When Man’s Old Order Makes Way for God’s New Order
1, 2. (a) By what agency will Babylon the Great be destroyed? (b) What does Revelation 17:17 say about the “ten horns” of that scarlet-colored “wild beast”?
WHEN the “great harlot,” Babylon the Great, is destroyed in the impending “great tribulation,” a longtime part of man’s old order will pass away. That Babylonish world empire of false religion is destroyed by former lovers. That is to say, her destruction will come by the agency of the symbolic “ten horns” on the “seven heads” of the scarlet-colored “wild beast,” namely, the international organization for world peace and security. That postwar organization was formed in the year 1919 C.E. and operated first under the name The League of Nations.
2 As regards the “ten horns” that give the symbolic “wild beast” a formidable appearance, Revelation 17:17 says: “For God put it into their hearts to carry out his thought, even to carry out their one thought by giving their kingdom to the wild beast, until the words of God will have been accomplished.”
3. (a) What is symbolized by the “ten horns”? (b) As respects the relationship that would exist between the political states, what does Revelation 17:17 say?
3 By the peace conference of 1919 new political states were created. Thus there were more symbolic “horns” after World War I than immediately before it. The question then became urgent, namely, What was to be the relationship between all the political states of the world? (All of them were symbolized by the “ten horns,” inasmuch as the number ten is used in the Bible to mean allness, the complete number.) As respects this question, “God put it into their hearts to carry out his thought.” How could that be?
4. As to government, what took place in the year 1914?
4 Well, for decades the obedient remnant of spiritual Israelites had been declaring the end of the Gentile Times in the year 1914. At that date God’s permission of the Gentile nations to exercise world control without interference from his Messianic kingdom stopped. He signalized such an end of his permission by establishing the Messianic kingdom in the heavens, in the hands of the everlasting Heir of King David, Jesus Christ. Never again was the Messianic kingdom in David’s royal line to be trampled underfoot, as it had been trampled underfoot 2,520 years previously, in 607 B.C.E.—Luke 21:24.
5. What notification was given to the political powers of the earth that the time had come for them to surrender their ruling power to God’s ruling Messiah?
5 To the anointed remnant of spiritual Israelites, the raging of World War I in 1914, with food shortages and pestilences accompanying it, was a confirmation that God’s Messianic kingdom was fully established, fully brought to birth in the heavens, at the end of the Gentile Times in that year. So they went preaching the good news of God’s established kingdom until war conditions and bitter persecution practically stopped them. This Kingdom-preaching was a notification to all the Gentile political powers of the earth, the symbolic “ten horns.” It notified them that God’s authorizing them to rule the world uninterruptedly had expired. The time had come for them to recognize his universal sovereignty and to surrender their ruling power to God’s Messiah enthroned in the heavens.
6. How had God already expressed “his thought” as to what the Gentile nations would do, and what was that thought?
6 However, God had thought out and foretold that the symbolic “ten horns” would not do this. For example, Psalm Two expressed his thought on this, that the Gentile kings of the earth and high officials would mass up together in opposition to Him and his installed king. (Compare Acts 4:24-30.) Already, in Daniel 2:44, he had foretold the destruction of them all as unchangeable resisters of his universal sovereignty. His thought now was that the Gentile nations, represented by the “ten horns,” should definitely adopt a certain course of action that would justify him before all creation in destroying such nations. His thought was that they should take united action as a consolidated group of nations, so that he might destroy them all together at one time. This is the very thing that they did. Thus we can see how God, by his own course of action, put it into the hearts of the symbolic “ten horns” to carry out his thought.
7. (a) How did the “ten horns” ‘give their kingdom to the wild beast’? (b) What is the “one hour” during which they are to have authority with the “wild beast”?
7 In proof of this, Revelation 17:17 continues on to say: “Even to carry out their one thought by giving their kingdom to the wild beast.” Even so, they did not give their kingdom to God’s Messianic kingdom as proclaimed by the remnant of spiritual Israel. Instead, they gave it to the symbolic “wild beast,” the man-made organization for world peace and security, at that time called The League of Nations. As time went on, more and more nations entered the League, in that way giving their “kingdom” to it. In that way it was true, “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.” (Revelation 17:12, 13) Since they are to “receive authority as kings one hour with the wild beast,” the existence of the symbolic “wild beast” is to be relatively short, as it were, “one hour.” Thus far the “wild beast” organization has been in existence only fifty-five years, less time than that of the neo-Babylonian World Power (607-539 B.C.E.).
8. As foretold, what task do the “ten horns” have to perform as the agents of Jehovah God?
8 The symbolic “ten horns,” the member nations of the world peace and security organization, have a task to perform as the agents of Jehovah God. What is that? It is to destroy the world empire of false religion, symbolized by Babylon the Great. Says God’s angel to the apostle John: “The ten horns that you saw, and the wild beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her devastated and naked, and will eat up her fleshy parts and will completely burn her with fire.”—Revelation 17:16.
9. In practical terms, what will that mean?
9 This signifies that what marriages of Religion and State, Church and State, have existed till then, will be dissolved. What national or State churches still exist will be disestablished. Tax exemption for religious organizations will be discontinued. Even Bible publishing and distributing societies of Christendom will be suppressed. Missionary work by the churches of Christendom will come to a halt. Army and congressional chaplains will be discharged. The celebration of Easter and Christmas and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) and Passover will be discontinued. The tremendous material wealth of the religious institutions, what may be left of it after the looters take what they want by force, will be expropriated by the political governments in their dire financial straits. For anyone, man or woman, to wear a distinctive religious garb identifying such a one as a member of a religious organization of Christendom, will expose one to assault or arrest as being hostile or a menace to the State. Amazing as it may yet seem to many, Christendom will be gone—forever!
10-12. (a) Is it only Christendom that will be destroyed? (b) In Isaiah 2:10-22, what effects on humans as a result of Jehovah’s day of judgment are foretold?
10 Since that will be the case with Christendom, the most powerful part of Babylon the Great, what is to be expected in the case of all the other long-established, deeply entrenched religious organizations outside of Christendom? All of Babylon the Great must disappear from the earth! It will be the foretold day of judgment of Jehovah God the Almighty, regarding which we read:
11 “Enter into the rock and hide yourself in the dust because of the dreadfulness of Jehovah, and from his splendid superiority. The haughty eyes of earthling man must become low, and the loftiness of men must bow down; and Jehovah alone must be put on high in that day. For it is the day belonging to Jehovah of armies. It is upon everyone self-exalted and lofty and upon everyone lifted up or low; . . .
