“However, when you catch sight of the disgusting thing that causes desolation standing where it ought not (let the reader use discernment), then let those in Judea begin fleeing to the mountains.”
This article is a continuation of the July 2013 Watchtower Review for Jehovah’s Witnesses.
In the previous article it was established that the Watchtower’s interpretation of the holy place, about which Jesus foretold would be desolated during the great tribulation, is in error. That may be easily discerned from the fact that the Watchtower derives its interpretation from a private source; meaning, what they have presented simply does not harmonize with prophecy.
Jesus advised the reader to have discernment and directed us to the prophecy of Daniel. As was highlighted in the previous article, both instances where the disgusting thing is mentioned is in relation with the constant feature and the sanctuary, which Jehovah’s Witnesses have been taught relates to the genuine congregation of Christ. And there’s no reason to doubt that. In spite of that knowledge the Watchtower’s interpretation ignores that connection. Therefore, it fails the test of being an authentic “inspired expression” from God. (See related article: When You Catch Sight of the Disgusting Thing)
Furthermore, in the sixth paragraph of the article already considered in the previous post, the Governing Body stated:
“In the larger fulfillment, the “standing” will occur when the United Nations (the modern-day “disgusting thing”) attacks Christendom (which is holy in the eyes of nominal Christians) and the rest of Babylon the Great.”
Now, here is a question for thinking Christians to consider: If the holy place actually represents the unholy conglomeration of churches making up Christendom, why should it seem out of place for the disgusting thing to stand among them? After all, as Jehovah’s Witnesses well know, Christendom has always been inseparably intertwined with the political system. It could even be said that Christendom was established by the pagan emperor, Constantine, when he inserted himself into the bishop’s debate as the arbiter and decider of Christian doctrine. The Catholic Church essentially became an arm of the Roman and Byzantium empire.
Jehovah’s Witnesses have always been viewed as somewhat of an oddity because of their neutral stance towards politics and nationalism, which, no doubt, is why the revelation of the Watchtower’s unholy alliance with the United Nations came as such a shock to many of Jehovah’s Witnesses – many of whom still refuse to believe there was anything to it. (See article: Strange Bedfellows)
But take a closer look at the words of Jesus regarding the disgusting thing in the holy place. Although the other gospel writers do not include this seemingly insignificant detail, the 13th chapter of Mark’s gospel quotes Jesus as saying: “However, when you catch sight of the disgusting thing that causes desolation standing where it ought not…”
Since the churches and the political system voluntarily work hand-in-glove, why does Jesus say that the disgusting thing will come to stand “where it ought not”?
The reason ought to be apparent, especially in light of what Lamentations 1:10 says: “The adversary has spread out his own hand against all her desirable things. For she has seen nations that have come into her sanctuary, Whom you commanded that they should not come into the congregation belonging to you.”
So, in other words, the disgusting thing “should not come into the congregation.”
We must not lose sight of the fact that there is a great universal contest that is being played out. Basically, all human affairs on earth are influenced for either good or bad by entities of greater power than mere humans.
Consider, for example, what is revealed in the book of Daniel. Daniel was informed that “the prince of the royal realm of Persia” had waylaid a powerful angel for three weeks, preventing him from answering Daniel’s request. Another powerful angel, Michael, who elsewhere is described as the archangel and the Prince of princes, came to the messenger’s assistance. But obviously, the prince of Persia was not a human prince. How could a mere human oppose an angel of Jehovah and thwart him from carrying out his assignment? The Bible reveals that one such spirit of fire slaughtered the entire Assyrian army in one night when they were intending to lay siege to Jerusalem.
As another instance of demonic overreach, when Jehovah brought the Israelites into the bond of a covenant he declared that he would accept nothing less than exclusive devotion. But time and time again the Israelites were lured into idolatry. Eventually, the one who was touted as the wisest man who had ever lived, King Solomon, was seduced by his many foreign wives into building temples to the disgusting things of the nations surrounding Israel. Those disgusting things were represented by idols and given names like Molech and Chemosh. In reality, the idols were merely fronts for the demons to receive the worship that belonged to Jehovah.
Eventually, corrupt priests and kings brought various disgusting things into the very temple of Jehovah. The prophet Ezekiel was transported in vision from Babylon and bored an imaginary hole through the wall of the temple so that Jehovah could show him all the disgusting things the priests had done in his holy place. And we know the end result, that Jehovah used the rapacious and idolatrous Chaldeans to utterly destroy his temple.
It is noteworthy that that expression “disgusting thing” was nearly always used in connection with idolatry. As Jehovah’s Witnesses surely know, Christendom has been steeped in idolatry for centuries and Satan has seduced them into celebrating various demonic rituals from antiquity that have only thinly been dressed up as Christian celebrations. Laudably, the Watchtower Society has made a determined effort to jettison all those beliefs and unclean practices of Christendom.
Consider for a moment what the word “holy” means. It means something that is clean and spiritually pure. Hence, those who are anointed with God’s holy spirit and who have been cleansed with the holy blood of Jesus are said to be holy ones in God’s sight. In fact, as a result of Jesus’ mediation in their behalf Jehovah considers them to be virtually sinless, provided they continue in the faith. And since God gathers his holy ones into a singular congregation, which comprises a spiritual temple ultimately intended for God to inhabit by spirit, the place of their spiritual habitation would rightly be called “the holy place.”
This is not a novel notion for Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Watchtower is well aware of these spiritual truths and has taught them for decades. So, why the lack of insight when it comes to discerning the holy place that is destined to be desolated by a disgusting thing?
The answer is because the Watchtower Society has been infiltrated and overreached by the adversary. The Devil’s truth-bending power is obviously on display for anyone with the insight, courage and honesty of heart to face the fact that the Watchtower has made an absolute mess of Bible prophecy.
Of course, nothing can happen without God’s permission. And it just so happens that God allows for“an operation of error” to go to those who know the truth, in order to test their love of the truth.
According to the context of Paul’s letter this so-called operation of error has to do with the official-sounding proclamations and written letters proclaiming that the parousia has begun and that the day of Jehovah is here. And the source of these announcements is a so-called “man of lawlessness,” whom Paul foretold would sit down in the temple of The God, showing himself to be a god. In other words, Satan has his agent situated within the holy place. (See article: Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Man of Lawlessness.)
The so-called mystery of this lawlessness is already on display in various ways. As already mentioned, the Watchtower’s secret partnership with United Nations was most certainly an act of lawlessness and not some innocent mistake as Jehovah’s Witnesses have been led to believe. It was a calculated act that required considerable forethought to accomplish. In truth, it was a act of apostasy that, unbeknownst to Jehovah’s Witnesses, cunningly co-opted them and their sacred ministry into becoming mere couriers of literature, some of which was intentionally designed to promote the agenda of the United Nations.
In context, here is what Paul warned Christians as regards the man of lawlessness: “Let no one seduce you in any manner, because it will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness gets revealed, the son of destruction. He is set in opposition and lifts himself up over everyone who is called “god” or an object of reverence, so that he sits down in the temple of The God, publicly showing himself to be a god. Do you not remember that, while I was yet with you, I used to tell you these things?”
The above account is certainly a fitting description of the Governing Body. Have they not exalted themselves above the popes and idols of the world? Obviously, Jehovah’s Witnesses are made to feel privileged to be part of an organization that has gloriously been set free from Babylon the great, and whose leaders are far superior to the corrupt clergy of Christendom. In this way a very subtle form of idolatry has been established – the idolization of the Watchtower itself. In other words, counter to Paul’s warning, Jehovah’s Witnesses have been seduced and are unaware of the evil that confronts them. (See article: The Idolization of Jehovah’s Visible Organization)
Consider, that, for the past quarter of a century all newly baptized Jehovah’s Witnesses, in addition to declaring themselves to be dedicated to Jehovah and Christ, must also publicly declare that they are followers of “God’s spirit-directed organization.” Again, this is merely symptomatic of the mystery of lawlessness that lurks below the surface.
But as regards the operation of error, it is allowed in order to convince Jehovah’s Witnesses that the organization has God’s unqualified approval and all that God expects of individual members of Jehovah’s Witnesses is for them to dutifully follow the leadership of the Watchtower Society, clear through the gates to paradise. And Jehovah’s Witnesses have been conditioned to view any deviation from that as an act of apostasy. But what about apostasy from within? Why are Jehovah’s Witnesses so cocksure that the Watchtower Society could never become apostate in Jehovah’s eyes? It is certainly a sobering thought to consider, is it not?
