A COMMANDER you can love and trust, and to obey whom leads to life, freedom, and righteousness, this is the One around whom all peoples could rally and work for the common good of all, regardless of race, color, and previous nationality and religious belief. Such Commander has now come upon the scene, and is due to play the decisive part for the people's coming into a peaceful New World, even if you will not find him in any of the international political and religious councils and conferences.
To acquaint you with this long-desired and long-needed Commander, and to explain how you may come under and work under his command, with enduring benefit to yourself, is the purpose of this booklet.
— THE PUBLISHERS
AND PUBLISHED BY
WATCHTOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY, INC.
International Bible Students Association
Brooklyn, N. Y., U.S.A.
Made in the United States of America
MEN of good-will everywhere hunger and thirst for the bringing of order and righteousness to all the earth. Never has the general community of nations been so disturbed or been in such danger as since A. D. 1914. International lawbreaking has been carried on by nations on a total-mobilization scale. It has been encouraged by the connivance and open blessing of the mighty organization of religion; and the collaboration of the leaders of religion with such lawbreaking political powers is too well known to be disputed or denied. According to human procedures up till now it has been difficult to catch the international criminal and to penalize him as he deserves. Efforts to re-educate and reform him have failed. After recovering from the injuries resulting from one assault upon the society of nations, he prepares with vengeance for new offenses against law and order, and with a more crafty plan of action. The hatreds, the suspicions, the spirit of revenge, the feelings of revolt, the contempt for recognized law, and the rank disregard for contracts and treaties, that are stirred up by such criminal operations serve to divide the peoples today. Fears are raised that there will be a breakdown of international
to the Peoples"
law, and that civilization will be wrecked by violent anarchy between nations.
Other things of modern development, such as air travel and radio, are operating to draw all peoples together into one big global neighborhood. But these things are taken advantage of by the international lawbreaker, and this works more than ever to the hurt of all peoples, if the violator of international law is let go unchecked. Seeing that all nations and peoples are being drawn together by modern developments, many thoughtful persons are convinced that someone must be put in supreme command of all the globe, if international chaos is to be prevented in the long run.
But what man or group of men could be lifted up to such a place of power and authority and be fully trusted, seeing that all men are imperfect and selfish? In the hands of ambitious ones such a granting of power and authority could be misused to so oppress all humankind as to make them groan as never before. Faced with such a dilemma, certain leaders in human society have decided that something must be done about it at once; and they choose the sharp-pointed, dangerous horn of an over-all command of the globe. They get together to plan against the dreaded international chaos. They go over matters together as friendlily as they can; but smaller nations on the outside are afraid an international dictatorship is being arranged, or will be the outcome anyway.
The Dumbarton Oaks Conference between the four leading powers of the United Nations, at Washington, D. C., from August 21 to October 7, 1944, was just such an early effort to draw up
man-made plans for keeping the global peace, order and security. It soon came under criticism by leading religionists of the organization that colabored with the Nazi-Fascist disturbers of the earth. Other persons, out of wishful thinking, kindly said it was a start in the right direction, and that we could not expect perfection at once. Others said the Dumbarton Oaks Documents on international organization would do better to give recognition to the famous "Atlantic Charter". Many others piously said that the world organization must not only take knowledge of international law but also give chief respect to the "moral law". One and all, whether religionists, politicians, business employers, or labor leaders, they all left out of their expressions of judgment the only perfect standard of judging, and that is, the sacred Word of Almighty God. They all looked to man to plan and produce the organization for regulating the affairs of all peoples. So doing, they turned their backs upon the only One who can provide the reliable Commander, a perfect Commander, for all the peoples. More than that, they passed over God's own declared purpose to produce such a needed Commander, saying: "Behold, I have given him for a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander to the peoples." — Quoted from Isaiah 55: 4, American Standard Version.
WHO IS HE?
