Breathing This World’s “Air” Is Death-Dealing!
“It is you God made alive though you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you at one time walked . . . according to the ruler of the authority of the air.”—EPHESIANS 2:1, 2.
1. How has air pollution come to be death-dealing to humans?
A BREATH of fresh air! How refreshing after one’s being in a stuffy room! But even in the wide open spaces, pollution is a major problem today. Poisons spewed into the atmosphere are at alarming levels in many countries. Toxic fumes, radioactive dust, disease-causing germs, and certain viruses all travel by air. Life-sustaining air, so generously provided by our loving Creator, is becoming more and more death-dealing due to man’s greed and carelessness.
2. What contaminated “air” is more dangerous than the polluted air we may breathe?
2 As dangerous as air pollution is, however, there is an even more deadly form of polluted “air.” It is not contaminated air from the nuclear accident at Chernobyl (U.S.S.R.) or smog-filled air of Los Angeles, California (U.S.A.). No, we are in danger of breathing much more lethal “air.” The apostle Paul mentioned it when he told fellow Christians: “It is you God made alive though you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you at one time walked according to the system of things of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, the spirit that now operates in the sons of disobedience.”—Ephesians 2:1, 2.
3, 4. (a) Who is “the ruler of the authority of the air”? (b) Why is the “air” of Ephesians 2:1, 2 not the abode of the demons?
3 What is this “air”? Paul shows that it has “authority,” or power, and there is a “ruler” over it. There is no doubt who this ruler is. He is Satan the Devil, the one Jesus Christ called “the ruler of this world.” (John 12:31) Realizing this, some Bible scholars feel that Paul here borrowed from Jewish or pagan sources and spoke of the air as being the abode of the demons over which the Devil has control. Many Bible translations reflect this view. But this “air” is not the same as “the heavenly places” in which “the wicked spirit forces” dwell.—Ephesians 6:11, 12.
4 When Paul wrote to Christians at Ephesus, Satan and the demons were still in heaven, although being outside God’s favor. They were yet to be cast down to the vicinity of the earth. (Revelation 12:7-10) Moreover, air relates more to humans than to spirit creatures. Accordingly, human society was to feel the effects when the last bowl of God’s anger was poured out upon “the air.”—Revelation 16:17-21.
5. What is the “air” here under discussion, and what effect does it have upon people?
5 Hence, it appears that Paul uses the literal air, or atmosphere, to illustrate the general spirit, or dominant attitude of selfishness and disobedience, reflected by people alienated from God. It is the same as “the spirit that now operates in the sons of disobedience” and “the spirit of the world.” (Ephesians 2:2; 1 Corinthians 2:12) Just as the literal air is everywhere, ready to be breathed in, so “the spirit of the world” is always present. From infancy to the grave, it permeates, influences, and shapes the way people think and act as they seek to fulfill their desires, hopes, and ambitions.
6. (a) How is the potency of this world’s “air” intensified, and how does it exercise “authority”? (b) How can breathing this “air” induce one to imitate the Devil’s rebellious course?
6 This spirit of sinfulness and rebellion predominates in imperfect human society. As this “air” is breathed in, its lethal potency is intensified by peer pressure and an ever-increasing appetite for sensual pleasure. Thus, it has pronounced “authority” over people. (Compare Romans 6:12-14.) The Devil, of course, is the originator of all that is wicked. (John 8:44) So he influences humans to imitate his own rebellious course and thereby inspires, shapes, and controls this community spirit, or “air.” As the “ruler” over this sinister power, or “authority,” Satan uses it to control the thinking of people. Its elements are formulated to keep people so occupied with satisfying fleshly desires and pursuing worldly interests that they have no time or inclination to get to know God and submit to his holy spirit, “the spirit that is life-giving.” (John 6:63) Spiritually speaking, they are dead.
7. (a) In what way were Christians “children of wrath” at one time? (b) Upon our becoming Christians, what transformation took place?
7 Christians too were under the “authority,” or control, of this polluted “air” before they learned the truth of God’s Word and began to conform to his righteous standards. “Yes, among them [worldly people] we all at one time conducted ourselves in harmony with the desires of our flesh, doing the things willed by the flesh and the thoughts, and we were naturally children of wrath even as the rest.” But upon becoming Christians, we stopped breathing in the death-dealing “air” of this world. We ‘put away the old personality which conformed to our former course of conduct and put on the new personality which was created according to God’s will in true righteousness and loyalty.’—Ephesians 2:3; 4:22-24.
