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Religion

CHAPTER XI

"PREPARE WAR"

Joel 3:7-13

JEHOVAH will "pay off" the enemy, and of that there is not the slightest doubt. His Paymaster is Christ Jesus, who will administer retributive justice. For centuries the enemy has proceeded in an arrogant manner, reproaching Jehovah's name and inflicting cruel punishment upon God's people. The payday is at hand, and the foot of the enemy shall slip and slide, because the due time has come. There will be no delay; what is coming upon the enemy will come in a hurry. It is the day of calamity upon those who reproach God's name. "To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste." (Deuteronomy 32:35) Religionists have used the name of Christ for political and commercial purposes, and they have trodden under foot the name of the Son of Jehovah God, and have counted his sacrificial blood an unholy thing. They have also persecuted the servants of God who have faithfully proclaimed the truth to the people. In their wickedness they have reached the climax, and the time for Jehovah to duly pay them off has come.

Then Jehovah speaks of and concerning his faithful servants who have been woefully ill-

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treated by the religionists and tells what he is going to do for them. "Behold, I will raise them out of the place whither ye have sold them, and will return your recompence upon your own head." (Joel 3:7) These are words of assurance to Jehovah's people that he will deliver them from the bondage of oppression and persecution. In A.D. 1919 Jehovah began to bring his faithful servants out of bondage. He caused them to wake up to their privileges and to see and appreciate the commission God gives to his faithful covenant people. Since then God has continued to reveal to his faithful servants his own great organization and how it is opposed by the wicked organization of Satan, and now God makes it clearly to appear that the religious leaders are the chief instruments of the Devil used to reproach his name and to afflict his people. This the Lord has done since he brought his remnant to the temple.

God has now raised his people "out of the place whither ye [the religionists] have sold them", and he now causes his servants to announce to the enemy his words, to wit: "I ... will return your recompence upon your own head." The remnant and their "companions" now have the privilege and obligation of declaring God's determination to take action against the enemy, as stated in the Scriptures, to wit: "He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity; he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints." (Revelation 13:10) "Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her

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works; in the cup which she hath filled, fill to her double." — Revelation 18: 6.

Because Armageddon is near, the time to "pay off" will take place and he sends the true followers of Christ Jesus throughout the land to declare his judgment in advance of its execution. This proclamation gives due notice to the enemy and enables the people of good will to flee from the enemy's organization before God's judgment is executed against the wicked.

Further addressing his words of warning and condemnation to the religionists Jehovah says: "And I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the children of Judah, and they shall sell them to the Sabeans, to a people far off; for the Lord hath spoken it." (Joel 3:8) The "sons" and the "daughters" of the religionists are those who have been taught to call their leaders "father", "reverend," and "bishop", and such children of the religionists have been led by their so-called "fathers" into the Devil's snare, and now all such as remain there are the seed of the Serpent. Such "sons" and "daughters" the religious leaders hold as vitally essential to themselves for their carrying out of their wicked purposes. The "fathers" or leaders depend upon such sons and daughters to do deeds of wickedness, and their daughters in particular go about to collect the money from the gullible people to finance their organization; all of which they regard as necessary for maintaining themselves and their organization. Like the chief billy-goat, the priest leads the deluded and fanatical sons and daughters into a place of a peaceable assembly of others and there incites

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and induces and causes such sons and daughters to commit deeds of violence, and in those wicked deeds the leaders find satisfaction and self-glory.

Jehovah, through his prophet, speaks of the day when Christ Jesus comes to execute vengeance in behalf of the Most High upon the religionists, the leaders and their dupes, and by that prophet says: "Also, thou son of man, shall it not be in the day when I take from them their strength, the joy of their glory, the desire of their eyes, and that whereupon they set their minds, their sons and their daughters?" (Ezekiel 24:25) It is then that God will take away from these self-exalted religious leaders their strength and the joy of their glory and the desire of their eyes.

