The Second Angel Blew His Trumpet

//The Second Angel Blew His Trumpet

Wednesday, August 31

Well done, good and faithful slave! You were faithful over a few things. I will appoint you over many things.Matt. 25:21.

According to the parable of the talents, when the master comes, he finds that the first two slaves—the one given five talents and the one given two—have proved faithful, each doubling his talents. The master says the same thing to both slaves, as noted in today’s text. What, then, may we expect when the Master, the glorified Jesus, comes for judgment in the future? Those represented by the first two slaves—his hardworking anointed disciples—will already have received their final sealing before the great tribulation breaks out. Before Armageddon, Jesus will give them their promised heavenly reward. Those with the earthly hope who supported Christ’s brothers in the preaching work will have been judged as sheep and will be granted the privilege of living in the earthly realm of the Kingdom.

COMMENTARY

Does the final sealing of the chosen ones take place before the great tribulation breaks out? No. Both the sealing and the gathering of the great crowd occurs after the tribulation, as already discussed in a recent commentary.

The assumption on the part of the Watchtower is that the holding back of the four winds signifies the angels restraining the destructive tempest of the tribulation. However, even if that is what is symbolized Jehovah’s Witnesses may be surprised to know that the Watchtower also contradictorily, implies that the four winds have already been let loose.

The verse cited in the daily text (Rev. 7:1-3) indicates that the angels restrain the four winds from harming the earth, sea or trees. But when first two angels blow their trumpets evidently that is when the four winds are loosened. That is evident by the fact that the earth, sea and trees are harmed —at least a third of them. Here is what Revelation 8:7-8 says: “The first one blew his trumpet. And there was hail and fire mingled with blood, and it was hurled to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green vegetation was burned up. The second angel blew his trumpet. And something like a great mountain burning with fire was hurled into the  sea. And a third of the sea became blood; and a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were wrecked.”

What do these strange phenomenon symbolize? The Grand Climax commentary on Revelation explains that the opening of the seventh seal and the blowing of the seven trumpets has already occurred. In case you missed it, here is what happened when the second angel blew his horn:

We may best understand it against the background of the convention of Jehovah’s people held in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A., on August 18-26, 1923. The featured Saturday afternoon talk by J. F. Rutherford was on the topic “Sheep and Goats.” The “sheep” were clearly identified as those righteously disposed persons who would inherit the earthly realm of God’s Kingdom. A resolution that followed drew attention to the hypocrisy of “apostate clergymen and ‘the principal of their flocks,’ who are worldly men of strong financial and political influence.” It called on the “multitude of the peace and order loving ones in the denominational churches . . . to withdraw themselves from the unrighteous ecclesiastical systems designated by the Lord as ‘Babylon’” and to ready themselves “to receive the blessings of God’s kingdom.” Doubtless, this resolution came as a result of the sounding of the second trumpet.

The Watchtower cannot possibly hope to explain the gaping contradictions and absurdities in their interpretation of Revelation. And fortunately for truth seekers it is not important that they do. The truth is, the sounding of the first four trumpets has to do with God’s future judgments upon his earthly organization.

These matters have been published in considerable detail in the chapter entitled Revelation in the book Jehovah Himself Has Become King. The Final Edition is available as a PDF. Feel free to purchase a copy on Amazon and give it as a gift. (The Second Edition is still online, including the audio version. An iTunes version is also available.)


Chapter 21  pages 129-141, Revelation – Grand Climax

Jehovah’s Plagues on Christendom

Vision 5—Revelation 8:1–9:21

Subject: The sounding of six of the seven trumpets

Time of fulfillment: From the enthronement of Christ Jesus in 1914 to the great tribulation

“THE four winds” have been held back until the 144,000 of spiritual Israel are sealed and the great crowd is approved for survival. (Revelation 7:1-4, 9) However, before that tempestuous storm breaks over the earth, Jehovah’s adverse judgments against Satan’s world must also be made known! As the Lamb proceeds to open the seventh and final seal, John must be watching keenly to see what will unfold. Now he shares his experience with us: “And when he

[the Lamb] opened the seventh seal, a silence occurred in heaven for about a half hour. And I saw the seven angels that stand before God, and seven trumpets were given them.”—Revelation 8:1, 2.

A Time for Fervent Prayer

2 A significant silence this! Half an hour can seem a long time when you are waiting for something to happen. Now, even the constant heavenly chorus of praise is no longer heard. (Revelation 4:8) Why? John sees the reason in vision: “And another angel arrived and stood at the altar, having a golden incense vessel; and a large quantity of incense was given him to offer it with the prayers of all the holy ones upon the golden altar that was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense ascended from the hand of the angel with the prayers of the holy ones before God.”—Revelation 8:3, 4.

3 This reminds us that under the Jewish system of things, incense was burned daily at the tabernacle and, in later years, at the temple in Jerusalem. (Exodus 30:1-8) During such incense burning, the nonpriestly Israelites waited outside the sacred area, praying—no doubt silently in their hearts—to the One to whom the incense smoke was ascending. (Luke 1:10) John now sees something similar happening in heaven. The incense offered by the angel is associated with “the prayers of the holy ones.” In fact, in an earlier vision, incense is said to represent such prayers. (Revelation 5:8; Psalm 141:1, 2) Evidently, then, the symbolic silence in heaven is to allow the prayers of the holy ones on earth to be heard.

4 Can we determine when this happened? Yes, we can, by examining the context, together with historical developments early in the Lord’s day. (Revelation 1:10) During 1918 and 1919, events on earth harmonized remarkably with the scenario described at Revelation 8:1-4. For 40 years before 1914, the Bible Students—as Jehovah’s Witnesses were then called—had been announcing boldly that the times of the Gentiles would end in that year. The distressful events of 1914 proved them correct. (Luke 21:24, King James Version; Matthew 24:3, 7, 8) But many of them also believed that in 1914 they would be taken from this earth to their heavenly inheritance. That did not happen. Instead, during the first world war, they endured a time of severe persecution. On October 31, 1916, the first president of the Watch Tower Society, Charles T. Russell, died. Then, on July 4, 1918, the new president, Joseph F. Rutherford, and seven other representatives of the Society were transported to the Atlanta, Georgia, penitentiary, wrongly sentenced to long years in prison.

5 The sincere Christians of the John class were perplexed. What did God want them to do next? When would they be taken up to heaven? An article entitled “The Harvest Ended—What Shall Follow?” appeared in the May 1, 1919, issue of The Watch Tower. It reflected this state of uncertainty and encouraged the faithful to continued endurance, adding: “We believe it is now a true saying that the harvest of the kingdom class is an accomplished fact, that all such are duly sealed and that the door is closed.” During this difficult period, the fervent prayers of the John class were ascending, as though in the smoke of a large quantity of incense. And their prayers were being heard!

Hurling Fire to the Earth

6 John tells us: “But right away the angel took the incense vessel, and he filled it with some of the fire of the altar and hurled it to the earth. And thunders occurred and voices and lightnings and an earthquake.” (Revelation 8:5) After the silence, there is sudden dramatic activity! This is evidently in response to the prayers of the holy ones, since it is triggered by fire taken from the incense altar. Back in 1513 B.C.E., at Mount Sinai, thunders and lightnings, a loud noise, fire, and a quaking of the mountain signaled Jehovah’s turning his attention to his people. (Exodus 19:16-20) The similar manifestations reported by John likewise indicate Jehovah’s giving attention to his servants on earth. But what John observes is presented in signs. (Revelation 1:1) So how are the symbolic fire, thunders, voices, lightnings, and earthquake to be interpreted today?

7 On one occasion, Jesus told his disciples: “I came to start a fire on the earth.” (Luke 12:49) Truly, he did ignite a fire. By his zealous preaching, Jesus made God’s Kingdom the paramount issue before the Jewish people, and this sparked heated controversy throughout that nation. (Matthew 4:17, 25; 10:5-7, 17, 18) In 1919 Jesus’ spiritual brothers on earth, the small band of anointed Christians who had survived the trialsome days of World War I, set light to a similar fire in Christendom. In September of that year, Jehovah’s spirit was remarkably in evidence as his loyal Witnesses assembled from near and far at Cedar Point, Ohio, U.S.A. Joseph F. Rutherford, recently released from prison and soon to see all charges against him dropped, boldly addressed that convention, saying: “Obedient to the command of our Master, and recognizing our privilege and duty to make war against the strongholds of error which have so long held the people in bondage, our vocation was and is to announce the incoming glorious kingdom of Messiah.” That is the primary issue—God’s Kingdom!

8 Referring to the recent hard experiences of God’s people, the speaker said: “So pitiless was the onslaught of the enemy that many of the Lord’s dear flock were stunned and stood still in amazement, praying and waiting for the Lord to indicate his will. . . . But notwithstanding the momentary discouragement, there was a burning desire to proclaim the message of the kingdom.”—See the September 15, 1919, issue of The Watch Tower, page 280.

9 In 1919 that desire was satisfied. This small but active group of Christians was set on fire, spiritually speaking, to begin a worldwide preaching campaign. (Compare 1 Thessalonians 5:19.) Fire was hurled to the earth in that God’s Kingdom was made the burning issue, and so it continues to be! Strong voices replaced silence, sounding out the Kingdom message with clarity. Thunderous storm warnings from the Bible pealed forth. Like flashes of lightning, brilliant beams of truth shone from Jehovah’s prophetic Word, and, as if by a mighty earthquake, the religious realm was shaken to its foundations. The John class saw that there was work to be done. And to this day, that work continues to expand gloriously throughout the entire inhabited earth!—Romans 10:18.

Preparing for the Blasts of the Trumpets

10 John goes on to say: “And the seven angels with the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.” (Revelation 8:6) What does the blowing of those trumpets mean? In the days of Israel, trumpet blasts were used to signal important days or noteworthy events. (Leviticus 23:24; 2 Kings 11:14) Similarly, the blasts of the trumpets that John is to hear will call attention to matters of life-and-death importance.

11 As the angels got ready to blow those trumpets, no doubt they were also giving direction to a preparatory work on earth. From 1919 to 1922, the revitalized John class was busy in reorganizing the public ministry and building up publishing facilities. In 1919 the magazine The Golden Age, known today as Awake!, had been brought forth as “A Journal of Fact, Hope, and Conviction”—a trumpetlike instrument that would play a key role in exposing false religion’s political involvements.

12 As we shall now see, each of the trumpet blasts heralds a dramatic scene in which terrible plagues affect portions of the earth. Some of these remind us of the plagues that Jehovah sent to punish the Egyptians in Moses’ day. (Exodus 7:19–12:32) These were expressions of Jehovah’s judgment on that nation, and they opened the way for God’s people to escape from slavery. The plagues seen by John accomplish something similar. However, they are not literal plagues. They are signs that symbolize Jehovah’s righteous judgments.—Revelation 1:1.

Identifying the “Third”

13 As we shall see, when the first four trumpets are blown, plagues are inflicted on “a third” of the earth, of the sea, of the rivers and fountains of waters, and of the earth’s sources of light. (Revelation 8:7-12) A third is a considerable part of something but not the whole. (Compare Isaiah 19:24; Ezekiel 5:2; Zechariah 13:8, 9.) So which “third” would be most deserving of these plagues? The vast majority of mankind has been blinded and corrupted by Satan and his seed. (Genesis 3:15; 2 Corinthians 4:4) The situation is as described by David: “They have all turned aside, they are all alike corrupt; there is no one doing good, not even one.” (Psalm 14:3) Yes, the whole of mankind is in danger of receiving an adverse judgment. But one section thereof is particularly guilty. One part—“a third”—should have known better! What is that “third”?