It is clear that now a crisis confronts this world. Who will prevail and guide the destiny of the peoples, the man-made international organization for peace and security? or the
Commander whom Jehovah God has given for the peoples? To those who believe the written Word of the Most High God there is no doubt as to who will prevail, God's Given One. Hence the question that each individual must determine for himself is, Whom will I choose and obey? Each one's eternal destiny is linked up with his solution of this personal question. It therefore becomes of moment to find out who the One is that God has appointed to be the peoples' Commander, and what this One commands to be done, and what will be the reward of obedience thereto. Then it will become plain why there is no compromise between that One and the international peace organization, and why we can neither be neutral nor hold to a middle course, but must choose either one or the other.
It is necessary to clarify these points, because at the close of World War I the united religionists of the land, through their Federal Council in America, came out with the declaration: "The League of Nations is the political expression of the Kingdom of God on earth." If that was true, then the League was that which Jehovah God gave and put in command of the peoples. The like claim may be made for the new system of international collaboration behind which all the religionists are outspokenly throwing their weight of support, as witness the speech of "Christendom's" leading voice, the pope, broadcast to the world on so-called "Christmas Eve" of 1944. Judged by their conduct in times past, it is a sure thing that, once the much-desired international arrangement meets their religious specifications, they will
claim it is God's will and that it is His gift to the world for commanding the peoples. Then, to the peoples' minds, they will strive to compromise this international structure and the real Commander of God's appointment. But can they actually compromise and harmonize the two? We now examine the reason why not.
If we choose Jehovah's real Commander to the peoples, it means good things: food, satisfaction, and life to the soul. The opposite choice means soul-death. This is certain from God's prophecy which foretells the Commander, directing our attention to him in these words: "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me; hear, and your soul shall live: and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Behold, I have given him for a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander to the peoples. Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not; and a nation that knew not thee shall run unto thee, because of Jehovah thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee." — Isaiah 55:1-5, A.S.V.
At the time that prophecy was spoken by Isaiah, David the former faithful king of Israel was long dead. It could not be David whom Jehovah gave for a witness, leader and commander. It must be someone to come and of
whom David was a type or prefigurement. It must, then, be the One whom history announces as outstandingly the Son of David, namely, Christ Jesus the King. Concerning the time that he rode the ass into the city of Jerusalem amid the jubilation of the people it is written: "The multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest." "Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest." (Matthew 21: 9; Mark 11: 9,10) It matters not that a few days after that joyous event Christ Jesus died upon the tree at Calvary. That did not kill his chance of becoming the peoples' Commander, because on the third day therefrom Jehovah God raised him up from the dead to life immortal in the heavens.
In proof that Christ Jesus in such glorified capacity is the One appointed to the command, we have the word of inspiration. Speaking to those who every sabbath day read the Holy Scriptures in the synagogue, the Christian apostle Paul quoted the afore-given prophecy of Isaiah and applied it to Jesus Christ, saying: "And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise [at Isaiah 55:3], I will give you the sure mercies of David." (Acts
13: 32-34) That is to say, the divine mercies are sure to those who take the Son of David, Christ Jesus, as their Commander, because Christ Jesus was raised to life incorruptible. Hence he ever lives to guarantee those promised mercies to them that hear his witness, follow his leadership, and obey his commands. For this reason he is also called by the Scriptures "the captain of their salvation" and "the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him". —Hebrews 2:10; 5:9.
But why did it become necessary in the purpose of Jehovah God to appoint his beloved Son Christ Jesus to be the Commander? The study of the answer to this question brings to the fore the great issue before all creation. The issue pertains to the power and right to command all the universe. In other words, the issue is concerning universal domination or sovereignty. The first one to issue a command concerning our earth was the Creator, Jehovah God. "And God said, Let there be light." He was obeyed; and there was light. The first one to give command both concerning man and also to man was this same Creator. "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." Then Adam, the first human, was created. "And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest
freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." — Genesis 1:3,26; 2:16,17, A.S.V.
