JEHOVAH'S NAME is of far greater importance than all things. The time must come when Jehovah's name will be upon every creature, and then everything that breathes will extol and honor his name. Only those who come to a knowledge of Jehovah and who honor his name will be given life everlasting. Jesus so stated when he was on earth, but only a few to this day have believed that his words are true. The defaming of God's name was begun by the traitor Satan, and the entire organization which the enemy builded has continued to reproach his holy name. The removing of Satan and his organization will result in clearing Jehovah's name, and then all intelligent creatures may learn without hindrance the way to life.
The truth must be made known to the end that the name of Jehovah may be vindicated. It is the expressed will of God that all creation shall be brought to a knowledge of the truth and that then those who believe and obey and practice the truth shall live. All others will be destroyed. The origin of man, the course man has followed, how man may be recovered and granted life everlasting, is truthfully stated in the Bible. It is found nowhere else except in publications that base every doctrine upon the Bible testi-
mony. Jehovah is true and his Word is the truth. Every man that is brought into harmony with God must learn the truth. Concerning those who will please God, Jesus said: "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." — John 17:17.
That which is the very opposite of truth is a lie. Satan is the author or father of lies. (John 8:44) He began his lies by disputing the word of God and by bringing reproach upon God's name. That first lie led perfect man into the way of wickedness and brought upon the entire human race sorrow, sickness, suffering and death. In the centuries past Satan has pursued his course of lying and wickedness without hindrance and has builded a mighty organization in the earth by which he has brought reproach upon the name of Jehovah God and has turned the mass of the people away from God. To accomplish his wicked purposes Satan has resorted to all manner of lying, fraud and deception. The chief element of his organization, by which he has defrauded the people and reproached God's name, is the religious element. This he started with Babylon, and from then till now the name Babylon has attached to all religions used by Satan to bring reproach upon the name of God.
The greater the deception practiced, the greater the reproach; and so-called "organized Christianity", or "Christendom", stands at the very head of all hypocritical religions that have been used to deceive the people and to defame God's holy name. True Christianity means to truly and faithfully follow Christ Jesus and to honor God's name. "Organized Christianity," or "Christendom", has taken the name
of Christ Jesus but has practiced everything but the truth. Just enough of the Bible has been used to mislead and deceive the people. "Christendom," or "organized Christianity", has therefore become the greatest of all refuges or hiding places of lies. God has abided his own due time to expose and to destroy all hypocritical and wicked organizations. Now his time has come to uncover the lies, and expose the false religions and every other part of Satan's organization; and this he declares he will do by and through the truth made known to mankind. The time is therefore come when lies shall be torn from the place of power and authority; and truth enthroned will continue to rule forever; and this will be a vindication of God's word and name.
By his prophet Jehovah says: "Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious comer stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet; and the hail [hard truths] shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters [flood of truth] shall overflow the hiding place." (Isa. 28:16,17) Zion here mentioned is God's organization, and Christ Jesus the King of glory is the chief corner Stone mentioned by the prophecy. Already God has placed Christ Jesus upon his throne and presented him as King of the world, and thus the corner Stone has been laid. Now Christ Jesus the great Judge has come to the temple of God for judgment and the judgment is in progress; hence the time is at hand for the hard and plain truths to be told and, thus continuing, the truth, like a flood of water, shall arise, exposing the lies by disclosing
their hiding place, and will sweep away all hindrances to the people in gaining the truth.
The campaign to make known the truth of God's Word to the people is now in progress. In this work the Lord is employing the radio and many books containing the explanation of the Bible, and these are put in the hands of the people that they may know the truth. The work of vindicating God's name has begun, and will go on until every man, from the least to the greatest, shall know that Jehovah is the only true God. Then never again will the truth be bedraggled and hid from the view of God's creatures.
The Israelites were God's covenant people chosen by him and used chiefly to make pictures which foreshadow his purposes. Such pictures are made understandable to men in due time in order that the anointed people of God may have hope and in order that the rulers and the people in general may be served with notice of what God is about to do to make a name for himself.
Jehovah sent his prophet to the king of Israel and caused him to say: "I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever." (2 Sam. 7:12,13) By those words Jehovah stated the importance of the kingdom in connection with the vindication and the honor of his name. The "seed" there mentioned undoubtedly means Christ Jesus, the beloved of God who was foreshadowed by King David. The King of glory Jehovah
now has placed upon his throne. (Ps. 2: 6) "An house for my name" means the organization of Jehovah of which Christ Jesus is the Head and Chief. That which will lead to the exaltation of the name of Jehovah in the minds and hearts of all his creatures is a knowledge of and obedience to the truth. God has taken out from the world "a people for his name", which people are the first ones to be favored with a knowledge of the truth.
It is fitting that God used David, who foreshadowed his beloved King Christ Jesus, to write and say to the people taken out for his name: "Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness." (Ps. 29: 2) And thus the people so taken out for God's name speak to one another. It is the expressed will of Jehovah that 'the people taken out for his name' shall bear to the world the message of truth that Jehovah is the only true God, and thus be the witnesses of Jehovah at this time. (Isa. 43:10-12; 42: 6) Jehovah caused his holy prophets to write concerning the vindication of his name, and now his due time has come for his "faithful servant" to understand the meaning of the prophecies, and the "servant" is directed to serve notice upon the rulers and the people of and concerning God's purposes as the prophets long ago wrote.
Ezekiel was one of the holy prophets of God. Heretofore his prophecy has not been understood, manifestly because it was not God's time for it to be understood. The theme that runs throughout the entire book of Ezekiel is that of the vindication of Jehovah's name. The phrase, "Know that I am the Lord [Jehovah]," occurs more than sixty times in the
prophecy. More than any other book in the Bible the prophecy of Ezekiel mentions this great and all-important truth. The opening chapters give a setting for the understanding of the book when the due time arrives for its understanding, and for that reason these chapters should be carefully considered. Prophecies are not always fulfilled in the order in which they are set down in the Scriptures, but a proper setting is necessary for the harmonizing of the entire prophecy.
How may we know when we have a proper interpretation of a prophecy? At the very outset we must understand that "no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation". (2 Pet. 1:20) If man gives a private interpretation to a prophecy, that interpretation is merely his private opinion and is without value, because no man is authorized by the Word of God to give such an opinion. Many attempts have been made to interpret prophecy, and failure has resulted because the rules laid down by the Lord have been ignored. Since no prophecy is of private interpretation, it follows that the Lord God himself interprets prophecy by causing to come to pass events in fulfilment of what he has foretold; hence it is impossible for man to understand prophecy until such events have come to pass showing at least a partial fulfilment of the prophecy. Until God's due time to understand prophecy it is not understandable. Then it is first understandable by the covenant people of God who have his spirit. — 1 Cor. 2:10.
To determine whether a prophecy (and the proph-
et speaking it) is false or true Jehovah made these rules: That the prophet must speak in the name of Jehovah, thus indicating authority to speak; his words of prophecy must tend to turn the hearer to Jehovah and to the honor of his name; and the prophecy must at some time come to pass. (Deut. 18: 21, 22; 13:1-5; Jer. 28:13-17) The fulfilment of a prophecy would necessarily be in harmony with these rules. The events coming to pass must be in harmony with the prophecy as it is written, must tend to vindicate the name of Jehovah, and must honor and exalt his name and not honor and exalt the name of any human creature. If the interpretation tends to laud and magnify the name of man, then such is not a true interpretation, because it is contrary to the Word of God. (Job 32:21,22; Luke 16:15) In carrying forward his purposes God uses his duly constituted agencies, but all honor is due to Jehovah, and not to the agency.
Aside from Jesus Christ no individual is foretold or foreshadowed in the selection and development of the members of God's organization. It necessarily follows that in the fulfilment of God's prophecy no individual among God's covenant people is or will be identified. It would be contrary to the Scriptures to single out some individual and say that such individual is fulfilling prophecy. It would be like the eye saying to the hand, I am all-important and you are nothing. — 1 Cor. 12:12-22.
Jehovah's 'elect servant' is his Christ, and he deals with the "servant" as one. Members of the body are therefore considered collectively, and not individually. Jehovah God is the Master, and the "servant" is his instrument used for his purpose, and all honor is due
to the great Master. It is Jehovah the Master who says to his 'elect servant': "Behold, the former things are come to pass [meaning, some prophecies which I showed you have been fulfilled], and new things do I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them." (Isa. 42:9) "When a prophecy is partially fulfilled and is in course of fulfilment Jehovah permits his covenant and anointed people to see the meaning thereof, and these in turn must declare the meaning to others who might have an ear to hear. Some prophecies have been fulfilled, and some are in course of fulfilment; and, by the rules laid down governing the fulfilment of these, by his grace and his spirit God makes known to his 'elect servant' some things that are shortly to come to pass, and thus the "new things" he now declares to them "before they spring forth".
Prophecy was written aforetime for the specific benefit of God's covenant and anointed people. (Rom. 15:4) It follows, therefore, that the fulfilment must take place and be made known to some of these anointed ones while on the earth, because otherwise the announced purpose would be defeated. The anointed will not need comfort and hope after they have been received into glory and made in the likeness of the glorified Christ Jesus. Comfort and encouragement are for their benefit while they are on the earth, and particularly for the remnant on earth "in the last days". Since the purpose of prophecy's being fulfilled is to vindicate the name of Jehovah, its fulfilment must involve the people whom he has taken out of the world for his name and must also identify the class that is opposed to God and his purposes.
When events come to pass and are known, we call
these the physical facts. If such events coming to pass involve God's covenant people and distinguish them from God's enemies, and the events tend to honor and vindicate God's name and they fit the things foretold in the prophecy, then we may know that we have God's interpretation of the prophecy and therefore the right interpretation. For that reason prophecy cannot be understood until God's due time to understand it and until it is fulfilled or in course of fulfilment. However, prophecy already fulfilled or in course of fulfilment enables God's anointed people to understand the meaning of other prophecies written in harmony therewith and foretelling what shall come to pass in the very near future.
Elsewhere* the Scriptural proof has been submitted showing that the coming of the Lord Jesus to the temple of God took place in the spring of 1918. The early chapters of Ezekiel's prophecy fit and confirm the work that God's organization has been doing since that date. That which the prophet sets forth is of the keenest interest to the anointed of the Lord when viewed in the light of recent events and the one coincides with the other. This shows why the prophecy of Ezekiel could not be understood prior to 1918. It was then that 'the heavenly temple was opened' and God's faithful covenant people were permitted to have a vision of heavenly things and to see them in the light of events coming to pass in the earth before their eyes. After using his covenant people in connection with the fulfilling of prophecy, and without their knowledge and understanding thereof, the Lord gives them an understanding. To be able to look back and
see how the faithful ones have been used by the Lord in having a part in the fulfilling of prophecy is a real encouragement and comfort to them and brightens their hope for the greater things set before them.
It seems hardly necessary to set out in full the text of Ezekiel's prophecy here, because almost everyone has a Bible, wherein is found the full text of the prophecy. The student should carefully read the book of Ezekiel, as set forth in the Bible. Herein the chapters of the Bible record will be indicated, and those chapters as indicated should be carefully studied in connection with these comments.
Ezekiel was twenty-five years of age when carried away with other Israelites as captive to Babylon. His name means "God will strengthen" or "the strength of God". True to his name, he was strengthened of the Lord and hence well pictures the company of God's covenant people who are devoted to Jehovah and who are "strong in the Lord and in the power of his might". These are "strengthened with might by his spirit in the inner man". (Eph. 6:10; 3:16) It was in the fifth year of the captivity that the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel and he had his first vision. (1:2) He was then thirty years of age, that being the age required to be attained to do the work of the priesthood.
It seems quite probable that Ezekiel and Daniel were in the same company of captives, for it seems that they were carried away captive at the same time, to wit, in the year 617 B.C. The divine record shows
that they were both pleasing to Jehovah; hence they were not carried away as captives because of their own wrongdoing, but to serve the purpose of God and to foreshadow things that must come to pass in "the last days". This was the first captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon. "And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon, and the king's mother, and the king's wives, and his officers, and the mighty of the land, those carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon. And all the men of might, ... all that were strong and apt for war, even them the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon." — 2 Ki. 24:15,16.
It is interesting to here note and compare with this scripture some facts that came to pass in 1918 and 1919 as heretofore written in The Watch Tower. "From 1918 to 1919 was a period of great travail and suffering. At that time the church was practically in captivity to Babylon, which is one of the names for Satan's organization." (See Watch Tower, Dec. 15, 1928, page 373.)
The year 617 B. C., when Ezekiel was carried away captive, very well corresponds with the year 1914 (A.D.), the beginning of the World War. There was an effort made by Satan's organization to commandeer all religious organizations for the purpose of winning the war, and those of God's covenant people were not only threatened but many of them were forced into the war and the work of proclaiming the truth was hindered everywhere. Not until 1919, or five years after the beginning of the war, was the way again open to freely witness to the truth. The year 1919, therefore, corresponds with the year 612 B.C., which was the time that Ezekiel received the vision and was
commissioned by the Lord to act as a priest and to represent God as a prophetic witness.
This apparent correspondency in dates would tend to prove that the 'Elisha work' of God's covenant people was due to begin, and did begin, in the year 1919 with the assembling of that people in convention at Cedar Point, Ohio. That was the time The Golden Age magazine was launched and the work of giving witness of the truth to the people was revived. It was then and there that God made his covenant people aware of the fact that he had commissioned them to 'preach this gospel of the kingdom to all the nations as a witness', and it was there called sharply to their attention that God had begun his reign through Christ Jesus, earth's rightful King. On the fifth day of September, 1919, that covenant people of God was given a vision or understanding of the distinction between the 'Elijah work' and the 'Elisha work' of the church; that is to say, that the experiences of Elijah had foreshadowed a certain work to be done, which was now completed, and the experiences of Elisha foreshadowed another work to be done by the same people, which work had to begin at that date. (See Watch Tower, 1919, page 292.) As 'the hand of the Lord was upon Ezekiel', so was the spirit and the power of the Lord upon his people when they saw for the first time the work marked out for them to do and which had been foreshadowed by the experiences of the Prophet Elisha. The work of God's "servant", broken up during the war, now began to take on new life, the first of which was to begin the organization and then go forward with the work.
The year 606 B.C. marks the date of the desolation
of Jerusalem. The year 606 B.C. would correspond with 1925, when "organized religions" were plainly seen to be in bondage to Satan, and a part of Satan's organization, and to have been for ever cast away from the Lord. Shortly thereafter the book Deliverance appeared, exposing Satan's organization and particularly the hypocritical religion thereof. Also about that time God revealed to his people the delusion of "character development" as a necessary qualification for the kingdom, and also the "prisoners" in Babylon were identified. (See Watch Tower, May 1, 1926, and November 15, 1926.)
"Chebar" was the name of the river by the side of which Ezekiel got his first vision. It means "length", that is, "extent of time," and seems to indicate that the fullness of God's time had now come and his kingdom must now be established and that the work of announcing that kingdom, as foreshadowed by Elisha, must begin. Daniel had a vision at the river, and probably the very same river, at which the dates 1914, 1918 and 1926 were foreshadowed, and confirms Ezekiel's prophecy.
Ezekiel's first vision was had five years after he was taken captive. That vision represented and foreshadowed the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to the temple of Jehovah for judgment upon the true house of God and upon the professed house of God, which judgment results in the destruction of the latter, or "organized religion". The Israelites had misused and abused God's temple, and Jehovah caused Ezekiel to prophesy of the destruction of Jerusalem. Nominal spiritual Israel, or "organized Christianity", so called, has misused and abused God's temple, and God's judg-
ment of destruction is pronounced against it. The first chapter of Ezekiel's prophecy is a description of Jehovah's organization as it appeared to the prophet. The description thereof, and its meaning, has been published elsewhere, and hence is not here repeated. (See Prophecy, pages 116-123.)
The vision of Ezekiel shows the Lord God Almighty sitting upon his throne over and above all the forces of his organization and coming out of the north and moving forward to the destruction of the city. Concerning this Ezekiel says: "And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone; and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake." — 1: 26-28.
The duty of pronouncing God's judgment and of the execution thereof is laid upon Christ Jesus, who is God's chief executive Officer. That this refers to the time of the coming of the Lord Jesus to the temple of Jehovah for judgment is further supported by what the prophet later saw and about which he wrote, to wit: "Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east; and, behold, the
glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east, and his voice was like a noise of many waters; and the earth shined with his glory. And it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city [prophesy that the city should be destroyed, margin]; and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face. And the glory of the Lord came into the house, by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east. So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house." — 43:1-5.
