Deliverance for Integrity Toward God
“Do not take away my soul along with sinners, nor my life along with blood guilty men, in whose hands there is loose conduct and whose right hand is full of bribery. As for me, in my integrity I shall walk.”—Ps. 26:9-11.
1. What are many things we want to be delivered from?
DELIVERANCE! There are so many things we want to be delivered from—the sorrows and sufferings, the injustices and oppressions, the ignorance and uncertainties, the dangers to peace and prosperity, the hopelessness and the dying and all the undesirable, evil associations of a broken-down old world!
2. When and how will this deliverance come, and how will the happy future be guaranteed and safeguarded?
2 How grand it is, then, that deliverance from all such things is coming in our day! This will mean the bringing of a righteous new world into glorious reality. At his fast-approaching time the Creator of heaven and earth will relieve mankind of this old world with all its woes. He will replace the old with an entirely new world in which the earth will be blessed with gladness and health, justice and uplift, knowledge and confidence, peace, safety, hope, perfection of life and all the good associations that one could desire. To guarantee and safeguard this happy condition on the earth there will be the all-powerful heavenly government in the hands of the Creator’s beloved Son. Long ago, when on earth as a perfect man, his Son taught those who hoped for a new world to pray to his heavenly Father: “Let your kingdom come. Let your will come to pass, as in heaven, also upon earth.”—Matt. 6:9, 10.
3. As a reward for what will our deliverance come, and for how long has this requirement been a matter of interest?
3 Deliverance of any of us from this old world and its woes comes as a reward from the God and Creator of the new world. But as a reward for what? For our living in faithfulness to Him as the one living and true God; for our unwavering obedience to him as the Supreme Ruler of all the universe; and for our constantly keeping ourselves clean from this corrupt old world and living up to the rules for life in his righteous new world. In other words, for keeping integrity toward God. Today very few people on earth know what integrity is. At no time have there been many persons of integrity on the earth. Yet integrity is something that has been discussed from very old times. It is a desirable thing in which the Supreme God has been interested from the time that he created the first man and woman almost six thousand years ago.
4. How did integrity become a problem for us all, and what happy example have we of how God rewards us with deliverance for it?
4 This first couple, Adam and Eve, did not keep their integrity toward God. They spoiled their perfection by breaking his law and thus sinning. From them we were all born imperfect and inclined toward sin. This is what has made integrity such a problem for all of us. Sixteen hundred years before the Christian era, at the time that Egypt was becoming a world power, God watched the human family, looking for men of integrity. Over in the Middle East or the southwestern part of Asia, he saw a man of this kind. The man’s name was Job. So God said to his chief enemy, Satan the Devil: “Have you set your heart upon my servant Job, that there is no one like him in the earth, a man of integrity and upright, fearing God and turning aside from bad? Even yet he is holding fast his integrity, although you incite me against him to swallow him up without cause.” (Job 2:3) Despite all that Satan the Devil did to God’s servant Job, this man kept his integrity, his blamelessness of life, his completeness of devotion, toward God. In reward God delivered Job from the persecutions of Satan the Devil. Hence Job is an encouraging example of how God can and does deliver men from the wicked god of this old world, Satan the Devil, in reward for their integrity toward their Creator, Jehovah God.—Jas. 5:11.
5. What kind of ruler does God put in the New World government, and what picture did he give of such a chosen ruler?
5 Since Jehovah God has purposed to establish a government to rule his righteous new world, we should expect him to put a ruler of integrity on the throne of that New World government. He has sworn to do so. About three thousand years ago he gave us a picture of this. In the Middle East, at the crossroads between Asia and Africa, he set up a pictorial kingdom and put a man of proved integrity on its throne. A song tells about God’s choosing of this man who was once a shepherd boy, and it says: “He chose David his servant and took him from the pens of the flock. From following the females giving suck he brought him in to be a shepherd over Jacob his people and over Israel his possession. And he began to shepherd them according to the integrity of his heart, and with the skillfulness of his hands he began leading them.” (Ps. 78:70-72) As ruler of God’s chosen nation King David always tried to keep his heart pure, loyal and faithful toward God our Creator. For this reason David was a good ruler. As such he was used to picture the One whom God makes ruler of the government of the righteous New World, God’s heavenly Son Jesus Christ.
6, 7. (a) What did David try hard to do respecting him? (b) Why was David eager to be judged by God, and what was his determination?
