“My heart is boisterous within me. I cannot keep silent, for the sound of the horn is what my soul has heard, the alarm signal of war. Crash upon crash is what has been called out, for the whole land has been despoiled.”
A great crash is bearing down from the land of the north and Jehovah himself has set it into motion. The ruthless army of Babylon is like an onward sweeping tempest; a terrible juggernaut, crushing everything in its path. Blow the horn! Sound the alarm! Take cover! —“Look! A people is coming from the land of the north, and there is a great nation that will be awakened from the remotest parts of the earth. The bow and the javelin they will grab hold of. It is a cruel one, and they will have no pity. Their very voice will resound just like the sea, and upon horses they will ride. It is drawn up in battle order like a man of war against you, O daughter of Zion.” (Jeremiah 6:22-23) .
Will Jehovah permit the pagan hordes from the land of the north to destroy his city? The prophets and priests were confident that no such calamity would befall them. Why, the very temple of Jehovah was located in Jerusalem and Jerusalem itself was the very city of God. Likely the Judeans felt secure in the knowledge that Jehovah’s angel had previously destroyed Sennacherib’s mighty Assyrian army when it threatened Jerusalem during the reign of Hezekiah. Surely, God would intervene this time too?
Contributing to their misplaced confidence competing prophets issued contradictory messages. Jeremiah, on the one hand, warned that a calamitous crash was exactly what Jehovah had decreed and God had even commissioned Nebuchadnezzar as his servant to carry out that work. Other prophets, though, whom Jehovah called “the prophets of Jerusalem,” wrote with what God described as a “false stylus.” They assured the people that all was well with Jehovah, that there was peace. According to them, Jehovah would break the Babylonian yoke from off Judah. Consequently, Jehovah advised the Judeans not to put their trust in the seeming permanence of the temple, nor in the utterances of the false prophets. Jeremiah 7:4 reads: “Do not put your trust in fallacious words, saying, ‘The temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah they are!’” Jeremiah, of course, was vindicated as the true prophet. Jerusalem and its temple fell in a great crash.
There are numerous reasons for believing that the prophecy of Jeremiah establishes a prophetic pattern for the future judgment of the house of God—a judgment that will be accomplished by means of a great global crash. The Watchtower, however, misinterprets the book of Jeremiah, applying its denunciation to Christendom. Commenting on Jeremiah 7:4, the September 15, 1982, Watchtower states:
“This Babylon the Great is no one else but the world empire of false religion, of which Christendom’s churches form the principal part. Christendom, which purports to be in covenant relationship with God, is the modern-day apostate Jerusalem.”
Christendom is supposedly “the modern-day apostate Jerusalem” by reason of the fact that the Watchtower claims that Christendom merely “purports to be in covenant relationship with God.”
But honestly reasoning on the matter, did the Jews of Jeremiah’s day merely claim to be in a covenant relationship with God? No, Jehovah God held the Israelites and Judeans accountable, not merely because they might have presumed to be in a covenant, but because they actually were in a binding covenant arrangement with God.
At Jeremiah 11:10, Jehovah very simply states: “The house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant that I concluded with their forefathers.” And the very fact that Jehovah inspired Jeremiah to write of a new covenant indicates that the old covenant was the basis for God’s dealings with the nations of Judah and Israel up until that time.
Besides being in a covenant agreement with Jehovah, the Jews were also intimately associated with the distinguished name of God. That is why Jeremiah pleaded with God for mercy on the basis of the fact that God’s name was called upon them. Jeremiah 14:9 says in part: “Yet you yourself are in the midst of us, O Jehovah, and upon us it is that your own name has been called. Do not let us down.”
Not only as a national group, but God’s name was called upon individual Jews as well. For instance, the very name of Jeremiah literally means Jehovah exalts. Over 100 proper Hebrew names were derived from some form of the divine name. Even the name of Jesus, a form of the Hebrew name, Joshua, literally means Jehovah is salvation.
Because the Jews were also the custodians of God’s temple, Jehovah denounced them for disrespecting the place where he placed his scared name, saying: “You come and stand before me in this house upon which my name has been called, and must you say, ‘We shall certainly be delivered,’ in the face of doing all these detestable things? Has this house upon which my name has been called become a mere cave of robbers in your eyes? Here I myself also have seen it,’ is the utterance of Jehovah.” (Jeremiah 7:10-11)
As all of Jehovah’s Witnesses know, Christendom has gone to great lengths to erase the name of Jehovah from the minds of men, and even in the relatively rare instances where some form of the YHWH is acknowledged as the personal name of God it is often falsely claimed to also be the name of Christ. So, how can the modern parallel of the people and house associated with the name of Jehovah possibly be the thousands of sects making up Christendom?
Just as there was only one temple where Jehovah placed his name in ancient times, there is only one “house” associated with the name of Jehovah now. It is the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watchtower. For instance, every issue of the Watchtower magazine bears the very name of God emblazoned on its cover—“Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom.” Some Bethel facilities even bear signage displaying the name Jehovah. Bethel is the modern “house upon which my name has been called.” And, of course, the name of Jehovah is quite literally called upon Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Not only that, but anointed Christians are in a binding covenant arrangement with Jehovah God, just as were the Jews—making them the modern spiritual house of God “upon which my name has been called.” This is so because Revelation depicts the 144,000 sons of God as having both the name of Jesus and Jehovah written upon their foreheads. And because since the days of Charles Taze Russell the anointed congregation of Christ has also been subjected to the authority of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Corporation, that institution must also come in line for a final inspection.
Furthermore, Jeremiah drew a contrast between the Jews who called upon the personal name of God and the people of the nations who did not call on the name of Jehovah. At Jeremiah 10:25, the prophet supplicated Jehovah to “pour out your rage upon the nations who have ignored you, and upon the families who have not called even upon your name.” An obvious parallel exists, in that, Jehovah’s Witnesses are not only literally called by God’s name, but they also call on the name of Jehovah—both publicly and privately—in contrast with the various other religious persons who do not use God’s personal name in worship and prayer.
Jesus quoted directly from Jeremiah the seventh chapter when he threw the moneychangers out of his Father’s house—charging them with having made it into a “cave of robbers.” The Watchtower insightfully recognizes that Jesus established a pattern for the future cleansing of Jehovah’s spiritual temple during the judgment phase. But commenting on Jesus’ temple-cleansing activity, the June 15, 1987, Watchtower magazine states the following:
“Suddenly, Jehovah, as “the true Lord,” came to his spiritual temple. When? The pattern was set in the first-century fulfillment. Back there Jesus came and cleansed the temple three and a half years after he was anointed as King at the Jordan. True to that pattern, since Jesus was enthroned as King in the autumn of 1914, it seems reasonable that three and a half years later he would be expected to accompany “the true Lord” Jehovah to the spiritual temple.”
While on the one hand the Watchtower teaches that Jesus cleansed the spiritual temple back in 1918-1919, the very prophecy in Jeremiah, which the Lord Jesus Christ invoked when he threw the moneychangers out of his Father’s temple, is applied to Christendom.
The Watchtower’s interpretations are obviously self-serving. Like the prophets of Jerusalem in Jeremiah’s day, it is as though the reams of prophetic commentary penned by the Watchtower over the decades have been written with a “false stylus” and are not reliable indicators of Jehovah’s future activities, and as a consequence of their falsity, Jehovah’s Witnesses have been misled into believing that the judgment took place back in 1918 and that the organization now has God’s irreversible approval and will never come under his disapproval.
For example, the March 15, 1951, Watchtower said:
“We belong to God’s theocratic organization under his kingdom. His visible organization will not pass away, but is as stable and permanent as his kingdom. Therefore, come what remarkable, violent changes may in the earth’s physical appearance at the end of Satan’s world, we will not fear.”
By teaching that “his visible organization will not pass away, but is as stable and permanent as is his kingdom,” Jehovah’s Witnesses have been subtly seduced into putting their trust in “fallacious words”—mouthing, as it were, those fatal words: “the temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah they are!”
