Final Gathering

Финальное собрание

Дата англ. варианта:
1942, 01 февраля
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THE WATCHTOWER

Published Semimonthly By

WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY

117 Adams Street  Brooklyn, N.Y., U. S. A.

 

OFFICERS

N. H. Knorr, President  W. E. Van Amburgh, Secretary

“And all thy children shall be taught of Jehovah; and great shall be the peace of thy children.” - Isaiah 54:13.

 

THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH

THAT JEHOVAH is the only true God, is from everlasting to everlasting, the Maker of heaven and earth and the Giver of life to his creatures; that the Logos was the beginning of his creation, and his active agent in the creation of all things; that the Logos is now the Lord Jesus Christ in glory, clothed with all power in heaven and earth, and the Chief Executive Officer of Jehovah.

THAT GOD created the earth for man, created perfect man for the earth and placed him upon it; that man willfully disobeyed God’s law and was sentenced to death; that by reason of Adam’s wrong act all men are born sinners and without the right to life.

THAT JESUS was made human, and the man Jesus suffered death in order to produce the ransom or redemptive price for obedient ones of mankind; that God raised up Jesus divine and exalted him to heaven above every creature and above every name and clothed him with all power and authority.

THAT JEHOVAH’S ORGANIZATION is a Theocracy called Zion, and that Christ Jesus is the Chief Officer thereof and is the rightful King of the world; that the anointed and faithful followers of Christ Jesus are children of Zion, members of Jehovah’s organization, and are his witnesses whose duty and privilege it is to testify to the supremacy of Jehovah, declare his purposes toward mankind as expressed in the Bible, and to bear the fruits of the kingdom before all who will hear.

THAT THE WORLD has ended, and the Lord Jesus Christ has been placed by Jehovah upon his throne of authority, has ousted Satan from heaven and is proceeding to the establishment of God's kingdom on earth.

THAT THE RELIEF and blessings of the peoples of earth can come only by and through Jehovah’s kingdom under Christ, which has now begun; that the Lord’s next great act is the destruction of Satan's organization and the establishment of righteousness in the earth, and that under the kingdom the people of good will that survive Armageddon shall carry out the divine mandate to “fill the earth” with a righteous race.

 

ITS MISSION

THIS Journal is published for the purpose of enabling the people to know Jehovah God and his purposes as expressed in the Bible. It publishes Bible instruction specifically designed to aid Jehovah’s witnesses and all people of good will. It arranges systematic Bible study for its readers and the Society supplies other literature to aid in such studies. It publishes suitable material for radio broadcasting and for other means of public instruction in the Scriptures.

It adheres strictly to the Bible as authority for its utterances. It is entirely free and separate from all religion, parties, sects or other worldly organizations. It is wholly and without reservation for the kingdom of Jehovah God under Christ his beloved King. It is not dogmatic, but invites careful and critical examination of its contents in the light of the Scriptures. It does not indulge in controversy, and its columns are not open to personalities.

 

Yearly Subscription Price

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(Translations of this journal appear in several languages.)

All sincere students of the Bible who by reason of infirmity, poverty or adversity are unable to pay the subscription price may have The Watchtower free upon written application to the publishers, made once each year, stating the reason for so requesting It. We are glad to thus aid the needy, but the written application once each year is required by the postal regulations.

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Entered as second-class matter at the post office at Brooklyn, N. Y., under the Act of March 3, 1879.

 

MEMORIAL

Tuesday, March 31, after six p.m., is the date scripturally arrived at for 1942 for the memorial celebration to both Jehovah’s name and the sacrifice of the Lamb of God. Christ Jesus, his Theocratic King. Each Christian company, therefore, should assemble after six p.m. of March 31, and the anointed ones thereof celebrate the Memorial, their companions the ‘‘other sheep” being present as observers. If there is no competent person present to deliver a brief discourse immediately before the partaking of the emblems, that short article appealing in the March 15, 1939. Issue of The Watchtower should be read before those assembled prior to partaking. Since the breaking of the bread and drinking of the wine both picture the death of Jesus, it follows that both emblems should be served together at partaking, and not separately. The emblems should be unleavened bread and real red wine. Jesus and his apostles used real red wine in symbol of his blood, and the anointed remnant should follow their lead. A report of the celebration should be made to the Society as instructed in the Informant. In preparation therefor the article “Memorial” suggested above will be studied with profit.

 

“INTEGRITY” TESTIMONY PERIOD

Midwinter field maneuvers test the integrity, and the united testimony period during February is appropriately thus named. This “Integrity” Testimony Period is the opening month of the 1942 three-month Watchtower campaign, hence the people of integrity toward God now specialize on taking subscriptions for the magazine The Watchtower, announcing Jehovah's kingdom or Theocratic Government by Christ Jesus Additional to the intrinsic value of the magazine itself, the latest book, Children, is given as a premium with all new subscriptions for a year, and that at the regular subscription rate of $1 00. God’s people of integrity will be steadfast therein and will prove their blamelessness of devotion by taking part in this Testimony regardless of the cost to self. Many newly interested readers of The Watchtower deeply appreciating it, will be desirous of joining in this special testimony privilege, and we invite such to write this office for references needed to put them in touch with the nearest local company organized for this campaign. A record should be kept of all work done and the result, and the same reported in the appointed manner at the close of February.

 

1942 YEARBOOK OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES

It is now available, this new Yearbook the publication of which was held up owing to circumstances which you will appreciate when you read it. Yet the interest which this 1942 Yearbook holds for all who are concerned about the progress of God's work in the earth remains just as vital and presently helpful as if issued (Continued on page 47)

 

THE WAWCHTOWER

ANNOUNCING JEHOVAH'S KINGDOM

No. LXIII February 1, 1942     No. 3

 

FINAL GATHERING

"Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks." — Jer. 16:16.

JEHOVAH knows who are his people. He knows where they have been scattered by the forces of demonism. “The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his.” (2 Tim. 2:19) He declares it to be his irresistible and unalterable purpose to gather together in one all intelligent creatures on earth, whether of the spiritual or of the earthly class, who take their stand for his Theocratic Government by the Messiah. This gathering together to the Lord’s side must take place before the final war of Armageddon, and hence those gathered must flee now from the enemy organization and to The Theocracy. That Government is now in operation in the midst of its enemies. The time has come to the full for the administration or “dispensation” of the great Messiah at God’s right hand, and the gathering has been in progress now since A.D. 1918, first of the spiritual class, and more recently of the other class who shall live on earth forever in unbroken peace and happiness under the righteous dispensation of The Theocracy. “He hath purposed in himself: that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.” — Eph. 1: 9, 10.

2 The beginning of the righteous administration means that the nations of the world have reached “the time of the end”. That time began with the incoming of the day of Jehovah in 1914, and the final end thereof will come at Armageddon. There the primary issue of universal domination will be settled once and for all time. The Theocracy will settle it right, which is, in favor of the great Theocrat, Jehovah, the Almighty God. That victory will be a vindication of God’s name and will mean deliverance and blessing to all creatures who live and who love righteousness and truth. Jehovah is the Supreme Being and the only source of life, of law and of order, and his Theocratic rule over all the universe, including this earth, is the only rightful rule.

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Because of the important bearing of the prophecy upon Jehovah's "strange work" of the immediate present time, this article takes the place of Part 3 of the series on “Micah", and Part 3 will be published in the next issue.

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3 The nations of the earth, particularly those that make up so-called “Christendom”, have been notified and warned by those whom God has gathered and whom he has made his witnesses, of and concerning his purpose to establish the Theocratic rule over the earth by and through his King, Christ Jesus. The nations have treated God’s faithful witnesses with contempt; they have spurned the message these witnesses have faithfully proclaimed, and they have preferred to ignore God and have chosen the rule of demons in furtherance of their own selfish schemes for world domination. They leave the expressed will and written Word of God out of all their plans; they put not their trust in Jehovah to set up his righteous kingdom over humankind by his own almighty power; they prefer to exercise governmental control themselves and refuse to entertain any thought of the direct rule of God by his King Christ Jesus, or submit thereto. They take the name of God upon their lips in connection with their religious rites, but by their course of action they have forgotten Him. God’s judgment concerning them is: “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” (Ps. 9:17) Shortly they shall suffer the same fate as unfaithful Jerusalem in the days of Jeremiah, and which city became religious and broke her covenant with Jehovah God and was completely destroyed by his executioner. Religious Jerusalem was the prototype of present-day “Christendom”. All who abide in her and support her and trust in her leadership shall go down into the ditch of “hell” with her, suffering a like fate as did the demon religionists of Jerusalem. Then only the prophet Jeremiah and his faithful companions, such as the Jonadabs and Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, escaped with their lives and with God’s approval. Likewise at Armageddon only members of the spiritual remnant faithful to Jehovah God, and also their devoted earthly companions, shall escape destruction of “Christendom” and the other nations of the world.

