Tracts

T-001

New Light on the Generation of 1914
Roger DeLozier
“Men of this world offer you nothing stable, nothing sure. Their promises and predictions of better things have failed time and again. Why let yourself be carried along with them in a steadily downward course to ultimate disaster due to rejecting God’s will? God’s prophetic Word has not failed. Time has confirmed its truthfulness, its unerring accuracy. The generation that saw the start of the time of distress that began in 1914 is now dwindling in numbers. Before it passes off the scene the prophesied ‘great tribulation’ will come. You can be among the joyful survivors, experience deliverance from a world system that has proved oppressive, unworkable and death dealing.”1 The Watchtower, 1971

The Creator’s Promise
In October 1995, the Watchtower Society explained the purpose of the Awake! magazine – “Most importantly, this magazine builds confidence in the Creator’s promise of a peaceful and secure new order before the generation that saw the events of 1914 C.E. passes away.”2 Words to this effect have appeared in over 300 issues of the Awake! magazine from 1982 until 1995. However, in November of that year, this was changed to say “Most important, this magazine builds confidence in the Creator’s promise of a peaceful and secure new world that is about to replace the present wicked, lawless system of things.”3  This change was made to reflect the Watchtower Society’s new understanding of the promise made by Jesus in Matthew 24:34 that “Truly I say to you that this generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.”

The current understanding of Jehovah’s Witnesses concerning Jesus’ reference to “this generation” was introduced in November of that year. The Watchtower magazine states “Eager to see the end of this evil system, Jehovah’s people have at times speculated about the time when ‘the great tribulation’ would break out, even tying this to calculations of what is the lifetime of a generation since 1914. However, we ‘bring a heart of wisdom in.’ not by speculating about how many years or days make up a generation, but by thinking about how we ‘count our days’ in bringing joyful praise to Jehovah. Rather than provide a rule for measuring time, the term ‘generation’ as used by Jesus refers principally to contemporary people of a certain historic period, with their identifying characteristics.”4  This is further qualified later in the issue “Therefore, in the final fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy today, ‘this generation’ apparently refers to the people of earth who see the sign of Christ presence but fail to mend their ways.”5

Previous Teaching on This Generation
“This Generation” was formerly defined quite differently than it is in the November 1, 1995 Watchtower. The Society taught that “This Generation” referred to the people living in 1914 that saw the events of Christ’s Prophecy; and that some of the very people who witnessed these 1914 events would also survive to witness the great tribulation.

“Some persons living A.D. 1914 when the series of foretold events began will also be living when the series ends with Armageddon. All the events will come within the span of a generation.”6

“This corroborates the understanding of Jesus’ words that the generation alive in 1914 with the outbreak of World War I would not pass away until the end comes.”7

“At that time of the start of Christ’s presence, or parousia, he was unseen by human eyes. But that generation of 1914 certainly did see what happened here on earth as a ‘sign’ of his presence and as ‘a beginning of sorrows’ for mankind! (Matthew 24:8, Authorized Version) And the remaining ones of that generation of 1914 are still talking about it. Some of them will be talking about it right down to the time when the ‘great tribulation’ wipes Satan’s wicked system of things off the face of our globe. For Jesus Christ himself assures us: ‘Truly I say to you that this generation [the generation that saw the ‘beginning of pangs of distress’ in 1914] will by no means pass away [completely] until all these things occur. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away.’-Matthew 24:3, 8, 34, 35″8

“Today, a small percentage of mankind can still recall the dramatic events of 1914. Will that elderly generation pass away before God saves the earth from ruin? Not according to Bible prophecy. ‘When you see all these things,’ Jesus promised, ‘know that he is near at the doors. Truly I say to you that this generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.’-Matthew 24:33, 34.”9

Generation Born Prior to 1900
Furthermore, the Watchtower Society taught that the members of this generation must have been old enough to witness and understand these 1914 events. The youngest of this generation would have to have been born before 1900. “Jesus was obviously speaking about those who were old enough to witness with understanding what took place when the last day’s began…Even if we presume that youngsters 15 years of age would be perceptive enough to realize the import of what happened in 1914, it would still make the youngest of ‘this generation’ nearly 70 years old today”10  Later the Watchtower states “However, there are people still living who were alive in 1914 and saw what was happening then and who were old enough that they still remember those events. This generation is getting up in years now. A great number of them have already passed away in death. Yet Jesus very pointedly said: ‘This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.’ Some of them will still be alive to see the end of this wicked system. This means that only a short time is left before the end comes!”11

Jehovah’s Prophetic Word
The Watchtower claimed that this Generation of 1914 prophecy was “the Creator’s Promise” and “Jehovah’s prophetic word.” The Society represented this as the very word of Jehovah! “Most importantly, this magazine builds confidence in the Creator’s promise of a peaceful and secure new order before the generation that saw the events of 1914 C.E. passes away”12  The Watchtower stated “From a purely human viewpoint, it could appear that these developments could hardly take place before the generation of 1914 disappears from the scene. But fulfillment of all the foretold events affecting the generation of 1914 does not depend on comparatively slow human action. Jehovah’s prophetic word through Christ Jesus is: ‘This generation [of 1914] will by no means pass away until all things occur.’ (Luke 21:32) And Jehovah, who is the source of inspired and unfailing prophecy, will bring about the fulfillment of his Son’s words in a relatively short time.-Isaiah 46:9, 10; 55:10, 11.”13

Conclusion
The Watchtower Society taught for many years that some of the generation of 1914 – those living at the beginning of World War I and old enough to understand and remember the events they saw, would remain alive on the earth until the end of this wicked system. Some of this generation would live to see Paradise restored on earth. This was not some obscure teaching, but was so fundamental that it was touted as the very reason for publishing the Awake! magazine for many years. They taught that this was the Creator’s promise and Jehovah’s prophetic word, not the fallible opinion of men. Why would they change this after all these years?

The Watchtower Society has made several predictions concerning the end of the world throughout the years. In 191414 , 191815 , 192516 , and during World War II17  their predictions proved false. The Society has often tried to soften the impact of these failures by reinterpreting their predictions when it has become apparent that time is running out for the fulfillment.

How many of “this generation” are left today? The youngest would be just a few years shy of 100. Within a decade chances are that very few, if any, would remain. Time is running out. The Society realized that this was yet another in a string of false prophecies concerning the end times. This is the reason for their “New Light”.

Can you trust such an organization? Deuteronomy 18:20-22 says “However, the prophet who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded him to speak or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die. And in case you should say in your heart: ‘How shall we know the word that Jehovah has not spoken?’ when the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word does not occur or come true, that is the word that Jehovah did not speak. With presumptuousness the prophet spoke it. You must not get frightened at him.”18  God’s word is clear. Those whose predictions fail to come to pass are false prophets. Deuteronomy says they are worthy of death. Those seeking to obey God’s word must not follow false prophets who failed the clearly defined biblical test!

Endnotes
1 The Watchtower 2/1/71 p. 69
2 Awake!, 10/8/95 p. 4
3 Awake!, 11/8/95 p. 4
4 The Watchtower, 11/1/95 p. 17
5 The Watchtower, 11/1/95 p. 19
6 The Watchtower 9/1/52 p. 543
7 The Watchtower 5/1/70 p. 273
8 The Watchtower 5/1/82 p. 15
9 The Watchtower 5/1/92 p. 3
10 Awake! 10/08/68 p. 13
11 The Watchtower 2/15/69 p. 101
12 Awake!, October 8, 1995 p. 4
13 The Watchtower 5/15/84 p. 6-7
14 The Time Is at Hand, 1907 ed., p. 76-77
15 The Finished Mystery, 1917 ed., p. 485
16 Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 1920 ed., pp. 89-90
17 Face the Facts, 1938 ed., p. 50
18 New World Translation


 

 

T-002

Joseph Smith: Latter Day Prophet?
Roger DeLozier
“The question of this man’s divine commission is a challenging one to the world today. If his claims to a divine appointment be false, forming as they do the foundation of the Church in this the last dispensation, the superstructure cannot be stable; if, however, his avowed ordination under the hands of heavenly personages be a fact, one need search no farther for the cause of the phenomenal vitality and continuous development of the restored Church.”1  James E. Talmage

Test of a Prophet
“I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him. But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:18-22)

In Deuteronomy, the Lord revealed to Moses that He would be represented by prophets. The Prophets would speak the word of the Lord. They were to be obeyed without question. You may ask how you are to know if someone is speaking the word of the Lord and is a true prophet of God. God provides a test. If the prophet speaks a word, and it does not come to pass, that one is a false prophet and you shouldn’t listen to him. Let us put Joseph Smith to the test. Let us review his record as a “prophet.”

David Patten
“Verily thus saith the Lord: It is wisdom in my servant David W. Patten, that he settle up all his business as soon as he possibly can, and make a disposition of his merchandise, that he may perform a mission unto me next spring, in company with others, even twelve including himself, to testify of my name and bear glad tidings unto all the world. For verily thus saith the Lord, that inasmuch as there are those among you who deny my name, others shall be planted in their stead and receive their bishopric. Amen.”2  This prophecy was given by Joseph Smith in April 1838. However, David W. Patten died in October 19383  and therefore never went on a mission in the spring.

The Coming of the Lord
“President Smith then stated that the meeting had been called, because God had commanded it; and it was made known to him by vision and by the Holy Spirit. He then gave a relation of some of the circumstances attending us while journeying to Zion—our trials, sufferings; and said God had not designed all this for nothing, but He had it in remembrance yet; and it was the will of God that those who went to Zion, with a determination to lay down their lives, if necessary, should be ordained to the ministry, and go forth to prune the vineyard for the last time, or the coming of the Lord, which was nigh—even fifty-six years should wind up the scene.”4  This prophecy was given by Joseph Smith in February 1835, yet the Lord did not return by 1891.

