Real Prophecy vs. Watchtower Prophecies

by Perry 43 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Lieu

    According to the Jews in Iran, (holders of the Babylonian Talmud and descendants of the Hebrew exiles) they aren't supposed to go back until the Messiah comes and restores the Temple. They refuse to leave Iran until such occurs.

    I'll take their word for their ancestral religion. Everyone else is just guessing.

  • Perry

    The article cited does a good job of looking at various explanations.

    The "self-fulling prophecy" objection is perhaps the least likely of all explanations.

    (edited for brevity & emphasis)

    OBJECTION #1: “What if the Regathering of Israel is just a self-fulfilled prophecy?”

    Let’s look at a couple of responses to this objection:

    First, ... The Romans, for instance, to whom the last and most extensive scattering of the Jews is due, conquered many nations; generally they allowed these nations to remain in their own land if they would submit to Rome.” Moreover, the Jews would hardly wish to instigate the fulfillment of this portion of the prophecy! Josephus estimated the fatalities at 1.1 million Jews during this time.

    Second, as the Bible predicts, it is unlikely that the Jews could retain an identity without a government and a centralized place of worship. Hosea predicted, “For the sons of Israel will remain for many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar and without ephod or household idols” (Hos. 3:4). Hosea predicted that the Jews would be scattered for “many days” without a “king or prince.” They would hardly wish to self-fulfill this prediction!

    Moreover, it would be incredibly difficult to keep a national identity without a king or prince to govern the nation. Likewise Ezekiel predicted that the kingly line would be suspended until the King Messiah came (Ezek. 21:25-27 “Remove the turban and take off the crown… this also will be no more until he comes whose right it is”). There has been no king in Israel since this time (587 B.C.). The Maccabees were not from the line of David or tribe of Judah—neither were the Herods.

    Third, the Jews have not regathered ONCE—but TWICE. If the regathering of Israel was a lucky regathering of religious zealots, then it would need to explain not just one fluke, but two. Therefore, the improbability of one self-fulfilled regathering is multiplied exponentially by a second. The first regathering was under Ezra and Nehemiah.

    Fourth, other nations have tried to regather, but they have repeatedly failed. Robert Newman writes:

    “What are the probabilities that a people group will be globally dispersed, yet retain its identity for centuries independently of a homeland, survive almost continual persecution and harassment, and then return to reestablish their nation? Few of the peoples from Old Testament times survive today as distinct ethnic groups: The people of Moab, Edom, Nabatea, Philistia, and Assyria have all disappeared, having blended with successive migrations of Arabs and others into the area. Coptic (pre-Islamic) Egyptians and Samaritans survive, but they stayed within or close to their homelands. Given the upheavals in the Near East, only about a tenth of these people groups have maintained their ancient ethnic identity in the region over the centuries.

    The Jews, who were dispersed globally, faced much lower odds of retaining their identity outside their homeland for over two thousand years. That a globally-dispersed group would return to their native land and resettle it after two thousand years is unique in history. ... Perhaps the closest analogy would be if the Amish or Mennonite communities returned to their homelands and formed a new nation, although these groups have only a 500-year history.”

    If this was so easy, then why haven’t other groups been able to do this?

    Fifth, the Jews regathered despite horrendous opposition.... For half of their history, over eighteen hundred years, they have been scattered from their homeland into nearly every nation on earth.”[17] It would be a hate filled insult to say that these Jews did this intentionally (to self fulfill this prophecy), considering the Russian and German persecution of the Jews.

    Kellogg writes, “Nearly every influence which might obliterate a people has come upon the Jews over the centuries, as upon no other nation in history, and yet they still survive today

    There are roughly six million Jews in Israel today. This was roughly the amount of Jews killed under Hitler’s Third Reich. If this prophecy was self-fulfilled, it was done so under tremendous opposition. Hitler was hunting down these people in their houses across Europe and systematically sending them to death camps to be burned alive!

    Thus, this wasn’t an easygoing regathering of scattered people; it was an arduous and tortured regathering of persecuted people.

    Deuteronomy predicted that the people would “become a horror, a proverb, and a taunt among all the people where the LORD drives you” (Deut. 28:37).

