Walking in the Name of Jehovah
1. What fulfillment of Micah, chapter 4, can be seen now?
NOW is the time when more and more people are learning Jehovah’s way and beginning to follow it. This was long ago foretold under inspiration by the prophets Isaiah and Micah. Micah, chapter 4 (AS), starts out: “But in the latter days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of Jehovah’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and peoples shall flow unto it. And many nations shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” (Mic. 4:1, 2, AS) This scripture speaks of the very time we now live in, “the latter days.” Since 1914 Jehovah’s King, Christ Jesus, has been enthroned in the heavens, beginning to rule in the midst of his enemies. One of the evidences of his presence is the fact that this good news of the Kingdom is being preached in all the inhabited earth, and as a result right-hearted people of all nations are turning to true worship, learning Jehovah’s way and walking in his paths. In the 1958 service year alone 62,666 were baptized in symbol of their dedication to Jehovah for life. Although the religious leaders have tried everything in their power to stop this flow of people to Jehovah’s way, even calling for state action to proscribe the work, as in Ethiopia and the Dominican Republic, it has been unavailing. Once people of good will actually learn Jehovah’s way and walk in his path, they say determinedly: “We will walk in the name of Jehovah our God for ever and ever.”—Mic. 4:5, AS.
2. (a) What invitation is now going out? (b) Why are Jehovah’s people a happy people?
2 Jehovah’s blessing is seen upon his people. Rather than learning old-world pursuits and continuing to war against their brothers in other countries, they beat their swords into plowshares and extend the peaceful invitation: “Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah.” This is an invitation to share in true worship. Micah explains that those serving Jehovah are not timid or fearful; in fact, “none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of Jehovah of hosts hath spoken it.” So in every country throughout the world Jehovah’s servants have taken an uncompromising stand for true worship regardless of the opposition they encounter. They stand firm for pure worship even to death. Once again the Scriptural testimony emphasizes the fact that Jehovah’s way is not just any way, but the right way he directs. While the people of the nations will continue to walk in the name of their god, the god of this old world, right down until Armageddon, those who do things Jehovah’s way are the ones who understand that the personal name of God, the name he has selected as his own, must be recognized and honored. No wonder Jehovah’s witnesses are a happy people. Their following this course brings spiritual prosperity, with each man sitting under his vine and under his fig tree.
3, 4. Of what importance is knowledge of God’s name? And what should we endeavor to do?
3 Many are till now unaware of this exalted name, being confused, by the concept of a triune god, to believe that the name of the Father is Jesus. But it was Jesus himself who said in prayer to Jehovah God: “I have made your name manifest to the men you gave me out of the world. . . . I have made your name known to them and will make it known.” (John 17:6, 26) We cannot hope to do all things Jehovah’s way unless we first know who he is, his name, and its significance to us. This we gain by careful study of his Word.
4 Jehovah’s people are anxious to learn of him and his purposes. They recall Isaiah 55:8: “‘For the thoughts of you people are not my thoughts, nor are my ways your ways,’ is the utterance of Jehovah. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.’” These thoughts are refreshing, strengthening, nourishing, like rain or snow from heaven upon the parched earth. When these waters moisten the earth the tree buds and bears fruit, for all that pertains to Jehovah is fruitful and productive. If we are to do things Jehovah’s way, then we must emulate him in this also, being not only a hearer, but also a productive doer of the word. Thus we desire to use the waters of truth we receive to bear Kingdom fruit by sharing the good news with others. It is not enough to take in barely enough water to keep from wilting and dying spiritually, attending congregation meetings occasionally and then without preparation. We should partake of the spiritual waters regularly and without fail, to Jehovah’s honor. A farmer is willing to work long hours to cultivate his ground so that it will bear a bountiful harvest, and in like manner we must study hard to be qualified to teach others, thus becoming productive ministers of the good news. While it entails hard work to progress in understanding, there is no limit to the information or the source. Jehovah’s ways are past finding out. As Romans 11:33 says: “Oh the depth of God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How unsearchable his judgments are and past tracing out his ways are!”
