Leaves of Healing
1. For what healing did Jehovah cut short the days of tribulation, and with what miracles resulting?
CHRISTENDOM’S clergy claim to have as their divine commission the converting of the world to Christ. But after all these sixteen centuries they are farther than ever from it. God foreknew how they would turn out in this day. So he has not sent them out nor depended upon them to accomplish the spiritual healing of his “sheep” on earth. He has raised up a loyal remnant of imitators of the Right Shepherd Jesus Christ, who appreciate that the spiritual need of the people is more important than their physical well-being. Just after the first world war the remnant themselves required the great Physician’s attention, and he healed them spiritually. In fact, for the sake of these elect or chosen ones Jehovah cut short the days of the great tribulation upon Satan’s world, that the remnant might be relieved of what ailed them spiritually and might be saved to heavenly life in the new world. He healed the waters of doctrine that they were drinking, to immunize them against infection by this sinful world. (Matt. 24:21, 22; Ezek. 47:8, 9; Ex. 15:23-26) The truth is, he caused a continually deepening and expanding river of Kingdom truth to flow forth to them. Its waters have been lifegiving to them. Spiritually, the result of the divine health program to them has been miraculous, fulfilling the prophecy: “Your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.”—Isa. 35:4-6.
2. What others needed healing? And so on what mission did Jehovah send out his remnant?
2 This spiritual remnant with a heavenly destiny were not the only ones to be healed as to their relations with God through Christ. A great crowd of others with an earthly destiny also needed the benefit of the heavenly Physician’s health work. They needed to be invited to the waters of Kingdom truth. They needed to have applied to them things with curative powers. So God commanded that his healed remnant should themselves go forth on a healing mission in these ominous days preceding Armageddon. For it is only the spiritually healed one who will get through Armageddon and emerge into the hale new world. So he has made his faithful remnant of Kingdom heirs to grow up like sturdy trees of righteousness on the banks of the river of truth. The situation is beautifully pictured for us at Revelation 22:1-3:“And he showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, flowing out from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of its broad way. And on this side of the river and on that side there were trees of life producing twelve crops of fruit, yielding their fruits each month. And the leaves of the trees were for the curing of the nations. And no more will there be any curse.”—NW.
3. (a) What are their fruits and their leaves? (b) Who avail themselves of these, and with what benefit?
3 The standing of those rows of trees of righteousness there is a sure sign that water of life is there. The trees’ abundance of leaves invites the sunstricken, parched seekers of life to cooling shade beneath their foliage. The fruits of the Kingdom, that is to say, the Kingdom message and the active service in spreading it, they hold forth for the great crowd of people of good will to eat and to pass on to other famished ones. Being trees of righteousness, they are good trees. Their leaves are the faithful outward professions of what they believe and teach, without hypocrisy, and accompanied by Kingdom fruits every month and season of the year. And so these symbolic leaves, when applied to the people of good will everywhere, are health-giving, curative, acting like medicine. As Ezekiel stated in a corresponding vision: “Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for healing.” (Ezek. 47:12, AT) Hundreds of thousands have already come to these trees by the riverside, have eaten the Kingdom fruits offered and have applied to themselves the curative leaves by accepting the educational services of Jehovah’s anointed remnant of witnesses. They have experienced healing mentally, morally, and in their relations with God. So now they are in line for eternal life in the new world.
4. Hence, why does Jehovah’s health program widen its scope?
4 Let the misguided religionists who insist on supernatural physical cures yield themselves unwittingly to the power and influence of deceptive demons to accomplish such cures and carry on in their healing practice. Jehovah’s effective health program for endless life in the new world is on and is accomplishing wonders in more and more parts of the earth. It is ever widening its scope. For as the great crowd of people of good will get their ears open and hear the invitation to the salutary waters of Kingdom truth, their mouths once parched into speechlessness are opened and they speak the invitation to others who are dying of thirst and hunger. In fact, they are commanded to share the waters and invite others to them. As it is written: “And the spirit and the bride keep on saying, ‘Come!’ And let anyone hearing say, ‘Come!’ And let anyone thirsting come; let anyone that wishes take life’s water free.” (Rev. 22:17, NW) No socialized medicine this, carried on by taxing the people. This is a service from God without charge to those who exercise faith in him and in his kingdom by Christ Jesus.
PAIN AND DEATH TO GO
5. How will the health program thus begun with those of good will end up? Where and when?
5 For men and women of good will today the spiritual restoration is not all there will be to it. That is only the start of real health for them. There will also be marvelous miracles in due time in a physical way; to end up in human perfection of body and mind, in a diseaseless paradise. True, the spiritual health to which they can only attain now before Armageddon has a salutary effect on their minds, hearts and spirits and even upon their physical condition. But after the battle of Armageddon there will come the erasing of all human imperfection and sin from among the inhabitants of the new world. That new world will be the time and place for it. That will be the seventh thousand-year period of human experience, and it corresponds with the seventh day of rest and of physical recuperation which Jehovah legally established among his chosen people of old.—Ex. 20:8-11.