There is no question that the 1914 parousia doctrine, which is central to the Watchtower’s claim of authority, is written with a false stylus—being cleverly crafted in trickiness.
And because the Watchtower speaks prophetically in the name of Jehovah the following words of Jeremiah are most fittingly applied to the very institution which boasts of being “God’s theocratic organization”: “Falsehood is what the prophets are prophesying in my name. I have not sent them, nor have I commanded them or spoken to them. A false vision and divination and a valueless thing and the trickiness of their heart they are speaking prophetically to you people. Therefore this is what Jehovah has said concerning the prophets who are prophesying in my name and whom I myself did not send and who are saying that no sword or famine will occur in this land, ‘By sword and by famine those prophets will come to their finish.’” (Jeremiah 14:14-15)
Surely the clergy of Christendom cannot be charged with prophesying falsely in the name of Jehovah, can they? No, that is not reasonable. There is only one organization and one people today who could possibly be held accountable for speaking falsely in the name of Jehovah—Jehovah’s Witnesses!
It is noteworthy too, that, Jeremiah’s prophecy is in harmony with the apostolic revelation that the judgment begins first with the house of God. Jehovah told his prophet to pass the symbolic cup of judgment among the nations, saying to them: ‘“For, look! it is upon the city upon which my name is called that I am starting off in bringing calamity, and should you yourselves in any way go free of punishment? You will not go free of punishment, for there is a sword that I am calling against all the inhabitants of the earth,’ is the utterance of Jehovah of armies.” (Jeremiah 25:29)
“NO CALAMITY WILL COME UPON YOU PEOPLE”
It is a weighty thing to speak in the name of Jehovah. Jeremiah himself originally tried to beg off from speaking Jehovah’s judgment messages—modestly protesting that he was but a mere boy. But unlike Jeremiah it seems that the appointed shepherds of God’s nation had no similar compunction motivated by fear of God. And Jehovah took note that they were evoking his name in falsehood, saying at Jeremiah 27:15: “‘For I have not sent them,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘but they are prophesying in my name falsely…’”
Though their shepherds convinced them no calamity from God would come upon them, the eventuality for the Jews under the misleading influence of their preferred prophets was disastrous. Those who were not destroyed during the Babylonian siege were scattered from their homeland. Hence, Jehovah called down woe upon the negligent shepherds of his sheep at Jeremiah 23:1, which reads: “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasturage!”
That was the case in Jeremiah’s day, but is there a modern parallel? Indeed, there is. Jeremiah 23:20 locates the ultimate fulfillment “in the final part of the days.” That is when “you people (God’s people) will give your consideration to it with understanding.” Consider, further, the 23rd chapter of Jeremiah.
Up to this point, having examined the Society’s prophetic interpretations in some detail, it is no exaggeration to say that virtually everything that Jehovah’s Witnesses have been taught regarding prophecy is false. Whether it is the “artfully contrived false stories” of Jesus’ supposed parousia in 1914; the fanciful tale of how Jesus liberated God’s people from antitypical Babylon back in 1919 and how the faithful slave was supposedly appointed over all his master’s belongings then; the nonsensical notion that mankind began to receive the mark of the beast in 1945; the misapplication of dozens of prophecies to Christendom, or the several prophetic dates that the Society has set, all of which have come and gone—stumbling many in their uneventful passing—as the fountainhead of all these falsities, it is beyond dispute that Bethel is also prophesying falsely in the name of Jehovah.
Therefore, it must properly be concluded that their prophetic message is not from God. Jehovah did not send them.
That being the case, to whom else but the leadership of Jehovah’s people must the following words apply? — “I did not send the prophets, yet they themselves ran. I did not speak to them, yet they themselves prophesied. But if they had stood in my intimate group, then they would have made my people hear my own words, and they would have caused them to turn back from their bad way and from the badness of their dealings.” (Jeremiah 23:21-22)
It does not matter that the Watchtower does not claim to be an inspired prophet in the same sense as the prophets of the Bible were inspired. What does matter is that men who serve as the shepherds of God’s flock and who preach and teach in the authority of the name of Jehovah do so falsely. The reason God’s judgments will only be understood in “the final part of the days” is because the false prophets have deceived the people of God regarding the true meaning of God’s prophetic messages. Only when the judgments are brought against the false prophets will the prophecies, such as Jeremiah, be given meaningful consideration.
