This is a review of the Watchtower article entitled How Jehovah Helps Us to Endure With Joy. The biblical theme is “Jehovah is waiting patiently to show you favor, and he will rise up to show you mercy.” —ISA. 30:18.
4) In the opening words of Isaiah chapter 30, Jehovah describes the Jews as “stubborn sons,” who “add sin to sin.” He continues, saying: “They are a rebellious people, . . . who are unwilling to hear the law of Jehovah.” (Isa. 30:1, 9) Because the people refused to listen, Isaiah foretold that Jehovah would allow them to suffer calamity. And, indeed, they were taken into captivity by the Babylonians. However, there were some faithful ones among the Jews, and Isaiah had a message of hope for them. He told them that one day Jehovah would restore them to favor. (Read Isaiah 30:18, 19.) And that is exactly what happened. Jehovah brought an end to their captivity. However, their deliverance would not come right away. The statement “Jehovah is waiting patiently to show you favor” indicated that some time would pass before the faithful ones would be rescued. In fact, the Israelites spent 70 years in exile in Babylon before a remnant was allowed to return to Jerusalem. (Isa. 10:21; Jer. 29:10) Once the people were back in their homeland, the tears of sorrow they had shed in captivity were replaced by tears of joy.
After decades of Bible research, it is astonishing that the teachers of the teachers still can’t get it into focus. Surely, their error is willful. It really is a demonstration of their stubbornness. It is sad, too, that millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses will accept whatever the Governing Body says without question—even when it is blatantly false.
The setting of the 30th chapter of Isaiah is not leading up to the invasion of the Chaldeans. God did not punish the stubborn sons by exiling them in Babylon. Simply read the concluding verses: “For because of the voice of Jehovah, Assyria will be struck with terror; He will strike it with a rod. And every swing of his rod of punishment that Jehovah will bring down on Assyria will be accompanied by tambourines and harps as he brandishes his arm against them in battle. For his Topheth is already prepared; it is also made ready for the king. He has made the woodpile deep and wide, with an abundance of fire and wood. The breath of Jehovah, like a torrent of sulfur, will set fire to it.”
The stubborn sons faithlessly looked to Egypt to save them from the Assyrian hordes. Sennacherib had already conquered the 10-tribe kingdom of Israel and he began a military campaign against Judea and Jerusalem. In fact, he had begun to lay siege to Lachish, a city in Judea. As every Bible Student knows, Jehovah sent an angel and wiped out the entire Assyrian army. The end of the Assyrian campaign parallels what is foretold in Ezekiel regarding the attack of Gog. The miraculous intervention against Assyria symbolizes what will occur at Armageddon.
So, contrary to the Watchtower’s commentary, Jehovah will save the stubborn sons—provided they have the good sense and humility to turn around when they hear a word behind them saying: “This is the way.”
The article only cites half of the 18th verse. The entire verse states: “But Jehovah is waiting patiently to show you favor, and he will rise up to show you mercy. For Jehovah is a God of justice. Happy are all those keeping in expectation of him.”
The underlying theme of the entire Bible is to keep in expectation of the day of Jehovah—really, of Christ. Did not Jesus explain to his disciples that he is coming as a thief in the night and only those who are in expectation will be rewarded? So, God’s patience is expressed leading up to the sudden return of Christ and all that that entails. And God’s mercy is not expressed until he rises up.
9) Continuing his illustrative language, Isaiah describes us as students who are being taught by Jehovah in two ways. First, Isaiah states: “You will see your Grand Instructor with your own eyes.” In this illustration, the Instructor is depicted as standing in front of his students. We are privileged to benefit from his instruction today. How does Jehovah instruct us? He does so by means of his organization. How thankful we are for the clear guidance we receive from that source! The instruction given at our congregation meetings and conventions as well as through the publications, broadcasts, and many other means helps us during challenging times to endure with joy.
When Moses was up on the mountain speaking with Jehovah face-to-face, the Israelites prevailed upon Aaron to fabricate a golden calf. The idol was hailed as “Jehovah.” Similarly, the men of Bethel have cleverly crafted the Watchtower into an institutional idol. And like the golden calf, the Watchtower organization is “Jehovah.”
If necessary, re-read paragraph nine a few times. It is probably the most insidious, blasphemous statement the Governing Body has ever made, at least so far. Your own eyes will see your Grand Instructor by looking at the organization? Really? Jehovah is standing in front of you in the form of the Watchtower publishing company? Do you realize what they are saying? Jesus once told his doubting apostles ‘if you have seen me you have seen the Father.’ Apparently, the Watchtower is claiming the same thing. Ironically, this is the fulfillment of prophecy. What did Paul say concerning the man of lawlessness?
“He stands in opposition and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he sits down in the temple of God, publicly showing himself to be a god.” 2 These 2:4
As for being thankful for receiving clear guidance, how many Jehovah’s Witnesses have already died because they—perhaps against their own inclination—followed the guidance of the Governing Body and allowed themselves to be injected with a death-dealing serum? How many more will die in the future as their immune systems shut down? And all because the stubborn sons looked to the experts of Satan’s wicked system for guidance.
10) Isaiah records a second way that Jehovah instructs us, saying: “Your own ears will hear a word behind you.” The prophet here describes Jehovah as an attentive instructor who is walking behind his students, pointing to the way ahead and giving them guidance. Today we hear God’s voice from behind us. How? God’s inspired words were recorded in the Bible long ago, a time far behind us. So when we read the Bible, it is as if we were hearing God’s voice coming from behind us. —Isa. 51:4.
This is a classic example of how the Watchtower plasters its whitewashed wall of doctrinal error. The entire book of Isaiah, which, by the way, means the salvation of Jehovah—the same as Jesus—concerns the second coming of Christ. Notice how the Watchtower adroitly omits the setting, which is stated right there in the very same verse: “Though Jehovah will give you bread in the form of distress and water in the form of oppression, your Grand Instructor will no longer hide himself, and you will see your Grand Instructor with your own eyes.”
What does it mean that God will feed his people bread in the form of distress and water in the form of oppression? If Jehovah’s Witnesses are protected in spiritual paradise, as the article goes on to claim, why does Jehovah afflict them? And let us be clear, this distress and affliction is not the run-of-the-mill persecution we all experience from time to time. The latter half of the 26th verse states the extent of it, saying: “in the day that Jehovah binds up the breakdown of his people and heals the severe wound from the blow he inflicted.”
The bruising blow Jehovah will inflict will be during the great tribulation. In the aftermath of the most severe time of trouble the world will have ever experienced, God will intervene to cut it short. It is then that the Grand Instructor will no longer hide himself. Then is when you will hear a word behind you showing the way out of the calamity. Indeed, then is when the chosen ones will see the manifestation of the one whom Isaiah identified as the Wonderful Counselor. Their eyes will see him. Those who listen to Christ and respond will reject the idolatry that is part of their pure worship. That is why verse 22 says: “And you will defile the silver overlay of your graven images and the golden plating of your metal statues. You will cast them away like a menstrual cloth and say to them, “Be gone!”
The Watchtower study article is instructive. It reveals how the organization is fulfilling prophecy in a way that Jehovah’s Witnesses are not even aware of—not yet anyway.
The leaders of the Watchtower are the stubborn sons. They reveal themselves to be such even by the way they blatantly twist and distort the meaning of the prophecy in the 30th chapter of Isaiah. It is as if they have commissioned their organization’s visionaries to make it turn out well for them. The power of the pen, and all.
How true: “For they are a rebellious people, deceitful sons, sons who are unwilling to hear the law of Jehovah. They say to the seers, ‘Do not see,’ and to the visionaries, ‘Do not tell us truthful visions. Tell us flattering things; envision deceptive illusions. Turn aside from the way; deviate from the path. Quit putting before us the Holy One of Israel.” — Isaiah 30:9-11
I will not stop putting Jehovah’s judgment before them. Woe indeed, for the stubborn sons!