Ordination of the Qualified Ministers
1. How was ordination of Jehovah’s qualified ministers typified in the case of Jeremiah?
PAUL says: “Our being adequately qualified issues from God, who has indeed adequately qualified us to be ministers of a new covenant.” (2 Cor. 3:5, 6, NW) That means it must be God who ordains or appoints a person to be his minister. This fact was typified in the case of Jeremiah, who was a minister of the old law covenant of Israel. Being of the priestly family of Aaron, Jeremiah was automatically in line to be a priest at the temple in Jerusalem. But to be more than a priest, namely, a prophet who would prophesy with respect to all nations of the earth, Jeremiah needed more than to be born as the son of Hilkiah the priest. No man could make him such a prophet. God, who inspires prophecy, was therefore the One to ordain or appoint him as prophet, to qualify him adequately. Jeremiah points to his ordination or appointment from God, when he says: “The word of Jehovah came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I hallowed thee, I appointed [ordained, AV] thee a prophet unto the nations. . . . thou shalt go to whomsoever I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. . . . And Jehovah put forth his hand and touched my mouth; and Jehovah said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. See, I have this day set thee over the nations.”—Jer. 1:4-10, Da.
2. Why did Jesus require the same kind of ordination?
2 Even Jesus the carpenter of Nazareth had to have this ordination from Jehovah God. As a man Jesus was not of a priestly family in Israel. As a member of the royal tribe of Judah he was an heir to the earthly throne of David but not to a heavenly throne and royalty. To be a high priest like the royal priest King Melchizedek, Jesus had to be ordained by Jehovah, and Jehovah had sworn prophetically that Jesus should be such a royal priest. To be a heavenly king sitting on Jehovah’s own throne at his right hand, Jesus had to be anointed with something more than the anointing oil at the hands of a human prophet or priest. He had to be anointed and thus ordained or appointed with the holy spirit from Jehovah God. As Paul writes: “The Christ did not glorify himself by becoming a high priest, but was glorified by him who spoke with reference to him: ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father.’ Just as he says also in another place: ‘You are a priest forever after the likeness of Mel·chizʹe·dek.’”—Heb. 5:5, 6, NW.
3. How did Jesus demonstrate that his ordination was not from John the Baptist but from Jehovah?
3 Jesus did receive the needed ordination from God. When John, the son of priest Zechariah, baptized Jesus in the Jordan River, he did not ordain Jesus to be either priest or king. He could not do so. John did not know why he was baptizing Jesus. He did not then understand that he baptized Jesus merely to symbolize that Jesus had dedicated himself to do God’s will for which he had come into the world. The water baptism symbolized Jesus’ dedication, for a change of course in life. It was first after Jesus had been baptized and came up out of the water that his heavenly Father Jehovah God ordained or appointed him by audibly acknowledging the dedicated Jesus as his spiritual Son and by anointing him with his holy spirit. (Matt. 3:13-17) Shortly afterward, to show that it was Jehovah, not the priestly John the Baptist, who had ordained him, Jesus went to the synagogue in Nazareth and read to the people Isaiah’s prophecy: “Jehovah’s spirit is upon me, because he anointed me to declare good news to the poor, he sent me forth to preach.” Then Jesus said to the congregation: “Today this scripture that you just heard is fulfilled.”—Luke 4:16-21, NW; Lu 3:21-23.
4. Paul’s ordination by Jehovah is shown in what scriptures?
4 Did Paul also have this ordination or appointment from God? He said: “For the purpose of this witness I was appointed [ordained, AV] a preacher and an apostle . . . a teacher of nations in the matter of faith and truth.” (1 Tim. 2:7, NW) “Appointed” or “ordained” by whom? Paul answers in his words to the Galatians: “Paul, an apostle, neither from men nor through a man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, . . . when God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through his undeserved kindness, thought good to reveal his Son in connection with me, that I might declare the good news about him to the nations, I did not go at once into conference with flesh and blood. Neither did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles previous to me.” (Gal. 1:1, 15-17, NW) Paul was baptized, likely by Ananias who told him to get baptized. Afterward Paul was “filled with holy spirit” in evidence that he was ordained or appointed by Jehovah through Christ, who had chosen him as a vessel to bear his name.—Acts 9:15-18, NW.
5, 6. What part, if any, did Peter perform in ordaining Cornelius, his relatives and his intimate friends?
5 Even the first uncircumcised Gentile converts had this ordination or appointment from God to be ministers of his new covenant. If their ordination had not been by God, the Jewish Christians would have been unprepared and disinclined to recognize them then as ordained Christian ministers. Before the apostle Peter finished preaching to the Italian Cornelius and many of his relatives and intimate friends, these uncircumcised non-Jews believed and accepted God’s mercy through Christ and God ordained or appointed them as his ministerial witnesses. The Bible history says: “While Peter was yet speaking about these matters the holy spirit fell upon all those hearing the word. And the faithful ones that had come with Peter who were of those circumcised were amazed, because the free gift of the holy spirit was being poured out also upon people of the nations. For they heard them speaking with tongues and glorifying God. Then Peter responded: ‘Can anyone forbid water so that these might not be baptized who have received the holy spirit even as we have?’ With that he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.” Later, at Jerusalem, Peter explained to his fellow Jewish Christians: “When I started to speak the holy spirit fell upon them just as it did also upon us originally. . . . If, therefore, God gave the same free gift to them as he also did to us who have believed upon the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I should be able to hinder God?”—Acts 10:44-48; 11:15-17, NW.
6 So Peter had them baptized, not to ordain them (God had done that already), but for them to symbolize their faith and dedication that God had already accepted with miraculous evidence.
7, 8. As to today’s remnant of anointed witnesses, what proof have we of their being appointed by God?
7 How about dedicated witnesses of Jehovah today? These also rely upon this appointment or ordination from him in order to be qualified as his ministers in this most necessary respect. Today on earth there is only a remnant of those whom Jehovah God has been choosing during the past nineteen centuries and appointing or ordaining to be his anointed ministers of the new covenant. These are the remnant or “remaining ones” of the seed of God’s womanly organization. (Rev. 12:17, NW) To them he says: “Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen.” (Isa. 43:10, AS) As a group this remnant now form a servant body or a slave body. They form what Jesus in his prophecy called “the faithful and discreet slave,” who has been “appointed over his domestics to give them their food at the proper time.” From whom have the remnant received their appointment or ordination as such? Not from men, but from their Master, the reigning King Jesus Christ. Since coming into his kingdom in 1914 and since coming to the temple in 1918 for the judgment first of the “house of God,” he has found this remnant of dedicated, anointed Christians doing what they were appointed to do. So he has done to them what he promised: “Truly I say to you, He will appoint him over all his belongings.”—Matt. 24:45-47, NW.
8 What proof do we have of their being appointed by God through his invisible, glorified Christ and of their being adequately qualified? The proof is their giving of the spiritual “food at the proper time.” It was not with regard to them that Jehovah prophesied: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord Jehovah, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of Jehovah.” (Amos 8:11, AS) It was with regard to Christendom’s clergy and their congregations. They reject the food served at the hands and mouths of the “slave” class and so suffer famine spiritually. All because these do not recognize the unorthodox ordination or appointment of the “faithful and discreet slave” class. But there are hundreds of thousands of others who are conscious of their spiritual need and who find out where to get the spiritual food and who do accept it at the hands of the anointed remnant of Jehovah’s witnesses. These are the honest, humble, sheeplike people whom Jehovah’s Right Shepherd Jesus Christ brings into the fold to be his “other sheep,” making them “one flock” with the anointed remnant.—John 10:16.
MINISTERS UNDER THE NEW COVENANT
9, 10. Although the “other sheep” cannot be “ministers of a new covenant,” why are they also among today’s properly ordained ministers?
