This a continuation of the Jeremiah series
When Jesus walked the earth the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem was the center of worship of Jesus’ Father. However, the Son of God revealed a new form of worship was going to replace the temple-centered religion of the Jews. Amazingly, Jesus first made this startling revelation to a non-Jewish person and a woman at that! Speaking to a Samaritan woman on the topic of worship, Jesus said: “Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, because salvation begins with the Jews. Nevertheless, the hour is coming, and it is now, when the true worshippers will worship the Father with spirit and truth, for indeed, the Father is looking for ones like these to worship him. God is a Spirit, and those worshipping him must worship with spirit and truth.” — John 4:21-24
Christ himself was to be the symbolic chief cornerstone for a completely new religion in which the worshippers themselves comprise a spiritual temple. The foremost Christian writer, Paul, wrote of this invisible temple in various letters. For example, at 1 Corinthian 3:16-17, the apostle said: “Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that the spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him; for the temple of God is holy, and you are that temple.”
Paul similarly explained to the Ephesians: “So you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens of the holy ones and are members of the household of God, and you have been built up on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, while Christ Jesus himself is the foundation cornerstone. In union with him the whole building, being harmoniously joined together, is growing into a holy temple for Jehovah. In union with him you too are being built up together into a place for God to inhabit by spirit.” — Eph. 2:20-22
To be sure, the human building blocks of the spiritual sanctuary are anointed Christians—those called to be in union with Christ as part of the new creation.
As Jehovah’s Witnesses well know, the original Christian organization was corrupted beyond recognition. Once the apostate bishops were summoned to Nicea in 325 and allowed the pagan emperor, Constantine, to determine Christian doctrine, it eventually led to the monstrosity known as Christendom with all of its many documented atrocities. Instead of an immaterial temple, eventually, the popes embarked on massive cathedral construction projects. Without modern power tools and cranes, some structures were so gigantic it took centuries to complete them. Evidently, the intent was to overawe the parishioner with what was undoubtedly the largest, most majestic manmade structure they would ever behold.
But what happened to the temple built upon the messianic cornerstone? Since it is a spiritual arrangement, something unseeable, untouchable, you might visualize it in terms of what happened to Solomon’s temple, which was far grander than the portable tabernacle and the rebuilt temple that came later. But as impressive as that gold-gilded temple was, it fell into neglect and disrepair. That sad state of Jehovah’s house was merely a reflection of the deplorable spiritual state of the Jews at that time. Eventually, though, a young and zealous king named Josiah initiated a grand reform including a restoration of the stone structure Solomon had dedicated to Jehovah.
The comparison has been made before by this writer that the reformation undertaken by Josiah compares with the Christian revival that took place under the leadership of Charles Taze Russell. (See chapter: The Truth)
For example, when Josiah ordered that the house of Jehovah be restored apparently the original scrolls containing the Law were found. Think of that, the Jews had been entrusted with the Word of God and for many years the only scrolls in existence had been lost by the custodians! In the same way, after the church was handed over to the authority of the Roman Empire, after many centuries Latin, the main language of the Roman domain, gradually faded from use and was only known by the learned class and the popes forbade the Bible to be translated into the vernacular of Europeans. It was as though the Bible had literally been lost—certainly, the truths contained therein were.
The Gutenberg printing press eventually overcame the church’s fierce opposition to translating and publishing the Bible. By the time the first Pilgrims came to America, they had their King James Authorized Version of the Bible. By the 19th century, numerous Bible societies in England and America made the Word of God available to everyone who could read English. Thus, the world was ripe for harvest when the Watchtower began to publish far and wide.
As Jesus had told the Samaritan woman at the well, God is looking for persons to worship Him in spirit and truth. And the Watchtower was publishing the truth, which had for centuries been obscured by the churches. And with the truth came the spirit—the anointing spirit that had been curtailed after the apostles died off. Hence, the spiritual temple had been restored. New living stones were being added to the structure. That is so very evident by the zeal of those original Bible Students who were impelled to declare abroad the excellencies of the One who called them out of darkness.
