Thursday, July 7

I will pour out my spirit on every sort of flesh, and your sons and your daughters will prophesy.—Joel 2:28.

Jesus was very kind to women. For example, consider a woman who had a flow of blood for 12 years. From behind, she approached Jesus in a crowd and touched his garment. Instead of rebuking her, Jesus kindly said: “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed from your grievous sickness.” Some women who were Jesus’ disciples ministered to him and his apostles. And at Pentecost 33 C.E., about 120 men as well as women received God’s spirit in a special way.  By means of that miraculous event on the day of Pentecost, God showed that he had transferred his backing from apostate Israel to “the Israel of God,” made up of both men and women. Among the Christian women who shared in the ministry in the first century were the four daughters of Philip the evangelizer.

COMMENTARY

The Watchtower puts an interesting twist to the prophecy of Joel —using it to show the honored place of women in the original Christian society. And there is no question that Christianity was nothing short of a revolution in that regard. However, the prophecy reveals much, much more.

If there is a Hebrew book that succinctly encapsulates the things to come, it is Joel. If you ever have an opportunity to speak with Jehovah’s Witnesses about these things the book of Joel can be an effective eye-opener. For one thing, it is brief. In a few pages it lays it all out —Jehovah’s judgments that is. Isaiah pretty much lays it all out in great detail too, but it can’t be read in a few minutes, as can Joel. In these hectic times, and given the short attention span of many people, Joel can get the message across. And if there is any book that reveals how blind the leadership of the Watchtower is, again, look no further than the prophecy of Joel. In fact, you might say the prophecy of Joel is addressed to them —opening with the words: “Hear this, you elders, and pay attention, all you inhabitants of the land. Has anything like this happened in your days or in the days of your forefathers?”

Jehovah is speaking from the future about something that has “happened.” What is God referring to that has happened? Verse four answers: “What was left by the devouring locust, the swarming locust has eaten; and what was left by the swarming locust, the unwinged locust has eaten; and what the unwinged locust has left, the voracious locust has eaten.”

We realize that the locust plague is symbolic, but what does it symbolize? Since the days of J.F. Rutherford the Watchtower has taught that the locust, cockroaches and caterpillars represent Jehovah’s Witnesses, who are like an irrepressible army that has devoured Christendom’s fertile fields of operation. This interpretation is rather humorous since many a-householder would tend to agree that Jehovah’s Witnesses are little more than irritating pests.

Ironically, it is for the very reason that Jehovah’s Witnesses do not get the sense of the message contained in the fascinating prophecy of Joel that God appropriately addresses the elders this way: “Wake up, you drunkards, and weep! Wail, all you wine drinkers, because the sweet wine has been taken from your mouths.”  

 God’s modern-day locust army has given a thorough witness in “the city” of Christendom. They have done so throughout the world. They are still climbing over all obstacles, entering millions of homes, approaching people on the street, speaking to them over the phone, and contacting them in any way possible as they declare Jehovah’s message. Indeed, they have distributed billions of Bible publications and will distribute many, many more in their ceaseless ministry—both publicly and from house to house. – WT 95/May 1 

 Supposing for a moment that Jehovah’s Witnesses are the devouring locust, in what way have the drunkards of Christendom been forced to sober up, as it were? Are not the churches today just as viable as they have always been all during the time that Jehovah’s unstoppable army has supposedly devoured them? Are not common churchgoers just as much under the influence of the clergy as in times past? In some respects the churches have made effective counter-attacks upon the Watchtower —painting the organization as a false religion and a tool of Satan.

No, the drunkards are those who are drinking the sweet wine from Watchtower Farm’s vineyard. Like someone who has literally imbibed of too much, the reasoning powers of Jehovah’s Witnesses have been impaired. They cannot soberly evaluate the Scriptures as it pertains to Jehovah’s judgments. After all, Jehovah’s Witnesses are God’s earthly organization. Jehovah has always protected and blessed his people. And he always will. Here, have some more wine!

