Can you provide a commentary on Hosea 6:1-2?
Those verses read: “Come, and let us return to Jehovah, for he has torn us to pieces, but he will heal us. He struck us, but he will bind our wounds. He will revive us after two days. On the third day he will raise us up, and we will live before him.”
As everyone who has ever read the Bible knows, the Israelites were God’s people. He brought them out of Egypt with a display of power never seen before or after. He led them into the land of Canaan and defeated powerful nations on their behalf. In time though the Israelites turned their backs on Jehovah and began worshipping other gods and their idols. God used various judges to bring the wayward Israelites back to their senses, but they always reverted back to idolatry. Eventually, Jehovah became so totally disgusted with them that he kicked them out of the promised land. First, the northern 10-tribe kingdom was led away in chains and then Judah and the prized city of Jerusalem were removed from before God.
However, virtually all of the prophecies apply secondarily to the Christian Israel. Hosea is no exception. To verify that Hosea 3:5 states: “Afterward the people of Israel will come back and look for Jehovah their God and for David their king, and they will come trembling to Jehovah and to his goodness in the final part of the days.”
“The final part of the days” is a term that applies to the period of time when Christ comes to judge mankind. It is also called the time of the end and the conclusion of the system, as well as the last days. “David their king” is a reference to Christ since Jesus was an heir to the throne of David through both Mary and his adoptive father, Joseph.
In regards to the question, please take notice of the expression made in the verse above: “the people of Israel will come back.”
The ignorant masses of evangelicals imagine that the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 was the fulfillment of the many prophecies regarding the restoration of Israel. If that were true, though, what evidence is there that the modern state located in the troubled Middle East is searching for Jehovah or Christ? The very notion is ridiculous. Most people living in Israel are not very religious anyway. They are secular Jews. Sure, there are those who call themselves Messianic Jews for Christ, but they are scattered all over. And the ultra-orthodox Jews in Israel are every bit as hostile to Christ now as they were in the first century when they killed Jesus and viciously persecuted his followers.
The Trinitarians have no understanding of anything. Just as Revelation reveals, Satan the Devil is misleading the whole world. At least Jehovah’s Witnesses realize that the Jews no longer have any special place in God’s purpose.
Paul explained in his letter to the Romans that the real Jews are Jews on the inside, made so by the spirit. In his letter to the Galatians, Brother Paul declared that those who are anointed followers of Christ make up the true Israel of God. And for better or worse, the core of the organization today has always been anointed Christians –at least up until very recently. However, like the physical nation of old, spiritual Israel has not been true to God. The apostle Paul forewarned the members of God’s spiritual nation that as individual, adoptive sons of the Father, they were subject to his discipline. Indeed, as a collective —as a nation, a congregation —all are liable to be required to undergo baptism in fire.
Jehovah’s Witnesses will even acknowledge the fact that God, through Christ, will judge and discipline, yes, even severely punish his own. However, the Watchtower has deluded those under its influence into imagining that Jesus came in 1914 as the messenger of the covenant and that he subjected the Bible Students to the fire of the refiner and the lye of the laundryman. There is no more refining necessary, as Jehovah’s Witnesses are offering God the purest of worship.
To further muddy the issue, quite recently (2015) the Watchtower “readjusted” their understanding of when the Christian Israel went into captivity to Babylon the Great. It is ancient history. Bethel’s new light focuses on Constantine. That is when “Israel” went into captivity. Then, 16 centuries later the Bible Students returned to Jehovah in 1919. It is understandable why the Watchtower is silent on prophecies such as in Hosea. (When will Jehovah’s Witnesses go into captivity to Babylon the Great?)
The fact of the matter is, though, the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses is far down the road of apostasy. It has been a gradual thing but is quickening in pace and due to culminate in a complete breakdown at the outbreak of the now-looming global cataclysm that will signal the conclusion has commenced.
