The Day for Salvation
“For he says: ‘In an acceptable season I heard you, and in the day for salvation I came to your help.’ Look! Now is the especially acceptable season. Look! Now is the day for salvation.”—2 Cor. 6:2, NW.
1. What and when is the day for salvation?
THE great day of Jehovah is the day for salvation. Its completion is the time looked for and hoped for in Christian hearts for centuries. This day in complete fulfillment had its beginning in the autumn of 1914 (A.D.), when Christ began to rule in the midst of his enemies, and it continues until the destruction of Satan and his wicked organization is completed. The start of this rule marks the beginning of sorrows upon Satan’s organization, and it is also a time of trouble for the inhabitants of the earth. Revelation 12 shows how it began with war in the heavens, resulting in the casting of Satan and his wicked spirit forces out of heaven, giving complete control of the heavens to the righteous rule of Christ.—Ps. 110:1, 2.
2. Why has Satan been allowed to live, now that Christ reigns?
2 Seeing that the kingdom of God was set up in 1914, some have wondered why Jehovah God has permitted wickedness to continue for these many years thereafter. Why have the wicked ones been allowed to dominate the earth if Christ reigns? Jehovah shows us his way of dealing with wicked Satan through his dealings with wicked Pharaoh of Egypt: “For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: ‘For this very purpose I have let you remain, that in connection with you I may demonstrate my power and that my name may be published throughout all the earth.’” (Rom. 9:17, NW) Yes, especially in this day or period of time set aside by Jehovah following 1914 this principle of action has been followed.
3. What did Jesus say would happen in this “day”?
3 The things foretold by Jesus in Matthew 24 must occur in the day of Jehovah. There must be the preaching of the good news of the Kingdom in all the inhabited earth for a witness. Followers of Jesus in the ministry must be persecuted and hated by all nations. There was to be much violence among Satan’s cohorts in the earth before the demonstration of Jehovah’s great power. In fact, Jesus prophesied that the war against Satan and his world would be held up for a time: “Unless those days were cut short, no flesh would be saved.” (Matt. 24:22, NW) The “flesh” here mentioned are those who worship Jehovah. It was a time set aside in which many would receive the help of Jehovah and go in the way to salvation. Jehovah’s purpose was to preserve a people for his name, who would bear witness throughout the world and give warning to people of all nations to flee from modern “Babylon” before the destruction comes. Jehovah shows his kindness, patience and endurance of reproach by allowing this day for salvation. And out of this day with all its troubles for Satan’s system of things a great crowd of praisers has already come forth for their salvation, as foretold in Revelation 7:14 (NW): “These are the ones that come out of the great tribulation.”
4. How does Jehovah help people to salvation in this day, and why must action be taken by people now?
4 That this is a fact is shown in the record. In 1918 there were 3,868 preaching Jehovah’s message from door to door in a few countries and sharing in the pure worship. In the short time that has elapsed since 1918 the numbers have risen to the peak of 510,228 reporting time in preaching in 1953 and hundreds more are being baptized every month in symbol of their dedication to Jehovah’s service of praise. This has come about because of the increased light on God’s Word—Jehovah’s help. This is the “time of the end” and it is the time for which the Scriptures were especially written. (1 Cor. 10:11) By making known his purposes, especially now, Jehovah opens the way to salvation. He provides help for lovers of righteousness who want to serve him. He shows them the right path to follow. They must join in calling upon Jehovah’s name in order to be saved. (Rom. 10:10-15) Now is the time for it, before the great storm of Jehovah’s day breaks at Armageddon. When Armageddon breaks in all its fury, the acceptable season for taking up the worship of Jehovah will be ended. The decision must be made before the especially acceptable season concludes. Now is the time to take up Jehovah’s service. Now is the time to keep doing it. “For he says: ‘In an acceptable season I heard you, and in the day for salvation I came to your help.’ Look! Now is the especially acceptable season. Look! Now is the day for salvation.”—2 Cor. 6:2, NW.
5, 6. (a) What is the relationship between Jehovah’s Word and salvation? (b) How can we equip ourselves and be of aid to other Christians?
5 Salvation is in Jehovah’s power. He is the God of salvation. The word here used means more than merely gaining life. It means deliverance to life and safety. It connotes giving health. It therefore shows that Jehovah’s salvation comes in more than one way in this day of Jehovah. Jehovah sustains his servants. He provides the spiritual food to keep them strong. It is Jehovah who delivers his servant body on earth through many trials. Though Christ Jesus has begun his invisible rule, nevertheless Jehovah’s servants have passed through many trying experiences since 1914. This is no surprise to informed, genuine Christians, for Jesus predicted it clearly in the Bible record. But it has been difficult sometimes. Jehovah foretold these experiences in the prophecies of the Bible, preserving the record for our use in this day of salvation. It is good for us to examine what God’s Word says and to thereby be strengthened, to know what we may expect just ahead as we approach the climax of this day of Jehovah.
