“God is a God not of disorder but of peace.”—1 CORINTHIANS 14:33.
1, 2. (a) Whom did God create first, and how did Jehovah use him? (b) How do we know that the angels are organized?
OUR Creator, Jehovah, does everything in an organized way. First, he created his Son, Jesus. The Bible calls Jesus “the Word” because he is God’s most important representative. It says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God.” He has served Jehovah in heaven for millions of years. The Bible also says about Jesus: “All things came into existence through him, and apart from him not even one thing came into existence.” More than 2,000 years ago, Jehovah sent the Word to the earth as the perfect man Jesus Christ. Jesus faithfully did everything his Father asked him to do.—John 1:1-3, 14.
2 Before he came to the earth, Jesus served loyally as God’s “master worker.” (Proverbs 8:30) By means of Jesus, Jehovah created millions of angels in heaven. (Colossians 1:16) The Bible tells us that Jehovah has well-organized armies of angels. It says: “A thousand thousands kept ministering to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.”—Daniel 7:10; Psalm 103:21.
3. How many stars are there? How are the stars and planets organized?
3 When Jehovah created the universe, he created so many stars and planets that you could never count them all. How many stars are there? One newspaper, the Houston, Texas, Chronicle, reported that after a recent study, scientists now think that there are 300 sextillion stars in the universe. That is a 3 followed by 23 zeros! Are these stars and planets organized? Yes, groups of stars are organized into galaxies. Each galaxy contains many planets and billions or even trillions of stars. Most galaxies are then organized into groups called clusters, and these clusters are organized into larger groups called superclusters.
It is vital for God’s people to be well-organized because they have so much important work to do
4. Why is it reasonable to think that God’s servants on earth would be organized?
4 The angels in heaven and the stars and planets in the universe are organized in an amazing way. (Isaiah 40:26) So we can believe that our Creator also organizes his servants on earth. It is vital for them to be well-organized because they have so much important work to do. For thousands of years, Jehovah has organized his people so that they could worship him faithfully. There are many examples that prove that he has been with them and that he is “a God not of disorder but of peace.”—Read 1 Corinthians 14:33, 40.
GOD ORGANIZED HIS PEOPLE IN ANCIENT TIMES
5. How was God’s purpose for the earth interrupted?
5 When Jehovah created the first humans, he told them: “Be fruitful and become many, fill the earth and subdue it, and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28) Jehovah did not create millions of people all at once. Adam and Eve would have children, and their children would have children, until the human family was spread throughout the earth. God’s purpose was for them to make the whole earth into a paradise. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, this purpose was interrupted for a while. (Genesis 3:1-6) Most of Adam and Eve’s children did not serve Jehovah, and after some time, “Jehovah saw that man’s wickedness was great on the earth and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only bad all the time.” Because of all this wickedness, “the earth had become ruined,” and it “was filled with violence.” Therefore, God decided to destroy all the wicked and bring a flood upon the whole earth.—Genesis 6:5, 11-13, 17.
6, 7. (a) Why did Jehovah save Noah? (See opening picture.) (b) What happened to all the people who refused to listen to Noah?
6 Not everybody was destroyed in the Flood. Noah “found favor in the eyes of Jehovah” because he “was a righteous man” who “walked with the true God.” Jehovah commanded Noah to build a huge ark and gave him all the instructions he needed to do it. (Genesis 6:8, 9, 14-16) The ark was designed to float on water so that people and animals inside it would survive the Flood. Noah and his family did exactly what Jehovah had commanded them to do. After they brought the animals into the ark, “Jehovah shut the door.”—Genesis 7:5, 16.
7 Noah warned people about the Flood, but most of them refused to listen. (2 Peter 2:5) In the year 2370 before Christ, the Flood began. Jehovah destroyed “every living thing,” but he kept faithful Noah, his sons, and their wives safe in the ark. (Genesis 7:23) Everybody on earth today comes from faithful Noah and his family. But none of the people who refused to listen to Noah’s warnings survived the Flood.
8. How did God organize his people when he commanded the Israelites to enter the Promised Land?
8 More than 800 years after the Flood, God organized the Israelites into a nation. He organized every aspect of their lives, especially how they should worship him. For example, he assigned some of them to be priests and Levites. He also organized some women “to serve at the entrance of the tent of meeting.” (Exodus 38:8) Jehovah later commanded the nation to go and live in Canaan. But most of the Israelites were afraid and refused to go, so he told them: “None of you will enter into the land that I swore to have you reside in except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.” Joshua and Caleb were the only ones who had brought back a good report after spying out the Promised Land. (Numbers 14:30, 37, 38) Later, Jehovah assigned Joshua to lead the Israelites. (Numbers 27:18-23) Just before Joshua led them into Canaan, Jehovah told him: “Be courageous and strong. Do not be struck with terror or fear, for Jehovah your God is with you wherever you go.”—Joshua 1:9.
Faithful Rahab deeply respected Jehovah and his organization
9. How did Rahab feel about Jehovah and his people?
9 Jehovah God was with Joshua wherever he went. For example, in the year 1473 before Christ, the Israelites were camped near the Canaanite city of Jericho. Joshua sent two men to spy out Jericho, where they met the prostitute Rahab. Men in the city tried to capture the spies, but Rahab hid them on the roof of her house. She told the Israelite spies: “I do know that Jehovah will give you the land . . . , for we heard how Jehovah dried up the waters of the Red Sea before you . . . and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites.” She added: “Jehovah your God is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath.” (Joshua 2:9-11) Rahab and her family supported Jehovah’s chosen people. Later, when the Israelites conquered Jericho, Jehovah made sure that Rahab and her family survived. (Joshua 6:25) Faithful Rahab deeply respected Jehovah and his organization.
THE FIRST CHRISTIANS WERE ORGANIZED
10. What did Jesus tell the Jewish religious leaders, and why did he tell them that?
10 While faithful Joshua was their leader, the Israelites were successful and conquered the land of Canaan, one city after the other. But later, over a period of about 1,500 years, the Israelites were unfaithful again and again. When Jesus came to the earth, the Israelites had become so disobedient to Jehovah and his prophets that Jesus called the Israelites living in Jerusalem “the killer of the prophets.” (Read Matthew 23:37, 38.) Jehovah rejected the Jewish religious leaders because of their disobedience. Jesus told them: “The Kingdom of God will be taken from you and be given to a nation producing its fruits.”—Matthew 21:43.
11, 12. (a) What proves that Jehovah began to favor a new organization instead of the nation of Israel? (b) Who became part of this new organization?
11 Not long after Jesus came to the earth, Jehovah rejected the nation of Israel. But he would still have an organization of faithful servants on earth who obeyed Christ and his teachings. On the day of Pentecost in the year 33, Jehovah began to favor a new organization instead of the nation of Israel. About 120 disciples of Jesus were gathered together when “suddenly there was a noise from heaven, just like that of a rushing, stiff breeze, and it filled the whole house.” Then “tongues as if of fire became visible to them and were distributed, and one came to rest on each one of them, and they all became filled with holy spirit and started to speak in different languages.” (Acts 2:1-4) This amazing event showed without a doubt that Jehovah was supporting this new organization of Christ’s disciples.
12 On that same day, about 3,000 people joined Jehovah’s new organization. The Bible also says that “Jehovah continued to add to them daily those being saved.” (Acts 2:41, 47) Jesus’ disciples were so successful in their preaching work that the Bible says: “The word of God continued to spread, and the number of the disciples kept multiplying very much in Jerusalem.” Many sincere people, including many priests, accepted Christ’s teachings. (Acts 6:7) Later, when Jehovah brought people who were not Jews into the Christian congregation, it was further evidence that he supported the new organization.—Read Acts 10:44, 45.
Since the first century, God’s organization has been telling others about what Jehovah has done to save mankind
13. What work did God give his new organization?
13 There was no doubt what work God had given Christ’s followers to do. While on earth, Jesus had set the example for them. Soon after his baptism, Jesus began preaching about “the Kingdom of the heavens.” (Matthew 4:17) Jesus taught his disciples to do the same work. He also told them that they would be witnesses of him “in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the most distant part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) Did Jesus’ disciples understand what they were supposed to do? Yes! On one occasion, Paul and Barnabas told the Jews that Jesus’ disciples would now preach to people of other nations. Paul and Barnabas said: “Jehovah has commanded us in these words: ‘I have appointed you as a light of nations, for you to be a salvation to the ends of the earth.’” (Acts 13:14, 45-47) Since the first century, God’s organization has been telling others about what Jehovah has done to save mankind.
GOD’S SERVANTS SURVIVE
14. What happened to Jerusalem in the first century, but who survived?
14 Most Jews did not accept the good news about Jesus, and they did not listen when Jesus told them about a disaster that would happen to Jerusalem. He had warned his disciples: “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by encamped armies, then know that the desolating of her has drawn near. Then let those in Judea begin fleeing to the mountains, let those in the midst of her leave, and let those in the countryside not enter into her.” (Luke 21:20, 21) Exactly as Jesus had foretold, Jerusalem was destroyed. The Jews rebelled against the Romans, and in the year 66, Roman armies surrounded Jerusalem and were just about to destroy it. But the armies suddenly left, and that gave Jesus’ followers an opportunity to leave Jerusalem and Judea. Many fled across the Jordan River and went up into the mountains. In the year 70, the Roman armies came back and destroyed Jerusalem. What happened to the Christians? They survived because they listened to Jesus’ warning.
15. Why did many people join the Christian congregation?
15 In the first century, Christians were persecuted and their faith was tested. Despite this, many more people became Christians. (Acts 11:19-21; 19:1, 19, 20) Why did that happen? Because the Christian congregation had God’s favor.—Proverbs 10:22.
It is amazing to see how similar our worship today is to that of the first-century Christians
16. What did all Christians have to do to keep their faith strong?
16 To keep their faith strong and to stay united, all Christians had to make personal effort. They had to study the Scriptures, regularly attend meetings, and be zealous in the ministry. The congregations were well-organized. They had elders and ministerial servants who were willing to help them, and the congregations benefited from the hard work of these brothers. (Philippians 1:1; 1 Peter 5:1-4) Also, they enjoyed visits of traveling overseers, such as Paul. (Acts 15:36, 40, 41) It is amazing to see how similar our worship today is to that of the first-century Christians. We are so grateful that Jehovah has always organized his servants!*—See footnote.
17. What will be discussed in the next article?
17 We are living in the last days, and Satan’s world will soon be destroyed. Even so, the earthly part of God’s organization is moving ahead faster than ever before. Are you moving ahead with Jehovah’s organization? The next article will show how you can do this.