Thursday, April 21
You are my witnesses.
One way Israelite parents witnessed was by teaching their children about God’s dealings with their forefathers. For example, when being instructed to observe the Passover each year, the people were told: “When your sons ask you, ‘What does this observance mean to you?’ you must say, ‘It is the sacrifice of the Passover to Jehovah, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt when he plagued the Egyptians, but he spared our houses.’” Those parents may also have explained to their children that when Moses first approached Egypt’s ruler to ask permission for the Israelites to worship Jehovah in the wilderness, Pharaoh replied: “Who is Jehovah, that I should obey his voice to send Israel away?” At the Red Sea, the answer to Pharaoh’s question became clear for all to see. Jehovah was—and is—the Almighty. Also, the Israelite nation became living witnesses that Jehovah is the true God and the Fulfiller of his promises.
When Joseph Rutherford adopted the name of Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1931 it may well have been due to divine providence, similar to when first century followers of the Way first began to be called Christians some years after Christ founded his congregation.
For years the cover of the Watchtower bore the sub-caption “Ye are my witnesses saith Jehovah.” Whether it was by divine providence or not, we know that it is Christ’s mission to make his Father’s name known, so that ultimately even the nations will have to know that he is Jehovah.
WHEN DO JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES GET OUT OF BABYLON?
But here is the question: Has the mere appearance of a religion in the modern era known as Jehovah’s Witnesses fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah? The answer is no.
Beginning with the 40th chapter, Isaiah is a prerecorded message from God to his people while they are in a captive condition. Originally “Jacob” was a prisoner in Babylon and Jehovah sent his anointed one, Cyrus, as a liberator. Cyrus foreshadows Christ at his coming.
According to Watchtower lore, though, the greater Cyrus liberated the Bible Students from centuries of babylonish captivity in 1919. But why it took a mighty act of God to release eight Watchtower officials from jail when any competent attorney could have accomplished the same feat is anyone’s guess.
No, liberation from greater Babylon has not occurred for the simple reason that God’s people have not gone into exile yet. That will come about in the near future when the system crashes, only to rise from the ashes as the eighth king. That is when the judgment of the nations begins.
That is also the subject matter of the 43rd chapter of Isaiah, the verses preceding saying: “Bring forth a people blind though eyes themselves exist, and the ones deaf though they have ears. Let the nations all be collected together at one place, and let national groups be gathered together. Who is there among them that can tell this? Or can they cause us to hear even the first things? Let them furnish their witnesses, that they may be declared righteous, or let them hear and say, ‘It is the truth!’ You are my witnesses,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘even my servant whom I have chosen, in order that you may know and have faith in me, and that you may understand that I am the same One.’”
God’s servants are those spoken of as being blind and deaf, as the 42nd chapter underscores, that none are as blind and deaf as the servant of Jehovah. But from that blind and deaf state Jehovah’s servant will become witnesses to God’s supremacy when he delivers them from their desolated condition and exalts them to take possession of the Kingdom.
They will finally discard Russel’s 1914 error and the Watchtower idol as if it were something like a menstrual cloth: That is what Isaiah 30:22 states: “And you will defile the silver overlay of your graven images and the golden plating of your metal statues. You will cast them away like a menstrual cloth and say to them, “Be gone!”
Then those who are approved really will be Jehovah’s witnesses in the truest sense. Not merely in name, as now, but then they will have experienced both the sharp punishing, spanking of a stern father, but also his loving embrace and reassurance. Then we will speak from firsthand experience concerning Jehovah being God.