“The great day of Jehovah is near. It is near, and there is a hurrying of it very much. The sound of the day of Jehovah is bitter…” -Zephaniah 1:14-
Expressions such as “the day of Jehovah” and “the day of Jehovah’s anger” were used by the prophets Isaiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Obadiah, Amos, Malachi, as well as the apostles. Those terms appear seven times in the brief prophecy of Zephaniah alone.
What exactly is the Day of Jehovah? Paul linked it to the presence of Jesus Christ, when he wrote the following to the Thessalonians: “However, brothers, respecting the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we request of you not to be quickly shaken from your reason nor to be excited either through an inspired expression or through a verbal message or through a letter as though from us, to the effect that the day of Jehovah is here.”.
The apostles also used the slightly different expression—“Jehovah’s day.” For example, Paul said that “Jehovah’s day is coming exactly as a thief in the night”; erupting “whenever it is that they are saying: ‘Peace and security!’” It would appear, then, that “Jehovah’s day” and the “Lord’s day” are the same since the day of the Lord—the parousia—also commences as unexpectedly as a thief coming in the night.
Through Zephaniah Jehovah expresses his determination to annihilate faithless evildoers and false worshippers from among his people—particularly their occultic priests of Baal. The prophecy also denounces the surrounding nations—including Assyria.
As with other prophecies, though, it is evident that God intended the prophecy of Zephaniah to apply far beyond the affairs of Judah and the ancient world. For example, Zephaniah 1:18 indicates that Jehovah’s denunciation is global—total. That verse reads: “Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to deliver them in the day of Jehovah’s fury; but by the fire of his zeal the whole earth will be devoured, because he will make an extermination, indeed a terrible one, of all the inhabitants of the earth.”
But in keeping with the established principle that judgment begins with the house of God, Zephaniah 1:4-6 relates the central feature of the day of Jehovah: “And I will stretch out my hand against Judah and against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and I will cut off from this place the remaining ones of the Baal, the name of the foreign-god priests along with the priests, and those who are bowing down upon the roofs to the army of the heavens, and those who are bowing down, making sworn oaths to Jehovah and making sworn oaths by Malcam; and those who are drawing back from following Jehovah and who have not sought Jehovah and have not inquired of him.”
The city of Jerusalem was not only the capital of the Judean kingdom, it was also the exclusive center for the worship of Jehovah God; Solomon’s temple being located on the highest outcropping of the mound upon which Jerusalem was situated. Because the sacred name of Jehovah was intimately associated with Jerusalem and its temple, Jehovah was moved by zeal for his own name to punish those who disrespected and reproached his name by worshipping false gods. True to his word through Zephaniah, the destruction Jehovah brought upon the city by the Babylonians finished off, once and for all, the degraded worship of Baal and Malcam. Never again would Jehovah tolerate in his rebuilt temple the likes of the disgusting Canaanite god, Baal; or Malcam (Molech)—“the disgusting thing of the Ammonites.”
As for any modern application, the Watchtower assumes that Christendom is the antitype of unfaithful Jerusalem. However, how is it that the clergy and parishioners of Christendom could be guilty of “making sworn oaths to Jehovah and making sworn oaths by Malcam”? Since Christendom has never embraced the name or person of Jehovah, preferring instead to worship the Christianized version of the mythical, babylonish Trinity—with Jesus as the most prominent part of the triad—those who are “drawing back from following Jehovah” (apostatizing) must be those Christians who at one time actually worshipped and followed Jehovah—such as Jehovah’s Witnesses. But, if that is true, then how could any Christian witness of Jehovah possibly pay homage to the now non-existent idols representing Baal or Molech? In this regard the February 15, 2001, Watchtower published a series of study articles on Zephaniah. Commenting on the verse previously quoted, the Watchtower states:
“Jehovah’s hand was stretched out against the people of Judah and Jerusalem. He was determined to cut off in death the worshipers of the Canaanite fertility god Baal…Divine wrath would also be unleashed upon those trying to mix true worship with false religion by ‘making sworn oaths to Jehovah and by Malcam.’ Malcam is possibly another name for Molech, the chief god of the Ammonites. The worship of Molech included child sacrifice…All of this may well remind us of Christendom, steeped in false worship and astrology. And her role in the sacrificing of millions of lives on the altar of clergy-supported warfare is disgusting indeed!”
