Praise Jehovah with His People
“I will sing to Jehovah throughout my life; I will make melody to my God as long as I am.”—Ps. 104:33.
1, 2. (a) What is the “new song,” and how have some responded to it? (b) Cite some personal questions that merit consideration.
JEHOVAH is being praised in a song that is heard throughout the earth today. No, it is not being sung by Levites. Nor can we hear an angelic chorus extolling God in the heights above. But we can hear the “new song,” sung in unison by prospective heirs of Jehovah’s heavenly government. (Rev. 14:1-4; 20:6; 22:5; Ps. 96:1, 10) It is the stirring anthem of God’s established kingdom that has functioned in heaven since 1914 C.E. with the glorified Jesus Christ as King. Thousands have heard that gripping song with deep appreciation.
2 Have you responded appreciatively to this “new song”? Are you praising Jehovah with his people? Have you associated with the organization God is using to declare earth wide “this good news of the kingdom”? (Matt. 24:14) If so, do you really appreciate Jehovah’s earthly organization? There are many reasons to esteem it highly. Briefly consider but a few.
WHY APPRECIATE GOD’S ORGANIZATION
3. Jesus’ anointed followers and their companions are privileged to represent what and whom?
3 For one thing, Jesus’ anointed followers, who are part of Jehovah’s earthly organization, are “ambassadors substituting for Christ.” Their companions with earthly hopes also serve the interests of the Kingdom. (2 Cor. 5:20) Mind you, they are not ambassadors and envoys of a mere human government and of sinful rulers. They represent Jehovah, his exalted spirit king Jesus Christ and the mighty kingdom of God. What an inestimable privilege! Of course, to serve and praise the Universal Sovereign, one must associate with the organization of Jehovah’s Christian witnesses.
4. Why can those in Jehovah’s earthly organization understand spiritual things?
4 Consider, too, the fact that Jehovah’s organization alone, in all the earth, is directed by God’s holy spirit or active force. (Zech. 4:6) Only this organization functions for Jehovah’s purpose and to his praise. To it alone God’s Sacred Word, the Bible, is not a sealed book. Many persons of the world are very intelligent, capable of understanding complex matters. They can read the Holy Scriptures, but they cannot understand their deep meaning. Yet God’s people can comprehend such spiritual things. Why? Not because of special intelligence on their part, but as the apostle Paul declared: “For it is to us God has revealed them through his spirit, for the spirit searches into all things, even the deep things of God.” (1 Cor. 2:10) Jesus Christ praised his heavenly Father for ‘hiding such things from the wise and intellectual ones but revealing them to babes.’ (Matt. 11:25) How very much true Christians appreciate associating with the only organization on earth that understands the “deep things of God”!
5. Direction by God’s spirit enabled Jehovah’s servants long ago to understand what about 1914 C.E.?
5 Direction by God’s spirit enables Jehovah’s servants to have divine light in a world of spiritual darkness. (2 Cor. 4:4) For instance, long ago they understood that 1914 C.E. would mark the end of the Gentile Times or “appointed times of the nations,” during which the Gentile nations were allowed uninterrupted rulership of the earth. (Luke 21:24) This 2,520-year period began with the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple by the Babylonians in the late seventh century B.C.E. For example, Zion’s Watch Tower of March 1880 had declared: “‘The Times of the Gentiles’ extend to 1914, and the heavenly kingdom will not have full sway till then.” Only God by his holy spirit could have revealed this to those early Bible students so far in advance.
6. As to life, what prospect does the Christian organization set before us?
6 Another reason to appreciate the organization of Jehovah’s Christian witnesses is that it aids us to understand God’s provisions for blessing obedient ones, and then to bring our lives into harmony with the divine will. (Matt. 24:45-47) This brings us happiness now despite world gloom, for it is truly satisfying to know that one is pleasing God. By its publications and through other means, the true Christian organization keeps prominently before us the Biblical prospect of endless, happy life under the rule of God’s kingdom. (Rev. 21:3-5) What a blessing! How much we should appreciate God’s earthly organization and our opportunities to praise Jehovah with his people!
7. What purpose is served by “gifts in men”?
7 Furthermore, this organization alone is supplied with “gifts in men,” such as evangelizers, shepherds and teachers, who serve God’s purpose in connection with the spiritual development and welfare of his people. (Eph. 4:7-16) Appointed overseers or elders and ministerial servants meet Scriptural requirements for their responsible places in Jehovah’s organization. Among other things, they welcome honest-hearted people into the Christian congregation and help to educate them in Jehovah’s ways. (1 Tim. 3:1-10, 12, 13; Titus 1:5-9) Under the influence of God’s holy spirit, you can share in this grand work of finding, welcoming and educating those who will become fellow praisers of Jehovah. What a blessed privilege!
8. Persons of what kind make up Jehovah’s earthly organization?
8 Think of the people themselves—those praising Jehovah as part of his earthly organization. They are indeed “the desirable things of all the nations.” (Hag. 2:7) True Christians have many spiritual brothers, sisters, mothers and children. (Mark 10:29, 30) Having association with such moral, godly praisers of Jehovah who live according to the Holy Scriptures is something to appreciate.
GRATEFUL TO BE PART OF GOD’S ORGANIZATION
9. How did one fifteen-year-old express gratitude for association with God’s people?
9 No wonder so many persons are deeply grateful to be associated with Jehovah’s earthly organization and to be praising God with his people. A fifteen-year-old said:
I just wanted to write to tell you how happy I am to be one of Jehovah’s witnesses. I am so grateful to my parents for teaching me about the truth. . . . Seeing the corruption in the world, I am proud and grateful to be able to say that I’m not part of it, and that I am one of Jehovah’s witnesses.
10. Jehovah’s organization and spirit meant what to one bereaved family?
10 After the accidental death of their son, one Christian family told about the love fellow believers showed them, and also wrote:
Let me assure you—from our hearts—that Jehovah has made his love, the love of our brothers and of his organization so real to us. Through a tragedy we have seen Jehovah’s spirit working right in front of our eyes. We are so humbly grateful to be among these that Jehovah calls the ‘desirable ones from the nations.’ . . .
We hope that we have made you realize to a small degree how grateful we are to have brothers like you, to be a part of Jehovah’s organization, to feel the working of God’s spirit and to have his comfort. The joy cannot be put on paper.
11. How was Bethel viewed by a man who served there for many years?
11 A man who served faithfully for many years at the world headquarters of Jehovah’s witnesses (called Bethel) in Brooklyn, New York, stated:
In the years since [my wife’s] death, I have come to appreciate Bethel even more. . . . Bethel can be considered a crossroads, the crossroads of Jehovah’s people. We are continually meeting people from everywhere, going everywhere. Twice a year there are . . . students coming here to attend Gilead School [for missionaries]. There are visiting missionaries and traveling representatives of the Society. Also, of course, there are the members of the [Bethel] family itself to meet. . . . After forty-five years here I am always meeting people I know or who share mutual acquaintances. My family of friends spreads round the globe.
12. Is it proper for Christians to express appreciation for fellow believers?
12 How fine to have a “family of friends” earth wide! Why, those who are part of God’s organization rightly express their appreciation to Jehovah for their fellow believers. The apostle Paul did. He wrote concerning his Christian associate Timothy: “I am grateful to God, to whom I am rendering sacred service as my forefathers did and with a clean conscience, that I never leave off remembering you in my supplications, night and day longing to see you, as I remember your tears, that I may get filled with joy.” (2 Tim. 1:3, 4) Regarding fellow worshipers in Rome, Paul said: “I give thanks to my God through Jesus Christ concerning all of you, because your faith is talked about throughout the whole world.” (Rom. 1:8) Indeed, for such fine associates, and for many other reasons, those who are part of God’s earthly organization deeply appreciate their privilege of praising Jehovah with his people.
DISPLAYING YOUR APPRECIATION FOR GOD’S ORGANIZATION
13. Why read and study the Bible and Christian publications regularly?
13 But how can you show that you really appreciate Jehovah’s organization? Among other things, you can regularly study the Bible and the Christian publications that God provides through his organization. Do not neglect them. The counsel given for kings of Israel merits thought in this regard. Through Moses, God said: “And it must occur that when he takes his seat on the throne of his kingdom, he must write in a book for himself a copy of this law from that which is in the charge of the priests, the Levites. And it must continue with him, and he must read in it all the days of his life, in order that he may learn to fear Jehovah his God so as to keep all the words of this law and these regulations by doing them; that his heart may not exalt itself above his brothers and that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right or to the left, in order that he may lengthen his days upon his kingdom, he and his sons in the midst of Israel.” (Deut. 17:18-20) Jehovah’s Word and true Christian publications inculcate God’s righteous laws and principles. So read and study them regularly. Cherish the spiritual guidance they furnish. Be like the psalmist who said: “Blessed you are, O Jehovah. Teach me your regulations. . . . For your statutes I shall show a fondness. I shall not forget your word.”—Ps. 119:12-16.
