Theocracy Triumphs over All the Nations
1. Instead of the fulfillment of the last chapter of Zechariah’s prophecy upon it, what was the experience of Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives in 70 C.E.?
FROM being the victim of international attack to being the religious center sought out by all nations—this is the theme of the glorious concluding chapter of Zechariah’s prophecy! Such a marvelous metamorphosis did not take place with earthly Jerusalem in the year 70 C.E. In that year the feet that stood upon the Mount of Olives that overlooks Jerusalem from the east were feet of the Tenth Legion of the four Roman legions under General Titus that surrounded the doomed city. It was not half of the city that went forth into exile, but the entire city and its temple were destroyed, 1,100,000 Jews perishing during the siege of the city, and 97,000 Jewish survivors were led off as captives to be scattered to the ends of the earth, “into all the nations.” (Luke 21:20-24) That certainly was not the fulfillment of the heart-gripping prophecy of the Most High God as stated in Zechariah 14:1-4:
2. According to Zechariah 14:1-4, who were to be gathered against Jerusalem, was the city to be destroyed, and whose feet were to stand upon the Mount of Olives?
2 “Look! There is a day coming, belonging to Jehovah, and the spoil of you will certainly be apportioned out in the midst of you. And I shall certainly gather all the nations against Jerusalem for the war; and the city will actually be captured and the houses be pillaged, and the women themselves will be raped. And half of the city must go forth into the exile; but as for the remaining ones of the people, they will not be cut off from the city. And Jehovah will certainly go forth and war against those nations as in the day of his warring, in the day of fight. And his feet will actually stand in that day upon the mountain of the olive trees, which is in front of Jerusalem, on the east; and the mountain of the olive trees must be split at its middle, from the sunrising and to the west. There will be a very great valley; and half of the mountain will actually be moved to the north, and half of it to the south.”
3. To whom does the Hebrew feminine pronoun “you” apply, and what questions does this therefore raise?
3 In those stirring words of prophecy the pronoun “you” is in the feminine gender, in the Hebrew text, and it therefore refers to the city. But not in actuality to the earthly city of Jerusalem, either in the days of Jesus’ apostles or in our twentieth century. Those divine words are addressed to a higher city, to “a city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem,” to which the Christian congregation of spiritual Israelites has approached. (Hebrews 12:22) But how can that be? How can Jehovah of armies gather all the earthly nations against the “heavenly Jerusalem,” and this city be captured by them and its houses be pillaged, its women be raped, and half of the city go off into the exile?
4. In his Sermon on the Mount, what did Jesus call Jerusalem, and to what did earthly Jerusalem renounce its right at the time of his triumphal ride into it?
4 Let us recall to mind what was represented by the ancient Jerusalem down to the days of Christ’s apostles. Remember Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount: “Do not swear at all, neither by heaven, because it is God’s throne; . . . nor by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the great King.” (Matthew 5:34, 35) Down till the year 607 B.C.E., “Jehovah’s throne” used to be there in Jerusalem, it being a material throne occupied by an anointed royal descendant of David with whom Jehovah made a covenant for an everlasting kingdom in his family line. In the year 33 C.E., when Jesus, the spirit-anointed descendant of King David, rode in a triumphal procession into Jerusalem, that city did not want him as King. Thus the earthly Jerusalem renounced its right to have the Permanent Heir of King David sit upon a royal throne within it. Its Supreme Court, the Sanhedrin, had Jesus Christ put to death on an execution stake just outside the walls of Jerusalem.—Matthew 21:1-43.
5. How was God’s promise of an everlasting kingdom in the line of David not allowed to fail because of Jesus’ violent death?
5 Was the divine promise of an everlasting kingdom in the royal line of David to fail because of this violent death of David’s spirit-anointed Permanent Heir? Impossible! The unbelieving Jews, led by their religious shepherds, took Jesus to be a false Christ. But not so! For on the third day the Almighty God of heaven did the humanly impossible. He raised the real Permanent Heir of King David from the dead, not giving him back his forever-sacrificed fleshly body, but giving him spirit nature, the “divine nature,” clothed with immortality. That is the meaning of the Christian apostle Peter’s own words: “Even Christ died once for all time concerning sins, a righteous person for unrighteous ones, that he might lead you to God, he being put to death in the flesh, but being made alive in the spirit.”—1 Peter 3:18; 2 Peter 1:4; 1 Corinthians 15:42-45, 53, 54.
6. (a) To whose presence did the resurrected Jesus ascend, and what did he do there? (b) How did the apostle Peter’s words to the inquiring Jews at Pentecost indicate that the right to have Jehovah’s throne in her had passed from earthly Jerusalem?
6 On the fortieth day therefrom this transformed Jesus Christ ascended from the Mount of Olives east of Jerusalem to the invisible heavenly presence of Jehovah God, to present to the Supreme Judge the ransoming value of his perfect human sacrifice. Ten days later, on Sivan 6 of 33 C.E., or the festival day of Pentecost, Jehovah God used his returned Son Jesus Christ to pour out the holy spirit upon the apostle Peter and over a hundred other waiting disciples assembled in an upper room in earthly Jerusalem. Consequently, under the dynamic force of that outpoured spirit, the apostle Peter said to the crowd of thousands of inquiring Jews: “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for a certainty that God made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you impaled.” (Acts 1:12-15; 2:1-36) Those words signified that the right to have a representative throne of Jehovah occupied by the Permanent Heir of King David had passed from the earthly Jerusalem to the “city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem.”—Matthew 21:42-44.
7. In view of the Jerusalem involved, what questions arise as to fulfillment of Zechariah 14:2?
7 None of the nations of earth, either Jewish or Gentile, can dethrone Jesus Christ from his royal seat in the “heavenly Jerusalem.” Neither can any nation or gathering of nations actually capture the “heavenly Jerusalem” and pillage it. How, then, can the prophecy of Zechariah 14:2 be applied to the “heavenly Jerusalem” and find a fulfillment in it? How, if at all, has it been fulfilled in the case of the “heavenly Jerusalem”? If so, when?
8, 9. (a) To what time did Jehovah himself apply that prophecy, and when did that time begin, and why? (b) What announcement was heard in heaven confirming this?
8 Again we must remember that the prophet, God himself, applied it to the “day coming, belonging to Jehovah.” (Zechariah 14:1) That spectacular day, the day of Jehovah, has already come. Zechariah 14:3 foretells that Jehovah’s day is to be marked by his fighting, his warring; and so this remarkable day in which Jehovah will once again display himself to all the nations as a Warrior must be the one marked by the “war of the great day of God the Almighty.” The issue over which that war is to be fought is to be settled at the compelling world situation “that is called in Hebrew Har–Magedon.” Already we can see all the political nations being gathered by diabolical leadings to that location for the unavoidable confrontation. (Revelation 16:13-16) Consequently, that ‘day, belonging to Jehovah,’ began in the year 1914 C.E., at the end of the “appointed times of the [Gentile] nations” about October 4/5 of that year. At that time there came the “birth” of Jehovah’s Messianic kingdom, Jehovah’s Christian kingdom, in the heavens. Then could be heard up there the announcement:
9 “The kingdom of the world did become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will rule as king forever and ever.”—Revelation 11:15.
10. Also, what were the voices of those who upheld the world kingdom of the Lord Jehovah and his Christ saying because of that?
10 Then could be heard the voices of those who uphold that world kingdom of our Lord Jehovah and of his Christ, saying: “We thank you, Jehovah God, the Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and begun ruling as king. But the nations became wrathful, and your own wrath came, and the appointed time for the dead to be judged, and to give their reward to your slaves the prophets and to the holy ones and to those fearing your name, the small and the great, and to bring to ruin those ruining the earth.”—Revelation 11:16-18; 12:1-10.
11. Did the Gentile nations believe that the Gentile Times would end, as predicted, in 1914 C.E., and what was one big reason for their attitude?
11 For more than three decades the nations had been notified that those “appointed times of the [Gentile] nations” would terminate in the fall of 1914 C.E. (Luke 21:24) The nations did not believe that those “appointed times” of uninterrupted rule of the whole earth by the Gentile nations, from the year 607 B.C.E. onward, would really end in that year of 1914 C.E. Why not? For one thing, because the combined clergy of Christendom, the priests and the preachers of her churches, were not believing it and hence not preaching it. They ridiculed and scorned the anointed remnant of spiritual Israelites, who, as International Bible Students, were pointing to the Bible’s time schedule and declaring that the “times of the Gentiles” would end in 1914, to usher in an unprecedented “time of trouble” upon all the nations. However, the overwhelming evidence since that epoch-making year proves that the clergy of Christendom were wrong. The Gentile Times did end then.
12. What, in this connection, could the nations not directly attack, and so what did they attack, in expression of what feeling?
12 In defiance of the evidence that began to pile up from 1914 onward, the Gentile nations did not want to believe or choose to believe that their term of world power without opposition from any Messianic kingdom of God had ended. They could not undo what had taken place in the “heavenly Jerusalem” in that year. They could not directly attack that invisible heavenly city and its Messianic King, Jesus Christ. But they could attack what represented it on earth. They could attack the anointed remnant of the “congregation of the firstborn who have been enrolled in the heavens.” They could attack this remnant of “ambassadors substituting for Christ” who were notifying the nations of the end of the Gentile Times in 1914. They could attack this remnant of “heirs indeed of God, but joint heirs with Christ.” (Hebrews 12:22, 23; 2 Corinthians 5:20; Ephesians 6:20; Romans 8:16, 17) That is exactly what the war-engulfed nations did. Revelation 11:18 had said, prophetically: “The nations became wrathful.” They expressed their wrath by persecuting the anointed remnant.
13. The nations were in effect attacking the “heavenly Jerusalem” because of what spiritual aspects of the anointed remnant under attack, and when did they think they had ‘captured the city’?
13 What the nations did to this remnant of Kingdom ambassadors, Kingdom heirs, enrolled in the heavens, was the same as if done to the “heavenly Jerusalem,” where those of the anointed remnant have their “citizenship.” (Philippians 3:20) Those nations began to war, not just against the anointed remnant, but against all that they represented and what they preached. Jehovah God the Almighty did not prevent this, for he had foretold it. (Zechariah 14:1, 2) He had foretold: “The city will actually be captured.” Was it? As represented by the anointed remnant, it was. There was a confining of many members of the anointed remnant in the military encampments or in prisons. But the nations felt that they had indeed “captured” the spiritual “city” when, during the spring and summer of 1918, they arrested and railroaded off to a federal penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A., seven outstanding members of the Governing Body of the anointed remnant.a
14. What happened to earthly Jerusalem in the years 1917, 1948 and 1967 C.E. was of what importance to the fulfillment of Zechariah 14:1-4, and why?
14 The capture of Jerusalem in Palestine some months earlier by British General Allenby, whose troops marched into Jerusalem on December 10, 1917, the next day after its surrender, played no part in fulfilling Zechariah 14:2. Earthly Jerusalem was captured from the Islamic Turks, who certainly do not worship the God with the name Jehovah. The Sovereign Lord Jehovah had decreed the destruction of the earthly Jerusalem of the Jews, and neither before nor after its destruction in the year 70 C.E. did he issue authorization for that earthly city to be rebuilt by his people. What was now of real and foremost importance to him was the higher Jerusalem, the “heavenly Jerusalem.” So in the case of an earthly Jerusalem, that was rebuilt in the second century by non-Jewish or Gentile hands, what happened to it in 1917 C.E., or 1948 C.E. or in 1967 C.E. was of no importance and had no connection with the fulfillment of Zechariah 14:1-4.
15. Besides such imprisonment and detention, what else occurred during World War I to correspond with mistreatment of the inhabitants of the captured “Jerusalem”?
15 During World War I, besides imprisonments and detention in military encampments, there were widespread mobbings and mistreatment of members of the anointed remnant who represented the “heavenly Jerusalem.” Much of their property was also destroyed. (See The Golden Age, No. 27, as of September 29, 1920, featuring “‘Distress of Nations’: Cause, Warning, Remedy.”) The unchristian injustice and brutality that thus occurred corresponded with what Zechariah 14:1, 2 foretold: “The city will actually be captured and the houses be pillaged, and the women themselves will be raped.”
16. (a) How did some go forth into the exile, as foretold? (b) How was the “spoil” of the city apportioned out in the midst of it according to the prophecy?
16 Doubtless, this persecution alienated many members away from the anointed remnant, the enemy thus carrying them into spiritual exile; as it was foretold: “And half of the city must go forth into the exile.” What about the further part of the prophecy: “And the spoil of you will certainly be apportioned out in the midst of you”? What the attackers were after was to despoil the anointed remnant of the wealth of influence and popular appeal that the remnant exercised in behalf of the now established kingdom of God. This their attackers did by banning their literature and repressing the activities of them as Kingdom ambassadors.
17. Who proved to be the “remaining ones” concerning whom it was prophesied: “They will not be cut off from the city”?
17 Despite all the misrepresentation, opposition and persecution at the hands of the attackers, there was a faithful part of the anointed remnant that refused to be alienated, exiled, from the Messianic kingdom of God as now set up in the “heavenly Jerusalem.” These are the ones referred to when the prophecy says: “But as for the remaining ones of the people, they will not be cut off from the city.” So these are the ones that survived the hardships and trials of the first world war, which the enemies used as a fine occasion to attack the anointed remnant and despoil them of their ambassadorship for Jehovah’s Messianic kingdom.
