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What Has Religion Done For Mankind?

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CHAPTER XVII

The Sacred Secret of the Seed Solved

STANDING before the king of Babylon to recall and interpret his forgotten dream, the Hebrew prophet Daniel said: "There is a God in the heavens who reveals secrets, and he makes known to King Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the end of the days." Then by divine help Daniel cracked the secret message concerning God's kingdom which Babylon's magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and Chaldean wise men had failed to crack. At that King Nebuchadnezzar prostrated himself before Jehovah's prophet and said: "Truly, your God is the God of gods, and the Lord of kings; and he is a revealer of secrets, inasmuch as you have been able to reveal this secret." (Daniel 2:27, 28, 47, AT) To the same degree the sacred secret spoken in the garden of Eden concerning the seed of the woman the same God in the heavens is able to reveal at his own due time. His own acts of revelation throughout the millenniums of time since then indicated that it was his kindly purpose to clear up the secret when the time was ripe for it. Centuries afterward his Prophet greater than Daniel said: "There is nothing hidden that will not become manifest, neither anything carefully concealed that will never become known and

1. With what power demonstrated in Daniel's day, how can Jehovah God vindicate his own ancient secret given out in Eden?
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never come into the open." (Luke 8:17, NW) In this way Jehovah vindicates his own ancient secret.

2 In fulfillment of Jehovah's revelations to his prophets but to the amazement of the ancient world, the mighty Babylonian empire fell before the Medes and Persians. In vindication of his prophecy by Daniel, the Persian empire fell before the onrush of the Greek imperialists. The Grecian empire, in turn, fell before the beastly aggressions of the Romans. The Jewish remnant who were delivered from Babylon and restored to their homeland in Palestine felt the world domination of these successive empires. In 63 B.C. Jerusalem came under the imperial sway of pagan Rome. In 37 B.C. Herod, appointed by the Roman Senate to be king of Jerusalem, took the city by storm. An Edomite, but professing to be a proselyte to the Jews' religion or Judaism, Herod renovated the temple at the holy city and built it up into a most gorgeous structure. It was during Herod's reign at Jerusalem and while Augustus was Caesar at Rome that the sacred secret of the Promised Seed began to break.

3 The last of the Hebrew prophets, Malachi, had spoken, and for four hundred years since him no inspired prophet had risen in the land of Israel. In the meantime the Israelites or Jews had gone over to speaking Aramaic, and many of them were also speaking Greek. It was now toward the end of Herod's reign, and a birth took place which,

2. The domination of what world powers did the Jewish remnant feel in Palestine, and during whose rule did the secret begin to break?
3, 4. (a) How had there been a lapse in Hebrew prophets and a change in the Jews' language? (b) What birth of special pedigree now occurred?
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when it came to his ears, shook his composure. Whose birth?

4 It was the birth of the One who was to be the Seed for ruling the new world. God by his revelations had already given clues for identifying the Seed, so that we should make no mistake about him. He was to be, not just any descendant of Noah's son Shem, but his descendant through faithful Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Of the twelve tribes of Jacob (Israel), he was to be of the tribe of Judah, and according to Jehovah's covenant with King David for an everlasting kingdom he was to be a descendant of this king, a "son of David".

5 Since the overthrow of the kingdom of Judah by Babylon in 607 B.C., no king of David's line had sat upon the "throne of Jehovah" at Jerusalem. No one was to sit upon the divine throne in the everlasting kingdom until the "appointed times of the nations", which began in that year, were fulfilled 2,520 years later, in 1914 (A.D.). This was why the wicked Edomite Herod was then king in Jerusalem. In harmony with the royal covenant made with David, and according to the secret clue given at the prophecy of Micah 5:2, the One to become the Seed was to be born at David's own city, Bethlehem in Judah. But first our attention is drawn north to Nazareth. Why?

6 At this Galilean city lived a Jewish virgin descended from King David through his son Nathan. She was promised in marriage to Joseph. He was a carpenter but a descendant of David

5. By what allowance was Herod then king in Jerusalem, and where, during his reign, was the Seed to be born as a man?
6. Who was the child's mother, and when and where was the child's coming birth announced to her?
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through his son Solomon and born at David's city, Bethlehem. Before ever Joseph took his virgin fiancee to his home to take up housekeeping with her, something miraculous occurred. But about six months before that an angel from heaven, announcing himself as Gabriel who stands near before God, had announced to the priest Zechariah, husband of her aged cousin Elizabeth, that these two were to become the parents of a prophet to be named John. Now the angel Gabriel materialized a human body and appeared privately to Mary, but not for any unclean purpose like that of the "sons of God" who became disobedient spirits in Noah's day and intermarried with the daughters of men. (1 Peter 3:19,20; Genesis 6:1-4) Of Gabriel's visit we read:

7 "And when he went in before her he said: 'Good day, highly favored one, Jehovah is with you.' But she was deeply disturbed at the saying and began to reason out what kind of greeting this might be. So the angel said to her: 'Have no fear, Mary, for you have found favor with God; and, look! you will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and you are to call his name Jesus. This one will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and Jehovah God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will be king over the house of Jacob forever, and there will be no end of his kingdom.' But Mary said to the angel: 'How is this to be, since I am having no relations with a man?' In answer the angel said to her: 'Holy spirit will come upon you, and power of the Most High will overshadow you. For that reason also what is born will be called holy,

7. What do we read of Gabriel's visit with her on that occasion?
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God's Son. And, look! Elizabeth your relative has also herself conceived a son, in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her, the so-called "barren woman"; because with God no declaration will be an impossibility.' Then Mary said: 'Look! Jehovah's slave girl! May it take place with me according to your declaration.' At that the angel departed from her." —Luke 1:26-38, NW.

8 One day Joseph learned that his virgin fiancee was pregnant. As he was considering a private divorce to save her from being stoned to death as an unfaithful girl, Jehovah's angel in a dream assured Joseph that Mary's conceiving had been by the power of God's holy spirit or active force: "You must call his name 'Jesus', for he will save his people from their sins." The name "Jesus" means "Jehovah is salvation". This conception came in vindication of Jehovah's prophecy at Isaiah 7:14: "Look! the virgin will become pregnant and will give birth to a son, and they will call his name 'Immanuel', which means, when translated, 'With us is God.'" So at the customary time Joseph consummated the marriage by taking her to his home, but he had no relations with her until the birth of this miraculous son had taken place. —Matthew 1:18-25, NW.

9 Did Mary's conception of Jesus by holy spirit make her the woman prophesied at Genesis 3:15: "I will put enmity between thee [the Serpent] and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt

8. What was Joseph instructed to do regarding Mary, and in fulfillment of what prophecy did Jesus' birth from a virgin come about?
9. Did Mary's conception of Jesus make her the woman meant in Genesis 3:15, and how do we know the woman's identity?
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bruise his heel"? From what we have learned in the preceding chapters your answer, to be Scriptural, will be No. Just as the serpent in the secret promise at Genesis 3:15 was not a literal serpent, so the woman would correspondingly not be a literal woman of flesh and blood. The real serpent was the once glorious spirit creature, the "covering cherub" in Eden. Likewise the woman is a heavenly, spirit creation, namely, Jehovah's heavenly organization of holy spirit creatures. Made up of devoted spirit sons, this organization is united to him and subject to him as a wife to a husband, and he addresses her as being her husband. For long centuries she had been barren of this promised seed, like Abraham's ninety-year-old wife Sarah, but now the time was here for him to show he was her life-giving husband and to give her the Seed he had promised her. (Isaiah 54:1-5, AS) She was once symbolized by Jerusalem, whose kings sat on the "throne of Jehovah". So the apostle Paul speaks of her this way and says: "The Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother." And then he quotes Isaiah 54:1 in support. (Galatians 4:26-28, NW) The enmity between this "woman" above in heaven and the original Serpent Satan the Devil is portrayed in symbols at Revelation 12:1-9,17. Read it.

10 But of her member-sons which one was this symbolic woman, this heavenly organization, going to bring forth in subjection to her husband to be the Promised Seed? Jehovah chose his only-begotten Son, the Word, the beginning of his creation. His "woman" submissively yielded him up to

10. Which one of her member-sons did she produce to be the Seed, and how did he point to her being his mother?
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leave heaven and his spiritual existence up there and to have his life transferred down to earth and to be born as a man from Mary. That is why Jesus said: "I am from the realms above." "From God I came forth and am here. Neither have I come of my own initiative at all, but that One sent me forth." And when someone in a crowd of listeners said, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to you," he said: "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" "And extending his hand toward his disciples he said: 'Look! my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father who is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.'" (John 8:23, 42; Matthew 12:46-50, NW) These disciples became his spiritual relatives, children of his heavenly mother, God's organization.

11 Hence Jesus' birth on earth was not an incarnation. When the angel Gabriel announced John's birth to Zechariah and Jesus' birth to Mary, that was an incarnation of the angel Gabriel, for Gabriel still remained a spirit person. For the time being he merely clothed himself with a carnal or fleshly body in order to appear to human eyes. But not so God's only-begotten Son. He emptied himself of all things heavenly and spiritual, and God's almighty spirit transferred his Son's life down to the womb of the Jewish virgin of David's descent. By this miracle he was born a man. (Philippians 2:7, AS; NW) He was not a spirit-human hybrid, a man and at the same time a spirit person. He was not clothed upon with flesh over an invisible spirit person, but he WAS flesh.

