Cause of Humanity’s Distress Nears Removal
1. According to the Bible, what is the main cause of humanity’s suffering increasing distress?
IT IS true that selfish, loveless men are not free from blame. But the main reason for humanity’s suffering increasing distress is that Satan the Devil and his demon angels have been thrown out of the holy heavens and down to our earth’s neighborhood, and these ousted devils are furious at this. They are furious because the “war . . . in heaven” resulted in divine victory, God’s victory. They are furious because God’s kingdom of his true Messiah was born in the heavens at the end of the Gentile Times in 1914, and they could not block it. They are furious because their time of confinement here is short before they are ousted even from the earth and imprisoned in an abyss from which they cannot exercise their wicked influence over all mankind.—Rev. 20:1-3, 7.
2, 3. (a) How is the aim of Satan the Devil like the political aim of the late dictator Hitler? (b) Why is Revelation 12:13-17 quoted to show that Satan’s aim is not for the preserving of human life?
2 With the late Nazi dictator, Adolf Hitler, the political aim was, Rule or ruin! He got that idea from the same place where earlier dictators got it, namely, from Satan the Devil. Now that Satan will shortly be unable to rule all mankind as he did during the Gentile Times and even before that, he is determined to ruin all mankind. Then, as he thinks, no humans will be left on earth over which God’s kingdom of his Messiah can rule. Suicide by humanity by nuclear war or self-pollution is no deterrent thought for Satan the Devil. His purpose toward mankind is murderous, and this is indicated in these further words of the Revelation:
3 “Now when the dragon saw that it was hurled down to the earth, it persecuted the woman that gave birth to the male child. . . . And the dragon grew wrathful at the woman, and went off to wage war with the remaining ones of her seed, who observe the commandments of God and have the work of bearing witness to Jesus.”—Rev. 12:13-17.
War at Har–Magedon
4, 5. (a) Against whom has the symbolic dragon Satan declared war, and for how long? (b) To what is he unsuspectedly leading political rulers of earth, and how is this operation of his pictured in Revelation 16:13-16?
4 Satan the symbolic dragon has declared war against God’s organization (as symbolized by “the woman”) down to the very end. Unsuspected by the political rulers of Christendom and heathendom, Satan “the great dragon” is leading them to destruction in a final war. Not a war between themselves with nuclear weapons and biochemical agencies, but a war against God, who is the Father of the heavenly Messianic kingdom from the womb of his “woman,” his organization. This is true, not only for the anti-God Communist bloc of nations, but also for the nations of religious Christendom. The rulers of distressed humanity are today following the war propaganda of Satan the symbolic dragon. This misleading of the political rulers was prophetically pictured for us in this description of the operation in Revelation 16:13-16:
5 “And I saw three unclean inspired expressions that looked like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the wild beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are, in fact, expressions inspired by demons and perform signs, and they go forth to the kings of the entire inhabited earth, to gather them together to the war of the great day of God the Almighty. . . . And they gathered them together to the place that is called in Hebrew Har–Magedon.”
6. (a) From what, in actuality, do the inspired expressions come forth, and what is the leading one? (b) For what purpose do the inspired expressions gather earth’s kings, and in what formation at Har–Magedon?
6 Those unclean inspired expressions issue from the mouth of Satan the invisible dragon and out of the mouths of Satan’s visible earthly agencies, namely, Satan’s beastlike worldwide political system and the political world power that makes false prophecies for the whole realm of human politics. Being false, that political prophet is no mouthpiece or propagandist of God. In consideration of their source, those three inspired expressions are unclean like frogs, and it is for an unclean purpose that they gather the earthly kings and their armies to Har–Magedon. The carrying out of this unclean purpose can mean only “woe” for distressed humanity, because the leading froglike inspired expression comes out of the mouth of Satan the symbolic dragon, who is furious at having been ousted from heaven. His forced coming down to the earth was predicted to mean only “woe for the earth and for the sea.” (Rev. 12:12) Under the driving force of the unclean inspired expressions the “kings of the entire inhabited earth” are gathered, not against one another in international war, but together, all on the one side of the battlefield of Har–Magedon.
7. (a) Who are on the other side of the battlefield of Har–Magedon? (b) How do we determine what the issue is over which the oncoming war is to be fought?
7 Who, then, are on the other side of that battleground? It is plainly stated that the ousted, debased “dragon” expressed his anger and wrath against God’s womanlike organization that had given birth to the heavenly Messianic kingdom. At Revelation 12:17 we read: “The dragon grew wrathful at the woman, and went off to wage war with the remaining ones of her seed, who observe the commandments of God and have the work of bearing witness to Jesus.” Since the birth of the Messianic kingdom in the heavens at the end of the Gentile Times in 1914, that Jesus is the reigning Messianic King. So it is not to a newborn baby Jesus that these witness-bearers offer testimony, but it is to the reigning King Jesus the Messiah. So what then? These facts put God’s reigning King Jesus Christ and the womanlike heavenly organization that gave birth to the Kingdom on the other side of the battlefield of Har–Magedon, facing the yet-reigning “kings of the entire inhabited earth.” It is evident that the issue over which the forthcoming war is to be fought is kingdom power over the earth!
