JEHOVAH gives expression to his righteous indignation against the enemy only after due notice is given of his purpose so to do. Long before the great deluge swept away "the world that then was", God sent Noah to serve notice upon the rulers and upon the people of the impending disaster. Before he brought the great calamity upon Egypt he sent Moses and Aaron to give notice thereof. Before Jerusalem fell, the Most High sent his duly commissioned prophets to give notice of his purpose to express his righteous indignation against those who had violated their covenant with him. These things Jehovah did for his name's sake, that the people might know that Jehovah is the true and Almighty God. All that he then did, on the occasions above mentioned, foreshadowed what shall come upon Christendom, that is to say, upon all the nations that claim to be the people of God, and the followers of Christ, and the practicers of the "Christian religion". It should therefore be expected that Jehovah would cause notice to be duly served upon the rulers and the supporters of Christendom, and that this notice would be served after the coming of Christ to the temple of God.
Concerning the great day of God Almighty, when his righteous indignation shall be expressed, Jesus said to his followers: "And take heed to yourselves,
lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares." (Luke 21: 34) These words serve a twofold purpose: (1) as a warning to all those who are in the covenant for the kingdom to be always on the alert to obey the commandments of the Lord; and (2) as conclusive proof that the great day of God Almighty shall witness the expression of his indignation upon Christendom and which will completely destroy Christendom and all parts of Satan's organization. This scripture is notice to the followers of Christ of that coming day of righteous indignation of Jehovah, and lays upon such the obligation of serving notice upon the world.
While it is true that the great day of God Almighty comes upon many who have not gained a knowledge, that lack of information will be no fault of Jehovah God. When Jesus appeared at the temple of Jehovah he announced: "The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him." (Hab. 2:20) This proves that the people must be told that the day of judgment is at hand, and that all must be given an opportunity to hear what the Word of God has to say concerning that day of judgment. There is no excuse for the covenant people of God to be in darkness concerning the day of the great battle of God Almighty. All who have agreed to do his will are told to search the Scriptures, wherein the expression of his will is found, and to study that they might have the approval of God. (2 Tim. 2:15) The followers of Christ are commanded thus to do, not for their own personal gain, but that they might be witnesses to others. These witnesses must inform others concern-
ing the will of God and serve notice upon them that Jehovah is the only God. (Isa. 43:9-12) Concerning the end of the world, the setting up of the kingdom, and the battle of Armageddon, the commandment is given that the faithful covenant people of God must bear testimony thereof to the people. It is plainly stated that the purpose is not to convert the world, but to give notice to the nations. (Matt. 24:14) The giving of this testimony must continue "until the cities [every part of Satan's organization] be wasted without inhabitant". (Isa. 6:11) Nor is there any doubt about who shall deliver this testimony, or serve this notice, in the name of the Lord Jehovah. It is his "remnant" people who are faithful and true to their covenant and therefore called "the faithful and true witness", and who prove by their obedience to his commandments that they are his. These are the ones that give the witness. — Rev. 12:17.
Jehovah sent his prophet Ezekiel to Israel to serve notice upon that people of his purpose to destroy their city. Likewise God sends his witnesses forth today to serve notice upon Christendom of his purpose to destroy that wicked organization that his name might be known in all the earth. Ezekiel served notice both by word of mouth and by his action. Likewise God's witnesses serve notice by their words and their course of action. The words of the speaker often fall upon deaf ears, while his actions speak with greater force and effect.
"The word of the Lord also came unto me, saying, Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not; for they are a rebellious
house." (12:1, 2) Ezekiel dwelt amongst a rebellious people. They might have heard, but they did not; and this foreshadows that God's faithful witnesses on earth dwell amongst a rebellious people to whom the message has been spoken, and the clergy and the principal of their flock have not heard and heeded. In 1914 and thereabout God's faithful people in the land of Christendom had spoken many words of the truth, but the same had little or no effect upon Christendom.
As the Israelites had not given heed to the words of the Prophet Ezekiel, the Lord God directed him to make a sign, or go through certain movements making a sign-picture, to call attention further to the purposes of Jehovah: "Therefore, thou son of man [foreshadowing the 'faithful servant' class], prepare thee stuff for removing [for exile, R.V., margin], and remove by day in their sight; and thou shalt remove from thy place to another place in their sight; it may be they will consider, though they be a rebellious house. Then shalt thou bring forth thy stuff by day in their sight, as stuff for removing: and thou shalt go forth at even in their sight, as they that go forth into captivity. Dig thou through the wall in their sight, and carry out thereby. In their sight shalt thou bear it upon thy shoulders, and carry it forth in the twilight; thou shalt cover thy face, that thou see not the ground; for I have set thee for a sign unto the house of Israel. And I did so as I was commanded; I brought forth my stuff by day, as stuff for captivity, and in the even I digged through the wall with mine
hand; I brought it forth in the twilight, and I bare it upon my shoulder in their sight." — 12: 3-7.
This scripture shows that Ezekiel was commanded to act and did act out a silent moving picture to convey a message. Moving pictures are thought to be a modern thing; but the Lord made them centuries ago, and they now convey a far greater meaning to his anointed than any pictures made by men. The facts, now well known at this day, and which clearly appear to fit the prophetic picture made by Ezekiel, are these: With the coming of the World War there was much activity in preaching the gospel, but which went unheeded by Christendom; and restraint began to be put upon those who preached the gospel. This restraint increased, until in 1918 the church as a whole was led away into exile, and the witness work in which the people of God was engaged was practically stopped. Many of the Lord's witnesses were confined behind prison walls. The Society's headquarters at Brooklyn were dismantled, the property was sold, and what little was left was removed to another place; and this was done in the sight of all the people. Many of the publications concerning the truth were seized by Christendom's officials and, together with the original plates for making the same, were destroyed. All this was done at the instance of Satan's organization.
These facts help to emphasize the rule of the Lord, which reads: "He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity; he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword." (Rev. 13:10) The moving picture made by Ezekiel was directed by Jehovah; and the carrying away of God's covenant people into exile, and the stopping of the work in 1918, was by
the permission of Jehovah to serve his own good purposes, even though it was done by the wicked ones of Christendom. Such was a moving picture and was made by Jehovah to serve notice.
Ezekiel did as he was commanded, and the rebellious ones said to him: "What doest thou?" They were giving heed to his actions to know what they meant. The Lord instructed Ezekiel what to say in response to their questions: "And in the morning came the word of the Lord unto me, saying, Son of man, hath not the house of Israel, the rebellious house, said unto thee, What doest thou? Say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord God, This burden concerneth the prince in Jerusalem, and all the house of Israel that are among them. Say, I am your sign: like as I have done, so shall it be done unto them: they shall remove, and go into captivity." — 12: 8-11.
Jehovah directed Ezekiel to perform certain acts making the moving picture and then, in response to the question of those who saw, to explain its meaning. He told them that he was a sign unto them and that what he did foreshadowed what would come to them and which did come upon Jerusalem thereafter. That which is related in verses twelve to fourteen was fulfilled literally in Jerusalem, when the "prince", or ruler or king, escaped through the wall and was taken prisoner on the outside, and his eyes were put out. — 2 Ki. 25:1-7; 2 Chron. 36:11-21; Jer. 39:1-7.
God permitted the Devil's crowd to make a picture with his people during the war, which prophetically speaks to them as a witness against them. The
God's "servant" class were restrained of their liberty and their work was stopped in 1918 and 1919, because of their faithfulness to the Lord and to his cause. The leaders in Christendom were responsible therefor; and such were rebellious acts against Jehovah, because the only "offense" that his servants had committed was that of preaching the gospel of his kingdom, and of declaring that the World War was evidence that the kingdom was at hand and that his kingdom is the only means whereby peace could be established. The clergy and other leaders in Christendom thus added insult to Jehovah by maltreating
his witnesses without a cause; and God has announced his rule to be: "Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works; in the cup which she hath filled, fill to her double." — Rev. 18:6.
As Jehovah served notice upon the rebellious house of Israel by causing Ezekiel to make a moving picture and then to declare its meaning, even so he is serving notice upon Christendom, first, by permitting the imprisonment of the witnesses and the stopping of all their work, and then by sending them with his message to the peoples of Christendom, informing them that Christendom shall be recompensed for all her iniquities and shall fall. This he does that the people may know that he is the great God and that they cannot forever follow the Devil with impunity. "And they shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall scatter them among the nations, and disperse them in the countries." — 12:15.
The destruction that shall come upon Christendom at Armageddon will be the greatest that has ever affected the world. The Lord is also now causing notice to be served, that in that trouble there shall be a class of people spared and brought through and made the recipients of his favor; and this he caused Ezekiel to foreshadow in these words: "But I will leave a few men of them from the sword, from the famine, and from the pestilence, that they may declare all their abominations among the [nations] whither they come; and they shall know that I am the Lord." (12:16) Thus God declares that he will do this in order that 'some flesh may be saved'. This is further proof that "millions now living will never die". Such now re-
ceive some knowledge of the truth by and through the message of the Lord that is brought to them by the "servant" class in going from house to house with books, and by other means. Those who hear shall declare the message to others outside of Christendom, 'and they shall know that Jehovah is God.' The destruction of Christendom, and the bringing through the trouble of those millions who thereafter live, will be a vindication of God's great name. Satan, by and through his organization, has for centuries brought reproach upon the name of God; and the vindication of his holy name must now be had, that all may know that life and blessings proceed from Jehovah, and that he gives life to those who delight themselves in his righteous laws.
EATING WITH FEAR
Jehovah caused Ezekiel to further serve notice upon the Israelites of what was coming to them, and this Ezekiel did by the manner of taking his nourishment. He performed the act of eating his bread and drinking his water with fear and trembling and carefulness. This was a part of the moving picture foretelling that Jerusalem should come to a like condition: "Son of man, eat thy bread with quaking, and drink thy water with trembling and with carefulness; and say unto the people of the land, Thus saith the Lord God of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and of the land of Israel, They shall eat their bread with carefulness, and drink their water with astonishment, that her land may be desolate from all that is therein, because of the violence of all them that dwell therein. And the cities that are inhabited shall be laid waste, and
the land shall be desolate, and ye shall know that I am the Lord." (12:18-20) This part of the prophecy was also literally fulfilled by the Israelites, and foreshadows what shall come upon Christendom.
In 1918 and 1919 the Lord's devoted people on earth did the very thing here; to wit, they partook of their food and drink with trembling and with much care. There was a great restriction of food upon all people, but in addition to that there was great restraint placed upon the people of the Lord; and now, in 1931, this prophecy is beginning to have its fulfilment in Christendom. The people are beginning to know what a shortage of food really means and, seeing other threatening things coming upon the world, they eat their food with fear and trembling and are in great distress. This distress will continue to grow worse.
It cannot be truthfully said that Jehovah God is Mending these distresses upon the people as a general punishment; but God is permitting it, in this, that he does not hinder it. Satan is the one responsible for the sufferings and calamities that befall the people; and he causes his clergymen to tell the people that these calamities come upon them from God, because of their unfaithfulness to Christendom's church organizations. Such is Satan's scheme to turn the people away from the true God, to the end that Satan may have them all on his side at Armageddon. It must be remembered that God gives his promise to preserve and protect those who love him and who seek meekness and righteousness. (Ps. 41:1,2; Zeph. 2:1-3; Ps. 145:20) There are many who refuse to be led by Satan and his agents, but who, on the contrary,
turn to the Lord; and these are the ones who are to be taken through the time of trouble.