Shortly thereafter the issue of Jehovah's universal domination arose in the form of this question: Can not Jehovah God command his own creation and make his intelligent creatures obey? If his ability to do so was challenged, then his ability, including his power and right, to do so must be vindicated, justified, proved to be righteous. Furthermore, the obedience of his intelligent creatures to Jehovah God must be willing and must be due to love and worship, and not due to terrorizing and coercion. If the obedience were simply outward and from an unwilling heart not devoted to God, then the good order, peace and unity of his living creation would be continually menaced and in danger. His "peace on earth" was not to be one that is maintained by continually keeping persons or nations with criminal tendencies in check under threat of penalties and action by a police power. Such is the kind of peace planned by men for the period following the global war. But God's kind must be a peace of "men of good will", men who shun evil and whose hearts are devoted to righteousness according to the standards of their Creator God.
The test of Jehovah's universal domination then came, not by His forcing the issue, but because of the selfish ambition of a challenger. This one was the beautiful spirit creature, named "Morning Star" or "Lucifer", and whom Jehovah anointed to be the covering cherub over man in the garden of Eden. Lucifer's duty was
to uphold God's throne and to enforce his commands, with benefit to mankind if obedient, but with the execution of the sentence of death upon man if disobedient. There was no terrorizing of man in the Paradise of Eden, but everything invited man to obedience. The first man and woman, being God's handiwork, were perfect ("His work is perfect"); and hence no tendencies to wrongdoing were implanted in their nature or hearts or minds. (Deuteronomy 32:4) God's command to man and woman merely forewarned them of the punishment for disobeying him by eating of the prohibited fruit tree. But there was no terrorizing them into a forced obedience by making God's law read that, if they disobeyed, they would be punished after death with everlasting conscious torture in the broiling flames of a hell of literal fire and brimstone in the bowels of the earth. Mankind was plainly told the law, that the disobedient would have their lives taken from them and that they would cease to be, because they were not immortal. On the other hand, the obedient would have their lives sustained in the Paradise on earth forever, in order that they might enjoy everlasting life therein as the faithful children of God.
However, Lucifer, the anointed covering-cherub, contradicted that law, not because it was not good and true, but in order to set himself up as another commander to humankind. Using the serpent as his means of communication, he told the woman that God was trying to hold men in subjection to Him under threats and by keeping them in ignorance and weakness. Then Lucifer held out to them the false hope
of immortality and of deification, by saying: "Ye shall not surely die [if disobedient]: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." (Genesis 3: 4, 5) By such an approach, Lucifer had now transformed himself into an angel of darkness, Satan the Devil, but he tried to appear as an "angel of light". This was to lure human creatures to join him in disobedience to the commands of God. (2 Corinthians 11:14,15) And from that day to this Satan's agents, whether men or organizations, present" themselves in a halo of glory and attractiveness, to induce men to follow them contrary to the commands of the Supreme Commander, Jehovah God. As Satan the Devil, the former Lucifer, was a spirit creature of cherubic power and hence superhuman, then for mankind to follow him would mean making him their invisible commander. It would mean, also, taking the consequences of such change of command; and they would have to taste of the difference between obedience to the Universal Sovereign, Jehovah. God, and obedience to his opposer, Satan the Devil.
By capturing the sources of the human race, Adam and Eve, Satan the Devil saw the opportunity to make himself finally the commander to all the peoples of the earth that should descend from them. After first bringing the fair Eve over to his side, Satan drew also the man Adam over to his side by the pull of selfishness now stirred up in man's bosom. By doing this Satan the Devil was able to present an accomplished fact in dispute of Jehovah's universal domination. Heaven is God's throne, and the
earth is his footstool; and here at the earth his universal sovereignty was challenged and seemingly made shaky. (Isaiah 66:1; Matthew 5: 34, 35) Jehovah God was aware of what was going on, but did not interfere. He was willing for the issue of universal domination to be raised, and for the right of being the Commander-in-Chief to be put in dispute. Since Satan the Devil and Adam and Eve did not have immortality, the Almighty God could instantaneously have wiped them out of existence. He did not do so, because the great question rested upon the matter of voluntary obedience to Him by all his intelligent creatures throughout the universe.