12 “And the valueless gods themselves will pass away completely. And people will enter into the caves of the rocks and into the holes of the dust because of the dreadfulness of Jehovah and from his splendid superiority, when he rises up for the earth to suffer shocks. In that day the earthling man will throw his worthless gods of silver and his valueless gods of gold that they had made for him to bow before to the shrewmice and to the bats, in order to enter into the holes in the rocks and into the clefts of the crags, because of the dreadfulness of Jehovah and from his splendid superiority, when he rises up for the earth to suffer shocks. For your own sakes, hold off from the earthling man, whose breath is in his nostrils, for on what basis is he himself to be taken into account?”—Isaiah 2:10-22; compare Revelation 6:15-17.
13. (a) As indicated in that prophecy, how will they then treat things that pertain to religion? (b) Where will worldly-minded men seek refuge, and with what language did Isaiah foretell this?
13 On that day of Jehovah’s judgment against man’s old order, what will worldly-minded men do? Being faced with the deteriorating earth-wide conditions, they will lose faith in and turn away from religious things and will discard them as worthless, valueless. They will consider as being of no account the professional religionists, who are nothing more than men dependent upon the air they breathe in through their nostrils. Being now disillusioned about such ones, men will turn exclusively to materialistic things. Abandoning religion of all worldly kinds, they will seek refuge, protection and preservation in nonspiritual, earthly organizations that they hope will shield them like mountains and crags. They will trust no longer in religious men whom they once regarded as gods, as having connections with the superhuman spirit realm. One of the mountainlike organizations in which they will take refuge is the United Nations, the “Eighth” World Power, for that symbolic “wild beast” with its “ten horns” will destroy Babylon the Great.
14. Whose judgment really is it that is expressed in the destruction of Babylon the Great, and how does this serve as a vindication of him?
14 Although the devastating, denuding, consuming and burning of Babylon the Great may be the direct work of the symbolic “ten horns” of the scarlet-colored “wild beast,” it is nonetheless the execution of the judgment from Jehovah God. In line with that view of matters, it is written in Revelation 18:8 concerning the world empire of false religion: “That is why in one day her plagues will come, death and mourning and famine, and she will be completely burned with fire, because Jehovah God, who judged her, is strong.” So, to Jehovah God the Almighty goes the credit for liberating mankind from the reign of the religious “great harlot,” Babylon the Great. It will be a vindication of Him as not being the Author of the world empire of false Babylonish religion, not even of Christendom.
JOY OVER DESTRUCTION OF BABYLON THE GREAT
15-19. Among whom will there be rejoicing when Babylon the Great is destroyed, and what did the apostle John write about this?
15 Whereas for Babylon the Great one of the plagues coming upon her from God’s hand is to be “mourning,” great joy will be experienced by those on the side of Jehovah God and of His pure form of worship. The inspired apostle John describes this rejoicing on the part of Jehovah’s worshipers. After seeing a prophetic picture of how “Babylon the great city [will] be hurled down, and she will never be found again,” the apostle John writes:
16 “After these things I heard what was as a loud voice of a great crowd in heaven. They said: ‘Praise Jah, you people [Greek: Hallelujah]! The salvation and the glory and the power belong to our God, because his judgments are true and righteous. For he has executed judgment upon the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication, and he has avenged the blood of his slaves at her hand.’ And right away for the second time they said: ‘Praise Jah, you people [Hallelujah]! And the smoke from her goes on ascending forever and ever.’
17 “And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God seated upon the throne, and said: ‘Amen! Praise Jah, you people [Hallelujah]!’
18 “Also, a voice issued forth from the throne and said: ‘Be praising our God, all you his slaves, who fear him, the small ones and the great.’
19 “And I heard what was as a voice of a great crowd and as a sound of many waters and as a sound of heavy thunders. They said: ‘Praise Jah, you people [Hallelujah!], because Jehovah our God, the Almighty, has begun to rule as king.’”—Revelation 19:1-6; 18:21-24.
20. Where does that praising of Jehovah take place, but who else participates?
20 All such praising of Jehovah because of his executing upon the “great harlot” the foretold judgments is represented, apparently, as taking place up in heaven among the holy angels. However, the voice that was heard from the heavenly throne after the third Hallelujah said: “Be praising our God, all you his slaves, who fear him, the small ones and the great.” This command from the throne embraces the “slaves” of Jah Jehovah who still remain on earth after the destruction of the “great harlot,” Babylon the Great. These “slaves” are the ones that obeyed the earlier divine command from heaven: “Get out of her, my people, if you do not want to share with her in her sins, and if you do not want to receive part of her plagues. For her sins have massed together clear up to heaven, and God has called her acts of injustice to mind. Render to her even as she herself rendered, and do to her twice as much, yes, twice the number of the things she did; in the cup in which she put a mixture put twice as much of the mixture for her. To the extent that she glorified herself and lived in shameless luxury, to that extent give her torment and mourning.”—Revelation 18:4-7.
21. Who are the ones that, since 1919 C.E., have got out of Babylon the Great, and so what fine prospect do they have?
21 Jehovah’s Christian witnesses, both the remnant of spiritual Israelites and the “great crowd” of sheeplike companions, are the ones that, since 1919 C.E., have got out of Babylon the Great, in order to prove themselves to be Jehovah’s “people.” They did not “want to share with her in her sins,” and they did not “want to receive part of her plagues.” Accordingly they will not share with Babylon the Great in her plagues of “death and mourning and famine” and in being “completely burned with fire.” (Revelation 18:8) So these obedient Christian witnesses of Jehovah will survive the destruction of the Babylonish world empire of false religion. They will be witnesses of that destruction. And since the heavenly hosts, including those symbolized by the “twenty-four elders,” will praise Jah Jehovah over his executing of divine vengeance upon that “old harlot,” these surviving Christian witnesses of His on earth will be justified in their rejoicing and shouting out “Hallelujah!” But then what?
BATTLE OF “TEN HORNS” AND “BEAST” AGAINST THE LAMB
22. (a) Following the destruction of Babylon the Great, what confrontation will take place? (b) What is it that Jehovah’s Christian witnesses will really be confronting at that time?
