This Generation’s Disgusting Alliance
1. How was Israel perpetuated after both of her desolations?
JEHOVAH gave the nation of Israel a good start, but it refused to hold to the divinely marked path of true worship: “I planted you a choice vine, all true seed; how, then, are you changed to a rank vine, a wild plant? Though you wash yourself with lye, and use much soap, your guilt stands ingrained in my sight.” (Jer. 2:21, 22, AT) Israel’s sins brought on her desolation in 607 B.C. But long before that Isaiah had foretold that a remnant of Israel would return to Jerusalem to reestablish true worship, which in time did happen. (Ezra 1:3, 4; 2:64, 65; Isa. 10:22) Centuries later when Christ came Israel had again backslidden and he foretold the desolation that came A.D. 70; yet again a faithful remnant was delivered and spread true worship, becoming the first members of the Christian organization. Showing how parallel these two periods of Israel’s history were, Isaiah’s prophecy was applied as also having fulfillment in this second deliverance of a remnant.—Rom. 9:27; 11:5.
2. Who now compose the “Israel of God,” and why is Christendom well pictured by rebellious Israel?
2 To this Israelite remnant persons from other nations were added, till in time the complete ordained number of the “Israel of God” was attained. Thus those from many nations became Israelites, spiritually speaking, while rebellious fleshly Israelites were no part of the “Israel of God.” (Gal. 6:16; Rom. 2:28, 29; 9:6; 11:25, 26; 1 Cor. 10:18; Eph. 2:11-19) It was from this pure Christian beginning that divisive sects and cults split off to eventually form present-day backsliding Christendom. (Acts 20:29, 30; 2 Pet. 2:1, 2) From a good start the apostate Christian religions of today have degenerated and Christendom well matches her prototype, the rebellious nation of Israel. But also true to the typical happenings in Israel, there is today a faithful remnant that has separated from Christendom and comprises the last earthly members of the spiritual “Israel of God.”—Rev. 12:17.
3. Of what was Christendom warned, and of what was she expectant?
3 For many years prior to 1914 Christendom was warned of her sins. As early as 1877 the year 1914 was heralded as significant, and from that time onward it was widely publicized. With the coming of 1914 world war started, as Jesus said would happen at the time of his second presence. Thereafter followed the series of events Jesus said would be the sign of his heavenly enthronement as king. (Matt. 24:3-16) So striking were these happenings that religious leaders in Christendom were expecting Christ’s coming, just as the Jews were expecting him A.D. 29. Noteworthy is the publication in 1917 of a Manifesto by several prominent ministers of different denominations, which said, in part: “The revelation of our Lord may be expected at any moment . . . All human schemes of reconstruction must be subsidiary to the second coming of our Lord, because all nations will then be subject to His rule.” But did Christendom heed the warnings about her sins and reform? Did she study the prophecies and world events to discern that Christ was invisibly enthroned in heaven? Were her reconstruction schemes subsidiary to Christ and did she subject herself to his rule? No, she did none of these things. Rather, she did a most disgusting thing!
4. True to her prototype Israel, what did Christendom do in the wake of Christ’s enthronement?
4 True to prophecy, when Christ was enthroned in 1914 the nations were angry and their wrath overflowed in world war. They were unwilling for Christ to rule, and conspired against him by setting up an international ruling body of their own, the League of Nations. The clergy used these angry nations as a church sword to kill the work of announcing Christ’s kingdom. They instigated the stopping of the work and the imprisonment or death of many of Jehovah’s witnesses, falsely charging them with sedition. They used political nations to do to Christ’s followers what the Jewish religious leaders used political Rome to do to Christ himself. Doing this to Christ’s followers is counted the same as doing it to Christ. Christendom’s clergy not only rejected Christ’s kingship over them, but set up and hailed in its place the League of Nations, acclaiming it as the “political expression of the kingdom of God on earth.” Many other blasphemous adulations did they heap upon it, proclaiming that it would do the glorious things that the Bible declares only Christ’s kingdom will accomplish. Thus they showed they were putting it in the place of Christ’s kingdom, that they had chosen it and rejected the enthroned Christ Jesus. Just as the Jewish religionists had done nineteen centuries before, the clergy of Christendom rejected Christ and chose a political combine of Caesar governments.—Ps. 2:1, 2; Matt. 25:40, 45; Rev. 11:8-10, 15, 18.
