PuBLIS:ElED SEMIMONTHLY By
WATCH TOWER BIBLE b TRACT SOCIETY
117 Adams Street
Brooklyn 1, N.Y., U.S .A .
N. n . KNORR, President
GlUNT SUITER, Secretary
"And All thy children shall be tau~ht of Jehovah; and
~reat shall be the peace of thy children." • JUlian 54:T,J.
THE BIBLE CLEARLY TEACHES
THAT JEHOVAH is the only true God, from everlasting to
everlastlng, and Is the Maker of hpaven and earth and Giver of
life to his creatures; that the Word or Logos was the beginning
of his creation and his active agent in creating all other things;
and that the creature Lucifer rebelled against Jehovah and raised
the Issue of HIs universal sovereignty;
THAT GOD created the earth for man, made perfect man for
the earth and placed him upon It; that man yielded to unfaithful
Lucifer, or Satan, and wlllfully dlsobe~'ed God's iaw and was
sentenced to death; that by reaSOD of Adam's wrong act all men
are born sinners and without the right to llfe;
THAT THE LOGOS was made human as the man Jesus and suf·
fered death In order to produce the ransom or redemptive price for
obedient men; that God raised up Christ Jesus divine and exalted
him to heaven above every other creature and clothed him With all
power and authority as head of God's new capital organizatlon;
THAT GOD'S CAPITAL ORGANIZATION is a Theocracy called
Zion, Elnd that Christ Jesus Is the Chief Officer thereof and is the
rlghtfui King of the new world; that the faithful anointed
followers of Christ Jesus are Zion's children, members of Jehovuh's
organization, and are His witnesses whose duty and privilege it
is to testify to Jehovah's supremacy and declare his purposes
toward llianklnd as expressed in the Bible;
THA.T THE OLD WORLD, or Satan's uninterrupted rule, ended
A.D. 1914, and Christ Jesus has been placed by Jehovah upon the
throne, has ousted Satan from heaven, and now proceeds to
vindicate His name and establish the "new earth";
THAT THE RELIEF and blesslDgs of the peoples can come only
by Jeho'ah's kingdom under Christ, which has begun; that His
next great act is to destroy Satan's organization and establish
righteousness completel3' in the earth; and that under the Kingdom
the people of good-wlll surviving Armageddon wll1 carry out the
divine mandate to "fill the earth" with righteous offspring, anll
that the human dead in the graves will be raIsed to opportunities
of life on earth.
FOR THE FAITH" TESTIMO~Y PERIOD
The best way to contend and put up a defense for something
is to advance it. That is what Jehovah's witnesses will do WIth
the faith of God's kingdom during June. Appropriately tillS month
has been termed "Contending for the Faith" Testimony Period,
and the aggreSSIve weapons to be specially used from house to
house and on all suitable <>ccasions will be the three latest bound
books published by the Watchtower Society together with the
booklet The Kingdom Hope of All :Mankind. This combination
will be offered the people as a special combination on a contribu-
tion of $1.00, American money, The worsening world situation,
with the hosts of atheism, disbelief and immorality steadily making
greater inroads, calls for our unceasing !Lnd courageous conten-
tion for the faith once for all deli"ered to the saints. We who
have it should help others get it and become able to contend for
it and put the enemy to flight. Watchtower readers, will you join
us in tliis during June' Communicate now wlth us if you need
instructions and references to be able to be at the side of other
faithful warriors contending shoulder to shoulder. A report' Yes,
we are interested to have ;you submit one showing the good fight
you have put up.
"WA TC HT OW ER " STUDIES
Week of June 5: "Woman,"
'f 1-19 inclusive, The Watchtower May 1, 1949.
Week of June 12: "Woman's Place in the Congregation,"
'f 1-16 inclusive, The Watchtower May 1, 1949.
Week of June 19 : "Woman's Place in the Congregation,"
~ 17-33 inclusive, The Watchtower May 1, 1949.
THIS journal Is published for the purpose of enabltng the
people to know Jehovah God and his purposes as expressed
in the Bible. It publishes Bible instruction specifically
designed to aid Jehovah's witnesses and all people of good-wllL
It arranges systematic Bible study tor its readers and the Society
supplies other literature to aid in such studlel!. It publlshes
suitable material for radio broadcasting and for other means
of public instruction in the Scriptures.
It adheres strictly to the Bible as authority tor its utterances.
It is entirely free and separate from all religion, parties, sects or
other worldly organizations. It is wbolly and without reservation
for the kingdom of Jehovah God under Christ his beloved King,
It is not dogmatic, but invites careful and critical examination
of Its contents in the light of the Scriptures. It does not Indulge
in controversy, and its colullins are not open to personalities.