22 Then—a confrontation between those then left on the earth. The seven-headed, ten-horned scarlet-colored wild beast and earth’s inhabitants who still “wonder admiringly” at the beast will be on the one side of the controversy. The surviving Christian witnesses of Jehovah will be on the other side. Inasmuch as the scarlet-colored wild beast is merely an “image” of the seven-headed, ten-horned wild beast that ascended out of the sea and that is worshiped by the people who think that nobody “can do battle with it,” this means that the Christian witnesses of Jehovah will really be confronting this symbolic “wild beast” of which an image was made. This wild beast out of the sea symbolized the worldwide political system of human rulership, to which system Satan the Devil gave “its power and its throne and great authority.” (Revelation 13:1-8) This earth-wide political system has 138 nations that represent it in the present-day United Nations, the international organization that is now the “image” of the wild beast that ascended out of the “sea” of humankind. This is what Jehovah’s witnesses must then confront!
23. (a) What is the two-horned “wild beast” that ‘speaks as a dragon,’ as foretold at Revelation 13:11-13? (b) The United Nations is referred to as an “image” of what “wild beast,” and who proposed the making of this political “image”?
23 Among those national groups that have members in the “image” of the wild beast are the former British Empire (which, since 1931 C.E., has been reorganized as the British Commonwealth of Nations), and the United States of North America. These two English-speaking groups have acted together in world crises, so that the two make up a dual world power, an Anglo-American world power, the Seventh World Power of Bible prophecy. In a general way this Seventh World Power has worked along with the symbolic wild beast, and has acted as a mouthpiece or prophet for the beastly worldwide political system. For this reason it is pictured in Revelation 13:11-13 as a dragon-mouthed wild beast that ascends out of the “earth” and that has two horns like those of a lamb. Quite properly this two-horned or dual world power has membership in the United Nations of today, for it was this Anglo-American World Power that proposed and put through the making of a political “image” of the “wild beast” that ascended out of the “sea.”—Revelation 13:14, 15.
24. (a) According to the facts of history, how did the formation of the League of Nations and of the United Nations come about? (b) In reality, the United Nations is an expression of what on the part of worldly politicians?
24 During the throes of World War I, the then British Prime Minister Lloyd George thought of the formation of a postwar League of Nations to act as an impediment to another world war. America’s wartime president, T. W. Wilson, worked hard to set up the League. Similarly, in the closing months of the second world war, the United States as the other member of the two-horned “wild beast” promoted the formation of a successor to the then defunct League of Nations. In October of 1945 this revised organization for world peace and security emerged as the United Nations. It was, in effect, the same old “image” of the political “wild beast,” but under a new name. It was proposed and put in operation by worldly politicians in defiance of God’s Messianic kingdom that Jehovah’s Christian witnesses had been proclaiming and recommending since the end of the Gentile Times in 1914.
25. (a) Thus, according to the real significance of Revelation, chapter 17, what is it that Jehovah’s Christian witnesses will have to confront after Babylon the Great is destroyed? (b) What government is it that these Witnesses represent?
25 In the light of the foregoing, when Revelation, chapter seventeen, speaks of the scarlet-colored, seven-headed, ten-horned “wild beast,” we should think of the real power that is behind this symbolic “image,” namely, the worldwide political system of government symbolized by the wild beast that ascended out of the sea. The two-horned wild beast that ascended out of the earth, namely, the Anglo-American Dual World Power, is the dominant section of the larger political system pictured by the sea beast. Consequently, after the nations that are members of the symbolic “image” have destroyed religious Babylon the Great, it is the irreligious worldwide system of political government that the Christian witnesses of Jehovah will have to confront. They will still be standing firm for God’s Messianic kingdom as the only rightful rulership for the world of mankind. It is this heavenly government that they represent. In fact, the anointed remnant of spiritual Israelites are the “ambassadors” of the Messianic government.—2 Corinthians 5:20; Ephesians 6:20.
26. (a) What will be the only “kind of religion” remaining after Babylon the Great is destroyed? (b) How does this religion affect one’s attitude toward involvement in the world’s political affairs, and why?
26 With the destruction of religious Babylon the Great, the first part of the “great tribulation” predicted by Jesus Christ closes. (Matthew 24:21, 22; see also Daniel 12:1.) The critical point of time on earth will now have been reached! The surviving Christian witnesses of Jehovah will stand as the only worshipers of the one living and true God, Creator of heaven and earth. Their form of worship is the only “religion” that the now radical political governments have been unable to wipe out; and that will be so because this is “the kind of religion which is without stain or fault in the sight of God our Father.” (James 1:27, The New English Bible) Till this “kind of religion” is effaced from the earth the ungodly nations will feel dissatisfied with themselves. It is this “kind of religion” that has kept the surviving Christian witnesses of Jehovah from amalgamating with the new political setup, from making themselves a “part of the world.” (John 15:19; 17:14, 16) They stand first, last and all the time for the universal sovereignty of the Most High and Almighty God, Jehovah.
27. (a) What question will then press for settlement? (b) How will the nations show that they are united in their opposition to Jehovah’s Messianic kingdom?
27 The hot question, Who shall rule the earth without rivalry? has now reached the burning point. The irreligious nations are determined that God’s Messianic kingdom shall not take over the control of all the earth, which they claim as their territory. Unitedly, as by the agency of the United Nations organization, they will manifest their do-or-die opposition to the Messianic kingdom of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, which is in the hands of his Lamb, Jesus Christ. The end of the “times of the Gentiles” in 1914 means nothing to them. They will refuse to get out, refuse to surrender their national sovereignties to God’s installed Messianic King, the Lamb. They will never give in without a fight, and for such a last-ditch fight the nuclear-powered nations feel at the height of their battle strength. So, now, to the showdown fight!
28. Explain the description of these matters as found at Revelation 17:12-14.
28 Says Revelation 17:12-14 concerning this war of the ages: “The ten horns that you saw mean ten kings [all earthly political powers], who have not yet [in the apostle John’s day] received a kingdom [by membership in the League of Nations—United Nations], 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 [the world organization for peace and security]. 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.”
29. Will the political rulers be able to see the Lamb Jesus Christ in order to fight against him directly, and how does the apostle Paul show this?