5. How are unfaithful religions of Christendom fitly pictured, and what will study reveal concerning the League of Nations and the United Nations?
5 This wicked old world under Satan’s godship is an abominable thing in Jehovah’s sight, and when Christendom’s clergy, who claimed to be serving him, allied themselves with politicians to assault the remnant of faithful servants who are part of the “temple of God” and halted the message that was a sacrifice of praise and championed an international political body as world ruler, it was a disgusting thing and will lead to the desolating of Christendom. (Dan. 11:31; 1 Cor. 3:16, 17; Heb. 13:15) This evil mixing into politics on the part of the clergy is spiritual fornication and makes it fitting to symbolize Christendom’s organized religion by a harlotrous woman, as Revelation 17:1, 2 (NW) does: “Come, I will show you the judgment upon the great harlot that sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication.” She is further shown as “sitting upon a scarlet-colored wild beast that was full of blasphemous names and that had seven heads and ten horns.” (Rev. 17:3, NW) Careful study will reveal that the League of Nations and United Nations, both of which Christendom’s clergy have closely associated with and have blasphemously named as accomplishing the work of Christ’s kingdom, are pictured by the scarlet-colored wild beast.
6. (a) How are both the League of Nations and the United Nations nicely pictured at Revelation 17:8? (b) How does the end of the beast come, but before that what does it accomplish?
6 “The wild beast that you saw was, but is not, and yet is destined to ascend out of the abyss, and it is to go off into destruction.” This wild beast first existed as the League of Nations, but in 1939 went into the abyss of inactivity. Then it was not. But in 1945 it ascended out of the abyss as the United Nations and continues to this day. What will lead to its foretold destruction? Listen: “The ten horns that you saw mean ten kings, who have not yet received a kingdom, but they do receive authority as kings one hour with the wild beast. These have one purpose, and so they give their power and authority to the wild beast. These will battle with the Lamb, but, because he is Lord of lords and King of kings, the Lamb will conquer them.” (Rev. 17:8, 12-14, NW) The political rulers come to a showdown battle with the Lamb of God, the enthroned King, Christ Jesus. It results in their annihilation. But before its end note what the ten-horned beast does to the harlot, as a result of divine maneuvering: “And the ten horns that you saw, and the wild beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her devastated and naked, and will eat up her fleshy parts and will completely burn her with fire. For God put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose.” (Rev. 17:16, 17, NW) Thus from among the political paramours with which Christendom’s religion has made alliance comes her desolation.
7. How is religious Christendom’s end at the hand of her political allies in keeping with the historical types, and what is in evidence since 1945?
7 Just as backsliding Israel was desolated by her one-time associate Babylon before that third world power fell, and just as rebellious Israel was devastated by her former ally Rome before that sixth world power disintegrated, so faithless Israel’s modern counterpart will suffer ruin from her chosen United Nations combine before that eighth world power is smashed by the Lamb of God. (Rev. 17:11) Jehovah maneuvered Babylon to execute his judgment against his rebellious people in 607 B.C., and he used the Roman Empire to do it A.D. 70. True to the parallel, he will today put it into the hearts of radical political elements within the United Nations to desolate hypocritical religion at the start of Armageddon. Even now within the United Nations there are a number of member nations, foremost of which is the Soviet Union, that are openly hostile to Christendom and its religions. Some of the horns of the wild beast now ascended out of the abyss point ominously toward the harlot. Since 1945 they constitute a growing political army of militant radicals that menaces Christendom, as her prototype Israel was menaced by encircling armies in 609 B.C. and A.D. 66.
