In an UPDATE on JW.org concerning the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses have stated that they “recognize that this pandemic is yet another evidence that we are living deep in the last days”.
What does the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses mean when they say ‘living deep in the last days’? How may the ordinary members of Jehovah’s Witnesses react to such a statement in light of the Coronavirus Outbreak? This blog post intends to answer those questions.
What does ‘living deep in the last days’ mean?
The Jehovah’s Witnesses are a religious group who believe that God, whom they call Jehovah, is going to have his Son Jesus rid the world of wickedness and turn the earth into a paradise. From the inception of the religion in the late 19th century and continuing through to our day, they have believed that God is going to do this ‘very soon’. In their interpretation of biblical chronology, they believe this end started in 1914 and was intended to complete before those who witnessed the events of 1914 died of old age. Therefore, ‘the last days’ of the world’s wickedness started in 1914.
Unfortunately, all the Jehovah’s Witnesses who lived during the events of World War I have died and the end did not come. However, that hasn’t fazed the Jehovah’s Witnesses. In 2013 they revised their chronology. Those alive now have had their lives overlap with those who witnessed the events of 1914. Therefore, the end is closer than ever. In other words, we are ‘living deep in the last days’. Another term they use is “end of this system of things”.
How may Jehovah’s Witnesses react to the Coronavirus Outbreak?
To answer this question, we need to look to the magazine studied by Jehovah’s Witnesses each week. This is The Watchtower. In the last five years, The Watchtower magazine has made mention of the end of this system many times. Below is quite an exhaustive list of statements made in the Watchtower since February 2016.
As we get closer to the end of this system of things, world conditions will deteriorate and life will become more challengingThe Watchtower Study Edition January 2020 p.13 par 19.
Jehovah’s Witnesses realize that the time left before God’s Kingdom brings an end to this current system of things is shortThe Watchtower Public Edition 2020 No.2 p.15
In fact, those friendships will last not only through the end of this system but for eternity!The Watchtower Study Edition November 2019 p. 7 par 19.
As mentioned earlier, there is very little time between now and the end of this system of things.The Watchtower Study Edition October 2019 p. 12 par 15.
May we as God’s messengers continue to help as many people as possible to survive the end of this system of things.The Watchtower Study Edition October 2019 p. 7.
As the end of this system of things draws closer, we expect our enemies to oppose us even more.The Watchtower Study Edition July 2019 p. 2 par 1.
We will likely have to cope with more trials as the end of this system draws near.The Watchtower Study Edition June 2019 p. 20 par 2.
As the end of this system draws near, we need our meetings to help us remain humble, courageous, and loving.The Watchtower Study Edition January 2019 p.30 par 16.
He knows what will happen in the future, and he knows exactly how close the end of this system is.The Watchtower Simplified Edition December 2018 p.15 par 2.
This reassures and comforts us very much as we get closer to the end of this system.The Watchtower Simplified Edition September 2018 p.26 par 15.
We can be confident that he knows exactly the right time to end this system of things.The Watchtower Study Edition July 2018 p.29.
If the end of this system has not come as soon as we expected, we too may feel anxious.The Watchtower Simplified Edition July 2018 p.20 par 18.
Divisions, prejudice, and hostility will doubtless increase in the world as we approach the end of this wicked system.The Watchtower Study Edition June 2018 p.12 par 19.
As we get closer to the end of this wicked system, people will become more divided, prejudiced, and hateful.The Watchtower Simplified Edition June 2018 p.12 par 19.
It is encouraging that many of Jehovah’s people have realized that the end of this system is very close and have decided to simplify their lives and start pioneering.The Watchtower Simplified Edition April 2018 p.13 par 14.
Paul said that these negative qualities would become even more common as we near the end of this system.The Watchtower Simplified Edition January 2018 p.27 par 2.
As we get closer to the end of this system, we can expect to have more problems.The Watchtower Simplified Edition January 2018 p.8 par 19.
As this system nears its end, we can expect the pressures of life to increase.The Watchtower Study Edition January 2018 p.11 par 19.
We are still living during his “presence,” and the end of this wicked system is very near.The Watchtower Simplified Edition December 2017 p.13 par 16.
Today, most faithful Christians are not anointed and called to serve in heaven with Christ. Rather, they await the end of this wicked system of things during “Jehovah’s day.” No one can know the exact timing of that end, but evidence shows that it is close.The Watchtower Study Edition December 2017 p.12 par 19.
Jehovah’s Witnesses have long established Scripturally that since 1914 we have been living during Jesus’ promised “presence.” It is still continuing, and the end of this wicked system of things is now very near.The Watchtower Study Edition December 2017 p.11 par 16.
Jehovah is a perfect judge, and his decision to destroy this system is perfectly fair.The Watchtower Simplified Edition April 2017 p.11 par 2.
Just as Jehovah put an end to all the immoral activities back then, so he will put an end to similar wrongdoing today when he brings judgment against this present system of things.The Watchtower Study Edition April 2017 p.12 par 11.
It is this corrupt world system of things, not the literal planet, that will meet its permanent end, as if destroyed by fire.The Watchtower Public Edition 2017 No.1 p.14
Today, most people refuse to listen to the good news of God’s Kingdom that is being preached throughout the earth for a witness to all the nations before this wicked system is brought to its end.The Watchtower Study Edition August 2016 p.10 par 9.
Has the Devil not already “blinded the minds of the unbelievers” about the coming end of this system of things and the fact that Christ is now ruling God’s Kingdom?The Watchtower Study Edition July 2016 p.16 par 11.
Likewise, the closer we get to the end of this system of things, the greater the challenge for us to stay awake. How tragic it would be if we were to fail to keep on the watch!The Watchtower Study Edition July 2016 p.15 par 10.
As we near the end of this system of things, now is not the time to amass more and more material things for ourselves. We should not expect that any of our possessions, regardless of how treasured or valuable they may be, will survive with us through the great tribulation.The Watchtower Study Edition July 2016 p.8 par 6.
At times, though, we may get tired of battling our enemies and of waiting for the end of this system of things.The Watchtower Study Edition April 2016 p.13 par 2.
Or we may get tired of waiting for the end of this wicked system. Jesus warned that we would have severe trials and cruel persecution during the last days.The Watchtower Simplified Edition April 2016 p.10 par 2.
Jehovah’s people have the enormous task of preaching the “good news” worldwide before the end of this system.The Watchtower Study Edition March 2016 p.14 par 4.
How do you think we should feel as we await the end of this wicked system of things?The Watchtower Study Edition February 2016 p.20.
With so many references to the end of the world, or the end of this wicked system of things, is it any wonder that Jehovah’s Witnesses are always in a state of expectation? At first they expected World War I to bring forth Armageddon. When that didn’t happen, they set numerous other dates, with 1975 being the most famous.
These days they no longer set dates. Instead, they keep their members anxiously waiting using the means stated at the outset. With the Coronavirus many Jehovah’s Witnesses see this as a fulfillment of scriptures in the book of Revelation where it talks about a pale horse bringing pestilence.
However, when the Coronavirus (COVID-19) passes into human history, the Jehovah’s Witnesses will quickly forget its biblical significance and move on to the next crisis that may support their interpretation of bible prophecy.
Living each day hoping that the next one brings an end to this world means that many of Jehovah’s Witnesses put their lives on hold to distribute literature for a publishing corporation. This corporation reports to none other than the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. And what do the ordinary Jehovah’s Witness members know about these men? Very little. They might do well to reflect on the words of Psalms 143:6.