6 Knowing accurately what Jehovah has said gives us strength, builds up our endurance and bolsters our faith. If we are wise, we study Jehovah’s Word and grow spiritually strong. Then, especially in times of difficulty or persecution, we shall be able to endure in our faith and we shall be able to serve others. “We, though, who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those not strong, and not to be pleasing ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor in what is good for his upbuilding. For even Christ did not please himself; but just as it is written: ‘The reproaches of those who were reproaching you have fallen upon me.’ For all the things that were written aforetime were written for our instruction, that through our endurance and through the comfort from the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Rom. 15:1-4, NW) We must constantly take in knowledge and use it for the upbuilding of ourselves and our fellow Christians. This will be our course of life in this day of Jehovah, if we are to gain his salvation.
PROPHECIES UNFOLD A WEALTH OF KNOWLEDGE
7, 8. (a) What prophecy will now have our special consideration? (b) Who were some of the prominent persons in the prophecy, and what did that foreshadow?
7 Among the prophecies written aforetime for our instruction is the unusual happening in the life of Daniel, as told in Da chapter 6, which please read. It is full of meaning in this day for salvation, for it shows what befalls Jehovah’s “slave” class on earth. In the prophetic drama Jehovah has used Daniel to picture his “slave,” his organized body of witnesses on earth. Darius pictured regal power or authority and law. The lions represent true justice, which is of God. Yes, this is the record of Daniel in the lions’ den.
8 Daniel is the only one mentioned in the prophecy who was a worshiper of Jehovah, the living God. None of the other men were servants of Jehovah. That is why Daniel as one of the Jewish remnant is such a good picture of Jehovah’s “slave” class on earth today. (Matt. 24:45-47) No one else adheres to pure worship. Daniel occupied a high position in the kingdom of the Medes and Persians. What did that show? It pointed out how Jehovah’s anointed witnesses in this day for salvation would have a prominent position and be known throughout the world. They have a high position in the sight of Jehovah, as his ambassadors and representatives, bearing his name.
9, 10. (a) Of whom were the princes prophetic? (b) Why were the princes against Daniel, and what did they do against him?
9 Others are included in the prophecy, other rulers or princes. They were not worshipers of Jehovah God. They did not respect the God of Daniel and did not work to uphold God’s righteous principles as Daniel did. They took a course in opposition to pure worship. How well they picture the corrupt visible representatives of Satan on earth! They are the ones who crave complete domination over the peoples of the earth for their own gain, which is contrary to Jehovah’s will. Evidently the wicked princes or satraps and the two evil presidents in the kingdom did not wish to give proper account of the tribute or tax collected, but Daniel stood in their way, a righteous man who kept God’s law. Daniel did not want the king to suffer any loss.
10 Daniel’s truthfulness, honesty and integrity were too much for the princes. They hated him. He must be put out of the way, they concluded. “Then the presidents and satraps sought to find some ground of complaint against Daniel in connection with his administration of the kingdom; but they could find no ground of complaint or fault, because he was faithful, and no error or fault was to be found in him. So these men said, ‘We shall find no ground of complaint against this Daniel, unless we find it in connection with the law of his God.’” (Dan. 6:4, 5, AT) Daniel had done nothing wrong; he obeyed the law in every way.
11, 12. (a) What conspiracy did Jehovah here foretell? (b) Why did Daniel’s life course well portray that of Jehovah’s “slave” class today on earth?
11 A wicked conspiracy was formed against Daniel, conceived in malice and hatred. The iniquitous princes were jealous of Daniel and his favored position with the regal authority. Nothing was more important to the satraps than to get rid of Daniel. So Jehovah foretold how the enemies of his kingdom and his “slave” class on earth would act in the day of Jehovah, conspiring against those who do righteously. In another prophecy we read: “For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult; and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They take crafty counsel against thy people, and consult together against thy hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent.”—Ps. 83:2-5, AS.
12 How accurately Jehovah foretold the conspiracy against his “slave” class! The upright life Daniel led was one form of testimony in favor of Jehovah, and, likewise, Jehovah requires his witnesses in modern days to live in purity as part of their preaching. Jehovah’s witnesses stand out in the whole world as a people who put Jehovah first in their lives. They are like Daniel, faithful to their God and true to whatever trust may be put in them. They are not willing to join in with the corrupt practices of Satan’s world, but are people of decency, honesty and integrity the world around. Jehovah’s witnesses do not fill the prisons with murderers, thieves and rioters. They are the most law-abiding group of people in the whole world, barring none. Obedience to Jehovah’s written Word has made them such.
13. Why are Jehovah’s witnesses hated in all nations of the world?
13 Then why is it that they are so hated in every nation of the world by most clergymen, politicians and others of influence? Jesus gives the answer: “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were part of the world, the world would be fond of what is its own. Now because you are no part of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, on this account the world hates you. Bear in mind the word I said to you, A slave is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will persecute you also; . . . But they will do all these things against you on account of my name, because they do not know him that sent me. Men will expel you from the congregation. In fact, the hour is coming when everyone that kills you will imagine he has rendered a sacred service to God.” (John 15:17-21; 16:2, NW) Many clergymen and politicians cannot stand hearing the preaching of the good news of God’s kingdom. They want to silence those who worship according to God’s commandments. They look for a way, a so-called “legal way,” that will be useful to them in justifying their acts against Jehovah’s witnesses in the eyes of the world. How is it done?
