The August, 2015, Watchtower, published an article entitled Keep in Expectation. This post is a brief criticism of it.
There is no disputing the fact that the prophets, apostles and Jesus Christ himself, exhorted us to stay awake and in expectation of the execution of God’s judgment. But the question that I urge all to consider is: What should we expect? After all, having wrong expectations can be worse that not having any expectations at all.
The apostles and original disciples demonstrate the matter of the near-disastrous effect wrong expectations can have. To a man the apostles had no expectation that Jesus was going to be cruelly executed. It seems incredible to us now, but even though Jesus explained it to them on multiple occasions they simply could not grasp it. They expected Jesus to become king, right then and there. That is why Peter foolishly tried to dissuade Christ from his course of self-sacrifice, only to be rebuked with the words: “Get behind me Satan.”
Only after he was resurrected and appeared to them on numerous occasions were their minds pried open to understand what had happened and how the Scriptures foretold all the things that had occurred. But their wrong expectations caused them all to be temporarily stumbled.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are in a similar position today. They simply cannot imagine that the Watchtower is wrong to any significant degree. Is it not Jehovah’s mouthpiece? Surely, even if the Watchtower is wrong eventually they’ll get it right, or so the reasoning goes. The average JW, even elders, cannot grasp the manifold contradictions and absurdities in the Watchtower’s teachings on prophecy, much less the evil intent on the part of some to deliberately mislead. At this point in time Jehovah’s Witnesses are as blind and senseless as were the apostles before the death of Jesus.
But if the Watchtower Society stands for nothing else, it ought to be known for its dogged determination. Unfortunately, for millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses who look to it for spiritual guidance that is not necessarily a good thing, as Bethel has proven it is wholly committed to perpetuating the hoax that Christ began ruling the world in 1914.
Let’s consider some specifics.
In order to thwart any inclination on the part of Jehovah’s Witnesses to consider the possibility of a future parousia and time of the end – as espoused by e-Watchman over the past decade – the sixth paragraph poses the question and then responds in the next paragraph, saying:
But how bad do you expect conditions to become before “the great tribulation”? For example, do you expect that there will be a war in every country, no food on anyone’s table, and illness in every household? Under those conditions, even skeptics would likely feel compelled to admit that Bible prophecy was undergoing fulfillment. However, Jesus said that most people would take “no note” of his presence, carrying on with life’s normal activities until it is too late.
Good questions. Ought we expect war in every country as a prominent feature of what the article describes as the multi-featured sign? What did Jesus say?
As everyone surely knows Jesus foretold that “nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom.”
What does that sound like to you?
But how many people reading this sentence right now actually live in a country that is wracked by war? With the exception that on the odd chance you reside in Eastern Ukraine or Yemen, Syria or some forgotten African nation, I venture to say no one.
Instead of posing the question if we should “expect a war in every country” perhaps the more relevant question would be: Should we expect war to impact us personally? And the answer to that question is evidently yes. Otherwise, why did Jesus stress the importance of our not being terrified of the fearful things that will envelop the nations as part of the multifaceted sign?
Not only that, as I have pointed out on numerous occasions Jesus said “when you see all these things occurring…” But have you personally seen any aspect of this global war Jesus foretold? Again, I am going to go out on a limb here and state that not a single person reading this sentence was alive to witness the First World War.
Just this past week the Russians and their partners commemorated the defeat of the Nazis seventy years ago. Perhaps if you are in your 90’s you might have some recollection of that last world war. Obviously, though, the vast majority of earth’s teeming billions presently were not alive to personally see it.
If Jehovah is going to judge people based upon their accepting what the Watchtower teaches regarding 1914, wouldn’t it be reasonable on the part of God that this aspect of Jesus’ prophecy ought to be prominent, rather than obscure?
Consider the Watchtower’s question more closely. “Do you expect that there will be a war in every country, no food on anyone’s table…”?
According to Revelation the coming of Christ sets into motion the horsemen of the Apocalypse, which brings war, famine and pestilence. Following the Pale horse it states: “And the Grave was closely following him. And authority was given them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with a long sword and with food shortage and with deadly plague and by the wild beasts of the earth.”
