Monday, November 15
Sudden destruction is to be instantly on them, . . . and they will by no means escape. —1 Thess. 5:3.
Imagine that the nations have just made their long-awaited proclamation of “peace and security.” They may boast that the world has never been so safe. The nations will want us to think that they have the world situation under control. But they have absolutely no control over what will follow. “Babylon the Great” will be destroyed! (Rev. 17:5, 15-18) “God [will] put it into their hearts to carry out his thought.” What is that thought? To destroy the world empire of false religion, including Christendom. God will put his thought into the hearts of “the ten horns” of the “scarlet-colored wild beast.” The ten horns represent all the political powers that support “the wild beast” —the United Nations. (Rev. 17:3, 11-13; 18:8) When those political powers turn on false religion, that will mark the beginning of the great tribulation. It will be a truly catastrophic world event. w19.10 14 ¶1, 3
In the overall scheme of things getting it right doesn’t matter. God’s word will prevail regardless of what anyone says or does or doesn’t do. Still, having false expectations can cause stumbling. And that is especially the case when those who are regarded as having special knowledge and an appointment from God to speak on His behalf are in error.
That was the situation in Jerusalem in the days of Jeremiah the prophet. Nebuchadnezzar had already subjugated Judah. He hauled off some of the golden utensils of the temple along with Judah’s king and many princes. That is how Daniel and Ezekiel ended up in Babylon. But Nebuchadnezzar left after installing a vassal king—expecting regular tributes from him. And Jehovah spoke through Jeremiah and told the Jews they could remain in their land as long as they did not rebel.
Jeremiah was ordered to place a yoke bar and straps on his neck as a portent. The Jews and all the nations were to submit to the King of Babylon or else they would be subjected to the sword, famine, and pestilence. As Jeremiah spoke these things in the hearing of the people and the priests a prophet by the name of Hananiah took the yoke bar off the neck of Jeremiah and smashed it, proclaiming that in two years Jehovah would remove the yoke Babylon had imposed and all the utensils of the temple would be returned to Jerusalem.
But Hananiah was a false prophet. Jehovah had not sent him. And to expose him as a charlatan Jeremiah announced that Hananiah would die in seven months. And he did. Even after that powerful portent, though, the Jews rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar and Jehovah had them exterminated by the sword, famine, and pestilence.
Something similar is occurring now. The Watchtower has taken a position, not unlike Hananiah. They claim that the great tribulation will begin when Babylon the Great is destroyed by the United Nations. For all of the many years the Watchtower has made this claim they have never offered anything from the Scriptures to support their assertion. In effect, though, they are saying “this is what Jehovah has said”—just like Hananiah.
Of course, the book of Revelation does speak of Babylon the Great being stripped naked and burned with fire. God will put it into their hearts to carry out their own desire. Still, let the diligent Bible student carefully search the 17th and 18th chapters of Revelation and see that there is nothing to indicate the timing—connecting the destruction of Babylon to the beginning of the tribulation.
Why does the Watchtower repeat this over and over? While there is nothing in Revelation the inferential scriptural basis for the claim is based upon Jesus’ prophecy of the desolation of Jerusalem. Jesus made clear that when a disgusting thing stands in a holy place (Jerusalem) then Christians must flee out from the city, for then there will be a great tribulation.
According to the prophets of Bethel Jerusalem, in the context of the prophecy of the conclusion of the system, symbolizes Christendom and by extension all of Babylon the Great. But why would true Christians need to flee out of Christendom during the tribulation?
Jesus offered some supplemental information, as recorded by Matthew: “Therefore, when you catch sight of the disgusting thing that causes desolation, as spoken about by Daniel the prophet, standing in a holy place (let the reader use discernment), then let those in Judea begin fleeing to the mountains.” — Matt, 24:16-17
Keep in mind that Jesus’ so-called Olivet discussion was prompted when the disciples asked the Lord to tell them when the temple would be thrown down because a few days before Jesus foretold that not a stone would be left standing upon a stone. Jesus went on to foretell that Jerusalem would be trampled upon by the nations until the appointed times of the nations are fulfilled.
The discerning reader will take note that all of these elements are spoken of in the 8th chapter of Daniel. In verses 13 and 14 Daniel is listening in to a discussion between two angels and one posed the question: “How long will the vision of the constant feature and of the transgression causing desolation continue, to make both the holy place and the army things to trample on?”
The other angel responded: “Until 2,300 evenings and mornings; and the holy place will certainly be restored to its right condition.”
The desolation and trampling of a holy place is precisely what Jesus was foretelling and which is why he made reference to Daniel. Even the prophets of Bethel realize the vision in Daniel applies to Christ’s congregation and not Christendom and certainly not Babylon the Great, which is why they were compelled to concoct a cockamamie story about how the holy place was restored back during WW2 when the board of directors made a few changes to the Watchtower’s corporate charter.
As laughable as that is, the grim reality is that in true Hananiah-style the Governing Body has prophesied falsehood in the name of Jehovah.
Jeremiah confronted the false prophet and said to him: “Listen, please, O Hananiah! Jehovah has not sent you, but you have caused this people to trust in a lie. Therefore this is what Jehovah says, ‘Look! I am removing you from the face of the ground. This year you will die, for you have urged rebellion against Jehovah.’” — Jeremiah 28:15-16
The Watchtower has also caused the people to trust in a lie. Did not Paul forewarn that God would allow an operation of Satan to cause Christians to believe the lie? No, not like the plethora of lies embraced by the churches—lies like Jesus is God and everyone goes to heaven. Not those lies.
The inspired apostle explained that the lie that goes to those who otherwise know the truth, in order to test their love of the truth, has to do with a man of lawlessness who proclaims that the parousia has begun and the day of Jehovah is here, which, of course, has been the Watchtower’s core message from the very beginning. I have written about these things for many years.
It is not exactly David and Goliath, but it is like Jeremiah against the religious establishment of the Jews. The Watchtower claims that Christ has come, that virtually everything has been fulfilled, that we are deep into the time of the end waiting only for the tribulation to begin and then it is home free.
I am on record, published in three editions of a book and a few hundred articles on the Internet, debunking the Watchtower’s entire prophetic exegesis.
It is not that I do not believe that the Watchtower is Jehovah’s organization. It is. As the earthly center of true Christianity, the Watchtower is the antitypical Jerusalem. And in fulfillment of Jesus’ words, it will be desolated and trampled down.
Pardon the repetition, but it is because the Watchtower repeats the same lies over and over. In any case, Jerusalem is where Christ was executed. Jerusalem is where Christianity began when 120 disciples were anointed and tongues of fire hovered over each of them. The apostles preached day and night in the temple up until the disgusting thing stood where it ought not. They did not view the temple as unholy, as the modern Hananiah claims.
The die is cast. The sword, famine, and pestilence are coming!