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You May Survive Armageddon
Into God's New World



CHAPTER XII

Executioners of the Divine Vengeance

THE chief executioner of God's vengeance against all his enemies in heaven and earth is his enthroned King Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9) Jesus on earth as a fleshly descendant of King David was an expression of God's so great love, and Jesus' offering himself in sacrifice under a most cruel death was an expression of his own love for God and for those who are to gain life in the new world through his perfect sacrifice. But now Jesus Christ, resurrected from the dead as a divine spirit and exalted next to God himself in heaven, is no longer a self-sacrificing High Priest but has other duties that have to do with the carrying out of divine justice. Since A.D. 1914 he has become a reigning High Priest of God and must attend to Kingdom matters as well as to priestly matters. He has become God's chief executioner.

2 As the principal executional officer of the Most High God, the reigning King Jesus Christ was prefigured by his earthly ancestor King David of Jerusalem. David was Israel's second king and succeeded Saul of Gibeah as king over all Israel in 1070 B.C. When David became king the Israelites had not yet taken over all the land that God had


1. Since 1914 what has Jesus Christ become, in contrast with what he was or did when he was on earth?
2. By what Israelite king was Jesus Christ prefigured as principal executional officer, and why fittingly by him?
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promised to the nation of Israel, "from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphra'tes," including the Jeb'u-sites. (Genesis 15:18-21, NW) The Israelites had not even taken complete possession of the city of Jerusalem, but the Jebusites continued to occupy part of it, particularly the citadel or stronghold Zion. Moved to action by the spirit of God to work for the vindication of Jehovah's word concerning the Promised Land, David promptly set himself to the task of subduing all the God-given territory. To start with, King David undertook the assault of the stronghold Zion and captured it and made it his capital. "And David took up dwelling in the stronghold, and it came to be called the city of David, and David began to build all around from the Mound and inward. Thus David went on getting greater and greater, and Jehovah the God of armies was with him." — 2 Samuel 5:4-10, NW.

3 When the Philistines, the long-time enemies of the Israelites, heard that they had made David king, they organized their forces and moved against him. David left Jerusalem and came upon them at Baal-perazim. By a miracle of God David gained the victory over the Philistines. Still unconvinced of Jehovah's universal sovereignty, the Philistines later reorganized and came again against David. Under divine direction David came around the rear of them, and at the divine signal he went into action against them. "So David did just as The [true] God had commanded him and they went striking down the camp of the Phi-lis'tines from Gib'e-on to Ge'zer [a distance of more than ten miles]. And David's fame began to go out into all the lands and Jehovah himself put the dread of him upon all the nations." (1 Chronicles


3, 4. (a) What kind of warfare did David carry on against the Philistines and others in the God-promised land? (b) In proof of this, what disposal did he make of much of the spoils of war?
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14:8-17, NW) After that King David went from victory to victory over the pagan or non-Israelite occupiers of territory that Jehovah had promised to Israel. His warfare was theocratic, for it was carried on according to Jehovah's will and purpose and under his direction. David ascribed his victories to Jehovah and dedicated much of the spoils of the war to him.

4 "These also King David sanctified [declared sacred] to Jehovah, together with the silver and the gold that he had sanctified from all the nations that he had subdued, from Syria and from Mo'ab and from the sons of Am'mon and from the Philis'tines and from Am'a-lek and from the spoil of Hadad-e'zer the son of Re'hob the king of Zo'bah. And David proceeded to make a name when he came back from striking down the E'dom-ites in the Valley of Salt — eighteen thousand. And he kept garrisons placed in E'dom. In all E'dom he placed garrisons, and all the E'dom-ites came to be servants of David, and Jehovah kept saving David wherever he went." — 2 Samuel 8:1-15, NW.

