Most Christians presently living in the Western world—otherwise known as the realm of Christendom—have not really faced persecution. Here in America, the last episode of persecution was back in the 1930s and 40s. But even then it was rather localized and the federal government actually protected the rights of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Numerous Supreme Court decisions were handed down in favor of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Rather than out-in-the-open, in-your-face persecution, the crafty Devil has designed his world to make us comfortable and indulgent in every luxury and trivial distraction imaginable. And Christians are made dependent upon the government for everything. It seems that the longer the system goes on people just expect it to continue on and on indefinitely. Look at the damage done by Covid stimulus money. Now no one wants to work.
When Jesus was on earth he went about his ministry unhindered. True, there were many who opposed him and they hatched various schemes to trip him up and even murder him, but they could not succeed. Jehovah was with his son. God would not allow the Jews to work their evil against Jesus—that is until the hour of the authority of darkness arrived. Then Jehovah took away his protective shield. Jesus knew it too. That is why in the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed so intensely his sweat became mixed with blood—a rare medical condition known as hematidrosis caused by hemorrhaging sweat glands due to extreme emotional stress.
The entire present world is going to enter an hour of the authority of darkness. True, Satan is the ruler of the world and the god of this system, but he has been held in check. Like in the last days of Jesus, those restraints will be removed. A big part of the deluding influence Jehovah’s Witnesses are under has to do with the myth that Satan and his angels have already been thrown down from heaven. They have not.
Already though a detectable anti-Christian, God-hating, evil spirit is descending on Christendom. We know Christmas is derived from the pagan feast of Saturnalia; nevertheless, it is viewed by millions as a Christian holiday and because it is the anti-Christian forces are opposed to it. While promoting and glorifying every sort of sexual deviancy including pedophilia, the government of the United States is promoting atheism abroad. The evangelicals, typically associated the former president Trump, are increasingly marginalized as insurrectionists and enemies of the state. Clearly, Satan is coming to the fore and even phony Christianity is being targeted for destruction. In reality, though, the Devil is clearing the way to come after those who belong to Jehovah.
Jesus forewarned us. Speaking of the hour of darkness, Jesus said: “As for you, look out for yourselves. People will hand you over to local courts, and you will be beaten in synagogues and be put on the stand before governors and kings for my sake, for a witness to them. Also, in all the nations, the good news has to be preached first. And when they are taking you to hand you over, do not be anxious beforehand about what to say; but whatever is given you in that hour, say this, for you are not the ones speaking, but the holy spirit is. Furthermore, brother will deliver brother over to death, and a father a child, and children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. And you will be hated by all people on account of my name. But the one who has endured to the end will be saved.” — Mark 13:9-10
The 28th Psalm was inspired by the holy spirit. It is a pre-recorded prayer—an earnest supplication for salvation during the bleak period oncoming:
“To you I keep calling, O Jehovah my Rock; do not turn a deaf ear to me. If you keep silent toward me, I will become like those going down to the pit. Hear my pleas when I cry to you for help as I lift up my hands toward the innermost room of your sanctuary. Do not drag me away with the wicked, with those practicing what is hurtful, those who are speaking words of peace with their fellow man while evil is in their hearts.”
Jesus foretold that during the conclusion the angels will be dispatched to uproot all lawless persons from his Kingdom. Up until then Satan’s seed and the true sons enjoy precious unity, existing shoulder to shoulder in Christ’s congregation. It is in that context the lawless ones speak words of peace with evil in their hearts. Of them, Jude wrote: “These are the rocks hidden below water at your love feasts while they feast with you, shepherds who feed themselves without fear…”
“Pay them back for their deeds, according to their evil practices. Repay them for the work of their hands, according to what they have done. For they pay no attention to the activities of Jehovah, nor to the work of his hands. He will tear them down and not build them up.”
Paying no attention to God’s work does not necessarily mean that such men deny the existence of God. They simply refuse to be moved to acknowledge Him in a meaningful way.
There is a day of retribution, however. That is what judgment day is. That is what the Lord’s day is—alternatively referred to as the day of the Lord or the day of Christ. The Watchtower claims that the Lord’s day began in 1914. If that were true though, how ought we understand these various passages: “For I am confident of this very thing, that he who started a good work in you will carry it to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.” — Philippians 1:6
“And this is what I continue praying, that your love may abound still more and more with accurate knowledge and full discernment; that you may make sure of the more important things, so that you may be flawless and not stumbling others up to the day of Christ…” — Philippians 1:9-10
“…so that you do not lack in any gift at all, while you are eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will also make you firm to the end so that you may be open to no accusation in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” — I Cor. 1:7-8
Since Paul linked the revelation of Jesus Christ to the day of Jesus Christ and no such revelation has taken place, then neither has the Lord’s day begun. Writing to the Corinthians Paul referred to the coming day of judgment but did not refer to it as the day of Jesus Christ, rather, simply as “the day”: “Now if anyone builds on the foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, each one’s work will be shown for what it is, for the day will show it up, because it will be revealed by means of fire, and the fire itself will prove what sort of work each one has built. If anyone’s work that he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward; if anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved; yet, if so, it will be as through fire.” — 1 Corinthians 3:12-15
What did the Psalm say: “He will tear them down and not build them up.” The entire prophetic foundation of the Watchtower is made of wood and hay and straw—all highly combustible materials. It will all go up in smoke on the day of Jesus Christ.
That the Psalm is referring to the symbolic harvest, whereby the wicked and faithless will be permanently separated from those who will receive salvation is evident in the concluding verses of the 28th Psalm: “May Jehovah be praised, for he has heard my pleas for help. Jehovah is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts. I have received his help, and my heart rejoices, so I will praise him with my song. Jehovah is a strength for his people; He is a stronghold, bringing grand salvation to his anointed one. Save your people, and bless your inheritance. Shepherd them and carry them in your arms forever.”