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"Babylon The Great Has Fallen!"
God's Kingdom Rules!



Chapter 24

Pouring Out the Seven Last Plagues Begins

Revelation 16:1-11

THE heavenly setting from which the seven last plagues are launched corresponds well with the situation described in Psalm 11:4-7 in these words: "Jehovah is in his holy temple. Jehovah — in the heavens is his throne. His own eyes behold, his own beaming eyes examine the sons of men. Jehovah himself examines the righteous one as well as the wicked one, and anyone loving violence his soul certainly hates. He will rain down upon the wicked ones traps, fire and sulphur and a scorching wind, as the portion of their cup. For Jehovah is righteous; he does love righteous acts. The upright are the ones that will behold his face." By such a procedure Jehovah makes it evident that he is in his holy temple.

As John watches the scene against the temple as a background, he hears a voice. John says: "And I heard a loud voice out of the sanctuary say to the seven angels: 'Go and pour out the seven bowls of the anger of God into the earth.' " (Revelation 16:1) This loud voice of command must come from Jehovah God, as the sanctuary is filled with smoke because of his glory and power and no one else is allowed to enter for the time being. As his temple throne is in the heavens, the movement of the contents poured out from the seven bowls must be down into the earth and its atmosphere.

What about the time for God's command? He has caused modern Babylon the Great to fall for "the vengeance for his temple." (Jeremiah 50:28; 51:11) So it

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would be very appropriate that at the time of Great Babylon's fall Jehovah should be in his heavenly temple, in fulfillment of the prophecy of Malachi 3:1-5. Since the facts already given argue that Great Babylon fell in 1919, preliminary to her coming destruction, Jehovah's "loud voice" went forth from his sanctuary to the seven angels in 1919, or at least after that year. Things that attend the pouring out of the bowls help us to know the time of his command to them.

The earth and its waters and atmosphere are the targets of the pouring out of the seven symbolic bowls. In their order the seven angels obey the divine command from the sanctuary. "And the first one went off and poured out his bowl into the earth. And a hurtful and malignant ulcer came to be upon the men that had the mark of the wild beast and that were worshiping its image." (Revelation 16:2) To understand this, we must remember that it is symbolic.

By the earth is meant the people. (Genesis 11:1; Revelation 13:3) It symbolizes, however, the more stable and orderly part of human society, as in contrast with the restless sea. When poured out into the "earth," the first plague affects the men who have the name of the wild beast, or at least its mark 666, and who worship its image. As its image is, at first, the League of Nations, this plague would or could apply from 1919 forward, for the League of Nations was proposed during the time of World War I but was specially debated and advocated during 1919. It really went into effect when the Versailles (Paris) Peace Treaty went into effect on January 10, 1920. However, in January of 1919 the Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America officially offered its support in writing for setting up a League of Nations and called it "the political expression of the kingdom of God on earth."

The League of Nations was really established to preserve the symbolic wild beast, Satan's visible political system. But the two-horned beast, namely, the two-

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powered Anglo-American World Power, was the one that proposed the League and that gave life to this political "image." Significantly Revelation 13:11 says that this beast with "two horns like a lamb" ascended "out of the earth"

True, the United States Senate voted against America's joining the League of Nations. Nevertheless, America had the "mark of the wild beast." How so? Because America's joint partner in the Anglo-American World Power was the foremost member of the League. Also, the United States gave much talk and thought to the "self-determination of peoples" and to the reconstitution of nations that had been swallowed up by aggressive empires, such as Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Thus national aspirations were stirred up among subject peoples.

Consequently all those "men" implicated in the above political maneuvers and connections had either the "mark of the wild beast" or were "worshiping its image," or were guilty of both. How, then, did Jehovah God view such "men"? As though they were stricken with a "hurtful and malignant ulcer" that would spell their eventual death. This included the clergymen of Christendom and of pagandom, whose religious flocks had taken part in World War I and had supported the Peace Treaty, including the provisions for the League of Nations. They refused to recognize that the Gentile Times had ended and that God's Messianic kingdom had been set up in the heavens.

The stricken condition of such "men" from the standpoint of God the Judge was revealed to his Christian witnesses back there. In proof of this, the president of the Watch Tower Society, in his public address at Cedar Point, September 7, 1919, pointed out that


"The Lord's displeasure is certain to be visited upon the League, however, because the clergy — Catholic and Protestant — claiming to be God's representatives, have

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abandoned his plan and endorsed the League of Nations, hailing it as a political expression of Christ's kingdom on earth." — The Watch Tower as of October 1, 1919, pages 292b, 298a.


Advancing beyond that, the Watch Tower issue of January 1, 1921, published on pages 10-15 an explanation of the beasts and the image of the wild beast as foretold in Revelation, chapter thirteen. Whereas heretofore those beasts and the image had been understood to be religious, ecclesiastical systems, they were now seen to picture political organizations, and the League of Nations was identified as being the foretold "image of the wild beast."