    Sixth, when the Jews tried to regather, they repeatedly failed. The Jews tried to assert themselves over the Roman Empire twice before, and they failed miserably.

    Josephus estimated that 1.1 million Jews were killed in A.D. 70. There were additional casualties in the Bar Kokhba Revolt in A.D. 132. It wasn’t until secular nations gave them this authority that they claimed it.

    This is why anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists believe that the Holocaust was a hoax. They believe this, because the Jews got their land back as a result of this atrocity. The United Nations voted Israel into existence as a nation. Even the Soviet Union voted for it! Until this happened, Israel could not buy or import weapons. In fact, Great Britain had a naval blockade on Israel, confiscating guns that Jewish settlers smuggled in. Atheistic governments (like the USSR) would hardly wish to fulfill Bible prophecy.

    Seventh, the institution of the nation of Israel was largely a secular movement—not a religious one.

    Religious dogmatism and zealotry can explain fervent and unrelenting motivation. But it doesn’t explain the regathering of Israel, because Israel is largely a secular state—not a religious one.

    In order for this explanation to work, we would need a sufficient religiously motivated (i.e. Bible-believing) agenda. But Israel’s regathering was largely driven by political and secular motives (e.g. Zionism, Theodor Herzl).

    Even this secular state of Israel was predicted in the Bible, which states that the regathering of political Israel will precede its spiritual revival (see Ezek. 11:17-20; 36:26-28).

  • cofty

    Edited by author

    Waste of pixels

  • Perry

    Here's some more interesting pixels:

    Miraculous Signs in Israel

    Sign #1: The Diaspora

    The Bible prophesied the Jewish diaspora. The Nation of Israel would dwell for many years outside of their country and promised land. After this time had elapsed they would return to their ancient possession. The predictions were exact and complete making the nation's return a supernatural happening of our age. A modern miracle. They were dispersed for over 1,900 years. They are there again today.

    Hosea 3:4-5 - "For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or idol. Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the LORD and to his blessings in the last days."

    Hosea 6:1 - "Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds."

    To see the rest of the passage fulfilled, Israel needs only to turn to God. For David to become their king once again, there will be a resurrection from the dead.

    Sign #2: The Return

    Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Bible passages predict the return of Israel to the land of Palestine. Here are only two.

    Ezekiel 20:34 - "I will bring you from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered -- with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with outpoured wrath."

    Isaiah 11:11-12 NIV - "In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the sea. He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth."

    Sign #3: Buying back the land

    The prophet Jeremiah prophesied about 600 years B.C. just as the nation of Judah was being destroyed and the people taken captive into the land of Babylon. He spoke of a day when Jews would once again purchase land within the ancient territory. That is precisely what returning Jews did, starting nearly a century ago - they bought back the land.

    Jeremiah 32:44 NIV - "Fields will be bought for silver, and deeds will be signed, sealed and witnessed in the territory of Benjamin, in the villages around Jerusalem, in the towns of Judah and in the towns of the hill country, of the western foothills and of the Negev, because I will restore their fortunes, declares the LORD."

    Sign #4: Israel - Reborn in a day

    Israel, a nation that had not really existed as a separate nation for nearly 2,500 years, was declared a new sovereign state by an act of the United Nations on May 14, 1948. The nation was born in a day.

    Isaiah 66:8 NIV - "Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labour than she gives birth to her children."

    Sign #5: The order of the return

    The first returning Jews to Palestine came primarily from eastern Arab countries. The next major movement came from the western countries of Europe, especially Germany. Then they came in great numbers from Russia (north) during the end of the 1980's. The last great migrations of Jews returning to Israel came from Ethiopia in the south. This precise order of return was predicted by Isaiah the prophet.

    Isaiah 43:5-6,21 - "Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, `Give them up!' and to the south, `Do not hold them back.' Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth..."

    "... the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise."

    Psalm 107:2-3 NIV - "Let the redeemed of the LORD say this -- those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south.

    Sign #6: A pure language

    With the return of the nation, the ancient Hebrew language has been revived and become the official language of the state. Prior to this happening, the Jews spoke an impure form of the language called Yiddish. The return to a pure common language was again predicted by the prophets.

    Zephaniah 3:8-10 KJV - "For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent. From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, [even] the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering".

