Praise to the New World’s Founder
“Praise Jah, you people, because Jehovah our God, the Almighty, has begun to rule as king.”—Rev. 19:6, NW.
1. Because of what can we say Hallelujah! and what does it mean?
HALLELUJAH! Jehovah has taken his rightful power over our earth and has begun to rule as its king. That is a fact of which all peoples of the earth should take serious note during the year 1951. It signifies that a righteous new world is at the doors and is certain to come in by the power of Almighty God. It is something to shout about! A marvelous change is certain to follow all around this globe which will be a credit to God’s rule and which will mean tranquil, secure and prosperous living for all men of good will. No more will men think that God has forsaken the earth or ask why he has permitted wickedness to rule over the earth for these past six thousand years. His appointed time has come to clear up the great mystery and to settle the raging controversy over the sovereignty of the universe.
2. What does it now behoove every informed person to do?
2 What a tiny part of the boundless universe is our earth! Yet it is now the one hot spot where this issue of universal sovereignty must be finally decided. And it will be decided, no, not in favor of the United Nations or other elements of this old world, but in favor of the right One, Jehovah. That is why he has begun to rule as king with a brand-new world government for this earth since his own fixed date A.D. 1914. That may be thirty-six years ago, but this is all the more reason why every informed person should examine his course in life and his future plans to see whether they are in harmony with the inevitable change that is rapidly nearing. Also it behooves every informed person to spread the cheering information to as many others as possible that they may prepare themselves for life in God’s new world.
3. What is it the opportune time for us to do?
3 We are living in the most wonderful time of all human history, when we are privileged to witness the transition from this death-dealing old world to the lifegiving new world of which inspired prophets have spoken in such rich terms. Now is the opportune time to swear our eternal allegiance to the Founder, Builder and Ruler of the new world, and to enlighten and urge others to do so, for that action results in our gaining life in the new world. All the radiant prophecies focus upon this highly important transition period to-show its great significance, that we may set our course aright. The last book of the Bible symbolically depicts the momentous events that have marked or are yet to mark this time, and it directs us what to do if we want to enjoy life in the world to come. It foretells what a great crowd of people will do toward that end. Now it is up to us to decide to be included in that great crowd which has part in fulfilling the prophecy. There, at Revelation 19:6, according to the Twentieth Century New Testament (1901 edition), we read: “Then I heard what seemed like the voices of a great throng, and like the sound of many waters, and like the sound of loud peals of thunder, all saying—‘Praise the Lord! The Lord is King, our God, the Almighty.’” The New Testament in Basic English (1941 edition) reads: “And there came to my ears the voice of a great army, like the sound of waters, and the sound of loud thunders, saying, ‘Praise to the Lord: for the Lord our God, Ruler of all, is King.’”
4. What does “Hallelujah” here mean, and where is it best rendered?
4 In the original Greek text of the Bible the word “Hallelujah” occurs in the above verse. The general practice of translators is to transfer this word literally into the English, as, for instance, in the American Standard Version and the Revised Standard Version: “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.” However, you note above that the Twentieth Century New Testament and The New Testament in Basic English translate the word to read, “Praise the Lord,” and, “Praise to the Lord,” respectively. But “Hallelu-jah” is Hebrew and literally means “Praise Jah”, as a command to a number of persons. Therefore the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures makes the most direct translation when it renders Revelation 19:6 as follows: “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, because Jehovah our God, the Almighty, has begun to rule as king.’” This translation also makes it clear, not only that Jehovah reigns or rules as king, but also that he began ruling as king at a certain point of time. This agrees with the rendering by Rotherham’s Emphasised Bible translation: “Hallelujah! Because the Lord [our] God the Almighty hath become king.” His reign begun is a cause for praising him.
