This article is slightly edited, repost from February 2012
One of the underlying sub-themes of the book of Isaiah is the intractable blindness of the leaders of God’s people as regards the meaning of the prophecy of Isaiah itself. The Watchtower’s inability to comprehend the judgments of Jehovah – as contained in Isaiah – and all the prophets for that matter, is on full display in the volumes of commentary the Watchtower Society has published over the decades. Even outsiders who parrot the accusation that the Watchtower is a “false prophet” do not realize the full extent of Bethel’s error. But, of course, neither do outsiders (nor Jehovah’s Witnesses) understand the judgments of Jehovah.
Happily for all, though, understanding prophecy is not a requirement for salvation – at least not now anyway.
Consider the contrast between the apostles and the Pharisees. Both groups were blind, to an extent. The apostles and other disciples simply could not comprehend the fact that Jesus was going to die and be taken from them. Jesus told them repeatedly the fate that awaited him, yet they simply could not grasp it. In fact, the scripture says it was hidden from them that they might not see through it. (Luke 9:45) But at least the apostles accepted Jesus as the Son of God and Messiah. That was crucial. They had faith.
So, in spite of the fact that the disciples did not even know that the kingdom of God was going to be a heavenly institution Jesus entrusted them with the vibrant message: “The kingdom of God has drawn near.” After Jesus was resurrected, though, he then rebuked them as being senseless and slow in heart to believe the prophets. And they humbly, gladly, accepted the Lord’s rebuke and received his instruction.
The Pharisees, on the other hand, were not only blind to the prophecies regarding Christ; they simply refused to accept Jesus as the Messiah. Instead of humbly listening to the man whom they knew worked all manner of miracles, they claimed he was a fraud – a demon-possessed charlatan. And no doubt many believed them. Because the Pharisees claimed to “see” Jesus said their sin remained charged against them.
The judgments of Jehovah are consistent. They are true and righteous. Up until this point Jehovah’s Witnesses have been entrusted with the Kingdom message. But their situation is similar to that of the disciples before Christ was put to death and resurrected. Jehovah’s Witnesses imagine Christ has already come, that he has already taken up his Kingdom. That is not at all dissimilar to what the apostles believed; namely, that the Kingdom of God was going to “instantly display itself.”
So, while Jehovah’s Witnesses know the truth about God and Christ – just as did those first-century believers – their faith must be tested. They must be subjected to the fires of doubt, as were the apostles when Jesus was unexpectedly arrested and put to death by the Jews.
Up to this point, the Watchtower Society has dominated the faith of Jehovah’s Witnesses. In a sense, the Organization is like an over-protective parent. Old-timers even affectionately call the Organization “mother.” Who can deny that the Organization dictates every aspect of faith, provides Jehovah’s Witnesses with an entire program of worship, study aids and material for field service, and instructions and counsel for practically everything? Jehovah’s Witnesses have come to imagine that the Organization is the very ark of salvation; that no one can be saved who is not in good standing with the Organization.
It requires little imagination to hear Satan, “the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them night and day,” standing before the throne once again, accusing God of putting a protective “hedge” about Jehovah’s Witnesses, as he did in the case of the man Job. And it is true. God apparently has bestowed his blessing upon and fought on behalf of Jehovah’s Witnesses. God has put his invisible shield around them. Look at the way Jehovah’s Witnesses stood up to the Nazis. The historical record is there. When all others hailed Hitler with their hand outstretched, Jehovah’s Witnesses refused. And they endured the fury of the Fuhrer and even thrived under his withering persecution! Their success was proof of God’s blessing, even as Paul wrote in Philippians 1:28: “and in no way being frightened by your opponents. This very thing is a proof of destruction for them, but of salvation for you; and this is from God.”
Surely it is due to God’s blessing that the Watchtower Society has prospered and now directs an army of Jehovah’s Witnesses who have arguably preached the Kingdom message to the ends of the earth.
So, what could be a more definitive test of faith for Jehovah’s Witnesses – as a prelude to their ultimate entry into the Kingdom, in the case of anointed believers, and the new world in the case of the “other sheep” – than for the Watchtower Society itself to be discredited and destroyed? In that scenario, Jehovah’s Witnesses would be forced to demonstrate their faith without “Mother” holding their hand.
And the role the Watchtower unwittingly plays in this scenario is to ensure that Jehovah’s Witnesses remain in the dark up until the Christ arrives and the judgment begins.
