Saturday, January 2
The little one will become a thousand.
In the 20th century, millions of people died as a result of warfare, especially during the two world wars. But as World War II was raging in 1942, Nathan Knorr, who was then taking the lead among Jehovah’s Witnesses, delivered the convention discourse “Peace—Can It Last?” That talk presented evidence from Revelation chapter 17 that the war then raging would lead, not to Armageddon, but to a time of peace. The conclusion of World War II did not bring total peace. According to one count, there were 331 episodes of armed conflict between 1946 and 2013. Millions died. During those years, however, many countries enjoyed relative peace, and Jehovah’s people took advantage of that situation to proclaim the good news. What has been the result? In 1944, there were fewer than 110,000 Kingdom publishers worldwide. Today, there are some 8,000,000!
When Paul warned the brothers not to be alarmed by official-sounding reports and proclamations that the presence of Christ had begun and the day of Jehovah is here, he indicated that the source of those messages is a man of lawlessness, who himself is merely a pawn in what Paul referred to as “an operation of Satan.” That operation involves “every powerful work and lying signs and wonders and every unrighteous deception.”
Prior to 1914 the brothers believed that Jesus’ invisible presence began in 1874. 1914 was looked to as the time when Armageddon would come about. But nothing worked out the way they were led to expect.
In the aftermath of the First World War the League of Nations was set up. However, it was not the fulfillment of prophecy as Jehovah’s Witnesses have been led to believe. The reason that is so, the 2nd Psalm indicates that when Jesus comes in his Kingdom all the nations will band together as one against it. The Watchtower claims that is what took place with the formation of the League. But how could it have been when one of the leading nations of the world — the United States —was not even a member?
Not only that, but Revelation is clear in stating that those who worship the beast or its image are marked for everlasting destruction. Knowing full well that is God’s judgment the Watchtower actually teaches that entire generations that have come and gone have forfeited a resurrection because they may have thought the League of Nations was a good idea. It is simply absurd and blasphemous to suppose that Jehovah would consign people to the second death over such a relatively trivial offense. And of course, the Watchtower cannot hope to explain how people may have been prevented from buying and selling by the League of Nations.
No matter. During World War Two the Watchtower divined another lying sign by seeming to foretell the fulfillment of prophecy before it occurred. To this day, as in the WT’s daily text, the Watchtower boasts of its prophetic prowess in being able to predict the appearance of the United Nations.
But the WT faces the same intractable difficulties in connection with the UN. For example, why not ask an elder in your congregation to explain how people have been prevented from buying and selling by the UN. It may result in a humorous or entertaining exchange, but be assured no sensible explanation will be offered.
As for the increase in publishers, according to the 2016 Year Book stats there was a whopping 1.5% increase in the number of active publishers from the previous year. Considering that nearly two billion man-hours were spent during that year it would seem to be a very paltry increase in relation to the effort spent. And to put things in perspective, the world’s population is increasing at an annual rate of 1.3% – just a tick below the growth rate of Jehovah’s Witnesses. (World Population Clock – scroll down to the heading “growth rate.”)
Instead of speeding up, the rate of percent of increase over recent decades is markedly decreasing. And when one factors in that in recent years the WT has been pushing for adolescent baptism and counting as active publishers those with as few as 15 minutes of reported preaching activity in a month, the “miraculous” increase is virtually non-existent. The supposed great influx is merely another example of an “unrighteous deception” in Satan’s ongoing “operation of error.”
As for the WT’s interpretation of prophecy, why not read the 60th chapter of Isaiah? If you do you will likely discern that, like everything else connected to 1914, the WT’s interpretation is false.
For example, in context it reads: “For you the sun will no longer be a light by day, nor will the shining of the moon give you light, for Jehovah will become to you an eternal light, and your God will be your beauty. No more will your sun set, nor will your moon wane, for Jehovah will become for you an eternal light, and the days of your mourning will have ended. And all your people will be righteous; they will possess the land forever. They are the sprout that I planted, the work of my hands, for me to be beautified. The little one will become a thousand and the small one a mighty nation. I myself, Jehovah, will speed it up in its own time.”
The article on which today’s text is based points out how Jehovah’s Witnesses have taken advantage of the relative peace that has existed since the end of the last world war. Ironically, the question posed by Knorr during that war – Peace, can it last? – is most relevant now! And, the answer is no. It cannot and will not last. The world is on the edge of total war.
Also, consider the question: Has Jehovah become the eternal light shining down upon the Watchtower Society? Not according to Revelation the 22nd chapter. The prophecy of Isaiah echoes that of Revelation, which indicates that the prophecy is fulfilled when the 144,000 begin ruling in the Kingdom, when they see Jehovah’s face. “And there will no longer be any curse. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his slaves will offer him sacred service; and they will see his face,and his name will be on their foreheads. Also, night will be no more, and they have no need of lamplight or sunlight, for Jehovah God will shed light upon them, and they will rule as kings forever and ever.”
Such a blessed condition will come about when the curse of death is removed. Isaiah similarly refers to the days of mourning ending. The question is: Have the days of mourning ended? No. Not at all. They have not even begun. First comes the crash, the stumbling and exile. Then the repurchase. Then during the close-out phase of 3.5 years “Jehovah will speed it up in its own time.”