The 21st chapter of Ezekiel opens with Jehovah saying to Ezekiel: “Son of man, turn your face toward Jerusalem, and make a proclamation against the holy places, and prophesy against the land of Israel. Say to the land of Israel, ‘This is what Jehovah says: “Here I am against you, and I will bring my sword out of its sheath and cut off from you both the righteous and the wicked. Because I will cut off from you the righteous and the wicked, my sword will be drawn from its sheath against all flesh, from south to north. All people will have to know that I myself, Jehovah, have drawn my sword from its sheath. It will not go back again.”’
Jehovah’s “sword” came in the form of the Chaldean horde. It was as if Ezekiel had a part in directing the superstitious king of Babylon to Jerusalem. God instructed the prophet to post an index finger sign at a fork in the road, directing the king to Jerusalem.
Whereas in the days of the prophet Isaiah Jehovah had defended Jerusalem from the Assyrian invaders, now God had become their enemy. The prophecy of Habakkuk says that God appointed the Chaldeans to execute his judgments and administer punishment.
The Watchtower claims that apostate Christians went into captivity to Babylon the Great in the second century. Why God would choose to punish misled Christians with more falsehood and idolatry is anyone’s guess. But the grand restoration portrayed throughout the prophets is mere theocratic history anyway, as Jehovah’s people were liberated from Babylon in 1918.
But is Babylon the Great really the antitype of ancient Babylon, the avenger? The Watchtower’s interpretation is nonsensical and contradictory. For instance, when the Jews were taken captive to Babylon they did not take up the religion of the Babylonians. Men like Ezekiel and Daniel certainly did not. And many others did not either. Also, the opportunity for them to get out of Babylon came about by God’s intervention, when Jehovah sent his anointed one, so-called, Cyrus, who overthrew mighty Babylon. Yet, according to the Watchtower getting out of the antitypical Babylon is simply a matter of discarding the false doctrines of the churches. Anyone can do it at any time.
Since the Watchtower has revised its whole approach to prophecy, it certainly appears that the new approach is intended to water things down to personal lessons, which is what the Pure Worship publication has done. With all their charts and graphics the Watchtower has essentially rendered Ezekiel into meaninglessness.
As regards the sign Ezekiel was instructed to post, it would seem to the Jews to be false divination. Speaking of Nebuchadnezzar at the crossroads: “In his right hand the divination proved to be for Jerusalem, to set battering rams, to open one’s mouth for a slaying, to raise the sound in an alarm signal, to set battering rams against gates, to throw up a siege rampart, to build a siege wall. And it has become to them like an untrue divination in their eyes—those who are sworn with oaths to them; and he is calling error to remembrance, in order [for them] to be caught.”
At that point there was nothing the Jews could do to avoid God’s sword. Their king had taken an oath of loyalty to the king of Babylon, but he broke his oath. God was going to call their error to mind in a most forceful way.
The true interpretation of Babylon as a type has to do with the eighth king. And you may be certain the impotent League of Nations was not the eighth king of Bible prophecy. Nor did Bible Students get out of Babylon the Great in 1918. The reason is that God’s people have not gone into captivity in Babylon yet. (When Will Jehovah’s Witnesses Go into Captivity?)
Since coming online in 2002, I have pointed forward to the coming of the eighth king, the greater Babylon. This development will be nothing short of earthshaking. It will mean the overthrow of the present, democratic system of sovereign nations-states and the imposition of a world government and a new money system, one in which no one will be able to buy or sell unless they worship the beast. The eighth king is also depicted in prophecy as the final manifestation of the king of the north, Gog of Magog, the 11th horn, and the fierce-looking king. I have written a fair bit about this over the years. There is no point going into it again here. (The Coming Rise and Fall of Babylon and Babylon as the Last Kingdom and Jehovah’s Counsel Against All the Earth)
If Jehovah’s Witnesses had any interest in these matters they surely could be able to reason it out that the eighth king and the mark of the beast have not become a reality yet. How has anyone been prevented from buying necessities of life other than by sheer poverty?