18. Was that attack of the gathered nations during World War I the last attack in fulfillment of the prophecy, and what already proves whether or not?
18 We are not to think, however, that with the close of World War I the prophecy was carried out to the full and there were to be no more mass attacks by the gathered nations. The “heavenly Jerusalem” still remained, and it had a devoted remnant of loyal representatives on earth, to whom the earthly interests of God’s Messianic kingdom had been entrusted. As might well be expected, that World War I attack upon them by the gathered nations was not the last attack launched against the “heavenly Jerusalem” and its spiritual citizens on earth. World War II of 1939-1945 proved that. It provided for the embattled nations an excellent opportunity to resume the attack, yes, on even a more massive scale and with greater violence. More plainly than ever, this atrocious war between the earthly nations was for world domination, in defiance of Jehovah’s rightful sovereignty of the earth. In fighting for the mastery of God’s good earth those nations were in fact fighting against the heavenly government that the Sovereign Lord Jehovah had put in power in the “heavenly Jerusalem.” So once again “the nations became wrathful” against the remnant.
19. How did the attack on the “city” during World War II compare with that during World War I, and what did the Governing Body, from 1942 forward, plan for the future?
19 The violence and repressive measures against the anointed remnant of Jehovah’s Christian witnesses far exceeded what they experienced during the first world war. The persecution flared not just against the anointed remnant of spiritual Israelites; it flamed also against those of the “ten men” out of all the languages of the nations who had joined the anointed remnant of spiritual Israel in worship at Jehovah’s spiritual temple. (Zechariah 8:20-23) The faithful ones held firmly to their Christian neutrality toward worldly combats and stuck fast to Jehovah’s theocratic government as the only rightful government of all the earth. Remarkably, although concentration camps and prisons opened their gates to thousands of uncompromising Christian witnesses of Jehovah in the lands at war, none of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Christian witnesses world wide was imprisoned. Instead of yielding to enemy pressures and arranging to close down their God-given work, the Governing Body planned from 1942 forward to expand the witness to Jehovah’s Messianic kingdom to newer regions of the earth, even before peace arrived with its United Nations organization in 1945.
20. Did World War II settle the dominant issue, and what will the nations have in mind in making a final attack on the anointed remnant?
20 Like World War I, so World War II settled nothing. Certainly the issue of world domination has not been settled, but tension over this is mounting among the superpowers. They still rebel against world domination by the Universal Sovereign Jehovah. Resentfully they are against those who proclaim and advocate the world sovereignty of the great Theocrat Jehovah by means of his Messianic kingdom. Those who advocate this are, not the religious churches of Christendom, but the theocratic Christian witnesses of Jehovah. So the time will come, shortly, when all the nations engaged in international rivalry for world domination will decide that Jehovah’s Christian witnesses have no right to a place on earth. In blatant rejection of all that suggests God or divine rulership, they will destroy all religious Christendom and all religious pagandom. Then in a do-or-die effort they will hurl their final attack against the surviving Christian witnesses of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. Will the nations succeed this time?
THE MOUNT OF OLIVES SPLIT AT ITS MIDDLE
21. What chance of survival will the anointed remnant and their companions have then?
21 Under the coming attack by the nuclear-powered nations en masse, what chance of survival do the anointed remnant and their fellow proclaimers of Jehovah’s Messianic kingdom have? As much of a “chance” as the prophetic Word of God allows them. What “chance” does it allow them? For it says:
22. What experience does Zechariah 14:3-5 foretell for the Mount of Olives?
22 “And Jehovah will certainly go forth and war against those nations as in the day of his warring, in the day of fight. And his feet will actually stand in that day upon the mountain of the olive trees, which is in front of Jerusalem, on the east; and the mountain of the olive trees must be split at its middle, from the sunrising and to the west. There will be a very great valley; and half of the mountain will actually be moved to the north, and half of it to the south. And you people will certainly flee to the valley of my mountains; because the valley of the mountains will reach all the way to Azel. And you will have to flee, just as you fled because of the earthquake in the days of Uzziah the king of Judah. And Jehovah my God will certainly come, all the holy ones being with him.”—Zechariah 14:3-5.
23. As to how the symbolic “Mount of Olives” is split at the middle, what is the prophecy given by Daniel to which we turn for an illustration?
23 Since Jerusalem is here symbolic—of the “heavenly Jerusalem”—so also must the “mountain of the olive trees” be. How, then, will what it symbolizes be “split at its middle” and become two mountains, “my mountains,” as Jehovah says? A prophet whom Zechariah may have personally known in ancient Babylon records a prophetic dream that illustrates how this will come about. About the year 605 B.C.E. the king of Babylon had his dream of a manlike image, that, by its four metals and clay, pictured the unbroken succession of world powers from Babylon down to the Anglo-American World Power of today together with all the associated political rulers of our time. Then, some distance away, a large mountain is seen. Without the human hands of any excavators a stone is cut out of this original mountain. Without its being pitched by a human hand, it takes on motion and speeds on its way. Into outer space? No, but toward that metallic image of world domination of political world powers. Without a miss it smashes against the image, striking it upon its feet that are part of iron and part of clay. Instead of splattering to pieces at its impact with those feet, why, believe it or not, it crushes them. Down comes the whole image to the ground. What next? This:
“At that time the iron, the molded clay, the copper, the silver and the gold were, all together, crushed and became like the chaff from the summer threshing floor, and the wind carried them away so that no trace at all was found of them. And as for the stone that struck the image, it became a large mountain and filled the whole earth.”—Daniel 2:1, 31-35.
24. What interpretation of the dream did Daniel give to King Nebuchadnezzar?
24 Now just two mountains remain to view—the large mountain filling the whole earth, and the original mountain quite a distance away from the earth and hence not of this earth. This outcome is what all future inhabitants of our earth face in the realization of this symbolic dream. What does it mean? Listen, as Daniel interprets the dream to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon:
“And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be brought to ruin. And the kingdom itself will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it itself will stand to times indefinite; forasmuch as you beheld that out of the mountain a stone was cut not by hands, and that it crushed the iron, the copper, the molded clay, the silver and the gold. The grand God himself has made known to the king what is to occur after this. And the dream is reliable, and the interpretation of it is trustworthy.”—Daniel 2:36-45.
