If we hope for what we do not see, we keep eagerly waiting for it with endurance.
We do not view any years in Jehovah’s service as wasted time. Rather, we are convinced that “the things seen are temporary, but the things unseen are everlasting.” Faith allows us to discern “the convincing evidence of realities that are not seen.” A physical person does not see the precious value of serving Jehovah. To such a person, spiritual treasures “are foolishness.” We, however, hope to enjoy everlasting life and witness the resurrection, things unseen by the world. Like the philosophers of Paul’s day who called him an ignorant “chatterer,” most people today think that the hope we preach is sheer nonsense. Since we are surrounded by a faithless world, we must fight to maintain our faith. Supplicate Jehovah that “your faith may not give out.”
It is not uncommon for those steeped in churchianity to claim that there is only one hope, meaning that everyone goes to heaven. However, in the eighth chapter of his letter to the Romans Paul was writing about two hopes; or worded differently, the hope of those who have different prospects for the future.
One hope, the hope of the suffering creation, is for the revealing of the sons of God, which pertains to those who have not been born again, but who are eagerly anticipating the revealing of those who have been —the sons of God. Of these Paul wrote: “For the creation is waiting with eager expectation for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not by its own will, but through the one who subjected it, on the basis of hope that the creation itself will also be set free from enslavement to corruption and have the glorious freedom of the children of God. For we know that all creation keeps on groaning together and being in pain together until now.”
Who can argue that all of mankind —“the creation” —is enslaved to corruption and futility? Even the happiest, wealthiest, most powerful person on earth is going to eventually succumb to the ravages of old age and ultimately death.
But God, who allowed Adam and Eve to produce offspring in their dying condition —hence, subjecting creation to futility —has provided the basis for hope by the sacrifice of Christ and the promise of the Kingdom.
Under its rule the creation will enjoy the glorious freedom of the children of God, a freedom that Adam and Eve only briefly enjoyed. But the point is, if “the creation” is hoping to also be set free and eagerly looking for the revelation of the sons of God, then “the creation” are not sons of God themselves and are only hoping to one day become children of God.
Paul’s reference to “the creation” would seem to mean the earthly creation, humankind — outside the scope of what the apostle elsewhere referred to as the new creation, which is spiritual.
The other “hope” is the hope of those who had the firstfruits, namely the spirit of adoption. Of these Paul said: “Not only that, but we ourselves also who have the firstfruits, namely, the spirit, yes, we ourselves groan within ourselves while we are earnestly waiting for adoption as sons, the release from our bodies by ransom. For we were saved in this hope; but hope that is seen is not hope, for when a man sees a thing, does he hope for it? But if we hope for what we do not see, we keep eagerly waiting for it with endurance.”
Paul’s reference to “we ourselves” is in contrast to the hope of “the creation,” but the commonality is that both have been subjected to futility and earnestly hope for release from its grip.
Paul’s subsequent comments in verse 29 confirm that there are indeed two “hopes,” or two classes, a phrase which apparently causes some to gnash their teeth. Paul wrote: “because those whom he gave his first recognition he also foreordained to be patterned after the image of his Son, so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”
There are those who will be the first to receive salvation. That is why Revelation speaks of the first resurrection. Those who are brothers of Christ, which makes them sons of God too, receive the first resurrection.
Jesus was the very first person to have been anointed. By the way, the latest trinitarian scam claims that being firstborn does not mean first born, but merely means the most prominent. However, while he is certainly the most prominent, Jesus was literally the firstborn of God’s new creation. No one had been born from the spirit before Jesus. He is also literally the firstborn of the dead; meaning, he was the first person whom God resurrected who did not die again. (Jesus resurrected several people but they all eventually relapsed into death.)
Had Jesus not been born from the spirit —anointed —he could have never returned to heaven. After all, contrary to the babylonish myth, Jesus did not possess an immortal soul that survived the death of his body. Jesus’ anointing with the holy spirit begot him as a spirit son of God —the first one. His being begotten was possible due to the fact that Jesus lived a sinless life. He did not need a ransomer. Those who are afterwards born into Christ inherit immortality due to Christ’s righteous standing before God and their faith in him.
THE REVEALING OF THE SONS OF GOD
In view of all of the above, now we are in a better position to appreciate the context of today’s verse, which reads: “If we hope for what we do not see, we keep eagerly waiting for it with endurance.” The hope of the sons of God is their release by ransom and the realization of their adoption, which is being with their adoptive Father —Jehovah God. Then they will literally see God, even as Jesus said: “Happy are the pure in heart, since they will see God.”
But what about the hope of “the creation”? The as-of-yet-unrealized hope of “the creation” is for the revealing of the sons of God. The revelation of the sons of God is a necessary prerequisite to their being set free from corruption. But since the realization of the hope of the sons of God will mean they will be taken into the invisible realm, as was Christ, how will they be revealed to “the creation”? After all, the scripture equates the realization of hope with “seeing.”
As it stands presently, the Watchtower has no insight into this. Jehovah’s Witnesses have been led to expect that the revealing of the sons of God will be some sort of post-Armageddon manifestation of the Kingdom. To be sure, New Jerusalem’s descent from heaven will likely involve a visible appearance of materialized kings. Still, that is not what the revealing of the sons of God is, about which Paul wrote.
Consider Colossians 3:3, where Paul wrote to his fellow anointed ones: “For you died, and your life has been hidden with the Christ in union with God. When the Christ, our life, is made manifest, then you also will be made manifest with him in glory.”
The question is, has Christ been made manifest? If so, how? Obviously, he has not. The manifestation of Christ is the same as the revelation of Jesus and the parousia. These things have been examined in detail in the chapter of Jehovah Himself Has Become King entitled: The Parousia.
If the chosen ones are hidden in Christ until such time as he is made manifest, that means that the revealing of the sons of God coincides with the revelation of Christ to them. John revealed as much in his 1st letter, where he stated: “Beloved ones, we are now children of God, but it has not yet been made manifest what we will be. We do know that when he is made manifest we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is. And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as that one is pure.” —I John 3:2
Notice, please, the apostle does not say that we shall see him in heaven. Jesus is already manifest in heaven. There is no need for Christ to be unveiled there. Being manifest only has relevance to those who presently do not see him. And that was what Paul was also saying —we hope for what we do not see.
Here is the thing: The Watchtower has served God’s purpose of gathering together a people who have a Bible-based hope for God’s Kingdom. But has that hope been realized yet? No. God has, in fact, concealed matters related to the coming of Christ, which will involve the revealing of Christ’s glory to the chosen —and their subsequent transformation as a result of their seeing him “as he is.” This is what the Transfiguration portrays.
This explains why the Watchtower has been painfully bumbling and fumbling about in the dark when it comes to prophecy. Jehovah has hidden matters from them concerning the true nature of the parousia. That phenomenon is, ironically, foretold in prophecy. For example, speaking to his people from a point in the future Jehovah states: “From now on I am announcing new things to you, guarded secrets that you have not known. Only now are they being created, and not long ago, things that you never heard before today, so that you cannot say, ‘Look! I already know them.’” —Isaiah 48:6-7
Although it is my privilege to have a sneak peek of the things God has concealed, there is no possibility that these things will become common knowledge due to my puny efforts to publish what God has hidden. The blindness that grips Jehovah’s Witnesses is virtually impenetrable.
However, when Christ comes the guarded secrets will be revealed to those with faith. And for a certainty, it will require faith to move into that new paradigm, one in which Christ will become manifest to the sons of God, who will then be revealed to “the creation” during the last hour of this dark world. By all means, then, supplicate Jehovah that your faith may not give out!