Part 1—“Your Will Be Done on Earth”
On Saturday afternoon, August 2, 1958, following his address on the subject “Let Your Will Come to Pass,” to an audience of 174,983 gathered together in the Yankee Stadium and the Polo Grounds of New York city on the occasion of the Divine Will International Assembly of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the president of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society of Pennsylvania released the new 384-page book entitled “Your Will Be Done on Earth”. This new publication was hailed with great joy by that vast throng, and 228,000 copies were eagerly taken up during the last two days of the international assembly.
Because of the instant importance of the contents of this absorbing book, it begins to be published in serial form with this issue of “The Watchtower,” that the millions of readers of this magazine in more than fifty languages may be enabled to read the message of the book with the least delay as well as to study it together with other students of Bible prophecy. By saving each serial part, “Watchtower” readers will finally have the entire book, each reader in his own language.
1. Why is humankind rapidly moving toward a new world?
HUMANKIND is swiftly moving toward a new world. Soon the great troubles that have disturbed this world since the year 1914 will reach their Armageddon* climax. This old world will not be able to endure that overwhelming trouble, the like of which man has never before gone through since the beginning of human existence. The worst ever, yet it will be me last world trouble, and the thankful survivors of it will enter into a new world that gives promise of wonderful things.
2. Why must a new world come, and what questions arise about it?
2 For important reasons there has to come a new world. Things cannot go on as they are and on the same foundations. There has to be an all-embracing change. This change has to come by powers other than those who are responsible for mankind’s woes for these thousands of years. That change will make all things new. The world, the whole system of things, will be healthily new. As we think about this desirable new world, some vital questions arise. Will that new world be fashioned and built by human scientists of today or of the future? During that world, which will always stay new, whose will is it that must be done and will be done on earth? Is it to be the will of some imperfect, selfish, dying human creature? Or is it to be the will of someone unselfish, perfect, undying, someone higher and more powerful than the most outstanding human creature? Is it to be the will of someone on earth or of someone in outer space or of someone beyond outer space?
3. Since 1957, why have informed persons interested themselves in outer space?
3 Particularly since October of 1957 all informed men and women have interested themselves in outer space. They have been expressing themselves from a new viewpoint, that of cosmic space. They say we have entered into the nuclear space age. They say we must conquer outer space with the use of nuclear energy, the mighty energy bound up in the nucleus of the atoms of which all matter is made up, the terrific energy that has been made known to us by the explosion of fiendish bombs of scientific invention. But why conquer outer space? That the conquerors may gain control of man’s everlasting home, this planet earth. They say that the point of control is somewhere out there in outer space. For them, the so-called ultimate weapon is not enough; the “ultimate position” is supremely necessary. To the shock of many, one noted lawmaker said:
4. What did one noted lawmaker say regarding outer space?
4 “There is something more important than any ultimate weapon. That is the ultimate position—the position of total control over earth lies somewhere out in space. This is the future, the distant future, though not so distant as we may have thought. Whoever gains that ultimate position gains control, total control, over the earth, for purposes of tyranny or for the service of freedom.”*
5. What fear did that statement express, and hence what answer is given to the question as to who should control outer space?
5 That ringing statement, spoken to wake up the threatened people to the “peril of the hour,” expressed the fear of a one-sided “spatial imperialism” by some political, military world power. The will of the world power that gained the “ultimate position” along with the “ultimate weapon” would then be the controlling will of the earth. So comes the question, Who should control outer space? Believing that now the “sky is the limit” for men, worldly-wise men suggested that the members of that international organization, the United Nations, should all rule out an “ultimate position” for any nation and that all member nations should unite in a drive to conquer space for the purposes of world peace. Said one editorial writer: “Control of outer space may well be the key to the future; and for the sake of world peace, even human survival, this must be a matter not of national prestige but of collective security.”* International control was seen as the only practical answer to all the questions that man’s invasion of outer space with rockets and man-made moons had raised. International law, a “law of the world,” was seen to be needed for keeping man’s conquest of space from being misused by any nation or group of nations.
6. (a) What did one religious newspaper say on the conquering and exploring of outer space? (b) But whom has such exploration put foremost?
6 Religion has stepped into the discussion of the opportunities and dangers of man’s space age. One week after the Soviet Union launched its first satellite, Sputnik No. 1, to orbit around our globe, the Vatican newspaper “The Roman Observer”* encouraged exploration into outer space. Under date of October 11, 1957, it said: “God has no intention of setting a limit to the efforts of man to conquer space.” It said that the Roman Catholic Church’s viewpoint on outer space had not changed since its Pope Pius XII addressed an astronautical congress in Rome, Italy, in 1956. “On that occasion,” said the Vatican newspaper, “Pope Pius XII told 400 delegates from twenty-two nations that ‘the more we explore into outer space, the nearer we become to the great idea of one family under the Mother-Father God.’”* Yet facts to date reveal that the exploration of outer space in man’s way brings the physical scientists foremost to view. A paid newspaper article entitled “Will We Do the Job in Science?” paid a compliment to the Russian scientists and then spoke of our being on “the threshold of a space age in which the side that is strongest in science will inherit the earth—or what’s left of it.”*
7. On what beatitude did those words cast a doubt, and upon what does fulfillment of that beatitude depend?
7 Those words cast a doubt on the third beatitude of Jesus Christ’s famous Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”* Yet, can it possibly be that some day soon the meek or mild-tempered ones will actually inherit this earth under oppression of no kind? For an answer that question, like other vital ones, depends upon whose will is to be done on earth in the oncoming new world.