8. (a) How is it determined when the war over the Kingdom issue is to take place? (b) How is it shown whether earth’s kings are pro-God or otherwise?
8 In order to signify just when the war is to be fought over the Kingdom issue, it is said that the “kings of the entire inhabited earth” are gathered for “the war of the great day of God the Almighty.” In spite of all the prayers that the clergymen of Christendom may offer for those gathered kings, Almighty God is not with those political rulers. Those “kings” are not pro-God; they are pro-Devil. They are anti-Christ, for they are against the newborn kingdom of Christ. It cannot be otherwise but that God the Almighty is implicated in this war at Har–Magedon, for He is the Father of the newborn kingdom of his Christ. He is determined that his Messianic kingdom shall stay in power since the close of the Gentile Times in 1914, and that this heavenly kingdom shall rule over all the earth and its inhabitants. The “kings of the entire inhabited earth” refuse to acknowledge the existence of this established Messianic kingdom. They refuse to take off their crowns and step down from their earthly thrones and yield over their kingdom power to God’s Messianic kingdom.
9. (a) Why is it now urgent upon us to examine the side of Har–Magedon on which we stand, and what shift of sides might we care to make?
9 The now highly important question is, On whose side of the battlefield of Har–Magedon is each one of us? The available time for us to decide on this question is now near its end. It is nearly sixty years, since the Gentile Times ended in 1914, and the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” will not hold off indefinitely, forever. The war is bound to begin at some time. In this case it is Almighty God that sets the time for this war at Har–Magedon. Since we do not know His exact time, but there is every good reason to know that it is near, we should not think of taking our own time to make a decision. How do we know whether we are not right now on the side of the “kings of the entire inhabited earth” and thus against Almighty God? There is all urgency for us to examine our case and find out where we are. If we find ourselves not to be on the side of Almighty God and his Messianic kingdom, then we may sincerely desire to make a switch of sides. Otherwise, we may decide to stay put and take the consequences.
Advance War Advices for Our Guidance
10. (a) After noting the battle lineup of the earthly forces at Har–Magedon, what else do we want to know? (b) Whom does Revelation definitely show to be the one against whom the earthly forces are lined up?
10 The last book of the Holy Bible does not leave us merely with a prophetic vision of the lineup of the war-minded “kings of the entire inhabited earth” at Har–Magedon, and with the outcome of the impending “war” in doubt. The Revelation describes how the war turns out. It tells us what happens to that symbolic “wild beast” and the “false prophet” out of whose mouths come forth those unclean inspired expressions like frogs. It tells us what befalls those “kings of the entire inhabited earth” and their armies and their backers and supporters. Yes, the book of Revelation definitely tells us against whom these kings and their armies and the “wild beast” and the “false prophet” are now lined up to fight, at the world situation called Har–Magedon. They are lined up against the crowned, reigning King Jesus Christ and his heavenly armies.
11. How does Revelation 19:11-16 present the heavenly lineup at Har–Magedon?
11 Under inspiration, the Christian apostle John tells us: “I saw the heaven opened, and, look! a white horse. And the one seated upon it is called Faithful and True, and he judges and carries on war in righteousness . . . and the name he is called is The Word of God. Also, the armies that were in heaven were following him on white horses, and they were clothed in white, clean, fine linen. . . . He treads too the winepress of the anger of the wrath of God the Almighty. And upon his outer garment, even upon his thigh, he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.”—Rev. 19:11-16.
12, 13. (a) Why do we have to be either on the one side or on the other as respects this war? (b) How is it shown whether a difference is made because some rulers are of Christendom, and, by belonging to one side or the other, what do we know?
12 On whose side, then, are we determined to take our stand, on the side of this King of kings or on the side of the “kings of the entire inhabited earth”? There is no neutral ground at the world situation called Har–Magedon! It is over the issue of the ownership and rulership of the whole earth that this now-near war is to be fought to a settlement for all time.
