What is the day of Jehovah or Jehovah’s day, as it is alternatively worded in the New World Translation?
Jehovah’s day is not a mere 24-hour day.
It is the period of time during which God expresses his long-restrained anger – beginning with his own house first, as the Scriptures indicate in several places, and concluding with the entire wicked civilization being wiped off the earth and the beginning of the new world.
Jehovah’s day coincides with the interval variously termed in the Bible as the conclusion of the system of things, the time of the end, the final part of the days, as well as the last days.
The day of Jehovah is also referred to as the day of the Lord and the Lord’s day. That is appropriate in view of the fact that Christ Jesus stated that the Father has committed all judging to him. So that is why Jehovah’s day is also called the day of the Lord Jesus, since Christ will carry out all of Jehovah’s judgments.
While Jehovah’s day is characterized as an awesome display of divine power, according to the Scriptures extraordinary events on earth will serve as a precursor to that great day. What events? As many people who are not even Bible-oriented are anticipating, an unprecedented calamity seems certain to overtake this world in the near future. War, financial collapse, famine and pestilence – in short, the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, which is vividly portrayed in the prophecy of Joel, wherein three references are made to the day of Jehovah.
The prophecy of Joel portrays the day of Jehovah coming upon the world as an unstoppable, locust-like plague that subsequently devours the resources of God’s people and reduces them to imploring Jehovah, their God, for salvation. The catastrophe is described as a despoiling from the Almighty himself. Joel words it this way. “Gather together the older men, all the inhabitants of the land, to the house of Jehovah your God, and cry to Jehovah for aid. ‘Alas for the day; because the day of Jehovah is near, and like a despoiling from the Almighty One it will come! Has not food itself been cut off before our very eyes; from the house of our God, rejoicing and joyfulness? Dried figs have shriveled under their shovels. Storehouses have been laid desolate. Barns have been torn down, for the grain has dried up. O how the domestic animal has sighed! How the droves of cattle have wandered in confusion! For there is no pasturage for them. Also, the droves of the sheep have been the ones made to bear guilt. To you, O Jehovah, I shall call; for fire itself has devoured the pasture grounds of the wilderness, and a very flame has consumed all the trees of the field. The beasts of the field also keep longing for you, because the channels of water have dried up, and fire itself has devoured the pasture grounds of the wilderness.’”
The second chapter of Joel commands God’s ministers to sound the battle cry: “Blow a horn in Zion, O men, and shout a war cry in my holy mountain. Let all the inhabitants of the land get agitated; for the day of Jehovah is coming, for it is near! It is a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick gloom, like light of dawn spread out upon the mountains.”
There is nothing in the history of ancient Judah or Jerusalem that could even be considered as a typical fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel. However, on the day of Pentecost, when the holy spirit was poured out as Christ had foretold, the apostle Peter was inspired to attribute that outpouring and tongues-speaking phenomenon to the fulfillment of Joel. Interestingly, however, although the prophecy of Joel does not explicitly say it, Peter stated that the prophecy was being fulfilled in the last days. And indeed, the Jewish system entered into their last days once Christ announced woe upon the city and its temple during his final visit to Jerusalem.
But it is also apparent that the words of Jehovah in Joel will have an ultimate realization during the last days of the present evil system in connection with an institution comparable to Jerusalem of old; this, because of what is written at Joel 3:15-17: “Sun and moon themselves will certainly become dark, and the very stars will actually withdraw their brightness. And out of Zion Jehovah himself will roar, and out of Jerusalem he will give forth his voice. And heaven and earth certainly will rock; but Jehovah will be a refuge for his people, and a fortress for the sons of Israel. And you people will have to know that I am Jehovah you God, residing in Zion my holy mountain. And Jerusalem must become a holy place; and as regards strangers, they will no more pass through her.”