14 It is Christendom! In the 1920’s, her realm embraced about one third of mankind. Her religion is the fruit of the great apostasy from true Christianity—the apostasy that Jesus and his disciples foretold. (Matthew 13:24-30; Acts 20:29, 30; 2 Thessalonians 2:3; 2 Peter 2:1-3) The clergy of Christendom claim to be in God’s temple and have represented themselves as teachers of Christianity. But their doctrines are far removed from Bible truth, and they continually bring God’s name into disrepute. Aptly represented by the symbolic third, Christendom receives potent, plaguing messages from Jehovah. That third of mankind merits no divine favor whatsoever!

15 In line with there being a sequence of trumpet blasts, special resolutions were featured at seven conventions from 1922 to 1928. But the trumpeting has not been confined to those years. The powerful exposing of Christendom’s wicked ways has been continuous, ongoing, as the Lord’s day progresses. Jehovah’s judgments must be proclaimed universally, to all nations, despite international hatred and persecutions. Only then does the end of Satan’s system come. (Mark 13:10, 13) Happily, the great crowd has now added its voice to that of the John class in making those thunderous pronouncements of worldwide importance.

A Third of the Earth Burned Up

16 Reporting on the angels, John writes: “And the first one blew his trumpet. And there occurred a hail and fire mingled with blood, and it was hurled to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees was burned up, and all the green vegetation was burned up.” (Revelation 8:7) This is similar to the seventh plague on Egypt, but what does it mean for our time?—Exodus 9:24.

17 In the Bible, the word “earth” often refers to mankind. (Genesis 11:1; Psalm 96:1) Since the second plague is on the sea, which also has to do with mankind, “the earth” must refer to the seemingly stable human society that Satan has built up and that is due to be destroyed. (2 Peter 3:7; Revelation 21:1) The plague scenario reveals that Christendom’s third of the earth is scorched by the searing heat of Jehovah’s disapproval. Her prominent ones—standing like trees in the midst of her—are burned up by the proclaiming of Jehovah’s adverse judgment. All her hundreds of millions of church members, if they continue to support Christendom’s religion, become like scorched blades of grass, spiritually wilted in God’s eyes.—Compare Psalm 37:1, 2.

18 How is this judgment message delivered? Generally, not by the world’s news media, which are part of the world and often reproachful of God’s “slave.” (Matthew 24:45) It was proclaimed in a notable way at the second historic gathering of God’s people at Cedar Point, Ohio, September 10, 1922. These unanimously and enthusiastically adopted a resolution entitled “A Challenge to World Leaders.” In outspoken terms, it put the modern-day symbolic earth on notice, as follows: “We therefore call upon the nations of earth, their rulers and leaders, and upon all the clergymen of all the denominational churches of earth, their followers and allies, big business and big politicians, to bring forth their proof in justification of the position taken by them that they can establish peace and prosperity on earth and bring happiness to the people; and their failing in this, we call upon them to give ear to the testimony that we offer as witnesses for the Lord, and then let them say whether or not our testimony is true.”

19 What testimony did these Christians offer? This: “We hold and declare that Messiah’s kingdom is the complete panacea for all the ills of humankind and will bring peace on earth and good will to men, the desire of all nations; that those who yield themselves willingly to his righteous reign now begun will be blessed with lasting peace, life, liberty and endless happiness.” In these corrupt times, when man-made governments, especially those in Christendom, are failing utterly to solve the world’s problems, that trumpeting challenge rings out with even greater force than in 1922. How true that God’s Kingdom in the hands of his conquering Christ is mankind’s one and only hope!

20 Through resolutions, tracts, booklets, books, magazines, and discourses, this and later proclamations were trumpeted forth by means of the congregation of anointed Christians. The first trumpet blast resulted in Christendom’s being beaten as with the hardened water of a pounding hail. Her bloodguilt, due to her share in the wars of the 20th century, has been laid bare, and she has been shown to be deserving of the fiery expression of Jehovah’s wrath. The John class, with later support from the great crowd, has continued to echo the first trumpet blast, drawing attention to Jehovah’s view of Christendom, as being fit for destruction.—Revelation 7:9, 15.

Like a Burning Mountain

21 “And the second angel blew his trumpet. And something like a great mountain burning with fire was hurled into the sea. And a third of the sea became blood; and a third of the creatures that are in the sea which have souls died, and a third of the boats were wrecked.” (Revelation 8:8, 9) What does this frightful scene picture?

22 We may best understand it against the background of the convention of Jehovah’s people held in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A., on August 18-26, 1923. The featured Saturday afternoon talk by J. F. Rutherford was on the topic “Sheep and Goats.” The “sheep” were clearly identified as those righteously disposed persons who would inherit the earthly realm of God’s Kingdom. A resolution that followed drew attention to the hypocrisy of “apostate clergymen and ‘the principal of their flocks,’ who are worldly men of strong financial and political influence.” It called on the “multitude of the peace and order loving ones in the denominational churches . . . to withdraw themselves from the unrighteous ecclesiastical systems designated by the Lord as ‘Babylon’” and to ready themselves “to receive the blessings of God’s kingdom.”

23 Doubtless, this resolution came as a result of the sounding of the second trumpet. Those who would in due course respond to that message would separate from those described by Isaiah in these words: “But the wicked are like the sea that is being tossed, when it is unable to calm down, the waters of which keep tossing up seaweed and mire.” (Isaiah 57:20; 17:12, 13) Thus, “the sea” well pictures restless, unsettled, and rebellious humanity that churns up unrest and revolution. (Compare Revelation 13:1.) The time will come when that “sea” will be no more. (Revelation 21:1) Meantime, with the blast of the second trumpet, Jehovah pronounces judgment against a third of it—the unruly part that is in the realm of Christendom herself.

