Healing of the Nations Has Drawn Near
1. In what way do the nations have much need of healing today?
HEALING of the nations is very much needed in these days of trouble within nations and between nations. World physicians all realize this fact. The whole world is in a very sick condition. When saying this we do not think of just the human bodies of mankind, but especially of the moral, religious and political conditions everywhere. What will happen if healing of the political nations does not come soon, in our own lifetime? We all have reason to care.
2. How did President Sukarno of Indonesia show that the nations of the world need healing?
2 Outstanding politicians of the world are disturbed. They are trying to act as healers, physicians, of the world. Recently President Achmed Sukarno of Indonesia said a pointed thing. Himself a devout Mohammedan, he is the leader of a nation of eighty-two million, of whom nine out of every ten are Mohammedans. Yet President Sukarno flew 900 miles from the nation’s capital into Sumatra to speak to a gathering of people of a different religion. It was called the Eastern Asia Christian Conference, and the 120 delegates there came from twenty-four nations. They represented the World Council of Churches, the headquarters of which are in Geneva, Switzerland. President Sukarno heard a Protestant minister on the platform say to the crowd of about a thousand persons of many languages: “We will all read the Lord’s prayer—each in his own tongue.” Later that March 17, 1957, President Sukarno addressed the outdoor meeting and he also spoke at his hotel. He explained that one of the five philosophical principles on which Indonesia based is “belief in God.” This world is in a “troubled situation,” he said, and he added that “man spoke with his mouth of world peace but that man was also making weapons of self-destruction.” Like a physician at the bedside of someone dangerously ill, he said: “We are living in the crisis of man.” (New York Times, March 20, 1957) Certainly a clear-headed physician would say that if people said one thing but did just the opposite they would be morally sick and mentally ill, not to speak of being religiously disordered—split personalities.
3. As noted in the Far East, what did President Eisenhower pledge to the healing of this divided world?
3 Another president has put himself forward as a world healer. The Far East took note of the remedy that he offered. On January 22, 1957, the China Post of Taipei, Taiwan (or, Formosa), came out with a front-page headline: “Ike Pledges US Might, Wealth To Help Heal World Division In 2nd Inaugural Address.” Then with reference to the second inauguration of Dwight D. Eisenhower as president of the United States of America, this only English-language newspaper of Free China published this CNA-UP news dispatch of January 21, from Washington, D.C.: “President Eisenhower today pledged America’s might and wealth to help ‘heal this divided world’ and bring it peace with justice under law. To achieve this goal ‘will be hard’ and ‘we must be . . . ready to pay its full price,’ the President said. ‘High will be its cost,’ he said, ‘in toil patiently sustained, in help honorably given, in sacrifice calmly borne.’ Eisenhower proclaimed America’s ‘deep involvement in the destiny of men everywhere.’”
4. (a) In what book did Eisenhower’s talk about healing this world have its roots? (b) At what scripture in this book did his hand rest when he was being sworn in as president?
4 Few men will realize that President Eisenhower’s talk about healing of this divided world had its roots in the Holy Bible, the book sacred to both Jews and Christians. But note these facts: When Eisenhower was sworn into office the second time he had his hand on the open copy of the American Standard Version of the Bible, given him by his mother when he was about to graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1915. His hand rested on the scripture at Psalm 33:12, which reads: “Blessed is the nation whose God is Jehovah, the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” This was as if to suggest that the United States of America should be that blessed “nation whose God is Jehovah,” and that, to become blessed, all nations of the earth must each be a nation having Jehovah as its God.
5. When Eisenhower was sworn in for the first time as president at what scripture did his left hand rest?
5 But Eisenhower’s mention of “healing” for this divided world throws us back to the days of his first inauguration as president four years before this, in 1953. When being sworn in then he had his left hand on two copies of the Bible. The one copy, the so-called George Washington Bible, was opened at Psalm 127:1, which reads: “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” The other copy, General Eisenhower’s gift Bible, with his full name inscribed in gold letters on the black leather binding, was opened at 2 Chronicles 7:14, which reads: “If my people who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”—New York Times, January 20 and 21, 1953.
6. Therefore what question do we ask concerning the healing of this world, including America?
6 Likely General Eisenhower felt that the land of America needed to be healed after the administration of the previous president; but did not the other nations of the world need healing also? Less than two months after General Eisenhower first became president the mighty Russian Communist dictator, Joseph Stalin, died, but has the condition of the nations of the world got better? In President Eisenhower’s second term of office, more than four years after he swore solemnly with his hand at 2 Chronicles 7:14, has the land of America been healed by him and other American politicians, and by business leaders and religious clergymen? Is the divided world being healed, thanks to the might and wealth of the United States of America that were pledged to this?
7. What world events and conditions since January 20, 1953, testify that the remedy of America cannot but fail to heal this divided world? And why cannot America itself alone be healed?
