The expression “the day of Jehovah” appears almost two dozen times in the Hebrew Scriptures —most notably in the prophecies of Joel (5) and Zephaniah (7). Additionally the New World Translation uses the related terms “Jehovah’s day” and “the day belonging to Jehovah” in a couple of places —not counting the so-called New Testament.
While popular versions of the Bible have removed God’s personal name —not even rendering it as Yahweh, which is their preferred Hebrew-flavored pronunciation —the original Hebrew prophecies indisputably connect the personal name of God with a unique global calamity —actually, a series of cataclysmic events that ultimately bring Satan’s world to an inglorious end.
The day of Jehovah will result in all the nations being forced to acknowledge that their gods are impotent and their no-name biblical god is actually Jehovah God.
However, contrary to the popular opinion among Jehovah’s Witnesses, the day of Jehovah is not merely the final confrontation on the symbolic battlefield known as Armageddon. There are world-shaking developments prophesied to occur before the great day of God the Almighty, which serve as the preliminary or opening phase of the day of Jehovah.
The first occurrence of the expression “day belonging to Jehovah of armies” is found at Isaiah 2:12. Although some may be inclined to relegate most prophecies to ancient times with no modern fulfillment, the second chapter of Isaiah situates the day belonging to Jehovah in the final part of the days, which is the same as the time of the end and the conclusion of the system. Not only is that when the mountain of the house of Jehovah is lifted up above the hills, to which people of the nations will stream for salvation, but it is also characterized by the judgment that God brings upon his people, as verse six states: “For you have forsaken your people, the house of Jacob, because they have become full of things from the East; they practice magic like the Philistines, and they abound with the children of foreigners.”
The prophecy goes on to relate: “Enter into the rock and hide yourself in the dust because of the terrifying presence of Jehovah and his majestic splendor. The haughty eyes of man will be brought low, and the arrogance of men will bow down. Jehovah alone will be exalted in that day. For it is the day belonging to Jehovah of armies. It is coming upon everyone who is haughty and lofty, upon everyone, whether exalted or lowly, upon all the cedars of Lebanon that are lofty and exalted and upon all the oaks of Bashan, upon all the lofty mountains and upon all the high hills, upon every high tower and every fortified wall, upon all the ships of Tarshish and upon all desirable boats. Man’s haughtiness will be brought down, and the arrogance of men will bow low. Jehovah alone will be exalted in that day. The worthless gods will completely disappear. And people will enter into the caves of the rocks and into the holes in the ground, because of the terrifying presence of Jehovah and his majestic splendor, when he arises to make the earth tremble in terror. In that day men will take their worthless gods of silver and of gold that they had made for themselves to bow down to and throw them away to the shrewmice and to the bats, in order to enter into the holes in the rocks and into the clefts of the crags, because of the terrifying presence of Jehovah and his majestic splendor, when he arises to make the earth tremble in terror. For your own sakes, quit trusting in mere man, who is only the breath in his nostrils. Why should he be taken into account?”
It is noteworthy that the New World Translation of the passage above uses the term “terrifying presence of Jehovah”; whereas, the Greek interlinear translation of the LXX simply says “in front” instead of “presence.” In any case, the prophecy projects a close encounter with God that will terrify earth’s inhabitants —one and all. Except we should not suppose that Jehovah himself is going to manifest his presence in some fashion. No, it is the presence of Christ who comes in the glory of his Father.
The similarity with the language of Revelation is unmistakable. The terror induced by the presence of Christ causes the panic-stricken inhabitants of earth to seek refuge in the caves and holes in the ground, which is symbolism to be sure —but all the more realistic given the latest trend of the wealthy, as well as some governments, building underground bunkers for themselves in hopes of escaping the coming holocaust.
The significance of the overlap of Isaiah with the opening of the sixth seal of the scroll of Revelation indicates that the terrifying presence of Jehovah coincides with the crash of the system, depicted at Revelation 6:12-17 thusly: “And I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and a great earthquake occurred; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the entire moon became as blood, and the stars of heaven fell to the earth as when a fig tree shaken by a high wind drops its unripe figs. And the heaven departed as a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and every island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the high officials, the military commanders, the rich, the strong, every slave, and every free person hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. And they keep saying to the mountains and to the rocks: ‘Fall over us and hide us from the face of the One seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, because the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?’”
The Watchtower is well aware that the opening of the seven seals takes place over a relatively short period of time. And the Governing Body must also surely know that the opening of the sixth seal does not betoken the war of Armageddon.
But because of their irrational attachment to 1914 Bethel is compelled to insist that the unique events depicted with the unsealing of the sixth seal have already transpired —at least in a token way.
