Endurance like Job’s in the Time of the End
“You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome Jehovah gave, that Jehovah is very tender in affection and compassionate.”—Jas. 5:11.
1. Which judge does Christendom refuse to recognize and what relationship will not decide whether one should be spared at Armageddon?
MORE and more that section of the world known as Christendom refuses to recognize the God “whose name alone is JEHOVAH,” the Most High over all the earth. (Ps. 83:18, AV) Is it any wonder that his judgments are being executed upon Christendom, which more than all other religious communities of the world ought to recognize the heavenly Father of Jesus Christ? Shortly, in the “war of the great day of God the Almighty,” he will cause his sword to go through the land of Christendom to cut off those who stubbornly refuse to worship him with spirit and with truth. (Rev. 16:14, 16; John 4:24) In that universal war between Jehovah God and the Devil’s world, family relationships will not decide whether one will be spared and live through the end of the old world and into God’s new world of righteousness and integrity. Setting forth the rule by which he will be guided in executing his righteous judgments, he long ago said to his prophet Ezekiel (shortly before the destruction of the city of Jerusalem and the desolating of the Jewish province in the year 607 before the Christian era):
2. In Ezekiel 14:12-20 what rule is set forth by which Jehovah will be guided in executing his judgments?
2 “Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord Jehovah. . . . though these three men were in it, as I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, they should deliver neither sons nor daughters; they only should be delivered, but the land should be desolate. . . . though these three men were in it, as I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, they should deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they only should be delivered themselves. . . . though Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, as I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, they should deliver neither son nor daughter; they should but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.”—Ezek. 14:12-20, AS.
3. What were the relationships of Noah, Daniel and Job, and by what survivals was their righteousness rewarded?
3 When God inspired Ezekiel to write those severe judgment notices the prophet Daniel was still alive with Ezekiel in the land of Babylon. The man Job was not alive. The faithful man Abraham, who died in 1844 before the Christian era, was a great-granduncle of Job, and so by Ezekiel’s time Job had been dead for about 900 years. Noah, the survivor of the great flood and the common forefather of Abraham and Job, was also then dead, dying 350 years after the flood, or in 2020 before the Christian era. All three men, Noah, Daniel and Job, were men of a blameless way of life. All three were worshipers of the one God, Jehovah; in fact, the record in the Holy Bible shows they were all witnesses of Jehovah. Because of their righteousness before Him, Noah survived the end of the old world that perished in the flood; Daniel survived not only the destruction of Jerusalem but also the overthrow of the great world power Babylon; and Job survived the time of judgment in which he was an unwilling captive of Satan the Devil, “the god of this world,” and lived for 140 years afterward. All three were delivered because of their righteousness, which was why Jehovah God used them as examples of the righteousness that leads to our own deliverance by God’s power.
4. Because Noah, Daniel and Job were not in Jerusalem in 607 B.C.E. was no one saved from its destruction? And how was a remnant brought back seventy years later?
4 Noah, Daniel and Job were not in Jerusalem when it was destroyed in 607 B.C.E. Does that mean that nobody was saved out of the wreckage of that once holy city? No; a remnant of the Jews, including Jeremiah and Gedaliah, not to speak of non-Jews like the Rechabites and Ebed-melech, were saved from Jerusalem’s destruction. Just as Jehovah had told Ezekiel in this connection: “Yet, behold, therein shall be left a remnant that shall be carried forth, both sons and daughters: behold, they shall come forth unto you, and ye shall see their way and their doings; and ye shall be comforted concerning the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, . . . and ye shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, saith the Lord Jehovah.” (Ezek. 14:22, 23, AS) It was from this remnant that many Jews came back from the land of their exile seventy years later and rebuilt Jerusalem and the temple to Jehovah’s name for the reviving of his worship.
5. Why will there be a remnant of survivors in our own day?
5 Will there be a remnant of survivors in our own day? Noah, Daniel and Job have not yet been resurrected from the dead to be here during the world destruction at Armageddon, to be the only survivors of that destruction of Christendom and of all the rest of the world. But there are now Christian people of true righteousness like Noah, Daniel and Job; and according to Jehovah’s own prophetic promise these righteous witnesses of his will be spared and survive the destruction of the old world into the righteous new world. There will be a remnant surviving. Jesus Christ said, in his prophecy about the end of the world: “On account of the chosen ones those days will be cut short. For just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be.” (Matt. 24:22, 37) We should like to be among these survivors.
6. In accord with James 5:9-11, how do we want Jehovah to be toward us during the coming judgment?
6 Jesus’ disciple named James wrote of the coming judgment upon this wicked world and said: “Look! the judge is standing before the doors. Brothers, take as a pattern of the suffering of evil and the exercising of patience the prophets, who spoke in the name of Jehovah. Look! we pronounce happy those who have endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome Jehovah gave, that Jehovah is very tender in affection and compassionate.” (Jas. 5:9-11) In accord with James’ encouragement to us, we too want to be pronounced happy. We too want Jehovah God to be very tender in affection and compassionate toward us and not destroy us during the execution of his judgments in the war of Armageddon.
7. Like what men must we now endure, and why so?
7 But there is more to the matter than merely wanting it to be so. We have to endure; we have to suffer evil, and through it all exercise the patience of Jehovah’s prophets. Moreover, the evil that we suffer must not be for our own willful sins against Jehovah God. His prophets did not suffer all the things that they did suffer because they had done wrong and sinned against God. No; they suffered evil unjustly, and there is where the test of their endurance came in. They suffered because they had faith in God and worshiped him without letup and bore witness to him. Their sufferings did not therefore come upon them from God’s hand, but God let the sufferings come upon them unjustly, to test them and to see whether their suffering undeservedly would cause them to turn away from his worship and service, renouncing him to his face. Enduring to the end of the test of their faithfulness, they would vindicate Jehovah as God and universal Sovereign and he would reward them with a happy outcome, with great tenderness in affection and with compassion. He would thereby prove to all accusers that he was just in letting them suffer for such a purpose, and that he could raise up men out of sinful mankind who would keep their integrity toward him. James specifically names Job’s case as a striking example of how God deals. So as an encouragement to us to endure with a happy outcome, we do well to get acquainted with the book of Job.
FORCING THE ISSUE OF ENDURANCE
8. Where did Job live, and at what time was it that he was Jehovah’s witness without equal in the earth?
8 Job lived in the land of Uz, in what is now Arabia, and not too far from the Gulf of Aqaba. At that time God himself said concerning Job: “There is no one like him in the earth, a man of integrity and upright, fearing God and turning aside from bad.” (Job 1:8) This and other circumstances would locate Job in Uz about the time that his distant cousins, the twelve tribes of Israel, were in slavery down in the land of Egypt. By then Joseph, the son of Israel, had died after he had endured much unjust suffering, but had kept his blamelessness toward Jehovah God. Moses, a distant cousin of Job, had not yet risen up as Jehovah’s prophet to lead the twelve tribes of Israel out of Egyptian slavery. It was therefore fitting that Jehovah God should call attention to Job as his witness, who was then without equal in the earth. How did this occur?
9. What took place at the first meeting before Jehovah God to which Satan was ordered to come?
9 God’s power pulls back the veil of invisibility and we look into the spirit world to see a meeting of angels assembling before the Most High God, to which meeting Jehovah God had ordered Satan to come. At the meeting what took place? Here is the account from the book of Job: “Now it came to be the day when the sons of The [true] God came in to take their station before Jehovah, and even Satan proceeded to come in right among them. Then Jehovah said to Satan: ‘Where do you come from?’ At that Satan answered Jehovah and said: ‘From roving about in the earth and from walking about in it.’ And Jehovah went on to say to Satan: ‘Have you set your heart upon my servant Job, that there is no one like him in the earth, a man of integrity and upright, fearing God and turning aside from bad?’ At that Satan answered Jehovah and said: ‘Is it for nothing that Job has feared God? Have not you yourself put up a hedge about him and about his house and about everything that he has all around? The work of his hands you have blessed and his livestock itself has spread abroad in the earth. But, for a change, thrust out your hand, please, and touch everything he has [and see] whether he will not curse you to your very face.’ Accordingly Jehovah said to Satan: ‘Look! everything that he has is in your hand. Only against him himself do not thrust out your hand!’ So Satan went out away from the person of Jehovah.”—Job 1:6-12.
10. Of what was Job ignorant at the time, and why was no one better qualified than he to furnish the answer to the question raised?
10 Job did not know about this meeting in heaven and what the big question was that was put forward and what was to be done about getting the true answer to the question. Here was the thing that caused Job difficulty. He did not know the question that he was picked to prove, namely, that God can raise up the right kind of persons to be his witnesses in the earth, and that they will hold on to their integrity to him despite all the unjust suffering he may allow to test their unselfish worship of him. Job being then the unequaled witness of Jehovah on earth, no one should be better qualified to prove this point in favor of Jehovah than Job.
11. In what office toward God was Job acting in behalf of his family, and why?
11 Job was acting as priest of Jehovah God for his family. His wife was living and he had seven sons and three daughters. Besides that, he had seven thousand sheep and three thousand camels, making a total of ten thousand together, and also five hundred spans of oxen and five hundred she-asses, along with a very great body of servants. In spite of all these possessions, Job was not a materialistic man. He did not get so deeply buried in his material goods that he forgot about God, who was the real source of all his wealth. He did not try to increase his material wealth by going crooked and violating the laws of God and showing no fear of God. Job wanted his ten children to fear God and stay in God’s favor. So after his seven sons had spread banquets for their three sisters at their seven houses, Job would always act as an intercessor for them with Jehovah. “Job would send and sanctify them, and he got up early in the morning and offered up burnt sacrifices according to the number of all of them, for, said Job, ‘maybe my sons have sinned and have cursed God in their heart.’ That is the way Job would do always.” (Job 1:1-5) At that time Jehovah God had not yet set up his exclusive priesthood in the tribe of Levi, the tribe of Moses the prophet.
12. In what way did Jehovah bless Job, and why in this way?
12 Quite properly Jehovah God blessed Job for his faithful worship as a witness of Jehovah, and quite properly at that time God blessed Job with material goods to be used in a right way. Job could be trusted with them. Long before this God had blessed Job’s granduncle Abraham in this manner, and also Abraham’s son Isaac and his grandson Jacob. So it was nothing new for God to increase the material possessions of his servant Job and to protect them against enemy attack. Certainly God did not bless his servants with material goods just to enrich the thievish enemy. For this reason God kept those goods out of the hands of selfish, greedy evildoers. Neither Job nor Abraham and Isaac and Jacob expected to go to heaven and be rewarded only up there after death. So God was in harmony with their earthly hopes in blessing them upon the earth. Who, then, had a right to object to Job’s having all this material wealth? No one.
13. What test had Job withstood thus far, and so what test did Satan propose, and why?
13 However, Satan the Devil did not want God to have any pleasure out of Job. Hence he accused Job. Let it be noted that Satan did not, even as he could not, accuse Job of acting materialistically and misusing all the material goods with which Jehovah had blessed Job. No; up to that point Job had withstood the test of materialism. All that was left for Satan to do, then, was to accuse Job’s heart condition. He was at heart materialistic; he was serving Jehovah God only for the material good that he could get out of it, argued Satan the Devil. To show up Job’s heart condition and the weakness of his integrity Satan suggested that Jehovah take away all those material possessions. Of course, Jehovah would not do that himself; but, to permit the question to be answered, he would let Satan the Devil and his crowd on earth take away such material things. Satan had no confidence in Job. God did, and he was not unwilling to prove this.
14. How was Satan found to be a liar in this first part of Job’s test?
14 What was the outcome of the first part of Job’s test? He held firm. Deprived of everything but his wife, Job now had to decide whether he would deprive himself of his God. Job refused to part with his God. He went into mourning for his children and proceeded to “bow down and say: ‘Naked I came out of my mother’s belly and naked shall I return there. Jehovah himself has given and Jehovah himself has taken away. Let the name of Jehovah continue to be blessed.’ In all this Job did not sin or ascribe unseemliness to God.” (Job 1:20-22) Satan was found to be a liar.
15. What does Job’s name mean, and whom, principally, did he therefore foreshadow?
15 In this first part of the prophetic drama of Job we can see a foreshadowing of the trial that came upon Jesus Christ nineteen centuries ago. Job’s name means “object of hostility.” On earth Jesus Christ was the principal object of Satan’s hostility. He was the promised seed of God’s woman, concerning whom Jehovah had told Satan the Devil in the garden of Eden: “I shall put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed. He will bruise you in the head and you will bruise him in the heel.” (Gen. 3:15) From this Satan knew that Almighty God would at least let him and his wicked seed bruise Jesus Christ “in the heel.”
16. How was Jesus Christ on earth like Job in having such material possessions and children?
16 Satan the Devil insulted Jesus by questioning Jesus to his face whether he was the Son of God who had laid aside heavenly glory and come to deliver mankind from Satan’s death-dealing rule. (Matt. 4:3, 6) By being born as a perfect human Jesus was deserving to have all that Jehovah God had bestowed upon the perfect man Adam in the garden of Eden. When Jesus was anointed with God’s spirit to be the chosen King for God’s new world Jesus held ownership to the earth and all its wealth and animals. God did not give him a human earthly wife, but did give him what was equal to children. He gave him “children” in the form of faithful disciples, loyal footstep followers, whom he could teach and take care of, just as an earthly father does his children. The prophet Isaiah had foretold these spiritual children of Jesus when he said: “Bind thou up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. Behold, I and the children whom Jehovah hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from Jehovah of hosts, who dwelleth in mount Zion.” (Isa. 8:16, 18, AS; Heb. 2:5-8, 13) Twelve of such spiritual children were apostles of Jesus Christ.
17. How did Jesus, like Job, become bereft of such things, and without violating his integrity?
17 As in Job’s case, Satan the Devil tried to strip Jesus forever of these things. He found he could not do it by tempting Jesus to materialism or to false worship or to the fear of men or devils. Satan did turn one of Jesus’ apostolic children to materialism. For thirty pieces of silver this traitor, Judas, betrayed Jesus into the hands of his enemies, only to commit suicide by hanging not many hours afterward. When Jesus yielded himself over to the crowd led by Judas the eleven other apostles got scared and fled, leaving Jesus alone to his bloodthirsty enemies. Not much later one of these eleven denied Jesus three times. Jesus was not reunited to all these eleven apostles and other disciples until after his resurrection from the dead on the third day. For the time that Jesus lay dead in another man’s tomb he was indeed bereft of everything—children and possessions—at the instance of Satan, the bruiser of his heel. But even to his dying moment on the torture stake outside Jerusalem, Jesus, like Job, “did not sin or ascribe unseemliness to God.” His lips and his heart were sinless when he said: “Father, into your hands I entrust my spirit,” and then: “It has been accomplished,” and finally expired.—Luke 23:46; John 19:30.
