Tuesday, November 2
They will gather his chosen ones together. —Matt. 24:31.
In recent years, the number of those partaking at the Memorial has been going up. Do we need to worry about this? No. “Jehovah knows those who belong to him.” (2 Tim. 2:19) Unlike Jehovah, the brothers who count the number of those partaking at the Memorial do not know who truly is anointed. So the number includes those who think that they are anointed but are not. For example, some who used to partake later stopped. Others may have mental or emotional problems that make them believe that they will rule with Christ in heaven. Clearly, we do not know exactly how many anointed ones are left on earth. There will be anointed ones in many parts of the earth when Jesus comes to take them to heaven. The Bible does say that during the last days, there will be a small number of anointed ones left on earth. (Rev. 12:17) But it does not say how many of them will be left when the great tribulation begins. w20.01 29-30 ¶11-13
After all of these years and millions of hours of collective Bible research, the Watchtower just can’t seem to get it right. Clearly, we do know how many chosen ones will be on earth during the last days, but alas, Jehovah’s Witnesses are in no position to comprehend this sacred secret. The problem is not merely persons who may be confused about the calling, the real evil that has gone undiscerned is that the Devil has over-sown Christ’s wheat field with weeds.
This is the heart of what Paul identified as an operation of Satan emanating from a man of lawlessness along with every powerful work and deceptive, lying signs, for the purpose of deceiving the chosen ones into accepting a false christ, which, of course, has been wildly successful.
For example, Jesus had much to say about the conclusion of the system of things. In the 13th chapter of Matthew, he related several illustrations likening the final ingathering to a harvest that would occur during the conclusion. Jesus went on to explain that the angels would carry out the harvest, first uprooting and bundling up the weeds and then gathering the wheat into the master’s storehouse. The weeds symbolize the false anointed, the demon seed planted by Satan the Devil. They so much resemble the true wheat that only the angels can distinguish the genuine from the imitation.
Satan ran a similar operation on the original Christians—demonstrated in the Corinthian congregation that was presided over by men whom the apostle Paul derisively called the superfine apostles who were deceitful workers who had cleverly disguised themselves as ministers of righteousness. No doubt they were polished Greek orators, in other words, they gave good talks, which is why they derided Paul as a contemptible public speaker. The ruse was highly effective.
According to the Watchtower, the harvest began shortly after 1914. Even though the Bible Students were a separate and distinct sect easily distinguished from mainstream denominations, for some reason Jesus supposedly sent his angels out to uproot millions of nominal Christians from their place. It is hard to discern how these hundreds of millions have been displaced or how successive crops of freshly planted weeds have also been uprooted. Just how and why generations of bundled weeds weep and gnash their teeth is anyone’s guess.
The dilemma the Watchtower has created for itself is that the purpose of the harvest is to remove all lawless persons and every stumbling block from the midst of God’s Kingdom. According to the Watchtower’s inchoate interpretation, God’s mighty angels removed the masses of churchgoers from Christ’s congregation, which in the illustration is the Kingdom. But how did the core of Babylon the Great get into Christ’s Kingdom in the first place? And why would God remove stumbling blocks from Christendom? No Governing Body would dare to even attempt to address this nonsensical teaching that is a fundamental brick in the Watchtower’s whitewashed wall.
According to the seers and promoters of this utter nonsense, we are deep into the time of the end. Any day the great tribulation is going to erupt and then it is home free to heaven for the chosen and paradise for those who are hanging on to the Governing Body’s collective shirttail. It is a delusion that many will never shake.
Since it is easily provable to anyone willing to use their mind to reason that the harvest has not begun, neither has the conclusion. Instead of being deep, deep, deep into the time of the end, the Watchtower is going to be swept away in a flood of tyranny when the time of the end begins.
The reason Jesus said the weeds would be bundled up before they are pitched into the fire, which is where the weeping and the gnashing of their teeth will be, is because the disguised ministers of righteousness will know that they have been found out and condemned to everlasting death.
For a short period before they are incinerated they will have time to contemplate their awful fate. As Jesus said of the weeds, so too, the wicked slave who had been originally assigned to feed Christ’s sheep, but who instead begins beating them. Whether demon seed or true seed gone bad, the punishment is the same. Jesus said of the unfaithful slave: “The master of that slave will come on a day that he does not expect and in an hour that he does not know, and he will punish him with the greatest severity and will assign him his place with the hypocrites. There is where his weeping and the gnashing of his teeth will be.”
While the disgraced slaves and demon spawn weep and gnash their teeth the chosen ones will shine as brightly as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Make no mistake, their shining is not a heavenly phenomenon. It will take place on earth. That is because the glorious Christ will manifest himself to them.
The Greek word translated as manifestation is epiphaneia. As to its meaning here is an excerpt from the chapter on The Parousia:
Epiphaneia literally means an “appearance,” and as is obvious, Jesus became visibly manifest to his disciples in the first century in a variety of ways. But epiphaneia also carries the connotation of “brightness,” being derived from the Greek verb “epiphaino,” which means, “to shine forth”—suggesting a glorious, brilliant appearance, even a rapturous epiphany for the observer of the appearance.
I like the rendering of epiphaneia in the King James Version of the Bible. It words it “the brightness of his coming.” Interestingly too, the brightness of his coming will bring Satan’s man of lawlessness to nothing.
As regards the righteous shining like the sun, the apostle John, who was on the mountain with Peter and James when they saw Jesus transfigured before them so that he shone as brightly as the sun, later wrote to those living at the time of Christ’s return, writing at 1 John 3:2: “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.”
It should be obvious that Jesus is already manifest to all persons in heaven, including Satan and his angels. There is no reason for him to be revealed there. But he is not presently manifest among even the chosen. That will change. Not coincidently, epiphaneia and parousia are interchangeable terms. Let him hath an ear hear.
After the manifestation, the remaining chosen ones will give witness that they have seen Christ. Collectively they will fulfill the role of the two witnesses before they are conquered and slain by the enraged wild beast.