Universal Disarmament by the Kingdom of Heaven
“Neither shall they learn war any more.”—Isa. 2:4, AV, AS.
1. Why is universal disarmament now on the way, and who will enjoy it?
DISARMAMENT universally is on the way. Long before this twentieth century a vision of it was given. More than twenty-five centuries ago it was foretold in words that have been written down and preserved till now. We today are the favored generation of mankind that will live to see the reality. We, the ones now burdened with the greatest and costliest load of armaments in the history of nations, are the ones to enjoy also the greatest relief. We, the ones now tortured with fear at the most terrifying means of wholesale destruction, are the ones to be quieted also with the bringing in of an unbreakable peace. We, the ones now faced with the greatest loss of human life and the vastest desolation of our earthly home, are the ones to enter also into a time when dying will give way to living in perfect health and beauty on a blossoming earth as fair as man’s first paradise. In a remarkable way universal disarmament will be brought about in our day. The irresistible powers for disarming all nations are at hand, and in our time they will establish a real lasting disarmament.
2. To whom do men assign the honor of making it come true, and what promise lies in the prophetic words that they have inscribed?
2 Who will have the honor of making universal disarmament come true? Men of this world look to men and would assign this honor to men or to a human agency. For instance, they have had cut in a stone wall flanking the Plaza of the United Nations, in the heart of New York city, the prophetic words: “And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”a In these words lies the promise of international disarmament, to be followed by an era of peace and human brotherhood, with a fruitful cultivation of the earth.
3. To make the United Nations the honored agency, what Commission was set up, and with what results?
3 Whoever or whatever agency would bring to fulfillment those soul-stirring words would enjoy an honor indeed and would rightly deserve the thanks of all lovers of life in international peace and brotherhood. Determined to make the United Nations organization that honored agency, and in harmony with the terms of its Charter, the United Nations set up a Disarmament Commission. Twelve years it worked, only to produce nothing. Finally by pressure from a mighty member of its Security Council, the real disarmament talks were removed from the United Nations Disarmament Commission to a ten-nation commission outside the international organization.
4. When did an unusual day come at the U.N. and by then what were the latest achievements attained by men?
4 Then came an unusual day, on Friday, September 18, 1959, at the United Nations. By that time intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of carrying as their warhead atomic or hydrogen bombs across an ocean to an enemy country were a stern reality. Not only was nuclear warfare talked about and being prepared for, but chemical and biological warfare was also being provided for. Man-made moons high up in outer space were circling around the earth, put in orbit by rockets with a terrific thrust. Man-made planets were even orbiting around the sun; and just the Sunday previous an 860-pound sphere, rocketed from Communist Soviet territory, had crashed into the moon in the vicinity of the Seas of Serenity and of Tranquillity.
5. What happened at the U.N. that Friday afternoon, and what were to be the results of the plan then proposed?
5 So it was an electric Friday afternoon when, for the first time in history, the head of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics mounted the rostrum of the United Nations General Assembly building to address the representatives of that organization of eighty-two nations. His speech touched upon many things of world importance before he disclosed his new plan on the burning question of our day. His proposal, a new one for him, was for “general and complete disarmament” for all nations of this world. Within four years all the nations should do away with weapons and armed forces and turn to a friendly competition in the arts of peace. There was danger in the mere possession of modern arms. A “single spark” would, therefore, be all that was needed to start a nuclear war. However, with the “general and complete disarmament” that he now proposed “there would remain no material possibilities for the pursuit by states of any other than a peaceful policy.” Thus only the forces needed to guard internal security should be retained.
6. Why did this latest Russian proposal not leave the Assembly thunderstruck, and what did the Soviet Union afterward ask the Assembly to do?
6 This latest Russian proposal delivered by the Soviet premier himself did not leave the U.N. General Assembly thunderstruck. Just the preceding day some of the thunder had been taken out of the premier’s scheduled speech when the American secretary of state and the British minister of foreign affairs submitted to the General Assembly the Western plan. This provided for a balanced disarmament to take place in three stages leading to the total disarmament later proposed by the Soviet premier. Moreover, each step toward that end was to be subject to effective control. Facing the thorny problem of inspection and control, the Soviet premier also proposed that to make sure “that no one would violate their obligations we propose the setting up of an international control body comprising all states.” This sweeping proposal for such “general and complete disarmament” was received with a lot of doubt on the part of some. Yet there were those who recommended that the Russian proposal be taken seriously and be given thorough study for what it was worth, to see how practical it was and how it could be worked out. Shortly afterward the Soviet Union asked the U.N. General Assembly to take up its premier’s proposal for “general and complete disarmament” as an “important and urgent matter.”
7, 8. (a) In view of the twelve-year deadlock, what questions do we now ask ourselves? (b) What previous rejections of such a plan make its fulfillment unlikely now also?
