If you are one of Jehovah’s Witnesses you been given a great gift. Because of your having acquired an accurate knowledge of the precious truth contained in the Sacred Scriptures and a meaningful Christian ministry, you are in a position to be blessed by God, such as no people have ever been blessed before.
By means of the world-wide work sponsored by the Watchtower Society over the past 130-years, Jehovah God has prepared a people for survival through the coming global holocaust with the prospect of your being part of the nucleus of a righteous new world. The unspeakably wonderful privilege set before you is not merely being part of the first generation of humans who will never die, but rather, because of your already knowing and participating in the resolution of the great universal issues regarding Jehovah’s sovereignty and the integrity of all intelligent creation being called into question by Satan, you are in an advantaged position to take a stand on the world’s stage as a resolute advocate of the kingdom of Christ during the critical time of the end.
Many of the International Bible students and Jehovah’s Witnesses in the 20th century have already had the privilege of demonstrating their faith in such a manner. Although J.F. Rutherford may have unwisely tried to placate Hitler initially, that does not diminish the faith and courage displayed by Jehovah’s Witnesses in Germany during the Nazi reign of terror, which is well documented in the Holocaust Museum. Due to their faith in God and the hope of the resurrection Jehovah’s Witnesses were the only religious group that uncompromisingly stood up to Hitler and were willing to take his merciless punishment without flinching.
More recently Jehovah’s Witnesses in Malawi endured horrible persecution because of their refusal to buy 25-cent ID card that would have affiliated them with the ruling political party. And since the Second World War many, many male members of Jehovah’s Witnesses have suffered imprisonment because of their refusal to take up arms and be trained to kill their fellowman.
But besides the common temptations that befall all of us and the relatively light persecutions and ridicule Jehovah’s Witnesses are routinely subjected to, most of Jehovah’s Witnesses presently have never been confronted with these great tests of Christian loyalty and faith.
That is about to change.
“I WILL MAKE YOU PASS UNDER THE ROD”
When Jehovah brought the Israelites and the vast mixed company out of Egypt and through the Red Sea they were not directly led into the Promised Land – the land flowing with milk and honey. Instead, they wandered in an uninhabited and fear-inspiring wilderness for forty years. Through the hardships that befell them Jehovah tested them to determine if they were really putting faith in him. Sadly, the historical record indicates that most did not.
In the 20th chapter of Ezekiel Jehovah made reference to the Israelite experience in the wilderness in announcing his determination to establish a nation of loyal worshipers. Specifically, Ezekiel 20:37-38 states: ‘“Just as I put myself on judgment with your forefathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I shall put myself on judgment with you,’ is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. ‘And I will make you pass under the rod and bring you into the bond of the covenant. And I will clean out from you the revolters and the transgressors against me, for out of the land of their alien residence I shall bring them forth, but onto the soil of Israel they will not come; and you people will have to know that I am Jehovah.”’
Passing under the rod is apparently a reference to Moses’ rod, the rod being a symbol of his office as prophet and judge. Since the soil of Israel had originally been the Promised Land it stands as a symbol for the new world that God has promised to the meek and faithful under the rule of Christ’s kingdom. All those who hope to inherit the new earth must pass under the rod of Christ – Jehovah’s appointed spokesman and judge.
According to the Watchtower’s interpretation though, unfaithful Israel of old is pictorial of Christendom. But if that is the true interpretation are we to expect God’s judgments to remove the multitudes of transgressors out from among the thousands of different religious denominations and sects making up Christendom and establish his covenant with them as a prelude to their entry into that which is represented by “the soil of Israel”? The answer should be obvious.
This brings us to the nature of the test come. For a test to accomplish its intended purpose it must of necessity be unexpected. Consider the situation of the apostles leading up to the death of Jesus Christ. On the night of his arrest Jesus told Peter that Satan had demanded to have them to sift as wheat. Jehovah allowed it, just as he also allowed Jesus to be put to the test by the Tempter. The sifting came about due to the disciples’ faulty expectations regarding Christ. Although Jesus told them on numerous occasions that he was destined to be handed over to the Jews and put to death the apostles simply could not accept it. On one occasion Peter even pulled Jesus aside and try to dissuade Jesus from his God-ordained, sacrificial course, only to be rebuked by Christ. The reason the apostles could not grasp that Christ had to die is because they were laboring under the erroneous assumptions common among the Jews at that time; namely, that the Messiah would reestablish the earthly kingdom of Israel and free them from Roman domination. A suffering Messiah who would be rejected by the nation’s religious leaders and put to death was unacceptable to them. So, when Jesus was unexpectedly put to death his disciples were stumbled and their faith was tested. For example, in spite of the testimony of his fellow disciples who had already seen Jesus, the apostle Thomas resolutely refused to believe that Jesus had been resurrected until he could personally see him.
The faith of Jehovah’s Witnesses will be tested in a similar way.
DO YOU BELONG TO GOD’S SPIRIT-DIRECTED ORGANIZATION?
