“Let All Your Affairs Take Place with Love”
1. In view of the delinquent condition of the world, how will the Christian conduct himself?
THESE are strenuous times, treacherous. Some people think they live in the peaceful part of the world, but the majority know that they live in a world where a war of destruction could break out at any moment. However, all of us live in a world of idolaters, fornicators, murderers, thieves, greedy persons, a truly delinquent world for young and old. So no matter where anyone lives he is going to be surrounded by difficulties. How will he conduct himself under these influences? For the Christian there is only one way. Paul stated it plainly when he said: “Let all your affairs take place with love.” (1 Cor. 16:14) Regardless of the other individual’s way of life, the Christian should deal with the other person unselfishly and kindly.
2, 3. (a) How is love manifest in one’s life? (b) While loving, why is the Christian no weakling, and how is this demonstrated in the life and ministry of Jehovah’s witnesses? (c) In spite of Paul’s counsel on the need for wakefulness, what has happened to Christendom, and why?
2 When Paul defined love in 1 Corinthians the thirteenth chapter he had to compose quite a lengthy expression in order to make it comprehensive, to bring in everything involved in connection with love. He was definite that love is “long-suffering and obliging. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, does not get puffed up.” (1 Cor. 13:4) An individual having true love will not lose his self-control. He will keep on an even keel. That does not mean a Christian could not be firm, strong in his decisions. No, for Paul said: “Stay awake, stand firm in the faith, carry on as men, grow mighty. Let all your affairs take place with love.”—1 Cor. 16:13, 14.
3 Here is strong admonition for all those who are going to carry on their affairs in love that they stay awake and stand firm in the faith. There is no indefiniteness about that. The Christian must be a determined, positive, firm man, yet loving. He must feel the responsibility that goes with the duties of a minister of God. He is no weakling. He carries on like a man, like Christ Jesus, who “went on progressing in wisdom and in physical growth and in favor with God and men.” (Luke 2:52) While in the world and no part of it, just as Jesus was no part of the world, he is noticed because he is a publicity man, an announcer of the kingdom of God. But being Christian today does not mean running away from dangers or threats because of preaching, nor does it mean compromise. The Christian faces all kinds of trouble, even if it means his death. His Christian ministry is his work. Nothing can stop it. He must finish his work, and to do that takes love and firmness. Jehovah’s witnesses, Christians in today’s world, whether behind the Iron Curtain or in the neutral or in the Western bloc of nations, still stand firm in their faith, carry on as men. It is not easy to do, but they cannot back up and quit preaching because some government authority says they must stop talking about God’s kingdom. They love that kingdom, they have faith in it and they will act like men and carry out their ministerial work. This they have done in the past year, preaching the good news. As a theocratic organization Jehovah’s witnesses have been most aggressive in making known the kingdom of God. They fully appreciate that this is a time, not for sleep, but for watchfulness. It is a time to be awake. Paul was alert and said: “So, then, let us not sleep on as the rest do, but let us stay awake and keep our senses.” (1 Thess. 5:6) Christendom has admittedly gone to sleep, for it no longer preaches God’s kingdom but rather preaches that the United Nations is the only light of the world. What happened to their faith in Christ Jesus and his teachings? They put their faith in this old corrupt, dying world. So doing, Christendom has fallen asleep at the post of duty and she has been stripped naked, exposed to all who wish to observe her failure in looking after Kingdom interests. She certainly has no true ministerial garments on.
4. How are faith and love a protection to Christians and what things do they avoid?
4 Paul went on further to say: “For those who sleep are accustomed to sleep at night, and those who get drunk are usually drunk at night. But as for us who belong to the day, let us keep our senses and have on the breastplate of faith and love and as a helmet the hope of salvation; because God assigned us, not to wrath, but to the acquiring of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thess. 5:7-9) Here again we see emphasized the importance love plays in the life of a true Christian. His love and faith are a protection to him. This helps him to keep his senses, his balance, his self-control, and to feel his responsibility. His responsibility is always that of being a minister of the good news of the kingdom of God. As a representative of Christ he is not given to drunkenness, overeating and the anxieties of life, but he stays on the watch and takes care of his very important affairs in love.
5. How does the apostle Paul say that Christians should deport themselves, and why?
5 Paul also said: “Only behave in a manner worthy of the good news about the Christ, in order that, whether I come and see you or be absent, I may hear about the things which concern you, that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one soul fighting side by side for the faith of the good news.” (Phil. 1:27) Can a true Christian do otherwise? No! He must behave in a manner worthy of the good news. So he shows real love and carries on all his affairs that way.
6. During the past year how many shared each month, on the average, as Jehovah’s witnesses in announcing that God’s kingdom rules, and in how many lands?