If Revelation has been undergoing fulfillment for these past 101 years how has a quarter of the earth been subjected to the authority of the horsemen of war, famine and pestilence? As I have demonstrated in previous posts the First World War and the Spanish Influenza combined did not come close to afflicting that percentage of death among the population of that time. And obviously nothing in modern times can be compared to the carnage of the previous world wars. But to put things in perspective, as a rough estimate about 3% of mankind were laid low from 1914-1919. Granted, 3% represents tens of millions, an appallingly ghastly death toll to be sure, but either Revelation is written in hyperbole or the symbolic horsemen have not been unleashed yet.
Ironically, the theme of the article under consideration is taken from Habakkuk and the concluding words of the prophet indicate that we may expect food to be lacking from all tables. Habakkuk wrote: “Although the fig tree may not blossom, and there may be no fruit on the vines; although the olive crop may fail, and the fields may produce no food; although the flock may disappear from the pen, and there may be no cattle in the stalls; yet, as for me, I will exult in Jehovah; I will be joyful in the God of my salvation.”
By the way, in case you are not keeping up on current events, California, a state of some 38 million people and the leading agricultural producer in the USA, has only about one year’s worth of water left in its dwindling reservoirs and aquifers. The water situation in São Paulo, Brazil, is even more dire. Without rainfall the sprawling mega city of 20 million people is going to be completely out of water in a few weeks. And while some may imagine the lack of water is merely a natural phenomenon, the lack of response to the impending calamity is not.
To illustrate the point, why isn’t there a crash program underway to build nuclear-powered desalination plants and employ other high-tech water-producing technologies? The reason is because certain dark powers wish to use these circumstances to further London’s long-standing policy of massive population reduction. While typically it has been Third World countries that have been targeted for genocide, now the vultures are moving in for the big kill – we are talking global.
For example, in the 1880’s some scientists believe that an El Nino weather pattern cut off the vital monsoon rains to India and brought drought to other parts of the world, resulting in famines, which the British Empire especially exploited via their “free market” policy and the newly built railroads to ship food away from the starving masses. This led to what one writer called the Late Victorian Holocaust – a genocide that snuffed out more lives than the Nazi horrors!
This surely is the mindset of the financier oligarchy running the world now too. And these ongoing water crisis come at a time when the global financial system appears to have entered into a crack-up boom – so called, which is the final, frenzied, buying panic phase of a money bubble before it bursts.
To underscore that fact did you know that the world’s central banks have now become some of the biggest purchasers of stock shares? They conjure money from thin air and either loan it to other mega banks to buy stocks or bonds or they buy stock shares outright, often using high frequency trading methods, thereby driving up the price of stocks, even as the underlying economy, upon which supposedly the valuation of equities is based, is shrinking. (Company stock buybacks are also being employed to prevent global equity markets from collapse.)
Needless to say, the inevitable crash – coupled with a worsening water crisis – can and will result in widespread food shortages coming to a table near you!
“O JEHOVAH, FOR A JUDGMENT YOU HAVE SET IT”
It may also behoove Jehovah’s Witnesses to consider the actual prophecy of Habakkuk, from which the title of the Watchtower article was extracted. True to form, the Watchtower’s interpretation of Habakkuk is another exercise in “double-face divination.” How so? The theme verse from Habakkuk 2:3 refers to the vision the prophet was given. And even if the vision delays in becoming a reality we are to stay in expectation of it. But elsewhere the Watchtower intimates, whether purposefully or through sheer ineptitude, that the vision has already been fulfilled. I am not referring to the original fulfillment either, which of course, had to do with the ruthless Chaldeans crushing and plundering numerous nations – including Judah and the city where Jehovah had caused his name to reside.
The February 1st, 2000, Watchtower is the last time the Society covered the prophecy in detail. And their exposition of the prophecy implies that the modern parallel of the Chaldean has already been manifested in the Communistic and Nazi plunderers. But if that were true that would necessarily mean that Jehovah assigned them to that role. And if that was the case why did not God then enter into judgment with them? To press the point further, it is not just Jehovah’s intervention that is portrayed in the vision, but the genocidal atrocities of the Chaldean are also part of the vision that is for the appointed time. The Governing Body simply have no inkling that the Chaldean typifies the last king and that Jehovah’s assigning it as a punishing agent is a future development.
