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 is 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:
Who can deny that since World War Two ended the world has enjoyed more than a half century of relative peace and prosperity? To illustrate the point, the Japanese city of Hiroshima was utterly obliterated by the first atomic bomb in 1945, but over the ensuing decades since then it has risen from the radioactive ashes and been transformed into a thoroughly modern city, bustling with over one-million inhabitants.
Yes, there was the Cold War, which periodically erupted into regional hot wars in Korea and Vietnam and various other places, but nothing approaching the scale of the previous world wars. But all things considered, can it be said with absolute cocksureness that “peace has been taken away from the earth”? If so, if peace was taken from the earth in 1914, has it since been restored? Ought we not expect that only the kingdom of God will restore peace to the earth?
Rephrased: Is it reasonable for God to expect people today to focus on events that occurred a century ago, long before any one of this present generation was even alive, as a way of keeping in expectation of God’s coming judgment day? In reality, is not the Watchtower’s obsession with 1914 actually a distraction —a misdirection ploy that dissuades Jehovah’s Witnesses from remaining on the watch for the coming of Christ and all that that entails?
Returning to the Watchtower’s comments quoted above, it states that the First World War came about “despite human promises of international cooperation and diplomacy.”
The response of thinking Jehovah’s Witnesses to that statement ought to be: “So what?”
So what if international cooperation and diplomacy failed to prevent WWI? The reason that is the appropriate response is because here is what appeared in the October 1, 1995, Watchtower:
“For 50 years the United Nations organization has made notable efforts to bring about world peace and security. Arguably, it may have prevented a third world war, and the wholesale destruction of human life through the use of nuclear bombs has not been repeated. The United Nations has provided millions of children with food and medicine. It has contributed to improved health standards in many countries, providing, among other things, safer drinking water and immunization against dangerous diseases. Millions of refugees have received humanitarian assistance.”
On one hand, the Watchtower claims that there has been continuous war since 1914 and no amount of international cooperation among the nations can prevent it. While on the other, it lavishly praises the United Nations Organization for its diplomatic efforts to bring about “peace and security.” The Watchtower even suggests that the UN may have prevented another world war, even nuclear war, which elsewhere the same seers claim cannot happen anyway.
Apparently, by ostensibly preventing nuclear war, providing food and medicine, freshwater and immunization for millions, the United Nations has been instrumental in allaying the horrors wrought by the trailing horsemen of the Apocalypse. According to the Watchtower, although peace was taken from the earth in 1914 the UN has been responsible for at least partially restoring it!
This is merely one example of the contradictory flimflam the Watchtower routinely publishes. And no doubt the publishers of such are certain that none of Jehovah’s Witnesses will ever detect the deceit that has been worked upon them. (To be sure, this hypocritical contradiction cited above is the sort of unseemliness brought about by the Watchtower’s brazen spiritual harlotry. See Strange Bedfellows)
In further consideration of the Watchtower’s underhandedness, the above-quoted paragraph claimed that WWI was just the “beginning of significant wars, as is proved by recent world developments.”
WHAT “RECENT DEVELOPMENTS”?
While the Society is quite skimpy with the details, actually providing none, it is obvious that they expect the reader to assume that events like the recent invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and the civil war in Syria, are proof that peace has been taken from the earth. That is because, while 1914 is far removed from the consciousness of most people, and rightly so, the Western media routinely presents before the public reports of far away wars and disorders. The irony is, the average person outside the Middle East is not even personally touched by such matters. Certainly in America, which has officially been at war since 2001, excepting for the soldiers and their families who are directly involved, it is otherwise business as usual for most.
While the Watchtower derides the unbelievers for not accepting their message, honestly what reasonable person who is not under the influence of the Watchtower would conclude that the world’s present situation fits the description of peace having been taken from the earth?
Rather than a condition of global war, is it not rather the case that the present world fits the description found in the prophecy of Daniel immediately before the king fierce in countenance brings the mighty to ruin during a time of “freedom of care,” or as the 2013 edition of the NWT says, “during a time of security”?