4   The establishment of The Theocratic Government of Jehovah God in the hands of his beloved King in 1914, and the proclamation of its establishment thereafter, have served as a great judgment test of all on earth, both those claiming to be “Christians’’ or in a covenant with God and those composing the nations of the world. As anointed King, Christ Jesus also exercises judicial functions, and has come to the place of judgment, God's temple. The judgment has been in progress since 1918, with his coming then to the temple. He examines first his own servants to whom he has committed his Kingdom interests, “his goods,” and then those who profess to be his servants but who are evil, slothful and wicked servants and in reality servants of the enemy. “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous [servant] scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” (1 Pet. 4:17, 18) Thereafter the judgment proceeds to all the nations of the world, particularly "Christendom”, which claims to serve God and to be his kingdom.

5   This order of judgment was shown in Jesus’ prophecy concerning events at the end of the world of Satan, where we now are. The Lord Jesus there foretold that Jehovah’s “faithful and wise servant” would become manifest, and also “that evil servant”. (Matt. 24:45-51) Then the Lord gave the parable of the wise and the foolish virgins, illustrating the same two classes, and their final judgment. (Matt. 25:1-13) Also the parable of the servants to whom their lord entrusted the talents of his kingdom interests, which servants their lord at his coming as ruler or king judged, rewarding the faithful servants and causing the wicked and slothful servant to be cast out of his organization and into the world in darkness. (Matt. 25: 14-30) Then the Lord Jesus concluded his prophecy by giving the parable concerning the judgment of the nations at his return as King and Judge, in which judgment the people of goodwill who do good to his brethren who are Jehovah’s witnesses are symbolized by sheep and gathered to his right side of favor and protective power; and those who mistreat his brethren because they are Jehovah’s witnesses are likened unto goats and separated to his left side of disfavor and condemnation. The “goat” class are turned into fiery destruction, to which the Devil and all his angels are reserved. The “sheep” class are blessed and after Armageddon are ushered into everlasting life on earth under the Theocratic kingdom of blessings. (Matt. 25:31-46) Those blessings under the Kingdom include the joyful privilege of fulfilling the divine mandate to “be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth” with a righteous race. This they will do after Armageddon has cleared the earth of the nations that forget God; and thus will be fulfilled the mandate which God originally gave to Adam and Eve in Eden, but in which they failed.—Gen. 1: 28.

6 The judgment of the nations still continues, and all the evidences are that it is rapidly coming to a close and the time for the pronouncement and execution of the Lord’s righteous judgment. There are yet many persons of good-will, or sheep-like ones, to be gathered to the side of The Theocracy. The final end being at hand, they now must be gathered with no loss of time or of motion. The prophet Jeremiah and his faithful companions lived in the final years of judgment upon religious Jerusalem and saw its destruction, and they survived it in vindication of Jehovah’s promise of preservation. Jeremiah spoke in the name of Jehovah God and was one of Jehovah's unbroken line of witnesses from and after Abel. He therefore pictured the remnant of spiritual Israelites who are Jehovah’s witnesses in these the last days of “Christendom”.

7 Jeremiah prophesied from and after the thirteenth year of King Josiah. (Jer. 25: 1-3) Because of Josiah’s faithfulness and devotion to Jehovah and his typical Theocracy Jehovah God did not bring the destruction of doomed Jerusalem in his day, but postponed it for forty years from the time that Jeremiah began his ministry of witnessing. Thus Jeremiah prophesied during the reign of the wicked kings that followed Josiah and until the last earthly king, wicked Zedekiah, in whose day Jehovah God executed his judgment upon covenant-breaking Jerusalem. These forty years of grace afforded time for Jehovah’s witnesses, the prophets Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Zephaniah, to give a final witness to Judah and Jerusalem, for the benefit of all those of good-will toward Jehovah and as a warning of impending destruction to the covenant-breakers, the demon religionists and their political and commercial allies and supporters. Those who heeded the warning and abandoned the religion organization and went over to Jehovah’s executioner escaped together with Jehovah’s faithful prophets; those who refused to take the message seriously and persecuted Jeremiah and his companions and who clung to the things of religion and trusted in the self-righteousness of their religious leaders perished.

8 These things were recorded in the Bible, not for a mere record of ancient history having little or no bearing upon persons of modern times, but for the instruction of those in these days who seek life and desire to know the right course that leads to life. The larger and complete fulfillment of those ancient judgments of Jehovah God are brought to pass upon like organizations and classes of people at the end of the uninterrupted rule of Satan. Concerning those natural Jews it is written: “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” (1 Cor. 10:11) "Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” (Rom. 15: 4) Those who hope to live to see a righteous government established on earth which shall deliver man from the rule of the wicked and bless all lovers and doers of righteousness must study those ancient “ensamples” or types and follow the admonition therein contained. Such are filled with comfort and strengthened to endure until the end of the mournful rule of wickedness, and maintain their integrity toward God. Those who do not take heed unto these things written aforetime, but think they can stand in their own strength and wisdom, fall in the great temptation and perish.

9   The doom of “Christendom” is sealed. Armageddon is very near. The destruction there will be tremendous, exceeding anything of past human history. What, then, shall Jehovah’s witnesses, as foreshadowed by faithful Jeremiah, and their companions, the Lord's “other sheep”, now do? Shall they mourn at the sure prospect of the death and destruction of the millions of religionists? Shall they devote part of their time to the Lord's witness work and spend the rest of the time in carefree pleasure-seeking and enjoyment like those who are “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God"? The answer is found in the instruction given to Jeremiah under like circumstances.

 

A SIGN

10 When Jerusalem's doom of destruction was determined, Jeremiah writes, “the word of the Lord came also unto me, saying, Thou shalt not take thee a wife, neither shalt thou have sons or daughters in this place.” (Jer. 16:1) Jeremiah was one of the Levite priests and from the city of Anathoth in the land of the tribe of Benjamin; and those priests were permitted to marry. Jeremiah was a young man when the Lord called him to be a prophet. He was fully devoted to Jehovah God and his service, and completely determined to do the Lord’s will. There is no record that he ever married; in this he followed the strict instruction of Jehovah God specifically to him. This applied to him as long as he was “in this place”, that is, witnessing within doomed Judah and Jerusalem, and he was there forty years, until its final destruction. Jeremiah never complained because any marriage he might entertain was postponed and must be deferred through all those years. He served the great Theocrat, Jehovah; he was subject to Jehovah's will, whose prophet and witness he was, and he understood the proper reason for Jehovah's instruction. Unburdened singleness was enjoined on Jeremiah, not merely that he might be free of distracting earthly responsibilities and unnecessary weights that would hinder him in performing his covenant toward God. By this course of action Jeremiah would be for a warning sign to his companions and to the religionists; also it would bear out his sincerity in delivering the message, and also the truthfulness and dead certainty of his message.

11 Jehovah’s witnesses today are not under the restriction such as the Lord put on Jeremiah, but, in view of the serious conditions now with us and which bespeak more terrible things shortly to come, they do well to consider their course, whether it be well for them to follow the course of Jeremiah under like conditions in behalf of a full part in Jehovah's “strange work” that is to end at Armageddon. Jehovah assigned the reason for his restriction upon his obedient prophet: “For thus saith the Lord concerning the sons and concerning the daughters that are born in this place, and concerning their mothers that bare them, and concerning their fathers that begat them in this land: they shall die of grievous deaths; they shall not be lamented, neither shall they be buried; but they shall be as dung upon the face of the earth; and they shall be consumed by the sword, and by famine; and their carcases shall be meat for the fowls of heaven, and for the beasts of the earth." (Jer. 16:3, 4) Hence Jeremiah’s childlessness and his freedom from home cares and burdens would be a telling example and would be in full agreement with the warning of impending danger and destruction which he proclaimed.