Yet, the apocalyptic events symbolized by the heavenly luminaries going into eclipse and the crash of mountains will be perceived by earthlings as the great day of their wrath. Furthermore, even more absurd, as the verse above indicates, the terrified people of earth will recognize that the day of the Lamb’s wrath will call into question whether anyone will be able to stand before him. That is also the precise question posed in Malachi regarding the sudden coming of the messenger of Jehovah, which states: “But who will endure the day of his coming, and who will be able to stand when he appears?”
As regards the day of his coming and appearance the Watchtower is on record as stating the messenger came in 1914. Apparently, then, everyone has remained standing before him, except, of course the billions who have long since passed away since Christ appeared.
No, the terrifying presence of Jehovah is yet to occur. The towering trees that must bow low before him symbolize men of stature —imposing spiritual men who stand like proud cedars. The arrogance of such men must bow low before the terrifying presence of Jehovah. (See the chapter on Revelation for a fuller discussion on the prophetic meaning of the cedars.)
THE DAY OF JEHOVAH’S FURY
Ezekiel was Jehovah’s appointed watchman to the house of Israel in the run-up to the destruction of Jerusalem. As the time approached for the judgment to commence Jehovah issued one last warning, saying: “An end! The end has come upon the four corners of the land. The end is now upon you, and I will unleash my anger against you, and I will judge you according to your ways and call you to account for all your detestable deeds. My eye will not feel sorry for you; nor will I feel compassion, for I will bring upon you the results of your own ways, and you will suffer the consequences of your detestable deeds. And you will have to know that I am Jehovah.” —Ezekiel 7:2-4
The Jews inhabiting Jerusalem surely knew that God’s name was Jehovah —or Yehowah in Hebrew. Their coming to know that “I am Jehovah” obviously meant more than merely recognizing God’s personal name. It meant they would have to know he is a God of judgment who, although kind and long-suffering, will not forever tolerate injustice and wickedness on the part of his people.
The prophecy continues: “This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: ‘Look! A calamity, a unique calamity, is coming. An end is coming; the end will come; it will rouse itself against you. Look! It is coming. Your turn has come, you who inhabit the land. The time is coming, the day is near. There is confusion and not joyful shouting on the mountains. Very soon I will pour out my rage on you, and I will fully unleash my anger against you, and I will judge you according to your ways and call you to account for all your detestable deeds. My eye will not feel sorry; nor will I feel compassion. I will bring on you the results of your ways, and you will suffer the consequences of your own detestable deeds. And you will have to know that I, Jehovah, am striking you.”
As regards the unique calamity that came upon the Jews inhabiting the city where Jehovah had caused his name to reside, which the Watchtower claims represents the churches of Christendom in the grander fulfillment —that simply cannot be the case. The original calamity came in the form of the siege that Nebuchadnezzar brought against Jerusalem. Does that ancient fulfillment of prophecy foreshadow the execution of the harlot of Babylon? No. The context makes it clear that the execution of God’s judgement in the larger scheme of things takes place at the coming of Christ against the backdrop of nation rising against nation, kingdom against kingdom, accompanied by food shortages and pandemics. Or, as stated in Ezekiel: “They have blown the trumpet, and everyone is ready, but no one is going to the battle, because my wrath is against the whole multitude. The sword is outside, and the pestilence and the famine are inside. Whoever is in the field will die by the sword, and famine and pestilence will consume those in the city. Their survivors who manage to escape will go to the mountains, and like the doves of the valleys, each one will moan over his error. All their hands will hang limp, and all their knees will drip with water. They have put on sackcloth, and shuddering has seized them. Everyone will be put to shame, and every head will be bald.”
According to the Watchtower Christ came in 1914 and judged the house of God. Jehovah’s Witnesses now reside in spiritual paradise and there is no reason whatsoever to suppose that any sort of judgment lay ahead —no “unique calamity.” Jehovah’s Witnesses expect to be on the sidelines cheering as Babylon the Great is destroyed. That is the next order of business, at least according to the prophets of Bethel. But, needless to say false religion was not liquidated in 1914 when the sword, pestilence and famine were manifested in the supposed fulfillment of Christ’s prophecy regarding the beginning to the time of the end.
It is as if the Watchtower has blown the trumpet and assembled Jehovah’s Witnesses in expectation of witnessing God’s judgment on Babylon the Great. What a stunning shock it will be when it becomes apparent that 1914 was a massive hoax. Instead of reveling in victory Jehovah’s Witnesses will be stricken in pants-wetting terror and shuddering. What a humiliation. The survivors donning sackcloth parallels the appearance of the two witnesses dressed in sackcloth.
The prophecy continues: “They will throw their silver into the streets, and their gold will become abhorrent to them. Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them in the day of Jehovah’s fury. They will not be satisfied, nor will they fill their stomachs, for it has become a stumbling block causing their error.”
