This article has been updated from its original publication in 2014
“Woe to you, you destroyer who has not been destroyed; You betrayer who has not been betrayed! When you finish destroying, you will be destroyed. When you finish betraying, you will be betrayed.”
The 33rd chapter of Isaiah opens with the last of what is a series of woes that began with the 28th chapter announcing “woe to the showy crown of the drunkards of Ephraim.”
Subsequently, Jehovah went on to pronounce woe upon Ariel and upon the “stubborn sons” and upon those going down to Egypt for assistance. In those instances, God was judging the people of his nation —particularly their leaders. And the judgment was rendered through a human agency that God merely deployed.
For example, at Isaiah 28:2 Jehovah referred to the Assyrian army thusly: “Look! Jehovah has someone strong and mighty. Like a thundering hailstorm, a destructive windstorm, like a thunderstorm of powerful floodwaters, he will forcefully hurl it down to the earth. The showy crowns of the drunkards of Ephraim will be trampled underfoot.”
The “woe” issued in Isaiah chapter 33 is directed against the powerful destructive force that God acquisitions to bring “woe” upon his renegade organization. The typical “destroyer” was Assyria. However, as Jehovah’s Witnesses ought to know, much of the prophecy of Isaiah concerns the return of Jesus Christ as the King of kings and Lord of lords. The 33rd chapter is no exception, as it concludes foretelling: “And no resident will say: ‘I am sick,’” which, of course, will come about as a result of the superlative healing work of Christ and his associate kings and lords.
But what about the modern counterpart of the Assyrian destroyer?
The Watchtower’s Isaiah commentary states that the “rod” for expressing God’s anger will be the United Nations coalition. Is that a reliable interpretation? It appears to be, although we should not suppose that the United Nations in its present form shall take on the role of the destroyer of religion. Nor ought we any longer imagine that the destroyer will confine his destruction to the realm of organized religion. (Most noteworthy, since the publication of the Isaiah commentary the WT has dropped the notion that Christendom is what is symbolized by God’s judgments upon ancient Jerusalem, leaving thinking Christians to ponder the question: If not Christendom, what is the modern counterpart?)
Before considering the 33rd chapter of Isaiah, let us first review what Jehovah’s Witnesses have been taught regarding where we presently stand in the stream of time as regards the outworking of Bible prophecy.
According to the Watchtower, there will be no other world power to succeed the present Anglo-American dual world power. Here is what the Watchtower stated in 2012 under the subheading: No Other World Power Will Arise:
A prophecy in the book of Daniel enables us to establish where we are in the stream of time. Daniel describes an image in human form made up of different metals. It represents successive world powers that have had a major influence on God’s people, past and present. They are Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome—and the last, in our time, another world power. A study of Daniel’s prophecy shows that this final world power is depicted in the image as the feet and toes. During World War I, Britain and the United States forged a special partnership. Yes, the fifth part of Daniel’s image is the Anglo-American World Power. The feet form the last part of the image, indicating that no other human world power will appear on the scene. That the feet and toes are made up of iron and clay pictures the weakened state of the Anglo-American World Power.
There is no question that imperial Babylon, Persia, Alexander’s Greece, and the multifaceted Roman Empire, are what is symbolized by the golden, silver, copper, and iron aspects of the colossal image. And aside from the fact that the Anglo-American Special Relationship did not really come into existence until the Second World War, it is also a reliable interpretation that the Anglo-American dyad is what is represented by the iron and clay feet of the metallic statue. But just where does the United Nations come in? That is an appropriate question given the fact that paragraph six of the very same article cited above states:
God’s Word identifies the harlot’s attacker as a “wild beast” with “ten horns.” A study of the book of Revelation shows that the wild beast refers to the United Nations (UN). “The ten horns” represent all present political powers that support this “scarlet-colored wild beast.” How devastating will the attack be? The nations of the UN will plunder the harlot’s wealth, expose her real character, devour her, and “completely burn her.” Her destruction will be final.
