Theocratic Organization Re-established
1. Following the remnant’s restoration in 1919, how were judges restored as at the first and counselors as at the beginning?
SO THERE was to be a restoration of judges as at the first when Jehovah was King in Israel, and a restoration of counselors as at their theocratic beginning. This followed on the restoration of Jehovah’s faithful remnant in 1919, when they came back to Zion, God’s capital in which his beloved Son Jesus Christ was reigning since 1914. The King Jesus Christ acted as Judge of the remnant to show them their faults and their taints of worldliness and to cleanse them and to deliver them from oppressive Great Babylon, Satan’s world organization. He acted as a royal Counselor to them by unfolding the meaning of God’s Word to them, in this way fulfilling the prophecy, “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor.” Under the guidance of this heavenly Interpreter the remnant carefully examined God’s Word and found in it a “multitude of counsellors” for their safety. (Isa. 9:6; Prov. 11:14; 15:22; 24:6) By his restored Judge Jesus Christ, Jehovah cleansed away their soils from Babylon. The Judge’s angels, like court attendants, gathered out the obstructors and lawless ones and stumblingblocks from among the remnant. He revealed to the remnant the judgment of the great Lawgiver Jehovah, namely, that his organization is theocratic, God-ruled, and that this is the way his visible organization of his remnant on earth must be.
2. Like what appointer of judges was Jehovah not going backward?
2 Jehovah God was not here going backward, acting like a reactionary and overturning that which represented real progress among his people on earth. He is not like the president of the United States of America when he appoints judges to the Supreme Court of the land who have no sincere appreciation of the progressive rulings of previous liberal justices. By these rulings Jehovah’s witnesses have gained victories in the past, but the new judges try to subvert these by reactionary decisions. No, Jehovah is not like that chief executive when he appoints judges and arbiters to boards of appeal who hate the very ground Jehovah’s witnesses walk on and who flout the laws of Congress and try to override such by refusing to grant any due advantages, immunities and allowances to Jehovah’s ministers of the good news of the Kingdom. Jehovah does not abrogate his Word, his Constitution for us, even though it was completed nineteen centuries ago at the completion of the Holy Bible. No; he upholds it, and his great Judge Jesus Christ sticks to it rather than swing back against it to bowl it over. Those who proclaim the judgments of Jehovah God today must do likewise. By reason of this we have the kind of judges and counselors as obtained at first, in the babyhood of the Christian congregation.
3. So from what does restoration of theocratic rule release us?
3 If we keep up with God’s Word it means progressiveness. Swinging away from His Word denotes reaction, a movement backward. We can never get ahead of God’s Word. The obstructors of theocratic rule are the ones who are the reactionaries, for they are trying to swing the organization of God’s people back to the worldly method by which they were once held in bondage. Jehovah God is progressive in restoring his judges and counselors to his organized people as at their beginning, when Christ Jesus and his apostles were among them at the first. The restoring of theocratic rule and arrangements releases them from Babylonish reaction and it operates for their progress in understanding and in Kingdom service.
4, 5. When was such rule fully restored among us, and how did the companies subject themselves to it?
4 Full restoration to the theocratic arrangement came in 1938. In the June 1 and 15, 1938, issues of The Watchtower the Society published the article “Organization”, in two parts, to explain theocratic organization. Showing how the companies of Jehovah’s people voluntarily subjected themselves to such, paragraph 15 on page 182 said: “The Lord has gradually revealed to his people the proper meaning of ‘his organization’, and now it clearly appears from the Scriptures that all servants in the various positions of the organization of the remnant or anointed ones of God’s people on the earth are properly named by the Society as the visible representatives of the Lord at the temple, and that such obligation of naming their servants is not laid upon each separate company, to act in the democratic fashion of casting votes for and against. The company of God’s people at London, England, some time ago saw this situation and by resolution requested the Society to appoint servants of the company. Therefore, acting in obedience to the Scriptures and in harmony with such request, the London company was organized as one company, composed of several units, and one company servant appointed over all units and a captain or unit servant for each of the units which composed the company. The Greater New York company, the Chicago company, the Los Angeles company, and other companies have been organized and are now operated in a like manner.”
