28. What happens when the third angel blows his trumpet?
28 “And the third angel blew his trumpet. And a great star burning as a lamp fell from heaven, and it fell upon a third of the rivers and upon the fountains of waters. And the name of the star is called Wormwood. And a third of the waters turned into wormwood, and many of the men died from the waters, because these had been made bitter.” (Revelation 8:10, 11)
31. (a) When did the clergy of Christendom fall from a “heavenly” position? (b) How have the waters served up by the clergy turned into “wormwood,” and with what result to many?
31 When the clergy of Christendom apostatized from true Christianity, they fell from the lofty “heavenly” position described by Paul at Ephesians 2:6, 7. Instead of offering fresh waters of truth, they served up “wormwood,” bitter lies such as hellfire, purgatory, the Trinity, and predestination; also, they led the nations into war, failing to build them up as moral servants of God. The result? Spiritual poisoning of those who believed the lies. Their case was similar to that of the unfaithful Israelites of Jeremiah’s day, to whom Jehovah said: “Here I am making them eat wormwood, and I will give them poisoned water to drink. For from the prophets of Jerusalem apostasy has gone forth to all the land.”—Jeremiah 9:15; 23:15.
Because of the preaching of Jehovah’s Witnesses, great numbers of people have come to realize that many doctrines taught by the clergy are spiritual poison—“wormwood.”
[Chart on page 139]
Christendom’s Waters Revealed to Be Wormwood
Beliefs and Attitudes What the Bible
of Christendom Really Says
God’s personal name is Jesus prayed that God’s name
unimportant: “The use of any be sanctified. Peter said:
proper name for the one and “Everyone who calls on the name
only God . . . is entirely of Jehovah will be saved.”
God is a Trinity: “The Father The Bible says that Jehovah is
is God, the Son is God, greater than Jesus and is the
and the Holy Spirit is God, God and head of Christ.
but one God.” (The Catholic 1 Corinthians 11:3)
Encyclopedia, 1912 edition) The holy spirit is God’s
active force. (Matthew 3:11;
The human soul is immortal: Man is a soul. At death
“When man dies his soul and body the soul ceases to think or
are disunited. His body . . . feel and returns to the dust
decays . . . The human soul, from which it was made.
Happens After Death, a Roman Psalm 146:3, 4;
The wicked are punished after The wages of sin is death, not
death in hell: “According to life in torment. (Romans 6:23)
traditional Christian belief, The dead rest unconscious in
hell is a place of unending hell (Hades, Sheol), awaiting
anguish and pain.” a resurrection. (Psalm 89:48;
1987 edition) Revelation 20:13, 14)
“The title Mediatrix The only mediator between God
[female mediator] is applied to and men is Jesus. (John 14:6;
Encyclopedia, 1967 edition) Heb 12:24)
Infants should be baptized: Baptism is for those who have
“From the very beginning the been made disciples and taught
Church has administered the to obey Jesus’ commandments.
Sacrament of Baptism to infants. To qualify for baptism,
Not only was this practice a person must understand God’s
considered lawful, but it was Word and exercise faith.
also taught to be absolutely (Matthew 28:19, 20;
Catholic Encyclopedia, 1967
Most churches are divided into All first-century Christians
a laity class and a clergy class, were ministers and shared in
which ministers to the laity. preaching the good news.
The clergy are usually given (Acts 2:17, 18;
ministry and are exalted over the A Christian should “give free,”
laity by titles such as not for a salary.
“Reverend,” “Father,” or “His (Matthew 10:7, 8)
Eminence.” Jesus strictly forbade the use
of religious titles.
Images, icons, and crosses are Christians must flee from
used in worship: “The images every sort of idolatry,
. . . of Christ, of the Virgin including so-called relative
Mother of God, and of the other worship. (Exodus 20:4, 5;
saints, are to be . . . 1 Corinthians 10:14;
kept in churches and due 1 John 5:21) They worship God
reverence and honor be paid to not by sight but with spirit
them.” (Declaration of the and truth. (John 4:23, 24;
Council of Trent [1545-63]) 2 Corinthians 5:7)
Church members are taught Jesus preached God’s Kingdom,
that God’s purposes will not some political system,
be accomplished through politics. as the hope for mankind.
stated: “There is only one road He refused to get involved in
to peace . . . , the highroad of politics. (John 6:14, 15)
democracy.” News items report His Kingdom was no part of
religion’s involvement in the this world; hence, his
world’s politics (even in followers were to be no part of
of the UN as “the last hope James warned against friendship
of concord and peace.” with the world. (James 4:4)