The Happy Family of the Wonder-working God
1. Why is God’s family supremely happy today?
THERE is one family on earth today that is supremely happy. It is the happy family of the great God who is “doing wondrous things.” Its family members are scattered among all nations and peoples of earth, but all are happily united through their worship of the most loving Father in all the universe. They are happy because their Father, Jehovah, has established the kingdom of heaven in the hands of his Son, Christ Jesus, and because he has placed before them the wondrous prospect of an abundant family life for all eternity. They are the happy children of the happy God.
2. (a) Why are most human families unhappy today? (b) What can be said as to modern “gods”?
2 Most families among mankind today are unhappy. It is because they are “in opposition to the healthful teaching according to the glorious good news of the happy God.” (1 Tim. 1:9-11) In a measure never before known, human families are broken by divorce, delinquency and lovelessness. Why is this so? It is because they have not come to know the happy God, Jehovah, the one true Source of unity and happiness. Instead, men have accumulated for themselves a multitude of false gods. There are sectarian “gods” as numerous as the sects of Christendom, and there are ancestral and national “gods.” In sacrificing to its communistic “god,” Red China has broken up family life and segregated the sexes into communes. Others are ascribing salvation to the United Nations. Many individuals have become devotees of some “star” of filmdom’s immoral firmament, or of some military, political or sports hero. The materialistically-minded of this modern age are aptly described by the apostle Paul: “Their god is their belly, and their glory consists in their shame, and they have their minds upon things on the earth.” (Phil. 3:19) They are in fact in blind bondage to Satan, “the god of this system of things.” (2 Cor. 4:4) They are not happy.
3. What alone can make men happy today?
3 It is only the “glorious good news of the happy God,” the summation of all the grand message contained in his Word, the Bible, that can make men happy today. It is only this good news concerning God’s kingdom that can lead men out of the darkness of this crazed world into the glorious light and unity enjoyed by God’s family in heaven and on earth. Those who seek true happiness must worship the happy God and Father of all things living, as did the apostle: “On account of this I bend my knees to the Father, to whom every family in heaven and on earth owes its name.”—Eph. 3:14, 15.
4, 5. (a) How can man on earth come to appreciate the glory of Jehovah’s family in heaven? (b) What are some of the glories of Jehovah’s creation that testify to his majesty?
4 Man who is made “a little less than godlike ones” is not able to see God’s family in the heavens by human vision. However, by the eye of spiritual discernment, instructed through God’s inspired Word, he can understand much concerning the glory of that family and the surpassing glory of its Father. He can appreciate the joyous announcement of the heavenly seraph: “Holy, holy, holy is Jehovah of armies. The fullness of all the earth is his glory.” (Isa. 6:3) Indeed, the glories of God’s creations on earth reflect some of the far grander glories that fill God’s superlative creation of the invisible heavens.
5 Look, for a moment, at some of these glories of God’s creation. Wherever it has been unspoiled by the hands of fallen men, nature breathes wisdom, beauty and harmony. The procession of the seasons with their changing colors, and the infinite variety and loveliness that pervades the human, the animal and plant creations—this all testifies concerning the loving Creator, who made everything “well-arranged in its time.” (Eccl. 3:11) These wonders have been perpetuated according to the divine laws through millenniums of time, before ever modern man began to pollute earth and air with the by-products of his science, and human minds with his atheistic teachings. Men of nuclear science, bent on blasting one another off the face of the earth, would do well to pause and consider how the Creator, Jehovah, has used nuclear fission for peaceful purposes throughout billions of years. It was Jehovah, the perfect Organizer, who made the nuclear furnace called the sun, and placed the earth in orbit—not too far, not too close—so that earthly mortals might receive just the right amount of energy to sustain life. Like David of old, modern-day men of faith and humility are compelled to declare: “When I see your heavens, the works of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have prepared, what is mortal man that you keep him in mind, and the son of earthling man that you take care of him? . . . O Jehovah our Lord, how majestic your name is in all the earth!”—Ps. 8:3-9.
