Your own ears will hear a word behind you saying, “This is the way. Walk in it.”
You no doubt agree that the Bible contains God’s message for mankind in general. But does the Bible also convey how you in particular can draw closer to Jehovah? Indeed it does. How? As you regularly read and study the Bible, consider your response to what it says and give thought to how you can apply it to your circumstances; then you are allowing Jehovah to talk to you through his Word. This draws you into a closer relationship with him. For example, read and meditate on Jesus’ words to “stop storing up for yourselves treasures on the earth.” If you feel that you are already focusing your life on Kingdom interests, you sense Jehovah’s commendation. On the other hand, if you see a need to simplify your life and to focus more on Kingdom interests, Jehovah has alerted you to an area where you can work at drawing closer to him.
It is true, down through history Jehovah has provided specific instructions that applied to certain circumstances. For example, on numerous occasions during times of war God provided strategic battle maneuvers. He also commanded his people not to do certain things as well, such as make alliances with foreigners.
Amazingly, he has also provided instructions in advance to be issued at a particular point in time in the future. That is certainly the case with the imperative: “This is the way. Walk in it…”
The 30th chapter of Isaiah is a prophecy. In the original setting God condemned the “stubborn sons” of Israel for their refusal to trust him in the face of Assyrian aggression. Instead of relying on Jehovah to protect them they looked to Egypt. Hence, Jehovah declares: “Woe to the stubborn sons …Who carry out plans that are not mine, who make alliances, but not by my spirit, in order to add sin to sin.”
But the prophecy speaks in a much broader way to developments immediately preceding the coming of Christ. After all, human nature is the same as it was thousands of years ago. So is Satan’s influence. That is why the prophecy is just as applicable now, or more especially in the immediate future, as it was in the days of Isaiah when Israel and Judah were threatened with annihilation by the king of Assyria.
One aspect of the prophecy that had no past fulfillment has to do with the destruction of Assyria and all the nations. As Jehovah’s Witnesses well know, God allowed Assyria to conquer Samaria and take the 10 tribes into exile, but when Sennacherib moved to take out Jerusalem his army was snuffed out. Jehovah sent one angel who swept through the Assyrian camp as they slept and that was it. Sennacherib tucked tail and went back to Nineveh where he was assassinated by his sons.
Yet, look at the way Isaiah’s prophecy describes the defeat of Assyria: “Jehovah will make his majestic voice heard and reveal his arm as it descends in the heat of anger, with the flame of a consuming fire, a cloudburst and a thunderstorm and hailstones. For because of the voice of Jehovah, Assyria will be struck with terror; He will strike it with a rod. And every swing of his rod of punishment that Jehovah will bring down on Assyria will be accompanied by tambourines and harps as he brandishes his arm against them in battle. For his Topheth is already prepared; it is also made ready for the king. He has made the woodpile deep and wide, with an abundance of fire and wood. The breath of Jehovah, like a torrent of sulfur, will set fire to it.”
Since, as already pointed out, divine intervention came in the form of a stealth angel —not flames of fire, thunder and hail —either the prophecy is hyperbole or the judgment against Assyria is a pattern for something much grander. Assuredly, it is the latter, which is apparent from the reference to Topheth, which is connected to the Valley of the sons of Hinnom, which is where the Israelite kings performed child sacrifice, which Jesus called Gehenna, which is a symbol of everlasting destruction, which is the judgment reserved for those who worship the wild beast during the brief interval when Christ’s Kingdom rules concurrently with the last king, which is what Assyria symbolizes.
Of note, both Babylon and Assyria symbolize the eighth king, which is apparent from the 14th chapter of Isaiah, which is a judgment against Babylon, but which also includes Assyria, which had already been toppled by Babylon: “‘I will rise up against them,” declares Jehovah of armies. “And I will wipe out from Babylon name and remnant and descendants and posterity,” declares Jehovah. “And I will make her a possession of porcupines and a region of marshes, and I will sweep her with the broom of annihilation,” declares Jehovah of armies. Jehovah of armies has sworn: “Just as I have intended, so it will occur, and just as I have decided, that is what will come true. I will crush the Assyrian in my land, and I will trample him on my mountains. His yoke will be removed from them, and his load will be removed from their shoulder.” This is what has been decided against all the earth, and this is the hand that is stretched out against all the nations. For Jehovah of armies has decided, and who can thwart it? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?”’
