The first edition of Jehovah Himself Has Become King (2005) considered some of the so-called minor prophets, which included Micah. It was apparent to me that the prophecy of Micah, although set in ancient times, actually contains judgments yet to be revealed at the second coming of Jesus Christ. Even in the most recent Third and final edition, though, I could not foresee or appreciate the depth of apostasy to which the antitypical Jerusalem has sunk. But in the years since the last edition (2016), the Watchtower has come to fulfill prophecy in a most unexpected way.
The second chapter of Micah opens by announcing woe upon the schemers of evil, saying: “Woe to those who scheme what is harmful, who work out evil on their beds! When morning light comes they carry it out, because it is in the power of their hand.”
What sort of harmful scheme have they carried out? The second verse answers: “They desire fields and seize them; also houses, and they take them; they defraud a man of his house, a man of his inheritance.”
Greed is an ugly thing. And people with power or authority can indulge in greedy schemes with seeming impunity. It is unknown how the greedy schemers may have defrauded their fellow Jews in the days of Micah, but we certainly can see it being played out in modern times by those who claim to be faithful and discreet, because, as the scripture says “they carry it out because it is in the power of their hand.”
Before the Babylonian conquest of Judah, there were no synagogues. Those meeting houses sprang up after the Jews were released from captivity. Synagogues existed far beyond Palestine, wherever the Jews were dispersed and they served as meeting places and centers of worship apart from the temple. Jesus and his apostles taught in the synagogues of the Jews. You might say that the meeting houses of the Jews were their inheritance. In modern times Jehovah’s Witnesses have built tens of thousands of Kingdom Halls and dozens of assembly halls all around the globe. Each meeting house has been solemnly dedicated to Jehovah.
But over the past few years, the board of directors and their governing frontmen have hatched a scheme to seize hundreds of Kingdom Halls and some assembly halls and sell them like common real estate, because it is in the power of their hand.
Strictly speaking, the Watchtower does not seize them, since they already own them. It may have seemed like a good idea years ago when congregations agreed to transfer the title of the halls they built and paid for to the Watchtower. Having the Watchtower corporation as the sole owner of every property was supposed to prevent any congregation from going rogue and breaking from the WT program. At least that was the way it was presented. It was assumed that the Governing Body—or, more correctly, the faceless board of directors—was more trustworthy than the local elders. The rank and file always trust the Governing Body as being faithful stewards. No one imagined that the Watchtower would hatch a scheme to liquidate Jehovah’s property wholesale and evict tens of thousands of congregants. But that is exactly what is happening.
Jehovah’s Witnesses justifiably take great pride in working together to construct quick-build halls. It is beautiful to see brothers and sisters of all ages working to build something for Jehovah. I know, I have participated in several construction projects in different parts of the USA, including an assembly hall. So, although legally the Watchtower has not seized any properties, they have certainly defrauded the brothers and sisters.
To situate ourselves in the timeframe according to prophecy, the fourth chapter of Micah is helpful. It says: “In the final part of the days, the mountain of the house of Jehovah will become firmly established above the top of the mountains, and it will be raised up above the hills, and to it peoples will stream.”
As all of Jehovah’s Witnesses surely know the final part of the days has to do with the tumultuous period that is initiated by the coming to power of the Kingdom of God. The fact that the Watchtower claims that the final part of the days began in 1914 is itself a significant aspect of the fulfillment of prophecy—except not in the way you may imagine.
Because the Watchtower claims that the mountain of the house of Jehovah has already been raised up and that the people from all nations streaming to it is being fulfilled in the numerical increase of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the organization is regarded as an indispensable and permanent fixture in God’s purpose. Yet, the prophecy of Micah, and virtually every other Hebrew book of prophecy for that matter, situate the final ingathering as occurring in the aftermath of the destruction of “Jerusalem.” This sequence is confirmed by Jesus himself since the central feature of his sign of the conclusion and his presence is the desolation of Jerusalem followed by the angels gathering the chosen ones from the four winds.
Now, with the time frame in mind consider the following: “But lately my own people have risen up as an enemy. You openly strip off the majestic ornament with the garment from those passing by confidently, like those returning from war. You drive the women of my people out from their delightful houses; from their children you take away my splendor forever. Get up and go, for this is no place of rest. Because of uncleanness, there is destruction, grievous destruction.” — Micah 2:8-10
According to the Governing Body, an apostate is someone who no longer believes that the Watchtower is God’s organization. That does not apply to me. I believe that it is. Just as Israel and Judah were God’s organization—so too, Jehovah’s Witnesses are God’s people and they are under the authority of men who have been appointed to serve as shepherds. As the verse above indicates, God himself recognizes a certain group as his people. Those whom he calls “my own people” are his people when the judgment phase begins, which will involve “grievous destruction.”
When is “lately”—when those described as “my own people” rise up as an enemy of Jehovah God? Since, as already stated, it is immediately before the mountain of the house of Jehovah comes to power—in other words before the Kingdom comes—we are now seeing the fulfillment of the prophecy in the leadership of the Watchtower. It is not as though the Watchtower has confiscated the personal homes of God’s people—although, Bethel’s money-changers have devised all sorts of sophisticated schemes, including cajoling elderly witnesses into signing over homes and wills and properties. (See chapter on Micah) But as already stated, the Watchtower has defrauded God’s people of their houses of worship—houses that even women and children helped construct as part of their service to God.
We are not talking about foolish blunders and errors. God is always more than willing to overlook such things. This is different. When men devise a scheme to defraud others and carry it out as a policy it is not an unintentional mistake. That is why I am justified to say “lately”—as, in the past few years, the leading men of the Watchtower have risen up as Jehovah’s enemy. Woe indeed for them. But it gets worse.
End of part one