6 For being faithful to God, David had many enemies, men who were bad at heart, hypocritical men who loved untruth. These evildoers felt insulted because King David did not choose to keep company with them and make himself like them. Hence they tried hard to turn him from the path of blamelessness and innocence toward God, so that King David would go over to the worship of the wicked god of this old world. But David knew within himself that he was true and honest in his efforts to walk in faultlessness toward God.
7 He was therefore willing to appear before God’s judgment throne and be examined as to his pure, honest intentions and his faithful efforts to worship Jehovah alone as God and to serve Him only as the Supreme Sovereign over all the universe. This eagerness to be judged by the divine court shows itself in these words of David: “Judge me, O Jehovah, for I myself have walked in my own integrity, and in Jehovah I have trusted, that I may not wobble. Examine me, O Jehovah, and put me to the test; refine my kidneys [or, my deepest emotions] and my heart. For your loving-kindness is in front of my eyes, and I have walked in your truth.” Regardless of what other men did, regardless of the opposition and persecution by his enemies, King David was bent on going ahead in his wholeheartedness toward Jehovah God. Prayerfully he said: “As for me, in my integrity I shall walk. O redeem me and show me favor. My own foot will certainly stand on a level place; among the congregated throngs I shall bless Jehovah.”—Ps. 26:1-3, 11, 12, margin.
8. (a) What do we really owe to God, and why? (b) In what, then, must we walk, and how only can we do so?
8 Today, so near the end of this old world, if we desire to be redeemed and to be shown God’s favor by being protected clear through the universal war of Armageddon and kept alive into his new world, we too must walk in integrity toward God, as David did. Do we not owe integrity toward God, who is our Creator and who promises to be our everlasting Preserver in his upright new world? Yes, for he has given us our life and, according to his purposes that he has revealed in the Holy Bible, he has given us something to live for. What? That promised new world under the perfect government of his Son Jesus Christ. Our walking in integrity toward our Creator and Preserver can be done in no way other than walking according to the truth and the principles that He lays down for us in his written Word. We know that all his creation moves and operates according to laws that he laid down. So he must be a God of principle in all things. To win his favor for a happy life in his endless new world we must prove ourselves persons of integrity.
9. We must therefore be persons of what principles?
9 However, to do this we cannot be persons of our own established principles. We must be people of God’s principles. By this we do not mean the elementary things, that is, the basic things or fundamental teachings of God’s written Word, such as those mentioned in Hebrews 5:12: “You again need someone to teach you from the beginning the first principles of the sacred pronouncements of God.”
10. (a) What do we specially mean by “principle” here? (b) From this standpoint, what did James and Paul say to Christians?
10 We must remember that a principle is also a settled rule of action, a governing law of conduct, a rule of conduct consistently directing one’s action, a belief or attitude that exercises a directing influence on the life and behavior. (Webster) Because a principle thus means an ordered life, James could say to the apostle Paul: “You are walking orderly, you yourself also keeping the Law.” (Acts 21:24) Paul himself also could say to his brothers in Christ: “To what extent we have made progress, let us go on walking orderly in this same routine”; and, “all those who will walk orderly by this rule of conduct, upon them be peace and mercy, even upon the Israel of God.” (Phil. 3:16; Gal. 6:16) To live according to God’s principles requires us to walk orderly, in harmony with the rules he has laid down for our guidance and government. His Son, Jesus Christ, while he was on earth, set us a perfect example of living according to the principles of Jehovah God, his Father. We are therefore warned against walking “according to the elementary things of the world and not according to Christ; because it is in him [Christ] that all the fullness of the divine quality dwells.”—Col. 2:8, 9.
11. (a) Why must God’s principles apply to all creatures? (b) How have all of us become very much subject to passion?
11 When we keep our integrity by thinking, speaking and acting in harmony with the principles or rules of conduct from Jehovah, we are really theocratic. Jehovah is the one and only Theocrat, in the sense of being the supreme God Ruler. Over all creatures and things in heaven and earth he rules and wields power because he is the one living and true God. That is why his principles or rules of conduct and of government must apply to all intelligent creatures, human and spirit. As our Creator, he made the first man Adam perfect in the image of God and according to God’s likeness. The perfect man was rightly expected to be a person of principle like his heavenly Father, and not to be controlled or moved by mere instinct or by mere feelings of his flesh. When Adam’s wife was deceived by the original Serpent Satan, Adam acted untheocratically by choosing to please his erring wife and hold on to her rather than please his heavenly Father and hold on to His law with integrity or perfectness of conduct. In Adam all his descendants, including us today, have suffered a great fall from principle, and we have become very much subject to passion. By this we mean not just sexual passion, as between male and female, but a strong fondness for anything that makes us feel good or that is selfishly to our own personal interests and pleasure without regard for God’s will.
