This is the concluding part three of the consideration of the Learn from Bible Prophecy article. Paragraph 16 states:
God’s people who live under the rule of “the king of the north” are enduring direct persecution by this king. Some Witnesses have been beaten and thrown into prison for their faith. Rather than intimidate our brothers, the actions of “the king of the north” build their faith. Why? Because our brothers know that the persecution of God’s people fulfills prophetic statements made by Daniel. d (Dan. 11:41) Our knowing that can help us to keep our hope strong and our integrity intact.
We often receive reports concerning the persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses in various countries. Most nations dominated by Islam do not allow proselytizing by Jehovah’s Witnesses or any other “Christian” sect. Are the brothers in those various lands under ban intimidated because their persecutions do not fulfill the prophetic statements made by Daniel?
For example, in a recent Governing Body Update highlighting the release of one prisoner in the former Soviet state of Tajikistan, we were informed that more than 100 JWs remain in prison there. Certainly, that is comparable to the number of Jehovah’s Witnesses presently imprisoned in Russia. It seems a stretch to claim that the liquidation of the Watchtower in Russia is the fulfillment of Daniel 11:41.
It is all the more specious given the fact that the Watchtower’s interpretation of the intrusion into the land of the Decoration is elastically stretched to include the persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Germany—supposedly when Hitler was the king of the north. It is as implausible as the unending century of “pushing.”
In the past, “the king of the south” has also made direct attacks on Jehovah’s people. During the first half of the 20th century, for example, many brothers were imprisoned because of their Christian neutrality and some Witness children were expelled from school for the same reason.
It is not really honest or accurate to say that the “king of the south” made direct attacks on Jehovah’s people. There were mob attacks, and yes children were expelled from school for not pledging allegiance, but this persecution was not sanctioned by the federal government. The persecution was mostly localized in small-town America. As the Watchtower well knows the Supreme Court of the United States of America handed down many rulings in favor of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The US government protected the rights of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
As for suffering imprisonment for refusing military service, Amish and Quakers were also conscientious objectors, but they had been granted an exemption because they were around long before the Watchtower. Had the leadership of the Watchtower been more flexible and allowed conscientious objectors to perform alternative, non-military service, as is now allowed, perhaps many of Jehovah’s Witnesses could have avoided imprisonment. It was not as though Jehovah’s Witnesses were singled out. During the Vietnam War, more than 3,000 draft resisters were imprisoned.
18) Those who do not have faith in Bible prophecy may become extremely anxious when they see “the king of the south” “lock horns” with “the king of the north.” (Dan. 11:40, ftn.) Both kings have enough nuclear firepower to destroy all life on earth. But we know that Jehovah will not allow that to happen. (Isa. 45:18) So rather than trouble us, the hostility between “the king of the north” and “the king of the south” strengthens our faith. It confirms that the end of this system is near.
It is not solely a matter of having faith in Bible prophecy. It is important to understand Bible prophecy. Consider what happened to the apostles. They had personal contact with the Teacher. He straightforwardly told them he was going to be handed over to the authorities and be put to death and rise on the third day. Now that was a prophecy! The apostles, however, did not understand what Jesus was talking about. It did not fit in with their preconceived ideas of what the Messiah was to accomplish. And when Jesus was arrested they were all stumbled and scattered.
Another instructive example is what happened among the Bible Students. For decades the Watchtower proclaimed that 1914 would be the end of the world. Some zealots imagined they were going to be raptured in the winter of 1914 and so they sold their cold-weather apparel the summer before. Then Pastor Russell unexpectedly died. A power struggle ensued at Bethel. The war dragged on and finally, Rutherford and company were hauled off to the Atlanta penitentiary. Obviously, the world did not end. Nothing happened the way the Bible Students had been led to expect. The result? Many stumbled.
The last subheading exhorts us to continue to pay attention to prophecy. That is good advice. Sadly, though, Jehovah’s Witnesses have learned very little from prophecy. Consider the book of Daniel. The Watchtower claims that the little horn emerged among the ten back in 1588 and it uprooted three rival horns over the course of over two centuries beginning with the disaster that befell the Spanish Armada. Bethel has never been compelled to explain how France, Holland, and Spain were overthrown when all three nations still exist and exert more influence now than ever. France especially is a nuclear power and has a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. The more relevant question is why the All-knowing God would use His power of foresight to foretell historical trivia.
