Like Dew from God and like a Lion Among Nations
1. Who was the ruler of this spiritual nation born in 1919, and how did the Watch Tower magazine then call attention to this?
WHO was the ruler of the spiritual nation that was born in 1919 for postwar service on earth? Not the president of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, even though the remnant of spiritual Israel do make use of this Society and cooperate with it down to this day. The Ruler out of Bethlehem, the enthroned King Jesus Christ, was their heavenly, invisible King. As the Watch Tower magazine, under date of September 15, 1919, said to its dedicated readers in its article “Announcing the Kingdom” (page 281):
You are an ambassador of the King of kings and Lord of lords, announcing to the people in this dignified manner the incoming of the Golden Age, the glorious kingdom of our Lord and Master, for which true Christians have hoped and prayed for many centuries.
2. In 1919 what did the remnant have evidence enough to prove concerning Jesus Christ, and how was their deliverance that year foreshadowed in 537 B.C. regarding the Jewish remnant?
2 The spiritual remnant that survived World War I had Bible chronological evidence as well as circumstantial evidence in fulfilled Bible prophecy that Jesus Christ had returned as he had promised, and that he was invisibly present in the glory of kingly office in which Jehovah God inducted him in 1914. Jesus was the one whom Jehovah God had used to bring about their deliverance from Babylonish bondage in 1919, just as Jehovah had used the Persian emperor, Cyrus the Great, to free the faithful Jewish remnant from captivity in Babylon in 537 B.C.—Isa. 44:26 to 45:7.
3. How was the Lord Jesus Christ like David in tending his liberated remnant of sheep?
3 The heavenly Ruler out of Bethlehem, the Lord Jesus Christ, began tending his liberated remnant of dedicated followers in a loving way, just as David used to tend his flock as a boy at Bethlehem. Jesus is true to his words spoken when he was still on earth: “I am the fine shepherd, and I know my sheep and my sheep know me.” (John 10:14) He does his shepherding of his sheep on earth with a royal dignity and with strength. Pointing forward to the benefits of his shepherdlike work as a Ruler, Micah 5:4, 5 says: “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.”
4. How, since 1914, does he do shepherding work in a twofold way, and in what strength?
4 In 1914 Jesus Christ stood up as King, and his second presence, an invisible presence in the spirit, began with respect to his realm, this earth. He entered into a shepherding work in a twofold way, toward his small flock of persecuted followers on earth and toward the persecutor nations, who figuratively strike him with a rod upon the cheek. (Mic. 5:1) Those nations who reject him as King and who try to destroy the remnant preaching his kingdom he must feed with destruction. Hence concerning the birth of the kingdom in which he is God’s anointed Ruler Revelation 12:5 says: “And she [God’s heavenly organization] gave birth to a son, a male, who is to shepherd all the nations with an iron rod. And her child was caught away to God and to his throne.” In shepherding all the nations with an iron rod he will dash all of them to pieces as though they were earthenware vessels. (Ps. 2:8, 9; Rev. 2:26, 27) This takes strength. But the Ruler out of Bethlehem has strength from Jehovah; “strength belongs to God.” (Ps. 62:11) With this same strength he shepherds his small flock, his faithful remnant on earth.
5. Why does he do shepherding in the name of someone else?
5 He knows that the sheep really do not belong to him, even though he surrendered his soul for them as a fine shepherd. They belong to his heavenly Father. This is why the prophecy says that the Ruler out of Bethlehem does “shepherding . . . in the superiority of the name of Jehovah his God.” He shepherds in the name of the real Owner of the sheep, Jehovah his God. In what better name can he serve? The name of Jehovah is the superior name, the greatest name in the universe. The name of Jesus Christ ranks second to that of the Most High God, Jehovah.
6. Where do his sheep keep dwelling, and what does the Shepherd’s care for them mean?
6 The Ruler out of Bethlehem is thus in the royal service of the greatest One in heaven and earth. What dignity that adds to him! What responsibility! It is nothing surprising, then, that Micah 5:4 says concerning his sheep as in contrast with enemy nations: “And they will certainly keep dwelling.” Never again will they be uprooted from the “land” to which they have been restored from Babylonian bondage, the land of their peaceful, harmonious, family relationship with Jehovah God. Here in this spiritual land they enjoy the shepherdlike services of his Ruler out of Bethlehem, Jesus Christ. This means proper spiritual food for them, protection for them and faithful leadership in God’s service for them.
