The Herald of Jehovah's Kingdom
The Herald of Jehovah's Kingdom
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth.
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The International Association Jehovah's Witnesses

Themes Archive

 
WORLD-WIDE PEACE - WHEN?
 
    The majority of people desire and love peace. If the question could be submitted to a vote of the people, there would never be a war. People with honest hearts, who love their fellow men, and who love righteousness and justice, abhor war. It is always the minority that forces war on the people. General W. T. Sherman, of the Civil War, said, "War is hell." That opinion has been confirmed a million times by those who participated in the recent World War. Besides the millions of dead and the other millions of cruelly maimed, the great World War taught people how to profiteer, lie, steal, swear and smoke; it filled the world with millions of people who have no regard for decency, law, or the rights and liberties of others; it filled the world with unmentionable crimes and diseases.
    So terrible were the results of that war that almost superhuman efforts have been made ever since to bring about a condition of world peace. However, all these efforts have been made along wrong lines and by people who do not want peace. When conventions are held for the purpose of promoting peace, the delegates are always the militarists, whose business is war, or the great industrialists, who profit by the same. Peacefully inclined men and women, known as pacifists, are never chosen as delegates. The advice of the masses of the people, who furnish the soldiers and foot the bills, is never sought. Thus it is that those who attend peace conferences are controlled by selfish interests, and instead of peace being promoted, ill will, distrust, hatred, wrangling and further war preparations are the usual outcome. The people have lost all confidence in their leaders and have no hope from that quarter. The only hope held out to the poor, oppressed people is that peace lies only in preparedness, which means a competition among the nations as to which can build the most battleships and the most bombing planes and make the most poison gas and other weapons of destruction.
    Thus the burden of taxes increases every year, as does also the number of boodlers and grafters. Into this great vortex of militarism the people are forced to cast their billions of taxes, with no other result than that boodlers and grafters multiply, scandals in high places abound, and national fear and distrust increases. As a result a great cry of protest is going up from the people. This protest is in the form of labor organizations, socialism, communism, bolshevism and general anarchy, and these are looked upon with fear by the people, and in many quarters are regarded as an even worse menace than militarism.
    Describing this same condition, which he foresaw would exist at this time, Jesus uttered these prophetic words: "Upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; . . . men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth."—Luke 21: 25, 26.
    The question arises, Will peace ever come? Is deliverance from the present almost intolerable conditions of suffering and fear a possibility ? If so, how ? and when? The answer to these questions is found nowhere except in the Bible. Not realizing this fact, the people are looking to their leaders for an answer. Some are hoping against hope that preparedness will bring about peace; others are likewise hoping that the peace conferences will lead to a gradual disarmament, and that deliverance will come in that way; others are hoping that the whole world will vote the socialists into power, or the communists, or the bolshevists, and that these will reform the body politic. These hopes are vain. Peace will never come from any of these sources. Men cannot bring about peace.
    But peace is coming, and it lies in the very near future. The author and promoter of wars and confusion on the earth is Satan, and as long as he is unrestrained there will be no peace. Peace, justice, truth, righteousness and happiness belong to God's kingdom. Wars, confusion, unrighteousness, oppression and unhappiness pertain to Satan's kingdom. Few people realize that Satan is "the god of this world". This means that Satan rules the world. He controls the people by using selfish men as his tools. Through these selfish men he deceives the world into believing that the hope of deliverance is in "preparedness", "peace conferences," "church union," "leagues of nations," or else in "socialism" or communistic governments of some kind. These schemes are deceptions put forth by Satan to divert the minds of the people from the one and only hope of deliverance set forth in the Bible.
    Satan began his deceptions in Eden, first with Eve and later with Adam. Having diverted them from the service of God, he set about to organize their posterity into selfish institutions, for the very purpose of using these selfish institutions to blind people to the purpose of Jehovah God. But what is God's purpose? It is this. When Satan led Adam and Eve into sin and brought the curse of sin and death on the race, God determined to deliver the race from this curse and also to deliver them from the power of Satan and his deceptions. He purposed to accomplish this deliverance by and through his Son, and he foreordained that the time of the deliverance would be at the second advent of Jesus, and during the thousand-year reign of Christ.
    This thousand-year reign is called "the kingdom of God", and is what Jesus referred to when he taught his followers to pray, saying: "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." Since God has ordained that Jesus shall bring peace into the earth, he is referred to as the "Prince of Peace" and the "Prince of life". In Isaiah 9:6,7, we read of this wonderful Prince, as follows: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end."
    Nearly nineteen hundred years ago, when Jesus was on earth, Satan's representatives, who were the religious leaders of that day, called him "Beelzebub the prince of the devils". Those Pharisees were the willing tools of Satan. By exposing their shams, hypocrisies and false teachings, Jesus was bringing a blessing to the people. No wonder Satan used them to call Jesus the prince of devils. Peter accused those hypocrites to their face and charged them with the murder of Jesus. His words are found in Acts 3:14,15 and read: "Ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; and killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead." Again, in Acts 5:30,31 this same Peter renewed his charge against those hypocritical religionists, saying: "The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins."
    Peace is coming to the world through this highly exalted Jesus, "the Prince of Peace," "the Prince of life," the "Saviour" of the world. His thousand-year kingdom will be the "desire of all nations". This kingdom is the only hope of the world. Over and over, tho Scriptures exhort the Lord's people to "wait for his Son from heaven"; and to 'patient waiting for the kingdom'. We do well to note some of these texts. In Luke 23:51 we read of Joseph of Arimathrea as follows: "Who also himself waited for the kingdom of God." In 1 Corinthians 1: 7 we read: "So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." Again, in 1 Thes-salonians 1:10 we are exhorted to "wait for his Son from heaven", and in 2 Thessalonians 3:5 are these words: "The Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ." Speaking of this period of waiting, Daniel, in chapter 12, verse 12, says: "Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred five and thirty days."
    Yes, a blessing comes at the end of this waiting period. At that time Christ will be in power. As the great General of Jehovah, he will assume command of Jehov-ah's army and begin action against Satan. His forces will make an assault against the forces of Satan. That battle will be short and decisive, and Christ will be the victor.
    That victory will mean the destruction of Satan's organization on earth, and will result in the binding of Satan for a thousand years so that he will deceive the nations no more till the thousand years are ended. (Rev. 20:1-3) That victory will mean the deliverance of the people from Satan and his oppressive and deceptive institutions; it will end all fraud, hypocrisy, injustice and unrighteousness; that victory will witness the establishment of a permanent and everlasting peace on earth, and good will toward men.
    Peace can never be established by human effort. While men recognize its necessity and will put forth efforts to establish it, yet the Scriptures tell us that their efforts will be futile, and the reason is that selfishness governs their every effort and controls their every act. In Jeremiah 6:13,14 we read of this selfishness as follows: "For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. They have healed also the hurt of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace: when there is no peace."
    The Scriptures assure us that when earth's wise men are talking about peace, and making efforts to that end, conditions will continue to go from bad to worse, and finally culminate in what men call "the battle of Armageddon". In 1 Thessalonians 5: 3 Paul says: "For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.'' Thus the apostle tells us that man's efforts to estab-lish peace in the earth are doomed to failure. The sudden destruction foretold in this text is about to overtake them. "The battle of that great day of God Almighty" will soon occur. Satan will soon be bound, and his power to blind and deceive be fully restrained for a thousand years.
    "The Prince of Peace" is now on the throne, and the announcement of this fact is going out all over, the earth. Multitudes of people have heard this announcement, and hope is springing up in their hearts. The time is near at hand when the words of the prophet will be fulfilled as recorded in Psalm 85:10,11, which read: "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven."