Saturday, June 19
You are not in darkness, so that the day should overtake you as it would thieves. —1 Thess. 5:4.
In his exhortation, the apostle Paul mentions “Jehovah’s day.” (1 Thess. 5:1-6) As used in this context, this refers to the time period that begins with the attack on “Babylon the Great,” the world empire of false religion, and ends with Armageddon. (Rev. 16:14, 16; 17:5) Paul also tells us how we can make sure that we are ready for “Jehovah’s day.” We should “not sleep on as the rest do.” We must “stay awake” and remain alert to the danger of compromising our neutrality by getting drawn into the world’s political issues. If we were to get involved, we could become “part of the world.” (John 15:19) We know that God’s Kingdom is the only hope for world peace. We also want to help others wake up to what the Bible foretold would happen in the world. Once the great tribulation begins, it will be too late for people to turn to Jehovah. That is why our preaching work is so urgent! w19.10 8 ¶3; 9 ¶5-6
When something is repeated over and over again by “authorities” people tend to believe it and not question it. We see it in the world, ‘Russia, Russia, Russia,’ all hoaxed up lies that pass for truth. Here the Watchtower repeats several unfounded statements that are sure to be believed by Jehovah’s Witnesses as the gospel truth. One, the statement that Paul mentions “Jehovah’s day.”
As I have said in numerous articles I think the WT is justified in inserting “Jehovah” into the Greek text where there is clear evidence the apostles or Jesus were quoting from the Hebrew where the YHWH appears. There are many instances. However, in some places where the NWT uses “Jehovah” in the New Testament, so-called, there is no clear proof. In the actual Greek text, Paul referred to the day of the Lord. Why assume the apostle used YHWH in the original?
There are several instances where the apostles referred to the Lord’s day and day of the Lord in reference to the day of Jesus Christ. That, of course, would present a huge dilemma for the Watchtower since the Lord’s day is supposed to have begun in 1914. But the fact is, Paul may have written “the day of the Lord” referring to Jesus. After all, in context Paul was writing about the Lord Jesus, saying in the 4th chapter: “The Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet, and those who are dead in union with Christ will rise first. 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 made three references to the Lord Jesus. It seems unlikely that in the very next verses Paul would refer to the day of Jehovah, especially since there is no reason to suppose he was quoting a specific passage in Hebrew. Furthermore, Paul reminded the brothers that they already know that the Lord’s day (Jehovah’s day NWT) is coming exactly as a thief in the night. How did the brothers know that? Because Jesus told them to be ready because the Son of man is coming as unexpectedly as a thief in the night.
The second point is something I have harped on repeatedly. The Watchtower’s dogmatic assertion that the destruction of Babylon the Great kicks off the great tribulation; that, basically, the execution of the harlot is the next thing on the prophetic calendar scheduled for fulfillment.
There is simply no way, absolutely no way the United Nations could orchestrate the annihilation of all organized religions worldwide—at least not in the present ordering of nations. First must come the globe-rocking crash of the present system and foremost the leading nation of the world—the United States of America. With the nation-state system out of the way then an empowered United Nations could conceivably carry out the words of God—but certainly not now.
It is fine that the Watchtower exhorts the flock to be ready and awake and not allow ourselves to be sidetracked by the goings-on the world. However, having unrealistic and erroneous expectations of things to come, based upon the implied infallibility of the faithful slave, is a recipe for disaster. It is rather unseemly for the Governing Body to boast of basking in divine light while embracing Satan’s operation of error.
As regards Jesus’ coming as a thief obviously not all will be found ready and awake.