12. (a) What kind of principles are those of God? (b) How did He arrange that knowledge of his principles might not be lost to men?
12 God does not turn away from his own principles just to please his creatures. His principles are perfect and changeless, and in all of them his love, justice, wisdom and power are taken into account. His moral and religious principles are not known or recognized by men in general, for they follow the philosophy and principles of this old world. In order that the knowledge of His principles might not be lost but might be learned by all lovers of right principle, the great Theocrat Jehovah caused his principles to be written down in his Sacred Scriptures. There they may be read and studied. In the year 1513 before the Christian era God himself, by his power, wrote down ten basic principles on tablets of stone. He gave them to his prophet Moses, that Moses might display them and teach them to his brothers, the nation of Israel. He added many other principles to the set of laws that he gave the nation through his mediator Moses. Through later prophets Jehovah God declared many other principles as well as prophecies for the future. The writing of this sacred history and of these principles and prophecies produced the Holy Scriptures, which once only the Jews or Israelites possessed. Such Scriptures were also the only sacred writings that the Christian church or congregation possessed at the start of its existence in the year 33 of the Christian era.
13. According to 2 Timothy 3:16, 17, what kind of book are the Holy Scriptures, and what position did Peter and the other apostles show we must give to its contents?
13 With those sacred writings in mind the apostle Paul wrote: “All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16, 17) This means that the Holy Scriptures are a book of principle. Its recorded principles are a guiding rule and a righteous force for Christians who find themselves in this unprincipled or untheocratically principled old world. To gain life in any part of God’s new world we need to put the principles and commandments of God’s written Word above those of this old world under Satan, “the god of this system of things.” (2 Cor. 4:4) Let everybody take note that the Christian apostle Peter and his fellow apostles were the ones that declared this rule of action. When the supreme religious court of Jerusalem commanded Peter and the other apostles to stop preaching the newly learned fundamental teachings of Christianity, all those apostles answered the religious court: “We must obey God as ruler rather than men. The God of our forefathers raised up Jesus, whom your hands had killed, hanging him upon a stake. God exalted this one as Chief Agent and Savior to his right hand, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses of these matters, and so is the holy spirit which God has given to those obeying him as ruler.”—Acts 5:29-32.
14. (a) Why were those apostles not seditious or subversive in answering and acting that way? (b) So what did they do regarding the next command of the supreme court?
14 Peter and the other Christian apostles were not seditious or subversive in answering and acting this way. They were altogether theocratic in declaring God to be the Ruler above human courts and rulers and in obeying God as the Supreme Ruler. The faithful apostles thus stood up for the foremost Christian principle. By doing this they kept their integrity to the universal Sovereign, Jehovah God. The religious court refused to recognize that principle and showed their refusal by punishing the apostles: “They summoned the apostles, flogged them, and charged them to stop speaking upon the basis of Jesus’ name, and let them go.” Did Peter and the other apostles obey this command of that supreme court? God’s own written Word gives us the answer, saying: “These, therefore, went their way from before the Sanʹhe·drin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy to be dishonored in behalf of his name. And every day in the temple and from house to house they continued without letup [note, without letup] teaching and declaring the good news about the Christ, Jesus.”—Acts 5:40-42.
15. (a) How did God long before Peter state that same principle through Moses? (b) How was this principle of this statement restated by Jesus Christ to a questioner?
15 Since then nineteen centuries may have passed, but what Peter and his fellow apostles said in that religious court back there stands as a governing principle today. Long before Peter’s day God himself had declared that same principle through his prophet Moses to the nation of Israel, in these words: “You must not bow down to another god, because Jehovah is exclusively devoted to his name. He is a God exacting exclusive devotion.” (Ex. 34:14) This is not just one of the many laws contained in the written agreement or covenant that God made with Israel. It is the statement of a principle or rule of conduct that is eternal and universal, applying to all creatures in heaven and on earth. The principle of it was restated by Jesus Christ himself in answer to the question, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus answered: “‘You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. The second, like it, is this: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments the whole Law hangs, and the Prophets.” (Matt. 22:35-40) Thus we are told the main principle that runs through all the Holy Scriptures, including the Law and the Prophets.
