Unity of All Men of Good Will Promised
1. (a) How was Micah specially marked as a prophet of Jehovah? (b) What prophecy did Micah utter respecting Jehovah’s flock and His shepherd for it?
ONE of Jehovah’s prophets before Christ was Micah of Moresheth in the tribal territory of Judah. Micah’s very name means “Who Is Like Jehovah?” Micah is marked especially for foretelling the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem-judah. (Mic. 5:2) After foretelling Jesus’ birth there, Micah added: “And he will certainly stand and do shepherding in the strength of Jehovah, in the superiority of the name of Jehovah his God. And they will certainly keep dwelling, for now he will be great as far as the ends of the earth. And this one must become peace.” (Mic. 5:4, 5) In foretelling the experiences of the remnant of the little flock of Jesus’ spiritual sheep Micah, as spokesman for Jehovah, said: “I shall positively gather Jacob, all of you; I shall without fail collect the remaining ones of Israel together. In unity I shall set them, like a flock in the pen, like a drove in the midst of its pasture; they will be noisy because of men.”—Mic. 2:12.
2. (a) In what special regard were the remaining ones of Jacob or Israel to be collected and set in unity? (b) To whom, then, must this prophecy of Micah concerning unity really apply?
2 To understand this prophecy, we must remember that Jacob and Israel are the names of one and the same organization, since Jehovah God surnamed the patriarch Jacob Israel. “Israel” means “Contender (Perseverer) with God.” (Gen. 32:28, footnote) It is plain that the remaining ones of Jacob or Israel whom Jehovah God promised to gather and to collect like a flock of sheep in a pen were to be set in unity in favor of the Ruler who was to be born in Bethlehem-judah and who was to become “ruler in Israel, whose origin is from early times, from the days of time indefinite.” It is in behalf of all this remnant of Jacob or Israel that he must “stand and do shepherding in the strength of Jehovah, in the superiority of the name of Jehovah his God.” Consequently, this prophecy of Micah 2:12 concerning unity must really apply to the Christian congregation of the “Israel of God,” spiritual Israel.—Gal. 6:16.
3. What prophecy of Isaiah identifies more plainly who this “Israel of God” is?
3 Another fact identifying more plainly who this “Israel of God” really is we find in Isaiah 43:1, 10, where God addresses Jacob or Israel and says: “Thus saith Jehovah that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed thee; I have called thee by thy name, thou art mine. Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen.” God repeats this identification of who Jacob or Israel is, saying, in Isa 43 verse 12: “There was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and I am God.” (AS) Therefore, too, the “Israel of God” means, not Christendom, but the congregation of Christian witnesses of Jehovah God. These must exhibit unity.
4. What observation about the universe gives us an assurance concerning the unity of the congregation of Christian witnesses, and what do the facts show as respects an answer to Jesus’ prayer?
4 There is a unity that exists throughout all the observable universe. Now if Jehovah the Most High and Almighty God can unify and operate a universe throughout all the billions of light years of space, certainly he can unify a congregation of Christian witnesses on this tiny earth, even though his present witnesses on earth should number into hundreds of thousands. In his prophetic Word he promised to unify them and keep them at unity. The accomplished facts of today prove he has done so, just as Jesus prayed.
5, 6. (a) Of which congregation of witnesses of Jehovah did Jesus Christ become the Head? (b) Why did disunity afflict the people of Israel after Solomon’s death, what was really responsible for it, and what trouble did this cause Israel?
5 Before the congregation of Christian witnesses of Jehovah existed, there was the congregation of Jewish or Israelite witnesses. Jesus Christ was born as a member of this earlier congregation of Jehovah’s witnesses, but he became the Head of the later congregation of Christian witnesses. (John 18:37) Using his congregation of Jewish witnesses as a historical example, Jehovah promised to unify his Christian witnesses. After King Solomon of Jerusalem died in 997 B.C., disunity afflicted the people of Israel for 460 years. It was all because of King Solomon’s falling away from the pure worship of Jehovah God. The nation of Israel suffered a revolt of ten of its twelve tribes, and two kingdoms arose, one of Judah and one of Northern Israel. The Kingdom of Northern Israel broke away politically from Jerusalem and its kingly line of David; but shortly it broke away religiously. It set up the false worship of idols, first of golden calves and later of images of the pagan god Baal.
6 O the trouble that the falling away from the pure worship of the only living and true God causes! In 740 B.C. the Kingdom of Northern Israel was destroyed by the world power of Assyria, and most of the surviving Israelites were marched away to captivity in the distant land of Assyria. The sister Kingdom of Judah took no warning but fell away to false worship. It departed from Jehovah God, and he departed from it. He let Jerusalem and its temple be destroyed and the surviving Jews be carried captive to the land of their conquerors, Babylon.
7. Israel’s exile in Babylon was an expression of what from God, but in his mercy what did he do for their hope and comfort?
7 So from 607 B.C. onward the people of both kingdoms, that of Israel and that of Judah, were exiles in the “land of the enemy.” This captivity of all twelve tribes in Babylon was Jehovah’s chastisement of them for disobediently falling away from the one pure, undefiled religion. But Jehovah God is merciful to those fearing him. (Ps. 103:13) To keep their hopes alive and to comfort them during the seventy years while Jerusalem and the land of Judah lay desolate in ruins, Jehovah God by his prophets had foretold their deliverance from Babylon and their restoration to Jerusalem in order to renew the united worship of Jehovah God there.
8-10. (a) What was it that moved God to restore the remnant of Israel, and what was the proper motive for them in this matter? (b) In what prophecy did Jeremiah foretell their motive for returning home?
8 Independence and national sovereignty for Israel were not the things that moved God to deliver the faithful remnant of his Jewish witnesses from Babylon. The restoring of his true worship at the city where he had placed his name—this was what moved God to “collect the remaining ones of Israel together” and mercifully bring them back to the city of his name, to rebuild in it the temple of his worship. The desire to renew the worship of the true God at his appointed place was what had to motive the “remaining ones of Israel” to leave Babylon, “the land of the north,” and to trudge back to Jerusalem and Judah. Note how Jehovah’s prophet Jeremiah foretold both their restoration to their homeland and the all-consuming motive for their wanting to return home:
9 “In that time they will call Jerusalem the throne of Jehovah; and to her all the nations must be brought together to the name of Jehovah at Jerusalem, and they will no more walk after the stubbornness of their bad heart. In those days they will walk, the house of Judah alongside the house of Israel, and together they will come out of the land of the north into the land that I gave as a hereditary possession to your forefathers.”—Jer. 3:17, 18.
10 “‘In those days and at that time,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘the sons of Israel, they and the sons of Judah together, will come. They will walk, weeping as they walk, and for Jehovah their God they will seek. To Zion they will keep asking the way, with their faces in that direction, saying, “Come and let us join ourselves to Jehovah in an indefinitely lasting covenant that will not be forgotten.” Their Repurchaser is strong, Jehovah of armies being his name. Without fail he will conduct their legal case, in order that he may actually give repose to the land and cause agitation to the inhabitants of Babylon.’”—Jer. 50:4, 5, 34.
UNIFICATION—ANCIENT AND MODERN
11. (a) When and how was Jeremiah’s prophecy fulfilled on a small scale? (b) When did the full-scale fulfillment take place, and with what effect among the nations?
