seized control of the city, “Belshazzar the Chaldean king was killed,” many of those about the king and others caught in the streets were slain. (Dan. 5:1-4, 30) They did not go to sleep merely as a drunkard who wakes up the next day; theirs was “an indefinitely lasting sleep” because they were dead.
They were suffering the effects, not merely of literal wine, but of the symbolic “cup of the wine of rage” of Jehovah God, whom they had defied. The sword of war among them made them stagger like drunkards, and some of them, slain by the sword, would “sleep an indefinitely lasting sleep,” from which no man could awaken them.—Jer. 25:15, 16, 26.
Does this mean that none of them will be resurrected so as to be included with “the dead, the great and the small,” whom the apostle John prophetically saw standing before the throne of judgment? (Rev. 20:12, 13) Apparently not. Belshazzar was the last of that line of kings. He was slain on the night Babylon fell and went into “an indefinitely lasting sleep” from which he has not awakened till now because he was not made drunk with wine, the effects of which can be slept off, but was killed, and so he is apparently included among those who are in Sheol. If that is true of him, it seems reasonable that it would be true of other Babylonians who perished at that time. How long their “indefinitely lasting sleep” will yet last before God’s power rouses them from death under the Messianic kingdom, we do not know. They cannot wake themselves up.—Compare Job 14:10-12, 19-22.
True followers of Jesus Christ maintain unity of faith and work by cooperating closely with one another and with Jehovah’s visible organization, which is directing the worldwide preaching of the good news of God’s kingdom. During August this unity will be manifest as they call at the homes of people everywhere to share the faith-inspiring truths contained in God’s Word. As an aid to interested persons, they will offer Bible study publications, on a small contribution.
DANGER AHEAD! SEEK SAFETY
What is your greatest danger? Opinions might vary as to the answer, but certainly no one can safely ignore the danger of following a course contrary to God’s will. Do you feel reasonably secure in this regard? Remember, whole nations have suffered because they were misled. So have great religious systems. And the severest time of all is here! Why? How are you directly involved? What protection is available? Read the timely and absorbing 704-page hardbound book “Babylon the Great Has Fallen!” God’s Kingdom Rules! Send only 75c.
ANNUAL MEETING OF MEMBERS
Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania is a corporation formed and used by Jehovah’s witnesses for the advancement of the Society’s work of preaching the “everlasting good news” in conformity with the holy word of Jehovah God, the great Provider of the Kingdom and the Kingdom message. Yearly this corporation has its business meeting, which in 1965 falls on Friday, October 1, 1965, at the office of the Society located at 4100 Bigelow Boulevard, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213.
Letters of notice will be sent to the members of the corporation. The members can ensure their receiving the notice and accompanying proxy by making certain that the secretary’s office has the present mailing address of the member to which the notice is to be sent.
While the purpose of here making mention of the annual meeting is to remind those who are members to provide the Society’s secretary with their present mailing address, mention is also made of the fact that any reader of The Watchtower is welcome to attend the annual meeting.
“WATCHTOWER” STUDIES FOR THE WEEKS
September 12: Jehovah—a God of Love and Patience. Page 485.
September 19: Turning to Jehovah. Page 492.