“And the Lord kept Sending His Messengers the Prophets”
Almighty God Jehovah spoke to Ezekiel the son of Buzi. God told him to go to the King, priest, prophets, court officials, and all the people of Israel and speak to them ALL the words Jehovah the God of Israel was telling them. You can read the account yourself to clearly understand what circumstances God was placing the prophet in. Understanding these things will offer you a soul-searching opportunity to look at where you stand in the stream of time and events in God’s sight.
Ezekiel was chosen by God to be His messenger while Ezekiel was living as an exile. A key kernel of understanding is to remember that Ezekiel was in exile through no fault of his own. But rather, it was because of the sin of the nation that they all had been sold into slavery. Since he was in exile already, Jehovah’s punishment against the apostate nation was already under way. However, this was however before the complete desolation and destruction of Jerusalem had occurred. We know this because it was after this he was called to prophesy concerning its coming fall.
The Biblical narrative shows that they were being punished because they had rebelled against Jehovah God and had broken the covenant they had taken with Him. The nation had an ongoing history of this kind of conduct over time. They committed sins against God repeatedly. By studying the Bible we know that the Holy Scriptures are a text of patterns and recurring themes that are being amplified over time until the final conclusion. Since this scenario has been played out in the past we can be absolutely sure that it is being played out today in our times. These are the “last days”, the climax, and the time for the Final Rebellion and the end of the present system of things.
Today modern-day “Jerusalem” is under attack; being besieged from every side. But not as a result of persecution for its devotion and obedience to God, but rather as a result of God’s punishment for its transgressions and failure to be obedient to Jesus Christ.
If you read the Bible book of Ezekiel, you can get a real view of the state of the condition of the Christian church today.
Quoting from the Good News Translation, below are the words God spoke to the prophet Zechariah found at Zechariah 7: 11-14.
“But my people stubbornly refused to listen. They closed their minds and made their hearts hard as rock. Because they would not listen to the teaching which I sent through the prophets who lived long ago, I became very angry. Because they did not listen when I spoke, I did not answer when they prayed. Like a storm I swept them away to live in foreign countries. This land was left a desolate place, with no one living in it.”
Clearly what made the land desolate was their apostatizing from obedience to Jehovah by their stubbornly refusing to listen to Jehovah’s warnings through His chosen messengers.
Let’s now read from the GNT translation as well, God’s words of instruction to the prophet Ezekiel as he commissioned him to be His message bearer. These verses also shed light on Jehovah God’s personal thoughts and feelings about His covenant people. Below are verses found at Ezekiel 2:3-7.
“Mortal man, I am sending you to the people of Israel. They have rebelled and turned against me and are still rebels, just as their ancestors were. They are stubborn and do not respect me, so I am sending you to tell them what I, the Sovereign Lord, am saying to them. Whether those rebels listen to you or not, they will know that a prophet has been among them.
But you, mortal man, must not be afraid of them or anything they say. They will defy and despise you; it will be like living among scorpions. Still, don’t be afraid of those rebels or of anything they say. You will tell them whatever I tell you to say, whether they listen or not. Remember what rebels they are.”
So Ezekiel became an emissary as a message bearer, to a hostile respondent in the people of the land of Israel. Likened to scorpions, they would be striking at the prophet who bore God’s messages. Nevertheless, God made clear to the prophet his personal responsibility in the commission he was being given. Jehovah God spells out Ezekiel’s obligation as recorded in Ezekiel 3:16-21. Jehovah called him a “watchman”. If he failed to speak these messages of warning that he had been given, he would be held liable for his failure to do so.
Because Ezekiel’s concern was based upon a true love for God and a desire to render Him exclusive devotion, he was quite willing to take the assignment God had given him. Ezekiel did what he was supposed to do; he prophesied. He prophesied about the siege and destruction of what remained of Jerusalem calling it a whore being punished for her sins.
He prophesied about God having seen the continued idolatry in Israel, even though it was practiced secretly in hidden places. Jehovah God showed him in vision the “disgusting idol” the priest had erected right next to an altar for sacrificing to Him. The prophet says that when he looked,
“I looked, and there near the altar by the entrance of the gateway I saw the idol that was an outrage to God” (Ezekiel 8:5 GNT). These disgusting things and the like were leading to her desolation. Do you believe they were not aware of their offenses before Jehovah or that they did not realize to what extent they were sinning against Him? Either way they paid for their transgression as history proves. God tells the prophet that the actions of the nation are driving Him, “farther and farther away from my holy place”.
