Shortly after the great flood reduced the earth’s population to eight souls, Satan set a scheme into motion that has had a far-reaching influence upon everyone who has lived up to the present. The Devil knew of God’s intention to produce a seed or offspring, who would crush the head of the serpent. After all, Jehovah addressed that so-called Edenic prophecy directly to the one who had originally disguised himself as the speaking serpent.
The great-grandson of Noah, Nimrod, became a mighty one who opposed Jehovah. As a city builder, he marshaled the newly emerging human family under his tyranny and initiated a tower-building project in defiance of God who had commanded Noah’s offspring to spread out and fill the earth.
Legend has it Nimrod met a violent death. Likely Nimrod was a murderer. Perhaps his death was at the hands of Jehovah’s worshippers who were carrying out God’s mandate to Noah that anyone shedding man’s blood would have to forfeit the blood of their own soul. Whatever the case, Satan spun the legend that Nimrod was the seed of the woman who suffered the heel wound. He was brought back to life in the nether world —invisibly, of course.
Later when Jehovah confused the language of the tower builders they were forced to spread abroad. They took the legend of Nimrod with them and developed various myths and religious ceremonies to honor their fallen hero. In time Nimrod emerged as the Babylonian god Tammuz, the consort of the fertility goddess, Ishtar —the namesake of Easter. His death and “resurrection” was memorialized every spring, as Tammuz was believed to rise from the underworld and his rebirth was manifest in nature as spring. There were many variations and different names among the myths of the ancients, but the underlying theme was always the same.
The god Tammuz was by design a false messiah. Satan, of course, knew that the Messiah was to come through Abraham’s offspring and from King David’s lineage. The fact that Jewish women in Jerusalem were weeping over Tammuz meant that the Devil had succeeded in substituting his fake messiah for the coming one.
In order to prepare the people for the coming of the true Messiah, it was imperative that God first annihilate the idolatry and demonic Tammuz worship that had taken root among the Israelites. To be sure, Jehovah does not capriciously destroy even the wicked. He only does so in furtherance of his purpose. In that respect, the destruction of Jerusalem was a success, evidenced by the fact that the repatriated Jews did not take up idol worship again —at least not overtly.
When Jesus came to his Father’s temple to inspect it he threw out the money changers and merchants; however, there is no record that he smashed idols or cut down sacred poles, which he surely would have done had they been in the temple. Although the majority of Jews did not put faith in Jesus it was not because they were weeping over Tammuz or worshipping loathsome beasts and idols.
From the beginning, Satan sought to resist the spread of Christianity through intimidation and persecution. The frontal attack strategy had very little success though. Hence, in time the Devil slyly shifted tactics and successfully infiltrated and gradually subverted Christianity, so that by the fourth century the compliant bishops who were summoned to Nicea allowed the pagan emperor of Rome to decide on crucial doctrinal matters such as the relationship of Jesus to God, thus making Constantine the defacto head of Christ’s church. Over the centuries all of the satanic mysteries of Babylon were infused into Catholicism and all of its many spinoffs.
For all the centuries during the appropriately termed Dark Ages Satan had a stranglehold on the truth. However, with the invention of the printing press, the tide gradually began to turn. Appropriately, the first book printed was the Bible. By the end of the 1800s the Bible was widely available in the languages dominated by Christendom. Many Europeans and Americans became Bible readers. The field was ripe for the re-emergence of genuine Christianity in the form of the International Bible Students and the renewal of the calling and choosing of individuals who are destined to be in union with Jesus in his Kingdom. And with the reappearance of genuine anointed sons of God, the Deceiver was forced to change up tactics once again. No longer could he expect sons of the Kingdom to fall for the Babylonish religion of Christendom.
Since all true Christians accept Jesus as the Messiah and believe his promise that he is coming again, Satan has set another more sophisticated scheme into motion to create a false Christ. No, not the false Christ of Christendom —the phony trinity god. The Devil set about to conjure up a fake second coming of Christ —a false parousia —directing his machinations at those who had broken free from Christendom. This, he has accomplished and installed as the very cornerstone of the doctrine of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society—evidenced by the fact that from the very beginning, when the Bible Students associated with C.T. Russell were just beginning to understand the basic truths about the nature of the soul and the falsity of the Trinity and hellfire doctrine and so forth, they also accepted without question the strange new teaching that Jesus Christ began an invisible presence in 1874. Although the date has been “readjusted” the notion of an ongoing, invisible presence has always been considered to be an established, unassailable truth.