14. What so-called legal action did the wicked princes take against Daniel?
14 See what Jehovah foretold at Daniel 6:5-8. Knowing the sincerity and the fear of Jehovah that Daniel possessed, the conspirators chose to make an attack against Daniel because of his worship of Jehovah. They were certain Daniel would put God first in his life; so this would be their way of making him appear to be a wrongdoer. They approached the king and proposed a statute to prohibit anyone in the kingdom from praying to someone other than the king for a period of thirty days. Violators were to be thrown into the den of lions. The king signed it and it became the unalterable law of the Medes and Persians. Note that the wicked confederates were from all parts of the far-flung Medo-Persian empire and Daniel was the target of their movement. The plan to “legally” execute or destroy Daniel was based on an attack against pure worship of God. Freedom of worship had to be stamped out in order to effect success for their plan. Daniel would not be allowed to pray to Jehovah God as was his custom according to God’s command.
15. What measures are taken against Jehovah’s witnesses today?
15 Likewise, Jehovah’s witnesses are today found under attack by men of wicked intent in all parts of the world. Jehovah foretold: “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against Jehovah, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bonds asunder, and cast away their cords from us.” “Shall the throne of wickedness have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by statute? They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.” (Ps. 2:2, 3; 94:20, 21, AS) In harmony therewith the world adopts drastic measures against Jehovah’s witnesses in hope of ending the announcement of the rule of God’s King. They cloak these overt acts in “legal attire” and thus fool many unsuspecting people in their nations.
16. How did the Nazis mistreat Jehovah’s witnesses in Germany?
16 Here is how it happened in Nazi Germany. Fanatical politicians found a “legal” way. They put a ban on the preaching work of Jehovah’s witnesses in 1933. It became a “crime” to be one of Jehovah’s witnesses. Many were arrested and imprisoned. The Nazis maintained that the activities of Jehovah’s witnesses (Earnest Bible Students) were inimical and ‘disturbed the National Socialistic construction.’ When Jehovah’s witnesses went into the courts to fight for their rights and some were set free, the Reich’s Ministry of Justice prepared a lengthy opinion to ensure that Jehovah’s witnesses could not be freed, saying, in conclusion: “The courts must not fail on account of merely apparent legal formalities; but must seek and find ways in spite of the formal difficulties, to fulfill their high duties.” This meant that true justice could not be had. Ten thousand suffered in the concentration camps. They did not try to take the law into their own hands and rise up against the government. Patiently they waited upon Jehovah for deliverance, never breaking faith with their God. Not capitulating, they were freed again at the end of World War II and their numbers have multiplied.
17. What are the Communists doing against Jehovah’s witnesses, and what do Jehovah’s witnesses do in spite of it?
17 In communistic countries Jehovah’s witnesses have been banned in a so-called “legal” way. In all such countries Jehovah’s witnesses find no justice. Judges are instructed what the verdict is to be before trials are called. Thousands of Jehovah’s witnesses are now unjustly imprisoned in eastern Europe. But Jehovah’s witnesses cannot break faith with Jehovah; so they continue to worship and preach as they are able, waiting upon Jehovah for salvation and taking strength from his precious promises in the Bible. They conduct Bible studies secretly outside of or in the prisons. Other prisoners join them in the ministry, often being baptized right in the prisons. So Jehovah’s witnesses continue to increase in numbers in all communistic lands. And the communistic persecution reveals clearly that Jehovah’s witnesses are not following men, but following the true “higher powers,” Jehovah and Christ Jesus, for many times those considered “leaders” by the Communists have been arrested and put away and almost immediately others with the spirit of Jehovah are raised up to continue with the witness work, and expansion goes on.
18. What is another source of persecution of Jehovah’s witnesses?
18 The Dominican Republic has a legal decree making it a crime to be one of Jehovah’s witnesses. The source of the trouble is not communistic, but Catholic. Jehovah’s witnesses there have not broken integrity and, though they cannot get justice in the courts, they have stood up boldly to give fine testimonies to the honor of the name of Jehovah.
19. What is the position of Jehovah’s witnesses in Canada?
19 In Quebec, Canada, the Roman Catholic religionists laid false charges against Jehovah’s witnesses. They charged Jehovah’s witnesses with sedition. But in Canada Jehovah’s witnesses have rights; they are able to fight in the courts. Jehovah’s witnesses take advantage of their legal rights. It was a long, hard fight, but in December, 1950, these false charges of sedition were overruled by the Supreme Court of Canada. Here is another instance where those who are fighting against God and his kingdom have tried to smear Jehovah’s servants and make them appear to be lawbreakers. Jehovah’s witnesses in Canada have shown great interest in the people of Canada and in the freedom of the people. In 1947 Jehovah’s witnesses circulated a petition for a bill of rights guaranteeing the freedoms, freedom of worship and freedom of speech, of the Canadian people. They got over 500,000 signers, the largest petition ever compiled in Canada. This petition was submitted to the Parliament in Ottawa, but up until this time no action has been taken by that lawmaking body.