God continues to show the prophet scenes to open his eyes to what has been going on in secret. He told Ezekiel to bore a hole through a wall so he could enter an inner room. He did so and immediately saw drawings of unclean reptiles, snakes, other unclean animals, and other unclean things (unclean according to the Law). He sees the Israelites worshiping them and included are some of the leaders of Israel. He recognizes one to be Jaazaniah, son of Shaphan the court secretary. They were burning incense in incense holders that each one of them were holding. God said to Ezekiel, “Mortal man, do you see what the leaders of Israel are doing in secret? They are all worshiping in a room full of images. Their excuse is: “Jehovah does not see us! He has abandoned the country”.”
The prophet saw more. He in his second vision he also saw the women weeping over the ritualistic death of the false god Tammuz; a Sumerian/Babylonian god (Ezekiel 8: 13,14). And then God showed him even more apostasy. From chapter 8 of Ezekiel beginning with verse 16, we read:
“So he took me to the inner courtyard of the Temple. There near the entrance of the sanctuary, between the altar and the porch, were about twenty-five men. They had turned their backs to the sanctuary and were bowing low toward the east, worshiping the rising sun.
The Lord said to me, “Mortal man, do you see that? These people of Judah are not satisfied with merely doing all the disgusting things you have seen here and with spreading violence throughout the country. No, they come and do them right here in the Temple and make me even more angry. Look how they insult me in the most offensive way possible. They will feel all the force of my anger. I will not spare them or show them any mercy. They will shout prayers at me as loud as they can, but I will not listen to them.”
These were the kind of people God’s messenger would be confronted by. They were not worshiping Jehovah exclusively and were in a full-throttle apostasy trying to mix pure worship with that of demons. Ezekiel would be ostracized, insulted, and persecuted because of his obedience in delivering God’s messages of impending disaster. People don’t like to hear bad news. Especially if it is about their failure and that bad consequences are coming. Can you imagine a thief tolerating some following him as he goes about his larceny shouting “You’re bad and you’re gonna get caught?” Neither do bad people like to be reminded of their badness. Adulterers do not want to hear that they are adulterers. It interferes with the ‘mood’ by pricking at their conscience. The nation’s reaction was clear enough indication that they had no intentions of repenting and turning around.
Blackmail and Compromise
The dynamics of this situation are not something unusual in history of the prophets. God’s true prophets as a pattern were always treated this way, with the exception of a small few who did not. This was true in the days of the Great Prophet, the son of man, Jesus Christ. It also held true for the faithful apostles. Holy Scripture bear witness to this fact.
As God’s teaching pattern dictates, it must be true concerning His prophetic messengers today, as this is the ‘Great Expose’ and the ‘Finale’. Also true is the same internal dysfunction of His chosen people today.
Many who claim to be Jehovah’s true witnesses have been rendered speechless due to their compromising to protect the security they have in this world. We’ve all heard the expression used, “don’t make waves”. Those familiars with it need no explanation of its implications. “Don’t rock the boat” is another. What is inferred is that if you go against the expressed wishes and direction of the person or group making the statement or being referred to, the will be trouble for you.
It is like the example of many a noble-minded employees who became a ‘whistleblower’, only be ostracized and attacked by the rest of their fellow employees and even by others. Suddenly, he doesn’t get that promotion he was expecting, or the bank has become less friendly to him, or his neighbors start giving him the cold shoulder.
In the church there have been Kingdom ‘whistleblowers’ who have suffered that same fate. This is a means of ‘control’. Today those who have succumb to this control are the ones who have cowardly been rendered speechless due to concern over the loss of the things mentioned in the above paragraph. They well know that if they start ‘rocking the boat’, the waters of their life are going to start to get very choppy and there will be reprisals. Loss of job, home, family, friends, and branded as an outcast. Those who give in prove themselves too weak stand for righteousness sake. If a person can’t sacrifice these things for Christ sake, how can they lead themselves to believe that they would give up their life in loyalty to God and Christ? In the Revelation Christ gave the Apostle John he said the place for, among others, the ‘cowards’ was the lake burning with fire and sulfur (see Revelation 21:8 the Second death). Ponder please, of what ‘cowards’ could he be referring to? This group fits that criteria.
Notice why Ezekiel was the subject of their rejection and abuse? It’s very important. One should never confuse the sufferings that they endure due to their own wrongdoing as being the same suffering Jesus said his true disciples would endure for his namesake. If it were true that the penalty we pay for our wrongdoing amounted suffering in the name of the Lord, then I suppose the worst of criminals would the first in line for admission into the kingdom of God. Sounds foolish doesn’t it?