7 For twelve years till then the disarmament issue had been deadlocked and the Disarmament Commission of the U.N. had got nowhere. Are we to expect that now, under the spur of the Russian premier’s proposal, the eighty-two members of the U.N. will wholeheartedly get down to the gist of the matter? Will they now consider the interests of all mankind and finally settle the issue before somehow that dreaded “single spark” is struck to start off a world nuclear war? Even in the face of the premier’s proposals, even with the realization of the pressing need, do the nations themselves now sincerely believe in general and complete disarmament?
8 The United Nations is the successor and heir of the League of Nations that was set up after World War I. In 1927 before the League’s Disarmament Conference the representative of Communist Russia proposed a total disarming of the nations. At that time the Soviet Union was a young revolutionary government struggling to maintain itself and recover from the effects of World War I. Critics believed that the Communist representative had made the total disarmament proposal in order to weaken the stronger nations, because the Communist Soviet government itself was weak. About five years passed, and on February 2, 1932, the Disarmament Conference under the auspices of the League of Nations met at Geneva, Switzerland, with delegates attending from sixty-four nations. Again Maxim Litvinov of Soviet Russia submitted a proposal for universal disarmament. It was rejected by the leagued nations, and the Conference closed with no real accomplishment for our relief.
9. (a) Why cannot the same criticism be made now of the purpose of the plan as was made in 1927? (b) What proclamation in 1928 puts all nations under suspicion now regarding disarming?
9 In his 1959 speech to the U.N. General Assembly the Soviet premier reminded his visible and invisible audience of this. But in view of the present strength of Communist Russia in the arts of warfare it would be “preposterous” for critics to charge his proposal for “general and complete disarmament” to the military, political and economic weakness of his country. Nevertheless, persons who doubted the honest motives behind the premier’s proposal remembered that the real purpose of the Litvinov disarmament proposal in 1927 was revealed the next year by the Congress of the Communist International. There it was proclaimed that the Litvinov disarmament proposals were advanced not because the Soviets believed in them but merely to force the so-called capitalists into the open, for they were bound to reject such proposals. This puts all nations, capitalist and Communist, under suspicion now in this missile, space age: Do they really believe in total disarming?
10, 11. (a) Regardless of what the nations believe in, what obstacle to disarmament remains? (b) Why is it to our advantage not to dismiss this fact as sheer imagination?
10 In ignorance of certain determining facts, do we want to look to a false hope and suffer disappointment and its consequences? No! Then let us boldly face the facts and decide what is best to do. Whether the nations under the present tremendous stress believe in total disarmament or not, there are certain superhuman obstacles to such disarmament. One such obstacle, which is beyond the control of all the worldly nations, is the invisible power behind all nations, dominating all nations. What is that? The invisible rulership of mankind’s chief enemy, the murderer of all mankind, Satan the Devil.
11 Let us not be like ungodly nations and dismiss this fact as sheer imagination, as too childish a suggestion for this modern, scientific age. The universal God of heaven does not dismiss it as a traditional imagination. His Son from heaven, Jesus Christ, did not pooh-pooh it as religious imagination nineteen centuries ago. Both the Almighty God of heaven and his Son Jesus Christ face it as a fact. So they warn all mankind about it in that book from which the quotation was taken to be engraved on the wall of the United Nations Plaza, namely, the Holy Bible of sacred scripture.b Whether we are Christian or Jew or not, to be forewarned by Almighty God and his heavenly Son means to be forearmed.
12. What would mankind’s unseen enemy not hesitate to do now, and what reason have we for believing so?
12 The invisible enemy who became the murderer of all mankind was the one who also caused the murder of the Savior of all mankind, Jesus Christ, nineteen centuries ago. Hence he would not hesitate to bring about the literal destruction of all mankind in the universal war that is to mark our own day. He does not want anybody on earth saved for that grand epoch when dying will give way to eternal life on a paradise earth.
13. How did Jesus warn that this one was world ruler, and how did he brand that one as a lying manslayer?
13 Our Savior warned that Satan the Devil was the wicked invisible ruler of this world. On the night before he was murdered outside the city of Jerusalem, Jesus Christ said to eleven of his faithful followers: “I shall not speak much with you any more, for the ruler of the world is coming. And yet he has no hold on me.” “The ruler of this world has been judged.” (John 14:30; 16:11) On a previous occasion Jesus said to those who threatened his life at Jerusalem: “If you are Abraham’s children, do the works of Abraham. But now you are seeking to kill me, a man that has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. You do the works of your father. . . . You are from your father the Devil and you wish to do the desires of your father. That one was a manslayer when he began, and he did not stand fast in the truth, because truth is not in him. When he speaks the lie, he speaks according to his own disposition, because he is a liar and the father of the lie.” (John 8:39-44) In these words Jesus brands Satan the Devil as the manslayer or murderer whose lying brought on the dying condition of all mankind.
14, 15. (a) What else did Satan induce, and what initial step did he take in that direction? (b) Then how did that one actually become the murderer of all mankind?
14 Satan also induced the first violent murder on earth. How was this? About six thousand years ago man started his existence on earth. He needed no armament, not even against the animals of all kinds that surrounded him in his beautiful open-air home, the garden of Eden. God the Creator told this first man, Adam, that he could avoid death forever by obeying perfectly the commandment of his heavenly Father, God. All the lower animals were reproducing their family kind. So in order that the first man, Adam, might fill the earth with humankind in God’s image and likeness, God created woman and gave her to Adam as a wife. They pursued a peaceful life together, cultivating their paradise home and taking care of it. Then an opposer and slanderer of their divine heavenly Father came on the scene, invisibly, to start a war against God the Creator and subjugate mankind to himself. To take mankind captive to himself, he called God a liar and induced Adam’s wife Eve to believe it and to break God’s law respecting the garden of Eden.
15 Through Eve Satan then put pressure upon Adam to turn rebel against God and disobey him. At once Adam and Eve got a bad conscience and began to fear. They lost their peace with God, and the invisible Satan the Devil was the inducing cause. God now placed Adam and Eve on judgment, along with Satan the Devil. God sentenced that newly appearing opposer and slanderer to destruction, this not to take place until a much later time. God also condemned the first parents of mankind to death. Because Satan the Devil had brought on this condemnation upon mankind, he became the first manslayer, the murderer of all mankind.—Gen. 2:7–3:24.
16. What did God also foretell at that same time regarding Satan?
16 At the same time the Lord God foretold war with Satan the Devil and pointed out who would be the one that would relieve the race of mankind of Satan’s invisible rule. As though Satan were a mere serpent on the ground God said to him: “I shall put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed. He will bruise you in the head and you will bruise him in the heel.” (Gen. 3:15) According to this the seed of God’s “woman” would suffer what was like a heel wound but he would recover and destroy Satan the Devil like a serpent crushed in the head.
17. How does one Bible writer say that the one to crush the Serpent would be Jesus Christ?
17 That the one to do this would be Jesus Christ, God’s Son who became a man on earth for thirty-three and a half years, the Bible writer says in these words: “We behold Jesus, who has been made a little lower than angels, crowned with glory and honor for having suffered death, that he by God’s undeserved kindness might taste death for every man. Therefore, since the ‘young children’ are sharers of blood and flesh, he also similarly partook of the same things, that through his death he might destroy the one having the means to cause death, that is, the Devil, and might emancipate all those who for fear of death were subject to slavery all through their lives.” (Heb. 2:9, 14, 15) Thus Satan the Devil, who today has the means to cause death to mankind by nuclear and poison chemical and biological warfare, will be destroyed by someone greater than the United Nations, by the woman’s Seed, Jesus Christ.
18, 19. (a) Who became the first violent manslayer on earth, and why? (b) Whose son did he thus show himself to be, as explained by John?
18 For breaking God’s law and putting themselves on the side of Satan the Devil, our first parents Adam and Eve were driven out of their paradise home into the uncultivated earth, to die there as condemned sinners. The first son born to them under the condemnation of death was named Cain. The next son born was named Abel. Cain grew up, evidently thinking that he as first-born was the woman’s seed for bruising the great Serpent’s head. He tried to show himself the promised son of God by going through a form of worship toward God. But God favored the form of worship used by the younger Abel. God told Cain that he ought to turn to doing good; he ought to get the mastery over sin. But Cain did not obey God’s instruction. In jealous hatred Cain treated Abel as if Abel were the seed of the Serpent. Cain struck Abel dead, thus becoming the first violent manslayer on earth. (Gen. 4:1-12) In doing this Cain proved he was no son of God but was a son of the Devil, for the Devil was behind him. Regarding this fact John, a disciple of Jesus Christ, writes:
19 “The children of God and the children of the Devil are evident by this fact . . . For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should have love for one another; not like Cain, who originated with the wicked one and slaughtered his brother. And for the sake of what did he slaughter him? Because his own works were wicked, but those of his brother were righteous.”—1 John 3:10-12.
20. Whose violent spirit did Lamech express, and whose spirit Noah, and with what consequences for each one?
20 Lamech, the fifth descendant in the line from killer Cain, expressed the violent spirit of his great-grandfather, saying these words to his two wives: “A man will I strike dead for wounding me, yes, a young man for giving me a blow. If seven times Cain is to be avenged, then Lamech seventy times and seven.” (Gen. 4:17-24) No wonder that in time “the earth became filled with violence.” For this reason God saw good to bring down a global flood upon that violent, faithless generation. Noah and his family, who were not descendants of Cain, took no part in that violence and ruining of the earth. The Bible record says: “Noah walked with the God.” This peaceful course was rewarded. Noah and his family were forewarned of the disastrous flood and were told how to survive through it. All the offspring of murderous Cain were wiped out. (Gen. 6:9 to 9:2) However, men having Cain’s spirit are alive in great numbers today. This is why the earth is now filled with violence.
NIMROD THE MIGHTY HUNTER
21. Not long after the Flood who was raised up as a “son of the Devil,” and why did Assyria come to be known as his land?
