The following is my response to an email from 2003 archived here. At the time I was an active JW and posted articles online anonymously. Article has been slightly edited. 

In last week’s mailbag, a questioner wrote: 

“I can only wonder, why? Every essay I’ve read on this site either defies or directly challenges the teachings of this cult, or accuses them of wrongdoing. So why do you align yourself with this cult claiming to be a Jehovah Witness as implied by your article “About e-Watchman”?

My brief response was: “A very large portion of the Bible is what is referred to as the books of the prophets. Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, as well as other lesser prophets, were called by God to issue strongly-worded denunciations of the very nation that God called his own possession. Many of those prophecies have an obvious application to the Christian congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses today. As one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, it seems important to set these matters before my fellow Jehovah’s Witnesses, as well as the general public who may have some interest in the truth.” 

Concerning my response, a questioner wrote a follow-up question, which is taken point-by-point. 

I don’t understand your reply, fully. Are you saying that you have been appointed by Jehovah – as the prophets of old were – to denounce his people and organization?

 No, not exactly. The Hebrew prophets were, as you know, directly appointed and inspired by God, usually by means of vivid visions or dreams. Often, Jehovah spoke directly with them; directing them where to go, who to speak to, and basically how to deliver his message. At the time those prophets originally delivered their God-inspired messages, it was no doubt generally assumed that the prophecies applied exclusively to Israel and Judah, or to whatever nation also happened to come under Jehovah’s denunciation back then. However, in the millenniums since those prophecies were initially recorded, Christians have come to appreciate that the prophecies have multiple meanings that apply far beyond the time when they were originally issued. And as the apostles realized, the prophecies concerning natural Israel applied to spiritual Israel as well. 

Really, the idea of serving as modern Christian prophets should not be a foreign concept to Jehovah’s Witnesses. For example, the Watchtower coined the term “the Jeremiah class” in reference to the anointed of Jehovah who are living during the present era, because it is assumed that the organization fits the pattern of Jeremiah by our denouncing of Christendom. 

So, in that respect, we ought to understand the principle, at least, that those who correctly understand and deliver the ancient prophet’s message are themselves serving as prophets, even though they are not personally appointed by Jehovah—as were the prophets with whom the messages originated. 

However, Jehovah’s pre-recorded judicial decisions and his none-to-flattering denunciations, apply most fittingly to us as Jehovah’s Witnesses and our Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York.

Numerous essays on e-watchman make those connections in detail, which have proven to be biblically unassailable—so far. But, it is not an act of unkindness or hyper-criticism to make the statement that the Watchtower has no understanding of such things. It is simply a fact. It is just not realistic to expect Jehovah’s organization to announce God’s judgments against itself, is it?  

Rather then accept God’s judgments, the prophecies indicate that the leaders of God’s spiritual nation say to “the ones seeing, ‘You must not see,’ and to the ones having visions, ‘You must not envision for us any straightforward things. Speak to us smooth things; envision deceptive things.” Certainly, the Watchtower’s commentary on the very visions of Isaiah has cleverly and deceptively smoothed over all of God’s counsel and denunciation directed to the modern House of Jacob. 

The Watchtower frequently quotes Amos 3:7 as the basis for its own authority in announcing God’s judgments upon the world. That’s the verse that reads: “For the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will not do a single thing unless first he has revealed his confidential matter to his servants the prophets.” As the prophet Peter realized concerning the closing words of Amos, as applying to Christians of all nations, and not just Jews being a people for God’s name, it is evident, then, that at the time of the prophecy’s final fulfillment, that Jehovah would similarly make his judgments known to those who would serve as his Christian “prophets”—first, before executing those judgments.

But, reasoning on the facts: Jehovah’s “confidential matter” originally had to do with severely punishing his own wayward nation and only afterwards redeeming and blessing a repentant remnant. Historically, then, God’s prophet was not the entire nation of Israel, but it was a mere select handful of appointed men who delivered Jehovah’s judgment message to the nation. 

So, there really doesn’t seem to be any justification for any sort of Jeremiah class organizational-type prophet. But, since the Scriptures clearly speak to the conditions prevalent among Jehovah’s Witnesses presently, it is not at all unreasonable or unscriptural, that those who fit the category of prophets are simply those who have insight into Jehovah’s “confidential matter” concerning his judgments upon his people. As Jesus might say, ‘let him that has an ear hear.’