12 In the destruction of Jerusalem which followed shortly thereafter the Lord’s executioner did not spare the sons and daughters of the religionists. This brought great grief upon their parents, who had broken their covenant with God and turned to religion. After Jehovah sends forth his witnesses pictured by the man clothed in linen with an inkhorn by his side to mark the meek or teachable ones in their forehead, meaning the seat of intelligence and understanding, the Lord God gives command to his executioners: “And to the others he said m mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite; let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women; but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men [religious clergy] which were before the house [the temple]. And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain; go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city.” — Ezek. 9: 5-7.

13 That those having children would have difficulties on that account at this end of the world of demon rule, Jesus plainly showed in his prophecy, saying: “And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!” (Matt. 24:19) And when he was on his way to his death he turned to the women that were following, and said: “Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.” (Luke 23: 28-30) This clearly makes it to appear why it is better and wiser for those of the Lord’s “other sheep”, and who hope to become of the “great multitude” that shall survive Armageddon and thereafter be given the divine mandate to “fill the earth” with a righteous offspring, to defer matters until after the tribulation and destruction of Armageddon are past; then the new and righteous invisible overlord of mankind will exercise dominion over the cleansed earth and the Lord God will restate the divine mandate to the Armageddon survivors. Those waiting on the Lord spare themselves many difficulties, burdens, heartaches and griefs and enjoy the greatest measure of freedom for a part in the work foreshadowed by the activities of Jeremiah and his companions. Those of the Lord’s “other sheep” who now have children or to whom children are born in the natural course of things do well to follow the advice of the apostle and “bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord”; and the children of such consecrated and devoted parents do that which is right and commanded of the Lord when they “obey your parents in the Lord”. (Eph. 6: 1-4) This is the only course of wisdom, leading to the Lord’s approval and to safety during the Armageddon tribulation.

14 Jehovah gives further instruction to his servants concerning their course of action in these days of world crisis: “For thus saith the Lord, Enter not into the house of mourning, neither go to lament nor bemoan them: for I have taken away my peace from this people, saith the Lord, even lovingkindness and mercies. Both the great and the small shall die in this land: they shall not be buried, neither shall men lament for them, nor cut themselves, nor make themselves bald for them. Neither shall men tear themselves for them in mourning, to comfort them for the dead; neither shall men give them the cup of consolation to drink for their father or for their mother.” (Jer. l6:5-7) The judgments of the Lord are righteous, and the execution thereof is done in righteousness. Those who are his servants and who have his spirit do not mourn the destruction of the wicked at the hands of the Lord’s appointed executioner. Their destruction is in vindication of Jehovah’s name, which name the wicked have despised and blasphemed and reproached, and at such vindication all his servants rejoice. For forty years Jeremiah personally warned Jerusalem and Judah, yet they did not repent at the destruction of the city and the desolation of that land they died in their sins and iniquities, which destiny they had willingly chosen by their course of conduct toward Jehovah’s message and his messengers.

15 For more than sixty years now, and particularly since 1918, “Christendom” has been warned of the approach of Armageddon and been shown the way of escape which Jehovah God has provided. The religious leaders and their political and commercial allies have scoffed at the warning, and even called it seditious, and have persecuted and do persecute Jehovah’s faithful witnesses and their companions. Now we are near the final end of the “time of the end”, and the nations of “Christendom” are in the throes of war and turmoil. The political and commercial elements hypocritically offer prayers, presumably to God, for peace, and they look to the head of the greatest religious organization on earth as their mediator to intercede with God, for God to grant peace and prosperity once again on earth. While they all look to and mouth petitions to God for his blessing of peace they at the same time make war on faithful Christians, God’s witnesses, who lawfully and harmlessly proclaim the Theocratic Government of Jehovah God by his “Prince of Peace”, Christ Jesus. They expect, by the complete suppression of these faithful witnesses for The Theocracy, to come to the condition where they can with relief say, “Peace and safety.” Thereby they make war upon Jehovah and his Theocracy. Hence all their peace prayers, peace plans, peace conferences, and peace treaties and organizations shall be in vain and be but the prelude to their “sudden destruction”; “For I have taken away my peace from this people, saith the Lord, even lovingkindness and mercies.” Though God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked, he does not mourn their destruction, and he instructs his faithful servants not to mourn. Such refusal to mourn in advance is also a sign of what shall come to pass at Armageddon with its blotting out of all religionists and the principal of their flock. That great destruction will be so stunning that those suffering bereavement and who themselves are headed for destruction will be unable to weep and mourn. (Jer. 25:33-35) They have been duly warned. Their blood is on their own heads. Those who have faithfully and persistently given the testimony and warning are clear and innocent of all blood thus shed.

16 Because the religionists and their supporters and hangers-on do not take seriously the message delivered by Jehovah’s witnesses, the state of affairs today is as in the days of Noah. (Matt. 24: 37-39; Luke 17: 26, 27) They feast as did King Belshazzar right before his own death and Babylon’s overthrow; they intoxicate themselves with the things of Satan's world, and this has become a “jazz” age, so called. Even the professed “Christian religionists” are now “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God”. (2 Tim. 3:4) “Written aforetime” for the admonition of Jehovah’s witnesses in this very day is the further instruction to Jeremiah: “Thou shalt not also go into the house of feasting, to sit with them to eat and to drink. For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will cause to cease out of this place in your eyes, and in your days, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride.” (Jer. 16:8,9) The like desolate condition was foretold on that great organization called Babylon, symbolizing Satan’s organization, to wit: “With violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; and the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.” (Rev. 18:21-24) Hence such pleasures and merry-making are short-lived now. Foolish, and wasting valuable time and opportunity, are all those who indulge therein.

17 The modern world boasts of its achievements and of what it expects yet to accomplish, but it has absolutely nothing over which to brag nor any cause for real joy. Its pleasures are merely superficial and fleeting. They are demon-controlled and turn the attention and interest away from the only source of life and joy everlasting, to wit, The Theocratic Government, or Zion, which is prophetically called “the joy of the whole earth”, that is, of the “new earth”. (Ps. 48: 2) The worldly pleasures are no part of the “joy of the Lord” nor of the “pleasures for evermore”, which are at his right hand. (Ps. 16:11) Therefore the faithful Christian whose hope is in the new world, wherein dwelleth righteousness, cannot rejoice with this doomed and dying world. Jehovah's witnesses, as pictured by Jeremiah, have a great and serious job to do, and the time in which to do it is limited by the approaching hour which God knows and has fixed for the beginning of Armageddon, “his strange act.”

18 What remains yet of God’s “strange work” of witnessing, which immediately precedes that “strange act”, is nearing a completion, and, when finished, this grandest privilege on earth will for ever have passed. Jehovah’s witnesses, therefore, can ill afford to divide their time and attention between the Lord's active service part of the time and for the rest of the time indulging in the pleasure-mad doings of the nations that forget God. To do so would be a slackening of the hand in his service and would be a violation of their covenant to do the Lord’s will all the time and the Devil’s none of the time. Let none think that, because they put in a stated minimum requirement of hours in the Lord’s service or the average working hours of a laboring man of the world, they are thereafter released and are justified in "jazzing” about in the worldly fashion and spending time and bodily energy in the empty and purposeless socialities, which take one’s thoughts and affection off the Creator and his Theocracy and expose one to demon attacks and temptations. The faithful must be servants of the great Theocrat and his glorious Government continually, “day and night.” Faithfulness to duty in the “strange work” of the Lord is our safeguard, and now, when so near the goal, the vindication of His name and the complete triumph of his Theocracy, we cannot safely or with wisdom let down the barriers to the invasion and control of the demons. Moreover, the refusal to go in the same way of pleasure which the world goes is a sign by Jehovah through his witnesses on earth that the days are limited for “Christendom’s” selfish seeking of pleasures instead of the seeking first the Kingdom of God.

