Courageous in the Face of the World’s Armageddon
“Hope in Jehovah; be courageous and let your heart be strong. Yes, hope in Jehovah.”—Ps. 27:14.
1, 2. (a) At the exhortation to be courageous, what questions do many people without hope ask? (b) Why have they got into this frame of mind?
“BE COURAGEOUS”—in these days? Why? What reason is there for being courageous? The world is in for trouble, its worst trouble, and if the politicians, the military men, the Big Business men and the labor leaders, and the religious clergymen cannot do anything about it, what can we people do about it? When the worst of the trouble comes, we shall just have to take it, whether we survive or we die. So why worry about it now? Let us live for the present—for today. Since there is no future for humanity in this divided world, with its nuclear weapons on both opposing sides, why not follow the age-old saying: “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we are to die”? Is not this the best course?
2 Today many persons are taking on that frame of mind. This world and its outlook offer them nothing solid and persuasive to make them want to change their minds. On a worldly basis they have no reason to be courageous toward the future. The world offers nothing but false hopes, and they know it. The many gods and idols of this world bring no relief, answer no prayers, offer no solution, and prove to be mere no-gods; hence atheism keeps growing, and traditional religions are breaking down.
3. Who, then, dares to exhort us to be courageous, and where?
3 Who, then, dares to say: “Be courageous”? The one living and true God does so. His message of courage he has preserved for us in written form in an imperishable Book, available today in hundreds of millions of copies, The Holy Bible. In it this Almighty God of the universe gives us sound reasons for us to be courageous. His is a book that inspires in us the courage needed for these days. Courage brings us joy of heart, a joy that even the outlook of an Armageddon of trouble upon the world cannot remove or lessen.
4. Why does God face Armageddon with courage, and into what will he convert that greatest calamity for wicked people?
4 True, the coming Armageddon will prove to be more than this world can endure, but there is joy in knowing that it is nothing too big for God Almighty to handle. It will be no problem for him. He faces it with courage. In that universal war he will be the Chief Fighter. He will come off the Winner, although that war will be a clash between him and all the enemy forces lined up against him in heaven and earth. It will mark a great day for Him. For this reason it is prophetically called the “war of the great day of God the Almighty.” (Rev. 16:14, 16) He is not worried about the consequences of that war, regardless of the fact that the enemy nations are overstocked with nuclear weapons and chemical, bacteriological and radiological weapons, capable of an overkill of the entire human family. He will ruin all those who are at present ruining the earth. He can and will preserve a portion of the human family alive through Armageddon into a righteous, peaceful, healthy new world of paradise beauty. Thus what will be the greatest calamity yet for wicked people he will convert into the greatest benefit and relief for all lovers of true righteousness. With this joyful prospect before Him, he moves on to Armageddon with courage.
5. (a) To have unfalling courage in these days, what is needed by us? (b) As to courage, what kind of book is the Bible?
5 With such a God as he, why would not one have every reason to be courageous, in obedience to the exhortation given in his written Word? If we would have unfailing courage in these days which try the very being of men, we must know Him and His Word. Regardless of the false impression given by Christendom, which peddles copies of the Bible, God’s written Word is not a book of cowards and defeatists. It is not a book of weak-kneed, spineless, wishy-washy, compromising religious people who please all and offend none, afraid to stand by God-given principles and even to die for them. God’s written Word was produced under divine inspiration by men of courage. For our encouragement, it gives an unbroken account of men of unbreakable courage, men who therefore have a glorious future ahead of them in God’s new world of righteous principles.
6. (a) What kind of men does God’s Word produce? (b) Heeding Jesus’ words at John 16:33 results how to his followers today?
6 God’s Word, when not misinterpreted and misapplied, produces men of courage, able to conquer the influence of this world. The greatest man in its records said to his little band of followers: “I have said these things to you that by means of me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take courage! I have conquered the world.” (John 16:33) To this day his true followers heed these strong words and feel strengthened. In spite of the tribulations heaped upon them they know peace by him.
7, 8. (a) What courage did the shepherd lad David display? (b) How was the secret of the shepherd lad’s fearlessness bared?
