Jehovah’s Name to Be Declared in All the Earth
“From the sun’s rising even to its setting my name will be great among the nations.”—Mal. 1:11.
1. What earth-wide situation calls for Jehovah’s name to be made great?
THERE is an urgent need for God’s name to be impressed upon the thinking of all nations of men. Today only a small minority of earth’s population appreciate the name JEHOVAH and worship the God who bears it. (Ps. 83:18) The vast majority have put God out of mind, or at best offer only token worship. Giving free rein to their own passions and being engrossed with selfish goals, they no longer care to keep in mind a God who stands for truth, love and righteousness. They have substituted their own puerile fancies, gods that fit in with their own human ideas, useless gods that manifest the same imperfect characteristics as those of their makers.
2. In what sense have nations forgotten God?
2 Even the so-called wise men of this generation, theologians, philosophers, psychologists, scientists, consider the pure truth of God’s holy Book, the Bible, to be beneath them, too childish to believe, its moral standard too circumscribing to their aims and conduct. Instead, they worship themselves. They think of man as the great inventor, the civilizer, the One through whom all future progress and blessings must come. The nations have indeed forgotten God, and soon now they must meet up with the calamity foretold.—Ps. 50:22.
3. In what terms did the apostle Paul accurately describe the condition today among the nations?
3 Christ’s apostle Paul was inspired by God’s spirit to describe the situation that has developed in all nations: “What may be known about God is manifest among them, for God made it manifest to them. For his invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship, so that they are inexcusable; because, although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God nor did they thank him, but they became empty-headed in their reasonings and their unintelligent heart became darkened. Although asserting they were wise, they became foolish and turned the glory of the incorruptible God into something like the image of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed creatures and creeping things.”—Rom. 1:19-23.
4, 5. Just how do nations today indulge in worship of corruptible man and the lower creatures?
4 Do today’s nations, with all of their modern progress, really do these things? Notice how in each nation the attempt is made to have all citizens recognize the state as supreme. And remember, each and every one of those national rulerships is the work of imperfect and selfish creatures, and is well known to be corruptible. Each has its own national emblem, this one a lion, that one an eagle, still another a dragon or serpent. To the state, as symbolized by a brute creature and as directed by sinful men, all citizens are called upon to do homage, to give unquestioning obedience, as though to an ultimate authority.
5 Forgotten is the fact that Jehovah God, the Creator of the sun and moon, and the Source of all the fresh air and water that continually revitalizes the whole earth, is the ultimate “Ruler in the kingdom of mankind.” (Dan. 4:25) Instead, imperfect humans are transformed into heroes and benefactors and given the praise and expressions of gratitude, omitting those that are properly due to Jehovah.
6. What are the evidences that the world’s professedly wise ones have become foolish?
6 In harmony with the above-quoted words of the apostle Paul, is it not obvious that the worldly-wise ones have become foolish? How empty-headed, how foolish to declare, as do some of their number, that “God is dead”! Or to claim that man and his earthly abode had no creator, but came into being through the interoperation of blind, unintelligent forces! How senseless to claim that man is master of his own destiny, when some slight weather development can throw his best-laid plans into wild confusion!
7. How has Jehovah served notice that he will positively meet and handle this situation?
7 For his part, the “One telling from the beginning the finale” foresaw these global developments and declared that he would meet the situation positively, in a manner that would magnify his own great Name, and bring joy and peace to those loving his Name. As powerful evidence of his foreknowledge, he caused to be written in the Bible the record of his dealings with the mighty empire of the Pharaohs of 3,500 years ago, and then gave assurance that this same record portrayed future history.—Isa. 46:10.
EGYPT “IN A SPIRITUAL SENSE”
8, 9. Describe some notable features of Egypt and her rulers, and the general impression received by people living in the time of the Pharaohs.
8 Ancient Egypt had her god-ruler who was but a man, a descendant of sinner Adam. His empire had accumulated over the centuries so much of human wisdom that it is said that the Greeks borrowed most of their learning from this source. Militarily, Egypt was long noted and respected for her powerful army of horses and chariots. Her great public works were calculated to enhance the image of the state. They included vast tombs, an intricate canal system and lofty temples of religion.
9 The climate in which Pharaoh’s people lived was unique. Rain was practically unknown. The sun and moon shone out of cloudless skies. The river Nile, constantly fed by the heavy rainfalls of Central Africa, regularly inundated the land, its rich sedimentary deposits producing rich crops. These features of life in Egypt moved one historian to speak of Egypt’s “aspect of calm immensity,” her “character of serene fixedness.” It seemed that Egypt would be forever, that nothing could change.