The question at issue, broadened out to its fullest extent, was: Were all God's creatures immovably on his side and under his domination by willful decision and loving choice? or could Satan the Devil swing all of them away from God by deceit and selfishness and line them all up on his side? God did not fear to let the proof of the question be pushed to the limits of creation. Since that would require time, especially as Adam and Eve's offspring were till then unborn, God set aside a limited period of time for the permission of wickedness, and did not at once execute the lawbreakers at the garden of Eden. But that the purpose of wickedness would fail, and that God would vindicate his universal domination in due time by the faithful obedience of his devoted creatures under the severest test, Jehovah made known in these defiant words to Satan the Serpent: "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall
bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." — Genesis 3:15.
Other statements of God's Word show that God's woman is his holy universal organization called "Zion". There, then, was Jehovah's declaration of purpose to bring forth from his holy organization a Seed who would be at enmity against Satan and his organization. All the bruising that Satan and his organization would be let inflict upon the Seed of God's "woman" would be unable to break his enmity and make him compromise and acknowledge Satan as commander. There, also, was the first declaration of the Lord God to raise up a Commander to bruise the head of the false leader and to destroy him and his wicked offspring. The future generations of men and peoples must have a commander different from Satan the Devil, if they were to eat and drink of God's life-giving provisions; and this Seed of God's organization Zion, being proved faithful, would be the qualified and worthy one to appoint as such Commander. Christ Jesus is this foretold Seed of God's "woman" Zion.
To settle the issue, therefore, is why the Almighty God promised and has raised up the Commander. Satan the Devil bore false witness concerning Jehovah God in the garden of Eden, and has done so ever since, thus bringing God's name into disrepute and reproach. Satan has established himself as "the prince of this world", so that in the mountain of temptation he could offer Christ Jesus all the kingdoms of this world and their glory, provided that Christ would bow down and worship him. Satan has organized religion and taken all peoples
captive thereby and has directed them as their master. By the traditions and precepts of religious leaders he has caused the peoples to transgress the law of God and make null and void His commandments. To prove himself worthy to bruise and destroy the Serpent, Christ Jesus must be a faithful witness as to Jehovah God and His name and purposes. For his unswerving constancy in doing so he has been honored with the title "The Faithful and True Witness"; and he is the Chief of all of Jehovah's witnesses. (Revelation 3:14; 19:11) By keeping himself separate and distinct from this world as not being a part of it, and by dying in behalf of a new world of righteousness, Christ Jesus was appointed to be "the Prince of Peace" and "the prince of the kings of the earth" of that new world. (Revelation 1:5; Isaiah 9: 6) Because of laying down his life as a ransom to purchase or redeem all those that believe and obey him, Christ Jesus has been appointed Commander to all peoples that gain life in the new world. (Hebrews 2:9; 5:9) The time must come when these facts concerning God's arrangements and appointments must be put to practical effect. That time is now!
PERFECTED IN OBEDIENCE
Global government is a tremendous responsibility. It is more than a man's job; and no imperfect man could attempt such a thing except that he had backing from the ambitious "prince of this world", Satan, who offered Jesus the kingdoms of this world. No global government will succeed that is run by men who ap-
point themselves to the job under Satan's influence or who are appointed by the people's representatives, because such a government is not of God's appointment. It is not Theocratic, not being administered by Him, nor appointed by Him. No global government will succeed that does not enforce the laws and commandments of Jehovah God. All this talk about incorporating so-called "moral law" into the international organization to give it stability and permanence is just the pious palaver of religious leaders who claim to be the guardians of "moral law" and who want to capitalize upon that claim by acting as the spiritual advisers to the organization. While claiming to be most moral and self-righteous men, they are hypocritical breakers of the commandments of God and are the persecutors of the humble Christians who strive to keep God's law.
Contrary to their example, the One who would serve under the Most High God as His Commander to the peoples must himself be perfect in obedience to the commands of God. Under the most painful test he must maintain his integrity, always carrying out the orders of Jehovah. Lucifer failed because 6f yielding to ambition, and he leads the entire world in lawbreaking. Christ Jesus, the heavenly Son of God, came into this world as a man and was subjected to the great test of obedience. Satan and his seed could neither tempt Jesus into disobedience nor coerce him into it by reproach, persecutions and the most disgraceful of deaths. Under all this Jesus kept his integrity toward his Commander-in-Chief by carrying out all his orders. He demonstrated obedience to the
point of perfection, even under the hottest fire of Satan and all his hosts. Such an obedient One can be safely entrusted with commanding others according to the will of God; and hence it is written of Christ Jesus: "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him." — Hebrews 5: 8, 9.