Notice to SlIll.Grill",..: Rem~ttancu shOUld be aent to ollies In your
country In compliance 'WIth regulations to guarantee efe dell'er)' of
moner. Remittances are accepted at Brooklyn from countries wbere no
olllce Is located, by International money order only. Subscription rate. In
different countries are stated below In loeal currency. Notice 01 erph atlo"
(With renewal blank) la sent at least two Isaues before aubscrlptlon
expires. Change 0/ addre.. when sent to our olllee may be expected
etreetlve within one month. Send your old as well u new address.
Please address the Watch Tower Society In every ease.
Yearly Subscription Rate
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Translations ot tb18 journal appear In many languaies.
A.LL SINCERE STUDENTS OF THE BIBLE who by reason of In·
firmlty, poyerty or adversity are unable to pay the subscnptlon prJce may
haye The WatchtolOer free upon written application to the publishers,
made once each year, statlUg the reason for so requesting It. e are
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Is required by the postal regulations.
Printed In the United States ot America
. ec ond·clas, maHer at the POBt olflce at Brookllln, N. Y.,
under the A.ct 01 March S, 1879.
INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION IN 1950
The Watchtower magazine takes great pleasure In announcing
that the 1950 International Convention of Jehovah's WItnesses
will be held in New York city beginning Sunday, July 30, 1950.
The convention will be of eight days' duration, ending Sunday,
August 6, 1950. A cordial invitation is extended to the lV atchtower
readers in every nation and to all of Jehovah's witnesses through·
out the world to come to this Christian assembly. Early announce-
ment is made now so that all persons of good.will can begin
making plans to be in New York city on these dates. Those
coming from foreign countries will have to book passage on
airlines and steamships well in advance because usually there is
heavy traffic at that season of the year. Such will also require
visas, and it is suggested that they contact the local Branch offices
of the Watch Tower Society for information or assistance in thiS
regard. The Society wishes to help everyone in tws way If he
wishes to attend the convention.
By the Lord's grace, this assembly of Jehovah's witnesses ~ll
be outstanding. Arrangements will be made to have representatives
come from most of the Society's Branch offices.
Probably many persons from foreign lands will want to travel
in parties, and it would be well for anyone coming to the conven-
tion from other countries to notify the Branch office If he wishes
to travel in company with other delegates from his own country.
Parties can be arranged and probably the accommodations will be
obtainable from the same transportation company. Now IS the
(Continued on page 144)
Announcing Jehovah's Kingdom
"A gracious woman wins respect." -Prov. 11: 16, An Amer. Trans."
JEHOVAH God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof:
and the rib, which Jehovah God had taken from the man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man." So reads the simple account of the creation of womankind, at Genesis 2:21, 22, American Standard Version. Jehovah made woman and gave her to man. She was out of the man, and she belonged to him. When se was introduced to man, he said: "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman [Hebrew: Ishshah], because she was taken out of Man [Hebrew: Ish]." The man therefore accepted her as his wife and took her under his care, recognizing her as his own flesh and so giving her the same attention as his own flesh. -- Gen. 2: 23, 24.
The Creator knew the purpose for which he made woman, and this divine purpose determined the woman's relationship to the man. That man's appreciation of her might be full and proper, God let him know that man was alone of his kind and that he needed a counterpart, a helper. As the account says: "And Yahweh God said, It is not good that the man should remain alone, --I will make for him a helper as his counterpart. Now Yahweh God had formed from the ground every living thing of the field and every bird of the heavens, which he brought in unto the man, that he might see what he should call it, -- and whatsoever the man should call it -- any living soul, that should be the name thereof. So the man gave names to all the tame-beasts and to the birds of the heavens, and to all the wild-beasts of the field, --but for man had there not been found a helper as his counterpart." So the Creator made woman to fill a certain relationship to man. (Gen. 2: 18 - 22, Rotherham) To this end he built her a certain way. Her body structure in itself indicated how she was to serve as his counterpart, in a helpful way. Consequently God did not leave her alone, but he made the day of her creation her weeding day. She had been taken from man's side, and by man's side she belonged as his helper. Being built up from a rib under
his arm, she was a close helper for the stronger man to love, guide and care for as part of him.
