I am sending my messenger, and he must clear up a way before me.
John the Baptizer was the ‘messenger who cleared up the way.’ (Matt. 11:10, 11) When he came in 29 C.E., a time of judgment for the nation of Israel had drawn close. Jesus was the second messenger. He cleansed the temple in Jerusalem twice. (Matt. 21:12, 13; John 2:14-17) What is the larger fulfillment of Malachi’s prophecy? During the decades leading up to 1914, C. T. Russell and his close associates did a work like that of John the Baptizer. That vital work involved restoring Bible truths. The Bible Students taught the true meaning of Christ’s ransom sacrifice, exposed the hellfire lie, and proclaimed the coming end of the Gentile Times. Still, there were numerous religious groups who claimed to be Christ’s followers. So a crucial question needed to be answered: Who among those groups were the wheat mentioned in Jesus’ parable? (Matt. 13:24-30, 37-43) To settle that question, Jesus began to inspect the spiritual temple in 1914. w13 7/15 2:5, 6
A young man I used to be, I have also grown old, and yet I have not seen anyone righteous left entirely, nor his offspring looking for bread.
Jehovah especially delights in providing for the needs of his faithful worshippers. Many faithful Christians have experienced such evidence of Jehovah’s care. For example, some years ago, a full-time minister named Nancy found herself in a predicament. “I needed $66 to pay my rent, which was due the next day,” Nancy recalls. “I didn’t know how I was going to come up with the money. I prayed about the problem, and then I went to my job as a waitress. I didn’t expect to receive many tips that evening because it was a time of the week that was typically not very busy. To my surprise, several customers came to the restaurant that night. When I finished my shift and added up the tips I had received, the total was $66.” Nancy is convinced that Jehovah provided exactly what she needed.
The very zeal of Jehovah of armies will do this.
Those words refer to what the rulership of God’s Son will accomplish. They emphasize our heavenly Father’s active interest in the salvation of mankind. Jehovah’s example of zeal clearly indicates that our God-given work as Kingdom proclaimers deserves our wholehearted support, our enthusiasm, our zeal. Our burning desire to help people get to know God is a reflection of Jehovah’s zeal. As God’s fellow workers, then, are we personally determined to have the fullest share in proclaiming the good news that our circumstances will permit? (1 Cor. 3:9) Consider, too, Jesus’ zeal. He set a perfect example of zealous perseverance in the ministry. Despite bitter opposition, he maintained his zeal for the preaching work right to the painful end of his earthly life. (John 18:36, 37) As the time for his sacrificial death drew near, Jesus’ determination to help others come to know Jehovah intensified. w13 5/15 2:3, 4