In time though, even the reformation work of Josiah was undone. By the time of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, the temple had become thoroughly corrupted by idolatry. Jehovah was determined to bring a terrible destruction upon Jerusalem and the temple.
The seventh chapter of Jeremiah opens with Jehovah commanding Jeremiah: “Stand in the gate of the house of Jehovah and proclaim there this message, ‘Hear the word of Jehovah, all you people of Judah who enter these gates to bow down to Jehovah. This is what Jehovah of armies, the God of Israel, says: “Reform your ways and your actions, and I will allow you to keep residing in this place. Do not put your trust in deceptive words and say, ‘This is the temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah!”
In God’s compassion, he moved Jeremiah to publicly declare His ultimatum: Reform or else! Just because it was Jehovah’s temple and God originally sanctified it and protected it did not mean He would not act against the idolators.
Is there a modern counterpart to this situation? Reworded, might this apply to the invisible cathedral associated with Christianity?
In times past the Watchtower identified Christendom as the antitypical Jerusalem slated for annihilation. In fact, anointed Christians in the modern era were said to comprise a so-called Jeremiah class, because they were issuing God’s denunciatory judgments against Christendom. However, more recently the Governing Body has scrapped the whole type-antitype approach and has even unceremoniously dropped Christendom as the antitype of apostate Jerusalem. Presumably, that means the Watchtower is no longer the mouthpiece for the Jeremiah class of prophets. It is just as well.
Still, the question lingers: what about the spiritual temple?
Knowledgable JW’s surely know that the Watchtower identifies itself with the restored spiritual temple. And I do not take issue with that view. Non-anointed persons are those who worship in the courtyard of the temple. Hence, a recent WT states (Paragraph 15):
In modern times, Jesus’ building work involved liberating true worshippers from Babylon the Great and restoring the Christian congregation in 1919. He also appointed a “faithful and discreet slave” to take the lead in directing the work in the earthly courtyards of the great spiritual temple. Jesus has also been busy refining God’s people and helping them to render worship that is clean.—Mal. 3:1-3.
By citing the prophecy of Malachi concerning the coming of the messenger of the covenant to the temple for judgment the Watchtower places itself as the modern temple. By doing so it is inadvertently acknowledged that Jehovah’s Witnesses fulfill the prophecy—identifying themselves as those who proclaim: ‘This is the temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah!’
By locating the coming of the messenger to 1914 the temple-keepers have cleverly placed the fiery refining to the distant past. Surely, Christ could not possibly have any reason to find fault now. Thus, the modern worshippers are cocksure of the permanence of the temple-like organization.
Examining the passage in Malachi more closely, though, it should be obvious to an honest searcher that the coming of the messenger is the same event as the coming of the Son of man to judge those whom he left in charge of his house. Consider the question posed in Malachi: “But who will endure the day of his coming, and who will be able to stand when he appears?” Now compare the words of Jesus found at Luke 21:36 concerning the sudden coming of the Son of man: “Keep awake, then, all the time making supplication that you may succeed in escaping all these things that must occur and in standing before the Son of man.”
The question “who will endure the day of his coming” is made all the more impactful and disconcerting in light of the fact that Jehovah’s Witnesses have been deluded into believing “the day of his coming” is nothing more than a footnote in modern theocratic history. The fact that the underlying foundation of the Watchtower Society is premised on Jesus’ supposed return in 1914 is why Jehovah denounces his people for putting their trust in deceptive words. And that is all 1914 is—words. There is no basis in reality whatsoever!
“But you are putting your trust in deceptive words—it will bring absolutely no benefit. Can you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make sacrifices to Baal, and follow after gods you had not known, and then come and stand before me in this house that bears my name and say, ‘We will be saved,’ despite your doing all these detestable things? Has this house that bears my name become a cave of robbers in your eyes? Here I have seen it for myself,” declares Jehovah.” — Jeremiah 7:8-11
It is appropriate that the headquarters for the leadership of those serving in the spiritual sanctuary is called Bethel, which means the house of God in Hebrew. And the modern Bethel most certainly bears the name of God, expressed in the multiplicity of languages spoken around the world. It is also undeniable that Jehovah’s Witnesses expect to be saved because of their association with the Watchtower and thier dutifully following instructions emanating from Bethel.