7 The explosion of the first hydrogen bombs by democratic and Communist powers since January 20, 1953; the failure of disarmament conference after disarmament conference; the continued aim of the Communist giant to expand his present domination of one third of the earth to full world domination, together with the grim determination of the noncommunist nations to resist him; the working away by scientists on both sides to bring into existence long-range missiles able to fly with atomic warheads for thousands of miles, even from one continent to another, to reach the far-off enemy with roaring, widespread destruction; the hatreds, jealousies, suspicions and rivalries between nations large and small; the numberless religious differences between peoples and communities; and the spirit of lovelessness, and, seemingly, some unseen, irresistible, superhuman demonic force that steadily drives the nations on in a mad course nearer and nearer to ruin and destruction—all of this eloquently testifies that the remedy of even the richest and most powerful nation on the earth cannot but fail to heal this divided world. Failure to heal means nothing less than the death of this world with all the consequences of that to earth’s population of two billion five hundred million. If the United States of America is to be healed, the rest of the world must also be healed. For today no nation lives to itself. No nation can stand alone. No nation can keep from catching the infectious disease that is bringing the sick nations to their grave.
8. (a) How can anyone announce as good news that the healing of the nations has drawn near? (b) Who was the one that spoke the words of healing at 2 Chronicles 7:14, to whom did he speak such words, and why?
8 How, then, can anyone announce as good news that the healing of the nations has drawn near? We can announce so when we look in the right direction for the healing and when we look into the cases of the hundreds of thousands of all nations that have already received the healing remedy and that are on their way to complete recovery and perfect health. When, with his hand on the open Bible, General Eisenhower swore to be faithful in the presidency he felt he was swearing before God. When he had his hand at 2 Chronicles 7:14 in that sacred Book he had his hand at God’s words to another ruler, who long ago ruled in the Near East all the way from the river of Egypt on the south to the Euphrates River on the north, a territory with many different people in it. God spoke those words to the wisest ruler of ancient times, King Solomon, the son of David, who reigned in the holy city of Jerusalem centuries before the eras of Buddhism and of Confucianism began. King Solomon’s land was then in a healthy condition, for it had the one thing necessary for real health, namely, the true religion, and it was living in harmony with that religion. King Solomon had just built a temple and dedicated it to God, and now God made an appearance to him and spoke these words. God looked forward to the time when King Solomon’s nation would fall away from this healthy condition and when the land would suffer the punishment of plagues. So God told him how the land might be brought back to health.
9. How do we know that the God who spoke those words was not Jesus Christ?
9 But who was this God with the power to heal a nation? Was it Jesus Christ? No; for this Jesus was yet to be a fleshly descendant of King Solomon more than a thousand years later. No, but Bible history itself says at 2 Chronicles 7:12-14 (AS): “And Jehovah appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for a house of sacrifice. If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my peoples; if my people who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” With inspired authority the Bible says that the one that made such a comforting promise to King Solomon was the God who alone has the name Jehovah.
10. How do the two scriptures used at Eisenhower’s inauguration apply to those people who were called by Jehovah’s name?
10 He spoke of King Solomon’s people as “my people who are called by my name.” They were the people to whom the president’s inauguration verse at Psalm 33:12 (AS) referred, saying: “Blessed is the nation whose God is Jehovah, the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” And if this people bearing God’s name tried to build a house or guard a city without his help and oversight, it would be just as it was said in the president’s other inauguration verse, at Psalm 127:1 (AS): “Except Jehovah build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except Jehovah keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” Long before, in the Sinai Peninsula and near what is now the Gulf of Suez, he had said to this same people these words of meaning for all peoples: “I am Jehovah that healeth thee.”—Ex. 15:26, AS.
WHY ALL NATIONS ARE AILING
11. In what other nation do we see illustrated the root of the trouble and the remedy thereof?
11 From their very beginning all the nations of this old world have been ailing, and that includes the young nation of modern Israel. Their sickly condition is now coming to a grand climax. Why has this serious condition arisen? What is the root of the trouble, that we may know what is the only remedy to be applied for us to be healed? The answer to this vital question is given us in a national example. No, not in the modern-day Israel, whose very existence the Arab world hates, but in the twelve-tribe nation of Israel of more than two thousand five hundred years ago, the nation that produced the lawgiver, Moses, and King David and King Solomon. In the Sinai Peninsula, at Mount Sinai, Moses acted as a go-between between Jehovah God and men and brought these into a national agreement with God. Through Moses, God gave that ancient nation of Israel his special laws.
12. Because of their descent from what man did God choose that nation of Israel, and what promises of healing to the nations did God make through this man?
12 Back there Moses told Israel that Jehovah God had not chosen the nation because of what they were in themselves. To the contrary, it was because their great-grandfather was the Hebrew named Abraham, and this Abraham really believed in Jehovah as God and obeyed him and was called for this “Jehovah’s friend.” (Deut. 7:6-9; 2 Chron. 20:7; Isa. 41:8; Jas. 2:23) God specially promised to his friend Abraham that there was to come a healing to all the nations of the earth, and that Abraham and his offspring or descendants would have a part in that wonderful healing work. God’s promises to Abraham were: “By you all the families of the earth will bless themselves.” “And by your descendants shall all the nations of the earth bless themselves, because you have obeyed my voice.” (Gen. 12:3; 22:18, RS) In view of those promises, let no one today make a mistake and think this means the modern nation of Israel. It is true that the modern Israelis can show they are natural descendants of ancient Abraham, but that mere line of descent does not make them the seed of blessing, not even to the eighty other nations in the United Nations organization to which Israel belongs. Today no one sees the nations of the earth blessing themselves by the nation of Israel and getting healed. The healing of people of all nations has drawn near in our day by means other than that modern nation of this divided world.
13. How did Psalm 33:12 apply to Israel under King Solomon, and of what was their national condition then a prophetic picture?
13 In the days of King Solomon, almost three thousand years ago, it could be said of his people: “Blessed is the nation whose God is Jehovah, the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” (Ps. 33:12, AS) The nation of the twelve tribes was united in the worship of Jehovah. They worked together in building a glorious temple to him at Jerusalem. They kept their part of their agreement or covenant with him by obeying his commandments. So he kept his part of the covenant by blessing them with protection from their enemies and with prosperity. The history of King Solomon’s reign tells us: “Judah and Israel were many, like the grains of sand that are by the sea for multitude, eating and drinking and rejoicing. As for Solomon, he proved to be ruler over all the kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines and to the boundary of Egypt. They were bringing gifts and serving Solomon all the days of his life.” (1 Ki. 4:20, 21) That was a prophetic picture of what it will be like on earth when Jehovah God heals all mankind by bringing the blessing that he promised through Abraham.
14. What queen came a long distance to see and hear Solomon’s wisdom for herself, and afterward what was she honest enough to admit concerning Solomon’s people?
14 Even the queen of Sheba came a distance of one thousand five hundred miles, from the southwestern tip of the Arabian Peninsula near modern Aden, just to learn for herself about Solomon’s wisdom. After seeing what he had done and how wise he was as a king, the queen of Sheba said to Solomon: “You have surpassed in wisdom and prosperity the things heard to which I listened. Happy are your men, happy are those servants of yours who are standing before you constantly, listening to your wisdom! May Jehovah your God come to be blessed, who has taken delight in you by putting you upon the throne of Israel, because Jehovah loves Israel to time indefinite, so that he appointed you as king to render judicial decision and righteousness.” (1 Ki. 10:1-9) Thus this non-Israelite queen was honest enough to admit that Jehovah God had chosen those descendants of faithful Abraham as his inheritance that he might be their God, and that for this reason those Israelites were blessed at that time, about three thousand years ago.
15. How was Israel divided after Solomon’s death, and what destructions took place upon those parts of the nation down to 607 before Christ, and why?
15 But examine Israel’s history after the death of King Solomon. The nation became divided into two kingdoms, the kingdom of Israel with its capital in the north and the kingdom of Judah with its capital at Jerusalem and with the son of Solomon as king. Why was that? Because in his later life King Solomon fell away from his heavenly wisdom and turned away from the God of his father, King David. The northern kingdom of Israel lasted for 257 years. Then it was destroyed by the world power of Assyria. Why? Because it, too, fell away from the worship of Jehovah at Jerusalem and took up the worship of the idol, the golden bull, and later the false god Baal and his consort Astarte, or Ashtoreth. The kingdom of Judah lasted for 390 years after Solomon’s death. Then in the year 607 before Christ its temple to Jehovah was destroyed, its holy city of Jerusalem was razed to the ground, and the few thousands of Israelites who lived through this destruction were mostly taken to Babylon, the land of their conquerors, and the land of Judah was left to become a wild waste, shunned by all who passed by. Why? Because these Jews, or people of Judah, forsook Jehovah, the God of their forefather Abraham. Without Him as God, how could they be blessed?
16. How was that people and their land healed, and of what fact do we thus have a historical proof?
16 Certainly that people then needed healing; certainly their sacred land needed healing. Did the healing come? Yes, seventy years after the destruction of the holy city of Jerusalem. Why? Because Jehovah God did not then cast them off from being his chosen people. As exiles in Babylon, or in what is now the Arab kingdom of Iraq, many of the Israelites sorrowed for having broken their covenant with Jehovah God and they turned again to his worship. For his own name’s sake Jehovah God did then what he had promised to do when they returned to him. He healed them. He healed their land by bringing them back from exile and peopling it with them, that there they might again worship him at a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem. In this way the great Physician bound up their broken hearts and blessed their plagued land so that it became like the garden of Eden, like the paradise in which God, the Creator, put the first man and woman, Adam and Eve. (Ezek. 36:32-36) The historical proof is thus before us that Almighty God Jehovah can heal a nation, provided it makes him its one and only God.
17. (a) Why is there no temple to Jehovah today on Mount Moriah? (b) To find out whether Israel has been healed by the setting up of the republic in 1948 what questions must we ask and have answered?
