From Kurukshetra to Armageddon—and Your Survival
1. What is a natural desire for many, but why is it difficult to attain?
WOULD you like to live in happiness and peace with true justice exercised throughout all the earth? Surely you would answer, Yes! This has been the natural longing of all lovers of righteousness throughout mankind’s history. However, as long as wicked and unjust men exist, there cannot be lasting peace of mind and joy for you or anyone else.
2. How has man tried to eliminate suffering and injustice?
2 For this reason, unhappily, human history has been marred by wars in man’s efforts to eliminate injustice and establish happiness for the righteous. One of such wars, apparently, was fought on the field of Kurukshetra in ancient India. Because of human desire for God’s goodness to triumph over evil, the battlefield of Kurukshetra, in time, became the background setting for India’s famous religious epic, the Mahabharata, and especially for the centre of that epic, the Bhagavad Gita. Hindu author K. M. Sen writes that dates ascribed for the composition of the Gita vary considerably, several guesses assigning it to anywhere between 400 B.C. and 200 B.C.
3-6. (a) What, apparently, was one such attempt in ancient India? (b) How do we know that a permanent settlement was not achieved?
3 It is believed by many that Arjuna, a leader of the allies, when surveying the battle lines, was dismayed at observing near kinsmen lined up against one another on opposing sides. Thus the Bhagavad Gita, chapter one, verses 26-29, 47, reads in English: “There saw Arjuna standing fathers and grandfathers, teachers, uncles, brothers, sons and grandsons as also companions. And also fathers-in-law and friends in both the armies. When the son of Kunti (Arjuna) saw all these kinsmen thus standing arrayed He was overcome with great compassion and uttered this in sadness; When I see my own people arrayed and eager for fight O Krishna, My limbs quail, my mouth goes dry, my body shakes and my hair stands on end. Having spoken thus on the (field of) battle, Arjuna sank down on the seat of his chariot, casting away his bow and arrow, his spirit overwhelmed by sorrow.”
4 Urging Arjuna to perform his military duty, and in justification of the civil war, the god Vishnu, in the role of Krishna, Arjuna’s charioteer, is reported as saying: “But if thou doest not this lawful battle, then thou wilt fail thy duty and glory and wilt incur sin. Treating alike pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat, then get ready for the battle. Thus thou shalt not incur sin.”—Gita 2:33, 38.
5 Many believe that for 18 days the battle raged, until at last the only important chief left alive was Arjuna, together with his four brothers and Krishna. So, they conclude that those on the side of right survived the war of Kurukshetra, and justice was satisfied. Then for a time peace prevailed. But for how long?
6 Tragically, today, injustice and suffering afflict the entire human race to a greater extent and with more intensity than ever before in history. So it must be admitted that none of history’s wars have brought about a permanent settlement of the issue between God’s rulership and human forms of rule, which have resulted in so much wickedness. Lasting peace and security continue to elude mankind. Hence, the cause of true justice today must still be satisfied. But how?
7. How will a permanent settlement be accomplished?
7 In no other way than what is believed was attempted at Kurukshetra. It calls for a decisive war, but war on a much larger scale, which will produce really permanent results. It requires a war, however, in which righteous survivors will ensure the preservation of the human race. Just such a war has been foretold and is expected by millions to break out at any time. Conditions among mankind are just ripe for such a war. So at Revelation 16:14, 16 the Bible reads: “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.”
8. What is Armageddon, and how extensive will it be?
8 It is to be noted from the Bible that the combined forces of the kings of the entire inhabited earth will be involved in this war, thus making it a global, worldwide war. Hence, the place of Har–Magedon, or Armageddon, is not a local battlefield, as was Kurukshetra. For this reason the name Armageddon takes on a figurative meaning, denoting not a literal place but the realm wherein human politicians collectively collide with the holy interests of God, whose name is Jehovah.—Psalm 83:18, Holy Bible.