The prophets like Ezekiel suffered their pains because of a specific cause and that cause was their standing fast with the God of Truth. Apostles like Paul and John, who were also prophets, suffered not for any guilt; but, for being truth-tellers even in the face of power. Remember also that the source of these assaults was centered in the nation/Congregation by those who instigated it. In any event, it was the sin of the nation and the first century church that led to both the guilty and the innocent being led into captivity.
The Lord Jesus was the Greatest of all the prophets sent. The Bible tells us, that in him was found no lie. He led the way and set the pattern of speech his true disciples must also possess of telling the truth, the whole truth, and telling no lie. His example has been rejected by most.
We should not confuse the pains and sufferings common to all humans, as some kind of ‘sign’ or evidence of suffering in the name of Jesus. While it is most certainly true that these can be manipulated by the demons and demonic people either by creating illness or by accentuating them, there needs to be positive proof that these sufferings are not simply a result of something coincidental to all. One can easily misinterpret these tribulations and develop a false sense of well-being in God’s sight; thinking he or she is suffering for the Lord.
Real Christian persecution is going on; though it remains veiled to a largely imperceptible world completely blinded by the demons. As man’s mean have advanced, more covert, insidious measures are employable that have not available in the past. Widespread ‘gang-stalking’ is used on specific ‘targeted’ individuals. There are ways to torture people without leaving visible marks. Through psychological conditioning tactics their plan is to mentally make one submit or destroy them, rendering him none effective. Behind the scene manipulation of everything from jobs, homes, credit, and even medical access and proper care. The denial of these things through manipulation from behind the scene wreaks havoc on the life of those subjected to it. It’s not quite as easy to burn someone at the stake these days, so other methods have to be employed. If the messenger will not stop preaching according to God, then family members, neighbors, coworkers, and people you depend on for services are used. The apostate church tells other members that you are the apostate and they will exclude you as family or congregation members. Jesus did say a “man’s enemies will be members of his own household”. The Devil will do terrible things to create pain for God’s children.
Haven’t you ever wondered: Where is the great wave of persecution upon Christ elect that was described as would occur in the final part of the days? From all public report, only a very small number of Jehovah’s Witnesses are living under extreme persecution. Most I know are living the best of lives. What do you think would happen if you approach the vast majority in the congregation today and asked, ” Recount for me the incidence you recall that you can point to that show you are suffering for your stance with Jesus”? There would be pregnant silence, fumbling, and an anxious desire to move on to some other topic. But there are those who do bear the scars of their obedience to Christ. Christ congregation is being persecuted and probably right under your nose. Perhaps you might be looking in the wrong places at the wrong people.
In the entirety of the Scriptural account, never once did any complete covenant group belonging to Jehovah God ever maintain keeping with the covenant. No complete group ever repented either. That is worth noting. At best they would reform for a brief period; when they were once again satisfied and secure, they quickly return to their God dishonoring practices. Only a small few were faithful to the end. But even so, they too were taken into captivity. Again, the Bible is a Book of patterns designed to inform.
Please compare this scenario to that set to occur at the End when the two horn wild beast appears. Jesus shows John at Revelation 13:7-10 the situation this small faithful remnant would face. Please read His words:
7 It was allowed to fight against God’s people and to defeat them, and it was given authority over every tribe, nation, language, and race.
8 All people living on earth will worship it, except those whose names were written before the creation of the world in the book of the living which belongs to the Lamb that was killed.
9 “Listen, then, if you have ears!
10 Whoever is meant to be captured will surely be captured; whoever is meant to be killed by the sword will surely be killed by the sword. This calls for endurance and faith on the part of God’s people.” GNT
Doesn’t that fit the same circumstances like those that Ezekiel and his contemporaries found themselves in? It was meant by Jehovah’s execution of Divine justice that they all go into captivity. It was not to be avoided. Those who attempted to do so by running to “Egypt” and “Assyria” for refuge met with death by means of sword, plague, or famine. They had no choice but to go into captivity for the appointed time. This would have called for endurance and acceptance of such circumstances back in the period of Exile and Babylonian captivity.
Because of the apostatizing of the leadership of the modern Christian congregation, the whole congregation has gone into captivity or exile. This is because have refused to repent by discarding false teachings. To the opposite, they compounded the sin by continuing to require others to believe and teach lies. Everyone that has preached these false teachings, even if in ignorance, are guilty.
What is real apostasy? What does the term really refer to? Isn’t God and His word the best source to find the answer?