Just as Hananiah and certain other unnamed prophets in the book of Jeremiah rose up to negate Jehovah’s message, so too today, in spite of their abundant error, the Watchtower has proclaimed itself to be the true, Jeremiah-like messenger of Jehovah. It is ironical that the Society claims for itself the distinction of being the exalted voice of a so-called “Jeremiah class” of anointed prophets. But by doing so they bring upon themselves accountability before God to correctly interpret and relate the prophecy of Jeremiah. It is as God said, “they themselves ran”—quick to prophesy doom upon the religions of Christendom, while proclaiming the Society to be above it all. As a result of their nullifying Jeremiah’s judgments, God’s people have not heard his word as God intended it to be heard.
Consider the span of verses preceding those above: “This is what Jehovah of armies has said: ‘Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you people. They are making you become vain. The vision of their own heart is what they speak—not from the mouth of Jehovah. They are saying again and again to those who are disrespectful of me, ‘Jehovah has spoken: Peace is what you people will come to have.’ And to every one walking in the stubbornness of his heart they have said, ‘No calamity will come upon you people.’ For who has stood in the intimate group of Jehovah that he might see and hear his word? Who has given attention to his word that he might hear it? Look! The windstorm of Jehovah, rage itself, will certainly go forth, even a whirling tempest. Upon the head of the wicked ones it will whirl itself. The anger of Jehovah will not turn back until he will have carried out and until he will have made the ideas of his heart come true. In the final part of the days you people will give your consideration to it with understanding.”
Truly, the aforementioned litany of errors testifies against Bethel’s prophets—that, “the vision of their own heart is what they speak” in order to glorify the Society.
“Again and again” Jehovah’s Witnesses are told that the organization is a spiritual paradise—equating it with the very kingdom of God.
In essence, that makes the Watchtower’s message a mere variation of the theme the prophecy foretells: “Stick with Jehovah’s organization and no calamity will come upon you people”—this in spite of the countless stumbling blocks that plague the congregations.
Jehovah’s Witnesses have “become vain”—condemning Christendom while condoning various evils and indulging in their own forms of hypocrisy and self-righteousness—all the while being assured that the judgment of the house of God is a thing of the past.
As an example of such hypocrisy, as has already been presented in the chapter entitled Strange Bedfellows, the Society has shamelessly condemned Christendom for committing spiritual adultery by supporting the United Nations; and yet for ten years the Watchtower was actively involved as an NGO, which involved publicly promoting the UN. According to the Society’s own reckoning, as regards the principle of community responsibility, that makes all of Jehovah’s Witnesses guilty of spiritual adultery as well for sharing in distributing literature dedicated to declaring Jehovah’s kingdom, but which had been cunningly adulterated with United Nations propaganda. Not only is the Watchtower Society guilty of brazenly committing spiritual adultery, but the organization is rife with literal fornicators and adulterers too—as well as thousands of known pedophiles.
Hence, as is portrayed in the prophecy of Joel, the 23rd chapter of Jeremiah foretells that the pasture grounds will be dried up and the land will be enveloped in deadly gloom: “For it is with adulterers that the land has become full. For because of the curse the land has gone to mourning, the pasture grounds of the wilderness have dried up; and their course of action proves to be bad, and their mightiness is not right. For both the prophet and the priest themselves have become polluted. Also in my own house I have found their badness,’ is the utterance of Jehovah. ‘Therefore their way will become for them like slippery places in the gloom, into which they will be pushed and certainly fall.’” (Jeremiah 23:10-12)
The leadership of the organization today would have Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that whatever evils exist within the congregations is the result of a few disparate individuals who are at variance with the Society. But Jehovah knows better. That is why God posed the rhetorical question at Jeremiah 23:23-24: ‘“Am I a God nearby,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘and not a God far away? Or can any man be concealed in places of concealment and I myself not see him?” According to God’s judgments it is “in my own house I have found their badness.” Another way to express the phrase “my own house” is Bethel—the house of God.
