Thursday, November 30, 2006

Study for the week of January 8th

It would seem that the Watchtower Society’s “Revelation, Its Grand Climax at Hand” book is misnamed. A “grand climax at hand” suggests that much of the revelation of Christ has already been accomplished and that only grand climatic events are yet to take place.

Indeed, that is exactly what is implied not only by the book’s title but by the Watchtower’s very creed. As all of Jehovah’s Witnesses know, the organization’s foundational teaching is that the Lord’s day of Revelation commenced in 1914. Supposedly that is when the seven symbolic seals of the sacred prophetic scroll were unsealed. The Society's teaching has effectively made the apocalypse anti-climatic.

As regards the meaning of the word apocalypse, from which is translated the word “revelation,” the 4th paragraph of the Grand Climax book states: “But what really is an apocalypse? Though dictionaries define it by using terms such as “an imminent cosmic cataclysm,” the Greek a·po·ka´ly·psis basically
means “unveiling” or “uncovering.” Thus, the last book of the Bible is properly entitled “A Revelation.”

The 6th paragraph goes on to review the various commentaries on Revelation the Watchtower has published in the past century, beginning with the so-called seventh volume of the Studies in the Scriptures known as the Finished Mystery and a two volume set published in 1930 entitled Light. But the very fact that most of what the Watchtower had originally published in those early works has been discarded is proof in itself that the “unveiling” of the mysteries of God has not occurred yet.

The Watchtower believes that God has gradually enlightened his servants over decades of time and allowed them to bumble and fumble around during the whole process. However, in view of the fact that the revelation of divine truth occurs suddenly, as if a scroll is unsealed in heaven and heralded on earth as if by powerful angelic trumpeters, shouldn’t we expect God’s messengers here on earth to be imbued by the spirit to comprehendingly convey God’s revelation without all the trial and error? Worded another way, if the apocalypse began in 1914 why were the Bible Students so profoundly ignorant of the meaning of Revelation long after the time when the Lord’s day of enlightenment is believed to have begun?

The brutal truth is that much of the Finished Mystery book is nonsense, so much so that the religious enemies of Jehovah’s Witnesses use the Finished Mystery to discredit the Watchtower Society.

In the 8th paragraph we have out first contradiction – one of many. Here’s what it says:
“It is important that we be well informed. As the apostle Peter wrote concerning divine prophecy: ‘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.

The context of the epistle of Peter pertains to the Transfiguration of Jesus, which Peter said had to do with the presence of Christ. Peter thus exhorted Christians to keep “paying attention” to prophecy until such time as the “day dawns and a daystar rises in your hearts.” Once the day dawns there is no need to continue to use a lamp. Yet, according to the Society the day has already dawned, in 1914 of course. If that were true, though, why should anyone keep paying attention to the light of Scripture? If Christ has been unveiled and the mystery of God is all but finished why are Jehovah’s Witnesses compelled by Bethel to study this material over and over and over? Shouldn’t we expect the reality of Christ’s powerful presence to render unnecessary the continued groping for the light?
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