Beginning the New World Society
1. How will the new world have its society? How has the Kingdom’s establishment already affected us?
THE old world has its society or its people living according to a certain social arrangement. The new world, too, will have its society, all the members of which will live in harmony with a righteous arrangement. Satan the Devil, the god of this present wicked system of things, is the invisible ruler of the old-world society, but he will not be the god of the new world. His wicked system will be obliterated by the coming “war of the great day of God the Almighty”, Armageddon. (Rev. 16:14-16, NW) Jehovah, whose universal sovereignty Satan has challenged, will be the one, true living God of the new world. He will rule through the theocratic government of his faithful Son, Jesus Christ the King. That kingdom will institute new systems of things, the ones the Bible speaks of as yet coming. Come to think of it, the very establishment of God’s kingdom in the heavens by enthroning his Son in 1914 resulted in a radical change in the activities of God’s spiritual children who were under the new covenant. It has marvelously altered the message they preach in all the earth for a witness to all nations. Aye, it has put a “new song” in their mouths, the song of God’s kingdom at last brought to birth after millenniums of waiting. (Rev. 14:3; 12:1-10) The systems of things under which we have lived according to the new covenant have been grand, we must admit; but those which will obtain in the new world will be oh so much grander for all its society.
2. Why will it be different there? What is the proof?
2 Why should it not be different, yes, better? For it will have new heavens and a new earth. The destruction of this old world with its Devil-controlled heavens and earth will therefore be no calamity. We eagerly look for it, doing as the apostle Peter says: “Awaiting and keeping close in mind the presence of the day of Jehovah, through which the heavens being on fire will be dissolved and the elements being intensely hot will melt. But there are new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting according to his promise, and in these righteousness is to dwell.” (2 Pet. 3:12, 13, NW) The kingdom of Jesus Christ, together with his 144,000 faithful victorious followers, will spread out its power over all this globe and will form the “new heavens”. To these spiritual followers Jesus has said: “There is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God that is not certain to get many times more in this period of time and in the coming system of things everlasting life.” (Luke 18:29, 30, NW; Mark 10:30) The gospel account of Matthew speaks of the coming system and calls it the “re-creation” or the “new world”, saying: “In the re-creation [new world], when the Son of man sits down upon his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also yourselves sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone that has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive many times more and will inherit everlasting life.”—Matt. 19:28, 29, NW, margin.
3. What will the “new earth” be?
3 But what of the “new earth”? Well, it will be human society, on our same planet, of course, but organized according to a new and righteous system of things under the Kingdom. Doubtless the most of those who enter the “new earth” will have to be raised from the dead to do so. As Jesus said, when discussing the general resurrection of mankind: “The children of this system of things marry and are given in marriage, but those who have been counted worthy of gaining that system of things and the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. In fact, neither can they die any more, for they are like the angels, and they are God’s children by being children of the resurrection.”—Luke 20:34-36, NW.
4. With whom will the new earth be begun? How are they strangers?
4 However, that coming system of things is one which God uses his glorified Son Jesus to make. (Heb. 1:1, 2, NW) The “new earth” which the Kingdom will bring into existence will be begun with the survivors of Armageddon who have an earthly hope and destiny. They are the Right Shepherd’s “other sheep”. A “great crowd” of them which keeps increasing in number is now living with the remnant of Kingdom joint heirs who are under the new covenant. These “other sheep” are enjoying many of the benefits of the new covenant arrangement along with the spiritual remnant. Really, these present-day “other sheep” correspond with the “strangers” of good will who lived peaceably and harmoniously within the city gates of the ancient Israelites under the Law covenant. The Sabbath law of the Ten Commandments speaks of them prophetically as “thy stranger that is within thy gates”. That old covenant made many provisions for such God-fearing strangers. In many things it had the same ordinances for them as for the natural Israelites. (Ex. 20:8-10; 12:48, 49) The modern-day flock of “strangers” sojourning within the gates of the new covenant arrangement have been greatly blessed with the spiritual remnant by obeying the same divine ordinances.