At the time of this, his first vision, Ezekiel pictured and foreshadowed those in the covenant with God and in line for the kingdom and whom the Lord Jesus Christ found faithful upon coming to his temple and to whom he committed his kingdom interests on the earth, and to which class he refers as the "faithful and wise servant". (Matt. 24: 45, 46) This "faithful servant" class had its vision made clear concerning the Elijah and Elisha works of the church in the autumn of 1919. This was five years after Jehovah had placed his anointed King upon his holy hill in Zion and the "man child", the new government, had been born. That new government was a part of God's universal organization, and it was then, through the functioning of that government, that Jehovah began his reign over the earth. This was particularly shown by Jehovah's being seated upon his throne above all his organization, as described by Ezekiel. Therefore, five years after the beginning of the kingdom the "servant" class of the Lord on earth began to clearly see
that God had another work for the "faithful servant" to do before the end. The kingdom had begun, and the first great work would be the clearing out of Satan's organization, and before the Lord would do that he would cause the members of the "faithful servant" class on earth to give notice by a world-wide campaign of testifying to the Lord's purposes. It is thus seen that the physical facts exactly fit the prophecy and show that Ezekiel had his first vision five years after his captivity and that the "faithful and wise servant", whom Ezekiel foreshadowed, had his vision of the kingdom-Elisha-work five years after the King was enthroned.
For a number of years God's people had waited for the vision to speak. Since about 1889, when Volume II of Studies in the Scriptures was issued and it was seen that there was a typical significance attached to Elijah and his work, the faithful had waited, expecting the year 1914 to mark the complete fulfilment of the prophecy. They had expected Armageddon to follow immediately after 1914 and the church to be glorified. Of course it was not due time until after 1918 to have a clearer vision of the prophecy. Like the Prophet Habakkuk, God's covenant people had waited, and, while waiting, there were some curious speculations indulged in by them, which were mere guesses, of course, and therefore not true, because it was not God's time for them to understand. It was after 1914 that 'the vision spoke and did not lie', to wit, after the coming of the Lord to his temple in 1918. Habakkuk, referring to the "servant" class, wrote: "I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what
I shall answer when I am reproved. And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie; though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry." — Hab. 2:1-3.
It was in 1919 that the vision spoke to the "faithful servant" class and that class began to see the significance of the Elisha work. The "servant" more fully saw in 1922 the meaning thereof. It was in that year that God's covenant people came to a realization that they had been negligent in giving the testimony to the Lord's name and that 'the Lord was angry with them', but that the time had come to 'turn away his anger'. (Isa. 12:1) In that year the faithful saw the Lord had come to his temple, and with joy and zeal peculiar to the house of the Lord they went forward to do the Elisha work in advertising the King and the kingdom. The vision was so marvelous and awesome to Ezekiel that he 'fell down upon his face, and heard a voice of one speaking to him'. — Ezek. 1:28.
When the Lord, through the columns of The Watch Tower, disclosed the vision of the Lord's coming to the temple, and its meaning, the faithful appreciative ones, designated as God's "young men", like Ezekiel, fell down and worshiped in devotion to Jehovah. To these faithful ones the vision continued to increase in beauty and grandeur, and they have seen and now see that the great work of God's anointed people on earth is to make a proclamation of the truth looking to the vindication of Jehovah's name. The "faithful
servant" has since continued to hear the voice of the Lord and to joyfully respond thereto in going forward with the work committed into their hands.
While the young man Ezekiel was prostrated before the Lord he heard a voice of one saying to him: "Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee." (2:1) "And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me. And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day." (2: 2, 3) Then and there Ezekiel was given a commission to bear a message to the people of Israel. Since anointing is symbolic of a commission granted and bestowed upon the anointed ones, this would represent the anointing of the faithful ones who were approved and taken into God's organization. Those whom the Lord found faithful at the examination upon coming to the temple, as pictured by the parable of the talents, would here be pictured as receiving the anointing or commission. — Matt. 25: 21.
When the Lord came to his temple in 1918 he found two classes of servants: one that was moved by a selfish desire to be honored in the kingdom, and another unselfishly devoted to the Lord in doing his will. The first he later designates as the "evil servant'', and the other as the "faithful and wise servant". It is after the divison and separation takes place that the "faithful and wise servant" is known and designated as
"the remnant". The "faithful and wise servant" is anointed and commissioned to care for the interests of the kingdom, and this is designated by the words of Jesus that 'he would make him ruler over all his goods'. (Matt. 24:47) This prophecy would indicate that such anointing took place in 1919; and that the general pouring out of the holy spirit, according to the prophecy of Joel, occurred in 1922, when all in the earthly division of the organization of the Lord were commissioned to go forth with the message of truth. — Joel 2: 28, 29.
Ezekiel saw the Lord approaching to destroy Satan's organization, and the "faithful servant" class saw in 1919 that the church, pictured by Elisha, must now do a vigorous slaying work in connection with the Lord's destruction of "organized Christianity". Shortly thereafter The Golden Age magazine was issued, and No. 27 of that magazine laid bare the wicked deeds of "organized Christianity". Several million copies of this number of the magazine were placed in the hands of the people. The "faithful servant" class then got on its feet and went to work. The anointing was a commission to speak God's vengeance against those who had reproached his name. In the commission given to Ezekiel "there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe". Likewise God's anointed and commissioned people were now commissioned to speak the vengeance of Jehovah against those who had reproached his name. (2:10) The anointed people of the Lord were therefore commissioned to publish these truths so that they could be heard and read and understood.
Time was required for the organizing of the work,
and it seems certain that the "servant" class might have been more energetic than they were. Doubtless many were held back because of fear and something was required for such that they might have their eyes fully opened to the responsibility of the work they were commissioned to do. It is well known that some of the classes of Bible Students at that time hesitated to distribute No. 27 of The Golden Age magazine, manifestly because of fear. It exposes the duplicity of the clergy, and some feared to incur their displeasure. In the latter part of 1919 the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society began the distribution of the message contained in No. 27 of The Golden Age. Classes that failed or refused to distribute that message lost the privilege, and others were sent into their territory to make the distribution. By 1922 God's people had come to a clearer understanding of their duties and the work took on a greater impetus, and those who were privileged to do it went at it zealously and fearlessly.
Jehovah sent his prophet Ezekiel to the nation of Israel, a rebellious people that were impudent and stiffhearted. (2:3,4) He warned Ezekiel not to be afraid to speak to them nor to be afraid of their words. "And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them. And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions; be not afraid of their words, nor be dis-
mayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house. And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear; for they are most rebellious. But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee: Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house; open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee." — 2:5-8.
This well corresponds to the truth that the Lord permitted his people to understand in 1919, that they were to go forward to "organized Christianity" with the message of truth and to deliver it fearlessly, 'whether they were heard or whether they were not heard.' It was also a warning to the "servant" class to be not rebellious before the Lord as Christendom was and as some who were then in the truth were, but that those who would please the Lord must be bold and fearless in the proclamation of his message of truth. The Watch Tower warned the leaders in the ecclesias against a rebellious course and pointed out the necessity of fearlessly engaging in the Lord's service, and where some showed fear and refused to do the work the opportunity to do it was given to others.
About the autumn of 1922 the organization of God's people on earth was more fully completed, and it was then, at a general assembly of his people at a convention in Cedar Point, Ohio, that they got a better vision and appreciation of God's purposes concerning them and their commission, and then they went to the work with a real zeal. Isaiah's vision seems clearly to have foreshadowed this particular time. Isaiah had a vision of the Lord at his temple and came to a realization that he as a servant of the Lord was a man of unclean lips, and he cried unto the Lord, and the
Lord sent to him his invisible messenger with a coal of fire from off the altar with which Isaiah's lips were made clean. Concerning this it is written: "And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not." — Isa. 6: 7-9.
From 1919 to 1922 others had come to a knowledge of the truth and had responded to the call for the kingdom. It was on the occasion of the assembly above mentioned that all the faithful who were present saw the opportunity and necessity of carrying the message of the kingdom to the people, and there was a tremendous response such as never to be forgotten by those who witnessed the demonstration. The spirit and zeal of the Lord were upon that people. It was doubtless about that time that 'the holy spirit was poured out on all flesh', meaning that all who had responded to the call for the kingdom, and who were brought into the temple, were commissioned and commanded to carry the message of truth to the people, regardless of sex or previous position in the church. (Joel 2: 28, 29) The cleansing received by Isaiah foreshadowed the fact that God's "faithful servant" class would come to a realization that the proper zeal had not been shown in proclaiming the truth and thus the sin was upon their lips. The cleansing of Isaiah's lips by a coal of fire pictured the fact that God cleansed the lips of his people and sent them forth to do his work of witnessing to the truth, and that all then who
were faithful were anointed of the Lord, and that these constituted thereafter God's "faithful servant", otherwise called "the remnant".
Prior to the Lord's coming to his temple for judgment there were a number who had received the truth and responded to the call for the kingdom but who because of selfishness had rebelled against the light and began to fall away. The "rebellious" ones mentioned in the prophecy therefore would include all such who began to fall away about 1917 and who were gathered out and formed the "evil servant" class. Such claimed to be Jews (that is to say, devoted to God's praise and service of his King), and, says the Lord, 'They are not, but are of the synagogue of Satan.' (Rev. 2:9; 3:9) 'They are those that rebelled against the light.' (Job 24:13) It was the duty of The Watch Tower to speak with plainness to such, and by the Lord's grace this was done. Those who failed to heed the Lord's warning found themselves in the "evil servant" class and the "man of sin".
The commission to Ezekiel, and therefore to the "faithful servant" class, was also to warn those of the "great multitude" (Rev. 7:9-14), "such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron; because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the Most High." (Ps. 107:10-16) As Ezekiel was commanded by the Lord to warn the rebellious Israelites, so God's "faithful servant" class is commissioned to warn those who profess to be the children of the Lord and who are rebellious. When the warning to such rebellious ones was published in The Watch Tower the prophecy of Ezekiel was not then understood.
(See Watch Tower, 1926, pages 323-328, 339, 340; 1929, pages 134,147.) This is mentioned here as further evidence that the Lord uses his people to fulfil prophecy and afterwards advises them thereof by revealing the meaning of the prophecy. It is an evidence that the Lord feeds his people upon food convenient for them and directs the way they shall go, and to the Lord is due all glory. God commissions his people to do his work and sends the obedient ones forth upon that mission; and he directs their way, using them as his instruments, and all in the temple give him glory therefor and sing forth his praises. — Prov. 3: 5, 6; Ps. 29: 9.
As further proof that the truth is not the product of the "servant" class or of any man, but that all truth proceeds from the Lord, it is written, by the Prophet Ezekiel: "And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein; and he spread it before me; and it was written within and without; and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe. "(2:9,10) God's due time had come to send forth his message; and 'a roll of a book in a hand' shows that this truth comes by the spirit and power of God, and not by any creature, and that it is God's product. The roll or book spread out before Ezekiel shows that the time had arrived for God to send forth his "servant" to deliver a message to his people. This time especially dates from and after 1922, when the Lord had provided his people with a means for witnessing to the truth. When the prophecies are understood it will be found that they are all in exact harmony; which is another proof that they all proceed from God.
The statement of Ezekiel is in exact harmony with Revelation 10:1,2, which says: "And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, . . . and he had in his hand a little book open." Thus is shown that God's time had come to make known his purposes and he sent forth his message of truth to his people. (See Light, Book I, page 174.) God's judgment written must be declared before the execution thereof. "Organized Christianity," or Christendom, pictured by Jerusalem, must be told the truth and be warned of God's impending judgment against her. Also those who had been in line for the kingdom and had fallen away must be warned. "Organized Christianity," or Christendom, is pictured by Jerusalem and is more reprehensible than the heathen nations; hence God's judgment is written against her.
The roll of the book exhibited to Ezekiel contained the message of 'the day of the vengeance of God' against Israel; and likewise now that which the Lord reveals to his people contains the truth concerning the day of the vengeance of our God, which must be declared to Christendom. (Isa. 61:2) Let the fearful and rebellious refuse to declare God's righteous indignation against Satan's organization, if they will; but all who are of the "faithful servant" class without hesitation will declare God's truth and expose to view the enemy and the hideous agencies of his organization. Those who were once in line for the kingdom and who fail and refuse thus to do put themselves in the class with God's enemies. (2:3) It is comforting and gratifying to see how Jehovah uses his people to do his work and then later shows them what he has done, find this is further proof that prophecy was written
to make brighter the hope of those who are in the covenant for the kingdom and who obey the terms of that covenant. (Rom. 15:4) For several years God's faithful people on earth have been doing, and are now doing, a work which was foretold by the prophet and the meaning of which the Lord is now pleased to reveal to his faithful ones.
It is observed that almost a hundred times the Lord addresses Ezekiel as "son of man". That is one of the titles given to Jesus Christ; hence the class whom Ezekiel pictured and foreshadowed must of necessity be those who are of the body of the anointed One. The title does not apply to any individual, but applies to the body members of Christ and takes in all the faithful anointed ones of the earth. It is this class that the Lord uses in proclaiming his Word and also in connection with the fulfilment of his prophecy.
SENT TO CHRISTENDOM
The third chapter opens with the statement: "Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel." (3:1) In harmony with this God first causes his own people to feed upon his truth and to grow strong thereby, and then their strength must be used in obedience to his commandment to the glory of the Lord by speaking these truths to others. This is in harmony with Revelation 10: 8, 9: "And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. . . . And he said unto me, Take
it, and eat it up." These prophecies of Ezekiel and Revelation concerning the eating of the roll or book symbolically represent God's anointed servant receiving the truth to be used to the glory of the Lord.
This is further corroborated by Jehovah's words to the Prophet Isaiah. Isaiah also pictures the "faithful servant" class to whom the Lord Jehovah says: "I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people." (Isa. 51:16) The message of the Lord he puts in the mouth of his "servant" not merely to feed upon for his own benefit, but that it might be used in accordance with God's commandments by proclaiming it to others. "So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll. And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness." — 3: 2, 3.
These words last quoted from Ezekiel picture the faithful people of the Lord who were hungry for a further revelation of his Word, whom the Lord Jesus began to feed when he came to the temple of God. It took some time to fill them up and for them to digest the food before they were ready for the fight, and when the time came they were made strong in the Lord and went forth in obedience to his commandments. This is in exact accord with Revelation 10:10,11, which says: "And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey; and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. And he said unto me, Thou must
prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings." Thus is shown God's provision and his preparation of his people for a campaign that shortly thereafter began, and is now in progress, the purpose of which is to proclaim the King and his kingdom and to announce the day of God's vengeance.
When Ezekiel had eaten, then the Lord gave command to him: "And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them. For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel." (3:4,5) The Prophet Ezekiel thus pictures God's "servant" class of today who are sent to deliver a message to Christendom, because this people have professed to be acquainted with the Scriptures and the language thereof. So today the "servant" class carries the message of truth to so-called "organized Christianity", or Christendom, not to a people of an unknown tongue; nor is it spoken in the terms of a heathen religion; but they inform Christendom in their own language as to what God's Word has to say. If the anointed "servant" class does not now diligently engage in proclaiming the truth of God's purposes, those so doing would quickly cease to be of the Lord's servants and he would raise up others, because his time is here when his message must be delivered.
The purpose of delivering the message of truth is not to convert the world, as many have foolishly thought; and this is proven by the words the Lord spoke to Ezekiel: "But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me; for all the house of Israel are impudent and hard-
hearted. Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads. As an adamant, harder than flint, have I made thy forehead; fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house." (3:7-9) Likewise the Lord tells the faithful "servant" class that he has made their heads harder than those of the rebellious ones and therefore they are not to fear those who are rebellious; hence they must go and speak the truth with plainness and the Lord himself will take care of the result.
Jehovah then tells Ezekiel, and therefore the "faithful servant" class, to receive his words in the heart and in the ears and then go and tell them to the people whether they hear or not. (3:10,11) God's people could not today be faithful unless they respond gladly and eagerly in carrying the message of truth to Christendom. This is being done vigorously and zealously by those who love the Lord.
Ezekiel then states that the spirit took him up and he heard behind him a voice of great rushing, saying: "Blessed be the glory of the Lord from his place." (3:12) On the day of Pentecost, when the spirit was poured out upon the followers of Christ Jesus, there was the sound like the rushing of a mighty wind; and in like manner the spirit came upon Ezekiel, foreshadowing that the spirit of the Lord would come upon his people after the coming of Christ Jesus to the temple of Jehovah. "I heard also the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels over against them, and a noise of a great rushing. So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the
heat of my spirit; but the hand of the Lord was strong upon me." — 3:13,14.
This foreshadowed that the Lord puts his spirit upon his people and reveals to them a sufficient amount of the truth to enable them to discern God's organization, and the wicked organization of Satan in opposition to the Lord, and the great privilege that they have of being in Jehovah's organization and going into action against the enemy and his agencies. When they see the hideousness and wickedness of Satan's organization these go in the heat of the spirit and with bitterness against the enemy, because the enemy is God's enemy. Such is not a malicious hatred, of course, but a sincere and earnest desire to see the enemy and his organization destroyed that God's name might be exalted.
It required some time after 1919 for the "servant" class to get clearly in mind the meaning of the Elisha work. At first it would appear that the work must go on as it had gone in the past, and that efforts should be made to bring as many as possible into the truth and get them ready for the kingdom; but in time the "servant" class saw that such is not the chief purpose of the Elisha work. Ezekiel was then at Tel-abib by the river Chebar ("extent of time"), which would indicate that the fullness of God's time had come for a new era in his field of service. "Tel-abib" means "hill of green growth" or "hill of Abib". The first month of the Jewish year was Abib, the same as Nisan, that being the springtime, when the earth was covered with green growth. Even so it was 'the springtime of
the kingdom', the "hill of green growth" marking the time of a new era. Many who had made a covenant to do God's will and had been brought forth as his sons had turned away into Babylonish captivity. God's covenant people must now have a watchman, and this was foreshadowed by what the Lord said to Ezekiel: "And it came to pass at the end of seven days, that the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me." — 3:16,17.