24 A great mountainlike mass burning with fire is hurled into this “sea.” In the Bible, mountains very often symbolize governments. For example, God’s Kingdom is portrayed as a mountain. (Daniel 2:35, 44) Ruinous Babylon became a “burnt-out mountain.” (Jeremiah 51:25) But the mountainous mass that John sees is still burning. Its being hurled into the sea well represents how, during and after the first world war, the question of government became a burning issue among mankind, especially in the lands of Christendom. In Italy, Mussolini introduced Fascism. Germany embraced Hitler’s Nazism, while other countries tried different forms of socialism. A radical change occurred in Russia, where the Bolshevik revolution produced the first Communist state, with the result that religious leaders of Christendom lost power and influence in what was formerly one of their strongholds.

25 The Fascist and Nazi experiments were snuffed out by the second world war, but government continued to be a fiery issue, and the human sea continued to churn and throw up new revolutionary governments. In the decades following 1945, these were installed in many places, such as China, Vietnam, Cuba, and Nicaragua. In Greece an experiment in military dictatorship failed. In Kampuchea (Cambodia) an excursion into fundamentalist Communism resulted in a reported two million and more deaths.

26 That “mountain burning with fire” continued to make waves in the sea of mankind. Struggles over government have been reported in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and the Pacific islands. Many of these struggles have taken place in lands of Christendom or where Christendom’s missionaries have become activists. Roman Catholic priests even joined up with and fought as members of Communist guerrilla bands. At the same time, Protestant evangelical groups worked in Central America to counter what they called the Communists’ “vicious and relentless thirst for power.” But none of these convulsions in the sea of mankind have brought peace and security.—Compare Isaiah 25:10-12; 1 Thessalonians 5:3.

27 The second trumpet blast reveals that those of mankind who got involved in revolutionary conflicts over government rather than submit to God’s Kingdom are bloodguilty. Particularly Christendom’s “third of the sea” has become as blood. All living things therein are dead in God’s eyes. None of the radical organizations floating like boats in that third of the sea can avoid ultimate shipwreck. How happy we are that millions of sheeplike people have now heeded the trumpetlike call to separate from those who are still wallowing in the narrow nationalism and bloodguilt of that sea!

A Star Falls From Heaven

28 “And the third angel blew his trumpet. And a great star burning as a lamp fell from heaven, and it fell upon a third of the rivers and upon the fountains of waters. And the name of the star is called Wormwood. And a third of the waters turned into wormwood, and many of the men died from the waters, because these had been made bitter.” (Revelation 8:10, 11) Once again, other parts of the Bible help us to see how this scripture applies in the Lord’s day.

29 We have already met the symbolism of a star in Jesus’ messages to the seven congregations, in which the seven stars symbolize the elders in the congregations. (Revelation 1:20) Anointed “stars,” along with all others of the anointed, inhabit heavenly places in a spiritual sense from the time that they are sealed with the holy spirit as a token of their heavenly inheritance. (Ephesians 2:6, 7) However, the apostle Paul warned that from among such starlike ones would come apostates, sectarians, who would mislead the flock. (Acts 20:29, 30) Such unfaithfulness would result in a great apostasy, and these fallen elders would come to make up a composite man of lawlessness that would elevate himself to a godlike position among mankind. (2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4) Paul’s warnings were fulfilled when the clergy of Christendom appeared on the world scene. This group is well represented by the symbol of “a great star burning as a lamp.”

30 John sees this particular star falling from heaven. How? The experiences of an ancient king help us to understand. Speaking to the king of Babylon, Isaiah said: “O how you have fallen from heaven, you shining one, son of the dawn! How you have been cut down to the earth, you who were disabling the nations!” (Isaiah 14:12) This prophecy was fulfilled when Babylon was overthrown by the armies of Cyrus, and its king made an abrupt descent from world rulership to shameful defeat. Thus, a fall from heaven can refer to losing a high position and falling into ignominy.

31 When the clergy of Christendom apostatized from true Christianity, they fell from the lofty “heavenly” position described by Paul at Ephesians 2:6, 7. Instead of offering fresh waters of truth, they served up “wormwood,” bitter lies such as hellfire, purgatory, the Trinity, and predestination; also, they led the nations into war, failing to build them up as moral servants of God. The result? Spiritual poisoning of those who believed the lies. Their case was similar to that of the unfaithful Israelites of Jeremiah’s day, to whom Jehovah said: “Here I am making them eat wormwood, and I will give them poisoned water to drink. For from the prophets of Jerusalem apostasy has gone forth to all the land.”—Jeremiah 9:15; 23:15.

32 This fall from the spiritual heavens became apparent in the year 1919 when, rather than Christendom’s clergy, the small remnant of anointed Christians was appointed over the Kingdom interests. (Matthew 24:45-47) And from 1922 that fall was dramatized when this group of Christians renewed their campaign of frankly exposing the failings of the clergy of Christendom.

33 Outstanding in this connection was the proclamation made at what The Golden Age magazine described as “the greatest convention of Bible Students held during the ages.” This convention assembled in Columbus, Ohio, July 20-27, 1924. No doubt at the direction of the angel that sounded the third trumpet, a forceful resolution was there adopted and later 50 million copies were distributed as a tract. It was published under the title Ecclesiastics Indicted. A subheading presented the issue: “The Seed of Promise Versus the Seed of the Serpent.” The Indictment itself roundly exposed Christendom’s clergy on matters such as their taking of high-sounding religious titles, their making commercial giants and professional politicians the principal ones of their flocks, their desiring to shine before men, and their refusing to preach to the people the message of Messiah’s Kingdom. It emphasized that every dedicated Christian is commissioned by God to proclaim “the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn.”—Isaiah 61:2, KJ.

