World Communism as God Views It
SINCE the revolution of the ungodly Bolsheviki or Communists in 1917 a black cloud has loomed up and has spread over a great portion of the earth. Radical governments have taken over powerful nations at the cost of wholesale bloodshed, smaller nations have been swallowed up, and a communications barrier has been set up by “iron” and “bamboo” curtains. Fear and tension have mounted in the more stable countries of the world and, while these world governments have never really served God, the Communist governments are more open and frank in outwardly being ungodly, atheistic and against all religion. Restlessness, hate and violence have been stirred up by this ungodly movement in all sections of the world, even parts formerly isolated and tranquil. When the men in the Kremlin speak, the world trembles for fear that a nuclear war may begin.
THE FIRST REVOLUTIONARY GOVERNMENT
Where did this kind of thing get its start? Well, we have to go back to the days following the Flood, when Noah as the patriarchal head gave mankind God’s command and instructed them to spread out and fill the earth. Through fear and selfishness they refused to do this and put themselves under the headship of a violent man, a restless lover of excitement, a revolutionary and militaristic man. He did not want to accept God as ruler but innovated something new and revolutionary in the earth. He established the first political kingdom on earth. “The beginning of his kingdom came to be Babel.” As the first king mentioned in the Bible, this human originator of revolutionary government and king of Babel or Babylon was none other than “Nimrod a mighty hunter in opposition to Jehovah.” (Gen. 10:8-12) His violent, revolutionary political movement ran ahead of God’s promised Messianic kingdom, the kingdom of the “seed,” of the first prophecy. (Gen. 3:15) This political ideology alienated Nimrod and his followers from Jehovah God. The alienated masses became restless and violent and are described in the Bible as a symbolic sea: “But the wicked are like the sea that is being tossed, when it is unable to calm down, the waters of which keep tossing up seaweed and mire.”—Isa. 57:20.
According to Revelation 13:1, it was the “sea” out of which the seven-headed wild beast, symbolizing Satan’s visible political rule, ascended. Nimrod was Satan’s chief visible agent in beginning his political system of rule. It is this sea stirred up by the four winds of the heavens that is the source of four huge beasts, picturing a series of world powers, as seen in a night vision by the prophet Daniel. (Dan. 7:1-3) Restless, dissatisfied people make good breeding ground for modern ideologies such as Nazism, radicalism and Russian-type Communism.
In the eleventh chapter of Da Daniel’s prophecy totalitarian, dictatorial rule is represented by the “king of the north,” and of him it is said: “And the king will actually do according to his own will, and he will exalt himself and magnify himself above every god; and against the God of gods he will speak marvelous things.” (Dan. 11:36) The prophecy shows also that this totalitarian king of the north worships, not the god of his forefathers or other nations, but, “to the god of fortresses, in his position he will give glory.” (Dan. 11:37, 38) It is true that he does rely on and boasts in scientific and military might in both his cold and his hot wars against the more conservative, stable governments of earth.*
A PLAGUE ON COMMUNISM AND RADICALISM
What does God say his position toward world Communism is? In a vision to the apostle John God revealed his view of world affairs and movements and the results thereof by showing him seven angels pouring out from the heavens toward the earth seven plagues. We are concerned here with the second plague. John reports: “And the second one poured out his bowl into the sea. And it became blood as of a dead man, and every living soul died, yes, the things in the sea.”—Rev. 16:3.
God describes Communism and radical elements as, from his standpoint, the blood of a dead man, something that one would certainly not want to touch or even to gaze on. And God’s Christian servants, Jehovah’s witnesses, have taken exactly that position. They have discerned God’s view as expressed in the second plague poured out by one of the seven angels having the bowls of God’s anger. They have shunned Communism and radical, revolutionary movements as dead and death-causing. Like Moses and Aaron when they appeared before Pharaoh announcing the plagues to come upon Egypt, they have boldly taken part in announcing this plague on world Communism.