“PRINCES IN ALL THE EARTH”
5. For years for whose appearance have we been looking? Why?
5 For some years now both the remnant and the great crowd of strangers or “other sheep” have been looking for the promised “princes” of the new earth to appear. Their expectation has been based upon the statement of Psalm 45:16, which is addressed to the new world’s King: “Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth.” In the past we have understood this to apply exclusively to the witnesses of Jehovah of ancient times before Christ, men who were either the natural forefathers of Jesus Christ, such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David, or who were faithful prophets and fellow witnesses of these. Their line runs from Abel to John the Baptist, and the names and exploits of a number of them are reported in Hebrews, chapter 11. Basing it upon Hebrews 11:2, 38, the WATCH TOWER publications used to refer to them as the “ancient worthies”.
6. What children will the King have? How? So what question arises?
6 When on earth Jesus Christ died unmarried and childless, but Psalm 45:16 assures us that in his heavenly glory as King he is to have earthly children, and Isaiah 9:6 tells of his birth and says his name will be called “everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace”. By bestowing everlasting life upon obedient men for whose life in the new world he died he will have many sons, sons of the Prince of Peace. He will be their Everlasting Father. Those whom we used to call “ancient worthies” will also become his sons by his raising them from the dead and conferring life upon them for their unfaltering loyalty. So the question is, Will those sons whom he makes “princes in all the earth” be limited to those faithful pre-Christian witnesses of Jehovah God? What is our answer now?
7. How and why are any favored with the high calling at this time? But what others have now appeared, and in what numbers?
7 The people for Jehovah’s name whom he has called with the high calling to the heavenly kingdom and whom he has taken out from all nations by the agency of the new covenant are now about complete. Only a small remnant of them are yet on earth. Also nowadays of the many who devote themselves completely to God through Christ there are few who give evidence of receiving the high calling. Evidently those few who now receive the high calling are favored that way in order to replace any among the spiritual remnant who may lose their Kingdom opportunity through unfaithfulness in the midst of this world. So the high calling or heavenly calling is soon to cease, the full membership of the Kingdom class being finally purchased from among mankind and proved to be faithful conquerors over Satan’s world. But now already in this year 1950 there are hundreds of thousands of others who have made a full dedication of themselves to Jehovah by Christ and who have undertaken the serious service of Jehovah’s witnesses. Before the year 1935 we never envisaged this “great crowd” of consecrated “other sheep”. What of them? we now ask.—Rev. 7:9-17.
8. What did The New Creation, chapter 3, have to say about such?
8 Back in 1904 the first president of the Watch Tower Society wrote the sixth volume of Scripture Studies, entitled “The New Creation”. In chapter 3, entitled “The Call of the New Creation”, he had this to say, at the top of page 157: “And we may be sure that any consecrating and performing a full sacrifice of themselves in the interest of the Lord’s cause after the heavenly class is complete, will find that the Lord has plenty of blessings of some other kind still to give; and that all of his blessings are for such consecrators, self-sacrificers. Possibly they may be counted in with the ancient worthies who had the sacrificing disposition that is pleasing to God, prior to the beginning of the ‘high calling’.”
9. What did The Watchtower, September 1, 1915, have to say of such?
9 Years after that publication The Watchtower had this to say in its issue of September 1, 1915, in paragraphs 5, 6 of an article on the “harvest work” (pages 268, 269): “It is our thought that with the closing of the ‘door’ of this Gospel age there will be no more begetting of the holy Spirit to the spirit nature. Any afterward coming to God through consecration, before the inauguration of the restitution work, will be accepted by him, not to the spirit plane of being, but to the earthly plane. Such would come in under the same conditions as the ancient worthies who were accepted of God. The ancient worthies came in, no call being opened to them—the high calling not being yet open, . . . Our thought is that whoever under such conditions as these will make a full consecration to the Lord, to leave all to follow in his ways, and will live up faithfully, loyally, to that consecration, may be privileged to be counted as a similar class to those who preceded this Gospel age. We know of no reason why the Lord would refuse to receive those who make a consecration after the close of the Gospel age high calling and before the full opening of the Millennium.”
