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Religion

CHAPTER XII

END OF RELIGION

Joel 3:14-18

THE RULERS of all nations now see that disaster is near and that they are done for unless some way of averting the calamity is found. Filled with fear, yet boasting of man's ability to avert disaster, with one accord they say: "We must have more religion, else our nation will perish." All nations have forgotten God, and they give no heed to his Word. All nations are against the THEOCRATIC GOVERNMENT. They trust in man and in religion. "Just any kind of religion," they say, "but some religion is indispensable." The prophecies of Almighty God, the fulfillment of which now clearly appears from the physical facts, show that the end of religion has come and with its end the complete downfall of Satan's entire organization.

In the year 1914 (A.D.) Christ Jesus, the King, was enthroned. Immediately thereafter there was "war in heaven", with the result that the Devil "was cast out into the earth, and [all] his angels [demons] were cast out with him". (Revelation 12:1-9) The Devil then realized that the time until the final battle is short and that he must act hurriedly. "He knoweth that he hath but a short time." (Revelation 12:12) All nations of earth, because of fear, have been led into Satan's snare. (Proverbs 29:25) Now

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all the nations are within the power and control of the demons. (1 John 5:19) Like the invisible demons, the worldly leaders are blind concerning God's purpose. They are in gross darkness. (Isaiah 60: 2) Seeing that his time is short, the Devil began about 1918 to gather all the nations "to the battle of that great day of God Almighty", and in this work he has used religion, politics and the commerce of the world. — Revelation 16:14.

Armageddon means 'the place of the assembly of Jehovah's troops', and the Devil gathers together his forces and marches them to Armageddon: "For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty." "And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon." — Revelation 16:14,16.

Religion is now relied upon by the ruling powers to hold the people together. The earthly leaders and the blinded people march to Armageddon. As the gathering of the nations to Armageddon has progressed the woes upon the people have greatly increased, and in this year 1940 the nations and the people are in very great distress because of these woes. And who is chiefly responsible for that dreadful condition? The author of religion, Satan, and those who follow and practice religion and who are therefore the visible agents of Satan. Concerning such it is written: "Woe to the inhabiters [ruling element] of the earth, and of the sea [the people that bear up and support selfish ruling powers]!

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for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath hut a short time." — Revelation 12:12.

While the woes increase the religious, political and commercial leaders together say to the people: "We must have more religion, else we perish." The masses of the people, not knowing which way to go, and filled with fear, are also led into Satan's trap. The time is here when God will enlighten all those who are of good will that they may escape from that trap.

The Devil's challenge to Jehovah God was that he, Satan, could cause all men to curse God to His face. Now he sees that he has been unable to prove that challenge; hence the Devil is desperately bent on the destruction of all mankind, and he ensnares the nations in religion or demonism that he may accomplish that wicked result. The day for final settlement is near at hand.

BATTLE ARRAY

Long ago God said that he would permit the Devil to remain and put forth his best endeavors to make good his wicked challenge, and that God in his own due time would exert his own power against Satan and all his followers. (Exodus 9:16) Now the time has come for God to show all creation, including the demons, that the Most High, the Supreme One, is God, whose name alone is Jehovah. The enemy must be gathered to the place of final conflict. Jehovah gave Joel his prophet a vision of the battle array and caused that prophet to write the prophecy, which now is in course of fulfillment, to wit: "Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision;

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for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision." — Joel 3:14.

This is "the day of Jehovah", and all men on the earth who have put their trust wholly in God and Christ Jesus are now permitted to see and understand that this is His day, and are given a vision of the battle array. "The valley" mentioned in the prophecy is a symbolic expression of the position of the two contending armies at the time immediately before the fight begins. "Mount Zion" symbolically means the capital organization of God, wherein Christ Jesus is the King. It is the meeting-place between God and his faithful creatures. It is the dwelling place of the Most High. (Psalm 132:13,14) "Jehovah of hosts" means that He is the Supreme Commander of all forces of righteousness that now make war against unrighteousness. Christ Jesus is the Commander of the forces of the Most High because he is the Executive Officer and Vindicator of Jehovah's name, and that holy name must now be vindicated. The Righteous One makes war against the enemy, and His troops are assembled with Christ Jesus on Mount Zion, and together they are singing the praises of Almighty God. — Revelation 14:1-3; 19:11.

The battle forces of the righteous under the immediate command of Christ Jesus are these: Jehovah, the Almighty God, the Supreme Commander; Christ Jesus, the Field Marshal and Leader of the forces of war against unrighteousness; and all the holy angels of heaven who at all times obey Jehovah God and follow the lead of Christ Jesus. The men and women who are

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on earth and who are on the side of righteousness, being fully devoted to Jehovah and Christ his King, have a vision of the battle array and witness the battle, but they take no active part therein. They are Jehovah's servants on earth, faithfully attending to the duties assigned to them; which is to sing the praises of God and Christ during the assembly of the warring forces, and while the battle is in progress. These faithful servants of the Most High are hated by the enemy, and the enemy makes every endeavor to destroy them, but 'the angel of the Lord encamps round about them that fear him, and delivers them'. — Psalm 34: 7.

The prophecy discloses the position of the enemy and describes the enemy as "multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision". The Devil has gathered all the nations to that point. God by his prophet makes known that not one nation is omitted, but all are there. (Jeremiah 25:15-26) The messengers of Jehovah, who are proclaiming the truths concerning the great THEOCRAT and his government, are hated by all the nations of earth because they sing the praises of the Most High. All who hold to religion or demonism are at the place of battle. All the Nephilim or wicked angels, demons, are there. The field marshal of the wicked forces is Gog, who acts under the direct command of Satan, who is the commander-in-chief of the wicked ones.

According to the marginal reading of the foregoing text the forces are gathered in the valley of "concision", which word means "threshing", or "destruction". (R.V., margin) As a threshing

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machine cuts and tears to shreds everything that is fed into the maw of that machine, even so now the wicked forces, gathered in the valley, shall be literally cut to pieces. Complete annihilation of the army of Satan will be the result.

DARKNESS

The condition in which the enemy forces find themselves just preceding the battle is that of darkness. (Joel 2:31) God's prophet also describes in symbolic phrase that condition, to wit: "The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining." (Joel 3:15) The sun and the moon are the creation of God the Almighty. The sun is the source of

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light by day, and the moon gives light at night. God therefore causes darkness to completely encompass the enemy; therefore those who hold to and who practice religion are in darkness. They have no light or understanding of God's purpose. The physical facts in complete harmony with the prophecy show that such is the condition of the rulers or leaders of the nations of earth at this present time. The demons are in darkness as to God's purpose and have been since the day of the deluge. (Jude 6-13) The "evil servant" class are likewise in darkness, having been cast into outer darkness because of their unfaithfulness. (Matthew 24: 48-51; 25:30) None of these understand or appreciate what is about to take place. "Light is sown for the righteous." (Psalm 97:11) Since all religionists are on the Devil's side and therefore unrighteous, they have no light from God's Word. They walk on in darkness. (Proverbs 2:13) On the contrary, those who trust fully in Jehovah God and Christ Jesus, and who shun religion, are in the light. They are counted righteous by reason of their faith in God and in his kingdom. Such faithful ones are granted now the great privilege of having a vision of the battle array, and they know what is shortly to follow and what will be the final end.

Jehovah's witnesses and their companions, being entirely devoted to The THEOCRAT and his government, are now diligent to carry the message to the people of and concerning that THEOCRATIC GOVERNMENT. The people of good will who hear and understand that message quickly discern that religion is a snare of the Devil to

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lead men into destruction, and hence those of good will hasten to put themselves under the protection of the Lord. "Whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe." (Proverbs 29:25) "Salvation belongeth unto the Lord; thy blessing is upon thy people." — Psalm 3: 8.

Those fully devoted to Jehovah obey his commandments and continuously proclaim the name of the Most High and his kingdom, that the people may be warned and find the way of escape. Thus they have a part in God's "strange work". This "strange work" is now progressing in the earth, and that causes the religionists to become very angry; and being drunk with the wine of the Devil, they bitterly oppose and resent the message of God and his messengers and attempt to bring about the destruction of such messengers.

The message which the witnesses of Jehovah and their companions now bring to the attention of the people is not the message of any man, but it is the message of Jehovah God, the Most High, who dwells in Zion. Says the prophecy of Joel: "The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake; but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel." — Joel 3:16.

It is those anointed of the Lord, the remnant of his people on earth, who are of "Zion"; and it is their companions, the Jonathan or Jonadab class, who are of "Jerusalem"; and both the remnant and the Jonadabs proclaim the name of Jehovah and his kingdom. God uses this as his "voice" to sound the warning. The voice of

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Jehovah thus sounded through his servants shakes "the heavens" (that is, the invisible forces, the demons) and all the visible forces of man on earth, that is, those who follow and practice religion. Such is the shaking that takes place immediately preceding "the battle of that great day of God Almighty". (Haggai 2: 6, 7) But another and far greater shaking will take place at the battle of Armageddon. It is only the remnant, and those of good will and who trust in the great THEOCRAT and his government, that have hope. Therefore "the Lord will be the hope of his people" now and henceforth and for evermore. The enraged religious practitioners continue to persecute these witnesses of the Lord because they tell the truth, and that persecution does not deter the witnesses in their work, because they know they are backed up by Jehovah. For their encouragement Jehovah speaks: "Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey; for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger; for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy." — Zephaniah 3: 8.

THE BATTLE

All nations are now in the "valley of Jehoshaphat", that is, the valley of judgment or decision. It is also the valley of concision or the place of slaughter, because there the judgment of Jehovah against all the wicked will be executed. Jehovah God is at Zion; he is the Supreme One, the Commander and final arbiter.

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It is the day of his victory; therefore it is the day of the Lord. Jehovah gives command for the battle to begin: "The LORD [Jehovah] shall roar from on high, . . . [Jehovah] hath a controversy with the nations; ... he will give them that are wicked to the sword." — Jeremiah 25:30, 31.

Christ Jesus, the Vindicator of the Most High, hears and immediately obeys the command. He moves forward on his war mount to give battle to the enemy. The host of heaven, the holy angels, fully equipped, follow after the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the army of righteousness. The battle is on, and the forces of righteousness charge the enemy forces, hurl them back, and literally cut them to pieces. Concerning this army of righteousness it is written: "And the armies which were in heaven followed him [Christ Jesus] upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God." — Revelation 19:14,15.

Jehovah of hosts fully supports his Field Marshal, Christ Jesus. Victory therefore is certain: "The Lord [Jehovah] at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. He shall judge among the heathen [nations], he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries." (Psalm 110: 5, 6) Thus it is seen that the Lord Jesus Christ, fully supported by the Most High, strikes through the kings or ruling

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powers, both invisible and visible, in the day of this battle. He wounds the head of every department of Satan's organization over the many countries; he fills the places with the dead.

THE SLAUGHTER

It is the hour of God's indignation expressed against those who have so foully defamed his holy name, and all the enemy shall be paid a just recompense: "For the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies; he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter. Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. And all the host of heaven [that is, the high places in which Satan's crowd have perched themselves] shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll; and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree. For my sword shall be bathed in heaven [that is, the high places in which Satan's crowd have perched themselves]: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea [religionists and allies in high places], and upon the people of my curse, to judgment. The sword of the Lord is filled with blood; it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams; for the Lord hath a sacrifice in Bozrah [Edom, religious persecutors], and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea. And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be

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soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness. For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion." — Isaiah 34: 2-8.

The religious leaders, the political rulers and the commercial great men have with one accord engaged in cruel wars, resulting in the destruction of the souls of the innocent. Such rulers have deliberately violated God's everlasting covenant. (Genesis 9: 3-17) All such have yielded to the influence and power of the demons; hence God declares that at the day of pay-off the following shall be the result: "The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled; for the Lord hath spoken this word. The earth mourneth, and fadeth away; the world languisheth, and fadeth away; the haughty people of the earth do languish. The earth also is denied under the inhabitants thereof, because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth [the ruling element] , and they that dwell therein are desolate; therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left." — Isaiah 24: 3-6.

That the battle of Armageddon will result in a wide-spread destruction, the Lord says: "And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground." (Jeremiah 25:33) Those who die will not be a few million only, but 'all the wicked God will destroy'. — Psalm 145:20.

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WIPED OUT

"The battle of that great day of God Almighty" will forever put AN END TO RELIGION AND RELIGIOUS PERSECUTORS. That battle of Armageddon is God's appointed time and place to settle all accounts with his enemies, and this he will do by requiring the lifeblood of those who have deliberately violated his "everlasting covenant". (Genesis 9:5-10) He will not permit those who have unrighteously shed human blood to go down to the grave in peace, but will cause all such who are on earth at Armageddon to suffer destruction. "For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed; for the Lord dwelleth in Zion." — Joel 3: 21.

This text according to the Syriac and Septuagint Versions reads: "I will avenge the blood of them I had not avenged." Jehovah's name shall be fully and completely vindicated. This he will do by Christ Jesus, his Vindicator. He will not let the bloodshedders go without due attention and without balancing the account. Such is retributive justice, executed against Satan's earthly representatives because of their violence against those who faithfully serve Jehovah God. He will bring down such persecutors to the grave with blood. (1 Kings 2:9) His law must be satisfied: "At the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man." (Genesis 9: 5) The blood of Jehovah's witnesses unrighteously shed by religionists shall be upon the heads of the wicked slayers.

The blood of those slain at Armageddon will not rest upon the heads of Jehovah's faithful servants. His witnesses and their companions

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have obediently and zealously sounded the trumpet of warning and hence are not guilty of offense, and no blood will be required of them; but the enemy, the religionists and their allies, have repeatedly shed blood of the innocents, and for that they shall be fully paid by the Executioner of Jehovah.

God's prophecy through Joel shows that his vengeance shall be executed against religionists, particularly the Roman Catholic Hierarchy, and all her allies, including the political, commercial and military elements of the earth that have practiced religion and wickedly punished God's servants: "Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land." — Joel 3:19.

In the text of the prophecy last above quoted "Edom", which in other prophecies is called "Mount Seir", specifically pictured demonism or religion. "Egypt" specifically pictured the political, commercial and military elements that rule the earth, all of which practice some kind of religion. Desolation comes upon religion, politics, commerce, and military elements of Satan's organization, specifically pointed out by this prophecy.

The Roman Catholic Hierarchy is undoubtedly the chief one mentioned in this prophecy under the symbol of "Edom". According to the Revised Version this part of the text reads: "And Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence done to the children of Judah"; that is, against those who praise and serve Jehovah.

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The indisputable facts that have come to pass, particularly since 1917 up to the present hour, show that the Roman Catholic Hierarchy have been causing much suffering and bloodshed upon God's people within the "land" of many parts of the nations of the earth. Their wicked deeds against Jehovah's witnesses have continued to increase. The Hierarchy and their allies are even now in a conspiracy to bring about the destruction of Jehovah's witnesses and their companions. Those who faithfully serve God will not now be at all discouraged by reason of the wicked deeds of the enemies, because they know that the doom of religion is sounded and that judgment against that wicked class will be executed and soon the workers of iniquity shall perish.

The religious persecutors and allies have willfully violated the "everlasting covenant" of Jehovah, and now the Almighty's promise to render unto them a full recompense shall be carried out. The prophetic pictures performed by Jehovah in times of old are now about to be completely fulfilled. Edom, foreshadowing the religious element now on earth, took her stand against Judah and Jerusalem and aided Babylon in the persecution of God's temple people. (Obadiah 11-14) This definitely identifies the modern-day Edomites (the religionists led by the Roman Catholic Hierarchy) as a part of Satan's organization. In the prophecies this wicked religious organization is designated Satan's "woman", the old "harlot", and concerning which it is written: "And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with

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the blood of the martyrs of Jesus; and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration." (Revelation 17:6) "And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth." (Revelation 18: 24) "Also in thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents; I have not found it by secret search, but upon all these."  —Jeremiah 2: 34.

