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Religion

CHAPTER IX

INVISIBLE POWER

Joel 2:28-32

JEHOVAH exercises his unlimited power over the universe. His power is exercised entirely for good and is therefore holy. His spirit is that holy power by which he carries out his purposes. That holy spirit is invisible to human eyes, but God causes it to move his creatures on earth into action to serve his purpose. He gives a commission of authority to certain ones to do and to perform the things designated by that commission, and this he does by putting his spirit upon such creatures.

The prophecy of Joel makes known something new and which never before was done by Jehovah toward those who should have to do with the carrying out of his purposes concerning the kingdom or theocratic government of the Most High. The prophecy of Joel reads: "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions." (Joel 2: 28) Peter quoted this prophecy and applied its miniature fulfillment to the day of Pentecost. The complete fulfillment is after the coming of Christ Jesus to the temple in 1918. — Acts 2:16,17.

The word there written "afterward", or, literally, "after so," manifestly means after God's

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people have done and performed the things stated at chapter two, verses 12-17, and marks a fulfillment of the prophecy in completeness. Since the words of the prophecy must in due time apply to the remnant of God's people in fulfillment, this clearly appears to be after the consecrated come to a knowledge that they had been negligent in serving Jehovah and, having greatly grieved thereat, they repented and turned themselves wholly and entirely to the pure worship of Jehovah God and to the service of his kingdom and refused further to be deterred in that faithful service because of fear of man or devil. That would mean, therefore, that the time was when Jehovah brought his people out of captivity from the enemy and made them see their freedom in Christ.

Because of yielding to religion the Jewish nation had forsaken the covenant with God and God had cast that nation away. Only a remnant of the Jews had stood firm to the terms of the covenant with Jehovah. Among such was Peter, the disciple of Jesus Christ, together with the other faithful disciples. The Scriptures disclose that this part of the prophecy of Joel had a miniature fulfillment at Pentecost, at which time God caused the disciples of Jesus to speak forth his purpose and to do so in many languages, which prior thereto they could not speak. The apostle Peter under inspiration there locates the time for the complete fulfillment of this part of Joel's prophecy, and that time is named by the apostle as "the last days".

Other scriptures definitely show that "the last days" is the time of the coming of the Lord

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Jesus to the temple for judgment (Malachi 3:1-3), and according to the Scriptural proof heretofore published in The Watchtower this appearing of the Lord at the time was in A.D. 1918. It was after that date that the consecrated ones repented and turned wholly to the service of Jehovah, as commanded by the prophecy recorded at Joel 2:12-17. The words of the apostle Peter make clear that the word "afterward" at Joel 2: 28 applies specifically after A.D. 1918. At Pentecost the apostle said: "And it shall be in the last days, saith God, I will pour forth of my spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams." — Acts 2:17, A.R.V.

Mark now the surrounding circumstances leading up to and obtaining at the time of the miniature fulfillment of the prophecy. Peter with an oath had three times denied his Master, Christ Jesus. All the other disciples had abandoned the Lord and fled in the night of his mock trial because of fear of the other Jews. All of them had much cause thereafter for godly sorrow and certainly a reason to repent. (Matthew 26: 55-75; John 18:15-27) Even after the resurrection of Jesus from the dead his disciples met behind closed doors because of "fear of the Jews". (John 20:19-26) Afterwards those faithful disciples did show repentance and great sorrow, and Jesus forgave them and they were restored to God's favor. (John 21:1-19) It was after they had been delivered from their fear of the Jews that the disciples were anointed with the holy spirit, as stated at Acts 2:1-14. Then

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the disciples became fearless and bold in declaring the name of Jehovah, his King and his kingdom. Ever thereafter they emphasized the importance of the kingdom. It was thereafter that God revealed to them his purpose to 'take out a people for his name' who should be witnesses to his name and majesty and power. (Acts 15:14) The disciples must be separated from religion and were so separated unto the Lord. At Pentecost God poured out his spirit upon all persons in the flesh who were then completely and wholly devoted to him. That was the miniature fulfillment of Joel's prophecy above quoted.

In the years 1917 and 1918 (A.D.) there was a real test put upon the consecrated ones, and many of such failed to make a proper public confession of their devotion to God and to his kingdom; and that failure was due to fear. Because of such dereliction those consecrated ones were displeasing to the Lord. Therefore God's favor could not be expressed toward the derelict ones until after they had repented and confessed to God and had set themselves wholly to do the will of God. Up to that time the consecrated held to the religious opinion that the chief purpose of Jehovah is to save men and take some of them to heaven and leave some on the earth, all of whom should assist God in carrying out his purpose. Although God's people saw, in 1919, that the fear of man had ensnared them, they did not realize their really unhappy condition until 1922 or thereabouts. It was then that the Lord revealed to his people the truth of the presence of Christ Jesus at the temple and that God had

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used Isaiah the prophet to record a prophecy which had its fulfillment upon the consecrated in 1922, and which prophecy is, to wit: "In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips, for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar. And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips, and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. — Isaiah 6:1, 5-7.