The term the word ‘apostasy’ was first applied to a ‘turning away from God and then one going their own way (see Jeremiah 8:5). The original term was used at Jeremiah 14:7 describing the sin that accused God’s covenant people of “turning away” from Him many times. We hear God himself saying at Jeremiah 2:19,
“Your own evil will punish you, and your turn from me will condemn you. You will learn how bitter and wrong it is to abandon me, the Lord your God and no longer remain faithful to me. I, the Sovereign Lord Almighty have spoken” (GNT)
Quoting Holman Bible Dictionary under ‘Apostasy’, “The basic narrative of Judges, Samuel, Kings is that Israel fell away from God, choosing selfish ways rather than His ways. Involves doctrinal deception, moral insensitivity, and ethical departures from God’s truth.”
This required that the apostasy be at the highest level occupied by men. Looking at the apostatizing set to be occurring at this time, should one expect it would involve the highest earthly church officials today? With just a bit of reasoning this can be answered Scripturally.
According to Jesus’ prophetic words at John 16:2, some would be “expelled from the synagogues” on account of His name and it would be a test of their faith. Let’s reason on his words: Can you as a congregation member expel another member of the congregation? No, that requires authority. Jesus words must be therefore speaking of a group that has authority in the congregation to “expel”.
In regard to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, its leaders, and subordinate officers are the only ones with the power to expel members. Headed by the “governing body”, they have attempted to spiritually kill their fellow Christians because of their faithfulness to God, Jesus Christ the Head of the congregation, and to the Holy Scriptures. They do this by disfellowshipping them on unrighteous grounds; and false accusation of apostasy. Wasn’t Jesus falsely accused of apostatizing by the religious leaders of his time? It was a false accusation against him and his brothers have suffered likewise.
Mere acts of men or the words of men will not force the Lord Jesus to abandon his true disciples nor cause him to remove Divine covering from them thereby exposing them to demon attack. It certainly seems as though they believe they have such power and that they can put a some kind of ‘spell’ on those who resist them and then the demons will be allowed to attack. The demons may do their bidding but they nor the demons can order God or Jesus Christ to do a single thing. They have no control the fate of the children of God.
It was physical Israel that was first branded ‘apostate’. In each occurrence of their apostatizing it involved every strata of the nation’s population. Most significantly, was the active and passive participation of anointed Priest, Prophets, and Kings. In the case of Ezekiel, as we have been examining, it was the most esteem anointed and appointed leaders who were involved in the most egregious sins against Jehovah. This should dismiss any misconception some have that as long as you do what the leaders tell you, you’ll be all right with God. Has that ever been the case? Didn’t God punish them as He was punishing their leaders?
Remember God has said, “Each one will be judged according to their own deeds”.
(Psalm 62:12) ( Proverbs 24:12)
6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
11 For there is no respect of persons with God.
We are responsible for our own deeds. Those who receive the mark of the beast and its image will receive the same judgement as the False Prophet, The Harlot, and the beast. That is clear in Scripture.
9A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand,
10they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.
11And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.”
And yet today Jehovah’s Witnesses have adopted a definition of the word ‘apostasy’ that is completely foreign to the original, God-given definition of apostasy. According to the teaching they accept and live by, an apostate is anyone who does not support and obey the dictates of the Watchtower Organization Governing Body. This teaching and belief is according to the traditions of men.
We need to examine something very important that has changed over the last 30 years. It has to do with baptism. The Bible teaches that the earliest disciples were baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus himself gave this instruction and Jehovah’s Witnesses use this Scripture all the time. But they only see the part about the commission to preach the good news. They obviously can’t read His command to …”baptizing in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and teach them to obey all the things I have commanded you”(Matthew 28:19). Baptism is a sacred bonding sealed in Heaven (the act of dedication and baptism) and nothing should be or can be added to it without voiding it. It is a contract with God.
Contrary to this knowledge, in 1984 the Watchtower changed the questions baptismal candidates were asked prior to baptism to include a question that requires the candidate to vow of acceptance of the Watchtower as Jehovah’s only channel on Earth. They insert themselves between Christ Jesus and his disciple. Since this change, all that have been baptized with this added question have sworn allegiance to Jesus Christ and at the same time sworn an oath to something else. That is not a pure unadulterated dedication to Jehovah. Adding these words was clearly stepping way outside Christ’ command given. Such a baptism is invalid in God’s sight.
The largest part of this post 1984 group seems to be the ones that provide the popular support of the new human definition of apostasy. They are quite happy living up to what they dedicated themselves to…the Watchtower Organization God and not Jesus Christ. They would rather betray both God and Christ than to stand up and address this issue and make it right. They aid those who continue to suppress the truth and allow themselves to be used to persecute the true Christians among them. They present themselves ritualistically with an appearance of godly devotion. But a more critical and less superficial examination reveals that it is not founded on the source of true godly devotion. As Paul warned Timothy, “it proves false to its source” (2 Timothy 3:5). True Godly devotion can only be rendered through and in obedience to Lord Jesus Christ and the operation of the Holy Spirit. Any deviation makes one’s efforts a meaningless ritual to go through because it is meaningless to Him.
