Lining Up With “Jehovah’s Mind” as Now Revealed
1. What nation replaced natural Israel, and in what covenant?
THE Son of God has superseded the prophet Moses, who was the mediator of the law covenant between God and natural Israel. Jesus Christ has become the appointed Mediator of Jehovah’s foretold new covenant. This covenant was made with the nation that replaced ancient natural Israel and is a spiritual Israel, “the Israel of God.” (Galatians 6:16) The Ten Commandments and all the other associated laws of the covenant mediated by the imperfect man Moses were recorded on manuscripts but did not really get inscribed on the hearts and minds of the circumcised fleshly Jews, or Israelites. Noting that failing with respect to the Mosaic Law covenant, Jehovah God foretold the making of a new covenant by means of the prophet Jeremiah, as recorded at Jeremiah 31:31-34.
2. (a) How did Jesus become Mediator of the covenant? (b) How and when did this become operative?
2 Jesus Christ sealed that promised “new covenant” with his own lifeblood when he died with a broken heart on the torture stake outside Jerusalem. The night before, when celebrating his last Passover supper with his faithful apostles in obedience to the Mosaic Law covenant, Jesus passed the cup of wine to them and gave a new significance to it by saying: “This cup means the new covenant by virtue of my blood, which is to be poured out in your behalf.” (Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26) In this way he became the Mediator of that new covenant, which proved to be a “better covenant” than the Mosaic Law covenant. (Hebrews 8:6; 9:11-28) So ever since he presented the value of his perfect lifeblood in heaven in 33 C.E. he has served as the Mediator for those disciples whom Jehovah God brings into the new covenant.—1 Timothy 2:5, 6.
3. According to Hebrews 10:15, 16, where does Jehovah write the laws of this covenant?
3 When discussing the new covenant, at Hebrews 10:15, 16, the apostle quotes the prophecy of Jeremiah according to the Greek Septuagint Version and writes: “Moreover, the holy spirit also bears witness to us, for after it has said: ‘“This is the covenant that I shall covenant toward them after those days,” says Jehovah. “I will put my laws in their hearts [kar·diʹas], and in their minds [di·aʹnoi·an] I shall write them.”’”
4. (a) How do the figurative heart and the mind differ? (b) In line with Psalm 119, how do Christians in the new covenant apply heart and mind? (c) When and how did the writing of God’s laws on hearts and minds get started?
4 In accordance with the functions of the figurative heart and the mind, the Christians who are brought into the new covenant through Christ the Mediator would love Jehovah’s laws with their hearts, being thus motivated to obey those laws, and they would also tenaciously remember those divine laws. As the psalmist expressed it, “How I do love your law! All day long it is my concern [“my meditation,” Revised Standard Version; Authorized Version].” (Psalm 119:97) The putting of Jehovah’s laws into the figurative hearts of Christ’s disciples and the writing of these upon their minds began to take place on the day of Pentecost of 33 C.E. It was then that the holy spirit was poured out upon the waiting disciples of Jesus Christ and visible “tongues as if of fire” rested above the heads of the 120 disciples and they began to speak in foreign languages that they had not studied and learned. A miracle indeed! As a result of the witness there given to the gathered onlookers, there were 3,000 who got baptized as believers in Jesus as the Christ, or Messiah, and who were taken into the new covenant with him as their Mediator.—Acts, chapter 2; Joel 2:28-32.
5. Who today have been taken into the new covenant, and what evidence identifies these as “branches”?
5 Today, 1,900 years later, there is a remnant of “the Israel of God” whose members give evidence of having been taken into the new covenant, being baptized with the holy spirit. They give evidence of having had the laws of Jehovah God put in their figurative hearts and written upon their minds. They are carrying out the forecast of their Mediator as recorded at Matthew 24:14 and Mark 13:10. They are “branches” in that spiritual olive tree described by the apostle Paul in Romans chapter 11, and they produce much fruitage.
6. (a) What other feature of Jehovah’s “mind” has been disclosed since 1935? (b) How do the “other sheep” give convincing proof of their love for God’s “law” for this day?
6 Another feature of Jehovah’s “mind” has been disclosed since the Washington, D.C., convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the year 1935. What was on Jehovah’s “mind” respecting the “great crowd” foretold in Revelation 7:9-17? This foretold multitude of praisers of Jehovah God and of his Lamb, Jesus Christ, serving God at his figurative temple, has appeared on the scene since 1935. The 840 who got baptized thereafter at Washington on Saturday, June 1, have been added to down till now. Today throughout the earth there are more than two and a half million of these “other sheep” of the Fine Shepherd, Jesus Christ, who are regularly associating with the spirit-begotten sharers of the new covenant and who are participating in the Kingdom witness work as foretold at Matthew 24:14. (John 10:16) Like the psalmist, they give convincing proof that they love Jehovah’s “law” for this “conclusion of the system of things,” and that his “law” is something upon which they meditate in their mind and which they make the concern of their hearts.
