If God Has an Organization, What Is It?
1. What is the attitude of some today toward the expression “God’s organization,” and why?
STRANGELY, in this highly intelligent age, many have given way to doubt as to whether God has an organization. Some hesitate, yes, now fear to use the expression “God’s organization,” because they have noted that their translation of the Bible does not use the word “organization” in connection with God or at all.
2. (a) In view of Romans 13:1, 2, can it be argued that the governments of Christendom are God’s visible organization? (b) What questions arise as to Jehovah’s Witnesses who, since 1922, have been organized to fulfill Matthew 24:14?
2 Certainly no reasonable person will argue that the highly organized governments of today, even those of Christendom, are God’s organization or even a part of it. No one could prove it even by appealing to the words of the apostle Paul at Romans 13:1, 2: “There is no authority, save by God, And they that are in being have by God been arranged,—So that he who rangeth himself against the authority Against the arrangement of God opposeth himself.” (Rotherham) At the same time, particularly since the year 1922, Jehovah’s Witnesses have been efficiently organized for fulfilling the prophecy of Jesus, at Matthew 24:14: “This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.” So where does that put them with relation to God, Jehovah of armies? Are they merely a man-made organization that God can use, if he chooses, or are they the visible earthly part of God’s organization? Let facts speak!
3, 4. (a) How does the message as proclaimed by Christendom during the past centuries compare with the “gospel” proclaimed by Jehovah’s Witnesses since 1914? (b) How only could this have been accomplished under persecution and opposition, and what does Revelation 14:6, 7 indicate?
3 Let the honest-hearted person compare the kind of preaching of the gospel of the Kingdom done by the religious systems of Christendom during all the centuries with that done by Jehovah’s Witnesses since the end of World War I in 1918. They are not one and the same kind. That of Jehovah’s Witnesses is really “gospel,” or “good news,” as of God’s heavenly kingdom that was established by the enthronement of his Son Jesus Christ at the end of the Gentile Times in 1914. (Luke 21:24) The worldwide witness given to this effect under the barrage of international persecution and opposition could have been given only by means of God’s all-conquering spirit. It was accomplished neither by the spirit of man nor by that of Satan the Devil. It was done with the help of God’s holy angels, as is indicated in Revelation 14:6, 7:
4 “And I saw another angel flying in midheaven, and he had everlasting good news to declare as glad tidings to those who dwell on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people, saying in a loud voice: ‘Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of the judgment by him has arrived, and so worship the One who made the heaven and the earth and sea and fountains of waters.’”
5 Thus the One to be feared now in this time for individual decision is the Creator, the Universal Organizer. In the book of Job we are given a glimpse into his heavenly family of angelic sons. The organizer of the worldly system of things since the deluge of Noah’s day, Satan the Devil, was once a member of that family. At Job 1:6, 7 he is pictured as an intruder into family affairs, for there we read: “Now it came to be the day when the sons of the true God entered to take their station before Jehovah, and even Satan proceeded to enter right among them. Then Jehovah said to Satan: ‘Where do you come from?’ At that Satan answered Jehovah and said: ‘From roving about in the earth and from walking about in it.’” At Job 2:1, 2 a similar picture is painted of a later meeting of the sons of the true God in the invisible heavens.
6. (a) What does such a meeting of the heavenly “sons of the true God,” presided over by Jehovah God, indicate? (b) How were those “sons of the true God” encouraged by the example furnished to them by Job?
6 What do those two gatherings of the sons of Jehovah God indicate, and what would it be proper for those making up that family group to be called? What appropriate word or words come to mind? We leave it for the reader to say. Those meetings were formal ones, with the true God rightfully presiding. Satan’s being admitted to those meetings does not mean that he was still viewed as one of “the sons of the true God” and was still part of God’s heavenly household. His very designation “Satan” indicates he was not, for the name means “Opposer.” So he had no good purpose in moving about in the earth as a spirit invisible to men. He was opposed to any man who tried to keep his integrity toward the true God. With divine permission he made that righteous, God-fearing man named Job of the land of Uz the victim of his attacks. But he failed in his dastardly purpose to bring the universal sovereignty of Jehovah God into contempt before men on earth as well as angels in heaven. Job’s faithful example proved to be a great encouragement to Jehovah’s heavenly family of angelic sons.
7. Out of what family did the disobedience of Adam and Eve put them, and how many creatures from the spirit realm took up guard duty?