20. How was mischief framed against Jehovah’s witnesses in Australia?
20 In the Commonwealth of Australia in the year 1941 the organization of Jehovah’s witnesses and the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society was banned without a hearing. The charge raised was that Jehovah’s witnesses were against the government. Here, too, Jehovah’s witnesses were able to go into court and exercise their legal rights. And so it was that on June 14, 1943, after a strong fight in the high court of Australia victory was gained for Jehovah’s witnesses when the court ruled that the ban against them was not legal and they were not subversive.
21. What record of legal battles in defense of freedom have Jehovah’s witnesses built up in the United States?
21 In the United States of America many false charges have been brought against Jehovah’s witnesses. Many cases have been raised against them to try to deny them their rights of freedom of worship and freedom of speech. Outstanding cases have been fought by Jehovah’s witnesses in the courts of the United States. They have been given a hearing according to the laws of the land, and so they have taken 46 cases to the United States Supreme Court since 1938. By their victories in many court decisions, freedoms of worship and speech have been secured for Jehovah’s witnesses, yes, and for the benefit of all the people of the United States. Yet the enemy continues to raise false charges and the fight goes on in the courts of the land.
22. What tactics do attackers of Jehovah’s witnesses use?
22 In almost every case when the politicians and clergy spring an attack against Jehovah’s witnesses it involves their way of worship. The rulers studiously avoid a discussion of the Bible, for they know they cannot win on Scriptural grounds. They rather resort to throwing smears against Jehovah’s witnesses. They cannot successfully attack the truth in God’s Word; so they try to distract the minds of the people by making accusations of subversion or attacking individuals with false charges.
23. What position does the Bible show Christians must take when they are persecuted?
23 Jehovah’s witnesses fight! Yes, they fight against mischief framed through legal channels. If a fair hearing can be had, Jehovah’s witnesses will always be shown to be blameless. They will be shown to be right. They will not be shown to be breakers of proper law. They will be found adhering closely to the high principles and teachings of the Bible. But where justice cannot be had, then God’s people must endure faithfully. They do not take the law into their own hands. That would be wrong. They do not engage in subversive activities against the established governments. That too would be wrong. Regardless of the outcome of their fights to preserve freedom of worship for themselves, they keep right on preaching God’s Kingdom hope. They know that Peter and John did that when they were commanded by human authorities not to go on preaching Christ Jesus. In that case God’s law was supreme. Man’s law was secondary. Peter and John had God’s approval, and we as Christians today are bound by God’s commands to do as Peter and John did, to continue living as Christians, to keep on exercising our right of worship. It may take a fight. Jehovah’s witnesses will fight according to what God has shown by continuing to do what God has commanded. In Acts the eighth chapter we find a record of how persecution can be defeated. Here we see how the Christians in the early days were scattered by those who falsely accused them and who sought to break down true worship, and yet the enemies did not succeed. They did scatter God’s servants, but wherever God’s servants went they kept on preaching the good news of the Kingdom and as they went and preached many new ones heard the truth. So the enemy in his effort to stop the proclamation of the truth merely caused it to spread, and in that way the persecution was defeated.—Acts 5.
24. What did Daniel do when he heard about the new law?
24 Turning back to the prophecy, we see Daniel as a target of a movement of men from all parts of the far-flung empire. They would not allow Daniel to pray to Jehovah God. Daniel knew the rules in his government. Once a law was made in that land, it would stand, it must be carried out. So, therefore, Daniel would immediately and automatically become a violator. Naturally he could not quit worshiping God because some men wanted him to stop. He would not risk displeasing the life-giving God. So we read in Da 6 verses 10 and 11: “And when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house (now his windows were open in his chamber toward Jerusalem); and he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. Then these men assembled together, and found Daniel making petition and supplication before his God.”—Dan. 6:10, 11, AS.
25. (a) What lesson for Jehovah’s witnesses is found in this part of the prophecy? (b) How was Christ Jesus falsely accused?
25 This was prophetic. It foretold how Jehovah’s witnesses today continue to worship God in spite of decrees made by Communist dictators or any others against worship of Jehovah. They remember the words that Jesus spoke: “And do not become fearful of those who kill the body but can not kill the soul; but rather be in fear of him that can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.” (Matt. 10:28, NW) Jehovah’s witnesses show proper godly fear by putting Jehovah’s worship first in their lives. This will ensure them everlasting life, even if they should be murdered by evil dictators. Never for one minute do they lose faith in Jehovah’s power. They know that to be hated is nothing new, because the Master was hated and brought before the rulers. The opposers then brought along their so-called “legal” arguments as to why Jesus should be put out of the way. Note the account in Luke 23:2, 5 (NW): “Then they started to accuse him, saying: ‘This man we found subverting our nation and forbidding the paying of taxes to Caesar and saying he himself is Christ a king.’ But they began to be insistent, saying: ‘He stirs up the people by teaching throughout all Judea, even starting out from Galilee to here.’” They were out to get Jesus. A few lies did not matter to them. Jesus had done no wrong whatsoever, but there he stood falsely accused. We know what happened to Jesus.
