The latest February 15th Study Edition of the Watchtower is now available for download on JW.org – but one gruesome paragraph in particular will stand out for thinking Witnesses.
In the study article entitled “Hail Christ, the Glorious King!” one of the concluding paragraphs paints a grim picture of global carnage at Armageddon. Jeremiah 25:33 is invoked to remind Witnesses that those killed at Armageddon will be “from one end of the earth clear to the other end of the earth.”
And in wording reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 film “The Birds,” Watchtower applies the prophecy at Revelation 19:17,18 to describe the ultimate fate of any who ignore their teachings… (bold is mine)
“In poetic language, the psalmist prophesies that the King’s ‘arrows are sharp, piercing the hearts of his enemies’ and ‘making peoples fall before him.’ The carnage will be earth wide. Jeremiah’s prophecy foretells: “Those slain by Jehovah in that day will be from one end of the earth clear to the other end of the earth.” (Jer. 25:33) A parallel prophecy states: “I saw also an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice and said to all the birds that ﬂy in midheaven: ‘Come here, be gathered together to the great evening meal of God, so that you may eat the ﬂesh of kings and the ﬂesh of military commanders and the ﬂesh of strong men and the ﬂesh of horses and of those seated on them, and the ﬂesh of all, of freemen as well as of slaves and of small ones and great.’”—Rev. 19:17, 18.” (w14 2/15 p.7)
As though the use of the scripture in Revelation isn’t graphic and disturbing enough, with birds being summoned to “cleanse” the earth of the corpses of those slain, the warning is supported by a chilling illustration on the same page.
The message is simple. All must heed the Governing Body‘s self-proclaimed authority, or else expect to end up as bird food when Armageddon strikes.
Sadly this is not the first time the leaders of Jehovah’s Witnesses have resorted to fear-mongering to keep adherents in check. Those like myself who have grown up in the organization will recall countless images in Watchtower publications depicting the death of unbelievers at Armageddon.
And in one of his talks, Governing Body member Anthony Morris III drew from his Vietnam experience to give a morbid foregleam of a slain one as being “like a hot dog on a grill, blackened and splitting open.”
Those who choose to cling to such dreadful rhetoric as stated above need to ask themselves three questions: (1) “If there really is so much at stake, isn’t it worthwhile subjecting my beliefs to a rigorous test to make sure they really do add up?” (2) “Is this really a religion of love if its leaders need to threaten people in this way?” and (3) “Would Jehovah really kill all who aren’t Jehovah’s Witnesses when Armageddon strikes, even though these number into the billions, with a third of the world’s population in many Asian and Muslim countries never even having heard our message?”