A sort of climax came on September 8, 1922, at the second Cedar Point (Ohio) convention. That day the president of the Watch Tower Society spoke on the text, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 4:17, AV), and also dealt with Isaiah, chapter six, which tells of an important event in the year 774 B.C., when King Uzziah of Jerusalem died. President Rutherford called attention to Uzziah's becoming a leper and pointed out that Uzziah was a prototype of Christendom. Then, referring to Christendom's endorsement of the League of Nations instead of God's kingdom, he said:


"Thus they denied the coming of the Lord and his kingdom to bless mankind, and openly allied themselves with the devil's scheme, and then blasphemously attempted to offer this before the Lord. Like their prototype Uzziah, the leprosy immediately appeared upon the nominal systems [of Christendom]. Thus we are enabled to locate the time of the fulfillment of Isaiah's vision." — The Watch Tower as of November 1, 1922, page 335.


Farther on in this speech Rutherford quoted and applied to the dedicated, baptized ones in his audience the prophetic verses of Isaiah 43:8-12. which show that true Christians are Jehovah's witnesses. On Sunday, September 10, after he talked on "Millions Now

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Living Will Never Die" to a public audience of upward of 18,000, a Resolution entitled "A Challenge to World Leaders" was adopted by those there assembled. It called upon all peoples to recognize and accept God's kingdom and it exposed the unfaithfulness of Christendom in endorsing a substitute, the League of Nations.

By thus directing the understanding on the part of Jehovah's dedicated people and the proclamations made by them, the first of the "seven angels" in the heavens was pouring out the first bowl into the earth. It was an expression of God's anger at the "men that had the mark of the wild beast and that were worshiping its image." In God's sight they were afflicted with a "hurtful and malignant ulcer" that is incurable. To God they were leprous. This expression of God's anger rather than his blessing upon their political efforts pained them and made them suffer, especially when Jehovah's witnesses proclaimed this information worldwide. It hurt them just as much as the plague hurt the Egyptians and King Uzziah. (Exodus 9:9-11: Leviticus 13: 18-27. LXX) They continue in this hurt condition to this day, when colonial empires like the British, the French, the Dutch and the Portuguese Empires are being broken up and the spirit of nationalism and of State worship sweeps the earth and the United Nations grows to a membership of 111 nations.

This is what has happened because ulcerous men refuse to recognize the end of the Gentile Times in 1914 and refuse to yield their sovereignty on earth over to God's established heavenly kingdom.

SECOND BOWL POURED OUT

The symbolic earth, that is, the stable part of human society backed up by strong traditional governments and by the League of Nations then and the United Nations now, came under the first plague from God. The restless, unsettled, revolutionary elements and the militaristic elements, symbolized by the sea, also come

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under a divine plague. (Isaiah 17:12. 13) The apostle John foresaw this as he watched the second of the "seven angels" with their bowls full of God's anger go into action. John says:

"And the second one poured out his bowl into the sea. And it became blood as of a dead man, and every living soul died, yes, the things in the sea." — Revelation 16:3.

The sea was the place out of which, according to Revelation 13:1, the seven-headed wild beast that symbolizes the Devil's visible political system of rule ascended. Also, as seen by the prophet Daniel in a night vision, the four huge beasts picturing a series of world powers came up out of the sea that was stirred up by the four winds of the heavens. (Daniel 7:1-3) This entire visible political system had its start when a restless lover of excitement, a revolutionary man, a militaristic man acted. He was the innovator of something new and revolutionary in the earth after the flood of his great-grandfather's day. He established the first political kingdom on earth: "the beginning of his kingdom came to be Babel." This first king of all the kings of the earth, this king of Babel or Babylon, was no one else but "Nimrod a mighty hunter in opposition to Jehovah." (Genesis 10:8-12) His violent, revolutionary political movement ran ahead of God's promised Messianic kingdom, and it alienated Nimrod and his followers from Jehovah God. It certainly led to no world peace and quietude.

With no less violence and shedding of blood than in the ancient days of the mighty hunter Nimrod, revolution occurred in Russia in 1917 and the ungodly Bolsheviki or Communists came to power. They imposed a radically different political scheme on Russia and broke the tie linking the Russian government and the Russian Orthodox Church. They believed in world revolution by violent means and by crafty subversiveness. Ever since then they have endeavored to keen the world

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in an unsettled state and to weaken by subversion the long-established system of things, and then to take advantage of this and overthrow the democratic, parliamentarian, capitalistic governments of human society. They have promised much to the dissatisfied masses. By their promises of a world Communist paradise with human equality and comradeship, they have won nations to their side, but to date they have failed to make these promises real. Russia and its satellites are like those described in Isaiah 57:20, 21: "The wicked are like the sea that is being tossed, when it is unable to calm down, the waters of which keep tossing up seaweed and mire. There is no peace,' my God has said, 'for the wicked ones.' "

Although the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics did not join the League of Nations till September 18, 1934, its radical, revolutionary political movement was not in favor of Jehovah's kingdom by his Messiah Jesus Christ. It was more openly, hence more frankly, opposed to God's kingdom than Christendom was. The new type of government that it introduced was therefore not life-bringing, but death-dealing. Because of its outspoken atheism and its campaign against all traditional religion, Russian Communism was something abhorrent to Christendom, like a plague. But what was it to God?

