Can anyone explain the Jehovah's Witness eschatology surrounding Armageddon and the Second Coming of Christ? I realize the church teaches that Jesus came "invisibly" in 1914 and is ruling from Heaven, but if He is ruling, why does evil still exist? If Satan and his angels were cast out of Heaven to Earth, how was man tempted before 1914? And how did Christ cast them out of people? Did the evil spirits simply travel between Heaven and Earth?
Armageddon is also a question mark with me. According to the scriptures, Armageddon comes just before the Millennium, but it happens in Jerusalem and only concerns Judah and the Beast. The JW concept resembles Ragnarök, the last great battle, one of good versus evil. But in the Poetic Edda, the battle ends with the destruction of both. The scriptures indicate that Armageddon ends with Jesus (Jehovah) coming to the Mount of Olives and save the unconverted Jews. They explain it thus:
And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. (Zechariah 14)
Note that this refers to the coming of "the Lord my God," which is Christ. John wrote: “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.” (Revelation 1:7) After the coming of Jehovah, Zechariah writes: “In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.” So Jehovah comes, saves and converts the Jews, and then there is mourning because the Jews realized their fathers had killed the Messiah.
What does this mean?
- Jesus and Jehovah are one and the same
- He comes to Jerusalem and descends upon the Mount of Olives, which fulfills the words of the angel: " Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet...." (Acts 1:4-5)
- Every eye shall see Him, including those in the spirit world who "pierced" Him
- He will come with all the saints (members of the church), who will be caught up to meet Him
To me, this is all obvious, with little room for misunderstanding. Yet the JWs are insistent that this is all wrong, and though it's carefully described in the Bible, and in some detail as shown above, and it's as if it were lifted from their scriptures and thrown in the trash can.
I'm not trying to trash JWs, but I'm sure the Governing Body has read and knows about these scriptures. How do they rationalize Armageddon being a local event that excludes the Jews? And why would John spell out the divisions in the 144,000 in the tribes of Israel if it was just a "spiritual" interpretation. I'm baffled by their interpretation, but that's another issue.
If you're a Jehovah's Witness and don't wish to respond here, please send me a PM. Also, do the JWs usually study prophecy, or do they just read articles about it? I'm not trying to be sarcastic, but the JWs I knew back in the 70s seemed to be much more knowledgable about the scriptures than today's members.