Unless Jehovah builds the house, it is in vain that its builders work hard on it.
Jehovah’s organization goes to tremendous lengths to provide and help finance modest Kingdom Halls. The work of designing, building, and remodeling them is handled by unpaid volunteers. Since November 1, 1999, more than 28,000 beautiful new centers of pure worship have been provided for congregations worldwide. That means that for 15 years, on average, five new Kingdom Halls have been provided every day of the year. Efforts are being made to support the construction of Kingdom Halls wherever they are needed. This loving provision is based on the Scriptural principle that the surplus of some might offset the deficiency of others, in order that “there may be an equalizing.” As a result, beautiful new centers of pure worship have been provided for congregations that would otherwise never have had the financial resources to build a Kingdom Hall for themselves.
In context the Psalm reads: “Unless Jehovah builds the house, it is in vain that its builders work hard on it. Unless Jehovah guards the city, it is in vain that the guard stays awake.”
King Solomon is credited with writing this Psalm, which is called a Song of the Ascents, apparently being sung by the people as the ascended the mountain on which Jerusalem and the temple was built. Solomon, of course, was the builder of the magnificent temple. At the dedication of the temple Jehovah manifested his presence within by means of a dense cloud that drove the priests out. Thereafter a miraculous light shone above the golden ark of the Covenant called the Shekinah light, which represented Jehovah’s presence.
In time, though, the Israelite kings and priests apostatized. They corrupted pure worship. Although a captive in Babylon at the time Ezekiel was mentally transported to Jerusalem and God told him to bore through the temple walls to inspect its interior. After viewing the disgusting idols that had been set up in the temple, Jehovah said to his watchman: “Son of man, do you see what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the darkness, each one in the inner rooms where his idols are displayed? For they are saying, ‘Jehovah is not seeing us. Jehovah has left the land.’”
It seems that God tolerated a bad situation for a long time, perhaps leading to their assumption that Jehovah had left the land. Contributing to their false sense of security the elders were no doubt aware that during the reign of king Hezekiah God had intervened to defend Jerusalem —completely decimating the Assyrian army by means of a warrior angel. That is likely why Jeremiah warned the people not to put their trust in the temple of Jehovah, as if it were some sort of lucky charm. The presence of the temple would not protect them. It was just a building, after all.
As a result of their wickedness Jehovah brought ruin upon Solomon’s temple. The hard work of the tens of thousands of laborers Solomon had employed was brought to nothing. It was in vain that the guards of the city stood their posts. Jehovah brought the Chaldean hordes from far away and they burned Jerusalem to the ground. The city where Jehovah had placed his name was no more.
A similar situation exists today. The leading elders of the Watchtower Society who boast of presiding over “pure worship” imagine that Jehovah does not see their works. They have no expectation of any sort of settling of accounts. They imagine Christ has already come, that he has cleansed them and given them his unqualified approval.
Besides the thousands of modest kingdom halls the Watchtower has constructed, the Society’s business-minded board of directors apparently realized they were sitting on a gold mine in Brooklyn and decided to cash in on the inflated real estate values. Putting all of their properties up for sale, properties previously, solemnly dedicated to Jehovah, and exploiting the same small army of volunteers that had been trained to build kingdom halls, a spacious new headquarters facility was built outside of New York City. Far away from the grime and crime of the big city the Governing Body have reported that they are happy and refreshed residing in the peaceful surroundings afforded by their lakefront condominiums.
Like the Jews living in Jerusalem prior to Babylon’s invasion, the governing elders of Jehovah’s Witnesses have no expectation of being on the receiving end of any sort of divine judgment. They are the keepers of pure worship. Their “prophets” have neutralized all of the Scriptures, interpreting them to glorify the organization as the embodiment of the very Kingdom of God. However they are in for a rude awakening.