The "watchman" is not one man, but is the entire company of anointed ones on earth making up the "faithful and wise servant" class. Some have advanced the thought that the "watchman" is an individual; but this is entirely wrong and contrary to the Scriptures. The anointed class constitute the "watchman", and each member thereof watches for the other and watches out for the interests of the kingdom, all of which are now committed into the hands of the "servant" class. Concerning this same "watchman" Isaiah wrote: "Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion." The faithful watchmen must give warning to all who claim to be the people of God. Therefore they say to each other: "Thy God reigneth!" — Isa. 52:7,8.
The Lord has laid great responsibility upon the watchmen, to wit, his "faithful servant" class. He makes it obligatory that such shall warn those who start in the way of wickedness. The wicked are not those who never knew of the truth, but are those who,
having once been enlightened, to some degree at least, concerning the truth of God's purposes, have then turned away therefrom and render service to the enemy. As Jehovah commanded Ezekiel, so he commands now the one whom Ezekiel foreshadowed, his watchmen, his "servant" class, saying: "When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul." (3:18-20) The "watchman" class could not perform its proper duty unless it sounded the warning to those who have once been connected with the Society; and this has been done, even though it has brought down upon the Society many harsh criticisms. (See Watch Tower, 1928, pages 196, 323, 339, 355; 1929, pages 163, 179.)
It is not the prerogative of The Watch Tower, nor of any forming a part of the "servant" class, to announce its judgment; but it is the duty of such to call attention to God's judgments as they are written, and this must be done as a warning. Also, it is the duty of such to call attention to God's judgments as they are written against the "evil servant", and this must be done as a warning. Also, it is the duty of the "servant" class, by any other means the Lord has provided, to give warning to all Christendom by calling attention to the judgments of the Lord as they are written. This was foreshadowed by the words of the Lord to Ezekiel: "Nevertheless, if thou warn the
righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul." (3:21) In harmony with this commandment given to Ezekiel God's judgment is: "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still." — Rev. 22:11.
Those of the temple class who bear the message of the Lord must be clean, and to this end must separate themselves from all who are out of harmony with God's organization. (2 Cor. 6:15-17) In harmony with this plain statement of the Scriptures the Lord commanded Ezekiel to separate himself and go into the plain, that the Lord might talk with him there. "And the hand of the Lord was there upon me; and he said unto me, Arise, go forth into the plain, and I will there talk with thee. Then I arose, and went forth into the plain; and, behold, the glory of the Lord stood there, as the glory which I saw by the river of Chebar; and I fell on my face." (3: 22, 23) The "faithful servant" class must be separate from Christendom, from the "evil servant" class, from the "wicked", and from the "prisoner" class, and, in fact, from all not in complete harmony with God's organization. The "faithful servant" must stand out separate and alone as the target of the enemy and as the witness for the Lord. These faithful ones gather themselves together unto the Lord in a condition of separateness, and the Lord's glory appears unto them. The facts show that since 1922 the Lord has illuminated his "servant" class and laden their table with an abundance of spiritual food and has illuminated
their minds as never it came to pass before. The vision of God's organization is there before them, because the spirit of the Lord is upon them even as it was upon Ezekiel.
"Then the spirit entered into me, and set me upon my feet, and spake with me, and said unto me, Go, shut thyself within thine house." (3: 24) The "house" mentioned in this scripture is God's place of security provided by him for the "faithful servant" class. It is "the secret place of the Most High" where the "servant" is pictured as being invulnerable to the assaults of the enemy. Jehovah, by his prophet Isaiah, refers to the same house, saying: "Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee; hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain." — Isa. 26: 20, 21.
The "faithful servant", being separate from the enemy and under the hand of the Lord Jehovah, is in the place of security; but in this place of security the "servant" is not to be idle. He beholds the enemy and his activities and the enemy's desire to slay the "servant"; yet he knows that he is secure, because the Lord has so promised him, and in this security the "servant" goes forth with a zeal to the work which the Lord has provided and put in his hands. (Ps. 91:1-11) "For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion; in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock." (Ps. 27: 5) Since the beginning of the campaign from and after 1922
until now God's "servant" class has gone steadfastly on in his service, while the enemy has warred against the "servant" of the Lord and sought his destruction. The activities of the enemy, however, have not disturbed the "servant". Jehovah is the strength and Kong of his "servant" class and the power of their salvation, and therefore the "servant", in obedience to God's commandment, continues to sing forth the praises of the Most High, while telling of his wondrous works and his loving provision for the children of men.
If the rebellious ones, meaning the professed Christians of Christendom, and the "evil servant" class, the "man of sin", had their way they would stop the work of God's "faithful servant" and completely silence all who speak the truth of and concerning the Devil's organization. But as God said to Ezekiel, so now he says to the "faithful servant" whom Ezekiel foreshadowed: "But thou, 0 son of man, behold, they shall put bands upon thee, and shall bind thee with them, and thou shalt not go out among them. And I will make thy tongue cleave to the roof of thy mouth, that thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not be to them a reprover; for they are a rebellious house. But when I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God, He that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth, let him forbear; for they are a rebellious house." — 3:25-27.
The "servant" is not to tell his own message. Jehovah has made his "faithful servant" the "watchman", and only as the Lord God directs the "servant" to speak he does speak, having always a "Thus saith the Lord" for every part of the message that is delivered. The work of the "servant" is not to make
converts to get them to join an organization, but to give a witness to the truth. The hearers must either accept or reject the message, and take the responsibility. "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith." (Rev. 3:22) Jehovah brings his "servant" into action and uses him for his purposes while he moves forward to the vindication of his name. The opposition by the rebellious house of Christendom or by the "evil servant" will in no wise prevent the truth from being told as God purposes it shall be told.
ORGANIZED CHRISTIANITY BESIEGED
Jehovah continues to instruct Ezekiel what he shall do. In chapter four God took Ezekiel and made him a sign-man to the professed people of God, first to Israel after the flesh, and thereafter to Christendom. "Thou also, son of man, take thee a tile, and lay it before thee, and pourtray upon it the city, even Jerusalem: and lay siege against it, and build a fort against it, and cast a mount against it; set the camp also against it, and set battering rams against it round about." (4:1,2) Ezekiel is here instructed to lay a siege against Jerusalem. In this he performs a mimic siege against the city. This performance was in the presence of those in the city and was a sign to them and a warning. It was a prophecy against Christendom. Originally Jerusalem was the capital city of 'both houses of Israel', and Jehovah let the iniquity of both houses be visited upon that city. To Ezekiel Jehovah said: "Moreover, take thou unto thee an iron pan, and set it for a wall of iron between thee and the city; and set thy face against it, and it shall be
besieged, and thou shalt lay siege against it. This shall be a sign to the house of Israel." — 4:3.
Ezekiel was commanded first to lie on his left side for three hundred and ninety days, thus picturing the iniquity of the house of Israel; and then at the end of that period he was to lie on the right side forty days, picturing the iniquity laid against Judah. "Moreover lie thou upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it; according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it, thou shalt bear their iniquity. For I have appointed the years of their iniquity to be unto thee a number of days, even three hundred and ninety days; so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. And again, when thou hast accomplished these, thou shalt lie on thy right side, and shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah; forty days, each day for a year, have I appointed it unto thee." (4:4-6, R. V.) This did not mean that Jerusalem was besieged that length of time when the actual siege came to take place. (2 Ki. 25:1-8) This represents the long-suffering of God toward the two houses of Israel. The number of days that Ezekiel lay on his left side and then on his right side represented the number of literal years that God forbore with the two houses of Israel, suffering them to perform their iniquitous work. Both the 390-year and the 40-year period must have terminated at the same time, to wit, in the year 606 B.C., when the long-suffering of God ceased and the city of Jerusalem was broken up, marking the beginning of 'the gentile times'.
The three-hundred-and-ninety-year period above mentioned applies to the ten tribes of Israel, and the
forty-year period applies to the house of Judah and Benjamin. In the year 999 B.C. the ten tribes revolted against Judah. This was 393 years before the destruction of Jerusalem. God had foretold through his prophet that he would rend the ten tribes away from Solomon's son Rehoboam and give them to Jeroboam, and, if the latter would remain faithful to God, through the ten tribes the Lord would build him a sure house. (1 Ki. 11: 29-40) But Jereboam did not remain faithful to God, but, on the contrary, instituted a base and false worship and set up two golden calves, one at Bethel and the other at Dan, and caused the people to worship there instead of going up to Jerusalem. (1 Ki. 12:26-33) God sent his prophet up to warn Jeroboam; but Jeroboam refused to heed the warning and to turn aside from his false worship, and continued his iniquity. The iniquity of the ten tribes would therefore begin to count from that time, which was 996 B.C., or three years after the revolt of 999 B.C. It follows, then, that 390 years from that date would end 606 B.C. Israel's iniquity dates from the beginning of the religious revolt and the substitution of the false worship.
Since the Israelites in general foreshadowed "Christendom", the application of the above is this: "Christianity," so called, was organized shortly after the demise of the apostles; and the Roman Catholics, acting through their clergy and the principal of their flocks, monopolized the field, that is to say, the entire world, from the religious viewpoint, until the year 1531 (A.D.), when the rulers of England and Germany broke away from the pope and the League of Schmalkald was formed for the protection of the Protestant
religion. This date is definitely fixed as a historical fact. (See Watch Tower, 1920, page 174.) It was therefore in A.D. 1531 that Jehovah began to bear with the iniquity of "organized Christianity", as represented by the Roman wing of "Christianity" so called. God's bearing with this iniquity begins to count at that time, and counting three hundred and ninety years from then brings the period of time down to the year 1921.
Now as to the house of Judah: Jehovah begins to count her iniquity, with which he had to bear, from the year 646 B.C., that being the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah. The proof is this: The ten tribes went into captivity to Assyria in 740 B.C. Judah should have learned a lesson from this and should have been faithful to God, but, on the contrary, Judah departed from the worship of Jehovah. When God gave warning to Jeroboam concerning the false worship established, he caused his prophet then to foretell the coming of Josiah the king of Judah. (1 Ki. 13:1,2) Manasseh and Amon, who preceded Josiah, had desecrated the temple of Jehovah God and established the Devil worship amongst Judah. After Josiah came to the throne he did right in the sight of the Lord. (2 Ki. 23: 26, 27) It was in the thirteenth year of the reign of this king Josiah that God raised up Jeremiah and caused him to prophesy to Judah, and Judah refused to hearken to the words of the Lord spoken by the prophet. "The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin: to whom the word of the Lord came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign." (Jer. 1:1, 2) Therefore
it was from that year, to wit, 646 B.C., that Jehovah began to count the forty years' iniquity of Judah which terminated in 606 B.C. Jeremiah began to prophesy forty years before the fall of Jerusalem, and his first prophecy was one of warning to Jerusalem of the impending destruction of the city, to which warning the people declined to give heed. This corresponds exactly with the forty days (symbolic of forty years) that Ezekiel lay on his right side to bear the iniquity of the house of Judah. — Jer. 1:14-17.
There must of necessity be a proper application of this mimic siege on Jerusalem to that which Jerusalem represented, to wit, "organized Christianity," or Christendom. As hereinbefore stated, it was in A.D. 1531 when God began to recognize her iniquity and to bear with the iniquity of the Roman branch of "organized Christianity". That day is marked by the fact that it was then that the two main pillars of the Protestant wing of "organized Christianity" were set up. Germany, Britain and the United States, and the colonies belonging thereto, are the chief countries of Protestantism, or "organized Christianity" according to the Protestants. It has been chiefly in these countries where God has caused the truth to be proclaimed concerning his kingdom. A comparatively small amount of the witness work of "present truth" has been carried on in Italy, Spain and such like Catholic countries. The beginning of this public witness work in these Protestant countries would specifically mark the beginning of God's forbearing with Protestantism. Mark now that it was in 1881 that this public witness work began and is especially indicated by the publication and wide distribution of the booklet Food for
Thinking Christians, which set forth the doctrine of the second coming of Christ, and the kingdom of the Lord, and the fundamental truths that had long been obscured by the unfaithfulness of "organized Christianity". That work, begun in 1881, was exactly three hundred and fifty years after Jehovah began to bear with the iniquities of the Catholic wing of "organized Christianity", and forty years thereafter exactly corresponds with the three hundred and ninety days that Ezekiel lay on his left side in the mimic siege. At the end of the three hundred and ninety days of the mimic siege Ezekiel lay on his right side for a period of forty days, symbolic of forty years, as stated by the scripture. This foreshadows that God would bear with the iniquity of Protestantism for a period of forty years from and after the beginning of that period, to wit, the year 1881, as above stated. Forty years added to 1881 marks the year 1921, at which time the forty-year period of forbearance of Jehovah with Protestantism would end.
Now be it noted that both the three-hundred-and-ninety-year period, applying to Catholicism, and the forty-year period, applying to Protestantism, end exactly at the same time, showing that the application is correct and applies to all "organized Christianity". It was in that year, 1921, that The Watch Tower, by the Lord's grace, was permitted to identify and did identify and publish the truth concerning "the beast", "the image of the beast," and "the abomination that maketh desolate". (Revelation 13) (See Watch Tower, 1921, page 11.) In that same year, 1921, the nations of Christendom, by their duly constituted representatives, held a national assembly at Washington, D. C.,
known as the International Arms Conference. The announced purpose of that Conference was to establish lasting peace on the earth. The clergy of "organized Christianity" ably supported this movement. God's covenant people, the Bible Students, presented to that International Arms Conference a resolution that had been duly passed by the Bible Students Convention, which, among other things, stated: 'That no nation can be truly Christian which fails to obey the teachings of Jesus and the apostles; that the ruling powers of Christendom are made up of the commercial and political leaders, supported by the clergy of both Catholic and Protestant church organizations who, contrary to the Word of God, had allied themselves with such leaders and become a part of the world organization; that the kingdom of heaven is at hand and that it is the divine and only remedy for lasting peace on earth.'
The resolution memorializing this international conference called upon these nations to recognize and adopt God's remedy, and then added: 'If the divine Scriptural remedy be ignored, God's wrath will be visited upon their governments and the system of Christendom.' (See copy of Resolution, Golden Age magazine, December 7, 1921, page 138.) At the time of the presentation of this resolution it was not known that the matter was in any wise foreshadowed by the prophecy of Ezekiel or any other prophecy. In the light of "present truth" we must conclude that the angel of the Lord directed God's covenant people to thus serve notice upon "organized Christianity".
With the close of the year 1921 the three hundred ninety years and forty years of Jehovah's forbearing
with the two houses of "organized Christianity" had expired. The year 1922 was manifestly God's due time to begin to make known his judgments against the nations of Christendom and to pronounce his judgment by and through his anointed people. It was in that same year, to wit, 1922, that the commandment came from the temple of God to his angels to begin the pouring out of the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth, and God's covenant people in convention assembled at Cedar Point participated in that work. (See Revelation, Chapter 16, Light, Book II, page 19 and pages following.) When at least two of God's holy prophets prophesy against "organized Christianity" and the events coming to pass fit both prophecies, then it must be that such events constitute the fulfilment thereof, and this should be a great encouragement to every one who loves Jehovah.
To show in living pantomime that Jerusalem would be surely besieged and destroyed, God commanded Ezekiel to take a brick or tile and an iron pan and to use these in his mimic siege of Jerusalem. He was to portray this city upon the brick. The pan would represent the coverlet or shields behind which the besiegers would operate. Ezekiel lay upon his side during the mimic siege and the Lord laid bands upon him to keep him from turning. Also, Ezekiel was required to live on a restricted diet of bread and water during those days and to eat and drink under much adversity. (4:9-15) This foreshadows the fulfilment of God's Word spoken to the prophet: "Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, behold, I will break the staff of bread in Jerusalem; and they shall eat bread by weight, and with care; and they shall drink water by measure, and
with astonishment; that they may want bread and water, and be astonied one with another, and consume away for their iniquity." (4:16,17) Such conditions actually existed in the city of Jerusalem at the time of the siege.
This would seem to picture that just as surely as God's covenant people would be put in bonds and on a restricted diet, spiritually and materially, for a season to bear the iniquitous practices of "organized Christianity", just so surely would "organized Christianity" by the Lord's judgment be made hungry for food and thirsty for drink, both spiritually and materially, and suffer and be destroyed. In the years 1918 and 1919 God's covenant people were under restraint of bonds, bearing "organized Christianity's" iniquity, being "hated of all nations", and many of them were imprisoned and compelled to exist upon scant food rations, while the church everywhere was being fed with meager spiritual rations because Christendom had restricted the work and communication of God's people one with another. Those trying experiences awakened God's covenant people to the real situation and set them wholly against "organized religion" and all other parts of Satan's organization. Particularly from and after 1922 God's covenant people have assaulted "organized Christianity" with the weapons of truth provided by the Lord, and have continued so to do with zeal and vigor.
