How will God respond to satanic efforts to destroy his people? Jehovah will intervene in their behalf, exercising his right as Universal Sovereign. Jehovah considers an assault on his servants to be an attack on him. Therefore, our heavenly Father will take prompt action in order to rescue us. That deliverance will come to its climax with the destruction of Satan’s world at Armageddon, “the war of the great day of God the Almighty.” Regarding Armageddon, Bible prophecy states: “Those slain by Jehovah in that day will be from one end of the earth clear to the other end of the earth. They will not be mourned, nor will they be gathered up or buried. They will become like manure on the surface of the ground.” Armageddon will bring this wicked system of things to an end. Satan’s world will be out of the way, but the earthly part of Jehovah’s organization will survive.
In the preceding paragraph of the article upon which today’s text is taken we find the following hackneyed statement:
Regarding his invisible presence and the conclusion of the system of things, Jesus said: “There will be great tribulation such as has not occurred since the world’s beginning until now, no, nor will occur again.” This unparalleled tribulation will start when Jehovah brings destruction on “Babylon the Great,” the world empire of false religion, by using the political powers. (Rev. 17:3-5, 16) What will come next?
Jehovah’s Witnesses are like everyone else, in that, when we hear something repeated over and over again in a matter-of-fact way and no one questions it or challenges the veracity of it, then we tend to go-along-to-get-along and accept it as the truth too. That is the method the Watchtower uses.
How many times has the Watchtower published statements like above, stating that the great tribulation begins with the destruction of Babylon the Great? How many times will Jehovah’s Witnesses look up the cited verses in the 17th chapter of Revelation and fail to notice there is nothing in the context that places the destruction of Babylon the Great at the start of the great tribulation? How many elders will get up on the platform year after year and repeat this statement as if it were an article of undisputed truth, not realizing it is wholly unsubstantiated by the Scriptures?
Of course Jehovah will destroy the nations that attack his people. That is not in question. And false religion will be annihilated by the nations. No one should doubt that. And yes, at the symbolic place called Armageddon Jesus will slay multitudes of people who will rejoice when God’s sons are all killed. There is no reason to doubt that either. But what event marks the beginning of the great tribulation?
In the 30th chapter of Jeremiah we read: “Ask, please, whether a man can give birth. Why, then, do I see every strong man with his hands on his stomach like a woman giving birth? Why has every face turned pale? Alas! For that day is a terrible one. There is none like it, a time of distress for Jacob. But he will be saved out of it.”
When speaking of the great tribulation that would ensue when the disgusting thing tramples upon the holy place, Jesus went on to say that it will be a time of distress unlike anything that has ever occurred before or will ever occur again. In other words it will be a terrible disaster – “none like it,” as stated in Jeremiah.
In the 21st chapter of Luke Jesus went on to say: “Because these are days for meting out justice in order that all the things written may be fulfilled. Woe to the pregnant women and those nursing a baby in those days! For there will be great distress on the land and wrath against this people.”
“All the things written” is in regards to the Hebrew prophecies, one of which is Jeremiah. And clearly, the prophecy of Jeremiah concerns the great tribulation. It is Jacob’s time of trouble, as some translations word it. But Jehovah will save Jacob out of his distress, just as is revealed in connection with the attack of Gog of Magog.
Since there can only be one unique tribulation unlike any other, the great tribulation that is to come upon “Jerusalem” and the world will commence when Jehovah’s earthly organization is destroyed —forcing Christians to scatter. From that captive condition the powerful angels of God will regather the faithful whose faith remains intact. It is the regathered remnant that will then face the second attack, that described in Ezekiel, the attack of Gog; whereupon Jehovah will respond with pestilence, hailstones, fire and blood.
On a side note, I have no idea why the New World Translation uses the word “stomach.” The stomach is an internal organ. It should read that a man places his hands on his belly or abdomen.