Question:

Hi minister,

Please I would like to ask about Isaiah 33:24. Is it truly saying that there will be sickness no more as the Jehovah's Witnesses claim?

Answer:

Both the nations of Israel and Judah have become involved in rampant sin. They had gotten complacent (Isaiah 32:9-11). They were treacherous and destructive (Isaiah 33:1). They were godless sinners (Isaiah 33:14). But God said He would heal them and forgive them. "And no resident will say, "I am sick"; The people who dwell there will be forgiven their iniquity" (Isaiah 33:24). He is not talking here about physical illnesses directly, but about the spiritual illness that had been plaguing them for so long. David said much the same, "Who pardons all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases" (Psalms 103:3).

Because of their sins God had struck Israel and Judah. "'He who dwells in this city will die by the sword and by famine and by pestilence; but he who goes out and falls away to the Chaldeans who are besieging you will live, and he will have his own life as booty. For I have set My face against this city for harm and not for good,' declares the LORD. 'It will be given into the hand of the king of Babylon and he will burn it with fire'" (Jeremiah 21:9-10). Thus, in another sense, because their sin had been punished, resulting in their repentance and forgiveness, God would remove His anger. The pestilence would no longer kill the people.

From what I've read, the Jehovah's Witnesses acknowledge this understanding of the passage but they then try to give it a double meaning to be applied to the future and claim that God is saying He is going to set up a paradise on earth. This is a product of their own imagination. Instead, in the Bible, we are told that heaven will be a place without sadness, death, or pain (Revelation 21:1-4). But Isaiah is not discussing heaven because the nations will still exist at the time Isaiah is discussing (Isaiah 34:1).

Response:

Thank you very much.

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