Why the Divine Will International Assembly Resolved
“So they swore to Jehovah with a loud voice.”—2 Chron. 15:14.
1. Why is it a good thing for a nation to enter as a whole upon a faithful resolve, in the fear of God?
IT IS a good thing for a nation to enter as a whole upon a faithful resolve, in the fear of God. Nothing serves better than this for uniting the people of the nation in a righteous endeavor, to the lasting benefit of all the nation and to the honor and exaltation of God. He, the Creator of man and of man’s earthly home, is not unmindful of such national action. He is certain to show his approval by blessing and protecting the nation and giving them the needed divine assistance toward keeping their godly resolve.
2. When did such a national action take place long ago, and after what miraculous victory?
2 Such a national action took place long ago as a wholesome example for us today. It took place in the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa the king of Jerusalem, in the tenth century before the Christian era. Zerah the Ethiopian, with a million warriors, marched up through Egypt and threatened to destroy the kingdom of Judah. At the critical moment King Asa called out to Jehovah, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Asa was heard, and those enemies of the kingdom of Jehovah at Jerusalem were themselves wiped out.
3. On his return from victory what assurance was given to King Asa, and afterward what did the nation resolve upon at Jehovah’s temple?
3 On King Asa’s return from this miraculous victory, the prophet Azariah met him and said reassuringly: “Jehovah is with you as long as you prove to be with him, and if you search for him he will let himself be found by you, but if you leave him he will leave you. . . . And you, be courageous and do not let your hands drop down, because there exists a reward for your activity.” Under this mighty stimulation King Asa gathered to Jehovah’s temple at Jerusalem all those Israelites who loyally served Asa as Jehovah’s anointed king. In addition to sacrificing to Him as their God, the assembled nation united in a resolve. Concerning this we read: “Furthermore, they entered into a covenant to search for Jehovah the God of their forefathers with all their heart and with all their soul, that anyone that would not search for Jehovah the God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. So they swore to Jehovah with a loud voice and with joyful shouting and with the trumpets and with cornets. And all Judah gave way to rejoicing over the thing sworn, for it was with all their heart that they had sworn and with full pleasure on their part that they had looked for him, so that he let himself be found by them, and Jehovah continued to give them rest all around.”—2 Chron. 15:2-15.
4. What kind of sacrifices are Jehovah’s witnesses of today offering, and what outstanding feature was presented on the sixth day of their international assembly in New York city in 1958?
4 Those natural Israelites joining in this sworn resolve must have numbered hundreds of thousands, for in one day they sacrificed seven hundred cattle and seven thousand sheep. Today a remnant of the new nation of spiritual Israelites are offering the sacrifices of praise and of Christian works to the same God. In their worship of him this spiritual remnant have been joined by hundreds of thousands of sheeplike persons of good will in all quarters of the earth. Just this past July 27 to August 3, delegates or representatives of these witnesses of Jehovah assembled in and around Yankee Stadium and the nearby Polo Grounds, New York city. The program for the sixth day, Friday, August 1, announced among the afternoon features the address on “Why This Convention Should Resolve,” by the vice-president of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, followed at once by the presentation “This Convention Resolves,” by the president of the same Society. This outstanding feature of the day was presented at 1:30 p.m. directly to the audience in and around the Polo Grounds, and then at 3:30 p.m. to the still larger audience in and around Yankee Stadium. The vice-president spoke by way of introduction, to the following effect:
Why This Assembly Should Resolve
5. What could be said regarding the number of Christian witnesses gathered at that assembly?
NEVER before have so many Christian witnesses of Jehovah been assembled together at one time as at this Divine Will International Assembly of Jehovah’s Witnesses, here in the Yankee Stadium and the Polo Grounds in New York city.
6. Why was that not merely an international assembly, and upon what solid basis did their assembling together in oneness rest?