25. What does the original “mountain” picture, and what does the “mountain” that grows up out of the stone picture?
25 By this “trustworthy” inspired interpretation we know that the stone mountain that filled the whole earth pictured a permanent kingdom. Consistently, then, the mountain from which the stone was cut out “not by hands” pictured a permanent kingdom. Since it is the “God of heaven” who sets up over all the earth the “kingdom that will never be brought to ruin,” that original mountain, which fathers the “stone,” pictured God’s universal kingdom. It pictured his theocratic rule. The mountain that grew up from the stone and that becomes the only mountain on earth pictures the kingdom of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, the Messianic kingdom, which will be the only kingdom in control of the earth after the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Har–Magedon puts an end to the man-made, devil-controlled kingdoms of this present system of things. (Revelation 16:14-16) Thus there will be two symbolic “mountains,” two kingdoms, that of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah as the Great Theocrat and that of His Messiah, Jesus, over all the earth. In this way Jehovah, in exercising once again his universal sovereignty, will use the kingdom of his Son as his agency.
26. What does the Mount of Olives, in its undivided state, symbolize, and how does this compare with the “heavenly Jerusalem”?
26 The divine prophecy through Zechariah concerning “that day” corresponds with the prophetic dream interpreted by Daniel. So the “mountain of the olive trees” to the east of earthly Jerusalem pictures, in its undivided state, the universal kingdom of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. Just as the highest eminence of the Mount of Olives rises to a height of 2,963 feet and thus dominates the general level of Jerusalem by more than 400 feet, so Jehovah’s universal kingdom dominates the “heavenly Jerusalem” and uses it as a theocratic agency.—Hebrews 12:22.
27. Why does the splitting of the Mount of Olives not picture Jehovah’s universal kingdom’s becoming divided against itself?
27 God’s universal kingdom never becomes divided against itself. (Matthew 12:25, 26) That is not what is pictured by the splitting of the Mount of Olives “at its middle.” Jehovah does not act against his own sovereignty by establishing the Messianic kingdom of his Son. What, then, does this division of the Mount of Olives picture, and when does its division take place?
28. Does the splitting of the mountain picture the dividing of Jehovah’s supremacy and sovereignty, and so what does the splitting of the mountain “at its middle” really picture?
28 It does not picture a dividing of Jehovah’s supremacy, nor the dividing of his universal sovereignty. He always remains the Most High God and the Sovereign Lord of the universe. In harmony with the prophetic dream as interpreted at Daniel 2:44, 45, the splitting of the mountain that is to the east of Jerusalem pictures Jehovah’s establishing of a kingdom that is subsidiary to his own universal kingdom, because it is over an area that is really a rebel territory so that Jehovah cannot deal directly with it. It is a kingdom of one who is in the line of earthly King David, and also a kingdom after the manner of that of King-Priest Melchizedek. Hence it is a government not just over King David’s earthly domain but also over the whole earth.—Psalm 110:1-4; Hebrews 5:10 to 8:1; Acts 2:34-36.
29. So this split produces what kind of a kingdom, and when did this split occur, and why?
29 This produces a kingdom of the only-begotten Son of God alongside of and subject to the kingdom of God the Father. And since this secondary kingdom has connections with the earthly kingdom of David, it must take into account the 2,520-year-long Gentile Times that were imposed upon the kingdom of David. Hence that secondary kingdom in the hands of the Messianic King, the Son of God, was first established at the end of the Gentile Times in 1914 C.E.—Luke 21:24; Daniel 4:16, 23-25; Hebrews 10:12, 13.
30. What does God speak of the two resulting mountains as being, what does each one picture, and what must be said as to opposition of the one to the other?
30 This explains why Jehovah speaks of the two mountains that result from the split of the Mount of Olives as being “my mountains.” (Zechariah 14:5) Scripturally the mountain to the north would picture Jehovah’s universal kingdom, and the mountain to the south the Messianic kingdom of his Son. (Psalm 75:6, 7) That this newly produced “mountain” kingdom is subject to and not opposed to Jehovah’s universal kingdom is stated in 1 Corinthians 15:25-28:
“For he must rule as king until God has put all enemies under his feet. As the last enemy, death is to be brought to nothing. For God ‘subjected all things under his feet.’ But when he says that ‘all things have been subjected,’ it is evident that it is with the exception of the one who subjected all things to him. But when all things will have been subjected to him, then the Son himself will also subject himself to the One who subjected all things to him, that God may be all things to everyone.”
31. (a) How does the prophecy show that both kingdoms remain subject to Jehovah? (b) His “feet” being there indicates what, and who is the Chief One with whom He comes?
31 That both kingdoms are, from the start, subject to the Sovereign Lord God is set out in the declaration: “And his feet will actually stand in that day upon the mountain of the olive trees, which is in front of Jerusalem, on the east.” And when the symbolic mountain splits, half to the north and half to the south, Jehovah’s feet remain set upon both mountains, “my mountains.” Since the Mount of Olives is hundreds of feet higher than ancient Jerusalem, from a vantage point like this the Most High God, Jehovah, could see what goes on with regard to the “heavenly Jerusalem” as respects its interests in the earth. When, symbolically speaking, Jehovah plants his feet upon the Mount of Olives, it means that he has come. Just as he prophetically said: “And Jehovah my God will certainly come, all the holy ones being with him.” The Chief One of his heavenly “holy ones” is, of course, his sinless Son, Jesus Christ, whom he makes king over the secondary “mountain” kingdom. (Zechariah 14:5) Such “holy ones” act as Jehovah’s executional forces.
32. (a) What results from the splitting of the mountain, and what advantage is taken of the resulting formation? (b) The fugitives there come under what divine provision?
32 “There will be a very great valley; and half of the mountain will actually be moved to the north, and half of it to the south. And you people will certainly flee to the valley of my mountains; because the valley of the mountains will reach all the way to Azel. And you will have to flee, just as you fled because of the earthquake in the days of Uzziah the king of Judah.” (Zechariah 14:4, 5) This flight of the repatriated remnant of Jehovah’s people is not panicky flight “in order to enter into the holes in the rocks and into the clefts of the crags” or a “saying to the mountains and to the rock-masses: ‘Fall over us and hide us from the face of the One seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb.’” (Isaiah 2:20, 21; Revelation 6:15, 16) It will be a flight to God’s protective provision, a flight to the very great valley between “my mountains,” guarded on the north and on the south by the halves of the symbolic Mount of Olives. Yes, to beneath Jehovah’s feet. That valley of divine protection extended from the Kidron Valley overlooked by the eastern wall of Jerusalem all the way eastward to Azel, with plenty of room for fugitives.
33. The flight of the remnant began when, and it has some relationship with what flight described in Revelation, chapter twelve, and yet why is it longer?
