Appropriate to its name, "THE JOY OF ALL THE PEOPLE," and true to its contents, the speech contained in this booklet was delivered by the president of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society in the course of a speaking tour around the globe by airplane in 1947, to audiences in the principal cities of Oriental, African and European lands, non-Christian and professed Christian peoples.
It having been received with such sincere joy wherever delivered, we are sure this edition of the speech in print will be welcomed all over the earth in the many languages into which it is translated, and that the honest reader will derive a permanent joy from reading it.
Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, Inc.
International Bible Students Association
Brooklyn, New York, U. S. A.
Readers of this booklet, "The Joy of All the People," who wish further information on this subject or any other Bible subject, please feel free to write to the Society's office in your country. The list of addresses is to be found on the back cover.
THE JOY OF ALL THE PEOPLE
A JOYFUL people would be an adornment to the earth and a glory to its Creator. Today the earth abounds with many people of different colors, languages, customs, governments and religions. All together, they now number over two thousand million human creatures. The general condition of these people as a whole has undergone no fundamental change for the better because of the recent world war. We are closer to the likelihood of world destruction. The condition of the masses in all lands continues to be one of great sufferings, necessities, and restlessness. Death, like a grim reaper, still swings everywhere its sharp scythe cutting deep swaths into the ranks of men. The millions of babes born to take the places of the dead are simply brought forth to a future of sorrow and woe and to eventual death like their forefathers.
The political, commercial and religious leaders, in order to hold onto their power and control, try to quiet the people by making promises of a "better world of tomorrow". But it never comes, regardless of all the attractive schemes and highly organized arrangements of these world leaders. The problem of human happiness for all proves to be a highly complicated one and baffles the brainiest of twentieth-century men. Just how to bring to all the people any
joy that would be common to them all and that would last forever, transforming this earth into a place of unbroken gladness for all races - this, we must all confess, is a task too great for man, either singly or combined. Only some power higher and mightier than all the people and understanding what is fundamentally wrong with them and having the wisdom to apply the remedy to all impartially can bring such a lasting, universal joy to all the people. We suggest that there is such a higher and superhuman power, filled with benevolence toward men of good-will. Who or what that benevolent power is, is a subject worth the study of all persons anxious t6 live in peace and happiness with their fellow men.
The so-called "Western civilization" has roughly divided mankind into two sections. One section is called "Christendom", and the other, "heathendom" or "the unbelievers". If we divided up mankind into groups of one hundred persons each, according to religions, about sixteen of each hundred would be Confucians and Taoists; twelve would be Hindus; eleven would be Moslems; six, Buddhists; one, Shintoist; less than one, a Jew; thirty, so-called "Christians"; and the remaining twenty-three or more being unclassified. Thus "Christendom" is seen to be only a minority of earth's population, just about thirty percent. Until now, however, she has taken the dominant part in world affairs. She makes great, boastful claims of progress in the social, political and material sciences, but she has failed to pave the way or lead the way to a world of peace, security, prosperity, justice and eternal life for all the people.
Just because the so-called "heathen" or unbelieving part of mankind holds the secondary position, it would be wrong to say there are not among them many men and women of intelligence and of natural ability equal to that of the most prominent personages of Christendom. Nevertheless, we cannot look to heathendom any more than to Christendom for the solving of mankind's general problems and for the source of a lasting joy for all the people. We cannot join with certain political, commercial and religious leaders of Christendom in saying that "what the world needs is more religion". Heathendom already has its many and great religions. Then shall we say that what it needs is more of the religion of Christendom? No! Why not? Because Christendom's religious organizations are feverishly co-operating with her political and commercial elements to make the world safe and steady, and yet religious Christendom has been the one almost wholly responsible for the two global wars in this twentieth century that have almost wrecked the world and made all heathendom worse off economically and otherwise. Also Christendom has her own social and economic injustices, her poverty and discords. She now holds within her tight grip the atomic-energy secrets and weapons of mass slaughter making possible a third global war in this century that seems to spell suicide for the whole human race. Hence the foisting of Christendom's religions upon what she calls "heathendom" would never stabilize the world and remove the threat of war and oppression.