Anyone who has studied human conditioning and social group interaction, knows the value of the ‘labeling’ process for the ‘in’ group and the effects it has on the person(s) to be marginalized; then excluded as an ‘out’ group. We see this tactic employed across the broad spectrum of social interaction. The word ‘apostasy’ has become an effective label to use to control the spiritually blind. They do not even care if their use of the term apostasy is accurate anymore than a bigot cares if an ethnic or racial slur is valid. It is what they want to believe.
Jesus himself said concerning Jerusalem that they were the “Killers of the prophets”.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I wanted to gather your children as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me.” Luke 13:34 (New Living Translation)
It wasn’t the foreign nations that rejected the prophets, had them sawn into, decapitated, stoned, and crucified by a foreign nation. It was the covenant people of God and their leaders. The Revelation presents a seeming paradox. Let’s examine the Lord’s word to John found in Revelation 18:24 (NIV). These words are spoken of concerning not Jerusalem, but Babylon the Great City.
“In her was found the blood of the prophets and of God’s holy people, of all who have been slaughtered on earth.”
This city, also called the Great Whore or Harlot, must depict something in connection with apostate Jerusalem. It is the same speaker, Lord Jesus, in both instances. And since the Revelation is concerning the “last days”, it exists today. It poses such an unsavory thought that most current members of Jehovah’s Witnesses will not accept it. And sadly, some have come to realize the extent to which they have been betrayed and have come to the realization that they are associated with the monstrous “unclean thing” (two-horned wild beast and its image) and as a result of the shock have committed suicide. That is how real all of this is. The Watchtower organization and its continued adherents seem not to care at all about the misery and death that has occurred because of the Watchtower’s false doctrines. This reflects the attitude mention in the Holman Dictionary we discussed earlier. The Great Harlot is in the pattern of ‘adulterers’ of the Scriptures. Jehovah used this expression to describe those who broke the covenant with Him because it was like a wife breaking her marital bond (Scripturally, women often signify covenants). Jehovah called Israel an adulterating ‘whore’. He described both the two-tribe kingdom of Judah and the ten-tribe kingdom of Israel in terms of two whorish sisters that slept with everybody. Strange whores who paid their lovers instead of what normally happens in prostitution. And this is but one of many examples in Scripture of what Jehovah calls harlotry. The harlot is unfaithful to her Husbandly owner and the bond they have. Betrayal is at the heart of this as it has been through all history we know. This betrayal is manifest today by the leaders of the congregation and their army of unanointed spiritually gentile overseers.
Some understanding as to why both apostate Jerusalem and Great Babylon are the same in the Lord’s view is found in a mysterious vision the prophet Zechariah saw by Holy Spirit. You can read it directly from Scripture at Zechariah 5:1-11. (NIV)
“Then the angel who was speaking to me came forward and said to me, “Look up and see what is appearing”.
I asked, “What is it.” He replied, “It is a basket.” And he added, “This is the iniquity of the people throughout the land.”
Then the cover of lead was raised, and there in the basket sat a woman! He said, “This is wickedness” and he pushed her back into the basket and pushed its lead cover down on it.
Then I looked up – And there before me were two women, with the wind in their wings! They had wings like those of a stork, and they lifted up the basket between heaven and earth.
“Where are they taking the basket?” I asked the angel who was speaking to me.
He replied, “To the country of Babylonia to build a house for it. When the house is ready, the basket will be set there in its place” (GNT “to be worshiped”).
Notice that the basket represented the sin of the nation. And what was in the basket? There was found wickedness. Obviously the lead lid was secured to insure that what was in the basket would not escape to roam and engulf everything; so it refers to containment. The basket was Israel’s sin and its wickedness that were to be carried off to Babylonia where there it becomes, not an object of contempt nor condemnation, an object of adoration and a temple would be built for it. We see the ultimate daughter of Babylonian harlotry combined with the ultimate daughter of harlotries against Almighty God in the same place as well today. It was most appropriate for Jesus to use them synonymously.
