International Praise to the One God
1. What will all the nations yet come to?
ALL the nations will yet come to it. They will yet all of them abandon the millions of gods that they are today worshiping and will unite in the worship of one God. Only the one true God could thus win the worship of all the religiously divided nations of today.
2. What have all the gods of the world powers till now proved to be, but whose worship has continued down till now with hope, protection and deliverance for the worshipers?
2 The gods of ancient Egypt have passed away, unable to keep it the world power that it once was. The gods, too, of the succeeding world power, Assyria, have passed away. The gods of the mighty world power Babylon have passed away. Yes, the gods of the world powers that followed in order, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome, have all passed away, leaving the imperialism of their respective worshipers but a fading memory. Where is the Egyptian triad of Isis, Osiris and Horus? Where are Ashur and Nisroch of Assyria? Where are Bel and Marduk of Babylon? Where are Ahura-Mazda of Persia, Zeus of Greece and Jupiter of Rome? Throughout the many centuries of ancient times one God has contended with all those gods and proved them to be false. One God has survived as winner and his worship has continued as it should down to this very day. He knows who he is. He knows there is no other true God but he himself, and as in the past, so today, all the false gods of the nations of the world are proving helpless for their billions of worshipers, but this one true God is the hope and protection and deliverance of his worshipers. In the book, the writing of which he inspired, he plainly tells us who he is. Under the operation of his spirit a student of his sacred history wrote:
3. Under operation of His spirit what did one student of his sacred history write about him in Psalm 135?
3 “I myself well know that Jehovah is great, and our Lord is more than all other gods. Everything in which Jehovah has taken delight he has done in the heavens and in the earth, in the seas and all the surging waters. O Jehovah, your name is to time indefinite. O Jehovah, your memorial is to generation after generation. The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of the hands of earthling man. A mouth they have, but they can speak nothing; eyes they have, but they can see nothing; ears they have, but they can give ear to nothing. Also there exists no spirit in their mouth. Those making them will become just like them, everyone who is trusting in them. Blessed out of Zion be Jehovah, who is residing in Jerusalem. Praise Jah, you people!”—Ps. 135:5, 6, 13, 15-18, 21.
4. What present-day action by the rulers and nations was foretold in Psalm 2, and yet what call to praise was prophetically issued?
4 The look of things today seems to kill all hope and likelihood that all the nations of earth will one day be happily united in worshiping this one God who is alone in having the name Jehovah. Yes, in his very book of prophecy the situation of the present time was foretold in these poetical words: “Why have the nations been in tumult and the peoples themselves kept muttering an empty thing? The kings of earth take their stand and high officials themselves have massed together as one against Jehovah and against his anointed one, [saying:] ‘Let us tear their bands apart and cast their cords away from us!’” (Ps. 2:1-3) And yet, in spite of inspiring that prophecy of the present-day opposition to Jehovah as God and to his anointed Son Jesus Christ as King of the new world, he also addressed this command to the people of the nations: “Praise Jehovah, all you nations; commend him, all you clans.” (Ps. 117:1) Furthermore, one of the twelve apostles of Christ took up that command and repeated it to Christians in Rome during the days of Rome’s world power, saying: “Praise Jehovah, all you nations, and let all the peoples praise him.”—Rom. 15:11.
5. How do the facts during the last forty and more years show the call to praise not to have been issued in vain?
5 This call to praise the one living and true God was not preserved in writing to this day in vain, to go unfulfilled. Despite the tumult of the nations for now more than forty years the call to Jehovah’s praise has met with a remarkable response in more than 160 lands of earth. The end of this response is not yet. The call continues to go forth with increasing volume. More people are intelligently hearing. More are certain to respond out of all nations and to praise this one God, Jehovah. This will mean salvation for them.
ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY PSALMS
6. What is the book of praises to him called, and by whom was it composed and by means of what?
6 An entire book of praises has been written to him. In the original language in which the book was written it was called Te·hil·limʹ, meaning “Praises.” But among those who do not speak Hebrew it is generally called The Psalms. A psalm is a poem that is to be sung to the accompaniment of stringed instruments such as the harp. The shepherd David of Bethlehem in Judea, who became king of Jerusalem, was not the composer of all 150 of the Psalms. David’s name appears in headings of seventy-three psalms. The names of other composers appear in the heading of others, David’s son King Solomon, the prophet Moses, the composers Asaph, Heman and Ethan, and then the sons of Korah. There are forty-nine that bear the names of no composers. But by whomsoever composed on earth, all the 150 Psalms were inspired by holy spirit.
7. What did David and various others say regarding the inspiration of the Psalms, and so what will come of the call to praise?
7 Said King David, the most abundant producer of psalms: “The utterance of David the son of Jesse, and the utterance of the man that was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the darling of the melodies of Israel. The spirit of Jehovah it was that spoke by me, and his word was upon my tongue.” (2 Sam. 23:1, 2) Confirming such inspiration, the Christian apostle Peter said in a meeting at Jerusalem: “Men, brothers, it was necessary for the scripture to be fulfilled which the holy spirit spoke beforehand by David’s mouth.” (Acts 1:15, 16) Quoting Psalm 95 by David, the writer to the Hebrews said: “For this reason, just as the holy spirit says: ‘Today if you would hear his voice, do not be hardening your hearts.’” (Heb. 3:7, 8; 4:7) At a critical time the early Christians prayed to God, addressing him as the One “who through holy spirit said by the mouth of our forefather David, your servant, ‘To what end did nations become tumultuous and peoples meditate upon fruitless things?’” (Acts 4:24, 25) So since the book of Psalms is inspired by the Almighty God, the call in Psalm 117:1 for all nations to praise him is bound to be fulfilled.
8. Who is the best one for determining the inspiration and propheticalness of the Psalms, and how did the Psalms prophesy of his exaltation to heaven, as confirmed by Peter?
8 For determining the inspiration and the prophetic quality of the Psalms no one could be better than Jesus Christ, the Founder of Christianity. He was more than a mere prophet like those whom God had sent prior to him. He was God’s first-begotten Son from heaven. (Heb. 1:1, 2) For this reason, although he was a distant son of David he was King David’s Lord. To show that the book of Psalms prophesied of his exaltation to heaven far above King David, Jesus said to the religious leaders: “How is it they say that the Christ is David’s son? For David himself says in the book of Psalms, ‘Jehovah said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a stool for your feet.’ David, therefore, calls him ‘Lord’; so how is he his son?” (Luke 20:41-44) The apostle Peter speaking by God’s spirit said that this Psalm 110 was fulfilled in Jesus Christ, who was raised from the dead and elevated to God’s right hand to become his anointed King of the new world. It is against this anointed One of Jehovah that the nations of this world have been tumultuous since 1914, and the kings have taken their stand and the high officials have massed together as one; but they will never block his thousand-year rule of mankind.
9. On his resurrection day how did Jesus point out the propheticalness of the Psalms?
9 On the evening of the day that he was raised from the dead to become David’s Lord in heaven, Jesus suddenly appeared to his disciples in a room in Jerusalem. He plainly showed them that he was the Jesus who had been killed on a torture stake just three days before. Then to prove that the Psalms were both inspired and prophetic he “said to them: ‘These are my words which I spoke to you while I was yet with you, that all the things written in the law of Moses and in the Prophets and Psalms about me must be fulfilled.’ Then he opened up their minds fully to grasp the meaning of the Scriptures, and he said to them: ‘In this way it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from among the dead on the third day, and on the basis of his name repentance for forgiveness of sins would be preached in all the nations—starting out from Jerusalem, you are to be witnesses of these things.’”—Luke 24:44-48.
10. In harmony with this, what can be proved concerning Jesus from the book of Psalms, although the expression “Psalms” could include what?
10 In harmony with this, can it be proved from the Psalms that Jesus Christ was to suffer and die and be raised from the dead and then have his name preached to all the nations as a means of salvation from their sins? Yes, from just the book of Psalms by itself. However, let it be said that Jesus divided the ancient Hebrew Scriptures into three sections, namely, “the law of Moses” and “the Prophets and Psalms.” The book of 150 Psalms was the first book in the section known as the Holy Writings or Hagiographa, composed of thirteen books. Hence the entire third section was referred to as the Psalms, for short. However, here let us view particularly the inspired book of 150 Psalms.
11. Who followed Jesus’ example in quoting from the Psalms, and so what are the Psalms rather than mere sentimental, emotional poetry?
11 Jesus’ twelve apostles and their fellow disciples followed Jesus’ example and quoted frequently from the book of Psalms. In the twenty-seven books of the Christian Greek Scriptures, from Matthew to Revelation, the eight inspired Christian writers quoted from 103 of the 150 Psalms,a or from the Second Psalm to the 149th Psalm. The Psalms are therefore not mere sentimental and emotional poetry. They are historical, they are also prophetical, they are a guide to the Christian’s prayers and praises, and they are a guide to a Christian’s work in God’s service. They are an important part of “all Scripture” that is “inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.”—2 Tim. 3:16, 17.
THE SUPREME ISSUE WITH GOD
12 In a remarkable way the book of Psalms makes reference to the whole program of events from the creation of heaven and earth down through the millenniums of man’s existence and through our day and on to the deciding of the supreme issue before all the universe. That paramount issue is the universal sovereignty of the one God, whose name is Jehovah. That issue or point in question arose because of the entrance of sin among mankind. The wages of such sin is death to mankind and a returning to the dust of the ground. Calling attention to this, the psalm written by the prophet Moses says: “O Jehovah, you yourself have proved to be a real dwelling for us during generation after generation. Before the mountains themselves were born, or you proceeded to bring forth as with labor pains the earth and the productive land, even from time indefinite to time indefinite you are God. You make mortal man go back to crushed matter and you say: ‘Go back, you sons of men.’ For a thousand years are in your eyes but as yesterday when it is past and as a watch during the night. You have swept them away; they become a mere sleep.” (Ps. 90:1-5 and superscription) The first two verses of the very next psalm speak of this everlasting One as the Most High, the Almighty One, Jehovah and God. In support of his side of the supreme issue, the Psalms also speak of Jehovah God as Sovereign Lord.
13. As the Sovereign Lord what can he do for his supporters, and how do the Psalms make no prejudiced effort to hide his name and titles and sovereignty?
13 Because he is the Sovereign Lord, the universal Sovereign, he can protect and preserve those who stand up for his universal sovereignty. Said King David as the psalmist: “O Jehovah the Sovereign Lord, the strength of my salvation, you have screened over my head in the day of the armed force.” “My eyes are to you, O Jehovah the Sovereign Lord. In you I have taken refuge. Do not pour out my soul.” (Ps. 140:7; 141:8) “The [true] God is for us a God of saving acts, and to Jehovah the Sovereign Lord belong the ways out from death.” “But as for me, the drawing near to God is good for me. In the Sovereign Lord Jehovah I have placed my refuge, to declare all your works.” (Ps. 68:20; 73:28; 69:6; 109:21) In no prejudiced effort to hide God’s own personal name, 848 timesb the book of Psalms calls him by his name Jehovah, forty-three times it refers to him by his shortened name Jah, and 475 times it refers to him under his title God or El·o·himʹ. In Psalm 50:1 we read: “The Divine One, God, Jehovah, has himself spoken.” In Psalm 103:20-22 his sovereignty or domination in heaven and earth is given as the reason for issuing this command: “Bless Jehovah, O you angels of his, mighty in power, carrying out his word, by listening to the voice of his word. Bless Jehovah, all you armies of his, you ministers of his, doing his will. Bless Jehovah, all you his works, in all places of his domination. Bless Jehovah, O my soul.”
14. What did Adam and Eve’s taking the wrong side of the controversy result in to us, and why did it become necessary for God to provide the adequate sacrifice?
14 When Adam and Eve took the wrong side of the controversy over the universal sovereignty of Jehovah God, it brought the death sentence upon them, so that all of us were born imperfect and under the condemnation of death. In his grief over having committed a grave sin, the psalmist David prayed to God: “Look! with error I was brought forth with birth pains, and in sin my mother conceived me. May you purify me from sin with hyssop, that I may be clean; may you wash me, that I may become whiter even than snow.” (Ps. 51:5, 7) Back there King David and other worshipers offered animal sacrifices to Jehovah God for sin, but the psalmist was inspired to say that animal victims, such as rich men could buy and offer in abundance, could not really take away sin and lift from mankind the condemnation to death: “Not one of them can by any means redeem even a brother, nor give to God a ransom for him; (and the redemption price of their soul is so precious that it has ceased to time indefinite) that he should still live forever [and] not see the pit. For he sees that even the wise ones die.” (Ps. 49:7-10) For that reason it became necessary for the universal Sovereign to provide a perfect human sacrifice for all mankind. How?
15. How did God provide the perfect human sacrifice, and through what knowledge did Jesus present himself as an adequate sacrifice?
15 The universal Sovereign Lord sent down his only-begotten Son from heaven to be born as a man with a perfect body that he might become the Messiah or Anointed One, about whom the Psalms speak prophetically. This heavenly Son of God was born nineteen centuries ago in the royal family of King David, not in a glorious palace, however, but in a stable in David’s birth city of Bethlehem. A manger was then his bed. He was called Jesus, his name meaning “Jehovah is salvation,” and under this name he was to save his people, Christians, from their sins. (Matt. 1:20, 21) No wonder he repeatedly said that he came in his Father’s name. At the age of thirty years he was baptized in the waters of the Jordan River, not in symbol of his being a sinner but as a sign before God and the holy angels and John the Baptizer that he was dedicating himself to the larger service of God his Father. Right after this baptism God anointed Jesus with holy spirit from heaven and he thus had the title “Christ” or Anointed One added to his name; he became Jesus Christ. The perfect Jesus knew that the animal sacrifices of the Jews were not equal to the value of a man and were therefore not able to be a redemption price for mankind; their blood could not wash away the sins of mankind. That was why Jesus, knowing his own human perfection, presented himself as an adequate sacrifice.
16. When he did so, what words of Psalm 40 was Jesus carrying out, and what did this statement mean concerning him?
16 When Jesus did so he was carrying out the words of Psalm 40:6-8: “Sacrifice and offering you did not delight in; these ears of mine you opened up [but a body you prepared for me]. Burnt offering and sin offering you did not ask for. That being so, I said: ‘Here I have come, in the roll of the book it being written about me. To do your will, O my God, I have delighted, and your law is within my inward parts.’” (Marginal reading; Heb. 10:5-10) This meant that Jesus had to die sinlessly, sacrificially, in this way giving up forever the perfect human body that Jehovah God had miraculously prepared for him. He must use that sacrifice, not take it back.
17. In what certain way did Jesus have to die, according to Psalm 22?
17 According to the Psalms as well as other prophetic scriptures, Jesus had to die in a certain way. No, not on the altar of Jehovah’s temple in Jerusalem; that was not for human sacrifices. But on a torture stake, and nailed to it hand and foot. As Psalm 22:16 prophesied of Jesus: “Dogs have surrounded me; the assembly of evildoers themselves have enclosed me. Like a lion [they are at] my hands and my feet [They bored my hands and feet].”—Marginal reading.