Now the prophecy: “O Jehovah, you are my God. I exalt you, I laud your name, for you have done wonderful things, counsels from early times, in faithfulness, in trustworthiness. For you have made a city a pile of stones, a fortified town a crumbling ruin, a dwelling tower of strangers to be no city, which will not be rebuilt even to time indefinite. That is why those who are a strong people will glorify you; the town of the tyrannical nations, they will fear you. For you have become a stronghold to the lowly one, a stronghold to the poor one in the distress that he has, a refuge from the rainstorm, a shade from the heat, when the blast of the tyrannical ones is like a rainstorm against a wall. Like the heat in a waterless country, the noise of strangers you subdue, the heat with the shadow of a cloud. The melody itself of the tyrannical ones becomes suppressed.” — Isaiah 25:1-4
The Watchtower speculates that the city which is laid low may be Babylon. However, in the previous chapters of Isaiah Jehovah foretold the destruction of the city of Tyre and Jerusalem. The 25th chapter is merely a continuation in the timeline. (Besides, the original scrolls were not broken down into chapters, or numbered verses) Logically, it is both the city of Jerusalem and the fortified town of Tyre about which the prophet speaks.
The case has already been made that London is the modern counterpart of Tyre and that the downfall of Tyre on the Thames will initiate judgment day – beginning with the house of God first. It is in the aftermath of the beginning of the execution of God’s judgments that Isaiah – speaking for the chosen ones during that time – praises God for having “done wonderful things, counsels from early times.”
In view of the fact that the prophecy of Isaiah was one of the first prophetic books written, what are the “counsels from early times” from the standpoint of Isaiah?
Certainly, the curses were part of the Mosaic Law, stipulating that if the Israelites were covenant-breakers God would remove them from their land. But since Isaiah is speaking to a much grander situation at the conclusion of the Christian era, it seems as if the prophet is referring to all the prophets, which at the time of Isaiah’s writing did not even exist. But from our perspective today, when Isaiah’s words are about to come to life, the writings of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Zephaniah, Daniel and others, certainly make up “counsels from early times” that are destined to be unveiled during the revelation of Christ.
Further on in the prophecy of Isaiah God makes mention of the wonderful way in which he will act in accomplishing his purpose to produce a people exclusively devoted to him. For example, in the concluding verse of the 28th chapter, in the context of the coming of Christ, the prophet states: “This also is what has come forth from Jehovah of armies himself, who has been wonderful in counsel, who has done greatly in effectual working.”
And in the next chapter God addresses himself to a people who praise Jehovah with their mouths, but who are not truly devoted to him: “For the reason that this people have come near with their mouth, and they have glorified me merely with their lips, and they have removed their heart itself far away from me, and their fear toward me becomes men’s commandment that is being taught, therefore here I am, the One that will act wonderfully again with this people, in a wonderful manner and with something wonderful; and the wisdom of their wise men must perish, and the very understanding of their discreet men will conceal itself.”
In both instances, it is in the aftermath of the collapse of the city of God that Jehovah acts in a “wonderful manner.” Returning, then, to the 25th chapter, it is in connection with the destruction of Jehovah’s city-like organization and the “dwelling tower of strangers” that God does wonderful things. But what about “the town of tyrannical nations,” what does it signify?
During the great Deluge the air-breathing, materialized demons, were forced to abandon their good-looking wives and return to the spirit realm, where they were then securely shackled to prevent their reincarnation. Since that time, though, Satan has endeavored to dominate and mislead mankind remotely, through a political/religious superstate. Babel was the first attempt at a tyrannical world government, which was thwarted when God confused the common language of all mankind.
The language barrier God imposed upon the globalists back then forced the creation of various ethnic and tribal groups and ultimately modern nations, which have served as checks and balances against total domination by any single tyrant. It certainly slowed Satan’s scheme of enslaving all mankind under his minions like Nimrod. Now, though, in the 21st century, the confusion of Babel has largely been overcome. However, this time God does not intend to thwart Satan.
As Jehovah indicated at Babel, there is nothing that men might imagine that they cannot accomplish. Under the domination of the evil demons that is not a good thing. Look at the world in which we live, a world where the majority of the world’s brightest minds have been busily employed devising more efficient means to defraud, degrade, deceive, distract, and destroy their fellow man.
The whole system of things is death oriented, reflected in a degraded popular culture that worships violence and death.
To be sure, the conflict between men and between nations on earth is merely a reflection of a truly universal conflict between Jehovah and Satan. Consider, for instance, in the 10th chapter of the book of Daniel, where an angel explained to the terrified prophet that “the prince of Persia” successfully stood in opposition to his mission, at least for a while. Obviously, no human could successfully oppose a mighty angel of Jehovah. No, the “prince of Persia” was a demon prince. And the angel also foretold that the “prince of Greece” was coming afterward. In view of the fact that the present system is merely an extension of the Grecian civilization, it follows that today there are invisible demon princes of the royal realm of the British and American dyad, as well as all other nations. And it also logically follows that God has continued to prevent the demon princes from totally tyrannizing mankind. But that is about to change.