Did you know the Christian writer, James, indirectly applied this prophecy (and the prophecy of Zephaniah) to his fellow Christians? Here is what is written: “Come, now, you rich men, weep and wail over the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted, and your clothing has become moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted away, and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh. What you have stored up will be like a fire in the last days. Look! The wages you have withheld from the workers who harvested your fields keep crying out, and the cries for help of the reapers have reached the ears of Jehovah of armies. You have lived in luxury and for self-gratification on the earth. You have fattened your hearts on the day of slaughter. You have condemned; you have murdered the righteous one. Is he not opposing you?” —James 5:1-6
The Watchtower has become a money-driven organization. Not only have millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses undertaken to promote the Watchtower as the center of pure worship —harvest workers in the field —Bethel has a virtual army of willing builders at its disposal who have lovingly labored to construct thousands of kingdom halls, assembly halls and the like. While the lowly brothers use their funds and free labor to construct their own meeting places they do not own the very places of worship they build nor the land they have donated or purchased. The Watchtower does. And now Watchtower Inc. is in the process of selling off dozens of such buildings without any compensation for the many donors who contributed in the expectation of having a permanent meeting place.
Meanwhile, the leadership of the Watchtower have constructed a palatial residence for themselves, located in an idyllic setting, in a forest by a peaceful lake. They live in luxury. Who can deny it? Indeed, the Governing Body and their helpers live like kings. They have even unabashedly named the street of their new residence Kings Drive. They fly first class and drive luxury automobiles. Their every need is provided for by donations of publishers, many of whom live in abject poverty. They condemn any who question their doings. Truly, they have fattened their hearts on the day of slaughter.
Although the Watchtower has many millions stashed away and no doubt the Governing Body take comfort in knowing their retirement is secure, Jehovah’s day of fury will consume their riches like fire. After all, their riches are only mere 1’s and 0’s on a computer —that is not exactly a secure vault. It is recognized by people who are aware of the present situation that the present financial system is in a precarious state. Especially the economic standing of the United States, which is hopelessly indebted to the tune of $20 trillion, not to mention trillions more in unfunded liabilities, so-called. Already the ascending powers of Russia and China and their allies have set up a new financial system and are preparing to drop the Dollar. A unique calamity indeed!
That the unique calamity comes upon Christ’s congregation is made plain in the context of the seventh chapter of Ezekiel. Verse 22 states: “I will turn my face away from them, and they will profane my concealed place, and robbers will enter it and profane it.”
The profanation of God’s “concealed place” —his temple —is the underlying theme of all the prophets and was the central focus of Jesus’ prophecy concerning the conclusion of the system.
Jehovah’s Witnesses have no knowledge of these matters because the Watchtower has fabricated their own prophecies —or, more correctly, they have fashioned their own, private interpretation of biblical prophecies. For that reason Jehovah orders his watchman to say to them: “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel, and say to those who fabricate their own prophecies, ‘Hear the word of Jehovah. This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: “Woe to the stupid prophets, who follow their own spirit, when they have seen nothing! O Israel, your prophets have become like foxes among the ruins. You will not go to the broken places in the stone walls to rebuild them for the house of Israel, so that Israel may keep standing in the battle in the day of Jehovah. 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?”’
The Watchtower has undeniably been the source of a steady stream of “false visions” —lying interpretations of prophetic visions. They claim to see with their penetrating eye of spiritual insight the invisible presence of Christ. Their lying visions do not take into account that the terrifying presence of Jehovah and the day of Jehovah are the same thing as the presence of Christ. Since even before 1914 they have waited to have their false vision come true. But in vain. They have seen nothing. They know nothing about the second coming of Christ and his glorious manifestation. As a result, the stupid prophets will have no part in the spiritual “battle in the day of Jehovah.” Instead they will have to deal with the collapse of their flimsy wall they call the Watchtower. The prophecy continues:
“Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: ‘Because you have spoken what is false and your visions are a lie, I am against you,’ declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah.” My hand is against the prophets whose visions are false and who foretell a lie. They will not be among the people with whom I confide; nor will they be written in the registry of the house of Israel; nor will they return to the land of Israel; and you will have to know that I am the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. All of this is because they have led my people astray by saying, ‘There is peace!’ when there is no peace. When a flimsy partition wall is built, they are plastering it with whitewash. Tell those plastering with whitewash that it will fall. A torrential downpour will come, hailstones will fall, and powerful windstorms will break it down.’”
As it stands presently the nations are being irresistibly drawn into war —a war that will bring the nuclear powers into direct conflict, which has never happened before in history. In spite of the clear and present danger and the implications of a global conflict as regards the fulfillment of prophecy, the Watchtower continues to peddle the line that all is well –there is peace with God.
The unleashing of the Lamb’s fury will take the form of war, and societal collapse. Then the stupid prophets will stand naked and alone. Their protective wall will lay shattered on the ground in bits and pieces. Then they will know that He is Jehovah when they are confronted by his terrifying presence.
End of Part One