The Reason for Choosing to Worship Jehovah
1, 2. (a) How do people apply “Seeing is believing” respecting God? (b) Of what Russian Communist astronaut do such people remind one?
“SEEING is believing!” That expresses the attitude that materialistic people today take toward God. Because they cannot see him with the naked human eye or with the aid of the most powerful telescope in use today, they do not believe that he exists; they cannot persuade themselves to believe that he is.
2 Such persons remind us of the second astronaut that the Russian Communists sent aloft in a rocket spaceship to orbit our earth. According to an Associated Press dispatch of May 6, 1962, this Russian major “proclaimed his disbelief in God today. He said he saw ‘no God or angels’ during his seventeen orbits of the earth. . . . ‘The rocket was made by our people. I do not believe in God. I believe in man, his strength, his possibilities and his reason.’”—New York Times of May 7, 1962.
3, 4. (a) How was Moses different from that Russian astronaut? (b) What did Moses want to see about God, and what was he told?
3 Not all people are like that. Take, for instance, a man who is more famous than those Communist astronauts and who did more good for mankind. That man was Moses the son of Amram the Hebrew. It is testified of this Moses that “he continued steadfast as seeing the One who is invisible.” (Heb. 11:27) He was not disappointed in this invisible God of his. He did not become ashamed of his belief in this God. After Moses led his people out of slavery in Egypt and miraculously through the Red Sea and to Mount Sinai in Arabia, and after he received the two tablets of the Ten Commandments amid an awe-inspiring spectacle at that mountain, Moses had no reason to disbelieve the existence of this invisible all-powerful God. What he wanted was to get better acquainted with him, to see the glory of this invisible God.
4 “Cause me to see, please, your glory,” was the request that Moses made through the angel of God. To this the divine reply was: “I myself shall cause all my goodness to pass before your face, and I will declare the name of Jehovah before you.” But why only this manifestation? Jehovah God explained to Moses: “You are not able to see my face, because no man may see me and yet live.”—Ex. 33:18-20.
5. What did God say about himself when declaring his name before Moses?
5 It matters not what man may say about this God of Moses; the thing that should matter with us is what kind of God he declared himself to be. What God said about himself we read in Moses’ account of the occasion, in these words: “And Jehovah proceeded to come down in the cloud and station himself with him there and declare the name of Jehovah. And Jehovah went passing by before his face and declaring: ‘Jehovah, Jehovah, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness and truth, preserving loving-kindness for thousands, pardoning error and transgression and sin. but by no means will he give exemption from punishment, bringing punishment for the error of fathers upon sons and upon grandsons, upon the third generation and upon the fourth generation.’”—Ex. 34:4-7.
6, 7. (a) Which of those divine qualities mentioned do we need to have exercised toward us in our condition? (b) What does His not granting exemption from punishment for wrongdoing assure us with respect to the reign of wickedness?
6 Is that not the kind of God we would want, the kind of God that we would choose to worship? He is a God “merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness and truth.” Certainly we in our broken-down human condition today need such divine qualities to be exercised toward us. However, he does not let his human creatures get away with everything for all time without deserved punishment. He is a God “pardoning error and transgression and sin,” but he is not in sympathy with such wrong things and he does not fail to bring punishment upon those who willfully practice such things and delight in such things.
7 For that reason we can be sure of this one thing: Although he has been “slow to anger” and has permitted wickedness and wrongdoing to prevail among mankind for these past six thousand years, he will not let the reign of wickedness go on forever in the earth. He will not ‘grant exemption from punishment’ for all time to this wicked system of things of which the author of wickedness, Satan the Devil, is the god. Happily for us today, his long permission of wickedness is at its end!
8. God’s ability to bring a worldwide system of things to an end need not be doubted in the light of what event in Noah’s day?
8 His perfect ability to bring this entire worldwide system of things to an end in our own generation does not need to be doubted for a moment. More than eight centuries before he declared his name to the prophet Moses, he gave us a historical example of his full power to destroy a whole world of people. This was in the days of Moses’ forefather Noah. The year of that world destruction can be calculated as 2370 before our Common Era. The world of mankind today is not too big and not too widespread for him to include in his foretold destruction of this globe-encircling system of things. In the days of Noah the waters of the deluge swept the whole globe.
9. So, as away back there, what similar thing can God do today?
9 The entire earthly globe was then just as it was at the beginning of the first creative “day” when the Creator said: “Let light come to be.” The surface of all the earth was covered with water. (Gen. 1:1-3) Only, while the waters of the deluge prevailed over all the earth, there was the huge ark built by Noah and his family riding safely on the bosom of those waters. With the exception of Noah’s family in the ark all human life on the earth died. They were submerged, just as Pharaoh and his chariots and horsemen in pursuit of the departing Hebrews under Moses were submerged in the Red Sea. What the Almighty God Jehovah did at the time of the Deluge, he can do today: destroy a worldwide system of things that is “filled with violence.”—Gen. 6:11 through 7:23.
