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Religion

CHAPTER VI

ALARM

Joel 2:1-7

CHAPTER two of the prophecy of Joel opens with an emphatic command given to Joel, who represents the faithful witnesses of Jehovah now on earth: "Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain; let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand." — Joel 2:1.

As Joel the prophet sounded the alarm to Jerusalem, so now the remnant in fulfillment of the prophecy must in obedience to God's command sound the alarm among all persons of God's organization, and within the borders of "Christendom". The remnant has received the commission from Jehovah's hands to make proclamation of the vengeance of the day of the Most High and thus to sound the alarm. That commission is given alone to the anointed, as it is written: "The spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to ... proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God." (Isaiah 61:1, 2) The sounding of the trumpet of alarm is for the benefit of those in God's organization, as well as for those who claim to be the servants of Jehovah: "Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord; look unto

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the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged." — Isaiah 51:1.

To those who love Jehovah and who love the appearing of Christ Jesus, his King, the trumpet gives forth a sound that fills their hearts with joy, announcing the day of jubilee. But the effect is exactly the contrary to the religionists. To those who practice religion the trumpet of God gives a sound of distress. The religious leaders have long reveled in their ability to carry on according to their own ideas, and they would not now sound the alarm if the opportunity to do so were given to them. On the contrary, those religionists are designated by the Lord as "dumb dogs", "lying down," and loving slumber' and ease and to lie in the beds of tradition made by their fathers. (Isaiah 56:10) The religious leaders refuse to recognize that Jehovah's day is here. They do not want that day of Jehovah, and they refuse to hear of the battle of Armageddon. On the contrary, they cry out to the people under them and who support the religious organizations: "Peace, peace," "when there is no peace." Those religious leaders have an avaricious desire to acquire the things that the "present evil world" can furnish to make them comfortable and easy, and to give them a standing with the other members of the worldly organization. Not one of the religious leaders in all the earth today supports the interest of the kingdom. Concerning such the prophet of the Lord says: "For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto

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the priest every one dealeth falsely." — Jeremiah 6:13-15.

The trumpet must be sounded in Zion, that is to say, in Jehovah's capital organization, or particularly that part which is on the earth. Christ Jesus having appeared and builded up Zion (Psalm 102:16), he has gathered unto himself the faithful ones remaining on the earth and made them a part of Zion. Christ Jesus is the "Faithful and True Witness" of Jehovah, and those with him at the temple must be witnesses to Jehovah, and it is to such that the command is given to 'blow the trumpet'. They are under the immediate command of the Lord Jesus Christ and form a part of His capital organization: "And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb [Christ Jesus] stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads." — Revelation 14:1.

With God's typical people the priests were to sound the alarm of danger; and so in the antitypical or final fulfillment of the prophecy, it is those who are of "the royal priesthood" that must sound the alarm of the near approach of Armageddon, and in doing this they are participating in Jehovah's "strange work". The Roman Catholic Hierarchy, and those with them in their so-called "united Christian religious front", try to prevent the people from hearing the trumpet of God, and to offset the same those clergymen blow their own tin horns announcing their own greatness and at the same time denounce the witnesses of Jehovah, calling them "Communists", for want of something else to name them.

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God's trumpet is sounded from his "holy mountain", where Jehovah has placed his King: "Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion." (Psalm 2:6) From God's organization the sound of his trumpet goes throughout the earth, particularly throughout "Christendom", and it is the privilege of his witnesses to carry this message to the various lands. This is further corroborated by another of God's prophets, to wit: "And he said, The Lord will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the habitations of the shepherds shall mourn, and the top of Carmel shall wither." — Amos 1: 2.

All who love God fear him with a godly fear; hence the prophecy states: "Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble." The anointed remnant and their companions, the Lord's "other sheep", are the only ones who really fear God and who therefore take the wise course. Knowing that the sound of the trumpet is a message of Jehovah, which means really a complete deliverance for his faithful servants and at the same time the destruction of the wicked and the complete vindication of Jehovah's name, has the effect of filling the faithful with a godly fear and with rejoicing in their hearts. They have the joy of the Lord. The Lord Jesus Christ, the King, has appeared to their joy, and they know he shall vindicate Jehovah's name: "Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified; but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed. A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the Lord that

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rendereth recompense to his enemies." — Isaiah 66:5, 6.

