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Jehovah's Witnesses In The Divine Purpose

CHAPTER 16

God's Kingdom Exalted, Its Counterfeit Exposed

JOHN: Now that the responsibility of the world rulers had been so clearly defined by three stinging Resolutions, a call went out to all people of good will to respond to the hope of God's kingdom established in 1914.

This call was released in 1925, which, by the way, was a critical year to some of Jehovah's witnesses. The view had been somewhat general among the anointed that the remaining members of the body of Christ would be changed to heavenly glory that year.

MARIA [interrupting]: But even the early disciples of Jesus expected it in their day, didn't they?

JOHN: That's true, but they were cautioned against it, just as the brothers were in 1925. The Watch Tower stated:


Christians should not be so deeply concerned about what may transpire during this year that they would fail to joyfully do what the Lord would have them to do.a


The article was significantly entitled "Work for the Anointed," and as we have seen there was still much work for the anointed.

LOIS: Did some leave the organization because of it?

JOHN: Yes, there have been siftings all down the line. This was a marked year too in that a flood of new spiritual truths came to Jehovah's people, truths that further tested the devotion of those in line for the Kingdom. Extremely significant was the sublime revelation that the name of Jehovah must be given its proper place. Then too, in the issue of March 1, 1925, The Watch Tower presented the stirring and dramatic article "Birth of the Nation." It was published with Revelation 12:5 as a caption text. Would you read that please, Lois?

LOIS [reading]: "And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne." —AV.

TWO ORGANIZATIONS, WAR IN HEAVEN

JOHN: Thank you. This article "Birth of the Nation" has this to say, in part:


What has been the outstanding feature of the divine plan [purpose] during the ages? At once we all answer: The establishment of the kingdom for which Jesus taught us to pray. That means the birth of the new nation, which shall rule and bless all the families of the earth. —Daniel 2:44.

What has been the opposing power that has kept the people in ignorance of this glorious new nation and the blessings it will bring to them? Again the anointed with one accord respond: Satan the devil, and his organization.

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These two points are immovably fixed. Now we see from the evidence about us that the real fight is God against the devil, the kingdom of righteousness putting out of possession the kingdom of wickedness and darkness, and establishing the kingdom of truth instead.

The nations spent their anger on each other in the great war and until they were exhausted. Following 1918 the devil's organization, financial, political and ecclesiastical, particularly the latter, openly repudiated the Lord and his kingdom; and then and there the wrath of God against the nations began to be expressed. From that time forward the battle has gone on in the earth. Prior to that the battle was fought in heaven. . . .

From 1878 to 1914 the anointed ones of Zion were hoping and patiently waiting for the kingdom. Up to that time Zion suffered some pain. Truly it could be said that she being "with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered." "Even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body."—Romans 8:23.

In 1918 and 1919 Zion suffered still more, and there may yet still be more sufferings to endure.

Mark how the facts fit the prophecy: "Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children." (Isaiah 66:7, 8) Be it noted here that from 1874 until 1918 there was little, if any, persecution of those of Zion; that beginning with the Jewish year 1918, to wit, the latter part of 1917 our time, the great suffering came upon the anointed ones, Zion. Prior to 1914 she was in pain to be delivered, greatly desiring the kingdom; but the real travail came later. This is the first great wonder appearing in heaven.

Another great wonder or marvelous thing appearing to the anointed ones since 1918 is: "A great red dragon." Dragon is one of the names which God gives the devil. (Revelation 20:1-3) The name signifies devourer. Red dragon would symbolize a devilish, wicked movement to destroy Zion, or that which Zion will give birth to, the man child, the new nation or new government. It is since 1918 that the anointed ones this side the vail first understand that the dragon symbolizes the devil's organization acting in the capacity of a devourer, seeking to devour the seed of promise. Satan's organization, visible and invisible, is the second great wonder or marvel mentioned here. . . .

Michael, who is Christ the Lord, . . . remained silent until his right to rule had come. Satan's right had expired in 1914. "And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book."—Daniel 12:1.

There the Lord Jesus did stand up, and took his power to reign. It should be expected that the first work he would do would be to throw the devil out of heaven; and then and there the fight began. Revelation 12:7-9 reads:

"And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world; he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."

This is no imaginary thing; it was a real fight. The dragon and his official family, members of his invisible government, fought and fought hard; but they lost, and were literally hurled out of heaven. [See Weymouth's translation.]

It is inconsistent to think that Jesus, the righteous One, would take his power to reign in heaven and permit the devil to remain there; and he did not. Both Satan and his angels, namely, his official family, his invisible joint-rulers, were hurled down to the earth. That fight must have begun in 1914. Just how long it lasted the Scriptures do not indicate. b

FURTHER PERSECUTION FORESEEN

The Watch Tower then discusses some specific time features of Revelation 12, citing facts in fulfillment that are summarized in these words:


In 1918, after Satan recovered from his dazed condition, he set about to persecute the members of the Church on earth. In 1918 he caused the imprisonment of the officers of the SOCIETY and others. On March 26th, 1919, these were released from prison; and the Church (representing the woman) there fled into the wilderness for 1260 literal days. From March 27th, 1919, to September 8th, 1922, inclusive was exactly 1260 days, at the end of which period the remnant of the Church on earth makes a bold proclamation of its allegiance to the King and his kingdom, and announces its determination to begin and press the fight against Satan's empire until it is excluded from the earth.

