Will the Stones Have to Cry Out?
“If these remained silent, the stones would cry out.”—Luke 19:40, NW.
1. How is Jehovah’s supremacy shown?
THE supremacy of Jehovah God is made very evident through his manner of carrying out his purposes. It is Jehovah who said: “I have spoken, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed, I will also do it.” (Isa. 46:11, AS) With complete ease and certainty he goes about accomplishing all that he has said he will do, exactly at the time previously determined. One of Jehovah’s expressed purposes is the complete overthrow and final destruction of Satan, the old Serpent, together with all of his offspring organization, visible and invisible. (Gen. 3:15; Isa. 14:24-27; 2 Pet. 2:9; Jude 6, 7; Rev. 20:2) The Most High has clearly let it be known how and at what period of time he will accomplish this. What leader of men and nations in this world would disclose his tactics and time of attack to an enemy? He would be considered foolish; he would be risking defeat. But that is because no leader on this earth can be sure of his superiority. Jehovah is different; his supremacy is a fact. No storm, flood or earthquake can delay Him, for He can control all such things. No actions the enemy, Satan, and his organization can take could have the slightest possibility of success against the force that Jehovah sends out. Whether the enemy chooses to attack or run and hide, nothing will prevent Jehovah’s Executioner, Christ Jesus, from blotting them out. (Amos 9:1-4) Today their end is very near.
2. In what way has Jehovah shown mercy to those who have opposed him?
2 Although the doom of the wicked ones was sealed by Jehovah at the time of the rebellion, until the set time for the execution of that judgment comes those whom Jehovah sentenced to annihilation are permitted to go about deceiving and taking captive many creatures who have no knowledge of the Most High and his purposes and so have done wrong. All the while Jehovah has been patient with those who have opposed him. In his undeserved loving-kindness he has allowed those who have been victimized by Satan’s wicked organization to gain knowledge of the Almighty God’s purposes and thus to have an opportunity to escape destruction with the Devil’s world. (2 Pet. 3:9) In fact, before taking action to punish evildoers Jehovah has always given them due warning. Jesus expressed it this way: “The wisdom of God also said: ‘I will send forth to them prophets and apostles.’” (Luke 11:49, NW) To this may be added the clear-cut words of God recorded in Jeremiah 35:14, 15 (AS): “I have spoken unto you, rising up early and speaking; and ye have not hearkened unto me. I have sent also unto you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, Return ye now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and go not after other gods to serve them, and ye shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers.” How merciful God has been!
3. What special consideration was shown the natural descendants of Israel by sending Jesus to earth?
3 One act of mercy which God performed was the sending of the greatest prophet, Jesus, to the earth. This left a record which the Devil’s world has been unable to erase. For about three and a half years Jesus devoted all of his time and energy to the work of informing the people about Jehovah’s kingdom and purposes related thereto. He went to the cities and the villages, to the seaside and to the mountains, and everywhere he told of the supremacy of his Father in heaven. He worked among the descendants of Israel, a people who should have known Jehovah and served Him but who had fallen away to impure worship. To these Israelites God had given many prophecies pointing out Jesus and the things he would do, but the majority did not want to accept the Son of God. Yet there were many who loved right-doing and who therefore heeded the admonition of Jesus, appreciating the fulfillment of the prophecies that had been written about his coming. These who changed from their evil course and followed the Son benefited greatly; they put themselves in position to gain everlasting life.—John 3:16, 17.
4, 5. How was the activity of Jesus a test to God’s covenant people, and what resulted to them?
4 It was a time when the Most High put his covenant people Israel to their greatest test. What each one did would be a personal judgment of himself; he would either listen to God’s message or reject it. Jesus said: “He that does not exercise faith has been judged already, because he has not exercised faith in the name of the only-begotten Son of God. Now this is the basis for judgment, that the light has come into the world but men have loved the darkness rather than the light, for their works were wicked.” (John 3:18, 19, NW) There was no doubt about it, either. Many were given a final judgment of destruction on the basis of their wicked actions, as Jesus straightforwardly put it: “Serpents, offspring of vipers, how are you to flee from the judgment of Gehenna?” (Matt. 23:33, NW) These did not follow the message from God Jesus brought, so it became a final testimony to them.
5 On the other hand, some of those that believed the preaching of God’s Son elected to follow the Teacher, and they took up the work of spreading far and wide the message he taught. Disciples of Jesus were sent out by him to preach it. (Matt. 10:5; Luke 10:1) Many accompanied Jesus as he toured and taught, enjoying a special privilege of being with Christ Jesus in human flesh.