8. How is our situation today similar to that of the nation of Israel in the wilderness?
8 The danger now is that after escaping from this world’s polluted atmosphere we may be enticed to go back into it. Here we are, deep into “the time of the end” and on the very threshold of the new world. (Daniel 12:4) Surely, we do not want to lose out because of falling into the same traps as did the Israelites. After they had been miraculously delivered from Egypt and had arrived at the border of the Promised Land, thousands “were laid low in the wilderness.” Why? Because some became idolaters, others committed fornication, and still others put Jehovah to the test by their murmuring and complaining. Paul makes a powerful point in saying: “Now these things went on befalling them as examples, and they were written for a warning to us upon whom the ends of the systems of things have arrived.”—1 Corinthians 10:1-11.
9. (a) How can we be in the world and yet be no part of it? (b) What must we be to keep from being sucked back into the death-dealing atmosphere of the world?
9 Regarding his disciples, Jesus prayed: “They are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world. I request you, not to take them out of the world, but to watch over them because of the wicked one.” (John 17:14, 15) Jehovah will safeguard us, but he does not place “a hedge” around us, nor does he miraculously shield us from this world’s “air.” (Job 1:9, 10) So our challenge is to be in Satan’s world, yet being no part of it, to be surrounded by its contaminated “air,” yet not breathing it in. When we read secular publications, watch television, or go to places of entertainment, we are likely to be exposed to the world’s “air.” While some contact with worldly people is unavoidable—at work, at school, and otherwise—we must be vigilant so as to keep from being sucked back into the death-dealing atmosphere of this world.—1 Corinthians 15:33, 34.
10, 11. (a) How might our being in Jehovah’s spiritual paradise be compared to occupying a “no smoking” area? (b) What steps should be taken if whiffs of this world’s “air” are detected?
10 We might compare our situation to sitting in a restaurant having “smoking” and “no smoking” areas. As Christians in Jehovah’s spiritual paradise, we are properly in the “no smoking” section, away from the spirit of this world. Surely, we would not deliberately sit in the “smoking” section. That would be foolish. But what often happens when we are in the “no smoking” section of a restaurant? Why, the smoke-saturated, filthy air drifts over, and we get whiffs of it! When this happens, do we find the polluted air enticing? Or do we not rather get away from it as quickly as we can?
11 But what do you do when whiffs of this world’s “air” come your way? Do you take immediate action to get away from this foul influence? If you stay there and breathe it in, you can be sure that your thinking will be affected. The longer you breathe in this “air,” the more tolerance you build up for it. Moreover, in time the smell is not so repulsive but is alluring, intoxicating, desirable to the flesh. It may intensify some secret desire you have been fighting to control.
12. What is required to avoid being affected by those aspects of this world’s “air” that are not easily detected?
12 Some death-dealing pollutants of this world’s “air” are not easily detected, even as such contaminants of the literal air as carbon monoxide are odorless and tasteless. The danger, then, is that we may not detect the ‘deadly fumes’ until they have overcome us. Thus, we need to be alert that we may not be led into a death trap by this world’s permissive attitudes or its disobedience to God’s standards of righteousness. Paul encouraged his fellow Christians to “keep on exhorting one another each day . . . for fear any one of you should become hardened by the deceptive power of sin.”—Hebrews 3:13; Romans 12:2.
What Makes Up This World’s “Air”?
13. (a) What is one form of this world’s “air” that we should guard against? (b) How is it apparent that this “air” has affected some of Jehovah’s people?
13 What common attitudes might we begin to adopt, even before we realize it, because of the strong influence of this world’s “air”? One is the inclination to toy with things immoral. This world’s ideas on sex and morality are all around us. Many say: ‘It’s all right to commit fornication, bear children out of wedlock, and practice homosexuality. We’re just doing what’s normal, natural.’ Has this “air,” or worldly spirit, affected Jehovah’s people? Unfortunately, during the 1986 service year, 37,426 had to be disfellowshipped from the Christian congregation, the greater number of them for practicing sexual immorality. And this does not include the even higher number reproved for immorality but not disfellowshipped because they were sincerely repentant.—Proverbs 28:13.
