The Word of Jehovah Keeps Moving Speedily
Now that you have had the opportunity to read about these thrilling exploits marking the forward movement of Jehovah’s Witnesses, we are sure you will agree that they have given ample evidence of being Jehovah’s integrity keepers. Included especially in their mark of integrity is their faithfully keeping Jesus’ command: “Go . . . and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them.” (Matt. 28:19) This they have certainly done, and now, as a result of their doing this work so dear to the hearts of Jehovah and his Son, Christ Jesus, what a joy it is for us all to welcome those 189,800 newly dedicated ones who became associated with Jehovah’s loving organization during the past year! Seeing and hearing about their happiness in now being freed from the clutches of Babylon the Great reminds many of us older ones of the time when we, for the first time, experienced the truthfulness of Jesus’ words: “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”—John 8:32.
But now, think what all of this means. An additional 189,800 sheeplike ones have joined those already “standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” They are ‘rendering God sacred service day and night in his temple.’ Can you hear that increasing volume of praise ascending to delight Jehovah? Unitedly they keep saying: “Salvation we owe to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb.” (Rev. 7:9, 10, 15) What happiness this must bring to the heart of our heavenly Father!
Ah yes, but there is something else for us to keep in mind. Room must be made for these many new praisers to move about comfortably within Jehovah’s organization. A spiritual feeding program must be provided so that there is plenty for all such newcomers. And constant guidance from God’s Word must be given so that they can grow to maturity and also be protected from Satan and the influences of his wicked world. All of this places a heavy responsibility upon the rest of us, and especially upon the shoulders of the elders, in the branches, in the congregations, and in the missionary homes. (See Isaiah 32:2, 3.) We therefore urge all elders to make sure that, during the coming months, they put forth every effort to ensure that the needed spiritual provisions and arrangements are made to assist these new brothers and sisters of ours. This will help the recently dedicated ones to make solid progress along “the road leading off into life.”—Matt. 7:13, 14.
How do you think the Devil and his demons feel when they see this constant expansion of Jehovah’s visible organization? We get an insight into their feelings when some of the clergy vent their rage against Jehovah’s Witnesses for ‘stealing their flock,’ as they put it. Or, when some who are no longer associated with us try to belittle and misrepresent those who are upholding God’s righteous standards as set out in his Word. And we can expect this opposition to increase in intensity as time goes on. The relentless war Satan wages against those ‘observing the commandments of God and bearing witness to Jesus’ will never stop until Jehovah silences His opposers at the end of this system of things.—2 Thess. 1:6-10; Rev. 12:17.
Those of us who are working here at the world headquarters in Brooklyn are very much aware of this vicious warfare that is being waged against both God’s remaining anointed ones and the multitude of their sheeplike companions. Therefore, for the strengthening of all of God’s people, we are making provision for the fine material presented in the “Integrity Keepers” Convention program to be refreshingly discussed in detail in forthcoming issues of the Watchtower magazine. We encourage all of you to make this material your own through personal and congregational study. We feel certain that this spiritual nourishment will help you in maintaining your integrity to Jehovah and also in “acquiring power in the Lord and in the mightiness of his strength,” so making certain that you have on “the complete suit of armor from God.”—Eph. 6:10-18.
Without question we are living in thrilling times of the modern-day history of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The witness work is opening up in some lands to a greater extent than we would have thought possible just a few years ago. Because of increased world tension the hearts of many people are becoming more receptive to the truth. So, “lift up your eyes and view the fields, that they are white for harvesting.” (John 4:35) How appropriate indeed then are the words of our 1986 yeartext: “Go . . . declare abroad the kingdom of God.”—Luke 9:60.
In the days of the early Christian congregation, a body of older men was entrusted with the responsibility of caring for the overall spiritual needs of the brothers and also for supervising the work of preaching the good news of the Kingdom. (See Acts, chapter 15.) A similar arrangement exists today for the worldwide organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses. For your information, there are now 13 members comprising the Governing Body: Carey W. Barber, John E. Barr, W. Lloyd Barry, John C. Booth, Frederick W. Franz, George Gangas, Milton G. Henschel, Theodore Jaracz, Karl F. Klein, Martin Poetzinger, Albert D. Schroeder, Lyman A. Swingle, and Daniel Sydlik.
We wish you to know that all of us here at the world headquarters remember you daily in our prayers. Our prayer also is that you “carry on prayer for us, that the word of Jehovah may keep moving speedily and being glorified just as it is in fact with you.” (2 Thess. 3:1) May Jehovah continue to bless each one of you as you faithfully care for the Kingdom interests in your part of the world field. Please be assured of our warm Christian love.
GOVERNING BODY OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES