The Voice of Jehovah
“Worship Jehovah in holy array.”—Ps. 29:2, AS.
1. To what publishing are Jehovah’s witnesses dedicated, and so in what way do publishers of a new Bible version appear strange?
JEHOVAH’S witnesses are dedicated to the publishing of Jehovah’s name. His name is clearly indicated in the Hebrew Holy Scriptures by the tetragrammaton יהוה, for which the Latin characters are JHVH, or English YHWH. While the exact pronunciation of the four Hebrew characters for this name is not known, the name of the Sovereign Ruler of the universe as we have long known it is Jehovah in English. Jehovah’s witnesses want all peoples from one end of the earth to the other to become acquainted with that name and its meaning. The inhabitants of all nations should know the divine name in their own languages. But to the reasoning mind it is a strange thing that the religious leaders in Christendom should try to hide, even destroy, that name. This they have done in the recently released Revised Standard Version of the Bible, because the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America wants it removed and so takes the credit and the responsibility for removing the name Jehovah from their new revised English text.
2. How have they degraded God’s name, and yet why without the power to destroy it?
2 One wondered how they would make Psalm 83:18 read, where the King James Version states: “That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.” This Christian educational committee of the National Council now holding the copyright for the Revised Standard Version says it should read, “whose name is the LORD.” However, that rendering of the Hebrew tetragrammaton does not give any distinction or sovereignty or supremacy to the highest Being in all the universe. “Lord” to the ordinary person of today has many meanings. Is this religious committee trying to make the Sovereign Ruler a common individual or less than that by not letting the people of the world know his real name? Or are they saying that he has no real name? Why hide it? Why let the people think that God Almighty is just another master, ruler or nobleman, by letting the tetragrammaton read as a title, “the LORD,” instead of giving him his actual name? Why this degrading of God’s name by the removal of it? When God spoke to Moses, he said: “And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, as God Almighty; but by my name Jehovah I was not known to them.” (Ex. 6:3, AS) The Revised Standard Version now reads: “but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them.” However, this committee, by a wide circulation of its Revised Standard Version, cannot destroy the name of the only true God of the universe, Jehovah. Why? Because Jehovah’s witnesses are still alive, and they will be busier and more energetic than ever announcing and making known Jehovah’s name to all kindreds and tongues in all nations of the earth.
3. What will the “voice of Jehovah” now do, and for making what decision is it now the time?
3 These religionists of modern days may do what they will with God’s name, Jehovah, but the Great Ruler will see to it that his people proclaim his name and make it known. “The voice of Jehovah” will do this. Nothing, not even Christendom’s religionists, will stop Almighty God from making his name known throughout all the earth, for he himself says: “I will deliver my people out of your hand; and ye shall know that I am Jehovah.” (Ezek. 13:23, AS) Jehovah knows that the clergy of Christendom are serving this old system of things, which he himself is going to destroy at the battle of Armageddon. They are certainly not serving him. That is why Jehovah’s Word says to those that love him: “Get out of her, my people.” (Rev. 18:4, NW) The time has come for all persons to make a decision as to whose side they are going to be on, Jehovah’s, or that of those who are against Jehovah.
4, 5. What “sons” does Psalm 29:1 mention, and who could they be? Why?
4 Let us listen to what Jehovah himself has to say through his writer, David, when he wrote the 29th Psalm 29. The opening verses of this very descriptive psalm say: “Ascribe unto Jehovah, O ye sons of the mighty, ascribe unto Jehovah glory and strength. Ascribe unto Jehovah the glory due unto his name; worship Jehovah in holy array.” (Ps. 29:1, 2, AS) From this description it appears a time has arrived for celebration, a time for a joyous occasion.