5 David merely took over all the territory that he should rule according to God's decree. By his conquests under God the boundaries of the kingdom of Israel extended from the river or torrent valley of Egypt on the south to the great river Euphrates on the north and from the wilderness on the east to the Mediterranean Sea on the west. In subduing the enemies and taking over the domination of all the God-given land David was a picture of his most illustrious son, the King Jesus Christ enthroned in the heavens since 1914. There is no question about this, for Jehovah's victorious fighting against the Philistines was used as a prophetic picture of the battle of Armageddon.


5. By his conquests what territory did King David take over, and how do the Scriptures make certain that he pictured the King Jesus Christ in warfare?
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(Isaiah 28:21) The Scriptures are plain spoken that at that coming universal war Jehovah God will fight to victory through the anointed Son of David, the reigning King Jesus Christ. That is why Jehovah has said to his enthroned Son: "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 2:1-9, AS; Acts 4:25-28.

6 Christ is to wield an earth-wide dominion, and Jehovah will no more fail to subdue all nations of the earth under the feet of this Son of David than he failed to do so in the Promised Land for King David. (Daniel 7:13, 14) Jehovah's war of Armageddon by his Chief Executioner Jesus Christ will bring about this subduing of all the worldly nations in their utter destruction. With Christ in the execution work will be associated the holy angels of heaven. "He is arrayed with an outer garment sprinkled with blood, and the name he is called is The Word of God. Also the armies that were in heaven were following him on white horses, and they were clothed in white, clean, fine linen." — Revelation 19:13, 14, NW.

7 King David foresaw that his promised Son and everlasting Heir would be the Chief Executioner of Jehovah God against all the enemies in heaven and in earth. He therefore addressed his Son prophetically as his Lord or Master, saying: "Jehovah said unto my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I put thine enemies [as] footstool of thy feet. Jehovah shall send the sceptre of thy might out of Zion: rule in the midst of thine enemies. . . .


6. For Christ to wield an earth-wide dominion whom will Jehovah subdue by him, and who will be associated with Christ in this?
7. How did David prophetically address his Son and everlasting Heir, and how did this one become David's superior on Zion?
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Jehovah hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art priest for ever after the order of Melchisedek. The Lord [Jehovah] * at thy right hand will smite through kings in the day of his anger. He shall judge among the nations; he shall fill [all places] with dead bodies; he shall smite through the head over a great country." (Psalm 110:1-6, Da; Matthew 22:41-45) King David sat upon the "throne of Jehovah" on Mount Zion in Palestine. (1 Chronicles 29:23, AS) Jesus, the Son of David, was invited by Jehovah to sit upon his throne at his right hand in the heavens, hence on a heavenly Mount Zion. When? In 33 (A.D.), forty days after his resurrection from the dead, when Jesus ascended from the group of his disciples on the Mount of Olives into God's presence. (Revelation 3:21) This more exalted position made the Son of David superior to his ancestor, hence made him David's "Lord."

8 However, as soon as Jesus sat down at his heavenly Father's right hand, Jehovah did not at once command him to rule in the midst of his enemies who had caused his death on earth. He told David's Son and Lord to wait until Jehovah made those enemies his footstool. Why? Because the "appointed times of the nations" had not yet run out. Obediently David's Son and Lord sat there as High Priest after the likeness of Melchizedek until those times did end in 1914. (Hebrews 10:13, NW) In that year Jesus Christ was installed to reign as king and began ruling with authority in the midst of all his enemies. But he did not begin


* This is one of the 134 places where the Jewish copyists or Sopherim changed the primitive Hebrew text to read A-do-nay' ("the Lord") Instead of "Jehovah." Many Hebrew manuscripts still read "Jehovah" here.
8. Why did Jesus Christ not begin to execute his enemies as soon as he sat down at his Father's right hand, nor on becoming king in 1914, nor on coming to the temple in 1918?
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to execute them in that year. He turned warrior like his enthroned ancestor King David and waged war against Satan the Devil and his demon angels in the heavens and hurled them down to the earth, where that original Serpent once had bruised him at the heel. In the spring of 1918 he came to the spiritual temple with A-do-nay' Jehovah for judgment work, but even then he did not begin to execute his enemies. Jehovah cut short the days of tribulation upon the enemy organization by not proceeding to an execution of the enemy then, but permitting the enemy to remain at the earth until the time for the "war of the great day of God the Almighty." Before the complete end of the enemy organization could come then at Armageddon, Jesus' prophecy had to be fulfilled that this good news of the kingdom established in 1914 would be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations. — Malachi 3:1; Matthew 24:14, 21, 22.