Salvation Through Belief and Confession
7, 8. (a) Is salvation dependent merely on head knowledge? (b) What does Romans 10:5-10 state as to interaction of the figurative heart and the mind?
7 The gaining of salvation, whether to Jehovah’s Kingdom in the heavens or to the Paradise earth under the millennial reign of Jesus Christ, is not a case of merely having head knowledge, a case of the mind. The apostle Paul makes this plain at Romans 10:5-10. There he discusses the question of Christians who had natural, fleshly hearts, not any heart transplant or even a mechanical heart. He proceeds with his argument in this way:
8 “For Moses writes that the man that has done the righteousness of the Law will live by it. But the righteousness resulting from faith speaks in this manner: ‘Do not say in your heart, “Who will ascend into heaven?” that is, to bring Christ down; or, “Who will descend into the abyss?” that is, to bring Christ up from the dead.’ But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your own mouth and in your own heart’; that is, the ‘word’ of faith, which we are preaching. For if you publicly declare that ‘word in your own mouth,’ that Jesus is Lord, and exercise faith in your heart that God raised him up from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one exercises faith for righteousness, but with the mouth one makes public declaration for salvation.”
9. (a) What is involved in being saved, and why do you so answer? (b) What must a Christian really believe in his heart? (c) What attitude did the Athenians take, and why?
9 This shows that the matter goes down more deeply into one’s being than into the intellect, or the mind. It is not a matter of merely collecting information, sorting it out in the mind and being able to repeat it by rote. Not the mind with its knowledge is the determining factor; it is the motivation that is here involved before God. The Christian’s belief must be motivated by the figurative heart. He must believe in Christ’s resurrection with all his heart, because of heartfelt appreciation of this miracle that the Almighty God has performed. This is something that Christ could not have done for himself, nor could it have been done by some other man, namely, God’s resurrecting his dead Son to a heavenly plane of life. (2 Corinthians 4:13) We recall that the intellectual Athenians of the apostle Paul’s day were inclined, in some cases, “to mock,” when they heard about “a resurrection of the dead,” whereas others made no immediate decision on the matter, but said: “We will hear you about this even another time.” Their minds filled with knowledge prevented them from accepting the information, even though based on actual facts. Only some became believers and associated themselves with Paul.—Acts 17:21, 32-34.
10. (a) What motivation must the heart supply? (b) What two things are required, therefore, by Jehovah?
10 So a person’s heart must motivate him to believe. With his heart he must exercise faith. When he does this, then the heart—the innermost self—of the believer will motivate him to make public confession with his mouth. With all his heart he must exercise faith. The public declaration by the mouth, motivated by the believing heart, will follow. When a believer gets immersed in water in symbol of the dedication of himself to Jehovah God through Jesus Christ, he is making a public declaration that leads to salvation. Jehovah God not only searches the figurative heart to see whether there is an energizing faith there but also listens for the public declaration.
Keeping Loyal Because of a “Complete” Heart
11. (a) How could David remain loyal to Jehovah? (b) Despite his sin, why could David pray as at Psalm 86:11? (c) Who have followed David’s fine example?
11 David of ancient times, like all the rest of us humans, was brought forth in error and conceived in sin, but he remained loyal to his God, Jehovah, because of having a figurative heart that was “complete” toward the God of the nation of Israel. (Psalm 51:5) Testimony to this effect is given in 1 Kings 15:3: “His [Abijam’s] heart did not prove to be complete with Jehovah his God, like the heart of David his forefather.” True, David did commit a heinous sin with the wife of Uriah the Hittite, but he sincerely repented of this and his heart proved to be undivided and unswerving in his devotion to Jehovah as his God. (1 Kings 15:4, 5) With good reason David could pray: “Unify my heart to fear your name.” (Psalm 86:11) He set an excellent example for his successors in the kingship over Israel, and King Asa was an imitator of David in this respect, for we read, at 1 Kings 15:14: “Asa’s heart itself proved to be complete with Jehovah all his days.”
12. What requires courage and honesty, and how did Hezekiah show this?
12 It certainly takes a great deal of courage and honesty with oneself to plead with the Most Holy God, the Searcher of human hearts, to implore him for mercies and loving considerations. But this is what King Hezekiah of Israel did. When he was infected with a disease that would surely prove fatal unless his God intervened, Hezekiah prayed: “I beseech you, O Jehovah, remember, please, how I have walked before you in truthfulness and with a complete heart, and what was good in your eyes I have done.”—Isaiah 38:3.