6 This is not merely an international assembly. It is also an interracial assembly, for we have come here not only from many nations, as represented in the 123 lands and islands where we live, but also from the three great branches of the human family that stem from our common forefather, Noah the son of Lamech the son of Methuselah the son of Enoch. (1 Chron. 1:3, 4) In reality, this is a Christian human family assembly. Despite the way that we look on the surface or despite the difference in languages that we speak, we are all one flesh, created by one God and redeemed by one ransom sacrifice, his Son Jesus Christ. Furthermore, our basis for thus assembling together rests not just on our natural oneness of flesh; it rests more solidly upon our oneness of Christian personality, “where,” as the apostle Paul reminds us, “there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, foreigner, Scythian, slave, freeman, but Christ is all things and in all.” (Col. 3:10, 11) Our assembly is thus merely one mammoth manifestation of the fulfillment of Jehovah’s prophecy by Isaiah:
7. Of the fulfillment of what prophecy was that assembly a mammoth manifestation?
7 “It must occur in the final part of the days that the mountain of the house of Jehovah will become firmly established above the top of the mountains, and it will certainly be lifted up above the hills, and to it all the nations must stream. And many peoples will certainly go and say: ‘Come, you people, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob, and he will instruct us about his ways and we will walk in his paths.’ . . . And they will have to beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, neither will they learn war any more.”—Isa. 2:2-4.
8. Why did those conventioners have no reason for boasting in themselves for coming together in such numbers from so many places?
8 In view of world conditions in this midsummer of 1958, our getting here to this Divine Will assembly from the four quarters of the globe, by the many means of travel and at much expense, stands for no small achievement. It is nothing over which to boast on our own part. Almighty God is the One who has brought it about. He has spread for us the most appetizing spiritual feast that we are enjoying here; and he issued to us the loving invitation through his visible organization on earth. He has provided for all of us the means to get here. He has protected and preserved us on the way here, and his protection has been over us in this assembly till now. He has brought us to this occasion that has no equal. To Him we tender our heartfelt thanks for this. To him all the credit! “‘Not by arms, nor by force, but by my spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.” (Zech. 4:6, AT) And to this we heartily agree!
9. What did their being together in such numbers from everywhere afford them an opportunity to do?
9 Our being together according to the divine will and by the divine providence affords us a tremendous opportunity. We being together in such huge numbers, from so many locations around the globe, it becomes most appropriate for us as one company to join in making some expression to give force to the fact that we have the one spirit of God, that we have been “taught by Jehovah” to a oneness of knowledge and understanding, and that we have been made strong and fortified in our decision to do the one divine will as a united theocratic organization, called by God’s holy name Jehovah.
10. With what courage and eagerness did they come together, and what did they find it a most suitable occasion for doing that day?
10 We, who have been baptized in obedience to God and in imitation of Jesus Christ, are all of us dedicated to God for the doing of his will. We have come here unafraid of facing the divine will and not afraid to face any further revelation of the divine will, for that is the theme of this assembly. We are eager to learn more of God’s will. Here we seek to be renewed in our decision to do his will, that we may do it faithfully in fulfillment of our vow in order to make His heart rejoice. We see that there is much confusion in all this world, even in Christendom, as regards what the divine will is. We know, also, that there are many sheeplike persons in all parts of the earth who want to learn what God’s will is that they may fulfill the purpose of their lives in doing it. Consequently, we find this a most suitable occasion for making some statement of what the divine will is and for voicing our determination to keep on doing it ourselves and to help other men of good will to do it.
11. Why was it not necessary to describe conditions that exist in the earth, and how did Paul describe them to Timothy long in advance?
11 The world’s newspapers, magazines and radio communications describe the events taking place and the deplorable conditions that exist both in Christendom and in the rest of the earth. We do not need to go into any detailed description of what is already so well known to men. Nineteen centuries ago our Christian brother, the apostle Paul, wrote an advance description of what we, assembled here from all parts of the earth, have observed to be the condition: “In the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, self-assuming, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, without gratitude, with no loving-kindness, having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness, betrayers, headstrong, puffed up with self-esteem, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, having a form of godly devotion but proving false to its power; . . . In fact, all those desiring to live with godly devotion in association with Christ Jesus will also be persecuted. On the other hand, wicked men and impostors will advance from bad to worse, misleading and being misled.”—2 Tim. 3:1-5, 12, 13.
12. What was declared to be the root cause for the state of the world’s affairs, and why were a particular class pointed out to be the most reprehensible for world conditions?
