Build Your Future With Jehovah’s Organization
“Be in the fear of Jehovah all day long. For in that case there will exist a future, and your own hope will not be cut off.”—PROVERBS 23:17, 18.
1, 2. Among other things, what did the apostle John see near the end of the first century C.E.?
JEHOVAH reveals future things to his people and this enables them to act with wisdom. (Isaiah 42:9) For instance, near the end of the first century C.E., God granted the aged apostle John visions of a hope-inspiring future. How happy we can be that John bore witness to “all the things he saw” and that they have been recorded in the Bible book of Revelation!—Revelation 1:1, 2.
2 Among other things, John saw “four angels” holding back “winds” that would cause the “great tribulation.” How long would the angels be obliged to restrain those destructive winds? Another angel told them: “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until after we have sealed the slaves of our God in their foreheads.”—Revelation 7:1-3, 14; Matthew 24:21, 22.
3. Before the unleashed “winds” wreak havoc upon Satan’s organization, what will have taken place and by what means?
3 The unleashed “winds” will wreak havoc upon Satan the Devil’s earthly organization, devastating it completely. (Compare Jeremiah 25:32, 33.) But before that happens the remnant of anointed ones who are to rule with Jesus Christ in heaven must be sealed. The sealing of these “slaves of our God in their foreheads” is done by means of God’s holy spirit, or active force, which anointed Christians have as a token of their heavenly inheritance. (2 Corinthians 1:21, 22; Ephesians 1:12-14) The preaching of the good news of God’s Kingdom in “the final part of the days” brings to completion the gathering of these “chosen ones.”—Micah 4:1; Matthew 24:14, 31.
4. How many “slaves of our God” will be permanently sealed, and how can you prove your answer Scripturally?
4 How many “slaves of our God” will be permanently sealed? John, who was one of them, faithfully reported: “I heard the number of those who were sealed, a hundred and forty-four thousand.” These make up “the Israel of God,” spiritual Israel, consisting of 12 tribes of 12,000 each. (Revelation 7:4-8; Galatians 6:16) What an organization! Under the King Jesus Christ, the 144,000 will be “a kingdom and priests to our God, and they are to rule as kings over the earth.”—Revelation 5:10; 14:1-4.
5. (a) Who are now associated with the remnant of spiritual Israel? (b) All fearers of Jehovah constitute what, and according to Proverbs 23:17, 18, what exists for them?
5 After the apostle John observed spiritual Israel, he saw a “great crowd” and wondered who they were. He was told: “These are the ones that come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Those making up the “great crowd” are the earthly subjects of the Kingdom, and it was foretold that “the Lamb,” Jesus Christ, would “guide them to fountains of waters of life”—yes, eternal life on a paradise earth. (Revelation 7:9, 14, 17; Luke 23:43) Right now these “other sheep” make up “one flock” with the remnant of Kingdom heirs, and all such fearers of Jehovah constitute God’s earthly organization. (John 10:16) By remaining faithful to him, they will have a blessed future, for we read: “Be in the fear of Jehovah all day long. For in that case there will exist a future, and your own hope will not be cut off.”—Proverbs 23:17, 18.
This Old System Has No Future!
6. Where do we now find ourselves in the stream of time?
6 We are now deep into “the last days” of this wicked system of things. (2 Timothy 3:1-5) World events aligned with Bible chronology establish the fact that Jesus Christ began to rule in the heavens in the autumn of 1914. (Psalm 110:1, 2) Daily, news reports indicate that the composite “sign” of Jesus’ “presence” and the conclusion of this system is in evidence. (Matthew, chapters 24, 25) True, the “generation” contemporaneous with the Kingdom’s establishment in 1914 is moving along in years. But Jesus’ words indicate that it “will by no means pass away” before the “great tribulation” has brought an end to this world of unrighteous human society “lying in the power of the wicked one,” Satan the Devil. How soon will that occur? Surely before long, for this is the 70th year of Kingdom rule!—Matthew 24:21, 34; 1 John 5:19.
7. (a) What will happen during the initial phase of the “great tribulation”? (b) What will occur shortly after the destruction of false religion?
7 The “great tribulation” will begin with surprising suddenness. (Matthew 24:36-44) In its initial phase, destruction will befall “Babylon the Great,” the world empire of false religion. Devastation of this major segment of Satan’s system will affect the political and commercial elements. In this regard, the apostle John revealed that “the kings of the earth” will lament: “Too bad, too bad, you great city, Babylon you strong city, because in one hour your judgment has arrived!” And what of the commercial element? “Also,” adds John, “the traveling merchants of the earth are weeping and mourning over her, because there is no one to buy their full stock anymore.” (Revelation 18:1-19) Shortly after the destruction of false religion, Jesus Christ will use his heavenly army to destroy the rest of this wicked system of things. It will perish in the rapidly approaching “war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Har–Magedon.—Revelation 16:14-16; 19:11-21.