17 Today, about two thousand five hundred years since then, we look at the hills where the sacred city of Jerusalem used to be located. Where is the temple to Jehovah on the hill or mountain of Moriah? It is not. It was destroyed by the Roman world power in the year 70 of the Christian era. Was this for the same reason as in 607 before Christ? Yes. It was because the Israelites fell away from worshiping Jehovah. For this decisive reason their holy city was besieged for several months and captured and destroyed, along with its temple, and the 97,000 Israelites that lived through the horrible destruction were carried away captive and scattered to the ends of the earth, where many are to be found today. But has not their nation been healed since 1948, when the republic of Israel was set up in the midst of the Arab nations? Has not their land been healed by all the farming and gardening and oil digging that the Israelis are doing? To answer these questions with hard facts we must ask, Has the temple to Jehovah been rebuilt upon Mount Moriah? Is the nation of modern Israel trusting in him for protection against all its enemies? Are the Israelis eating and drinking and rejoicing under Jehovah’s king of the tribe of Judah and of the royal family of David as in the days of King Solomon, the anointed son of David? Is their land flourishing like the garden of Eden? Are they happy as Jehovah’s people, bearing his holy name as his witnesses?
18. Why is the answer to all these questions No?
18 Why is the answer to all of these questions No? Because they today are not “the nation whose God is Jehovah”; they are no longer “the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” (Ps. 33:12, AS) To hold on to the unscriptural traditions of their forefathers and to keep following false religious teachers, Israel cast away Jehovah as God. In turn Jehovah cast away that faithless nation as his people and removed his name from them. He has since put his name upon those worthy to bear it and to act as his witnesses.
19. How did Jesus Christ himself tell those Israelites so nineteen hundred years ago, and what fruits is the republic of Israel today bringing forth?
19 Nineteen hundred years ago Jesus Christ himself told those Israelites so. He said to them: “Why is it you also overstep the commandment of God because of your tradition? . . . And so you have made the word of God invalid because of your tradition. You hypocrites, Isaiah aptly prophesied about you, when he said: ‘This people honors me with their lips, yet their hearts are far removed from me. It is in vain that they keep paying respect to me, because they teach commands of men as doctrines.’” And a few days before such Israelites put Jesus Christ to death for the sake of their man-made traditions, he told them that they had rejected the promised descendant of King David, whom Jehovah God had anointed and sent, and then he added: “This is why I say to you, The kingdom of God will be taken from you and be given to a nation producing its fruits.” (Matt. 15:1-9; 21:42, 43) Since it is to be judged by its fruits, we ask, Is the republic of Israel today bringing forth the fruits of the kingdom of God in proof that they are his nation? No; no more than their forefathers nineteen hundred years ago did. Jesus’ sentential words to them continue true until now: “Look! your house is abandoned to you.” (Matt. 23:38) To this day they have no temple at its old location in Jerusalem. To this day they have no priesthood of the chosen family of Aaron, the brother of Moses. Their government is not a theocracy. Their republic is trying to bring forth the fruits of the United Nations organization.
WHICH IS THE HEALED NATION?
20. How did Jesus Christ come to Israel, and why was he called Jesus, and how did he become Christ?
20 Nineteen hundred years ago Jesus Christ came as a healer to the religious nation of Israel in the Middle East. The greatest physician of all, Jehovah God the perfect Healer, sent him, even down from heaven, for there was no human healer anywhere on earth. In fact, his name Jesus is the short form for the full name that means “Jehovah Is Salvation,” whereas his title Christ means “Anointed One,” that is, the one anointed by Jehovah with his holy spirit. Because this one was to be a healer from Jehovah God, the angel that told of his coming birth said concerning his virgin mother: “She will give birth to a son, and you must call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matt. 1:20, 21) When Jesus became thirty years old his cousin named John dipped him in the waters of the Jordan River, and when he came up out of the water there was a sign from heaven showing that God was there anointing the baptized Jesus with his invisible active force or spirit. (Matt. 3:13-17) Thus he became Jesus the Christ or Anointed One. Then he began the work for which he was anointed.
21. How did Jesus prove himself a healer, and what did his disciple Peter say about him?
21 On earth Jesus Christ proved himself to be a healer, although most of the Israelites rejected his services as a healer. Of course, Jesus Christ has a historical record for doing marvelous healing, curing the sick instantly, cleansing the diseased ones in a moment, giving back to cripples the normal position and use of their members, and even raising the dead to life, bringing one person right out of his tomb, where he had lain dead for four days. Jesus even shared his power to heal with his close followers. One of these, Peter by name, said: “God anointed him with holy spirit and power, and he went through the land doing good and healing all those oppressed by the Devil, because God was with him. And we are witnesses of all the things he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem.”—Acts 10:38, 39.
