Pinning the Blame on the One Responsible
1. What issue has faced the human family from Adam’s day until now?
THE issue precipitated back there at the beginning of human creation was: Who is right, Jehovah or the rebel Satan? Who is supreme? To whom do we owe allegiance? That issue has faced the human family from that day until the present day. Adam’s own family was split on the issue, for his son Abel took his stand on God’s side while Cain chose Satan the Devil’s side of the issue, even to the point of murdering his brother. Enoch walked on God’s side. Noah and his family chose Jehovah’s side also. But the great mass of the people set themselves against God and took the Devil’s side.
2, 3. (a) Who, in addition to the human family, did Satan draw into this issue? (b) With what effect upon mankind?
2 Genesis the 6th chapter tells us that some of the angels joined in the issue by leaving their heavenly estate to materialize as men on earth and took wives for themselves from among the daughters of men. Their offspring were hybrids, who became bullies and filled the earth with violence. They too joined Satan’s side of the issue. At this time, some 1,500 years after the rebellion and Adam’s deflection, Jehovah sums up the situation with these words: “And Jehovah saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. . . . And Jehovah said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the ground; . . . But Noah found favor in the eyes of Jehovah.”—Gen. 6:5-8, AS.
3 Jehovah executed his decree against wickedness by the great flood, which destroyed all human creatures, except Noah and his family, who found favor in His eyes because they upheld clean worship of Jehovah and obeyed his commands. (Gen. 6:9-18, AS) The flood wiped the slate clean of corruption and debauchery.
4. Upon whom does the judgment in Noah’s day place the responsibility for that world’s distress?
4 We pause here to ask, Who was responsible for world distress in Noah’s day? Surely not Jehovah. By the execution of his righteous decree, he destroyed corruption and unrighteousness. No, the facts clearly establish that Satan the Devil, who started the rebellion and perpetuated the revolt, was the one responsible. Jehovah, by the execution of his purposes when his due time arrived, exhibited his majesty, supremacy and ability to meet any emergency. Those same events clearly showed up Satan to be a liar, a weakling incapable of helping or preserving those who put their trust in him. Psalm 145:20 (AS) states: “Jehovah preserveth all them that love him; but all the wicked will he destroy.”
5. Did the flood of Noah’s day permanently settle the issue of who is supreme?
5 After the flood the issue continued, Who is supreme? The lessons of the flood were gradually lost sight of. The human family, with the passing of each generation, fell more and more from the perfect standard Jehovah created in Adam. They became easier prey for the Devil. Shortly after the flood they commenced to multiply on the earth again; and as they journeyed eastward, Satan the Devil induced them to defy God again. Once again the Devil’s false religion that salvation comes only by defying God was used. He induced them to build a city with a tower whose top would reach to heaven. They may have reasoned the tower would be so high they could not be destroyed by a flood. They did not believe Jehovah God when he said, at Genesis 9:11 (AS): “And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of the flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.”
6. What steps did Jehovah take to deter the downward trend of mankind?
6 Jehovah, recognizing that, united with one language, they were only corrupting themselves and co-operating to their own destruction, confused their language and scattered them abroad throughout the earth. With their language confused, it was difficult for them to carry on their evil practice and they were forced to restrain their activity.
7. (a) What did God do for the preservation of Egypt? (b) How did Egypt later show her lack of appreciation?
7 Through the course of time, Jehovah selected Abraham as his friend and Abraham’s seed as the line through which all the families of the earth were to be blessed. Genesis 12:1-3 (AS) reads: “Now Jehovah said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto the land that I will show thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, . . . and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” (2 Chron. 20:7) Through Abraham’s great-grandson Joseph Jehovah preserved the nation of Egypt from a great famine (Gen. 41), all of which placed Egypt deeply in debt to Jehovah and to the Israelite Joseph, Jehovah’s servant. The Pharaoh that then ruled Egypt acknowledged such to be the case, but as time went on another Pharaoh arose who knew not Joseph. (Ex. 1:8) This Pharaoh was also a servant of the Devil and a devotee of false religion, which is sponsored by the Devil. He chose to defy Jehovah and resist his will. Exodus chapters 1 to 14 describe this resistance in detail. Ex Chapter 5, verses 1 and 2, reads: “And afterward Moses and Aaron came, and said unto Pharaoh, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness. And Pharaoh said, Who is Jehovah, that I should hearken unto his voice to let Israel go?”—AS.
8. How did Jehovah display his majesty and supremacy upon rebellious Egypt?
8 The Lord God brought nine plagues upon Pharaoh and Egypt, in which he manifested his supremacy, power and majesty. In each plague Pharaoh begged release, assuring Moses and Aaron that he would do as the Lord God directed, only to defiantly change his mind and attitude as soon as the plague was relaxed. Then Jehovah brought the tenth plague upon Pharaoh and the Egyptians, executing the firstborn in all Egypt, from the firstborn of the king on down to the firstborn of the most menial slave in his domain, and even down to the firstborn of the cattle. This jarred Pharaoh loose from his hypocritical complacency. He then let the Israelites go, in fact, he rushed them out. But after the Devil worked on him, stirring up within him retaliatory vengeance and selfishness, he determined to bring them back and to hold them for his expansion program. His avariciousness overcame his fear and he gave chase to bring them back. Jehovah, however, came to the rescue of his people and delivered Israel through the Red sea. Unrepentant and hardhearted, Pharaoh and his Egyptian army were destroyed in the sea. Pharaoh in the practice of devil religion tried to get glory, fame and salvation by opposing and defying Jehovah. He failed miserably.
9. What was the effect of devil religion on Assyria?
9 The next world power, Assyria, followed a course similar to that of Egypt. Their king, Sennacherib, after subjugating many nations of the world, except Judah, chose to challenge the supremacy of Jehovah and subjugate Judah also. After giving the Judeans an opportunity to display their faith by standing firm against the bombastic and sacrilegious charges of the heathen monarch, Jehovah sent forth his angel during the night and slew 185,000 Assyrian soldiers and sent their king home in disgrace, where he was murdered by his own sons as he worshiped before his heathen god. (2 Kings chapters 18 and 19; 2 Chronicles chapter 32) Thus another haughty monarch and his nation sought glory and exaltation via devil religion, only to have all their efforts come to nought.
10, 11. How did Babylon respond to the mercies Jehovah accorded her?
10 The third world power, Babylon, and her king suffered a similar fate and for the same reason. Jehovah exalted Babylon by using her in the days of Nebuchadnezzar as his instrument for punishing Israel for her sins. Nebuchadnezzar himself became puffed up thinking he had made Babylon the mighty nation she was. However, the Lord brought him to his senses by forcing him to dwell with the beasts in the field and to eat their food for seven years until he learned that the Most High Jehovah rules in the kingdom of men and gives it to whomsoever he wills.—Daniel chapter 4.
11 However, it remained for Nebuchadnezzar’s son, Belshazzar, after he became king, to add the crowning insult to Jehovah. On one occasion, when he had a great feast for his princes, his wives and his concubines, which was amidst drunken revelry, he had the sacred vessels of Jehovah’s temple (which his father was permitted to carry off at the fall of Jerusalem) brought forth for the celebration. And, to show his contempt for Jehovah, he had all drink toasts to the gods of silver, gold, brass, iron, wood and stone. But in the midst of the revelry a hand appeared and wrote on the wall “MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN”. What was the meaning of this? Daniel interpreted the words and let it be known that they signified Jehovah God had numbered the days of Belshazzar and he and his kingdom would soon be destroyed. He had been weighed in the balances and found wanting; his kingdom was divided and given to the Medes and Persians. In that night Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans was slain and Darius the Mede took the kingdom. (Daniel chapter 5, AS) The Devil’s religion failed again.
NOT GOD’S RESPONSIBILITY
12. Can Jehovah be held responsible for the distress coming upon these world powers?
12 All of these world-shaking events brought much distress and sorrow to the people. Surely Jehovah could not be held responsible for them or be accused of causing that world distress. In every case he punished the aggressors and delivered the innocent and righteous. In each execution, Jehovah displayed his majesty, power and righteousness, as well as real love, in working for the best interests of all people. While, on the other hand, the Devil and his religion were suffering one ignoble defeat after another.
13. How did Jehovah demonstrate great confidence in his arrangements in the time of Jesus?
13 In the days of Jesus, the Devil and devil religion sank to their most despicable depth. During the preceding four thousand years it had been amply demonstrated that the Devil was wholly incapable of fulfilling any one of the defiant claims he had made. On the other hand, Jehovah had met every issue with glorious success without sacrificing principle or honor. Now Jehovah was about to display his great faith in his own arrangement by giving his most valuable treasure, and also the thing nearest and dearest to his own heart, in vindication of his way and in behalf of condemned humans who were enemies of his through wicked works. Luke 2:8-14 (NW) reads: “There were also in that same country shepherds living out of doors and keeping watches in the night over their flocks. And suddenly Jehovah’s angel stood by them . . . and they became very fearful. But the angel said to them: ‘Have no fear, for, look! I am declaring to you good news of a great joy that all the people will have, because there was born to you today a Savior, who is Christ the Lord, in David’s city. And this is a sign for you: you will find an infant bound in cloth bands and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there came to be with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying: ‘Glory in the heights above to God, and upon earth peace among men of good-will.’” Jehovah declared publicly, in advance, his complete confidence in Jesus and the work he would do.—Isa. 42:5-7; 53:11.