Discerning readers will take note of the fact that Jesus also used similar phraseology, such as the sun, moon and stars going dark, regarding the events to occur during the conclusion of the global system of things and the desolation of the holy place and that which is represented by Jerusalem of old. Clearly, the “Jerusalem” referenced in Joel is that which is related to Christ’s congregation. Contrary to the Watchtower Society’s assertion that Jehovah’s Witnesses are presently doing the work of the symbolic locust, caterpillar and cockroach armies of Joel, any sober reading of the prophecy reveals that it is God’s special property that is destined to be devoured and trampled on by the nations; the nations being symbolized in Joel as God’s great military force – the “strangers” –who “will no more pass through her,” for the reason that they will be annihilated.
Although the above-cited verses of Joel portray the insect onslaught as a prelude to the day of Jehovah, Joel 2:10-11 makes no distinction – revealing that the great military assault is a manifestation of Jehovah’s great and fear-inspiring day: “Before it the land has become agitated, the heavens have rocked. Sun and moon themselves have become dark, and the very stars have withdrawn their brightness. And Jehovah himself will certainly give forth his voice before his military force, for his camp is very numerous. For he who is carrying out his word is mighty; for the day of Jehovah is great and very fear-inspiring, and who can hold up under it?”
What is Jehovah’s military camp? As already stated, it simply cannot be Jehovah’s Witnesses. And it is not Jehovah’s legions of mighty, heavenly angels. That which is spoken of as Jehovah’s military force are those anti-God, earthly armies of all the nations, armed with nuclear, biological, chemical, laser and conventional weapons without number, which Jehovah will merely acquisition to accomplish his own purpose. And once his purpose has been accomplished, then Jehovah disposes of his military force. That will then conclude the day of Jehovah.
That is what occurred some 25 centuries ago, when God co-opted Nebuchadnezzar’s Chaldean military force in order to destroy his own nation. Although the Chaldean war machine was a manifestation of Satan’s imperial control, God assigned the people of Marduk the task of meting out punishment upon the nations – Judah in particular. That is why Habakkuk wrote: “At that time it will certainly move onward like wind and will pass through and will actually become guilty. This its power is due to its god. Are you not from long ago, O Jehovah? O my God, my Holy One, you do not die. O Jehovah, for a judgment you have set it; and, O Rock, for a reproving you have founded it.”
But even though God sanctions the attack upon his people, as portrayed in the prophecy of Joel, Habakkuk also depicts God becoming directly involved in response to the assault, resulting in the attackers being vanquished. That, of course, did not happen in the actual Chaldean campaign against Jerusalem. (For a more in depth consideration of Habakkuk, click here)
BEFORE THERE COMES UPON YOU THE DAY OF JEHOVAH’S ANGER
The prophecy of Zephaniah similarly situates Babylon’s conquest of Judea as occurring during the day of Jehovah. In fact, the expression “the day of Jehovah” is used seven times in the brief prophecy of Zephaniah.
As an indication that Jehovah’s day encompasses more than what occurred in connection with the apostate Jewish kingdom in ancient times, the prophecy speaks to all the meek ones of the earth, those “who have practiced His own judicial decision” – holding out to them the opportunity of surviving that terrible day. In other words, the prophecy pertains to the potential great crowd of hopeful Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Zephaniah 2:1-3 states: “Gather yourselves together, yes, do the gathering, O nation not paling in shame. Before the statute gives birth to anything, before the day has passed by just like chaff, before there comes upon you people the burning anger of Jehovah, before there comes upon you the day of Jehovah’s anger, seek Jehovah, all you meek ones of the earth, who have practiced His own judicial decision. Seek righteousness, seek meekness. Probably you may be concealed in the day of Jehovah’s anger.”
Jehovah’s purpose is to purge the wicked and faithless from his nation as a precondition for their entry into the blessed new world – particularly from the leadership, which is evident from the following passage: “In that day you will not be ashamed because of all your dealings with which you transgressed against me, for then I shall remove from the midst of you your haughtily exultant ones; and you will never again be haughty in my holy mountain. And I shall certainly let remain in the midst of you a people humble and lowly, and they will actually take refuge in the name of Jehovah.” – Zephaniah 3:11-12 (For a more in depth consideration of how the Watchtower Society fits the description of the “nation not paling in shame” read the chapter, Zephaniah.)