13. What should anointed Christians keep ever in mind, after the example of Jesus?
13 In the face of such an example, those anointed Christians of today who have been taken into the ‘covenant for a kingdom’ with Jesus Christ in the heavens should keep ever in mind the obligation to walk before Jehovah “with a complete heart.” Like his royal forefather David, Jesus Christ when on earth as a perfect man walked before his heavenly Father, Jehovah, “with a complete heart.” Therefore, Jehovah God, the Kingmaker, was highly pleased to bestow upon him the rulership in the celestial Kingdom, there to reign as “King of kings and Lord of lords” along with his integrity-keeping disciples as subordinate kings and lords.—Luke 22:29; Revelation 19:16.
14. Because of what have the “other sheep” been brought into the “one flock” under the “one shepherd”?
14 The “great crowd” of Christ’s “other sheep” expect to be the first ones to enter alive into the millennial reign of Jesus Christ with his 144,000 co-rulers. (Revelation 7:9, 10; John 10:16; Revelation 14:1; 20:4-6) Since that eventful year of 1935 the members of that “great crowd” have been associating with the remnant of those Kingdom heirs, who are walking before Jehovah God with a complete heart. Because these “other sheep” of the Fine Shepherd, Jesus Christ, seek to walk before Jehovah God “with a complete heart” they now form “one flock” with the remnant of the Kingdom heirs under the “one shepherd,” Jesus Christ. For their keeping integrity with such unified, complete hearts, they will have a privileged part in vindicating the universal sovereignty of the God of whom they are witnesses, Jehovah.—Isaiah 43:10, 12.
15. For what, now, can all of us be grateful?
15 In such a way all of us, as disciples of the Son of God, our Fine Shepherd, are lining up with Jehovah’s “mind” as it is now revealed to his dedicated, baptized worshipers. How grateful we can and should be that the Most High God in heaven has disclosed to us what came first to his “mind” and which did not originate with any man of flesh and bones! For this reason we are moved to think as Jehovah does with regard to his glorious purpose.
16 We appreciate what is written to us at 1 Corinthians 2:16, namely: “For ‘who has come to know the mind of Jehovah, that he may instruct him?’ But we do have the mind of Christ.” Here the Greek word for “mind” is nous in both instances.
17 Beyond all contradiction, the “mind” of Christ was lined up with “Jehovah’s mind.” The inspired words at Philippians 2:5-8 help us to peer into the “mind” of even the prehuman Son of God, for there we read: “Keep this mental attitude [“mind,” AV; AS; RS] in you that was also in Christ Jesus, who, although he was existing in God’s form, gave no consideration to a seizure, namely, that he should be equal to God. No, but he emptied himself and took a slave’s form and came to be in the likeness of men. More than that, when he found himself in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient as far as death, yes, death on a torture stake.”
18. What was required of the Son in lining up with the “mind” of the Father?
18 Jehovah God has in mind the redeeming of mankind from eternal death, and the only-begotten Son of God was willing to line up with his heavenly Father’s mind in this regard, even though this would mean intense suffering for him on earth.
19. (a) How can we apply our figurative hearts in connection with Jehovah’s “mind”? (b) What with regard to “the mind of Christ” must we now carry out?
19 Correspondingly, if we today want to line up with “Jehovah’s mind,” we must likewise humble ourselves in a Christlike way and subject ourselves to Jehovah’s will unqualifiedly. This obliges us to be Jehovah’s witnesses, and, motivated by a loving and loyal heart [kar·diʹa], we must carry out what Jesus Christ had on his farsighted mind, when he said: “This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations,” down to the end.—Matthew 24:14; Mark 13:10.
20. (a) What now makes for worldwide unity of action? (b) What success is the united flock of God’s people now enjoying?
20 All of us dedicated, baptized witnesses of the Most High God today want to be “of the same mind” respecting this privilege of service. (Philippians 4:2) This makes for worldwide unity of action. For our doing so, Jehovah God has blessed both the “great crowd” of Christ’s “other sheep” and the anointed remnant of Christ’s Kingdom heirs with the delightsome success that they are experiencing worldwide today in the gathering of all the “other sheep” and the serving of final notice upon all mankind before his glorious victory and vindication of his universal sovereignty at Har–Magedon.—Revelation 16:16.
Some questions in review:
□ How have “heart” and “mind” been involved in Jehovah’s writing the “law” of the new covenant?
□ What two things are involved in gaining salvation?
□ How does a “complete” heart help us to keep loyal?
□ How can we show that we have both “the mind of Jehovah” and “the mind of Christ”?
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Jehovah has written the “law” of his new covenant on hearts and minds of anointed ones. Joyfully, “other sheep” now join them in sacred service
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Hezekiah displayed a “complete” heart when experiencing adversity. So can we