Sunday, January 31
Just as the Father taught me, I speak these things.
Noah’s sons helped their father build the ark, and then they went into it. Because they valued what they had received through him, they had the privilege of helping to preserve the human race and reestablish true worship on a cleansed earth. Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah, and Daniel were taken to Babylon in 617 B.C.E. They could easily have just blended into the Babylonian way of life. But they did not. It is apparent from their actions that they remembered their heritage, what they had been taught. The four were richly blessed for adhering to the spiritual lessons they had learned when they were young. Jesus received much from his Father, and he truly valued it. And it was his desire that others benefit from what he had received. He helped his listeners to see the need for being “no part of the world.”
Noah and family, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, and Jesus, also were all subjected to a severe test of faith. And fortunately for them and us, they all passed the tests.
Being taught by the Father is one thing. But accepting what one has been taught and living by that teaching is something else entirely.
The Watchtower has been used by God to teach and prepare a people to be obedient to the truth. It is remarkable that Jehovah’s Witnesses have demonstrated their faith to the extent that they have; by avoidance of military service, even if imprisoned; by avoiding the use of blood, even if facing a life and death crisis; by preaching an unpopular message, even at great personal cost.
Still, though, the loyalty and obedience of Jehovah’s Witnesses is primarily manifest as loyalty and obedience to the Watchtower. In fact that is one of the primary accusations against the organization —that it is a cult.
Knowing the universal issues between Jehovah and Satan we should not suppose that the one called the “accuser of our brothers” is not the source of such accusations. But since there is some element of truth to it, since it is undeniable that the Watchtower dominates the spiritual lives of Jehovah’s Witnesses to an inordinate extent, how might Jehovah’s Witnesses demonstrate their faith in God and Christ more directly, like Noah and the three Hebrews and Christ, for example? Indeed, how can the issue be settled with finality?
Jehovah has determined to take the Watchtower out of the equation. This has been the underlying message of e-Watchman from the very beginning.
The 29th chapter of Isaiah lays it out. Ariel will be laid low. Jehovah has poured the spirit of a deep sleep upon the leadership of God’s people so that they cannot discern his judgments. But the end result is described in the concluding verses of that chapter: “Jacob will no longer be ashamed, and no more will his face grow pale. For when he sees his children, who are the work of my hands, in his midst, they will sanctify my name; yes, they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and they will stand in awe of the God of Israel. Those who are wayward in spirit will acquire understanding, and those who complain will accept instruction.”