The Name of Jehovah—a Strong Tower
“The name of Jehovah is a strong tower. Into it the righteous runs and is given protection.”—Prov. 18:10.
1. What is essential for surviving this world’s end and where is it to be found?
THE power of faith—a strong, unwavering faith, grounded in the accurate knowledge of Jehovah, his Son Christ Jesus and his glorious Kingdom purposes—is essential for protection and survival during this twilight hour of Satan’s world. What is this faith? It is not to be confused with the watered-down credulity of Christendom’s religion. It is not to be found in the worship of images, relics and mystic trinities. Nor is it to be found among professing Christians who are steeped in immorality and pagan materialistic pursuits, and whose trust is in multimegaton bombs of the god of war, instead of in the strong tower of true Christians—the name of Jehovah God.—Ps. 20:7.
2. What is the Creator’s judgment on Christendom?
2 Counterfeit Christendom has rejected the name of Jehovah. For this reason she stands condemned as did unfaithful Israel of old: “And you must say to them, ‘This is the nation whose people have not obeyed the voice of Jehovah its God, and have not taken discipline. Faithfulness has perished, and it has been cut off from their mouth.’ . . . upon the bare hills raise a dirge, for Jehovah has rejected and will desert the generation with which he is furious.” (Jer. 7:28, 29) We are now living in the days of that generation, which will reap the climactic stormwind of Armageddon’s fury. (Hos. 8:7) Useless is Christendom’s boast in strategic air power and nuclear warheads. She has lost faith in the strong tower of true strength and follows false shepherds. Hence Jehovah declares: “Against the shepherds my anger has grown hot, and against the goatlike leaders I shall hold an accounting.” (Zech. 10:3) Christendom must pay the supreme penalty for her rejection of the faithful Creator.—Jer. 23:1-4.
3. What is one reason for the lack of faith in Christendom?
3 Why is there such lack of faith in Christendom? One reason is indicated in an AP dispatch from New York, dated June 10, 1961. It reported the findings of the general secretary of the United Bible Societies as the result of a worldwide investigation: “Millions of additional people are acquiring Bibles these days, but the book isn’t being read much—except by non-Christians. . . . The exception, he said, was in non-Christian Asian countries, where there was a ‘new interest in scripture.’”* Professing Christians, it appears, are investing in Bibles, but they do not read them, let alone study them. No wonder that Christendom is in the throes of a famine “for hearing the word of Jehovah”!—Amos 8:11.
4. In what realities is the Christian’s faith grounded?
4 The true Christianity is alive and meaningful. Far different from fearful Christendom, it holds courageous hope in Jehovah, the faithful Creator and God of the Bible, whose name remains ever a strong tower of protection. The faith of the true Christian is grounded in knowledge of the Bible and carries conviction. It is “the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities though not beheld.” (Heb. 11:1) What a grand demonstration of these unseen realities has the New World society enjoyed throughout its more than forty years of service in Jehovah’s name! His abounding loving-kindness, his truth, the understanding and appreciation of his kingdom by Christ as a glorious reality since A.D. 1914, the prosperity and earth-wide expansion of the Kingdom witness work, the remarkable fulfillments of prophecy in this “time of the end”—all these have become an evident demonstration to us. They are our faith.
5. What does the man of faith appreciate with regard to God’s long-suffering?
5 Modern worldlings mock at Jehovah and his strong tower. They fail to appreciate how small man really is. They fail to appreciate how utterly dependent man is upon the sustaining power and mercy of his Creator. For a short season longer Jehovah will ‘make his sun rise upon wicked people and good and make it rain upon righteous people and unrighteous,’ but then his long-suffering will be withdrawn from this generation of the unrighteous, and only the righteous will remain to see the dawn of His new world of blessing. (Matt. 5:45) Happy the man of faith who runs into Jehovah’s strong tower for protection! He has heart appreciation of the fact that “God, although having the will to demonstrate his wrath and to make his power known, tolerated with much long-suffering vessels of wrath made fit for destruction, in order that he might make known the riches of his glory upon vessels of mercy, which he prepared beforehand for glory.”—Rom. 9:22, 23.
6, 7. (a) What things are beyond the comprehension of materialistic man? (b) To what do those in union with Christ attain? (c) Where will Jehovah’s will be done with respect to mankind?
6 With all his vaunted knowledge and ability, materialistic man will never begin to approach the ‘riches of glory’ of the ‘new creation in union with Christ Jesus.’ However man may boast in his inventive genius and rockets, his telescopes should have told him that even the material universe is an expanse far beyond his power to probe. The eternity of time is also beyond the comprehension of mortal man. Mankind today occupies the tiniest speck of boundless space and lives in a fleeting moment of an infinity of time. Like the grass, mankind blossoms for an instant, then dies. However, the man of God enjoys the evidence for conviction of more glorious things. He exercises faith in Jehovah’s name and Word. “All flesh is like grass, and all its glory is like a blossom of grass; the grass becomes withered, and the flower falls off, but the saying of Jehovah endures forever.”—1 Pet. 1:24, 25.
