Have you ever searched for something that was right in front of you? Men are particularly bad at this. The other day, I stood with the fridge door open calling to my wife in the other room, “Hey, Love, where’s the mustard?”
“It right there in the fridge, where it always is”, came the reply.
Well, to be fair to me, it wasn’t where it always is, because it is always in the door and this time, it was in the top shelf. (Women move things around just to remind their husbands how indispensable they are.) However, the point is, it was in plain sight, but since I was looking for it in the door, my focus was there, and men more than women (sorry for the generalization, chaps) only see what their eyes are focused on. It has something to do with the separation of the two hemispheres of the brain that happens around puberty. At puberty, the hemispheres of the male brain have fewer interconnections than that of the female. It gives men their laser-like, oblivious-to-what’s-going-on-around-them focus, while women get the gift of intuition—or so the scientists believe.
Whatever the case, it demonstrates that blindness is possible without the loss of sight. This is one technique the Devil uses to “blind the minds of the unbelievers”. He gets them to focus on other things, so that they might not be illuminated by the glorious good news about the Christ. (2Co 4:3, 4)
A new friend, one of the awakening ones, just told me of her personal experience. She has a long-time friend who woke up to the truth decades back. She says that her friend started reading the Bible on its own without the publications, while she based all her learning on the publications of the Organization. The result was that her friend woke up, while she remained indoctrinated until very recently; specifically until the revelations that came out of the Australian Royal Commission.
When it comes to Jehovah’s Witnesses, how has Satan blinded the minds so that the good news does not shine through?
To see what he’s done, we have to first understand what the good news really is.
“But YOU also hoped in him after YOU heard the word of truth, the good news about YOUR salvation. By means of him also, after YOU believed, YOU were sealed with the promised holy spirit, 14 which is a token in advance of our inheritance, for the purpose of releasing by a ransom [God’s] own possession, to his glorious praise.” (Eph 1:13, 14)
For all who are led by God’s spirit are indeed God’s sons. 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery causing fear again, but you received a spirit of adoption as sons, by which spirit we cry out: “Abba, Father!” 16 The spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are God’s children.” (Ro 8:14-16)
To blind them, Satan has got them to focus on another “good news”. Of course, there is only one good news, so this would have to be a fake “good news”. Nevertheless, like any good marketing man, he has packaged it up beautifully in appealing brochures with evocative artist renderings and inspiring verbal images of what the realization of this “other good news” will be like. At the same time, he has perverted the truth of the actual good news to make it seem less appealing. (Ga 1:6-9)
He has done such a good job that we, who have awakened to his tricks, are baffled at times when we are faced with the result. I myself have spent hours talking with various friends, and have fully shown from the Scriptures that there is no basis for the distinct earthly hope we teach is intended for the other sheep. I’ve shown that the basis for this hope is founded fully on made-up prophetic types and antitypes originating with Judge Rutherford, and I’ve shown further that the Governing Body has disavowed their use. Yet, I’ve been stunned that otherwise intelligent people still refuse to accept the evidence, preferring instead to cling tenaciously to the JW fantasy.
Here are three renderings of 2 Peter 3:5 which accurately describe this mental condition:
“They are deliberately ignoring one fact…” – GOD’S WORD Translation.
“For this is hidden from them through their own wilfulness…” – Darby Bible Translation.
“For they are wilfully blind to the fact…” – Weymouth Bible Translation.
The question is why? One distinct possibility is that this is a result of a superb piece of marketing.
When you prove to a Jehovah’s Witness that the real hope Jesus extended to Christians was to reign with him in the kingdom of the heavens, what passes through his or her mind is not feelings of joy and excitement, but rather, trepidation and confusion.
Witnesses see the heavenly reward this way: The anointed die and become spirit creatures like the angels. They go off to heaven never to return. They leave behind family, friends, and all the pleasures of earthly life to serve, serve, serve in heaven. Cold and uninviting, wouldn’t you say?
I’ve known of several instances when a brother began to partake and his wife was reduced to tears thinking she’d never see him again, that they couldn’t be together anymore.
We must remember that this belief is not based on faith in God, i.e. in his good and loving character. It is based on faith that Jehovah is using the Governing Body to tell us what to do.
Against this unappealingly presented heavenly hope, Jehovah’s Witnesses are told they are the Other Sheep and will survive Armageddon into a soon-to-be paradise Earth. There they will get the best pickings of all the wealth left behind, the choicest land, the house of their dreams. They get to do whatever they want, be whatever they want. Additionally, they get eternally young, healthy, physically perfect bodies. Because they are the righteous, they get to be the princes in the earth, Earth’s new rulers. While the anointed rule from a distant heaven, these are the real princes, because they are Johnny-on-the-spot.
Doesn’t that sound like an appealing scenario?
Like all good marketing, this is based on some truth.
For example, there will be people resurrected after Armageddon. These are the unrighteous. (John 5:28, 29) These will likely number into the tens of billions. So even if the Witness scenario is correct and eight million of them survive Armageddon, they will soon be overrun with billions of unruly people brought up in cultures which do not recognize the Christian standard of justice and good conduct. Many will undoubtedly want to return to their bad ways. Given Jehovah’s long suffering and patience, it is likely he will give such ones a good bit of time to come round to his way of seeing things. Those who will not conform will eventually be done away with. So these starry-eyed JWs are unexpectedly going to have to deal with a fair bit of bad conduct, difficult challenges, trials, tribulations, and many deaths. This will ensue for the better part of a thousand years until at the end all things are resolved. (2Co 15:20-28) Hardly the paradise Earth the Witness literature depicts.
And that is only if the Witness scenario is correct. There is a lot of Scriptural evidence to suggest otherwise. (More on that in the follow-up articles.)
Putting Faith in God’s Word
So when the writer of Hebrews refers of the resurrection that the children of God hope for as the “better resurrection”, and when Jesus says our “reward in the heavens” is so great that its near realization will cause us to leap for joy, we know—sight unseen—that this is what we want. (He 11:35; Mt 5:12; Lu 6:35)
We know this because we have faith in our Father. Not belief in his existence. Not even just belief that he will keep his promises. No, our faith assures us of much more than that; for our faith is in God’s good character. We know that any promise he makes to his faithful ones will so surpass our wildest expectations that we are willing to give up all things to grasp on to it. (Mt 13:45-46; 1Co 2:9-10)
We do this though we don’t really understand the reality of what he has promised. In fact, Paul said that “at present we see in hazy outline by means of a metal mirror….” (1Co 13:12)
Nevertheless, we can glean much from a study of the passages in God’s word that pertain to the Christian hope.
With that in mind, we will be initiating a series of articles to fully explore the extent and nature of “Our Christian Hope”.