Now Jehovah says to those oppressors who defame his holy name: "I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the children of Judah." This Jehovah does by delivering over to his King, Christ Jesus, "the Lion of the tribe of Juda," all the nations of the earth, which nations he is now gathering to the place of battle. To Christ, the Executioner and King, Jehovah says: "Ask of me, and I will give thee the nations for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel." — Psalm 2:8,9, A.R.V.

Jehovah then warns the rulers of his purpose to destroy them, and this notice he gives in advance in these words: "Now therefore be wise, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve Jehovah with fear, and rejoice with

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trembling. Kiss the son, lest he be angry, and ye perish in the way, for his wrath will soon be kindled. Blessed are all they that take refuge in him." (Psalm 2:10-12, A.R.V.) With extreme presumptuousness the head of the Hierarchy sets himself up as the one to receive the kisses of others, and thus he commits the presumptuous sin of assuming to be the One whom Almighty God directs the others to serve and obey. Not only is that an insult to the Lord, but it is a presumptuous sin, which is not forgivable.

The pope then goes farther than the Lord himself and invites these deluded subjects to kiss his toe. Jesus Christ, the great Redeemer, became the inheritor and owner of the human race by right of purchase, paying his lifeblood therefor. All the nations of the earth are under his possession and control to do with them according to the will of God. It is the will of Jehovah God, expressed in his Word, that all who take their place on the side of Christ Jesus, and who joyfully accept him as their Lord, Redeemer and King and faithfully serve him, such Christ Jesus redeems and delivers. But not so with the rebellious oppressors of Jehovah's faithful people. Those who commit such presumptuous sins, as aforementioned, and who by their conduct count the blood of Christ a common thing, making commerce of the same, and all who follow their lead in opposition to the Theocracy the Lord declares he will destroy. For many centuries God has suffered the enemy to pursue the course of wickedness without hindrance, but now the due time has come for the pay-off. "What if God, willing to shew his

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wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction; and that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory."  — Romans 9: 22, 23.

The "children of Judah" mentioned by the prophet Joel are all those who praise Jehovah, particularly the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Christ Jesus, and including all of his faithful followers. Such continuously serve and praise the Most High. Such faithful ones obey God and refuse to obey man and are diligent to avoid the snare of religion. The faithful followers of Christ Jesus go forth to the people with the message of Jehovah, and by delivering that message they in effect "sell" the modern-day Tyre, Zidon and Philistia, that is to say, the Roman Catholic Hierarchy and allies of other religions. That message of truth operates to "sell" the religionists over to others who will enslave, oppress and exploit the religionists. This Jehovah's witnesses and companions do by drawing to the attention of the people the truth of God's Word, which shows that religion is the product and instrument of the Devil and that at the beginning of Armageddon Jehovah will deliver religion and the practitioners thereof over to their former allies, the radical ruling element, to be destroyed.

And what is the sale price to the faithful servants of Jehovah? And what do they get out of the transaction? It is this: All the benefit that comes out of exposing religion, which has been used to defame the name of Jehovah God. The

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faithful thus serving Jehovah have part in the vindication of his name, and that is a great pay to them. The pay that Jehovah's faithful ones receive out of the transaction is the joy of doing Jehovah's will and having a part in the vindication of his name.

Further Jehovah says of the sons and daughters of the religious leaders that "they shall sell them to the Sabeans". According to another rendering of the text, they will sell them "to the men of Sheba" (R.V.) (1 Chronicles 1:9,22,32); that is to say, to the descendants of Cush, the son of Ham (Genesis 10: 6, 7); also to the descendants of Shem. (Genesis 10:21,28; 25:3) Selling them is doubtless to a mixed crowd of deluded ones. In early times those people of the type were raiders engaged in a destructive work. (Job 1:15) They were of the land of Sheba. They were also traders in different kinds of merchandise. (1 Kings 10:1, 2,10) According to Joel's prophecy they must have been engaged in the slave traffic. They were a cruel, heartless, wicked people, and they well picture, therefore, that extremely selfish part of humanity that have commercial or business relationships with the big religionists, such as Sheba had with Tyre, and that later turn against the religionists for the purpose of making gain out of the misfortune of those religionists. This is clearly corroborated by what came to pass upon those who marched against King Jehoshaphat. (2 Chronicles 20:22,23) The dictators now permit the Roman Catholic Hierarchy to work with them, and all together they engage in robbing the Jews, who have been prosperous

