Jehovah—Our Hope for Entering a New Order
1. Why have many practically lost hope of a new order as a possibility?
WHO DOES not want a new order of things here on earth? Many persons would like to have a righteous, healthier order of things but they now have little hope of such a thing’s being possible. Mankind’s worsening moral condition furnishes them no basis for hoping in an improvement of things. They have practically lost hope because no true, reliable hope has been made known to them. Not yet have they learned that this desired new order has been promised by someone fully competent and that it is now about to be realized. The aforesaid competent one is our hope. He is the Hope of all those who sincerely yearn to enter into a righteous new order.
2. According to Jeremiah 14:8, 9, what was Jehovah to the nation of Israel, but what appeared to be the case?
2 Now, amid deepening worldwide gloom, is the advisable time for us to turn to this only Hope, just as the prophet Jeremiah did when things did not look bright for his own nation. In his cry for help, Jeremiah said: “O you the hope of Israel, the Savior of him in the time of distress, why do you become like an alien resident in the land, and like a traveler that has turned aside to spend the night? Why do you become like a man astounded, like a mighty man that is unable to do any saving? Yet you yourself are in the midst of us, O Jehovah, and upon us it is that your own name has been called. Do not let us down.”—Jer. 14:8, 9.
3. According to Jeremiah 14:22, why is there sound reason for us to direct ourselves to Jehovah as our only Hope?
3 There is sound reason for us to make this same God our Hope today. Why him, and not something else? Because he is the Creator and is in control of all the natural forces and operations on and about our earth. It is just as Jeremiah points out when he addresses God and says: “Do there exist among the vain idols of the nations any that can pour down rain, or can even the heavens themselves [on which the astrologers rely] give copious showers? Are you not the One, O Jehovah our God? And we hope in you, for you yourself have done all these things.”—Jer. 14:22.
4. Since God’s name was called upon the nation of Israel, what were the seeming appearances of things that raised questions in Jeremiah?
4 The people of ancient Israel had God’s own name called upon them, and so we should imagine that they would have had his divine presence with them. Why, then, had he become like one who could not be “the hope of Israel,” like an alien resident who dwelt only temporarily among them, or like a traveler that was merely passing through their land, who was there today and gone tomorrow? Why had he become like a man who is perplexed at the problem that faces him, he being in no position to cope with it? Or like a mighty man who is nevertheless unable to help people needing to be saved from the consequences of their own course of action? Well, what reason did Jehovah state to Jeremiah?
5. What reasons did Jehovah give for his apparent desertion of Israel, and why did he call into the comparison the Cushite and the leopard?
5 The cause of the trouble with the Israelites was not superficial. Disregard for their covenant with the Rainmaker Jehovah had become deep-seated, also their contempt for his name and their mixing his pure form of worship with the religion of the pagan nations round about them. Not strange, then, that they were told: “‘Can a Cushite [Ethiopian or Nubian] change his skin? or a leopard its spots? You yourselves would also be able to do good, who are persons taught to do bad. So I shall scatter them like stubble that is passing along in the wind from the wilderness. This is your lot, your measured portion from me,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘because you have forgotten me and you keep putting your trust in falsehood. . . . your acts of adultery and your neighings, your loose conduct in prostitution. Upon the hills, in the field, I have seen your disgusting things. Woe to you, O Jerusalem! You cannot be clean—after how much longer?’”—Jer. 13:23-27.
6. What does that statement of facts indicate as to matters between Jehovah and Israel and also Christendom?
6 Does such a statement of fact indicate that Jehovah had a case against Israel? Does it denote also that he has a case against Christendom, which claims to be the people of the God of the Holy Bible? Most certainly Yes! Hence, he states that he will make a due settlement of the case, for he is the Supreme Justice.
7. In line with Jeremiah 17:1-4, Christendom’s record of apostasy and worldliness has become how deeply inscribed, with what consequences to follow?