God gave precedence to man by the time-order of his creation. The Jewish-Christian writer Paul gives due weight to this fact, saying: "For Adam was formed first, and then Eve." (1 Tim. 2: 13, An Amer. Trans.) The man already had responsibility toward the lower animals, but when God gave him a wife, an additional responsibility came upon the man, this time toward a creature like him, a woman. He could not shift the burden of this responsibility which the Creator had put upon him as the man of the married couple. No, he must answer to God as to how he took care of this responsibility. He must honor the position in which God placed him. Correspondingly, the woman was brought under and obligation when she was given to man. She could be a real assistant to him. As to how she met her obligation for which she had been created, she, too, must answer to God. "For," says Paul, "man was not made from woman, but woman from man, and man was not created for woman, but woman was for man." --1 Cor. 11: 8, 9, An Amer. Trans.
To have the divine approval, each of the couple must harmonize with the divine arrangement and do so gladly and with gratitude. Then there would be no friction between them, but joyous companionship. God did not create them for tension to exists between the as opposites. He made them to fit into each other's lives, for their mutual benefit and to the glory and pleasure of their Maker. That called for love between them. God made them to love each other and thus to serve each other, each one respecting the other's position. Together, they must love God, keeping his commands and fulfilling the divine mandate he gave them: "Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the domestic animals, and all the living things that crawl on the earth!" --Gen. 1: 28, An Amer. Trans.
What would have resulted had that first human pair kept loving their Creator and loving each other? The divine mandate would by now be nearly fulfilled
and the earth would be teeming with perfect men and women, living in blissful wedlock and with children born in righteousness and perfection. Sin and death would not now be the inheritance of such children
from birth. Wherever people dwelt, there paradise would be, or the process of converting their land to a part of paradise would be under way. The fear of mankind would be upon all the lower animals, and these would yield to the dominion of man as their recognized master.
Responsibility for this desirable condition's failing to be true on earth today God's Word lays at the feet of the proper one. No; not at the feet of the woman. True, she was the first on earth to yield to the tempter and to disobey God and thus sin. But sin could not pass to all humankind by Eve alone as a sinner. Why not? Because the woman could not of herself give life to children. God had not constructed woman that way. He made her to provide the fleshly body for offspring and to nurse them. But to the man it was that God gave the power to impart the sperm of life to his offspring which he could have by woman. It was therefore only the man Adam that could cause sin and death to pass down to all his offspring. How? By choosing the way of sin before ever becoming their father. Suppose Adam used the deceived and sinful Eve as his wife to mother the children he wanted. Yet if he refrained from sin, his offspring would not necessarily be shaped in iniquity and born in sin because of being born from Eve. Jesus was born from the Jewess Mary under the Mosaic law which condemned her and all Jews as sinners. Still he was not born a sinner, condemned to die. (Gal. 4: 4, 5) No, it was not the condition of the mother, but that of the father, which determined whether the offspring would be free from imperfection, sin and
condemnation to death. What, then, if Adam joined his wife Eve in sinful disobedience to God and came under the death sentence and, after that, became father to our race? Why, he would cause sin and death to spread to all his offspring.
Hence the state of the future race lay, not with the woman, but with the man. To the man, not to the woman, the Bible charges the responsibility, saying: "Through one man sin came into the world, and death followed sin, and so death spread to all men, because all men sinned." "For since it was through a man that we have death, it is through a man also that we have the raising of the dead. For just as because of their relation to Adam all men die, so because of their relation to Christ they will all be brought to life again." (Rom. 5: 12 and 1 Cor. 15: 21, 22, An Amer. Trans.) It was not because Adam was deceived by the tempter, as his wife Eve had been. It was because of willful selfishness that Adam broke God's law and took the way that brought sin to a world of people
and consequently death. For this reason divine justice, if it was to release Adam's offspring from the condemnation and death they inherited, must demand that another perfect man like the original Adam die for them to cancel the penalty. That is what Jesus Christ did, being born, indeed, of an imperfect Jewish virgin, but with the perfect Life-giver, Jehovah God, as his Father, not Adam.
When explaining to God why she ate the forbidden fruit, the woman said: "It was the serpent that misled me, and so I ate it." Did God her Judge excuse her for being deceived and did he overlook her running ahead of her husband, eating, and then speaking to him to induce him to eat? We can judge from the divine sentence. "To the woman he said, 'I will make your pain at child-birth very great; in pain shall you bear children; and yet you shall be devoted to your husband, while he shall rule over you.' And
to the man he said, 'Because you followed your wife's suggestions, and ate from the tree from which I commanded you not to eat, Cursed shall be the ground through you, in suffering shall you gain your living from it as long as you live; ... By the sweat of your brow shall you earn your living, until you return to the ground, since it was from it that you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you must return.'" -Gen. 3: 13, 16-19, An Amer. Trans.
