Sunday, August 13
In that day each of the prophets will be ashamed of his vision when he prophesies; and they will not wear an official garment of hair in order to deceive.
Will the destruction of the religions of Babylon the Great result in the death of all the former members of those religions? Apparently not. Some of the clergy will abandon their religious course and deny that they were ever part of those false religions. How will God’s people fare at that time? Jesus explains: “In fact, unless those days were cut short, no flesh would be saved; but on account of the chosen ones those days will be cut short.” In 66 C.E., the tribulation was “cut short.” This allowed “the chosen ones,” anointed Christians, to flee the city and its environs. Likewise, the initial part of the future great tribulation will be “cut short” because of “the chosen ones.” The political “ten horns” will not be allowed to annihilate God’s people. Rather, there will be a brief respite.
The truth is fairly simple —Bible truth that is. A person does not have to have a degree in theology to understand it. The Watchtower has produced reams of literature in hundreds of languages explaining in very simple terms the basic Bible doctrines, such as what death is, who Jesus is, what God’s purpose is, and so on.
But a rather large portion of the Bible is devoted to what is called prophecy. Some say that roughly one-third of the Scriptures are prophetic. Prophecy generally deals with God’s judgments yet to be revealed —especially, at the revelation of Jesus Christ at his second coming. Appropriately, the very last book in the Holy Bible is Revelation, the stated purpose of its writing being, to show God’s slaves the things that must shortly take place.
From its inception the Watchtower has taken on the role of a prophet —a watchman on the wall, a foreteller of the things to come. In fact, the very symbol of the Watchtower —its corporate logo, if you please —is based upon the prophecy of Isaiah, which previews the fall of Babylon: “Upon the watchtower, O Jehovah, I am standing constantly by day, and I am stationed at my guardpost every night. Look at what is coming…”
So, while the men who speak from the Watchtower do not claim to be inspired prophets, they certainly do interpret Bible prophecy and project “what is coming,” as is routinely done, for example in the daily text of August 13, 2017. In that respect, then, from God’s standpoint they are prophets, because they speak in Jehovah’s name and wield authority over those who regard them as God’s appointed spokesmen. And surely, as all of Jehovah’s Witnesses know, all ecclesiastical authority rests with the Governing Body. They are held on high as the faithful and discreet slave and their teachings are regarded as the spiritual food dispensed at the proper time.
Now, as regards the things to come, it must be realized that the men who have stood upon the watchtower wall for these past many decades to declare what they see, have for the most part announced that what is coming has already come. As odd as that sounds, the reality is actually more queer. The truth is, Jehovah’s Witnesses have been induced to believe that virtually all the things foretold have already been fulfilled —including the climacteric return of Christ and all the things associated with his parousia, or presence, such as the final harvest.
As regards the parousia, the Christian apostle and prophet, Peter, who was an eyewitness to the miraculous transfiguration of Christ, explained that the vision he witnessed upon the lofty mountain was a foregleam of the parousia and that the event validated, or made more sure, all prophecy. In other words, the presence of Christ results in the fulfillment of all prophecy. That is why he exhorted Christians to keep paying attention to prophecy as to a lamp shining in a darkened place until day dawns and the daystar arises in their hearts.
An honest reading of the apostle’s epistle leads to the conclusion that once the day of Christ arrives, like the dawn of a bright, new day and the illuminating daystar arises within the hearts of those called into the Kingdom, then it is no longer necessary for them to keep paying attention to the lighted lamp of the prophetic word.
Yet, the Watchtower claims that the day of Christ dawned in 1914 and that the daystar has already arisen in the hearts of anointed persons. For example, here is an out-take from an article in the November 15, 2008, Watchtower:
Who is the “daystar,” when does he rise, and how do we come to know that this has happened? The “daystar” is Jesus Christ in Kingdom power. (Rev. 22:16) In 1914, Jesus rose before all creation as the Messianic King, heralding the dawn of a new day. The transfiguration provided a visionary foreview of Jesus’ glory and Kingdom power, underscoring the dependability of God’s prophetic word. Paying attention to that word illuminates our hearts, and we are thus made aware that the Daystar has risen.
