Sunday, August 27
The earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters cover the sea.
In many lands, Bibles are expensive and not readily available, so just receiving a Bible is a great blessing. A report from Rwanda stated: “For a long time, many people with whom the brothers were studying had not progressed because they had no Bibles. They could not afford to purchase the local church edition. And they often could not clearly understand the meaning of certain verses, which hindered their progress.” Things changed when the New World Translation in their language became available. A Rwandan family with four teenagers said: “We really thank Jehovah and the faithful and discreet slave for giving us this Bible. We are very poor and had no money to purchase Bibles for every member of the family. But now each of us has his own Bible. To show our gratitude to Jehovah, we read the Bible as a family every day.”
The Watchtower’s Daily Text is what is called a non sequitur. The comment has no relation to the scripture text.
The Watchtower is evidently implying that the prophecy of Isaiah will be fulfilled when the world is saturated with Bibles. Or, more probably, the presumption is being made that the worldwide education work sponsored by the Watchtower will fill the earth with the knowledge of Jehovah. In any case, such cannot possibly fulfill the prophecy.
The sacred Scriptures do indeed impart knowledge about Jehovah —his will, purpose and character, as well as the things to come, but only to an extent. The fact is, the truth contained in the Bible is intended to guide Christians only up to the day of Christ, at which point an entirely new phase of God’s purpose will unfold.
To demonstrate the blindness that presently grips Jehovah’s Witnesses on this matter, consider an oft-read passage from James, which says: “Be patient then, brothers, until the presence of the Lord. Look! The farmer keeps waiting for the precious fruit of the earth, exercising patience over it until the early rain and the late rain arrive. You too exercise patience; make your hearts firm, because the presence of the Lord has drawn close.”
No doubt long-time JW’s have read this passage many, many times in the course of their study. But apparently no one grasps the fact that the presence of the Lord is the end of Christianity —the goal of our faith. It is not a continuation of the same process that leads up to it. That is why it is also called the conclusion of the system or end of the age. It is the end of the Christian era.
Clearly, the parousia of Jesus Christ is what Christians are patiently awaiting. But if Christians are exhorted to wait patiently for the presence of Christ and the parousia began in 1914, as Jehovah’s Witnesses are required to believe, why then must the wait continue? Why have generations come and gone while the farmer still has no “precious fruit of the earth”?
To be sure, virtually all the scriptures that speak of the presence, revelation or manifestation of Christ place it as the end of our journey. (These matters have been published in detail in the chapter called Parousia.)
Now, as regards the day’s scripture, the context clearly indicates that the earth will become filled with the knowledge of Jehovah when Christ comes. And the first order of business for Jesus will be to put to death the wicked —not as on the battlefield of Armageddon, mind you. But the wicked slaves within Christ’s Kingdom. They must be thrown into the outer darkness, where they will weep and gnash their teeth in the certain knowledge of their early execution. It is in the aftermath of that purge that the scripture will be fulfilled. That is evident from the context, which says: “He will judge the lowly with fairness, and with uprightness he will give reproof in behalf of the meek ones of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth and put the wicked to death with the breath of his lips.”
That the passage above relates to the execution of unfaithful Christians is borne out at Revelation 2:16, where Jesus warns persons in the Pergamum congregation: “So repent. If you do not, I am coming to you quickly, and I will war against them with the long sword of my mouth.”
Surely, no one can survive a sword fight with the Lord Jesus.
It is in the aftermath of the judgment of the symbolic seven congregations making up the house of God that the condition described in Isaiah will come about, illustrated by the lion eating straw like the bull and a child playing with a poisonous cobra with no one doing any harm in Jehovah’s holy mountain.
The error of the Watchtower is not simply a matter of ignorance. True, no doubt the majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses simply believe what the Watchtower teaches and feel it is their duty not question Jehovah’s appointed slave.
But there is a deliberate deception at the core —perpetrated by a small clique of wicked men who are under Satan’s influence, even as the Scripture says: “For among my people there are wicked men. They keep peering, as when birdcatchers crouch down. They set a deadly trap. It is men whom they catch. Like a cage full of birds, so their houses are full of deception.” —Jeremiah 5:26-27
The operation of error, indeed, the deception they are perpetuating, is intended to elevate the Watchtower into the place of Christ, making any future presence of Christ unnecessary. That is why, for example, the Watchtower teaches the Jehovah’s Witnesses are already living in the so-called spiritual paradise described in Isaiah. There is no need for Christ to come and eliminate wicked, beast-like predators and tame the lionlike men. He is already present in kingly power and there are no beastly men in the Watchtower’s organizational paradise that need to be eliminated.
As regards the Watchtower’s assumption that the Bible supplies all that is needed, the next verse in the context of the 11th chapter of Isaiah states: “In that day the root of Jesse will stand up as a signal for the peoples. To him the nations will turn for guidance, and his resting-place will become glorious.”
The root of Jesse standing up has to do with the return of Christ. His glorious resting place is in reference to his throne. That much should be obvious. But if the Bible is all the guidance that is needed, why would people of the nations turn to the Jesus for guidance? Why not just read the Bible if it has all the answers?
As stated already, the Bible and the entire Christian arrangement is only intended to lead Christians to the point when Christ arrives and his special presence begins. The Watchtower has most assuredly made certain that it will become irrelevant when the time of the end commences. And tragically, we may expect that those who cling to the Watchtower after that point will become irrelevant too. All the more reason to patiently wait, because the presence of the Lord has assuredly drawn close.