10 There can be no doubt that Egypt portrayed something greater to come in the future, for the apostle Paul wrote: “All the things that were written aforetime [in the Scriptures] were written for our instruction.” (Rom. 15:4) Then, too, we have the curious allusion by the apostle John to “the great city which is in a spiritual sense called Sodom and Egypt, where [our] Lord was also impaled.” (Rev. 11:8) The context shows that such Egypt “in a spiritual sense” is the center of attention by “peoples and tribes and tongues and nations,” by an international conglomeration of peoples.
11. Why can Egypt, Sodom and faithless Judea be properly classed together?
11 Egypt and Sodom and the land of Judea (where Christ Jesus was actually impaled) all had something in common with the present international system of things known as Christendom.* They had forgotten God. Not so much because of faulty memory, but because they were anxious to blot him from their minds. They would rather forget the God who promulgated a universal standard of righteousness, for then their consciences would not smite them, continually reminding them of the full accounting that God declares he will make with all wrongdoers. They want to go on pleasing themselves, determining for themselves what is good and what is bad. As did Pharaoh, they say by their contemptuous course: “Who is Jehovah”?—Ex. 5:2.
12. What, then, is foreshadowed by Egypt and her ruler, and what similar attitude is seen in shadow and modern reality?
12 Egypt “in a spiritual sense,” then, is a religious organization of selfish creatures who have come completely under the power of “the god of this [present wicked] system of things,” the greater Pharaoh, Satan the Devil. (2 Cor. 4:4) That false god during the centuries has set up numerous religious systems, each one designed to instill in its devotees belief in the permanence of their religious and political institutions. Despite the facts of history, Egypt “in a spiritual sense,” or Christendom, still deludes its subject peoples into belief that nothing will ever change, that “all things are continuing exactly as from creation’s beginning.”—2 Pet. 3:4.
13. What comforting assurance does Jehovah give as regards all the ignoring of his name and sovereignty?
13 No actual damage comes to the great Creator by all this religious system’s ignoring him and banishing from mind his name. He could ignore it all and let men and nations take their headlong course toward destruction. However, in behalf of those who love his name and those who yearn for truth and righteousness, God mercifully purposes to assert his power on the world scene, thereby making a name for himself in the sight of all nations. (2 Pet. 2:7, 8; Ezek. 9:4) Rulers and ruled ‘will have to know that he is Jehovah.’—Ezek. 38:23.
OTHER STRIKING CORRESPONDENCIES
14, 15. What striking correspondence is to be noted when comparing ancient Egypt and Satan’s religious organization of today?
14 The Pharaohs of ancient Egypt styled themselves “Son of the sun,” or light-giver and life-giver to all subject peoples. Ordinary mortals dared not stand up and look the Pharaoh in the face. Rather, on pain of death, they must avert their gaze and prostrate themselves on the ground as he passed by. His word, just or unjust, could doom any citizen who even merely displeased him.
15 Likewise, the “god of this system of things” is one who “keeps transforming himself into an angel of light.” (2 Cor. 11:14) His religious systems, including those of divided Christendom, promote the mysterious element and befog the minds of worshipers lest they discern his origin as a mere spirit creature who rebelled against the rightful supremacy of his Creator.
16, 17. How does Pharaoh’s claim to creation and ownership of the Nile River find application on a vaster scale?
16 God caused his prophet Ezekiel to reveal the attitude of the haughty Pharaoh and make record of this expression of that autocrat: “My Nile River belongs to me, and I—I have made it for myself.” (Ezek. 29:3) Even so, “the ruler of this [wicked] world,” Satan the Devil, ever since he deceived Eve and led Adam into rebellion against God, has claimed the human race as his own preserve. (John 12:31) This representing of fallen mankind under symbol of the Nile waters is quite in keeping with Biblical symbolism, for under inspiration of God’s spirit the apostle John was moved to transmit this angelic explanation of one of his visions: “The waters that you saw . . . mean peoples and crowds and nations and tongues.”—Rev. 17:15.
17 Yes, Satan claims the kingdoms and empires of humankind as his very own, and they surely do reflect his spirit and attitude. Jesus, when tempted in the wilderness, offered no contradiction when the Devil implied that he had the right to confer the rulership among sinful men on whoever would comply with his requirements. (Matt. 4:8, 9) Furthermore, the Bible indicates that the source of ruling power and authority in the kingdoms of men today is the great Dragon—none other than Satan himself.—Rev. 13:2.
18. Egypt’s dependence on chariots and horses for her security points to what?
18 Just as Pharaoh depended on his military force for the maintenance of his power and position, so too in Egypt “in a spiritual sense” (or Christendom) military preparedness is prominent, even taking precedence over the urgent needs of the poor for food and clothing. Even the organization called the United Nations gives no guarantee of peace and security, for the smallest and newest of nations today soon become customers for military hardware that they cannot afford—guns, planes, missiles, and so on.