14. Why do some Christians go astray morally, rejecting what Scriptural counsel?
14 What happens in the case of those who succumb to sexual immorality? When the facts become known, often it is found that they have resumed breathing in the death-dealing “air” of this world. They have let worldly attitudes cause them to lower their standards. For example, they may start watching movies that they would have walked out on years earlier. Worse still, on home video equipment they may watch movies clearly unfit for a Christian. Such toying with things immoral is in direct opposition to the Scriptural injunction: “Let fornication and uncleanness of every sort or greediness not even be mentioned among you, just as it befits holy people; neither shameful conduct nor foolish talking nor obscene jesting.”—Ephesians 5:3, 4.
15. How might temptation to toy with sexual immorality begin casually?
15 True, you may quickly reject any outright proposal to commit fornication. But how do you act when someone on the job or at school attempts to flirt with you, tries to get overly familiar in a physical way, or invites you to go out on a date? Whiffs of this world’s “air” have thus drifted your way. Do you allow yourself to enjoy the attention, to encourage it? According to reports received from elders, wrongdoing often starts in such casual ways. A worldly man may say to a Christian woman: “How nice you look today!” That may be pleasant to hear, especially if the woman feels somewhat lonely. More seriously, some have not reacted wisely to attempts at improper touching. They have given the appearance of objecting but in such a halfhearted way that the worldly person was encouraged to continue what he was doing. What if such immoral advances toward a Christian woman persist, like strong puffs of polluted air blown her way? In a firm way, she should tell him that she does not want and will not accept his attentions. If she continues to breathe in this “air,” her resistance will likely break down. She could be led into immorality, if not into an unwise marriage.—Compare Proverbs 5:3-14; 1 Corinthians 7:39.
16. What is required in order to be “a sweet odor of Christ”?
16 Be quick, therefore, to reject the immoral, death-dealing “air” of this world. Instead of submitting to its alluring smell and bringing reproach upon Jehovah’s name and organization, become a pleasant odor to God by your godly attitude and conduct. Paul put it this way: “For to God we are a sweet odor of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the latter ones an odor issuing from death to death, to the former ones an odor issuing from life to life.” (2 Corinthians 2:15, 16) What does it matter if many turn up their noses at the Christian course? (1 Peter 4:1-5) Let the world go along in its way, reaping its bad fruitage in the form of broken homes, illegitimate births, sexually transmitted diseases, such as AIDS, and countless other emotional and physical woes. Not only will you be spared many pains but you will also have the favor of God. Moreover, at least some will be impressed by your good conduct and the Kingdom message you preach, thereby being attracted by the “odor issuing from life to life.”
The “Air” of Worldly Styles
17. How may styles of clothing and grooming reveal that one has been influenced by the spirit of this world?
17 Another aspect of this world’s “air” pertains to styles of clothing and grooming. Many in the world dress in order to make themselves sexually alluring. Even preteens want to make themselves up to appear older, accentuating sex. Are you affected by this widespread “air,” or attitude? Do you dress to thrill, to tease, to arouse improperly the interest of those of the opposite sex? If so, you are playing with fire. Breathing this “air” will choke your spirit of modesty, your desire to be chaste. (Micah 6:8) Those who have a worldly spirit will be drawn to you. From your actions, they will get the message that you are ready to join them in immorality. But why start in this direction by letting such “air” entice you to do what is bad in God’s sight?
18. How will always remembering that we represent Jehovah help us in selecting styles of dress and grooming?
18 To be modest, we do not have to dress or groom ourselves shoddily or unattractively. Consider the way the vast majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses dress and groom themselves. They avoid the extreme styles of this world but present themselves attractively, keeping in mind that they are ministers representing the Sovereign of the universe, Jehovah. Let the old world be critical of their modest styles. They dare not let this world’s attitudes cause them to lower their Christian standards. “This, therefore, I say and bear witness to in the Lord,” wrote the apostle Paul, “that you no longer go on walking just as the nations also walk in the unprofitableness of their minds . . . Having come to be past all moral sense, they gave themselves over to loose conduct to work uncleanness of every sort.” (Ephesians 4:17-19) The mature Christian will dress modestly, not walking just as the nations do.—1 Timothy 2:9, 10.
19. Having considered two major aspects of this world’s “air,” what is already apparent as to the danger of breathing it in?