Religiously looked at, Christendom is very much like what she calls the pagan or heathen
world. Many of her religious beliefs the heathen had long before she did, so that the fact is that Christendom has borrowed much of her religion from heathendom.* Long before the Catholic St. Augustine imposed the doctrine of human immortality upon Christendom, the pagan or heathen world had believed in the immortality of the human soul. Long before the Catholic pope Gregory the Great announced his discovery of a "purgatory" for the torment of such "immortal" human souls after death the Taoists of China and the Buddhists of India had believed in a torment purgatory and had representations of it in their temples. Long before Emperor Constantine presided at the Council of Nice A.D. 325 and decreed that the doctrine of the trinity should be the standard belief of Christendom, the religionists of ancient Egypt, Assyria, India, China and Babylon had taught the doctrine of three related and inseparable deities, father, son and mother. The Taoists and the Buddhists had their popes, and the ancient pagan Romans had their Pontifex Maximus and pontiffs. China's patron saint, Confucius, was canonized A.D. 1 by the Chinese empress, because he was a great teacher of morals, regulating the manners of the people. Also, the ancient pagans of Asia had their rosaries and their prayer wheels for the oft-repeating of prayer formulas. Because of believing in human immortality, the Hindus and others have from ancient time onward believed in incarnation and in the transmigration of the soul from one fleshly body to another.
The basic religious doctrines of Christendom are thus seen to agree with the principal doctrines of what she calls "heathendom". A prominent thing about the religions outside of Christendom is the belief in demons and in the mighty power that these exercise in human affairs, for evil and wickedness. It is very plain that the religions of the world are demon-inspired, including those doctrines which Christendom has borrowed and adopted from the "heathen" religionists. Even the religions of Christendom allow for belief in demons, and there was once a time when the people were strongly warned to beware of demon influence and control. So, in any broad study of the subject, we must include a consideration of this belief in demons and the valid reasons for it.
THE BIBLE, A DIFFERENT BOOK
Christendom, after more than sixteen hundred years of existence from Emperor Constantine's time forward, has failed mankind and not relieved their hardships and sufferings. Therefore we cannot look to Christendom's confused religions for an understanding of the true hope of the people. We cannot look to her for an explanation of the joy of all the people and how it will surely come. Where, then, can we look? The answer is, To the Bible, which Christendom has long had but which has been like a sealed book to her. The Bible was written originally in an Oriental language, Hebrew, and in an Indo-European language, Greek, and is the oldest book on earth.* Great ages are
claimed for the writings of heathen sages and religious leaders, but the Bible ranks as the oldest book preserved to this day, its first chapters being written by the prophet Moses about the year 1512 B.C. Moreover, what further makes it deserving of study by all persons, in Christendom and in heathendom, is the fact that it is the most widely reproduced book, being translated into 1,068 languages or more, and being most widely circulated and likewise most widely read and discussed. Due to its prominence, as well as due to its contents, it is worthy of attention by all nations and people.
The Bible is not Christendom's gift to the world. The Bible, in its pages, tells us that it is the gift of the Most High God and was written and produced under his inspiration and dictation. One of the many men who participated in its writing tells us this, namely, that "no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the holy [spirit]". (2 Peter 1:20, 21) It is claimed that the Bible has influenced civilization more than any other book. Actually, however, the Bible has influenced only the small proportion of mankind that have faithfully followed its teachings. The civilization of the Western nations composing Christendom has in reality been influenced by the doctrines and practices of. paganism. This is clear from her holding to such things as immortality and immateriality of the human soul, purgatory or hell torments of the wicked forever after death, trinity, rosaries, relics, ritual, lavish temples, priestly costumes, canonizing of saints,
monasteries, nunneries, worship of the cross, and numberless other beliefs and practices.
The Bible makes report of the many heathen religions, but it stands separate and distinct from them all. It presents a message and doctrines vastly different from what both Christendom and heathendom have to offer. For this reason it needs re-examination by the millions of religionists of Christendom; in fact, by all peoples of the world. There are few so-called "Christians" that take the Bible as the whole of God's written revelation. The so-called "Protestants" may profess to do so, but when it comes to choosing between the Bible and the pagan-originated doctrines and practices that they have adopted they Fold to such religious things and reject the Bible. The three hundred and fifty million of professed "Roman Catholics" look on the Bible as inadequate, as only a partial revelation of God's will and purpose. Millions of such Catholics, especially in Latin countries, have never seen a Bible. Then, too, most "Protestants", even with copies of it in their homes, do not personally study it with any regularity. Hence the fitness and timeliness of our here discussing what this most outstanding Book, yes, this most indestructible and enduring Book, has to say regarding the one hope of all humankind.
