The Way to Remain Fearless to the Final End
1. What does talking together to know the truth mean or require?
OBVIOUSLY talking together to know the truth will embrace attending Bible studies regularly, being present and sharing to the extent possible in the service meetings and ministry school meetings, making sure we are present at the circuit assemblies and other assemblies arranged by the Lord’s organization. All these provisions are made to learn the truth and so grow “strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might”. As each servant increases in knowledge he will desire to make it available to others. So then, there is the publishing of the good news, talking to those outside the companies, the people in general, yes, going from house to house, then making further visits until the interest is kindled into a desire for study. The oftener Jehovah’s children converse together and carry this news to others, the more pleasing it is in his sight.
2. What effect does such faithful talking together have on one?
2 Is it not a fact that those servants who attend meetings regularly, take an interest in the ministry programs and in the actual preaching service, who are present at every session of their circuit assemblies, are the ones who are most lively, always discussing the truth, eager for any opportunities and privileges of service? Are they not always talking about their back-calls, their studies, or how someone has been aided in the service? These dear ones have no time to spend doing anything else, but keep themselves free from old world pursuits in order that they may willingly be slaves of the Lord Jesus Christ.
3, 4. What assurances give us contentment, peace, happiness, freedom?
3 Nothing escapes the eye of the Lord. “Thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.” (Matt. 6:4) He takes note of faithful, loyal service. Never does an act escape him. “The LORD hath his throne in the heavens, his eyes behold, his eyelids prove, the children of men.” (Ps. 11:4, Leeser) We know his eye never sleeps and he is ever watchful for the best interests of his children. “For he puts you under his angels’ charge, to guard you wherever you go, to lift you in their hands lest you trip over a stone.” (Ps. 91:11, 12, Moff.) Remember the precious promises: “For the eyes of the Lord behold all the earth, and give strength to those who with a perfect heart trust in him.” (2 Chron. 16:9, Douay) “He never faints, never is weary, his insight is unsearchable; into the weary he puts power, and adds new strength to the weak. . . . Those who wait for the Eternal shall renew their strength.” (Isa. 40:28, 29, 31, Moff.) Contentment and peace are the lot of those who live in the conscious condition that Jehovah’s power is always available for their need, and he is watchful for their best interests, believing that “we know also that those who love God, those who have been called in terms of his purpose, have his aid and interest in everything”.—Rom. 8:28, Moff.
4 Why should the Christian then fear? Surely with such assurances he may follow through with the service of the truth and grow in love, and so grow “strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might”. Jehovah’s witnesses are the only ones who are in such a happy condition, for they know the truth and it has made them free. They study the Bible, talk about it, and obey it, because they know it is God’s Word. Their studies include reviews of the acts of faith and fearlessness of the servants of God in ages past, and they believe that the same God who did wondrous works then is the same one we know and serve today. “For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.”—Ps. 48:14, Am. Stan. Ver.
5. What, then is the way to remain fearless to the end?
5 The way, then, to remain fearless to the end is to study the truth which is God’s Word; learn of his works toward men in times past; get to know who God is and understand his purposes. Appreciate the fact that he is the Eternal God, the Almighty, the Most High, who always was, is and is to be; without beginning, without end, who knows the end from the beginning, the source of goodness and life. Learn of his beloved Son, the beginning of all creation, for without him was not anything made that has been made; how he has always been his Father’s delight, and, when sent to earth, he took the form of human flesh wherein he suffered, and by complete obedience, fearlessness, loyalty and love was highly exalted and given a name above every name, for he is King of kings and Lord of lords, the Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace. Study God’s Holy Record and be taught of the new world of righteousness and its blessings, in which you may now learn to rejoice. Keep firm your hope to share in these blessings. “Happy the people who know thy festal songs, who live within the sunshine of thy favour!” (Ps. 89:15, Moff.) It is good to know about these promises; yes, go beyond merely knowing, memorize them if you will, so that they are always in mind for your comfort and consolation. Only those who have learned to actually trust in Jehovah know the value of being able to recall at will some of the precious statements God has made for those who love him.