26. How was “patriotism” used against the early followers of Christ?
26 The followers of Jesus were likewise falsely accused. We read at Acts 16:20, 21 (NW) how Paul and Silas were treated by wicked leaders in the world: “Leading them up to the civil magistrates, they said: ‘These men are disturbing our city very much, they being Jews, and they are publishing customs which it is not lawful for us to take up or practice, seeing we are Romans.’” Another record of mistreatment of God’s servants is found in Acts 17:6, 7 (NW): “When they did not find them they dragged Jason and certain brothers to the city rulers, crying out: ‘These men that have upset the inhabited earth are present here also, and Jason has received them with hospitality. And all these men act in opposition to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king, Jesus.’” They tried to injure Jehovah’s servants by their patriotic talk, but by violating the law and by lying they themselves were anything but patriotic. So we see it is nothing new for Christians, true worshipers of God, to have mischief framed against them by talk of patriotism and by accusations of subversion and disloyalty.
27. What does Daniel 6:16 indicate for modern-day servants of Jehovah?
27 In the prophecy of Daniel the regal or ruling authority was used against Daniel. The enemies of the worship of God had framed mischief by law. Under their long beards, those wicked princes were gloating, thinking Daniel was doomed. They knew the laws could not be altered. This time Daniel would not escape. The record tells us at Daniel 6:16: “Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions.” At this point the wicked conspirators were certain that they were delivered of Daniel and his superior way of living, his pure worship of God. They would not hear the prayers to Jehovah any more. They were certain Daniel could not escape from the hungry lions. But showing their wickedness and malice and just to make sure that Daniel would not escape, they had the den of the lions officially sealed. And what does this part of the prophecy foretell? The world in general views Jehovah’s witnesses as an insignificant group. They are small in comparison with the vast organizations of Christendom and heathendom. They could not gain the upper hand in any contest of force with the men of this world. Evidently, according to this prophecy, Jehovah’s “slave” class throughout the earth are destined to come very close to being overcome as man views matters. The Scriptures show clearly that Satan and his organization are not going to give up without a fight, for Revelation 12:17 (NW) says of our days: “And the dragon grew wrathful at the woman, and went off to wage war with the remaining ones of her seed, who observe the commandments of God and have the work of bearing witness to Jesus.” They will assault and seek the destruction of Jehovah’s anointed witnesses as well as their good-will companions just before the end comes, possibly in all nations, in all parts of the world. And should this make Jehovah’s witnesses afraid?
28. (a) Why is there no reason for fear on the part of Jehovah’s servants? (b) Give scriptures to show what we should keep on doing.
28 There is nothing in the record to indicate that Daniel was afraid. He retained full faith in his God, Jehovah. Daniel knew that he was actually before the true justice, which was pictured by the lions, and that when true justice was meted out he would not be hurt. He was blameless, a pure worshiper of God. The judgment, the true justice, was in the hands of Almighty God Jehovah. And so when Daniel went into the lions’ den he was confident in Jehovah’s supreme power. As with Daniel, so with Jehovah’s witnesses on the earth today. They are not afraid. They keep on praising Jehovah. (Isa. 44:8; Ezek. 2:6, 7; Acts 18:9, 10; 1 Pet. 3:14, 15) They will keep full trust in the supreme power of Jehovah; though at times it may seem that their organization is doomed as men view matters, it will never be found to be so. Some people in the communistic countries may think so now. They may think that Jehovah’s witnesses have been wiped out, but that is just what they read in their propaganda newspapers. Jehovah God will always bring his servants through all of their trials. Just as the Nazis were unable to destroy Jehovah’s witnesses, so no other segments of Satan’s world system of things can do it. Now the Communists of eastern Europe are trying. They too will fail!
29. How do the instructive prophecies of Jehovah’s Word give us the right viewpoint?
29 In these evil days Jehovah’s witnesses must maintain indomitable faith. This they have in the day of salvation, because of their knowledge of his Word, because of the things he tells them in the prophecies. He tells us what to expect and then shows us what the outcome will be. Jehovah’s witnesses take great comfort and strength from what is written in God’s Word. (Prov. 2:6, 8, 21, 22; 24:5; Rom. 15:4) We can look back to the days of Moses and Israel, when they were pursued by the Egyptians. From the human viewpoint they had no way out. There was the Red Sea ahead of them; behind them the pursuing Egyptian army. What could they do? Which way could they turn? From the human viewpoint they were doomed. But those with faith in Jehovah, the Israelites, saw things differently. They went on, and Jehovah rewarded their faith. Jehovah opened up the sea, carried them through to the other side, and it was Jehovah who destroyed the pursuers. The eye of faith is a marvelous blessing.—Exodus 14.
30-34. Describe five prophetic pictures that show the value of having strong faith in Jehovah and having the theocratic viewpoint of our true situation.