18 As we read the rest of Psalm 22 in the light of its later fulfillment we can hear the enemies who schemed to have him nailed to the torture stake taunt him, saying: “He committed himself to Jehovah. Let Him provide him with escape! Let him deliver him, since he has taken delight in him!” We can see the Roman soldiers who stripped Jesus of his clothing before nailing him up throwing dice for the ownership of his inner garment: “They apportion my clothing among themselves, and upon my garment they cast lots.” We can hear Jesus just before his death taking up the words of Psalm 22:1: “My God, my God, why have you left me? [Why are you] far from saving me, [from] the words of my roaring?” And as he finally breathes his last and a Roman soldier jabs his side with a spear and blood and water stream out, we see fulfilled the words: “Like water I have been poured out, and all my bones have been separated from one another. My heart has become like wax; it has melted deep in my inward parts. My power has dried up just like a fragment of earthenware, and my tongue is made to stick to my gums, and in the dust of death you are setting me.” (Ps. 22:8, 14, 15, 18; Matt. 27:43, 46; John 19:23, 24) Even the gall that they had tried to make him drink, and the vinegar with which the soldiers sponged his mouth to quench his thirst, were foretold: “Reproach itself has broken my heart and [the wound] is incurable. And I kept hoping for someone to sympathize but there was none, and for comforters but I found none. But for food they proceeded to give [me] a poisonous plant, and for my thirst they tried to make me drink vinegar.” (Ps. 69:20, 21; John 19:28-30) Such fulfillments mark Jesus as the foretold Messiah!
19. In the Psalms how did Jehovah foretell Jesus’ resurrection, and how did he fulfill such prophecy?
19 But a dead Jesus would not serve to vindicate himself as a Son of God faithful to the death nor to vindicate Jehovah God as universal Sovereign Lord with all power and dominion. Having this in mind, Jehovah in the Psalms foretold Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. The dead Jesus was buried in a nearby tomb in a rock and thus his soul, which he had poured out in death, went to Sheol or mankind’s common grave. But Jesus died with full hope of a resurrection, his hope being voiced in Psalm 16:8-11: “I have placed Jehovah in front of me constantly. Because [he] is at my right hand I shall not be made to totter. Therefore my heart does rejoice and my glory is inclined to be joyful. Also, my own flesh will reside in security. For you will not leave my soul in Sheol. You will not allow your man of loving-kindness to see the pit. You will cause me to know the path of life. Rejoicing to the full is with your face; there is pleasantness at your right hand forever.” That this and other prophecies of the Psalms might be carried out, Jehovah God brushed aside the Devil’s preventive efforts and raised Jesus from the dead, delivering him from Sheol on the third day. God rewarded him with a spirit body in place of the sacrificed human body, that he might know again the path of life and know pleasantness at God’s right hand forever.—Acts 2:22-31.
THE CONGREGATION AND THE KINGDOM COVENANT
20. As foretold in Psalm 40:8-10, what work did Jesus on earth have to do, how did he become a shepherd, and whom did he in turn acknowledge as his shepherd?
20 However, before Jesus finished his course on earth he had a work to do. His work was to make known the name and the sovereignty of the one true God; it was to be the foremost witness of Jehovah, it was to gather about him a congregation of disciples, spiritual brothers, who should carry forward and finish on earth the work of Kingdom witnessing that he had begun. That was part of Jehovah’s will for Jesus, as Psalm 40:8-10 foretold: “To do your will, O my God, I have delighted, and your law is within my inward parts. I have told the good news of righteousness in the big congregation. Look! my lips I do not restrain. O Jehovah, you yourself know that well. Your righteousness I have not covered over within my heart. Your faithfulness and your salvation I have declared. I have not hidden your loving-kindness and your trueness in the big congregation.” True to this prophecy that was written about him in the roll of God’s Bible Jesus proceeded to gather twelve apostles and other disciples round about him. To this “little flock” he was Jehovah’s Right Shepherd. But he himself was the “Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world,” and so, like the psalmist David, he could say to God his Father: “Jehovah is my Shepherd. I shall lack nothing. In grassy pastures he makes me lie down; by well-watered resting places he conducts me.”—Ps. 23:1, 2.
21. What public confession did he make concerning his followers, and how was this foretold in Psalm 22?
21 In this preaching work of his Jesus took along many of his disciples to train them for their future ministry. He was not ashamed to call them his brothers in a spiritual sense. This these words of Psalm 22:22 foretold: “I will declare your name to my brothers; in the middle of the congregation I shall praise you.” (Heb. 2:11, 12) When someone in a big crowd said his mother and her other sons wanted to come up and speak to him, he pointed to his disciples and said: “Look! my mother and my brothers!” On his resurrection day he appeared to Mary Magdalene and said: “Be on your way to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father and to my God and your God.’”—Matt. 12:46-50; John 20:17.
22. What covenant did Jesus make known when celebrating the Lord’s evening meal, and how was this foretold in Psalm 50?
22 To these faithful disciples Jesus made known the promised new covenant that was to take the place of the old law covenant that the prophet Moses had mediated between Jehovah God and Israel. When Jesus mentioned the new covenant in his last supper with his apostles before his death he was referring to the new covenant that was to be concluded over his own human sacrifice and that was foretold in Psalm 50:4, 5: “[God] calls to the heavens above and to the earth so as to execute judgment on his people: ‘Gather to me my men of loving-kindness, those concluding my covenant over sacrifice.’”
23. Through this new covenant what undeserved kindness were the believers to receive, making them most happy, and by this covenant what is taken out from the nations?
23 Through this new covenant they were to receive actual forgiveness of their sins because of their faith in the human sacrifice by which the covenant was put into force, thus making them the happiest people on earth. As David foretold in Psalm 32:1, 2: “Happy is the one whose transgression is pardoned, whose sin is covered. Happy is the man to whose account Jehovah does not put error, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.” (Rom. 4:5-8; Jer. 31:31-34, AS) By this covenant we are taken out from all the worldly nations to become a people for Jehovah’s name, that is, Jehovah’s happy, righteous witnesses. (Acts 15:14) In these last days the remnant of those upon whom Jehovah has bestowed his loving-kindness have been gathered to him so as to serve as witnesses of his kingdom to all nations in all the inhabited earth.
24. What purpose does the Kingdom serve, and who had to conceive the idea of a covenant for it, and do the Psalms also speak of this?
24 In Jehovah’s exalted arrangement the Kingdom serves the most important purpose. It is the special means by which Jehovah will vindicate his position as the universal Sovereign Lord. In this kingdom he has a representative of his on the throne, one whom he anoints to be King. Early after the flood of Noah’s day Jehovah raised up a king on earth who foreshadowed Jehovah’s anointed King of the new world. His name was Melchizedek, and he was king of the city of Salem and at the same time priest of the Most High God. No creature in heaven or on earth could arrange to make himself king of the new world. It was Jehovah who had to conceive the idea of such a king and to make a covenant or solemn agreement with one whom he wanted to hold this kingship. Jesus Christ is the one whom Jehovah has anointed to be the King, the one with whom he has made the special covenant for the kingdom of the heavens. Since Jesus showed his disciples that the Psalms had so much to say prophetically about him, do we find some psalms speaking of the Kingdom covenant and of Melchizedek? We do. Jehovah chose the family line of King David as the one through whom the Messiah, the anointed King of the new world, should come. So Jehovah made with David a covenant for a permanent kingdom.
25. How did Ethan the Ezrahite appeal to God in the name of the Kingdom covenant in Psalm 89?
25 In Psalm 89 Ethan the Ezrahite makes an appeal to Jehovah God in the name of this kingdom covenant; he quotes Jehovah as saying: “I have concluded a covenant toward my chosen one; I have sworn to David my servant: ‘Even to time indefinite I shall firmly establish your seed, and I will build your throne to generation after generation.’ He himself calls out to me: ‘You are my Father, my God and the Rock of my salvation.’ Also I myself shall place him as first-born, the most high of the kings of the earth. To time indefinite I shall preserve my loving-kindness toward him, and my covenant will be faithful to him. And I shall certainly set up his seed forever and his throne as the days of heaven. I shall not profane my covenant, and the expression out of my lips I shall not change. Once I have sworn in my holiness, to David I will not tell lies. His seed itself will prove to be even to time indefinite and his throne as the sun in front of me. As the moon it will be firmly established for time indefinite and be a faithful witness in the skies.”—Ps. 89:3, 4, 26-29, 34-37.
26. How did the psalmist remind Jehovah of the Kingdom covenant in Psalm 132, and why will Jehovah not draw back from what he swore to David though long ago?
26 Another psalmist, possibly King Hezekiah, who sat on David’s throne, also reminds Jehovah God of his kingdom covenant, saying: “On account of David your servant, do not turn back the face of your anointed one. Jehovah has sworn to David, truly he will not draw back from it: ‘Of the fruitage of your belly I shall set on your throne. If your sons will keep my covenant and my reminders that I shall teach them, their sons also forever will sit upon your throne.’ For Jehovah has chosen Zion; he has longed for it as a dwelling for himself: ‘ . . . There I shall cause the horn of David to grow. I have set in order a lamp for my anointed one. His enemies I shall clothe with shame, but upon him his diadem will flourish.’” (Ps. 132:10-18) Since the Kingdom is the powerful means by which Jehovah has chosen to vindicate his universal sovereignty, how could we even think that Jehovah would draw back what he has solemnly sworn to King David even though it was thirty centuries ago! He is a God that faithfully keeps his covenant.
27. With whom, therefore, did Jehovah make a Kingdom covenant afterward, and for whom did this one covenant for the same kingdom?
27 In carrying out this kingdom covenant he put his Son Jesus Christ on earth as a descendant of King David, and with Jesus he made a covenant not only for the kingdom of the earth but for the kingdom of the heavens. This was why, on the night before he died as a witness to this kingdom, Jesus said to his faithful apostles: “You are the ones that have stuck with me in my trials; and I make a covenant with you, just as my Father has made a covenant with me, for a kingdom.” (Luke 22:28, 29) For this reason Jesus will have his congregation of brothers, anointed with the same spirit of God, as joint heirs in the kingdom of the heavens.
28. How was Jesus to become higher than the kings of the earth?
28 Jesus was prophesied to become higher than any kings ever on earth, yes, higher than King David himself. In this way he, although David’s son, would become David’s Lord. He could become David’s Lord only by becoming a heavenly King, seated at God’s right hand in the heavens. He would become a priest for David, and since David was only a king but no priest, Jesus would again become more than David; he would become a King-Priest like ancient Melchizedek, king of Salem.
29. In what way did Jesus call attention to these facts to silence his enemies, and how did Peter also refer to those facts on the day of Pentecost?
29 By calling attention to these facts Jesus silenced his enemies. He quoted to them from Psalm 110, in which King David prophetically called Jesus Christ his Lord, by saying: “The utterance of Jehovah to my Lord is: ‘Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet.’ The rod of your strength Jehovah will send out of Zion: ‘Go subduing in the midst of your enemies.’ Jehovah has sworn (and he will not feel sorry): ‘You are a priest to time indefinite according to the manner of Melchizedek!’ Jehovah himself at your right hand will certainly break kings to pieces on the day of his anger.” (Ps. 110:1, 2, 4, 5; Matt. 22:41-45) To carry out this invitation to Jesus to sit at his right hand and this sworn oath to make Jesus there seated an everlasting king like Melchizedek, Jehovah raised Jesus from the dead on the third day that he might enter the invisible heavens. On the fortieth day after that his disciples on the Mount of Olives saw him ascend heavenward to his Father. Ten days later on the day of Pentecost the apostle Peter preached to over 3,000 Jews and quoted Psalm 110 and gave them the proof that Jesus was then, that day, up in heaven at Jehovah’s right hand as David’s Lord and as Christ.—Acts 2:32-36.