For Adam and Eve and their offspring that meant the loss of the paradise garden. To the woman it also meant painful childbearing. At the same time the man she would cleave to as husband would rule and act the master over her in a way that Adam would never have done had they remained innocent and perfect in the paradise of Eden. This has meant for the woman not only suffering as a mother but also much unjust suffering at the hands of the man. He has often exercised an oppressive rule over her and displayed his mastery in a tyrannical way. But what about the woman's seed who is to bruise the Serpent's head? (Gen. 3: 15) Would its birth and the introduction of Christianity result in any relief from man's rule and mastery over the weaker human vessel? We shall see.
In answer to the Devil's challenge, God let Adam and Eve live to bring forth children outside of Eden. This was in order to test the faith of their children in God and to prove the integrity of these children toward God in the midst of a world of temptation under the invisible rule of the great tempter, the deceptive Serpent Satan the Devil. Those showing faith and keeping their integrity toward God would please him. These would provide a strain of the human family to which the Deliverer, the Seed of
May 1, 1949
God's woman, could attach himself and be born as a man and become the Savior Jesus Christ. What kind of wife Eve was to Adam outside of the garden of Eden we have no details to show. In Eden she had departed from being a real help to him. She used her influence to his downfall, by not recognizing his priority of position but deciding her course without first consulting him as the one who had been given God's law and by then influencing her husband to join her in disobedience. As the proverb says: "A
good wife is an honour to her husband: a shameless wife rots all his strength away." (Prov. 12: 4, Moffatt) By her course Eve did not retain honor or win respect for herself. The rule of action that she followed both toward God and toward man made her like a cancer in the man's bones. It is against this same rule of action that her daughters must guard if they do not want to fail of gaining everlasting life that God has opened up for humankind through the Seed of his woman.
In keeping with the Creator's original purpose in providing woman, her effort should always be to help man. But noting her place in God's arrangement and nothing the influence she wields with man, Satan the Devil has made it his business to use her in influencing man to depart from obedience to Jehovah God. Many women with a fear of God and with faith in the wisdom of his arrangements have nobly resisted the crafty effort of the Serpent to use them wrongly to man's hurt. These have gained respect of God-fearing men, and God's Holy Record mentions a number of them with honor. In God's arrangement or human relations, woman's may be a secondary place; hers may be a subordinate role, but as a wife, mother, sister, daughter, she has been privileged to wield a quiet, modest influence that has been powerful with man for good.
The apostle Paul writes: "A man ought not to wear anything on his head, for he is the image of God and reflects his glory"; and that is why God dealt primarily with men and why his written Word relegates womankind to the background and brings comparatively few of them individually to view. But those who have shown humble respect for the
arrangements of the Most High God he, in his turn, has respected. Thus, by being submissive, trustful, and anxious to do their part within the sphere that God prescribed for them, they have gained more of God's favor and man's wholesome respect than if they had tried to assert themselves and to take the lead and force themselves into notice and into the commanding position. They have realistically considered their sex and what God's Word has to say regarding it. Without complaining at the inferior role they have been assigned to play, they have made the most of their situation to work with the male
servants of God. Thus they have pleased God and not gotten in the way of his good purpose. So he has been pleased to use them in an honorable way.
Abraham's wife Sarah is the first one after Eve to be set forth by name as a right example to the daughters of Eve. Sarah did not rebel against her husband's being head over her because he was the man, did she? She did not feel deprived of rights and so, feeling injured, refuse to lend him her help in serving Jehovah's purposes, did she? To ask these questions is to answer them. Now, Sarah's husband believed. But a woman who believes and who wants to help her unbelieving husband get the Kingdom
truth is under a great handicap if she is forbidden to preach the truth to him or to discuss it with him. Yet she still has a way of influencing him and possibly winning him to the truth. How? By a proper subjection to him as her man and also by letting her faithful Christian conduct speak for itself. By submission, sometimes even under an injustice, she would not hinder or prejudice her husband against accepting the truth. The apostle Peter is talking about the merit of suffering unjustly according to God's will when he discusses women with unbelieving husbands to show the silent influence they can exercise, and then uses Sarah as an example of faithful and helpful submission, saying:
"For when Christ suffered for you, he left you an example, and you must be following his footsteps. In the same way, you wives must be submissive to your husbands, so that even those who will not believe the Word may be won over without a word by the behavior of their wives, when they see how chaste and reverent you are. You are not to adorn yourselves on the outside with braids of hair and ornaments of gold and changes of dress, but inside, in the heart, with the immortal beauty of a gentle, modest spirit, which in the sight of God is of rare value. It was in this way that the holy women who long ago hoped in God adorned themselves. They
were submissive to their husbands. Thus Sara obeyed Abraham by calling him 'lord'. And you are daughters of Sara, if you do what is right and yield to no panic."-l Pet. 2: 21 and 3: 1-6, Moffatt.