The judgment of Jehovah written against those breakers of his covenant concerning the sanctity of life says: "Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord God, I will prepare thee unto blood, and blood shall pursue thee; sith [since] thou hast not hated blood, even blood shall pursue thee. Thus will I make mount Seir most desolate, and cut off from it him that passeth out, and him that returneth. And I will fill his mountains with his slain men; in thy hills, and in thy valleys, and in all thy rivers, shall they fall that are slain with the sword." — Ezekiel 35: 6-8.

The Roman Catholic Hierarchy, the modern Edomites, have repeatedly invaded the "land of Judah", that is, of Jehovah's witnesses and their "companions", who praise Jehovah; and for this Jehovah will "pay off" fully those wicked ones. This part of the prophecy is now made known to his people by the Lord that they may have increased comfort and hope during this time of wickedness against them.

God's prophet then foretells His purpose to destroy the political, commercial, and military allies of religion, who have acted with the religious element in the persecution of God's faithful witnesses. — Joel 3:19.

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Antitypical Egypt's river Nile fails to water the land and to make it productive. On the contrary, its commercialism appears to be death-dealing, and this is proved by the conditions existing throughout the earth, and this in spite of the constant "pump-priming", or reckless spending of money, which is done in the nation by individuals who try to keep business afloat. A similar course is followed in other parts of the earth. From bad to worse grows the condition of antitypical Egypt, and at Armageddon all parts of it will go down. "The burden of Egypt. Behold, the Lord rideth upon a swift [war] cloud, and shall come into Egypt; and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it. And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians; and they shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbour; city against city, and kingdom against kingdom. And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof; and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards. And the Egyptians will I give over into the hand of a cruel lord; and a fierce king shall rule over them, saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts. And the waters shall fail from the sea, and the river shall be wasted and dried up."  — Isaiah 19:1-5.

SURVIVORS

The religionists and allies have tried to silence all who praise and serve Jehovah. In this they shall completely fail. The promise of God given to his faithful servants is that they

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shall survive the destruction at Armageddon: "But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation." (Joel 3:20) The survivors shall remain on earth "from generation to generation", that is, forever; and this God further supports by the words of his prophet, to wit: "And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God." — Amos 9:15.

Jehovah's universal organization ("Jerusalem") will persist after Satan's organization has gone down to complete destruction. The remaining on the earth of "the remnant" will be but temporary; but as to their companions, the "other sheep", forming the "great multitude" and who come up to Jerusalem to worship Jehovah, they shall abide on the earth forever: "Thus saith the Lord of hosts, It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities; and the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts; I will go also. Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold, out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew [Christ], saying, We will go with you; for we have heard that God is with you." (Zechariah 8: 20-23) "And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem, shall even go up from year

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to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain, there shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles."  — Zechariah 14:16-19.

Those earthly survivors of Armageddon will be blessed with the great and unspeakable privilege of carrying out the divine mandate to "be fruitful . . . and fill the earth" with perfect human creatures. (Genesis 9:1) This they will do under the immediate direction and ministration of Christ the King of the great THEOCRACY.

Only those who are diligent in studying God's revealed Word, and who keep in mind God's message, particularly relating to the kingdom, will be able to hold fast and withstand the assault of the enemy. Those who for any excuse or reason turn to the things of this world are certain to lose everything. Those who put their trust wholly in Jehovah and his King, and who with diligence press on in the fight in obedience to his Word, will continue to behold what is God's purpose and what shall be the result. They discern that the day of battle is here, and by faith clearly see what will be the result. They hear the doom of religion and the complete over-

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throw of all of Satan's forces. They behold Christ Jesus, the victorious Warrior, crowned with victory and glory, leading his forces to complete victory to the vindication of Jehovah's name. They see the work finished. They hear a colloquy in which Christ Jesus, the great Vindicator, is the principal speaker. To him the questions are propounded, and Christ Jesus gives the answers: "Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? [Answer] I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. [Question] Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? [Answer] I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me; for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come." — Isaiah 63:1-4.