Let us turn back to Saturday, August 25, 1923. That day President Rutherford of the Watch Tower Society addressed the conventioners at Los Angeles, California. His subject was Jesus' parable of the Sheep and the Goats. Then he introduced a resolution entitled "A Warning," which exposed the religious clergymen of Christendom as being hypocritical and unchristian. This resolution was overwhelmingly adopted by the thousands of Bible Students present. However, this did not mean that they had gone over onto the side of the Communists in their religious persecution. Never have Jehovah's witnesses favored worldly communism. In

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the first year of publication of their official magazine, then called "Zion's Watch Tower," in its issue of September, 1879, they came out with the following statements in an article on "The Day of the Lord — Revelation 6:17":


Very many Scriptures seem to teach that the kingdoms of earth will be overthrown by a rising of the people: goaded to desperation from lack of employment and seeking relief from the oppression of bloodthirsty governments. Such a rising and overturning, Socialists, Communists, and Nihilists of today would gladly bring about if they could. Now the Scripture recognizes wrong and oppression as existing in the nations and foretells this as the way in which they will be overthrown, . . . Yet it does not recognize this Communism as right but the contrary rather instructing believers to "obey the powers that be" as long as they last, saying to us —  "Be patient, therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord."

. . . When we with a few others declared these things only a short time since, and called attention to the fact that trouble was taught to be occasioned by a rising of the people and the overthrow of governments — Communism — we were laughed at; there was truly little sign then of Communism; but today every civilized nation is in dread, and Nihilism, Communism and Socialism, are household words, . . .


This position of Jehovah's witnesses toward worldly Communism has not changed, but in this time of divine judgment since 1919 their position has become still more a matter of public notice. Toward the end of the year 1921, or on December 11, President Rutherford of the Watch Tower Society stood before an audience that packed out the old Hippodrome of New York city, to address these 7,000 listeners on the subject of "Millions Now Living Will Never Die." In talking about the nations in distress and the remedies proposed, this mouthpiece of Jehovah's witnesses at that time said:


"Financiers are fearful of losing their holdings. Labor is fearful that it will not be able to exist. Statesmen,

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politicians, and rulers fear radicalism or Bolshevism. In fact, every one whose mind is not stayed upon the Lord is in a state of fear and distress. (Isaiah 26:3) . . .

"What is really feared by the ruling factors is radicalism or Bolshevism. Bible Students, who are Christians, are unalterably opposed to any unrighteousness practiced by any one class upon another. They are neither radical nor speaking for the opposite alliance. They believe that the nation that will be blessed must recognize Jehovah as God and Messiah as the Lord and King."  — The Golden Age, as of January 4, 1922, page 214.


In the Watch Tower publication entitled "Government," printed in 1928, the Society's president wrote, on pages 244, 245:


These struggles have resulted in many revolutions, great suffering, and much bloodshed. Out of these struggles have developed the various theories or forms of government called radical, including communism, socialism, the soviet and bolshevism. . . .

. . . The soviet government has not been a success and never can be, and is far from being satisfactory to the people who have tried it. As in all other forms of government where the people are supposed to have a voice, the demagogues and party men dominate the various councils; and therefore the government has presented no advantages over any other government. In fact, bolshevism has resulted in great suffering of the people, and it is feared by many of the other nations and governments of the earth.

Every form of government man has tried, whether that is monarchy, aristocracy, democracy, republic or social, has been unsatisfactory.


The Watch Tower Society, which functions today through 90 Branches, has never been able to establish a branch office in Russia. Branches located in lands either absorbed by the Russian Soviet imperialism or made satellites to the Soviet Union have been closed down and Jehovah's witnesses have been persecuted and driven underground. In the years 1956 and 1957 many District Assemblies were held around the world by Jehovah's witnesses. On the Saturday night of these

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199 assemblies they adopted a resolution addressed to the then Premier N. A. Bulganin of the U.S.S.R. It protested against the persecution upon the thousands of Jehovah's witnesses found behind the Iron Curtain and particularly in Russia and Siberia. It petitioned for the Russian government to rectify conditions, that Jehovah's witnesses might freely, aboveground, carry on their worship of their God for the salvation of all sheeplike people. It advised the Soviet government against keeping itself in the ranks of those persecutors foretold in Matthew 10:16; 24:9.

A total of 462,936 voted. From each of those assemblies a copy of the adopted and signed resolution was sent to Premier Bulganin and to any local Russian ambassador. Copies were supplied to the public press, which gave wide publicity to the courageous resolution. The result? Persecution of Jehovah's witnesses was intensified.*

By bad conduct toward these, the Communists put themselves in the ranks of the symbolic "goats," who will be cut off from all existence, according to the parable of the Sheep and the Goats with which Jesus closed his prophecy on the end of this world or system of things. (Matthew 25:31-46) This parable, as explained by President Rutherford at the Los Angeles (California) convention, was shortly afterward published in The Watch Tower, in its issue of October 15, 1923. A few months afterward, or on February 15, 1924, in the seventh year of the Bolshevik revolution, the 64-page booklet entitled "A Desirable Government," written by the president of the Watch Tower Society, was issued. In a matter of nine months 741,449 copies had been sent out from Brooklyn headquarters. Under the subheading "Government Failure — A Malady," this booklet said:


* See pages 35, 338-344, 491 (column 5) of Religion in the Soviet Union, edition of 1961, by journalist Walter Kolarz, author of a number of books.
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There is not a government on earth today that satisfies any reasonable proportion of the world. Many of the nations are ruled by dictators. The whole world is practically bankrupt. Leading men of the world have advanced various schemes or methods for governmental reform. But these all have proven abortive. — Page 5, paragraph 2.

