IT IS IN VAIN NOW for the pope of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy to pray God or to warn the nations of "Christendom" that Armageddon may be averted. Why must it surely come, soon, and whose battle will it be, and what the outcome? Also, those who hear the Kingdom message now, and who fail to obey it, will they die at Armageddon and remain dead for ever, or will they have an awakening out of death? How may you survive? In this booklet Judge Rutherford presents the inspired prophetic Scriptures side by side with the well-known historical facts in proof of the answers herein given.
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Judge J. F. Rutherford's speech to the public and broadcast over WBBR Sunday October 18, 1936
IT WILL BE CONCEDED by all persons that the peoples of the nations of the earth have suffered much during the past twenty years. The people are in perplexity. The rulers likewise are in perplexity and in distress. The peril that is just ahead, however, will bring upon the peoples of the earth far greater suffering. The people prefer to hear good news rather than bad. Then some may ask, Why use the subject, such as this afternoon's, to tell the people about the greatest trouble that shall ever come upon the earth? I answer, by way of illustration, that when the country is threatened with a great storm or tidal wave, the government officials warn the people, and that properly so, even though it is very bad news. With stronger reasoning should the people be warned of the approaching world disaster. It is the command of Jehovah God that the people must be warned in order that they may intelligently seek the only place of safety if they so desire. It is voluntary with everyone. What is here said concerning the peril that is approaching is not the expression of man's imagination. It is based solely upon the Word of God. Christ, in speak-
ing of this approaching peril, uses these words: 'Then there shall be tribulation such as the world has never known, and no, never will there be another.' That should be sufficient reason for every thoughtful person, and particularly every professed Christian, to give careful consideration to the proof relating to the tribulation that is impending and about to fall.
That great affliction that is coming upon the world is designated in the Bible as 'Armageddon, the greatest battle of all time'. The battle will not be fought between contending factions or contending nations, but will involve the whole world. On one side in that battle array will be all the wicked angels, unseen by men, and all the wicked people on the earth in all the world, under the seductive influence and command of Satan the Devil. The purpose of that side of the war is to destroy the human race. This is one of the best evidences that the Devil is man's worst enemy. On the other side of that battle array will be the Lord Jesus Christ, the Vindicator of Jehovah's name, and all the holy hosts of heaven, and all under the command of Jehovah the Almighty God. The purpose of that righteous side of the battle is to vindicate Jehovah's name and show to all living creatures that he is what his name implies, the Supreme One, the Almighty, the One from whom all good things proceed.
The word "Armageddon" means the place of battle, and therefore the name itself means the
assembling of troops at the place of battle. The Scriptures designate it as "the battle of that great day of God Almighty", because the Almighty God will be completely victorious in that battle and he brings it about for his own purpose. It will definitely settle the rule of this world, and settle it right. It will eliminate the wicked from all the earth and enthrone righteousness; and that is good news to every honest person on earth, regardless of his religious faith.
Well, why should this great battle be fought? Centuries ago Jehovah God, by his holy prophets, foretold that coming battle and assigned the reason and recorded it in the Bible prophecies for the benefit of those who desire to know. If the peoples of the nations of the earth had been taught the Bible instead of religion, if the parents had taught the children in their homes, and it were taught in the schools, and the people had given heed to God's Word, the Bible, there would be no disturbance on earth right now. But the time has come when the message of warning must be proclaimed to the peoples of earth and it becomes the bounden duty of every Christian to know and to proclaim to others the reason for Armageddon. It is therefore essential that the facts leading up to the battle should be related on this occasion, because there could be nothing so important as this just now. Therefore I give some time to stating these facts.
The great Creator of heaven and earth, the Maker of all things, is Jehovah God. He reveals himself to man under different titles. His name God means the One who is the creator of all things in heaven and in earth. His name God Almighty, and that is the name that the Constitution of New Jersey has adopted, means that his power and authority is without limitation. His name Most High means that he is above all; and his name Jehovah means his purposes toward his creatures. He is the source of all life, and all creatures who live must serve him. All will have to take their stand on one side or the other, either for or against Jehovah, and all who take their stand on God's side must now become his witnesses.
ORDER OF CREATION
In the creation of all things, as the Bible recites, the Logos was the first created, and his name subsequently appears in the Bible as Jesus, and the Lord Jesus Christ. Then God created Lucifer, whom he made the overseer of the world. Then he created the angels in heaven, who are the servants who serve in God's organization. The time came, after many centuries, for the laying of the foundation of the earth and the creation of man; and it is stated in the 45th , chapter of Isaiah that the earth was created for man and man for the earth. Had man remained in harmony with God there would have been no sickness and sorrow amongst the human race.
It is evident from the prophecy of Job (38:4, 7) that Jehovah informed his heavenly creatures of his purpose to create the earth, and to create man for the earth, and this so thrilled the hearts of those creatures that "the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy". Lucifer beheld this praise given to Jehovah by other great creatures, and he coveted for himself that which did not belong to him.
It is recorded of him in Jeremiah's prophecy (51:13) that Lucifer is the covetous one. He resorted to fraud, lying and deception to accomplish his wicked purpose. He seduced Eve and caused her to walk in the way of unrighteousness, and then Adam, because of his selfishness, joined Eve in the transgression and they were both sentenced to death. God gave Lucifer a suspended sentence, which has not yet been executed; and the reason therefor I shall state to you in a moment. He changed Lucifer's name because Lucifer had become the wicked one, and since then until now he has been known and designated in the Scriptures under four names: Devil, meaning slanderer of Jehovah; Serpent, meaning deceiver; Dragon, meaning devourer; and Satan, meaning adversary or opposer of God. The Devil challenged Jehovah to put on earth men who would maintain their integrity toward him under adverse circumstances. He defied Jehovah thus to attempt it, declaring that he could make all men 'curse Jehovah God to his face'. This raised the issue of supremacy, Who
is supreme, Jehovah God or Lucifer? Would any creature maintain toward God his integrity? All the creatures of heaven would necessarily ask the question, Who will win? Many of the angels followed Satan in his wicked course and have been wicked since. God could have killed the Devil immediately, of course, but had he done so, the question would never have been settled in the minds of intelligent creatures. Jehovah's perfect wisdom caused him, of course, to accept the challenge and to give the Devil all the opportunity he wanted to carry out his threat. Jehovah gave Satan a long period of time in which to do so, and therefore God said to him, as recorded in Exodus the ninth chapter and sixteenth verse: Tor this cause have I permitted thee [the Devil] to remain, that I might show thee my power, and that my name may be declared in all the earth.'
Jehovah cannot be thwarted in his purpose, although there are many arrogant men that rule in various parts today (and some of them are in New Jersey) that think they can override Jehovah. God has said, as recorded in his prophecies: "I have purposed it, I will also do it." He gave his promise and decreed that he would establish on earth in his due time a righteous government, put out of existence all the wicked and never permit wicked men or wicked angels to rule, and that then he would bless all obedient ones of the earth with life everlasting and attending blessings. He permits
Satan, then, over a long period of time from the creation of man down to Armageddon, to put forth his best endeavors to carry out his wicked challenge. In all that period God would have some witnesses in the earth.
I want to emphasize this fact, that there are two things that Jehovah declared must take place: One was that his name should be witnessed in all the earth, and that then he would show his power is supreme. He sent forth his prophets, who over a period of many centuries declared his name. Such were from Abel down to John the Baptist. They prophesied of God's purpose and his kingdom. Every one of these was persecuted, and many of them were put to a. violent death; and Satan was the instigator of such persecutions. Then, after 4,000 years, Jesus, the Son of Jehovah God, came to earth. He is designated as the "Faithful and True Witness". He came expressly to declare God's purpose towards the peoples of the earth, and he did so; and he was persecuted unto death because he told the truth. His apostles that followed him likewise proclaimed the truth, and they were persecuted to death. All the true followers of Christ Jesus on earth today must be witnesses for the Lord, because now is the time when the witness work must be carried forward. Now is the time when we should expect the Devil, through his agents, to put forth his most strenuous efforts to stop the witness work and put out of existence Jehovah's witnesses.