34 Since the third angel started to blow his trumpet, the clergy’s position of dominance among mankind has been slipping until, in this day and age, very few of them retain the godlike powers they enjoyed in former centuries. Because of the preaching of Jehovah’s Witnesses, great numbers of people have come to realize that many doctrines taught by the clergy are spiritual poison—“wormwood.” Furthermore, the clergy’s power in northern Europe is almost spent, while in some other lands, the government strictly curtails their influence. In Catholic parts of Europe and in the Americas, the clergy’s scandalous behavior in financial, political, and moral affairs has sullied their reputation. From now on, their position can only get worse, since soon they will suffer the same fate as all other false religionists.—Revelation 18:21; 19:2.

35 Jehovah’s plaguing of Christendom is not yet finished. Consider what happens after the fourth trumpet blast.

Darkness!

36 “And the fourth angel blew his trumpet. And a third of the sun was smitten and a third of the moon and a third of the stars, in order that a third of them might be darkened and the day might not have illumination for a third of it, and the night likewise.” (Revelation 8:12) The ninth plague on Egypt was a plague of literal darkness. (Exodus 10:21-29) But what is this symbolic darkness that comes to plague men?

37 The apostle Peter told fellow believers that they had been in darkness, spiritually speaking, before they became Christians. (1 Peter 2:9) Paul too used the word “darkness” to describe the spiritual state of those outside the Christian congregation. (Ephesians 5:8; 6:12; Colossians 1:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:4, 5) But what about those in Christendom who claim to believe in God and who say they accept Jesus as their Savior?

38 Jesus said that true Christians would be recognized by their fruits and that many claiming to be his followers would be “workers of lawlessness.” (Matthew 7:15-23) No one looking at the fruits of the third of the world occupied by Christendom can deny that she is groping in gross spiritual darkness. (2 Corinthians 4:4) She is most blameworthy, for she claims to be Christian. Hence, it is only proper that the fourth angel should trumpet the fact that Christendom’s “light” is, in fact, darkness, and her sources of “light” are Babylonish—non-Christian.—Mark 13:22, 23; 2 Timothy 4:3, 4.

39 In line with that heavenly proclamation, a capacity crowd of God’s people assembled in convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A., on August 29, 1925, and adopted for publication a forthright resolution entitled “Message of Hope.” Again, some 50 million copies were distributed in a number of languages. It described the false light held out by the combine of commercial profiteers, political leaders, and the religious clergy, as a result of which “the peoples have fallen into darkness.” And it pointed to God’s Kingdom as the real hope for receiving “the blessings of peace, prosperity, health, life, liberty and eternal happiness.” It took courage for the small band of anointed Christians to proclaim such messages against the giant organization of Christendom. But consistently, from the early 1920’s until now, they have done so. In more recent times, in 1955, a further exposé of the clergy class was made by the worldwide distribution in many languages of a booklet entitled Christendom or Christianity—Which One Is “the Light of the World”? Today, Christendom’s hypocrisy has become so evident that many in the world can see it for themselves. But Jehovah’s people have not let up in exposing her for what she is: a kingdom of darkness.

A Flying Eagle

40 These first four trumpet blasts truly resulted in uncovering the desolate and death-dealing condition of Christendom. Her part of “the earth” was exposed as deserving of Jehovah’s judgment. Revolutionary governments springing up in her lands and elsewhere were shown to be inimical to spiritual life. The fallen condition of her clergy was laid bare, and the general darkness of her spiritual condition was exposed for all to see. Christendom is truly the most reprehensible part of Satan’s system of things.

41 What more is there to reveal? Before we find the answer to this question, there is a brief pause in the series of trumpet blasts. John describes what he next sees: “And I saw, and I heard an eagle flying in midheaven say with a loud voice: ‘Woe, woe, woe to those dwelling on the earth because of the rest of the trumpet blasts of the three angels who are about to blow their trumpets!’”—Revelation 8:13.

42 An eagle flies high in the sky, so that people in a wide area can see it. It has exceptionally keen sight and can see a long way ahead of itself. (Job 39:29) One of the four cherubic living creatures around God’s throne was pictured as a flying eagle. (Revelation 4:6, 7) Whether it is this cherub or another farsighted servant of God, it loudly proclaims a dynamic message: “Woe, woe, woe”! Let earth’s inhabitants take note, as the three remaining trumpet blasts are heard, each of them linked to one of these woes.

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2017-03-18T11:33:17+00:00 August 31st, 2016|Commentary|53 Comments
  • Joe Dman

    Just had a discussion with an inactive witness couple. She excuses the Watchtower’s requirement of showing works, i.e. field service and attending meetings, as a prerequisite for surviving the gt. Hence putting herself at odds with WT doctrine as outlined in their explanation of the WT net and the separating of the undesirable fish. She agrees that its odd that new light is constantly given, and nods her head at the explanation I give. But then when I offer her a book that gives an explanation on all of the WT’s flip flops, you’d thought Satan entered the room. It’s amazing the success the WT has had in putting blinders on almost all of its members so that they cannot search out the truth for themselves and make it their own. Even df’d witnesses keep their blinders on.
    This article makes no bones about it by exposing a blatant contradiction regarding the second trumpet and the holding back of the four winds. I know someone I’d like to show this to but I don’t have a Grand Climax book on my computer to search for the pages this is located on and apparently JW.org doesn’t offer a download of it. Does anyone know the pages? Thanks
    BTW Robert, I truly appreciate your constant attention and “dedication” to keeping your site active and alive. Is comforting to come here and see in the comments that there are live individuals who have just recently commented and often there’s a banner stating that someone is currently typing. Its like going to a kingdom hall at any hour of the day or night and finding someone their that’s not being counseled by the elders. Thank You.

    • Song of Hannah

      I have a copy I can email you, if you like. ?

      • Daisy

        Please e mail one to me Hannah, much appreciated and thank you.