13 It makes no difference that some of the “kings” or political rulers rule over nations that make up religious Christendom; these “kings” too are determined to keep their sovereignty over their parts of the earth rather than let Jesus Christ the King of kings govern the whole earth from heaven. The book of Revelation makes no distinction between the kings and presidents of Christendom and those of the non-Christian world. The apostle John lumps all the kings of the earth together and says: “And I saw the wild beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage the war with the one seated on the horse and with his army.” (Rev. 19:19) The kings of Christendom as well as those of heathendom have followed the lead of the inspired expression that came out of this political “wild beast” as well as that out of the mouth of the political “false prophet.” Hence, we know against just whom we are lined up if we belong to the “armies” and supporters of those “kings of the earth.” If we choose to be on their side, then the outcome of the “war” at Har–Magedon we ought to consider.
14. What decision do we have to make as to whom we will listen on the outcome of the war, and what does the apostle John write about it?
14 On the outcome of this universal war, are we going to listen to what the political “false prophet” has to say, or what the inspired apostle John said? As a forewarning to us today, John wrote: “And the wild beast was caught, and along with it the false prophet that performed in front of it the signs with which he misled those who received the mark of the wild beast and those who render worship to its image. While still alive, they both were hurled into the fiery lake that burns with sulphur. But the rest were killed off with the long sword of the one seated on the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth. And all the birds were filled from the fleshy parts of them.”—Rev. 19:20, 21.
15. Whose victory would we call that as described in Revelation, and with what words of the psalmist are we moved to cry out?
15 At this inspired advance vision of the outcome of the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Har–Magedon, what shall we say? Does it mean a divine victory? Although the apostle John himself in the record does not express his exultation over the war’s outcome, we who love the rightful rule of the earth cannot refrain from calling it indeed a victory of God the Almighty. In faith we are moved to take up the words of the inspired psalmist and cry out: “Sing a new song to the LORD, for he has done marvellous deeds; his right hand and holy arm have won him victory. The LORD has made his victory known; he has displayed his righteousness to all the nations. . . . All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.”—Ps. 98:1-3, NE; AV; An American Translation; Moffatt; The New American Bible.
Witnesses of Divine Victory
16. Does John say directly that there will be survivors of the destruction of the “wild beast” and “false prophet,” and yet what are we to understand from John’s account?
16 Do we desire to sing that new song to the Lord God Jehovah? It is not a mere matter of singing that “new song” now by faith, but there will actually be witnesses of God’s triumph who will survive that divine victory on earth and sing the “new song” here on earth. Although the apostle John did not directly say so, it is understood from what he wrote that those on earth who are not on the side of the “kings of the earth and their armies” will survive when the “wild beast” and the “false prophet” are hurled alive into the everlasting destruction symbolized by the “fiery lake that burns with sulphur.” That is to say, they will survive when man-made political systems of selfish government are put out of existence for all time.
17. (a) In that war, what will befall the “kings of the earth and their armies” and supporters? (b) Will those against whom Satan the dragon went off to wage war survive, and what does John say of them in Revelation, chapter fifteen?
17 The “kings of the earth and their armies” and their supporters are killed by the sword of the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” and their bodies lie slain on the battlefield of Har–Magedon for scavenger birds to feed upon the fleshy parts of such carcasses. But those on the side of the King of kings will be spared and will survive. They will live to be speaking witnesses of the “victory of our God,” “the saving power of our God.” (Ps. 98:3, Je) Among these survivors will be the “remaining ones of [the woman’s] seed, who observe the commandments of God and have the work of bearing witness to Jesus,” and against whom Satan the dragon “went off to wage war.” (Rev. 12:17) These are the ones whom the apostle John speaks of as “those who come off victorious from the wild beast and from its image and from the number of its name.” John describes these as singing the song of Moses and of the Lamb Jesus Christ, saying: “Great and wonderful are your works, Jehovah God, the Almighty. Righteous and true are your ways, King of eternity.”—Rev. 15:2, 3.
18. (a) Who else survive the war at Har–Magedon, as foreseen by the apostle John? (b) Who waged war against all such survivors, and thereby provoke war action by whom?
18 The earthly survivors will also include those whom the apostle John groups together as a “great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues,” for they take their stand on the side of God and his Jesus Christ. The apostle John is straightforwardly told that this “great crowd” is made up of the “ones that come out of the great tribulation,” and he sees them standing as survivors before God’s throne and before his Lamb, loudly crying out: “Victory to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Rev. 7:9-15; NE) These will join with the “remaining ones of [the woman’s] seed” in singing the “new song” to Jehovah God for his divine victory. All these survivors on earth are the ones against whom Satan the great dragon stirred up the “kings of the earth and their armies” for the purpose of destroying all such upholders of Jehovah God and his Messianic kingdom. By waging war against these, the “kings of the earth and their armies” really wage war against God and provoke war action by God and his King of kings.
19. (a) Will those survivors raise a violent hand against earth’s kings, and what words of God’s prophets will they remember, to guide their conduct? (b) How will the survivors on earth imitate the Israelites after their deliverance at the Red Sea?