Likening the devilish practice of child sacrifice to Christendom’s participation in the bloodletting of war is not really an apt comparison since the Israelites fought wars that were sanctioned by God—often against the very worshippers of Baal and Molech and other heathen deities. And at times Jehovah even sanctioned the execution of women and children as those devoted to destruction.
Besides, soldiers of war are hardly comparable to the helpless babes who were cruelly sacrificed on the altar to the bloodthirsty god, Molech.
A more apt comparison to the demonic ritual of child sacrifice is the pedophilia practiced by some of the clergy of Christendom—particularly Catholic priests. Although victims of pedophilia are not literally sacrificed to the demons, as were the poor unfortunates of the past, it is as though their childhood innocence is. Considering that the demons were originally righteous angels that forsook their proper dwelling place in heaven in order to have sexual relations with creatures of another sort, the unnatural sexual act between an adult and a child mimics those demonic perversions of a greater dominating a lesser. Surely the satanic spirit that once promoted the sacrifice of innocent children to Molech is the same evil influence behind the scourge of pedophilia in modern times. The damage done to the innocent victim of sexual abuse is in some ways more heartrending and certainly longer lasting than had they actually been killed and offered up to the flames of Molech’s altar.
Many victims of child sexual abuse suffer a lifetime of emotional and psychological problems. Some victims even commit suicide after enduring years of mental anguish. In that respect, the end result is the same as had they actually been devoted to the fire. But while the churches of Christendom have certainly had their child abuse scandals, the Watchtower organization has also been seduced into tolerating the sacrifice of the sexual innocence and purity of young children to the demons. Likely many of Jehovah’s Witnesses will be offended by such a statement, but first consider God’s view.
“HOLDING FAST THE TEACHING OF BALAAM”
The Israelites were introduced to the worship of Baal even before they entered into the Promised Land. This came about on the Plains of Moab by the cunning of Balaam who counseled King Balak to use Moabite women as prostitutes to seduce the Israelite men into sexual immorality and idolatry. Tragically, it worked. The historical account at Numbers 25:1-3 says: “Then the people started to have immoral relations with the daughters of Moab. And the women came calling the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people began to eat and to bow down to their gods. So Israel attached itself to the Baal of Peor; and the anger of Jehovah began to blaze against Israel.”
True, there is no mention of child sacrifice on that particular occasion; however, the significance of Israel’s fall into the worship of Baal is found in the book of Revelation. There, Jesus’ inspired letter to the congregation of anointed Christians in Pergamum reveals that Balaam has a spiritual counterpart who is alive and well within Christ’s congregation during the Lord’s day. At Revelation 2:14, the Lord Jesus speaks to the congregation, saying: “You have there those holding fast the teaching of Balaam, who went teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit fornication.”
The historical Balaam was no ordinary man. He was a great man. On several occasions he conversed with Jehovah God himself! For example, we read: “Then God came to Balaam and said: ‘Who are these men with you?’ So Balaam said to the true God…” (Numbers 22:9-10) And again in the 22nd verse: “Then God came to Balaam by night and said to him…” And again at Numbers 23:16: “Subsequently Jehovah got in touch with Balaam and put a word in his mouth…”
Balaam was even blessed with God’s holy spirit at one point, as it says at Numbers 24:2-3: “When Balaam raised his eyes and saw Israel tabernacling by his tribes, then the spirit of God came to be upon him. Hence he took up his proverbial utterance…” Balaam was also inspired to say of himself: “The utterance of the one hearing the sayings of God, and the one knowing the knowledge of the Most High— A vision of the Almighty he got to see while falling down with the eyes uncovered…”
The point is, Balaam knew Jehovah. At least he knew that Jehovah would not tolerate Baal worship among his people. So after failing to curse the Israelites, Balaam cunningly counseled Balak to induce God’s people into unfaithfulness, knowing that Jehovah would become offended. However, the teaching of Balaam was not particularly intended to lure every single Israelite male into fornication. That was not necessary to provoke Jehovah into venting his wrath upon the nation. In his cunning, Balaam apparently knew that Jehovah’s anger could be kindled if even a relatively small number of Israelite men actually engaged in the Bacchanalia—just as long as the leadership passively tolerated the sin. That is evident by the fact that the scourge upon Israel was halted only after a priest named Phinehas took action and executed two fornicators.