Where is your authority to do this? Do you not feel even a little presumptuous? I don’t know how you have the neck to distribute this stuff; do you not fear to fall into the hand of the living God at all?

In all of our studies, what do we actually know about the invisible Being whose name is Jehovah? According to Moses, Jehovah is a God who is merciful and gracious; who is more then ready to forgive his erring servants. That is certainly a relief to know! But, the one lump-swallowing caveat to that happifying news is that Jehovah “will by no means give exemption from punishment.”

Moses knew all too well what he was talking about. Although he as good as spoke with God face-to-face and was esteemed by Jehovah as the meekest of all men upon the entire earth, he was nonetheless not given an exemption from punishment for his failure to sanctify God’s name before the Israelites, and consequently he was debarred from entering the Promised Land. 

King David, the writer of some of the most uplifting passages in the Bible; described by Jehovah as “a man after my own heart,” was also not exempt from being severely punished by Jehovah for his foolish errors. 

We could, in fact, compile a long list of prominent servants of Jehovah in the Bible, who were, in one way or the other, on the receiving end of God’s stern hand of reproof. Paul wrote that even the apostles and anointed sons of God are “disciplined, and yet not delivered to death.”

But, the question that now begs to be asked is: Why does the Watchtower assume that they are somehow exempt from Jehovah’s rebuke? It used to be said that ‘no one is above counsel.’ But do we really believe that? Because we have applied nearly the entire body of Jehovah’s judgments and prophecies to the 1914-1919 period, the Watchtower does indeed admit to receiving Jehovah’s discipline—80 years ago! Supposedly, Jehovah was displeased with the Watchtower for compromisingly removing a few paragraphs from the Finished Mystery book, which itself has long since been relegated to the dusty bookshelves of other theocratic oddities and curiosities. But, supposedly that is why God punished the organization, when eight prominent brothers spent a few months in prison. 

But, rather than merely question my authority to write about such things, you should ask the Watchtower who gave them the authority to secretly serve the UN for 10 years as an NGO. Or by whose authority did the Bethel Writing Department slyly disseminate pro-globalist propaganda using the Awake magazine; and go so far so as to presumptuously enlist the army of Jehovah’s volunteer ministers to deliver that garbage to the public? Or, you ought to ask someone who will listen: what gives the Watchtower the right to claim that Jehovah’s law prevents us from doing justice to sexually abused children? Or, if you are so bold, ask your local elders why Jehovah’s shepherds haven’t stood up to defend the defenseless ones. 

The point is, if you know Jehovah, you know that it is unthinkable on his part to allow his servants to reproach his name and go unpunished. It has never happened in the past, and as Jehovah lives it will never happen because Jehovah does not change. 

If we are honest and humbly acknowledge that the Watchtower is guilty of gross hypocrisy before God, in answer to your question, we ought to ask: Who is the most reprehensible in this regard, the leadership that brings God’s judgment upon us all, causing us all to bear some responsibility for having reproached the name of Jehovah, or the one who breaks rank by calling attention to the Almighty’s onrushing judgment? That’s a question that for sure will not be on the Theocratic School’s next oral review. 

As for my fear of Jehovah, yes, I absolutely fear God. I am in dread of his displeasure. It is because of my soulful fear of Almighty God that I have been moved to disregard the Watchtower’s injunction against such things as “independent thinking,” in order to set Jehovah’s confidential matter before my brothers and the organization. 

I am also mindful of Christ’s foretold judgment upon the “good-for-nothing slave,” who faithlessly buried what the Master had entrusted to him. Do I dare listen to the dire voices from within and without that urge me to fear my Master’s harshness so that I ought to go bury my kingdom treasure in the ground?

Surely, if Jehovah needed (as if He needed anything from us) someone to trumpet denunciation against his organization, don’t you think we would have some indication of this in the scriptures?

Yes, absolutely. To act without some sort of Scriptural precedent would be presumptuous in the extreme. That’s why I am careful to cite, not only the prophecies themselves but also the authority that those prophecies of God impart to the bearers of those words. 

It is interesting that you used the word “trumpet.” At Isaiah 58:1, God commanded his prophet to raise his voice like a horn, or trumpet. It reads: “Call out full-throated; do not hold back. Raise your voice just like a horn, and tell my people their revolt, and the house of Jacob their sins.” 

The Watchtower’s commentary on the above-cited verse says that Isaiah set a fine example for Jehovah’s modern witnesses in “exposing religious hypocrisy.” In this, the Watchtower is extremely hypocritical, unless of course, they are ready to acknowledge that Christendom is the modern house of Jacob, as well as “my people,” as Jehovah calls them. 

The very next verse helps us get a handle on how God’s words actually apply. It reads: “Yet day after day it was I whom they kept seeking, and it was in the knowledge of my ways that they would express delight, like a nation that carried on righteousness itself and that had not left the very justice of their God, in that they kept asking me for righteous judgments, drawing near to God in whom they had delight.” 

Jehovah’s Witnesses are perfectly described as “a nation” that finds delight in seeking knowledge of God, aren’t they? How could that possibly apply to Christendom? But as is evidenced by the atrocious way that the Watchtower is dealing with the ongoing child abuse issue, for instance, from Jehovah’s standpoint, we are also aptly depicted in prophecy as having “left the very justice of our God.”  Again, unless we are prepared to say that Jehovah is Christendom’s God, we must apply these prophecies to ourselves—that is if we are Jehovah’s people.

The prophets of old stood in the street and publicly told Israel their future and everyone knew them and that they were from Jehovah. 

That is not entirely true. Most of the Jews refused to accept that the prophets or their messages were from Jehovah. At times Jehovah’s prophets were even forced to hide in caves to escape their persecutors. John the Baptist sustained himself on insects and wild honey and lived like a “caveman” in the hostile and uninhabited Judean wilderness. That’s why at Hebrews 11:36-38, Paul said of the ancient prophets: “Yes, others received their trial by mockings and scourgings, indeed, more than that, by bonds and prisons. They were stoned, they were tried, they were sawn asunder, they died by slaughter with the sword, they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, while they were in want, in tribulation, under ill-treatment; and the world was not worthy of them. They wandered about in deserts and mountains and caves and dens of the earth.”

But you, I do not know you at all. Why should I put faith in your words and what makes you think that you are right? 

Would it make a difference if I called the e-watchman site by my own personal name and perhaps even attach a little photo of myself on the front page? Isn’t it more likely that I would then be accused of egotistically seeking glory for myself if I did such a thing? The thing is that each of us has a mind of our own. The printed page allows each of us to leisurely read and reason on ideas and thoughts, so that we may engage our minds in such a way so as to know what is true and what is not. We are told by no less an authority than the apostle John, not to believe every seemingly inspired expression, no matter what the source, but to test each expression to see if it originates with God. That’s what you ought to do with the Watchtower as well as what you may read on e-watchman, or anywhere else. 

But in regard to my identity, the Bible tells us very little about the ancient prophets’ personal lives. It is their message—Jehovah’s message–that is important, not the messenger. 

Still, the apostle Paul did speak freely about himself; about his background in Judaism; about his once having persecuted the congregation of Christ, and about his miraculous conversion on the road to Damascus. In the 11th chapter of 2 Corinthians, he even once begged the reader’s pardon, so that he might be so unreasonable so as to boast in his persecutions as an apostle of Christ—in order to counter the slanders of the “superfine apostles.” 

Although, up to this point, I have consciously striven to avoid any reference to myself, as in “I think,” or “in my opinion,” in the spirit of the apostle Paul, I will relate a few pertinent details of my background and what led me to where stand today; doing so, not to promote myself, but to better situate ourselves as on the stage of Jehovah’s long-running, but final act, of the “theatrical spectacle,” as Paul called it. 

I have been one of Jehovah’s Witnesses since the ’70s. I was a zealous pioneer and elder for many years and was always well-recommended by the brothers. I have always been an ardent student of the Watchtower and the Bible. Over the years, I have studied with many dozens of people and persuaded a fair number of them to become Jehovah’s Witnesses. But, a few years ago I had an intense, life-altering spiritual experience that very few Jehovah’s Witnesses living today can relate to. For lack of a better term, I became born again, as Jesus worded it. I refer to it as ‘my little change.’

It was like reading the Bible for the first time. Everything seemed fresh and new, as if, as Paul described, scales had fallen from my eyes, so as to see things in a new light. As a result, my awareness of my relationship with Jehovah and Jesus gradually changed. My relationship with some of my spiritual brothers also changed—for the worse. 

From corresponding with other “late bloomers” to the heavenly hope, our experiences are nearly identical, in that we, one and all, have borne the subtle ridicule and reproach of the entire organization, in varying degrees. Jehovah knows it is true. 