RELIGION AND CHRISTIANITY
I am going to make a statement to you now that will startle some of you, but I will prove it to the satisfaction of every honest man and woman who hears what I say, and that is concerning religion and Christianity. All men are created with a natural faculty, and endowed with the desire, to look up to and worship something higher than themselves. Satan, knowing this, began a long time ago to build his organization amongst men for the purpose of defying and besmirching the name of Jehovah God. It was on the plains of Shinar in Babylon that Nimrod, as the chief leading man, the dictator, the mighty one amongst men, as the visible leader, was put forth as greater than God, and who declared that he did not have to come in line with God's Word. (Genesis 10: 8-10) He was lifted up and made the leader of a religious organization; and this was in defiance of God. Upon the plains of Shinar was builded the tower of Babel, the announced purpose of which was that men would climb up to heaven thereon. That was an insult to Jehovah God and deceived many persons. Satan's organization there began to have a name, and the Scriptures designate it under the name of "Babylon". (Genesis 11:1-9) The city of Babylon is likewise a symbol of his organization, religion being the most prominent part thereof. All the nations on earth then embraced the devil religion in defiance of Jehovah God, and practically all persons were turned away
from God. Then God organized a nation from the descendants of Abraham, under his grandson Israel, and which was later designated The Jews, that name being derived from the name Judah. The word "Judah", or Yehudah, means "praise". When God organized that people in Egypt and led them out as his own people, and put Moses at their head, he gave them his law, and he said to them these words: 'Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image of any thing in heaven or earth, nor bow down to any thing; for I am thy God.' (Exodus 20:1-5) Why did he do that? He did it for the express purpose of safeguarding his people from the devil religion and holding them in line for righteousness until the coming of his beloved Son, Christ Jesus. The apostle Paul, in Galatians the third chapter, expresses this in so many words. Jesus Christ was an Israelite, a Jew, born a Jew, and he came to the Jewish people and taught them. Jesus at that time defined the clear distinction between religion and obedience unto God or Christianity. I am going to read to you in a moment his testimony by which you can determine that his definition is exactly correct.
The Jewish leaders at that time had departed from the covenant God had made with that nation, and had builded up a religious system. The clergy, or the leaders thereof, were called Pharisees and scribes. Now there are a great many people today on this earth who honestly and
sincerely believe that religion and Christianity are synonymous terms and that they mean one and the same thing. Many honest people have never thought about this matter, because the time had not come to mark it out so distinctly. It was about the third century that the terms "religion" and "Christianity" began to be used, synonymously; and thereafter the nations of the earth enacted laws concerning religion, and the lexicographers wrote definitions giving religion and Christianity practically the same meaning. The correct definition of religion, however, from the Scriptures, is this: Religion is any form of worship based upon the teachings of men handed down by tradition from one generation to another and is in defiance of or against God's Word. Christianity means to follow in the footsteps of Christ Jesus by being fully obedient to God's commandments. With these definitions fully in mind, let me read to you what the Lord Jesus said concerning this matter.
Religion serves man and attempts to please man. Christianity seeks only to please God. I read now from the fifteenth chapter of Matthew: 'Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But Jesus answered and said unto them, Why do you transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? Thus have you made the commandment of God of none effect by your
tradition. You hypocrites! well did Esaias the prophet say of you, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.'
Here, then, is the clear distinction made so plain and unequivocal that there could be no doubt that religion is based upon the theories or traditions of men handed down from years past; whereas Christianity is based solely upon the Word of Jehovah God as taught by Jesus Christ and obeyed by him. Jesus at that time gave utterance to these words addressed to the Israelite leaders, the Pharisees and scribes, the clergy of that day, who had adopted and practiced religion, and God declared that because they had. departed from his commandments he would destroy that nation; and he did destroy them.
The reason that Armageddon will bring upon the world the greatest tribulation that was ever known is, because the leaders amongst men, in defiance of Jehovah God and his Word, and acting under the seductive influence of Satan the Devil, have adopted and do practice religion contrary to the Word of Jehovah God. By this means they have turned the masses away from the understanding and the worship of Almighty God.
Let no one take offense because I say that religion was organized by the Devil to deceive men. I am going to support my statement with the
authority of Christ Jesus, the greatest teacher ever on earth. And I read from John, the eighth chapter, the words of Jesus addressed to those Jewish clergymen, and when I say this I am not speaking against present-day Jews. I am pointing out to you how those Jew religionists had departed from their covenant and were teaching the people religion and not God's commandments; and that they did in defiance of God's Word; and that the Devil had overreached them by his deceptive influence and caused them to do it. Jesus said to them (beginning forty-first verse of that chapter): 'Ye do the things of your father. They said unto him, We are not born of fornication; we have one father, even God. Jesus said to them, If God were your Father ye would love me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? because ye cannot hear my word; ye are of your father the Devil, and the lust of your father ye will do; he was a murderer from the beginning and abode not in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar and the father of it; and because I tell you the truth ye believe me not and seek to kill me.' Then Jesus told them that because they had yielded to the seductive influence of Satan and led the nation of Israel in defiance of God's Word, Jehovah God would destroy that nation; and he did destroy it. I am stressing this point to show
you why Armageddon is going to come; and this evidence is corroborated by facts which are well known to everyone within the sound of my voice.
Paul, whose name was originally Saul, for years zealously practiced the Jews' religion. He was a Pharisee of the Pharisees, but when Jesus Christ was revealed to him he became a Christian; and this is conclusive proof that a religionist, if honest, can become a Christian. A Pharisee of the Pharisees, he persecuted Christ Jesus, and at the same time claimed to represent God; but when he became a Christian he wrote these words, which I read from his epistle to the Galatians, in the first chapter. Mark what he says. I quote: 'Do I seek to please men? For if I please men I should not be the servant of Jesus Christ; but I certify to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man; for I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it by man, but it was the revelation of Jesus Christ. For ye have heard of my conduct in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: and profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace to reveal his Son [meaning the Lord] in me,' then he went forth and preached Christ Jesus and the kingdom of heaven. Here is the conclusive proof, then, of the great witness
Paul, that he was once a religionist, he became a Christian, and then not only did he cease to persecute Christ and his brethren, but he became a zealous advocate of the kingdom of God, and suffered persecution himself because he told the truth. Mark this, if you please: a religionist may become a Christian, but a Christian cannot be a religionist. "Christian religion," as it is called, is a misnomer. There are many religions; there is one Christianity. There is no such thing in existence as the "Christian religion", because Christianity is based wholly upon the Word of God; and that is the reason the Devil is against it. Because all religions are contrary to God's commandments such are an abomination in God's sight, as he declares.
The prophets foretold that there would arise in the earth, after the death of the apostles, a great religious organization, which would assume to speak for God and in the name of Christ Jesus, and which would become political and commercial, and that it would become "an abomination that maketh desolate" the truth. For this reason Armageddon, as the Lord declares, will destroy the same, and all who support it. You are interested in this because, I am quite sure, you are more interested in your own eternal existence than you are in the theories of any man.
I want to make this statement as plain as I can, because I realize the tension that now exists between those who are blinded by the ad-
versary and those who are on the Lord's side. It is not right nor is it necessary to hold up any man or any group of men to ridicule and contempt because of their faith or belief which is called religion, and I will not do so. Every man is entitled to believe what he desires; every man should be free to believe what he desires and freely speak his belief, and that has always been the principle recognized in America until recently. But I say this: When any man or group of men organizes and practices a system of religion in the name of God and Christ, and uses that religion to advance crooked politics and manipulate commercial schemes, then the people should be told the truth in order that they might see that such religion is used by the Devil to defame the name of Jehovah God, and is against the common interests of the people because of its turning them away from God. [Great applause]
Let the enemy take what course they like. I want that statement to be clearly understood and not whitewashed. I am not here for the purpose of assaulting men, but I am here, by God's grace, to expose a wicked religious system that exists and practices under the name of God and Christ Jesus and that is the greatest enemy on earth to the people's interests. I shall now submit the proof that there is a mighty religious organization on earth which exactly fulfills God's prophecy and which defrauds the people and leads them into the wrong way and which is an abomination in the sight of God, I
have nothing against any man because he is a Jew, nor have I anything against any man because he is a Catholic. There are millions of honest, sincere men and women on earth who are Catholics, but these are not members of the Catholic church; and for proof of that statement I cite the Catholic Hierarchy's own publication. The Hierarchy is the ruling body, and it is made up of a few men, and those that control the organization reside in Rome, Italy, and attempt to dictate to the people of the whole world. Their doctrines are even more deceptive because some apparently find foundation in the Bible, but are based really upon the traditions of men and are against the commandments of Almighty God.
