The Watchtower, March 1, 1962 Issue, Page 156:
discipleship displaces church membership, when building faith, hope and love
overshadows the building of church edifices, when the saving of human lives
becomes more important than saving traditions and conventionality, when serving
God becomes more important than satisfying self, then men want to be ministers,
but not ministers of religious organizations that fail to teach God's Word.
They want to be ministers of God. And during the years 1957 through 1960, rather
than there being a decline in the ministry, in the New World society of Jehovah's
witnesses 277,866 persons became such ordained ministers, dedicated public teachers
of God's Word.
The Watchtower, January 1, 1962 Issue, Page 20:
everyone in the congregation of God must be a dedicated, ordained minister,
a preaching and teaching minister, and there is no time between now and "down
to the end" to become sluggish. A Christian must be an industrious person.
He took on this work to get things done. Otherwise there would be no basis for
his hope ever to be realized. Paul felt that way about his meeting his obligations
and said: "Really, woe is me if I did not declare the good news!"
(1 Cor. 9:16) If ever there was an energetic follower of Christ who wanted to
help all people proclaim God's kingdom it was Paul. He said: "I have made
myself the slave to all, that I may gain the most persons." (1 Cor. 9:19)
He had no use for lazy people. There was work to be done. His Master, Jesus,
died in this work, and Paul, being a good imitator of him, could say to us:
"Become imitators of me, even as I am of Christ."-1 Cor. 11:1.
The Watchtower, April 1, 1961 Issue, Page 215:
Ordained Ministers Let Light Shine
WHAT does it mean to be ordained? To be ordained means to be invested with ministerial functions or to be appointed authoritatively, even as Jesus Christ was ordained by God. One who is thus ordained has as his vocation or divine calling the Christian ministry.
Who are God's ordained ministers today? The clergy who attended a theological seminary and thereafter underwent an elaborate and pompous ordination ceremony? No; if such were essential then neither Jesus nor his early disciples and apostles would have qualified as God's ordained ministers, for they neither had such formal education nor underwent any such ordination.
God's ordained ministers today are those who have recognized Jehovah God as their Sovereign, Jesus Christ as their Savior, themselves as sinners and their need of Christ's sacrifice in order to have a proper standing before God. These upon dedicating themselves to do God's will, and being baptized at the first opportunity, are ordained by means of God's holy spirit or active force.
To all such Jesus' words apply: "You are the light of the world. A city cannot be hid when situated upon a mountain. Likewise let your light shine before mankind, that they may see your right works and give glory to your Father who is in the heavens."-Matt. 5:14, 16.
Light both dispels darkness and gives life. The light that the ordained Christian minister lets shine is the life-giving truth that dispels the darkness of false religion, superstition and ignorance. It is the truth about Jehovah's purposes and his will for man.
How can we let our light shine? By bringing these truths to others as we go from house to house, stand on the streets, and whenever an opportunity presents itself. We also let our light shine when we teach others by making return visits upon them and by conducting Bible studies in their homes. And we let our light shine when we make public confession at our congregational meetings.
We let our light shine by the kind of speech we use. We want to use words that are decent, clean, helpful, respectable, that express our thoughts clearly and forcefully. We want to avoid not only obscene, vulgar and corrupt language but also slovenly and slipshod expressions. Yes, let "neither shameful conduct nor foolish talking nor obscene jesting, things which are not becoming," be mentioned among you, says the apostle Paul.-Eph. 5:3, 4.
In particular do we want to watch our actions. We want to be careful that nothing we do will reflect unfavorably upon our heavenly Father and the New World society. "Therefore, whether you are eating or drinking or doing anything else, do all things for God's glory."-1 Cor. 10:31.
Where must we let our light shine? Everywhere! In the Christian home, and especially so if our mate is not also a Christian. How brightly our light shines under such circumstances when we are careful to heed the Scriptural admonition about "chaste conduct together with deep respect" and having as an adornment "the secret person of the heart in the incorruptible apparel of the quiet and mild spirit." How often such conduct has opened the eyes of the unbeliever, even though at times it may have taken years and years to do so!-1 Pet. 3:1-4.
We also want to be careful to let our light shine at our place of employment. By an integrity-keeping course we bear witness that we are no part of the world. So let us faithfully give full measure to our employer, neither loitering at our work nor taking things from our employer that do not belong to us.
Nor would we overlook the need to let our light shine when enjoying recreation. Here also we are Christian ministers and therefore may not let down the guards of propriety. At such times we do well to call to mind Paul's example: "I browbeat my body and lead it as a slave, that, after I have preached to others, I myself should not become disapproved somehow."-1 Cor. 9:27.
our light shine on all occasions is not easy. It requires being on guard and
exercising self-control. But is it not worth it? Thereby we bring honor to Jehovah's
name; thereby we help our neighbor to see the truth and get on the road that
leads to everlasting life, and thereby we assure salvation for ourselves. So
"let your light shine before mankind, that they may see your right works
and give glory to your Father who is in the heavens."-Matt. 5:16.
The Watchtower, February 15, 1961 Issue, Page 108:
the past two years more than 180 new ministers were ordained for this service
every day of the year!-Acts 2:47
The Watchtower, January 1, 1961 Issue, Pages 18-19:
RESULTS OF CHRISTIAN MINISTRY
5 The prophet Moses knew it was necessary to listen to the words of Jehovah, and he said: "Apply your hearts to all the words that I am speaking. . . . It means your life." (Deut. 32:46, 47) The earnest endeavor of Jehovah's witnesses has been to make this truth known around the world. Last year, in 1960, they did make the truth known in 179 different nations, islands of the sea and protectorates. Under the direction of the Watch Tower Society's eighty-five branch offices there have been 851,378 ordained ministers preaching the truth concerning the good news of God's kingdom world-wide. These Christian people have given freely from the good treasure of their hearts by good works. Because of their global preaching activity in many tongues, talking to all kinds of people, Jehovah's witnesses are now enjoying the regular cooperation of 47,896 more individuals than they did the year before. Their service year report shows a 6-percent increase in the number of persons regularly preaching with the organization.