6, 7. (a) Toward the close of his earthly ministry, what prophecies did Jesus fulfill before all the people? (b) Could anyone have prevented the fulfillment thereof?
6 According to God’s prophetically expressed purpose, Jesus was not to continue his ministry in the earth indefinitely. For example, the prophet Daniel, in the latter portion of the Da 9th chapter, made a record of the exact time when the Messiah should be “cut off” in death, and this Jesus knew. Toward the close of his earthly ministry Jesus was traveling from the east in the direction of Jerusalem. He knew there were still some prophecies that had to be fulfilled concerning him, and the Record tells us: “And when he got near to Bethphage and Bethany at the mountain called Mount of Olives, he sent forth two of the disciples, saying: ‘Go into the village that is within sight of you, and in it after you pass in you will find a colt tied, on which none of mankind ever sat. Loose it and bring it.’ . . . So those who were sent forth departed and found it just as he said to them. . . . And they led it to Jesus, and they threw their outer garments upon the colt and set Jesus upon it. As he rode along they kept spreading their outer garments on the road. As soon as he got near the road down the Mount of Olives all the multitude of the disciples started to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice concerning all the powerful works they had seen, saying: ‘Blessed is the One coming as the King in Jehovah’s name! Peace in heaven, and glory in the heights above!’”—Luke 19:29-38, NW.
7 By this powerful public testimony all of the people in the land had to hear who Jehovah’s King was. Matthew’s account shows that he entered into Jerusalem itself; people were speaking of the occurrence everywhere. It had to be thus, for Jehovah’s prophecy had been given: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy king cometh unto thee; he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, even upon a colt the foal of an ass.” (Zech. 9:9, AS; also see Ps. 118:22-26) This occasion should have made all the people of Judea rejoice as never before. Their King was in the midst of them! But had they joy? Most did not; some opposed such public praise to Jehovah: “However, some of the Pharisees from the crowd said to [Jesus]: ‘Teacher, reprove your disciples.’ But in reply he said: ‘I tell you, If these remained silent, the stones would cry out.’” (Luke 19:39, 40, NW) And Jesus was right; the very stones would have cried out. It was Jehovah’s will; who could change or prevent the making of that announcement? Still, these religious leaders, the Pharisees, opposed Jehovah’s King and kingdom and wished only that their regime, on which they grew fat at the expense of the people in general, would continue. Jehovah had foretold that too.
WARNING OF DOOM
8. On account of the reaction of the majority of the people, what prophecy did Jesus give, and how was it fulfilled?
8 Jesus’ ministry on earth was ending, but before he died all must know of his message and his works of love. Though a great crowd of his disciples hailed Jesus as King, the majority of Israelites rejected him and the message of salvation he had brought; they allowed Satan to keep them in darkness, especially through religious shepherds such as the Pharisees. If they would not believe such a powerful testimony as was then given but would cling to their selfish, evil living contrary to God’s way, what could there be left for them? The fruits of their wrongdoing are seen in the prophecy Jesus spoke at that time: “And when he got to a nearby position, he viewed the city and wept over it, saying: ‘If you, even you, had discerned in this day the things having to do with peace—but now they have been hid from your eyes. Because the days will come upon you when your enemies will build around you a fortification with pointed stakes and will encircle you and distress you from every side, and they will dash you and your children within you to the ground, and they will not leave a stone upon a stone in you, because you did not discern the time of your being inspected.’” (Luke 19:41-44, NW) As further evidence that the city was hopelessly wicked, Jesus’ disciples who remained after his death to continue giving the message of life were mistreated, persecuted and killed. (Matt. 23:33-36) And before the generation then living expired in a natural way, the Roman armies came up against Jerusalem (A.D. 70) and completely destroyed it, in a time of great suffering and loss of life.
9. What are some examples of how Jehovah warned evildoers?
9 No, that was not the first time Jehovah had given a warning witness. In Noah’s day ample warning and notice were given to the people before the Flood came. In Egypt Jehovah’s witnesses, Moses and Aaron, told of the things God was going to bring upon the nation, which things he did bring; and finally the hosts of Egypt met destruction in the Red sea. Prior to the entry of God’s nation into the Promised Land, the fame of Jehovah’s mighty acts was spread far and wide and the inhabitants had a warning of what was to come. Jerusalem was destroyed in 607 B.C. after many previous public declarations by Jehovah’s prophets.