THE KINGDOM IN ACTION
30. Why are those things of nineteen centuries ago not too far in the past to affect us today?
30 But that was over nineteen hundred years ago! What does that have to do with us today? How could that affect us today in this age of hydrogen bombs and nuclear warfare? We humans should not think that all that is too far in the past to be of any concern or value to us today. Nineteen centuries ago seems like long, long ago to us, but to the beginningless, endless Jehovah God, to whom a thousand of our years are as but one day, nineteen hundred years ago is as less than two days ago. More than ever the actions of all the nations since the year 1914 call for the settling of the supreme issue, the vindication of Jehovah’s sovereignty over earth as well as heaven. To that end there is the present need of the royal government of his King like Melchizedek.
31. How has that kingdom come to be here since 1914, and how has it gone subduing in the midst of Christ’s enemies?
31 That kingdom is now on hand to uphold Jehovah’s side of the issue of universal sovereignty. That kingdom was born in the heavens in 1914 in fulfillment of Jehovah’s oath to David’s Lord. By that year Jesus had sat through the appointed period of time at his heavenly Father’s right hand. So in 1914 the time had come for Jehovah to begin making Christ’s enemies the stool for his feet. The time had come for Jehovah to send the rod of Christ’s strength out of heavenly Zion with the command: “Go subduing in the midst of your enemies.” At the exact time in 1914 Jehovah God faithfully did those things. His kingdom by Christ is now in action. Because of its action Satan the Devil and all his demons now find themselves hurled down and confined to the neighborhood of this earth to await the not-far-off time when Jehovah himself, at his anointed King’s right hand, will break the enemy kings of the earth to pieces on the day for vindicating his universal sovereignty.
32. Why is this a day for unusual action and witnessing by the congregation of Christ’s brothers?
32 This is accordingly a day for unusual action by the congregation of Christ’s brothers on earth. This is the day for unusual witnessing by the anointed witnesses of the universal Sovereign. It is the day foretold by Jesus Christ for preaching the good news of God’s established kingdom to all earth’s inhabitants for a witness to all nations before the end of these comes in the “war of the great day of God the Almighty.” All hail to this day, for it is the day to fulfill the divine commands in Psalm 96: “Sing to Jehovah a new song. Sing to Jehovah, all [you people of] the earth. Sing to Jehovah, bless his name. From day to day tell the good news of salvation by him. . . . Say among the nations: ‘Jehovah himself has become king.’” And the very next psalm tells the peoples in lands great and small to be glad because Jehovah has brought his royal government to birth, saying: “Jehovah himself has become king! Let the earth be joyful. Let the many islands rejoice. For you, O Jehovah, are the Most High over all the earth; you have made your ascent very high over all other gods.” (Ps. 97:1, 9) Wise, indeed, we are if we rejoice in faith over the establishment of God’s kingdom rather than sorrow over the coming overthrow of the kingdoms of this wicked world.
33. What do those who rejoice do, and what has their doing this resulted in?
33 What do those who rejoice do? Outstandingly since the close of World War I in 1918 they fulfill Psalm 145:10-13: “All your works will laud you, O Jehovah, and your men of loving-kindness [the congregation of those in the kingdom covenant] will bless you. About the glory of your kingship they will talk, and about your mightiness they will speak, to make known to the sons of men his mighty acts and the glory of the splendor of his kingship. Your kingship is a kingship of all times indefinite, and your dominion is throughout all successive generations.” This talking about the glory of Jehovah’s kingship by all the many means of preaching has not been in vain. Already hundreds of thousands of the sons of men to whom the glory of the splendor of Jehovah’s kingship has been made known in more than a hundred languages have believed and accepted the Kingdom message and are rejoicing in it. More than that, they are acting upon it in fulfillment of the psalmist’s prayer: “The praise of Jehovah my mouth will speak, and let all flesh bless his holy name to time indefinite, even forever.” (Ps. 145:21) They too have become Kingdom witnesses of Jehovah.
34. How is the bride class of Christ a King’s daughter, and by whom has she now been joined as she nears her marriage day?
34 In delightsome language the book of Psalms tells of these joyful companions of the preaching remnant of the Kingdom heirs. The remnant are the last remaining ones on earth of the class pictured as the bride of Christ. They have been begotten or engendered by Jehovah God by means of his life-giving spirit and so they have become as a daughter to the great King of eternity, Jehovah, the universal Sovereign. Now that the kingdom of God’s dear Son, their Bridegroom, has been established, the time draws near for their marriage to him in the “first resurrection.” Now as the remnant of the bride class approach the wedding day they are telling all lovers of divine government about their Bridegroom, who has been made King at Jehovah’s right hand in heaven. As they move on through this world to their final union with the Bridegroom they are joined by well-wishing companions who want to become subjects of their Bridegroom King. These become as bridesmaids to the remnant.