How would our trust in the Watchtower be affected if, for example, the leading nations of the world, say Britain, America, and France, were to be suddenly overthrown? That would be earthshaking. This is not fantasy either. The process is already well underway as the little horn emerges. But what inducement is there for those under the influence of the Watchtower to keep paying attention to prophecy when the Watchtower has deluded its followers into believing that nearly everything has been fulfilled long ago?
The seventh chapter of Daniel is merely one example. There are many other prophecies, including much of the book of Revelation, which the Watchtower has effectively rendered irrelevant as far as the future is concerned.
The concluding paragraph sums up the Watchtower’s entire outlook:
A proclamation of “peace and security” will be made. (1 Thess. 5:3) Then the world’s political powers will turn on false religion and wipe it out. (Rev. 17:16, 17) They will then attack God’s people. (Ezek. 38:18, 19) These events will lead directly to the final war of Armageddon.
As is typical, there is never any biblical proof or reasoning offered in support of this timeline. Just organizational dogma repeated ad nauseam.
Astute readers would do well to take note of the fact that in the Watchtower’s back-of-a-matchbook exegesis, there is no mention of the return of Christ. Why is that? Is it because the Watchtower has rendered the epic second coming of Jesus Christ into obscurity? That surely is the case. And that too is part of Bible prophecy, which has been presented in detail in hundreds of articles on this site.
Yes, we may expect a proclamation of “peace and security.” Then what? According to the prophet Paul their saying “peace and security” will signal that Christ has returned as a thief in the night.
In context, Paul was discussing the first resurrection and the presence of Jesus. It was in connection with the parousia that the apostle said: “Now as for the times and the seasons, brothers, you need nothing to be written to you. For you yourselves know very well that Jehovah’s day is coming exactly as a thief in the night.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses ought to know that there are no Greek manuscripts in existence that bear the YHWH. Given the tendency of modern Bible translators to omit God’s name even in the Hebrew Scriptures there is little doubt ancient copyists removed God’s name from the Greek. Even so, it is possible, even likely, that Paul did not use the Tetragrammaton when writing this portion of his letter to the Thessalonians. After all, as stated above, the subject is the return of Jesus, addressed to “we the living who survive to the presence of the Lord.” In 1st Corinthians 5:5, Paul used the expression “day of the Lord” in relation to Jesus.
It is the otherwise unknowable times and seasons of the presence of the Lord that will be signaled whenever it is they are saying “peace and security.” And Jesus himself said he is coming as a thief in the night at a time even his disciples do not think likely. So, Paul most likely originally wrote concerning the commencement of the Lord’s day, which the Watchtower claims began in 1914. As for the sudden destruction that will come upon them, I refer you to the seventh and eighth chapters of Daniel and the 13th chapter of Revelation.
But the Watchtower has one thing right, as stated in paragraph 19:
We do not know how some Bible prophecies will be fulfilled. Even the prophet Daniel did not understand the meaning of everything he wrote down. (Dan. 12:8, 9) But just because we do not fully comprehend how a prophecy will be fulfilled does not mean that it will not come true. Without a doubt, we can trust that Jehovah will reveal to us what we need to know at exactly the right time, just as he did in the past.
Without a doubt, Jehovah will reveal to us what we need to know at exactly the right time. Whenever they are saying “peace and security” will be there for all to see. We will not need to have anyone explain to us that the event was foretold. Likewise, the sudden destruction of the Anglo-America empire will fulfill numerous prophecies and will impact everyone.
The Watchtower will be irreparably broken. Its credibility smashed like a fragile clay vessel. Yes, indeed, learn from Bible prophecy: “So this error will be for you like a broken wall, like a bulging high wall ready to fall. It will crash suddenly, in an instant. It will be broken like a large potter’s jar, so completely smashed that no fragment among its pieces will be left to rake the fire from the fireplace or to scoop water from a puddle.” — Isaiah 30:13,14
Try as they might the prophets of Bethel will not be able to spin it to coincide with their fabricated prophecies.
Then the true sons of light and the sons of the day will leave the shattered Watchtower behind as they then will shine as brightly as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father.