Now a woman who has to suffer at the hands of her unbelieving mate because of her devotion to God and his kingdom can return his evil with good and be truly a good wife by helping him to the truth. Certainly, then, a woman can be helpful to a believing husband all the more. Such a woman is a precious possession for a married man to have. King Lemuel
gives a beautiful description of such a wife. He tells how she, in submission to God's judgment that man
should thereafter have the rule over the woman, fulfills the good purpose for which God gave woman to man. Various translations render the opening words of King Lemuel's description of her in various ways: "Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies." (Prov. 31: 10) "A worthy woman who can find? for her price is far above rubies." (Am. Stan. Ver.) This shows she is hard to find and is a rare occurrence; and here King Lemuel was talking about the chosen people of Israel in covenant relationship with Jehovah God. Yes, "a rare find is an able wife-she is worth far more than rubies!" (Moffatt) This fact should bestir the married women who today are Christians fully consecrated to God to be all the more such a kind of wife. An American Translation gives the description
of her as follows:
"If one can find a good wife, she is worth far more than corals. Her husband puts his trust in her, and finds no lack of gain. She brings him good, and not harm, all the days of his life. She sorts out wool and flax, and works it up as she wills. She is like the ships of the merchant, she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is still night, and gives her house-hold food, with a portion for her maidens. She examines a field, and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard. She girds her loins with strength, and she makes her arms strong. She perceives that her work is profitable, so her lamp goes not out at night. She lays her hand on the distaff, her fingers grasp the spindle. She stretches her hand to the poor, she extends her arms to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household; for her household are all clothed in scarlet. She makes coverlets for herself, her clothing is linen and purple. Her husband is
known at the gates, as he sits among the elders of the land.
"She makes linen vests, and sells them, she supplies the merchants with girdles. She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs at the days to come. She opens her mouth in wisdom, and kindly counsel is on her tongue. She looks well after her household, and eats not the bread of idleness. Her children rise up, and bless her-her husband also,
and praises her: 'Many women have done well, but you have excelled them all.' Charms are deceptive,
and beauty is a breath; but a woman who reveres the LORD-she will be praised. Give her the due reward of her work; and let her deeds bring her praise at the gates."-Prov. 31: 10-31.
That entire description is a study in itself, and we are tempted to dwell upon it. Note that this woman who fears Jehovah (verse 30) is trustworthy. Her husband may depend upon her and never lose out by it. She is anxious to be of profit to him, materially, but especially spiritually. It is not just because she loves him but also because she fears Jehovah and wants to honor Him and serve His purpose. Hence, when her husband appears in public and takes his place among other men of note or prominence, he has nothing to be ashamed of on her account. She aids him in keeping his respectability. She knows he has his responsibilities. So she must take care of the responsibilities that fall to woman as a wife and mother. She does not try to pry into matters which he must hold confidential with men who are his clients or with whom he does business, but she respects the sanctity with which he conducts his affairs in faithfulness to outsiders relying upon him. She is not lazy, but if her work requires she is up before daylight and up late after nightfall and resorting to artificial light in order to see. While trusting in Jehovah, she is provident for the future;
and rather than depend upon the charity of others, she seeks to be able to show generosity to the poor.
While her children do not, in foolish sentiment, institute such a thing as an annual Mother's Day to idolize her, they do appreciate the faithful services of a God-fearing mother. So every day they try to carry out the divine commandment: "Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth." (Eph. 6: 1-3; Ex. 20: 12) Likewise her husband gives her praise, as her just due and to encourage her, for, whether she is possessed with outward charms and natural beauty or not, to him she is better than any other woman he knows. She has brains and, best of all,
loyalty and the fear of God. This is a worthy woman.
WOMAN'S PLACE IN THE CONGREGATION
THE station of a wife is indeed a privilege. It was the station originally meant for all females as indicated in the divine mandate to Adam and Eve in Eden: "Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth." But the married estate is not in itself, under the present evil circumstances, the ideal state of woman,
now when the great test of serving God under difficulties and opposition is on, and it is a special privilege to be able to serve him in direct ways. The apostle Paul, while advising marriage in some cases, sets a more idealistic state before his Christian sisters when he says: "An unmarried woman or a girl is concerned about the Lord's work, so as to be
May 1m 1949
consecrated in body and spirit, but the woman who marries is concerned with worldly affairs, and how she can please her husband. A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. If her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she pleases so long as he is a Christian. But she will be happier, in my judgment, if she remains as she is." -l Cor. 7: 34, 39,40, An Amer. Trans.