The chief doctrine that the Hierarchy has put forth to the peoples of the world, and by which millions of honest and sincere people have been deceived, the doctrine that is the source of the greatest amount of revenue to the Hierarchy, is founded upon the teachings of men and handed down by tradition extending over a long period of time. Now, somebody says, "I don't believe that." I will read you something from an authority that no one of the Catholic Hierarchy on earth dares call in question. I hold in my hand a book entitled The Faith of Our Fathers. (78th Rev. Ed.) It is written by the late distinguished James Cardinal Gibbons, about whom every Catholic in America knows. On page 208 he says
concerning "purgatory", after describing it, that a man goes to "purgatory" if he is guilty of some sins, and has to wait there for an indefinite time while undergoing torture. Then he says: "His soul will be ultimately saved, but he shall suffer, for a temporary duration, in the purifying flames of Purgatory. This interpretation is not mine. It is the unanimous voice of the Fathers of Christendom." (Not of the Scriptures, however.) Continuing Cardinal Gibbons says: "Now, the same motive which you have for rejecting the opinion of an ignorant politician and embracing that of eminent jurists, on a constitutional question, impels you to cast aside the novelties of religious innovators and to follow the unanimous sentiments of the Fathers in reference to the subject of purgatory. I would wish to place before you extended extracts from the writings of the early Fathers of the Church bearing upon this subject: but I must content myself with quoting a few," and then he quotes two pages from the fathers or men, to wit, Tertullian, Eusebius, Cyril, Ephrem, Ambrose, Jerome, Chrysostom and St. Augustine. [Laughter]
Now let's take this solemnly, my good friends, because I am trying to drive home a point for the purpose of enabling honest, sincere persons who are held by a religious organization to see the truth for their benefit. Continuing Gibbons says: "That the practice of praying for the dead has descended from Apostolic times is evident also from the Liturgies of the Church.... Now,
all these Liturgies, without exception, have prayers for the dead, and their providential preservation serves as another triumphant vindication of the venerable antiquity of this Catholic doctrine." "A Liturgy is the established formulary of public worship, containing the authorized prayers of the Church."
I cite that not to hold up anybody to ridicule. I don't think that Cardinal Gibbons was altogether to blame for that. He had the reputation of being a sincere man. But going back to the time that he cites, beginning 'way back 1500 years ago, he cites the teachings of men as authority. He had come to the conclusion that words of those men were sufficient authority and that having been handed down by tradition it was not necessary to have their words supported by the Word of God.
I submit, if you please, that this doctrine of "purgatory" has done more harm to good, honest people than probably any other one doctrine, and it finds no support in the Bible. It proceeds upon the theory that a man after he is dead is still alive in "purgatory" and that prayers by men on earth can shorten the duration of his punishment, whereas the Bible expressly says: "The dead know not any thing. . . . Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest." (Ecclesiastes 9:5-10) In Psalm 115:17: 'The dead praise not the Lord, because they go down
into silence.' Every scripture upon the point shows that when a man dies he is dead and must wait in unconsciousness until the resurrection. If the doctrine of resurrection is true, the doctrine of "purgatory" is as false as the Devil himself. Why do I say that? Because there is no doctrine in God's Word so clearly and unequivocally taught as that of the resurrection of the dead. The resurrection of the dead means to awaken out of death and stand up again unto life, I submit that if one is in "purgatory" undergoing punishment he could not be resurrected, because he is already alive.
Let me distinguish between the Roman Catholic Church and the common Catholic people called "Catholic population", and who have no voice in the Catholic Church. The Hierarchy, which is the "Catholic Church" and which rules or controls, resides at Rome (Vatican City, to be more explicit). It claims to represent God and Christ on earth and indulges in the politics of every country on earth, and yet Christ Jesus said: "My kingdom is not of this world." He kept himself holy and separate from the political affairs of this world. This Hierarchy crowd have sought to control the politics and the commerce of every nation under the sun.
For instance, the Fascists of Italy, whose dictator now rules with an iron hand, are supported by the Hierarchy; the Nazis that rule in Germany by the cruel fist of one Hitler are in full accord with the Hierarchy, and it was the Hier-
archy's scheme to cause a great scare and hullabaloo about Communism in order to frighten the people and then organize the Nazis, seize the government, and destroy the last vestige of liberty in Germany. I know the German people, many of them; I have mingled with them time and again, talked with thousands of them, and there is doubtless no more sincere people on earth than the rank and file of the German people; and yet their liberties are gone, they are held in subjection, they are compelled to honor Hitler whether they want to or not, and he flashes the false statement to the world that everybody in Germany supports him.
In Austria the Hierarchy is in the saddle and rules the politics of that land. Concerning the revolution that is now in progress in Spain the public press misled the people for a while, but now everybody knows, who reads, that the Roman Catholic Hierarchy is back of and prosecuting that revolution against the Spanish government in order to again rule Spain with an iron hand, even as Germany is ruled. There are honest Catholics in Spain, I know. How do I know? Because I have talked with them. There are honest priests in Spain, and who are fearless. I talked with some of them. I had an interview with a priest in Madrid, Spain, a lovable man. No one could say anything against him because he was a Catholic, because he said to me honestly and sincerely: "I have been reared under the doctrines of my church, of course, but
I have long looked for the second coming of the Lord and the setting up of his kingdom of righteousness and it is the dearest thing to my heart."
I quote from Harry F. Ward, who is probably well known to you, and who is chairman of the American League Against War and Fascism, who went to Spain recently and interviewed many Spaniards. That League in its publication quotes the words of a distinguished Catholic priest in Spain, who broadcast his speech by radio. I read this to show you that there are honest men amongst them who do not indulge in politics. Here is what he said: '"A Christian cannot be Fascist,; for Christianity represents the liberation of the human spirit, while Fascism is the negation of liberty, the reign of violence, and this not in the service of the humble but to safeguard privilege. ... A Christian cannot accept the doctrine of race-superiority, nor the policy of exterminating Jews and Communists. ... A Catholic must obey and respect the church, but the church must not be confounded with those degenerate priests who degrade God to the position of a belligerent, nor with religious orders which heap up riches, nor with priests who shoot from belfries and carry machine guns into battle to the degradation of their holy office which bids the praying for the peace of everybody."
A question then was propounded to a government official of Spain, as follows: "Mr. McLeod, the Hearst press and the Daily Mail in Eng-
land carry daily stories about alleged attacks on churches, on priests and nuns. What has the delegation to say?" One answer was this: "The opinion of the Spanish people is that the government has been, if anything, too lenient with the church all these years, and has not properly pushed the reforms which were much needed. When, after such leniency, the church took advantage of it to attack the government, legally elected by the people, there was an explosion of public anger against churches and priests." "In these Catholic or church buildings, as government soldiers were passing they were fired upon from the tower of the church, . . . Also in Guadarrama front was a priest in robes standing on a high point and sharpshooting against the People's militia."
Now I cite this merely to show that a religious organization, that claims to represent God, is pursuing an inconsistent and God-dishonoring course, in doing those things.
The United States, which has boasted for more than a century of being the land of the free and the home of the brave, stands today on the very brink of disaster and is likely soon to become the home of the pauper, serf farmers and public workers, and the land of the slave, because liberty of speech, and liberty to worship Almighty God, is vehemently opposed by organizations that claim to represent God and Christ, but which represent the Devil. The Hierarchy, although a foreign power, a religious organiza-
tion, has invaded the official part of every department of America, influencing the judges, putting its tools in the legislative offices, appointing judges in the courts, magistrates, city officials, and others who do the bidding of the Hierarchy. To them the Hierarchy is supreme, and such public officials, at the behest of the Hierarchy, use their power to persecute men and women who honestly and sincerely go about serving God and Christ Jesus. You call to mind that the New York Sun, some time ago, published the fact, and I cite that paper as my authority, that the president of the United States had promised to recognize the Vatican in America, "as soon as the American people can be brought around to the idea," and I presume that the intention is to bring them around to it next month in the election.