NO FURTHER DELAY
God's faithful people on the earth emphasized the importance of the dates 1914 and 1918 and 1925. They had much to say about these dates and what would come to pass, but all they predicted did not come to pass. The predictions as to the dates were correct, but what came to pass could not be fully seen in advance. The failure to come to pass of some of the things predicted has afforded Satan's agents in Christendom, particularly the clergy and the "man of sin", an opportunity to ridicule and reproach the faithful servants of the Lord and to say of and concerning them and their predictions: 'All their visions and predictions have failed; and such proves that they are all wrong, and that all their predictions for the future must fail.' This the clergy use to turn the people away from God and his truth. Such was foreshadowed by what God said to Ezekiel: "Son of man, what is that proverb that ye have in the land of Israel, saying, The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth?" — 12:22.
To be sure, no man can say exactly what day or year Armageddon will be fought, but it is easy to be seen that the conditions amongst the people are such now that a great crisis is near. The clergy and the politicians have predicted and continue to predict great success and prosperity for their man-made schemes. They speak against the witnesses of God and say in substance that all the Lord's servants are "weak in the head", and that it will be many days
before any great calamities befall Christendom, which is now at peace. They tell the people that what is written in the Bible about calamities applies altogether in the past and has no reference to the future. They go even further in blaspheming God's name by saying that 'Christendom must robe the earth in the moral achievements of man and make it a fit place for Christ Jesus to come and reside'. They speak with contempt concerning the prophecies quoted from the Bible by the servants of the Lord; and the clergy and their allies have made this proverb: 'All predictions of the servants of Jehovah have failed and will continue to fail.'
A similar proverb had been promulgated by the clergy and their allies in the days of Ezekiel. Of course the Lord knew what the proverb was, but he caused his officer to propound the question to Ezekiel, and then said: "Tell them therefore, Thus saith the Lord God, 1 will make this proverb to cease, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel; but say unto them, The days are at hand, and the effect of every vision. For there shall be no more any vain vision nor flattering divination within the house of Israel. For I am the Lord: I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass; it shall be no more prolonged; for in your days, 0 rebellious house, will I say the word, and will perform it, saith the Lord God." (12:23-25) God's kingdom has begun to operate. His day of vengeance is here, and Armageddon is at hand and certain to fall upon Christendom, and that within an early date. God's judgment is upon Christendom and must shortly be executed. That God will not longer delay this he says: "Therefore say
unto them, Thus saith the Lord God, There shall none of my words be prolonged any more, but the word which I have spoken shall be done, saith the Lord God." — 12:28.
The time is here when God's people must make it plain to all that the nations are marching to Armageddon and that the only hope of the people is the kingdom of God. It is a great privilege to be permitted to make this announcement. It is the truth; and the truth will bring hope and courage to the people.
THOSE WHO PROPHESY FALSELY
Ezekiel was commanded by the Lord to serve notice upon those who were prophesying falsely. He had, in effect, told the people that the false prophets should no more be able to falsely promise peace, but that the Lord would speedily bring to pass the fulfilment of his prophecies, which are true. Now, in the thirteenth chapter, notice is specifically served upon those who prophesy falsely: "And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the Lord." — 13:1, 2.
Jesus gave answer to the question as to what should come to pass at the end of the world, and he said that, following the World War, which began in 1914, false prophets and false Christs would arise. False prophets and false Christs' being thus mentioned together shows that there would be cooperation between the false prophets and the false Christs in their opposition to
the truth of God's kingdom message. The "evil servant" class claim to be the anointed of God and, these being false, they are therefore false Christs. The "evil servant" class, as Jesus foretold, 'say in their hearts, The Lord delays his coming; and they begin to smite their brethren.' This prophecy of Jesus has been in course of fulfilment since 1917, and is still being fulfilled. Those once enlightened by the truth and taken into the covenant, and who are in line for the kingdom, and who now refuse to testify to the Lord's kingdom, and oppose those who are so doing, by their actions declare that 'the Lord has delayed his coming'. Their conduct shows the motive in the heart; and when Jesus declared, 'They shall say in their heart,' clearly it means that by their course of action they declare what they think. If they believed that the Lord Jesus is at his temple and the kingdom has begun to function, then surely by their actions they would cease opposing the proclamation of the truth concerning the kingdom, and would take their stand on the side of the Lord and joyfully join in the service of the Lord by also declaring the truth. Such are false Christs, because they claim to be God's anointed ones and to 'sit in his heavenly place'; and they are false prophets in this, that they say in their hearts, that is, by their actions, 'The kingdom is not come, but is yet future.'
Jehovah directed Ezekiel to serve notice on all such foolish or perverse ones and upon all of Christendom who profess falsely the name of the Lord God. "Thus saith the Lord God, Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!" (13:3) Another translator renders the text: "Thus
hath said the Lord Eternal, Wo unto the scandalous prophets, that follow their own spirit, without having seen any thing!" (Leeser) These are perverse and scandalous in this, that they indulge in scandalizing the name of God and his Christ and his servants in the earth. They have become blind to the truth concerning the kingdom, and 'see nothing'.
These false or scandalous prophets include all who claim to be God's representatives and who are in fact anti-kingdom, either in word or in action. Some of them say they are not anti-kingdom, yet at the same time oppose the work that is being done to advertise the King and the kingdom. Their very attitude of opposition to "present truth" and to the work of the kingdom shows what is in their hearts, and marks such as foolish and perverse and scandalous. They follow their own spirit and have seen nothing. "A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this." (Ps. 92:6) A brutish man is one that is selfish, and carnally minded, and such as they that follow their own spirit and that have no vision of present truth. (Ps. 94: 8) Of them Ezekiel says: "O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts." (13:4) They are cunning, sly, predatory and destructive animals, and attempt to destroy the vines and hinder the delivery of 'the fruits of the kingdom'. (Cant. 2:15) Such is the way of the "man of sin, . . . the son of perdition". — 2 Thess. 2:3-11.
The false prophets and prophetesses and false Christs are all classed together, and include the clergy, male and female, the political and financial predictors, and those who have once received some truth and have become unfaithful to their covenant. All such are
against the kingdom of God and therefore object to anything's being said about the Devil's organization that would tend to expose its wickedness. Not being God's servants, they not only refuse to declare "the day of vengeance of our God", but vigorously object to others' doing so who are God's anointed ones. They assume to speak in the name of the Lord, however; but the Lord has not authorized them thus to speak. "They have seen vanity and lying divination, that say, The Lord saith; and the Lord hath not sent them; and they have made men to hope that the word should be confirmed." — 13: 6, R.V.
These false prophets speak their own mind and conclusions, and claim the Lord for their authority, when the Lord has not authorized them to speak. They have accomplished no real good for the people, nor have they honored the name of the Lord; as Ezekiel said concerning them: "Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord." (13: 5) They have spoken their own wisdom, and not the Word of God, and are therefore the most reprehensible before God and the greatest reason for the trouble that is coming upon Christendom. They have taken their stand against the Lord and against his anointed, and for this reason God will not permit them to stand in the day of Armageddon. — Rev. 12:17; 17:14.
Because these false prophets and false Christs are anti-kingdom, God declares he is against them and that they shall not be in any part of his organization now or hereafter. "Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas
ye say, The Lord saith it; albeit I have not spoken? Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Because ye have spoken vanity, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, saith the Lord God." (13:7,8) They shall not be counted as God's people, but are counted as enemies, which they are; and they shall die in the enemy's country as exiles from God: "And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies; they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord God." — 13:9.
COLLAPSE OF PEACE BULWARKS
The clergy of Christendom and the principal ones of their flocks have been foolish; and the "evil servant", "the man of sin," is in the same class. Their efforts have been to lull the people to sleep and quietness, and they have failed to warn them of the impending disaster. The nations of Christendom have built up the League of Nations, which is the makeshift of the Devil, and falsely claim to represent God's kingdom. They expect this League of Nations to protect them against the day of God's wrath. It may not be said that the "evil servant" class supports the League of Nations; but they do oppose the witnessing of the truth which exposes the League of Nations and all other parts of the Devil's organization, and thereby the "evil servant" becomes the ally of those who have brought forth the makeshift for the kingdom of God, and the Lord classes them all together. All these would lull the people to sleep, and therefore the Lord
speaks to them emphatically through Ezekiel: "Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace, and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and, lo, others daubed it with untempered morter." — 13:10.
In the days of Ezekiel "the wall", mentioned by the prophet, was evidently Zedekiah's league with Egypt against Babylon, made at the expense of breaking his oath with Nebuchadnezzar. (2 Chron. 36:11-14; Ezek. 17:15-20) But that league did not serve to maintain peace nor to protect Israel against God's wrath. (Jer. 36: 31; 37: 5-11) The League of Nations in this day is builded up by Christendom as a wall to protect against war and to establish peace; but that League of Nations, the Devil's makeshift, will not serve as a means of peace for the world as against God's wrath. — Lam. 2:14.
Ezekiel tells of an untempered mortar used to plaster or cement the walls together. Any mortar or cement used to bind the league between Israel and Egypt necessarily would be "untempered", because the Jews had nothing in common with the Egyptians, and there was no love between them. Selfish interests are never a true and enduring binder between peoples. Likewise cement or mortar employed to bind together the nations in the League of Nations because of the selfishness existing in all of them, can never be an enduring binder. Therefore says the Prophet Ezekiel: "Say unto them which daub it with untempered morter, that it shall fall; there shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend it." (13:11) Such is exactly the message which God's messengers are now com-
manded to declare and announce, and which has been and is now being announced concerning the League of Nations. (Isa. 8: 9-12) The commercial and political elements of Christendom have builded up the League of Nations as a wall for their protection, and the clergy endorsed the same and plastered it over with their palaver, claiming that it represents God's arrangement. The clergy declare peace and safety for the people, contrary to the Word of God, as though they were covering the wall with an additional plaster of protection, but which shall fall off shortly.
Jehovah God, through his executive Officer leading his great army, will destroy their wall and all parts of their organization, pictured by the city. A shower of prophetic truth is now dashing against the untempered mortar and washing it away. That shower will then develop into a hailstorm and, as elsewhere prophesied, "every [hail] stone about the weight of a talent," which will fully expose hypocritical Christendom. (Rev. 16:21) Added to the rain and hail-storm comes the wind, the great trouble, and causes the wall of Christendom to completely collapse and fall. "So will I break down the wall that ye have daubed with untempered morter [cemented together with selfishness], and bring it down to the ground [foundation], so that the foundation thereof shall be discovered [laid open, disclosing Satan, revealed as the author of it], and it shall fall, and ye shall be consumed in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I am the Lord." (13:14) This is conclusive proof that the fall of Christendom will be the result of God's righteous indignation expressed against it. It is his battle, and he will fight it to com-
plete victory, and his name shall be vindicated: "Thus will I accomplish my wrath upon the wall, and upon them that have daubed it with untempered morter; and will say unto you, The wall is no more, neither they that daubed it." — 13:15.