10. Since 1920 what facts have become clear about such class?
10 In its issue of January 15, 1920, (pages 21-28) in an article entitled “Worthies—Ancient and Modern”, The Watchtower discussed the question of “modern worthies” according to the information and facts then available and said No! to such a class. But that was fifteen years before the revealing of the identity of the “great crowd” symbolized at Revelation 7:9-17. That was years before members of this great crowd of “other sheep” began to flock to the side of the spiritual remnant. That was years before it was appreciated that it was fitting for this great crowd to make a full dedication of themselves to God through Christ. But those already of this increasing great crowd have, as we now know, devoted themselves to God through Christ as fully as the spiritual remnant have. Like the remnant, they have symbolized that self-dedication by water baptism. And they have since endeavored to prove their self-dedication genuine by doing God’s will and subjecting themselves to the responsibilities of Jehovah’s witnesses.
11. As to faith how do these compare with the faithful ones of old?
11 Are they men and women of faith like Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and Sarah? Yes, and they have gone farther in belief than those of old. Those ancient people merely looked forward by faith to Christ the Seed of Abraham. But these “other sheep” of today have actually accepted Jesus as the Messiah their Savior and King. Many righteous men and kings of old desired to see the things these “other sheep” now see and hear. Today, instead of pointing into the indefinite future toward the Kingdom, these sheep declare the Kingdom actually established and now about to usher in the new world.—Matt. 13:17.
12. Have they suffered for their faith like those of old? Is it yet all over with?
12 But have these other sheep suffered for their faith as Jehovah’s witnesses like those approved men and women of old? Have they had a “trial by mockings and scourgings, indeed, more than that, by bonds and prisons”? Have they been stoned, died by slaughter with the sword, gone about in animal skins, been in want, tribulation and ill-treatment, and wandered in deserts, mountains, dens and underground shelters of the earth? (Heb. 11:36-38, NW) Has this same old world acted not worthily of these modern witnesses of Jehovah? THERE is the record of recent years. Consult it. The evidence is overwhelming already! But there is yet much demonstrating of faith and integrity, yet much witnessing, yet much intense suffering, before we step out victorious into the new world. So these “other sheep” of today are indeed proving themselves sterling witnesses of the Most High God, like their faithful predecessors of pre-Christian times; but they have yet to prove their full devotion to the finish during the time that yet remains till Armageddon and the glorious birth of the new world.
13. Does Psalm 45:16 say only “fathers” will be made “princes”? What is the sense of the passage?
13 Those who do manifest their faith and integrity to the full will become children of the King Jesus Christ, the Everlasting Father, just as much so as the faithful ancients who preceded Christ. Since they manifest a similarity of faith, there is nothing that Scripturally argues against his taking as many of these “other sheep” as he requires and making them “princes in all the earth”. When we examine Psalm 45:16 we see it does not say that only those who were the earthly “fathers” of Jehovah’s anointed King will be the children whom he will make visible earthly princes to represent the heavenly Kingdom. To give the sense, Moffatt’s Bible translation renders Psalm 45:16: “Your sons shall step into your fathers’ place, and rise to be princes over all the land.” The Roman Catholic French translation by Crampon renders it: “Your children shall take the place of your fathers; you will constitute them princes over all the earth.” The Roman Catholic Spanish translation by Nácar-Colunga renders it similarly.*