6. To value God’s promises, what issue must we be taught? Why?
6 All good-will persons must learn of these things, be taught what is involved and who first raised the issue of universal supremacy. Unless properly informed of Satan’s works they will not value the promises of the Almighty’s protection. For is it not a fact that those who seek righteousness and the Lord’s honor become targets of the Devil? David, speaking prophetically for Jesus, said: “For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.” (Ps. 69:9) Jesus did not choose for himself, but pleased first his heavenly Father: “For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, the reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.”—Rom. 15:3.
EFFECTS OF ACCEPTING TRUTH
7, 8. (a) What change does accepting truth effect in us, leading to what fears? (b) In whom must we build up trust, and how?
7 The acceptance of these truths by sincere persons has an immediate effect on the disposition and the pathway along which they walk. A disinclination to continue seeking the company of former associates and relatives shows itself and a leaning more to be with those who have the truth. This is as it should be. The more they seek the truth and companionship of the brethren, the more it becomes apparent to their former friends and business associates that something has happened in their lives to change the course of conduct, the conversation and forms of relaxation. It may be some will scoff, ridicule and bring various kinds of opposition to bear, or perhaps our secular occupation is in question, and then, if there are Scriptural family responsibilities on us, what will happen? Who will look after them? Former friends may be lost and disesteem be manifested. Also suppose these prophecies are not going to work out as expected? What will then be done? It may be Armageddon will not come as soon as expected! Then what? And, to say the least, one would become the laughingstock of others. All these fears and many more may crowd into the mind. It is now time to take comfort and obtain strength.
8 Listen to Jehovah’s word: “Trust in Jehovah with all thy heart, and lean not upon thine own understanding: in all thy ways acknowledge him, and he will direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes; fear Jehovah, and depart from evil.” (Prov. 3:5-7, Am. Stan. Ver.) Perhaps at first it is not easy to trust in the Lord, for we certainly have to know anyone before he can be trusted. However, by prayer in earnestness and sincerity, with study and fellowship in service, you will learn how to trust in Jehovah with all your heart.
9. What further is needed to build up fearlessness? In what way?
9 Honest seekers for righteousness must learn to go much farther, if they would become champions of truth, real soldiers in the war against the Devil’s world, fighters for the new world of righteousness, and fearless at this world’s end. Activity in the work of Jehovah becomes those who want to make progress and really obtain from the Lord his full approval, a place in the new world, and a share in the joy and blessings with others in the future purposes of Jehovah. Fear prevents progress. It brings stagnation, perhaps providing obstacles to being received into the new world. Those who are fearful are in a continual condition of anxiety and worry about many things that never happen. The Lord Jesus instructed: “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries of its own. Let each day be content with its own ills.” “But which of you with all his worry can add a single hour to his life?” (Matt. 6:34, 27, An Amer. Trans.) Needless to say, many do not take the Lord at his word and cast all their cares upon him. So they are unhappy because always fearful about something that might happen, described by Paul as “those who through fear of death had been subject to lifelong slavery”. (Heb. 2:15, Weymouth) There is a Deliverer, and that one is Christ Jesus, who can set every captive free from self-bondage, bondage to the Devil, yes, and to present evil conditions. The truth of God as given by Christ Jesus will set free from such fears. “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”—John 8:32, Am. Stan. Ver.
10. How must the strong not act toward the weak? Why not?
10 Those who are strong cannot please themselves as to their course of conduct, for they must help the weaker ones. How easy for the strong ones to say to the timid and fearful ones, Stand aside and let me go on! Or to lose patience with the Lord’s “other sheep” and, because they themselves can boldly go forward, think that every one else should and it is just too bad if they cannot! No, it cannot be this way for the devoted ones of the Lord; for the command of Jehovah is: “Proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” (Isa. 61:1, Am. Stan. Ver.) Again: “Shake thyself from the dust; arise, sit on thy throne, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bonds of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.” Furthermore: “Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; he will come and save you.”—Isa. 52:2 and Isa 35:3, 4, Am. Stan. Ver.