The spirit-filled apostle foresaw this very thing when he warned the Thessalonians not to be alarmed or overly excited about seemingly inspired statements and official sounding announcements and written messages claiming that the presence has begun and the day of Jehovah is here. Paul was emphatic —the presence of Christ would not begin unless the apostasy comes first.
Was Paul alluding to the apostasy that occurred centuries ago when Christianity became the state religion of Satan’s imperial beast? That does not seem reasonable. It seems more likely Paul was indicating an apostasy must take place among Christians immediately prior to the Second Coming of the Lord.
Who can deny that Jehovah’s Witnesses regard the utterances of the Governing Body as “inspired statements” or that the voluminous writings of the Society are not authored with apostolic authority? (Articles on the deluding influence and the man of lawlessness.)
Paul explained that the “inspired statements” and apostolic-like writings actually emanate from a man of lawlessness. Paul went on to say: “But the lawless one’s presence is by the operation of Satan with every powerful work and lying signs and wonders and every unrighteous deception for those who are perishing, as a retribution because they did not accept the love of the truth in order that they might be saved. That is why God lets a deluding influence mislead them so that they may come to believe the lie, in order that they all may be judged because they did not believe the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness.” —2 Thess. 2:9-12
In the preceding verse, Paul revealed that the man of lawlessness will brazenly claim to be a god —sitting down in the spiritual temple of God himself. This development does not transpire over centuries, as in the case of the clergy —whom the Watchtower identifies as the composite man of lawlessness. Paul’s inspired statement indicates that true Christians will be exposed to a false god within their very midst, within the spiritual temple, a god whose claim to authority is his special knowledge regarding the invisible presence of Christ —not unlike the priests of antiquity who had knowledge of the mystical, invisible, resurrection of Tammuz.
In his epic book The Two Babylons, Alexander Hislop details how the initiates into the cult of Tammuz would experience supernatural, magical manifestations presided over by the priests of Tammuz. Sometimes the place would shake or they would see a form of light on a wall or other times darkness would envelop them as a manifestation of the presence of Tammuz. The same is true of the man of lawlessness. Satan empowers him by performing all manner of powerful works, lying signs, wonders, and every wicked deception. (The Operation of Satan with Every Powerful Work)
Those Jewish women who were weeping over Tammuz in Jehovah’s temple should have known better. They could have known that the promised Messiah had not been killed. The prophecy of Isaiah, which had been written before even the 10 tribes were taken into captivity, revealed that the Messiah was going to be crushed in the future. There was no basis for their weeping for Tammuz. He was a false Christ.
By the same reasoning, the Bible Students, and more especially Jehovah’s Witnesses now, should know that there is no such thing as an invisible parousia. The Watchtower’s invisible parousia doctrine amounts to what Peter called an “artfully contrived false story.” On the contrary, the Scriptures reveal that the Messiah will be seen by the chosen the second time he appears. (Seeing Christ Face-to-Face)
No one ought to question that the appearance of Jesus in the first century changed the world. In the Western world, the modern era begins on the year Jesus is believed to have been born. Nevertheless, whatever imprint Jesus made 2,000 years ago, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will be much more impactful. His coming will mean the end of Satan’s world. Knowing their end is inevitable the demons are intent on taking down the sons of God. Jehovah, in his fairness, has allowed Satan’s operation of error to go forward in putting into place a false god and Christ. Did not Jesus himself warn that there will be many false prophets and false Christs who would deceive, if possible, even the chosen ones?
In the Watchtower’s latest commentary on Ezekiel, they casually refute their long-held teaching that Jerusalem typifies Christendom. Of course, they are correct. It is what e-Watchman has been saying since coming online in 2002. But in doing so Bethel has repudiated nearly everything they have ever written interpreting the Hebrew prophets. What does Jerusalem represent then? They don’t say. The implication is Jerusalem doesn’t typify anything.
It should be obvious though, that Jerusalem is a type —establishing a pattern of God’s dealings in the future. The antitype of Jerusalem and the temple is Christ’s congregation during the Second Coming. The women in Jehovah’s temple weeping over Tammuz will find a parallel among those who profess to be offering pure worship to Jehovah, but who fail to accept the Christ when he comes. They are unrepentant worshippers of the false Christ Satan has placed in God’s spiritual temple. They are the foolish virgins who will be locked out when the bridegroom arrives in the dead of the night.
To be continued…