TRANSITIONING TO THE KINGDOM OF THE HEAVENS
LOVE HOPES ALL THINGS
October 11, 2012
“Love is long-suffering and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, does not get puffed up, does not behave indecently, does not look for its own interests, does not become provoked. It does not keep account of the injury. It does not rejoice over unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”
– 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Based on the recent chatter about “new light” from the Society that the Governing Body alone is the Faithful and Discreet Slave of Matthew 24:45-47, we thought it helpful to consider a possibility, a contemplation, an idea that might underlie the so-called “new light.” We engage in this lite diversion in order to alleviate the concerns of some, and possibly offer suggestions to our governing brothers as to how the Father might desire this matter to work itself out.
As many know, we have been encouraging the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses to reconsider their teaching of the two-hope theory, namely that only 144,000 Christians are sons of God with a heavenly hope, while the remaining millions, even billions of mankind, are only friends of God with the hope of everlasting life on earth. We have written many letters to the Writing Department and the Governing Body during the past six months; and we have published at least 30 articles all confirming thatevery Christian is a son of God with the hope of embarking on the eternal heavenly career. We have even published a series of articles, The Cherished Earthly Hope, that demonstrate the unreasonableness of the idea that mankind was meant to be marooned forever on the earth. Yet, to date, we have not received any response whatsoever from our governing brothers.
However, we have received several emails from our local brothers encouraging us to continue our work and praying for the Society to re-examine this teaching. And we sincerely appreciate those emails. At the same time, we have received some rather unkind comments, asserting with the utmost vigor, that the Society is a group of evil, power hungry, control maniacs, who are completely deaf to the cries of its people. We understand the position of both groups. Yet we are compelled to align ourselves with Paul’s counsel above. We choose hope as our tactic, rather than condemnation; and we choose love as our weaponry rather than burning missiles.
Therefore, we wondered: Is there a view we can take of the Society’s so-called “new light” that would give us hope rather than discontent? Is there an idea that could honor our association rather than confuse it? Is there a way to view this “new light” that could lead our governing brothers to spiritual light? And in our pondering, we found a silver lining and a potential golden cord that could lead our entire association to the God-oriented, spirit-directed destiny identified in our Master’s original teachings of the Good News of the Kingdom of the Heavens. We implore our readers to take a walk with us, a walk in the park, if you will, of possibilities in the power of love.
We spent many weeks contemplating what the Society could do to correct its teaching about the two hopes. We understand that once the association understands that we are ALL sons of God through their faith in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26), we will then have an entire association of anointed Christians. It has been the Society’s teaching that anointed Christians lead the organization; but if we are all anointed, how will we decide who can take the lead?
So, we assume the first step in converting to the true Good News by a Governing Body who seeks to maintain their position of oversight would be to somehow set themselves apart from the remaining body of anointed Christians. How could they do that? Perhaps by way of the “new light.”
First, they would have to present some evidence that they alone, above all other truly anointed sons, have been given the right and responsibility by our very Lord to teach God’s people. Once that is clarified, they could then reveal the additional “new light” that we are all sons of God with the heavenly hope! Of course, that is just our Christian hope, our speculation, our contemplation, our spirit-generated thoughts. But what if it were so?
If, as we postulate, the so-called “new light” about who is the Faithful and Discreet Slave is just a first step toward becoming collectively, as well as individually, a spirit-directed association, then we would say to all our brothers, now is not the time to jump ship! We would need all hands on deck.
Every trip has a beginning – a first step. This may very well be the beginning step for Jehovah’s Witnesses. We have heard from over 70 churches in 30 different cities in the United States alone that they are praying fervently for us. We have learned that Christians from various parts of the country have sent literally thousands of letters to the Society, some by Federal Express, telling them ‘we want to be one with you in the service of our Great God and Father’ and inviting them to become a united faith that will have the ability and the credibility to spread the true Good News of the Kingdom of God across our beautiful planet! These churches are abandoning their so-called religious sovereignty and are willingly accepting their sonship along with all who love the Christ! All of Christ’s ‘enemies’ of whatever nation are being subdued, not by destruction, but by conversion; not by war, but by love.
Currently, Jehovah’s Witnesses hold the unique distinction of being the most able and equipped religious association to spread this Good News the farthest and the fastest. Yet, we also hold the unique distinction of being the most Judaic of all Christianity. We have rebuilt Jerusalem, re-established her festivals, and promoted her prophesies and promises, almost to the exclusion of the Christ, therefore ‘passing over’ the Sacred Secret. The small rudder that changed the tide in Judaism was the Sacred Secret, Christ’s message of sonship. Sonship is again the issue that could be the downfall of our rebuilt Jerusalem. Will our “scribes” – the Writing Department – reject the Kingdom message or will they learn from our predecessor’s mistake, and willingly take up the new wine of Christ’s making? Perhaps, just perhaps, the so-called “new light” is the first step in that direction.
The “New Light”
In our contemplation, we imagine that the Governing Body could be taking a first step toward proclaiming the message that ‘we are all sons’ with a heavenly hope. We mentioned above that this move could be done to establish the Governing Body’s position of oversight. From a superficial viewpoint, that seems selfish and un-Christian. However, we must consider that we are dealing with an international organization. Change must occur gradually or chaos will result.
If the Governing Body openly proclaims our spiritual equality, some among us who have not developed the proper spiritual acumen may challenge all authority, thereby disrupting the entire association. It is understandable, then, that measured actions be taken. Think of a spring that has been coiled tightly for years. If it is suddenly released, it will spring out of control. But if it is gradually released, it can serve a meaningful purpose.
