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You May Survive Armageddon
Into God's New World


The Chief Executioner Takes a Wife

AN EVENT spreading happiness throughout heaven and earth takes place during the "time of the end" of this present wicked system of things. It is the marriage of the most deserving heavenly Son of God, the beloved Lord Jesus Christ. He is God's Chief Executioner at the end of this system, but that office casts no gruesome blackness upon his record or reputation nor any shadow upon his wife. It sheds glory upon him, for as Chief Executioner he becomes the Chief Vindicator, Justifier or Upholder of the universal sovereignty of the Most High God, Jehovah. The happy event began to take place after he arrived with A-do-nay' Jehovah at the spiritual temple in the spring of 1918. This helps to explain why God did not permit him to push on without a break to the war of Armageddon after hurling Satan and his demon angels out of heaven and down to this earth. God cut short the days of tribulation upon Satan's organization by calling for a halt to further violent hostilities against Satan's organization until the day and the hour for the foretold war of Armageddon to be opened up. God cut short the days of tribulation because the bride of his beloved Vindicator and Son was involved. — Mark 13:19, 20, NW.

1. What happy event takes place in this "time of the end," from when on, and so why did God cut short the days of tribulation?

2 Jehovah the Father does not marry his Son to an angel or to angels. (Hebrews 2:14-17) He chooses the wife for his Son and unites him to a group of lovers whom he purchases from among mankind, the congregation of 144,000 faithful followers from among men on earth. (Revelation 14:1-5) By a resurrection from the dead he joins these with his Son in heaven in a union that corresponds with his own marriagelike relationship to his entire holy heavenly organization, his "woman," the "Jerusalem above." (Galatians 4: 26, 27, NW; Isaiah 54:1-6, AS) The Son got introduced to the first members of his prospective "bride" when he was here on earth as a man.

3 The espousal or making of the marriage engagement occurred nineteen centuries ago, seemingly quite a long marriage engagement. Some time after baptizing Jesus, John the Baptist announced Jesus Christ as the Bridegroom, when he said to inquiring Jews: "I am not the Christ, but, I have been sent forth in advance of that one. He that has the bride is the bridegroom. However, the friend of the bridegroom, when he stands and hears him, has a great deal of joy on account of the voice of the bridegroom. This, indeed, has been fulfilled as my joy." (John 3:28, 29, NW) Jesus himself gave a parable or illustration of a king that made a marriage for his son, and by it he pictured himself there as the marriageable Son of the eternal King, his heavenly Father. In his prophecy on the "time of the end" he gave another parable and likened his faithful remnant on earth to five discreet virgins that met the bridegroom with lighted lamps on his return from the wedding. So Jesus looked for-

2. To whom does Jehovah marry his Son, and how, and in what kind of relationship?
3. When did the espousal take place, how did John the Baptist announce the Bridegroom, and how did Jesus show he looked forward to the marriage?

ward joyfully to his coming marriage in heaven. (Matthew 22:1-3; 25:1-13, NW) The night before his cruel death on the torture stake he comforted his faithful apostles and assured them that he was going away to prepare a place for them in his Father's house above and that, if he went away for this purpose, he would come again and receive them home to himself that they might be where he would be. He then prayed to his Father that they might be with him to behold his heavenly glory. — John 14:1-3; 17:24, NW.

4 Saul of Tarsus became a member of the bride class and was called the apostle Paul. Describing the relationship between Christ and his congregation of 144,000 anointed followers, the apostle Paul writes: "Let wives be in subjection to their husbands as to the Lord, because a husband is the head of his wife as the Christ also is the head of the congregation, he being a savior of this body. In fact, as the congregation is in subjection to the Christ, so let wives also be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, continue loving your wives, just as the Christ also loved the congregation and delivered up himself for it, that he might sanctify it, cleansing it with the bath of water by means of the word, that he might present the congregation to himself in its splendor, not having a spot or a wrinkle or any of such things, but that it should be holy and without blemish. In this way husbands ought to be loving their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself, for no man ever hated his own flesh, but he feeds and cherishes it, as the Christ also does the congregation, because we are members of his body. 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and will stick to his wife, and the two will be one flesh.' This sacred secret is great. Now

4. With what words does the apostle Paul describe the relationship between Christ and his congregation to the Ephesian Christians?

I am speaking with respect to Christ and the congregation." — Ephesians 5:22-32, NW.

