Filling the House with Glory
Sunday morning, July 26, 1953, the final day of the New World Society Assembly of Jehovah’s Witnesses at Yankee Stadium, New York city, N. Y., the following speech was delivered by the vice-president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society before an audience of 131,419 conventioners.
“And I will fill this house with glory, saith Jehovah of hosts.”—Hag. 2:7, Da.
1. What is the house to be filled with glory, and according to what promise?
THE house to be filled with glory was a temple dedicated to Jehovah of hosts. He promised to fill it with glory. His promise to do so came as the crowning point of a prophecy of the greatest import to all the nations. “For thus saith Jehovah of hosts: Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; and I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come; and I will fill this house with glory, saith Jehovah of hosts.”—Hag. 2:6, 7, Da.
2, 3. What was the historical background against which this prophecy was first delivered?
2 Pronounced more than twenty-four centuries ago, this prophecy had as its background then a modest temple the building of which was less than a month in progress. It was being built upon the site of the former temple of King Solomon there on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. Following the destruction of Solomon’s temple by the Babylonians in 607 B.C., that sacred location had lain desolate for seventy years, the whole city had lain desolate, the entire realm of the kingdom of Judah had lain desolate without man and his domesticated beasts. It was a divine judgment against the nation because of their long-continued violation of the covenant that Jehovah God had made with their forefathers at Mount Sinai through Moses. (Lev. 26:27-35; 1 Ki. 9:6-9) Now a remnant of the chastised Israelites had had their God Jehovah open the way for them to leave their captivity in Babylon and return to their homeland. For what purpose? Primarily for the purpose of rebuilding Jehovah’s house on the old temple location, that his true worship might be revived and carried on there. Because of enemy opposition and misguided interference from the Persian government the restored remnant of Israelites had lost sight of the primary purpose of their being restored to their homeland. They ceased working on the temple and let it lie, hardly begun, to the reproach of their God Jehovah.—Luke 14:29, 30.
3 For thus choosing to obey man as ruler rather than God they did not prosper for the sixteen years that Jehovah’s house lay neglected. Then, to stir up the Jewish governor Zerubbabel and the Levite high priest Joshua and all the restored remnant, Jehovah God gripped his prophet Haggai with his holy spirit and had Haggai encourage them to renew the temple work in fulfillment of their solemn obligation to God. With faith in God the remnant took up the temple work once more. About a month later, when things had begun to take shape, Haggai was inspired by God’s spirit to utter the electrifying prophecy just quoted.—Hag. 1:1 to 2:9.
4. What shows whether Haggai’s prophecy was fulfilled upon the material temple of Jerusalem, and what did God do for his people in 1919 and for what purpose?
4 Haggai’s prophecy was never really fulfilled upon the temple that Governor Zerubbabel finished building four years later, nor upon Herod’s temple that succeeded it, even though Jesus Christ did visit that temple and teach in its courts. The temple priesthood and other Jewish religious leaders did not permit that temple to be filled with any glory through Jesus Christ and his apostles. In 70 (A.D.) it was put to the torch by the Romans and destroyed. It will never be rebuilt for Haggai’s prophecy to be fulfilled in it. But in 1919, less than six months after the end of World War I, Jehovah God did something that corresponded with his restoring of the Jewish remnant from Babylon back in 537 B.C. He delivered a remnant of his anointed witnesses from the power of a greater Babylon, the Devil’s world organization that had laid violent hands upon Jehovah’s witnesses during World War I and had taken them captive against their wills. God’s purpose in delivering them was the same as that in the case of the Jewish remnant in the days of the prophet Haggai—temple work. As long as the restored remnant of anointed witnesses of Jehovah would concentrate on this temple work, they were bound to prosper spiritually.
5. What are the facts about God’s throne and footstool that dispose of any need for a material temple today?
5 What was this temple work to be? Not the erecting of a literal temple of earthly materials either at Jerusalem or at 124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, New York, or anywhere else. There is no need for such a literal temple today. Such a temple would be so inadequate as God’s house. “Thus saith Jehovah: The heavens are my throne, and the earth is my footstool: what is the house that ye will build unto me? and what is the place of my rest?” (Isa. 66:1, Da) The heavenly throne of Jehovah was symbolized by the propitiatory cover upon the ark of the covenant that stood inside the Most Holy of the temple of Jerusalem. The propitiatory cover was surmounted by two golden cherubs that faced the center of the cover with outstretched wings. Here Jehovah was symbolized as throning amid the cherubs, and his glory light, called the Shekinah, lit up the otherwise unlighted Most Holy of the temple. From there Jehovah communicated with his people Israel. But those were only symbolisms. God’s true throne is the heavens. There is where he reigns as universal sovereign; and the earth, where once his material temple stood on Mount Moriah, is to him like a footstool by which he steps up and mounts his high-seated throne.
6. How did Solomon pray to show he realized the inadequacy of the temple he dedicated, and yet why was it proper to turn toward it when praying to God?
