Friday, February 24

[My word] will have sure success in what I send it to do.Isa. 55:11.

Think about how the preaching of the good news fits in with Jehovah’s loving purpose for humankind. He purposed that humans would inhabit the earth without ever dying; though Adam sinned, Jehovah did not change His mind. Instead, he arranged for humans to be delivered from condemnation to sin and death. Working along with that purpose, Jesus came to earth and sacrificed his life for obedient humans. In order to become obedient, however, they had to understand what God required of them. So Jesus also taught people what God’s requirements are, and he commanded his disciples to do the same. By helping others to become reconciled to God, we share directly in his loving arrangement to rescue mankind from sin and death. This also demonstrates our love both for our fellow man and for Jehovah, “whose will is that all sorts of people should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.”

COMMENTARY

After the so-called last supper, which in reality was the first supper, or first evening meal of the Christian era, Jesus spoke at length with his chosen apostles —minus the treacherous Judas who had gone out into the night after Satan had entered into him.

Only the apostle John recorded Jesus’ extended last conversation with them before he was arrested and executed. Beginning in the 16th chapter of John Jesus told them that they were going to be persecuted —even killed by religious zealots who would imagine they were rendering God a sacred service by murdering his sons.

Then Jesus said to them: “I still have many things to say to you, but you are not able to bear them now. However, when that one comes, the spirit of the truth, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak of his own initiative, but what he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things to come.”

The holy spirit did indeed come. And it had a most transformative effect upon them when they were anointed just 50-some days later during the Festival of Harvest, or Pentecost.

However, were those anointed Christians guided “into all the truth” over the course of the first century? In one sense, yes. They established Christian doctrine and practice and recorded it in what is called the New Testament.

But considering that they were in anticipation of Jesus’ return it cannot be said they were guided into all the truth. Since Jesus is the way and the truth, his return is the end of it. The apostle Paul acknowledged as much when he wrote to the Corinthians, saying: “For we have partial knowledge and we prophesy partially, but when what is complete comes, what is partial will be done away with. When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, to think as a child, to reason as a child; but now that I have become a man, I have done away with the traits of a child. For now we see in hazy outline by means of a metal mirror, but then it will be face-to-face. At present I know partially, but then I will know accurately, just as I am accurately known.” —1 Corinthians 9-12

The apostle Peter confirms that being guided into all the truth is not complete until the presence of Christ. After discussing the transfiguration of Christ, of which he was an eyewitness, and which he said signified the presence of Christ, the apostle went on to say: “So we have the prophetic word made more sure, and you are doing well in paying attention to it as to a lamp shining in a dark place (until day dawns and a daystar rises) in your hearts.” – 2 Peter 1:19

It should be obvious that the daystar rising in one’s heart symbolizes full enlightenment, which coincides with Christ’s presence. Needless to say Christ’s presence among his disciples did not take place in the first century; thus, the need for them to continue paying attention to the prophetic word as to a lamp shining in a dark place. 

 That figurative Daystar, or “bright morning star,” is the glorified Jesus Christ. He ‘rose’ in 1914 when God’s Kingdom was born in heaven, marking the dawn of a new era. — Watchtower 2005 

 Fast forward to the present: The Watchtower teaches that Christ’s presence has been ongoing since 1914. It also asserts that the symbolic daystar has risen in the form of Jesus himself. But, first, please take note that the daystar rises in the hearts of believers. In any case, if the daystar has risen why does the Watchtower continue to sponsor a Bible education work? For example, the Society even published a book delving into Daniel, entitled Pay Attention to Daniel’s Prophecy. But if anointed Christians have already attained full enlightenment due to the powerful presence of Christ, which, again, is surely what the apostle meant by the daystar rising in our hearts, then why is it necessary for us to keep paying attention to Daniel’s prophecy and the prophetic word as a whole?

To put a finer point on it, Peter said the prophetic word is like a light shining in a dark place, but the external illumination of the symbolic lamp becomes dispensable when the daystar rises within due to the illuminating presence of Christ. Ironically, the Watchtower’s extensive Bible education campaign belies their claim that the daystar has already risen.

Since the spirit has still not led Christians into all the truth —the ultimate truth being revealed with the revelation of Christ himself —it is apparent that the words Jesus spoke to the apostles on that last night of his fleshly life apply most aptly to Jehovah’s Witnesses at the present time; namely, there are many things that you simply cannot bear now.

As regards the verse in today’s text, in context Jehovah is speaking to his wife-like organization after God repurchases her from Babylon. In the chapter preceding God speaks words of consolation to his “woman,” saying: “For Jehovah called you as if you were an abandoned wife and grief-stricken, like a wife married in youth and then rejected,” says your God. “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with great mercy I will gather you back. In a flood of indignation I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting loyal love I will have mercy on you,” says your Repurchaser, Jehovah.”

According to the Watchtower’s latest “adjustment,” the Bible Students did not go into captivity to Babylon the Great back during the First World War. The “new light” has Christianity going into spiritual captivity way back in the fourth century, when apostate Christianity was absorbed into the Roman Empire. But the glorious repurchase is still anchored to 1919. What this means is the “brief moment” God abandoned his congregation spanned over 16 centuries. And instead of the captivity being a result of apostasy, it was actually brought about as an expression of God’s indignation.

It is painfully evident the Watchtower has no idea what captivity to Babylon the Great involves, nor do they have any appreciation for the true nature of the parousia. The unbearable truth is, that, God has not abandoned his covenanted woman nor unleashed his flood of indignation, yet. But it is coming. And in the aftermath comes the repurchase. Surely, God’s word will not return to him without resulting in the complete accomplishment of his will. The repurchase will accompany an outpouring of spirit like nothing before, guiding the remnant into all the truth, to the extent of bringing a conclusion to the Christian era itself. 

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