33 In our twentieth century, the flight of the restored remnant of spiritual Israelites began after their liberation from Babylon the Great and her political, military consorts in the spring of 1919 C.E. In Revelation 12:1-14, the flight of God’s heavenly “woman” into the wilderness after the birth of the Messianic kingdom and the war in heaven to oust the Devil and his angels has some relationship to the flight of the anointed remnant on earth from 1919 onward. But her flight is not the same as theirs; her flight and stay in the wilderness away from the face of the diabolical “dragon” is for only one thousand two hundred and sixty days or three and one-half prophetic “times.” It coincides partly with the flight of the anointed remnant, “the remaining ones of her seed, who observe the commandments of God and have the work of bearing witness to Jesus.” (Revelation 12:17) But the flight of all those dedicated, baptized ones who become part of the anointed remnant was not over by the end of the woman’s 1,260 days. The remnant are still in that symbolic “valley” under protection of Jehovah’s universal kingdom and the Messianic kingdom of his Son.
34. When comes the fulfillment of that part of the prophecy about Jehovah’s going forth as in the day of his warring, to fight?
34 When, though, comes fulfillment of this part of the prophecy: “And Jehovah will certainly go forth and war against those nations as in the day of his warring, in the day of fight”? (Zechariah 14:3) It was not in 1914, at the end of the Gentile Times, although the establishing of the Messianic kingdom of the heavens was a step in that direction. But Jehovah of armies has yet a fixed time to go forth to war against those nations that attack the representatives on earth of his “heavenly Jerusalem.” Those Gentile nations (including those of Christendom) did launch a vicious attack upon the anointed remnant during World War I and then a more violent and sweeping one during World War II. But their final attack is now being planned for and is yet to come—under the leadership of the foretold “Gog of the land of Magog.” (Ezekiel 38:1 to 39:5) Then Jehovah of armies will make that to be their last attack, and he will distinguish himself as a Warrior more gloriously than in any previous ‘day of warring,’ in any former “day of fight.”
THE WAR AND THE EFFECTS OF “THAT DAY”
35. How does Jehovah prophesy that that will be the darkest day of all for the attacking nations, and how is the immobilization of the enemies’ operational things indicated?
35 That day of Jehovah’s warring against the attacking nations should be the darkest day of their existence. He even forecasts such a day for them, saying: “And it must occur in that day that there will prove to be no precious light—things will be congealed.” (Zechariah 14:6) “And it hath come to pass, in that day, the precious light is not, it is dense darkness.” (Yg) “And it shall come to pass in that day there shall be no light, but cold and ice.” (Syriac, Lamsa) No heavenly light of divine favor and loving warmth will shine upon them. Artificial lights of modern science will not remove the darkness of divine disfavor. Operational things will be immobilized, stiffened with cold, as if congealed. This reminds us of Jehovah’s questions to the patriarch Job: “Have you entered into the storehouses of the snow, or do you see even the storehouses of the hail, which I have kept back for the time of distress, for the day of fight and war? Out of whose belly does the ice actually come forth, and as for the hoarfrost of heaven, who indeed brings it to birth?” (Job 38:22, 23, 29) Jehovah has natural phenomena at his disposal for fighting.
36. How does Jehovah, through the prophet Isaiah, speak of the darkness of the “great tribulation” upon Babylon the Great, and what will such darkness betoken?
36 Concerning the lack of light and of warmth on that day, Jehovah of armies says concerning the coming time of “great tribulation” upon all of Babylon the Great as an enemy of the “heavenly Jerusalem” these words: “Look! The day of Jehovah itself is coming, cruel both with fury and with burning anger, in order to make the land an object of astonishment, and that it may annihilate the land’s sinners out of it. For the very stars of the heavens and their constellations of Kesil will not flash forth their light; the sun will actually grow dark at its going forth, and the moon itself will not cause its light to shine.” (Isaiah 13:9, 10) When Jehovah of armies executes his adverse judgments upon his enemies during this day that belongs to him, there will, as it were, be neither the warm light of the sun nor the cold light of the moon. Such darkness betokens coming destruction!
37. What will be extraordinary about that day, as foretold in Zechariah 14:7?
37 How does this which is a cold dark day for the attackers of the “New Jerusalem” result for Jehovah of armies and his theocratic organization? He himself tells us in these words: “And it must become one day that is known as belonging to Jehovah. It will not be day, neither will it be night; and it must occur that at evening time it will become light.”—Zechariah 14:7.
38. In what way will that time period of neither day nor night become light at evening time, and for whom?
38 Does this description mean a twenty-four-hour period of medium light, midway between light and darkness, a twilight? Not for Jehovah of armies and for his “heavenly Jerusalem,” not even for those who on earth represent the “heavenly Jerusalem,” nor for all those who have fled to the “very great valley” between the two “mountains” of Jehovah. Rather, it means a time period that is not divided between daytime and nighttime. Even at the time when the evening darkness is ordinarily due to fall, it will become, not dark, but light. The whole period will be one of light. Thus, whereas the attacking nations experience death-dealing darkness, Jehovah’s faithful worshipers on earth enjoy continuous light of his favor and approval, just as during the ninth plague upon ancient Egypt the Egyptians suffered three days of dense darkness but “for all the sons of Israel there proved to be light in their dwellings.” (Exodus 10:23) In this “day” Jehovah sheds increasing light upon his loyal worshipers by increasing their understanding of his inspired written Word.—Proverbs 4:18.
39. Why is that a day that specially belongs to Jehovah, and how will it result as respects the universal issue that has been under debate for almost six thousand years?
39 What a gloriously bright day this turns out to be for Jehovah of armies, for the victory with which he crowns it results in the vindication of his universal sovereignty, no portion of all the realm of creation being excepted from his sovereignty, not even this comparatively tiny earth! His already “unreachably high” name attains to new heights of universal fame. (Psalm 148:13; Isaiah 12:4) Eternally associated with His own personal name will be the Hebrew name Har–Magedon, the world situation at which the war of all wars is fought and won, “the war of the great day of God the Almighty.” By means of his Messianic kingdom in the hands of his heavenly Son, whom He has made to be “King of kings and Lord of lords,” Jehovah of armies gains this superlative victory. (Revelation 16:13-16; 19:11-21) He deserves to have this unique day as belonging to Him, for on it and by it he settles forever in His favor the millenniums-old issue of Universal Sovereignty! The infamous rebel who raised this issue almost six thousand years ago, Satan the Devil, loses. So, after his earthly forces lose at Har–Magedon, he and his demons are abyssed!—Revelation 20:1-3.
40, 41. After the abyssing of Satan and his demons, what blessings will follow for Jehovah’s worshipers, as foretold in Zechariah 14:8-11?
