Friday, September 16

Offer to God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of our lips that make public declaration to his name.Heb. 13:15.

Our lips should make public declaration to Jehovah’s holy name. Deaf brothers and sisters use sign language to render such praise to God. Housebound Christians praise him by letter writing, telephone witnessing, and preaching to attendants and visitors. Our sacrifice of praise—our giving praise to Jehovah by making known his name and proclaiming the good news—should be commensurate with our health and ability. It ought to be our best.  Our sacrifices of praise are personal offerings voluntarily made to God because we love him.  You surely want your sacrifices of praise to be acceptable to Jehovah. Do you find that you are allowing television programs, video games, sports activities, or hobbies to distract you and interfere with your spiritual progress?

COMMENTARY

Since the time of Christ until the 20th century the name of God has gradually receded into the background, being virtually replaced by Jesus, so that in the minds of most churchgoers today Jesus is God.

But since Jesus and the apostles frequently quoted from passages where the YHWH appears and it is inconceivable that they would have omitted speaking or writing God’s personal name, there is little doubt that early-on the copyists of the Greek Scriptures removed YHWH from the so-called New Testament. The original King James Version of the Holy Bible furthered the practice in English, removing the name of God —except in four verses. (Modern versions of the KJV have removed it entirely.)

No doubt, though, the appearance of the name JEHOVAH in those four places was due to divine providence, serving as a sort of placeholder until the Bible Students brought the name to the fore —becoming Jehovah’s witnesses long before being officially named such and before the New World Translation was even conceived.

Now the Watchtower has introduced the name of God into nearly 800 languages, with JW.org becoming the most translated website in the world, far surpassing websites like Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, Wikipedia and even the United Nations.

Some persons who object to the specific name Jehovah do so on the grounds that the word is an invention, fabricated by a Catholic monk back in the 13th century. Although that is not exactly true, such persons fail to realize that the name represented by YHWH is translated with various spellings into hundreds of languages and dialects. And while some scholars claim the Name should be translated into English as Yahweh and the Catholic version called the New Jerusalem Bible uses that rendering, Yahweh is not used in everyday parlance among Catholics.

The inescapable fact is, only Jehovah’s Witnesses are associated with the personal name of God in the minds of the public, whether the public knows it or admits it. Surely God knows.

That being true, publicly praising God’s name and bearing the name of Jehovah, in all of the hundreds of languages wherein Jehovah’s Witnesses preach throughout the world, brings with it a heavy responsibility and an unavoidable accountability to the Bearer of the sacred Name.

As Jehovah’s Witnesses well know, the Watchtower has interpreted the prophecies of Ezekiel in such a way as to project God’s condemnatory judgments onto Christendom, while interpreting the post-exilic portion of prophecy to spiritual Israel. For example, the destruction of Jerusalem is said to symbolize the end of Christendom; whereas, the restoration of “Israel” from Babylon represents the advent of the Kingdom of Christ. That is made plain by the fact that the Watchtower teaches that the “Israel” that comes under attack by Gog in the 38th and 39th chapters of Ezekiel applies to the restored Christian congregation and the end of Gog coincides with the battle at Armageddon, which is surely true.

To be sure, the final confrontation between Satan’s seed under the authority of Gog of Magog and the seed of the woman is to occur during the final part of the days, as Ezekiel 38:16 states: “Like clouds covering the land, you will come against my people Israel. In the final part of the days I will bring you against my land so that the nations may know me when I sanctify myself through you before their eyes, O Gog.”

But immediately prior to that grand finally the prophecy of Ezekiel foretells that Jehovah will mercifully gather back his people and forgive them of their sins. What sin is that? The sin of having profaned the name of God before the nations. Here is what Jehovah has said: “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: “Not for your sakes am I acting, O house of Israel, but for my holy name, which you profaned among the nations where you have gone. I will certainly sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the nations, which you profaned among them; and the nations will have to know that I am Jehovah,’ declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, ‘when I am sanctified among you before their eyes.’” —Ez 36: 22-23

As already established, only Jehovah’s Witnesses are associated with the name of God. That being true, only Jehovah’s Witnesses can cause the Name to be profaned among the nations where they are preaching. (The Watchtower teaches that the restoration foretold in Ezekiel occurred in 1919. But that is not possible, since the International Bible Students back then had only just begun to preach and teach and be associated with the name of Jehovah. Furthermore, the restoration comes after the desolation, not before – contrary to what the Watchtower teaches.)

While the Watchtower has already brought considerable reproach upon Jehovah, for instance, because of the widely publicized child abuse scandal within the organization – the worst is yet to come. How so? During the time of the end, or final part of the days, the organization will be desolated. That will be the judgment of the house of God. That will result in what is foretold in Ezekiel 36:21: “I judged them according to their way and according to their dealings. But when they came to those nations, people profaned my holy name by saying about them, ‘These are the people of Jehovah, but they had to leave his land.’ So I will show concern for my holy name, which the house of Israel profaned among the nations where they have gone.”

“Leaving the land” in this passage parallels with the disaster Jesus spoke of in connection with the desolation of the holy place during the conclusion of the system, when Christians will abandon their previous form of worship, which was symbolized by the temple in Jerusalem. Then Jehovah’s Witnesses will have to know that he is Jehovah —a God of judgment. And then afterwards the nations shall have to know that he is Jehovah as well, when he restores his people and destroys the would-be destroyers.

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