Religion and the Nuclear Age
“But the meek ones themselves will possess the earth, and they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.”—Ps. 37:11.
1. What challenging questions face mankind today, but what does the Creator assure us?
WHAT will our earth look like one hundred years from now? This is a challenging question. Will the nuclear age have made life a mere push-button affair for our children’s children? Will earth and its environs still be a battleground for communism and capitalism, or their successors? Or will the earth have been burnt to a nuclear cinder? Why, some are even prophesying extinction for mankind within the next ten years! However, we can be sure of this one thing: That ten years, a hundred years and a thousand years from now, the earth and man will still be here. The Author of true prophecy, earth’s Creator Himself, assures us of this, saying that he “did not create it simply for nothing, [he] formed it even to be inhabited.”—Isa. 45:18.
2. What momentous changes have the past hundred years witnessed?
2 If earth is to continue as man’s habitation, what outcome can be expected for this nuclear age? Will the changes in human affairs continue to accelerate, as they have done during the past hundred years? In so short a space of time, man has come from the horse-and-buggy era clear through into the day of the astronaut. Particularly since A.D. 1914 there have been world-shaking upheavals. Two great world wars have devastated the earth. Kingdoms have toppled, and great empires have crumbled. The Communist state, appearing during World War I, has reached out to embrace one-third of earth’s inhabitants and to set up a great power struggle with the capitalist states of Christendom. Christendom, on its part, has taken the lead in establishing first the League of Nations and later the United Nations, crying out hopefully, “‘There is peace! There is peace!’ when there is no peace.”—Jer. 6:14.
3. Wherein has worldly religion failed?
3 Strange as it may seem to some, the answers to the momentous questions of the nuclear age are to be found in—RELIGION. Some may ask, How can this be so, when religion has failed so miserably in its efforts to stop the nuclear arms race? True, worldly religion has become divided and ineffectual. Christendom has turned largely to human, materialistic philosophies, instead of the Word of God. (Jer. 2:13) The many sects of Catholicism, Protestantism and so-called heathendom continue to disagree, and the issue is becoming further confused with the appearance of many additional new religions. As nuclear stockpiles grow, the people look in vain to the leaders of sectarian religion, even as Ezekiel prophesied: “There will come anguish, and they will certainly seek peace but there will be none. There will come adversity upon adversity, and there will occur report upon report, and people will actually seek a vision from a prophet, and the law itself will perish from a priest and counsel from elderly men.”—Ezek. 7:25, 26.
4. Does the Red religion have the recipe for peace?
4 Yet, we say RELIGION has the answer to our problems. By this, do we mean the Red religion of communism? Certainly not! It is true that, over a great part of the earth, communism has plowed the traditional religions underground, substituting in their place its own cult of State- and hero-worship. Published photographs of Moscow crowds frenziedly hailing large pictures of astronauts (such as the “heavenly twins” of August, 1962, space flight) show how deep-rooted is the Communist religion. Moreover, it has abandoned the finer qualities of loving-kindness, trueness, righteousness and peace, to boast loudly of its nuclear ascendancy. (Ps. 85:10) A noted columnist indicated recently what may happen to it, in these words: “The fact that the Russians and Chinese both profess the secular religion of communism is no reason why they should not fall into a vital conflict. We should not forget how ferocious have been the wars of religion within Christendom. We who have, we hope, outlived those wars, need not be surprised to see them break out among the Communists.”* Whether it comes to this extreme or not, it is certain that the Red religion does not have the recipe for peace.
5. What fate awaits worldly religion?
5 If it is RELIGION that has the solution to nuclear age problems, it must be a religion far different from the thousands of conflicting sects of Christendom, heathendom and communism. Far from bringing peace to the earth, these worldly religions are prophesied to perish with the nuclear powers with which they fellowship. The prophecy of Revelation chapter 17 describes harlotrous religion as riding atop the UN “beast,” and her devastation by “horns” that rise up from within the very organization that she sponsored. Any triumph by these radical “horns” will also be short-lived, for they too will be thrown into confusion as God’s judgment of Armageddon catches up on them. (Rev. 16:14, 16; Hag. 2:21, 22) It is woe to those who worship man-made gods or the god of war, putting faith in ICBM’s, space rockets and asteroid bombs!—Ps. 20:7.
6. What is the religion that will succeed, and what does it promise?
6 The RELIGION that will succeed is no part of this condemned world. It is no new religion. It is far, far older than Communism, Protestantism, Catholicism, Mohammedanism and the time-honored religions of the Orient. It is the original religion for mankind, the religion that promises something far better than nuclear annihilation for the human race, for it holds faith in the Almighty God, who says: “And just a little while longer, and the wicked one will be no more; and you will certainly give attention to his place, and he will not be. But the meek ones themselves will possess the earth, and they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.”—Ps. 37:10, 11.
7. What marks the only path of salvation?
7 Faith in the Creator-God of the true religion is a prime necessity in this nuclear age, for it marks the only path of salvation. “Moreover, without faith it is impossible to please him well, for he that approaches God must believe that he is and that he becomes the rewarder of those earnestly seeking him.”—Heb. 11:6.
‘BELIEVING THAT HE IS’
8, 9. (a) By whom has God made a record concerning his purposes? (b) Who was the prophet first inspired to write, and what were his qualifications?
8 Belief in the true God is essential to survival. Foreknowing these critical times, God provided a basis for faith by making a wonderfully convincing record of his divine works and purposes. “God . . . long ago spoke on many occasions and in many ways to our forefathers by means of the prophets,” and these words of God were recorded in great detail for our later use. (Heb. 1:1) They are the words that make up the Holy Bible. “For all the things that were written aforetime were written for our instruction, that through our endurance and through the comfort from the Scriptures we might have hope.”—Rom. 15:4.
9 The first prophet used by God to make an inspired written record as it appears in the Bible was Moses. How was Moses qualified for this task? Was it by his superior education “in all the wisdom of the Egyptians,” whose civilization was one of the most advanced of ancient times? (Acts 7:22) No doubt this education gave him background knowledge, but what really counted was the godly education supplied by his own Hebrew mother, Jochebed, during his tender, early years. (Ex. 2:1-10) Moreover, when the issue had been forced as to whether he would continue to enjoy a soft, materialistic life among the luxuries of Pharaoh’s house, or throw his lot in with God’s persecuted people, he “by faith” chose the hard way.—Heb. 11:23-28.
10. What did Moses compile, and by what direction?
10 Moses believed in God, and what he wrote should strengthen our belief. Under inspiration of God, he edited the earliest human writings, compiling them into what is now known as the Bible book of Genesis. These included “a history of the heavens and the earth” and “the book of Adam’s history,” which had been written down by the original man on earth. (Gen. 2:4; 5:1) Being “by far the meekest of all the men who were upon the surface of the ground,” Moses implicitly obeyed the directions of God’s invisible, activating force in making the permanent, reliable record concerning God’s creations. He was one of those men of faith who “spoke from God as they were borne along by holy spirit.”—Num. 12:3; 2 Pet. 1:21.
11. What fact concerning the creation record strengthens faith in God?
11 The creation record made by Moses has stood firm against the assaults of critics for close on 3,500 years! This all builds faith in God as the Inspirer of His Word. Moreover, proved science today continues to produce evidence upon evidence in support of God’s own account of creation. Of course, it has to be that way, for the Great Scientist and Designer of the laws upon which creation rests would not err in making the record of that creation. The accuracy and immutability of the Genesis account are faith-inspiring indeed!—Mal. 3:6.
12. How has Genesis 1:1 been vindicated?
12 It is a scientific axiom that the simplest explanation of any phenomenon usually proves to be the correct one. How beautifully simple is the opening statement of the Bible, and what a wealth of meaning does it contain! “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen. 1:1) Oh, yes, some have tried to argue their theories that the universe never had a beginning, that it is continuous in space and time, that the heavens are older than the earth, and so forth. However, in recent years, the 100-inch telescope and probes by man-made satellites have compelled the critics to retreat to the position held by Moses 3,500 years ago. The study of the heavens has now revealed an expanding universe, said to be five or six billion years old, and all of it still flying apart as the result of one initial, creative explosion! This first and most stupendous of nuclear explosions, if that is what actually occurred, was for a wise purpose, in bringing forth the vast material universe, with all its order and design. How puny and destructive by comparison would man-made explosions of the newborn “nuclear age” be!
13. What scientific discoveries appear to harmonize with Genesis 1:2, 3?
13 “Now the earth proved to be formless and waste and there was darkness upon the surface of the watery deep; and God’s active force was moving to and fro over the surface of the waters.” (Gen. 1:2) This was the situation some billions of years after the original creative act, as recorded by Moses. Again, atheistic scientists have drawn issue, not only with God in using his active force, but with the statement concerning “darkness upon the surface of the watery deep.” In the first place, we might ask, If it was not God’s active force, what other marvelously controlled force brought forth all the design and purpose to be seen in mineral, vegetable and animal creations here upon earth? As to the “darkness,” mighty telescopes are again forcing the critics into retreat. These are now revealing great celestial systems similar to our own, the dark “diffuse nebula” in space, in which they say a bright, shining sun is later formed to give light to nearby bodies. This harmonizes with Moses’ statement: “And God proceeded to say: ‘Let light come to be.’ Then there came to be light.”—Gen. 1:3.
14, 15. What other facts of creation testify to the supreme wisdom of the Creator?
14 We could continue verse by verse through the entire period of the six creative days, periods of time that other Bible passages show to have been each 7,000 years in length.* Science now stands in line with the Bible, confirming the order of the appearance of dry land, the earth’s putting forth vegetation, the appearance of the heavenly luminaries, and the bringing forth of fish, bird, animal and human souls. Advancing scientific investigation has been compelled to ditch Darwin’s theories in favor of the Great Scientist’s age-old statement that he created every living thing “according to its kind,” so that it could change and reproduce only within divinely appointed boundaries. (Gen. 1:11, 12, 21, 24, 25) No mechanical assembly-line reproduction is this, but there is wondrous variation among the individuals of each kind.
15 Man himself is the crowning point of all this earthly creation, testifying to God’s marvelous creative ability. Man was created higher than the animals, and was given wisdom from above, so that he could have appreciation of spiritual values and a strong moral sense, and be capable of expressing love toward his Creator and fellowman. He was wonderfully equipped to carry out the mandate that God gave him: “Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it, and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving upon the earth.” (Gen. 1:26-28) Man was made for the earth, not for the moon or outer space.
16. Why could God the Creator not be the author of the religious confusion on earth?
16 Truly, all the harmony and design in creation testify to an order-loving God. Many people will argue convincingly on the existence of God, basing their conclusions on the order that they see in His creation. By the same line of argument, they should be showing that the confused sectarianism to be seen in the multitude of religions on earth today is clear proof that these religions are not of God. “God is a God, not of disorder, but of peace.” (1 Cor. 14:33) Thus, God purposed only one religion for mankind on this earth, a realistic, practical religion that would unite all men as children around their heavenly Father. This religion they would express, not by some mystic chanting or formalism, but thankfully in loving service to God, the Creator, according to His divine will.—1 John 2:17.
17. Now did the false religion originate, and what are its fruits?
17 The first man started out as an obedient son of God. The pity is that he later willfully abandoned his belief and faith in God, lost the true religion, and embarked on a course of sectarian rebellion. As a result, false religion has engulfed most of mankind, to becloud the identity of the true God and His religion. (2 Cor. 4:4) The cumulative fruits of false religion are to be seen in today’s nuclear-age problems.—Matt. 7:15-20.
18. What ignorance prevails as to the Creator-God?
18 There are many today who acknowledge that there is a Creator-God. Yet, ask them his name, and they cannot tell you. They are confused as to his identity. Some say he is Jesus Christ. However, the Bible says that Jesus is “the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation by God.” (Rev. 3:14) Others hold that the Creator, Jesus and “the Holy Ghost” are a trinity of three Gods in one, and that Jesus was actually a God-man while on earth. However, the Bible says that Jesus was merely a man while on earth: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, a man Christ Jesus.” (1 Tim. 2:5) The “God-man” idea actually comes from “heathendom.” It was prominent in the Roman religion, which exalted the emperor as god incarnate. It is similar to the recently dissolved emperor worship of Japan, in which the emperor was described as “arahito-Gami,” meaning “God in man’s form.” In view of the worldwide confusion as to the identity of the true God and Creator, it is important to faith that he be identified by His name.
BELIEVING WHO HE IS
19. What is God’s name, and how did Moses glorify it?
19 In addition to writing the faith-inspiring creation record, Moses wrote much concerning the Creator-God and His awe-inspiring Name. On one occasion God placed Moses in the cleft of a rock, and passing by, He declared His name. Was it “Lord, Lord”? No! It was “Jehovah, Jehovah,” and Jehovah went on to describe the illustrious qualities that His name stands for. (Ex. 33:21–34:7) At the end of a long line of faith-building experiences, Moses had compelling reason to glorify Jehovah by name: “For I shall declare the name of Jehovah. Do you attribute greatness to our God! The Rock, perfect is his activity, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness, with whom there is no injustice; righteous and upright is he.”—Deut. 32:3, 4.
20. Why is the Name important?
20 As this inspired record by Moses shows, God has an illustrious name. In the Hebrew language it is written יהוה, and is believed to have been pronounced like the romanization Yahweh. In English it is pronounced Jehovah, in Spanish Jehová, in Japanese Ehoba. Though the pronunciation varies from language to language, the name is easily recognizable in each language, serving to distinguish the Lord of the universe and the God of all creation from all the inferior lords and gods known in both Biblical and secular history. The name has its own distinctive meaning: “I shall prove to be what I shall prove to be.” (Ex. 3:14) Jehovah vindicated his name in a typical way, when he delivered Israel from Egypt as a people for his name, striking Egypt with devastating plagues and finally destroying the flower of its military might in the Red Sea. It was no wonder that “the people began to fear Jehovah and to put faith in Jehovah and in Moses his servant.”—Ex. 14:28-31; Acts 15:14.
21. How do many modern religions show disrespect for the Name?
21 However, there are many religions today, especially in Christendom, that profess to believe the Bible, but that shy away from putting faith in Jehovah, the Creator-God of the Bible. They say they believe in God, but they do not want Jehovah as their God. They agree with what Moses wrote about creation, but they do not agree with what he wrote about God. They prefer to worship a mystic Trinity of gods, a “God incarnate,” or a nameless “Lord.” They are so sensitive about the name “Jehovah” that they even expurgate it from their modern Bible translations. Their substitution of “Lord” or “God” for “Jehovah” is not translation. It is interpretation, a ‘taking away’ from God’s Word, in direct violation of Jehovah’s command through Moses, at Deuteronomy 4:2.
22. What reason does one translation committee give for rejecting the Name, but is this a valid reason?
22 Thus the ten-man panel chosen by the Joint Committee of the Churches in Great Britain declares through its director, Professor Godfrey R. Driver, that in its new translation of the Old Testament of the Bible, the name “Jehovah” will not appear. Why? Because “the word ‘Jehovah’ (is) merely a solecism produced in 1502,” says Driver.* If “Jehovah” is a “solecism” (a corruption of, or deviation from the original, according to Webster), would it not be more honest on the translators’ part to write the Name in its original form? The name “Jehovah” in English, and its equivalents in other languages, have become recognizable by long usage. How ridiculous to say now that the name should be eliminated because of a deviation in pronunciation! By the same argument, the name “Jesus” should be removed, for “Jesus” is a solecism based on the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew “Jehoshuah.” Following the same reasoning, we should substitute “he,” “she” or some other identity-destroying pronoun or common noun in place of many other names whose original pronunciation has not been carried over into the translation. In time, some of these translators might even come out with a Bible that omits all names, for fear of pronouncing them wrong!
23. What reason actually lies behind rejecting the Name?
23 Why this widespread reticence in using God’s name? There is a strong reason. The great religious systems of Christendom have ceased to trust in the Creator-God, Jehovah. Instead, they have rested hope of survival in the political nations of the West, with their nuclear armaments. They have taken the “religion of their choice,” so that they may be free from responsibility to Jehovah, the God of the Bible. In this way they have lined themselves up with an opposing god, the originator of earth’s multitude of religious sects, the one whom Jehovah’s Chief Witness, Christ Jesus, referred to as “the father of the lie.” (John 8:44) Thus they disqualify themselves from the blessing that Moses bestowed prophetically on the Christian nation of spiritual Israel: “Happy you are, O Israel! Who is there like you, a people enjoying salvation in Jehovah, the shield of your help, and the One who is your eminent sword?”—Deut. 33:29.
24. Why may “the Israel of God” be termed happy?
24 Happy today is this “Israel of God,” made up of the Christian witnesses of Jehovah. These are truly “enjoying salvation in Jehovah,” and they look forward confidently to their “eminent sword” solving all nuclear-age problems, as he crushes warlike nations, together with their devilish instruments of annihilation, in Armageddon’s war. In faith they take up the song of victory, as Moses did at Jehovah’s miraculous victory at the Red Sea. “My strength and my might is Jah, since he serves for my salvation. This is my God, and I shall laud him; my father’s God, and I shall raise him on high. Who among the gods is like you, O Jehovah? Who is like you, proving yourself mighty in holiness? The One to be feared with songs of praise, the One doing marvels. Jehovah will rule as king to time indefinite, even forever.”—Ex. 15:2, 11, 18.
25. What is the content of the ‘song of Moses and of the Lamb’?
25 Yes, Jehovah will rule as king forever. Already, in A.D. 1914, he established his heavenly kingdom in the hands of his Son, Christ Jesus, the Lamb of God. Christ’s footstep followers, many of whom have been resurrected to share with him in his Kingdom glory, are now “singing the song of Moses the slave of God and the song of the Lamb, saying: ‘Great and wonderful are your works, Jehovah God, the Almighty. Righteous and true are your ways, King of eternity. Who will not really fear you, Jehovah, and glorify your name, because you alone are loyal? For all the nations will come and worship before you, because your righteous decrees have been made manifest.’”—Rev. 15:3, 4.
26. What faith do men of goodwill now hold?
26 Today, men of goodwill from all the nations are also embracing the true religion, the worship of Jehovah, and are busily witnessing concerning his righteous decrees. They have faith, too, that the sacrifice of the Lamb of God will result in benefits of eternal life for them. It will be a happy, fruitful life on earth, where they will be co-workers with God, performing his divine will in transforming this globe into a delightful garden park. Thus, the true religion, the worship and service of Jehovah, will bring everlasting delight to the Armageddon survivors, to their children and their children’s children. It will also bring delight to their fathers, and their fathers’ fathers, and to all others who have gone into the common grave of humankind through the millenniums of human history, and whom Jehovah purposes to bring forth to life through a resurrection. (John 5:28, 29) All men who choose to embrace the true religion on earth will live for an exhilarating eternity of praise to that greatest of all names—JEHOVAH.—Ex. 3:15.
Walter Lippmann, New York Herald Tribune, April 10, 1962.
See “Let God Be True,” pages 177-179, for detailed explanation.
AP Dispatch from London, August 19, 1962.