16. (a) In comparison with ourselves and our neighbor, how must we love God? (b) How would Jesus’ answer on the tax question come under this requirement?
16 Human creatures who are theocratic in their principles love Jehovah as God and Ruler or as The Theocrat. To have his love and be favored with everlasting life in his new world we must love him. According to his greatest commandment, as stated by his Son Jesus, we must love Jehovah, not as we love ourselves or as we love our neighbor. We must love him more than ourselves or our neighbor, yes, more than our whole nation of neighbors. Jesus said we must love Jehovah God with our all. This fact gives us a larger understanding of what Jesus meant when he answered the tricky question, “Is it lawful to pay tribute to Caesar or not?” Since the tax coin had Caesar’s image engraved upon it, Jesus said: “Pay back, therefore, Caesar’s things to Caesar, but God’s things to God.” (Matt. 22:15-21) Now, as respects these two rulers, which one was it that gave us creatures our heart and our soul and our mind? Was it the political Caesar? Or was it God? Not Caesar, but God gave us these things essential to our intelligent living. So it is to God, not to Caesar, that we must pay back these things, things far more valuable and far more inclusive than Caesar’s tax money.
17. (a) How do we pay back Caesar’s things, and how God’s things? (b) According to God’s commands, what must our slogan be?
17 It is proper to pay Caesar’s tax money back to him for the services that the political State renders to Christ’s followers. How, though, can we pay God’s things back to God? By theocratically obeying the supreme commandment of the universe, even by loving Jehovah our rightful God with our whole heart, soul and mind. So in keeping with the underlying principle of the two greatest commandments as stated by Jesus Christ, our slogan must be, not, For God and country, but, For Jehovah and for our neighbor even as for ourselves. Not for our neighbor first, but for Jehovah our God first. Not for our neighbor more than ourselves, but for God more than ourselves and our neighbor.
18. (a) By paying tax was Jesus deifying Caesar Tiberius? (b) How did Jesus command his followers not to deify the State?
18 Let us not forget that the Roman Caesar had been made a god on earth or been deified by the Romans. But when Jesus Christ paid the tax to Caesar as a Jew or Israelite according to the flesh, he was not thereby acknowledging Caesar Tiberius as a god. Jesus did not deify the Roman emperor or the political State. Jesus’ followers are commanded by him not to deify any political State of this old world. This command was stated by Jesus on the night before he was nailed to the stake by the soldiers of Caesar’s empire. That night he established the Lord’s evening meal with the bread and the wine and then said to his faithful apostles: “The kings of the nations lord it over them, and those having authority over them are called ‘Benefactors’. You, though, are not to be that way. But let him that is the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the one acting as chief as the one ministering. For which one is greater, the one reclining at the table or the one ministering? Is it not the one reclining at the table? But I am in your midst as the one ministering.”—Luke 22:25-27.
19. How would we be deifying Caesar or the State, and what obligation to Jehovah God would we be violating?
19 Thus Jesus did not try to deify himself, not to speak of deifying the tax-gathering Caesar. Jesus’ faithful followers must, to keep integrity toward Jehovah, imitate Jesus by sticking to this same principle and not deifying Caesar, to whom we are just now obliged to pay taxes. Christlike Christians would violate their dedication of themselves to Jehovah God by deifying Caesar or the political State in rendering to Caesar their all and thus giving to Caesar God’s place in their worship and in their affections.
WORSHIPING THE WILD BEAST
20, 21. (a) By whom is the picture of Revelation 14:6 being fulfilled today, and how? (b) After that picture, what warning is given against deifying Caesar or the political State?
