Who are Jehovah’s Christian Witnesses? Are they the true worshippers of God – the true light-bearers, as the Watchtower Society claims? What makes the witnesses of Jehovah so special? Do they really believe that they are the only ones who will receive salvation? After all, many accuse Jehovah’s Witnesses of being a satanic cult. How could such a maligned sect possibly be the only true faith?
According to About.com-Christianity, there are 38,000 Christian denominations and sects in the world today – with more coming into existence daily. Originally, however, there was only one. And according to the Founder of Christianity, Jesus Christ, there still is only one true faith, which is why Jesus posed the question in reference to the chosen ones: “Nevertheless, when the Son of man arrives, will he really find the faith on the earth?” (“The faith” – singular – not ‘the faiths.’)
While it is common to hear reference made to “the church,” as if the bewildering conglomeration of denominations and sects somehow make up the collective congregation of Christ, that simply cannot be the case. Jesus only recognizes one church, or congregation, and that is the organization Paul referred to as “the congregation of the firstborn who have been enrolled in the heavens.” (Hebrews 12:23)
The apostle Peter referred to Christ’s congregation in an even more descriptive way, saying of it: “But you are ‘a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for special possession, that you should declare abroad the excellencies’ of the one that called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
But what has happened to “the congregation of the firstborn” the “holy nation” and the exclusive, “special possession” of God? Does it exist today as the sum of the thousands of competing denominations and sub-sects? Again, no. That cannot possibly be so. The Scriptures condemn sects and sectarianism. Even in the first century, though, there was a tendency towards sectarianism. Paul listed “sects” as a work of the fallen flesh. Besides, Christ’s congregation is founded upon the truth. There is nothing that the churches teach that could be said to be the truth – Nothing!
Paul also foretold that there would be many who would eventually fall away from the faith because of their paying attention to misleading teachings inspired by wicked demons. Paul listed two demon-inspired teachings. One such demonic teaching is celibacy and the other is dietary prohibitions. Undeniably, these two teachings became manifest in the Catholic and Orthodox denominations, from which nearly all of the 38,000+ sects in existence today have directly or indirectly sprung. So, the word of God reveals, that, those who originally fell away from the faith fabricated organizations that have passed themselves off as “the church,” yet they were established and remain under the influence of God’s archenemy – Satan the Devil.
It should come as no surprise that this has come about. Even when Jesus was on the earth the demons sought to use humans under their control to herald Jesus as the Christ. Jesus usually forbade them to even speak. But during Paul’s ministry a girl possessed by a demon of divination followed Paul and Barnabas around for days, all the while crying out: “These men are slaves of the Most High God, who are publishing to you the way of salvation.” (Acts 16:17) Paul finally grew weary of the demon-possessed girl and ordered the evil spirit to come out of her, which it promptly did. But if the Devil and his demons were opposed to the truth and the spread of Christianity why would the demon endorse the work of Paul and Barnabas? After all, what the girl said was true. Paul and Barnabas were slaves of the Most High God and they preached the message of salvation through Christ. Obviously, the demon did so in order to gain credibility, so as to acquire some influence over those who might become believers.
For a certainty, as congregations sprang up the Devil was keen to try to insert his covert agents into the midst of Jehovah’s “special possession.” Apparently, at one point Satan successfully infiltrated the Corinthian congregation by using men who deceitfully passed themselves off as apostles. Paul sarcastically referred to them as the “superfine apostles” and revealed them to be false apostles and deceitful workers who merely transformed themselves into apostles and ministers of righteousness in imitation of the Devil, who is an adapt at transforming himself into “an angel of light.” Evidently some of the Corinthians put up with the phony apostles. But after Paul and the other apostles and stalwarts died off it got worse. Satan gradually took over completely.
At 1 John 2:18, the apostle John spoke of “the last hour” and warned of the coming of an antichrist. That verse reads: “Young children, it is the last hour, and, just as you have heard that antichrist is coming, even now there have come to be many antichrists; from which fact we gain the knowledge that it is the last hour.”
Some have mistakenly supposed that the apostle’s reference to “the last hour” meant that John was announcing the imminent return of Christ and the end of the world 2,000 years ago. Although the true disciples most certainly heeded Jesus’ many exhortations to stay in anticipation of his return, that is not what the apostle meant by “the last hour.” What was “the last hour” then? It was the last hour of Christianity. It was the last hour of God’s anointing. Jesus had warned his hearers to walk in the light while it was shining, saying at John 12:35-36: “The light will be among you a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, so that darkness does not overpower you; and he that walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, exercise faith in the light, in order to become sons of light.”