14, 15. If we appreciate Jehovah’s earthly organization, how will we view Christian meetings and assemblies, and how do we benefit from them?
14 Another way to show that you appreciate Jehovah’s organization and your privilege of praising God with his people is by attending Christian meetings regularly. It pleased David greatly to be among Jehovah’s worshipers at God’s sanctuary. He declared: “One thing I have asked from Jehovah—it is what I shall look for, that I may dwell in the house of Jehovah all the days of my life, to behold the pleasantness of Jehovah and to look with appreciation upon his temple.” (Ps. 27:4) If we truly appreciate Jehovah’s earthly organization, we will long to be at Christian meetings and assemblies.—Ps. 84:1-4.
15 By not neglecting God’s house of ancient times (Neh. 10:39), but by appreciatively supporting it and attending festivals there, the Israelites were helped to apply God’s instructions in life. They had to face tests of faith and temptations. As was true of other people, certainly they were beset by temptations to lie, steal, commit adultery or engage in other wrongdoing. But if a test arose, they might well reflect on what had been read to them at their assemblies. (Deut. 31:10-13) They could recall Jehovah’s laws and promises. It would then be possible to surmount trials and maintain integrity to God. We benefit similarly by attending Christian meetings and assemblies today. Also, by our presence we incite each other “to love and fine works.”—Heb. 10:24, 25.
16. Of what importance is loyalty to Jehovahˈs organization?
16 If we truly appreciate Jehovah’s earthly organization, we will remain loyal to it, knowing that the organization is his. If we were to leave it, where else could we go? There is no other organization that is doing the divine will or that is educating people for life everlasting. When many abandoned Jesus Christ, he asked his apostles: “You do not want to go also, do you?” Peter replied: “Lord, whom shall we go away to? You have sayings of everlasting life; and we have believed and come to know that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:66-69) Faithful early Christians endured intense persecution and yet remained loyal to God and to his organization, the Christian congregation. For instance, persecuted Christians in Rome sought refuge in that city’s catacombs, underground burial areas. Family burial chambers there provided places for small group meetings. Early Christians recognized their spiritual need and the necessity of gathering for encouragement and instruction, even if this required going underground in a literal way. If we have Christian appreciation, we, too, will stay with Jehovah’s organization, his Christian congregation, despite difficulties and persecution today.
17. Why engage in the Christian ministry with a sense of urgency?
17 You can also show appreciation for God’s earthly organization by joining wholeheartedly in the Christian ministry, taking God’s Word to other people. Thus you further the educational work that the organization carries on. There is need to participate in that work with a sense of urgency, too, for the end of this wicked system of things is drawing near. The time is short. The harvest is great and the workers are few. (Matt. 9:37, 38) What a privilege it is to be one of the industrious modern-day harvest workers and to do a lifesaving preaching work! By all means, keep busy in the Christian ministry, “always having plenty to do in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in connection with the Lord.”—1 Cor. 15:58.
18. To do well in the ministry, how important are prayer and God’s holy spirit?
18 Faithful, appreciative ones wish to offer a fine “sacrifice of praise” to God. (Heb. 13:15) But how can this be done? Seek Jehovah’s help in prayer. Guidance by his holy spirit is needed to aid sheeplike persons and to do one’s best in the ministry. So pray for God’s spirit to rest upon you. Jehovah graciously grants it to his dedicated servants who make this plea. Jesus Christ stated: “Therefore, if you, although being wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more so will the Father in heaven give holy spirit to those asking him!”—Luke 11:13.
19, 20. (a) What connection did God’s spirit and the holy angels have with the Christian ministry in the past? (b) Do God’s holy spirit and angelic direction still affect Christian preaching activities?
19 The holy angels also play their part. Yielding to angelic direction and the influence of Jehovah’s holy spirit, Philip the evangelizer found the Ethiopian eunuch and “declared to him the good news about Jesus.” The results were immediate. Promptly the Ethiopian was baptized. Thereafter “Jehovah’s spirit quickly led Philip away” and soon he was caring for another ministerial assignment. (Acts 8:26-40) God’s holy spirit and angelic direction also played their part in the preaching work done by the apostle Peter at the home of the Gentile Cornelius.—Acts chapter 10.
