When All Nations Collide, Head On, with God
“As a consequence of the fact that I shall do this very thing to you, get ready to meet your God.”—Amos 4:12.
1, 2. (a) Despite being disastrous, how does the idea of a collision of all nations with God seem to so many? (b) Does that fact make it unlikely, and why is now the time to examine the matter seriously?
A COLLISION that results in disaster is never anything to laugh about. But this talk of all nations colliding with God—is it not something about which to laugh? Is not the very idea of it ridiculous?
2 Oh, yes, the mere suggestion of it may make hundreds of millions of men and women laugh—that is, right now. But the fact that such an idea has never entered their heads before does not take it out of the realm of possibility or even out of the realm of likelihood. And as for its likelihood, what if that is in the near future, within our generation? In that case the present time would be the most advisable time for us to examine this strange idea seriously, even though it may seem so laughable to so many. All the more so because the disaster will prove to be only on the one side of the collision. This means that we can be on the side that escapes unhurt and can have a happier future ahead of us, all because of this oncoming collision. Well, since this is so, it is certainly worth our while to examine the matter now, while time is in our favor.
3. Is mankind moving in the direction of its own interests, and what do the unbelievers in God think about the rendering of an account in course of time?
3 We human creatures are tied down to this earth and so are moving with the earth. This terrestrial ball beneath our feet has a glorious future before it. But what about the present generation of human society now living upon the earth? Is it moving in the direction of its own eternal interests? Many informed scientists, learned historians and farsighted statesmen say No! Even the young folks, by their fears for the future to which they give vent, sometimes with violent demonstrations, say No! In spite of sincere efforts of well-intentioned persons who see disaster ahead, the movement of the mass of mankind has gained such momentum that the direction of movement cannot even be swerved to a sidetrack. Sooner or later—and all indications are that it will be sooner than most people think—mankind will have to enter into an accounting with something or someone. Those persons who do not believe in God and who therefore feel no responsibility to Him say that there will be an accounting with something, but not with God.
4. How does the earth compare with the total mass of all the universes, and what about the earth indicates the need of a Creator?
4 The earth on which such unbelievers in God exist is such a tiny bit of matter. Just think of all the universes that the astronomers have been able to discover! In comparison with the total mass of all these visible universes, our earth is infinitesimal. It appears to be so small that it is not worth noticing. And yet it is the only planet absolutely known to be peopled with intelligent creatures, creatures with a moral sense such as men are. Is this merely by accident, or by design? Certainly man did not get here by himself. Man did not prepare the earth’s surface with such a wonderful environment in which to live before man found himself here. The whole earth mass weighs more than six and a half sextillion short tons, and certainly man did not make it. It did not get here by itself. It did not put upon itself man together with animals, birds and fish. It needed a Creator more intelligent than man. That Creator and Source of all life is God.
5. Those who deny God’s existence will be proved to be what, and why do nations not need to see God in order to collide with Him?
5 For a collision to occur between all nations and God there has to be a God that exists. He does, and he will prove the statement true that men who say that there is no God and Creator are fools. The New English Bible (of the year 1970) says, in Psalm fourteen, verse one: “The impious fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” But the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures goes back to the original Hebrew text and so renders this particular Ps 14 verse 1: “The senseless one has said in his heart: ‘There is no Jehovah.’” Today all the nations say, either by word or by action, “There is no God,” no Jehovah. Will all the nations for that very reason blindly collide, head on, with Him? The nations do not have to see Him in order to collide with him. When we are in total darkness, we can collide with many things that we do not see. The fact that due to the darkness upon us we do not see what we collide against does not disprove the existence of what we bump into; it is the collision that causes us painfully to know that it is there. Really, the darkness promotes our colliding with it.
6. For a collision, what must be true of the things colliding, and what questions arise as to the reason for the collision?
6 For a head-on collision, the two things involved have to be moving in the same path, but in the opposite directions. Are God and the nations going in opposite directions? And on the same path? For them to be on the same path, there must be an issue, a common point of dispute, at stake. The two parties must be at odds over this issue, and there is no way to compromise. There must be a confrontation. All this is exactly the situation. What is the crucial issue or point in dispute? Why have we about reached the time for its settlement? How will it be settled?
ALL NATIONS UNITED AGAINST A COMMON ADVERSARY
7. On what world issue are all nations divided today, and what are the determinations of the respective national groups?
7 It is interesting to note, time and again, how humans in a certain community can be in disagreement and in conflict with one another, but let a common adversary put in appearance and they will all unite against that one adversary. That is the state of the nations today. Because of nationalistic self-interest, they are all in a clash with one another in one respect or more. There is one issue on which each one stands by itself, that is, national sovereignty. Except for some few nations, the majority of the nations are divided into two opposing camps on a world issue. What is that? It is world domination. For example, it has been publicly announced that, in the radical camp, the Russian leaders say that they expect to have the whole world communized by the year 1975. However, the bloc of nations in the capitalistic, democratic camp are determined that such a political development shall not be, by 1975 or any other year. Is our earth therefore destined for a divided domination forever? Is that for man to say?
8. What must be said about the right of any bloc of nations to world domination, and what must be said about the Creator’s sovereignty?
8 Lovers of peace hope not, for that would mean a world never free from the threat of nuclear war, in spite of the continuance of the United Nations as an organization for world peace and security. But does man, because of being the visible occupant of the earth, have the natural right to domination of the whole earth? Does one bloc of nations that hold to a certain political ideology have the right to total world domination because of its military strength and its numerical strength? Or does someone outside all those nations, yes, outside mankind itself, have a prior right and claim to world domination? What about the Creator of the earth and its occupant, man? Who has more of a right to domination of all the earth than God has? Who has a more valid claim to world domination than He has as the source of life to whom the whole world of mankind owes its life and life’s provision? As Maker of heaven and earth, he rightfully holds, not such a limited, regional thing as national sovereignty, but universal sovereignty!
9. What issue have the nations been forcing since World War I, and in whose favor is this?
9 World War I of 1914-1918 was fought over the issue of world domination. Who is there that cannot see that, since that first world war, the nations have been forcing the issue of world domination? And in whose favor has this been? In favor of God the Creator and Universal Sovereign? No! But all in favor of man as represented by one or the other political bloc of nations!
10. According to the way in which the nations think, what are they overlooking, and on what side are lovers of peace and righteousness putting themselves and why so?
10 It is very evident that the nations are thinking only of themselves. They are ignoring the unrelinquished superior right of God to world domination. Can this go on forever? Hardly! This clash of interests must come to its culmination at some time. Who is to decide when? Not any particular bloc of nations or the United Nations, but God the Creator. Lovers of peace and righteousness hope that God’s time for settling this issue will be soon. They are agreeable that it should be settled by a head-on collision. There can be only one survivor of that world-shaking collision, and they now put themselves on the side of that One who will emerge unhurt from that collision.
11. What kind of world domination do thoughtful, observing persons dread, and how can we learn what world domination by God would be like?
11 Thoughtful, observing men and women fear a totalitarian world domination by a one-party group. From how governments are being run today, they can well imagine what world domination by any human group of rulers would be like. They dread it. There is nothing desirable about it. But what would world domination by God be like? We could never know unless we examined the Book that this God caused to be written and in which he tells us of his purpose toward man and why he has permitted such international conflict, violence and anarchy until now. That Book is the inspired Holy Bible. In it he again and again claims to be the inspiring Author of that Book, doing so over his own name, Jehovah. Unless we consult that divinely provided Book, we keep ourselves in the gross darkness of ignorance. That ignorance is death dealing.
12. From that Book what do we learn about the beautification of the earth, and according to that Book where did man get his start?
12 By our learning from that Book just why Jehovah God created the earth and put man upon it, we can discover just why it is that all the nations of today are headed for a fatal collision with Him during the lifetime of our generation on earth. To the astronauts in the spacecraft of the Apollo series our earth looked beautiful from away out there in outer space while they were flying to and from the moon. It will look even more beautiful when God brings mankind to the completion of seven thousand years of human existence on earth. The difference in earthly conditions will be as great as that between a refuse dump and a park of paradise beauty. God started man off in a paradise of pleasure, or a “garden of Eden.” But a person would never know it today. God’s own report on this, in the first book of the Bible, chapter two, says: “Jehovah God planted a garden in Eden, toward the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. Thus Jehovah God made to grow out of the ground every tree desirable to one’s sight and good for food and also the tree of life.”—Gen. 2:8, 9.
WHY PARADISE EARTH WIDE HAS NOT YET BEEN REALIZED
13. What can be said about earth’s human population and animal life today, but what question arises about earth’s physical state?
13 Today, after six thousand years of human existence, we find that, notwithstanding the outcries about a “population explosion,” the earth is only partially populated and the animal life is being killed off or is dying off. Why did not the original man whom God put in that garden of Eden extend this paradise to the very ends of the earth? That was God’s purpose in creating our earth, to have it eventually in a paradise state everywhere around the globe.
14. When did God disclose his purpose concerning the earth, and to whom did He leave the extending of Paradise everywhere?