29 The apostle Paul describes this once-sacrificed Lamb of God in his present glorified state, when he writes to his missionary companion Timothy and says: “In the sight of God, who preserves all things alive, and of Christ Jesus, who as a witness made the fine public declaration before Pontius Pilate [the Roman governor of Judea], I give you orders that you observe the commandment in a spotless and irreprehensible way until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ. This manifestation the happy and only Potentate will show in its own appointed times, he the King of those who rule as kings and Lord of those who rule as lords, the one alone [out of all those lords and kings] having immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom not one of men has seen [in his glorified immortal state] or can see.” (1 Timothy 6:13-16) Consequently, the symbolic “ten horns” of the United Nations “wild beast” will be unable to see the Lamb Jesus Christ to fight against him directly over world domination.
30. Against whom, then, will the “ten kings” direct their assault?
30 However, the battle that the “ten kings” will carry on will be directed against those who are the visible earthly representatives of the royal Lamb, Jesus Christ. These will be the Christian witnesses of Jehovah, including the anointed remnant of spiritual Israelites and the “great crowd” of dedicated proclaimers of “this good news of the kingdom.” (Matthew 24:14) These, in spite of world pollution and distress of nations, will still be enjoying the spiritual paradise of God’s favor, protection and pure worship along with all the fruits of His spirit in their lives.
31. Against whom, in reality, are the nations making war when they attack Jesus’ faithful disciples?
31 For their encouragement, the Lamb Jesus Christ made a statement in his prophecy concerning the “conclusion of the system of things,” and the statement was that whatever was done to “one of the least of these my [spiritual] brothers” was as if done directly to him the King. (Matthew 24:3; 25:40) Now, when we are actually in that “conclusion of the system of things,” that rule still applies. So, in making war on the faithful disciples of Jesus Christ for the purpose of exterminating them, the nations are making war upon the glorified Lamb of God. So Jehovah’s Christian witnesses will appreciate that the war is, not against them fundamentally, but against God and his Lamb.
BATTLING UNDER “GOG OF THE LAND OF MAGOG”
32. (a) What long-time enemy of true worshipers will be missing when that final war takes place? (b) Nevertheless, who urges on the “ten horns” to fight?
32 In this final war upon the anointed remnant of spiritual Israelites and their loyal companions who make up a “great crowd” of the Fine Shepherd’s “other sheep,” there will be one former assailant of them missing. That is Babylon the Great, the world empire of false religion. In the past she used the “arm of the State” as her agency for waging spiritual warfare in a violent way against Jehovah’s “holy ones” who follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. The apostle John put her criminal record into the Holy Scriptures, when he wrote: “I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the holy ones and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus.” (Revelation 17:6) But now, because of her destruction by the “ten horns,” she no longer rides the scarlet-colored “wild beast” to influence it in any way. Nevertheless, there is an invisible power that urges on the “ten horns” to battle with the Lamb as represented by his faithful disciples surviving on earth. That unseen superhuman power is Satan the Devil.—Revelation 13:1, 2.
33. (a) What position will Satan the Devil still occupy at that time? (b) How do the Scriptures show that the Devil is really the one responsible for the war waged against worshipers of Jehovah on earth?
33 The destruction of religious Babylon the Great has not deposed Satan the Devil from being what Jesus called him, “the ruler of this world,” or from being what the apostle Paul called him, “the god of this system of things.” (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 13:3, 4) After the destruction of Babylon the Great, who had promoted Devil worship, his wrath against Jehovah’s Christian worshipers on earth is hotter than ever. He intensifies the warfare that he has waged against them ever since his being ousted from heaven, which warfare is reported on prophetically in these words: “The dragon grew wrathful at the woman [God’s heavenly organization that gave birth to the Messianic kingdom], and went off to wage war with the remaining ones of her seed, who observe the commandments of God and have the work of bearing witness to Jesus.”—Revelation 12:17.
34. How does Revelation 16:12-16 show that the Devil and his political system are promoters of war against God at Har–Magedon?
34 So now the time comes for the outbreak of the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” at that stage of world developments called Har–Magedon. Satan’s pushing the worldly nations into that final war is indicated, in Revelation 16:12-16, where the apostle John writes: “I saw three unclean inspired expressions that looked like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon [Satan the Devil] and out of the mouth of the wild beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet [those who proposed and forwarded the making of a political ‘image’ to the wild beast]. They are, in fact, expressions inspired by demons and perform signs, and they go forth to the kings of the entire inhabited earth, to gather them together to the war of the great day of God the Almighty. . . . And they gathered them together to the place that is called in Hebrew Har–Magedon.” So the worldwide political system and the Anglo-American World Power work together with the Dragon in promoting all-out war with God at Har–Magedon.
35. (a) The role that the Devil plays in the developments after the destruction of Babylon the Great is described in what prophecy? (b) Who is there referred to as “Gog,” and what is “the land of Magog”?
35 The role that the ousted Devil plays after the destruction of Babylon the Great in assembling what remains of his earthly visible organization to battle with the Lamb of God is vividly pictured in the prophecy of Ezekiel 38:1 through 39:16. In that prophecy the ousted Satan the Devil at the earth’s vicinity is addressed as “Gog of the land of Magog.” That land is pictured as being located in the far north, in “the remotest parts of the north,” and it pictures the debased condition far removed from God’s favor, the vicinity of our earth to which Satan the Devil and his demons have been restrained for a short period of time before being hurled into an abyss of complete inactivity. (Ezekiel 38:6, 15; 39:2; Revelation 20:1-3) As the symbolic Gog of the land of Magog, Satan the Devil is pictured as gathering together a great military force of troops from north and south and from Persia, east of where Babylon once stood on the Euphrates River.
36, 37. (a) When does Gog’s attack take place? (b) What is the “land” against which Gog directs his attack, as referred to in Ezekiel 38:8, 9?
36 The time for the attack by Satan the Devil as Gog of the land of Magog is timed by Jehovah God and is due to occur “in the final part of the years,” “in the final part of the days.” (Ezekiel 38:8, 16) This signifies a time close to the end of the Devil’s visible organization on earth. It therefore locates his attack as coming a considerable period of time after the restoration of the repentant remnant of spiritual Israel to their rightful spiritual estate in Jehovah’s favor. This means years after 1919 C.E., when the remnant of spiritual Israelites were delivered by God’s power from bondage to Babylon the Great and were reinstated in his free Kingdom service. Not to the Republic of Israel in the Middle East, but to the restored spiritual estate of the Christian “Israel of God” he refers, when he says to Satan the Devil, alias Gog of the land of Magog:
37 “After many days you will be given attention. In the final part of the years you will come to the land of people brought back from the sword, collected together out of many peoples, onto the mountains of Israel, that have proved to be a constantly devastated place; even a land that has been brought forth from the peoples, where they have dwelt in security, all of them. And you will be bound to come up. Like a storm you will come in. Like clouds to cover the land you will become, you and all your bands and many peoples with you.”—Ezekiel 38:8, 9.