22. What was the greater healing by Jesus, and how did Isaiah’s prophecy speak of this, as Jesus read it in Nazareth?
22 However, Jesus’ greater healing was of the people’s hearts and minds, a religious healing, a spiritual healing. This the entire nation needed regardless of whether they were bodily sick or not. They were all living under the Roman world power that worshiped all kinds of false gods and goddesses. Jesus tried to comfort the liberty-lovers and bind up their hearts by preaching, “The kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.” He could preach that because he himself was the one whom Jehovah God had anointed to be the king in the coming kingdom of God. (Matt. 4:12-17; Luke 17:20, 21) Once he went back to Nazareth where he used to be a carpenter and in their synagogue he preached. He took the prophetic book of Isaiah and read these words: “Jehovah’s spirit is upon me, because he anointed me to declare good news to the poor, he sent me forth to preach a release to the captives and a recovery of sight to the blind, to send the crushed ones away with a release, to preach Jehovah’s acceptable year.” After that he said to them: “Today this scripture that you Just heard is fulfilled.” (Luke 4:16-21) But the Nazarenes there turned down the healing Jesus offered them.
23. What freedom and salvation did Jesus offer them, but what did they prefer?
23 As the Nazarenes went, so went the whole nation. Jesus said to them: “If you remain in my word, you are really my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” But they refused the freedom that he offered them by the truth. (John 8:31, 32) They did not get free from the oppressions of Satan the Devil, the false “god of this world.” They needed to be saved from their sins, but they turned away from Jesus, who became a human sacrifice for sins, “the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29, 36) They preferred sheep, goats, bulls and pigeons as sacrifices instead of Jesus’ perfect, sinless human body; they did not want him as God’s true High Priest with the only acceptable sacrifice. They did not seek to understand his message from God, nor believe the miraculous signs that he performed.
24. What prophecy of Isaiah did Bible history writers apply to those Israelites, and because of refusing spiritual healing what did they finally do to Jesus?
24 For that reason the Bible history writers applied to those unbelieving Israelites God’s words through the prophet Isaiah: “Toward them the prophecy of Isaiah is having fulfillment which says: ‘By hearing, you will hear but by no means get the sense of it; and, looking, you will look but by no means see. For the heart of this people has grown thick, and with their ears they have heard with annoyance, and they have shut their eyes; that they might never see with their eyes and hear with their ears and get the sense of it with their hearts and turn back, and I heal them.’” (Matt. 13:14, 15; John 12:39, 40; Acts 28:24-28) Refusing spiritual healing through the Son of God, they were doomed to die spiritually. That is why in their spiritually diseased condition they finally put him to death on a torture stake, in the year 33.
25. How can it be that healing of the nations has now drawn near, and what warning can all the nations take from those Israelites who refused Jesus Christ as healer?
25 But Jehovah’s great Healer lives again! That is why the healing of the nations has drawn near, for he lives now with all power in heaven and in earth as the descendant of Abraham through whom the blessing was promised to come to all the families and nations of the earth. On the third day the greatest Healer of all, Jehovah God Almighty, raised the good Physician from the dead and restored him to a place in heaven, but clothed him with still greater powers in a higher position. But let all the nations of the earth take warning: Those in Israel who refused Jesus Christ were cast off as a nation and they never did get healed spiritually. Being spiritually sick and doomed to death under the continued oppressions of the Devil, they were not given the kingdom of God and never did bring forth its fruits. Look at the nation of Israel today!
26. How can we know which one is the nation to whom Jesus said the Kingdom would be given?
26 Since Jesus told ancient Israel that the kingdom of God would be taken away from them, which one, then, is the nation to whom he said it would be given? By its fruitage we can tell which nation it is, for it must bring forth the fruitage of the kingdom of God. To be given the kingdom of God, it must accept the kingdom of God.
27. (a) Before Pontius Pilate what fruits did the national leaders of Israel bring forth? (b) Why can the nation to whom the Kingdom is given not be any worldly nation?
27 Jesus, as Jehovah God’s Anointed One, came to the Israelite nation with a message: “The kingdom of God has drawn near. Be repentant and have faith in the good news.” (Mark 1:14, 15) Certainly the national leaders of the Israelites were not repentant and did not accept the Kingdom when they urged the Roman governor Pontius Pilate to put Jesus to death, saying: “This man we found subverting our nation and forbidding the paying of taxes to Caesar and saying he himself is Christ a king.” Neither when they overcame the governor’s objections by shouting: “Every man making himself a king speaks against Caesar,” and, “We have no king but Caesar.” (Luke 23:1, 2 and John 19:12-15) By thus working to have Jesus hanged on a torture stake by the soldiers of the Roman Caesar, those Israelites were bringing forth the fruits of the kingdom of Caesar, the persecutor of Christians. So they were the nation from whom the kingdom of God was taken away, not the nation to whom it was given. The nation favored with God’s kingdom is no political nation of this old world. No worldly nation from that day until now could be that favored nation, for when Jesus was on trial for his life before the Roman governor he said: “My kingdom is no part of this world. If my kingdom were part of this world, my attendants would have fought that I should not be delivered up to the Jews. But, as it is, my kingdom is not from this source.” (John 18:36) No, his is the “kingdom of the heavens,” not of earthly, human source.
