Continuing with the review of the article appearing in the April 2024 Watchtower entitled Never Leave Spiritual Paradise.

7 Happy and content. God’s people can “shout joyfully” because their heart overflows with appreciation. (Read Isaiah 65:14.) The upbuilding truths and comforting promises in God’s Word and our solid hope based on Christ’s ransom sacrifice give us a “good condition of the heart.” Talking about these things with our spiritual brothers and sisters makes us truly happy!—Ps. 34:8; 133:1-3.

Reading a passage of prophecy and implying that it has already been fulfilled can be problematic. Let us actually read Isaiah 65:14. It says: “Look! My servants will shout joyfully because of the good condition of the heart, but you will cry out because of the pain of heart and you will wail because of a broken spirit.”

If we identify “my servants” as Jehovah’s Witnesses at this present time, the question ought to arise, who is the “you” to whom God’s denunciation is directed? Another question: If Jehovah’s Witnesses are shouting joyfully, who is suffering pain of heart, crying out and wailing because of the breakdown of their spirit?

As always, I encourage interested persons to read the expanded context. In this instance please take note of verse 12, the latter part states: “So I will destine you for the sword, and all of you will bow down to be slaughtered, because I called, but you did not answer, I spoke, but you did not listen; you kept doing what was bad in my eyes, and you chose what displeased me.”

Imagine, if God called you on your mobile device and you ghosted him and did not answer. Sure, it is a silly idea, but it illustrates an important point. God’s speaking to us is not confined to our reading of the Bible, at least it will not be in the future when Christ comes to call his servants to account. Did not Jesus liken his coming to a master who comes to his house and expects to find it in order?

Isaiah already introduced us to the concept of the Grand Instructor issuing life-saving instructions as though from behind his erring people, urging them to turn around and walk in a new direction. Contrary to the Watchtower’s sophomoric explanation that we hear a word emanating from God as though coming from behind us by merely reading the Bible since the Bible was written back in time. No, God will extend a call to those whom he has up to that point recognized as his servants. He will speak, through Christ, outside of the confines of the Bible. Or, perhaps a better way to put it is that Christ’s coming will activate the judgment pre-recorded in the Bible, such as contained in Isaiah.

Jesus spoke of such matters of judgment, illustrating it by likening his coming to a harvest. Jesus explained: “The harvest is a conclusion of a system of things, and the reapers are angels. Therefore, just as the weeds are collected and burned with fire, so it will be in the conclusion of the system of things. The Son of man will send his angels, and they will collect out from his Kingdom all things that cause stumbling and people who practice lawlessness, and they will pitch them into the fiery furnace. There is where their weeping and the gnashing of their teeth will be. At that time the righteous ones will shine as brightly as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Let the one who has ears listen.” — Matthew 13:39-43

What is this weeping and gnashing of teeth? It is the howling and wailing that is a result of the breakdown of spirit foretold in the 65th chapter of Isaiah. Those who do not answer when Christ calls are the agents of the Devil and wicked slaves who will be thrown out and they will howl and weep knowing that they have not merely been destined for the slaughter—as stated in Isaiah—but to everlasting oblivion—the second death.

It is this harvest that will result in the chosen ones shining as brightly as the sun in Jehovah’s Kingdom. They will shout joyfully because of the good condition of the heart — hearts which Jehovah will have performed a transplant of sorts, exchanging hearts of stone for hearts of flesh, as described in Ezekiel: “And I will give them a unified heart, and I will put a new spirit in them; and I will remove the heart of stone from their bodies and give them a heart of flesh, in order that they may walk in my statutes and observe my judgments and obey them. Then they will be my people, and I will be their God.” — Ez 11:19-20

It would seem that Jesus’ words are directed to those who are joyfully residing in the Watchtower’s artificial spiritual paradise: “But woe to you who are rich, for you are having your consolation in full. Woe to you who are filled up now, for you will go hungry. Woe, you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep. Woe whenever all men speak well of you, for this is what their forefathers did to the false prophets.” — Luke 6:24-26

Relaxed and calm. Isaiah 65:14 says that those who choose to remain outside the spiritual paradise “cry out because of the pain of heart [and] wail because of a broken spirit.” But what about all the things that have caused God’s people pain and distress? Eventually, those things “will be forgotten [and] concealed from [God’s] eyes.” (Read Isaiah 65:16, 17.) Jehovah will make our troubles go away, and in time the pain of such memories will vanish completely.

