Sunday, October 12
God for the first time turned his attention to the nations to take out of them a people for his name.—Acts 15:14.
As “people who are called by [God’s] name,” the members of the new nation of spiritual Israel used the divine name, certainly doing so when quoting from the Hebrew Scriptures. (Acts 15:17) Thus, when the apostle Peter addressed an international audience of Jews and proselytes at Pentecost 33 C.E., he used God’s name a number of times. (Acts 2:14, 20, 21, 25, 34) The early Christians honored Jehovah, so he, in turn, blessed their efforts in the preaching work. Likewise today, Jehovah blesses our ministry when we proudly proclaim his name and show it to interested ones, in their own Bibles if possible. We thus introduce them to the true God. What a privilege—for them and for us! That introduction may in some cases be the beginning of a wonderful relationship with Jehovah that will grow ever stronger and last forever. w13 3/15 5:12, 13
Showing people God’s name in their own Bible is becoming more of a challenge, especially since the latest renditions of the King James Bible have even removed the name from the four places it appeared in the original 1611 version.
At any rate, the Society is correct in noting that being the people associated with the name of God is surely a privilege. But as is the case with all privileges from God, with it comes responsibility. Because God’s name is sacred God will punish those who blaspheme or bring reproach upon his name. For example, Jerusalem was called the city where Jehovah caused his name to reside. We all know what happened to that city.
But has the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses profaned the name of Jehovah? Well, why not let Jehovah himself answer that question? Consider the 48th chapter of Isaiah, which is a sealed indictment of those who call upon the name of Jehovah at the time of Christ’s actual return. Verses 9-11 go on to say:
“But for the sake of my name I will hold back my anger; for my own praise I will restrain myself toward you, and I will not do away with you. Look! I have refined you, but not in the form of silver. I have tested you in the smelting furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake I will act, for how could I let myself be profaned? I give my glory to no one else.”
Do you get the sense of it? Malachi the 3rd chapter uses the same analogy of a refiner. Only Malachi makes it clear that the refiner is Christ – the messenger of the (new) covenant. The Society makes the connection too in their Isaiah commentary, but apply it to the persecution that befell the Bible Students during WWI. How they may have profaned the name of Jehovah is not explained.
But obviously the leadership of the organization now has profaned the name of Jehovah on a scale that cannot be ignored. To demonstrate the point, in recent years mainstream media have published dozens of stories all relating how the Watchtower Society and their elders have failed to protect children from the depredations of pedophiles. The Society has gone to great lengths to keep such crimes from the public view, supposedly to protect the name of Jehovah from reproach. But it has had the opposite affect. Surely Jehovah will not allow the Watchtower Society and their lawyers to continue to profane his name this way!