6 A new peak of publishers was reached, too, during 1960. There have been as many as 916,332 different persons sharing in the preaching of the good news of God's kingdom. This is great cause for rejoicing. These individuals have all used their treasure to do good, and if they continue faithful in the ministry and apply their hearts to the Word of God, their good treasure will become greater. This great crowd of people, numbering 916,332, are organized into 21,008 congregations. In these congregations Jehovah's witnesses study the Word of God together, and they go out in the field ministry from house to house, and in so doing put their faith into action. They all want to do good with their knowledge of God's Word. These congregations, in turn, comprise 1,561 circuits, and these circuits are grouped into 194 districts situated throughout the world.
7 It is a joy to report that during the 1960 service year 69,027 persons were baptized in water in symbol of their dedication to the doing of Jehovah's will. With these thousands of newly ordained ministers bringing forth good treasure from their hearts, many, many more thousands of people of good will will be reached with the good news of God's kingdom. On April 10, 1960 , there were 1,519,821 persons assembled at the Memorial service of Christ's death. This was the world-wide atten dan ce, and on that evening 13,911 individuals partook of the emblems served.
The eighty-five branch offices in the principal countries and islands of the
earth direct the affairs of the districts, circuits and congregations of Jehovah's
witnesses. In these main offices of supervision known as Bethel
homes there are
1,299 ordained Christian ministers working. In connection with many of these
offices the Society has printing plants where Bibles, books, booklets, magazines,
tracts and other information are printed in over 125 languages for the spreading
of the good news by means of the printed page.
The Watchtower, January 1, 1960 Issue, Pages 4-11:
Ordained Ministers of God
"We also thank God incessantly, because when you received God's word which you heard from us you accepted it, not as the word of men, but, just as it truthfully is, as the word of God, which is also at work in you believers."-1 Thess. 2:13.
RELIGIOUS organizations, such as the Protestant and the Catholic, make much ado about ordaining their clergy. A pastor of a congregation must have first studied in a theological seminary for a number of years, and after he graduates then he is presumed ready to enter the clergy class. Now comes an elaborate ceremony with much pomp and pageantry. Many dignitaries are on hand to officiate and watch the ceremony. The individual is consecrated or set apart to the service and worship of his God. As the clergyman advances in his religious rank from priest to bishop or archbishop, it is necessary for him to go through more ceremonies with even greater splendor and display on the part of the ecclesiastical body. Many of the clergy of Christendom are ordained or invested with sacerdotal functions, in great costly cathedrals with lavish display so as to be an elaborate public spectacle. But the founder of true Christianity was ordained with holy spirit from heaven after his being dipped under the waters of the Jor dan River by a man with "clothing of ca mel 's hair and a leather girdle around his loins" and whose "food . . . was insect locusts and wild honey."-Matt. 3:4.
2 What a difference in ordination! Jesus went through such a simple procedure to become Jehovah's ordained minister. Furthermore, there is no record in the Scriptures that Jesus went to any particular school to be trained for the ministry, though certainly as a young man he studied the Word of God, the Hebrew Scriptures. It is quite evident that he was not taught at a special school by the scribes and Pharisees, the religious leaders of his day. We do read, though, that at twelve years of age Jesus was about his Father's business questioning such men, that is, the scribes and Pharisees. Luke, the his tori an, said that his parents were looking for him after the Passover while on their way home from Jerusalem and "began to hunt him up among the relatives and acquaintances. But, not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem , making a diligent search for him. Well, after three days they found him in the temple sitting in the midst of the teachers and listening to them and questioning them. But all those listening to him were in constant amazement at his understanding and his answers."-Luke 2:44-47.
3 This young lad, only twelve years old, said to his parents: "Did you not know that I must be in the house of my Father?" However, Jesus traveled home with his parents, and the account reads: "Jesus went on progressing in wisdom and in physical growth and in favor with God and men."-Luke 2:49, 52.
4 The time came, however, for Jesus to be at his Father's business all the time, and when he reached the age of thirty he went to John the Baptist, a prophet of Jehovah who was baptizing in the river Jor dan . In this out-of-the-way place there was "a voice of a man crying out in the wilderness, 'Prepare the way of Jehovah, make his roads straight.'" He was John the Baptist, and he put Jesus completely under the water and raised him up out of it. In this way Jesus symbolized his dedication to the doing of his Father's will, and Jehovah acknowledged him as his beloved Son in whom he was well pleased. "After being baptized Jesus immediately came up from the water; and, look! the heavens were opened up, and he saw descending like a dove God's spirit coming upon him. Look! also, there was a voice from the heavens that said: 'This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved.'" (Matt. 3:3, 16, 17) Jesus was now the Christ, the anointed one. He was ordained of God and must begin his great preaching work as an ordained minister. "Furthermore, Jesus himself, when he commenced his work, was about thirty years old."-Luke 3:23.
5 No one can say that the ordination of Jesus was one of show, done with many priests or clergymen around. There was no procession. Neither was he a graduate of any prominent theological school. He was a carpenter's son, a carpenter himself, who had now stepped forward to take up the vocation of the ministry.
6 All of Jesus' disciples were similarly baptized, fully immersed in water, and, after instructing the m c oncerning God's kingdom as being at hand, Jesus sent them out to preach the Kingdom message just as he was doing. They were well trained. They knew the word and will of God and lived as Jesus told them to live. No theological seminary for them, but still they were ordained ministers of God. Jehovah later used them to organize the early Christians into congregations and they appointed overseers to shepherd the flock of God, not to lord it over them. In those days every person who became a Christian became an ordained minister, because Jehovah made them "ambassadors substituting for Christ, as though God were making entreaty through [them]."-2 Cor. 5:20.
7 It was after Jesus' resurrection from the dead that he spoke to his assembled disciples and said: "Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you." (Matt. 28:19, 20) The apostles were not told to do anything different in the way of baptizing true followers of Christ Jesus from what had been done in their own case, or from the example that Christ Jesus set. So, then, there is no formalistic religious ritual that one must go through in order to become one of God's ordained ministers. Christ Jesus set the simple pattern.