5. Where do we find the source of spiritual information?
5 To gain the full blessing of this knowledge we must approach the source or find the channel through which the waters of truth are flowing. We cannot stay to ourselves and think it will come to us. No one in a desert is so foolish as to wait for water to come to him, but he anxiously searches for the nearest oasis, knowing it means life. Neither should we think Jehovah is going to change his way to accommodate us or to agree with the faith of our parents; rather we must seek out our Creator and his will for us. So when all around us we see Christendom’s dry pastures and notice the lack of real Bible knowledge among her people, we can appreciate the necessity of going where we can enjoy the refreshing river of water of life, which flows out from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the channel he directs. We find it is Jehovah’s Word that guides us in the way he would have us go. As Psalm 23:2 says: “By well-watered resting places he conducts me.” When Jehovah himself conducts us in his way, should we turn him down? We would never think of rejecting an invitation from God. Yet that is what it amounts to if we turn down the invitation of our brothers to attend the meetings scheduled at the Kingdom Hall. This is a place of rest from old-world problems where the waters of truth are freely shared, a place of refreshment for our souls.
6. How is Jehovah’s way seen to be a way of association now and in the future?
6 Perhaps you say you cannot attend meetings because it takes too much effort to get there. Assembling together with those of true faith is a part of doing things Jehovah’s way. In the new world we will assemble together at Jehovah’s direction. If we cannot be bothered now, we should not expect to be among those whose seed and name remain to enjoy those post-Armageddon assembly blessings. “‘And it will certainly occur that from new moon to new moon and from sabbath to sabbath all flesh will come in to bow down before me,’ Jehovah has said.” (Isa. 66:23) Then all will be united in pure worship, no longer divided by sectarianism, for all flesh will be united in honoring Jehovah. If we hope to be among the men of faith who will assemble then, we must show it by assembling regularly with the congregation of Jehovah’s people now where his spirit is poured out to bless his servants as they consider his Word and their relationship to him. Since it can be seen that Jehovah’s way is a way of association, the reader is warmly invited to join regularly with Jehovah’s witnesses at the local Kingdom Hall in Bible study.
7. Why is the worldly attitude of never discussing religion improper?
7 Having appreciation for our association with the New World society and the understanding of the truth with which we have been blessed, we should be anxious to share it with others. Then our love for Jehovah will be reflected in our love for our neighbors as we encourage them to learn the truth. Do not take the old-world attitude when it comes to talking about religion and clam up or refuse to discuss it. These are matters that pertain to heavenly wisdom and life. Jesus himself was outspoken when it came to religion and the Scriptures, and all sincere people should have the same keen interest in such things whether they agree at first or not. The words, “Come, now, you people, and let us set matters straight between us,” have timely application for those desiring to learn more of Jehovah’s way. (Isa. 1:18) If we are ashamed to speak of Jehovah, he will be ashamed of us. If we are just lukewarm, we shall be cast off. Instead, we should show a sincere desire to follow Jehovah’s way actively by learning it, talking about it freely and with boldness, and becoming a doer of the word.
8. (a) Are any exempt from serving Jehovah? (b) Why should we not fear to share in the ministry?
8 You may be old and sick, but so are others who share in the ministry, visiting their neighbors to talk about the good news, studying the Bible with them, devoting time and energy to honoring Jehovah. As long as a person lives he has a measure of health and strength that can be used to praise his Creator. Even the oldest can follow Jehovah’s way, for Jesus assured us that the yoke is light. Jehovah’s strength will be sufficient for us to accomplish his service under any circumstances. As Isaiah 35:3, 4 says: “Strengthen the weak hands, you people, make the knees that are wobbling firm. Say to those who are anxious at heart: ‘Be strong. Do not he afraid.’” Youth too can do things Jehovah’s way and learn to praise him. Solomon knew the wisdom of such a course when he said: “Remember, now, your grand Creator in the days of your young manhood.” (Eccl. 12:1) Jesus knew the need to get an early start in serving Jehovah; so he asked his disciples: “Did you never read this: ‘Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings you have furnished praise’?” So whether we are young or old, long in the truth or new, we can share in making known the purposes of our Creator. Speaking the truth to our neighbor is far more important than chatting about the weather over the back fence or telling the latest gossip. Let us be among those who talk the truth to our neighbors, thus showing that we want to be numbered among those who do all things Jehovah’s way.—Matt. 21:16; Zech. 8:16.
