We want to go with you, for we have heard that God is with you people.
If it is not possible to know with certainty the names of all spiritual Israelites on earth today, how can members of the other sheep “go with” them? Notice what the prophecy in Zechariah states concerning the figurative ten men. These ones would “take firm hold of the robe of a Jew, saying: ‘We want to go with you, for we have heard that God is with you people.’” Although only one Jew is mentioned here, in both instances the pronoun “you” refers to more than one person. This spiritual Jew must, then, be a composite person, not just one individual! So it is not necessary to identify every spiritual Jew and then go with him or her. Rather, we need to identify these ones as a group and then support them as such. In no way do the Scriptures encourage us to follow an individual. Jesus is our Leader.
When it comes to evaluating Watchtower teachings as to whether they be true or false, a good way to keep things straight in our minds is that, as a general rule, everything doctrinally is correct, and everything connected to prophecy is wrong —at least as far as modern fulfillments are concerned. And, of course, the reason everything related to prophecy is wrong is because of the 1914, kingdom-came delusion. Today’s text is a classic example.
To highlight their ongoing fumbling, folly, about four years ago the Watchtower’s seers discerned that the parables concerning the faithful and evil slaves and the wise and foolish virgins had not been completely fulfilled. And their fulfillment is directly related to the coming of Christ. Prior to 2013 Jehovah’s Witnesses were taught that the faithful slave was appointed over all of the master’s belongings back in 1918-19. The evil slave was identified as the International Bible Students who refused to go forward with the Watchtower Society after their leader, Pastor Russell, died. But now it is understood that the master has neither rewarded nor punished his slaves.
Similarly, the parable of the wise and foolish virgins was “adjusted” so as to have a future fulfillment as well, which will result in the contingent of foolish virgins being locked out of the marriage feast.
The Watchtower obfuscates or at least minimizes the fact that the faithful and evil, wise and foolish, are in association prior to the coming of Christ. But the implications of their “adjustment” are profound. Assuming Christ comes in the near future it means that a sizable number of persons presently identifying themselves as anointed in association with Jehovah’s Witnesses, even among the Bethel leadership, will not be among those who are ultimately received into the Kingdom. Instead of shining as brightly as the sun in the Kingdom they will be thrown into the outer darkness to weep and gnash their teeth.
Since this is the Watchtower’s own implied understanding, how is it possible for the symbolic 10 men of the nations to take hold of the robe of the anointed Jew and expect him to be a reliable guide? More to the point, how can this composite man exist at this present time if he is composed of both faithful and unfaithful elements? Worded another way, since by the Watchtower’s own words we may expect an unfaithful faction to emerge from among those presently identified as anointed guides, what might be the outcome of taking hold of the robe of people who wind up weeping and gnashing their teeth in the darkness? Would it not be the same outcome as those whom Jesus said were following blind guides?
Consider the words of Christ addressed to the Laodicean congregation in Revelation: “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or else hot. So because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of my mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich and have acquired riches and do not need anything at all,’ but you do not know that you are miserable and pitiful and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may become dressed and that the shame of your nakedness may not be exposed, and eyesalve to rub in your eyes so that you may see.”
Without doubt Jesus adjudged the Laodiceans to be his slaves. That is why he knows their deeds. He has examined them. Unlike the masses of those who claim to serve Christ, saying “Lord, Lord: did we know prophesy in your name…?” and to whom Jesus will respond: “I never knew you” —Jesus knows the “Laodiceans.” And because he knows their deeds he is aware that they are not fulfilling their obligation to slave for him whole-souled. Because of their pitiable spiritual condition Christ implores them to buy gold and white garments from him and eyesalve to cure their spiritual blindness, before it is too late.
Those Laodiceans, who find a modern counterpart in the Lord’s day, boast of being spiritually rich. They need nothing at all, or so they think. They are oblivious to their own pathetic condition —being miserable, poor, blind and stark naked under the gaze of the flaming eyes of Christ.
Remarkably, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses are much like the Laodiceans whom Jesus addressed in Revelation. They claim to be fully enlightened. There is nothing anyone could possibly teach them about the truth. They have acquired riches, not only in the form of physical wealth —being pampered like kings in the lap of luxury in their new lakeside estate, but in a spiritual sense they present themselves as the “Jew” whom God is with. They imagine that all of Jehovah’s Witnesses must cling to their royal “robe” and accept their every utterance as if from the very mouth of God. Pitifully, they do not realize they are naked and blind.
They have no inkling that the coming of Christ initiates the judgment of the house of God. As a demonstration of their blindness, the coming of the messenger of the covenant with the fire of a refiner, whose refining work will clarify them like gold and silver, has been relegated to a mere footnote in theocratic history, supposedly having taken place in 1918. The evidence of Christ’s fiery refining work? The International Bible Students stopped wearing their cross and crown lapel pins.
Their preferred interpretation of Malachi renders it into meaninglessness. And the question posed in prophecy – “But who will endure the day of his coming, and who will be able to stand when he appears?” Apparently the answer is no one. Besides the fact that there are no reports that Christ appeared to anyone back in 1918, virtually everyone who was alive then and presumably standing, has long since passed away.
The resolution? The coming of Christ will turn everything upside down. The evil slave will be thrown out. Then the righteous be made to shine as brightly as the sun in the Kingdom. That is when all the remaining ones are gathered into Christ. That is when God will be with his people. Then is when the man who is a Jew will lead the meek to God.
Will some individuals from among the Governing Body be among the righteous, composite man? Perhaps, but not as members of the Governing Body. Christ’s judgment will make those who are first last, and the last first.