7 Does any one of our readers have the courage to face alone a wild lion or bear hunting prey and to kill this marauder with just the instruments of a Palestinian shepherd? Does any one of our readers have the courage also to stand up against a champion fighter nine feet and a span tall, clad in full armor and thoroughly skilled in individual fighting, and to kill him with just a slingshot? Well, David the son of Jesse of the little town of Bethlehem had such magnificent courage, and for it he gained the victory over wild beast and beastlike giant. (1 Sam. 17:34-44, 48-51) What was the secret of this shepherd lad’s fearlessness in contrast with the bravado and braggadocio of the Philistine Goliath? The shepherd David bares the secret in his words to the giant who was cursing David by all the false gods of the Philistines:
8 “You are coming to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I am coming to you with the name of Jehovah of armies, the God of the battle lines of Israel, whom you have taunted. This day Jehovah will surrender you into my hand, and I shall certainly strike you down and remove your head off you; and I shall certainly give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines this day to the fowls of the heavens and to the wild beasts of the earth; and people of all the earth will know that there exists a God belonging to Israel. And all this congregation will know that neither with sword nor with spear does Jehovah save, because to Jehovah belongs the battle, and he must give you men into our hand.”—1 Sam. 17:45-47.
9. (a) What then inspired David to victorious courage? (b) Why did David never lose courage?
9 Seemingly, that was a duel between the human champions of the two opposing armies. In reality, though, it was a fight between gods, the false gods and the one living and true God, whose name the shepherd lad David was not ashamed to confess, Jehovah. David knew his God. It was because of his being a faithful worshiper of this God and a full believer in Him that David was inspired with victorious courage. In this he was a right example for us. To the end of his life he never lost his courage. Why? Because he never let go of his God. To his credit Jehovah speaks of him as “my servant David, who kept my commandments and who walked after me with all his heart by doing only what was right in my eyes.”—1 Ki. 14:8.
10. Why could David say his courageous words of Psalm 27:1?
10 For this reason Jehovah backed up David, and David knew that he could depend upon the backing of Jehovah his God. This removed the fear of all creatures from David, and he could say in the first verse of Psalm 27: “Jehovah is my light and my salvation. Of whom shall I be in fear? Jehovah is the stronghold of my life. Of whom shall I be in dread?” So David was not afraid of the giant Goliath or of Goliath’s gods. David was not disappointed in his own God, for Jehovah won the battle with the false gods. David’s reliance upon God in the face of odds was the secret of his courage.
“MY LIGHT AND MY SALVATION”
11. Why does no lover of the light of life need to go on in darkness and go down with the world into the darkness into which it will go?
11 Salvation leads to light; and the eyes find it sweet and good to see the light of a sunny day. (Eccl. 11:7) Today’s international system of things lies in the power of a wicked god, Satan the Devil, and it is nearing its destruction. But why should any lover of the light of life go down into the darkness of destruction of this old world? No one today needs to walk on in the darkness of this world’s uncertainty and perplexity, with no salvation by human means in sight. Being in the dark as to how the oncoming universal conflict of Armageddon will turn out makes men feel insecure. It inspires fear, and fear causes weakness. O if men would only turn to the psalmist David’s God, Jehovah! Then God would become to them what he was to David, a “light” to show the way to go and to remove all fear of the future, yes, a “salvation” that delivers us from destruction with this world. That salvation comes through the kingdom of God’s dear Son, Jesus Christ, who was foreshadowed by David but who has become a heavenly King greater than David.
12. To whom can Jehovah be a stronghold, and how?
12 Jehovah God is almighty and is the Source of all strength. He will be the stronghold of our lives, just as he was to David, if only we will take refuge in him and not in the doomed organizations of men. With the Almighty Jehovah as our defense and Savior, we cannot lose; we cannot go down into the darkness of defeat. He can keep us in a saved condition now and can give us the final victory over all that is against us in this world. In him as our stronghold, our life in the future is secure and we can endure to the finish of the test of our integrity in this world. Knowing the untakable, unconquerable position of our divine “stronghold,” we need not and will not be in dread of any enemy, any wicked person, nor of the calamitous end that awaits this wicked world.
13. (a) Why does it require courage to confess God’s name and take it upon one? (b) How did certain Christians display such courage in 1931 and afterward in their preaching activities?