9. Will some die without having the opportunity to learn the truth? What can we do about it?
9 Remember that Micah said that the people walking in the name of Jehovah would be the ones saying: “Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, and to the house of the God of Jacob.” Jehovah’s witnesses are the only ones who are actively extending this invitation, dropping the spears and swords of carnal war to do this peaceful and life-giving work among the nations. It is an urgent matter, because, as Jesus pointed out, “the field is the world.” (Matt. 13:38) He set the example as an active preacher of the truth. Speaking for those who would follow this example, Paul said: “With the mouth one makes public declaration for salvation. . . . For ‘anyone that calls upon the name of Jehovah will be saved’. However, how will they call upon him in whom they have not put faith? How, in turn, will they put faith in him of whom they have not heard? How, in turn, will they hear without someone to preach?” (Rom. 10:10-14) Does this mean that our gaining life depends on a geographical accident, that where we were born determines our faith and thus whether or not we gain lasting life? Not at all. It only serves to emphasize the need for sharing in the world-wide work of making known this life-giving message. No one who has a love for truth and righteousness will fail to be given the opportunity to hear the truth and accept it. Instead of finding fault with God, let us bend every effort to help others learn the truth. Perhaps we can serve where the need for Kingdom publishers is great.
10. How is the sifting work being accomplished, and what will be the outcome?
10 By the preaching work now being done a sifting and dividing work is being accomplished among the nations, marking out by means of life-giving instruction those who will enjoy new-world blessings. This sifting work is being done, “like as grain is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least kernel fall upon the earth.” (Amos 9:9, AS) Jehovah knows those who belong to him and will preserve them. The final outcome of this great work is seen in the vision given John: “And, look! a great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes, and there were palm branches in their hands. And they keep on crying with a loud voice, saying: ‘Salvation we owe to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb.’” Thus these men of good will of all nations come to recognize Jehovah and his provision for life through Jesus Christ before Armageddon strikes down the remaining ones who are worthy of death.—Rev. 7:9, 10; Acts 4:12.
11, 12. How does the Kingdom ministry reflect Jehovah’s oversight of it?
11 Just as God is not a God of confusion, but a God of orderly arrangement, system and universal control, so those sharing in the ministerial activity of Jehovah throughout the earth today do not do it according to personal whim or inclination or in a haphazard way. Rather, they base their activities on the effective and systematic ministerial pattern set by Jesus during his earthly life. This means calling on the people from house to house and town to town, so that all have the opportunity to hear and accept the truth. The basic truths from the Bible that are essential to salvation are presented by doorstep sermons, enlarged on by sermons in return visits, and finally given serious consideration through home Bible studies with interested persons.—Acts 20:20.
12 The same orderly arrangement and system observable throughout the entire universe is reflected in the Kingdom ministry of Jehovah’s servants world-wide. There is no effort lost. Their activity is guided by the same power and spirit of Jehovah that guides and controls the heavenly creation. To illustrate, astronomers say the tail of a comet is made up of such little particles of matter that only the pressure of sunlight is necessary to push the tail out away from the head as the comet approaches the sun. Though this tail may extend a million miles through space, all the particles that make it up could be packed in an ordinary suitcase. In Jehovah’s earthly arrangement the guiding force of his Word and spirit is what brings his servants into line for the accomplishment of his will. Even though they may seem few in numbers and insignificant, still they reflect the light of truth to all those looking for it. Among Jehovah’s servants we do not find one with one way of serving or believing and another with a different belief, any more than we find a comet with 258 tails, one to correspond with each religion. Jehovah’s people all enjoy unity and harmony, having come to a oneness of understanding and purpose with Christ, their heavenly Head and Leader.
