Forward into the New Order Under Theocracy!
“Say among the nations: ‘Jehovah himself has become king.’”—Ps. 96:10.
1. For man’s preservation in a Paradise earth what kind of government is necessary?
FOR the everlasting preservation of the human race on a healthful Paradise earth a stable government is necessary. That means a permanent government of righteousness is necessary. Such a government is bound to come! It is even foretold to come—on the best of authority.
2. (a) If a democracy were offered as the necessary government, what assurance would there be for its stability? (b) What about World Federalists and a one-man government world wide?
2 What kind of government will it be? That all depends upon the power, individual or collective, that sets it up. Will it be the people collectively that will establish it and determine its form? If things worked out in that way, then a democracy would result. Would such a prospect make the future look bright for us? Not according to the showing that democracies have made in history down to date. Today, in spite of the military might of some of these democracies or people’s republics, even their stableness is very much in question. The survival of them in the darkening future is no more assured than that of other types of government. Those persons who call themselves World Federalists have their theories but are unable to produce a satisfactory world government. And nobody wants a one-man government world wide, a world dictatorship with an imperfect human individual as the absolute ruler.
3, 4. (a) With whom does the right lie to decide and order how earth shall be ruled? (b) Of what two questions asked by Isaiah does the argument of evolutionists remind us, and what is the answer thereto?
3 Well, then, what about a government set up by the Maker of the earth? Yes, by the Creator of man Himself? Has anyone a better right to decide and order how this earth and its inhabitants shall be governed than He has? The answer to this question is self-evident.
4 O the evolutionists may sarcastically say that there is no personal intelligent Maker of the earth and of man; but those evolutionists have been unable to produce a satisfactory government, even after the millions of years that they claim that man has been evolving on earth before reaching this much-vaunted Brain Age of man. Those evolutionists are made of just common clay like all the rest of us, and they remind us of a couple of questions that were asked two thousand seven hundred years before these brainy evolutionists came along: “Should the thing made say respecting its maker: ‘He did not make me’? And does the very thing formed actually say respecting its former: ‘He showed no understanding’?” (Isa. 29:16) No one can successfully deny that earth’s Maker and man’s Former showed understanding. And a government that He understands how to set up over man would be a theocracy.
5, 6. (a) Which was first on earth, democracy or theocracy, and what does the Bible show on this? (b) The first human couple could have lived to what point of fulfillment of God’s command to them?
5 Reliable historic records prove that theocracy was ahead of democracy on the earth. Even scientists are forced to admit that our human race descended from a first human married couple. That first man and first woman had to be under a theocracy or rule of God, for God was their Maker and likewise their Ruler, their Lawgiver, their Commander. They were not caveman and cavewoman. They were Paradise persons, for God created them in an earthly Paradise. (Gen. 2:7-25) Like with the fishes, birds and land animals, God had implanted in this perfect human couple the power to have offspring; and what finer purpose in life could he set before them than that which was set out in this theocratic command: “Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it, and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving upon the earth”?—Gen. 1:26-28.
6 With God’s blessing this flawlessly made human couple could live to see this divine command completely carried out—the whole earth subdued to a global paradise, comfortably filled with their children and children’s children in perfection.
7. (a) Why and how could they have lived to see earth filled with their descendants? (b) Why were we, their descendants, born under condemnation to death?
7 Even if it took a thousand years of living, that first married couple could have survived to see the full number of their offspring that were meant to inhabit the global paradise forever, for they did not need to die. By living loyal to the Theocracy, God’s invisible rule, and teaching all their offspring to live loyal to it, they could have been alive today and with the prospect ahead of them of living happily in Paradise with all their offspring to endless time. It was when our first parents rejected Theocracy and chose people’s rule, or democracy, that they came under the sentence of death. Because we were born to them after they made that choice and were driven out of the Paradise of Eden to die, we inherited sin and the condemnation to death from them. (Gen. 2:16, 17; 3:1 to 4:2; Rom. 5:12) From this we can see that democracy holds no promise of eternal life. Theocracy does.
8. (a) When and where did democracy come into existence, and how? (b) What about theocracy at that time?
8 All trace of that lost Paradise was wiped out by the global flood in the days of Noah, the tenth man in the line of descent from the first man, Adam. About sixteen centuries after that, or in the eighth century before our Common Era, Greece is reported to be in existence. It is said to be the birthplace of democracy. First about the year 700 B.C.E. was there a tendency toward democratic government in the Grecian city-states. This resulted in people’s forms of government as time went on and the people gained power, especially when the high-ranking cavalry of the nobles was eliminated and the forming of the phalanx of common foot soldiers came about.a But more than eight hundred years before that, a theocracy has been established on earth by the heavenly Theocrat. Where?
9, 10. (a) Where was this theocracy established, and with what form of worship? (b) How did Moses, in his farewell speech, point out that Israel had a royal theocratic government?
9 In the Sinaitic Peninsula. There, at Mount Horeb, He announced the Ten Commandments. In the first of those Ten Commandments he said: “I am Jehovah your God, who have brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slaves. You must not have any other gods against my face.” (Ex. 20:1-3) That first commandment showed that he was speaking and acting as a Theocrat or Divine Ruler and was speaking to the people whom he had liberated and over whom he was establishing a Theocracy. That was back in the spring of the year 1513 B.C.E. By the use of the prophet Moses as his mediator, Jehovah established not only the form of government but also the form of religious worship for his liberated people as an organized nation. So it had a theocratic government and a theocratic worship. About forty years later the aged Moses gave his farewell speech to the theocratic nation. Speaking of it as Jeshurun, meaning “Upright One,” Moses said:
10 “Jehovah—from Sinai he came, . . . And he came to be king in Jeshurun, when the heads of the people gathered themselves, the entire number of the tribes of Israel.”—Deut. 33:1-5.
11, 12. (a) In what land was Theocracy finally established, and how? (b) How did Judge Gideon prove loyal to the Theocracy, and in his day what local governing body did Succoth have?
11 In the spring following Moses’ death, in 1473 B.C.E., Jehovah their King brought his theocratic nation across the Jordan River and into the Promised Land. After years of conquest over the pagan, untheocratic inhabitants of the land, the Theocracy was established over most of the Promised Land. There were many temptations for the Israelites to depart from the theocratic rule.
12 In one instance, in order to restore His wayward people to theocratic order, Jehovah raised up Judge Gideon as a deliverer. After the driving out of the oppressive enemies, the Israelites wanted to make Gideon their visible king, the head of a dynasty of kings. But Gideon was loyal to the Theocracy. So he said to the would-be king-makers: “I myself shall not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. Jehovah is the one who will rule over you.” (Judg. 8:22, 23) Under that theocratic rule the cities continued to have a number of elders as a local governing body. In Gideon’s day the city of Succoth had seventy-seven elders, including the local princes. (Judg. 8:6, 14-16) As official older men they represented Succoth.
FROM JEWISH THEOCRACY TO MESSIANIC THEOCRACY
13, 14. (a) What alteration in the government took place in the days of the prophet Samuel, and how? (b) How did David become king of all Israel, and on whose throne was he said to sit?
13 In the year 1117 B.C.E. the Theocracy in the Promised Land underwent an alteration, took on an added feature. The official older men of the people asked Jehovah’s prophet Samuel to install a visible human king over the nation. Jehovah was displeased and said to Samuel: “It is I whom they have rejected from being king over them.” (1 Sam. 8:4-7) Yet Jehovah authorized Samuel to anoint Saul the son of Kish of the tribe of Benjamin to be king over all Israel. Being anointed as king by Jehovah’s prophet, Saul became “the anointed of Jehovah.”—1 Sam. 12:3, 5; 24:6, 10.
14 Because of King Saul’s repeated disobedience, Jehovah had Samuel anoint the shepherd boy David of Bethlehem to become the future king of Israel. So after Saul’s death and the death of his son and successor, what took place? We read: “So all the older men of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David concluded a covenant with them in Hebron before Jehovah; after which they anointed David as king over Israel.” (2 Sam. 5:1-3) Thus David became “the anointed [Messiah] of Jehovah,” and he was said to sit on “Jehovah’s throne” as the visible representative of the great Theocrat.—1 Chron. 29:23.
15. Whose kingship over Israel did David acknowledge, and as respects this what did he say when the Ark was transferred to Jerusalem?
