This post is part three of a review of the Watchtower’s article on spiritual paradise. (Click here for part one. And here for part two)

The article lists five bullet points as proof that Jehovah’s Witnesses are in spiritual paradise. Let us consider the first one. Paragraph five states:

5 Healthy and refreshed. Isaiah’s prophecy draws a vivid contrast between what life is like for those inside the spiritual paradise and what life is like for those outside. (Read Isaiah 65:13.) Jehovah abundantly satisfies the spiritual needs of his worshippers. We have his holy spirit, his written Word, and ample spiritual food so that we can “eat, . . . drink, . . . [and] rejoice.” (Compare Revelation 22:17.) In sharp contrast, those who are outside the spiritual paradise “go hungry . . . , go thirsty . . . , [and] suffer shame.” Their spiritual needs are not being satisfied. —Amos 8:11.

It used to be said among Jehovah’s Witnesses years ago that the “waters of Babylon are drying up.” The witnesses used to say that in reference to dwindling church attendance. While that trend has been evident in the Catholic, Lutheran, and some of the Protestant denominations for many years, there has been a remarkable growth in Pentecostal and other Evangelical denominations and so-called non-denominational sects. Huge mega-churches have become popular in recent years as well. There has also been a growing interest in Bible study, especially online Bible courses.

Given that everyone who is inclined toward Scripture-oriented faith has access to the Bible and there is certainly no shortage of pastors and theologians with Bible-based messages, the contrast is not so evident as the Watchtower claims. Let Jehovah’s Witnesses explain, at least to themselves, how it is that the millions of churchgoers are going hungry spiritually and suffering shame. Rather, is it not shameful for the Governing Body to make such statements? 

If we were to actually read the context of the prophecy of Amos we may well discern that what it is foretelling is not being fulfilled at present, and the spiritual hunger spoken of is most certainly not manifest among the multitudes of churchgoers. Consider the context:

“In that day,’ declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, ‘I will make the sun go down at high noon, and I will darken the land on a bright day. I will turn your festivals into mourning and all your songs into dirges. I will put sackcloth on all hips and make every head bald; I will make it like the mourning for an only son, and the end of it like a bitter day. Look! The days are coming,’ declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, ‘When I will send a famine into the land, not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, but for hearing the words of Jehovah. They will stagger from sea to sea and from the north to the east. They will rove about searching for the word of Jehovah, but they will not find it.”

Imagine the sun going down at high noon. That would be a terrifying event. It would certainly get everyone’s attention. Jehovah once caused the sun to go dark for three days in Egypt. Jesus similarly spoke of a time of metaphoric darkness. At Mathew 24:29 Jesus is quoted as saying: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”

How would it be possible for a spiritual famine to come upon those living in spiritual paradise—or, more correctly: those who imagine they are living in spiritual paradise? As all of Jehovah’s Witnesses know, the Watchtower is Jehovah’s earthly mouthpiece. At the 2023 Annual Meeting, the speaker explained that whenever God wishes to impart some new light to his people it will come through the Governing Body. They are Jehovah’s exclusive channel of communication.

Okay. So what will happen when World War Three erupts, (some say it already has) and all the other things that have been assigned to 1914 begin happening? Jehovah’s spokesmen have declared that there can be no such global war. An all-out war between the nuclear powers would ultimately go nuclear. Even a limited exchange would trigger the collapse of civilization. It would seem as if the sun had grown dark and the moon had failed to shine and all of the twinkling stars had fallen from the sky.

Even assuming the Watchtower could publish some word from Jehovah when their bank accounts are closed, and martial law is imposed, what could they possibly have to say? Who would even listen to them then?

6 In his prophecy, Joel used such staples of life as grain, wine, and olive oil to show that Jehovah generously supplies His people with what they need, including spiritual food. (Joel 2:21-24) He does so through the Bible and our Bible-based publications, our website, as well as our meetings, assemblies, and conventions. We can partake of spiritual provisions every day, and as a result, we feel healthier and more refreshed.

For over two decades, I had written to the Watchtower privately as well as posted articles and a book, pointing out the fallacy of the organization’s interpretation of Joel. Then in response to my challenge at the 2019 Annual Meeting came new light on Joel.

Now Jehovah’s Witnesses are no longer regarded as Jehovah’s army of swarming locusts. In fact, the Watchtower has decreed that there is no modern fulfillment of the prophecy…well, not the locust part anyway. The insect invasion that is a precursor to the great and fear-inspiring day of Jehovah is said to have been fulfilled with the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem. That’s it. Except, there is no mention of Babylon in the prophecy of Joel. 

Inexplicably, even though the locust onslaught is said to have occurred in antiquity God’s intervention in response to the devastation wrought by the symbolic insect invasion came 2,500 years later! But why would God make recompense to the Bible Students and Jehovah’s Witnesses for the loss suffered by the Jews 500 years before Christ?

The question thinking JWs ought to ponder is this: How is it possible to be spiritually healthy and refreshed when the slave serves up a stew of nonsensical slop as food at the proper time? 

End of part three

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