Just as Jesus spoke of those in the Pergamum congregation who were “holding fast the teaching of Balaam,” the Christian writers, Peter and Jude, also warned believers to be on guard against those false teachers who “have rushed into the erroneous course of Balaam for reward.” Such men lurk like “rocks hidden below water”—their treachery concealed from the unsuspecting.
The reason they pose such a spiritual danger to Christians is because the Balaam-like agents are trusted elders and leaders who feast together with God’s people. That is apparent by Jude’s further comments, which identify them as “shepherds that feed themselves without fear; waterless clouds carried this way and that by winds; trees in late autumn, but fruitless, having died twice, having been uprooted; wild waves of the sea that foam up their own causes for shame;stars with no set course, for which the blackness of darkness stands reserved forever.”
“Shepherds that feed themselves” are obviously self-serving elders in the congregation, perhaps even posing as one among the anointed faithful slave. Their being likened to “stars with no set course” would seem to suggest that they pose as spiritual guides, but their “guidance” is as unreliable as navigating by following a wandering star in the sky.
Just as Jesus asked the Pharisees how they thought they were going to escape the judgment of Gehenna, the odd description of their “having died twice” must mean that their course of treachery has already brought upon them the judgment of the second death.
Since that very judgment is also reserved for the evil slaves of Christ’s illustrations, “the teachings of Balaam” must ultimately emanate from them.
“YOU TOLERATE THAT WOMAN JEZEBEL”
Another notorious Baal worshipper was Queen Jezebel. And Jesus, too, mentions her, as being an evil influence in the congregation during the Lord’s day. At Revelation 2:20, the Lord Jesus addresses his congregation, saying: “Nevertheless, I do hold this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and misleads my slaves to commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed to idols.”
In commenting on the meaning of the verse, the Watchtower freely admits that every year tens of thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses are expelled from the congregations for practicing various forms of sexual immorality. That, though, is in keeping with what Paul advised congregations to do to unrepentant fornicators in their midst; when he said, “remove the wicked man from among yourselves.” So, it is not likely that Jesus would condemn Jehovah’s Witnesses for tolerating that particular aspect of immorality. Be that as it may, what about the way child abusing pedophiles have been dealt with? Can the Watchtower boast of having purged wicked pedophiles from the organization with the same zeal as it has disfellowshipped tens of thousands of young adults and teenaged fornicators?
Jesus went on to say of Jezebel: “And I gave her time to repent, but she is not willing to repent of her fornication. Look! I am about to throw her into a sickbed, and those committing adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. And her children I will kill with deadly plague, so that all the congregations will know that I am he who searches the kidneys and hearts, and I will give to you individually according to your deeds.”
Take note of the fact that Jesus puts up with “Jezebel” and her lovers all the way up until throwing her and her children “into great tribulation”; obviously, during the great tribulation. It is apparent, then, that an immoral Jezebelian influence exists in God’s household up until the very moment when Christ removes it—permanently. No doubt that will be when Christ cleanses his Father’s spiritual temple. The point is, though, Jesus does not merely rebuke the fornicators themselves. Christ rebukes those who “tolerate that woman, Jezebel” and the teachings of Balaam. Because both Balaam and Jezebel factions within the congregations promote some form of idolatry among the true disciples of Christ, evidently with some measure of success, could it be that the sort of idolatry they promote is the idolatry of the Watchtower organization itself? Consider a few relevant facts.
It is an undeniable fact that in both subtle and not-so-subtle ways the Watchtower’s policies have muzzled the victims of pedophilia and their families, so as not to scandalize the organization. The reasoning has always been that no one should know about such ugliness so as not to ‘bring reproach on Jehovah’s name.’ So, there is a strong inclination towards secrecy—which obviously serves the interests of the perpetrators of crimes against children. It is also now a matter of public record that the Watchtower discourages elders from notifying the congregation when a suspected or even known sexual predator is in their midst—thus putting more children at risk of becoming victims. Even when a pedophile is disfellowshipped, the congregation is not told why.