12 There is a root cause for this state of affairs. Without any double talk or hesitation we declare this root cause of all the crime, delinquency, hatred, strife, prejudice, communism and mad confusion to be wrong religion, false religion; behind which is man’s unseen enemy, Satan the Devil. The men most responsible for the world condition are the religious instructors and leaders; and the most reprehensible of these are the religious clergy of Christendom. These have the complete Bible, the Holy Scriptures inspired by God’s spirit. The members of their religious systems pay them hard-earned money and trust them to study the Bible and preach God’s will and purpose as set forth in it. Christendom’s clergy have the awe-filled respect of their congregations, who rely upon their clergy to teach the Bible truth and to live up to its teachings in imitation of Jesus Christ. Said the apostle Paul as a pattern for the clergy to follow: “Become imitators of me, even as I am of Christ.” (1 Cor. 11:1) Had the hundreds of thousands of clergymen in Christendom done as Paul instructed, what a power they would have wielded to prevent Christendom, which dominates the rest of the world, from getting into its serious condition of today! How effective they could have been in preventing two world wars and the great stress and pressure that forced the development of the atomic and hydrogen bombs!
13. Why were they not unjustified in making such a criticism of Christendom’s clergy, and why were they really under obligation to speak concerning Christendom’s leaders?
13 Are we unjustified in making such a criticism? Is it wrong for us to feel just as Jehovah’s prophet Jeremiah felt about a similar situation in his own day, and then to express ourselves in harmony with our feelings? We believe not. Not many years before Jerusalem and its temple or house of God were destroyed, Jeremiah said: “Concerning the prophets. My heart within me is broken, all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of Jehovah, and because of his holy words. For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land mourneth; the pastures of the wilderness are dried up. And their course is evil, and their might is not right.” Then to Jeremiah’s heartbroken words, God adds this comment: “For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith Jehovah.” (Jer. 23:9-11, AS) After all these years since World War I, Christendom stands in a relationship toward God like that of Israel in Jeremiah’s day. Yes, Christendom faces a destruction more frightful and devastating than that which Jeremiah saw happen to Jerusalem and its temple. Since we Christians are called by God’s name, as Jeremiah said he himself was (Jer. 15:16, AS), and since we are Jehovah’s witnesses as Jeremiah himself was, we are under obligation to speak concerning Christendom’s leaders, foreshadowed by Israel’s prophets and priests.
14, 15. With what words did Jeremiah point out the ones who were responsible for the fallen state of the nation?
14 Under inspiration by God, Jeremiah pointed out the religious leaders as the ones responsible for the state of the nation, riddled as it was with corruption and faced with violent destruction:
15 “Therefore this is what Jehovah of armies has said against the prophets: ‘Here I am making them eat wormwood, and I will give them poisoned water to drink. For from the prophets of Jerusalem apostasy has gone forth to all the land. I did not send the prophets, yet they themselves ran. I did not speak to them, yet they themselves prophesied. But if they had stood in my intimate group, then they would have made my people hear my own words, and they would have caused them to turn back from their bad way and from the badness of their dealings.’”—Jer. 23:15, 21, 22.
16, 17. Why, similarly, are Christendom’s clergy responsible for the people’s badness today?
16 Christendom’s clergy, Catholic and Protestant, have the Bible and have the time to study it and the pulpits for preaching it. If, as Jehovah said to Jeremiah, these modern-day religious prophets had stood in His intimate group, in close relationship with Him as his faithful and discreet servants, then they would have made Christendom’s peoples hear God’s own words. They would thus have caused the people to turn back from their bad way that has led to this disastrous situation today.
17 Instead, Christendom’s clergy have rejected God’s Word and have led the people in rejecting his Word and turning to worldly philosophies and unproved scientific theories. As a result, the people go on and grow worse in the badness of their dealings.
18, 19. How did a clergyman recently describe in The Lutheran the people’s attitude toward the Bible and toward the church, and what “tremendous possibilities” do the clergy not take hold of?
18 Recently, in the religious publication The Lutheran, a clergyman said concerning the increase in church attendance in America: “The incoming tide of faith” has not “embraced the gospel,” neither has it “rejected the church.” In other words, these church attenders have not embraced the Holy Bible, but they do not reject Christendom’s religious systems that have rejected the Bible. This, the same clergyman remarked, is a “time of tremendous possibilities.”—New York World-Telegram and Sun, June 14, 1958.
19 Yet the clergy will not take hold of these possibilities by making the people hear God’s Word, to turn them from their apostasy and to prepare them for everlasting life in God’s new world.