14 He disclosed this divine purpose when he blessed the first man and his wife and said to them: “Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it, and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving upon the earth.” (Gen. 1:27, 28) God did not make the whole earth a paradise before he created the first man and woman. He left the larger part of the earth’s surface in an uncultivated state, and planted only a garden large enough for the first human couple to take care of at the start. He left it for the offspring of this first man and woman, Adam and Eve, to extend paradise to the east and to the west until east and west met and from north to south until north and south met.
15. Did that purpose of God fail or get thwarted, and why was God’s action on the matter not contradictory?
15 Judging things by the state of man’s natural environment today, we might at first thought be inclined to say that God’s purpose failed or was somehow thwarted. But was it? We do not have to guess, for God’s written record says No! God himself prevented the paradise of pleasure from being spread earth wide. Was that not self-contradictory? Was that not telling Adam and Eve to do one thing, and then He himself doing another? No! Why not? Because God found it necessary to drive Adam and Eve out of that paradise into the uncultivated earth. It was because Adam and Eve had a collision with God. It knocked them out of Paradise.
16. What did God, when creating man, do about the ownership of the earth, and on what score did Adam and Eve collide with God?
16 Let us set matters straight in our minds. When Jehovah God put man upon the earth in human perfection, he did not make him the owner of the earth, but made man only a dweller and worker upon it. God did not let go of his ownership of Paradise and of every other part of the earth. As earth’s Creator he owned it, and he remains its Creator always. Over two thousand nine hundred years after man’s creation, the psalmist David of Bethlehem wrote and sang: “To Jehovah belong the earth and that which fills it, the productive land and those dwelling in it. For upon the seas he himself has solidly fixed it, and upon the rivers he keeps it firmly established.” (Ps. 24:1, 2) That is something that all nations of today choose to ignore and brush aside. How like their first parents! When Adam and Eve ignored God’s ownership of the paradise of pleasure and expressly ate of fruit that he commanded them not to eat, they failed in their test of subjection and obedience to him. That was sin against God on their part. Instead of continuing to walk with God their Creator, they chose self-sovereignty, and collided with him on the issue of sovereignty.—Gen. 3:1-14; Rom. 5:12.
17. Why was Adam and Eve’s occupancy of the earth outside Paradise to be only temporary, and why is it so also for us their offspring and for nations?
17 God was not going to have rebellious sinners spread the garden of Eden to the ends of the earth, or even try to do so. Rightfully, he drove Adam and Eve out of the paradise of pleasure, his personal property, and away from the “tree of life,” out into the uncultivated part of the earth. There they must die, suffering death as the foreannounced penalty for their sinful rebelliousness. (Gen. 2:15-17; 3:16-24) Thus any expansion of the paradise ceased, about six thousand years ago. Outside the Paradise let man rule himself; let him exercise self-sovereignty in whatever way he wanted. But not inside the Paradise with its tree of life. Outside the Paradise man did not become owner of the earth. It was a place for man to die, not exercise permanent occupancy like an eternal owner. (Gen. 5:1-5) Because of having had a start in human perfection with the possibility of everlasting life on earth, Adam lived nine hundred and thirty years, and yet he died, ceasing to occupy any place on earth. Adam and Eve’s offspring, because of being born in sin and under condemnation to death, have likewise had only temporary occupancy. So too with nations.
THE BENEFIT OF WALKING WITH HIM
18. Why have Adam’s offspring, for the most part, not walked with God, and why did God take Enoch suddenly off the scene?
18 The way in which not to collide with God is to walk with God. For the most part, Adam and Eve’s offspring, outside the Paradise, walked contrary to God, they being born of rebels against Him. In the divine written record it is reported that Enoch, the seventh man in line of descent from Adam, “kept walking with the true God. Then [at the age of three hundred and sixty-five years] he was no more, for God took him.” (Gen. 5:21-24; Jude 14, 15) By Enoch’s time the world of mankind was indeed “ungodly,” hence was not walking with God. Evidently they desired to kill Enoch, which was why the true God took Enoch off the scene, thereby to spare him from a violent death at their hands. (Heb. 11:5) He has a hope of resurrection from death.
19. How was the tenth man in Adam’s line rewarded for walking with God, and why has Paradise not disappeared from earth forever?
19 Also, the tenth man in line from Adam walked with his Creator. Concerning him the divine record says: “Noah was a righteous man. He proved himself faultless among his contemporaries. Noah walked with the true God.” (Gen. 6:9) Did this bring its reward, as it did in Enoch’s case? Yes! Noah avoided any collision with God. This is proved by the astounding fact that he and his family survived the Deluge that engulfed the whole earth and drowned all ungodly human society. (Gen. 6:13 to 9:20; Heb. 11:7; 1 Pet. 3:20; 2 Pet. 2:5; 3:5, 6) That global inundation resulted not only in ice caps at the north and south poles but also in the disappearance of the unexpanded original paradise from the earth. However, the divine Creator and Owner of the Paradise who took it away by the Deluge can also restore it. This he has promised to do. His promise assures us that he was not thwarted in his original purpose but that, in due time, he will gloriously fulfill that purpose and thus beautify all the earth as mankind’s everlasting happy home. It was to this restored Paradise that Jesus Christ referred as he was hanging on the torture stake.
20. How did Jesus, when dying between two evildoers, refer to that Paradise restored?
20 The Bible record, in Luke 23:38-43, says concerning this: “There was also an inscription over him: ‘This is the king of the Jews.’ But one of the hung evildoers began to say abusively to him: ‘You are the Christ, are you not? Save yourself and us.’ In reply the other rebuked him and . . . he went on to say: ‘Jesus, remember me when you get into your kingdom.’ And [Jesus] said to him: ‘Truly I tell you today, You will be with me in Paradise.’”
21. With what did Jesus compare the end of the pre-Flood human society, and why can even the nations of Christendom not escape a collision with God?
21 So Jesus Christ believed in this coming Paradise that is to be established world wide under his kingdom. He also believed in the deluge of Noah’s day. If we are true Christians, we also should believe in it, even though the nations of this world do not do so. (Matt. 24:38, 39; Luke 17:26, 27) Another thing that the nations do not believe in is what Jesus prophesied about the conclusion of this system of things. What did he say? That, just as the pre-Flood system of things on earth ended in worldwide disaster at the Deluge, so the long-standing present system of things would end in a disaster on a worldwide scale. According to their religious claims, the nations of Christendom should have proved to be different from the so-called heathen nations. But because of making herself like those nations, Christendom, too, is bound to collide with God, for she acts as the counterpart of the ancient nation of Israel.
THE CHALLENGE TO PREPARE TO MEET HER GOD
22, 23. What kind of land did ancient Israel once occupy, and in what way did they fail to walk with the Owner of that land?
23 Even in the twentieth century before our Common Era, before Jehovah God brought destruction upon the immoral cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, the District of the Jordan River was almost like a paradise. The first Bible book says that it was “like the garden of Jehovah.” (Gen. 13:10) Before bringing the nation of Israel into that land in the fifteenth century before our Common Era, Jehovah said to them: “The land is mine. For you are alien residents and settlers from my standpoint.” (Lev. 25:23) But did the Israelites treat that beautiful, productive land like God’s property? No! is what God’s prophets answer to that question. They polluted that sacred land by their idolatries, immorality, violence and bloodshed. Because of the way that they were walking religiously, the prophet Micah said: “What is Jehovah asking back from you but to exercise justice and to love kindness and to be modest in walking with your God?” (Mic. 6:8) But they refused to give back what God asked.
24, 25. What was due to occur therefore in course of time, and what did God say in warning of this by his prophet Amos?
24 Hence a confrontation had to come in course of time. They were violating their national covenant with Jehovah God. They deserved to suffer the penalties explicitly set out in that covenant respecting covenant breakers. Already, in the ninth century before our Common Era, God’s prophet Amos rose up. By him the Creator of all the earth warned the disobedient Israelites of the action that he would take against them, saying:
25 “‘I caused an overthrow among you people, like God’s overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah. And you came to be like a log snatched out of the burning; but you did not come back to me,’ is the utterance of Jehovah. Therefore that is what I shall do to you, O Israel. As a consequence of the fact that I shall do this very thing to you, get ready to meet your God, O Israel. For, look! the Former of the mountains and the Creator of the wind, and the One telling to earthling man what his mental concern is, the One making dawn into obscurity [as by storms], and the One treading on earth’s high places, Jehovah the God of armies is his name.”—Amos 4:11-13.
26. That was a challenge to what kind of confrontation and issued by what kind of person, and because the challenger was unseen why was it yet no ridiculous matter?
26 “Get ready to meet your God”! This is the challenging order of a military commander, “Jehovah the God of armies.” It is a call for a military confrontation! (As in Numbers 20:18, 20; 21:23, 33; 2 Samuel 10:9, 10, 17) Here the nation of Israel was challenged to meet an invisible God. It was not for that reason any joke, any ridiculous idea. This invisible One had visible works of creation like mountains to bear witness to his being a real God. He was higher than the highest mountains in the land of Israel. He could create winds and manipulate them, and he could cause storms early in the day to make the dawning light fade into obscurity.
27. What could this unseen God use in expressing his judgments upon the covenant-breaking nation, and what did he actually use and with what result?