Temple Lot
“Which city shall be built, beginning at the temple lot, which is appointed by the finger of the Lord, in the western boundaries of the State of Missouri, and dedicated by the hand of Joseph Smith, Jun., and others with whom the Lord was well pleased. Verily this is the word of the Lord, that the city New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathering of the saints, beginning at this place, even the place of the temple, which temple shall be reared in this generation. For verily this generation shall not all pass away until an house shall be built unto the Lord, and a cloud shall rest upon it, which cloud shall be even the glory of the Lord, which shall fill the house.”5  This prophecy was given by Joseph Smith in September 1832. Everyone of “this generation” has passed away, yet the temple in Missouri on the “temple lot” has never been built.

Destruction of the United States
And now I am prepared to say by the authority of Jesus Christ, that not many years shall pass away before the United States shall present such a scene of bloodshed as has not a parallel in the history of our nation; pestilence, hail, famine, and earthquake will sweep the wicked of this generation from off the face of the land, to open and prepare the way for the return of the lost tribes of Israel from the north country. The people of the Lord, those who have complied with the requirements of the new covenant, have already commenced gathering together to Zion, which is in the state of Missouri, therefore I declare unto you the warning which the Lord has commanded to declare unto this generation, remembering that the eyes of my Maker are upon me and that to him I am accountable for every word I say wishing nothing worse to my fellow men than their eternal salvation; therefore, ‘Fear God, and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment is come.’ Repent ye, repent ye, and embrace the everlasting covenant, and flee to Zion, before the overflowing scourge overtake you, for there are those now living upon the earth whose eyes shall not be closed in death until they see all these things, which I have spoken, fulfilled. Remember these things; call upon the Lord while He is near, and seek Him while He may be found, is the exhortation of your unworthy servant.”6  This prophecy was given by Joseph Smith in 1833. All of “those now living” have died, yet “pestilence, hail, famine, and earthquake” did not “sweep the wicked of this generation from off the face of the land.”

Ten years later, outraged by the treatment the Mormons had received in Missouri, Smith again prophecies doom for the United States unless they repent for their harsh treatment of the Mormons. “President Smith, in concluding his remarks, said that if the government, which received into its coffers the money of citizens for its public lands, while its officials are rolling in luxury at the expense of its public treasury, cannot protect such citizens in their lives and property, it is an old granny anyhow; and I prophesy in the name of the Lord God of Israel, unless the United States redress the wrongs committed upon the Saints in the state of Missouri and punish the crimes committed by her officers that in a few years the government will be utterly overthrown and wasted, and there will not be so much as a potsherd left, for their wickedness in permitting the murder of men, women and children, and the wholesale plunder and extermination of thousands of her citizens to go unpunished, thereby perpetrating a foul and corroding blot upon the fair fame of this great republic, the very thought of which would have caused the high-minded and patriotic framers of the Constitution of the United States to hide their faces with shame.”7  This prophecy was given by Joseph Smith in May 1843. The History of the Church does not record any “redress” of “the wrongs committed upon the Saints in the state of Missouri”, yet the government of the United States still stands.

Conclusion
These prophecies by Joseph Smith represent but a few of the failed prophecies of Mormon “Latter Day Prophets.” Under the Old Testament law Joseph Smith would have been put to death as a false prophet, and we should not listen to him. The Bible warns us in Matthew 24:24 “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.” Are you trusting in one of these false prophets to guide you on the road to salvation? We urge you to reconsider his unsupported claim to authority and study the Scriptures to find the true God, and the true Gospel.

Endnotes
1 The Articles of Faith p. 8
2 D&C: Sections 114:1-2
3 Documentary History of the Church V3 p. 170-171
4 Documentary History of the Church Vol 2 p.182
5 D&C: Sections 84:3-5
6 Documentary History of the Church p. 315-316
7 Documentary History of the Church Vol 5 p. 394

 


 

 

T-003

 

The Gospel
1) Acknowledge you are a sinner.
Romans 3:10-12 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”
Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”

2) Acknowledge that you deserve God’s righteous judgment.
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
John 3:36 “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

3) Realize that Jesus paid the price for your sins by dying on the cross and that he is risen from the dead and able to save you now.
Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
1Corintians 15:3-4 “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures”

4) Realize that you cannot earn your salvation by good works.
Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us”
Romans 3:26-28 “To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

5) Accept God’s gift of salvation by faith and turn your life over to him.
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Acts16:31 “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,”

If you want to accept God’s gift of salvation, you can pray this prayer right now:
Lord, I know that I am a sinner deserving God’s judgment. I realize that I can do nothing to save myself. Thank you Jesus for paying the price for my sins by dying on the cross. I know that you are risen and able to save me now. I accept your free gift of salvation. I turn my life over to you. Please come into my life, and change me, and make me more like you.