21 After the great flood Satan the Devil was not long in raising up another “son of the Devil,” in the person of Nimrod, the king of Babel or Babylon. Nimrod resorted to arms, not just against animals of the wild, but also against fellow men. Not without reason hunters of today are called Nimrods. The first Nimrod was a great-grandson of Noah. Concerning this ambitious, aggressive Nimrod the Bible record says: “He made the start in becoming a mighty one in the earth. He displayed himself a mighty hunter in opposition to Jehovah [God]. That is why there is a saying, ‘Just like Nimrod a mighty hunter in opposition to Jehovah.’ And the beginning of his kingdom came to be Babel and Erech and Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. Out of that land he went forth into Assyria and set himself to building Nineveh.” (Gen. 10:8-11) The land of Assyria came to be known as “the land of Nimrod.” It was a very warlike nation and became the second world power in Bible history, ousting Egypt from the place of dominance. (Mic. 5:5, 6, AS) Assyria even threatened the holy city of Jerusalem in the days of faithful King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah. For this reason the Assyrian world power met with a miraculous military disaster at the hands of Jehovah, the God of Hezekiah and Isaiah.—Isa. 36:1 to 37:38.
22. Whom have the worldly nations till now copied, and by whom does their course prove they have been dominated?
22 Down to this year the nations, and particularly the world powers that have followed in succession from Assyria, have copied the example of Nimrod. They have resorted to military might; they have built up armaments. This proves they have been influenced and dominated by the invisible one whom Jesus Christ called “the ruler of the world.” When Jesus the Son of God was here on earth nineteen hundred years ago he was offered the opportunity of taking over the sixth world power of Bible history, the militaristic Roman Empire, and all the other nations and kingdoms of this world.
23. How was Jesus offered the opportunity of taking over world domination, but what choice did he make?
23 By whom was Jesus offered this opportunity for world domination? By the invisible “ruler of the world,” Satan the Devil, during Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness before he began his work of preaching and healing. After Satan showed him “all the kingdoms of the inhabited earth in an instant of time,” he said to Jesus: “I will give you all this authority and the glory of them, because it has been delivered to me and to whomever I wish I give it. You, therefore, if you do an act of worship before me, it will all be yours.” Jesus did not deny that Satan could give such worldly authority and glory, but he ordered Satan away because he chose to continue worshiping and serving Jehovah God. (Luke 4:5-8) Jesus refused to be connected with any of Satan’s world powers.
24, 25. (a) How was it definitely stated till the close of the first century that Satan still dominated the nations? (b) In proof of this what statement is made in the description of the war in heaven and its outcome?
24 From Jesus’ earthly days down till now Satan the Devil has not ceased to be the invisible power behind the worldly nations and blinding them. Over twenty years after Jesus’ temptation the Christian apostle Paul wrote: “If, now, the good news we declare is in fact veiled, it is veiled among those who are perishing, among whom the god of this system of things has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, that the illumination of the glorious good news about the Christ, who is the image of God, might not shine through.” (2 Cor. 4:3, 4) Much later, or near the close of the first century, about A.D. 96, John said Satan the Devil still dominated the nations: “One born from God watches him, and the wicked one does not fasten his hold on him. We know we originate with God, but the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.” (1 John 5:18, 19) About the same time John also had a prophetic vision of our own twentieth century, when a battle in heaven would be fought between the “god of this system of things” and the promised Seed of God’s woman. Describing this invisible battle in the twentieth century and its outcome, John writes:
25 “So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven say: ‘Now have come to pass the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ, because the accuser of our brothers has been hurled down, . . . Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing he has a short period of time.”—Rev. 12:7-12.
26. What stands, therefore, as a superhuman obstacle to complete disarming of the nations?
26 Have we had woe on the earth and sea, even since World War I ended in the year 1918? We have Bible information to know who is responsible for it. Since the angered ruler of the world knows he has but a short period before his Conqueror bruises him in the head, do we now have reason to believe that he will permit a universal disarmament to come for the salvation, peace and prosperity of men? No; not even if the nations try to heed the call of an American statesman for an “unfailing pursuit of the goal of universal disarmament.” (New York Times, September 23, 1959) No United Nations Disarmament Commission will be able to remove this superhuman obstacle to general and complete controlled disarming of the nations, namely, Satan the Devil.
RIGHT MOTIVE LACKING
27. What other obstacle is there, and how did the American Secretary of State voice fears of the lack of the needed thing?
27 Another obstacle against success of international efforts for total disarmament is the wrong motive that urges nations on. Their motive is selfish fear, not a love of righteousness. They do not have the right moral appreciation. Fear that the right moral guidance was lacking was voiced by the American Secretary of State in a luncheon talk four days after the Soviet premier’s speech on disarmament to the U.N. General Assembly. He said: “That matter of controls is going to require a very careful study. The second matter that is going to require very careful study, one which wasn’t mentioned in his speech at all, is this: assuming one can reach the state in all of the nations of the world that he had pointed out, namely, that of having only such levels of forces and such armament as is required for internal security. Then what, if any, force will there be, other than moral force, with which to maintain the peace as between nations insisting on going to war with each other, even with knives?”—New York Times, September 23, 1959.
28. What moral appreciation does even Christendom show she does not have, and what process has she resorted to to induce breaking the sixth commandment?