The clergy of Christendom insisted on injecting themselves into the League of Nations and making known to the world that they had visions of peace. Therefore says the Lord's prophet: "To wit, the prophets of Israel, which prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and which see visions of peace for her, and there is no peace, saith the Lord God." (13:16) The Federation of Churches of Christendom at the time issued a statement containing these words: "The church can give a spirit of good will, without which no League of Nations can endure." This is tantamount to saying that with the church the League of Nations will endure. Neither the League of Nations nor "organized Christianity" shall endure. Both, being of Satan's organization, shall completely perish.
WOMEN TO THE FORE
It was in 1919 that the Federation of Churches of the United States issued a paper endorsing the League of Nations as the political expression of God's kingdom on earth. In that same year the Congress of the United States enfranchised women, and this act was ratified by such legislators in 1919 and early in 1920. Note that this was after the World War had ended and Satan had been cast out of heaven and had begun to prepare his forces for Armageddon. (Rev. 12:12; 16:13-16) The women of America in particular began to compete with the men as prophets of peace and to
have a part in guiding and dictating the policies and political operations of Christendom. Since then they have wielded a great influence in the church organizations and in the councils of state. God foreknew this, to be sure, and caused his prophet Ezekiel to write concerning them: "Likewise, thou son of man, set thy face against the daughters of thy people, which prophesy out of their own heart; and prophesy thou against them." — 13:17.
The church congregations of Christendom are attended chiefly by women, and women have much to do with the policy thereof. In many of the church organizations women occupy the pulpit and preach and prophesy. The numerous women's clubs have become a part of the political and religious organizations of Christendom. These female prophets make a display of human foresight and prudence. They wield a powerful influence over the men. Politicians and political clergymen among men no longer dare to speak in plain terms of women's proper place in the church or in the home, for fear of losing political influence and support.
The women make monkeys or dupes of men. The men have become effeminate, soft and easily influenced, and have lost their real manhood and sturdiness in the affairs of state and home. For instance, when men are sitting at a table and a woman approaches, all the men arise and pay her homage and thereby elevate her to a place above men. The men remove their hats upon entering an elevator, if a woman is present; and these things are said to be acts of respect and to show that a man is a gentleman. But it is subtle, and the real meaning is much different from
that. It is a scheme of Satan to turn men away from God and from his announced rule of the proper position of man and woman. The Lord has declared that no effeminate man shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. (1 Cor. 6:9) This proves that the scheme or habit of paying homage to women is not of God, but from the great enemy of God. It is a veneer of being a proper thing, and therefore it is more subtle than otherwise.
Every good man loves his wife, his mother and his sisters, and is kind and considerate to all women; but that does not mean that he should put women in a place contrary to the expressed will of God. In the church of God the man represents Christ the Head, while the woman pictures the bride of Christ, that is submissive to the Head. The divine rule is this: "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it." (1 Cor. 11: 3; Eph. 5: 23-25) Satan would reverse this rule and put the women to the front. He begins his reform work by first deceiving and misleading the women, and then appeals to the so-called "gentlemanly" qualities of man to submit to his subtle scheme. The modern practice of putting women to the fore in the affairs of religion and in the councils of state has much to do with destroying the sacredness of the home and with turning men away
from God. Thus Satan has deceived and led the men and women in the wrong way, in order to turn them away from Jehovah God.
Let it always be kept in mind that the policy of Satan is to turn the people away from the Creator, and to accomplish his purposes he uses divers and numerous schemes, many of which on the face of them seem to be entirely right and proper. God commands: "Honour thy father and thy mother." (Ex. 20:12) He did not command, however, that the father should be excluded. The father represents Jehovah, from whom comes every good thing, while the mother represents God's organization, used for his good purposes and to his glory. (Isa. 54: 5; 66: 8; Ps. 50: 20) Satan would turn the people away from this beautiful symbol, and therefore from God, and cause them to disregard the Word of the Lord. This he does in a very subtle way by organizing what in England and in America, the chief countries of Christendom, is called "Mother's Day". This day began to be observed in England, in 1913. That same year the United States Congress, by resolution, made the second Sunday in May of each year a national holiday, "dedicated to the memory of the best mother in the world, your mother." That sounds nice, and on the face of it looks nice; but is it sincere? and what is the real purpose thereof? Do the men of England and America love their mothers better since 1914 than they did before? Certainly not. Is it true that every man's mother is the "best mother in the world"? Everyone knows that is not true.
The so-called "Mother's Day" was observed in America first in 1914, the very year that Satan's
world ended and when he knew his time was short to get ready for the great battle of Armageddon. To induce the people to bestow special honor and worship upon mothers would be one step towards turning the people away from the worship of God; and this is one of his means of preparing for Armageddon. In all the churches today much is made over "Mother's Day", but in not a single one of them are the people ever told that God is the Father, and that the "mother" is his organization, and that all honor and worship is due to Jehovah God. On the contrary, the men of Christendom are taught to pay their honor to creatures, and not to the Creator; and this by the clergymen, whose duty and obligation is to teach the people the truth of God's Word.
On the face of it the arrangement of "Mother's Day" seems harmless and calculated to do good. But the people are in ignorance of Satan's subtle hand in the matter, and that he is back of the movement, to turn the people away from God. The slogan is: "The best mother who ever lived"; the purpose being to establish creature worship, or at least to divert the attention of man from the proper worship of God. There have been many good mothers of men, and many bad ones. Not every man has the best mother that ever lived; and therefore the slogan is false. The woman that dishonors Jehovah God and blasphemes his name is not a good woman, regardless of how many children she may bear; whereas some of her children may be faithful servants of God. The good mother is the one who serves and honors Jehovah and teaches her children to do likewise, and who renders her proper motherly duties in the home. Real men have great
respect and great love for such mothers, but their worship is given to Jehovah God.
Neither the man nor the woman should be worshiped for doing right, because such doing of right is their duty. Creature worship of any kind is wrong and an abomination in the sight of God. — Luke 16:15.
In Christendom men have formed the habit of quoting their mothers as authority for their course of action and of utterly ignoring God's Word. In Christendom the women teach and preach and prophesy in the churches, and predict and prophesy in the affairs of state concerning peace and war. The women are seducing and misleading men, cause them to mix politics and religion, and often compromise their duty toward God in order to comply with the rules of this unrighteous world. Such is "fornication" in the Scriptural meaning of that term. "Notwithstanding, I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols." (Rev. 2:20) Such is contrary to God's rule. "But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence." — 1 Tim. 2:12.
The purpose of here mentioning women is not to ridicule or to speak unkindly of them. There are good women wholly devoted to God and who are rendering good and faithful service unto him. Likewise there are men wholly devoted to God and serving him. But neither the man nor the woman is to be honored and worshiped for such. The husband should love and treat kindly his wife and mother, and the woman should
love and respect her husband, and the mother her children. But if all are devoted to the Lord and follow the Lord's advice, they will dwell together in peace and do good and honor God. When men and women follow the Devil's subtle scheme, they turn away from God; and the farther they go, the more trouble they get into. The purpose of calling attention to these matters here, and to the practices in Christendom, is to show that such is a fulfilment of God's prophecy, and that the people might understand why Christendom is blaspheming Jehovah God and why she has turned wholly to Satan.
Foreknowing these conditions would exist at the end of the world in particular, God directed Ezekiel to prophesy: "And say, Thus saith the Lord God, Woe to the women that sew pillows to all armholes, and make kerchiefs upon the head of every stature, to hunt souls! Will ye hunt the souls of my people, and will ye save the souls alive that come unto you?" (13:18) The "pillows" (oracle cases, according to Rotherham) were cases made of skin in which to keep oracular images or sayings. These were doubtless worn for the purpose of openly showing them off or designating the Women as prophetesses, and thus they made a profession of prophecy out of the pretenses of prophesying. "Will ye ... save souls alive for yourselves?" (R.V.) "Will ye hunt the souls of my people, that ye may keep your own soul alive?" (Leeser) By their prophesying they hunt simpletons or "suckers" who are not guided by the Word of God but by the wiles of the prophetesses. These seek not the welfare of the people, but their own selfish ends. They make prophecy a selfish, paying business, and
do not render their service to God. They have no interest in God's kingdom, and know nothing about it; their interest is in self and a self-organization. It is well known that such are the conditions that exist today in Christendom, particularly in the religious organizations.
These prophetesses teach not the Word of God, but mislead the people and induce them to trust in the wisdom and the political and religious predictions of the preachers, male and female, thereby pointing them to the way of death; and this they do for hire. Concerning such the prophet says: "And will ye pollute me among my people for handfuls of barley, and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls that should not die, and to save the souls alive that should not live, by your lying to my people that hear your lies?" — 13:19.
These prophetesses, because they profess the Word and name of God and tell lies to the people, deserve not to live; yet they keep themselves alive by their wrongful practice and by the blaspheming of God's name. For this reason the prophetess is no better than the male member of the profession who prophesies falsely and concerning whom it is written: "For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace." — Jer. 6:13,14.
Jehovah then directs Ezekiel to pronounce his judgment against these false teachers and to say to them that God is against them and their false prophecies.
He declares that he will destroy their outward pretenses of their professions and will expose their hypocrisy and deliver the people from their influence. (13: 20, 21) The lies told to the people by these false prophets and prophetesses have made sad those who love righteousness: "Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life." (13:22) The clergymen have turned to wickedness, and the principal ones of their flocks and the leaders of Big Business and big politics have followed them in the same wrongful course; and the prophetesses condone the wicked deeds of these men by holding them up before the people as favorites of God, and thus falsely promise life to such wrongdoers. Because they have claimed to represent the Lord God and have not declared his judgments and the day of his vengeance, their blood is required at their hands, and all of them shall go down together, and their wicked practices shall for ever disappear.
The battle of Armageddon is approaching, and it will ruin the business of the false prophets and prophetesses: "Therefore ye shall see no more vanity, nor divine divinations; for I will deliver my people out of your hand; and ye shall know that I am the Lord." (13: 23) When their business is gone they will know then that they have been liars and have not represented God or served him. "Thus saith [Jehovah], thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; that frustrateth the
tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish; that confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers." (Isa. 44: 24-26) The class whom Ezekiel represents, to wit, the "faithful servant" class of the Lord, must now speedily proceed to give testimony to the prophets or predictors, both male and female, of and concerning God's written judgments and the expression of his vengeance upon such.
NOTICE TO THE ELDERS
Attention is here called to the fact that in serving notice upon the elders Ezekiel did not go to them, but that the elders came to him and sat before him, ostensibly for the purpose of being taught, but were, in fact, insincere. Ezekiel, representing the "faithful and wise servant" class, must tell the truth; and hence Jehovah's witnesses must now tell the truth to such inquirers, because, says Ezekiel: "The word of the Lord came unto me." (14:1,2) "Then came certain of the elders of Israel unto me, and sat before me. And the word of the Lord came unto me." The elders pictured those who assume to be leaders or advanced ones amongst God's people and to have the oversight of their welfare. There are many who have served as elders in the ecclesias or classes of God's people, and probably some who are still serving, that are not wholly devoted to God. This prophecy of Ezekiel is doubtless here set forth in this fourteenth chapter to disclose that class of men amongst God's people who are not wholly devoted to him.