Make no mistake by treating this war as a light or trivial thing. Satan will use every con-

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ceivable method to destroy the remnant of Zion. . . .

Let us remember that this is the battle of the Lord against the devil and his forces. Previously he has thrown the devil out of heaven; now the battle is to exclude him and his forces from the earth, that they may deceive the people no more. We need not fear, because we are safe in the hollow of God's hand.—Isaiah 51:16.

What a blessed privilege to fight the forces of darkness when we know that we can not be hurt if we remain close to the Lord!

The new nation is born. Its glory shall fill the whole earth. The kingdom of heaven is here. The day of deliverance is in sight. Let this good news be heralded to the peoples of earth. Victory is with our King. Faithful now to the end of the war; and we shall forever bask in the sunshine of his love, where there is fulness of joy and pleasure for evermore. c


It had been recognized for some time before this that Satan had an empire or organization, but not until the prophecy of Revelation 12 was here understood did the brothers discern clearly two distinct and opposing organizations. Now too for the first time it was revealed that as a result of the "war in heaven" beginning in 1914 Satan had been cast out of heaven and must confine his operations to the earth till Armageddon. It was learned later that Jehovah purposes to make a great and lasting name for himself at the battle of Armageddon and that this battle is not a fight between capital and labor, as had been previously thought, or by any human parties and nations, but that it is God's fight against the entire organization of Satan, invisible and visible. It was further recognized that Jehovah's servants on earth would have no part in that fight, but must warn all persons of good will of its coming that they may find a way of escape. d

"MESSAGE OF HOPE"

It was fitting, therefore, that in this year of great changeover in thinking, a special message should be sent to persons of good will that they might join in praise to the Most High God by associating themselves with Jehovah's organization and thereby enter into a way destined to bring them everlasting life on earth.

A general assembly was held that year at Indianapolis, Indiana, August 24 to 31, and was attended by 10,000. Brother Rutherford's public lecture, entitled "A Call to Action," featured a loving resolution adopted by standing vote of all present and addressed "To All Peoples of Good Will." The tract in which it was incorporated later was called "Message of Hope." It was headed "World Reconstruction—A Standard to Guide the Peoples." About 50 million copies were circulated in Christendom as the months passed. e Maria, perhaps you will read the portions marked in the resolution.

MARIA [reading]:


To ALL PEOPLES OK GOOD WILL: The International Bible Students in general convention assembled send greetings:

When in the course of human affairs the nations have reached a condition of extremity it is due time that the peoples give consideration to the inducing causes . . . For centuries man has been the victim of oppression, war, famine, sickness, sorrow and death. At all times he has desired peace, prosperity, health, life, liberty and happiness. World powers, science and philosophy, commerce and religion have each in turn offered its respective remedies for man's relief. . . .

Intrigue, duplicity and trickery are freely resorted to by the political and commercial powers ; science and philosophy are marked by vanity and self-sufficiency; while the religionists, both Catholic and Protestant, are conspicuous by their arrogance, self-conceit, impiety and ungodliness. . . . Catholicism claims and assumes that which justly belongs exclusively to God. . . .

The results are that the peoples are smarting under the oppressive weight of commercial profiteers and their allies, have lost faith in their political leaders, and no longer have respect for the religionists who have misled them. Being guided by the false light of such an ungodly and unholy alliance, the peoples have fallen into darkness. . . .

The causes for his deplorable condition are that man by reason of original sin fell from perfection; and that Satan the enemy of God

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and all righteousness is the invisible ruler or god of this evil world . . . The greatest crisis of the ages is impending and about to fall; because the old world has ended and Satan's lease of power is done. Knowing this, and that his time is short, the Devil is trying to overwhelm the peoples with a great flood of false and deceptive doctrines and to turn their minds completely away from Jehovah. . . .

Therefore, in the name and in the spirit of the Lord, the Standard of God's truth and righteousness is lifted here up against the enemy and for the benefit of the peoples, which standard is to wit: That Jehovah is the only true God, the Most High, . . . that the Bible is his revealed Word of Truth; that his beloved Son Christ Jesus is the Redeemer and Deliverer of mankind and, true to his promise, has come to rule and bless the peoples .. . We confidently appeal to the peoples to rally to the divine standard of truth thus lifted up, and thereby learn the way that leads to life and happiness. f


My, what a stirring call from the anointed to those destined to live on earth. Not many responded though, did they?

JOHN: No, nor was this the first call that went out. Tom, do either you or Lois know when the earliest call might have been?

TOM: Was that during the campaign "Millions Now Living Will Never Die"?