7 Because of her claim to be Christian, Christendom ought to be a good example to all the world. However, she has made for herself a record of religious apostasy and worldliness that is inerasible. Her record is like that of ancient Jerusalem and the land of Judah:
“The sin of Judah is written down with an iron stylus. With a diamond point it is engraved on the tablet of their heart, and on the horns of their altars [of false worship], when their sons remember their altars and their sacred poles [of idolatry] beside a luxuriant tree, upon the high hills, on the mountains in the field. Your resources, all your treasures, I shall give for mere plunder [to my executioners of judgment]—your high places because of sin throughout all your territories. And you let loose, even of your own accord, from your hereditary possession that I had given you [in the Promised Land]. I also will make you serve your enemies in the land that you have not known [namely, Babylon]; for as a fire you people have been ignited in my anger. To time indefinite it will keep kindled.”—Jer. 17:1-4.
NO INTERVENING FOR HYPOCRITICAL CHRISTENDOM
8, 9. Although Christendom bears the name of Christ, why could he not intercede for her, as in ancient Israel’s case?
8 Christendom parades the name of Christ. But will he intercede for such a religious system that has persisted in mixing Bible teachings with pagan religion for more than 16 centuries? No, indeed, for he is in perfect accord with his Heavenly Father, Jehovah God. Said he: “I cannot do a single thing of my own initiative; just as I hear, I judge; and the judgment that I render is righteous, because I seek, not my own will, but the will of him that sent me.” (John 5:30) Six centuries before Christ, in the days of Jeremiah, Jehovah said with reference to the prototype of Christendom:
9 “If Moses and Samuel were standing before me, my soul would not be toward this people [Israel]. There would be a sending of them away from before my face, that they might go out.”—Jer. 15:1.
10. Why would intercession by Moses and Samuel have been considered effective with God, but now what was Jehovah’s attitude toward unrepentant Israel?
10 Moses, who had been used to give the Ten Commandments to Israel, had interceded with success for them. As for Samuel of four centuries later, he began a special line of prophets that included Jeremiah and that continued till the prophet Malachi. (Acts 3:22-24) Samuel also interceded for the nation of Israel, especially after they asked for a visible human king. But now, more than four centuries after Samuel, not even intervention by him or by Moses would avail with Jehovah. So away with unrepentant Israel!
11. To encounter what death-dealing agents were the unrepentant Israelites to go out from before Jehovah’s face?
11 Away to where? a person sympathizing with Christendom might ask. We have a prophetic indication of whereto in what Jehovah said to Jeremiah: “And it must occur that should they say to you, ‘Where shall we go out to?’ you must also say to them, ‘This is what Jehovah has said: “Whoever is for deadly plague, to deadly plague! And whoever is for the sword, to the sword! And whoever is for the famine, to the famine! And whoever is for the captivity, to the captivity!”’ ‘And I will commission over them four families [or, four kinds],’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘ the sword to kill, and  the dogs to drag away, and  the flying creatures of the heavens and  the beasts of the earth to eat and to bring to ruin. And I will give them for a quaking to all the kingdoms of the earth on account of Manasseh the son of Hezekiah, the king of Judah, for what he did in Jerusalem. For who will show compassion upon you, O Jerusalem, and who will sympathize with you, and who will turn aside to ask about your welfare?’ ‘You yourself have deserted me,’ is the utterance of Jehovah. ‘Backwards [from me] is the way you keep walking.’”—Jer. 15:2-6; also 16:4.
12. When and by whom were references to similar death-dealing things made concerning first-century Jerusalem and the present system of things?
12 Deadly plague (or, pestilence), sword (or, war), famine (or, food shortage) and captivity! These words spoken to Jeremiah regarding Jerusalem during her time of the end (647-607 B.C.E.) in his day were words also used by Jesus Christ in his prophecy concerning the “time of the end” of Jerusalem in the first century of our Common Era. (Matt. 24:3-7, 21, 22; Luke 21:10, 11, 20-24) Also, in his prophecy in the last book of the Bible the same things are called to our attention by the use of illustrations, including the wild beasts of the field. (Rev. 6:1-8) That last prophecy carries the fulfillment of those calamitous predictions beyond the writing of Revelation in 96 C.E. down to our own “time of the end,” from 1914 C.E. onward. (Dan. 12:4) So the prophecy, in its final fulfillment, applies to the present doomed system of things, including apostate Christendom.