5. Why is this call to praise him made, and in what series of calls?
5 The name “Jah” is an abbreviation for “Jehovah” or “Yahweh”. The call here to praise him is the last of a series of five calls to praise him because of the astounding events that he brings about, events which we see fulfilling today. That we may get the setting for this series of calls we quote the entire passage (Revelation 19:1-6) from the New World Translation: “After these things I heard what was as a loud voice of a great crowd in heaven. They said: ‘Praise Jah, you people [marginal reading: They said: ‘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 for ever and ever.’ And the twenty-four persons of advanced age and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God seated upon the throne and said: ‘Amen! Praise Jah, you people [Hallelujah]!’ 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.’ 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.’”
6. In view of what is it certainly right to praise him now?
6 For thousands of years faithful men of old, from John the Baptist all the way back to Abel the first martyr, looked ahead to the establishment of God’s kingdom in the hands of his Seed, the Messiah or Christ. For nineteen centuries the Christian followers of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, have prayed the prayer he taught us: “Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified. Let your kingdom come. Let your will come to pass, as in heaven, also upon earth.” (Matt. 6:9, 10, NW) And now that the heavenly Father has begun to rule as king in fulfillment of his ancient promise and in answer to Christian prayers, is it not right to praise him? Most certainly yes! For his royal rule means our deliverance from this oppressive world and unspeakable blessings in the free new world. But how is it that, in our first paragraph, we say he began ruling as king A.D. 1914? Here is how.
BIRTH OF OLD WORLD KINGDOMS
7. The overthrow of what is proclaimed in connection with his ruling as King? Whom does this astonish?
7 We note at Revelation, chapter 19, that the proclamation that Jehovah our God, the Almighty, has begun to rule as king is made in connection with his overthrow of great mystic Babylon. Revelation 19:2 (NW) describes her as the “great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication”. The angel who brought the revelation to the apostle John speaks of Babylon as the “great harlot that sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, whereas those who inhabit the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication”. John tells us: “Upon her forehead was written a name, a mystery, ‘Babylon the Great, the mother of the harlots and of the disgusting things of the earth.’” (Rev. 17:1, 2, 5, NW) This was over six hundred years after the literal city of Babylon on the Euphrates river was overthrown by Kings Darius and Cyrus in 539 B.C. according to the decree of Jehovah God. When that ancient Babylon was thrown down from its position as the third world power of Bible history, God thus showed his almighty power but did not then begin to reign over all the earth. Mystic Babylon, Satan’s world organization, still remained. It is when God has actually begun to rule as king that he does overturn and destroy great mystic Babylon of world-wide power and influence. This modern act of God when completed will astonish all the earth far more than his overturning of ancient Babylon did.
8. Why is it appropriate that at that event he should be announced as ruling as King?
8 How appropriate it is that, when Jehovah God overturns and destroys mystic Babylon of today, he should be announced as ruling as King! The first place at which an anti-Jehovah kingdom was set up after the flood of Noah’s day was Babylon or Babel. The first king of that city was Nimrod, the rebellious foe of the true God. Genesis 10:8-10 informs us: “Cush [the grandson of Noah] begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before [or, in opposition to] Jehovah: wherefore it is said, Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before Jehovah. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.” (AS; McClintock & Strong’s Cyclopaedia) Nimrod’s kingdom at Babel or Babylon was never authorized by Jehovah but was set up in defiance of him and to belittle his name and universal sovereignty. Many centuries later, when Babylon became a world power mightier than Egypt and Assyria, it brazenly showed its hostility to Jehovah God by destroying Jerusalem and taking his people into exile.
9, 10. Who was the first human king Jehovah approved? Why?
9 The Most High God withheld his blessings from Babylon’s kings, but raised up and approved Melchizedek, the king of Salem which later became Jerusalem. His name discloses the reason, for it means “king of righteousness”, and the name of his city Salem means “peace”. Melchizedek did not inherit his kingship from his earthly father or through his mother, and he had no successor to his throne. Hence he was used in prophetic history to foreshadow the righteous King of the new world, Jehovah’s Son Jesus Christ.