To the faithful servants of Jehovah there is a clear and marked distinction between the noise that comes from the religionists who pretend to represent the Lord, and the "voice from the temple", which is the voice of Jehovah's devoted ones under command of Jesus Christ. The effect upon the religionists is alarming. Like Belshazzar, who saw the handwriting on the wall, the Roman Catholic Hierarchy and their allies are shaking with fear and dread because of the message of truth announcing the doom of religion. They are made mad, and their first thought is to stop the message by destroying the messengers and their work. Regardless of the opposition, Jehovah's witnesses go straight forward in the performance of their part, sounding the trumpet, and their zeal and devotion to God are a token to the Hierarchy of the near downfall of that institution. (Philippians 1: 28) They do not wish to hear such warning, and hence they vent their spleen against the ones whom the Lord uses to sound the alarm.

Why should an alarm be sounded now? Because "the day of Jehovah cometh, for it is nigh at hand" (A.R.V.). Jehovah always gives notice and warning in advance of his positive action, in order that those who properly fear him take the right course and find the way of escape and the place of safety: "A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished." — Proverbs 22: 3.

"The day of Jehovah" began in 1914, when he enthroned his King, and therefore it is at hand

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now, and will reach a climax in the battle of the great day of God Almighty. His "strange work" is now being done to serve notice upon all of his purpose, that they may have no doubt that Jehovah is acting. The "strange work" will be quickly followed by God's "strange act".

DARKNESS

This is a day of darkness for "Christendom". Jehovah by his prophet has emphasized the coming of this day of great darkness, but the religionists have ignored God's Word and have relied upon their own opinions and that of other men who preceded them, whom they call their "fathers"; and all their allies today love to have it so. Speaking of this day by his prophet, Jehovah says: "A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the

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morning spread upon the mountains; a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations." — Joel 2:2.

This description agrees exactly with the facts as now observed by all those who give heed to the Word of God. Speaking by the mouth of his prophet, Jehovah says of this day: "The day of the Lord is darkness, and not light," to religionists and all of Satan's organization. Then the Lord illustrates how men act in this day who are surrounded by the darkness and have no light: "As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?"  — Amos 5:18-20.

The religion-mongers and practitioners will find no way of escape. Regardless of what they do the Lord will search them out and see that the proper recompense is ministered unto them. (Jeremiah 25:35) "The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers." — Zephaniah 1:14-16.

Such is the condition in which the enemies of God find themselves now. They will not be able to escape darkness: "But with an overrunning

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flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue his enemies." (Nahum 1:8) Added to their mental and spiritual darkness that has come upon the religionists, God sends his army of "locusts", which have plagued and which continue to plague those of Satan's world, even as the army of locusts down in Egypt plagued those who were against Jehovah and against his people: "And the locusts went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the coasts of Egypt: very grievous were they; before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such. For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left: and there remained not any green thing in the trees, or in the herbs of the field, through all the land of Egypt." — Exodus 10:14,15.

These prophecies are today being fulfilled upon "Christendom". It is the time of which Jehovah speaks, a time of darkness to the enemy and of light to those who love him and serve him faithfully and truly; and concerning this he says through his prophet: "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee." — Isaiah 60:1, 2.

The light from the temple daily increases and makes glad those who are devoted to Jehovah and his kingdom; and, therefore, while the enemy is in darkness those who love and faithfully

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serve Jehovah God have an ever-increasing light, and with that light their joy increases. "But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness; they know not at what they stumble." (Proverbs 4:18,19) The religionists are in the dark because they reject the Word of God. Religionists do not believe the Word of God, and hence go contrary to his law and to his prophets: "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light [(Rotherham) no dawning day] in them." (Isaiah 8: 20) It is the time when wicked spirits control the rulers of this world. (Ephesians 6:12) It is the day when Satan is putting forth his last desperate effort to destroy the human race.

This is the "day of clouds", which betoken (1) the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ (Exodus 13: 21; 19: 9,16; Matthew 26: 64; 1 Thessalonians 4:17; Revelation 1:7), and (2) a time of distress and trouble, announcing the approaching storm of Jehovah upon his enemies.