18. How did Jehovah then make Jesus most happy, and in him what does Jehovah have respecting Satan’s accusation?
18 Jehovah’s confidence in his chief Son, his high priest and mediator, had not been misplaced. Jesus Christ had loyally upheld Jehovah’s Godship and universal sovereignty to the last, with full integrity under the most painful and humiliating test. Satan proved himself once more a slanderous liar. Jesus Christ had proved Jehovah God to be true, the one object worthy of our wholehearted love and complete obedience. With very tender affection for this dutiful Son Jehovah healed the wound that Satan had inflicted at Jesus’ heel by raising him out of death to deathlessness in the heavens and appointing him to be “heir of all things.” (Heb. 1:2) Of all God’s family in heaven and on earth Jehovah can now say to Satan and all creatures that there is no one like Jesus Christ in all the universe. In Jesus alone Jehovah God has a complete and everlasting answer to Satan’s false accusation that God cannot put a man on earth who will stay faithful to him under the greatest trial. So God made Jesus most happy. We pronounce him happy.
ENDURING PERSECUTION, MISREPRESENTATION
19. Upon whom has Satan centered his attack in this “time of the end,” and what is it necessary for these to do, and why?
19 Satan the Devil failed to prove his false accusation against the chief Son of God. Wanting still more of an answer, he keeps accusing Jesus’ anointed footstep followers, the spiritual brothers of Jesus Christ, down to this day. That is why, when the kingdom was born in heaven in 1914 and war broke out in heaven and the victorious King Jesus Christ hurled Satan down from heaven to our earth, a loud voice in heaven said: “Now have come to pass the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ, because the accuser of our brothers has been hurled down, who accuses them day and night before our God!” (Rev. 12:7-10) Since then this accuser of Christ’s brothers has centered his attack on the remnant yet on earth of these spirit-begotten brothers, who, like Christ, are part of the seed of God’s woman. (Rev. 12:13, 17) Therefore in this “time of the end” of Satan’s world the remnant of Christ’s anointed joint heirs have the privilege of showing an endurance like Job’s and proving their integrity to God. Like Job and like Jesus, they must furnish God an answer for Satan that he may have no grounds for reproaching God in their case. To them their heavenly Father Jehovah now says: “Be wise, my son, and make my heart rejoice, that I may make a reply to him that is taunting me.”—Prov. 27:11.
20. Who, especially, would need to understand the book of Job, and how has it been opened to their understanding as an aid?
20 The fulfillment of the prophetic drama of Job now shifts from Jesus’ day to our day. Who, then, would need to understand the book of Job? The remnant of Jesus’ joint sufferers and joint heirs! So it was by nothing less than divine guidance of matters that ten years after the remnant became active, and not before then, the subject of “integrity” was introduced as something brand new to us. That was in the year 1929. Three articles on the book of Job appeared in the July and August issues of The Watch Tower. Then these articles were republished in chapter 11 of the book Life, which was released on August 25, 1929. Two years after that a surprising feature of Job’s prophetic drama began its fulfillment. Later, amid the throes of World War II, an explanation of the entire book of Job, chapter for chapter, was published in the book The New World, chapters 4 to 12 inclusive, released during the New World Theocratic Assembly of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A., in September, 1942. And now, in the year 1957, it becomes possible to study the book of Job by using the New World Translation of the Hebrew Scriptures. Because of the great test of endurance and integrity upon the remnant in this “time of the end” they have had the book of Job opened to their understanding as an aid, and in it they find their own experience dramatically portrayed. How?
21. At the second meeting in heaven what test did Satan propose, and what did Jehovah show by the answer he gave to Satan?
21 After Job had taken the loss of all his material possessions and of his ten children without cursing God to his face for permitting Satan to cause this terrible loss, another assembly of the spirit sons of God convened in heaven before God. Again Satan was ordered to be present. The persecutor of Job felt defiant when Jehovah remarked on Job’s unbroken integrity, saying: “Even yet he is holding fast his integrity, although you incite me against him to swallow him up without cause.” In contempt of Job and not yet admitting defeat, faithless Satan retorted: “Skin in behalf of skin, and everything that a man has he will give in behalf of his soul. For a change, thrust out your hand, please, and touch as far as his bone and his flesh [and see] whether he will not curse you to your very face.” Jehovah was sure that even that form of persecution from Satan would not crack Job’s integrity. In expression of his universal sovereignty and showing that Satan himself could do nothing against Jehovah’s witnesses without the Sovereign God’s permission, Jehovah released Job to Satan’s further abuse, saying: “There he is in your hand! Only watch out for his soul itself!”
22. How was Job now stricken by Satan, and with what consequences, but how did Job brand Satan a liar?
22 However, Satan struck Job with a disease that seemed to mean certain death, so that Job himself said: “The graveyard is for me.” It also looked like a punishment from the true God in the eyes of the people of the Middle East. His own brothers kept their distance from him; his acquaintances turned aside from him, quit him; those whom he well knew forgot him as if dead; he became like a foreigner to sojourners and slaves in his own house, who refused to obey him. His breath became sickening to his wife; his body became foul-smelling to his own brothers; young men no longer paid him respect in word or conduct; intimate associates detested him, and those whom he had loved grew cold toward him. His body became wasted to the bone, and, to explain how he was still living, Job said: “I escape with the skin of my teeth.” (Job 17:1; 19:13-20) Persuaded now that Jehovah had openly renounced Job, his own wife paid him a compliment and yet said it was hopeless. “Are you yet holding fast your integrity?” she said. “Curse God and die!” Still believing in his own integrity, Job sustained this cruel blow from the wife of his love and gave her this deserved correction: “As one of the senseless women speaks you speak also. Shall we accept merely what is good from The [true] God and not accept also what is bad?” This reaction of Job branded Satan a slanderous liar before God, for God’s record says: “In all this Job did not sin with his lips.”—Job 2:1-10.