6 No man-made temple, no matter of what grand proportions, can house or hold in the Most High God. Solomon was awed by the realization of this. When he dedicated the gorgeous temple he had built and when the glory of Jehovah filled the house with a miraculous cloud, Solomon said in prayer to him: “But will God indeed dwell on the earth [in a material temple]? Behold, the heavens, and the heaven of heavens, cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built!” Solomon’s temple could not possibly be the place of Jehovah’s real throne. Nonetheless, God had respect to that temple because of what it symbolized and what it foreshadowed for the future, and he kept a watchful eye upon it and put his incomparable name upon it. He said to Solomon: “I have sanctified this house which you have built in which to put my name forever; and my eyes and my heart shall be there for all time.” (1 Ki. 8:27-30, Da; 1 Ki 9:3, 7, AT) Because Jehovah was present there in a representative way, it was proper for Israelites and also strangers of good will to turn to the temple when praying, just as if literally facing him when making a request of him. Solomon prayed: “And as to the stranger also, who is not of thy people Israel, but cometh out of a far country for thy name’s sake . . . when he shall come and pray toward this house, hear thou in the heavens thy dwelling-place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for; in order that all peoples of the earth may know thy name, and that they may fear thee as do thy people Israel; and that they may know that this house which I have built is called by thy name.”—1 Ki. 8:30-43, Da.
7. How did Stephen and then Paul speak showing that God does not now dwell representatively in any man-made temple?
7 The day of such symbolisms is now gone, and no temple of Jehovah will ever be built again on Mount Moriah and there will be no need to remove the Mohammedan “Dome of the Rock” just to build a temple there such as is pictured in Ezekiel’s vision. (Ezek. 40:1 to 46:24) How contrary, then, to the Holy Scriptures for any religion to build basilicas, cathedrals and churches to house what they call “the host,” which the priest claims to transmute into God! Neither by such “host” nor by any other representation does the Most High God dwell now in any temple made with man’s hands. The Christian martyr Stephen made that plain to the Jewish Sanhedrin of Jerusalem while Herod’s temple still stood, saying: “[King] Solomon built a house for him. Nevertheless, the Most High does not dwell in houses made with hands; just as the prophet says: ‘The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me? Jehovah says. Or what is the place for my resting? My hand made all these things, did it not?’” Years later the apostle Paul repeated this truth to the pagan Athenians, saying: “The God that made the world and all the things in it, being, as this One is, Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in handmade temples, neither is he attended to by human hands as if he needed anything, because he himself gives to all persons life and breath and all things.” (Acts 7:47-50; 17:24, 25, NW) Those who profess to be Christians and who have been induced by one argument or another into contributing to the building of costly, overdecorated religious buildings ought to know this truth already, but do not.
8. What kind of temple only could men build to God, but what kind of temple is he himself now building?
8 Let such pause to consider God’s inquiry: “What manner of house will ye build unto me? and what place shall be my rest? For all these things hath my hand made, and so all these things came to be, saith Jehovah.” (Isa. 66:1, 2, AS) Whatever kind of house man may erect must be of materials God already made. That is the kind or manner of house that anybody could build in a material way. Such a place for God to rest symbolically is no longer acceptable to him. He himself is building a real temple out of altogether new material that human architects cannot use. It is made up of 144,000 and One stones, not quarried, fashioned and laid in place by man, but “living stones,” each one of which is a “new creation,” each one a living, intelligent new creature of God, while Jesus Christ his Son is the “foundation cornerstone.” It is a “spiritual house for the purpose of a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Pet. 2:4-6 and; 2 Cor. 5:17 and Eph. 2:20-22, NW) This is the real temple that was foreshadowed by that which Solomon built and that which Governor Zerubbabel rebuilt. This is the temple on which Jehovah God has his eyes and where his heart is. Upon it he has put his holy name.
9. If God does not deign to look at impressive man-made temples today, what would we be inclined to think of ourselves, especially in view of our comparative size?
9 When the queen of Sheba looked at Solomon’s temple it was breath-taking for splendor. Some religious buildings today are very impressive from an architectural standpoint. If the Most High God does not now deign to look at such or reside in such representatively, how much less would he condescend to notice a man or woman on earth? So we should be inclined to think. In ourselves we are so insignificant, and we especially feel so when we are not making a big name for ourselves in the world or holding much prominence or power, but are just lowly, unassuming, comparatively unnoticed, doing what is common or ordinary, never rising to wide fame or notoriety. How infinitesimally small we are individually to God! Imagine our earth reduced to the size of a scalepan of a balance. On this scalepan there is a thin, fine dust, just enough to dull the pan’s luster. Well, all the nations teeming with population are just like that fine dust, so light that its weight is not discernible or measurable except by micro-weighing scales. A tiny speck of dust each one of us is. Jehovah reminds us of this, saying: “Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are accounted as the small dust of the balance.”—Isa. 40:15, AS.
10 Yet hear what Jehovah says he prefers to look to rather than to a magnificent handmade temple: “Thus saith Jehovah, Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: what manner of house will ye build unto me? and what place shall be my rest? For all these things hath my hand made, and so all these things came to be, saith Jehovah: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor [afflicted, Da] and of a contrite spirit, and that trembleth at my word.” Because they stand in awe of His word, he directs his word to them and promises them joy by the revealing of his glory, saying: “Hear the word of Jehovah, ye that tremble at his word: Your brethren that hate you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, have said, Let Jehovah be glorified, that we may see your joy; but it is they that shall be put to shame.”—Isa. 66:1, 2, 5, AS.