40166_BOOZE1It is this attitude of cocksureness about the future that is the telltale evidence of spiritual intoxication. As a reliable sobriety test let Jehovah’s Witnesses read the next verses in Joel and try to coherently explain it in the context of Rutherford’s interpretation: “For a nation has come up into my land, mighty and without number. Its teeth are the teeth of a lion, and its jaws are those of a lion. It has devastated my vine and turned my fig tree into a stump, stripping them completely bare and tossing them aside, leaving their twigs white. Wail as a virgin wearing sackcloth does for the bridegroom of her youth. Grain offering and drink offering have ceased from the house of Jehovah; the priests, the ministers of Jehovah, are in mourning.”

If you imagine that Jehovah’s land is Christendom, that the entity God refers to as “my vine” and “my fig tree” is in reference to the churches; if you suppose that the “house of Jehovah” is the Vatican, or some similar institution, and that Jehovah accepts their “grain offering and drink offering” as sacrifice; that the priests and “ministers of Jehovah” are the clergy; or if you believe  the virgin dressed in sackcloth symbolizes anything other than the prospective bride of Christ that is abandoned at the altar, then you fail the spiritual breathalyzer test. You are as drunk as can be and probably shouldn’t even be allowed to speak and teach in the name of Jehovah or operate heavy machinery —especially a printing press!

Unfortunately, there will be no sobering-up for the people of God —not until the locust plague descends upon them. Then, and only then, will the sheer desperation of the day force Jehovah’s Witnesses to accept reality. On that desperate day, Joel speaks to the men of God: “Put on sackcloth and mourn, you priests; wail, you ministers of the altar. Come in and spend the night in sackcloth, you ministers of my God; for grain offering and drink  offering have been withheld from the house of your God. Proclaim a fast; call for a solemn assembly. Gather the elders together, with all the inhabitants of the land, to the house of Jehovah your God, and cry to Jehovah for help.”

il_570xN.727604557_hzvsTaking Rutherford’s interpretation to its implied absurd conclusion, can you imagine the pope or some clergyman weeping and wailing, begging Jehovah to make Jehovah’s Witnesses stop standing on the street corner with their literature carts passing out pamphlets? Maybe a future episode of the adventures of Caleb and Sophia might feature the two leaving a tract with a person, who is so devastated by the message of the two plastic youngsters that they dress themselves in sackcloth and beseech Jehovah to make them go away and never make a return visit upon them! Perhaps these words would apply to the poor souls who just can’t take the Watchtower’s stinging message any more: “Rip apart your hearts, and not your garments, and return to Jehovah your God, for he is compassionate and merciful, slow to anger and abundant in loyal love, and he will reconsider the calamity.”

For the few readers who are not intoxicated on Watchtower wine, the locust, cockroach, caterpillar onslaught is also referred to in Joel as “the northerner.” In fact, Jehovah is going to destroy the insects. Here is what Jehovah has said: “I will drive the northerner far away from you; I will disperse him to a dry and desolate wasteland, with his vanguard toward the eastern sea and his rear guard toward the western sea. The foul smell from him will ascend, the stench from him will keep ascending; for He will do great things.”

The designation of “the northerner” ought to put us in mind of the king of the north as well as the fierce-looking king in the eighth chapter of Daniel. The fierce king that springs from the little horn is said to grow “very great toward the south and toward the east and toward the Decoration.” As if located in Israel, the same as the locust hordes, the symbolic directions of his incursion by default make the direction from which the king launches his assault the north. Not coincidently, Babylon was like a tempest from Jehovah that descended upon Judah from out of the literal north. And, of course, Gog comes upon “Israel” from “the remotest parts of the north.”

Both kings, which are in reality the same entity, encroach upon Jehovah’s “land,” his possession. For example, just as the locust are said to put an end to the grain offering and drink offering, the ascending little horn contends with the Prince of princes (Jesus Christ) and “from him the constant feature was taken away, and the established place of his sanctuary was thrown down. And an army was given over, together with the constant feature…” 

In that memorable year of 1926 the symbolic locust plague as described by both Joel and the Revelation began. The religious leaders of Christendom began to feel special torments from the scorpion-like stings of the judgment message proclaimed by Jehovah’s anointed remnant – WT 1961 12/1

