It was a bad idea to add daily comments into one long post. It makes for slow loading for those with slow connections, and it works against good search engine practices. So, I will be posting individual articles from now on, as before.
Saturday, June 27
Accept . . . the sword of the spirit, that is, God’s word. —Eph. 6:17.
The sword used by Roman infantrymen at the time Paul wrote his letter was about 20 inches (50 cm) long and was designed for hand-to-hand combat. One reason that Roman soldiers were so effective is that they practiced with their weapons every day. Paul likens God’s Word to a sword that Jehovah has given us. But we must learn to use it skillfully when defending our beliefs —or when adjusting our own thinking. (2 Cor. 10:4, 5;2 Tim. 2:15) There is no need to feel intimidated by Satan and the demons. They are formidable but not unbeatable. And they are mortal. Soon, during the Thousand Year Reign of Christ, they will be confined to a state of complete inactivity, after which they will be destroyed. (Rev. 20:1-3, 7-10) We know our enemy, his tactics, and his intentions. With Jehovah’s help, we can stand firm against him! w18.05 30 ¶15; 31 ¶19-21
What the Watchtower says is mostly true. God’s word is powerful. But we can only use it effectively if we know it. Then, as the text states, we can not only use it to defend our beliefs but even more importantly, we can use it to correct and adjust our own thinking. After all, we are at war with our own flesh. God is loyal and true and will always provide mental prods to steer us away from death. In the second chapter of Romans Paul stated that we should know that the kindly quality of God is trying to lead us to repentance. We can help ourselves by knowing God’s word better.
There is, however, something unsettling in the daily text. The concluding remark: “We know our enemy, his tactics, and his intentions.”
It is true: We know Satan and his tactics. We know the Devil is the god of this wicked world. Paul said, “we are not ignorant of his designs.” The apostle wrote that in exhorting the Corinthians to extend forgiveness to a repentant adulterer so that he does not become consumed with sadness. However, in that very same letter to the Corinthians Paul expressed his deep concern that the Corinthians might somehow be seduced by Satan, as had Eve in the garden.
Some years ago I read a little book entitled The Art of War. It was written by a Chinese military strategist about 500 years before Christ. The premise is, all war is based on deception. The author, Sun Tzu, laid down a few principles, such as: If you are weak, appear strong. If you are strong, appear weak. If you are far away from your enemy, appear near. If you are near, appear far away.
No doubt Satan has mastered the art of spiritual war and deception. Returning to Paul’s 2nd letter to the Corinthians, the apostle was concerned that the brothers and sisters might become corrupted because they were presided over by men whom Paul outed as false apostles and phony ministers who had merely disguised themselves as anointed Christians. And no doubt under inspiration, Paul made it clear that the men whom he sarcastically dubbed “the superfine apostles” were satanic agents who were cleverly following the model of the Deceiver who constantly disguises himself as an angel of light.
Just as Sun Tzu advised, Satan used deception to make himself appear far away when in reality his agents were the most prominent men in the congregation— assuming the mantle of the apostles of Christ. (See article: Those Who Say They Are Apostles)
The fact that the Watchtower always presents itself as being a spiritual paradise that cannot be penetrated by satanic influence is quite telling. On the other hand, God’s word warns us of the presence of a man of lawlessness who orchestrates an operation of Satan that uses every unrighteous deception and lying signs and portents. With what intent? To make Christ appear to be ruling in his Kingdom and poor Satan already thrown down from heaven and in a weakened state. And ought Jehovah’s Witnesses boast about knowing the enemy’s tactics and intentions? (See article: The Operation of Satan with Every Powerful Work)
Consider another aspect of the Devil appearing as an angel of light. Jehovah’s Witnesses have been conditioned to believe that everything that issues from the Watchtower has been channeled to them by Jehovah. “The faithful slave has provided” is a mantra the faithful must chant daily. Jehovah’s Witnesses simply accept what they are told without questioning or making a deeper examination. Just like a cult, JW’s have been conditioned to believe that if they question anything that comes from their spiritual guides they are committing an act of disloyalty to God himself. That mentality provides a blank check for Satan.
Take the Watchtower’s interpretation of prophecy, for example. Specifically, consider the mark of the beast. The Watchtower claims the head of the wild beast received the symbolic fatal wound back during the First World War. Supposedly the eighth king came to life then too in the form of the League of Nations. If that were true, that means that over the past 100 years mankind has been tattooed with the symbolic 666, and multitudes have had their names blotted out of the book of life.
Because of the aforementioned prevailing mentality, no one stops to question the many contradictions and absurdities inherent in the Watchtower’s teaching. For starters, since presumably only JW’s have avoided receiving the mark of the beast by their neutrality, how is it that the beast has prevented anyone from buying or selling? Did the League of Nations or even its successor, the UN, ever put anyone to death because they refused to worship the beast or its image? Perhaps most absurd, since the past several generations of people have already been doomed to everlasting death due to their having received the mark of the beast why do Jehovah’s Witnesses preach to the doomed? And if a person can become un-doomed and have their names penciled back into the book of life, why does God bother to blot their names out in the first place? The disregarded truth is: The mark of the beast signifies God’s final, irreversible condemnation of those who reject the Kingdom of Christ and embrace the Devil’s kingdom. (Search results for the eighth king and mark of the beast)
Just as surely as Satan infiltrated the Corinthian congregation and posed a grave threat to the continued sincerity and chastity of the brothers and sisters back then, so too, the Devil manifestly presides among the leadership of the Watchtower. He would have us believe the wild beast is not that wild. He would have us believe that the mark of the beast is no big deal and can be easily avoided. He would have us believe that death is just figurative.
His intention? When Satan is actually thrown down and the beastly political system collapses, the beast will come back to life in the form of a totalitarian, likely communistic, world government— the one hour of the eighth king. All the rights and legal protections of the present democratic system will be abolished.
Because the Watchtower has been instrumental in lulling the flock into the La La Land of complacency, the shock will be overwhelming. None of the leadership of the Watchtower can say they have not been warned.