9, 10. Why is Armageddon necessary, and who will be destroyed?
9 Armageddon will be fought for the cause of truth and justice. An ancient pre-Christian song of God assures us of this by saying of God’s chief warrior: “In your splendor go on to success; ride in the cause of truth and humility and righteousness, and your right hand will instruct you in fear-inspiring things.” (Psalm 45:4) As in the war of Kurukshetra, there will be wholesale slaughter. Of the “battlefield” after the war of Armageddon the Bible says:
10 “‘A noise will certainly come clear to the farthest part of the earth, for there is a controversy that Jehovah has with the nations. He must personally put himself in judgment with all flesh. As regards the wicked ones, he must give them to the sword,’ is the utterance of Jehovah. This is what Jehovah of armies has said, ‘Look! A calamity is going forth from nation to nation, and a great tempest itself will be roused up from the remotest parts of the earth. And those slain by Jehovah will certainly come to be in that day from one end of the earth clear to the other end of the earth. They will not be bewailed, neither will they be gathered up or be buried. As manure on the surface of the ground they will become.’”—Jeremiah 25:31-33.
11. Who will survive the war of Armageddon?
11 But happily, as some people believe happened at Kurukshetra, there will be survivors. The survivors of Armageddon’s war will be righteous persons, adjudged by our Creator as worthy to preserve our human race alive. However, these righteous survivors will not share in the conflict. How this will be made possible is shown by Jehovah’s ancient servant Isaiah when he prophesies: “Go, my people, enter into your interior rooms, and shut your doors behind you. Hide yourself for but a moment until the denunciation passes over. For, look! Jehovah is coming forth from his place to call to account the error of the inhabitant of the land against him, and the land will certainly expose her bloodshed and will no longer cover over her killed ones.” (Isaiah 26:20, 21) Clearly, then, Armageddon will be a fight, not merely among men, not a mere “world war,” but a war in which God’s invisible armies take part.
THE TIME FOR ARMAGEDDON
12, 13. What question was asked long ago, and what were the seekers after truth really wanting to know?
12 When is God’s war of Armageddon to occur? What will be the sign of its imminence? A related question was asked long ago by sincere inquirers, and it is vital that we examine the answer they got. Their query was: “Tell us, When will these things be, and what will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things?” (Matthew 24:3) The phrase “system of things” translates the Greek word aion, which is sometimes rendered “age.” So The Emphatic Diaglott renders Matthew 24:3 as follows: “‘Tell us, when these things will be?’ and ‘What will be the SIGN of THY presence, and of the CONSUMMATION of the AGE?’” The Sanskrit Bible at Matthew 24:3 translates aion as “yuga.” Yuga is defined as “an age of the world,” or “a long mundane period of years, of which there are four, of which the first three have elapsed, while the Kali is that in which we live.” Thus at Matthew 24:3 the New Hindi Bible of 1978 uses the term yuganth, meaning “end of the age.”
13 So, those seekers after truth were asking, ‘What will be the sign of the end of the present age?’ This is what some people refer to as the Kali Yuga.
14. According to Hindu tradition, what would be a sign of the end of this age?
14 For its answer, the Hindu text Vishnu-purana said: “The usages and institutes of caste, of order and of rank, will not prevail . . . Religion will consist in wasting wealth . . . Kings instead of guarding will rob their subjects, and abstract the wealth of merchants, under the plea of raising taxes. Then in the world’s last age the rights of man will be confused, no property be safe, no joy and no prosperity be lasting.” Author A. L. Basham says: “The end of the Kali-yuga, according to many epic passages, is marked by confusion of classes, the overthrow of established standards, the cessation of all religious rites, and the rule of cruel and alien kings.” Are these descriptions not somewhat true of our 20th-century conditions? With the spread of atheistic ideologies, radical and nonspiritual influences more and more infect man’s rulerships. Established standards are being overthrown as abortion and homosexuality gain legal recognition, while ruthless terrorism and moral collapse spread worldwide and gain momentum.
