Wednesday, July 15
His face shone as the sun, and his outer garments became brilliant. —Matt. 17:2.
Jesus had invited Peter, James, and John to accompany him up into a high mountain. While there, they saw a remarkable vision. Jesus’ face shone brightly and his clothes glistened. Two figures, representing Moses and Elijah, began talking to Jesus about his coming death and resurrection. (Luke 9:29-32) Next, a bright cloud covered them, and they heard a voice from the cloud —God’s voice! The vision gave a preview of Jesus’ future glory and power as King of God’s Kingdom. No doubt, Christ was encouraged and fortified for the sufferings and painful death he would endure. The vision also built up the disciples’ faith and strengthened them for the tests of integrity and years of hard work that lay ahead. Some 30 years later, the apostle Peter referred to the vision of the transfiguration, showing that the vision was still vivid in his mind. —2 Pet. 1:16-18. w19.0310 ¶7-8
It is possible to be deceptive without actually lying. Yes, simply omitting something or glossing over an important detail can have the same effect as an outright lie. Such is the case with the Watchtower’s daily text. To the point, the text above states: “The vision gave a preview of Jesus’ future glory and power as King of God’s Kingdom.”
The statement above is true. However, what is omitted is what the apostle Peter said regarding the transfiguration, namely: “No, it was not by following artfully contrived false stories that we made known to you the power and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, but rather, we were eyewitnesses of his magnificence.” — 2 Peter 1:16
Peter was on the mountain with John and James. They were eyewitnesses to the magnificent transformation of Christ. Take note of the underlined word above. The apostle explained that transfiguration was a foregleam of the parousia of Jesus. Why didn’t the Watchtower say that? No doubt because it might cause someone to question the artfully contrived false story the Watchtower has been peddling since 1874 regarding a supposed ongoing invisible presence.
Obviously, though, if Peter was an eyewitness to an event that is a portent of the future presence of Christ, then the parousia must be visible —at least to the sons of the Kingdom, which Peter was.
The apostle went on to say regarding the transfiguration: “So we have the prophetic word made more sure, and you are doing well in paying attention to it as to a lamp shining in a dark place (until day dawns and a daystar rises) in your hearts.”
Peter is illustrating the powerful presence of Christ by likening it to the dawn of a new day and a daystar rising in the hearts of those who have been called into the Kingdom. But, notice again, how the Watchtower deceptively omits any reference to the transfiguration as a portent of the parousia. Below is an excerpt from the Watchtower in 2008 discussing highlights from the letter of Peter:
Who is the “daystar,” when does he rise, and how do we come to know that this has happened? The “daystar” is Jesus Christ in Kingdom power. (Rev. 22:16) In 1914, Jesus rose before all creation as the Messianic King, heralding the dawn of a new day. The transfiguration provided a visionary foreview of Jesus’ glory and Kingdom power, underscoring the dependability of God’s prophetic word. Paying attention to that word illuminates our hearts, and we are thus made aware that the Daystar has risen.
If the Watchtower’s artfully contrived false story were true —if the daystar actually ascended in 1914 —why then is it necessary for Jehovah’s Witnesses to keep studying and paying attention to God’s prophetic word? That is the point the apostle was making. We do well to keep paying attention to the word of prophecy like a lamp in a dark place until day dawns. When the daystar finally arises in the hearts of those who have kept in anticipation of the coming of the Lord it will no longer be necessary to pay attention to prophecy.
Taking the illustration one step further, who would find it necessary to carry about a lighted lamp on a bright sunny day? No, the dawning of day dispels the darkness of night. Why is the meaning of that simple illustration lost on Jehovah’s Witnesses?