Questions From Readers
● In speaking of Jehovah God, Psalm 104:3 says: “The One building his upper chambers with beams in the very waters, making the clouds his chariot.” How can God be said to be building in “the very waters”?
Psalm 104:3, together with its context, has reference to things above; that is, to things higher than the earth and which are in the heavens. Hence this verse speaks of Jehovah as building his upper chambers with beams. These may be said to be in the very waters, inasmuch as the clouds that bear water float about in the upper atmospheric regions or in Jehovah’s upper chambers, as compared with man away down on the earth. Thus it is added in poetic language that Jehovah makes the clouds his chariot upon which to ride.
● How can it be said that God’s visible organization was made strictly theocratic or was fully theocratic in structure by 1938, when there are revisions and changes from time to time in organization instructions?
First of all, we must recognize what is meant when we say God’s visible organization was made strictly or fully theocratic. The term “theocracy” means “God rule” or “rule by God.” Therefore, if an organization is to be fully theocratic it must be directed and controlled altogether by God or by the forces that he operates. Of course, Jehovah was directing his organization before 1938, and it was accomplishing his purpose for that time, but he allowed his servants considerable latitude as to the control of the organization, even permitting them to elect by democratic vote those who would serve as their representatives. However, this was not the way the early congregation operated in the days of the apostles. It was the apostles themselves, not the congregation, who made appointments to service positions and it was through the apostles that the active force of God was transmitted. (Acts 14:23; 19:6) Also, it was the governing body of the apostles and older men at Jerusalem, moved by God’s spirit, who made decisions as to how the congregations were to conduct themselves. (Acts 15:28) So, after Jehovah came to his temple in 1918, he began to restore this fully theocratic arrangement and to put into effect stricter controls on the visible organization. It was a gradual process; so it was not until 1932 that the untheocratic, democratic method of voting men into eldership was stopped.
This strengthening of theocratic controls continued over a period of twenty years, from 1918 to 1938, and corresponds to the twenty-year building program of Solomon, in which time he completed Jehovah’s temple, his own house, the porch of judgment and the House of the Forest of Lebanon or the armory. In 1938 Jehovah revealed this correspondency to his servants and it was published in The Watchtower in a two-part article entitled “Organization.” This appeared in the issues of June 1 and 15 and proved conclusively that Jehovah’s organization must henceforth be guided and directed by Jehovah’s spirit through the visible governing body made up of those servants whom Jehovah himself would appoint. The concluding paragraph in this series stated: “Jehovah’s theocratic government is now in full control of the people of God.”
But this did not mean that the organization would stand still or that new projects or new methods of performing service would not be initiated. On the contrary. In these same articles on “Organization,” The Watchtower called to our attention that after Solomon completed his twenty-year building he embarked on a nationwide building program. How this was to be done in fulfillment of the type, or what it was to accomplish, was not then known, but The Watchtower said: “With full confidence we will wait, and we shall see.” Today we are seeing some of the results of the worldwide building program of the Greater Solomon, Jesus Christ, and as we view what has been accomplished we realize that it could be only by God’s spirit and through a growth and development of God’s people themselves. New features of the work have required new methods, which has meant revisions and changes from time to time in organization instructions, but it is all a part of the advancement of Jehovah’s theocratically controlled organization under the immediate direction of Jehovah God himself. Therefore, these revisions and changes are themselves fully theocratic, so they do not alter in any way the fully theocratic structure of the organization.