15. Do present-day conditions fulfill traditional expectations?
15 Additionally, industry and technology produce a confusion of the traditional classes of human society. Industrial factories, hospitals and the medical profession, mass educational institutions and modern public transport bring about an intermixing of all sorts of people, thereby erasing the long-standing distinctions in society. Millions of people, due to the rush and busy inroads of this industrialized world, have yielded to and accepted the cessation of many time-consuming, religious rites and customs. These conditions indicate the fast-approaching end of the present age. Surely chronology is not the only determining factor. Rather, it is the irreversible acceleration toward the collapse of the present human order that is the overriding reason for God to trigger the outbreak of his Armageddon war!
16. (a) How does the Bible describe the “last days” of this age? (b) How has family life been affected?
16 The “last days” of this present age and the conditions identifying them are specifically mentioned in the Bible at 2 Timothy 3:1-5. As we read this text, please note the lawlessness and family breakdown. “Know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, self-assuming, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal, having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness, betrayers, headstrong, puffed up with pride, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, having a form of godly devotion but proving false to its power; and from these turn away.” The “last days” are thus marked, among other cruelties, by the loss of natural, or family, affection and by children being disobedient to parents. When the family, as the basic unit of society, breaks down, there is an unwholesome effect on the community. Disrespect for authority develops, and lawlessness increases. Divine laws are ignored, and entire families yield to lawlessness.
17. What conditions make up the sign that Armageddon is near?
17 In a similar vein the Gita reflects: “In the ruin of a family, its ancient laws are destroyed: and when the laws perish, the whole family yields to lawlessness.” (1:40) These conditions apparently provoked Kurukshetra’s war. More importantly, such conditions are rampant in our time and mark these as the “last days” of the present wicked system of things. They are the sign of the nearness of Armageddon. Lovers of righteousness today will welcome divine intervention, which will eliminate the wicked and introduce peace and security for the survivors.
18. What questions arise with regard to the “last days”?
18 Since the “last days” are here upon our 20th century, you may well ask, When did they begin? Moreover, for how long will the “last days” continue? How does one know Armageddon will be fought within our own lifetime, so that one can survive, if worthy? We get enlightenment by continuing our discussion of Matthew chapter 24, in the Bible. You will recall the question, “Tell us, When will these things be, and what will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things?”
19, 20. (a) What events does the Bible foretell as “a beginning of pangs of distress”? (b) Why can it be said that the “last days” of our present age began in the year A.D. 1914?
19 In answer, the prophecy goes on: “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be food shortages and earthquakes in one place after another. All these things are a beginning of pangs of distress. And because of the increasing of lawlessness the love of the greater number will cool off.” (Matthew 24:7, 8, 12) Which year of this 20th century would you single out as “a beginning of pangs of distress”? Is it not true that World War I, starting in 1914, began a chain of unequalled suffering that has enlarged in magnitude and vehemence ever since? From 1914 onward, more than ever before, misery, pain and death to millions have been caused by wars. If death has not been caused by wars, then millions have died due to food shortages, and if not by food shortages, then by earthquakes, disease epidemics, lawlessness and savage terrorism. Today, love for God and neighbour is lost sight of by the majority. Never in mankind’s history has there been a similar heavy concentration of human suffering and atheism in so short a time!
20 The year 1914 was, indeed, the greatest turning point in history! A news editorial recently said: “None, save the dwindling ranks of those who lived in the sunshine of the pre-1914 world, can strike the sad contrast between those days and these.” The “last days” of the present yuga, therefore, began in the year A.D. 1914.
