When Jesus Christ performed his brief ministry in Israel some 20 centuries ago, on several occasions he opened the eyes of blind men. Once he even gave sight to a man who had been born blind, who had never before seen the light of day.
But Jesus also opened the minds of people to “see” the truth. That is why Christ referred to himself as “the way and the truth” and “the light of the world.” Conversely, Satan and the demons are the rulers of darkness and possess the power to blind the minds of unbelievers. And according to the light of scripture the world at large is entirely cloaked in demonic murk.
Of course, people do not consciously allow themselves to be mentally blinded by the Devil. There is deception involved. Satan misleads people by first duping them to accept that the lies and misconceptions they believe are the truth. Under the demon’s pall the darkness becomes the light and the blind are convinced that they bask in divine radiance.
There is also the underlying sinfulness of humanity that drives them from the light. Or as Jesus himself put it: “Now this is the basis for judgment, that the light has come into the world but men have loved the darkness rather than the light, for their works were wicked.”
And human nature being what it is, oftentimes people are afraid to reject what is popularly considered to be the truth; or they may be too proud and arrogant to admit to themselves that what they hold to be true is really untrue. Only the meek and lowly can hope to become truly illuminated.
That was the case with the Pharisees and other religious leaders in Jesus’ day. Although they were in expectation of the Messiah and had been eyewitnesses to many of the miracles Jesus performed and they even heard him speak on numerous occasions, they claimed he was a fake and instead of accepting Jesus as the messenger of God, they schemed to have him put to death.
As a result of Jesus having healed the man born blind and especially because he performed this extraordinary miracle on the Sabbath, the Pharisees were driven into a murderous rage. They twice interrogated the man and also his parents because they refused to accept the fact that he had been born blind. Ultimately, the man who was miraculously given sight was expelled from the synagogue to become an outcast of Jewish society – disfellowshipped in modern theocratic terminology – for having given the proud religious leaders a witness concerning Christ. (John 9)
FOR THIS JUDGMENT I CAME INTO THE WORLD
Because Jesus had performed the healing by smearing a spit-moistened clay (holy spit?) on the man’s eyes – instructing him to go wash it off in the pool of Siloam – the man did not know Jesus’ appearance. It was afterward – after he had been thrown out of the synagogue, that Jesus approached him again and asked: “Are you putting faith in the Son of man?”
The man answered: “And who is he, sir, that I may put faith in him?”
Jesus said to him: “You have seen him and, besides, he that is speaking with you is that one.”
Then he said: “I do put faith in him, Lord.” And he did obeisance to him.
And Jesus went on to say: “For this judgment I came into this world: that those not seeing might see and those seeing might become blind.”
Those of the Pharisees who were with him heard these things, and they said to him: “We are not blind also, are we?”
Jesus said to them: “If you were blind, you would have no sin. But now you say, ‘We see.’Your sin remains.”
Now consider the article in the January, 2014, Watchtower Magazine: Let Your Kingdom Come – But When?
In the opening paragraphs the article explains that the masses of the world are blind to the real importance of what occurred 100 years ago, back in 1914, but that Jehovah’s Witnesses are enlightened. Spanning the second and third paragraphs the Society states:
Many people today experience a similar form of blindness when it comes to world events. They may admit that the world has changed greatly since 1914, but they do not see the real significance of these events. As Bible students, we know that in one sense God’s Kingdom came in 1914 when Jesus was installed as King in heaven… Because we regularly study God’s Word, we can see that prophecy is being fulfilled right now. What a contrast with people in general! They are so involved in their lives and pursuits that they overlook the clear evidence that Christ has been ruling since 1914 and will soon bring God’s judgment…
The leadership of the Watchtower Society are in a similar position as the Pharisees. They claim to “see” and proudly boast of not being blind like the unbelievers. And, while on the one hand they claim people in general are oblivious to the reality of God’s coming judgment, which is surely the case, on the other hand, Bethel has convinced Jehovah’s Witnesses that God’s judgment will not involve them because it is a thing of the past. As the second article in the January 2014 issue reiterates, Christ came as the refiner and judge a century ago. All of that is history, supposedly.
In furtherance of that consider what is stated in connection with Malachi in the July, 2013, Watchtower:
What is the larger fulfillment of Malachi’s prophecy? During the decades leading up to 1914, C. T. Russell and his close associates did a work like that of John the Baptizer. That vital work involved restoring Bible truths. The Bible Students taught the true meaning of Christ’s ransom sacrifice, exposed the hellfire lie, and proclaimed the coming end of the Gentile Times. Still, there were numerous religious groups who claimed to be Christ’s followers. So a crucial question needed to be answered: Who among those groups were the wheat? To settle that question, Jesus began to inspect the spiritual temple in 1914. That inspection and cleansing work involved a period of time—from 1914 to the early part of 1919.
So, the Watchtower Society claims that Jesus came to initiate Heaven’s inspection back in 1914. But according to no less an authority than Jesus, at Luke 19:44 the day of inspection is an immediate prelude to the destruction of Jerusalem, which Jehovah’s Witnesses believe applies to the judgment of Christendom during the tribulation.
But the third chapter of Malachi foretells that the messenger “will come near to you for judgment.”And if that is true, ought Jehovah’s Witnesses be unconcerned about their standing before the Son of man when he comes? Or should Jehovah’s Witnesses continue to suppose that the “you” whom Jesus comes near in judgment was a bygone generation of faceless Bible Students?
In effect, Jehovah’s Witnesses are blind to the reality of a future inspection and judgment by Jesus Christ. And the Watchtower Society itself has been instrumental in keeping Jehovah’s Witnesses in the dark as regards the implications of the actual, sudden, thief-like coming of the messenger of the covenant to the spiritual temple of God.
HAS PEACE BEEN TAKEN FROM THE EARTH?
Paragraphs four and five below:
In 1914, Jesus Christ—pictured as riding a white horse—was given his heavenly crown. He immediately went forth to complete the conquest of Satan’s wicked system. The descriptive prophecy in Revelation chapter 6 gave reason to expect that after God’s Kingdom was established, there would be a rapid deterioration of world conditions—war, food shortage, pestilence, and other causes of death. These developments are depicted by the ride of three horsemen closely following Jesus Christ.
As foretold, peace was ‘taken away from the earth,’ despite human promises of international cooperation and diplomacy. World War I can be viewed as just the beginning of significant wars, as is proved by recent world developments. And despite many economic and scientific advances since 1914, food shortages continue to threaten world security…
It is true – conditions deteriorated rapidly after the declaration of war in Europe in the summer of 1914. And many historians consider the First World War as merely a prelude to the Second World War 20 years later. And there is no question that the Spanish Flu ranks as one of the most deadly plagues since the Black Death. And there have been periodic food shortages throughout the world as long as records have been kept. But here are a few questions for thinking Jehovah’s Witnesses to consider: