God’s Blessed Family
THE sacredness of the human family is being violated, flouted and mocked as never before. Parents are unfaithful to children. Children are disobedient to parents. Marital relations are insecure. Homes are broken up because of separations and divorces. As a result hopes for peace and security are dashed to the ground and the happy condition of love, joy and prosperity is shattered. Sorrow, disappointment and despondency overshadow many a household today. In view of such dreadful conditions it is well to consider the blessed lot of God’s big, happy family over which Jehovah himself presides as Head and Father. Though assailed from all sides by the enemy from without, the Lord’s blessed family holds together in the perfect bond of peace and unity.
Not in all the universe, in millenniums past or in endless ages to come, is there anyone to compare with the heavenly Father. His name alone is Jehovah. A God of purpose is he. From everlasting to everlasting, without beginning and without ending, this great First Cause is the Creator of heaven and earth and all things therein, both visible and invisible, animate and inanimate. The very lives of his children depend on this Fountain of Life. They are the clay; he is the Potter. His glory and majesty are unmeasurable; his qualities, supremely perfect; his personality, altogether lovely. In wisdom he is unsurpassed, in justice he is unequaled, in love he is infinite, in power he is unlimited. Now with attributes like these what human father, please tell, can compare with Jehovah?—Ex. 3:14, 15; Ps. 90:2; Isa. 40:12-18, 21-26; Ps. 36:9; Rom. 9:21; Deut. 32:4.
And yet, notwithstanding the lofty position of the heavenly Father, he is very near to his children. He hears the faintest cry of his little ones. His ears are constantly open to the prayers and petitions of those that may properly address him as “Our Father”. (Ps. 34:15; Matt. 6:9) “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” “Most truly I say to you, If you ask the Father for anything he will give it to you in my name,” is the assurance from God’s Anointed Son Jesus. (Matt. 7:11; John 16:23, NW) Every good and perfect gift is from the great Father, Jehovah.—Jas. 1:17.
Jehovah God is the Great Teacher to his devoted children, and to such he gives his law for their guidance and instruction. (Isa. 54:13; John 6:45) As the head of his household this righteous Lawgiver lays down the rules governing the entire family, and if any need correcting the Lord takes care of that too, as it is written: “‘My son, do not belittle the discipline from Jehovah, neither give out when you are corrected by him; for whom Jehovah loves he disciplines, in fact he scourges everyone whom he receives as a son.’ Furthermore, we used to have fathers who were of our flesh to discipline us and we used to give them respect. Shall we not much more subject ourselves to the Father of our spiritual life and live? For they for a few days used to discipline us according to what seemed good to them, but he does so for our profit that we may partake of his holiness.”—Heb. 12:5, 6, 9, 10, NW.
Blessed too in other ways, members of this happy family find in their Father one who is fully capable of defending them against all their enemies. Like the protective shadow of a hen over her chicks, so also is the shadow of Jehovah’s mighty hand over his little ones. (Ps. 17:8; 36:7; 57:1; 63:7; 91:1; Isa. 51:16) His everlasting arms uphold them. (Deut. 33:26, 27) A never-failing help in every time of need, so is the ever-watchful Jehovah to his children. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear.”—Ps. 46:1, 2; 54:4; 121:2; Isa. 50:7-9, AS.
A faithful Father, a truthful Father who cannot lie, a covenant-keeping Father unto a thousand generations—such a one is the heavenly Father. (Dan. 9:4; 2 Thess. 3:3; Heb. 6:18) Moreover, Jehovah is merciful beyond measure, full of compassion and forgiveness toward his children that are weak, gentle and tender-hearted toward the downtrodden, the oppressed, the weary and sorrowful of heart. Truly the “Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort” is Jehovah toward those of his household.—2 Cor. 1:3, 4.
Having such a wonderful Father as this his household are admonished to honor and obey him, give heed to his counsel and instructions, and fear to do anything in violation of his commandments. “Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which Jehovah thy God giveth thee.” (Ex. 20:12, AS) “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.”—Prov. 1:8.
THE MOTHER ORGANIZATION
The Scriptures identify God’s “woman” as his universal organization; and as in the human family, so also in God’s household, the mother serves an important function. “But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. For it is written: ‘Be glad, you barren woman who does not bear children; break out and cry aloud, you woman who does not have childbirth pains; because the children of the desolate woman number more than those of her who has the husband.’”—Gal. 4:26, 27, NW.
The apostle Paul was here quoting from Isaiah’s prophecy which tells how God’s organization was without children for a long time. Then in her old age she produces not only the promised “seed” Christ Jesus, as Sarah brought forth Isaac, but also has so many other children she has to enlarge her dwelling-place on all sides. This is because the great Father has made his organization very fruitful. “For thy Maker is thy husband; Jehovah of hosts is his name: and the Holy One of Israel is thy Redeemer; the God of the whole earth shall he be called. For Jehovah hath called thee as a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, even a wife of youth, when she is cast off, saith thy God.”—Isa. 54:1-6, AS; Ps. 113:9.
This prophecy tells of the blessed expansion and prosperity now enjoyed by the entire Theocratic family. Other scriptures speak of the bountiful provisions made for the household. The Father is the great Provider of spiritual food, and he delegates to his organization the duty of preparing and serving this life-sustaining “meat in due season”. The table is the Lord’s, he sits at the head, and the children seated at the table are waited on and served and helped by the mother organization.—Matt. 24:45; Ps. 23:5; Isa. 25:6.
God’s children on earth live in a delinquent world, though no part of it. (John 17:11, 14) They therefore need maternal guidance and direction in order to avoid entanglement with this sex-maddened generation now living in these perilous “last days”. (2 Tim. 3:1-5, 14-17) As a consequence, God’s children are commanded to honor and respect their spiritual parents and give heed and obey the Lord’s instructions coming to them by and through the mother organization.—Deut. 5:16.
DUTIES AND OBLIGATIONS OF CHILDREN
No one will ever get life from the eternal Father Jehovah unless he has the meek and teachable disposition of a child. Christ Jesus, the “elder brother” in God’s family, illustrated this in his discourses. “So, calling a young child to him, he set it in their midst and said: ‘Truly I say to you, unless you turn around and become as young children you will by no means enter into the kingdom of the heavens.’”—Matt. 18:2-4; 19:14, NW.
This childlike willingness to learn is required of all children in Jehovah’s household, and there are many. Some of the children are destined to be members of the ‘body of Christ, the church’, and live as spirit creatures in the heavens. (Col. 1:18; 1 Cor. 12:27) To those destined for heavenly glory the apostles write: “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” “The spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.” (1 John 3:1, 2; Rom. 8:15-17) Upon the “remnant” of such sons and daughters God’s holy spirit is poured out in a special way.—Joel 2:28; Acts 2:17.
Besides these spiritual sons that “shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years” there are many other children in this household arrangement. (Rev. 20:6; John 10:16) These, as earthly sons of Christ Jesus the Everlasting Father, will live eternally on the paradise earth. (Isa. 9:6) They also are being fed from the Lord’s bountiful and overflowing table. They too are being nurtured and cared for by the mother organization. They too have the meek and teachable disposition so necessary to escape destruction and get life.—Zeph. 2:3.
In this gloomy and dark day it is very easy to distinguish from others of the world those who are children of the “Father of lights”. “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” (1 Thess. 5:5, 6; Eph. 5:8, 9) These children of God are awake, on the elevated watchtower, sounding the warning of Armageddon’s approaching storm. All Christendom recognizes these favored people are Jehovah’s witnesses, for they take their Father’s name, and as his ambassadors publish and declare his purposes throughout the earth. In a very real sense they are “for signs and for wonders” to this perverse generation.—Isa. 8:18.
There is no question as to whether an individual is or is not a child of God and a member of his beloved family, for John says: “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:10, 11, 18; 4:20, 21) Such implicit love and devotion, love for God and love for each brother and sister, is the distinguishing quality that sets the family of God off as separate and distinct from the organizations of this hateful old world.
CARING FOR THE FAMILY’S BABIES
Not all children in this great family of God are of the same age. Some are quite old, some much younger, and others are mere babes who must be looked after and cared for by the more mature brothers and sisters. When one of these young ones is found seeking after the truth, a publisher of the Kingdom message calls back and studies the Bible with that one. As “newborn babes” in the truth, these young ones at first must be nursed along on the simple “sincere milk of the word”. (1 Pet. 2:2; 1 Cor. 3:2) Care must be exercised to see that they do not choke on some doctrine too advanced, heavy and involved. Growing stronger, they are able to feed on the Lord’s meatier matters.
After playing in sectarian mud puddles these young ones have to be bathed with the pure water of truth to remove the soils of demon religion. (John 3:5; 15:3; Eph. 5:26; Heb. 10:22) Then they must be clothed in garments that identify such ones as belonging to God’s clean organization.
These young ones in the truth must not always remain undeveloped and helpless babies, needing constant attention by the mature members of the family. They must grow up, and show progress in learning new world methods. Paul, in condemning some in his day for failing to show spiritual growth, wrote: “Although you ought to be teachers in view of the time, you again need someone to teach you from the beginning the first principles of the sacred pronouncements of God, and you have become such as need milk, not solid food. For everyone that partakes of milk is unacquainted with the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to mature people, to those who through use have their perceptive powers trained to distinguish both right and wrong.” They should have put away the “traits of a babe” and grown up.—Heb. 5:12-14; 1 Cor. 13:11, NW.
It is therefore the blessed privilege of the older members of God’s family to aid these young ones to develop and grow in knowledge, wisdom and understanding. Much training and instruction in the righteous ways of Jehovah is needed. At the Lord’s table these young children must learn how to dig the truths out of God’s precious Word by attending studies. They must learn to walk by going from house to house in the witness work. Learning to talk is easy when they begin to tell others about God’s glorious kingdom. Their new world education is greatly improved by attending the Theocratic ministry school held each week in the Kingdom Halls of Jehovah’s witnesses. Their reading they should improve. (1 Tim. 4:13) Writing clearly they will find useful.—Deut. 6:9; 11:20.
Truly the expansion of God’s great family is taking place on all sides! By the thousands lovers of righteousness are coming under the parental care of Jehovah God and his Theocratic organization, as shown by the actual figures. No housing shortage faces this family. No shortage of food plagues the Lord’s household. And what a blessed and happy atmosphere prevails! No family troubles. No parental neglect of the children. No juvenile delinquency. But instead, peace and unity, prosperity and contentment, joy and gladness, dwell here continually, all to the praise and honor and glory of the eternal God and Father whose name alone is Jehovah.