5 From this explanation of a great spiritual mystery or sacred secret it is appreciated that Jesus Christ delivered himself up or laid down his human life for the future life of his bride class. He could prove his love for her in no greater way. The members of the bride are taken from a sinful and dying race, and their rescue from condemnation due to sin and from its penalty death was first necessary. Jesus took care of this life-necessity by offering his own perfect, sin-free life for his prospective bride and for those who would become his earthly children in the new world. After this it is necessary for the members of the bride to be patterned after Christ's image to become a suitable marriage mate to him for eternity. That is why it was God's will for them to dedicate themselves wholly to him as Jesus did and then be begotten by holy spirit to become God's spiritual children, who might be heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ in the heavenly kingdom. "As many as did receive him, to them he gave authority to become God's children, because they were exercising faith in his name; and they were born not from blood or from a fleshly will or from man's will, but from God." (John 1:12, 13, NW) God foreordained the number of the bride class to be 144,000. By begetting them according to his own will God called them to the bride's hope. After finishing their earthly course faithfully in imitation of their Bridegroom, they are declared righteous or justified in spirit by a resurrection to divine life in the spirit realm and they are glorified with their Bridegroom.  — Romans 8:15-18, 28-30, NW; 1 Timothy 3:16.

5. According to that, for whom did Jesus lay down his life, and how must the bride class become a suitable marriage mate for him?

6 At her espousal, at being promised in marriage to the heavenly Bridegroom, the bride class is a virgin. She is properly so, for he is Jehovah's High Priest, and in the nation of Israel Jehovah ordained that the high priest, of Levite Aaron's family, could marry only a virgin. (Leviticus 21:10-15, NW) On earth during the period of betrothal or espousal the bride class must jealously guard its chastity, its spiritual virginity, not becoming wedded to earthly, human organizations that would claim her love and attention and subjection and turn her away from the hope of reigning with her Bridegroom in the heavens. To the Corinthians in danger of having their affections and hopes turned aside to another the apostle Paul wrote: "I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy, for I personally promised you in marriage to one husband that I might present you as a chaste virgin to the Christ. But I am afraid that somehow, as the serpent seduced Eve by its craftiness, your minds might be corrupted away from the sincerity and the chastity that are due the Christ. For, as it is, if someone comes and preaches a Jesus other than the one we preached, . . . you easily put up with him." (2 Corinthians 11:2-4, NW) Paul had preached that the true Bridegroom is the one and only Jesus Christ and the marriage promised in God's Word will be only to him as husband; the bride class cannot lead a loose life spiritually and become united on earth to another leader and expect in this corrupted, violated condition to be worthy to become the heavenly bride of God's glorified Son. Such a course of "friendship with the world" is spiritual adultery. It means "enmity with God" as well as with the Bridegroom Son of God. Such unchastity brings destruction. In ancient Israel God

6. In what proper condition must the espoused class keep itself, and what would a violation of this condition mean and lead to?

decreed that the engaged virgin who committed immorality should be killed. — James 4:4; Deuteronomy 22:23, 24.

7 There are religious churches in Christendom that claim to be the bride of Christ. The facts about them belie their claim, for they have numbered far more than 144,000, the membership of the "body of Christ," and they are committing spiritual adultery with the political and commercial rulers of this world. The Bridegroom, who accompanied A-do-nay' Jehovah to the spiritual temple in 1918, judges them as adulteresses spiritually and condemns them to destruction with Christendom. Until he came invisibly to the temple, his true bridal congregation had been traveling for almost nineteen centuries to meet him, from Pentecost of A.D. 33 when the first Christian believers were begotten to spiritual life and called to become part of Christ's bride. Today there is merely a remnant of the bride class on earth. The majority of the bride class have never seen the Bridegroom, yet they love him victoriously over this world and keep their virgin chastity amid this world. — 1 Peter 1:8.

8 In this respect they are like Rebekah the grandniece of Abraham. When Abraham wanted a wife for his beloved son Isaac he did not pick one from the Canaanites among whom he was a temporary resident. He sent his household manager out of the country to his brother Nahor's household in upper Mesopotamia. Abraham's faithful servant went with ten camels and sufficient men to arrange a marriage contract with Abraham's flesh-and-blood relations and bring

7. (a) What do religious churches in Christendom claim to be, but how does the Bridegroom at the temple judge them? (b) How long have the espoused class been traveling to meet him?
8. How has this class thus been like Rebekah, Abraham's grandniece?