38, 39. (a) For what reasons will this attack upon the remnant of spiritual Israel take place? (b) How is the spiritual condition of God’s people at this time depicted in Ezekiel 38:10, 11?
38 What will be the reason for this final attack upon the restored remnant of spiritual Israelites? It will be the fact that their prosperous spiritual estate on earth under divine blessing is a worldwide testimony to the universal sovereignty of Jehovah God. Added to that is the fact that they have boldly come forward as being no part of this world and as keeping absolute Christian neutrality toward worldly dissensions and are relying upon no deadly weapons of war for defense and protection. Also, they are enjoying the worship and active service of Jehovah in a spiritual paradise. That is why the following words are put into Gog’s mouth:
39 “I shall go up against the land of open rural country. I shall come in upon those having no disturbance, dwelling in security, all of them dwelling without wall, and they do not have even bar and doors.”—Ezekiel 38:10, 11.
40. What further evidence do the following verses in the prophecy contain showing that Jehovah’s worshipers on earth are then enjoying a spiritual paradise?
40 Testifying to the spiritual paradise of his restored worshipers, Jehovah says to Gog of the land of Magog: “It will be to get a big spoil and to do much plundering, in order to turn your hand back upon devastated places reinhabited and upon a people gathered together out of the nations, one that is accumulating wealth and property, those who are dwelling in the center of the earth.” This is why the worldly observers ask the invading Gog of the land of Magog: “Is it to get a big spoil that you are coming in? Is it to do much plundering that you have congregated your congregation, in order to carry off silver and gold, to take wealth and property, to get a very great spoil?”—Ezekiel 38:12, 13.
41. Why is it not material wealth of the inhabitants of the spiritual paradise that invites this international attack?
41 The restored remnant of spiritual Israelites and the “great crowd” of fellow inhabitants of the spiritual paradise do not have material wealth and property that Babylon the Great has accumulated over the centuries. They have followed the counsel of Jesus Christ and sought first the kingdom of God and His righteousness rather than the material goods of this materialistic world. (Matthew 6:33) So what in the way of earthly goods would they have to invite such an international attack by the military forces under the invisible command of the modern-day Gog of the land of Magog?
42. (a) What does the spiritual paradise of Jehovah’s Christian witnesses really represent, and how so? (b) What are the worldly nations determined to do about this?
42 Not material wealth, but what the spiritual paradise of the Christian witnesses of Jehovah represents is the valuable thing that invites a worldwide invasion by the visible earthly organization of Satan the Devil after Babylon the Great is reduced to ashes. Their spiritual paradise that Jehovah God has planted on the earth represents God’s claim to sovereignty over all the earth. But sovereignty over the earth is what the worldly nations claim for themselves, each member nation in the United Nations still continuing to insist upon its own national sovereignty. The inhabitants of the spiritual paradise form the foundation for a “new earth,” a new earthly society; hence, the worldly nations under modern-day Gog of Magog want to despoil that foundation of a “new earth” and thereby keep the old earthly society going for its own selfish benefit, independent of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. To accomplish this means more than silver and gold and material wealth and property to the self-governing nations.
43. (a) What effect can the invasion of Gog’s hordes be expected to have on the legal corporations used by Jehovah’s Christian witnesses and the properties that these hold? (b) Does this mean that Jehovah’s Christian witnesses will cease to exist?
43 What the coming in of Gog’s hordes upon the “soil of Israel” after the destruction of Babylon the Great will mean for Jehovah’s Christian witnesses, the developments on earth will then eloquently tell. It should not be surprising if the ninety-seven branches of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania should be shut down and even the properties thereof be expropriated by the antireligious governments. What will happen to the thousands of Kingdom Halls that Jehovah’s Christian witnesses have built around the globe in which to meet for spiritual edification, the future will disclose. State or national governments that issued charters and registrations to the various corporations that Jehovah’s witnesses use as agencies for carrying on the printing and distributing of Bibles and Bible literature could hardly be expected to recognize or authorize such corporations then. The antagonistic political governments cannot, of course, dissolve Jehovah’s Christian witnesses world wide, for these are not incorporated under the man-made laws of “Caesar” in any land.
44. Why will the political governments not be able to dissolve the “faithful and discreet slave” and its governing body?
44 Likewise, the national and state governments under the leadership of the modern-day Gog of Magog cannot disincorporate the “faithful and discreet slave” whom the reigning King Jesus Christ has found reliable and has appointed “over all his belongings” on the earth. They cannot do so, for this corporate “slave” was never incorporated under the laws of any political government of the world. (Matthew 24:45-47; Luke 12:42-44) This “slave” class has existed from the first century C.E., when the royal Master, Jesus Christ, organized it, and it has continued active in his service down to this time and is responsible to him and not to “Caesar” or to Gog of the land of Magog. This holds true, also, with respect to the Scriptural governing body of the anointed “faithful and discreet slave” class. The political governments of the symbolic “wild beast” may dissolve the corporation of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania and its Board of Directors and also other legal corporations of Jehovah’s Christian witnesses in various lands, but they cannot dissolve or revoke the theocratic appointment of the governing body that represents the “faithful and discreet slave” class.
45. Will it be anything new for Jehovah’s Christian witnesses to carry on their activities underground?
45 It will be no new experience for Jehovah’s Christian witnesses to go underground in carrying on their spiritual activities. In the first century of our Common Era, according to secular history, the faithful Christians met together in the catacombs of the Roman Empire during its beastly persecution. In this twentieth century the Christian witnesses of Jehovah have carried on with their disciple-making operations in spite of bans and proscriptions, maintaining a successful underground system.
46. (a) Even if driven underground, what will Jehovah’s people do, out of concern for one another? (b) Will that attack by Gog of Magog result in destruction of the spiritual paradise?
