The Judgment Day of the Gods
“Who is a God like you?”—Mic. 7:18.
1. Though the existence of Jehovah is denied, in what do most of the people believe as superhuman intelligences?
TODAY more and more people are saying: ‘There is no God!’ Whatever may be their reason for saying this, the Bible says: “The senseless one has said in his heart: ‘There is no Jehovah.’” (Ps. 14:1) Though many deny the existence of Jehovah, the majority of mankind do believe in gods without number. In India alone the Hindus believe in hundreds of millions of gods.
2. In this day when the godship of all those who are called deities is being called in question, who is acting as Judge?
2 The Bible recognizes that there are many who are called gods or who try to make gods out of themselves. Psalm 82:1, 6 says: “God is stationing himself in the assembly of the Divine One; in the middle of the gods he judges. ‘I myself have said, “You are gods, and all of you are sons of the Most High.”’” Also, Psalm 97:1, 7 says: “Jehovah himself has become king! . . . Let all those serving any carved image be ashamed, those who are making their boast in valueless gods. Bow down to him, all you gods.” The godship of all of these whom humans worship has now been called into question. Their judgment day has come. Jehovah judges.
3. In the eighth century B.C.E., the name of what Jewish prophet was a challenge to all the gods of the world, and why?
3 In the eighth century before our Common Era, there was a prophet whose very name was a challenge to all the gods of the world. His name, Micah, means “Who is like Jah?” that is, like Jehovah.—Mic. 1:1; Jer. 26:18.
4. With what challenging question to all those called gods do Micah and his prophetic book have to do?
4 In contrasting himself with the people of the Gentile nations, the prophet Micah speaks for himself and for other faithful ones like himself when he says: “All the peoples, for their part, will walk each one in the name of its god; but we, for our part, shall walk in the name of Jehovah our God to time indefinite, even forever.” (Mic. 4:5) Very fittingly, till the end of his prophetic book Micah raised the challenging question, “Who is a God like you, one pardoning error and passing over transgression of the remnant of his inheritance?”—Mic. 7:18.
5. According to Micah 1:2-4, before whom does Jehovah openly lay his case, and on what issue?
5 The question of godship is one of worldwide consideration, and Jehovah lays his case open for the general public, especially before those who claim to represent him on earth. This fact is very plain from the quotation of his words, at Micah 1:2-4: “Hear, O you peoples, all of you; pay attention, O earth and what fills you, and let the Sovereign Lord Jehovah serve against you as a witness, Jehovah from his holy temple. For, look! Jehovah is going forth from his place, and he will certainly come down and tread upon earth’s high places. And the mountains must melt under him, and the low plains themselves will split apart, like wax because of the fire, like waters being poured down a steep place.”
6 In his further witnessing, Jehovah explains the meaning of those terrifying figures of speech by saying:
“What is bad has come down from Jehovah to the gates of Jerusalem.” (Mic. 1:12) “Therefore this is what Jehovah has said, ‘Here I am thinking up against this family a calamity from which you people will not remove your necks, so that you will not walk haughtily; because it is a time of calamity. In that day one will raise up concerning you people a proverbial saying and will certainly lament a lamentation, even a lamentation. One will have to say: “We have positively been despoiled! The very portion of my people he alters. How he removes it from me!”’” (Mic. 2:3, 4) “Be in severe pains and burst forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman giving birth, for now . . . you will have to come as far as to Babylon.”—Mic. 4:10.
7. As we read the grounds that Jehovah sets out for his taking such drastic action, what modern counterpart should we have in mind, and especially with regard to what bad things?
7 As we review the grounds that Jehovah sets forth for taking such drastic action, let us have modern-day Christendom in mind, for she is the counterpart of the unfaithful Israel of Micah’s day. As Jehovah goes on to bear public witness, he explains: “It is because of the revolt of Jacob that there is all this, even because of the sins of the house of Israel.” Among those sins Jehovah mentions worship at “high places” instead of at the temple in Jerusalem, and their idolatrous worship of “graven images.”—Mic. 1:5-7.
8 Besides the foregoing, Jehovah mentions “those who are scheming what is harmful,” and “those practicing what is bad, upon their beds.” He adds: “By the light of the morning they proceed to do it, because it is in the power of their hand. And they have desired fields and have seized them; also houses, and have taken them; and they have defrauded an able-bodied man and his household, a man and his hereditary possession.” (Mic. 2:1, 2) “Is it not your business to know justice? You haters of what is good and lovers of badness, tearing off their skin from people and their organism from off their bones; you the ones who have also eaten the organism of my people, and have stripped their very skin from off them, and smashed to pieces their very bones, and crushed them to pieces like what is in a widemouthed pot and like flesh in the midst of a cooking pot.”—Mic. 3:1-3.
