A continuation of the commentary on Jeremiah
The fifth chapter of Jeremiah concluded with God posing the somewhat unsettling question: “But what will you do when the end comes”?
The sixth chapter opens with the answer: “Take shelter, O sons of Benjamin, away from Jerusalem. Blow the horn in Tekoa; light a fire signal over Beth-haccherem! For a calamity looms from the north, a great disaster.”
Calamity loomed for Jerusalem. The end was coming in the form of the unstoppable Babylonian military force marching down from the north.
It was understandable if the Jews may have been reluctant to believe Jeremiah’s harsh message. Less than two centuries before, during the days of the prophet Isaiah, the ruthless Assyrian army swept down from the north and devoured Israel. Numerous towns in Judea were also conquered. The fall of Jerusalem seemed inevitable. The king of Assyria certainly thought so, as he taunted the Jews with the undeniable fact that Jehovah did not protect Samaria. But as it turned out Jehovah intervened to defend Jerusalem by dispatching an angel who annihilated Sennacherib’s entire army as they slept.
But this time was different. Jehovah was not going to protect the Jews from the Chaldean juggernaut. Jehovah’s prophet warned them not to trust in the temple. It was no good luck charm. Their only option for survival was to surrender and be led away in chains to far-away Babylon. Those who refused to give up were destined to be killed by either the sword, famine, or pestilence.
But why would God allow such a calamity? God provides the answer: “For this is what Jehovah of armies says: ‘Cut down wood and raise up a siege rampart against Jerusalem. She is the city that must be held to account; there is nothing but oppression within her. As a cistern keeps its water cool, so she keeps her wickedness cool. Violence and destruction are heard in her; sickness and plague are constantly before me. Be warned, O Jerusalem, or I will turn away from you in disgust; I will make you desolate, a land without inhabitants.’” — Jeremiah 6:6-8
Jerusalem was a special city. No, it wasn’t a grand metropolis like Nineveh or Babylon or some of the cities of Egypt. Jerusalem was special because God chose it as His symbolic city of residence. It was the city on the hill, both literally and symbolically. Jehovah maintained a visible presence in the form of a hovering, resplendent cloud called the Shechinah light in the Most Holy compartment of the temple that Solomon had constructed on Mount Zion. It was the only source of light in the inner sanctum. But as God revealed to Ezekiel the temple had become thoroughly corrupted by idolatry. Idolatry and oppression on the part of the kings and priests are why the city where Jehovah placed His name had to be held to account.
The rebuilt city of Jerusalem was the birthplace of Christianity and the headquarters of the first-century governing body. Jerusalem aptly symbolizes the Christian congregation, especially at the time of the Second Coming of Christ. That is why Jerusalem and the temple are featured prominently in Jesus’ prophecy regarding the conclusion.
Jeremiah speaks to the destruction of Jerusalem at the return of Christ too and not merely the ancient city. That is evident from the following: “This is what Jehovah of armies says: ‘They will thoroughly glean the remnant of Israel as the last grapes on a vine. Pass your hand again like one gathering grapes from the vines.’” — Jeremiah 6:9
There was no gleaning of a remnant of Israel when Nebuchadnezzar razed Jerusalem to the ground. The survivors were dragged off to Babylon in chains. 70 years later God allowed some to return. The real harvest of the vine is the ingathering of the anointed remnant, which is a reference to anointed Christians, otherwise known as “the remaining ones” living at the time of Christ’s return, which will be the conclusion of Christianity. Jesus spoke of it as occurring in the aftermath of the trampling of Jerusalem by the nations, saying: “For just as the lightning comes out of the east and shines over to the west, so the presence of the Son of man will be. Wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together…And he will send out his angels with a great trumpet sound, and they will gather his chosen ones together from the four winds, from one extremity of the heavens to their other extremity.” — Matt 24:27, 31
The desolation of Jehovah’s earthly organization is not something that Jehovah’s Witnesses anticipate. Quite the contrary, those who act as prophets—or rather, interpreters of prophecy—have deluded those under their influence into believing that the Watchtower is the ark of salvation and that it is the embodiment of pure worship. As part of the delusion, Bethel claims Jesus returned in 1914 and refined the Bible Students into the purest silver and gold. No wonder Jeremiah goes on to say: “To whom should I speak and give warning? Who will listen? Look! Their ears are closed, so that they are unable to pay attention. Look! The word of Jehovah has become something they scorn; they find no pleasure in it. So I am filled with the wrath of Jehovah, and I am tired of holding it in.” — Jeremiah 6:10
How true! Jehovah’s Witnesses are unable to pay attention. They cannot listen. They are not allowed to. Besides, they prefer to have their ears tickled anyway. They find no pleasure in the word of Jehovah. All that the Governing Body can do is warn JW’s not to listen to “apostates.” They cannot address their own errors in any meaningful way. They simply pretend that all is well. According to them, anyone who disputes the nonsensical interpretations they espouse is an apostate. In this way, the Governing Body fulfills prophecy, by claiming there is peace with God. So, Jeremiah writes: “For from the least to the greatest, each one is making dishonest gain; from the prophet to the priest, each one is practicing fraud. And they try to heal the breakdown of my people lightly, saying, ‘There is peace! There is peace!’ When there is no peace.” —Jeremiah 6:13-14
They are practicing fraud by teaching Jesus has already come and bestowed his approval on them. The prophets are tasked with fabricating the Watchtower into the Kingdom of God—at least in the minds of trusting Christians. And of course, the practice of fraud is manifest more overtly in the grand Kingdom hall flipping scheme Bethel is now running.
