Imagine yourself at a fine restaurant, the kind of restaurant with soft candle-light and white table cloths; served by waiters in tuxedos who cater to your every whim. Your favorite dish is on the menu and the chef prepares it to perfection. But, as you sit soaking up the atmosphere you get a whiff of a very unpleasant, nauseating stench, and as you gaze around the dinning room you notice that all the tables have what appears to be vomit all over the pretty white tablecloths. And your worst fears are confirmed—to your horror, just as your waiter serves you your dish, he suddenly vomits on your table too! Surely, no person could avoid become revolted by such a disgusting experience.
Begging the readers’ pardon for employing such an unappetizing illustration, it is in fact, a graphic image that Jehovah himself employs in the 28th chapter of Isaiah, which states: “For the tables themselves have all become full of filthy vomit—there is no place without it.”
But why would God use such a revolting comparison? First, it must be pointed out that elsewhere in the Scriptures reference is made to the “table of Jehovah.” So, in a spiritual sense the “table of Jehovah” has to do with the “food” from God’s Word that is presented to truth-hungry Christians. For example, at 1st Corinthians 10:21, the apostle Paul contrasts Jehovah's “table” with the “table of the demons,” saying: “You cannot be partaking of 'the table of Jehovah' and the table of demons.”
The question naturally comes to mind in connection with the verse above: Is it the “table of the demons” that are full of filthy vomit?No, it is understood that Satan’s table is not spiritually healthful. It is not reasonable that God would be at all concerned with what is presented on the “table of the demons.” Jehovah is only concerned with his own table, which, according to the context of Isaiah, has become defiled because the priests ministering to those at Jehovah's table are themselves spiritually inebriated, which evidently is the source of the “filthy vomit.” Keep in mind, too, that there is a slave appointed to feed the household of God. Does that necessarily mean, though, that all that is served is healthful? If that is the case why then did Christ make it clear in his illustration that the appointed slaves will be judged as to their faithfulness in carrying out their assignment when the master arrives?
A similar illustration is used in the book of Malachi where God takes his priests to task, saying to them: “But you men are profaning me by your saying, ‘The table of Jehovah is something polluted, and its fruit is something to be despised, its food.’”
Malachi would seem to contradict the suggestion that it is Jehovah’s table that is polluted with vomit, since in Malachi it seems Jehovah’s priests are only saying that God’s table is polluted. We may be sure that Jehovah’s table is holy, because Jehovah is holy and the Bible is holy. The truth is holy. But, the table itself may become defiled if those entrusted to minister at the table are in any way unappreciative or negligent in their duties—or even spiritually intoxicated. (Interestingly, the evil slave is condemned for beating his fellow slaves and for associating with drunkards.) So it is, then, the tables in the house of Jehovah that have become unclean. Nevertheless, it is still the table of Jehovah and Jehovah’s truth should not be despised.
That being the case, as an example of the sort of vomitous teachings the prophecy of Isaiah may be illustrating, consider the Watchtower Society’s regurgitations on the 1914 doctrine. Because millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses unquestioningly accept the 1914 invisible parousia teaching at face value, it is important to hold the Watchtower's method of reasoning up to close critical scrutiny.
The August 1st, 2004, Watchtower carries a typical feature article entitled: “Good Government, Where Can It Be Found?” The article briefly makes the case for world government and then asserts that world government has already become a reality since 1914 in the form of God’s kingdom.
On page four the Watchtower appears to be pandering to the sci-fi generation, saying of the tribulation:
“An attack from another planet? Whether that would bring together all the nations of the earth or not, Bible prophecy does speak of an impending crisis that will cause the nations of the world to band together. And the crisis will, indeed, be brought about by extraterrestrial forces.”
The article then cites the 2nd Psalm, which is recognized as a messianic prophecy, and which Jehovah’s Witnesses apply to both 1914 and a future “impending crisis that will cause the nations of the world to band together.”
Commenting on Psalms 2:2-3, the Watchtower states:
“Note that the rulers of the world would mass together as one against Jehovah, the Creator of the universe, and his anointed one, or his appointed King, Jesus Christ. How would that take place? According to Bible chronology and fulfilled prophecies, in the year 1914, God's kingdom was established in the heavens with Jesus Christ as King. At that time the nations of the world had one thought in common. Rather than submitting to the sovereignty of God’s newborn Kingdom, they were embroiled in a contest of power—the Great War, or World War I.”
To refresh your memory, the opening words of the 2nd Psalm say: “Why have the nations been in tumult and the national groups themselves kept muttering an empty thing?The kings of earth take their stand and high officials themselves have massed together as onea gainst Jehovah and against his anointed one."
As stated above, according to Jehovah’s Witnesses long-held belief, the prophesied “tumult” of nations began in 1914 with the First World War. After the Great War, under the misleading influence of Satan the Devil, the leaders of the nations banded together politically to form the League of Nations in order to oppose God’s sovereignty. (Note: The United States was never even a member of the League of Nations.)
However, the Watchtower goes on to say in the very same article:
“Under demonic influence, the nations of the earth will finally be united with one objective—to war against God Almighty. The time when humans will mass together to fight against God's sovereignty is fast approaching.”
Did you catch the Bethel’s legerdemain? Surely, clear-thinking persons realize that there can only be one instance of extraordinary circumstances when all the nations will mass together as one to war against God; yet, the Watchtower now applies the prophetic Psalm to 1914 and also to a future crisis. But, if 1914 was the fulfillment, then that’s that—why expect another fulfillment?
The reason the Watchtower continues to teach that the Psalm was fulfilled in 1914 is because the nations’ massing together is in response to Jehovah installing his King. But, if the Watchtower were to admit that the circumstances of World War One were not really the true fulfillment of the prophetic Psalm, it would mean a repudiation of the entire 1914 doctrine. No doubt they recognize that to do so would be faith shattering for a very large percentage of Jehovah’s Witnesses and would result in a humiliating loss of face for the Watchtower Society. But, since it is obvious that Jehovah has not disturbed the world’s high officials in his hot displeasure for their banding together against him and his Son, the Watchtower is impelled by reality to point to a future fulfillment too.
The same chapter of Isaiah seems to speak directly to the uncomfortable and doctrinally exposed condition the Watchtower now finds itself in, saying: “For the couch has proved too short for stretching oneself on, and the woven sheet itself is too narrow when wrapping oneself up.”
Under the sub-heading “The Chief Administrator of the Kingdom Government,” the article invites the reader to “consider some key factors that demonstrate that God's Kingdom is a reality in full action today.”
The Watchtower then offers as proof that Christ invisibly returned in 1914 the fact that the Jehovah’s Witnesses organize various disaster relief efforts around the world. (As if Jehovah’s Witnesses were the only religious organization that conducts such operations.) The article references the 11th chapter of Acts, where we read that the early disciples organized a relief campaign for the brothers in famine-stricken Jerusalem. Apparently, though, the Watchtower’s writers do not even realize that the account in Acts actually negates their claim that the kingdom is now ruling. How so? Well, obviously Christ’s Kingdom was not operational then, at least not as Jehovah’s Witnesses suppose it is now, and yet the disciples accomplished what the Watchtower offers as evidence “the kingdom government is now operational.” In spite of such specious reasoning, the concluding paragraph of the article gushes: “Evidence is overwhelming that God's Kingdom is a reality in full operation.”In reality, the Watchtower demonstrates that its spiritual tables are covered with the filthy vomit of untruth and error.
In the very next article entitled, “Jehovah Reveals His Glory to Humble Ones,” the Watchtower subtly boasts of its own supposed humility and enlightened condition. The 10th paragraph of the study article states:
“In his own due time and through his chosen channel of communication, Jehovah has revealed to humble ones details regarding the outworking of his purpose. These glorious things remain hidden from those who proudly rely on, or stubbornly cling to human wisdom or thinking.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses, of course, regard the Watchtower Society as Jehovah’s “chosen channel of communication.”So, it is naturally assumed that only the Watchtower can reveal to our minds the “details regarding the outworking of [God’s] purpose.”However, the evidence is daily mounting that the leading brothers of the Watchtower are the ones who are determined to stubbornly cling to human interpretations of prophecy that should have been discarded long ago.