It is the Bible alone that speaks of the "joy, which shall be to all people", and it alone, therefore, can speak consistently and authoritatively upon the subject. What, now, does it say as regards this troubled universe? Reason itself can suggest to us what the need is for all creation throughout the universe. As we look at our
earth we must honestly admit that the clash between the various religions, such as Hindu and Moslem and Roman Catholic and Protestant, and also the clash between the sovereignties of the many nations, have produced the present world trouble. Sensible men see the need of a world government, with a rule of law backed up by force and backed by a universally accepted authority, in order to keep the earth quiet from wars and to make the people safe in their persons and their possessions. If such a government is needed for this small planet, the earth, not less so should a supreme central government be needed for the mighty universe with its measureless space and its countless heavenly bodies within vision and beyond the vision of the human eye aided by the telescope.
The wonderful harmony of the planets and stars and suns visible to us gives unassailable proof that there exists such a central government beyond the sight of man, having control of all the universe, and that it is a perfect and exact government. Then why do we not have peace, unity, harmony and justice among all the people on earth today? and why have we not had such for the past thousands of years as far back as the recorded history of man takes us? The existence of a supreme and almighty government in the universe being agreed to, then the human discord and consequent human sufferings for all these thousands of years must be because that supreme universal government has permitted it. Is there any way of knowing just why? Yes, by means of the Bible!
According to that sacred Book, the supreme, almighty universal Government is the living
and true God, without beginning and without end. The Bible is his inspired Word and is the revelation that He has given of himself in answer to our questions concerning who he is, what his name is, what his works are, and what his good purposes are toward afflicted mankind. He is the Creator of all creation, seen and unseen. He is greater than all his works, animate and inanimate. Hence he is the Most High God, the Almighty God, the immortal God, the Universal Sovereign, and no living creature of His own can usurp or overthrow His universal government and sovereignty. As for his name, his Word, the Bible, at Psalm 83, verse 18, tells us: "That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth." His Word speaks of him, therefore, as "Jehovah God". Because of his supreme place in the universe and his all-excelling glory he is invisible to us. Nonetheless he discloses his true existence to us by means of his creative works that we see and know. For that reason there is no proper excuse for us to disbelieve his existence ; and so we read in his Word, at Roman's 1, verses 20 to 25, namely:
"The invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and
to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen."
Those words apply to the human creatures on earth. However, God's Word, the Bible, tells us not only of visible earthly and human matters but also of the invisible heavenly and spiritual matters. Remote time before man's creation Jehovah God created and brought forth heavenly sons, spiritual and invisible to us. His Word tells us: "God is a Spirit," a spirit Being. And these heavenly sons of His creation were spirit like him and hence higher and mightier than us humans. (John 4:24) Jehovah's first creation was his most beloved "only begotten Son". The Bible record shows that this beloved Son has ever remained loyal and faithful to his Creator and Father, and God used him as his fellow worker in the creating of everything else. -John 3:16; Revelation 3:14; John 1:1-3.
THE FIRST DEMON
Among the spirit sons of God who were thereafter produced was a beautiful, wise and mighty spirit-creature to whom the Bible attaches the name "Heylel", or "Lucifer". The Bible informs us there were hundreds of millions of spirit sons created besides him. (Isaiah 14:12-14j Ezekiel 28:11-19; Daniel 7:10; Revelation 5:11) Unity and peace dwelt among them, and they all stayed in subjection and obedience to?
the universal sovereignty of Jehovah God until the time of the creation of man and woman upon this earth.
The Holy Scriptures of the Bible make known to us that it was a rebellion against the supreme, central government of the universe that broke up the harmony, peace and happiness of all living creation. This was a rebellion begun by that mighty spirit creature Lucifer against the universal sovereignty of God. He challenged God's right to sovereignty and .declared himself able to force or draw all living creation away from Jehovah God's side and onto his side, giving to him the worship, loyalty and obedience that they till then had given to Jehovah God. The key idea of Lucifer's rebellion was: "I will be like the most High." -Isaiah 14:14.
