“The eyes of Jehovah are on the righteous.”
1. What organization replaced the nation of Israel as God’s chosen people? (See opening picture.)
JEHOVAH’S people on earth today worship him in a way that pleases him. In the past, the members of the nation of Israel were God’s chosen people. But they became apostate. Jehovah then created a new nation made up of Christ’s followers. They became an organization that represented Jehovah. Even though Jerusalem was destroyed in the year 70, that organization was not destroyed. (Luke 21:20, 21) In these last days, the new nation is organized to represent Jehovah. It will not be destroyed when Satan’s world is permanently removed. (2 Timothy 3:1) How can we be sure?
2. How did Jesus describe the “great tribulation”? How will it start?
2 Jesus foretold what would happen in the last days: “There will be great tribulation such as has not occurred since the world’s beginning until now, no, nor will occur again.” (Matthew 24:3, 21) This tribulation will start when Jehovah destroys “Babylon the Great,” the world empire of false religion. He will use human governments to do this. (Revelation 17:3-5, 16) What will come next?
SATAN’S ATTACK LEADS TO ARMAGEDDON
3. After false religion is destroyed, what will happen to Jehovah’s people?
3 After false religion is destroyed, Jehovah’s Witnesses will be the only religious organization left on earth. Then Satan and his world will attack God’s servants. It will seem as if Jehovah’s peaceful people have no protection. The Bible says about “Gog of the land of Magog”: “You will come against them like a storm, and you will cover the land like clouds, you and all your troops and many peoples with you.” But that attack will be a big mistake!
4, 5. What will Jehovah do when his people are attacked?
4 When Satan and his followers attack Jehovah’s people, it will be as if they were attacking Jehovah himself. (Read Zechariah 2:8.) How will Jehovah react? The Sovereign of the universe will immediately rescue his people. He will not allow them to be destroyed. After rescuing his people, Jehovah will begin the war of Armageddon and will completely destroy Satan’s world.
When Satan and his followers attack Jehovah’s people, it will be as if they were attacking Jehovah himself
5 Jeremiah prophesied that Jehovah himself will fight against the nations at Armageddon: “‘He will personally pass judgment on all humans. And he will put the wicked to the sword,’ declares Jehovah. This is what Jehovah of armies says: ‘Look! A calamity is spreading from nation to nation, and a great tempest will be unleashed from the remotest parts of the earth. And those slain by Jehovah in that day will be from one end of the earth clear to the other end of the earth. They will not be mourned, nor will they be gathered up or buried. They will become like manure on the surface of the ground.’” (Jeremiah 25:31-33) Armageddon will bring an end to Satan’s world. But Jehovah’s organization will remain.
WHY JEHOVAH’S ORGANIZATION CONTINUES TO GROW
6, 7. (a) Where does the “great crowd” come from? (b) What increases have there been in recent years?
6 Today, the earthly part of God’s organization continues to grow because it is full of righteous people who have God’s approval. The Bible says: “The eyes of Jehovah are on the righteous, and his ears listen to their supplication.” (1 Peter 3:12) These righteous ones include “a great crowd,” a very large number of people, who will survive “the great tribulation.” (Revelation 7:9, 14) Imagine how you will feel when you survive this great tribulation as a member of the great crowd!
7 This great crowd is made up of people from all nations. It is the preaching work that is gathering them together. Jesus foretold: “This good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14) That is why the main work of God’s people is to preach the good news of the Kingdom of God. As a result, millions of people are worshipping Jehovah “with spirit and truth.” (John 4:23, 24) For example, between 2003 and 2012, more than 2,707,000 people dedicated themselves to Jehovah and were baptized. Today, there are more than 7,900,000 Witnesses, and every year millions more attend the Memorial of Christ’s death. We rejoice that the great crowd is growing quickly, and we know that Jehovah is making it grow.
The main work of God’s people is to preach the good news of the Kingdom of God
8. Why is Jehovah’s organization growing so much?
8 Jehovah has chosen an organization to represent him. And it is expanding rapidly. (Read Isaiah 43:10-12.) Isaiah foretold about the last days: “The little one will become a thousand and the small one a mighty nation. I myself, Jehovah, will speed it up in its own time.” (Isaiah 60:22) The anointed remnant, “the Israel of God,” were like “the little one,” but Jehovah blessed their preaching work. Their number got bigger as other anointed ones were brought into God’s organization. (Galatians 6:16) Over the years, millions with the earthly hope have also accepted the truth.
WHAT JEHOVAH REQUIRES OF US
9. What must we do to benefit from God’s promise of a wonderful future?
9 Jehovah has promised a wonderful future for all of us, whether we are of the anointed or of the great crowd. To benefit from this promise, we must obey his commandments. (Isaiah 48:17, 18) For example, Jehovah required that the Israelites obey his Law. The Law would protect them and teach them how to have happy families and good friends, how to do business honestly, and how to treat others with kindness. (Exodus 20:14; Leviticus 19:18, 35-37; Deuteronomy 6:6-9) The same is true for us today. God’s commandments protect us and are good for us. They are not too difficult for us to obey. (Read 1 John 5:3.) When we obey them, our lives are happier and, more important, our faith in Jehovah grows stronger.
