Organized for United Testimony
1. Must each witness work independently? or how? Why?
IN ORDER to measure up to their name, Jehovah’s witnesses know that they must work together with others of like precious faith. Together they all fulfill Matthew 24:14 by preaching the gospel in all the world as a witness to all nations. Each is for all and all are for each. Each knows that not one is safe alone or can preach the gospel independently of all his other brethren. In working together to form a composite body, they live up to the name. God’s blessing and direction is upon his composite body of people in the earth. God deals with his people as a group or society, as he dealt with Israel in times of old.
2. What association and common fundamental service unifies them?
2 Jehovah’s witnesses therefore associate with their brethren at the congregational meetings, at circuit assemblies and district assemblies and at large international conventions, when possible and convenient to attend. In carrying out their preaching work, they all cooperate together like an army. Jehovah God has placed each one in the organization as it pleases him. In an army not all can be officers, but privates do the great mass of working and fighting. All among Jehovah’s witnesses realize that the greatest position or job that one can have in God’s organization is being a minister, teacher, preacher or publisher by telling others about God’s kingdom. Having this knowledge and feeling of equality of privileges, Jehovah’s witnesses are led toward unity. Unity and harmony of spirit and mind and work are accomplished by the power or spirit of Jehovah God that hovers over his organization like a mighty canopy.
3. What must they observe as to their private lives and dealings?
3 In their private lives as well as in their dealings with one another, Jehovah’s witnesses recognize that in God’s law there are laid down many requirements that they must abide by in order to prove that they are living up to the name. They must keep themselves unstained by the world. (Jas. 1:27) Not only must they keep entirely free from the political, commercial and religious elements of the “old world”, but they must also abstain from the nefarious living habits of the world. They must avoid the standards of personal conduct prevalent in the world in respect to morals and honesty if they are to keep themselves unspotted from the world. They keep themselves clean morally and physically. This they do because they know that God requires all who bear the message, as his vessels, to be clean. “Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD.” (Isa. 52:11) The apostle said: “I beat and bruise my body and make it my slave, so that after I have called others to the contest I may not be disqualified myself.”—1 Cor. 9:27, An Amer. Trans.
4. What works not consistent with the name do they eschew? How?
4 Being consistent with their name requires that the warning of Paul be accepted, by following his advice to eschew the vices that flow from the lusts of the flesh. “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Gal. 5:19-21) Thus Jehovah’s witnesses have renewed their minds by God’s grace and help and have put out of their minds the personal ways and habits of the evil, wicked world. Their minds have been purged with the truths of righteousness mentioned by the apostle at 2 Peter 1:5-9.
5, 6. What burdens do they not impose? What help do they offer free?
5 In order to live up to the name, Jehovah’s witnesses do not place heavy burdens on anyone. Each does not shirk his responsibilities in doing his part of the work. Each bears his own burden in assisting with the preaching of the gospel or the maintenance of a meeting-place or any other instrumentality that is used by the Lord. For one to fail to bear his own burden would result in the placing of a heavier burden upon another who would have to carry it. Each must bear his personal responsibility before God. “For every man shall bear his own burden.”—Gal. 6:5.
6 Besides assisting their weaker brethren and the people of good-will (Gal. 6:1, 2), Jehovah’s witnesses decline to put burdens upon them. They live up to the name by conducting Bible studies and making revisits upon the people of good-will and visiting the sick and infirm without charge. While they receive nominal contributions to cover the cost of printing and distributing the literature which they furnish to such persons, they make no commercial profit. The literature distributed is often left with the poor and needy without any contribution. Anyone who desires the literature and who is unable to contribute may obtain literature upon the promise to read it. The money received from those willing and able to contribute is used to print and distribute other literature. Thus no heavy burden is bound down upon the lovers of righteousness.
7. How do they live up to the name upon them by love?
7 By exercising love among one another Jehovah’s witnesses live up to the name of Jehovah which is upon them, for he is a God of love. They show their love by helping one another. They know that the law requires them to love their neighbor. While the people of good-will are their “neighbor”, their closest neighbor is their brother. With a brother they avoid petty jealousies and other misunderstandings. Having in mind the interests of the Kingdom they do not resent the added privileges that are given to their brethren. They rejoice when they see another brother put into a position of special service privileges. By loving their closest neighbor as well as themselves, they live up to the name.
8. Why do they observe peace, order, contentment among themselves?
8 Jehovah is a God of peace and order. To live up to his name, therefore, his witnesses work so as to avoid faultfinding, murmuring and complaining against one another. “Do all things without murmurings and disputings: that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.” (Phil. 2:14, 15) They are familiar with the record made of the nation of Israel, showing that the Israelites suffered because of faultfindings, murmurings and complaining about the provisions of manna and water in the wilderness by the Lord. They have seen the quick and righteous execution of Jehovah God against the “evil servant” class of modern days who have rebelled against God’s organization and deserted it. (Matt. 24:48-51) Jehovah’s witnesses are aware that faultfinding with brethren eventually leads to finding fault with the Lord. Jesus said: “He who is not with me, is against me; and he who gathers not with me, scatters.” (Matt. 12:30, Diaglott) In living up to the name, Jehovah’s witnesses avoid fights with one another over personal or petty matters. They permit nothing to divide them or interfere with unity and peace and the execution of the commission placed upon them.
9. As to persecution, how do they live up to the name?
9 In this perilous time of the end, Jehovah’s witnesses live up to the name by overcoming persecution world-wide. “Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.” (Rom. 12:21, An Amer. Trans.) When violence is rampant in the earth prior to Armageddon, where we now are, they stand firm against the assaults of the Devil and his agents, invisible and visible. The nations have attempted to suppress Jehovah’s witnesses with an iron fist and crush them by mischief framed by law. (Ps. 94:20) They have overcome and completely defeated such fiendish persecution in many countries. Volumes would be required to describe the modern persecution of Jehovah’s witnesses. It surpasses anything that has been recorded concerning the persecution of any minority for conscience’ sake.