9 During this in-between period of divine long-suffering and tolerance A-do-nay' Jehovah begins judgment at the house of God, the temple, by his King and High Priest, Jesus Christ, as judge. (1 Peter 4:17) This means that judgment started with those who are obedient to the good news of God, namely, the remnant of the temple stones, the remnant of the 144,000 spiritual Israelites. In the judgment then started the remnant were offered the privilege of preaching the Kingdom good news for a witness to all nations. The faithful ones answered the call to Kingdom service and took up the witness work. Finding them faithfully striving to do God's will by serving the spiritual food of God's message to the spiritually hungry, the Lord Jesus entrusted to them his belongings on earth


9. In this in-between period with whom did the judging start, and how was a "faithful and discreet slave" appointed over all the King's belongings?
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as to a "faithful and discreet slave." The remnant were thus judged to be the slave class whom Jesus foretold he would find when he came to the temple for judgment, saying: "Who really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics to give them their food at the proper time? Happy is that slave if his master on arriving finds him doing so. Truly I say to you, He will appoint him over all his belongings." (Matthew 24:45-47, NW) In 1919 the "faithful and discreet slave" class began serving as one appointed by the Lord Jesus over all his belongings, or Kingdom interests on earth, to serve the spiritual food now due.

10 However, there is a great religious organization operating under the name of Christ and claiming to be the "house of God." It is Christendom. In this time of judgment from the temple she, too, must come under judgment according to her claims. The judgment must show whether she is true to her claims, whether she is obedient to God's commands and is a true worshiper of him, and whether she is following in Jesus' footsteps, copying his example. Because Christendom has a sham Christianity and brings reproach upon the true Christianity, because she has merely a form of godliness but proves false to its power by being worldly the same as pagans, she is judged deserving of execution at Armageddon. The shadow of the slaughter weapons of Jehovah's executioners now falls across Christendom. How may any in her not of the remnant escape destruction?

11 The prophet Ezekiel was given a vision of how


10. Why must Christendom also now come under judgment, and why is she judged deserving of execution at Armageddon?
11. When was Ezekiel given a vision of how many not of the "slave" class may be spared at Armageddon, and what conditions then at the temple were enough to make such kind sigh and cry in grief?
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many who are not of the "faithful and discreet slave" class will be spared suffering annihilation with Christendom and her friend, the world. Ezekiel got the vision six years before Jerusalem and her temple were destroyed by the army of the king of Babylon and all the land of Judea was desolated in 607 B.C. Jerusalem and her realm were doomed to desolation by Jehovah's executioners because the Israelites had forsaken his pure worship. As Ezekiel himself was shown in the vision, they had set up an idolatrous image provocative of Jehovah's jealousy right there in the inner court of his temple at Jerusalem. They had even drawn pictures of unclean forms of lower animal life and idols upon the temple walls, and before these hateful pictures seventy of the Israelite elders could be seen standing, offering up incense to them. Women were even carrying on the rite of weeping for the Babylonian god Tammuz, another name for Babylon's founder Nimrod. Worse still, inside the inner court and at the very entry of the temple sanctuary of Jehovah there were seventy-five men with their backs toward the temple and their faces toward the east as they worshiped the sun in the heavens. What abominations to the true God, what reproach to his clean, holy name, what profanations of his sacred temple, what shameful attempt to mix the impure false religion with the true! It was enough to make anyone with a love for Jehovah God sigh and cry in sincere grief at such detestable religious practices committed inside his typical house. Little wonder that the land of Judah was filled with violence. Jehovah purposed to have no pity on them. — Ezekiel 8:1-18.