As an example of the sort of engineering that has gone into the Watchtower’s interpretation of prophecy, the destruction of Solomon’s temple is supposed to find a parallel with the end of Babylon the Great and Christendom. However, according to the 74th Psalm the Babylonians profaned the place where God placed his name. Verse 7-8 read: “They set your sanctuary on fire. They profaned the tabernacle bearing your name, casting it to the ground. They and their offspring have said in their hearts: ‘All the meeting places of God in the land must be burned.’”
The prophecy of Daniel similarly foretells that during the time of the end the sanctuary and constant feature will be trampled upon and the holy ones brought to ruin. The Watchtower’s “prophets” have adjusted this to the past. Supposedly the Anglo-American kings brought the holy ones to ruin back during World War Two by conscripting young men into the military.
The book of Revelation also portrays the holy city and temple courtyard being trampled upon by the nations, which, amazingly took place during the First World War —at least according to the Watchtower. How? Apparently the US government censored a few paragraphs of the Finished Mystery book, a publication that is so riddled with nonsense that the Watchtower wishes it had never published it in the first place.
At some point in the future this present system is going to come crashing down. And, no, I am not referring to the end of the world at Armageddon. I am referring to what is symbolized in Revelation as the opening of the seven seals —specifically the opening of the 6th seal.
According to the Watchtower the seven symbolic seals containing the sum of God’s judgments were all opened in rapid succession during the First World War. But here is what the sixth seal betokens: “And I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and a great earthquake occurred; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the entire moon became as blood, and the stars of heaven fell to the earth as when a fig tree shaken by a high wind drops its unripe figs. And the heaven departed as a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and every island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the high officials, the military commanders, the rich, the strong, every slave, and every free person hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. And they keep saying to the mountains and to the rocks: “Fall over us and hide us from the face of the One seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, because the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”
Jesus used this same sort of apocalyptic phraseology when he spoke of the great tribulation, saying: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”
To paper over the fact that Jesus clearly indicated that the symbolic heavenly luminaries go into eclipse after the tribulation, the Watchtower’s institutional prophets claim that the First World War was merely the preliminary shakings of the great upheaval that is still in the future. So, even after a century since the time the sixth seal is believed to have been opened the events associated with its opening still have not occurred!
Unless a person choses to be willfully blind, it should be clearly evident that none of the seals of the symbolic scroll have been opened. War, famine, pestilence, earthquakes — it is all in the immediate days ahead.
Surely, it is in vain that the Society’s watchmen have stood watch, futilely waiting for the United Nations to decimate false religion. It is in vain that they have built a palatial headquarters in the countryside. The coming of Christ is destined to overturn the entire civilization. The Watchtower’s treasury is just as sure to be plundered as was Jehovah’s temple in times past. The things they have treasured up using the sweat of free labor will be lost. Then the prophecy will be fulfilled: “Come, now, you rich men, weep and wail over the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted, and your clothing has become moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted away, and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh. What you have stored up will be like a fire in the last days. Look! The wages you have withheld from the workers who harvested your fields keep crying out, and the cries for help of the reapers have reached the ears of Jehovah of armies. You have lived in luxury and for self-gratification on the earth. You have fattened your hearts on the day of slaughter. You have condemned; you have murdered the righteous one. Is he not opposing you?” (James 5)
The judgment contained in James is associated with the presence of Christ. That is why in the very next verse James exhorted: “Be patient then, brothers, until the presence of the Lord. Look! The farmer keeps waiting for the precious fruit of the earth, exercising patience over it until the early rain and the late rain arrive. You too exercise patience; make your hearts firm, because the presence of the Lord has drawn close.” Since the rich men have not howled and wallowed in misery, a judgment reserved for the last days, neither has the presence of Christ begun. However, there is ample reason to believe that it has drawn close.
No wonder then, when the seals are actually opened it will result in the sun setting on the Watchtower’s prophets. Then, instead of boasting of practicing pure worship the survivors, the faithful anyway, will discard the idolatry associated with the Watchtower-centric form of worship as if it were a woman’s used menstruating cloth, saying “be gone!” (Isaiah 30:22)