21. For how long will these “last days” continue, and why must the war of Armageddon be dangerously near?
21 For how long will these “last days” continue? The Bible answers: “Likewise also you, when you see all these things, know that he is near at the doors. Truly I say to you that this generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.” (Matthew 24:33, 34) In other words, that 1914 generation of people, now ‘dwindling in ranks,’ who saw the beginning of these distressing conditions, will still be alive when God’s war of Armageddon strikes. The duration of the “last days” is therefore limited to within the one human generation that was alive back in 1914. That generation of eyewitnesses is getting along in years now—in their 70’s and 80’s. Hence, the outbreak of Armageddon is getting dangerously near. Many lovers of righteousness throughout the world are now preparing for the outbreak of God’s unavoidable act of war.
22. What do both the Bible and the Gita indicate as to when the wicked will be destroyed?
22 Is it possible to predict the exact year when Armageddon will occur? No. The Bible simply says: “Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Matthew 24:36) Neither does the Gita give the year. The Gita merely says: “Whenever there is a decline of righteousness and rise of unrighteousness, O Bharata (Arjuna), then I send forth Myself. For the protection of the good, for the destruction of the wicked and for the establishment of righteousness, I come into being from age to age [yuge-yuge].” (4:7, 8) So, many believe that when righteousness is on the decline and unrighteousness is in the ascendancy, divine intervention is to be expected. The time for God to apply his judicial decision over the wicked is now here!
HISTORICAL PREVIEW OF ARMAGEDDON
23. What historical event provides a preview of Armageddon?
23 History provides us with a preview of what to expect at Armageddon. This foreglimpse of God’s approaching war was the great Deluge of Noah’s Age. Throughout the world there are more than 90 different stories of a historical global flood. Among Hindus, this is known as the Jalapralaya. Jal means “water,” and pralaya denotes “dissolution”—hence, a “dissolution by water.” It is believed that all living creatures perished in the Jalapralaya. However, Manu found favour with his god and was given divine warning to build a ship to save himself and seven other rishis (sages), a total of eight persons. After his ship settled on a northern mountain, the flood subsided and Manu emerged to perform the first sacrifice to his god in this present yuga. Manu is also believed to be mankind’s first lawgiver. In fact, various Hindu myths assert that the progenitor of each successive race of humans was named Manu.
24, 25. What similarities exist between the Biblical Deluge and the Hindu flood tradition?
24 One Hindu version says it was the god Vishnu who warned and preserved Manu. Interestingly, the name Vishnu without the digamma is Ish-nuh, which in Chaldee means “the man Noah,” or “the man of rest.” Hindu tradition has Vishnu ‘resting’ or sleeping on a coiled snake called Shesha, floating on an ocean. Shesha means “remainder,” and according to careful researchers, Shesha represents the ‘residue’ of the universe after its destruction at the end of an age. Clearly, this myth alludes to the Bible’s historical record of the Deluge and the ark of preservation with its occupants.
25 The legendary individuals embodied in Manu—as surviving the Jalapralaya, being the progenitor of the present race, the first lawgiver, and performing the first religious sacrifice after the flood—are a logical confirmation of some events in the life of the Biblical Noah. (Compare Genesis 6:8, 13-22; 8:4, Ge 8:18–9:7; 10:32.) Moreover, the Hindu account of the Jalapralaya agrees with some major features of the inspired Scriptural record, namely (1) a place of refuge for a few survivors, (2) an otherwise global destruction of life by water and (3) a seed of mankind preserved.
26. (a) How does the Bible describe earth’s conditions prior to the Flood? (b) What circumstances are similar, with regard both to history’s great Deluge and to God’s war of Armageddon?
26 Of this historical preview of Armageddon, the Bible says: “For just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be. For as they were in those days before the flood, eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark; and they took no note until the flood came and swept them all away, so the presence of the Son of man will be.” (Matthew 24:37-39) So the circumstances relating to the end of our world order at Armageddon will be similar to those associated with the ancient Deluge. They will be: (1) The planet Earth and its animal life will survive; (2) the significance of our times is missed by most people through preoccupation with the normal processes of life; (3) the majority of mankind take no note of the divine warning of Armageddon; (4) hence the majority of mankind will be destroyed at Armageddon; and (5) only a small minority of mankind will find favour with God and survive the “war of the great day of God the Almighty.” (Revelation 16:14) Consequently, it is most advisable for wise persons to continue to investigate this message about God’s war, and how to survive.