19 So far, we have considered only two aspects of the “air” of this world. But already we have seen that this “air” is very harmful to spiritual health. In the next article, we will take up other features of this deadly “air” that the Devil and his system continually blow toward Christians, hoping that they will succumb to it. How important that we avoid such “air,” for absorbing the spirit of this world is like breathing the vapors of death!
Keep Submitting to “the Spirit That Is Life-Giving”
“It is the spirit that is life-giving; the flesh is of no use at all.”—JOHN 6:63.
1. (a) How does Jehovah help his people to resist the influence of this world’s “air”? (b) How will cultivating the fruitage of God’s spirit assist us to have the right mental inclination?
JEHOVAH GOD’S holy spirit is vitally needed if we are to resist the influence of this world’s “air,” or its attitudes. (Ephesians 2:1, 2) We also need the Bible, which contains God’s thoughts recorded under the guidance of the holy spirit. And we need to have a humble Christian attitude, produced by cultivating the fruits of God’s spirit—“love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control.” The apostle Paul urged: “Keep walking by spirit and you will carry out no fleshly desire at all. For the flesh is against the spirit in its desire, and the spirit against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, so that the very things that you would like to do you do not do.”—Galatians 5:16, 17, 22, 23.
2. How does what is produced by God’s spirit contrast with the results of adopting “the spirit of the world”?
2 Paul also wrote: “We received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is from God, that we might know the things that have been kindly given us by God.” (1 Corinthians 2:12) The “air,” or mental attitude, of this world kills, but what God gives by holy spirit brings everlasting life to those who accept it. Jesus said: “It is the spirit that is life-giving; the flesh is of no use at all. The sayings that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” (John 6:63) Since “the flesh is of no use at all,” we need divine help to conquer sin and resist the world’s spirit.
3, 4. (a) What is greed, and how does ‘the ruler of the air’ play upon fleshly desire for material things? (b) How is a greedy person an idolater?
3 In the previous article, we discussed two dangerous aspects of this world’s “air”—toying with things immoral and improper styles of clothing and grooming. But there are many other aspects. For example, this world’s atmosphere is saturated with greed, by an intense selfish desire for material advantages or material things. ‘The ruler of the air’ has seen to it that this world’s propaganda and advertising make you feel unfulfilled if you do not have an abundance of material possessions. This aspect of the world’s “air” can intoxicate you with the idea that these are the big things in life. Have you been affected by this materialistic “air”?
4 The Bible says: “No fornicator or unclean person or greedy person—which means being an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of the Christ and of God.” (Ephesians 5:5) Note that a greedy person is really an idolater. You may think, ‘Surely, I will not go that far, becoming an idolater.’ But what is idolatry? Is it not putting something else in the place of Jehovah and his worship, giving attention to it rather than to God and his service? Greed may involve the virtual worshiping of money and its power and influence. If you put the getting of a new automobile, a video cassette recorder, or any other material thing ahead of increasing your opportunities in Jehovah’s service, is that not evidence that this world’s “air” is affecting you detrimentally? Are not material things becoming like idols to you?
5. In what ways is this world’s “air” filled with selfish desire for riches?
5 If you are seeking advanced education or a lucrative job, are you doing so to get rich and have more material advantages than you need? Are you intrigued by get-rich-quick schemes, wanting to get involved in them? This world’s “air” is filled with selfish desire for wealth and cheating as regards the paying of government-imposed taxes. In this atmosphere gambling and similar activities flourish. Do not be tempted. Those who avoid the influence of this world’s greed-laden “air” find that genuine happiness comes from being content with necessities and putting Kingdom interests first.—Matthew 6:25-34; 1 John 2:15-17.
Proper Use of the Tongue
6. What effect can this world’s speech habits have on us as Christians?
6 What about our speech habits? Obscenities, angry words, lying—this world’s “air” is thoroughly polluted with such foul speech. Yet, even the speech of a few associated with the Christian congregation at times reflects coarseness, even vulgarity. The disciple James forcefully tells us: “Out of the same mouth come forth blessing and cursing. It is not proper, my brothers, for these things to go on occurring this way. A fountain does not cause the sweet and the bitter to bubble out of the same opening, does it?” (James 3:10, 11) Have you picked up some of the jargon or slang of this world? Do you have two vocabularies, one for use among Christians, the other for use elsewhere? Paul wrote: “Let a rotten saying not proceed out of your mouth, but whatever saying is good for building up as the need may be, that it may impart what is favorable to the hearers.” (Ephesians 4:29) How important it is to use proper, clean speech all the time!
