An Abortive Attempt to Establish a New Order
WILL a peaceful new order of things ever come about? If so, who do you think is going to establish it? Will it be God himself or will it be men having God as a helper? Also, is there a timetable for it? Is the time for its establishment unalterably set or is there a sliding scale, a flexible schedule, depending upon what the rulers of the earth, political and religious, can accomplish and when they can accomplish it?
The answer to these questions is no inconsequential one, for it means the difference between “blood, sweat and tears,” and pleasurable work; between wearing oneself out with frustration, and refreshing, upbuilding activity; in fact, between life and death.—Ps. 127:1; Hab. 2:13; Hag. 1:6.
Should we not look to world rulers and leading clergymen? Can they not alter and reform the governments so that the principles of the kingdom of God will be expressed through them? Well, we surely should be able to find the answers to these questions in the Bible because it is from the Bible and not from any other source that we get the information that there is to be a permanent new order in which men can live on earth forever. But what does the Bible say about it?
First of all, the Bible says that those trying by governmental and social reform to bring about such a new order incorporating the things that the kingdom of God will accomplish have taken hold of a wild beast. It is no ordinary wild beast, either, for it is a monstrosity having seven heads and ten horns on its heads. It represents the worldwide human political organization under control of the Devil.* The beast is ferocious and has proved over the past several thousand years to be untamable. Well, then, maybe they can make something that would reflect the beast, perhaps an image of the beast. It would be something that the people could look to as authoritative as far as bringing peace and unity among the nations is concerned, something that the nations could work through. They need not give up their individual sovereignty but at the same time they could cooperate on the matter of world peace with a view to arriving at last at a condition of peaceful coexistence. This action of more or less playing the horns of the beast against one another and inducing them, instead of fighting out their differences, to arbitrate them and give the organization enough power to enforce the decisions made, looked like the only logical course for them to follow.
PEACE EFFORT AND RESULTS FOREKNOWN
Amazingly, Jehovah God, the Author of the Bible, foreknew the very line of thinking these world leaders would pursue and foretold that they would do just this very thing. In his Word he describes exactly what they would do, showing that they would make an image to the wild beast and set it up for the people to look to for the good things that the kingdom of God would bring. Ah, but in doing so they would create something just as formidable as the first wild beast and as hard to make peaceful and righteous! John describes the vision God gave to him on this matter:
“Well, on catching sight of her [the woman Babylon the Great] I wondered with great wonderment. And so the angel said to me: ‘Why is it you wondered? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the wild beast that is carrying her and that has the seven heads and the ten horns: The wild beast that you saw was, but is not, and yet is about to ascend out of the abyss, and it is to go off into destruction. And when they see how the wild beast was, but is not, and yet will be present, those who dwell on the earth will wonder admiringly, but their names have not been written upon the scroll of life from the founding of the world.’”—Rev. 17:6-8.
The woman riding the beast is a harlot and is named Babylon the Great, which has already been explained in previous issues of this magazine as symbolically representing the world empire of false religion. She has a very prominent role in setting up the peace organization. The beast on which she rides is also like her, a mystery, it is a secret, something not understandable until God’s due time to expose it. This scarlet-colored wild beast is the same as the image of the beast told of in Revelation 13:14, 15, but not fully described there. Being an image, it is pleasing to Babylon the Great, for she is very familiar with images and the use of them. Idolaters often say that the images they use are not worshiped by them but are merely aids in the worship of the gods pictured by the images or idols, which idols receive only a relative worship. This is contrary to God’s law, which condemns idols in any form and forbids relative worship even through men. (1 John 5:21; Rev. 19:10) In this case the people are turned toward the image to look for the things that God’s kingdom will bring and therefore are led to support it whether it is truly representative of God’s kingdom.
DEATH AND REVIVAL OF “NEW ORDER” BEAST
The scarlet color of the beast represents royalty. When did it come into being and when was this royalty attributed to it? At first in 1920, when the League of Nations was ratified. Up until World War II it “was.” Jehovah’s witnesses were, like John, observing matters at the time, proclaiming the fact that the League was standing as a counterfeit substitute for God’s kingdom. In the vision to John the angel says the wild beast “was, but is not.” When does it become “not”? This was when the Catholic-Nazi dictator Hitler touched off the explosion of World War II in September of 1939.* The League here failed of its chartered purpose and ceased to function with proper effect, going down into the abyss of raging, roaring humanity in the world’s greatest war until then, into a state of inactivity, suspended animation. Jehovah’s witnesses observed it when it went into the abyss of inactivity, when it “is not.”
Just as John was told that the beast would again be present, coming up out of the abyss, Jehovah’s witnesses were watching for this to take place. In 1942, at the middle of World War II, this was forcefully pointed out by the president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society in the public talk “Peace—Can It Last?” at a national convention meeting in fifty-three cities, tied in by wire to the key city, Cleveland, Ohio. He said:
“ . . . Though forty members still profess to adhere to the League, the League is in effect in a state of suspended animation, and needs to be revived if it is ever to live again. It has gone into the abyss of inaction and ineffectiveness. It ‘is not.’
