Why We Should All Join in a Resolution
THIS year the convention of God-fearing persons from many lands was given the title “Everlasting Good News” Assembly. It was worldwide in its embrace, for in the course of ten weeks (June 30 to September 8, 1963) it was held in twenty-four cities north and south of the equator, all around the globe. Hundreds attending the New York convention of this chain of gatherings followed the eastward course of the assembly by attending the successive gatherings in the many countries until the last convention in the land from which it started, really making it one continuous assembly that features the “everlasting good news.” As a whole, this Around-the-World Assembly was attended by bearers of the Good News from a hundred and sixty-one lands.
1. What is it we see evident in our earth today?
SUCH a global assembly as this brings vividly to everyone’s attention that there is an unusual current that is flowing irresistibly all around the earth. It is one of the two great currents that are in flow throughout the earth, each current with a different destination or in a different direction, each one being moved along by forces more than human, by forces invisible. There is more to the earthly scene of movement than meets the naked human eye.
2. In what way is the wisdom of the Bible far superior to this world’s wisdom?
2 Persons who are wise in the ways of this world may smile sophisticatedly at the remark that forces higher than man and unseen to man are playing an intelligent, guiding part in the two opposite currents among humanity. Such worldly-wise persons know that belief in the existence of the so-called “disembodied spirits” of persons who were once human creatures on earth is widespread, and they reject such belief as not being scientifically proved. However, thousands of years before modern science, the sacred scriptures of the Holy Bible plainly taught and proved that such “disembodied spirits” did not exist, because all the dead of humankind are dead, which means lifeless, unconscious, inactive. So if the human dead are to live again it must be, not by a clothing of “disembodied spirits” again with flesh, but by a resurrection of the dead, mortal human souls. At the same time the Holy Bible teaches the existence of intelligent, superhuman spirits, demons, against whose malicious influence and operations mankind has to be on guard.
3. What intelligent warning did Paul give Ephesian Christians 1900 years ago?
3 Nineteen centuries ago in the city of Ephesus, Asia, where the mythological Artemis or Diana was worshiped as a goddess in a temple that was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Christian apostle Paul preached for about three years. This led many Ephesian believers to make a public bonfire of their books on magical arts worth “fifty thousand pieces of silver,” or thousands of dollars in modern values. Later, by letter, the apostle Paul warned those same Ephesian believers against the demons, the evil spirit intelligences. Paul wrote: “Put on the complete suit of armor from God that you may be able to stand firm against the machinations of the Devil; because we have a fight, not against blood and flesh, but against the governments, against the authorities, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places.”—Eph. 6:11, 12.
4. How do Christ Jesus and Paul give testimony on the wicked spirit forces operating on earth?
4 The existence of these “wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places” is real, although they are unseen to us, and the scientific advancement that this nuclear, space age has made has not wiped out their existence. The scientific progress and achievements of even the most enlightened country have not reduced the dire need to arm ourselves spiritually to carry on a successful fight against these forces, which are mightier than “blood and flesh.” Modern science has not nullified the “machinations of the Devil.” The apostle Paul calls this Devil the “god of this system of things,” “the spirit that now operates in the sons of disobedience.” (2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:2) Jesus Christ, the Founder of Christianity, called the Devil the “ruler of this world,” and he himself was subjected to temptation by this Devil and had to fight against him with the spiritual armor of God. (John 12:31; 14:30; Matt. 4:1, 8-11) The Devil is also called “the ruler of the demons,” which means that he is the ruler of the “wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places.” (Matt. 12:24-27) Because of being “god of this system of things” and also “ruler of this world,” he and his demons are invisibly directing the bigger one of those two currents that are in flow among mankind today.
5. (a) Who else, however, are operating in the spirit realm and who is their Creator? (b) Can they be of any help to righteous mankind now?
