“TWO PARTS” ARE CUT OFF
34. From what is a tremendous part of the world population being cut off, and why so?
34 The striking of Jehovah’s Shepherd and Associate led to consequences that have affected all mankind, even to this day. A modern-day parallel of it in our twentieth century has had marked effects upon this generation that has been living in this “time of the end,” this “conclusion of the system of things.” A tremendous part of the world population are being “cut off” from any share in the God-given spiritual estate or “land” of divine favor and blessing. Because of their preoccupation with the material and political and social things of this present system of things, they are indifferent or ignorant as regards the far-reaching prophecy of Zechariah 13:8, 9 that is being fulfilled toward them. Note what it says:
35. How many “parts” does Zechariah 13:8, 9 say will be “cut off”?
35 “‘And it must occur in all the land,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘that two parts in it are what will be cut off and expire; and as for the third part, it will be left remaining in it.
36. Did the fact that the spiritual remnant were liberated and reinstated in their “land” in 1919 C.E. mean that Jehovah was through refining and examining them, and what typical picture shows whether or not?
36 Let us remind ourselves that these words were spoken, through the prophet Zechariah, to the repatriated remnant of Israel in the “land” of Judah. That ancient Israelite remnant would typify or prophetically prefigure the anointed remnant of spiritual Israelites in this “time of the end,” this “conclusion of the system of things” that began when the Gentile Times ended in 1914 C.E. After the severe trials and bondage experienced during World War I, the surviving remnant of spiritual Israelites were liberated and reinstated in their God-given spiritual estate or “land” in 1919, in the spring of that meaningful year. The fact that those of this surviving remnant had come through the persecution and afflictions of that first world conflict did not mean that they were now finished with their being tried and examined by the heavenly Refiner Jehovah God. It was not so in the case of the Israelite remnant (including Zechariah) who were liberated from fallen Babylon in 537 B.C.E. They had quite a time getting the second temple of Jehovah completed at Jerusalem, first by the year 515 B.C.E. It has been correspondingly so with the remnant of spiritual Israel since 1919.
38. What more would there be to it besides the cleansing of the sons of Levi, in order to cleanse the land?
38 There would be more to it than the cleansing of the sons of Levi as temple functionaries, in order to make the “land” of his restored people a land of clean, godly living. Jehovah also said: “‘And I will come near to you people for the judgment, and I will become a speedy witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against those swearing falsely, and against those acting fraudulently with the wages of a wage worker, with the widow and with the fatherless boy, and those turning away the alien resident, while they have not feared me,’ Jehovah of armies has said. ‘For I am Jehovah; I have not changed. And you are sons of Jacob [Israel]; you have not come to your finish. . . . Return to me, and I will return to you,’ Jehovah of armies has said.”—Malachi 3:5-7.
39. Was there a fulfillment of Malachi’s prophecy in the first century C.E., and what indicates whether there should be any fulfillment of Malachi’s prophecy since 1914 C.E.?
39 There was a first-century fulfillment of Malachi’s prophecy at the time that the Messiah Jesus was present in the flesh among the nation of Israel. (Matthew 11:7-10; Mark 1:1, 2; Luke 7:24-27) There should likewise be a further fulfillment of Malachi’s prophecy after Jesus Christ was enthroned in the heavens in the year 1914 C.E. and thus became present in his kingdom. At the due time thereafter Jehovah God, accompanied by him as “the messenger of the covenant,” must have come to his spiritual temple for the judgment of all his worshipers there, including those who were merely professing to worship Him. Certainly Jehovah must have been at his spiritual temple as the Supreme Judge by the year 1919, when he liberated the spiritual Israelites from Babylon the Great and restored them to their “land” or God-given spiritual estate on earth.
40. How did Jehovah act like a Refiner of precious metal, and who were due to be “cut off” from 1919 C.E. onward?
40 In harmony with the prophetic picture, Jehovah would act as a refiner of his professed people. He would clear away those who were like dross. He would treasure and keep those who were like pure precious metal, like clarified silver and gold. So from 1919 C.E. onward it would be the time for certain ones to be cut off from the “land” that was to be inhabited by his restored people. Spiritually speaking, such “cut off” ones must “expire” as far as vital relationship with Jehovah is concerned.
41. In his parable of the sower, what did Jesus say about the cutting off of some?
41 Who, then, are the “two parts in it” that are “cut off and expire”? (Zechariah 13:8) This is something for the reigning King Jesus Christ as the “messenger of the covenant” to indicate for us. This has to do with the “conclusion of the system of things,” the “time of the end” in which we have been living since 1914. (Daniel 12:4; Matthew 24:3-14; 28:20) What did Jesus say about this critical period? In explaining the parable of the sower he said:
“The sower of the fine seed is the Son of man; the field is the world; as for the fine seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; but the weeds are the sons of the wicked one, and the enemy that sowed them is the Devil. The harvest is a conclusion of a system of things, and the reapers are angels. Therefore, just as the weeds are collected and burned with fire, so it will be in the conclusion of the system of things. The Son of man will send forth his angels, and they will collect out from his kingdom all things that cause stumbling and persons who are doing lawlessness, and they will pitch them into the fiery furnace. There is where their weeping and the gnashing of their teeth will be. At that time the righteous ones will shine as brightly as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”—Matthew 13:37-43.
42. Who specifically are those symbolic “weeds,” and from what are they cut off, and by whom?
42 That parabolic illustration foretold a cutting off of a large part in the conclusion of the system of things, where we are now living since 1914 C.E. The part cut off during this time is the symbolic weeds, who picture the “sons of the wicked one,” Satan the Devil, the “enemy” who sowed such weeds. They were for a long time mistaken for being symbolic wheat, mistaken for being the “sons of the kingdom,” that is to say, anointed Christians with a call to the heavenly kingdom. They pretended to be Christians, and so they were confused with the true anointed Christians who are heirs of the Kingdom. But their development to what they really are in this time of the “harvest” has proved them to be “weeds,” imitation Christians, who, like the Devil their sower, are enemies of the Kingdom. Rightly, they are “cut off” from association with the “wheat” class. The heavenly angels, as “reapers,” are the ones used to cut them off. These pitch the “weeds” into the “fire” and such weeds will not come through that “fire.” Their false identity is destroyed, and finally they themselves also.
43. In his prophecy on the “sign” of the conclusion of the system of things, how did Jesus describe the harvest of the chosen ones, and thereafter whose cutting off did he foretell?
43 However, there is another “part” or class that is “cut off” in this “conclusion of the system of things.” Jesus Christ foretold this “part” or class in his marvelous prophecy regarding the “sign” of his presence and of the conclusion of the system of things. (Matthew 24:3) In this prophecy he tells of the “harvest,” which history shows began in the year 1919 C.E., and he said: “He will send forth his angels with a great trumpet sound, and they will gather his chosen ones together from the four winds, from one extremity of the heavens to their other extremity.” (Matthew 24:31) Then, toward the middle of this prophecy, he said:
“On this account you too prove yourselves ready, because at an hour that you do not think to be it, the Son of man is coming.
“Who really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics, to give them their food at the proper time? Happy is that slave if his master on arriving finds him doing so. Truly I say to you, He will appoint him over all his belongings.
“But if ever that evil slave should say in his heart, ‘My master is delaying,’ and should start to beat his fellow slaves and should eat and drink with the confirmed drunkards, the master of that slave will come on a day that he does not expect and in an hour that he does not know, and will punish him with the greatest severity and will assign him his part with the hypocrites. There is where his weeping and the gnashing of his teeth will be.”—Matthew 24:44-51; compare with this Luke 12:42-46 with its similar parable.
44. What class, then, does that “evil slave” picture, and why is that class cut off, and from what?
44 Here it is the “evil slave” who is “cut off,” he being assigned his part, not with the fellow slaves of his master, but with the hypocrites, with the unfaithful ones, after he has been punished with the greatest severity. Just as the “faithful and discreet slave” pictures a class of anointed Christians who are actually in the household of the Master Jesus Christ as his “domestics,” so that “evil slave” pictures a class. This class of Christians, unlike the “weeds,” was anointed with God’s spirit and was a part of the Master’s household, he being a fellow slave therein. However, this class turns unfaithful, becomes self-seeking, loses self-control over its appetites, mistreats fellow slaves in an abuse of power and authority, and becomes careless and indifferent toward the matter of having to account with its Master at his coming. Therefore, during this “conclusion of the system of things,” this time of his second and invisible “presence,” as King, he cuts this “evil slave” class off. He disfellowships them to the religious hypocrites and to the unfaithful ones. There they expire.
45. Thus how many “parts” have been “cut off,” and who have been brought through the “fire,” and why have they called upon God’s name?
45 Thus “two parts” or the majority of those professing to be Christians at this time are cut off from the “land” or God-given spiritual estate of Jehovah’s restored remnant. But the Sovereign Lord God has brought a “third part,” a minority of those professing to be heirs of God’s heavenly kingdom, through the “fire” of testing and examining as to their faith, personality and works. These have humbly submitted to the refining process as applied by the great Refiner, although it has been trialsome. To endure the figurative heat, they have had to call upon Jehovah’s name, and he has answered them according to the sincerity of their hearts.
46. What has Jehovah said to this “third part,” and how, and what has this “part” said in response?
46 In fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah 13:9, the heavenly Supervisor of his “land” has not cut off this “third part” from the God-given spiritual estate of his restored remnant. He has said, by his evident favor toward them and by his marvelous dealings with them as His witnesses: “It is my people.” In turn, the faithful anointed remnant has said: “Jehovah is my God.” Outstandingly so since July 26, 1931, when those of this anointed remnant embraced the name “Jehovah’s witnesses.” They have remained active on their spiritual “land” to this day, praising their God.
47. Who is it out of all the nations that attach themselves to the “third part” to join in worship at Jehovah’s temple?
47 It is to this “third part” that has been left remaining in this spiritual “land” that the “ten men out of all the languages of the nations” attach themselves, taking hold of the skirt of these faithful spiritual Jews or Israelites. To these the international “great crowd” as pictured by the “ten men” are saying: “We will go with you people, for we have heard that God is with you people.” (Zechariah 8:20-23) In increasing numbers, by the tens of thousands in a year, these associate themselves with the anointed remnant on their “land” and worship Jehovah at his temple.—Revelation 7:9-15.