Mark this: that in the fight against the enemy none give support to the righteous King; that is, none of the world: only those do who have taken their stand on the side of God and Christ and have become a part of or under his organization before Armageddon and who are therefore his and are with him. "And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold; therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me."  — Isaiah 63: 5.

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REFUGE

Let all who are now on the side of Jehovah and his King hold fast with rejoicing, faithfully enduring unto the end. To such Jehovah speaks through his prophet: 'The Lord will be the hope of his people, and a stronghold.' (Joel 3:16; R.V.) Armageddon will be too terrible to find description in human words. Of that great conflict and what shall come to pass the faithful need not fear. Jehovah will put his hand over the faithful, shield and protect them, and be a complete refuge to them: "The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it, and is safe." — Proverbs 18:10.

Today the enemy, and particularly the Roman Catholic Hierarchy, have, as God foretold, 'made lies their refuge.' (Isaiah 28:15) They falsely claim to be on the side of freedom and right and yet are exactly the opposite thereto, always resorting to wickedness. Those who have devoted themselves to Jehovah and his King will not be dismayed or discouraged by reason of the deeds of the wicked. God will sweep away that refuge of lies. Jeremiah the prophet was a picture of God's faithful people now on earth, and as he prayed so now the faithful pray: "Be not a terror unto me; thou art my hope in the day of evil. Let them [the enemy] be confounded that persecute me, but let not me be confounded; let them be dismayed, but let not me be dismayed; bring upon them the day of evil, and destroy them with double destruction." — Jeremiah 17:17,18.

The strength of Jehovah's people is in the joy and joyful service of God and his King. As

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Nehemiah builded the walls of Jerusalem amidst great trouble, so now the faithful of the Lord promote the kingdom interests amidst great tribulation, and now they truly say: "The joy of the Lord is [our] strength." (Nehemiah 8:10) "The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth, and with my song will I praise him. The Lord is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed. Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance; feed them also, and lift them up for ever." (Psalm 28:7-9) "The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him." — Nahum 1: 7.

Religionists put their hope in the totalitarian ruling powers, the antitypical Egypt, the Devil's organization, and their strength shall utterly fail them. The spiritual Israelites, God's faithful people, find their strength wholly in the great Theocrat and his King. The "great multitude" are those now coming from all nations, kindreds, peoples and tongues (Revelation 7:9-17), and they are putting themselves under the King of Jehovah, thereby becoming "companions" of the remnant, the announcers of the Kingdom. Together these share the blessings of the Lord and say: "0 Lord, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction." (Jeremiah 16:19) Religion shall perish, but the kingdom of Christ shall stand forever.

When Armageddon ends, the survivors shall know that Christ is the King of The Theocracy and Jehovah is supreme Ruler thereof: "So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God

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dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain; then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more." — Joel 3:17.

The visible part of God's revealed organization has been repeatedly denied by unconsecrated and wicked persecutors who once claimed to be of God's organization. But since the coming of Christ Jesus to the temple he has not permitted the unrighteous to remain with his faithful servants, but has gathered them out and continues to gather out those who become offended at him and his organization and who work unrighteousness against the Lord and against his anointed. (Matthew 13:41,42; Revelation 21:27) No "stranger" who is opposed to God's kingdom or who persecutes his people shall remain in his organization, says the Lord. (Joel 3:17) When Armageddon is done all in God's organization shall be holy unto Jehovah. — Zechariah 14: 20, 21.

As to Jehovah's organization, says the scripture: "There shall no strangers [(Hebrew) zarim; the wicked oppressors] pass through her any more." (Joel 3:17) The wicked deeds of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy and their dupes shall never come again upon God's people as they did in 1918 and since. During 1918 in particular the Hierarchy took the lead in persecuting God's people. "In the day that thou [the Hierarchy and other religionists] stoodest on the other side, in the day that the strangers [(Hebrew) zarim] carried away captive his forces, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them."  — Obadiah 11.