11, 12. How must the strong act toward the weak, and why?
11 The responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of the anointed remnant and their companions to strengthen the weaker ones, and not push them to one side. The timid ones should not be bruised or hurt or loaded with further handicaps. It must not be that way. Rather obey God’s command, “Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not”! Then instruct and explain, showing reason for not being afraid. Strengthen them in the sure knowledge of the truth; give them the assurance they need. Certainly point them to the true Deliverer and Avenger. “Lo! your God with avenging doth come, with the recompense of God, he doth come to save you.” (Isa. 35:4, Roth.) How precious and assuring these words are to the true lovers of Jehovah! He comes “with avenging”. All the evildoers, scoffers, blasphemers, persecutors, haters, slanderers and other agents of Satan will be punished, and harm will come to those who hurt God’s children.
12 Let the fearful ones know and take courage in the knowledge that Jehovah reigns. “Cry aloud and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion; for great in the midst of thee is the Holy One of Israel.” (Isa. 12:6, Am. Stan. Ver.) The King is here. He now sits on the throne of authority, and shortly will again attack the enemy organization and break it to pieces. Cause the fearful ones to be strong in the certain knowledge of these important and vital facts, so that they will realize that the things to which they are holding in this life are not really worth consideration. However, all should deal kindly and not dogmatically, or with a domineering attitude. A little reasoning on some of these matters, with time taken out to explain, will be time well spent and reap its own rewards. Do not hastily brush aside their problems and seemingly great barriers, but try to understand their attitude, and help them. Remember that the timid ones want the assurance that everything will be all right if they go on, not a blunt word that they should not fear; for very often they know that themselves. Sometimes those who have been the fearful ones become firm, loyal soldiers of Christ Jesus, having learned in a difficult way that their own lack of strength to go forward in the holy service of God has necessitated a complete dependence upon Jehovah, the Strength-giver.
13. What joy and opportunities result to the strong so acting?
13 Surely this is a most joyful occupation, to help the Lord’s little ones in this way, to see the knees of those who are weak get strong so they can carry the servant on in the service, to note the hands and arms which did hang down limp get stronger until they commence to use them in the employ of others. Yes, to really see an inactive person become active is a joy. Those who are found handling their brethren with kindness and consideration, therefore obtaining results, will surely be granted further gracious opportunities of service. Does not the Lord know they will be careful, diligent and dependable, always trying to build and strengthen the brethren? Let us take to heart the dealings of Jehovah with each one of us and so deal with the fearful and timid ones in like manner. Resulting from these ministrations is the greater expansion of Jehovah’s service. All the faithful servants will so help each other to remain fearless to the end.
FEAR OF GOD PROPER
14. By what attitude do we draw strength from Jehovah? How so?
14 The apostle Paul warned, “So the man who thinks he can stand must be on his guard against a fall.” (1 Cor. 10:12, An Amer. Trans.) Jehovah has recorded that “not to the swift was the race, nor to the strong the battle”. (Eccl. 9:11, Roth.) No one is so strong that he needs no added strength. Paul’s experience was certainly an outstanding example, for he exclaimed, “That is why I am pleased with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties, when they are endured for Christ’s sake, for it is when I am weak that I am strong.” (2 Cor. 12:10, An Amer. Trans.) Then how is it possible to always be able to draw strength from Jehovah? you may ask. The answer is that we must all live in the fear of the Lord. Strange though it may appear, yet it is a fact, true to experience, that the more we fear Jehovah, then the less we shall fear creatures, conditions and the world with its wicked demons and overlord. It is not for us to fear Jehovah as a great monster. Jehovah is just, true, wise and loving. These attributes are part of the Almighty. We fear him, so we love him. Some may wonder how this is possible. If you do, then take for example the human father, and remember that the child’s love for parents is not one whit diminished by knowledge that disobedience and wrongdoing will bring some form of punishment. Good parents must discipline their children. “When our earthly fathers disciplined us we treated them with respect; should we not far more submit to the Father of our spirits, and so have life? For they disciplined us for a short time and as they thought proper, but he does it for our good, to make us share his holiness.”—Heb. 12:9, 10, An Amer. Trans.
