An International Festival in Paradise
1. How will Jehovah’s worshipers on earth be affected at beholding him gain the victory on “that day”?
GLORIOUS in the annals of universal history will be the day when Jehovah’s Theocracy triumphs over all the hostile nations of the earth. Tingling from head to foot with joyful excitement will be all the safeguarded worshipers of Jehovah as they behold this universal Theocrat gain the victory of victories in the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Har–Magedon.—Revelation 16:13-16.
2. (a) To what use will the material goods left behind after that victorious war be put? (b) What dying promise concerning the earth did Jesus make when he was dying a sacrificial death on earth?
2 All the material goods that the war survivors will gather after the destruction of their international enemies will be put to use in the service of the God-King Jehovah. No wrecked war equipment will be preserved as relics. (Isaiah 2:2-4) It will be a time for construction, not for destruction. The literal earth will doubtless have suffered from the “military service” of the enemies of Jehovah’s Messianic kingdom. The selfish ruiners of the earth will themselves have been brought to ruin, but many effects that their ruinous course will have produced down to the end of the final war will still be on hand. (Revelation 11:18) The peace of the thousand years of Messiah’s reign over all mankind now sets in. What more suitable time could there be for restoring earth, for transforming it from a battlefield into a paradise clear to its “four corners.” Before the Messiah as a perfect man on earth died in sacrificial death, he left this dying promise, to renew Paradise on God’s footstool, the earth.
3. What did Jesus say to the dying evildoer who expressed faith in Jesus’ kingship?
3 To the dying evildoer who expressed faith in the kingship of Jesus as a righteous man, saying, “Jesus, remember me when you get into your kingdom,” this prospective King replied: “Truly I tell you today, You will be with me in Paradise.”—Luke 23:39-43.
4. (a) After the Lamb Jesus Christ gains the victory over his beastly enemies, what will it be the time for him to do for the domain of his subjects, and also for that sympathetic evildoer? (b) Therefore, who also should be rewarded with enjoying the Paradise?
4 By the fight of the Lamb Jesus Christ against the symbolic “ten horns” of the scarlet-colored wild beast he has come into undisputed possession of the kingdom over all the earth. (Revelation 17:12-14; 19:11-21) It is the due time for beautifying the earthly domain of his subjects like the original Garden of Eden and to bring the long-dead evildoer into it by resurrecting him from the dead. If that evildoer, just for his expression of faith and of sympathy, is to enjoy Paradise under the Messianic kingdom, most certainly the “great crowd” of his loyal disciples who survive the coming “great tribulation” will do so as a loving reward.—Revelation 7:9-17.
5. (a) What kind of paradise did the attacking nations try to ruin, but what success did they have? (b) Who of the war survivors will enjoy the earthly Paradise continually?
5 The restoration of the earthly Paradise will not be the work of a day, but the earthly subjects of the theocratic kingdom of the Christ will have to work in that behalf. But their true, undefiled worship of Jehovah God, in order to flourish, will not have to wait until that restoration of Paradise is complete. Their enjoyment of a spiritual Paradise does not have to be put off until then. (2 Corinthians 12:4) The enemies who were ruining the earth down to the end of the war upon the “heavenly Jerusalem” had tried to ruin the spiritual Paradise of the anointed remnant in their God-given spiritual estate on earth. But they did not succeed in doing so, even with all their persecution and violent opposition. The enemies did not succeed in driving the anointed remnant and the “great crowd” of Jehovah’s worshipers out of that spiritual Paradise. So the spiritual Paradise survived right along with them through the “great tribulation” and into Jehovah’s new system of things. Thereafter when the anointed remnant finish their earthly assignment, they will receive fulfillment of the divine promise in Revelation 2:7. But the “great crowd” will remain on earth and inherit the terrestrial Paradise.—Psalm 37:11, 37-40; Proverbs 2:21, 22.
6. (a) What is the necessary requirement for a spiritual Paradise on earth, and why will the new system start with it? (b) What historic example do the surviving remnant and “great crowd” have for putting Jehovah’s worship first in the new order?
6 A spiritual Paradise is possible only along with the pure Scriptural worship of the one living and true God. The new system of things will start off immediately with that. Why should not the Great Theocrat, the God-King Jehovah, be adored and worshiped for his glorious victory in behalf of his universal sovereignty, which results also in the eternal liberation of his worshipers on earth from the Devil’s untheocratic organization? A precedent for this was set for the survivors of the “great tribulation” by the patriarch Noah. After the global flood had passed, and God told Noah and his family to leave the ark of preservation, Noah at once proceeded to offer up a sacrifice to the God of their salvation. This pleased Jehovah and won for Noah and his family the divine blessing. (Genesis 8:15 to 9:1) This fine example will be followed by the surviving anointed remnant and the “great crowd” of their fellow survivors. With Babylon the Great annihilated and with all her associated opposers of true worship destroyed, the anointed remnant and the “great crowd” will have greater reason than ever to put Jehovah’s worship first in the new order.
7. Those resurrected from the dead on earth will have to bring themselves into harmony with what Paradise, and where will they have to go up for worship in order to gain unfading joy?
7 How could it be otherwise than that the spiritual Paradise will flourish with greater beauty and grandeur than ever before? All those of mankind for whom the Messiah died and whom he calls forth from the memorial tombs of the dead will have to bring themselves into harmony with that spiritual Paradise. (John 5:28, 29) They will have to put Jehovah’s worship first in their lives. They will have to accept the Bible truth and to cultivate the fruits of God’s holy spirit. (Galatians 5:22, 23) If they really desire to gain life eternal in the Paradise earth, they will have to come up to the worship of the heavenly Theocrat, the God-King, at his spiritual temple. By doing so, they will enter into boundless joy, never to fade. This divine requirement for such resurrected ones is spoken of in Zechariah’s closing sentences. Those of whom he speaks did not come up to Jehovah’s temple before Jerusalem was attacked. So they do not picture survivors of Har–Magedon. They appear on earth after it by resurrection.
8. What will happen to those who do not go up from Egypt and other nations to worship Jehovah and celebrate the festival of booths?
8 “And it must occur that, as regards everyone who is left remaining out of all the nations that are coming against Jerusalem, they must also go up from year to year to bow down to the King, Jehovah of armies, and to celebrate the festival of the booths. And it must occur that, as regards anyone that does not come up out of the families of the earth to Jerusalem to bow down to the King, Jehovah of armies, even upon them no pouring rain will occur. And if the family of Egypt itself does not come up and does not actually enter, upon them also there shall be none. The scourge will occur with which Jehovah scourges the nations that do not come up to celebrate the festival of the booths. This itself will prove to be the punishment for the sin of Egypt and the sin of all the nations that do not come up to celebrate the festival of the booths.
9. In that day, how will bells on the horses be marked, and what will happen with the bowls and cooking pots in the land, and who will no longer be found in the temple?
9 “In that day there will prove to be upon the bells of the horse ‘Holiness belongs to Jehovah!’ And the widemouthed cooking pots in the house of Jehovah must become like the bowls before the altar. And every widemouthed cooking pot in Jerusalem and in Judah must become something holy belonging to Jehovah of armies, and all those who are sacrificing must come in and take from them and must do boiling in them. And there will no more prove to be a Canaanite in the house of Jehovah of armies in that day.”—Zechariah 14:16-21.
ADVISABILITY FOR NATIONS TO JOIN IN THE FESTIVAL
10. How will Jehovah’s victory over the international attacking forces affect the attitude of the nations that supplied such forces, and why will they not want to risk passive resistance to Him?
10 We can imagine how, in the prophetic picture, Jehovah’s magnificent victory over the international armies attacking Jerusalem would affect the people back home of those nations that supplied such armies. His victory would painfully demonstrate to them that Jehovah is the only living and true God and that He is invincible. And if He smote their combined armies in the astounding way that He did, what could he not do to them if they kept on showing opposition to him and did not acknowledge him? What would he do to them if they did not go up to Jerusalem and bow down to him as King at his temple? Will he tolerate even their passive resistance? If they were not positively for Him, would it not mean that they were actually against Him? Yes, it means exactly that!