 

INSINCERITY

19 Insincere religious hypocrites take great offense at the proclamation of the judgments of the Lord against “Christendom”. In their self-righteousness, and blinded by religion and the demons, they are unable to see their shortcomings and willful violation of the Lord's commandments. Their susceptibilities are offended at the bold proclamation of Kingdom requirements and of the day of vengeance of our God against religion or demonism and those who practice such. They pretend to see no fault nor sin in their religious doctrines, rites and activities, and their participation in the world’s affairs which ignore The Theocracy, and they cry for “more religion” and plan a “new world order” wherein there shall be “more religion”. Such insincerity Jehovah foretold to Jeremiah, saying: “And it shall come to pass, when thou shalt shew this people all these words, and they shall say unto thee, Wherefore hath the Lord pronounced all this great evil against us? or what is our iniquity? or what is our sin that we have committed against the Lord our God? Then shalt thou say unto them, Because your fathers have forsaken me, saith the Lord, and have walked after other gods, and have served them, and have worshipped them, and have forsaken me, and have not kept my law: and ye have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, ye walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not hearken unto me; therefore will I cast you out of this land into a land that ye know not, neither ye nor your fathers; and there shall ye serve other gods day and night; where I will not shew you favour.” — Jer. 16:10-13.

20 It is this very condition in modern-day “Christendom” that has caused honest men and women to turn away from her in disgust. She has grown worse after her fifteen centuries of existence, not better, and her wound is beyond cure; and for this reason many persons of good-will who are yet held in “Christendom” are perplexed and sigh and cry because of the abominations which are done in the midst of her to the reproach of God and his King Christ Jesus. “Christendom” worships the demon gods and demonized men, and human creations of her own hands. She objects to the exposing of the “eternal torment” and “purgatory” doctrines of religion, and prefers to worship a fiendish god who believes in tormenting creatures in literal fire and brimstone for eternity after death. Her ruling factors “frame mischief by law” in order to put the modern-day Jeremiah class “on the spot”, and punish the parents who teach their children God’s commandments and obedience thereto. They deprive the children of these parents of the right to an education in their public schools because such children refuse to idolize and salute flags and emblems and to thereby break God’s commandments as taught. They regiment the people and exalt creatures and order all to heil men and ascribe salvation and protection to them. They exalt the political state above Jehovah God and his Theocracy and require obedience to the laws of the state which were made without regard to the will and commandments of God and to obey which laws would mean to violate a Christian’s covenant by breaking the supreme commandments of the Most High.

21 Further, “Christendom’s” governing factors take away the free and open right and privilege to worship Jehovah God in spirit and in truth by proclaiming the good news of his Theocratic Government by Christ Jesus, and thereby take away the Christians’ “daily sacrifice” to Almighty God. They ignore his promised Government of the world and propose a “new world order” of their own making instead of The Theocracy, and they set up this “abomination of desolation” and make it their idol and render allegiance and worship to it. The beastly world organization and this totalitarian “image” thereof they call “the higher powers”, and insist that all peoples engage in the worship of the “beast and his image”. Instead of rendering obeisance to God’s anointed King, Christ Jesus, they without Scriptural warrant and authority set up a man as ‘vicegerent of Christ Jesus’ and as the one who occupies on earth the place of Almighty God, and they literally kiss the toe of this puny man before whom they bow in worship. Now, after a witness to the kingdom of God such as “Christendom” and the world has never before known, by the distribution by Jehovah’s witnesses of hundreds of millions of books and booklets and tracts in many languages, and over many years, the vast majority of “Christendom” willfully and blindly continue on following their blind religious guides and in indifference or open and express opposition to The Theocracy. Never was “Christendom’s” responsibility greater than now.

22 Therefore Jehovah assures his witnesses that he will destroy the entire religious organization of “Christendom” as surely as he did ancient Jerusalem. Jeremiah lived to see the fulfillment of the prophecy he pronounced moved by Jehovah's spirit. The organization of “Christendom” will be desolated as was the land of Judah and of Jerusalem. Those religionists who commit hypocrisy and demonism within her in the name of the Lord shall find their refuge of lies a false stronghold and shall be driven out into the open and shown up as none other than devil-worshipers and part of the Devil’s organization, symbolized by Babylon. Such compare with those religious Jews who were cast out of the land of their fathers and taken captive by the armies of Nebuchadnezzar and carried off to demon-ruled Babylon, to die there as revolters against Jehovah God. It shall be with them as with the “evil servant”: “The Lord . . . shall cut him asunder [from His organization], and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites.” (Matt. 24: 51) There is “where I will not shew you favour”, declares Jehovah God. This is in line with his utterance, “Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the Lord.” (Isa. 26:10) During all the years of the favorable time during which the message of The Theocracy has been preached they have rejected the Lord’s provided way to life and security, and have shown themselves “goats”. They are gathered to the Lord’s side of disfavor, and are cursed and sent away into destruction suffered by the Devil and his entire organization.

23 The nations that forget God, and the wicked covenant-breakers, shall never return from destruction : “For the day of the Lord is near upon all the heathen [the nations]; . . . they shall be as though they had not been.” (Obad. 15, 16) Those who trouble the Lord’s faithful witnesses and refuse to know Jehovah God and to obey the good news of his Theocratic Government by Christ Jesus “shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power”. (2 Thess. 1:6-9) Hence the next words of Jehovah through his prophet Jeremiah could not apply to those destroyed covenant-breakers after Armageddon: “Therefore behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but, The Lord liveth that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.” (Jer. 16:14,15) The Israelites, together with their father Jacob, moved down into the land of Egypt. After the death of Jacob and his son Joseph, then ruler of Egypt, the Israelites fell away to the devil religion of Egypt and their enemies greatly oppressed them. Jehovah then raised up his prophet Moses and turned the Israelites away from religion to worship the true and living God, “whose name alone is Jehovah.” For his name’s sake he led them forth from Egypt by the hand of Moses, and while so doing he made a name for himself. (2 Sam. 7:23) Therefore it was said: “The Lord liveth that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.”

24 Due to yielding to religion, the Israelites were later taken into captivity and exile at Babylon and their homeland lay desolate for seventy years. Then Jehovah through his typical instrument, King Cyrus of Persia, decreed that the temple should be built at Jerusalem, and his professed people who were restrained in Babylon he brought into judgment before him on this issue of the temple. A remnant showed faith and obedience and responded to the call to the temple service, and Jehovah brought them out of Babylon, which lay to the north, and other lands and restored them to his chosen land and set them to work at temple service. Not only a remnant of faithful Israelites returned and entered the temple service, but also multitudes of companions who were not Israelites by birth. These were the proselytes, and particularly those known as “the Nethinims”, that is, “the given ones” for auxiliary service at the temple, and who were from many nations and tongues. (See Ezra 2:1, 2, 43-60 and 8:17-20; also Nehemiah 3:26-31 and 7:46-62.) These also correspond with the “mixed multitude” of various non-Jewish nationalities that went up with the Israelites when Moses led them out of Egypt Being non-Israelites, all these picture the Lord’s “other sheep” of the present time whom he has been gathering and continues to gather into the one fold to become the devoted companions of the remnant of faithful spiritual Israelites, Jehovah's witnesses. — John 10:10, 16.

25 The physical facts fulfilling Bible prophecies multiply to prove that the Lord Jesus, the Greater Cyrus, came to the temple in 1918 for judgment. His faithful remnant, who sought to worship God in spirit and in truth, were then being held in restraint and bondage to the demon-controlled world organization pictured by Babylon. Gradually he revealed to them the truths now due of and concerning the Kingdom, and thereby freed them from the fear and servitude to that organization and brought them to him in the temple condition and set them to work. He judged all the professed ones by his truth and service, and sent forth the approved ones, anointed with the Lord’s spirit, to ‘preach this gospel of the Kingdom for a witness unto all nations’. (Matt. 24:14) Many persons of good-will have heard the witness and followed after the faithful remnant over the highway that leads to God’s organization, Zion, and have put themselves under its protection. Multitudes of these have already thus come to Zion and been brought into his temple to there serve God “day and night”; and many more will continue to come. Recently, at St. Louis, Missouri, in August, 1941, these were plainly visible in great numbers as they gathered there with the diminishing number of the remnant, in a grand Theocratic Assembly totaling in excess of 115,000 persons. Continuing faithful, such shall form the “great multitude”, which shall carry out the divine mandate to bring forth and fill the earth with righteous creatures. Thus the physical facts are plainly at hand whereby it may be said: “Jehovah liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the countries whither he had driven them.” (Am. Rev. Ver.) This is all part of Jehovah's “strange work”, and it excites the wonder and the malicious opposition of all nations, both those making up “the king of the north” and those making up “the king of the south” and their allies. —Dan. 11: 40.