“Will the League remain in the pit? . . . The association of worldly nations will rise again. . . . The necessities of meeting the totalitarian aggressions and stopping them are forcing the nations to that final confederation of nations for the new order, whatever its form. . . .
“ . . . The repeated cries and demands of politicians and religionists for ‘More religion!’ make certain that religion will ride the peace beast. The personal envoy sent by the president of the nation to the Vatican to work together with the religious chief for peace is another forerunner of the courtesy and deference that will be paid to the ‘woman’ named Babylon when the total war ends. Her intercourse then with the rulers of the world will satisfy her worldly desires, and she will pronounce the peace arrangement a ‘peace of Christianity,’ another one of those ‘names of blasphemy’ tacked on the ‘beast.’”*
The Seventh World Power, the dual world power of Great Britain and America, had worked to bring the League of Nations into existence. Now this same dual world power worked to get this international peace-and-security organization out of the abyss of apparent death. On June 26, 1945, fifty nations (not including Vatican City and the Axis Powers) signed the Charter of the United Nations in San Francisco, California. It was ratified on October 24, 1945, the number of nations being twenty-nine, including the Big Five; it became part of international law. Then the United Nations became existent.
CHRISTIAN DECLARATION AGAINST IT
Jehovah’s witnesses were looking for further fulfillment of this prophecy and they recognized that now the scarlet-colored wild beast had ascended out of the abyss. But Jehovah’s witnesses did not wonder admiringly or worship the scarlet-colored beast, the “image” of the wild beast. In the above-quoted lecture given in 1942 the speaker said:
“ . . . Suddenly those ten horns and the beast will go into perdition, not peacefully, but violently, at the battle of Armageddon. This time the beast and its heads and horns will go, not into the ‘bottomless pit,’ but into the ‘lake of fire and brimstone,’ to be utterly consumed and destroyed.—Rev. 19:20; 20:10.”
So Jehovah’s witnesses today are proclaiming to the people that the United Nations is the same old image as the League, dressed up in a new name and that it will not continue and that it will not bring peace to the people. But many people feel that, since the United Nations has been established to maintain international peace and security, as its charter states, this new international organization will preserve peace and security for the wild beast out of the sea and keep it existing.
PAPAL SUPPORT OF IT
What does the woman riding the beast have to say about it? The head of the leading sect of Christendom, which is the dominant part of Babylon the Great, Pope John XXIII,* spoke with considerable definiteness on the matter. In advance of public issuance of his encyclical an Associated Press dispatch, datelined “ROME, April 5,” published by the New York Times as of April 6, 1963, page 2, under the heading “U.N. Police Role Supported,” said:
Monsignor Pisoni, writing in the Corriere della Sera of Milan said that international law “has been made even more complicated in our times by the presence of international organs such as the United Nations, called upon to undertake with autonomous military forces the duty of ‘international police.’” He said that the encyclical would deal with “the duty of all peoples to accept the autonomous force of the United Nations as an international police” as well as with the Cold War and “internal and civil war supported from abroad.”
During the following Holy Week Pope John XXIII signed his encyclical entitled “Pacem in Terris” (“Peace on Earth”). The encyclical was addressed not only to the Roman Catholic “clergy and faithful of the whole world” but also “to all men of good will.” Part IV thereof spoke of the “public authority of the world community,” not meaning, of course, the United Nations, for Vatican City is not a member of the U.N. It went on to say:
. . . This means that the public authority of the world community must tackle and solve problems of an economic, social, political and cultural character which are posed by the universal common good. For, because of the vastness, complexity and urgency of those problems, the public authorities of the individual states are not in a position to tackle them with any hope of a positive solution.
The public authority of the world community is not intended to limit the sphere of action of the public authority of the individual political community, much less to take its place. On the contrary, . . .
As is known, the United Nations Organization (U.N.O.) was established on June 26, 1945, and to it there were subsequently added intergovernmental agencies with extensive international tasks in the economic, social, cultural, educational and health fields. The United Nations Organization had as its essential purpose the maintenance and consolidation of peace between peoples, fostering between them friendly relations, based on the principles of equality, mutual respect, and varied forms of cooperation in every sector of human society.
An act of the highest importance performed by the United Nations Organization was the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, approved in the General Assembly of December 10, 1948. In the preamble of that declaration, the recognition and respect of those rights and respective liberties is proclaimed as an ideal to be pursued by all peoples and all countries.
Some objections and reservations were raised regarding certain points in the declaration. . . .
It is our earnest wish that the United Nations Organization—in its structure and in its means—may become ever more equal to the magnitude and nobility of its tasks, and that the day may come when every human being will find therein an effective safeguard for the rights which derive directly from his dignity as a person, and which are therefore universal, inviolable, and inalienable rights. This is all the more to be hoped for since all human beings, as they take an ever more active part in the public life of their own political communities, are showing an increasing interest in the affairs of all peoples, and are becoming more consciously aware that they are living members of a world community.
