Final Victory over Babylonish Religion Near
1. Like Israel of old, how has Christendom now gone into captivity? and whom has she tried to hold there with her?
SATAN’S world organization is Scripturally spoken of as Babylon, because in its religious doctrine and practice it is like Babylon, the ancient capital of Nimrod, the first totalitarian king on earth. Like Israel of old, Christendom has gone into captivity to this Babylonish world organization. She prefers to stay there rather than break free and give her allegiance to the kingdom of God. Oh, she prays for it with her lips, but her heart is not fixed on it. She has tried to drag all her flock into Babylonish captivity with her under Satan’s world and to keep them there in slavery, away from Jehovah God and away from his Christ the anointed King. In modern times she has tried to hold the remnant of Jehovah’s witnesses there. It was in the final quarter of the last century that this remnant, anointed with God’s spirit, began to form. The lamp of his Word was beaming forth increasing light, and following it upon the pathway of truth the remnant endeavored to make a complete breakaway from modern Babylon into the liberty of Jehovah’s theocratic organization.
2. How did the remnant gain much liberty, and what did they accurately preach about 1914? yet how did they fall captive to modern Babylon?
2 A great degree of liberty was gained by advocating the truth to the extent that it was then revealed; as Jesus had said: “The truth will set you free.” With conviction the remnant pointed forward to the year 1914 and showed by the Scripture prophecies that it would be a year of unprecedented trouble for the world, betokening that its end was at hand. As regards world trouble in 1914, they were not disappointed, for the first world conflict with total warfare broke out that year. But instead of being favored with an early transfer to the heavenly kingdom, the remnant of Jehovah’s worshipers were forcibly taken over by their political and religious enemies in Christendom. The war conditions provided a convenient situation for their foes to do this to them. So for the war’s duration they lingered in Babylonish captivity, grieved at heart.
3. What was the determination of Christendom concerning the remnant?
3 However, Satan’s apparent victory there was only short-lived. Christendom’s gods and mighty ones had vowed and declared that this was the finish for these witnesses who predicted the world’s end and who proclaimed Christ’s reign of a thousand years with the Devil bound. They marked these captive worshipers of Jehovah God for death, if not a physical death then a spiritual death. “Go, serve other gods,” the gods of great Babylon. To drive them to that course was the purpose of the enemies’ persecution against them. (1 Sam. 26:18, 19) Those who held Jehovah’s consecrated people captive were determined never to open the prison doors and let these prisoners loose to go home to Jehovah’s organization. Babylon’s gods and their servants and devotees predicted that there was no future for Jehovah’s worship and organization on the earth, and that his people would never again be free to return. They were determined to work to that end, in order to bring reproach upon Jehovah, the God of Jacob or Israel.—Ps. 102:20; Isa. 14:17, margin.
4-6. What was again proved regarding Satan’s mighty ones? and what challenge and stated purpose had Jehovah long ago addressed to them?
4 Once more, however, Satan’s mighty organization was wrong. Again its mighty ones visible and invisible proved to be false gods. Again they were exposed as being false prophets, unable to bring their words to pass. Thousands of years ago Jehovah God had looked down to this day and hurled this challenge to all the gods and mighty ones of Babylon, as recorded in Isaiah’s prophecy, Isa chapter 41, verses 21-29:
5 “‘Present your case,’ says the LORD [Jehovah]; ‘Bring forward your champions,’ says the King of Jacob. ‘Let them approach and tell us what is to happen: Tell us what the former things were, that we may lay them to heart, or the things that are coming announce to us, that we may know their issue. Tell us the things that are coming hereafter, that we may know that you are gods; that you can do good and do evil, that we may be dismayed and frightened too. But lo! you are nought, and your work is a blank; an abomination is he who chooses you.’”
