Preach Release to Babylon’s Captives
EARLY release or inescapable destruction with what is holding them in bondage! That is the issue facing all people today. Release from what? Release from Babylon the Great.—Rev. 18:4.
What is this Babylon from which “my people” must get release? It could not be today’s political or commercial organizations, for the Bible prophetically shows that their leaders mourn the destruction of Babylon the Great. (Rev. 18:9-19) It, therefore, could only be the world empire of false religion. The name Babylon certainly befits her, for was not ancient Babylon the fountainhead of false religion and did she not, as a world power, hold many peoples in bondage, refusing to let them go? Surely!—Isa. 14:4, 17.
To persons held captive in modern Babylon Jehovah’s witnesses have the commission to preach a release, even as did their Leader Jesus Christ when on earth nineteen centuries ago: “Jehovah’s spirit is upon me, because he anointed me to declare good news to the poor, he sent me forth to preach a release to the captives and a recovery of sight to the blind, to send the crushed ones away with a release.” (Luke 4:18)* Those Jews who heeded the preaching of Jesus and his apostles obtained a release and so escaped the destruction that befell their nation in 70 C.E. And so today only those who obtain a release can hope to escape destruction.
However, let us never forget that for release from Babylon to mean safety, protection and life, more is required than merely to sever one’s connections with Babylon the Great. Ever so many persons have done that and yet will be destroyed at Armageddon when Jehovah wipes out the commercial and political paramours of Great Babylon. As The Watchtower as far back as 1934 pointed out, for persons to become “sheep” they must make a presentation of themselves to do Jehovah’s will and be baptized in water just as Jesus was, and then follow his example in preaching a release to others still in bondage.—Matt. 28:19, 20.
What does this mean for Jehovah’s witnesses today? That there is much work for them to do. They must not only help persons to sever their connections with Babylon the Great but, by making return visits, by conducting Bible studies with them and by inviting them to associate with the Witnesses at the Kingdom Halls, help them to take their stand for Jehovah God and his Son, Christ the King. That means much work, hard work, dependable work, unselfish work!—1 Cor. 15:58.
It also means urgency. The end of this system of things is drawing on apace! All those destroyed with Babylon the Great or later at Armageddon cannot hope for a resurrection. Nor may we overlook the fact that it is those who get this release who will be sharing in the vindication of Jehovah’s name, making his heart glad.—Prov. 27:11.
What reasons for us to put first in our lives God’s kingdom and his righteousness! (Matt. 6:33) What reasons for us to discipline ourselves, making sure that we neither needlessly associate with nor imitate those who are “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” (2 Tim. 3:1-5; 1 Cor. 15:33) May we at all times give evidence that we do love Jehovah God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves, by making use of every opportunity to preach release to Babylon’s captives!—Mark 12:29-31.
For details see The Watchtower, November 15, 1966.