15. Why is it important to fear Jehovah rather than creatures?
15 With Jehovah it is a question of obedience or disobedience. He shows the way leading to life by obedience, and those who walk therein are happy; those who refuse to walk according to the light they have are stubborn or negligent ones and are disciplined, and if they turn rebellious then they are cut off from the way leading to life. Should we, therefore, not fear the Life-giver? The man is foolish who refuses to do so. It may not appear a vital matter whether one is fearful or fearless, but there should be no misapprehension as to how Jehovah’s Word deals with the two classes. “The fear of man bringeth a snare; but whoso putteth his trust in Jehovah shall be safe. Many seek the ruler’s favor; but a man’s judgment cometh from Jehovah.” (Prov. 29:25, 26, Am. Stan. Ver.) “Have no fear of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul: rather fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.” (Matt. 10:28, Moff.) “The fear of Jehovah is a fountain of life, that one may depart from the snares of death.” (Prov. 14:27, Am. Stan. Ver.) When judgment is rendered we know the righteous Judge will be true and impartial, and still he expresses his decision that the destiny of those judged fearful is destruction: “But for the fearful . . . their part shall be in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death.” (Rev. 21:8, Am. Stan. Ver.) None can afford to ignore these plain statements from the Scriptures.
16. Why should we see that we are not just pretending to obey God?
16 Often an examination of oneself is beneficial to see if the commandments of Jehovah and Christ Jesus are being obeyed. Are we really sharing in the ministry committed to the chosen ones? Is our heart really behind our service effort? Are we truly devoting all? “And to love him with one’s whole heart, one’s whole understanding, and one’s whole strength, and to love one’s neighbor as one’s self is far more than all these burnt-offerings and sacrifices.” (Mark 12:33, An Amer. Trans.) If this is true in our case, then we may depend upon it that we shall not be fearful. If, of course, a pretense is being carried out, if we are just going along with the crowd, and not making sure of our steps, and coming to a personal decision, then we may expect to be fearful. To be fearless must mean entering into the truth, the commands, the service, the experiences, with all we have, wholly, completely devoted to Jehovah’s holy will. We may be satisfied if our examination reveals honesty and sincerity and not hypocrisy. “Happy the pure in heart; for they will behold God!”—Matt. 5:8, Diag.
17. Does fearing him make us enemies, or how does it affect us?
17 Certainly it must be clear that if there was a real fear of the Almighty then no creature of sound mind would ever dare displease him. For our own well-being it is imperative that we learn to fear the Most High. Those fearing him are his friends. “The friendship of Jehovah is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant.” (Ps. 25:14, Am. Stan. Ver.) Correct information is of utmost importance. For that right instruction we are bound to rely on God’s Word. He is the source of knowledge, and those desiring understanding must first learn that “the fear of Jehovah is the beginning of wisdom”. (Ps. 111:10, Am. Stan. Ver.) Our worship to him must be rendered with fear. “Therefore let us render thanks that we receive a realm unshaken; and in this way let us worship God acceptably—though with godly fear and awe, for our God is indeed a consuming fire.”—Heb. 12:28, 29, Moff.
18, 19. Where was it said God is a devouring fire? How is he such?
18 Pause and consider the words, “Our God is indeed a consuming fire.” What is the significance? The apostle Paul in all probability is quoting from Deuteronomy 4:24 where Moses was referring to the occasion when Jehovah had been displeased with him. It happened at Kadesh, the burial place of Miriam, and the children of Israel had murmured, rebelling at God’s dealings with them, for there was no water to drink. Jehovah instructed Moses to gather the assembly together and speak to the rock before their eyes, and water would spring forth. Quite evidently Israel was to witness a marvelous demonstration of God’s power. Moses gathered Israel together and took his rod and then said: “Hear now, ye rebels; shall we bring you forth water out of this rock? And Moses lifted up his hand, and smote the rock with his rod twice: and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their cattle. And Jehovah said unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed not in me, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”—Num. 20:10-12, Am. Stan. Ver.
