Since first posting this topic I’ve had some further thoughts that I’d like to share.
The first one, as I’ve mentioned in the comments section of the Brother King’s article, seems to be yet another fundamental incongruity in Brother King’s assertion that the surviving remnant shall come exclusively from the ranks of those who are currently Jehovah’s Witnesses.
This incongruity has to do with the “idols” that Jehovah charges His people with worshipping:
“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will become clean; I will cleanse you from all your uncleanness and from all your disgusting idols.” Ezekiel 36:25
Notice that “idols” is plural, i.e. “more than one”, yet it is undeniable that Jehovah’s Witnesses have but one “idol”: “the faithful & discreet slave”.
That Jehovah is speaking about the entire congregation and not merely the leadership is evident from verses 17 & 18 where He speaks of “the house of Israel”:
“Son of man, when the house of Israel was dwelling in their land, they made it unclean by their ways and their dealings. Their ways were like the uncleanness of menstruation to me. So I poured out my rage on them because of the blood that they had shed upon the land and because they made the land unclean with their disgusting idols.”
That leads to the obvious question: How can “one idol” be “many idols”? Clearly it can’t. It is only when one factors in other denominations that the statement “all your disgusting idols” makes sense.
Brother King asserts that only Jehovah’s Witnesses are capable of “profaning” God’s name by reason of the fact that they have named themselves “Jehovah’s Witnesses”.
I certainly agree that Jehovah’s Witnesses have, indeed, brought reproach upon the name of Jehovah because of their various iniquities and doing so whilst named “Jehovah’s Witnesses”, yet a closer look at the definition of “profane” brings to light a very interesting fact.
“חָלַל châlal; a primitive root; also denominative properly, to bore, i.e. (by implication) to wound, to dissolve”
When one puts soluble aspirin in water it “dissolves”; it seems to disappear. It’s there, but it doesn’t seem to be there.
Can it not be said that Christendom, as a whole, has “dissolved” the name of Jehovah by removing it from their bibles, their pulpits & their vernacular? Can it not be said that in doing so, they have “wounded” Jehovah’s name?
Can it not also be said that Christendom has also “wounded” Jehovah’s name by melding Him into a triune God, thereby changing His very nature?
Also, Paul, speaking about blaspheming God’s name, writes:
“You [Jews] who take pride in law, do you dishonor God by your transgressing of the Law? For “the name of God is being blasphemed among the nations because of you,” just as it is written.” (Rom 2:23,24)
Paul connects the transgression of the Law by Jews to the blaspheming of God’s name. But, as I mentioned in my initial post, the name “Jehovah” is not found in the name “Israel”. And it’s worth noting, now, that neither is it found in the name “Judah”, from which the name “Jew” is derived.
Additionally, the Jews had stopped speaking & writing the name of Jehovah some 350 years earlier, so it’s debatable that the personal name of Israel’s God was even well-known amongst “the nations” at that time:
“At least as early as the third century B.C. the name seems to have been regarded by the Jews as a ‘nomen ineffabile'”
“After the death of the high priest Simeon the Righteous, forty years prior to the destruction of the Temple, the priests ceased to pronounce the Name (Yoma39b). From that time the pronunciation of the Name was prohibited. “Whoever pronounces the Name forfeits his portion in the future world” (Sanh. xi. 1)”
(Certainly Jesus may have used God’s personal name, although there is no hard evidence of that, but Jesus did a lot of things that upset the sensibilities of the Jews in disregarding their traditions.)
On the topic of “being called by Jehovah’s Name”, consider, also, the following:
“For too long we have become like those you never ruled over, Like those never called by your name.” Isaiah 63:19
This scripture implies that those who are “ruled over” by Jehovah are those “called by [His] name”.
Since the time of Jesus, Jehovah has appointed Christ to “rule over” His people:
“But I want you to know that the head of every man is the Christ; in turn, the head of a woman is the man; in turn, the head of the Christ is God.” 1 Cor 11:3
“Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying: “This is my Son, the one who has been chosen. Listen to him.”” Luke 9:35
“Jesus said to him: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If anyone loves me, he will observe my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.” John 14:6,23
“All authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth.” Matt 28:18
It follows, then, that it is (wholesouled) “Christians” who are “called by Jehovah’s name” since they are “ruled over” by Christ, obeying God’s command that we believe in, listen to & obey His Son. And especially so since:
“He is the image of the invisible God” Col 1:15 (I also highly recommend reading Col 1:9-20)
“I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you on the way and to bring you into the place that I have prepared. Pay attention to him, and obey his voice. Do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgressions, because my name is in him. “ Exodus 23:20,21
Notice, also, Paul, when giving his defense to King Agrippa in Caeserea:
“But A·gripʹpa said to Paul: “In a short time you would persuade me to become a Christian.” At this Paul said: “I wish to God that whether in a short time or in a long time, not only you but also all those who hear me today would become men such as I am, with the exception of these prison bonds.” Acts 26:28,29
I believe this scripture speaks for itself.
“Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will, and Sosʹthe·nes our brother, to the congregation of God that is in Corinth, to you who have been sanctified in union with Christ Jesus, called to be holy ones, together with all those everywhere who are calling on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours” 1 Cor 1:1,2
Notice that the “congregation of God” includes “all those everywhere who are calling on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”. That would include wholesouled Christians in Christendom who are doing just that.
On the related subject of servitude/faith to Christ equating to servitude/faith to Jehovah, consider:
“As you come to [Jesus], a living stone rejected by men but chosen, precious to God.” 1 Peter 2:4
“For it says in Scripture: “Look! I am laying in Zion a chosen stone, a precious foundation cornerstone, and no one exercising faith in it [Jesus] will ever be disappointed. It is to you, therefore, that he is precious, because you are believers”” 1 Pet 2:6,7
“For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the shepherd [Jesus] and overseer of your souls.” 1 Peter 2:4,25
“As a fine soldier of Christ Jesus, take your part in suffering adversity.” 2 Tim 2:3
“May the undeserved kindness be with all those loving our Lord Jesus Christ in incorruptness.” Eph 6:24
The five scriptures above are but a small sample of what is taught time & again throughout the New Testament: that believers have faith in Christ and are to serve/obey Him.
Returning to the subject of evangelism and the WTS’ assertion that all individual Christians must personally be engaged in evangelism, and both their & Brother King’s assertion that Jehovah’s Witnesses alone are “God’s people” because all JWs evangelise and in doing so they are emulating the first-century church, consider:
“The next day we left and came to Caes·a·reʹa, and we entered the house of Philip the evangelizer, who was one of the seven men, and we stayed with him.” Acts 21:8
If all first-century Christians were individually, personally engaged in evangelism, why is Philip called “Philip the evangelizer”? As an identifying appellation that term would be as useful as saying “Nigel, the man who breathes air”. It’s clear that not all were evangelists, only “some” (Eph 4:11). Certainly, the charge to evangelise was given, but it appears to be given to the church as a whole, with the expectation that specific ones would be “sent” (Rom 10:15) and others would support them whilst engaging in the other ministries essential to the building up of the church until it attains “the measure of stature that belongs to the fullness of the Christ.” (Eph 4:13)
Like Brother King states in his article: “When you think about it, the truth is very simple.” And I couldn’t agree more.
Adam & Eve were given one simple command in order to live:
“as for the tree of the knowledge of good and bad, you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it you will certainly die.” Gen 2:17
Doubtlessly, Jehovah was going to expand on that & add to it because:
“both of them continued to be naked, the man and his wife; yet they were not ashamed.” Gen 2:25
We know that nakedness, figuratively and literally, is shameful (e.g Gen 9:21-25, Ex 20:26, Isa 47:3, Nahum 3:5, Rev 3:18). So we know that, at some point, Jehovah was going to explain that principle to Adam & Eve and command that they be clothed. But like newborn babies who aren’t condemned for their nakedness by their parents, Jehovah did not condemn Adam & Eve because of their ignorance regarding their nakedness; He overlooked it at that time and required nothing from them but that they refrain from eating from the tree of knowledge of good & bad.
In the same way, Jehovah has given mankind a simple command in order to live:
“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will get saved” Acts 16:31
“if you publicly declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and exercise faith in your heart that God raised him up from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
Is there more to knowing & pleasing God? Of course! But, if nothing else, obeying this simple command guarantees one will be “saved”.
Take, for example, the thief on the stake next to Jesus. He had nothing but the simplest belief in Jesus, yet Jesus said to him:
“Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23:43
Since “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, and forever” (Heb 13:8) we may be assured that even those with but the simplest, child-like faith in Jesus will be saved.
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Rom 10:13 KJV
Did not the apostles & elders at Jerusalem write to the Gentile believers, on the subject of adherence to the Mosaic Law & being saved:
“For the holy spirit and we ourselves have favored adding no further burden to you except these necessary things: to keep abstaining from things sacrificed to idols, from blood, from what is strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you carefully keep yourselves from these things, you will prosper. Good health to you!” Acts 15:28,29
In view of all this, I believe it would be wise to consider the principle Jesus taught at Mark 9:38-42:
“John said to him: “Teacher, we saw someone expelling demons by using your name, and we tried to prevent him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said: “Do not try to prevent him, for there is no one who will do a powerful work on the basis of my name who will quickly be able to say anything bad about me. For whoever is not against us is for us. And whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, I tell you truly, he will by no means lose his reward. But whoever stumbles one of these little ones who have faith, it would be better for him if a millstone that is turned by a donkey were put around his neck and he were pitched into the sea.”
Finally, I want to conclude this post by saying – most definitively – that I am not opposed to or against Brother King or his work. Rather, I love & respect Brother King and truly appreciate his work on this site, recognising both that I have learnt a great deal through his writings and that he has been “sent” to the Jehovah’s Witnesses and their leadership.
My posts here are done in the spirit of:
“Beloved ones, do not believe every inspired statement, but test the inspired statements to see whether they originate with God” 1 John 4:1
“these [Jews] were more noble-minded than those in Thes·sa·lo·niʹca, for they accepted the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.” Acts 17:11
All the very best, brothers & sisters. May our Lord bless you all abundantly.