But this is exactly what has happened. And the apostasy from within is intended primarily to deceive Jehovah’s Witnesses as regards the return of Christ. Did not Jesus himself sternly warn that his return would be characterized by the multiplicity of false prophets and false Christs and convincing claims that the Christ is ‘here in the wilderness’ and ‘he is here in the inner chambers’?
Most sobering, Jesus foretold that during the thick of things, that is to say during actual tribulation when the holy place is desolated by a disgusting thing, false Christs will proliferate and be empowered to perform great signs and wonders, so that if possible, even the chosen ones might be deceived by the operation. Keep in mind that Paul foretold that Satan would employ all manner of deception, lying signs and portents, in order to set up a fake parousia.
Now, specifically, Mark recorded Jesus’ words as follows: “However, when you catch sight of the disgusting thing that causes desolation standing where it ought not (let the reader use discernment), then let those in Judea begin fleeing to the mountains. Let the man on the housetop not come down, nor go inside to take anything out of his house; and let the man in the field not return to the things behind to pick up his outer garment. Woe to the pregnant women and those suckling a baby in those days! Keep praying that it may not occur in wintertime; for those days will be days of a tribulation such as has not occurred from the beginning of the creation which God created until that time, and will not occur again. In fact, unless Jehovah had cut short the days, no flesh would be saved. But on account of the chosen ones whom he has chosen he has cut short the days. Then, too, if anyone says to you, ‘See! Here is the Christ,’ ‘See! There he is,’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will give signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, the chosen ones. You then, watch out; I have told you all things beforehand.”
HOW COULD JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES BE DECEIVED BY THE CLERGY?
Jehovah’s Witnesses certainly believe that the chosen ones alive today are within the Watchtower Society – especially among the leadership of the organization. That being the case, how would it be possible for them to be deceived by outsiders, such as the clerics of Christendom? It would not be possible. Anointed witnesses of Jehovah would never pay heed to any outsider. The deception can only come from within – from a trusted source. Think about it!
But if the holy place that is destined for desolation is really unholy Christendom and all of Babylon the great, then how is it possible that after it is desolated that there would come false Christs who will display convincing signs and deceptive wonders in an attempt to lead astray the chosen ones? Worded differently, how would it be possible in the aftermath of Christendom’s desolation for there to be those who will be saying “here is the Christ” and performing “signs and wonders”? And why Jesus’ stern warning if the threat were not credible? For that matter, if the holy place is Christendom, why would it be necessary for true Christians to flee for their lives? Have not Jehovah’s Witnesses already gotten out of Babylon the great?
Given the fact that the Watchtower has promoted a fake parousia since its inception, and certain leading figures within the Society have shown their propensity for treachery and a tendency toward apostasy, and given the fact the Watchtower’s latest “clarification” is nothing more than the continuation of the obfuscation of prophecy, the only reasonable conclusion that can be drawn by an honest-hearted consideration of the Scriptures, as well as the facts at hand, is that the Watchtower Society itself is destined to become the source of the misleading pronouncements regarding the Christ during the confusion of the great tribulation.
Just how the disgusting thing will bring about the desolation of Christ’s congregation remains to be seen. But we may be certain the Watchtower has in no way prepared Jehovah’s Witnesses for whatever may occur. Likely, just as the Jews had cooperated with their hated enemy, the Romans, in order to do away with the Christ, so too, the Watchtower will likely compromise with the last king in some undeniable way – for the purpose of ensnaring the chosen ones. And just as the law had been a tutor that led the Jews to Christ, for those Jews who rejected Jesus Judaism became their snare when the disgusting thing brought desolation upon the holy place.
Similarly, the Watchtower now stands as a potentially lethal snare and an enormous stumbling block for those who are not settled in their faith. But it seems appropriate that the very organization that has led you to Christ could potentially mislead you from Christ at the critical moment when Christ arrives for the judgment of the holy place.
End of part two…