The Watchtower’s interpretation of what is symbolized by the scarlet-colored wild beast, namely, the United Nations, is also a sensible interpretation of prophecy. Be that as it may, this is an important question for Jehovah’s Witnesses to consider: Has the UN already assumed the role of the 8th king, which is symbolized by the scarlet-colored wild beast?
Actually, the Watchtower claims that the 8th king originally came into existence in the aftermath of the First World War in the form of the League of Nations. And supposedly the dissolution of the League at the outbreak of the Nazi Blitzkrieg and the creation of the United Nations after WWII is asserted to have been the fulfillment of the apocalyptic vision of the beast rising from the abyss.
Jehovah’s Witnesses may not fully grasp that the Watchtower insists that there are two symbolic seven-headed wild beasts that go into an abyss on different occasions. Supposedly, the victorious Anglo-American head of the seven-headed Revelation beast received the foretold death-blow during the Great War and then emerged from the abyss of non-existence in 1918. Needless to say, the Society is skimpy on the details and presently enjoys the luxury of not being compelled to provide any explanation.
But as has been pointed out in numerous articles on this site, it is not remotely possible that the League of Nations was the manifestation of the 8th king. From a political standpoint, the League of Nations had no real authority. Not only that, but the United States was not even a member of the League. Why, then, ought Jehovah’s Witnesses consider the League to have been a “world power”?
More importantly, the primary reason that it can unequivocally be stated that the eighth king has not come into existence yet is because the emergence of the beast from the abyss and the brief rule (a symbolic one-hour) of the eighth king will coincide with God’s hour of judgment upon the world. Surely, the relatively brief reign of the scarlet-colored beast from the abyss does not span a century, nor is God’s judgment carried out over successive generations. Nevertheless, here is what the Governing Body state:
The contents of this bowl strongly emphasize the choice that lies before humans. They must suffer either the world’s disapproval or Jehovah’s indignation. Mankind has been put under compulsion to accept the mark of the wild beast, with the intent that “nobody might be able to buy or sell except a person having the mark, the name of the wild beast or the number of its name.” But there is a price to pay for this! Jehovah regards those who accept the mark as being stricken with “a hurtful and malignant ulcer.” Since 1922 they have been marked in public as having rejected the living God. – Revelation, Grand Climax page 223
Revelation reveals that all who hale the resurrected beast as their savior will be marked with the irrevocable, symbolic 666, which signifies their everlasting doom. According to the Watchtower, the marking began back in 1922 when the impotent League of Nations was first brought into existence. That means successive generations since 1922 have been adversely judged by God and had their names permanently blotted out of the book of life for having thought the League was a good idea.
Even more ludicrous, Jehovah’s Witnesses are apparently able to retrieve the eternally doomed from God’s irreversible judgment of everlasting death by helping them to dedicate themselves to Jehovah.
Sadly, few, if any, of Jehovah’s Witnesses are mentally capable of even perceiving the sheer absurdity of what they have been taught in this regard. And even if they do unravel the Watchtower’s nonsensical and contradictory prophetic conundrum, they would surely face a judicial tribunal as a reward for their efforts.
Surely, Jehovah’s judgments are not unjust and capricious, as is implied by the Watchtower. Nor is God’s prophetic word at odds with reality —as are the Watchtower’s interpretations of it. The prophets of Bethel are simply wrong —just as they have been wrong about a host of other prophetic interpretations. There is another world power that is yet to come on the scene. The stark reality that must shortly confront Jehovah’s Witnesses is that the head of the wild beast has not “been fatally wounded,” nor has its “mortal wound had been healed,” and most assuredly, neither has the wild beast ascended from the abyss of death.
To be sure, the 8th king has not begun ruling for its predetermined “one-hour.” And the judgment of the world has not commenced. Most profoundly, this means Christ has not begun ruling in his Kingdom and Satan and his angels have not been hurled down.
As regards the metallic statue, the entire image symbolizes the last kingdom —the eighth king that springs from the seven. Or as regards the image, it springs from the five preceding powers upon which it rests —five, given the fact that the metal colossus does not include the Egyptian and Assyrian powers that preceded Babylon, as does the seven-headed beast of Revelation.