7. What is the effect or it that the Shepherd Ruler “will be great as far as the ends of the earth”?
7 In whatever part of the earth any of the restored remnant of spiritual sheep may be found, they have the fine shepherding of the Ruler out of Bethlehem. The reason for this is as stated: “For now he will be great as far as the ends of the earth.” He has acted on Jehovah’s own invitation of Psalm 2:8, and Jehovah has given him the ends of the earth as his own possession. All the enemy nations are trying to hold onto their national sovereignty in defiance of Jehovah’s universal sovereignty. Shortly they will have to give way to the Shepherd Ruler out of Bethlehem. Then his kingdom, like a great mountain, will fill the whole earth. Under his kingdom all the sheeplike inhabitants of the earth will dwell peacefully forever.
8. What is the peace referred to when Micah 5:5 says: “This one must become peace”?
8 The Ruler out of the Greater House of Bread makes peace between God and men by the power of his human sacrifice nineteen centuries ago. (Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:14) However, when Micah 5:5 prophesied: “And this one must become peace,” Micah referred to another sort of peace, that of being kept in peace and prosperity despite a formidable attacking foe. In Micah’s day, in the eighth century B.C.E., that enemy was the aggressive world power to the north of Israel, namely, Assyria, in the northern part of the Mesopotamian valley.
9, 10. How did the Assyrian world power rage as a lion toward Israel and its capital Samaria, and Judah’s capital Jerusalem, but how was the Assyrian sent back to his lair?
9 In Micah’s own lifetime the Assyrian world power destroyed the ten-tribe kingdom of Israel with its capital in Samaria in 740 B.C.E. Eight years later, in the fourteenth year of the reign of King Hezekiah, who sat on David’s throne, the holy city of Jerusalem was threatened with capture or destruction by the haughty Assyrian emperor, Sennacherib. That was in 732 B.C.E. Storming forth from his capital Nineveh, Sennacherib raged like a lion through the Middle East. But Jehovah’s angel answered the prayers of his representative on “Jehovah’s throne,” King Hezekiah. In one night the angel struck dead 185,000 troops of the Assyrian Sennacherib and sent him scurrying back to his lion’s den, Nineveh, where, in course of time, he was murdered. Using the Assyrian aggressor out of the north as an illustration for our day, Micah 5:5, 6 says:
10 “And this one [the Ruler out of Bethlehem] must become peace. As for the Assyrian, when he comes into our land and when he treads upon our dwelling towers, we shall also have to raise up against him seven shepherds, yes, eight dukes of mankind. And they will actually shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in its entrances. And he will certainly bring about deliverance from the Assyrian, when he comes into our land and when he treads upon our territory.”
11. (a) To whom does Ezekiel liken the one whom the Assyrian aggressor serves? (b) Who has taken on the role of “king of the north” since World War II, but who served in that role before the war?
11 The ancient Assyrian aggressor was a servant of Satan the Devil. In Ezekiel’s prophecy, chapters thirty-eight and thirty-nine, Satan the Devil is pictured as the greedy, aggressive Gog of Magog, who also comes out of the far north. Satan the Devil is invisible, he being the wicked spirit who is the “ruler of this world,” “the god of this system of things.” (John 12:31; 2 Cor. 4:4) But prominently representing Satan the Devil in the earth today is the aggressive, totalitarian bloc of nations whom Daniel’s prophecy, chapter eleven, foretells as the “king of the north.” Since World War II the aggressive Communist bloc led by Red Russia has taken on the role of this prophetic “king of the north.” In its godlessness, its greed for empire, its dictatorialness it threatens not only Christendom but especially Jehovah’s remnant of spiritual Israel (or Jacob) and all who associate with them. Before World War II the role of “king of the north” was played by the Nazi-Fascist bloc. As “king of the north” this bloc acted rather in defense of the Roman Catholic section of Christendom, and for the establishment again of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. But even in that Nazi-Fascist guise the “king of the north” was viciously against Jehovah’s witnesses within his domains and tried to destroy them.
12. How did the prewar “king of the north” act like the Assyrian in invading the land of Jehovah’s people?
12 Like the ancient Assyrian invader, the modern-day “king of the north” invaded the territory of Jehovah’s people at the time that Hitler rose to power in Germany in January of 1933. Just then not many sheeplike companions were associated with the spiritual remnant, then known as Jehovah’s witnesses less than two years. At the same time with Hitler, Catholic Action began to rage against Jehovah’s witnesses in America in particular, where the Watch Tower Society has its headquarters. This time the remnant of Jehovah’s anointed witnesses did not retreat as during World War I.
SEVEN SHEPHERDS, EIGHT DUKES
13. In what way did the remnant raise up “seven shepherds” against the invading Assyrian?
13 Micah said that the remnant themselves would go on the offensive, taking the initiative against the political-religious servants of Gog of Magog, Satan the Devil. Since 1919 Jehovah had put visible shepherds over his people, spiritual shepherds, to whom he had entrusted his flock of dedicated sheep. So, instead of yielding to the devilish encroachments of the modern-day Assyrian invader, the remnant of spiritual Israel raised up against him “seven shepherds.” This meant the full number of their spiritual shepherds, the number seven in the Bible symbolizing perfection, completeness, chiefly in a spiritual way. Under the impact of opposing forces many witnesses of Jehovah fell in death.
14. How does Micah’s prophecy show whether, as the battle kept raging against the Assyrian aggressor, there was a decrease in the number whom the remnant put up in opposition?
14 As the battle continued to rage against the totalitarian aggressor, first from the Nazi-Fascist-Catholic Action camp, was there a decrease in the number of those put up in defense to halt the totalitarian aggressor against Jehovah’s pure worship and to carry the battle back into his own land? No, says Micah’s prophecy. Jehovah’s remnant would raise up even better than “seven shepherds”; they would raise up “eight dukes of mankind,” even apart from the fact that the Ruler out of Bethlehem, Jesus Christ, is invisibly doing shepherd work among the remnant in the name of Jehovah his God. So Micah’s prophecy intensifies the lower number “seven” by means of using right afterward the higher number “eight,” to show that there was a considerable number, and that there was no decrease in shepherds or dukes, which means dedicated men taking the lead.—Compare Ecclesiastes 11:2.
15. What change in identity of the “king of the north” did World War II work, and what has been done to halt his aggressions against pure theocratic worship?
15 The battle against the modern-day Assyrian aggressor under the unseen leadership of Gog of Magog has continued beyond the end of World War II in 1945. In that war the “king of the north” under the cloak of Nazism and Fascism was defeated. But Catholic Action has remained, and it is still a partner of the “king of the north.” Since the end of World War II Catholic Action has on its side against Jehovah’s spiritual remnant the “king of the north” in a new guise, that of the totalitarian Communist world imperialists. Against these the remnant raise up and put forward into action the courageous spiritual shepherds, the spiritual dukes of God’s sheep, to halt all encroachments upon the pure theocratic worship of Jehovah and the proclamation of his Kingdom message.
16. How have they shepherded the symbolic Assyria, the land of Nimrod, with the sword and in its entrances?
16 Have they been shepherding the modern-day “land of Assyria” with the sword, or the symbolic “land of Nimrod,” as Assyria is also called, “in its entrances”? Yes, with the “sword of the spirit, that is, God’s word,” the Bible. (Eph. 6:17) The totalitarian Communist “king of the north” has not intimidated them any more than had the Nazi-Fascist-Catholic Action combine. Since World War II Jehovah’s witnesses have moved out from their activity in sixty-nine lands into one hundred and eighty-five lands today. Their activity and organization continue to expand even behind the Iron Curtain and under dictatorial governments, brandishing the swordlike Word of God in more than one hundred and fifty languages.
17. Why must the fight still go on, and with what mental outlook?
17 The final assault of the modern-day Assyrian has not yet taken place. The fight must still go on, with no thought of defeat but with the assurance of victory. The swordlike Word of God must keep on spreading. The total assault by the satanic Gog of Magog has not taken place, in which he will use his modern Assyrian aggressor in a supreme effort against those who staunchly stand by the Ruler out of Bethlehem as the rightful Ruler of all the earth and who therefore boldly preach the good news of God’s established kingdom.
18. When will final deliverance be wrought by the Ruler out of Bethlehem?
18 The Ruler out of Bethlehem has already wrought marvelous deliverances of the worshipers of his God Jehovah. The greatest deliverance, the complete deliverance, is yet to come. That will be when the modern Assyrian joins Gog of Magog in his final, total assault with everything that he has, visible and invisible, against the organization of Jehovah’s worshipers. Then this Assyrian will prove to be no better than overconfident Sennacherib of old time.
19. At that time, with whom besides the Assyrian aggressor will the Ruler out of Bethlehem deal, and with what action?
19 From His heavenly battle position the Ruler out of Bethlehem strikes down the Assyrian assailant and all his hordes in the battle of Armageddon, the “war of the great day of God the Almighty.” Not merely that, but he will bind the unseen forces behind the Assyrian aggressor, Satan the Devil and all his demons. He will pitch them into the abyss of deathlike inaction and helplessness for the thousand years of his blessed reign over mankind.
20, 21. (a) Are the remnant engrossed solely in pushing the offensive against the strongholds of totalitarianism? (b) So when is Micah 5:7 concerning the dew fulfilled?