"Elders," as the word is here used, means "aged ones", not necessarily those who are very old in years, but those who have thought themselves long in the truth of God and who have been teachers or leaders in the ecclesias and have attempted to teach God's Word. There was a crop of these from 1914 on, and they have been made known or have made themselves known to God's people since that time. These elders are shown as coming to Ezekiel, ostensibly to ascertain the will of God, but, in fact, to bring pressure upon Ezekiel and to induce him to confirm their own selfish views, to compromise his course of action, and to speak compromisingly and to tickle their itching ears. Since 1916 it has been easy to identify this selfish class of elders amongst the people of God.
Ezekiel was advised by the Lord of the selfishness of these men and was told that their hearts were impure. "Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face; should I be inquired of at all by them?" (14: 3) They have not 'set the Lord always before their face', but have set their own heart on some selfish objective. (Ps. 16: 8; Acts 2: 25) Their outward actions before men have been pious and apparently honest; but God knew they were not unselfishly and honestly devoted to him, because 'the Lord looketh upon the heart, and not on the outward appearance'. (1 Sam. 16: 7) When such men approach God's "faithful servant" class, pictured by Ezekiel, the Lord God says: "Should I be inquired of at all by them?" Knowing their dishonest purpose, God is not pleased with their course of action in inquiring of those who are serving him. The Lord is pleased
with those who honestly seek to know his will and his way, but he finds no pleasure in a mere outward form of worship. Jehovah shows his strength in behalf of and his favor toward those who are acting according to a pure and honest motive. (2 Chron. 16:9) Dishonest inquirers who willingly compromise with a part of Satan's organization could receive no real comfort from God's Word nor from those who are faithfully devoted to God.
In 1917 some of the elders, then in the organization of the Lord and among God's people, wanted to commercialize the truth, and to do this they claimed that six men of their organization (who had formed a company to use the truth for commercial purposes) were the six men described in the ninth chapter of Ezekiel's prophecy. They came to the Society, which is a part of God's organization, ostensibly to ascertain the better way of serving God by and through his organization, but in truth and in fact they were serving themselves. They received little or no consolation. (Watch Tower, 1917, page 45) Each and every one of them then became the opponents of God's work in the earth. Since then other elders have come forward with the ostensible purpose of seeking counsel but, in fact, to compromise the work of the Lord for their own good. The course of action, taken by these men claiming to be the six pictured in Ezekiel chapter nine, put a stumblingblock before the face of many and caused many to stumble.
Jehovah has but one way of carrying on his work, and that way is honest and right. To the inquirer who would have a different way from that which Jehovah has provided, Ezekiel (representing God's "faithful
servant" class) was instructed to say: "Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God, Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet, I the Lord will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols." (14:4) Those who become offended and turn to their own way, find themselves separated from the Lord by his angels and placed in the "evil servant" class. He permits the selfish ones to have their own way or course of action, according to their own follies or idols. "That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols." (14: 5) Those who desire to work unlawfully have their desire fulfilled, and they find themselves in opposition to God. — Matt. 13:41; 2 Thess. 2:12.
Fulfilment of this prophecy began approximately in 1917. God instructed Ezekiel to warn the selfish ones to turn away from their selfish course of action and to change their course of action. "Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God, Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations." (14:6) It was the duty of the "faithful servant" class to give such warning. The rebellious and opposing elders, who had separated themselves from the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society in 1917, and had caused trouble in the Society, were officially warned and requested at the annual meeting of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society in 1917 to repent, change their course of action, and return to the positions they had formerly occupied, and to
harmoniously participate in the service of the Lord; but they refused to heed such warning or admonition. (See Watch Tower, 1918, page 24.)
By separating themselves from God's earthly organization those rebellious elders separated themselves from the Lord. God has not asked any man to organize something for him. He does his work in his own way. The opposers set up their own method of service which exalted themselves and other men and honored the creature more than the Creator, and they put a stumblingblock in the way of others. "For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to inquire of him concerning me; I the Lord will answer him by myself." — 14:7.
Jehovah is no respecter of men, but he does act through his organization; and when his organization speaks or acts in harmony with the Word of God, then it acts or speaks in harmony with Jehovah's will, and those who oppose are opposing God. In 1019 Jehovah's visible organization on earth took action and warned the rebellious elders. They refused to hear God's organization, but on the contrary 'set up their own idols in their heart' and pursued a course contrary to God's organization; and concerning all such Jesus, speaking with authority, says, "If he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican." (Matt. 18:17) Those who were once in the organization of the Lord and who put themselves in opposition thereto put themselves outside of his organization and are classed with and are
such as the opposing clergy. "And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and ye shall know that I am the Lord." (14:8) As a warning to his people the Lord says: "Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry." (1 Cor. 10:14) And again: "Little children, keep yourselves from idols." (1 John 5:21) "Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold, and see the reward of the wicked." — Ps. 91:8.
Jehovah caused Ezekiel to write: "And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the Lord have deceived that prophet; and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel." (14:9) This does not mean that Jehovah inspired the prophet to make a deceptive statement to his own deceiving, but it means that Jehovah frustrates the vision and prediction of the dishonest prophet and withholds from such the true understanding of God's inspired Word. God does not permit him to have a true vision, because of his bad condition of heart. Such lose the vision of what they have once had. "And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity; the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him." (14:10) God's judgment therefore precludes all such from being in his organization. (13: 9) Jehovah takes such drastic action against false prophets, whether clergymen, elders or other teachers who mislead the people, for the purpose of demonstrating that he will brook no lies on the part of such, and that he will approve only that which is absolutely true. To establish the
confidence of the people God says: "That the house of Israel may go no more astray from me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be my people, and I may be their God, saith the Lord God." — 14:11.
NOAH, DANIEL, AND JOB
The prophecy then shows that Jehovah first states a hypothetical case to Ezekiel, the purpose being to show what his judgment would be if the facts existed as stated. (14:13-20) In the thirteenth verse the statement is made that grievous trespassing is punished by a shortage of food. With Christendom this means the spiritual food or the understanding of the truth. The Lord withholds the supply of truth from those who have undertaken to feed Christendom spiritually. Such prophecy is in this very day in course of fulfilment. God's true witnesses are flooding Christendom with a message of truth in printed form, and the hearts of the leaders and elders in Christendom are hardened, because to accept the simple truth is too great a burden for them to bear. They do not receive the truth concerning the kingdom, and they put forth their strongest efforts to prevent others from receiving it. For this reason there is 'a famine in the land of hearing the Word of Jehovah'. (Amos 8:11) These false elders and teachers have ears to hear, but they hear not. — Isa. 6: 9.
Then says the Lord: "If I cause noisome beasts to pass through the land, and they [the beasts] spoil it [the land], so that it be desolate, that no man may pass through because of the beasts," none but the righteous would be delivered. (14:15) Jehovah had
Satan cast out of heaven in the battle that began between Satan and Christ in 1914, and since then Satan has been roaring as a lion in the land and marching his beastly organization or armies through the land, and those are spoiling the land. (Rev. 12:7-12) Jehovah did not create the beastly creatures or systems; but when these have begun their depredations, God does not protect Christendom therefrom; and such is the meaning of the hypothetical case.
Therefore says the Lord: 'If I bring a sword upon the land, none of the wicked shall be delivered.' When the battle of Armageddon is due to begin, then Jehovah will send Christ Jesus and his mighty army and will give command for the sword to go through the land. "He will give them that are wicked to the sword." (Jer. 25:31) "If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment, I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me." (Deut. 32: 41) "Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, 0 most Mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty." (Ps. 45:3) Such sword is not "the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God", but it is a means of violent punishment.
Continuing the statement of the hypothetical case the Lord caused Ezekiel to write: "Or if I send a pestilence into that land, and pour out my fury upon it in blood, to cut off from it man and beast," none of the wicked shall escape. (14:19) Such pestilence as is here mentioned cannot be cured by physicians. It reaches all classes and operates quietly and with deadly effect. When God starts to clean out the wicked ones he will complete the work.
Concerning who might escape he says: "Though Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their Own souls by their righteousness." (14:20) To the same effect are verses fourteen and eighteen. The Lord there mentions three faithful prophets, Noah, Daniel and Job. Those three men, by their righteous devotion to Jehovah, maintained their integrity toward God; therefore they pictured the faithful remnant or "servant" class now, who are in the world but not a part of it. This "faithful servant" class is located especially in Christendom. Noah survived the deluge that swept away the first world; Daniel survived the destruction of Jerusalem and lived beyond the seventy years of desolation; and Job survived the Devil's vicious assault upon him, and the Lord fully blessed him. — Job 42:10.
Those three men, therefore, pictured that class of men and women now on the earth at the end of the world and when Christendom will be destroyed, and which faithful ones will maintain their integrity toward God by their uncompromising and unswerving devotion to him, and who are counted righteous because they are in Christ and faithfully following in his footsteps. This is further proof that the faithful class will not be hurt by the great trouble or battle of Armageddon.
This does not mean that only God's anointed ones may be carried through the trouble of Armageddon, because other scriptures show that there will be some flesh spared. It does mean, however, that the anointed and faithful remnant, by proclaiming the truth and
declaring the vengeance of Jehovah God and by singing his praises, will not convert Christendom and save any from destruction, nor can they convert and save their own sons and daughters. Family relationship will of itself be no protection in the time of trouble. Only those who are actually devoted to the Lord, and who prove faithful, are promised certain and complete preservation. The Lord will not be partial in his judgment. It will be only those who seek meekness and seek righteousness that may be hid or spared in the day of God's anger, not because they are children or followers of some of the anointed, but because of obeying this admonition of the Lord. (Zeph. 2:1-3) It is not self-righteousness that will save anyone; but it is the righteousness that takes its stand on the side of Jehovah that will lead to deliverance. Nothing, therefore, that God's righteous witnesses, the anointed remnant, can do will cause God to spare Christendom, her leaders, the unfaithful elders, or the principal of the flock; and this is the conclusion of the hypothetical case stated by the Lord.
Referring again to the hypothetical case stated above in relationship to the pestilence, it is worth while here to consider some facts that are now coming to pass. The message of God's Word of truth, poured out upon the disobedient and rebellious Christendom, and which constitutes the serving of notice upon Christendom, was and is a "pestilence" upon her: "And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image." (Rev. 16: 2) (See Light, Book Two, page 19.) (Rev. 6:8) There
can be no doubt about the fact that the Lord has smitten the clergy and their allies, and the principal of their flocks, with the pestilence of fear, and this fear is leading to self-destructive measures.
The hypothetical case stated proves that if God would not spare those of Israel who were unrighteous, with stronger reasoning he will not spare the hypocritical "organized Christianity", which is the most potent instrument of hypocrisy Satan has ever used. "For thus saith the Lord God, How much more when I send my four sore judgments upon Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the noisome beast, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast?" (14:21) Jehovah executed drastic punishment upon ancient Jerusalem, and now he says "how much more" will he so do to Christendom, which Jerusalem foreshadowed. The Lord would have it definitely understood that at Armageddon he will spare no part of Satan's organization.
