The Higher Powers/Order in God's Organization

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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


JUNE 1, 1929
according to God's law? They could not know except by faith and by the fruits of those who are actually engaged in the work of the Lord. Jesus said: "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." - Matt. 7:20, 21.
28 If, therefore, we find one who is devoted to the Lord and is bending his efforts to do what the Lord has assigned him to do, and is faithful and true to the Lord and not compromising with the enemy, and who has the Lord's manifest blessings upon his efforts, then his fruits are being manifested and such is proof that he is pleasing to the Lord and going in the right way. (John 15:8) If one is being used of the Lord in harmony with his Word, that is tho evidence that his course of action is pleasing to the Lord. Being imperfect, such will make mistakes, but each one who has faith in the Lord will leave it to the Lord to do the chastening and the correction and to rectify the mistakes. (Heb. 12:6; Rom. 8:33) This same rule, because it is the Lord's rule, must apply to all who are in the "Society". If the "Society" is pursuing the wrong course or policy, then all of God's people must depend upon the Lord to correct that policy and change it into the right one. It is not the prerogative of any individual to set himself up as the judge to take action and oppose the work of the Lord. "Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. "-Rom. 14:4.
29 If Romans the thirteenth chapter applies to the church, does that mean that the elders and deacons have authority to do judging and to determine the course or policy of the church? No, certainly not. The elders are the advisers or counselors in the ecclesia and have no jurisdiction to act except within the scope of the authority conferred upon them by the Scriptures. The deacons are servants in the church and possess no authority other than that conferred by the Scriptures. The Scriptures do not confer authority upon elders or deacons to judge or determine the course of action of the ecclesia. If there is disorder in the church the ecclesia, composed of those who are God's children, may take certain action. The Lord himself laid down the code of procedure. - Matt. 18:15-18.
29 The church as a body has jurisdiction to hear and determine matters relating to those who are members of the body; but no individual has been clothed with such power or authority, aside from the twelve apostles, who were clothed with special authority from the Lord. If Romans thirteen has any application to the powers in the world, with much stronger reasoning must it apply to the church, because it is addressed to those who are in God's family. Consider now the apostle's instructions verse by verse.

31 "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God." (Verse 1) At once the question arises, To what shall God's people be subject? It is written: "And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all." (1 Cor. 15:28) This scripture really answers the question. This proves that the higher powers are Christ Jesus and Jehovah and that the supreme power is Jehovah God. The apostle uses the husband and wife to picture Christ and the church, and by his argument he shows that the church is subject to Christ: "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing." (Eph. 5:23,24) The inspired testimony of James supports this conclusion: "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded." (Jas. 4:7,8) These scriptures show beyond a doubt that the anointed can be pleasing to God only by an undivided and complete devotion to him. The apostle could not mean that the "higher powers" are the Gentile powers. It is not possible that these are higher than and have control over God's arrangement of his own people.
32 The apostle says: "The powers that be are ordained of [arranged under, Diaglott] God." Can this be properly applied to the Gentile powers on earth and not applied to the church? The words of the apostle are in answer to that question: "But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And God hath set some in the church; first, apostles; secondarily, prophets; thirdly, teachers; after that, miracles; then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues." (1 Cor. 12:18,28) Those who have insisted that the apostle referred exclusively to the Gentile powers when he said, "The powers that be are ordained of God," cite in support thereof the words of Peter, to wit: "Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man [human creation, Greek] for the Lord's sake; whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well." A careful examination of this text shows that it does not apply to the powers exercised by the Gentile governments.
33 The phrase "ordinance of man" in the above text means "human creation". How then could it be said that any ordinance of the church is of human creation? When the man Christ Jesus appointed the apostles and sent them forth as leaders and governors