9 Since the “other sheep” must follow Jehovah’s Right Shepherd, they also must be ‘faithful and true witnesses’ just as he was; they also must be adequately qualified ministers of Jehovah God. Of course, they cannot be “ministers of a new covenant” in the sense that the apostle Paul was, who was in the new covenant as a member of the “holy nation” of spiritual Israel and who was therefore a priestly minister, a member of the “royal priesthood” with a heavenly calling. But we must remember that spiritual Israel was typified or foreshadowed by natural Israel of ancient time. As members of that chosen nation the natural Israelites were in the old law covenant with Jehovah their God. But among the natural Israelites there were many non-Israelites who were temporary residents or alien sojourners and who served in various ways in Israel, some even being temple slaves. These also worshiped Jehovah as their God and his law protected them and provided many blessings and privileges for them. They were “your temporary resident who is inside your gates” who were not to work on Israel’s sabbath day. (Ex. 20:8-10, NW) They were to bring no reproach upon Jehovah’s name but were to praise him along with the natural Israelites. They had to show how blessed they were by him through his natural seed of Abraham.
10 Likewise with the “other sheep,” the modern-day “temporary resident who is inside [the] gates” of spiritual Israelites. They are not spiritual Israelites in the new covenant, but they do live under the blessings and provisions of that new covenant and must harmonize their lives with it. They must be a New World society with the remnant of spiritual Israel. They are under the one general law of being Jehovah’s witnesses and preaching the Kingdom news for a witness to all the nations, before this worldly system of things completely ends. (Matt. 24:14) To do this, they also have to be adequately qualified, and this requires them, first of all, to have an ordination from God. As the necessary step toward this they have willingly and lovingly dedicated themselves to God through his Son Jesus Christ, and this full surrender of themselves to him they have symbolized as Jesus did, by water baptism. In view of their proper dedication of themselves God accepts them into the “one flock” of his Right Shepherd Jesus Christ, not to be members of spiritual Israel or of the royal priesthood with a heavenly inheritance nor to be priestly ministers of the new covenant, but to be witnesses of Jehovah and adequately qualified ministers under the new covenant. He ordains or appoints them as his earthly ministers, to serve with the anointed remnant of spiritual Israel. All such have this ordination or appointment by virtue of Jehovah’s acceptance of their dedication through Jesus Christ the Mediator of the new covenant. So they are all his ordained ministers, whether male or female according to the flesh.
11. Scripturally viewed, how are ministers whom Jehovah ordains affected by ordination rules of worldly nations?
11 On this basis alone it would be proper for all nations that claim to give consideration to Christian ministers to recognize them as Scripturally ordained ministers. The nations are self-willed and dictatorial when they set up their own rules and requirements and by them declare who is a real ordained minister recognized by God. When the nations require a written authorization from some man, group of men or religious organization, or some man-made ceremony to be performed before they recognize these dedicated men and women as God’s ministers, it is Scripturally out of order. Uninspired lawmakers of this world did not write the Scriptures, but God caused the writing of those Scriptures by the moving force of his spirit, and his true ministers have the testimony of his inspired Scriptures respecting their ordination by him for having dedicated themselves to him. The proof of what his ordained ministers should be ought to be taken from the written Word of God who does the ordaining, not from man-made laws and their legal interpretation by judges.
12, 13. Worldly interferers with the forming and operation of a society of ministers, such as Jehovah’s witnesses, properly are answered how, and why?
12 God, the Universal Sovereign, has the right to determine how his visible organization of his people shall be framed and operated and who shall be his ministers in it and upon what conditions. Even religious sects of Christendom recognize this right of their sectarian organization. Last year the chief administrative officer of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, when speaking to 400 delegates of the World Presbyterian Alliance at Princeton, New Jersey, included among the basic religious freedoms the ‘freedom to determine the internal government and conditions of a church body.’ He then said: “When in the considered and prayerful judgment of a church the freedom to fulfill these responsibilities is essentially abridged by state or society, it is the duty of the church to say ‘no’ to the state and ‘no’ to the society.” (New York Times, July 29, 1954) Jehovah’s witnesses theocratically stick to His rules and appointments as to how his New Covenant organization should be built and operated. They say no to worldly interferers.