5 In considering these two Ps 29 verses 1, 2 we might wonder, Just who are these “sons of the mighty”? It could be those who hold very high positions in the theocratic organization of Jehovah God, maybe the powerful servants that Jehovah has appointed to special work. On the other hand, it could mean “sons of God”, as is pointed out in the footnote of the American Standard Version. If that be so, then “sons of God” could take in all the angels of the heavens that are invisible to man but form Jehovah’s universal organization. In the book of Job it is stated: “Now it came to pass on the day when the sons of God came to present themselves before Jehovah, that Satan also came among them.” (Job 1:6, AS) On festive occasions such as this what singing and praise must have been given to the name of the Most High God, Jehovah! It must have been a beautiful, majestic spectacle to behold! Even the rebellious Satan came to look in on this magnificent assembly and to hear the songs the faithful servants must have been singing. On this particular occasion, Jehovah said to Satan, “Whence comest thou?” or “Where did you come from?” to which Satan answered, saying he had been going to and fro in the earth and walking up and down in it. (Job 1:7) What was on the earth was the Devil’s world. He had corrupted it. He had not come to this assembly before the mighty ones of Jehovah to praise the Sovereign Ruler. He was just an observer of the splendor and majesty that surround the Creator of heaven and earth.
6. How does Psalm 89:5-7 show Jehovah’s superiority?
6 The psalmist expressed beautifully Jehovah’s superiority over these powerful ones, saying in Psalm 89:5-7 (AS): “And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O Jehovah; thy faithfulness also in the assembly of the holy ones. For who in the skies can be compared unto Jehovah? Who among the sons of the mighty is like unto Jehovah, a God very terrible in the council of the holy ones, and to be feared above all them that are round about him?”
“SONS OF THE GODS”
7. What other possible rendering or Psalm 29:1 does the AS footnote show, and who, then, would those sons be?
7 There is still another possible rendering of Psalm 29:1, according to a second footnote in the American Standard Version. The Hebrew text could read, “Ascribe unto Jehovah, O ye sons of the gods.” This then would refer to the sons of the nations who have forgotten the first man’s true parentage, the Creator, Jehovah God. Men of all nations have arranged themselves under the imaginary protection of deified heroes. Of course, to help their imaginations, they have made great idols of silver and stone and gold and wood. In this way the peoples of the world have invented and made their own gods. These they have worshiped for centuries; but what has this worship gotten them? The many religions in the world have often been the cause of wars, strifes, hatreds between peoples and nations, class distinction, isolationism. Jesus said to false religionists “You are from your father the Devil.” (John 8:44, NW) The sons of the gods they worship are still carrying on the false religion which began in early mythology, and their doctrines, ideas and philosophies of life have been carried right down to our day. The Sovereign Ruler Jehovah calls on all these sons of the many gods now to ascribe to Jehovah the glory that is due, to ascribe strength to him. Nimrod of centuries past placed himself above God. He wanted to be a mighty one ahead of Jehovah. Where are his strength and glory today? Let the followers of Nimrod and the followers of the many pagan gods, practices and beliefs all forsake their gods and their false religion if they want to live, and give glory to Jehovah, not to some man or image. But the religionists with their many gods will not recognize Jehovah; rather, “modernists” try to hide him.
8. How have the RS translators rendered Psalm 29:2 vaguely, and upon whom does this verse call and to do what?
8 Today we have throughout the world many kinds of religions with their many different gods. Even Christendom wants to have many gods and lords, and she wants the sons of these many gods to be satisfied with the latest product of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America, their new Revised Standard Version Bible. So they remove the name Jehovah and make it “the LORD”. But their new version or their revision of their old version makes the translators look vague when we read Psalm 29:2 (RS): “Ascribe to the LORD the glory of his name.” Hence we ask the Committee, What is his name? Is it the LORD? No! At Psalm 83:18, according to the book entitled “Studies in The Psalms”, by J. B. Rotherham, a very accurate translation is: “That men may know that thou, whose name is Jehovah, thou alone art most high over all the earth.” While Christendom goes on its wayward course, the faithful followers of the Almighty will hearken to the voice of Jehovah, and they will make his message and his name known to the nations. If we allow as possible this third rendering of the text inviting the “sons of the gods” to praise Jehovah, it means that all creation should tremble before him, not only the creatures of the invisible heavens, but all humankind. The writer of the 96th Psalm expresses this thought in Ps 96 verses 7 to 9, where it is stated: “Ascribe unto Jehovah the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts. Oh worship Jehovah in holy array: tremble before him, all the earth.” (AS) Here the appeal is to all earthlings to worship Jehovah, and the expression is very similar to that at Psalm 29:1, 2.