Jesus was undoubtedly referring to himself as the light. But his original disciples were also to become the light of the world, while they were alive. But with the passing of the apostles the light of truth went on the wane and was eventually overpowered by the darkness. Speaking for all of the apostles, Paul told the Ephesian elders: “I know that after my going away oppressive wolves will enter in among you and will not treat the flock with tenderness, and from among you yourselves men will rise and speak twisted things to draw away the disciples after themselves.”
True to Paul’s word, in the post-apostolic period there arose prominent scholars and theologians, who although now are revered as “Church Fathers,” were nothing of the sort. The apostles were the only legitimate fathers of the true faith. As evidence that many of the apostles’ immediate successors were deceitful workers and false apostles, those who came after the apostles began to debate and thereby subtlety call into question the most basic of truths; the main being, the special father/son relationship of Jehovah and Jesus. By so doing the so-called Church Fathers revealed themselves to be mere antichrists. In the 4th century the corrupt protectors of the faith went so far as to hand over ecclesiastical authority to the emperor of Rome, Constantine. Christ’s congregation thus came under complete control of an antichrist. Oppressive wolves indeed! All that masquerades today as “Christianity” has sprung from that ancient apostasy.
TIMES OF RESTORATION OF ALL THINGS
The Catholic and Orthodox institutions that then came into existence effectively snuffed out the light of truth . The Sacred Scriptures were locked away and unavailable to the average person. Any would-be light-bearers who may have arose were swiftly crushed by the priestly keepers-of-the-darkness. But it would not always be that way. As a prelude to the return of Christ once again the light of truth would be made to shine.
In the third chapter of Acts the apostle Peter urged the Jews to repent so that Jehovah “may send forth the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven, indeed, must hold within itself until the times of restoration of all things of which God spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets of old time.”
“The restoration of all things” did not take place in the first century. Jehovah did not restore the Judean kingdom, at least not in the way the Jews may have expected. The restoration of which the apostle spoke is to occur when Jesus comes from heaven. What is to be restored? God’s purpose is to destroy this present evil system and replace it with a righteous new heavens and new earth. What is to be restored, then, is Christianity itself. And not only that, God purposes to restore humankind to the perfection that Adam and Eve lost. Paul explained God’s purpose at Ephesians 1:9-10: “It is according to his good pleasure which he purposed in himself for an administration at the full limit of the appointed times, namely, to gather all things together again in the Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth.”
The fact that the Scriptures speak of gathering “all things together again” indicates that there has been an undoing, a scattering. The gathering again is to be a replication of what took place in the first century when the light originally began to shine. But unlike in the first century, the restoration will fully accomplish God’s purpose. It will do so by gathering not only “the things in the heavens,” that is to say, those who are called and chosen to share Christ’s heavenly glory, but also, “the things on the earth” – those are invited to inherit the earth and share in restoring it to Eden-like perfection.
But the appointed times of the restoration is not something that can be calculated using chronology. It is, however, an observable phenomenon. Just as the original establishment of Christianity was characterized by means of an aggressive preaching campaign, so too, the preliminary of the restoration would be identifiable by the preaching of the truth of the good news. The work of Charles Taze Russell and the International Bible students in the late 1800s and the beginning of the 20th century followed the pattern of the first century Christians. The light of truth, which had long been hidden by Christendom, began to shine once again. And many people responded.
Originally the focus of the restoration was upon the heavenly things and many of those who became associated with the Watchtower Society were anointed by God’s spirit, just as the original Christians had been in the first century. But by the 1930’s a new dynamic was clearly at work, evidenced in the appearance of persons who accepted the truth and began to preach the kingdom, but who began to identify themselves as “the things upon the earth” – God having implanted in their hearts the hope of surviving the end of this world and inheriting the world to come.
Together those with the heavenly hope and the earthly hope dwell together in the same organization, just as Jesus foretold when he stated that he had other sheep that were “not of this flock,” which he must also gather. This, indeed, is something entirely unprecedented, but a predictable development as a prelude to the conclusion of the system of things.