11 Certainly the Republic of Israel was not established in 1948 in the way that Jeremiah describes. The return of natural Jews to Palestine and to the Republic of Israel is no fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy. The first real fulfillment of this prophecy took place in 537 B.C., after Babylon had fallen before the conquering Medes and Persians. That year King Cyrus the Persian published a decree and let a remnant of Jewish witnesses of Jehovah leave Babylon and return to the desolate land of Judah and rebuild Jehovah’s temple at Jerusalem. The Holy Bible records this small-scale fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy. (2 Chron. 36:20-23; Ezra 1:1 to 3:13) This historical event was in itself a prophetic picture of the complete, full-scale fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy A.D. 1919, after the close of World War I. This was in the case of the remnant of Christian witnesses of Jehovah. That is why, before the year 1919, no group of professing Christians boldly stood forth as Jehovah’s witnesses. Since then, and particularly from the year 1931, the name of these dedicated, baptized Christians has become known around the globe. It is even feared in Communist Russia and its satellite countries, where, because the Witnesses have to operate underground, the Soviet press likens them to “spiders.”
12. How were Jehovah’s witnesses forced into captivity, how did they seek his favor, and to what extent have they been welded together?
12 During World War I of 1914-1918 religious conspirators took advantage of the war frenzy to try to destroy these Bible-studying Christians. Thus Jehovah’s witnesses were brought into a captivity under the nations of Christendom like that of the Jewish witnesses in Babylon in 607-537 B.C. But in the first postwar year (1919) they were released from such Babylonish captivity. They held an international assembly that year, which was like a regathering of thousands of them, and they prepared for the greatest Christian work of witnessing to Jehovah God in all human history. With tears they sought his face of favor. They determined to keep their covenant with him, the “covenant with me [Jehovah] by sacrifice,” the new covenant based upon the human sacrifice of Jesus Christ. (Ps. 50:5, AV; AS) Though the Witnesses have come from the many nationalities, races, colors and languages of the world, and especially from the many religious systems inside and outside of Christendom, yet they have been welded together into a unity that has proved unbreakable by Fascist, Nazi, Communist and religious persecutors.
13. To what course is their matchless unity due?
13 Their matchless unity is owing to keeping apart from the politics of this world and their ‘seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,’ as Jesus Christ instructed his true followers to do. (Matt. 6:9, 10, 33) They are united in giving their wholehearted, undivided allegiance to the one King whom Jehovah God has chosen and installed to rule for Him over all mankind, namely, Jesus Christ. His time to come into his heavenly kingdom at God’s right hand was in 1914. The unity of the Witnesses in submitting to him, “the Son of David,” was foretold by the prophet Ezekiel.
14. In the face of what impending event did Ezekiel prophesy, and why was it that his prophecies did not leave the Jews in despair?
14 Ezekiel was a contemporary of the prophet Jeremiah. A hundred years before Ezekiel the Kingdom of Northern Israel under the domination of the tribe of Ephraim the son of Joseph had been destroyed and its surviving Israelites taken far away into exile. Now the Kingdom of Judah under the rulership of the kingly house of David was about to be destroyed. Ezekiel prophesied of this coming ruin to the kingdom and destruction to Jehovah’s temple at Jerusalem, and of how the surviving Jews would be dragged off into exile in Babylon. His prophecies, however, did not leave the Jews and the Israelites in despair, for he foretold their united return from Babylon to restore Jehovah’s worship in their beloved homeland. He foretold that the Israelites of the north and the Judeans of the south were to be reunited as one nation under one leader, the son of David. Hear, now, Ezekiel tell how they would come up out of their graves of drooping hopes in Babylon and would reunite in their God-given homeland under one Davidic ruler!
15, 16. (a) How did Ezekiel illustrate the reunion of divided Israel? (b) What was Ezekiel commanded to say in explanation of the sign?
15 To illustrate the reunion, Ezekiel was told to take two sticks, one to be marked “For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim,” and the other, “For Judah,” representing the aforetime two kingdoms of the one people, Israel. Before the eyes of these tribesmen Ezekiel was to put the one stick to the other, when miraculously they would become one long stick in his hand. In explanation of this miraculous sign Ezekiel was commanded to say:
16 “This is what the Lord Jehovah has said: ‘Here I am taking the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his partners, and I will put them upon it, that is, the stick of Judah, and I shall actually make them one stick, and they must become one in my hand. . . . Here I am taking the sons of Israel from among the nations to which they have gone, and I will collect them together from round about and bring them onto their soil. And I shall actually make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel, and one king is what all of them will come to have as king, and they will no longer continue to be two nations, nor will they be divided any longer into two kingdoms. And my servant David will be king over them, and one shepherd is what they will all come to have, and in my judicial decisions they will walk and my statutes they will keep, and they will certainly carry them out. . . . and David my servant will be their chieftain to time indefinite. And I shall certainly conclude with them a covenant of peace; an indefinitely lasting covenant is what there will come to be with them.’”—Ezek. 37:19, 21, 22, 24-26.