Coming to a realization of their condition, and repenting and crying unto the Lord, it was then that the prophecy concerning the outpouring of the holy spirit began to have its fulfillment in completeness. Christ Jesus, then at the temple, acted for and in the name of Jehovah God to pour out His holy spirit upon the devoted ones whom he found approved at the temple judgment. — Acts 2: 33.

Later God's people learned of his expressed purpose in 'taking out from the nations a people for his name'. Long ago God had declared that he would permit the Devil to remain and carry on opposition to Jehovah for a period of a time fixed, at the end of which, God declared, he would cause his own great name to be proclaimed throughout the earth, and that this would be just preceding Armageddon, at which time he would exhibit his supreme power against the enemy. (Exodus 9:16) Those whom

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the Lord would send forth to be his witnesses to declare his name and his kingdom throughout the earth must therefore be anointed with his spirit and receive a commission from Jehovah and under that commission of authority do the work assigned to them. The terms of that commission God had set forth in his Word, disclosing that those in Christ Jesus, approved at the temple, would come fully within the class which should declare in the words of the prophet, to wit: "The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me"; that is, God has commissioned me to carry forward his purpose due to be done and performed, and which must be done by those so taken out from the world for his name. Commissioned to do what? The prophecy answers: "To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance [vindication] of our God." (Isaiah 61:1, 2) Vengeance against whom?

Against all who oppose the Theocratic Government, and which enemies on earth chiefly are the religious leaders. Therefore the commission granted to the taken-out and anointed ones requires each one of them to proclaim the truth, which truth of God's Word exposes religion as a snare of the Devil and as a racket practiced amongst men for material gain of the religion mongers. The time then arrived for God's "strange work", and the taken-out ones must participate in that "strange work" by declaring God's purpose as announced in their foregoing commission. To do that work the witnesses must have the spirit of God upon them. Upon all such in the flesh devoted to Jehovah he poured out his

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spirit by and through Christ Jesus and thus made them his witnesses and sent them forth to proclaim his purpose.

The "strange work" of Jehovah means a destructive work toward religion and the advocates and practitioners of religion, because all such are in opposition to the Theocracy. Proclaiming God's name and his kingdom works destruction upon such opposers of the Lord. God's organization in general is symbolized by the name "Jerusalem", which necessarily includes the kingdom. Note then the application of the prophecy from and after 1922, and which prophecy of Joel is corroborated by another prophecy of the Lord duly recorded: "And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek [cause] to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications; and they shall look upon me whom they [the enemy and opposers of God's kingdom] have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn." — Zechariah 12: 9,10.

Those who were devoted to God and his kingdom, and who were privileged to do the "Elijah work" prior to 1918, were pierced and the work was killed, and for that reason they did mourn. The name of Jehovah and of his beloved Son were pierced through by the enemy in 1918, and there was great mourning amongst the consecrated people of God, and this the Lord foretold by the prophecy of Zechariah above quoted.

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(See book Preparation, page 230.) Upon those faithful ones God poured out his spirit, which embraced all in the flesh who were thus devoted to Jehovah. This had its specific manifestation at Cedar Point convention on September 8, 1922. At that time a great burden was lifted from the hearts of those devoted to Jehovah and they discerned that there was much for them to do.

Immediately following the anointing at Pentecost the apostles went forth preaching the kingdom to all who would hear, and their preaching was destructive of religion. The religionists opposed the apostles bitterly and heaped upon them great reproach. Saul of Tarsus had been a great religious leader and a persecutor of the disciples of Jesus Christ, and when the Lord


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opened his understanding religion, so far as he was concerned, was destroyed. (Galatians 1:1-14) Likewise immediately following the pouring out of the holy spirit on God's devoted people in 1922 they were sent forth to declare the purposes of Jehovah, and the proclamation by them of God's message was and since has been destructive to those who oppose the kingdom of God; and that destructive work will culminate when Jehovah's "strange act" at Armageddon is performed. All who received the anointing of the holy spirit and who acted upon God's command were completely separated from the worldly organizations in which religion rules. Every one of the anointed, being commissioned by the Lord to act in his name, must proclaim his message of truth, which is destructive to religion. In order to receive the approval of God all such must faithfully perform the terms of the commission and therefore make themselves the objects of reproach, hatred, and persecution by the enemy. Anointed and performing their duty as commissioned, and being in Christ Jesus, such anointed ones are "the feet" of Christ, joyfully carrying out God's purpose to make known his kingdom. (Isaiah 52: 7) As Christ Jesus the Head suffered great reproach and persecution at the hands of religionists, even so now "the feet of Him" are subjected to like persecution.