WHO WILL BE THE SURVIVORS?
27. Of what should we be informed to survive the war of Armageddon?
27 For success and wise action, Arjuna was advised to acquire true knowledge. The Gita states: “Learn that by humble reverence, by inquiry and by service. The men of wisdom who have seen the truth will instruct thee in knowledge.” (4:34) Earlier, the Bible expressed the only wise course to take, saying at Zephaniah 2:3: “Seek Jehovah, all you meek ones of the earth, who have practiced His own judicial decision. Seek righteousness, seek meekness. Probably you may be concealed in the day of Jehovah’s anger.” Plainly, Armageddon is Jehovah’s war. Hence the survivors of Armageddon will be those who meekly inform themselves of Jehovah and his righteousness. But who is Jehovah? How can we get knowledge of him?
28. What question about God’s identity is raised in the Rig-Veda?
28 The importance of knowledge is shown in the Gita, as seen above. Hindus have always held religious knowledge in high regard. Veda itself means knowledge. Thus it is claimed that the four Vedas contain divine knowledge. The earliest collection of Hindu knowledge is the Rig-Veda, the bulk of which is said to have been compiled, perhaps, in the first half of the first millennium B.C. In its later stages of compilation the Rig-Veda poets began to wonder about the identity of God. So the Rig-Veda hymn, 10. 121, has been entitled “TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.” Each of its verses concludes with the question, “Who is the God to whom we shall offer sacrifices?” For example, verse 9 says: “May he not hurt us, he who is the begetter of the earth, or he, the righteous, who begat the heavens; he who also begat the bright and mighty waters;—WHO IS THE GOD TO WHOM WE SHALL OFFER SACRIFICE?”
29. What did some ancient Hindus recognize about God?
29 What is the truthful answer to this question in the Rig-Veda? Who is the Begetter of heaven and earth to whom the Vedic poets unknowingly gave godly devotion? In attempting to answer, a religious development spanning hundreds of years was expressed in the Bhagavad Gita: “Thou art the Supreme Brahman, the Supreme Abode and the Supreme Purifier, The Eternal, Divine Person, the First of the gods, the Unborn, the All-pervading. The God of gods.” (10:12, 15) Hence some ancient Hindus recognized that there was only one Eternal, Supreme God, the First of the gods, the God of gods.
30-32. (a) By what phrase does S. Radhakrishnan describe God’s infinity? (b) Whom does the Bible identify by this phrase?
30 The noted Hindu philosopher S. Radhakrishnan, in trying to explain the infinite character of the Brahman, said: “We can only say, ‘I am that I am.’” Doctor Radhakrishnan hereby relates the infinite quality of Brahman to the Bible’s definition of God’s name, Jehovah, at Exodus 3:13, 14, which says: “And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”—Authorized Version.
31 The more accurate, modern English New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures renders Exodus 3:14, 15 as follows: “At this God said to Moses: ‘I SHALL PROVE TO BE WHAT I SHALL PROVE TO BE.’ And he added: ‘This is what you are to say to the sons of Israel, “I SHALL PROVE TO BE has sent me to you.”’ Then God said once more to Moses:
32 “‘This is what you are to say to the sons of Israel, “Jehovah the God of your forefathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.” This is my name to time indefinite, and this is the memorial of me to generation after generation.’”
33. What attributes are ascribed to Jehovah God?
33 So it would seem that Doctor Radhakrishnan, in using the phrase “I am that I am” to describe the infinite Brahman, attempts to equate the supreme Brahman with Jehovah God of the Bible. It is true that some of the attributes ascribed to Brahman are the same as those of Jehovah God in the Bible. For instance, the Gita’s reference to Brahman as the “God of gods,” assumed to be recorded between the 5th and 3rd centuries B.C., is an echo of what was written in the Bible record in the 15th century B.C., in 1473 B.C., at Deuteronomy 10:17: “For Jehovah your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the God great, mighty and fear-inspiring, who treats none with partiality nor accepts a bribe.”