9. Who are listening to the praisers of God’s name, and how is their turning and worshiping him foretold?
9 While the majority of the peoples of the nations of earth turn a deaf ear to this call, there are many of the other sheep who are listening to the group of praisers in the earth who love to call their God by his name Jehovah, and these sheep are coming to them and joining them in this song of praise. If Jesus said he had “other sheep”, which he must also bring to associate with the “little flock” who are being called out as joint heirs with him in heavenly glory, then these he must bring and make one flock, and Christ Jesus will be their “one shepherd”. (John 10:16) Those whose hearts are right will find Jehovah and know him because of Jesus the Shepherd, and they will be guided to Jehovah’s organization, just as the psalmist pointed out in the 22d Psalm 22, verses 26 and 27: “The meek shall eat and be satisfied; they shall praise Jehovah that seek after him: let your heart live for ever. All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn unto Jehovah; and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.” (AS) This is in full accord with the expression in Revelation where the thought is brought out that a great crowd shall come from all nations, kindreds and tongues. They will worship before Jehovah, because they know that glory is due to his name. (Rev. 7:9, NW) Jesus their Shepherd acknowledged that there is one living and true God; not many gods, not many lords. And this unique God, the Sovereign Ruler of the universe, has been distinguished from all the false gods by having a name which is worthy of praise on the part of all creatures in heaven and on earth.
10. Why does this crowd or other sheep do this?
10 Jehovah’s witnesses are not going to be mixed up with a lot of other gods. Now that we are in the last days of the Devil’s organization, the other sheep are seeing the confusion of the worship among the peoples of the nations and they are fleeing from this confusion. Already hundreds of thousands know what Jehovah’s name stands for. They know that Jehovah is revealing his purposes toward his creatures. They know that Jehovah has fulfilled his promises, and they have confidence in him. They have turned to his Word and have found it to be reliable. And who is the one who has done all this for the lovers of right things and truth? Jehovah—that is his name, and they worship him.
11, 12. How and why should Israel have worshiped Jehovah in holy array, and how did they fail to do this?
11 The expression in Psalm 29:2 (AS), “Worship Jehovah in holy array,” takes in so much. It is hard to comprehend the magnificent spectacle that takes place in the heavens and upon the earth when this Psalm comes into complete fulfillment. When Jehovah God had called out the children of Israel as a special people, he had his priests array themselves in holy garments. Aaron’s garments are described at Exodus chapter 28 and they were most beautiful. His garments distinguished him from all the other priests. When he appeared before Jehovah God he was on certain occasions in his robes of glory and beauty. In days gone by when Jehovah’s people were marching through the wilderness, he had them array themselves in proper positions. All this was done according to his direction. It was organization. Each tribe was happy to take its right position. It was not that one tribe was trying to be the first in position. It was that God had placed them by his own direction. Jehovah was their God and he guided them. He led them through the wilderness and eventually into the Promised Land. They should have worshiped him in holy array. So when they went to the worship of other gods, then Jehovah showed his displeasure.
12 Time and time again the children of Israel went to the worship of false gods, even after Jehovah had provided them with food, with clothing that did not wear out, with shoes that did not get full of holes from walking. Even though they were well acquainted with God’s deliverance of them from Egypt and his power demonstrated in the destruction of Pharaoh and the Egyptians who followed after him, still they forsook Jehovah and went to the worshiping of other gods. These gods were not able to do anything for the Israelites, no more than they were able to do anything for the nations that worshiped them. The prophet Jeremiah put it very forcefully and plainly when he said in his Jer second chapter, verses 26-28 (AS): “As the thief is ashamed when he is found, so is the house of Israel ashamed; they, their kings, their princes, and their priests, and their prophets; who say to a stock, Thou art my father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth: for they have turned their back unto me, and not their face; but in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us. But where are thy gods that thou hast made thee? Let them arise, if they can save thee in the time of thy trouble: for according to the number of thy cities are thy gods, O Judah.”
