faithful and true God, and his Son the Bridegroom gave his life that man might live. The Son is concerned, above all things, with carrying out and bringing to truth and reality these promises of God.
The things that God purposes are so sure to take place that he calls himself “the One telling from the beginning the finale, and from long ago the things that have not been done.” Even of his servants Abraham, Isaac and Jacob he could say, even though they were dead, that he was their God, for “he is the God, not of the dead, but of the living.” Before he commanded John to write down the vision given him he said further to John: “They have come to pass!” because they are sure to be accomplished.—Isa. 46:10; Matt. 22:32; Rev. 21:6; Rom. 4:17.
Do you believe that these things will take place? God, further showing us how he can consider things that are not as though they are, patiently says: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.” In the Greek language, in which the apostle John wrote, the letter alpha begins the alphabet and the letter omega ends it. Jehovah here tells us, therefore, that when he begins a thing, being the Almighty and the Purposer, he brings it to a successful end. No hindrance or interference can cause him to leave it unfinished.—Rev. 21:6; 1:8; 22:13.
His promise being based on such a solid foundation, we can be confident in accepting his invitation: “To anyone thirsting I will give from the fountain of the water of life free.” (Rev. 21:6) Psalm 36:9, addressed to Jehovah, says: “With you is the source [or, fountain] of life.” (NW, AV, AS) Any human creature that thirsts for perfect, happy life throughout eternity will have to get it from the great Source or Fountain of life Jehovah God, who is the Alpha with whom all good things start. The thirsty one cannot buy this life-imparting, life-sustaining water with gold, silver or material things. Jehovah God gives it free, but only on his own terms. Hence the water of life must be accepted through his Son Jesus Christ.
God then speaks to the remnant yet on earth of the 144,000 spiritual heirs of God, joint heirs with Jesus Christ. In his eighth and last exhortation to faithfulness in the Revelation, Jehovah says: “Anyone conquering will inherit these things, and I shall be his God and he will be my son.” (Rev. 21:7; 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21) To make this heavenly inheritance sure for themselves the remnant of the 144,000 must conquer this wicked world just as Jesus Christ the chief Son of God did. (John 16:33; Rev. 3:21) They must keep conquering the world by keeping integrity toward God and maintaining spiritual and moral chastity as an espoused bride until shortly this wicked system’s fiery end removes it from existence and they enter the new order victoriously.
NOT ALL WILL BECOME THE BRIDEGROOM’S CHILDREN
Will all mankind on earth automatically become the children of the bride and Bridegroom, eventually taken into the great, everlasting family of Jehovah God? No. John next describes those who will not: “But as for the cowards and those without faith and those who are disgusting in their filth and murderers and fornicators and those practicing spiritism and idolaters and all the liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur. This means the second death.” (Rev. 21:8) Persons practicing these things are not conquerors of the world, for they are carrying on the very things of the world, the works of the flesh. They are carrying out the works of the sinful forefather of the human race, Adam, and following the pattern of Babylon the Great, “the mother of the harlots and of the disgusting things of the earth.” The murderers, the fornicators or sexually immoral, those who follow Babylon the Great in practicing spiritism, sorcery and magic, the idolaters, including those who worship the symbolic “wild beast” and its modern-day “image,” and the liars who imitate the Devil “the father of the lie”—this kind do not conquer the world and will be destroyed at Armageddon. In the new earth these qualities will be equally detestable and persons practicing them will not be permitted to continue living.—John 8:44; Rev. 17:5, 6; 18:23, 24.
The fountain of the water of life, although open to such persons, is turned down by them and therefore they do not drink from it, losing their own lives. The death they die will be, not the Adamic death, but a death due to their own willful rebellion and wickedness. It will be eternal death, symbolized by the “lake that burns with fire and sulphur,” the second death. (Rev. 21:8) It is no so-called “conscious living death,” to be suffered by an imaginary immortal human soul that is tormented with fire and brimstone for eternity. It is a death from which there is no resurrection. There is no key for the second death, though Jesus has the key for the Adamic death. (Rev. 1:18) The second death is absolutely distinct from Adamic death, for the Dragon, the Original Serpent, Satan the Devil, never died in Adamic death but he is hurled into the “second death,” the symbolic lake of fire, and so, too, are the “wild beast” and the “false prophet.” Even the Adamic death itself and Hades or Sheol are hurled into the “second death.” So the “lake of fire” symbolizes everlasting destruction of a person or thing. It is Adamic death that will be no more, not the “second death.” Those hurled into second death will remain in it forever, unredeemed.
There will be no sorrow to the Bridegroom and bride over the death of such persons, for these will have shown the same wicked spirit as Satan and no tears will be shed because of their passing off the face of the earth. During the thousand-year reign, when the bride and Bridegroom are concentrating on the rearing of a family, they will also be directing their children in the construction of the most beautiful of homes, namely, an earthly paradise, so that by the end of the thousand years and after the destruction of the unworthy in the “lake of fire” there will be a tremendous family of thousands of millions, all living happily with everlasting life on the beautified earth. (Ps. 37:10, 11; Rom. 8:21) God’s purpose in this blessed marriage of his beloved, faithful Son will be carried out to a glorious conclusion, bringing mankind into the family of the heavenly Father as “sons of God.”
A Clergyman Escapes Babylon the Great
● In a town in Mexico, a Protestant clergyman, who had been a pastor there for ten years, obtained a copy of the book From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained from Jehovah’s witnesses. He confessed to the Witnesses that he did not know what to preach in church anymore. When shown the book, he was surprised at the way it taught the truth so clearly. A study was started and it was conducted twice a week for two months. This resulted in his resigning as pastor of the church there. In the third month he began visiting some of his former flock and telling them about the “good news.” Studies are being conducted with some of these same people.