QUESTION: In relation to the following passage of scripture: “While he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples approached him privately, saying: “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things?” What will be the sign of Jesus Christ’s presence? b. Will we living today see the conclusion of the system of things?
ANSWER: The sign of Christ’s presence is so straightforward and simple you can jot it down on a little note card or the back of a book of matches. Jesus foretold that the nations and kingdoms would go to war. And there will be food shortages, pestilence and earthquakes here and there. That marks the beginning of the end.
Of course, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the presence of Christ began in 1914 and the Society is even marking 2014 as the first centennial of the Kingdom’s reign. In fact, Jehovah’s Witnesses are absolutely convinced that there could never be a turn of events in the future that might eclipse the magnitude of the First World War and the Spanish Flu of 1919. At the present moment it is beyond their ability to even contemplate the possibility that the Watchtower could be wrong about 1914. Jehovah would never allow it, or so they imagine. In that respect Jehovah’s Witnesses are captive to cult-like mental conditioning that prevents them from analytically examining the Society’s teaching. Any who do are certain to be rebuked for questioning the slave. Or they may be scorned for being spiritually weak.
For a fact, there is virtually nothing that can be done to crack through the mental barricades that have been erected in the minds of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Someone like myself, who would dare even suggest that Jesus Christ did not sit down on his heavenly throne in 1914 is viewed as an unbeliever – worse, a wicked apostate who seeks to wreck their faith.
Ironically, though, the reason Jehovah’s Witnesses are so deceived on this issue is because Jehovah God has willed that they be subjected to a “deluding influence” – formerly called “an operation of error.” And the deluding influence emanates from Satan, the master deceiver, through his human conduit on earth called “the man of lawlessness.”
The Devil is allowed to perform all manner of powerful works, wicked and lying signs and portents in order to convince God’s people that the presence has already begun. I have written about this in some detail on this site.
It is obvious to me that Satan concocted the whole seven times, 1914 formula. After all, there is no justification in the Scriptures for the belief that the appointed times of the nations began when Jerusalem was sacked by the Chaldeans. The apostles surely did not understand Jesus to be referring to a trampling that had occurred centuries before. Jesus was most assuredly foretelling that an antitypical Jerusalem would be trampled on by the nations during the conclusion of the system of things.
But having convinced those early Bible Students of the importance of 1914, then Abracadabra! Presto! The Deceiver then pulled the trigger on what was originally called The Great War. And he then performed a deceptive portent by causing the brief incarceration and subsequent release of the Watchtower’s leadership in 1918-1919, which has ever since stood as the signal event around which virtually all prophecy has been wrapped. And lo and behold, ever since the Watchtower Society has been proclaiming itself as the mouthpiece of God, the prophet class with sole authority to interpret prophecy.
Ironically, in recent decades the prophet class has gone silent. They no longer write in-depth commentary on prophecy. They simply keep repeating periodically that the only thing left on God’s prophetic schedule is the destruction of Babylon the great and Armageddon. But the clock is ticking, or as Habakkuk says: “For the vision is yet for its appointed time, and it is rushing toward its end, and it will not lie. Even if it should delay, keep in expectation of it! For it will without fail come true. It will not be late!”
Meanwhile, in line with the onrushing vision of Habakkuk, the nations are lining up for global war. In all likelihood it will begin in a matter of months, this because the global financial system is about to go into virtual free fall. So, the window of opportunity for the British Empire is very narrow and about to close. War is the only way London can stay in power.
To be sure, the coming war is the only thing that will shatter the delusion that presently grips Jehovah’s Witnesses. For many it will be faith shattering. Others though, a great crowd, will wake up, perhaps even some among the leadership of the Watchtower Society, and will move forward into a new reality under the real reign of Christ.
And knowing Jehovah’s impeccable sense of timing and sardonic humor, I would not be surprised if October, 2014, is marked on God’s calendar as “the most important date in human history.”