War, Famine and Pestilence – the Coming Apocalypse

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Tuesday, September 27

The proconsul . . . became a believer.Acts 13:12.

Because the Jews were so widely dispersed throughout the Roman world, many non-Jews became familiar with the Hebrew Scriptures. They learned that there is only one true God and that those who serve him are held to high ethical and moral standards. Moreover, the Hebrew Scriptures were filled with prophecies concerning the Messiah. Both Jews and Christians understood that the Hebrew Scriptures were the inspired Word of God, which made it possible for Paul to establish common ground with those whose hearts were inclined toward righteousness. Accordingly, the apostle customarily entered synagogues of the Jews and reasoned with them from the Scriptures.  The Jews regularly met together in synagogues or at open-air meeting places. They sang songs, prayed, and discussed the Scriptures. Similar practices are followed in Christian congregations today.

COMMENTARY

It is true, the Hebrew Scriptures are filled with prophecies concerning the Messiah. Some are related to his first coming as a human, but the majority of the prophecies focus upon the second coming* of Christ.

One aspect of the second coming is the liberation of God’s people from Babylon. Originally the Persian King, Cyrus, whom Jehovah referred to as “my anointed one,” overthrew mighty Babylon in one night and made it possible for the captives to return and rebuild Jerusalem. A fairly significant portion of prophecy is devoted to the repurchase of Israel.

But, as Jehovah’s Witnesses well know, Cyrus is a type of Christ and the overthrow of Babylon foreshadows the fall of Babylon the Great. And according to the Watchtower the grand fulfillment of this prophecy came in 1919, when the Bible Students were supposedly freed from Babylon the Great. In actuality, J.F. Rutherford and seven of his associates were merely released from prison. The Bible Students were never in any sort of captivity —spiritual or otherwise.

For decades the Watchtower taught that the Bible Students went into captivity to Babylon during the First World War. But apparently they realized the absurdity of such a notion and so came up with a new explanation. So, at the 2015 Annual Meeting the Governing Body explained that Christians went into spiritual captivity to Babylon the Great gradually, beginning back in the 2nd century. This new interpretation was discussed in this article.

But the Watchtower’s “adjustment” does not take into consideration the reason God allowed Israel to go into bondage in the first place. It was a punishment from him and Babylon merely served as the punishing agent. Speaking to the Mistress of Babylon God stated: “I grew indignant at my people. I profaned my inheritance, and I gave them into your hand. But you showed them no mercy. Even on the elderly you placed a heavy yoke.” —Isaiah 47:6

It is worth noting that when Jehovah profaned his inheritance he entered into judgment with them by means of the sword, famine and pestilence. Here are a few verses:

“I take no pleasure in them, for by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, I will do away with them.” —Jeremiah 14:12

“I will give King Zedekiah of Judah and his servants and the people of this city—those who survive the pestilence, the sword, and the famine—into the hand of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, into the hand of their enemies” —Jeremiah 21:7

“This is what Jehovah of armies says: ‘Here I am sending against them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, and I will make them like rotten figs that are so bad they cannot be eaten. And I will pursue them with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence, and I will make them an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth…’” —Jeremiah 29:17-18

“And all the men who are determined to go to Egypt to reside there will die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence. None of them will survive or escape the calamity that I will bring on them.”’ —Jeremiah 42:17

“Therefore, know for a certainty that by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence you will die in the place where you desire to go and reside.” —Jeremiah 42:17

“I will send against you famine and vicious wild beasts, and they will bereave you of children. Pestilence and bloodshed will overwhelm you, and I will bring a sword against you. I, Jehovah, have spoken.” —Ezekiel 5:17

“The sword is outside, and the pestilence and the famine are inside. Whoever is in the field will die by the sword, and famine and pestilence will consume those in the city. Their survivors who manage to escape will go to the mountains, and like the doves of the valleys, each one will moan over his error.” —Ezekiel 7:15-16

These are only a partial listing of verses. But even a marginally knowledgable person cannot help but realize the the specific ordering of the sword, famine and pestilence is exactly what Christ foretold when he said: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and in one place after another food shortages and pestilences…”

And of course, the opening of the first four seals of Revelation unleashes war, famine and pestilence, bringing death to one quarter of the world.

