Keeping International Unity Under God’s Kingdom
WHAT a lack of unity this old world presents! Look where we will, we see confusion, division and conflict. Politically the world is divided into blocs of nations at loggerheads with each other; individual nations oppose each other and within nations political parties bitterly fight each other. Religiously, commercially and racially it is the same story; and even scientifically. Science is supposed to be truth, yet scientists are divided on ever so many subjects. For example: Leading physicists radically disagree with one another on the relative harm threatened by atomic fallout, even as medical scientists strikingly contradict one another as to the cause, nature and treatment of cancer.
What a delightful and refreshing change from all this is presented by the Christian witnesses of Jehovah, who have united under the kingdom of God! Theirs is truly an international unity, for they have come “out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues.” Their unity was long ago foretold by Jehovah’s prophets: “They will have to beat their swords into plowshares.” “In unity I shall set them, like a flock in the pen, like a drove in the midst of its pasture.”—Rev 7:9; Isa. 2:4; Mic. 2:12.a
This is as it should be, for are not Jehovah God and his Son in perfect unity, and did not Jesus pray that his followers should have a like unity? In fact, Jesus said that love would identify his followers, and is not love “a perfect bond of union”?—Col. 3:14; John 17:21.
Typical of the unique unity of these Christians is that demonstrated in the incident that took place in New Britain, an island in the South Pacific, as reported in the 1962 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses. There, during last year’s riots in Rabaul, mainland and local natives from other missions were fighting and killing one another with no apparent restraining influence from their religious leaders. However, those being taught by the witnesses of Jehovah not only kept clear of all strife themselves but even hid those of another tribe who were in danger of death.
What has made this international unity possible? For one thing, those at unity possessed good and honest hearts to begin with. Then, these all worship the same God, the Creator whose name is Jehovah. Further, these all accept the Bible as the infallible inspired Word of God. Additionally, these all look to Jehovah for his holy spirit that enlightens and strengthens them. Their common allegiance to the kingdom of God has in particular served to bring them in unity. Nor to be overlooked is the instrumentality Jehovah God is so obviously using and blessing today, namely, the “faithful and discreet slave,” whom the Master, Jesus Christ, appointed over all his belongings.—Matt. 24:45-47.
As a result of these unifying forces the Christian witnesses of Jehovah manifest unity in every respect. Regardless of the part of the earth in which they may happen to live, regardless of their skin color, economic or cultural level, they think alike! They heed the words of the apostle Paul at 1 Corinthians 1:10, and so there are no divisions among them but they all speak in agreement and are “fitly united in the same mind and in the same line of thought.” To this end they keep studying God’s Word individually and collectively, at congregational meetings and larger gatherings.
Their international unity is also manifested by their living alike. Each one of them is concerned about being transformed by making his mind over; each one is concerned with stripping off the old personality and clothing himself with the new personality. Yes, each one is endeavoring to bring forth the fruits of the spirit, which are “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control.” And they work at producing this fruitage continuously.—Gal. 5:22, 23.
The most conspicuous aspect of their international unity is their preaching alike; they bear the same message, they use the same distinctive methods. They appreciate that just as the express purpose for which Jesus came to the earth was to “bear witness to the truth,” so they must make witnessing their chief purpose in life. Like Paul, they exclaim: “Really, woe is me if I did not declare the good news!”—John 18:37; 1 Cor. 9:16.
By thinking alike, living alike and preaching alike the Christian witnesses of Jehovah keep their international unity under God’s kingdom. During August they will manifest this unity by, among other things, offering at every opportunity the Bible-study aid “Let Your Name Be Sanctified.”
a For details see The Watchtower, October 15, 1961.