To be sure, Jeremiah 23:15b indicates that apostasy emanates from the top down—“For from the prophets of Jerusalem apostasy has gone forth to all the land.”
This is in accord with the facts. It is the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses who have served as prophets—even boasting of being the modern Jeremiah class. It is they who determine prophetic interpretation and who twist the Scriptures to suit their agenda. It is they who have declared themselves faithful and discreet. It is they, and their Legal Department that have created ruinous child abuse policies, which have resulted in lasting injury to thousands of tender souls and who refuse to take up the legal case of the proverbial “fatherless boy.”
It is the Governing Body who knowingly committed the entire organization to a secret political partnership with the United Nations, and who, to this very day, continues to faithlessly pander to the OSCE. In view of these undeniable facts there is no other conclusion that can be drawn except that the Governing Body and the many departments within the Watchtower Inc have sown the seeds of apostasy against Jehovah God.
Just as the Christian prophet revealed that Christ’s congregation would be menaced by a man of lawlessness who would foment apostasy as an immediate precursor to the manifestation of Jesus Christ, Jeremiah 5:26-
28 chillingly depicts the organization of God’s people as though they were hapless flying creatures stalked by wicked birdcatchers who are crouched down, as it were, lurking within Christ’s congregation— “‘For among my people there have been found wicked men. They keep peering, as when birdcatchers crouch down. They have set a ruinous trap. It is men that they catch. As a cage is full of flying creatures, so their houses are full of deception. That is why they have become great and they gain riches. They have grown fat; they have become shiny. They have also overflowed with bad things. No legal case have they pleaded, even the legal case of the fatherless boy, that they may gain success; and the judgment of the poor ones they have not taken up.’”
The writings of Jeremiah also harmonize with the teachings of Jesus on another matter as well. Just as Christ gave numerous illustrations depicting how both good and bad servants of God would exist within the same organization up until the final judgment—variously depicting them as wheat and weeds, faithful and sluggish slaves, wise and foolish virgins, etc., so too, the 24th chapter of Jeremiah employs a similar illustration—likening the blessed ones and cursed ones to good and bad figs in a basket.
How does Jehovah intend to discipline his ignorant slave and purge the wicked men from their midst? Jehovah answers: ‘“Here I am sending against them the sword, the famine and the pestilence, and I will make them like the burst-open figs that cannot be eaten for badness. And I will pursue after them with the sword, with the famine and with the pestilence, and I will give them for a quaking to all the kingdoms of the earth, for a curse and for an object of astonishment and for a whistling at and for a reproach among all the nations to which I shall certainly disperse them, due to the fact that they have not listened to my words,’ is the utterance of Jehovah…” (Jeremiah 29:17-19)
The intent of Jehovah’s judgment is that the men who have dishonored the name of Jehovah will no longer have the privilege of calling upon it—even as Jeremiah 44:26 states: ‘“Here I myself have sworn by my great name,’ Jehovah has said, ‘that my name will no more prove to be something called out by the mouth of any man of Judah…”
As has already been established in this chapter, and surely none of Jehovah’s Witnesses will dispute this fact, the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses and their Watchtower Society are inseparably linked to the name of God. Of course, the fools will argue until the moon turns to blood that YHWH is not pronounced Jehovah. However, their misguided opinions are of no consequence. The truth of the matter is there are literally hundreds of various spellings and pronunciations for the YHWH depending upon the language and dialect into which it is translated and spoken. The fact that the name “Jesus” is an anglicized form of the Greek, which is itself a derivation of the Hebrew name Joshua proves that replicating the original Hebrew pronunciation of the divine name in the thousands of languages in which it is spoken is not the important thing. What does matter is that God long ago foretold that his name would be associated with a particular group of men “in the final part of the days.” And as a consequence of those men falsely prophesying in God’s sacred name, abusing the prestige and authority of that name, God will hold an accounting and ultimately remove his name from their mouths.
