Part 3 of the Ezekiel series considering the 6th chapter
One of the first articles published on e-Watchman was entitled The Coming Collapse of the Watchtower, which was subsequently published as a chapter in Jehovah Himself Has Become King. 100 copies of the first edition (2005) were distributed to the Governing Body and branch offices. Copies of the second edition were placed with every kingdom hall in the Detroit metro area and beyond.
At the time it was not clear to me how the sword, famine and pestilence would come about. Now, in 2019, it is becoming apparent that the United States is being irresistibly drawn into war with numerous nations, Russia and China foremost. Any hotspot could serve as a trigger —Venezuela, North Korea, Syria, Iran, India/Pakistan, etc. Virtually all nations are preparing for inevitable global war. Most disconcerting, the nations possessing nuclear weapons have modified their doctrines regarding first strike —substantially lowering the threshold of nuclear weapons being used in combat.
In Ezekiel’s day Babylon was the punishing war machine that Jehovah used to execute his judgments. In the near future, the eighth king of Revelation will serve that function. But before the eighth king can come on the scene, first the seventh king must fall. Ezekiel has much to say on that matter, which will be considered in future installments. Suffice to say the downfall of the Anglo-American duo will be earth-shaking —brought on by war, financial collapse, with the scourge of famine and pestilence following.
Now, the sixth chapter of Ezekiel: “Son of man, turn your face toward the mountains of Israel and prophesy against them. You must say, ‘O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah: This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says to the mountains, to the hills, to the streams, and to the valleys: “Look! I will bring a sword against you, and I will destroy your high places. Your altars will be demolished, your incense stands will be broken, and I will throw your slain ones down before your disgusting idols. I will throw the carcasses of the people of Israel before their disgusting idols, and I will scatter your bones all around your altars. In all the places where you dwell, the cities will be devastated and the high places will be demolished and will lie devastated. Your altars will be demolished and shattered, your disgusting idols will perish, your incense stands will be cut down, and your works will be wiped out. And those slain will fall in your midst, and you will have to know that I am Jehovah.’” —Ezekiel 6:2-7
Jehovah had originally established “pure worship” in Israel, so he was highly offended that the nation turned their back on him and worshiped a variety of disgusting idols. So, God obliterated everything. Is that a pattern for things to come? Yes, indeed.
Jehovah’s Witnesses in modern times are proud of the fact that they do not practice the disgusting form of worship promoted by Christendom. The Pure Worship publication points out the pagan roots of Christmas and Easter, etc. And there are other forms of idolatry as well. Catholics, for example, have been seduced to venerate Mary as the “Mother of God.” She is prayed to and believed to be an intercessor on behalf of the faithful.
The tendency among imperfect humans is to follow men. Men who are sent by God and who have a compelling presence may be exalted to a place that amounts to creature worship. That was certainly the case with C.T. Russell. Although he did not intend to gather a following he invariably became the center of a cult of personality.
In the first century, Paul reproved Christians in the Corinthian congregation who were followers of men —some claiming to belong to Paul, others to Cephas, and others to Christ. Paul reminded them that he did not die for them.
Given the ingrained tendency for sinful humans to idolize people and things, it is interesting to note that the Watchtower has never cautioned Jehovah’s Witnesses about attaching undue importance to the Governing Body or the Watchtower itself. On the contrary, over the decades the Watchtower has been subtly exalted to an inordinate place in the minds and hearts of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Watchtower has become the very fountainhead of the waters of truth —the pinnacle of the mountain of Jehovah to which the nations are streaming. Now it seems JW.org has become an idolatrous logo, appearing in buttons and badges and all sorts of “theocratic” paraphernalia. The congregations may as well burn incense before the JW.org image. (Get JW dot org stuff on Amazon) (Check out JW dot org on eBay)
The Governing Body and the Watchtower organization are undeniably at the center of the faith of Jehovah’s Witnesses. In that respect, the Watchtower itself is the “high place” —the altar of worship. Because it has become the centerpiece of “pure worship” from God’s standpoint it is disgusting. Therefore, Jehovah’s intention is to cut it down —to pulverize the organizational idol.
The leadership of the Watchtower has been put on notice but they have refused to listen. In fact, they have doubled down in promoting the organization as the place of pure worship. How disgusting! They, of all people, should know that Jehovah will not tolerate his people indulging in idolatry of any kind. They will have to know that he is Jehovah —not merely in name, but that Jehovah requires exclusive devotion. The coming world war will devastate the Watchtower idol and discredit the priests who officiate at the altar.
“This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: ‘Clap your hands and stamp your foot and bemoan all the evil and detestable things done by the house of Israel, for they will fall by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence. The one far away will die by pestilence, the one nearby will fall by the sword, and whoever escapes these and is left remaining will die by famine; and I will fully unleash my wrath against them. And you will have to know that I am Jehovah, when their slain lie among their disgusting idols, all around their altars, on every high hill, on all the mountaintops, under every luxuriant tree, and under the branches of big trees where they have made fragrant offerings to appease all their disgusting idols. I will stretch out my hand against them and make the land desolate, and all their dwelling places will become more desolate than the wilderness near Diblah. And they will have to know that I am Jehovah.’” —Ezekiel 6:11-14