19 Moses knew well that proper worship is acceptable only with fear of Jehovah. Because he failed to give Jehovah credit, and did not hallow the Creator’s name, God denied him the honor and great responsibility of taking Israel actually into the land. Little wonder, then, that he drove these truths home to Israel: “Furthermore Jehovah was angry with me for your sakes, and sware that I should not go over the Jordan, and that I should not go in unto that good land, which Jehovah thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.” He further said: “Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of Jehovah your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image in the form of anything which Jehovah the God hath forbidden thee. For Jehovah thy God is a devouring fire, a jealous God.” (Deut. 4:21, 23, 24, Am. Stan. Ver.) Israel should have known this, for at Mount Sinai God had revealed his glory by fire. “And the appearance of the glory of Jehovah was like devouring fire on the top of the mouth in the eyes of the children of Israel.” (Ex. 24:17, Am. Stan. Ver.) So, now forty years later, Moses commanded: “Know therefore this day, that Jehovah thy God is he who goeth over before thee as a devouring fire; he will destroy them.” “If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, JEHOVAH THY GOD.” (Deut. 9:3 and De 28:58, Am. Stan. Ver.) Moses truly feared the Lord as indicated by his words: “For Jehovah your God, he is God of gods, and Lord of lords, the great God, the mighty, and the terrible, who regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward.”—Deut. 10:17, Am. Stan. Ver.
20. How will he yet manifest this fact?
20 Where is the man, where the ruler, yes, and where is there any government that should not bow the knee in fear of this most mighty One, who inhabits eternity, who can melt the mountains, and rain fire from heaven? He can burn with fire this old evil world and consume every evildoer on the face of the earth. Indeed it is his purpose to do so. Every one not having a place in the new world of righteousness will be destroyed forevermore. Truly “our God is a consuming fire”! Once we grasp this truth and fact, and make it our own, then and only then shall we live in the fear of Jehovah, a fear to go contrary to the ways he has marked out, a fear to go against his instructions, a fear to hurt in any way those who are his own children. The whole world will try to hurt God’s anointed and their companions, and will meet with well deserved disaster. Jehovah says: “Say ye not, A conspiracy, concerning all whereof this people shall say, A conspiracy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be in dread thereof. Jehovah of hosts, him shall ye sanctify; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.”—Isa. 8:12, 13, Am. Stan. Ver.
21. Who is exempt from fearing Jehovah? Why is this?
21 Just try to imagine the fear you might have toward these evil worldly powers. Go to the limit in your imagining, and then realize with all the force possible that the fear of Jehovah must be far greater than all that. Does not ordinary sense convey to us that Jehovah the Life-giver can just as easily take away our life as he can give it? Faithful Job gave expression thus: “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: Jehovah gave, and Jehovah hath taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah.” (Job 1:21, Am. Stan. Ver.) Knowledge of the great Creator is so essential, and those knowing him best trust him most, and fear is with all. No one is exempt from fearing Jehovah, not even the beloved and precious Son of God, for it is written: “Who in the days of his flesh, having offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and having been heard for his godly fear, though he was a Son, yet learned obedience by the things which he suffered.” (Heb. 5:7, 8, Am. Stan. Ver.) Yes, he was heard for his godly fear, his reverent fear.
22. What is the full force of “fear”, that is, fear of Jehovah?
22 Sometimes there is an inclination to water down this expression “fear” and say it means just “reverence” of Jehovah. True, reverence must be included in our fear of him, but fear also means dread, awe. Take, for example, the scripture at Isaiah 8:13: “Let him be your fear.” The word “fear” here is a translation of the Hebrew word mo·rawʹ and means also “dread, terribleness, terror”. At Psalm 2:11 the word “fear”, translated from yi·rawʹ, is derived from the same Hebrew verb yi·rehʹ meaning “to fear, reverence, honor”.
