Sunday, June 28
The serpent said to the woman: “You certainly will not die.” —Gen. 3:4.
Adam no doubt knew that serpents cannot talk. So he may have surmised that a spirit creature had spoken with Eve through the serpent. (Gen. 3:1-6) Adam and Eve knew virtually nothing about this spirit. Even so, Adam made a conscious choice to turn his back on his loving heavenly Father and join this stranger in resisting God’s will. (1 Tim. 2:14) Immediately, Jehovah began to reveal information about this enemy who had corrupted Adam and Eve, promising that this wicked one would eventually be destroyed. But Jehovah also warned that for a time, the spirit creature who spoke through the serpent would have the power to oppose those who love God. (Gen. 3:15) In his wisdom, Jehovah has never told us the personal name of the angelic son who rebelled against him. And God chose not to reveal even the descriptive name of that enemy until some 2,500 years after the initial rebellion. —Job 1:6. w18.05 22 ¶1-2
The Watchtower source of today’s text makes the point that not very much was known about the Adversary until Jesus arrived on the scene and he and his apostles then revealed exactly who the Devil is and how he operates. Paragraph three makes the point:
Apparently, Jehovah did not want to give Satan undue prominence by devoting large portions of the Hebrew Scriptures to discussing him and his activity. Jehovah’s primary purpose for inspiring that section of the Scriptures was to identify the Messiah and lead God’s people to him. When that was accomplished and the Messiah arrived, Jehovah used him and his disciples to reveal much of what we know about Satan and the angels who joined him. That is fitting, since it is Jesus and his anointed corulers whom Jehovah will use to crush Satan and his followers.
Since the apostolic era was concluded with the book of Revelation almost immediately the light of truth began to wane. As the last-surviving apostle had warned, it was the last hour. The antichrist was coming. As the centuries rolled on the truth became more and more obscured. It was as if Christianity ceased to exist. The Bible itself was almost lost during the Dark Ages.
Even with the restoration of the Bible and the rediscovery of doctrinal truth and even with the appearance of those who have manifestly received a heavenly calling in the past century, the deep things of prophecy remain concealed. It is as the scripture says: “The things concealed belong to Jehovah our God, but the things revealed belong to us…” (Duet. 29:29)
Ironically, because the Watchtower is the gatekeeper and guardian of the truth now, as the Catholic Church once was in all of its tyrannical glory, Bethel is instrumental, not so much in revealing the truth, but in concealing it. It is not necessarily intentional. It is due largely to blindness and stupidity. Institutional arrogance is a big part of it too.
Take the notion of an invisible presence. As I have pointed out many times, the Watchtower has never pointed forward to the Second Coming of Christ. It has always been a past event. A non-event, really. Originally the Bible Students were deluded into believing that the parousia began in 1874. Then around 1930 the Watchtower flipped the beginning of the parousia to 1914. The delusion persists.
Apparently no one among the original Bible Students or Jehovah’s Witnesses now has ever questioned the validity of the idea of an invisible parousia. This is truly amazing when we examine the Scriptures and note the many references to the manifestation and revelation of Jesus and the interchangeableness of those terms with “parousia.” I have presented a fairly detailed comparison of the relevant verses in Jehovah Himself Has Become King (2005) in the chapter called The Parousia.
For example, on one occasion Jesus likened the revelation of the Son of man to the judgment of the Flood and the destruction of Sodom, saying: It will be the same on that day when the Son of man is revealed.” (Luke 17:28-30) However, on another occasion, Jesus spoke of the day Noah entered into the ark and said “so the presence of the Son of man will be.” Honest persons ought to recognize that the revealing of the Son of man is the same as the presence of the Son of man. Since that is undeniably true, why do Jehovah’s Witnesses speak of an invisible presence when the Scriptures equate the parousia with the revealing? Since his ascension Jesus has always been invisible, so how intelligent is it to suppose Jesus will remain invisible after he is revealed?
The first edition of Jehovah Himself Has Become King was distributed to about 100 branch overseers and Bethel personnel, including the Governing Body. Evidently, though, it has had no impact whatsoever. The Watchtower still matter-of-factly speaks about an ongoing, invisible presence of Christ. If anything they have become more determined to propagate a falsehood as widely as possible. I must concede, the denseness of their minds is impenetrable. The leading men of the organization are deaf and blind, just as Jehovah long ago said. (Who Is Blind?) Truly, the things concealed belong to Jehovah and it is not possible to force a revelation of the things that God has hidden.
There is a pattern though. Just as Jehovah unveiled his sacred secret when Christ came, both through Jesus when he was human and through the apostles after Christ was resurrected, so too, the Second Coming of Christ will bring about the ultimate revelation. Satan will not be able to prevent it. Not only will Jesus become manifest, but the sons of the Kingdom will also be revealed too. It is even so written: “For I consider that the sufferings of the present time do not amount to anything in comparison with the glory that is going to be revealed in us. For the creation is waiting with eager expectation for the revealing of the sons of God.” — Romans 8:18-19