This selfish idea came to Lucifer after the Most High God had put him in charge of the earth and of man and woman on it. Lucifer was to be a "covering cherub" to them, and God anointed or appointed him to that protective position. Becoming puffed up over his own personal qualities and his position, Lucifer began meditating upon secession or revolt against Jehovah's universal sovereignty. Then he became wicked, just as God's Word says to him: "Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee." (Ezekiel 28:15) Beginning with those under his immediate custody, Lucifer turned the first man and woman into disobedience to the universal sovereignty of Jehovah God. Then he held this disloyal human couple forth as a sample proof that his challenge of God's universal sovereignty was right and was bound to
succeed toward all living creatures in heaven and earth. Next he turned himself to leading the heavenly spirit creatures into rebellion with him. He succeeded with many legions of them. These disobedient spirits therefore disconnected themselves from the family of God's devoted sons and transformed themselves from holy angelic sons of God into demons. Their leader, the unfaithful Lucifer, Jehovah God called "Satan", because that name means "opposer" or "adversary" and points to Lucifer's course of action. Unfaithful Lucifer, or Satan, haying taken over the leadership of the rebellious angels or demons, became what the Bible calls him, "the prince of the demons." -Matthew 12: 24-28, American Standard Version.
This accounts for the existence of the wicked demons that have dominated unseen in the affairs of mankind and that have kept men as far as possible in ignorance of Jehovah God and in opposition to him. These are the demons whom the pagan religionists and superstitious persons mortally fear and always try to pacify and appease by gifts, sacrifices, worship and repeated prayers. These demons have spread out and hung like an unclean, demoralizing heavens over mankind, to stand between men and the true God and to teach men all kinds of religion for the purpose of reproaching Jehovah God and confusing men concerning him. Without further explanation it can properly be said here that one of the absolute needs in the case of mankind is that these old oppressive, death-dealing heavens of demons be lifted from over men and be replaced by new heavens of righteousness, devoted to God's universal sover-
eignty. The unity and peace of the whole universe demands it.
Almighty God has wisely permitted the wicked old heavens to stay in control over mankind for the sake of letting the controversy over universal sovereignty be put to a full test during a sufficient time-length to satisfy all concerned. Only God can rip away the darksome veil of demon power and control that has enshrouded all mankind. All mankind, united together in this atomic age, cannot lift this veil, but Jehovah God will do so in his own set time, to vindicate the rightfulness of his universal sovereignty. This will permit the gladdening light of his goodness and mercy to shine to all people of good-will by means of the righteous new heavens that he will then put in power over mankind. This will be for the everlasting joy of all the people proving worthy of life.
MAN THE MORTAL SOUL
It is beyond challenging that all human creatures are born the same way and are all built alike, except for minor differences as to facial features, color, and stature, due to various causes in various parts of the earth. This fact argues that they all came from a common set of parents, the first man and woman. The natural habitation for man is this earth. The very crumbling of his body to dust at death proves that, "man is of the earth, earthy", as the Bible says that the first man Adam was. (1 Corinthians 15: 47) Thus nature itself teaches us that man's everlasting destiny is life on this earth of which he is a part, and his destiny is not life in the unseen spiritual heavens. It is the demons
that have misled men by religion into thinking there is life for all mankind beyond the grave as spirits in a spirit world and that man has an invisible deathless soul which survives the crumbling of his earthly body at death. It is the demons that have taught the Taoists and Buddhists that there is a purgatory of suffering for the souls of the wicked after human death. The demons, by means of religion, have taught men that such disembodied souls can be reincarnated and can transmigrate from one fleshly body to another until at last they reach the state of nirvana beyond all sensitiveness to pain and suffering. In the most positive terms, the Bible does not teach so.
The first man Adam was no transmigrated soul from either heaven or the dead body of some beast, bird, fish or insect. He became alive first when Jehovah God by the agency of his beloved Son created Adam and put him in the paradise garden of Eden. The Creator tells us how he did it, saying in his written Word, at Genesis 2:7: "And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." (Am. Stan. Ver.) And, at 1 Corinthians 15:45, the Creator caused one of his . inspired Bible writers to say: "And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul." In those two inspired statements no one can find any mention of reincarnation, or transmigration, or putting an invisible, immaterial soul of separate, independent existence into the human body.