Obviously, then, if Jehovah has already determined to remove his name from the mouths of men who falsely speak in his name that means that prior to that they must use some commonly accepted form of the divine name. They must speak it. His name must be on their tongues. Now, obviously, the clergy of Christendom are not associated with the name of God as contained in Scripture; nor do they wish to be. In order for the word of God to be fulfilled the name of Jehovah must be removed from the very organization that has up until now possessed the name as if a corporate trademark. Yes, the name of Jehovah will be removed from the Watchtower Society and especially from the mouths of men who have misused their authority to falsely teach in the name of Jehovah.
“THE SWORD, THE FAMINE AND THE PESTILENCE”
Because Judah compromisingly sought out political alliances with the surrounding nations and refused to trust Jehovah, heaven’s judicial decision called for the sword, famine and pestilence against her. Those three calamities are mentioned in that exact order fifteen times in the prophecy of Jeremiah alone. For instance, at Jeremiah 24:10 Jehovah said: “And I will send against them the sword, the famine and the pestilence, until they come to their finish off the ground that I gave to them and to their forefathers.”
And Jeremiah 32:24: “Look! With siege ramparts men have come to the city to capture it, and the very city will certainly be given into the hand of the Chaldeans who are fighting against it, because of the sword and the famine and the pestilence…”
What is the relevance of the judgment of the sword, the famine and the pestilence? The sword, the famine and the pestilence are the means by which God destroyed the wicked and faithless from among his people in ancient times. Significantly, it also happens to be the same events that mark the beginning of the presence of Christ and the final part of the days, that is to say, the harvest, when the weeds are uprooted from among the wheat. With the addition of earthquakes, the gospel of Luke records Jesus as foretelling the events that will accompany the concluding harvest: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom (sword); and there will be great earthquakes, and in one place after another pestilences and food shortages.” The opening of the second, third and fourth seals of Revelation similarly unleash symbolic horsemen: “and authority was given them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with a long sword and with food shortage and with deadly plague…”
But even at the critical stage when Nebuchadnezzar actually began to lay siege to Jerusalem, Jehovah mercifully offered his people salvation from the sword, famine and pestilence. In order to keep living the Jews had to “fall away to the Chaldeans.” Essentially, they had to come out with their hands up and surrender. They would, of course, lose their homes and possessions and even their freedom. But Jehovah offered them their souls as spoil. Jehovah commanded Jeremiah to notify the people of Jerusalem of his terms for salvation: “Here I am putting before you people the way of life and the way of death. The one sitting still in this city will die by the sword and by the famine and by the pestilence; but the one who is going out and who actually falls away to the Chaldeans who are laying siege against you will keep living, and his soul will certainly come to be his as a spoil.”
Christ’s enigmatic sign of the conclusion of the system of things bears certain other similar features to Jeremiah’s prophecy. Notably, in the context of war, famine and pestilence, Jesus also instructed his disciples to flee out of the doomed city when the disgusting thing presented itself standing in the holy place—the same as Jehovah instructed the besieged Jews through Jeremiah. Christ specifically warned his disciples to be prepared to leave all behind—“let the man on the rooftop not come down…”
In the face of Nebuchadnezzar’s assault on the city of God and the threatened desolation of Jerusalem in the days of the apostles, in both instances the terms for survival were the same—God’s people had to flee from what had previously been Jehovah’s special property. In the antitypical fulfillment discerning the disgusting thing standing where it ought not will serve as the signal to abandon a doomed Watchtower Society—as typified by Jerusalem and its temple on both occasions of their destruction by the Chaldeans and later the Romans.
The primary purpose of the oncoming calamity is that it will serve as discipline for God’s people, as indicated at Jeremiah 30:11: ‘“For I am with you,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘to save you; but I shall make an extermination among all the nations to which I have scattered you. However, in your case I shall make no extermination. And I shall have to correct you to the proper degree, as I shall by no means leave you unpunished.’”