I cite here two newspapers, and there are many others supporting this one point. At the present time, when the political fight is hot in America, there suddenly lands in America the Papal secretary of state, the first time in the history of America. I ask you to solemnly consider, Why does he get here just on the eve of election? Let the newspaper suggest the reason why, and I cite this too, to show that religion is in politics and is opposing Christianity. I read from the New York American, which says this: "Cardinal's Historic Visit. For the first time in history a Papal Secretary of State visited America yesterday, and at a time when political
and religious conditions inspired rumors that the event would prove historic in its consequence." I read from the Washington Star, published right under the dome of the Hierarchy's office at Washington: "The visit of the Secretary of State of the Vatican, Cardinal Pacelli, to America, is believed in well-informed quarters to be preparatory to the recognition of the Papal State by the United States Government and establishment of a diplomatic mission at the Vatican."
Let me suggest this, my good friends, and the Bible clearly supports it, that the Hierarchy may get into power in this land, but when it does America will find herself in the same condition that Germany now is in.
PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS
Probably you hadn't thought about this, but looking over the history of the men who served God from the time of Nimrod down to this present moment, each one of them has been persecuted because of being a faithful servant of Jehovah God. And who has done the persecuting? In every instance it has been religionists. Religionists persecuted and killed the prophets of Jehovah, and when Jesus came and told the people the truth they persecuted him and sought all manner of means to put him to death, and finally succeeded. He told his followers just before being crucified: 'If they have hated me
they will hate you; and because I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.' — John 15:18-21.
Paul, when he was a religionist and went under the name Saul, indulged in the most vigorous persecution of Christians. When he became a Christian, he became the greatest of all the apostles, and then he was persecuted himself in the most fiendish way by religionists. How do you explain this? Why, there is but one explanation, and that is, because of the Devil's influence. I wouldn't mention it for any other reason. I am not here to try to cause a fight between religious organizations. I am citing this merely to show that the Devil has overreached men, blinded their minds to the truth, and caused people to practice religion in order to turn them away from God, that he might carry out his threat made more than six thousand years ago.
Call to mind now the Inquisition that was so vigorously prosecuted in the various countries of Europe and America years ago. I have visited the cathedrals in Spain and other parts of Europe. There remain still today, if they have not been destroyed in this war, the places where men were put in racks, others had their joints pulled apart, and others were burned to death. Who did it? The Roman Catholic Hierarchy did it, and the encyclopedias and the histories of the world bear undisputed evidence to that fact. That Inquisition was carried on in Europe, in South America and in other parts of the earth
by religionists, that is, the clergy and those under the control of the Hierarchy.
Today in Germany, where there are many honest and sincere men and women, more than 2,000 true and faithful Christians linger behind the prison bars. Why? Because they had in their possession a Bible and an explanation of it, and for no other reason. Many of them have been sterilized because they dared speak the name of Jehovah God and Christ Jesus. Religionists. are doing this, whether they are backed by one denomination or another, and the Roman Catholic Hierarchy is in full accord with Hitler carrying on that cruel persecution.
In Austria persecution likewise is carried on by the Roman Catholic Hierarchy, and books are burned which attempt to explain the Bible. The same thing is being done in Quebec. Now we come down closer home. If you had been told, ten years ago, what I am about to relate to you now, you would have said: "Such is utterly impossible." Here, in the fair state of New Jersey, a state whose early fathers wrote and adopted its Constitution, cruel persecution is carried on in flagrant violation of that Constitution. That Constitution says that 'every man possesses the inalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of his own conscience'. That is in harmony with the Constitution of the United States, which holds the same thing in almost the same words. Here in Jersey City, and adjoining towns, a modern dictator instructs
his magistrates and his officers, who act under his direction and must obey or lose their jobs, that no Christian, no Jehovah's witness, can go from place to place and even invite you to come to a public meeting like this without being subjected to arrest.
You came to this convention from different parts of the country. You came here to worship God according to the dictates of your own conscience. The people of Newark and its officers have been very kind, but just outside of this city and within sight of this place, in the last 48 hours 120 persons, who attended this convention, who are devoted to the Lord, have been arrested, and 66 of them are in prison right now. And the modern dictator says: 'You can't preach the gospel without a permit from me or some other representative of the. Hierarchy.' I am not citing these facts with the expectation of causing any reform on his part, or the Hierarchy's part, but I am citing them to warn the people of this great state and the people of America that an underground movement is being forwarded, the purpose of which is to destroy liberty of speech and liberty of action and to throttle the people and compel them to obey the dictates of a foreign religious power. This local dictator causes ordinances to be so construed as to nullify the Constitution of the United States and to nullify the Constitution of the State of New Jersey, and, above all, to defy the Word of Jehovah God.
When the apostles were arrested and brought before courts in their day they said, 'We must obey God rather than men,' because God had sent them forth through Christ Jesus to proclaim this message; and they suffered imprisonment for the same reason that honest and sincere Christian people are doing so now. I do not believe that the honest, sincere, faithful Catholic population of this state want to support any such highhanded movement as that. I am quite certain that you, as honest Catholics and honest Jews, and honest nonbelievers, regard your eternal existence and your liberty to worship Almighty God as far superior to the opinion of any man or organization, whether that be foreign or in America. But here is the most serious part of it, and it explains the reason why the apostles, when they stood before the courts in Jerusalem, charged with preaching the gospel, were cruelly treated by religionists. There stood up one man of that distinguished court, the Supreme Court of Jerusalem. He called to the attention of his brother judges in that court the fact that they were proceeding in a wrongful manner. That instance is recorded in the fifth chapter of The Acts. To the other members of the court he said: 'If the work that these men are doing is wrong it will fall of its own weight; but if it is of God there is nothing that can prevent it, and you will find yourselves fighting against God if you oppose it.' That is exactly the situation today in New Jersey. Men
who have defied God have said in the New Jersey courts: 'Who is Jehovah God, that we have got to obey him?' Let them take notice now that they are defying Jehovah and fighting against God and they are doing it at the behest of religionists.
The Devil religion has driven the peoples of the nations into darkness and arrayed them against God; and for this reason God declares his purpose to destroy at Armageddon everything that defames his name, because his name shall be vindicated. The speech that I make today could not reform the world. My only purpose is to warn the people who hear, in order that they may take a course to safeguard their own interests, and their only course is to take their stand on the side of Christ Jesus and follow the commandments of Jehovah. Armageddon will be fought, not by men, not by labor organizations against capital, not fought by one religious organization against another, but will be fought under the leadership of Christ Jesus, the rightful ruler of the world, against the Devil and his hosts that have defamed God's name. That wicked crowd has kept the people in darkness all these years, caused them to be ruled by a selfish class of men, and finally has driven them into despair. Jehovah declares that all the wicked he will destroy; and the Scriptures so conclusively prove this that there can be no doubt.
Why should Jehovah's witnesses, who go about the country testifying to God's kingdom and nothing else, why should they be persecut-
ed? Why should they be thrown into jail? There is but one answer: Because the Devil and his agents hate the truth and the people who serve Jehovah God. Such the Devil does in his endeavor to make good his wicked challenge hurled at Jehovah centuries ago.
Now the question is, When will this battle be fought? Jehovah decreed that he would have his name declared in all the earth and then he would show the Devil His power and that He would manifest it in the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Before doing that, and after the coming of Jesus Christ, he causes his witnesses to go throughout the land and proclaim his truth. The ransom sacrifice has been paid by Christ Jesus by his death and resurrection. Jesus ascended into heaven long ago and was at that time ready to set up the Kingdom had it been God's time, but Jehovah said to him, as written in the 110th Psalm: "Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy foot-stool." The fulfillment of that time is at the end of the world, that is, the end of Satan's uninterrupted rule. Well, no wonder the disciples of Jesus pressed upon him time and time again their request for some evidence as to what they might see as evidence of the end of the world. The prophecies of the Bible, the chronology of the Bible, and the physical facts that God has brought to pass in fulfillment of the prophecies
prove conclusively that the world of Satan's uninterrupted rule ended in 1914, when the Lord Jehovah placed his great King upon the throne and sent him forth to rule. God permits Satan to go on for a time, and during that period of time and until Armageddon the opportunity is given men to prove their integrity toward God, and for other men and women to hear the truth and take their stand on the side of God and live, or remain where they are and die.