34. Who created the heavens and the earth?
34 JEHOVAH, therefore, is the self-given name of God. For that reason the Bible attributes the work of creation to Jehovah God, stating: “This is a history of the heavens and the earth in the time of their being created, in the day that Jehovah God made earth and heaven.” (Genesis 2:4) Jehovah, then, is the ‘Begetter of the heavens and the earth.’
35. (a) To which God did our ancestors, the Flood survivors, sacrifice? (b) So what is the answer to that ancient question in the Rig-Veda?
35 It was also Jehovah who brought the ancient Deluge and who destroyed the ungodly and preserved alive eight righteous souls. The Bible reports: “After that Jehovah said to Noah: ‘Go, you and all your household, into the ark, because you are the one I have seen to be righteous before me among this generation. For in just seven days more I am making it rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and I will wipe every existing thing that I have made off the surface of the ground.’ And Noah proceeded to do according to all that Jehovah had commanded him.” (Genesis 7:1, 4, 5) Because the present race of humans is descended from those eight righteous survivors, we today should be grateful and, accordingly, should imitate the good example of our ancient forebears. Please note also that it was Jehovah to whom those Flood survivors sacrificed in gratitude, after emerging from their ark of salvation. The account states: “And Noah began to build an altar to Jehovah and to take some of all the clean beasts and of all the clean flying creatures and to offer burnt offerings upon the altar. And Jehovah began to smell a restful odor.” (Genesis 8:20, 21) Here, therefore, is the truthful answer to that ancient question in the Rig-Veda: “WHO IS THE GOD TO WHOM WE SHALL OFFER SACRIFICE?”
36. (a) Who only will be saved during the war of Armageddon? (b) How will they be informed?
36 Jehovah, the God of heaven and earth, is the One who will also bring an end to this wicked yuga by means of the great war of Armageddon. All of those who truly know Jehovah God and who are devotedly involved with Jehovah’s Name and extraordinary Personality will survive Armageddon into the cleansed earth afterward. The Bible says: “‘Everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.’ However, how will they call on him in whom they have not put faith? How, in turn, will they put faith in him of whom they have not heard? How, in turn, will they hear without someone to preach? How, in turn, will they preach unless they have been sent forth? Just as it is written: ‘How comely are the feet of those who declare good news of good things!’” (Romans 10:13-15) It is vitally important that we inform ourselves of the God of heaven, Jehovah, and his loving purposes for humankind.
37. (a) What must occur before the “end” comes? (b) How is this being accomplished now?
37 This is why the warning message of Armageddon’s war, and the good news of possible survival, is being preached earth wide by Jehovah’s Witnesses today. Hence, as a part of the sign of Armageddon’s imminence, a worldwide preaching work was foretold to occur immediately prior to the end of this yuga. Going back to the Bible prophecy at Matthew 24:14, we read: “And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.” At present, Jehovah’s Witnesses are engaged in this all-important activity in more than 200 countries of the world and in more than 160 different languages. And now this lifesaving work has come to your very own home!
38. What follows the Kali Yuga according to tradition?
38 It is a popular belief that the Kali Yuga will be succeeded by the Krita Yuga. The Krita Yuga is said to be the “golden age.” Evil is absent from the world and all mankind worship only one God. This age is also known as satyayuga, the age of truth—the era in which falsehood is nonexistent.
39. (a) What is there about the survivors that will help the new order get off to a good start? (b) What conditions will worldwide righteousness produce?