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With the judgment of the doom of religion fully executed the faithful men for ever rejoice, knowing that the enemy has perished and will never be permitted to again arise. (Nahum 1: 9) Even now by faith the faithful experience that joy and hope, hearing the words of comfort from Jehovah to them: "Awake, awake; put on thy strength, 0 Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean." — Isaiah 52:1.

It is certain that after Armageddon no violence or assaults will be committed against God's people, because the wicked will all be gone. Just at this time the hypocritical pretenders are permitted to work against God's faithful witnesses, and those "goats" known as the "evil servant" class join with the Hierarchy, all forming the "son of perdition" (2 Thessalonians 2:3); but shortly God will bring about the complete destruction of all such. This knowledge gives great comfort to those who are permitted to be on the Lord's side.

BLESSINGS

The "day of Jehovah" began in 1914, when Christ Jesus was enthroned; but, with reference to the anointed, more particularly from 1918, when the Lord Jesus came to the temple. Since, "the day of the Lord Jesus Christ" begins to overlap the day of Jehovah. (1 Corinthians 1:8; 5:5; Philippians 1:6,10; 2 Corinthians 1:14) In that "day" and at the end of Armageddon there shall come the time of perpetual blessings and endless joy. "And it shall come to pass in

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that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim."  — Joel 3:18.

"Wine" symbolizes joy. The "joy of the Lord" is the great privilege that is given to Christ Jesus to vindicate his Father's name. With the coming of the Lord Jesus to the temple and following 1918 he invites his faithful servants to enter into his joy. (Matthew 25:21,23) From that time onward the "faithful servant", the Lord's anointed, are in the "holy land", that is, God's organization, which is wholly and completely devoted to him. Therefore the prophecy refers to such time in these words: "It shall come to pass in that day that the mountains shall drip sweet wine." (Rotherham) The heights of God's universal organization and of his capital organization are likened unto mountains, because their earthly prototypes were builded upon mountains. Therefore from and after 1922 God speaks to his faithful remnant by his prophet in these words: "But ye, 0 mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come. For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn unto you, and ye shall be tilled and sown. And I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, even all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited, and the wastes shall be builded: and I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bring fruit; and I will settle you after your old estates, and

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will do better unto you than at your beginnings; and ye shall know that I am the Lord." — Ezekiel 36:8-11.

Since then Jehovah has fulfilled this prophecy to his faithful spiritual Israelites. From then onward "the mountains shall drip sweet wine", and they have done so; that is, his organization universal and his organization capital, as if full to overflowing, have dropped down upon his faithful ones great blessings and joy. This undoubtedly refers to the fresh Kingdom joys, which have provided jobs of service unto Jehovah for his witnesses, working towards and looking to the vindication of his name. Such is the day mentioned by Jesus to his disciples: "That day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom." (Matthew 26:29) This new and sweet joy, pictured by the wine, drops down from God's kingdom through Christ Jesus upon his faithful anointed. It is kingdom wine. The religionists, including the "evil servant" class, have no access to this new wine of joy. They are denied all such blessings, because they are drunk with Satan's wine. To these opposers of God's kingdom Jehovah says: "Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth." — Joel 1: 5.

INCREASING BLESSINGS

Following the approval of those taken into the temple Jehovah's blessings began to increase upon the approved ones, and this the prophecy shows. Jehovah's promise is that the earthly state of his "land", or condition of his

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faithful ones, shall be "a land flowing with milk and honey". — Exodus 3: 8.

This promise, which applied upon typical or natural Israel, applies with greater force upon the antitypical Israel, the spiritual Israelites, from and after 1918. In full accord with this the prophecy of Joel says: "The hills shall flow with milk." Since 1922, particularly, such part of the prophecy has been in course of fulfillment upon the remnant. Concerning the "Lion of the Tribe of Juda" the prophecy (Genesis 49: 9-12) says: "Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine [before riding into Jerusalem]; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes: his eyes shall be red [flashing] with wine, and his teeth white with milk." To his "bride", the church, which he receives at the temple, Christ Jesus, the Bridegroom, says: "I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse; . . . I have drunk my wine with my milk; eat, 0 friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved." — Song of Solomon 5:1.