Revelation twelve tells of the ousting of Satan from heaven, and then explains why all this woe is in the earth. The World War brought great woe, but have you noticed, notwithstanding the slogan that "the war will make the world safe for democracy", that democracy has practically perished from the earth? That was another deceptive slogan by which the Devil knew he would take advantage of the people. Now all these trials and tribulations and sorrows that have come upon the world in recent years, such as floods, and disasters of various kinds, destruction of crops, hard times, and so on, the religionists tell you have come because you are not faithful to your church religious organization. The Bible tells you differently. The Bible, at Revelation 12:12, says that these woes come from the Devil; because the words of the great Prophet, Christ Jesus, are these: 'Woe to the inhabiters of the earth, and to the people; for the Devil is come down unto you, knowing that he hath but short time.' A short time for what? A short
time to prepare for the great battle of God Almighty, the battle of Armageddon, which is just ahead.
FOR HIS NAME
Why has the Lord been selecting Christians? Is it because he is trying to get them into heaven? No, that is not it. His promise is that the faithful shall find their eternal abode in heaven, but the purpose of gathering out Christians is stated in the fifteenth chapter of The Acts. God's purpose is to take out a people for his name that they might become witnesses for Jehovah. Every Christian, therefore, is a true follower of Christ Jesus, and every true Christian is a Jehovah's witness. Why do I so state it? Because it is stated in the prophecy of Isaiah (43:10-12), "Ye are my witnesses." And these witnesses are sent forth to do what? To declare Jehovah's name and kingdom. The Lord says, in Matthew 24:14: 'This good news of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness, and then the end shall come.' Therefore the proclamation of the truth, which you Christian men and women have been trying to deliver to the people of this town and surrounding towns in the last few days, has been and is strictly in obedience to God's commandments.
WAR ON JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES
Throughout the whole earth, and particularly in that part of the land called "Christendom",
there is a constant warfare against Jehovah's witnesses. Who is responsible for this warfare? The answer is found at Revelation 12:17. One of the names of Satan is 'the old Dragon'. Jehovah's organization is symbolized by a woman, and the remnant of her seed are Jehovah's witnesses. That scripture text reads: "And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to lake war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." It is Satan who is sing the religionists as his instruments to prosecute this war against Jehovah's witnesses in his endeavor to destroy everyone who is on Jehovah's side. His determination is to rule or ruin. The only thing he can do with Jehovah's witnesses is to try to destroy them. Those who are faithful to the Lord will not be destroyed.
Satan is preparing for the final conflict between all of his forces and the forces of righteousness under Christ Jesus. Concerning this it is written, in The Revelation: "And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon." — Revelation 16:13,14,16.
This Scriptural authority proves that the Devil will plunge all the world into this war with the hope that he may succeed in destroying all mankind. Knowing that it is God's time to destroy wickedness and establish righteousness, if the Devil can turn all mankind away from God, all such he knows will be destroyed.
Amongst other things his religious agents are carrying on, to accomplish his wicked purpose, is to cause the people to give to creatures and things honor to which God alone is entitled. In Germany his representatives compel the people to "Heil Hitler", meaning thereby that salvation and protection proceed from Hitler. In America the religious ceremony is to compel the saluting of the flag, and thus attributing protection and salvation to the flag; whereas all protection and salvation come from Jehovah God through Christ Jesus. In America the Roman Catholic Hierarchy saw the opportunity of deceiving honest, sincere people by instituting compulsory flag saluting. The very ones who attempt to compel others to salute the flag are not the ones who love the American institutions. It is a selfish scheme to take away the liberties of the people. The compulsory flag saluters reason that all good Americans would surely agree to salute the flag. Jehovah's witnesses do not yield to this compulsory action, because to do so would be disloyalty to Jehovah God. Every Jehovah's witness in America today willingly obeys the laws of the land for which the Amer-
ican flag stands. The saluting of the flag could not make them be more obedient to the laws. In order to be faithful to Jehovah they must obey every law that is in harmony with his law, and therefore they do obey all the laws of America that are in harmony with God's law, and such are the laws for which the flag stands as representative. When, however, a compulsory rule without law or reason is attempted to be enforced, and that rule requires the saluting of a creature or thing, a true Christian cannot do this and at the same time be faithful to God and to Christ Jesus. The reason is, because God has expressly commanded that those who are his faithful witnesses must not have any god before Him, that they must make no image of anything heaven or on earth and attribute salvation that thing or image, for the reason that all protection and blessing proceed from Jehovah himself. — Exodus 20:1-5.
I have nothing to say against the American flag, of course. Everyone who desires to salute it should be privileged to do so, but to compel one to attribute protection and salvation to what a flag represents violates the Constitution, which is the fundamental law for which the flag stands, and, above all, violates the law of God; and for that reason, and that reason alone, Jehovah's witnesses will not attribute salvation to any thing or creature. That does not mean that they will not obey the laws. They do obey the law; it is the men who attempt to force this on
others that are violating the Constitution and the laws of the land. It is the extreme religionists, in their attempt to control the people, that compel the poor kids, who know nothing about the meaning of the flag, to salute it, and if some of these, who have been taught by their parents to fear God and to serve him, refuse to salute the flag for that reason, and that alone, they are expelled from school and denied the privilege of an education which the laws of the land guarantee. There is no law in any state compelling the saluting of the flag, and yet the religionists, and such organizations as the so-called "American Legion", attempt to make and enforce their own laws which deny the rights of the people.
I am certain that honest people, be they Catholics, Jews, Gentiles or others who are law-abiding, do not favor such compulsory action on the part of the extreme and fanatical religionists. Even if all the world would attempt to compel a Christian to do that which God's Word forbids, then one who is truly devoted to the Lord would not do so. It is time that honest Catholics, Jews and all other honest Americans awaken to the seriousness of this matter and stand by the Word of God and by the principles in harmony therewith that are announced by the fundamental law of the land.
The apostle Paul, the faithful apostle of Jesus Christ, warned against the subtle influence that would be exercised over the people by the philosophy of men, which is contrary to the
Word of God. He said: "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." — Colossians 2:8.
This is a solemn warning sounded by the Lord's inspired witness and applies to this day of great crisis. The people are told to beware lest they be led into the dark by the sophistries and theories of men who do not represent God and his kingdom but who are against the same. The hour has struck when the people of the world must choose between the teachings of men, handed down by tradition, and the commandments of Jehovah God. Many will choose to follow tradition. Those who love Jehovah God and are faithful to him will obey his law and look to him for protection and salvation. Fines, jails and other means of punishment will not deter these faithful ones in showing their devotion to the Almighty God.
The taxpayers of towns in this vicinity will have to pay for the vanity of a few men, the agents of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy, who desire to stop the proclamation of the message of God's kingdom. Many attending this convention have been arrested and are now in jail and will be tried, and the taxpayers of the community will have to bear the expense, merely because the religionists wish to prevent the people from knowing the truth. God has commanded that the witness to his name and kingdom must
be given; and these witnesses will continue to give the truth to the people, regardless of what it may cost. When this witness work is done, then, declares the Lord, there shall come upon the world the greatest tribulation ever known, and that tribulation is designated "Armageddon".
What will be the result of Armageddon? That will be an act of Jehovah God, which act will destroy wickedness in all the world. The great deluge or flood that came upon the world in Noah's day was an example of Armageddon, and foretold the results. In the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew the Lord Jesus declares that as it was in Noah's day, so shall it be at the end of the world, where we now are. The deluge destroyed the wicked, and only righteous Noah and his family were saved. That foretells the result of Armageddon.
Another example foretelling the result was the battle of Gibeon, in which Joshua led the forces of righteousness. The people of Gibeon were the only ones of the heathen nations that refused to join in opposition to Jehovah's servants but joined themselves to Joshua, the servant of God, and asked for protection. The enemy attacked the town of Gibeon, and they called upon Joshua for help. Joshua is the figure or type of Christ Jesus, and the Gibeonites represent the people of good will on earth who look to the Lord for help. When Joshua reached the
city of Gibeon the fight had already begun. With his army he attacked the enemy, and the enemy fled. As the enemy forces were fleeing along the valley Jehovah God opened the heavens and threw down great chunks of ice, by which many more were slain than fell by the sword. Thus Jehovah foretold that at the battle of Armageddon the forces of heaven will destroy all the wicked in the earth. — Joshua 9, 10.
Again I call your attention to the twenty-fifth chapter of Jeremiah's prophecy, which is a description of what shall come upon the world at Armageddon. The words which I read are not the words of man, but the Lord's Word, and therein it is written: "Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground." (Jeremiah 25:32,33) So great will be the slaughter by the invisible forces of Jehovah God that there will not be enough people left on earth to bury those who are dead. That will be a tribulation such as the world has never known.