11. Who is the Rainmaker, and what would result to them, if the nations (including Egypt) failed to worship him?
11 Jehovah is the heavenly Rainmaker, concerning whom all people are exhorted: “Make your requests of Jehovah for rain in the time of the spring rain, even of Jehovah who is making the storm clouds, and who gives a downpour of rain to them, to each one vegetation in the field.” (Zechariah 10:1) If those nations who furnished the attack armies did not receive rain, how could they survive? Perpetual drought would produce an ecological condition nationwide that would spell death. Ancient Egypt depended upon the Nile River to irrigate her land regularly. But if Jehovah did not send rain in downpours at the sources of the Nile River, what would happen to their deified river and its annual floods? Yet, even if Egypt and other lands did get along without the moisture from the skies, their neglect to worship the one living and true God would be punished with the deadly scourge that had wrought havoc with their attack armies. There was no dodging of the divine requirement. They must come up to Jerusalem to worship at his temple or die. Their lands would not become part of the earthly Paradise.—Zechariah 14:17-19.
12. To what annual festival were the nations required to come up, and what special sacrifices were offered during that festival?
12 Whether Jehovah of armies gained his victory over the attacking nations just before the Jewish festival of the booths (or, tabernacles) in the seventh lunar month, Tishri, is not definitely stated in Zechariah 14:12-15. However, the festival of booths, celebrated on Tishri 15-21 of each year, at Jerusalem, is the one that all the nations are specifically required to celebrate at the temple in Jerusalem. It was most appropriate that to this particular festival all the nations should come up and bow down to the King, Jehovah of armies. At this seven-day festival in Jerusalem there were offered seventy young bulls, beginning with thirteen young bulls on the first day and decreasing the number of them by one each succeeding day down to seven on the seventh day.
13. (a) Why is the number of the young bulls sacrificed significant, and how many benefit from such a sacrifice? (b) To gain everlasting blessings to whom must the nations dedicate themselves?
13 Such young bulls appeared to be sacrificed in behalf of all the families of the earth, there being seventy family heads enumerated in the record of Genesis, chapter ten, concerning the spread of earth’s population after the flood of Noah’s day. Seventy is the product of seven times ten; and, since in Scripture both of these numbers represent perfection, completeness, wholeness, spiritually and earthly, the seventy young bulls of the festival of tabernacles or booths would figuratively serve as a sacrifice for all the world of mankind, all nations. (Numbers 29:12-34; Leviticus 23:33-35; Deuteronomy 16:13-15; Exodus 23:16) All nations, without exception, must turn their backs on false gods, on false religion, to which they had formerly ‘dedicated themselves.’ (Hosea 9:10) They must now dedicate themselves to the worship of the God-King Jehovah at his temple. This will result in everlasting blessing to them.—1 Thessalonians 1:9.
14. At the festival of the booths, to what emotion was expression most fully given, and, by Jehovah’s inviting nations to attend it, what does he indicate to be his will for the nations?
14 Of all three annual festivals celebrated at Jerusalem, the festival of booths or of ingathering proved to be the most joyous one of all the year. Why should the celebrants not rejoice at the abundant harvest with which their God had blessed them at the close of the agricultural year? So great was the joy at this seven-day festival that it was said that whoever had not seen the joy at the festival of the booths does not know what joy is. The great Rainmaker, who blesses the earth with moisture from heaven, wants all the nations to be joyful. Their worship of Him will be blessed with this overflowing joy. How wise, then, for the nations to accept his invitation to celebrate this festival at his temple!—Deuteronomy 32:43; Romans 15:10, 11.
15. Why is it that the nations must not go up to an earthly Jerusalem in the Middle East to celebrate a seven-day “feast of the booths”?
15 Do we catch the significance of this prophetic picture? Not that all the nations must celebrate the literal feast of tabernacles or booths at an earthly Jerusalem annually. The celebration of the festival of tabernacles at Jerusalem in the Middle East ceased in the year 70 of our Common Era. And appropriately so, for since the death and resurrection of the Messiah Jesus and his ascension to heaven in the year 33 C.E. that literal seven-day festival had ceased to apply, to have value. It was a part of the “law of Moses,” which law had a “shadow of the good things to come.” (Hebrews 10:1; Colossians 2:16, 17) Those prophetic shadows of the Mosaic law gave place to the realities, when the ascended Messiah Jesus appeared in God’s heavenly presence and applied the value of his sacrificial blood to the validating of the promised “new covenant,” which introduced the Christian realities. So the reality, as foreshadowed by the typical “festival of the booths” or “festival of the ingathering,” is the thing now to celebrate. To it the redeemed ones of all mankind, the living survivors and the resurrected dead nations, must come, under the Messianic kingdom of Jesus, the Son of God.