6. What does Daniel 7:9-14 reveal as to (a) the glory of Jehovah’s heavenly throne? (b) an everlasting kingdom?
6 Jehovah’s name is truly majestic in all the earth. But if the fullness of the earth is his glory, how much more so the fullness of his peerless spirit creation! Here again is wisdom and organization, but on a magnificent scale: “I beheld till thrones were placed, and one that was ancient of days did sit: his raiment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames, and the wheels thereof burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousands of thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.” Myriads of angels, serving in grand unison! And now Jehovah, the “ancient of days,” has given into the hands of Christ, yes, to “one like unto a son of man . . . dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations, and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”—Dan. 7:9-14, AS.
7 Ezekiel 1:4-28 also gives a glowing vision of the heavenly throne and the brightness of the glory of Jehovah round about it. Here Jehovah’s loyal organization of the heavens is pictured by “four living creatures,” foursquare in their completeness, and ever ready to zealously do Jehovah’s bidding, for they “ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.” Each of the heads of these living creatures is shown to have the face of a man, of a lion, of an ox and of an eagle, symbolizing the qualities emanating from Jehovah in perfect balance, and which characterize His entire family of the heavens and the earth: boundless love, courageous justice, irresistible power and far-seeing wisdom. Revelation 4:1-8 gives a similar vision of Jehovah’s glorious organization of holy creatures, his devoted and wide-awake universal organization that ever exults in proclaiming: “Holy, holy, holy is Jehovah God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is coming.”
8. (a) How does Jehovah’s universal organization serve as a devoted “wife”? (b) Who are now coming to appreciate the glory of Jehovah and his organization?
8 Jehovah’s universal organization serves in family relationship to him as a devoted “wife” or helper. It is watchful, loving and industrious, just like a faithful wife in a happy human family. (Prov. 31:10-31) Concerning this wifely organization, which includes his anointed, dedicated children on earth, Jehovah declares: “And the nations will certainly see your righteousness, O woman, and all kings your glory. . . . And you must become a crown of beauty in the hand of Jehovah, and a kingly turban in the palm of your God. . . . And with the exultation of a bridegroom over a bride, your God will exult even over you.” (Isa. 62:2, 3, 5) As the prophecy foretold, men of good will from all nations are now joining the anointed remnant of Jehovah’s spirit-begotten children on earth, in beholding the righteousness, the glory and the beauty of Jehovah’s universal family organization. They are coming out from the darkness and gloom that envelops the worldly nations, to rejoice in light and truth, for now “the very glory of Jehovah has shone forth.”—Isa. 60:1-8.
9. How may God’s family find happiness and peace today?
9 Do you desire the happiness and peace that only Jehovah can provide? Then heed well the teaching that he sends forth through his wifely organization, to whom it is written: “And all your sons will be persons taught by Jehovah, and the peace of your sons will be abundant.”—Isa. 54:13.
HEALTHFUL TEACHING FOR GOD’S FAMILY
10. How did Jesus identify the instrument for bringing healthful teaching to God’s family on earth?
10 In his remarkable prophecy concerning the consummation of the present system of things, Jesus foretold the world wars, the distress, the increasing lawlessness—yes, even that false “god” that causes desolation, the United Nations. He also foretold that “this good news of the kingdom” would be preached in all the earth, and he identified the instrument he would use for this, as well as for bringing healthful teaching to all of God’s own family on earth. He said: “Who really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics to give them their food at the proper time? Happy is that slave if his master on arriving finds him doing so. Truly I say to you, He will appoint him over all his belongings.”—Matt. 24:7, 8, 12, 14, 15, 45-47.