The prophet Habakkuk describes the battle of Armageddon, showing that the sun and the moon shall fail to give their light, that darkness will envelop the whole earth, and the only light to the world will be the flashing missiles of fire and
destruction flying through the air. Furthermore, the description discloses that the wild beasts of the forest and the zoos will be turned loose upon the people who have ill-treated the beasts for many centuries, and all these shall take part in the destruction of humankind. Floods and storms, hurricanes and fire, dashing to pieces and destroying cities, towns and nations, and the inhabitants thereof. These things I cite, not for the purpose of exciting anyone, nor to induce you to join something, but they are cited as a solemn warning of why God will bring this great calamity upon the world and what will be the result.
Religionists have for many years persecuted the faithful representatives of God. The religious leaders in the various denominations call themselves 'the shepherds of the flock'. They speak of the population or congregations as their own flocks. Those shepherds shall have very great woes in this time of tribulation; as it is written by God's prophet: "Howl, ye shepherds, and cry; and wallow yourselves in the ashes, ye principal of the flock; for the days of your slaughter and of your dispersions are accomplished; and ye shall fall like a pleasant vessel. And the shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the principal of the flock to escape. A voice of the cry of the shepherds, and an howling of the principal of the flock, shall be heard; for the Lord hath spoiled their pasture." — Jeremiah 25:34-36.
The Roman Catholic Hierarchy, with ambition to control the whole world, raises the hue and cry that everyone that is not for the Hierarchy is a Communist. Such is for the very purpose of frightening the people against Communism and thereby driving them into the Catholic organization. The Hierarchy has no interest in the salvation of humankind. Its interest is to rule the world. The Roman Catholic Hierarchy's newspapers declare that I am a Communist and that all of Jehovah's witnesses are Communists, whereas in truth and in fact there is not a Jehovah's witness in the earth who is a Communist. The real conflict is between those who are on Jehovah's side and those who represent the Devil. What, then, shall the people do under these conditions? Shall they rise up in war or revolution? Shall they resort to carnal weapons? In the language of the Scriptures I answer, No. The part to be performed by Jehovah's witnesses on earth is not to indulge in revolutions, wars or any other means of destruction. To them Jehovah says: 'This is not your fight, but mine.' (2 Chronicles 20:15) The battle is the Lord's. Those who are witnesses for the Lord must sing his praises as a testimony to his name and wait upon the Lord and mark the exhibition of his power for their salvation and deliverance. To all who love him Jehovah 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: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy," — Zephaniah 3: 8.
These striking examples set forth in God's Word are for the purpose of warning the people as to what they may expect in the very near future; and, as it is said in England, "you have been warned." Therefore those who have received the warning must choose which side they will take. Whom will you serve, Jehovah or the religionists, who represent Satan the Devil?
Is there any way to escape this terrible tribulation that is coming upon the earth? There is just one way. The purpose of calling your attention to this today is that you may see that one and only way. Those who are on Jehovah's side, which means the remnant and the Jonadabs, are hated by the nations because of their faithfulness to God and devotion to him. Jehovah God, by his prophet Zephaniah, therefore says to them: "Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, 0 nation not desired; before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you, before the day of the Lord's anger come upon you. Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness; it may be ye shall
be hid in the day of the Lord's anger." — Zephaniah 2:1-3.
Here Jehovah marks out the only way of escape, and that is by seeking righteousness and meekness. Righteousness means to learn from God's Word what is right and obey that. Meekness means to be teachable; therefore a willingness to learn what the Lord says to man. If you desire and expect to escape the terrors and the destruction of Armageddon, you must obey the Lord and seek righteousness and meekness. The promise is to such, and such only, that they may be protected in that time.
Some will ask, When shall I take the steps to seek the way of escape? The answer is in the Scriptures: At the present time, right now. Referring to this same time, the Lord Jesus gave this warning to those who desire to be on the Lord's side, to wit: 'When ye, therefore, shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place [where it ought not to stand], then flee to the mountains.' (Matthew 24:15) The "mountains" here mentioned are Jehovah God's kingdom under Christ Jesus. It is therefore to God and Christ one must flee in order to find the only place of safety. The 'abomination that maketh desolate' is the religious organization, which includes all the nations of "Christendom" (Matthew 24:15,16); which religionists, politicians and commercialists, claiming that they have the right to rule the world, stand where they ought
not to stand. (Mark 13:14) It is these religionists who claim the exclusive right to interpret prophecy, and to teach the people what they should hear. It is that class that collects the money from the honest Catholics and honest Protestants, to carry on their purposes. That great religious system has reached out now and grabbed many of the countries in Europe and is seeking to control all the countries of the world. It is this great religious system, which includes the combination, or League of Nations, that stands up and claims the right to rule the world in the place or stead of God's kingdom under Christ. The Lord Jesus then says to the people: 'When you see this, then you must flee to God's kingdom and take your stand on the side of Jehovah God and Christ Jesus, if you will escape the terrors of Armageddon.' —Matthew 24:15-21.
All true Christians must now be obedient to Jehovah God and, as his witnesses, must sound the warning. Jehovah commands, as set forth in the thirty-third chapter of Ezekiel's prophecy, that his witnesses must sound the warning in order that the people may hear that Jehovah is God, that Satan is the worst of all enemies, that the kingdom of God is the only hope for mankind, and that God purposes to destroy all that are in opposition to his kingdom. The great crucial hour has come, and the question now is, Who will stand on the Lord's side and who will
be on the Devil's side? Only those who take their stand on Jehovah God's side, and remain faithful and true to him, will find salvation.
The religionists have grabbed many of the countries of Europe and ruled them with an iron hand, contrary to God's commandments. If America falls under the same rule, not only will the truth be suppressed, but freedom of speech, freedom of conscience and freedom of worship will be done and the people will be ruled by the harsh hand of a dictator. To be ruled by a dictator is bad enough, but to be denied the right to worship Almighty God is far worse. Those who do attempt to keep the people in the dark, such as the religionists are now doing, and those who thus fight against God are wicked; and Jehovah declares, in the 145th Psalm, and twentieth verse, 'All the wicked God will destroy"; and this destruction will take place at the battle of the great day of God Almighty, called "Armageddon".
The judgment of the nations is now in progress; all nations are before Christ Jesus, the Great Judge. The people must elect to take their stand either for or against God's kingdom. The peoples of all nations are divided into three classes: (1) God's anointed witnesses, who are counted a part of Christ Jesus himself, because they are his faithful followers; (2) the "other sheep" of the Lord Jesus Christ, who are people of good will toward God and Christ; and (3) all who oppose Jehovah and his kingdom, and
whom the Lord designates as "goats". Upon this latter class, the "goats", who fight against God and against his witnesses, the Lord Jesus pronounces this judgment: 'Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels. These shall go away into everlasting destruction.' — Matthew 25:41-46.
This warning is not for the purpose of frightening, but is given strictly because Jehovah God has commanded it to be given; and anyone who is devoted to the Lord, and who then should fail to obey this commandment, will suffer destruction. Such is the declaration of Jehovah, as set forth in the prophecies of Ezekiel, and also Deuteronomy 18:19 and Acts 3: 23. The Christian has enlisted under the banner of Jehovah, and there, by the grace of God, he must abide faithfully until the end. He must continue to bear witness to Jehovah's kingdom and to his name, and must declare the day of God's vengeance. He must do this, because Jehovah expressly commands it, as recorded in Isaiah 61:1,2. The Christian, as a witness for Jehovah, must sound a warning to the people, and the Jonadabs, or people of good will, must likewise take their stand on God's side and join in the proclamation of this message of truth. In this hour of sounding the warning, each one must choose; and therefore to each one it is properly said: "Choose you this day whom ye will serve." — Joshua 24:15.
Many persons will put their trust in men or
rulers on earth; and all who do will fail. The Lord expressly says, in Psalm 146:3: Tut not your trust in man, in whom there is no help.' What, then, shall we do? The Scriptures answer: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." — Proverbs 3:5, 6.
All persons who will live must be loyal and faithful to God and Christ Jesus. There is no other way to obtain life; concerning which Jesus says: "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." — John 17: 3.
There is but one hope for the human race, and a knowledge of the Scriptures upon which this hope is based is good news today to all. When the babe Jesus was born the angelic hosts sang: 'Behold, we bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people. . . . On earth, peace to all of good will toward God.' Now the Savior and King of the world has come , and his kingdom is begun, and to the people Jehovah says: 'Behold my servant, mine elect, whom I have chosen; in his name shall the nations hope.' (Matthew 12:18-21) There is no other hope.