46 For decades now, they have continued their worship and service of their God behind the so-called Iron Curtain that screens off the Communist lands. Even if, during the invasion of the hordes of Gog of Magog, they are obliged to go underground world wide, they will keep organized. They will try to keep in communication with one another. Especially will they pray for one another when physically scattered from fellow worshipers of Jehovah. They will continue to rejoice in their spiritual paradise, for they know that the violent persecution at the hands of Gog of Magog does not mean that they have lost divine favor, approval and blessing. Their spiritual qualities will shine more brightly than ever before, and they will not permit their spiritual lives to be snuffed out by men who can kill only the body, but, after that, can do no more to a faithful Christian who keeps his integrity to Jehovah God.—Luke 12:4; Matthew 10:28.
47. How does the prophecy given through Ezekiel show that there will be an actual invasion under Gog of Magog?
47 Just how far in depth Jehovah God the Almighty will permit the hordes under the modern-day Gog of Magog to penetrate, the alerted witnesses of Jehovah must wait and see. That there will be an invasion, the prophecy given through Ezekiel shows. “‘And it must occur in that day, in the day when Gog comes in upon the soil of Israel,’ is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, ‘that my rage will come up into my nose. And in my ardor, in the fire of my fury, I shall have to speak. Surely in that day a great quaking will occur in the soil of Israel. And because of me the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and the wild beasts of the field and all the creeping things that are creeping on the ground and all mankind that are upon the surface of the ground will be bound to shiver, and the mountains will actually be thrown down and the steep ways will have to fall, and to the earth even every wall will fall.’”—Ezekiel 38:18-20.
48. When under attack by the armed forces of Gog of Magog, how will the Christian witnesses of Jehovah react, and why?
48 Although under violent attack by the “military forces” of Gog of Magog, the Christian witnesses of Jehovah will have spiritual security, they being within his love and under his approval. “Dwelling,” according to the prophecy, “in security, all of them dwelling without wall,” and not having “even bar and doors,” these worshipers of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will not raise a hand in violent action against the heavily armed forces of Gog of Magog. They will let their God manifest his protective power over them. They will remember and put faith in the words of the prophet spoken under stress of a similar invasion against Jehovah’s worshipers: “Do not you be afraid or be terrified because of this large crowd; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” (2 Chronicles 20:15) Their trust in the Almighty God will not be misplaced. He will make it His battle, for the fight is really, not against them, but against Him their God. Now he is truly angry, and he is fully justified in expressing his anger!
49. (a) What is that “place” referred to in the Bible as Har–Magedon? (b) At his appointed time, whom does Jehovah use to carry out the war against his earthly enemies?
49 Now the “great day of God the Almighty” has arrived, and it is the time for the “war” that will mark that day for the vindication of Jehovah’s universal sovereignty. That figurative “place,” that explosive stage of hostilities between God the Almighty and Gog’s forces, called in Hebrew Har–Magedon, has been reached. (Revelation 16:14, 16) Not Jehovah’s Christian witnesses on earth, but Jehovah himself starts the battle against the earthly enemies now drawn up in battle formation. Jehovah signals to his Grand Field Marshal, the Warrior King Jesus Christ. Immediately acting upon the signal, in the name of Jehovah he and his heavenly forces plunge into the battle as if riding upon war horses. The war of universal importance that follows, and what happens to the worldwide lineup of military forces under the present-day Gog of Magog, are pictured for us in the last book of the inspired Holy Scriptures.
THE WAR AT “HAR–MAGEDON”
50. In an advance report on the war at Har–Magedon, what description did the apostle John give of those who would be fighting on the side of righteousness?
50 The battlefield is symbolically called Har–Magedon. The time is located after the fiery destruction of Babylon the Great by the symbolic “ten horns . . . and the wild beast.” (Revelation 17:16 through 19:9) Like a war correspondent for some newspaper or newsmagazine, the apostle John gives us an advance report on the war at “Har–Magedon,” writing: “And I saw the heaven opened, and, look! a white horse. And the one seated upon it is called Faithful and True, and he judges and carries on war in righteousness. His eyes are a fiery flame, and upon his head are many diadems. He has a name written that no one knows but he himself, and he is arrayed with an outer garment sprinkled with blood, and the name he is called is The Word of God. Also, the armies that were in heaven were following him on white horses, and they were clothed in white, clean, fine linen. And out of his mouth there protrudes a sharp long sword, that he may strike the nations with it, and he will shepherd them with a rod of iron. He treads too the winepress of the anger of the wrath of God the Almighty. And upon his outer garment, even upon his thigh, he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.”—Revelation 19:11-16.
51. (a) Why will great faith be needed on the part of the witnesses of Jehovah on earth at that time? (b) What is the “sharp long sword” that protrudes out of the mouth of the King of kings?
51 These “armies that were in heaven,” under the command of the King of kings, will not make themselves visible to the embattled nations on earth. So it will take faith on the part of the harmless, unarmed witnesses of Jehovah on earth to believe that these heavenly armies will come to their rescue in their direct need. Yet those invisible armies will make their activity in battle felt by all the nations under the leadership of Gog of Magog, Satan the Devil. The King of kings will “shepherd” the nations “with a rod of iron,” and they will feel it as they are shattered like earthenware vessels of a potter. He is the Word of God, and so the “sharp long sword” that protrudes out of his mouth is the words of judgment that issue out of his mouth for the execution of the nations; and what his mouth says will be executed upon the nations, striking them fatally.
52. (a) How will the experience of the nations be like that of grapes in a winepress? (b) Jehovah’s wrath will be expressed by what means, as it were, according to the Scriptures?
52 Since the King of kings “treads too the winepress of the anger of the wrath of God the Almighty,” this signifies that the nations will be squashed, as it were. To fit the picture, they will be dumped like ripe grapes into the tremendous “winepress” where the “anger of the wrath of God the Almighty” will be brought to bear upon them with crushing effect. The King of kings and his heavenly armies on horseback will join in the crushing work, the treading of this symbolic winepress. The form that the symbolic treading will take will correspond with how Jehovah God the Almighty says that he will express his wrath and fiery fury against the hordes of Gog of Magog, as it were with earthquake, pestilence, a flooding downpour, hailstones, fire and sulphur, with much bloodshed.—Ezekiel 38:18-22; compare Joel 3:9-16; Revelation 14:18-20.
53, 54. (a) Who, obviously, will be the victor in the universal war at Har–Magedon? (b) Even before the conclusion of the war, what invitation is extended to “all the birds that fly in midheaven”?