20. Why are world leaders perplexed, and amid this perplexity what should there be to guide human society?
20 If ever there was such a day, this is the day of perplexity that Jesus Christ foretold. Faced with mounting problems, with the stubborn unwillingness of the powerful ones of the nations to co-operate, and with the dangers of nuclear, missile, bacteriological warfare, from which all mankind would suffer for generations to come, the world leaders are perplexed. They know no way out of the international quagmire. (Luke 21:25) Amid this worldwide perplexity there should be a message of solid truth to guide human society.
21. Who, of all persons today, should have that enlightening message, and why so?
21 Of all persons on the face of the earth, professed Christians should have the message that can enlighten all peoples in the gross darkness that enshrouds all nations, not excepting Christendom. “I am the light of the world. He that follows me will by no means walk in darkness, but will possess the light of life,” said Jesus. And to Christians who faithfully follow him he said: “You are the light of the world. . . . let your light shine before mankind.” (John 8:12; Matt. 5:14, 16) He definitely said that his true followers would have the one and only enlightening, saving message for this day of perplexity. Long ago Jehovah God promised to provide his worshipers with the all-important message.
22. How do the clergy act with regard to leadership, and how does the instance of the vice chancellor of New York’s archdiocese display that fact?
22 Still the clergy of Christendom have no message of the day for mankind. They look to the perplexed, dazed, staggering politicians to take the lead that they may follow the politicians and give these moral and religious support in their churches. Let the politicians suggest a League of Nations, and the clergy are for it. Let the politicians propose a United Nations organization, and the clergy support it as the one hope that all mankind must support or else all is lost. Here in New York city, on the occasion marking the tenth anniversary of the United Nations, prayers were offered in St. Patrick’s Cathedral “for divine guidance on all deliberations” of the United Nations. Monsignor Thomas A. Donnellan, who preached, said (to quote the report in the New York Times as of October 31, 1955) that “despite ‘imperfections, vetoes and obstructionist tactics’ the United Nations was, ‘humanly speaking, the last, best hope for international peace.’ Monsignor Donnellan is vice chancellor of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York.”
23. How did a New York Presbyterian minister illustrate the same fact in 1952?
23 In the same strain, and in this same city on an earlier occasion, Presbyterian minister Dr. J. S. Bonnell took his text from Jesus’ sermon on the mount, “Blessed are the peacemakers,” and said to the many U.N. delegates in his audience: “Blessed are you men of the United Nations, who devote your life to the understanding of the problems of other people.” The New York Times report as of April 21, 1952, closed with this paragraph: “Holding that the peoples of the world must realize that the United Nations is the supreme hope for world peace, the minister asserted that the organization could not exist if it were repeatedly sidestepped by the larger nations of the world.”
24. Ten years ago, how did Pope Pius XII set the example for Christendom’s attitude toward the U.N.?
24 Setting an example ten years ago for Christendom’s attitude toward the U.N. Pope Pius XII appealed to its member nations to “devote their sternest efforts to solving the problems of permanent peace and security at the next General Assembly” and said: “If ever an assembly of men, gathered at a critical crossroad in history, needed the help of prayer, it is this Assembly of the United Nations.”—New York Times, as of September 2, 1948.
25. In the light of the clergy attitude, what statement by Sir Alexander Cadogan presents a challenge, and to whom?
25 That this attitude of the clergy presents a challenge to true Bible Christians is shown in the statement of Sir Alexander Cadogan: “Until someone has produced a better plan, the United Nations is the only way of salvation.” Down to this late date the clergy of Christendom have brought forward no better plan.
26, 27. Does the clergy’s failure to have a “better plan” mean that God has nothing better, and with what words does Jeremiah lay bare the reason why the clergy have no guiding message for men?