It is the exact same dichotomy as Paul described in relation to the Corinthians, only now, it is in reverse, in that: “we are fools because of Christ, but you are discreet in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are in good repute, but we are in dishonor.” 

Today, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses is, like the Corinthians in Paul’s day, considered to be “discreet in Christ.” Indeed, they are the very faithful and discrete slaves of Christ. They are held in the highest esteem; thought of as spiritually stalwart men and the most honorable of all of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Their word is as the very word of Jehovah. And primarily because of their lead and teaching to the effect that the anointing ended back in 1935, others who are every bit as anointed as they are, are nevertheless, considered by the brothers and sisters to be clowns and presumptuous fools for imagining that they too have the same calling from Jehovah. We are whispered about in low tones by stern-faced brothers, who slowly and grimly shake their heads back and forth disapprovingly when our names are mentioned..

Yet, the final judgment of Christ upon his hired hands is that “the first will be last and the last first.” Knowing Jehovah’s power to reverse the order of things and turn the tables, as it were, we are keen to see how Christ’s words may apply to the anointed during the conclusion..

As for what makes me think I am right: It is easier, much easier, to prove the Watchtower’s prophetic interpretations wrong. Of course, we need to discern what our own motive is for finding fault. For some, it is merely a pretext for abandoning their faith. But, typically, the reason most people became Jehovah’s Witnesses in the first place is because we have a deep love of truth and truth-telling. So, do we stop seeking to understand the truth simply because we came in the truth? As Paul might say, never may that happen..

When, as Jehovah’s Witnesses, we determine that something is erroneous, then, we are faced with the challenge of solving a paradox of our faith. Many, many of Jehovah’s Witnesses have seen discrepancies in the Watchtower’s interpretations regarding 1914, for example. But, for many of our former brothers and sisters, the discrepancies were simply too much of a shock for them to handle and they were subsequently stumbled from the faith. They lacked the necessary insight to reconcile how, if this is supposed to be Jehovah’s organization, it could be so wrong!.

On the other hand, if our errors can be seen in a new light that gives hope and spiritual strength to the discouraged soul, isn’t that a good thing? Take, as an example, the Watchtower’s present interpretation of the book of Joel. Since the days when Brother Rutherford was president of the Society, the Watchtower has taught us that the army of devouring locusts, creepy crawly caterpillars, as well as the lowly, loathsome, cockroaches of Joel’s prophecy, somehow symbolize Jehovah’s Witnesses. (Ironically, some of our detractors might bemusedly agree that such symbolism is befitting) 

Even as recently as 1997, the Watchtower featured Joel at a district convention and again, 70 years after Rutherford first advanced the notion, the Watchtower was still insisting that Jehovah’s Witnesses are represented by the locust invasion. However, the prophecy of Joel clearly depicts Jehovah’s people as being victimized by the locust, not the other way around. Joel portrays how Jehovah mercifully rescues his people from the locust plague during the time of the end and re-infuses them with his spirit in what must amount to a 2nd Pentecost-like outpouring, more glorious than the original. That is an awesome prospect, my friend, isn’t it? Isn’t that exactly what the doctor should order for what ails our brotherhood? 

But our present interpretation of Joel is so far off it is as if the brothers have never actually read the book. But, of course they have; no doubt many, many times, which gives rise to an unsettling question: What can account for this spiritual blindness? Is it because we are not God’s people after all? No. It is in order to fulfill a rather extensive prophecy in Isaiah the 28th, 29th & 30th chapters, which call for God’s servants to fall into a deep spiritually-blinding stupor in the run-up to the revelation of Jehovah’s glory. 

To be sure, Isaiah 42:19 bluntly states that no one is as blind as the servant of Jehovah. No doubt that is the reason why the Watchtower, while showing extraordinary insights into many of the treasures of Jehovah’s Word, has, paradoxically, misunderstood or misapplied virtually every prophecy in the Bible—with few exceptions.

Are you not just following the traditions of men and trying to draw Jesus’ disciples off after yourself with crafty words? 

Where would I draw them off to? I am merely a lowly kingdom publisher the same as you. In fact, I might be that slightly disheveled-looking brother sitting at the back of your kingdom hall—you know, the one who makes the occasional, not-in-the-paragraph-comment during the meetings? I want nothing more than that my brothers should trust Jehovah to set things straight. If that is offensive to some who may have placed their entire faith and trust in the Watchtower, perhaps it may be wise for them to follow the apostle’s advice to keep testing to determine whether they are still even in the faith!

