Jehovah’s organization takes the commission to preach the good news of the Kingdom worldwide very seriously, as shown by the support given to the many translation teams around the world. Millions upon millions of tracts, brochures, and magazines have been distributed in campaigns throughout the world, without charge to the public. The expense has been covered by the voluntary donations of Jehovah’s Witnesses. As devoted Christian preachers and teachers, Jehovah’s Witnesses are so convinced that they have found the truth that they make great sacrifices in order to share the message with people of other nations and ethnic groups. Many have simplified their life, learned another language, and adapted to a different culture in order to share in this vital Christian work. This international preaching and teaching work is another factor that convinces many people that Jehovah’s Witnesses are the true followers of Christ Jesus.
The scope of the worldwide work sponsored by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is truly impressive. How many languages is the message published in now, 700? It is mind boggling. Who would have ever thought there were even that many languages spoken in the world? C.T. Russell could not have envisioned the development that grew from his tiny Bible House in Allegheny, Pennsylvania.
Jesus said the good news will be preached in all the inhabited earth. It looks like that has been pretty much accomplished at this point.
Of course, the global nature of the ministry of Jehovah’s Witnesses could not have been accomplished without modern, computer-driven technology and communications. And ironically, that may well be its undoing. Over the past 20 years virtually everyone in the world has become dependent in one way or the other on the Internet and various devices to connect to it. And that makes everyone vulnerable to its disruption.
Whether the grid will go down by world war, solar flares, EMP, terror or sabotage by governments, the result would be the same. Will it happen? Yes. The sudden end of the preaching work is destined in prophecy. It is foretold in Joel. Isaiah also. Here is what is recorded in the 17th chapter of Isaiah: “In the day you carefully fence in your plantation, in the morning you make your seed sprout, but the harvest will vanish in the day of disease and incurable pain.”
The loss of a growing crop is a disaster for farmers, whose livelihood depends upon the harvest. That should help us appreciate how the sudden end of the preaching work will impact Jehovah’s Witnesses in the near future.
We may be certain that the prophecies are not speaking about a literal harvest of fruit and grain. The metaphoric harvest has to do with disciple making. As Jesus said, the harvest is great but the workers are few. But what is the setting when the harvest will suddenly vanish? Isaiah continues: “Listen! There is a commotion of many peoples, who are as boisterous as the seas! There is an uproar of nations, whose sound is like the roar of mighty waters! The nations will make a sound like the roar of many waters.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses will likely recognize the similarity of language to what Jesus foretold will occur during the conclusion, namely: “on the earth anguish of nations not knowing the way out because of the roaring of the sea and its agitation.”
For many years the Watchtower taught that the anguish of nations began in 1914. Now, though, that has been revised to be understood to undergo fulfillment at some point in the future.
But while the great agitation of the nations that Jesus foretold has been reset to the future, Psalm 2:1, which foretells the exact same thing, has not. Why not? First, here is what the Psalm says: “Why are the nations agitated and the peoples muttering an empty thing? The kings of the earth take their stand and high officials gather together as one against Jehovah and against his anointed one.”
The reason Jehovah’s Witnesses are still required to believe the nations became agitated and banned together as one against God during the First World War, and reflected in the League of Nations, is because the Psalm clearly indicates that the agitation is a direct result of the Messiah taking up his Kingdom.
So, as is the case for many other things, the Watchtower has two different interpretations for obviously related prophecies. And that is because they are committed to 1914 and must continue to wield a “deluding influence” until the actual coming of Christ turns the world upside down and concludes the present phase of the “harvest.” The pain of the sudden collapse of the Watchtower will be humanly incurable.