As all of Jehovah’s Witnesses know, the Watchtower Society has absolute control over the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Governing Body of the Watchtower Society determines virtually every aspect of the faith of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Not only does the Governing Body determine doctrinal matters, but also they interpret the meaning of prophecy, and along with the less visible board of directors for the Watchtower Corporation, Bethel determines policy for the congregations and even dictates trivial instructions on how meetings should be conducted and a host of other matters. It is no exaggeration – Bethel even claims to speak for God himself and Jehovah’s Witnesses treat their every utterance accordingly.
Because of their power and dominance over the spiritual lives of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Watchtower organization may have come to occupy the place in the hearts and minds of dedicated Christians exclusively reserved for Jehovah and Christ. After all, some of the Corinthian Christians boasted of belonging to Paul and Cephas and Apollos. We should not suppose that the human tendency to follow men is any less ingrained now or that the Watchtower Organization is any less imposing in the spiritual lives of Jehovah’s Witnesses today than the apostles were then. While Jehovah’s Witnesses may vigorously deny that they are mere followers of the Watchtower Society, Satan the Devil, being “the accuser of our brothers,” could easily make the case that you are, and not without some justification.
(One of the most insidious instances of the Watchtower Society actually inserting itself into the place reserved for God and Christ is the undeniable fact that since 1985 all persons who are baptized in the name of the Father and Son must also confess to being followers of the “spirit-directed organization” too. Ought Jehovah’s Witnesses suppose it is a trifling matter in the eyes of God that the Watchtower has insinuated itself into the sacred baptismal vows? Remember, please, that Jehovah debarred Moses from entering the Promised Land because on one occasion he rashly took credit for miraculously providing water.)
In view of the inordinate power the Society wields over the congregations, the question of whether Jehovah’s Witnesses have genuine faith in God can only be answered definitively if the Watchtower were to be taken out of the picture. And not only taken out of the picture, but in view of the nature of the tests that Satan brought upon the original followers of Christ, in order to do his sifting work today the test of faith that Jehovah’s Witnesses will inevitably be subjected to is the discrediting and humiliation of the “spirit-directed organization” – the Watchtower Society.
As all of Jehovah’s Witnesses are surely aware, according to the Watchtower’s interpretation of numerous prophecies, Jesus Christ returned in 1914 and after the great upheaval during the First World War, since 1919 the Watchtower Society has been transformed into a spiritual paradise and all of Jehovah’s Witnesses now speak the prophesied pure language of truth.
It is considered to be virtually impossible in the minds of Jehovah’s Witnesses that the sign of Christ’s presence could present itself more convincingly at a future time. This in spite of the persistent reality that the world now stands at the brink of global war using nuclear weapons, a hyperinflationary financial crash and the food shortages and disease pandemics that would surely follow an economic collapse.
Due to cult-like indoctrination it is presently inconceivable to Jehovah’s Witnesses that the Watchtower could ever be in error in any significant way. And if there is any need for minor doctrinal or organizational changes, then it is believed that Jehovah will kindly bring it to the attention of the Governing Body and they will promptly make the needed adjustments. It is deemed to be impossible that the leadership of the Society could ever come under evil influence or mislead Jehovah’s Witnesses in any way.
“LET NO ONE SEDUCE YOU IN ANY MANNER”
Because the faithful have always lived in expectation of Jesus’ promised return Satan is intent on devising various schemes to trick Christians into believing in a fake parousia. In the first century Satan used two individuals, Hymenaeus and Philetus by name, whom Paul said had “deviated from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already occurred; and they are subverting the faith of some.”
In his second letter to the Thessalonians, Paul explicitly warned the brothers not to allow themselves to be seduced by official sounding proclamations heralding the presence of Christ. At Thessalonians 2:1-5, the inspired apostle wrote: “However, brothers, respecting the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we request of you not to be quickly shaken from your reason nor to be excited either through an inspired expression or through a verbal message or through a letter as though from us, to the effect that the day of Jehovah is here. Let no one seduce you in any manner, because it will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness gets revealed, the son of destruction. He is set in opposition and lifts himself up over everyone who is called “god” or an object of reverence, so that he sits down in the temple of The God, publicly showing himself to be a god. Do you not remember that, while I was yet with you, I used to tell you these things?”
Now consider the facts:
Since they were initially formed into an association, the International Bible Students were seduced into believing that the presence of Christ commenced in 1874. One of the first issues of the Watchtower Magazine in 1878 heralded 1914 as the year designated in Bible chronology, corroborated by occultic pyramidology, as the beginning of the day of Jehovah. Some of those early Bible Students were so shaken from their reason by Russell’s apocalyptic message that in the early part of 1914 they sold their winter clothes, assuming they would not need them come the winter of 1914-15. The Watchtower Society teaches that the resurrection has already begun too – supposedly in 1918.
