God has a purpose and Jehovah’s Witnesses are privileged to know it—at least the general outline of it; albeit, the immediate future is another matter, which is the subject of this article.
Jehovah’s eternal purpose is as simple as it is profound. The divine purpose centers around Jesus. This is no revelation. Except, it goes beyond Christ. Jehovah has purposed to adopt 144,000 sons from among dying humanity and bestow upon them the same glory that Jesus now possesses. That means immortality—having life in one’s self, the same quality of life that the Lifegiver himself possesses. None of the holy angels even possess life in themselves.
Satan has schemed to diminish God’s magnanimity by promoting the lie that humans have an immortal soul that cannot go out of existence. His insidious deception is embraced most heartily by the hundreds of millions of people who call themselves Christians. They believe in the demon-inspired myth that all believers go to heaven and the wicked are tortured for eternity in a subterranean inferno.
Again, Jehovah’s Witnesses are privileged to know the truth regarding these matters; the truth about God’s purpose to re-create the paradise and perfect human life that briefly existed in the garden of Eden, only this time the paradise will be earth wide. And we know God fully intends to bring back to life as humans the billions who have lived and died. That is called the resurrection. Those who are called and chosen to be with Christ in heaven are destined to rule over the earth for 1,000 years. Having once been members of the dying human race they will be the perfect kings and priests who will guide humanity to everlasting life in paradise.
Contrary to the Watchtower’s teaching, most of the future kings and priests have themselves died and are presently sleeping in death, as the Bible words it. They are silently waiting for the rousing wake-up call when Christ returns “with an archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet, and those who are dead in union with Christ will rise first.” — 1 Thessalonians 4:16
The 20th chapter of Revelation confirms that those who receive the first resurrection will be immortal—meaning it will not be possible for them to be killed or die by any means—ever.
The reason that Jehovah has purposed such an incredible thing as giving a chosen few earthlings immortality is because a very proud angel publicly accused God of being parsimonious. The angel, now known as Satan and Devil—the father of the lie—slandered the Almighty, claiming God did not trust his own creation with deciding for themselves what is good and bad. (Apparently, the Firstborn of all creation was already endowed with the privilege of knowing good and bad since after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit God said: “Here the man has become like one of us in knowing good and bad.” — Genesis 3:22)
For all of the cherub’s apparent brilliance, Satan had not taken into consideration the depth of God’s love for His son nor the extent of Christ’s love for his Father. Because Jesus proved that his devotion to the Father was unbreakable even in the face of the most horrific death imaginable, God rewarded Jesus with immortality, the first to be gifted with indestructibility. Those who are transformed into the image of God’s Firstborn son will ultimately have the same steadfast loyalty to Jehovah instilled in them; but unlike Jesus, their attaining such perfection will require a heart transplant. God explains: “And I will give them a unified heart, and I will put a new spirit in them; and I will remove the heart of stone from their bodies and give them a heart of flesh, in order that they may walk in my statutes and observe my judgments and obey them. Then they will be my people, and I will be their God.” — Ezekiel 11:19-20
As previously stated, while the majority of the 144,000 have already been chosen and have died and remain in death’s grip up to this moment, what about those living when the Son of God returns? Paul said of them: “Afterward we the living who are surviving will, together with them, be caught away in clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and thus we will always be with the Lord.”
Paul was undoubtedly alluding to the ascension of Jesus when he was caught up in the clouds and disappeared from human view. Although Jesus ascended bodily that was only for the benefit of his unspiritual disciples who were looking on. However, after he returned to life 40 days before his ascension Jesus was no longer a human. The value of his human life was sacrificed to God. Jesus was resurrected as a spirit and only materialized various bodies to convince his doubting disciples that he had been resurrected.
So, contrary to the left behind rapturists, physical bodies are not going to be levitated off the earth prior to the tribulation. No, Christians are going to be subjected to the fire of the tribulation. Those who will meet the Lord in the air will do so after the tribulation—after they have been killed for bearing witnesses to Christ’s visible presence. Then, as each one closes their eyes in death in the blink of an eye they will be transformed into immortal spirits and be united with Jesus in the Kingdom of God. Such is the new creation.
The 30th chapter of Jeremiah may not seem like a part of the Bible that has much relevance in terms of the return of Jesus and the accomplishment of God’s purpose, Oh, but it does! Please consider the time frame, which is revealed in the concluding verse: “Look! A windstorm of Jehovah will burst out in fury, a sweeping tempest that whirls down on the head of the wicked. The burning anger of Jehovah will not turn back until he has carried out and accomplished the intentions of his heart. In the final part of the days you will understand this.” — Jeremiah 30:23,24
The final part of the days is the same period alternatively referred to in the Bible as the time of the end and the conclusion of the system. Again, contrary to the Watchtower’s core doctrine, the final part of the days has not begun. Needless to say, no sweeping tempest has swept away the wicked yet. And no, the “tempest” is not Armageddon.