11. How has the “slave” shown itself wide-awake to Kingdom privileges?
11 This slave is quite unlike the watchmen of Christendom that love to slumber. (Isa. 56:10) The “slave,” namely, the composite body of the remnant of Jehovah’s anointed, dedicated sons on earth today, is wide-awake to his Kingdom privileges, and diligently obeys his Master, Christ Jesus. He happily greeted the Master when he arrived in 1918 to judge professing Christians. It was at this time of inspection that the Master declared: “Well done, good and faithful slave! You were faithful over a few things. I will appoint you over many things. Enter into the joy of your master.” (Matt. 25:21) Having been appointed over many things—indeed, over all the Master’s Kingdom interests on earth—this “slave” organization faithfully follows the leadings of Jehovah’s Word and spirit in publishing Bible instruction, “food at the proper time,” and in seeing to it that this pours forth in ever-increasing volume to the very ends of the earth.
12. What wonderful organization has been brought forth for the spiritual feeding of God’s family?
12 Through the joyful ministration of the “faithful and discreet slave” all of God’s family on earth receive their proper nourishment. This is vital to their upbuilding. To maintain spiritual joy and health, all must dine regularly at the family table, and for this reason the “slave” has appointed overseers in more than 19,000 congregations throughout the earth. These see that proper meetings for healthful teaching are arranged four or five times every week and that all in the congregational family are aided to attend and to share in God’s service. In this way they “work what is good toward all, but especially toward those related to us in the faith.” (Gal. 6:10) Extending into 175 nations and territories, and with all parts working together in complete unity, this family is certainly the most wonderful family ever to appear on the face of this earth. It is the modern-day “household of God.”—Eph. 2:19.
13. In what ways is divine education superior to worldly education?
13 Healthful teaching from the happy God is all-important today. However, in this upside-down world many are struggling for an education in some scientific, philosophical or cultural field. During their brief life span they can hope at best to specialize in one narrow field. Far broader, and far more thrilling, is the field of divine education now being entered upon by God’s family of the New World society. It is not limited to ten or so years of worldly schooling, nor to a lifetime of seventy or eighty years. It does not stop with a graduation, nor will it stop when great men of modern science are pulverized at Armageddon with their instruments of destruction by what God does to them. It is education that goes on forever, specializing in different studies at different times.—Eccl. 3:1.
14. (a) Why is it necessary now to specialize in divine education? (b) How should secular education be viewed and kept in its place?
14 Right now the divine education is specializing in the wondrous truths concerning Jehovah’s established kingdom. Hence it is important for all of God’s family to give first attention to their personal Bible study and to attending their local Kingdom Hall regularly, doing their utmost to become equipped as workmen approved by God, “handling the word of the truth aright.” (2 Tim. 2:15) A good, basic secular education is also important to those of God’s family. But for what purpose? For advancement in this world? Not so, but it is important only insofar as it equips them and provides background for their role as ministers. Keep secular education in its place. Those who get interested in superior worldly learning, or who try to “develop character” by wandering from one culture to another, are liable to get drowned in this world’s philosophy. (Col. 2:8) All should make it their one goal now to win through to God’s new world. Later there will be abundant opportunity to share in other studies, according to the divine season and purpose.
15, 16. (a) What boundless possibilities will education hold for mankind in the new world? (b) What worthwhile effort should all now put forth?
15 Physiologists have shown that man today uses only a fraction of his brain.a In his article “Your Brain’s Unrealized Powers” Bruce Bliven said: “The brain’s capacity is almost inexhaustible.” Why labor to use that fraction of a brain in the temporary pursuit of worldly knowledge, when in the new world, with perfection restored, man will be able to use all his divinely provided mental power in crossing glorious vistas of knowledge that modern intellectuals have never even started to probe! Possibilities of attainment in the new world are boundless. The great masterpieces of worldly art, of music and of scientific invention of this present age, will fade into mediocrity and insignificance beside the grand artistry of new-world productions. No longer will man toil for greed or for war, but all his accomplishments will be for peace and to the eternal glory of Jehovah God.—Ps. 104:24, 31; Isa. 65:22-25.