6 Then Jehovah refers to Christ Jesus whom he enthrones as King on the heavenly Zion on the sides of the north and who comes from the east or sunrising, and Jehovah states his purpose to show that He is truly God, saying: “I have roused one from the north, and he comes—from the east he calls on my name; he shall tread down rulers [of great Babylon] like mortar, as the potter tramples clay. Who foretold it from the first, that we might know, and beforehand, that we may say, ‘Right’? There was none that foretold, none that announced, none that heard words from you. I first told it to Zion, and sent heralds of good news to Jerusalem; but of these there was no one, of these no counselor, that, when I asked them, could answer a word. Lo! they are all of them nought, their deeds a blank, their molten images wind and waste.”—AT.
7. Why was Jehovah angry with the remnant for a short season? but what purpose and result concerning them was the enemy unable to predict?
7 Once more a faithful remnant survived this attempt of Satan’s Babylonish world organization to destroy Jehovah’s people and to obliterate Jehovah’s worship from the earth. In the face of all the enemy efforts to bring about their destruction as Jehovah’s worshipers and witnesses he preserved this devoted remnant. True, for a short season he was angry with them because they were soiled through contact with the Babylonish world and because they had yielded to the fear of men. So he let them fall to the enemy’s power and control during the throes of world war, particularly so in 1918. But because their hearts were true and loyal to him and were repentant, he did not abandon them completely. He purposed to deliver them by his Greater Cyrus, his King Christ Jesus, whom he had enthroned in the heavens at the end of the “appointed times of the nations” in 1914. The faithful captive remnant did not expect such deliverance on earth. The gods and mighty ones of Babylon offered them no hint of it, but predicted against it. When asked and when challenged to declare what would happen concerning Jehovah’s work and organization in the earth, they could not answer positively.
8 It was Jehovah who proved to be the true prophet. He was the first to tell the good news of deliverance to the remnant of his capital organization Zion. He did so through his Word the Bible, and on it he shed the light of his revelation. In 1919, as the facts of history show, he broke the grip of mighty Babylon and released his prisoner people. He restored them to his theocratic organization and to its free and fearless activity. Then the restored remnant fulfilled the words which he had long ago told to Zion: “You shall say on that day: ‘I will give thanks to thee, O LORD [Jehovah], for thou wast angry with me, but thine anger has turned back, and thou hast comforted me. See! God is my salvation . . . ’ Sing praises to the LORD, for proudly has he wrought; let this be known through all the earth! Cry aloud, and sing for joy, O inhabitants of Zion! For great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”—Isa. 12:1, 2, 5, 6, AT.
DEFIANCE TO THE GODS OF BABYLON
9. How has Jehovah vindicated himself as the true God?
9 Jehovah has proved right, but not so the gods of Babylon. Given the chance to do good by voluntarily releasing Jehovah’s witnesses from their power and also given the chance to do evil by exterminating the witnesses from the earth, they have failed to show themselves gods in comparison with Jehovah the God of his anointed remnant. When war in heaven followed the enthronement of God’s Son in 1914 as King of a new world, the demon gods of Babylon, including Satan their ruler, were given a forced fall from heaven down to this earth, the footstool of God’s King. From then on, through God’s revealed Word, the cry rings out: “Fallen, fallen is Babylon; and all the graven images of her gods are broken unto the ground.” (Isa. 21:9, AS) Jehovah’s organization of his delivered remnant is his watchman class on earth, and it catches up this astounding news, doing so particularly from 1925 on. It shouts this to all the inhabitants of God’s organization beginning with the issue of The Watchtower of March 1, 1925. So Jehovah, by his King Christ Jesus, has vindicated himself as the true God, showing his power over the mighty enemy organization Babylon. He has vindicated himself as Almighty God by his deliverance of his remnant from her power. His pure worship was thus restored and renewed on the earth, and it will be preserved. It will gain the victory!
10. What responsibility was given the delivered remnant? yet what must they undergo?
10 To this remnant delivered in 1919 there was committed the great privilege and heavy responsibility of carrying forward the clean, undefiled worship of the true God, Jehovah, in the earth and extending it to the ends of the earth. As the afore-quoted prophecy said: “Let this be known through all the earth!” At the time of release from Babylon’s power, the delivered remnant were still spotted and stained with soils from Babylon. This did not befit their appearance as worshipers of Jehovah, who is Babylon’s enemy. Jehovah had now sent his High Priest, Christ Jesus, to the spiritual temple for judgment work regarding all religions, true and false. So his High Priest proceeded to cleanse the remnant and their understanding and their way of worship of the Most High God. This was what Jehovah’s prophecy by Malachi had foretold in these words: “Who can endure the day of his coming? And who can stand when he appears? For he shall be like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap. And he shall sit down as a refiner and cleanser of silver, and shall cleanse the sons of Levi [the spiritual remnant]. He shall purify them like gold and silver, so that they shall become for the LORD men who bring him offerings in righteousness.”—Mal. 3:2, 3, AT.