12 Horrifying though the picture of conditions in Jerusalem's temple was, the view of what goes on today in the modern counterpart, Christen-


12. Why may Christendom not expect an end different from that of Jerusalem's, and how does Ezekiel's vision show whom Jehovah has called to prepare for action?
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dom's house or system of religion, is no less shocking. With the Holy Bible at hand in millions of copies for their enlightenment and correction, Christendom's worshipers follow all sorts of pagan beliefs, practices, observances and idolatries, doing so under Christ's name and at what they call the house of God. Can Christendom expect an end different from that of ancient Jerusalem? No; for with greater knowledge open to her she is more reprehensible in God's sight. A calamitous end is certain and unavoidable for her, for God has called to his executioners to prepare for action, as in Ezekiel's vision: "Then he called aloud in my hearing, and said, 'Come forward, you officers [executioners, Mo] of the city, armed each with his weapon of destruction!' And lo! there came from the direction of the upper gate, facing the north, six men armed each with his weapon for slaughter, and in the midst of them another man clothed in linen, with a writer's inkhorn at his side. And they came and stood beside the bronze altar." — Ezekiel 9:1, 2, AT.

13 The seven men that appeared in the vision picture Jehovah's devoted servants in this time of impending destruction for Christendom. The six armed men picture Jehovah's executional forces in the heavens, the holy angels under the leadership of the Chief Executioner, Jesus Christ. They are all invisible to human eyes, so that the destruction will come out of the invisible realm and be superhuman. The seventh man has no executioner's slaughter weapon in hand and takes no part in the slaughter work, but does do a lifesaving work by the use of his writer's inkhorn. Since this linen-clad writer proves faithful to the work assigned to him he pictures a visible class on


13. Who are pictured by the six armed men, and who is pictured by the man in linen with no weapon but a writer's inkhorn?
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earth, the "faithful and discreet slave" class, the remnant of the spiritual Israelites who have been delivered from antitypical Babylon and been reinstated in Jehovah's service. Jesus Christ is their unseen head and they work in harmony with him in connection with Christendom's execution. The visible "slave" class and the unseen executional forces under Jesus Christ at the temple are pictured as a group of seven, a group perfect in proportions for the work at hand. Being symbolized as a linen-clad man with just a writer's inkhorn at his side, the spiritual remnant or "faithful and discreet slave" class are authorized to take no violent part in the battle of Armageddon. They will not fight there.

14 What, then, is the work of the "faithful and discreet slave" class? Ezekiel's vision furnishes the answer: "Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherubim on which it rested to the threshold of the house. Then he called to the man clothed in linen, with the writer's inkhorn at his side, and said to him, 'Pass through the city — through Jerusalem — and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry for all the abominations that are done in the midst of it.' " (Ezekiel 9:3, 4, AT) It was in the year 1931 that the meaning of this vision was correctly understood,* and it was then that the divine command to them could be acted on with understanding. So particularly since then the "faithful and discreet slave" class have gone up and down Jerusalem's modern antitype, Christendom, doing the marking work. As the man in linen was to use a pen and mark foreheads, evidently going from house to house, the marking work pictured a great


* See pages 94-116 of Volume 1 of the book Vindication, published by the watch Tower Bible & Tract Society in 1931.
14. In the vision what was the work assigned to the man in linen, and when and how did this work begin to be fulfilled in reality?
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marking on forehead by man with inkhornModern-day door-to-door preachingBible educational work to be carried on throughout doomed Christendom. It was a work with God's message in written or printed form as well as spoken form that would leave a mark of identification in that part of the body where slaves were anciently branded, most easily seen to all beholders, the forehead, where one's intelligence is located. It was a witness work, for in that same year of 1931 the remnant of spiritual Israelites, the "faithful and discreet slave" class, appreciated more fully the force of Jehovah's commission to them, "Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; ... ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and I am God." (Isaiah 43:10-12, AS) So at their international convention in Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A., on Sunday, July 26, 1931, they embraced the name by which they have since been known, "Jehovah's witnesses." They have truly lived up to that honorable name as faithful Christians.