39 The survivors of Armageddon, as the founding members of a new human order, will be people of unbreakable devotion to righteousness. Armageddon will have cleansed the earth of all unrighteousness, and mankind will have a fresh start. So God’s Word says: “There are new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting according to his promise, and in these righteousness is to dwell.” (2 Peter 3:13) Jehovah God will apply the benefits of his sacrificial provision to heal earth’s inhabitants of their sins, imperfections and infirmities, both mental and physical. Ultimately, the right to life on a Paradise earth will be completely restored. No more will there be poverty, high prices, starvation, homelessness, overcrowded slums, disfiguring leprosy or wasting diseases, nor any infant mortality or the need for hospitals. There will be no slavish forced labour, no coolies, no unemployment nor beggars, no caste system nor disparities in life. Instead, there will be glowing health, eternal youth, an abundance of good food, satisfying work and secure surroundings.
40-42. In the new age, what conditions will prevail as regards (a) food? (b) sickness and death? (c) housing? (d) employment? (e) wild beasts?
40 Read for yourself some of the heartwarming assurances of the Bible prophet Isaiah. He wrote: “Jehovah of armies will certainly make for all the peoples, in this mountain, a banquet of well-oiled dishes, a banquet . . . of wine kept on the dregs, filtered. And in this mountain he will certainly swallow up the face of the envelopment that is enveloping over all the peoples, and the woven work that is interwoven upon all the nations. He will actually swallow up death forever, and the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will certainly wipe the tears from all faces. And the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for Jehovah himself has spoken it.” “At that time the eyes of the blind ones will be opened, and the very ears of the deaf ones will be unstopped. At that time the lame one will climb up just as a stag does, and the tongue of the speechless one will cry out in gladness.”—Isaiah 25:6-8; 35:5, 6.
41 Isaiah also wrote: “For here I [Jehovah] am creating new heavens and a new earth; and the former things will not be called to mind, neither will they come up into the heart. And they will certainly build houses and have occupancy; and they will certainly plant vineyards and eat their fruitage. They will not build and someone else have occupancy; they will not plant and someone else do the eating. For like the days of a tree will the days of my people be; and the work of their own hands my chosen ones will use to the full. They will not toil for nothing, nor will they bring to birth for disturbance; because they are the offspring made up of the chosen ones of Jehovah, and their descendants with them. And it will actually occur that before they call out I myself shall answer; while they are yet speaking, I myself shall hear.”—Isaiah 65:17, 21-24.
42 “‘The wolf and the lamb themselves will feed as one, and the lion will eat straw just like the bull; and as for the serpent, his food will be dust. They will do no harm nor cause any ruin in all my holy mountain,’ Jehovah has said.”—Isaiah 65:25.
43, 44. (a) What will happen to our dead ancestors and predecessors, and by what means? (b) Who will share in these marvellous blessings?
43 Even the dead will be remembered. Countless millions of humans of all races and religions will be brought back to life from their sleep of death. This will not be a rebirth or transmigration of a soul. Rather, God Almighty will recreate human bodies, and from his unfailing memory he will provide them with their former life patterns and personalities, so that they will be recognized again by their loved ones. What joy! Opportunity will be granted the resurrected dead to be perfectly rehabilitated within the eternal divine purpose. The Bible confidently records: “Do not marvel at this, because the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice [that of the Son of God] and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment.”—John 5:28, 29.
44 Are these marvels not what you want? Are they not your heartfelt desires? You can personally share in these joys and bounties. These are the blessings in store for those who survive the rapidly approaching war of Armageddon.
45, 46. How can we be certain that these promises are trustworthy?