Returning to the seventh paragraph the last sentence says:
Thus, the Scriptures indicate that world conditions during the last days would not become so extreme that people would be forced to believe that the end is near.
Is the above statement true? No, it is not. Jesus clearly indicated that events will develop to the point that the nations will be in anguish “not knowing the way out because of the roaring of the sea and its agitation. People will become faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”
Whereas, the Watchtower glibly asserts that the multifaceted sign of Christ’s presence has been in evidence since 1914, they also contradictorily admit that this aspect of the sign is not in evidence yet.
But thinking Jehovah’s Witnesses ought to ask: Why will the nations be in anguish? What will happen to make people shiver in fright, expecting disaster to come down on them? The answer is: Nations and kingdoms will become engulfed in war – global war. This will develop to the point that the entire civilization faces self-annihilation.
Now, how reasonable is it that the war that leads to the situation Jesus described in the 21st chapter of Luke occurred a century ago?
Furthermore, the opening of the sixth seal of the Apocalypse brings about a situation described thusly: “Then the kings of the earth, the high officials, the military commanders, the rich, the strong, every slave, and every free person hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. And they keep saying to the mountains and to the rocks: ‘Fall over us and hide us from the face of the One seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, because the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?’”
Of course, the Watchtower will admit that the scenario that develops from the opening of the sixth seal symbolizes the events associated with the tribulation, but in their artifice Bethel still holds to the untenable notion that the sixth seal was unsealed back during the First World War. Supposedly the upheaval and distress concurrent with the war a century ago were merely preliminary temblors of a coming cataclysm. They have no choice but to teach such nonsense or else admit that none of the seals have been unsealed, which would be an admission that the entire 1914 parousia is a sham.
Returning to the seventh paragraph, the Watchtower implies people are adversely judged for denying the Watchtower’s parousia. This is simply not true. Jesus did not say that people will take no note of his presence. A careful reading indicates that Jesus likened his presence to the Flood that swept away an ancient world. “The days of Noah” apparently have reference to the forty days in which the earth was deluged.
Now consider the 10th paragraph, which says:
“Many of us have been keeping awake spiritually for decades. However, let us not allow the passing of time to weaken our resolve to keep in expectation. We need to be ready for Jesus’ arrival as Executioner to end this system of things. Remember that Jesus exhorted his followers: ‘Keep looking, keep awake, for you do not know when the appointed time is. It is like a man traveling abroad who left his house and gave the authority to his slaves, to each one his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to keep on the watch. Keep on the watch, therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether late in the day or at midnight or at dawn or early in the morning, in order that when he comes suddenly, he does not find you sleeping. But what I say to you, I say to all: Keep on the watch.’”
There are several different versions of Jesus’ comments above. But in each version the context has to do with the “master of the house” coming to judge his slaves as to their faithfulness in carrying out their duties in his absence. Obviously, though, the interval of the master’s absence could not possibly be concurrent with his presence; but rather, his coming to the house initiates his presence. Although the Watchtower in this instance asserts a future coming of the master, contradictorily Jehovah’s Witnesses have been led to believe that the “master of the house” came in 1918 and gave the Watchtower his approval.
And while boasting of being spiritually awake, in blatant disregard of what is plainly set forth in Jesus’ illustration, in this article the Watchtower implies that the coming of the “master of the house” relates to the execution of judgment against Babylon the Great. Obviously, though, anyone who thoughtfully reads Jesus’ words and imagines that his coming is not to call anointed Christians to account is sleeping and not keeping in expectation of what is actually to come. And even more disconcerting, Bethel is singing a sweet dreams lullaby under the guise of keeping everyone awake!
But even their sheer tenacity for promoting the 1914 invisible parousia will prove fruitless, as fiction is no match for reality. Soon, very soon, the Watchtower’s whitewashed wall will crash with a thud. No amount of plaster will be able to repair it.
What reality must inevitably confront them? The coming of the “master of the house” indeed! – the tumultuous beginning of the conclusion of the system, the very parousia and ultimate manifestation of the glorious Jesus Christ.