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in commercial things and otherwise in obtaining money and property. When that radical and deluded element have finished with exploiting and robbing the Jews, it appears, then they will give their attention to the big religionists. It is said that Vatican City has stored up more gold and other riches than any other nation or organization. It may be expected that the various deluded radical elements will swoop down on the Vatican and Hierarchy after they have finished the Jews.

The land of Sheba was a country "far off" from Jerusalem, being many miles to the south. (Matthew 12:42) As the prophecy says: "They shall sell them ... to a people far off." Therefore the religious leaders will be removed afar from the domain in which they have carried on their commercial, religious activities and will be taken so far away they will never get back. Their organization will be broken up and destroyed because, as the Scriptures declare, the rulers, meaning the radical element, will burn her with fire, and the Lord will put it into the minds of such to do so. (Revelation 17:16-18) Furthermore, and to make certain what will come to pass, the prophecy of Joel says: "For the Lord hath spoken it." It is therefore certain that all such will come to pass, because God has said, "I have purposed it, I will also do it." — Isaiah 46:11.

PROCLAMATION

In due time Jehovah's Messenger, Christ Jesus, appears at the temple of Jehovah. He tests the consecrated and then gathers into the temple the approved ones. Thereafter the ap-

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proved must offer unto Jehovah "an offering in righteousness"; hence they are sent forth to proclaim his Word and his praises, doing service to Jehovah and Christ Jesus. (Malachi 3:3; Hebrews 13:15) These faithful ones God favors by revealing to them the meaning of his prophecies, and they are sent forth by the Lord with this command: "Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles [nations (R.V.)]; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up." — Joel 3: 9.

How wide or great shall be the proclamation mentioned in this command? It must have the same extent as Jesus commanded concerning this gospel of the kingdom, which must be proclaimed to all the world for a witness. (Matthew 24:14) That means the proclamation is to all

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outside of God's "holy nation", who compose the kingdom class. (1 Peter 2: 9,10) This message from Jehovah attracts the attention of those people of good will toward God, and hence the "great multitude" are informed of their privileges and they come from all nations to serve Jehovah and his King. At Joel 3:2 God says: "I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat." In obedience to his command the proclamation is given by his witnesses, and thus they have a part in doing God's work toward the gathering of the nations.

Furthermore Jehovah's witnesses are commanded to proclaim the words "Prepare war". This message does not mean to make preparation for another world war amongst the nations, but it means that the opponents of the Theocracy are to ally themselves and join themselves together in a world-wide confederacy to oppose Jehovah's King and kingdom. It is the Theocracy that Jehovah's witnesses announce and proclaim. It is the proclamation to the enemy to prepare for the battle against Jehovah. The Hierarchy and allied religionists are called upon to justify the action they have taken over a course of years, and particularly that now being taken against Jehovah's faithful servants. The marginal reading of this part of the text is, "Sanctify war"; (Rotherham) "hallow a war." Such is what the Hierarchy and allies are now doing. Religionists declare it to be a "holy war", "a war for Christian religion." It is called a "Christian Front" movement, which makes war against those who support Jehovah God and his

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King and kingdom. Only the religious element could "sanctify" such a war. The Roman Catholic Hierarchy take the lead in declaring such to be a holy war.