When the kingdom comes to power and the demons are hurled down from heaven, Satan goes off in “great anger.” He will then be allowed to express his rage, bringing untold “woe” upon the earth. Satan will destroy his own earthly political system (sword stroke upon the seventh head of the beast) in order to terrorize mankind into accepting his “solution.” The solution will be the eighth king, which will rule for a mere “hour.” (In contrast to the more than three millennia that the beast-like system has existed.)
“The town of tyrannical nations” will be the eighth king, to which all the nations will be forced to submit – the modern Babel. Perhaps the “city” —as it is rendered in the latest NWT —will be New York City, the present home of the United Nations – the intended post-collapse capitol of global government.
As regards the power and authority the eighth king will possess, when the city of Babylon the great is destroyed the kings of the earth are said to stand at a distance for fear of her torment. No nation will have the power to defy the eighth king. In all likelihood, in the aftermath of the coming war all nuclear weaponry will be consigned under the control of a central government – giving it incontestable power, at least from a human standpoint.
It will be during that time that God will provide a secret haven for the faithful. That is why Isaiah praises Jehovah as if speaking for the chosen ones during that time when God’s salvation is revealed.
Isaiah continues: “And Jehovah of armies will certainly make for all the peoples, in this mountain, a banquet of well-oiled dishes, a banquet of wine kept on the dregs, of well-oiled dishes filled with marrow, of wine kept on the dregs, filtered. And in this mountain he will certainly swallow up the face of the envelopment that is enveloping over all the peoples, and the woven work that is interwoven upon all the nations. He will actually swallow up death forever, and the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will certainly wipe the tears from all faces. And the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for Jehovah himself has spoken it.”
At the present moment in history patriotic individuals, particularly in America – the presumed fortress of freedom and democracy – are sounding the alarm over the relentless erosion of liberties previously enjoyed.
Increasing government surveillance of private electronic communications, security cameras everywhere, the use of unmanned drones to spy and assassinate from above; certainly the technology exists and the political will to control the masses, which is on display with the Covid lockdowns, the next big crisis will likely bring about the conditions to impose total tyranny. This is the “woven work that is interwoven upon all nations.”
When the hour of tyranny arrives the peoples of all the world will suddenly find themselves inextricably enveloped in a tyrannical mesh with no way out!
The prophecy of Habakkuk, ‘a vision yet for the time appointed,’ depicts the Chaldean (pictorial of the executionary last kingdom) cunningly enveloping all the nations in his deadly net, like a fisherman catches fishes. God will then judge him for having ruthlessly, relentlessly, killed nations and peoples. Likewise, the prophet Daniel foretold that the king of the north would launch into a genocidal rage and annihilate many. So, the “envelopment” that is due to envelope all the nations is the net of tyranny that is even now being prepared to enmesh all peoples and exterminate entire populations.
The Watchtower claims that God began providing a banquet of “well-oiled dishes” and “wine kept on the dregs” back in 1919. This is not only absurd it is blasphemous!
The banquet is spread in Jehovah’s “mountain.” What is this mountain? It is “the mountain of the house of Jehovah” to which all nations stream “in the final part of the days.” It is Jehovah’s “holy mountain,” where his faithful worshipers do no harm and cause no ruin. (Isaiah 2:2; 11:9) In this elevated place of worship, Jehovah spreads his lush banquet for faithful ones. And the spiritual good things now supplied so generously foreshadow the physical good things that will be provided when God’s Kingdom becomes the sole government of mankind. Chapter 21 paragraph 7
Although Jehovah’s Witnesses cannot see through it presently, essentially the Watchtower Society has lifted itself up above everyone who is called “a god” and over every object of reverence, such as Christendom. They take credit to themselves for providing a banquet of truth for all of Jehovah’s Witnesses. This is exactly what Paul foretold the man of lawlessness would do; namely, that he would sit in the temple of God and “publicly showing himself to be a god.” Certainly, Jehovah’s Witnesses have been led to the opinion that they cannot be saved unless they stay in good standing with the Watchtower, inadvertently attributing salvation to the Organization.
So, as stated already, the test of faith will come when Jehovah reduces the Watchtower to a pile of rubble. Then God will reveal his wonderful salvation apart from the Watchtower Society, as the next portion of Isaiah relates, saying: “And in that day one will certainly say: ‘Look! This is our God. We have hoped in him, and he will save us. This is Jehovah. We have hoped in him. Let us be joyful and rejoice in the salvation by him.”