The prophet Zechariah saw deep into the future to the last days. Today, what used to be a source of drawing people to God and Christ (as you might remember Jerusalem was to be a shining light for the nations upon a mountain), has become the foremost of the daughters of Babylon the Great. When referring to Babylon in the Revelation, Jesus is not referring to a group outside the congregation. Those outside are in no position to betray an oath binding them to God. There are none that God recognizes. This has to refer to the adulterousness of someone in a wife-like a covenant. These would be the modern-day Oholah and Oholibah who picture the ten-tribe and the two-tribe kingdoms of Israel. These one have prostituted themselves to the rulers of this world; mostly in secret like the behavior of the leader of Israel Ezekiel saw in the vision Jehovah gave him; worshiping demons in secret. And they (Satan’s Beast) have been granted their power, including the demonic, with the thought of destroying the true chosen by Christ Jesus. The most important reason for the existence of this massive façade is to fool the holy ones. It has been largely successful.
We are in the time of the Final Rebellion. It should be no wonder that Satan is employing his most devious of deceptions. The Book of Revelation tells that Satan desires most importantly to deceive the chosen ones. He is using the entire world and his demons to achieve his aim. He makes things appear to be opposite of what they truly are. What looks like Jerusalem is really Babylon. What appears to be an organization purely pursuing Christian goals is really an organization teaching more than anything else, godless apostasy and teaching God’s children to practice what He has forbidden. And they are a stumbling block to the nations, failing to be the light to spiritual gentiles God intended them to be. They teach them to eat things sacrifice to demons and to touch and eat blood.
The Watchtower leaders prepare a meal of Gospel truths laced with demon inspired expressions. Those looking through the haze of the demonic mind, see what looks like the path to the Kingdom of God; it is in reality, the pathway to the lake of fire.
Only by Divine power through Jesus is one able to see, as He removes the scales from the eyes, heart, and mind. There is only one ‘Door’. They preach the Watchtower Organization as the means of salvation, not Jesus Christ.
Those Ezekiel was sent to, had been yielded over gradually (probably imperceptible to them) to demonic thinking. They kept resisting Jehovah God. What other alternative could result? They became more and more spiritually, mentally, and morally blind as they obstinately renegaded in disobedience to God’s authority and instruction. They at some point could no longer distinguish the truth from a lie.
Today, there are millions in this self-induced, self-willed condition. In such, they are like those angels the Bible speaks of whom are held in bonds of dense darkness being held for the Day of Judgement. Because of rejecting the laws of Jehovah and becoming a law onto themselves, they are the part of the present day “man of lawlessness”. They bear the mark of the beast and have bowed down to its image; Scripture speaks of no redemption from bearing this mark.
One thing the Watchtower teachers cannot explain is their applying the exodus of people from Babylon as applying to ‘worldly’ people as they call members of other religious groups, leaving their old religions and joining Jehovah’s Witness. How could this be? Those leaving ancient Babylon were people who had a covenant relationship with Jehovah that then went into exile and were freed. The “getting out of her” today must be directed to a like covenant group and also have the same implications. Great Babylon and freedom from her has to do with God’s covenant people and their sins. It is not about a group that has never had a covenant with God.
How do “Jehovah’s Witnesses” have a covenant to keep with God?
Because Jehovah’s Witnesses have chosen to take upon themselves the bearing His name, they have a covenant obligation to carry it to the standards of He who bears the name. It is the most serious of responsibility a human can have. It is upon this that they will be judged.
I can only imagine how exasperated God’s prophets must have become; repeatedly being sent to speak to a group they knew were not turning back. As a normal human, Ezekiel may have thought, “They deserve it! Let them have it!” But it is not about the will of the messenger is it? How good of a messenger could you possibly be if you were not able to remember that you work for someone else and then remain focused on the task given to you? What if you were unable to keep your personal feelings from obscuring things? God told Ezekiel to speak all His words, whether they listen or not. We are impatient; God the Almighty is not. Lord Jesus today as well will keep sending his messengers for the appointed time period set in Heaven.