8. As regards the “ultimate position,” what are the nations forgetting?
8 Amid their fears, anxieties and ambitions the nations of this world are forgetting something. What? There is a power that already has the “ultimate position,” not the ultimate position toward merely this tiny earth but that toward all the planets, moons and suns of the immeasurable universe that telescopes can bring to our view. It is the intelligent, divine Power that created the earth and man and beast and bird upon it, yes, that created all the stars, the sun and the moon that shine down upon us here at the earth. Self-centered, self-reliant man does not want to think of this intelligent, divine Power or of any responsibility that man owes to this almighty Power as his Creator. Man tries to laugh off the existence of such an intelligent creative power, because man’s tiny, short-lived satellites or sputniks have not run into him while orbiting about us in outer space. How foolish! For His ultimate position is not somewhere out in distant space as far as human scientists could shoot their farthest satellite or sputnik.
9. Where does the Creator hold the ultimate position, and why does he hold the spatial imperialism everywhere?
9 Let unreasoning man know that the all-scientific, almighty Creator’s ultimate position is in the invisible realm, into which man with all his science cannot rocket himself. Necessarily the Creator holds the “ultimate position” because he is the Most High, the Supreme One over all the universe. He is the living, creative Center around which all creation revolves. He rightfully holds the spatial imperialism everywhere, for he is Sovereign over all heaven and earth and over all the space between them. With no nation or group of nations will he divide and share his spatial imperialism. Against him no disdainful earthly nations can win. He is God!
A SYMBOLIC VISION OF HIM
10. Why may we not dare to ignore God, and why can we not see him?
10 Although we cannot see him, yet we dare not ignore the Most High, the almighty Sovereign God. We cannot escape his laws in any part of the boundless universe, including the law that no man of dust can see him and keep on living. God could not break this law even to favor his prophet Moses, through whom he gave the matchless Ten Commandments. When Moses asked God to cause him, a mere man, to see the divine glory, God told Moses: “You are not able to see my face, because no man may see me and yet live.”* That rule has held true regardless of how scientists have tried to discover the secret of life. God is not created matter, as man is. He is spirit, impossible for earthly eyes to see, even aided by the most farseeing telescope or the most powerful, electronic microscope.
11. How must we and can we worship him?
11 Centuries ago Jesus Christ explained it to a Samaritan woman, saying: “God is a Spirit, and those worshiping him must worship with spirit and truth.”* Despite his invisibility in the spirit realm, human creatures can intelligently worship him with truth and get the unspeakable blessing out of it. One man who worshiped this great unseen One as divine Ruler immortal, exclaimed: “Now to the King of eternity, incorruptible, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.”* Taking this prayerful exclamation seriously, how can we dare to leave him out of mind!
12. Since we have no description of God, how does he help us to understand and appreciate things about himself?
12 “No man has seen God at any time,” wrote a follower of Jesus Christ nineteen centuries ago.* He was a personal friend of Jesus and leaned on his bosom; yet he had not seen God. Since no man, not even John the son of Zebedee who thus wrote, has seen God, we have no description of what he is like. We cannot imagine what he is like. For us to paint a picture or to sculpture an image to stand for him would mean to fool ourselves and to belittle him and to insult him. It would pull him down in our esteem rather than lift us up in a pretense at worshiping him. It would not be worshiping him with spirit, which is not materialistic like an image; nor worshiping him with truth, which is not imaginary. But this all-glorious, unseeable God helps us to understand and appreciate things about himself by likening them to things that we see and know well. He even speaks about himself as if he had a nose, eyes, a mouth, ears, hands and feet, and a pulsating heart. Thus he may give a vision of himself by the use of symbols. He gave John the son of Zebedee an awe-inspiring vision of himself, that John might describe the vision to us and let us, as it were, into the very presence of God in his “ultimate position” in heaven.
13. How did John see and learn more than all modern-day scientists?
13 John saw more and learned more than all the modern-day scientists have learned or could learn by all the satellites or sputniks that they rocket up into outer space, equipped with scientific measuring instruments, radiocasting apparatus and televising sets. John saw farther than into outer space with its visible suns and planets, galaxies and meteors and comets, and its cosmic rays. John was then the last living of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. What he saw was a revelation, made possible not by modern-day scientific instruments but only by the operation of God’s invisible active force or spirit. The book in which John describes this miraculous vision is called The Revelation to John. It is put last in the books of the Holy Scriptures, The Holy Bible. John was then suffering for being a Christian, “for speaking about God and bearing witness to Jesus,” John says. He was being kept as a prisoner on the penal island of Patmos, not far from the coast of Asia Minor, now Asiatic Turkey. (Rev. 1:9) What did John see that is of value and importance to us in this nuclear space age?
(To be continued)
See The Holy Bible, at Revelation (Apocalypse) Re 16:16.
Statement by American Senator Lyndon B. Johnson, the Senate majority leader and chairman of the Preparedness subcommittee to a meeting of Democratic Senators on January 7, 1958, as quoted by the New York Times of January 8, 1958.
The New York Times as of January 16, 1958, editorial page.
In Italian L’Osservatore Romano.
According to an Associated Press dispatch from Rome, dated October 11, 1957, and published in the American press.
Quoted from page 38 of the New York Times as of March 26, 1958.
Quoted from The Holy Bible, Matthew 5:5, Authorized Version of 1611.
Quoted from the Sacred Bible, Exodus 33:20.
Ibidem, John 4:24.
Ibidem, 1 Timothy 1:17.
Ibidem, John 1:18.