Drama of Vengeance (Part 1)
She WAICHIOWE AND HERALD OF CHRIST'S KINGDOM Vout. LX Fesruary 1, 1939 No. 3 DRAMA OF VINDICATION PART 1 “Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law.” —Josh. 1:7. EHOVAH was never under any obligation to dis- J close to human creatures the means of executing his purpose in vindication of his name. What he has done is a manifestation of his loving-kindness toward those who obey him. God has caused to be enacted and recorded many prophetic pictures set- ting forth in detail the manner of carrying out his purpose. “The last days” are here, and these are times of peril, and Satan and his forces are viciously assaulting the people of God, and for the purpose of giving to those faithful ones courage and comfort and hope Jehovah now reveals to them the manner of carrying out his purpose, and this he does through prophetic pictures. (Rom. 15:4) Because Christ Je- sus, the Beloved One, is the Executive Officer and Vindicator of Jehovah, the prophetic pictures iden- tify him specifically. Aside from Jesus, however, the prophetic pictures do not foretell or foreshadow individuals and do not show God’s dealing with in- dividuals, but do set forth the work of God and Christ in which the faithful people of God are priv- ileged to have some part. Individuals are not im- portant, but the work in which they engage is impor- tant. Generally the faithful are permitted to have some part in the Lord’s work relating to the exe- cution of his purpose, and thereafter they are per- mitted, by the grace of God, to see how they have been led by the hand of the Lord and used in his service. Such revelation serves to increase their faith and courage, and hence they joyfully sing the praises of God and say: “By his hand he leadeth me.” Surrounded by the enemy that viciously as- saults the “remnant” and their “companions”, these faithful ones, full of faith and confidence in the Lord, say : “In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness. Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me. For thou art my rock and my fortress: therefore, for thy name’s sake, lead me and guide me.”—Ps. 31: 1-3. 35
- Prophetic pictures enable those who trust Jeho-
vah to keep in mind that underneath are his ever- lasting arms’ bearing them up (Deut. 33:27), that the battle is God’s and not man’s, and that the vie- tory is with Jehovah and Christ Jesus, and that those who remain true and steadfast shall profit by that victory.
- Jehovah withdrew his chosen people from the
land of Eegypt, and by the hand of his servant Moses he led them for forty years on a trek through the wilderness, using them in that time to make pictures of greater things that must come to pass in future days. When Moses had about finished the work com- mitted into his hands he assembled the Israelites on the plains of Moab and there recounted to them what God had done for them and instructed them what they must do in the days to come. That in- struction was given for the benefit of the antitypical Israelites, the true followers of Christ Jesus, whom God builds up into his capital organization. Finish- ing his work, Moses died, and Joshua was assigned to the place once filled by Moses. God was about to enact a prophetic drama foretelling events that lead up to the full vindication of his name. Those dramas which are here considered were, to wit: The cross- ing of the Jordan; Rahab, who because of her faith- fulness gained God’s approval; the siege and fall of Jericho; sin in the ranks of God’s typical people; and the assault upon and destruction of Ai. The fulfillment of these prophetic pictures are today of keenest interest to the people of God on earth who are in a covenant with him to do his will. JORDAN ‘This drama opens with Joshua in command of the host of Israel, which host were encamped on the plains of Moab waiting the commandment from their visible leader: “Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister.” (Josh. 1:1) There Joshua pictures the Lord Jesus
36 She WATCHTOWER. Christ, engaged in the work of vindicating Jehovah’s name and in which work he associates with himself his faithful followers on the earth. The death of Moses and the transfer of authority to Joshua pic- tures the transition period from the “Elijah work” of the Lord to the “Elisha work” of the church un- der the direction of its Head, Christ Jesus. Joshua had been the ‘minister of Moses’, just as, thereafter, Elisha was minister to Elijah. (Ex. 24:13) Before his death Moses, at God’s command, had invested Joshua with authority as his successor to lead the Israelites into the promised land. (Num. 27: 12-23; Deut. 31:14) Likewise Elijah, in obedience to God’s command, designated Elisha as his successor. (1 Ki. 19: 13-21) The name Moses means “drawing” or “res- cued”, as he was rescued from the waters of the Nile, and the suggestion is also that of God ‘taking out a people for his name’ during the period of time from A.D. 1878 to 1918. The death of Moses was due to his disobedience of God. (Num. 20: 7-12, 24) This pictured the death of the Filijah work, which work came to an end because of the ‘lawlessness of lip’ of Jehovah’s servant class on the earth and fleeing for fear, as Elijah fled from before Jezebel. (Isa. 6: 5, 7; 1 Ki. 19: 1-3) The prophetic picture and the physical facts exactly fit, and therefore we are certain we have the right understanding.