20 Over eighteen centuries ago Revelation 14:6 prophetically pictured how, in our day, the “everlasting good news” would be declared as glad tidings to every nation, tribe, tongue and people on earth. Even so today, Jehovah’s witnesses throughout the earth are obeying Jesus’ command at Matthew 24:14. Yes, they are preaching the good news that God’s kingdom was established in 1914 at Christ’s enthronement and crowning in the heavens. As a result of this preaching of such everlasting good news in all the inhabited earth, all the nations are receiving a witness before the end of all these nations comes in the oncoming universal war of Armageddon. After the picture is given of this declaring of the everlasting good news to all nations and peoples, another prophetic picture is presented in Revelation, chapter 14, warning Christians against deifying Caesar or the political State. There we read:
21 “And another angel, a third, followed them, saying in a loud voice: ‘If anyone worships the wild beast and its image, and receives a mark on his forehead or upon his hand, he will also drink of the wine of the anger of God that is poured out undiluted into the cup of his wrath, and he shall be tormented with fire and sulphur in the sight of the holy angels and in the sight of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends for ever and ever, and day and night they have no rest, those who worship the wild beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name. Here is where it means endurance for the holy ones, those who observe the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.’”—Rev. 14:9-12.
22. What kind of animal is this “wild beast,” and what do those who lose out on salvation do toward this wild beast?
22 According to the preceding chapter, or Revelation 13:1-8, the wild beast comes up out of the sea. Yet it is not a marine animal but a land animal, with features of a leopard and a bear and a lion combined. It could not be a real combination animal, for it is said to have the throne of a ruler and to wear diadems. It also talks in blasphemy against God and his name and residence and against heaven’s inhabitants, and it wages war against God’s holy ones and gains authority over every tribe, people, tongue and nation. For this reason human dwellers on the earth worship this wild beast, but all who do so do not gain salvation in God’s new world.
23, 24. According to the comments of Roman Catholic authorities, what does the wild beast of Revelation 13:1 symbolize?
23 Among the interesting comments on what this wild beast pictures in our day are those of Roman Catholic authorities. In the translation called “The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,” by F. A. Spencer, O.P., edited by C. J. Callan, O.P., and J. A. McHugh, O.P. (1946), their footnote on Revelation (Apocalypse) Re 13:1 reads: “This first Beast seems to represent political power arrayed against Christianity.” Another translation, “The New Testament of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ translated from the Latin Vulgate,” edited by Catholic Scholars under the Patronage of The Episcopal Committee of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, of 1941, says in its footnote on this same verse: “The picture of the first beast is based on the seventh chapter of Daniel. This beast is the figure of the kingdoms of the world, kingdoms founded on passion and selfishness, which in every age are antagonistic to Christ and seek to oppress the servants of God. Imperial Rome represents this power.”
24 Cuthbert Lattey, S.J., and Joseph Keating, S.J., the general editors of “The Westminster Version of the Sacred Scriptures,” Volume IV of 1931, say in their footnote on Revelation 13:1: “In the Apocalypse, ‘the beast’ combines the powers of the four various ‘beasts’ or empires described by Daniel. It symbolizes the political power, the material force which the world places at the disposal of the dragon, to oppress God’s servants. That power is represented as embodied in the Roman empire.” One further Roman Catholic comment on this verse will add its testimony: The Murphy edition of The Holy Bible, Douay Version, approved by James Cardinal Gibbons, and issued by John Murphy Company, publishers to The Holy See, says in its footnote: “This first beast with seven heads and ten horns, is probably the whole company of infidels, enemies and persecutors of the people of God, from the beginning to the end of the world. The seven heads are seven kings, that is, seven principal kingdoms of empires, which have exercised, or shall exercise, tyrannical power over the people of God; of these, five were then fallen, viz., the Egyptian, Assyrian, Chaldean,a Persian, and Grecian monarchies; one was present, viz., the empire of Rome: and the seventh and chiefest was to come, viz., the great Antichrist and his empire. The ten horns may be understood of ten lesser persecutors.”
25. What, therefore, does worship of the wild beast picture, and so to whom is this a warning?
25 According to all the above Roman Catholic comment the worship of the wild beast of Revelation 13:1-8 and Re 14:9 could mean nothing less than the worship of the political State. The wild beast does not symbolize any one particular political system but combines or amalgamates them all in one worldly system. This picture of State worship applies, therefore, all around the earth, whether certain political systems are directly included in the symbolic “wild beast” or are merely political allies of it. This is consequently a warning to people all around the earth who want to be true Christians, and we ourselves accept it in all seriousness.