The proclamation of God's message of truth is seized upon by the religionists to make war upon Jehovah's witnesses in particular. In doing this they hesitate not to lie to the greatest extent in order to put over their wicked designs. The Hierarchy and other religionists are clearly shown to be the ones mentioned in the prophecy that "sanctify war"; and which was foreshadowed by Jehovah's challenge to Tyre, Edom, Mount Seir, Philistia and the Babylonians to come on and make war.

In the work of proclaiming the day of vengeance of our God, Jehovah's witnesses, who are Christians, are acting strictly in obedience to Jehovah's commandments. They are commissioned thus to do, and must perform that commission. (Isaiah 61: 2) They must proclaim publicly and within the hearing of all as commanded: "Wake up [(R.V.) stir up; (Roth.) rouse] the mighty men." Who are the "mighty men" mentioned in the prophecy? Both the Scriptures and the physical facts show they are those of the "Hierarchy of Authority", who exalt themselves and who are exalted by conscienceless politicians and fanatical radicals. They are the ones upon whom great honor is bestowed and who are held up as examples. Therefore the prophecy is directed to such mighty men, commanding them, in substance, to wit:

Rouse yourselves and go at it, Hierarchy. You have been exalting yourselves for centuries

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and boasting as to what you are going to do; and now make good your boast. Raise the issue against the witnesses of the Almighty God. You have organized your "Catholic Action" as a body politic to conquer and control the world, defame the name of Almighty God, and oppose his kingdom; now go right on and put pressure on all public officials of this world, that is, political, judicial, legislative, police, executive, and all others who hear and exalt you and who join you in oppression and in opposition to the Theocratic government. Do this, and move into action against the witnesses of the Almighty God. Raise up your giant champion, that is to say, the modern-day Goliath, the corporate, dictatorial or totalitarian state. Cement together your arbitrary rulers. Organize your secret police and use them to spy on others, and punish all who may have in possession the Word of God or any explanation thereof. Cause your "yes men" in the legislative bodies to enact laws compelling flag-waving and saluting and the hailing of men, and also enact all other manner of statutes inflicting punishment upon those who attempt to exercise freedom of speech and freedom of worship.

Plant your religious hirelings in the high official places of the present world powers and encourage them, particularly the judicial officers, to sell their judicial decisions for money, and at the same time to wrongfully inflict punishment upon those who dare to tell the truth of God's Word. Raise your false cry against Jehovah's witnesses, and denounce them as "Communists" or "reds", and thus put the label upon

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everyone who does not favor your religious racket. Stir up the secular press and the radio owners and induce them to join with you in making false reports and publications to the people in the hope of strengthening your wicked position. You have for long influenced the people against God and his kingdom, while you have falsely claimed the right to rule the world in the place and stead of Christ. Now go to it, you big men; get together and see what you can do. You have been longing for a day to exert your power; you have been anxious for trouble or an excuse to fight, and now you shall be accommodated.

Furthermore the Lord says to his opponents: "Let all the men of war draw near; let them come up." The religious leaders, particularly the Roman Catholic Hierarchy, think to frighten, browbeat, coerce and compel all others to obey and bow to their dictates, and hence the Lord says to them: 'Come on and exhibit yourselves against the witnesses of Jehovah, who proclaim his truth. Do your utmost to stop them, if you will. Boycott the owners and operators of radio stations and compel them to refuse to broadcast anything that might shock your religious susceptibilities and expose your racket. Use the newspapers to proclaim lies against Jehovah's servants, and employ men within your power to compel all other publications to support your religious-political scheme to rule contrary to God's will. After the judicial men of your organization commit grave offenses against the law of the land, such as selling justice or judicial decisions for money, cause the

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publishers of the press that are subsidized by your money to remain silent against such violators of the law. And let your mighty men continue to devise ways and means to hinder the proclamation of the message of God's kingdom, and in this do your very worst. This is your last show.'

