Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Isaiah 43:10 - You Are My Witnesses

You are my witnesses, says Jehovah. -- Isaiah 43:10.
Jehovah here speaks to His covenant people Israel, whose very existence bears witness to Jehovah's formation of Israel (Isaiah 43:1), their affliction and deliverance from Egypt, and their settling in the land of Canaan. Their very existence testifies that Jehovah's promises, made long before, are sure of fulfillment.
Israel, however, is a prophetic type of the Messiah, for Jehovah says: "When Israel was a child, then I loved him, And called my son out of Egypt." (Hosea 11:1) Matthew 2:15 tells us that this was fulfilled in Jesus. Jesus is called the "faithful witness." (Revelation 1:5; 3:14) In the first century, the disciples were told that they were to be witnesses of Jesus in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth. (Acts 1:8) In bearing such witness concerning Jesus, they also are said to be 'God's witnesses', in that it was Jehovah, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who raised up Jesus, and who had exalted Jesus to Jehovah's right hand. (Acts 3:13-26; 5:30-32) Thus, bearing witness for Jesus is to also bear witness for the God of Jesus.
Having the example before us, all who belong to Jesus, and who bear witness that Jehovah raised Jesus up as a prophet like Moses, are also Jehovah's witnesses, irrespective of denominational ties, for one cannot bear witness concerning Jesus without also bearing witness concerning the God of Jesus, since it was Jehovah, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who raised Jesus as a prophet like Moses, and who raised Jesus from the dead, and who then exalted Jesus as His own right hand. -- Exodus 3:14,15; Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Acts 3:13-26; 5:30-32; Romans 10:9; 1 Corinthians 15:14-18; 1 Peter 1:21.
Bearing witness for Jesus and His God, however, has nothing at all to do with joining an authoritarian religious organization that demands all be in submission to a man or a body of men. It does have to do with being in submission to the head of the church, Jesus. It is only through Jesus, not through an authoritarian organization, that one is saved.
Oddly, Brother Russell never used the term "Jehovah's witnesses" as referring to Christians. Brother Russell, in the surrounding verses, identified the one being directly referred to in Isaiah 43:10 as being natural Israel.
Some links for references to Russell's works:
http://mostholyfaith.com/Beta/bible/bibleXref.asp?xref=bible^Isaiah^43^1#Here
Click on the verse number below to get what is presented concerning that verse. Note carefully, since not all the material linked to are actually Russell's words
, and I found one citation to be inaccurate.

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