40 What blessings follow, to mankind, during the thousand years during which Satan the Devil and his demons are held prisoners in chains in the abyss! The effects of that victorious “day” are prophetically detailed by the victorious God himself in these words:
41 “And it must occur in that day that living waters will go forth from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea. In summer and in winter it will occur. And Jehovah must become king over all the earth. In that day Jehovah will prove to be one, and his name one. The whole land will be changed like the Arabah, from Geba to Rimmon to the south of Jerusalem; and she must rise and become inhabited in her place, from the gate of Benjamin all the way to the place of the First Gate, all the way to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel all the way to the press vats of the king. And people will certainly inhabit her; and there will occur no more any banning to destruction, and Jerusalem must be inhabited in security.”—Zechariah 14:8-11.
“LIVING WATERS” FOR ALL MANKIND
42. With relation to earthly Jerusalem, what was the eastern sea and what was the western sea, and what do these two seas picture respectively?
42 With relation to earthly Jerusalem, on which the prophetic picture in Zechariah is based, the “eastern sea” would be the Salt Sea or Dead Sea, and the “western sea” would be the Great Sea or Mediterranean Sea. Both of these seas are here used symbolically, evidently symbolic of peoples, as is the case in Revelation 17:15. The Dead Sea is at the lowest spot on earth, 1,291 feet below the level of the Mediterranean Sea, and is utterly devoid of fish or plant life. So it would well picture the countless human dead who are in Sheol, Hades, the common grave of mankind. On the other hand, the Mediterranean Sea teems with fish and plant life and at a higher level. So it would well picture the “great crowd” of Jehovah’s worshipers who are associated now with the anointed remnant of spiritual Israel and who survive the “great tribulation” with the remnant. (Revelation 7:9-15) Those of that “great crowd” have inherited from our first human parent Adam the sinfulness and imperfections and the condemnation of death. Of these disabilities they need to be relieved, in order to be able to live forever in God’s new system of things.—Romans 5:12.
43. Those waters flowing east and west compare with the waters seen in what other visions, and so what do such waters picture?
43 Both symbolic seas will need the “living waters” that will go forth, not from earthly Jerusalem in the Middle East, but from the “heavenly Jerusalem,” which is the seat of the Messianic kingdom of Jehovah’s dear Son, Jesus Christ. Those symbolic “living waters” are not just fresh, running waters, quenching thirst, but waters imparting life to those to whom they flow forth. Just as the waters flowing forth from the temple of Ezekiel’s vision imparted cure and life to the Dead Sea, causing it to abound with fish life, so the “living waters” flowing eastward and westward from the “heavenly Jerusalem” will impart life on earth. (Ezekiel 47:1-12) So those “living waters” compare, also, with the “river of water of life” seen by the Christian apostle John in the vision of the New Jerusalem. (Revelation 21:2 to 22:2) Accordingly they picture all of Jehovah’s provisions through his once sacrificed but now reigning Messiah, Jesus, for all mankind to gain eternal life, as made available during the thousand-year rule of Jesus Christ over the whole earth.—Revelation 14:1; 20:4-6, 13, 14.
44. (a) What will the waters flowing to the symbolic Dead Sea convey to those thus pictured? (b) What will the waters convey to those pictured by the Mediterranean Sea, and how long will such waters have to be partaken of?
44 The “living waters” that flow eastward, evidently through the “very great valley” between the two mountains, down to the Dead Sea convey a resurrection from the dead to an animated, conscious existence here on earth. “There is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous,” said the apostle Paul. (Acts 24:15; John 5:28, 29) The “living waters” that flow westward to the Mediterranean Sea convey, figuratively speaking, release from the condemnation of death and from the sinfulness and imperfections and weaknesses inherited from the sinner Adam. Were mankind to continue in such things, they would die, for only those absolutely perfect will be justified to eternal life on a Paradise earth. Hence the “great crowd” of Jehovah’s loyal worshipers who survive the “great tribulation” with which this system of things ends will need such “living waters.” Likewise, those humans, likened to the Dead Sea, who get a resurrection from the dead will, at the start, be like the “great crowd” of survivors. They will be still in the inherited sinfulness, imperfection, weakness and liability to death. They also will need to keep drinking the “living waters.”
45. The flowing of these waters both “in summer and in winter” will allow for what on the part of the eastern sea and western sea classes, and what will be the final result of this, as pictured in Revelation 20:14?
45 “In summer and in winter it will occur.” (Zechariah 14:8) Since those “living waters” will not be affected by any dry, rainless season of the year, they will continue flowing all year round, without any drop in the water level. For the thousand years of Christ’s reign over mankind they will keep flowing, to benefit all the ransomed dead and all those alive on the Paradise earth. In this way all those on earth will be able to continue drinking until they have been cured and restored to flawless, disease-free human perfection, like that of Adam at his perfect creation in the Garden of Eden. When all those of the eastern sea and of the western sea have attained to this glorious estate by loyal obedience to the Messianic kingdom, then will be fulfilled the picture of Revelation 20:14: “And death and Hades were hurled into the lake of fire. This means the second death, the lake of fire.” What a blessed provision through the “heavenly Jerusalem”!
46. How is the exaltation of the “heavenly Jerusalem” pictured by what happens to earthly Jerusalem and the land round about, and through what does the heavenly Jerusalem become thus exalted?
46 The “heavenly Jerusalem” will then be exalted. It will no longer be like an earthly Jerusalem captured by the attacking nations and pillaged by them and having its population reduced by half of its citizens being taken into exile. (Zechariah 14:1, 2) In her case the prophetic picture must be fulfilled as when the “whole land” round about earthly Jerusalem sank and became like the Arabah, like the Rift Valley through which the Jordan River flows down to the Dead Sea, and, in contrast, the city of Jerusalem rises. True to this picture, the “heavenly Jerusalem” will be exalted as a result of Jehovah’s magnificent victory over the attacking nations and she will become the capital of the heavenly Messianic kingdom. Thus she will tower above the earth over which the Kingdom rules. This Messianic kingdom is thus by far superior to the man-made kingdoms of the Gentile nations on earth. So, then, in becoming subject to this higher government, it will be as if the “whole land” on earth subsided to become like the low Rift Valley, “changed like the Arabah, from Geba to Rimmon to the south of Jerusalem.”—Zechariah 14:10.
47. To correspond with the prophecy of Zechariah 14:11, how will the “heavenly Jerusalem” be “inhabited in security”?
47 The heavenly capital, “heavenly Jerusalem,” will become like the former earthly Jerusalem with its protective walls and its well-known gates and tower and royal press vats. Upon the “heavenly Jerusalem” there will be no divine curse, no “banning to destruction” because of any unfaithfulness on the part of its inhabitants. (Revelation 22:3; Zechariah 14:11) The heavenly capital will be fully inhabited, fully populated. The entire “congregation of the firstborn who have been enrolled in the heavens” will be there, the complete number of 144,000 spiritual Israelites, united in the heavenly kingdom with the glorified Messiah, Jesus the Son of Jehovah God. (Hebrews 12:22, 23; Revelation 7:4-8; 14:1-4; 20:4-6) As if inside city walls they will dwell in security.