      • Joe Dman

        That’d be good but as you may have noticed, Robert just added them to his posting. And subsequently I’ve sent them to my aunt who hopefully will bring it to the attention of her staunch jw sister.
        Save me a seat at the elders meeting Alexandria.

    • ewatchman

      I’ll post the chapter as an addendum to this post

    • Just keep swimming!

      P 173

    • Burt Reynolds

      Hello Jo, you are the second person I have read of today that has had some success in the witnessing work. It’s really great to hear…..makes me jealous in a scriptural way I hasten to add! If I may offer some of my small experience to your problem in your couple putting up the shutters…..There is an old saying that you do not knock out the pit props before you have put new posts in to take the weight. It’s not that you are saying anything wrong in pointing out the issues to your couple, to the contrary, but I learnt a lot from Robert’s technique in simply showing the other side of the coin, in different matters, rather than approaching the problem head on. People usually do put up the shutters if someone says something contrary to the governing body, but offer a little insight in a totally unrelated matter and the effect can be dramatic, such as the article Robert did on the watchtower move, or his recent observations on world events. You may find a discussion point that can be turned around later to address their objections. Not that I’m one to talk, I’m sitting here on my backside doing nothing….though I did have a nibble the other day on the Internet from someone far away! You sure are right about the disfellowshipped ones keeping on their blinders, but it’s only when they have an alternative to look at that the blinders start to crumble away, so keep on battering away…

      • Just keep swimming!

        Don’t say you’re doing nothing! You offer so much encouragement and comic relief so I have more strength in my ministry. It’s trickle down spiritual economics (I’m joking… that’d be the GB model)…but you do strengthen me Burt….and Joe, Hannah, Patri, volcano, dead Alien, Robert, Joel, jehonadab, Elijah person, LW, Yuri, Tabitha, Kevin, Sally, Thinking, brother from India, ….all of y’all!!!!

        • ELiJAHxSEVEN

          “Elijah person”..HAHAHA

        • LW

          Thank you 🙂

      • Joe Dman

        Thanks Burt, that sounds like good advice. My wife and I had dinner with this couple, I told my wife beforehand that I wouldn’t preach too much, but she did say I probably jumped into it too fast. I don’t get the opportunity to meet with old friends like that much, so I guess I wanted to tell all since I figure I may not get a chance before the gt starts.
        As for you, your presence here has been encouraging. You and the others that are regularly commenting no doubt play a big role in monitoring the traffic on here, welcoming new ones and shutting down rogue individuals who come here to bad mouth Jehovah’s witnesses for no good reason.
        They gotta leave that trash talking of JW’s to those who know what they’re talking about. I know speak for us all when I say am glad that you’re always here.

        • Burt Reynolds

          If the truth were not such a glorious comfort Joe, if you didn’t want to dive straight in and take every opportunity to tell others of the peace you have found in Jehovah, then you might have something to worry about! As it is, how good it must make you and yours feel to be fearless in honouring Jehovah. There is no best way to tell the good news above any other, every way, every manner is best. Thanks for your kind words, but we support each other, as you do for me.

        • Joel

          I, for one, am very appreciative of you, Joe! Why? Because you approach this site in humility, looking for truth. I applaud you my brother!

          Those of us on this site have come to recognize that Jehovah, in these last days, is using Brother Robert King as a “Watchman” to God’s household if believers. We support Brother King and the Great work he is doing by our comments. We help aide honest-hearted ones who have been crushed under the impressive weight of the Watchtower Society. Yes, through our words and supportive commentary to Brother King, we help ‘soothe’ the broken dreams and false promises that have burdened the friends for years!

          So yes, we do “shut down the rogue” voices who come here to simply berate Jehovah’s people. We know that while the Watchtower Society does indeed ‘Lord it over’ the friends with erroneous end-time views, preposterous child abuse policies, and “jot and title” rules and regulations, we ALSO know the GOOD they have done in preaching the Good News of the Kingdom in close to 250 lands, and publishing Bible-based literature in over 500 languages! No other religion—Christian or otherwise—even comes close! What a monumental accomplishment! All to Jehovah’s praise!

          . . . and just think . . . where would we be, where would YOU be without learning the basic truths of the Bible—including appreciation of God’s great name—from the Watchtower Society?

          So yes, we DO NOT let just anybody come on this site just to bad mouth Jehovah’s Witnesses. No sir! We love Jehovah, and His Son, Jesus Christ. And we love our dear Brother Robert King, who himself has done a monumental work in getting the ‘truth about the Truth’ out there to sincere oned, like yourself.

          So in the words of Brother King: “May Jehovah bless your search for truth.”

    • Just keep swimming!

      The truth starts out as a whisper…then a quiet voice, and finally it’s in your face shouting until you can’t ignore it. I guess most of us on here could hear the truth when it was still a whisper.

      It’s like cancer…(hold on…this is like a backwards illustration but hopefully it’ll make sense)…a person doesn’t just wake up one day with stage 4 cancer…almost always there’s warning signs….a weird pain here, a headache there, change in appetite. But we’re so accustomed to push through the pain and outsource our health, until it’s a 5 alarm fire.

      I’m just thankful I paid attention to my internal spiritual alarm system and I listened to the whispers. Then I did as Jesus said at Luke 5:31…I searched for a doctor. And here we all are!…in the doctor’s office sharing healing words that help us stay immune to the deluding influence that’s hidden in our spiritual plate served at the kingdom Hall, but at least we don’t have to skip our KH meals completely…we can pick out the bad and enjoy the good.

      It sounds like your friends haven’t felt the symptoms of the cancer that’s growing, but that’s ok….they eventually will. Just like we can’t rush a friend who doesn’t think a health concern is urgent, we can’t wake a friend up who isn’t ready. We can only be grateful for being able to take care of our own health while being a source of strength, hope, and integrity to others.