11. According to Isaiah 57:13-16, of whom is Jehovah considerate despite his highness, etc.?
11 Just think of it! Despite being so high, so lofty, so eternal in duration and so holy, Jehovah is so considerate as to notice those who are broken in heart over sin and error and who are humble and contrite. We need never think we amount to so little and are so small and worthless that the Most High God would never pay attention to us or take time to notice us. For our encouragement he says: “He that taketh refuge in me shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain. And it shall be said [mar.], Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumbling-block out of the way of my people. For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite. For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth; for the spirit would faint before me, and the souls that I have made.” (Isa. 57:13-16, AS) Such afflicted ones of a contrite and humble spirit the high, lofty and eternal God prefers to look to rather than to gawdy man-made temples.
12. In 1919 who were of the spirit just described, and how did Jehovah fulfill that prophecy for them?
12 Because the remnant of his anointed witnesses were of such a contrite, humble spirit after their captivity in mystic Babylon during World War I, Jehovah God condescended to notice their affliction and he delivered them in 1919. They trembled at his Word and had respect for it instead of human traditions and were always anxious about being deprived of it and not doing what it says. Hence Jehovah cast up and prepared a way for them to escape to theocratic freedom. He took the stumbling blocks out of their way and led them out of mystic Babylon and brought them to his newborn land of theocracy and to his holy mountain of worship where they might engage in temple work.
13, 14. How has Christendom forsaken Jehovah, and what condition of the nations proves he is now in his holy temple?
13 Christendom has forsaken Jehovah and has forgotten his holy mountain of worship and has cast in her fortunes with the nations of this world. She will therefore share their destiny and be slaughtered with them at the battle of Armageddon. (Isa. 65:11-15, AS) Being so concerned about the economic, military and political domination of the earth, the nations forget the thing of prime importance today, that we must serve Jehovah God at his temple, his spiritual house, being lovers of God rather than lovers of pleasures and proving true to the power of godly devotion instead of having a mere form of it. (2 Tim. 3:1-5, NW) To worship Jehovah at his spiritual temple, we turn our faces in no earthly direction, to no city, whether Jerusalem, Rome, or Mecca, and to no religious building on earth. We turn heavenward through Christ, the foundation cornerstone of God’s temple of living stones. Jehovah is now in his holy temple, and all the earth should quiet down and be silent to hear his Word. (Hab. 2:20, AS) But the nations do not do so. They rage at the fact that he reigns as King at his holy temple. Their very raging now is visible proof that the lofty, unseen Jehovah is present in his temple, for that is how the prophecy explains their raging, when it says:
14 “And loud voices occurred in heaven saying: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will rule as king for ever and ever.’ . . . ‘We thank you, Jehovah God, the Almighty, the one who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and begun ruling as king. But the nations became wrathful, and your own wrath came, and the appointed time . . . to bring to ruin those ruining the earth.’ And the temple sanctuary of God that is in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen in his temple sanctuary. And there occurred lightnings and voices and thunders and an earthquake and a great hail.”—Rev. 11:15-19, NW.
15. Why does that vision in Revelation not mean that the literal ark of God’s covenant was transported to heaven in 607 B.C.?
15 The appointed times of the nations for global domination began with the desolation of Jerusalem and its temple and its land in 607 B.C. and their 2,520 years of duration ended in 1914 (A.D.). Then Jehovah God the Almighty took his great power to rule as king by means of his Christ, not just over Palestine, but over the world. At this the nations became wrathful, and their first spasm of wrath spent itself in World War I. Since then, according to the Revelation, Jehovah must be present in his holy temple in heaven. The seeing of the ark of his covenant in his temple sanctuary makes that certain. The literal, original ark of Jehovah’s covenant disappeared when Solomon’s temple was destroyed by Babylon in 607 B.C. Where did it go? Not to heaven, “before the heathen nations had a chance to contaminate or destroy it,” as some suggest. Such material things do not inherit heaven. The heavens are Jehovah’s throne, and there is no need for him to have the ark’s golden propitiatory seat for him to sit upon between the two golden cherubs. When Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead and later ascended to appear in God’s presence with the life-value of his shed human blood, he did not sprinkle his sacrificial blood upon the literal, material ark of the covenant as the Levite high priest used to do on the day of atonement. Jesus offered the redemptive value of his blood to Jehovah God. (Heb. 9:11, 12, 24) Where the literal ark of the covenant went we do not know.
16. In the rebuilt temple at Jerusalem what occupied the Most Holy, according to history?
16 When the temple was rebuilt by Governor Zerubbabel the ark of the covenant was not restored to the Most Holy. In Jesus’ day no ark of the covenant was to be found in the Most Holy of Herod’s temple for the Jewish high priest to sprinkle the atonement blood upon it once a year. The Most Holy was unlighted by any miraculous Shekinah light and was empty, except for a large stone in its center where the high priest deposited the golden censer upon which to sprinkle incense before sprinkling the blood of the atonement day sacrifices. Says the Jewish Mishnah, Yoma, 5, II: “After the Ark was taken away a stone remained there from the time of the early Prophets, and it was called ‘Shetiyáh’ [meaning ‘Foundation; Basis’]. It was higher than the ground by three fingerbreadths. On this he [the Jewish high priest] used to put [the fire pan].”
17. What, then, did John’s vision of the ark of the covenant in the temple sanctuary signify, and when did this become true?
17 Consequently, when the apostle John was given the revelation twenty-six years after Jerusalem’s destruction A.D. 70 and saw God’s temple in heaven opened, the appearance of the ark of his covenant in the sanctuary or Most Holy was an event extraordinary. It symbolized that Jehovah was in his holy temple and was seated on his throne as pictured by the propitiatory cover of the ark. In the vision the opening of the temple and the disclosure of the ark’s presence followed Jehovah’s taking of his great power to rule as King by Jesus Christ and the beginning of the wrath of the nations in World War I, which was in 1914. This adds to the proof that Jehovah has been in his spiritual temple since 1918. That being so, his presence at the temple became true before the anointed remnant of Jehovah’s witnesses were restored from mystic Babylon in 1919, in order that they might take up temple worship.
18. What did Jehovah say respecting Zerubbabel’s temple in comparison with Solomon’s temple, and when, according to Paul’s quotation, do we locate the time for the fulfilling of the prophecy?
18 The reviving of the temple worship by the restored remnant in 1919 was foreshadowed in Haggai’s day when Governor Zerubbabel and High Priest Joshua resumed the building of the temple at Jerusalem. Back there the temple under construction did not promise to be anything to compare with Solomon’s gold-coated temple. Yet that day of small things was not to be despised. Jehovah promised that the glory of the rebuilt temple would far surpass that of Solomon’s temple. There would be a fearful shaking of heaven, earth, sea and all nations, and “the desire of all nations shall come; and I will fill this house with glory, saith Jehovah of hosts.” (Hag. 2:1-9, Da) More than five hundred years after Haggai’s prophecy the apostle Paul applied the fulfillment of Haggai’s words to a still future time, saying: “At that time [the time when God made the Law covenant with Israel at Mount Sinai through Moses] his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, saying: ‘Yet once more I will set not only the earth but also the heaven in commotion.’ Now the expression ‘Yet once more’ signifies the removal of the things being shaken as things that have been made, in order that the things not being shaken may remain. Wherefore, seeing that we are to receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us continue to have undeserved kindness, through which we may acceptably render God sacred service with godly fear and awe.” (Heb. 12:26-28, NW) The removal of the symbolic heaven and earth did not take place in the apostle’s day, but now we have the evidences and proofs that their early removal is at hand in our own day since A.D. 1914.
19. How have the heavens been shaken, and what reason did Jehovah give the earth, dry land and sea for shaking?
19 The kingdom that Jehovah established in the heavens in 1914 by taking his great power and seating his Christ on the throne cannot be shaken, so cannot be removed and will stand intact through this universal shaking period. But all parts of Satan’s world organization, visible and invisible, symbolized by the sea, dry land, earth and heaven, have been terribly shaken. By the “war in heaven” that began in 1914 the Devil and his invisible organization of demon angels were shaken down from any further place in God’s heavens above, whereas the newborn Kingdom stood unshaken, irremovable, victorious. As for the visible part of the Devil’s organization, the sea, dry land and earth, these went through what Jesus called a “beginning of pangs of distress,” namely, nation rising against nation and kingdom against kingdom, food shortages, pestilences, earthquakes, to an unparalleled degree. While Jehovah God did not directly cause the nations and kingdoms to engage in that first world war, which induced food shortages and pestilences, he did give all nations good reason to shake. How? By terminating in 1914 the “appointed times of the nations.” No sooner did those appointed times for the nations to dominate the earth unhindered by his kingdom end than Jehovah brought his kingdom into being and put its operation in the hands of the Rightful One, Jesus Christ, the Son and Heir of King David.
20. Why did this bode no good for the nations, and how did they act toward God’s established kingdom?
20 This boded no good for the nations, for Jesus Christ was destined to rule them with a rod of iron and dash them to pieces at the battle of Armageddon. The nations were thus shifted from their free-handed, easy-going, pre-1914 basis and had reason to fear for their future existence. They now had God’s kingdom to reckon with. The shaking of Satan’s heavens to their downfall transmitted violent vibrations to his earthly organization, and his nations got into commotion over the issue of world domination. They did not desire Jehovah’s King and they raged against Jehovah’s anointed witnesses who were everywhere publishing the Scriptural meaning of the year 1914. The nations thus displayed their own rage against God’s established kingdom and against any interference of his King in their earthly affairs.
21. What Jehovah’s witnesses preached was what kind of news to the nations, but what else about them gave the nations reason to shake?
