This is a continuation of commentary on the God’s Kingdom Rules! Bible study material for the week of October 10th, 2016.
Jehovah’s Witnesses well know the power that lies can have over people. Anyone who has ever taken up the Bible and gone out to try to engage householders, or who has simply had a conversation with an unbelieving friend or relative, knows firsthand how difficult it can be to cut through the web of lies that entangle people’s minds. Virtually everything people believe about God is a lie —especially evolution and the ridiculous belief that life just happens.
And we are well aware that the reason people believe lies upon lies upon lies, is because Satan the Devil, the father of the lie, is the god of this dark world. That is why lies are so readily accepted as truth —because of the Devil’s truth-twisting power.
It is not as though the demons inject the same lie into each person’s mind, individually. All the Big Lies are institutionalized. For example, the Jesus-is-God lie is considered an article of faith by virtually every church. That is why Jehovah’s Witnesses are cast as non-Christians by some Trinitarians. By law school children are indoctrinated with the theory of evolution, which is presented as an established fact. Serious scientists face uncertain job prospects or funding issues for research projects if they do not confess belief in the evolution myth. And on and on it goes.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are blessed to know the truth about God and Christ —life and death —and Jehovah’s wonderful purpose for the earth, for mankind, for a little flock who are destined to join Christ in heaven.
However, the same demonic, truth-bending influence that is prevalent in the world is also at work among Jehovah’s Witnesses. And because the lie is an operation of Satan, like the trinity or evolution, it is also embedded as an institutional lie within the Watchtower Society and has been from the very beginning. The lie, of course, is the invisible parousia doctrine.
It is understandable that Pastor Russell got it so wrong. Neither he nor the Bible Students had any understanding of the deep things of prophecy, which is evidenced by the fact that over the course of the decades the Watchtower has jettisoned virtually everything that was published verging on prophecy —everything, except the invisible parousia lie. Instead of rejecting the falsehood the Watchtower has made it their mission to regularly maintain and reinforce the lie, a lie that Jehovah likens to a whitewashed wall that is regularly plastered over for appearances. Now let’s consider the most recent plastering by the maintainers of the lie.
13 Consider this: Would people have been prepared for the beginning of Christ’s presence if they were not able to distinguish Jesus from his Father, Jehovah? Surely not! Nor would they have been prepared if they thought that immortality was the automatic possession of all and not a precious gift bestowed on only relatively few of Christ’s footstep followers; nor if they thought that God tormented people in hellfire for all eternity with no hope of relief! Without doubt, the “messenger” prepared the way for the Messianic King!
14 And what about us today? What can we learn from our brothers of more than a century ago? We likewise need to be avid readers and students of God’s Word. (John 17:3) As this materialistic world becomes emaciated, spiritually speaking, may our appetite for spiritual food grow ever stronger!—Read 1 Timothy 4:15.
Probably the majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses are not aware, but certainly the Governing Body and their helpers know that Russell taught that the parousia began in 1874. Not only that, the original International Bible Students believed that Jesus was inaugurated as King in 1878 and that all the “saints” who were sleeping in death were resurrected then too. 1914 was merely projected to be the consummation, when the living “saints” would be raptured and Satan’s rule over the world would come to an inglorious end.
With the advent of the Internet and Google’s archived virtual library it is fairly easy to research old books. Here is a direct link to the fourth volume of Studies in the Scriptures, page 621, as displayed in this post’s graphic, which Russell published in 1897; wherein, it was stated that Christ’s presence had begun in 1874 and the Kingdom came to power in 1878. (Go to page 622 for confirmation that Russell expected the rapture and the end of Satan’s world in 1914.)
In light of all the above, how could the Bible Students “have been prepared for the beginning of Christ’s presence” in 1914 if they were laboring under the delusion that the presence of Christ had already begun and that 1914 was going to be the absolute end of it all?
It is simply a lie that “the messenger” prepared them for such. Russell did no such thing. In fact, Russell set his flock up to be stumbled when the rapture did not occur in 1914, as they had been led to expect. As events unfolded more than half of the Bible Students whom the Watchtower claims were prepared for the presence of Christ in 1914 refused to continue to follow the Watchtower after the shakeout that took place during the Great War.
In truth, being able to distinguish Jesus from Jehovah was prerequisite for the them to become anointed, since all those who will ultimately inherit the Kingdom have both the name of the Father and the Son symbolically written on their foreheads.
Let’s now examine another blatant lie.
“GET OUT OF HER MY PEOPLE”
17 In January 1900, the Watch Tower offered counsel to those who still kept their names on the denominational rolls of Christendom’s churches and who rationalized their course, saying, “My sympathies are all with the truth, and I rarely attend other meetings.” The article asked: “But is this right—to be half out and half in Babylon? Is this the obedience required . . . and pleasing and acceptable to God? Surely not. He