Another aspect of how “the false stylus of the secretaries has worked in sheer falsehood” (Jeremiah 8:8) in modern times is the way in which the “Jeremiah class” has interpreted the very prophecy of Jeremiah, and for that matter—all of the prophecies. To illustrate the point: If the desolation of ancient Jerusalem pictures the extermination of all of false religion by the eighth king, how can that interpretation be reconciled with the fact that Jehovah specifically excluded the Jews from being annihilated along with the nations—only punishing them to the proper degree? God punished his people to correct them—to disabuse them of their folly. That is in harmony with the fact that Jehovah scourges every son of his. That was true of his nation-like son—Jacob, and it is also how God intends to correct his Christian sons “to the proper degree.”
It is worth noting here that Jesus also spoke on the matter of disciplining the otherwise faithful slave for his ignorance. Consider the concluding words of the illustration regarding the faithful and wicked slaves, where Jesus stated: “Then that slave that understood the will of his master but did not get ready or do in line with his will will be beaten with many strokes. But the one that did not understand and so did things deserving of strokes will be beaten with few. Indeed, everyone to whom much was given, much will be demanded of him; and the one whom people put in charge of much, they will demand more than usual of him.” (Luke 12:47-48)
In Jesus’ parable could it not rightly be said that both the willfully disobedient slave as well as the slave who was ignorant regarding his master’s will for him were corrected by the lash to the proper degree? Since the Watchtower Society claims to be the voice of the faithful slave and occupies a position towards God as those who have been “put in charge of much,” it also being abundantly clear that some of the stewards of Bethel are ignorant as regards the judgments of their heavenly master and others are willfully wicked, it is they who are “deserving of strokes.”
According to the pattern established in Jeremiah, first God’s judgment caused the desolation of Jerusalem and Judah. Then, God used the Chaldeans to wreck the surrounding nations too. Afterwards, Cyrus the Persian, whom Isaiah describes as Jehovah’s anointed one, overthrew Babylon and released the Jews from bondage. By those means Jehovah punished and corrected his erring people, then he redeemed the faithful and renewed his covenant with them and the repurchased people of God re-established true worship upon Jehovah’s holy mountain.
God’s prophetic word is assuredly a reliable reflection of the intelligence of its Author. That being accepted as a true statement, surely the ordering of events established throughout prophecy stands as a pattern for “the final part of the days.”
The Watchtower’s interpretation of Jeremiah, however, is badly distorted. Supposedly, the greater Babylon (Christendom) fell back in 1919 when the International Bible Students were supposedly set free from religious restraint. That is believed to be when God also disciplined his house for their indiscretions. However, there is no reasonable explanation as to how God’s modern spiritual temple may have been destroyed at that time. But what is even more contorted, the Watchtower teaches that Jerusalem in Jeremiah’s day prefigures apostate Christendom, which is yet to be destroyed by what was typified by the Babylonian Empire. Basically, the Watchtower’s interpretation has Christendom being destroyed by Babylon the Great and the spiritual Israelites being redeemed by God before ever they are subjected to the judgment of the sword, the pestilence and the famine!
The falsity of the Watchtower’s interpretation is evident. Perhaps more than all else, though, the fact that God brought vengeance upon Babylon for having destroyed his temple proves beyond all doubt that the temple of Jehovah does not typify Christendom. Here is what Jeremiah 50:28 says in that regard: “There is the sound of those fleeing and those escaping from the land of Babylon to tell out in Zion the vengeance of Jehovah our God, the vengeance for his temple.”
Returning to the 23rd chapter of Jeremiah, Jehovah denounced the shepherds of his sheep because they were responsible for the sheep being destroyed and scattered by the sword, pestilence and famine. Their negligence necessitated God’s intervention to rescue his scattered flock.
Hence, Jeremiah 23:3-6 reads: ‘“And I myself shall collect together the remnant of my sheep out of all the lands to which I had dispersed them, and I will bring them back to their pasture ground, and they will certainly be fruitful and become many. And I will raise up over them shepherds who will actually shepherd them; and they will be afraid no more, neither will they be struck with any terror, and none will be missing,’ is the utterance of Jehovah. ‘Look! There are days coming,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘and I will raise up to David a righteous sprout. And a king will certainly reign and act with discretion and execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel itself will reside in security. And this is his name with which he will be called, Jehovah Is Our Righteousness.’”