27 He could use the armies of the enemies of Israel to serve as his visible agencies in executing his judgments upon that covenant-breaking nation, the polluters of the sacred God-given land. He did just that, in the years 609-607 B.C.E., bringing the armies of the Babylonian Empire against the land of Judah and Jerusalem. Get ready all they could, the Israelites were unable to meet “Jehovah the God of armies” as represented by the armies of Babylon. Jerusalem fell. The land of Judah was depopulated.
28. Why does such a challenge to a military confrontation apply to Christendom today?
28 Today Christendom claims to be spiritual Israel, Christian Israel. (Gal. 6:16) She claims to be in a new covenant with the same God as the One whom ancient Israel worshiped. She got her Bible from the Israelites, for all the writers of the Holy Bible were natural Israelites. But along with the Bible, the nations of Christendom carry weapons of sanguinary warfare, they being more heavily armed than the whole world at any previous time in human history. They are trying to be ready for a confrontation. So to Christendom, the modern-day counterpart of ancient Israel, there appropriately comes the divine challenge to a military confrontation: “Get ready to meet your God”! Circumstances call for this!
29. What adds to the certainty of the occurring of this confrontation, and why cannot Christendom escape a part in it?
29 The certainty of this confrontation is not “in the stars,” as the astrologers would say; it is in the written Word of prophecy, the inspired Holy Bible. Christendom is part and parcel of the nations of this world, about half the nations in the worldly United Nations being nations of Christendom, the rest being non-Christian or heathen. In fact, Christendom dominates among the nations of this world, and she cannot escape what is due for all the nations of this world. Repeatedly the Biblical Word of prophecy points to a final confrontation of all the nations of this world with Jehovah God.
30. In what year of what marked period of time was this prophecy given, and what question comes up as to the ending of this period?
30 Let us consider first this Biblical prophecy of the year 606 before our Common Era. It was given in the second year after Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had destroyed the city of Jerusalem and its temple and thus had become the predominant world ruler. It was given therefore in the second year of the “times of the Gentiles,” or, “appointed times of the nations,” during which “times” the city of Jerusalem, or the Messianic kingdom of God that it represented, was to be trodden down and trampled upon by the non-Jewish or Gentile nations. According to the Bible’s timetable, those Gentile Times, beginning in 607 B.C.E. with Jerusalem’s destruction and desolation and running for 2,520 years, would end in the early autumn of the year 1914 of our Common Era. (Luke 21:24) After those Gentile Times ended in 1914 C.E., what was to happen? The prophecy that was given in the second year after Jerusalem’s desolation indicates. The inspired prophet Daniel explains it.
31. What interpretation did Daniel give to Nebuchadnezzar’s prophetic dream, and how long has that symbolic image overshadowed world politics?
31 The king of the Babylonian World Power had a prophetic dream that Daniel interpreted for him. He saw a terrifying metallic image, with head of gold, breasts and arms of silver, belly and hips of copper, its legs of iron, and its feet of iron smeared with clay. Since Daniel said that the golden head represented the royal dynasty of Babylon, the silver breasts and arms pictured the next world power, that of Medo-Persia, the copper belly and hips the succeeding Grecian World Power, the iron legs the Roman World Power, and the clay-besmeared feet the outgrowth of that Roman Empire, the varied forms of political government. Among these the two-section world power of Britain and America predominates. That symbolic image of political world powers has overshadowed world politics since the start of the Gentile Times in 607 B.C.E. at Jerusalem’s desolation and until the final year of those Times, 1914 C.E. What was to happen in that crucial year?
32. As due to occur at the end of those Gentile Times, what did Nebuchadnezzar see take place in his dream?
32 This: The dreaming king of Babylon saw a stone being cut out of a universal mountain without the aid of human hands. What was done with that prophetic stone? It was hurled toward the metallic image. A confrontation must follow! To the image it could be said: ‘Get ready to meet that stone!’
33. Were the feet able to withstand the impact of the stone, and what did the stone proceed to do?
33 Could the iron of the feet meet the impact of the stone and repel it? No! The feet are smashed. The image collapses. The whole image is then crushed and ground to powder by the stone and is blown away. As for the stone, it grew and became a mountain that filled the whole earth.—Dan. 2:1-43.
34, 35. What question might we well ask, and from Daniel’s answer thereto what becomes clear as to the issue over which confrontation takes place?
34 What does this all mean? we might well ask, for we are living in the days of those symbolic clay-besmeared iron feet.
35 Daniel, inspired with Jehovah’s spirit, gives us the accurate interpretation, saying: “And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be brought to ruin. And the kingdom itself will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it itself will stand to times indefinite . . . The grand God himself has made known to the king what is to occur after this. And the dream is reliable, and the interpretation of it is trustworthy.” (Dan. 2:44, 45) From this interpretation what could be clearer to us than that the issue over which this confrontation must occur within our generation is that of world domination, tied in with the universal sovereignty of the God of heaven. It is a case of the kings of the earth against the kingdom that God sets up! The dispute over who will rule all the earth must now at last be settled. We today are embraced within the fulfillment of that prophecy! All mankind over all the earth is embraced!
HOW THE END OF THE GENTILE TIMES WAS MARKED
36. When and how did the fulfillment of the cutting out of the stone without hands occur, and by what means was the bearing of the close of the Gentile Times on world affairs called to world attention?
36 When was this kingdom, symbolized by the stone that was cut out of the universal mountain, really “cut out” by God’s hands and set up in power? That was at the end of the Gentile Times in the very year that war broke out on earth over world domination. We all know that year—1914! The kingdom in the hands of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, was set up, not at the site of old Jerusalem in the Middle East, but in the heavens, where the Son of God sits at the right hand of his heavenly Father. The immediate bearing that the close of the Gentile Times had upon the world conditions then was called to the world’s attention in the latter part of 1917, even by clergymen of Christendom. Near the time of the capture of old Jerusalem by the British armies on December 9, 1917, Dr. G. Campbell Morgan, Dr. F. B. Meyer, and six other well-known clergymen of England, issued a Manifesto, which was republished throughout the earth and which declared:
37. Pertinent to this, what did that Manifesto say?
37 “(1) That the present crisis points toward the close of the times of the Gentiles. . . . (5) That all human schemes of reconstruction must be subsidiary to the second coming of our Lord, because all nations will then be subject to His rule. . . .”—Current Opinion, for February 1918.
38. To what year had Jehovah’s witnesses pointed forward as marking the close of “the times of the Gentiles,” what did God’s kingdom begin to do then, and to whom does God’s challenge now ring out?
38 For decades in advance, by means of the Watch Tower Society publications, the Christian witnesses of Jehovah were pointing ahead, not to the year 1917, but to 1914 as being the year for the close of “the times of the Gentiles.” (Luke 21:24, Authorized Version) The close of the Gentile Times marked the critical time for Jehovah God to issue orders to his enthroned Son in fulfillment of King David’s prophecy in Psalm 110:1, 2: “Jehovah saith unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. Jehovah will send forth the rod of thy strength out of Zion: Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.” (American Standard Version) Hence the symbolic “stone,” God’s kingdom by Christ, did not strike the symbolic “image” of political power in the year 1914. It merely began to rule in the midst of its enemies. So it has been hurled forth by divine power. It is now on its way, headed toward that political “image.” To the nations of Christendom, who are among “those kings” represented in the feet of the “image,” Jehovah’s challenge to a military confrontation rings out: “Get ready to meet your God”!—Amos 4:12.
39. Why is the “image” struck on its motionless feet, which are seemingly inoffensive?
39 Why should the political “image” be struck on the feet, when these are motionless, apparently doing nothing wrong? It is because that “image” is an idolatrous image, and the people of the whole world idolize this system of politics. Also, the “feet” of that idolatrous “image” are standing where they ought not to stand since the close of the Gentile Times in 1914. They are standing in opposition to God’s kingdom as governed by His Christ. This kingdom was born in the heavens in 1914 as the only government with right to rule all the earth.—Rev. 12:1-10.
40. In Revelation, chapter seventeen, the wild beast ridden by Babylon the Great is said to be what, and why so, and what does it symbolize in our day?
40 Let there be no mistake about the matter in anyone’s mind. The Holy Bible outrightly says that “those kings,” those political rulers of the earth, are fighting against God’s established kingdom. Let us turn to the last book of the Bible, to Revelation chapter seventeen. There we see through picture language how the political rulers of this earth will destroy Babylon the Great, which is the world empire of false religion that had its start with ancient Babylon. The scarlet-colored wild beast on which Babylon the Great rides until her destruction is pictured as having seven heads and ten horns. Those seven heads point to the seven successive world powers of human history, from ancient Egypt, through Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome and the Anglo-American World Power. Re 17 Verse eleven says that the wild beast is itself “an eighth king,” that is, an Eighth World Power. That Eighth World Power is the present-day United Nations, the international organization for world peace and security and so for keeping the “feet” of the idolatrous “image” standing where they ought no longer to stand.—Rev. 17:11; Dan. 2:33, 34.
41. What does the United Nations organization stand for as respects world domination and ownership of the earth?
41 That United Nations organization stands for world domination by man, not by God. Within that organization the two opposing blocs of nations stand for world domination by man-made political systems and ideologies. World domination by God’s kingdom in the hands of his Christ they do not want, nor do they consider it realistic. They prefer their own political sovereignty to the universal sovereignty of Jehovah God. To the question, Who owns the earth? they answer, We do! And we are going to keep it!
