International Peace Conference was now completely excluded from the role list. The "beast" was at first the League of Nations. It went "into the abyss" in 1939 at the outbreak of World War II. But it would not remain there. Quoting Revelation 17:8, President Knorr predicted: "The association of worldly nations will rise again." 16

    As all know, this prediction was fulfilled. But it was not difficult to make at that time. As Knorr himself pointed out in the same booklet (p. 21), plans of reviving the peace organization after the war were well on the way, the Axis Powers, Japan and Hungary having signed a "new League of Nations" already on November 20, 1940. In fact, the United Nations had already been formed, several months before Knorr's prediction, on January 1, 1942 at Washington D.C., with twenty-six nations signing a joint declaration on that date.17

    Besides, Knorr's prediction was neither new nor unique. Other prophetic expositors had predicted the same thing - as much as two years earlier! Dwight Wilson refers, for example, to a prediction by the well known Bible expositor, Harry Rimmer: "Harry Rimmer in 1940 forecast a new League of Nations as a result of the war - and the rise of a universal dictator. The United Nations has arrived, but there is no dictator yet." 18

    Thus, the Watch Tower Society can claim no priority on this or other predictions and prophetic applications attached to the League of Nations and the United Nations The same views were held by the millenarian fundamentalists in general at that time, who originated the predictions about the future of these peace organizations years before they were picked up by the Watch Tower Society. Fundamentalist Christians in general did not change their attitude towards the peace organization after World War II. They continued to regard it as the "beast", of Revelation 17 and - like the Watch Tower Society at that and like the "harlot" on its back as corrupt Christendom. 19 Sociologist Louis Gasper explains:

  • garybuss

    I believe Nostradamus was right lots more that the Watch Tower entity. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

  • blondie

    http://user.tninet.se/~oof408u/fkf/english/un.htm About 7 years ago I was checking the UN website to see what info was available in 1942 only to find that the UN was chartered in January 1942 so it was no prophecy that summer for Knorr to predict that the UN would be formed. So many jws think that 1945 is the date and that it was predicted 3 years previous. Instead I found that it merely meant that Knorr could read the newspaper like everyone else. It also made me do a "watchtower" search on the UN website and found that the WT had an NGO association with the UN. That blew my mind and it was about that same time it was revealed on ex-jw sites and in the secular news sources. Suddenly in 2001 the WTS severed that ten-year relationship. Blondie

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