8. Which organization is the only one with a lasting future, and why is this the case?
8 What does this mean for those having a wholesome fear of Jehovah? Why, it means that this world under Satan’s control has no future! Its time has nearly run out! Hence, Jehovah’s organization is the only one with which to build an eternal future.
9. (a) In view of what lies ahead, what questions may well be asked? (b) What timely counsel is found at 1 Timothy 6:17-19?
9 In view of what lies ahead, then, would it show faith, or even good sense, to try to build a secure future in some facet of this doomed system? For instance, with what worldly corporation or business firm could you safely build a lasting future? There is none! So is it not wise to be content with sustenance and covering while putting Kingdom interests first in life? (Matthew 6:33; 1 Timothy 6:7-12; 2 Timothy 2:4) Especially timely now is the apostle Paul’s counsel: “Give orders to those who are rich in the present system of things not to be high-minded, and to rest their hope, not on uncertain riches, but on God, who furnishes us all things richly for our enjoyment; to work at good, to be rich in fine works, to be liberal, ready to share, safely treasuring up for themselves a fine foundation for the future, in order that they may get a firm hold on the real life.”—1 Timothy 6:17-19.
Build Your Future Wisely
10. With the “great tribulation” looming right before us, what should be our principal concern?
10 What spiritual balance is evident in those words of the apostle! In them Jehovah’s people see a key to survival. It is this: Keep material things in their proper place, realizing that emphasis should be placed not on “uncertain riches” but on being “rich in fine works.” That certainly would include zealous, regular participation in the Christian ministry. With the storm clouds of the “great tribulation” already forming on the horizon, this is no time to plan for a prosperous future in some worldly business firm or to be climbing the corporate ladder. It is time to preach the good news of God’s Kingdom, to warn the unsuspecting of impending danger. Furthermore, Jesus Christ has commissioned us to preach and make disciples. Hence, that should be our principal concern as Jehovah’s Witnesses.—Matthew 24:14; 28:19, 20; Isaiah 43:10-12.
11. What will be some lasting benefits of the Christian ministry?
11 Many occupations now pursued by people of the world will end forever during the “great tribulation.” True, some types of work will be revived in God’s promised new system of things. But do you know of any present-day occupation having as many beneficial aspects as the Christian ministry? Spiritual development and progress that come with this God-given work will be most beneficial in the New Order. The strong relationship with Jehovah that is cultivated in the ministry will extend into that system of things. And the improved skills in teaching may well be of help in educating millions then resurrected.—Isaiah 54:13; John 5:28, 29; Revelation 20:12.
12. As Jehovah’s servants, what marvelous prospects do we have, but what do we need to do?
12 If our prime concern now is that of pleasing God and doing his will, we have truly marvelous prospects. (Psalm 40:8; Romans 12:1, 2) Indeed, if we are ‘in fear of Jehovah, a future exists for us and our hope will not be cut off.’ (Proverbs 23:17, 18) Everlasting life will be our lot if we continue to walk “the path of life” in fear of God. (Psalm 16:11) Along the way, though, we need to set and attain reasonable theocratic goals.
Some Reasonable Goals
13. (a) Scripturally, why can we say that Jehovah’s worship has continued to be exalted? (b) In a sense, what are some of the goals that hundreds of thousands have attained?
13 Some have just begun what might be termed their ascent of “the mountain of the house of Jehovah.” Since the war years of 1914-18 the worship of Jehovah, whose temple or “house” once stood atop a mountain in Jerusalem, has continued to be exalted. It has been “established above the top of the mountains” on which temples to false gods have been built. Thus Jehovah’s worship has been “lifted up above the hills.” To the elevated worship of Jehovah, multitudes are streaming. (Micah 4:1-4; Isaiah 2:2-4) After taking in accurate knowledge of the Scriptures, they repent, turn around, make a dedication to God in prayer and symbolize this by water immersion. (John 17:3; Acts 2:38; 3:19) In a sense, these are goals being attained by hundreds of thousands of people out of all nations, who thereafter serve Jehovah faithfully as part of his earthly organization. How happy they are to engage in the exalted worship of the only true God! But what about you? Have you taken these steps?
14. Even after we have begun to worship Jehovah, we should press on to what, and how can this be done?
14 Even after we have begun to worship Jehovah with his people, we need to develop and maintain a good spiritual appetite. Having learned “the primary doctrine about the Christ,” we should “press on to maturity” by availing ourselves of all the spiritual provisions Jehovah is making through “the faithful and discreet slave.” (Hebrews 6:1-3; Matthew 24:45-47) So you might well ask yourself: Do I read God’s Word regularly? Am I a good student of the publications provided through the “slave” class?—Hebrews 5:11-14.