13 Our readers already know that the religious world, even Christendom, and the scientific world have made the name of the one “living and true God,” Jehovah, unpopular. It therefore requires courage to confess that sacred name and to take it upon one or be called by it. So it required courage for those dedicated, baptized, Bible-studying Christians during their international convention in Columbus, Ohio, July 26, 1931, to embrace the name Jehovah’s witnesses as a proper designation of themselves. It required courage for them to keep on preaching from house to house and now to introduce themselves as Jehovah’s witnesses. In many cases they handed to the householder interviewed the printed card reading:
ALL THE WORLD IS IN DISTRESS and you are wondering why and what is to come to pass in the near future. It is my privilege as one of Jehovah’s witnesses and in obedience to his commandment to deliver to the people a message. Thus I am preaching the gospel. I have here a booklet containing the message. . . . You cannot afford to be ignorant of its contents. . . . —September, 1931, for presenting the booklet The Kingdom, The Hope of the World.
14. (a) What shows whether ridicule and persecution cut down their numbers? (b) How did David strengthen himself by Jehovah his God, and how has this course resulted to Jehovah’s witnesses today?
14 For embracing the divine name and serving as witnesses of its heavenly Bearer they suffered ridicule and persecution. But did this cut down their numbers? No! From less than fifty thousand in 1931 they have increased to more than nine hundred thousand now who actively preach in 185 lands about God’s kingdom by Christ as the only sure, realizable hope for mankind now menaced with destruction. These witnesses looked to Jehovah as their Light, their Salvation, their Stronghold. They did what David did when he was abused and was threatened even with stoning. David turned to God as his stronghold. How? “David took to strengthening himself by Jehovah his God.” (1 Sam. 30:6) He did this by seeking and learning what was the divine will for him to do. Knowing now from on high what to do, he felt strong and proceeded to do God’s orders to him. For this he was favored with success. Likewise has it been with Jehovah’s witnesses. They have prospered despite the Mussolini era, despite the Hitler era, despite the six years of World War II.
15. What emboldens them to quote Psalm 27:2, 3 as regards themselves?
15 Our past experience with how Jehovah deals with our adversaries and haters gives us confidence for the future. We are emboldened to quote Psalm 27:2, 3 and say: “When the evildoers approached against me to eat up my flesh, they being my adversaries and my enemies personally, they themselves stumbled and fell. Though against me an encampment should pitch tent, my heart will not fear. Though against me war should rise, even then I shall be trusting.”
16. How have assailants of God-given rights fared recently in their trying to devour Jehovah’s witnesses?
16 One by one the dictators and opposers of God-given human rights who have tried to devour Jehovah’s witnesses have themselves stumbled and fallen out of power and into death, yes, into everlasting destruction for fighting against God. They failed to heed the counsel of Acts 5:38, 39: “Do not meddle with these men, but let them alone; (because, if this scheme and this work is from men, it will be overthrown; but if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them;) otherwise, you may perhaps be found fighters actually against God.” We do not forget Adolf Hitler’s response to his Interior Minister Frick on October 7, 1934, when Dr. Frick showed Hitler telegrams of protest against religious persecution and said: “If the Bible Students do not immediately get in line we will act against them using the strongest means.” Hitler jumped up and with clenched fists screamed: “This brood will be exterminated in Germany.”a To this end he furiously worked his prisons and hateful concentration camps till 1945. But who is exterminated in Germany today—Hitler or the Bible-studying witnesses of Jehovah?
17. (a) Despite the world’s fear, who are the real ones whom Satan the Dragon aims to devour? (b) But how have these continued showing courage?
17 Today the whole informed world is in fear of being destroyed by a nuclear world war. But by our study of Bible prophecy we know who are the real ones at whose destruction Satan the Devil aims, even if it means he has to destroy also the entire human race. Who are they? Those spiritual children of God’s holy organization who still remain on earth but who are called to reign with Jesus Christ in his heavenly kingdom for the preserving and blessing of the human race. Picturing Satan the Devil as a fiery-colored dragon, Revelation 12:17 says: “The dragon grew wrathful at the woman [God’s holy organization], and went off to wage war [with whom?] with the remaining ones of her seed, who observe the commandments of God and have the work of bearing witness to Jesus.” This remnant of Kingdom witnesses still suffer the warfare that the symbolic dragon directs at them by means of all the dragon’s visible agents, but the remnant keep on observing God’s commandments even if it means disobeying dictatorial men. They keep on carrying out their work of bearing witness to Jesus as the heavenly King whom Jehovah God installed in active office in the heavens in 1914.