48. What is it that the attacking nations challenge, and what will they learn about it, and with what result for the whole earth?
48 The attacking nations of earth challenged the kingdom of the Most High God, his universal sovereignty. But finally they learned that his sovereignty was a reality—to their own destruction. Instead of their exercising any further devil-controlled kingdom over the earth, the prophecy will be realized: “And Jehovah must become king over all the earth. In that day Jehovah will prove to be one, and his name one.”—Zechariah 14:9.
JEHOVAH THE KING “ONE, AND HIS NAME ONE”
49. (a) What will their then having one king mean for mankind? (b) In what way will the government be “the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ,” and under it mankind will live in what state on earth?
49 What does that spell out for all mankind but unity, yes, unity throughout the whole earth among all the inhabitants thereof! One King “over all the earth”—Jehovah, the Universal Sovereign! But, just as King David represented Jehovah when seated on the throne in the earthly Jerusalem, so King David’s Permanent Heir, the Messiah Jesus, will represent Jehovah in the “heavenly Jerusalem” as he reigns for a thousand years over redeemed mankind. Thus it will be “the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ” under which mankind, the living survivors and the resurrected dead, will have the blessed opportunity to gain everlasting life in human perfection on earth transformed into a paradise surpassing all the lovely parks or gardens on earth today.—Revelation 11:15.
50. At that time, how will Jehovah “prove to be one”?
50 Just as the prophet Moses, away back in the year 1473 B.C.E., said: “Listen, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah. And you must love Jehovah your God,” so it will be in that “day” so near at hand: “Jehovah will prove to be one.” The reigning Messiah Jesus will uphold and adhere to the worship of that one Most High God, for when he was asked by a Jewish scribe nineteen hundred years ago, “Which commandment is first of all?” Jesus answered: “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our God is one Jehovah, and you must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind and with your whole strength.’” (Deuteronomy 6:4, 5; Mark 12:28-30) Christendom’s unchristian doctrine of a Trinity of “God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Ghost” will be rejected by all enlightened mankind as being a blasphemous pagan lie.
51. Does any creature share the divine name in an uncombined form, and how is that name written down in the Hebrew Scriptures?
51 Also, just as Jehovah is One, not a self-contradictory “trinity in unity,” so will his name be one. Nobody in all creation shares that name uncombined.b Just as He said, through his prophet Isaiah: “I am Jehovah. That is my name; and to no one else shall I give my own glory, neither my praise to graven images.” (Isaiah 42:8) When the prophet Moses first wrote down that divine name he spelled it by four Hebrew consonantal letters, without vowels, namely, יהוה (YHWH). This four-lettered name-spelling (Tetragrammaton) occurs 6,961 times in the inspired Hebrew Scriptures, from Genesis to Malachi.
52. In “that day,” how will Jehovah’s name prove to be “one” as far as pronunciation is concerned?
52 Its exact pronunciation is unknown today. For that reason it is pronounced in various ways in English alone; and the way in which other non-Hebrew languages pronounce this Tetragrammaton differs considerably. But in “that day” of Jehovah’s kingdom by Messiah He will reveal the exact pronunciation just as he did to Moses. Then there will be just one pronunciation of that holy name by everybody on earth. This will be realized by the bringing of all mankind back to speaking just one language again.
53. How else, besides uniformity of pronunciation, does Jehovah’s name prove to be “one,” due to its occurrence from one end of the Bible to the other?
53 Besides worldwide uniformity of pronunciation, there is more to the oneness of that sacred name. That name, used so many thousands of times from its first appearance in Genesis 2:4 to its last appearance in the joyful exclamation “Hallelujah!” in Revelation 19:6, is sufficient in itself to be used in all the many connections where God is involved. That one name thus embraces within itself a host of associations that give us a thorough idea of what God is like. That one name needs no substitute; it needs no replacement. It is not true that at the time of the baptism of Jesus in the year 29 C.E. the name of this Son of God became a ‘substitute or a replacement for Jehovah’ and that Jesus is the same as Jehovah and hence the name Jehovah does not need to be used anymore. Or, also, that the nameless title “The LORD” or just “God” can be properly used as a substitute for the identifying name Jehovah. That is deceptive reasoning on the part of the religious clergy of Christendom and of Jewry. Their erroneous reasoning will perish with them. In Jehovah’s coming new theocratic system of things His name will be just one!
SCOURGE AND CONFUSION UPON THE ATTACKING ENEMIES
54, 55. Why does it make one shudder to think of what is prophesied to happen to the eyes and tongues of those attacking the heavenly Jerusalem?
54 When the nations of earth make their coming final attack upon the “heavenly Jerusalem,” they will irreligiously scorn Jehovah’s Christian witnesses on earth and their tongues will doubtless abuse and blaspheme that most holy name. But not for long will their tongues wag in their mouths and their eyes look with disdain upon those who are proclaiming the kingdom of the “heavenly Jerusalem.” It makes us shudder to hear what will befall those attackers:
55 “And this is what will prove to be the scourge with which Jehovah will scourge all the peoples that will actually do military service against Jerusalem: There will be a rotting away of one’s flesh, while one is standing upon one’s feet; and one’s very eyes will rot away in their sockets, and one’s very tongue will rot away in one’s mouth. And it must occur in that day that confusion from Jehovah will become widespread among them; and they will actually grab hold, each one of the hand of his companion, and his hand will actually come up against the hand of his companion. And Judah itself also will be warring at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the nations round about will certainly be gathered, gold and silver and garments in excessive abundance. And this is how the scourge of the horse, the mule, the camel, and the male ass, and every sort of domestic animal that happens to be in those camps, will prove to be, like this scourge.”—Zechariah 14:12-15.
56. Why could it not be with sincerity that the peoples of Christendom should express shock at the account of that scourge?
56 Frightful? Gruesome? Sadistic? Ghoulish? Fiendish? Bible readers in Christendom may express shock at that inspired battle account! But would it not be hypocritical for them to do so? How can they sincerely be shocked, when the so-called “Christian” nations that they so patriotically support now stand prepared to fight the final war with the flaming napalm bombs dropped from airplanes, with liquid fire belched forth from guns, with corrosive chemical gases, with explosives that will blast away a person’s face so that the surviving victim needs to wear a mask and be fed intravenously, with nuclear bombs of such enormous power as to make tens of thousands of human creatures disappear into thin air? How can the supporters of such wartime viciousness find fault with Jehovah of armies? Let them rather be shocked, horrified, at themselves!
