Stand Still and See the Salvation of Jehovah!
“Take your position, stand still and see the salvation of Jehovah in your behalf.”—2 CHRONICLES 20:17.
1, 2. Why is the imminent attack by “Gog of the land of Magog” of greater consequence than is the threat of international terrorism?
TERRORISM has been described by some as an attack on the world community, even on civilization itself. Understandably, such a threat must be taken seriously. On the other hand, of even greater consequence is another attack, to which the world community gives little or no attention. What is it?
2 It is the attack by “Gog of the land of Magog,” about which the Bible speaks in Ezekiel chapter 38. Is it an exaggeration to say that this attack is of greater consequence than is the threat of international terrorism? Not at all, because Gog’s attack goes beyond an assault on human governments. It strikes out against the heavenly government of God! However, unlike humans, who may have only limited success in coping with assaults on their system, the Creator is fully capable of dealing with Gog’s more vicious attack.
An Attack on God’s Government
3. What have world rulers been invited to do since 1914, and how have they responded?
3 Conflict between God’s now ruling King and Satan’s wicked system has been ongoing ever since God’s Kingdom was established in the heavens in 1914. At that time, human rulers were put on notice to submit to God’s chosen Ruler. But they have refused to do so, as was foretold: “The kings of earth take their stand and high officials themselves have massed together as one against Jehovah and against his anointed one, saying: ‘Let us tear their bands apart and cast their cords away from us!’” (Psalm 2:1-3) Resistance to Kingdom rule will clearly reach its climax during the attack by Gog of Magog.
4, 5. How can humans fight God’s invisible, heavenly government?
4 We may wonder how humans can fight against an invisible, heavenly government. This government, the Bible reveals, is made up of “the hundred and forty-four thousand, who have been bought from the earth,” along with “the Lamb,” Christ Jesus. (Revelation 14:1, 3; John 1:29) Being heavenly, the new government is spoken of as the “new heavens,” whereas its earthly subjects are logically called “a new earth.” (Isaiah 65:17; 2 Peter 3:13) Most of the 144,000 corulers with Christ have already completed their earthly course in faithfulness. They have thus proved their worthiness to take up their new assignments of service in heaven.
5 A small remnant of the 144,000, however, are still on earth. Of the more than 15,000,000 who attended the celebration of the Lord’s Evening Meal in 2002, only 8,760 expressed their hope of having been chosen for this heavenly assignment. Anyone who dares to attack the remaining prospective members of the Kingdom is in reality striking against God’s Kingdom.—Revelation 12:17.
The King Completes His Conquest
6. How do Jehovah and Christ view opposition directed toward God’s people?
6 Jehovah’s reaction to the opposition to his established Kingdom was foretold: “The very One sitting in the heavens will laugh; Jehovah himself will hold them in derision. At that time he will speak to them in his anger and in his hot displeasure he will disturb them, saying: ‘I, even I, have installed my king upon Zion, my holy mountain.’” (Psalm 2:4-6) The time has now arrived for Christ, under Jehovah’s direction, “to complete his conquest.” (Revelation 6:2) How does Jehovah view opposition directed toward his people during the time of final conquest? As directed actually against him and against his reigning King. “He that is touching you is touching my eyeball,” says Jehovah. (Zechariah 2:8) And Jesus stated emphatically that he counts what people do or fail to do to his anointed brothers as being done or not done to him.—Matthew 25:40, 45.
7. For what reasons do those of the “great crowd,” described at Revelation 7:9, experience Gog’s fury?
7 Of course, those who actively support the anointed remnant will likewise feel Gog’s fury. These prospective members of God’s “new earth” are “a great crowd” called “out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues.” (Revelation 7:9) They are spoken of as “standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes.” They thus have an approved standing before God and Christ Jesus. Carrying “palm branches in their hands,” they hail Jehovah as rightful Sovereign of the universe, whose rulership is expressed through the reign of his enthroned King, Jesus Christ, “the Lamb of God.”—John 1:29, 36.
8. What will Gog’s attack cause Christ to do, with what result?
8 Gog’s attack will cause God’s enthroned King to take action and wage the war of Armageddon. (Revelation 16:14, 16) Those who have refused to acknowledge Jehovah’s sovereignty will suffer destruction. Those who have endured tribulation for their loyalty to God’s Kingdom, on the other hand, will experience permanent relief. Regarding this, the apostle Paul wrote: “This is a proof of the righteous judgment of God, leading to your being counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are indeed suffering. This takes into account that it is righteous on God’s part to repay tribulation to those who make tribulation for you, but, to you who suffer tribulation, relief along with us at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with his powerful angels in a flaming fire, as he brings vengeance upon those who do not know God and those who do not obey the good news about our Lord Jesus.”—2 Thessalonians 1:5-8.
9, 10. (a) How did Jehovah give Judah the victory over a formidable enemy? (b) What must Christians today continue to do?
9 During the upcoming great tribulation, culminating in Armageddon, Christ will war against all evil. But there will be no need for his followers to fight, even as this was unnecessary for the inhabitants of the two-tribe kingdom of Judah thousands of years ago. The battle belonged to Jehovah, and he gave the victory. The record reads: “Jehovah set men in ambush against the sons of Ammon, Moab and the mountainous region of Seir who were coming into Judah, and they went smiting one another. And the sons of Ammon and Moab proceeded to stand up against the inhabitants of the mountainous region of Seir to devote them to destruction and annihilate them; and as soon as they finished with the inhabitants of Seir, they helped each one to bring his own fellow to ruin. But as for Judah, it came to the watchtower of the wilderness. When they turned their faces toward the crowd, why, there they were, their carcasses fallen to the earth without anyone escaping.”—2 Chronicles 20:22-24.