30 Turning to Judges 4 we read of how Sisera and his mighty heathen army with vastly superior armament attacked Israel. From man’s viewpoint Israel was doomed to defeat, slavery and death. But God’s servants had full faith in what God would do, and God delivered them in the time of battle by his miraculous power.
31 In 2 Chronicles 20 we have the prophetic account of how Moab, Ammon and Mount Seir, three nations, formed a conspiracy against the people of Judah who worshiped Jehovah. Jehovah God gave counsel to his people of Judah. He told them to go out and put the singers in the lead, and Judah went forth with the singers leading. How foolish from man’s viewpoint! But Judah had complete trust in Jehovah’s victory. They had the eye of faith, and they saw things from Jehovah’s point of view. No fighting men were required. Almighty God caused confusion in the enemy ranks, so that they fought one another and each one helped to kill the other. Jehovah was able once again to deliver those who worshiped him.
32 Gideon had only 300 men against all the hosts of Midian. How could he possibly hope to defeat that vast army? Men would say it was foolishness to go to the attack, but the history in Judges 7 shows that the servants of Jehovah had faith and trust in Jehovah, and because of this Jehovah gave the victory.
33 At 2 Kings 18 it tells how the great army of Assyria, then the world’s leading power, 185,000 men, came against Jerusalem’s realm. They threatened the city. Apparently there was no way out for God’s people. Sennacherib sent his spokesman to reproach the name of Jehovah God, taunting the people, telling them there was no escape. King Hezekiah had faith in Jehovah, he prayed to Jehovah, he kept close to God. From a human standpoint deliverance from that mighty army was impossible. But the eye of faith viewed things in a different light. God destroyed the mighty army of Assyria in one night. God proved himself to be the salvation of his people.
34 In the third chapter of Daniel we find the account of the three faithful Hebrews, who kept clinging to the pure worship of God. They would not compromise by engaging in other forms of worship. These men were thrown bodily into a hot, fiery furnace. As men view matters, they would say there was no hope of survival; but God’s servants had trust and confidence in him. They knew who their God was, and how much power Jehovah God had, and Jehovah gave them salvation. Jehovah delivered them without injury from that hot, fiery furnace. These are but a few examples of the value full faith in Jehovah has to his servants.
35. What is the true position of Jehovah’s organized servants in this day for salvation?
35 The prophecies indicate that the enemy will assault Jehovah’s witnesses now in these last days. From the human viewpoint our position will be completely unrealistic, impractical and hopeless. The people of the world, those who are blinded by Satan and his organization, will think there is no hope for us. (2 Cor. 4:4) But we must keep the eye of faith, view our position from God’s standpoint, recognize that Jehovah God has his multitudes of heavenly hosts poised, ready for the attack, for the defense of his people. To comfort us, Jehovah in Revelation 9:16 (NW) gives us a small picture of how great and powerful his armies really are: “And the number of the armies of cavalry was two myriads of myriads: I heard the number of them.” This shows that God has more than 200,000,000 invisible fighters who are ready for the defense of Jehovah’s servants. Let men try if they will, but no one can prove that God has ever failed his people once. He is true to his Word, true to his promises and true to his people who worship him in spirit and in truth. No matter how overwhelming the odds appear to be, Jehovah’s victory is sure. (2 Ki. 6:17) This is truly brought out by the prophetic drama of Daniel 6.
36. (a) Why was Daniel unhurt? (b) What does that mean in the fulfillment?
36 After Daniel had been confined overnight in the den of lions, he heard the voice of the king crying out to him. Daniel answered: “My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not hurt me; forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt. Then was the king exceeding glad, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he had trusted in his God.” (Dan. 6:22, 23, AS) This was a matter of the vindication of Jehovah’s name. Vindication is shown in deliverance. Jehovah preserved Daniel because he had trusted in his God, because he had faith and confidence in Jehovah, because he had showed by his course of action that he was not afraid to worship Jehovah. And so it will be with the servant class at Armageddon. Pure worship will give them strength. Their faith will give them strength. Their unity in worship of Jehovah will give them strength. Jehovah God will give them strength. Jehovah’s great power will preserve his servant class. Then true justice will be satisfied.
37. How was true justice satisfied?
37 How will true justice be satisfied? Listen to the record in Da 6 verse 24: “And the king commanded, and they brought those men that had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces, before they came to the bottom of the den.” (Dan. 6:24, AS) Yes, there was a sudden turning of the tables on the conspirators. They had been certain that Daniel was finished. They had been confident that they were safe from his influence and his good example of worshiping and respecting God. But God’s righteousness demands justice. The lions represented God’s justice in this prophecy, and they finished off the evil ones.
38. What words of Paul fit in well with this part of the prophecy and indicate Jehovah’s execution of true justice in the day for salvation?
