JW dot org has a header article entitled Summer 2023 Global Heat Wave—What Does the Bible Say?
It quotes three agencies and as we might expect, one of them is part of the United Nations—the World Meteorological Organization.
But what does the Bible say? The article poses the question: Does extreme weather fulfill Bible prophecy? According to the prophet class, the answer is yes.
Yes. Global heat waves and other forms of extreme weather fit events that the Bible foretold for our time. For example, Jesus prophesied that we would see “fearful sights,” or “strange and terrifying things.” (Luke 21:11; Good News Translation) Rising global temperatures have led many to fear that humankind will ruin the earth.
“Other forms of extreme weather” can include lots of things, like hurricanes and blizzards, floods and droughts, we could even throw in forest fires caused by lightning, which, of course, are extremes, but are part of the weather cycle and have been for thousands of years. Nothing really strange about any of it.
Strangely, though, years ago the Watchtower claimed that Jesus’ words were fulfilled during WW2. Here is what was stated in the Watchtower in 1997:
World War II did the unimaginable—it actually dwarfed its predecessor, killing scores of millions of people. Huge aircraft carriers, virtual floating cities, plied the seas and unleashed warplanes to rain death from the skies upon enemy targets. Submarines torpedoed and sank enemy vessels. And atom bombs were dropped, claiming thousands of lives in each crushing blow! Just as Jesus prophesied, there have indeed been “fearful sights” to mark this warring age.
The Second World War was the most destructive war to date. It introduced new and terrifying weaponry as the article noted—the atomic bomb being the ultimate terror-inducing weapon of mass destruction. And certainly, the post-WW2 generation lived under the threat of nuclear annihilation. But, alas, the generation that lived through that period of violence has largely passed away. It has been almost 80 years since the Hiroshima bomb ushered in the atomic age and since then the only nuclear weapons that have been detonated have been tests.
No doubt that is why the Watchtower has now revised its take on Jesus’ words. But let us reason on the matter. If the destruction unleashed during the last world war fulfilled the sign how can there be another fulfillment that is totally unrelated? And if summer heatwaves are the “fearful sights” Jesus foretold can we expect the Governing Body to at least admit that the terrible things that occurred during WWII—as fear-inspiring as they may have been at the time—were not the fulfillment of Jesus’ words concerning the sign of the conclusion? I am sure you know the answer to that question.
Fearful sights or “strange and terrifying things” hardly describe natural weather phenomena. If one were in the path of a tornado that would certainly be a terrifying sight to behold. But tornados are obviously a natural part of the weather engine and only occur in certain parts of the world. Personally, I reside in Michigan and this summer has been quite pleasant. If the prophecy is being fulfilled shouldn’t we expect everyone around the world to be impacted and not just people in certain parts of the world?
Besides, as the Earth revolves around the sun in its annual trek in a few months the Northern Hemisphere will experience winter. Will the fearful sights then disappear or perhaps be transferred to Australia?
If we are to be serious Bible students we need to consider the words of Christ in context. After mentioning wars, food shortages, pestilences, fearful sights and great signs from heaven, Jesus went on to elaborate, saying: “Also, there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and on the earth anguish of nations not knowing the way out because of the roaring of the sea and its agitation. People will become faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”
The last time the Watchtower commented on the verses above was in 2015. Whereas the Watchtower used to claim that people were already faint with fright that part of the sign has now been adjusted to the future. Here is the revised interpretation:
Will the fulfillment of this prophecy include frightening signs and events in the literal heavens? We will have to wait and see. But whatever the case, the signs will cause terror and panic in the hearts of God’s enemies. Wt 7/15/2015
So, according to the prophets of Bethel, the fearful sights Jesus foretold are being experienced now by a prolonged summer heatwave but people are not faint with fear because of extremes in the weather. Instead, we will have to wait and see how that works out.
It should be evident to any honest-reasoning person that the Watchtower is wrong—and that is being polite. Perhaps the Governing Body or their “helpers” have been standing out in the summer heat too long without their hats or proper hydration. Bluntly, the Watchtower’s explanation of Jesus’ prophecy is absurd. At least the previous explanation connected to WW2 was plausible. The suggestion that a summer hot spell fulfills prophecy is ridiculous. I feel embarrassed for them.
Jesus provided us with a very simple illustration, ironically, related to the weather. At Mathew 24:32-35 Jesus said: “Now learn this illustration from the fig tree: Just as soon as its young branch grows tender and sprouts its leaves, you know that summer is near. Likewise also you, when you see all these things, know that he is near at the doors. Truly I say to you that this generation will by no means pass away until all these things happen. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away.”
Have we learned anything from Jesus’ illustration? Apparently not. According to the Watchtower the first buds of spring heralding the coming of “summer” became visible in 1914. Of course, that entire generation has passed away, and still “summer” has not arrived. The figurative fig tree just keeps sprouting leaves. The first flowers of spring just keep sprouting. After more than a century we are still waiting for the “summer” to arrive. No wonder the Watchtower summer conventions extoll the virtues of patience.
Here’s the insurmountable problem the Watchtower is stuck with: Have you seen all of these things? More to the point, have you seen any of these things Jesus foretold? Did you personally see World War One? Obviously not. How about World War Two? Probably not.
Have you experienced food shortages? Doubtful. One of the most serious health problems in the United States today is obesity. That is not to suggest that the dark powers that be are not working hard to create food shortages, but for now, at least, the grocery store shelves appear to be stocked.
Perhaps you might be inclined to believe the hyped-up and lavishly paid-for Covid pandemic was an aspect of the pestilence Jesus foretold, but again, Jesus said “when you see all these things.” That means all the things Jesus foretold will occur over a short period of time, culminating in the world becoming terrified to death.
The only reasonable, truthful conclusion we can draw is that we have not seen any of the things Jesus foretold, with perhaps one exception. As a preliminary to all the nations and kingdoms becoming embroiled in war, Jesus said: “You are going to hear of wars and reports of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for these things must take place, but the end is not yet.”
We are hearing reports of wars, in the Middle East and foremost being the war in Ukraine. According to recent remarks of the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations:
The longer this war continues, the more dangerous its consequences, including the possibility of a wider conflict. For the sake of the Ukrainian people and for the sake of our global community, this senseless, unjustified war must stop.
Sober-minded people surely know that the potential for a direct conflict between Russia and the Anglo-American empire is growing. It is already recognized as a proxy war. Most worrisome is the fact that voices within the NATO alliance have stated that Russia cannot be allowed victory over Ukraine. Contrary to relentless Western propaganda though, the Ukrainian army has been largely wiped out and there is virtually no chance of defeating the Russian army, which has not even been fully deployed yet. That means NATO will at some point have to become directly involved if they hope to achieve a Russian defeat.
Making matters more complicated and dangerous, the annexed regions of Ukraine are now officially part of the Russian Federation. So, any attack by NATO on Crimea or Donetsk will be regarded as an attack on Russia. Russia has already warned that any attack will be responded to, not in Ukraine, but by obliterating the decision-making centers of Brussels, London, Washington, New York, etc. Fearful sights, anyone?
Jehovah’s Witnesses might wish to believe that the summer heatwave of 2023 is a fulfillment of the words of Jesus but when the missiles start flying they will realize the Watchtower just made it all up.
Amazingly, though, we are witnessing the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Long ago Jehovah foretold that men pretending to be prophets of Jehovah would fabricate their own prophecies. Jehovah called them the “stupid prophets.” Here is what God has said about them: “They have seen false visions and foretold a lie, those who are saying, ‘The word of Jehovah is,’ when Jehovah himself has not sent them, and they have waited for their word to come true. Is it not a false vision that you have seen and a lie that you have foretold when you say, ‘The word of Jehovah is,’ when I have not said anything?” — Ezekiel 13:6,7
The Watchtower claims to speak for Jehovah. For over a century they have waited for their prophecies to come true. Now they are claiming this summer’s heatwave is fulfilling their prophecy. Their stupidity is on full display. It should not be too much longer until Jehovah knocks their whitewashed wall down: “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: ‘I will cause powerful windstorms to burst forth in my wrath, and a torrential downpour in my anger, and hailstones in destructive fury. I will tear down the wall that you plastered with whitewash and bring it down to the earth, and its foundation will be exposed. When the city falls, you will perish within her; and you will have to know that I am Jehovah.’” (13,14)