Jehovah's Witnesses teach that the United Nations is the "image of the wild beast" referred to in Revelation 13:1-18 and the fulfillment of the "disgusting thing that causes desolation" from Matthew 24:15.
The Watchtower 1 May 1999, p. 14; The Watchtower, 1 October 1995, p. 7
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jehovah will use the United Nations to destroy "false religion" as an institution, wherein all institutionalized religions except Jehovah's Witnesses will be destroyed. It is expected that the United Nations will then turn against Jehovah's Witnesses to destroy them, but Jehovah will intervene and destroy all political elements. They believe this act of divine intervention will be Armageddon, the final part of the Great Tribulation.
Watchtower Society publications have made, and continue to make, predictions about world events they believe were prophesied in the Bible. Some of those early predictions were described as "established truth", and "beyond a doubt". Witnesses are told to accept such teachings without question and face expulsion if they oppose them.
Failed predictions that were either explicitly stated or strongly implied, particularly linked to dates in 1914, 1918, 1925 and 1975, have led to the alteration or abandonment of some doctrines. The Society's publications have at times dismissed previous statements, asserting that members had "read into the Watchtower statements that were never intended." or that the beliefs of members were "based on wrong premises." Other failed predictions are ignored; in the book, The Finished Mystery (1917), events were applied to the years 1918 to 1925 that earlier had been held to occur prior to 1914. When the new interpretations also failed to transpire, the 1926 edition of the book altered the statements and removed the dates.
George D. Chryssides has suggested widespread claims that Witnesses "keep changing the dates" are a distortion and misunderstanding of Watchtower Society chronology. He argues that, although there have been failures in prophetic speculation, the changing views and dates of the Jehovah's Witnesses are more largely attributable to changed understandings of biblical chronology than to failed predictions. Chryssides states, "For the Jehovah’s Witnesses prophecy serves more as a way of discerning a divine plan in human history than a means to predicting the future."