      • Joel

        Holy Cow! That was very well written JKS! I loved it! I really did. It moved me. It made great sense and was right on point!

        Very well done.

        • Burt Reynolds

          Holy Cow?! Suffering coffee cups Batman, Moses is coming down from the mountain…..hide!

    • T L C

      Yes it is is crazy how even the inactive are still so committed. But hey…the Devil is clever right? The organization has and always will be inseparably linked to Jehovah himself. So in JW’s minds…if you are not for the organization then you are not for Jehovah. Any sincere person who has bought into this notion and genuinely wants to please God is so afraid to disagree with anything that Watchtower puts in print. Once everything hits the fan the reality of the situation will be a difficult pill to swallow. So sad…

  • Just keep swimming!

    Hello? This is totally off topic. The Mormons just came to my house!! (First time ever…I always wanted to meet them.) They’re coming back Friday morning. The two young men (from California and Peru) were very kind and meek. They asked me an interesting survey. We had a nice chat. Talk about a people who’ve been fed a deluding influence (the book of Mormon by the Indian slayer Joseph Smith)….how can I help them??? I don’t want to scare them.

    • Burt Reynolds

      Ask them to show you how they can demonstrate that the Book of Mormon is God’s word, and work from there. You could ask why you should believe them too. Do let me know what happens. I have never spoken with them and would like their point of view on the bible.

    • Sam

      It seems to depend on who you meet, but try asking about their opinion on the nature of God. It seems their scriptures support some variation of God is Jesus and the trinity doctrine. So that would be a good conversation. Also you could ask about their beliefs regarding Jesus coming to America and how God was a man and men today can become a God of their own planet. You have a lot to go on lol if at least you can get them to quietly reason on what they’ve been taught then that’s a good start

      • mormans dont actuly like the trinity.
        they dont get along with that falsity. thats something Mormons can agree on with Jehovah’s people and use as a foundation for discussing some truth

        • Sam

          Which is why I said it depends, because while they doctrinally say they reject the trinity….there are scriptures in their book of Mormon that definitely support it. So they do seem to believe the dual nature bit to a degree, which is why it would make for a good discussion.

          • yeah i mussed that part. i deleted the comment. they do believe Jehovah is Jesus in the OT. but yeah depends on who you talk to.
            i rember having that discution

    • Sam

      Their belief on Adam and eve and the original sin will make for a good opportunity to use scripture to establish basic truths. Just get them talking, you shouldn’t find it too hard to get the ball rolling and share the scriptures with them

      • it mite be better to find something they got right rather then wrong when first meeting them. then later point out best/tactfully you can their error

        • Sam

          Not my intent to pull down another’s belief, but rather show an interest which may allow us to share a different viewpoint with them in conversation.

          • Mormons are seriously living in denial knowing their take on whatever scripture in the bible is easily understood as baloney or out of context. their religion is so blatantly fake its embarrassing.

            • Sam

              Some of their beliefs are seriously so there. Like fairy tale out there

            • Joshua

              I see Mormons riding bikes sometimes always two of them.

            • Jehovah’s witnesses should too

            • Joshua

              I also heard they believe in more than one God!

            • yeah but i dont give them too hard a time on that one cause the bible does teach that itself in proper context but yeah they got their own ideas too

    • Joe Dman

      A few years back when I was in the middle of rediscovering the truth and was willing to listen to others beliefs it seemed like every month a couple of Mormon guys would come by and we’d talk. Then I realised Satan might be behind this little ploy to get me off track when two super cute Mormon girls came by. So there you go.
      But seriously, it should be good practice. They’re as bad as JW’s about not really listening. They left me their book but it’s sitting with my copy of the Koran. Unread. I couldn’t get very far. I kept thinking what a waist of time when I could be reading the bible where I know the truth is.

      • Joel

        Very good Joe.

    • Daisy

      Ask them how you get on their Do Not Baptize When I’m Dead list lol… X

      • Joel

        Good one! Lol!

      • ewatchman

        Haha. That is funny!

        • Burt Reynolds

          That reminds me of a time when I was in hospital and my neighbour in the next bed was a poor demented lady. She had no religion but her children were strong Catholic. They turned up with a priest at visiting time who baptised her into the catholic faith……while she was asleep so she couldn’t object. As the song goes….anything the Mormons can do, we can do better…

      • Burt Reynolds

        I suppose it’s never too late. You could live the life of Riley and leave a note for them, ‘Mormons, please baptise and forgive all sins’ engraved onto your head stone. It must be a dead end job for the Mormons, and a grave situation. They are very down to earth though but I can’t see any future in it. It’s one huge undertaking.

        • sheez (rolls eyes*) haha

        • Daisy

          Hahahahaha… Stop it Burt…remember I have problems of a urinary nature, hahaha, too witty for words…x

      • Daisy

        …and Mormons kill each other in wars…(well…it might just crop up during conversing)…

    • Hahaha, been there, done that! Few years back I thought why not , answer the door and cut them a break. After all we like when someone shows an interest, Big Mistake! Next thing I know their stopping by with one of their elders trying to convert me. Needless to say, your better off watching an old rerun of last man standing! Because your not going to convert them, they are so bamboozled with a capital B.
      Nice people nevertheless…….

    • they promote the book of mormon over the bible. agree to disagree but agree what it is to be a christian. then if they ask if you need any house work done. let em do it. Luke 16:9
      commend them for helping the poor.
      give them a copy of the NWT.
      if you have the new revised NWT, point to the back subject A4, A5 where it talks about Jehovah’s name. you may not need to read it to them but just book mark it for them leting them know.

      if subject comes up you can let them know that the WB&TS own the copyright to print the KJV so that they know Jehovah’s witnesses use other bibles also.