10 Melchizedek met faithful Abraham after his victory over the king of Babylonish Shinar and his allies. Concerning this we read: “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was priest of God Most High. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth: and blessed be God Most High, who hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he [Abraham] gave him a tenth of all.” (Gen. 14:18-20, AS) And as to why Melchizedek foreshadowed Jesus Christ we read: “Jesus, who has become a high priest after the likeness of Melchizedek forever. For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him and to whom Abraham apportioned a tenth of all things, is first of all, by translation, ‘King of righteousness,’ and is then also king of Salem, that is, ‘King of peace.’ In being fatherless, motherless, without genealogy, having neither a beginning of days nor an end of life, but having been made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually.” (Heb. 6:20 to 7:3, NW) Melchizedek represented Jehovah as King.
11. Over what nation did Jehovah take up kingship? How is this attested to?
11 Centuries later Jehovah God began reigning over a nation, that of Israel. The city of Jerusalem became its capital, and King David was first to reign there. But centuries before that, God had been their real King, though invisible. The prophet Moses testified to this fact at the Red sea, when God drowned the Egyptian armies hotly pursuing the escaping Israelites. Moses then sang: “Jehovah shall reign for ever and ever. For the horses of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his horsemen into the sea, and Jehovah brought back the waters of the sea upon them; but the children of Israel walked on dry land in the midst of the sea.” And when just across the borders from the Promised Land, speaking of Israel as “Jéshurun” or “Righteous One”, Moses sang: “And he was king in Jéshurun, when the heads of the people were gathered, all the tribes of Israel together.” (Ex. 15:18, 19 and Deut. 33:5, AS) Gideon, the deliverer of the Israelites from Midianite raiders, recognized that vital fact. So, when the people wanted to draft him to be their visible human king, Gideon said: “I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: Jehovah shall rule over you.”—Judg. 8:23, AS.
12. What shows it is wise now to recognize him as king?
12 Is it wise now for us to recognize Jehovah our God as king? Yes. True, amid this world of human kings and princely rulers it takes faith to recognize that he is now the ruling King over his people and is to be obeyed as such. But the Israelites showed we are sure to suffer if we reject or fall away from that faith. In the days of the prophet Samuel they asked him to make a visible king over their nation to correspond with the kings of this world. In grief Samuel took the matter to God in prayer. “And Jehovah said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee; for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not be king over them.” (1 Sam. 8:7, AS) The sum-up of their experience with human kings is tersely stated by Jehovah’s words to the Israelites: “Where now is thy king, that he may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges, of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes? I have given thee a king in mine anger, and have taken him away in my wrath.” (Hos. 13:10, 11, AS) Their last human king was taken away in divine wrath when Babylon’s armies destroyed Jerusalem in 607 B.C. Like him, the last kings and princely rulers of Christendom will be taken away in God’s wrath at the battle of Armageddon amid a tribulation foreshadowed by the destruction of Jerusalem.
13. How did Jerusalem come to be the “city of the great King”?
13 The second king whom Jehovah’s prophet anointed over Israel was a man agreeable to his own heart, David the shepherd of Bethlehem. It was King David who wrested Zion, Jerusalem’s citadel, from its pagan occupiers and made it the capital city of Israel. He brought into the capital city and near his palace the symbol of Jehovah’s presence with his people, the sacred ark of the covenant. He made preparations for the building of a glorious temple to house it. For such zeal toward worship of the living and true God Jehovah made a covenant for an everlasting kingdom with David, that one of David’s descendants should be a king forever. That descendant or “son of David” was to be Jesus Christ, born to a virgin tracing her descent from King David. The kings of David’s line ruled as visible representatives of the real King of Israel, Jehovah God, and were therefore said to sit upon His throne. As it is written of King David’s son and successor: “Then Solomon sat on the throne of Jehovah as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him.” David, when abdicating the throne in favor of Solomon, prayed and acknowledged God as King, saying: “Thine, O Jehovah, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Jehovah, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come of thee, and thou rulest over all.” (1 Chron. 29:23, 10-12, AS) In harmony with Psalm 48:1, 2, Jesus himself said of Jerusalem: “It is the city of the great King.” (Matt. 5:34, 35) Thus, through his reigning anointed king at Jerusalem, Jehovah God ruled as king over Israel’s domain.
KING OF THE WORLD SINCE WHEN?