The prophecy of Ezekiel echoes Joel and Zephaniah, in foretelling that the day of Jehovah’s fury will impact that which God considers to be his special property and that it will be profaned by “strangers” for the purpose of humbling his people. Ezekiel 7:19-22 reads: “Into the streets they will throw their very silver, and an abhorrent thing their own gold will become. Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to deliver them in the day of Jehovah’s fury. Their souls they will not satisfy, and their intestines they will not fill, for it has become a stumbling block causing their error. And the decoration of one’s ornament—one has set it as reason for pride; and their detestable images, their disgusting things, they have made with it. That is why I will make it to them an abhorrent thing. And I will give it into the hand of the strangers for plunder and to the wicked ones of the earth for spoil, and they will certainly profane it. And I shall have to turn away my face from them, and they will actually profane my concealed place, and into it robbers will really come and profane it.”
The 13th chapter of Ezekiel denounces the “stupid prophets” who are misleading God’s people. Jehovah foretells that they will not continue on “in the intimate group of my people,” and: “You men will certainly not go up into the gaps, neither will you build up a stone wall in behalf of the house of Israel, in order to stand in the battle in the day of Jehovah. They have visioned what is untrue and a lying divination, those who are saying, ‘The utterance of Jehovah is,’ when Jehovah himself has not sent them, and they have waited to have a word come true.”
This portion of prophecy applies most aptly to the leadership of the Watchtower Society. They even refer to themselves as an “Ezekiel class” of prophet and they have now even exalted themselves to speak for Jehovah himself; saying as it were: ‘The utterance of Jehovah is’ – just as the prophecy foretells. The September 15th, 2010, Watchtower is a striking example of this. On page 13, paragraph eight, the Watchtower states:
Similarly today, a Governing Body composed of Spirit anointed Christians contributes to the unity of the worldwide congregation. The Governing Body publishes spiritually encouraging literature in many languages. This spiritual food is based on God's word. Thus, what is taught is not from men but from God.
It is true, the Governing Body publishes encouraging literature in many languages. And most of what the Watchtower teaches is based on God’s word. However, the same issue of the Watchtower goes on to regurgitate the well-worn message of how Christ began ruling in his kingdom in 1914 and how Jesus declared the Watchtower Society to be his clean instrument back in 1919. But since it can be Scripturally proven that the Society’s 1914 doctrine is false, obviously that is not a teaching from God. That means that the Governing Body is practicing a massive deception – wittingly or unknowingly does not matter. The Governing Body and their predecessors have most certainly envisioned what is untrue regarding the parousia of Christ having already commenced. And now in 2010, just four years shy of a century since Jesus supposedly returned invisibly, the Watchtower Society is still waiting to “have a word come true.” So far not one of their prophetic utterances has.
Of the utmost interest to Jehovah’s Witnesses at this time is what Paul foretold as regards the influence of the man of lawlessness over anointed Christians. Paul expressly warned the brothers not to be deceived by apostolic-like proclamations regarding the presence of Christ and the arrival of the day of Jehovah. Paul wrote: “However, brothers, respecting the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we request of you not to be quickly shaken from your reason nor to be excited either through an inspired expression or through a verbal message or through a letter as though from us, to the effect that the day of Jehovah is here. Let no one seduce you in any manner, because it will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness gets revealed, the son of destruction.”
Over the past century the Watchtower has issued many verbal messages and authored countless written statements, authoritatively announcing both “the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ” and that “the day of Jehovah is here.” Ironically, that, coupled with the reality of the Society’s own apostasy, indicates that the day of Jehovah is about to erupt.
The book of Amos refers to the day of Jehovah three times – all in the same context in the 5th chapter. “‘Woe to those who are craving the day of Jehovah! What, then, will the day of Jehovah mean to you people? It will be darkness, and no light, just as when a man flees because of the lion, and the bear actually meets him; and as when he went into the house and supported his hand against the wall, and the serpent bit him. Will not the day of Jehovah be darkness, and not light; and will it not have gloom, and not brightness?”
