Friday, July 31
Jehovah is the Spirit, and where the spirit of Jehovah is, there is freedom. —2 Cor. 3:17.
To enjoy and benefit from that freedom, we must ‘turn to Jehovah,’ that is, come into a personal relationship with him. (2 Cor. 3:16) The Israelites in the wilderness did not view Jehovah’s dealings with them in a spiritual way. It was as if their hearts and minds were veiled and hardened, focused only on using their newfound freedom from Egypt in a physical, or fleshly, way. (Heb. 3:8-10) The freedom that is associated with the spirit of Jehovah, however, is more than liberation from physical slavery. Far beyond what human efforts can hope to achieve, the spirit of Jehovah brings liberation from enslavement to sin and death, as well as from slavery to false worship and its practices. (Rom. 6:23; 8:2) What a glorious freedom that is! A person can enjoy the benefits of such freedom even when imprisoned or enslaved.
God gives his spirit to those obeying him as ruler. The apostle Paul explained to the Romans that obeying God means being in subjection to the civil authorities too. Jehovah’s Witnesses have always understood that subjection to civil authority is relative, whereas subjection to God is absolute.
As soon as the original Christians began preaching the Jewish authorities demanded that they cease and desist. The apostles refused to obey. The fifth chapter of Acts describes the confrontation that ensued between the high priest and Peter: “‘We strictly ordered you not to keep teaching on the basis of this name, and yet look! you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you are determined to bring the blood of this man upon us.’ In answer Peter and the other apostles said: ‘We must obey God as ruler rather than men. The God of our forefathers raised up Jesus, whom you killed, hanging him on a stake. God exalted this one as Chief Agent and Savior to his right hand, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses of these matters, and so is the holy spirit, which God has given to those obeying him as ruler.’”
The Jewish high priest was an office originally established by Jehovah by means of Moses. You might say it was the core of the theocratic arrangement for Jehovah’s earthly organization back then. So, it must have come as a shock to many of the Jews when the apostles openly defied the high priest.
Presently Jehovah’s Witnesses are in subjection to those taking the lead in spiritual matters. Doing so is recognized as God’s will. Also, we are in subjection to the superior authorities. But is subjection to either authority absolute? No.
What if the superior authorities forbid Christians from preaching and meeting together, such as is the case in Russia now? Then what? To remain in the truth Christians must obey God as ruler. Or, what if the GB order Jehovah’s Witnesses to stop preaching and meeting together?
In the video below a spokesman for the Watchtower boasts that Jehovah’s Witnesses always obey the law. He even said that the leaders of the organization shut down the kingdom halls and the preaching work before it was even mandated.
So, here we have a situation where the Governing Body have ordered Jehovah’s Witnesses to stop preaching and meeting together —in effect, countermanding God.
Obviously there is a health crises. People are getting ill and some are dying because of complications arising from the virus. God is reasonable. But what if the pandemic drags on and on? Some are expecting a second wave to erupt later in the year as the regular flu season begins. What if the heath emergency is still on next year? Will the Governing Body simply shut down the printing presses permanently and sell off all the kingdom halls? At what point will Jehovah’s Witnesses be in defiance of Christ? It is not such a far-fetched scenario.
The Jewish Christians were very much attached to the city of Jerusalem and the temple. It was imperative, though, that when they saw the disgusting thing standing in a holy place they were to leave the city without delay. Those were Jesus’ instructions for them. Those orders also have importance for us, as Jehovah’s Witnesses surely know that the prophecy applies foremost to the “Jerusalem” that will be destroyed during the great tribulation that is coming upon the entire inhabited earth.
According to the seers of Bethel, Jerusalem symbolizes Christendom and the tribulation will begin when the UN destroys false religion. If that is true then Jesus’ orders have no relevance for Christians. After all, Jehovah’s Witnesses have already gotten out of Babylon the Great.
No one questions why it is disgusting for the state to exert control over false religion. The Roman Empire took control of the church a long, long time ago and Christendom has been inseparably yoked to the state ever since. Why would it be a noteworthy development when the disgusting stands where it ought not if it has been standing in the same place for over a thousand years?
I have written a considerable number of articles on the topic so there is no reason to expound any more here —save to say that what is happening with the Watchtower may be the first glimpse of the disgusting thing emerging.
It is truly alarming that the Governing Body is so proud of itself for dutifully complying with the rulers of the world and have thoroughly shut down the worldwide preaching work without even a hint of when it will resume. Obeying the command of Jesus to go make disciples has always been foremost. Not any more. Supporting the ministry of the Bible Students and Jehovah’s Witnesses is the sole reason the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society exists. Something is very wrong.
With the nations lining up for war on a global scale, the USA teetering on the edge of civil war, the economy grinding to a halt, food shortages becoming more and more likely, the COVID pandemic posing a threat for the foreseeable future, and now the Watchtower in open defiance of the Lord Jesus, it certainly seems as if the thief-like visitation of Christ is imminent.