5 On the other side of the situation, there are spirit forces in the heavenly places that are good, righteous, pure, holy and having nothing to do with magical arts. They are not under the rulership of Satan the Devil. Their Ruler is the Creator, the God of the universe, and they are his holy angels, serving before the throne of God. They are as real as are the Devil and his demons, but concerning the holy angels it is written: “Are they not all spirits for public service, sent forth to minister for those who are going to inherit salvation?” (Heb. 1:13, 14) Do we want to have the help of these “spirits for public service”? Do we want the benefit of their ministry? Our having their help and service signifies salvation to us in God’s righteous new order of things now so near. Whereas the demons have Satan the Devil as their ruler, these angelic “spirits for public service” are under the King Jesus Christ, for, when he was a perfect man on earth, Jesus Christ said concerning our day: “When the Son of man arrives in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit down on his glorious throne. And all the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another.” (Matt. 25:31, 32) This prophecy of Jesus indicates that the angels will have part in this work of separating humanity.
6. What choice faces us in this day of judgment and toward what are we moving irresistibly?
6 The very last book in the Holy Bible, the Apocalypse or Revelation as it is called, gives us illustrations of the important parts that the demons, on the one hand, and the holy angels, on the other hand, are performing in human affairs of our day. We are being led along and guided either by the demons or by the holy angels. We are either fighting against the demons and the machinations of the Devil their ruler or fighting against the holy angels and their Ruler the King Jesus Christ. We are under judgment. This is a time of judgment. For whom are we? Against whom are we? We cannot ignore the actuality of this judgment now in progress. We cannot stay ignorant and at the same time fight against the Devil and his demons. We cannot stay ignorant and at the same time move under the guidance of the King Jesus Christ and his angels. The time is irresistibly approaching when the separation work will be completed among all the nations, and the King Jesus Christ will say to those who have neglected to take the right course: “Be on your way from me, you who have been cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels.” (Matt. 25:41) The Bible book of Revelation shows how we can act in cooperation with the holy angels under the direction of the King Jesus Christ. That will mean our being blessed instead of being cursed and everlastingly destroyed.
7. What course have the majority of people followed since Noah’s day, and with what result?
7 Today the command from heaven is to worship God, the Creator of heaven and earth and its waters. (Rev. 14:6, 7) Throughout the thousands of years since the global flood of Noah’s day men have turned their backs on the Creator and have tried to maintain stable, settled conditions on earth. To keep the earth and its peoples in order they have established human governments, the creations of men. These are now reaching the climax of their difficulties, and to maintain these governments they insist on worship of the State by the people. They also set up an international society of nations to maintain peace and security among nations and to keep the world from committing suicide. Instead of being favored with life, peace, prosperity and happiness, the worshipers of these human creations are afflicted with a spiritual plague, like a malignant ulcer that makes death certain.—Rev. 16:2.
8. How is it evident now that stability in government is being greatly shaken?
8 Dissatisfied with earthly conditions under the traditional, religiously dominated political governments of the past millenniums, radical elements have arisen. They have raged at the seemingly stable governments, like wild waves of the sea raging against the rocky shores and headlands. Since A.D. 1914 they have brought about tremendous revolutions, great political overturnings, and now threaten all mankind with world domination. They scheme and manage to keep human affairs in a disturbed, unsettled, fearful state, but they bring no life to the people. It is a political movement of death, with as much life in it as the congealed shed blood of a dead man. Everyone who gets caught in this political movement dies.—Rev. 16:3.
9. How have men rejected God’s new order that promises life, and what will the end result be?
9 Rather than turn to the life-giving Word of God, which is being preached by Jehovah’s witnesses, men stubbornly and proudly choose to look to human sources for their drinking “water” to sustain life. They reject Jehovah God as the Source of true provisions for everlasting life in a righteous new order, and they continue to drink the waters of human philosophies, man-made religious traditions, militarism and materialistic science. Filled with such, they have stained the pages of history with blood. Their drinking water is as blood. Drinking it will result in their drinking their own blood at God’s hand, for he will make them pay with their own lives.—Rev. 16:4-7.
10, 11. What great ignorance has man shown in the way he worships, and even when his wrong worship is exposed, what do many yet refuse to do?
10 Men rejoice in the sun, and they enjoy its light and manifold benefits, but they refuse to recognize the sun’s Creator as their spiritual Sun, the source of spiritual light and guidance to free them from the darkness of sin and death. They glorify men and human organizations as the sun in their political, social, economic and religious heavens, and treat these as the source of their enlightenment, the sun that will brighten their lives with freedom, material prosperity, moral uplift and social betterment. Yet, since the end of world War I, the “sun” that they have looked to for healing and betterment of conditions has scorched them with its oppressions. Because of this they blaspheme God’s name Jehovah by blaming the Creator for their sad, worsened plight rather than the men who try to shine in world affairs. They do not repent and glorify Jehovah God when he exposes the man-made creations that are radiating the scorching heat upon them.—Rev. 16:8, 9.
11 Men have enthroned their political systems alongside God, claiming that their rulers rule by divine right and by the grace of God as though God the Creator of heaven and earth were the source of their political governments. They refuse to believe that Satan the Devil is the “ruler of this world” and is the source of their political rulerships since the days of Nimrod the first king of Babylon. It has been a plague to them for Jehovah’s witnesses under angelic guidance to show from the Bible why the kingdom of worldly politics is one of darkness, without the light of God’s favor and blessing. Therefore, men who trust in human politics rather than in having the kingdom of God blaspheme him and unrepentantly continue suffering from spiritual “ulcers.”—Rev. 16:10, 11.
12. (a) What end awaits false religion, and what will take its place? (b) Are the political systems marching primarily to a third world war, or what?
12 Men have not benefited from the kingdom of false religion. As ancient Babylon founded by Nimrod sat astride the Euphrates River, so the great false religious system that was prefigured by ancient Babylon has sat oppressively and expensively upon the masses of people, for support and protection. Now these symbolic waters must be dried up to strip her of her defense, that this great religious system may make way for the kingdom of God. The political kings of the earth do not favor the kingdom of God by his Messiah who has the divine right to universal rulership. They lend their ears to demonic propaganda that issues from the invisible “ruler of this world” and from the political systems that he has kept in power over the earth. Hence the kings and their armies are influenced by this propaganda inspired by demons and are marching unitedly, not primarily to a third world war with nuclear weapons, but to the “war of the great day of God the Almighty.” The Hebrew name for the battlefield is Har–Magedon (or, Armageddon). They feel plagued when Jehovah’s witnesses notify them that it is God Almighty against whom they fight under demonic influence and that they will be destroyed at Har–Magedon.—Rev. 16:12-16.
13. (a) What accounts for today’s violence and ungodly works, and, therefore, what is bound to happen? (b) What is the reaction to this warning by the political, religious and materialistic systems?
13 Today it is not just the natural air but a bad spirit that the people breathe in. It is the spirit of this world, and the spirit of the world is the spirit of Satan the Devil. This accounts for all the violence and ungodly works of the degraded flesh with which the nations abound today. For this reason human society will yet be rocked as by an earthquake of an intensity never experienced before, and the cities and political institutions of men must fall in ruins and disappear. The time has come for God Almighty to bring to mind the wicked deeds of that false religious system prefigured by ancient Babylon, and he must make her drink from his cup the wine that will make her so dead-drunk that she will never wake up. Advance notice of this act of God Almighty strikes politically, religiously and materialistically minded people like hundred-pound hailstones, but Jehovah’s witnesses under the angelic lead must serve such notice before the earthquake of unparalleled world trouble. We are not surprised that hard-hit people should blaspheme Jehovah God for this. It merely shows that they breathe in the spirit of the Devil.—Rev. 16:17-21.
14. (a) Where is the information on these plague-like conditions found, and who thus is credited with giving this information? (b) Since we do not want to be led by the wicked demons on a course leading to collision with God Almighty, what is the path of wisdom now?
14 These things, which are like plagues to this world, are revealed to us in the fifteenth and sixteenth chapters of the Revelation 15, 16 to John the apostle. We do not take the credit for this, but give to God the credit through Jesus Christ and acknowledge the part that the holy angels of God have in this, as vividly pictured in those chapters of Revelation. We sincerely desire to follow the lead given us through God’s holy angels. We do not want to be caught in the current that is being swept along by the “wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places” and run into a collision with God Almighty at Har–Magedon. That is why we who are attending these assemblies around the world should all join in making a resolution.