16. (a) To what Jerusalem will the nations go up for the celebration of the festival? (b) What will befall those who refuse to go up, and what will that mean for them?
16 To the “city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem,” these earthly celebrators out of all nations, tribes and peoples must approach, by recognizing the heavenly Messianic kingdom. To the earthly courtyard of Jehovah’s spiritual temple they must come, and there they need to “bow down to the King, Jehovah of armies,” the Great Theocrat, the Universal Sovereign. If they refuse to leave their former state of enmity with God and gather in obedience and service at his spiritual temple, they will suffer punishment for wanting to continue in sin. The divine “scourge” will be upon them, and that will signify everlasting death inflicted by Jehovah through his Messianic King, Jesus. There will be upon such no “pouring rain” of blessings. This will mean no share for them in the fruitful, life-sustaining Paradise.—Zechariah 14:17-19.
THE JOYFUL INTERNATIONAL INGATHERING
17. (a) What does the ancient festival of ingathering picture, and when will it be celebrated? (b) What will descend upon the obedient celebrators, and what pleasures of Paradise will they enjoy?
17 The ancient festival of the booths, the feast of the ingathering, pictured the gathering of the redeemed ones of all nations, peoples and tribes of mankind to the worship of the King, Jehovah of armies, at his spiritual temple. This will take place during the thousand years’ reign of the King-Priest, Jesus Christ. He will serve as Jehovah’s High Priest like Melchizedek in behalf of all mankind who gather to the spiritual temple of worship. They will have to recognize the “city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem,” as the capital city of Jehovah’s theocratic organization. Upon these there will be a “pouring rain” of divine blessings. For these worshipers the spiritual Paradise will flourish with all the fruits of God’s holy spirit in their lives. For them, also, the earthly Paradise will bloom all around the globe. It will yield its fruitage in abundance to sustain all of earth’s obedient inhabitants in perfect human life eternally. Reaping the fruitage of earth’s Paradise forever, they will have reason to worship and bless the Provider of the never-ending ingathering to all time in perpetual joy.
18. How does the prophetic picture show that reverential regard will be paid to the true God even in using horses?
18 What a festival place the paradisaic earth will then be! What an international gathering of Jehovah’s worshipers to the festival of the booths and of ingathering will then take place! Reverential regard will then be given to the holiness that belongs to Jehovah. Worshipful attention will then be paid by all who are favored with the gift of everlasting life. Listen! Do you hear those bells jingling on those horses coming, likely out of Egypt, from which land horses used to be imported? Now they are bringing worshipers to the center of worship for the celebration of the joyous festival of the booths! Why, even those bells are inscribed with the words “Holiness belongs to Jehovah.” And the jingling or tinkling of those bells calls attention to that important fact. The use of the horse is turned to a peaceful, holy purpose, no more to war chariots.
19. (a) The inscription on the horse bells was the same as that engraved where else, and what does this indicate as regards all those proclaiming Jehovah’s holiness? (b) Such awareness of His holiness acts as an incentive to do what?
19 The inscription on those horse bells is the very same as that engraved upon the golden “shining plate” that was tied by a blue cord to the forefront of the turban of the high priest of Israel. This engraved plate was called “the holy sign of dedication.” (Exodus 28:36-39; 29:6; 39:30) How beautifully this pictures that all the way from the High Priest Jesus Christ in the “heavenly Jerusalem” down to the bearers of the earthly worshipers to Jehovah’s spiritual temple, everything proclaims the holiness of the Most High God! Everything appears to be pervaded with the awareness that Jehovah of armies is God and King. Everything is done joyfully with a view to glorifying, sanctifying, holding sacred his worthy name. How close this draws the worshiper to the God whom he adores! What an influence this exercises toward the worshiper’s living as a credit to his Creator and God, bringing no reproach upon Jehovah!
20, 21. (a) How will the widemouthed cooking pot in Jehovah’s house become like the bowl at the altar? (b) How does this reflect that we shall view or treat every part of our living then?