23. Is fear of him opposed to love? Why is that?
23 The many recorded works of Jehovah clearly teach that creatures should have proper, intelligent fear toward God. They should stand in awe before him and bow down before his great and terrible name Jehovah, for no one should willfully cause his displeasure. Disobedience is punishable by death. Has he not the right and power to destroy? While fearing to incur his anger for rebellion, stubbornness, idolatry and all forms of disobedience, yet God’s children must love him. Perfect or complete love will cast out all slavish fear and give the creature a proper appreciation of his relationship to his Creator. No one who really has an awe, a dread, a reverence, yes, fear of Jehovah, has fear of man or conditions in the world. Those who are the loyal and faithful children of the Most High God know from scriptures and experience that fear and love of Jehovah go hand in hand, and are not, in His case, in opposition. They fear to do anything contrary to his will, for he can destroy; yet they love him with all they have. If we maintain fear of God we shall be kept fearless of men; and at this world’s end this is most important.
A MODERN EXAMPLE OF FEARLESSNESS
24. Since when has our fearlessness specially been shown? How?
24 In these years since the close of World War I in 1918 true lovers and fearers of Jehovah have many times demonstrated their fearlessness toward men. They have been taught to know him and to make him their strong tower. His purposes in his people are clearly seen. Evidences of his guiding hand in their affairs pile up. They wait on him and are nourished for future service, even as the apostle Paul declared: “For God has not given us a timid spirit but a spirit of power and love and discipline. So do not be ashamed to testify to our Lord, and do not be ashamed of a prisoner of the Lord like myself; join me in bearing suffering for the gospel, by the power of the God who has saved us.” (2 Tim. 1:7-9, Moff.) But how little they realized the need they would have for all these favors and assurances. Great opposition was being organized in 1933 against the Lord’s anointed, and it broke out in fury a few years later. Furious demonized mobs attacked these peaceful Christians until the persecution became a national issue in America. Bitterness, hatred and all forms of slander and evilspeaking were heaped on these faithful witnesses, both young and old, male and female. It required fearlessness to withstand such brutal oppression; those who had no strength were granted it by the Almighty in whom they had trusted. Their trust and confidence were rewarded and the abuse and hurt turned out to be a testimony against their enemies.
25. Under what developments and how did God become very real to them?
25 On came World War II, but no one had grasped how far-reaching it would be when the peace was broken. Totalitarian hordes overran Europe. Jehovah’s witnesses were arrested in large numbers, and overnight cast into prisons or concentration camps. The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society’s work was interfered with and some Branch offices occupied by the gunmen. But God’s work could not stop. His commandments were final. Bitter and terrible persecution came on Jehovah’s witnesses in most countries, yet what happened to God’s faithful servants? Did they discontinue doing Jehovah’s service? Certainly not! The whole world was against them, yet they trusted in the Most High God. In themselves they were subject to human frailties, fear and doubts, but looking to the Lord and relying on his might and strength, they went on confident that he was their support and was truly backing them up. It is a fact that in all countries where Jehovah’s servants carried on the gospel-preaching work to the best of their ability Jehovah God became, as it were, very real. Assurance was supplied, so that no one could doubt that God was with us. We knew.
26. How were faith in him and love toward him strengthened in us?
26 Over and over again, as the loyal brethren all know, the Lord comforted and gave such marvelous demonstrations of his working with us, of his power manifested on our behalf, that we were strengthened to go on. How many times it could be recalled that a seemingly impossible situation would arise, yes, often involving the service of Jehovah and the interests and well-being of the brethren; yet a way out was provided! And at knowing it was no one but Jehovah who had so acted gratitude would fill the heart; our love for him would grow deeper and stronger and true fear of the Lord brought forward its own rich reward. “Oh love Jehovah, all ye his saints: Jehovah preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth him that dealeth proudly. Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all ye that hope in Jehovah.” (Ps. 31:23, 24, Am. Stan. Ver.) The anointed knew their calling and promised reward in the kingdom of heaven, and the Lord’s “other sheep” had been strengthened in their hope of the new world blessings and Jehovah’s favors. “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of Jehovah in the land of the living. Wait for Jehovah: Be strong, and let thy heart take courage; yea, wait thou for Jehovah.”—Ps. 27:13, 14, Am. Stan. Ver.