See also page 23, referring to the "great revolution in Russia, Germany, Austria, and other European countries."

Page 54 speaks of further trouble "similar to what Russia has already undergone."


Referring to conditions on our earth under God's new government over mankind, page 27 quoted Revelation 21:1 (AV) as follows:


"And I saw a new heaven [invisible ruling power] and a new earth [new order of things on the earth]: for the first heaven and the first earth [the old order] were passed away; and there was no more sea [restless, anarchistic humanity]. . . ." — Note also on page 38 the statement: "Under that government wars, famines, pestilences, revolutions and anarchy will forever cease."


Truly as a result of the second angel's pouring out his bowl of God's wrath upon the symbolic sea it became as "blood as of a dead man." It was like blood that had flowed from a man violently killed and which blood had coagulated, caked. Every "living soul" that functioned in such an unclean, thickened "sea" could not keep living. Every soul died, from God's standpoint. All the radicals, revolutionaries and the pushers for world domination by ungodly Communism were judicially viewed as dead by Jehovah and his witnesses. Radicalism's program of human government, as against God's heavenly kingdom, came forth from the "dead" and held forth no hope of life to mankind. In God's new order with its "new heavens and a new earth" there will be no more such a symbolic "sea." — Revelation 21: 1.

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THIRD BOWL POURED OUT

To sustain life mankind has to have water. Though the seat of human life is in the blood, the drinking of blood will not sustain life but, according to God's law, it earns death for the drinkers; it works to their death. Note, then, the effect of the action by the third angel in pouring out his bowl of God's anger:

"And the third one poured out his bowl into the rivers and the fountains of the waters. And they became blood. And I heard the angel over the waters say: 'You, the One who is and who was, the loyal One, are righteous, because you have rendered these decisions, because they poured out the blood of holy ones and of prophets, and you have given them blood to drink. They deserve it.' And I heard the altar say: 'Yes, Jehovah God, the Almighty, true and righteous are your judicial decisions.' " — Revelation 16:4-7.

This plague reminds us of the first plague that was visited upon ancient Egypt through the prophet Moses. Because of it the Nile River, the reedy pools and the impounded waters of the land became blood, which the Egyptians could not drink and in which the fish died and stank. (Exodus 7:14-25) To His worshipers Jehovah is the "source of life" and the "source of living water." (Psalm 36:9; Jeremiah 2:13; 17:13) But that is not so for the earthly-minded people of this old system of things. These people, who are the friends of this world, prefer to look to "waters" from other sources, from worldly political, commercial and religious systems. They have looked to other sources for life, particularly to the religious systems with their traditions, ceremonial rites and conflicting doctrines that must be accepted in blind credulity instead of with intelligent faith based on inspired Scripture.

They are like the apostate Israelites who preferred to drink from the Nile River along which Egypt was located and from the Euphrates River along which Assyria was situated. (Jeremiah 2:17-19) They "re-

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jected the waters of the Shiloah that are going gently," which waters correspond with the "river the streams of which make the city of God rejoice, the holiest grand tabernacle of the Most High." (Isaiah 8:6, 7: Psalm 46:4) By drinking from the streams and fountains that have flowed with programs, plans, arrangements, theories and teachings from human, earthly origins, the people have drunk to themselves death, not life. They have been led into a bloodguilty, blood-spilling way of activity. Though the good news of God's established kingdom has been preached since 1919, they have ignored Jehovah the great Fountain of life and his Messianic kingdom for imparting life to believing, obedient mankind.

How, then, could God bless their drink? He has pronounced it death-dealing, like blood. Shed blood signifies death. That is what they deserve to drink, death to themselves. Why? Because what they chose to drink from human sources of this old world induced them to pour out the blood of God's holy ones and prophets, Jehovah's Christian witnesses. He is loyal to his faithful witnesses and is righteous in executing judicial decisions upon those who violently pour out their blood. That is what the "angel over the waters" says; he does not consider them worthy of drinking water that would impart everlasting life. Let their drink be blood!

In this regard, the altar of sacrifice to Jehovah God, if it could talk, could tell a story, for all that it has witnessed. Underneath it, according to Revelation 6: 9, 10, are the souls or the lives of those "slaughtered because of the word of God and because of the witness work that they used to have." Their souls or lives resided in their blood, and their blood was poured out at the base of the altar. Hence their souls were pictured as being down there and crying out for divine vengeance in the way that martyred Abel's blood cried out from the ground. (Genesis 4:8-11; Leviticus 17:11-14) So

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when the worldly bloodspillers are denied life and God's judicial decision is that they should drink shed blood to their own death, the altar of God's sacrificed ones can agree with the "angel over the waters" and say: "Yes, Jehovah God, the Almighty, true and righteous are your judicial decisions." — Revelation. l6:7.

