“They Will Not Prevail Against You”
1, 2. Why, in this “time of the end,” is there no time to lose on the part of the Jeremiah class?
THE year 1919, the year of the Versailles Peace Treaty following World War I, marked a turning point for the anointed Jeremiah class. In no uncertain Bible terms they took up Jehovah’s message of destruction for this system of things during God’s approaching war at Har–Magedon.—Rev. 16:13-16.
2 Certainly now, when more than 57 years have passed by since 1919, there is no time to lose. In Jeremiah’s case, he had only a limited time—40 years—in which to declare Jerusalem’s impending destruction. His modern counterpart likewise has only a limited time. There is every reason for us to keep awake. Now, so many years after Jehovah commissioned the Jeremiah class, He is still awake to his purpose with special regard to this “time of the end” in which the nations find themselves. (Dan. 12:4) He is keeping awake as to what he has purposed to do when this “time of the end” terminates. Jeremiah 1:11, 12 makes this certain:
3, 4. How did Jehovah illustrate to Jeremiah his own wakefulness as regards his purpose, and now what question do we properly ask ourselves?
3 “And the word of Jehovah continued to occur to me, saying: ‘What are you seeing, Jeremiah?’ So I said: ‘An offshoot of an almond tree [Hebrew, shaqéd] is what I am seeing.’ And Jehovah went on to say to me: ‘You have seen well, for I am keeping awake [shoqéd] concerning my word in order to carry it out.’”
4 Who, then, of us today, whether we belong to the anointed Jeremiah class or belong to those actively supporting that class, dares to discontinue his own personal wakefulness? We do the wise thing if we imitate Jehovah himself. To illustrate his own wakefulness he caused Jeremiah to see in vision the “offshoot of an almond tree.” Jeremiah knew that the word for “almond tree” (shaqéd in Hebrew) means “one awakening.” This tree is the first one to awake in the spring of the year by its blossoming. Jehovah was like the “offshoot of an almond tree” in his own awakening to the season into which the nations and kingdoms were entering. His prophetic Word applies at a certain time, and at that time he will carry it out. His word will never fail owing to any inattentiveness on his part. Do we believe that today when we are at the threshold of the year 1978?
5. How did Jehovah show his wakefulness toward the increasing urgency of his message, and how should we correspond with this?
5 Because Jehovah has kept awake during all these decades within this “time of the end,” he has continued sending forth the Jeremiah class to serve notice upon the nations and kingdoms. (Compare 2 Chronicles 36:15, 16, NW; Byington.) As the time for Jehovah’s executing of judgment upon the nations and kingdoms gets ever closer, the situation becomes more urgent for him to see that such warning notice is served world wide, especially for the benefit of individuals who must take a personal stand. Keeping in mind that Jehovah is as awake as ever and will be ready on time, those of the Jeremiah class should keep awake to the increasing urgency of their message. They should keep themselves awake by steady activity in widely proclaiming it.
RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE END OF THIS SYSTEM
6, 7. By the illustration that Jehovah next gave to Jeremiah, what do we know about the impending destruction of the present system?
6 By Jehovah’s inspired Word we know the Source of the destruction that impends over the present system of things. Hence, we know the direction from which the destruction comes, and also the agency that will be used. We get a further clue concerning this from the illustration that Jehovah sent to Jeremiah at the time of commissioning him to be “prophet to the nations”:
7 “And the word of Jehovah proceeded to occur to me the second time, saying: ‘What are you seeing?’ So I said: ‘A widemouthed cooking pot blown upon is what I am seeing, and its mouth is away from the north.’ At this Jehovah said to me: ‘Out of the north the calamity will be loosened against all the inhabitants of the land. For “here I am calling for all the families of the kingdoms of the north,” is the utterance of Jehovah; “and they will certainly come and place each one his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all her walls round about and against all the cities of Judah. And I will speak with them my judgments over all their badness, in that they have left me and they keep making sacrificial smoke to other gods and bowing down to the works of their own hands.”’”—Jer. 1:13-16.
8. Why was the visionary cooking pot blown upon, and what was indicated by its being tilted away from the north?
8 We remember that Jeremiah was raised up in 647 B.C.E. and commissioned to be “prophet to the nations.” Disastrous trouble was already then brewing for Jerusalem and the land of Judah. What was being boiled in the cooking pot seen in Jeremiah’s vision was nothing good for renegade Jerusalem and the other cities of Judah. The purpose for which the cooking pot was being “blown upon” was not to cool the contents of the pot but was to fan the flames of the fire underneath this caldron. The fact that the wide mouth of the pot was tilted away from the north meant that the boiling hot contents were to be poured out upon what lay to the south. That meant Jerusalem and the land of Judah. The calamity upon them was not to come up from Egypt to their south. It would come southward by a northern route upon the doomed cities.—Jer. 4:6, 7; 6:1, 22.