15 King David recognized the great Theocrat, saying: “Yours is the kingdom, O Jehovah, the One also lifting yourself up as head over all.” (1 Chron. 29:10, 11) At the time that David had the sacred Ark of the Covenant transferred to a tent near his palace in Jerusalem, David composed a memorial psalm in which he said: “Let them say among the nations, ‘Jehovah himself has become king!’” (1 Chron. 16:31; Ps. 96:10) That was about 1070 B.C.E.
16. (a) When Jerusalem and its temple were destroyed and the land became desolate for seventy years, what happened to the Theocracy? (b) What would restoration of the Messianic kingdom bring in, and till then in what condition were Jehovah’s people to continue?
16 Four hundred and sixty-three years afterward Jehovah’s temple of worship in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians, and Jerusalem and the land of Judah became desolated for seventy years as the deported inhabitants were exiles in the land of Babylon. Did that mean that Jehovah’s theocracy over his chosen people had ceased to exist? No! For he is the One who later brought about their restoration to their God-given land. What had ceased to exist was the kingdom in the royal line of David, and thus the Messianic kingdom of God in a miniature or small-scale way had gone out of operation. In due time the Messianic kingdom of God was to be restored. The restoration of it would lead to the bringing in of a righteous new order. (Ezek. 21:25-27; Acts 3:20, 21; 2 Pet. 3:13) In the meantime Jehovah’s people for His name would continue in relative subjection to the Gentile nations and their kingdoms.—Neh. 9:36, 37; Luke 21:24; Rom. 13:1.
17. (a) According to Isaiah 52:7, when Jehovah restored his people to their land, what was Jehovah apparently resuming? (b) How did Jehovah declare his kingship through Malachi?
17 Accordingly, when Jehovah brought back his people to their homeland in 537 B.C.E., it was as if Jehovah was resuming his reign over them. As it were, Jehovah sent ahead his messenger to his desolated earthly organization, in fulfillment of Isaiah 52:7, which reads: “How comely upon the mountains are the feet of the one bringing good news, the one publishing peace, the one bringing good news of something better, the one publishing salvation, the one saying to Zion: ‘Your God has become king!’” In evidence of this the temple was rebuilt at Jerusalem. Some decades later, when Jehovah raised up his prophet Malachi and explained why the Israelites should render him proper worship at his temple, he said: “‘For I am a great King,’ Jehovah of armies has said, ‘and my name will be fear-inspiring among the nations.’”—Mal. 1:14.
18. (a) In his Sermon on the Mount how did Jesus acknowledge Jehovah’s kingship over Israel? (b) How did he indicate that it would cease?
18 Even in the first century of our Common Era, when the true Messiah, Jesus Christ, was on our earth, he recognized the kingship of Jehovah over Israel, for, in his Sermon on the Mount, he told his disciples: “Do not swear at all, neither by heaven, because it is God’s throne; nor by earth, because it is the footstool of his feet; nor by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the great King.” (Matt. 5:34, 35) However, in the year 33 C.E., he indicated that Jehovah’s theocracy over Israel was about to cease. This was at Jerusalem, when he said to that city concerning her temple: “Look! Your house is abandoned to you.” Then, shortly thereafter, he foretold the destruction of that house of worship.—Matt. 23:37 to 24:22.
19. Were the Jews still under Theocratic Law at that time, and what shows whether?
19 At that time those Israelites to whom Jesus Christ preached the kingdom of God were still under the Theocratic Law covenant that the prophet Moses had mediated for their forefathers at Mount Sinai. On the following Passover day, which was celebrated at Jerusalem under that Theocratic Law, Jesus Christ was put to death as the antitypical Passover Lamb and was buried. But, because he was no false Christ, but was the true Messiah, he was raised from the dead on the third day to heavenly life. On the fortieth day from then, when Jesus Christ materialized and appeared to his disciples for the last time, they asked him: “Lord, are you restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?” (Acts 1:1-6) As Jesus Christ had not then appeared in God’s heavenly presence in behalf of any new covenant, the natural circumcised Israelites were still under the Theocratic Law covenant that had been inaugurated at Mount Sinai. This was true even though those Israelites were not then under the Messianic kingdom in the royal line of David. However, Jehovah’s theocracy over them was about to cease.