9 With such words the Sovereign Lord Jehovah served “as a witness” against the ancient kingdom of Judah. His prophet Micah had to serve as His visible witness, and this took great courage on his part, yes, great spiritual strength. But Micah was equal to what this service called for. How so? He tells us in these words: “I myself have become full of power, with the spirit of Jehovah, and of justice and mightiness, in order to tell to Jacob his revolt and to Israel his sin.”—Mic. 3:8.
10. In what way was Israel treating God himself unfairly, and, as an example for us, Micah was no spiritual weakling in what way?
10 The same spirit of Jehovah that empowered Micah to proclaim the strong message of judgment by word of mouth also moved him to write down this stern message from the true God. Micah had something that the false prophets, visionaries and diviners of that day did not have, and so he had Jehovah’s “answer” to the national problems, namely, the “revolt” of Jacob and the “sin” of Israel. Personally, Micah had a sense of justice, so that he deeply appreciated that his own people were treating God unjustly, callously breaking God’s law and violating their national covenant with him through the mediator Moses. As a fine example for the Christian witnesses of Jehovah of today, Micah was no religious weakling, but he was full of spiritual mightiness to identify sin as sin!
THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE FALSE GODS FOR CONDITIONS
11. To whom is responsibility chargeable for the bad moral and religious conditions in ancient Israel and now in Christendom?
11 Jehovah of armies was not the one responsible for the bad conditions in the nation of Israel anciently. Neither is he responsible for the bad conditions morally and religiously inside Israel’s present-day counterpart, Christendom. The responsible ones back in Micah’s day, and likewise today, were and are “the god of this system of things,” Satan the Devil, and all the demon gods associated with him. (Matt. 4:3, 4; 2 Cor. 4:4) In accord with this it is written: “All the peoples, for their part, will walk each one in the name of its god.” (Mic. 4:5) “There are those who are called ‘gods,’ whether in heaven or on earth, just as there are many ‘gods’ and many ‘lords.’” (1 Cor. 8:5) All these false gods have had their day, to do all the damage they could.
12. How will Jehovah now execute discernible judgment upon all those false gods?
12 Now, though, the time has come for Jehovah the Almighty God to bring them all into judgment and to put a stop to all their forms of worship by means of temples, priests, idols or graven images and rituals and sacrifices. Jehovah’s irreversible purpose to do this in the case of ancient typical Israel he set forth by his prophet Micah, saying: “I will cut off sorceries out of your hand, and no practicers of magic will you continue to have. And I will cut off your graven images and your pillars from the midst of you, and you will no more bow down to the work of your hands. And I will uproot your sacred poles from the midst of you and annihilate your cities. And in anger and in rage I will execute vengeance upon the nations that have not obeyed.”—Mic. 5:12-15.
13. Since when has there been the greatest exposure of false deities, and why does this include Christendom?
13 During the past 100 years there has been an exposing of the false gods of this world, even of Christendom. This exposure is without equal in the history of the nations since the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians in the year 607 B.C.E., or about 109 years after the prophet Micah finished writing his prophecy. This has included the exposure of Christendom’s own god, the so-called Trinity, inexplainably made up of three gods in one and each of these deities being coexistent, coequal and coeternal. This triune deity is sometimes illustrated by a human body with three heads or a head with three faces. The use of man-made images in religious worship can plainly be observed in the temples, cathedrals and churches of Christendom.
14. (a) Who on earth outstandingly took part in this exposure work? (b) When and how did this Micah class take upon itself the name “Jehovah’s Witnesses,” thus assuming what obligation?
14 During this time of judgment of all the false gods of this world, who are the ones that have carried on the work of exposure? The dedicated, baptized Christians who have been anointed with the spirit of Jehovah God through Jesus Christ. As a company, or class, these were prefigured by Jehovah’s prophet Micah. Activities like those of Micah have been carried on modernly, particularly since the end of World War I in 1918 C.E. Then the Micah class resolutely stepped forward onto the postwar scene and outstandingly acted as the witness for the God of Micah against the idolatrous systems of Christendom and pagandom. On valid grounds this Micah class, when gathered together in international assembly at Columbus, Ohio, in 1931, adopted a resolution by which they confessed themselves to be “Jehovah’s witnesses” and pledged themselves to carry out this obligation of being His witnesses. Following that example, congregations of dedicated Christians worldwide, who recognized themselves to be “the Israel of God,” unitedly assented to that 1931 resolution and took upon themselves the Bible-based name “Jehovah’s witnesses.” (Isa. 43:10-12; Gal. 6:16) Though challenged by Christendom, the name has stuck!
15. (a) According to his own statement, who is Jehovah’s greatest witness? (b) So what would Satan like to do to this witness during his residence on earth?
