Coping with False Prophecy

By Cynthia Hampton

For several years I have been honored to coordinate and moderate a Jehovah’s Witness support group based in Los Angeles and San Jose, California. Our group stays in touch by using the Yahoo!Groups email system and through our website.

I recently received the following question from a non-member of the group submitted on an automated email form located on the Contact Us page of our website:

“How does one cope with the new information that Armageddon will not come in our lifetime using the information from scripture, ‘This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur…’? My generation? Or [the generation of] those who saw the beginning of signs that Jesus gave us to watch for that will mark the end of this system? My hope is gone from my heart. I miss my God, but I am no longer sure he is there. How does one cope with that? Thanks for reading.”

Here is my response to this person’s question:

I’m glad you contacted me. I’ve been free of the Watchtower organization for about 30 years. I left when I was 24 years old and have never looked back. I am no longer afraid, because after heavy investigation and research I determined that the Watchtower is a false teacher. In that way, I was able to cope and search for God in a different way outside the clutches of the Watchtower organization. The more I researched and read, the better I felt, and the better I understood that I need not fear any longer.

When I was in the organization we all believed that Armageddon would surely be here in 1975. But 1975 came and went and nothing happened. The same for the rest of the dates the Watchtower had set that proved to be false prophecies. That includes when the Watchtower built a mansion in San Diego [in the 1920s] naming it Beth Sarim (“House of Princes”) for the Old Testament prophets (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, King David, etc.) to live in. According to the Watchtower, those Old Testament saints were to return in 1925. In 1921 Joseph Rutherford gave a speech referring to the “indisputable truth that millions now living will never die!”

Earlier last year the Watchtower made changes in their doctrine of “this generation.” Now that “generation” is a never-ending and overlapping generation. Time is against the Watchtower because time is always the enemy of the false prophet. (Please see this link:

I have always believed in God and continued to believe in God after leaving the Watchtower organization. One of the biggest problems with the Watchtower is that they seem to set themselves up in the place that Jesus Christ should be in. They have a two class system, making their “anointed” class the upper class, and the “great crowd” the class that must hang on to the anointed. Why have a Savior who has died for our sins if you have to hold on to an anointed class? This is totally unscriptural and there is nothing that Jesus ever said that would lead anyone to believe that there would be a two class system – unless you have someone like the Watchtower organization reinterpreting the Bible for you. They have manipulated the minds of rank and file Jehovah’s Witnesses, making them believe that they themselves are the “mediators” for you – not Jesus. Scripture teaches us that Jesus is the mediator and savior for all, not just 144,000 as the Watchtower teaches. (See

But let’s first take a look at that scripture from Matthew 24. I want to stress that when reading any type of literature, whether it is considered a “holy book” (sacred works), classical literature, fiction or non-fiction, the most important thing to keep in mind is context. No one should ever just take out parts of sentences from a piece of literature if you are going to understand it properly. When reading the Bible, or any other piece of literature (and I’m including ancient works such as Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey), one must look at the surrounding context and consider everything together before making a determination about what it means. So taking the one verse about “this generation” and building a whole doctrinal theology on this is dangerous.

If you begin with what Jesus said at Matthew 24, it reads:

“As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. ‘Tell us,’ they said, ‘when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?’ Jesus answered: ‘Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, I am the Messiah, and will deceive many.’”

If I’m interpreting this correctly, Jesus is saying that we ought to watch out for people who are deceiving us and not be afraid when we hear of earthquakes, wars, and the like.

In verses 23-25 it says:

“At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time.”

The disciples had just asked Jesus about the end and the sign of his coming. But Jesus didn’t really say what the sign of his coming would be. He went on to describe that there would be things like earthquakes, wars, famines, and persecution. He also mentioned false prophets (again!). If you read on you will find that most of these things happened right before the Romans destroyed the temple. In a way, that was “the end,” and the generation who was listening to Jesus would be around to witness the destruction of the Jewish temple.

But Jesus also described his “coming.” In Watchtower theology, Jesus already secretly “came” in 1914 and has been “ruling” since then. (And nobody else seems to know it except the Watchtower and its followers). This doctrine is an amended doctrine that Charles Taze Russell plagiarized from the Adventist groups that he was associating with before he splintered off with his own group. The 2nd Adventists, who were descendants of William Miller’s followers (“Great Disappointment” of 1843 and 1844) were the ones who came up with these years. Most rank and file Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Russell supernaturally came up with these teachings on his own because God anointed him with this information. The truth is that Russell plagiarized all the information from these Adventist groups. You don’t have to believe me. All you have to do is look up secular sources for Watchtower History.