15 Revelation 7:1-8 disclosed that the remnant


15. How does Revelation picture those who do the marking work and those who are marked, and why do the latter sigh and cry?
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of God's slaves would be sealed in their foreheads with the seal of the living God as members of the twelve tribes of spiritual Israel. This sealed remnant is the "man in linen" of today that marks as with pen and ink the foreheads of those sighing and crying in Christendom. Who, now, are this latter class? They are those who become the other group that is also seen in Revelation, chapter 7, namely, the "great crowd" of sheeplike ones out from whose eyes God wipes every tear so that they no longer sigh and cry. They have a respect for God and a love of righteousness, for which reason they are grieved at all the abominable things that are said and committed in antitypical Jerusalem by those who claim to be Christians against the name and pure worship of the living and true God Jehovah. They sigh and cry at the detestable things that so-called Christians teach and do at what they call the "house of God," and they long to see God's worship purified, his house cleansed and his name honored. They appreciate the final catastrophe to which the religious abominations are destined to bring it, and they yearn for relief, for deliverance from captivity in their religious prison, the "synagogue of Satan." (Revelation 2:9; 3:9) To remain prisoners there means destruction for them with Christendom at the end of this world.

16 Ezekiel's prophecy shows God hears the sighing and crying of these "other sheep," and from the "threshold of the house" to which he has come for judgment he calls to the symbolic "man in linen," the "faithful and discreet slave" class, to go to all the homes of antitypical Jerusalem and find out who are the ones that sigh and cry at the religious abominations of hypocritical Christi-


16. With whose salvation were the "slave" class now to concern themselves, and how do the sheeplike ones react to the "slave" class in this work?
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anity and to put a mark* on their foreheads. That meant for the spiritual remnant to concern themselves about others besides just the last remaining members of the "body of Christ," the remnant of the "little flock" to whom the heavenly Father has approved of giving the heavenly kingdom with Jesus Christ. The remnant must work for others also to gain salvation in the new world, and especially to be spared through Armageddon. So they were commanded to preach the lifesaving Kingdom message to all sighing and crying, again and again, until they became marked in their foreheads, as it were, openly identifiable as true, clean worshipers of Jehovah, as "other sheep" of his Right Shepherd Jesus Christ the King. Then these would take up palm branches and hail Jehovah's enthroned King the Lamb and would publicly declare their debt of salvation to Jehovah God and his glorified Lamb. To this end the sheeplike ones treat the "man in linen" class, the remnant of Christ's brothers, kindly, helpfully, favorably, and they gratefully submit to being marked. They are gathered to the right of the King's throne at the temple.

17 The goatlike stubbornly refuse to be marked, for they are not heartsick over the religious abominations and do not sigh or cry. They are gathered to the left of the King's judgment throne.

18 The marking work by the "man in linen" comes before the execution work by the six men


* The Hebrew word for "mark" is taw, the name given to the twenty-second and last letter in the Hebrew alphabet. Originally the letter taw was in the form of a cross, but that does not mean that the man in linen marked foreheads with a cross. The Hebrew word taw means "mark" or "sign," and that is what he marked on them. What form of sign or mark it was is not revealed.
17. To which side of the King are the goatlike gathered, and why?
18. When was the execution work to take place, and without regard for what was it to be done, and why?
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with slaughter weapons. This makes clear the purpose of the marking. When the marking work is done, Jehovah at the temple speaks to the six executioners: "And to the others he said in my hearing, Go after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have pity. Slay utterly the old man, the young man, and the maiden, and little children, and women; but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary." (Ezekiel 9:5, 6, Da) None of the marked people were to be executed. Only the unmarked persons were to be slain, without regard to age or sex. Even children were not to be spared, for their unmarked parents or guardians were held responsible for them.

