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February 1, 1934
to this matter of Satan’s wicked organization and its continued operation when he says: "Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls, were saved by water." (1 Pet. 3:20) The language of the apostle here used does not mean that Jehovah God suffered bodily pain or mental anguish by reason of the wrongdoing of his creatures. Jehovah God is at all times serene and self-contained. There would be no reason why he should suffer bodily or mentally. The word 'suffer', as used concerning Jehovah, means that he thus permitted without hindrance the wicked one's continuing his work. In other words, Satan operated by the sufferance or permission of Jehovah, Man has been left to exercise his own free will to serve either God or Satan, and almost all of human creation have yielded to Satan and followed him, and to that extent it would seem that Satan had largely succeeded in his boastful challenge. Jehovah in his due time will prove to all creation that lives that he is the only true and almighty God and that he is the Giver and sustainer of everlasting life and that he gives life to those who love and serve and obey him.
29 The divine decree announced by the holy Watcher further discloses Jehovah's purposes concerning fallen man and his recovery. Never could it be possible for man to have sustenance and life from that old "tree in the midst of the earth", because such had become wicked and now must be cut down, its leaves shaken off, and its fruit scattered; but the decree declares that the stump of its roots in the earth must be left. "Nevertheless, leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a hand of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth." (Vs.15) The "stump of his roots in the earth" represented or pictured original man, made a part of the organization over which Lucifer was given overlordship. The leaving of the stump signified Jehovah's purpose to provide an organization or a new tree by and through which obedient mankind might have life everlasting. Such of mankind, however, must meet the conditions imposed by the new tree or holy organization. This hope for man would come, not by reason of his own efforts, but by and through the kingdom of God with Christ Jesus as the Savior and enthroned King and Overlord of earth's creation. The "band of iron and brass" around the stump shows that a long period of time would elapse before the opportunity for the restoration of obedient man under God’s organization would come and in that period of time man would be under the restraining rule of wicked spirit creatures, which are pictured by the copper or brass, and also under earthly rule of imperfect men, pictured by the iron. This is corroborated by the prophecy of the Great
Image showing that wicked spirits and wicked men have ruled the world and that this earthly rule of iron has been and is harsh and selfish and cruel. (See Daniel 2: 32,33; Light, Book Two, page 309.) This entire organization, of course, has been dominated by Satan. Furthermore, this band about the stump shows that such period of time of waiting must continue until God's due time to remove the restraining power of Satan and his organization and that also Christ Jesus must wait until God's due time when he should be sent forth to place the enemy under his feet. (Ps. 110: 1, 2; Heb. 10:13) During that period of waiting the stump is in the "grass of the field" and "wet with the dew of heaven". This shows that while mankind is alienated from God, out in the world with no proper habitation, yet God would not permit the race to perish and become entirely hopeless, but that it should be kept wet with the dew from heaven, that is to say, the refreshing promises which could be laid hold upon by those who love God and righteousness. This is in harmony with the declaration of the Scriptures: "My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew." (Deut. 32:2) This refreshing coming from heaven would work beneficially to those of the human race who during that long period of waiting would have and exercise faith in God and his precious promises and who would endeavor to maintain their integrity toward him. The whole race would be restrained and bound in a cruel rule, and those who would have faith in God would receive benefit and hope, illustrated by the dew.
30 Jehovah caused to be written both the words of the dream of Nebuchadnezzar and the prophecy of Job, and both are in exact harmony. The tree in its entirety is symbolic of a living creation or organization of Jehovah both invisible and visible to human eyes. The stump and the root forming a part of the stump picture the visible part of that living creation, which is mankind. Now the human race has grown old in the earth, yet there are some of the roots of that stump that, as Job says, have had a scent of the water, which water is symbolic of Jehovah's life-giving and life-sustaining truths, and those of humankind who have had faith in Jehovah and his precious promises have reached out for that life-giving and life-sustaining water of truth and have continued to have hope. Some of these creatures have maintained their integrity towards Jehovah God and constitute the basis for a new earthly organization. The faithful men from Abel to the last of the prophets looked for a new heavenly organization, even though they did not understand it: and those faithful men will constitute the base for the new earthly part of the living creation pictured by the new tree which grows up and rules the world. (Heb. 11:13-16) Truly, therefore, according to the prophecy of Job, there is hope of a tree. The stump of the original tree, representing man, and the roots thereof in the earth have waxed old and yet