This is the last article in the series examining the May, 2024 Watchtower.

I am still trying to mentally process the Watchtower’s most recent “new light.” As stated in the previous article in this series, it is doubtful that Jehovah’s Witnesses will perceive that the Governing Body has repudiated everything it has ever taught regarding the urgency of getting out of Babylon the Great before God’s judgment against it. The Bible is pretty clear. Zephaniah 2:2-3 is unequivocal: Before the decree takes effect, before the day passes by like chaff, before the burning anger of Jehovah comes upon you, before the day of Jehovah’s anger comes upon you, seek Jehovah, all you meek ones of the earth, who observe his righteous decrees. Seek righteousness, seek meekness. Probably you will be concealed on the day of Jehovah’s anger.”

For whatever reason, it certainly seems that the Governing Body is diluting, yea, denying God’s word. According to the seers, it is no longer imperative to take any action before the day of Jehovah’s anger erupts. God is so merciful. Is this development not in keeping with the ear-tickling that the Watchtower has begun?

There is an underlying error in all of this, which is, of course, 1914. Jehovah’s Witnesses have been deluded into believing that virtually everything in Revelation has already been fulfilled except for the destruction of Babylon the Great. For example, Jesus spoke of an hour of test coming upon the entire inhabited earth. Similarly, Jesus said the great tribulation was coming upon the entire inhabited earth. Is there any connection? Not according to the Watchtower. Here is what is stated in the Grand Climax publication under the subheading “The Hour of Test”:

What, though, is “the hour of test”? No doubt, those Christians in Asia had to cope with a further wave of terrible persecution from imperial Rome. Nevertheless, the major fulfillment is the hour of sifting and judging that finally arrived during the Lord’s day, climaxing from 1918 onward. The test has been to determine whether one is for God’s established Kingdom or for Satan’s world. It is for a comparatively short period, an “hour,” but it is not over yet. Until it is, we must never forget that we are living in “the hour of test.”

“The hour of test” is “a comparatively short period.” But is it reasonable that this test spans more than a century? Why would God use the symbolism of an “hour” if the actual timeframe spanned multiple generations? And since this “hour of test” will determine everyone’s eternal destiny, does that mean that the vast majority of mankind have failed the test and hence have forfeited their resurrection because they did not accept the Watchtower’s message that the Kingdom began ruling in 1914? According to that criteria, even the Bible Students and the renamed Jehovah’s Witnesses during the 30s failed the test too since, at the time, they were laboring under the delusion that the parousia had begun in 1874 and the Kingdom began ruling in 1878.

Although the Watchtower has skillfully managed to create and maintain the illusion that the Kingdom began ruling in 1914, neither the Governing Body nor any of their “helpers” will be able to control reality—specifically, the reality of what is shaping up to be World War Three. Can you imagine the questions from readers that will flood Bethel’s mail room when nations and kingdoms go to war with all of their fearsome weaponry? By all accounts, global war could erupt any day. Seemingly, everyone except Jehovah’s Witnesses is aware of this.

Will the outbreak of WW3 begin the test that Jesus said will come upon the entire inhabited earth? No. However, as Jesus noted, it will be “the beginning pangs of distress.” Then, a great tribulation, unlike anything that has ever occurred before or will ever occur again, will come upon the entire inhabited earth. Does Revelation foretell this global disaster in symbolism? Yes, it does.

The tribulation is what is betokened by the opening of the sixth seal: “And I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and a great earthquake occurred; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the entire moon became as blood, and the stars of heaven fell to the earth as when a fig tree shaken by a high wind drops its unripe figs. And the heaven departed as a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and every island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the high officials, the military commanders, the rich, the strong, every slave, and every free person hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. And they keep saying to the mountains and to the rocks: “Fall over us and hide us from the face of the One seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, because the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” — Rev 6:12-17

How can we determine that the opening of the sixth seal represents the great tribulation? For the reason that Jesus used the very same apocalyptic symbolism when he said the following: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” — Matthew 24:29

So, the “great earthquake” that results from the opening of the sixth seal must represent the great tribulation, which is then followed by the phenomena Jesus described that occur “immediately after the tribulation in those days.” Thus, this begins the hour of test that is coming upon the entire inhabited earth. How can that be discerned? Because the great earthquake forces people to oppose “the One seated on the throne,” which is to say the Kingdom.

In harmony with this, Jesus said that the tribulation would be of such severity that God would intervene to cut it short on account of the chosen ones, and the next verse symbolizes this very thing: “After this I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding tight the four winds of the earth, so that no wind could blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree.” — Rev 7:1

Undoubtedly, the opening of the sixth seal and the “great earthquake” represent the crash of the present civilization—a great tribulation indeed. No wonder Jesus said nothing like it has ever happened before or will ever happen again. However, the judgment upon Babylon the Great is glaringly absent in that context. Nevertheless, dogma is a powerful thing, for now anyway.

It is the post-tribulation period when the hour of test will begin. The hour of the test will coincide with the one-hour reign of the eighth king. The eighth king will rise from the ashes of the crash brought on by the “great earthquake.” That is when the nations will no longer serve as God’s civil ministers but will be in total opposition to Christ. The last king will become an instrument of coercion to force mankind into worshipping the beast and the Devil himself. Any who refuse to compromise will be locked out of the system—unable to buy or sell, and marked for death. An hour of test, indeed!

Related Posts