back a suitable woman for his son Isaac. On arriving at the city of Nahor the servant was instantly put in touch with Abraham's relations. By her conduct Rebekah recommended herself as the proper woman for Isaac. So the servant closed the contract for her to become his master's son's wife. Rebekah agreed to go with Abraham's servant without delay to become Isaac's wife. "At that they sent off Rebekah their sister and her nurse and Abraham's servant and his men. And they began to bless Rebekah . . . After that Rebekah and her lady attendants rose and they went riding on the camels and following the man." (Genesis 24:59-61, NW) They made a long journey southward into the Negeb of Palestine. From a distance Rebekah sighted Isaac walking alone in a field. Informed that it was her promised bridegroom, she took a headcloth and covered herself and with her nurse Deborah and other lady attendants she went to meet Isaac. The servant made the introductions and "after that Isaac brought her into the tent of Sarah his mother. Thus he took Rebekah and she became his wife, and he fell in love with her, and Isaac found comfort after the loss of his mother." (Genesis 24:62-67, NW) No clergyman officiated there.

9 Isaac, whom Abraham set himself to offer as a human sacrifice to God, was a type of Jesus the lamblike Son of God, who was offered in sacrifice that all the families and nations of the earth might bless themselves in him. (Genesis 22:1-18, NW) Abraham his father and the great ancestor of Jesus typified Jehovah God the heavenly Father. Abraham's aged servant whom he used as his agent pictures the active force or holy spirit of God by means of which Jehovah begets

9. In that prophetic drama whom do Isaac, Abraham, Abraham's aged servant, the ten camels, and Rebekah picture?

the bride class and brings them to their Bridegroom. The ten camels picture God's perfect and complete Word, by means of which he sustains ' bride class and imparts to them spiritual gifts


and blessings. Rebekah typifies the bride of Christ, who are taken from this far country, the earth, to serve as his wife in heaven.

10 Rebekah's nurse was named Deborah and attended her marriage and waited upon her almost till Rebekah's death. (Genesis 35:8-19) Whom, then, do Deborah and the other lady attendants who journeyed with Rebekah to the meeting of her bridegroom typify? The "great crowd" of those symbolically "dressed in white robes," with "palm branches in their hands," who serve God day and night in his temple. They are those of the "other sheep" whom the Right Shepherd now gathers and makes one flock with the remnant of the "little flock." Deborah and the other lady attendants of Rebekah were more than mere bridesmaids of today, who are simply in a bride's train at the wedding, after which they return home. Deborah and the other lady attendants left the homeland the same as did Rebekah, never to return, that they might always attend upon her. Similarly, the "great crowd" of Jehovah's temple servants forsake this world completely and accompany the remnant of the bride class on earth until these finish their journey on earth and experience the "first resurrection" in order to be united personally with their spiritual Bridegroom at his Father's house in heaven.

11 The marriage of his Son begins in the "time of the end" after Jehovah takes his great power to rule as king and lays authority upon his Son to rule at his right hand. This is manifest from John's description of the circumstances: "And I heard what was as a voice of a great crowd and as a sound of many waters and as a sound of

10. How were Deborah and the other lady attendants not mere "bridesmaids," and whom do they typify?
11. How does John describe the circumstances to show when the marriage of Jehovah's Son begins?

heavy thunders. They said: 'Praise Jah, you people, because Jehovah our God, the Almighty, has begun to rule as king. Let us rejoice and be overjoyed, and let us give him the glory, because the marriage of the Lamb has arrived and his wife has prepared herself. Yes, it has been granted to her to be arrayed in bright, clean, fine linen, for the fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the holy ones.' And he tells me: 'Write: Happy are those invited to the evening meal of the Lamb's marriage.' Also he tells me: These are the true sayings of God.' " After that the vision of the battle of Armageddon is given, and the Bridegroom, the King of kings and Lord of lords, is pictured as riding on a white horse with his heavenly hosts also on white horses dashing to victory over the gathered enemies. — Revelation 19:6-21, NW.

12 Psalm 45 also associates the marriage of the King of kings and Lord of lords with the decisive war for the vindication of Jehovah's universal sovereignty. Overflowing with happiness, the psalmist sings: "I say what I have composed touching the king. . . . Gird thy sword upon [thy] thigh, O mighty one, [in] thy majesty and thy splendour; and [in] thy splendour ride prosperously, because of truth and meekness [and] righteousness: and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things. Thine arrows are sharp  — peoples fall under thee — in the heart of the king's enemies." (Psalm 45:1-5, Da) The following three verses of the psalm are applied at Hebrews 1:8, 9 to the Son of God, so that we know that it is the glorified Jesus Christ, equipped for the war of Armageddon, whom the psalmist addresses. After telling of the heavenly gladness that is appointed to the King, the psalmist turns

12. How does Psalm 45 associate the marriage with the war for vindicating Jehovah's universal sovereignty?

to his marriage and addresses himself to the bride: "Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house: so will the king desire thy beauty; for he is thy lord; and reverence thou him. And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift; the rich among the people shall entreat thy favor. The king's daughter within the palace is all glorious: her clothing is inwrought with gold. She shall be led unto the king in broidered work: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee. With gladness and rejoicing shall they be led: they shall enter into the king's palace." — Psalm 45:10-15, AS.