The Creator, who knows how he made man and of what he made him, simply tells us he
made man's body of earthly elements. Then he breathed breath into the lifeless body, and the result was that man became or was made a living soul. The man Adam was a soul, a human soul that could be seen, heard, smelled and felt by the animal creation round about him in the garden of Eden. Such animals all about him on earth were souls just as much as Adam was, but only souls of a lower order, all having material bodies and breathing the breath of life. The Creator's Bible is the book that calls such lower animals souls the same as man. (Genesis 1: 20, 30, marginal reading) Concerning men that die without any understanding of God his Word says: "They themselves are beasts. For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?" (Ecclesiastes 3: 18-21) When Jehovah God sentenced the man to death for rebelling, God said to him: "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." (Genesis 3:19) And thus Adam had no pre-eminence above a beast, for when Adam the rebel died, the soul died, because it was Adam the human soul that had sinned against his Creator.
That is the Creator's own explanation of the matter, for in his prophecy by Ezekiel to the
Jews He said: "Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die." (Ezekiel 18:4,20) This divinely stated truth bars out all thought of a heavenly destiny for sinful, dying humankind. -1 Corinthians 15: 50.
God tells us he created this earth to be inhabited by man. As certainly as he tells us that "the earth abideth for ever", just that certainly mankind will occupy this earth forever as their joyful eternal habitation. When God made and put the first man into the garden of Eden he set before the man the hope of human life on earth forever on condition of his perfect submission to God, the Universal Sovereign. Death, extinction, would be the penalty for rebelling against the universal sovereignty. After forbidding man to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil God warned him, saying: "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." (Genesis 2:17) Life on earth is the opposite of death in the dust of the earth. Man was not made for eternal life in the spirit heavens, and God made no agreement with man to take him to heaven if he proved obedient after a certain length of time on earth. The choice for man was either live forever on top of the earth or die and lie dead in the dust of the ground. -Isaiah 45:12,18.
In harmony with God's destiny for the earth he created a wife for the first man, using material from the man's own body with which to start building the first woman; so that Adam said of her: "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." (Genesis
2:23) To show this first human pair their eternal destiny, God blessed them and said: "Be fruitful, and multiply, and [fill] the earth, and subdue it : and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." (Genesis 1:28) Since God gave man dominion over the beasts, fishes, fowl and every other living thing on earth, why should man worship any of such lower creatures or bow down to images of such creatures? Why should man think that at death an invisible, immaterial soul separates from his dead body and goes to continue its life in the body of any of such lower creatures ? He should not. But when man sinned against God's universal sovereignty and chose to worship creatures, including Satan "the prince of the demons", instead of Jehovah God, then the Almighty God permitted as many men to do so as wanted to do so. However, in setting the human destiny before mankind's parents, the first man and woman, God said not a word about future life for them in heaven. They did not need to become spirit creatures in heaven in order to be perfectly joyful and contented and in order to have dominion over the animals.
LOSS OF JOY
Who, then, instilled into man's head the idea of human immortality and of going to heaven after death like spirit gods? It was Satan "the prince of the demons" that did so. When carrying out his challenge to Jehovah's universal sovereignty Satan used deception to get Adam's wife Eve to sin against God. He said: "Ye shall not surely die: 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) Satan thus lied against Jehovah God and slandered him, and thus made a devil of himself, for "devil" means "slanderer". Adam, although he knew Satan was lying, chose to disobey God with Eve and thus suffer the same fate with her, sure death in the dust of the earth. God, after sentencing them, drove them both out of the garden of Eden into the unsubdued earth where, God said, Adam's wife Eve would become a mother of many children with great pains in childbearing. (Genesis 3:16-24) There they died and returned to dust, but only after having produced many sons and daughters to carry on human life after them. Satan and all the demons over which he became prince continued to lead Adam's descendants into rebellion against God and into all kinds of false religion by teaching them religious lies in harmony with what he told Eve: "Ye shall not surely die: . . . ye shall be as gods." Only a few men, like Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and King David, chose to worship and serve Jehovah as God and Sovereign.