The cruel handling of God's covenant people by "organized Christianity" during the World War has 'turned for a testimony against them ["organized Christianity"]', even as Jesus foretold. (Mark 13: 9) Ezekiel made a picture of the siege of Jerusalem, and
the siege actually began some time thereafter. Up to 1922 Jehovah's organization was drawing up the machinery for operations before the walls of hypocritical "Jerusalem" or "organized Christianity" and was preparing for the siege. There was then much to the discredit of "organized Christianity" in the eyes of the Lord, among which was the persecution of God's covenant people during the World War; the Inter-church World Movement, launched by Big Business, with the clergy playing second fiddle, in the year 1919; also the approval by "organized Christianity" of the League of Nations, which is an "abomination" in the sight of the Lord; and the approval of the program of the International Arms Conference in 1921, and other things. In March, 1922, the "ammunition" factory of God's covenant people was greatly enlarged, being established in more commodious quarters, in order that many books containing the message of truth might be made ready for the assault. Then quickly followed the world-wide witness by many public lectures' being delivered on "Millions Now Living Will Never Die", and also the introduction of the radio, which the Lord put forward to tell the truth to the people. Now the campaign has been in progress for several years and is growing more intensive and interesting each year.
During the mimic siege of Jerusalem God laid bands upon Ezekiel. During the siege of "organized Christianity" God has laid bands upon his people, which are the obligations of being his witnesses to give his testimony which he committed to Jesus Christ, and these bands prevent his people from turning to the right or to the left in their work. God's "faithful
servant" class now have their faces firmly set against Satan's organization, and they have assaulted and continue the assault with God's Word which he has put in their mouths and in their hands. They are in a real fight now, and no longer on short rations, spiritually or otherwise, even as it is written: "Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry; behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty; behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed." (Isa. 65:13) Jehovah is making ample provision for his people, spiritually and temporally, even while all Christendom is suffering. As these comments are being written a well known newspaper, of February 10, 1931, representing the sentiments of "organized Christianity", says:
"Our world presents a strange and sorry spectacle. In the cities millions of people haven't enough to eat. In the country millions of farmers, facing ruin, are feeding dirt-cheap wheat and corn to the hogs, because they haven't a market. Around the world there are hundreds of millions going almost naked, while cotton planters are on the verge of starvation because they can't get rid of their cotton. There is too much bread, too much sugar, too much coffee, too much cotton, too much silver, too much copper, too much oil, too much, almost, of everything. Yet 1,500,000,000 people — three-quarters of the population of the globe — half-naked and half-starved, are yearning for the barest necessities of life, but can't afford them. What a sickening indictment of our system! . . . The remedy is only to be found in a new order of things founded upon world peace. The principal nations of
the earth are going to have to get together on a plan to put an end to war, then turn their attention to policies, national and international, which will improve the living conditions of peoples everywhere."
The peoples of Jerusalem, especially the clergy, scoffed at Ezekiel and prophesied man's ability to bring peace and plenty. The conditions are exactly the same today. After repeated proclamations of the truth; the distribution in Christendom of more than ninety million books in many languages; the proclamation of the message of God's kingdom by resolution, by radio and by other means, Christendom is absolutely blind to the cause of the trouble and what is the remedy. This blindness will continue until there falls upon "organized Christianity", or Christendom, exactly what fell upon the city of Jerusalem, except on a far wider and greater scale. The Lord is causing his people now to proclaim the day of his vengeance upon "organized Christianity". Christ Jesus, Jehovah's great executive Officer in the temple, is leading the fight to the glory and the vindication of Jehovah's name, and when it is done the people shall know that Jehovah is God. His name shall be vindicated!
Among all the nations that are on the earth or ever have been on the earth those nations composing Christendom, or "organized Christianity", are the most reprehensible. The Protestant countries of "organized Christianity" are even more reprehensible than the Catholic. It was because of enlightenment coming to view by the favor of the Lord that certain Christians
organized Protestantism as a protest against the practice of Catholicism. The light, therefore, that has come upon Protestantism has been greater than that upon Catholics; and greater light brings greater responsibility. The Protestants have had free access to the Bible, while many Catholics have been denied this privilege. The Protestant countries have had the testimony of the truth given to them in their own languages, and their own Bibles have been used to cite the truth to them even more than any other peoples ever upon the earth. In addition to the prophecies with which the nation of Israel was favored, the nations calling themselves "Christian" have had the words of Jesus and of the apostles, and later millions of copies of Bibles have been published and placed in their hands. There appears to be no excuse for any one of these lands called Christendom, and especially amongst those of the clergy and the principal of their flocks, to say that they never had an opportunity to know about the Lord.
The nations of Christendom have held themselves out before all other peoples of earth as models and have sent their missionaries into heathen lands to induce the heathen people to follow the Christians as a model people. They have put forth much effort to convert the heathen nations to the so-called "Christian's way of thinking" concerning religion. They have claimed to be God's favorites, and without hesitation have taken his name upon their lips and called themselves by the name of his beloved Son, and at the same time their hearts have been far removed from him.
Jehovah God has sent his witnesses throughout Christendom, and particularly into the lands known as Protestant, to give a wide witness for the truth. Among all the men in these nations collectively called "Christendom" the most reprehensible are the clergymen. These men claim to be the children and covenant-people of God and to be followers of Christ Jesus. They pose before the people as the only ones qualified and commissioned to interpret and teach the Bible. They have builded great church edifices and called these after the name of Christ and the apostles. They have put themselves forward as leaders of the people and have induced millions to follow after them; they have builded great schools of learning, which they call "theological seminaries", or places for the education of young men to preach the gospel, and these they have sent forth labeled with the title of "Reverend", "Doctor of Divinity," or "Minister of God's Word". They are therefore without excuse for the course they have taken and for their failure to know about God's purposes. Regardless of all the favor that Jehovah has bestowed upon them, today the clergymen of Christendom, as a whole, are against the kingdom of God, and among all those who oppose the preaching of the message of the truth of and concerning the kingdom the clergymen are the most violent opposers. They are the ones who persecute and seek the arrest and imprisonment of humble men and women who carry the message of truth to the people. They are the ones who busy themselves in attempts to prevent the radio stations from broadcasting the message of God's kingdom. God will not permit these things to go unnoticed.
The large majority of the clergy repudiate the blood of Christ Jesus, which is God's provision for the redemption of man, and they deny that his kingdom is God's remedy for the uplift and blessing of the human race. They deny the inspiration of the Scriptures and freely tell the people that the Bible account of the creation, the fall of man, and redemption through the blood of Jesus Christ is merely folklore. They have openly joined hands with the Devil's makeshift and fraudulent scheme, the League of Nations, and claim it as the substitute for God's announced kingdom on earth. They have builded the greatest structure of hypocrisy ever known. Hypocritically claiming to be the followers of Christ, they have made themselves a part of Satan's organization, and therefore the avowed enemies of Jehovah God and his kingdom. They have led the people away from God and into darkness, have acted as Satan's chief agents, and have desecrated and defamed God's holy name; and now God's day has come when he will have announcement made of his judgment and will cause to be executed his judgments against Christendom as written. Christendom, therefore, is in the stocks and is marked for the most severe drubbing any people or nation has ever received. It is upon Christendom that the Lord Jesus Christ declares shall be visited the greatest tribulation that was ever known since the world began, and it shall mark the last.
In the fifth chapter of Ezekiel's prophecy, now here considered, the prophet by his shaved hair and beard predicts and portrays the distressing conditions of the siege and of the execution of Jehovah's judgment against Christendom. (Here carefully read Ezekiel
5:1-5, as the same appears in the Scriptures.) Then Jehovah by his prophet tells professed "organized Christianity", or Christendom, that they not only have failed to walk in his statutes but have been guilty of greater wickedness than any other nation. "And she hath changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and my statutes more than the countries that are round about her; for they have refused my judgments and my statutes, they have not walked in them." (5: 6) The nations calling themselves Christian, having had the opportunity to know and to walk in the laws and statutes of the Lord, have failed to do so. Not only have they failed, but their clergymen and the principal of their flocks have deliberately led the people against the Lord. "Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Because ye multiplied more than the nations that are round about you, and have not walked in my statutes, neither have kept my judgments, neither have done according to the judgments of the nations that are round about you." (5:7) Because of their disregard of God's Word, the persecution of his faithful witnesses, and the desecration and defamation of his holy name, Jehovah says to "organized Christianity": "Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I, even I, am against thee, and will execute judgments in the midst of thee, in the sight of the nations. And I will do in thee that which I have not done, and whereunto I will not do any more the like, because of all thine abominations." — 5: 8, 9.
As famine, pestilence, pests that destroy the crops, and other like things now begin to befall the people, the clergy in their pulpits (which they claim to be in the house of God) and by means of the radio proclaim
to the people that all their sufferings and calamities Jehovah God has brought upon them and therefore he is responsible; and this is added to all other acts of wickedness that they have committed. "Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord God, Surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish thee; neither shall mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity." (5:11) The Lord declares that he will show no pity upon these deliberate defamers of his holy name. The people shall know and will know that Jehovah is the Lord God Almighty.
Jehovah's judgment written against Christendom includes all who have claimed to be his people but who have been and are hypocrites: "A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee; and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them." (5:12) God declares three methods or judgment acts to be executed against Christendom. The "third part" in the foregoing text does not mean an actual one-third of the inhabitants, but has reference to the victims of one of the three judgment acts of God executed upon, or of one of his three methods of executing judgment upon, the nations of Christendom. These judgments of Jehovah, as written, will be executed because of the traducing of his name and for the vindication thereof. The great defamer of God's name is Satan the Devil, and Christendom not only has fallen away to the Devil, but has become his chief instrument among the nations of the earth to practice fraud and hypocrisy
and to bring reproach upon Jehovah's name. The visible manifestation of Jehovah's judgments and the vindication of his name will be a thorough lesson to all who remain on the earth, and all shall know that Jehovah is the Almighty God. The name of Jehovah God, and its vindication, is of paramount importance. "So it shall be a reproach and a taunt, an instruction and an astonishment unto the nations that are round about thee, when I shall execute judgments in thee, in anger and in fury, and in furious rebukes. I the Lord have spoken it." — 5:15.
During the execution of these judgments God's "faithful servant" class will abide in "the secret place of the Most High" and be delivered from "the arrow that flieth by day", and from "the pestilence that walketh in darkness". (Ps. 91:5-13) The "faithful servant" will be singing praises to the name of Jehovah, and he will hold them in the hollow of his hand. While these faithful ones are kept under the protection of Jehovah and are proclaiming his praises, he will execute his judgment upon Christendom. "When I shall send upon them the evil arrows of famine, which shall be for their destruction, and which I will send to destroy you; and I will increase the famine upon you, and will break your staff of bread; so will I send upon you famine and evil beasts, and they shall bereave thee; and pestilence and blood shall pass through thee; and I will bring the sword upon thee. I the Lord have spoken it." (5:16,17) The complete execution of his judgment will be in the battle of Armageddon, in which Satan and his entire organization shall completely fall.
RULERS AND SUPPORTERS
Rulers of Christendom have lived wantonly and for their own pleasure. The clergy element have boldly proclaimed that the rulers of Christendom rule by divine right and therefore are God's favored ones on the earth. These call themselves by the name of the Lord and have used his name to cover up their selfish and wanton schemes. This applies to every element of the government power of Christendom. There has been and is a large number of people who support the unholy alliance of the rulers, both mentally and actually with their hands, and deceive themselves into believing that by this means they will have and do have special favor with the rulers.
Both the rulers and their supporters make believe that they are on the Lord's side, when they should know that they are not. They call themselves Christians, when they have no love for God or for Christ. The rulers have builded up a system of religion which dishonors the name of Jehovah God, and continue to heap reproach upon him; and their schemes or organizations they use to ensnare many. "As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit; [and] they are become great, and waxen rich," and claim to be God's favored people on the earth. While this applies specifically to the clergy and the principal of their flock, it also has an application to all of the peoples in Christendom who either mentally or actually lend support to the unholy alliance. The Prophet Jeremiah prophesied against the same people, and God caused him to write concerning the clergy, the principal of their flocks, and those who support them, these words:
"They are waxen fat, they shine; yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge. Shall I not visit for these things? saith the Lord; shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so; and what will ye do in the end thereof?" — Jer. 5: 27-31.
The sixth chapter of Ezekiel's prophecy, now here considered, is a statement of God's judgment against the rulers, symbolically represented by the "mountains" and the "hills"; and those people who support such rulers are symbolized or represented by the "rivers" and the "valleys". This judgment God will execute in his own due time and after due notice is given:
"And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them, and say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God; Thus saith the Lord God to the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, Behold, I, even I, will bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places. And your altars shall be desolate, and your images shall be broken; and I will cast down your slain men before your idols." — 6:1-4.
In the execution of God's judgments the prophet makes it appear that the nations of hypocritical Christendom, their chief men and leaders and their supporters, shall find no way of escape. There shall be no way of escape, whether these of Christendom be in
far-away lands doing missionary work or are manipulating the machines at the base of operations. Jehovah God through his duly appointed executive officer will search them out in every part of the earth: "He that is far off shall die of the pestilence; and he that is near shall fall by the sword; and he that remaineth and is besieged shall die by the famine; thus will I accomplish my fury upon them." — 6:12.
This terrible work the Lord declares he will do that his name may be vindicated. "And they shall know that I am the Lord, and that I have not said in vain that I would do this evil unto them. So will I stretch out my hand upon them, and make the land desolate, yea, more desolate than the wilderness toward Diblath, in all their habitations; and they shall know that I am the Lord." (6:10,14) Four times in this chapter the statement is made: "They shall know that I am the Lord." Had Christendom heeded the repeated warnings that Jehovah has given her, this might have been avoided. — Jer. 23: 22.
There is a class, however, that will give heed and are giving heed to God's message of truth that he is causing to be proclaimed, and this prophecy of Ezekiel is another strong proof that "millions now living will never die" but will be brought through the terrible trouble: "Yet will I leave a remnant that ye may have some that shall escape the sword among the nations, when ye shall be scattered through the countries. And they that escape of you shall remember me among the nations whither they shall be carried." (6: 8, 9) The Lord will spare some creatures upon the earth, and this shall furnish the nucleus for the beginning of reconstruction before the resurrection of
the dead. All the living shall know that Jehovah is God, and all those who are brought forth from the grave shall know it also.
Other prophecies of the Bible prove that 1914 marks the end of Satan's rule without interference, and from that time forward war is made by the Lord against Satan and against his organization until the wicked thing is entirely cleaned out. (Psalm 110) The seventh chapter of Ezekiel, now here considered, is corroborative proof of this fact.
The World War came to an end and the League of Nations was brought forward, and the religious leaders of the world have put forth their program of forming the complete union with the other wings of Satan's organization, and this they have done in order to insure their control of the world. Various peace agreements are promulgated by Satan's organization, but none of these things shall stop the forward march of Jehovah and his Christ to crush out every vestige of Satan's wicked organization. The end is inevitable, because 'God's wrath is come'. (Rev. 11:18) The period of Jehovah's long-suffering with hypocritical religion and systems of the world has ended. The Lord therefore said to his prophet Ezekiel: "And thou, son of man, thus saith the Lord Jehovah unto the land of Israel, An end: the end is come upon the four corners of the land. Now is the end upon thee, and I will send mine anger upon thee, and will judge thee according to thy ways; and I will bring upon thee all thine abominations. And mine eye shall not spare thee,
neither will I have pity; but I will bring thy ways upon thee, and thine abominations shall be in the midst of thee; and ye shall know that I am Jehovah. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: An evil, an only evil; behold, it cometh. An end is come, the end is come, it awaketh against thee; behold, it cometh. Thy doom is come unto thee, 0 inhabitant of the land: the time is come, the day is near; a day of tumult, and not of joyful shouting, upon the mountains." — 7:1-7, A.R.V.
The physical facts show that from and after 1914 this prophecy has been in course of fulfilment and is progressing forward to a final end. Now the world has reached the point when the prophecy uttered by Jesus is being fulfilled, to wit: "Upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; . . . men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth." (Luke 21: 25, 26) Doubtless Jesus had Ezekiel's prophecy in mind when he thus spoke, and the words of Jesus confirm what Jehovah caused Ezekiel to prophesy.
Christendom is now doomed. God's judgment has been written against her. That judgment has been announced and, as Ezekiel prophesied, soon God will pour out his anger upon Christendom. "Now will I shortly pour out my fury upon thee, and accomplish mine anger upon thee; and I will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense thee for all thine abominations. And mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: I will recompense thee according to thy ways and thine abominations that are in the midst of thee; and ye shall know that I am the Lord that smiteth." — 7: 8, 9.
Never has the commerce of the world been so affected as in this present day. Particularly the small dealers are sorely oppressed, and their business is being wiped out; and the day of the larger ones is rapidly drawing on. It is the time when violence has risen up into a rod of wickedness that controls the peoples of the nations. Therefore Ezekiel prophesied: "Violence is risen up into a rod of wickedness; none of them shall remain, nor of their multitude, nor of any of theirs; neither shall there be wailing for them. The time is come, the day draweth near; let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn; for wrath is upon all the multitude thereof. " — 7:11,12.