NOW THE TIME TO FLEE!
8. So why has the command to flee taken on more urgency since 1945?
8 Hence since 1945 Jesus’ warning to “begin fleeing to the mountains” “when you catch sight of the disgusting thing that causes desolation” takes on added force and increasing urgency. It is from that time that the disgusting wild beast has been visible in a complete way. When it was present as the League of Nations it did not manifest animosity to any extent toward Christendom’s religions, for it did not have in its ranks member nations in good standing that made religion the target of their hate. The antitypical Jerusalem, Christendom, was not surrounded by enemy forces; but since the reappearance of the wild beast in 1945 it embraces nations of militant, crusading, aggressive political elements whose radical horns of power are threateningly aimed at Christendom and its religions. Who can deny Christendom’s fear as she sees these hostile forces rising up on every side, and even her hysteria as she frantically tries to ferret out such radicals from her own governments? They read the handwriting on the wall. So certainly it is time for Bible believers to see and discern the disgusting thing and flee the desolation it will cause.
9. Where should lovers of righteousness flee?
9 Flee where? To the mountains. Literal ones? No, that would bring no safety at Armageddon. (Amos 9:2, 3) The mountains must be outside the realm of Christendom, just as the literal ones to which Christians fled A.D. 66 were outside Jerusalem and Judah. The mountains to which lovers of righteousness now flee in obedience to Christ’s command are the New World theocratic system of things Jehovah has created. (Isa. 65:17) This new system of things is entirely separate from this old world that rapidly approaches the end of its days, and to the symbolical mountains peoples of all nations go to learn true 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.” (Isa. 2:2, 3, Da) There only is safety found.
10. In what several features does Christendom’s case parallel the historical types of 607 B.C. and A.D. 70?
10 Many thousands are now fleeing there and finding that safety. Thousands more will yet come. Those lovers of righteousness who have not yet fled should remember the typical events of 607 B.C. and A.D. 70. As in those cases, Christendom has been warned of her sins, her political alliances, her fate from those political cronies, and she has rejected the warning. She has chosen Caesar governments instead of Christ—a disgusting thing that seals her desolation. She, like the Jews, has not discerned the time of her inspection and judgment. (Matt. 25:31, 32; Luke 19:44) She refuses to flee herself; she hinders those who would flee. She tried to make the faithful anointed remnant of the “Israel of God” permanent captives of Satan’s system, but Jehovah delivered the remnant. Now she tries to block the flight of men of good will. Those who do flee she accuses of being unpatriotic, of being seditious; and some she has killed. But she cannot halt the ingathering to the new system of things. Those fleeing to the symbolical mountains will remember what befell the Jews that delayed flight or tried to salvage worldly wealth, contrary to Jesus’ instructions. Without delay and without worldliness they will flee, appreciating that we now live in the urgent period parallel to 609-607 B.C. and A.D. 66-70. As Jehovah did then, so now he allows opportunity for flight. Seize it, now or never!
11. So how do Christians reason on the matter of religion in politics?
11 Christians cannot serve two masters, cannot be for both Satan’s world and Christ’s kingdom. (Matt. 6:24; Jas 1:27) The clergy say we are to blame for corrupt government by not voting; we say they share the blame by their voting. (1 Tim. 5:22) We must not enter politics to clean it up; we must escape its plagues by staying out. (Rev. 18:4) To shun politics puts us on the defensive before men; by entering it the clergy are on the defensive before God. For separateness we may be accused of sedition against Caesar, but for mixing in the clergy are guilty of adultery against God. Men are indignant when a wife wrongs her husband; they are indifferent when the clergy wrong God. Nevertheless, just as a wife in adultery means strife with her husband, so religion in politics means war with God. Fear God, not the world. It looks big if we face it alone. If we face it with God it is no more than a drop in the bucket, no more than a speck on the scales. And who is afraid of a drop of water, or scared of a speck of dust?