In singleness a girl or a widow can be just as fully occupied with good things to do as her married Christian sister, provided she occupies her body, mind and spirit in God's direct service. In the congregation of ancient Israel woman's position was an inferior one and there were limitations placed upon what she might take up as her occupation. Nonetheless, her position was far freer and more protected than that of pagan women who were not under the Theocratic law of Moses. Certainly, though, when Christianity came in, it lifted the position of women and enlarged their sphere of action more than anything else till then. - Gal. 5: l.
Priests, Levites, kings in the nation of Israel? A woman could never hope to fill any of those positions. Priesthood was strictly for male members of the family of Aaron, and there were no such things as priestesses. The Levitical service at the temple was also confined to the males, those of the tribe of Levi. Likewise, the royal throne was reserved by Jehovah's kingdom covenant with David to the male members of the lineage of David. (Ex. 28: 1-3, 43; Num. 3: 1-10; 2 Sam. 7: 1-17) Womankind could be only unofficial mothers and wives to these officials. But in the Theocratic congregation of Christians, women no less than men made up part of the holy nation to whom the priestly and royal promises were made. They were among the ones addressed when the apostle Peter wrote his fellow Christians and said: "Ye are an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that ye may show forth the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light." For in the same
epistle the apostle addresses the wives and tells the husbands to be "giving honor unto the woman, as unto the weaker vessel, as being also joint-heirs of the grace of life". -l Pet. 2: 9 and 3: 1-7, Am. Stan. Ver.
Think of the equalization between men and women that it meant before God when he inspired his apostle to write to Christians to say: "But now that faith has come, we are no longer in the charge of the attendant. For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through your faith. For all of you who have been baptized into union with Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no room for 'Jew' and 'Greek'; there is no room for 'slave' and 'free-
man'; there is no room for 'male' and 'female'; for in union with Christ Jesus you are all one. And if you belong to Christ, then you are true descendants of Abraham and his heirs under the promise." -Gal. 3: 25-29, An Amer. Trans.
To the female as well as the male was allowed the privilege of accepting the true faith and of devoting oneself entirely to God and thereby being baptized into union with Jesus Christ. That meant becoming a
son of God, a part of the "seed of Abraham" and an heir of God's promise. To the female believer as well as the male were opened up the same heavenly hopes and opportunities as "heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ", to gain the "first resurrection" and to live and reign with Christ a thousand years and to be priests of God and of Christ. (Rom. 8: 16, 17; Rev. 20: 4-6) They, equally with the male Christians, are "living stones" and are built up into the spiritual house in which God dwells by his spirit, that they might offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Christ Jesus. (1 Pet. 2: 4,5, An Amer. Trans.) So they, too, may serve God in this life, copying Jesus' example, suffering reproach with him, and praising Jehovah God daily. God does not withhold his adoption and his anointing with the spirit from them.
There was no general segregation between the two sexes, but after Jesus' resurrection and ascension to heaven and down to the day of Pentecost they met together at Jerusalem. We read: "These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and "Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren. And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven ... and they were all filled with the holy [spirit], and began to speak with other tongues, as the spirit gave them utterance." (Acts 1: 14 and 2: 1-4) Thus it came about that persons of both sexes spoke under
inspiration. Likewise persons of both sexes kept on becoming believers, so that we read: "And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women." Baptism in water was no more denied to them than was baptism with the holy spirit, and the testimony to this effect says: "When they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women." (Acts 5: 14; 8: 12) The first Gentile to hear apostolic preaching in Europe and to believe was a Philippian lady named Lydia. Luke tells us that, "when she was baptized, and her household," she insisted on entertaining Paul's missionary group. (Acts 16: 14, 15, 40) In these things God and Christ were not partial to either sex.
1 There is a consistency in God's actions, so that
never does he contradict himself or clash with himself. As to spiritual opportunities in the new world, his Word holds out equal promise to faithful believers regardless of their present earthly situation. Yet
the all-wise God does not overlook the fact that Christ's followers on earth are still in the flesh and still in this world the god of which is Satan the Devil, Eve's tempter. (2 Cor. 4: -:1:) Christians are still male and female according to the flesh. If God did not take note of this sexual difference, then he would not authorize marriage among Christians or the female Christians' bearing children. But the Most High God adjusts the relationship of male to female in the best interests of both, and he assigns to them their privileges of service in his Theocratic organization.
