methods, used the same places, and were blessed with the same success. An increase of Kingdom publishers was accomplished by preaching “publickly, and from house to house”. (Acts 20:20; 18:28) They, like Christ Jesus, incurred the wrath of the persecuting scribes and Pharisees. Why? Because the result of their intensive warning work was similar to that of Jesus’ whirlwind witnessing campaign, as reflected in the anguished cry of stung religionists that the apostles and disciples had “turned the world upside down”. (Acts 17:6) Meaning their little religious world built on the false foundation of pomp and ceremony, on the shifting sands of oral tradition. They favored maintaining the status quo in the religious business of their day.
17. Did the unheeding warned ones escape? And why?
17 Nevertheless, their place and their nation that they sought to save by shedding the blood of Jesus and his followers were not saved. The flood victims could not nullify Noah’s warning by turning the waters back to their heavenly abode. The Sodomites could not quench the rainfall of fire. Furious Pharaoh had no antidote for the ten plagues. Judah was as helpless to hurl back the Babylonians as Israel before her had been to ward off the invading Assyrians. Nor could those heathen nations in their turn prove God a liar by existing beyond the time set for their collapse. Neither could the Jewish nation at the time of Christ turn back void the warning Jehovah had heralded abroad through the preaching of his beloved Son. (Isa. 46:10, 11; 55:11) The “generation of vipers” did see in their lifetime the loss of their place and nation, the overthrow of their city and temple, and did not escape the “damnation of hell” or “judgment of Gehenna”.—Matt. 23:33, Am. Stan. Ver., margin.
18. So how about “this present evil world”?
18 And neither will “this present evil world” escape the destructive violence of Armageddon that she is being warned of right now!
Who Will Share in the Final Witness?
1. What history repeats itself? Will our generation find it so?
MEN say that history repeats itself. The history of past divine warnings and executed judgments will, for God’s Word says that “it all happened to them by way of warning for others, and it was written down for the purpose of instructing us whose lot has been cast in the closing hours of the world”. (1 Cor. 10:11, Moffatt) Who can deny the typicalness of the rainfalls of water and of fire and brimstone during the days of Noah and Lot, and the accompanying warnings indifferently received by peoples who unconcernedly continued their daily routine of living as though their world would go on undisturbed indefinitely? Did not Jesus say as much when he spoke of his second presence in these “last days”?—“As it was in the time of Noah, so will it also be in the time of the Son of Man. Men were eating and drinking, taking wives and giving wives, up to the very day Noah entered the Ark, and the Deluge came and destroyed them all. As it was also in the time of Lot; they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building; but on the day that Lot left Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from the sky and destroyed them all. Exactly so will it be on the day that the veil is lifted from the Son of Man.” (Luke 17:26-30, Weymouth) Christ Jesus has been present since 1914 and witness has been given of the signs that prove it, but the veil will not lift from the sightless “eyes of understanding” of humanity’s majority till his power is revealed in Armageddon’s fury.
2. What did Egypt and Babylon prefigure? Why?
2 That the Egypt which Moses warned and whose power was broken when Jehovah liberated His people was typical and symbolical is proved by Revelation 11:8: “Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city that is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt—where their Lord also was crucified.” (An Amer. Trans.) The murdered “bodies” picture the stopping of a certain phase of God’s witness work toward the close of World War I. Yet it was in this same symbolical Egypt of this twentieth century that Jesus was persecuted and killed, nineteen centuries ago. Egypt, the first world power, figuratively stands for the world-organization, “this present evil world” that through the centuries has oppressed Jehovah’s people. The book of Revelation also shows that the Babylon divinely warned by Isaiah and others was typical of a greater Babylon to come, for long after literal Babylon’s collapse chapter 18 foretells the fall of a “Babylon the great”.
3. What was prefigured by Jerusalem and Judah? How well so?
3 As for Jerusalem and Judah that took God’s name but fell so far short of living up to it, how fittingly they prefigured Christendom of today! Christendom takes the name of God and Christ’s kingdom, but, like the Jerusalem of Jeremiah’s time, she has abandoned true worship for false gods; she serves self, idolizes money, power, creatures, statues and images, sacrifices her children to the god of war and mocks and jails and sometimes kills Jehovah’s witnesses that warn her of her derelictions. Like faithless Jerusalem of Jesus’ day, she has a form of godliness but denies God’s power, her priests and preachers ape the Pharisees by their garb and titles, their philosophy and tradition, their ceremony and creed, their hypocrisy and pious front, their words