 

FISHERS

26 The nations that forget God seek to hinder the gathering of these “other sheep” of the Lord; and this at the instigation of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy, which purposes to make all the world Catholic and totalitarian and seeks to bring all human creatures by totalitarian methods into the fold of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy to be fleeced and oppressed. Thus the “strange work” is fast coming to a close, as evidenced by the forcible shutting down of this work in many nations. In parts the Lord is still holding open the opportunity for work, particularly in Britain and America and other democratic lands. Even in the lands where the totalitarian governments and dictators have banned the freedom of speech and of assembly and of worship of Almighty God and have declared the work “illegal”, some work continues to be done and some of the “other sheep” are found and fed and helped unto the Lord. Hence the further words of Jehovah are yet true, and which appear to have a special application at this late date when he has brought his gathered ones into a unity and put in operation among them his Theocratic organization for service: “Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.” (Jer. 16:16) This clearly appears to mean that the nations where yet many of the Lord’s “other sheep” are scattered are determined to hinder and possibly prevent the gathering work and therefore these sheep are in hiding from the enemies in fear and restraint; but that Jehovah God by Christ Jesus is determined that ail the rest of his “other sheep” shall be gathered and that the gathering shall be brought to a completion, to wit, before Armageddon, which hastens on.

27 Jehovah has his ways and means of doing his work and carrying out his will. These are “strange” unto the enemies, the religionists, and it is a “strange work” unto them, and they do not believe its purpose, but impute evil motives to it. They seek to hold onto the strayed and scattered sheep and to keep them subject to their selfish uses and exploitation. The time for the gathering is soon up; there is no time to be lost now by those whom the Lord graciously uses on earth in the gathering work. It requires a unity of action and a coordinating of operations by all those engaged therein and a use of all the means and ways He has provided for the work. It calls for a careful combing of territory and a diligent searching of the isolated, remote and scattered places where the sheep are not associated in a company but are dispersed, knowing not whither to go for the Good Shepherd’s care. They will not be left to perish at Armageddon. “For thus saith the Lord God; Behold I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.” — Ezek. 34:11-13.

28 The Good Shepherd, Christ Jesus, at the temple, is in charge of the gathering of his “other sheep”. As “the Son of man” he was given dominion over all earthly things: “all sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.” (Ps. 8:4-8 and Heb. 2:6-9) When he was on earth he called fishermen to be his apostles that they might be “fishers of men”. (Matt. 4:18-22) Once he taught the people from fisherman Simon’s boat slightly off shore, and thereafter bade the owner, “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.” “And Simon, answering, said unto him. Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless, at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had done this, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. . . . And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.” (Luke 5:1-11) Later, to pay the tax or tribute money, Jesus sent fisherman Peter, saying: “Go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money; that take, and give unto them, for me and thee.” (Matt. 17: 27) After his resurrection from the dead he appeared on the seaside to his apostles while fishing, and who had fished all night without success, and then he repeated the miracle of the sudden draught of fishes for them. (John 21:1-14) On their coming ashore he already had fish broiling on the fire for them. In his parable of the dragnet he had foretold how at the end of Satan’s uninterrupted rule he would use his holy angels with him as fishers to do a separating work toward the good and the bad “fish”: “So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just.” (Matt. 13: 47-30) Christ Jesus is the great Fisher.

29 Then Christ Jesus sent forth his apostles as “fishers of men”. Since his coming to the temple, in 1918, the river of truth of life has flowed forth from God’s temple with healing to all who partake of the truth with faith and obedience. Jehovah God, by his prophet Ezekiel, foretold this in a vision, and added: “And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come hither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh. And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it ... to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many.” (Ezek. 47:1-10) Under the guidance of his holy angels Christ Jesus has sent forth the faithful remnant approved in the temple judgment, and anointed and commissioned as Jehovah’s witnesses, and they with united action cast in the net under the direction of the great Fisherman, and he has gathered unto him thereby many “fish”, to wit, many persons of good-will, his “other sheep”. These have devoted themselves to God and now, in obedience to the Fisher’s invitation, join in the fishing.

 

HUNTERS

30 “And after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them.” Not all the Lord's “other sheep” are gathered unto him at the temple by the fishing method. He follows this up with the hunt. The first hunter mentioned in Scripture was the covenant-breaking Nimrod, who built Babylon and established the first dictatorship, or totalitarian rule, and was worshiped religiously as “Nimrod, the mighty hunter before [superior to and in opposition to] Jehovah”. (Gen. 10: 8-10, Am. Rev. Ver.) Today Satan, the chief of demons, and who established Nimrod as dictator, has restored the totalitarian rule by the conspiracy of the political and commercial and religious elements of his visible organization. Such elements use the military and strong-arm squad to regiment and terrorize the people. As Nimrod hunted and pursued both beasts and men and broke the everlasting covenant concerning the sanctity of Godgiven life, likewise totalitarian dictatorship, “the abomination of desolation,” hunts and pursues all nations and organizations of humankind, and great is the destruction of human life in violation of God's everlasting covenant. This is with the full connivance, approval, blessing and co-operation of the “fifth column” religious element, particularly the Roman Catholic Hierarchy. Some prophecies liken the religious clergy to hunters that hunt for unsuspecting victims of their racket (Ezek. 13: 18-20; Jer. 5:26-31), but they specially hunt down the faithful servants of Jehovah God to destroy them. (Lam. 3: 52; 4:18,19; Mic. 7: 2) Then Jehovah likens himself to a skillful hunter and says: “Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey; for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger.” (Zeph. 3: 8) “Evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow him.”—Ps. 140:11.

31 Due to the unfaithfulness of the religious clergy, and their carelessness and indifference to the needs and eternal interests of the flock, those whom the Lord now gathers as his “other sheep” have been preyed upon by the totalitarian “beast” and “his image”, and have been scattered, and they have hid themselves upon “every mountain” and “every hill” and in “the holes of the rocks”, for fear of men and demonized creatures. Now, before Armageddon breaks, these must be sought out and stirred up to come forth and identify themselves as for the great Theocrat and his Theocratic Government by Christ Jesus. To this end the Lord now sends “for manyhunters, and they shall hunt them”; for they belong to the Lord, being of good-will toward him. “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains ; and the wild beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.” (Ps. 50:10-12) Now at the time Jehovah God by Christ Jesus is about to rise up to the prey against the enemies of God and his people, he sends forth his remnant of anointed witnesses and their devoted companions on the hunt for the scattered ones of good-will who desire to come into the Lord's fold, his organization, there to enjoy peace and safety and the Lord’s provided food.

32 Hunting requires courage, endurance, alertness, promptness to spring into action, constant keeping on the track and stalking the game; a diligent search of the isolated and scattered parts, leaving no place untouched or uninvestigated, and particularly the places where game are wont to come for food, drink or rest in security, and even to leave some choice desired food for the scent of the game and to invite and attract them to manifest themselves. It requires watching and waiting, with hope. Where “manyhunters” work together, they surround a certain area, which they have divided off, and then move in steadily toward the common center, beating the bushes or underbrush as they draw together in order to stir up their quarry. Thus they work together in unity, and jointly seek to let nothing escape, and they assist and help one another. They carry their equipment with them, keep their eyes and ears open, entertain no fear of creatures, and act with speed in the use of their provided equipment.

33 With totalitarian rule overrunning the whole earth, and Armageddon swiftly- approaching, the conditions now require that Jehovah's commissioned people and their companions follow the example of the huntsman. For several years now Jehovah has had in effect his Theocratic organization, and he has been training and instructing them for this very work. They have been assigned each one his territory in the field, and they must not permit their attention to be drawn away, but be constant in doing the one thing, knowing what they are seeking for, and they must walk circumspectly, ever ready to use the Lord’s equipment provided for this late day, and must act and work together in absolute unity. Thus the Lord God, who sends them forth, will uncover the creatures upon whom he has set his eyes. It may be, when He fulfills his prophecy at Daniel 11: 44, to wit, “But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble [the totalitarian “king of the north’ and his allies],” that then the warning of the Lord will be so emphatic and unmistakable that many of those after whom he sends his hunters will be stirred up and manifest themselves.

34 The Lord knows where they are and how to reach them, and he will not let his hunters stalk around fruitlessly. “For mine eyes are upon all their ways; they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes.” (Jer. 16:17) Their iniquity is their yielding to religion and restraining themselves for fear of men; and the Lord has let them suffer from the mournful authority of the wicked until they “sigh and cry for the abominations" that these do, and particularly the totalitarian “abomination of desolation”. Now that this “desolating abomination” seeks to stand in the place “where it ought not”, to wit, in the place and stead of God's Theocratic Government over humankind, God bids them flee, and he uses his hunters to stir them up to flee without delay to God’s organization of refuge.