Full faith and wisdom accepts meekly and gratefully what arrangement God makes. He is not to be found fault with over what disposition he makes of the sexes, nor is he to be blamed. Just because Eve yielded to seduction in Eden and then used her charms and influence with Adam to turn him criminal against God's law, God is not to be blamed for making woman, and man is not to take it out on woman. Jehovah God is the great Theocrat and Creator. Like a potter with his clay he has the power and
right to make out of the same lump of creative material one vessel for honorable service and another vessel for a seemingly menial service, yet useful and indispensable. Neither vessel that leaves his hands with a service assignment has the right to complain and say: "Why have you made me this way? Why do you gall me with service in this position?" That would be rebellious, untheocratic. It is an honor and favor to serve him in any position.-Rom. 9: 20-24.
It should therefore not sound as a sour note in feminine ears when the same apostle who sounds out equality for womankind with the words, "There is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus," shows that on earth there are limitations to the service privileges of female Christians. It was not an arbitrary masculine decision on his part. By inspiration he had the mind of Jehovah the Theocrat upon the matter, and he showed the reason for the restrictions placed upon his Christian sisters. He showed it was her privilege on earth to demonstrate subjection, submission, and to do this, not as a galling task, but in a Christlike spirit, and that the angels in heaven were watching. Because of Jehovah's Theocracy, the principle of headship obtains throughout the universe, and correspondingly all creatures must learn subjection according to the
divine or Theocratic will. So the apostle writes: "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." (1 Cor. 11: 3) Should this be taken as disparaging to the female sex? No; no
more than it should be taken as disparaging to the male sex or, more than that, disparaging to Christ. Certainly only Jehovah God could be without a head over him, for he is the Most High of all the universe.
Upon the basis of this Theocratic arrangement of headship and of subjection the apostle shows the attitudes that are to be taken by members of the congregation according to sex. Bear in mind that man's head is Christ Jesus and woman's head is man. as we read: "Any man who prays or prophesies with a veil on his head dishonours his head, while any woman who prays or prophesies without a veil on her head dishonours her head; she is no better than a shaven woman. If a woman will not veil herself, she should cut off her hair as well. But she ought to veil herself; for it is disgraceful that a woman should have her hair cut off or be shaven." (1 Cor. 11: 4 - 6, Moffatt) That is, in the apostle's day it was disgraceful for a woman to have her hair clipped short, or worse still, all shaved off with a razor. How so? Why, then it was the custom among the pagans of the Roman Empire for slavegirls to have their hair cropped to denote their bondage and menial position. Besides that, when a woman ,vas found guilty of immorality, either fornication or adultery, she was sentenced by the court to have her head shaved bald. The Roman Empire, and notoriously the city of Corinth to the Christians in which the apostle wrote, were very corrupt. So if a woman appeared on the streets without a veil to cover her face she was taken to be a person of low morals and of easy virtue. Hence women who were anxious to
keep their respectability never appeared in public with face exposed to everybody.
The apostle Paul had already cited a case of gross immorality in the Corinthian congregation, that of a supposed brother haying his father's wife. So Paul expressed the fear that when he visited their
congregation he might find various disorders among them and also some individuals "who sinned some time ago and yet have never repented of their impurity, their sexual vice and sensual practices". (2 Cor. 12: 20, 21, Moffatt) Since it was the custom for a woman to appear veiled in public, the apostle Paul did not wish the Christian sisters to violate that accepted rule of respectability by going to congregational meetings unveiled. If they did attend unveiled, they would build up the reputation that the women of the Corinthian congregation were low in morals. It was not a case of defying custom and giving womankind her entitled freedom to appear barefaced publicly. It was simply a case of being "all things to all men", denying ourselves, so as not
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to cause some to stumble and thus hinder the spread of the truth and the growth of the Christian congregation there. -1 Cor. 9: 19-27.
But if the woman prayed or prophesied in the general congregation of mixed attendance, there was a reason higher than popular custom for her to veil herself. It was to honor her head in God's arrangement, that is, the man. Just as it was dishonoring to the man's head, Christ Jesus, to pray or prophesy from under a veil, as when Jewish men throw a tasseled shawl or scarf called a tallith over their head when offering prayer today. Was God flattering man and tickling his conceit by this arrangement, and at the same time unreasonably humiliating the womenfolk? Not at all; but it was an arrangement for both man and woman to honor Theocratic headship. "Man," the apostle explains, "does not require to have a veil on his head, for he represents the likeness and supremacy [or, glory] of God; but woman represents the supremacy [or, glory] of man. (Man was not made from woman, woman was made from man; and man was not created for woman, but woman for man.) Therefore, in view of the angels, woman has to wear a symbol of subjection on her head." Or, "That is why she ought to wear upon her head something to symbolize her subjection, out of respect to
the angels, if to nobody else." (1 Cor. 11:7-10, Moffatt; An Amer. Trans.) When we thus have explained the reason for a practice, then we see its fitness and we willingly comply with it, out of honor to God and his Christ. We want to recognize and honor Theocratic headship.