15. (a) What counsel did Paul give at Hebrews 10:24, 25, but what have some been doing? (b) If there is room for personal improvement in meeting attendance or in the Christian ministry, what is suggested?
15 Then, too, we should heed Paul’s counsel: “Let us be concerned for each other, to stir a response in love and good works. Do not stay away from the meetings of the community, as some do, but encourage each other to go; the more so as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24, 25, The Jerusalem Bible) Regular attendance at Christian meetings is part of our “sacred service.” But some attend only the public talk each week, regularly leaving the Kingdom Hall before the study of The Watchtower begins. Others often miss the Service Meeting. Has it become less meaningful for them because they are not very active in the house-to-house witnessing work and other avenues of the Christian ministry? If you find that there is room for personal improvement in any of these respects, why not pray to Jehovah about such matters, asking that he help you to become regular and exemplary in all aspects of “sacred service”?—Hebrews 12:25-29.
16. (a) What reasonable theocratic goals are here mentioned? (b) Even if Scriptural obligations prevent one from reaching such objectives, what is still possible?
16 What are some other reasonable theocratic goals? Well, there is an ever-increasing number of individuals now engaging in the full-time ministry as regular or auxiliary pioneers. Could you expand your ministry in such ways? Of course, even if your Scriptural obligations prevent you from reaching such objectives, you can give moral support to full-time preachers while personally doing as much in God’s service as your own circumstances permit. By faithful worship and service to Jehovah’s praise, all of us can show that we ‘rest our hope not on uncertain riches but on God.’ And for those who can engage in the pioneer work, this surely is one of the finest ways to “get a firm hold on the real life.”—1 Timothy 6:17-19.
17. (a) Younger people in particular can well consider what privilege of service? (b) What satisfaction do members of the Bethel family have?
17 Serving in one of the Bethel homes around the world is also a splendid privilege, one that younger people in particular can well consider prayerfully. Bethel service provides excellent training in human relations, for Bethel workers cooperate closely to advance Kingdom interests. Certain skills developed at Bethel may be useful in the vast teaching work that will take place in the New Order. Of course, since many enter Bethel service early in life, they do not have much in a material way. But they are content with sustenance and covering and have the deep satisfaction of knowing that their work benefits many others spiritually.—Ecclesiastes 3:12, 13.
18. Participating in full-time service can teach a person what, and how is this supported by the Scriptures?
18 Participating in various fields of full-time service can teach a person greater dependence on Jehovah God. Worldly people who put their trust in “uncertain riches” often adopt the view that a person must look out for himself. But especially may the full-time minister learn that Jehovah makes ample provision for those “seeking first the Kingdom and his righteousness.” (Matthew 6:25-34) Thousands who have served in the pioneer ranks for many years will attest to the fact that they have never lacked the necessities of life. Speak with them and you will find that they agree wholeheartedly with the psalmist David, who declared: “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.”—Psalm 37:25.
Build a Secure Future
19, 20. (a) Since time is very short for this system of things, what should we be doing? (b) So how can we act wisely with respect to the future?
19 If we are Jehovah’s loyal witnesses, we realize that time is very short for this system. So what should we be doing? We should be acting wisely in harmony with these words of the apostle Peter: “Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of persons ought you to be in holy acts of conduct and deeds of godly devotion, awaiting and keeping close in mind the presence of the day of Jehovah, through which the heavens being on fire will be dissolved and the elements being intensely hot will melt!”—2 Peter 3:11, 12.
20 The apostle John, too, made it clear that this world is passing away. (1 John 2:15-17) Soon, this old system will perish. Hence, all who fear God should now be involved in ‘holy acts of conduct and deeds of godly devotion, while awaiting and keeping close in mind the presence of Jehovah’s day.’ Never forget that only God’s organization will survive the end of this dying system. Act wisely, therefore, and make plans for life eternal by building your future with Jehovah’s organization.
By Way of Review
□ All fearers of Jehovah constitute what, and Proverbs 23:17, 18 gives them what assurance?
□ Which organization alone has a future, and why do you so answer?
□ With the “great tribulation” so near, what should be the principal concern of Jehovah’s Witnesses?
□ What are some of the theocratic goals that many may attain?
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Today, all genuine fearers of God have Jesus as their Shepherd and serve together in unity as Jehovah’s earthly organization
[Blurb on page 19]
Are you building your future with Jehovah’s organization? Pioneer activity and Bethel service are among the fine theocratic goals many have attained
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Because of divine blessing upon the Kingdom-preaching work, multitudes are streaming to the elevated worship of Jehovah