10. Did anyone benefit from the warnings given?
10 Those who entered the ark in Noah’s time were preserved alive into a new world on account of the fact that they heeded the Word of Jehovah, but they were few. (Gen. 9:18) Some non-Israelites believed in Jehovah and went with Israel out of Egypt, so they were saved alive to worship the Most High. In the Promised Land Rahab and the nation of Gibeonites took a stand for Jehovah’s worship, and they saved their lives. (Josh. 6:25; 9:26) Those who fled Jerusalem upon authoritative advice of the prophets escaped being destroyed with Jerusalem, but they were a small minority. These are evidences that the warnings issued by Jehovah help those who put faith in what He says to save their lives; notice is not served in vain.
11. To what time have we now come, and what warning is being given?
11 Once again time has run out on those evil ones who stand in the path of the accomplishment of Jehovah’s purpose. The time is here for the new world to take over; Jehovah’s King Christ Jesus has been enthroned and the earth must be cleansed of all unrighteousness and wickedness. And as in the past, Jehovah causes announcement of his purposes to be made publicly as a warning to all the inhabitants of the land and for the good of those who wish to save their lives. Jesus said of this time: “And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for the purpose of a witness to all the nations, and then the accomplished end will come.” (Matt. 24:14, NW) Yes, today witnesses of Jehovah are on the earth telling out the good news and notifying all that shortly Jehovah will act through Christ to destroy the wicked from the face of the earth.
12. How do the people receive the warning message?
12 What is the reaction of the people who hear this message? It is much the same as in the days of all others of Jehovah’s witnesses: the majority of the people ignore or openly oppose the giving of God’s message, while a minority listen, believe and put themselves in line for safety and deliverance. The majority when hearing the Kingdom message of warning scorn it or laugh to think that anyone would “be so foolish” as to preach it. Some hear it several times and to them it is the same as it was to the people in Ezekiel’s day: “And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song [margin: a love-song] of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument; for they hear thy words, but they do them not. And when this cometh to pass (behold, it cometh), then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them.” (Ezek. 33:32, 33, AS) Indeed they think it no more important than the love songs they so plentifully and so repeatedly hear on the radio. Therefore the only way they will be convinced of the truth of Jehovah’s message will be at the battle of Armageddon, when Jehovah smites all his enemies, and he certainly will.—Jer. 25:32, 33; Rev. 16:16.
13. In ancient times how was the message delivered?
13 When we look into the past to examine how the testimony was given, we find that the equipment of Jehovah’s witnesses was rather limited; yet it served the purpose. Almost everything was done by word of mouth, but often Jehovah caused something spectacular to take place, such as the building of the ark by Noah, the plagues upon Egypt, the stopping of the waters of Jordan for the nation of Israel to cross over, or the miracles performed by Jesus. There were written messages too, like the scrolls containing God’s Word that were read to the people, one of which was read by Jesus publicly; but such were not in the possession of the general public as books are today. Jeremiah gave a written message in a roll of a book. (Jer. 36:2) But however it was that the message was published, it always came to pass; God’s Word always comes true.—Num. 23:19; Heb. 6:18.
14, 15. What advantages do Jehovah’s witnesses in modern days have in delivering the message world-wide?
14 What of God’s witnesses in modern times? Today there is much more equipment Christians use in delivering the public testimony. Word of mouth is still one of the most effective means of preaching. With that we have the understanding of many of the Bible prophecies, because now they are in course of fulfillment and due to be understood by truth seekers. More people throughout the earth are able to read than ever before in history, and this fits in well with the mass production of Bibles, books, magazines, and tracts containing the Kingdom message. Millions of copies of Bibles and Bible-study publications are distributed by Jehovah’s witnesses every year in over a hundred languages; this would not have been possible in Jesus’ day or prior thereto.
15 Since it is according to Jesus’ words that this message must go to all parts of the earth in these “last days”, the speedup of travel and the quick means of shipping printed copies of the Kingdom message add to the advantages. Furthermore, there is a world-wide postal system through which the Kingdom news may be circulated. Radio and television are used in a limited way by Jehovah’s witnesses. Telephones also play a part in spreading the good news.
16, 17. In these “last days” how has Jehovah made it possible for such a great number of people to be His witnesses, and with what benefit to the witnesses?