The witnesses of Jehovah are not moved by the influence of any earthly person. They have no earthly leader or earthly king. They are the servants of Jehovah God by and through Christ Jesus, and Christ is their Head and King. The

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words of Jehovah, as recorded in the prophecy, are: "I will pour out my spirit"; that is to say, God's holy power, upon all devoted to him to do the work of proclaiming his message to the nations. The pouring out of his spirit is first upon the Head, Christ Jesus, and through him His spirit is poured out upon the members of his body. (Psalm 133:2) Christ Jesus is the Head and Leader of all of such, and no man can teach or lead such commissioned ones. They are all one, led and taught by their Head: "But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things." "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you; but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him." — 1 John 2: 20, 27.

ALL FLESH

What, then, is meant by the words of the prophecy, "upon all flesh"? Surely not, upon all the world of mankind, as has been stated by some in the past. When Jesus was present in the flesh God poured out his spirit upon Christ Jesus. (Matthew 3:16,17) The holy spirit could not be poured out upon others until after Jesus was glorified. (John 7: 39) The disciples had the promise of the holy spirit, and at Pentecost the holy spirit was poured out upon all the faithful disciples and others of the faithful ones then present who heard and believed and devoted themselves to Jehovah. (Acts 2: 38) Next thereafter the holy spirit was poured out upon the Samaritans who had wholly devoted themselves

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to God and to his kingdom. (Acts 8:14-17) Later and in God's appointed time his spirit was poured out upon non-Jews in the flesh who had devoted themselves to Jehovah and his kingdom. (Acts 10:44-46) The term "upon all flesh" certainly could not apply to anyone who opposes God and his kingdom.

Manifestly the meaning of the words "upon all flesh" is that God's spirit is put upon all creatures who are in a fleshly organism and who have been begotten of God's spirit after fully devoting themselves to him and showing their full faith and devotion to God and to his kingdom. When Christ Jesus came to the temple in 1918 he there began the trial testing and judgment of the consecrated ones. Those who passed that fiery test, proving their unselfish devotion to the Lord and his kingdom, received the Lord's approval, and were brought into the temple and anointed by the spirit of Jehovah God being poured out upon all of them, and this while they are in the fleshly organism. Thus being brought into Christ and made a part of his organization, they were sent forth thereafter to "offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness" acceptable unto him, and this they do, as stated by the Scriptures, by declaring God's name and his kingdom. — Malachi 3:1-3; Hebrews 13:15.

RESULT

What is the result from the outpouring of the holy spirit? This question is answered in the prophecy: "And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy." At Pentecost those words applied to the Jews, their sons and daughters, who

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had devoted themselves to God and his kingdom, because Peter, as well as the prophet Joel, addresses the message to "ye children of Zion"; "Israel . . .my people." (Joel 2:23-27) The reference would therefore be to the antitypical Israelites at the time of the fulfillment in completion of the prophecy. Sons and daughters come after the parents, and therefore would picture the later or final ones forming God's remnant, which are by the Lord brought into and made a part of "his faithful and wise servant" and to whom the Lord commits his kingdom interests on the earth. Being children, they would picture a physically and spiritually vigorous group, keen of mind, unselfish of heart, and actively pushing forward in the performance of their covenant and commission from the Lord. — Isaiah 44:1-8.

Further concerning them the prophecy says: "And they shall prophesy"; meaning, they shall preach the truth. The apostles in their day did thus prophesy. All the other anointed ones prophesied; that is to say, they preached or proclaimed God's message relating to the future, as well as to the present time, and all did so under the power of the spirit of Jehovah. As it is written in prophecy: "Jehovah hath spoken; who [that is devoted to him] can but prophesy?" (Amos 3:8, A.R.V.) The effect is that all such serve as witnesses for Jehovah by keeping his commandments, publishing his name and his kingdom according to the terms of the commission given, and thus they prophesy or proclaim the name and kingdom of the Most High. After the coming of Christ Jesus to the

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temple and the building up of Zion all who are taken into the temple and who remain faithful must bear testimony to the name and kingdom of Jehovah. "And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord: My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever." — Isaiah 59:20,21.