THE LASTING REUNION
17. Who today have been united into one symbolic stick, and under what one king?
17 Natural Jews today are not united, not even in the cause of political Zionism. Neither does the Republic of Israel, under a presidency with a prime minister, have Jesus Christ the Son of David as King and Shepherd. But what about the remnant of the “Israel of God,” the spiritual Israelites, the Christian witnesses of Jehovah? Since their release from the Babylonish captivity of the first world war they have been restored to the place of God’s favor and approval. In this spiritual estate they do have a king, Jehovah’s anointed Son, Jesus Christ the Son of David. In spite of differences in their political, social, racial and religious extractions, the Almighty God has made them one holy spiritual nation under one Shepherd-King, the enthroned Jesus Christ. They are not divided, two sticks as it were, like the ancient people of Israel with one king up north in Samaria and another king down south in Jerusalem. Since Jehovah’s Christian witnesses have accepted his King, Jesus Christ, as their Ruler and Shepherd, they have nothing to do with the political affairs of this world. They do not permit political policies and elections, uprisings and rebellions to divide them. Jehovah’s almighty power has made them “one stick,” “one nation,” under his “one king.” They are one stick or instrument in his mighty hand for doing his work.
18-20. (a) Despite what factors are Jehovah’s witnesses displaying unity, and in what is this resulting? (b) How was this unity and increase foretold by Hosea, and to whom does Peter apply Hosea’s prophecy?
18 Jehovah’s witnesses are now reported acting as his instrument in 176 distinct lands and territories and are thus in contact with many nationalities, races, colors, languages, social groups and local customs. Yet these widely scattered witnesses are all believing, acting and preaching alike and are holding fast to their bonds of unity. Many sheeplike persons in all these lands are accepting the message of God’s King and kingdom, and thus the number of witnesses is increasing. In such increase and unity there is fulfilled in a spectacular way Hosea’s prophecy pronounced long ago during the days of a divided Israel:
19 “The number of the sons of Israel must become like the grains of the sand of the sea that cannot be measured or numbered. And it must occur that in the place in which it used to be said to them, ‘You men are not my people,’ it will be said to them, ‘The sons of the living God.’ And the sons of Judah and the sons of Israel will certainly be collected together into a unity and will actually set up for themselves one head and go up out of the land [of Babylon], because great will be the day of Jezreel.”—Hos. 1:10, 11.
20 Peter applies Hosea’s prophecy to the flock of spiritual Israel, so that we know it is correct for us to look for its fulfillment today in the Christian witnesses of Jehovah.—1 Pet. 2:9, 10.
21. Why is it so wonderful that these witnesses have been collected together into a unity, and from what course of action has this resulted?
21 How wonderful it is that these witnesses who were formerly so divided religiously and politically and socially both in Christendom and in heathendom have now been “collected together into a unity”! It is because they have gone up out of this split-up world system of things and have set up one head over themselves, namely, Jehovah’s anointed and enthroned King, Jesus Christ. This united devotion to Jehovah’s chosen Ruler for the new world of righteousness has had His approval and has therefore resulted in increase, in a great spread of Jehovah’s witnesses, a wide sowing of them.