19 In Ezekiel's day, in the terrible slaughter that mowed down the inhabitants of Jerusalem in 607 B.C., the Babylonian armies did not spare the children. (2 Chronicles 36:17; Psalm 137:8, 9; compare, too, Hosea 10:14; 13:16.) Also in the horrible destruction that came upon the rebuilt Jerusalem in apostolic days, A.D. 70, at the hand of the Roman legions, the little children and women suffered and died along with the men. In the approaching annihilation of Christendom at Armageddon Jehovah's heavenly executioners will destroy all the unmarked persons. Age and sex will call forth no mercy. This is something serious for parents of little children to consider.

20 The apostle Peter declared: "It is the appointed time for the judgment to start with the house of God." (1 Peter 4:17, NW) Correspondingly, Jehovah's command to his executional forces is for them to begin at his profaned sanctuary.


19. How was this illustrated in 607 B.C. and in 70 (A.D.), and how will it be true at Armageddon?
20. Where did the executional forces begin, how was this illustrated with Jerusalem's priesthood in 607 B.C., and what fact does this point up respecting Armageddon?
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"Then they began at the elders who were before the house. And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go forth. And they went forth, and smote in the city." (Ezekiel 9:6, 7, Da) Quite in keeping with this divine command and its symbolic execution, Se-rai'ah the chief priest and Zephaniah the second priest, under whose very eyes the detestable, defiling religious practices were carried on at the temple of Jerusalem, were specially selected at Jerusalem's fall in 607 B.C. and were brought to Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath and were put to death by him there. (2 Kings 25: 18-21; Jeremiah 52:24-27) Divine judgment thus surely took notice first of the polluted temple and its most responsible priests and then expressed itself in a way that shocked religious sensibilities. This points up the surprising fact that at Armageddon the false, worldly, hypocritical religious element will be first to be executed, and Jesus Christ the Chief Executioner will not spare Christendom's religious structure and its exalted clergy just because they are thought to be Christian.

21 The slaughter weapons of the heavenly executioners will hack down untold numbers at the destruction of antitypical Jerusalem, but the "man in linen" class and the marked "other sheep" will not be touched. So many will be slaughtered that it will seem as if no one will finally escape; so it seemed to Ezekiel: "And it came to pass, while they were smiting, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah, Lord [A-do-nay'] Jehovah! wilt thou destroy all the remnant of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jerusalem? And he said unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and


21. But who will not be touched there despite the extensiveness of the slaughter, and for what will Christendom have to answer, justly?
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the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness; for they say, Jehovah hath forsaken the earth, and Jehovah seeth not. And as for me also, mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: I will recompense their way upon their head." (Ezekiel 9:8-10, Da) Christendom's land is full of perverseness and is more bloodstained than the rest of the earth. It is only justice that she answer for this. She will. After all these years of toleration and of warning to her Jehovah will show her no pity at the end of the system of things. He will bring the penalty of her own stubborn way upon her proud head.

22 The "faithful and discreet slave" class, the symbolic man in linen, will successfully finish their work before Armageddon's execution begins. "And behold, the man clothed with linen, who had the ink-horn by his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as thou hast commanded me." (Ezekiel 9:11, Da) The report must be made at the temple to Jehovah, whose name this slave class bears. Because this class does as commanded and finishes the work, Jehovah does not let his executioners touch them, but they will survive Christendom's destruction. Neither will the executioners be allowed to come near to harm the "great crowd" of formerly sighing and crying ones with marked foreheads. They, too, will survive Christendom's destruction and pass alive through the rest of the "war of the great day of God the Almighty" into his clean, godly new world.


22. After doing as commanded, what does the 'man in linen' class do, and what will happen to them and the ones they have marked?


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