CONTRAST

The effect of that temple judgment was exactly the contrary of the foregoing towards others, as the prophecy states: "Your old men shall dream dreams." That would mean that the dreamers are not obeying God's command. Such persons designated as "old men" have hard, fixed and closed minds and are therefore not teachable. Such persons conclude, and did conclude, as the facts show, that all of God's truth was revealed through one man prior to October, 1916, and hence they refused to consider the revelation of God's prophecy thereafter coming to those who serve him. Such "old men" retired from service in the field, took their ease and dozed and dreamed of the time when they might go to heaven and help administer the affairs there. They think more highly of themselves than they should think. All persons consecrated and who showed such a dreaming disposition at the time of the temple judgment were rejected

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by the Lord, as the prophecy shows, and all such persons as since then have been highly impressed with their own learning and greatness, and who have insisted on going their own way, have found themselves in the same class of the dreamers. That would mean that some who did receive the anointing, and who would not vigorously put forth an effort to fulfill their commission, will be relegated to the 'dreamer' class. The dreamers are in exact contrast with the "sons" and "daughters". Such dreamers are great in their own estimation, and concerning such it is written: "Great men are not always wise; neither do the aged understand judgment." — Job 32:9.

The dreamers, not willing to learn of God, set about to proclaim their own ideas, and follow their own way and become prophets of deceit; that is, they deceive themselves and deceive others who give heed to their oft-repeated dreams. They never get away from their religious habits, and they hold on to the traditions of men. Concerning such the Lord has said: "They are prophets [proclaimers] of the deceit of their own heart; which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams, which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal." — Jeremiah 23: 26, 27.

Then the Lord draws a clear contrast between the dreamer and those who are guided by his Word, when he says: "The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff [dreams are here likened unto

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worthless chaff] to the wheat [God's life-sustaining Word]? saith the Lord." "Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the Lord, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the Lord." — Jeremiah 23: 28,32.

In view of these plain words of God's prophet let the anointed beware of and avoid the self-constituted wise men who think to exalt themselves by putting forth their own ideas or the traditional ideas of other men and who follow such and attempt to induce others to follow such dreamers.

STRONG

Those who really are devoted to God and his kingdom are by the prophet likened unto young men, to wit: "Your young men shall see visions." Such are "strong in the Lord, and in the power [spirit] of his might". (Ephesians 6:10) Furthermore it is written: "The glory of young men is their strength." (Proverbs 20: 29) The visions which such young men have are not delusions, but a keen insight into and an appreciation of God's Word. They discern the fulfillment of his prophecy and see that through Christ Jesus the prophecies are being unfolded, Christ Jesus the Head of the temple being the immediate Teacher of the members of his body. For such the apostle prays, at Ephesians 1:17,18. Such young men see wonders, and have seen wondrous things in these "last days", the meaning of which is revealed by the physical facts in fulfillment

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of prophecy, which the Lord has brought to pass. After being thus anointed they discern the kingdom and that Christ Jesus is at the temple carrying forward his Father's purposes. They see and keenly appreciate the prophetic dramas long ago made and recorded by the Lord, foretelling the promotion of the kingdom interest and disclosing what is shortly to follow. In all of this they give glory to Jehovah God and to the King and take no credit to themselves.

The language of the prophecy of Joel makes it clear and certain that all who receive the outpouring of the holy spirit and who continue to abide thereunder must be active in the service of God. Those upon whom the spirit of God is poured out through Christ Jesus are members of "the body of Christ". (1 Corinthians 12: 27) Is there a possibility of such falling away? The Lord Jesus says: "If a man abide not in me, he is cast [away]." (John 15: 6) Those who fail or refuse to bear the fruits of the kingdom, that is, to proclaim to others the life-sustaining truths of the kingdom, could not abide in the Lord; and concerning which Jesus said: "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me." — John 15: 4.

Surely this means that one might pass the test, enter the temple and receive the anointing, and then fail to carry out his commission, and fall and be cast away. In this connection note the words of Joel's prophecy: "And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit." (Joel 2:29) Peter, in quoting those words, said, as will be

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noted: "On my servants and on my handmaidens." (Acts 2:18) The prophecy does not say: "Upon your servants and handmaids." Clearly the purpose of the outpouring of the holy spirit is that those receiving it must be the servants of the Lord; which means they must serve him. Such must not be eye-servants to be seen of men, nor "men-pleasers", but, "as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart." (Ephesians 6:6) "As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God." — 1 Peter 2:16.

Undoubtedly this means that while some are assigned to one place of service, and some to another, each one must render service unto the Lord, and not unto men. Previous condition as to worldly position, education or reputation would make no difference, because all the anointed ones of the Lord are commissioned to render service to the glory of Almighty God and to his kingdom.

