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

 
WHEN GOD SPEAKS PEACE TO ALL NATIONS
 
    Lovers of peace with justice and happiness long to hear the voice strong enough to command peace upon all nations. Today in man's most critical time there is no voice on earth with power enough to command peace world-wide.
    The United Nations for lessening the likelihood of war still lives. Its membership has swollen to more than eighty nations, but its voice has proved very weak. Since its creation after World War II ended there have been disturbances of the peace by aggression and by armed conflict in various parts of the earth. Cold war between the two great blocs of nations, the communistic and the democratic, has kept the world near a nervous breakdown. Fear of a hot, shooting war kept mounting in the hearts of the people. The United Nations was not depended upon to keep World War III from wrecking civilization and raining down death upon mankind. It is doomed to go the way of its forerunner, the League of Nations. Certainly the voice of someone more powerful has to command peace to all nations.
    Something has to be done about meeting this danger. So men prominent in public life have said. Among these was the former secretary of the United States Air Force. When speaking at Cleveland, Ohio, November 19, 1958, this Mr. T. K. Finletter warned that "the danger of war is steadily on the increase. . . . United States policy-makers . . . are now faced with a 'new imperative': the 'absolute necessity' of creating a world system that will exclude war from human affairs." Said he: "We had better stop talking about disarmament and indeed about peace." — New York Times, November 20, 1958.
    Whatever world system the desperate national leaders may at last be driven to unite in creating, it would be nothing more than an old-world system, no more workable than any other man-made thing in the past. We fool ourselves if we expect that suddenly an accidental break-through will occur and the great obstacle will be overcome and man will happily create his own arrangement for a lasting, unbreakable peace. The religious clergy of Christendom have worked along with the politicians, but have proved to be of no help at all. History plainly shows that they have never stood firm as unmovable pillars of peace. No; but in time of test they have wielded their vast religious influence over hundreds of millions of churchgoers against the interests of international peace. They have not spoken with the authoritative voice that has commanded peace upon the nations, for the clergy have never maintained peace even within their own religious ranks.
    The spirit now abroad in the world does not allow for any peace. In itself this spirit reveals the thing or the person really behind the continual disturbance and clash of selfish interests. Certainly it is not the spirit of love. It is the spirit of worldly wisdom, because the political, commercial and religious leaders are following the philosophies, diplomacies and aims of this world.
    "From what source are there wars and from what source are there fights among you? Are they not from this source, namely, from your cravings for sensual pleasure which carry on a conflict in your members? You desire, and yet you do not have. You go on murdering and coveting, and yet you are not able to obtain. You go on fighting and waging war. You do not have because of your not asking. You do ask, and yet you do not receive, because you are asking for a wrong purpose, that you may expend it upon your cravings for sensual pleasure. Adulteresses, do you not know that the friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever, therefore, wants to be a friend of the world is constituting himself an enemy of God."  — James 3:13 to 4:4.
    Such words of James to his fellow Christians explain something. What? Why Christendom's clergymen, who pronounce blessings upon battleships and other instruments of war, pray to Heaven for world peace and have never had an answer to their prayer and never will have. Why not? Because God does not listen to men who are the fast friends of this world, who are therefore the enemies of God. He does not answer the prayers or bless the arrangements of men who reject the wisdom that comes down from God and who accept and follow the spirit of this world. The Christian disciple James bluntly says that this wisdom, with all its world-disturbing effects today, is not the heavenly, Godly wisdom, but "is the earthly, animal, demonic," the devilish. It is the wisdom that issues from the unseen ruler of this world, which is Satan the Devil. Little wonder, then, that the worldly-wise ones of Christendom are blind to the true key to universal peace. The devilish god of this world, the prince of the demons, has blinded their minds.
    They recommend the United Nations, disarmament conferences, policed control of atomic arms tests or even abolition of all nuclear weapons, increased world trade, cultural exchanges between nations engaged in the cold war, a "world federation," and other worldly-wise means as the key to lasting peace and prosperity. This mental blindness afflicts not only the atheistic Communist nations but also the professed Christian nations, the realm of Christendom. During the time of a hot, shooting war, it is customary to halt all firing of guns and killing of human lives on December 25 in order for soldiers at the front to celebrate the traditional Christmas. At that time it is the religious practice to sing Christmas carols that incorporate the words, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." (Luke 2:14) In this way the nations of Christendom think they are honoring Jesus Christ and carrying out the spirit of those immortal words. But as soon as the hilarious Christmas celebration is over, the fighting and killing are started anew, and the ill will between nations brushes aside the hypocritical "Christian" mask. Such one-day profession of Christianity has proved to be merely a bit of sentimentalism, emotionalism, allowing for a good time.