20 That same holy spirit and angelic direction still affect the preaching activities of Christian ministers. The aged apostle John envisioned an “angel flying in midheaven” with “everlasting good news” to declare to earth’s inhabitants. (Rev. 14:6, 7) No, today you cannot behold such an angel flying in the sky, or literally hear him speak. But you can hear his message, for it is being delivered on earth by Jehovah’s worshipers. In essence, they say of Jehovah: “Look! This is our God. We have hoped in him, and he will save us. This is Jehovah. We have hoped in him. Let us be joyful and rejoice in the salvation by him.” (Isa. 25:9) How very much one should appreciate being influenced by God’s holy spirit and having angelic direction while bearing the name and declaring the purposes and praises of the Most High as one of Jehovah’s Christian witnesses!—Isa. 43:10.
21. How can one make effective return visits and conduct good home Bible studies?
21 Such an awesome privilege calls for the Christian’s best efforts in the ministry. If you are a Christian minister, how can you be effective in your field service? For one thing, keep a good record of ministerial activity. Then it will be possible to make prompt return visits. Furthermore, make these especially effective by thinking in advance about the person’s problems, interests or needs. Locate Bible texts that will help the individual. Thereafter, where possible, start and conduct good home Bible studies with the person. In this the aid of Jehovah’s holy spirit is essential and will be evident. Among other things, it will bring back to mind material previously studied. (Mark 13:11) Work to simplify the information in your own mind. Then you will be able to convey clear and accurate ideas and help others to understand. Be like Ezra and associated Levites who read God’s law to assembled Israelites in Jerusalem. Those instructors knew what they were talking about, for we are told: “They continued reading aloud from the book, from the law of the true God, it being expounded, and there being a putting of meaning into it; and they continued giving understanding in the reading.” Did their efforts produce good results? Indeed, for the people understood, rejoiced greatly, and celebrated the festival of booths.—Neh. 8:8, 12-18.
DIRECT OTHERS TO JEHOVAH’S ORGANIZATION
22. In what way might one cultivate appreciation for God’s Word and organization in the hearts of interested persons?
22 When conducting informative Bible studies with interested persons, endeavor to cultivate in their hearts an appreciation for God’s Word and his organization, the Christian congregation. For instance, when a problem arises and the Scriptural solution is found in a Christian publication, the Bible student might be asked: ‘If Jehovah’s organization did not give us Biblical understanding in matters like these, we would not know what course to take in order to please God, would we?’ Such thought-provoking questions can be used with telling effect. They will make the student think and realize the value and importance of the Bible and of Jehovah’s organization.
23. How can you enthusiastically direct others to God’s organization?
23 If you truly appreciate Jehovah’s organization, you will direct others to it enthusiastically. When John the Baptist told two of his disciples that Jesus was the “Lamb of God,” how did they react? Listlessly, apathetically? When Andrew told Peter of their discovery, do you suppose that he said softly, in a mere whisper, “We have found the Messiah”? Hardly. There must have been some excitement in his voice. Just think! They had found the Messiah, God’s Anointed One! (John 1:35-41) Well, if you are practicing true Christianity, you have found the organization that is educating persons for life eternal, the only organization on earth that is serving Jehovah God under his Messianic King. That really is something to appreciate. Therefore, enthusiastically direct others to God’s organization. Tell them about the true Christian congregation and its modern history. Show them how those associated with Jehovah’s earthly organization walk in spiritual light, have God’s backing and direction by his holy spirit and enjoy his rich blessing. Explain that Jehovah’s Christian witnesses are organized to praise God and that qualified persons have the privilege of praising Jehovah with his people. Cultivate in your Bible students appreciation for Jehovah and his organization that educates persons for eternal life.
24. What will be done by one having true appreciation for Jehovah and His organization?
24 Satan the Devil has an organization of demons and humans. It is now moving toward crushing defeat and eternal destruction by God and his executional forces headed by Jesus Christ. But Jehovah’s organization is on the march with marvelous prospects before it. With quickened pace it is advancing and will continue onward, through the present distress and the “great tribulation” yet ahead, right into the new order of God’s promise. (Matt. 24:21; 2 Pet. 3:13) Are you, by God’s undeserved kindness, determined to march with it faithfully? Have you cultivated that much appreciation for Jehovah and the organization he is using to educate persons for eternal life? If so, then press on, with songs of praise to Jehovah upon your lips. Extol God, as did Levite singers of old and like the angelic hosts of heaven. Continue to praise Jehovah with his people. Be as resolute as David, who exclaimed: “I will sing to Jehovah throughout my life; I will make melody to my God as long as I am. Let my musing about him be pleasurable. I, for my part, shall rejoice in Jehovah.”—Ps. 104:33, 34.