With wars and rumors of wars growing louder, it is time to revisit the familiar prophecy of peace and security. That phrase has special relevance for millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses because it is believed that the fulfillment of their saying “peace and security” will be the precursor of the beginning of the great tribulation.

As a refresher, the Watchtower has stated below as recently as 2019. Under the subheading: What Events Will Lead Up to Armageddon?

7. The proclamation of “peace and security” precedes “Jehovah’s day.” (Read 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6.) At 1 Thessalonians 5:2, “Jehovah’s day” refers to “the great tribulation.” (Rev. 7:14) How will we know when that tribulation is about to begin? The Bible tells us about a most unusual proclamation. It will serve as a signal announcing the great tribulation. That will be the foretold proclamation of “peace and security.”

First, it cannot be said with absolute certainty that the apostle used YHWH in the passage. At 1 Corinthians 5:5, Paul also referred to “the day of the Lord” and “the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor 1:8). And, of course, the transliteration of 1 Thessalonians 5:2 in the Kingdom Interlinear says “day of Lord.”

While there are many passages in the Hebrew Scriptures that speak of “the day of Jehovah,” it cannot be stated with certainty that Paul directly quoted from a specific verse. On the contrary, considering the context, it is apparent that Paul was alluding to the day of the Lord Jesus Christ. How may that be discerned? The fact that Paul said: “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” (American Standard) How did the brothers in the first century know perfectly well that the Lord’s day was coming like a thief in the night? Because Jesus told his apostles that he was coming as a thief in the night.

Really, though, Jesus’ words are intended for anointed Christians who would be living prior to the momentous coming of Christ—yes, the presence of the Lord. Speaking to his little flock, Jesus said: “Be dressed and ready and have your lamps burning, and you should be like men waiting for their master to return from the marriage, so when he comes and knocks, they may at once open to him. Happy are those slaves whom the master on coming finds watching! Truly I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at the table and will come alongside and minister to them. And if he comes in the second watch, even if in the third, and finds them ready, happy are they! But know this, if the householder had known at what hour the thief would come, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also, keep ready, because at an hour that you do not think likely, the Son of man is coming.” — Luke 12:35-40

Although Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus’ presence began in 1914, the Watchtower still points to the future for the thief-like coming of the Son of man. However, a sober-minded reading of the passage above reveals that Jesus was exhorting the little flock to be in a state of readiness for the presence of the Lord. Does the Greek word parousia not mean “being alongside”? And what did Jesus state in the 12th chapter of Luke but that the master would “come alongside” them and minister to them as if they were reclining at the table for the Lord’s Evening Meal?

This is why the apostle Paul said that we well know that the Lord’s day is coming like a thief in the night. It is a key teaching of the Lord.

This simple truth presents an enormous problem for the Watchtower. That is because Jehovah’s Witnesses are laboring under the delusion that the Lord’s day and the parousia began in 1914. 

At the 2023 Annual Meeting of the Watchtower, a newly appointed member of the Governing Body, Jeffery Winder, explained how God dispenses clarified understanding, so-called “new light” to his people. Brother Winder stated that Christ exclusively uses the Governing Body to dispense clarified understanding at the proper time and in a very metered way. The light gets brighter gradually, like the dawn. Too much light all at once could be blinding, he said. 

Now, with the process of how clarified understanding works, please consider more closely the prophecy under consideration. Regarding the thief-like coming of the Lord’s day, Paul said: “Whenever it is that they are saying, “Peace and security!” then sudden destruction is to be instantly on them, just like birth pains on a pregnant woman, and they will by no means escape. But you, brothers, you are not in darkness, so that the day should overtake you as it would thieves, for you are all sons of light and sons of day.  We belong neither to night nor to darkness.”

Setting aside questions regarding who will be saying “peace and security” and who will experience the “sudden destruction,” we can at least appreciate that the fulfillment of the prophet Paul’s words will be unmistakable. It will be strikingly obvious. Now, here is the question: Will the “sons of light” need to wait upon the Governing Body to make some sort of announcement to certify that God’s word has been fulfilled? Of course not. However, the Watchtower has already asserted itself as the only official source to verify when prophecy is fulfilled. Hinting at this, the February 2023 Watchtower said the following:

5. When discussing Bible prophecy, however, we should avoid speculating. Why? Because we would not want to say anything that could cause disunity in the congregation. For instance, we may hear world leaders talk about how they can solve a particular conflict and bring peace and security. Instead of speculating that such a statement fulfills the prophecy at 1 Thessalonians 5:3, we need to keep up-to-date with the latest published information. When we base our discussions on material published by Jehovah’s organization, we help the congregation to remain united “in the same line of thought.”

There will be no need to speculate. The fact that sudden destruction is initiated whenever they are saying “peace and security” will be proof that the Lord’s day has begun. The destruction will be unavoidably apparent, so the “sons of day” will not need to keep up-to-date with the Watchtower’s latest published information. At that point, it is highly unlikely that the Watchtower will have anything truthful to say. That is because the sudden destruction that will be like the birth pangs of a pregnant woman will be the beginning pangs of distress that Jesus explained would come in the form of nation rising against nation and kingdom against kingdom. In other words, World War Three—the war that the prophet class has assured us can not happen.

Jehovah has designed it this way. He has allowed an operation of Satan to deceive even the sons of the Kingdom into believing that an invisible parousia has been ongoing since 1914. But whenever it is that they are saying “peace and security” initiates the beginning pangs of distress, the sons of light will believe God’s word—not the Watchtower. No gradual dawn, but a brilliant flash of light and signal from the Lord. 

This brings up another pertinent question that will only be answered whenever it is they are saying “peace and security,” and that is: Who really is the faithful and discreet slave?

“Keep on the watch, therefore, because you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know one thing: If the householder had known in what watch the thief was coming, he would have kept awake and not allowed his house to be broken into. On this account, you too prove yourselves ready, because the Son of man is coming at an hour that you do not think to be it. Who really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics, to give them their food at the proper time? Happy is that slave if his master on coming finds him doing so!” — Matthew 24:42-46

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