28 There has to be a “moral force” that is backed by an appreciation of the wrongness and sinfulness to kill and murder fellow men. Only such a moral force would be strong enough to maintain peace even among nations that had given up nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and other customary weapons except knives. No nations, not even those of Christendom, have this moral appreciation in harmony with the law of God the Creator. Even the nations of Christendom do not live up to the sixth of the God-given Ten Commandments: “Thou shalt not kill”; or, “You must not murder.” (Ex. 20:13, AV; NW) Even Christendom has used the process described in the September 21, 1959, issue of the Washington (D.C.) paper, I. F. Stone’s Weekly: “Man, for all his love of war, is reluctant to kill his brother. Before every war, it is necessary to picture the enemy as unhuman. The enemy must be pictured both as sub-human, so that it is no sin to kill him, and superhuman, so that to kill him is sheer self-preservation.”—Page 4, ¶2.
29. In Romans chapter thirteen what does Paul show that this denotes?
29 What does this denote? The Christian apostle Paul says it denotes a lack of love for one’s neighbor as well as for the Giver of the Ten Commandments. Here are Paul’s words: “He that loves his fellow man has fulfilled the law. For the law code, ‘You must not commit adultery, You must not murder, You must not steal, You must not covet,’ and whatever other commandment there is, is summed up in this word, namely, ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does not work evil to one’s neighbor; therefore love is the law’s fulfillment.”—Rom. 13:8-10.
30. Why is the motive of the nations for holding back from a third world war wrong?
30 Today the nations are held back from a third world war, not by love of God and neighbor, nor by a fear of the Giver of the Ten Commandments, but by dread of the fiendishly destructive armaments of one another. They fear the frightful consequences of a nuclear world war. The present world peace, such as it is, is a peace of fear, not a peace of moral appreciation of the rightness of God’s law concerning the taking of human life. Thus the motive that proposes general and complete disarmament of nations is wrong. The motive is not the love of God by either the religious nations of Christendom or the atheistic nations of communism. The motive is not a heartfelt desire to keep the commandments of the great Giver of life, but is a tormenting fear of the catastrophic possibilities of space-age warfare. This fear was pointed up also in the speech of the atheistic Soviet premier when making his proposal for general and complete disarmament.
31. What disbelief on their part is also quite likely today, and thus what looms up as a block to real disarmament?
31 Moreover, it is quite likely that, as the Congress of the Communist International admitted in 1928, none of the nations today, capitalistic or communistic, really believe in universal disarmament. They do not think it feasible, possible, practical. They do not trust one another on such a comprehensive thing as this. So they suspiciously argue for a system of control and inspection. They still allow for small wars in limited areas of the earth. Consequently the lack of the essential right motive looms up as a block to real disarmament.
32. (a) Should the nations disarm to where they could cry, “Peace and safety!” what would they still face? (b) What do the nations need to do, but what prayer will have to be fulfilled on them?
32 Suppose, however, that because of the urgency of the times the nations did reduce their armaments to just the home police force necessary for internal security or that they adopted an international police force, so that the nations could cry out, “Peace and safety!” what, then? This would not save them from the most terrible disaster in all human history. Why not? Because the nations would not have disarmed in the most vital respect! For that reason they will continue to face the worst disaster of all—not nuclear world war, but universal war with the Almighty God of heaven. What the nations need to study seriously and to undertake is total disarmament toward the God whom they have ignored and whose revealed, declared purposes they have treated with contempt under the blinding influence of the unseen ruler of the world, Satan the Devil. On this account the prophetic prayer of the inspired psalmist will certainly be answered: “Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O LORD. Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish: that men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.”—Ps. 83:16-18, King James Version.
33. What should the nations quit doing, and this in accord with Gamaliel’s legal advice?
33 More than quit fighting among themselves, the nations should all quit fighting against Jehovah God and his heavenly kingdom, which is being preached in all the inhabited earth by his modern-day witnesses. This preaching is in fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy concerning the “time of the end” of this old world: “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” (Matt. 24:14, King James Version) Hence the nations need to follow the legal advice of a supreme court judge, the Jewish Pharisee named Gamaliel, when he said to the Jews who were opposing and persecuting the apostles of Jesus Christ: “Now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.”—Acts 5:38, 39, AV.
34. What will Satan not let his nations do, and hence what must befall them?
34 However, the Bible prophecies warn us that the wicked god of this world, Satan the Devil, will never let his nations on earth adopt disarmament and peaceful relations toward Jehovah God. Hence, calamity must befall this violent world as in Noah’s day.
THE TRUE AGENCY FOR REAL DISARMAMENT
35. Why are human efforts doomed to failure, but what cheering information dispels hopelessness?
35 The most serious obstacles to total disarmament are humanly irremovable. All international efforts, with or without the United Nations, are therefore doomed to failure. Happily, however, God’s Word, the Holy Bible, does not leave us hopeless. It enlightens, cheers and guides us with this reliable information: Universal disarmament, followed by a warless new world of righteousness, will come by the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of the God of heaven.