6. What will that millennial sabbath day be the appropriate time for, and how did Jesus on earth foreshadow this?
6 That seventh millennium will mark the fixed time of ushering afflicted mankind into rest and release from laborious attempts at self-perfection, and deliverance from sin and all its attendant imperfection, disease, accident, old-age decrepitude and death. That was one reason why Jesus performed many miracles on the Jewish sabbath day. He showed what he would do for the ailing bodies of mankind on the millennial sabbath day of which he is the Lord. (Matt. 12:8; Mark 3:2; Luke 6:7; 13:14; John 5:9, 10, 16) He can and will act the part of Physician for the bodies of the people of good will whom he redeemed, for it is written of him since his resurrection and glorification in heaven: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, and forever.”—Heb. 13:8, NW.
7. Will Armageddon survivors have an instantaneous change to human perfection? Or any of those resurrected on earth?
7 Immediately after the battle of Armageddon is over and the new world is fully inaugurated, what about those people of good will who survive the battle because of having had spiritual healing? Will they be instantaneously healed of every bodily affliction and miraculously perfected? No. This would not comport with their still being in the same human bodies and still having traces of sin and evil inclinations which they inherited from Adam. They will no more be perfected in an instant after Armageddon than the faithful witnesses of ancient time, Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, etc., will be resurrected as perfect men by God’s power through Christ the King. Some of the anointed remnant of Kingdom heirs will also survive Armageddon with the great crowd of “other sheep”, and this remnant will not experience any perfecting in the flesh in an instant of time. They are looking for perfection, not in the flesh, but in the heavens, by a share in the first resurrection to life as spirit sons of God.
8. Why does fulfillment then of the mandate to multiply and fill the earth argue against getting human perfection instantaneously?
8 Were the earthly “other sheep” to experience physical healing to human perfection instanter after Armageddon, then for them to receive the divine mandate to marry, multiply and fill the earth with righteous offspring would mean to bring perfect children into the earth. Such children would not need the benefits of Jesus’ ransom sacrifice and the healing work of his kingdom. Of course, there will be no stillborn babies then, nor any death of mothers in childbirth. But after Armageddon children will not be born in human perfection in fulfillment of God’s mandate then. Evidently what childbearing will then be authorized will cease before the married couples reach human perfection. So their children will also feel the effects of descent from the sinner Adam and will have to exercise faith and avail themselves of God’s redemptive provisions through his King Jesus Christ. Everlasting life is not possible to man except through him. “The gift God gives is everlasting life by Christ Jesus our Lord.”—Rom. 6:23, NW.
9. From what will mankind then be healed? At what rate of healing?
9 There will be healing of mankind from all the effects of inheriting sin and condemnation from Adam. That includes even death in the memorial tombs. This stupendous miracle of healing will be wrought by resurrecting those who died and returned to the dust of the earth. There is no room for doubt about this, for Jesus and his apostles raised the dead and the omnipotent Physician Jehovah God raised his beloved Son Jesus Christ to everlasting life, as testified to by hundreds of witnesses of God’s resurrected Son. But for those who survive Armageddon and for those who will be resurrected from the memorial tombs, the physical healing will be gradual until human perfection is reached, at the latest by the end of the thousand years. This gradual progress in physical health will depend upon their progress in the way of righteousness under Christ’s millennial rule.
10. (a) Why will cures then be possible only from God through Christ? (b) How will further disease possibilities be cauterized out?
10 There will be no need to cast demons or unclean spirits out of anybody then, because these will all be bound with Satan their ruler in the abyss. So no wizards, witches, necromancers, spirit mediums will be possible then, and no misinformed religionists will be able to go around and hold healing periods and perform supernatural cures by the power of Satan the Devil who always tries to transform himself into an angel of light and mislead mankind. (2 Cor. 11:13-15) The only cures then possible will be from God through Christ the King and will be without financial charge. All those who undergo the full divine treatment till the great Physician discharges them from treatment because completely cured will be able to meet the loosing of Satan and his demons at the end of the thousand years. None will then be too weak to meet and repel his deceptive assaults and hold on to their perfect health of body, mind and heart against his infectious efforts. Those who yield to his deceptions will do so, not due to some lurking disability in their system, but willfully and on their own inexcusable responsibility. God and his King will not permit these rebels against theocratic government and righteousness to live on and contaminate and infect the new world with death-breeding sin. They will destroy them utterly, cauterizing out the disease possibilities with the fire of everlasting destruction.—Rev. 20:7-15.
11. So what will be the grand result of God’s health program for earth and its inhabitants?
11 This will represent the climax of the great Physician’s health program. Those who keep their complete spiritual soundness by their integrity under this final test will be justified to eternal life on the paradise earth. They will eat of its perfect fruits and sustain their lives in God’s image and likeness, with everlasting joy upon their heads. Earth will no more be labeled with a sign, “Beware! Contagious disease here,” to warn the rest of the universe. Divine healing will have attained the miraculous result predicted: “Look! the tent of God is with humankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. And 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 any more. The former things have passed away.”—Rev. 21:3, 4, NW.