57. In reflecting on the severity of the scourge, what is the seriousness of the attack by the nations upon heavenly Jerusalem that we have to take into account?
57 As we reflect upon the severity of the “scourge with which Jehovah will scourge all the peoples that will actually do military service against Jerusalem,” we need to bear in mind the seriousness of the action that the peoples and nations are taking. (Zechariah 14:12) In doing military service against the “city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem,” they are striking at the capital organization of the Great Theocrat, the Sovereign of the universe. What brazen impudence could be greater? What defiance could be more extreme, reach to greater heights? What an insult to the highest and greatest Personage in all the realm of existence! Such impudent, defiant, insulting revolters against the universal sovereignty of the Great Theocrat need to learn to know with whom they are dealing. “For our God is also a consuming fire.” “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 12:29; 10:31) It is into his hands that they are plunging when they hurl themselves in godless military service against what Jehovah says is like “my eyeball.”—Zechariah 2:8.
58. In what way will the spiritual “Judah” be “warring at Jerusalem,” who will be warring alongside of them, and from what will they therefore be spared?
58 The strike of the religiously disillusioned nations and peoples will be against that which visibly represents the “heavenly Jerusalem,” namely, the anointed remnant of spiritual Israelites “who have been enrolled in the heavens.” (Hebrews 12:22, 23) This is indicated when the prophecy says: “And Judah itself also will be warring at Jerusalem.” (Zechariah 14:14) With this anointed remnant who are warring spiritually for the interests of Jehovah’s theocratic capital city will be the “great crowd” of those individuals out of all nations, tribes and peoples who have taken their stand on the side of Jehovah’s theocratic government. (Revelation 7:9-17) Being warriors in defense of what the “heavenly Jerusalem” stands for, they will be spared from the “scourge with which Jehovah will scourge” all the attackers.
59. Whether applied literally as described, or not, what will be the effect of the scourge upon the attack forces?
59 Whether the “scourge” will be literally as described in the prophecy, or not, silenced will be the mouths that are opened to let out terrifying war cries and threats! Tongues have rotted away. Powers of vision will suddenly go black, so that the fierce-eyed attackers can only strike out blindly against the object of their attack. Eyes have rotted away! Muscles and sinews of highly trained, physically developed warriors will lose strength, resilience, moveableness, as they stand on their feet ready for do-or-die action, not while they are lying on the ground as dead corpses. Flesh that clothes their skeletal structure has rotted away! The scourge hits suddenly, also, at the horses, the mules, the camels, the male asses and any other sorts of domestic animals that are in their military camps. Mobile equipment for the attack is helplessly immobilized!—Zechariah 14:12, 15.
60. What does the widespread confusion cause the attackers to do?
60 Terrifying enough—all this! But adding to the terror of this surprising development is the confusion that the Almighty God stirs up among the would-be attackers. Their unitedness of action against the “heavenly Jerusalem” and the warriors of “Judah” is broken up. Like gladiators with a blinding helmet over their heads in a Roman arena on spectacle before crowds of bloodthirsty circus attenders, they grab hands and strike at one another sightlessly. They have lost the vision of their common goal. Personal interests take the ascendancy. Their evolution theory of “the survival of the fittest” takes over and controls them. The death-dealing confusion becomes widespread, as they engage in mutual slaughter of themselves.—Zechariah 14:13.
61. (a) What memories are now stirred up of Jehovah’s warring in the past, “in the day of fight”? (b) At whose side will He fight in the coming war?
61 This is the climax of “that day”! Jehovah has moved into action in order to “war against those nations as in the day of his warring, in the day of fight.” (Zechariah 14:3) Memories are stirred up of Jehovah’s fight against the horsemen and chariots of the haughty Pharaoh of Egypt at the Red Sea in the days of the prophet Moses! Of Jehovah’s discomfiture of the combined forces of Moab, Ammon and Mount Seir on the western shore of the Dead Sea in the days of King Jehoshaphat of Judah (936-911 B.C.E.). Of Jehovah by means of his angel striking dead in one night 185,000 Assyrian soldiers under King Sennacherib who threatened Jerusalem in the days of King Hezekiah of Judah! (Exodus 14:1 to 15:21; 2 Chronicles 20:1-26; 2 Kings 18:13 to 19:36) But impressive as were those fights of Jehovah in days of old, far grander in magnitude will be his fight for his universal sovereignty, “the war of the great day of God the Almighty” at the approaching world situation called Har–Magedon. (Revelation 16:13-16) There He fights at the right hand of his Messiah, his Son. (Psalm 110:4-6) The recorded preview of the fight says:
62, 63. (a) How does Revelation 17:12-14 describe the fight for victory by Jehovah’s Messiah? (b) What will be most precious and most appreciated as the spoils of victory?
62 “And the ten horns that you saw mean ten kings, who have not yet received a kingdom, but they do receive authority as kings one hour with the wild beast. These have one thought, and so they give their power and authority to the wild beast. These will battle with the Lamb, but, because he is Lord of lords and King of kings, the Lamb will conquer them. Also, those called and chosen and faithful with him will do so.”—Revelation 17:12-14.
63 Thus the political lords and kings of the earth, although giving their power and authority to the United Nations as an organization for maintaining human sovereignty of all the earth, will suffer defeat at the hands of the once-sacrificed Lamb, Jesus Christ the King, and will be destroyed. (Revelation 19:11-21) Thereby Jehovah’s sovereignty over all the universe, including this earth, will be eternally vindicated. This divine vindication will, in itself, be the most precious spoils of victory. The greatest issue of all times will have been decisively settled to the satisfaction of all who live in heaven and on earth. The interests of the pure, true worship of the one living and true God at his spiritual temple will have been preserved for all time. These priceless things the war survivors on earth will appreciate more than all the material spoils that the slain enemies will leave behind in abundance: “and the wealth of all the nations round about will certainly be gathered, gold and silver and garments in excessive abundance.”—Zechariah 14:14.
a These members of the Governing Body who were imprisoned were seven in number, four of these being members of the editorial committee of the Watch Tower magazine, three of such being also members of the board of directors of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, one of such being the Society’s president, another its secretary-treasurer, another being a coauthor of the book “The Finished Mystery”; besides the foregoing, there was the other coauthor of “The Finished Mystery,” a fourth member of the board of directors of the Society, and the Society’s office supervisor.—See The Watch Tower as of January 15, 1918, pages 18, 23; June 15, page 178; July 1, page 194; July 15, page 222. (Note that not all members of the Society’s Board of Directors were on the Editorial Committee nor were all members of the Editorial Committee also directors of the Society.)