5 The paragraph then suggested that all companies of Jehovah’s witnesses who saw this to be the proper and Scriptural arrangement should adopt a resolution and forward it to headquarters worded as follows: “We, the company of God’s people taken out for his name, and now at [such and such a place], recognize that God’s government is a pure theocracy and that Christ Jesus is at the temple and in full charge and control of the visible organization of Jehovah, as well as the invisible, and that ‘The Society’ [of the remnant] is the visible representative of the Lord on earth, and we therefore request ‘The Society’ to organize this company for service and to appoint the various servants thereof, so that all of us may work together in peace, righteousness, harmony and complete unity. We attach hereto a list of names of persons in this company that to us appear more fully mature and who therefore appear to be best suited to fill the respective positions designated for service.”
6. (a) When did theocratic organization go into force among us? (b) How did this accord with Isaiah 32:1 concerning princes?
6 When the Society of the anointed remnant made the due arrangements and the appointments of servants, the theocratic organization was restored among Jehovah’s witnesses and went into force among them the following October 1 (1938). Since the Society of the anointed remnant was acting as the “faithful and discreet slave” of the King of righteousness at the temple, Christ Jesus, such restoration of the theocratic organization with properly appointed servants to carry on the work brought to a fuller realization the prophecy that “princes shall rule in justice”. When the above-quoted paragraph said that the London company had a company servant appointed in charge of all its units with a captain or unit servant for each of such units, it was using the word (captain) which is most frequently used to translate in English the Hebrew word sar (125 times).a Since sar was applied even to a man put in charge of as few as ten persons, we can see that the theocratic appointing of servants to take the lead and oversight among ten of Jehovah’s witnesses would be part of the prophecy’s fulfillment. And when we remember that the Hebrew title (sar) applies to a head person, the chief or foremost one in a class or group, we can see that, when Christ Jesus came again with Kingdom power and found the “faithful and discreet slave” class and appointed it over all his visible belongings on earth since 1918, this too was a fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy concerning the princes.
BUILDING WITH MORE PRECIOUS THINGS
7. What was the stated purpose behind the request for theocratic organization, and has such rule resulted in this?
7 The Resolution adopted by companies of Jehovah’s witnesses in 1938 asking for theocratic organization to be set up among them stated that the purpose of this was “that all of us may work together in peace, righteousness, harmony and complete unity”. Has it resulted in this? Yes, and in evidence of this there has been unparalleled growth of the organization. It takes internal peace, righteousness, harmony and complete unity for a godly organization to grow, as James 3:18 declares: “The fruit of righteousness has its seed sown under peaceful conditions for those who are making peace.” (NW) In 1938 when the theocratic organization was introduced generally there was an average of 47,143 publishers in 52 lands, not counting those then under Nazi control. Today, at this writing thirteen years later, there are publishers in 120 lands; and world-wide they reached a new height of 435,000 publishers. In America they reached a high mark of 135,356 publishers during April, to compare with a peak of 31,351 in June, 1938. In that same month of 1938 Britain reached a peak of 6,021 publishers, to compare with 25,000 in the year 1951.
8. What improvement had Jehovah promised to make, at Isaiah 60?
8 Truly we see in this that Jehovah has been carrying out his promise made to his typical theocratic organization of ancient times: “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of Jehovah is risen upon thee. For, behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the peoples; but Jehovah will arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man passed through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. Thou . . . shalt know that I, Jehovah, am thy Saviour, and thy Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron. I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness.” Or, to quote here Rotherham’s translation: “And I will appoint the oversight of thee to Prosperity, and the setting of thy tasks to Righteousness.” An American Translation reads: “And Peace will I make your government, and Righteousness your ruler.” Then the prophecy continues: “Thy people also shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. The little one shall become a thousand, and the small one a strong nation: I, Jehovah, will hasten it in its time.”—Isa. 60:1, 2, 15-17, 21, 22, AS.