21 This preaching of what 1914 meant and this declaring of the approaching “day of vengeance of our God” was shaking news to all the nations. But the unexpected emergence of the New World society in 1919 and their phenomenal growth afterward served to shake the nations still more, not only with amazement but also with fear, for this was concrete evidence that there was something to this message and that here there was an unconquerable movement, whose preaching, if it came true, would mean the end of all nations. Truly, preliminary to Armageddon and its violent removal of all nations, there has been a great unsettlement, commotion and shaking of the heavens, earth, sea and all nations of Satan’s world.
“THE DESIRE OF ALL NATIONS”
22. What did Haggai say was to come as a result of the shaking of Satan’s world, and how was this explained in 1886 and in 1931?
22 Haggai said that as a result of Jehovah’s shaking of Satan’s world something grand was to come in. What? “The desire of all nations shall come.” So says the King James Version, also Darby’s. “And the delight of all the nations shall come in,” says Rotherham’s translation. At first this was applied to the coming of God’s unshakable kingdom. In 1886 the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society published the book entitled “The Divine Plan of the Ages.” On page 266 this stated: “Thus man’s extremity will become God’s opportunity, and ‘the desire of all nations shall come’—the Kingdom of God, in power and great glory.—Hag. 2:7.” Forty-five years later the prophecy’s application was narrowed down to one individual, Jesus Christ the King. The magazine The Watch Tower, in its February 15, 1931, issue, presented an article on “His Temple” and said (¶ 33): “Christ Jesus, the Head of the Christ, primarily must be ‘the delight of all the people’ when they know him, because he is God’s representative. Jesus Christ came to the temple as the vicegerent of Jehovah. He is the ‘seed of promise’ and is the desire of all nations and peoples, even though they know it not yet.”
23. On what ancient version of the Bible was that interpretation really based, and why could that event here described not occur in 1918?
23 This latter interpretation was based on the popular King James Version, which rendered Haggai 2:7 in agreement with the old Latin Vulgate. The Vulgate’s rendering as reproduced by the Catholic Douay Version reads: “And the Desired [One] of all nations shall come.” In the Roman Catholic liturgy at Advent time this is applied to Jesus’ coming to earth, not to his coming to the temple. His coming to the great spiritual temple of God for judgment work is understood to have taken place invisibly in the spring of 1918. But Haggai 2:7 is a prophecy of the restoration period of God’s people and therefore cannot be thrown back to 1918 before their restoration started. In the case of the ancient Jewish remnant Haggai 2:7 could not come true until after they had rebuilt God’s house. Due to their fear and negligence for sixteen years, this proved to be twenty-one years after they returned from Babylon. Likewise in the case of the spiritual remnant of today, the coming of what was desirable did not apply before they were restored from mystic Babylon in 1919 nor even in that year, when they were just getting started in the temple work.
24. Why does the Hebrew text itself forbid such an interpretation, and so how did the Greek Septuagint render the Hebrew?
24 One other thing worthy of note: The original Hebrew text forbids Haggai 2:7 to be applied to the Lord Jesus at his coming to the temple in 1918. How so? In this way: Although the word translated “desire” or “Desired” or “delight” is in the singular number, yet the Hebrew verb accompanying it is in the plural. Centuries before the Latin Vulgate the Hebrews who translated the Greek Septuagint noted this fact. So they rendered the singular Hebrew noun in the collective sense and made their translation read: “And the chosen things [or, choice things] of all the nations will come.”
25. Accordingly, how do practically all modern translations render the Hebrew expression?
25 Practically all the modern translations, Jewish, Catholic and Protestant, from the Hebrew try to bring out the force of the original Hebrew text in harmony with the Greek Septuagint.a The English Revised Version of 1884 rendered it: “And I will shake all nations, and the desirable things of all nations shall come, and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.” The American Standard Version of 1901, and also the Hebrew Leeser Version of 1905, and Nacar-Colunga Version of 1948 said: “the precious things of all (the) nations”; and the Hebrew Soncino edition said: “the choicest things of all nations”; An American Translation, Lienart and Crampon said: “the treasures of all the nations”; and Maredsous said: “the riches of all the peoples.”
26. How do other modern translations show that such thing would come in as a result of the shaking?
26 Other translations indicate that Jehovah’s purpose in shaking all nations was that such thing might come in. In agreement with the German Kautzsch and the French L’École Biblique, the Revised Standard Version of 1952 reads: “And I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with splendor, says the LORD of hosts.” Moffatt goes farther and reads: “And shaking all nations till the treasures of all nations are brought hither and my House here filled with splendor (says the Lord of hosts).” That is, Jehovah’s shaking of all nations would produce certain results toward his house. What?
27. How does Jehovah show us what to look for in the fulfillment, and what did Isaiah 66:10-14 say the remnant would see?