Even before the time for pouring out the plagues, as far back as September 1879, the third month of its publication, the magazine Zion’s Watch Tower, now The Watchtower, in an article on “The Day of the Lord—Revelation 6:17,” said the following:
Very many Scriptures seem to teach that the kingdoms of earth will be overthrown by a rising of the people: goaded to desperation from lack of employment and seeking relief from the oppression of bloodthirsty governments. Such a rising and overturning, Socialists, Communists, and Nihilists of today would gladly bring about if they could. Now the Scripture recognizes wrong and oppression as existing in the nations and foretells this as the way in which they will be overthrown, . . . Yet it does not recognize this Communism as right but the contrary rather instructing believers to “obey the powers that be” as long as they last, saying to us—“Be patient, therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord.”
. . . When we with a few others declared these things only a short time since, and called attention to the fact that trouble was taught to be occasioned by a rising of the people and the overthrow of governments—Communism—we were laughed at; there was truly little sign then of Communism; but today every civilized nation is in dread, and Nihilism, Communism and Socialism, are household words, . . .
In this time of divine judgment since 1919 and up until now, during which time the seven plagues are being poured out, Jehovah’s witnesses maintain the same position toward worldly Communism. On December 11, 1921, President J. F. Rutherford of the Watch Tower Society addressed 7,000 listeners in the old Hippodrome of New York City on the subject, “Millions Now Living Will Never Die.” In talking about the nations in distress and the remedies proposed, he said:
“Financiers are fearful of losing their holdings. Labor is fearful that it will not be able to exist. Statesmen, politicians, and rulers fear radicalism or Bolshevism. In fact, every one whose mind is not stayed upon the Lord is in a state of fear and distress. (Isaiah 26:3) . . .
“What is really feared by the ruling factors is radicalism or Bolshevism. Bible Students, who are Christians, are unalterably opposed to any unrighteousness practiced by any one class upon another. They are neither radical nor speaking for the opposite alliance. They must believe that the nation that will be blessed must recognize Jehovah as God and Messiah as the Lord and King.”—The Golden Age, as of January 4, 1922, page 214.
On February 15, 1924, the 64-page booklet entitled “A Desirable Government” was issued and 741,449 copies were sent out from the Watch Tower Society’s headquarters in Brooklyn in nine months. Under the subheading “Government Failure—A Malady,” this booklet said:
“There is not a government on earth today that satisfies any reasonable proportion of the world. Many of the nations are ruled by dictators. The whole world is practically bankrupt. Leading men of the world have advanced various schemes or methods for governmental reform. But these all have proven abortive.”—Page 5, paragraph 2.
See also page 23, referring to the “great revolution in Russia, Germany, Austria, and other European countries.”
Page 54 speaks of further trouble “similar to what Russia has already undergone.”
Later, representing again the position of Jehovah’s witnesses, then widely known as International Bible Students, the Society’s president wrote, on pages 244, 245 of the publication entitled “Government,” printed in 1928:
These struggles have resulted in many revolutions, great suffering, and much bloodshed. Out of these struggles have developed the various theories or forms of government called radical, including communism, socialism, the soviet and bolshevism. . . .
. . . The soviet government has not been a success and never can be, and is far from being satisfactory to the people who have tried it. As in all other forms of government where the people are supposed to have a voice, the demagogues and party men dominate the various councils; and therefore the government has presented no advantages over any other government. In fact, bolshevism has resulted in great suffering of the people, and it is feared by many of the other nations and governments of the earth.
Every form of government man has tried, whether that is monarchy, aristocracy, democracy, republic or social, has been unsatisfactory.
CHRISTIANS WARN COMMUNIST RUSSIA
Worldly Communism has always been bitterly opposed to Jehovah’s witnesses and in its campaign against God has violently persecuted them. The Watch Tower Society, which now has ninety-five branches throughout the earth, has never been able to establish a branch office in Russia. When Communism took over other countries, existing branches of the Watch Tower Society were closed down and Jehovah’s witnesses have ever since been persecuted and driven underground. In China the Society’s branch office was closed after Communism got control and its branch manager and another missionary from Britain, both graduates of the Watchtower Bible School of Gilead, Jehovah’s witnesses’ missionary school located in Brooklyn, New York, were arrested and imprisoned for seven and five years respectively.