20. When did the proof come that a new covenant had been established, and how and toward whom?
20 Ten days later the Israelites were gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of Pentecost according to the Theocratic Law Covenant of Mount Sinai. Then, shortly before nine o’clock of that morning of Sivan 6, Jewish calendar, the visible, audible proof came that Jesus Christ had appeared in the presence of Jehovah God in the heavens and had applied the value of his perfect human sacrifice in behalf of a new covenant. This was the “new covenant” that was promised in Jeremiah 31:31-34 and that Jesus Christ had mentioned when he started the celebration of the Lord’s Supper on the preceding Passover night. (1 Cor. 11:23-26; Luke 22:14-20) The proof of this was the pouring out of God’s holy spirit from heaven. Upon whom? Not upon the Israelites celebrating the Pentecostal feast at Jerusalem’s temple, but upon the faithful disciples of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, about one hundred and twenty of them, gathered in an upper room in Jerusalem. Thus upon these disciples the prophecy of Joel 2:28, 29 was fulfilled.
21, 22. (a) With what nation was the new covenant established? (b) What did this mean about Jehovah’s Theocracy, and in harmony with this fact what did Peter say to thousands of Jews on Pentecost day?
21 This meant that these disciples were now in the “new covenant” through a Mediator greater than Moses, namely, Jesus Christ. By being begotten through God’s spirit to be his spiritual children, they had become spiritual Israelites. This meant, too, that Jehovah’s Theocracy had been transferred from the nation of natural circumcised Israel to this new “holy nation” of spiritual Israel, “the Israel of God.” (1 Pet. 2:9; Rom. 2:28, 29; 8:15-17; Gal. 6:16) So the old Law Covenant with natural Israel was abolished, went out of force. (Eph. 2:15, 16; Col. 2:13, 14; Rom. 7:4-6) In harmony with Jehovah’s Theocracy now over the disciples of Jesus Christ, the apostle Peter said to the thousands of Jews that were attracted by the miraculous outpouring of God’s holy spirit through Jesus Christ:
22 “David did not ascend to the heavens, but he himself says, ‘Jehovah said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet.”’ Therefore let all the house of Israel know for a certainty that God made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you impaled.”—Acts 2:34-36.
23, 24. (a) Whom did Jesus, while on earth, recognize as Jehovah’s congregation? And how did he show this? (b) When did Jesus establish the Messianic congregation, and what does Acts 5:11 say of it?
23 Like King David of old, Jesus Christ on earth recognized the nation of natural circumcised Israelites as the congregation of Jehovah God. (Ps. 22:22, 23; Heb. 2:12; Matt. 18:17) Therefore, while Jesus was on earth and under the Theocratic Law covenant, he did not establish any rival congregation, church or ecclesia. But he did have in mind the setting up of a Messianic congregation after the foretold “new covenant” was put in force by the presentation of his sacrificial merit to Jehovah God in heaven. That was why Jesus, less than a year before his sacrificial death and resurrection, said in response to the apostle Peter’s confession, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” these words: “You are Peter, and on this rock-mass I will build my congregation, and the gates of Hádes will not overpower it.”—Matt. 16:16-18.
24 The following year Jesus Christ did establish this congregation on the day of Pentecost (Sivan 6, 33 C.E.) by acting as Jehovah’s Chief Agent in pouring out the holy spirit upon his disciples. (Acts 2:32, 33) After that we read about the Messianic or Christian congregation. For example, at Acts 5:11, we read about the Jerusalem congregation: “Great fear came over the whole congregation and over all those hearing about these things.”—Acts 8:1.
25. (a) What kind of organization did the Christian congregation have to be? (b) To whom did ancient Israel belong, and why, and to whom the Christian congregation, and why?
25 Just as the ancient congregation of natural Israel was a theocratic organization, so the congregation of spiritual Israel should be and must be a theocratic organization. That means that God, whose name is Jehovah, is the Supreme Ruler of it. That explains why the things that happened to the ancient congregation of Israel could be said to have happened typically or “as examples” to Jehovah’s Christian congregation. (1 Cor. 10:6, 11) Jehovah delivered ancient Israel from slavery and death in Egypt on the basis of the blood of the Passover lamb and then from death in the Red Sea during their escape from the pursuing Egyptian armies. He could say to ancient Israel: “You are mine.” (Isa. 43:1) In like manner, the Christian congregation became His by the shed blood of the antitypical Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ, “Christ our passover.” (John 1:29, 36; 1 Cor. 5:7) Correctly the Christian apostle Paul spoke of it as “the congregation of God, which he purchased with the blood of his own Son.”—Acts 20:28.