22. How has this proved to be the great “day of Jezreel,” and how has the pen of unity become “noisy because of men”?
22 In this respect it is indeed a “great” day, for it is the “day of Jezreel.” The name Jezreel means “God [El] Will Sow Seed.” The seed that God sows in all the earth are his dedicated witnesses. He makes this symbolic seed grow, so that it produces more seed. (1 Cor. 3:6-9) For this reason there comes an increase in the number of His witnesses around the earth. They become many; and inasmuch as their number had not been foretold even by God himself, they must become in number “like the grains of the sand of the sea that cannot be measured or numbered.” That is why, as foretold in Micah 2:12, they have become “noisy because of men” in the pen in which Jehovah God has set them in unity. The joyful noise of them is heard louder and louder throughout all the earth.
23. What prophecy did Jesus say concerning the gathering of sheep into one flock, and why must these sheep keep unity despite all world upheavals?
23 Their one Shepherd-King, Jesus Christ, long ago spoke of gathering a great crowd of “other sheep” into association and cooperation with the “little flock” of spiritual Israel. In a prophecy that is now being remarkably fulfilled, he said: “I am the right shepherd, and I know my sheep and my sheep know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I surrender my soul [or, life] in behalf of the sheep. And I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; those also I must bring, and they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock, one shepherd.” (John 10:14-16) This “one shepherd” laid down his earthly life for all the sheep, whether of the little flock or of the larger flock of other sheep. They all owe their life and salvation to him, not to some religious pastor or political ruler of Christendom. In payment of a debt of gratitude and in a total dependence upon him for everlasting life in God’s new world, they must follow his Right Shepherd, Jesus Christ. Following just the One Shepherd, they must all keep together in unity, as “one flock,” despite all world upheavals.
24. What sad experience has twentieth-century Christendom had in following human leaders, but why have Jehovah’s witnesses survived those leaders?
24 Jesus being the one right shepherd to follow, he warned his sheeplike followers against following a human leader. For a considerable number of years a large section of Roman Catholic Christendom followed an Italian Duce (“Leader”), one Mussolini; and another large section of Roman Catholic Christendom followed a German Fuehrer (“Leader”), one Adolf Hitler, a “son of the Church.” But Jehovah’s witnesses refused to do so, despite persecution. They survived, but those human political leaders, backed by Roman Catholic priests, did not survive, leaving their followers in a deplorable condition. Wisely Jehovah’s witnesses obeyed their one Shepherd’s command: “Do not call anyone your [spiritual] father on earth, for One is your Father, the heavenly One. Neither be called ‘leaders’, for your Leader is one, the Christ.”—Matt. 23:9, 10.
25. At what international assembly during World War II did Jehovah’s witnesses express themselves regarding human leadership, and who was it that raised the question?
25 At an international assembly in North America of many thousands of Jehovah’s witnesses, they unitedly expressed themselves vociferously in opposition to any human leader, even a religious leader. This was in the summer of 1941, while World War II was raging and while Roman Catholic sentiment in America was strongly in favor of the Axis Power leaders, Hitler and Mussolini. During August 6-10, 1941, this international assembly was held in The Arena of St. Louis, Missouri. On the final day, Sunday, despite his rapidly failing health, the then president of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, Joseph F. Rutherford, delivered a public Kingdom message to a vast audience estimated at 115,000. After that he gave his closing talk to the assembled Witnesses, this proving to be also his last public appearance before he died on January 8, 1942. What President Rutherford said in that final speech to tens of thousands of Jehovah’s witnesses respecting leadership is of particular interest in this connection. We let an interested observer of that occasion give us the the report, published in the issue of The Watchtower as of September 15, 1941, page 288, paragraph 6:
26. How did J. F. Rutherford present the matter to the Assembly, and with what responses?
26 “For ever to disprove all published false charges and slurs that he [Rutherford] is the leader of Jehovah’s witnesses, he said: ‘I want to let any strangers here know what you think about a man being your LEADER, so they won’t be forgetting. Every time something rises up and starts to grow, they say there is some man a leader who has a great following. If there is any person in this audience who thinks that I, this man standing here, is the leader of Jehovah’s witnesses, say Yes.’ But there was a unanimous ‘No!’ emphatically. ‘If you who are here believe that I am just one of the servants of the Lord, and we are working shoulder to shoulder in unity, serving God and serving Christ, say Yes.’ The unanimous ‘Yes!’ was strong and unequivocal. ‘Well, you don’t have to need me as an earthly leader to get a crowd like that to work.’ He now asked them to return to their respective parts and ‘put on more steam . . . put in all the time you can’. Then he offered words of benediction.”