The means by which God collects his scattered flock is through the “righteous sprout” of David. Of course, the Jews who were scattered by the Babylonian siege were not repatriated to the land of Judah under the renewed Davidic kingdom. So, the 23rd chapter of Jeremiah is really a messianic prophecy related to the coming of Christ to rule the world.
But the obvious fact remains: First, the symbolic sword of war, famine and pestilence disperses the sheep. Only afterwards does Jehovah bless them. That being the case, let the self-proclaimed “Jeremiah class” explain how the sword, famine and pestilence connected to the supposed coming of Christ in 1914 may have accomplished the foretold judgments of God.
“I WILL CONCLUDE…A NEW COVENANT”
The 31st chapter of Jeremiah goes on to foretell of a new covenant that God would establish with Israel. In reality, though, Jehovah did not conclude a new covenant with Israel after their return from Babylon. He merely renewed the relationship that had been severed. The new covenant did not come into existence until Jesus became the mediator of the new covenant with his apostles. Nevertheless, according to Jeremiah, Jehovah establishes a new covenant with his people immediately after they are disciplined to the “proper degree.” Not only that, but the establishment of the new covenant results in God’s people coming to know Jehovah to the extent that none of God’s sons and daughters who are drawn into the new covenant will need to be taught about Jehovah anymore—they will simply know him.
It is apparent that even though Jesus mediated the new covenant with his apostles and first century disciples, the original Christians did not experience the ultimate realization of the new covenant. That is evident from the fact that the apostles and disciples carried on a teaching campaign intended to help others to come to know Jehovah. Likewise, the Watchtower Society is also currently engaged in an educational campaign to acquaint people with Jehovah. But, the full realization of the new covenant results in a cessation of all such teaching. Here is what the prophecy foretells: ‘“Look! There are days coming,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘and I will conclude with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah a new covenant…For this is the covenant that I shall conclude with the house of Israel after those days,’ is the utterance of Jehovah. ‘I will put my law within them, and in their heart I shall write it. And I will become their God, and they themselves will become my people. And they will no more teach each one his companion and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know Jehovah!’ for they will all of them know me, from the least one of them even to the greatest one of them,’ is the utterance of Jehovah. ‘For I shall forgive their error, and their sin I shall remember no more.”’ (Jeremiah 31:31-34)
Since the establishment of Christianity, no Christian, not even the apostles, can boast of knowing God and Christ completely. The apostle Paul acknowledged that he only had partial knowledge, saying: “For at present we see in hazy outline by means of a metal mirror, but then it will be face to face. At present I know partially, but then I shall know accurately even as I am accurately known.”
So, even though Jehovah inaugurated the new covenant with anointed Christians in the first century, the ultimate purpose of the new covenant has not been realized yet. That is where the pattern established in the prophecy of Jeremiah illuminates future developments.
The modern movement of Jehovah’s Witnesses has brought into existence an organization that is called by God’s name—as were the Jews in the time of Jeremiah. Because the core of the organization is composed of anointed persons who are in a covenant with Jehovah, the Watchtower Society has become the modern day city of God and temple whereupon the name of Jehovah has been called. As such, Jehovah God will judge the Watchtower Society—as he did Jerusalem.
Following afterwards, God will renew his covenant with his chastened people. Only this time the restoration of God’s friendship will come about by the outpouring of the full measure of God’s spirit upon those already in the new covenant. The fact that the new covenant produces a people who know God and who no longer need anyone to teach them to know Jehovah, indicates that the prophecy of Jeremiah is pointing forward to the culmination of the Christian era.
Having Jehovah’s law written upon their hearts means that those redeemed Christians will inherit the incorruptibleness reserved for them. They will never, ever, defect again or require God to chastise them “to the proper degree.” They will become one with the Son of God. They will become kings in Christ’s kingdom—“And their sin I shall remember no more,” says their God and Savior, Jehovah.