The crowd felt amazement as they saw the speechless speaking and the maimed being made sound and the lame walking and the blind seeing.—Matt. 15:31.
God’s power enabled Jesus Christ to perform a wide variety of astounding miracles. He cured not only leprosy but also every sort of disease and every sort of infirmity among the people. To perform such acts of compassion, Jesus needed no organ donors for transplants. He healed the very organs or body parts that were afflicted! And he healed people instantly, sometimes even from a distance. What do these amazing examples show? That Jesus, now enthroned as heavenly King, has not only the power but also the desire to bring about permanent healing. Learning about the way Jesus treated people gives us confidence that in the new world, the Bible prophecy will be fulfilled: “He will have pity on the lowly and the poor.” Yes, Jesus will then act on his heart’s desire to help all afflicted ones.
Just what has Jesus accomplished since his enthronement 103 years ago? That is a question that all of Jehovah’s Witnesses should honestly consider. But, amazingly, no one seems capable of such a task.
But, the prophecies outline in considerable detail what the Messiah intends to do when he sits down on his throne, so it is simply a matter of determining if the things written have been fulfilled. For example, the 2nd chapter of Isaiah foretells that in the final part of the days the mountain of the house of Jehovah will be lifted up over the hills and to it all the nations will stream. Jehovah’s Witnesses recognize this to be a messianic prophecy, which the Watchtower claims has been undergoing fulfillment since 1914. But has it?
Especially consider the fourth verse, which says: “He will render judgment among the nations and set matters straight respecting many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, nor will they learn war anymore.”
Does the fact that Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse military service fulfill the prophecy? Well, as the Governing Body is aware over the past 100 years there have been many wars, even two world wars. Needless to say the few thousand conscientious objectors have not had any effect on the nation’s inclination to wage war. That being undeniable, how has Christ rendered judgment among the nations or set matters straight?
As regards his setting matters straight, consider the context. With whom, specifically, is God intent on setting matters straight? Isaiah 1:18 supplies the answer. “‘Come, now, and let us set matters straight between us,’ says Jehovah. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they will be made as white as snow; though they are as red as crimson cloth, they will become like wool.”
Clearly, Jehovah is addressing his people, as it states in verse three: “My own people do not behave with understanding.”
Surely, the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses do not behave with understanding either. This is evident in their lack of understanding of this very prophecy. According to Bethel Christ came in 1914 and refined them to a state of golden purity and set matters straight. But the prophecy addressed to apostate Israel is applied to the clergy of Christendom, and even though the Watchtower claims that Jehovah’s Witnesses have been repurchased and restored to pure worship before the antitypical destruction of the prostitute city —“Jerusalem” —has even taken place. But why would God wish to set matters straight with the clergy of Christendom? Jehovah’s Witnesses and their Governing Body are blind, even as it says at Isaiah 29:10: “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.”
The reason God brought destruction upon his people is stated at Isaiah 1:23: “Your princes are stubborn and partners with thieves. Every one of them loves a bribe and chases after gifts. They do not grant justice to the fatherless, and the legal case of the widow never reaches them.”
Just consider this one aspect. How many thousands of children have been sexually abused by men who were and in many cases still are Jehovah’s Witnesses? We cannot say exactly. Only God knows —as no doubt many victims never even make known the crimes committed against them. Whatever the number, what has been the response of the Watchtower? Have they considered the legal case of the oppressed? Hardly.
While the public relations department always says they abhor child abuse, as a matter of policy the Watchtower’s lawyers have instructed elders to exclude the police from any sort of involvement, even though in the civilized world sexual assault on a child is a crime. Not only that, but the Watchtower has persecuted many of the victims of child abuse for their speaking out.
Even in secretly paying out-of-court settlements to victims the Watchtower binds them with gag orders, legally preventing the victims from speaking about the crimes committed against them, even though in their publications the Watchtower acknowledges that it is therapeutic for abuse victims to talk about their experiences.
We may be certain that Christ will render judgment and set these matters straight. And it will not be a pleasant experience.
Concerning the miracles that Jesus performed, such as healing the lame and giving sight to the blind, the prophecy of Isaiah foretells of a spiritual healing that Christ will perform. The same 29th chapter that speaks of Jehovah pouring a deep sleep on the prophets and visionaries goes on to say: “And in that day the deaf ones will certainly hear the words of the book, and out of the gloom and out of the darkness even the eyes of the blind ones will see. And the meek ones will certainly increase their rejoicing in Jehovah himself, and even the poor ones of mankind will be joyful in the Holy One of Israel himself, because the tyrant must reach his end, and the bragger must come to his finish, and all those keeping alert to do harm must be cut off, those bringing a man into sin by [his] word, and those who lay bait even for the one reproving in the gate, and those who push aside the righteous one with empty arguments.”
