This post is a reproduction of what was previously published as a brochure. in 2019. You may purchase copies of the brochure for distribution or download as a PDF. Unfortunately, I corrected about a half dozen typos that appear in the hard copy and PDF. (Too much work to fix them)
THE APPROACHING HOUR OF TESTING
Jehovah has always used individuals to accomplish his work. In Bible times, God appointed faithful men to serve as watchmen and prophets. They spoke God’s judgments to the establishment— to the priests, princes, and kings in positions of authority over God’s people. Even in the Christian arrangement, some men served as prophets. Agabus comes to mind: he foretold Paul’s destiny. Others individuals like Wycliffe and Tyndall changed the course of history by defying the religious authorities in making God’s word available in English. More recently, Charles Taze Russell founded what has undoubtedly become the organization that Christ has used to have the good news preached throughout the world. What comes next?
In keeping with the established pattern, for the past two decades, I have endeavored to announce Jehovah’s coming judgments to the leadership of the Watchtower and Jehovah’s Witnesses more broadly. It is my conviction that Jehovah has poured a deep sleep upon the Governing Body and covered their heads, as foretold in Isaiah. To what end? In the 3rd chapter of Revelation, Jesus spoke of the “hour of test” coming upon the world. What will the test involve? It will be a test of our faith.
In order for God to determine if we have faith or are merely following men— as we are all inclined to do— God has allowed Satan to exert a deluding influence over his earthly organization. In short, Jehovah’s Witnesses have been deluded into imagining that Christ has already come; that the beast has already received a mortal wound and revived; that the eighth king has already ascended from the abyss, and many, many other claims too numerous to list here. Although the blindness of Jehovah’s Witnesses is virtually impenetrable, it is my avowed duty to shine a light upon the things to come— even as it is written: “The lion has roared! Who will not be afraid? The Sovereign Lord Jehovah has spoken! Who will not prophesy?”
It is my fervent hope that your faith will remain intact during the coming test and that you may survive the inevitable crash of the Watchtower and enter into the true spiritual paradise that will come into existence with the true second coming of Christ.
— Robert King
MANY WILL BE STUMBLED
From the very beginning the Watchtower sounded the warning: ‘Look out for 1914!’ was the motto. And there is no question about it: 1914 proved to be a pivotal year —in more ways than are apparent.
Although the Bible Students had been looking forward to 1914 for many years in reality nothing turned out the way they had anticipated. Instead of global anarchy, Armageddon, and the rapture, Pastor Russell unexpectedly passed away on October 31, 1916. An ugly power struggled erupted among leading men, creating a schism among the Bible Students. Rutherford and seven others were railroaded off to prison. Then the Great War ended and the world went on as before. When the work resumed there was only a small fraction of Bible Students who were willing to go forward to advertise the King and his Kingdom.
Tragically, it seems that Jehovah’s Witnesses have not learned the lesson. Worse, the Watchtower’s leadership has not taken the Bible Students’ fiasco to heart. Instead of making sure of all things, as the apostle exhorted, Bethel has become even more dogmatic —cocksure that Christ has already come and bestowed his approval upon the organization.
As it stands now, Jehovah’s Witnesses are convinced that the only missing piece of the prophetic puzzle —other than the attack of Gog and Armageddon — is for the symbolic wild beast to turn upon and destroy Babylon the Great and kick off the great tribulation. That is the expectation that has been carefully cultivated by the Watchtower. Thus, the stage is set for another great disappointment. Only this time the words of Jesus are certain to be fulfilled: “Then, too, many will be stumbled and will betray one another and will hate one another.”
While it is impossible to break the deluding influence that holds Jehovah’s Witnesses spellbound it is my hope that a few minds might be opened to perceive the prophecies in a new light in advance of the day of the Lord —yes, the second coming of Jesus Christ and all that his coming entails.
TEACHERS WILL RECEIVE A HEAVIER JUDGMENT
It is a weighty thing to preach and teach in the name of Jehovah. The letter of James offers a sober warning to any man aspiring to be a teacher of God’s people: “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive heavier judgment.” (James 3:1)
Local elders and ministerial servants are rightly considered teachers even though what they teach does not originate with them. All appointed ministerial servants, elders, circuit and branch overseers, are themselves taught by the Teaching Committee, which is overseen directly by the Governing Body. Surely, if even teachers of the local congregations will receive a heavier judgment in line with the stated word of God, how much more so will the teachers of the teachers be held accountable by the Grand Instructor?
An accounting with the household of appointed slaves who are tasked to feed the master’s domestics with food at the proper time is precisely what is implied in the provocative question: “Who really is the faithful steward, the discreet one, whom his master will appoint over his body of attendants to keep giving them their measure of food supplies at the proper time?”
Jehovah’s Witnesses are thoroughly familiar with the oft-quoted passage above, perhaps too familiar. Despite the fact Jesus posed it as an unanswerable question, the Governing Body refers to itself as the faithful and discreet slave and is routinely praised as such by Jehovah’s Witnesses. Nevertheless, the same familiarity with scripture does not exist for the much more detailed discussion of the very same question — “who really is the faithful and discreet slave?” that appears in the 12th chapter of Luke, where-in verses 47-48 Jesus explains the principle of accountability.
Referring to the two possible outcomes for the slaves who had been appointed to feed the domestics, Jesus explained: “Then that slave who understood the will of his master but did not get ready or do what he asked will be beaten with many strokes. But the one who did not understand and yet did things deserving of strokes will be beaten with few. Indeed, everyone to whom much was given, much will be demanded of him, and the one who was put in charge of much will have more than usual demanded of him.”
There is only one household over which Jesus appoints a steward. Since Jesus already introduced the reader to the faithful and evil slaves in his illustration, it must be that all of those duly appointed to serve spiritual food fail to do the master’s will completely. That should not surprise us since Jesus reproved his apostles for their errors and lack of faith on numerous occasions, sometimes rebuking them severely. In the illustration, the determining factor that distinguishes the two erring slaves is their motive. Some slaves error out of ignorance and others out of willful disregard. Both are punished accordingly. The ignorant slave will be beaten with a few strokes. The willfully disobedient slave shall be punished with the greatest severity —being put out of the house altogether, where he is destined to weep and gnash his teeth in anguish, knowing his ultimate fate. The point being, the heaviest judgment is reserved for the teachers of the teachers —“the one who was put in charge.”
For many decades the Watchtower taught that the faithful slave was appointed over all of the master’s belongings back in 1918. It was not until 2013 that the second appointment was finally reset to some point in the future. In view of that recent “adjustment,” the paramount question to consider is this: What is the setting in which the appointed slaves are judged? The answer is simple and profound. The judgment occurs when the master comes unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. The time of his arrival cannot be ascertained by any means, such as chronology. And since the Governing Body has now inadvertently acknowledged that the master has not come to judge the slaves he has left in charge, Jehovah’s Witnesses ought to consider the implications of a future coming of the master —yes, the second coming of Jesus Christ to initiate the judgment of the house of God.
Oddly enough, the phrase “second coming of Jesus Christ” does not resonate with Jehovah’s Witnesses. And there is a very good reason why that is so. It is because Jehovah’s Witnesses have been led to believe the epic second coming of the Lord already occurred in 1914. To be sure, though, the Watchtower does not commonly use that phrase —“second coming.” One has to go all the way back to 1985 to find even a hint that the second coming has already taken place. Here is that is stated in the February 1st, 1985 WT in an article entitled: Who Can Read the Sign Aright? :
“People of this 20th-century generation who do not desire or believe in the second coming of Jesus Christ do not read aright the “sign” of this system’s end.”