Again referring to this great and mighty King Jehovah says: 'The government shall be upon his shoulder; his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace, and of his
government and peace there shall be no end.' — Isaiah 9:6,7.
The great question at issue before all creatures of the universe now is that of supremacy, Who shall rule the world? That question Jehovah God will for ever settle, and settle it right, at Armageddon. God's purpose will be fulfilled, and the world shall be ruled by Christ Jesus, the Righteous One, according to the will of Jehovah. Then all wickedness, including the Devil and all of his organization, having been destroyed, every creature that lives shall be praising Jehovah God.
Never has there been before the peoples of earth an issue so vital as this. Therefore God has commanded that this issue shall be plainly proclaimed and his name made known to the peoples of earth, and the opportunity is given to intelligent creatures to select their own course and thus have to do with their own destiny.
I now propose a Declaration and Warning before this assembly, which I ask you to carefully consider, and then express your opinion concerning the same.
DECLARATION AND WARNING
THIS COMPANY OF CHRISTIAN PEOPLE, assembled in convention at Newark, New Jersey, give thanks to Almighty God, whose name alone is Jehovah, for the privilege of serving him and his kingdom. We declare as follows:
BECAUSE we have devoted ourselves to the service of
Jehovah God and his kingdom under Christ, we, by his favor and appointment, are witnesses for Jehovah. — Isaiah 43:10-12; 61:1, 2.
The law of Jehovah God is supreme, and should be obeyed by all persons, and must be obeyed by those persons who have covenanted to do his will. When the law of man is in conflict with God's law we must and will obey God's law rather than man's law. In obedience to God's law, as set forth in Ezekiel 33 and other prophecies of the Scriptures, we sound his warning that God will destroy all who willfully violate his law and who oppose his kingdom.
The kingdom of God under Christ is at hand, and as Christians and servants of Jehovah we declare our unqualified allegiance to him and his kingdom. The time for the execution of Jehovah's judgments draws nigh.
Satan is man's worst enemy, and by means of fraud and deceit Satan is attempting to turn all the people against God and thereby bring about their destruction. Satan employs religion to deceive persons who are sincere. Religion is a form of worship based upon the traditions of men. Christianity is the true worship of Almighty God by serving him in obedience to his commandments. There are many religions. There is but one Christianity. A knowledge of the teachings of the Bible is therefore of vital importance to all who will gain everlasting life.
In fulfillment of Jehovah's prophecy there has arisen in the earth a powerful religious organization which is wrongfully called a "Christian" organization. That organization is not only religious, but also political and commercial, and is Satan's chief visible instrument employed and used to rule the world and to keep the people in ignorance and in subjection to selfish men. That religious organization designates itself as the "Hierarchy
of the Catholic Church" and names the millions of sincere persons who are supporters of that organization as the "Catholic population", but which persons are not members of the Catholic Church. The Hierarchy is composed of a few men, the controlling number of whom are citizens of Italy, but who rule the masses of sincere persons called the "Catholic population" who reside in every part of the earth. The "Hierarchy" is against God and his kingdom under Christ, and at the same time claims the right to rule the world in the name of Christ, thereby deceiving multitudes of good persons who are sincere supporters of the Catholic Church. Those who compose the Catholic Church are the men of the Hierarchy, and other priests, some of which priests are unduly favored, while many other priests are mere menial servants of the Hierarchy and compelled to do the bidding of the Hierarchy.
The Scriptures declare that all persons who by any means oppose Jehovah God and Christ Jesus are wicked and that in due time 'all the wicked God will destroy'. — Psalm 145:20.
We call all the sincere people of the earth, including Catholics, Protestants, Jews and Gentiles, to witness that in Germany the true worshipers of Almighty God are cruelly and fiendishly persecuted, and many of them killed, and that such persecution is done by religionists who have forgotten God and who follow the teachings of men. It is well known and generally conceded that the Hitler government and the Hierarchy, that rules the Catholic population, are in full accord. Furthermore we call all good persons to witness that within New Jersey religionists, led by the Roman Catholic Hierarchy, have indulged in and continue to indulge in the cruel persecution and punishment of true Christians, merely because such Christians declare the truth of God's Word
and carry God's message to the people in obedience to Jehovah's commandments.
We vigorously protest against the cruel persecution of Jehovah's witnesses by religionists, and we denounce as cruelly wicked the persecution of all persons because of their faith or belief. Regardless of all persecution we will continue to serve Jehovah God, relying upon his promise that in due time he will duly recompense the wicked by completely destroying them. Jesus Christ, as Jehovah's chief officer, says to those who persecute his followers: 'Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. . . . Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his messengers. These shall go into everlasting destruction.' — Matthew 25.
The indisputable facts show that the world's greatest tribulation is at the door and that there is only one way of escape. In obedience to Jehovah's commandment we warn all persons, without regard to religion, race or color, that their only hope is in the kingdom of God under Christ. All who would live must take their stand firmly on the side of Jehovah God and his King, Christ Jesus, and give heed to the words of Jehovah, to wit: 'Behold my servant [Christ Jesus]; he shall judge the nations, and in his name shall the nations hope.' (Matthew 12:18-21) Therefore the people are warned that they must no longer rely upon and give support to religionists, but that they must rely upon Jehovah God's commandments and must find protection and salvation only by and through the kingdom of God under Christ.
We have no desire to influence the political affairs of this world, but in obedience to God's commandment we must sound his warning, that the people may be informed and may intelligently choose whom they will serve.
We send loving greetings to our persecuted breth-
ren and bid them be of good courage and to remember the words of our Lord: "Shall not God avenge his own elect? ... He will avenge them speedily" (Luke 18: 7, 8); and, further, to give heed to the words of the Lord Jesus addressed to his faithful servants: "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee the crown of life." Blessed is the lot of those who are permitted to endure all manner of suffering for the sake of the name of Jehovah and his kingdom under Christ. (Matthew 5:10-12) The everlasting peace, joy and life of the people is centered in the great Prince of Peace, whose government is at the door and which will be administered in full righteousness and to the good of all obedient ones. — Isaiah 9:6, 7; 32:1.
RESOLVED, That a copy of this Declaration and Warning be published throughout the earth.
[Dated October 18, 1936]
If you believe in God and his Word, instead of the traditions of men; if you love righteousness, and hate iniquity, and you are for God and Christ Jesus, then you will support this Declaration. I ask you, therefore, that every one who is of that mind support it by rising and saying, Aye.
[This Declaration and Warning was unanimously adopted by a rising vote and shout of "Aye" and amidst great enthusiasm.]
THIS question is sometimes asked: Those who hear the kingdom message now, and who fail to obey it, will they die at Armageddon and remain dead for ever, or will they
have an awakening out of death? Will all who die at Armageddon remain dead for ever?
A dogmatic answer to that question would be improper. The creature can know for a certainty only those things which God clearly reveals. A conclusion may be properly reached by harmonious and sound reasoning upon the Scriptures that are made plain. Some have read into the publications of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society conclusions that are not warranted, one of which is the following: "All who die at Armageddon will perish and never be awakened out of death." Such a conclusion is erroneous, and has resulted from taking an isolated statement out of its setting and ignoring other statements made bearing upon the point. The following statement appears in one of the Society's publications: "Those creatures on earth who hear the truth must choose whom they will serve." This statement is limited to those who HEAR. To "hear" means to receive knowledge, to perceive and understand. To refuse to hear means to disobey. Said Jesus: "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." — John 3:36.
The word "believeth", as used in this text, means to have faith, which comes only by first receiving knowledge. The apostle makes this point very plain. (Romans 10:13-15) Jehovah has taken out of the world a people for his name
and upon such persons has laid the obligation to proclaim God's message, to the end that others might receive knowledge thereof. Those who do receive the information, who have faith in God and in Christ, and who then obey the commandments of the Lord, are the ones who receive the benefits of God's promise of life. To hear, therefore, includes and means the receiving information and knowledge and having faith in God and in Christ, based upon that knowledge. If, after having progressed to that point, the creature then fails or refuses to obey, and dies, there would be no reason why such person should be raised out of death, because he has deliberately sinned against light.
The message of the kingdom is proclaimed within the hearing of many of them that do not hear. Such are under condemnation by reason of inherited disability. The wrath of God abides upon them for the reason there is no way to get out from under that inherited disability except by and through faith in the shed blood of Christ Jesus. Not having heard, therefore, they have no faith. The text clearly means that if they never hear and never have faith, they would continue to abide for ever under the condemnation, and not live.
Those who pass through Armageddon by reason of being hidden by Jehovah, as he has promised, are the ones who receive 'the mark in their foreheads'. (Ezekiel 9:4-6) That must mean that such creatures receive information con-
cerning God's purpose. They have faith in God and in Christ Jesus, and take a course in harmony therewith. They have an intelligent knowledge of the truth, they consecrate themselves to do the will of God, obey him, and remain faithful. Let it be concluded, for the sake of the argument, that all others die at Armageddon, and yet that does not necessarily mean that they will perish and never be awakened out of death.
The purpose of Jehovah must be kept in mind, otherwise one cannot reason clearly upon any part of God's Word. It clearly appears from the Scriptures that in addition to the kingdom class, the royal house, Jehovah's purpose is to have a multitude, without specific number, who hear the message of the kingdom, obey God's commandments, serve and praise him, and Christ Jesus, at and prior to Armageddon, and that such multitude Jesus feeds and leads unto the fountain of living waters. (Revelation 7:9-17) Such are the ones that will pass through the terrors of Armageddon. Before one can enter this great multitude class he must receive some information, must be of good will toward God and his kingdom under Christ; must take his stand on the side of God and Christ, and connect himself with God's organization; he must flee to the city of refuge (Numbers 35:6-34), which is God's organization under Christ Je-
sus; he must thereafter hear and obey the commandments of God and remain faithful. The promise of Jehovah to such is: "Before the day of the Lord's anger. . . . All ye ... of the earth [that is, the earthly class or great multitude], . . . seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger." (Zephaniah 2:1-3) That promise is to those who are fully obedient to God's commandments. Such constitute the "other sheep", which Jesus Christ takes unto himself and gathers into the fold. — John 10:16.
The "goat" class does not embrace every person on the earth who is not of the "other sheep" class, but "the goats" manifestly refers to those who ill-treat the persons who are devoted ,to God and his kingdom, and thus fight against God. Since such persons profess to serve God they should know and should do better. There are millions of other persons on earth who are neutral so far as the "little flock" or royal house is concerned. It clearly appears that the "goat" class consists of those who have received some knowledge of God and Christ Jesus, and who claim to be servants of God and are the ones whom the Lord reproves when he says: "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." — Matthew 7:22, 23.
They have posed as the servants of the Lord and held themselves out as such, and at the same time have persecuted the Lord by persecuting those who faithfully serve him. Jesus declares that such persons shall perish; which means that they would not have a resurrection. "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal." — Matthew 25:46.
But how about the other millions now on the earth who have not, by reason of their action, placed themselves in the "goat" class? There is no promise to them that they will be hidden during Armageddon, and no reason to believe that they will be hidden. It follows, then, that they will go down in the great battle of Armageddon. For us to say, however, that such persons will perish and never be awakened out of death would be saying more than the Scriptures say.
To be of the 'hidden' class, that is to say, those that will pass through Armageddon, will be a very great privilege from Jehovah. Such persons begin to praise God When they take their stand on God's side, and continue to praise him and Christ forever. They continue to live, and do not die, because of their faith in God and in Christ Jesus and because Christ Jesus leads them unto the fountain of life. Such are the ones who have the promise that they will survive, that is to say, live through and beyond Armageddon. With them regeneration begins when
they fully take their stand on the side of the Lord. They pass through Armageddon and their regeneration continues to perfection. They have God's approval. The only favor greater than that is to be made a member of the royal house or to be one of the 'princes on the earth'. — Psalm 45:16.
In the type one who fled to the city of refuge and then got out of bounds was properly slain by the avenger. (Numbers 35: 26-28) That prophetic picture shows that those who flee to and find refuge in God's organization, and who then get out of bounds by failing or refusing to be obedient, will suffer death. It would seem that there is no reason why they should be awakened out of death.
Many of the nations of the earth call themselves Christian nations because within the borders thereof there are many who claim to be servants of God. Such persons, and particularly the leaders in the religious organizations, have some knowledge of God, because they have the Bible and claim to believe it, and claim to teach it, but God classes them as wicked because they are lawless. Having received some knowledge of the truth, they pursue a course directly opposite thereto, and for that reason they are wicked. They claim to be of God's organization, that is, to be of "Israel". God commands his witnesses to 'give warning to the wicked'. He says.
to his servants: "Therefore, . . . speak unto the house of Israel," that is, to those who claim to be of God's people. "When I say unto the wicked [lawless (Rotherham translation)'], . . . thou shalt . . . die," then the responsibility is upon the one who has received the warning. When such have been warned and then continue in their course of lawlessness or wickedness, God says to them 'they shall die in their iniquity', that is, in their lawlessness. Thus dying it would not seem reasonable that such would have a resurrection. (Ezekiel 33:6-12) Clearly those referred to by the prophet in the foregoing texts are those who profess to be of Israel, that is to say, of God's people. — See Vindication, Book Two, page 206.
There are millions who make no profession or claim to being Christian and who have not "heard" the message of the kingdom. Although that message of the kingdom is proclaimed in the hearing of such, many do not hear; but some of them hear and become part of the great multitude. Many of these have never pretended to be Christians. Since the promise of being hid during Armageddon is only to those who obey, it reasonably follows then that no others will be hidden. Probably all the others are going down in death in the great conflict, because the purpose of the Devil is to destroy all the human race and he attempts to do it. Will all such
persons, including those who have not heard, perish and never have a resurrection? No one has any reason to reach such a conclusion. God has the power to raise them out of death. Will he do so?
Jesus says all in their graves shall come forth, some to life and some for judgment. (John 5:28) The purpose of such awakening out of death is to furnish them an opportunity to obey and live. Furthermore it is written: "There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust." (Acts 24:15) "He hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead." (Acts 17: 31) Furthermore it is written: 'The Lord Jesus Christ . . . shall judge the living and the dead at his appearing and kingdom.' (2 Timothy 4:1) Of necessity this text must include all persons now on the earth, and who die at Armageddon, aside from those who are of the "goat" class, that is, the wicked ones. To say that all persons now on the earth who die at Armageddon will perish and never be resurrected is entirely unscriptural. Nothing that has appeared in the publications of the Watch Tower Society will warrant the conclusion that all such perish. Some self-wise attempt to read into the
Scriptures and into the publications that which is not warranted.
It is the bounden duty of all who now have the truth to tell others who will hear that God's Word discloses his purpose through Christ Jesus. The responsibility now resting upon those who are enlightened is to be witnesses to the name and kingdom of Jehovah to the end that those who desire may hear and have the opportunity of finding the way to life. The specific commandment to Jehovah's witnesses at this present time is: "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." (Matthew 24:14) This gospel must be proclaimed to all, as we have opportunity, as a witness to them. Those who are of good will toward God will hear and take their stand on the side of the Lord, whether they be of "Christendom" or outside thereof. The warning must be given to those of "Christendom", who claim to be on the side of the Lord but are not and who are pursuing a lawless or iniquitous course and who are described in the Scriptures as wicked. Those who heed the warning and change their course of action, and follow God's righteous way, have the promise that they may be hid and live. Those who do not shall not live, as Jehovah declares.
Let everyone who loves God and his kingdom be diligent now to obey the commandments of the Lord. Those who do will be continuously pro-
claiming the message of God's kingdom, and will not be unduly concerned as to just who will or who will not survive Armageddon. For any of Jehovah's witnesses to go to a person and dogmatically say to such, "You are of the Devil and will die at Armageddon and remain dead," would be entirely out of order and improper, because the Lord will do the judging. The duty of those who love God he clearly defines when he says: "Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people." (Isaiah 62:10) The Lord will see to the result in his own good way.
The conclusion seems to be irresistible, therefore, that those who have the promise of being hidden and carried through Armageddon are the ones who faithfully obey God's commandments after taking their stand on the side of the Lord; that those who "will be destroyed and remain dead are of the "goat" class; that there are millions of others now on earth who will go down into death during Armageddon and who will be awakened out of death. Have in mind always that life is the gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord and is given to those who hear, who love and who obey and serve God.