Adam and Eve as the first ancestors of mankind were certainly not worthy of being worshiped by their descendants. What is more, Adam and Eve are dead, and not alive as gods anywhere; and so why should anyone worship these dead, nonexistent sinners against the Creator and Universal Sovereign? Why practice ancestor-worship toward any dead human creatures? The Creator's Word informs us against any such ancestor-worship by saying, at Romans 5:12; 6: 23: "By one man sin en-
tered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." "The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Neither Christendom nor heathendom can deny that all men are dying, and it needs no global wars or atomic bombs to cause men to die off by the millions every year. By reason of the first man's rebellion death passed upon all men, regardless of the races into which mankind has branched. All races, peoples, colors and nationalities are common inheritors of death from that first man. All were born imperfect, sinful and condemned in the sight of Jehovah God, the Creator of perfection and holiness. It took just one man to bring this upon all humankind. Many selfish men might charge Jehovah God with injustice in letting it be that way. But we ask, Was not God most wise in letting it be so? The answer is Yes; and God's written Word tells us why.
Call to mind the Bible verse just quoted, namely: "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Notice that God holds out the gift of eternal life to mankind, and that through one person, namely, Jesus Christ. Now, as God let death justly descend from one man upon all his offspring, just so God the Giver of eternal life can restore life to all dying human sinners that will accept it through an adopted father, this Jesus Christ the Lord. This makes a perfect balance of matters, as God's Word states it, saying: "As by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon
all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." (Romans 5:18,19) If the different races, tribes, peoples and nations were not all related to one another by having the one common first father, this arrangement would not be possible. Instead, each person, race, tribe or people would require a separate individual rescuer or ransomer. But now, since God "hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth", and all became subject to death through the one first man, likewise the same God can justly open the way to everlasting life on earth by means of the one person, his own Son, Jesus Christ the Lord.
All men descended from Adam according to the ordinary human birth-process, and hence no man of them, no matter how holy, wise and saintly the people may think him to be, could become a common father of them all and give them the inheritance of eternal life on earth. All men drawing existence through Adam were sinners, imperfect and subject to death. They could not make themselves perfect or gain eternal life for themselves, not to speak of bestowing it also upon others. God's Word, at Psalm 49:6-9, speaks of the rich men of earth and says: "They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; none of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: . . . that he should still live for ever, and not see corruption." Hence this is where Jehovah God needed to step into the situation by means of his only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
God had promised to do so away back in the garden of Eden when he said to Satan, who had deceived Eve into sin by means of the serpent: "Dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed [the demons and wicked humans] and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." (Genesis 3:14,15) Nineteen centuries ago the time came for Jehovah God to bring forth the woman's seed.
THE MEANS FOR RESTORING JOY
God's law of balance declared: "Thou shalt give life for life." (Exodus 21:23-25; Deuteronomy 19:21) The life of God's only begotten Son in heaven was not the same kind of life that Adam had lost for all his race through sin and rebellion. Adam lost the right to human life for all his offspring, but the life of God's beloved Son in heaven was spiritual and was far higher than man's life, just as man's life is far higher than the life of the animals that are sacrificed and offered upon earthly altars. Animal lives do not provide a ransom for human lives, because there must be an equality of life values. So, in order to ransom or buy back the life value that had been lost by Adam for his offspring, there must be an equal life-value presented to God. God's justice could not accept more than the human life-value, just as it could not accept less than the human, life-value. To provide such a human life-value Jehovah God arranged for his only begotten Son to give up his heavenly life as a spirit and to become a human creature, a perfect man such as Adam was when God made and put him in Eden. God
foretold that he should be called "Jesus" on earth and that, according to the flesh, he should be a descendant of Abraham and King David.
How did God's only begotten Son become the perfect man Jesus? Not by an incarnation, nor by a transmigration of soul. If it had been an incarnation and a transmigration of soul, then Jesus could not have died as a man. He would merely have been wearing a fleshly body like an outer garment separate and distinct from his real self, and it would have been just that outer covering that was put to death, but with the real Jesus leaving his garment of flesh and not tasting death at all. Jehovah God tells us actually what he did to his heavenly Son who was called or known as "The Word". At John 1:14 the Bible says: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." This divine statement says not a word about incarnation or transmigration, but declares that the Word, God's Son, actually became or "was made" flesh. He did not materialize a human body instantly to appear among men on earth, as holy angels had done a number of times before then. No; but he underwent human birth through a woman. In order to do so he gave up life as a spirit in heaven in Godly glory and his life was transferred to the womb of a woman to grow into a helpless little infant. (Philippians 2:5-7) The woman was a virgin, not united to a husband, and she was a descendant of Abraham through King David of Bethlehem. -Luke 1: 26-39; Matthew 1:18.
