Wednesday, January 25

We want to go with you, for we have heard that God is with you people.Zech. 8:23.

Speaking of the time in which we are living, Jehovah foretold: “In those days ten men out of all the languages of the nations will take hold, yes, they will take firm hold of the robe of a Jew, saying: ‘We want to go with you, for we have heard that God is with you people.’” Like the figurative ten men, those who have an earthly hope have taken “firm hold of the robe of a Jew.” They are proud to associate with the spirit-anointed “Israel of God,” knowing that Jehovah is blessing his anointed ones. As did the prophet Zechariah, Jesus highlighted the refreshing unity that is experienced by God’s people. He spoke of his followers as two groups, a “little flock” and “other sheep,” but he said that they would be “one flock” with “one shepherd.”

COMMENTARY

As a general rule everything the Watchtower teaches as a modern fulfillment of prophecy is wrong. That is certainly the case with the prophecy regarding the ten men who take a hold of the robe of the Jew.

The fallacy ought to be apparent by this simple fact: Even according to the Watchtower’s latest revision (2013) the faithful slave and the evil slave have not been distinguished yet. Neither have the wise and foolish virgins parted ways, not has the master called to account his slaves in whom he entrusted his money. That being true, how would it be possible for the symbolic ten men of the nations to discern which “Jew” was the true man of God? To put it another way, would it turn out well if anyone one seeking God would take hold of the robe of the evil slave? Where might that lead?

Interestingly, in Revelation Jesus spoke of those within his congregations who said they were Jews, but were lying and were actually a synagogue of Satan. Jesus was not speaking of someone pretending to be a literal Jew, but rather those who would falsely claim to be anointed. 

It is paradoxical, that the organization that champions the truth is also the purveyor of a massive falsehood. The falsehood being —not merely the insidious, invisible parousia hoax —but the delusion that the Watchtower is God’s visible organization and that it will guide all of the flock to the waters of life.

No doubt Satan recognized early-on that the original Bible Students were being used by Christ to expose the fake Christianity of the churches. Naturally, if allowed the wicked one would take measures to infiltrate, to oppose or pervert the truth in some fashion.

And it seems that Satan has been wildly successful in subtly presenting the Watchtower as the fortress of salvation, at least in the minds of Jehovah’s Witnesses. In ever so many ways the Watchtower has been elevated to occupy the place of the very Kingdom of God; again, at least in the minds of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

As with today’s text, salvation is presented as the reward of those who simply follow the program laid out by the Governing Body. And since the Watchtower controls what Jehovah’s Witnesses are allowed to think —at least as far as how the Scriptures are understood —there is no reason for the faithful to think otherwise. And for now it is not really an issue.

But the Devil most assuredly knows the truth. He knows the Kingdom has not begun ruling yet. He most certainly knows that he has not been cast down from Heaven. He knows that the Watchtower is not the place of refuge.

The prophecy of Zechariah came about after the Jews were liberated from Babylon and returned to Jerusalem. And the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses well know that the prophecies have a dual application to the establishment of the Kingdom and the restoration of all things. Prior to their exile Jerusalem had been where Jehovah placed his name. It was his city. However, he abandoned it in his anger and inflicted a severe punishment upon the Jews for their wicked ways.

The Watchtower now teaches that Christians went into captivity to modern Babylon beginning back in the fourth century and that God brought about a release in 1919. Since then the Watchtower Society has served as the rebuilt Jerusalem. Fred Franz wrote an entire book covering Zechariah and Haggai back in 1972 entitled Paradise Restored to Mankind by Theocracy, which, as one might guess, presented the Watchtower organization as the embodiment of the restoration of theocracy.

But the eighth chapter of Zechariah does not support the Watchtower’s interpretation. For example, in verse 14 Jehovah makes clear that he brought calamity upon Jerusalem because he had become indignant with them. How does that square with Christianity slowly being corrupted and co-opted by Rome? It doesn’t.

The fact is, there is nothing in the history of Christianity that can compare with the overthrow of Jerusalem and their exile in Babylon. That is because the modern overthrow of that which is represented by Jerusalem has not occurred yet.

Without dispute the desolation of an antitypical “Jerusalem” is the central feature of Jesus’ prophecy concerning the conclusion of the system of things. And it is in the aftermath of the desolation of “Jerusalem” during the time of the end that Jesus said he would dispatch his angels and they would gather the chosen ones from the four winds. Even the Watchtower recognizes this gathering as a future event. That being true, now consider a very important detail in the 8th chapter of Zechariah; namely, verse seven, which says: “This is what Jehovah of armies says, ‘Here I am saving my people from the lands of the east and the west. And I will bring them in, and they will reside in Jerusalem; and they will become my people, and I will become their God in truth and in righteousness.’”

The expression “I will become their God” does not mean that Jehovah was not the God of the Jews before he regathered them. It is a very common expression in the prophets and it signifies the end of the matter —it means that God has straightened everything out, settling the issues he had with his people before —resulting in his full blessing upon his people. The same expression is used in the oft-cited passage in Revelation, where it is said of the earthly survivors of the end of the world: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them.”

But the point is, the man who is a Jew only becomes such after God regathers his scattered people from the east and west —or from the four winds if you prefer.

The truth is, the prophetic man who is a Jew represents the entire body of chosen ones after they have been gathered, that is to say sealed, after the evil slave has been thrown out to weep and gnash his teeth in the outer darkness —when the chosen shine as brightly as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Then they will lead Jehovah’s sheep to pasturage and Jerusalem really will become the city of truth, even as Zechariah 8:3 states: “This is what Jehovah says, ‘I will return to Zion and reside in Jerusalem; and Jerusalem will be called the city of truth, and the mountain of Jehovah of armies, the holy mountain.’”

Needless to say, the Watchtower is no city of truth.  The city of truth is New Jerusalem that is coming. 

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