14. What chastening did the Kingdom covenant promise? How was this finally inflicted?
14 In his covenant with David for an everlasting kingdom by which he promised never to remove the kingship from David’s line God said concerning David’s successors on the throne: “If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men; but my loving-kindness shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thy house and thy kingdom shall be made sure for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.” (2 Sam. 7:14-16, AS) So from 621 to 607 B.C. God chastened David’s unfaithful successors, from Jehoiakim on to Zedekiah, with the rod of the Babylonian imperialists. Kings Jehoiachin and Zedekiah were obliged to vacate the throne and were taken captive to Babylon, and Jerusalem and its palaces and temple were destroyed.
15. How was God’s kingdom suspended, and what period then began?
15 In this way the prophecy to King Zedekiah was fulfilled: “Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Remove the mitre, and take off the crown; this shall be no more the same; exalt that which is low, and abase that which is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: this also shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.” (Ezek. 21:26, 27, AS) Thus, by his own decision, Jehovah ceased to rule as king over Israel and its domain. By the use of the Gentile armies, he overturned the visible representation of his kingdom on earth, in 607 B.C. In the fall of that year, at the complete desolation of Jerusalem and Judah, the Gentile times or “appointed times of the nations” began, to run for “seven times”, or 2,520 years. (Dan. 4:16, 23, 25, 32) God’s kingdom over any part of the earth was thus suspended.
16. What was Jesus’ attitude and course toward the “appointed times of the nations”?
16 When the Jewish clergy rejected Jesus before Pontius Pilate at Jerusalem A.D. 33 with the cry, “We have no king but Caesar,” the times of Gentile domination were bound to keep on running. Jesus refused to interfere with God’s allowance of “seven times” for Gentile domination. So he did not then “restore again the kingdom to Israel”. He prophesied that they would run their full length, which would be till the fall of A.D. 1914. (John 19:15; Acts 1:6; Luke 21:24) “But this man offered one sacrifice for sins perpetually and sat down at the right hand of God, from then on awaiting until his enemies should be made a stool for his feet.” (Heb. 10:12, 13, NW; Ps. 110:1, 2) That meant that Jesus at God’s right hand had to wait till 1914, because Jehovah God does not change but faithfully keeps to his appointed times and seasons. In 1914 was the time for God to give the kingdom to his faithful Son, “whose right it is,” and for the Son to come into the kingdom in fulfillment of the covenant with his forefather David. At that date was the time for him to act on his heavenly Father’s invitation: “Ask of me, and I will give thee the nations for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” (Ps. 2:7-9, AS) Since he received the nations of earth in order to break and dash them to pieces like pottery smashed with an iron rod, it would indicate that the “appointed times of the nations” had ended.
17. Why was A.D. 1914 the proper time for Jehovah to begin reigning?
17 In 1914, at the end of those “appointed times”, Jehovah began to rule as king. How do we know that? Well, at the beginning of those times in 607 B.C. he ceased to reign, by overturning King Zedekiah’s rule at Jerusalem. He ousted him from the “throne of Jehovah” and let the Babylonian Gentiles smash Jerusalem to pieces and let it be trampled on by the nations. Hence the end of those times in 1914 meant just the reverse. There God Almighty took again to himself his great power. He began ruling as king, not at earthly Jerusalem or over the former promised land of Palestine, but over all the earth and all its nations inside and outside of Christendom. He did this in remembrance of his kingdom covenant with David and by installing the worthy Son of David, Jesus Christ, as King of the new world. Not as King on a material throne in an earthly Jerusalem, but on the “throne of Jehovah” which is in heaven and where Jesus had been sitting waiting for all his enemies to be made his footstool. “The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool,” says Jehovah. (Acts 7:49, NW; Isa. 66:1, AS) So since 1914 is the time for the Gentile nations to be no longer on top but underfoot, to be trampled on by the heavenly Rulers till they are ground to powder and are blown away at the battle of Armageddon.