13. Since when have we had similar things in undue measure?
13 Should any of us blind our eyes to the fact that since the end of the Gentile Times in 1914 we have had war (the sword), famine, pestilence, also earthquakes in undue measure? It has been just as predicted, as illustrated in the case of the Jerusalem of Jeremiah’s day and the Jerusalem of the days of Jesus’ apostles.
14. Why has Christendom been no exception to the suffering of such calamitous things?
14 Christendom, the modern antitype of apostate Jerusalem and Judah, has not been any exception to the suffering of such calamitous things. The prayers of her clergymen have not availed for her. The reason for this is the same as that in the case of the Israelites of Jeremiah’s days: “‘I have taken away my peace from this people,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘even loving-kindness and mercies.’ For this is what Jehovah of armies, the God of Israel, has said, ‘Here I am causing to cease out of this place before the eyes of you people and in your days the voice of exultation and the voice of rejoicing, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride.’”—Jer. 16:5, 9.
HOPING FOR PEACE IN VAIN!
15. For what was there a hoping with regard to Israel in Jeremiah’s day, and what assurances were the other prophets giving to the Israelites?
15 For Christendom during this “time of the end,” the situation has been just as it was with the Israelites during the days when Jeremiah declared Jehovah’s judgment message to them: “There was a hoping for peace, but no good came; and for a time of healing, and, look! terror!” (Jer. 14:19) Nevertheless, Christendom’s clergy persist in contradicting what the Jeremiah class, the “faithful and discreet slave” class, have been declaring as a warning to all people. These anointed witnesses of Jehovah meet up with the same situation that Jeremiah did and that he described, saying: “Alas, O Sovereign Lord Jehovah! Here the prophets are saying to them, ‘You will see no sword [in the hand of Jehovah’s executioner], and there will be no famine to happen to you, but true peace is what I shall give you in this place.’”—Jer. 14:13; Matt. 24:45-47.
16. What words and deeds of the clergy make Christendom’s church members more heedless of the warning given by Jehovah’s Witnesses?
16 Such prophesying that there is no likelihood of calamity at God’s hand is designed to quiet the fears of the people. It raises false hopes in the bosoms of Christendom’s church members. It throws them off guard as far as any sudden outbreak of the “great tribulation” is concerned. Consequently, like a thief in the night it will come upon them, and they will suffer eternal loss. Inasmuch as the clergy discredit the Jeremiah class and discount their timely message, it makes the self-complacent church members more heedless of the warning that Jehovah is giving by his witnesses.
17, 18. (a) Due to the clergy of Christendom, what has become like a chronic, unhealable condition with the Jeremiah class? (b) What attitude has the Jeremiah class been obliged to maintain toward intimacy with the clergy?
17 To deepen the impression made by their guarantees of peace, the religious leaders persecute the Jeremiah class and their supporters. They sic the political authorities upon them. The persecution and reproach that the Jeremiah class continue to endure has become like something chronic with them, like an unhealable infection of them by Jehovah’s permission, as if he were denouncing them. They cannot compromise with the clergy class and enter into their intimate group. Jehovah is the only One to whom to present their case, and in his provision they rejoice, as Jeremiah said:
18 “You yourself have known. O Jehovah, remember me and turn your attention to me and avenge me upon my persecutors. In your slowness to anger do not take me away. Take note of my bearing reproach on account of your own self. Your words were found, and I proceeded to eat them; and your word becomes to me the exultation and the rejoicing of my heart; for your name has been called upon me, O Jehovah God of armies. I have not sat down in the intimate group of those playing jokes and begun exulting [with those jokesters who think peace is assured]. Because of your hand I have sat down all by myself, for it is with denunciation [bitterness, LXX; gloom, JP] that you have filled me.”—Jer. 15:15-17, NW; Septuagint Version, Bagster’s edition, also Charles Thomson; The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1973 edition.
19. In spite of the persecution upon the Jeremiah class, why can the persecuted ones exult and boast?
19 The persecution that cleaves to the Jeremiah class like a chronic ailment is not pleasant in itself. (Jer. 15:18) But the persecuted ones can exult in Jehovah’s Word, the Holy Scriptures, that have been preserved for our comfort. (Rom. 15:4) We can rejoice because of finding in those Scriptures the prophetic words that explain our difficult times and that give us a bright hope for a new order after Har–Magedon. For this we can boast in Jehovah.—Jer. 9:23, 24.