Because of Jesus' devotion and integrity toward God, Jehovah made a covenant with him. It was a solemn contract concerning the Kingdom, the kingdom of God; and Christ Jesus was to be the King therein under God. God had announced this kingdom to the faithful ruler David, one of the ancestors of Christ Jesus. (2 Samuel, chapter 7) As a blessing for David's faithfulness and worship toward Him, Jehovah God promised that the Kingdom would remain in David's line, and that his seed should sit upon the throne forevermore. Christ Jesus was the Son of David according to the flesh; and he inherited this Kingdom covenant or promise. But the Kingdom of which Christ Jesus is King is the kingdom of heaven, ,to which Jehovah God anointed him by his holy spirit. The throne upon which Christ Jesus sits forever is the throne-seat at the right hand of his heavenly Father, Jehovah God. Faithful Shepherd-King David was merely a type of Christ Jesus with whom the covenant for the Kingdom is made in its fullest significance. For. this reason, when Christ Jesus entered upon his public activity among the nation of Israel, he preached: "The kingdom of heaven is at hand."
This obedient One, who has his appointment from the Most High God, will have the responsibility of global government. It was prophesied of that One by King David: "In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth." (Psalm 72:7, 8) No human government or empire of this world will then rule the waves as mistress of the seven seas. Christ Jesus must then have, the command of all the earth. One of his titles is "Lord of lords, and King of kings". That has no reference to the earthly kings and lords of this world, for the prophecy foretells that the kings of this present organized "earth" will fight against Christ Jesus, resisting the extending of his kingdom to the four corners of the earth. The title plainly means that Christ Jesus will have associates with him on the throne in his heavenly kingdom. His government of the globe is not to be visible, earthly, and of man's creation and appointment. It is heavenly, invisible, and superhuman, and his faithful disciples will be his associates with him. These are the first ones to accept him as their Commander appointed by Jehovah God; and he laid down his life first of all for them. They hear his witness concerning Jehovah and his promised kingdom, and they believe it and pass it on to others. They look upon him as "the Prince of life", their only Leader under God; and they follow him faithfully till death. They put themselves under his instructions as the Captain and Commander whom God has given. They believe
the Bible testimony that he is the One of whom Moses the prophet was a type.
Moses was the mediator whom Jehovah used to deliver the written Ten Commandments and other divine laws to the nation of Israel, and to Moses God himself said: "I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him." (Deuteronomy 18:18,19) The apostle Peter was the first to identify Christ Jesus as the Prophet whom Moses typified, and all of Christ's true disciples and followers believe likewise. (Acts 3:22,23) They know that to disobey this Commander, the Greater Moses, means to have their souls destroyed from among God's people.
In his earthly days Christ Jesus exercised his prerogative as Commander toward his disciples and sent them forth to publish the most important message. He commanded: "And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 10:7; Luke 10: 9) Finally, to show that he took his faithful consecrated followers into the Kingdom covenant with him as their Prince, he said to them on the night before his death: "You are they who have continued with me in my trials. And I covenant for you, even as my Father has covenanted for me, a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." — Luke 22: 28-30, Emphatic Diaglott; Rotherham.
All these faithful followers, down to our own day, must prove themselves obedient to all the appointments of God the Supreme Commander, by obeying and following Christ Jesus whom He has given as Commander. After all the temptations and tests of integrity are over, the Scriptures show, there will be exactly 144,000 who will have proved worthy to have the Kingdom covenant completely fulfilled to them and to be joined with Christ Jesus in his heavenly throne. These are the ones to whom God's Word speaks, in Isaiah's prophecy, saying: "Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David." (Isaiah 55: 3) The "mercies of David" had to do with the Kingdom covenant, and these victorious followers of Christ Jesus become everlasting partakers of those mercies.