28. What kind of nation is it to whom the Kingdom is given, and when did it begin?
28 The nation to whom the kingdom of God was given is the nation that accepts the kingdom of God. It is the nation that accepts Jesus Christ as the one whom Jehovah God anointed with his spirit to be the king of that nation. It is no political nation, nor any nations of this old world who claim their own earthly sovereignty. It is a spiritual nation, a new nation that claims to have citizenship in the heavens with Jesus Christ. This spiritual new nation with its governmental capital in the heavens began on the festival day of Pentecost, that is, fifty days after Jehovah God raised his anointed king from the dead and exalted him to his own right hand in the heavens.
29. On that day how did Peter use the first of the keys to open the understanding of the Kingdom, and how did about 3,000 become part of the nation to whom the kingdom of God was given?
29 On that day at Jerusalem, the apostle Peter to whom Jesus now gave the “keys of the kingdom of the heavens” used the first of these keys by preaching to over three thousand Israelites and opening up their understanding of the kingdom of the heavens. Peter said to them that King David had not ascended to heaven to become a heavenly king, but he was still dead and buried till that day. David wrote Psalm 110 and only prophesied about Jesus Christ who would be raised from the dead and ascend to God’s heavenly throne. Said Peter: “Actually David did not ascend to the heavens, but he himself says, ‘Jehovah said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies a stool for your feet.’” Therefore let all the house of Israel know for a certainty that God made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you impaled.” Then and there about three thousand Israelites and proselytes repented and accepted Jesus as both Lord and Christ and were baptized, and with Peter they became part of the nation to whom God’s kingdom was given to bring forth its fruitage.—Acts 2:29-41.
30. When and how did Peter use the second of the keys, and who have ever since been made a part of the nation bearing the Kingdom’s fruits?
30 Less than three and one-half years later, about October 1, A.D. 36, Peter on earth was given the second of the keys of the kingdom of the heavens. From Joppa in the Middle East he was sent north to Caesarea to preach, this time not to circumcised Israelites, but to uncircumcised non-Israelites, Italians. There at the home of Cornelius, a military officer of the Italian band, Peter told his hearers how God had raised Jesus from the dead and had made him Lord in the heavens: “Also he ordered us to preach to the people and to give a thorough witness that this is the One decreed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone putting faith in him gets forgiveness of sins through his name.” Italian Cornelius and the others listening believed the Kingdom message that Peter was preaching to them, for while Peter was still speaking Jehovah God through Jesus Christ poured down his holy spirit upon Cornelius and his fellow believers. Under this active force from heaven they began speaking in languages different from their own and glorifying God. This was audible proof that God had made these uncircumcised non-Jews a part of his new spiritual nation and had given them the kingdom of God that they might bring forth its fruitage. In the face of that, Peter “commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.” (Acts 10:1-48) Ever since Peter thus used the second of the keys of the kingdom of heaven, believers who are not Israelites by birth have been taken in and made a part of this nation that does bear the fruits of God’s kingdom.
31. How did Peter write to that nation to show their identity and that they were a healed nation?
31 To the members of this spiritual nation Peter wrote later on. He called attention to how his own earthly nation of Israel had rejected Jesus Christ as king and had therefore ceased to be the chosen nation of God, thus obliging God to bring forth a new nation. Then Peter said to these anointed believers of Christ the Lord: “You are ‘a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for special possession, that you should declare abroad the excellencies’ of the one that called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. For you were once not a people, but are now God’s people; you were those who had not been shown mercy, but are now those who have been shown mercy.” Then Peter goes on to show that this nation is one that has received God’s healing, the nation that has had its sins forgiven and has had the breach between it and God healed up through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ: “He himself by imputation bore our sins in his own body upon the stake, in order that we might be done with sins and live to righteousness. And ‘by his stripes you were healed’. For you were like sheep, going astray, but now you have returned to the shepherd and overseer of your souls.” (1 Pet. 2:7-10, 24, 25) It is only through a healed nation that God’s healing can be held out to people of all nations.
ANY HEALING FOR CHRISTENDOM?
32. Why is not that healed nation the citizen-body of the United States of America?
32 Never before has there been greater need for spiritual healing from God than now. Happily there are some of that healed nation on earth today. No, these healed ones are not the citizen-body of the United States of America, even though Eisenhower was sworn in again as the president with his hand on the open Bible at Psalm 33:12 (AS). As much as the United States of America may have given of its money and medical programs and services to bettering the health of backward nations of the world, it is not the chosen nation whose God is Jehovah and to whom all other nations may look for the spiritual healing that leads to everlasting life in the perfection of health in God’s new world. Who on earth will say that the United States is today bringing forth the fruits of the kingdom of Jehovah God? Who will deny that the United States is backing up, not God’s kingdom of the heavens, but the United Nations organization, which is just as much divided politically and religiously as this old world is divided? How can the United States be God’s nation to bring healing to people of all nations when it is itself in need of healing spiritually? Not less than the United States with its hundreds of so-called Christian religions, all the other nations of so-called Christendom need healing spiritually, not to speak of healing mentally and physically.