11. Who failed in judgment? But who came through approved, and why?
11 In this day of the coming of Jehovah’s Messenger and High Priest to the temple of worship Christendom’s religious systems have not endured and stood approved. But the anointed remnant of Jehovah’s witnesses have submitted to the purifying of their worship and have come through approved. They have discarded human traditions and philosophies of every kind and have been brought into full accord with the pure Word of God. As Jesus said: “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.” (John 15:3, NW) They have been led by their High Priest to theocratic worship, a worship which means serving God as Supreme Ruler and with the control over his temple being exercised down from Him as Supreme Head and not up from any inferior level.
12. How has Satan tried to enslave the remnant? but with what result?
12 During all the years since the liberation in 1919 Satan and his demons have tried to corrupt the organization and worship of Jehovah’s delivered people. But their High Priest at the temple has kept them clean. Furthermore, Satan has tried to destroy them by bringing against them the violent forces of fascism and nazism, and the military pressures of World War II and its postwar period, and now, too, the forces of international communism. But down to this year of 1951 Satan’s efforts by these means have been in vain. By every device he has tried to drag them back to slavery and make them a part of this world, but to no avail. Jehovah’s liberated and cleansed people hold fast to clean, undefiled religion in its true meaning. Not only do they care for widows and orphans or bereaved ones in their tribulation, but they also keep themselves without spot from this world. By Almighty God’s power through Christ they will continue doing this.
BEFORE THE GODS OF ALL THE NATIONS
13. With what may this modern deliverance be compared? and what has Jehovah foretold against his enemies?
13 In the present-day contest of the gods Jehovah has scored a resounding victory indeed by delivering, purifying and preserving his spiritual remnant, his spiritual Israelites, despite all that modern Babylon can do. It has been as when he delivered his chosen people Israel from bondage in Egypt. Then it was he said: “Against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am Jehovah.” (Ex. 12:12, AS) And now in this “time of the end” he executes judgments against, not only the demon gods of ancient Egypt, but the gods of the entire Babylonish world. He is aware of what the enemies have done to his faithful remnant and are yet doing. So now he will do what he foretold against these enemies: “This shall be their lot in return for their arrogance, because they taunted and vaunted themselves against the people of the LORD of hosts. . . . for he will famish [he will disable] all the gods of the earth, so that there shall bow down to him, each from its place, all the coast-lands [or, isles] of the nations.” (Zeph. 2:10, 11, AT; Mo) These prophetic words indicate that Jehovah’s delivered remnant must have a part as his co-workers in famishing all the gods of the earth or causing them to waste away, disabling them. How?
14. How does the delivered remnant participate with Jehovah in ‘famishing all the gods of the earth’?
14 By exalting Jehovah before all the nations as the only living and true God, the invincible God who brings deliverance. By announcing that his agency for this deliverance has come, namely, God’s kingdom by Christ Jesus, and hence that this deliverance from great Babylon is now possible for all people of good will in all nations, yes, and in the islands of the sea. Also by displaying their own God-given freedom from Babylon and by showing that Almighty Jehovah has broken Babylon’s yoke from their necks. By showing, too, that the gods of the nations are false gods, that they have no power against the word, work and organization of Jehovah, for he is “the God of gods”. Also by demonstrating that the true, acceptable religion, the clean, undefiled worship exists within the theocratic organization of Jehovah’s free people.
15, 16. What is the remnant’s duty, what prophetic words do they fulfill, and what further prophetic words do they voice?