16 Just as it was near the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry that a great multitude of his disciples raised shouts of praise publicly, announcing the presence of the anointed King, so it is that in modern times, as the climax of the Kingdom proclamation work is being reached, Jehovah has raised up a great crowd of witnesses to let the people of this world know His purposes. They will be found preaching by word of mouth wherever they are. They go from house to house, organize public lecture meetings, distribute magazines and printed folders, carry information signs publicly, and hold Bible studies in the homes of the people. Some, though aged and infirm, find ways to take part in publishing the good news by speaking to those who visit their homes, writing letters to friends and acquaintances, making telephone calls to friends and strangers, mailing the message in printed form, or even reading to other ill persons with whom they may be associated.
17 Thus it is made possible by Jehovah for all who have the desire to be followers of Christ to participate in the work of making Jehovah’s purposes known. The invitation has been given; the way is open for all who wish to join in telling out the message of hope for those who want to survive the end of this world Satan has produced. In general the people of the world observe all of the Christian activity and consider it foolishness; nevertheless, in truth it is part of what is required to gain everlasting life in the new world of righteousness. (Rom. 10:10; 1 Cor. 1:18, 21, 25; 1 Tim. 4:16) Who, then, would not want to share in the public declaration of the Kingdom message?
18, 19. Although great efforts are put forth to stop Jehovah’s witnesses from giving the warning message, what makes it possible for us, and what encourages us to keep preaching?
18 As the great climax draws near the old Serpent rages and afflicts the servants of God with interference and persecution. (Rev. 12:17) Efforts are made by the people of this world to cause Jehovah’s witnesses to quit their preaching; they try to frighten God’s servants. But by maintaining strong faith, based on knowledge of God, Jehovah’s witnesses can stick to the witness work. There is nothing at all to fear. Jehovah has given a Leader and Commander in Christ Jesus and he is now guiding the witnesses in their work by holy spirit. The organization of Satan and the issue are clearly defined. Jehovah has promised to provide for his servants and protect them. It is a time to dwell on and speak of Jehovah’s majesty and all the mighty acts He has done. (Ps. 145) The fight will become heated. What a marvelous experience it will be to be right there in the middle of it and see Jehovah’s victory! “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of Jehovah, He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold, and see the reward of the wicked.” (Ps. 91:1, 2, 7, 8, AS) Then you will be amazed at the strength Jehovah gives.
19 Always we must believe Jehovah’s promises. We must trust in Him. There must be absolute reliance upon His Word of truth. That is why it was preserved down to our day; the prophecies were written for our benefit: “For all the things that were written aforetime were written for our instruction, that through our endurance and through the comfort from the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Rom. 15:4, NW) If our minds are filled with knowledge of the contents of the Scriptures we shall be strong; we shall know just what to do.
CONTRAST BETWEEN JEREMIAH AND URIJAH
20. (a) What two courses are open to us now? (b) What did Urijah do, and how does the record of his course of action profit us?
20 Now we see that there are two courses open for us to choose from: either to be faithful or unfaithful, fearless or fearful. From the prophecy of Jeremiah we should profit immeasurably in this regard. It was during the reign of King Jehoiakim, a few years before the Babylonian captivity of Israel, two different prophets were telling of the coming overthrow of Jerusalem. One of these was Urijah, or Uriah, the son of Shemaiah. He spoke the message of Jehovah against the wickedness of Jerusalem, proclaiming certain doom. His prophesying against the city and against the land was heard by the king and the leaders in Jerusalem; the king sought to find a way to put Urijah to death. News of the king’s aims reached the ears of Urijah. It became a test upon him to see whether he loved Jehovah and trusted in Him. Fear swept across Urijah’s mind and in his panic the frightened prophet fled to Egypt. He took refuge in another part of the Devil’s visible organization, which furnished him no protection whatsoever. King Jehoiakim sent men down into Egypt and had Urijah extradited. Then when the faithless prophet was back in his home country the king slew him with the sword and cast his dead body into the graves of the common people. Urijah had failed to endure to the end in the witness work assigned to him, so he lost Jehovah’s protection and forfeited his life.—Jeremiah 26:20-23.
21, 22. (a) Who else gave the same message, and why did Urijah’s death not disturb him? (b) How is Jeremiah an example to Jehovah’s witnesses today?
21 The other prophet who gave out the judgment message from Jehovah at that time was Jeremiah. What effect would the slaying of Urijah have on him? Would Jeremiah also become fearful? Jeremiah had started preaching when quite young and he went through many trials before his forty years of preaching came to an end with the destruction of Jerusalem. His knowledge increased with the years, likewise his faith in Jehovah. He preached in prison and out of prison. He was beaten and put in the stocks. He was threatened with death as a seditionist against the city and put on trial. All this was on account of his preaching. He preached to the princes, the clergy, the common people, and to the king. Jeremiah had seen Jehovah’s protection over him through so many experiences, so at the time of the slaying of Urijah there was no fear in Jeremiah. Jehovah preserved Jeremiah alive then, for further preaching must be done against the wicked city.—Jer. 26:24.