33. What hard facts show whether Christendom has accepted spiritual healing?
33 Christendom now claims to be God’s nation. Will she accept his spiritual healing that she in turn may offer this lifegiving healing to others? Not at all; no more than Jerusalem of nineteen centuries ago accepted spiritual healing through Jesus Christ and escaped destruction. Bible prophecy, backed up by world events since the outbreak of World War I in 1914, proves that in that year God’s kingdom of the heavens was established with Jesus Christ at his right hand. Particularly since the close of World War I Jehovah’s witnesses, with their earthly headquarters in the United States of America, have been bringing forth the fruits of God’s kingdom by fulfilling this prophecy that Jesus Christ gave concerning the end of the world: “This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for the purpose of a witness to all the nations, and then the accomplished end will come.” (Matt. 24:14) Has all Christendom, especially the United States of America, accepted the Kingdom good news and received spiritual healing and begun bringing forth the fruits of God’s kingdom? Christendom’s persecution and hatred of those who preach the Kingdom good news thunders out a deafening No! Consequently, as against more than 804,000,000 who claim to be Christians of hundreds of different religious sects, there are only about 700,000 witnesses of Jehovah who are preaching this good news of God’s established kingdom in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations before their end comes in the universal war of the great day of God the Almighty.—Rev. 16:14, 16.
34. Why will Christendom die forever, and why should we avoid her?
34 Let no one look to divided Christendom for God’s healing work to come through her. Concerning her religious leaders the prophecy of Jeremiah says: “For every one from the least even unto the greatest is given to covetousness; from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. And they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” Then, describing the expectations of the backers of Christendom, the prophecy adds: “We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of healing, and, behold, dismay!” (Jer. 8:10, 11, 15, AS) As with Jerusalem of ancient days, so with her religious counterpart today, Christendom, there is no healing of her. She has to die, forever! She will continue to prefer Caesar to Christ. She will continue to prefer the United Nations organization to God’s kingdom of the heavens, until she finds herself with all the rest of the unhealed world at Armageddon, the field of final battle with Jehovah, the God Almighty. There, at war with him instead of at peace with him, she will be dealt her Armageddon blow by his hand, and from this there will never be any recovery for her. Regarding her and all her worldly allies the witnesses of Jehovah today say as his witnesses said regarding Babylon of long ago: “We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country; for her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies.” (Jer. 51:9, AS; Rev. 18:1-5) Infection that leads to death, not healing that leads to life, comes through Christendom. Avoid her!
CHANNEL OF HEALING
35. Why will the old world die within this generation of men, and yet why is spiritual healing now at hand for people of all nations?
35 This divided world and its nations and man-made systems are incurable. Destruction, not healing, has drawn near for them. Neither Jehovah God nor Jesus Christ is trying to convert this old world to save it. It is on its deathbed and the prophecies of God’s Word foretell its end within the generation of men that has been living since 1914. (Matt. 24:33, 34) Nonetheless, “healing of the nations” has drawn near, in that spiritual healing that leads to everlasting life in God’s new world is now at hand for people of all nations. No one of any nationality is barred from going to Jehovah God for this healing. The reason for this is that the kingdom of our Father in heaven, prayed for whenever anyone repeats the Lord’s prayer, rules in the heavens. It has been ruling since 1914, when Jehovah God enthroned and crowned his Son Jesus Christ at his right hand and commanded him to rule in the midst of his enemies and dash them to pieces at the coming battle of Armageddon. (Matt. 6:9, 10; Ps. 110:1-6) From this kingdom of God and his Christ, the sacrificed Lamb of God, there now flows a healing stream from which all may drink regardless of nationality, race, color, language or previous religion. This is lovelily pictured for us in prophetic symbols in the last chapter in the Bible:
36 “And he showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, flowing out from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of its broad way. And on this side of the river and on that side there were trees of life producing twelve crops of fruit, yielding their fruits each month. And the leaves of the trees were for the curing [or, healing] of the nations. And no more will there be any curse. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in [the city], and his slaves will render him sacred service, . . . And the spirit and the bride keep on saying, ‘Come!’ And let anyone hearing say, ‘Come!’ And let anyone thirsting come; let anyone that wishes take life’s water free.”—Rev. 22:1-3, 17, margin.