While each congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses has the authority to have meeting parts specifically devoted to “local needs” of the congregation, rarely do the elders take such opportunities to warn the congregation when a suspected pedophile is in their midst. Unquestionably, the image of the organization as a “spiritual paradise” is more important to maintain than the welfare and safety of children.
Such wicked reasonings have ensnared the congregations into tolerating a form of baalism. By invoking the name of Jehovah in such a way, telling the victims to “wait on Jehovah” for justice to be done, it is as if the congregations sanctify the sacrifice of the child to the demonic practice of pedophilia. Can it not be said that such men are making sworn oaths to both Jehovah and Molech?
Ironically, the actual scandal of child abuse has not brought nearly the level of reproach on Jehovah’s name as has the deplorable way in which the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses has mishandled the problem. Perhaps the greatest irony, though, is that those who have brushed aside abuse victims with empty platitudes such as “wait on Jehovah,” will find themselves under God’s judgment when the wait is over.
The judgment that Jehovah finally executed against Jerusalem was in keeping with what was stated in the Law at Leviticus 20:3-5: “And as for me, I shall set my face against that man, and I will cut him off from among his people, because he has given some of his offspring to Molech for the purpose of defiling my holy place and to profane my holy name. And if the people of the land should deliberately hide their eyes from that man when he gives any of his offspring to Molech by not putting him to death, then I, for my part, shall certainly fix my face against that man and his family, and I shall indeed cut him and all those who have immoral intercourse along with him in having immoral intercourse with Molech off from among their people.”
In the days of Zephaniah apparently the people deliberately ignored the child sacrifice that was taking place in their midst. Their failure to uphold the law moved Almighty Jehovah to act in his own behalf. Jehovah’s sense of justice obligated him to perform a human sacrifice of his own by annihilating the priests of Baal. Zephaniah 1:7-9 reads: “Keep silence before the Sovereign Lord Jehovah; for the day of Jehovah is near, for Jehovah has prepared a sacrifice; he has sanctified his invited ones.And it must occur on the day of Jehovah’s sacrifice that I will give attention to the princes, and to the sons of the king, and to all those wearing foreign attire. And I will give attention to everyone that is climbing upon the platform in that day, those who are filling the house of their masters with violence and deception.”
The princes and priests of Baal in “foreign attire” must correspond to the Balaam and Jezebel faction that exists in the congregation during the Lord’s day. Be assured that Jehovah will similarly take action against the agents of Baal within the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses in order to sanctify his own name from being profaned.
“MEN WHO ARE CONGEALING UPON THEIR DREGS”
The execution of God’s judgment is always thorough. When Jerusalem was destroyed it was as though God made a careful search of the city in order to root out and destroy every faithless and complacent man. God is in the perfect position to bring about that judgment once again because he can see into each one’s heart. Hence, Zephaniah 1:12 states: “And it must occur at that time that I shall carefully search Jerusalem with lamps, and I will give attention to the men who are congealing upon their dregs and who are saying in their heart, ‘Jehovah will not do good, and he will not do bad.’”
What do those men who are like the dregs concealed at the bottom of a vat of wine illustrate? The Watchtower implies that Jehovah will make a careful search of Christendom in order to find and remove wicked individuals. But that makes no sense; nor is it in harmony with the Scriptures. As the Watchtower itself teaches, God’s purpose has been to draw persons out of Christendom before its destruction. If, therefore, Christendom is to be entirely destroyed, why would God need to make a careful search of those institutions in order to seek out and destroy faithless men?
In Jesus’ letter to the congregation in Thyatira, the very congregation that was tolerating the influence of Jezebel, they would come to know that Jesus “searches the kidneys and hearts” in order to determine each one’s reward. In harmony with that, those who are described as “congealing upon their dregs” appropriately illustrates those individuals who are concealed deep within Christ’s congregation—like the dregs at the bottom of a murky cast of wine—who are lukewarm in their affections and assume that they will never be called to account. Their saying in their hearts: “Jehovah will not do good, and he will not do bad,” reveals that they know Jehovah, as did Balaam, but they do not suppose God will ever actually deliver on his promises or threats of punishment. They are faithless.
