The June 2023 Watchtower has an article entitled Keep Ready For Jehovah’s Day. The opening paragraph states an oft-repeated error:
WHEN the Bible speaks of “Jehovah’s day,” it refers to the time when Jehovah judges his enemies and brings salvation to his people. In the past, Jehovah at times carried out judgments. (Isa. 13:1, 6; Ezek. 13:5; Zeph. 1:8) In our time, “Jehovah’s day” begins with the attack on Babylon the Great and culminates in the battle of Armageddon.
As often as they claim that the tribulation begins with the attack on Babylon—or in this case the variation—that Jehovah’s day begins with the attack, the Watchtower never cites any supporting scripture. The reason they do not should be obvious—there aren’t any. No, it is not an oversight or an anomaly with this particular article. Use your wonderful Bible research tools and you will surely find that as often as the claim is made the Watchtower has never presented any scriptural support. It is always just matter-of-factly passed off.
Ironically, the last subheading cites the apostolic exhortation to make sure of all things. The subsequent paragraph states:
Thus, we need to test what we hear or what we read to determine whether it is genuine. That was important for the Thessalonians, and it will be even more important for us as the great tribulation approaches. Instead of naively accepting what others say, we use our thinking ability to compare what we read or what we hear with what the Bible and Jehovah’s organization say. In doing so, we will not be fooled by any demonic propaganda or trickery.
Amazing, isn’t it? What if Jehovah’s Witnesses were to actually compare what the Bible says with what “Jehovah’s organization” asserts the Bible says? Indeed, I challenge any reader to present biblical support for the Watchtower’s claim that Jehovah’s day begins with the attack on Babylon the Great. Surely there must be some knowledgeable elders and others who have thinking abilities who are capable of such a simple task as proving what they believe and are teaching others is true? All of us are required to make sure of all things. It is not blasphemous to use our minds to make sure that if we accept the Watchtower’s teaching as true that it actually is true.
In truth, it is the Watchtower that is employing demonic trickery and it runs much deeper than Jehovah’s Witnesses can possibly imagine.
There is a very simple reason why the Watchtower teaches this falsehood. It is because Jehovah has ordained it to be. The same apostle who wrote to the Thessalonians regarding Jehovah’s day coming as a thief also wrote a second letter to the same congregation warning them to be on guard so as not to be alarmed by official-sounding proclamations and letters portending to be from the apostles claiming that the parousia has begun and the day of Jehovah is here. Paul went on to reveal that Jehovah would allow for a powerful deluding influence in the form of an operation of Satan to have sway over the congregation until such time as the manifestation of Christ destroyed the source of the delusion, that being the man of lawlessness.
True to the prophet Paul’s writings, the Watchtower has been the sole source heralding the presence of Christ and Jehovah’s day. (Originally the Watchtower proclaimed the parousia had begun in 1874. And for over a half-century, the Watchtower claimed that the day of Jehovah had begun in 1914.)
So, what is the day of Jehovah and how will it begin?
To be sure there is only one day of Jehovah. The passages the article cited (Isa. 13:1, 6; Ezek. 13:5; Zeph. 1:8) use the expression “day of Jehovah,” and there are many other instances in the Hebrew Scriptures besides. But those prophecies have dual fulfillments. What occurred in the past is a pattern for the future. The Governing Body knows this to be true, or at least they used to acknowledge it. For example, the opening paragraph cited Zephaniah 1:8. There are actually seven places in the small prophetic book that refer to the day of Jehovah and the day of Jehovah’s anger and the Watchtower has cited the second chapter many times and has applied it to the future: “Before the decree takes effect, before the day passes by like chaff, before the burning anger of Jehovah comes upon you, before the day of Jehovah’s anger comes upon you, seek Jehovah, all you meek ones of the earth, who observe his righteous decrees. Seek righteousness, seek meekness. Probably you will be concealed on the day of Jehovah’s anger.”