14. After four thousand years of futility, was Satan now willing to permit man to embrace Jehovah’s blessings?
14 Surely the Devil, realizing the futility of his efforts, would not let his human dupes go and permit them to gain enlightenment and live. No, not the Devil. As soon as he could he organized his forces to counteract the goodness and mercy shown by Jehovah. With his false beacon star he led the astrologers to seek the newborn King. They were sent for by Herod for the purpose of helping him vent his hatred and aiding him in his plan for the child’s destruction. Outmaneuvered by Jehovah so that his own efforts were frustrated in that regard, Herod became furious and, in his efforts to destroy Jesus, he had all the boys in Bethlehem two years old and younger murdered. There was no limit to which he would not go in order to do away with Jehovah’s provided savior for mankind.
15, 16. What precipitated the great persecution at the baptism of Jesus and afterward?
15 From the time of Jesus’ immersion onward the real battle began. Jesus came and presented himself to John the Baptist, as foretold by the psalmist (Psalm 40:7, 8): “Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” It was written in the volume of Jehovah’s holy book, the Bible, that this deliverer would ‘bruise the serpent’s head’; that he would ‘bless all the nations of the earth’ and that he would be the prophet and leader of the people.—Gen. 3:15; 22:18; Deut. 18:18, 19.
16 Now Jesus publicly declared he had come for the purpose of fulfilling all of these great prophecies. The success of that undertaking meant the end of Satan the Devil and all of his plans, and the Devil knew it. From that very moment, commencing with his forty days in the wilderness, until he was impaled on Calvary, Jesus was opposed, persecuted, maligned, and misrepresented by the Devil and his dupes. The Devil tried desperately to thwart the benevolent purposes of Jehovah and to destroy his Servant. But, as in the past, his efforts came to an inglorious end. Though Jesus died an ignominious death at the hands of Satan’s dupes, Jehovah raised him up the third day and exalted him to his own right hand, while the Devil’s agents who persecuted Jesus, from Judas to the high priest, were wiped out by A.D. 70. All of this brought great distress not only upon the faithful Servant of Jehovah and his associates but upon thousands of others who were being deprived of God’s gracious provisions for them. Who was responsible for world distress at that time?
17. What have been the experiences of all those who have taken their stand on God’s side during the past nineteen centuries?
17 From the days of Jesus until now (a period of over 1,900 years) the pages of history run red with the blood of faithful servants of God who, like Jesus, took their stand on Jehovah’s side of the issue of supremacy and published Jehovah’s provision for salvation through Christ. They were brutally murdered and persecuted in the Roman arena, through the catacombs, under the crusaders, by the demonic Inquisition, in the horrible concentration camps of Hitlerized Germany and at the present time in Russian salt mines. All of these dupes were instigated by the same Devil who inflamed their passion by propaganda and demon influence to oppose God, to murder Jesus, and to hound his followers to death. In all this, faithful men of all ages have proved the Devil a liar and demonstrated that Jehovah God can place men on earth who will be faithful to him.
18. How does this enable us to appreciate how world leaders of the present and immediate past became inflamed with world conquest ideas?
18 From this angle it is not difficult to appreciate how the ego of men like Kaiser Wilhelm, Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin can be inflamed to believe that they are supermen who can, by adopting devil religion and defying God, rule the world. These are the type of mad world leaders who, in this our day, are drenching the earth in human blood. Each works for the Devil’s one purpose: “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; . . . I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”—Isa. 14:13, 14, AS.
19. What is their foretold end to be?
19 But the next verses of that prophecy will have their fulfillment on the god and invisible ruler of these nations of the earth today just as they did upon Belshazzar, king of Babylon: “Yet thou shalt be brought down to Sheol, to the uttermost parts of the pit. . . . thou art cast forth away from thy sepulchre like an abominable branch, clothed with the slain, that are thrust through with the sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a dead body trodden under foot. Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, thou hast slain thy people.”—Isa. 14:15-20, AS.
20, 21. What does Revelation 16:13-16 (NW) show to be the sources of demonic teachings that are destroying the old system of things?
20 Nations, unitedly or separately, who persist in following the Devil and devil religion are bound for destruction. There is no way of escape. Lest there be any further doubt in that respect let us consider the testimony of Jesus Christ through his servant John, as found in Revelation 16:13-16 (NW): “And I saw three unclean inspired expressions that looked like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the wild beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are, in fact, expressions inspired by demons and perform signs, and they go forth to the kings of the entire inhabited earth, to gather them together to the war of the great day of God the Almighty. . . . And they gathered them together to the place that is called in Hebrew Har–Magedon.”