53 How can the multination armies in battle array under their spiritual Gog of Magog expect to stand their ground against the King of kings and Lord of lords, who fights for the universal sovereignty of the Most High and Almighty God, Jehovah? Never, even as a United Nations organization and as nuclear-powered nations, can they possibly do so! Who the victor in the universal war at Har–Magedon will be is a foregone conclusion. The corpses of the enemy dead with which God the Almighty causes the battlefield to be strewn provide what is called “the great evening meal of God” for all the carrion-eating birds that fly in midheaven. Before ever the war is fought to a conclusion, a heavenly angel arrayed with sunlight is pictured as extending an invitation to all these birds to come to the grand meal that God spreads for them at Har–Magedon. Concerning this, our news reporter John says:
54 “I saw also an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice and said to all the birds that fly in midheaven: ‘Come here, be gathered together to the great evening meal of God, that you may eat the fleshy parts of kings and the fleshy parts of military commanders and the fleshy parts of strong men and the fleshy parts of horses and of those seated upon them, and the fleshy parts of all, of freemen as well as of slaves and of small ones and great.’”—Revelation 19:17, 18.
55. (a) Why is it not upon the “wild beast” and the “false prophet” that the birds are invited to feed? (b) In Ezekiel’s prophecy, what creatures besides the birds are invited to the feast?
55 We note that “all the birds that fly in midheaven” are not invited to feed upon the carcasses of the political “wild beast” and the political “false prophet.” (Revelation 13:1-8, 11-13; 16:13) The picture here drawn is strictly that of a battlefield strewn with the carcasses of the fighting forces of an army. It is not a picture of the pursuit of a savage wild beast and of a military attack upon a lone “false prophet.” In the prophet Ezekiel’s vision of the attack by the forces of Gog upon Jehovah’s restored people in their spiritual paradise, more than the “birds of every sort of wing” are invited to feed upon the carcasses of the defeated enemies, “All the wild beasts of the field” are also invited to feed upon the “flesh of mighty ones,” upon “horses and charioteers, mighty persons and all sorts of warriors.” (Ezekiel 39:17-20) Jehovah’s disdain and contempt for those crushed by his heavenly armies in the “winepress of the anger of the wrath of God the Almighty” are shown by letting the carcasses of the slain enemies lie unburied as carrion food for birds and beasts.
56. How does Revelation chapter 17 depict the combined earthly forces under Gog of Magog in their attack against Jehovah’s King?
56 The entire combined visible organization of Satan the Devil will be in the fight. The combining of the earthly forces under Gog of Magog against Jehovah’s King of kings is pictured as an attack by a lone, collective “wild beast” with its seven heads and ten horns. This scarlet-colored “wild beast” is pictured as first destroying Babylon the Great, the world empire of false religion. Concerning the antireligious political rulers that are pictured by the ten horns of the collective “wild beast,” it was said to the apostle John: “These have one thought, and so they give their power and authority to the wild beast [to the United Nations]. 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 17:13, 14.
57. (a) What is the significance of the fact that the Lamb is called “Lord of lords and King of kings”? (b) Who will be the objects of that assault by the “wild beast” that represents the United Nations?
57 The fight of a seven-headed, ten-horned wild beast against a lamb seems like an unequally matched warfare. But the symbolic Lamb in this prophecy is Jehovah’s appointed Lord of lords and King of kings, superior therefore to all the lords and kings that are combined in the symbolic “wild beast,” the 138-member United Nations. Being earthly, they cannot see the Lamb with their human eyes so as to fight directly against him. But they can see on earth in the flesh the anointed remnant of “those called and chosen and faithful with him.” Because these represent the King of kings and Lord of lords, the member nations of the United Nations battle with him by warring expressly with the anointed remnant of his Kingdom joint heirs. Associated with this faithful remnant are the unnumbered members of the “great crowd,” who firmly take their stand on the side of Jehovah’s universal sovereignty and who follow the Fine Shepherd, Jesus Christ the royal Son of Jehovah. So those disciples belonging to the “great crowd” also share with the anointed remnant the onslaught of the antireligious United Nations.
58. What kind of conquest will take place at that time (a) on the part of the King of kings? (b) on the part of his earthly subjects?
58 The symbolic “ten horns” and the scarlet-colored “wild beast” will fail to destroy all the faithful representatives on earth of the King of kings. As in the prophetic picture of the attack by Gog of Magog, they will fail to wipe out the spiritual paradise in which the “called and chosen and faithful” and the “great crowd” find themselves under protection of the King of kings. (Revelation 7:9-17; 12:17) With his celestial angelic armies the King of kings will literally conquer the battling “ten horns” belonging to the world organization of the “wild beast.” On earth “those called and chosen and faithful with him [the King of kings]” will conquer by Christian faith, never renouncing the right of the King of kings to rule all the earth, never denying the universal sovereignty of the King of Eternity, Jehovah God. (Revelation 15:3) The “great crowd” of fellow inhabitants in the spiritual paradise will likewise refuse to compromise and to yield to the claim of the ten-horned, seven-headed “wild beast” to world domination over all the earth.
59, 60. (a) May some who conquer by faith nevertheless die at the hands of the enemy at that time? (b) What hope will strengthen them to prove their loyalty to Jehovah’s sovereignty in this way? (c) Is there any possibility that the anointed remnant and the “great crowd” will be completely wiped out by the enemy at that time?
59 Some of those who conquer by faith may be permitted by God the Almighty to prove their loyalty to His universal sovereignty by suffering death at the hands of the violent opposers of Jehovah’s Messianic kingdom. This, however, will not signify their being executed by Jehovah’s angelic armies under his Field Marshal, Jesus Christ.
60 These faithful martyrs for divine sovereignty of the universe will die faithful, as vindicators of Jehovah’s rightful rule by Christ. They will die within Jehovah’s favor and appreciation. They will not be cast into the “second death” of everlasting destruction as symbolized by the “fiery lake that burns with sulphur.” (Revelation 19:20; 20:10, 14, 15; 21:8) They will die unconquered as Jesus Christ himself did, with the strengthening hope of a resurrection from the dead in God’s due time. (Revelation 2:10; 14:13; 20:4, 6, 11-13) However, the full membership of the anointed remnant will not be killed off by the battling opposers of Jehovah’s Messianic kingdom. Also, Revelation 7:9-14 assures us that other survivors of this climax of the “great tribulation” will be the unnumbered members of the “great crowd.” Individuals may be permitted to die, but not the remnant and “great crowd” as a whole.
