The door was shut.
Before the great tribulation starts, all the faithful anointed on earth will have received their final sealing. From then on, their calling is sure. But think about the years before the tribulation begins. What would happen to anointed ones who failed to remain watchful, who lost their integrity? They would lose their heavenly reward. Obviously, they would receive no final sealing prior to the start of the tribulation. By that time, other faithful ones would be anointed. When the tribulation starts, the foolish ones might be shocked to see the destruction of Babylon the Great. It may be only at that point that they realize that they are not ready for the arrival of the Bridegroom. At that late hour, if they in desperation ask for help, what would happen? Jesus’ parable gives us the grim answer. It would simply be too late.
For the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses the Watchtower is the sole authority when it comes to determining what is true. If it does not come through the proper channel it is not true. If it comes from the Watchtower, via printed page or through the mouth of its Governing Body or authorized spokesmen, then it is true.
When it comes to simple Bible doctrine that is not a problem. Anyone who is marginally literate can do what the Bereans did in the first century, “for they accepted the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.”
When it comes to interpretations of prophecy, though, it is not so straightforward. And that is where the Watchtower resorts to sheer dogmatism and the tyranny of authority —as exhibited in today’s text.
Persons who are recently associated with Jehovah’s Witnesses might not know, but as recently as 2012 the Watchtower taught that the illustration of the wise and foolish virgins had no relevance, as it had already been fulfilled back in 1918. It was not until July, 2013, that the Watchtower officially junked 1918 as the crucial year when the bridegroom came and the wise and foolish virgins went out to meet him. That issue of the Watchtower also revised their interpretation of when it is that the master appoints the faithful slave over all of his belongings. (There are a series of articles under WT Review that examine the July, 2013 issue)
But Jehovah’s Witnesses would likely be shocked to know that in 2005 the first edition of Jehovah Himself Has Become King debunked the notion that the bridegroom had already come and that the master had already rewarded his faithful slaves.
However, then it was considered an act of apostasy on my part to publish such things. Now, though, what was once a whisper is proclaimed as the official truth, sanctioned by the various committees overseen by the Governing Body and presumably the board of directors of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania.
But what credibility does the Governing Body have when it comes to prophetic interpretation? After all, for almost a half century —since the Governing Body came into existence in the early 70’s —they had taught that the parables were already fulfilled and had no future application.
What accounts for this near-intractable blindness on their part of those who serve as prophets and visionaries to Jehovah’s Witnesses? The answer is found in the prophecy of Isaiah: “For Jehovah has poured a spirit of deep sleep on you; He has closed your eyes, the prophets, and he has covered your heads, the visionaries.”
Not coincidently, in Jesus’ illustration all of the virgins —both the wise and foolish —fall asleep waiting for the bridegroom to come.
While the Watchtower’s recent “adjustment” may seem like a trivial thing, the larger question is: If the Governing Body is given to periodically revamping their teaching on various things considered of vital importance, such as the parable of the 10 virgins, what else do they have wrong? The answer is: A lot!
Basically, though, it boils down to one simple thing. Christ did not come in 1914. And the coming of Christ is what is illustrated by the coming of the bridegroom in the illustration.
Back in 2005 when I was disfellowshipped the whole process was initiated by my mailing out an eight page letter to thousands of kingdom halls in the English-speaking world informing them of the Watchtower’s double-dealing hypocrisy. However, the judicial committee was not particularly concerned about it. Nor were they moved to outrage over the fact that the Watchtower’s lawyers stated in court that Christian elders had no duty to protect children in their respective congregations from being preyed on by pedophiles, as I also brought to their attention then. However, when I stated that Christ’s Kingdom did not begin ruling in 1914 it was as if I had blasphemed Jehovah. I distinctly recall the chairman of the committee immediately clinching his teeth, as if to control his rage.
And it was for that reason —above all else —that I was judged unfit to associate with the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The last thing I said to the committee as they stood in the foyer putting on their overcoats as I had my hand on the door, preparing to walk out of that particular kingdom hall for the last time, was that there was going to be another world war.
That was 11 years ago. No doubt those brothers assumed I was arrogant or perhaps “mentally diseased.” How dare anyone claim the Governing Body is wrong! But now the world stands at the brink of a catastrophe that most people cannot even conceive —a war between the nuclear powers.
In spite of their claim of being on the watch, the Governing Body see no prophetic significance in the world’s present state of affairs. There cannot be another world war. It would involve big bombs and that would just be too destructive! Jehovah’s Witnesses are waiting for the tribulation to begin. How blind they are!
For that reason both the foolish and the wise virgins will be shocked when all the things they were told have already occurred, begin; namely, nation rising against nation and kingdom against kingdom, along with global pandemics, food shortages and great earthquakes.
Then the prospective brides will have to go meet the bridegroom. Those who foolishly look back to the Watchtower for new light will find themselves lost. Ultimately, the door will be shut. Then it will be too late. The outcome will be the parting of the ways for the wise and foolish, the faithful and the evil slaves. “Keep on the watch, therefore, because you know neither the day nor the hour.”