Certainly, the Holy Father Jehovah’s mercy and undeserved kindness have flowed in abundance since the beginning of this nightmare in Eden. Even though man has not deserved any favor, He has kept restraining His wrath and kept sending His servants the prophets with warnings to repent, turn around, and be saved. Almighty God did not spare Himself in His acts of loving-kindness. He sent His only son to suffer and die and in doing so also provided a means of salvation and the greatest prophet that ever lived. He has sent His messengers over and over again giving ample time for a repentant heart to be moved to deeds of repentance and true godly devotion. The time of pronouncement is at its end. The Day of Distress is at hand. Very soon the ‘Door’ to salvation will close and seal. After that, all the regrets, crying, and displays of acrimony will not change a thing. (Revelation 14:9-11)
Our God and Father Jehovah and our honorable High Priest and Lord Jesus Christ, particularly over the last twenty years have been ‘waking’ those from the slumber that are being called to salvation. Those who have shared in this marvelous message delivery work are thankful for the honor and privilege to be in service to the Lord. We exert ourselves, not for our sake, but for the sake of those who heed the warnings God has given. Our persistence is for the same reason Ezekiel remained persistent. As a watchman, Ezekiel life did not depend on the messages he delivered being accepted. As long has he fulfilled his commission he was right by God. Stubborn resistance only kills stubborn resistor. Just as they refused to obey Almighty God, so does apostate Israel and Judah today. They refuse to turn around and stop worshiping false gods and stop bowing down to images. They reject teaching from God’s word the Holy Scriptures and refuse to stop the teaching of misinterpretations and lies. They refuse to humble themselves and accept the messengers of Christ that he sends, and choose to take counsel with demons and demonized men, women, and children. In Ezekiel’s time remember what Scripture says about the leader of Jerusalem were thinking? “Jehovah does not see us! He has left the land.” Today the apostate leader of the Watchtower are speaking and acting as if Jesus does not really exist and can see them. In fact they mention obedience to Christ less and less.
The parallels are unmistakable. The pattern shown in The Bible is playing out. We need to constantly examine the Scriptures while praying for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Pay attention to the messages Christ is sending through the true anointed body. Your salvation will require adequate action on your part (Revelation 2:3). God’s word explains your personal obligation to God the same way He has always laid it out up front for any coming into a covenant relationship with Him.
At some point in time this warning call will cease. Heed the warning!
A pastor friend of mine made this statement in his online daily devotional. That was about eight years ago and he still makes the same statement every time he recycles this devotional.
“For 400 years God’s people were in slavery, malnourished and sickly.”
How many years were the children of Israel in hard bondage?
The church has been guilty of not being good Bereans for too long. All of the denominational curriculums that I have encountered teach that the children of Israel were in Egypt either 400 or 430 years and none of them (that I have encountered) can account for the apparent discrepancy in the two time frames. Doesn’t really matter, neither are correct.
And, all but one of the bible translations that I have checked, say the children of Israel were in Egypt 430 years (Exodus 12:40). KJV says something different.
But, Genesis and Exodus tell us:
Kohath (Moses’ grandfather) lived to be – 133 (Exodus 6:19) (Also, he was born in Canaan Gen 46:8)
Amram (Moses’ dad) lived to be – 137 (Exodus 6:20)
Moses age when he goes before Pharaoh – 80 (Exodus 7:7)
Total years in Egypt 350 (this does not allow for any overlap in their ages either)
But the bible says the children of Israel were in Egypt 430 years. Here we have the “traditions of the elders” being translated rather than the “Word of God”.
Mathematically, it is not possible for the children of Israel to have been in Egypt 400 years. And even more impossible for them to have been there 430 years.
So, where does the 400 years fit in?
Genesis 15:13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; (KJV)
Acts 7:6 And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years. (KJV)
Part of the apparent problem is prejudiced translations. The translators have been “taught” that the children of Israel were in Egypt 430 years and therefore they translate it accordingly. Here we have the same verse, from two different translations that give two different meanings (understandings).
Exodus 12:40 The sons of Jacob and their descendants had lived in Egypt 430 years, and it was on the last day of the 430th year that all of Jehovah’s people left the land. (LVB)
Exodus 12:40 Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. (KJV)
Two different translations, two different meanings.
The Living Bible states flatly that the children of Israel were in Egypt 430 years. The Living Bible translation of Exodus 12:40 is actually a commentary that reflects the theology of the translators and not what the Hebrew actually records. And the theology of the translators is wrong.
The King James states that the SOJOURNING of the children of Israel , who also dwelt in Egypt , was 430 years. The children of Israel (Abraham’s seed) sojourned places other than Egypt .
To establish the true timing, we first have to ascertain “Who is Abram’s seed?” Jacob? The Patriarchs? The Israelites? Abraham’s decedents?
Gen 21:12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.
If Isaac is the seed mentioned in Genesis 15:13, then the 400 year clock started running when he was born. Even Abraham was a stranger and sojourner in Canaan and Egypt, lands that were foreign to him.
Gen 25:26 And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau’s heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them.
So, if we start with Isaac, Abraham’s seed, he was 60 when Jacob was born. That’s 60 years off the 400 year clock.
Gen 47:9 And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.
Jacob was 130 years old when he (and all the rest of them) went into Egypt.
60 + 130 = 190 years off the 400 year clock.