In this time of darkness upon his enemies the Lord causes his light to shine on his "other sheep", while he gathers them to himself and comforts them: "As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day."  — Ezekiel 34:12.

At the early morn, when the dawn is upon the mountains, the sunlight is hid; and so it is with

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the enemy today. The kingdom glory appears even now to the faithful, but to religionists there is no light. In this condition of darkness upon the enemy a "great people" appears, great because used by Jehovah to have part in his "strange work", "a great people and a strong [and bold (Rotherham)]." (Joel 2:2) At Joel 1: 6 these are called "a nation". In the complete fulfillment of this part of the prophecy the word "people" is used evidently for the reason that it is now God's people whom he has taken out for his name's sake that come as a swarm of locusts to proclaim the name of Jehovah. They are not great in themselves, either in name or fame or power, nor great in the sight of men, but are regarded by such as very insignificant. They are made to appear as great, however, by reason of the work done and their methods employed to reach the hundreds of millions of people and place in their hands hundreds of millions of copies of the message of warning. These people who are taken out by Jehovah for his name are bold, because this is the day of the Lord's judgment and his witnesses must be bold and thereby show their love for Jehovah. (1 John 4:17,18) This does not mean that they are rude, but that they are fearless of creatures, fearing only God.

That which Jehovah's witnesses have accomplished in recent years is phenomenal in the eyes of many. As stated by the prophet: "There hath not been ever [before] the like." The same thing was said of the swarms of locusts down in Egypt. (Exodus 10:14) Never had there been such a widespread publication of the truth of

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God's Word as during the past few years; and this is true because it is God's time and it is his work. From the year 1921 to 1931 Jehovah's witnesses placed in the hands of the people books and booklets to the number of 110,565,401. Since 1931 the work accomplished by Jehovah's witnesses has been even greater. The message has been broadcast by hundreds of radio stations each week and at certain times by international broadcast. Thousands of phonographs and sound machines have been employed to proclaim the message, free tracts numbering many millions have been put in the hands of the people, and at the end of the year 1939 the publications of the Society (the books and booklets) in the hands of the people exceeded 309,000,000, and this in more than 70 different languages. Nothing like that ever before in the history of man. It has been accomplished by the power of the Almighty God and Christ Jesus.

This distribution of literature and witness work is not a religious movement, but the publication of God's Word, and done at his commandment. When the strange work of proclaiming the truth is done such will never be repeated, because there will be no occasion to do so; hence says the prophet: "Neither shall there be any more after it [after them (R.V.)], even to the years of many generations." The "strange work" is for the vindication of Jehovah's name, and following Armageddon all creatures that breathe shall be praising Jehovah's name, the vindication of which will have been fully accomplished, and no need for a repetition thereof.

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Since the beginning of Jehovah's "strange work" that work has progressed with intensified zeal or heat. God's army of servants, likened unto locusts, has appeared with the sound that is the sound of the fifth trumpet described in Revelation 9:1-12. That fifth trumpet began to sound in 1926, at the time of a convention of God's people in London, England. At that time "Christendom" had become guilty of the "transgression of desolation" by setting forth a devilish organization claiming the right to rule the earth instead of God's kingdom. (Daniel 8:13) Prior to 1926 there was sounded a series of trumpets or alarms, which are described at Revelation, chapters eight, nine and eleven. It was during that time, that is, from 1922 to 1926, that some work foretelling the coming of the locusts had to be done. That work is described in Revelation 16:1-9 as "plagues". Those plagues heated up the religionists as a flame of fire. Says the prophet Joel (2:3): "A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth; the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them." This means that before the coming of the army of locusts there came a devouring flame of truth unto the religionists. That proclamation of the truth well heated up the religionists, who then began to witness the burning up of their pastures. The destructive flame at Armageddon comes upon the religionists and finishes the job.

The organized and progressive witnessing by God's faithful servants began in 1922, after Christ Jesus had assembled the approved ones

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at the temple and anointed them, and this work must progress until the conclusion of God's "strange work", which is quickly to be followed by his "strange act". Hence before the coming of the army of "locusts" as such, the heat was turned on; and behind the locusts a flame of fire shall burn. "As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire, so persecute them [God's enemies] with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm." — Psalm 83:14,15.