Whilst I note that you say -in so many words- that you are a Jehovah’s Witness, your actions belie that claim. Are you trying to start your own religion?

I don’t know what you are saying. What actions are you referring to? I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Jehovah is my God. I literally worship him—at least I try to worship him. I love the brothers—at least I try to love them. Jesus said that we must worship his Father in spirit and truth. I want to do that. I think most of Jehovah’s Witnesses want to do that. The Watchtower demands organizational conformity. But, at what price? Do we sacrifice the truth just so we can all believe the same thing? It is regrettable, but that seems to be the direction we are heading. 

The truth is that there are many of Jehovah’s Witnesses who believe that our faith is the true faith, but they just don’t see eye-to-eye with the Watchtower. We don’t want to go off and start another religion. We don’t even expect to reform this one. We merely want Jehovah’s Will to be done. Our faith and hope assures us that eventually it will be done. Until then, Isaiah 52:8 acknowledges that God’s people are not unified, but that they will be when Jehovah executes his judgments during the return of Christ. It reads: “Listen! Your own watchmen have raised their voice. In unison they keep crying out joyfully; for it will be eye into eye that they will see when Jehovah gathers back Zion.”

 If I stood up and said what you say in my congregation, I would be disfellowshipped as an apostate.

Yes, that is most likely true. But, that would not necessarily mean that what you are saying is untrue. The Watchtower simply does not allow for that sort of thing, period. Sadly, in that respect, the organization resembles the Taliban—in that, the slightest voice of dissent is crushed. True, the apostle Paul counseled us to ‘lift up loyal hands free from debate,’ but he also exhorted the brothers: “Do not treat prophesying with contempt.” Yet, isn’t that exactly what the brothers would be doing if they reject an idea, no matter how well-reasoned and Scriptural it may be, simply because it didn’t come from the pages of the Watchtower magazine? Where is our love of the truth?

Jesus and Paul were cast as apostates too, which is why the apostle wrote, saying: we are “as deceivers and yet truthful.” I lay claim to those words.

 Tell me (us), do your elders know about this site and are you honest with your brothers and have told them your views and made public declaration.

No. Only a handful of trusted friends know who I am personally. Primarily it is for your benefit that I don’t tell them. It is important for your sake that I am able to say with freeness of speech that I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses “in good standing.” 

Besides, I have no issues with my local body of elders or the friends in the congregation. I fully support the efforts of the elders to oversee the congregation in their charge. And I don’t think we should heedlessly set stumbling blocks before others. 

Ultimately, though, the issues I seek to address are far beyond the scope of a mere judicial committee to resolve. As Paul stated to the Corinthians, the real issue is our standing before God. That’s why Paul went on to say at 1 Corinthians 4:2-4: “Besides, in this case, what is looked for in stewards is for a man to be found faithful. Now to me it is a very trivial matter that I should be examined by you or by any human tribunal.”

From Jehovah’s standpoint, I do not need permission from the Watchtower or the local elders to publish on the World Wide Web. I simply want to be faithful with what has been entrusted to me. The fact of the matter is that many thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses have been stumbled by the Watchtower. The real apostates are knocking the brother’s brains right out of their skulls by exploiting the Watchtower’s errors. The local elders are simply not equipped to deal with the issues that have caused stumbling, and the Watchtower is not inclined to address such matters either. 

Meanwhile, on a daily basis, Jehovah’s Witnesses are exposed to all sorts of potentially faith-destroying doubts on the Internet. As Paul said: “Who is stumbled, and I am not incensed?”

Proverbs 24:11-12 provides all the justification and motivation that I need. It reads: “Deliver those who are being taken away to death; and those staggering to the slaughter, O may you hold them back. In case you should say: “Look! We did not know of this,” will not he himself that is making an estimate of hearts discern it, and he himself that is observing your soul know and certainly pay back to earthling man according to his activity?”

From the dozens of appreciative emails I have received so far, the overall effect of e-watchman has been very positive for many of Jehovah’s Witnesses who felt as if they were staggering in their faith. Many have reported feeling spiritually enlivened at the prospect that Jehovah is going to turn the organization upside down in order to set things straight.

 Is everything honest and out in the open so that people can recognize you and question you, like the prophets of old?

