Monday, March 28
“You are my witnesses,” declares Jehovah.
Sadly, the world’s news media has largely ignored or even distorted the most important facts of human history. This is certainly the case with what the almighty God stated by means of his ancient prophet Ezekiel: “The nations will have to know that I am Jehovah.” But the Sovereign Ruler of the universe does not depend on this world’s media. He has some eight million Witnesses who tell people of all nations about him and his past and present dealings with mankind. This army of Witnesses also announces what God promises to do for the future blessing of mankind. By giving this witness work our priority, we prove true to our God-given name. What a privilege it is to bear the name Jehovah, for he is “the King of eternity,” who says: “This is my name forever, and this is how I am to be remembered from generation to generation”!
The Watchtower has sponsored a remarkable worldwide education campaign, bearing witness to Jehovah and his purpose. Sadly, the very organization that bears the name of God has also reproached Jehovah’s name in a way that no other people can.
As a consequence, it is not just the nations, but Jehovah’s Witnesses will also have to know that he is Jehovah. That is because knowing that he is Jehovah involves much more than merely knowing that God has a personal name or even mentally acknowledging his godship.
The Israelites knew God’s name. They often christened their children with names that incorporated the divine name into their personal names. And they practiced a strict religion in accord with the law. But when they failed to obey the God whom they claimed to know then they were punished and made to know that Jehovah is a God who requires, yes demands, exclusive devotion.
The foundation of God’s law is based on love and justice. That is why Jehovah required men in power as judges not to deny the rights of fatherless boys and widows. In fact, the poor in general were to be taken into consideration. Those same principles were carried over to Christianity. That is why the letter of James reminds us: “The form of worship that is clean and undefiled from the standpoint of our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their tribulation, and to keep oneself without spot from the world.”
Now, it is no secret that thousands of children of Jehovah’s Witnesses have been sexually abused by men who were and are Jehovah’s Witnesses. It is in fact public knowledge, reported widely by various media. And as bad as that is, the underlying reason these horrors have been allowed is because of the policies of the Watchtower itself.
Surely, an abused child suffers “tribulation” —sometimes for a lifetime. In what way has the Watchtower looked after them? In some cases where victims have brought legal action against the Watchtower and its appointed elders the organization has gone to war against them in court. Sometimes the Society’s lawyers make out-of-court settlements, but bind the victims with gag orders that prevent them from talking about their ordeal. And, of course, it is well known that the Watchtower’s hush-hush policy has protected pedophiles and enabled them to harm multiple children. As was revealed in the recent Australian inquiry, the Watchtower’s policy of secrecy prevents crimes committed against children from even being reported to the police.
When Jehovah declared the sons of Jacob to be his witnesses in Isaiah, although the prophecy was recorded before Babylon ever ascended as the imperial power, God was really speaking to his people after they had been repurchased by God and released from captivity in Babylon. They were to become Jehovah’s witnesses by returning to rebuild Jerusalem and re-establish the true religion there.
However, as Jehovah’s Witnesses surely know the prophecy really speaks to the Israel of God. And it is their liberation from “Babylon” during the conclusion of the Christian era that accomplishes God’s purpose to create a new heavens and new earth, as foretold in Isaiah.
Although the Governing Body has concocted an elaborate explanation of Isaiah and the other prophecies, so as to teach that the Bible Students were released from greater Babylon in 1919, that is certainly not the case. Babylon in prophecy typifies the eighth king, also so does the 11th horn of the unusually fierce wild beast of Daniel’s vision; along with the fierce-looking king and the king of the north in the time of the end. In every instance those prophecies portray God’s people being crushed.
Again, although the Governing Body have interpreted these vital prophecies into virtual meaninglessness, they cannot nullify the word of God. At some point in the not-too-distant future the present system is going to crash and in its aftermath will arise a global, totalitarian monster. The work of Jehovah’s Witnesses will cease. The harvest lost. The Watchtower will be silenced. Kingdom halls shuttered. Then they will have know that he is Jehovah.