So, Jehovah’s Witnesses definitely believe that the second coming has already occurred, whether they know it or not!
It is understandable why the Watchtower downplays the second coming as having taken place in 1914. Most people who have not been indoctrinated would think such a thing to be incredible, even absurd, given the obvious fact that the world has gone on in a business-as-usual fashion for more than a century. As for reading the sign aright, is it possible that the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses falsely claim to read the sign aright? What if the genuine sign has not presented itself yet? After all, Jesus said “when you see these things occurring” —meaning, as in the process of happening in the present moment. Put another way, how is it possible for events that took place more than a century ago to be “occurring” in the future?
More to the point: Why is it deemed impossible that the “sign of this system’s end” could display itself in the future? Why are the teachers of the teachers so cocksure there will not be another world war accompanied by food shortages and global pandemics that far surpass the horrors of the First World War and the Spanish Influenza? In view of the ominously deteriorating state of the world, it hardly seems discreet for the master teachers to leave upon no possibility that the nations may be plunged into a full-scale war and for all of the events Jesus foretold to begin occurring on a massive scale.
No one would admit to believing such a thing, but because the Watchtower holds to the position that the second coming has occurred, Jehovah’s Witnesses are compelled to believe that the glorious Christ comes on more than one occasion. Although not calling it such, the Watchtower implies that there is a third coming. How sensible is that, though? It is not reasonable at all. Nor is it scriptural. And yet, it is exactly what is implicitly taught by the teachers of the teachers.
To illustrate the incongruity, for many decades Jehovah’s Witnesses believed that the sheep and the goats were being separated by the worldwide preaching. In 1995 the Watchtower correctly readjusted the fulfillment to the future. However, now Jehovah’s Witnesses hold the belief that Christ sat down on his glorious throne in 1914 and he is coming again in the future —arriving with all of his angels to also sit down on his glorious throne.
Consider more closely the context of the 12th chapter of Luke where Jesus exhorted his disciples to be ready for his coming: “Be dressed and ready and have your lamps burning, and you should be like men waiting for their master to return from the marriage, so when he comes and knocks, they may at once open to him. Happy are those slaves whom the master on coming finds watching! Truly I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at the table and will come alongside and minister to them. And if he comes in the second watch, even if in the third, and finds them ready, happy are they! But know this, if the householder had known at what hour the thief would come, he would not have let his house be broken into.You also, keep ready, because at an hour that you do not think likely, the Son of man is coming.”
In the few verses above Jesus used the words “come,” “comes” and “coming” five times. More notably, the same passage reveals that if the master finds his slaves in a watchful state he will come alongside them and become their minister. This calls to mind the original evening meal when the Lord girded himself as a slave and washed the feet of the apostles. On the same occasion, Jesus also spoke of his going away and returning —coming again for the second time. His second coming must be an extraordinary event in the outworking of Jehovah’s purpose —the consummation of the new covenant that was initiated at the original evening meal.
Hence, in the 12th chapter of Luke Jesus linked his coming to judge his household of slaves to his parousia. Or have the teachers of Jehovah’s Witnesses become so dull in their thinking that they do not recognize the significance of the phrase “come alongside” as relating to the word parousia, which literally means to come alongside?
As already stated, prior to 2013 the Watchtower taught that the faithful slave was appointed over all of the master’s belongings in 1918-19. Now that the coming of Christ has been readjusted to a point in the future and the scriptures cited above clearly connect his coming with the parousia, in what sense will Jesus come alongside his faithful disciples in the future if the presence of Jesus began in 1914? Are there multiple parousias as well as multiple comings?
Consider another familiar passage that speaks of the coming of the Lord. Malachi 3:1-2 states: “Look! I am sending my messenger, and he will clear up a way before me. And suddenly the true Lord, whom you are seeking, will come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant will come, in whom you take delight. Look! He will certainly come,” says Jehovah of armies. “But who will endure the day of his coming, and who will be able to stand when he appears? For he will be like the fire of a refiner and like the lye of laundrymen.”
Jesus himself alluded to his fiery coming when he exhorted Christians to not allow themselves to become weighed down with overindulgence and anxieties of life so that they may succeed in standing before the Son of man. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe the Son of man has come. However, the exhortation to succeed in standing before the Son of man echos the question posed in Malachi: “Who will be able to stand when he appears?” In view of the fact that the Watchtower teaches that the messenger of the covenant came in 1918, the question must be posed: Is there more than one occasion when covenanted Christians will be made to stand before the Christ?
Sound reasoning should dictate that the coming of the messenger of the covenant to cleanse the temple is the exact same thing as the coming of the Son of man to judge the slaves of his household. Is not the house of God also the spiritual temple? That being true, how can Christ be coming if he has already come? A more pointed question might be: Why are Jehovah’s Witnesses required to believe two contradictory “truths”?
Could this failure to discern that Christ has not come be the primary reason the Lord will come at an hour you do not think likely and chastise even the “faithful” for their lack of discernment?
WHAT IS THE END?
Jesus said the “good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the earth and then the end will come.” It has long been assumed that the preaching and disciple-making work takes place during the period known as the conclusion and that “the end” is the end of the entire wicked system at Armageddon. There are many reasons for believing otherwise.
Mark wrote in his account something that does not appear in Matthew and Luke; namely, that the good news has to be preached first. First before what? Please consider the full context of Jesus’ remarks: “As for you, look out for yourselves. People will hand you over to local courts, and you will be beaten in synagogues and be put on the stand before governors and kings for my sake, for a witness to them. Also, in all the nations, the good news has to be preached first. And when they are taking you to hand you over, do not be anxious beforehand about what to say; but whatever is given you in that hour, say this, for you are not the ones speaking, but the holy spirit is. Furthermore, brother will deliver brother over to death, and a father a child, and children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. And you will be hated by all people on account of my name. But the one who has endured to the end will be saved.”
True Christians have always been persecuted in one way or another. There are many lands throughout the world that do not permit Jehovah’s Witnesses the protection that is provided in the so-called free world. Jehovah’s Witnesses have especially flourished in America, no doubt due in no small part to the freedoms guaranteed in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. Even during times of heated persecution back in the Rutherford era, the U.S. government via its Supreme Court upheld our rights. Since the end of WW2, the nations as a whole have enjoyed an extended period of relative peace and prosperity, which has greatly facilitated the worldwide work sponsored by the Watchtower Bible Society.
The question is: If the good news is preached first what comes afterward? Intense persecution. The context in which Jesus said “the good news has to be preached first” speaks to a level of persecution that has not been experienced in the modern era. That can be said with the utmost confidence since it is clear that what Jesus foretold is not merely the persecution of Christians by the state (local courts, governors, and kings).
In the first century, any Jew who confessed faith in Jesus was certain to be thrown from the synagogue. What about during the conclusion?
It is not likely that true Christians would ever attend a Jewish synagogue. Does that mean the words of Christ have no relevance? Not at all. The Jewish synagogue is analogous to the Christian congregation. In the book of Revelation Jesus spoke of those who claimed to be Jews but who are actually a synagogue of Satan.