It is as stated in Ezekiel, having presented this matters before the Governing Body “it has become like an untrue divination in their eyes.” Although they have studied the Scriptures over and over they just cannot believe that Jehovah would bring the symbolic sword against them. It is as stated in Isaiah, they have hidden in falsehood. And keep in mind, it is the rulers of Jerusalem of whom the prophet speaks: “So hear the word of Jehovah, you boasters, you rulers of this people in Jerusalem, for you men say: ‘We have made a covenant with Death, and with the Grave we have made an agreement. When the raging flash flood passes through, it will not reach us, for we have made a lie our refuge and we have hidden ourselves in falsehood.” —Isaiah 28:14-15
No wonder they will faint with fright when they realize the symbolic sword is swinging in their direction, even as the prophet says: “Every heart will melt with fear and every hand will hang limp and every spirit will become dejected and every knee will drip with water. ‘Look! It will certainly come—it will take place,’ declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah.” –Ezekiel 21:7
As already discussed, Jesus spoke of the desolation of Jerusalem as the central feature of events during the conclusion. It will require true Christians to make a life-and-death decision. Since the pure worshippers associated with the Watchtower have already gotten out of Babylon, why would they need to flee without delay when the disgusting thing stands in a holy place if, in fact, Jerusalem typifies Babylon the Great?
The Watchtower is very much in error. Her so-called prophets are divining a false vision. Ancient Jerusalem, both in the days of the prophets and in the first century, represents Christ’s congregation.
At the risk of repeating myself too many times, Christ was sacrificed outside of Jerusalem. The apostles were told to wait in Jerusalem for the promised spirit; hence, making Jerusalem the birthplace of Christianity. The apostles —whom the Governing Body routinely refer to as a governing body, were headquartered in Jerusalem. Anointed Christians regularly taught in the temple in Jerusalem up until the Roman armies first came to lay siege. That is why the apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Hebrews reminding them that they do not have in Jerusalem a city that remains, saying: “Therefore, Jesus also suffered outside the city gate in order to sanctify the people with his own blood. Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the reproach he bore, for we do not have here a city that remains, but we are earnestly seeking the one to come.”
Since the city about which the apostle spoke was the center of worship for the Jews and also to a lesser extent the Christians —as the gospel of Matthew twice refers to Jerusalem as the holy city —the city symbolizes the earthly organization of today. Think of it, if anointed Christians in the first century were waiting for the city having real foundations, how is it Jehovah’s Witnesses have come to trust in the permanence of the Watchtower Society?
My message to the Watchtower has always been the same. Prepare to meet your God! Returning to the 21st chapter of Ezekiel: “Son of man, prophesy and say, ‘This is what Jehovah says: “Say, ‘A sword! A sword is sharpened, and it is polished. It is sharpened to inflict a great slaughter; it is polished to flash like lightning.’”
As all of Jehovah’s Witnesses know, the Watchtower claims that Christ returned in 1914. The evidence to support the chronology is the fact that the bloodbath known as the First World War began then. According to Bethel’s prophets, nothing in the future could possibly fulfill the sign like events of the past. They liken it to a fingerprint. No two fingerprints are the same. The folly of that reasoning is, that even after a century, all the things Jesus foretold are still not in evidence. For instance, Jesus said that along with nation rising against nation “there will be great earthquakes, and in one place after another food shortages and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and from heaven great signs.”
Have we seen the foretold fearful sights and great signs? According to the Watchtower, no. And yet, Jesus said, “when you see all these things.” Taking the Watchtower’s fingerprint analogy a step further, given the fact that we have not seen all of these things it would appear that the “fingerprint” forensics Bethel has hailed as a perfect match is only a smudged, partial print.