23. How did the remnant suffer an experience like that of Job with his wife?
23 How well this part of Job’s test of integrity prophetically dramatized what has come upon the remnant of Christ’s anointed followers! Each of them can say with the apostle Paul: “I in my turn am filling up what is lacking of the tribulations of the Christ in my flesh on behalf of his body, which is the congregation”! (Col. 1:24) During the years of World War I they had many spiritual associates who, like themselves, were engaged to be married to the heavenly Bridegroom in the “first resurrection” from the dead; but under the heavy persecutions that the nations heaped upon Jehovah’s witnesses with the approval of the religious leaders these associates rebelled against having to suffer with the faithful remnant. They said that God had rejected the organization of the remnant and they broke off their ties with the remnant and set up their own religious organization. This was a very painful experience for the faithful remnant, as when Job had his wife turn against him as if a God-forsaken man. But from the Scriptures this Joblike remnant pointed out the senseless course of the rebellious, self-seeking quitters, and declared they were determined to undergo the persecution that Almighty God permitted to come upon them to prove their love and devotion to Him. In the eyes of the religious sects of Christendom that joined in persecuting Jehovah’s witnesses the remnant were spiritually just as diseased and stricken of God as Job was and they abandoned these to destruction at the hands of Satan’s political governments and their military machine. But true to the prophetic drama of Job, the faithful remnant endured all this, though wondering what it all meant.
24. What had Jehovah restrained the enemy from doing to the Joblike remnant, and yet why were their trials on earth not then over?
24 World War I ended in November, 1918, but God had restrained the violent hands of Satan’s political and religious agents from taking away the soul of his faithful remnant. In the spring of 1919 he revived them from their deathlike spiritual condition. He set them to work in proclaiming the good news about God’s kingdom that had been born in the heavens at the close of the “appointed times of the nations” in the fall of 1914. But their trials on earth were not over, as Satan’s further mistreatment of Job prophetically portrayed. An extended period of religious controversy was due, also a period of being misjudged, misrepresented and condemned, this to be offset by consoling enlightenment from God.
JOB’S THREE FALSE FRIENDS
25. What course of action did Satan now maneuver three friends of Job to take, and what series of debates developed?
25 Misguided friends, with misdirected persuasiveness, can prove to be a searching test of our integrity toward Jehovah God. Knowing this, Satan maneuvered three companions of Job’s to come together by appointment and launch a combined triple-blow assault on Job’s integrity, to ruin it if possible. Eliphaz from the land of Teman, Bildad, a descendant of Shuah, and Zophar from Naamah did not recognize the disease-wasted Job at first sight. They put on quite a scene of loud, demonstrative mourning over him. Silently they sat observing him for seven days, opening their minds to Satan’s suggestions as to what Job’s condition indicated. Job at last broke the silence by calling down evil on the day of his birth and expressing wonderment as to why God kept him alive. (Job 2:11 to 3:26) This led to a series of three debates. In the first two debates all three men strongly stated what they thought, and Job defended himself against each one in turn. In the third debate Zophar the Naamathite failed to take part, likely thinking it was useless or having nothing further to say, being put to silence with his two companions.
26. To what judgment toward Job did his three companions come, and on what basis of judgment?
26 On their arrival those three men pretended to have come to sympathize with Job and to comfort him. How far they went from fulfilling their intentions, if such they actually were! They took the attitude of those whom the prophet Isaiah foretold as the critics of Jesus Christ: “We did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” (Isa. 53:4, AS) They interpreted God’s dealings with Job wrongly. They understood God’s dealings just as little as Job did. Job interpreted God’s dealings as showing that God brings suffering upon the righteous as well as the unrighteous, and is within his own right in doing so. Job’s three companions judged things by appearances and according to their own twisted reasoning power. So they interpreted God’s dealings as publicly showing up Job to be a hypocrite without integrity and punishing him openly for his sins that he had for a long time kept secret from his unsuspecting associates. Job was thus proved to be bad of heart, but they themselves—well, they were not suffering as Job was, which proved to them that they were righteous in God’s sight and Job was not. They needed no repentance and no sacrifice for sins, but Job needed to repent and get converted and be brought back into God’s favor. They felt self-righteous and gloried in it.