Again, my personal matters are of no consequence. I choose to remain anonymous for a number of reasons. Perhaps in the future that may change. But, as for your being able to question me, what do you think you are doing? That’s why I made myself available through the Mailbag feature, in order to allow myself to be questioned. Without compromising my identity, I have been as honest and forthright as I know how to be. 

Have you ever written the Watchtower and asked them a serious question, perhaps regarding their teaching on 1914 or even child abuse? If you even receive a reply at all, it will not have a brother’s personal name attached to it. It will simply be a form letter. At times they may even forward a questioner’s letter to their home congregation and tell the local elders to deal with the person. So, please be careful that you do not use a double standard in judging me.

Or are you hiding in the shadows and whispering in people’s ears things that you ought not, weaving a devious fabric to undermine the Organization of Jehovah?

I am hardly whispering. Nor am I undermining Jehovah’s organization. Jesus said that “there is nothing covered over that will not become known,” and the things whispered in private, will be “preached from the rooftops.” The Watchtower has tried to cover over its doings and errors, but heaven will not allow them to succeed. With Jehovah’s obvious (to me) blessing, the Internet has afforded a perfect rooftop perch to declare previously unpublished truths and sacred secrets of God concerning his future judgments of his people.

 In my view, you are an apostate and I really should not be writing to you, but I assume that you are considered to be in good standing in your congregation and may even be an elder. Please, explain so that I may understand.

Right now, brothers such as myself are considered pariahs and mere apostates because we are not exactly in lockstep with the organizational mainstream. I accept that. But, Jehovah has demonstrated over and over again that he has the ability to completely reverse the lowly condition of his maligned servants—for everyone’s benefit. For example, Joseph was callously sold as a mere slave by his own jealous brothers. He was a helpless prisoner in a dank dungeon, yet Jehovah exalted him to become the prime minister of the 1st world power and eventually, unbeknownst to his brothers initially, he mercifully provided for their sustenance. 

David was anointed by God and he proved his faith on the battlefield. Yet, the jealousy of Saul forced David to live like a refugee, so that he was even compelled to conceal himself among the hated Philistines. But, in time, Jehovah reversed David’s sorry state and gave him the kingship over all of Israel. 

According to prophecy those patterns are going to be repeated. For example, Isaiah 66:5 says in reference to God’s judgment of his own house: “Your brothers that are hating you, that are excluding you by reason of my name, said, ‘May Jehovah be glorified!’ He must also appear with rejoicing on your part, and they are the ones that will be put to shame.” There is a sound of uproar out of the city, a sound out of the temple! It is the sound of Jehovah repaying what is deserved to his enemies.”

Again, we are looking forward to seeing how Jehovah brings that about. But, suffice it to say that they are some unanticipated twists and turns in the road ahead.

As for helping you to understand, consider that after several years of personally teaching and training his handpicked apostles, Jesus confided in them that there were some things that they simply were not spiritually capable of bearing at that time. That is pretty amazing when you consider that Jesus plainly told them that some of them were going to be killed. What could be more difficult to bear than that? It seems, then, that Jesus’ words apply more fittingly to all of his followers on the eve of Jesus’ arrival. That is when the veil is lifted and the revelation of Christ’s glory commences. 

It is apparently Jehovah’s Will that the Watchtower has only partially prepared us for the momentous events that lay ahead. Remember, please, the great issues that the Watchtower has made us aware of concerning Jehovah’s sovereignty and our integrity to it. In order to allow each of his servants to demonstrate their loyalty to him, Jehovah is pleased to allow tests of our faith of varying severity. 

The greatest tests lay directly ahead of us. The Scripture says that Jehovah even took delight in crushing his Messiah—meaning he was delighted that his son willingly underwent the torture stake for the sake of his love of God. So too, we also must eventually be cast into the fiery crucible of doubt and confusion in order to emerge from the smelting furnace of affliction with an unconquerable faith—to Jehovah’s everlasting glory. 

It may be difficult to bear now, but we will eventually have to stand on our own before Jehovah God and his coming Son of man during what may be properly described as a looming global holocaust. At that time, our publisher record cards will be of little consequence. Yellow-highlighted key points in last week’s Watchtower will be of no value either. Our dress and grooming won’t matter at all. The petty things we think are so important now will become irrelevant in the Day of Jehovah. 

The greatest test will be that the Watchtower will have seemingly led us down a dead-end cul-de-sac, with no apparent escape—except for our faith in Jehovah God.

And isn’t that how it ought to end?