18. In heaven what announcement and thanksgiving were rendered? What birth there took place?
18 The angels in heaven were perfectly aware of those events in 1914: “And loud voices occurred in heaven saying: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will rule as king for ever and ever.’ And the twenty-four persons of advanced age who were seated before God upon their thrones fell upon their faces and worshiped God, saying: ‘We thank you, Jehovah God, the Almighty, the one who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and begun ruling as king. But the nations became wrathful, and your own wrath came, and the appointed time . . . to bring to ruin those ruining the earth.’” (Rev. 11:15-18, NW) Jehovah’s heavenly organization is spoken of as symbolic Jerusalem. It brought forth Jesus Christ as the one to be enthroned King of Jehovah’s new world. Hence chapter twelve of The Revelation pictures it as the birth of a male babe: “And she gave birth to a son, a male, who is destined to shepherd all the nations with an iron rod. And her child was caught away to God and to his throne.”—Rev. 12:1-5, NW.
19. How have the nations reacted at the birth of the kingdom?
19 His iron rod meant wrath for the nations whose appointed “seven times” had run out. So 1914 was not a time for the Gentile nations to rejoice at Jehovah’s assuming of his ruling power over the earth and the birth of the kingdom of his Christ. They became wrathful. The events of history show they became so right at the crucial date of 1914. They engaged in world war between themselves for world domination instead of acting like Christians and yielding over their earthly power to Jehovah’s enthroned King. In the thirty-six years since that date their wrath has not lessened but has increased, this being proved by their increasing persecution of Jehovah’s witnesses who announce his kingdom by his Christ and represent it as ambassadors.
MYSTIC BABYLON TAKES A TUMBLE
20. How did modern Babylon take a tumble? What will yet be her fate?
20 The Babylonian empire was used to destroy Jerusalem in 607 B.C. and to start off the “appointed times of the nations”. Quite fitting, then, that at the close of the appointed times in 1914 the modern Babylon, the Devil’s world organization, should take a tumble as a result of Jehovah’s judgment against her, and should be put underfoot. How did this occur? By casting the invisible king of mystic Babylon, Satan the Devil, and his demon organization out of the heavenly heights from association with the holy angels and down to God’s footstool, the earth. Action to bring this about began right after the Kingdom was born in 1914. “So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven say: ‘Now have come to pass the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ, because the accuser of our brothers has been hurled down . . . On this account be glad, you heavens and you who reside in them! Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing he has a short period of time.’” (Rev. 12:7-12, NW) At the battle of Armageddon, after this “short period of time”, modern Babylon or Satan’s world organization will be destroyed and the new world be completely brought in.
21-23. (a) Whose world prominence is indicative of that tumble? (b) What parable do they take up, against whom and in whose praise?
21 Indicative of the tumble of modern Babylon from the heavenly heights is the deliverance of Jehovah’s faithful consecrated remnant and their good-will companions from that world organization. That is why Jehovah’s witnesses have become so world-prominent since 1919. When ancient Babylon was herself destroyed as a world power in 539 B.C., the Israelite remnant was delivered from its power. They were let return to the site of Jerusalem and rebuild the holy temple by decree of Babylon’s conqueror, King Cyrus of Persia. And as then, so now the delivered remnant of spiritual Israelites and their good-will companions can take up and chant the parable against Satan, the god and king of mystic Babylon:
22 “It shall come to pass in the day that Jehovah shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy trouble, and from the hard service wherein thou wast made to serve, that thou shalt take up this parable against the king of Babylon, and say, . . . How art thou fallen from heaven, O daystar, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, that didst lay low the nations! And thou saidst in thy heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; and I will sit upon the mount of congregation, in the uttermost parts of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to Sheol, to the uttermost parts of the pit.” “And I will rise up against them, saith Jehovah of hosts, and cut off from Babylon name and remnant, and son and son’s son, saith Jehovah. . . . I will sweep it with the besom of destruction.”—Isa. 14:3-23, AS.
23 While this is a parable of reproach to the abased god of mystic Babylon, it is a song of praise to the Founder of the new world that follows the destruction of Babylon. It denotes that Jehovah God reigns, vindicated over his ancient enemies.