Jehovah put that prayer in the Scriptures to be uttered by his faithful witnesses, and that prayer God answers according to his will. In symbolic phrase another prophet of Jehovah describes the scorching of "Christendom" and the wasting of her pastures: "And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the Lord, Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree; the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein. And all flesh shall see that I the Lord have kindled it; it shall not be quenched." — Ezekiel 20: 47,48.

The condition prior to this scorching heat resulting from the work of the locusts upon "Christendom" is described as "the land is as the garden of Eden before them". The Protestant clergy and allies vigorously advocated the League of Nations as "the political expression of God's kingdom on earth". The League was then set up, and the Roman Catholic Hierarchy climbed upon the back of the old "beast". A great religious revival following the World War

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had been predicted by the clergy, and hence those religionists tried to start the old chariot to moving. In 1919 the Interchurch World Movement of the Protestant churches of America was launched. At least they tried to make her go. Much money was collected and spent to boost the thing, and hence the field at that time before the religionists looked good, like unto a garden. In the spring of 1919 the National Catholic Welfare Conference was organized. Fascism raised its head in Italy the same year, and at that time the Vatican, looking for an instrument to be used apparently against Bolshevism but to be used in reality against the message of God's kingdom, seized upon Fascism as such a desired instrument. Shortly thereafter Fascism put the Papacy back into temporal power and the Hier-

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archy became a large political machine. For some time prior thereto the Roman Catholic organization was, as the prophet describes, 'the forgotten harlot of modern Tyre.' In those days of refreshing the old lady redecked herself and began to sing her songs in an effort to entice others and to regain her former political and commercial paramours. (Isaiah 23:15-17) February 6,1922, Cardinal Ratti was selected pope, and about the same time Mussolini assumed control of Italy. So at that time the field, that is, the nations of the earth, looked to the religionists very promising, like unto a garden of pleasure; and so they looked upon it and called it "The garden of the Lord", and the religionists felt and acted as though they were riding upon the top of the waves of the universe.

In the eyes of religionists there seemed to be no particular reason to be worried about anything that Jehovah's witnesses might do. True, those witnesses were considered by religionists as a pestiferous crowd, but they expected them to do little or nothing. The religionists figured that they had killed the work and influence of Jehovah's witnesses during the World War, and hence the religious leaders were riding high and strutting their stuff. At the same time, by the grace of Jehovah and under the immediate command of Christ Jesus at the temple, Jehovah's witnesses were reviving and getting their work in order. In the Lord's due time Jehovah's army was ready and he sent them forth, likened unto a cloud of locusts. That was the beginning of real activity and real organized forward movement of Jehovah's witnesses, and now, after the

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Lord's locusts have been at work for a few years, the religious field looks like a place of desolation. Hence the Lord, by his prophet, says: "Behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them."

The effect of the invasion of the "locusts" of the Lord and the declaration of God's judgment against all religion, and particularly the so-called "Christian religion", discloses that the same is a fraud and a snare of the Devil. Honest people of the world, learning the truth, now look upon religion as a desolate thing, as a snare and a racket, and they see that it is under the blight of God's adverse judgment. The faithful witnesses of Jehovah have not been partial to any religion, but have, at the command of the Lord, boldly announced that the purpose of all religion is the defamation of the name of Almighty God, the scheme of the Devil to turn the people away from God. The declaration of the truth has been against all such enemy organizations: "And none hath escaped them." (R.V.) Not even the mighty and the high of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy have been able to go on without taking notice.

In 1933, with great gusto and much noise made by that Catholic organization and their political allies the so-called "holy year" was announced, the purpose of which was to restore in the minds of the people the "garden of Eden" appearance for religion. Then the Lord by his army of "locusts" pulled the camouflage off religion, and since then the people have become well informed and know that all religion is of the Devil and is the chief opponent and bitter enemy

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of Christianity. Likewise Fascism and Nazism and Communism have been shown up as devilish instruments, upon which the Roman Catholic Hierarchy organization rides, and for which it acts as spiritual adviser. The people are learning that the purpose of that unholy combine is to rule the world in the place and stead of God's kingdom under Christ. They see that religionists have put the "corporate state" above Jehovah God and his kingdom.