THE GOD OF THE NEW SYSTEM OF THINGS
10. Why will destruction of the present system of things not leave a vacancy on earth, and why, therefore, should we worship Jehovah?
10 The end of God’s permission of wickedness and his destroying this old system of things in an unparalleled world trouble will not leave a vacancy on our earth. He has something ideal with which to replace the former things. It is a new system of things, in which wickedness will not be permitted. The Creator of this righteous new system will also be the God of it. That is a sound reason why we should choose to worship Jehovah the Creator as God.
11. Why will Satan not be a god in that new system of things, and what will happen to his worshipers?
11 The god of the present wicked system of things, Satan the Devil, will then be gone, and all the other false gods that materialistic, faithless men have been worshiping till now. That “dragon, the original serpent, who is the Devil and Satan,” will prove no match for God the Almighty. He will be stripped of his power as a god and hurled into an abyss together with all his demon angels. (Rev. 20:1-3) Those who choose to worship him as their god will perish with this Devil-controlled system of things in the greatest of all troubles that now overhangs the world.
12. In contrast with what Satan gave mankind, what kind of global government will Jehovah give mankind, in the hands of whom?
12 Satan the Devil, the “god of this system of things,” gave the people a worldwide political government that was symbolized in the last book of the Bible as a seven-headed, ten-horned “wild beast.” Under Satanic influence it arose out of the “sea” of mankind estranged from God. (Rev. 13:1-8) In contrast with that, Jehovah as the God of the righteous new system of things will give mankind a global government superior to that of oppressive, self-seeking, imperfect men and women. It will be a heavenly government, in the hands of the Master who taught his disciples to pray: “Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified. Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.” (Matt. 6:9, 10; Luke 11:2) The Teacher of that prayer was Jesus Christ. He was the Son of God whom Jehovah sent into the earth nineteen hundred years ago to become a fleshly descendant of King David and thus become the permanent heir to the everlasting kingdom that was to remain in the royal line of David. In this way he became the promised Messiah.—John 1:40-49.
13. With what temptation was the anointed Jesus approached with an enticement into wrong worship and into the politics of this world?
13 As the anointed Heir to this Messianic kingdom, why should Jesus Christ entangle himself in the dirty politics of this world? He was not looking to the “god of this system of things” for a kingdom or a world empire. After he had been anointed with God’s spirit to be the King Designate of the Messianic government, he was approached by the “god of this system of things” to entice him into false worship and into the politics of this doomed world. Brazenly bringing up the issue of worship, the Tempter showed to Jesus “all the kingdoms of the inhabited earth in an instant of time” and said: “I will give you all this authority and the glory of them, because it has been delivered to me, and to whomever I wish I give it. You, therefore, if you do an act of worship before me, it will all be yours.” Whom, now, would Jesus choose to worship?
14, 15. To what government had Jesus been anointed as King Designate, and why would he not worship Satan for all the kingdoms of the world?
14 Jesus did not do like the seven-headed, ten-horned “wild beast” that arose out of the sea, namely, accept political power and a material throne and great authority from the fiery-colored dragon, Satan the Devil. (Rev. 13:1, 2) He had already been anointed to rulership of the Messianic kingdom because he worshiped Jehovah as God. As it was prophetically said to Jesus Christ: “You loved righteousness, and you hated lawlessness. That is why God, your God, anointed you with the oil of exultation more than your partners.” (Heb. 1:9; Ps. 45:7) Never would Jesus bow in worship to the “god of this system of things,” even for “all the kingdoms of the inhabited earth.” Being born as a man under the Law covenant that had been mediated by Moses at Mount Sinai, Jesus immediately quoted from the words of Moses in the book of Deuteronomy and said to Satan the Devil:
16. Instead of campaigning for a political government on earth, what message did Jesus take up, and why?
16 Jesus Christ remained unwaveringly in favor of the God of the righteous new system of things. That meant for Jesus to stick faithfully to the Messianic kingdom that came from the hand of this God, the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. He did not, therefore, go campaigning for any political kingdom of the inhabited earth, but took up the message that his forerunner, John the Baptist, had proclaimed to all Israel: “Repent, you people, for the kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.” (Matt. 4:17) In order to become the heavenly Messiah, Jesus had to lay down his life in full devotion to that kingdom of the heavens, the kingdom of God.