Because of the increase in lawlessness on the part of the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses the spirituality of the flock is breaking down. There is no peace.
For the past nearly two decades I have tried to reach the leadership of the Watchtower. In 2005 I mailed out 100 copies of Jehovah Himself Has Become King to every branch office of the Watchtower. Also, every member of the Governing Body received a copy. (Every Kingdom hall in the Detroit metro area received a copy too) Over the years I have mailed out tens of thousands of open letters directly to Kingdom halls in the English-speaking world and more recently have emailed the Governing Body directly and some 150 Bethel workers whose emails I gleaned. Also, I have emailed over 1,000 elders and congregations whose emails I acquired from Commonwealth public registries of congregation trustees. The only response I have ever received was from a few elders who demanded that I stop emailing them. Truly, their ears are closed.
But it is as Jehovah foresaw: “And I appointed watchmen who said, ‘Pay attention to the sound of the horn!’ But they said: “We will not pay attention.” Therefore hear, O nations! And know, O assembly, what will happen to them. Listen, O earth! I am bringing calamity on this people as the fruitage of their own schemes, for they paid no attention to my words and they rejected my law.” — Jeremiah 6:17-19
There is no reason to believe that Jeremiah published Jehovah’s judgments to the nations roundabout. However, my work is published on the World Wide Web and anyone with ears to hear can hear if they wish.
God goes on to say: “What do I care that you bring frankincense from Sheba and sweet cane from a distant land? Your whole burnt offerings are not acceptable, and your sacrifices do not please me.” Therefore this is what Jehovah says: “Here I am setting for this people stumbling blocks, and they will stumble over them, fathers and sons together, a neighbor and his companion, and they will all perish.”
The Jews had allowed their worship to become an empty formality. They imagined that offering God some sweet-smelling incense would mask the stench of their hypocrisy. So too, the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses. They imagine that publishing books and magazines and making videos for JW Broadcast is all that is required of them to please Jehovah. They refuse to acknowledge that the very foundation of the pure worship they claim to have restored requires elders to protect the proverbial fatherless boy from abuse.
Jesus said many will be stumbled. And the Watchtower is the biggest stumbling block of all!
Continuing on in Jeremiah, this is what Jehovah says: “Look! A people is coming from the land of the north, and a great nation will be awakened from the remotest parts of the earth. They will grab hold of the bow and the javelin. They are cruel and will have no mercy. Their voice will roar like the sea, and they ride on horses. They draw up in battle order like a man of war against you, O daughter of Zion.” — Jeremiah 6:22-23
The days of the bow and arrow and spear are long gone. Modern militaries possess weapons that are so horrific that they defy the imagination. Unfortunately, the men who control those murderous arsenals are every bit as cruel and merciless as were the Assyrians and Babylonians—perhaps more so in the future since the fulfillment will occur when Satan and his angels are cast out of heaven and come down to earth in a furious rage.
Jesus may have been alluding to this verse in Jeremiah when he foretold that men will become faint with fright because of the roaring of the sea—likely a reference to dozens of nuclear submarines that prowl the ocean depths and stand at the ready to unleash fire from above. Reportedly, Russia has developed a nuclear-powered torpedo with an atomic warhead more powerful than the dreaded Tzar bomb. The robotic underwater bomb called the Poseidon, also known as the Apocalypse torpedo, can cross the vast sea at great speed and when detonated close to shore can create a Tsunami wave 1,000 feet high. The roaring of the sea, indeed!
There are two aspects to the world’s present strategic situation. There is the ongoing warfare conducted by the London-based empire, which is the modern king of the north. And the ascendency of China. The other aspect has to do with God’s Kingdom, which is presently represented by Christ’s congregation, which is symbolized by Jerusalem. Mount Zion was a pinnacle upon the mound where Jerusalem was built. Zion and Jerusalem are interchangeable terms. Thus, the daughter of Zion is a reference to the prospective bride of Christ. It is this Zion that has been corrupted and so must be refined. So, while the earthly empire does not recognize God’s authority they will be unwitting punishing agents of His.
That is why the sixth chapter concludes, saying: “I have made you a metal tester among my people, one making a thorough search; you must take note and examine their way. All of them are the most stubborn men, walking about as slanderers. They are like copper and iron; all of them are corrupt. The bellows have been scorched. Out from their fire there is lead. One keeps refining intensely simply for nothing, and those who are bad have not been separated. Rejected silver is what people will certainly call them, for Jehovah has rejected them.”
In his online convention talk warning against apostates, David Splane demonstrated how all of them are slanderers. Take the case of Barbara Anderson, a mother, and grandmother who volunteered to do research at Bethel. She was horrified at the reckless disregard the Watchtower had for the welfare of children by knowingly exposing them to pedophiles. She tried to persuade the men in power to make some policy changes. To no avail. After leaving Bethel she went public to expose them. Knowing their dirty little secrets were going to be publicized to a wide audience they ordered her congregation elders to disfellowship her in order to discredit her. So, that’s how it works. Anyone who exposes their evil doings is cast as an apostate opposer of God. That is slanderous.
Whereas the prophets of Bethel claim that Christ came as the refiner in 1914 and that is when the wheat and the weeds were separated, nothing could be further from the truth. As the scripture says, “those who are bad have not been separated.” How so very true. The separation is what is coming when Jehovah unleashes the great disaster from out of the north.