Following the thirsty experiences of God's people in 1917 and 1918 the Lord says to the remnant: 'Ho, every one that is thirsty, . . . come, buy wine and milk without money, and without price. . . . and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of [unto] David.' (Isaiah 55:1-3) Taken into the everlasting covenant for the kingdom, these faithful ones continue to receive ever-increasing blessings at the hand of the Lord.

Furthermore the prophecy (Joel 3:18) says: "The rivers of Judah shall flow with waters";

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that is, all the channels of the land (the earthly state) of the remnant, or of "Judah" ("Praise to Jehovah"). Such are meant to supply those who inhabit that 'land" or earthly state after God's remnant are brought out of captivity to "Babylon", that is, freed from association with the Devil's religion and organization. The "channels" here mentioned pictured the means by which Jehovah conveys the things that he has in reservation for his restored faithful remnant whom he loves, and which channels are, to wit, the Bible now made clear to them, together with books, magazines, phonographs, records, and other means carried on by his service organization. The facts show that since 1922 these blessings have continuously increased upon his people. Says the prophecy concerning these channels, they "shall flow with waters", that is to say, with truth. With God's faithful people there is now no "thirst for water", for the hearing of the Word of God. (Amos 8:11) No condition such as named by Joel 1:19, 20, describing the devastated condition of "Christendom", now afflicts God's faithful people. God's channels of waters of truth are running full and fully supply the needs of the spiritual Judeans, and by such these are enabled to supply the needs of the people of good will by carrying to them the message of truth. God's servant, the Society, supplies the literature in such quantities and with such small cost that the same is within the reach of all who diligently seek the Lord, and they too drink the truth to their full satisfaction.

The kingdom message of truth is not kept in the confines of the temple class, but the truth

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flows out to others, as the prophecy of Joel (3:18) says: "And a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord." This prophecy foretold that Jehovah's temple would be builded up at the coming of the King, Christ Jesus. The fountains could not start to flow until after the coming of Christ Jesus to the temple in 1918. In this connection note what is written concerning the temple. (Ezekiel 47:1-12) These great fountains of truth flow now, not only to refresh the "remnant", but to sustain the "great multitude". Thus the promise is that the blessings continue to increase, and the facts now fully show the fulfillment of the prophecy. This is also in harmony with The Revelation: "And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb." Then the temple class, under the command of Christ Jesus, join with him in notifying those of good will to come and drink: "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come; and whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." — Revelation 22:1,17.

Furthermore, Joel's prophecy says concerning the waters: "And shall water the valley [torrent valley] of Shittim." The waters go in the same direction as Ezekiel described them at Ezekiel 47:8-12. Before entering Canaan the Israelites encamped at Shittim where many of them were seduced into idolatrous religion and fell away. The name "Shittim", or "Acacias", indicates scourging because of the long thorns or spines of these Acacia trees. This seems to refer to the condition of God's people in 1917 and

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1918, when they were undergoing much scourging and persecution. The river of Jehovah's truth reached them and quenched their thirst and revived them and made them again active in the service of the Lord. The same waters now supply the needs of the Jonathan class or "great multitude", who shall live forever on the earth, and forever praise and serve Jehovah and his King. — Revelation 7:17.

In the face of the foregoing authoritative prophecy of Almighty God and of the physical facts which he has brought to pass in fulfillment thereof, can any sane person rely upon religion to save the nations and the people from disaster 1 The time has come when every person on earth will hold to demonism, which is religion, and suffer destruction; or will shun religion and will quickly seek protection under the government of Jehovah, and thus find the way to life. Before you are set death and life. Choose which you will take. To further follow and practice religion means annihilation. To faithfully serve

JEHOVAH AND HIS KING, CHRIST JESUS,

means peace, prosperity, and life everlasting.



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