21 The source of these demon-inspired messages is the Dragon, the wild beast and the false prophet. The Dragon is identified by Jesus at Revelation 20:2 as the Devil and Satan. In Revelation, chapters 13 and 14, he identifies the wild beast as the organization of war-mad, godless and wild nations of the earth who superimpose their devil religion upon the people. And the false prophet identifies itself as the dual world power of Britain and America, who teach and advocate that the combine of the nations of this earth into the League of Nations or United Nations, advocating and practicing devil religion in one form or another, is the only means for salvation. That teaching is false and brands them as false prophets. It is from these combined sources that devilish propaganda comes, which is bringing such great distress upon the people. Rather than look to God for direction and help, they exalt man and his ideas. Note how their conduct and teachings contradict the Word of God. Jesus states at Matthew 23:12 (NW): “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” And 1 Peter 5:6 (NW) reads: “Humble yourself, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.”
22. After reviewing all the evidence, what is our conclusion?
22 Therefore, after reviewing the evidence and considering the facts, it is very clear that Jehovah God is in no wise responsible for world distress. Rather, the Devil, his demons, the beastly world rule and the false prophet system, which the Devil is using to foist his devil religion upon all the peoples of the earth, are guilty before God and man for world distress. Truly Revelation 12:12 (NW) has said of this time since A.D. 1918: “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.”
WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
23. Is simply the obtaining of this knowledge all that is required for salvation?
23 However, while the obtaining of this information is vital and important, that, in itself, will not bring us salvation. We, as individuals, must do something about it. What? What did Noah and his family do at the time of the flood? (Genesis chapters 6-9) What did Moses, Aaron and the Israelites do in Egypt? (Exodus chapters 5-14) What did Hezekiah, Isaiah and the nation of Judah do when faced by Sennacherib? (2 Kings chapters 18, 19) What did Daniel do when he was called before Belshazzar? (Daniel chapter 5) What did Jesus and the disciples do? Read the testimony and find out for yourself. In terse phrase their attitude is summed up in Genesis 15:6, Romans 4:3 and James 2:23. They believed God and it was counted to them for righteousness. They exercised faith based upon that belief and did what the Lord God directed them to do. That is all you have to do today. Find out what the Lord’s will is for you as expressed in his Word the Bible and do it.
24. (a) Is the maintaining of integrity easy today? (b) What must be our stand respecting the issue?
24 This is going to take courage, faith, and a strong conviction based upon a knowledge of God and his purposes. Therefore the study of his Word the Bible and the Bible helps which the Lord is now providing through the Watchtower Society is very necessary. These publications alone point to God’s kingdom as the one and only hope of salvation. This is going to be no easy task. Those servants of God in past times had to draw courage from their convictions and demonstrate it even to death in many cases. So with you today. Prove for yourself that God is right, and stick to it. What if it does cost you your present life? The issue is: Do you want to die on God’s side assured of a resurrection and endless life in perfection in Jehovah’s kingdom or die condemned and executed of God as a rebel on the Devil’s side without any hope of life in the future? Jehovah is now giving all the privilege of choosing life or death.
25-27. What is Jehovah’s message today to the rulers? To the meek? To everybody?
25 To the kings and rulers of the world Jehovah now says, as recorded at Psalm 2:10-12 (AS): “Now therefore be wise, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve Jehovah with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the son, lest he be angry, and ye perish in the way, for his wrath will soon be kindled. Blessed are all they that take refuge in him.”
26 To the meek and humble peoples of the earth who love righteousness he says: “Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation that hath no shame; before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of Jehovah come upon you, before the day of Jehovah’s anger come upon you. Seek ye Jehovah, all ye meek of the earth, that have kept his ordinances; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye will be hid in the day of Jehovah’s anger.”—Zeph. 2:1-3, AS.
27 And to everyone he says at Zephaniah 3:8, 9 (AS): “Therefore wait ye for me, saith Jehovah, until the day that I rise up to the prey; for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger; for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy. For then will I turn to the peoples a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of Jehovah, to serve him with one consent.” So listen to the pure language of Bible truth that his witnesses are talking and join with them in calling on his name with praise and in serving his cause in vindication of his rightful sovereignty over the earth, and all the rest of the universe. In that way you may be hid and preserved clear through the universal war of Armageddon and enter into the new world where righteousness and meekness will be the rule for all humans who live. That world will never come into the calamitous distress of this present wicked world, for it will be the lovely everlasting world of God’s creation by Jesus Christ.