With this also Jehovah's Christian witnesses today are in agreement. They have plainly declared to all the world that the human plans for peace, recovery and prosperity, and the theories and schemes of the postwar world, yes, even the religious doctrines of Christendom, are not life-giving like water but are death-dealing like spilled blood. An outspoken declaration of this was made in the resolution entitled "Indictment" that was adopted by the international assembly at Columbus, Ohio, on July 25, 1924. The following Sunday, July 27, this was given a further emphatic presentation in the public address entitled "Civilization Doomed," which was given to an audience of about 35,000. In harmony with the effect of the pouring out of the third bowl the speaker said:


"Jesus Christ is the great Prince of Peace. He said: 'Thou shalt not kill.' He taught his disciples and his followers to refrain completely from the use of carnal weapons. Yet the clergy, who claim to be teachers of his doctrines, have sanctified war and made it a holy thing. They have delighted to have their portraits and statues exhibited side by side with those of bloody warriors. They have hailed the greatest warriors as the greatest heroes of all time. [Like Constantine and Charlemagne]

"... The nations are all mustering their forces for the great conflict foretold; for God purposes to overthrow Satan's organization through his beloved Son, Christ Jesus. . . ."


The bloodguiltiness of all mankind who are under the influence of false religion was further called attention to in discussions of Genesis 9:1-6 telling of the everlasting mandate that was made with Noah

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and his descendants concerning the sanctity of blood. For instance, in the book entitled "Creation," published by the Watch Tower Society and released on October 1, 1927, it was said, on page 103, under the subheading "Everlasting Covenant":


This covenant is the first expression of God's will concerning the sacredness of human life. The will of God is his law. All life proceeds from Jehovah; and since no one can give life to another except by Jehovah's arrangement, no one has a right to take away life except by Jehovah's permission. After the terms of this covenant the law that must for ever govern the human race is that no man can take the life of another with impunity. . . .

... The terms of the everlasting covenant have been broken by every people and every nation of earth, and some day God will require at the hands of the responsible ones a full account thereof.

The clergy claim to be the representatives of the Lord, and assume to teach his Word; yet they have openly advocated the killing of human beings in war without just cause or excuse.


After that, in the reasonable course of things, in the issue of December 15, 1927, The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence published as its leading article "One Reason for God's Vengeance," pointing to violation of this everlasting mandate on blood.

When the doctrines of Germanic Nazism and Roman Fascism were carried out after 1919, it occasioned the pouring out of the blood of thousands of Jehovah's witnesses as martyrs in the heart of Christendom. It also brought on World War II with its hitherto unequaled destruction of human life. (Revelation 12: 13-16) Men showed how they disregarded the sacredness of human blood by resorting to blood transfusions on a tremendous scale, during World War II.

That this was a gross violation of the everlasting mandate given to Noah respecting the sanctity of blood was called attention to when World War II was reaching its climax. This was by means of the July 1,

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1945, issue of The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah's Kingdom, the leading article of which discussed Psalm 16. On pages 198-201 it discussed the attitude of King David toward taking the blood of others into his human system, when he said, in Psalm 16:4 (AV): "Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips." This article quoted page 113 of Volume 4 of The Encyclopedia Americana (1929 edition), which said:


Transfusion of blood dates as far back as the time of the ancient Egyptians. The earliest reported case is that practiced on Pope Innocent VIII in 1492. The operation cost the lives of three youths and the Pontiff's life was not saved.


Following this article a great controversy raged over the subject, and letters clarifying the Bible's teaching on the divinely approved use of blood were published. Jehovah's witnesses' loyal adherence to God's everlasting mandate, under the fire of much public criticism, has led to many cases in the judicial courts of the land. In declaration of God's side in this worldwide controversy, Jehovah's witnesses now circulate the 64-page booklet entitled "Blood, Medicine and the Law of God," since its release on June 22, 1961, at the international assembly of Jehovah's witnesses in Yankee Stadium, New York city. Not to them, but to the bloodguilty world of mankind, God will give blood to drink. This will spell their destruction, at the end of this bloodstained world. "They will become drunk with their own blood." — Isaiah 49:26.

FOURTH BOWL POURED OUT

For life, men depend not only on water but also on the light and warmth of the sun around which our earth revolves. A disturbance of the sun causes discomfort to us humans here below. Such a disturbance in a symbolical way resulted when the fourth of the

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"seven angels" with the bowls of God's anger emptied out his bowl.

"And the fourth one poured out his bowl upon the sun; and to the sun it was granted to scorch the men with fire. And the men were scorched with great heat, but they blasphemed the name of God, who has the authority over these plagues, and they did not repent so as to give glory to him." — Revelation 16:8, 9.