42, 43. After they destroy Babylon the Great, what will the nations show themselves actually to be, and what does Revelation 17:12-14 tell us to expect?
42 Once that the political rulers have done away with Babylon the Great, the world empire of false religion, they will show themselves as never before to be “fighters actually against God.” (Acts 5:39) Notice what Revelation, chapter seventeen, verses twelve to fourteen, tells us then to expect, saying to the apostle John to whom the Revelation was given:
43 “And the ten horns that you saw mean ten kings, who have not yet [in John’s day] received a kingdom [that is, membership in the organization for world peace and security], but they do receive authority as kings one hour with the wild beast [the United Nations]. These have one thought, and so they give their power and authority to the wild beast [the United Nations]. These will battle with the Lamb [Jesus Christ], but, because he is Lord of lords and King of kings, the Lamb will conquer them. Also, those called and chosen and faithful with him will do so.”
HOW NATIONS FIGHT AGAINST THE INVISIBLE
44. In what ways can the symbolic ten horns and wild beast on earth fight against the heavenly kingdom of Christ?
44 The question might here be asked, Since the Lamb Jesus Christ is an invisible heavenly spirit person and since his kingdom is also heavenly, how can those symbolic horns and wild beast here on earth fight against Jesus Christ, “the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world”? (John 1:29, 36; Rev. 5:6-13) They can do so by refusing to yield place to God’s kingdom under Christ, by refusing to yield their national sovereignty over to him and by thus striving to perpetuate their own political position on earth. They can also do so by opposing and persecuting those who are the “ambassadors for Christ,” the earthly proclaimers of the good news of his kingdom. (Matt. 24:14) These are the anointed footstep followers of Jesus Christ, whom Revelation 17:14 speaks of as “those called and chosen and faithful with him.” The Christian apostle Paul, when addressing these dedicated, baptized, anointed followers of Christ, writes:
45. In 2 Corinthians 5:20, what did Paul term these anointed followers of Christ?
45 “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”—2 Cor. 5:20, AV.
46. What status as citizens does Paul give to these ambassadors?
46 The apostle Paul also gives these ambassadors of Christ another status. He speaks of the “city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem,” along with an “innumerable company of angels.” (Heb. 12:22, AV) Also, after writing to his Christian brothers about the “prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus,” he points them heavenward, saying: “Our citizenship exists in the heavens.” (Phil. 3:14, 20; AV) They are therefore citizens of that “city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.”
47. Thus after destroying Babylon the Great, how will the nations be able to fight manifestly against God and Christ, and what pertinent rule on this did Jesus Christ give in Matthew 25:40?
47 The nations of Christendom and of the rest of this world already have a notorious reputation for persecuting the anointed Christians who are bearing witness to Jehovah God and who are preaching world wide the good news of His kingdom by Christ. Consequently, when those nations will have destroyed Babylon the Great and then threateningly turn against these called, chosen and faithful anointed ones, they will be taking ungodly action against “ambassadors for Christ,” against citizens of God’s city, “the heavenly Jerusalem.” In fighting against these whom they can see in their midst, they will be fighting against the Lamb Jesus Christ, the King of kings, even though they cannot see him nor see Jehovah God. Could there be any more manifest fighting against the invisible God and his Christ than that? What did Jesus Christ himself say about this in his final prophecy about the “conclusion of the system of things”? He said this: “To the extent that you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”—Matt. 25:40; 24:3.
COLLISION! ITS SURVIVORS!
48. What is bound to follow, and at what prophetic place?
48 Collision with God is bound to follow. What will that mean? Nothing less than the “war of the great day of God the Almighty.” By that time the nations will have reached the field of the final battle, that is to say, the critical stage of world developments spoken of prophetically as the “place that is called in Hebrew Har–Magedon [Armageddon, AV].”—Rev. 16:14-16.
49. To where are all nations on the march, to what does God invite them to come on, and, to Him, what are they, comparatively speaking?
49 All the nations are now on the march to Har–Magedon! This much can be unerringly said according to the Bible’s timetable and according to world events in fulfillment of Bible prophecy. The confrontation with God is imminent! To Him, as He says, all the nations together are but as a drop falling out of an emptied water bucket. (Isa. 40:15) Because his due time for action has come, he challengingly invites all the nations, in the language of the prophecy of Joel 3:9-12, to come on for the encounter. No matter how thoroughly they have prepared themselves, no matter how strong they feel so as to be able to defy God and his Government by Christ, the situation of the nations will be as if an ant planted itself firmly on the railroad track and defiantly shouted to the oncoming huge diesel-engine locomotive: ‘Stop! You can’t run over me! You just don’t dare to do so!’
