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.