Note further the words of the prophecy quoted by Peter which mark the time of the complete fulfillment: "I will pour out, in those days, of my spirit"; that is to say, after the coming of the Lord to the temple in 1918. This adds further proof that the pouring out of the spirit "upon all flesh" in completeness means that all creatures in the flesh who are devoted to Jehovah God receive the holy spirit and must thereafter be servants of God and faithfully continue to be such servants even to the end, and that all such collectively constitute the 'elect servant' or "faithful and wise servant", to whom the Lord

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commits his kingdom interests on the earth. — Matthew 24; 45-47.

WONDERS

The pouring out of the holy spirit prepared and equipped those servants to begin to carry on their work as servants and witnesses of Jehovah, and further shows that those who faithfully fulfill their commission by the grace of God would have a part in the wondrous things described, to wit: "And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke." — Joel 2: 30.

The anointed faithful ones themselves are wonders to many. Multitudes wondered at the apostles and others who received the holy spirit at Pentecost. (Acts 2:6-13) Says the Psalm, referring to the faithful ones of God: "I am as a wonder unto many: but thou art my strong refuge." (Psalm 71:7) "Behold, I [Christ Jesus], and the children whom the Lord hath given me, are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion." (Isaiah 8:18) "Hear now, 0 Joshua the high priest, thou and thy fellows that sit before thee; for they are men wondered at; for behold, I will bring forth my servant, The BRANCH." (Zechariah 3:8) (See also Ezekiel 12:6,11; 24: 24-27.) Jehovah's witnesses today under the Greater Moses, Christ Jesus, fulfilled the picture of the wonders performed by Moses and Aaron in Egypt. (Exodus 4: 21; 7: 3-9; Deuteronomy 4: 34; 6: 22) His witnesses in these latter days have been used by Jehovah in fulfillment of some of his wonderful prophetic dra-

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mas. Jehovah's "strange work" on earth now is a wonder to many, and God's people have a part therein.

As to seeing "wonders in the heavens", as stated by the prophecy (Joel 2:30), Jehovah has opened the eyes of understanding or discernment of the faithful servant class to see the two great signs or wonders in the heavens, which John saw in symbol. "And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads." (Revelation 12:1,3) These signs or wonders are the great opposing organizations. The faithful servant class first began to see these "wonders in the heavens" in A.D. 1921, when The Watchtower for the first time gave publication concerning the Devil's organization. (The Watchtower, 1921, pages 90,91) Then in 1925 The Watchtower published the evidence showing that God's people saw these wonders beginning to take place in 1914.

As to the "wonders ... in the earth", Jehovah has opened the understanding of his people to discern the earthly organization of the Devil, made up of religious, commercial and political elements, and has particularly pointed out the hideousness of the religious element. Also Jehovah shows his witnesses that he is using them in the earth, guiding them to do his work in having a part in pouring out the "seven last plagues" upon "Christendom" from and after

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1922, and which plagues have tormented the enemy. These facts clearly fulfill the prophecy of Joel with reference to seeing wonders in the heavens and in the earth.

Further describing conditions that would obtain at the end of the world, Jesus says: "There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear." (Luke 21: 25, 26) The faithful servants of God not only have seen these wonders but have boldly declared the same to others.

Further describing the things to be seen by the faithful ones as wonders, the prophet says: "Blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke." Poured-out blood is a symbol of death and that which is death-dealing. Such was foreshadowed when Moses poured out water in the land of Egypt and it became blood, and then he smote the waters of the Nile, which afterwards became bloody. (Exodus 4: 9; 7:15-25) The meaning of that sign was revealed to Jehovah's faithful servants through the publication of The Watchtower in 1934. Blood was also symbolized in the events that followed the blowing of 'the second trumpet' and the outpouring of the vials of wrath of Almighty God. (Revelation 8:8,9; 16:3,4; see also Light, Books One and Two) Thus was revealed that the waters of religion and commerce are death-dealing when viewed in contrast with the waters of light and truth which proceed from Almighty God.

Concerning "fire", manifestly the fulfillment of this part of Joel's prophecy is found in the

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fiery message of Jehovah God, which he has caused to be proclaimed throughout the earth, and particularly in the land of hypocritical "Christendom". Jehovah's witnesses, the faithful servant class, have been permitted to carry this fiery message among the people, and it has dreadfully scorched and burned the religionists: "Wherefore thus saith the Lord God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them." "Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?" (Jeremiah 5:14; 23: 29) Again Jehovah's witnesses, pictured by "the man clothed with linen", are commanded to go into God's organization and take the fiery message and scatter it over the city or land of "Christendom"; which has a destructive effect upon religion. (Ezekiel 10: 2, 7) That which followed the blowing of 'the first trumpet' was like a fire, by means of which the religionists were scorched. — Revelation 8: 6, 7.

