(394) – THE HEAVENLY COUNSEL

“Jehovah has established his throne in the heavens. His kingdom rules over all” (Ps. 103:19). This means that all creation is under the authority of Jehovah. The psalmist says: “Praise Jehovah, you angels of his, who are mighty in strength, who fulfill his word, obeying the voice of his word. Praise Jehovah, all you armies of his, you servants of his, who do his pleasure” (Ps. 103:20-21).

The ministers of Jehovah gather together in the heavenly places to ponder and decide about the great problems of his vast kingdom: “For the kingdom is JEHOVAH’s. He is the ruler over the nations” (Ps. 22:28). Jehovah spoke to Nebuchadnezzar in a dream, saying: “The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones; to the intent that the living may know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever he will, and sets up over it the lowest of men” (Dan. 4:17). And the heavenly counsel of Jehovah is responsible for choosing the kings. Some of them are good, and some are evil; some have a noble and lofty character, and others are the most vile and low among men. This is what Jehovah said to Nebuchadnezzar. There are situations in which Jehovah does not check with his council of ministers: he himself chooses. It was the case with Nebuchadnezzar, a proud king, unmerciful, idolatrous, immoral, and devilish. Jehovah said: I have given all the kingdoms in the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, my servant, who is pleasing in my eyes. And whoever will not put his neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon I will visit that nation with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence (Jer. 27:5-8).

And Jehovah delivered the kingdom of Judah, that is to say, his own kingdom, into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar (Jer. 27:12-13). The people of Judah were taken to the Babylonian captivity, a people who pleased the eyes of Jehovah.

In their captivity Jeremiah registered the laments of the people destroyed by Jehovah:

“The Lord has swallowed up all the habitations of Jacob, and has not pitied” (Lam. 2:2).

“He has bent his bow like an enemy, he has stood with his right hand as an adversary, Has killed all that were pleasant to the eye: In the tent of the daughter of Zion he has poured out his wrath like fire” (Lam. 2:4).

“My eyes do fail with tears, my heart is troubled; My liver is poured on the earth, because of the destruction of the daughter of my people, Because the young children and the infants swoon in the streets of the city. They tell their mothers, Where is grain and wine?” (Lam. 2:11,12).

“The youth and the old man lie on the ground in the streets; My virgins and my young men are fallen by the sword: You have killed them in the day of your anger” (Lam. 2:21).

“The hands of the pitiful women have boiled their own children; They were their food in the destruction of the daughter of my people” (Lam. 4:10).

“Our fathers sinned, and are no more; We have borne their iniquities” (Lam. 5:7).

“Our skin is black like an oven, Because of the burning heat of famine” (Lam. 5:10).

“They ravished the women in Zion, The virgins in the cities of Judah” (Lam. 5:11).

And the believers, as deceived doves, applaud Jehovah, saying: HALLELUJAH.

After Nebuchadnezzar has done all the evil and all the destruction by the command of Jehovah, this god decided to punish Babylon and decided to sweep it from the map. This time the chosen people were the Medes. The destruction was like this: “Therefore I will make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken out of its place in the wrath of Jehovah of Armies, and in the day of his fierce anger. It will happen that like a hunted gazelle, and like sheep that no one gathers, they will each turn to their own people, and will each flee to their own land. Everyone who is found will be thrust through. Everyone who is captured will fall by the sword. Their infants also will be dashed in pieces before their eyes. Their houses will be ransacked, and their wives raped. Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, who will not value silver, and as for gold, they will not delight in it. Their bows will dash the young men in pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb. Their eyes will not spare children. Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldeans’ pride, will be like when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah” (Is. 13:13-19). Jehovah calls the Medes “MY SANCTIFIED” and my valiant ones to execute my wrath (Is. 13:3). Were they sanctified to tear children into pieces? Were they sanctified to violate women? Were they sanctified to kill the unborn in the womb of their mothers? The ones who sing HALLELUYAH certainly do not know whom they are worshiping!

Changing the subject, there is a liar in the heavenly council of Jehovah. This seems to be a joke, but it is not. Jehovah planned to kill the bad king Ahab for his crimes. Then he gathered his heavenly council: Jehovah in the center, upon his throne, and all the armies of heaven at his right and at his left. Jehovah said: Who will incite Ahab so that he may be killed in battle? There were many opinions, and finally a lying spirit came up, saying: I will. And Jehovah spoke: You will prevail. And it is written that Jehovah placed a lying spirit in the mouth of all the prophets (1 Kings 22:19-23). And the believers who worship the king of lies sing: HALLELUYAH, HALLELUYAH.

Not even the righteous escape the injustices of this heavenly council, for there came a day in which the sons of god came before Jehovah, and Satan was among them. Jehovah asked Satan: Where are you coming from? And He said: I came from walking around the earth. Jehovah, in a fatherly closeness, said to Satan, who was among his children: Have you seen my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a sincere and righteous man, fearing God and who flees from evil. Satan, with filial closeness and freedom, said: Job is faithful because he is blessed and rich. Stretch your hand and touch everything he has, and you will see whether he blasphemes you in your face or not (Job 1:6-11). Then Jehovah, with fatherly affection, sayd to him: Everything that he has is in your hands. And Jehovah made a request to him: Do not touch him. Everything that I have is yours.

He had such respect for Satan that the death of Job’s ten children did not weigh in his heart (Job 1:2-5). If they were 50 children, Jehovah would have equally allowed it. The suffering and pain of Job, who loved his children so much, did not impress Jehovah. And Satan did not leave a single one of them alive to comfort Job. He killed all ten of them (Job 1:2). All the suffering that Job might be going through was of no importance to Jehovah in face of the satisfaction he felt in meeting Satan’s request. And the proof that everything is in the hands of Satan is that he said, when offering all the kingdoms of heaven to Jesus: “I will give you all of these things, if you will fall down and worship me” (Matt. 4:8-9). Luke registers it a little differently: “I will give you all this authority, and their glory, for it has been delivered to me” (Luke 4:6).

The only way out is Jesus Christ, for all creation is subjected to Satan (Rom. 8:19-23). It is obvious that Satan could not overcome Jehovah, the Almighty. The truth is that Jehovah gave everything into his hands. Jesus, sent by the Father, came to this world to destroy the works of the devil (or Satan) (1 John 3:8; Heb. 2:14-15). This is easy to understand: If Jehovah delivered Job, the most righteous and just in this world, into Satan’s hands, much more easily will he deliver sinners into his hands (Rom. 3:23). And Satan had the nerve to ask Jesus permission to sift Peter (Luke 22:31-32). Christians are safe with Jesus Christ.

By Olavo Silveira Pereira

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