The People Who Respect God’s Name More Than Their Own
1, 2. (a) This is a day of religious liberation from what? (b) What does Isaiah 12:3-5 declare, and who take those words to heart so as to carry them out?
WHAT is to be expected, what should we expect, of a “people for his name”? Why, this: That they would consider it an honor to bear that name, they would not be ashamed of that name, they would sound forth the praises of that name in all the earth, both inside of Christendom and outside of Christendom. In these “last days” of this world system, when religious liberation is being gained from Christendom and all the rest of the world empire of false religion, the liberated remnant take to heart their obligation to carry out the prophetic words of Isaiah 12:3-5:
2 “With exultation you people will be certain to draw water out of the springs of salvation. And in that day you will certainly say: ‘Give thanks to Jehovah, you people! Call upon his name. Make known among the peoples his dealings. Make mention that his name is put on high. Make melody to Jehovah, for he has done surpassingly. This is made known in all the earth.’”
3, 4. (a) Since the anointed remnant began taking part in the fulfillment of that prophecy, how has Jehovah done? (b) How has the result been just like what David mentioned as the reason for his lauding Jehovah, in Psalm 138:1, 2?
3 Since the anointed remnant of Christian witnesses of Jehovah have put themselves to work to have a part in the fulfillment of that prophecy, Jehovah has “done surpassingly,” he has done splendidly, he has triumphed! Over his own name he caused his word of promise, his prophetic word, to be written down. With his name he backs up the Holy Scriptures. With his own name he guarantees the Sacred Bible. Either the Bible is true, or his name means nothing! But his word of promise and of prophecy stands proved true, stands vindicated! The faithful carrying out of his word proves that he has lived up to his name, to the glory of his name. Furthermore, in his actually carrying out his word he has surpassed what his name, which was attached to his word, has led us to expect. The result has been just like what King David of Jerusalem mentioned as a reason for his lauding Jehovah, saying:
4 “I shall laud you with all my heart. In front of other gods I shall make melody to you. I shall bow down toward your holy temple, and I shall laud your name, because of your loving-kindness and because of your trueness. For you have magnified your saying [your spoken word] even above all your name.”—Ps. 138:1, 2.
5, 6. (a) How does Jehovah magnify his saying above all his name? (b) How can we illustrate this in the case of prophecy and in the case of providing the Messiah?
5 What is this that David is saying? Is God’s spoken word or saying greater than his name? No! Well, how, then, does he magnify his saying above all his name? In this way: His meaningful name, because of being attached to his “saying” or word of promise and of prophecy, caused us to look for much in the way of fulfillment. But actually he carries out his “saying” in a magnified way, in a way that is grander than what the guarantee of his name leads us to expect. He did not need to do so much in order to prove to us that his name is reliable as a guarantee of fulfillment.
6 So he magnifies his “saying” by making the carrying out of it produce more than we anticipated. He does surpassingly! For example, in many vital cases his prophetic “saying” has proved to have, not just a primary literal fulfillment, but also a miniature spiritual fulfillment and even a major, complete spiritual fulfillment. Note, too, that he gave his “saying” or word of promise to bring forth the Messiah in King David’s line of descent. But actually he magnified that promissory “saying.” How? By giving more than a mere human Messiah in David’s royal family. Jehovah brought forth a spiritual Messiah, one begotten by Jehovah’s spirit, raised from the dead and exalted to immortal life and royal glory in heaven at God’s right hand. As Jehovah delivered David from his enemies, so he delivered Jesus Christ from his earthly enemies, who had put him to death, by resurrecting him from the dead to heavenly glory.—Ps. 138:3-7.
7. How did Jehovah complete that which was in David’s behalf, and how does He do this respecting David’s descendant, Jesus?
7 Jehovah left nothing more for David to expect as respects the carrying out of the divine word of promise. Right well David could confidently say, in the same psalm: “Jehovah himself will complete what is in my behalf.” (Ps. 138:8) No less so, Jesus Christ the Messianic descendant of King David can say the same for himself. Jehovah will fully accomplish his purpose for Jesus the Messiah. He will leave nothing of his word of promise and of prophecy respecting him undone. No wonder that David was moved to say to his heavenly Deliverer, Jehovah: “In front of other gods I shall make melody to you. . . . For you have magnified your saying even above all your name.”—Ps. 138:1, 2.