The existing conditions in Christendom today are perplexing beyond measure to those who know not and who refuse to hear the Word of the Lord. These try to make themselves believe that their business will get better; but it will not. "For the seller shall not return to that which is sold, although they were yet alive; for the vision is touching the whole multitude thereof, which shall not return; neither shall any strengthen himself in the iniquity of his life." (7:13) There is no advantage to the seller in again possessing that which is sold, in order that he might sell it again, because the people have nothing with which to buy. The commercial situation continues to grow worse, the suffering of the people increases, and the clergy falsely tell the people that God is sending these calamities upon them because of their unfaithfulness to "organized Christianity". Satan is the one chiefly responsible for the terrible conditions now existing, and he is causing his agents, the clergy, to falsely charge
God therewith, in order that the people may be turned away from Jehovah. The commercial situation continues to grow worse and the people continue to suffer, and their suffering will increase.
"The principal of the flock," meaning the rich and the mighty and the favored ones, have relied upon their wealth and power to protect and sustain them and to carry them through any trouble that might come, but they are doomed to complete disappointment. They have "heaped treasure together for the last days" and think thereby that they have a great advantage and are safe. Heretofore the mighty and the rich have been able to buy their way through. When they get into a difficult situation money is freely used. It was Satan who invented the slogan, "Money talks"; and his agents use this slogan and prove its effectiveness. They have freely resorted to briberies and have been able to buy their way through times of distress, but the wrath of Jehovah God will not be placated nor his hand be held back by their filthy lucre.
Now the ultrarich control the money and the food supply, and they control the governments. The cries of the starving ones, who have really produced the wealth of the world, are heard throughout the land, and many are begging for bread. Big Business, working behind the throne of visible power, commands that the starving shall not be fed from the exchequer of the government. The political rulers support Big Business in this contention, their argument being that if the government feeds the starving such shows that the government is paternalistic and not democratic. That is a plausible argument on the face of it for those
who want to stand by the original declarations of the American government when it was founded. Democracy has ceased to exist, and governments are in fact paternalistic so far as they oppress and rob the children thereof; but when the American government is called upon to feed the starving ones its chief political officers balk at the effort.
Just at this time there are millions of people in America, the land of plenty, who are starving for food and who will continue to starve unless charitably inclined people will relieve them. The cries of the suffering, laboring ones, however, have reached the ears of the God of war, and he is not unmindful of these cries; and now he bares his arm for battle and, when it comes to the money of Big Business, that will avail them nothing. The oppressors of the people God will wipe out. "All hands shall be feeble, and all knees shall be weak as water. They shall also gird themselves with sackcloth, and horror shall cover them; and shame shall be upon all faces, and baldness upon all their heads. They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed; their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord; they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels; because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity." (7:17-19) "The love of money is the root of all evil" and is a stumblingblock to all who have set their affections thereon. The terrible day is advancing to a climax, and there is no escape therefrom.
The statesmen, otherwise called "political rulers", are even now at their wits' end. They cast about for some means of saving the ship of state, but their ac-
tions are those of a drowning man. Says Jehovah by his prophet: "The king [the chief ones among the rulers] shall mourn, and the prince [the lesser ones among the ruling powers] shall be clothed with desolation, and the hands of the people [that support these ruling powers] shall be troubled: I will do unto them after their way, and according to their deserts will I judge them; and they shall know that I am the Lord." (7:27) Armageddon is Jehovah's fight, and he will give no quarter to the enemy and his supporters.
Those who have been the favored ones amongst the governments of Christendom will seek in vain for shelter and protection. "In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles, and to the bats; to go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth." — Isa. 2:20,21.
Even at the present time, and before the preachers completely disappear, some still rely upon them and seek a word of consolation from them, but find none, because the clergy have nothing for the perplexed, and no consolation to give them. The preachers know not God and his Word; and if they ever knew his Word, they have gone too far now in their course of wickedness, and they will not seek to understand and cannot understand it. "Then shall they seek a vision of the [preachers]: but the law [Word of God] shall perish from the priest, and counsel from the [elders]." (7: 26) That means that those who now hypocritically
claim to represent the Lord will find no words of consolation for any of the suffering humankind.
God's law he caused to be written by Moses. Christendom boastfully claims to have fashioned her laws after the law of Moses, and she points with pride to her "splendid" laws. The everlasting covenant of God, made with Noah (Gen. 9:1-6), declares the sacredness of human life and is embodied in the law of God written by Moses. This covenant all Christendom has broken and trampled under foot, and has spit upon it with contempt. Says God's prophet: "Make a chain [that is to say, bind yourselves together in leagues and compacts, chain stores, chain banks, and other organizations by which the people are oppressed and exploited]: for the land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence." (7: 23) The "chain" or combines between the ecclesiastics, Big Business and bootleggers, will avail them nothing. Their combined effort to enforce the Prohibition law has failed in the land of America and has filled the land with all manner of crime and violence. Millions of money are spent in the abortive attempt to enforce this unholy law, while the political powers that manipulate the machinery refuse to appropriate one dollar for feeding the starving people. Such a course of action drives men to desperation and increases crime and violence in the land, and it is ever on the increase.
In 1928 the clergy of America, by and through the public press, cried out: 'Give the world the Kellogg Peace Pact for Christmas.' They continue to cry, "Peace, peace: when there is no peace." Says Jehovah:
"Though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them." (8:18) Jehovah will declare no truce with the Devil's organization. He is marching to war and will not back down. "Destruction cometh; and they shall seek peace, and there shall be none." — 7:25.
Jesus prophesied that Armageddon will be the worst tribulation that ever came upon the world, and that it shall completely wreck the hypocritical organization that Satan has builded up. The prophecy of Ezekiel reads: "Wherefore I will bring the worst of the heathen [nations], and they shall possess their houses; I will also make the pomp of the strong to cease; and their holy places shall be defiled." (7: 24) This cannot refer to the nations called "heathen", such as the Hindus, and Chinese, and Mohammedans. These are not the worst of the nations, because God declares that hypocritical Christendom is the worst of all.
The word here translated "heathen" means nations. God's organization is his chosen nation. When Armageddon is over, it will be recognized that the organization of Jehovah is the "worst" thing that ever came against Satan's organization, and therefore they will realize that God has sent against them that which is the very worst for them. The Lord by his organization will make a clean sweep of hypocritical Christendom, and the frightfulness of the military forces of Satan's organization will be nothing compared to the fright that Jehovah's organization will give the Devil's crowd. "They shall know that I am the Lord." Jehovah will make his name to be feared in all the earth, and all shall come to know that Jehovah is the
God eternal, the God almighty, whose power is irresistible.
Jehovah has favored his covenant people with a knowledge of his purposes and has laid upon the elders of each ecclesia the obligation of feeding and instructing the flock of God in his Word. (1 Pet. 5:2) The Lord is using and has used The Watch Tower from its foundation as his channel of communication to and between his people; and during the past few years The Watch Tower has repeatedly called attention to Satan's wicked organization. In the face of all this, however, there have been in the ecclesias certain elders, wise in their own minds, who have not been persuaded that the Devil has an organization at all. 'At least,' say they, 'we should go easy and say nothing about the preachers and their allies in the organization that controls the world.' The policy of these elders is to speak softly, 'that even the clergy might be won over to the Lord's side.' Some of the weaker ones in the ecclesias who desire to hear nothing against the clergy say in substance: 'Our oldest elders, who are most fully developed in the Lord, say nothing about the Devil's organization; then why should these younger ones, who have recently been brought to a knowledge of the truth, say anything against them and others of the organization of this world?'
The Society has been severely criticized because of the plain statements made in The Watch Tower and in its other publications concerning Satan's organization. These publications, however, must tell the truth,
or else they will cease to be used by the Lord. Now let those who have objected to any speech or publication about Satan's organization and the various elements thereof give consideration to the eighth chapter of Ezekiel's prophecy. If they believe what the Scriptures say, and if they understand the commission God . has given to his covenant people, then let them take the proper attitude toward Satan's organization.
Ezekiel began to prophesy in the fifth year of King Jehoiachin's captivity, which corresponded with A.D. 1919. It was one year and two months later that the events in the eighth chapter of Ezekiel's prophecy came to pass. This marks the beginning of a new vision and series of prophecies by Ezekiel. At the time when this prophecy began to have its fulfilment, the Lord Jesus Christ was in the temple of Jehovah. He inspects the defiled "organized Christianity", so called, and points out to the "faithful servant" class, pictured by Ezekiel, the conditions there found, and the "servant" class is enabled to understand and appreciate the same as never before. As the vision appeared to Ezekiel, so the "faithful servant" class in every instance has seen that there is and has been the worship of the creature rather than the Creator. Such is Devil worship, the Devil's method of fraudulently claiming to worship God, the purpose being to turn man away from Jehovah.
An officer of Jehovah appeared in the name and by the power of Jehovah God and lifted Ezekiel up and showed him how the temple had been defiled. The fulfilment of this is that God through his duly constituted officers lifted up the "faithful servant" class, and showed that class how Satan had reproached and
defamed God's name. "And he put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north, where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy. And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, according to the vision that I saw in the plain. Then said he unto me, Son of man, lift up thine eyes now the way toward the north. So I lifted up mine eyes the way toward the north, and behold, northward at the gate of the altar, this image of jealousy in the entry." (8:3-5) Thus the Lord lifted up the faithful anointed "servant" class between earth and heaven and brought them in vision to Jerusalem, the heavenly organization, to the door of the inner gate of the temple that looks toward the north, from which divine authority and judgment proceed; and there appeared the image of jealousy.
LEAGUE OF NATIONS
The Devil is the very image or personification of jealousy and envy. He was jealous and envious of the worship given by man to Jehovah and coveted the same. Therefore Satan said: "I will be like the Most High." Everything that God has done for human salvation the Devil has tried to imitate, out of jealousy and for the purpose of deceit, to draw men away from Jehovah God. The Devil is the mimic god and vigorously endeavors to turn all creatures away from Jehovah and from the truth. This mimic, or "image", provokes to jealousy. In giving his law to Israel God said: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou
shalt not make unto thee any graven image. ... I the Lord thy God am a jealous God." (Ex. 20: 3-5) That law was not given for Jehovah's benefit, but was declared for the benefit of Israel and all who thereafter should come to a knowledge of God.
All life proceeds from Jehovah; whereas Satan is the one who has unrighteously taken life. Envying the honor and glory that is properly bestowed upon Jehovah by his creatures, and coveting that honor and glory for himself, Satan has resorted to all manner of crime to turn creatures away from God. For the benefit of creation and for his own honor and glory, and that his creatures might know him and live, Jehovah God must in his own due time vindicate his name against this jealous one. All the images that have been reared up for the purpose of being worshiped were reared up by the Devil, and therefore the Devil is "the image of jealousy". The truth discloses the true situation that man may have the opportunity to know God and to know the way to life.
As the image of jealousy seen by Ezekiel depicted the Devil, so the organization of the Devil on the earth is the true image of the Devil, morally, mentally, and in practice. Today God's "faithful servant" class sees "the abomination that maketh desolate", spoken of by Daniel the prophet and by the Lord Jesus Christ, standing in the holy place. (Matt. 24:15) It is the Devil's product, his organization, and it is "the image of the beast", the League of Nations. It has its seat in the holy place of "organized religion" which calls itself by the holy name of God and which claims to be the favored one of Jehovah God; and thus the name of Jehovah is reproached and desecrated. Its prime
promoters and chief supporters are the nations which call themselves "Christian nations". "The image of jealousy" and the League of Nations, the product and offspring of the Devil, is anti-kingdom-of-God. All who support it, either actively or passively, put themselves in a position antagonistic to the kingdom of God.
Those who profess to be consecrated to God and who hold that "the higher powers" means the ruling powers of this world deceive themselves and deceive others. Many of the elders of the ecclesias or Bible classes insist that "the higher powers", described by the apostle in Romans thirteen, means the ruling powers of this world. Being selfish, they have become blind to the revelation of God's truth. "God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie." (2 Thess. 2:11) These also fail to see the organization of Jehovah, and therefore fail to appreciate the fact that the kingdom is at hand. They do not see the kingdom of God, and therefore refuse to take a stand for it. They insist on treading softly so far as the Devil and his organization are concerned, and are led in the way of outer darkness; and, as the Scriptures declare, the same fate awaits them that God has provided for the Devil. They are anti-kingdom-of-God.
The elders, leaders, or clergymen of Christendom, practically as a unit support the League of Nations and falsely claim that the abominable thing is 'the political expression of God's kingdom on earth', and these likewise insist that "the powers that be" are the kingdoms of this world, which the Lord plainly declares constitute the visible organization of the Devil. Anyone who is devoted to the Lord and who
receives the Lord's approval must take his stand unequivocally on Jehovah's side and speak the truth concerning Satan's organization and Jehovah's organization, to the end that he might have some part in the vindication of Jehovah's name.
Then the officer of the Lord in charge of Ezekiel continues the inspection, and Ezekiel sees more abominations. "And he brought me to the door of the court [of the temple]; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall. Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall; and when I had digged in the wall, behold a door. And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here. So I went in and saw; and behold, every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, pourtrayed upon the wall round about. And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients [elders] of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up." (8: 7-11) The abominable beasts and idols portrayed upon the wall of the house or temple of the Israelites foreshadowed the abominable things that have been brought into professed "Christianity" which claims to be the temple of the Lord.
The modernist clergy, while claiming to be ministers of God, are the leaders and teachers of evolution and are guilty of ancestor worship, in this, that they claim that "every form of creeping things" or "abominable beasts" preceded man on the earth and that these are man's ancestors or blood relatives. These clergy-
men hold on to their jobs and draw their pay from the people on the pretext of being interpreters of the Word of God, and they occupy so-called "Christian pulpits". In their discourses they take a Bible text as a pretext to teach evolution. They read their text and get away from it, immediately. These elders or leaders, otherwise called "clergymen" of "organized Christianity", burn incense in the house which they call the house of the Lord, their church, while they busy themselves in turning the people away from God and from the Bible. Therefore in the picture each one is shown with a censer in his hand with incense round about. They deny the existence of the supreme, all-wise God, the Creator of heaven and earth. They are so wise in their own conceits that they believe they can teach what they will, and that the people will not understand them and that 'no one will see them'. Therefore says the Lord to Ezekiel: "Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients [elders] of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, The Lord seeth us not; the Lord hath forsaken the earth. " — 8:12.
These distinguished clergymen, wise in their own conceits, are, in the language of God's Word, fools. They say, 'There is nothing to show that God made the earth and its creatures,' and they tell the people that the Bible account thereof is mere nonsense and imaginations of unlearned men. They laugh at the statement: 'Your Father in heaven seeth in secret.' They are hypocrites of the worst kind, because they claim to represent God and yet they deny God, and in
fact represent the Devil and defame and desecrate God's name.
Anyone who is a child of the Lord and in the covenant for the kingdom, and who would put on the "soft pedal" concerning such men and fail to point out that they are the Devil's servants, would be unfaithful to God and to his covenant. The "faithful servant" class, each one of which will do his duty, will tell the truth, that God's truth may sweep away these hiding places of lies, that the glory of the Lord may be seen by those who love righteousness.
FUNDAMENTALISTS IN TEARS
The inspection continued and more abominations were seen by the Prophet Ezekiel, and what Ezekiel saw foreshadowed what the "faithful servant" or remnant would see shortly preceding Armageddon, or the destruction of Christendom. "He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do. Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord's house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz." (8:13,14) "Tammuz" was the name of a Phoenician god, which the Devil had provided, of course, with which to deceive the people. Whatever the Tammuz represented, it is certain that women adored and idolized it and worshiped the creature and ignored the Creator, and that death overtook it, and they wept bitterly. This fits the fundamentalists, who worship their church organizations and give no heed to the kingdom of God under Christ. They profess to be defenders of the Word of God and the followers of Christ Jesus, but their devotion is entirely to their
organization, which Tammuz fitly represents. These church organizations are patronized chiefly by women. Their men look upon religion as taught in the orthodox churches as being fit only for women and children and weak-minded persons.
The women well pictured the Epworth League workers, the managers of church affairs, and like organizations within the church, which they idolize and worship because they are attached to the church. Those represented by the women have for some time seen the steady decline of their church organization, and they weep because the church is dying or practically dead, and they know that soon it must die. They believe that with the passing away of these churches Prohibition, and morality and human reformation, will die also, and the entire world will be lost. They pretend to make much over Jesus, who died, but they have no time for nor interest in the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ as the means of vindicating and honoring Jehovah God's name and for the blessing and uplift of the human race. The second coming of Christ and the establishment of his kingdom does not interest them. Their interest is centered in doing the work of their organization. They think that, because some self-constituted "wise" men have said that 'the church must clothe the earth in the moral achievements of man, so that Christ can come', the work of the church therefore is to carry out this announced slogan and clean up the world. And now seeing that the church is in a dying condition, and is practically dead, they weep and wail. They look to the clergy of their church to clean up and save the world, and the clergy go to the political rulers and ask for instruc-
tion as to what they shall do to accomplish this purpose. Hence the members of their church look upon their organization as dying and almost dead.