10, 11. What recent persecution have they endured? With what effect?
10 In the United States there were arrests by the thousands annually for several years. More than twenty-five hundred violent mobs assaulted Jehovah’s witnesses from 1940 through 1944. The arrests and prosecutions were proved false by favorable decisions by the Supreme Court of the United States and other high state and federal courts of the nation. The mobs were not stopped by the government or state officials, but only by the power of Almighty God.
11 The most notorious case of persecution for living up to the name is that of the witnesses in Germany. They were banned by Hitler soon after he signed the concordat with the Vatican in 1933. Their property was confiscated. Ten thousand ministers were placed in concentration camps. Only eight thousand were released after World War II; two thousand had been murdered. In Canada Jehovah’s witnesses were banned and driven underground. Although the ban has been lifted, the persecution of Jehovah’s witnesses in Catholic-controlled Quebec province continues to this day, with the cases numbering into the thousands. In Greece, which claims to be a liberal, democratic state, but which is in practice a fascist state dominated by the Orthodox Church, Jehovah’s witnesses have been treated in a manner worse than that ever administered by the Gestapo in Nazi Germany. In spite of such persecutions, in many countries Jehovah’s witnesses have lived to see their release and the restoration of their preaching. Moreover, because they have lived up to the name, Jehovah has abundantly blessed their faithfulness with growth and increase. Since the persecution reached its zenith in 1939 the number of Jehovah’s witnesses increased from 67,000 to 260,000 in 1949.
12. Why are they not stumbled at or rebellious against persecution?
12 Although Jehovah’s witnesses continue to be persecuted in many countries dominated by the Catholics and the Communists and they know that the storm of persecution will not abate, by continuing to live up to the name they can stand fast and weather the storm. Living up to the name of Jehovah brought reproaches upon Christ Jesus. (Ps. 69:9; Rom. 15:3) As he warned, they continue to fall upon his faithful followers. “Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” (John 15:20) Peter said that these persecutions and revilings should be expected. (1 Pet. 4:13, 14) Far from rebelling against reproaches or persecution, Jehovah’s witnesses do not even become discouraged. They are sure, by reason of the reproaches upon them, that they are serving God in the footsteps of Jesus. Armed with knowledge of the truth and encouraged by the ancient examples, they are confident that Jehovah God will sustain them to the end.—Eph. 6:11-18; 1 Cor. 10:11; see also Hebrews chapter 11.
13. Why do they not stop or slow down for persecutions?
13 Living up to the name of Jehovah God will continue to mean arrests, cruelties and injuries inflicted at the hands of demonized men. It will mean even the loss of life to some of the faithful; but this does not dismay them. The threat or even the danger of loss of life does not stop them or slow them down. They believe with all their heart, soul, mind and strength the certainty of what Jesus said at Matthew 10:28: “Be not afraid of those who kill the body, but cannot destroy the [future] life; but rather fear him who can utterly destroy both life and body in Gehenna.” (Diag.) ‘Whoever would save his life, shall lose it; and whoever loses his life on my account, shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he should gain the whole world, and forfeit his life? or what will a man give in ransom for his life?”—Matt. 16:25, 26, Diag.
14. How do they guard against temptation? For how long?
14 Jehovah’s witnesses will live up to the name notwithstanding all that their enemies can do in an effort to stop them and throw them from the path of righteousness that leads to life everlasting. They must, to live up to the name, always be circumspect and walk in a way they know to be pleasing to Jehovah God. They pray that they may not be abandoned when tempted by the enemy, Satan the Devil, and left unprotected from his assaults. They know they must keep their mind set on things above, not only when in the missionary field, but also at every other hour of the day. The business of living up to the name is a twenty-four-hours-a-day job. It requires all of one’s time and attention.
15. What kind of people has God chosen them to be? Are they that?
15 The Scriptures conclusively establish that Jehovah, being a God of purpose, arranged to have a separate and distinct people for his name in this time of the end. They must not be his people in name only; they must live up to the name. Living up to the name places upon the people selected by Jehovah the responsibility of declaring his name, his purposes and his law throughout the entire world as a witness. The clergy of Christendom and their millions of supporters are not the selected people, because they do not live up to the name. Jehovah’s witnesses not only have the name of Almighty God, which is not possessed or claimed by any other group, but the facts show that they live up to the name which they hear. They preach the Kingdom message, that the new world of righteousness is the only hope of mankind, which is irrefutably established in the Bible. Their preaching ‘this gospel of the kingdom throughout all the world as a witness before the end comes’ and their being ‘persecuted in all nations for God’s name’s sake’ prove that they are living up to the name.
16. By faithfulness to the name what outcome is assured them?
16 Living up to the name now means to Jehovah’s witnesses that they have the sure promise of not being led onto the broad and winding road traveled by the clergy of Christendom and their millions of followers. The assurance that they will not be driven over the precipice to which that broad road leads, into the abyss of death at Armageddon, causes them to rejoice. By living up to the name faithfully, they will see the fulfillment of prophetic Psalm 83:18, which reads: “That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.” There those who have lived up to the name Jehovah God will vindicate as his witnesses.
Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help, and rely on horses, and trust in chariots because they are many, and in horsemen because they are very strong, but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek Jehovah! Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit: and when Jehovah shall stretch out his hand, both he that helpeth shall stumble, and he that is helped shall fall, and they all shall be consumed together.—Isaiah 31:1, 3, A.S.V.