16 In the new world, what a joy it will be to keep taking knowledge into perfect, retentive minds! How worth the effort now, hard as it may seem to some, to take into imperfect minds the divine sayings and healthful teachings that lead on to everlasting life!—John 6:63, 68.
FAMILY EDUCATION FOR LIFE
17, 18. (a) What serious responsibility now rests on parents? (b) How does the present crisis underline this responsibility?
17 In walking with the true God and his happy family, it is needful for all to meet their responsibilities in their individual fleshly families. Do you have children of your own? If so, are you doing everything you possibly can to educate your children in the divine principles? Or are you content to let them run around with the world, letting things slide until a “more favorable opportunity” comes for divine education?
18 This world is face to face with its biggest crisis. It is like the crisis that overtook Judah, and which led up to Jerusalem’s desolation in 607 B.C. At that time the Jews were engulfed in materialism and false religion. Some even sacrificed their children in the flames of the pagan god Molech. (Jer. 32:35) Horrible as this may sound, it finds a parallel today, when Christendom has turned from healthful Bible teaching and has allowed its children to be swallowed up by modern-day materialism and delinquency. Never may this happen to children of the New World society! Let parents be ever on the alert, guiding their children in love and according to the divine principles.—Eph. 6:1-4; Prov. 22:6.
19. How does the wise parent guard his children today?
19 The wise parent today keeps his children close by him. He is interested in them, and regularly studies the Bible with them at home. He follows all the wise counsel of God’s Word, in properly training his children. When it comes to meeting time, he appreciates that it is not a matter of asking the children, Would you like to come along? Or of suggesting to them, Do you feel too tired tonight, deary? Nor does he take them along just because there is no one at home to look after them. He does not leave the children at home for fear they may be too noisy at the meeting. He takes the little ones to the meeting, whether they want to go or not, and if they misbehave, he corrects them, not by bribing them with candies, but by applying a good spanking as needed. They soon understand that they are there to listen and to learn.—Prov. 13:24; 23:13, 14; Deut. 4:9, 10.
20. (a) What worthy example is to be found in the course of Judah under faithful King Jehoshaphat? (b) What important decision must parents make for their dependent children?
20 As the crisis in the earth increases, so does the need to guard one’s children. When Judah under faithful King Jehoshaphat faced a similar crisis, they assembled and sought counsel from Jehovah. Who assembled? Just the adults? The record reads: “Even from all the cities of Judah they came to consult Jehovah. All the while all those of Judah were standing before Jehovah, even their little ones, their wives and their sons.” (2 Chron. 20:4, 13-17) On that occasion all the families of Judah, “even their little ones,” saw the salvation of Jehovah on their behalf. Parents, it means protection and life to your children to have them attend meetings with you, not just occasionally when they feel like it, but always, according to your own zealous theocratic example. Until they grow up to the age of individual responsibility, this is one important decision you make for them.—Deut. 6:4-7; 29:10-13.
21, 22. (a) How may youthful minds be molded even from earliest years? (b) How has one young mother made a splendid start?
21 The Jesuits have been reported as saying, “Give me a child of six and I shall make it a Catholic.”b They realize that a person’s entire life may be molded during those tender years. Parents in God’s great family should be even more zealous toward their children. Theirs is the opportunity, not to mold youthful minds to a sectarian belief, but rather to the “healthful teaching of the glorious good news” that leads to everlasting life. If this molding starts in the first years, the child’s earliest questions will be concerning Jehovah and his purposes. Even long before kindergarten days, the protective principles of Bible teaching will be taking root in that young heart. From tenderest years he can share in the family’s daily discussion of the text from the Yearbook. Later, as he learns to read, godly parents can instruct him, not only by his own regular study, but also by helping him prepare for a share in meetings.
22 There is a special pioneer sister in Hong Kong who has a young baby. From the age of two weeks that baby has regularly attended meetings, several times a week, in its baby basket. Through the ready co-operation of relatives, the mother has been able to devote 150 hours a month in Kingdom service since the baby was a few weeks old, and baby goes too, as appropriate. Now, who will have the better opportunity of growing into a mature and zealous minister of God: The baby of that young Chinese mother, or the “modern child” that is left to please itself?