At this point of discussion it is well to consider the circumstances of the human birth of
the Son of God, because it is a reason for immense joy to all the people. God's Word says:
"Now the generation of Christ was in this wise. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the holy [spirit]." "And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem: because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child. And it came to pass, that when they were there, her days were accomplished, that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him up in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds watching, and keeping the night watches over their flock. And behold an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the brightness of God shone round about them; and they feared with a great fear. And the angel said to them: Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people: for, this day, is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David. And this shall be a sign unto you, You shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God, and saying : Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will." -Matthew 1:18; Luke 2; 4-14, Douay.
Why was that announcement of the birth of Jesus especially good news of great joy, a joy
meant for all the people? Because the one there born on earth was to become Christ the Lord. Christ means Anointed One. His mother's forefather, named David, had been anointed to be king over God's chosen nation of Israel. Also God had made with David a solemn covenant or agreement to raise up an everlasting king from among David's descendants. Jesus was the One meant in that covenant; and when he grew to manhood Jehovah God anointed him with his holy spirit or active force to be the promised King, greater and higher than all the kings of the earth. For this reason Jesus, after his anointing, went up and down the land preaching, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Reform, and believe the good news.' He also foretold that this kingdom would be set up in power in God's due time. At that time the kingdoms of the nations of this world would come to their end and God's kingdom in the hands of his Anointed King Jesus Christ would take control of the new world. But before that end should come to the nations and to their imperfect human governments the gospel or good news of God's kingdom must be preached to all peoples and nations. Jesus foretold the world war and then added: "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 24:14.
God's kingdom, however, would not be of permanent benefit to its subjects if the people kept on dying. This divine government was to be different from present helpless human governments in that it was to give everlasting life to all who would willingly and gladly become its
subjects. For this cause it was necessary for Jesus to die as a perfect man, the full equal of what Adam had been before he sinned and bequeathed death to the human family. In this way Jesus could pay the ransom price to God; and he as King could lay down his human life for all becoming his subjects and in the kingdom he could give these obedient and faithful subjects everlasting life on earth. He said to his footstep followers: "The Son of man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many." -Matthew 20: 28, The Emphatic Diaglott.
Because of preaching the kingdom of God Jesus was accused of sedition against the political rulership of this wicked world and was put to death upon a tree of torture by his enemies. He submitted to this in order that he might die for the glory of Jehovah God and also for ransoming all the people over whom he would become King. However, a dead king would not benefit the people, and, furthermore, Jesus Christ had died innocent and faithful to God. Therefore Jehovah God did a mighty miracle. On the third day after Jesus' death God raised him up from the dead and restored him to life in the spirit realm and gave him immortality and incorruption. During the forty days after his resurrection from the dead Jesus Christ materialized human bodies to show himself alive to his faithful footstep followers as witnesses. Then he left the earth and ascended to heaven to sit down at the right hand of his heavenly Father, Jehovah God. -Luke 24:1-51; Acts 1:1-11.
Before leaving his footstep followers on earth Jesus Christ instructed them to pray for the setting up of God's kingdom and to wait for it. And while they loyally waited for it they must preach and advertise it to others. If they were faithful in this course as his followers even to the death, then at the time of the setting up of God's kingdom Jesus Christ the King would raise them out of death to life in heaven above and would unite them to himself in his heavenly throne. There they would reign with him over mankind. They are a chosen company, and the last book of the Bible shows that the Lord God selects only 144,000 worthy of being rewarded With such a great privilege. Because of their comparative fewness Jesus spoke of them as a "little flock", and they will be united to him in the Kingdom like a virgin bride to a husband. (Luke 12:32; Revelation 14:1,3; 19:7; 21:9) This does no injustice to the rest of mankind, but God holds in reserve for them great blessings on earth through the reign of this heavenly kingdom of Christ Jesus and his "little flock". Those earthly blessings will satisfy the heart desires and needs of all human creatures who gain everlasting life under that perfect government of righteousness.