The fundamentalists, while claiming to support the Bible, ignore every part of it with reference to God's kingdom, and ally themselves with this world and are led by the god of these world powers, the Devil. They are deceived, to be sure; and this statement is made here because it is a fact, and in order that those of good will may get their eyes open to a realization of the facts. The preachers themselves have 'become as women'. They sense the end of their organization, and they weep. All of them have great cause to weep, because they have drawn near the Lord with their mouths while their hearts are far removed from him and now no more is the blessing of the Lord with them. They have allied themselves with Satan's organization and looked to the League of Nations, the Epworth League, and other leagues and peace pacts, to accomplish the desired end of reformation and upbuilding of the human race. They are therefore an abomination in the sight of the Lord.
WORSHIP OF INTELLECTUALITY
The inspection continues and more abominations are exhibited to Ezekiel, and hence more abominations are revealed to the temple class. "Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man! Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these." (8:15) It is a well known fact that in modern times human intellectuality, or "the wisdom of this world", is placed before and above the worship of Jehovah God. The clergy, acting as Satan's instru-
ments and hypocritically claiming to be God's representatives, are chiefly responsible for this condition in the nations called "Christendom" or "organized Christianity". From the pulpits discourses are regularly delivered, not in explanation of the Bible, but upon what is called "scientific matters", and the Word of the Lord is ignored. "And he brought me into the inner court of the Lord's house [the temple]; and, behold, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar [the place of sacrifice, and near the location of the laver, which symbolizes the Word of God by which one is made clean, and which is by these ignored], were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east." — 8:16.
In this modern day, called by the self-wise "the brain age", young men are required to take a course in the secular colleges and there have all faith in God and his Word destroyed, before they are admitted to the theological seminary. By the time they have finished their education in the theological seminary and are turned out for preachers, and labeled as such, although they occupy a place in a church called the house of the Lord, their worship is of the creature and to the utter disregard of the Creator. Modern colleges and theological seminaries are therefore mere hatcheries of infidelity. It is these worshipers of so-called intellectual power and great men and their institutions that are put forward as the saviors and deliverers of the world. These modern "brain-age" men, together with their institutions, are held forth to the people as the "sunlight of the world". As
Ezekiel was shown this condition in the temple, even so the class whom he represented, God's faithful anointed ones, had a vision thereof in fact and so declared themselves. On August 29, 1925, in convention assembled at Indianapolis, the consecrated passed a resolution known as the "Message of Hope", and sent it forth to all peoples of good will of Christendom. Amongst other things that resolution said:
"World powers, science and philosophy, commerce and religion, have each in turn offered their respective remedies for man's relief. In the name and under the guise of democracy, these combine in offering their joint and several powers to meet the requirements of man. Together they claim to be the sunlight of the world, holding forth all the light that shines to enlighten and guide the human race.
"Intrigue, duplicity, and trickery are freely resorted to by the political and commercial powers; science and philosophy are marked by vanity and self-sufficiency; while the religionists, both Catholic and Protestant, are conspicuous by their arrogance, self-conceit, impiety and ungodliness. Therefore, it is apparent that the remedies offered by any and all of these aforementioned elements are vain, impotent, and powerless to satisfy man's desire." (See Light, Book One, page 130.)
The twenty-five men that Ezekiel saw at the door of the temple of the Lord represent the modern clergymen and the principal of their flocks, who are the chief ones in the organization of the religion of Christendom and hence claim to be in the house of the Lord. While they claim to be the representatives of God, they are in fact the servants of Satan the Devil,
and hence are constantly practicing hypocrisy before men. These self-wise "sun worshipers", meaning those who worship intellect, science and power, greatly defame and reproach the name of Jehovah God. They are an integral part of Satan's organization. It is the solemn duty and obligation laid upon every member of the "servant" class to tell the truth concerning such hypocrites, that by the grace of the Lord the truth might sweep away the lies and expose the hiding place thereof, that the people might know that Jehovah is the only true God and that their hope rests entirely with him. For any of the Lord's anointed ones to slack his hand in declaring the truth concerning Satan's organization and the visible representatives therein would be to show unfaithfulness to God and to his covenant.
It is a fact well known to all that since the ending of the World War a great crime wave has swept over the land called "Christendom". Who is responsible among men for this great crime wave? The prophecy of Ezekiel lays the responsibility for the crime wave at the door of "organized Christianity" by reason of its perversion of the true worship of God and the forsaking of his Word. This was pictured in the false religious practices that Ezekiel saw going on in God's holy temple. The clergy and the principal of the flock of Christendom claim to represent God and Christ and to rule by divine right, and yet they pursue a course of unrighteousness and have brought great reproach upon God's name and upon the name of his Christ. They have attempted to induce the people to
believe that Jehovah approves of them. The people know that they are hypocrites, because they claim to be for God and righteousness and at the same time practice unrighteousness. They claim to be advocates of the law, while they themselves break the law. By reason thereof the people have lost respect for law and order and have no regard for God and the Bible. The sanctity of human life is no longer held by the great mass of mankind, and hence "the everlasting covenant" is transgressed and frequently broken.
This was shown to Ezekiel, and foreshadowed the condition existing today in Christendom: "Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, 0 son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger; and, lo, they put the branch to their nose." (8:17) "The land is full of bloody crimes, and the city [Christendom, Satan's organization on earth] is full of violence." (7: 23) "The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof, because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant." — Isa. 24: 5.
Jehovah has laid the responsibility for this crime wave at the door of the hypocritical religionists, and any attempt on the part of the "servant" class to hold back the truth of and concerning that part of Satan's organization would be a mark of disloyalty to God. Anyone who now professes to be in the truth and a follower of Christ Jesus, and who fails or refuses to declare the vengeance of our God against Satan and his organization, thereby gives evidence that he is not anointed by the spirit of Jehovah but, in
fact, is God's enemy. All who are anointed of the Lord are specifically authorized and commanded to declare the day of the vengeance of our God. (Isa. 61:2) Such must declare the vengeance of God against Satan's organization, and since Satan's visible organization is composed of false religious leaders and the principal of their flocks, the anointed of God cannot prove faithful except by speaking the truth concerning them. It is not a question as to whether some might become offended and refuse to hear the truth.
The sole question for determination by the "servant" is: 'What has my Lord commanded, and am I obeying his commandments?' The "servant" must declare the truth regardless of whether anyone is offended and refuses to hear or whether many hear and turn to the Lord. Let the remnant or anointed "servant" class, therefore, keep always in mind that obedience to the commandments of God is what is required. Saul did not lose his anointing by reason of disobedience but he was cast away from the Lord and joined the Devil's crowd. (1 Sam. 15:16-29) Those who are anointed will not lose their anointing and fall back into the "tribulation" class, but, if unfaithful to that anointing, such will be cast away from Jehovah and destroyed with the Devil and his other followers.
"Organized Christianity," under the influence of the Devil and practicing the Devil religion, is responsible for the great crime wave, particularly in America, where crime has increased most rapidly in recent years. Within a short time fifteen hundred have been shot to death, many of whom were entirely innocent, upon the pretext that they had in possession or were using intoxicating liquor. This practice must be a
stench in the nostrils even of many supporters of "organized Christianity". The ancient Persians are said to have held an incense to the nose while worshiping the Devil or practicing Devil religion; and now likewise those who indulge in such Devil practice in the name of God and approve bloody crime and induce other crime, says the prophet, 'put a branch to their nose,' and this evil practice they do in the name of Jehovah and 'have provoked God to anger', and he declares that he will visit his anger upon them. "Therefore will I also deal in fury; mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity; and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them." (8:18) The breaking of the everlasting covenant by the shedding of innocent blood at the instance of the leaders in Christendom is bad enough, but the worst of all is for them to do so, claiming that God approves their action and that it is done in his name. This defamation of God's name he declares shall not go unpunished.
That which is disclosed by the prophecy of the eighth chapter of Ezekiel seems to prepare the "faithful servant" class for the work and obligation laid upon that class, as set forth in the following chapter of the prophecy.
Jehovah, by and through his chief executive officer Christ Jesus, executes his commandments. Since the prophecy of Ezekiel here considered has to do with the destruction of the city of Jerusalem, which foreshadowed the destruction of Satan's organization,
particularly Christendom, it is certain that the Lord Jesus Christ is in command acting under the direction of Jehovah God. This conclusion is abundantly supported by the 110th Psalm and other scriptures. Jehovah gave promise to the Lord Jesus that he would put the enemy under foot and that Christ Jesus must wait until the due time thus to do.
The period of waiting ended, and God sent forth out of his organization Christ Jesus and commanded him to rule amidst all his enemies. Necessarily that means that Christ must destroy the enemy, Satan's organization. This is further supported by the words of the prophet: "The Lord [Jehovah] at thy [Christ Jesus'] right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. He shall judge among the [nations], he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads [of Satan's organization] over many countries." (Ps. 110: 5, 6) According to another translator, "He will judge among the nations; there shall be a fulness of corpses, he crusheth heads on a widespread land." (Leeser) Another renders the text: "He judgeth among the nations, full of dead bodies, [and] hath crushed the head over a wide land." (Roth.) Whether the word "head" means the Devil alone or includes other heads, either construction is in harmony with the Scriptures. The Devil's organization is made up of divisions, each division of which has a head; and this applies both to the invisible and to the visible. Since the destruction of the city refers to Christendom in particular, then the application to the leaders or "heads" thereof is proper and in harmony with other scriptures.
Christ Jesus comes forth to this work of judgment and is attended by a host of angels. "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory." (Matt. 25:31) "The Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all." (Jude 14,15) The inspection completed, as described in the eighth chapter of the prophecy of Ezekiel, then Ezekiel heard a loud voice that cried out: "He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand." (9:1) The language used shows that the cry was a loud and threatening command, and that it was sharp and powerful, and that it had a striking effect upon Ezekiel's ears. That thunderous command was not to Ezekiel, but was given to "them that have charge over the city [Christendom]", to destroy it, "those that have charge to punish the city." (Leeser) This work of destruction will not be done by the "servant" class on earth, whom Ezekiel foreshadowed, but, as the Scriptures show, it will be done by the Lord Jesus Christ and his holy angels acting under his command. It was this angelic army of the Lord that fought against Satan and ousted him from heaven. (Rev. 9:16; 12: 7) Undoubtedly in this army are also included those faithful overcomers whom the Lord has raised to life upon coming to his temple. (See Light, Book Two, page 168.)
The commandment or cry which "Ezekiel heard, therefore, was from Christ Jesus the executive officer of Jehovah. The cry or command directs the organization of the Lord to prepare for the final assault upon
the enemy organization. They are told to draw near, not with their weapons sheathed, but with their weapons of destruction drawn and ready for offensive action. Those weapons that will be used for destruction by violence are held by the Lord Jesus Christ and the invisible members of the organization under him. The visible part of his organization on earth will do no part of the destroying. The work assigned to the earthly division, to wit, God's "faithful servant" class, is to sing forth the praises of Jehovah's name before and while the fight is in progress, and which was foreshadowed on another occasion when the Israelites went forth to war. — 2 Chron. 20:22.
Those to whom the commandment was given responded, and Ezekiel beheld them approaching. "And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side; and they went in, and stood beside the brazen altar." — 9: 2.
These six men that approached were fully equipped for the slaughter that must follow. Six is a symbolic number denoting incompleteness, while the number seven symbolizes or denotes completeness. Jehovah's organization is one, and is therefore complete, and is pictured by the number seven. There were six men armed and one clothed with linen. The entire number of seven men manifestly represented Jehovah's complete organization, both that which is invisible to man and that which is visible and on the earth. The six men represent all of the invisible organization,
with Christ Jesus, and including the risen members of his body, cherubim, seraphim, and angels. The "one man" represents the anointed "servant" class on the earth, and which is the only part of the organization that is visible to human eyes. The fact that the division shows six to one would further mean that the greater and more important part of the work assigned to the organization must be done by the invisible division, while the lesser work thereof is assigned to and must be done by the earthly division, represented by the one.
The six men had 'slaughter weapons in their hands' (R.V.); "every man with his weapon of destruction." (Roth.) The marginal rendering of this authority is: "Dashing weapon [that dashes to pieces]; shattering weapon."
The Prophet Nahum, prophesying concerning the preparation of God's organization to make assault upon the enemy, says: "He that dasheth in pieces is come up before thy face." (Nah. 2:1) This further and definitely identifies Christ Jesus as in command and as the one who cried with a loud voice and who was heard by Ezekiel. Six men approached from the way of the north, which is the appropriate direction from which judgment should and does come. Without doubt the six men in the vision represent 'the armies which are in heaven', under the command of the Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore that part of God's organization which is invisible to man. This is supported conclusively by the fact that they proceed from the north, the seat of authority and judgment, and that they have charge over Christendom to destroy it, and that they are armed with weapons of destruction
and arc under the command of Christ Jesus, who is commissioned to dash to pieces Satan's organization. — Ps. 110: 5; Nah. 2:1; Rev. 19:14-16.
MAN WITH INKHORN
The one man clothed with linen and with a writer's inkhorn by his side, who is he? Whom does he represent in God's organization? Manifestly he could not picture any one individual in the flesh. Aside from the Lord Jesus Christ, God has never since committed to any one individual on earth an exclusive work to be done by that individual. From the very beginning of his ministry Christ Jesus had a visible organization, and his apostles, acting collectively under his direction, formed the visible part thereof. There was unity of action by the faithful apostles; but with the passing away of these the unity did not again exist in the church until the coming of the Lord to the temple of Jehovah, as indeed it could not be complete until that time. Upon the coming of the Lord to the temple he found a faithful class, and these faithful ones are made the keepers or custodians of his goods, to wit, the kingdom interests. (Matt. 24:47) Those faithful ones, brought into the temple, are incorporated into God's organization and made a part of the 'elect servant', because such are in Christ and form a part of The Christ. Such the Lord designates as "the feet of him", The Christ. (Isa. 52: 7) Throughout the prophecy the Lord addresses Ezekiel as "son of man", manifestly because Ezekiel pictures that class which is counted in and made a part of The Christ, who is "the Son of the man". 'The man with the writer's ink-horn by his side,' therefore, clearly represented the
anointed "servant" class of the Lord on earth, which class is a part of God's organization.
The prophecy uttered by Ezekiel, therefore, pictures the greater part of God's organization, in heaven, and which is invisible to men and to which the major part of the work is committed; and the lesser part, on the earth; the greater part being indicated by the number six, and the smaller part of the organization being indicated by the number one, and together the two parts, making seven men, represent God's entire organization under Christ Jesus the Head. Individuals do not appear at all in the picture, because God deals with the members of his organization on earth collectively. There is not one scripture to support the conclusion that the man with the writer's inkhorn by his side and clothed with linen pictures an individual. There are numerous scriptures proving that this one man pictures all the anointed ones on earth, and which constitute the "servant" class, the remnant of the Lord.
This one man is further described as "clothed with linen". Concerning the faithful approved ones, counted as members of the "bride" of Christ, it is written: "And it was given unto her that she should array herself in fine linen, bright and pure: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints." (Rev. 19: 8, R.V.) Such represents the approval received by the remnant, or "servant" class, from Jehovah, because they are in Christ and there is committed to them "the testimony of Jesus Christ", and they keep the commandments of God and faithfully deliver this testimony. This fine apparel is the approval of the "servant" and his faithful service. (See Light, Book
Two, pages 155,156.) This further identifies the man with the writer's inkhorn as the "faithful servant" class.
It would be utterly inconsistent, and therefore impossible, for the six men described in the vision to picture any part of the world organization. The world organization is the Devil's organization. The Devil's organization is not under the command of the Lord. Satan will not destroy his own organization. Every one of the seven must of necessity be in the Lord's organization and wholly devoted to Jehovah God.
When the command was given, every member of the organization responded and registered before the Lord for service; and this is pictured by the statement that "they went in, and stood beside the brazen altar". Not one of these sat down and meditated and consoled the others; but every one stood at attention, ready to hear and to obey further commands. Each one of the earthly division of the organization 'presents his body a living sacrifice, wholly devoted to and acceptable to God, which is his reasonable service', and which he must gladly perform. (Rom. 12:1) Anyone who is not willingly and joyfully ready for service could surely not be of that organization, and hence could not be represented among those who registered at the altar for service.
The fact that the earthly division is described as 'the man with the writing material by his side' (Leeser) shows that the work assigned to this servant is to write down the Lord's will, as revealed, and to publish and to distribute the truth to the people who would hear. This means that the "servant" class do not sit down or stay at home or confine themselves to
one place of worship and talk among themselves, but that those composing the "servant", or earthly division, go out among the people as representatives of God's organization to perform the duty assigned to them. Their work is to be a witness work, as shown by the order given, as set forth in verse four of the prophecy. This conclusion is likewise supported by the commission given to the anointed of the Lord. — Isa. 61:2.
The entire organization is under orders from Jehovah God, who is present, directing the movement thereof. The glory of his presence was at the threshold of the house (the point of beginning); showing the entire organization of the Lord alert and ready to begin action upon command's being given. Then the one in command gives direction to the man with the writing material and who is clothed with linen. He is called and given orders as to what shall be done: "And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side; and the Lord said unto him, Go through . . . the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh, and that cry, for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof." (9: 3, 4) The vision discloses God's expressed purpose to destroy "Christendom" with his army of destruction, which is in readiness; but before the assault is begun, he would have notice served upon the rulers and upon the peoples of Christendom. Also, while this is being done an opportunity is afforded for those people of good will
and proper condition of heart to escape from or be hid from what is about to fall upon Christendom.