Incredibly, the Watchtower has interpreted the “the time of security” as coinciding with the Great Depression and World War Two! This in itself is another contradiction, since according to the Watchtower 1914 was the end of the appointed times for the nations to trample God’s holy place. Yet, the king of fierce countenance does that very thing.
What is more, the Watchtower seems to be enlarging the scope of what they had previously considered to be the result of the ride of the pale horseman of Death, as the concluding part of the fifth paragraph states:
Furthermore, who can deny that all kinds of pestilences, natural disasters, and other ‘deadly plagues’ continue to cut down millions of victims each year? The scope, frequency, and severity of these events are unprecedented in human history. Do you take to heart the meaning of that?
Since it has been nearly a century since the Spanish Influenza stalked the globe and fortunately nothing like it has occurred since then, apparently the Watchtower is compelled to expand the meaning of “deadly plague” to encompass Tsunamis, tornados, floods, hurricanes, typhoons, volcanoes and other natural disasters. In this, the Watchtower is now adopting the same lame point of view as has been put forward by the sad-sack, end-times evangelicals for years!
And not only that, but as pointed out already in the previous article, a few years ago the Society began including the non-contagious diseases of modern civilization such as heart disease, cancer, AIDS and whatever else, under the classification of “deadly plagues.”
The absurdity of the Watchtower’s claim is evident by the fact that the world’s population is exploding during the time that a quarter of the planet is supposedly subjected to the rider of the pale horse of Death!
“HOW GLAD WE CAN BE THAT WE ARE NOT BLIND”
The 2014 Watchtower goes on…
Many people were distracted by the outbreak of World War I and the Spanish influenza. Yet, anointed Christians had keenly been anticipating 1914 as the end of the Gentile Times, or “appointed times of the nations.” (Luke 21:24) They were not completely sure about what would happen. Still, they knew that 1914 would mark a turning point regarding divine rulership.
Back in 2002 when e-Watchman first came online the second essay published is now the basic information that appears in the second chapter of Jehovah Himself Has Become King, entitled: The Gentile Times. Besides being accessed by tens of thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses on the World Wide Web, the information presented has been widely disseminated among the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses through direct mail.
In spite of the fact that not one of Jehovah’s Witnesses is able to competently address the glaring error embedded in the very foundation of the Society’s 1914 doctrine regarding the “the appointed times of the nations” relating to the destruction of Jerusalem five centuries before Christ spoke of it, the Watchtower continues to peddle its lie as if it were an unassailable truth!
(It would seem as if the Watchtower is becoming more shrill and desperate to keep the whitewash on as a result of my work.)
And although, as has been pointed out on this website over the past decade, that much of what the Society once attached to 1914 has since been discarded, nevertheless, like a drunken man proclaiming his prowess, the Governing Body claims to have connected all the dots and brashly concludes in the seventh paragraph, saying:
It takes faith and spiritual perception to see what is happening in the spirit realm. How glad we can be that we are not blind to what is really going on!
The Watchtower is right, it does take faith and spiritual perception into the prophecies to discern what is happening. And in this regard, the leadership of the Watchtower has demonstrated that they are sorely lacking spiritual perception.
They fit the description of those lukewarm Christians of whom Christ speaks: “Because you say: ‘I am rich and have acquired riches and do not need anything at all,’ but you do not know you are miserable and pitiable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire that you may become rich, and white outer garments that you may become dressed and that the shame of your nakedness may not become manifested, and eyesalve to rub in your eyes that you may see.”
The fact is, the Governing Body are indeed pitiable. They cling to a doctrine that has been totally and completely repudiated. They imagine that they do not need anything more from Jesus. As Paul said of the prominent Corinthian Christians, they act as though they are already ruling as kings. They are like the naked king who imagines he is decked in royal raiment. They boast of being enlightened and having discernment into what is happening in the spirit realm. But what they imagine to be the glorious sign of Christ is in reality a manifestation of the powerful works, lying signs and demonic deceptions worked through the man of lawlessness.
Hopefully, for their sake, at the very latest, they will have their eyes opened during the authentic parousia of Jesus Christ.
The consideration of the January, 2014, Watchtower will be continued…