Jehovah`s Witness/Vindication of God's Name
Bear with me. My computer, browser & software are woefully outdated. I canot open files or download them. HENCE, I am unable to go to the JW website as you suggested.
Besides, I cannot have a dialogue or conversation with a website. So would you please be kind enough to answer my questions?
IN my frustration to get a forthright answer from you, I dug out a 1990 WatchTower Book I have & scanning thru it I found this on page 355 of "Mankind's Search For God" "...the salvation of man was secondary to the vindication of God as the rightful Sovereign". Maybe you can check that out on the JW website.
So...God's primary purpose in sending Jesus to earth was not for our salvation, to redeem us from sin, but to vindicate the name of Jehovah?
The Hebrew scriptures from Genesis to Malachi point to the coming of Jesus. The Greek scriptures tell of his birth, life, death & resurrection. So it seems Jesus is the theme througout the Bible. Beginning to end. Not the vindication of God's name.
I don't mean to be unkind, but you said if I wasn't satisfied with your answer to go to the JW website. That sounds like you yourself don't find your explanation satisfactory.
I am not Brenda but
It is true that "the salvation of man was [and is] secondary to the vindication of God as the rightful Sovereign".
Why do we say that?
Consider what happened in the beginning, in the Garden of Eden when the first humans committed the first sin.
Satan accused God of withholding something good from man. When Eve related how God said that they were not to eat of the tree in the middle of the garden what was the reply of Satan voiced by the serpent that he used? He said “You positively will not die. For God knows that in the very day of Your eating from it YOUR eyes are bound to be opened and You are bound to be like God, Knowing good and bad.” (Genesis 3:4,5) This original lie called God's right to rule into question thereby defaming his good name and questioning God's position as the universal sovereign.
The salvation of man was not something that needed to be done. Not from a legal standpoint. Man had never established his right to disobey God and God owed man absolutely nothing. He could have simply destroyed Adam and Eve and created a new human pair or not as that would be his decision. But what would that prove? Remember there were angels in heaven who were witnessing the events as they happened. An issue had been raised. The issue called into question God's right to rule and whether or not man could successfully rule himself without God.
It would take time to settle the issue but to settle it would require clearing God's name. It would require providing evidence that God has the right to rule. Proving that would result in magnifying God's name of sanctifying his name above all others.
That was the primary issue. However in no way does this imply that the salvation of man was not involved. Jehovah himself recognized and knew even before man sinned that any disobedience on man's part would require proving that mankind was worthy of being saved. The challenge by the devil directly involved mankind. In fact the challenge the devil made in the case of Job indicates that the devil said that man would rather curse God and die rather than be faithful to him under adversity. You can read the account at Job chapter 2.
So humans were at the very core of the issue. Would humans find Jehovah worthy of all praise and honor. Would they appreciate that Jehovah provides all things for our benefit? Would they love him?
Job demonstrated that he was willing to go to the grave as a faithful worshipper of God. Even though he prayed that God would conceal him in hell or the common grave of mankind, he did not curse God for letting him suffer as he did. So the devil was proven a liar.
Similarly all faithful servants of God endure much in the way of suffering under sickness and disease and finally death in this world. But they have hope. They recognize that God has the power to remember them and to raise them from the dead even as Job did according to Job 14:13 where he said, "O that in She′ol you would conceal me,
That you would keep me secret until your anger turns back,
That you would set a time limit for me and remember me!"
Do Job's words indicate that Job felt that God owed him anything? No, not really. But at the same time his words show that he had a solid hope that God would remember him. He knew Jehovah to be a God of Justice and had faith that at some future time God would raise him from the dead. The three Hebrews in Daniel's day had the same attitude as well. They were willing to die rather than to be unfaithful to their God. Note what they said at Daniel 3:17,18, "If it is to be, our God whom we are serving is able to rescue us. Out of the burning fiery furnace and out of your hand, O king, he will rescue us. But if not, let it become known to you, O king, that your gods are not the ones we are serving, and the image of gold that you have set up we will not worship.” Even if God did not save them, they would refuse to worship the false gods of Babylon. So what did these three Hebrews and Job have in common? They put the sanctifying of God's name above their own lives, as did all the faithful ones reported on in the scriptures.
So what attitude should we have? Should we really think that our personal lives are more important that the sanctification of the name of the sovereign creator of the universe? Is not the vindication of his sovereignty of greater importance? In fact would anyone dare say that someone who does not agree and who who is of the opinion that the salvation of man is more important might in fact be jeopardizing their own salvation by such an attitude?
What was the attitude of Jesus? Why did he come to the earth? What was his primary reason? Sure, we always say it was to save mankind but how is mankind saved? Is it just by the outpouring of Jesus' blood? Or is there something more involved? Notice Jesus words at John 18:37: “For this purpose I have been born and for this purpose I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth.” Does it say, “For this purpose I have been born and for this purpose I have come into the world, that I should save all mankind from death.”? No it says his reason was to bear witness to the truth. He also said in John 17:3 that "This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ." So how is mankind saved? Through knowledge. That knowledge involves learning of the importance of sanctifying God's name and of how important it is that we put his sovereignty above anything else in our lives unlike the course that Adam and Eve took. Jehovah's Witnesses engage in the preaching work to invite listeners to “Become reconciled to God". - 2 Corinthians 5:20
Of course it all goes together. You can't separate the sanctification of God's name and the vindication of his sovereignty from the salvation of mankind. But when we start thinking that our personal salvation is of primary importance then we are in affect saying that we are more important than God himself. As if God owe's us something or as if he needs us when we actually owe him everything.
Another way that Jesus emphasized that the sanctification of his father's name was of the utmost importance was in the model prayer that he gave his disciples at Mathew chapter six when he taught them to pray, "Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen." (King James version)
What did Jesus say was first to be mentioned in our prayers? Is it a simple coincidence that he said we should first pray for God's name to be hallowed or sanctified? Jehovah's Witnesses don't think so. Even ahead of our needs for food he said to pray for God's name to be sanctified and for his kingdom to come and for his will to be done. What did Jesus say at Luke 22:42? He said, "Nevertheless, let, not my will, but yours take place." What we want or what we think is best for us is not or should not be our primary concern. First comes God's will. Of course God's will ultimately includes having the earth be filled with a perfect human race where every individual will be one of his worshippers.
And you are correct that the Hebrew scriptures from Genesis to Malachi do point to the coming of Jesus because the theme of the Bible is God's kingdom which Jesus himself taught us to pray for and Jesus is the appointed king of that kingdom. It is by that kingdom that Jesus will see to it that his father's name is sanctified as he exercises righteous rulership and judgement over the earth and it's inhabitants. All things will be made subject to Jesus as he rules as king of God's kingdom and what is the final outcome? 1 Corinthians 15:28 says, "But when all things will have been subjected to him, then the Son himself will also subject himself to the One who subjected all things to him, that God may be all things to everyone."