Contradictorily, the very existence of the Watchtower, with its Teaching and Publishing committees, are all about exhorting Christians to keep paying attention to the lamplight of God’s word. But the figurative lamp does not impart the inward illumination. The presence of Christ does. The lamplight serves to guide Christians and ready them for the dawning of Christ. Then the Scriptures will have served their intended purpose and will no longer be necessary.
In the practical application of the illustration, imagine the brightness of a sunny day at high noon. Now, suppose you light a flashlight or oil lantern. Would the light cast by a mere torch in the full light of day be necessary or even be discernible? Get the picture? A lamp is only useful at night. The actual coming of Christ will conclude the Christian era –close the Bible, really.
But because 1914 is regarded as God’s sacred truth, unquestionable, above scrutiny, any of Jehovah’s Witnesses who speak of the coming day of Christ are regarded as apostate enemies of the truth. What perversity!
Now as regards the prophecy in today’s text: In three places in the 13th chapter of Zechariah the expression appears: “In that day.” What day is it referring to? The day of the Lord, which the Watchtower claims began in 1914. So, let’s dive in and examine the prophecy and see if the Watchtower’s interpretation is from God.
Verse two states: “‘In that day,’ declares Jehovah of armies, ‘I will erase the names of the idols from the land, and they will no longer be remembered; and I will rid the land of the prophets and the spirit of uncleanness.’”
Clearly, God’s intention is to cleanse his “land,” his organization, otherwise known as a congregation. Notice please, that the next passage in the prophecy does not say that the false prophets will be destroyed outright. They will be put to death only if they prophesy “again” –during “that day.” Here is what it says verbatim: “And if a man should prophesy again, his father and his mother who caused his birth will say to him, ‘You will not live, because you have spoken lies in the name of Jehovah.’ And his father and his mother who caused his birth will pierce him through because of his prophesying.”
First, notice, please, that God’s judgments are against those who have spoken lies in the name of Jehovah. Contrary to the mountain of lies that the average churchgoer labors under, especially that God’s name is unknowable and unimportant and not worthy of uttering, God condemns those who speak in his name, but who speak falsely. Surely, Jehovah does not consider the churches of Christendom or Babylon the Great to be speaking in his name. They have made it a point to remove any trace of God’s name from their Bibles. It is not reasonable that non-Christians are judged for telling lies in the name of Jehovah, and Jehovah is certainly the personification of reasonableness. Only the Watchtower speaks authoritatively in the name of Jehovah. In fact, emblazoned on the cover of every Watchtower magazine for over 80 years appears the phrase: Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom.
As has already been demonstrated with regards to the parousia, the Watchtower has spoken falsely in the name of Jehovah. Christ has not returned invisibly and the prophecy in the 13th chapter of Zechariah confirms this very thing. Consider the closing words of the chapter, which state: “And I will bring the third part through the fire; and I will refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘Jehovah is our God.’”
As stated, God’s intention is to purify his people from the spirit of uncleanness, fortified by the lies the prophets utter in the name of Jehovah. Elsewhere, in numerous places in prophecy, the analogy is used of a refiner purifying gold and silver. Obviously, gold and silver are precious metals and highly valued by people throughout history. So, God considers his people to be like unrefined gold and silver, which must undergo a refining process to draw off the dross —the impurities.
The prophecy in the 3rd chapter of Malachi uses this same analogy. Here is what it says: “‘Look! I am sending my messenger, and he will clear up a way before me. And suddenly the true Lord, whom you are seeking, will come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant will come, in whom you take delight. Look! He will certainly come,’ says Jehovah of armies. ‘But who will endure the day of his coming, and who will be able to stand when he appears? For he will be like the fire of a refiner and like the lye of laundrymen. And he will sit as a refiner and cleanser of silver and will cleanse the sons of Levi; and he will clarify them like gold and like silver, and they will certainly become to Jehovah people presenting a gift offering in righteousness.”