About a decade after 1914 had come and gone the Watchtower Society dropped 1874 as the date of Christ’s return and adopted 1914. However, up until 1970 the Watchtower taught that the great tribulation and the day of Jehovah had begun in 1914, but that God had cut it short. Also, as is well known, back in the 1960’s the Watchtower Society began building anticipation for the year 1975. Again, many became “excited” through “verbal messages” issued by circuit and district overseers and other Watchtower officials. But, needless to say 1975 came and went uneventfully. But to this day the Society continues to issue official sounding verbal messages and apostolic-like letters in the form of various publications insisting the parosuia has already begun and the day of Jehovah is here.
But 1914 is easily refuted. Simply considering the context of the 21st chapter of Luke ought to convince reasonable minds that the so-called gentile times, “the appointed times of the nations,” did not begin when the Chaldeans destroyed Jerusalem.
A few days prior to Jesus’ remarks he had stunned the apostles when he told them that the temple in Jerusalem was going to be thrown down without so much as a single stone remaining upon another stone. When the disciples questioned Jesus regarding when these things would occur he went on to explain to them that Jerusalem would be surrounded by pointed stakes and distressed from every side and that the holy place would be trampled upon by the nations until the appointed times of the nations had been fulfilled. Jesus went on to tell them that when they saw the disgusting thing standing in the holy place they were to immediately flee out of Jerusalem and not return. So, their heeding the sign Jesus gave them would be of life and death importance.
Now ask yourself: If I had been one of the apostles on the Mount of Olives listening to Jesus explain the events that were to occur, would I have perhaps understood him to mean that the trampling of Jerusalem by the nations had already begun five centuries prior when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Solomon’s temple? No sober-minded person would ever arrive at that conclusion. And yet, that is precisely what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe today!
That being the case, how can any honest-reasoning person deny that Jehovah’s Witnesses have been positively shaken from their reason and seduced by the Watchtower’s clever but specious presentation of chronology?
“THAT THEY MAY GET TO BELIEVING THE LIE”
According to the Watchtower the man of lawlessness is manifest in the clergy of Christendom. The apostasy that Paul prophesied supposedly occurred some 17 centuries ago when Constantine assumed control of what passed for Christianity. However, Paul indicated that the presence of a man of lawlessness would be an immediate prelude to the authentic presence and manifestation of Christ.
It is most noteworthy that Paul also described the man of lawlessness as “the son of destruction.” That is an allusion to Judas, the traitorous apostle and treacherous associate of Jesus. This, and Paul’s revelation that the man of lawlessness sits down in the spiritual temple of The God, which is to say – Christ’s congregation – indicates that the man of lawlessness exists inside the intimate group of Christians up until the manifestation of Jesus Christ.
Just as the apostles were oblivious to Judas’ duplicitous nature up until the moment he betrayed the Lord with a tender kiss, so too, the chosen ones who make up the temple of Christ are presumably unaware of the existence of the man of lawlessness in their midst. That is because he is an agent of Satan and can easily transform himself into a minister of righteousness, just as his master, Satan, is capable of transforming himself into an angel of light, as he did in connection with the superfine apostles who had wheedled their way into leadership positions among the Corinthians back then.
Paul went on to say: “But the lawless one’s presence is according to the operation of Satan with every powerful work and lying signs and portents and with every unrighteous deception for those who are perishing, as a retribution because they did not accept the love of the truth that they might be saved. So that is why God lets an operation of error go to them, that they may get to believing the lie, in order that they all may be judged because they did not believe the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness.”
Keep in mind that Paul’s sobering warning was directed to anointed Christians. They are the ones whom Satan has demanded to have to sift as wheat. And that is why Jehovah allows an operation of error to go to those who otherwise know the truth, in order to have their love of the truth tested. And according to the context of our apostle’s warning, the operation of error emanating from Satan, through his man of lawlessness, is intended to deceive anointed Christians into accepting a faux parousia. Also, it should be noted that Jesus himself warned of a great deceptive work that would counterfeit the very presence of the Christ that would be in operation during the conclusion of the system, which will be so convincing so as to deceive even the chosen ones, were that possible.
That the foretold “operation of error” is in effect at this moment is evident by the fact that Paul said it was in order that they may be judged. In other words, those who continue to believe the lie after Christ’s parousia actually commences will be adversely judged. This is the means by which Jehovah shall cause his people to pass under the rod during the judgment.
When considering the Watchtower Society’s long record of false proclamations regarding the parousia and the day of Jehovah, dating all the way back to 1874, and the artifice used to twist the meaning of the appointed times of the nations, (and many other prophecies not highlighted in this article) and the fact that the Organization claims to speak for Jehovah himself, in affect, claiming to be a god, can there be any doubt that the man of lawlessness resides within the Bethel leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses?
During the test to come all of Jehovah’s Witnesses will be required to dislodge the operation of error that the Watchtower has implanted in their minds or risk losing all. The question all of Jehovah’s Witnesses reading this article ought to consider is this: When the Son of man arrives will he really find the faith dwelling in me?