In his letter to the Romans, Paul —the foremost Christian teacher —informs us that the real Jews are those who are true to God’s anointing. That being true, those who lyingly claim to be Jews and who comprise a synagogue of Satan must falsely claim to be anointed. We should not think this strange. A similar situation existed in the Corinthian congregation. The inspired apostle revealed that prominent men who were presiding over the congregation —whom Paul dubbed “superfine apostles” —were not anointed Christians, but were actually false apostles, deceitful workers, mere agents of the Devil who had cleverly disguised themselves as ministers of righteousness. Apparently, the disguise was very effective, which was why Paul was gravely concerned that just as the serpent had seduced Eve by his cunning, the brothers and sisters in Corinth might be corrupted by the presence of Satan’s false teachers in their midst.
At the mouth of two witnesses, in the second chapter of his second epistle, the apostle Peter testifies that “there will be false teachers among you” who “will greedily exploit you with counterfeit words.” Since the presence of the false teachers immediately precedes their judgment, it is evident that false apostles preside over Christ’s congregation up until he comes.
As regards the synagogue of Satan, in his letter of admonishment to the Smyrna congregation, Jesus wrote: “I know your tribulation and poverty—but you are rich—and the blasphemy by those who say they themselves are Jews, and yet they are not but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not be afraid of the things you are about to suffer. Look! The Devil will keep on throwing some of you into prison that you may be fully put to the test, and that you may have tribulation ten days. Prove yourself faithful even to death, and I will give you the crown of life. Let the one who has an ear hear what the spirit says to the congregations: He that conquers will by no means be harmed by the second death.”
Since Jesus gave us a revelation of the things that must shortly take place during the Lord’s day, it is evident that the persecution to come will originate within the organization. Those who make up a synagogue of Satan must be the evil slaves who will not accept Jesus when he comes. The Devil will use them to persecute the true Jews —just as he used Jesus’ disloyal apostle, Judas. The evil ones will cause many to be stumbled and have Christ’s brothers beaten in the synagogues and handed over to prison and death.
Surely, Jehovah’s Witnesses will not be going about their peaceful ministry when their former brothers will come to hate and betray them and family members will have their loved ones handed over to be killed. By then the good news will have been preached and terminated.
One of the last things Jesus said to his disciples before he ascended to heaven was the well-known command to go make disciples. Christ assured his followers that he would be with them all of the days until the conclusion of the system. Clearly, the time to make disciples and baptize is prior to the conclusion. If Jesus is with his followers before the conclusion we should expect something different, something more intimate when he comes alongside the watching ones to minister to them. What then is the conclusion?
THE HARVEST IS A CONCLUSION OF A SYSTEM
In the 13th chapter of Matthew Jesus explained that the harvest is a conclusion of a system —or, the end of an age, as some translations word it. Jesus used many illustrations involving planting and harvesting. He once said that the fields were white, ripe for the harvest. He also spoke of a concluding harvest that would be accomplished, not by human harvesters, but by the angels whom Christ will dispatch to uproot out of his Kingdom all persons doing lawlessness and all things that cause stumbling.
The Watchtower claims that the concluding harvest began in 1914. If that is true, are we to believe that the angels have removed lawless persons from Christendom? That is not an unreasonable question since the International Bible Students had already become a separate and distinct sect. Even in that knowledge, the teachers of Jehovah’s Witnesses insist that the false Christians were bundled up back in 1918 and that the wheat was distinguished. Or are there no stumbling blocks among Jehovah’s Witnesses presently because the angels have removed all things that cause stumbling? Who would believe such nonsense? Incredibly, the Watchtower would have millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that very thing!
Jesus spoke a related illustration: “Again the Kingdom of the heavens is like a dragnet let down into the sea and gathering fish of every kind. When it was full, they hauled it up onto the beach, and sitting down, they collected the fine ones into containers, but the unsuitable they threw away. That is how it will be in the conclusion of the system of things. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from among the righteous and will cast them into the fiery furnace. There is where their weeping and the gnashing of their teeth will be.”
According to the December 2014 Watchtower article entitled: Do You Grasp the Meaning? the teachers wrote the following:
“The symbolic separating of fish does not refer to the final judgment during the great tribulation. Rather, it highlights what would happen during the last days of this wicked system. Jesus showed that not all those attracted to the truth will take a stand for Jehovah. Many have associated with us at our meetings. Others have been willing to study the Bible with us but are not willing to make a commitment. Still others are no longer associating with the Christian congregation. Some youths have been raised by Christian parents and yet have not developed a love for Jehovah’s standards.”
The question posed is a good one, do you grasp the meaning? In order to line up the illustration of the conclusion with 1914 the Governing Body makes the absolutely astounding claim that the millions of marginally interested persons who do not commit to baptism and the other millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses who have already left the organization, many undoubtedly being spiritually sickened and stumbled by the Watchtower’s brazen hypocrisy —including the thousands who have been victimized by pedophiles —have, in reality, been thrown away by the angels as unsuitable. (See article: Are the Angels Killing off Your Bible Students?)
Surely, though, if anyone is unsuitable for life in God’s Kingdom it is the false teachers who have disowned the owner who bought them —who brazenly blaspheme God in order to glorify the Watchtower and condemn to the slaughter the very sheep they have been appointed to feed and shepherd. Sadly, apparently, none among Jehovah’s Witnesses grasp the meaning of the illustration of the dragnet!
Just like in the natural world, the symbolic harvest brings an end to the metaphoric planting, cultivating, and watering. In truth, the conclusion of the system is the end of the Christian age. It marks the end of preaching and disciple-making. It is the end of the calling and choosing. It brings about the final sealing. That is why Paul said that by observing the evening meal “you keep proclaiming the death of the Lord, until he comes.”
Let him that has an ear hear: The conclusion is when Christ comes to judge the house of God. Some will be found faithful —some unfaithful. Some will be set aside as suitable. Some will be tossed away.
The 1914 error has skewed everything connected with the second coming of Jesus, including chronology. As all knowledgable Jehovah’s Witnesses know, there are related time values in Daniel and Revelation expressed in various ways, such as the appointed time, times and half a time, 42 months and 1,260 days. There are also 1,290 days and 1,335 days. All of these periods have been explained as having been fulfilled during the First World War and shortly thereafter.
Is the Watchtower’s interpretation correct? Bluntly, no.
The three and one-half years is the duration of the reign of the eighth king, which is said to rule for one hour. Just as Jesus’ earthly ministry lasted roughly 42 months, so too, the hour of judgment. How may this be determined? According to the 13th chapter of Revelation the 42-month interval begins after the wild beast revives from a seemingly fatal head wound. The resuscitated beast will then conquer and kill the chosen ones and occupy the holy place. How do we know this did not happen already?
First, there is no justification for the Watchtower to claim that the Anglo-American head of the beast suffered a fatal wound as a result of the Great War (1914-1918). History speaks for itself. Great Britain and America were victorious. There was no social upheaval, no financial crash, no instability of record, no governmental collapse. Should we suppose that a fatal wound upon the ruling head of the beastly political system would be anything less than the catastrophic failure of the ruling government?
Secondly, the death and recuperation of the beast initiate the judgment of the world and anyone who obeys or supports the beast from that time on receives the so-called mark of the beast —the symbolic 666. That is fitting because by worshipping the beast at that crucial hour of test the world will demonstrate their deep-seated enmity toward Christ.
Concerning the judgment to come, Revelation 13:8 says: “And all those who dwell on the earth will worship it. From the founding of the world, not one of their names has been written in the scroll of life of the Lamb who was slaughtered.” Not having one’s name written in the scroll of life means that a person receives the punishment of the second death. As Jehovah’s Witnesses surely know, the second death is permanent death from which there is no resurrection. Reasonably, it is not a judgment that transpires over successive generations but takes place over a relatively short period of time; hence, the hour of judgment.