27. What did Job well say to them that exposed their failure to comfort him?
27 Well could Job say to those three agents of Satan: “Now you men have amounted to nothing; . . . How effective the sayings of uprightness have proved! But what does reproving on the part of you men reprove?” (Job 6:21, 25) “You men are smearers of falsehood; all of you are physicians of no value. If only you would absolutely keep silent, that it might prove to be wisdom on your part!” (Job 13:4, 5) “All of you are troublesome comforters! Is there an end to windy words? Or what galls you, that you answer? I myself also could well speak as you men do. If only your souls existed in the place of my soul, would I be brilliant in words against you, and would I wag my head against you?” (Job 16:2-4) “How long will you men keep irritating my soul and keep crushing me with words? These ten times you proceeded to rebuke me; you are not ashamed [that] you deal so hard with me. And, granted that I have made a mistake, it is with me that my mistake will pass the night. If for a fact against me you men do put on great airs and you show my reproach to be proper against me, know, then, that God himself has misled me and his hunting net he has closed in upon me. Show me favor, show me favor, O you my companions, for God’s own hand has touched me. Why do you men keep persecuting me as God does, and not have your fill of my own flesh?” (Job 19:2-6, 21, 22) “So how vainly you men try to comfort me, and your very replies do remain as unfaithfulness!” (Job 21:34) Job’s three would-be comforters showed they had not been anointed with Jehovah’s holy spirit to “comfort all that mourn.”—Isa. 61:1-3, AS.
28. With what words did Job picture himself as in a law court with God as his opponent-at-law?
28 Job pictured himself as in a law court pleading his innocence, with God as his opponent-at-law. “For,” said Job, “he is not a man like me [that] I should answer him, that we should come together in judgment. There exists no person to decide between us, that he should put his hand upon both of us.” Job could not expect to win out against God as opponent: “Whom I would not answer, even though I were really in the right. Of my opponent-at-law I would implore favor.” (Job 9:15, 32, 33) Yet Job would continue to plead before him, for Job was certain that God the prosecutor could not find him to be unfaithful, even if God had to kill Job to prove that Job was no apostate: “Even if he would kill me, would I not wait? I would only argue to his face for my own ways. He would also be my salvation, for before him no apostate will come in.” (Job 13:15, 16) “Also now, look! in the heavens is one testifying about me, and my witness is in the heights. My companions are spokesmen against me; to God my eye has looked sleeplessly. And one decides between an able-bodied man and God, as between a son of man and his fellow.”—Job 16:19-21.
29. With what expressions did Job show he was determined to insist on his being a man of integrity, and how did he show his appreciation of wisdom?
29 To the very end Job is determined to insist that he is a man of integrity and to conduct himself in harmony with his claim. To his falsely reasoning companions he says: “It is unthinkable on my part that I should justify you men! Until I expire I shall not take away my integrity from myself! On my justness I have laid hold and I shall not let it go; my heart will not taunt [me] for any of my days.” That is why Job came to this conclusion: “One thing there is. That is why I do say: ‘One of integrity, also a wicked one, [God] is bringing to their end.’” And: “He will weigh me in accurate scales and God will get to know my integrity.” (Job 27:5, 6; 9:22; 31:6) Job knew best his own private life, and looking at himself in the light of it Job felt sure of establishing his own integrity. Job reveals how highly he has always appreciated wisdom and how God has said to man: “Look! the fear of Jehovah—that is wisdom, and to turn away from bad is understanding.”—Job 28:28.
30. To show what does Job tell about his private life and with what invitation to his opponent-at-law does he submit his case for judgment in ending his words?
30 Before his three companions and also before the young man Elihu Job openly tells of how he has lived his life, striving to live according to true wisdom, not loving or trusting in money, nor worshiping the visible creations in the heavens: “For I should have denied The [true] God above.” Against the record of his life given over his own signature he invites his opponent-at-law to file charges: “O that I had someone listening to me, that according to my signature the Almighty himself would answer me! Or that the individual in the case at law with me had written a document itself! Surely upon my shoulder I would carry it; I would bind it around me like a grand crown. The number of my steps I would tell him, like a leader I would approach him.” If wrong could be proved against Job, he would be willing to suffer due punishment. So now he submits his case and awaits the judgment of the divine court. “The words of Job have come to an end.”—Job 31:28, 35-40.
31. How have the religious leaders of Christendom in particular played the counterparts of Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar?
31 In the fulfillment of the prophetic drama of Job during this “time of the end” the religious leaders of Christendom in particular have played the counterparts of Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar very well. Maliciously accusing the remnant of Christ’s body, even praying to God against them, they took unfair advantage of World War I, with which the time of the end of this world began, and they brought reproach, persecution and political oppression upon the remnant. After the close of World War I they continued their denunciations and condemnation of the remnant in Job’s position, arguing that these had no good standing with God and were not witnesses of Jehovah and were a security risk to the governments of this world because of first giving Jehovah God what is his and then giving political Caesar what was his. They have tried to take various measures against their witnessing from house to house in ‘preaching this good news of God’s established kingdom in all the inhabited earth for the purpose of a witness to all the nations before the end of this world comes at Armageddon.’—Acts 20:20; Matt. 24:14.
32. Where therefore, have the remnant been obliged to tell of their manner of life, but before whom especially have they endeavored to maintain their claim of integrity?
32 Hence in thousands of courts of the land the remnant have had to make an open statement of their manner of life and action, to set forth their innocence and to prove their innocence, their integrity. Particularly since 1922 they have proclaimed that a judgment from Jehovah’s spiritual temple has begun upon the remnant, and they have tried to keep their record clean in the divine court before the Supreme Judge regardless of how the legal and ecclesiastical courts might rule toward them. Before God they have endeavored to maintain their integrity, knowing that His is the final judgment upon them, the judgment that counts and that must be executed in the end. It has been a great battle for them to hold fast to their claim that they are Christians of integrity before God, to whom, in the last resort, they submit their case. Jesus Christ their Leader was also misrepresented and persecuted to the death, but that never meant he was minus integrity toward God.
