Jehovah’s Witness core foundations has deep roots in their belief of Armageddon. The term ‘Armageddon’ literally means “the end of the world”.
Founded by Charles T. Russel, the Jehovah Witnesses core Christian roots is intrinsically tied to the fulfilment of Armageddon, and therefore it is usually uncommon to see members participating in world politics or government affairs.
Using their popular publication platform called “Watch Tower”, the group went on to predict the end of the world on five (5) occasions since they were formed. This is a Timeline of the predictions and the current state of things –
This date is noted as the first time the Jehovah Witnesses made a Prediction about the end of the world through Armageddon.
Known as the Prediction about a possible end of the Lord’s harvest, the JW predicted that God’s harvest of his people will happen in 1878, and that God’s people will be transformed to spirit beings afterwards.
The prediction failed. However, it was shifted to the next year by a new explanation and revised prediction by the Founder.
One would think that the failure of the first prediction will lead to a mass desertion of the group, but that wasn’t the case. This is because in 1881, the Watch Tower made another prediction again credited to Charles T Russel –
“We know not the day or hour, but expect it during 1881, possibly near the autumn where the parallels show the favor to Zion complete and due to end, the door to the marriage to shut, and the high calling to be the bride of Christ, to cease.”
Using his ‘Studies in the Scriptures’ series, Charles T Russel identified October 1914 as the year of final reckoning, citing that God’s kingdom will come and Jesus Christ will start his Biblical reign on earth for millennials to come.
He said that it is “an established truth that the final end of the kingdoms of this world, and the full establishment of the Kingdom of God, will be accomplished at the end of A.D. 1914”.
In this particular prediction, especially after his later reassurances of fellow Witnesses that the dates are God’s dates and set, some members were noted to have sold their properties and belongings in anticipation of the D-DAY.
Prediction Status: Failed!
After the failure of his 1914 prediction, Charles T. Russel gave more explanations as to why the Armageddon may not have happened at the expected date. According to him –
“Studying God’s Word, we have measured the 2520 years, the Seven symbolic Times, from that year 606 B.C. and have found that it reached down to October, 1914, as nearly as we were able to reckon. We did not say positively that this would be the year. We merely left every one to look at the facts of history and reckon for himself.”
However, this didn’t stop the Jehovah Witnesses from making further predictions about Armageddon through their Watch Tower publication platform. In one of their publications, they acknowledged that they had no reason to doubt that the end of the world did not occur in 1914.
According to them, 1914 was the year God displaced the rulers of the earth and the time of Gentiles ended. The beginning of the World Wars were cited as physical reference to that.
In one of their publications titled “The Finished Mystery”, the group again made a bold claim about the end of days, also supported by the JW president, Rutherford, who took over after the death of Charles T. Russel.
Prediction Outcome: Failed!
Rutherford will go on to make another prediction, claiming that God’s faithfuls who have died in the past will be ressurected to enjoy everlasting life.
Like the other previous predictions, this one also ‘Failed‘.