For many years the religious leaders, by means of their propaganda campaigns, have claimed that they would convert the world to their religion. Such has been their way of peaceable means to accomplish the purpose and gain control of the world. Now the religionists are desperate and are ready to resort to and do resort to any means to accomplish their wrongful designs. Hence Jehovah, by his prophet, says to the mighty men that oppose the Theocracy:




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"Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears; let the weak say, I am strong." — Joel 3:10.

Now the time has arrived when these wicked ambitious religionists think to grab control of and rule the world; and in order that they might have the full length of their rope God says to them: 'Go right on; turn your once peacetime schemes of making proselytes into militant weapons. You did not succeed in converting and gathering all nations into your religious-political camp; now employ all manner of force to get the people under your control. Your "Catholic Action" appears to serve you well; so go forward and openly announce your alliance with Fascists and Nazis to employ force to gain control of the governments of earth.' The Lord taunts them by telling them to do their very worst.

Furthermore addressing that wicked crowd Jehovah says to them, in substance: 'Your pruning hooks, which you have employed to dress your religious vines, have not fulfilled your expectations in causing all the people to join with you and become subject to your organization. Now try to oppress men, and hence beat your pruning hooks into spears, that is, instruments of violence, and use violence in your efforts to regiment and control the people. Become open warriors, and thus be better equipped to fight against Jehovah's witnesses and against Jehovah's message and therefore against The Theocracy.'

Compared with the host of Almighty God every nation and every organization is weak

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and amounts to nothing. (Isaiah 40:15) But to tickle the ambition of religionists, and to taunt them and feed their vanity, Jehovah sends this message to them by his faithful witnesses: "Let the weak [one] say, I am strong." And so the vain deluded ones think themselves very strong to fight against all who take their stand on the side of Jehovah. Compared with the small number of Jehovah's visible witnesses on the earth, and who appear to be entirely defenseless, the religious leaders in particular, together with their fanatical deluded ones, think themselves to be very strong. Professional politicians cooperate with such religionists because they think that is the best course to take to insure further political support. The politicians say publicly, "What we need is more religion," without having any understanding of what "religion" really means. The religionists say, "The politicians are with us, and we must crush those who call themselves 'Jehovah's witnesses'." These "mighty men", so called, think themselves to be very strong against Jehovah God. The Devil and his wicked angels inject that thought into their minds.

In all the totalitarian states the united efforts of the enemy are against Jehovah's witnesses. In the so-called "democracies" there is a growing sentiment of the radical and political element to consider themselves strong and that they should destroy everything not agreeing with them, and particularly the witnesses of the Most High. All of these are embraced in "the nations that forget God", because they fail to consider that God is Almighty and that his wit-

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nesses are acting under God's commandment and that Jehovah will defend those who love and serve him. Without full faith in Jehovah and his kingdom it would now be impossible for any man to withstand the vicious attack of the combined enemy. Jehovah is the God of comfort, and, that the hope of his people may be strong, he puts into the mouth of his faithful servants this prayer, to wit: "Arise, O Lord; let not man prevail; let the heathen be judged in thy sight. Put them in fear, 0 Lord; that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah." — Psalm 9:19,20.

Some who profess to be consecrated to the Lord are weaker in faith than others, and because of little faith they for a time become fearful. For their aid and comfort Jehovah answers the foregoing prayer of his faithful ones and causes his prophet to say to those who need more faith: "I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass." — Isaiah 51:12.

It is only those who trust implicitly in and who diligently serve Jehovah that can now say, 'I am "strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might".' (Ephesians 6:10) Such are without fear and will have boldness in this day in proclaiming God's message of truth as commanded.  — 1 John 4:17,18.