Among the ancient Babylonians the sun was worshiped as a god, the judge of heaven, under the name of Shamash. He was the second god in one of the Babylonian triads of gods. Apostate Israelites, in imitation of Babylonians, began worshiping the sun. (Ezekiel 8:15,16; Deuteronomy 4:19) The sun is still worshiped today by some tradition-bound, backward peoples, but intellectual people of this so-called Brain Age do not directly worship the literal sun.

Since the establishing of God's Messianic kingdom in the heavens in 1914 there has been an ingathering or harvesting of the remnant of the faithful Christians called to reign with Christ in that kingdom. So it has been the time for these Kingdom heirs, while still here on earth, to fulfill Jesus' prophecy given, in Matthew 13:38, 43, at the end of his parable of the Wheat and the Weeds: "As for the fine seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; ... At that time the righteous ones will shine as brightly as the sun in the kingdom of their Father." The shining is for the spiritual enlightenment and blessing of all who seek eternal life in the new world under God's kingdom. However, those who shine like the sun in the kingdoms of this old world impart no such blessing. They shine to make a name for themselves in world history and to be idolized.

It was just as was stated in paragraph 4 of the resolution "Message of Hope" adopted August 29, 1925, at the general convention of the International Bible Students in Indianapolis, Indiana:

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"World powers, science and philosophy, commerce and religion, have each in turn offered their respective remedies for man's relief. In the name and under the guise of democracy, these combine in offering their joint and several powers to meet the requirements of man. Together they claim to be the sunlight of the world, holding forth all the light that shines to enlighten and guide the human race."


This resolution gave no glory or praise to the name of men shining in the worldly firmament, but, in paragraphs 10, 11, went on to say:


"Therefore, in the name and in the spirit of the Lord, the standard of God's truth and righteousness is here lifted up against the enemy and for the benefit of the peoples, which standard is, to wit:

"That Jehovah is the only true God, the Most High, the Almighty, the author and finisher of the great purpose for the salvation of man, and is the rewarder of all that diligently seek and obey him; that the Bible is his revealed Word of truth; that his beloved Son Christ Jesus is the Redeemer and Deliverer of man and, true to his promise, has come to rule and bless the peoples; . . ."


At that time the old world was trying to readjust itself after World War I. Benito Mussolini had established himself as dictator of Italy. The Communist revolutionist Nikolai Lenin had died the previous year (January 21.1924), and Joseph Stalin was manipulating the temporary triumvirate so as to make himself the absolute master of the Communist Russian giant by the end of 1927. Meantime, Adolf Hitler was fanatically working his way toward becoming the National Socialist dictator over Germany. Japan was casting its plans for the extending of its imperialism on the mainland of Asia. The postwar trend of affairs in the world was not moving toward the relief and blessing of the people. The world's "sun" was oppressively becoming scorchingly hot, and the people were feeling it. The message of Jehovah's witnesses was very outspoken in warning the people that their "sun" would

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prove to be no "sun of righteousness" with true "healing in its wings." (Malachi 4:2) Their message proved true.

In spite of the end of the Gentile Times in 1914, God permitted the political authorities of this world to continue as the "higher powers" or the "powers that be," which are "ordained of God." Hence men held God responsible for the unbearably hot state that scorched them. As foretold, "they blasphemed the name of God, who has the authority over these plagues."  — Revelation 16:9; Romans 13:1, 2, AV.

At this time God's personal name began to come to the fore. In harmony with the resolution adopted at the Indianapolis general convention in 1925, the dedicated, baptized Christian Bible Students were lifting up the "standard of God's truth and righteousness" in his name and spirit. After that resolution began to be circulated throughout the earth in millions of copies in many languages, the leading article of the Watch Tower issue of December 15, 1925, had the following to say under the heading "His Name":


The world, particularly the governing factors of the nations, have pushed the name of God aside. Now the time is come when God will make for himself a name in the earth. . . .

Now Satan and his evil allies are gathering all their forces for the great and final conflict. ... In that fight the Lord God will make for himself a name, that the peoples and nations of earth may know that he is God.  — Page 375.


As a fitting, timely follow-up to that, the very next issue of The Watch Tower, that of January 1, 1926, carried as its feature article "Who Will Honor Jehovah?" The opening paragraph said:


These [Psalm 135:21a] are the words for our text for the year 1926. Blessed or bless, as used in this text, means to venerate, to adore, to worship, to honor and to glorify. Who will come within the class that thus honors Jehovah God? They that abide in Zion will do so with gladness.

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At once the anointed remnant yet on earth of the 144,000 determined to be found "within the class that thus honors Jehovah God." From then on the Watch Tower publications quoted and directed to the remnant the words of Isaiah 43:10-12, in which Jehovah tells his dedicated people that they are his witnesses. Now these came to appreciate their relationship and responsibility toward God. At last, on Sunday, July 26, 1931, at the international assembly in Columbus, Ohio, they adopted the resolution in favor of the Scripturally backed name for themselves, "Jehovah's witnesses."

With all this publicizing of God's name, from 1926 onward in particular, the worldly men who were "scorched with great heat" from the "sun" of their world could directly blaspheme the "name of God." They called down evil upon His witnesses who did not join the worldlings in worshiping and idolizing the "sun" of this old world, and who ascribed the scorching heat to this worldly "sun."

One tantalizing instance of this occurred when Pope Pius XI of Vatican City, who was a Concordat partner of dictators Mussolini and Hitler, proclaimed 1933 to be a holy year. When he inaugurated it on April 2, he held out hopes of peace and prosperity as a result of observing that year as holy. In quick succession came the startling broadcast on April 23, 1933, over 55 radio stations, with WBBR of Staten Island, New York, as the key station. This hour's address by President Rutherford of the Watch Tower Society was on the subject "Effect of Holy Year on Peace and Prosperity." This expose of Holy Year was transcribed on phonograph records, and a broadcasting of these was made on the following June 25 over 158 radio stations. Among other things, the president's speech said:


"... With all kindness and sincerity I remind you who listened to the 'Holy Hour Service' held in New York on the 2d of April that the name of man was there

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exalted by frequently using and applying to men such terms as 'Holy Father,' 'Your Eminence,' and 'Your Excellency'; whereas the name of Jehovah God, His King and His kingdom were not mentioned at all. No reference was made to God's expressed purpose of dealing with the human race by and through His kingdom. . . .

"The act of declaring this a 'holy year' for the bringing in of peace and prosperity is a presumptuous sin before Almighty God. No man or company of men are running Jehovah's business so as to enable them to 'change times and laws,' and it is so stated in Daniel 7: 25. . . .

"... Peace and prosperity cannot be brought to the earth by men, but will come by God's kingdom under Christ. . . ." — The Golden Age, as of May 10, 1933, pages 483-490.


By the events of history since then, let all readers judge whether the Watch Tower president spoke the truth or not. Let them verify by authentic recorded history whether the idolized "sun" of this old world ceased from its scorching heat after the "holy year" of 1933. Informed persons know that in that same year Hitler became dictator of Nazi Germany, a horrible Nazi persecution of Jehovah's witnesses, worse than that on the Jews, began, and in that decade the League of Nations was scuttled by the Nazi-Fascist Axis Powers and the gory World War II was launched by these. Finally came the exploding of atomic bombs on the "heathen" member of the Axis Powers. Then the hydrogen bomb was invented. We face nuclear war!

Jehovah's witnesses could not be killed off by Nazism, Fascism and Catholic Action or by World War II. The more they kept growing in numbers and spreading the Kingdom message and establishing new congregations, the more the "scorched" men kept blaspheming the "name of God." To this day it is true that "they did not repent so as to give glory to him." (Revelation 16:9) Unquestionably they feel the effects of the pouring out of the fourth plague.

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FIFTH PLAGUE POURED OUT

Where would the fifth plague strike? At the symbolic "throne of the wild beast." The seven-headed wild beast ascended out of the sea. It pictured Satan's visible system of political government, for the symbolic dragon, Satan the Devil, "gave the beast its power and its throne and great authority." (Revelation 13:1, 2) We have observed that throughout the past millenniums of time the "wild beast" with its seven heads had had one after the other of these seven world powers take the leading place in the world's political field. Hence the capital city representing the dominant world power has changed with the change in political control. Between World War I and World War II the Anglo-American Dual World Power continued to be the Seventh World Power, and the British Empire was still the stronger member, its capital being London, England.

However, the symbolic "throne of the wild beast" does not necessarily mean the leading capital of the world power, London. After World War II, the United States became the stronger of the dual world power. Yet the "throne of the wild beast" would not of necessity be Washington, D.C. The plague is not confined to any single city on earth. A throne stands for the seat of rulership or of kingdom. Where, then, does the throne or seat of this "wild beast," the whole beast and not just a single "head" of this beast, reside or have its basis for existence? Certainly its basis is not in Jehovah God's promise of the Messiah, the Seed of his heavenly "woman." (Genesis 3:15) It is not a throne "by the grace of God."

How, then, did the fulfillment of the pouring out of the fifth plague begin? The apostle John describes the angel's pouring out of the plague in these words: "And the fifth one poured out his bowl upon the throne of the wild beast. And its kingdom became darkened, and they began to gnaw their tongues for their pain,

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The Dragon, the Enemy of God's Woman Zion

but they blasphemed the God of heaven for their pains and for their ulcers, and they did not repent of their works." — Revelation 16:10,11.

The throne was given by the Dragon, Satan the Devil. The "throne" functions inside the allowance of time for activity that Jehovah God granted to Satan the Devil to carry out his enmity against the Seed of the woman and to bruise the heel of the Messianic Seed. The throne rests fully upon an agreement with Satan the Devil, the Dragon. We can be sure that when "the dragon gave the beast its power and its throne and great authority," it was not a free grant to the wild beast. The wild beast must have had to

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give the Dragon something in repayment. What? We can see what the Dragon required of the wild beast when we read what the Devil required of Jesus Christ when trying to tempt him with the gift of the kingdoms of earth. "The Devil said to him: 'I will give you all this authority and the glory of them, because it has been delivered to me, and to whomever I wish I give it. You, therefore, if you do an act of worship before me, it will all be yours.' " — Luke 4:5-7.