Whom has the Lord used to bring about this condition of devastation upon the fields of religion? He has used his faithful servants, who act strictly under the command of the Lord Jesus Christ. In all the efforts put forth by the Lord's army of locusts no physical force or carnal weapons have been used; and such is exactly in harmony with the prophecy. There has been no physical destruction of any houses, property or person. Locusts do not work that way. Jehovah's witnesses, under the command of their Head, Christ Jesus, turn on the light and the heat, which devour the false teachings of men, invented by the Devil and used by his agents to defame the name of God and turn the people away into darkness.

For the further encouragement of the faithful remnant and their companions, the Jonadabs or "other sheep", the Lord by this prophecy gives a minute description of those that make up his army likened unto locusts: "The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run." (Joel 2:4) Horses symbolically picture war equipment; as it is

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written: "Horses prepared unto battle." Thus are pictured the faithful witnesses of Jehovah who go right on in his work as he commands, not hesitating for anything. The locusts have an oblong-shaped head, somewhat like that of a horse, and he uses his head: "And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men." — Revelation 9: 7.

Locusts are not afraid, nor is the horse afraid, and it is to such that the faithful witnesses of Jehovah are likened: "Hast thou given the horse strength? hast thou clothed his neck with thunder? Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? the glory of his nostrils is terrible." (Job 39:19, 20) The big religious leaders and allies try to frighten Jehovah's witnesses into submission and to cause them to cease their witness work, but the faithful hear and obey the Lord Jesus Christ, who says to them: "Fear them not." (Matthew 10: 26, 28) The locusts resemble the horse going into battle, and so Jehovah's witnesses push on in the fight regardless of opposition: "He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted; neither turneth he back from the sword." (Job 39:22) Jehovah's witnesses love God and Christ, and "perfect love casteth out fear". (1 John 4:18) They know they are going in the fight against bitter opposition, but God gives to them the assuring command that he gave to Jeremiah: "Be not afraid of [them]." "Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee; be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee be-

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fore them. For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar and brazen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land. And they shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee." — Jeremiah 1:17-19.

A better translation of the latter part of this verse of the prophecy of Joel reads: "And as war-horses so shall they run." (Joel 2:4, Rotherham) They run to and fro in the service. They do not run away from the battle, but at the Lord's command they increase their speed. "The horse rusheth into the battle." (Jeremiah 8:6) "His horses are swifter than eagles." (Jeremiah 4:13) Since the beginning of the year 1939 Jehovah's witnesses have shown an increased speed and fearlessness in the "strange work".

Some of these witnesses who have passed the age of threescore and ten have speeded up even more than some of the others and have made as much as seventy hours per month in the field service. Some at first thought themselves unable to carry the phonograph with recorded speech, but now have learned that the burden is easy when in the service of the King. Like a war horse they are going daily in the battle with greater joy. If any desire to look back and take it easy, let them do so. All who really love God will do what they believe is God's will concerning them, and if they can put in more time they will delight to do so.

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DESCRIPTIVE

In symbolic language the Lord gives such a clear description of the faithful witnesses that no doubt is left as to their identity. He also describes the harmonious action on the part of those who form his visible organization, and this is further proof that all of the faithful dwell together and work together in peace, having in mind the one thing, the vindication of God's name. Jehovah's witnesses are shown as fearless of man's power or of the Devil's power and are pushing forward actively in Jehovah's service in obedience to his commandment: "Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array." — Joel 2: 5.

A similar description is given in The Revelation of Jesus Christ concerning the earthly part of God's army: "And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle." (Revelation 9: 9) The movement of a gigantic swarm of locusts is very noisy, but it is a harmonious noise. Like the illustration, so with the reality. Forward and active movement of Jehovah's witnesses is now and for some time has been carried on with much publicity, harmonious sound, and what they have done has been done openly and above-board. If the clergy in one community oppresses a pioneer a whole swarm goes in immediately and cleans up the community. They call the people's attention to Jehovah's name and that his kingdom is here and it is the only possible means