MAGNIFYING HIS “SAYING” ABOUT THE “GREAT CROWD”
8. How is the anointed remnant moved to laud Jehovah for the same reason as stated by David, because of what has happened since 1914 C.E.?
8 Are we today moved to say anything like this to the only living and true God? The anointed remnant of Jehovah’s Christian witnesses are moved to do so, as a “people for his name.” By his very dealings with them and by the marvelous fulfillments of Bible prophecy in world events since 1914 C.E., they see Jehovah’s saying his word of promise and of prophecy, coming true in a way that they had never expected to experience. They see the evidences multiplying to prove that, at the close of the Gentile Times in 1914 C.E., this God of loving-kindness and trueness fulfilled his “saying” and established the heavenly kingdom of the Son of David, Jesus Christ. They see how this Messianic kingdom is moving irresistibly forward to the vindication of Jehovah’s universal sovereignty and holy name in the approaching “war of the great day of God the Almighty.” Much persecution, yes, many threats against their very existence as a “people for his name” they have had to endure since 1914 C.E., but, because Jehovah has delivered and preserved them till now, they make known his name everywhere.
9. As depicted in Revelation, chapter fifteen, what song are the anointed remnant singing, with what words?
9 As depicted in the last book of God’s Holy Word, this anointed remnant are singing the “song of Moses the slave of God and the song of the Lamb [Jesus Christ]” and saying: “Great and wonderful are your works, Jehovah God, the Almighty. Righteous and true are your ways, King of eternity. Who will not really fear you, Jehovah, and glorify your name, because you alone are loyal? For all the nations will come and worship before you, because your righteous decrees have been made manifest.”—Rev. 15:2-4.
10. Who among the countless hearers of that song are responding affirmatively to the question as to fearing Jehovah and glorifying his name, and with what determination?
10 Countless numbers of people today are hearing the remnant of the “people for his name” singing those words: “Who will not really fear you, Jehovah, and glorify your name?” Hundreds of thousands who are hearing that challenging question are showing that they feel about it as the anointed remnant do, namely, that Jehovah is worthy of being feared and his name worthy of being glorified. Openly, before all the false gods of this world, they are saying: The majority of mankind may not today fear Jehovah and glorify his name; but, as for us, we will fear Jehovah as the one living and true God, and we will respect his name more than our own and will glorify his name. How are they doing this?
11. How are such ones doing that?
11 They are doing this by accepting the Holy Bible, not as the word of fallible men, but, just as it actually is, the word of God. They believe that its prophecies concerning the Messianic kingdom are now reaching the climax of their glorious fulfillment. They are approaching God through his sacrificed Lamb Jesus Christ and are dedicating themselves entirely to him. In imitation of Jesus Christ they are being baptized in water “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit,” and thus becoming full disciples of Jesus Christ. (Matt. 28:19, 20) Recognizing that Jehovah has a “people for his name” today in the earth, they loyally associate themselves with this people, even though it is a small remnant. They share with these in making known to everybody Jehovah’s name and in glorifying it. By thus witnessing to Him, they prove that they are not ashamed to be Christian witnesses of Jehovah.
12. (a) Hence, what portion of the words of the “song” do the anointed remnant already see undergoing fulfillment? (b) What kind of person will yet take his place among the “great crowd,” and in what hope may he share?
12 From all nations this “great crowd” of God-fearing persons has come. (Rev. 7:9, 10) In these the anointed remnant of singers see already undergoing fulfillment the words of their prophetic song: “All the nations will come and worship before you, because your righteous decrees have been made manifest.” (Rev. 15:4) The gathering of all of this numberless “great crowd” is not yet over. The question is, Who will yet be taking his place among this “great crowd” before Jehovah fully manifests his righteous decrees by destroying all the godless in the coming “great tribulation,” the like of which has never taken place before? Everyone who does so will be a person that respects God’s name more than his own. He will be one that gladly does as Psalm 96:8 says: “Ascribe to Jehovah the glory belonging to his name.” He may share with the “great crowd” in the hope of surviving the “great tribulation” and entering into the righteous new system of things where “every breathing thing” will praise Jehovah.—Rev. 7:13-15; Ps. 150:6; 29:2.