Sunday, August 2

When the Lord caught sight of her, he was moved with pity. —Luke 7:13.

Jesus himself experienced some of the challenges people faced. For example, Jesus apparently grew up in a poor family. From working with his adoptive father, Joseph, Jesus learned how to do hard physical work. (Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3) It seems that Joseph died sometime before the end of Jesus’ ministry. So Jesus likely felt the pain of losing a loved one in death. And Jesus knew what it was like to be in a family with differing religious views. (John 7:5) Those circumstances and others would have helped Jesus to understand the challenges and feelings of ordinary people. Jesus’ concern was especially evident when he performed miracles. Jesus did not perform miracles out of a mere sense of duty. He was “moved with pity” for those who were suffering. (Matt. 20:29-34; Mark 1:40-42) Jesus sympathized with people and wanted to help them. —Mark 7:32-35; Luke 7:12-15w19.03 16 ¶10-11

Just imagine you are walking down the road in a funeral procession and someone walking up the road from the opposite direction halts the cavalcade and tells the dead person to wake up. And the corpse comes alive, sits up and begins speaking! What an amazing thing that was. What a rollercoaster of emotion the mother must have felt. From crushing, unbearable grief one moment to astonishing joy a moment later.

Jesus resurrected three other people during his brief ministry. Maybe there were more but that is all that is recorded in the Gospel. No doubt death took the lives of many more people whom Jesus did not resurrect. And, obviously, those four souls whom he did bring back to life died again. And Jesus himself experienced death. But Jehovah brought him back to life after three days.

The Watchtower has pointed out that Jesus only resurrected a few people in order to demonstrate his power. No doubt that is true. The same can be said for his other miracles. Jesus instantaneously cured people from all sorts of illnesses —including blindness, epilepsy, deafness, leprosy, and the crippled. He also expelled the demons. Jesus twice miraculously multiplied a few scraps of food into a banquet for a few thousand people.

He performed these miracles to demonstrate what will take place when the Kingdom comes to power in order that we might have faith. Jesus also empowered his disciples to perform similar miracles. For example, both Paul and Peter brought someone back from the dead. This too is a portent, seeing that the chosen ones will reign with Jesus in his Kingdom for the benefit of all mankind.

Jesus also demonstrated his power in a different way. On two occasions, once at the beginning of his ministry and again at the end, Jesus went into his Father’s temple  and in a heated rage he threw out the money-changers and merchants. Jesus rebuked them, saying: “Is it not written, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a cave of robbers.”

Needless to say, there will be no religious profiteers in the new world of peace and plenty. But there is now. Sure, there are the mega-church preachers and tele-evangelists who are experts at conning people out of their money. And there is the fabulously wealthy Vatican that has been ripping off the masses for centuries with various schemes. But there is also the Watchtower. In recent years it has become a cave of robbers too.

If Jesus’ inspection of the temple is a portent, as it surely is, we cannot imagine why Jesus would throw out the scammers from false religion. After all, Jesus recognized the temple as his Father’s sacred house of worship. That is why he ousted those who had turned his Father’s house into a cave of robbers.

When Jesus comes again his first order of business will be to judge his Father’s house. The 3rd chapter of Malachi speaks about this very thing, where it states: “Look! I am sending my messenger, and he will clear up a way before me. And suddenly the true Lord, whom you are seeking, will come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant will come, in whom you take delight. Look! He will certainly come,” says Jehovah of armies. “But who will endure the day of his coming, and who will be able to stand when he appears? For he will be like the fire of a refiner and like the lye of laundrymen. And he will sit as a refiner and cleanser of silver and will cleanse the sons of Levi; and he will clarify them like gold and like silver, and they will certainly become to Jehovah people presenting a gift offering in righteousness.”

Who will endure the day of his coming? No problem. The Bible Students already did. Jesus came to the temple back in 1918. So, we are all good now.

Too bad for Jehovah’s Witnesses it is all a lie.

The first chapter of Isaiah uses similar symbolism, referring to God smelting away your scummy dross with lye. The prophecy of Ezekiel also evokes the refining process: ““Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: ‘Because all of you have become like worthless dross, I am collecting you together inside Jerusalem. Just as silver and copper and iron and lead and tin are collected inside a furnace in order to blow fire upon them and melt them, so I will collect you together in my anger and in my rage, and I will blow upon you and make you melt. I will bring you together and blow upon you with the fire of my fury, and you will be melted inside of her. Just as silver is melted in a furnace, so you will be melted inside her; and you will have to know that I myself, Jehovah, have poured out my rage on you.’”— Ezekiel 22:19-22

Jesus spoke of the desolation of Jerusalem during the conclusion. Jerusalem is a fitting symbol for Christ’s congregation since the holy city is where Christianity began. Did not Paul verify this very thing when he said: “Now if anyone builds on the foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, each one’s work will be shown for what it is, for the day will show it up, because it will be revealed by means of fire, and the fire itself will prove what sort of work each one has built. If anyone’s work that he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward; if anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved; yet, if so, it will be as through fire.” — 1Cor 3:12-15

After speaking to his little flock about his coming as a thief and the thrashing that will be meted out to the erring servants of his household, Jesus went on to say: “I came to start a fire on the earth, and what more is there for me to wish if it has already been lit?” — Luke 12:49

There is no way around it. Jehovah’s Witnesses are going to have to be subjected to the heat of God’s anger. Indeed, who will be able to stand when he appears?

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