The Pure Worship publication is a real piece of work. And I do not mean that in a good way. It is full of omissions and contradictions and outright deception. It is torturous to read. But isn’t that typical of the Watchtower when it comes to interpreting prophecy? Ironically, though, the very prophetic book Bethel presumes to explain —Ezekiel —shines a light into the darkest corners of their “pure worship.”
Because the Pure Worship publication jumps around quite a bit I will reserve commentary of the ninth and tenth chapters of Ezekiel. Beginning with chapter 11, Ezekiel is taken to the eastern gate of the house of Jehovah where he sees 25 men. No doubt they are the same 25 men who were bowing down to the sun. Jehovah then speaks to Ezekiel, saying: “Son of man, these are the men who are scheming evil and giving wicked advice in this city. They are saying, ‘Is it not the time for building houses? The city is the cooking pot, and we are the flesh.’”
What did those scheming men mean? They were saying that Jerusalem was not going to be destroyed. Whatever happens outside cannot harm them as long as they stay in the city. The fire may roar outside but they are safe inside the cooking pot. It was business as usual. A time for the construction of new houses.
Ezekiel then prophesied: “What you have said is correct, O house of Israel, and I know what you are thinking. You have caused many to die in this city, and you have filled her streets with the dead. Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: ‘The dead bodies that you have strewn about the city are the flesh, and the city is the cooking pot. But you yourselves will be taken out of it. A sword you have feared, and a sword I will bring against you,’ declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. ‘I will bring you out of her and give you into the hand of foreigners and execute judgment on you. You will fall by the sword. I will judge you at the border of Israel, and you will have to know that I am Jehovah. The city will not be a cooking pot for you, and you will not be the flesh within it; I will judge you at the border of Israel, and you will have to know that I am Jehovah. For you did not walk in my regulations and carry out my judgments, but you have acted in harmony with the judgments of the nations around you.’”
Jerusalem was going to be destroyed. Even though God had protected and blessed it in the past, things had changed. The faithless Jews were not going to be protected from Babylon’s sword.
How very much like the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses today. They imagine that the Watchtower is the cooking pot. As long as one stays in the organization they will be safe. That is the theme of the Pure Worship publication. Everything in prophecy is explained so as to make the Watchtower into the ark of salvation. No one outside the organization will survive. Is that not what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe with all their heart and soul?
The mindset of the Governing Body is expressed by those 25 men who were scheming evil —saying that it was time for building houses. Given that the Bethel family has just moved into their plush new granite headquarters in the New York countryside, who can deny that they expect their work to remain? Some have voiced their confidence that the Warwick complex will survive the tribulation and serve as the earthly headquarters in the new world.
The 11th chapter of Ezekiel is not all doom and gloom. On the contrary, God’s has a purpose in mind. True, the destruction of Jerusalem was a horrific disaster that was a punishment from Jehovah, but God went on to say: “I will also collect you from the peoples and gather you from the lands to which you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. And they will return there and remove from it all its disgusting things and detestable practices. And I will give them a unified heart, and I will put a new spirit in them; and I will remove the heart of stone from their bodies and give them a heart of flesh, in order that they may walk in my statutes and observe my judgments and obey them. Then they will be my people, and I will be their God.”
Ah, a restoration. A new heart and a new spirit. That is quite something.
Now consider the utter falsity of the Watchtower’s interpretation as presented in the 9th chapter of their publication.
The destruction of Jerusalem prefigures the great tribulation, at least that is what the Watchtower teaches. Jesus also spoke of Jerusalem being desolated during the great tribulation coming upon the entire inhabited earth. In the aftermath of that earth-wide catastrophe, there will occur a great gathering of the chosen ones from the four winds. That is when Jehovah becomes their God and they become his people. But not according to the Watchtower.
Inexplicably, the destruction of antitypical Jerusalem and the exile of God’s people in the greater Babylon took place more than a thousand years ago! Supposedly, Christians had been in spiritual captivity for centuries —going back to the advent of Christendom. Even more absurd, according to Bethel the domination of Christendom over the truth was an expression of God’s anger. Amazingly, though, God’s anger apparently subsided and in 1919 the grand restoration took place. Jehovah’s Witnesses have been the worthy recipients of the hearts of flesh (as opposed to hearts of stone) and they have received the unifying spirit and above all, God has declared them to be his people.
How apt God’s description of the Jews is for Jehovah’s Witnesses now: “Son of man, you are living in a rebellious house. They have eyes to see, but they do not see, and ears to hear, but they do not hear, for they are a rebellious house.”—Ezekiel 12:2
Ezekiel went on to reiterate that the end was coming. God was going to cast his net over the city, as it were, and the rebellious Jews were going into captivity in Babylon.
“Son of man, what is this proverb that you have in Israel that says, ‘The days go by, and every vision comes to nothing’? Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: “I will cause this saying to cease, and they will no more use it as a proverb in Israel.”’ But tell them, ‘The days are near, and every vision will take place.’ For there will no longer be any false vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel. —Ez. 12:21-24
What the Watchtower presents —their entire dogma, placing the Organization at the center of everything —as the fulfillment of every prophecy —is a false vision. It is perfectly described in Ezekiel as “flattering divination.” How so?
The Governing Body reserve to themselves the sole ability to discern the meaning of prophecy. True, they claim that all anointed persons make up an “Ezekiel class,” whatever that is, but that is just window dressing. No one has a voice except the editorial staff at Bethel. Although every single one of Jehovah’s Witnesses possesses a Bible and has a mind with which to read and reason, somehow the Governing Body does not rely upon mere reason. They do not worry about contradictions. By innuendo, Jehovah’s Witnesses are led to believe the adepts at Bethel operate on a higher plane of spiritual consciousness. Because of their appointment as the faithful slave tasked with providing spiritual food the presumption is that their interpretations are derived from their close connection to the Divine source, which is a sort of divination. And as already stated, and as should be evident to all, the Organization is cast as the city on the hill basking in heaven’s radiant glow. Flattering divination, indeed!
My message to them is the same as Ezekiel’s —The days are near. And every vision of prophecy from Isaiah to Revelation will take place. No longer will there be any delay. The days of the Watchtower’s flattering divination are nearly over. Soon the missiles will be streaking across the sky. The last kingdom will come to power. It will serve as Jehovah’s executioner. The Watchtower’s stupid prophets will come to naught. It will be as if the words of the prophets come to life then and are spoken in real-time. No longer will the stupid prophets be able to control the message, as the prophecy itself foretells: “‘For I, Jehovah, will speak. Whatever word I speak will be done without any more delay. In your days, O rebellious house, I will say the word and carry it out,’ declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah.’ —Ez. 12:25
To be continued…