Given the fact that the prophecy is addressed to Israel and Judah and is earmarked for the final part of the days, it cannot possibly be fulfilled upon what is called the modern state of Israel. Evangelical “theologians” have concocted a phrase to support their political Zionism, claiming that Jehovah’s Witnesses have adopted “replacement theology,” as if it is not clearly evident in the Scriptures that Christianity has replaced Israel in God’s eternal purpose. There is a reason why Jesus chose 12 apostles; obviously, to correspond to the 12 tribes of Israel, which is why the letter of James greets anointed Christians by calling them “the 12 tribes that are scattered about.” And the apostle Paul referred to anointed Christians, including even non-Jewish people of the nations, as “the Israel of God.” And, of course, Revelation depicts the 144,000 drawn from the 12 tribes of Israel—12,000 from each tribe. So, we must conclude that the words of Jeremiah addressed to Israel and Judah during the final part of the days apply to Christ’s organization.
“This is what Jehovah says: “We have heard the sounds of trembling; there is terror, and no peace. 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.” — Jeremiah 30:5-7
It is an interesting rhetorical question. Can a man give birth? Some of the Marxists in the Western world claim that men can give birth. It seems to be a determined attack on the Bible’s simple truth that God created them male and female. Of course, we know men cannot give birth. For that matter, so do the British Empire’s social engineers. And so does God, obviously. It is as though God mocks them from antiquity. Anyway…
(Unfortunately, the latest revision of the New World Translation inexplicably uses the word “stomach” in the passage. The stomach is an internal organ that is part of the digestive tract. The Hebrew word is usually translated as loins. Belly or abdomen are the preferred words rather than “stomach.”)
But the point is: “Why has every face turned pale?” What is the terrible day, unlike any other calamity? The other prophets wrote about this phenomenon. For example, Joel states: “Because of them, peoples will be in anguish. Every face will grow flushed.” — Joel 2:6
Isaiah speaks of the knee-buckling terror and also likens it to a woman in labor: “That is why all hands will go limp, and every man’s heart will melt with fear. The people are panic-stricken. They are seized with convulsions and pain, like a woman in labor. They look at one another in horror, with faces inflamed by anguish.” — Isaiah 13:7-8
Jesus is the foremost prophet. He foretold that men will become faint out of fright, dreading the things coming upon the world. And what is coming upon the world? A global catastrophe unlike anything that has ever befallen mankind—otherwise known as the great tribulation. According to Christ, it will be a time of trouble, unlike anything that has ever occurred or will ever occur again. Jesus went on to say: “In fact, unless those days were cut short, no flesh would be saved; but on account of the chosen ones those days will be cut short.”
So, the terrible day of Jacob’s trouble is the great tribulation. (Jacob was the grandson of Abraham and Jehovah changed his name to Israel; conversely, the nation that descended from Israel is also known by the patriarch’s original name—Jacob. Although the New World Translation does not use the expression, older translations use the term “Jacob’s trouble.”
Just as Jesus assured us that the tribulation will be cut short for the salvation of the chosen ones and others of flesh and blood who will come out of the tribulation under God’s protective shield, Jeremiah states that Jacob “will be saved out of it.”
Just as the Evangelicals have their rapture fiction, Jehovah’s Witnesses are laboring under a delusion as well. In some ways, the Watchtower-imposed delusion is even more potent. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe they will be bystanders as the great tribulation comes upon Babylon the Great. At the core of the delusion is the grand phantasm that Christ began an invisible presence in 1914. Returning to the 30th chapter of Jeremiah: “And in that day,” declares Jehovah of armies, “I will break the yoke from off your neck, and your straps I will tear in two; and no more will strangers make him their slave. They will serve Jehovah their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.” (8-9)
Jehovah did indeed break the yoke off the neck of his people who were in Babylon when they were released from captivity by the conquering Persians. However, God never restored the Davidic kingdom to Jacob. Jehovah’s Witnesses surely know that the expression “David their king” is a reference to Jesus Christ, who was a descendant of David. When on earth Jesus was called the “son of David.” The question that ought to be asked, though, is this: When is “that day” when the captives are freed to serve Jehovah and “David”? When is “David their king” raised up?
According to the context it is after the terrible day—after Jacob is saved from extinction. So, Jehovah’s purpose to bring to life a new creation comes to completion during the world’s cataclysm known as the great tribulation—or, more correctly, after the tribulation is cut short. Then Jehovah’s Witnesses will understand, during the final part of the days.
End of part one