The "servant" class, pictured by the man with the writing material and clothed in linen, must go through the midst of Christendom, symbolized by the city, and mark in the head (or seat of intelligence) a certain class, that these might be spared from the slaughter weapons of those that follow. This marking would indicate that the ones thus marked must by some public confession or action take their stand on the side of the Lord before the destruction begins. This work must be done by the "servant" class of God's organization on earth; and when it is done, then the slaughtering work must begin by the ones represented by the six men with the slaughter weapons. This is in exact accord with the words uttered on another occasion to the "servant" class, to wit: "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." (Matt. 24:14) Jesus also said that, at the conclusion of that witness work, "then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." — Matt. 24:21.
These words of Jesus serve to further identify the man clothed in linen with the writer's inkhorn by his side, and definitely show that he represented the "servant" class, and that those who do the slaughtering work are the invisible ones of the army of the Lord. This shows the entire organization of the Lord in action against the enemy in declaring and in enforcing the judgments of Jehovah that are previously written. In harmony with this the psalmist says: "Let
the saints be joyful in glory; let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand; to execute vengeance upon the [nations], and punishments upon the people; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgment written; this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the Lord." — Ps. 149:5-9.
This shows the entire organization working in exact harmony, as indeed God's organization must and does act. No one who is today in present truth could have the slightest doubt concerning the work that the anointed must now do in obedience to God's commandments. For anyone to say that the active service in the field is improper is to demonstrate clearly that such one is not in the truth and no part of God's organization.
The commandment is given to put a "mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst" of Christendom. Who are the ones that receive the mark in their foreheads? Whoever they are, they cry for the abominations that are done in Christendom. It could not have reference to those who come to a knowledge of the truth and who are anointed of the Lord, because such are in "the joy of the Lord", rejoicing in the fact that the time has come to clear out those that cause abominations and to destroy Satan's organization and to completely vindicate the name of Jehovah. These are described as singing the praises of Jehovah and declaring his wondrous works. — Isa. 12:4-6.
The ones marked could not refer to the "great mul-
titude", or "tribulation" class, because, while it is true that these do mourn and 'sigh as prisoners', yet they will not be spared in the great time of trouble, but, on the contrary, they are appointed to die; and when the great assault is made upon the city, they will fall. (Zech. 14:2) They will not be carried through the time of trouble. They will be forced into the time of trouble to take their stand on the side of the Lord, but must die in order to live as spirit creatures.
There is but one other class of people on the earth to whom the prophecy could apply. Within the land of Christendom there is a class of people who are under the Devil's organization but who are no part of it and do not sympathize with it. They are people of good will who have a desire for righteousness but who have not had an opportunity to learn the truth, this being due to the unfaithfulness of the clergymen in Christendom. These people of good will observe the great degeneracy in Christendom, and they see the hypocrisy practiced by the leaders thereof, but they are powerless to bring about any better condition. They sigh and cry because of the abominable deeds committed by the ruling factors who wrongfully call themselves by the name of the Lord God but who reproach his holy name. These people of good will, seeing that the leaders in Christendom are hypocrites and practice hypocrisy, while claiming to represent God, refuse to join any of the church organizations, because they wish not to serve a god such as the clergy represent that they serve. These people of good will are ignorant of God's Word and his purposes of redemption and deliverance of the human race by and
through the ministration of the kingdom. They have much consideration for the poor and oppressed, and a great desire to see them relieved.
The Lord tells of a class of persons whom he will 'deliver in a time of trouble and keep alive and bless upon the earth'. (Ps. 41:1, 2) This must be the class of persons that are often described as 'the millions now living that will never die'. This is the class of men and women that receive the mark in their foreheads, that is to say, are given some knowledge of God's purposes to destroy the wicked organization and to establish his own government of righteousness under Christ and according to his promise to bless all the families of the earth. The persons in this class have tried to do right in proportion to the knowledge they had, but now, just preceding the great day of the wrath of God upon Christendom, they must be given an opportunity to gain more knowledge, that they may profit thereby. They are not a people that are desired by the rulers and chief ones in Christendom, because they will not willingly lend their support to Christendom. Therefore the Lord says to such: "Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, 0 nation not desired; before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you, before the day of the Lord's anger come upon you. Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness; it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger." (Zeph. 2:1-3) This they could not do without some knowledge; and it is the "servant" class that must bear to them the precious truths of the kingdom, that they may see the way to go and
what to do. The work of the "servant" class, pictured by the man in linen and with the writer's ink-horn, is therefore clearly and definitely marked out.
The facts that are well known, when applied to the prophecy, enable us to determine whether or not we have the correct understanding of the prophecy. The physical facts which are well known support the foregoing conclusion concerning the prophecy. In the year 1918 the Lord Jesus Christ suddenly came to the temple of Jehovah. He came for judgment and as Jehovah's great executive officer and to execute judgment. As such officer he gives commandment saying: "Jehovah is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him." — Hab. 2: 20, A.R.V.
Jehovah, as represented by Christ Jesus, is in his temple. This means that the people must be told of God's purposes to judge Christendom and to destroy it. Otherwise there would be no occasion to command that all the peoples of earth give ear. It means that there must be a world-wide public witness work done by the 'faithful servants' of the Lord. The Lord's standard for the people must be lifted up. This gospel of the kingdom must be preached as a witness, to the end that those who would hear may hear and take their stand on the side of the Lord and his kingdom of righteousness. Such is not a "harvest" work, but it is a work of the Lord of 'separating the sheep from the goats'; and his "servant" class is permitted to give the testimony which causes the people to take sides for or against the Lord and his kingdom. — Matt. 25:31-46.
It was early in the year 1918 that, for the first time, the slogan was sounded: "Millions now living will never die." Within a very short time after a public lecture on this subject was delivered, "the goats" got busy and shut up many of the Lord's "servant" class in prison and for a time effectually stopped the work. Then in the year 1919 the Lord again revived his work and brought forth those devoted to him to engage in it. Shortly thereafter, to wit, in the year 1920, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society published a book under the title "Millions Now Living Will Never Die". This book was printed in a number of languages, and millions of copies were distributed throughout Christendom and put in the hands of order-loving people. With the coming of the year 1922 the witness work of the Lord was getting well under way, and within a short time there was a world-wide witness given by public lectures on the subject "Millions Now Living Will Never Die"; and this was done in many countries of Christendom.
Furthermore the Lord provided the radio to broadcast the truth, and today, in spite of much opposition, the message of the kingdom is being more widely broadcast than any other information given by radio. Within ten years the message of the kingdom of God, put in book form, has had a wider circulation and publication than any message ever issued by any other organization on earth. Many persons of good will who are under the power of Satan's organization have received the truth and accepted it as true, and are thus marked in their foreheads, that is to say, have been given an intelligent understanding of and concerning
God's purpose to establish his kingdom for the vindication of his name and for the blessing of the people. How many of such will give heed to the message and take their stand on the Lord's side, no man can tell. That is not a matter with which the "servant" class is chiefly concerned. The duty of the "servant" is to obey the commandment and go throughout Christendom and do the 'marking'. It must be remembered that this work of giving the testimony is not for the purpose of converting the people of the world and bringing them into some organization, but it is to make known the fact that those who desire to flee from the wicked organization of Christendom may do so and declare themselves on the Lord's side, and thus be in line to be brought through the time of trouble, when the slaughtering begins.
The work of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society is not spoken of in a boasting manner from the standpoint of men, but those who are privileged to have a part in it do 'boast in the Lord' and give honor and glory to his name. They rejoice in the fact that the time has come for the establishment of God's kingdom; and therefore faithful men and women are given some part in telling others of this good news.
The fact that the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society is bitterly opposed by the "man of sin" and by the clergymen and the principal of their flock, who are members of the Devil's organization, is further proof that the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society is doing the work which the Lord commanded should be done and which was foreshadowed in the vision given to Ezekiel. Individuals who have part in that work are greatly blessed, but no individual is singled out
and made more prominent than another. The "servant" of the Lord is one. The "servant", therefore, sees God's purposes, and each one of the "servant" class sees eye to eye with the others, and they are going on performing this witness work according to the Lord's commandment. When it is recognized that this witness work or marking is the work of the Lord, and being done under his commandment, then those who thus recognize it will know that no power or opposition can stop it. The marking work must be continued until it is completed; and when it is completed, the other order given by the Chief Commander, as heard by Ezekiel, will be performed.
Ezekiel heard the Lord give order to the "six men", which sis men represent the invisible part of the organization of the Lord, aside from the remnant on earth. As soon as the witness work is completed, then the following order is due to be carried out, to wit: "And to the [six] others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite; let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity; slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women; but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house. And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain; go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city." — 9:5-7.
Please take note that the order from the Lord is to slay and to spare none, "but come not near any man upon whom is the mark," that is to say, those
who are on the Lord's side are marked and are not to be slain. The slaughter begins "at the ancient men", that is, with the elders and leaders, the clergy and the principal of their flocks. This slaughter is without regard to age or sex. "Organized religion" and the entire organization of Satan must be destroyed. Seeing that the slaying by the six begins with the clergymen, and none are spared, then surely the man with the writer's inkhorn, that is, the "faithful servant" class, must not for pity or policy spare the clergy, when declaring the day of the vengeance of our God. It must mean that it is the duty and obligation laid upon the "servant" class to boldly declare the truth of God's judgment against the hypocritical organization called "organized Christianity". The "servant" class cannot be faithful in the performance of duty unless the truth is plainly and boldly told. Those who would oppose the bold proclamation of the truth, therefore, give positive evidence that they are not of the Lord's organization.
The eighth verse of this ninth chapter of Ezekiel strongly indicates that the remnant will stand by after the witness work is completed and watch the Lord finish the wicked organization. Ezekiel prostrated himself before the Lord and propounded a question. The attitude of falling down or prostrating oneself before the Lord is the proper one for the creature to take before the Almighty Creator. The question propounded by Ezekiel while in that prostrate condition does not at all indicate that the "servant" class cries out in horror at the slaughter and begs for mercy, but rather that the "servant" speaks to the Lord, as the prophecies show, to call forth a statement of Jehovah
showing that the slaughter is entirely justified. Hence it is written: "And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah, Lord God! wilt thou destroy all the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jerusalem?" (9:8) The battle of Armageddon will witness the complete downfall of Christendom, and that without any quarter or pity from the Lord. The reply given to Ezekiel from the Lord proves this fact: "Then said he unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness; for they say, The Lord hath forsaken the earth, and the Lord seeth not. And as for me also, mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity; but I will recompense their way upon their head." — 9: 9,10.
The order-loving people of today plainly see and well know that the nations called "Christendom" are full of injustice and wickedness. Many of the clergy tell the people that God has forsaken them because of their indifference toward the church organizations and their neglect to support the same, while other clergymen tell the people that there is no Almighty God, the Creator of heaven and earth, and that the Bible is unworthy of belief. God will not spare them, but will fully recompense them for their wickedness. He will make a clean-up of the whole outfit, in order that all who survive may know that Jehovah is the only true God.
In support of the conclusion that the slaughter will be widespread the Prophet Jeremiah adds this testimony: "And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other
end of the earth; they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground. Howl, ye shepherds, and cry; and wallow yourselves in the ashes, ye principal of the flock; for the days of your slaughter and of your dispersions are accomplished; and ye shall fall like a pleasant vessel. And the shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the principal of the flock to escape. A voice of the cry of the shepherds, and an howling of the principal of the flock, shall be heard; for the Lord hath spoiled their pasture. And the peaceable habitations are cut down, because of the fierce anger of the Lord." — Jer. 25:33-37.
To each division of God's organization a certain part of the work of ridding the earth of Satan's organization is assigned, and it will be required that each division be faithful in the performance thereof. In Ezekiel 9:11 it is written: "And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which had the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as thou hast commanded me." Manifestly the matter is so stated in this text of the prophecy to show that the "servant" class faithfully perform the work assigned to them and, when it is done, in some way make report thereof. That means that the witness work must be done and will be done, and every one who hopes to have the final approval of the Lord as one of his remnant will joyfully participate in the witness or 'marking' work. The faithful remnant will fully obey the commandments of the Lord and will receive his approval.
This scripture further indicates that some of the remnant will be on earth when the work is done, and
will witness Armageddon from their vantage point under the Lord's protection. These will maintain their integrity toward Jehovah, and by their faithfulness will be a testimony to the supremacy of the Most High and to the honor of his name.
DECLARING GOD'S VENGEANCE
The tenth chapter of Ezekiel's prophecy is further proof that the "faithful servant" class on the earth is a part of God's organization and in close touch with the commanding Officer thereof. While being used to mark those who will be taken through that fiery trouble of Armageddon, the remnant is also used by the Lord to announce the destructive part of God's program. The prophecy is not to be understood as teaching that the remnant complete the work of marking unto salvation or life before performing their part relative to the destructive work. The various tableaux of Revelation do not follow one another in the order in which they are depicted, and the same is true of the prophecy of Ezekiel.
"Then I looked, and, behold, in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubims there appeared over them as it were a sapphire stone, as the appearance of the likeness of a throne." (10:1) The sapphire stone is mentioned as one of the foundation stones of the wall of the holy city (Rev. 21:19), and which stones are descriptive of the glory of Jehovah God. His glory is reflected upon his organization, and reflected particularly by his beloved Son, and his organization shines by virtue of this glory. "Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined."
(Ps. 50:2) Jehovah's organization is present everywhere in the prophetic picture, and the throne of the Most High dominates the entire organization. He that sat upon the throne, the mighty One in authority, directs the operations of his great organization. "And he [the Commander] spake unto the man clothed with linen, and said, Go in between the wheels, even under the cherub, and fill thine hand with coals of fire from between the cherubims, and scatter them over the city. And he went in in my sight." — 10: 2.
This second verse of the tenth chapter of the prophecy is further proof that those who are covered with the robe of righteousness, and therefore approved and made a part of God's organization, are "subject unto the higher powers", meaning the powers that control and direct Jehovah's organization. (Rom. 13:1) "The man clothed with linen" is commanded to go in between the wheels and fill his hand with coals of fire, and he obeys the commandment. In the vision as recorded it would appear that the man went to fetch the burning coals after he had finished the marking work, but it does not follow that, in the fulfilment, the marking work is completed before the coals of fire are taken and scattered over the city.
Elisha was anointed or commanded to do a constructive work of restoration and also to do a slaying work. The "faithful and wise servant" class is doing the antitypical Elisha work, and therefore a part of that work has to do with the destruction of the city; but the constructive work takes precedence over the destructive work. It is the major portion of the work performed by the "servant", which work is performed
by proclaiming God's name and declaring his purposes to the peoples of the earth.
The tenth chapter of Ezekiel indicates also the time when this work is to be done. The prophecy says that 'when the man went in between the wheels, the cherubim stood on the right side of the house'. Cherubim are officers of God's organization, to whom is committed the work of executing his judgments. In proof thereof note that the cherubim were placed at the east of Eden to execute, and there did execute, the decree of judgment of Jehovah God concerning Adam. (Gen. 3: 24) Lucifer, when he was a part of God's organization, was a "covering cherub", meaning one with authority over others, with power to execute the judgment of death. (Ezek. 28:14; Heb. 2:14) The wheels appearing in the tableau represent parts of God's organization used for his purposes. Fire is a symbol of God's destructive judgments being executed. The fire was in the custody of the cherubim and between the wheels.
The entire picture shows that what is there described is fulfilled when the Lord Jesus is at the temple of Jehovah for judgment, and this fixes the time when the work of scattering the fire by the man in linen must be done. "The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord's throne is in heaven; his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. The Lord trieth the righteous; but the wicked, and him that loveth violence, his soul hateth. Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest; this shall be the portion of their cup." (Ps. 11:4-6; Jude 14, 15; Mal. 3:1-3) When the Lord is at the temple for judgment, the glory of Jehovah is over
the house. "When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory." (Ps. 102:16) The vision of Ezekiel discloses the Lord Jesus Christ at the temple for judgment, accompanied by his corps of officers made up of cherubim, seraphim and angels, and employing both animate and inanimate parts of the great organization to carry forward God's purposes; and these are symbolized by wheels and the cherubim and other living creatures.
The foregoing scriptures lay the foundation for the conclusion that, following the year 1918, which marks the coming of the Lord to his temple, the prophetic vision of Ezekiel here described began to be fulfilled, and until that time the prophecy could not be understood.
The commandment to the man clothed in linen was to go in between the wheels, under the cherubim, thus showing that the "servant" class on earth is under the direction of the higher officers of God's organization and are to work with both animate and inanimate parts of the organization in obedience to the commandments. "And it came to pass, that when he had commanded the man clothed with linen, saying, Take fire from between the wheels, from between the cherubims; then he went in, and stood beside the wheels. And one cherub stretched forth his hand from between the cherubims unto the fire that was between the cherubims, and took thereof, and put it into the hands of him that was clothed with linen; who took it, and went out." (10:6,7) This shows that God makes all provision necessary to carry out all his judgments of fiery indignation upon Satan's organization. It is thrilling and awesome for the "servant" class of the
Lord to realize that they are permitted to work under the guiding hand of God's great officers that are invisible to their eyes. This helps them to appreciate the fact that, the "servant" trusting implicitly in the Lord and not following his own selfish course, but being always joyfully obedient to the Lord, his ways are directed of the Lord and therefore cannot fail. (Prov. 3: 5, 6) "The steps of a good man [God's ideal man, the 'faithful servant'] are ordered by the Lord; and he delighteth in his way." — Ps. 37: 23.
