Preparing for God’s New Order
IF YOU move to a foreign country, to be a permanent resident there, usually many changes are required. To get along really well, you need to learn the language. You must know something about the laws, the customs and practices of the people. There are certain expressions and habits that may have been fully accepted in your native land, but which you have to drop because they cause offense among the people of your newly adopted country. It takes some time to alter your thinking processes and ways of life before you fully fit in and get along without embarrassment or difficulty.
What, then, if you were to be transferred into a different society, a new order, in which complete justice prevailed, and right dealing with one’s neighbors, yes, even true hospitality and love regardless of race or nationality—a place where you could trust your fellowman? Would you say that such would be a change from the society that now surrounds you, a change even greater than moving to another country?
HIGHER STANDARDS OF THINKING NECESSARY
This transfer is what God promises to make. And certainly it means many major changes from the standards and practices of present society. Would those living in even “Christian” nations have to make such a change? The nation of Israel, though professing to serve God, was living in the manner that the people in so-called “Christian” lands are living today. That is, they had ‘a form of godly devotion, but proved false to its power’ by not letting the high standards of God’s laws govern their lives. (2 Tim. 3:5) They ignored God’s commands and lived according to their own way, which led them into corrupt practices. Jehovah therefore told them: “The thoughts of you people are not my thoughts, nor are my ways your ways, . . . For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”—Isa. 55:8, 9.
Would a change into a new order require a change in your thinking, your expressions and dealings? Undoubtedly. How much different it would be to associate with people whom you could trust in a transaction, whose attitude toward you would be for good, whose expressions were clean and upbuilding. Certainly a change would be necessary if one wanted to be part of a society with such high standards.
But the questions present themselves, If we want to prepare ourselves now for living in a new order, how can this be done, in the midst of the bad practices going on? And can a person get along in this present system of things if he practices strict honesty and clean living? Will it be possible for him to provide for his family? Will he be able to survive in this world without going along with it in its crooked practices?
The answer is, Yes. How? Well, we must accept the Creator at his word. From his Word of truth the Bible we can get right principles, those the Creator himself sets forth, and that really work to the benefit of those who follow them. It is then up to us to put these principles into practice in our lives and trust in him to see us through, as he has bound himself by promise to do. But let us see what God requires and promises.
A CHANGE IN “LANGUAGE”
According to the Bible, to make the needed change we have to learn a new “language.” When God spoke about restoring Israel from Babylonian exile, he said: “For then I shall give to peoples the change to a pure language, in order for them all to call upon the name of Jehovah, in order to serve him shoulder to shoulder.” (Zeph. 3:9) This was not a change in Israel’s literal tongue, but a change in what they spoke, their way of speaking, a language of pure truth, purity of language that brought praise to God and unity of worship, with peace.
Now God is doing as he did back there, ‘gathering nations, collecting together kingdoms, in order to pour out upon them his denunciation, all his burning anger.’ So, too, now he is giving to righteous-hearted peoples of all lands, regardless of the tongue they speak, the “pure language” of truth.—Zeph. 3:8.
Now, this change of language means a change in our entire lives. We are commanded:
“Let fornication and uncleanness of every sort or greediness not even be mentioned among you, just as it befits holy people; neither shameful conduct nor foolish talking nor obscene jesting, things which are not becoming, but rather the giving of thanks.”—Eph. 5:3, 4.
The change we make is well described by the apostle Paul:
“Deaden, therefore, your body members that are upon the earth as respects fornication, uncleanness, sexual appetite, hurtful desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of those things the wrath of God is coming. In those very things you, too, once walked when you used to live in them. But now really put them all away from you, wrath, anger, badness, abusive speech, and obscene talk out of your mouth. Do not be lying to one another. Strip off the old personality with its practices, and clothe yourselves with the new personality, which through accurate knowledge is being made new according to the image of the One who created it.”—Col. 3:5-10.
To speak this new language, then, requires that we get rid of our former expressions, bad habits and ways of life, replacing them with the “fruitage of the spirit” so that we may qualify for deliverance into God’s new order. (Gal. 5:22, 23) These are the “important things” the apostle speaks about that require accurate knowledge and full discernment. (Phil. 1:9, 10) All must “quit being fashioned after this system of things, but be transformed by making your mind over, that you may prove to yourselves the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”—Rom. 12:2.
DO NOT FEAR TO MAKE THE CHANGE
This change in living can be made, even in the midst of a corrupt world. God says that he will be with those who follow his principles of uprightness and honesty. We do not need to be afraid that it will bring upon us bad economic conditions so that our families may not have enough to eat. “For he has said: ‘I will by no means leave you nor by any means forsake you.”’—Heb. 13:5, 6.
We can be free from fears that beset the world, for we know that “if God is for us, who will be against us?” Moses, who experienced God’s protection through many troubles, could truthfully say: “Because you said: ‘Jehovah is my refuge,’ you have made the Most High himself your dwelling; no calamity will befall you.”—Rom. 8:31; Ps. 91:9, 10.
Another reason exists why we can live by God’s standards even now, with hope of living in a totally righteous new system of things. That reason is that God has an organization on earth, formed to help those who now want to serve him. Jehovah’s witnesses have accepted the standards and principles of God’s Word. They are applying them in their lives. They realize that by birth they are sinners, just as is mankind in general, but by speaking the “pure language” they are making over their personalities and are serving as one man, “shoulder to shoulder.”—Eph. 4:20-24; Phil. 1:27, 28.
According to his promise God has helped this group of people, who come from all walks of life, all nations and races. As a body of a million and a half persons, all cooperating in unity, they can attest to the truth of King David’s words: “A young man I used to be, I have also grown old, and yet I have not seen anyone righteous left entirely, nor his offspring looking for bread.” (Ps. 37:25) Also, Jehovah’s witnesses are happy. Their happiness has attracted the attention of others who have joined their ranks. While Christendom’s religious systems are declining, the Witnesses, who sincerely practice true Christianity, are increasing in number, in unity and in peace. They prove themselves to be a people preparing for life in God’s new order.