22 Though the end of Jerusalem did not come a year or two after he began preaching, Jeremiah did not become tired. He kept on saying what Jehovah gave him to say, so he was always right. In the face of every attack against him, Jeremiah stuck to his assignment, demonstrating full confidence in the power that was backing him up. There were numerous scoffers and false preachers who tried to discount the truthfulness of Jeremiah’s prophesying, even as down to this day the false prophets and clergy have ridiculed the message of Jehovah’s judgments against Satan’s old world. (2 Pet. 3:3) An outstanding example of this was Hananiah, who lived in the fourth year of the reign of King Zedekiah.
23. (a) What message did Jeremiah give in the days of Hananiah? (b) What did Hananiah preach, and how did Jehovah punish that false prophet?
23 Jehovah had instructed Jeremiah to make a yoke, put it on his neck and then use this to impress upon the people how Jehovah would use the king of Babylon as His executioner of judgment to enslave them. To Zedekiah Jeremiah gave this message from Jehovah: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who say to you, ‘You shall not serve the king of Babylon!’ For it is a lie which they are prophesying to you. I did not send them.” (Jer. 27:14, 15, AT) Yet the false prophets continued, Hananiah among them. He spoke the exact opposite of what Jeremiah was saying, telling the people that within two years the exiles already in Babylon would be returned and the yoke of the king of Babylon would be broken. Hananiah went so far as to break the wooden yoke that Jeremiah had made. Thereafter the word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah, God saying that although the yoke of wood had been broken Jehovah would replace that with a yoke of iron and all would serve the king of Babylon, even the beasts of the field. Furthermore, Jeremiah was to say: “Hear now, Hananiah: Jehovah hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie. Therefore thus saith Jehovah, Behold, I will send thee away from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast spoken rebellion against Jehovah.” (Jer. 28:15, 16, AS) Then Jehovah showed which prophet he was backing up: in the seventh month of that year Hananiah died.
24. (a) In what does the prophetic record concerning Hananiah find fulfillment today? (b) What do Jehovah’s witnesses do about the false prophets now?
24 In Jeremiah’s day those false prophets did not trust in God, but they trusted in Egypt for help. Likewise today the false prophets, including the clergymen and the international politicians, do not trust in God, but they trust in worldly power, their own power, to accomplish their own selfish desires. As the people of Jerusalem did not have an appreciation of the sin that made it necessary for Jehovah to execute his judgment upon that city, even so now the people who support organized, corrupted religion and the United Nations do not have an appreciation of the sins of this evil system of things and that it is God’s will that all who want to live must willingly come under the rule of Christ Jesus in the new world. Hananiah prophesied falsely and gained the support of the people, and they fell under his seductive words; and likewise today the clergymen and world politicians prophesy falsely that everything will go on as it always has, in order to keep the people in ignorance of God’s purposes. It means, therefore, a fight against these false prophets for Jehovah’s witnesses to continue to carry the message to the people that they may have an opportunity to be informed. Their work is not a fight against men, but a proclamation of the truth, which is a fight against wicked systems organized and carried on by the Devil. Jehovah’s witnesses know that Jehovah will soon bring to silence through death those who now falsely prophesy the perpetuation of the Devil’s system of things. It is true, no one can successfully oppose Jehovah.
25. How did Jeremiah accomplish two kinds of work through his preaching?
25 At the beginning of his prophesying, Jehovah had told Jeremiah: “Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth: see, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down and to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.” (Jer. 1:9, 10, AS) So the message was to accomplish the destroying of the false prophesyings and to tell of the destruction of the wickedness, while at the same time it was constructive, for the building of hope in the hearts of those who loved righteousness. Jeremiah told of the making of the new covenant and the restoration of Jehovah’s righteous rule. He spoke of Jehovah’s approval of the fidelity of the Rechabites, non-Israelite descendants of Jonadab. He gave assurance of the saving of faithful Ebed-melech, the Ethiopian. He told the people who wanted to save themselves to flee the wicked Jerusalem, and Jehovah brought about the lifting of the siege of Jerusalem for a short period, a good opportunity for those who believed to escape. Yes, the preaching of Jeremiah was a message of hope to those who detested the evil practices and vile men in Jerusalem; it was a message of deliverance to them.