20, 21. (a) Why does the human heart today prove to be most “treacherous,” yes, “desperate”? (b) According to Jeremiah 17:5-8, which course of action leads to God’s curse and which to his blessing?
20 During this “conclusion of the system of things,” when lawlessness increases and Jehovah awaits his time to punish rampant wickedness, the human heart proves to be most “treacherous,” yes, “desperate,” as humanity finds itself hard pressed. If we try to satisfy the heart in ways contrary to God’s counsel and standards of righteousness, it will bring on us his adverse judgment. (Jer. 17:9-11) Under today’s pressures toward taking a wrong course of action, let not our hearts deceive us and move us to do unscriptural, senseless things. Remember: the course of action that we take will determine whether we deserve to receive a curse or a blessing. Jehovah sets forth the course that will lead to his curse and the course that will lead to his blessing, saying:
21 “Cursed is the able-bodied man who puts his trust in earthling man and actually makes flesh his arm, and whose heart turns away from Jehovah himself. And he will certainly become like a solitary tree in the desert plain and will not see when good comes; but he must reside in parched places in the wilderness, in a salt country that is not inhabited. Blessed is the able-bodied man who puts his trust in Jehovah, and whose confidence Jehovah has become. And he will certainly become like a tree planted by the waters, that sends out its roots right by the watercourse; and he will not see when heat comes, but his foliage will actually prove to be luxuriant. And in the year of drought he will not become anxious, nor will he leave off from producing fruit.”—Jer. 17:5-8.
22. How did the Israelites of Jeremiah’s day show that they made ‘flesh their arm’?
22 People who are able-bodied themselves are prone to trust in earthling man and to depend upon an arm of flesh to deliver them. Little wonder that they become like a lone tree in a parched, salt-impregnated desert. They do like the Israelites of Jeremiah’s day: When enemy forces, roaring like lions, threatened these Israelites, they did not appeal to the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. They turned to earthling men of mighty arm, skilled in violent warfare, for military aid. So they did not draw close to Jehovah to drink the water of salvation from him as the Source of deliverance. Instead, they ran down to Egypt to drink the water of salvation from the Nile River. Or they ran up to Assyria to drink the water of salvation from the Euphrates River, for a time dominated by Assyria.
23. How did the Israelites ‘hew out for themselves cisterns that cannot contain the water,’ and with what outcome?
23 In that way, figuratively speaking, the faithless Israelites proceeded to “hew out for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that cannot contain the water.” They forsook Jehovah, “the source of living water.” Consequently, no salvation came from him. Disappointingly, the highly militarized world powers of Egypt and Assyria did not fill the “broken cisterns” of the Israelites with the water of salvation from their political enemies. So they got no life-giving water from the Shihor, the Nile River, or from the Euphrates River when under Assyrian domination. For abandoning Jehovah their God as the Source of deliverance, the renegade Israelites came under a soul-parching curse.—Jer. 2:13-18.
24. Where, however, do the Jeremiah class and the “great crowd” direct their respect and hope, and where do they worship the true source of living water?
24 Unlike those Israelites, those of the Jeremiah class of today have made Jehovah their Hope. They respect his throne of universal sovereignty. They worship him as their God at his spiritual temple or sanctuary. They hope in him, not in any earthling man or human world power with nuclear weapons. They lead a “great crowd” today in putting trust and confidence in Jehovah. Shunning the way of apostate Christendom, they wisely say: “There is the glorious throne on high from the start; it is the place of our sanctuary. O Jehovah, the hope of Israel, all those who are leaving you will be put to shame [disappointment]. Those apostatizing from me will be written down even in the earth, because they have left the source of living water, Jehovah.”—Jer. 17:12, 13.
25. By what course, then, shall we get into the New Order under Jesus the Messiah?
25 Let us leave, then, the man-made “broken cisterns” that hold no water of salvation from world disaster. Let us turn to Jehovah. He can protect us during the “great tribulation” and bring us safely into his new order under Jesus the Messiah.