So if we started with a 400 year clock and have used 190 of them getting to Egypt …
400 – 190 = 210 years left on the clock.
From the birth of Abraham’s seed, Isaac, to the coming out of Egypt was 400 years. But the children of Israel were only in Egypt 210 years. The ages of Levi, Kohath, Amram and Moses, all fit easily within the 210 year time frame.
But, there still seems to be a discrepancy of thirty years.
You have to look at Galatians 3:16 and 3:17 to find the 430 years. If you only look at Galatians 3:17, there’s a good chance one will get the wrong meaning.
Galatians3:16 Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many; but, referring to one, “And to your offspring,” which is Christ.
Galatians3:17 This is what I mean: the law, which came four hundred and thirty years afterward (after the promises), does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. (RSV)
The 430 years begins with the giving of the promises, not the institution of the covenant. Notice it says promises – plural.
God gave the promise to Abram twice … two different times. And Abram went into Canaan twice. God first appeared to him during his first dwelling in the land of Canaan when he was seventy years old. Isaac would be born thirty years later when Abraham was 100 years old (400 + 30 = 430). Abram returned to Haran from Canaan after God appeared to him to visit his father and mother. Genesis 12 picks up the story of Abram when he left Haran the second time at age seventy-five. The Apostle Paul knew about the first trip into Canaan and the first giving of the promise, hence he knew that from the first giving of the promise to the giving of the Law is 430 years.
How did Paul know? Paul had at least two books that he considered to be scripture that the Catholics didn’t allow in the Bible. The Book of Enoch, and the Book of Jasher.
17 And it was in the fifteenth year of Abram’s dwelling in the land of Canaan (the first time), which is the seventieth year of the life of Abram, and the Lord appeared to Abram in that year and he said to him, I am the Lord who brought thee out from Ur Casdim to give thee this land for an inheritance.
18 Now therefore walk before me and be perfect and keep my commands, for to thee and to thy seed I will give this land for an inheritance, from the river Mitzraim unto the great river Euphrates.
19 And thou shalt come to thy fathers in peace and in good age, and the fourth generation shall return here in this land and shall inherit it forever; and Abram built an altar, and he called upon the name of the Lord who appeared to him, and he brought up sacrifices upon the altar to the Lord.
20 At that time Abram returned and went to Haran to see his father and mother, and his father’s household, and Abram and his wife and all belonging to him returned to Haran, and Abram dwelt in Haran five years.
21 And many of the people of Haran, about seventy-two men, followed Abram and Abram taught them the instruction of the Lord and his ways, and he taught them to know the Lord.
(five years pass while Abram is visiting / living in Haran. This is where Genesis 12 starts)
22 In those days the Lord appeared to Abram in Haran, and he said to him, Behold, I spoke unto thee these twenty years back saying,
23 Go forth from thy land, from thy birth-place and from thy father’s house, to the land which I have shown thee to give it to thee and to thy children, for there in that land will I bless thee, and make thee a great nation, and make thy name great, and in thee shall the families of the earth be blessed.
24 Now therefore arise, go forth from this place, thou, thy wife, and all belonging to thee, also every one born in thy house and all the souls thou hast made in Haran, and bring them out with thee from here, and rise to return to the land of Canaan.
25 And Abram arose and took his wife Sarai and all belonging to him and all that were born to him in his house and the souls which they had made in Haran, and they came out to go to the land of Canaan.
26 And Abram went and returned to the land of Canaan, according to the word of the Lord. And Lot the son of his brother Haran went with him, and Abram was seventy-five years old when he went forth from Haran to return to the land of Canaan.
27 And he came to the land of Canaan according to the word of the Lord to Abram, and he pitched his tent and he dwelt in the plain of Mamre, and with him was Lot his brother’s son, and all belonging to him.
28 And the Lord again appeared to Abram and said, To thy seed will I give this land; and he there built an altar to the Lord who appeared to him, which is still to this day in the plains of Mamre.
From the giving of the (first) promise to the giving of the Law = 430 years
From the giving of the (first) promise to the birth of Isaac – 30 years
From the birth of Isaac to the giving of the Law = 400 years
From the birth of Isaac to Jacob’s going into Egypt – 190 years
Years the children of Israel were in Egypt = 210 years
Years in hard bondage in Egypt = less than 140 years.
The children of Israel did not go into hard bondage until after the death of Joseph and he lived at least 73 years after they arrived in Egypt (210 – 73 = 137)
Oh, by the way …
Jasher 81:4 And at the end of two hundred and ten years, the Lord brought forth the children of Israel from Egypt with a strong hand.
That … is a bull’s-eye.