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of bringing to them peace, prosperity, life and happiness; and their movement is a harmonious song. They warn the people of the near approach of the battle of Armageddon. They do their work systematically and in a well-organized manner, and their movements and sound of warning are much like the oncoming of war chariots hurrying to the battle. It is Jehovah's war organization, the invisible part of which is rapidly approaching to destroy the hypocritical and unfaithful "Christendom" and will do the real destructive work; but the remnant go before and announce the fact. God's great organization, like a huge and irresistible chariot with four tremendous wheels, is described by Jehovah's prophet Ezekiel as moving forward and crushing all opposition. (Ezekiel first chapter; Ezekiel 43:1-3) The forward movement of the Lord's army of locusts strikes terror into the hearts of the religionists, because to them it is a token of impending destruction. — Philippians 1:28.

The word "mountains", as used in the prophecy, verse five, symbolically pictures the government organizations of "Christendom". Such governments attempt to hinder the work of Jehovah's "locust" army, and resort to various means to accomplish that wrongful purpose. Such government opposition, however, does not deter the witnesses of the Most High nor frighten them into submission. Jehovah's "strange work" must be done, and God will see to it that it is done according to his will. During the past few years those devoted to God and his King have fully recognized and acknowledged God and Christ

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Jesus as the only higher powers and that all Christians must obey God and Christ, regardless of opposition from man or man-made governments. (Romans 13:1) The faithful apostles blazed the way, and the faithful followers of Christ now go the same way. (Acts 5: 29) Only a short time ago the Lord's "little flock" of witnesses were scattered because of the assaults of the religious leaders of the earthly governments. No one of the religionists showed them any favor whatsoever.

Fires frequently break out and destroy the stubble field following an exceedingly hot and dry period, and such fire is attended with much noise. Even so the united action of Jehovah's witnesses and their companions appears to the religionists "like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble". The "strange work" of Jehovah is a warning to give the alarm of the fire of Armageddon. God by his spirit moved the apostle Peter to write of such time: "But the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; the earth also, and the works that are therein, shall be burned up." "Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens, being on fire, shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat." (2 Peter 3:7,10,12) This is further corroborated by the prophet Malachi: "For, behold, the day cometh,

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that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch." — Malachi 4:1.

In describing the activities of the locusts, mark the language of Joel's prophecy: "As a strong people set in battle array." There the preposition "as" shows that the words did not apply in Joel's day, when the locusts destroyed the fields, but actually refers to intelligent creatures and human organization, Jehovah's witnesses. These are not armed with carnal weapons, but they are thoroughly organized and under the command of the great Field Marshal, Christ Jesus. It is the time when Satan and his host, that old Dragon, 'go forth to make war against God's organization, and the remnant thereof' now on the earth. (Revelation 12:17) The army of the Lord set in battle array is not a democratic form of organization, but is under the control and command of the Lord Jesus Christ, Jehovah's King and Field Marshal, and therefore is a theocratic government. This conclusion is proved by the words of The Revelation, which apply to that army under the Lord's command: "And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. And they had a king [the Lord Jesus Christ] over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit [into which Christ Jesus flings the Devil], whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon [destruction for Satan's crowd], but in the Greek

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tongue hath his name Apollyon [destroyer of Satan and his organization]."  — Revelation 9: 7,11.

Jehovah's witnesses, that is, his army of "locusts", are without fear of creatures because they know that they are backed up by the almighty power of God. The faces of the "faithful servant" class are as "adamant, harder than flint", made so by Jehovah, who says to his witnesses: "Fear them [the rebellious religionists] not, neither be dismayed at their looks." (Ezekiel 3:9) Regardless of opposition the faithful witnesses go straight on doing their assigned work: "Before their face the people shall be much pained [(R.V.) At their presence the peoples are in anguish]; all faces shall gather blackness." — Joel 2: 6.

This applies particularly to the Roman Catholic Hierarchy and the allied Protestant doctors of divinity and Jewish rabbis. This is supported by the fact that they all howl and work together to induce the political, legislative, judicial and other parts of the government organization to take drastic action against Jehovah's witnesses. The same locusts (Jehovah's witnesses) are described in The Revelation in these words: "And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth; and unto them [Jehovah's witnesses] was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men [the religionists] which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they [the religionists] should be tormented five

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months; and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die [to escape torment], and death shall flee from them." — Revelation 9:3-6.

