During this seventh creative day God has been working even with respect to mankind; not in a material work, but in a spiritual way. This has been by his bringing forth a “new creation.” “Consequently if anyone is in union with Christ, he is a new creation; the old things passed away, look! new things have come into existence.” (2 Cor. 5:17) Here the apostle Paul speaks of “a new creation,” viewing the 144,000 “called and chosen and faithful” from among mankind who rule with Jesus Christ, not collectively, but as individuals. The crowning work of Jehovah’s creative art, “a new creation,” is really a spiritual creation, the final realm of which is invisible to human eyes. Moreover, the purpose for which “a new creation” is brought forth to the total number of 144,001 is also for the doing of a merciful work demanding immediate action with regard to dying mankind, who need to be “set free from enslavement to corruption.” Such an uplifting work is lawful, as indicated by Jesus Christ when he asked the question to those versed in the Law and to the Pharisees, “Is it lawful on the sabbath to cure or not?” and then answered it positively by performing a healing miracle and raising another question: “Who of you, if his son or bull falls into a well, will not immediately pull him out on the sabbath day?” So God’s work in behalf of a spiritual “new creation” is not in violation of his seventh day of cessation from the material works in behalf of mankind.—Rev. 17:14; Rom. 8:21; Luke 14:3-5.
● Would the tossing of a flower bouquet to the bridesmaids be proper at a Christian wedding, or is it a practice handed down from pagan customs?—F. G., U.S.A.
The bride’s tossing her flower bouquet to the bridesmaids is nothing but a pagan practice. It smacks of superstition, as, for instance, that the particular one of the bridesmaids who catches the bride’s flower bouquet is thereby said to be marked for being the next one of the girls to be married. Since such a practice takes place at worldly weddings and is merely a traditional custom of paganism, it could not be considered holy conduct and thus ought to be eliminated from Christian weddings. (1 Pet. 1:14-16) Such a practice definitely should not take place inside the local Kingdom Hall if the marriage is performed there.
If anyone wants to indulge in such a practice at a wedding ceremony or reception outside the Kingdom Hall, that is his own responsibility; but it is certainly setting a bad and unchristian example, disclosing evidence of considerable immaturity. So traditional pagan customs such as this must be banned from the Kingdom Hall inasmuch as such things not only do not have a Biblical foundation, but they result in a division of opinion on the part of members of the congregation. Many would be shocked by such a performance inside a building that has been dedicated to the pure worship of Jehovah God. It could prove to be a cause of stumbling for others; and in this regard the apostle Paul wrote the following inspired words to the Philippians: “Make sure of the more important things, so that you may be flawless and not be stumbling others up to the day of Christ, and may be filled with righteous fruit, which is through Jesus Christ, to God’s glory and praise.”—Phil. 1:10, 11.
All of Jehovah’s witnesses appreciate association with fellow Christians as they share in Jehovah’s service. It is strengthening and brings mutual encouragement. Besides that, their ministry is a source of encouragement to others who long for a knowledge of God’s Word. To aid such persons, during July Jehovah’s witnesses will offer the 704-page book “Babylon the Great Has Fallen!” God’s Kingdom Rules!, along with a Bible-study booklet, on a contribution of 75c.
STILL TIME TO GO
By now the “Fruitage of the Spirit” Assemblies of Jehovah’s Witnesses are a happy memory to thousands. But to many thousands more the prospect of spiritual blessings to be poured out at these conventions is still future. Many more gatherings of this series in widely scattered cities are still ahead of us, and you too can share. But you must act quickly if you have not already made your plans. For details, write to Watchtower Convention, in care of the publishers of this magazine.
“WATCHTOWER” STUDIES FOR THE WEEKS
August 16: Meeting Today’s Problems with Courage, ¶1-22. Page 425.
August 23: Meeting Today’s Problems with Courage, ¶23-26, and Faithful Endurance in the “Time of the End.” Page 430.