8 of course, being baptized in water does not make one an ordained minister. God does the ordaining of the one being baptized, who has already recognized Jehovah God as the sovereign Ruler and Christ Jesus as his Savior, recognizing also that he himself is a sinner and that he needs the merit of Christ's sacrifice in order to have a proper standing before God. When one is baptized in water it has great meaning, for here the baptized one is declaring publicly that he is dedicated or set aside for Jehovah's service and worship. Of course, he must know what he is doing and must continue to prove himself worthy of this very high purpose. God accepting the baptized one, he ordains him to the divine ministry.
9 To be ordained means to be invested with ministerial functions, or to be appointed authoritatively. Jesus was appointed authoritatively by God to do specific service, which was God's will for him. Jesus in the synagogue of Nazareth read his ministerial functions from the scroll of Isaiah: "'Jehovah's spirit is upon me, because he anointed me to declare good news to the poor, he sent me forth to preach a release to the captives and a recovery of sight to the blind, to send the crushed ones away with a release, to preach Jehovah's acceptable year.' With that he rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the atten dan t and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were intently fixed upon him. Then he started to say to them: 'Today this scripture that you just heard is fulfilled.'"-Luke 4:18-21.
10 It was prophesied at Isaiah 61:1, 2, that Christ would do this work, and that is why Jesus could quote this scripture and say that he was fulfilling it. Jesus was ordained, appointed to this service, at the Jor dan River at the time of his baptism. There Jehovah's spirit came upon him and now he was authorized to do God's work. It was now time for him to speak and to make a public declaration. Jesus certainly did that!
11 All persons who have read the Greek Scriptures know of the tremendous preaching and teaching program Jesus carried out during his three and a half years of ministry. They also know of the work the apostles did, work of which the apostle Paul spoke when he said: "For with the heart one exercises faith for righteousness, but with the mouth one makes public declaration for salvation." (Rom. 10:10 ) Christians today can do no different. The same commission that fell upon Jesus to declare good news, to preach a release to captives, to bring sight to the blind, and to preach Jehovah's acceptable year, was passed on to his faithful Christian followers. A similar and very positive expression of this matter was made for our day by Jesus himself when on the Mount of Olives . He said: "This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for the purpose of a witness to all the nations, and then the accomplished end will come." (Matt. 24:14) But the apostles and all of Jesus' followers were to make the preaching of good news their commission in life.
SCOPE OF THE MINISTRY
12 This matter of one's being an ordained minister before God or before worldly governments is not a light matter. It involves one's every word, thought and action, a real following of the principles as set down by Christ Jesus, yes, walking in his footsteps. Just how far-reaching is this ordination of a Christian before God? Is a minister one ordained just during the time he is preaching this good news to someone? Or is this ordination, because he is dedicated to Jehovah God, a twenty-four-hour-a-day ordination? Can an individual step out of his professed vocation for a short period of time and act differently, or is he obligated to keep his ministerial garments on constantly? The Scriptures show that Jesus as a young man was a carpenter, but he changed his vocation. He would have liked to change his vocation earlier in life, but it was not God's will. He had to reach thirty years of age first, the age for a Levite to become a full-fledged priest under Jewish Law. Then when he was ordained by God he put foremost in his mind the doing of his Father's will, which was the preaching of the kingdom of the heavens as being at hand. His disciples he trained to do the same kind of work, or follow the same vocation.
13 The theological meaning of the word vocation is: "A calling to the service of God in a particular station or state of life, esp. in the priesthood or religious life, as shown by one's fitness, natural inclinations, and, often, by conviction of a Divine invitation. The station or state of life to which one receives such a calling. An official invitation to a particular ecclesiastical office, as a pastorate." Jesus indeed had "a calling to the service of God." He had a summons to a particular activity or career. His vocation was now "seeking first the kingdom and his righteousness." (Matt. 6:33) So, too, any individual becoming an ordained follower of Christ Jesus must henceforth live a Christian life in that way. Jesus' apostles had to do this in order to prove that their vocation was that of an ordained minister before God, even though before worldly governments men looked upon them as fishermen, tax collectors or tentmakers.
14 Being a dedicated Christian today is not a part-time occupation any more than it was then. It is a full-time vocation. A true Christian is not just a Christian on Sunday for a few hours while he is in his church or at a prayer meeting. A truly dedicated person, an ordained minister before God, must be a Christian his whole life from the time he takes up following Christ Jesus and walking in his footsteps. In the world an individual may say that his vocation is that of a carpenter, a mason, an engineer, a doctor, and that he makes his living by such occupation. But if that particular individual dedicates his life to Jehovah God and is baptized in water, then that secular occupation he pursues becomes secondary and his Christian ministry must become the thing of first importance, really now his vocation, because he was called to God's service. Jesus said: "Keep on, then, seeking first the kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other things will be added to you." A Christian's first job, his principal interest, then, is his call to a Christian life. It must be that. His vocation must be that of an ordained minister before Jehovah God. He may quit his secular work, but he may never quit his divine call to God's service. If a Christian quits the ministry he loses his eternal life. Which is more important, then?
15 Dedication to Jehovah's service and symbolizing that dedication by water baptism is not a joining of some earthly religious organization. It is not such a minor step as that. It is the biggest thing that one has ever done in his life. His being immersed in water is a declaration to all fellow Christians and peoples of the world that henceforth he is dedicated to God, to serve as his minister. This is his vocation, and from then on the whole word of God as it is set forth in the Bible must be his guide. He as a true Christian has acted as Paul said: "When you received God's word which you heard from us you accepted it, not as the word of men, but, just as it truthfully is, as the word of God, which is also at work in you believers."-1 Thess. 2:13.