God permits the religionists to exist and to continue in their practice for a short time while his "strange work" is in progress, to the end that they might receive torment, and this they receive by having their "religious susceptibilities shocked" when someone speaks in their hearing the message of truth. Concerning the faces of the religionists, the Hebrew text means that their faces have a "gleam" or "flush" of anxiety upon observing the activities of Jehovah's witnesses and the message which they bring. According to the Authorized Version, their faces "gather blackness". God's prophet speaks of the Ninevites in this language: "She [Nineveh] is empty, and void, and waste; and the heart melteth, and the knees smite together, and much pain is in all loins, and the faces of them all gather blackness," (Hebrew) "a gleam or flush." — Nahum 2:10.

The faces of the clergy show a flush of anxiety when called upon by Jehovah's witnesses, and those clergymen usually resort to harsh words against Jehovah's witnesses, and, seeing that their harsh words do not deter the witnesses but that they fearlessly go on in their work, the religionists conclude that it is a token of impending destruction of them and their racket. Belshazzar, king of Babylon, was in the same condition when he saw the handwriting on the wall.

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The religionists know that it is true that they have been weighed in the balance by the Lord and found worthless.

Jehovah by his prophet foretold the united and harmonious action of the faithful witnesses who bear the message of his kingdom. They are not weaklings, but "strong in the Lord and in the power of his might": "They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks." — Joel 2: 7.

The zealous ones are not content with spending a few hours in the Lord's service, but they are "up and at it" on every possible occasion. They attack in the strength of the Lord, and Jehovah, through Christ Jesus, continues to provide them with all the needed strength. "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk, and not faint." — Isaiah 40: 31.

The faithful and zealous ones hear the command of the Lord and hasten to obey: "I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart." (Psalm 119: 32) David was a type of Christ Jesus and his body members, and indited this Psalm which is now appropriate for Jehovah's witnesses: "For thou art my lamp, 0 Lord; and the Lord will lighten my darkness. For by thee I have run through a troop; by my God have I leaped over a wall." — 2 Samuel 22:29,30.

The enemies of God's kingdom that shield, hide and protect themselves behind their polit-

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ical and judicial walls find that these walls are inadequate to shield them. Jehovah's witnesses do not stop, but, in the language of the prophecy, they 'climb the walls like men of war', that is to say, they go on regardless of the walls. Since the Lord's people have seen and appreciated the Theocratic Government, which directs them, they have been and are being rapidly disciplined and trained, and they act orderly and fearlessly. Like locusts, they do not stop at tall obstacles, but climb right over them and keep going forward. The religionists have builded up their walls, fortified by politics and commerce, and behind which they attempt to hold the common people who have supported their organization. Now Jehovah sends his army of locusts, who go right over and through those walls with a message of deliverance; and thus God by his witnesses 'opens the prisons to them that are bound'. — Isaiah 61:1.



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Every one of the "faithful and wise servant" class knows that the Lord's command, as applied to him, assigns to him a specific work, and therefore he goes forward attending to his own business, doing with his might what has been assigned to him, and does not interfere with the other fellow's business. He knows that individually he has no strength, and therefore he does not become heady. He realizes that he is small in himself but strong in the Lord and, like the description of the locusts, he is little, but wise; and like a band of locusts all such go forward as one united band of warriors: "There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise; . . . The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands." — Proverbs 30: 24, 27.

The Hierarchy and allies, all of whom are enemies of God's kingdom, try to break up the unity and harmonious action of Jehovah's witnesses, but they cannot do so. Therefore says God's prophet concerning those faithful and zealous locusts: "They . . . shall not change their paths." (Roth.) Those of the "faithful and wise servant" class have this one thing to do. (Philippians 3:13) That one thing is to carry out God's commandment concerning them. They are trustworthy, constant, dependable, and reliable. They know that Jehovah and Christ Jesus are their teachers and commanders and that it is their business as servants of the Lord to joyfully obey: "Thine eyes shall see thy teachers; and thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, say-

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ing This is the way, walk ye in it, when [lest] ye turn to the right hand, and when [lest] ye turn to the left." — Isaiah 30: 20, 21.



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