13 They need no religious men to lay hands upon them to be ordained. Their ordination is from God and results to them from dedicating their eternal existence to him through Christ. They are not ordained by the hands laid upon them by the one who baptizes them in water in symbol of their dedication. But, inasmuch as their water baptism has a relationship to their ordination from God, they may, for the purposes of record, submit their baptismal date as the approximate time of their ordination, to satisfy the law of the land where an ordination date is asked for. What Jehovah’s witnesses want upon themselves to qualify them is the hand of God, the hand of Him who touched Jeremiah’s mouth and said: “Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.” (Jer. 1:9) They want the hand of Him who brought Ezra the priest safely to Jerusalem, “the good hand of his God upon him”; the same hand of which Nehemiah, the builder of Jerusalem’s walls, says: “So the king gave [them] to me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.” (Ezra 7:6, 9, 28; Neh. 2:8, 18, NW) Says the psalmist: “Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself.” (Ps. 80:17, AS) Jehovah’s is the first hand that should be upon us to ordain or appoint us as qualified ministers. Without first his hand upon us the laying of human hands upon us afterward has no force, but is mere form.
14. In what essential respects do spiritual Israelites and their dedicated companions differ from Christendom’s clergy?
14 It is Jehovah’s hand that sets his anointed remnant of spiritual Israel and their dedicated companions apart, separates them. As King Solomon prophetically said to God at the temple inauguration in Jerusalem: “You yourself separated them as your possession out of all the peoples of the earth, just as you have spoken by means of Moses your servant when you were bringing our forefathers out from Egypt, O Lord Jehovah.” (1 Ki. 8:53, NW) That they are all of them separated from this world to preach the good news of God’s kingdom, the apostle Paul showed in the introduction of his letter: “Paul, a slave of Jesus Christ and called to be an apostle, separated to God’s good news, which he promised aforetime through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son.” (Rom. 1:1, 2, NW) Because of thus being set apart, separated, they are obligated to practice the clean, undefiled form of worship, the pure religion, which includes, among other things, “to keep oneself without spot from the world.” (Jas. 1:27, NW) Therefore they are unlike the “regular ministers” or clergy of Christendom who claim to be set apart and whom the law gives a set-apart status and yet who mix in with the politics and combats of the nations and spot themselves all up with this world.
15. In the early Christian congregations how was the appointive power exercised?
15 All the nation of spiritual Israel and their dedicated companions are separated and have a status set apart from this world. They are all a New World society of qualified ministers. Yet they do have certain members among them specially set apart to various responsible services, to which they are ordained or appointed. For example, in the first century there were Christian prophets and teachers in the Antioch (Syria) congregation and these were all ministering in these responsible positions. Then the record says: “As they were publicly ministering to Jehovah and fasting, the holy spirit said: ‘Of all persons set Barʹna·bas and Saul apart for me for the work to which I have called them.’ Then they fasted and prayed and laid their hands upon them and let them go.” (Acts 13:1-3, NW) That laying on of the hands of the congregation by means of their representative men was a form of ordination or appointment to a special service. Later in the course of their activity in this special service Paul and Barnabas made appointments of older men in newly formed congregations to responsible service positions: “they appointed older men to office for them in the congregation and, offering prayer with fastings, they committed them to Jehovah in whom they had become believers.” (Acts 14:23, NW) The apostle Paul, when assigning the appointive power to young Timothy, said: “Let no man ever look down on your youth. . . . Never lay your hands hastily upon any man; neither be a sharer in the sins of others; preserve yourself pure.”—1 Tim. 4:12; 5:22, NW.
16. Why are today’s theocratically appointed special servants within the New World society not a clergy class?
16 So appointments of special servants within the New World society must be made, not democratically, but theocratically, by the governing body or by acting representatives of the governing body in other lands. However, the appointment of these special ministerial servants or overseers within the congregation does not mean that a separate clergy class is being created and all the rest of the congregation are not ministers adequately qualified by God. All of us retain our adequate qualification from God as long as we study and faithfully serve Jehovah as his witnesses.
17. In ancient days what actually resulted “through the laying on of the hands of the apostles,” and why is such not proper practice now?
17 The ancient laying on of the hands of responsible servants of the congregation had the force of ordaining or appointing. That ceremony had some actual effect in those early days when “through the laying on of the hands of the apostles the spirit was given.” Those who laid their hands on Paul and Barnabas did not impart the spirit but they were told by the spirit to set them apart for special work. Today we do not have the spirit speaking audibly to us or the apostles bodily present with us to lay their hands upon us to impart the miraculous gifts of the spirit, and there is no professed Christian on earth today that can Scripturally prove he is even an apostolic successor with such power. Those miraculous gifts of the spirit have passed away as well as the apostolic channels. That is why Paul classed the “laying on of the hands” as part of the “elementary doctrine about the Christ.” (Heb. 6:1, 2; Acts 8:18 and; 1 Cor. 13:8-11, NW) The formality of literally laying hands upon a person at his appointment has no special power today.
18. How may a valid appointment properly be indicated to the appointee?
18 What does matter is the plain appointment itself by the authorized governing body. That appointment may be delivered verbally or by letter, even by a formal appointment letter. What matters here is that the appointment comes from the recognized governing body, and so the signature of the appointment letter or form must show that it comes from such authoritative body. The signature’s being handwritten or stamped does not alter the matter or weaken or void the appointment. If the stamp is that of the governing body and is imprinted by the one who has the authority to use that stamp, then the appointment is authoritative and is binding.
19, 20. What ancient examples of such practice are described in the Bible?
19 This is true even though rubber-stamping an appointment letter or form may not be so ceremonial or impressive-looking as a literal formalistic laying of men’s hands upon the head of an appointed person. Stamping an official letter is good Bible practice.
20 When Queen Jezebel wanted to issue instructions to the older men of Jezreel, what did she do? Have King Ahab sign instruction letters? Listen: “She wrote letters in Aʹhab’s name and sealed them with his seal and sent the letters to the older men and the nobles that were in his city dwelling with Naʹboth.” The older men and nobles recognized the stamped-in seal and carried out the instructions that apparently came from the king. (1 Ki. 21:8-11, NW) The value and power of an authoritative stamp or seal King Ahasuerus showed when he said to Esther his queen and to Mordecai his prime minister: “You yourselves write in behalf of the Jews according to what is good in your own eyes in the king’s name and seal [it] with the king’s signet ring, for a writing that is written in the king’s name and sealed with the king’s signet ring it is not possible to undo.” Prime Minister Mordecai did accordingly: “He proceeded to write in the name of King A·has·u·eʹrus and do the sealing with the king’s signet ring and send written documents by the hand of the couriers.” In the face of that uniform stamp the governors of all of Persia’s provinces and also the Jews recognized the binding force of those written documents and they acted as instructed in them.—Esther 8:8, 10, NW.
21. Why is the Watch Tower Society’s method of indicating servants’ appointments for congregations of Jehovah’s witnesses not lacking in value?
21 So let no one undervalue the power of a properly stamped letter; the stamp gives it weight and authority. Now one form letter with such true, official stamp may appoint more than one servant of a congregation, but the duties assigned to any person appointed determine the degree of responsibility of that appointed person, whether he has more responsibilities than other servants. What else the letter may say or whom else the same letter may appoint to a different service does not take away from that servant’s special position. So stamped appointment letters (form letters in many cases) are used by the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society and its many branches today as a convenient way of making appointments of servants for more than 14,000 congregations of Jehovah’s witnesses throughout the earth. In all such congregations the members recognize the stamp and accept the appointment. Who, then, has a right to question the power of the ordination or appointment? You may be sure that all such special servants put in office by these stamped appointment letters the Society’s governing body keeps its hands on, not literally, but to back them up, support and sustain them or to remove them in the general interests of the work.
INSCRIBED LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION
22-24. How did Paul describe letters of recommendation he bore?