7 Happy are those who rely upon the “saying of Jehovah”! They “will live by reason of faith.” (Gal. 3:11) They recognize that the heavens belong to Jehovah, and that the spiritual heavens of his presence will be inhabited by his holy angels and the select group in union with Christ, whom ‘Jehovah transforms from glory to glory’ according to his new-covenant arrangement. (2 Cor. 3:18) They recognize that earth itself, not space, is God’s gift to man and that it is right here on this earth that Jehovah’s will must be done with respect to mankind. (Ps. 115:16; Matt. 6:10) They will not be like this modern generation that mocks at God’s great acts of the past and laughs off his declared Armageddon destruction of this evil world. The “saying of Jehovah” and the proof of his mighty acts, as preserved in the Bible, are real to them.—2 Pet. 3:3-7.
8. Why is the foretold Armageddon real to us?
8 We will never see those mighty acts of the past, such as the global flood of Noah’s day and the destruction of Pharaoh’s hordes in the Red Sea. They are in the unrepeatable past, but that does not argue that they did not take place. God’s Word describes them as realities, and, moreover, it shows that they are prophetic of greater realities to come. (Matt. 24:37-39; 1 Cor. 10:11) We cannot yet see those realities of the future, but this does not argue that the prophesied Armageddon destruction for this world will not come. It will come right on time! Just as surely as the stream of time catches up with God’s due time for Armageddon, so this evil world will make its abysmal plunge into destruction. “Howl, you people, ‘Alas for the day!’ for a day is near, yes, a day belonging to Jehovah is near.”—Ezek. 30:2, 3; Jer. 25:31-36.
9. How do men of faith view the fulfillment of Luke 21:25-28?
9 Does anyone doubt that the waters above a Niagara will finally plunge into the foaming cauldron below? Surely not! The certainty of that plunge becomes the more apparent as the waters begin to leap and churn and to slide ever more rapidly toward the brink. In like manner the stream of events among mankind has flowed down to the time of turbulence foretold by Jesus: “Also, there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth anguish of nations, not knowing the way out because of the roaring of the sea and its agitation, while men become faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” With all their braggadocio, the rulers of this world see the signs of impending destruction. Instead of building for peace, they try to maintain the “balance of terror” by stockpiling more and more bombs, sufficient to annihilate the human race many times over. It is only men of faith who are making the realistic approach to the crisis. To these the promise is real: “But as these things start to occur, raise yourselves erect and lift your heads up, because your deliverance is getting near.”—Luke 21:25-28.
10. Contrast man without faith with the man of faith.
10 Puny man, who says he cannot believe in God because he cannot see Him from his own lowly station in created space! Puny man, who bases all his conclusions on the few generations with which he is acquainted, but ignoring God’s Word, which describes the generations of mankind from the creation onward, and His blessing “to a thousand generations” of those who love him! (Deut. 7:9; Ps. 135:13) Man without faith is lost, unhappy and without a real purpose in life. The man of faith has bright hope, together with warm love for God and neighbor. Life, the prospect of eternal life among all the creation of the faithful God, is real to him and he works with joyful zest to prove worthy of this blessing. He delights to be called by Jehovah’s name. To him “the name of Jehovah is a strong tower” of present strength and an abiding tower holding promise of “life to time indefinite.”—Prov. 18:10; Ps. 133:3.
ENDURING IN JEHOVAH’S NAME
11. What encouragement do we draw from Hebrews chapter 11, and from Jesus’ example?
11 What a grand definition of faith is to be found in all the forty verses of Hebrews chapter 11! Jehovah’s invincible power and his loving promises were real to those faithful men mentioned therein! They endured in the name of Jehovah as “so great a cloud of witnesses.” They are an inspiring example to us, that we may never fall back into the easily entangling sin of lack of faith. We are told also to “look intently at the Chief Agent and Perfecter of our faith, Jesus,” who endured with joy, in order that we ourselves ‘may not get tired and give out in our souls.’—Heb. 12:1-3.
12. (a) What has been outstanding in the case of Jesus and other faithful men on earth? (b) What fine example did the early Christian congregation set?
12 What do we find outstanding in Jesus, and in all men who have faithfully served Jehovah on this earth? They were men of activity. Their faith was alive and dynamic, filling their lives with godly works. (John 5:17) It was a practical faith. Since knowledge was the basis for their faith, they constantly stirred up their minds, and one another’s minds, in deepening appreciation of the magnificent things of God. (Acts 2:11; 2 Pet. 1:12-15) When the Christian congregation was first organized, there was no reluctant, occasional assembling together, but “they continued devoting themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to sharing with one another” Jehovah’s spiritual provision for them. “Day after day they were in constant attendance at the temple with one accord,” for that is where they met to consider Jehovah’s Word.—Acts 2:42, 46.
13. What does the record say as to the thoroughness of the congregation in apostolic times?
13 The congregation was also intensely active in witnessing to Jehovah’s Kingdom purposes. On the day of Pentecost Peter “bore thorough witness and kept exhorting them, saying: ‘Get saved from this crooked generation.’” (Acts 2:40) The record of active and thorough witnessing continues on right through the book of Acts. (Ac 4:32, 33; 8:25; 10:42; 18:5; 20:20, 21) Yes, right on to the concluding chapter, where we read that Paul “explained the matter to them by bearing thorough witness concerning the kingdom of God and by using persuasion with them concerning Jesus from both the law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening.” (Acts 28:23) There is no question that the early Christian congregation knew the Scriptures and that all its anointed members were most active and thorough in following through on interest, holding studies, explaining and making plain Jehovah’s Kingdom purposes with great power.
14, 15. How do Jehovah’s witnesses run into his strong tower today?
14 To run into the strong tower of Jehovah’s protection, his witnesses today must be just as active in their regular weekly service, calling repeatedly on persons of goodwill and studying the Bible with them. The apostles exhorted all men of faith to such activity. “But we desire each one of you to show the same industriousness so as to have the full assurance of the hope down to the end, in order that you may not become sluggish, but be imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”—Heb. 6:11, 12.
15 It is this industriousness, this dynamic faith, that has carried the witnesses of Jehovah to the ends of the earth. It has marked them as different from all other religions and has set them apart as a miracle and an astonishment among the nations. (Isa. 8:18) Neither religious prelates nor Communist bullies have been able to find the answer to this faith that spreads out to capture the minds and hearts of men of goodwill in every land under the sun.—Rom. 10:18.
16. (a) What are the rewards of those demonstrating the pioneer spirit? (b) Why must pioneer service be recommended now?
16 Missionaries who have ‘worked at it whole-souled as to Jehovah’ have often had great trials of faith, but the rewards have been wonderfully stimulating, not the least being the great crowd of native ministers who have come forth to imbibe the same pioneer spirit. (Col. 3:23) Surely this spirit of activity, the true pioneer spirit that energized Jesus and the apostles and that has energized the modern-day witnesses of Jehovah, should be embraced by all who come to a knowledge of Jehovah’s Kingdom purposes! The need was never greater for pioneer ministers, for giving a thorough witness in all possible territories before the world’s end. It is by giving the very fullness of our time and energy in “faithful work” and “loving labor” that we may endure “with joy of holy spirit.” (1 Thess. 1:2-7) This endurance with the joy of the pioneer is far preferable to trying to endure in an unhappy, halfhearted way, with only an occasional hour of service for the record’s sake.—Rev. 3:14-18.
17. What grand assurance may Jehovah’s people claim? How?
17 “Those who are hoping in Jehovah will regain power. They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not tire out.” (Isa. 40:31) Claim all this grand assurance as your own. Walk regularly from door to door in Jehovah’s service; the activity will refresh you. Expand your service. Run! Sample the vacation pioneer service; it will not weary you, but rather provide you with thrilling experiences of service, new studies and a heightened appreciation and desire to expand Kingdom activity. Be far-visioned, like the eagle, mounting up and grasping the opportunity of a lifetime of regular or special pioneer service! The greater your activity, the greater will be the power of Jehovah’s spirit on your behalf. What rich rewards of the spirit you will enjoy by taking the forward step into pioneer service, and staying in that service!—Matt. 11:28-30.
18. What results from enduring in faithful activity?
18 Endure, then, in joyful activity. Keep building faith and appreciation for all of Jehovah’s goodness. This appreciation will deepen through years well spent in Kingdom service, so that you will exclaim thankfully with David: “If I had not had faith in seeing the goodness of Jehovah in the land of those alive—!” Like David, you will be able to commend Jehovah’s goodness to others: “Hope in Jehovah; be courageous and let your heart be strong. Yes, hope in Jehovah.” (Ps. 27:13, 14) His name is our strong tower!
REMAINING IN THE STRONG TOWER
19. What powerful assurances are given those who endure in faith?
19 Faithful activity will bring its trials. However, Jesus admonishes: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Exercise faith in God, exercise faith also in me.” (John 14:1) Jehovah through Christ gives power to all who remain in the strong tower by witnessing to His name. Some trials are especially cruel. Jesus’ prophecy concerning the end of this system of things has had its literal fulfillment in Communist and some other lands: “Moreover, you will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death; and you will be objects of hatred by all people because of my name.” However, those who endure in faith also have the powerful assurance: “And yet not a hair of your heads will by any means perish. By endurance on your part you will acquire your souls.”—Luke 21:16-19.