9. What spillages of the symbolic “cooking pot” did Jeremiah see poured out upon the land of Judah?
9 The contents of the symbolic cooking pot that Jehovah would dump out upon the land of Judah would be “all the families of the kingdoms of the north.” Babylon would therefore be the leading figure in this invasion of the land of Judah, for the Babylonian Empire was then rising to become the Third World Power of Bible prophecy. Jeremiah as prophet had to wait 27 years before he saw that symbolic cooking pot pour out its first invasion of the land of Judah by Babylon’s military forces, in 620 B.C.E. Three years later there came another spillage of the symbolic cooking pot with a second invasion by the Babylonians, and Jeremiah finally came under the kingship of Zedekiah the vassal of Emperor Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Then came Zedekiah’s revolt, and in 609 B.C.E. the symbolic cooking pot was completely turned over for a third and final spillage of Babylonian hordes upon the cities of Judah.* In the summer of 607 B.C.E. the “calamity” reached its peak in the destruction of Jerusalem. By early autumn of that year all the land of Judah was left desolate.
10. The Jeremiah class expect to witness what was foreshadowed by that ancient “calamity” visited upon whom?
10 Those of the Jeremiah class today expect to witness what was foreshadowed by that ancient “calamity”! Yes, they expect to see “calamity” upon a far greater scale befall Christendom, the modern counterpart of renegade Jerusalem and the land of Judah.
11. How does the Bible searchlight reveal Christendom’s “badness” to be like that of renegade Jerusalem and Judah?
11 Age-old Christendom is marked by ‘all the badness’ that perverted ancient Jerusalem and the land of Judah. The Bible searchlight, when turned upon Christendom, reveals that, in spite of Jehovah’s Ten Commandments, she sacrifices to “other gods.” Yes, she worshipfully bows down to the work of human hands. She professes to be Christian, but she does not imitate Jesus Christ in being separate from this ungodly world. She is pervaded with the divisive, war-breeding nationalism of the day. Let a national crisis come along, and she shows herself to be a worshiper of the political State, the work of human hands. The vast wealth of the churches of Christendom brands her as a worshiper of materialism. Active friendship with this world makes her Jehovah’s enemy!
12. Of what did Jehovah forewarn Jeremiah, and what promise did Jehovah give him, for our encouragement also?
12 Jeremiah of old had to point out that Jehovah was justified in pouring out national calamity upon the Israelites for breaking their holy covenant with him. Jehovah knew that what he began commanding Jeremiah in 647 B.C.E. to speak to the inhabitants of the land of Judah would not please the majority. So he forewarned Jeremiah by frankly telling him that the kings of the land, the princes, the priests and the people of Judah would fight against him. His very life would be threatened. So, what if Jehovah had not promised the young prophet that all these foes would not prevail against him? Would he have had the heart to carry on doggedly for 40 years as Jehovah’s “prophet to the nations” and finally see his vicious enemies go down in defeat? It is hard to think so! Jehovah’s promise to Jeremiah of old applies to the Jeremiah class of today and to their supporters!
13. In view of what pile of charges against Christendom is the symbolic “cooking pot” boiling against her?
13 Jehovah’s symbolic “cooking pot” for this “time of the end” is boiling today. As in the case of the “seven golden bowls that were full of the anger of God” as seen in Revelation 15:7, the “cooking pot” represents the container of the full-scale “calamity” from Jehovah upon Christendom. Christendom certainly has a pile of immoralities for which Jehovah must call her to account inasmuch as she claims to be in the “new covenant” with him through Christ. He now finds her hands drenched with the blood of two world wars, besides her violent persecution of his Christian witnesses. Appropriately it is His words as set forth in Jeremiah 2:34 that the Jeremiah class of today direct against Christendom, namely: “In your skirts there have been found the blood marks of the souls of the innocent poor ones. Not in the act of breaking in [on the part of the poor innocent ones like burglars] have I found them, but they are upon all these [skirts].”—See The Watch Tower under date of November 1, 1923, page 327, paragraph 3 (6).
14. (a) Why is Christendom the most reprehensible part of the world empire of false religion? (b) What will Jehovah spill out upon her from his symbolic “cooking pot”?
14 Before the gaze of the whole world Christendom still flaunts the evidences of her death-dealing course of action. She is the most reprehensible part of the world empire of false religion, for she claims to act in the name of Christianity or in the name of the religion now approved by the God of the Bible. Because of her disgraceful example, no wonder that the non-Christian world has no respect for what professes to be Christian! By Christendom the God of the Bible has been presented in a false light. Her guilt is not hid from his eyes. He will deservedly punish it openly in full. But first he has raised up the Jeremiah class to call the attention of everybody to the apostate, adulterous course of this the world’s biggest religious organization. Toward it Jehovah has tilted the wide mouth of his symbolic “cooking pot.” The hour approaches when He will turn it completely over and spill out his heavenly executional forces upon this modern counterpart of apostate, adulterous Jerusalem and land of Judah. Destruction will thus overtake this chief defamer of His holy name.—Jer. 1:14-16.