17. How did Jesus witness to Pontius Pilate for God’s kingdom?
17 When asked by Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of the Province of Judea, as to whether he was a king who posed a threat to the empire of the Caesars, Jesus replied: “My kingdom is no part of this world. If my kingdom were part of this world, my attendants would have fought that I should not be delivered up to the Jews. But, as it is, my kingdom is not from this source.” (John 18:36) So Jesus witnessed to Pilate for God’s kingdom.
IT IS HIGH TIME TO CHOOSE!
18. What role did Jesus play in human history, and how did he prove that he believed in God and worshiped him?
18 This Jesus Christ is a man of history. He cannot be brushed aside by unbelieving Jews and Gentiles as a mere legendary figure or myth. There is more evidence of his having existed here on earth nineteen centuries ago than there is of any other men mentioned on the pages of history. His coming marked the turning point in human history, not merely in the matter of religion but in the matter of world government for mankind, God’s kingdom. He came on the earthly scene at God’s marked time, the time indicated beforehand in the Holy Bible. For Jesus Christ there was no question as to whether God existed. He came from God. He had seen him, talked with him, worked with him. He was no liar when he called attention to these facts of his prehuman life in heaven. Although on earth as a man with only human vision he could not see Jehovah God, yet he continued to believe him and worship him. Jesus’ works on earth, attested to by many honest witnesses, proved that he believed in God and that God was with him.—Acts 10:38.
19. With regard to believing that there is a God, what question arises as to whose example we shall follow?
19 Jesus knew Jehovah God his Father better than the invisible spirit demons did. And yet the demons believe there is a God. Unbelieving men may smile sophisticatedly at this, but the earthly half brother of Jesus Christ named James said to those who professed to be Christ’s disciples: “You believe there is one God, do you? You are doing quite well. And yet the demons believe and shudder.” (Jas. 2:19) According to that, the superhuman demons are doing better than the vast majority of men and women who do not at all believe in Jehovah God. In this respect, whose example shall we be safe in following? That of unbelieving men and women? Or that of demons who do believe and yet do nothing more about it than shudder? Or that of Jesus Christ whose personal life on earth is testified to by the twenty-seven books of the inspired Christian Greek Scriptures?
20. Who fared best—those lacking faith in God and suitable works, or Jesus for believing and proving his belief? How?
20 Jesus Christ believed; but, more than that, he did things in proof of his belief. Did he fare worse than unbelieving men and women or than the demons? Whose life of belief and works has resulted in more good for mankind, even thus far only, in human history, not to speak of the future? The true-to-fact answer to those questions will have to name Jesus Christ as the one who fared best and did the most good. He is where he is today because of a life of faith and works on earth down to a martyr’s death for loyally upholding God’s kingdom. He today occupies the topmost position in all heaven and earth with the one exception of his heavenly Father, Jehovah God himself. (Phil. 2:5-11; 1 Pet. 3:21, 22) And he would not be in that highly exalted position today if there were no God and if Jehovah were not that God, the God able to resurrect the dead to heavenly life.—Eph. 1:19-22.
21. Whose, then, is the example to follow on the part of those longing for everlasting life?
21 Without room for successful contradiction, the life of faith and works resulted best for him, to the point of surpassing anything that any and all other creatures in the universe may hope to enjoy. His is the example for all sensible persons who long for everlasting life, in the fullness of happiness, to follow. Following his example is practical, not something merely idealistic. He made Jehovah his God and worshiped him, even in the face of temptation from Satan the ruler of the demons.
22. Who, then, is Jehovah, and what two highly important reasons are there for us to worship him?
22 In answer to the question, “‘Who is Jehovah,’ so that all should worship him?” we can factually reply: Jehovah is the God of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that fact in itself is a highly important reason why all should worship Jehovah as God. All those who desire eternal life in God’s righteous new system of things will have to follow the example of Jesus Christ, the Chief One in all of God’s creation. Also, the very fact that Jehovah has put the Messianic kingdom in the hands of Jesus Christ makes it urgent that all should worship Jehovah God.
23. Why can those who deny God’s existence not escape from responsibility to him, and how do these unbelievers act?
23 Men and women today think that they can escape responsibility to Jehovah by disbelieving and denying that he exists and is God. But their escaping responsibility to One whom they cannot see is sheer imagination on their part. King David, a forefather of Jesus Christ, said, in Psalm fourteen, verses one and two: “The senseless one has said in his heart: ‘There is no Jehovah.’ They have acted ruinously, they have acted detestably in their dealing. There is no one doing good. As for Jehovah, he has looked down from heaven itself upon the sons of men, to see whether there exists anyone having insight, anyone seeking Jehovah.” Even in his day, King David observed that those denying Jehovah’s existence acted ruinously. Jehovah God in heaven is observing them. He laughs at them, he well knowing that they are held captive within the realm of his laws and cannot escape from the outworking of those laws. Their ignoring and denying such laws will bring them only hurt.