20. Why must heart and mind be guarded in this evil day, and in what way?
20 There is more to it, even, than enduring family opposition, concentration camps and prisons and mockings and harsh words from worldly people. Satan brings pressure to bear from many directions. If he cannot succeed by the direct frontal attack of persecutions, he will try more subtle approaches through materialism or moral temptation. That is why it is necessary both to “brace up your minds for activity” and to “keep your senses completely,” with minds set undividedly upon the hope of “the undeserved kindness that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” at Armageddon. “But as for us who belong to the day, let us keep our senses and have on the breastplate of faith and love and as a helmet the hope of salvation.” (1 Pet. 1:13; 1 Thess. 5:6, 8) Guard heart and mind against the slightest infiltration of worldly desires or immoral thoughts. If these are permitted to take root, they will grow until disaster overtakes the unwary.—1 John 2:15-17; Jas. 1:14-16.
21. How may we keep on acquiring power in the Lord?
21 Of what value are long years of endurance under persecutions, even to the point of death, if one emerges from persecution to enter a life of immorality? Of what advantage is a record of faithful ministry over many years, if this is at last sullied by a return to the ways of Satan’s world, so that one is cut off from Jehovah’s clean organization? Make no mistake! For every one of us, the spiritual fight is on to the finish. All of us need to “go on acquiring power in the Lord and in the mightiness of his strength,” and to put on and keep on “the complete suit of armor from God.” (Eph. 6:10, 11) We need to keep heart, mind and body active in Kingdom service, and to keep cultivating “the fruitage of the spirit.” (Gal. 5:22, 23) No matter how many our years in Jehovah’s service, we must heed Paul’s admonition: “Keep testing whether you are in the faith, keep proving what you yourselves are.”—2 Cor. 13:5.
22. From what are we told to “flee”? How do we do this?
22 The same letter of the apostle that tells us to “flee from idolatry” tells us also to “flee from fornication.” (1 Cor. 10:14; 6:18) Yes, flee! Get out of the way of situations where temptation might take root. Remember how righteous Joseph fled from the lustful wife of Potiphar. (Gen. 39:7-21) It is folly for one to think that he can dabble in sin and then find his way back into Jehovah’s house, for once Jehovah removes His spirit, the sinner is without help in a godless world. For protection we have to remain in the “strong tower,” as an honor to Jehovah’s name, all the time. Our salvation is to be found in pursuing righteousness at all times. “So, flee from the desires incidental to youth, but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace, along with those who call upon the Lord out of a clean heart.”—2 Tim. 2:22; see also 1 Timothy 6:9-11.
23, 24. How may we remain secure in Jehovah’s strong tower?
23 The race is nearing the finishing line. Let us, then, exercise self-control, that we may not run uncertainly. (1 Cor. 9:24-27) The awesome day of Armageddon looms close ahead, and also the prize of eternal life. May we be like the apostle Paul, who ‘ran the course to the finish and observed the faith,’ thus to share in the reward that “the Lord, the righteous judge, will give . . . to all those who have loved his manifestation.” (2 Tim. 4:7, 8) May we finish the course with joy, secure in Jehovah’s strong tower.
24 Great are the rewards to be enjoyed by all who find refuge in Jehovah’s name and who hold their place in dedication. Speaking of the unfading inheritance that is reserved for overcomers, Peter writes: “In this fact you are greatly rejoicing, though for a little while at present, if it must be, you have been grieved by various trials, in order that the tested quality of your faith, of much greater value than gold that perishes despite its being proved by fire, may be found a cause for praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”—1 Pet. 1:6, 7.
25, 26. (a) What prospect lies before those exercising faith today? (b) What must these now do?
25 Let Gog of Magog throw all his satanic hordes, visible and invisible, against the New World society of Jehovah’s witnesses! He cannot destroy the faith of those who trust in the name of Jehovah! They shall endure in His strong tower. Then, as our beloved King, Christ Jesus, reveals himself in fiery majesty at Armageddon, to execute judgment on Gog and his mob, we will receive ‘the end of our faith, the salvation of our souls.’ Though we may not now look upon Christ in a physical way, yet our faith gives us implicit confidence in his power to fight Armageddon to a decisive finish. Since we exercise faith in him, we “are greatly rejoicing with an unspeakable and glorified joy.”—1 Pet. 1:8, 9.
26 How great that joy! It is a joy to be found only in the strong tower of Jehovah’s name. This joy is the heritage of those who remain in that tower, loyally witnessing to the Kingdom purposes of the faithful Creator and upholding his righteous principles. To all of these the apostle says: “Always rejoice in the Lord. Once more I will say, Rejoice!”—Phil. 4:4.
Livier Beguin, of London, England, printed in Tokyo, Japan, Yomiuri Shimbun, June 11, 1961.