7 Satan may have thought that he would win out as he did in the case of the first man on earth, Adam the son of God. Toward the end of the sixth creative day, when as yet there was no man or human creature on earth, God said: “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness.” God was not here using the editorial “we,” as if talking to himself. He was addressing at least another person whom he wanted to bring into the creative act. (Gen. 1:26) No open-minded person will deny that this called for heavenly cooperation. Unhappily the first human creatures, Adam and Eve, went over onto the side of the unseen spirit person behind the visible serpent, making it call God a liar. Their disobedience to God put them out of God’s universal family of children, and they were expelled from the garden of Eden. Then God “posted at the east of the garden of Eden the cherubs and the flaming blade of a sword that was turning itself continually to guard the way to the tree of life” inside the garden. (Gen. 3:24) There were at least two cherubs, and they were members of God’s heavenly household who had been authorized to materialize and appear to humankind.
8. So did it then become evident that there were others in God’s household, and what does Job 38:6, 7 show about this?
8 Thus it becomes evident that at that early stage in human existence there were already others in God’s heavenly household. That was why, when Jehovah God was asking questions with regard to the foundation of the earth, he said: “Into what have its socket pedestals been sunk down, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars joyfully cried out together, and all the sons of God began shouting in applause?”—Job 38:6, 7.
9. What orders of heavenly creatures are mentioned in the Psalms, in Isaiah 6:2, and in Daniel’s prophecy?
9 Psalms 80:1 and Ps 99:1 say that Jehovah is “sitting upon the cherubs.” This description is likely borrowed from the case of the sacred ark of the covenant that was located in the Most Holy of the temple at Jerusalem. Upon that ark there were two golden cherubs with wings stretched out toward one another, and, centered above, there appeared the so-called Shekinah light that represented the presence of Jehovah God at his temple. In a miraculous vision of the interior of the temple the prophet Isaiah saw Jehovah on his throne and attended by spirit creatures called seraphs. (Isa. chap. 6) Besides seraphs and cherubs, there are the angels in general, such as are spoken of in the last book of the Bible, Revelation. Not to be overlooked or omitted, there is the heavenly creature named Michael. He is said to be “one of the foremost princes” and “the prince of you people,” that is, Daniel’s people. (Dan. 10:13, 21; 12:1) Fittingly, Jude 9 calls him “Michael the archangel.”
10. In the vision described in Daniel 7:1-10, why would order have to be maintained at the Court session?
10 With regard to a vision of special heavenly grandeur, the prophet Daniel says: “I kept on beholding until there were thrones placed and the Ancient of Days sat down. His clothing was white just like snow, and the hair of his head was like clean wool. His throne was flames of fire; its wheels were a burning fire. There was a stream of fire flowing and going out from before him. There were a thousand thousands that kept ministering to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand that kept standing right before him. The Court took its seat, and there were books that were opened.” (Dan. 7:9, 10) At that divine Court, order had to obtain, especially with 10,000 x 10,000 ministering to the Judge.
11 In line with this it is stated at Psalm 103:19-21: “Jehovah himself has firmly established his throne in the very heavens; and over everything his own kingship has held domination. Bless Jehovah, O you angels of his, mighty in power, carrying out his word, by listening to the voice of his word. Bless Jehovah, all you armies of his, you ministers of his, doing his will.” Quite appropriately, from the writing of 1 Samuel 1:3 onward, the Universal Sovereign was called “Jehovah of armies.”—Jas. 5:4, New World Translation.
12. The fact that there are those having titles or designations, yes, “armies” among God’s heavenly personnel, shows that what exists in heaven?
12 So now, in the light of all the foregoing Scripture references, what do we find spelled out for us by the fact that God’s heavenly personnel includes an archangel, princes, cherubs, seraphs, angels, armies, all these ranks and orders or levels of being and “armies” acting in perfect harmony with full subjection to the Ancient of Days, Jehovah God? It spells out, it calls for, an organizing of all those in God’s heavenly personnel. It constitutes all such heavenly personnel God’s organization. It means that God has an organization, the Hebrew word for which is his·ta·druthʹ and the Greek word for which is or·ganʹo·sis.
THE “WOMAN” IN HEAVEN
13. (a) When Adam and Eve sinned, how did this affect God’s organization? (b) What did God then say seemingly to the serpent, but not understandable by it?
13 When Adam and Eve sinned against God, it affected His universal organization, of which they were the earthly visible part. They ceased to be members of the family of which he is the heavenly Father, the Creator. They went over to the side of the unseen spirit creature who was behind the lying serpent. Certainly the literal serpent did not understand what God meant when he said seemingly to it: “Because you have done this thing, you are the cursed one out of all the domestic animals and out of all the wild beasts of the field. Upon your belly you will go and dust is what you will eat all the days of your life. And I shall put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed. He will bruise you in the head and you will bruise him in the heel.”—Gen. 3:14, 15.
14. Why must a literal application of God’s words to the serpent be out of order, and what kind of serpent and woman must be meant?