GOD’S UNCHANGING PURPOSE
19. What is guaranteed by Jehovah’s dealings back there on the banks of the Nile?
19 That Egypt “in a spiritual sense,” that is, this greatest religious system of Christendom, is to be subjected to the pitiless searchlight of divine truth and exposed as no better than the ancient Egypt of the Pharaohs, is made sure by God’s dealings back there on the banks of the Nile. Before the patriarch Abraham’s progeny were born, Jehovah directed these significant words to the faithful patriarch: “You may know for sure that your seed will become an alien resident in a land not theirs, and they will have to serve them, and these will certainly afflict them for four hundred years. But the nation that they will serve I am judging, and after that they will go out with many goods.”—Gen. 15:13, 14.
20. Was Jehovah’s determination to deal with and judge the land of Egypt and its ruler a sudden one?
20 Later, Jehovah said to Moses, the liberator whom he sent to lead Abraham’s seed out of Egypt: “I, even I, well know that the king of Egypt will not give you permission to go except by a strong hand. And I shall have to stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all my wonderful acts that I shall do in the midst of it; and after that he will send you out.” (Ex. 3:19, 20) Thus Jehovah’s purpose respecting Egypt was set out long in advance. He was going to make his own name great in Egypt and all subject territories.
21. Of what should this convince us today?
21 That should convince us of the unavoidable exposure and fall that is to overtake Egypt “in a spiritual sense,” Christendom, together with all her worldly associates. Yes, the Bible leads reverent students of its pages to the expectation of a great campaign of exposure that would lay bare the actual filthy, diseased and dying condition of Satan’s world, especially Christendom. Indeed, all the evidence points to the fact that such a campaign even now perturbs the rulers and chief men of all nations.
ONE GREATER THAN MOSES
22, 23. Outline the record of Moses as God’s prophet dispatched to Pharaoh, and as the mediator in behalf of the posterity of Abraham.
22 Moses was the man whom Jehovah chose to precipitate a great crisis in Egyptian affairs. His name means “drawn forth,” and this is a reminder that Moses was, by Jehovah’s supervision of events, drawn forth from the waters of the Nile, which were to have become his grave. (Ex. 1:22) He was raised in the court of Pharaoh and educated in all the wisdom of Egypt. God’s further direction can be seen in the events that later drove Moses into Midianite country, there to take charge of flocks, while doubtless cherishing and reviewing the promises Jehovah had given to his forefather Abraham.—Ex. 2:10; 3:1; Acts 7:22, 30.
23 Moses served faithfully as a mediator. Not only was he in complete harmony with Jehovah’s righteous requirements for his people, but he also had compassion for fellow Israelites on account of their inborn sin. He spent himself in their behalf, gladly at times offering his life for theirs. Indeed, the lamb slain on the night of Passover might well be viewed as substituting for Moses, who in this pictorial fashion was offered for the sins of the people—an arrangement that permitted him to live and carry out the liberation program that God had anointed him to accomplish. Just before completing his assigned work, Moses was inspired to prophesy about a future prophet, like unto himself, one who would exercise far greater authority. (Deut. 18:18, 19) The apostle Peter later identified that Great Prophet like Moses as Christ Jesus.—Acts 3:19-26.
24, 25. What striking correspondence can we note in the record of Christ Jesus?
24 It is thrilling to realize that by the circumstances of his human birth Jesus, like the babe Moses, was in danger of his life, at King Herod’s hands, and was saved from death by his heavenly Father’s intervention. (Matt. 2:1-18) Since the seed that made Mary pregnant was not from imperfect man, her child was “holy, God’s Son.” (Luke 1:35) To this One it was granted by God’s holy spirit to have all the riches of wisdom and knowledge, including a deep insight into the true condition of fallen humankind.—Col. 2:1-3.
25 Christ Jesus, the Greater than Moses, served too as the fine shepherd, keeper of God’s flock of sheeplike humans. (John 10:11; Ezek. 34:31) He, too, spent himself on behalf of his flock, and in due course offered himself as the perfect “Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) On the third day Jehovah raised him out of death as a mighty spirit and seated him at his own right hand in heaven.—Acts 2:32, 33.
26. That Aaron became spokesman for Moses, points to what fact in the modern fulfillment?
26 In the case of Moses, Jehovah gave him a spokesman. Yes, Aaron, his own fleshly brother, was made spokesman for Moses. (Ex. 7:1, 2) Christ Jesus, the Greater Moses, is also furnished an earthly spokesman, so to speak, one that is conveniently available on earth in view of Christ Jesus’ ascension to God’s right hand. That spokesman is a congregation of spirit-anointed followers of his, each one bearing to him the relationship of spiritual brother.—Heb. 2:11, 12.