20 In the meantime the remnant of spiritual Israel (or Jacob) do not engross themselves entirely in pushing the offensive against the strongholds of totalitarianism as it wickedly attempts to wipe out Jehovah’s pure worship from the earth. According to their commission from their God they have the most constructive work to do of any work that is being done on earth today.
21 After telling of their successfully resisting the aggressive enemy and turning the tide of battle back into his own country, the prophet Micah (5:7) says: “And the remaining ones of Jacoba must become in the midst of many peoples like dew from Jehovah, like copious showers upon vegetation, that does not hope for man or wait for the sons of earthling man.” This prophecy does not apply to the remnant of spiritual Israel (or Jacob) first in the righteous new world after the remnant have survived the battle of Armageddon, as was once believed.b It is being fulfilled now, and has been under fulfillment since the remnant’s deliverance in 1919.
22. With respect to the land of ancient Israel, why is the use of the figure “dew” very fitting?
22 The land of ancient Israel was heavily dependent upon the dew from Jehovah as well as upon the rains. The rains came during their winter season, from the month of October through March, so that there were the autumn rains and the spring rains. (Joel 2:23; Jas. 5:7) From April and into September there was a period of continuous rainlessness. The land would go completely dry and the vegetation would become utterly parched were it not for the heavy dews that fell at night, in the cool of the day. The dew formed and soaked the vegetation during the months of April and May and August and September. None is mentioned as occurring during June and July.
23. What scriptures remark upon the heaviness of the fall of dew?
23 The dew thus served to save the crops. This, in turn, saved lives and made for plenty and prosperity in an agricultural country. So heavy were the dews that once when Judge Gideon put a sheep fleece upon the ground at night to test Jehovah God as the Dew Maker, the next morning “he got to drain off enough dew from the fleece to fill a large banquet bowl with water.” (Judg. 6:38) When the Shulammite girl’s shepherd lover came through the night to visit her, he said: “My head is filled with dew, the locks of my hair with the drops of the night.”—Cant. 5:2; 6:13.
24. (a) What was indicated by the withholding of the giving of dew upon the land of Israel? (b) So, in what way were the remnant of spiritual Israel to be like dew from Jehovah?
24 When God cursed the land of Israel in the days of King Ahab, the prophet Elijah said: “There will occur during these years neither dew nor rain, except at the order of my word!” (1 Ki. 17:1) When Jehovah cursed the land because its inhabitants failed to rebuild his temple at Jerusalem, he said to them: “Over you the heavens kept back their dew, and the earth itself kept back its yield. And I kept calling for dryness upon the earth.” (Hag. 1:10, 11) When he promised to bless the remnant for rebuilding his temple, Jehovah said: “The earth itself will give its yield, and the heavens themselves will give their dew.” (Zech. 8:12) He is, as it were, the “father for the rain” and gives “birth to the dewdrops.” (Job 38:28) So when Micah foretold that the remnant of spiritual Israel (or Jacob) would be like dew from Jehovah, he meant that they would be a blessing from God to the people, in a time of continuous heat.
25, 26. (a) In what way is it a hot time for the nations, and who are the ones that receive the refreshment during this time? (b) How do the remnant spread symbolic dew upon these, and how does this differ from the modern means of warfare?
25 This is a hot time for the worldly nations. Not that they are continually having a “hot war,” but the heat of Jehovah’s indignation, denunciation and wrath is against them for their opposition to his kingdom by Christ that they show by hating and persecuting His witnesses. Hence only those persons who accept the Kingdom witness now being given and who turn to it as mankind’s only hope receive refreshment from the spiritual remnant. They look upon these as a dew of blessing from Jehovah God.
26 Among these the remnant spread the dew of God’s truth—O so gently! It is as the prophet Moses said: “My saying will trickle as the dew, as gentle rains upon grass and as copious showers upon vegetation. For I shall declare the name of Jehovah.” (Deut. 32:2, 3) O how refreshing this is to the people who are parched with thirst for God’s favor and kingdom! How life-giving it is, for this dew is really the “word of life”! (Phil. 2:16) It is no deadly fallout from the explosion of lethal atomic bombs or hydrogen bombs or the pouring out of poison gases and bacteriological doses. This life-giving dew from God results in the goodness and pleasantness of brotherly unity and peace. “It is,” says Psalm 133:3, “like the dew of Hermon that is descending upon the mountains of Zion. For there Jehovah commanded the blessing to be, even life to time indefinite.”
27. What responsive action do these take, and like what do they themselves become, and to what extent?
27 The sheeplike peoples who gratefully accept the spiritual remnant as “dew from Jehovah” are revived. Their thirst for truth, righteousness and a perfect government is satisfied. They dedicate themselves to Jehovah God the great Dew Maker and Rain Maker. Then they join these “remaining ones of Jacob” in extending the “word of life” to others. In doing so they themselves become like drops of dew to other parched ones throughout the earth. Since there is an unnumbered “great crowd” of sheeplike persons who are doing this, they are becoming innumerable, like the dewdrops.—2 Sam. 17:11, 12.
28. How, then, do they share in fulfilling Psalm 110:3?
28 In their hundreds of thousands today they have become as reinforcements to the spiritual remnant in proclaiming the Kingdom. They willingly offer themselves as the remnant have done in this day when Jehovah’s enthroned King rules in the midst of his enemies. In beautiful description of this, Psalm 110:3 says to Jehovah’s King: “Your people will offer themselves willingly on the day of your military force. In the splendors of holiness, from the womb of the dawn, you have your company of young men just like dewdrops [for number].”
29. (a) Till when must this life-giving work go on, and how? (b) What quality do we have to exercise now in doing this work, and when will we specially need to exercise it?
29 Until the rising heat of Jehovah’s anger flames forth in the fire of the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” and devours all the foes of his kingdom by Christ, this refreshing life-giving work with the “word of life” must go on, as we invite the people to the symbolic “river of water of life,” saying: “‘Come!’ And let anyone thirsting come; let anyone that wishes take life’s water free.” (Rev. 22:17) But in these days of international hatred and opposition this work that turns away the heat of God’s anger from sheeplike converts requires courage. So let us remember that this is the day of the anointed King’s military force. He faces the gathering armies of the nations who are being gathered by Gog of Magog, Satan the Devil, to the battlefield called Armageddon. (Rev. 16:14, 16) The final assault of the modern-day Assyrian under Gog of Magog will without fail be launched, when Almighty God permits it. Then we shall enter into a most trialsome test of faith and devotion. We must have courage now, but what about then? We will have courage then.
30. How is Micah 5:8, 9 an assurance of our having courage then?
30 Micah 5:8, 9 is our assurance of this, in that it says: “And the remaining ones of Jacob [or Israel] must become among the nations, in the midst of many peoples, like a lion among the beasts of a forest, like a maned young lion among droves of sheep, which, when it actually passes through, certainly both tramples down and tears in pieces; and there is no deliverer. Your hand will be high above your adversaries, and all enemies of yours will be cut off.”
31. (a) How is the Ruler out of Bethlehem a match for the lionlike Assyrian aggressor? (b) How have Jehovah’s people since 1919 been like a lion among nations, and how must we keep our hearts in the future?
31 The modern-day totalitarian “Assyrian” comes from the lions’ capital prefigured by ancient Nineveh. (Nah. 2:11, 12) But our Leader is the Ruler out of Bethlehem, the King greater than David, who, as a shepherd boy, slew a lion with Jehovah’s help. (1 Sam. 17:34-37) He is himself the “Lion that is of the tribe of Judah, the root of David,” and knows no fear. (Rev. 5:5) Since 1919 the remnant or “remaining ones” of spiritual Israel have been like a lion among nations. They have fearlessly obeyed Jehovah’s command through his Christ and have preached ‘this good news of His established kingdom in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations.’ They have been undaunted by the hatred, opposition and persecution from both the prophetic “king of the north” and the “king of the south.” (Dan. 11:40-45) The hundreds of thousands of dedicated, baptized companions out of all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues have likewise displayed lionlike courage and fearlessness by the spirit of Jehovah. In the future let our hearts never quail with fear at the maneuvers and the numbers of our ferocious enemies.
32. (a) For whom will the “day of Jehovah” be fear-inspiring? (b) According to Micah 5:9, what beckons us onward, and in moving onward what shall we still more become like?
32 As we enter shortly into the great day of Jehovah, it will be fear-inspiring for only our foes, because Jehovah’s execution of His judgment of destruction will be against them, not against us. His hand will be high in triumph above his adversaries, and all these enemies of His will be cut off. That means too that the hand of the fearless remnant and their companions will then be high in victory above our adversaries, and all these enemies of ours will be cut off. Victory beckons us onward in the further Kingdom ministry that lies before us in all the nations under the leadership of the “Lion that is of the tribe of Judah.” “Follow me,” he says. By following him we shall become still more innumerable, like the dewdrops, and be a refreshing blessing from Jehovah God among many peoples for their everlasting life in His righteous new world.
b See The Watchtower of December 15, 1928, page 376, ¶¶ 35, 36; and of May 1, 1942, page 133, ¶¶ 10-14.