Think about it, for over a century the Watchtower has been proclaiming that the Kingdom has come. The faithful and discreet slave has heard it from God’s very mouth —or at least that is the assumption. And Jehovah’s Witnesses have dutifully proclaimed the message far and wide. A few years ago the Governing Body even commissioned a publication celebrating a century of Kingdom rule! What shall become of the organization when war, food shortages, great pestilences and earthquakes come upon the world in such measure that dwarfs the events of 1914-1919? What will the Governing Body do then? Will there be new light emanating from Bethel? What will become of the spiritual mother of Jehovah’s Witnesses? Really, what could the organizational prophet possibly say to make things right? What credibility could they possibly have then? The prophecy of Hosea has the answer: “So you will stumble in broad daylight, and the prophet will stumble with you, as if it were night. And I will silence your mother. My people will be silenced, because there is no knowledge.” –Hosea 4:5
In the context of his remarks concerning the events destined to take place during the conclusion Jesus said many will be stumbled. It is unavoidable. Look at the pattern. The Watchtower proclaimed that Armageddon was imminent in the run-up to 1914. There were millions of people who were familiar with the Watchtower’s message. But after the dust cleared there were only about 7,000 who were still associated when Rutherford held the first Cedar Point convention. Again, 1975 was supposed to be the year. It came and went uneventfully and hundreds of thousands of JW’s gradually stumbled out. The coming shakeout will be massive because the Watchtower will be silenced. The institutional prophet will be ashamed. What could he possibly say in defense when it becomes undeniable that the organization touted as God’s mouthpiece has misled Jehovah’s Witnesses on a massive scale?
The last verse of the fifth chapter sets the stage. Jehovah says: “I will go away and return to my place until they bear the consequences of their guilt, and then they will seek my favor. When they are in distress, they will seek me.”
Keep in mind that in the final hours of Jesus’ earthly life Jehovah took his spirit away from his dying son, causing him to cry out: ‘My God, my God, why have you left me?’ Of course, Jesus was no wrongdoer. God momentarily left Jesus in order to allow Jesus to prove he would not turn away or curse God even if it appeared that all was lost for him. Jehovah did this to demonstrate that Satan is a liar in his claim that no one will suffer for God.
But the Israel of God is not without guilt. The congregation must face the consequences of their rebellion. Christ is determined to scour away the scummy dross, the arrogance and dishonesty, the heartlessness and sheer wickedness, in order to present to God a righteous people. In order to accomplish the desired outcome, the people of God must be struck. Indeed, crushed. It is the only way. No half measures can achieve the necessary purification.
The basis for dealing with the Israel of God is the ransom sacrifice and mediation of the covenant provided by Jesus.
Christ breathed his last around 3 o’clock on a Friday afternoon. The Jewish day begins at sundown and, of course, Saturday was the Sabbath. So, Jesus was hurriedly entombed before sunset on Friday. When Mary rushed to the tomb Sunday morning Jesus was not there. He had already been resurrected sometime early Sunday morning. So, depending on how you want to look at it the corpse of Christ was in the grave two days or parts of three.
Paul explained to anointed Christians that their baptism meant they were buried with Christ in order that they may be raised with him, provided they remain in union with the Lord. In that sense, they are baptized into Christ’s death. The revival of those whom God strikes after two days and their being raised up on the third day to live before him, is a clear reference to the resurrection of Jesus. And their coming to life and living before him is in reference to the chosen ones receiving life in themselves –the very immortality that Jehovah bestowed upon Jesus after he was raised up on the third day to forever live before Jehovah.
The inspired apostle explained that the first resurrection will occur during the parousia. And marvel of marvels, the living who are in union with Christ during the presence will not sleep in death as have their predecessors. They will be changed in the blink of an eye from flesh to spirit. Prior to their “change,” those who are living will be sealed. Their sealing means that have been granted entry into the Kingdom —again, due to their being in union with Jesus who died and was raised up by God on the third day.
The Watchtower claims to be the ark of salvation. It is not. It has merely been an instrument that Christ has used to accomplish a vital phase of his work. Once the preaching and disciple-making work are finished, then the conclusion commences. Just as God terminated his work with the fleshly Jews, he will dispose of the touted earthly organization and bring into existence the eternal Kingdom. After the discipline has accomplished its work of shaking out the wicked and faithless and refining the faithful, God’s work will be done. The last of the 144,000 will be raised up to heaven to live before Jehovah and Christ.
Appropriately, the prophecy of Hosea concludes with these words of God: “Who is wise? Let him understand these things. Who is discreet? Let him know them. For the ways of Jehovah are upright, and the righteous will walk in them; but the transgressors will stumble in them.”
For more on Hosea