Friday, January 19, 2007
THINGS THAT MUST SHORTLY TAKE PLACE
The third chapter of the “Grand Climax” book opens with these words: “You should be deeply concerned about world events today. Why so? Because this world cannot escape God’s execution of judgment.”
We are not told specifically which world events should cause us deep concern. However, the fourth paragraph makes the comment: “Today, however, the evidence abounds that all the things foretold will take place on schedule. Never before in history has the very survival of mankind been at stake.” Considering that the Society published their Revelation commentary 19 years ago, in 1988, perhaps they had in mind the events associated with the Superpower Cold War between the U.S.S.R and the West. But, alas, the Soviet Union went belly up a couple of years after the “Grand Climax” book was published and the period following the collapse of Soviet communism has been marked by a period of relative peace and prosperity.
Ironically, though, we “should be deeply concerned about world events today” more then ever. That’s because the world stands on the brink of the actual apocalypse that will far surpass the horrors of World War One. Apparently, though, the Watchtower sees no significance in present world events such as the looming threat of nuclear war and an H5N1 global pandemic.
In saying that everything “will take place on schedule” the WT is being disingenuous. What they should have said is that ‘all things have already taken place on schedule.’ As most readers know, the Society’s own commentary teaches that most of Revelation has already been fulfilled back way back in the early years of the 20th century. In essence the things which the angel reveals to John that must “shortly take place” have already taken place – at least according to the Watchtower.
In the 6th paragraph the Society boasts of their having already unlocked the secrets of Revelation, saying that God “uses this John class in unlocking the meaning of the prophecy.” The 7th paragraph points out that John was not only an observer but a participant in the actual visions of Revelation, which is true. But did John personally unlock the meaning of the visions, as the Society suggests he did? No. God’s angel explained the meaning of the visions. In fact, on several occasions John confessed his ignorance; such as when the angel asked John who the great crowd was and John confessed to the angel “you are the one that knows.” And when shown the harlot and the beast John was struck by great wonderment so that the angel said to him: “Why is it you wondered? I will tell you the mystery of the woman.”
In actuality, the Watchtower has not unlocked the meaning of Revelation. Instead they have locked it and hidden the key. While adding valuable insights into the symbolisms employed in the book of Revelation the Society’s irrational attachment to 1914 has prevented Jehovah’s Witnesses from discerning vital details of Jehovah’s future judgments. Their mindset is vividly demonstrated in the concluding paragraph of this week’s lesson where we read: “When Jesus was here on earth, he stated that only his Father knew “that day or the hour.” Looking ahead to the troubles that have multiplied on earth from World War I onward, Jesus also said: ‘This generation will by no means pass away until all these things happen.’ So the appointed time for executing God’s decision must be drawing perilously close.”
Shortly after the publication of the “Grand Climax” book the Watchtower was forced to unceremoniously drop the “this  generation will by no means pass away” from the inside cover of the AWAKE Magazine. And in the November 1st, 1995, issue of the Watchtower Bethel completely redefined the meaning of a generation in order to retain their 1914 dogma.
Still, though, judging from present “world events” the appointed time for Jehovah to commence the execution of his judgments, beginning first with the house of God, is indeed, “drawing perilously close.” Now, nearly 20 years after the publication of the GC book, as we stand on the brink of what appears to be the third world war, perhaps this latest reconsideration of the book of Revelation is timelier than Jehovah's Witnesses can even imagine.