Admittedly, it can be difficult to detect the Watchtower’s deceptive trickery. They are very good at it. Consider the Hebrew prophecy of Joel, where the expression “the day of Jehovah” appears in five places. As a result of my holding up the Watchtower’s longstanding interpretation of Joel to withering mockery, a few years ago they grudgingly admitted that the notion that the locusts represent Jehovah’s Witnesses didn’t make any sense. Instead of explaining it in their new-found light though they essentially discarded the book of Joel, at least as far as the locust attack having any relevance for the future. By the decree of the prophets of Bethel Jehovah’s locust-like military force that is a precursor to the fear-inspiring day of Jehovah is all history. Even though the book of Joel doesn’t even pretend to have had a fulfillment in ancient times the Governing Body has relegated it to the past. Talk about demonic trickery!
So, again, what is the day of Jehovah, and what will mark its arrival?
The day of Jehovah is the same thing as the day of Jesus Christ—also known as the Lord’s day. Just as Jesus came in the name of Jehovah in the first century in fulfillment of prophecy, so too, the second coming of Jesus Christ will commence Jehovah’s day. Just as Paul wrote concerning the day of Jehovah coming as a thief in the night, distinguished by a unique event—“Whenever it is that they are saying, “Peace and security!”—so too, Jesus warned his disciples that he is coming as a thief in the night. There are not two different thief-like comings.
Also, it should be noted that while there are valid reasons for the New World Translation to insert “Jehovah” into “New Testament” passages where the writer, or speaker, was quoting Hebrew passages where YHWH appears, there is, however, a valid reason to question the use of the divine name at 1 Thessalonians 5:2. That is because, in context, which is the previous chapter, Paul was writing about the second coming of Christ. The apostle even specifically referred to the presence of Christ. So, before the Bible was ever divided into chapters and verses, Paul seamlessly segued into what we now call the fifth chapter. The apostle most probably did not use YHWH, but instead wrote: “The day of the Lord is coming exactly like a thief in the night.”
Regarding his coming as a thief, Jesus said that nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. With what result? The existing order will be overthrown.
Interestingly, Ezekiel wrote of a day of Jehovah, saying: “This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: “Wail, ‘Alas, the day is coming!’ For the day is near, yes, a day of Jehovah is near. It will be a day of clouds, an appointed time of nations.” — Ezek. 30:2-3
More than 50 years ago the Watchtower recognized the judgment against Egypt as a pattern for the future day of Jehovah. Except, Franz erroneously claimed the giant cedar represents all the nations of the world. That simply cannot be a true interpretation since the 31st chapter of Ezekiel reveals that all the other tree-like nations in Jehovah’s garden stand as inferiors in comparison to the majestic cedar. These matters have been presented to the Watchtower long ago in the book Jehovah Himself Has Become King. In any case, the toppling of the cedar prefigures the sudden crash of the preeminent power on earth at the time of the second coming of Christ. The fall of Egypt prefigures the downfall of America, no doubt as a result of nation rising against nation and kingdom against kingdom.
It is most ironic that one of the verses cited in the opening paragraph is Ezekiel 13:5, which says: “You will not go to the broken places in the stone walls to rebuild them for the house of Israel, so that Israel may keep standing in the battle in the day of Jehovah.”
The pronoun “you” is in reference to those whom Jehovah derides as the “stupid prophets.” Of them, God goes on to say: “They have seen false visions and foretold a lie, those who are saying, ‘The word of Jehovah is,’ when Jehovah himself has not sent them, and they have waited for their word to come true. Is it not a false vision that you have seen and a lie that you have foretold when you say, ‘The word of Jehovah is,’ when I have not said anything?”’
There is only one institution, one organization, that speaks in the name of Jehovah. Just as the article unashamedly equates the Bible with the writings of the Watchtower, implying that they are one and the same, essentially saying: “the word of Jehovah is”— the Governing Body and their helpers have identified themselves as “the stupid prophets.” They have waited for more than a century for the word to come true—all in vain. The coming of Christ and the actual parousia will shatter their whitewashed wall.
Whenever it is they will be saying “peace and security” will be evident to everyone. So will the “sudden destruction”—not upon Babylon the Great—but upon the Anglo-American empire, which includes the Dollar-based global financial system. The stupid prophets will thereafter have no share among the sons of light.
Indeed, keep ready for Jehovah’s day!