19 Clear through the “war of the great day of God the Almighty,” these survivors will not take up any arms of violence against the “kings of the earth and their armies.” They will depend upon God the Almighty for his protection, for they remember God’s words to his faithful people on a previous war occasion: “The battle is not yours, but God’s.” (2 Chron. 20:15) They also remember the words of the prophet Moses at the Red Sea, at the time that the war chariots of Egypt drew near to destroy Moses’ people: “Stand your ground, and you will see the victory the LORD will win for you today.” (Ex. 14:13, NA) And just as Moses and his delivered people sang a song of praise to Jehovah’s triumph, so these survivors on earth of the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” will sing the “new song” of praise to the divine victory by Jehovah God, the Almighty. (Ex. 15:1-21) Do we want to be among those singers?
20, 21. (a) How will earth take on a festive appearance in celebration of the divine victory? (b) How will victory be gained over the whole earth in fulfillment of God’s command to Adam and Eve?
20 Just as when there is a national victory and the whole land is given a festive appearance, so after the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” and the imprisonment of Satan the great dragon and his demon angels in the abyss, the whole earth will begin to take on a festive appearance in celebration of the divine victory. (Rev. 16:14, 16; 20:1-3) The earth, which is now being ruined by its warmongers and polluters, will then give evidence that a new King rules the whole earth, namely, God’s Messianic King, Jesus Christ. At once the surviving witnesses of the divine victory will turn their efforts toward transforming this earth into a Paradise from sea to sea and from pole to pole. Victory will be gained over the whole earth, in triumphant fulfillment of God’s command to the first man and woman in the Garden of Eden:
21 “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. 1:28.
22. (a) What will this victory mean for earth as regards beauty and production of food? (b) What guarantees in actual cases do we have for God’s victory over death in behalf of ransomed mankind?
22 This subduing of the whole earth will mean, not only gardenlike beauty for mankind’s earthly home, but also plenty of food for all of earth’s inhabitants, with absolutely no poverty. Not only for the surviving witnesses of Jehovah’s victory in the war of His great day at Har–Magedon, but also for all the ransomed dead who will be resurrected from the graves and comfortably fill the earthly Paradise with people, Almighty God can do in a literal way as well as in a spiritual way what he promised in Isaiah’s prophecy, chapter twenty-five: “make for all the peoples” a banquet of life-sustaining foods and “actually swallow up death forever.” (Isa. 25:6-8) Yes, Almighty God will gain the victory over death for all ransomed mankind. He did so for his Son Jesus Christ, whom he raised from a martyr’s death on the third day, in the historic year of 33 C.E. He also does it in behalf of the true church of Christ’s footstep followers, whom Almighty God resurrects from death as earthly human creatures to immortal, incorruptible life in heaven as spirit creatures.
23. In connection with that resurrection, to whom does the apostle Paul ascribe the victory in the swallowing up of death forever?
23 Concerning this heavenly resurrection of true, unhypocritical followers of Christ, the apostle Paul wrote these words to Christians who share in this hope: “This which is corruptible must put on incorruption, and this which is mortal must put on immortality. But when this which is corruptible puts on incorruption and this which is mortal puts on immortality, then the saying will take place that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up forever.’ ‘Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?’ The sting producing death is sin, but the power for sin is the Law. But thanks to God, for he gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!”—1 Cor. 15:53-57.
24, 25. (a) During Christ’s thousand-year reign, how will God gain still further victory over death, and with what opportunities will the beneficiaries of this be favored? (b) What kind of meaning does Jehovah’s coming divine victory have for distressed humanity, and what does taking it to heart make us want to do?
24 During the coming thousand-year reign of the Messiah Jesus and his resurrected, glorified church or congregation, Almighty God will gain the victory over death still further by having the ransomed human dead raised from the sleep of death and restored to life’s opportunities on the Paradise earth. Death as inherited by us from the wayward first man will not be swallowed up forever until every last grave of the ransomed human race has been emptied, and this will occur by the “resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous” ones. (Acts 24:15) Obedience of the resurrected human dead to God’s Messianic kingdom will lead to happinesses forever on the perfected earth under God’s righteous universal sovereignty.
25 The way to humanity’s enjoyment of all these precious blessings will be paved by Jehovah’s coming divine victory. Truly the glorious divine victory has wonderful meaning for distressed humanity of today. O may we all take to heart its meaning and prove ourselves worthy to reap everlasting benefits from the divine victory to God’s worthy praise through Jesus Christ our Lord!
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Unsuspected by the political rulers, Satan “the great dragon” controls them and is leading them to destruction
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THE DEAD WILL RETURN TO LIFE
GOD ASSURES PLENTY OF FOOD FOR ALL OF EARTH’S INHABITANTS