“They gathered them together to … Armageddon.”—Revelation 16:16
[From ws 9/19 p.8 Study Article 36: November 4 – November 10, 2019]
The Watchtower study article says it will answer the following 4 questions.
- “What is Armageddon?
- What events will lead up to it?
- How can we be among those who will be saved at Armageddon?
- How can we remain faithful as Armageddon draws near?”
Therefore, let us investigate how truthfully and effectively these 4 questions are answered.
What is Armageddon?
Revelation 16:14 tells us “And they gathered them together to the place that is called in Hebrew Har–Ma·gedʹon.” So, the Bible tells us it is a place. But despite this, and acknowledging that “Strictly speaking, it refers to the situation to which “the kings of the entire inhabited earth” are gathered in opposition to Jehovah.”, the article goes on to say “However, in this article, we will also use the term “Armageddon” to refer to the war that immediately follows the gathering of the kings of the earth” (par.3).
This statement results in the perpetuation of the incorrect perception in most Witnesses minds that Armageddon is God’s War, rather than the figurative place where that war takes place. By preaching to others that Armageddon is coming, rather than God’s War is coming, have we not been guilty of misleading people? Surely it would have been of more impact to say God’s War is coming, thereby showing he has an interest in sorting out the mess the earth is in, and certainly more truthful.
What events will happen leading up to Armageddon [God’s Great War]?
The proclamation of “peace and security” precedes “Jehovah’s day.” (Read 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6.) (Par.7-9)
Please examine this in-depth examination of this scripture here.
Needless to say, the emphasis on the erroneous application of 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6 leads to a frenzy of speculation among the rank and file Witnesses every time any politicians make statements about peace or make efforts to bring peace in world trouble spots. This speculation should be avoided by all true Christians.
Jesus himself warned us not to speculate. Perhaps the Organization would do well to heed Jesus own words, quoted here in the Organization’s own literature, which highlighted Jesus warning. A previous Watchtower commented ““Lord, are you restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?” This question posed by Jesus’ disciples revealed that as yet they did not know the purpose of God’s Kingdom and the appointed time for its rule to begin. Warning them not to speculate about the matter, Jesus said: “It does not belong to you to get knowledge of the times or seasons which the Father has placed in his own jurisdiction.” Jesus knew that his rulership over the earth was reserved for the future, long after his resurrection and ascension to heaven. (Acts 1:6-11; Luke 19:11, 12, 15) The Scriptures had foretold this”.[i] (Bold Ours)
Yes, this teaching that a proclamation of peace and security precedes Armageddon and God’s Great War is solely speculation. We cannot know the times or the seasons, only God does.
The judgment on the great prostitute. (Read Revelation 17:1, 6; 18:24.) (Par.10-12)
“Babylon the Great has brought much reproach on God’s name. She has taught lies about God. She has prostituted herself spiritually by forming alliances with earth’s rulers. She has used her power and influence to exploit her flocks. And she has spilled much blood, including the blood of God’s servants. (Revelation 19:2)”. (Par.10)
“She has prostituted herself spiritually”
A quick question for readers to ponder over.
Do you know of a religion that has prostituted herself spiritually by forming alliances with earth’s rulers?
Would not the act of a religious organization joining one of the United Nations institutions constitute such a prostitution?
An Organization that is one such prostitute can be identified by reading and examining the proof supplied in the following article Identifying the True Religion – Neutrality on this site.
“She has used her power and influence to exploit her flocks”
The frequent requests for donations, the requests for free labour for so-called “Theocratic Building Projects”, the selling of Kingdom Halls by LDC’s and removal of elders who raise objections to such, are all evidence of the Organization using “her power and influence to exploit her flocks”.
“she has spilled much blood, including the blood of God’s servants”
Over the years, many hundreds if not thousands of Witnesses have died for the following reasons:
- Rejecting vaccinations. – banned by the Organization from 1921 until 1952 [ii]
- Rejecting blood fractions – banned by the Organization from 1945 until 2000 [iii]
- Rejecting whole blood transfusions – banned by the Organization from 1945 until now. [iv]
- Driven to suicide – Many Child abuse victims ignored, then disfellowshipped because they leave the Organization to get away from the abuser who is allowed to remain in the Organization, often losing fellowship with all their family when they need them the most. Ongoing. For example, see articles on Australian Royal High Commission into Child Abuse.
The attack of Gog. (Read Ezekiel 38:2, 8-9.) (Par.13-15)
This is a perpetuation of the application of type/antitypes despite the Watchtower article vowing not to continue to assign types/antitypes [v] [unless of course it suits the Organization].
A review of the Organization’s teaching on these verses can be examined here. There is no Biblical evidence that such an attack will come. Certainly when Jesus clearly stated that his coming would be like Noah’s day, coming as a surprise, as recorded in Matthew 24:36-42.
How can you be saved at Armageddon?
Acts 4:12 gives Peter’s inspired answer. Talking about Jesus Christ, filled with holy spirit he said, “furthermore, there is no salvation in anyone else, for there is not another name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must get saved.” Also, the Apostle Paul wrote “By this undeserved kindness, indeed, you have been saved through faith, and this not owing to you, it is God’s gift” (Ephesians 2:8).
Yet according to the Watchtower article we are only saved by “keeping Kingdom interests in first place”, a euphemism for keeping the Organization’s interests in first place and living by God’s righteous standards and preaching the Organization’s version of the good news. No mention of God’s gift, rather just doing works to ensure salvation is owing to us, with these requirements being in contradiction to Ephesians 2.
Paragraph 18 continues to peddle the false premise that there is a heavenly hope for a limited number. Please prayerfully and carefully review the following series “Mankind’s Hope for the future, Where will it be?” for an in depth review of exactly what hope for the future is taught in the Bible for all mankind.
How can we remain faithful as the end draws near?
What is the suggestion given in the Watchtower article as to how to remain faithful? Paragraph 19 suggests, “A key is to persevere in heartfelt prayer. (Luke 21:36) We must also follow up our prayers by studying God’s Word daily and meditating on it, including its amazing prophecies concerning our times. (Ps. 77:12) These activities, along with a full share in the ministry, will keep our faith strong and our hope alive!”.
We would echo the suggestion of Luke 21:36. We would also agree with the suggestion to study “God’s Word daily and meditating on it”.
However, very importantly, we must avoid getting fixated upon attempting to know when Armageddon and God’s Great War is coming. Jesus warned us in Matthew 24:36-42 that some would speculate about this, but it was only Jehovah God who knows when this will be. In this way we will avoid being stumbled and losing our faith because of those who cry wolf when there is no wolf. Rather, by focusing on ourselves in developing the fruitages of the spirit we will be ready for God’s Great War whenever it comes.
[i] kl chap. 10 pp. 95-96 par. 14 God’s Kingdom Rules
[v] See w15 3/15 pg17-18.