27 Parallel prophecies from Jehovah’s mouth show us what to look for in the fulfillment of Haggai 2:7, and the developments of modern history prove Jehovah’s prophecies true in this respect. In giving the great restoration prophecy concerning his woman, his universal organization Jerusalem, when she brings forth the remaining ones of her seed as a theocratic nation from 1919 forward, Jehovah has his prophet Isaiah cry out for his people to hear today: “Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn over her; that ye may suck and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory. For thus saith Jehovah, Behold, I will extend peace [prosperity, AT] to her like a river, and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream: and ye shall suck thereof; ye shall be borne upon the side [like a beloved child], and shall be dandled upon the knees. As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. And ye shall see it, and your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like the tender grass.” (Isa. 66:10-14, AS) The remnant of the seed of God’s woman Jerusalem do see this now and their hearts rejoice, and they acknowledge that the hand of Jehovah has done it.
28. What does Isaiah 61:1-7 foretell in connection with the remnant?
28 The same prophet uttered another prophecy on how Jehovah would restore his anointed witnesses from mystic Babylon and would commission them to preach good tidings, bind up broken hearts, proclaim liberty to captives and the opening of the prison to bound ones, and comfort all that mourn. Then he added: “And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and foreigners shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers. But ye shall be named the priests of Jehovah; men shall call you the ministers of our God: ye shall eat the wealth of the nations, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves. Instead of your shame ye shall have double; and instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess double; everlasting joy shall be unto them.” (Isa. 61:1-7, AS) Today in the theocratic land that was born in 1919 the anointed remnant enjoy a spiritual prosperity double in amount to what shame, dishonor and oppression they suffered during World War I.
29. What throws such prosperity of the remnant into bold relief, and why do the great crowd of good will acknowledge the remnant to be God’s ministers and priests?
29 Throwing such prosperity into bold relief the strangers and foreigners of good will render services as plowmen, vinedressers and feeders of the flock, spiritually speaking, and Jehovah’s “ministers” and members of His “royal priesthood” draw help and benefit from such services. It is a never-ending source of joy to them. Anybody whatsoever may now show himself one of those strangers and foreigners of good will, ready and glad to serve God together with the remnant, no matter how great this crowd of good will becomes. But that is not so of the “royal priesthood” under Christ, whose number is limited to 144,000 members. It takes consecration to be admitted into that exclusive priestly body, and only Jehovah God can do the consecrating of those whom he calls to that high spiritual office. The good-will strangers and foreigners recognize this and acknowledge the spiritual remnant to be God’s ministers and Jehovah’s priests.
30. How, according to Zechariah 8:20-23, have ten men taken hold on the skirt of a Jew and gone up with him to worship?
30 When Jehovah miraculously restored his remnant from Babylon in 1919 and set them to work in temple activity as his worshipers and servants it was an evidence to the sincere-hearted people of all nations who learned of it that Jehovah’s witnesses had a real God and that he was truly with them to deliver and bless them. They heard the anointed remnant, those who are Jews inwardly, encouraging one another to go up to Jehovah’s temple, saying: “Let us go speedily to supplicate Jehovah, and to seek Jehovah of hosts: I will go also.” Then they wanted to go along, and they took hold on the remnant of spiritual Jews. “Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: In those days shall ten men take hold, out of all languages of the nations, shall even take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you [people]; for we have heard that God is with you.” (Zech. 8:20-23, Da) The God named Jehovah, whose deeds, promises and purposes are recorded in the Holy Bible, is the great magnet of attraction, and He is the One whom they are drawn to worship in company with the remnant of spiritual Jews. Already they number more than ten such men of good will to one such spiritual Jew. This would never have happened had the anointed remnant not gone up and done temple work at Jehovah’s house.
31. According to Isaiah 60:1-16, upon whom has Jehovah risen with glory, and what command is given therefore, and what was to follow obedience to this command?
31 When he was angry with them during the period of World War I, the remnant of the seed of his woman, “Jerusalem above,” were in deep gloom and darkness. But in 1919 Jehovah rose with favor upon his woman and the light of his favor was reflected to her anointed remnant on earth. His command to her also applied to her remnant, and oh how grand are the results that have accrued from their obeying the command: “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of Jehovah is risen upon thee. For, behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but Jehovah will arise on thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And nations shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. . . . Then thou shalt see and be radiant, and thy heart shall thrill and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be turned unto thee, the wealth of the nations shall come unto thee. . . . And foreigners shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favor have I had mercy on thee. Thy gates also shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the wealth of the nations, and their kings led captive. For that nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. . . . Thou shalt also suck the milk of the nations, and shalt suck the breast of kings; and thou shalt know that I, Jehovah, am thy Saviour, and thy Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”—Isa. 60:1-16, AS.
32. In answer to the question, Have the desirable things of all nations come in? how did Jehovah give a visible answer at Yankee Stadium in 1953?
32 With our eyes enlightened by these interpretative prophecies we have reached the time to ask, Have the desirable things, the precious things, the treasures, the choicest things of all the nations come in? You thousands of the anointed remnant of Jehovah’s witnesses who are here today, lift up your eyes and sweep them about this vast structure of Yankee Stadium and behold the tens on tens of thousands of people of good will from scores of nations and languages. There is the answer of Jehovah of hosts to the question. He has shaken all the nations by the preaching of the good news of the Kingdom in all the inhabited earth for the purpose of a witness to all the nations, and the desirable things of the nations have come in already, and an untold number of them will yet come in before Jehovah consummates the great shaking by fighting the battle of Armageddon and totally removing the quaking heavens and earth of the Devil’s organization.—Hag. 2:20-23.