ELIHU, THE WITNESS OF JEHOVAH
33. Who now spoke up, and why was he angry, but why were his words not those of an impertinent boy?
33 Now that Job as well as his three false friends who had taken Satan’s side in accusing Job had rested from their argumentation, Elihu, a distant relative of Job, spoke up. Respectful of men older than he was, Elihu had held back from expressing himself till there had been a full discussion by the parties involved. By now Elihu became angry. Why? “Against Job his anger blazed over his justifying his own soul more than God. Also against his three companions his anger blazed over the fact that they had not found an answer but they proceeded to pronounce God guilty.” (Job 32:1-3) Modern critics call Elihu “loquacious” and say his speeches were “longwinded,” because he spoke so extendedly, presenting the material that is contained in chapters 32 through 37 in the book of Job. But Elihu saw that the vindicating of Jehovah God was more important than the vindicating of any man. To speak words giving understanding he relied more upon the spirit of God than upon wisdom that is expected to come from one’s growing old in years and having much experience. He was against showing partiality toward any man or bestowing an awesome title upon any man. His words were not those of an impertinent boy.
34. What did Elihu correctly describe to Job in advance, thereby foretelling also what has befallen whom since 1919?
34 Elihu correctly described to Job in advance what was fulfilled upon Job when he was restored to the position of a man publicly recognized as being in God’s favor for proving his integrity and for wisely giving God an answer against Satan, who has reproached God as if God bought the love of those who served him. Because Job here pictured the Christian remnant, Elihu also foretold what has befallen the anointed remnant since 1919, saying:
35. What was it that Elihu said in that description to Job?
35 “His soul draws near to the pit, and his life to those inflicting death. If there exists for him a messenger, a spokesman, one out of a thousand, to tell to man his uprightness, then he favors him and says: ‘Let him off from going down into the pit! I have found a ransom! Let his flesh become fresher than in youth; let him return to the days of his youthful vigor.’ He will make supplication to God that he may take pleasure in him, and he will see his face with joyful shouting, and He will restore His righteousness to mortal man. He will sing to men and say: ‘I have sinned and what is upright I have perverted, and it certainly was not the proper thing for me. He has redeemed my soul from passing into the pit, and my life itself will see the light.’ Look! All these things God performs, two times, three times, in the case of an able-bodied man, to turn his soul back from the pit, that he may be enlightened with the light of those living.”—Job 33:22-30.
36. How did God spare the remnant from the pit and from death?
36 In 1918 Jehovah God spared the remnant from going down into the pit of death at the hand of their violent enemies. In 1919 he spared them from going into spiritual death. How? By putting his spirit into them to enliven them again in his service, to be his Kingdom witnesses in this “time of the end.”
37. How did Elihu end his words in vindication of Jehovah, and what now shows whom Elihu prefigured in the drama of Job?
37 Confirmation is thereby given to the words of Elihu, who ended his words in vindication of Jehovah by saying: “As for the Almighty, we have not found him out; he is exalted in power, and justice and abundance of righteousness he will not belittle. Therefore let men fear him. He does not regard any who are wise in [their own] heart.” (Job 37:23, 24) Therefore as a character in the prophetic drama of Job, Elihu seems well to prefigure the spiritual governing body of the anointed remnant of Christ’s body. According to modern history since 1919 this governing body of the “faithful and discreet slave” class brought to the remnant as a whole the enlightening information concerning our vital need of integrity and the supreme issue, namely, the vindication of Jehovah’s universal sovereignty by his kingdom in the hands of Jesus Christ.
38. How did Jehovah answer, and with what effect upon Job?
38 Job had pleaded that the God whom he worshiped in integrity should speak. He did. “And Jehovah proceeded to answer Job out of the windstorm and say: ‘Who is this that is obscuring counsel by words without knowledge?’” By what he now said and did to Job he proved that modern critics are wrong, and that he is the same Jehovah as Jehovah the God of the twelve tribes of Israel, and the same Jehovah whose witnesses we are privileged to be before all mankind in this great controversial “time of the end.” In lofty language that agrees with the creation account in the first book of the Bible, Genesis, Jehovah now showed he was above all faithless questions and false charges, for he had created heaven and earth, into the profound wonders of which Job, a mere recent arrival on earth, had not and could not have fully penetrated. Job had no control of the creation and Almighty God could care for his creation without Job’s help. Said Jehovah: “Should there be any contending of a faultfinder with the Almighty? Let the reprover of God himself answer it.” Deeply humiliated, Job confessed he had nothing to say toward his own justification. Jehovah then described the mighty behemoth and the limber leviathan, as creative marvels well known to man.—Job 38:1, 2; 40:2, 15 to Job 41:34, margin.
39. With what should a study of Jehovah’s works of creation impress us, and so what fact was Job now led to confess?
39 A study of such works of creation should impress us with the wisdom and power of Jehovah God and should make us think hard before we let the outward appearance of our circumstances lead us to think that he is unjust and unloving. Wisely taking the lesson to heart, Job confessed that he had argued his case without understanding. Said he to Jehovah: “In hearsay I have heard about you, but now my own eye does see you. That is why I make a retraction and I do repent in dust and ashes.”—Job 42:1-6.
