What do we know about Jehovah’s future judgments? That is the question posed in the May 2024, Watchtower Magazine, which is an edited version of what was presented at last year’s Annual Meeting. And this is my response to it. The first paragraph jumps right in, so let’s consider it and do some unpacking, as it were.

WE ARE living in exciting times! Each day, Bible prophecy is being fulfilled before our eyes. For example, we see “the king of the north” and “the king of the south” engaged in a struggle for world dominance. (Dan. 11:40, ftn.) We see the good news of God’s Kingdom being preached on an unprecedented scale, with millions responding favorably. (Isa. 60:22; Matt. 24:14) And we are receiving an abundance of spiritual food “at the proper time.” —Matt. 24:45-47.

“We are living in exciting times!”  I do not agree. These times are not so exciting. We are living in the calm before the storm. Or, if you believe times are exciting now just know that things are about to get more exciting, much, much more so when the Son of man suddenly arrives. 

“Each day Bible prophecy is being fulfilled before our eyes.” That is true. But it is especially true if our eyes are open and we are truly awake, which is not the present condition of most people. As for the brief examples given of prophecy being fulfilled, consider that the history of the kings of the North and South has been unfolding over the past 23 centuries! The Watchtower, of course, claims that the time of the end began in 1914 and hence the foretold “pushing” began then.

Except, according to Bethel the “pushing” has been never-ending. Even though the prophecy indicates that the pushing on the part of the king of the south will be met with an overwhelming flood on the part of the rival king, so much so that the Egyptian king of the south will be subjugated and no further mention is made of him, the Watchtower inexplicably teaches that the pushing has continued from 1914 all during the Cold War and even up to the present. And this is the sort of nonsense we are seeing fulfilled before our eyes?

True enough, Jesus said the good news will be preached in all the world. And we are seeing that. There is no doubt about it. Except, according to Mark’s version of the gospel, Jesus said: “In all the nations, the good news has to be preached first.”

A naturally inquisitive person will likely raise the question: “First,” before what? And the answer is readily available in the context of Jesus’ prophecy. In context, Jesus said: “As for you, look out for yourselves. People will hand you over to local courts, and you will be beaten in synagogues and be put on the stand before governors and kings for my sake, for a witness to them. Also, in all the nations, the good news has to be preached first. And when they are taking you to hand you over, do not be anxious beforehand about what to say; but whatever is given you in that hour, say this, for you are not the ones speaking, but the holy spirit is. Furthermore, brother will deliver brother over to death, and a father a child, and children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.” — Mark 13:9-12

Have we seen any of the things Jesus foretold (other than what must come first) being fulfilled before our eyes? For example, have anointed witnesses been arrested and made to stand before the highest officials in the land? If so, surely it would be all the talk among Jehovah’s Witnesses. It would deserve a front-page banner article on jw.org for sure. But alas, no such thing has occurred. Have we seen family members handing over their former loved ones to be put to death? If so, when? Where? Who? We have not seen these things being fulfilled before our eyes. Only the preaching of the good news, which Jesus said must come first.

What about the suggestion that Jehovah’s Witnesses are receiving an abundant supply of spiritual food at the proper time? Is that not Bible prophecy being fulfilled before our very eyes in that respect? Well, yes…but…

First, Jesus did not say that there would be “an abundance of spiritual food.” That is the Watchtower’s wording, not Christ’s. In the illustration, Jesus merely said that the master would appoint a slave and assign to him the task of supplying spiritual food at the proper time. Jesus did not indicate that the appointed slaves would necessarily faithfully carry out their assigned task in a way that would meet the master’s expectations. That is why the Lord posed the question: “Who really is the faithful slave”?

And then there is that tiny little two-letter word —“if”—as in: “Happy is that slave if his master on coming finds him doing so!”

It is not a given. That is why Jesus elaborated, further stating: “But if ever that evil slave says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying,’ and he starts to beat his fellow slaves and to eat and drink with the confirmed drunkards, the master of that slave will come on a day that he does not expect and in an hour that he does not know, and he will punish him with the greatest severity and will assign him his place with the hypocrites. There is where his weeping and the gnashing of his teeth will be.”

If we believe that the leadership of the Watchtower has been appointed by Christ to provide spiritual food in order to feed the Lord’s people—and I do—then we cannot merely accept the appraisal of the appointed ones as to their faithfulness. That is not how it works.

Writing to the Corinthians, Paul explains how Jehovah’s future judgments work: “A man should regard us as attendants of Christ and stewards of God’s sacred secrets. In this regard, what is expected of stewards is that they be found faithful. Now to me it is of very little importance to be examined by you or by a human tribunal. In fact, I do not even examine myself. For I am not conscious of anything against myself. But by this I am not proved righteous; the one who examines me is Jehovah. Therefore, do not judge anything before the due time, until the Lord comes. He will bring the secret things of darkness to light and make known the intentions of the hearts, and then each one will receive his praise from God.” —1 Cor. 4:1-5

Is not the illustration of the faithful slave alluding to this very thing? Absolutely! As Paul indicated, the object is to be found faithful. Found by whom? By the Lord Jesus upon his arrival and inspection. Jesus said the master is coming on a day the slave does not expect and in an hour that he does not know—that is “the due time.” And why is the Son of man coming like a thief in the night? To judge his appointed slaves as to their faithfulness. To boast of our own faithfulness prior to the coming of the Lord is presumptuous and unseemly.

Furthermore, it should be evident from Christ’s condemnation of the evil slave that more is expected of the appointed slaves than merely faithfulness in carrying out their assigned kitchen duties. Please take note that the master does not condemn the slave for his failure to provide food at the proper time. The slave may well have been faithful to that aspect of his appointment. The slave brought judgment upon himself for his lack of faith, for adopting the attitude that his master was at fault for dallying and for beating his fellow slaves and associating with the confirmed drunkards.

Although the illustration is not a prophecy per se, it does indicate that there are two outcomes for those who have been appointed. While the Watchtower does give evidence of providing spiritual food, even in abundance in terms of quantity, those who are awake and watching can also detect that the very ones who boast of being faithful and discreet give evidence that they are beating their fellow slaves and associating with unsavory men of the world in non-spiritual endeavors.

There is no need for me to elaborate here. I have published hundreds of articles detailing the Watchtower’s many misdoings. But, perhaps the most egregious act of unfaithfulness to date has been the Governing Body’s heartily endorsing the vaccination scheme and threatening elders with judicial action if they dared to advise the flock contrary to the Watchtower medical mandate.

So, when Jehovah’s Witnesses speak of knowing Jehovah’s future judgments, shouldn’t the thief like coming of Christ to initiate the judgment of the house of God be at the top of the list?

End of Part One

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