36. To whom did Jesus say the kingdom of heaven belonged, and how did he and his disciples exhibit its work?
36 Nineteen centuries ago his Son Jesus Christ said in his Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:3, 9, 10, AV) After Jesus had turned down Satan’s offer of the kingdoms of the world and their glory, then, to quote the Bible, “Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.” He also sent out his twelve apostles to preach, telling them: “As ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” (Matt. 4:23; 10:7, 8, AV) Jesus and his disciples exhibited the work of the kingdom of heaven.
37. Why was ancient Israel an armed nation, but why does Christendom not have help such as ancient Israel once had?
37 True, Jesus and his apostles did belong to the Jewish nation, which had used military arms in ancient days. But then Jehovah God had used his chosen nation of Israel as his executional forces for destroying his earthly enemies. For that reason the Bible record says: “Jehovah, the God of Israel, fought for Israel.” (Josh. 10:14, 42; 23:3; 2 Chron. 20:29, AS) But since Jesus’ days on earth, Jehovah God has never fought for earthly Israel. Neither has Jehovah God ever fought for Christendom, and he is not fighting for Christendom today against ungodly communism. Why not? Because Christendom is not the visible organization of Jehovah God, even though she does take the name of his Son Jesus Christ and claims to be in the new covenant with Jehovah God. The facts show that she is in the covenant of the United Nations, which still has to debate the burning question of general and complete disarmament. Although Christendom helped to establish the Republic of Israel, she herself does not belong to the spiritual “Israel of God.”—Gal. 6:16.
38. Of what nation did Jesus Christ become Head, and how did he practice what he taught in the Sermon on the Mount?
38 At his death and burial Jesus Christ ceased to be a Jew or Israelite according to the flesh. On the third day of his death Jehovah God raised him to immortal life in the heavens. Then Jesus Christ became the Head and Leader of spiritual Israel. Christendom has never practiced disarmament, but Jesus Christ disarmed spiritual Israel composed of only his true followers. At the time that he was being betrayed to his enemies, his apostle Peter drew a sword and slashed off the ear of a Jew; but Jesus made Peter put the sword back and healed the man’s ear. (Matt. 26:51-56; John 18:10, 11) Jesus practiced the principles that he had taught his apostles in his Sermon on the Mount.—Matt. 5:9, 21-48; Luke 6:27-36.
39. What written advice on the subject did Peter give afterward?
39 After that, Peter never took up a sword again. Instead, Peter wrote, saying that Jesus suffered unjustly, leaving an example for his followers to copy when suffering unjustly. Hence Peter added: “Let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a busybody in other people’s matters. But if he suffers as a Christian, let him not feel shame, but let him keep on glorifying God in this name.”—1 Pet. 2:21-25; 4:15, 16.
40. (a) What did Paul say about the warfare waged by him and Timothy? (b) How did he describe the warfare to Ephesian Christians, and the armor needed for it?
40 The Jewish Pharisee, Saul of Tarsus, once took part in killing Christians. But after he was corrected and became the apostle Paul he quit killing. He said to the young man Timothy: “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” (2 Tim. 2:3, AV) As good soldiers of Jesus Christ, Paul and Timothy said to the saintly Christians in Corinth: “Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Cor. 1:1; 10:3-5, AV) To the Christians in Ephesus Paul described the kind of war that they were to fight and the weapons of such warfare, saying: “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God.” What pieces of armor? The girdle of truth, the “breastplate of righteousness,” the shoes of the “preparation of the gospel of peace,” “the shield of faith,” “the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always.” (Eph. 6:11-18, AV) With such spiritual weapons they could fight against the false god of this world and his superhuman demons.
41. In what ecclesiastical functions of today did Peter and Paul not serve, and what weapon did they use?
41 In harmony with this the apostles Peter and Paul never served as chaplains in the armed forces of this world. They never blessed or sprinkled “holy water” on the arms or armed forces of this world. Peter and Paul used the written Word of God, which is “sharper than any two-edged sword.” (Heb. 4:12) They are our true examples.
GOG OF MAGOG AGAINST DISARMAMENT
42. Whom do true Christians today imitate, and how, then, will universal disarmament come?
42 True, obedient Christians today carry out Jesus’ command in Matthew 24:14 and preach the good news of God’s kingdom for a witness to all nations. They imitate Peter and Paul and fight only with spiritual weapons. How, then, will universal disarmament come by the kingdom of heaven, which is the kingdom of God? It will come, not by converting national governments to imitate Peter and Paul, but when that kingdom fights the universal war, the war against Gog of Magog, foretold in the prophecy of Jehovah’s prophet Ezekiel, chapters thirty-eight and thirty-nine. According to this prophecy Gog of Magog is against disarmament of worldly nations and will lead them in their final fight against Jehovah God and his established kingdom. The Encyclopædia Britannica (11th edition, of 1910-1911, Volume 12, page 190) says of Gog: “A Hebrew name found in Ezekiel 38-39, and in Revelation 20, and denoting an antitheocratic power that is to manifest itself in the world immediately before the final dispensation. . . . Magog is perhaps a contracted form of Mat-gog, mat being the common Assyrian word for ‘land.’”