Within the borders of Britain and America the major portion of the witness work is now carried forward by Jehovah's witnesses. In the outlying countries, where the number of witnesses is small, the enemy has been bolder and

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more arrogant in opposing the work of the Most High. The vicious opposition of the enemy is now greatly increasing in America and in Great Britain, and such of itself indicates that Armageddon is near. It is now very apparent that the demons have taken possession of the minds of those who are against God and against his King. Satan knows his time is short, and hence he puts forth all his power to control those who know not Jehovah God. The recent disturbance at Madison Square Garden, New York, clearly demonstrated that the deluded opponents or radicals are under the complete control of Satan and other demons, the wicked angels. The demons are seizing control of the radical element in every part of the earth, and thus that wicked one, the Devil, moves his forces in rapid preparation for the final showdown. Hence Jehovah says to all nations: "Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen [nations], and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, 0 Lord." — Joel 3:11.

ASSEMBLING

The first part of this verse is addressed to the nations who are against God. The latter part of this verse is a prayer of Jehovah's "faithful servant" class, the "holy nation". To the enemy forces under the immediate command of Gog, who is the first in command of Satan's forces, Jehovah now says, according to the Revised Version: "Haste ye, and come, all ye nations round about." The time for the assembly and the beginning of the fight is short, and therefore

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action must be speeded up. Satan knows that his time is short, and he hastens to do the very thing that God commands" to be done. (Revelation 12:12) The haste with which preparation is made for the battle is indicated by the prophet of God in these words: "The chariots [of war] shall rage in the streets [ways of the enemy organization], they shall justle one against another in the broad ways; they shall seem like torches, they shall run like the lightnings." — Nahum 2:4.

Now "Catholic Action" is speeding up in every part of the earth. The political dictators, with whom the Hierarchy is allied, are making speedy movements to increase their own strength and to extend their power to the point of completely preventing freedom of speech, of press, and of assembly, and freedom of worship. So frenzied are those of the more radical and deluded type that they move not according to the laws of dictators even, but act without the least semblance of legal authority, in their endeavor to prevent freedom of assembly and freedom of speech. All the physical facts now coming to pass clearly show that "the great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of [Jehovah]". And what shall follow? "The mighty man [the enemy] shall cry there bitterly." — Zephaniah 1:14.

It is Jehovah's day of vindication, and not only is he ready for the fight, but he welcomes it and invites the enemy to line up, saying to them: "Come, all ye [nations], and gather yourselves together round about." Get ready for the

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fight; you have been boasting what you are going to do; now do it! Jehovah's time is here for the vindication of his name, and so he invites the enemy to advance; and this he does by causing his witnesses, the remnant and their companions, to go out amongst the people and fearlessly proclaim his judgments that are written. Those who truly trust Jehovah delight to obey this command, and they with boldness proclaim the Theocracy; and the effect upon the religionists is to plague them even as locusts plagued the people in Egypt, and this incites the vicious to resentment, and "Catholic Action" increases. Jehovah, in substance, says to the enemy: 'Surround them completely. Encircle my faithful witnesses now on the earth, and do your worst to hem them in by your vicious and cruel laws. Take away all liberty that your national laws once guaranteed to the people.'

In 1914 there began a "war in heaven" and the Lord Jesus and his angels fought against Satan and his forces, and Satan and his wicked crowd were cast down to the vicinity of the earth. (Revelation 12: 7-9) Now the scene of final conflict is in the earth, and it appears that the following words of the foregoing prophecy of Joel are a prayer of the faithful to Jehovah: "Thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, 0 Lord." (Joel 3:11) In support of this, it is written in another part of God's prophecy: "I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, even them that rejoice in my highness. The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations

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gathered together; the Lord of hosts mustereth the host of the battle." — Isaiah 13: 3,4.

The end of Satan and his horde of wicked ones is at hand, and that includes both the visible and the invisible part of his organization, particularly the Roman Catholic Hierarchy, that now vainly attempts to ride on the top of every nation. Therefore Jehovah says to them, and he commands his witnesses to continue to repeat his declaration, to wit: "Let the heathen be awakened [(R.V.) Let the nations bestir themselves], and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat; for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about." — Joel 3:12.

