1. What was that sixth day of the international assembly (August 1, 1958) the time and occasion for, and of what world event was it the anniversary?
THERE are momentous times and occasions that call men together for united action and expression. This time and occasion in the summer of the year 1958 is one of them. On August 1, 1914, or forty-four years ago to the day, Imperial Germany declared war on Russia, thus backing up Austria, which had declared war on Serbia just four days previous. That was the beginning of World War I, which sucked in more than a score of nations around the globe.
2. In what did World War I result, and was the world made safe for peace?
2 Allied victory crowned the war. Empires and kingships vanished. New republics appeared; but the world was not made safe for democracy. The League of Nations was established to foster amity among the nations and to prevent recourse to war for settling disputes; but the world was not made safe for peace.
3. What events led up to World War II, and what era was born toward the close of that war?
3 Dictators seized control of nations in Christendom and entered into concordats or compacts with religious authorities. World domination again became a burning issue. Aggressions took place, as new and grander empires were coveted and aimed at. The League of Nations proved powerless, and within twenty-one years of the close of World War I a second world struggle cut a swath of death and havoc around the earth, to surpass the destruction by any former war. The fiendish bombs made by atomic scientists climaxed and speeded up the complete end of the worst war in history. Thus less than two months after delegates of fifty nations had finished their conference in San Francisco, California, and had signed the Charter of the United Nations, the era of the nuclear bombs and of the United Nations was born.
4. In the thirteen years since then, how has the world situation shaped up, and how have the religious leaders failed the people?
4 In the thirteen years since then, great blocs of nations have been formed and have disunited the world. Wars cold and hot have raged. Nationalism has run riot. The hydrogen bomb has been added to the arsenal of war. Efforts at international disarmament fail repeatedly, and the world is suddenly launched into the missile space age. The contest for world domination has been renewed. By all manner of means the Communist bloc seeks to wrest it from the democratic powers, and the general situation has become one of suspicion, tension, rivalry and fear. The future becomes more and more ominous-looking. The people turn to their religious leaders for light, for direction and for a trustworthy message of hope, but the religious leaders have nothing other than what the politicians offer the world. They have not directed the people to the only means of salvation. They have ignored the Word of the great “King of the nations.”—Jer. 10:7.
5. What pressing facts made the international assembly the most suitable time for the Scriptural message to be declared to all?
5 The nearness of the greatest change in human history, the danger in which the perplexed people stand and the urgent need for the lifesaving truth to be proclaimed make this the most suitable time for the message from the holy Scriptures of God’s Word to be declared to all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT
6. Jehovah’s witnesses in international assembly united in declaring devotion to what?
WE, Jehovah’s witnesses, assembled here in Yankee Stadium and the Polo Grounds, New York city, in the Divine Will International Assembly of Jehovah’s Witnesses this first day of August, 1958, do unite in declaring that we are exclusively devoted to the divine Sovereign of the universe and to the interests of his promised new world now at hand;
7. What do the witnesses deplore, and what do they take the greatest pleasure in doing?
7 THAT we deplore the fact that the inspired written Word of the Universal Sovereign is ignored due to the delinquency of the religious leaders of Christendom, who have made the people forget the holy name of the sovereign God by various religious means, whereas we, His witnesses, take the greatest pleasure in honoring and vindicating that holy name and in confessing before all men that the name by which He alone is distinguished is Jehovah (Ps. 83:18, AV);
8. To whom do all nations today owe their life, and why?
8 THAT all nations today owe their life to Jehovah God as the great Creator and Fountain of life, inasmuch as all the nations have a common descent from the main survivor of the global flood, the patriarch Noah, who walked with Jehovah God to the preserving alive of our human race;
9. Because of our common descent, what should we all recognize as to ourselves?
9 THAT because of our common descent from Noah, who was the tenth in line of descent from the first man Adam, all the many nations, tribes and peoples of this modern day should recognize that we are one human family, one human race, for whom Jehovah God has made one common provision through his Son Jesus Christ for our everlasting life and happiness in His approaching new world;
10. Since the great Flood, what things have brought mankind to the dangerous situation today?
10 THAT, since the founding of the city of Babylon shortly after the great flood, a wicked world has been built up, of which the Holy Bible declares Satan the Devil to be the invisible god and ruler; and that under him and his demons the nations and languages of the earth have broken up the unity of the human race and have brought mankind to the dangerous situation today in which there is no peace and in which there is no loving family harmony;
11. What has Jehovah God willed for his human creation, and so in point of time where does this old world now find itself?