15 Those bearers of this new name recognized that their Leader, Jesus Christ, was and is the greatest of the witnesses of Jehovah. In the last book of the Bible, the Revelation that Jehovah God used the glorified Jesus Christ to impart to the aged apostle John, the only-begotten Son of God says of himself: “These are the things that the Amen says, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation by God.” (Rev. 3:14) Like his Father, Jehovah, the Lord Jesus bore witness against the deplorable conditions in the Israel of his day, similar to those that Micah described. Outstandingly, Jesus is the one whom Jehovah now uses in this judgment day for all the false gods. It is not strange, then, that Satan the Devil would, as “the god of this system of things,” want to destroy the only-begotten Son of God during his residence on earth. The human birth of this Son of God was grabbed at as a fine opportunity to do this. There is no doubt that, from the prophecy of Micah 5:2, Satan the Devil knew where the birth was to take place.
16. How did Micah 5:2 indicate where the Messiah was to be born?
16 Micah 5:2 reads: “And you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, the one too little to get to be among the thousands of Judah, from you there will come out to me the one who is to become ruler in Israel, whose origin is from early times, from the days of time indefinite.”
17. (a) The context of Micah 5:2 shows that the promised birth was to take place after what occurrence? (b) When the time came for the birth to occur, where did the Jewish virgin find herself, and how so?
17 According to what the verses surrounding Micah 5:2 indicate, the prophecy was to be fulfilled after the return of the Jews from 70 years of exile in the land of Babylon. (Note Micah 1:16; 4:10.) And it actually was 535 years after the liberated Jews resettled in the land of Judah, in which the little town of Bethlehem was reestablished. At the due time Jehovah sent his angel to the virgin Jewess of the family line of King David to say that she was to become the mother of the promised Messiah, the Christ. Then at the time due for the birth Mary found herself in her native town of Bethlehem, to be registered there according to the decree of Caesar Augustus. There, about the middle of the seventh Jewish month, Tishri, or about the start of October, Mary’s firstborn son was brought forth and was called Jesus, just as the angel had instructed. That Satan the Devil was interested in this portentous birth is indicated by the fact that his worshipers, namely, pagan astrologers, took an active interest in the matter. About this a historian, the apostle Matthew, writes:
18. In line with his evil design, how did Satan bring the knowledge of the birth of Jesus to the attention of King Herod of Judea?
18 “After Jesus had been born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, . . . King Herod was agitated, and all Jerusalem along with him; and on gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people he began to inquire of them where the Christ was to be born. They said to him: ‘In Bethlehem of Judea, for this is how it has been written through the prophet, “And you, O Bethlehem of the land of Judah, are by no means the most insignificant city among the governors of Judah; for out of you will come forth a governing one, who will shepherd my people, Israel.”’”—Matt. 2:1-6.
19. Why did the slaughter of the babes of Bethlehem, as ordered by King Herod, fail of its objective?
19 So King Herod sent the astrologers to Bethlehem. But after these observers of dreams failed to report back and tell him where he could find the recently born Jesus, King Herod sent his soldiers to Bethlehem and had all the baby boys of two years of age and younger killed off. But Mary and her husband, Joseph, had been forewarned and left Bethlehem and took refuge in Egypt so as to preserve the young child Jesus alive. There can be no doubt that jealous, power-hungry King Herod was instigated by his god, Satan the Devil, the symbolic Serpent whose head was to be crushed by the “seed” of God’s “woman.” (Gen. 3:15) Thus was foiled not only King Herod but also the invisible ruler of all the demon gods.—Matt. 2:7-18.
20. By whom did Satan and his demon gods deserve to be judged, and, during this judgment time, how have Satan and his angels already been dealt with?
20 To balance matters, Satan the Devil and all his demon gods deserve to be judged by means of the one whom they sought to exterminate. This is already under development, since the end of “the appointed times of the nations” in 1914, of which nations Satan the Devil is the god. (Luke 21:24; 2 Cor. 4:4) In line with God’s words at Genesis 3:15, the prophecy of Micah 5:1 foretold: “With the rod they will strike upon the cheek the judge of Israel,” that is, Jesus Christ. But now that the judgment day of all the false gods of the nations has begun, the great archangel Michael, whose name means “Who is like God?”, has battled with Satan the Devil and his demon angels and has ousted them from the heavens.
21. During the time of the war in heaven, what was taking place on earth, and when will Christ govern all mankind without interference by Satan and the other demon gods?
21 Coincidental with that war in the invisible heavens the first world war of human history was fought during 1914-1918. Since the chagrined Devil and all the other demon gods have been confined to the vicinity of our tiny earth, it has become indeed a special time of “woe for the earth and for the sea.” (Rev. 12:7-12) This judgment day of all the false gods will continue on until “the war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Har–Magedon is over and Satan and all the other demon gods are abyssed for the 1,000 years of Christ’s reign. (Rev. 16:14-16; 20:1-3) Thus the glorified Governor out of Bethlehem, Jesus Christ, will govern all mankind without interference by all the false gods and will instruct all the families of the earth in the life-giving worship of the one living and true God.