38 Now it will be just as the apostle Paul stated it would be in Jehovah’s day for the wicked men. Just when they think they have everything organized to break up the organization of Jehovah’s witnesses on earth and they will never be bothered again by any more preaching of the righteous kingdom of Jehovah, then they will meet with sudden death. This is what Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 5:3 (NW): “Whenever it is that they are saying, ‘Peace and security!’ then sudden destruction is to be instantly upon them just as the pang of distress upon a pregnant woman, and they will by no means escape.” Jehovah has shown us just how this will come about, and he has done it for our comfort and instruction, to give us hope. It is absolutely certain that all those who abuse and persecute Jehovah’s servants are going to receive just retribution. The evil men have no belief that God exists. They are fools. “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.” (Ps. 14:1) But Jehovah God is watching all that is done and he assures us of deliverance. We should not be troubled in mind. Remember the words of the apostle Paul in 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9 (NW): “It is righteous on God’s part to repay tribulation,to those who make tribulation for you, but, to you who suffer tribulation, relief along with us at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with his powerful angels in a flaming fire, as he brings due punishment upon those who do not know God and those who do not obey the good news about our Lord Jesus. These very ones will pay the penalty of everlasting destruction from before the Lord and from the glory of his strength.” Jehovah is not going to withdraw his judgment and the execution of it. Jehovah will send his Son Christ Jesus with his powerful angels, and then there will be retribution. Then God will repay those who have brought tribulation against his servants and tried to interfere with the pure worship. They will pay the penalty of everlasting destruction from before Jehovah.
39. Will Jehovah make a truce or compromise with the wicked?
39 Jehovah says through his prophet Isaiah: ‘There is no peace for the wicked.’ (Isa. 48:22) God’s enemies are doomed. God will not make any bargains or deals with them. Jehovah does not compromise. It is not necessary to compromise when one has almighty power. Jehovah does stand for righteousness and he therefore enforces it. Jehovah will see that his will is done no matter what the wicked men and the Devil and all of his organization say or try to do about it. This day of salvation has a climax. Revelation 16:14 tells us it is the war of the great day of God the Almighty, Armageddon. Armageddon means salvation to Jehovah’s servants.
40. Why is spiritual maturity essential in these crucial times?
40 These are crucial days for Satan’s old world. Troubles are on the increase everywhere, and they will continue in Satan’s divided house. In this period of trouble, much persecution comes upon Jehovah’s servants. But as long as we trust in Jehovah’s deliverance, we are going to be safe. What must we do? What must we have in order to endure? We must grow in spiritual maturity. We must look at things in a spiritual way. We must not view matters as men of the world do, for if we look at things only as they do we shall think as they, that Jehovah’s servants are going to be doomed, that pure worship will be wiped off the face of the earth. Remember the words of the apostle in 1 Corinthians 2:14-16 (NW): “A physical man does not receive the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are examined spiritually. However, the spiritual man examines indeed all things, . . . we do have the mind of Christ.” With the mind of Christ, as spiritual men, we see beyond what the people of the world view. We see from God’s Word of truth what Jehovah is doing now, that his King reigns, and that the time for the execution of his judgment is at hand. We see the New World society in operation. We must have this strong faith to endure. We must keep on in this faith. Then we will go on without fear, just as Daniel went on facing the future without fear, but with full confidence in Jehovah.
41. How can we share in giving the answer to the question of Jesus at Luke 18:8?
41 Christians have this admonition in Hebrews 10:38, 39 (NW): “‘But my righteous one will live by reason of faith,’ and, ‘if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.’ Now we are not the kind that shrink back to destruction, but the kind that have faith to the preserving alive of the soul.” And what kind of faith do we have? Jesus mentioned this in Luke 18:8 (NW), saying that God “will cause justice to be done to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man arrives, will he really find this faith on the earth?” Justice is certain. Jehovah God is in charge of everything, and Jehovah God will see that the evil ones, the wicked ones, receive justice. He will also see that his servants are treated justly by giving them everlasting life. But how many people are there who firmly believe that God will cause justice to be done speedily? Jesus asks: “When the Son of man arrives, will he really find this faith on the earth?” Jehovah’s witnesses are sure that the arriving Son of man did find this faith on the earth and we are determined to keep this kind of faith to the end.
42. Standing firmly in the face of persecution means what?
42 We know for a certainty that Jehovah God will have justice done speedily. Therefore we are fearless, and this is a real blessing to us. This is something that the enemy cannot understand. They do not know why Jehovah’s servants in the face of the worldwide persecution and trouble that are brought against them, with all the reproaches and sneering and mocking laughter, still keep on in their worship of Jehovah. We are following the advice of the apostle Paul in Philippians 1:27, 28 (NW): “Only behave in a manner worthy of the good news about the Christ, . . . standing firm in one spirit, with one soul fighting side by side for the faith of the good news, and in no respect being frightened by your opponents. This very thing is a proof of destruction for them, but of salvation for you; and this indication is from God.” Indeed this is exactly what Jehovah’s witnesses do now. We stand firm in the faith, looking to Jehovah for salvation. And we have this indication of salvation from God, because Jehovah gives us strength, and our enemies see in this fearless stand the token of destruction for them, an indication from God.