35. How does Psalm 45 describe these bridal companions, and how are they now in the king’s palace?
35 Psalm 45:13-15 describes both the bride class and the bridesmaids in these beautiful words: “The king’s daughter is all glorious within [the house]; her clothing is out of settings of gold. In woven apparel she will be brought to the king. The virgins in her train as her companions are being brought . . . with rejoicing and joyfulness; they will enter into the palace of the king.” These as-it-were bridesmaids out of all the nations were thus foretold as a happy multitude of persons, and today they are unspeakably happy. They are happy because they are privileged to give out to others the Kingdom good news in close companionship with the remnant of the bride class. They are in the palace of the universal King, Jehovah, because they are now at his spiritual temple, there rendering him sacred service continually.
36. How has Psalm 22:27, 28 been fulfilled in them?
36 This great crowd of bridesmaids comes from the very ends of the earth to which the Kingdom message has been preached, and they are members of all the families of the nations, God being impartial toward all. They have learned about the name of Jehovah and they have turned away from false gods with other names in order to worship Jehovah as God and to serve him as rightful King. In them is being fulfilled Psalm 22:27, 28: “All the ends of the earth will remember and turn back to Jehovah. And all the families of the nations will bow down before you. For the kingship belongs to Jehovah and he is dominating the nations.”
37 As the worldly nations worry along in their distress and uncertainty, and as they march on to their destruction in the universal war of Armageddon, we can be happy. Do we want to be happy? We can be. How? There are twenty-four happinesses or beatitudes in the Psalms that tell us the secret of how to be happy with the happiness that will never end. It is instructive for us to hear some of these beatitudes! The very book of Psalms opens with a beatitude, “Happy is the man that has not walked in the counsel of the wicked ones, and in the way of sinners has not stood and in the seat of ridiculers has not sat. But his delight is in the law of Jehovah, and in his law he reads in an undertone day and night.” (Ps. 1:1, 2) The beatitude in the Second Psalm is one that not only world rulers but all of us under the shadow of Armageddon ought to heed: “Serve Jehovah with fear and be joyful with trembling. Kiss the son, that He may not become incensed and you may not perish [from] the way, for his anger flares up easily. Happy are all those taking refuge in him.”—Ps. 2:11, 12.
38 We cannot defy God and tell lies about him and be happy. “Happy is the able-bodied man that has put Jehovah as his trust and that has not turned his face to defiant people, nor to those falling away to lies.” (Ps. 40:4) Those who enjoy the happiness of giving will be preserved through Armageddon: “Happy is anyone acting with consideration toward the lowly one; in the day of calamity Jehovah will provide escape for him. Jehovah himself will guard him and preserve him alive. He will be pronounced happy in the earth, and you cannot possibly give him over to the soulful desire of his enemies.” (Ps. 41:1, 2, margin) Correction from Jehovah is meant to result in our happiness: “Happy is the able-bodied man whom you correct, O Jah, and whom you teach out of your own law, to give him quietness from days of calamity, until for the wicked one a pit is excavated.” (Ps. 94:12, 13) Obedience to God’s command results in unusual happiness: “Happy is the man in fear of Jehovah, in whose commandments he has taken very much delight.” “Happy are the ones faultless in [their] way, the ones walking in the law of Jehovah. Happy are those observing his reminders; with all the heart they keep searching for him.”—Ps. 112:1; 119:1, 2.
39. What do the materially rich say is a happy state, but what do Jehovah’s witnesses say in contrast?
39 The materially rich may brag about their families and their earthly possessions and may then say: “‘Happy is the people for whom it is just like [that]!’” But the spiritually rich New World society of Jehovah’s witnesses say in contrast: “Happy is the people whose God is Jehovah!” (Ps. 144:12-15) “Happy is the one that has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in Jehovah his God, the Maker of heaven and earth.”—Ps. 146:5, 6.
40. As we approach the day of Jehovah’s war, what should we do toward unifying ourselves, and hence what should our determination be?
40 For our highest happiness now and in the world to come the Psalms serve as a faithful guide to us regarding what is his will for us now. As we approach the day of days when Jehovah will make wars to cease to the extremity of the earth, breaking the enemy armaments to pieces and setting astonishing events in the earth, we need to keep united as his people and to meet together as often as can be arranged. “Look! how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!” (Ps. 133:1) To promote that goodness and pleasantness of unitedly dwelling together we should take hold of the opportunity and build one another up as fellow believers and fellow servants. We meet, not only to praise the universal Sovereign and his kingdom, but to help one another to praise him before people on the outside who need salvation. Our determination should be: “As for me, in my integrity I shall walk. O redeem me and show me favor. My own foot will certainly stand on a level place; among the congregated throngs I shall bless Jehovah.” (Ps. 26:11, 12) “I will laud you in the big congregation; among a numerous people I shall praise you.”—Ps. 35:18.
41 We are to invite unhappy, bewildered, endangered people outside to join us in our joyful, upbuilding meetings: “O let people laud Jehovah for his loving-kindness and for his wonderful works to the sons of men. And let them extol him in the congregation of the people, and in the seat of the elderly men let them praise him.” (Ps. 107:31, 32) “Praise Jah, you people! Sing to Jehovah a new song, his praise in the congregation of men of loving-kindness. Let Israel rejoice in its grand Maker, the sons of Zion—let them be joyful in their King.”—Ps. 149:1, 2.