33. Along with the example of the ancient witnesses, with what has Jehovah today surrounded his spiritual remnant for their stimulation in the race to the finish?
33 Once we of the remnant used to think that in the time of the greatest test, the final test, of the remnant before or at Armageddon it would become necessary for Jehovah God to raise from the dead the “so great a cloud of witnesses” of ancient times, the “princes” (estimated to be just seventy in all), to strengthen the spiritual remnant and give them divine assurance amid their toughest trial. But today look up, you remnant, see the so great cloud of modern witnesses with which Jehovah God has surrounded you, all of them showing the genuine faith of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the prophets, even if they have to die for it behind the “Iron Curtain” or elsewhere. What more than this in the way of divine miracles can the anointed remnant ask for now? The loyal companionship and support of this “great crowd” of modern witnesses of Jehovah and their zeal and faithfulness in keeping his commandments are a powerful stimulus, along with the example of the “so great a cloud” of ancient witnesses, to run the race that is set before us to the finish, to victory!—Heb. 12:1, 2, NW.
34. How has Jehovah drawn them out of all nations, and to whom are they desirable and why?
34 By the Kingdom witness that he anointed and sent his remnant out to preach Jehovah has drawn out of all the nations those whom he desires and whom his remnant properly desire, the people who are of such good will toward Jehovah that they dedicate themselves to him through Christ the reigning King. Poor, humble and ordinary these may be, and the nations may not prize these as of much account and may now turn to hate them; yet in Jehovah’s sight they are the choicest things that the nations have, because they respond to the Kingdom witness, they also take it up and they join the anointed remnant in heralding it to still others. To Jehovah their lives are precious and he will protect them from his executional forces at Armageddon and will confer upon them life and its sweet privileges in the new world. They are real treasures to Him, comparable to his faithful witnesses of ancient times.
35. How have they shown they appreciate Jehovah’s claim on the silver and the gold, and how has Jehovah filled “this house with glory”?a
35 Right on into the temple Jehovah brings them, that they may worship in pure, undefiled religion beside the anointed remnant there, for there is where their hearts are. They appreciate the divine statement: “The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith Jehovah of hosts.” (Hag. 2:8, AS; Da) So when coming into his house of worship they come bringing their treasures of silver and gold, for they include all such treasures when they dedicate themselves and all they have to God through Christ. They gladly expend themselves financially and otherwise in order to carry on world-wide Kingdom-preaching until the world’s end comes at Armageddon. Thus with the coming in of the desirable things of all the nations the promise of Jehovah to his remnant of anointed temple workers has been fulfilled: “And I will fill this house with glory, saith Jehovah.” (Hag. 2:7, AS) Back there in 1919 it was the day of small things for the temple workers, things apparently so small as to be despised by the proud nations. But Jehovah’s prophecy guaranteed big results to that temple work, that resumption of his worship at his clean house: “The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, saith Jehovah of hosts.” (Hag. 2:9, AS) “The future splendor of this house shall be greater than the past.”—AT.
36. How has Jehovah already fulfilled his word that the latter glory of this house should be greater than the former?
36 How true that is already today! Through the incoming of the desirable ones with their treasures of loving devotion and of theocratic service “day and night in his temple” the house of Jehovah’s worship has been filled with a glory that eclipses not only what occurred with Solomon’s temple but also what has occurred during all the nineteen centuries that Jehovah has been preparing the “living stones” for the erection of a complete temple, “a spiritual house.” Never has there been anything like this to adorn and magnify the house of Jehovah’s worship. The number of the spiritual remnant will get smaller year by year as Jehovah removes some of them from this earthly quarry of preparation and places them as “living stones” in the heavenly temple. But oh the throngs of hundreds of thousands of the choicest class of people out of all the nations that now crowd the house of Jehovah’s worship, and these being added to by the thousands from year to year! What glory, what impressive weight, this gives to Jehovah’s house, a glory never lessening but ever increasing as time marches on to Armageddon! Truly all nations must now know that Jehovah has a house of worship and that it is teeming with worshipers. His worship is a reality that cannot be stamped out any more than men could stamp out his “spiritual house,” his temple of “living stones.”
37. What assurance does Haggai’s prophecy give us that the dissension and combat of the nations outside will not invade this house?
37 The controversy, dissension and combat of the worldly nations outside will never invade the sacred precincts of Jehovah’s house of worship. Internal discord and fights will never break up the worship of the anointed remnant and their desirable companions of good will, and thus rob his house of its all-surpassing glory. “The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, saith Jehovah of hosts; and in this place will I give peace, saith Jehovah of hosts.” (Hag. 2:9, AS; Da) Not the United Nations, but Jehovah’s house of worship, is the only place of peace on earth today, and the nations of this world cannot take it away. It is the gift of Jehovah God to us.
38. In fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9, 10 how has Jehovah cut off chariot, horse and battle bow from Ephraim and Jerusalem?