The actual burning or destruction by fire is done by the officers of the Lord that are invisible to human eyes, that is, the cherubim, seraphim and angels; but it seems clear that the cherubim have charge over fire or that which destroys. These invisible ones the Lord uses to put in the hands of his "faithful servant" class, that is, the man clothed with linen, the fiery message from his Word, or judgments written, and which is to be used as directed. The resolutions adopted by conventions of God's anointed people, booklets, magazines, and books published by them, contain the message of God's truth and are from the Lord Jehovah and provided by him through Christ Jesus and his under-officers. This shows the grand and glorious organization working in exact harmony, as indeed it must work. These instruments being provided by the Lord, and placed in the hand of the remnant, the remnant or "servant" class is commanded to use the same.
The interpretation of prophecy, therefore, is not from man, but is from the Lord; and the Lord causes events to come to pass in fulfilment of the prophecy in due time. It is his truth, and not man's; and when
men attempt to give the honor and glory for the message of truth to a man or men, such make fools of themselves. The Lord provides the machinery, the printing presses, and all material for the purpose of preparing his fiery message that must be poured out or scattered upon Christendom, and this is done by his "faithful servant" class. The Devil tries to induce men to believe that the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society is engaging in a bookselling scheme. Only the Devil is capable of manufacturing such lies. God's "servant" class, pictured by the man in linen, is commanded to do the work of declaring the vengeance of Jehovah, and only those who obey this commandment can and will maintain their integrity toward God. The "servant", or remnant class, will not be deceived or discouraged by the slanderous statements of enemies that they are engaged in a bookselling scheme. They carry the message of truth to the people in printed form; and this is done under the commandment of the Lord, and is the greatest privilege that has ever been granted the followers of Christ on earth. The remnant delights to do this work and continually sings the praises of Jehovah while doing it.
It is easy to be seen that the remnant must do a twofold work, as pictured by the work of Ezekiel, in this: They go from house to house, carrying the message of truth in printed form of books and magazines; they first deliver an oral message to the one whom they address; they do not open their canvass with a denunciation of the wicked, but first speak of the message of the goodness of God that gives hope to those who will hear, and comfort those that mourn.
This is the commission of the remnant. At the same time the remnant must declare or tell the people of God's judgment of fiery indignation which shall shortly be visited upon Christendom, resulting in its complete destruction. This is a part of the commission of the remnant, also, which work must be done and is now being done. The "servant" is not proclaiming his own vengeance, but telling of God's vengeance; and this he must do. — Isa. 61:1, 2.
Jehovah having given command to the remnant to do this work, he provides the ways and means to carry out his commandments. Therefore, as shown by the picture in the prophecy, the remnant (the man clothed in linen) goes in between the wheels, that is to say, into a part of God's organization which is likened unto wheels within wheels, and there receives the message of fiery truth served to him by the Lord's officer, and then goes out and uses it. This "fire" is not provided by men. The Lord's executive officer provides such and puts it into the hands of God's people on earth; and this Ezekiel saw and thus describes: 'The cherub took fire and put it into the hands of him that was clothed with linen.' Be it noted that the man clothed with linen took it, and did not refuse or neglect to take and use it. He went out and used it. That shows that all of the "servant" class must actively engage in doing the work of the Lord in obedience to his commandments. The "servant" or remnant has been doing this very work, particularly since 1922, by going from house to house with the message of truth. Part of the remnant is employed in manufacturing and publishing the books and other publications containing the fiery message; and thus they all work as one. To those who
have been faithful in so doing, the Lord now shows the meaning of the prophetic vision; and this he does for their encouragement and comfort, that they may be strong in hope, knowing that they are going the right way. Manifestly that is the very purpose of Jehovah in now opening up the prophecies to the understanding of his people. (Rom. 15:4) The "servant" class, being thus made strong in hope, give glory to God, and not to man, and they march confidently on to victory. — Rom. 4: 20,21.
It was written that, after the terrible destruction of life in the ancient city of Jerusalem, fire was set to the city, and it was completely destroyed. (2 Ki. 25: 9) Ezekiel had a vision of a man taking the coals of fire and scattering them over the city, which actually was fulfilled in the destruction of the city in the year 606 B.C. The larger fulfilment of the prophecy will be a complete destruction of the city, to wit, Christendom, foreshadowed by Jerusalem. The remnant now has part in that destruction, in this, that the fiery message of God's righteous indignation is heralded by them to the rulers and to the people, announcing that the Lord will surely bring Christendom completely down in a heap of ashes. As these faithful witnesses go out and do the work they are commanded to do, they sing the praises of Jehovah, 'proclaiming his doings among the people,' and at the same time, in harmony with God's Word, utter a prayer which God caused his prophet David to write for them long ago, to wit: "Grant not, 0 Lord, the desires of the wicked; further not his wicked device, lest they exalt themselves. Let burning coals fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits,
that they rise not up again. Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth." — Ps. 140: 8,10,11.
In harmony with this the words of the chief musician of God's covenant people are written: "In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth. There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured; coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down; and darkness was under his feet. And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly; yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire. The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire." — Ps. 18:6-13.
God permits his anointed people to now see the beautiful harmony between the prophecies and the prayer of his anointed, and he does this for their encouragement while they tramp from door to door bearing his message to those who have the hearing ear. They go with sore feet and tired bodies, yet with joyful hearts, because they know they are right in doing that which Jehovah has commanded; and they are absolutely certain as to what the result is going to be, because the Lord has declared it.
Ezekiel's vision of the man in linen doing his work foreshadows that Satan's organization will be de-
stroyed at Armageddon, not by outraged labor, socialists, or anarchists, but by the righteous organization of Jehovah God. It is the righteous judgment of God executed by his duly commissioned officers, and he gives the remnant the part of announcing this judgment before it falls. The man in linen, appearing to Ezekiel in the vision, did not destroy Jerusalem, but the Lord employed other forces to destroy it. Neither does the remnant, whom the vision foretells, destroy Christendom; but the activities of the remnant, bearing to the people the message of God's vengeance, are a sure and certain advance sign of the coming destruction of Satan's organization by the executive officers of Jehovah God. Such will be a vindication of the name of the Most High.
In preparing for the battle of the great day of God Almighty, Jehovah is using the hand or power of human creatures constituting his "servant" on earth. Not that he needs such; but God will prove thereby, as well as in other ways, that he can put men on earth who by his grace will withstand the enticements and assaults of the Devil, and who will remain true and steadfast unto God and maintain their integrity toward God. This is indicated by the appearance, under the wings of the cherubim, of the form of a man's hand: "And there appeared in the cherubims the form of a man's hand under their wings." (10:8) The vision then declares that all the cherubim were alike. "And the likeness of their faces was the same faces which I saw by the river of Chebar, their appearances and themselves; they went every one straight forward." (10: 9-22) The vision shows every part of God's organization as working smoothly and
in exact harmony. The form of a man's hand under the wings of the cherubim seems to say that God has used the hand of human creatures to bear the coals of God's fiery indignation which the Lord will use.
Wherever his "servant" class is engaged in his work, regardless of place or condition Jehovah provides the work to be done. This means that every one who loves Jehovah will be in full and complete harmony and unity, and always magnifying the name of Jehovah God and working together to his glory. This part of the prophecy is a strong rebuke to any company of Christians who claim to be followers of Christ Jesus, and in line for the kingdom, who indulge in bickering and quarreling. The Lord advises those who are really his as to what they must do when there are others amongst them who oppose. They are not to retaliate. They are to let them alone, and go on with the work that the Lord has assigned to them. (Rom. 16:17,18) Harmonious action in carrying out God's purposes through his organization is one of the strong evidences that those engaged in it are God's anointed people. These delight to proclaim his praises and the greatness of his name.
THE TABLES TURNED
The hypocritical clergymen and the chief rulers of the people, and the principal of the religious flock of Christendom, who are wise in their own conceits, and who employ religion as the shield or blind behind which to operate, are shown in the eleventh chapter of Ezekiel's vision. Their fate is also foretold. This being true, then the message of God's indignation
must also be told to them. This message of truth must be delivered by some part of God's organization, and particularly by that part which Ezekiel foreshadowed. The spirit or power of the Lord lifted up Ezekiel and brought him to the east gate of the temple and gave him a vision:
"Moreover, the spirit lifted me up, and brought me unto the east gate of the Lord's house, which looketh eastward: and, behold, at the door of the gate five and twenty men; among whom I saw Jaazaniah the son of Azur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people." (11:1) The men there observed seem to be the same self-conceited crowd described in Ezekiel 8:16. They are the princes of the people, showing that they are the one who have control and exercise it over the people. This same crowd was seen, in the preceding chapter (eight), standing with their backs to the temple, worshiping the sun. Some of these men, doubtless, at one time assumed to be priests or clergymen, but quit it and went to work at a political job of ruling the people. They and their wicked allies got into the temple together, as shown by this picture. In other words, they assumed to be God's favorites and in the house of the Lord to run his business.
In the city of New York there is now a so-called "Christian" church building, which was erected by a few ultrarich men, and the congregation in which is presided over by a modern preacher of the higher-critic type, and at which place philosophers, scientists, women, and other creatures are honored and the Word of the Lord God and his name are ignored. These men scoff at the kingdom of God and the impending battle of Armageddon, even as the "wiseacres" scoffed at
Jeremiah's prediction of the impending catastrophe at Jerusalem. (Jer. 23:16,17) The church organization above described is a sample of many like ones in other parts of Christendom. These exalt themselves and assume that they have the power and ability to direct men and lift them up and to run the earth to suit their own notions. Such pose before the people as doing a work in the name of the Lord, but, in fact, they are "workers of iniquity" and instruments of reproach to the name of Jehovah God.
The Lord, through his messenger, pointed out to Ezekiel these workers of iniquity and he describes them thus: "Then said he unto me, Son of man, these are the men that devise mischief, and give wicked counsel in this city; which say, It is not near; let us build houses; this city is the caldron, and we be the flesh." (11: 2, 3) The men Ezekiel saw there spurned the Word of God, and they patted each other on the back and said: 'We are the whole thing; there is no trouble coming that can do us any harm; we have everything our own way, and what these prophets [Ezekiel] are saying shows they are crazy.' They thought that they were secure, and have looked upon themselves as being the choicest portion of the pot, and that they would always have a warm and easy place. The priests had picked them and brought them into the temple, because they were all of one mind, and therefore all of them thought they were secure, and apparently feared nothing.
The facts show that this prophecy is fulfilled in the present time. There are those today, holding political jobs in Christendom, who, together with the clergy, constitute the chief ones in the churches, and all of
them think they are secure. The clergy and the chief ones of their flock pat each other on the back and say: 'We are the whole cheese. Everything will be all right. Let us build more houses and get all the money we can for them from the suckers, and take a mortgage for the balance at a high rate of usury, and soon we will have it all our own way.' Exactly this policy has been carried out, particularly since the World War. There has been a studied and designed action on the part of the controllers of Big Business, aided and supported by shrewd and conscienceless politicians and the clergy, to get everything into the hands of the few; and these live wantonly and think that they are absolutely secure. It is as it was in the days of Noah. Jesus said it would be thus at the end of the world. — Matt. 24: 37-39.
The spirit of the Lord came upon Ezekiel, and he had a vision of these workers of iniquity that control and oppress the people at the end of the world, where we now are. Then Ezekiel prophesied against these princes, or favored ones, first telling them of their own wickedness and that now the Lord would turn the tables on them. Harsh, cruel and oppressive rulers of Christendom have done and continue to do far worse than like men did in Israel. Those of Christendom are more reprehensible, because, in addition to the words of the prophets which the men of Israel had, they have had Jesus and the apostles and have lived in a time of enlightenment. The "princes" of Christendom have caused untold suffering and countless deaths of men in order that their selfish purposes might be accomplished. The Lord God, therefore, directed Ezekiel to prophesy against them in these words:
"Ye have multiplied your slain in this city, and ye have filled the streets thereof with the slain. Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Your slain whom ye have laid in the midst of it, they are the flesh, and this city is the caldron; but I will bring you forth out of the midst of it. Ye have feared the sword; and I will bring a sword upon you, saith the Lord God. And I will bring you out of the midst thereof, and deliver you into the hands of strangers, and will execute judgments among you. Ye shall fall by the sword; I will judge you in the border of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. This city shall not be your caldron, neither shall ye be the flesh in the midst thereof; but I will judge you in the border of Israel." — 11:6-11.
The chief ones, the princes and the rulers of the people in "Christianity", have feared the sword themselves, and when trouble came on them they put themselves in a place of safety and shoved "the common herd" into front lines to be slain. But now the Lord declares that he will reverse the order and that the princes and rulers and chief ones shall fall by the sword which he the Lord will wield. In corroboration of this he caused Jeremiah the prophet to say: "Howl, ye shepherds, and cry; and wallow yourselves in the ashes, ye principal of the flock; for the days of your slaughter and of your dispersions are accomplished; and ye shall fall like a pleasant vessel. And the shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the principal of the flock to escape." — Jer. 25:34,35.
The leaders and principal ones of Christendom are without excuse for their course of action. The Israelites were God's chosen people and should have walked
in his statutes, but they did like as the heathen nations. The nations that make no pretense of "Christianity" practice the Devil religion. The leaders and principal ones in Christendom claim to be the children of God and his covenant people, but they ignore his statutes and do after the manner of heathen nations, to wit, practice Devil religion. They exalt creatures, exalt themselves, and use their power to oppress the poor; and God declares he will visit his righteous indignation upon them, and that he will do so that all may know that Jehovah is God, that his name may be vindicated. — 11:11,12.
As recorded in the thirteenth verse, as one of these principal ones died, Ezekiel fell down upon his face and cried out and said: "Ah, Lord God! wilt thou make a full end of the remnant of Israel?" This was not a cry for pity, but rather to call forth an expression of God's righteous indignation, showing that the judgment falling upon them is just and right. The Lord then calls attention to the greed and arrogance practiced by the principal ones, and the oppression that they bring upon the poor. "Son of man, thy brethren, even thy brethren, the men of thy kindred, and all the house of Israel wholly, are they unto whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, Get you far from the Lord; unto us is this land given in possession. " — 11:15.
It is even so in this day, when the principal ones of Christendom say by their words and by their acts: 'The earth belongs to us, and we will do with it as we please. We will crowd the common herd into the tenement houses and make the tillers of the soil serfs, and we will live in ease.' The Lord, therefore, says
concerning them: 'The men of thy kindred [those in the churches who are meek and fearful, and who are held as prisoners, and upon whom the principal of the flock look with contempt] are they unto whom the [principal of the flock] have said [and say], Get you far from the Lord [that is, you are not in his favor; we are his favorites]; unto us is this land given in possession [we are the ones that have the whole thing].' The Lord brings upon these wicked oppressors destruction, even as the Prophet Ezekiel saw in vision and prophesied.
THE MEEK DELIVERED
Then the Lord speaks words of consolation to the common people, which strongly supports the conclusion that among those who have been pushed aside and oppressed by the princes and rulers of Christendom there will be and are millions who will be favored by the Lord, and who will hear the truth, turn to the Lord and receive his favor, and never die. Under the Messianic kingdom they shall be made clean of heart and mind and shall dwell safely in the land. (See Ezekiel 11:16-21.) God will spare those who turn their hearts to him and seek righteousness, and will bring them through the time of trouble. Such are the meek and teachable ones, and these shall have his blessing. "But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace." — Ps. 37:11.
The Mount of Olives lies just east of the city of Jerusalem, and it fitly symbolizes God's kingdom of peace and blessings. With the destruction of Satan's organization, then Jehovah's kingdom shall bring
peace and blessings to the peoples of the earth, oven as the Lord has promised. Ezekiel had a vision of this, and wrote: "And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city." (11:23) Supporting this, another prophet wrote describing the battle of Armageddon, and then adds: "And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east." (Zech. 14:4) Then there shall be established on earth peace and good will toward men; and this will be done by and through the authority of God's kingdom.
In verses twenty-four and twenty-five of the eleventh chapter of Ezekiel the prophet tells of being taken back by the spirit to the locality of the captives and of speaking to them that were captives, telling them of the things which the Lord had shown him. This clearly means that the "prisoners" in Christendom, and therefore those in "captivity" to Christendom, must now be told the truth of and concerning Satan's organization, and particularly that Christendom is a part of that wicked organization. The faithful remnant must bear this testimony to the name of Jehovah God and inform the "prisoners" concerning Jehovah and his great organization, and that it will destroy Satan's organization. This very work the remnant has been doing for the past few years, and is now doing, and must continue to do until the witnessing to the truth is completed and Christendom falls. The "prisoners" must and will have an opportunity to know that the chief doctrine taught by the Bible is that of God's kingdom, because that kingdom will vindicate the name of Jehovah.