16 'You have received God's word and accepted it,' have you? What, now, is involved? The apostle Paul said it involved even one's eating and drinking. That may sound absurd, but let us read what he wrote to the Corinthians: "Therefore, whether you are eating or drinking or doing anything else, do all things for God's glory. Keep from becoming causes for stumbling to Jews as well as Greeks and to the congregation of God, even as I am pleasing all people in all things, not seeking my own advantage but that of the many, in order that they might get saved." (1 Cor. 10:31-33) Paul was interested in saving lives through his "eating or drinking or doing anything else." But how does one's eating and drinking tend to save lives? Paul explains it in the eighth and tenth chapters of First Corinthians.
17 Paul knew that Christians were 'to keep themselves from things sacrificed to idols' (Acts 15:29 ); but he explained to the Corinthians: "Everything that is sold in a meat market keep eating, making no inquiry on account of your conscience, for 'the earth belongs to Jehovah, and so does its fullness.' If anyone of the unbelievers invites you and you wish to go, proceed to eat everything that is set before you, making no inquiry on account of your conscience. But if anyone should say to you: 'This is something offered to a god,' do not eat on account of the one that disclosed it and on account of conscience. 'Conscience,' I say, not yours, but that of the other person. For why should it be that my freedom is judged by another person's conscience? If I am partaking with thanks, why am I to be spoken of abusively over that for which I give thanks?" (1 Cor. 10:25-30) It may have been that the meat sold in the meat markets had been offered to idols, but how would a person know? He might not have inquired whether the animal, or even the part of it that he bought, was offered to an idol. So, Paul says, if a person invites you to dinner, eat what he has. Paul knew "that an idol is nothing in the world and that there is no God but one." (1 Cor. 8:4) But, if someone eating with you says, "This is something offered to a god," then because of that man's conscience do not eat any of it. Because of your own conscience? No, but because of the conscience of the other person. You may stumble that one by your eating.
18 Paul argued that a Christian's freedom or knowledge should "not somehow become a stumblingblock to those who are weak." If you should eat the food offered to idols after thanking God for it you might still ruin a man. "But when you people thus sin against your brothers and wound their conscience that is weak, you are sinning against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat flesh at all, that I may not make my brother stumble." (1 Cor. 8:9, 12, 13) Paul's ordination, his being set apart for God's service, included how he ate and drank. It involved his every action in everyday things. Paul was interested in saving lives. So he said: "Do not by your food ruin that one for whom Christ died. . . . For the kingdom of God does not mean eating and drinking, but means righteousness and peace and joy with holy spirit." "All things are lawful; but not all things are advantageous. All things are lawful; but not all things build up. Let each one keep seeking, not his own advantage, but that of the other person."-Rom. 14:15 , 17; 1 Cor. 10:23, 24.
19 May Christians today look at things differently and allow their eating or drinking to stumble a Jew or a Greek or a brother in the congregation? No! We are in the same position as was Paul. He would rather be "pleasing all people in all things, not seeking my own advantage but that of the many, in order that they might get saved." (1 Cor. 10:33) Would you do the same? If you are an ordained minister like Paul you would.
EATING, DRINKING, SPEECH AND WORK
20 But, someone says, things like that do not happen today. People do not offer food to idols. Well, then, how about your drinking habits? There is plenty of drinking done today, and Paul mentions drinking as something to watch. People drink all kinds of beverages, but the drinking causing the most disturbance in the minds of some people is the drinking of alcoholic beverages. Maybe a person who wants to drink wine will argue that Paul admonished Timothy to drink a little wine for his stomach's sake. Another may say that Jesus' first miracle was the making of wine. Still another will say that wine makes glad the heart. What is said is true, and in most countries and states it is lawful to have and use alcoholic beverages, but is it to the advantage of another brother? Will your drinking such a beverage serve to "build up"? Let us think not of our own advantage, but of that of the other person.
21 Suppose there is an overseer in a congregation of God's people, a man of influence, one looked up to, who goes out some evening with friends but he does not control his drinking of intoxicating liquor and he becomes drunk. The Bible states very definitely that drunkards will not inherit the Kingdom. "What! Do you not know that unrighteous persons will not inherit God's kingdom? Do not be misled. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, . . . nor thieves, nor greedy persons, nor drunkards . . . will inherit God's kingdom." (1 Cor. 6:9, 10) Even though some of you were like this before coming into the truth, Paul says, you were washed clean. So why go back to this sort of practice again and stumble your brother? Now a brother may see this intoxicated overseer walking down the street in a zigzag fashion. This observer is shocked, disturbed and offended that an ordained minister of his congregation should think so little of his ordination before God that he should become a drunkard. This carelessness in drinking has become a cause for stumbling a brother in the congregation of God.
22 Let us follow this drunken man a little farther. As he nears his home his neighbor with whom he studies the Bible observes his drunkenness, and he, too, is stumbled, because he thought that this ordained minister was living a Christian life. Well, the neighbor decides he will no longer study the Bible with this individual, and says to his wife: "If that is what the Bible did for him, there are better men than that to associate with who do not even have faith in God. Why should I change my way of life and take up something new when here one of the prominent ones in the congregation, who claims to be an ordained minister, is drunk?"
23 How very right Paul was when he said: "Therefore, whether you are eating or drinking or doing anything else, do all things for God's glory." (1 Cor. 10:31) Was this to God's glory? Certainly a Christian does not want to stumble a Jew, a Greek, a neighbor, a friend, or one of his brothers in the congregation of God. What every ordained minister must be interested in is saving the lives of all people for God's new world. "So, then, let us pursue the things making for peace and the things that are upbuilding to one another. Stop tearing down the work of God just for the sake of food. True, all things are clean, but it is injurious to the man who with an occasion for stumbling eats. It is well not to eat flesh or to drink wine or do anything over which your brother stumbles."-Rom. 14:19-21.
24 A Christian must watch his step in other things too. Paul presents this truth when writing to the Colossians: "Let the word of the Christ reside in you richly in all wisdom. Keep on teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, praises to God, spiritual songs with graciousness, singing in your hearts to Jehovah. And whatever it is that you do in word or in work, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, thanking God the Father through him."-Col. 3:16, 17.