Although there is not enough space in this small publication to delve into the details, the Watchtower claims that the hour of test began a century ago and there are actually two seven-headed beasts that come out of the abyss on two different occasions. Besides the absurdity regarding the victorious allies having received a mortal blow, supposedly the UN also came out of an abyss in 1945 and everyone supporting it or admiring it has had their names permanently blotted out of the book of life. This is sheer hokum and blasphemous.
Besides the fact that the UN is an impotent institution if people who have supported the political system in any way have already received the irrevocable sentence of irreversible death, what is the point of preaching the good news of salvation to the doomed? Obviously, the mark of the beast is what opposers receive after the preaching work is concluded. Jehovah’s Witnesses are oblivious to the absurdity of the Watchtower’s teaching on prophecy. According to Revelation, the revived beast will kill all those who will not give their allegiance to it. Furthermore, Revelation 13:16-17 states concerning the beast: “It puts under compulsion all people—the small and the great, the rich and the poor, the free and the slaves—that these should be marked on their right hand or on their forehead, and that nobody can buy or sell except a person having the mark, the name of the wild beast or the number of its name.”
It would appear that evangelical rapturists are actually more sensible than Jehovah’s Witnesses on this issue; in that, at least they recognize that the mark of the beast is something that is going to take place in the future; whereas, the Watchtower has deluded Jehovah’s Witnesses into believing that no one is able to buy or sell now unless they receive the mark of the beast. Somehow the UN has apparently compelled mankind to submit to its authority without the world even being aware of it. Meanwhile, Bethel is busy buying and selling properties and many of Jehovah’s Witnesses are prospering in their business affairs.
And from all indications, the world is carrying on in a business-as-usual fashion, for now anyway. The truth is, Christ has not returned. Satan and the demons have not been thrown down from heaven and the beast has not suffered a mortal head wound and revived. The earthshaking collapse of the present Anglo-American-dominated system and the imposition of a global, communistic regime —a.k.a. the eighth king —will signify the beginning of the hour of test.
“Happy is the one who keeps in expectation and who arrives at the 1,335 days!” —Daniel 12:12
THE PRESENCE OF THE SON OF MAN
When speaking of his second coming Jesus saw fit to warn his followers to beware of the inevitable presence of deceivers and imposters who will both precede and accompany his parousia. In fact, in responding to his apostles’ request for a sign Jesus first warned them to look out that they are not misled because many will be misled by false Christs. Jesus reiterated his warning, saying that during the tribulation Christians will be delivered up and killed and “many will be stumbled and will betray one another and will hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and mislead many.”
Finally, he went on to say: “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look! Here is the Christ,’ or, ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will give great signs and wonders so as to mislead, if possible, even the chosen ones. Look! I have forewarned you. Therefore, if people say to you, ‘Look! He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out; ‘Look! He is in the inner chambers,’ do not believe it. For just as the lightning comes out of eastern parts and shines over to western parts, so the presence of the Son of man will be. Wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.”
Back when Charles Taze Russell formed the little Allegheny Bible study group the stated goal was to determine the veracity of the primary doctrines of the mainstream churches. Those truth-hungry Christians very quickly realized the falsity of the Trinity, hellfire, the immortal soul, and the notion that all saved souls go to heaven.
Besides the elementary doctrines, Russell was deeply interested in the second coming of Christ. And even though his Bible research was still in its infancy no sooner had the Watchtower Society come into existence Russell declared that an invisible presence of Christ had begun in 1874.
It is true, there is a distinction between the Lord’s presence and his coming, as Russell discerned. But what is the scriptural basis for an invisible presence? How was it possible for Russell to discern that Jesus invisibly returned in 1874, when the Bible Students were woefully ignorant about Bible prophecy? It was based merely on an interpretation of now-discarded chronology.
Did not Jesus assure us that where two or three are gathered in his name he is in their midst? That is nothing to take for granted. Surely then, there is a profound difference between Jesus being in our midst and his coming alongside as a minister. Indeed, if Jesus is invisibly present in the midst of believers prior to his coming, ought we not expect something extraordinary during his foretold presence?
Given the fact the Bible Students continued to believe that the parousia began in 1874 even long after 1914, it should be obvious that there is something profoundly wrong with the Watchtower’s invisible parousia doctrine. Even with the 1930 reset of the parousia, how is it possible that Christ was present in their midst beginning in 1914 and for 15 more years the Bible Students continued laboring under the delusion that his presence had begun in 1874? Why is Christ’s presence so ineffectual? Why is it so easy for someone to arbitrarily shift the date of Christ’s presence around?
It is high time for thinking Bible students to follow the apostolic admonition and “make sure of all things.”
What is the scriptural basis for the Watchtower’s invisible parousia teaching? The underlying reasoning is surprisingly specious.
For example, the Watchtower claims that if Christ returned in the flesh he would be retracting the ransom sacrifice of his body. The assumption being, that Jesus can only be visible if he materializes a human body. But did not Jesus materialize in various human bodies after his resurrection? He surely did. After Jesus was resurrected into the spirit realm he materialized flesh on numerous occasions in order to convince his disciples that he was alive. On one occasion he rebuked them for being senseless and slow in heart to believe all the things the prophets spoke concerning the Christ. On two other occasions after his death his disciples were gathered behind locked doors and Jesus stood in their midst. Could that foreshadow the parousia? There are sound reasons for believing so.
It is equally specious that the Watchtower cites the passage at John 14:19 where Jesus said “a little longer and the world will behold me no more,” as a proof text for an invisible parousia, because in the very same verse Jesus went on to say: “but you will behold me, because I live and you will live.” Jesus prefaced his remarks by saying: “I am coming to you” —referring to his second coming, which is when those dead in Christ will behold him, but also those who remain in the flesh. If Jesus was merely speaking of his resurrected disciples beholding him in the invisible realm, why would it be necessary for Christ to come to them?
After Jesus was resurrected he appeared to almost 500 people who saw him with their own eyes. Each of those witnesses, though, had become a believer before Jesus was resurrected. Peter explained this to the first gentile believer, saying to Cornelius: “God raised this one up on the third day and allowed him to become manifest, not to all the people, but to witnesses appointed beforehand by God, to us, who ate and drank with him after his rising from the dead.” So, Jesus was true to his word, the world of unbelievers did not behold him after his death. Only believers who had been appointed by God were allowed to see him.
Another line of reasoning presented by the Watchtower is that Christ now dwells in inapproachable light which no man may behold. While that is true, Jehovah likewise may not be seen by mere mortal eyes. Nevertheless, Jehovah displayed his glory to Moses. The encounter was so glorious that afterward Moses’ face emitted an incandescent glow.
Is it possible that the presence of Christ will involve a similar type of revelation? Saul’s encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus indicates that to be true. Relating his experience to the Corinthians Paul said that he was the last of the disciples to see the resurrected Christ and that his experience was as if he had been born prematurely. (1 Corinthians 15:8) So, even though Jesus dwells in inapproachable light the Pharisee-turned-apostle saw a glimpse of Christ’s glory. In what sense was he born prematurely? Whereas all of the other disciples saw Jesus in human form before he ascended to heaven, Paul saw the glorified Jesus, as all the chosen ones on earth will see him during his parousia.
Is it such a trivial thing to herald a false presence of Christ, as the Watchtower did for more than a half-century? In effect, were not the Bible Students led to believe that Christ was present in the inner chambers from 1874? And since the Watchtower has never disavowed that Jesus’ presence has begun —only shifting it from 1874 to 1914 —what does this portend for the future?
In his warning regarding the false prophets claiming Christ is here and there —in the inner chambers or in the wilderness —how might it be possible for the chosen ones to be deceived? The Watchtower claims that the wheat have already been gathered into the storehouse and the weeds have been clearly defined. If that is true and the chosen ones are found solely among Jehovah’s Witnesses, how, if it were possible, might the chosen ones be deceived by anyone other than the trusted channel of the Watchtower?
In view of the undeniable fact that the Watchtower promoted a false presence of Christ from 1874 up until 1930, and continues to claim Christ has come but is coming again, what credibility will the prophet-class have when Christ comes as a thief in the night?
“THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS IN YOUR MIDST”
Concerning the false prophets who will be empowered to perform great signs and wonders during the tribulation, why did Jesus say “if possible, even the chosen ones” would be deceived —implying that it will not be possible? What factor will make it impossible for the chosen ones to be taken in by the deception that will mislead many?
Consider the experience of the apostles and others who saw the resurrected Christ. The Jewish authorities were determined to prevent the Jews from putting faith in Jesus. Even after the entombed body went missing the lie was spread about that his disciples had stolen it. But it was not possible for Jesus’ disciples to be deceived for the simple reason that they knew Jesus was alive. They saw him. They spoke with him. They touched him. They even shared a meal with him. And after they were filled with the spirit they became his indomitable witnesses.
Keep in mind that the great deception will come about in the future—during the tribulation. That is the setting for Jesus’ remark: “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look! Here is the Christ…”
Now consider the 17th chapter of Luke, where on a different occasion Jesus spoke of his second coming. Although not specifically mentioning the great tribulation Jesus used the same illustrations as he did when discussing the conclusion of the system in the 24th chapter of Matthew, saying: “And people will say to you, ‘See there!’ or, ‘See here!’ Do not go out or chase after them. For just as lightning flashes from one part of heaven to another part of heaven, so the Son of man will be in his day.”
“In his day” is obviously the same as the Lord’s day, which is when the revelation comes about. Jesus next compared the day of the Son of man with the day of Noah and Lot, just as he also did when discussing the conclusion. However, Luke 17:30 records something unique. It reads: “It will be the same on that day when the Son of man is revealed.” The question ought to arise, how will the Son of man be revealed and to whom?
Following the pattern of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances in the first century, we may expect Christ to reveal himself to those who have been called. His manifestation to them will signify their acceptance into the Kingdom—otherwise known as the sealing. The manifestation is the same as his coming alongside—the parousia. In this way, the Son of man will be revealed and his revelation will have a transformative effect upon those to whom he is revealed.
Throughout the Christian Greek Scriptures, the parousia is presented as the ultimate goal—the end of our faith—the realization of the heavenly hope. The parousia does not transpire over multiple generations. Likewise, the manifestation and revelation of Christ are spoken of in the same manner. For example, in his first letter to the Thessalonians Paul wrote concerning the presence of Jesus: “For what is our hope or joy or crown of exultation—why, is it not in fact you?—before our Lord Jesus at his presence?” — 1 Thessalonians 2:19
“Moreover, may the Lord cause you to increase, yes, make you abound, in love to one another and to all, even as we also do to you; to the end that he may make your hearts firm, unblamable in holiness before our God and Father at the presence of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones.” — 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13
In the passages above the apostle makes it clear that standing before God in blamelessness at the presence of the Lord Jesus is the end of it. That is when the Christians realize the hope to which they were called. That is when they receive their crown. Paul referred to the same outcome at the revelation of Jesus, where he wrote: “So that you do not fall short in any gift at all, while you are eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will also make you firm to the end, that you may be open to no accusation in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” — 1 Corinthians 1:7-8
Likewise, the inspired apostle revealed that the manifestation is the end of it, saying: “I give you orders that you observe the commandment in a spotless and irreprehensible way until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ. This manifestation the happy and only Potentate will show in its own appointed times…”— 1 Timothy 6:13-15
In the passages above Paul spoke of being “unblamable in holiness” at the parousia, as well as being “open to no accusation” at the revelation and day of Jesus Christ and being “spotless and irreprehensible…until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Being unblamabale, irreprehensible, and open to no accusation are interchangeable. That being true, it is evident that parousia, manifestation, and revelation are corresponding terms.
The problem is, while downplaying the manifestation and the revelation as being in the future, Bethel’s teachers are certain that the parousia began in 1914. And an invisible parousia at that.
If Jehovah’s Witnesses do not wish to be deluded any longer on this vital matter they would do well to accept the Scriptures at face value —recognizing that the presence of Christ, the manifestation of Christ, and revelation of Christ are the same as the revealing of the Son of man. And the revealing of the Son of man is the climax of Christianity.
Furthermore, the revealing of Jesus takes place in the Lord’s day, otherwise known as the day of Jesus Christ. And just as Paul spoke of the presence, manifestation and revealing as being the realization of our faith, so too, in his letter to the Philippians the day of Jesus is the completion of the work Christ began —the end of the Christian system: “For I am confident of this very thing, that he who started a good work in you will carry it to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.” —Philippians 1:6
Returning to the 17th chapter of Luke, Jesus prefaced his remarks concerning the revealing of the Son of man in response to a question put to him by the Pharisees as to when the Kingdom of God was coming. In answer Jesus said to them: “The Kingdom of God is not coming with striking observableness; nor will people say, ‘See here!’ or, ‘There!’ For look! the Kingdom of God is in your midst.”
It is understood that the Kingdom of God was in their midst due to the fact Jesus was the designated King and he walked among them. In the larger context, however, Jesus was speaking of his second coming —what Paul referred to in the ninth chapter of Hebrews (vs 28) as “the second time that he appears.” In what way will the Kingdom of God be in your midst at the second coming?
Jehovah’s Witnesses have been conditioned to think of the Kingdom as a heavenly government, which, of course, it is. Jesus frequently referred to it as the Kingdom of the heavens. Still, relegating all matters to the invisible realm abrogates the purpose of the second coming and distorts the meaning of basic concepts like manifestation and revealing of Christ. For example, the Greek word translated as “manifestation” in the New World Translation is “epiphaneia.”
The English word “epiphany” is derived from epiphaneia. In Greek the word literally means an “appearance.” And to be sure, the Scriptures speak of Jesus’ manifestation in the flesh, including after his resurrection. For example, the 21st chapter of John opens with these words: “After this Jesus manifested himself again to the disciples, at the Sea of Tiberias. He made the manifestation in this way.”
But epiphaneia also carries the connotation of “brightness,” being derived from the Greek verb “epiphaino,” which means, “to shine forth”—suggesting a glorious, brilliant appearance. Interestingly, the King James Version renders some passages “the brightness of his coming.” The expression “brightness of his coming” ought to put us in mind of the transfiguration, which was a foregleam of the Son of man coming in his Kingdom. A few days before Jesus was transfigured he said to his apostles: “Truly I say to you that there are some of those standing here who will not taste death at all until first they see the Son of man coming in his Kingdom.” —Matthew 16:28
Some of those standing there proved to be Peter, James and John, as the account goes on to say: “Six days later Jesus took Peter and James and his brother John along and led them up into a lofty mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone as the sun, and his outer garments became brilliant as the light. And look! there appeared to them Moses and Elijah conversing with him.”