Even though such men may have put in many years of service, even contributing to the growth of God’s organization, when the time comes to reward his slaves, Jehovah’s judgment is that “their wealth must come to be for pillage and their houses for a desolate waste. And they will build houses, but they will not have occupancy; and they will plant vineyards, but they will not drink the wine of them.” (Zephaniah 1:1)
They are like the wicked and sluggish slaves who were entrusted with their master’s assets, but who, in the final judgment, will prove to have been unfaithful with the spiritual riches that were entrusted to them. Christ will strip them of their wealth and throw them all of out of his service. As Jesus said in reference to the judgment upon the evil slaves: “There is where the weeping and gnashing of their teeth will be.”
“THERE A MIGHTY MAN IS LETTING OUT A CRY”
In keeping with the judgment of weeping and gnashing of teeth imposed upon the faithless and evil slave, Zephaniah decrees the same sentence of anguish upon the unfaithful servants of Jehovah in Jerusalem, where we read at Zephaniah 1:10-11: ‘“And there must occur on that day,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘the sound of an outcry from the Fish Gate, and a howling from the second quarter, and a great crashing from the hills. Howl, you inhabitants of Maktesh, for all the people who are tradesmen have been silenced; all those weighing out silver have been cut off.’”
The ancient city of Jerusalem had twelve gates, as does the symbolic New Jerusalem of Revelation, which represents the glorified kingdom of God after Armageddon. The “outcry from the Fish Gate” would seem to symbolize the anguish of those whose spiritual work in the kingdom is incinerated during Jehovah’s day.
Contrary to the Watchtower’s teaching that Christ supposedly cleansed God’s spiritual temple in 1918; most assuredly, the “great day of Jehovah” will not pass by so uneventfully. The actual purging of God’s temple of the evil that dwells therein must surely be what the following passage of Zephaniah is foretelling: “The great day of Jehovah is near. It is near, and there is a hurrying of it very much. The sound of the day of Jehovah is bitter. There a mighty man is letting out a cry. That day is a day of fury, a day of distress and of anguish, a day of storm and of desolation, a day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick gloom, a day of horn and of alarm signal, against the fortified cities and against the high corner towers.”
As Jesus foretold, Jehovah’s judgment upon his own house comes about during the conclusion of the system of things, which is marked by global warfare, among other things. During the confusion of war Jesus foretold that God’s holy place would come to desolation. Apparently that is what is outlined in the verse above. The day of “storm and of desolation…against the fortified cities and against the high corner towers” is in reference to Jehovah’s earthly, visible organization. During the desolation of the holy place is when “a mighty man is letting out a cry.”
Zephaniah 1:18 goes on to state: “Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to deliver them in the day of Jehovah’s fury; but by the fire of his zeal the whole earth will be devoured, because he will make an extermination, indeed a terrible one, of all the inhabitants of the earth.”
If there is any doubt that such a judgment pertains to the Christian congregation, the Christian writer, James, issues a nearly identical warning as is found in Zephaniah. Addressed to the anointed Christians of the twelve tribes of spiritual Israel, James 5:1-3 says: “Come, now, you rich men, weep, howling over your miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted, and your outer garments have become moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are rusted away, and their rust will be as a witness against you and will eat your fleshy parts. Something like fire is what you have stored up in the last days.”
“O NATION NOT PALING IN SHAME”
At Zephaniah 2:1-3, Jehovah lays out before his wayward nation the requirements for individuals to attain to salvation during the denunciation: “Gather yourselves together, yes, do the gathering, O nation not paling in shame. Before the statute gives birth to anything, before the day has passed by just like chaff, before there comes upon you people the burning anger of Jehovah, before there comes upon you the day of Jehovah’s anger, seek Jehovah, all you meek ones of the earth, who have practiced His own judicial decision. Seek righteousness, seek meekness. Probably you may be concealed in the day of Jehovah’s anger.”