14 Taken literally, those words would mean what? That there was to be a deadly hatred between the literal serpent and the literal woman. Also, that the seed or offspring of Eve would be the relentless enemy of the descendants of that serpent; and that serpent was to live on until the seed of the woman Eve arrived. Then that “seed” would be bruised in the literal heel by the serpent, and, in turn, the wounded “seed” would bruise the serpent in the head, evidently putting it to death. But of how much comfort or of how much benefit would that be to all mankind? Really, such a literal explanation does not make sense. It leads to so many difficulties that any mentally balanced Bible student is obliged to admit that God’s words at Genesis 3:14, 15 must have a symbolic meaning. So the serpent that asked Eve the catch question must symbolize something greater, and also the “woman” mentioned in this connection must be a symbolic “woman.”
15. Why do we not have to guess at the identity of the symbolic serpent, and its being “the original serpent” makes it how old by now?
15 Well, now, do we need to guess at the identity of the symbolic serpent? No! The Bible itself speaks for us. At Revelation 12:9 it speaks of that mystery serpent as “the great dragon,” “the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan.” He was originally the symbolic serpent, and by 96 C.E., about when the apostle John wrote the book of Revelation, Satan the Devil as a symbolic serpent was more than 4,100 years old. By now, when the Revelation vision is about to be fulfilled, that “original serpent” is around 6,000 years old, which is longer than any literal serpent has ever lived. John 8:44 says that “he is a liar and the father of [the lie].”
16. (a) Revelation, chapter 12, displays a confrontation between what two principals, and yet what manages to be born successfully? (b) Where and why is the symbolic mother obliged to be nurtured spiritually under safeguard?
16 Since Eve to whom Satan the Devil lied by means of the serpent, was not the “woman” referred to in Genesis 3:15, who is she? Again the book of Revelation helps us to a correct understanding. Chapter 12 describes a confrontation of Satan the Devil and a “woman” who, from head to foot, is clothed with light by the sun, moon and stars (12 of these). Common sense tells us that this must be a symbolic “woman” in heaven, for none of the heavenly angels are spoken of as females. She is pregnant, and, like a devouring dragon, Satan the Devil waits to swallow down the offspring to which she gives birth. But the heavenly Father of that offspring is watching and blocks Satan, so that at the birth of a male offspring it is “caught away to God and to his throne,” that from there it might “shepherd all the nations with an iron rod.” (Rev. 12:1-5) That royal birth does not end the enmity of Satan toward this symbolic “woman,” for she has to be nourished spiritually under divine protection against Satan. War in heaven follows.
17. Was “the original serpent” bruised in the head by the outcome of the war in heaven, and how did that outcome affect men on earth and sea?
17 Michael the archangel is in charge of the forces of “Jehovah of armies.” With these angelic armies Michael fights in support of the enthroned newly born child of the “woman.” Satan, “the original serpent,” is due for a bruising in the head, and he and his demonic angels lose the battle. They are ousted from heaven and are hurled down to our earth. But Satan is not thereby bruised in the head, for he is still very much alive. Little wonder, then, that the cry rings out from heaven: “Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing he has a short period of time.”—Rev. 12:7-12.
18. The victory of Michael and his armies ensured what for “the kingdom of our God,” and on that account who could be glad?
18 Since Michael the archangel and his angels gain the victory and the royal “child” is not unseated from his heavenly throne alongside God, the heavenly announcement is a proper one: “Now have come to pass the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ, because the accuser of our brothers has been hurled down, who accuses them day and night before our God! . . . On this account be glad, you heavens.”
19. What does the “woman” that mothers the male “child” picture, and why so?
19 The male “child” that is mentioned in Revelation 12:5 is evidently symbolic. All the things said in connection with it disclose that it pictures, not an individual person, but God’s kingdom with his Son Jesus Christ having the authority to shepherd all the nations with an iron rod, to smash them to pieces in the yet future “war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Har–Magedon. (Rev. 16:14-16) As the “child” is not an individual person, so its mother, the “woman” in heaven, is not an individual person. Since this symbolic “woman” was made pregnant by God as her husband, she must picture God’s spiritual organization. This organization provides the personnel of that heavenly kingdom, not only the glorified Jesus Christ, evidently acting under the role of Michael the archangel, but also his spiritual “brothers,” who are also the “brothers” of God’s spiritual organization.—Rev. 12:10, 11.
20. How does Revelation 12:17 indicate whether there are yet on earth any of the “brothers” of God’s spiritual organization?
20 There is yet a remnant of these spiritual “brothers” on our woebegone earth. For Revelation 12:17 goes on to say: “And the dragon grew wrathful at the woman, and went off to wage war with the remaining ones of her seed, who observe the commandments of God and have the work of bearing witness to Jesus.” As part of the seed of God’s “woman,” they have the Kingdom hope.