The Higher Powers/The Church

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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