25 Paul says to watch your words and work, which take up a good part of our time every day. Just how do we speak to people and how do we work for our employer? One's Christian training certainly expresses itself in these two things.
26 Are the words that come out of our mouths decent, clean, helpful and respectable? Would we be pleased to have God listen to us in everything we say? James wrote about our words when he said: "A fountain does not cause the sweet and the bitter to bubble out of the same opening, does it? . . . Neither can salt water produce sweet water." As for that little member in the body, he says: "The tongue is a fire. . . . Not one of mankind can get it tamed. An unruly injurious thing, it is full of death-dealing poison. With it we bless Jehovah, even the Father, and yet with it we curse men who have come into existence 'in the likeness of God.' Out of the same mouth come forth blessing and cursing. It is not proper, my brothers, for these things to go on occurring this way." The mouth of an ordained minister should be teaching and admonishing others with graciousness. There should be no such thing as bragging and lying against the truth. The mouth should always praise Jehovah. "Moreover, the fruit of righteousness has its seed sown under peaceful conditions for those who are making peace."-Jas. 3:6-12, 18.
27 Ordained ministers of Jehovah cannot have dual personalities with two vocabularies, one clean and upright, the other filthy and wicked. A Christian can train himself and be able to use good words that express his thoughts clearly and forcefully. The Christian does not have one vocabulary he uses in the congregation of God's people and then another set of cruel, harsh, dirty words to be used where he works. Remember what Paul says: "Whatever it is that you do in word. . . , do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, thanking God the Father through him." Peter confirms this, too, using good expressive words: "For, 'he that would love life and see good days, let him restrain his tongue from what is injurious and his lips from speaking deceitfully, but let him turn away from what is injurious and do what is good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For Jehovah's eyes are upon the righteous and his ears are toward their supplication, but Jehovah's face is against those doing injurious things.'"-1 Pet. 3:10-12.
28 Then there is that other part of the Christian life-work. Considerable time is spent at some kind of labor, but how does one perform his work and earn his daily bread? All individuals in effect make a contract or an agreement with their employer. When an employer hires a man to do a certain work he agrees to pay the worker a certain wage. The employee should not shirk his work, do less than he agreed to do. He should be honest and give his employer full measure. If one is hired as a carpenter for so many hours a day and he receives so much pay for those hours, then certainly during that period of time he should be diligent in doing good carpenter work for all those hours. He is not paid to loaf. He is paid to work. If a Christian is working in a store owned by a rich man he has no right to steal from that rich man because he is wealthy, nor has he the right to steal fro m c ustomers by charging them more than the goods are worth and keeping the difference. That is stealing. A man can steal, too, from his employer by loafing on the job. The man expects to be paid by his employer. Why cannot the employer expect the work to be done for the money he pays out? "Whatever it is that you do . . . in work, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus." Do you?
29 Paul did not feel that Onesimus, a slave of Philemon, should be kept from his employer. When Onesimus became a Christian, Paul found out he was a slave and sent him back to his owner. The slave, now a Christian, still belonged to Philemon even though Philemon was a Christian too. Paul, writing about Onesimus, said: "I am exhorting you [Philemon] concerning my child, to whom I became a father while in my prison bonds, Onesimus, formerly useless to you but now useful to you and to me. This very one I am sending back to you, yes, him, that is, my own heart." Even though Paul found Onesimus, who had run away from his owner, most helpful to himself, yet Paul wanted him to go back to his owner, because that was right, and there was where he belonged by law, and so that Philemon might "have him back forever, no longer as a slave but as more than a slave, as a brother beloved, especially so to me, yet how much more so to you both in fleshly relationship and in the Lord." (Philem. 10-12, 15, 16) The Scriptures indicate that no matter what condition one finds himself in, as a slave or a free workman, a Christian should work as though he were doing it "in the name of the Lord Jesus, thanking God the Father through him."
30 Christians must be honest. They must be truthful. They must prove they are ordained ministers, not only when they preach the good news, but in everything they do, so that all kinds of men might get saved. By this they prove that 'the word of God is at work in believers.' Are you a Christian doing good works in your eating, drinking, talking, working, preaching or doing anything else, doing all to God's glory in order that someone might get saved? Are you 'seeking peace and pursuing it'? A Christian knows "Jehovah's eyes are upon the righteous," his ordained ministers.-1 Pet. 3:11 , 12.
"Become holy yourselves in all your conduct."-1 Pet. 1:15.
Pages 12-18 (of the same Issue):
Do You Let Your Light Shine?
AN ORDAINED minister of God carries a heavy responsibility. He starts in where Jesus left off. It was the Master who said to his faithful followers: "You are the light of the world. A city cannot be hid when situated upon a mountain. People light a lamp and set it, not under the measuring basket, but upon the lampstand, and it shines upon all those in the house. Likewise let your light shine before mankind, that they may see your right works and give glory to your Father who is in the heavens." (Matt. 5:14-16) This light of truth shines in the world day and night because of the activeness of true Christians. When ordained ministers preach from house to house, the light shines. But that is not the only time he lets his light shine. It must shine during his eating, during his drinking, during his general conversation, during his working as well as when he is in the congregation of God's people. At no time can a Christian hide or turn off his light. "You are the light of the world. . . . Let your light shine before mankind."
2 An ordained minister of God looks to the future. So, then, if he would "love life and see good days, . . . let him seek peace and pursue it." (1 Pet. 3:10, 11) While pursuing peace he has no time for wrongdoing and so getting out of harmony with God's Word. If he does, it will be seen. As a minister he must for twenty-four hours a day prove that he is living a Christian life. He is observed just like a city situated on a hill; there is no hiding it. It is there to be seen for many miles around. You cannot hide that city any more than you can hide the light of a true Christian. An ordained minister's light shines continually. It is always aglow, unless the minister deliberately smothers the light by the way he eats, drinks, talks, works or preaches the good news of God's kingdom. But never let that happen! Let people of all kinds see your right works, because when they see your right works all kinds of men will give glory to your Father who is in the heavens.