13 The members of Christ's bride class have to pay attention to the divine invitation and consider it, counting the cost of responding to it. They are encouraged to incline their ear favorably to it, as Rebekah did to Abraham's invitation through his aged slave. The promised Bridegroom is in heaven and they are on earth, and to be joined to him above means to have less in mind her natural, earthly people, descendants of their first father Adam. For the most part the bride class have never seen the Bridegroom, but the psalmist assures that he is fairer than the sons of men. So if they look, not at visible earthly relationships, but at the unseen Bridegroom, the King will discern in them the beauty of faith and devotion and will desire them for his bride. They must recognize him as their lord or master and must give him corresponding reverence. The bride class is really a King's daughter, for all its members when invited or called are begotten by the holy spirit of the heavenly Father, the King of eternity. Poor they may appear in human eyes, but

13. How do the members of the bride have to treat the divine invitation and to consider the promised Bridegroom, and how do they form a king's daughter, well-clothed, virgin?

in Jehovah the King's eyes they are gloriously attired, as if in clothing inwrought with gleaming gold and broidered, hence rare and costly. They are clothed with the "righteous acts of the holy ones," which clothe them like bright, clean, fine linen. So the Bridegroom is not ashamed to receive them in their spotlessness of chaste spiritual virginity. They enter into ecstatic happiness, for they are "invited to the evening meal of the Lamb's marriage." — Revelation 19:8, 9; 20:6, NW; Ephesians 5:27.

14 The majority of the members of the bride class have finished their earthly journey and have 'rendered their calling and choosing firm for themselves.' By the "first resurrection," which began for them after A-do-nay' Jehovah and his Messenger of the covenant came to the temple, they have been raised to heavenly life in the likeness of their Bridegroom and been united to him at the temple. (Romans 6:5) So there is boundless rejoicing in heaven, for the heavenly Father, for the Bridegroom and for the holy angels. On earth the remnant of the bride class must still travel on through this world, keeping a virgin's chastity. But as they approach the radiant day for their own union with him in his Father's presence, they have the strengthening, refreshing companionship of an increasing group of 'virgin companions,' just as Rebekah had the companionship of Deborah and other lady attendants on her camel ride to Isaac.

15 These are the growing numbers of the "great crowd" whom the Right Shepherd gathers and leads to fountains of waters of life, making them

14. What is now the case with the majority of the bride class, but what must the remnant still do, yet not alone now?
15. Who are these 'virgin companions,' and how is it that with gladness and rejoicing they are brought and enter the palace?

one flock with his remnant. Unselfishly these "other sheep" rejoice at the approach of the culmination of the marriage of the Lamb and his wife, and they offer spiritual help to the remnant to prepare for the grand occasion. Just as John the Baptist rejoiced at introducing the first of the bride class to the Bridegroom Jesus Christ on earth, so these "other sheep" now rejoice and give thanks that they are privileged to see and enjoy companionship with at least the final members of the bride class. So it is that "with gladness and rejoicing" they are being led along with the bridal remnant. They are privileged to enter into the King's palace, not by being taken to heaven with the bride, but by being brought in their white robes and with their palm branches to the temple, there to render sacred service to God day and night.

16 To accompany the virgin bride, they, too, must prove themselves virgin pure spiritually while passing through this world, leaving it behind just as Rebekah's nurse Deborah and her other lady attendants left Mesopotamia behind. The Bridegroom Shepherd does not marry them  — he has only one bride — but he loves these "other sheep," and he is interested in their welfare now and forever. For them, too, he laid down his human life. For their life as well as his bride's he will fight at the battle of Armageddon. Because of their sheeplike kindness to his bride, now represented by "the least of these my brothers," they are under the shadow of his right hand and he will safeguard them from the destructions of that universal war. With unspeakable joy the bridal remnant and the "great crowd" of their virgin companions will rejoice to survive Armageddon together.

16. How must they prove themselves virgin and companions of the bride, and why will they survive Armageddon?

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