This means that a great tumult lies ahead. It means the present Anglo-American dual-world power is destined to crash and seemingly go out of existence, only to arise from the grave and give life to an image of the beast and the 8th king, which will likely be an invigorated, militarized United Nations Organization.
(One possible scenario, in the aftermath of a nuclear exchange between the superpowers, it may come about that the nations agree to relinquish their weapons of mass destruction to the United Nations, which would give it total control over all nations. In that way all nations would tremble before the eighth king for fear of suffering the same fiery fate as Babylon the great, as Revelation depicts.)
While the billionaires of the World Economic Forum have outlined their scheme for a Great Reset of the economy to bring about a more equitable system, in reality, the “reset” is a euphemism for crashing the entire system. Their intention to “Build Back Better” implies the intentional destruction of the present system. Building back in the aftermath of the controlled collapse will surely involve the imposition of a neo-feudalistic system of global communism, thus eliminating the nation-state, democratic system that developed from the Renaissance.
The end of the Dollar as the world’s reserve currency has been in the works for a long time, as has the transition to a cashless system. An official digital currency administered by a single central bank under the auspices of the United Nations could conceivably be the means by which no one could buy or sell without first pledging their allegiance to the Beast.
Already, the pandemic is crushing the poorest and conditioning nations to be subjugated. It seems that the financial alchemists cannot flood the world with money fast enough to bring about the long-forestalled hyperinflation and destruction of money. By financial chicanery, he will effectively destroy the democratic, capitalistic system. In its place will be a totalitarian world government. Already, Prince Charles and the British Empire have openly revealed their intention to substantially reduce the world’s population by decreasing food production and under the guise of saving planet Earth from carbon dioxide, drastically curtailing the energy production and industrial activity, thereby lowering the life carrying capacity of the nations. The coming crash of the present system will be the work of the Imperial Destroyer. All nations will be betrayed when he destroys their wealth and begins the wholesale liquidation of the world’s population.
The challenge confronting the globalists is that Russia and China exist outside the control of the Anglo-American empire. That is why London is calling for world war.
Now consider the 33rd chapter of Isaiah.
Placed in the context of the authentic coming of Christ, Isaiah 33:2-3 states: “O Jehovah, show us favor. Our hope is in you. Become our arm every morning, yes, our salvation in the time of distress. At the sound of turmoil peoples flee. When you rise up, nations scatter.”
The prophecy above harmonizes with what is to occur when the 6th seal of Revelation is unsealed, bringing the symbolic mountains crashing down and removing every island from its place; also depicted in the 46th Psalm below: “God is our refuge and strength, a help that is readily found in times of distress. That is why we will not fear, though the earth undergoes change, though the mountains topple into the depths of the sea, though its waters roar and foam over, though the mountains rock on account of its turbulence. There is a river the streams of which make the city of God rejoice, the holy grand tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the city; it cannot be overthrown. God will come to its aid at the break of dawn. The nations were in an uproar, the kingdoms were overthrown; He raised his voice, and the earth melted.”
“AS THE VORACIOUS LOCUSTS GATHER”
Recently the Watchtower reluctantly revised their long-held interpretation of Joel, which has been discussed in several articles on this site. Although they have finally jettisoned the absurd notion that the locusts represent Christian ministers, the seers of Bethel still don’t get it. Now they have determined that the locust invasion has no significance at all. Incredibly, now the Governing Body believes that the symbolic locust onslaught vividly portrayed in Joel, which occurs in conjunction with the great and fear-inspiring day of Jehovah, has no modern fulfillment. No wonder the prophecy of Joel channels Jehovah’s rousing call to the elders and priests: “Wake up, you drunkards, and weep!”
“As the voracious locusts gather, so your spoil will be gathered; People will rush on it like swarms of locusts.” — Isaiah 33:4
In this instance, the Watchtower depicts Jehovah’s people as those who will despoil the “Assyrian.” But in view of the fact that Joel clearly indicates that it is God’s own possession that is despoiled by the nations, so too, “your spoil” must be in reference to what belongs to God. In other words, the voracious locusts are destined to despoil Jehovah’s earthly organization and oppress Christ’s congregation.
