Let us consider one another to incite to love and fine works, not forsaking the gathering of ourselves together.
For what reasons does our God place such importance on our regularly gathering together? Our meetings, assemblies, and conventions help us to have courage to speak with boldness and to deal with opposition or apathy in our territories. We are strengthened and made firm in the faith by the Scriptural discussions. The teaching and interchange of encouragement that we receive at our gatherings for worship help us to experience real happiness and give us “quietness from days of calamity.” The Teaching Committee of the Governing Body oversees the preparation of all spiritual programs for the instruction of Jehovah’s people earth wide. How thankful we can be for the provisions that are made for us to enjoy wholesome teaching at our meetings every week of the year!
The Teaching Committee has no idea. Neither does the Service Committee, nor the Writing Committee. No committee of men within Bethel has any inkling of what is about to ensue.
However, the book of Joel reveals the things to come in the immediate future. And that prophetic book calls for another kind of gathering together – a solemn assembly, because of a dire emergency that is due to befall the people of God. Here is what the prophet says to the anointed priests and elders who minister in the house of God (Bethel):
“Put on sackcloth and mourn, you priests;
Wail, you ministers of the altar.
Come in and spend the night in sackcloth, you ministers of my God;
For grain offering and drink offering have been withheld from the house of your God.
Proclaim a fast; call for a solemn assembly.
Gather the elders together, with all the inhabitants of the land,
To the house of Jehovah your God, and cry to Jehovah for help.”
Soon will come the rousing command:
“Blow a horn in Zion!
Shout a war cry in my holy mountain.
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
For the day of Jehovah is coming! It is near!
What will be involved in this coming calamity? Joel continues:
“It is a day of darkness and gloom,
A day of clouds and thick gloom,
Like light of dawn spreading out on the mountains.
There is a people numerous and mighty;
Never before has there been one like it,
Through the years of all generations.
Ahead of it a fire devours,
And behind it a flame consumes.
The land ahead of it is like the garden of Eden,
But behind it is a desolate wilderness,
And nothing can escape.
Its appearance is like the appearance of horses,
And they run like warhorses.
The sound is like that of chariots as they leap on the mountaintops,
Like the crackling of a blazing fire that consumes stubble.
It is like a mighty people drawn up in battle formation.
Because of them, peoples will be in anguish.
Every face will grow flushed.
They charge like warriors,
They scale a wall like soldiers,
Each keeps to his own course,
And they do not swerve from their paths.
They do not shove one another;
Each man advances in his course.
If the weapons cause some to fall,
The others do not break ranks.
Into the city they rush, on the wall they run.
Onto the houses they climb, through the windows they enter like a thief.
Before them the land trembles and the heavens rock.
Sun and moon have become dark,
And the stars have lost their brightness.
Jehovah will raise his voice before his army, for his camp is very numerous.
For the one carrying out His word is mighty;
For the day of Jehovah is great and very awe-inspiring.
Who can endure it?”
Who or what is represented by this unstoppable insect invasion that is destined to terrorize the world and compel the priests and older men to implore jehovah for help? Laughably, the Watchtower claims it is Jehovah’s Witnesses!