The Watchtower study article entitled Let Your Name Be Sanctified gives a brief overview of how Jehovah was slandered and how He has and will sanctify His name. Actually, what is most telling in the Watchtower’s coverage of the topic is what they omit. While it is true that Satan uses evolution and false religion to mislead the world and misrepresent God, they do not directly reproach the name of Jehovah.
According to the Bible record the people who brought reproach upon the name of God were God’s people —the Jews. That is because they were the only people that Jehovah recognized as belonging to him. As is known, Israel was in a covenant with Jehovah. No other nation had that special status. Moses told Aaron to bless the people, and say to them: “‘May Jehovah bless you and safeguard you. May Jehovah make his face shine upon you, and may he favor you. May Jehovah lift up his face toward you and grant you peace.’ And they must place my name upon the people of Israel, that I may bless them” — Numbers 6:24-27
Having the Name figuratively placed upon the Israelites signified that God owned them. Furthermore, in time God placed His holy name upon Solomon’s temple and the city of Jerusalem. After the temple was inaugurated Jehovah appeared to Solomon for the second time and warned him that if the Israelites turned from following Him and bowed down to other gods Jehovah would throw them out and remove His name.
Through Jeremiah God addressed the Jews with these words: “But you are putting your trust in deceptive words—it will bring absolutely no benefit. Can you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make sacrifices to Baal, and follow after gods you had not known, and then come and stand before me in this house that bears my name and say, ‘We will be saved,’ despite your doing all these detestable things? Has this house that bears my name become a cave of robbers in your eyes? Here I have seen it for myself,” declares Jehovah. — Jeremiah 7:8-11
The Jews were deceiving themselves, no doubt in part because God had up until then protected the city from hostile invaders. The Assyrians laid waste to numerous nations —including the 10-tribe northern kingdom of Israel. But when Sennacherib’s army advanced into Judah and prepared to take Jerusalem Jehovah sent an angel who wiped out the entire Assyrian army. And Nebuchadnezzar also threatened to destroy Jerusalem and even dragged the Jewish nobility to far-away Babylon, which is how Daniel and Ezekiel ended up there. So, the Jews assumed that Jehovah would spare the city again. He did not.
The Watchtower states in paragraph eight:
Adam and Eve knew Jehovah’s name, as well as vital truths about the One bearing that name. They knew him as the Creator, the One who gave them life, their lovely Paradise home, and a perfect mate. However, would they continue to use their perfect minds to meditate on all that Jehovah had done for them? Would they keep building up their love and appreciation for the Person represented by that name? The answers became clear when God’s enemy tested them.
Not only did the original Bible Students know God’s personal name and come to understand many long-hidden vital truths about the One bearing that name, in 1932 J.F. Rutherford, the president of the Watchtower Society, adopted the name Jehovah’s Witnesses; thus, the name of Jehovah has come to be more or less exclusively associated with this peculiar sect. Evidently the Bearer of the name allowed it.
As an aside, years ago some brother astutely quipped: ‘There is a good reason why people in Christendom do not use the name God. Jehovah doesn’t want them to.’
The very fact that most Bibles —the most popular anyway —have erased all traces of YHWH, and the multitudes who call themselves Christians seldom if ever refer to God by His name, you might say that Jehovah’s Witnesses own the Name. Or, more appropriately, it might be said that Jehovah caused his name to reside with the Watchtower Society and Jehovah’s Witnesses, just as He had done with Jerusalem and Solomon’s temple.
Now consider how the leaders of Jehovah’s Witnesses have stood up to the Devil’s testing of them.
As the world has become more and more ungodly and perverse, pedophilia has become more and more common. Back in the 70s and 80s, when the Governing Body was forced to confront the evil that was growing in the congregations, they developed a policy that considered the crimes committed against children so horrible, so hideously unspeakable, that any exposure of it had to be suppressed. And why? To protect Jehovah’s name from reproach.
Elders know this to be true. That means that the leadership of the organization know that the honor of God’s name is at stake. But has covering over child abuse spared the name of Jehovah from reproach? Hardly! Just the opposite. The hurtful policies of the Watchtower have brought untold reproach upon Jehovah —far more than the actual crimes committed by congregants.
As all should know, the foundation of theocracy is justice. The obligation placed upon those who sit as judges is to look out for the oppressed —the proverbial widows and orphans. Jehovah has written it as law. The entire leadership of the organization has broken the very law of Jehovah. Surely, Satan has over-reached the Governing Body by cleverly seducing them into becoming the legal adversaries of abused children under the guise of protecting Jehovah from reproach. Could anything be more twisted?
THE PROPHETS ARE PROPHESYING LIES IN MY NAME
There is no way around it. Jehovah’s Witnesses have brought dishonor on the name of God. Unfortunately, there is more. Just think, every Watchtower magazine bears the subtitle: Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom. And in every one of those millions of publications distributed around the world in hundreds of languages, Bethel has promoted a massive fraud —declaring in the name of Jehovah that Christ has returned and the Kingdom has been ruling since 1914 —that true worship has been restored at last.
In the 14th chapter of Jeremiah Jehovah said the following to his watchman: “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or commanded them or spoken to them. A lying vision and a worthless divination and the deceit of their own heart is what they are prophesying to you. Therefore this is what Jehovah says concerning the prophets who are prophesying in my name, though I did not send them, and who say that no sword or famine will occur in this land: ‘By sword and by famine those prophets will perish. And the people to whom they are prophesying will be cast out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword, with no one to bury them—them, their wives, their sons, or their daughters—for I will pour out on them the calamity they deserve.’”