43. Whom does recent investigation prove Gog of Magog to be, and how does he bring a final woe upon earth and sea?
43 However, recent Bible investigation has proved that Gog of Magog is a prophetic symbol of the false god of this world, Satan the Devil, when making his final attack upon the Christian witnesses of God’s kingdom of heaven. This symbolic Gog of Magog has now been cast out of heaven since the birth of God’s kingdom up there,c and is now bringing woes upon earth and sea. The final woe he brings upon the nations by leading them into a total attack against the kingdom of heaven, God’s kingdom by Christ, which the nations have continually rejected since A.D. 1914. They have done so with the wrath and anger of two world wars and the persecution of those Christians who have obeyed Jesus’ command to preach the good news of the kingdom for a witness to all nations, Communist and noncommunist alike. (Rev. 11:15-18) These Kingdom witnesses are logically the ones upon whom the attack is made by the worshipers of carnal arms or militarism. Daniel’s prophecy concerning the same time shows that the symbolic king of the north and king of the south will be prominent in that attack.—Dan. 11:36 to 12:1.
44. Who have stepped into the roles of the king of the north and the king of the south?
44 Recent Bible research in the light of twentieth-century history has shown that the Anglo-American dual world power has stepped into the shoes of the symbolic “king of the south,” whereas, since the overthrow of the Nazi Leader Adolf Hitler and his Axis Powers in 1945, the Russian Communist political power has stepped into the shoes of the “king of the north.” The two political, economic and military rivals, the king of the north and the king of the south, may carry on a cold war against each other during peaceful coexistence, but they are united under Gog of Magog against the reigning kingdom of heaven, God’s kingdom.
45. In view of Daniel 11:37-39, why could the disarmament proposal by the king of the north not mean total disarmament?
45 Concerning the militarism and armament program of the symbolic “king of the north,” Daniel 11:37-39 (AS) says prophetically: “He shall magnify himself above all. But in his place shall he honor the god of fortresses; and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones and pleasant things. And he shall deal with the strongest fortresses by the help of a foreign god.” In view of this description of the modern-day “king of the north,” his proposal for general and complete disarmament of all nations could never mean total disarmament against Jehovah God and Jesus Christ and spiritual Israel. So he joins the attack under Gog.
46. Against what people and land does Ezekiel say Gog’s attack will be directed?
46 Ezekiel’s prophecy discloses that this attack under Gog of Magog will be a united international attack upon the restored people of Jehovah God. Hence by his prophet Ezekiel Jehovah says to Gog of Magog: “In the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, that is gathered out of many peoples, upon the mountains of Israel, . . . thou shalt come up against my people Israel, as a cloud to cover the land: it shall come to pass in the latter days, that I will bring thee against my land, that the nations may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes. And it shall come to pass in that day, when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord Jehovah, that my wrath shall come up into my nostrils.” (Ezek. 38:8, 16, 18; 39:1, 2, AS) Does this, then, refer to Jews or Israelites that have gone back to Palestine and set up the democratic Republic of Israel? Not at all! Why not?
47, 48. Why does Ezekiel not refer to the Jews or Israelites that have established the Republic of Israel over themselves?
47 Because the people of the Republic of Israel are not spiritual Israel, of which the Son of God, Jesus Christ, is the Leader and King. The Republic of Israel is a member of the United Nations that does not recognize the kingdom of heaven. Furthermore, Jehovah God’s description by Ezekiel of his people “in the latter days” does not fit the Republic of Israel. God’s description says: “It is brought forth out of the peoples, and they shall dwell securely, all of them.” This fact leads Gog to say: “I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell securely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates.” (Ezek. 38:8, 11, AS) Such a description of peaceful, unarmed, Jehovah-trusting people does not match the militaristic Republic of Israel, from 1948 down to this day. All historians know that the Republic of Israel fought with modern military arms to establish and maintain itself; that its soldiers overran the Sinai Peninsula during the Suez Canal crisis of 1956, and that to this day it has maintained a heavily armed vigilance against its neighboring enemies and has even entered into a contract with West Germany to sell munitions of war made in Israel.
48 Like Christendom, the Republic of Israel is also not in the new covenant promised by Jehovah God and validated by the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ. Israel is in the covenant of the United Nations that resorts to a military police force.—Jer. 31:31-34; Matt. 26:26-29; Luke 22:14-20; Heb. 8:6-13; 13:20.
DELIVERANCE OF UNARMED SPIRITUAL ISRAEL
49. To whom, then, does the prophecy of Gog’s attack apply, and, correspondingly, what is the attacked “land of Israel”?
49 Examination of the religious organizations of all the earth reveals that the ones to whom the prophecy of Gog’s attack applies are those fully dedicated, baptized Christians who are spiritual Israelites bearing God’s holy name as witnesses of Jehovah. Just as Jesus Christ foretold respecting the “time of the end” of this old world, these witnesses of Jehovah are hated in all nations and undergo persecution there, even among the religious nations of Christendom. Correspondingly, what Jehovah’s prophecy calls the “mountains of Israel,” “the land of Israel,” is not the small part of the Middle East occupied by the Republic of Israel. It is the present theocratic position occupied by Jehovah’s witnesses on earth. Into this position they have been gathered out of all nations, languages, colors and cultures. There they worship Jehovah according to his new covenant and they serve as subjects and witnesses of the kingdom of heaven, God’s kingdom by his Christ.