26 To the people of the world the clergy stand for the God of Christianity. Does the clergy’s failure to have a clear-cut message, a “better plan,” mean that God has nothing better than the United Nations? It would be an insult to Jehovah God to think so. Why, then, do these paid clergymen who parade in special religious garb to show themselves off as devoted to God and as representing him have no message to guide men to unity, peace and life? The prophet Jeremiah lays bare the reason. He said:
27 “This is what Jehovah of armies has said: ‘Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you people. They are making you become vain. The vision of their own heart is what they speak—not from the mouth of Jehovah. They are saying again and again to those who are disrespectful of me, “Jehovah has spoken: ‘Peace is what you people will come to have.’” . . . They are thinking of making my people forget my name by means of their dreams that they keep relating each one to the other, just as their fathers forgot my name by means of Baal. The prophet with whom there is a dream, let him relate the dream; but the one with whom my own word is, let him speak forth my word truthfully.’” “‘Therefore here I am against the prophets,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘the ones who are stealing away my words, each one from his companion.’” “‘Here I am against the prophets of false dreams,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘who relate them and cause my people to wander about because of their falsehoods and because of their boasting.’” “But I myself did not send them or command them. So they will by no means benefit this people.”—Jer. 23:16, 17, 27, 28, 30, 32.
28, 29. (a) Had God sent those clergymen, what would they have and what would they be doing? (b) How do they violate the opening part of the Lord’s Prayer, and so what is Jehovah’s position toward them?
28 Had Jehovah God by Christ sent those clergymen, then they would have his message and would be preaching it in obedience to his command. They would not be preaching the dreams of their own heart in harmony with the schemes of this world’s politicians. They would not be stealing away Jehovah’s words from one another or from their parishioners. Rather, they would prove that they had His word by speaking it forth truthfully and educating the people in what the Bible has to say regarding our day.
29 They would not be making God’s professed people forget his holy name by means of their dreams that they keep relating to one another. They refuse to be called by God’s holy name Jehovah. They do not profess to be witnesses of Jehovah. To lend no support to the fact that Jehovah would have witnesses on earth at this most critical time the same as he has had since the days of Abel the first martyr, they willfully arrange to keep God’s own name Jehovah out of their modern Bible translations. By their own example and course of action they deny that a true Christian must be, as Jesus Christ himself also was, a witness of Jehovah God. They pray the Lord’s Prayer, and yet they work against the very opening part of that Prayer, which says: “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” (Matt. 6:9, AV) For these vital reasons the God whose name is slighted and misrepresented says that he is against these prophet-preachers. That is why he tells the people not to listen to them, for they will by no means benefit mankind, not even Christendom.
THE WORK OF WITNESSING AND GATHERING
30. What commission did Jesus give to his disciples when parting from them, and to fulfill this commission how many professed Christians do the clergy have to back them?
30 In his parting words to his disciples Jesus said: “You will receive power when the holy spirit arrives upon you, and you will be witnesses of me . . . to the most distant part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) “On the basis of [Jesus’] 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 24:47, 48) According to the latest census or estimate of the religious population of the world, Christendom’s clergy today stand backed by 820 million professing Christians. Hence, witnessing to all on earth today would mean, according to the latest figure, witnessing to 2,700,000,000 persons. A monstrous task! does anyone exclaim? No, numerically a small task; for we have 820 million professed Christians with which to do it. Jesus said that Christians should all be witnesses to earth’s most distant parts.
31. For Christendom’s numbers to give a world witness, what would it have required of each one, and so what questions do we ask as to what possibilities the clergy have had?
31 Subtract 820 millions from 2.7 billions. It leaves 1,880,000,000. Now divide 820 million obligated Christian witnesses into 1,880,000,000 non-Christians. It gives us a quotient of about 2.3. With all the witnesses available in Christendom, it would require each one to witness to 2.3 non-Christians, to give a world witness. In other words, Christendom’s one third of the world population would simply have to witness to the other two thirds of the world’s population, non-Christian. Have the clergy of Christendom had wonderful possibilities? What if the clergy, like the Good Shepherd Jesus Christ, had taken the lead and conducted a world-wide witnessing campaign with their 820 million sheep of their religious flocks? What would the results have been today?
32. (a) How should the clergy have gone about in leading off in this world witness? (b) How long have they had years of possibilities but with what to show for their style of preaching and ministering?
32 How should the clergy have gone about leading off in this world witness? It is not for us to tell them how. They claim to be Jesus’ followers or imitators. His own example tells the clergy how. He preached publicly and in the homes of the people. He did not go to them invisibly by radio and by mailed printed literature. He had no church building where he preached to people who paid him. The apostle Paul said: “Become imitators of me, even as I am of Christ.” (1 Cor. 11:1) Paul tells Christendom’s clergy how he imitated Jesus and carried on the witness work. Paul says: “I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house.” (Acts 20:20, AV) Have the clergy imitated Jesus Christ and his imitator Paul? Publicly, somewhat, in their own church buildings to a paying congregation. But what about from house to house? Have they, like shepherds, gone out to hunt the lost, straying sheep as Jesus did? The record that the clergy have made answers for them. The results of their style of ministering and witnessing answers for them in just Christendom itself, this one third of the world’s population. There yet remains the non-Christian population, two thirds of mankind, to whom the clergy of Christendom owe an obligation in the form of a witness. Since at least Emperor Constantine’s day in the fourth century, Christendom’s clergy have had, till now, 1,600 years of possibilities, opportunities!
33. (a) As regards responsibility, why should Jehovah’s witnesses also look at themselves? (b) Why, despite his witnesses, did Jehovah’s wrath destroy Jerusalem, and before a similar destruction what must Jehovah’s witnesses today do?
33 Certainly someone has failed of responsibility. We witnesses should look at ourselves to see whether we have shared in the failure. In Jeremiah’s days Jehovah saw the failure of the priests and the prophet dreamers. He did not, because of them, leave the endangered people without witness. He raised up his true prophets and put his word in their mouths, particularly of Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Jerusalem’s destruction came anyhow, because of Jehovah’s anger with the majority of the people. “The windstorm of Jehovah, rage itself, will certainly go forth, even a whirling tempest. Upon the head of the wicked ones it will whirl itself. The anger of Jehovah will not turn back until he will have carried out and until he will have made the ideas of his heart come true. In the final part of the days you people will give your consideration to it with understanding.” (Jer. 23:19, 20) Likewise today, Jehovah will not turn back from his destroying of Christendom in Armageddon. His witnesses, however, like Jeremiah and Ezekiel and other true worshipers of Jehovah, expect to survive Armageddon. First, though, we must finish our commission as witnesses of Jehovah, without fail.
34. What did Jehovah say by Jeremiah must be done before Christendom is destroyed?
34 A great gathering work needs to be done now before Christendom is destroyed along with the rest of Satan’s world. With regard to this, Jehovah prophesied by Jeremiah: “‘I myself shall collect together the remnant of my sheep out of all the lands to which I had dispersed them, and I will bring them back to their pasture ground, and they will certainly be fruitful and become many. And I will raise up over them shepherds who will actually shepherd them; and they will be afraid no more, neither will they be struck with any terror nor will they be missing,’ is the utterance of Jehovah. ‘Look! There are days coming,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘and I will raise up to David a righteous sprout. And a king will certainly reign and act with discretion and execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel itself will reside in security. And this is his name with which he will be called, Jehovah Is Our Righteousness.’”—Jer. 23:3-6.
35. Whom has Jehovah raised up as a “righteous sprout” to David, and how has this one fulfilled his honorable name Jehovah is Our Righteousness?
35 Jehovah is the Great Shepherd. (Ps. 23:1) He cares for his sheep here on earth. He raised up Shepherd-King David and also raised up to him a “righteous sprout.” That “righteous sprout” is Jesus Christ. In 1914 God put him in power as king of the new world. Evidences to prove that fact continue to increase for us. The King Jesus Christ reigns and has acted with discretion and executed justice and righteousness in our land, in our spiritually restored condition here on earth. He has saved spiritual Judah by delivering us from modern-day Babylon. He makes spiritual Israel to dwell securely although we are in the midst of this world, which hates us. He is fulfilling the name of honor by which he is now called, Jehovah Is Our Righteousness, or, Jehovah Is Our Vindicator. (AT) To us he has brought the righteousness of God. He is the King that has liberated us from Babylon. He has shown to the world, especially to Christendom, that Jehovah God is with us and for us, and that we have a righteous standing with God, not his condemnation. Because of our exclusive devotion to Jehovah and our uncompromising separateness from this world, we stand vindicated, for we have brought ourselves more and more into conformance with God’s Word and have refused to conform to this world. It is our highest desire to have a part with our King in vindicating Jehovah’s universal sovereignty.
36. Why are the rulers and clergy of Christendom not the ones whom Jehovah has raised up to shepherd the sheep whom he is gathering?