14. How is the Hebrew term Săr applied, and so what does it indicate for the faithful ones as to future opportunities?
14 And when we consider this term prince, translated from the Hebrew word Săr (feminine, Sarah), we see that it is not always nor necessarily applied to the son of a king, to a prince of royal birth who is made a state official or governmental officer. It means the first, foremost or chief in any class, the head of any company or group. So in the Bible this Hebrew term Săr, sometimes translated prince, is even applied to Jesus himself, to the archangel Michael, to princes of the tribes of Israel, to princes of the provinces, to governors of cities, and to chiefs or captains of the guard, to captains over thousands, over hundreds, over fifties, over tens. Hence, to be made princes, in the Hebrew sense of the word Săr, in the new world society, in the “new earth”, offers a variety of opportunities of service with responsibilities of varying degrees; and there will be many such privileges. In the new earth they will not be addressed with the title before their name, like “Prince Charles”, “Prince Abraham,” “Prince Albert,” etc. No; we will be living then under a CHRISTIAN government. We are living now under that divine government, and we do not have anything like such titles now in the theocratic organization. So it would be inconsistent to think we will have any titled forms of address then. But just as now we may refer to officers as servants or directors of the Society, we may then refer to them as sarím (princes) in the Hebrew sense of the word. All we have to say now is that those “other sheep” who have been given positions of responsibility in the visible theocratic organization of today, even if it be over a group of ten who meet for Bible study and united service in the neighborhood, should look well to how they discharge their responsibilities now. Remember the rule stated by Jesus: “The person faithful in what is least is faithful also in much.” (Luke 16:10, NW) Only if you prove yourself faithful in what is committed to you now in this passing old world will you have any likelihood of being made a prince in the new earth along with the resurrected faithful witnesses of ancient times before Christ.
FOR AN ORGANIZED EMERGENCE
15. Why are we now living differently from the society of this world?
15 Glorious, then, are the prospects for us all who continue faithful. By virtue of God’s new covenant through Christ we are already amid new systems of things. But we are moving on to newer systems of things by the re-creation of an entire world of righteousness, with new heavens and a new earth. We are no part of this old world and we are not meddling in its affairs. That fact testifies that we are under the new covenant system and are for the new world. That Jehovah God is dealing with us in this manner adds to the proof that the new world is on the way. God is not now preparing us for nothing. No; but he has a new world in store for us. Knowing what is right at hand, God is now getting ready a new world society. That is why we are living differently, as people who are not of the society of this old world. He is not only preparing his remnant of spiritual Israelites for membership in the heavenly kingdom of the new heavens. He is also preparing our good-will companions, the great crowd of “other sheep”, for the visible society of the new earth. Proverbs 14:28 declares: “In the multitude of people is the king’s honour: but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince.” According to that principle the King Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, is now gathering a great, numberless flock of his earthly “other sheep” to his one fold.
16. Why are remnant and “other sheep” certain to survive Armageddon?
16 Remnant and “other sheep” will together make it safely to the new world, no matter how desperately Satan’s old world tries to destroy us. It can no more prevent us from surviving the battle of Armageddon into the new world than it can block or destroy the new heavens and earth. “For,” to quote Isaiah 66:22, “as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith Jehovah, so shall your seed and your name remain.” (AS) His now preparing of a nucleus of the new world society will never be in vain. Hid by Jehovah’s powerful hand in the days of his anger against the doomed old world, this nucleus will go through Armageddon, just as Noah and his household went though the Flood, hid in the ark. You survivors of Armageddon will be the first on the field of action in the “new earth”.
17. How do we want to emerge? What will follow?
17 But what we want is that when, after Armageddon, we do emerge from the ark of hiding we will emerge organized. The enemy may yet take us into his power and scatter us physically or drive us underground. But when he is destroyed at Armageddon and we come forth from his smashed places of detaining us, we shall march forth organized theocratically, knowing organization procedures. And we shall all get together again and work as a free society of the theocratic new world, all over the globe. In due time the faithful remnant will have their change by death and resurrection and be gathered into the invisible new heavens, but the “other sheep” will carry on as the new earth with visible “princes”. That righteous “new earth” will grow from this small nucleus until it includes all the dead resurrected from the graves and who obey the Kingdom. When the Kingdom will have accomplished God’s purpose toward mankind by the close of the thousand years, then that arrangement will end. Then new systems of things will follow for the delight and blessing of faithful mankind of the new earth for all eternity.—1 Cor. 15:24-28.
18. What, then, is our determination henceforth?
18 With these transporting prospects so close before us, let us keep theocratic organization and let God continue improving it as a new world society. Never may we look back to this modern Sodom which is reserved for destruction; but we will keep faces forward in full faith. Onward, then, steadily, all of us together, as a new world society!