So the "throne of the wild beast" rested upon the worship that the wild beast would give to the Dragon. There is its location, its resting-place. From this standpoint we can see that the location of the throne of the symbolic wild beast has never changed. It has always been based or made to stand upon the worship and subjection the beast pays to Satan the Dragon. The "throne" is its office or dignity as a sovereign.

The fifth plague would therefore be the public exposure of the fact that the "throne of the wild beast" was from the Dragon, Satan the Devil, and was gained at his price; and that, consequently, the kingdom over which the beastly political system of this world ruled from such a throne was a kingdom of darkness. Satan the Dragon was, as Jesus termed him, the "ruler of this world." (John 16:11) Satan the Dragon was the "god of this system of things," which system worshiped him. (2 Corinthians 4:4) True Christians had no part in the kingdom of the "wild beast" but they "put on the complete suit of armor from God" and fought "against the world rulers of this darkness, against the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places." The kingdom of this "wild beast," which includes the governments of Christendom, was full of the "unfruitful works that belong to the darkness." (Ephesians 6:11,12; 5:8-11) Jehovah God favored that worldly kingdom with no light.

God condemned this worldly political system to the darkness of eternal destruction. Its failure to have

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any light from him for the solution of the world's problems resulted in much pain to men, especially the politicians, statesmen, world rulers and their commercial and religious allies. Added to this reason for pain was the fact that, after God's Messianic kingdom was born in the heavens in 1914, "war broke out in heaven" and the Dragon, Satan the Devil, and his demon angels were cast out and down to our earth's vicinity. Correctly a loud voice from heaven then said: "Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing he has a short period of time." (Revelation 12:5-12) And then, on top of this, to have Jehovah's witnesses expose this world as being Satan the Devil's increased the pain!

In its issue of March 1, 1925, The Watch Tower published the leading article entitled "The Birth of The Nation," which was the first announcement that there had been war in heaven after the Gentile Times ended in 1914 and that the Devil and his angels had been cast down to our earth. But this was further called attention to later in the article "The King in Action" in the issue of September 15, 1925. This ousting of the Devil and his angels from heaven had its effect upon the "wild beast" and its kingdom here on earth. All this was forcefully presented in the book entitled "Deliverance," which was released on Friday, May 28, 1926, at the international convention in London, England, after the conventioners adopted a resolution entitled "A Testimony to the Rulers of the World." The sixth proposition of this resolution stated that "by reason of the blinding influence of Satan the minds of the rulers and the ruled are turned away from the true God."

The following Sunday night, May 30, this resolution was also presented to the many thousands that packed out the Royal Albert Hall of London. Its seven propositions were then publicly supported by the address

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given by President J. F. Rutherford on the subject "Why World Powers Are Tottering — The Remedy." In this public address Rutherford reviewed the seven successive world powers pictured by the seven heads of the "wild beast," culminating in the English-speaking world power of today. Talking from the viewpoint then held that the throne or seat of the beast was where the capital of the then-dominant political power was located, Rutherford said:


"Because she is the greatest of all world powers, because she together with her allies [America] claims to be 'Christendom' and to be ruling by divine right and authority, there rests upon the British Empire a grave responsibility which cannot be evaded. Because the British World Power is the very center and bulwark of the world's civilization, and which the Lord symbolized as a 'Beast,' and because London is the seat of government, and these governing factors claim to rule by divine right, here is the very 'seat of the beast.' "


The League of Nations, though promoted and backed by Christendom, was forthrightly declared to be of the great Dragon, Satan the Devil:


"But who is really responsible for the League of Nations compact? Is it formed and does it exist by divine right and authority? I answer, No. The Devil is its father, the British Empire is its mother, and the other nations which support it are its wet nurses. . . .

"The Devil caused the governing factors of Christendom so-called to enter into this compact against Jehovah and his anointed King." — The Watch Tower, as of July 15, 1926, pages 211-217. Also The Golden Age, as of September 8,1926, pages 780-791.


This speech and the resolution that it supported were given worldwide publicity by the millions of copies. World rulers did not follow the advice of this speech and resolution to acknowledge Jehovah as God, but, as Revelation 16:11 had foretold, "they blasphemed the God of heaven for their pains." The League of Nations died in the midst of World War II, increasing their pains. The United Nations has been formed by

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Christendom and pagandom to succeed the League; but what was said of the League's real authorship remains true also of today's United Nations.

In spite of the UN, the darkness of the kingdom of the "wild beast" deepens. World rulers in particular continue to "gnaw their tongues for their pain." They gnaw their tongues, not because of the darkness, which they prefer instead of Bible light, but because of their pains. They are ulcerous also, for they are religiously diseased, unclean, because they support and share in the "throne of the wild beast," the political rulership that rests upon worship of Satan the Dragon their god. Despite all their pains, "they did not repent of their works." So it is that down till now they keep blaspheming the God of heaven and grope around in worldly darkness.



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