43. How does love of Jehovah lead to fearlessness and salvation?
43 How is it that Jehovah’s servants are able to take this fearless position? It is because they love Jehovah God with all their hearts, as it says at 1 John 4:18 (NW): “There is no fear in love, but perfect love throws fear outside, because fear exercises a restraint. Indeed, he that is under fear has not been made perfect in love.” Jehovah’s servants do not allow fear to restrain them from continuing in their worship. They are as fearless and faithful as Daniel. They go on regardless of what mischief men may frame by their decrees and laws, and this keeping on with the proclamation and keeping on in love of Jehovah means their salvation. Out of love for Jehovah we call on Jehovah continually, making public declaration of his name. Jehovah foretold the words of his faithful servant class in this day of salvation. These we find in Psalm 18:1-3 (AS): “I love thee, O Jehovah, my strength. Jehovah is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my rock, in whom I will take refuge; my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower. I will call upon Jehovah, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.” We must join together in this song and continue to praise the name of Jehovah, for by this we shall be saved from our enemies. Yes, this means salvation.
44. What does Daniel 6 show follows the execution of true justice by Jehovah?
44 After the destruction of the wicked conspirators, as mentioned in the prophecy of Daniel 6, a decree of peace was issued throughout all the kingdom. Jehovah’s name, as the only true God, was magnified before the eyes of all the people who remained alive. He was proclaimed as the God of salvation. Also, under that righteous rule Daniel prospered in the kingdom. And what does this show in the prophecy? The prophecy points forward to the everlasting peace of God’s new world. There Jehovah’s position will be respected by all men of good will who live. There Jehovah’s name will be in its proper place and everything that breathes will praise Jehovah. And Jehovah’s anointed witnesses foreshadowed by Daniel will prosper under the righteous reign of Christ Jesus. There they will enjoy Jehovah’s salvation to eternal life.
45. To gain salvation, for what must we now wait?
45 Knowing that these things are sure, we must always have complete trust in Jehovah. No matter how great the persecution might become, no matter how isolated we might become from our brothers for a short time, we can endure it patiently. We shall wait upon Jehovah to act. We shall not take the law into our own hands, and try to throw off our oppressors by any means of force; but we remember the words of Jehovah at Zephaniah 3:8 (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.” Satan’s visible system of things and all the wicked ones will be consumed by the fire of God’s jealousy in the day of his fierce anger. And we are glad to wait for Jehovah to bring this about, knowing he permits persecution now for the same reason that he did in the days of Daniel and Moses—the vindication of his great name.
46, 47. Why should sincere men in the world today take care how they act in dealing with Jehovah’s servants?
46 We read in Zephaniah 1:14, 17, 18 (AS): “The great day of Jehovah is near, it is near and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of Jehovah; the mighty man crieth there bitterly. . . . I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against Jehovah; and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of Jehovah’s wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he will make an end, yea, a terrible end, of all them that dwell in the land.” Today the worldly persecutors of Jehovah’s witnesses think they have everything their own way. They believe they have all the might and power on their side. They would do well, however, to heed the words of Gamaliel to the early persecutors of Jehovah’s witnesses as found in Acts 5:38-40 (NW): “Do not meddle with these men, but let them alone; (because, if this scheme and this work is from men, it will be overthrown; but if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them;) otherwise, you may perhaps be found fighters actually against God.”
47 So Jehovah’s witnesses say to all men of sincerity who may now be among the persecutors of Jehovah’s witnesses: ‘Turn away from that course of action before it is too late, because Jehovah is a living God. Worship Jehovah. Jehovah is with his people, and Jehovah will execute his judgments speedily in this day of salvation.’ In this day of salvation of Jehovah, persecutors of Jehovah’s witnesses are going to find out that they cannot overthrow Jehovah’s servants. Gamaliel’s words are right; this work is of God. Even though they may come in like a flood against Jehovah’s servants, the enemy cannot outmaneuver Jehovah. At the height of their power, the Bible says, they will be destroyed. (Ps. 37:35-39) So no one should be deceived by seeing a great number fighting against God’s people on earth. Those who want to do right should abandon the side of the persecutors and come over on the side of the Almighty Jehovah and his theocratic organization and do good to his servants now, if they want to live in God’s new world of righteousness. There are some officials who show kindness and fairness to Jehovah’s witnesses now. These men are showing kindness to the brothers of Christ Jesus, and they can take much comfort from the statement made in Jesus’ parable about the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25. Here Jesus showed that those who do kindness toward His brothers can expect to have the favor of the King when the judgment is finally dealt out.
48. What should we Christians be found doing in this day for salvation?
48 As for us, Jehovah’s servants, during the years that will yet pass before Armageddon begins, we may expect much opposition to the carrying on of pure worship, but with complete calmness, inward serenity and joy, whether we are persecuted or are not persecuted, let us stand firm. We are certainly not fair-weather Christians. We are serving God in favorable season and in troublesome season. (2 Tim. 4:2, NW) Let us, then, keep on living up to the name, be Jehovah’s witnesses right down to the end—the end of the persecutors, the end of the men who reproach the name of Jehovah God, the end of the great adversary of Jehovah, Satan. Our hope is to see retributive justice executed, and it is near now because this is the day of our salvation.—Amos 9:1-4, 14, 15.