Years later Peter wrote about his experience on the mountain that night. He reminded the brothers about it, saying: “No, it was not by following artfully contrived false stories that we made known to you the power and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, but rather, we were eyewitnesses of his magnificence.” —2 Peter 1:16
Discerning Bible students take note: The magnificent transfiguration of Jesus was a portent of the parousia. And as Jesus himself said, some of those among his followers were going to see the Son of man coming in his Kingdom. And Peter saw Jesus in the brightness of his coming —so-to-speak. He and his fellow apostles were eyewitnesses of an event that was a foregleam of the coming of Christ in his Kingdom. The fact that Peter, James and John witnessed it proves that the Watchtower’s invisible parousia is an artfully contrived false story —exactly what the inspired apostle anticipated.
In this way the Kingdom of God will not come with striking observableness. It will exclusively reside in the midst of the chosen ones during the finale.
WHAT ARE THE GENTILE TIMES?
The book of Luke is the only gospel account that records the words of Jesus concerning Jerusalem being trampled upon by the nations until the appointed times of the nations are fulfilled. In context, Jesus was responding to a question put to him by his apostles who wanted to know when the city and temple were going to be thrown down, as Jesus had foretold a few days before when he wept over Jerusalem.
The apostles wanted to know the future. And Jesus told them the things that were coming when he said: “For there will be great distress on the land and wrath against this people. And they will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations until the appointed times of the nations are fulfilled.” —Luke 21:23-24
There is no indication in Jesus’ response that he was speaking about the destruction that had befallen Jerusalem centuries earlier, in the days of wicked king, Zedekiah. No, Jesus clearly was speaking of another destruction that was going to come upon the holy city in the future. That is why Jesus said “they will fall” —not ‘they have fallen.’ And “Jerusalem will be trampled” —not, ‘will continue to be trampled.’
It is inconceivable that the apostles would have been so dense of mind so as to mistakenly suppose Jesus was saying Jerusalem was already being trampled upon by the nations. The question is, since Jesus was indisputably speaking of Jerusalem being trampled upon in the future, why does the Watchtower insist that the trampling began when Nebuchadnezzar sacked Jerusalem? The truth is, there is simply no justification for affixing the beginning of the appointed times of the nations to 607 B.C.E.
Of course, Jesus was also speaking about things that will occur during the great tribulation —long after the Romans obliterated Jerusalem. That means that ancient Jerusalem foreshadows a greater reality. And the symbolic “Jerusalem” is what will be trampled upon by the nations until the appointed times of the nations have ended. The 11th chapter of Revelation sheds light upon this very thing, where it says: “But as for the courtyard that is outside the temple sanctuary, leave it out and do not measure it, because it has been given to the nations, and they will trample the holy city underfoot for 42 months.”
The literal city of Jerusalem did not even exist when Revelation was written. The holy city represents Christ’s congregation which originated in Jerusalem. The trampling befalls the symbolic “holy city” during the Lord’s day. Since Bible prophecy interprets itself, the 42 months must be the appointed times of the nations to trample the holy place.
ARE THESE THE LAST DAYS?
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe the last days began in 1914. In recent decades they have been joined by a growing number of others, particularly Evangelical-oriented groups, who believe the last days began when Israel was granted statehood. The Watchtower frequently cites 2 Timothy 3:1-5 as proof that we are living in the last days. Certainly, there is no question that with each passing year society is becoming more and more godless and corrupt. However, sometimes small details are overlooked. In that particular passage Paul did not say that in the last days men will become more and more wicked —as if it were a gradual process that takes place during the last days. No. The inspired Scriptures simply say that the last days will be perilous and difficult because men “will be” such and such. In other words, when the last days begin the world will have already become thoroughly corrupt and for that reason the last days will be critical times hard to deal with.
YOU DID NOT DISCERN THE TIME OF YOUR BEING INSPECTED
Sitting with his apostles on the Mount of Olives a few days before the end of his earthly ministry, Jesus spoke of the things to come. He forewarned his disciples that Jerusalem was going to become a desolate waste —not a stone would be left standing upon another stone —that her children were going to fall by the edge of the sword. Jesus proved to be a true prophet. Historians have verified that the Romans came and then mysteriously withdrew, then returned and utterly destroyed Jerusalem.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are thoroughly familiar with the various versions in Matthew, Mark, and Luke and surely know that the prophecy that Christ uttered has a dual application —that the fulfillment in the first century casts a shadow into the immediate future. It is not a matter of speculation. Jesus said very plainly that the great tribulation will come upon the entire world —not just Jerusalem.
The question then arises: What does the desolation of Jerusalem foreshadow? What will be involved in fleeing from it when the disgusting thing stands where it ought not? These are important questions to consider since Christians living prior to the second coming of Christ will be required to heed Christ’s warning to leave all behind and flee from “Jerusalem” without delay. (“Let the man on the housetop not come down to take the goods out of his house, and let the man in the field not return to pick up his outer garment”)
Up until quite recently, Jehovah’s Witnesses believed that Jerusalem foreshadows Christendom. There is now a very good reason to question that belief based upon the fact that the Watchtower has junked its long-held type/antitype approach to Bible understanding. As stated in chapter 16 of the Pure Worship publication, there is no basis for any longer supposing that unfaithful Jerusalem in the days of Jeremiah and Ezekiel is a type of modern Christendom.
Although it was casually presented in a so-called “teaching box” as one of several “adjustments” in understanding, it is a tectonic shift in biblical interpretation. The unanswered question hanging there, suspended: If not Christendom, then what does Jerusalem represent in prophecy?
On the one hand, the Governing Body has stated that they are no longer going to take any sort of type/antitype approach to prophecy “except where the Bible provides a clear basis for doing so,” and yet, Jesus clearly indicated that Jerusalem has a prophetic counterpart. The faithful and discreet slave ought to explain how it is that the “Jerusalem” throughout the Hebrew prophecies no longer pictures Christendom while the holy city over which Jesus prophesied does.
Besides this most glaringly obvious contradiction in the Watchtower’s new approach to prophecy, thinking Christians would do well to consider why —if Christendom is the holy place wherein the disgusting thing will stand —will it be necessary for Christians to flee out of it without delay? Have not Jehovah’s Witnesses already gotten out of Babylon the Great?
The Watchtower claims that in Jesus’ day God no longer considered the temple to be holy and for that reason, it must prefigure unholy Christendom. Is that true? Was the temple no longer holy in the first century?
Jesus certainly considered his Father’s house to be holy. That is why he threw out the moneymen on two separate occasions. The apostles also considered the temple to be holy. That is why after they were filled with the holy spirit they were in the temple night and day preaching and teaching about Jesus. Even the apostle Paul, who masterfully proved that the entire Jewish form of worship was merely a shadow of greater spiritual realities and itself had become obsolete, ceremonially cleansed himself and went to the temple to make sacrifices to quell the rumors that he was teaching an apostasy from Moses. (Acts 21:21-26)
So, the question for the Governing Body to answer is this: At what point did Jehovah reject the city of Jerusalem and the temple?
The fact is, Jerusalem was the birthplace of Christianity. Christ was executed outside of the city. Furthermore, he ascended to heaven from the Mount of Olives, just a Sabbath day’s journey from Jerusalem. The 120 original disciples were anointed while in an upper room in the holy city. For many years Jerusalem was the unofficial headquarters of the Christian governing body. Jerusalem, therefore, is synonymous with Christ’s congregation.
With this truth well in mind, consider the 29th chapter of Isaiah, the opening words being Jehovah’s judgment against Jerusalem: “Woe to Ariel, Ariel, the city where David encamped! Continue year after year; let the cycle of festivals continue. But I will bring distress on Ariel, and there will be mourning and lamentation, and she will become to me like an altar hearth of God. I will encamp on all sides against you, and I will besiege you with a palisade and raise up siegeworks against you.”