Their hearing of the “words of the book” is not simply hearing the Bible read to them. Their sleeping prophets are not able to decipher the words of the book for them. Surely, imparting basic Bible knowledge, such as that the soul is not immortal or that the trinity is not biblical does not require a miracle on God’s part. The prophecy has to do with the return of Christ, which the Watchtower claims is an accomplished fact. However, anyone who questions it is either expelled from the congregation as an apostate, or they are marginalized and punished in some way. Hence, due to Bethel’s tyranny Jehovah’s Witnesses are blind and deaf to the words of the book, as regards prophecy.
As an example of the empty arguments the Watchtower uses, consider the question posed at the onset: What has Christ accomplished since his supposed enthronement in 1914?
The Watchtower has published an entire book called God’s Kingdom Rules!, which lays out all of the King’s accomplishments, which is to say that the success of the worldwide preaching of Jehovah’s Witnesses is presented as proof. But is it? As I have pointed out a few times, the first century Christians obeyed Jesus’ command to go make disciples and by all accounts they were successful; and that, without any modern devices like printing presses or rapid transportation, telecommunication or anything like that. The point is, Jesus was not enthroned over the world then, was he?
Jehovah’s Witnesses well know that Jesus said the good news will be preached in all the inhabited earth and then the end will come. So, it is assumed that the worldwide work is carried out over the period of time known as the conclusion of the system of things. It is not. No doubt this error is the primary reason Jehovah’s Witnesses are in a state of blindness and deafness.
Consider what Jesus said on this matter in the 13th chapter of Mark: “Also, in all the nations, the good news has to be preached first.”
Here is what he said in context: “For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in one place after another; there will also be food shortages. These are a beginning of pangs of distress. As for you, look out for yourselves. People will hand you over to local courts, and you will be beaten in synagogues and be put on the stand before governors and kings for my sake, for a witness to them. Also, in all the nations, the good news has to be preached first. And when they are taking you to hand you over, do not be anxious beforehand about what to say; but whatever is given you in that hour, say this, for you are not the ones speaking, but the holy spirit is. Furthermore, brother will deliver brother over to death, and a father a child, and children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. And you will be hated by all people on account of my name. But the one who has endured to the end will be saved.”
Now, consider Jesus’ words closely. The good news must be preached first —first, before what? Before the end of the world? No. The good news is preached first —before Christians are handed over —before they are handed over to local courts and beaten in kingdom halls —before they are made to stand before governors and kings —before brothers hand them over to be put to death —before they are hated by all people on account of the name of Christ. Only after that brief period of persecution (42 months) will the end come.
So, first the preaching of the good news comes to an end. That is laid out in Isaiah too. One instance is Isaiah chapter 17: “In the day you carefully fence in your plantation, in the morning you make your seed sprout, but the harvest will vanish in the day of disease and incurable pain. Listen! There is a commotion of many peoples, who are as boisterous as the seas! There is an uproar of nations, whose sound is like the roar of mighty waters! The nations will make a sound like the roar of many waters.”
Jesus, of course, alluded to this tumult and the roaring of the symbolic sea of mankind, when he said: “Also, there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and on the earth anguish of nations not knowing the way out because of the roaring of the sea and its agitation. People will become faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”
(As a side note, the New World Translation has fairly extensive marginal references that link the reader to related scriptures. And even though it should be obvious to any knowledgable reader the nations being boisterous as the seas and roaring like mighty waters is related to what Christ foretold, even to the extent that Jesus was probably intentionally alluding to the prophecy of Isaiah, the NWT does not connect them in reference.)
In conclusion, the Watchtower has sponsored a remarkable education work, publishing the basic truth of the Bible and has trained a virtual army of ministers to carry out the work. But it has also exerted a deluding influence over Jehovah’s Witnesses as regards the supposed enthronement of Christ in 1914. The sudden outbreak of war and global chaos will bring a sudden end to the preaching of the good news. Then will commence the judgment phase and Christ really will set matters straight and no one will be able to oppose him —not even the man of lawlessness who stands in opposition. Then the eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. And Jesus will heal the afflicted.