The Watchtower identifies Christendom as the “nation not paling in shame.” But, if that is the case, in what sense then does God expect them to gather together in order to seek Jehovah? According to the verse above, God’s exhortation to the meek inhabitants of the “nation not paling in shame,” is directed to those “who have practiced his own judicial decision.”
That means that God recognizes that not all the inhabitants of the nation are equally guilty. Another conspicuous inconsistency in the Watchtower’s interpretation of the prophecy is apparent by comparing Zephaniah 3:5, which reads: “Jehovah was righteous in the midst of her; he would do no unrighteousness. Morning by morning he kept giving his own judicial decision. At daylight it did not prove lacking. But the unrighteous one was knowing no shame.”
In what sense might Jehovah reside in the midst of Christendom, so as to faithfully—“morning by morning”—keep “giving his own judicial decision”? Adroitly, the Watchtower offers no comment on the verse. But, clearly, the only organization that God would reside “in the midst of” in order to give his own counsel is Christ’s congregation. Therefore, the “nation not paling in shame” must be the organization that has been built around the Christian Israel of God.
From Jehovah’s standpoint his own organization has become a rebellious and oppressive city—just as was ancient Jerusalem when it was home to Jehovah’s temple of worship. Likewise, the “unrighteous one,” who “was knowing no shame,” must be ensconced within the leadership of the organization. But do the oppressive judges and priests ruling over the corrupt city described in the following verse really have a counterpart in the Watchtower Society? “Woe to her that is rebelling and polluting herself, the oppressive city! She did not listen to a voice; she did not accept discipline. In Jehovah she did not trust. To her God she did not draw near. Her princes in the midst of her were roaring lions. Her judges were evening wolves that did not gnaw bones till the morning.”
As stated in numerous places in the Bible, God holds the leaders of his people to a more exacting standard of accountability. So, it is from his exalted point of view that the prophets spoke. But, in what way might the ruling princes and judges of Jehovah’s Witnesses be considered as “roaring lions” and devouring “evening wolves” from Jehovah’s perspective? Well, as an example of ruthlessness and tyranny, the Watchtower has instituted a policy of summarily disassociating Jehovah’s Witnesses for certain offenses. Apparently this applies particularly to those who may take a blood transfusion, join the military, or, in the case of sexual abuse victims, if they happen to speak to the media.
In the instance of those taking a transfusion or joining the military, the Watchtower does not want to appear to concerned governments as though it is using coercion by threat of disfellowshipping to force Jehovah’s Witnesses to comply. In reality, though, disassociation is the same thing as disfellowshipping, only without a judicial hearing or right of appeal. The Watchtower claims that anyone violating certain tenets of the faith automatically disassociates themselves and is no longer one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Disassociation was used against a male abuse victim in Sweden whose case was aired on national television. Apparently, the Watchtower considers it an act of repudiating one’s faith when a victim of pedophilia publicly exposes the wickedness perpetrated upon them within the congregation. With no judicial hearing of any kind or any counseling, the elders simply dismissed the brother from the congregation and even threatened to call the police when he tried to enter the kingdom hall to attend a public meeting. In order to avoid appearing as ruthless persecutors of abuse victims by disfellowshipping them, the Watchtower takes the position that such individuals have willingly disassociated themselves by a certain course of action. How treacherous!
And how appropriate is Jehovah’s denunciation of the negligent shepherds at Ezekiel 34:4: “The sickened ones you have not strengthened, and the ailing one you have not healed, and the broken one you have not bandaged, and the dispersed one you have not brought back, and the lost one you have not sought to find, but with harshness you have had them in subjection, even with tyranny.”
Interestingly, Nicodemus once spoke up before his fellow Pharisees to defend Jesus by saying: “Our law does not judge a man unless first it has heard from him and come to know what he is doing, does it?” It seems that the Watchtower has adopted the same unscriptural tactics as the Pharisees in dealing with those it deems to be enemies. A nation not paling in shame indeed!
HER PRIESTS PROFANED WHAT WAS HOLY
Zephaniah 3:4 goes on to say: “Her prophets were insolent, were men of treachery. Her priests themselves profaned what was holy; they did violence to the law.”
In what way have Jehovah’s modern priests profaned what is holy? One way is by hiring non-Christian lawyers to represent the Watchtower Society. Hiring men of the world to defend the truth and represent anointed Christians in a court of law, often against the interests of abused children, is profaning what is holy. Another way that Bethel’s priests have profaned what is holy is by misusing funds dedicated to the ministry of Christ’s kingdom, as well as by employing Christian ministers in non-spiritual pursuits. How has that been done? Primarily it has been by publishing the Awake! Magazine.
Think of it, the Watchtower uses the volunteer labors of thousands of factory workers to produce a publication that has very little spiritual value. Not only that, but millions of publishers and pioneers, who are ministers dedicated to publishing the truth about God and Christ, are required to use their time, energies and resources to distribute millions of copies of a Reader’s Digest-like publication. That is not to say the Awake is not informative, it is just that most of the articles are about commonplace things. One might more readily find a recipe in the Awake as a biblically oriented article.
It is hard to imagine the apostle Paul risking his life merely to distribute such mundane pap as is found in the Awake! Since that is the case, how can Bethel say that Jehovah’s judgment at Ezekiel 22:26 does not apply to them? “Her priests themselves have done violence to my law, and they keep profaning my holy places. Between the holy thing and the common they have made no distinction.”
No doubt as a cost-cutting measure, beginning in 2006 the Awake journal was reduced from bi-monthly to a monthly publication. The Watchtower even stated that the monthly edition was going to be more Bible based, which is a backhanded admission that the Awake! magazine is of questionable spiritual value. But after 50 years of pushing the publication on the public in the name of Jehovah, it is understandable why Jehovah might take offense with his priests for having made no distinction between what is holy and what is common.
In what way are her ‘prophets insolent men of treachery’? As already documented in the chapter entitled Strange Bedfellows, one aspect of the Watchtower’s treachery is evident in the NGO affair and their persistent lying cover up of it.
“THE CHANGE TO A PURE LANGUAGE”
Also, it is apparent that the Watchtower’s seers have deliberately twisted the Scriptures in order to support the false teaching that the day of Jehovah began in 1914. One prominent feature of the Watchtower’s fraud has to do with “the change to a pure language,” which Zephaniah foretold God would perform. Do Jehovah’s Witnesses speak the prophesied “pure language”? In this regard, the May 1, 1991, Watchtower said:
“The pure language is the truth of God found in his own Word, the Holy Scriptures. It is particularly the truth regarding God’s Kingdom, which will bring peace and other blessings to mankind. The pure language does away with religious error and false worship. It unites all who speak it in the pure, clean, wholesome worship of the living and true God, Jehovah. Today, some 3,000 languages act as a barrier to understanding, and hundreds of false religions confuse mankind. So how glad we are that God is giving to peoples the change to this wonderful, pure language!”
The Watchtower’s understanding is correct, in that, “the change to a pure language” symbolizes God purging his people of religious error and falsehood. However, has the change occurred already, or is it something that God will perform in the future? Well, as this publication has already presented incontrovertible proof that the Watchtower’s 1914 parousia doctrine is a complete fabrication, how can the Governing Body honestly boast that they have taught the truth—“particularly the truth regarding God’s kingdom”? The very fact that such men arrogantly claim to teach the truth is proof that a change is what is needed—a change of leadership that is. And that is exactly what God is going to provide. But in spite of their glaring errors and corruption the Watchtower insists the prophesied change has already taken place. For instance, the April 1, 1991, Watchtower states:
“Pointing to fulfillment of the prophecy at a particular period of time, Zephaniah 3:9 says: “For then I shall give to peoples the change to a pure language.” When is that? Verse 8 answers that it is during the time that Jehovah is ‘gathering the nations,’ before he ‘pours out upon them his burning anger,’ that he gives to meek ones of the earth the change to a pure language.”
But does the eighth verse and surrounding text really indicate that the foreordained change comes before God pours out his anger—as the Watchtower presumes? Not at all! The eighth verse says that the change takes place concurrent with the expression of God’s judgment, not before. Zephaniah 3:8-9 reads: ‘“Therefore keep yourselves in expectation of me,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘till the day of my rising up to the booty, for my judicial decision is to gather nations, for me to collect together kingdoms, in order to pour out upon them my denunciation, all my burning anger; for by the fire of my zeal all the earth will be devoured. For then I shall give to peoples the change to a pure language, in order for them all to call upon the name of Jehovah, in order to serve him shoulder to shoulder.’”