3 The house-to-house preaching that the kingdom of God is at hand is vital, very important; and this good news helps people to see more clearly the great blessings God has in store for believers. But let them also observe the Christian's right works, the way he lives, how he conducts himself at work and at play, the way his children behave themselves, the way he mixes with people in the congregation, along with his teaching ability. Yes, all this tells if he lets his light shine.
4 An individual who has dedicated himself to Jehovah's service and has been baptized in water cannot say that he is a part-time Christian. He must be a full-time Christian. He may not be able to spend all his awake hours preaching from house to house and conducting Bible studies as do pioneers and missionaries. But that makes no difference as to being a Christian. God's commandments are the same for all Christians. Many Christians among Jehovah's witnesses are referred to as pioneers and missionaries, full-time preachers. These individuals have been able to arrange their affairs so that they can spend all their time in teaching and ministering to other persons by going from house to house and conducting Bible studies in the homes of believers. It is easily seen that not all persons who have dedicated their lives to Jehovah God and have been baptized can devote all their time to the preaching work, but certainly they must devote all their time to the Christian life. They must prove that they are ordained ministers before God just as surely as one who evangelizes all his wakeful hours. All Christians must be full-time light bearers just as Jesus was, because they are walking in his footsteps.
5 What, then, must we conclude? This: A Christian, whether he be a pioneer, a missionary, or a person known as a congregation publisher, must be an ordained minister before God full time. According to the Scriptures, in Paul's writings as well as Peter's and in Jesus' own words, one living a Christian life must "keep on, then, seeking first the kingdom and his righteousness." Furthermore, Jesus said: "If you observe my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have observed the commandments of the Father and remain in his love." (John 15:10) There are no exceptions; all Christians have the same commandments, the same Redeemer, the same God.
WORKS BECOME MANIFEST
6 What a person really is will eventually manifest itself. Paul pointed out to Timothy: "The sins of some men are publicly manifest, leading immediately to judgment, but as for other men their sins also become manifest later. In the same way also the right works are publicly manifest and those that are otherwise cannot be kept hid." (1 Tim. 5:24, 25) A simple example will help us see Paul's point. There was a thief in a certain city who had been robbing homes for two years and another man who for the first time tried to rob a home. On the novice's first venture of this kind he was caught leaving the house with the stolen goods. He was turned over to the police. The trial was held. The witnesses gave their testimony and he was proved to be a thief. The judgment: six months in prison. This man's sins were "publicly manifest, leading immediately to judgment."
7 But how about the first thief, who has been stealing for two years now? He decides to make another robbery. This time, however, he is apprehended. The police arrest him. He is brought before the court, and in the evidence presented it is proved not only that he robbed in the last home he unlawfully entered, but that he had robbed many other homes during the past two years! While this thief may have had a good reputation in the community up to this time, now his "sins also become manifest," but only later, after two years. One cannot always hide his real way of life. If he is a thief, eventually it will become manifest.
8 Paul reasons that just as the sins of some people are manifest immediately and other men's sins become manifest later, so the same is true with the right works of some persons. Maybe another illustration will show this truth clearly. A woman zealous in preaching the good news from house to house has excellent success in interesting people in God's Word, resulting in many home Bible studies. By her right works, in but a short period of time several persons come to the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's witnesses, study with the congregation, start preaching the good news themselves, dedicate their lives to Jehovah's service and are baptized. This woman's right works are publicly manifest immediately to all in the congregation.
9 On the other hand, there is another woman in the same congregation just as zealous in going out in the witnessing work, but for some reason the people she meets and has studies with do not come to the Kingdom Hall so quickly. She studied with them for well over a year, but no results yet.
10 It so happens that the husband of this second woman is not interested in the Bible and its message and for two years he has been very much opposed to her taking up the ministry work. When they were married ten years ago they were very worldly people, going out to parties, night clubs and getting drunk. It was a wild life but a rather unhappy one, with many family brawls during their sobering-up period and at other times. Their children kept them home some a little later on, but real happiness was missing. There was no peace at home. However, a little over two years ago this woman began studying the Bible with one of Jehovah's witnesses. It did not take her very long to appreciate what Paul wrote to the Thessalonians: "We also thank God incessantly, because when you received God's word . . . you accepted it, not as the word of men, but, just as it truthfully is, as the word of God." (1 Thess. 2:13) She wanted salvation, for now she learned she could enjoy a better life. She dedicated herself to Jehovah's service. She was baptized in water and proved herself to be an ordained minister, making her mind over and living a good Christian life along with her preaching work. She let her light shine. She attended all the meetings at the Kingdom Hall and brought her children with her in addition to studying with them at home. But her husband never came to the Kingdom Hall with her. Her fellow witnesses in the congregation did not know much about her husband or her home life, because the husband would not allow any of Jehovah's witnesses to come into his home.
11 This woman, now an ordained minister, had to show right works at home as well as on the outside, always following the commandments of God. She looked to Peter for advice, who wrote under inspiration of holy spirit: "In like manner, you wives, be in subjection to your own husbands, in order that, if any are not obedient to the word, they may be won without a word through the conduct of their wives, because of having been eyewitnesses of your chaste conduct together with deep respect. And do not let your adornment be that of the external braiding of the hair and of the putting on of gold ornaments or the wearing of outer garments, but let it be the secret person of the heart in the incorruptible apparel of the quiet and mild spirit, which is of great value in the eyes of God. For so, too, formerly the holy women who were hoping in God used to adorn themselves, subjecting themselves to their own husbands, as Sarah used to obey Abraham, calling him 'lord.' And you have become her children, provided you keep on doing good and not fearing any cause for terror."-1 Pet. 3:1-6.
12 This dedicated woman, a good housewife, a loving mother, was not allowed to speak the truth to her husband. This he forbade. However, the great change he saw in her through her right works spoke louder than words. No longer would she become drunk. Her disposition changed. Her home was clean and always in order; her meals were better and served on time. The children were well behaved and taught to love and respect their father. Conditions at home were much better than they used to be. But why?
