8. Who does the challenger identify himself to be?
8 And now comes the declaration of the challenger: According to the American Standard Version (AS) of the Bible, the challenger identifies who he is by name, saying: “Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
9. Whom has Jehovah made his witnesses, and how?
9 Boldly the One who raised the challenging questions identifies himself as Jehovah. Whereas the challenged gods cannot produce their witnesses to furnish evidence of their godship, Jehovah can produce His witnesses. His witnesses are on the scene. He has furnished them, and he addresses them and reminds them of how they came to be His witnesses. Who are they? Jehovah speaks of them as a unit, calling them as a group, “My servant whom I have chosen.” They stand in contrast with the nations and national groups whose many gods Jehovah challenges. Jehovah’s witnesses are his own servant, his own chosen nation. That this nation might be his unanimous witnesses, Jehovah has made it his servant class that they might get acquainted with him: that they might know him and believe, have faith, in him, and hence understand that he is the same One, the unchanged, everlasting God. In this way they could be equipped to serve as his witnesses before all the idolatrous nations of the world.
10. How is it that there was no god formed before Jehovah?
10 Before this God, Jehovah, there was no such person or thing as a god formed. Not that Jehovah God himself was formed by someone. If, like modern atheists, we were to insist that Jehovah God was formed, we should be obliged logically to ask, Who formed Jehovah God? This would lead to the question, Who, then, formed the former of Jehovah God? Also, Who formed the one that formed the former of Jehovah God? In fact, we should never get to the end of asking that same question over and over again. Thus the mystery about Godship would only thicken, get more complicated and lead to no satisfaction of an intelligent mind. The question of formation could only cease to be asked when it reached an unformed Former who had always been, a Former without beginning. The prophet Moses, who was one of the witnesses that made up Jehovah’s “servant” class, settles the matter in a most simple timesaving way, saying to the Lord Jehovah, the Creator of heaven and earth: “Even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.”—Psalm 90:1, 2, AS.
11. Why is it that there was no god formed before Jehovah?
11 Why, then, did Jehovah say: “Before me there was no God formed”? (Isaiah 43:10) It was because the idolatrous nations of the world had formed their own false gods, but they had not formed Jehovah as God. They were not ahead of Jehovah’s existence in forming a single false god of theirs. Jehovah, as the Creator of the earth and its inhabitants, was ahead of any and all the nations. For that reason, there was no god formed by the idolatrous nations before Jehovah.
12. Why will there be no god formed after Jehovah?
12 Not only that, but, says Jehovah, “neither shall there be after me.” (AS) Jehovah being God “even from everlasting to everlasting,” he will never pass off the scene. The idolatrous nations, not being everlasting, will pass off the earthly scene during the world’s greatest trouble just ahead, whereas the everlasting Jehovah will survive to everlasting. So, the nations will not be here after Jehovah, but He after them. Hence, it is impossible for the idolatrous nations to continue forming their false gods after Jehovah. Their formed or man-made gods will perish with them. (Isaiah 2:18-21) But Jehovah the true God of prophecy lives on everlastingly. Also, his faithful witnesses will live on eternally, ever on hand to testify vocally in support of the Godship of Jehovah.
13. In what cases have no gods continued to be after Jehovah?
13 Many of the ancient nations, Babylon, Assyria, Medo-Persia, Edom (Idumea), Moab, Ammon and others, have long since been out of existence, and their manufactured gods passed away with them. As regards those national gods, Jehovah God can say: “After me there continued to be none. I—I am Jehovah, and besides me there is no savior.”—Isaiah 43:10, 11, NW.