13. What changes are necessary to please Jehovah?
13 Coming into line with God’s arrangements may well mean a complete change in our way of life, but it can be done. Jehovah does not require something of us that we cannot do. Psalm 25:8, 9 says: “That is why he instructs sinners in the way. He will cause the meek ones to walk in his judicial decision and he will teach the meek ones his way.” When these meek ones, even the worst sinners, hear of the truth, they change. For the first time they begin to understand what Jehovah is like. Foolish philosophies and traditional religious beliefs are replaced by the logicalness and reasonableness of the truth. It is the difference between night and day. While darkness covers the people of the world so they continue to grope about in ignorance of the new world now near at hand, Jehovah is permitting the light of truth to shine out so the meek ones who sincerely have a love for God and for their neighbor can follow his way. To such Paul gives instructions: “You should put away the old personality which conforms to your former course of conduct . . . and should put on the new personality which was created according to God’s will in true righteousness and loving-kindness. . . . speak truth each one of you with his neighbor . . . Let the stealer steal no more, but rather let him do hard work . . . Let a rotten saying not proceed out of your mouth . . . Also do not be grieving God’s holy spirit.”—Eph. 4:22-30.
14. How does Jehovah guide us through his organization today?
14 These are just a few of the points Paul mentioned, but there is something there for each one of us to consider as we learn Jehovah’s way of living. Whatever we are doing we do well to ask ourselves, Would this be pleasing to God? If our conscience is trained according to his Word, we will have a good guide to follow. But it is up to each individual to decide the course he will take. God has given us a free will to follow the course we wish. It is up to us to follow his instructions and directions for life. So that there will be oneness among his people world-wide Jehovah is gathering his people into one flock under Christ as the Right Shepherd. By means of his Word and his organization the way to follow is pointed out to us as if a voice were saying: “‘This is the way. Walk in it, you people,’ in case you people should go to the right or in case you should go to the left.” (Isa. 30:21) The voice of Jehovah speaks to us today through his organization, giving us correction and instruction in righteousness and in active ministerial service. It is by means of his theocratic organization that we are helped to keep on the path of life. We must keep our hearing sharp and attuned to this voice. This is no new or strange doctrine we hear, but words in harmony with what has been recorded for our guidance in the Bible. For as Paul told the Galatians: “Even if we or an angel out of heaven were to declare to you as good news something beyond what we declared to you as good news, let him be accursed.”—Gal. 1:8.
15. Why is continual study of Scriptural truth valuable?
15 Therefore it is vital that we keep examining and checking our understanding of God’s Word to make sure of correctly understanding even little points in order that we do not stray from the path ourselves or be found misdirecting others by our comments or explanations. We may come to know the truth about basic doctrines such as trinity, hell, immortality of the soul and others, but does your knowledge end there? What about detailed points of truth? Romans 2:21 says: “Do you, however, the one teaching someone else, not teach yourself?” Understanding does not come to us by revelation, but we must make an effort. We must study and review the Scriptures, knowing that life depends on it. By way of example of points easily overlooked, perhaps you often talk about the Kingdom as being established on earth. Have you forgotten the point made on page 138 of “Let God Be True” that says, “It is manifest that the kingdom is not earthly, but heavenly”? So the Kingdom will never be established on earth as though it were an earthly arrangement, although it will extend its rule and bring blessings to men of faith on earth.—John 18:36.
16. What is the modern application of Zechariah 8:21-23?
16 Again, are you aware that you can have a part in the fulfillment of the prophecy at Zechariah 8:21-23 (AS), which says: “Ten men shall take hold . . . of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you”? How is that? This Jew, or praiser of Jehovah, is following Jehovah’s way. The reference here is not to a natural, fleshly Jew, but to a spiritual Jew, to those of the remnant. (Rom. 2:29) The real attraction of the ten men of good will is not to this spiritual Jew or to the remnant themselves, but to the God they worship, to follow his way; “for we have heard that God is with you.” Nor is it just a matter of taking hold of a skirt, grasping the truth and coming within the organization; but this indicates a positive action and an identifying of oneself with the praisers of Jehovah. A work is assigned to those taking hold of the truth, a work described Scripturally as that of plowmen and vinedressers, doing a cultivating work, figuratively plowing the ground for scattering the seed of God and doing vinedressing so that the organization will produce fruits of righteousness. (Isa. 61:5) This was explained in the book You May Survive Armageddon into God’s New World on pages 299, 300.
