Part Four in the series of articles reviewing the July 2022 Watchtower.
Picking up with paragraphs 11 and 12 combined:
11-12. Second, as represented by the feet of the immense image, Anglo-America is the last world power foretold in the Bible. It will not be succeeded by another political power. Rather, it will come to a swift end at Armageddon when God’s Kingdom crushes it and all other human governments. Daniel’s prophecy provides additional evidence that we are living in the time of the end. More than 2,500 years ago, Daniel foretold that after Babylon, four other world powers would have a significant impact on God’s people. Furthermore, he revealed that the Anglo-American World Power would be the last of these. This gives us comfort and hope that soon God’s Kingdom will sweep away every trace of human rule and take full charge of the earth.
The prophecy of the immense image appears to be simple enough to understand; except, it is an enigma—a mystery—a sacred secret that the prophets and seers at Bethel do not understand, nor is it possible for them to decipher. Again, though, simply applying common sense—the metallic image does not add up. According to the inspired interpreter, Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar is the head of gold. That part is easy enough. Or is it? Imagine if you will, a golden head without a body. Weird, right?
Daniel explained that after the kingdom of Babylon will come other inferior kingdoms, likened to silver and copper, and iron, and lastly, the feet of iron mixed with clay. So, if we view the image as a historical timeline of the progression of world empires we are left with the strange process of a hovering head, then joined by an upper body with arms attached. Then a torso and thighs are joined to the upper body with no lower legs or feet. And lastly, lower legs and then feet. Finally, after a few thousand years the image is able to stand on its own two feet!
The point of this ridiculous exercise is to emphasize that the individual sections only make sense when the image is complete immediately before it is destroyed by the Kingdom stone. Therefore, the image itself, in its entirety, must represent something formed by all of the metallic components that came before. And that is precisely what the prophet revealed (verse 28) when he told Nebuchadnezzar that the Revealer of secrets had informed the king what will happen in “the final part of the days.” And that is why the seers of Bethel do not understand because the final part of the days has not begun and the prophecy is sealed until the time of the end, or the final part of the days—the conclusion.
So, what does the image itself symbolize? Simple, the eighth king. However, according to the Watchtower, the eighth king is not really a kingdom—not a world power as was Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, and the Anglo-American empire.
13. Read Revelation 17:9-12. The destruction caused by World War I led to the fulfillment of yet another Bible prophecy about the last days. World leaders wanted to ensure future world peace. So in January 1920, they established the League of Nations, which was replaced by the United Nations in October 1945. This organization is called “an eighth king.” But it is not a world power. Its strength and influence depend on the political powers that support it. The Bible symbolically refers to those powers as “ten kings.”
Who said the United Nations is the eighth king? The Watchtower. But is it? No—at least not yet. Not only is the United Nations not a world power, it has no power, or very little. That is why even its most ardent advocates decry it as a paper tiger. If it is the eighth king of prophecy shouldn’t we at least expect it to have the power of a king? Even if its power and influence depend upon the nations to support it we must conclude that it is lacking that support.
Contrast the impotent United Nations at the present time with how the book of Revelation depicts the eighth king. He will possess incontestable power. No king on earth will dare defy the eighth king! That is depicted in the 18th chapter of Revelation where the kings stand at a distance for fear of her torment and say “too bad, too bad.” Obviously, the Watchtower does not have these things in focus.
14. Read Revelation 17:3-5. Under divine inspiration, the apostle John saw in vision a prostitute, “Babylon the Great,” which symbolizes the world empire of false religion. What does the vision reveal? False religious organizations have long cooperated closely with the world’s political powers and have given them their blessing. Soon, however, Jehovah will put it into the hearts of the political powers “to carry out his thought.” With what result? Those political powers, the “ten kings,” will turn on false religious organizations and destroy them. —Rev. 17:1, 2, 16, 17.
It is true, that the world’s religions have supported the rulers and the rulers have protected religion. That is why in the 17th chapter of Revelation the angel went into more detail about the beast than the prostitute that is mounted on the beast.
One important aspect of the mystery surrounding the beast from the abyss is stated in verses 12-13: “The ten horns that you saw mean ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they do receive authority as kings for one hour with the wild beast. These have one thought, so they give their power and authority to the wild beast.”
An important question is this: Has the symbolic “one hour” already begun? If words and concepts mean anything the single hour allotted to the eighth king must be a relatively short period of time. If the “one hour” began in 1945 when the UN was created that would mean that the interval has already been 77 years and still ticking. If God intended to give us a hint as to the duration of the reign of the last king, and the UN has been that last king since 1945, why would the All-knowing Revealer of secrets symbolize that period as one hour? Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to at least symbolize it as a day or year instead of one hour?
It has often been said that Bible prophecy interprets itself. That is certainly the case with the enigmatic “one hour.” In the 18th chapter of Revelation Babylon is said to be visited with complete destruction in “one hour.” Here is what the Bible says: “Too bad, too bad, you great city, Babylon you strong city, because in one hour your judgment has arrived!” (Vs 10b)
“Too bad, too bad, the great city, clothed with fine linen, purple, and scarlet and richly adorned with gold ornaments, precious stones, and pearls, because in one hour such great riches have been devastated!” (Vs 16-17)
Do we have an indication of how long the “one-hour” interval is when Babylon is suddenly devastated? Yes, an angel demonstrated the swiftness of Babylon’s demise when he picked up a millstone and pitched it into the sea and said: “Thus with a swift pitch will Babylon the great city be hurled down, and she will never be found again.” (Vs 21b)
If the judgment of Babylon the Great arrives and is carried out in “one hour” and the angel confirmed that the hour of devastation will take place swiftly, it is unreasonable, indeed, it is untenable to suppose the “one hour” of the eighth king is many decades in duration.
The Watchtower’s interpretation of the number 10 signifying earthly completion is valid. Therefore, the 10 kings represent all of the nations. But if the 10 kings have already given their power and authority to the wild beast why do the nations still cling to their individual sovereignties? It can’t be both ways. You can’t eat your cake and have it too, as the saying goes. Either the nations have surrendered their power and authority to the beast or they have not. They cannot forfeit authority and keep it at the same time.
True, the scripture says the ten kings receive authority for one hour. How can they give their authority and yet receive it? They no doubt will give up authority as independent nations and receive authority granted by the eighth king. In other words, it will be the ultimate regime change, from national sovereignty to world government.
Have all the nations relinquished their claim to sovereignty? Again, no. Far from it. However, we do have somewhat of a preview of how it might work with the existence of the European Union. The EU is composed of 27 member nations.* Each nation forfeited a measure of sovereignty to Brussels, the governing capital of the union. Member nations no longer have national currencies. They all use the Euro. Member nations can no longer decide their own national expenditures. There are strict limitations imposed by the EU central bank. Member nations do not control their own borders. And each member nation has agreed to go to war to defend the union. So, it is not at all unreasonable to expect the eighth king will function similarly, only on a much larger scale and more absolutely.
So, since it is self-evident that the nations have not given their power and authority to the United Nations that is why it cannot possibly be true that the UN is currently functioning as the eighth king.
What must occur in order for the words of God to be accomplished in connection with the scarlet-colored beast and the prostitute who sits upon it? That will be considered in the next article in this series.
To be continued…
- CORRECTION: I was misinformed. Evidently, only 19 of the 27 EU countries use the Euro