Tuesday, May 18
I [will] sanctify myself through you before their eyes, O Gog. —Ezek. 38:16.
Gog will trust in his “arm of flesh” —his military might. (2 Chron. 32:8) We will trust in Jehovah our God —a stand that will seem foolish to the nations. After all, the gods of the once powerful Babylon the Great did not save her from “the wild beast” and its “ten horns”! (Rev. 17:16) So Gog will expect an easy victory. “Like clouds covering the land,” he will attack Jehovah’s people. But Gog will soon see that he has marched into a trap. Like Pharaoh at the Red Sea, Gog will learn that he is fighting against Jehovah. (Ex. 14:1-4; Ezek. 38:3, 4, 18, 21-23) Christ and his heavenly armies will defend God’s people and crush Gog’s hordes. (Rev. 19:11, 14, 15) But what about Jehovah’s chief enemy, Satan, whose lying propaganda led the nations to Armageddon? Jesus will hurl him and his demons into an abyss, where they will be locked away for a thousand years. —Rev. 20:1-3. w19.09 11-12 ¶14-15
What the Watchtower teaches is correct. Laughably, the evangelicals have this crazy idea that Gog represents Russia and the “Israel” in prophecy is the modern state of Israel. There is no point to even refute such nonsense.
So, at least the Watchtower has a bit more insight into the mind of God. The Watchtower is also correct in its interpretation of what is symbolized by Babylon the Great. And they even have the ordering of events right, insofar as God’s people will stand conspicuously alone on the world stage after the wild beast has devoured the harlot of Babylon.
However, the Watchtower does not have all things clearly in focus. Nor can it ever. Please consider the overall context of Ezekiel. Ezekiel was appointed as a watchman to the house of Israel. Ezekiel warned the Jews of God’s coming judgment, which would come like a storm from out of the north. God’s word came true. The Chaldean hordes swept down on Jerusalem from the north and obliterated the city and dragged the survivors off to far-away Babylon.
In his mercy, God repurchased a chastened remnant and brought them back to their ancestral homeland, where they rebuilt the temple and re-instituted the priesthood (not the kingdom). All of that took place within one generation. In the context of the prophecy, Gog of Magog and his hordes attack the restored kingdom of Israel. Jehovah responds by unleashing total destruction on all of the attacking nations. So, while the destruction and restoration of Jerusalem actually occurred and is documented history, the attack on the restored kingdom is detached and is placed in the future.
The Watchtower claims that the Christian Israel was restored sometime after World War One and is manifested in the form of the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses. That is why the Watchtower boasts of pure worship being restored at last.
Originally, though, it was taught that God punished the Bible Students for their unfaithfulness and then restored them to His favor in 1919. That interpretation at least took into consideration the fact that the Jews were severely punished for bringing reproach on the name of Jehovah. Now, though, the Watchtower’s revised version claims that “Israel” went into spiritual captivity to Babylon the Great back in the fourth century. That means that God punished wayward Christians for 16 centuries! The Watchtower’s new light fails to take into consideration what is stated in Isaiah:
“For Jehovah called you as if you were an abandoned wife and grief-stricken, like a wife married in youth and then rejected,” says your God. “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with great mercy I will gather you back. In a flood of indignation I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting loyal love I will have mercy on you,” says your Repurchaser, Jehovah. “This is like the days of Noah to me. Just as I have sworn that the waters of Noah will no more cover the earth, so I swear that I will no more become indignant toward you or rebuke you.” — Isaiah 54:6-9
“A brief moment” spanning 16 centuries? Not even. As regards the “flood of indignation” God will unleash Isaiah wrote of this earlier in his book; specifically, in the 28th chapter, which says: “For you men say: ‘We have made a covenant with Death, and with the Grave we have made an agreement. When the raging flash flood passes through, it will not reach us, for we have made a lie our refuge and we have hidden ourselves in falsehood.”
The prophecy goes on to say that the raging flash flood will sweep away the refuge of lies and the hiding place of the spiritually drunk prophets and priests. The analogy perfectly describes the leadership of the Watchtower at this present time. By promoting a faux parousia, falsely proclaiming that Christ came in 1914 and has restored God’s wifelike organization to his eternal favor, it is as if the “prophets” have fabricated a hiding place for themselves—a place of concealment from God’s coming judgment.
That the prophecy pertains to the coming of Christ is made apparent in verse 16, which says: “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: ‘Here I am laying as a foundation in Zion a tested stone, the precious cornerstone of a sure foundation. No one exercising faith will panic.’”
Jesus applied the prophecy to himself when he told the faithless Jews and Pharisees that they had rejected the approved cornerstone. However, the verse above adds the word “tested”—“a tested stone.” It is true, Christ always had his Father’s approval and he was tempted and tested in every respect. But it was not until his death on the torture stake that Jesus passed the ultimate test of faith. And his resurrection from the dead was proof of God’s approval. So, the “tested stone” applies to Jesus’ Second Coming.
While the Watchtower has bits and pieces of the prophetic puzzle in place it presents a false picture of the future. That is because God’s coming judgment is against the very ones who are appointed as spokesmen for Jehovah! Does not Isaiah go on to state: “And the wisdom of their wise men will perish, and the understanding of their discreet men will be hidden.” — Isaiah 29:14
Yes, Gog is destined to attack a restored “Israel,” — the Israel of God to be sure; but first must come the flash flood of God’s indignation, and yes, captivity to Babylon the Great. The boasters must be humbled. After all, the denunciation in the 28th chapter of Isaiah is directed to these: “So hear the word of Jehovah, you boasters, you rulers of this people in Jerusalem…”
Over the past nearly two decades I have been at my watch post I am quite certain that the leaders of Watchtower have gotten the message. Their response has been to double down and entrench themselves deeper.
Bringeth thine tempest, O Lord!