This week’s CLAM introduces section 1 of the book God’s Kingdom Rules. The section title is “Kingdom Truth—Dispensing Spiritual Food” and the second paragraph of the section description speaks of “the precious gift we have been given—the knowledge of the truth!” It then goes on to say “Stop and think: How did that gift come to you? In this section we will examine that question. The way that God’s people have progressively received spiritual enlightenment is a vivid proof that God’s Kingdom is real. For a century, its King, Jesus Christ, has been actively ensuring that God’s people are taught the truth.”
As you can already see, the purpose of this section is to show that the hundred-something-year history of Jehovah’s witnesses and their Bible Student forebears is part of the progressive revelation of God’s purpose to reconcile humanity to himself as recorded in the Scriptures.
The study then begins chapter 3, “Jehovah Reveals His Purpose”. Paragraph 2 invites us to “consider a brief overview of how Jehovah has revealed truths about the Kingdom throughout history.”
Aside from some quibbles, there’s not much to take issue with for the rest of this week’s study. The prophecy at Genesis 3:15 is rightly taken as the initial installment, then God’s promises to Abraham, Jacob, Judah and David are briefly discussed, and then the focus shifts to Daniel.
Daniel’s prophecy, recorded in chapter 9 of the Bible book bearing his name is certainly relevant to the progressive revelation of information about the Messiah, but Daniel receives more emphasis than others in this section. Why? Because something he said has enormous significance to the way Jehovah’s Witnesses view themselves. Paragraph 12, the last paragraph to be considered this week, ends by telling us that “after being given a vision involving the establishment of God’s Kingdom, Daniel was told to seal up the prophecy until the time appointed by Jehovah. At that future time, true knowledge would “become abundant.”—Dan. 12:4”
The foundation has been laid for the concept of true knowledge being hidden until the beginning of the last days – a little over a century ago, from the book’s standpoint – and then a renewal of progressive revelation in our time. Does this concept hold water? Future CLAM reviews will analyze that question as the organization’s argument is, er, progressively revealed over the next few weeks.