According to the prophets the judgment of the sword, famine and pestilence came against those who refused to obey Jehovah and surrender to the king of Babylon. Those who did obey survived, albeit in captivity.

Obviously, those Christians in the second century were not confronted with the sword, famine and pestilence as a prelude to Constantine hijacking Christianity. Nor is there any reason to believe that the First World War and the Spanish Flu pandemic was a judgment from Jehovah.

But according to the Watchtower the sign of Christ’s presence is like a human fingerprint —unique. While that is surely a true statement, it is not true that all the features of the sign are in evidence. Although on the one hand the Watchtower acknowledges that to be true, Bethel routinely contradicts itself by claiming that the sign is clearly evident. It is considered an impossibility that future events could serve as the unmistakable “fingerprint.”

In this the Watchtower fits the pattern of the false prophets of Israel in Jeremiah’s day, who assured the Jews that they were not going to be besieged by the sword, famine and pestilence. Here is what is stated at Jeremiah 27:13-14:“Why should you and your people die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, as Jehovah has said about the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon? Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are saying to you, ‘You will not serve the king of Babylon,’ because they are prophesying lies to you.”

By shifting Jacob’s captivity to the ancient past and relegating war, famine and pestilence to the recent past, the Governing Body are prophesying lies to Jehovah’s Witnesses. The outbreak of World War Three will bring their whitewashed wall of lies crashing down. And into captivity will go Jehovah’s Witnesses!


  • The Watchtower does not use the term “second coming,” evidently because of the erroneous belief among evangelicals that Jesus is a fleshly entity and his second coming is in the flesh. However, the Watchtower fails to take into consideration the fact that a spirit can manifest itself without becoming a visible, fleshly organism. Paul is the only 1st century Christian who saw Jesus after his ascension back to heaven. And Paul most assuredly did not see Jesus in the flesh. He saw Jesus as an immortal spirit. The encounter was so overwhelming that Paul was temporarily blinded for three days. But Paul saw him as he is, and that is why Paul said he was as one born prematurely. Because he saw Jesus as all of the chosen ones will see him “the second time he appears” – a phrase Paul used at Hebrews 9:27
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2017-06-02T11:12:00+00:00 September 27th, 2016|60 Questions, Commentary|26 Comments
  • Bobby 6343

    Another article that has brought the judgment of Jehovah into clear focus. Thank you again Robert.

  • Bklyn Kevin

    THIRD WORLD WAR ?.
    Everything at this point is very, very serious.
    NATO’s ideologies and the U.S. globalists are fallen into the abyss
    and need war right now-before the American elections.
    War against Russia. Not so much for victory, but for the process itself.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0DzwCbS2QM

    • Beverly kenyon

      Bklyn Kevin, apart from that mini docu being very informative, it’s got to be one of the scariest things I’ve viewed in a long time because it’s real and looks like it’s gonna happen soon…according to that philosopher, even though they don’t want war and if we do bring it to them they’re in it to win it as he pointed out! Also, ties in neatly with Brother King’s article. So now I’ve got to stock up even more on my Armageddon food stash as my child calls it!

      • Bklyn Kevin

        I would like to tell you different but the truth is the American government has not left many alternatives open for concessions and the Russians are not backing off and at present are preparing for world war three whether it be conventional or thermonuclear.
        May Jehovah have mercy on us all.

        • Beverly kenyon

          I wouldn’t expect you to tell me any different Bklyn Kevin…I know I would only get the truth from you. WW3 will most probably be thermonuclear because I bet both sides will be wanting to use their secret killing machines and technology. Israel alone has 200 (I think nuclear) missile warheads pointed at Iran…talk about overkill! I think the demons want to vaporise us!! Yeah, Jehovah have mercy on us all.

  • Sun

    This will happen, first king of south will fight against king of north, and this fight and news will made king of north angry so he wil take many country, but he must return home.