That is also made clear in the context of the 33rd chapter of Isaiah, which goes on to state: “Look! Their heroes cry out in the street; the messengers of peace weep bitterly. The highways are deserted; there is no one traveling on the pathways. He has broken the covenant; He has rejected the cities; He shows no regard for mortal man. The land mourns and withers away. Lebanon is ashamed; it has decayed. Sharon has become like the desert, and Bashan and Carmel shake off their leaves.”
Contrary to the Watchtower’s interpretation, the wailing heroes are not the agents of the Assyrian destroyer. Nor are the “messengers of peace.” The context associates them with Lebanon, Sharon, Bashan, and Carmel —not Assyria.
The Lebanon mountain range constituted the western border of Israel and was a most fruitful region, supporting massive cedar trees and vineyards. Likewise, according to the Insight on the Scriptures, Sharon was a very fertile plain. And the mountains of Carmel and the plateau of Bashan are also noted for their forests. The denuding of Bashan and Carmel and the desertification of Sharon harmonizes with the desolation that comes upon the fertile fields as a result of the insect onslaught depicted in Joel and symbolizes the end of the field ministry of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
“Their heroes,” therefore, must represent the revered Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Whereas, they have constructed a comfortable palace for themselves in the peaceful New York countryside they are destined to be put out on the street and wail over their humiliation for having driven Jehovah’s organization into such a disaster. The “messengers of peace” symbolize the pioneers and publishers who had not anticipated the sudden, inglorious end to their exalted ministry.
In the context of the humiliation of God’s organization the judgments of Jehovah are carried out against the wicked slave and the man of lawlessness, described in Isaiah this way: “You conceive dried grass and give birth to stubble. Your own spirit will consume you like a fire. And peoples will become as the burnings of lime. As thorns cut down, they will be set ablaze with fire. You who are far away, listen to what I will do! And you who are nearby, acknowledge my might! The sinners in Zion are in dread; trembling has seized the apostates: ‘Who of us can live where there is a consuming fire? Who of us can live with unquenchable flames?’”
The apostle Paul used a similar analogy in the 3rd chapter of I Corinthians, where he wrote: “Now if anyone builds on the foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood materials, hay, stubble, each one’s work will become manifest, 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’s is. 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.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses are presently under the “deluding influence” that Christ came with the fire of a refiner in 1918. Needless to say, the actual coming of Christ will consume the Watchtower’s 1914 delusion as if it were mere hay and stubble. And the apostates who have knowingly promoted the fraud in the name of Jehovah will find themselves confronted by the glorious manifestation of Christ himself. They will be devoured by the fire of his presence.
In the aftermath of their destruction, those whose faith survives the fiery purge will behold the kingdom of God, described in the prophecy like a permanent tent, the New Jerusalem coming down, similar to Revelation 21:1-4. Isaiah reads: “Your eyes will behold a king in his splendor; they will see a land far away. In your heart you will recall the terror: ‘Where is the secretary? Where is the one who weighed out the tribute? Where is the one who counted the towers?’ You will no more see the insolent people, a people whose language is too obscure to comprehend, whose stammering tongue you cannot understand. Behold Zion, the city of our festivals! Your eyes will see Jerusalem as a tranquil dwelling place, a tent that will not be moved. Never will its tent pins be pulled out, and none of its ropes will be torn apart.”
The night of terror will give way to the dawn of the new world. Gone will be the wicked slaves and their petty tyranny. Gone will be the entire wicked system that has dominated the world for centuries. The meek will survive the incineration of the Watchtower and inherit the resources and wealth left behind by the wicked. In that way, they will plunder the plunderer. And Jehovah will extend his mercy to them. Isaiah 33 concludes:
“At that time an abundance of spoil will be divided up; even the lame will take much plunder. And no resident will say: “I am sick.” The people dwelling in the land will be pardoned for their error.”