13 Well, after two years of living as a Christian and at the same time putting up with some rough treatment, one day on her coming home from the field service her husband said to her: "There has been a great change in you. What made it?" Of course, the only answer was: "I am trying to live according to the Word of God, seeking peace and pursuing it." He answered: "If the word of God made you do so many right works, maybe if I let the Word of God work on me, I, too, can become a believer." He did!
14 So in the life of this woman we see her right works "manifest later." Yes, God's Word is true: "In the same way also the right works are publicly manifest and those that are otherwise cannot be kept hid."-1 Tim. 5:24, 25.
15 While some people's right works produce good results quickly, still other persons' right works become manifest eventually, even after many years. Never become discouraged because there seem to be no results from your right works. Keep on being a Christian. Salvation will come to some because of your letting your light shine even though it be observed in small things, eating, drinking, conversation, working or doing anything else. Be sure that, whatever you do, it is for God's glory. One should not be seeking one's own advantage, but that of the many in order that they might get saved! Remember, this Christian woman was not seeking her own advantage, but that of her husband, so that he, too, might get saved and share the joys of living in God's new world. Be a Christian all day long, prove yourself to be a full-time ordained minister before God.
16 An ordained minister in his going from house to house or doing right works for his employer or at home toward his wife and children, and conducting himself properly in the congregation is not trying to show off. The Word of God must be guiding him, and, because of his following the Word, life becomes pleasant and peaceful. "For Jehovah's eyes are upon the righteous and his ears are toward their supplication." (1 Pet. 3:12) We are admonished to "take good care not to practice your righteousness in front of men in order to be observed by them; otherwise you will have no reward with your Father who is in the heavens." (Matt. 6:1) "Do all things for God's glory." Do not be a hypocrite!
17 Do not do the things you are doing to be seen of men, but, whatever you do, do it as to Jehovah God and let him give you the reward. Do not appear to be a minister of God in the same way as the clergymen do in the world today by putting on an appearance of holiness before their congregations. Do not be classed or described by Jesus as the scribes and Pharisees were in his days. Jesus said of them: "All the works they do they do to be viewed by men . . . They like the most prominent place at evening meals and the front seats in the synagogues, and the greetings in the marketplaces and to be called 'Rabbi' by men. . . . Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you shut up the kingdom of the heavens before mankind; for you yourselves do not go in, neither do you permit those on their way in to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you traverse sea and dry land to make one proselyte, and when he becomes one you make him a subject for Gehenna twice as much so as yourselves." (Matt. 23:5-15) A real ordained minister directs the attention of people to God, not to himself. By paying constant attention to God's Word and preaching it one will not only save himself but those who listen to him.-1 Tim. 4:16.
CONTROLLED BY GOD'S WORD
18 A Christian's whole life must be controlled by the Word of God. He must believe what it says and delight to do Jehovah's commandments. He must appreciate God's righteousness and want to live according to what is written in the Bible. It was Jesus who said: "Keep on, then, seeking first the kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other things will be added to you." (Matt. 6:33) Some individuals when reading this text only read "keep on, then, seeking first the kingdom," for that is the extent of their interest. They are anxious for Armageddon, the battle of the great day of God the Almighty, the time when Jehovah will destroy all wickedness from the earth and establish his righteous new world. Why so anxious? Because they want to live in paradise, have perfect life, peace and happiness, food and shelter and all the good things that the new world offers.
19 However, those persons seeking only the Kingdom and not Jehovah's righteousness now should read the whole text. Jesus said: "Keep on, then, seeking first the kingdom and his righteousness." His righteousness, too, is something to keep on seeking. It is now that we must know Jehovah's principles of truth and righteousness and how to live. If a Christian is seeking Jehovah's righteousness, then he will want to know what a Christian should do. For example, the Bible says that a single man or woman should not live in fornication. "If they do not have self-control, let them marry, for it is better to marry than to be inflamed with passion." (1 Cor. 7:9) When married, neither mate can live in adultery, because that is not seeking his righteousness. "You heard that it was said, 'You must not commit adultery.'"-Matt. 5:27.
20 In the Word of God there is excellent admonition on how single persons should live and on the conduct of married couples, on the raising of children, on the work to be done by the congregation of God, and on how overseers should deport themselves. There is counsel given on loving our neighbors and being hospitable to strangers. Advice is given on one's moral way of life as to his language, his eating, his drinking, his working, his honesty, his general disposition. He surely cannot be a murderer, a thief, a drunkard, an idolater, a liar, a greedy person, an extortioner, a reviler. A Christian's whole life is governed by Scriptural principles set out clearly in God's Word. So, then, let us keep on seeking God's righteousness as well as the Kingdom, but not just the Kingdom. If you do right, the promise is that all other things will be added to you.
21 By doing what is right a Christian puts on a new personality and conforms his life to God's will in true righteousness and loving-kindness. The apostle Paul in writing to the Ephesians said so: "You should put away the old personality which conforms to your former course of conduct and which is being corrupted according to his deceptive desires; but that you should be made new in the force actuating your mind, and should put on the new personality which was created according to God's will in true righteousness and loving-kindness." (Eph. 4:22-24) A Christian knows that Satan, the god of this world, "has blinded the minds of the unbelievers" and keeps them in darkness. The Devil wants all human creatures to conduct themselves according to their own deceptive desires. "Because everything in the world-the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the showy display of one's means of life-does not originate with the Father, but originates with the world." (1 John 2:16) So the Devil would like to keep everyone 'conformed to his former course of conduct which is being corrupted.'
22 But when one learns the truth he can change his personality, putting away the old one with its ugly language that he once used. He will also put away his lazy or dishonest working habits, and so many other bad habits that would interfere with letting his light shine. He knows that "Jehovah's face is against those doing injurious things." So the Christian makes a big change in order to "seek peace and pursue it," for he knows that "Jehovah's eyes are upon the righteous."-1 Pet. 3:11, 12.