It is sheer folly to suppose that another world war cannot happen. Even at this very moment, the nations are preparing for the likelihood of a global conflict that is sure to far surpass any disaster, ever! Keep in mind, there has never been an all-out shooting war between nations possessing nuclear weapons. Proxy wars yes, trade wars, propaganda and cyber wars too, but up to this point, the nations have successfully avoided using the big guns and bombs. They know the outcome. Just the other day, though, Vladimir Putin warned that if the present confrontation gets out of control it could easily lead to global catastrophe. Fearful sights indeed!
The next phrase of the passage in Ezekiel states: “Should we not rejoice?”
“Will it reject the scepter of my own son, as it does every tree? It is given to be polished and to be wielded with the hand. This sword is sharpened and polished, to be put into the hand of an executioner.”
In view of the fact that the world is ominously poised to experience a global catastrophe, ought Jehovah’s Witnesses rejoice in their faux spiritual paradise? The main aspect of the Watchtower’s covenant with Death is the erroneous belief that the Kingdom has already been established. No power in heaven or on earth can prevail against the Kingdom. That much is true. But Christ’s congregation is another matter. The prophecies do foretell that the enemy will prevail over it for an appointed time. To illustrate the point, Daniel foretold that the fierce-looking king will “will bring ruin in an extraordinary way, and he will be successful and act effectively. He will bring mighty ones to ruin, also the people made up of the holy ones. And by his cunning he will use deception to succeed; and in his heart he will exalt himself; and during a time of security he will bring many to ruin. He will even stand up against the Prince of princes, but he will be broken without human hand.”
When was this prophecy fulfilled? According to the prophets of Bethel, it was fulfilled during the Second World War. How were the mighty ones brought to ruin? They have never said. How were the holy ones brought to ruin? Again, details are skimpy. Apparently, though, the holy ones were brought to ruin because conscientious objectors in the United States were sent to prison. And then the holy place was set in its right condition when the Watchtower’s corporate charter was amended. It seems like a joke. I suppose in some respects it is.
Jacob, the father of the 12 tribes, foretold that the ruling scepter would come through his son, Judah. David was of the tribe of Judah. Jesus is called the lion of the tribe of Judah. When was Jesus given the scepter? The 21st chapter of Ezekiel is used by the Watchtower to prove that Christ’s Kingdom was established in 1914. Specifically, the prophecy states: “But your day has come, O fatally wounded, wicked chieftain of Israel, the time of your final punishment. This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: ‘Remove the turban, and take off the crown. This will not remain the same. Raise up the low one, and bring low the high one. A ruin, a ruin, a ruin I will make it. And it will not belong to anyone until the one who has the legal right comes, and I will give it to him.’”
As we know, the kingdom of David was overthrown when Babylon destroyed Jerusalem. The high one was made low. That is how the sword treated the scepter of Jehovah’s son as if it were an ordinary piece of wood —a tree. Jehovah did not withhold the executioner’s sword from the ruling scepter of his son, of whom David was merely a type.
When did the one come who had the legal right? That came about in the first century. By reason of his ancestry, Jesus was an heir to the earthly throne of David. He had the legal right to become the king of Israel. However, because Jesus organized a new Israel, founded not upon the 12 tribes, but upon the 12 apostles, the kingdom of Israel was transferred to Christ’s newly formed congregation —what Paul called the “Israel of God.” Hence, the ruling scepter of his Son was wielded over that organization. Paul explained in the first chapter of Colossians that God had transferred believers from the darkness of this wicked world into the kingdom of the son of his love.
During the time of the end, the foretold desolation of Jerusalem will be expressed as the destruction of the visible organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses. In that way, the sword of the greater Babylon will prevail against the scepter of God’s Son —the scepter symbolizing his rulership over his congregation. The fatally wounded wicked chieftain must correspond to the evil slaves and the man of lawlessness.
The grand restoration, which the Watchtower claims took place in 1918-19, and which has resulted in pure worship being restored, at last, has not taken place. First comes the sword of war —nothing less than the horsemen of the Apocalypse. Afterward will come the regathering from captivity to the greater Babylon. Then Christ’s Kingdom really will be established. Pure worship will too.
To be continued…