37. Why did the remnant of the New Jerusalem need spiritual healing in 1918?
37 The city down the broad way of which this river of water of life flows is the New Jerusalem, that spiritual nation of disciples that Jehovah God marries to the Lamb Jesus Christ as his bride. Of this spiritual nation that is in line for the heavenly New Jerusalem there is a faithful remnant of some thousands yet upon the earth. During World War I these citizens of the New Jerusalem suffered greatly at the hands of the enemies of God’s kingdom, which had been established in 1914. At the close of that global war in 1918 this persecuted and oppressed remnant needed healing, that they might gain strength and rise up to do the work that God had for them to do in the postwar period until the universal war of Armageddon. Just as he had long ago healed ancient Jerusalem in 537 before Christ, so he healed the present-day remnant of the New Jerusalem in fulfillment of this prophecy:
38. What prophecy in Jeremiah did the healing of them fulfill?
38 “Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them; and I will reveal unto them abundance of peace and truth. . . . And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned against me, and whereby they have transgressed against me. And this city shall be to me for a name of joy, for a praise and for a glory, before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them, and shall fear and tremble for all the good and for all the peace that I procure unto it.”—Jer. 33:6-9, AS.
39. Who have become a name of joy to Jehovah, and how have they served like the trees growing by the river of water of life?
39 Not the old walled city of Jerusalem today in the Middle East, but the anointed remnant of the heavenly New Jerusalem have become to Jehovah God a name of joy and for his praise before all nations, because these true, anointed Christians have had his name called upon them and have become his witnesses, yes, Jehovah’s witnesses. (Isa. 43:10-12, AS) They have become like those trees of life growing luxuriantly on both sides of the river of water of life that produce monthly the fruits of the kingdom of God. Even the unfading leaves of these symbolic trees of life, by which they purify the atmosphere and offer refreshing shade, are for healing purposes, “the curing of the nations.” Since the close of World War I they have borne these fruits and furnished these healing leaves for the spiritual curing of people of all nations. How? By carrying out the prophecy that Jesus said must and would be fulfilled before the end of this divided old world is accomplished at Armageddon, namely: “You will be hated by all the nations on account of my name. And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for the purpose of a witness to all the nations, and then the accomplished end will come.” (Matt. 24:9, 14) This good news of the established kingdom sent out from the throne of God and of his Lamb is like a river of water of life, flowing through his New Jerusalem, his chosen spiritual nation, whose God is Jehovah. It flows out to all in danger of dying of thirst.
40. Who have come to these symbolic trees of life, and how have they acted on the invitation to say “Come!” to still others?
40 Already hundreds of thousands of persons of good will in more than 160 nations, provinces, territories and islands have seen how Jehovah has healed the remnant of his spiritual nation by his truth and by his spirit and how he has put them in the way of everlasting life in the heavenly kingdom as the “bride” of Christ. Seeing the danger of being destroyed with this incurable old world at Armageddon, they too want spiritual healing in order to gain life in the new world, on a paradise earth under God’s heavenly kingdom. So they come and eat from the monthly fruit of the trees of life. They recognize these trees for what they give evidence of being, Jehovah’s witnesses, and come under the shade of their health-giving theocratic organization and receive spiritual curing. They accept the invitation of this “bride” class to come to the river beside which the trees of life grow. They drink. Then, nourished with the fruitage of the Kingdom, cured by the leaves of the trees, and with thirst satisfied by the river’s water of life, they use their new spiritual strength to act upon the divine invitation: “And let anyone hearing say, ‘Come!’” So they join the remnant of the “bride” class and become witnesses to all the nations by preaching the good news of the heavenly kingdom in all the inhabited earth. So doing, they join in passing out the invitation, “And let anyone thirsting come; let anyone that wishes take life’s water free.”
41. What are you instructed to do to act on this invitation for the benefit of your spiritual health?
41 You are now hearing that invitation. If you have not yet done so, act now on that invitation. Drink of the life-giving waters of truth that Jehovah God now causes to stream forth from his written Word, the Holy Bible. In the carrying on of your Bible study associate yourselves with these symbolic fruit-bearing, curative trees of life and with all those who have already united themselves with this spiritual nation, whose God is Jehovah and whom he has chosen for his inheritance. Get spiritually healed. Let the deadly breach between you and Jehovah God be removed. Come to oneness, to friendly relationship with him, that you may not be destroyed as his enemy at Armageddon. Seek the forgiveness of your sins through his Lamb, Jesus Christ, and be relieved of the condemnation of eternal death. Let the truth of God’s Word make you free. Get your upset mind made over to God’s healthy, peaceful way of thinking. Leave this unhealable old world to its agonizing death at Armageddon and give your loyal devotion to God’s kingdom by Christ and be relieved of the oppression of Satan the Devil, “the god of this world.”
42. For what opportunities of survival and life do we put ourselves in line, and how?
42 Let your broken heart be bound up by knowing the comfort and joy of practicing the true religion, the worship of the one true God with spirit and with truth. Tell others how you were spiritually healed and invite them and guide them to the riverside to drink of the water of everlasting life. Put yourself in line to be protected by God through the end of this dying old world and to survive in excellent spiritual health into God’s new world under his kingdom, there to be further healed bodily until you attain to human perfection in a paradise restored, where there will be no more death as a penalty for the first man’s sin. (Rev. 21:1-4) Recognize the curative power of the great heavenly Physician Jehovah and avail yourself now of the healing that has drawn near to all people of all the nations, through his kingdom by Jesus Christ.