OPPOSING COMMANDERS FACE TO FACE
The time must come when those 144,000 Kingdom joint-heirs with Christ Jesus must be all selected out from among humankind. Reasonably that would be the time for the Kingdom to begin. The Scriptures are definite that Christ Jesus did not begin his Kingdom at the time that he ascended to heaven and sat down at God's right hand." Also the facts of history for the past nineteen centuries show that the kingdoms of this world under Satan the prince of this world have carried on the governing of the earth.
Christ Jesus had to sit at the right hand of his Father, his Commander-in-Chief, until God's
appointed time for the Kingdom to be set up and put into action. During that same time Christians have waited for the Kingdom's coming. There is no longer any time to wait, for the Kingdom of God is here! It was established A.D. 1914; and not without significance did the first world war of human history begin in the summer of that unforgettable year. That war for world domination broke forth just as the "times of the Gentiles" once mentioned by Jesus ended, 2,520 years from the time of the destruction of Jerusalem and Solomon's temple. This means that the period of Satan's uninterrupted rule or world has ended. It means that the time limit for the permission of unrestricted wickedness is near at hand, and that those who willfully go the way of wickedness will shortly be destroyed, that the universe may be rid of them. It means also that the "kingdom of heaven" class is about made up, and the last of these, a small remnant in themselves, are yet on earth carrying out the final commands to them from their heavenly Leader, Christ Jesus.
It further means that Satan, "the prince of this world," and Christ Jesus, "the Prince of Peace," face each other for the decisive contest. One must go; the other must remain. The wicked commander of this present evil world will go; Jehovah's Commander to the peoples will remain. "Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end." (Isaiah 9: 6, 7). It is a day of decision, and its precious hours of opportunity are remorselessly ticking out. The zero hour for the final war of Armageddon is undelayably coming on, although no man
knows the day nor the hour thereof. (Matthew 24:35-39) What, then, shall the peoples do?
There is only one thing for lovers of life, truth, law and order and peace to do. That is, to recognize the reigning One whom God has given for a Witness and a Leader and Commander to the peoples. The "little flock" of his followers who come from all peoples and nations are the ones to whom it is the Father's good pleasure to give the Kingdom with Christ Jesus. But these are not the only ones that may follow the Good Shepherd who laid down his life for all sheeplike ones. Christ Jesus said: "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and they shall become one flock, one shepherd." (Luke 12:32; John 10:16, A.S.V). These "other sheep" are the persons of good-will who today hear his voice of witness through the Word of God and who heed his voice as Commander and follow him along with his remnant. The prophecy, at Revelation, chapter seven, discloses that the "other sheep", whom the Good Shepherd leads to fountains of living waters, come from all nations, kindreds, tongues and peoples and eventually they make up a "great multitude". In this time of decision between the opposing commanders, Christ Jesus and Satan the Devil, these "sheep" choose the One appointed of the Most High God, the Universal Sovereign.
In perplexity many righteously disposed persons will ask, But what are his commands, that we may do them? Christ Jesus left no room for doubt as to what they are in this time of the end of this present evil world; and for our
encouragement he said: "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; . .. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." (John 15:10,14) Allowing for no uncertainty as to what to do in this epoch of total war that began in 1914 (A.D.), Christ Jesus foretold the World War I, of which there was a resumption in 1939. Looking ahead to the end of the "times of the Gentiles" in 1914, he said: "Nation [that is to say, total nation] shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows"; and we alive today can testify that such sorrows have begun. Then, after foretelling the persecution of his genuine followers at that time, Christ Jesus added these words, which are both a prophecy and a command: "And 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 24:7-14.
Such a gospel was never preached before A.D. 1914, because this is the good news of the kingdom of God established in the hands of his anointed King Christ Jesus. The year 1914 marked the end of the waiting period and the time of giving the Kingdom its birth to an active life, while yet the enemies thereof are round about. This is the most important news of this century thus far; and it comes like refreshing waters of life to those who thirst after truth and righteousness. The King's will is that such a gospel of the newborn Kingdom must be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all races, colors, nations, and peoples. The
Kingdom's establishment means that the end of Satan's organization, visible and invisible, at the battle of Armageddon is drawing near. Hence the people must have the witness concerning the everlasting Kingdom in order to take their stand upon the side of Jehovah's Theocratic Government and in favor of his universal domination. Otherwise, the end will overtake the peoples in ignorance, and they will go down with Satan's organization which holds dominion over the peoples.