27. Whom, then, are Jehovah’s witnesses following as leader?
27 In full agreement with that theocratic position taken by those representative tens of thousands in assembly back there in 1941, Jehovah’s witnesses today are following no American as leader, be he president of the Watch Tower Society or otherwise. They are not following any human leader. In earth-wide unity they are following their self-sacrificing One Shepherd, Jesus Christ, now reigning at the right hand of Jehovah God in heaven.—1 Pet. 3:22.
28. Even under what unfavorable international conditions would they refrain from following any would-be human leader, and why so?
28 Were Jehovah’s witnesses yet to be cut off from communicating with one another because of troubles and hostilities in various countries where they are found, yet they would keep on following just the one Leader and King of God’s choice. No one of Jehovah’s true witnesses would take advantage of the breakage of international communication and try with selfish ambition to set himself up as a national leader and establish a national religious organization. Jehovah’s witnesses have all been so well taught in the Bible faith and so well trained in preaching its message that they would all continue to carry on their theocratic worship and activities even though they were separated from brothers in other lands. They would not listen to the voice of any would-be leader but would recognize and listen to the voice of only their One Shepherd. He is above all earthly nations and will yet “shepherd all the nations with an iron rod” and dash them to pieces in the coming battle of Armageddon, “the war of the great day of God the Almighty.”—Rev. 12:5; 16:14, 16; John 10:4, 5; Ps 2:8, 9
UNITY OF SPEECH AND ACTION
29, 30. (a) What effective binder do Jehovah’s witnesses have for holding the theocratic organization together? (b) Of what does God disapprove in his organization, and hence against what men does he warn us by Paul?
29 Except as regards opposition to God’s kingdom, the spirit of this world is pulling it apart. Its divisive spirit, though, will not infect the flock of Jehovah’s sheep under his Right Shepherd Jesus Christ. Besides having the one supranational leadership from heaven, Jehovah’s witnesses have the only effective binder for holding their theocratic organization together amid this world. That binder is the spirit of Jehovah God; and “the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control.” (Gal. 5:22, 23) Nothing is superior to Christlike love for holding together God’s flock of sheep, for which his Son lovingly shed his blood. In an appeal for unity of God’s flock the apostle Paul wrote to them: “Clothe yourselves with love, for it is a perfect bond of union. Also let the peace of the Christ control in your hearts, for you were, in fact, called to it in one body.” (Col. 3:14, 15) As they cultivate that fruitage of the spirit, love, the perfect bond of union will get stronger in its unbreakableness. And where there is union or unity, there are peace, order and harmony. God calls his dedicated people to be one body, one organization. He disapproves of all disunity, disorder and divisiveness. Through the apostle Paul he has commanded us:
30 “Keep your eye on those who create divisions and causes for stumbling contrary to the teaching which you have learned, and avoid them. For men of that kind are slaves, not of our Lord Christ, but of their own bellies, and by smooth talk and complimentary speech they seduce the hearts of guileless ones.”—Rom. 16:17, 18.
31. (a) As what kind of warning should the intertribal warfare of ancient Israel serve, and to whom today? (b) How should Jehovah’s visible organization be like Jerusalem of David’s day, and so what makes all intertribal warfare out of place?