The word that is translated administration comes from the Greek word oikonomian, from which the English word economy is derived. Originally it had to do with the management of a household, which would naturally include a budget. The Latin word used is dispensationem, which is translated into English as dispensation. This is as Jesus foretold also; namely, that prior to his arrival he would appoint a slave over his household to feed his domestics their spiritual food at the proper time. In other words, the appointed slave would manage the master’s household and dispense food to his servants until such time as the master arrives.
Over the decades the Watchtower Society has sponsored the greatest preaching work the world has ever known – far surpassing even that which the apostles accomplished. Especially since World War II Jehovah’s Witnesses have gone to the farthest corners of the earth with the beautiful message of God’s kingdom. Jehovah’s Witnesses have been trained by the Watchtower Society and empowered by God’s spirit to vigorously overturn the accumulation of devilish lies and practices that have for centuries masqueraded as Christianity. Like the first century Christians Jehovah’s Witnesses have endeavored to be no part of Satan’s world; refusing to participate in the political process; refusing to bloody their hands with the wars of the nations, or celebrate their pagan and national holidays. Jehovah’s Witnesses have repudiated the ungodly things of this world and have endeavored to live godly lives in full devotion to Christ. Like the first century Christians Jehovah’s Witnesses have also been hated, maligned and persecuted throughout the world and some have even been martyred, even as Jesus foretold.
Unlike the first century Christians, however, the appearance of those with faith in God and Christ, but who do not profess a heavenly hope, is an entirely unique phenomena, but one that is expected to occur as a preliminary to the restoration of all things – specifically, “the things on the earth.”
But while the watchtower Society and Jehovah’s Witnesses may represent a restored form of primitive Christianity, the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses is not the finished product of the foretold restoration of all things. It is only precursory to the actual restoration. That is because the true restoration does not occur until during the tribulation.
At this moment in time a great empire that has existed in various forms for over two- thousand years has entered into a terminal state. The present form of empire is the British Empire. Not the colonial empire of yesteryear, but a supranational monetary and financial empire, designed by and run out of London. With the crash of the Wall Street mortgage scheme in 2008 and the now-impending collapse of the Euro, it is becoming increasingly apparent that a globe-rocking collapse of that entire decadent system is inevitable and imminent. That is because of the hundreds of trillions of dollars of derivatives bets that sit atop the underlying economy. Any significant default will be the banker’s worst nightmare: A systemic event. In view of their own bankruptcy, the mafia-like masters of that empire are determined to set off a global conflagration in order to destroy the nation-state system and implement a corporate-run, fascist world government. The convulsive crash of the present system will give rise to the last king, who is destined by prophecy to rule for an hour – a relatively short period.
Even as first-century Christianity was punctuated by the “last hour” before the antichrist, the light-bearing work that Jehovah’s Witnesses are presently engaged in has reached the final hour as well. The world is soon to be enveloped in terrifying darkness. It will signal the end of the Watchtower Society and the ministry of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Just as Peter made reference to the restoration in connection with the holy prophets who spoke from God, it is those very prophets who have foretold that Christ’s congregation is destined to be decimated by a disgusting thing during the tumult of the conclusion. Jesus spoke of an appointed times of the nations to trample upon God’s “special possession” – his holy place. At the conclusion of that appointed period of time, however, God’s purpose will be completely accomplished. He will have chastened and gathered the last of the 144,000 kings and priests and winnowed out a people to inherit the earth.
Just as the Israelites and the vast mixed company of Egyptians and others who came out of Egypt passed under Moses’ outstretched staff and into the midst of the Red Sea, so it is, that Jehovah’s Witnesses now stand poised on the edge of the wilderness to pass under the rod of Jehovah’s judgment. The prophet wrote: “‘And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples and put myself on judgment with you there face to face. Just as I put myself on judgment with your forefathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I shall put myself on judgment with you,’ is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. ‘And I will make you pass under the rod and bring you into the bond of the covenant. And I will clean out from you the revolters and the transgressors against me, for out of the land of their alien residence I shall bring them forth, but onto the soil of Israel they will not come; and you people will have to know that I am Jehovah.’ – Ezekiel 20:35-38
“The bond of the covenant” is the ultimate fulfillment of the new covenant, which will be consummated when Christ sends for his angels and uproots all persons doing lawlessness and all things that cause stumbling out from his kingdom.
The restoration of all things will then be complete. Jehovah’s Witnesses, the faithful ones at least, will then inherit God’s promised new heavens and new earth.