50. In whom does this people trust for protection, and how have they become a practical example of total disarmament now?
50 Despite living hated in a hostile world, these witnesses of Jehovah have literally disarmed themselves and they trust for protection in their God Jehovah. They have not waited for the international organization, the United Nations, to fulfill the words inscribed upon the wall of its Plaza in New York city, quoted from Jehovah’s prophet Isaiah, chapter two, verse four: “And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” Ever since World War I Jehovah’s witnesses have practiced among themselves those words of Jehovah’s prophet. They have seen that the fulfillment of those inspired words applies to them, not after the international attack upon them under Gog of Magog, but applies now since the setting up of the kingdom of heaven in 1914, yes, now in this “time of the end” of this world when its nations are armed in most modern fashion. So in 1958, in international assembly in New York city and in general assemblies in ninety other cities outside the United States, hundreds of thousands of Jehovah’s witnesses publicly adopted a Resolution, pledging themselves before God and man to abide by Isaiah’s above prophecy. Besides that, they distributed more than seventy-two million printed copies of this Resolution in fifty-three languages worldwide. They are a practical example of total disarmament now!
51. Under this attack whom do they expect to fight for spiritual Israel, and how will the kingdom of heaven then accomplish universal disarmament?
51 Jehovah’s witnesses are now alerted and are awaiting the attack of Gog of Magog with his demonic and human forces. They expect Jehovah God and Jesus Christ to fight for spiritual Israel. “And I will call for a sword against [Gog] unto all my mountains, saith the Lord Jehovah: every man’s sword shall be against his brother. And with pestilence and with blood will I enter into judgment with him; and I will rain upon him, and upon his hordes, and upon the many peoples that are with him, an overflowing shower, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. And I will magnify myself, and sanctify myself, and I will make myself known in the eyes of many nations; and they shall know that I am Jehovah.” “I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand. . . . I will give unto Gog a place for burial in Israel.” (Ezek. 38:21-23; 39:3, 11, AS) Thus the kingdom of heaven will accomplish universal disarmament to Jehovah’s glory.
52. What words of Jesus to Peter will then be true, and hence who will survive?
52 In that universal war the words of Jesus to his apostle Peter will be true: “All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” (Matt. 26:52, AV) But those abiding by the words of Isaiah 2:4, who come under attack by Gog of Magog, will survive the universal war, just as Noah and his family survived the global flood.
53. What will the survivors do with the relics of military armaments, and what does the length of time thus occupied indicate?
53 All relics of present-day military armaments will be destroyed by these spiritual Israelites whom Jehovah God preserves through the universal war. Says he concerning postwar activities on earth: “They that dwell in the cities of Israel [spiritual Israel, which survives] shall go forth, and shall make fires of the weapons and burn them, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall make fires of them seven years; so that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall make fires of the weapons; and they shall plunder those that plundered them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord Jehovah.” (Ezek. 39:3, 9, 10, AS) According to the time needed to burn up all the weapons, the amount of military armaments of the nations led by Gog of Magog should be terrific. But their armaments will be of no avail against Almighty God, Jehovah of hosts, and his Christ.
54. Why will earth no more rumble under international warfare, and why will even fear of wild beasts pass away?
54 What rejoicing there will then be at the victory of Jehovah of hosts over the armed might of this old world! Never again will this fair earth of God’s creation rumble under the international warfare of those who break His Ten Commandments. Jehovah’s new world will begin with only those inhabitants of earth who have already undertaken total disarmament in the fear of Jehovah and in imitation of Jesus Christ. The need to fear beastly nations will be a thing of the past. Even fear of being harmed by the literal wild beasts will be banished, for, concerning the earthly realm of the kingdom of heaven, Jehovah God says by his prophet Isaiah: “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Jehovah, as the waters cover the sea.” (Isa. 11:6-11, AS) There will be no more Nimrods on earth.
55. What influence toward armaments will lose the position of god, and what will be the motive inducing mankind to perpetual disarmament?
55 No more will Satan the Devil, that symbolic Serpent and Dragon, be the false god dominating this earth, unseen, promoting armaments. Obedient mankind will walk in the fear of the one living and true God, Jehovah. His Son Jesus Christ will be their heavenly King, the Seed of God’s woman who crushes the Serpent’s head. Love of God and love of neighbor will be the heart motive that will induce all those who gain eternal life on earth under the kingdom of heaven to stick to universal disarmament, living peaceably together in an everlasting earthly paradise.
b See page 232, paragraph 2 and its footnote.
c See page 238, paragraphs 24, 25.