31 In some lands that have newly gained independence as a nation and where imperialistic colonial powers are no longer in control, the native government has met with great difficulty because of intertribal feuds and warfare, with danger to the stableness of the government. The intertribal warfare of the ancient nation of Israel serves as a Biblical warning to the little flock of spiritual Israel and all its companions, the great flock of “other sheep.” Jesus warned: “Every kingdom divided against itself comes to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.” (Matt. 12:25) The visible organization of Jehovah’s Kingdom witnesses must be like the city of Jerusalem in the days of faithful King David, solidly built together and with those meeting together in it unitedly loyal to the anointed king sitting upon Jehovah’s throne. King David described this Jerusalem to which Israel’s twelve tribes faithfully came up to worship at Jehovah’s house there, saying: “Jerusalem is one that is built like a city that has been joined together in oneness, to which the tribes have gone up, the tribes of Jah, as a reminder to Israel to laud the name of Jehovah.” (Ps. 122:3, 4) The worship of the one living and true God Jehovah was what bound those twelve tribes together, and with this was joined a fervent loyalty to Jehovah’s anointed king. This made all intertribal warfare out of place. It made for peace.
32. What do efforts of the enemy forces betray regarding the “god of this system of things,” and how should Jehovah’s witnesses meet Gog’s attack?
32 The efforts of communistic powers and of other enemy forces betray that Satan the Devil, “the god of this system of things,” is specially bent now on cracking and destroying the exemplary unity of the New World society of Jehovah’s witnesses. Ezekiel’s prophecy (Eze chapters 38, 39) forewarns us that Satan will play the role of Gog of Magog. As such, he will gather together all his coconspirators on earth and unite them in one final, total attack on the spiritual “Israel of God” and all its loyal companions, the “other sheep.” Since it is to be with a combined, united host that Gog attacks us, then let it be with an unsagging united front that we confront Gog and his host, all over the earth. We must do so, even though we may be cut off, physically speaking, from our brothers in other lands and none of the visible governing body of God’s congregation may be present with us and directly watching us.
33. How did Paul call for a united front of Christians, and what will happen before our united front against Gog?
33 The apostle Paul called for a united front against the combined enemy when he expressed the desire that, “whether I come and see you or be absent, I may hear about the things which concern you, that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one soul fighting side by side for the faith of the good news, and in no respect being frightened by your opponents. This very thing is a proof of destruction for them, but of salvation for you; and this indication is from God, because to you the privilege was given in behalf of Christ, not only to put your faith in him, but also to suffer in his behalf.” (Phil. 1:27-29) Christ will not forsake us if we suffer in his behalf. Christ has promised us as his obedient followers: “Look! I am with you all the days until the consummation of the system of things.” (Matt. 28:20) Having him with us on all fronts, we are bound to come off victorious. The united attack of Gog’s host will collapse before our united front as Almighty God rises up in our defense, throws Gog’s forces into disunity, disorder, confusion and panic, and causes their utter destruction.
34. How are we to keep our ranks unbroken, and what does the work now to be done call for?
34 We must never let personal jealousies and envies, selfish ambitions, rivalries, competitions, contentions, pride of nation, color, education or social culture, and resentment enter in among us and divide us. In a world split up in everything except in hostility to God’s kingdom and its preaching witnesses, we must keep our ranks unbroken, our faces to the foe. Despite the present worsening world conditions we have a work to do, and it needs united effort on the part of all of us around the earth to do it with effect, to God’s glory. Our expectation of his rising up to take care of our enemies and persecutors will not be disappointed.
35. In Zephaniah 3:8, 9, what does Jehovah say regarding his rising up, what change has he given us, and why?
35 In Zephaniah 3:8, 9 he says to us: “‘Therefore keep yourselves in expectation of me,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘till the day of my rising up to the booty, for my judicial decision is to gather nations, for me to collect together kingdoms, in order to pour out upon them my denunciation, all my burning anger; for by the fire of my zeal all the earth will be devoured. For then I shall give to peoples the change to a pure language, in order for them all to call upon the name of Jehovah, in order to serve him shoulder to shoulder [literally, with one shoulder].’” Regardless of the many different peoples from which we Witnesses all came in dedication to Jehovah, he has now given us a change to a “pure language” for a certain purpose. That purpose is to serve Jehovah shoulder to shoulder, in solid service formation. The oneness of our “pure language” concerning God’s kingdom and his new world does away with divisive misunderstanding. It strongly unites us in speech and action.