Is not the so-called “faithful slave” considered to be Jehovah’s mouthpiece —the exclusive, earthly channel of divine communication? And all of Jehovah’s Witnesses are required to accept their interpretations of prophecy as if coming from Jehovah himself. Therefore, they prophesy in the name of Jehovah. And because 1914 is an “artfully contrived false story” —they are prophesying lies in the name of Jehovah.
Is it not true that the anointed are considered to be a prophet class? Being the voice of the so-called prophet class the Watchtower has taken to itself various designations, such as the Ezekiel class, the Jeremiah class, etc. For example, here is an excerpt from a 2003 Watchtower article:
The modern-day watchman class, anointed Christians, have been warning about the doom of Christendom, antitypical Jerusalem. When the “great tribulation” strikes and devastates “Babylon the Great,” the world empire of false religion, the anointed Ezekiel class will need to say nothing more about the demise of Christendom, which constitutes a major part of that empire.
What is most notable, in the Pure Worship publication, ostensibly explaining the prophecy of Ezekiel, the Governing Body unceremoniously discarded Christendom as the antitypical Jerusalem. In fact, the tendency now is to dissolve as many types and antitypes as they can.
Evidently, the Governing Body has not given too much thought to the ramifications of their latest “adjustment” though. If Jerusalem no longer foreshadows Christendom that means that anointed Christians are no longer watchmen —no longer the antitypical prophets announcing doom on Babylon the Great. Nevertheless, the Watchtower still presumes to prophesy in the name of Jehovah.
It is undeniable that Jerusalem has a rich symbolic place in prophecy. The Watchtower cannot dismiss it. In fact, whether Jehovah’s Witnesses are aware or not, ironically the Watchtower has cast itself as the antitypical Jerusalem. How so? Because the Watchtower claims that the return of the Jews from Babylon to rebuild Jerusalem is a type. It foreshadows the restoration of true worship. The Christian congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses is believed to be the fulfillment of all the restoration prophecies. But isn’t that putting the cart before the horse? If there is a type-antitype connection, as there surely is, the restoration can only come about after antitypical Jerusalem is desolated.
In spite of the Watchtower’s convoluted interpretation, the desolation and restoration of Jerusalem is the underlying theme of virtually all the Hebrew prophetic books. It is the focus of Jesus’ own prophecy concerning the conclusion and the standing of the disgusting thing in a holy place. Jerusalem symbolizes Christ’s congregation. But not in the way the Watchtower assumes. After all, Christianity originated in Jerusalem. But the Devil has been allowed to sow weeds among the anointed wheat within Christ’s congregation —or his kingdom, as Jesus referred to it in his illustration of the wheat and the tares.
Since ancient Jerusalem was the city where Jehovah cause his name to reside, the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses is the antitypical Jerusalem. And because Jehovah’s Witnesses have brought reproach on the name of Jehovah, God must act to sanctify His name.
In the article teaching box that is titled Facets of a Great Issue, Ezekiel 36 is cited. Here it is in context: This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: “Not for your sakes am I acting, O house of Israel, but for my holy name, which you profaned among the nations where you have gone. I will certainly sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the nations, which you profaned among them; and the nations will have to know that I am Jehovah,’ declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, ‘when I am sanctified among you before their eyes.”
It would be impossible for the Watchtower to credibly claim that the verse above has no modern application. That is because the extended context indicates that the restored nation of “Israel” is what is attacked by Gog of Magog, which is to occur in the final part of the days. The GB claim that the people who will come under siege by Gog and his hordes are Jehovah’s Witnesses. If that is true that means it is Jehovah’s Witnesses who have profaned God’s great name among the nations.
Returning to the article under review paragraph 16 states the following:
Jehovah allows imperfect humans to have a share in sanctifying his name. In effect, you can do what Adam and Eve failed to do. Despite being in a world full of people who slander and blaspheme Jehovah’s name, you have the opportunity to stand up and speak the truth —that Jehovah is holy, righteous, good, and loving. (Isa. 29:23) You can support his rule. You can promote it as the only way of ruling that is truly righteous and that will bring peace and happiness to all creation.
Having a share in sanctifying God’s name sounds wonderful. Is it as easy as just going out in service? Perhaps some studious JW’s might click on the cited verse. Perhaps an especially inquisitive searcher might even read the entire 29th chapter of Isaiah to gain insight into the context. If someone actually reads Isaiah they might realize that the Watchtower’s application of Isaiah 29:23 is utterly false.
Considering the context, the children of God will sanctify his holy name in the aftermath of the destruction of Jerusalem —cryptically called “Ariel, the city where David encamped!”
Jesus is called the son of David. The Watchtower rightly calls Jesus the Greater David. Therefore, the city where “David” encamped, the city that comes to desolation, is Christ’s congregation.
The reason the Governing Body do not understand any of this is explained in verse 10: “For Jehovah has poured a spirit of deep sleep on you; He has closed your eyes, the prophets, and he has covered your heads, the visionaries.”
No, the children of Jacob will sanctify God’s name by being true to him through the great tribulation. Their faith will remain intact even after the Watchtower is put out of business and exposed as a nest of false apostles. In that way the name of Jehovah will be sanctified and cleansed of the reproach brought on it by the Watchtower.
With the publication of Jehovah Himself Has Become King in 2005 the Watchtower has been put on notice of Jehovah’s impending judgment.