Pope John XXIII then tied in God’s kingdom with all the foregoing by saying in the sixth last paragraph of the encyclical:
. . . In order that human society may reflect as faithfully as possible the kingdom of God, help from on high is necessary.*
On October 4, 1966, the anniversary of Pope Paul’s visit to the U.N. and his all-out endorsement of it, 150,000 Roman Catholics met in prayer in St. Peter’s square in Rome and millions in a television and radio audience heard Pope Paul as he led in prayers for peace in Vietnam. President Johnson of the United States, along with other high government officials, joined in the special prayer services at the Washington Peace Mass at St. Matthew’s Cathedral, while a peace bell ceremony took place at U.N. headquarters in New York city. Cardinal Spellman unveiled two plaques commemorating Pope Paul’s visit and quoting his advocacy of the U.N.*
Since the popes of the Roman Catholic Church express such admiration for the United Nations, does this mean that this “public authority of the individual political community” will survive the war of the great day of God the Almighty? No, neither does it mean that the United Nations in any way reflects the Kingdom or promotes the Kingdom, for as a matter of fact it reflects the wild beast that came out of the sea, Satan’s visible, political organization, which has always opposed God and now today opposes his kingdom under his Messiah.
A DECISION TO MAKE
What about us as individuals? Should we give support to the international peace arrangement? God says that he does not write in his scroll of life the names of those who give their worship to the wild beast’s image or who pin their hopes on it. This, of course, is, not a literal scroll, but a symbolic one, and in it Jehovah has been writing the names of those worthy of life since the founding of the world, that is, from when he founded the human race, the world of mankind. According to God’s written Word, Abel the martyred son of Adam and Eve appears to be the first one “written upon the scroll of life.” (Heb. 11:4; 12:24; Gen. 4:2-10, 25; Matt. 23:35) The names of those idolaters are not written with that of Abel.
True Christians, therefore, will recognize the United Nations, the “image” of the wild beast, or the scarlet-colored beast, as a counterfeit and an abortive attempt to establish God’s new order in the earth. As to the means for bringing peace on earth, Jesus Christ said his kingdom was not of this world. Not by trusting in the military might of nations or a combination of nations that are against God can peace be brought. As Jehovah says: “Not by a military force, nor by power, but by my spirit.”—Zech. 4:6.
Political and religious leaders are mistaken also as to God’s timetable. His kingdom is already established in heaven in the hands of his Messiah, Christ. Through the prophet Daniel God foretold that the kingdom of God would break in pieces all the existing kingdoms and it would stand forever. (Dan. 2:44) God’s new order, bringing fully to mankind the blessings of his heavenly kingdom, will take place soon—in this generation—but it will not do so before all images and idols, including the United Nations, are destroyed. So they lack faith in God, and their attempt to take it upon themselves to set up God’s kingdom and bring in a new order is abortive and ends in miscarriage, to the disappointment of all those who put their hope in it. Let all who truly love righteousness hear what God says in his Word, the Bible, and learn of his kingdom and the stability and permanence of his new order based, not on an uncertain, uncomfortable coexistence, but on real righteousness. Let them forsake all image worship and dedicate themselves to Jehovah God through Jesus Christ and have their names written in Jehovah’s scroll of life.
For a further discussion of the beasts mentioned here, see the book “Babylon the Great Has Fallen!” God’s Kingdom Rules! by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society.
The General Assembly of the League of Nations ceased to meet after December 14, 1939, when it expelled the Soviet Union from membership because of its attack on Finland, in undeclared war, on November 30, 1939. When the League’s Assembly met again on April 8-18, 1946, it was to close out the League of Nations and to declare it nonexistent. It was like a funeral service for the League.
See pages 20-26 of Peace—Can It Last? published by the Watch Tower Society, September 20, 1942.
Let no reader make the mistake of thinking that Pope John XXIII reckoned that he was the twenty-third in the Pontificate bearing the name John by counting from the apostle john. The apostle was never a pope, but, while he was on the prison isle of Patmos receiving the apocalypse or revelation, a bishop named Clement was supposed to be pope at Rome, 88-97 C.E., he being succeeded by Evaristus as Pope, 97-105 C.E. No, but Pope John XXIII counted his number from John 1, Martyr, pope 523-526 C.E.—See the 1963 National Catholic Almanac, pages 162, 163, under the heading “The Roman Pontiffs.”
Under a bold-type heading that read “Kennedy Hails Encyclical as a Guide to All,” the New York Sunday News as of April 21, 1963, published a dispatch datelined “Boston, April 20,” and that said: “President Kennedy today hailed Pope John’s encyclical on peace as a ‘penetrating analysis’ of current problems which demonstrated how ‘one great faith and its traditions’ could offer sound counsel to all men and women of good will. . . . ‘As a Catholic,’ he said, ‘I am proud of it, and as an American I have learned from it.’”
For the first time in history the Department of State of the American Government at Washington, D.C., commented on an encyclical of a pope of the Vatican.
New York Times, October 5, 1966, Late City Edition, pages 1, 5.