This proclamation of the established "kingdom of heaven" is what the witnesses of Jehovah have been diligently endeavoring to carry on particularly since 1918, in obedience to the orders of Jehovah's Commander to the peoples. The Kingdom witness is not yet all accomplished. Millions yet wait to hear and learn of it; and the King's command still stands in effect. There is need for the spreading out of the witness. The field is large, the laborers are few, and the "men of good will", the "other sheep", must obey the Commander to the peoples, if they would gain life on earth in the new world of righteousness. The preaching of this Kingdom gospel is one of the things he commands. This Kingdom witness must be given to all nations. This is not a man's command, nor man's work. It therefore behooves all persons Of goodwill from out of all nations receiving the witness to join with all those who are obeying the heavenly Commander in giving the witness.
"ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION"
There is another important command that he gives for this day. It emphasizes the need to
take a stand for the Kingdom by openly proclaiming the gospel thereof. Immediately after declaring that this Kingdom gospel shall be proclaimed everywhere for a witness to all nations, Christ Jesus went on to say: "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: . . . For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." — Matthew 24:15-22.
Christ Jesus' prophecy on the end of the world here warns us: "Whoso readeth, let him understand." This is not the time to be misunderstanding because of religious views. What Jesus here foretold did not find its fulfillment upon literal Jerusalem and Judea in the year 70 (A.D.). The destruction then of Jerusalem and of Herod's temple by the armies of imperial Rome was terrible; and nothing in times previous thereto may have been so terrible upon so small a territory. Nevertheless, compare the tribulation of that brief time with the tribulation of these days and with that tribulation which is shaping up for the entire world at Armageddon, and you will agree that Christ's words, "no, nor ever shall be," did not apply to the tribulation upon Jerusalem and Judea nineteen centuries ago. We are yet facing that tribulation the like of which there never was and which will not need repeating by Almighty
God's power. It is therefore in these days that we must look for the "abomination of desolation". The Commander to the peoples said that the appearing of that unholy abomination would be the indication of something. It would indicate that the unparalleled tribulation was near and that lovers of life should flee to safety without hindrance or delay. Hence we should look now, and should do so with Scriptural understanding.
Back in Jesus' days on earth Jerusalem was considered to be "the holy city", and Jesus said not to swear "by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King". (Matthew 4:5; 5:34,35; 27: 53) But in the year 1914 God's woman, Zion, brought forth Christ Jesus as the reigning King clothed upon with authority by Jehovah God. In due time shortly thereafter, by resurrecting his faithful disciples from the dead to life in the spirit realms, Christ Jesus joins them to himself in the Theocratic Government. Together, they form what is called "the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven". (Revelation 12:1-10; 21: 2,10; 22:19) That is to say, they form the Holy Government of the new world of righteousness.
It is very manifest, therefore, that the "holy place" which the "abomination of desolation" seeks to occupy upon this earth is the place of the Kingdom with respect to this earth; for the Holy City is pictured as "descending out of heaven from God" and down to the earth. It is therefore the Kingdom's place to be the global government over all humankind that lives. Regardless of all the blood that has been shed by millions in the course of mankind's history, it
is only Jesus' blood that has not been shed in vain; for his blood procures redemption for all believers and a washing away of their sins and removal of the condemnation of death. With Jesus Jehovah God has made the covenant for the Kingdom; and that fact makes it proper that there be "given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." (Daniel 7:13,14) He has now entered in upon such everlasting dominion.
What, then, could that foretold "abomination of desolation" be but the global government of which the Dumbarton Oaks plan was only a tentative diagram, to be amended by the 1945 San Francisco Conference? The attempt is to stand up such a world system of international collaboration in the "holy place" and thereby make unnecessary the rule of the Kingdom of God, the Holy City, of which Christ Jesus is King. The global man-made organization is only a revival of the once boasted League of Nations, which went into the abyss of international disuse and inaction in 1939, due to Nazi-Fascist aggressions upon human society. The revived form of association of nations comes forth from the abyss under just a new name and with a few alterations of face and structure; but it embodies the same ideas as the former League. Its basic idea is to run this globe without the approval, assistance or interference of Christ Jesus the rightful King.