Bethel’s thievery is manifest in the confiscation of hundreds of Kingdom Halls, which had been constructed and paid for by Jehovah’s Witnesses, who not only are not compensated but, prior to the global lockdown, had been evicted from their local place of worship by the thousands.
But murder? The Watchtower does not tolerate dissent. Anyone who questions their teachings or doings is liable to be hauled before a judicial committee and cut off from family and friends if found quilty of not accepting the dictates of the exalted Governing Body. Call it judicial execution. But there may be more to it than merely symbolic execution.
The pandemic has led the Governing Body to subtly adopt mandatory vaccination. Although out of one side of their mouth they say that taking the vaccine is a conscience matter, they have also reported in one of their Covid updates that 98% of Bethelites have been vaccinated. That is far more than the percentage in the general population. And what Bethel suggests is taken as coming from the mouth of Jehovah by all the rest. Furthermore, it has been brought to my attention by a reliable source that no unvaccinated JW may work on any construction project—especially the massive Hollywood-style studio in the works. So, in that regard vaccination has become mandatory.
But the vaccines that are being used for Covid are not ordinary vaccines. They are highly experimental, using untested technology called mRNA. They are not nearly as safe as vaccines developed decades ago for diseases like polio and smallpox—vaccines which the Consolation magazine roundedly denounced as a satanic scheme. So far there have been an estimated 20,000 deaths as a result of the mRNA injections and many more adverse reactions. True, all drugs and vaccines have toxic substances that can produce deadly reactions in some people—always a few in comparison to those who otherwise may benefit from it. However, the deaths from Covid vaccinations being reported now are far more than is typical.
Even more worrisome, it is claimed by some doctors that those who have been vaccinated may be unwitting emitters of Covid-spiked proteins that may infect the unvaccinated! Typically new drugs and vaccines are tested on a small group over a long period of time to monitor their efficacy and safety. Because of the hysteria—surely hyped by the media and the United Nations World Health Organization—the vaccination program has been rolled out with virtually no clinical trials. It is a vast experiment involving billions of test subjects! What could go wrong?
Admittedly, the Governing Body bears a heavy responsibility. Covid 19 is a nasty disease. No one should doubt that. And it is appearing more and more likely it was designed to be so. But there are alternatives to vaccinations. There are inexpensive and effective treatments for Covid infected victims. Even something as simple as vitamin D3 and zinc can fortify the immune system to fight against infectious microbes, as the Designer of the human immune system intended. Raw garlic is a very potent antimicrobial too.
Not surprisingly, the big pharmaceutical companies oppose any inexpensive or natural treatment. The regulatory government agencies enforce the pharmaceutical industry’s mandates. Even social media have been co-opted to suppress any discussion of the dangers of vaccines or the safe and effective alternatives. There is a definite hidden agenda at work that has nothing to do with saving lives.
While the Governing Body is keen to announce the mounting death toll in their JW Broadcast Updates, will they also honestly report the number of deaths among Jehovah’s Witnesses due to adverse reactions to the vaccine, which they have implicitly endorsed? And why no discussion of preventive measures or effective drugs? Given their far-reaching influence over millions, does the silence on their part, even their hostility toward natural medicine, amount to bloodguilt in the eyes of the heavenly Judge? By using the authority of their office and the power of their influence over Jehovah’s Witnesses the GB is proving itself to be in lockstep with the vaccinators and globalists, who are becoming more tyrannical by the day.
As unthinkable as it may be, if it turns out that the suppressed voice of the fringe is right—if those infused with mRNA begin dying in mass in some time-released genocide—will not the Governing Body share responsibility for the murder of Jehovah’s people for overtly (in the case of Bethel and construction volunteers) and subtly coercing all under their influence to take an experimental vaccine in order for them to serve Jehovah acceptably? Time will tell.
To be continued…