Notice that the passage above refers to the coming of the Lord four times. The Watchtower’s prophets claim that the messenger of the covenant came in 1914 and that the Bible Students underwent a fiery refining process and emerged like gleaming gold. But in the prophecy of Zechariah the refining process is connected to the cleansing of the spirit of uncleanness and the lies spoken by those who speak in Jehovah’s name. Laughably, the prophets of Bethel claim this applies to the false prophets of Babylon the Great in the future.
Surely, though, there are not two separate occasions when God subjects his people to the refiner’s fire. If that were the case, then the first refining process must have failed. Rather than a failure on God’s part, it is merely an example of how the Governing Body twist the Scriptures to fit their interpretation. Seeing that their interpretations of obviously related prophecies are at odds, it is a vivid demonstration of how those who speak and teach in the name of Jehovah lie.
But as regards their being killed only if they speak falsely “again,” consider the importance of the expression “in that day.” That day, the dawning of the day of the Lord, will completely repudiate the Watchtower’s 1914 hoax. How so? As I have pointed out in dozens of articles, the developments that make up the sign of Christ’s coming occur over a relatively short period of time. Jesus said, “when you see all these things.” That means those living will personally witness the fulfillment of all the things Jesus foretold. However, seeing all the things Christ foretold is not possible for us now if the things he foretold really began in 1914.
As regards the things to come, even though the nations are preparing for global war and the president of the most powerful nation on earth issues threats of unleashing “fire and fury such as the world has never seen before” —while citizens are building bomb shelters and stockpiling survival supplies —the Watchtower’s prophets have assured Jehovah’s Witnesses that there cannot possibly be a future fulfillment of nation rising against nation and kingdom against kingdom in warfare.
According to a few emails I have received from persons who have attended the 2017 regional convention a Governing Body speaker recently reiterated this; that a future world war is unlikely, since it would inevitably involve nuclear weapons and could annihilate all life on earth. That, of course is true.
But isn’t that exactly what Jesus is alluding to when he spoke of no flesh being saved unless God cuts short the tribulation? As in the text today, the Governing Body are oblivious as to why divine intervention will be necessary. Obviously, contrary to the public statements of Samuel Herd and others acting as prophets, mankind will be faced with the fire and fury of extermination in the war to come.
When world war erupts in the near future the Watchtower will be totally discredited, because it will be the beginning of all the things the Watchtower has claimed have already occurred. What a humiliation for the Governing Body —God’s appointed spokesman and prophet, to be brought face-to-face with the fraud they have perpetuated. That is when the scripture will be fulfilled: “In that day each of the prophets will be ashamed of his vision when he prophesies; and they will not wear an official garment of hair in order to deceive. And he will say, ‘I am no prophet. I am a man cultivating the soil, because a man bought me when I was young.’ And if someone asks him, ‘What are these wounds between your shoulders?’ he will answer, ‘Wounds I received in the house of my friends.’”
Then, “in that day,” anyone who continues to propagate the Watchtower’s lies will be killed. That is when the evil slave will be thrown into the outer darkness.
As regards the wounds suffered by the would-be-prophet in the house of his friends, Jesus spoke of his house of domestics, over whom he appointed a group of slaves to feed them. Now, upon the master’s coming to the house to call to account his slaves whom he put in charge, Jesus said: “The master of that slave will come on a day that he is not expecting him and at an hour that he does not know, and he will punish him with the greatest severity and assign him a part with the unfaithful ones. Then that slave who understood the will of his master but did not get ready or do what he asked will be beaten with many strokes. But the one who did not understand and yet did things deserving of strokes will be beaten with few. Indeed, everyone to whom much was given, much will be demanded of him, and the one who was put in charge of much will have more than usual demanded of him.” –Luke 12:46-48
Notice that both slave groups will receive the lash. One, though, is deserving of a few stokes, while the other comes inline to be beaten with many strokes. The one deserving of a few stokes acted out of ignorance. That surely is the position of most of the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses. They are simply ignorant. Others, though, are cunning and deliberate in their deception. They will become the antichrists who will reveal themselves to be in outright opposition to Jesus when he unexpectedly comes to the house as the Punisher.