18. What must we expect from the Dragon for observing God’s commandments, and yet what have hundreds of thousands done at this time?
18 Be sure of one thing: For us to keep God’s commandments as set forth in the Bible means for us to make ourselves targets of Satan the Devil’s warfare. We cannot escape it; we must expect it. Yet hundreds of thousands of godly-inclined persons see how the small remnant make a matchless display of courage in observing God’s commandments and in witnessing to Jesus Christ as his enthroned King. So they also muster up the courage to line up with the faithful anointed remnant and to brave Satan’s warfare. That puts them on God’s side of the war; and on what grander side could they be?
19, 20. (a) In what will the Dragon’s warfare reach its hottest stage? (b) How was the Dragon identified in 1953?
19 This warfare by the symbolic fiery-colored dragon is to reach its hottest stage in a final, total attack by Satan the Devil with all his forces and powers in heaven and on earth.
20 It was in 1953 that this dragon, or Satan the Devil, was seen to be now enacting the wicked role of the once mysterious Gog of Magog. In that year the message entitled “New World Society Attacked from the Far North” was given out. This message used the Holy Scriptures in clearing up the mystery and identified the foretold Gog of Magog as being the Devil Satan since his being cast out of God’s holy heavens and down to this earth.—Rev. 12:7-13; Ezekiel, chapters 38, 39.
21. Of what did this message warn, and hence what will Jehovah’s witnesses do when the thing warned of rises against them?
21 The message warned all the New World society of Jehovah’s witnesses concerning the approaching “attack by Gog of Magog,” that is to say, by the cast-out dragon, Satan the Devil, and it built up their courage to face it. This satanic attack upon the New World society will bring upon this old-world system of things the battle of Armageddon that will result in utterly destroying this wicked system of things and abyssing Satan the Devil and all his peace-disturbing demons. Jehovah God himself will fight that symbolic Gog of Magog and defeat him. In this way Jehovah will sanctify his own name and deliver the New World society of those who observe his commandments and who do the work of witnessing to Jesus as our Ransomer and King. Hence when that final phase of the war by the dragon, Satan the Devil, rises against them, the remnant and their God-fearing companions will do like the psalmist David, keep trusting in Jehovah their Light and their Salvation.b
THE “ONE THING” ASKED FOR
22. As expressed by the psalmist David, what is the one big thing that we ask and look for and that is really behind our prayer for deliverance from the wicked one?
22 If we pray the Lord’s Prayer as taught by Jesus Christ, we pray: “Deliver us from the wicked one.” It is true that when we thus pray we ask to be saved from the temptations and warfare by Satan the Devil. But there is another thing that we ask and want given us, which makes us ask for such deliverance from the wicked Devil. That other thing, that all-absorbing thing, is suggested in the first part of the Lord’s Prayer, namely: “Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified.” (Matt. 6:9, 13) This one all-dominating thing is well stated by the psalmist David in these beautiful words: “One thing I have asked from Jehovah—it is what I shall look for, that I may dwell in the house of Jehovah all the days of my life, to behold the pleasantness of Jehovah and to look with appreciation upon his temple.”—Ps. 27:4.
23, 24. (a) Why was what David wanted to behold called the “pleasantness of Jehovah”? (b) How did Jesus describe just how pleasant Jehovah is?
23 This “one thing” was the heart or essence of all David’s prayers. It was nothing political or materialistic or fleshly. It was something spiritual. He desired to have direct, personal contact with Jehovah’s temple of worship. It was because he admired Jehovah as the living God. His personal acquaintance with Jehovah by reading the Holy Scriptures and by his experience with Jehovah’s dealings stirred him to a worshipful attitude. Especially at the temple David felt near to his God, for it was there that Jehovah’s priests and Levites offered up sacrifices and sang psalms of praise to Jehovah and conducted prayers to Him and read aloud portions of his written Word. At the temple David felt the brotherhood with all his fellow worshipers.
