Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Question #5

The WTS claims that Ezekiel's prophecy of the Jews returning to their land is fulfilled in their organization. Ezek 36:24, 28 says "and I will take you out of the nations and collect you together out of all the lands and bring you in upon your own soil" and "You will certainly dwell in the land that I gave to your forefathers, and you must become my people and I myself shall become your God." If this is fulfilled in the Watchtower organization, then how are they returning to the land of CANAAN as promised to the forefathers? Ps 105:8-11

The human mind works in such a way, that it can best grasp complex and abstract ideas if it has a pattern to relate to. Without going into the intricacies of the prophecies themselves, it can be said that the prophecies directed towards ancient Israel establish examples and patterns for the Christian organization of spiritual Israel during the time of God's final judgment. Paul referred to that principle when he wrote to Christians saying: "Now these things went on befalling them as examples, and they were written for a warning to us upon whom the ends of the systems of things have arrived." 

Paul was also inspired to explain how all the features of the primitive tabernacle worship and temple arrangement were merely "a typical representation and shadow of the heavenly things." 

The 36th chapter of Ezekiel is one of many prophecies dealing with the regathering and restoration of the Jewish nation. Israel was in a covenant relationship with Jehovah and that relationship was nearly severed because of the Jews' idolatry and immorality. Jehovah punished them by throwing them out of the land he had given them; but later, he reclaimed them as his people.

Actually though, according to Paul, the real seed of Abraham is the anointed Christian congregation. And following the pattern of the prophecies pertaining to its ancient counterpart, the modern Israel of God is similarly disciplined by God; scattered during a time of tribulation. But as Jesus said, eventually God's chosen ones will be gathered from the four corners of the earth.

Even so, instead of inheriting a literal land of Canaan, Isaiah used the expression "new heavens" and "new earth" to describe the restored Jewish homeland. Bible students, of course, recognize that the apostles Peter and John also specifically referred to a new heavens and new earth, which faithful Christians are to inherit at the end of this present old heavens and old earthly system of things.

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