Monday, December 05, 2005

Daniel humbly petitions Jehovah

This week’s lesson is from the 11th chapter of the Pay Attention to Daniel’s Prophecy book. The prophet Daniel provided us with an outstanding example of humility. Even though he had been a prince young Daniel had not been part of the corrupt Jewish ruling establishment. Yet, Daniel humbly included himself when he supplicated Jehovah to show mercy to the formerly rebellious nation.

In paragraph eight the Watchtower rightly notes: “Daniel does not seek to justify the actions of his people. Their exile was justly deserved, as he readily confesses: “We have sinned, we have acted wickedly.’”

But here is the point to ponder in this week’s lesson: The release of the Jews from Babylonish captivity was a demonstration of God’s mercy. And Jehovah’s Witnesses have come to perceive through numerous other prophecies that the overthrow of Babylon and the restoration of the Jew to their homeland established a pattern for Christians to be repeated at the return of Christ. In that respect Daniel himself serves as a portent for anointed Christians, in that, he was deemed as a very desirable man before God—just as are the chosen ones. That being the case, Daniel’s contrite request for mercy must surely typify the humble request for God’s favor that the chosen ones offer up during a time of affliction. The question is: do the events of 1918 really parallel the prophecies of Babylon’s fall and the restoration of Christ’s congregation? Consider a few relevant facts:

The Watchtower claims that the reason God punished the organization back during the First World War was because they did not keep strictly neutral as regards the warring nations and they also succumbed to government pressure and compromisingly removed a few paragraphs from the Finished Mystery book. So, if that is the case we would expect that those eight briefly imprisoned Watchtower officials would have publicly acknowledged their error at the time and begged for God’s forgiveness. Did they? It does not appear so. Perhaps one of the Watchtower’s archivists can produce a publication wherein the Society honestly acknowledged their errors and begged for God’s mercy.

Rather than contrition, at the time of his imprisonment Judge Rutherford was outraged that the clergy got the best of him and he vowed to get revenge upon Christendom for using their influence to have him wrongly convicted. He did not view himself or the organization as being in need of repentance.

Furthermore, at the time, Rutherford and the International Bible Students did not see themselves as being in any sort of spiritual captivity to Babylon the Great. It is only afterwards that the Watchtower began to interpret the prophecies in such a way so as to convince Jehovah’s Witnesses that Babylon’s fall had been accomplished upon Rutherford’s release from prison. But how likely is it that God would bring about such a grand salvation and extend mercy to a people who did not even imagine they were in need of repentance and mercy?

So, these are just a few of a number of irreconcilable incongruities that indicate the Society’s 1914 doctrine and all that goes with it is nothing more than an “artfully contrived false story.”

The real captivity to Babylon the Great is still in the future.

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