42. How has Jehovah separated his people from the nations and put them in a newborn land?
42 Unlike Israel of old, we do not dwell altogether in a land all to ourselves, living to ourselves and having nothing to do with the nations outside our boundaries. We dwell scattered around the earth in the midst of worldly peoples, whose ungodly practices and beliefs and nationalistic pride and ambitions we must resist. Yet Jehovah has separated his people from this world by his truth, which has made them free, and by his organization of them that they may all act together in doing his one will for them. In this day of Jehovah he has brought forth his nation of spiritual Israel, a nation not captive to any of the nations of this world. He has given them a spiritual position before him, a theocratic position occupied by no others on earth, so that he has, as it were, caused a ‘land to be born’ in this great day of Jehovah for their residence. There he has brought the spiritual children of his woman Zion, and there he has gathered to them hundreds of thousands of temporary residents of good will.
43. To appreciate our spiritual nationhood what do we need to do, and what blessing is there to us from doing so?
43 For us to appreciate our spiritual nationhood, our national oneness, we need to come together regularly in our meetings. There is the suitable place to talk about the God who has made us his organized people. There before and with our brothers in the faith we should express our joy in Jehovah, who has become our King since 1914. The blessing from this to us will be a deepening of our love for him and his Christ and for our brothers, and a strengthening of our tie to one another to stick together against all the world that is united against Jehovah and us as his witnesses.
44. What is it that we are commanded to go forth from our meetings and do, and, according to Psalm 68:11, 12, who also take part in this?
44 From our meetings we are commanded to go forth and bear witness and sound warning to all the nations for the last time, because their complete end is clocked for Armageddon. By faith, in the light of prophecy, we see his victory and we can rejoice because of what that victory will mean for his own universal sovereignty and for the blessing of all who love and serve him. As we go out to our territory to bear witness publicly and from house to house, he gives us his triumphant message today. Women and not just the men who ordinarily do the fighting are to join in this triumphal proclamation. Psalm 68:11, 12 has come true in this respect: “Jehovah himself gives the saying; the women telling the good news are a large army. Even the kings of armies flee, they flee. As for her who abides at home, she shares in the spoil.” At our homes, too, we should tell of our theocratic victories in preaching the good news of Jehovah’s triumphant kingdom.
45. Where does the expression “Hallelujah” first occur, and how many times are we given this call in Psalms, regardless of our age or sex?
45 Taking a look forward to Jehovah’s victory at Armageddon, as the psalmist did, we can join with him in saying: “The sinners will be finished off from the earth, and as for the wicked, they will be no longer. Bless Jehovah, O my soul. Praise Jah, you people!” (Ps. 104:35) Here for the first time occurs that sacred Hebrew exclamation, Hallelujah! the name Jah being the shortened form for Jehovah. Today we who have witnessed the birth of his kingdom and experienced such blessings under it have every reason for praising Jehovah. In this final part of the book of Psalms, twenty-three times we are given this call to praise, Hallelujah! All people alive on the earth today are called upon to praise the universal Sovereign, regardless of what position they hold on the earth, regardless of what may be their age or their sex: “Praise Jehovah from the earth, . . . you kings of the earth and all you national groups, you princes and all you judges of the earth, you young men and also you virgins, you old men together with you boys. Let them praise the name of Jehovah, for his name alone is unreachably high. His dignity is above earth and heaven. And he will exalt the horn of his people, the praise of all his men of loving-kindness, of the sons of Israel, the people near to him. Praise Jah, you people [Hallelujah]!”—Ps. 148:7-14, margin.
46. What is it now the time for us to do according to the five doxologies of the book of Psalms?
46 We are nearing the close of the time of the end of this old world and its kingdoms. The time is definitely past for the praising of men and human organizations and institutions. It is the critical time for all who want to live to praise our Creator and our Sovereign. It is the important occasion for us to heed the call to bless him. The book of Psalms is divided into five parts by five doxologies or five pronouncements of blessing upon the one living and true God, Jehovah; the first doxology at the close of Psalm 41, the second at the close of Psalm 72, the third at the close of Psalm 89, the fourth at the close of Psalm 106, and the fifth brings to a close the entire book of Psalms. It is in fact the entire Psalm 150. Everything in the expanse of the heavens and on the earth it embraces in its call to everybody to join in one grand Hallelujah. “Praise Jah, you people! Praise God in his sanctuary. Praise him in the expanse of his strength. . . . Every breathing thing—let it praise Jah. Praise Jah, you people [Hallelujah]!”—Ps. 150:1-6, margin.
47. What does Psalm 150 call for, and so what should we move forward in doing?
47 That calls for international praise now, today, to the one God. That is the way the inspired psalmist felt toward him. That is the way we feel toward him who is worthy of universal praise. Forward, then, with the commanded preaching of the Kingdom good news to the people of all the nations in a final witness, that the thankful ones may join the universal Hallelujah in fulfillment of this prophecy and may breathe Jehovah’s praise forever in his new world!
Let us always offer to God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips which make public declaration to his name.—Heb. 13:15.
a See index of places in Novum Testamentum Graece, by D. Eberhard Nestle, Stuttgart, Germany.
b This includes the forty-eight times where the Jewish Sopherim changed the early Hebrew text to read A·do·nayʹ instead of Ye·ho·wahʹ, which the New World Translation has restored to their primitive reading.