[From ws15/05 p. 14 for July 6-12]
“Take your stand against [Satan], firm in the faith.”— 1 Peter 5:9
In this continuation of last week’s theme, we learn how to fight Satan and win.
We start off in paragraph 1 by emphasizing the unique JW doctrine that there are two groups of Christians that Satan fights against, anointed Christians and Other Sheep Christians. We quote John 10:16 which doesn’t prove the doctrine. If anything, it can be used to illustrate that there were two types of anointed Christians in the first century: Jewish and Gentile Christians. (See Other Sheep)
Paragraph 3 states: “And after the birth of God’s Kingdom in 1914, it was Satan who began “to wage war” with the remnant of anointed ones.”
One can’t help but wonder what Satan was doing prior to 1914. Sitting on his hands, perhaps. Giving the anointed Christians a free pass for 1,881 years seems uncharacteristically sporting of him. Apparently he was in a pretty good mood until October of 1914 when the 2,520 years ended and he was cast out of heaven. Then he got really angry. In fact, that was why he started World War One. At least, that’s how we understand the fulfillment of Revelation 12:12.
But Christians do know why. Through their Bible-based insight, they know that World War I was timed with the birth of God’s kingdom in the heavens, which was to result in “woe for the earth.” Why? “Because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing he has a short period of time.”—Rev. 12:9-12; compare Matthew 24:3, 7, 8.” (w79 2/15 p. 13 Insight on the News)
They understood this period to be 2,520 years—starting with the overthrow of the ancient Davidic kingdom in Jerusalem and ending in October 1914. (w92 5/1 p. 6 The 1914 Generation—Why Significant?)
So there you have it. The evidence is as plain as the nose on your face. The kingdom was established in October of 1914, and shortly thereafter, Satan was cast down and in great anger caused WWI as part of his war on the anointed. Brother Lett of the Governing Body even said that the evidence for the establishment of the kingdom in 1914 is greater than that for gravity, electricity, or wind.
One point though—very minor, hardly worth mentioning—but you see, the war didn’t start in October when the Devil was supposedly cast down. It started in August. Now it could be that the Devil, in a fit of defeatism because he knew he was going to lose, decided to get the whole war thing out of the way. (Never one to procrastinate is the Devil.) So he came down and got things going early…a sort of “running start” to his rage, as it were.
Now some dissenters would suggest that we’re all wrong with this 1914 thing. They would suggest that the Devil was actually cast down in the first century; that when Jesus was granted the kingship to sit at God’s right hand waiting for him to make his enemies a stool for his feet, there was no longer any reason to let Satan wander about in the heavens, foot loose and fancy free, what with Jesus having given the final answer to Satan’s challenge and all. These ones would actually have us believe that Satan’s war on the anointed began back then in fulfillment of Jesus’ words: “Satan has demanded to have you men to sift you as wheat.” (Luke 22:31) They would reason that Satan didn’t have to wait 1900 years before he was allowed to wage his war on “you men”. They would even go so far as to suggest that the centuries-long period known as the Dark Ages is evidence of Satan’s anger at being cast down. Of course, they’re wrong. We know that. We have the math on our side.
Paragaph 4 states: “Satan is anything but humble. In fact, for a spirit creature to have the audacity to challenge Jehovah’s sovereignty and set himself up as a rival god is the epitome of pride and presumptuousness.”
So true. So very true. Now, what about the audacity of setting oneself up as God’s exclusive channel of communication? Of course, that would be fine if one had the credentials to back up such a statement; something like, oh, I don’t know, turning the East river to blood, or maybe splitting the Hudson and walking across. At the very least, it would be nice to be able to point to 100 years of unfailingly true and accurate prophetic predictions.
The irony in this next statement from paragraph 6 needs no further commentary: This type of pride is defined as “inordinate self-esteem” or “a haughty attitude shown by people who believe, often unjustifiably, that they are better than others.” Jehovah hates arrogant pride.
Avoid Materialism and Love for the World
Paragraph 12 states that “Jehovah wants us to live comfortably”. However, it warns that “Satan can exploit our desires with ‘the deceptive power of riches.’”
Which of us would not want to live comfortably in luxurious accommodations built in resortlike surroundings? It wouldn’t hurt either if we could do so on someone else’s dime. But alas, we cannot slave for God and for Riches, as the paragraph points out by quoting Matthew 6:24. So we do well to avoid the accumulation of riches and putting our trust in them.
On a completely unrelated subject, click here to see pictures of the Rivercrest housing complex at Fishkill which the Organization recently purchased for a reported $57 million, so as to house volunteer workers for Warwick. And below are some architectural concepts of what the World Headquarters at Warwick will look like when completed.
It’s a lovely area, very resortlike.
Reminds one of the facility at Patterson. Idyllic, really.
Anyway, back on topic. There is one thing that one can’t help question. After 140 years of eschewing the acquisition of material things like extensive real estate holdings, why has the Governing Body suddenly seized ownership of all Kingdom Hall properties worldwide? Why not leave these properties under the ownership of the individual congregations that built them with their own labor and financial resources? There is no evidence of the first century Christians pursuing the acquisition of material possessions such as buildings and real estate. That is something the Catholic Church and virtually every other church organization in Christendom is known for. And now Jehovah’s Witnesses seem to have joined that club. To what end? The Governing Body would have us conclude that this is what Jehovah God wants us to do.
The article then goes on to warn against the danger of sexual immorality, which is a valid concern in this world. They refer to sexting in paragraph 14 calling it “a practice that in some places is viewed as being tantamount to distributing child pornography.”
Yet again, they make a statement attributed to outside sources, while failing to provide the corroborative reference to validate it. While we in no way condone the practice, calling it child pornography seems to be going over the top and is likely to harm their argument more than help it by making them seem out of touch with reality.
Overall, what can be said about this study? Jesus put it best.
“Therefore all the things they tell YOU, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds, for they say but do not perform.” (Mt 23:3)