7. What is included in ‘putting away falsehood and speaking the truth’?
7 We also need to be careful that we always tell the truth. Being devious or deliberately misleading others in order to avoid responsibility really amounts to lying. So be sure to heed Paul’s counsel: “Now that you have put away falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, because we are members belonging to one another.”—Ephesians 4:25; Proverbs 3:32.
8. (a) How do many worldly people act when provoked? (b) If we are provoked to anger, what should we do?
8 Unrestrained venting of anger is another feature of this world’s spirit. Many worldly people lose self-control easily. They blow up, then excuse themselves by saying that they were just letting off steam. But this is not what Paul advised, for he wrote: “Let all malicious bitterness and anger and wrath and screaming and abusive speech be taken away from you along with all badness.” (Ephesians 4:31) But what if anger builds up despite our developing self-control and other fruits of God’s spirit? “Be wrathful, and yet do not sin,” wrote Paul. “Let the sun not set with you in a provoked state, neither allow place for the Devil.” (Ephesians 4:26, 27) So if we are provoked to anger, we should settle the matter quickly, before the day ends. Otherwise, bitterness and resentment begin to take root in the heart, and they are hard to uproot. Do not allow yourself to breathe in the angry, vengeful “air” of this world!—Psalm 37:8.
9. What are some common attitudes of employees, and why should we examine our work habits?
9 What about your work habits? Loafing on the job and stealing items from an employer are common today. Have you absorbed some of this “air”? Has the attitude that ‘everybody does it’ rubbed off on you? Never forget that the way we do our work as Christians reflects on Jehovah and his true worship. Would you want someone to reject the truth spoken by one of Jehovah’s Witnesses at his door because of the way you act on the job? “Let the stealer steal no more,” said Paul, “but rather let him do hard work . . . that he may have something to distribute to someone in need.”—Ephesians 4:28.
10. In doing secular work, how can we show that we are not being affected by the selfish “air” of this world?
10 Although the master-slave relationship that existed in the first century is rare today, Christian employees can learn from what Paul wrote to Christian slaves at Ephesians 6:5-8. There workers were told to ‘be obedient to those for whom they worked, not simply as men pleasers, but as Christ’s slaves.’ So a Christian should never maneuver things to avoid giving a full day’s work or providing promised goods or services. If we do things “as to Jehovah,” we will have the right attitude and will not be affected by the selfish, lazy “air” of this world.
Food, Drink, and Entertainment
11. How did a worldly attitude toward food and drink affect some of Jehovah’s people in Bible times?
11 Has the world’s immoderate use of food and drink affected you? Its attitude is ‘eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we may die.’ (1 Corinthians 15:32) And this spirit has affected some of God’s servants, even since ancient times. Recall the occasion in the wilderness when the Israelites “sat down to eat and drink. Then they got up to have a good time.” (Exodus 32:6) That “good time” led to unrestrained loose conduct and idolatry, so that God’s anger blazed against them. Let us never follow that course.—1 Peter 4:3-6.
12. If our eating and drinking habits need some attention, what should we do?
12 Jehovah has given us a huge variety of tasty, colorful, and nutritious foods and drinks, but he wants us to use these things in moderation. Gluttony and drunkenness are condemned in the Bible. (Proverbs 23:20, 21) So be honest and ask yourself: Is there room for improvement in my eating and drinking habits? If you need to exercise greater self-control, recognize this and work in harmony with your prayers for God’s spirit to help you overcome this problem. “Do not be getting drunk with wine, in which there is debauchery, but keep getting filled with spirit,” said Paul. (Ephesians 5:18) Yes, become filled with God’s spirit, and do not succumb to the unrestrained spirit of this world! “Whether you are eating or drinking or doing anything else, do all things for God’s glory.” (1 Corinthians 10:31) If you have persistent problems along these lines, however, seek the help of spiritually mature men in the congregation.—Galatians 6:1; James 5:14, 15.
13. (a) How is it evident that the Devil has corrupted much of the entertainment available today? (b) How can we avoid this world’s attitude toward entertainment?