45 But are these promises of a post-Armageddon world trustworthy? How can we be certain that Armageddon is not a myth? Because the ancient deluge was not a myth. Man is no myth. Man’s Maker, God, is no myth! And we can be certain about these promises because it is impossible for God to lie. (Titus 1:2) Think! Why do small children trust kind and loving parents? Young children, generally, cannot be pressured by their associates to be suspicious of their parents’ loving concern for them. Little children have no reason to distrust their parents’ promises. Have they not come thus far in life by their parents’ provisions? Hence, do not allow the failures and disappointments of human philosophies and promises to destroy your willingness to believe in God’s loving concern for mankind. Please examine the evidence available. Be convinced that hope in God’s promises is not misplaced. Jehovah alone has the wisdom, the power and the will required to bring Armageddon’s war and to create a new system of things. Jehovah comfortingly gives this guarantee:
46 “‘God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.’ And the One seated on the throne said: ‘Look! I am making all things new.’ Also, he says: ‘Write, because these words are faithful and true.’”—Revelation 21:3-5; compare Hebrews 6:18.
47. What is it about “time” that will not spoil the permanency of God’s New Order?
47 However, for how long will these good things endure? Will it be just another yuga, or time cycle, as some say? Why should it be? Time does not move in circles. Time is only one-directional—forward. Time of itself is a mere impersonal, abstract term. Time can exert no influence on the existences operating within itself. The features marking a particular yuga, or age, are produced by outside, intelligent forces. So when all forces and influences for badness are forever destroyed, eternity will be filled only with a force for goodness.
48. What preeminently determines the duration of the new system of things?
48 Preeminently, however, it is the will of God, and not some kind of universal, automatic clock, that determines the duration of the coming system of things. Hence, if we really want to know how long these good things will endure, what we are really asking is, ‘What is the will of God for the earth and for mankind?’
49. Where only can we learn what God’s will is for the future? What other information does this source alone give us?
49 Can we find the answer to that question in any of the holy books? Can we find it anywhere? Yes, but only in the Bible. It is in the Bible that God answers the question propounded in the Rigveda, “Who is the God to whom we shall offer sacrifice?” It is the Bible that tells us that the name of the Creator of all things is Jehovah. Only in the Bible do we have a clear account of God’s dealings with mankind throughout history. The Bible, too, is the only holy book that gives us a truly clear picture of what things would be like in the last days—our days. And the Bible explains to us what God’s will is for the future.
50. A knowledge of God’s will gives us what wonderful view of the future?
50 And what Jehovah God has willed is truly wonderful. According to the Bible, he has willed that a righteous system of things will be established that will last, not for a mere age, or yuga, but for all eternity. And each of us is offered the opportunity to enjoy the blessings of that arrangement. (Psalm 37:10, 11, 27-29) The Bible says concerning some who have been abandoned by their families because of their faithfulness to God that they will “get many times more in this period of time, and in the coming system of things everlasting life” on a Paradise earth.—Luke 18:29, 30; Habakkuk 2:14.
51. How only will true justice and contentment be enjoyed by humankind?
51 Indeed, much history has passed since the time when—according to legend—a great battle was fought at Kurukshetra. During that time man’s happiness has been impaired by many wars, and his attempts to stamp out injustice and to secure peace have been largely unsuccessful. Sadly, lasting peace and happiness have not resulted from human efforts. Why? Because such blessings can come only by following the counsel of Jehovah God as found in that unique book, the Holy Bible. Therefore, what will you do now?
52. By doing what now may you be concealed in the day of Jehovah’s Armageddon war?
52 Will you accept the divine invitation to “seek Jehovah” and ‘seek righteousness and meekness’? If you do, “probably you may be concealed in the day of Jehovah’s anger.” It is our prayer that you will do so and will be among the happy survivors of the “war of the great day of God the Almighty”—Armageddon.—Zephaniah 2:3; Revelation 16:14, 16.
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ALL IN ONE GENERATION
END OF THIS SYSTEM
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Armageddon will be a global war, wiping the earth clean
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Survivors of Armageddon judged worthy by our Creator to keep the human race alive
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Sign of Armageddon’s war appears since 1914
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Vishnu sleeps on Shesha—means of preservation in Hindu tradition
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The Biblical Deluge—preview of Armageddon
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Worldwide lifesaving preaching work by Jehovah’s Witnesses presages end of this yuga