13. How has it been similar with the worldly nations today, and that with what end near at hand?
13 As it was with the children of Israel, it is with the nations of the world today. Where are the powers of the gods of the nations? Where do they bring blessings to the people? The nations of the earth have marched forth with their armies, they have fought their murderous battles, they have taken possession of new countries, their priests and clergymen have blessed them in their actions, but where is the blessing? The priests that blessed the losing nations have become captives with the losers. The religious leaders who have blessed the victorious nations have not brought peace and prosperity to the winners. Why do not the peoples of the world turn from these religious leaders? Some few do, but the majority of the peoples of this earth are following their blind religious guides and when the guides fall into the pit so will the peoples of the nations. (Matt. 15:14, NW) The falling into the pit of all such peoples of the wicked governments along with their rulers is not far distant. The battle of Armageddon is not too far away, when Jehovah God in holy array will strike against all these nations and destroy them utterly.
14. How has Jehovah spoken for centuries, but how will he speak shortly?
14 The 29th Psalm 29 gives us a beautiful description of the power of God and how he can destroy the nations, and what an easy matter it will be for him to bring low the great power of the organized governments of the world. Jehovah God, through his kindness and mercy, has spoken through his Word and through his people for centuries. Today he has massed together hundreds of thousands of his witnesses for making proclamation of his name to the ends of the earth. They listen to his voice through his Word. But in a short while the voice of Jehovah will speak in an altogether different manner. He will speak from the heavens in thunderous tones.
15. To what did Jehovah’s voice get likened, and what example of this did Israel have at Sinai?
15 The 29th Psalm 29 shows that the thunder of the heavens is like the voice of God. The terrible phenomena of the storm in the heavens are an expression of God’s majesty, his eternalness, his sovereignty and his unshakableness. When Jehovah speaks with his voice of authority from heaven, then all the nations of earth will tremble and shake and pass out of existence. Now the time has come for those of sheeplike disposition to heed the voice of God as spoken in his Word before his voice will speak from the heavens at Armageddon. Jehovah’s expressions are powerful. When he gave the Ten Commandments to Moses at Mount Sinai, it presented an awesome spectacle. He had just effected a great deliverance of his people. Probably over two million of them, men, women and children, had been brought out of Egypt now into the wilderness. He was going to lead them on to the Promised Land. They were his chosen ones; they were his theocratic organization. And he showed them his power from the heavens. “And it came to pass on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of a trumpet exceeding loud; and all the people that were in the camp trembled.” (Ex. 19:16, AS) And then, in the 18th Ex 19 verse 18, we read: “And Mount Sinai, the whole of it, smoked, because Jehovah descended upon it in fire; and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.”—See also Exodus 20:18.
16. Why do his witnesses beware when Jehovah speaks?
16 The great God of heaven is not a soft-spoken individual. He is a God of indignation, a God who will express his wrath against those who do not serve him and who are fighting against him. He is not a god who can be pushed around by those whom he has created. “Behold, the name of Jehovah cometh from far, burning with his anger, and in thick rising smoke: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue is as a devouring fire.” (Isa. 30:27, AS) The God that Jehovah’s witnesses worship is the Sovereign Ruler of the universe and he has shown forth his magnificence and his wonderfulness as the only rightful ruler of the universe. His people are acquainted with his creation, they are acquainted with his Word, they are acquainted with his mighty acts in times past, and they have faith in what he is going to do in the near future. They can say with the psalmist, “Bless Jehovah, O my soul. O Jehovah my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honor and majesty: who coverest thyself with light as with a garment; who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain; who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters; who maketh the clouds his chariot; who walketh upon the wings of the wind; who maketh winds his messengers; flames of fire his ministers; who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be moved for ever.” (Ps. 104:1-5, AS) So his witnesses beware when Jehovah speaks.
17. What is it that those who have now come to know him want to do?
17 Those who have now come to know the true God of the universe and his name Jehovah are delighted to honor his name. They want to do something; they want to express to others their knowledge of Jehovah. That is why you will find Jehovah’s witnesses so active. And they say: “I will sing unto Jehovah as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have any being.” (Ps. 104:33, AS) They are anxious to join in the worship of Jehovah in holy array. They recognize that there is an organization that has been formed in the earth, Jehovah’s visible organization.
18. What has Jehovah built up on earth, and so where is our safety?
18 Just as Jehovah has an invisible organization of principalities and powers, of cherubim, seraphim and angels, all in their proper station in his organization, so upon the earth Jehovah God has built up a great organization. God’s servants in the earth speak one language, the language that Jehovah God teaches in his Word. At the same time they are able to speak these truths from God’s Word in many tongues throughout the earth. God has not gathered his people together into one city or locality or one earthly place of safety and refuge. Through their Leader, Christ Jesus, they are sent forth to the ends of the earth, there to preach the good news of God’s kingdom. But as long as they are in his organization speaking the many tongues of the peoples, they are still sending forth the pure language of God’s Word. It is not a matter of geographic location that brings protection. It is a matter of being faithful to Jehovah God and close to him in his organization, worshiping him in holy array when Jehovah strikes at Armageddon. There must be unity among God’s people; no matter where we find them in the earth, they must see in harmony now that Jehovah has brought forth his organization Zion. Even as the children of Israel were organized in their day for marching from one place to another, and had their respective positions in the camp in the wilderness, so it is today.
19. What groupings are there in this visible organization, and how does it spread into new territories?
19 We find Jehovah’s people organized in small units where they carry on Bible studies, in larger units where they carry on company organization, and in still larger arrangements where they have their circuit assemblies. Then many circuits are gathered together into district organizations, and all of these districts in certain localities come under the direction of a branch organization. These branch organizations are scattered throughout the world, but they still come under the direction of the home office. All receive the same organizational instructions through the Watchtower magazine. They know how to act, what to say and to do, how to comfort the poor and the meek, how to release the prisoners, how to bring them forth from the Devil’s organization into God’s organization, how to help these take their stand in the midst of God’s people and worship Jehovah in holy array. There are many full-time ministers associated with these company organizations, and they devote their full time to preaching the good news, singing praises continually before the throne of God. Some of these have been trained in the Watchtower Bible School of Gilead and have been sent off into other lands as missionaries. Sometimes they are alone there for a while until they have found the other sheep, and then these assemble with them in a small group for Bible study and eventually a company is started. Then in that part of the earth another segment of Jehovah’s organization grows.
20. What is our common interest, and what do we call on all people now to do?
20 Everyone has his position in God’s organization and all work together in joy and gladness. Whether they be a district servant, a circuit servant, a company servant, a worker in a home or branch office, a pioneer, a missionary or a company publisher, the only thing they all are interested in is to worship Jehovah their God. Their worship is pleasing to the Most High. They know Jehovah has a great work to be done before he strikes in the battle of Armageddon. Just as it was in the days of Noah, so it is now. The warning must be given to the people. Jehovah does not destroy the nations without giving them due information as to what is going to happen. Jehovah’s witnesses know what is going to happen, so they are giving forth the message of doom and at the same time a message of comfort. Jehovah’s kingdom must be announced. When he says that the nations of the earth will be crushed and will be as the dust in the balance of a scale, that is exactly what he means. This is not the time to lull people to sleep, saying that everything is going to work out all right and that peace and prosperity can be brought about by efforts of men of the nations. Jehovah God has declared in no uncertain terms that all must worship him in holy array, and those who do not come forth to worship him he will then shake and destroy.