Saturday, October 14

There will be great tribulation.—Matt. 24:21.

Although we do not fully understand all that will happen during that time of test, we can expect that it will involve some measure of sacrifice. In the first century, Christians had to leave behind their possessions and endure hardships in order to survive. To remain faithful, will we be willing to experience material loss? Will we be ready to do whatever is required of us to prove our loyalty to Jehovah? Just think! At that time, we will be the only ones following the example of the ancient prophet Daniel by continuing to worship our God no matter what. This will not be the time to preach the “good news of the Kingdom.” That time will have passed. The time for “the end” will have come! No doubt God’s people will proclaim a hard-hitting judgment message. This may well involve a declaration announcing that Satan’s wicked world is about to come to its complete end.

The Watchtower is in quite a predicament. While it presents itself as the sole repository of all truth—uniquely understanding the sacred mysteries of God and having the key to unlock the door of the future—at the same time, the Governing Body cannot use the Scriptures to reinforce their assertions. I will explain.

What is stated in the daily text is certainly true. We are facing the world’s greatest time of trouble, unlike anything that has ever occurred before or will ever occur again. And we will certainly suffer loss and deprivation. No way around it. Habakkuk saw the future and was inspired to write his reaction: “I heard and I trembled within; at the sound my lips quivered. Rottenness entered my bones; my legs beneath me were shaking. But I quietly wait for the day of distress, for it is coming upon the people who attack us. Although the fig tree may not blossom, and there may be no fruit on the vines; although the olive crop may fail, and the fields may produce no food; although the flock may disappear from the pen, and there may be no cattle in the stalls; yet, as for me, I will exult in Jehovah; I will be joyful in the God of my salvation.”

But notice the assertions made in the daily text regarding the end of the preaching of the good news and the preaching of a hard-hitting message of doom announcing the imminent end of Satan’s world. I say assertions because the Watchtower offers no biblical support for those statements, which is unusual. And it is not because what they are saying is unscriptural. I have been saying it for quite a while—longer than the Watchtower. The reason the Watchtower offers no scriptural support for their assertions is because doing so would undermine their 1914 delusion. Let me explain some more.

Take the two witnesses of Revelation, for example. The 11th chapter of Revelation portrays two anointed witnesses of God and Christ dressed in sackcloth. They are given extraordinary powers to accomplish their unusual mission, which causes torment for all those dwelling on the earth. They surely must be the source of a hard-hitting message of doom. Ultimately, though, the wounded beast rises up from the abyss and conquers them and kills them, and the people of the nations rejoice over their demise.

As you likely know, the Watchtower has rendered the appearance of the two witnesses into a mere footnote of theocratic history since the two anointed witnesses are believed to have shown up on the scene back during the First World War and were symbolically killed off, and that was that.

Take another example. The 8th chapter of Revelation depicts the execution of God’s judgments upon the earth initiated by the opening of the seventh seal—heralded by seven angels blowing their trumpets. Here is a sampling: “The first one blew his trumpet. And there was hail and fire mingled with blood, and it was hurled to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green vegetation was burned up. The second angel blew his trumpet. And something like a great mountain burning with fire was hurled into the sea. And a third of the sea became blood; and a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were wrecked.”

The events symbolized by the apocalyptic disclosure must surely be monumental—earthshaking. But, alas, as it turns out—at least according to the Watchtower—this aspect of Revelation is history too. In case you missed the fire and blood and the great burning mountain that was hurled into the sea, here is how all that played out according to the Grand Climax book:

We may best understand it against the background of the convention of Jehovah’s people held in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A., on August 18-26, 1923. The featured Saturday afternoon talk by J. F. Rutherford was on the topic “Sheep and Goats.” The “sheep” were clearly identified as those righteously disposed persons who would inherit the earthly realm of God’s Kingdom. A resolution that followed drew attention to the hypocrisy of “apostate clergymen and ‘the principal of their flocks,’ who are worldly men of strong financial and political influence.” It called on the “multitude of the peace and order loving ones in the denominational churches . . . to withdraw themselves from the unrighteous ecclesiastical systems designated by the Lord as ‘Babylon’” and to ready themselves “to receive the blessings of God’s kingdom.” Doubtless, this resolution came as a result of the sounding of the second trumpet. Those who would in due course respond to that message would separate from those described by Isaiah in these words: “But the wicked are like the sea that is being tossed, when it is unable to calm down, the waters of which keep tossing up seaweed and mire.” Thus, “the sea” well pictures restless, unsettled, and rebellious humanity that churns up unrest and revolution. The time will come when that “sea” will be no more. Meantime, with the blast of the second trumpet, Jehovah pronounces judgment against a third of it—the unruly part that is in the realm of Christendom herself.

So, there you have it. As it turns out, the seven angels have blown their trumpets, and the bowls of God’s wrath have been poured out—and the world goes on and on in business-as-usual fashion. And although Jehovah’s Witnesses have been delivering a hard-hitting judgment message since Rutherford’s broadcast, someone at Bethel apparently doesn’t believe it; hence, as the text says: “No doubt God’s people will proclaim a hard-hitting judgment message. This may well involve a declaration announcing that Satan’s wicked world is about to come to its complete end.”

The Watchtower’s predicament is well illustrated in the 28th chapter of Isaiah, which states: “For the bed is too short to stretch out on, and the woven sheet is too narrow to wrap up in.”

Hopefully, you get the picture. The Watchtower wants to be God’s prophet, announcing the coming things. Still, it has to do so on its own authority, even as Jeremiah says: “The prophets prophesy lies, and the priests dominate by their own authority.” The prophet class cannot use God’s word as the authority since it has already rendered the awesome revelations of God’s judgments into meaningless nonsense. Call it Revelation’s grand anticlimax! 

The truth is, the judgments contained in Revelation—at least the first few trump blasts—are not directed against Christendom anyway, but against that which belongs to God—his earthly organization. We can hardly expect the Watchtower to announce judgment upon itself, can we?

But I can. And I have. Consider the chapter called Revelation in Jehovah Himself Has Become King.

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