For example, for decades the Watchtower has taught that Jehovah’s Witnesses are residing in a spiritual paradise. But, if that were really true, why are Jehovah’s Witnesses still plagued by the presence of animalistic people even though the prophecies depicting spiritual paradise distinctly say that not even one foolish or animalistic individual will pose a menacing presence there?
As an example of trouble in spiritual paradise, (2004) a Jehovah’s Witness and father in North Carolina apparently killed his entire family—slitting the throats of his own daughters—whom he allegedly had also sexually abused. (The news article is no longer available online) Presumably right up until his own death the pedophilic Jehovah’s Witness was standing shoulder-to-shoulder in “spiritual paradise” with the brothers and sisters of his local congregation. In spite of being aware of these sorts of horrific crimes taking place in the organization, the Watchtower still falsely credits God for ushering Jehovah’s Witnesses into a predator-free spiritual paradise. (See chapter: Spiritual Paradise)
Vomitous teachings indeed!
If “Jehovah has revealed to humble ones details regarding the outworking of his purpose through his chosen channel of communication,”then we would expect the Watchtower to be a beacon of spiritual light as regards the prophecies. In reality, the Watchtower has misunderstood and distorted virtually every prophetic book in the Bible.
Consider a number of examples: The prophecy of Joel foretells of a symbolic army of locusts and other sorts of creeping insects that will devastate the earth as an immediate prelude to Armageddon. Even though the prophecy of Joel clearly indicates that Jehovah will rescue his people from the ravages of the locust-like military force, nevertheless, for the last 70 years the Watchtower has taught that the locusts represent Jehovah’s Witnesses! There seems to be no earthly power that can disabuse them of their error. Jehovah’s chosen channel has certainly not been privy to this aspect of “the details regarding the outworking of his purpose,” as Bethel boasts. (See chapter: Joel)
Habakkuk similarly portrays an earth-wide devastation brought on by an imperial entity whom Jehovah commissions as his avenger. Habakkuk says of God’s agent: “O Jehovah, for a judgment you have set it; and, O Rock, for a reproving you have founded it.” The Chaldean must be the same political entity as the scarlet-colored beast, the eighth king of Revelation, whom Jehovah uses to execute his judgments. However, what does the Watchtower say the Chaldean represents? As recently as the year 2000, the Watchtower wrote:
“With voracity like that of Babylon of Habakkuk's time, this composite "man," made up of political powers—whether Fascist, Nazi, Communist, or even so-called democratic—fights wars in order to expand his lands.”
The Watchtower’s ill-conceived commentary on Habakkuk would have Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that God assigned the Nazis, Communists and various democratic nations “for a judgment.”That would mean, for example, that Jehovah authorized the Nazi Holocaust! It seems to be impossible for them to grasp the fact that the vision of Habakkuk has to do with a global genocidal holocaust—a great tribulation—the likes of which the world has never before experienced. Again, what justification is there for the Watchtower to boast of enlightening Jehovah’s humble servants as regards the details of the outworking of God’s grand purpose?
By far, though, the Watchtower’s most grievous error in prophetic interpretation is the misleading notion that God has already judged his own house and that all future judgments will be directed at Christendom and the world. Indeed, it is the erroneous assumption that the Master has already arrived and appointed his faithful slave over all of his belongings that is the underlying doctrinal basis for the Watchtower’s frequent boasts of being Jehovah’s chosen channel of communication. (At the 2010 annual meeting one speaker boasted that when they all members agree the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses is very close to being Christ himself! Surely, this is evidence of the sort of spiritual intoxication described in prophecy.
In reality, the Watchtower has been instrumental in concealing Jehovah’s future judgments from Jehovah’s Witnesses. No wonder, then, a few verses down in the 28th chapter of Isaiah Jehovah speaks to the spiritually inebriated, vomit-spewing leaders of his people with these words: “Therefore hear the word of Jehovah, you braggarts, you rulers of this people who are in Jerusalem.”