23. How may husbands help unbelieving wives, and wives unbelieving husbands?
23 How happy the associations of brothers and sisters in God’s earth-wide family of Jehovah’s witnesses, and how joyous the prospect of surviving together into God’s new world of righteousness! But how much greater the joy when fleshly families are united within the larger family of God’s people! Husbands, help your wives! Wives, help your husbands! It is worth all the tactful planning and talking you can do, to help your marriage partner realize with you the glorious hope of the new world so near at hand. In this respect, some have lost a fine opportunity through fear of man and lack of faith. They have feared what a husband might say or do when he found out they were witnessing for Jehovah. So they have kept the husband in the dark, so to speak. The Bible says: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love throws fear outside, because fear exercises a restraint.” (1 John 4:18) Tell your marriage mate about the glorious good news of the Kingdom. Give him the opportunity to come along with you. Have faith that Jehovah will direct the matter.
24. How may wisdom and the Scriptures be used for the salvation of other family members?
24 In talking to such family members, use wisdom in the topics of conversation chosen. Do not raise antagonism by getting onto controversial points first. Rather, talk about the great truths concerning the loving and all-wise Creator and God, the glorious prospect of the paradise earth, the wonderful love and unity that exist in the New World society, and its high moral principles. Build appreciation of the fine organization that Jehovah has throughout the earth. When controversial points do crop up, be prepared with logical Scriptural reasoning, and use it kindly but with conviction. Remember, “the word of God is alive and exerts power.” (Heb. 4:12; 2 Cor. 10:3-5) Use it well, for the salvation of others of your family.
25. What vision should be held as to the wondrous structure and unity of God’s family?
25 Happy are all those who find and who hold fast their place in God’s universal family. Surely this family is a most marvelous creation of the wonder-working God! Before Jehovah’s glorious throne of the heavens, “ten thousand times ten thousand” of holy angels continue to minister in grand unity. Exalted as capital and as “new heavens” above all these is God’s kingdom in the hands of Christ Jesus, and with him are the resurrected ones of his “little flock,” the 144,000. As the earthly part of this universal family, there now comes into view “a new earth,” the New World society of Jehovah’s witnesses, filling the globe with the praises to the one great God. Behold the multitudes that are flocking into that family! Oh, the unity of all of God’s family! It is the kind of unity concerning which Jesus spoke when with his disciples on earth: “I make request, not concerning these only, but also concerning those putting faith in me through their word, in order that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in union with me and I am in union with you, that they also may be in union with us, in order that the world may believe that you sent me forth.” “And I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; those also I must bring, and they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock, one shepherd.”—John 17:20-22; 10:16.
26. (a) What meaningful assurance do Jehovah’s promises now hold? (b) What should lovers of truth and righteousness now do?
26 As this tottering old world of Satan, with its false religion and its “crazed” nations, lines up for extinction at Armageddon, Jehovah provides inspiring hope in his promise of the eternally peaceful new world to follow. How loving and generous he will continue to be as the kind Father of all his universal family! What meaningful assurance do his promises now hold: “Look! I am making all things new.” “Write, because these words are trustworthy and true.” “To anyone thirsting I will give from the fountain of the water of life free.” (Rev. 21:1-7) Let all who love truth and righteousness drink deeply now of the water of life, that they may hold their place forever in the happy family of the great God who is “doing wondrous things.” ‘With all their heart,’ let them pray to the Father, as did David: “You are God, you alone. Instruct me, O Jehovah, about your way. I shall walk in your truth. Unify my heart to fear your name.”—Ps. 86:10, 11.
a Reader’s Digest, October, 1956, p. 59; The Saturday Review, October 13, 1956, p. 26.
b Page 43 from My Conversion or Why I Left the Church of Rome, by Bozhidar Milosevich.