15. Why must the Jeremiah class keep hips girded and stay active on foot, and until when?
15 All the work of the Jeremiah class is not yet over. Those of this class must keep their hips girded and stay active on their feet until their commissioned work is completed. All the “great crowd” of Christians who actively support the Jeremiah class must keep working with them. The Jeremiah class still needs to stand immovable like an “iron pillar” and a “fortified city” with “copper walls.” This is what Jeremiah of old did. Jesus Christ was not one whit behind Jeremiah in declaring the impending destruction of the Jerusalem of his day, which destruction came 676 years after the Jerusalem of Jeremiah’s day perished. As anointed followers of Jesus Christ the Jeremiah class of today must do the same thing, until they witness the destruction of the antitypical unfaithful Jerusalem and Judah of our times.
16. Like Jesus, the Jeremiah class must declare what two themes?
16 Like Jesus, the Jeremiah class must declare, not just the “acceptable time,” “the year of goodwill on the part of Jehovah,” but also “the day of vengeance on the part of our God.”—Isa. 61:1, 2; 49:6; 2 Cor. 6:2; Jer. 11:20; 20:12; 46:10; Luke 21:22, Authorized Version.
17. Intensification of their fight against us should not cause us to do what respecting kings, princes, priests and people?
17 These “last days” of this system of things are no time for us to “put on the soft pedal,” just because Christendom’s kings, princes, priests and people will intensify their fight against us. With more than 57 years of public service world wide already behind it, the Jeremiah class is no longer “but a boy.” Since 1919 it has put up with warfare waged against it by the political, religious, and popular elements of this old world.
18. What reassuring words of Jehovah have already proved true regarding the Jeremiah class, and what does this mean for the future?
18 By now the enduring Jeremiah class should have attained to manhood, adulthood. Because faithful members of the Jeremiah class die off, it may grow fewer in numbers yearly; yet it persists in its work from the High Commissioner, Jehovah. Till now his reassuring words have proved true, that the opposing kings, princes, priests and people would not prevail against it. His words will prove equally true in the more strenuous days just ahead as the time for his vengeance to be poured out from his symbolic “cooking pot” draws near. Our war-minded enemies will not prevail against us! Why not? Because the Sovereign Lord, Jehovah of armies, remains with us, to “deliver” us in the future just as he has done in the past. So we shall see our foes bite the dust!
“TO BUILD AND TO PLANT”
19. What positive work was the Jeremiah class commissioned to do, and how has it done this?
19 Jeremiah of old was commissioned as “prophet to the nations,” not only to uproot, pull down, tear down and destroy, but also “to build and to plant.” (Jer. 1:10) Not “build” what was pulled down and torn down, not “plant” what had been uprooted and destroyed, but foretell the building of what Jehovah purposed to be built and the planting of what he purposed to be planted and grow up to full fruition. This part of Jeremiah’s commission definitely now relates to the true kingdom of Jehovah God now that, since 1914 C.E., “the kingdom of the world did become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ.” (Rev. 11:15) Hence, there must now be the global fulfillment of Christ’s words: “This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations.” (Matt. 24:14) The doing of this carries with it the planting of true Christianity and the building up of it in many territories newly witnessed to by the Jeremiah class and their active supporters. The spiritual paradise needed to be built up.
20. How did Jeremiah do a building and planting work in his day, and who figure in the fulfillment of such work today?
20 Long ago, in 647-607 B.C.E., Jeremiah himself did a work of planting and building up a class of non-Israelite individuals who were to survive Jerusalem’s destruction in 607 B.C.E. These were the Rechabites, the descendants of Jonadab, and the Ethiopian eunuch named Ebed-melech. (Jer. 35:1-9; 38:1-13; 39:15-18) These God-fearing friends of Jeremiah pictured the “great crowd” who today befriend the Jeremiah class and actively aid this anointed remnant in their work. With the Jeremiah class they face the mounting opposition of kings, princes, priests and people.—See pages 62-67 of the book You May Survive Armageddon into God’s New World, edition of 1955.
21. How will the loyalty of the “great crowd” to the Jeremiah class be amply rewarded?
21 The unbreakable loyalty of the “great crowd” to the Jeremiah class will be amply rewarded. Against them the present-day fighters against God will not prevail. With the Jeremiah class they will survive the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Har–Magedon. They will form the basis for the “new earth” under Jehovah’s “new heavens.” (Rev. 7:9-17; 21:1-4) Great is the pleasure that the Jeremiah class has in building up in the “great crowd” the valid hope of inheriting the approaching earthly paradise according to the loving purpose of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah!
See 2 Kings 24:1 through 25:2, Jerusalem Bible, footnotes; Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews, Book X, chapter 6; Jewish Encyclopedia, under “Jehoiakim”; All Scripture Is Inspired of God and Beneficial, page 295, under 628 B.C.E. through 609 B.C.E.
[Picture on page 761]
Jehovah’s “cooking pot” of calamity will be poured out upon Christendom