As the Insight encyclopedia states, “Ariel” is a cryptic name for Jerusalem. The former Jebusite stronghold was conquered by David and was established as the royal capital of the Davidic Kingdom. Not to be overlooked, Jesus is the greater David.
According to the Watchtower’s new approach to prophecy, though, does this account of Jerusalem coming under siege function as a type —foreshadowing something other than the Babylonian siege? Obviously, it does, at least in as much as Jesus alluded to this very prophecy in Isaiah when he foretold that Jerusalem would be distressed from every side and encircled by a fortification of pointed stakes, which is what a palisade is. In fact, it was this very statement by Jesus recorded in the 19th chapter of Luke that prompted the apostles to seek Jesus out privately a few days later to put the question to him: “Teacher, when will these things actually be, and what will be the sign when these things are to occur?”
But the 29th chapter of Isaiah only tangentially relates to the first-century siege of Jerusalem. It more especially has to do with the second coming of Christ. That is evident in the context of the prophecy. For one thing, God did not wage war against the nations who sought to overthrow Mount Zion —not in the first destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon, nor when the Romans overthrew the city.
Secondly, the prophecy goes on to foretell that in the aftermath of the siege against Ariel the deaf will hear the words of the book, meaning they will finally understand the prophecies that have until then been misapplied and misunderstood. To illustrate the blindness that presently afflicts the teachers of Jehovah’s Witnesses the Watchtower’s commentary on this portion of Isaiah states the following:
“Isaiah once again points forward to the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom and the restoration of true worship on earth by the Messiah’s rule. This has taken place in our time, and millions of sincere ones are allowing themselves to be corrected by Jehovah and are learning to praise him.”
According to the Governing Body, the siege of Ariel does have an antitypical aspect. It applies to the attack of Gog on “Israel.” That exposes yet another contradiction in the Watchtower’s exegesis. The prophecy clearly indicates that the deaf and blind come to their proper senses in the aftermath of the siege of Ariel. While Bethel admits the siege of Ariel is in the future they claim that the eyes and ears of the blind and deaf have already been opened.
When Jesus pronounced doom upon Jerusalem he said it was “because you did not discern the time of your being inspected.” —Luke 19:44
Without question, Jehovah’s Witnesses have also failed to discern the time of their being inspected. The reason being, the Watchtower claims that the Inspector has already come —the foretold messenger of the covenant came back in 1918 and gave the Watchtower his approval. That is the official teaching of the Watchtower. It may not be disputed. The Governing Body claims that the spiritually deaf and blind have been cured by studying the Society’s Bible-based publications. The third coming of Christ in the future is merely to bring judgment upon Christendom —which is supposedly the antitype of Jerusalem in Jesus’ day —but not the antitype of Jerusalem spoken of throughout prophecy. Isaiah 29:14 accurately describes the condition of the Governing Body when the Son of man arrives: “And the wisdom of their wise men will perish, and the understanding of their discreet men will be hidden.”
The prophecy of Isaiah goes on to say: “For the tyrant will be no more, the boaster will come to his finish, and all those keeping alert to do harm will be destroyed, those who with a false word make others guilty, who lay traps for the defender in the city gate, and who with empty arguments deny justice to the righteous one.”
Who is the boaster if it is not the one who proclaims that Christ has come and pure worship has been established at last? Who is the tyrant if it is not those who denounce and punish anyone who rejects the Watchtower’s artfully contrived false story of Christ’s invisible presence? Let the trappers lay their traps. Let them pronounce that Christ is in their inner chambers now and in the future. Let them beat the sons of the Kingdom in their synagogues during that day. Let them deliver God’s sons into death. Come, Lord Jesus!
“HE HAS CLOSED YOUR EYES, THE PROPHETS”
Jehovah’s Witnesses will refuse to believe it. They will likely bristle with offense at the mere suggestion that those who are “in the truth” could ever be deceived by the duly appointed “slave.” When confronted with the truth they will retort with firm conviction: ‘The Governing Body could not be that wrong. It is not possible— Jehovah would never allow it to happen. It is only a minor adjustment needed here and there.’
Who can deny that the congregations have been carefully conditioned to believe without wavering that the faithful slave could never mislead Jehovah’s people? On the contrary, the Watchtower has inculcated in Jehovah’s Witnesses the belief that Bethel will issue “life-saving instructions” during the tribulation and lead the faithful to life eternal. Why, in the minds of Jehovah’s Witnesses the Kingdom of God and the Watchtower are synonymous. It is assumed that even the gleaming new Warwick headquarters will serve as the post-Armageddon capital of the new world.
But given the irrefutable facts already presented in this publication, the real question is— why has Jehovah allowed his leading men to be so wrong? Why, after decades of intense study by dedicated, anointed Christians, are the vital matters concerning Christ’s second coming still so opaque—so consistently misunderstood? Why is the font of truth also the purveyor of a demonstrably artfully contrived false story? God’s prophetic word has the answer. Concerning the siege of Ariel, God goes on to say: “Be stunned and amazed; blind yourselves and be blinded. They are drunk, but not with wine; they are staggering, but not from alcohol. For Jehovah has poured a spirit of deep sleep on you; He has closed your eyes, the prophets, and he has covered your heads, the visionaries.”
The leadership of the Watchtower do not claim to be inspired prophets or visionaries in the sense of receiving visions and messages directly from God; but, they certainly do claim to be the antitype of the Biblical prophets of old— or at least they have made such a claim in the past. That is why the Watchtower has invented such designations as the “Ezekiel class” and the “Jeremiah class” and so on. And while all anointed members of the body of Christ are said to make up a “prophet class” (Wt 10/1/82 p.27 para 8-9) since the Watchtower is the only official voice for all of Jehovah’s Witnesses— anointed or otherwise— it is the Governing Body who are the sole interpreters of prophecy and the spokesmen for God; thus, the modern “prophets” and “visionaries.”
Given the Watchtower’s aforementioned “adjustment” regarding Jerusalem no longer typifying Christendom, this exposes yet another conspicuous contradiction. That is because the rationale for the existence of an Ezekiel/Jeremiah class was based upon the premise that Jehovah’s Witnesses are doing a work like that of the prophets in denouncing false religion and declaring Jehovah’s impending judgments. For example, this is what is stated as recently as 2011: “Being true worshippers, we must continue to keep awake to our God-given responsibilities. We need to be determined to keep preaching without letup about the destruction of Christendom, which was foreshadowed by that of unfaithful Jerusalem. The Jeremiah class will declare not just “the year of goodwill on the part of Jehovah” but also “the day of vengeance on the part of our God.” (w11 3/15 p. 28)
Now, though, that Jerusalem no longer foreshadows Christendom that means there can be no such thing as a “Jeremiah class.” What can account for the Watchtower casually jettisoning such a fundamental, underlying teaching? Perhaps the visionaries did not think too much about the ramifications? Could it be that the seers have become so spiritually intoxicated they are even unaware of the many contradictions they espouse? It may be that the teachers of the teachers are so utterly inebriated they do not even realize that with their recent “adjustment” they have repudiated much of what the Watchtower has taught concerning the role of Jehovah’s Witnesses in modern times. Whatever their reasons, it is evident that the eyes of the visionaries are tightly closed. Jehovah has poured a deep sleep upon them.
Returning to the question posed above: Why has Jehovah concealed the deep things of prophecy from his “true worshippers”? Again, Jehovah answers: “This people approaches me with their mouth and they honor me with their lips, but their heart is far removed from me; and their fear of me is based on commands of men that they have been taught.”