17. What activity today is pleasing to Jehovah?
17 Do you see your place in the fulfillment of this prophecy? Men of all nations are now taking hold of true worship and receiving assignments of service. Do you immediately draw back, thinking, I cannot do that? It means work, hard labor, according to the illustration, but we should have a keen desire to accomplish it because we know it is Jehovah’s way for us. Therefore we will not draw back from putting our hands to the plow and from planting the seeds of truth we have learned by calling on people in ministerial service. Jesus told a parable of a father with two sons. One said he would work in the vineyard, but he never went. The other son said he would not do the work, but he finally did it. The father had affection for the one who did the job. (Matt. 21:28-31) If we are to please our heavenly Father, we will show a willing spirit and accomplish the work entrusted to us. Having dedicated our lives to God, it is up to us to put the Kingdom interests first in our lives in all things. Do not hold back in serving Jehovah, for he does not hold back from us the blessings of life and of learning the truth and serving him.
18. In what ways can we support the local congregation?
18 We cannot hope, though, to accomplish the ministry properly on our own. When Jesus said this good news would be preached throughout the world, he foresaw an organization that he described as a faithful slave class to dispense the food in due season. Therefore to do things Jehovah’s way we must be in full harmony with his organization. Knowing of the tremendous work of witnessing that is to be accomplished, we should co-operate fully with the faithful slave class so the work will move ahead rapidly. We do this by arranging our schedule not only to spend as much time in the ministry as possible, but also in other ways. When it is time for meetings to start, we will be there. We remember that Jehovah is the great timekeeper, so we imitate him, thus showing respect for the theocratic schedule of activities that has been set within the local congregation. When we get to the Kingdom Hall, we should not immediately sit down, but, instead, it is good to speak to the brothers, especially going out of our way to talk with those we may not know so well or who may be new. This is something that every brother and sister can do, thus “encouraging one another.” Jehovah reveals himself to be a God of love and hospitality; so we reflect our knowledge of his ways by demonstrating these attributes ourselves. Or when the congregation servant gives us an assignment in the training program to help someone progress in the ministry or to receive help ourselves, we want to do everything we can to make it a success. This too is part of Jehovah’s arrangement for us to gain maturity today through his organization. As we read in Ephesians 4:11, 12: “He gave . . . some as shepherds and teachers, with a view to the training of the holy ones for ministerial work.”
19. What choice is before every person?
19 Today, just as in the past, the choice is up to us as to which way we will go. Joshua put the matter plainly to the Israelites by saying: “Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve . . . But as for me and my household, we shall serve Jehovah.” (Josh. 24:15) When one knows the truth and the way Jehovah sets before him and still does not follow it, he is no longer on Jehovah’s way to life but is traveling down a dead-end road. As James 4:17 says: “If one knows how to do what is right and yet does not do it, it is a sin for him.” Just as there is one Supreme God “whose name is Jehovah,” so there is but one way, not many, to know and serve him. Jehovah takes delight in the happy productive course of those who serve him by bearing Kingdom fruit. Either the ground drinks in rain and brings forth vegetation and receives a blessing from God, or it proves itself to be unproductive except for thorns and thistles, fit only for destruction. What kind of soil are you? Have you received the Word with gladness and worked in the vineyard to “bear much fruit”? Paul urges each dedicated Christian today, Do “not become sluggish, but be imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”—Heb. 6:7, 8, 12; Luke 8:11-15.
20. What blessings come from doing all things Jehovah’s way?
20 Having learned of Jehovah’s way, follow it closely. Put forth every effort to remain close to that way and to make progress in the truth from year to year. Jehovah’s way is plainly marked for men of all nations who sincerely seek it. “And there will certainly come to be a highway there, even a way; and the Way of Holiness it will be called. The unclean one will not pass over it. And it will be for the one walking on the way, and the foolish themselves will not wander about in it. . . . And these very ones redeemed by Jehovah will return and certainly come to Zion with a joyful cry; and rejoicing to time indefinite will be upon their head. To exultation and rejoicing they will attain, and grief and sighing must flee away.” (Isa. 35:8-10) It is time now to get on this highway to life with the New World society. There is no other way by which to gain Jehovah’s favor. Doing all things Jehovah’s way is the way of happiness and life.—Jer. 7:23.
Go on walking in wisdom toward those on the outside, buying out the opportune time for yourselves. Let your utterance be always with graciousness, seasoned with salt, so as to know how you ought to give an answer to each one.—Col. 4:5, 6.