27. So what attitude has been rewarded, and in whom?
27 So today all the children of the Most High rejoice in the faithful, fearless action of those who were honored and privileged to have assigned to them such opportunities of service, which have all been for the advancing and expansion of the Lord’s service. The ministry was performed. They were used and others have benefited. Fearlessness brings reward.
REWARDS OF BEING FEARLESS AT THE WORLD’S END
28. What are the rewards to those having the clean fear of Jehovah?
28 No good thing will be withheld from those who fear the Lord and walk uprightly, whereas the ones who are without fear of God and do wickedly shall lose life and have no good things added to them. “The fear of Jehovah prolongeth days; but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.” (Prov. 10:27, Am. Stan. Ver.) “No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O Jehovah of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.” (Ps. 84:11, 12, Am. Stan. Ver.) “The fear of Jehovah is a fountain of life, that one may depart from the snares of death.” (Prov. 14:27, Am. Stan. Ver.) Not only will the Lord preserve and add many years to the ones fearing him, but will give to them wisdom, that most precious gift. “The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of wisdom.” (Ps. 111:10, Am. Stan. Ver.) Then more blessings follow, for he has promised: “The reward of humility and the fear of Jehovah is riches, and honor, and life.” (Prov. 22:4, Am. Stan. Ver.) Those who fear Jehovah are clean and hate evil, for it is impossible to be filthy in mind, heart and body, or to love the unrighteous evil thing and truly fear God at the same time. “The fear of Jehovah is clean, enduring for ever.” (Ps. 19:9, Am. Stan. Ver.) “The fear of Jehovah is to hate evil.”—Prov. 8:13, Am. Stan. Ver.
29. Despite world trouble why is the lot of His fearers blessed?
29 The last days of this wicked, abominable world are upon us, and we shall see the final end during this generation. Terrible calamities will befall those living on earth today, for it is the time for Jehovah’s anger to be poured out. It is a time of darkness, desolation and gloom. Famine, disease and death will overtake those on earth today. Every form of oppression and corrupt, sadistic practice will be used. Violence will be everywhere, for all the world will be shaken to its very foundation. Hatred upon God’s children will be viciously expressed by the wicked. But blessed is the lot of those who fear Jehovah, those who trust in him. Study the 91st Psalm and know that Jehovah is the lot of those who can apply its precious promises to themselves: “Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night . . . it shall not come nigh thee . . . For thou, O Jehovah, art my refuge! Thou hast made the Most High thy habitation.” (Ps. 91:5, 7, 9, Am. Stan. Ver.) Protection is guaranteed to those fearing Jehovah, for even the angels will guard them. “The angel of Jehovah encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.” (Ps. 34:7, Am. Stan. Ver.) “As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so Jehovah is round about his people from this time forth and for evermore.” (Ps. 125:2, Am. Stan. Ver.) “God is a shelter and stronghold for us, we shall find him very near; therefore we never fear, though earth be overset . . . The Lord of Hosts is at our side, the God of Jacob is our fortress.”—Ps. 46:1, 2, 11, Moff.
30. What joy is set before us, and what final exhortation given?
30 Oh the joy of that time when every human heart praises Jehovah and fears him with a clean and enduring fear! No more evildoers in the land, for in God’s new world only his friends will be there. Not alone in the future, but now in this very day the rich blessing and favors of Jehovah are granted to those who are fearless. Let all learn to know Jehovah. Study his precious Word. Grow strong in him and in the power of his might. Keep the eye single and the heart steadfast, wholly trusting in Jehovah and being fearless at the world’s end.
Know therefore that Jehovah thy God, he is God, the faithful God, who keepeth covenant and loving-kindness with them that love him and keep his commandments . . . , and repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them.—Deut. 7:9, 10, A.S.V.