23 The Word of God has a powerful effect upon an individual who is sincere. Hundreds of thousands of persons have allowed God's Word to guide them until they have seen the importance of becoming an ordained minister before God, even though most of the worldly governments do not recognize them as such. Still they keep letting their light shine. No longer do they conform themselves to the old course of conduct, but they take on an entirely new outlook as regards life, knowing that the Word of God is at work in still other believers and that these other believers are letting God's Word have an effect upon their lives. Paul knew that "you should be made new in the force actuating your mind." And what is that force that actuates the mind? It is God's spirit, his active force, which is revealed to us through his Word. Study the Word of God so as to put on the new personality, one befitting a full-time ordained minister and pleasing to God. Surely the personality that God gave Adam in the original creation in the garden of Eden was according to God's will; and it was in true righteousness and loving-kindness that he made this man. He was a perfect creature. He was put on a perfect earth. His personality must have had the quality of one seeking peace, for there in the garden of Eden he was at peace with all the animals, a condition that the prophet Isaiah describes will exist in the paradise earth under the kingdom of heaven after the battle of Armageddon.
24 It is certainly God's will today for one to seek peace with God and show meekness and righteousness, for it may be that he will be hid in the day of Jehovah's anger. (Zeph. 2:3) Jehovah's witnesses in all parts of the world want to prove themselves worthy ministers of God by steadfastly preaching the good news of God's kingdom. They want to show appreciation for the ordination they have received from Jehovah and prove by right works that they can live Christian lives. Their vocation is their call to the divine service of their God. By putting on this new personality, which was created according to God's will in true righteousness and loving-kindness, they can serve better and accomplish more. Jehovah's witnesses, God's ordained ministers, will devote their full time to Christian living and will conduct themselves in this old world as Jesus did. They remember what he said: "If you were part of the world, the world would be fond of what is its own. Now because you are no part of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, on this account the world hates you." (John 15:19) But even though the world hates them, Jehovah's witnesses are going to show love toward all persons in the world and are going to stay at peace with them. They "will seek peace and pursue it. For Jehovah's eyes are upon the righteous."
25 As ordained ministers before Jehovah God, Jehovah's witnesses will carry out His will. "In fact, to this course you were called, because even Christ suffered for you, leaving you a model for you to follow his steps closely. He committed no sin, nor was deceit found in his mouth. When he was being reviled, he did not go to reviling in return. When he was suffering, he did not go to threatening, but kept on committing himself to the one who judges righteously." (1 Pet. 2:21-23) To him also his ordained ministers commit themselves in ever doing right.
Pages 18-19 (of the same Issue):
The Peace and Unity of Jehovah's Witnesses
TO DO the right thing always brings satisfaction and an inward peace. The doers of Jehovah's will know that "abun dan t peace belongs to those loving your law, and for them there is no stumbling block." (Ps. 119:165) This is certainly true concerning Jehovah's witnesses, who live together in peace and unity world-wide. As ordained ministers they recognize that loving Jehovah's law and abiding by it are essential to peace and happiness in life. Seeking peace and pursuing it is the wise course, and one can be confident that Jehovah's eyes will be upon him.
2 While many men do not recognize or believe that real satisfaction in living can come from doing Jehovah's will, yet others rejoice to learn what the will of God is and then do it. The Bible informs us that the angels listen to the voice of his word. Should not we humans? "Jehovah himself has firmly established his throne in the very heavens, and his own kingship has held domination even over everything. Bless Jehovah, O you angels of his, mighty in power, carrying out his word, by listening to the voice of his word. Bless Jehovah, all you armies of his, you ministers of his, doing his will."-Ps. 103:19-21.
3 Surely the angels of heaven in Jehovah's organization are not obstinate. Rather, they appreciate Jehovah's sovereignty over everything and that his will is done. Furthermore, "you ministers of his," Jehovah's ordained ministers on earth, must recognize that Jehovah is the Sovereign Ruler and that you, too, must be "doing his will." His will is for you to preach this good news of the Kingdom in all the world for the purpose of a witness.
4 Without question, Jehovah God has a visible and invisible organization. As to Jehovah's visible organization the apostle Paul says that it will work together as one man. No one individual can claim really to be a Christian and still say that he is not needed in God's organization and separate himself from it. Isolationism does not fit in with the doing of Jehovah's will. Paul had this fact very clearly in mind when he wrote to the Corinthians, saying: "If the foot should say: 'Because I am not a hand, I am no part of the body,' it is not for this reason no part of the body. And if the ear should say: 'Because I am not an eye, I am no part of the body,' it is not for this reason no part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If it were all hearing, where would the s mel ling be? But now God has set the members in the body, each one of them, just as he pleased." (1 Cor. 12:15-18) So all Christians must be in this body or the one organization that God is using. There is no isolationism in your own body, is there?
One who professes to be a Christian must always be part of Jehovah's visible
organization. He must always be a "working part" of the body, not
dead tissue and waste or useless matter, which are cast off through the proper
channels. To be a part of this Christian body one must always be a full-time
minister, "listening to the voice of his Word" and "doing his
will." No Christian can ever say to another Christian, "I have no
need of you." Only peace and unity, oneness in organization, must exist
for Christians to be really doing the will of God. Paul went on to describe
this oneness of Christians: "The eye cannot say to the hand: 'I have no
need of you'; or, again, the head cannot say to the feet: 'I have no need of
you.'" (1 Cor. 12:21) Jehovah's witnesses recognize this principle and
that is why there are no divisions in the New
World society of
Jehovah's witnesses. All of them together are his ordained ministers and individually
they must live as Christians. All of them have an obligation to preach the good
news and around the world they do just that.
The Watchtower, May 1, 1959 Issue, Page 275:
The outstanding feature of the graduation, which took place February 15, 19
was the powerful discourse by N. H. Knorr, president of the School as well as
of the Watch Tower Society, on the subject "Ordained Ministers-Before God
or Before the Nations of the World?" He pointed out that regardless of
what worldly nations may think or do, what really matters is having God's recognition
and approval as ministers. Forcefully he developed the theme that every dedicated
and baptized Christian is a full-time minister, even though secular work may
greatly limit his preaching activity. Such secular work is merely engaged in
to pay the expenses of the ministry, as it were.