The words of the Lord spoken to Ezekiel, however, show that there will be some taken through the time of trouble at Armageddon aside from his anointed "servant" class. The class thus taken through the trouble or spared will be the remnant of what is known now as 'the nations of Christendom'. "Yet, behold, therein shall be left a remnant that shall be brought forth, both sons and daughters; behold, they shall come forth unto you, and ye shall see their way and their doings; and ye shall be comforted concerning the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, even concerning all that I have brought upon it. And they shall comfort you, when ye see their ways and their doings: and ye shall know that I have not done with-
out cause all that I have done in it, saith the Lord God." (14: 22, 23) This has no reference to the remnant of those who are in line for the kingdom.
There are those now in Christendom who hear the message of truth and give heed to it by turning themselves to the Lord and seeking righteousness. The commandment of Revelation 22:17 is now being obeyed by some. The Spirit and the bride say, "Come," and those who hear come, and take their stand on the side of the Lord. Those who thus seek meekness and righteousness will be the ones that may be spared and, being brought through and surviving the trouble, will constitute the remnant of the people who are in the world but not a part of Satan's organization. By preserving such righteous nucleus of earth God shows his hatred of wickedness and his love of righteousness, and proves that he can put men on the earth who will maintain their integrity toward him. "For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright." (Ps. 11:7) Jehovah destroys only in a justifiable cause. These truths are, also, a comfort to the "servant" class, because these will see that the Lord has used them to have some part in the vindication of his great name.
THE VINE TREE
The fifteenth chapter of Ezekiel's prophecy shows that Christendom has committed a great trespass against God, in this, that she has been unfruitful or has brought forth a poisonous fruit. "And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, What is the vine tree more than any tree, or than a branch
which is among the trees of the forest? Shall wood be taken thereof to do any work? or will men take a pin of it to hang any vessel thereon?" (15:1-3) Jehovah chose Jerusalem for himself, and he has taken out of the world a people for himself. True Christianity was planted by Jehovah, with Christ Jesus as the true vine. "Organized Christianity" took the name of Christ but wholly failed to bring forth the fruit of the kingdom. Referring to the "vine" of Christendom Jehovah says: "Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed; how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me?" — Jer. 2:21.
The Lord then propounds some questions concerning the vine tree, among which is this: Can it be put to more earthly use than other trees, or does God expect more of it than of ordinary trees? Correspondingly it is asked, Does God require those who profess to be his people, and who make a covenant to do his will, to try to do the same kind of work as the unconsecrated heathen do or to do something better? The unconsecrated heathen build hospitals and schools, and do special reform work, and carry on works of financial and political reforms, and form various kinds of leagues to accomplish their purposes. Shall not God's covenant people do something more than that, and something different? Can a people claim to be God's people and pursue a course similar to that of the heathen?
Jehovah has separated his people for a different purpose. He planted the vine and brought forth the branches thereof for the very purpose of bearing testimony to the truth of his Word and to the
honor of his name. Christ Jesus is the true vine, and those in Christ are the branches. The office of the branch is to bear fruit, and by its so doing Jehovah is honored and glorified. "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away. ... If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and . . . burned." (John 15:1-8) This statement of Jesus is in exact harmony with Ezekiel's prophecy. "Behold, it is cast into the fire for fuel; the fire devoureth both the ends of it, and the midst of it is burned. Is it meet for any work?" — 15:4.
The Israelites had the opportunity of bringing forth the fruit of the kingdom to the glory of God, but because of their selfishness and unfaithfulness, particularly on the part of the clergy and leaders, they brought forth fruit to themselves. "Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself." (Hos: 10:1) Those of Christendom who made a covenant to do God's will, particularly the clergy and the elders, were given the privilege of bringing forth the fruits of the kingdom, and because of their unfaithfulness and stubbornness they have brought forth their own kind of fruit, or 'fruit unto themselves'. Therefore the words of Jesus apply to all such: "The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." — Matt. 21:43.
The purpose of the "vine tree" is therefore definitely fixed. The fruits of the kingdom are God's life-giving and life-sustaining truths of and concerning his kingdom, and such shall vindicate his word and his name. Looking to the fulfilment of the prophecy at the coming of the Lord to the temple of God, what is
found there? Christendom has wholly failed to bear the fruits of the kingdom, but, on the contrary, has become a "strange vine" that bears fruit of Satan's organization. "Behold, when it was whole, it was meet for no work; how much less shall it be meet yet for any work, when the fire hath devoured it, and it is burned?" (15:5) When the end of the world came and Jesus Christ appeared, Christendom, instead of receiving him and bowing to his authority and rule, went into the World War and got burned at both ends. That vine of Christendom was fit for no good work to God's glory before the war, and after the war it is wholly unprofitable.
Jehovah declares his purpose now to destroy Christendom, and directs the "faithful servant" class, foreshadowed by Ezekiel, to announce that fact. "Therefore thus saith the Lord God, As the vine tree among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel, so will I give the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And I will set my face against them; they shall go out from one fire, and another fire shall devour them; and ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I set my face against them." (15: 6, 7) The "vine tree", Christendom, by readily joining with Satan's organization in the World War, thereby became scorched, or burned, and it is withered, and the fire of Armageddon will completely annihilate it. "And I will make the land desolate, because they have committed a trespass, saith the Lord God." (15: 8) "For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant; and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry. Woe unto them that
join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth! In mine ears said the Lord of hosts, Of a truth, many houses shall be desolate, even great and fair, without inhabitant. And the mean man shall be brought down, and the mighty man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled. But the Lord of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness." (Isa. 5:7-9,15,16) This shall be a vindication of God's name.
Jehovah directed his prophet Ezekiel to cause notice to be served upon Jerusalem concerning her abominations. This foreshadowed the "faithful servant" class causing Christendom to know her abominations. In the sixteenth chapter of Ezekiel's prophecy are shown the gross sins of self-righteousness. The self-righteous are shown as falling away from the Lord and despising others as sinners and heathen, beyond the mercy of God; and God's announced purpose of restoring such despised ones to his favor is shown. Jehovah commands Ezekiel to trace the history of Jerusalem from the beginning, manifestly in order that "sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful". (Rom. 7:13) The sins of Jerusalem are spread out before her: "Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations, and say, Thus saith the Lord God unto Jerusalem, Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite." (16: 2, 3) The prophecy applies with stronger force to Christendom.
Canaan was the cursed one of Noah's grandsons. (Gen. 9: 25) The name of the land of Canaan means "humiliated" and represents the condition of the accursed, humiliated race from which the Lord selects his people. That condition shows his people as being "by nature the children of wrath, even as others". (Eph. 2:3) Jerusalem was originally a Canaanite city called "Jebusi, which is Jerusalem". (Josh. 18:28) "As for the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day." (Josh. 15: 63) This scripture had application until David later took the city. (2 Sam. 5: 6-9) Both the Amorites and the Hittites were descendants of Canaan, and therefore were Canaanites. "And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Heth, and the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite." (Gen. 10:15,16) The Hittites were descendants of Heth, who was a Canaanite. It was a Hittite from whom Abraham bought the cave of Machpelah, which is at Hebron, thus showing that the Hittites were in possession. (Gen. 23: 3-20) Amorite means "mountaineer, dweller in the heights". "Yet destroyed I the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit from above, and his roots from beneath." (Amos 2:9) Hittite means "terrible, dread".
Therefore says Ezekiel to Jerusalem: "Thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite," both from Canaan, and all heathenish; and for this reason the people and their dwelling place was under the curse upon Canaan, polluted and filthy in the sight
of Jehovah. Such was the condition of the city when Jehovah chose the site of Jerusalem as the location of his typical organization. Therefore Ezekiel describes the place as a newly born and abandoned baby girl, in these words: "And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born, thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all: None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the loathing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born." — 16:4, 5.
The prophet then, in substance, says that Jehovah passed by and beheld this place as a newly born baby girl, polluted and unwashed, and he chose it and cleaned it up. "And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee, when thou wast in thy blood, Live. I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast increased and waxen great, and thou art come to excellent ornaments; thy breasts are fashioned, and thine hair is grown, whereas thou wast naked and bare." — 16:6,7.
Jehovah had his eye on the site (the place for his typical organization) where he would place his name. "But the land, whither ye go to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven; a land which the Lord thy God careth for; the eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year." (Deut. 11:11,12) As God's eyes ran to and fro through Canaan, searching it out, he saw
the Jebusites occupying the place where he would establish Jerusalem, which land the Jebusites had defiled and filled with corrupt doings. (Lev. 18:3,25) Joshua burned Ai and made it a heap of ashes, even a desolation, and he did the same thing to Jericho. (Josh. 6: 24, 26) Jehovah, however, did not command David, when he took the city, to raze the walls and buildings of Jebusi or Jerusalem and make it a desolate heap. He allowed it to stand, only having the occupancy or controllership of the city changed. Out of his gracious goodness the original heathen city was permitted to grow up from babyhood to maturity and become the holy city, "whereas thou wast naked and bare." God put his name there and laid the obligation upon the peoples of Israel to keep his name unsullied.
TRANSLATED INTO THE KINGDOM
Strict justice could only consign the place to destruction, but the mercy and loving-kindness of God exercised for and in her behalf permitted the city to stand. "Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness; yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord God, and thou becamest mine." (16:8) It was a time to exercise love and mercy over it, and the Lord did so, and it became the Lord's. He covered its unsightliness by taking it from beneath the control of the first "covering cherub", now the Devil, and placing it under the rulership of David his beloved King, that his own name might be there. "But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David
to be over my people Israel." (2 Chron. 6:6) "I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant. My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David." (Ps. 89:3,28,34,35) This place was translated from the polluted Canaanites and delivered from the power of darkness into the kingdom of one with whom the everlasting covenant was made: "But chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which he loved." (Ps. 78:68) "For the Lord hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation." — Ps. 132:13.
When Jehovah put David his king at Jerusalem he cleansed the city of its pollutions by the washing of the water of his Word, and by his kingly administration. "Then washed I thee with water; yea, I throughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil." (16:9) The anointing here mentioned is not the word denoting official designation, but rather the anointing of the girl baby, cleansed and refreshed and made sweet. It symbolizes that God planted the city and put his name there, and that the royal city of his anointed was there. It was made "the city of the great King". — Ps. 48: 2; Matt. 5:35.
Jehovah made Jerusalem to be "beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth". (Ps. 48: 2) This is figuratively described by Ezekiel in these words: "I clothed thee, . . . and shod thee, . . . and I girded thee, . . . and I covered thee. ... I decked thee . . . and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on
thy neck. And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head. Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen: . . . thou didst eat, . . . and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom." (16:10-13) The psalmist says of Jerusalem that it was "the perfection of beauty". (Ps. 50:2) Jehovah God blessed and enriched the city by his kings, David and Solomon; he made it to prosper into the grandest kingdom the world has thus far ever had. What contributed chiefly to its beauty was that it had the ark of God's testament placed there on Mount Zion, and that later God caused Solomon to build the glorious temple within the city and on Mount Moriah.
