Paul’s word picture recorded at 2 Timothy 2:19 depicts a foundation with a message on it, as if imprinted with a seal. In ancient times, it was not uncommon to display an inscription on a building’s foundation, perhaps showing who built it or who owned it. Paul was the first Bible writer to use this particular illustration. The seal on “the solid foundation of God” has two pronouncements. First, “Jehovah knows those who belong to him” and second, “Let everyone calling on the name of Jehovah renounce unrighteousness.” This reminds us of what we read at Numbers 16:5. What lesson can we learn from the “seal” in Paul’s word picture? For those who belong to God, Jehovah’s values and principles can be summed up in two fundamental truths: (1) Jehovah loves those who are loyal to him, and (2) Jehovah hates unrighteousness.
I know I have related this story before, so pardon me for repeating myself. But I think it bears repeating.
A few years ago when my wife and I lived in the UK in a little town north of London two lovely pioneer sisters knocked on our door. I greeted them and straightforwardly told them I was disfellowshipped. They persisted in engaging me in conversation and eventually asked why I had been DF’d. I told them that I had issues with the WT. Still they persisted and I explained to them that I had accused Bethel of apostasy. Their response is what is most telling. One of them stated: “Oh, Jehovah would never allow that to happen.” And the other sister nodded in agreement.
I am certain that the vast majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses would also agree with that sentiment too. However, as I pointed out to the sisters then, it bears repeating now: Every organization God has used has eventually gone into apostasy; that would include Israel, Judah and the original Christian congregation. And it most certainly will include the organization known as The Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
What is the point and how does it tie in with the daily text?
Because Jehovah knows those who belong to him he allows Satan to have some foothold among them. That was certainly the case in the first century. And it will be so up until Christ returns. Then what? A separation takes place.That is because, while Jehovah surely knows those who belong to him, the converse is true: He knows those who do not belong to him and those who have disowned the owner who bought them.
Jesus spoke numerous illustrations that speak to the matter: The wheat and the weeds, the wise and foolish virgins, the faithful and evil slaves – ultimately the sheep and the goats. Furthermore, Jesus explained that his presence will be as the days of Noah. Then, one will be taken and the other abandoned.
But before Christ comes alongside those who belong to Jehovah, first must come the apostasy fomented by the man of lawlessness. Surely, the mystery of this lawlessness is already at work.