The Higher Powers/Citizenship

From En JW United
Jump to navigation Jump to search


JUNE 1, 1929
hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him." (John 17:2) "The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: and hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man." (John 5:22,27) These scriptures prove that Christ Jesus is the "higher power" and that Jehovah is the highest or supreme power. "The higher powers" may therefore be applied to both Jehovah and Jesus, because Christ Jesus always carries out the order of his Father.
14 Concerning the Lord Jesus Christ the apostle wrote: "Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him." (1 Pet. 3:22) Manifestly this text does not include the Gentile nations, powers and authorities of the earth, for the reason that at that time it was not God's due time to make the enemy organization the footstool of the Lord. (Ps. 110:1) The words of the apostle must therefore mean that every creature in God's organization must be subject to Christ Jesus, the Prince, or Ruler, or Head over God's organization. In support of this conclusion Jesus stated that the power of judgment had been committed unto him, with the authority to execute the judgment. That judgment has particular reference to the organization of Jehovah, as it is written: "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." (2 Cor. 5:10) "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God; and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" (1 Pet. 4:17) These scriptures show that Jesus Christ is the higher power, which power is always exercised in harmony with Jehovah, the Supreme One.

15 The church, made up of the members of the body of Christ, is of God's organization, with Christ Jesus as the Head thereof. "And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence." (Col. 1:18) Furthermore, the apostle, relative to Christ Jesus, says, "And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." - Eph. 1: 19-23.
16 Christ Jesus, acting under the authority granted to him, organized the church. (Matt. 16:18) Since all things are from the Father, and all things are by the Son, we must understand that Jesus Christ is the executive officer of Jehovah in all things. Then says the apostle: "God hath set the members every one in the body as it hath pleased him." The proof is therefore conclusive that the church is of God's organization. (1 Cor. 1:2; 11:22; 2 Cor. 1:1) The church is composed of many members, assigned to different positions in the church. It is through Christ, the Head of the church, that the members thereof have access to the Father. The organization is one building of God, with the apostles of Jesus Christ holding important positions therein under Christ Jesus the Head thereof. - Eph. 2:19-22.

17 That Christ Jesus conferred power upon his apostles, there can not be the slightest doubt. Unto Peter he said: "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Matt. 16:19) After his resurrection Jesus said to his disciples: "Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the holy spirit: whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. "-John 20:21-23.
18 Furthermore, the Scriptures show that the apostle exercised power conferred upon him by the Lord and in so doing he had the Lord's approval when he pronounced judgment upon Ananias and Sapphira. (Acts 5:11,12) Others committed offenses in the church, and Paul, although absent, exercised his power and authority in judging the offenders. (1 Cor. 5:1-5) That the ecclesia shall properly take action in judging certain offenders is proven by the words of Jesus. - Matt. 18:15-18.

19 A man is subject to the laws of the nation of which he is a citizen. He is therefore the subject of that nation. A citizen of the United States is subject to the laws of the United States. If that citizen of the United States is in Italy he is still subject to the laws of the United States, the land of his citizenship. Since the scripture under consideration is addressed to the anointed sons of God, the inquiry is pertinent: Where is the citizenship of the son of God? The apostle Paul answers that question and plainly declares that the members of the body of Christ on earth have their citizenship in heaven. "For our citizenship is in heaven; whence also we wait for a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ." - Phil. 3:20, R.V.
20 It appearing that Paul (Rom. 13) is addressing


his words to the new creation, and the citizenship of such being in heaven, then, by all known processes of proper reasoning, his words must mean that these members of the new creation are subjects of God and must be obedient to the laws of God. Whether or not the thirteenth chapter of Romans has any reference to the laws of the nations of earth, without any question of doubt the apostle's words there do apply to God's organization, because addressed to members of that organization. In this and a subsequent issue of The Watch Tower consideration is given to the scripture in question as applying to God's organization and the higher powers thereof and what relation (if any) it has to the powers exercised by the Gentile nations or governments of the world.

21 The organization of Jehovah is of far greater importance than any other organization. It is to his organization that the words of the apostle are addressed. Everything in God's organization must be orderly; because he is the God of order, and not of confusion. The same rule applies to his church: "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints." - 1 Cor. 14:33.
22 By his prophet God gave a word-picture of his organization. Four living creatures appeared in a vision given to his prophet, and it is written that "every one had four faces, and everyone had four wings.... they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward". The vision then discloses a wheel beside each one of the living creatures. The description in the vision proceeds as follows: "The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl; and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel. When they went, they went upon their four sides: and they turned not when they went. And when the living creatures went, the wheels went by them: and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up. When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels. And under the firmament were their wings straight, the one toward the other: everyone had two, which covered on this side, and every one had two, which covered on that side, their bodies. And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty, the voice of speech, as the noise of an host: when they stood, they let down their wings." - Ezek. 1:16,17,19,21,23,24.
23 The vision thus gives a description of God's organization under the firmament. Then it proceeds with the further description, to wit: "And above the firmament
that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about." - Ezek. 1:26,27.
24 This is a marvelous picture of God's organization: made up of Jesus Christ in glory, the risen members of his body in glory, the legions of holy angels, and on earth the faithful remnant; and above all is the Almighty God. The prophetic picture discloses that everything in God's organization must move exactly in order, and therefore in harmony with the supreme power, which is Jehovah, and in harmony with the higher power, which is Christ. That which governs the entire organization is God's perfect law. - Ezek. 1:5-28.
25 The Lord having come to his temple, and Zion being assembled and given a specific work to do, there must be exact harmony and unity of his organization. The members of Zion on the other side of the vail are perfect. The small number of those who are on this side are imperfect in their organism, but must be perfect in their devotion to Jehovah and his organization; which means that each one must be perfect in heart. That part of Zion on earth is a unit of the organization of Jehovah. Every soul that is a member of Zion must be in harmony with the Head, and therefore subject to the Head and to Jehovah, "the higher powers." What then constitutes Zion on earth? The right appreciation of the correct answer to this question will enable the anointed to keep in harmony with the Lord's way. The correct answer is this: All of God's anointed on earth.
26 There is on the earth a company claiming to be the "servant of the Most High" and often spoken of as "the Society". What is the "Society", as generally understood by Watch Tower readers? The answer is, All of God's anointed children on earth who are working harmoniously together to the glory of God and of Christ Jesus. If one is anointed by the spirit of Jehovah he is now a member of Zion, and if he would maintain his standing in Zion he must be in exact harmony with the course of action Zion is taking.
27 Christ Jesus is the great Head of Zion and is directing the work on earth, and he makes no mistakes. But how about those who hold positions of responsibility in the "Society", and through whom direction concerning the work on earth is given? Do any of these make mistakes? Yes, to be sure they do, because they are all imperfect. How then may others of the Society know whether or not the direction for the work of God's organization on earth is being given