15 Action such as this is bound to stir up the ire and indignation of all the demon gods of the nations and also their religious victims, the practicers of false forms of worship. But it is our duty, and it is in the interests of the freedom of all people of good will, for us to defy these false gods of Babylon and to fulfill the prophetic words of the psalm: “I give thee thanks with all my heart; in the presence of the gods, I sing praises to thee. I prostrate myself toward thy holy temple; and give thanks to thy name for thy kindness and thy faithfulness; for thou hast magnified thy name over all. On the day when I called thou didst answer me; thou didst increase thy power in me. All the kings of the earth will give thanks to thee, O LORD [Jehovah], when they have heard the words of thy mouth. Though I walk in the midst of hostility, thou dost preserve my life; against the wrath of my foes; thou dost stretch forth thy hand, and thy right hand delivers me.” (Ps. 138:1-4, 7, AT) It was for this very reason that the remnant were spared and delivered in this “time of the end” of the world, namely, that they might be witnesses to the almightiness and supremacy of the true God Jehovah before all the false gods of this doomed world.
16 The anointed remnant appreciate their deliverance and preservation, and they take up these further prophetic words of the psalmist: “There is none like unto thee among the gods, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works. All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and they shall glorify thy name. For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone, . . . O Jehovah.”—Ps. 86:8-11, AS.
17. What does their activity demonstrate? and what results from it?
17 These prophetic words which Jehovah inspired by his spirit were not written in vain. They are not returning to him void today. Already they go on record as fulfilled, for Jehovah’s delivered remnant have risen up in many lands and have given testimony to the godship of Jehovah. By their own fearless activity they have demonstrated the freedom which He gives to the prisoners whom he frees from Babylon by the Kingdom which he established in the hands of his anointed King Christ Jesus. Because of this faithful and intrepid testimony in the face of all the humiliated gods of Babylon, the good-will persons of all the nations are coming and are worshiping with the remnant before him. With the anointed remnant they are glorifying his name, and doing so in defiance of all the gods of this world, visible and invisible. With courage and devotion they are invading other lands and exposing the false gods and showing that the worship of these is false and leads to disaster and death. As a result there are today publishers exalting the godship and kingdom of Jehovah in 67 lands where there were none in the year 1928. As recently as 1938 there were 45 of such lands without any witnesses and worshipers of Jehovah God, where now there are tens of thousands of them.
18. What does this additional deliverance of a “great crowd” represent? and till when must the offensive against false gods be pushed?
18 This deliverance of a “great crowd” of other worshipers is significant. It marks up a further victory for Jehovah as the living and true God. In this time when all religion is on judgment it represents a triumph for the clean, undefiled worship of Jehovah. But now his High Priest and King is pressing on to further triumphs over the false gods of Babylon as he goes ahead “conquering and to complete his conquest”. (Rev. 6:2, NW) Under him we must push the offensive still further against the gods and false worship of this world till they are exposed to all sheeplike persons of good will in all nations and until these turn to the worship of the God of gods, Jehovah, and gain deliverance from this doomed world.—Ps. 135:5; 136:2.
19. What makes continued testimony urgent? and what miracle brings pure worship an all-time victory?
19 There are yet other lands and territories to be entered, there are yet other multitudes of good-will persons to be enlightened and delivered. It is most urgent that we now reach them. The “time of the end” of this world draws nearer to its close. The false religion, the worship of false gods, leads to death and to destruction at the battle of Armageddon now ahead. Our adopting and abiding in the clean, undefiled religion, the worship of the true God Jehovah through his High Priest Christ Jesus, leads to eternal life in the new world. In the decisive contest of the gods at Armageddon, all the false gods of this world, visible and invisible, will topple from their pedestals in defeat and be destroyed, and their unclean false worship and religion will perish with them. That means their worshipers will perish with them, to the everlasting reproach of the false gods and false worship. But the Most High God Jehovah, by his royal High Priest Christ Jesus, will preserve the true worshipers through that mighty, destructive, world conflict. By this stupendous miracle the clean, undefiled religion will survive with them into the endless new world of righteousness, and the pure worship will enjoy an all-time victory, won for it by its adorable God Jehovah and his High Priest Christ Jesus.