Jehovah’s Witnesses fit the description of those who are “craving the day of Jehovah,” primarily because the Watchtower Society has misled them to expect to be idle bystanders to the unveiling of Jehovah’s judgments.
JEHOVAH’S DAY IS COMING AS A THIEF IN THE NIGHT
Finally, as regards when the day of Jehovah will arrive, according to the New World Translation anyway, Paul wrote at 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2: “Now as for the times and the seasons, brothers, you need nothing to be written to you. For you yourselves know quite well that Jehovah’s day is coming exactly as a thief in the night. Whenever it is that they are saying: “Peace and security!” then sudden destruction is to be instantly upon them just as the pang of distress upon a pregnant woman; and they will by no means escape.”
Christians know that Jehovah’s day is coming as a thief in the night because that is what Jesus taught. In the 12th chapter of Luke Jesus exhorted his disciples to keep their loins girded in anticipation of the master’s sudden return. Jesus went on to state: “But know this, that if the householder had known at what hour the thief would come, he would have kept watching and not have let his house be broken into. You also, keep ready, because at an hour that you do not think likely the Son of man is coming.”
When Peter asked Jesus to whom the illustration applied, to them or to all, Jesus replied with another illustration, asking: “Who really is the faithful steward, the discreet one, whom his master will appoint over his body of attendants to keep giving them their measure of food supplies at the proper time? Happy is that slave, if his master on arriving finds him doing so! I tell you truthfully, He will appoint him over all his belongings.”
The same Watchtower article previously cited insists that the faithful slave was appointed over all the master’s belongings in 1918-1919. If that were true, though, it would mean that Christ has already come as a thief in the night and the day of Jehovah is underway. Clearly that cannot be true. No wonder Jesus went on to explain that even the faithful slave who ignorantly fails his master will be flogged, albeit with only a few strokes. As all the prophecies indicate, all of Jehovah’s people will be thrashed during the day of Jehovah, but especially those who are in charge, as Jesus indicated in the concluding words of the illustration: “But the one that did not understand and so did things deserving of strokes will be beaten with few. Indeed, everyone to whom much was given, much will be demanded of him; and the one whom people put in charge of much, they will demand more than usual of him.” – Luke 12:48
But as regards the prophecy Paul uttered some 2,000 years ago, who is the “they” who will be saying “peace and security,” which will then serve as the authentic signal that the presence of Christ and the day of Jehovah are finally here? Although the Hebrew prophecies indicate that the leaders of the Jews falsely claimed there was peace between God and his people – that does not seem to have any connection to the prophecy in question.
First, it should not be supposed that the “sudden destruction” that is destined to instantly come upon “them” is the ultimate destruction of the nations at the world-ending war of Armageddon. Considering that the day of Jehovah will rock all the nations and throw them into a violent tumult, from which the anguished and terrified peoples of the world will see no way out, apparently the “they” who are prophesied to be “saying peace and security” are the present leaders of the world – more probably the leaders of the Anglo-American superpower – the champions of freedom and democracy. This may, perhaps, be manifest in the coming months in some sort of “solution” to the long-standing problems in the Middle East regarding Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the Israeli and Palestinian situation.
In any case, the destruction that comes upon those who are “saying peace and security” will most certainly be the destruction of the nation-state political arrangement, along with the already collapsing global financial system. Their destruction will give way to the imposition of a short-lived, genocidal global government, administered through the United Nations – the neo-Chaldean tyrant, who then will carry out heaven’s judgments during the desperate day of Jehovah.
During the bleakest time in all human history, Jehovah's salvation will be revealed to all those who call upon his name, even as was foretold in the prophecy of Joel: "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of Jehovah shall be delivered." - American Standard Version
(Note: The prophecies foretell that during Jehovah’s day men will throw their gold and silver into the street. However, gold and silver were used as money in Bible times, but relatively few people value gold and silver today. Therefore, it should be understood that what passes for money today is what will become worthless – not actual gold and silver. Many now fear that the money pumping operations of the central bankers will result in the destruction of the Dollar and Euro through hyperinflation.)