20 Even the commonplace things of life take on new meaning, new value. Why, “the widemouthed cooking pots in the house of Jehovah must become like the bowls before the altar. And every widemouthed cooking pot in Jerusalem and in Judah must become something holy belonging to Jehovah of armies, and all those who are sacrificing must come in and take from them and must do boiling in them.” (Zechariah 14:20, 21) Does this mean that, in figurative speech, the cooking pots at the house of Jehovah would thenceforth be made, not of brass or copper, but of gold like the bowls with which the precious blood of the sacrificial victims was caught and from which the blood was tossed against the altar of sacrifice? Possibly! And that would mean that no matter whether the cooking of the sacrificial meat had been rated as not of as high importance and value as the catching of the blood of the sacrificial victim and the tossing of it, now, however, in the new system of things it would be different. Every step in the offering of a communion sacrifice to God and in the sharing of it with Him would be just as precious as every other step in the arrangement.
21 It is not the material of which the particular vessel is made that counts; it is the service that it renders, and it is also the importance that is attached to that service. This would signify, then, that every feature of service and of praise to God is important, is necessary, is valuable. Every feature is appreciated by God and is holy to him or is of a sacred quality to Him. How that thought warms the heart of every worshiper of Him! How it stimulates us as worshipers of Him to do everything that we do as part of our worship of Him and as if done directly to Him!—1 Corinthians 10:31.
22. How might such use of the cooking pots at the temple besides the altar bowls suggest a great increase in the number of worshipers of Jehovah?
22 The prophetic picture could also be suggesting the great increase in the number of worshipers of Jehovah, at his typical temple where they are offering their sacrifices. There would be so many animal victims slaughtered that the bowls for tossing the blood normally at the temple would not be enough in quantity; so there would be need to resort to using the widemouthed cooking pots also to catch the blood and toss it against the altar. (2 Chronicles 29:22) As a result, there would be more flesh of the sacrificial victims to be boiled preparatory to being eaten in the dining halls of the temple. The cooking pots at the house of Jehovah being used extraordinarily now for the sprinkling of the blood on the altar, there would be a shortage of cooking pots at the temple. This would necessitate the appropriating of the common cooking pots of the private homes of the city of Jerusalem in order to do the boiling of the sacrificial flesh at the temple. In this manner those common domestic cooking pots would become “something holy belonging to Jehovah.” They would be sanctified to His service.
23. Notwithstanding what the picture with earthly Jerusalem implies, what about a shortage of priests in the “heavenly Jerusalem” and the means for rendering priestly service to mankind?
23 Whatever would be the case with the typical Jerusalem as used in the prophetic picture, there will be no shortage of priestly service in the “city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem.” The High Priest Jesus Christ and his full complement of 144,000 underpriests will be up there. They will be fully adequate for the worldwide work of healing obedient mankind from the death-dealing effects of sin and imperfection. There will be no shortage of utensils, as it were. The cleansing, healing blood of the High Priest Jesus Christ as the “Lamb of God” will be ample enough in its redemptive value to avail for all who turn to Jehovah God. Throughout the thousand years of his reign he and his underpriests will minister to mankind’s needs; and so the blessed results of this will be, as stated in Hebrews 7:24, 25: “He because of continuing alive forever has his priesthood without any successors. Consequently he is able also to save completely those who are approaching God through him, because he is always alive to plead for them.” So the tremendous increase of worshipers at Jehovah’s spiritual temple due to resurrection of the dead will not put too great a burden on him.
NO “CANAANITE” TO MAR MILLENNIAL WORSHIP
24. (a) What will the earthly celebrators of the Millennial festival not be molested by at the spiritual temple of Jehovah? (b) What action by Jesus on earth at the temple of Jerusalem proves that he will not tolerate any such molestation?
24 When all those earthly celebrators of the Millennial festival of the booths approach Jehovah’s spiritual temple of worship, they will not be confronted with or be obliged to run the gauntlet of a swarm of traffickers in religious articles, selfishly seeking to make money off those who desire to worship God “with spirit and truth.” (John 4:24) Jehovah’s heavenly High Priest will not stand for this for one moment. When he was on earth as a man in order to offer his perfect human sacrifice as a high priest, he twice cleansed the temple at Jerusalem of religious commercialists, once in the first year of his public ministry and again just four days before his sacrificial death. Concerning this latter case we read:
“And [on his triumphal ride] he entered into Jerusalem, into the temple; and he looked around upon all things, and, as the hour was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve. The next day, when they had come out from Bethany, . . . they came to Jerusalem. There he entered into the temple and started to throw out those selling and buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves; and he would not let anyone carry a utensil through the temple, but he kept teaching and saying: ‘Is it not written, “My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations”? But you have made it a cave of robbers.’ And the chief priests and the scribes heard it, and they began to seek how to destroy him.”—Mark 11:11-18; Isaiah 56:7; John 2:12-17.