    Daniel 11:40 “At the time of the end, the southern king will fight a battle against the northern king. The northern king will attack him with chariots and soldiers on horses and many large ships. The northern king will rush through the land like a flood. 41 The northern king will attack the Beautiful Land. He will defeat many countries. But Edom, Moab, and the leaders of Ammon will be saved from him. 42 The northern king will show his power in many countries. Egypt will also learn how powerful he is. 43 He will get treasures of gold and silver and all the riches of Egypt. The Libyans and Ethiopians will obey him. 44 But that northern king will hear news from the east and the north that will make him afraid and angry. He will go to completely destroy many nations. 45 He will set up his king’s tents between the sea and the beautiful holy mountain.[e] But finally, that bad king will die. There will be no one to help him when his end comes.

    When he is finish, total finish economic and in power. Then the religion will be destroyed and the great tribulation start.

    Daniel 12 “Daniel, at that time the great prince Michael will stand up. Michael is in charge of your people. There will be a time of much trouble, the worst time since nations have been on earth.

    it is 1290 days, but God short the days to 1260 days.

    8 I heard the answer, but I really didn’t understand. So I asked, “Sir, what will happen after all this comes true?”

    9 He answered, “Go on about your life Daniel. The message is hidden. It will be a secret until the time of the end. 10 Many people will be made pure—they will make themselves clean. But evil people will continue to be evil. And those wicked people will not understand these things, but the wise people will understand them.

    11 “The daily sacrifice will be stopped. There will be 1290 days from that time until the time that the terrible thing that destroys is set up. 12 The one who waits for and comes to the end of the 1335 days will be very happy.

    Mark 13:20 20 But the Lord has decided to make that terrible time short. If it were not made short, no one could survive. But the Lord will make that time short to help the special people he has chosen.

    Revelation 11:2 But don’t measure the yard outside the temple. Leave it alone. It has been given to those who are not God’s people. They will show their power over the holy city for 42 months. 3 And I will give power to my two witnesses. And they will prophesy for 1260 days. They will be dressed in sackcloth.”

    4 These two witnesses are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. 5 If anyone tries to hurt the witnesses, fire comes from the mouths of the witnesses and kills their enemies. Anyone who tries to hurt them will die like this. 6 These witnesses have the power to stop the sky from raining during the time they are prophesying. These witnesses have power to make the water become blood. They have power to send every kind of plague to the earth. They can do this as many times as they want.

  • Burt Reynolds

    Sorry, I’m missing something here. Who is the king of Babylon that serves as a protection for the witnesses at the time of the tribulation when the watchtower falls, albeit in slavery. …….maybe it’s too late at night for me! ‘According to the prophets the judgment of the sword, famine and pestilence came against those who refused to obey Jehovah and surrender to the king of Babylon. Those who did obey survived, albeit in captivity.’ Thanks.

    • ewatchman

      Revelation depicts the eighth king as a scarlet-colored beast that is mounted by the prostitute called Babylon the Great. And the Hebrew prophets connect Babylon to the last kingdom. But apparently the organized religions will function in some capacity initially. So, captivity to Babylon will mean being dominated by clerics to some degree. While the whole world will pretty much be enslaved then, likely under some sort of global communism, it will be especially humiliating for Jehovah’s Witnesses since they have been led to believe that they will be casual by-standers when the world blows up and Babylon the great is destroyed. Here is an article that might help clear things up. Or, maybe not. At any rate, sleep is always good. https://e-watchman.com/coming-rise-fall-of-babylon/

      • LW

        I’d rather be half-awake than half asleep lol

      • Burt Reynolds

        Clearly I have been labouring under a left over from my watchtower days! How deeply these false teachings are engrained in the mind of the witnesses. It has never occurred to me before that Babylon was anything other than false religion but now it is pointed out from the scripture that Babylon is the short lived eighth King. Does the captivity mean therefore that the preaching work is the biblical subject of the captivity, in that it has been stopped, and what does the enslavement mean in physical application? What I am envisaging at present is that the watchtower is brought down by the eighth King, the preaching work stopped, the clergy of Christendom becoming prominent over the watchtower in a dictatorial fashion, say as a collective State religion ( as you mention, perhaps the physical government may be a communistic affair) before Christendom itself is destroyed. Does the bible speak of what sort of ‘enslavement’ will be imposed on the witnesses – is it only the containment of the preaching work, or is something more inferred….if the scripture says anything at all about it . I don’t suppose we can equate it in the same manner as to the ancient times as to what enslavement meant then. But critically, in what way does this enslavement help to preserve the witnesses? You mention Robert that those who did not comply with the slavery were put to the sword or pestilence, but that for others who did comply, there was a ‘measure of safety.’ What does this mean for us, and for those still under the yoke of the watchtower? I am grateful to you for pointing out this learning. I find it really encouraging that these hidden subtleties of prophesy are being exposed to us, revealed, so that we can know the truth of them and that for some reason, Jehovah has seen fit to show us these things. How can I have read these things before through the watchtower and yet never understood what was before me? The ambiguity of Satan in his ‘translations’ to the watchtower is indeed like liquid gold, seen as so valuable and pure by the blinded, yet ultimately worthless in its value.

        • thats why it reads the 8th king springs from the 7th and saying it itself is an 8th king

          Robert points out that in the end there really is only one composite king, seeing how the south is taken over by the north becoming the same in promoting their image and one thought

          • LW

            Even in one of the older bible videos, it said the United Nations will exercise power for a little while. So it’s not like it’ll be boom religion gone and then the end…but the UN will have a much more significant power base from which to operate and control the world.

  • Sharon

    thank-you brother king for another great article,we both agree on math24and revelation6 however I know we disagree with the rider of the first horse,the white one,i say he represents false Christ,a counterfeit of his second coming,followed by sword,famine and pestilence,which in my mind is why jesus said do not be misled.so are you saying that this is when Christ will appear to or come alongside his chosen and minister to them,and then the sword, famine, and pestilence.im trying to put things in the order in which things will play out.thank-you.

    • Burt Reynolds

      I understand The context of this scripture to be one of retribution and to carry out Jehovah’s judgement. Why would Jehovah send out a false Christ to accomplish this? Can you show me the scriptural info pointing to this please?

      • Sharon

        sorry it took so long to respond burt,what I am saying,and what 98% of bible scholars agree with is the rider of the white horse is not Christ Jesus,in his opening words he warns do not be misled many will come on the basis iof my name, will mislead many,verse 24 again false Christ and prophets,in revelation the rider has bow,no arrows,not wearing crown given one and he has 1 job to conquer.this rider in my opinion is vastly different than revelation 19.now let me be clear I do not mean he is the antichrist,but what I believe is he represents all the millions of religious institutions claiming to represent Christ.

        • Bklyn Kevin

          Is Jesus the rider of the white horse?.
          Excerpt:
          The 45th Psalm depicts Christ riding forth with both a sword and a bow. It reads: “Gird your sword upon your thigh, O mighty one, with your dignity and your splendor. And in your splendor go on to success; ride in the cause of truth and humility and righteousness, and your right hand will instruct you in fear-inspiring things. Your arrows are sharp—under you peoples keep falling— In the heart of the enemies of the king.”

          A bow is used to fight from some distance, whereas a sword can only be effective in close-up warfare. So, the symbolism in Revelation first depicts Christ riding forth with a bow to engage the enemy from a distance. Then in the 19th chapter he is pictured bearing a sword, not in his hand, but in his mouth. In other words, his very word can slay the enemy. And just as David acquired the crown of Malcam through conquest Jesus has many diadems as he goes forth for the final war – symbolizing that no one among the enemies of God will have any authority at that point. Read more>
          https://e-watchman.com/is-jesus-the-rider-of-the-white-horse/

          And the first angel blew his trumpet’.

          Excerpt:
          First comes the opening of the seven seals. The opening of the first seal unleashes the rider on the white horse, Christ — as also depicted in the 45th Psalm. Then the other horsemen bring war, famine and pestilence. Read more>
          https://e-watchman.com/angel-blew-trumpet/

        • Burt Reynolds

          Thanks for this Sharon. It seems though that the biblical context and illustration of this event leaves me in the minority 2%

  • Sharon

    also brother king I forgot to ask you when the sword,war,red horse begins his ride is this when satan will be hurled to the earth?thank-you

  • funny, i had to avoid using the word second coming today just because i was talking to a brother in the faith. i think i said his return or something

    • Beverly kenyon

      Get this DA, after the WT study Aug 29-Sept 25 where in one of the paragraphs it mentioned how no one knows the day or the hour and then it goes on to say that because Christ has been empowered in heaven to wage war against Satans world it’s reasonable to conclude the Jesus now knows when Armageddon will occur I happen to ask the Elder who helped me into the truth why are they saying that Jesus now knows the time of the end when there is no scriptural backing to say that and he replied, they’re assuming he now knows…it’s an ASSUMPTION. Ehhh! Assumptions are the mother of all mess ups…and that’s the clean version of that line! I don’t want assumptions, I want TRUTH I really wanted to say to him but it was glaringly obvious he’s a company man…something I never realised before as here’s a man who’s been a witness and an Elder since forever and can easily destroy and decimate me with his scriptural knowledge but despite been blessed like that doesn’t stop to think and question…I saw it on his face…whatever they’re feeding me is good enough! And I look on that Elder as a sort of spiritual father figure but a little part of me died inside when I got that reaction from him and of course I couldn’t take the matter further.

      • LW

        The future shall be most interesting, and as the saying goes, “When this whole thing starts, make sure you’re on the right side.”

        • Beverly kenyon

          You’re so right LW. In the coming future most of us will have the opportunity of making Jehovah’s heart rejoice by being on the right side…Jehovah’s side. Prov27:11. That’s why we have to fortify ourselves spiritually and physically now while things are relatively calm and not let petty, insignificant and daft things get to you otherwise you will cave when things heat up.

      • Armageddon being the tell end of the GT,
        i suppose after day 1 Jesus would know considering that he and the other angel told Daniel and John about the time-frames of the tribulation which are not over a hundred years long since 1914 and JW’s/WT already admit the great tribulation hasnt happend yet (yet say did partially) an thats what we’r now waiting for as if the start of it is the fall of Babylon when its actually the opposite; the rise. so if Jesus knew, which im sure he will in the near future, then 1,290 days have long since past since the1914 era and Armageddon came and went.

        just plane stupid

        • Beverly kenyon

          All I know DA, is that once Jesus Christ goes into action as part of his Kingly duties he will know the time of the end because it will be him meting out justice. But I’m not relying on assumptions but instead I’m relying on every utterance coming from Jehovah’s mouth i.e God’s word..the Bible. Good points you brought out btw…reasonable and common sense. Thanks DA…hope things are good with you. Oh! And I’ve got to give many Thanks to Brother King and his insightful work..thanks to him I’m the happiest spiritually since becoming a witness years ago….I now know real bible truths….to this day I still can’t believe I found this site and I’ve also learned from some of the most amazing people through their comments. For me, apart from Brother King’s absolutely amazing articles, nearly every comment is like a learning lesson.

  • we can somewhat try and prepare for our families we must always keep an our hearts and minds what Jehovah our heavenly father has said. we cant depend on man or even our selves no we can only really and truly depend on Jehovah god our heavenly father.

    Isaiah 35:4
    4 Say to those who are anxious at heart: “Be strong. Do not be afraid. Look! Your own God will come with vengeance, God will come with retribution. He will come and save you.”

    Luke 9:24
    24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake is the one who will save it.

  • “God stated: “I grew indignant at my people. I profaned my inheritance, and I gave them into your hand. But you showed them no mercy. Even on the elderly you placed a heavy yoke.” —Isaiah 47:6”

    does this scripture refure to the future or only the past?

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