6 Jehovah’s witnesses have been declaring that “God’s kingdom rules.” This certainly is good news. At the great Divine Will International Assembly of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 253,922 persons heard what Jehovah’s witnesses believe concerning this kingdom of God, which is the only hope for mankind, and there Jehovah’s witnesses declared themselves as ministers of that kingdom. To see how determined they have been in their standing firm in one spirit and with one soul fighting side by side for the faith of the good news, all one needs to do is look at their year’s field service report. See pages 20-22. This report reveals that there were, on the average, 717,088 ministers preaching from house to house every month during the 1958 service year, conducting their affairs in love one toward the other. Not only toward Jehovah’s witnesses do they act respectably, but to all the world of mankind they feel the responsibility of showing love, and this they do by preaching. These ministers are to be found in 175 countries, islands of the seas, colonies, provinces, right around the world. Every month during the 1958 service year there were, on the average, 63,815 more of Jehovah’s witnesses preaching this good news than during the 1957 service year.
7. (a) What causes so many to associate with the New World society? (b) When they study the Scriptures what things do they learn, and how does this affect their course of conduct?
7 With all the trouble and distress in the world is it any wonder that so many people turn away from this old-world living to find something that will really bring them peace? And what was the attraction for them? God’s Word of truth. Jehovah’s witnesses have taken upon themselves the great responsibility of reaching all people world-wide with the comforting, cheerful message from God’s Word the Bible. Those persons showing a sheeplike disposition have pulled away from this old world and have associated themselves with the New World society, there to study and learn and come to an accurate knowledge of the truth. Whenever sheeplike persons do this, they are going to preach this same good news. Studying the Scriptures for a short time, they find that everything indicates that we are living in the last days of this system of things, the time just prior to the battle of Armageddon, and it is not long before they believe what Paul said to the Romans at chapter 13, Ro 13 verses 11 to 14: “Do this, too, because you know the season, that it is already the hour for you to awake from sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than at the time when we became believers. The night is well along; the day has drawn near. Let us therefore put off the works belonging to darkness and let us put on the weapons of the light. As in the daytime let us walk in good behavior, not in revelries and drunken bouts, not in illicit intercourse and loose conduct, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not be planning ahead for the desires of the flesh.”
8. (a) Why are many now turning from the old world and its religious systems, but what new peak in number of proclaimers of the Kingdom good news was reached during 1958? (b) What good advice found at 1 Thessalonians 5:12-15 is followed by Jehovah’s witnesses, and with what result?
8 Persons seeking truth and righteousness can easily see that this whole world is planning ahead for the desires of the flesh. Christendom, with all its great religious organization, has not stopped the people from going down the broad way to destruction. In fact, Christendom has belittled the Bible and the great name of the One who inspired its writing. The Bible is the true guide for man. So many of those who have lived in Christendom and who had fallen asleep with her are awakening now and fleeing from the religious organizations. Yes, people are fleeing from both Christendom’s and heathendom’s religions. In fact, last year so many turned away from this sleepy condition in the world that during the year a new peak in number of proclaimers of the good news, to the total of 798,326, was reached. This is 81,425 more ministers than the peak number of publishers of the previous year, 1957. Why this tremendous influx into Jehovah’s witnesses’ organization? It is because people are finding salvation. Many people want to live with individuals who are really Christians, those who are letting all their affairs take place with love. They have found an organization that is following the good advice of Paul: “Now we request you, brothers, to have regard for those who are working hard among you and presiding over you in the Lord and admonishing you, and to give them more than extraordinary consideration in love because of their work. Be peaceable with one another. On the other hand, we exhort you brothers, admonish the disorderly, speak comfortingly to the depressed souls, support the weak, be long-suffering toward all. See that no one renders injury for injury to anyone else, but always pursue what is good toward one another and to all others.” (1 Thess. 5:12-15) Because Jehovah’s witnesses follow such instruction, it furnishes one of the reasons why the New World society is growing so rapidly. It is this spirit expressed by true Christians toward one another and to others that attracts good-will sheeplike people.
9. What does the report show as to the pioneer ministry, Branch offices and congregations of Jehovah’s witnesses world-wide?
9 A goodly number of those who have come into the organization during the last few years have gone into the full-time service, devoting all their energies to the preaching of the good news. In fact, we find 23,772 persons engaging in pioneer service. Some of these are missionaries away off in foreign lands, working in high mountains, in low deserts, in fertile green valleys, in large and in small cities. Others are special pioneers, working out from the eighty-five Branch offices scattered throughout the world, organizing interested ones into congregations where they could serve God. There are now 17,878 congregations, an increase of 995 over the previous year. In these congregations Jehovah’s witnesses are studying weekly, several times a week in fact, in home Bible studies, congregation book studies, Watchtower studies, all the information thus gained building up their minds so that they may be able to declare more clearly the good news. All this association and study aids them to stand shoulder to shoulder, fighting side by side and not compromising with this old world.