Therefore Jehovah's witnesses, in obedience to God's command, must proclaim and do proclaim the message, to wit: "For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion," (Isaiah 34:8) The faithful servants of God will now have in mind their commission and will perform the same by declaring the day of the vengeance of our God. (Isaiah 61: 2) For centuries Jehovah has permitted the enemy to operate without let or hindrance, but now he will settle the account with the enemy for all time. Therefore Jehovah maneuvers the enemy into position and stirs them up and causes his faithful witnesses to have part in this work by declaring the day of his vengeance against all wickedness.

PLACE OF BATTLE

To all the nations that have allied themselves with the Devil Jehovah now says: "Come up to

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the valley of Jehoshaphat"; that is to say, the place of judgment and battle. Jehovah maneuvers the enemy right to that place or condition. He not only selects the battlefield, but draws out the enemy and all the people who support the leaders therein and compels them to show on whose side they are lined up. He forces them to show themselves to be against the Theocracy. The division is now rapidly taking place, and the people of the nations are dividing themselves into the two classes, one designated "the goats"; and the other, who are of good will toward God, are known as the "other sheep" of the Lord. It is a thrilling time, and the sound of the marching forces in preparation for battle thrills the heart of every one who loves righteousness and hates iniquity. Long have God's people waited for this time, and they rejoice that it is here, because they know the Righteous One, the Mighty God, and his King shall gain complete victory.

Jehovah leaves no excuse for the enemy to ever say they had not sufficient notice of his purpose against them. The host of Satan gathers from all parts of the earth against the Lord. That wicked horde is under the immediate command of Gog, the first in command under Satan. To that wicked crowd the Lord addresses his speech, to wit: "Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; and I will turn thee back [turn thee about (A.R.V.)], and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great

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company, with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords." — Ezekiel 38: 3,4.

The words of Jesus addressed to his faithful servants show the enemy Satan gathering the nations to the battle of the great day of God Almighty. (Revelation 16:13-16) The faithful on earth now see the fulfillment of this prophecy of Revelation. At the "valley of Jehoshaphat", or final judgment place, Jehovah causes them to assemble, and says: "For there will I sit to judge all the nations round about." (R.V.) No part of Satan's organization will be omitted from that assembly for judgment and execution. As the mighty Judge and Commander-in-Chief of all the host of righteousness Jehovah sits there to command and direct the execution of his judgment, which execution is done by Christ Jesus, his Executive Officer and Vindicator. That will be no kind of trial, such as is held in earthly courts. There will be no legal briefs filed and no arguments heard. It will be the time of excution [sic]. God has given Christ Jesus the "authority to execute judgment". (John 5:27) The Lord Jesus Christ will there be pitted against the forces of Satan, and Jehovah sits, at it were, to umpire the fight and make known the result, and thereafter every mouth shall be for ever stopped that utters opposition to Almighty God. Righteousness shall triumph. This full assurance now gives great joy to those on the side of the Theocratic Government and thrills their hearts with unspeakable courage and gladness.

At this point of the prophecy it appears that Jehovah addresses his beloved Son, who is always faithfully obedient in carrying out the will

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of his Father. For many centuries Christ Jesus has waited for this hour, that he might vindicate his Father's name, and which vindication will constitute his fullness of joy. It is a time of great joy to his heart when he hears Jehovah say to him, and to his heavenly host acting under the command of Christ, the great Field Marshal: "Put ye in the sickle; for the harvest [of the grape-vine of Satan] is ripe; come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great." (Joel 3:13) Now the time has arrived when the knife must be thrust into Satan's vineyard. "And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe." — Revelation 14:17,18.

The purpose of thrusting in the sickle is to cut Satan's vine loose from its moorings, which are deep in the earth. The vine is to be cast into God's winepress and there trodden and destroyed. In connection with the putting in of the sickle is also included the gathering of the nations to the place of final conflict, and in this part of the work Jehovah's witnesses have some part by declaring the purpose of Jehovah. According to another translation this part of the text reads: "Thrust ye in the vintage knife, for grown ripe is the vintage." (Rotherham) Surely that means that Satan's organization, and particularly "Christendom", which forms the chief

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part of the earthly organization of the enemy, is now ripe and ready for destruction.