13 This world is strongly addicted to sports, music, and various forms of entertainment. Unless they violate Scriptural principles, enjoying such things is not necessarily wrong. But the problem is that Satan, “the ruler who governs the air,” has corrupted much of the entertainment available today. (Ephesians 2:2, The Jerusalem Bible) Often, immorality is promoted, violence is condoned, and success through deceit, fraud, and even murder is portrayed. When we watch such entertainment, we breathe these attitudes deeply into our system, and their toxic effects are bound to harm us. Moreover, even where some forms of entertainment are not Scripturally objectionable, there is a danger of becoming addicted to them, so that little time is left for spiritual things. Hence, we need to be selective. Take time to enjoy some healthful and beneficial relaxation in moderation, but avoid imitating the excesses of the world. Whether this world’s “air” smells good or acrid, it is polluted and deadly!—Proverbs 11:19.
Pride of Race—An Evil Wind
14. With regard to social problems, how could we be affected by this world’s “air”?
14 A rather subtle aspect of this world’s “air” is pride of race and nationality. Some promote the erroneous idea that certain races are superior and others inferior. Nationalism encourages people to view their native land as superior to all others. In fact, many suffer needlessly and are deprived of basic human rights and necessities because of the selfishness and prejudice of others. Resentment, even violence, results. Many rise up in revolt, taking the law into their own hands, confident of solving social problems their own way. We, too, might get caught up in these ideas. When we observe or suffer injustices and then hear those who are pressing for social change, we could be influenced if we are not careful. We could begin to abandon our neutral position and take sides. (John 15:19) Even more serious, we might feel tempted to join in picketing, campaigning, or resorting to violence in order to force changes.
15. What course does the Bible recommend when we feel inclined to ‘avenge ourselves’?
15 A congregation’s spirit can be affected detrimentally by racial or nationalistic feelings. (Compare Acts 6:1-7.) But we will have the right spirit if we heed the counsel: “If possible, as far as it depends upon you, be peaceable with all men. Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, but yield place to the wrath; for it is written: ‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay, says Jehovah.’” (Romans 12:18, 19) Since all races came from the first human pair, and God is not partial, there is no room for pride of race or nationality in the Christian congregation.—Acts 10:34, 35; 17:26; Romans 10:12; Ephesians 4:1-3.
Keep Breathing Life-Giving “Air”
16. What will help to prevent our being affected by the spirit of this world?
16 We have discussed the main death-dealing features of this world’s “air,” or spirit. It surrounds us and exerts such pressure that if we allow a vacuum to develop in our spirituality, this foul “air” will rush in to fill it. Success in resisting it depends greatly on how much we love what is pure, clean, and righteous, and hate what is impure, unclean, and wicked. We will keep breathing the right “air” if we keep cultivating the right mental attitude in response to the leading of Jehovah’s holy spirit.—Romans 12:9; 2 Timothy 1:7; Galatians 6:7, 8.
17. What should be done immediately if we detect some of this world’s “air” blowing our way?
17 By all means, do not let any of this world’s foul “air” begin to smell pleasant to you. The ruler of this “air” knows just what is needed to appeal to the senses and to set up a craving that often leads to sin. (James 1:14, 15) Keep in the “no smoking” section, Jehovah’s spiritual paradise. When you detect a whiff of this world’s “air” coming your way, shun it. Turn aside from it just as you would shun death-dealing poison. “Keep strict watch that how you walk is not as unwise but as wise persons, buying out the opportune time for yourselves, because the days are wicked. On this account cease becoming unreasonable, but go on perceiving what the will of Jehovah is.”—Ephesians 5:15-17.
18. What will be the spirit of those privileged to live on the cleansed earth?
18 It is God’s will that we serve him as integrity keepers. Doing so will mean life in his new system, now very near. When we take in a breath of air then, how refreshing it will be! No death-dealing pollutants, just pure life-sustaining air. That will be true of the physical air and, more importantly, of the spirit of those privileged to live on the cleansed earth. They will have an obedient, humble, responsive attitude. The “air” of this old world, filled with rebellious, corrupt, and ungodly influences, will be gone.—Revelation 21:5-8.
19. Who will survive into Jehovah’s new system?
19 Surely, we do not want to be among those breathing the “air” of this system when Jehovah clears away both pollution and polluters at Armageddon. When the old world is gone and ‘the ruler of the air’ has been abyssed, what relief there will be! Everyone who loves Jehovah and keeps loving what is clean, decent, and righteous will be there. Jehovah wants them there and will help them by his spirit. He will give them eternal life in a clean, healthy new system. Let us not lose out on that privilege because of breathing in the death-dealing “air” of this old system!