9. So how has he made peace to govern and righteousness to rule them?
9 Peace must govern Jehovah’s people, and righteousness must rule them. This is possible only when we have Jehovah’s King ruling over us in righteousness by means of a theocratic organization. Jehovah God has raised up the great Signal on high by installing Christ Jesus as King, and all lovers of theocratic government have assembled to that one gathering point, to his feet as his subjects. The King now reigns in righteousness over them. In behalf of peace among them and for the sake of righteousness he has established a visible arrangement among them to fulfill the prophecy that “princes shall rule in justice”. This prophecy sets up the standard of conduct in office for such “princes”, in order that the organization on earth may be kept clean, righteous. Those theocratically made servants in the organization must exercise justice and impartiality, with heavenly wisdom. Only in that way can they be faithful representatives of the King of righteousness, the Greater Melchizedek, Christ Jesus, and be permitted by him to continue in office. He has angels at hand to usher out those who turn unjust.
10. So what standards are not followed, and who not set in office?
10 In harmony with this, no false, hypocritical, selfish standards are followed in the appointment of servants, and no improper men are honored with official, responsible service. Stubborn fools and base, impious, knavish persons are recognized for what they are and are rejected as unfit for good service of any kind. It is just as chapter thirty-two of Isaiah goes on to say, in Isa 32 verses 5-8 (AT): “No more will the fool be called noble, nor the knave be counted princely. For the fool will speak folly, and his mind will plot mischief, so as to practice ungodliness, and to utter falsehood regarding the LORD [Jehovah], to leave the hungry unsatisfied, and to hold back drink from the thirsty. The arts also of the knave are evil; he hatches plans to ruin the needy with lying words, even when the poor man’s plea is right. But the noble man plans noble things, and on noble things he takes his stand.”
11. How is Psalm 125:3 thus carried into effect?
11 There is no room for religious hypocrites among Jehovah’s theocratic people. If they want to practice ungodliness and the foolishness of this world; if they utter falsehood against Jehovah and do not want to work but selfishly enjoy things for themselves while they leave those who hunger and thirst after truth and righteousness unsatisfied, they have no place in official position, no, no place among Jehovah’s witnesses. The King of Righteousness will have his angels pitch them out from those who are lifting up the Signal of the Kingdom. In these days of warfare waged by the Greater Assyrian, Satan the Devil, against the remnant, Jehovah by his reigning King is protecting his organized people, just as the mountains surrounded faithful Jerusalem of old. For our day Jehovah has decreed: “The sceptre of wickedness shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; that the righteous put not forth their hands unto iniquity.” (Ps. 125:3, AS) He keeps the organized ruling powers of this world from overwhelming his people and from wielding influence over them to force them into iniquity or lawlessness against Jehovah God leading to their being cast away by Him. He will also watch over the internal condition of his people and see that no lawless person rises up and stays in control among his people who are seeking righteousness and meekness as subjects of the King of righteousness. And the “princes” whom the King has appointed by his theocratic organization to “rule in justice” will be watchful, too. Each one will serve as a protection.
12. How, then, are the sarím appointed, and improper ones kept out?
12 We are no longer in abject subjection to the political powers of this world. We have come out for God-rule in his organization. Appointment of his sarím in his visible organization is not by people’s rule or democratic process, but these are appointed by the reigning King through his theocratic organization. Any who turn foolish, base, knavish, evil-designing and unjust will be turned out.
BY OPERATION OF HIS SPIRIT
13. Who also has it become necessary to appoint to such office? Why?
13 The remnant of those who are anointed with God’s spirit to a place with Christ in his heavenly kingdom are now few. Since the King Christ Jesus has gathered so many of his other sheep to his right hand and the flock of all his sheep has grown so numerous all over the earth, it has been necessary for him to appoint many of these other sheep to office. The facts show they too are carrying on in these princely functions, whether on a higher level or on a lower level, even if it means taking oversight over just a group of ten or less. These “other sheep” in office expect to become children of the “Everlasting Father”, Christ Jesus, during the millennial kingdom after the battle of Armageddon.
14. What is required now of those in such office, and with what reward in store for meeting this requirement?
14 Those of the remnant who are serving in any official way are brothers of the King of righteousness. To realize their hope of being kings and priests with him in the heavenly government they must meet now the theocratic requirements in office. They must be just and must promote righteousness. Otherwise they will be rejected as unfaithful in a few things and will now lose the joy of their Lord and not be promoted to the heavenly kingship. (Matt. 25:21) The other sheep must likewise be faithful in what appointed service they now have. If proving faithful now in this time of test, they may have a continuance of their special service under their King, the “Everlasting Father”, and they may have a part after Armageddon in the realization of the prophecy: “Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth.” (Ps. 45:16) Faithful men of old, resurrected, will share with them.
15. Why does no rivalry exist between the two groups, and what prophetic drama do they thus fulfill?
15 Both the members of the remnant and the members of the great crowd of other sheep are having part now in the fulfilling of Isaiah’s prophecy, “princes shall rule in justice.” Although those of the remnant proving faithful will come to higher service in the heavenly kingdom, whereas those of the other sheep stay in a lower place of service here on earth, yet there exists no envy, jealousy or rivalry today between the two groups. Such evil things create friction, strife, disruption. Instead, a loving friendship exists between them the same as existed between Jonathan and David of old. Jonathan was a prince in Israel as the son of King Saul and as captain of a thousand troops. David was also a prince as captain over a thousand troops and was also anointed to be future king of Israel. (1 Sam. 13:2; 18:13) The other sheep, showing the humble attitude of Jonathan, recognize and submit to Jehovah’s appointment of his anointed remnant. They speak to the remnant as Jonathan did to David at their last meeting: “Thou shalt be king over Israel, and I shall be next unto thee.” (1 Sam. 23:17) They do not try to gain the ascendency over those of the remnant now or in the future. They hold fast to justice and support the remnant in their endeavors to serve Jehovah faithfully and gain the heavenly prize. They always do good to these brothers of the King, doing so as if to Him. On the other hand, the anointed remnant love these other sheep of the King. Since they must serve with justice, they safeguard the right of these ‘strangers within the gates of the organization’ and do not begrudge them service positions of responsibility such as they have enjoyed in God’s visible organization since 1935.
16, 17. What has Jehovah poured out from on high, and with what effect upon his people and their organization and activity?
16 By restoring the theocratic system among his people Jehovah God the Almighty has taken to himself his great power even within his visible organization on earth. (Rev. 11:17, NW) He has poured out his spirit upon his remnant who were once desolated by the foe during World War I. By this spirit he has made them alive again to his service, renewing their strength to serve as his witnesses and as ambassadors for the reigning King. They have engaged in building up and improving the theocratic things that had long lain desolate, and now the theocratic visible organization blossoms as the rose and richly bears the fruits of God’s kingdom. The other sheep are eating of those fruits, are aligning themselves with the Kingdom, and are extending those fruits to others who long for life and peace under a righteous government. In this development the concluding verses of chapter thirty-two of Isaiah are fulfilled:
17 “Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness become a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be esteemed as a forest. Then justice shall dwell in the wilderness; and righteousness shall abide in the fruitful field. And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect [or, service] of righteousness, quietness and confidence for ever. And my people shall abide in a peaceable habitation, and in safe dwellings, and in quiet resting-places. But it shall hail in the downfall of the forest; and the city shall be utterly laid low. Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth the feet of the ox and the ass.”—Isa. 32:15-20, AS; AT; Mo.
18. So for what do we now thank God, and in what way shall we continue safe under his protection?
18 Long live our heavenly King who reigns in righteousness! Thanks to Jehovah God for the peace, quietness and confidence which his King’s righteous rule establishes and preserves within the theocratic organization of all his sheep on earth. His rule is here to stay. May we all endeavor to work in harmony with his righteous rule and to serve the cause of righteousness. Then we shall continue safe under his protection. When the great forest of the armed hosts of the Greater Assyrian, Satan the Devil, is laid low by Jehovah’s mighty, hard-hitting hail, and when the great city of the Assyrian’s organization is razed to the ground and made level with the plain at Armageddon, then our eyes will see the theocratic organization of the New World society stay standing, all ready for the purpose of the righteous King during his reign of a thousand years.
19. What must all servants do, and what is the privilege of us all yet to do?
19 Serve on, then, all you who are in positions of responsibility, with justice and in faithfulness. And may all of us avail ourselves of the privilege yet to go forth and sow the seed of Kingdom truth beside all waters of peoples of all nations as Jehovah’s witnesses, and to plow and cultivate God’s field of the earth, to make it fruitful to his praise, while our King Christ Jesus reigns in righteousness and his princes rule in justice.
a Twelve other Hebrew words are translated captain, but only 81 times all together; whereas the one word sar alone is translated captain 125 times.