24 So there he beheld the “pleasantness of Jehovah.” To him Jehovah was no ugly god like the grotesque gargoyles on Roman Catholic cathedrals or like the horrifying, fierce-looking idols seen at the entrances of pagan temples or inside them. How pleasant Jehovah is was described for us by the Son of David, namely, Jesus Christ the Son of God, when he said: “God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) A God who would give his own beloved Son in sacrifice for us sinners must be pleasant, indeed.
25. In what way did David “look with appreciation” upon Jehovah’s temple?
25 Because of looking upon Jehovah as such a pleasant God, David was able also “to look with appreciation upon his temple.” In his eyes the temple was not a mere material structure of a design different from that of pagan temples. The various features of that temple had a meaning for David—its altar, its basin, its Holy with the lampstand, the table of sacred bread and its golden altar of incense, and its Most Holy with the golden ark of the covenant upon the lid of which were two cherubs stretching out their wings. The prophetic ceremonies that the priests carried out also carried some meaning to David. The more that he attended the meetings for worship at the temple, the more he deepened his appreciation of what he looked upon.—Compare Psalm 84:1-4, 10.
26. In what way could David dwell in Jehovah’s house all the days of his life, and how did he show that he looked for this privilege?
26 In his own case, David did not desire to dwell in Jehovah’s house all the days of his life by becoming a priest. He knew he could not do this, because he was no Levite of the household of Aaron. How, then, did David want to do it? How could he do it? How did he “look for” it or seek it as the “one thing” that he asked from God? By seeking and endeavoring on every suitable occasion to be there at the temple to join with his fellow Israelites in the worship of Jehovah, the pleasant God. So it pained him most keenly when unfaithful King Saul of Israel outlawed David and prevented his taking part in the regular yearly festivals and other occasions of worship and sacrifice at the temple.—1 Sam. 21:1-10.
27. In harmony with dwelling at Jehovah’s house, how did David as king show his appreciation for the temple?
27 How glad David was when he became king of all Israel and could freely attend all the celebrations and render all the obligations at Jehovah’s temple in company with His people! After David made Jerusalem his royal capital, he had the ark of God’s covenant, that had been isolated from the Most Holy, placed in a suitable tent near his royal residence on Mount Zion. Later he felt that it was an unequal state of affairs for him to dwell in a sturdy stationary palace whereas the symbol of Jehovah’s presence, his ark of the covenant, did not. He determined to build such a palace or temple, but Jehovah God said No! The privilege of building such a glorious temple was to go to his son and successor, who proved to be Solomon. Yet in appreciation of such a temple King David contributed much money and collected and got ready many materials for his son Solomon to use in building the temple. Jehovah even inspired David to draw up the building plans for the authorized temple.
28. What strengthening words did David give to Solomon regarding the temple, and in time what resulted?
28 Toward the end of his reign he turned over to his successor Solomon these materials. Solomon was but a young man and delicate, and the temple work was a great project. It required courage and godly devotion to undertake it. So King David said to him: “And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a complete heart and with a delightful soul; for all hearts Jehovah is searching, and every inclination of the thoughts he is discerning. If you search for him, he will let himself be found by you; but if you leave him, he will cast you off forever. See, now, for Jehovah himself has chosen you to build a house as a sanctuary. Be courageous and act.” (1 Chron. 28:9, 10) Having this assurance that Almighty God had chosen him to build, King Solomon could and did take courage. He acted, and the grandest temple ever built by man resulted for the worship of Jehovah God.
29. (a) Why does it now require courage to engage in the pure form of religion? (b) Through what agency must this pure worship now be rendered?
