Thursday, April 22, 2010

Watchtower Fulfills Endtime Prophecy!

In Luke 21 Jesus tells His disciples there will be a number of signs to watch for when the “end” comes. One of these signs is in verse 8 which says, “And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them” (KJV). The American Standard Version (1901) renders the second underlined phrase as, “the time is at hand.”

The warning seems very clear for us. Is there anyone who has said, “I am Christ” and “The time is at hand?” It would make discernment of false Christ’s and false prophets very simple if we could just identify the people, or groups, that have said this.

In the text quoted the word Christ is in Italics in the KJV to indicate that it is supplied by the translator to finish the meaning. Other translations will supply he to finish the meaning. The Greek simply says, “I am.”

The second phrase is also rendered differently. In the Weymouth translation it says, “The time is close at hand.” The New English Bible says, “The Day is upon us.” The bottom line is that false spiritual leaders will claim a divine authority for themselves and point to an apocalyptic crisis to be avoided as a means of attracting followers.

From its very beginning the Watchtower Society has pointed to the coming of Armageddon as the crisis to avoid. Charles T. Russell’s seven volume commentary Studies In The Scriptures are full of evidence of this apocalyptic message. And, of course, the means of avoidance is to join the Watchtower Society.

A good example of Russell’s apocalyptic warning is found in Volume 2 of the Studies where he said, “Be not surprised, then, when in subsequent chapters we present proofs that the setting up of the Kingdom of God is already begun, that it is pointed out in prophecy as due to be begin the exercise of power in A. D. 1878, and that the ‘battle of the great day of God Almighty’ (Rev. 16:14), which will end in A. D. 1914, with the complete overthrow of earth’s present rulership, is already commenced” (page 101).

Volume 2 of the Studies in the Scriptures is titled The Time Is At Hand. That is part one of the Watchtower’s fulfillment of Jesus predictive warning.

But, what about the claim to be “Christ?” We know the Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the deity of Christ, and that they say Jesus became the Christ at his baptism. But, do they also claim to be the “Christ?”

Jehovah’s Witnesses call the members of the 144,000, and more specifically the members of their Governing Body, the Anointed. ‘Christ’ means anointed in Greek. In The New World, published in 1942, this statement is made regarding the 144,000, “These must all be anointed with God’s spirit, that is, officially commissioned as spirit-begotten witnesses of Jehovah God. Hence, the Christ, or The Anointed One, is a collective or composite company, Christ Jesus being the Head, and the 144,000 members of his church being the body” (page 96).

This is something the Watchtower has taught since it’s beginning but is little used by Christians witnessing to Jehovah’s Witnesses. It is almost completely unknown by the rank and file Jehovah’s Witness. The Watchtower Society has placed the 144,000 and the Governing Body especially, on the same plane with Jesus Christ.

There is much more to this subject but I will conclude with this last quote the most important parts of which I have highlighted.

“It is thus seen that the Church in the flesh (the Christ in the flesh, Head and body) is the Elijah or forerunner of the Church in glory, Jehovah’s Anointed. Not the nominal church, but the really consecrated Church, which on the other side of the tomb will be the great Anointed Deliverer, - these constitute the Elijah…. Our Lord Jesus and the Apostles, and all the faithful in Christ Jesus since, are of this great antitypical Elijah, prophet or teacher – the same class (Head and body) which shall shortly compose the King of Glory…. Let us not be misunderstood: We have heretofore shown that God’s plan does not extend to the converting of the world during the Gospel age. He did not intend it to do so, but merely designed the selection and trial of the Church now, and the blessing of the world through the Church, the Christ, in an age to follow this” (page 252).

That last quote came from Volume 2 of the Studies in the Scriptures, which is titled The Time Is At Hand. There you have in the very title of the book part two of Jesus predictive warning.