JOHN: Yes, it was, and it was first sent out in 1918 even before Jehovah had come to his temple to judge his anointed. It was repeated during the period of restoration of true worship from 1919 to 1922 in the "Millions Campaign." But few, if any, aside from the anointed, responded to share in these powerful Resolutions against Satan's world. This emphasizes Jehovah's direction of his anointed and spirit-begotten witnesses to whom he had specifically given the commission to root out and tear down false doctrine. During this thrilling time the anointed of Jehovah stood alone on earth against Satan's entire organization.

From 1922 through 1925 Jehovah God helped his people to wait or endure, carrying on his kingdom preaching on a widening scale. This resulted in bringing into the sanctuary many more to be members of this remnant consecrated by Jehovah. This was evident from the increasing attendance at the annual celebrations of the Lord's evening meal, 32,661 participating in 1922; 42,000 in 1923; 62,696 in 1924; and 90,434 in 1925. g

Evidently, however, there were some who did not "wait" with the Lord's faithful remnant. In 1926 there was a reported decrease in the attendance on March 27 at the Lord's evening meal to 89,278. h The year 1925 especially proved to be a year of great trial to many of Jehovah's people. Some stopped waiting and went with the world. i Those who did survive this critical time were happy indeed with the blessings Jehovah had in store for them from May, 1926, forward.

END OF THE LEAGUE FORESEEN

LOIS: That would be the time of the fifth resolution, no doubt. Where was this convention held?

JOHN: London, England, May 25-31, at the Alexandra Palace. The public meeting though, on Sunday, was held at Royal Albert Hall. j The resolution was submitted to the assembly on Friday afternoon following an address by the Society's president based on Isaiah, chapter 49, and after it the new book entitled "Deliverance" was released to the convention. The Resolution was entitled "A Testimony to the Rulers of the World." It called attention to the responsibility that was placed upon all rulers because all the evidences of the times bore testimony to the establishment of God's kingdom in the heavens in 1914. The fifth clause of the resolution declared that despite this conclusive proof—

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contrary to the Word of God the commercial, political and ecclesiastical rulers attempted to stabilize the world and keep the peoples under control by adopting that makeshift which is called the League of Nations and which was wrongfully and blasphemously hailed as the political expression of God's kingdom on earth; that the real author and father of the League of Nations compact is Satan the Devil, the god of this evil world, [it] was put forward by him as his last desperate effort to deceive the peoples, turn them away from the true God, and hold them under his own wicked control; that now after seven years of laborious effort on the part of the proponents of that compact to establish peace and prosperity, it is practically conceded that the League of Nations is a complete failure and that its utter collapse is a matter of only a brief space of time . . .k


TOM: That was a serious commitment, especially as early as 1926.

JOHN: Yes, it was, but Judge Rutherford was prepared to back it up with Scripture and fact. The following Sunday he gave a masterly address enlarging upon the resolution. "Why World Powers Are Tottering —The Remedy" was his subject. In introducing it, he said:


I propose to now prove that the trouble of this world has resulted because: (1) the law of Jehovah God has been disregarded and ignored; (2) and that throughout the ages world powers have been organized and succeeded each other, and have now reached a climax in the British Empire; (3) that in all of these world powers fraud has been freely practised in the name of religion and in the name of the Almighty God, and that the clergy have been chiefly used in the practicing of such fraud; (4) that the time has come when Almighty God will make himself known to the people and will express his indignation against all hypocrisy; (5) that to this end Jehovah God has set his anointed King upon his throne of authority and judgment; (6) that the kingdom of God is the complete remedy for all human ills and that there is none other; and (7) that the rulers of the earth should now hear and heed these facts. l


The League of Nations was exposed not only as the "abomination that makes desolate," but also as the "eighth" king of Revelation 17:11, the British Empire being the seventh "king" and being the main support of the League of Nations. To demonstrate the League's dependence on Britain's backing, Brother Rutherford declared: "Let Britain withdraw from it tomorrow, and it will go down immediately." In conclusion he described the blessings of God's kingdom.

This spirited public talk and the resolution adopted by the assembly contained the most important news of the times. But, except for the paid full page in Monday's Daily News m available to its 800,000 readers, it was ignored by the public press. Reprints of this newspaper page were widely circulated and the resolution in tract form was distributed around the earth to the number of 50 million copies. n Many of Britain's people were to remember for years that London was there branded as the "seat of the beast" of Revelation 16:10, though the testimony went unheeded.

At the very beginning of this year, 1926, in the leading article the Watch Tower issue of January 1 had confronted God's people with the stirring question, "Who Will Honor Jehovah?" Now, at the London convention on May 29, designated as "Service Day," hundreds of the conventioners who were on the streets as witnesses of Jehovah placed in the hands of the people 110,000 copies of the new booklet The Standard for the People. The convention report that appeared in The Watch Tower concluded its account of this London witnessing effort with the words:


Nothing like this has ever been known on Service Day at a convention. The friends were bubbling over with enthusiasm. They felt that they had done their best to obey the command of Jehovah: "Ye are my witnesses that I am God." o


Little did they realize how meaningful these words were to be five years later or how much more real happiness was in store for them.



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