10 It was exactly as Jehovah had foretold: “You will not need to fight.” (2 Chronicles 20:17) This sets the pattern for Christians to follow when Jesus Christ moves in “to complete his conquest.” Meanwhile, they continue to fight evil, not with carnal weapons, but with spiritual ones. They thereby “keep conquering the evil with the good.”—Romans 6:13; 12:17-21; 13:12; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.
Who Will Lead Gog’s Attack?
11. (a) What agencies will Gog use to carry out his attack? (b) What is involved in being spiritually alert?
11 Gog of Magog is identified as Satan the Devil in his debased position since 1914. As a spirit creature, he cannot carry out his attack directly, but he will use human agencies to do his deeds. Who will these human agencies be? The Bible does not give us details, yet it does give us certain indications that can help us to identify who they will be. As world events unfold in fulfillment of Bible prophecies, we will gradually get an ever clearer picture. Jehovah’s people avoid speculation but remain spiritually alert, fully aware of political and religious developments that fit into the framework of the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
12, 13. How did the prophet Daniel foretell a final attack upon God’s people?
12 The prophet Daniel sheds light upon a final attack against God’s people, writing: “He [the king of the north] will certainly go forth in a great rage in order to annihilate and to devote many to destruction. And he will plant his palatial tents between the grand sea and the holy mountain of Decoration.”—Daniel 11:44, 45.
13 In the context of the Bible, “the grand sea” was the Great Sea, or the Mediterranean, and “the holy mountain” was Zion, of which Jehovah said: “I, even I, have installed my king upon Zion, my holy mountain.” (Psalm 2:6; Joshua 1:4) Thus, in a spiritual sense, the land “between the grand sea and the holy mountain” represents the prosperous spiritual estate of anointed Christians. They are no longer identified with the sea of humanity alienated from God, and they are looking forward to ruling with Christ Jesus in the heavenly Kingdom. Clearly, God’s anointed servants, along with their loyal companions of the great crowd, will be the target of the king of the north when he launches his vicious attack in fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy.—Isaiah 57:20; Hebrews 12:22; Revelation 14:1.
How Will God’s Servants React?
14. What three things will God’s people do when attacked?
14 What will servants of God be expected to do once they come under attack? Again, the reaction of God’s typical nation in the days of Jehoshaphat sets the pattern. Note that its citizens were commanded to do three things: (1) take their position, (2) stand still, and (3) see the salvation of Jehovah. How will God’s people today act in harmony with these words?—2 Chronicles 20:17.
15. What does it mean for Jehovah’s people to take their position?
15 Take their position: Without wavering, God’s people will continue to hold to their position of active support for God’s Kingdom. They will continue to maintain their position of Christian neutrality. They will be “steadfast, unmovable” in their loyal service to Jehovah and will continue publicly to praise Jehovah for his loving-kindness. (1 Corinthians 15:58; Psalm 118:28, 29) No present or future pressure can shake them from this divinely approved position.
16. In what respects will Jehovah’s servants stand still?
16 Stand still: Jehovah’s servants will not try to save themselves but will place their implicit trust in Jehovah. Only he is capable of rescuing his servants out of world chaos, and he has promised to do so. (Isaiah 43:10, 11; 54:15; Lamentations 3:26) Trusting in Jehovah will include trusting the modern visible channel that he has clearly been using for decades to serve his purposes. As never before, true Christians will then need to place their confidence in fellow worshipers authorized by Jehovah and his reigning King to take the lead. These faithful men will direct God’s people. Ignoring their direction could end in disaster.—Matthew 24:45-47; Hebrews 13:7, 17.
17. Why will God’s faithful servants see the salvation of Jehovah?
17 See the salvation of Jehovah: Salvation will be the reward for all those who hold to their position of Christian integrity and who trust in Jehovah for deliverance. Until the final hour—and to the extent they can—they will announce the arrival of the day of Jehovah’s judgment. All creation must know that Jehovah is the true God and that he has faithful servants on earth. Never again will there be the need for a prolonged controversy over the rightfulness of Jehovah’s sovereignty.—Ezekiel 33:33; 36:23.
18, 19. (a) How does the victory song in Exodus chapter 15 reflect the feelings of those who will survive Gog’s attack? (b) What is it appropriate for God’s people to do now?
18 With renewed energy, God’s people will enter into the new world, eager to sing a victory song, even as did the Israelites of old after their deliverance through the Red Sea. Forever grateful to Jehovah for his protection, individually and collectively, they will echo words of long ago: “Let me sing to Jehovah, for he has become highly exalted. . . . Jehovah is a manly person of war. Jehovah is his name. . . . Your right hand, O Jehovah, can shatter an enemy. And in the abundance of your superiority you can throw down those who rise up against you; you send out your burning anger, it eats them up like stubble. . . . You in your loving-kindness have led the people whom you have recovered; you in your strength will certainly conduct them to your holy abiding place. . . . You will bring them and plant them in the mountain of your inheritance, an established place that you have made ready for you to inhabit, O Jehovah, a sanctuary, O Jehovah, that your hands have established. Jehovah will rule as king to time indefinite, even forever.”—Exodus 15:1-19.
19 Now with the prospect of everlasting life brighter than ever before, what an opportune time for God’s servants to demonstrate their devotion to Jehovah and to renew their determination to serve him as their everlasting King!—1 Chronicles 29:11-13.
Can You Explain?
• Why will Gog’s attack be directed against the anointed and the other sheep?
• How will God’s people take their position?
• What does it mean to stand still?
• How will God’s people see the salvation of Jehovah?
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Jehovah gave Jehoshaphat and his people the victory, with no need for them to fight
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The anointed and the other sheep share in upholding Jehovah’s sovereignty
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Like the Israelites of old, God’s people will soon be singing a victory song