26. What twofold work do Jehovah’s witnesses similarly do now?
26 And in fulfillment of the prophecy Jehovah’s witnesses today do a twofold work, announcing the uprooting and overthrow of the wicked satanic world (Matt. 15:13, NW), together with all its false doctrines, and the building up of a great crowd of people in the faith that leads to life. (Rev. 7:9) Jehovah’s servants plant the message of truth in the hearts of men of good will, studying the Bible with the people who desire to learn, and this produces fruit after cultivation. (Matt. 13:23) Thus these gain words of salvation and seek refuge and life through Jehovah’s organization.
NOT BUDGING FROM THE MESSAGE DUE
27, 28. (a) What occurrence might have caused Jeremiah to doubt Jehovah’s words, but why did it not do so? (b) How was Jeremiah’s absolute confidence in Jehovah and His word shown in the secret conference with the king?
27 When the siege of Jerusalem was lifted temporarily, Jeremiah did not think Jehovah’s words had failed. He continued with his proclamation of the judgments against Jerusalem, saying: “The Chaldeans shall come back to fight against this city, and take it, and burn it.” (Jer. 37:8, AT) He persisted in delivery of the word of Jehovah, giving many warnings to Zedekiah and the people. Among other false charges, he was accused of deserting to the enemy, and thrown into a dungeon.
28 It was toward the end of his prophesying against Jerusalem, while he was in prison, that Jeremiah received the call from King Zedekiah. “Then King Zedekiah sent for him, and received him; and the king asked him secretly in his palace, ‘Is there any word from the LORD?’” What would Jeremiah now say? Here he was in the personal presence of the highest ruler of the land. Would he suddenly become afraid before this ruler? Would he fear that the royal guards would rush in and kill him if he told the truth as Jehovah had commanded him? The Bible discloses not even a slight hesitation on Jeremiah’s part: “And Jeremiah said, ‘There is. You shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon.’” (Jer. 37:17, AT) Why not tell the message boldly? Jehovah could protect Jeremiah there just as well as anywhere else. King Zedekiah had failed to change from his unfaithfulness; he had not cleaned the blasphemers and demon worship out of Jerusalem. So God’s judgment remained the same against him. Jeremiah never flinched in the presence of the king. What he told he said boldly. He spoke clearly. There was no question about it. It was Jehovah’s sure message!
29. Because of his faith and loyalty, what privileges and blessings did Jeremiah receive from Jehovah?
29 As the sure word of Jehovah had foretold, the destruction of Jerusalem came. Jeremiah was given the privilege to see it all, to live right through it, because he was loyal, faithful and fearless and kept witnessing right down to the end. What a wonderful privilege he had to see Jehovah’s judgments executed and to see everything that he had been used of Jehovah to announce actually come to pass! Jehovah preserved him. By special orders of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, the conqueror, Jeremiah was not taken to Babylon to serve in captivity there; but he was given full freedom to remain and live in his homeland and a place was provided where he could stay.—Jer. 39:12, 14; 40:6.
30. (a) How is the prophecy of Jeremiah fulfilled upon Jehovah’s witnesses today? (b) What should we learn from the prophetic record concerning Urijah and Jeremiah?
30 In this prophecy of Jeremiah Jehovah God foretold many of the things through which Jehovah’s witnesses would pass in these last days. It is of special help to Christians today who are charged with declaration of Jehovah’s sure message, for it shows how they meet all kinds of opposition, they are falsely charged with sedition, they are thrown into prisons, and they pass through much persecution and still Jehovah will always provide sufficient help in every time of need. And it is strengthening to our faith, because the prophecy discloses that Jehovah will preserve His faithful witnesses as a body right through the battle of Armageddon and into the new world. True, there are going to be some who start in the Christian way and then become fearful through deficiency in knowledge of and trust in Jehovah, looking for salvation in modern-day Egypt instead, which is seen in the prophetic story of Urijah; and this should be a warning to us. Let us be as faithful as Jeremiah, always. Yes, some faithful individual witnesses may perish in the fray, as a testimony to Jehovah’s honor, but that is to their gain; their future life is guaranteed, as it is written at Revelation 2:10, NW: “Do not be afraid of the things you are destined to suffer. Look! the Devil will keep on throwing some of you into prison that you may be fully put to the test, and that you may have tribulation ten days. Prove yourselves faithful even with the danger of death, and I will give you the crown of life.”