    That there can be no peace and security on earth by man's rejecting of God's Prince of Peace and his princely rule, we have a solemn warning example in history. That was in the case of Jerusalem itself. she was honored with being the first to have the opportunity to accept the Prince of Peace as Jehovah's anointed King. Yet Jerusalem rejected him. Her priesthood led the fanatical mob in crying out to the Roman governor, Caesar's representative: "If you release this man, you are not a friend of Caesar. Every man making himself a king speaks against Caesar. ... We have no king but Caesar. "From the prophecies Jesus foreknew that he would be rejected. (John 19:12-15)
    Antichrist Jerusalem became a prophetic picture of Christendom since the end of World War I in the year 1918. Ancient Jerusalem was in a covenant with Jehovah God through the law of Moses the prophet, and she claimed to be waiting for her Messiah, or Christ. Christendom claims to be in a covenant or in a contractual relationship with God through Jesus Christ as Mediator, and she professes to be waiting for his return and his kingdom.
    Ancient Jerusalem had Jesus Christ riding on an ass amid a shouting throng presented to her as King in fulfillment of prophecy, but she rejected him. Christendom had World War I and the famines, pestilences, earthquakes and international distress that went along with the war and also followed it. By this fulfillment of Jesus' own prophecy Christendom had visible proof that he had been enthroned in his heavenly kingdom in 1914, at the end of the Gentile times, which end was marked by the raging of the Gentile nations in World War I. Since the stopping of World War I in 1918 Christendom has had proclaimed to her the good news of the establishment of God's kingdom by his Messiah-Christ. That fulfills the following prophetic words of Jesus: "This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for the purpose of a witness to all the nations, and then the accomplished end will come." (Matthew 24:14)
    Despite her taking Christ's name and celebrating Palm Sunday each year, Christendom has rejected the Prince of Peace. She has chosen Caesar as king by choosing first the League of Nations and now the United Nations, and by persecuting the very ones bearing witness to God's kingdom under Jesus' command.
    Since the nations inescapably face the long-foretold destruction in the "war of the great day of God the Almighty," just ahead, when is it that God speaks peace to all nations? And how? The fulfillment of Bible prophecy shows that the time has already begun. It is now! And God speaks peace by means of his enthroned King, Jesus Christ the Prince of Peace. No, we are not speaking in self-contradiction. The political governments and nations of this world do not hear God speak peace. They suffer continual disturbance, fears and perplexity. Their being in this disquieting condition is not because Jehovah God is not now speaking peace. It is because they have shut their ears to hearing him speak peace.
    Continuous, perfect peace can come only from Jehovah God, and the nations under Satan the Devil have been striving to get such peace without God. How? By international alliances, by nonaggression pacts, by disarmament conferences, by circulating peace petitions, by cultural exchanges between nations, and by other worldly-wise means, yes, by every means except by God's kingdom through Christ. The results of their desperate efforts show into which of the two classes described in Isaiah 57:19-21 the political governments and nations fall. Isaiah says: "'Continuous peace there will be to the one that is far away and to the one that is near,' Jehovah has said, 'and I will heal him.' 'But the wicked are like the sea that is being tossed, when it is unable to calm down, the waters of which keep tossing up seaweed and mire. There is no peace,' my God has said, 'for the wicked ones.'"
    These refusing God's peace talk, then the only kind of language from God that the political governments and nations can understand must be war. Hence war, not peace, is what Jehovah God will speak to them at Armageddon, in the "great day of God the Almighty." That kind of divine speech will bring their eternal destruction in the universal war of Armageddon.
    The survivors of this "war of the great day of God the Almighty" will indeed behold the activities of Jehovah in setting astonishing events on the earth, wiping out all peace disturbers. These prospective survivors are already committed to peace and friendship with God and will have to take no hand in the universal war of Armageddon.
    When Armageddon ends, the millennial reign of the Prince of Peace will begin over a loyal, peaceable people on earth, saved out of all the present nations. His dominion will be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth; hence it will embrace all the earth. Concerning his reign this prophetic prayer was recorded: "Let the mountains carry peace to the people, also the hills, through righteousness. In his days the righteous one will sprout, and the abundance of peace until the moon is no more." (Psalm 72:3, 7) The prophet Isaiah verifies this enduring of peace under the One whose name is to be called Prince of Peace, saying: "To the abundance of the princely rule and to peace there will be no end." (Isaiah 9:6, 7) As God's Mouthpiece he will speak peace to all nations, to his surviving subjects out of all nations.
    In this earthly paradise all the animal life will be tamed by God's power and will be at peace with man, who will exercise God-given dominion over them. Perfect health will become obedient mankind's possession, and bodily perfection will make them beautiful creatures, made in God's image, according to His likeness. Moreover, all those sleeping in the memorial tombs will be awakened by the voice of the King and will come forth by resurrection to opportunities for everlasting life in perfection on earth under his rule as an Everlasting Father. To these he will speak peace. By forever worshiping Jehovah God and obeying his Savior King all earth's inhabitants may, to the glory of God in the heights above, enjoy "peace on earth" as "men of good will," men whom the God of peace approves and to whom he speaks peace.