11 THAT, in love for his human creation, Jehovah God has willed that a righteous new world be introduced for all men of good will in his appointed time, for which reason he has numbered the days of this internationally split old world, and this old world is now far along in its “appointed time of the end”;
12. Governmentally, what did Jehovah do in the autumn of 1914, and so what then began for the nations of the old world?
12 THAT the Most High God of heaven has his own chosen government for all the earth, and that in the autumn of the year 1914 he installed his loyal Son, the glorified Jesus Christ, to be king in the heavens and to destroy all the enemies of God and of man and to reign over men of good will in the blessed new world, for which reason, at Jesus’ installment in 1914, the “appointed time of the end” for all the nations of the old world began and is now nearing its climactic conclusion;
13. What is the only stable government in the universe, and why does no government in Christendom have God’s backing?
13 THAT the only stable government in the universe is the established kingdom of God in the hands of his anointed Son, Jesus Christ; and that not a single government in Christendom has God’s backing, inasmuch as He is backing his own government, the Messianic kingdom, and Christendom’s governments are doomed to destruction by him at the universal war of Armageddon, in which his reigning King will fight them and all the rest of the Devil’s organization, human and demonic;
14. What do the evidences multiplying since 1914 prove, and why can the people now hear and say: “It is the truth”?
14 THAT, since A.D. 1914, the evidences have continued to multiply in proof that God’s kingdom now reigns from the heavens; and not only do we have the prophecy of his Son Jesus Christ regarding these visible evidences on hand in the Holy Bible for consultation, but God has raised up his speaking witnesses to preach the good news of the reigning kingdom and to serve warning notice of the war of Armageddon by word of mouth, letting the people hear, that they may say: “It is the truth”;
15. In spite of fulfilled prophecies and the increasing testimony, what have Christendom’s clergy refused to do and, as a result, what have they done?
15 THAT in spite of the fulfilled prophecies of God’s Word, with which the religious clergy should be acquainted, and in spite of the increasing testimony of His living, speaking witnesses, the religious leaders of all denominations of Christendom have refused to join in the Kingdom witness, in fulfillment of Matthew 24:14, and have opposed, even persecuted, Jehovah’s witnesses and have rejected God’s kingdom and have turned the peoples to man-made political remedies for human ills;
16. In fear of communism and of more world war, what course have the clergy taken, and against whom have they encouraged the nations to fight?
16 THAT, in their fear of ungodly communism and of more world war, the clergy have turned their backs on Jesus Christ the King and have endorsed the political organizations for perpetuating this old world, which is God’s enemy, namely, the League of Nations and its successor, the United Nations; and they have led and encouraged the people in the idolizing of these human makeshifts for God’s kingdom; and in their worldly-wise schemes to safeguard the people from further devastating world war by means of these incapable organizations, the clergy have failed to help the people to find refuge and security against the far more destructive universal war, “the war of the great day of God the Almighty” (Rev. 16:14, 16); so that, in times of international peace, the clergy hypocritically encourage the nations not to fight one another, not to fight against men, but, by backing up the political schemes of men, they encourage the nations to fight against God, both now and in the coming war of Armageddon;
17. Why will Christendom’s clergy come in for first attention at Armageddon, and what will happen to their followers?
17 THAT the nations are now on judgment before Jehovah God the Supreme Judge, and the clergy of Christendom stand as the most reprehensible and delinquent class on earth before Him, and at Armageddon he will give his judicial attention first to them, and all the blind peoples who follow these blind religious guides will suffer execution with them at God’s hands;
18. So, amid this situation, for what are Jehovah’s people most grateful, and what responsibility do they appreciate?
18 THAT, amid this most serious situation of the old world, and in view of the failure of Christendom’s clergy, we are most grateful to Jehovah for the privilege of being His witnesses to all the nations in this time of the end; and we deeply appreciate the heavy responsibility resting on us to uphold the honor of his name and to carry out the commission laid upon us;
19. What did all those witnesses and people of good will come together in international assembly for?
19 THAT we, 194,418 witnesses of Jehovah God and people of good will, have come together here in international assembly to learn further concerning his holy will and how to carry it out;
20. What, in fulfillment of Isaiah 2:2-5, have the witnesses done and determined to do?
20 THAT, figuratively speaking, we have beaten our swords into plowshares and our spears into pruning shears and, although of so many nationalities, we will not lift up sword against one another because we are Christian brothers and members of the one family of God, neither will we learn to war against one another any more, but we will walk in God’s paths in peace, unity and brotherly love;
21. What has made the witnesses one Christian people, and what do they sincerely pray?
21 THAT what has made us one Christian people despite the fact that we come from so many diversified peoples is that we have separated ourselves from this world and its hateful conflicts and have dedicated ourselves through Jesus Christ to our one God and heavenly Father, and we sincerely pray to Him in unity: “Let your will come to pass, as in heaven, also upon earth”; not the will of the worldly nations under the “ruler of this world,” Satan the Devil;
22. Why is their organization theocratic as regards headship, leadership, motivating force and book of law?
22 THAT our earthly organization is theocratic because it is ruled by God the Most High as Head over all, and our Leader under Him is no political dictator but is Jesus Christ our Right Shepherd, and God’s holy spirit is the active force that moves us and accomplishes God’s will through us, and the inspired Holy Scriptures are our book of law and instruction and highest education;
23. What did the witnesses resolve concerning unity of organization and also concerning preaching, and in likeness to what faithful brothers?
23 THAT, in spite of our having to part in a matter of days, we will continue to preserve the unity of the organization, which unity we have experienced here on such a tremendous scale; and whereas we shall return to live under differing forms of human government and different political rulers, we will not permit men who fight against God to break up our unity or to separate us from the theocratic organization; we will persist in praying for one another and will carry out the Scriptural instructions; and even when persecution may get more intense and we may be scattered physically or be driven underground or deprived of our Bible-study literature, we will keep on obeying God rather than men and will preach the good news of the Kingdom, the only God-given hope of mankind, by the use of our Bibles alone, if necessary, or by just that divine Word stored up in our hearts; we will, in all these respects, strive to be like our faithful brothers who today find themselves behind the Communist Iron Curtain or under totalitarian government and dictatorship and for whom we have not ceased to pray;
24. What special features of God’s will do they want fulfilled in them, and with what objective in view?
24 THAT down to the end, as far as within us lies, God’s will shall be fulfilled in us as regards the preaching of his established kingdom and the gathering of all other sheep into the fold of his Right Shepherd, Jesus Christ, to enjoy salvation with us, so that we may be accounted worthy of being ushered into God’s everlasting new world after Armageddon, there to worship him unitedly as one family of his creatures without racial distinctions and national boundaries and divisions, under one government, His kingdom by Christ, and to do his will forever and ever.
25. Finally, what did the assembled witnesses call upon all lovers of life in happiness under righteous government to do, and why?
25 Accordingly, on this inspiring occasion, we call upon all lovers of life in happiness under righteous government, to whose attention this Resolution may come, to take to heart its import and to honor the name of the Creator of heaven and earth and to turn to His kingdom by Christ as the rightful government of the new world and to bring themselves into harmony with his perfect will, because “he that does the will of God remains forever.”—1 John 2:17.
JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES IN THE DIVINE WILL INTERNATIONAL ASSEMBLY IN NEW YORK CITY THIS FIRST DAY OF AUGUST OF 1958.
Moved by N. H. Knorr, President Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania
Seconded by F. W. Franz, Vice-President
Attested to by M. G. Henschel, Chairman
26. What action was taken regarding this proffered Resolution?
26 Having finished reading the repeatedly applauded Resolution, the Society’s president moved for its adoption. During the din of further heavy applause the vice-president seconded the motion. The president then called for all in favor of adopting the Resolution to say Aye! As one man the audience of 194,418 cried out Aye! and burst into applause again with great joy and enthusiasm. This set the pattern for similar action at the subsidiary large-scale assemblies that were to be held in Great Britain, Germany, and other lands around the earth in the course of the succeeding months.
27. What are those who adopted the Resolution now doing about it, and what is the carrying out of its terms resulting in?
27 The proceedings at Yankee Stadium and the Polo Grounds with regard to this Resolution excited great public comment, printed and spoken. Whatever action others may henceforth take toward Jehovah’s witnesses on account of the Resolution, those Christians who adopted it have taken most seriously to heart what they have thus resolved. They offer prayer and put forth efforts to keep what they have earnestly resolved in solemn assembly. They are now being put to the proof as to their sincerity in adopting the Resolution. However, they have the Scriptural assurance that Almighty God Jehovah will help them to prove true and faithful to the Resolution, that they may experience his salvation and that he may be magnified. Their unitedly carrying out the terms of the Resolution is greatly expanding the global witness that they are giving, and it will also result in the eternal salvation of countless other sheeplike persons of good will, that these too may do the divine will in God’s righteous new world.
[Picture on page 655]
Yankee Stadium packed out when 194,418 endorsed Resolution. See overflow crowds at the Polo Grounds on next page.
[Picture on page 656]
Polo Grounds seated part of overflow crowd of 194,418 that endorsed Resolution at Divine Will assembly