The fame of Jerusalem spread throughout the earth. Even the queen of Sheba, hearing of the fame of Jerusalem and its king, came from the uttermost parts of the earth, and, beholding its glory, exclaimed: "The half was not told me." In harmony with this Ezekiel prophesied: "And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord God." (16:14) God made the city famous: "And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart." (1 Ki. 10: 24) "And the Lord magnified Solomon exceedingly in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed upon him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel." (1 Chron. 29:25) The great name of Jehovah made it famous. At the dedication of the temple Solomon's prayer was in fact a prophecy when he said: "Moreover, concerning a stranger
that is not of thy people Israel, but cometh out of a far country for thy name's sake: (for they shall hear of thy great name, and of thy strong hand, and of thy stretched out arm;) when he shall come and pray toward this house." (1 Ki. 8:41,42) It was God's city, symbolical of his organization on earth. Out of this glorious city and its people, the Israelites, so wonderfully favored of the Lord, only a small remnant remained true and faithful unto God. — Isa. 1: 9.
Let it now be noted how God has duplicated all of this in the spiritual manner towards true Christianity. He sent his beloved Son, whom David foreshadowed and who with his own blood purchased the right of men to live. It was Christ Jesus, God's anointed King, that brought life to light. With Christ Jesus and his faithful apostles God laid the foundation of the glorious new organization, and at Pentecost the way was opened for others to enter and the selection of the members of the kingdom began.
All these were originally "dead in trespasses and sins", all "children of wrath [and polluted], even as others", a people "which had not obtained mercy", symbolized by the accursed Canaanites. Upon the intercession and mediation of Christ Jesus those who came seeking the way to life God justified, and brought them into the covenant by sacrifice, and made them his children by begetting and adoption; and he cleaned them up 'by the washing of the water of his Word'. (Eph. 5: 26; Titus 3: 5) Then he called such into his kingdom and clothed them with the insignia of service in his organization. He fed them upon "food convenient" for them, beautified their hands and feet, and made them "stewards of the mysteries of God"
and "ambassadors for Christ"; and he anointed them and brought them into the covenant for the kingdom. Thus Jehovah did for those who were faithfully devoted to him; and thus he shows forth the rule that must govern all who start to follow in the footsteps of Christ, and who shall thereafter be approved by Jehovah.
True Christianity is the only pure and true faith that ever existed. In the early years of its existence amongst men the apostle wrote to the faithful: "For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing." (1 Thess. 1:8) The fame of the little band of faithful Christians was spread throughout the land: "Your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world." (Rom. 1: 8) God's purpose is that his chosen people shall be witnesses to all creation: "The gospel which ye heard, which was preached in all creation under heaven." (Col. 1:23, R.V.) "For we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men." (1 Cor. 4:9) Heathen religions were and are of the Devil, and an abomination in the sight of God, but the true and faithful followers of Christ Jesus are a sweet savor unto him: "For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish; to the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?" — 2 Cor. 2:15,16.
Jesus instructed his apostles to let their light shine, and says to his faithful followers: "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without re-
buke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life." (Phil. 2:15,16) "Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles; that, whereas they speak against you as evil doers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation." (1 Pet. 2:12) Such are "a peculiar people", chosen for Jehovah's name's sake. (1 Pet. 2:9; Acts 15:14) That which makes the earthly members of God's organization beautiful and a spectacle for men and angels is the 'Word of life and truth held forth' by them. The laying of the foundation of true Christianity marks the beginning of the greatest favor that ever came to creatures.
HARLOTRY OF "ORGANIZED RELIGION"
But what is the net result at the end of the Christian era? Out of the millions who have been favored with some knowledge of God's truth, and who have been brought into the covenant by sacrifice, there today remains but a small remnant that is true and faithful to Jehovah God and to his Christ. All that came to pass upon the Israelites foreshadowed what has come to pass and is to come to pass upon Christendom. One is a parallel of the other. The reason for the falling away of the Israelites, and the reason that there has been a great falling away of "organized Christianity", and the reason for the destructive calamity that is about to come upon her, God caused Ezekiel to foretell and state in these words: "But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown, and
pouredst out thy fornications on every one that passed by; his it was." — 16:15.
The physical facts completely prove the fulfilment of this prophecy. The clergy and the elders and the principal of the flock, because of pride, have exalted themselves and boasted of their own glory, and have neglected to look to and honor God from whom all things good proceed. When mention is made of the clergy, no individual is singled out, but reference is made to those who assume to be preachers in the church and who glorify themselves and not the Lord. As to those who seek the favor of men, and who give honor and glory to men, such are mentioned as a class. Pride and extreme ingratitude mark all such. All of God's favors bestowed upon Christendom are ignored and forgotten. "And in all thine abominations and thy whoredoms thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, when thou wast naked and bare, and wast polluted in thy blood." (16: 22) Thus it was with natural Israel, and so it is and has been with "organized Christianity".
Paul, addressing the boasters and comparing them with the faithful, wrote: "For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised." (1 Cor. 4: 7,10) What is said about the clergy applies to all men in the church, whether elders or not, who take a similar or like course, who cause strife and division, and who prostitute the truth and gain popularity with the world.
Of and concerning such it is written: "From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain; ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts, Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world, is the enemy of God. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded." (Jas. 4:1-4, 8) The clergy of Christendom have prostituted and commercialized the Word of God in order that they might satisfy their own selfish desires. They have prostituted "Christianity" with the political powers in order to gain popularity and favor amongst men.
That which marks true Christians as the people of God is symbolized by their "garments". Claiming to be the followers of Christ, "organized Christianity" have used their garments, or means of identification, to adorn the polluted places of Satan's organization, and this they have done in order to draw to them the support of worldly organizations. "And of thy garments thou didst take, and deckedst thy high places with divers colours, and playedst the harlot thereupon; the like things shall not come, neither shall it be so." (16:16) The 'fair jewels of gold and silver', picturing the truth which God gave to the followers of Christ, have been polluted and employed in the worship of images of men, and used as a. means to commit spiritual fornication with Satan's organiza-
tion. "Thou hast also taken thy fair jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given thee, and madest to thyself images of men, and didst commit whoredom with them." (16:17) The clergy and the unfaithful elders have perverted the service of the Lord by substituting their own ceremonies, or ostentation of "character development", or the worship of men as leaders in the church by setting up church images to be worshiped, thereby intending to draw others after them; and thus they have committed whoredom, in the language of the scripture. The food which the Lord has graciously provided for spiritual Israel, to wit, his Word, and the refreshing "oil" and "incense", symbolizing their refreshment and sweet savor that comes from the proper use thereof, have been polluted by being mixed with devilish doctrines and satanic worship. — 16:18,19.
Jehovah is the husband man, and Jerusalem stands for his woman. She was "married" to Jehovah and brought forth offspring unto him. "Moreover, thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou hast born unto me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them to be devoured. Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter?" (16:20,21) The unfaithful ones in "organized Christianity" have formed a perverted organization and used it to turn members of the true church away from the Lord God, and to sacrifice them to the destructive influence of an organized system mislabeled "Christian" and to Satan the god of this world. All the clergy, the leaders or elders who turn men away from God's organization, come within the class here denounced by Jehovah. Pride, selfishness and ingratitude to God are the inducing cause of their
falling. "And in all thine abominations and thy whoredoms thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, when thou wast naked and bare, and wast polluted in thy blood. " — 16: 22.
The pollutions of "organized Christianity", or Christendom, and the reproach that is brought upon God's name, are too terrible to find adequate description in human phrase, hence the prophet says of her: "And it came to pass, after all thy wickedness, (woe, woe unto thee! saith the Lord God)." (16:23) The clergy, leaders, elders and principal ones of the flock in Christendom have taken in every worldly movement, political and otherwise, and then labeled such with the name of Christ and God. These chief ones in "organized Christianity" have opened their arms to all manner of heathen religions and customs and practices in their buildings called "churches", in order to satisfy their selfish desires to have popularity, power and influence. "Organized Christianity" has erected her places of worship at the most prominent points in the roadway, hung out her sign, and sat in the doorway to induce passers-by to enter, and thus has made her original body to be abhorred by honest people of good will and made herself an abomination in the sight of God. "That thou hast also built unto thee an eminent place [margin, brothel house], and hast made thee an high place in every street. Thou hast built thy high place at every head of the way, and hast made thy beauty to be abhorred, and hast opened thy feet to every one that passed by, and multiplied thy whoredoms." (16:24,25) The leaders in "organized Christianity" have denounced immoral practices amongst men of the world, from the stand-
point of the flesh, because such is an abhorrent thing before decent people, and the Lord chooses this abhorrent thing to illustrate the wicked course that "organized Christianity" has taken. It is bad enough for fallen men and women to indulge in immoral practices, but the Lord denounces it as far worse for professed Christian people to indulge in illicit practices with the Devil's organization.
Egypt is a symbol of the world, and pictures the commercial and military part of Satan's organization; while Assyria pictures particularly the political elements of Satan's organization, and Chaldea stands for the Devil's religion in all of his organization. (See Prophecy, Chapter VI.) Verses twenty-six to twenty-nine of this sixteenth chapter of Ezekiel's prophecy say to the Jews, and with stronger force to "organized Christianity": "Thou hast also committed fornication with the Egyptians thy neighbours. . . . Thou hast played the [harlot] also with the Assyrians, . . . Thou hast, moreover, multiplied thy fornication in the land of Canaan unto Chaldea [Babylon], and yet thou wast not satisfied." The clergy and leaders and elders representatively stand for all of "organized Christianity", and have made friendship, entered into relationship, with the commercial powers and with the politicians of the world that they might gain popularity and influence; and "organized Christianity" has thus opened her arms and received into illicit friendship and agreement all men of the heathen or Devil religions. Today "organized Christianity" or Christendom boasts that all religions are walking together hand in hand and without controversy. This is done under the pretense and
false claim that it is establishing peace amongst men, but, in truth and in fact, it is prostituting the Word of God and the true worship of the Most High.
"As a wife that committeth adultery, which taketh strangers instead of her husband!" (16:32) "Organized religion," mislabeled "Christianity", in the land called "Christendom", gives rewards and prizes to entice and induce others of the world to come and join her organization and commune with her, she at the same time receiving no spiritual gain whatsoever therefrom. Heathen forms are adopted and practiced the buildings called "Christian churches", in order to gain popularity and to satisfy the selfish desires of the leaders thereof. This detestable practice in the church organizations called "Christian" the Lord describes in this language: "They give gifts to all whores; but thou givest thy gifts to all thy lovers, and hirest them, that they may come unto thee on every side for thy whoredom. And the contrary is in thee from other women in thy whoredoms, whereas none followeth thee to commit whoredoms; and in that thou givest a reward, and no reward is given unto thee; therefore thou art contrary." (16:33,34) Instead of letting God do the calling, and instead of telling the people God's truth in order that they might with intelligence respond to his call, the unfaithful religious leaders have chased after the class of people that they wanted, with all manner of enticements to make of them proselytes. Thus not only have they compromised themselves thereby, but they have paid for the opportunity to do it. Thus the Lord compares "organized Christianity" with a harlot that pays all manner of
men to satisfy her beastly desires. Surely a worse description could not be imagined.