11. Why was Jesus' birth as a man no incarnation, and why cannot Mary be called the "mother of God"?
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Listen to John 1:14 (CB): "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw his glory—glory as of the only-begotten of the Father—full of grace and of truth." On this account Gabriel told Mary: "The Holy One to be born shall be called the Son of God." (Luke 1:35, CB) Since this Holy One's life was transferred from heaven and had been in existence immeasurable time before Mary was born, and since Gabriel said the child would be called "the Son of God", Mary cannot Scripturally be called the "mother of God", as some call her.

12 Mary's time to give birth to the human Son of God drew near. In compliance with the decree of Caesar Augustus for all persons to get registered at their native place Joseph left Nazareth and took Mary with him the more than sixty miles south to Bethlehem, 2,550 feet above sea level, and five miles south of Jerusalem. Now came the event long awaited. Luke's verified account says: "And she gave birth to her son, the firstborn, and she bound him with cloth bands and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the lodging-room. There were also in that same country shepherds living out of doors and keeping watches in the night over their flocks. And suddenly Jehovah's angel stood by them and Jehovah's glory gleamed around them, and they became very fearful. But the angel said to them: 'Have no fear, for, look! I am declaring to you good news of a great joy that all the people will have, because there was born to you today a Savior, who is Christ the Lord, in David's city. And this is a sign for you: you will find an infant

12. Where did Jesus' birth come about and how there, and how was it announced, and to whom?
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bound in cloth bands and lying in a manger.' And suddenly there came to be with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying: 'Glory in the heights above to God, and upon earth peace among men of good-will.'"  —Luke 2:1-14, NW.

13 The timetable, checked against the prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27 concerning the coming of "Messiah the Prince", indicates that this was the year 2 B.C. But was the day December 25 after the northern winter had set in? From what we observed in chapter VII, December 25 was the traditional birthday of Nimrod, the false seed of the woman. The inspired Scriptures do not give the birth date of Jesus, and it does not matter, for

13. What year was Jesus born, and what about the shepherds indicates it was not December 25?


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neither Jesus nor God his Father nor the inspired apostles instructed us to celebrate Jesus' birthday. The only birthday celebrations that the Holy Scriptures mention are those of pagans, those of Egypt's Pharaoh and of Herod Antipas who marked his birthday by having John the Baptist's head chopped off. (Genesis 40:20; Matthew 14:6; Mark 6:21) Christ's disciples of the first century shunned birthday celebrations as being pagan, unchristian! The Scriptures are against Jesus' birthday as being the wintry day of December 25. December means tenth month, and the tenth Jewish month Tebeth was a rainy and cold month, especially at Bethlehem's elevation of 2,550 feet above sea level. It could not have been this disagreeable wintertime, for the account says shepherds were living out of doors watching over their flocks by night. In wintertime there was no pasturage in the fields for the sheep and already during the eighth month they were withdrawn from the field and housed for the winter.

14 What is more, Jesus once said: "Keep praying that your flight may not occur in wintertime." (Matthew 24:20, NW) So there is the extreme unlikelihood that Joseph would take his wife Mary, then "heavy with child", for that journey of over sixty miles (airline miles) through mountainous terrain averaging 3,000 feet above sea level in a rainy, wintry month. Besides, it was the time of the registration required by Rome and which called for a lot of traveling by everyone. The Roman authorities would not be so unwise as to require subjugated peoples, especially rebelliously minded Jews, to submit to the hard-

14. How do travel conditions, Daniel's prophecy on the seventy weeks, and John's birth indicate it was not December 25?
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ships of winter travel to comply with Caesar's decree. The politic Romans would be discreet enough to take advantage of the time when Jehovah's law required the Jews to travel to Jerusalem, namely, in the seventh month, for the celebration of the feast of tabernacles from the fifteenth to the twenty-first of that month. So it was about the beginning of the eighth Jewish month (Bul, meaning "rain") that Jesus was born. He was killed on Nisan 14 in the spring of the year, or, April 1, A.D. 33, Gregorian calendar, and, according to Daniel 9:24-27, Jesus was then thirty-three and a half years old. So if we measure back a half year from Nisan 14 or April 1, it locates Jesus' actual birthday about October 1. His second cousin John the Baptist was born about six months earlier. According to the time that John's father served at Jerusalem's temple as priest, in the "division of Abijah", John was born toward the beginning of April. —1 Chronicles 24:1-10; 2 Chronicles 23:4; Luke 1:5-27, 36.

15 Jehovah God did not reveal the birth of his Son on earth to his enemies, the seed of the Serpent. He made humble, peaceful, God-fearing Jewish shepherds to be the witnesses of his Son's lowly birth. By his angel Jehovah announced that this babe in the manger whom the shepherds went to see was the One destined to be the Christ or Messiah, the anointed King of the new world with enduring peace on earth. In this way Jehovah God, who first gave out the sacred secret about the Seed of his "woman" or heavenly organization, solved the mystery of it for us by identifying the Seed.

15. To whom did God reveal the birth of his Son, and how did he thus solve the long-standing sacred secret?



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