Wednesday, July 28
As these things start to occur, stand up straight and lift up your heads, because your deliverance is getting near. —Luke 21:28.
At some point, the people whose religions were destroyed may resent the fact that Jehovah’s Witnesses keep practicing their religion. We can only imagine the uproar that this might create, including on social media. The nations and their ruler, Satan, will hate us for having the only surviving religion. They will not have attained their goal to eliminate all religion from the face of the earth. So we will become the center of their attention. At this point, the nations will take on the role of Gog of Magog. They will band together to make a vicious, all-out attack on Jehovah’s people. (Ezek. 38:2, 14-16) It can be somewhat unsettling to think about those possibilities when we cannot be certain of the exact details. However, one thing is sure: We do not need to fear the great tribulation. Jehovah will give us lifesaving instructions. —Ps. 34:19. w19.10 16-17 ¶10-11
Are Jehovah’s Witnesses practicing their religion now? Well, how does one practice the true religion? Primarily it is by preaching the good news and teaching others. Whereas formerly JW’s were quite visible on city streets, cart witnessing or canvassing neighborhoods, now they are nowhere to be seen. Whereas Jehovah’s Witnesses used to regularly gather together at the Kingdom hall and convene at massive annual conventions, now they are shuttered at home watching Zoom.
Most assuredly, there will be nothing from the Watchtower organization that will survive the tribulation. As far as receiving “lifesaving instructions” Jesus has already informed us. When you see the disgusting thing standing where it ought not then flee without delay.
The destruction of Jerusalem is the focus of nearly all prophecies. It was the centerpiece of Jesus’ extensive prophecy regarding the conclusion of the system. What does Jerusalem represent? Bethel’s prophets claim it symbolizes Christendom and even all of Babylon the Great. That interpretation does not hold up to scrutiny.
More aptly, just as Jerusalem was once the city where Jehovah caused his name to reside, Jerusalem represents Christ’s congregation, which presently is under the stewardship of the Watchtower and its theocratic order. But that will not always be the case.
Consider the prophecy of Isaiah. The 32nd chapter opens by introducing us to a king who will reign for righteousness, along with his princes who will for justice. We know that the man Jesus will fulfill that prophecy when he returns from heaven to commence the conclusion of the system. The prophecy goes on to say: “For the fortified tower has been forsaken; the noisy city has been abandoned. Ophel and the watchtower have become a permanent wasteland, a delight for wild donkeys, a pasture for the flocks, until the spirit is poured out on us from above, and the wilderness becomes an orchard, and the orchard is regarded as a forest.”
According to the Insight on the Scriptures publication Ophel is a reference to a prominent hill in Jerusalem. Isaiah similarly cryptically refers to Jerusalem as Ariel in the 29th chapter. Needless to say, there was no outpouring of holy spirit in the aftermath of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. It is, though, important to take note of the fact that when the anointing spirit was originally poured out on the 120 disciples they were in an upper room in the city of Jerusalem.
Although the prophecy is set in ancient times with donkeys and flocks and orchards, those are merely props and symbols. Just as Christianity began with a spectacular display of tongues of fire accompanied by a rushing wind that swept through the city, drawing people to the house where the newly anointed Christians were, so the conclusion of Christianity will be accomplished when “the spirit is poured on us from above.” It is not as though Christians do not have the spirit now; no, but then it will be in full measure. Paul spoke of our receiving the spirit now, comparing it to a token of the real thing to come.
The Watchtower will become a permanent wasteland because it will no longer be needed. Peter indicated as much when he wrote concerning the Transfiguration of Christ, to which he had been an eyewitness. The apostle went on to say: “So we have the prophetic word made more sure, and you are doing well in paying attention to it as to a lamp shining in a dark place (until day dawns and a daystar rises) in your hearts.”
Prophecy is likened to a lamp shining in the dark. It is intended to guide us through the night until day dawns. The dawn symbolizes the ascendency of Jesus, his parousia. And the daystar rising in your heart symbolizes complete enlightenment so that it is no longer necessary to pay attention to prophecy. Jesus spoke of this as being accomplished during the harvest, which is a conclusion of the Christian system, when the righteous will shine as brightly as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. These will be the princes who will rule for justice. If the parousia had actually begun in 1914 then a Bible society like the Watchtower would not be needed. And that is why the Watchtower will be destroyed as a prelude to the actual parousia.
The attack of Gog of Magog will not take place until after the tribulation is cut short. And the Watchtower will not even exist then. In fact, the attack upon “Israel” will not be against a religion, but rather, it will be a direct attack upon the Kingdom, which at that time will be manifest on earth in the form of the sealed chosen ones, the reigning princes.