Jehovah commanded Ezekiel to call to the attention of Jerusalem her abominable deeds and then to tell her of God's judgment. The "faithful servant" class must perform this same work toward Christendom. "Wherefore, 0 harlot, hear the word of the Lord." (16: 35) Jehovah then directs his prophet to say that because of her filthiness and whoredoms he would gather all those with whom she had taken pleasure, and the ones that she has hated, and he would expose her wickedness before all such. "Behold, therefore, I will gather all thy lovers, with whom thou hast taken pleasure, and all them that thou hast loved, with all them that thou hast hated; I will even gather them round about against thee, and will discover thy nakedness unto them, that they may see all thy nakedness. And I will also give thee into their hand, and they shall throw down thine eminent place, and shall break down thy high places; they shall strip thee also of thy clothes, and shall take thy fair jewels, and leave thee naked and bare. ... I also will recompense thy way upon thine head, saith the Lord God." — 16:37,39,43.
It seems clearly therefore to be the will of God that Christendom must be informed of her wickedness and reminded of God's judgment written against her; and who shall do that work of serving notice except those whom God has called his witnesses in his name? It is the "faithful servant" class that is commissioned to declare the day of the vengeance of our God. As Egypt and Assyria and other nations round about turned against Jerusalem, even so in modern times the other
ruling powers will destroy the hypocritical religionists. "And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled." (Rev. 17:16,17) (See Light, Book Two, page 108.) — Ezek. 23:22-26.
The infidel, the agnostic, the atheist and the sarcastic put "Christianity" and all heathen religions in the same class, and therefore use the proverb: "As is the mother, so is her daughter." In other words, 'the mother was a harlot and the daughter is likewise. They are all bad, and all from the Devil.' These do not discern the difference between "organized Christianity", with its devilish practices, and the true teachings of Christ Jesus and his apostles. The infidel and the atheist and those in that class observe that "organized Christianity" is even worse than the acknowledged heathen religions, because in Christendom there is a greater degree of intelligence. Therefore they put true Christianity in a class with heathenism and "organized Christianity" so called, and make war against the true as well as against the false. "Behold, every one that useth proverbs shall use this proverb against thee, saying, As is the mother, so is her daughter." (16:43,44) This is again a challenge to God and a claim that he cannot bring out from fallen human creatures any that will remain faithful and steadfast to God and to Christ; and this is proof that the challenge is from the Devil.
Jehovah's prophet Ezekiel then compares the
abominations of Samaria and Sodom to those of Jerusalem. "And thine elder sister is Samaria, she and her daughters that dwell at thy left hand; and thy younger sister, that dwelleth at thy right hand, is Sodom and her daughters." (16:46) Judah was the fourth son, and Benjamin the twelfth son, of Jacob; hence the tribes of both Judah and Benjamin had elder brothers. Jerusalem, which was partly in Judah and partly in Benjamin, had an "elder sister" in Samaria, the capital city of the ten tribes of Israel. Samaria means "watch". Looking east from Jerusalem, on the left hand thereof was the site of Samaria; while Sodom is on the right hand of Jerusalem, when facing to the east. Sodom was the "younger sister" city in that it was less than Jerusalem; the name Sodom is understood to mean a "place of lime, or burning, or arable field".
Samaria and Sodom were bad, but Jerusalem is declared as being much worse. Likewise, heathen religions are devilish and exceedingly bad and reproach God, but "organized Christianity", under the influence and control of the Devil, is far worse and brings greater reproach upon the name of God; therefore the comparison. "Yet hast thou not walked after their ways, nor done after their abominations; but, as if that were a very little thing, thou wast corrupted more than they in all thy ways." (16: 47) The wickedness of Samaria had been committed in the presence of Jerusalem; and Jerusalem, claiming to be more righteous than others, was more abominable in the sight of God. This shows that observation of wickedness and of the outcome thereof is no sure deterrent against indulging in wrongdoing.
SODOM VS. CHRISTENDOM
It must have been a shock and jolt to self-righteous Jerusalem, and particularly her pious-faced clergy elders and leaders, to have the notorious Sodom called her sister, and then to be told that she, Jerusalem, was worse than Sodom. God had put his name in Jerusalem and provided its people with his law defining sin; and by comparison he shows that 'by reason of the law sin became exceedingly sinful'. As it is written: "I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet." By giving the law to Jerusalem God made known the exceeding sinfulness of sin, but Jerusalem went ahead in its wickedness nevertheless. (Rom. 7:7-14) Not by observation of sin, but by knowing the law of God and doing it, the creature learns the necessary lessons. Jerusalem and Christendom have failed to learn, and concerning them Jehovah said: "As I live, saith the Lord God, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters. Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy." (16:48,49; Jer. 3: 6, 8,10,14) Sodom represented the nations of the earth which are called "heathen", while Jerusalem represented what is called "Christendom". Immorality, debauchery, pride and idleness that prevailed in Sodom well apply to all the heathen nations. Sodom was a part of Satan's organization, entirely under his control, and knew not Jehovah God.
The same is true of all heathen nations of today. The peoples of Sodom were exceedingly bad; but they did not know better, because they had not been instructed. The Jews, being God's covenant people to whom were given the law and the prophets, knew better, and therefore their abominations were far worse than those of the Sodomites. This is made clear by the words of Jesus: "And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell; for if the mighty works which have been done in thee had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee." (Matt. 11:23,24) Jehovah was justified in destroying the Sodomites because of their devilish practices. The rulers in Sodom were proud, well fed, idle, and made no proper provision for the poor. "And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good." — 16:50.
By the same rule of comparison Christendom today is far worse and more reprehensible than the Jews, the Sodomites or the heathen. The rulers in Christendom are proud, haughty, austere and harsh. Among those who rule are the idle rich, who live riotously. The food which they use, and the things that are employed for their pleasure, they have never bestowed upon such one ounce of their labor They live upon the fruits of the labor of others. The ultrarich own and control the nations of Christendom. They support the clergy of the church organizations, who in turn attempt to absolve the rulers or ruling rich from all future responsibility. They pay
well for it, of course, but get nothing, in fact. The United States is a striking example. It is the leading and most powerful and richest nation in all Christendom. Its natural resources are fabulous, and the riches possessed by the few men who control it far exceed the riches of Solomon in the heyday of his glory. Those who possess the riches of the nation made it not by honest laborious efforts on their part, but they have acquired it by smart and cunning manipulation and by defrauding the people. The common people have bestowed their labor upon the materials which God provided for man, in order that wealth might be produced, and the few selfish ones now possess the results of their labor.
At the present time there is great distress in the land. There are millions of idle people, not seeking charity, but crying for an opportunity to work that they might 'eat their own bread in the sweat of their face'. The ultrarich and selfish control the public press and the riding powers of the land. In answer to the cries of the poor these say: 'There is now an overproduction; there is too much foodstuff and too much material for clothing, and you must not work until the present supply is used up.' The rich live in ease and with fullness of bread and in abundance of idleness, while the idle poor sicken and die for want of food. When some in the councils of the nation, feeling duty-bound to aid the suffering, attempted to appropriate funds to feed the starving poor, Big Business said, "No." The commercial power, in fact, dominates and controls the political rulers, and the latter bow assent to the order from Big Business, and the clergy say, 'This is a Christian nation; and what it decides
the people must agree to, because such is correct, for the reason that it is a government by divine right.'
There are some men in political offices that are of tender heart and have compassion upon the poor and an honest desire to help them. When millions of people in the United States were actually starving, an attempt was made by such men in the Congress of the United States to appropriate money to feed the poor and starving; but the whip from the executive was brought to bear upon the political pullers of the chariot, and the measure was voted down. Then a makeshift was brought forth and enacted into a law which really adds insult to injury. A large appropriation of money was voted and made available as a loan to feed the poor and starving PROVIDED the poor and starving furnish the required security for the loan. If men are so poor that they and their children are actually starving, then manifestly they are too poor to furnish security for the loan of money with which to buy food. Briefly, the law means that, if those in need can furnish security for a loan of money, they may eat and live; but if not, then they must starve and die.
A United States senator, in giving his reason for refusing to support the above-mentioned measure, said: "I cannot vote for a proposition which embodies, as a matter of policy, the theory that only those who have security are entitled to live. The Congress of the United States on March 4 purports to turn its back on the sick and the dying without giving them any relief whatever." Another senator denounced as infamous the policy of the United States to furnish aid only to those who can give security. A loan, as
a rule, implies that interest must be paid. The United States, by claiming that it is a Christian nation, makes all of its citizens brothers, and the preachers boldly claim such brotherhood. By its own claim the law of God is binding upon the United States, to wit: "Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother." (Deut. 23:19) The farmers and laborers of the land produced the wealth, and Big Business acquired it by manipulation, and also controls the political policy; and by what law or reason or justice should the starving men who produced the wealth be required to give security for a loan to get something to eat?
It is the laborers in the fields that are today crying in vain for bread. Big Business and big politicians turn a deaf ear to the cries of distress, but the Lord hears the cries of the oppressed. He now serves notice upon the oppressors in these words: "Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth; and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you." (Jas. 5:4-6) The poor is pushed aside, and resists not because he cannot; but the God of justice will fight his battle for him. The prophecy of Ezekiel, supported by other scriptures of the Bible, shows that the punishment that God will inflict upon Christendom, and particularly upon such nations as the United States, will be far greater than that which befell Sodom and which later came upon Jerusalem. Notice of these truths set forth in God's Word must now be
served upon the rulers and the people of the United States by those whom God has anointed to do this work.
CATHOLICISM VS. PROTESTANTISM
The wicked king Omri purchased the site and built Samaria, and that city was the capital of the ten tribes of Israel. The Devil religion was established there, and Samaria became notorious for its idolatry. (1 Ki. 16: 32, 33; Hos. 7:1-8) But the sins of Jerusalem were far worse than those of Samaria, as the Lord declared. "Neither hath Samaria committed half of thy sins; but thou hast multiplied thine abominations more than they, and hast justified thy sisters in all thine abominations which thou hast done." (16:51) Because of the greater enormity of Jerusalem's sins, greater was her punishment; and thus the Lord establishes his fixed rule which applies to all.
As there were two general divisions of the Israelites, even so there are two general divisions of Christendom, to wit, Catholic and Protestant. Samaria representatively pictured Catholicism, while Jerusalem more specifically applies to Protestantism, or the Protestant part of Christendom. Today 'the two-horned beast', the British-American imperial world power (Rev. 13:11-14), is the great bulwark of Protestantism. It is also the seventh world power, pictured by the seventh head of the beast that came up out of the sea. (Rev. 13:1-3) The preceding world powers, except Rome, were heathen, like Sodom. Rome in its later days embraced the Catholic faith.
Rome is now a part of Christendom, and the major portion of the people in the confines of Christendom are Catholic. England and America, being the strong-
hold of Protestantism, or the Protestant branch of Christendom, are therefore more reprehensible before God, and subject to greater punishment, because of the greater opportunity to know God and learn of his kingdom. The modernist clergymen thereof have turned to idol worship; they deny that God created man perfect, that he fell by reason of sin, and that redemption is provided by the blood of Jesus Christ; and deny the kingdom of God as the means provided for the uplift and blessing of the people and for the vindication of Jehovah's name. Like the powers of Samaria, Catholicism is an abomination in the sight of God. Even the Protestant wing of Christendom has harshly judged the Catholic wing, and yet the Protestants are even more abominable in the sight of the Lord than the Catholics; and this is proven by the words of the Lord which he caused to be written by Ezekiel: "Thou also, which hast judged thy sisters, bear thine own shame for thy sins that thou hast committed more abominable than they: they are more righteous than thou; yea, be thou confounded also, and bear thy shame, in that thou hast justified thy sisters." — 16:52.