29 In these days of popular but false religion (popular because it is false), when the foretold religious condition is here in which men are “having a form of godly devotion but proving false to its power,” we need to have courage, tremendous courage to engage in the “form of worship that is clean and undefiled from the standpoint of our God and Father.” (2 Tim. 3:1-5; Jas. 1:27) We can no longer go to a material temple of Jehovah on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, as it was destroyed by Roman soldiers in the year 70 of our Common Era. And yet Jehovah’s pure worship continues with spirit and truth, as Jesus Christ himself foretold. (John 4:21-24) Jehovah has something far better than such a perishable, destructible temple at Jerusalem. He has his spiritual temple, which will be everlasting in the heavens. Of this temple his self-sacrificing Son Jesus Christ is the Foundation Cornerstone, and all the true followers anointed with God’s spirit are the superstructure built upon him to form a living house in which God can dwell by His spirit. (Eph. 2:20-22) It is through the agency of this living spiritual temple that all mankind must henceforth render acceptable worship to God. The builder of this temple of “living stones” is someone greater than King Solomon. It is the Lord of lords and King of kings, Jesus Christ.—1 Pet. 2:5; Rev. 17:14; 1 Tim. 6:14, 15.
30. Why did the Builder of this spiritual temple have to have courage greater than that of Solomon at building the temple?
30 A temple is associated with sacrifice; and to lay the foundation for this living spiritual temple Jesus Christ had to provide something immeasurably more valuable than all the precious metals, stones and woods that King David gathered and contributed toward the building of Solomon’s temple. It was the sacrifice of his own sinless, perfect human life. To do this Jesus had all the world to overcome, for the “ruler of this world,” Satan the Devil, was against him and his perfect sacrifice on God’s true altar. This called for greater courage than that of young King Solomon.
31. How, finally, did Jesus display such courage, and in this regard what did he say to his apostles before he died?
31 Jesus refused to call to his heavenly Father for more than twelve legions of angels to deliver him. He willingly yielded himself over to death at the hands of the Devil’s henchmen. This proved that what he had told his faithful apostles on the night before his violent death was true, that he had conquered the Devil’s world. In a manifestation of his own exemplary courage Jesus told them: “I am not alone, because the Father is with me. I have said these things to you that by means of me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take courage! I have conquered the world.”—John 16:32, 33; Matt. 26:53.
32. How can a Christian meet the requirement of courage, and what conquest must he make?
32 To be a true Christian takes courage. But looking to the Foundation Cornerstone of the spiritual temple, Jesus Christ, we can be courageous and likewise conquer this world and its devilish god. Hence for anyone to become a “living stone” in the spiritual temple of Jehovah he has to imitate the Temple Builder greater than Solomon and do as that One did and told his apostles to do, “take courage!” As a World Conqueror this One greater than Solomon can aid his followers to conquer and to become worthy of being “living stones” in the heavenly temple. His heavenly promises are held out to such overcomers. (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21) This conquest must be done by a faith that rests upon God’s written Word, the Bible. “This is the conquest that has conquered the world, our faith. Who is the one that conquers the world but he who has faith that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:4, 5) At the spiritual temple where Jesus serves as God’s High Priest a true Christian has to exercise faith. Such a faith founded on the Bible makes us courageous to do God’s will and conquer the world’s false god.
33. What part in the temple can hundreds of thousands now coming out of all nations not enjoy, and yet where must they also dwell?
33 Like David who as a Judean could not become a Levite priest in Jehovah’s temple, hundreds of thousands who come out of all nations, tribes and peoples to the spiritual temple in order to worship Jehovah God cannot become “living stones” in that heavenly temple. Forever they will worship him on earth, which God’s kingdom will transform into an everlasting paradise. (Isa. 2:2-4) Like David, they will have to prove that the “one thing” that they have asked from Jehovah is to dwell in his house all the days of their lives now before Armageddon and forever on earth after Armageddon.
34. How, as stated in David’s case in Psalm 40:7-9, must these show that it is the thing for which they are looking?
34 How will they prove that this is the one thing that they are looking for or seeking? How will they make sure of the privilege of beholding Jehovah’s pleasantness and looking with appreciation upon His temple? David once said prophetically: “Here I have come, in the roll of the book it being written about me. To do your will, O my God, I have delighted, and your law is within my inward parts. I have told the good news of righteousness in the big congregation. Look! My lips I do not restrain. O Jehovah, you yourself know that well.” (Ps. 40:7-9) Jesus the Son of God took those words of David to heart and courageously carried them out. (Heb. 10:5-10) All who become “living stones” with him in the spiritual temple must do the same. All others must do the same, if they would now worship at the temple, even if they have no hope of themselves becoming “living stones” in it. They must dedicate themselves to Jehovah, coming to him through his High Priest Jesus Christ to do Jehovah’s will as that will is written down in the “roll of the book,” the Bible.