36 However, whom has Jehovah raised up as shepherds over all the sheep whom he is gathering on the earth? Not the political rulers or the religious clergy who hobnob with Christendom’s politicians. These have caused the people to wander about in confusion, not knowing where they are going. They have not directed and helped the sheeplike people to Jehovah’s King, the “righteous sprout” of David. Their handling of earth’s affairs has left the people in a state of fear, and the nations are in anguish.
37. Whom, then, has Jehovah raised up as shepherds over all the sheep whom he is gathering, and how have they been exercising leadership?
37 When we look at the organization that has God’s holy name called upon it and that works hard to make the people remember His name, we can discern that Jehovah has raised up the promised spiritual shepherds. He has raised up faithful, conscientious overseers along with their ministerial assistants. By these he has fed his sheep with spiritual nourishment and led their steps into the paths of the right Christian activity and the right worship of the true God. These have led the members of the congregations of Jehovah’s witnesses out into the field to find and gather together all the sheep whom Christendom’s clergy have left to wander and to stray. Thus they have led all the flock of Jehovah’s witnesses into all the inhabited earth to bear witness to the grandest event of all time, the setting up of God’s kingdom as the capital organization of the universe, for God’s vindication and for mankind’s blessing.
38. Why, like Jeremiah, do we have a fearful responsibility resting upon us?
38 We have a fearful responsibility resting on us. We have accepted God’s name upon us and he has favored us with what he had kept back from Christendom’s clergy, the lifesaving message for all people, no matter of what race, present religion, nationality, color, language or social rank. Like Jeremiah we can say: “Take note of my bearing reproach on account of your own self. Your words were found, and I proceeded to eat them; and your word becomes to me the exultation and the rejoicing of my heart, for your name has been called upon me, O Jehovah God of armies.”—Jer. 15:15, 16.
39. Particularly since 1919, what have we striven to do, and, in view of last year’s accomplishment, how soon could earth’s 2.7 billions be given the witness?
39 Since 1919 in particular we have striven to reach all the inhabited earth with the good news of God’s established kingdom, not only the non-Christian two thirds of the world’s population but also the 820 millions of Christendom’s members whom their clergy have left ignorant of the Kingdom, directing them to the United Nations of this world. During just the past field-activity year of 1957 we spent 100,135,016 hours in actually preaching from house to house and publicly, in 164 lands and islands where Jehovah’s witnesses are located. Of those hours over 20 million were spent in making return visits on interested persons. So for the total of more than 100 million hours, more than one person was given a witness each hour. This means that hundreds of millions of persons received the Kingdom witness in more than 120 languages last year alone. This was in the face of tough opposition and, in places, violent persecution. Were we given a free field, if all nations flung wide open the doors, with Jehovah’s spirit helping, how soon could his witnesses reach earth’s 2.7 billion inhabitants with the good news of the established Kingdom! As matters stand, however, we are striving to push out into new fields for witnessing.
40. Why must we keep striving to push into new fields for witnessing, and so for us now what can there not be as regards the work?
40 We must do this. The handwriting has appeared on the walls of this Babylonish old world, announcing the doom of Satan’s entire world organization. Christendom, who has cast in her lot and destiny with this world, stands doomed with it, to suffer a destruction in comparison with which the horrors of Jerusalem’s destruction in Jeremiah’s day will seem pale. The lives of countless sheeplike persons in all quarters of the earth are imperiled as the great day of destruction draws nearer. Our work is not done. Our obligation is to drive ahead with this witness work till the destruction overtakes a heedless, goatish world. We are dedicated to do the divine will. So this is our work according to God’s will for now. This is the work for which we have been brought to this hour. For us there can be no turning aside, no deviating, no slowing down, no uncertainty, no inside interference with the work.
41, 42. What was the international assembly a supreme occasion for doing, and what, therefore, did the Society’s president proceed to do?
41 Today, by Jehovah’s loving-kindness, we have been brought to this one harmonious assembly. For us witnesses from the four corners of the earth, of so many nationalities and languages, it is a supreme occasion to make a united statement of how we stand toward the world situation, what our enlightened understanding of God’s will is and what our united purpose is for the future in discharging our God-given commission. This is “why this assembly should resolve” to make an expression before we have to part, for it to be published to all the world. I therefore yield the platform to the president of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society of Pennsylvania to present any expression in which we can all unitedly and heartily join.
42 Amid the great applause the Society’s president stepped to the fore and presented the following
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N. H. Knorr
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F. W. Franz