ANNIHILATION OF THE KING’S OPPOSERS
61. At Revelation 19:19-21, what description does the apostle John give of those who are executed at Har–Magedon?
61 Those on earth who are executed as unfit for everlasting life, in the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Har–Magedon, are reported on by the apostle John in Revelation 19:19-21. In that advance-news report, John writes: “And I saw the wild beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage the war with the one [the King of kings and the Lord of lords] seated on the horse and with his army. And the wild beast [Satan’s worldwide political system] was caught, and along with it the false prophet that performed in front of it the signs with which he misled those who received the mark of the wild beast and those who render worship to its image [the United Nations]. While still alive, they both were hurled into the fiery lake that burns with sulphur. But the rest were killed off with the long sword of the one seated on the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth. And all the birds were filled from the fleshy parts of them.”
62. To what extent will irreligiousness characterize the nations at that time?
62 By the time of the waging of this war at Har–Magedon, Babylon the Great will have been killed off. This is why the destruction of that world empire of false religion is not here described. By this time also when total irreligiousness pervades the nations, there will have disappeared any “kings” who might for a while weep because of not being able to commit fornication with Babylon the Great any longer, likewise any “traveling merchants” that wept and mourned because of no more being able to do selfish commercial business with her, also “every ship captain and every man that voyages anywhere, and sailors and all those who make a living by the sea,” all of whom weep and mourn because they can no longer ply their selfish trade with Babylon the Great. (Revelation 18:9-19) Such ones, if they want to survive after the destruction of Babylon the Great, will be obliged to turn radically antireligious, with the exception of worship to the political “image” of the seven-headed, ten-horned “wild beast” to which Satan the Dragon gave power, authority and a throne.—Revelation 13:1-8; 14:9-11; 16:2.
63. Does the destruction of the world empire of false religion by the earthly rulers indicate love for God’s Messianic kingdom on their part, and how do they show this?
63 So at the time for the fulfillment of the battle vision of Revelation 19:19-21, the symbolic “wild beast” and the “kings of the earth and their armies” have disposed of Babylon the Great in expression of their hatred of that religious “harlot.” She never did represent Jehovah’s theocratic government, not even that part of her called Christendom did so. Destruction of Babylon the Great as false religion does not bespeak, however, any love on the part of the “kings of the earth and their armies” for God’s Messianic kingdom. Those earthly kings and their armies hate that kingdom because of love for their own political sovereignty over all the earth. So now, with Babylon the Great gone, they can concentrate on waging the war against Jesus Christ and the heavenly kingdom that he operates.
64. (a) Why are the remnant and the “great crowd” offensive to the “kings of the earth and their armies”? (b) By what means can the enemies of Jehovah’s people be expected to war against them?
64 The surviving remnant of Christ’s anointed joint heirs and also the “great crowd” of their loyal companions have made themselves the target of the worldly nations because of having proclaimed in all the inhabited earth the good news of the Messianic kingdom for a witness to all the nations down to the end. (Matthew 24:14) Such advocates of Jehovah’s universal sovereignty are offensive, obnoxious to the “kings of the earth and their armies.” So they express their hostility to the invisible King of kings by waging war with what political, military, judicial, economic means that they have at their disposal. Exterminate them! will be the slogan of the “kings of the earth and their armies.” The heavenly King of kings will count their hostile action against the anointed remnant and the “great crowd” as being against himself. At the precisely timed signal from the Supreme Commander, Jehovah God, he and his angelic armies will charge into the battle against the God-defying enemies on earth.
65, 66. (a) How is the unity of God’s earthly enemies broken up at Har–Magedon, as described at Revelation 19:20? (b) What is indicated by the fact that the “wild beast” and the “false prophet” are “still alive” when this action takes place? (c) What is indicated by the fact that they are hurled into “the fiery lake that burns with sulphur”?
65 The first move is to break up the unity of the earthly enemies. This means breaking to pieces the world political system as symbolized by the “wild beast” out of the sea. With the dissolution of that comes the breaking up of the Eighth World Power, the United Nations as the global organization for world peace and security, which was symbolized by the “image of the wild beast,” and also the Seventh World Power, namely, the Anglo-American Dual World Power, as symbolized by the “false prophet.” Hence, the apostle John tells us:
66 “And the wild beast was caught, and along with it the false prophet that performed in front of it the signs with which he misled those who received the mark of the wild beast and those who render worship to its image. While still alive, they both were hurled into the fiery lake that burns with sulphur.” (Revelation 19:20) These political organizations being “still alive” when this action takes place, it indicates that these worldly organizations of today will still be functioning when the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Har–Magedon starts. Both the world-dominating “wild beast” and the Anglo-American “false prophet” will be caught in the midst of their destructive efforts against the anointed remnant and the “great crowd” within their spiritual paradise. Disorganization of them will follow, and, instead of destroying the remnant and the “great crowd,” these political organizations of God-defying men will be annihilated for all time to come. Their violent death will be a “second death” from which there is no reorganization. So they are pictured as being hurled into the fiery “lake that burns with sulphur.”
67. When will Satan the Devil and his demons join the “wild beast” and the “false prophet” in that “fiery lake”?
67 Thus it is seen that, even at the time of the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Har–Magedon and before the abyssing of Satan the Devil and the beginning of Christ’s reign of a thousand years over mankind, there is an enforcement of the “second death” upon those who wage war at Har–Magedon against the King of kings and his Messianic kingdom. The penalty of the “second death” is symbolized by the “fiery lake that burns with sulphur.” In God’s due time, after the close of Christ’s thousand-year reign, the man-made political organizations pictured by the “wild beast” and the “false prophet” will be joined in that “fiery lake” by Satan the Devil and all his demon angels. (Revelation 20:10) That will be the “everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels.”—Matthew 25:41.
68. With the removal of man’s visible old order, what will be the grand prospect of the survivors?
68 Thus with the violent passing away of religious Babylon the Great and the political organizations pictured by the seven-headed “wild beast” and the “false prophet,” man’s visible old order will give way to God’s new order for the earth. It will be the hardest period of human history through which to live. (Matthew 24:21, 22; Daniel 12:1) Yet there will be survivors of it on earth. Happy will these be who survive into God’s blessed new order!