Jehovah referred to the patriarch and ancestor of the Israelites as “Abraham my friend.” Second Chronicles 20:7 also calls Abraham a friend of God. What was the basis for that faithful man’s enduring friendship with his Creator? It was Abraham’s faith.Like Abraham, the more you learn about Jehovah, the stronger your faith in him becomes, and your love for him deepens. Think back to the time when you discovered that God is a real Person, someone with whom you could develop a close relationship. When we learned about his provision of Jesus’ ransom sacrifice and exercised faith in that provision, we began to build a friendship with God. As we look back now, we might well ask ourselves: ‘Am I making progress in my friendship with God? Is my trust in him strong, and is my love for my beloved Friend, Jehovah, growing each day?’
Unfortunately, although the Watchtower has sponsored a remarkable, worldwide educational program that has helped millions of people come to a basic knowledge of the truth, in so doing, it — the organization — has come the centerpiece around which the faith of Jehovah’s Witnesses revolves.
That this is the case is even demonstrated by the fact that large numbers of Jehovah’s Witnesses have been stumbled by the Watchtower. But that would not be possible if such persons did not look to the Watchtower — at least prior to their being stumbled by it — as the infallible mouthpiece of God, which, of course, is the attitude nurtured by the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
But there was no visible organization when Abraham became God’s friend. For that matter, there was no earthly organization when Job was upon the earth either. What’s the point? Those men had to demonstrate their faith without the support of any organization. And in the case of Job, we know that it was absolutely essential that Job stand alone in order to satisfy the demand of Satan, who accused God of putting a protective barrier around him.
In the modern era there is no question that Jehovah has used the Watchtower to accomplish an important phase of his work. He has protected and nurtured it up until now. But we should not suppose that that will always be the case. In order for Jehovah’s Witnesses to demonstrate that they really have faith, that they really are friends of God, it must be that they too must stand alone without the tutorship of the Watchtower Bible and tract Society.
This is the message contained in prophecy.
The 29th chapter of Isaiah foretells the end of Jehovah’s earthly organization. But the end result is the complete accomplishment of Jehovah’s purpose. That is expressed in the closing words of the 29th chapter: “So this is what Jehovah, who redeemed Abraham, says to the house of Jacob: ‘Jacob will no longer be ashamed, and no more will his face grow pale. For when he sees his children, who are the work of my hands, in his midst, they will sanctify my name; yes, they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and they will stand in awe of the God of Israel. Those who are wayward in spirit will acquire understanding, and those who complain will accept instruction.'”