Are not churchgoers also relaxed and calm? I know a lot of people doze off during a sermon. Are they not too relaxed and calm? By what measure do we claim that the hundreds of millions of adherents to the various churches of Christendom are crying out in pain because of their broken spirit? Who else but Jehovah’s Witnesses would believe such nonsense?

11 Grateful and excited. Isaiah goes on to reveal why we have every reason to “exult and be joyful” in the spiritual paradise. This environment is a creation of Jehovah. (Read Isaiah 65:18, 19.) No wonder he is using us to direct people away from the spiritually parched organizations of this old world and into our beautiful spiritual environment! We are excited about the blessings we enjoy because of being in the truth, and we are moved to tell others about them. —Jer. 31:12.

Wait. Relaxed and calm and excited altogether? Who writes this stuff?

First-century Christians were grateful and excited over their hope, were they not? Still, they did not enjoy a spiritual paradise. Again, being happy, content, calm, relaxed, grateful and excited does not a paradise make. The blessed condition portrayed in prophecy will come about as a result of God’s intervention to remove and permanently debar wicked and foolish people from among the blessed ones of Jehovah.

Here is how God’s word describes what the Watchtower calls “spiritual paradise”: “The heat-parched ground will become a reedy pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water. In the lairs where jackals rested, there will be green grass and reeds and papyrus. And a highway will be there, yes, a way called the Way of Holiness. The unclean one will not travel on it. It is reserved for the one walking on the way; no one foolish will stray onto it. No lion will be there, and no vicious wild beasts will come on it. They will not be found there; only the repurchased ones will walk there. Those redeemed by Jehovah will return and come to Zion with a joyful cry. Unending joy will crown their heads. Exultation and rejoicing will be theirs, and grief and sighing will flee away.” — Isaiah 35:7-10

Let the spokesmen for Jehovah’s earthly organization go on record as saying that there are no spiritually unclean persons among the congregations. Let them say out loud that no child has had their innocence devoured by cunning, rapacious, beast men. Let them declare before God that no foolish persons walk among Jehovah’s Witnesses. Let them place their hand on the Bible and swear before heaven that there are no harmful animalistic men in their spiritual paradise and then be silent when God replies.

13 Peaceful and safe. With the help of God’s spirit, many who formerly had beastly personalities have made remarkable changes in their life. (Read Isaiah 65:25.) They have tamed their former undesirable traits. (Rom. 12:2; Eph. 4:22-24) Granted, God’s people are still imperfect, so we will continue to make mistakes. However, Jehovah has united “all sorts of people” in an unbreakable bond of love and peace. (Titus 2:11) This is a miracle that only the almighty God could perform!

On March 9th, 2023, a deranged man in Germany, who had once been in the Watchtower’s “spiritual paradise,” returned with a gun and began shooting. We can only imagine the horror and panic that gripped Jehovah’s Witnesses as they watched Philipp Fusz slaughter their brothers and sisters who had moments before been relaxed and calm. (Massacre of Jehovah’s Witnesses – Why did it happen?)

Eight months later a demoniac in India detonated a bomb among Jehovah’s Witnesses as they sat relaxed and calm at an assembly. Over 50 JWs were injured and three died as a result of the blast.

One of the characteristics of the true spiritual paradise Jehovah will create is the absence of violence. The 11th chapter of Isaiah states: “They will not cause any harm or any ruin in all my holy mountain, because the earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters cover the sea.”

How can it be that Jehovah’s Witnesses reside in a peaceful and secure spiritual haven when God allows madmen to cause harm, ruin, and even death?

By declaring the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses to be the foretold spiritual paradise, the leadership of the Watchtower is fulfilling prophecy. They have become those who claim there is peace with God even while they are in a state of rebellion, just as described in Jeremiah: “For from the least to the greatest, each one is making dishonest gain; from the prophet to the priest, each one is practicing fraud. And they try to heal the breakdown of my people lightly, saying, ‘There is peace! There is peace!’ When there is no peace.” (6:13,14)

Are they embarrassed that their spiritual paradise is a sham? What shall become of an organization that practices fraud upon a trusting people? Jehovah goes on to say: “Do they feel ashamed of the detestable things they have done? They feel no shame at all! They do not even know how to feel humiliated! So they will fall among the fallen. When I bring punishment on them they will stumble,” says Jehovah. — Jeremiah 6:15

The end of the four-part series

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