The prophecy clearly states that the change to the pure language comes about on “the day of my rising up to the booty,”—meaning during the judgment period—during the denunciation. “For then”—during the execution of Jehovah’s “judicial decision”—is when the change comes about—at least that is what the Bible says.
In keeping with the fact that the day of Jehovah and the presence of Christ are evidenced by the outbreak of global war, the preceding verses, Zephaniah 3:6-7, say: “I cut off nations; their corner towers were desolated. I devastated their streets, so that there was no one passing through. Their cities were laid waste, so that there was no man, so that there was no inhabitant. I said, ‘Surely you will fear me; you will accept discipline’; so that her dwelling might not be cut off—all that I must call to account against her. Truly they acted promptly in making all their dealings ruinous.”
To further establish the truth concerning when it is that the change comes, Zephaniah 3:11-13 indicates that “the change to the pure language” comes about as a result of Jehovah’s fiery judgment, which purges the insolent priests and haughty judges from the midst of God’s congregation; those, who, with a “tricky tongue,” are the very ones who would have seduced Jehovah’s Witnesses into believing that God has already become king.
Contrary to everything the Watchtower has ever published, the great purge will immediately precede the meek finally inheriting the earth.
Zephaniah 3:11-13 reads: “In that day you will not be ashamed because of all your dealings with which you transgressed against me, for then I shall remove from the midst of you your haughtily exultant ones; and you will never again be haughty in my holy mountain. And I shall certainly let remain in the midst of you a people humble and lowly, and they will actually take refuge in the name of Jehovah. As regards the remaining ones of Israel, they will do no unrighteousness, nor speak a lie, nor will there be found in their mouths a tricky tongue; for they themselves will feed and actually lie stretched out, and there will be no one making them tremble.”
“Haughtily exultant ones” is an apt description of the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses. It is they who have haughtily proclaimed themselves to be “faithful and discreet; who boast of having already been appointed over all of the master’s belongings.
It is they who cleverly twist the truth to support their lies and who, with “a tricky tongue,” have been able to persuade millions of trusting meek persons that they alone speak for God.
And like haughty Pharisees, they deal most ruthlessly with anyone who does not give them glory—especially the victims of child abuse.
But their day is coming—Jehovah’s day will rout them from off their thrones. Jehovah will purge the self-exultant ones from the midst of his people, from his “holy mountain.”
That this judgment will be executed upon the Watchtower Society is evident by the fact that the meek who survive the fiery denunciation “will actually take refuge in the name of Jehovah.” In other words, the survivors are Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The truth is Jehovah has not become king yet. His kingship will finally become a reality when he has removed the lawless element from his organization and cleansed his people of all defilements. Then, and only then, will the remaining ones, the meek, be given “the change to the pure language.”
At that point the judgment is concluded and Jehovah rules as king over his people, as is apparent from the closing words of the prophecy of Zephaniah: “’Joyfully cry out, O daughter of Zion! Break out in cheers, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! Jehovah has removed the judgments upon you. He has turned away your enemy. The king of Israel, Jehovah, is in the midst of you. You will fear calamity no more. In that day it will be said to Jerusalem: ‘Do not be afraid, O Zion. May your hands not drop down. Jehovah your God is in the midst of you. As a mighty One, he will save. He will exult over you with rejoicing. He will become silent in his love. He will be joyful over you with happy cries.’”
Surely Jehovah does not intend to remove his judgments from upon Babylon the Great or turn away the enemies of false religion! And just as surely, Jehovah is not going to rule as king in the midst of Christendom!
God will remove his judgments from upon his people—but only after they have been humbled. Jehovah “will become silent in his love”—meaning that God will have no more harsh words of denunciation.
The calamity that God will allow to afflict his people will achieve its intended purpose. It will incinerate the faithless and haughty from the midst of God’s congregation and create a people who truly fear God and who trust in him. God will then become “joyful over you with happy cries.”