During 1956 and 1957 Jehovah’s witnesses held district assemblies around the world. On Saturday night at each of these 199 assemblies they adopted a resolution addressed to the then Premier N. A. Bulganin of the U.S.S.R. It protested against the persecution upon the thousands of Jehovah’s witnesses found behind the Iron Curtain and particularly in Russia and Siberia. It petitioned for the Russian government to rectify conditions, that Jehovah’s witnesses might freely, aboveground, carry on their worship of their God for the salvation of all the sheeplike people. It advised the Soviet government against keeping itself in the ranks of those persecutors foretold in Matthew 10:16; 24:9.
A total of 462,936 voted. From each of those assemblies a copy of the adopted and signed resolution was sent to Premier Bulganin and to any local Russian ambassador. Copies were supplied to the public press, which gave wide publicity to the courageous resolution. The result? Persecution of Jehovah’s witnesses was intensified.*
This widely published stand of Jehovah’s witnesses has hardened world Communism more and more against them and the Communists have shown themselves to be in the ranks of the symbolic goats of Jesus’ parable of the sheep and goats. Jesus explained that these would be manifest at the time of the end of this world or system of things and that the goats would be cut off from all existence. (Matt. 25:31-46) This parable, as explained by President Rutherford at a Los Angeles (California) convention, was published shortly afterward in The Watch Tower, in its issue of October 15, 1923.
AN ENVIRONMENT NO ONE CAN LIVE IN
So God views world Communism as the blood of a man who has been violently killed and which blood has congealed, caked. By taking a position against God’s kingdom Communism is death-dealing, for God’s kingdom is the only government that will give life to the people. By bringing about world revolution by violent means and by crafty subversiveness and by keeping the world in an unsettled state, to weaken by subversion the long-established system of things and to take advantage of this to overthrow the democratic, parliamentarian, capitalistic elements of human society, Communist leaders have caused wholesale death. Communism has promised much to the dissatisfied masses but in fact it has exploited them. God shows that he is against the revolutionary Communistic element when, after likening such restless, ungodly ones to the troubled sea, he adds: “‘There is no peace,’ my God has said, ‘for the wicked ones.’”—Isa. 57:21.
For many years Jehovah’s witnesses have worked hard to help people to see that Communism is not the thing to seek as a cure for the injustices and inequalities in the world. Referring to conditions on our earth under God’s new government over mankind, the booklet entitled “A Desirable Government” (1924) quoted Revelation 21:1 (AV) as follows:
“And I saw a new heaven [invisible ruling power] and a new earth [new order of things on the earth]: for the first heaven and the first earth [the old order] were passed away; and there was no more sea [restless, anarchistic humanity]. . . . ”—Note also on page 38 the statement: “Under that government wars, famines, pestilences, revolutions and anarchy will forever cease.”
Since that time much more has been published by Jehovah’s witnesses, telling of the Bible promise of life on a paradise earth, resurrection and blessings under Christ’s Kingdom rule.
Jehovah’s witnesses carry on an intelligent, organized, Bible-directed work with a message that will help life seekers to get out of the “sea” of peoples alienated from God. Being unclean and thickened like blood, it is an element in which no one can keep living, just as “every living soul died, yes, the things in the sea,” in Revelation’s vision. (Re 16:3) Persons who want to live in God’s new order in which there will be a new heavens and a new earth and in which the symbolic “sea” will be no more will, like God, view Communism and all the radicals, revolutionaries, anarchists and pushers for world domination by ungodly Communism as dead. The fact that people are learning this greatly plagues the Communist leaders but they are unable to stop the plague and they continue to harden themselves, making their destruction more sure.*
For a full discussion of the Communist “king of the north” as prophesied in Daniel, chapter 11, see the 384-page book “Your Will Be Done on Earth,” published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (1958).
See pages 35, 338-344, 491 (column 5) of Religion in the Soviet Union, edition of 1961, by journalist Walter Kolarz, author of a number of books.
The remaining five plagues of Revelation, chapter 16, will be discussed in succeeding issues of The Watchtower. Also see “Babylon the Great Has Fallen!” God’s Kingdom Rules!, 704 pages, published by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, Brooklyn, New York.