- Moses died in the last month, that is to say, the
twelfth month of the fortieth and last vear of Israel’s wilderness journey. Israel mourned thirty days from his death, and at the end thereof only three days remained before the host of Israel must cross the river Jordan, which they did on the tenth day of Nisan or tenth day of the new year, that is, the forty- first year after their leaving Egypt. (Deut. 34:7, 8; Josh. 1:10,11; 4:19) The period of mourning for Moses well pictures the period or duration of time during which the witness work was stopped by the acts of the enemy in the spring of 1918 and when some of the witnesses of the Lord were imprisoned and “appointed to die”. That period of time is there pictured as ‘a half hour of silence in heaven’. (Rev. 8:1) This period or pause was shown in the pro- phetic picture when, after Flijah had been taken away, Elisha returned to the Jordan and stood over on its eastern banks just opposite from Jericho, at the same place where Joshua had crossed the Jordan centuries before.—2 Ki. 2: 4-8, 11-15.
- In fulfillment of the picture the events began
to come to pass in A.D. 1918, Thus it appears that the covenant people at the end of the world (1914) would not cross over their Jordan, nor did they do so, before or during the year 1918. Moses, leading the Israelites, reached Moab on the east side of the Jordan at the end of forty years and came over opposite Jericho, and Moses still lived. So Jehovah’s Brooxuyy, N. Y. covenant people during the Elijah work survived until the end of A.D. 1918, when the Elijah work came to an end. Israel’s victory over Sihon the Amorite and Og, the king of Bashan, was accom- plished before the death of Moses and, of course, before the time of crossing the Jordan; so, while the Elijah work was yet alive and active, the Greater Moses, the Lord Jesus Christ, gained the victory over Satan in a “war in heaven” and cast Satan and his angels to the earth, and this was accomplished between 1914 and 1918. (Rev. 12:1-9) The Devil tried to prevent the Israelites from crossing the Jordan, by causing the unfaithful Balaam to curse Israel and by turning some of the Israelites to the devilish religious practice of Baal-peor. (Numbers, chapters 22 to 25) Satan has made similar efforts against Jehovah’s witnesses to prevent their cross- ing the antitypical Jordan and moving against the modern-day Jericho, and Satan has failed in this.
- At the end of forty years, as it is written, “it
came to pass that the Lord spake unto Joshua.” At that time a settled place had been assigned to the Israelites by Jehovah, which country was on both sides of the Jordan river, and that part on the east side of the Jordan was already occupied by some of the tribes. Unlike Abraham and other faithful prophets of Israel, who “looked for a city which hath foundations”, having faith in the com- ing kingdom of God under the Messiah, the Israel- ites were now certain of their assigned place, and in their assigned territory pictured the faithful fol- lowers of Christ Jesus who, in 1918, had arrived at the kingdom country represented by Jesus’ com- ing to the temple. (Mal. 3:1-3) The King, Christ Jesus, was enthroned in 1914, and in 1918 appeared at the temple, and the journey of the antitypical Israelites unto the kingdom had come to an end. The time of the fulfillment of the prophetic pic- ture here made is therefore definitely fixed. This, however, we could not see, understand and appre- ciate until after the facts had been performed and came to mind which exactly fit the prophecy and thus show its fulfillment.
- The original name of Joshua was Hoshea or
Oshea. (Deut. 32:44, margin) Moses, as the repre- sentative of the Lord God, had given Joshua a new name, to wit, “Joshua,” which means “Jehovah the Savior”. (Num. 13: 8, 16) That “new name” was given to Joshua at the time Moses sent twelve spies into Canaan. The change of name shows that Joshua would magnify and celebrate the name of Jehovah God. Likewise Jehovah’s people, the faithful follow- ers of Jesus Christ, originally known at times as “Bible Students”, received the “new name”, Jehio- vah’s witnesses, and they must magnify the name of Jehovah God. (Rev. 2:17; Isa. 62:2; 65:15) At