Interestingly, Egypt, Assyria and Babylon were the first empires of Bible prophecy and are part of the composite, seven-headed, symbolic beast of Revelation, from which the eighth king springs. Both Assyria and Babylon advanced upon Palestine from the north —Egypt was/is located to the south, placing Israel and Judah in-between —a juxtaposition with the prophecy of Daniel makes the Assyrian and Babylon kings of the north and Egypt the king of the south.
As regards the king of the north the scripture states: “In the time of the end the king of the south will engage with him in a pushing, and against him the king of the north will storm with chariots and horsemen and many ships; and he will enter into the lands and sweep through like a flood. He will also enter into the land of the Decoration, and many lands will be made to stumble. But these are the ones that will escape out of his hand: Edom and Moab and the main part of the Ammonites. And he will keep thrusting out his hand against the lands; and as regards the land of Egypt, she will not escape. And he will rule over the hidden treasures of gold and silver and over all the desirable things of Egypt.”
“The land of the Decoration” is what the promised land once was —a glorious, beautiful land flowing with milk and honey. It was Jehovah’s possession. As in the case of Assyria and Babylon, the king of the north is also destined to invade God’s possession during the time of the end. But since the time of Christ God’s special possession has been what Paul called “the Israel of God,” which is Christ’s congregation. The flooding over of the king of the north must coincide with the “raging flash flood” Jehovah unleashes against the drunkards of Ephraim, whose land is described as a fading flower of decoration in the 28th chapter of Isaiah. (The latest version of the NWT dropped the use of the word “decoration” that appears in three places in Isaiah 28.)
The thunderous hailstorm coincides with the installation of the cornerstone of Zion —a reference to the coming of Christ in Kingdom power, which floods out the place of concealment of the spiritual drunkards who have taken refuge in a lie.
The subjugation of “Egypt” by the king of the north symbolizes the end of the conflict between the king of the north and south —Egypt being the original king of the south. In reality “Egypt” represents America.
Just as literal Egypt served as a sanctuary for the Hebrews in the time of Joseph, and and other times as well, the invasion from the north posses a test upon the inhabitants of the land of the Decoration. Will they trust in Jehovah, or will they flee to “Egypt”? That is the scenario that will present itself during the “hour of test” that Jesus said was coming upon the entire inhabited earth. (Not coincidently, the last king is destined to rule for a symbolic “one hour.”)
Jehovah’s Witnesses have no knowledge of these matters. That is because the Watchtower has imposed a blackout upon them. That is what the prophecy in the 30th chapter of Isaiah intimates when it imputes these words to the stubborn sons of God: “Now go, write it on a tablet in their presence, and inscribe it in a book, so that it may serve for a future day as a permanent witness. For they are a rebellious people, deceitful sons, sons who are unwilling to hear the law of Jehovah. They say to the seers, ‘Do not see,’ and to the visionaries, ‘do not tell us truthful visions. Tell us flattering things; envision deceptive illusions.”
How well this prophecy describes the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses. They stubbornly cling to their discredited interpretations of prophecy, hoping by sheer tenacity they will prevail. They are not interested in the truthful interpretations. They only want to be flattered. They want to be honored as the wise and faithful servant who sees all and knows all.
Just as Isaiah was commanded to write down Jehovah’s judgment on a tablet in their presence in order to serve as a permanent record of the fact that the stubborn sons have been put on notice, I too have inscribed Jehovah’s judgments in their presence, even on the world wide web, and compiled them into a book entitled Jehovah Himself Has Become King. Although relatively few have bothered to read it the purpose is as stated in prophecy: “that it may serve for a future day as a permanent witness.”
JEHOVAH IS WAITING PATIENTLY TO SHOW YOU FAVOR
How might the stubborn sons flee to “Egypt” in the future? Given the tendency of the leadership of the Watchtower to compromise, exhibited in their secret partnership with the United Nations, their backdoor lawyering and deal making and money-making schemes, the oncoming crash of the present system and the imposition of martial law, or however the takeover of the king of the north manifests itself, the Watchtower will most assuredly seek self-preservation. In this they will not succeed. Isaiah’s prophecy goes on to describe the pathetic situation the stubborn sons will find themselves in: “A thousand will tremble at the threat of one; at the threat of five you will flee until what is left of you is like a mast on the top of a mountain, like a signal pole on a hill.”
At that point God, through Christ, makes his entry. The next verse states: “But Jehovah is waiting patiently to show you favor, and he will rise up to show you mercy. For Jehovah is a God of justice. Happy are all those keeping in expectation of him. When the people dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem, you will by no means weep. He will surely show you favor at the sound of your cry for help; he will answer you as soon as he hears it. Though Jehovah will give you bread in the form of distress and water in the form of oppression, your Grand Instructor will no longer hide himself, and you will see your Grand Instructor with your own eyes. And your own ears will hear a word behind you saying, “This is the way. Walk in it,” in case you should go to the right or in case you should go to the left.”
What a loving, merciful God. Although his people do not fully trust him he is patient and determined to bless them despite their rebellious spirit. [pullquote]Jehovah is the “Grand Instructor.” He has no equal as a teacher. How, though, can people ‘see’ and “hear” him? Jehovah reveals himself through his prophets, whose words are recorded in the Bible. (Amos 3:6, 7) Today, when faithful worshipers read the Bible, it is as if God’s fatherly voice is telling them the way to go and urging them to readjust their course of conduct so as to walk in it. Each Christian should listen carefully as Jehovah speaks through the pages of the Bible and through Bible-based publications provided by “the faithful and discreet slave.” – Isaiah’s Prophecy [/pullquote] As an example of their desire to hear flattering things, the Watchtower has stated that we hear Jehovah’s voice emanating as if from behind us by means of the Bible and Bible-based publications. This, of course, is laughable since we have always had the Bible and can consult it any time. It is not hidden from us. Yet, the prophecy pinpoints a place in time when God will rise up to show mercy; when he will no longer hide himself. In fact, it goes on to say that “you will see your Grand Instructor with your own eyes.” In other words, Jehovah is going to reveal himself. Not literally, not in the absolute sense —else we be vaporized.
But the prophecy of Isaiah reveals Christ to be Jehovah’s appointed “wonderful counselor.” So, in reality Jesus Christ will be your “Grand Instructor.” And your eyes will see him when the revelation and manifestation occurs —what Paul referred to as “the second time he appears.” (Hebrews 9:28) Jesus also referred to himself as the way and the life. Interestingly, first century Christianity was called “The Way.” So, when Jehovah issues the command: “This is the way. Walk in it” this must be the unveiling of the highway of holiness leading to life, which Christ will reveal. This occurs after God feeds his people with the bread of oppression and affliction. The end result is that for the first time in history God’s purpose is fully revealed —being accomplished, having brought to completion the gathering of both he sons of the Kingdom and the great crowd, at which point the light of divine favor reaches its zenith, described this way: “And the light of the full moon will become like the light of the sun; and the light of the sun will become seven times stronger, like the light of seven days, in the day that Jehovah binds up the breakdown of his people and heals the severe wound from the blow he inflicted.”
The phenomenon likened to the increase in the intensity of the heavenly luminaries is depicting the day when the chosen ones shine as brightly as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father.
How does this aspect of prophecy relate to the invasion of the king of the north during the time of the end? Please take note that their are two incursions by the king of the north. The first occurs at the beginning of the flooding over of the armies of the king of the north. However, the very last verse of the 11th chapter of Daniel speaks of another. That verse reads: “And he will plant his royal tents between the grand sea and the holy mountain of Decoration; and he will come all the way to his end, and there will be no helper for him.”
Instead of merely the land of the Decoration, now the king of the north is confronting the “holy mountain of Decoration.” What is the difference? As stated, the land of the Decoration merely relates to the congregation of Christ; whereas the holy mountain of Decoration signifies the 144,000 and Christ standing upon heavenly mount Zion. In other words, during the time of the end as Christ completes his conquest all the holy ones will be sealed and resurrected, meaning the Kingdom will have full authority to begin ruling the world. The last king will then sit as a trespasser on Kingdom property —having dispatched the last sons of the Kingdom in reaction to their disturbing reports. Thus, the king of the north “will come all the way to his end, and there will be no helper for him.”
That end is exactly what is related in connection to the king of Assyria after his invasion: “Look! The name of Jehovah is coming from far away, burning with his anger and with heavy clouds. His lips are full of indignation, and his tongue is like a consuming fire. His spirit is like a flooding torrent that reaches clear to the neck, to shake the nations in a sieve of destruction; and the peoples will have a bridle in their jaws that leads them astray. But your song will be like the one sung in the night when you prepare for a festival, and your heart will rejoice like one who walks with a flute.”