I watched with interest the January 2023 JW Broadcast presentation of part one of the Annual Meeting; especially Geoffrey Jackson’s talk with the theme: Be Alert. Be Decisive, which focused on the events which led up to the desolation of Jerusalem in the first century as chronicled by the Jewish historian, Josephus.
Being alert and decisive is vital. After all, Jesus forewarned his followers that he is coming as suddenly and unexpectedly as a thief in the night and only those who are dressed and have their lamps burning bright will be able to receive him acceptably.
I had hoped that the Governing Body might reveal some bit of new light regarding the modern application of Jesus’ prophecy in the grander fulfillment, but none was forthcoming. Are we really to stay on the watch expecting the United Nations to ban all religions throughout the world? Surely, you must know that there is no possibility of that happening in the present political structure.
Alas, though, since Jehovah’s Witnesses are laboring under the delusion that the one-hour reign of the eighth king has been ongoing for a century—concurrent with Satan’s “short period of time”—there is no basis to anticipate the post-crash ascendency of the last king, which will no doubt be in the form of a communistic, bankers’ dictatorship. Only under a godless new world order, devoid of all civil liberties and human rights, will the environment be right for the swift destruction of Babylon the Great.
What is most disconcerting regarding the beloved theocratic myth that Christ has come in his Kingdom, it has caused a lack of awareness on the part of the Governing Body as regards developing events. Even as the war in Ukraine is revealed to be a transparent proxy war between the foremost nuclear powers, with rumors of World War Three growing louder by the day, Jehovah’s Witnesses are oblivious to the significance of these developments, which equates to a failure to discern the time of your inspection.
There really is no justification for such self-imposed organizational blindness. Jesus even explained to his followers that when they “see all these things” they would know the Lord is near at the door. I know the Watchtower’s default position is to tie everything to 1914, but how is it possible for anyone living now to “see” events that supposedly fulfilled the sign long before any of us were even born? Worded differently, why is it deemed to be impossible for the apocalyptic horsemen to be unsealed in the near future? The crimson, black and pale horses of war, famine, and pestilence certainly do seem to be snorting and braying at the gate, do they not?
No doubt you realize the implications of such a development. It will mean the utter collapse of the Watchtower and result in many being stumbled and brothers hating and betraying one another—as Jesus also foretold.
The Watchtower’s prophets and visionaries will be exposed as having been in a spiritually drunken stupor, even as foretold in Isaiah: “Be stunned and amazed; blind yourselves and be blinded. They are drunk, but not with wine; they are staggering, but not from alcohol. For Jehovah has poured a spirit of deep sleep on you; He has closed your eyes, the prophets, and he has covered your heads, the visionaries.” — Isaiah 29:9-10
Geoffrey Jackson even quoted Jesus when he wept over Jerusalem and bemoaned the fact that the Jews did not discern the time of their being inspected. It is undeniable—those words of Christ surely apply to Jehovah’s Witnesses now. Does not the Watchtower teach that Jesus came as the messenger of the covenant during the First World War for the prophesied inspection? As recently as 2016 the Watchtower claimed that very thing:
Malachi 3:1-3 describes the time—from 1914 to early 1919—when the anointed “sons of Levi” would undergo a period of refinement. (Read.) During that time, Jehovah God, “the true Lord,” accompanied by Jesus Christ, “the messenger of the covenant,” came to the spiritual temple to inspect those serving there. After receiving needed discipline, Jehovah’s cleansed people were ready to take up a further assignment of service. (WT Nov 2016, para 14)
Obviously, if Christ has already performed the inspection there is no basis to expect another; hence, the very teaching of the Watchtower ensures the failure of all Christians to discern the coming inspection.
The speaker mentioned that the Romans surrounded Jerusalem with pointed stakes but neglected to offer any insights into its prophetic significance of it. How is it possible to be alert and decisive when there is no discernment of the word of God that casts a light into the future?
It appears that Jesus was actually referencing Isaiah when he spoke of Jerusalem being besieged with a palisade. Except, the prophecy of Isaiah concerns the second coming of Christ. That is likely the reason that Jehovah referred to Jerusalem cryptically. Speaking of Jerusalem as Ariel, Jehovah said: “I will encamp on all sides against you, and I will besiege you with a palisade and raise up siegeworks against you. You will be brought low; from the ground you will speak, and what you say will be muffled by dust. Your voice will come from the ground like the voice of a spirit medium, and your words will chirp from the dust.” — Isaiah 29:3
Interestingly, in an answer to a question from a reader published more than 60 years ago concerning the meaning of the strange prophecy, the Watchtower made the following statement:
These words show that God’s earthly organization would come under attack and would be reduced to a very low state by the enemies of God’s kingdom. God’s people would be, as it were, crushed to the earth, at the time of Gog’s attack upon them, so that what utterance they made, what vocal sounds they made, would come up from low down in their abasement. It would be sound coming up from the very dust of the earth. It would be as if a spirit medium were talking with the vocal sound coming from the dust of the earth. However, the next verses show that God would turn his attention to his faithful people who had been brought so low and he would work miracles on their behalf to deliver them from the power of the enemy so that their enemies and oppressors would become like dust and chaff that are quickly blown away by a violent windstorm. (Wt. 3/15/61)
It would appear that the Watchtower was more insightful in bygone days. In confirmation that the light is getting dimmer, the more recent commentary on Isaiah made no such application. It is as if that little gleam of light has been flushed down the memory hole.
Except, as insightful as the comment from 1961 was, it is not quite right. According to the passage in Isaiah it is Jehovah who will besiege Ariel and encamp on all sides against her—not Gog. That is in keeping with the fact that Jehovah referred to Nebuchadnezzar as “my servant,” for the reason that Jehovah authorized the destruction of the city where he caused His name to reside. In the setting in Ezekiel Jehovah spoke of Gog’s attack as coming after Jerusalem was destroyed and then rebuilt. Gog is not authorized to attack God’s possession—quite the contrary. That means that the siege of Ariel parallels the antitypical desolation of Jerusalem during the great tribulation—a siege that will be cut short on account of the chosen ones.
Really, what could the faithful and discreet slave possibly have to say when war, famine, and pestilence—culminating in an unprecedented great tribulation—come upon the entire inhabited earth? How could the Governing Body possibly retain any credibility when the entire 1914 edifice crumbles like a highly raised wall? It is even so written: “Since you reject this word and you trust in fraud and deceit and you rely on these, so this error will be for you like a broken wall, like a bulging high wall ready to fall. It will crash suddenly, in an instant.It will be broken like a large potter’s jar…” — Isaiah 30:12-13
Hopefully, we will all be alert and decisive when Christ comes to initiate the inspection and the Watchtower comes crashing down.