22 The apostle Paul himself raised the question of qualification. He said: “And who is adequately qualified for these things? We are; for we are not peddlers of the word of God as many men are, but as out of sincerity, yes, as sent from God [not from men], . . . we are speaking.” (2 Cor. 2:16, 17, NW) But did Paul have or carry around with him even a stamped or sealed letter of appointment or of recommendation from the governing body at Jerusalem or from those who laid their hands on him and Barnabas at Antioch? Could he show such a letter to the synagogues that he visited for preaching or to congregations that he established or to Governor Felix or Governor Festus or to King Agrippa or to Emperor Nero when he finally appeared before him on trial at Rome? There is nothing to show he had such a letter! Paul did not need such a letter. He had something better than a man-composed, man-signed letter on writing tablets or paper. He had witnesses at Damascus to testify that he had been baptized in water to symbolize his dedication or his faith in Jehovah through Jesus Christ. He was also “filled with holy spirit” and had the miraculous gifts of that spirit. What is more, he had the power to lay his hands on baptized believers and impart to them the gifts of the spirit. From this he knew that his being adequately qualified had issued from God. What need did he have, then, of a stamped or sealed letter from anyone on earth? The most telling evidence of anyone’s being adequately qualified for a service or ministry is the product of his work, what he has accomplished. Paul had that evidence, and it served as a most impressive letter of recommendation proving his appointment.
23 To the Christian congregation that he had established in Corinth he said: “Are we starting again to recommend ourselves? Or do we, perhaps, like some men, need letters of recommendation to you or from you? You yourselves are our letter, inscribed on our hearts and known and being read by all mankind. For you are shown to be a letter of Christ written by us as ministers, inscribed not with ink but with spirit of the living God, not on stone tablets, but on fleshly tablets, on hearts.” (2 Cor. 3:1-3, NW) Later on the newly instructed Apollos got such a letter of recommendation from the Christian brothers at Ephesus to the congregation at Corinth, but Paul did not need such a literal letter of recommendation. (Acts 18:24-28, 1-11) Those very disciples whom he had made during a year and a half of intense preaching and teaching activity at Corinth were themselves a power-laden letter.
24 Those disciples were Paul’s letter written on his heart because he carried them along with him in his affections and he wrote them letters because he cared for them. At the same time he had taught and trained them to be preaching witnesses of Jehovah and Christ, and so those Corinthian Christians were Paul’s letter on open display, “known and being read by all mankind.” They were a letter not from man, not even from the governing body at Jerusalem.
25, 26. What additional Bible testimony shows how Paul’s letters of recommendation were produced?
25 They were “shown to be a letter of Christ,” and Jesus Christ, who had chosen Paul to be a special vessel to bear his name to the non-Jewish nations, used Paul himself as his minister in writing that letter. Paul could not have written that human letter by himself, for, as Jesus told his disciples, “apart from me you can do nothing at all.” (John 15:5, NW) He used Paul in a much harder way than by merely having him sit down with literal pen and ink and write a letter on paper recommending himself by written words rather than by laborious deeds. Aside from Paul’s working weekdays as a tentmaker with Aquila and Priscilla, Jesus used Paul to write this human letter of recommendation by having him talk in the Jewish synagogue every sabbath, to win over both Jews and Greeks. In time he became more “intensely occupied with the word [of God], witnessing to the Jews to prove that Jesus is the Christ,” staying there all together a year and a half, “teaching among them the word of God.”
26 When Paul finally left Corinth he left behind the fruitage of his labors. What? A Christian congregation including Crispus the former presiding officer of the synagogue and all his household, whom Paul himself baptized. This congregation was a letter of recommendation, “inscribed not with ink but with spirit of the living God,” for it was done by the spirit of God which worked through Paul, he coming to them “with a demonstration of spirit and power, that [their] faith might be, not in men’s wisdom, but in God’s power.” God’s spirit in Paul produced or wrote the readable words of that congregation letter. The letter was written on no cold stone tablets, but on warm, loving “fleshly tablets, on hearts.” Those hearts were something to read, for they told of love first to God, they told of belief, of faith exercised for righteousness, and they overflowed so as to move the mouths of the Corinthians to make public declaration for salvation. Acts 18:1-11; 1 Cor. 2:4, 5; 2 Cor. 3:1-3; Matt. 22:37, 38; Rom. 10:10, NW) For anyone to produce such a living, speaking letter of recommendation of its writer his being adequately qualified by Almighty God was most certainly required.