In the time of the end, when the king of the north likewise sweeps through like a flood, he also makes an incursion into the land of the Decoration —God’s possession. No doubt the sweeping flood is depicting the same thing as the horrific insect invasion. Isaiah 28 similarly depicts Jehovah’s judgment as an onrushing flood, and not coincidently the prophecy is also addressed to the priests of Jehovah who are reeling from their over-indulgence in “alcohol.” Jehovah states: “And I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the leveling tool. The hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters will flood out the hiding place. Your covenant with Death will be dissolved, and your agreement with the Grave will not stand. When the raging flash flood passes through, you will be crushed by it. As often as it passes through, it will sweep you away; for it will pass through morning after morning, during the day and during the night. Only terror will make them understand what was heard.”

What then is this “flood” and insect-like inundation? It is global in nature. What then can it be? It represents the complete overturning of civilization. Most probably the devastation of the democratic system and the imposition of a single communistic world order.

Empires by nature only exist by plundering and exploiting the labor of the poor. In the past the great empires conquered, looted and enslaved great numbers of people and forced them to build their cities, palaces and monuments.

More recently the British and European empires colonized the world, stealing the gold and silver and used slave labor for farming, while the elite prospered via mercantilism.

Now globalism requires large numbers of people to be enslaved in factories working for pennies per day producing widgets and gizmos of all sorts that are bought by the wealthier nations.

But technology has at last empowered a handful of ultra-wealthy financiers with the means to plunder and enslave the whole world. Such is the British economic and financial system. Just as the whole earth can literally be destroyed with the push if a single red button, so too, the system in which people’s life savings and wealth are stored can simply disappear —confiscating everything!

Joel-locustJust as the locust are depicted scaling over protective walls and entering homes through open windows, the Empire’s financial tentacles embrace the globe and people are as vulnerable to being looted by financiers as they were to being plundered by marauding hordes with swords and chains in a bygone era.

As the financial system nears the day of collapse, which is accelerating now as British real estate hedge funds shut their gates to prevent wealthy investors from withdrawing their funds and the European bank stocks crash to pre-Lehman Brothers levels, the central banks have no choice but to flood the world with money as a last-gasp measure, and then deliberately crash the whole system.

Since virtually every nation borrows from the central banks, and corporations issue bonds and stock shares, which are bought with borrowed money, and the vast majority of individuals carry debt in the form of car loans, mortgages, student loans, credit cards, etc, etc, the deliberate blow-out of the money system will leave every institution, national government and individual on the hook to the handful of private bankers whose collective personal wealth probably exceeds the present GDP of the world. The coming crash will in effect, be the means by which they foreclose upon the world. They will then own everything. And I mean everything, including that which belongs to Jehovah, including his people. Indeed, the ministry of Jehovah’s Witnesses is going to be devastated by the onrushing locust hordes. That is why at Joel 3:5-7 Jehovah states: “Because you have taken my silver and gold, and you have brought my finest treasures into your temples; and the people of Judah and Jerusalem you have sold to the Greeks, in order to remove them far from their territory; here I am rousing them to come from the place where you sold them, and I will bring your repayment on your heads.”

How might God’s people plunder those who are destined to plunder them? The next passage in Joel reveals the outcome: “Proclaim this among the nations: ‘Prepare for war! Stir up the mighty men! Let all the soldiers draw near, let them advance! Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning shears into spears. Let the weak one say: ‘I am powerful.’ Come and help, all you surrounding nations, assemble together!’ To that place, O Jehovah, bring down your powerful ones.”

The gathering of the nations in the aftermath of the locust’s plundering, represents the gathering of the nations for the war of Armageddon. Due to their plundered condition and in response to his people imploring him for help, Jehovah will pour out his spirit – yes, even upon women. Those “powerful ones” that come down will be Christ and his angels along with the 144,000, some of whom will be on earth ministering in the house of Jehovah at the time of the catastrophe. Their deaths and instantaneous resurrections immediately prior to the war will allow them to be among Jehovah’s army that will crush Satan’s world. 

Indeed: “Blow a horn in Zion! Shout a war cry in my holy mountain. Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of Jehovah is coming! It is near!

You may wish to listen to a presentation of the meaning of Joel, which is available on Jehovah Himself Has Become King for streaming or download.

 

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