      • Sam

        Something I do cut them some slack on is their little music videos they make for youths, which have in my opinion very heavily influenced our broadcast music videos. I’m certain the brothers saw these and thought hey we can do that. If you watch one of theirs along side one of ours they are sometimes hard to tell apart. Although theirs are much less cringey than ours and do actually carry some sort of message. Unlike ours which more just to look imoressive and make everyone say how awesome the broadcast is (in my opinion). So while our mormon friends are very misguided their heart is definitely in a good place

    • 1914for100Alex

      Personally, I’d start out with Galatians 1:8-9

      8 However, even if we or an angel out of heaven were to declare to you as good news something beyond the good news we declared to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, I now say again, Whoever is declaring to you as good news something beyond what you accepted, let him be accursed.

  • T L C

    If I had read this text back in the day when I was going to meetings I would not have questioned it at all. But now that I’m on this side of the fence I feel like Arsenio Hall “Things that make you say Hmmmm…”:-)
    Why didn’t the text mention anything about the disapproved slave who buried his talent. Why are they just focusing on the good and faithful slave? Are they IMPLYING that there is no “evil” slave in their midst?? Anybody else notice that……

  • Basavaraj Of North Karnataka

    Especially To Brother Robert King and to all Brothers and Sisters,

    Super Super Robert!!!! How blind is WTS that they never connected that the sounding of the first four trumpets has to do with God’s future judgments upon his earthly organization. Do every one see one point? The book named My Book of Bible Stories was published in 1970’s. Just think while this book which is very old is still available in the JW.org website, why the books that are related to prophecies’ which are published after 1990’s such as Revelation its Grand Climax at hand, Pay attention to Daniel’s Prophesy and Isaiah Vol I and II are not published in the Jw.org website? This is their own admission that such books are found to have errors and are illogical.

    • ha

    • LW

      Right..and the truth is that the true application of the prophecies means a COMPLETELY new perception and experience of these coming events. It’s about that time, wouldn’t you say?

  • Burt Reynolds

    Reading this excerpt it is difficult to see how people can be so unthinking about what it is that they are reading. The watchtower described sin as being ‘less than perfect’ many years ago. I don’t know if they have since acquired a ‘new light’ on this explanation from their limitless, infinite storehouse of light bulbs, but I begin to wonder about the degree that Satan has over this blindness, so strong is it, and how much of it is choice in the degree of control that we have over our destiny. I suppose the degree of control over us strengthens or weakens pro-rata with our willingness to comply to the influence. I was pondering this question lately and it crossed my mind whether we own our life force, whether it is integral to our physical being, or if the life force is lent, in the same way, if I may borrow from the watchtower, that we are the ‘light’ bulb but that Jehovah retains the (electrical) light force and that this returns to him, or indeed, never left him. After all, he breathed life into Adam. Adam was not alive until that point, even though his perfect body was made it was not alive. Our bodies are sustained by food and water, exercise and mental abilities, but does this sustain life also, or is it not sustained by Jehovah as a separate identity? Biblically, that seems to be the case though I cannot recall the appropriate scripture. I suppose, as with the illustration of the light bulb, we still have the choice to turn it on in the library of the knowledge of Jehovah, or in the cellar, where in the 16th century, the House of Office….the loo to you and me….was kept. Thus to Jehovah, perhaps our choices that we make depends on whether he keeps that electricity flowing, but that opens up another question, ergo, when Jehovah ends a ‘life’ or shall we say, our conscious awareness, is he taking a life, or as he is life, simply ceasing to supply our lightbulb body. Thus Jehovah has never taken a life, simply retained his power source from the body. Well, it made me think anyway…

    • Joel

      Hey Burt! Joel here.

      Here is a few scriptures that might help. Check ’em out!

      1. Ezekiel 18:4 – Jehovah says, “Look! ALL the souls (Heb. ‘ne’phesh’ “life”) to me they belong.”

      2. Job 14:1, 3, 5, 6 – . . .the number of a man’s days is known only to God . . .

      3. Acts 17:24-26 – . . .God gives “life and breath” to all people . . .God sets appointed times as to where man would dwell (Gr. “Live”).

      4. Psalm 31:15 – “My days (‘my life’) is in your (God’s) hands. . .

      5. Isaiah 38:3-5 – Jehovah hears the cry of Hezekiah and adds 15 years to his life!

      6. Daniel 5:23 (last sentence of v.23) – God holds the ” breath” of human beings in His hand.

      . . . and finally . . .

      7. Ecclesiastes 12:7 – the “spirit” (Heb. wind, breath, air, life-force) RETURNS to God who originally gave it.

      I hope these fee Scriptures help you Burt. Let me know.

      Joel

      • Burt Reynolds

        It seems to reflect the hypothesis, but opens another question about Jehovah’s impartiality, as in Isaiah 38. 3-5. The scriptures you quote lend a certain agreement to life, as opposed to consciousness, not being in our possession and I think that there is room for arguement on the matter insofar as consciousness not being the life force. It may be reasonable to assume that conscious awareness exists because life is present, and not that conscious awareness is life. That the soul dies is a given, but that does not describe what life is. Clearly our life is not described only by what we accomplish, but also within our thoughts and perception, and so one may reasonably enquire of Jehovah how the entire experience of life can be retained in him, if we are truely independant of his spirit, or the force of life. The human experience of Christ explains this, as he paid the ransome as a perfect being, but Jehovah gave him the life. If we are not entirely independant in life as the scripture may suggest, then we have an answer as to what makes us alive, but if not, then we just have to keep on guessing the mind of Jehovah. Either option is enjoyable. As the giver of life, one might assume that without Jehovah there is no life, especially as independant life, as in the case of Christ, is a gift from Jehovah. I find it rather exciting because to look at life and physical existence as two separate identities, answers a fundamental biblical question…’where were you when the heavens were created, tell me if you know…’ Answer…..with you, and because of you, we became aware.

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