‘Am I aware of recent changes in the way we understand certain scriptures?’
10. Why should we make sure that we regularly study the Bible and have evenings for family worship?
10 The earthly part of God’s organization is moving ahead in many ways. It helps us understand Bible truth more and more clearly. That is exactly what was promised in the Bible: “The path of the righteous is like the bright morning light that grows brighter and brighter until full daylight.” (Proverbs 4:18) But each one of us should ask: ‘Am I aware of recent changes in the way we understand certain scriptures? Do I read the Bible daily? Am I eager to read each new publication? Do I have an evening every week for family worship?’ These are not difficult things to do, but we must schedule time for them. It is very important that we continue to study God’s Word, apply it, and move ahead with God’s organization. We must do this especially now that the great tribulation is so close!
11. Why do Jehovah’s people go to meetings, assemblies, and conventions?
11 Jehovah’s organization encourages us to follow Paul’s counsel: “Let us consider one another so as to incite to love and fine works, not forsaking our meeting together, as some have the custom, but encouraging one another, and all the more so as you see the day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24, 25) The ancient Israelites regularly gathered to worship Jehovah and be instructed by him. The celebration of the Festival of Booths in the time of Nehemiah was one of these joyful events. (Exodus 23:15, 16; Nehemiah 8:9-18) Today, we also have meetings, assemblies, and conventions. We should try to be present at all these occasions because they help us to stay close to Jehovah and to be happy in our service to him.
Preaching the good news contributes to the sanctification of Jehovah’s holy name
12. How should we feel about the preaching work?
12 As members of Jehovah’s organization, we must preach the good news. This is a great honor for us. In fact, the Bible calls this work “holy,” or sacred. (Romans 15:16) When we preach, we are working with “the Holy One,” Jehovah. (1 Peter 1:15; 1 Corinthians 3:9) We also have a share in honoring Jehovah’s holy name. It brings us joy to preach “the glorious good news of the happy God.”
13. On what does our life and our friendship with Jehovah depend?
13 Jehovah wants what is best for us. That is why he wants us to stay close to him and his organization. We face the same choice as the Israelites did when Moses told them: “I have put life and death before you, the blessing and the curse; and you must choose life so that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving Jehovah your God, by listening to his voice, and by sticking to him, for he is your life.” (Deuteronomy 30:19, 20) Choose life. Love Jehovah, and always be loyal to him and his organization.
The only way to have Jehovah’s favor is always to follow the direction of his organization
14. How did one brother feel about God’s organization?
14 Brother Pryce Hughes, who learned the truth before 1914, remained loyal to Jehovah and His organization all his life. When he was relating his life story, he said that the most important lesson he learned was to stay close to Jehovah’s organization and not rely on human thinking. This helped him endure tests of faith throughout his life. Brother Hughes said that the only way to have Jehovah’s favor is always to follow the direction of his organization.
KEEP MOVING AHEAD WITH GOD’S ORGANIZATION
15. What Bible example teaches us how we should react when there are adjustments to our understanding?
15 Jehovah wants us to support his organization and accept adjustments in the way we understand Bible truth and in the way we preach. In the first century, some Jewish Christians still wanted to follow the Law. (Acts 21:17-20) But Paul corrected them and helped them see that it was Jesus’ sacrifice, not animal sacrifices, that made forgiveness of sins possible. (Hebrews 10:5-10) Many of these Jewish Christians accepted Paul’s counsel and changed their thinking. We can learn an important lesson from their example. We must study the Bible and our publications carefully, and when Jehovah’s organization makes adjustments, we need to accept them humbly.
16. (a) Why will life in Paradise be wonderful? (b) What do you look forward to in the new world?
16 All who remain loyal to Jehovah and his organization will receive blessings. The anointed will serve as kings with Jesus Christ in heaven. (Romans 8:16, 17) Those who hope to live on earth look forward to everlasting life in Paradise. All of Jehovah’s people around the world have the unique opportunity to tell others about this hope. (2 Peter 3:13) “The meek will possess the earth, and they will find exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.” (Psalm 37:11) People will have satisfying work. “They will build houses and live in them.” (Isaiah 65:21, 22) No one will treat others badly. No one will be poor, and everyone will have enough to eat. (Psalm 72:13-16) False religion will no longer teach lies about God, because it will be gone. (Revelation 18:8, 21) The dead will be resurrected and have the opportunity to live forever on the earth. (Isaiah 25:8; Acts 24:15) If we strengthen our relationship with Jehovah and continue to move ahead with his organization, these wonderful promises will come true for us.
17. How should we feel about Jehovah and his organization?
17 Satan’s system will soon end. To survive, we must keep our faith strong and loyally worship Jehovah with his organization. We feel as David did when he sang: “One thing I have asked from Jehovah