QUESTION: How will Jehovah’s people know when it is time to abandon the Watchtower and how will God let them know? God gave convincing proofs to help ancient Israel to make the switch to the new Israel.
ANSWER: First, the “switch to the new Israel” was not as smooth and easy as we might imagine. Many of the Jews who accepted Christ found it very difficult to completely cut ties with Judaism. Some of them still clung to circumcision and even tried to impose it upon Gentile converts. Others observed the Hebrew Sabbath and festivals.You likely know that Paul devoted a good portion of his letters to the Romans, Galatians and the Hebrews trying to reason with them on these issues.
But it was more than merely academic. For the Jews living in Jerusalem and Judah their faith would eventually be put to the test when the disgusting thing stood in the holy place. They would then have to make a life and death decision. Would they leave behind their homes, businesses, perhaps families, and certainly the temple, and flee into the wilderness? If not they were sure to be swept up in the net when the Destroyer returned.
Apparently even the surviving apostles, along with the older men of the Jerusalem congregations, would have to take action and abandon Jerusalem in obedience to Christ’s command. Their faith was tested.
It is worth noting that when the Roman legions returned to Jerusalem in 70 C.E., they came on the Passover. Jerusalem was crammed with worshippers, no doubt some Christians were among them. And then they were trapped with no escape.
Of course, the end of Jerusalem only impacted a small percentage of Christians back then. But as we know, Jesus’ words primarily apply to those living during the conclusion of the system of things and the desolation of the holy place will be during a time of tribulation unlike anything that has ever afflicted the world, or ever will again. And it will come in upon all those living upon the entire inhabited earth.
How will Jehovah’s Witnesses know when it is time to abandon the Watchtower? Well, the precursory signal will be when nations and kingdoms go to war; accompanied with food shortages, pandemics and great earthquakes. So, Jehovah’s Witnesses will be required to exercise their faith. The stage is set for these events to erupt on a global scale. When these things start to occur those who are willing to accept the truth will realize they have been victimized by an artfully contrived hoax, perpetrated by the Watchtower.
As the world is gripped in chaos and terror, in some unforeseeable way the leaders of the Society will compromise with the beast in a vain effort to save the organization. That is the point at which the disgusting thing will appear and the apostasy exposed. Although discredited Jehovah’s earthly mouthpiece will continue to speak, albeit as a misleading voice, like the voice of an uncanny spirit medium croaking from beyond the grave.
In harmony with what Christ foretold regarding Jerusalem being surrounded with a fence or a palisade of pointed stakes, Isaiah 29:3-4 states: “I will encamp on all sides against you, and I will besiege you with a palisade and raise up siegeworks against you. You will be brought low; from the ground you will speak, and what you say will be muffled by dust. Your voice will come from the ground like the voice of a spirit medium, and your words will chirp from the dust.”
In the midst of confusion the final sealing of the anointed will occur. The wheat will at last be separated from the weeds, at which point the chosen ones will shine as brightly as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. This will be the revealing of the sons of God and it will occur outside the auspices of the Watchtower Society. Jehovah’s holy spirit will be poured out in full measure upon all of the approved, while the condemned will go down with the Watchtower, weeping and gnashing their teeth.
While Society loyalists will hate, betray and hand over their former brothers to be killed, the chosen will stand before the world, like Christ before Pilate, and give God’s final witness. And then the end will come.