Is it not Jehovah’s Witnesses who honor Jehovah with their lips; who praise Jehovah with their mouths in both the public ministry and from the platform and now via JW Broadcast? Who other than Jehovah’s Witnesses even use God’s personal name and recognize the distinction between Jehovah and Jesus? Surely, God would never accept praise from those who are steeped in Babylonish religion. Still, Jehovah knows the heart.
It is undeniable that the Watchtower governs virtually every aspect of the lives of Jehovah’s Witnesses— lives that revolve around meeting attendance, regular field service, studying Bible-based literature, commenting at meetings, being properly dressed and groomed, not celebrating this and that, keeping the kingdom hall tidy and in good repair, generously donating to the worldwide work, and on and on.
Who can deny that the fear of Jehovah is based upon the rules laid down by Bethel? For example, who can honestly claim that the fear of being disfellowshipped for some infraction does not weigh more heavily on the hearts of JW’s than the fear of displeasing God? It is not for men to say whether they are approved or not. The boasters may claim that they practice pure worship, but it is God who determines our real standing. Paul explained it to the Corinthians: “For I am not conscious of anything against myself. But by this I am not proved righteous; the one who examines me is Jehovah. Therefore, do not judge anything before the due time, until the Lord comes. He will bring the secret things of darkness to light and make known the intentions of the hearts, and then each one will receive his praise from God.” — 1 Cor 4:4-5
As has already been demonstrated, the Watchtower preaches that Christ’s second coming has already taken place and a third coming is scheduled in the future. Assuming the Watchtower is correct, which coming of the Lord will bring the secret things of darkness to light? It should be evident that the judging is yet to come. That being the case, since only God can examine the heart only He can determine if our hearts are far removed from him. And through Isaiah God has already revealed what Christ will find when he comes to make an examination.
It is as when a person goes to a physician to have a routine physical examination. The patient may feel fine, but the doctor may find that there is a serious, undetected problem. The doctor may recommend immediate surgery to prevent a catastrophic breakdown. Likely, we would willingly submit to the procedure on the advice of our trusted physician.
So it is, God knows human nature. More correctly, he knows sinful human nature. Just as Paul discovered that many of the Corinthians were following men, it should come as no surprise that Jehovah’s Witnesses have an unhealthy attachment to that which is revered as Jehovah’s visible organization. The “patient” may feel all is well. The great Physician knows better. How can such a condition be remedied? Jehovah goes on to say: “Therefore, I am the One who will again do wonderful things with this people, with wonder upon wonder; and the wisdom of their wise men will perish, and the understanding of their discreet men will be hidden.”
In what way shall God act wonderfully with this people whose hearts are far removed from Him? In the context of Isaiah, the wisdom of their wise and discreet men will perish when Ariel is crushed. The voice of God’s spokesmen will then become a ghostly whisper— as if emanating from beyond the grave— needing a spirit medium to project itself. In other words, the Watchtower will be silenced. Worse, discredited. Indeed, what credibility could it possibly retain in the face of the second coming of Jesus Christ and the appearance of the genuine sign of his coming?
The 30th chapter of Isaiah accurately depicts the Watchtower’s 1914 fraudulent parousia as a wall ready to fall: “Therefore this is what the Holy One of Israel says: ‘Since you reject this word and you trust in fraud and deceit and you rely on these, so this error will be for you like a broken wall, like a bulging high wall ready to fall. It will crash suddenly, in an instant. It will be broken like a large potter’s jar, so completely smashed that no fragment among its pieces will be left to rake the fire from the fireplace or to scoop water from a puddle.’”
It is undeniable that Jehovah’s Witnesses have been made to trust in the fraud perpetrated by the Watchtower; namely, that Christ has already returned; that he has established the pure worship of Jehovah. The actual coming of the Lord will shatter the Watchtower’s deceit so thoroughly that there will no nothing left of the organization. Like the Jewish system it will have served God’s purpose. Then what?
YOU WILL SEE YOUR GRAND INSTRUCTOR
Wonder upon wonder, when all seems lost Christ will appear to the called ones. Just as Jesus rebuked his disciples after his resurrection, the manifestation of Christ will similarly serve as a rebuke. Then Christ will become the Wonderful Counselor, Jehovah’s Grand Instructor. Isaiah continues: “Though Jehovah will give you bread in the form of distress and water in the form of oppression, your Grand Instructor will no longer hide himself, and you will see your Grand Instructor with your own eyes. And your own ears will hear a word behind you saying, “This is the way. Walk in it,” in case you should go to the right or in case you should go to the left.”
The distress and oppression will come during the tribulation. After their discipling and humbling the called ones will see the one whom the apostles’ originally looked to as the Teacher. Isaiah goes on to illustrate the enlightening effect Christ’s presence among them will have: “And on every tall mountain and on every high hill will be streams and watercourses, in the day of the great slaughter when the towers fall. And the light of the full moon will become like the light of the sun; and the light of the sun will become seven times stronger, like the light of seven days, in the day that Jehovah binds up the breakdown of his people and heals the severe wound from the blow he inflicted.”
As a result of Jesus coming alongside and ministering to them, the chosen ones will then shine as brightly as the sun in the Kingdom of God, even while upon the earth. Thus, the long-awaited revealing of the sons of God.
According to God’s law, every matter is established upon the testimony of two witnesses. The two witnesses of Revelation, who are depicted as Moses and Elijah for the purpose of evoking the Transfiguration, symbolize how the chosen ones will become eyewitnesses of the second coming of Christ. They will experience his manifestation, his revealing, even as the apostle Peter indicated when he said he was an eyewitness to a vision that represented the parousia. Then the chosen ones will stand before kings to give them witness.
After the purge of the evil slaves, then the world will be judged according to how they treat the approved brothers of Christ. Then, ten men out of all the nations will take hold of the robe of the spiritual Jew because then Christ will really be with them in a wonderful way.
“Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky?
This Jesus who was taken up from you into the sky will
come in the same manner as you have seen him
going into the sky.”
What did the angel mean: “in the same manner”? It is true, at the moment the angels appeared and spoke to the astonished disciples Jesus had apparently already disappeared behind the clouds and was no longer visible to them. Does that mean that Christ’s return will be invisible? Given the fact that the disciples had “seen him going into the sky” we ought not suppose that his coming “in the same manner” would be invisible. After all, if the second coming of Christ merely means that Jesus sits down on his heavenly throne, why did say he was coming again to take his disciples home? Surely, his coming to where he had been before involves more than simply ruling from heaven.
Since Jesus was resurrected in the spirit and miraculously materialized various human bodies when he appeared to the apostles over the course of 40 days, obviously Jesus was also a spirit cloaked in flesh when he ascended into the clouds. Therefore, his coming “in the same manner” does not mean he will come in a human form. However, since his disciples saw him leaving, neither should we suppose his coming will be invisible. Spirits can manifest themselves without materializing flesh. Such a manifestation took place when Jesus appeared to Saul. Jehovah also manifested himself to Moses.
The apostle John wrote concerning his manifestation: “Beloved ones, we are now children of God, but it has not yet been made manifest what we will be. We do know that when he is made manifest we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is.” Just as Jesus manifested himself to his disciples after his resurrection, the ultimate manifestation of Jesus has to do with his revealing himself to the children of God on earth. “We will see him just as he is” means that the chosen ones will see Christ in his glory —a sight which no one other than the anointed children of God will ever see.