QUESTION: Does the “inspired” recorded story of Jonah set a precedence for Jehovah to change his mind and delay the world’s destruction? —Especially upon those nations which have little to no say in world affairs or at the U.N. or who “know not their left hand from their right?” (Hindus, Buddhists, Shintoists, Islamists, etc… including third world countries and those opposed to JW’s because of their perceived zionist connections.)
First, apparently Jesus accepted the story of Jonah as inspired and authentic —he citing Jonah being in the belly of the huge fish for three days and three nights as a foregleam of the earthly internment and subsequent resurrection of the Son of man.
As for God changing his mind, according to Jesus that is not going to happen. God has already predetermined the “day and hour.” Although it is humanly unknowable and even Christ said neither he nor the angels knew —Jehovah knows. It is already fixed in his mind. And whatever is fixed in God’s mind becomes reality. God setting a precise day of judgment is not without precedence, in that, during the days of Noah God predetermined that he would only put up with the world for 120 years more.
According to the apostle Peter God is already exercising restraint and patience in order that we may attain to repentance: “Jehovah is not slow concerning his promise, as some people consider slowness, but he is patient with you because he does not desire anyone to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance. But Jehovah’s day will come as a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar, but the elements being intensely hot will be dissolved, and earth and the works in it will be exposed.”
So, the time for repentance is before Jehovah’s day begins. God’s word through Zephaniah confirms this, saying: “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.”
Contrary to what Jehovah’s Witnesses may believe, the day of Jehovah is not Armageddon. Jehovah’s day is the same as the Lord’s day, or day of the Lord. As we know, the YHWH does not appear in any ancient Greek texts —at least none have come to light yet. That being true, we ought not be dogmatic about the expression cited above regarding Jehovah’s day coming as a thief. The original Greek simply says the day of the Lord will come as a thief. And did not Jesus liken his coming as a thief in the night? In other words, the day of the Lord will begin unexpectedly at the precise day and hour Jehovah has already determined. (Presently, Jehovah’s Witnesses are laboring under the delusion that the day of the Lord began in 1914.)
As for the nations dominated by Islam, the future does not look particularly bright. Many Islamic nations impose the death penalty for persons converting to even the phony forms of Christianity. It is not surprising that the more robust expression of Christianity practiced by Jehovah’s Witnesses is suppressed and banned throughout the Muslim world. Ironically, though, the wars that have already enveloped the Middle East along with the destruction of Libya in Northern Africa, have produced millions of refugees that have flooded Europe and beyond. Many of the nations that have received refugees also have large numbers of active Jehovah’s Witnesses. In this way at least a representative number of people of Islamic backgrounds have been given access to the truth. (When Syrian Refugees Open the Door to Jehovah’s Witnesses.)
Be that as it may, all nations will ultimately come under Christ’s judgment. Given the present geopolitical crises centering in and around Muslim nations, and the fact that China’s New Silk Road is going to revolutionize nations like Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and all the other “stans,” I suspect that entire populations may be targeted by the beast and wiped out in the impending global conflagration. After all, Revelation reveals that the ride of the symbolic four horsemen results in death for a quarter of mankind. But at least those laid low in the opening phase of the day of Jehovah will be received into Hades and not the second death.
Given the deplorable decadence of America and Europe and the total bankruptcy of the West —both literally and figuratively and the fact that China’s ascendency is inevitable —war is all that is left.
The present situation underscores the apostle’s exhortation: “Working together with him, we also urge you not to accept the undeserved kindness of God and miss its purpose. For he says: ‘In an acceptable time I heard you, and in a day of salvation I helped you.’ Look! Now is the especially acceptable time. Look! Now is the day of salvation.” —II Corinthians 6:1-2