We shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.
Like those who took the lead in the first century, Christian elders who oversee the preaching work today are devoted “to the ministry of the word.” As these brothers make decisions, they seek direction from God’s Word, making it ‘a lamp to their foot and a light to their roadway,’ and they earnestly pray for Jehovah’s guidance. They rejoice greatly at the progress that is being made in the preaching of the good news locally and throughout the world. They do not set out endless rules and procedures. Instead, they follow the Scriptures and the leadings of God’s holy spirit as they make arrangements that are needed to help the preaching work go forward. By doing so, these responsible brothers set a fine example for all in the local congregations.
The Watchtower has unquestionably sponsored the greatest evangelical work that has ever been accomplished in the history of Christianity. The vast worldwide work could only be accomplished with the backing of Jesus Christ. But how will it end?
The Watchtower has led Jehovah’s Witnesses to expect that the United Nations will suddenly attack all the religions of the world. Supposedly that is how the great tribulation will begin. Jehovah’s Witnesses have no recourse but to accept whatever “the slave” teaches – that much is understood. But if Jehovah’s Witnesses are honest with themselves, they should at least acknowledge that the Watchtower doesn’t exactly have a sterling record when it comes to accurately understanding and interpreting the outworking of prophecy in modern times.
And that brings us to the book of Joel.
The prophecy of Joel does indeed speak to the preaching work of Jehovah’s Witnesses, but not in the way that the Watchtower supposes. Going back to the days of Judge Rutherford the organization has taught that Jehovah’s Witnesses are symbolized by the locusts, caterpillars and cockroaches in the prophecy of Joel. But that simply cannot be the case. The fact that many view JW’s as irritating pests notwithstanding, Jehovah’s people are those who are victimized by the pestiferous army. To demonstrate that point Joel 2:25 states: “And I will make compensation to you for the years that the swarming locust, the unwinged locust, the voracious locust, and the devouring locust have eaten, my great army that I sent among you.”
If we accept the Watchtower’s explanation are we to assume that God is going to compensate the hundreds of millions of householders who have been besieged by Jehovah’s Witnesses over the years?
The prophecy is actually portraying the sudden, jolting end of the ministry of Jehovah’s Witnesses as a result of the now looming global cataclysm. The devouring insects may symbolize literal armies under control of the prophetic king of the north, but it may also indicate the absolute and utter plundering of the wealth of the world by means of the machinations of the financial wizards who rule over Satan’s dark world. They have demonstrated in the past that they have not only have the power to dispossess on a grand scale, but also the inclination to do so.
The devouring locusts of Joel are depicted as climbing over protective walls and even through the windows of homes, like thieving burglars: Joel states: “Into the city they rush, on the wall they run. Onto the houses they climb, through the windows they enter like a thief.”
This may symbolize the plundering of cities and households via the crash of the financial and monetary system, upon which everyone relies. People may image that their wealth is secure, as if behind a protective wall, but that is an illusion. After all, a vast amount of wealth is stored as little data bytes on the world’s vast interconnected computer system. How secure is that? There is no encryption system that can be secure against Jehovah’s band of marauders when the time comes for God to wreck the world.