In this contemplation, we imagine that the Governing Body could hold a meeting with the traveling and Gilead brothers, informing them that our organization adopts the true Good News. These men could then educate the circuits and congregations under them. In this manner, order is maintained. And once the true Good News is introduced to the entire association, then the local brothers can work with headquarters in establishing the Christian freedom of all congregations who will willingly, not by obligation, join themselves together in a congregational structure rather than in a hierarchical arrangement with centralized authority.
If this change is accomplished, the Governing Body and its Bethel family can act as a source of theocratic instruction by producing literature and common ministry tools, but they will promote themselves just as they truly are, fellow workers, not men entrusted with the spiritual oversight of the world.
The individual congregations can select their own ‘gifts in men’ and establish their own rules of conduct based on Biblical guidelines. And the wealth of the organization can be spread among the congregations so that proper meeting facilities can be shared by all and the congregations can have an active part in caring for not only the brothers in the congregation, but they can go out into the communities and give. They can truly be “Good Samaritans” in their communities.
In this contemplation, we imagine that the Governing Body understands that the Kingdom of the God does not belong to them. They are just ambassadors, as are the rest of us. They need not overly concern themselves with the individual publishers in the congregations. They can leave that to the local brothers and focus instead on utilizing their massive printing apparatus for the furtherance of the preaching and teaching work. Will they then become mere overseers of a publishing corporation? Perhaps. But really, what are they now? At least we will have transparency!
Is there scriptural support for these changes? Of course! We tend to think that the brothers in the Jerusalem congregation of the first century served as a centralized headquarters for the Christian brotherhood. But the Bible, and history, tell us a different story. Remember, there were 12 apostles, yet the Bible only tells of the activities of Peter, James and John. What did the remaining 8 living apostles do? And what of the 70 evangelists?
“When, now, they had assembled, they went asking him: “Lord, are you restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?” He said to them: “It does not belong to you to get knowledge of the times or seasons which the Father has placed in his own jurisdiction; but you will receive power when the holy spirit arrives upon you, and you will be witnesses of me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the most distant part of the earth.”
– Acts 1:6-8
Isn’t it likely that when they were expelled from the Synagogues, they went out on their own preaching and teaching the good news wherever they went and establishing different congregations of Christians? The historical and archeological records indicate as much. As they fulfilled this commission, do you suppose they kept in close communication with the brothers in Jerusalem? By telephone? By internet? If they communicated in writing, surely we would have those records. Really, it seems only a few congregations kept in touch with the Jerusalem brothers, and even then, Paul who was not of the Jerusalem congregation, had to correct the Jerusalem brothers for returning to the old ways of the Jewish system. (Galatians 2:12-14)
And remember the experience of the Ethiopian Eunuch. After being instructed by Philip and getting baptized, the spirit led Philip away. (Acts 8:26-38) The Eunuch was on his own to spread the good news. He likely brought the message of sonship to his home country.
Each of these men and women who were taught by Jesus and the apostles went their way ‘to the most distant parts of the earth’ teaching the good news to the best of their ability. Did they falter in some of their teachings? Of course. No one understood the good news or could teach it as effectively as Jesus. Yet each person came in contact with the name and personality of our Creator God, Jesus Christ. And faith in that name, despite their different doctrines, can save us! (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 3:10-15)
The true good news of the kingdom is so powerful that even a dose of it can change lives! Look around you and you know that to be true. The original teachings of Jesus contain such an eternal nature that they will not forever remain unfruitful in the hearts of thinking men and women. And while the kingdom as Jesus conceived it has to a large extent been submerged under so much dogma and even error, the submergence is only temporary. It has been in a larval stage waiting for a more spiritual age where the Master’s teachings may enjoy a fuller opportunity for development. Is now that time? We hope so.
Yes, what if? What if our governing brothers are turning toward the Christ and leaving behind the Jewish system of things? What if our governing brothers are trying to find a way to pivot the message to the true good news? What if our governing brothers are being led in a direction that they themselves do not understand? Perhaps the possibilities in this article can provide food for thought.
It could be that our possibilities are too improbable and even our consideration of such matters is naive. But as Paul advised, ‘love hopes all things.’ So we will continue to hope according to these suggestive possibilities until the Society publishes their “new light” and explains their true intentions in a Watchtower publication. We would, however, make a suggestion that perhaps they should better define the Faithful and Discreet Slave because WE, at , are ‘a small group of anointed Christians working from our headquarters and preparing and delivering spiritual nourishment for those who are led by the spirit.’
But whatever actually occurs with our Governing Body, we want our brothers to understand that none of the anointed sons of the Kingdom will lose anything. If, as many suspect, the ‘new light’ is a power grab, so be it. They would be grabbing power of an earthly organization. Our citizenship and our loyalty exists in the heavens. And should men persist in overstepping their bounds, we will have to respond as did the apostles, “We must obey God as ruler rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)
While many may ridicule this “new light,” we encourage our brothers to be patient and not follow others down a path of negativity. We truly hope our governing brothers have the best of intentions in proclaiming their “new light,” if indeed it is not a rumor. But if our worst fears are realized, we remember what Paul wrote, “love never fails.” Even if those who gain the benefit of our Christian hopefulness do not live up to our expectations, love will not fail us. We will gain the honor of having given our brothers the benefit of the doubt, of imitating the Christ in being cautious as serpents, yet innocent as doves, and of being those who hoped in their brothers, beyond all hope; loved their brothers beyond all love; and loved the Father and the Christ beyond all others.
So with Christian hope and love, we welcome your comments to our little exercise in spiritual possibilities.