35 Because of their practice of religion and their service of creatures and things instead of the Creator Jehovah, he says: “And first [that is, before gathering them unto the temple] I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double; because they have defiled my land, they have filled mine inheritance with their carcases of their detestable and abominable things.” (Jer. 16:18) Religionists have done these things, by wanton bloodshed which they have approved and supported; by man-made and demon inspired images and things and organizations which they have set up for adoration and worship to draw away the affection and service of mankind from the Creator; by the heiling and honoring of men; and by their opposition to God’s Theocratic rule by Christ Jesus and their persecution of Jehovah’s faithful witnesses, who obey God rather than men. Thus such have defiled the things pertaining to God to wit, “my land” and “mine inheritance”. By membership in and attendance at and support of such religious and allied organizations and movements, the ensnared persons of good-will partake of these sins and iniquities of the organizations, and hence Jehovah's disfavor and displeasure is upon them and he recompenses them accordingly as long as they continue therein.

36 But how does the Lord “recompense their iniquity and their sin double”? This does not refer to a duplicate or double period of time. Other translations of this part of the Hebrew text make the meaning clearer: “And I will repay first their double iniquities, and their sins.” (Catholic Doway translation) “And (thus) will I pay them at the first their twofold iniquity and their sin.” (Leeser's translation) “And I will recompense first the double of their iniquity and their sin.” (Literal Hebrew translation) The iniquity and sin is “double”, that is to say, “enormous,” being multiplied because of the light that is shining today through God’s organization and because of the added responsibility such light brings. “Christendom’s” responsibility is therefore multiplied in comparison with that of ancient Judah and Jerusalem. First the kingdom of the ten tribes of Israel fell away to religion or demonism, and Jehovah punished them first by letting their capital Samaria be destroyed and the surviving Israelites be carried away exiled to a strange heathen land. Judah and Jerusalem looked on at the religion and unfaithfulness of Israel and Samaria and at God’s punishment thereof, but Judah and Jerusalem did not take heed to this warning example. They likewise turned away to demonism or religion, and their sin and iniquity were doubled; and Jehovah punished them and delivered only a remnant who maintained their integrity under His discipline. — See Jeremiah 3:6-11; Ezek. 23:11.

37 “Christendom” has the Bible in its completeness and with its record of the warning examples of the ten tribes of Israel, and of Judah and Jerusalem. "Christendom” has not taken heed thereto, nor regarded the warning of Jehovah’s witnesses. Hence her lawlessness and her sins of religion are manifold greater in enormity than those of the typical covenant people of Jehovah God. God duly recompenses “Christendom”, and none can continue in or under her for any length of time without experiencing a measure of that recompense. The full recompense will come at Armageddon, now near. It therefore behooves Jehovah’s witnesses and their companions to lose no time, but to make every effort and use every opportunity to aid all persons of good-will to get out promptly lest these share “Christendom's” destruction. As pictured by the Jewish captives and exiles in Babylon, they must come out of Babylon and come unto Zion, God’s organization.

38 Jehovah God has foretold that this would come to pass, and it is proper that his covenant-people should expect it and now watch and work for it to come to pass in vindication of His word. Jeremiah the prophet, and one of Jehovah's witnesses, says: “O Jehovah, my strength, and my stronghold, and my refuge in the day of affliction [which is now], unto thee shall the nations come from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Our fathers have inherited nought but lies, even vanity and things wherein there is no profit.” (Jer. 16:19, A.R.V.) As a result of the fishing and hunting, the multitudes of the persons of good-will are coming forth from the religious and worldly organizations, in this time when Satan the Devil brings great woe and distress upon all nations. These seekers of the Lord come from all nations and kindreds and people and tongues and confess that Jehovah God and his Theocracy are their strength, stronghold and refuge in this period of great affliction. Their combined harmonious testimony and voluntary confession is that their religious fathers, in “Christendom” and in heathendom, inherited nought but lies of demonism and of traditions of men, and which are vain babblings of men and absolutely unprofitable, and in reality injurious and leading to destruction. They abandon religion as a deadly thing, and now practice Christianity, which is the worship of God in spirit and in truth. They take the Lord’s side in the great issue which must shortly be decided for all eternity.

39 The primary issue now up for final determination is universal domination: Who is the Almighty God, the Supreme Power, who shall rule heaven and earth and who shall be worshiped by all creatures therein that live? Knowing his power and position, Jehovah, for the good of his covenant people, commands that they shall worship him and have no gods besides him. (Ex. 20:1-5) “Christendom” pretends to be in a covenant with God, but, on the contrary, brings great reproach upon the name of Jehovah and his Theocratic Government by Christ Jesus. She worships false gods, or mighty ones, which demon-controlled men make and set up and require the people to worship in a regimented fashion. Because the issue is due to be determined, the Lord says: “Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods? Therefore, behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know mine hand and my might; and they shall know that my name is The Lord [or, JEHOVAH (marginal reading)].”— Jer. 16: 20, 21.

40 At Armageddon Jehovah God will make manifest his mighty “right hand”, to wit, Christ Jesus, his Executive Officer, and by him Jehovah will demonstrate that Satan is a mimic god and that the demons under Satan and which the nations that have forgotten God now worship in the name of religion are no gods, but are false, deceiving and sentenced to everlasting destruction. Under the control of the demon-gods, men, including the religious clergy, refuse to believe the record of the exercise of God's hand and might in his acts as set forth in the Bible; but at Armageddon God will repeat those acts on a vaster scale and thereby make the scoffing religionists know his hand and his power. He will fight the battle of that great day of God Almighty just once; it will not be repeated, because he will fight it to a completion in the total destruction of all opposers and all who challenge him as the only true and living God. And before they descend in disgraceful defeat into destruction he will make “Christendom” and all forgetters of God to know that his name is the holy name that they have despised and reproached, Jehovah!

41 All these things being so, the final gathering by the Lord is on. Let nothing for one instant interrupt the onward push of his covenant-people in His service. The time is short, the opportunity is great, and blessed is he that has a part in it. Now to hold fast our integrity toward the Almighty God is the all-important thing, and to receive the approval of the Lord in this “day of the Lord”, that we may be blameless in His sight, and have some place assigned to us to continue forever in His glorious service. Lose no time at all. Steadfastly and unceasingly do your duties as assigned by the Lord. Walk close to the Lord. Walk circumspectly. Show kindness, mercy and loving devotion to all who are of good-will. Shortly his gathering of all such will be finished, his “strange work” will be done, and he will bring to pass his “strange act” of vindication of His name.

 

A FAITHFUL WITNESS

January 9, 1942

To all Lovers of The Theocracy:

On January 8, 1942, our beloved brother, J. F. Rutherford, faithfully finished his earthly course as a warrior for The Theocractic Government and a minister of the Word of God. Knowing of your deep concern and of your prayers to God for him ever since his serious illness prior to the Detroit Convention of July, 1940, we hasten to notify you.

It was Brother Rutherford’s desire to “die fighting with his boots on”; and this he did. The Lord graciously spared him to complete the report of the 1942 Yearbook of Jehovah’s witnesses, therein showing that the greatest witness ever given had been accomplished and that the year’s distribution of books and booklets reached the grand total of 36,030,595 copies. He always had foremost in mind to do this one thing, to declare the name of Jehovah and his kingdom, to keep covenant with Him, and to look well to the interests of his brethren.—1 John 3:16.

To him it was a joy and comfort to see and know that all the witnesses of the Lord are following, not any man, but the King Christ Jesus as their Leader, and that they will move on in the work in complete unity of action, as they unanimously expressed at the Theocratic Assembly of Jehovah’s witnesses in St. Louis.

All those standing steadfast for The Theocracy will now not mourn or be disturbed or fearful, but will rejoice that their faithful fellow servant and brother has maintained his integrity toward the Lord, in sickness and in health, through evil report and through good report, and has now entered a higher field of service forever with the Lord.—2 Tim. 4: 7, 8.

Brother Rutherford’s consistent faithful activity and unbending devotion to The Theocracy, especially since becoming president of the Society, January 6, 1917, has been and continues to be a true and blessed example to us all as of one who ‘fought a good fight and kept the faith’ and proved worthy of a part in the vindication of Jehovah’s name by Christ Jesus; and for this we give thanks to God

With you keeping on working, determined, by the Lord’s grace, to let nothing stop us until the Lord’s “strange work” is finished, we are,

Your brethren and fellow servants, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, Inc.

 

DAILY TEXTS AND COMMENTS

FEBRUARY 2

Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do.—Deut. 32:46.

It cannot properly be said that these laws of God apply only to the ancient Israelites. Exactly the contrary is expressed in God’s Word. His law is the same toward all who seek to live. Children seek knowledge and must be taught, and it is the desire of all sane persons, both adults and children, to receive life everlasting. Obligation is laid by the Lord upon consecrated parents to see to it that their children are instructed in God’s law. They cannot disregard this obligation and expect his favor. It is also the duty of the parents to have their children in subjection and carefully guide them in the way of righteousness. All parents who have agreed to do God’s will are bound by the commandments of Almighty God to teach their children the Word of God and to instruct them in the way of righteousness. —Deut. 4: 9 ; 6: 6, 7. W 2/15/41

 

FEBRUARY 3

But for this cause have I allowed thee to remain, in order to show thee my power; and in order that they may proclaim my name throughout all the earth.—Er. 9:16, Leeser.

God announced his purpose to have his name declared throughout all the earth before he exercises his power in the destruction of Satan’s organization. To have witnesses in the earth to declare his name was God’s announced purpose ; and therefore it is written: 'God first visited to take out of the nations a people for his name . . . that the residue of men might seek out the Lord, and all the nations upon whom my name is called.’ (Acts 15: 14-18, Roth.) All of which was God’s purpose, known unto him from the beginning; and likewise the end was known. That covenant of Jehovah is everlasting and unchangeable All of God’s covenants are everlasting, and are not subject to change. W 6/15/41

 

FEBRUARY 4

Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in justice.—Isa 32: 1, Leeser.

“Princes,” or governors, are those who exercise a ruling power under the command and supervision of the higher power The new heaven is the new invisible ruling power, whereas the new earth is the rule of the people by visible representatives of the supreme and invisible power. Since the new heaven and new earth is a rule of righteousness, there must be men fully qualified to fill the place of visible rulership. They must be righteous. God has fixed the rules by which men can qualify, and all who are placed by the Lord in positions to rule and administer the laws of The Theocracy must act under The Theocracy and must first qualify according to the divine rules. All such must have full faith in God and in Christ Jesus and be subject to crucial tests in order to prove their faithfulness. That rule of righteousness, visible and invisible, shall bring great joy to men. W 8/1/41

 

FEBRUARY 5

The tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. — Rev. 21:3.

In vision John saw the Holy City, which is The Theocracy, coming down from God out of heaven to rule in righteousness. It is that Theocracy by Christ Jesus that will carry out God’s purpose to wipe out wickedness and bring joy and everlasting peace to those that live. It is in that Theocracy, Zion, where God shall dwell. Every human creature

that lives everlastingly must be wholly and completely devoted to Almighty God and to his beloved Son, Christ Jesus. This is the covenant that Jehovah God remembers for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations, which covenant he made with Abraham and swore to the antitypical Isaac, Christ Jesus, that in his Seed, The Christ, blessings shall come to those who obey,—Ps. 105:7-9. W 10/1/41

 

FEBRUARY 6

Let none that wait on thee be ashamed. — Ps. 25:3.

David had waited patiently for Jehovah to manifest himself and to deliver David from his enemies. In his own due time Jehovah did deliver David. To wait patiently means to fully trust in God and confidently move forward in performance of assigned duty, well knowing that one is on the right way and backed up by the King of Eternity. Such ones never try to run ahead of Jehovah, but follow explicitly the instructions given. One who is patient is anxious in his mind, watching with great care that he may not miss an opportunity to honor Almighty God. Patience, therefore, means a trial of faith and a refusal to be turned aside from steadfast devotion to God, regardless of what persecution the enemy may bring. When Jehovah’s due time arrives for him to avenge his servants he will do so, his primary purpose being to vindicate his holy name W 3/1/41

 

FEBRUARY 7

See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; in that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God. — Deut. 30:15, 16.

God led the Israelites out of Egypt by the hand of Moses. In this he was giving them an experimental education that they might freely choose either the way of life or the way of death. God made prophetic pictures with those choosing, by which he emphasized the divine rule that men are free to choose the way of life or the way of death In due time he sent his beloved Son to earth to declare the truth and to make known to man the only means of receiving life everlasting No man, however, was then compelled to accept Jehovah’s appointed way, but the same was offered to him freely. When a man makes an intelligent choice to enter into a covenant with Jehovah God, thereby agreeing to do His will, he then enters upon the way of life. He must meet the requirements of God’s law to receive the blessings of life eternal. W 2/1/41

 

FEBRUARY 8

The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? - Zech. 3:2.

At the temple judgment Satan was there to look after his religionists, whom he had subtly trapped by means of deceit and the practice of formalism and other religious ceremonies. The faithful ones standing there with the Lord are as “brands plucked from the fire’. What fire! The destructive fire of demonism or religion. Some who had covenanted to do God’s will had withstood that destructive influence and power even though they were mixed up with and identified as religionists. Their “garments” are symbols of identification, and the soils on their garments pictured the religion or demon influence. At the temple judgment the rejected ones were unwilling to divest themselves of their religious garments, but the faithful and approved ones were anxious to do God’s will and follow the great Judge. W 3/15/41

 

FEBRUARY 9

Blessed above women shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be; blessed shall she be above women in the tent. — Judg. 5:24.

Jael was blessed because of her faith and obedience. Therefore she pictured a class on earth following the beginning of the temple judgment, who hear the message of The Theocracy, believe in God and Christ, and covenant to do God’s will, and who then prove their faith by being obedient to His commandments. Jael is mentioned in strict contrast to the indifferent and negligent and unfaithful. Jael pictured the Lord's “other sheep”. She was a weaker vessel compared with the men of Meroz; yet she showed her faith and devotion, where the unfaithful men failed. God pronounced his curse upon Meroz, which curse proclaims that the persons against The Theocracy, and who fail, either by negligence or willful disobedience, to render service to The Theocracy, arc wicked. W 5/1/41

FEBRUARY 10

Stand against the wiles of the devil. — Eph. 6:11.

Satan’s purpose is to carry out his original challenge to Jehovah and bring about the destruction of all who have made a covenant to do God’s will. As to Jehovah and his purpose, He permits the Devil and his associate demons to beset His covenant people in order to give Satan full opportunity to carry out his wicked challenge and at the same time to afford an opportunity for those who have made a covenant with God to obey him and maintain their integrity toward him. It is the time of crucial testing. The same rules of the Lord apply to those who are Jonadabs and who have hope to be of the “great multitude” as apply to others who have made a covenant to do the Lord's will. Let this be kept in mind: that the demons now direct their wicked action chiefly against God's covenant people, both of the “remnant” and of the Jonadabs, because the demons have control over all the others of this wicked world. W 5/15/41

 

FEBRUARY 11

The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. — Ps. 9:17.

Jehovah has made known his fixed rule, which rule applies to all persons or nations that at one time pretended or claimed to serve him and then turned away from and against the Most High This is a warning from Almighty God given to all those who have assumed the obligation of serving him. He compels no one to serve him, but when they undertake it they must bear the responsibility of fulfilling their covenant. One may enter into an actual covenant with God to do his will, while others may be in an implied covenant to do God’s will by reason of their information and outward claim of being God’s servants God's rules do not change. God is no respecter of persons. He makes known his rules, and the creature who agrees or undertakes to obey them must perform or take the consequences. W 7/1/41

 

FEBRUARY 12

O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end; . . . But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days. — Dan. 12:4, 13.