As to the "pillars of smoke" (Joel 2: 30), those appear well to denote the "smoke of [the] torment" of the enemies of Jehovah, particularly of the leading religionists and their organization, and this because of God's fiery message delivered amongst them. The Lord's army of locusts have carried this fiery message amongst the religionists, and that fire has resulted in much smoke of torment to religious leaders. (Revelation 9:17,18) "The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and

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brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever; and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name." (Revelation 14:10,11) The torment that Jehovah's message brings to the religionists, particularly to the Roman Catholic Hierarchy, increases daily in these "last days", and this is shown by their repeated howls and cursings. They are so scorched and stunned that they incite mobs to assault Jehovah's witnesses, thus showing their anger against God and against his kingdom.

Furthermore "pillars of smoke" arising denote the expression of God's wrath against those who persecute his faithful servants: "There went up a smoke [in his wrath] out of his [Jehovah's] nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured; coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down; and thick darkness was under his feet." — Psalm 18: 8, 9, R.V., margin.

Ever and anon in these "last days" God exhibits his wrath against his persecutors, but the complete expression of his wrath will be at Armageddon, and thereafter the smoke will ascend forever, denoting that the class consumed by the fire that made the smoke have ceased to exist for ever.

Following the outpouring of the holy spirit upon all flesh greater light was shed upon the anointed ones. Exactly the contrary came to the religionists and the "evil servant" class, and these found themselves in darkness: "The sun

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shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come." — Joel 2: 31.

The sun is the work of God and is the source of light by day for his earthly creatures. Only God can turn that great light into darkness. God expresses his anger against the enemy by bringing darkness upon them. "I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil [calamity]. I the Lord do all these things." — Isaiah 45:7.

The plague of three days' darkness which God brought upon Egypt pictures Satan's agents of this day in darkness. (Exodus 10:21-23) God makes known his displeasure with the enemy in these words: "Let their way be dark and slippery [darkness and slipperiness (margin)]; and let the angel of the Lord persecute them." (Psalm 35:6) "But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue his enemies." — Nahum 1:8.

The spirit of God gives light, and the light God withholds from those who hypocritically claim to be his servants but who in fact are the servants of the Devil. All religionists oppose God and his purpose, and hence they are in darkness. Specifically the Lord names the "evil servant" class, which class at one time was in the light but now is 'cast into outer darkness'. (Matthew 24:48-51) The kingdom light and truth, symbolized by the sun, God makes dark to the opposers, who have cast away his Word. All the physical facts show the fulfillment of this part of the prophecy in these latter days.

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Only those who have the spirit of the Lord see and appreciate the kingdom, and all the others, particularly the religionists, oppose the kingdom, and hence they are in complete darkness.

The moon also is the handiwork of God, made to give light by night to his creatures. Turning the moon into blood could be done only by Almighty God, and such he does to show his displeasure toward his enemies. "The moon under [the] feet" of God's "woman" is symbolic of his organization guided by his law. (Revelation 12:1) So Jehovah's provision is that his organization shall be guided in the right way. Those who have the spirit of the Lord are guided by his light into paths of righteousness, and they delight to do his will.

As to the enemy, they have no such light, but in darkness continue to oppose God. To the enemy the Scriptures are meaningless and are very dark. The present-day rulers of the earth get no aid or comfort whatsoever from the Bible. All the rulers hold to and practice some kind of religion, and God's Word of light, which is his law, appears to the enemy as a dead and hideous thing, symbolized by congealed blood, and thus as to them the moon is turned into blood. The religious practitioners, particularly, and which includes the political leaders of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy, hate the truth, because to them it speaks bloody vengeance and destruction. (Deuteronomy 32: 43; Matthew 23: 34, 35) To such enemy God's King and kingdom are loathsome. Dictators look with horror upon God's law, and hence the Hierarchy and other religious practitioners support the dictators

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and fight against the light of God's Word, and bitterly oppose his kingdom. They do violence to those who bring his message of light and truth of the kingdom to the attention of the people. During the day of God's "strange work" now in progress all things pertaining to the kingdom speak woe and death to the representatives of Satan's agents on the earth. Here is further corroborative evidence that the day of Armageddon is near, because the darkness of the sun and the turning of the moon into blood, as shown by the prophecy, take place immediately "before the great and terrible day of Jehovah" coming.

Since 1925 particularly Jehovah's witnesses have carried the kingdom message and placed it within the hearing of the people, which message tells of the day of vengeance of our God, and that it is very near. Such is their part in God's "strange work", and such work appears to the religionists as a very strange thing. This witness work must be done before Jehovah shows to the enemy his great power, which he will do at Armageddon. Causing his name and his kingdom to be proclaimed throughout the earth, Jehovah thus gives warning to the enemy and at the same time extends his mercy toward those practitioners of religion who have been and are deceived and held as prisoners in the religious organizations, and who unwittingly have walked with religionists. Now in this day Jehovah makes it clearly to appear that religion is doomed, and the sounding of such warning of doom provides the opportunity to all persons of good will to flee to the kingdom for protection

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before the wrath of God is expressed against Satan's organization.

WHO MAY ESCAPE

To now be permitted to declare the name and kingdom of Jehovah and the approaching hour of his wrath upon all wickedness, is an unspeakable privilege granted to those upon whom he has put his spirit. The message boldly announces the supremacy of Jehovah, and this done in the midst of religious opposition makes it possible for those who hear and who obey to find protection and salvation; and this God foretold through the prophecy of Joel 2: 32: "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call."

Necessarily it follows that whosoever shall not call upon the name of the Lord shall not be delivered. That makes it imperative for Jehovah's witnesses to carry out their commission to proclaim his name, his kingdom and his vengeance at the present time.

When must one call upon the name of Jehovah, that deliverance may be had? Not after the battle of Armageddon begins, at which time all may discern by the natural sight of the eyes the expression of God's vengeance against wickedness. Faith must be exercised by those who find protection. One must first believe that the Almighty God is Jehovah and that protection and salvation belong to him. (Hebrews 11: 6; Psalm 3:8) He must believe that Jesus Christ is the

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Redeemer and Deliverer, and then take action in harmony with that belief. Otherwise the inherited condemnation abides on such one to destruction. (John 3:36) He must call upon the name of Jehovah before the battle of Armageddon begins; and this he must do by hearing, believing and acting upon the information of truth brought to him by those who are witnesses for Jehovah, and particularly those upon whom God has placed his spirit.

For this reason Jehovah sends forth his anointed witnesses to declare his name and his purposes: "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher [one who bears testimony to the truth or proclaims the truth]? And how shall they preach, except they be sent [which are sent by receiving the anointing of the spirit and commission from Jehovah to go and preach this gospel of the kingdom]? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" (Romans 10:14,15) It is concerning these faithful witnesses that the prophecy is written: "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him [Christ] that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!" —Isaiah 52:7.

It is now easy to be seen why the dictators demand that the people shall salute flags and hail men, and why the Roman Catholic Hierarchy join in such demands upon the people, and why

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they cause the legislative bodies to frame laws working mischief, and why the Roman Catholic Hierarchy demands that the people should hear nothing except what the Hierarchy tells them. The acts of the dictators and of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy and their other religious supporters are proof conclusive that such are the agents of Satan and are desperately attempting to turn the people away from Jehovah God and to prevent them from hearing of his name and his kingdom. The dictators and religionists have rejected Christ Jesus, Jehovah's anointed King, the Ruler in the Theocracy. Every attempt is to turn the people away from the only possible means of protection and salvation. This is clearly shown by the Scriptures as well as the facts that have come to pass in recent years. Concerning the King it is written: "This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." — Acts 4:11,12.

The dictators and religionists are would-be builders of earthly governments and insist on ruling in the place and stead of God's kingdom. They definitely reject Jehovah's King and kingdom, and hence upon them Jehovah's wrath will shortly be expressed. Those who remain with the religionists are certain to go down in that great catastrophe of Armageddon. Those who will find protection and salvation must hear the truth before Armageddon and must obey the Lord by fleeing from religion and religionists and diligently seek protection under Christ Je-

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sus. The great Judge and Executioner of Jehovah is the Lord Jesus Christ, and he is the only One: "One only is the lawgiver and judge, even he who is able to save and to destroy." (James 4:12, A.R.V.) Let all who so desire to follow in the lead of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy and dictators, and who desire to bow down to them and hail men and salute flags, follow their own desire, but let such be fully warned of this: that only those who show their faith in God and his King, and who obey God and his King by acting before Armageddon as Rahab did, will find deliverance. — James 2: 24-26.

Organized religion began with Babylon, and ever since then the religionists and their organizations have been designated in the Scriptures under and by the name of "Babylon". As God sent Jeremiah to warn those of Israel who were of good will that they might flee out of the Devil's organization, so now he sends his anointed ones, accompanied by their companions, the Jonadabs, to give warning to all others who desire protection and salvation, and to those warned Jehovah now says: "Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul; be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the Lord's vengeance; he will render unto her a recompence." "My people, go ye out of the midst of her, and deliver ye every man his soul from the fierce anger of the Lord." — Jeremiah 51: 6,45.

This message must be carried to the people now, and upon every one who has received the anointing of the holy spirit God has placed the responsibility to participate in delivering that

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message. A failure or refusal to perform the commission thus given is certain to be disastrous to the ones thus failing or refusing.