The blessing and spiritual counsel and moral support of the religious clergy will give it an
appearance of holiness in the eyes of the misinformed people. And being surrounded by the defense of an international military police, it will appear to have stability and the possibilities for at last bringing to mankind peace and security and the "four freedoms". Nevertheless, it is an abomination according to God's pronouncement (Daniel 11: 31; 12:11); and instead of the blessings promised by politicians and the religious clergy of "Christendom", it will bring world-wide desolation. Why? Because the international organization of the Gentiles whose times ran out in 1914 is not appointed of God and has no right to stand in the "holy place". (Mark 13:14) It is unholy and anti-Christ, being opposed to the 1000-year reign of Christ Jesus, the rightful Ruler of the New World, the "King of kings, and Lord of lords".
The international "abomination of desolation", therefore, represents the final total lineup of this old world against Jehovah's universal domination and his Theocratic Government by Christ Jesus. (Revelation 17: 8-14) That brings the great issue to the point where it must be decided for all time, and where it must be fought out to completion and to a clear-cut decision before all creation. It is the time for the battle of Armageddon, and the Captain of all of Jehovah's hosts is his "Commander to the peoples". Very appropriately, then, "his name is called The Word of God." The prophetic fore-vision of the battle says that 'the armies which are in heaven follow him, and he shall rule the nations with a rod of iron, and shall tread the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God'. When Christ Jesus will have dis-
posed of Satan's visible organization in its global form, he will next give Satan's invisible organization due attention, and will bruise the Serpent's head and crush all his demon seed. That will spell the greatest tribulation ever known and never to be repeated, because the primary issue of universal domination will at last be settled, in complete vindication of Jehovah's name and word. — Revelation 19:11-21; 20:1-3.
Seeing, then, that the "abomination of desolation" ascends out of the abyss and moves to take again its stand in the "holy place" with the help of organized religion, what shall the peoples do? To "men of good will" who desire life and harmony with the Lord God in the New World, the answer is, Obey the One whom he has given as the Commander to the peoples. This One's command to those who see the "abomination of desolation" from the light and standpoint of God's Word is, "Flee to the mountains." That bars out all fleeing to any man-made city or organization for security and preservation. God made the mountains, and they are a symbol of the protection of his Theocratic Government by Christ Jesus. So, abandon the doomed organization of this world, and take your flight to God's kingdom for refuge. It will come out victorious in the "battle of that great day of God Almighty" at Armageddon, and it alone will be standing thereafter, reigning in power and glory. — Revelation 16:14-16.
Seeing that these things be so, take your stand on the side of that Righteous Government now. Put yourself under its protection, before its King gives the command for the battle of
Armageddon to begin and the final end of this old world takes place in the execution of all those not on the side of the Kingdom of the New World. Do not fear that by heeding Jehovah's Commander to the peoples it will put you in conflict with the commanders of this present evil world. Bear in mind the stand and the courageous words of the apostles of Jesus Christ before the religious authorities who commanded them to stop preaching, only to receive this reply: "Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard." "We ought to obey God rather than men." (Acts 4:19,20; 5:29) Likewise, declare your stand for the everlasting Kingdom which brings 'peace on earth to men of good-will', and do so by taking part in the fulfillment of the Commander's prophecy: "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations." — Luke 2:14; Matthew 24:14.
Lift up your eyes of understanding and see the crystal-clear river of water of life flowing from beneath the throne of God's kingdom, and hear the voice of His Commander as he says: "Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." (Revelation 22:17) Yes, drink deeply of this water of life-giving Kingdom truth, and pass along the Commander's invitation to others who are thirsty. Keep your integrity toward the Kingdom, and in due time that King-Commander will bring deliverance to all those who
faithfully obey his command. Thus put yourself among those whom He will safeguard through the end of this world and usher into the everlasting goodness of the New World of righteousness.