 

By his prophet Daniel the Almighty says: “The END shall be at the time appointed.” (11:27) Those words arc a guarantee from Jehovah that the end of the rule of the world by the demons shall come, and that at the time he has appointed. Nothing can change that time. Daniel is certain to have a “better resurrection” and to be one of the “princes in all the earth”. He finished his course as a faithful servant and prophet of God, and died like other mon and went to rest in the grave, there to remain until God’s due time to awaken him out of death. Time of his resurrection may be any day now, when he, as one of earth’s governors, shall appear and assume his divinely appointed office. W 9/15/41

 

FEBRUARY 13

He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear.—Ps. 40:3

By faith now God’s remnant see the day of deliverance is near, and they are all filled with the song of praise to the Most High. And what results from their singing the victory song and continuing faithfully in the service in these dark days now upon the world? They sec people of good-will who are being awakened, hurriedly taking their place on the side of The Theocracy and wending their way to refuge and life. As the Psalm of David says: “Many shall see it The Theocracy, and the deliverance and blessings that righteous government brings], and fear [Jehovah], and shall trust in the Lord,” Jehovah, the King of Eternity, and in the King Christ Jesus It is timely and appropriate that they join in the song. Therefore such arc putting their trust in the Lord and are finding refuge under his organization, and they too join in the song W 3/1/41

 

FEBRUARY 14

Despise not the chastening of the Lord.—Prov 3:11.

Persons who have for years been serving Jehovah and Christ Jesus are still subjected to severe trials. Some wonder why. The answer is that all who receive Jehovah's approval must prove their steadfastness for The Theocracy One can prove this only by being put to the test and remaining immovable under it and continuing steadfast for Jehovah and his King Even now, when the King of The Theocracy is upon his throne, his servants on earth find themselves beset by many trials; but to the faithful such trials are not at all surprising Those wholly devoted to The Theocracy and who see the great fight being made by the enemy against The Theocracy can appreciate why the individuals in God's organization are put to the test As with Job, so now one who will receive the reward of Jehovah’s approval must be put to the test and prove entirely blameless before God. W 11/1/41

 

(Continued from page 34)

at the usual time. The president’s report of the past year’s work throughout this war-swept world shows up the supreme issue which affects the lives of all and which makes most important the proclamation of the message now delivered to all nations by Jehovah’s witnesses. You will be joyfully surprised at the sum total of work reported done in the service year fraught with greatest difficulty. The Yearbook further includes the yeartext with its comment, and also a text for each day of the year and a pointed comment thereon according to the latest revelations of Kingdom truth and prophecy. The edition of the Yearbook is always limited, thereby increasing the printing expense, more so now with rising costs of materials, and hence a contribution of 50c is asked for a single copy Mail in now your order with remittance to cover. Companies will make up combination orders and send such in through the local company servant.

 

“WATCHTOWER” STUDIES

Week of March 1: “Final Gathering,”

1-14 inclusive, The Watchtower February 1, 1942. Week of March 8: “Final Gathering,”

15-25 inclusive, The Watchtower February 1, 1942. Week of March 15: “Final Gathering,”

26-41 inclusive, The Watchtower February 1, 1942.

 

18 YEARS OLD AND 18 STUDIES WEEKLY

“As I was going to my car a boy of about eight came up on his bicycle and asked what I was selling, and if I had called at his home. I told him his mother did not care for the literature because ‘she had her own religion’. He said he would like to read and understand the Bible and asked if I had a little booklet he could have to read. I gave him Theocracy. He promised to read it, and sped away. Three weeks ago I passed a small airport and stopped to watch them awhile. As I was sitting in my car a young boy came along on his bicycle and sat on the fender of my car. He happened to look in, saw my books, and asked if I was not the same Bible man that had talked to him a long time ago. I recognized him, and asked if he had enjoyed his booklet. He was very sorry but his sister had burned it accidentally while cleaning house and he felt very bad. I asked if he was still interested in understanding the Bible. ‘Yes!’ I invited him to sit in the car with me and we would try to understand it together. We looked up the scriptures about the soul, death and hell. We talked for about an hour and he asked if I would come over to his house and tell his mother these scriptures. I went, and he called out his mother. Abrupt in manner, she said she did not want me to call because she did not know who Jehovah was and did not want to find out. The boy followed me to my car and whispered that he did not want to go to church any more and would I please come over to the airport next Sunday same time and he would meet me there and we could have a real good study in the Bible. I promised. The next Sunday I kept my appointment. I waited. In a few minutes he came, all out of breath from going so fast. We had a very interesting study. After it was over he asked if we were the ones that played the victiolas, and asked if he could hear the music. I played ‘Message of Hope’ and he said it was better than music. I have been coming for about three weeks now. I now have over eighteen model studies a week and most of them are with young boys and girls. They are really taking hold faster than their parents. I am eighteen years old, and I wish to encourage more young witnesses about my age to become more active in back-call work.”

 

"CHILDREN WILL GET IT QUICKER”

“ ‘No, I don’t care for your books at all. I'm a Catholic' But the booklet you left—Johnny, show the lady your book" Twelve-year-old Johnny produced a well-worn copy of Armageddon, marked and underlined. Mother: ‘You can see how he has studied it, and as we haven’t a Bible he even took it down to the library and asked the librarian to show him how to find the places in the Bible!’ Pioneer ‘Johnny, I want to make you a personal gift of this book Children. I have several little second-hand Bibles at home that I picked up in a bookstore, and you are welcome to one. You’ll soon receive a few “surprises”, so be sure to read the book and I’ll be over again in a few weeks to help you to study.’ Mother: ‘I don't know if he should take it. We're Catholics—.’ Johnny: ‘Believe me, if I had any money, I’d sure buy the book myself.’ The book stayed put! Another instance: Mother: ‘I just don’t like your literature. I got the book Children, but I simply don’t like it at all. My sevenyear-old boy, however, keeps following me around: “Mama, won't you please read to me out of this beautiful book?”

He says it’s God’s book and every word is true. When I don’t want to read it to him he says: “Mama, I’ll explain it to you, if you’ll only read it. You see religion didn’t do what it was supposed to, and God had to send these people around with the books!”’ Another child told his parents they ought to do something about this work, or how else should they expect God to protect them in Armageddon'"

 

A LAD IN BANGALORE, SOUTHERN INDIA, WRITES:

“I am engaged in a work that is very interesting. May I join in the work, and I like to be Jehovah’s witness, as I see the books tell me the truth. I met Mrs. Mergler giving leaflets, and helped her. I am keeping a report of what I have done. I have done eight hours and collected 10 annas. I did two hours this morning. I am taking books from Mr. Mergler. My mother is a Catholic and my brothers and sisters are too. But my mother says I can be what I like. I think religion is all rubbish, because it has proved false. My name is Bobby Skill. I am eleven years old. Mr. Mergler has given me some territory, and I am going to set to work every evening. I spent this week-end with Mrs. Mergler, and I slept in the car. Charles is going back to school, and Mrs. Mergler will be away; so I have to work all by myself. At last I have found some work to do, real work.”

 

IN WORKING DURHAM, N. H., A COLLEGE TOWN

“A fine-looking man opened the door. Introducing the phonograph, I started it going. Upon finishing the lecture ‘Message of Hope’ I asked: ‘How did you like that?’ Hurriedly he stepped out onto the porch and said in broken English and all in one breath: ‘I am a German refugee. I like that. I believe that. You are one of Jehovah’s witnesses, are you not? I know of you in Germany; they call you Bibelforscher, do they not? Yes, Jehovah’s witnesses are the most wonderful people. They do so much good in the concentration camps. One of Jehovah’s witnesses saved my friend’s life. He was going to commit suicide in the concentration camp and one of Jehovah’s witnesses comforted him and gave him hope not to die. When first we heard about the Bibelforscher we didn’t care for them; but they are so good, so bold, so courageous, and so fearless that we love the sound of the words “Jehovah's witnesses”. I never knew I would really sec one. I was a lawyer in Germany. I heard much about them, but never saw one. They did so much good in the concentration camps that they had to make smaller concentration camps inside of the others and put Jehovah's witnesses there so that no one else could get near them I never knew I would ever see one. I thank God that I have seen one free and going around like this.’ During this time he was searching all his pockets; he found twenty cents, which he insisted on my accepting for the work. I handed him Children. He declined, saying, ‘I would rather you give this to someone else so they too can find out about this. You see I already know and love Jehovah’s witnesses.’ I answered: ‘To know and to feel as you do is right, but not enough. This book was not printed for the other fellow, but for the ones who feel as you do, persons of good-will It will help you to find out what to do, because if you would survive Armageddon you must not only love Jehovah’s witnesses, you yourself must become a witness and share in the work we are doing.’ His joyful reply was: 'Then I will accept it; and be assured I want to do my part.’