25. The High Priest will see to it that what part of Zechariah’s prophecy is thus fulfilled?
25 With just as much zeal as ever for the house of God’s worship, the heavenly High Priest Jesus Christ will see to it that the closing words of Zechariah’s prophecy are fulfilled: “And there will no more prove to be a Canaanite [or, tradesman] in the house of Jehovah of armies in that day.”—Zechariah 14:21.
26. (a) Why does the “Canaanite” have no place at Jehovah’s house of worship? (b) How or with what will the earth then be sanctified?
26 The designation Canaanite was synonymous with “tradesman.” (Proverbs 31:24; Job 41:6; compare Nehemiah 13:15-21.) Such persons, who seek to make selfish, commercial profit out of the most sacred thing on earth, the worship of the one living and true God, have no place in the earthly courtyard of Jehovah’s spiritual temple, nor on the earth His footstool at all. And there will be none such, nor any religious frauds. The teaching of the pure truth and the practice of pure, undefiled religion will then sanctify the earth. Everywhere on earth Jehovah will be known and adored. (Isaiah 11:9) He is holy, and his worshipers in the earth-wide paradise will, like him, be holy.—1 Peter 1:16.
27. (a) What special privilege will the “great crowd” of tribulation survivors have during the Millennial celebration of the festival? (b) All those devoting themselves to Jehovah’s worship will then gain the right to what?
27 “From year to year” all on earth who drink of the “living waters” that go forth from the “heavenly Jerusalem” will celebrate the Millennial festival of booths with unspeakable joy at Jehovah’s spiritual temple. (Zechariah 14:8, 16) The vision seen in the Bible’s last book of the numberless “great crowd” of worshipers jubilating before God with palm branches in their hands corresponds with the temple scene especially on the last day of the “festival of booths” in ancient Jerusalem. (Revelation 7:9) The “great crowd” of survivors of the “great tribulation” will have a special joy. It will be that of helping the many billions of those resurrected from the grave to go up to the celebration of the festival, without regard to their previous nationality during the former system of things. In that way all those who devote themselves to the worship of the King, Jehovah of armies, will gain the God-given right to a life of endless joy in a paradisaic earth under Jehovah’s Theocracy.
28. To what future scene of God’s accomplished purpose regarding the earth may worshipers of the Divine Ruler lift their eyes of faith?
28 All you worshipers of the Divine Ruler Jehovah, lift your eyes of faith to the future scene that will grace the terrestrial “footstool” of this heavenly Theocrat. See all the earth radiantly blooming with a peaceful Paradise, that delights even the eye of the great Theocrat and Creator, a Paradise adorned with vegetation and trees, both good to look at and also producing food for sustaining creature life in perfection. The divine commission that was given to perfect man and woman at the beginning in Eden has been realized, namely: “Fill the earth and subdue it, and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving upon the earth.” The whole earth to its four corners is filled with godly human creatures in physical, moral and mental perfection, whom the paternal Theocrat is joyful at acknowledging to be his sons and daughters through the Lamb Jesus Christ.
29. To whom will all of Paradise’s inhabitants ascribe their salvation, and how will the inhabitants of heaven respond?
29 It is the close of the last day of the divine week of seven creative days, each seven thousand years in length. As God the Creator examines and sees everything that he has made, look! it is “very good.” (Genesis 1:28 to 2:3) All heaven is watching the perfected earth and listening. The hearts of the heavenly seraphs, cherubs and angels are filled with admiration for the great Theocrat as they see all humans on earth strike a worshipful attitude. Praise to God sounds forth. It thrills the heavenly throngs as they hear the earth’s full population join the “great crowd” in gratefully saying: “Salvation we owe to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb.” “Amen,” respond all the holy inhabitants of heaven, “The blessing and the glory and the wisdom and the thanksgiving and the honor and the power and the strength be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”—Revelation 7:9-12.