    Sign #7: The shekel

    After nearly 2,000 years the shekel has been reinstated as the common monetary unit in Israel, again, just as predicted.

    Ezekiel 45:12-16 NIV - "The shekel is to consist of twenty gerahs. Twenty shekels plus twenty-five shekels plus fifteen shekels equal one mina.... All the people of the land will participate in this special gift for the use of the prince in Israel."

    Sign #8: Named cities of Israel

    There are many cities in Israel that bear the ancient names of previous Jewish cities. Some of these that bear their Biblical identification include: Cana, Nazareth, Jericho, Nain, Bethany, Bethlehem, Hebron, Gaza, etc. Again, as the ancient nation was in the process of being destroyed, Ezekiel the prophet predicted that many of the ancient cities would, in fact, be re-inhabited and settled in the exact locations.

    Ezekiel 36:11; 24 KJV - "And I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bring fruit: and I will settle you after your old estates, and will do better [unto you] than at your beginnings: and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD.... For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land."

    Sign #9: Cities excepted - never to be inhabited

    Yeshua pronounced a curse on at least three cities within the land. These remain in ruins today.

    Matthew 11:21-23 NIV - "Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths. If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day."

    Sign #10: From desolation to productivity

    The restoration of the agriculture and of the trees and forests of Israel has been another remarkable miracle. Scarcely 75 years ago, the land was a desolate waste, full of malarial swamps and deserts. Today the replanted forests are flourishing and the Israeli agricultural production is one of the great wonders of the world. This tiny country exports quality produce around the world. Should we say, "Again, just as predicted!"

    Isaiah 26:6 NIV - "In days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will bud and blossom and fill all the world with fruit."

    Isaiah 35:1-2 NIV - "The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy...."

  • jookbeard
    prophecies written after an event, impressive.
  • Vidiot

    With regards to marytr-themed evangelical religions...

    ...I still say that going around telling everyone they're gonna beat the shit out of you whilst poking them in the eye doesn't make you a prophet.

    It just makes you an asshole. :smirk:

  • Village Idiot
    Village Idiot

    It's ironic Perry that Mark Twain, whom you quoted, was an atheist. And so are a disproportionate number of Jews.

  • Skedaddle

    The Jews control their own people... even when persons do not know they are of Jewish blood, they are found and looked after. I've met two people who never knew one of their parents was a Jew, who stated that they have been followed from time to time and no matter what they want to do in life, the very best opportunities get offered to them, on a plate with the answer always being; it's not luck, it's your bloodline. So, is it prophecy or are the Jews controlling their bloodline? From the statements I've heard from first hand experience, I would say the latter! So, that kind of rules out any prophecy.

    Isreal repeatedly calls the Jews to come back to Isreal under all kinds of guises. The latest instance of this was several days ago when after the Ankara and Istanbul attacks Isreal advised Jews to get out of Turkey. As far as I can see, there is a select number of Jews who want to bring this ''prophecy'' about by manipulation. So, read into that!

  • Skedaddle

    *Israel - arghhhhh!

  • Perry

    Village Idiot,

    There is no doubt that a great many of Jews today are secular, even agnostic or atheist.

    However, God made an unconditional promise to Abraham. In other words, it is not dependent in any way upon the performance of Abraham or his descendants. The promises were later codified in a national contract mediated by Moses with the nation of Israel. This is largely what the Old Testament is about. The word "testament" means contract.

    That contract guarantees the permanency of the nation of Israel. The New Testament contract by contrast, is a personal contract that is with God. The Watchtower has gone to great lengths to try and convince people that the NT contract is a sort of "national" one with only themselves.

    In spite of the turmoil in that part of the world, and in spite on the many nations surrounding Israel that have promised to wipe Israel off the is probably the safest place to be in the world; it being the only nation God himself has stated that will NEVER again be absent once it was established again.

    I can't wait to visit.

    Zech. 12: 3 And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.

    Today, in spite of Israel being a tiny nation in a place that was once deserted, the bible predicts that its existence would be a "burdensome stone" "for all people".

    That is ceretainly what we see today. Many nations have burdened themselves with Israel.

    Israel is a stone that forevermore cannot be moved, though all nations will one day gather against it.

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