WINEPRESS

Further Jehovah says to Christ, his King and Executioner: "Come, get you down"; (A.R.V.) "come, tread ye [(Roth.)go in, tread down] . . . the wine-press is full, the vats overflow." In common usage the description is this: The earth is full of wickedness and violence, and the time for completely wiping out all wickedness is at hand. When the battle of Armageddon begins, the winepress or vats will be full, because the dividing of the people will then be completed and the "goats" will be on the left hand and those of good will, the "other sheep", on the right hand of Christ Jesus, the Judge. Everything will be ready for the clash of power. That "winepress" will be a tremendous one, with capacity to hold all the nations that are against Jehovah God. (Revelation 14:19, 20) The fruits of the enemy organization are now ripe.

Those fruits of wickedness are ready for gathering. They are ripening or culminating in ever-increasing malicious slander, libel and assaults upon Jehovah's servants. The Hierarchy have directed these assaults and declare the same to be a "holy war", and hence they have 'sanctified' that war, declaring their determination to crush the truth, to the end that the Hierarchy may satisfy their vaulting ambition. Concerning this Jehovah, by his prophet, says: "For their wickedness is great." Of necessity this refers to the "last days" or "perilous times". (2 Timothy 3:1) It is the time when religionists

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have reached the superlative degree of hypocrisy, demonstrating clearly to all sane persons that such religionists, who claim to serve God but are hypocrites, 'have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof.' (2 Timothy 3:5) It is the final fulfillment of the prophecy quoted by the Lord Jesus and directed to the same class of religionists, when he said: "Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." — Matthew 15: 7-9.

It is the time when religion has completely headed up and gone to seed. Their acts of wickedness Jehovah particularly refers to in Joel 3:2-6, which wickedness religionists have done and committed against the faithful servants of Almighty God. By their cruel and wicked deeds committed the religionists have challenged Jehovah and Christ Jesus to prevent them from carrying on behind their breastwork of lies: "Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us; for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves." (Isaiah 28:15) Those hypocritical religious leaders have desperately tried and continue to try to destroy the temple company of the Lord, and Jehovah declares that he will destroy the hypocrites.  —l Corinthians 3:17.

Surely Almighty God Jehovah has caused his sacred record, the Bible, to be written in such

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manner and set forth in such order that it can be understood and appreciated only by those who love him and who therefore desire to be guided in the right way. (Psalm 25:9) Every part of his Word is harmonious. This is to be expected, and now we know it is true. Some parts of his prophecy were written centuries ago by his faithful servants, the prophets. Long years thereafter other parts of his prophecy were delivered by Christ Jesus, the great Prophet, and caused to be recorded by his faithful servant John. (Revelation 1:1, 2) By his prophet Joel Jehovah declares his command to Christ Jesus, his glorious Vindicator, to march forward to the battle of Armageddon. At The Revelation is recorded the act of Christ Jesus in joyful and full obedience to the command of his Father. A great thrill that will be for every creature that is privileged to see the forward march of the mighty Vindicator, which John describes in these words, to wit: "And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood; and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierce-

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ness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."  — Revelation 19:11-16.

It is the "time of war"! It is to be the final war. All the hosts of heaven will with the most intense interest behold it. The faithful on the earth will discern it and have full assurance in advance of what shall be the result. The zero hour has struck, and the Mighty Warrior, leading his invincible host, is marching to the attack. The deluge was the climax of the first world of wickedness and violence, and that foreshadowed the climax of the "present world" of wickedness and violence. Let those who love Jehovah and his Kingdom now note the onward march of the heavenly host and with eagerness await the result as foretold in the prophecies.



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