26. Will anybody keep his integrity by refusing to worship the wild beast and receive a brand mark, and how do we know?
26 Will anybody keep his integrity toward Jehovah God by refusing to worship the wild beast and its image and refusing to receive a brand mark on his forehead or upon his hand? Not all men who merely claim to be Christians will keep integrity in holding to the principle of worshiping the only living and true God and loving him with the whole heart, soul and mind. Revelation 20:4 tells who will keep integrity and be rewarded, saying: “I saw the souls of those executed with the ax for the witness they bore to Jesus and for speaking about God, and those who had worshiped neither the wild beast nor its image and who had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand. And they came to life and ruled as kings with the Christ for a thousand years.” Re 20 Verse 6 adds: “Happy and holy is anyone having part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no authority, but they will be priests of God and of the Christ, and will rule as kings with him for the thousand years.” These are the holy ones that endure to the end while they observe God’s commandments and the faith of Jesus. In these last days they have a great crowd of companions of good will.
27. From what are they delivered for keeping integrity, and in whose service do they sacrifice their lives?
27 For keeping integrity all these are delivered from having to drink the symbolic “wine of the anger of God” and from being “tormented with [the symbolic] fire and sulphur in the sight of the holy angels and in the sight of the Lamb.” They refuse to submit to the compulsion that is applied to make men violate the principle of exclusive devotion to God alone, as foretold in Revelation 13:15-17. They sacrifice their lives for God and the Lamb Jesus Christ, not in the service of the wild beast and its image. That wild beast, represented by its sixth head, put Jesus Christ to death and thereafter persecuted true Christians throughout its empire, executing them with the ax or torturing and putting them to death in other cruel ways. The modern relics of the Roman empire continue to manifest the same vicious spirit toward Christlike Christians.
28. In whose service was the centurion Cornelius when Christianity first reached him, and did he resign from military service after being baptized?
28 Cornelius, as “an army officer [or, centurion] of the ‘Italian band’ as it was called,” was in the service of the sixth head of the wild beast when Christianity first reached him. He was not out in field service but was praying in his house in Caesarea when an angel of God appeared in a vision and told him to send for Peter the apostle. It was also in Cornelius’ house that Peter four days later preached to him and his relatives and intimate friends. It was under those circumstances that God poured down his spirit upon Cornelius and the others who believed the message with him. At Peter’s command Cornelius and the other new believers were baptized in water even as they had been baptized with holy spirit. (Acts 10:1-48) What the centurion Cornelius did after that, whether he resigned from military service as a Roman centurion or not, the book of Acts of the Apostles does not state.
29. (a) If Peter had instructed Cornelius to resign, what might have happened? (b) For direct instructions, what would have happened to The Holy Bible?
29 Unquestionably, under the operation of God’s holy spirit Cornelius applied to his personal affairs and relationships the principles of Christianity which he discussed with Peter “for some days” after that. Cornelius was not a circumcised Jew, and, as a Roman centurion, he was not fighting theocratic warfare as Joshua the son of Nun and David the slayer of the giant Goliath did many centuries before that. (Josh. 10:1-11:23; 1 Sam. 17:4-54; 2 Sam. 8:6-14) Had Peter told Cornelius to resign, Peter might have been accused of obstructing the military program of the sixth head of the “wild beast,” and might have been executed for that action instead of for preaching God’s message without compromise or letup. Likewise, if God’s written Word, particularly the so-called New Testament written by Christians under inspiration, had directly told dedicated Christians just what they should do when faced with the call to military service for the sixth and seventh heads of the symbolic wild beast, The Holy Bible would, without doubt, have been forbidden or proscribed in every land under the control of the “wild beast,” particularly for its instructions on the military question.
30. So what help do the Holy Scriptures give Christians in this matter, and who must take the responsibility for making a decision?
30 So in Jehovah God’s wisdom his inspired Holy Scriptures refrain from giving direct advice. His Scriptures merely state the theocratic principles that should govern Christians and then leave it to the dedicated Christians like Cornelius to apply those principles consistently to their personal case, on their own responsibility, so as to maintain integrity toward God. Apart from explaining what the true Scriptural Christian principles in God’s Word are, no individual Christian or body of Christians has the divine commission or the responsibility to instruct another Christian directly what to do in this matter. Each one must decide for himself what to do.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life nor angels nor governments nor things here nor things to come nor powers nor height nor depth nor any other creation will be able to separate us from God’s love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.—Rom. 8:38, 39.
a Or, Babylonian.