35. (a) What does it call for to make such a dedication and carry it out in this world, and why? (b) Hence for whom is God’s new world?
35 In keeping with this dedication they must inform themselves on Jehovah’s law and take it to heart, delighting to do it. Today when all the world, even including Christendom, is not committed or dedicated to doing God’s will but there is an increasing of lawlessness as foretold (Matt. 24:12), it calls for courage to make such a dedication and do Jehovah’s will. The whole world is against a person in taking such a course, and so it means that in the world he will have tribulation. This will require him to conquer the world, but he can do this with our world-conquering Leader, Jesus Christ. There is no reason to be discouraged at the certain prospect of tribulation and to hesitate. “Take courage,” if you desire to walk the path that leads to everlasting life in God’s new world. His new world of righteousness is not for cowards; it will never be gained by “cowards and those without faith.”—Rev. 21:7, 8.
36. (a) How was David a speaking minister for Jehovah? (b) How was Jesus Christ also such, and so what must his followers be?
36 In these times when the name of Jehovah is not popular, it takes courage to be a speaking minister of God’s Word, such as David was although he was no Levite priest. David said that he “told the good news of righteousness in the big congregation.” Jehovah himself knew that David did not restrain his lips from telling the good news of God’s righteousness. So David could say to Jehovah God himself: “Your righteousness I have not covered over within my heart. Your faithfulness and your salvation I have declared. I have not hidden your loving-kindness and your trueness in the big congregation.” (Ps. 40:9, 10) Jesus Christ, as the Son of David, was no less a minister of Jehovah’s Word than his royal ancestor was. He told the good news of Jehovah’s righteousness and salvation throughout the “big congregation” of the whole nation in all the territory of Israel. He never missed going to meetings at Jehovah’s temple, even when his life was in danger. (Luke 8:1; Acts 10:38, 39; John 7:1-10) Like Jesus, all his dedicated followers must do the same thing. Every truly dedicated Christian must be a speaking minister of God’s Word and not keep God’s Word to himself, covered over within his heart. He must attend congregation meetings.
37. (a) To show that he has asked for this one big thing, what will he do? (b) In harmony with the fulfillment of what prophecy will he thus be acting?
37 To show that he has asked Jehovah for the one big thing of dwelling in Jehovah’s house all the days of his life, he will look for all opportunities to associate with Jehovah’s congregation in their worship at His spiritual temple. He will arrange to attend all the meetings of the congregation that have been scheduled and to which he is cordially invited. He will seek to bring others to the congregational meetings. Hence he will go forth from door to door and from house to house, ministering the Word of God to people in their homes as Jesus and his twelve apostles did. (Matt. 10:5-13; Acts 20:20) Thus he will be acting in fulfillment of Isaiah 2:3: “Many peoples will certainly go and say: ‘Come, you people, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will instruct us about his ways, and we will walk in his paths.’” It is needful to do this now in view of Armageddon.
38. For doing this what will he behold, and how will he face Armageddon?
38 Because of all this, such a minister of the good news of God’s Word will behold the “pleasantness of Jehovah”; he will know and feel that he is a pleasant God, a God of good will. In these days of divine wrath against the wicked nations he will experience God’s good will and he will become numbered among God’s “men of good will.” Consequently he will enjoy peace with God and his Son Jesus Christ. (Luke 2:13, 14) With more and more appreciation of the meanings of things in God’s temple organization he will look upon God’s spiritual temple by faith and will strive to be with His congregation on all occasions possible. This will fill him with more courage to keep on being God’s minister even in the face of Armageddon.
a See page 142, column 2, of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Divine Purpose.
b See the articles “New World Society Attacked from the Far North,” “The Attack by Gog of Magog,” and “New World Society Assembly of Jehovah’s Witnesses,” pages 580-607, of The Watchtower under date of October 1, 1953.