QUESTION: Robert, when do you see the coming fatal blow to the 7th head, and is there a name attached to the deliverer of it?
The short answer is, no one knows the day or hour. And the name attached to the “deliverer” of the mortal blow is “the tyrant and tyrants of the nations.”
This ought to raise a few questions in the minds of inquisitive persons, such as what is the seventh head? Who are the “tyrants”? An explanation is in order.
The need for a clearer understanding of the two questions posed by the inquirer is all the more necessary given the less than adequate explanations proffered by the Watchtower. To underscore the need for clarity simply ask one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, even a knowledgeable elder or a Governing Body member, regarding when the seventh head of the beast is struck with a mortal blow.
Of course, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe the fatal blow was delivered to the head of the multi-headed wild beast during the First World War. In other words, evidently it was a non-event —completely forgettable. We might rightly wonder why God saw fit to even mention it. Think of it, the Watchtower teaches that the Anglo-American duo is what is symbolized by the seventh head of the beast and supposedly the victors of WWI suffered a catastrophic deathblow, but somehow miraculously recovered.
Like all other prophecy, the reason the Watchtower is compelled to concoct this sort of cockamamie fusion of pseudo history and prophecy is because the mortal blow to the head of the beast coincides with the overthrow of Satan and the demons from heaven, which occurs as a result of the Kingdom coming to power, which the Watchtower insists took place in 1914.
But a little study of history might help dispel the Watchtower’s sacred 1914 mythos from your mind.
As we know, the seven-headed beast symbolizes the series of empires that have wielded power over God’s people beginning with Egypt, then Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece and the Roman empire, with the British Empire emerging as the Neo Roman Empire in the latter part of the 18th century, from which the American colonies broke away.
All of the empires that existed (excepting the present) were toppled by the empires that succeeded them, in one way or the other. For example, Babylon conquered Assyria. The Medes and Persians under Cyrus overthrew Babylon in one night. Alexander the Great defeated Persia. And the four kingdoms that resulted from the breakup of Alexander’s empire after his untimely death were ultimately overwhelmed by the ascendency of Rome. So, thinking Jehovah’s Witnesses might ponder the question: What nation or empire defeated the British Empire or America during the First World War? The question is absurd, really, since it is common knowledge that The U.S., Britain and France were the victors of that Great War, as well as the Second World War that began 21 years later.
Given the incapability of Jehovah’s Witnesses of reasoning on even the simple historical facts such as these I suppose it is at least a hopeful sign that an individual had the wherewithal to ask when we might expect the future fulfillment of the prophecy.
WHEN DOES THE FUTURE BEGIN?
Exactly 20 years ago this coming October for no particular reason I picked up the Bible and started reading in the middle of the book of Ezekiel. Specifically, I started reading at chapters 26 thru 32 regarding the fall of Tyre and Egypt. And it immediately became apparent to me that Tyre and Egypt represent London and America, respectively, during the time of the end.
When Ezekiel penned his prophecy Egypt was no longer the dominate power, having been subjugated by Assyria. But around 605 BCE the combined Egyptian and resurgent Assyrian armies were soundly defeated at the Battle of Carchemish by the Babylonians. That decisive battle opened the way for Babylon to eventually topple Judah, Tyre and Egypt, along with numerous other nations like Philistia, Moab, Edom and Ammon —all of which was foretold in prophecy.
In the 31st chapter Ezekiel likened Egypt to a towering cedar tree, more majestic than any other tree in Jehovah’s garden of tree-like nations. All the peoples lived under the shade of that tree and were envious of its beauty and stature. That description aptly fits America now, touted as the greatest nation that has ever existed. As the supposed champion of freedom, opportunity and prosperity, America has exerted its influence around the world, so much so that many people have sought to immigrate or emulate, thus living under the shadow of the mighty, shade-casting cedar. Ezekiel symbolized “Egypt” this way: “All the birds of the sky nested in its boughs, all the wild animals of the field gave birth under its branches, and all the populous nations were dwelling in its shade. It became majestic in beauty and in the length of its branches, for its roots went down into abundant waters. No other cedars in the garden of God could compare to it. None of the juniper trees had boughs like it, and none of the plane trees could match its branches.”
Because of its extreme arrogance, though, God commanded that the towering Egyptian cedar be cut down. Who is assigned the task? Ezekiel reveals the answer: “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: ‘Because it became so tall, lifting its top among the clouds, and its heart became arrogant because of its height, I will hand it over to the mighty ruler of the nations. He will surely act against it, and I will reject it for its wickedness. And foreigners, the most ruthless of the nations, will cut it down…”
In the fifth century B.C.E. the mighty ruler of the nations was Nebuchadnezzar. But the prophecy notes that he is accompanied by “foreigners, the most ruthless of the nations.” That most likely came in the form of the Medes and other mercenary troops that accompanied the Chaldean hordes.
But why ought Jehovah’s Witnesses believe this somewhat obscure prophecy has any relevance for us now? Well, because the Watchtower says it does. The reason it does is because the language of the prophecy indicates that the ultimate fulfillment has to do with the coming of Christ and the day of Jehovah. For example, the opening words of the 30th chapter say: “Son of man, prophesy and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: “Wail, ‘Alas, the day is coming!’ For the day is near, yes, a day of Jehovah is near. It will be a day of clouds, an appointed time of nations.””
Also: “‘And when you are extinguished I will cover the heavens and darken their stars. I will cover the sun with clouds, and the moon will not give its light. I will darken all the shining luminaries in the heavens because of you, and I will cover your land with darkness,’ declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah.” —Ezekiel 32:7-8
Bible students will quickly recognize the similarity with what Jesus said concerning the sun turning dark, the moon turning to blood and the stars falling from heaven after the tribulation in those days. Likewise, the opening of the sixth seal brings about the same apocalyptic phenomenon. Clearly, the sudden downfall of Egypt is a precursor to the tribulation and the ultimate day of Jehovah.
So, what does Egypt symbolize? According to the Watchtower it symbolizes all the nations that will be destroyed at Armageddon. And the mighty tyrant of the nations who will chop it down represents none other than Jesus Christ! Suffice to say that the Watchtower does not quite have things in proper focus.
First, Egypt is portrayed as being unlike any other nation, towering over the lesser trees of the world garden of nations. That being so, Egypt represents the greatest nation in comparison to lesser nations, not all the nations.
What is more, the prophecy relates the impact the fall of Egypt will have on people of the world, as expressed at Ezekiel 32:9-10: “I will distress the hearts of many peoples when I lead your captives to other nations, to lands that you have not known. I will cause many peoples to be awestruck, and their kings will shudder in horror over you when I brandish my sword before them. They will tremble continually, each fearing for his life, on the day of your downfall.” Needless to say, the kings of the earth will not shudder in horror after the nations are destroyed on the battlefield of Armageddon.
Moreover, since Nebuchadnezzar was the typical tyrant that Jehovah appointed as the executor of his judgments on the nations of antiquity the King of Babylon represents the last king, the eighth king, the final manifestation of the king of the north, the little horn that supplants three horns, and the fierce looking king that brings the mighty ones of this world to ruin. Obviously, the impotent League of Nations did not bring the high and mighty to ruin, nor has its successor —the United Nations.