JW Life and Ministry Meeting Workbook Review – July 1-7, 2019

This article will be reviewing the July 1-7 articles contained in the July 2019 Workbook.

There is much noteworthy in these articles, but the few paragraphs referenced from the Insights are worth discussing.

Treasure from God’s Word – Digging for Spiritual Gems

“The Kingdom of the Son of His Love.” Ten days after Jesus’ ascension to heaven, on Pentecost of 33 C.E., his disciples had evidence that he had been “exalted to the right hand of God” when Jesus poured out holy spirit upon them. (Ac 1:8, 9; 2:1-4,29-33) The “new covenant” thus became operative toward them, and they became the nucleus of a new “holy nation,” spiritual Israel.​—Heb 12:22-24; 1Pe 2:9, 10; Ga 6:16.

it-2 169 ¶3

There is nothing inherently disagreeable here unless you’re reading with your Watchtower glasses. Otherwise, most knowledgeable Christians would read this and think that Christ was enthroned as King when he was “exalted to the right hand of God” and the “spiritual Israel” consists of all who follow Jesus. And of course, Jesus was raised in a physical body. In addition, if you examine any of the cited Scriptures, you will find absolutely nothing explicitly contradicting this understanding.

Let’s now apply JW theology to this. Jesus upon his death was re-created into an invisible spirit creature. Even though he was exalted to the right hand of God, he did not begin ruling as King until 1914. Those in the New Covenant (i.e. spiritual Israel) include only those in the 144,000 and excludes the vast majority of those who call themselves Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Christ was now sitting at his Father’s right hand and was the Head over this congregation. (Eph 5:23; Heb 1:3; Php 2:9-11) The Scriptures show that from Pentecost 33 C.E. onward, a spiritual kingdom was set up over his disciples. When writing to first-century Christians at Colossae, the apostle Paul referred to Jesus Christ as already having a kingdom: “[God] delivered us from the authority of the darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of his love.”​—Col 1:13; compare Ac 17:6, 7.

it-2 169 ¶4

This gives the impression that Jesus’ kingdom only affects the spiritual realm, having little or nothing to do with the physical realm (at least not until the tribulation). Notice that Jesus’ authority covers all realms.

In these last days has spoken to us in His Son, who He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world…and upholds all things by the word of His power.” (Hebrews 1:2-3)

“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” (Matthew 28:18)

“…which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church.” (Ephesians 1:20-22)

Much more could be cited, but it is clear that Jesus is in full control of all things, both in the spiritual and physical realm. And this has been in place long before 1914.

Christ’s kingdom from Pentecost of 33 C.E. onward has been a spiritual one ruling over spiritual Israel, Christians who have been begotten by God’s spirit to become the spiritual children of God. (Joh 3:3, 5, 6) When such spirit-begotten Christians receive their heavenly reward, they will no longer be earthly subjects of the spiritual kingdom of Christ, but they will be kings with Christ in heaven.​—Re 5:9, 10.

it-2 169 ¶4

While still focusing on the spiritual realm, they focus on the anointed class of 144,000. John 3 says quite the opposite in limiting the scope to a specific group of Christians. Make note of the phrases “see the kingdom of God” (3:3) and “enter the kingdom of God” (3:5). What is the requirement for these? Being born again (3:3).

If this is the case, then all we would have to do in proving otherwise is finding just one example of “the other sheep” or “great crowd” seeing or entering the Kingdom of God. And indeed we do!

“In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves being thrown out. And they will come from east and west and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 13:28)

Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 25:34)

Lest the JW objects and thinks that these are only referring to the “earthly realm” of the kingdom:

Many will come from the east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 8:11)

It’s also interesting that the Watchtower cites Revelation 5:10, which says something about their location.

“You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.” (Revelation 5:9)

While the NWT reads “over the earth,” it is interesting that the Kingdom Interlinear agrees with most (or all?) translations and renders it “upon the earth.” As an added reinforcement to support the notion that these ones are actually on the earth, please notice what happens at the end of the millennium when all of the 144,000 are supposed to be in heaven (according to the Watchtower).

“And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them.” (Revelation 20:9)

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