TIME OF JOY
God's prophetic Word, the Bible, definitely marked the year 1914 as the date for the establishment, of God's kingdom in the hands of his anointed King Jesus Christ. That momentous year has come, but can never be forgotten. God's kingdom by Christ was set up in the heavens that year. This is proved by visible events on
earth. The great world turmoil which Jesus Christ predicted as the visible evidence to men of the ending of this old world and the setting up of God's kingdom began with World War I in 1914, and, as Jesus predicted, famine, pestilence, earthquakes, persecutions, and distress of nations, with perplexity, continue to this day. In addition, the preaching of the good news of this recently established kingdom of heaven is also being done now as Jesus foretold, in all the habitable earth for a witness to all the nations. All this is cogent proof that the final end of the unsatisfying political and religious rulerships of this world is near in the final universal war toward which all nations and peoples are surely now marching. God's Word assures us that "some flesh" will come alive through that final universal war for deciding God's universal sovereignty; but such flesh will include only those who now hear the good news and take their stand immovably on the side of God's kingdom by his Son, Christ the King. -Matthew 24:3-44.
The announcement nineteen centuries ago of the birth of the One who was to become Christ the Lord was good news of great joy for all the people. The proved fact now of the establishment of God's kingdom with Christ in the heavenly throne is even grander good news. It is true cause for the greatest joy of all the people of good-will toward God and his kingdom, no matter of what race, color, language or nationality. Jehovah's King Jesus Christ gave his earthly life as a ransom for all the many kinds of people, for as many as believe in God's provision through him and give their allegiance to
his kingdom. Through his kingdom he will give all the loyal and submissive ones among men the full benefit of his ransom sacrifice, even everlasting life. He will thereby become what the Bible calls him, their "Everlasting Father". -Isaiah 9: 6, 7.
After the final universal war and under his kingdom there will be no more demons active to torment and mislead mankind. Jesus the King has been given all necessary power in heaven and in earth, and in the universal war of Armageddon he will lift the shroud of demon influence from off mankind by destroying all the demons and even Satan their prince. All the seed of the Serpent, Satan the Devil, will be destroyed, whether in heaven or on earth. No more then will the demons hypnotize and control mankind for evil and teach religious lies to blind them against Jehovah God and Jesus Christ. No more will hundreds of different religious organizations and nationalistic political organizations create prejudice and hatreds and provoke persecutions and breed wars and bloodshed. Under God's kingdom the people will be free from the demonic heavens, and Jesus Christ the King and his glorified footstep followers in the celestial throne with him will be the new heavens which will drop down righteousness, peace and truth upon mankind. -2 Peter 3:13.
The people of good-will surviving the final war of Armageddon are not the only ones due to enjoy these Kingdom blessings. The dead that sleep in the graves will also have an opportunity for these blessings. This is not to be by any reincarnation or transmigration of human souls, which the demons have taught, but
is to be by a re-creation of the dead ones in the graves. Resurrection, God's Word calls it. His King, Jesus Christ, said all in the graves will hear his voice of command and will come forth from the dust of the earth to a resurrection. (John 5: 28, 29) These, being recreated from the dead, will then have to prove themselves loyal and satisfied subjects of the kingdom of God if they would be blessed with the gift of everlasting life in perfection. Any proving themselves selfish, dissatisfied and rebellious and hence a menace to the eternal peace of the new world will be judged by the King as not worthy of existing and will be destroyed for ever. -Revelation 20:11-15.
All the righteously disposed obedient men will then become God's children through his King Jesus Christ. Their becoming sons of God produces no race of supermen nor any "master race", but does mean becoming perfect human creatures in God's image and likeness, just as . man was originally made in Eden. All thus receiving perfect human life from the one divine source, they will live as one big family of brothers and sisters, filling all the earth and living in the unbreakable unity of the family of God. And round about them the earth, subdued to a paradise condition, will rejoice and blossom as the rose.
This is the joy of all the people that Jehovah God has purposed through his King Jesus Christ. This joy which angels long ago announced it is our incomparable privilege to publish now to others, yes, to 'all the people', for whom it is meant. May we unselfishly do so, with "glory to God in the highest".