This is part five of the Watchtower Review series.

Listed under the subheading Things We Do Know the paragraph states:

11 We do know several things about future events. For example, we know that at Armageddon, people will be dealt with on the basis of how they have treated Christ’s brothers. (Matt. 25:40) Those judged as sheep will have shown their support for the anointed and for Christ. We also know that some of Christ’s brothers will still be on earth after the great tribulation starts and will not be taken to heaven until shortly before the outbreak of Armageddon. As long as the brothers of Christ are still on earth, it is possible that honesthearted individuals will have the opportunity to support them and the work they are doing. (Matt. 25:31, 32; Rev. 12:17) Why are those facts significant?

Do we really know what Jesus’ illustration of the sheep and the goats and their relationship to the brothers of Jesus means? What Paul wrote to the Corinthians seems applicable: “If anyone thinks he knows something, he does not yet know it as he should know it. But if anyone loves God, this one is known by him.” — 1 Cor. 8:2,3

There is a reason Jesus related the illustration of the sheep and the goats after outlining all the events that will lead up to the Son of man standing at the door. The reason is the manifestation—also known as the revelation and the parousia—will occur after the great tribulation is cut short. Hold that thought.

Who are the brothers of Christ? ‘They are anointed persons,’ JWs will respond. And they would be right. Except, how do we know who is really anointed? And what if an anointed Christian becomes unfaithful? Do we still get credit for supporting them?

Not only that, but a growing number of Jehovah’s Witnesses have been misled into believing that all Christians, even those who do not confess having the upward call should publicly partake of the emblems at the annual Memorial.  That certainly muddies the water. But it is worse. There are also phony anointed persons—pretenders who are indistinguishable from the genuine. If you want to know, that is what is symbolized by the wheat and the weeds in another of Jesus’ illustrations to be fulfilled during the conclusion.

Speaking to two of the seven symbolic congregations of anointed persons in Revelation, Jesus revealed that there is a synagogue of Satan residing in the midst of his congregations composed of persons who lyingly claim to be Jews. Christians with spiritual discernment know that Jesus is not saying that imposters pretend to be of Hebrew ethnicity. Paul taught us that the real Jews are ones on the inside. They are anointed persons who are in union with Jesus and Jehovah. So, those within Christ’s congregation who pretend to be Jews are people who falsely present themselves as anointed brothers of Christ. Paul also wrote concerning the “superfine apostles” who disguised themselves as ministers of righteousness in imitation of the Devil who disguises himself as an angel of light.

Since Paul revealed that the most prominent men overseeing the Corinthian congregation were false apostles, and Jesus also revealed that there will be false apostles in his congregation when the Lord’s day begins, is it possible that some among the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses who present themselves as the faithful and discreet slave, in reality, belong to the synagogue of Satan? Yes! It is an absolute certainty. That is what the man of lawlessness is—prominent persons who present themselves as men of God and brothers of Christ, who sit down in the spiritual temple of God among the called ones and use their authority to promote a false parousia, which is the foundational cornerstone of the Watchtower.

So, since we dare not discount the word of God that reveals Satan’s presence among the true sons of God, how are we to discern who is a genuine anointed Christian and who are members of the synagogue of Satan?

Consider what Paul said, that we are hidden in Christ. What does that mean? In what sense are anointed persons hidden? Here is what the anointed apostle wrote: “For you died, and your life has been hidden with the Christ in union with God. When the Christ, our life, is made manifest, then you also will be made manifest with him in glory.” — Colossians 3:3,4

Ah, Jesus himself is also “hidden.” The revelation of Christ will be when the Son of man comes out of hiding—when he makes himself manifest in glory. In what sense will those hidden in Christ also “be made manifest with him in glory”? To answer that question we must first understand who Christ will become manifest to. John, who was with Jesus when he was transfigured, wrote to his fellow anointed brothers concerning the manifestation of Jesus, saying: “See what sort of love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are. That is why the world does not know us, because it has not come to know him. Beloved ones, we are now children of God, but it has not yet been made manifest what we will be. We do know that when he is made manifest we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is. And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as that one is pure.” — 1 John 3:1-3

Needless to say, all of those who have died in union with Jesus will see him as he is when they are awakened from the dead and rise to heaven. But Jesus will not need to make himself manifest to anyone in heaven. Christ sits at God’s right hand and he is manifest to every spirit in the realm. No, “when he is made manifest” is in relation to anointed persons on earth who “will see him just as he is” when Christ comes alongside them—which is what the parousia is.

Since there is to be a revelation of Jesus and those who will see his manifestation will also become manifest in glory as sons of God, and this will take place after the tribulation is cut short, this means that the judgment of the sheep and the goats based upon their treatment of Christ’s brothers can only occur during the post-tribulation period. That is when the revealing of the sons of God will take place. And who will see the revelation of the chosen ones? Take note of what Paul wrote: “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. For the creation was subjected to futility, not by its own will, but through the one who subjected it, on the basis of hope that the creation itself will also be set free from enslavement to corruption and have the glorious freedom of the children of God.” — Romans 8:18-21

The inspired apostle and spokesman for Christ confirms that the manifestation of the holy ones in glory will be while they are in the flesh. But in answer to the question, to whom will the glory of the sons of God be revealed? Paul referred to “creation.” What is creation in that context? Surely it is not the animal creation. Nor could it possibly include unbelievers. They are not in “expectation.” Paul said that the “creation is waiting with eager expectation for the revealing of the sons of God.” That means that persons of faith who are not brothers of Christ are expecting God to reveal something to them when the Kingdom comes. That being evident, since Jehovah’s Witnesses expect to be set free from enslavement to corruption and have the glorious freedom of the children of God as was once briefly experienced in Eden by our original parents, why does not the earthly creation expect to see the manifestation of the sons of God in glory?

File it under God’s guarded secrets that are yet to be revealed. But what about the statement that the brothers of Christ will not be revealed until after the tribulation, what is the biblical support for that radical departure? To be continued…

End of part five

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