26. (a) Because of being whose possession the “holy nation” had what kind of ruler over them, and how did Isaiah prophetically point this out? (b) What kind of covenant was the new covenant, and why?
26 Since the congregation is a “holy nation, a people for special possession,” it is Jehovah’s property and he is the undisputable Ruler over it. He is the God Ruler, the Theocrat. (1 Pet. 2:9; Ex. 19:5, 6) The theocratic position of Jehovah God toward the congregation is foretold in the prophet Isaiah’s words with reference to ancient Israel: “Jehovah is our Judge, Jehovah is our Statute-giver, Jehovah is our King; he himself will save us.” (Isa. 33:22) Acting in all these capacities, he established the Law covenant with ancient Israel through the prophet Moses as mediator. Through a Mediator greater than Moses, namely, through Jesus Christ, Jehovah has established the new covenant with the Christian congregation of spiritual Israelites. (1 Tim. 2:5, 6) As the Theocratic Ruler, Jehovah states in that new covenant: “I will put my law within them, and in their heart I shall write it. And I will become their God, and they themselves will become my people.” (Jer. 31:33; Heb. 8:7-10) So it was a theocratic new covenant.
27. How did Jehovah show his theocratic power and right toward the Christian congregation, and what responsibility did the headship thereof carry with it?
27 Calling attention to the theocratic power and right of Jehovah to make all appointments of persons within his organization, the apostle Paul writes: “He [that is, Jehovah] also subjected all things under his feet [that is, Christ’s feet], and made him head over all things to the congregation, which is his body.” “Christ also is head of the congregation, he being a savior of this body.” “The congregation is in subjection to the Christ.” (Eph. 1:22, 23; 5:23, 24) Consequently, Jesus Christ has the responsibility under God to make choices and appointments in the congregation.
28. How did Jesus discharge that responsibility with regard to the founding of the congregation, and how did it grow miraculously on the day of its founding?
28 Looking forward to the founding of the congregation of spiritual Israelites, Jesus spent a night in prayer to God and then chose twelve apostles. (Luke 6:12-16; Mark 3:13-19) He said to his faithful apostles: “You did not choose me, but I chose you, and I appointed you to go on and keep bearing fruit and that your fruit should remain.” (John 15:16) Jesus knew that ancient Israel, composed of twelve tribes, was made up of the descendants of the twelve sons of Jacob, who was surnamed Israel. (Gen. 49:28, 33; Acts 7:8) Corresponding with that prophetic picture, after the death of Jesus Christ and his resurrection and his ascension to heaven, the congregation of spiritual Israel started out on the day of Pentecost with twelve visible, tangible foundations, namely, the twelve apostles. (Acts 1:13, 24-26; 2:1, 37) On that day the congregation began with about one hundred and twenty members and miraculously grew to about three thousand.—Acts 1:15; 2:37-41.
29. (a) How did the congregation show recognition of the twelve apostles as being foundation members? (b) What vision did John see of the relationship of the apostles to the whole congregation?
29 All those members of the congregation, the original ones and the newly added ones, recognized the twelve apostles as being foundation members of spiritual Israel. This is manifest from the fact that we read, in Acts 2:42, 43: “And they continued devoting themselves to the teaching of the apostles and . . . Indeed, fear began to fall upon every soul, and many portents and signs began to occur through the apostles.” The relationship of these apostles to the whole congregation of spiritual Israelites is pictured in the apostle John’s vision of Christ’s “bride,” the New Jerusalem, concerning which we read: “It had a great and lofty wall and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names were inscribed which are those of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. . . . The wall of the city also had twelve foundation stones, and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”—Rev. 21:1, 2, 12-14.
a See pages 90, 91 of On the Road to Civilization, published in 1937, by Heckel and Sigman.
[Picture on page 743]
When the men of Israel wanted to make Gideon king, he remained loyal to theocracy, saying: “Jehovah is the one who will rule over you”