24. Why is the paramount question today not about religion alone, and how does Pharaoh’s dealing with Moses reflect that of the politicians today?
24 The paramount question before all the universe today is not just religion. It is also government. We do well to remember that it was the leading politician of the day that hurled into the face of the prophet Moses: “Who is Jehovah, so that I should obey his voice?” (Ex. 5:2) In asking such a question the Pharaoh of Egypt was defying not only the God of pure religion, but also a Governor, the Sovereign Ruler of the universe. Also, Jehovah was then about to set up his kingship over the nation of Israel. Likewise with the politicians of today and their patriotic supporters. They are not dealing merely with the religious field in questioning the existence of Jehovah and his ability as God. They are also dealing with government. Today they are dealing with God’s sovereignty as represented by his Messianic government, the kingdom of God. It is a real government and is both higher and mightier than their own.
25. (a) By whom and since when has that Messianic government been preached to the nations? (b) Following such notification to the nations, what will that government be ordered to do, with what effect upon the politicians?
25 Particularly since the end of World War I in the year 1918, Jehovah’s Christian witnesses have been proclaiming that government, that heavenly kingdom of God in the hands of his Christ. So for these past fifty-six years that Messianic kingdom has, for the most part, only been preached. (Matt. 24:14; Mark 13:10) Soon, though, it will cease to be preached to all the political nations for a witness to them. But, following upon such advance notification to those nations, Jehovah’s Messianic kingdom will be ordered to take action. That action will prove that Jehovah is the God of true prophecy, the Inspirer of the Bible prophecies that are true and infallible. The Messianic kingdom will furnish that proof by fulfilling those prophecies. Then those defiant politicians will learn to know who Jehovah is and what happens to those who disdain worshiping Him. The Kingdom action will not convert them to the worship of Jehovah but will destroy them.—Dan. 2:44.
26. (a) Besides destroying the visible operators of this system of things, the Kingdom will do what about the system’s god? (b) The present-day earthly subjects of the Kingdom will be ushered into what, and how?
26 That Messianic kingdom will do more than destroy the visible operators of this wicked system of things. It will abyss the invisible, yet real, power behind this present system of things, namely, “the god of this system of things,” Satan the Devil, along with his demons. (Rev. 20:1-3) The Messianic kingdom will safely preserve through the unprecedented “great tribulation” that lies just ahead of mankind the last remaining members of the 144,000 joint heirs of Christ and also the “great crowd” of present-day earthly subjects of that heavenly kingdom. (2 Pet. 3:11-15; Rev. 7:9-17) These survivors on earth of that “great tribulation” the Kingdom will usher into the promised new system of things in which Jehovah will be God and the Universal Sovereign.
27. According to Revelation 21:3-5, what difference will that new system with its God make for earth’s inhabitants?
27 Will this make a difference for all the earthly inhabitants of a system with Jehovah as God? No better answer to this question could be given than that written down under inspiration in Revelation 21:3-5: “With that I [John the apostle] heard a loud voice from the throne say: ‘Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.’ And the One seated on the throne said: ‘Look! I am making all things new.’ Also, he says: ‘Write, because these words are faithful and true.’”
28. In answer to the question, “‘Who is Jehovah,’ so that all should worship him?” what shall we say?
28 So then, “‘Who is Jehovah,’ so that all should worship him?” Listen, you Pharaoh of ancient Egypt! Listen, you materialistic-minded person of today! Jehovah is the God who is “from time indefinite to time indefinite” and worthy of all adoration. (Ps. 90:2) He is the Sovereign Ruler of all the universe. He is our Maker, and the Source of the Messianic kingdom through which all the families of the earth, the living and the dead, will be blessed.—Gen. 12:3; 22:18.
29. If we really believe that, to what exhortation of the psalmist will we respond?
29 Do we believe that? Will we who answer Yes show our faith by suitable works? If so, then we will warmly respond to the exhortation of the inspired psalmist: “O come in, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before Jehovah our Maker. For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasturage and the sheep of his hand.”—Ps. 95:6, 7.
[Blurb on page 234]
“‘Jehovah, Jehovah, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness and truth . . .’ Is that not the kind of God we would want?”
[Blurb on page 238]
“Jehovah is the God of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that fact in itself is a highly important reason why all should worship Jehovah as God.”
[Blurb on page 239]
‘In questioning the existence of Jehovah, the politicians of today and their supporters are dealing with the kingdom of God. It is a real government and is both higher and mightier than their own.’
[Picture on page 236, 237]
Jesus Christ refused to be a puppet of Satan the Devil by becoming a part of the world’s political system
[Picture on page 240]
Jehovah’s new system will make possible vibrant health and everlasting life for all the obedient inhabitants of the paradise earth