27. What physical facts of today attest to the genuineness of the ministerial status of Jehovah’s witnesses?
27 How about today? Except for appointment letters sent to congregations or carried by specially appointed servants of God’s visible organization, Jehovah’s witnesses do not carry letters of appointment or recommendation to prove that they, as dedicated men and women, are Scripturally ordained ministers of God serving in connection with his new covenant through the Mediator Jesus Christ. The New World society of Jehovah’s witnesses who use the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society as their servant need no such letters of appointment or ordination, no such letters of recommendation, any more than Paul did. Christendom does not recognize the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society as an instrument in God’s hands. But the “Modern History of Jehovah’s Witnesses” now being published in the columns of the magazine The Watchtower gives an authentic, documented history of how the Most High God and his Son Jesus Christ have used the Society, yes, and used the official magazine that it publishes, since the time both of these were begun. Today this Bible magazine has a printing of at least 2,100,000 copies each issue, in forty-one languages, and the publishing Society has seventy-five branches spread over the earth. That fact is an inerasable letter known and read by all men and it recommends to every good conscience these two instruments as being used by God for fulfilling his glorious purpose in this most crucial time of uncertainty, doubt and fear.
28. Since 1919 how have members of the anointed remnant established proof of their standing as qualified ministers?
28 Christendom and her nominally Christian governments refuse to recognize the Scriptural ordination of the dedicated witnesses of Jehovah. Hence they do not give them the standing and consideration of ordained ministers of religion. In place of being respected as adequately qualified ministers, Jehovah’s witnesses have the distinction of fulfilling Jesus’ prophecy: “You will be hated by all the nations on account of my name.” (Matt. 24:9, NW) No paper letters that you witnesses could show them would alter the world’s attitude toward you. But you have a letter, and you yourselves have been used to write it, that speaks more authoritatively than any handwritten, typewritten or printed letter stamped and sealed to show your divine ordination or appointment. It is a living letter the contents of which are spread over all the earth in more than 160 lands and territories, to be read in over 100 languages. Since 1919, despite world-wide hatred, the anointed remnant of the adequately qualified ministers of the new covenant have preached the good news of the Kingdom to all nations. In this way they have been writing by the spirit of God on fleshly tablets, on hearts, and today the “great crowd” of other sheep gathered to the “one flock” of the Right Shepherd Jesus is proof they were ordained by God. It is a human letter of recommendation testifying that they are the “faithful and discreet slave” class of God.
29. Who else, particularly since 1931, have undeniably proved themselves to be ordained ministers under God’s new covenant?
29 Particularly since 1931 the “great crowd” of other sheep have been associating and preaching with the anointed remnant. They cannot escape history. They too have been writing history by loyally serving with the remnant as witnesses of Jehovah, suffering with them, dying with them, keeping Christian integrity with them till now. Their being ordained, adequately qualified ministers of God has all along also been questioned and rejected by Christendom. But what does the voice of accomplished history testify today? Are they divinely sent, adequately ordained ministers under God’s new covenant? Do they have any unimpeachable letter of recommendation that silences all question as unwarranted and all accusation as prejudiced and false? Not any letter in ink on paper or scratched on stone tablets, but the living letter written by means of God’s spirit upon sheeplike people. It is a recommendation letter written on “fleshly tablets, on hearts” of other believing men and women who since 1931 have increased from far less than one hundred thousand to now over 550,000 witnesses of Jehovah in the New World society.
30. For thoroughly accomplishing our God-given ministry, we must and will do what?
30 Let the Devil’s heaven and earth destroy or wipe that living, spirit-filled letter out, if they can! The destructive floodwaters of the war of Armageddon will wash out of existence those devilish heavens and earth and their bloodstained record but never wash out the contents of this living letter written by all of Jehovah’s witnesses with his spirit. All the survivors of Armageddon will be our letter of recommendation before all the universe! That letter of recommendation will even be read by the dead when they are resurrected after Armageddon. The contents of this letter will yet grow longer as more human hearts are written upon until Armageddon. When the world’s religious systems are destroyed amid that war, it will survive and will thereafter spread over the face of the cleansed earth as a living testimony to the power and spirit of Jehovah now operative in his adequately qualified ministers. So keep on writing this “New World society” letter by thoroughly accomplishing your ministry, preaching this good news of the triumphant kingdom for a witness to all the nations until this world ends!