38 When he foretold how his King Jesus Christ would come and be laid in heavenly Zion as the tried and tested foundation of the new world, Jehovah declared: “And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem; and the battle-bow shall be cut off. And he shall speak peace unto the nations; and his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the river [Euphrates, once controlled by Babylon] to the ends of the earth.” (Zech. 9:9, 10, Da) Chariots, horses and the battle-bow were all ancient symbols of carnal warfare. At times the Israelites, divided under the kingdom headed by Ephraim and the kingdom headed by Jerusalem, used these implements of war in fratricidal combat against each other. But eventually Jehovah united Ephraim and Jerusalem as one people and cut off the war weapons from use against each other. Likewise with the remnant of his spiritual Israelites: No matter of what religious or political professions and loyalties they formerly were, Jehovah by his King unites them as one nation and he helps them by his holy spirit to worship and serve him in peace. The spiritual Israelites unitedly support Jehovah’s King.
39. Why is it not to the worldly nations that Jehovah’s King speaks peace today, and what are Jehovah’s witnesses therefore restrained from doing?
39 His King, the “Prince of Peace,” will not confine his reign of peace to a united, peace-keeping spiritual Israel. Jehovah says: “He shall speak peace unto the nations.” How can that be, since Jesus Christ does not speak peace today to the nations of this world? He wields the iron scepter to smash all the nations to pieces like mere potter’s vessels at Armageddon. He defies all nations to fight him there, in accord with Jehovah’s proclamation to the nations: “Prepare war, arouse the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near, let them come up. Beat your ploughshares into swords, and your pruning-knives into spears; let the weak say, I am strong. Haste ye and come, all ye nations round about, and gather yourselves together.” (Joel 3:9-11, Da) Under command to make this war proclamation to all the nations, Jehovah’s witnesses can not and will not join in with any pacifist organization in urging the national governments to cease from war in the name of Christianity. Jehovah’s witnesses will not lend any support to the Disarmament Resolution passed on April 8 this year by the General Assembly of the United Nations under the delusion of working for lasting peace among the worldly nations. To do such a thing would, for one thing, be useless. For another thing, and that the more important, it would be contrary to Jehovah’s command to his witnesses.
40. In seeking the answer to our question on the King’s speaking peace to the nations, what particular prophecy of Isaiah are we called to listen to?
40 What, then, does the King’s speaking peace to the nations mean? When does it apply? Listen, and, as you listen, think of the coming in of the desirable things of all nations to Jehovah’s house of worship: “And it shall come to pass in the end of days, that the mountain of Jehovah’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow unto it. And many peoples shall go and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths. For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and Jehovah’s word from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall reprove many peoples; and they shall forge their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-knives: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”—Isa. 2:2-4, Da; AS.
41. When shall we have total and permanent disarmament of the worldly nations? Why?
41 The nations of this world are not the ones that pay attention to Jehovah’s judgments or that heed his reproof. Their disarmament conferences and resolutions are not for total disarmament but for mere limitation of armaments, and these have never led and will never this side of Armageddon lead the nations to forge swords into plowshares and spears into pruning knives and to lay down the sword and quit teaching war. When the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” strikes them, they will be fully armed with all the improved weapons of modern science, of many of which we now have no knowledge. But when Armageddon is finished, Jehovah’s King will have dashed all those anti-Kingdom nations to bits. Then first we shall have total disarmament of those nations and permanently so.
42. Who, then, of the nations is it that now heed Jehovah’s judgments and reproof, and how will they do so even at Armageddon? Why?
42 Hence it is the “great crowd” of desirable ones out of all such nations and peoples that now heed Jehovah’s judgments and reproof and now walk in the paths he teaches them from Zion and its temple. These now practice total disarmament, converting to peaceful, productive uses what was formerly devoted to mortal combat, laying down the sword that they literally used to raise against one another and learning such carnal warfare no more. When Armageddon strikes and Jehovah confounds his enemies, those enemies will turn every man his hand against his brother. Not so this “great crowd” that have come out of all nations to the highly-lifted “mountain of Jehovah”! They will lend every man a helping hand to his brother, that they may all stand united in the “peace of God that excels all thought.” This will be because they have all flowed together to the house of Jehovah, “the God of Jacob,” and there He enforces his purpose: “In this place will I give peace, saith Jehovah of hosts.”—Hag. 2:9, AS.
43. In witnessing what sight, how are we blessed, and how shall we be further blessed in this connection?
43 Behold, then, his house of worship today filled with glory, gifted with divine peace. Blessed are we to live to witness this sight in vindication of Jehovah’s word. Blessed shall we be to abide in his house worshiping him purely, “in holy array,” and tirelessly working for the filling of his house with yet greater glory by helping all the remaining desirable ones of all the nations to come in.
a Young’s translation, which is very literal, inserts here the preposition to and makes the controversial passage read: “And they have come to the desire of all the nations, and I have filled this house with honour, said Jehovah of hosts.” However, it is not necessary to insert a word, and a suitable translation of the Hebrew text would read: “And they, the desire of all the nations, shall come in.”