40. Out of what has Jehovah answered the Joblike remnant, and since when, and with what result?
40 Has Jehovah also answered the Joblike remnant out of the windstorm? Yes! This windstorm is the great tribulation that he brings on Satan’s organization to begin and finish this “time of the end” of Satan’s world. This tribulation struck the invisible part of Satan’s organization in 1914, and whirled him and his demons down from heaven to earth’s vicinity. The days of that tribulation have been cut short by allowing Satan a “short period of time” to operate at the earth for the testing of the remnant, while the remnant and their good-will associates are doing a world-wide preaching of the good news of God’s established kingdom. The tribulation will resume at the battle of Armageddon and will destroy Satan’s visible organization and put out of operation his invisible organization. During this in-between period by which the days of tribulation have been cut short, as it were out of the calm eye of the windstorm before the final part of the storm breaks forth, Jehovah has answered the Joblike remnant, particularly since 1919. From then on the spiritual remnant have had a great clearing up of many Bible doctrines. They have been made acquainted with the challenge that Satan has made of their integrity, and also with the paramount issue of Jehovah’s universal sovereignty, which must be vindicated by his established kingdom. So we have become his witnesses as never before.
41. How did Jehovah treat Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar and what were they obliged to do?
41 After speaking to Job out of the windstorm Jehovah severely reproved Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar. They were obliged to take sacrifices, offer them up and have Job pray for them. They needed conversion, not Job, for Jehovah said: “His face only I shall accept so as not to commit disgraceful folly with you, for you have not spoken concerning me what is truthful as has my servant Job.”—Job 42:8.
42. What did Jehovah now do for Job, and of what was he an example when he died at an old age?
42 Jehovah now delivered Job from Satan’s hand and healed him. It is written: “Jehovah proceeded to accept Job’s face. And Jehovah himself turned back the captive condition of Job when he prayed in behalf of his companions, and Jehovah began to give in addition all that had been Job’s, in double amount.” His brothers and sisters and former acquaintances came and ate and drank and associated with him as formerly, and gave him presents. His wife presented him again with seven sons and three daughters, the most beautiful girls in all the land, and they were given a hereditary share with their seven brothers. Job’s life was miraculously extended for 140 years more, and he saw the fourth generation of his descendants. Finally he died in his integrity, as an example of how tenderly affectionate and compassionate Jehovah is with those who keep integrity toward him and how happy in God his servants come to be for enduring all forms of Satan’s hostility to vindicate him.—Job 42:7-17.
43. How were the remnant made happy between 1919 and 1931?
43 How happy the Joblike remnant have become since 1919, and particularly since 1931! After the end of World War I they were released from spiritual bondage to Satan’s world and their relationship to Jehovah God was healed. He blessed them with youthful vigor to preach the Kingdom message everywhere, and favored them with a grand increase, so great in number that it made up for all of their companions who had turned unfaithful and dropped away during the previous trial, and it also brought the membership of the remnant to completion, that thereby the spiritual body of Christ might have 144,000 members as foreordained.
44. Since 1931 how has the picture of Job’s having a second set of ten children been fulfilled?
44 But what since 1931? Ah, then the Right Shepherd of Jehovah God, namely, Jesus Christ, began to gather to the Job-like remnant his “other sheep,” to whom he will become an “everlasting Father” during the thousand years of his blessed reign. He has been using the remnant of his body members in gathering these “other sheep.” Thus these sheep become as spiritual children to the remnant, their children begotten by the Kingdom good news that the remnant have preached. So these “other sheep” correspond to the second set of ten children that Job got after Jehovah turned back his captivity.—1 Cor. 4:15.
45. How are they beautiful like Job’s children, and how do they have an equality in hereditary possession?
45 As foreshadowed by the perfect number ten, these “other sheep” have become already a “great crowd,” but they still continue to be gathered during this short period before Armageddon. They are beautiful spiritually, for they are the desirable things of all nations, the precious things of all nations, that have come to Jehovah’s spiritual temple to glorify him. As Job’s three girls had a hereditary possession from him along with their seven brothers, so now the women as well as the men among the “other sheep” share in the privilege of now being Jehovah’s witnesses and of preaching the Kingdom good news. Thus they help to gather still more of the “other sheep.” Even many who were formerly wrongly impressed by Satan’s persecution of the remnant, as in the case of Job’s relatives and acquaintances, have received correction and have become theocratic companions of the remnant.
46. Till when must the remnant and the “other sheep” endure, and how happy will they be made for doing so?
46 The remnant must still endure till Armageddon. All the gathered “other sheep” must likewise maintain their integrity toward God and must endure along with the remnant until Satan’s world of persecutors and opposers is desolated at Armageddon. How happy we all are for having endured with integrity till now! How unspeakably happy we shall be for enduring till Jehovah vindicates his universal sovereignty at Armageddon and delivers us into his righteous new world! For there he will glorify the remnant of proved integrity in the heavenly kingdom of his Son Jesus Christ and will also bless the great crowd of “other sheep” with uplift to godlike human perfection in a paradise that will beautify all the earth.