In the typical days Jerusalem and Zion were located on adjoining mountains, and pictured the universal and the capital organization of Jehovah. Zion was a type of Jehovah's capital organization, made up of Jesus Christ and the 144,000 members of his body, anointed by the holy spirit, and upon which mountain, antitypically, now Jesus Christ and his body members stand, and there they are strongly fortified against the enemy. (Revelation 14:1,3) Those who will compose the "great multitude" are not pictured as standing upon Mount Zion. All persons of good will who flee to the mountains as commanded, and faithfully abide there under the protection of Christ until the end of Armageddon, will be delivered and will form the "great multitude". "For in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance," says the prophecy. Here the word "deliverance" means "an escaping", and may properly be applied to the act of escaping and to those who do escape. — Isaiah 4: 3, 4.

Jehovah's provision for those of good will is by and through Christ Jesus, the Head of his organization Zion. "But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions." (Obadiah 17) Mount Zion is the Theocracy or Kingdom, and deliverance shall be there because Jehovah God will fight for his organization, as it is written: "For thus hath the Lord spoken unto me, Like as the lion and the young

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lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them: so shall the Lord of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for the hill thereof. As birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over [covering it with complete protection] he will preserve it." (Isaiah 31:4, 5) Thus the Lord shows that protection and salvation come only from him by and through his royal organization. This he makes known for the benefit of the Jonadabs, or persons of good will.

Escape and deliverance shall be found in no other place than in the Lord God's organization, "as the Lord hath said." Repeatedly God has thus said by his prophets, the "holy men of old". He has said it through Christ Jesus and his apostles, and now he uses the remnant, or the anointed ones, to bring this message to the attention of the people of good will. All of these, from the faithful men of old to and including the remnant, have been and are witnesses to the name of Jehovah and his purpose. The remnant now bear this message which the Lord has said, and they must continue to carry that message to the people, because that is the purpose of their anointing.

The prophecy of Joel 2:32 shows that the remnant constitute a part of Jehovah's capital organization Zion, concerning which it is written: "And in [(R.V.) among] the remnant whom the Lord [doth] call." Furthermore this makes clear that those "other sheep" who do escape and

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find refuge must now hear the message of and concerning the kingdom, must believe it, and must seek the Lord, and must take their place among those of the remnant and become companions of the remnant in the service. This part of the text according to Rotherham says: "And among the survivors whom Jehovah doth call." The survivors of the remnant, of course, must abide in the organization in order to find protection and salvation. The remnant Jehovah has called from all nations to be witnesses for his name, and upon such he has poured out his spirit. Prior to 1919 many of these were held in prison to the enemy organization, and the Lord called them out and sent them forth as his commissioned witnesses. These witnesses, in order to maintain their integrity, must be faithful in the performance of the commission which Jehovah has issued to them, and therefore they must give great diligence in proclaiming the name and purpose of Jehovah, the great Theocrat. Faithfulness in such performance of duty necessarily exposes religion and religionists, and for this reason great persecution is heaped upon Jehovah's witnesses by the religionists.

Furthermore for the encouragement, comfort and hope of those who have received the anointing of the holy spirit, and who therefore constitute the duly commissioned servants of Jehovah in these "last days", they must keep in mind always this fact, that such anointed ones constitute God's "locusts", which he calls his "great army" (Joel 1:4; 2:11, 25); and that these are sent into the field of warfare there to have part in "his work, his strange work". Jehovah has

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pronounced his judgment of doom and everlasting destruction upon religion and religious practitioners. It follows that the religionists, particularly the leaders thereof, will fight Jehovah's witnesses to the bitter end. The prophecy shows that many of the leaders will hide behind walls and induce their dupes to go forth and fight Jehovah's witnesses. Nothing else should be expected than increasing opposition from the enemy from this time forward. Jehovah therefore says to his people that this will be true, and he also says that in this fight the enemy shall suffer complete defeat and destruction: "And they shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee." — Jeremiah 1:19.

It was in the year 1918 that the then faithful ones were gathered to the temple and received the outpouring of the holy spirit. Those who since that have been brought into the body of Christ have also received the outpouring or anointing of the holy spirit by and through Christ Jesus, the Head of Zion. Mordecai and Naomi pictured the first-mentioned class, while Esther and Ruth pictured the latter ones. All these together make up the "faithful and wise servant" class, to whom the Lord Jesus has committed his kingdom interests on the earth. They must faithfully promote such kingdom interests at all times. Because of their faithfulness in performance of their duty in fulfillment of their commission they are the objects of reproach and persecution at the hands of the religionists. But let all of the anointed, together with their companions, now be of good courage as they study

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the remaining portion of the prophecy of Joel and discern God's purpose to dispose of the enemy, and to give complete protection and salvation to those who love him.



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