36. How does Psalm 102:18-22 show that the liberty that God gives to the prisoners doomed to death should be used, and in whom does this prophecy find fulfillment?
36 The “God who gives peace” has freed us from Babylonish captivity. He has brought us to his holy city, the modern counterpart of ancient Zion or Jerusalem, his established kingdom under Christ. To us former prisoners he has given religious freedom with a view to our using our liberty aright, in harmony with his expressed will. Ancient Israel, in being freed from ancient Babylon, was a historical illustration of this; and the prophecy that once applied to that ancient illustration now applies to the modern thing that was illustrated. “This is written for the future generation; and the people that is to be created will praise Jah. For he has looked down from his holy height, from the very heavens Jehovah himself has looked even at the earth, to hear the sighing of the prisoner, to loosen those appointed to death [by the enemy Babylon], for the name of Jehovah to be declared in Zion and his praise in Jerusalem, when the peoples are collected all together, and the kingdoms, to serve Jehovah.” (Ps. 102:18-22) Political Zionism as expressed in the Republic of Israel is not fulfilling this prophecy, for it does not bear Jehovah’s name; it does not declare his name in either the old or the modern city of Jerusalem, nor does it praise and serve him. Measured by facts of today the prophecy finds its fulfillment in Jehovah’s Kingdom witnesses, who have been collected together out of many peoples and from many political kingdoms on earth.
37. According to Isaiah 52:8-10, what should those watching and discerning God’s work of deliverance and restoration do?
37 Because of such deliverance and restoration of his witnesses, it is now the order of the day for all who watch and discern this work of God to publicize this salvation by him. “Listen! your own watchmen have raised their voice. In unison they keep crying out joyfully, for it will be face to face that they will see when Jehovah comes back to Zion. Become cheerful, cry out joyfully in unison, you devastated places of Jerusalem, for Jehovah has comforted his people; he has repurchased Jerusalem. Jehovah has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth must see the salvation of our God.”—Isa. 52:8-10.
38. In fulfillment of that prophecy, what does the world of mankind actually see today?
38 That is why the world of mankind sees Jehovah’s witnesses going even to the ends of the earth with the message about God’s kingdom and its blessings for all men of good will. The very presence and activity of these witnesses in all the earth is a living testimony to the deliverance that Almighty God has given them from this Babylonish world under Satan the Devil. Wherever they go they raise their voice, joyfully crying out the good news in unison. No longer are they like the devastated places of ancient Jerusalem, spiritually speaking, but they are abounding with the fruitage of God’s kingdom. Everywhere they are cheerfully crying out in unison, for they are all in agreement and are keeping unity.
39. (a) In what way is it good and pleasant for brothers to dwell together in unity? (b) Why should it be together that we magnify Jehovah and exalt his name? (c) How has he vindicated himself in his promise concerning unity?
39 For those who love God and who study this modern miracle in Jehovah’s dealing with his dedicated people, how wondrous it is and how heart-warming! “Look! how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!” (Ps. 133:1) It is not merely pleasant to behold. This dwelling together in unity is something of the utmost good for these spiritual brothers, and it makes things pleasant for them among themselves. Together we can do the present-day work of God, strengthening one another and upholding one another, thus insuring success. The spirit of the psalmist David surges through our very being and makes us cry out: “O magnify Jehovah with me, and let us exalt his name together.” (Ps. 34:3) Yes, together let us magnify him and exalt his worthy name, because he has broken the enemy’s hold and has collected us together and has set us as his witnesses together in unity, as his flock in his pen of security under Christ. He has promised the unity of all men of good will in this split-up world, and in his own vindication he has made it a blessed reality and will preserve it into his glorious new world.