50. How does the crash now come, and what does the prophecy show as to whether the United Nations will save the situation for the “image” of political rule?
50 Crash! comes the head-on collision! See there the United Nations organization! Will it be able to stand its ground and repel the divine onslaught? Divine prophecy says No! The Kingdom stone, cut out of God’s universal mountain and hurled by God’s own hand, now strikes the symbolic “image” of man’s domination of the earth. As stone smashes into iron, there is a deafening Bang! Listen! Something is being crushed! Is it the stone that is being crushed? No! but it is the Stone that is crushing all the ironlike contenders for world domination by human rulers! Listen now to that ear-grating noise of a grinding! It is the Stone grinding to powder the entire fallen “image” of devil-controlled political rule that started with the golden “head” of Babylon!
51. What will happen to the powdery vestiges of the symbolic “image,” and who will remain on the battlefield, victorious?
51 The stormwind of God’s righteous anger will blow away all such powdery vestiges of the anti-God political “image,” like chaff from the threshing floor. All traces of the old system of things will be gone for all time! The “war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Har–Magedon, as described in the last book of the Bible (Rev. 19:11-21), will end with Jehovah God and his military forces of heaven the only ones remaining on the field of battle, gloriously victorious. The issue of world domination will have been settled forever, in favor of Jehovah!
52, 53. Where will there be a place of refuge for survivors on earth, will they take an active part in the “war,” and what prayer for divine supremacy will they behold answered?
52 When this tremendous collision occurs, will there be any place of safety on earth? Will any humans be able to survive the collision? Yes, and this will be only on the side of Jehovah God. It is only to those who place themselves on His side and on the side of his Kingdom by Christ that the divine promise applies: “Only with your eyes will you look on and see the retribution itself of the wicked ones. Because you said: ‘Jehovah is my refuge,’ you have made the Most High himself your dwelling; no calamity will befall you.” (Ps. 91:8-10) Those now taking a firm stand in support of Jehovah’s universal sovereignty will stand on the sidelines and take no active part in that “war of the great day of God the Almighty.” In their place of refuge under divine protection, they will see Jehovah and his Christ gain the victory over all the opposing nations. They will thus see fulfilled the prophecy: “He has scattered the peoples that take delight in fights.” (Ps. 68:30) They will behold the divine answer to the prayer of Psalm 83:17, 18 against God’s enemies:
53 “O may they be ashamed and be disturbed for all times, and may they become abashed and perish; that people may know that you, whose name is Jehovah, you alone are the Most High over all the earth.”
54. How extensive will God’s victorious kingdom then become, as pictured by the stone that struck the image?
54 God’s victorious kingdom, pictured by the stone that struck the symbolic image on the feet, will then grow as that stone did and become like a “large mountain” that fills the whole earth. (Dan. 2:35) God’s kingdom by his Christ will be everywhere on this earth. What a privilege it will be to survive the final collision of the nations with God and live in that kingly mountain!
55. What prophecies are written in Isaiah respecting those who will then dwell in that “mountain”?
55 As respects those who happily dwell in that same mountain it is written in the prophecy of Isaiah 11:9: “They will not do any harm or cause any ruin in all my holy mountain; because the earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters are covering the very sea.” Added to this is the soul-satisfying prophecy: “And Jehovah of armies will certainly make for all the peoples, in this mountain, a banquet . . . He will actually swallow up death forever, and the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will certainly wipe the tears from all faces. And the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for Jehovah himself has spoken it.”—Isa. 25:6-8.
56. Should we fear the reproach of men for taking the right stand, and like whom of old should we be in our walking, and with what reward?
56 So do not fear the reproach of men now for taking your stand on the side of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah and his kingdom by Christ. Do not walk with the nations in a course contrary to God to that unavoidable collision ahead. Be like that obedient man Noah who scorned the reproach of men and “walked with the true God.” (Gen. 6:9) Then, like him, you may rejoice in the hope of surviving the end of this international system of things and live on into his everlasting new system of things under the kingdom of his reigning King Jesus Christ. There you will see God swallow up even death in victory, that you may enjoy everlasting life and serve and worship him in perfect health and happiness in a never-fading paradise over all the earth.
[Blurb on page 613]
The stirring message contained in this article was presented as the principal discourse to audiences with a combined attendance of 919,755 in many parts of the earth this past summer.
[Picture on page 620]
The Kingdom stone’s toppling the symbolic image and then crushing it means that when all nations collide with God, they will be totally destroyed
[Picture on page 623]
For the nations to try to stop God from carrying out his purpose would be like an ant trying to halt an oncoming locomotive