The deeper lesson here shown is this: that in proportion to light, or opportunity of gaining light, so great is the responsibility; and that those who live under more favorable conditions and are favored with more light upon God's Word, and who then become lawless, are more reprehensible before God and subject to the greater punishment. According to this rule, therefore, the Catholic branch of Christendom is an abomination in the sight of God, and the Protestant branch of Christendom is more abominable because of
its greater light and opportunity. According to the same rule, those in these latter days, whether Catholic or Protestant, who have received a knowledge of the truth and embraced it and learned of God's kingdom, and who have then become lawless, are even more reprehensible.
RETURN TO FORMER STATE
Samaria, Sodom and Jerusalem were the captives of the Devil's organization, and all went down into death as such captives. God will destroy Satan's organization and will bring the people of those nations, with a few exceptions, back from that captivity. "When I shall bring again their captivity, the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, then will I bring again the captivity of thy captives in the midst of them." (16: 53) Death is the penalty inflicted for the violation of God's law; and therefore death cannot be said to hold anyone in captivity. (Rom. 6:23) Neither Jews nor any others are God's captives by reason of death. "The whole world in the wicked one [Satan] is lying." (1 John 5:19, Roth.) All the human race, therefore, has fallen captive to Satan and his organization; and only those who have devoted themselves wholly to the Lord Jehovah have escaped, and in order to receive Jehovah's continued favor they must ever afterwards maintain their integrity toward Jehovah. "The Lord turned the captivity of Job," whom Satan, had specifically afflicted. (Job 42:10) These scriptures show that the captivity means, not death, but captivity to Satan and his organization. Through his prophet the Lord says: "But it shall come to pass in the latter
days, that I will bring again the captivity of Elam." (Jer. 49:39) The religious systems falsely called "Christian" are like "silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts" into captivity to Satan and his organization. (2 Tim. 3:6) Such are "taken captive by [Satan the Devil] at his will". — 2 Tim, 2:26.
The ten tribes at Samaria went into captivity to Assyria, but this was merely the visible evidence that, having forsaken the Lord's typical organization, they had gone into captivity to Satan's organization morally and religiously, and then actually became the captives of Assyria. Nor do the words of the Lord by the Prophet Ezekiel, which say, "I shall bring again their captivity," have reference to the return of the Israelites from Babylon by the order of Cyrus, because Sodom was not returned at that time. The return of all must take place at the same time, according to the Scriptures. Today all the Sodomites are the dead captives of Satan. Likewise the unfaithful Israelites are the dead captives of Satan. All these captives must be brought back or returned "in the latter days". (Jer. 49:39) This can take place after Satan's organization is destroyed and Satan is dead. (See further explanation in Light, Book Two, page 189.)
The bringing of the captives back will open their minds to the truth: "That thou mayest bear thine own shame, and mayest be confounded in all that thou hast done, in that thou art a comfort unto them." (16:54) Israel will then bear her shame, not shame before Sodom by measuring and comparing themselves with themselves, because such is not right, and
God will not permit it. (2 Cor. 10:12) They bear their shame before the Lord, the great Judge, due to the light which exposes and correctly measures the depths of all sin and wickedness and reproves it. "But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light; for whatsoever doth make manifest is light." (Eph. 5:13) "In the day [of light] when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ." (Rom. 2:16) "[He] will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts." (1 Cor. 4:5) The Israelites will be ashamed of their wickedness before the Lord, and those of Christendom will also bear their shame. The shame of both Israel and Christendom will be greater than that of Sodom and Samaria.
Nor does God's Word necessarily mean that the Jews will be brought back to the land of Palestine. The prophet says: "When thy sisters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate, then thou and thy daughters shall return to your former estate." (16: 55) The word "estate" does not appear in the Hebrew. Leeser renders the text: "Shall return to their former state [condition]." Satan dragged them down into destruction and brought them into captivity, and the returning of them from captivity will mean their return unto a condition of conscious existence, freed from Satan's organization, which will then have been destroyed. It would matter not whether they were brought back to Palestine or the United States. The Jews did much worse than the people of Sodom, and Christendom has done much worse than the Jews; and yet the peo-
ple of Catholic and Protestant faiths will be brought out of the graves, together with those of all other faiths, and all will be given a knowledge of the truth for the purpose of judgment. This is all due to the fact that Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man and that it is the will of God that all shall be brought to a knowledge of the truth. — Heb. 2:9; 1 Tim. 2:3-6.
The Scriptural testimony abundantly supports the conclusion that the purpose of returning them from captivity is for judgment. (John 5:29; 2 Tim 4:1) In that judgment the Jews will have a harder time than the people of Sodom and the people of Christendom will have a harder time than either the Jews or the Sodomites. This is proven by the words of Jesus: "But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell; for if the mighty works which have been done in thee had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee." (Matt. 11:22-24) In the resurrection those of Christendom who have died as captives to Satan's organization will find, when awakened from death, that Satan's organization is gone, and there will be no more opportunity for spiritual fornication therewith. (16: 58, 59) In the full light of the truth they will be ashamed, except those who have been wilfully wicked and who will not live again until the end of the thousand-year reign of Christ. (See Light, Book Two, page 205.)
The heathen, such as Sodom, must return in order to learn that the name of God has been vindicated. All then must have and will have an opportunity, to know and obey God's law. Then all must see that they are not deserving of everlasting life, but that what God has done for them in providing the means of everlasting life is because of his great love and for his own name's sake. "Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God, I do not this for your sakes, 0 house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went." — Ezek. 36: 22; John 3:16.
Christendom is the most hypocritical of all organizations. "For thus saith the Lord God, I will even deal with thee as thou hast done, which hast despised the oath in breaking the covenant." (16: 59) She has called herself by the name of God, claiming to be in a covenant relationship with him and claiming to be the followers of Christ Jesus. She has had the clergy officiate at the crowning of all of the kings; had her rulers sworn into public office by an oath with uplifted hand, on the Bible; and has designated her clergy as 'God's ministers'; and declares that the "higher powers . . . ordained of God" are the rulers that have controlled and rule the nations of Christendom; and her clergy and the principal of the flock emphasize the "fact" that these rulers of Christendom are ruling by divine right. In the face of all this outward show Christendom has despised her oath, denied God and his Word, and denied the blood of Christ that purchased the life of humankind, and has taken a course under the Devil's leadership that has brought the greatest reproach upon the name of Je-
hovah God that any peoples could possibly bring upon his name. For this reason Christendom is hypocrisy gone to seed, and is the most reprehensible of all peoples that have ever lived under the sun, and hence, according to God's announced judgment, will be subjected to the most severe punishment of all nations or peoples.
Jehovah is always faithful to his covenant, regardless of what those in the other side of the covenant do or may not do. For his own word and his own name's sake he will carry out his covenant. "Nevertheless, I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant." (16: 60) Jehovah remembers his covenant made with the organization of his chosen ones in the day of the youth of that organization and before members thereof produced what is called "Christendom" or "organized Christianity". It is Christendom that claims the sole interest in that covenant for the crown and for the kingdom, and yet Christendom has been entirely unfaithful thereto. Jehovah has been long-suffering with Christendom, and he has not forgotten his Word. In 1914, agreeable to his promise, he placed his King, Christ Jesus upon his throne and he fully established his covenant and kingdom. It is through this covenant-kingdom that the people of Christendom will have an opportunity for the blessings of life. "Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded." (Rom 11:7) The "election" means the kingdom class, Christ Jesus and the mem-
bers of his body, that will administer the affairs of the kingdom for the blessing of the people.
The new covenant has already been made with Christ Jesus as Mediator, the Elect of God and Head of his anointed ones. It is through Christ that the Jews and heathen can get life, and in no other way: "Then thou shalt remember thy ways and be ashamed, when thou shalt receive thy sisters, thine elder and thy younger; and I will give them unto thee for daughters, but not by thy covenant." (16: 61) Christendom has made vows or covenants unto God and has broken them all, and therefore God, by reason of Christendom's part of the covenant or vows, is under no obligation to Christendom. Jehovah makes the new covenant with Christ Jesus as the representative of those who shall receive the blessings under the covenant. Jehovah will" confirm or inaugurate the new covenant with the nation of Israel; but evidently before that something else must be done. God's ancient prophets and witnesses will stand as earthly sponsors for the Jews and will confess the past misdeeds of the people whom they represent, making confession with shame, and such conditions must precede the forgiveness of the Jews through Christ Jesus and the inauguration of the new covenant toward them.
Then the heathen Samaritans and the people of Sodom and all others of the earth may have the benefit of the covenant. Thereby these will become the daughters or children of the covenant and, as such, God will bring them forth as his earthly covenant people, that is to say, those with whom the new covenant is confirmed: "And I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord."
(16: 62) By the words of this text the establishment of the covenant is limited to Jerusalem, and this is probably due to the fact that the covenant is made directly with Jesus Christ the son of Judah, the Heir to the throne, and the One with whom the everlasting covenant of the "sure mercies of David" is made. Otherwise stated, the new covenant is made with Jehovah on one side and Christ Jesus as Mediator on the other side, for the benefit of all the human race that will come under the terms of the covenant, the limitation being to Jerusalem for the reason above stated.
The Jews have been boastful and arrogant. They must get rid of that. During the reign of Christ the natural Jews will not boast or grow self-righteous because the now covenant is inaugurated for their benefit. Looking back over their record they will be silenced, and their mouth closed to all boasting. "That thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord God." (16: 63) God's favor will come to the Jews merely because of their being "beloved for the fathers' sakes"; and the Jews will realize that fact. (Rom. 11: 28) Neither will those people of Christendom who are favored with the blessings of the covenant open their mouths in boasting. This goodness bestowed upon them will not be by any covenant that Christendom has ever made or claimed to have made with God. All who ever receive life everlasting will come to know that the new covenant was made by Jehovah with Christ Jesus, and inaugurated for the benefit of those who will obediently comply with the
terms of the covenant; and then all will come to know that God approves only those who love righteousness and walk humbly before him.
After the coming of Christ Jesus to the temple of Jehovah those who had responded to the call for the kingdom were tested and approved, and were set in a company to themselves, that they might "offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness". (Mal. 3:3) It was then that the prophecies began to be unfolded to these approved ones, and then they must, by Christ Jesus the Head of the temple, offer a righteous sacrifice of praise unto God continually. (Heb. 13:15) In doing such the temple class must, as God's chosen witnesses, serve notice upon Christendom of her abominations and of the thing that is coming to pass by reason thereof. The facts must be put before Christendom in order that she might justify her extravagant claims, or else admit the truth and be condemned; and God's witnesses must serve the notice. — Isa. 43:10-12.
Now God reveals to his people an understanding of the prophecies long ago written, that they may be encouraged and know that they are in the right way, and that their hope may be strengthened. These faithful ones, seeing that they may have a part in the vindication of Jehovah's name, enter into the joy of the Lord and delight to proclaim Jehovah's doings to the people. The witnesses of Jehovah are not slacking their hand in the work and calculating whether the days will be few or many. They are busy in declaring the truth and serving notice, and God will take care of the result in his own due time. The "servant" class thus has a part in the work of vindicating Jehovah's name.