Finally, continue to read Matthew 24 and see what Jesus says when he describes his own return. In verse 27, he says, “For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”

The Watchtower describes Jesus “coming” as invisible. But Jesus said his coming would be very visible, just as though you were watching lightning flashing across the sky from east to west. Normally when we see a lightning storm, we see the lightning strike in a certain direction, but never as visible from east to west. But that’s how Jesus described his own coming.

Finally, my own “hope” comes from my relationship with God. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God and is my Savior who died for my sins. My hope comes from God’s unconditional love for me and that He will never let me go. He is not like the Watchtower god, ready to kick me out of the “kingdom” for every little perceived infraction. In the Watchtower there is no grace, no faith, and no hope.

I’m sorry this has been so long, but I felt motivated to write this to you. I recommend that you order a book called “Crisis of Conscience” by Raymond Franz. (

Cynthia Hampton

Editor’s Note: I’ve known Cynthia Hampton for about seven years. She’s been moderating the Ex JWs of California and Los Angeles Yahoo! groups and leading monthly Meet-ups in Downey, a small community near Los Angeles, the last weekend of each month. It’s been over 5 years since I’ve lived in California, but I’ve been able to attend a couple of their meetings over the past few years while traveling in the area. I’ve found everyone in the group to be friendly, open, and eager to help anyone who needs support or information about Jehovah’s Witnesses. Cynthia’s response to the inquiry above is typical of what she does so well. She has strong Christian beliefs, so she is especially equipped to help anyone who is trying to transition from the culture of the Witnesses, and yet wants to continue to have a sincere Christian faith. I hope to feature more articles from Ms. Hampton in the future.

3 thoughts on “Coping with False Prophecy

  1. see this is what I mean !I was baptised in1975 because I did not want to be destroyed at armegedon, now they changed the dates again and the generation meaning, brothers and sisters I feel it is my god given duty as a baptised jehovahs wittness to say that its none of anybodys bussiness or focus when armegedons comeing, nor should any man or organization attempt to explain jehovah gods word by a book or magazine,,its time we who beleive that jehovah is the true god and that jesus is his son, stand up and correct those that use the name of our god yet have false prophecys and wont simply say we have sined against jehovah and our brothers and sisters and repent ! return to gods written word as it is written, seek after gods holy spirit to explain the bible to you and live your life like you are going to die a natural death before you see paradise ! stop looking for rescue and rescue yourself by obeying jesus as lord and upbuilding your fellowman, quit preaching that the kingdomhall is the one true religeion and get back to work preaching that jesus christ is the way. if you love jehovah it takes 1 minuete to repent from going the wrong way and start going jesus way…so brothers and sisters if you are still going to the kingdoom hall put down the books for a minute and everybody get down on their knees and pray to jehovah through jesus name,to be shown how to obey jehovah, when is the last time the kingdomhall told you to get down and pray like jesus prayed ? well Im a real holy spirit lead worshiper of jehovah I wittness mostly on the net,and if the best advice I can give you if your a kingdomhall jehovahs wittness is to pray to jehovah right now,and become a holyspirit lead wittness for jehovah ! hey you already love my god jehovah and my king jesus, please dont keep leting men tell you how to serve jehovah ask jehovah himself in jesus name, to do that…
    may jehovah bless all who love him and thanks for reading my long reply

  2. it ocures to me with this bussiness of prophecy that those that say oh this is symbolic or that is figurative may become bloodguilty if they say something was symbolic and it turns out it was literal and someone dies…how do I know that the bible does not mean exactly what it says ? those prophecys people make havent happened so we have no earthly idea wheather its sybolic or it not much safer to asume the words of bible parables and storys to be literal and if it turns out it was just a figurative saying at least you beleived gods word as writen and was made safe ?

  3. yes more changes and more studys more reading and never geting the truth.. you have an open door to jehovah now because jesus opened it for cant get any closer to jehovah than what jesus gave you! so start careing for your fellowman show him jesus by your actions. the heck with reading him a watchtower. go invite him to a meal and show him how to pray to jehovah through jesus name.we need to have way more indivigualls going to jesus rather than being a nice obediant sheeple trusting blindly that what they tell you is from find out for yourself you can go pray to jehovah in jesus why take somebodys second hand sermon? i want jehovah the real god not some indoctorinated kingdom casserole! and jesus wants you to go to the father! why else would he have shown how if he wanted somebody to do it for you?

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