10, 11. What other aspects of the year’s service report show the extent to which Jehovah’s witnesses lovingly performed their ministry and the results that they experienced?
10 During the Memorial season there was a total of 1,171,789 persons who came together in these congregations, of which 15,037 were of the anointed, that is, believers that they are of the body of Christ and will be joint heirs with Christ Jesus in heavenly glory. The greater number believed that they are of the other sheep who will enjoy everlasting life here upon the earth. But, all together, they must stay awake, be on guard as to the Kingdom interests and show love for one another, letting all their affairs take place with love. These thousands of persons who are associating with Jehovah’s witnesses in such great numbers each year are not just curious religion hunters, looking for something new and different. They are sincere in wanting to know the truth and they find it in God’s Word and then they make a stand for it. They grow strong and carry on as men and are willing to defend their faith. They go so far as to dedicate their lives to the service of Jehovah God, giving him exclusive devotion, and 62,666 of those who associated themselves with Jehovah’s witnesses last year were baptized in water, completely immersed, showing their willingness to do the divine will. As readers of The Watchtower know, Jehovah’s witnesses are not the silent type. They are expressive in their belief, and in the twelve-month period of their service year they devoted 110,390,944 hours to preaching the good news that God’s kingdom rules. This is 10,255,928 more hours spent in the ministry than the previous year. They are anxious for the people to know the good things they know, and that is why during the year these witnesses of Jehovah obtained 1,255,047 new subscriptions for the magazines The Watchtower and Awake! and distributed individual copies in their many languages to the number of 86,498,251. In order for the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society in its many printing plants to take care of the demand of its readers it was necessary for the printing plants to publish 86,141,119 copies of The Watchtower in fifty-one languages and 71,431,928 copies of the Awake! magazine in nineteen languages, making a grand total of 157,573,047 magazines published and shipped out. In addition, 4,381,504 Bibles and bound books and 14,125,528 booklets, thirty-two and sixty-four pages in size, were printed.
11 But the love of Jehovah’s witnesses for the peoples of the world and their desire to bring them the message of salvation goes farther than just placing literature. Those 110,390,944 hours that they worked were spent, in part, in calling back on those who have shown interest, and so these 798,326 publishers of the Kingdom made 36,398,025 back-calls. In other words, Jehovah’s witnesses have gone back to persons’ homes where they have found interest and they have explained further the things they believe and have answered these peoples’ questions on Bible subjects. They have shown love to an even greater extent: they have gone back to these peoples’ homes week after week and have spent an hour at a time studying with the people from their Bibles of any translation, Catholic or Protestant, so that these people might learn the truth. How many clergymen do that with their parishioners? These studies Jehovah’s witnesses call home Bible studies. During every week of the year they conducted 508,320 such Bible studies. This is 95,271 more than they were conducting the year before. Think of the time that it takes to conduct that many Bible studies every week for a whole year. That alone would require more than 25,000,000 hours, and, in addition to that, much traveling time to and from the study is involved, but not counted. Would you not say that it takes love to do such kind of work? That is why Jehovah’s witnesses believe the expression of Paul when he said: “Let all your affairs take place with love.” Be interested in people, regardless of race, color, creed, whether it be in good season or in bad season.
12. How have those behind the iron Curtain demonstrated true Christian zeal, and what increase has been realized during the past year?
12 As you study the chart on pages 20 to 22 of the activity of Jehovah’s witnesses you will see that those of Jehovah’s witnesses behind the Iron Curtain are working just as hard, if not harder, and are having better results in gathering the other sheep than Christians living in the Western bloc of nations or in neutral countries. Look at the report! It is most truly amazing! For eight countries behind the Iron Curtain there has been a 21-percent increase in the number of those taking their stand for the Kingdom. Whereas throughout the whole world the average is 9.8 percent. Who can say Christians are not men? Who can say that they are not willing to fight for truth and for righteousness? Who can say that they will not stay on guard and on duty and take up their ministerial responsibilities? Yes, true Christians of God, Jehovah’s witnesses, stay awake, stand firm in the faith, carry on as men and grow mighty. They have a responsibility and it is Jehovah who has placed it upon them. So with joy and gladness they press on in these last days, knowing that the end of this old system of things is near at hand and that Armageddon is not far distant. So they preach, and with greater zeal and effort than ever before in their lives. What a glorious year they have had! What joy has been theirs! What happiness of heart and mind they possess because they are letting all their affairs take place with love!
[Chart on page 20-22]
1958 SERVICE YEAR REPORT OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES WORLD-WIDE
(See bound volume)