27. How, then, do we see the stage set for the modern declaration of Jehovah’s name?
27 Can you see it all now? Moses and Aaron empowered with the rod of authority by the Most High God, Jehovah! Today, however, it is Christ upon his throne since the year 1914 C.E. and his anointed followers on earth, all together, who are empowered by holy spirit from God to perform service in behalf of Jehovah’s name. God’s name must be brought to prominence, and, despite all opposition, visible and invisible, it must be magnified before all nations.
A NEW ELEMENT IN WORLD AFFAIRS
28, 29. How in the ancient drama and in modern application do we understand the fact that Moses and Aaron were not quickly put out of business?
28 Perhaps you have wondered why, at their first appearance in the name of Jehovah, Pharaoh did not arrest and imprison and even kill Moses and Aaron. Jehovah had provided against that contingency by immediately giving proof before the whole court of Pharaoh that Moses was his empowered representative. Recall how “Aaron’s rod [converted into a big snake] swallowed up their rods [also converted into snakes]”? (Ex. 7:12) Pharaoh knew that he was up against superhuman power, though still he hardened his heart.
29 Similarly, though Satan and his henchmen would like to silence and destroy God’s servers of notice, his Christian witnesses, and to attain that end are willing to bring plenty of evil upon all of their enslaved subjects, yet Satan knows that Jehovah’s hand of protection is over his people. And all the evil that Satan and his underlings can bring to bear upon all peoples is as nothing compared to the evil that Jehovah deals out. Certainly, when Jehovah commanded the Greater Moses, Christ Jesus, to “go subduing in the midst of your enemies” in the year 1914 C.E., the Greater Pharaoh and all his visible and invisible abettors felt the authority of Christ and his heavenly hosts. Though hardening their hearts, they realize that their time is short before the time of final accounting arrives.—Rev. 12:7-9, 12; Ps. 110:1, 2.
30. What vast calamity faces what is Egypt “in a spiritual sense”?
30 For Satan and all of his system of things, including Christendom, there is more bad news and nothing but bad news. His whole empire is due to be swallowed up in a far vaster calamity that Jehovah will visit upon all nations inside and outside of Egypt “in a spiritual sense”: “Look! A calamity is going forth from nation to nation, and a great tempest itself will be roused up from the remotest parts of the earth. And those slain by Jehovah will certainly come to be in that day from one end of the earth clear to the other end of the earth. They will not be bewailed, neither will they be gathered up or be buried. As manure on the surface of the ground they will become.”—Jer. 25:32, 33.
31, 32. According to the Scriptures, when, and when only, can the final devastation of Satan’s whole system come?
31 But first, before that devastating display of Jehovah’s power wrecks Christendom and the rest of Satan’s system of things, the NAME of the Supreme Ruler is to be declared in all the earth, to be made prominent. Not when all enemies lie prone in the dust, but before their well-deserved execution, must Jehovah magnify his glorious Name and force upon the consciousness of all those rebels that they are fighting a losing cause.
32 There is, then, no doubt about what must take place in fulfillment of the words Jehovah commanded Moses to transmit to Pharaoh in solemn warning: “For this cause I have kept you in existence, for the sake of showing you my power and in order to have my name declared in all the earth.” (Ex. 9:16) So Jehovah’s name has to be declared, to friend and foe alike, while at the same time the manifestations of his power will become progressively heavier and heavier upon, not just Christendom, but Satan’s whole system and those who cling to it. People’s minds, their attitudes, will be molded as by a Great Potter. Who, in the face of God’s proclamations of warning, will stick with Egypt “in a spiritual sense” and share its doom, and who will forsake it and all of Satan’s organization and find deliverance with Jehovah’s chosen, spiritual people?—Rom. 9:21-23.
33. What is the effect today of the modern activity of Christ’s anointed followers and their companions, and in what attitude should lovers of righteousness view the sure outcome?
33 Back there in that ancient time Jehovah God was directing a real-life drama—a drama that must now be reenacted on a global scale. Today, too, Jehovah directs a modern Aaron class, Christ’s anointed followers on earth, in a way that has much to do with shaping the future of multitudes, either for salvation or for destruction. As we observe the details of the unfolding reality of our day, let us exult in the conviction that soon now God’s glorious name, Jehovah, will “be great among the nations.”—Mal. 1:11.
See page 273, ¶1, of “Then Is Finished the Mystery of God.”
[Pictures on page 459]
Egypt was noted for its powerful army, vast tombs and great religious temples. Egypt is a symbol of the world, of which Satan the Devil is the god