Just who the angels here meant are, out of respect to whom our Christian sisters should submit to the above regulations, has been argued in a number of ways. But just taking what information the pure Scriptures give us, they appear to be the unseen spirit angels. These God uses as his messengers and deputies and at times in the past they materialized in flesh and appeared to mankind. That these have an interest in our congregational meetings is suggested by Ecclesiastes 5: 5, 6, reading: "Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest
vow and not pay. Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thy hands?" (Am. Stan. Ver.) Especially should this be the case now that Jehovah God has sent to the temple the "angel of the testament" or "messenger of the covenant". --Mal. 3: 1, Douay and Am. Stan. Ver.
In the same epistle the apostle Paul tells us he and his fellow apostles were "made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men". (1 Cor. 4: 9) He also tells us that the angels are "all ministering
spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation". (Heb. 1: 14) We are involved in something bigger than ourselves, and hence the apostle Peter says concerning these bigger interests: "which things the angels desire to look into." (1 Pet. 1: 12) God has chosen certain angels for special duties toward us as Christ's disciples, and the apostle Paul suggests to us some measure of responsibility we have before these angels when he tells Timothy: "I charge you before God and Christ Jesus and the chosen angels to observe these rules without any discrimination, and to be perfectly impartial." (1 Tim. 5: 21, An Amer. Trans.) Surely, then, our Christian sisters can uncomplainingly submit to something ordained by an Authority higher than man, out of respect for these angels. If man does not understand or appreciate, they do. The understanding and appreciation of these angels is something to value, especially as they report to God or appeal to him for us; as Jesus said: "Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of [or, have continual access to] my Father which is in heaven." --Matt. 18: 10; An Amer. Trans.
So, in the apostolic days when and where it was customary for women to veil their heads and faces in public, why did Christian women do so? In order not to offend popular usage and create misunderstanding and bring reproach? Yes; but especially to show the subjection of the female to the male sex, in view of the angels. But even if the female is made inferior to the male, yet God has so arranged it that the male is dependent upon the female for continued existence. The apostle points out this interdependence of both sexes by next saying: "Of course, in the Lord, woman does not exist apart from man, any more than man apart from woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now made from woman, while both, like all things, come from God." (1 Cor. 11: 11, 12, Moffatt) So, since this disposition of matters is from God the Creator, what man or woman can alter it? who has a right to find fault? What would complaining accomplish? Nothing but spiritual injury to the complainer, because it would be untheocratic.
Because the female was made subject to the male, that is no reason to think the male can get along without the female and that the female does not hold an important and necessary relationship to the male. No more than one's little toe could say, "I am not of the body," because it occupies an inferior position in one's body and is not as prominent and
important as the eye. "On the contrary, the parts of the body that are considered most delicate are indispensable, and the parts of it that we think common, we dress with especial care, and our unpresentable
parts receive especial attention which our presentable parts do not need. God has so adjusted the body and given such especial distinction to its inferior parts that there is no clash in the body, but its parts all alike care for one another." (1 Cor. 12: 21-25, An Amer. Trans.) It should be that way in the congregation of God's people. There should be no clash or disunion because of the relative prominence and inferiority of male and female as to privileges of service.
There is no reason for us to be ashamed of the way we are made naturally by our Creator; he made everything fit us nicely. The apostle advises us to use common sense and to make observations for ourselves based on how we are naturally made: "Judge for yourselves; is it proper for an unveiled woman to pray to God? Surely nature herself teaches you that, while long hair is disgraceful for a man, for a woman long hair is a glory. Her hair is given her as a covering." (1 Cor. 11: 13-15, Moffatt) Does woman resent her natural tendency to long hair? Does she not consider her hair to be a glorifying feature about her and hence try to keep it and to wear it attractively? God gave her long hair as a sign of her subjection to the male, not for her oppression but for her covering; and yet this covering
which symbolizes subjection is becoming and beautifying to the female. Without it what would she look like? And so how nicely God has balanced everything for comfort! But because God made it unnatural for a man to have long hair like a woman, those Israelites who took a vow and became Nazarites for life or for a period of time did not touch their head with a clipper or a razor. They let hair and beard grow long for the duration of their vow. Their long hair served as a public humiliation of them before God and man.-- Num. 6: 1-21.
The apostle now concludes this discussion of relative positions of male and female in the Christian congregation by saying: "But if anyone thinketh to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor yet
the assemblies of God." (1 Cor. 11: 16, Rotherham; also Auth. Ver., Am. Stan. Ver. and Douay) According to this literal rendering of Paul's words into English he would appear to say that, because some persons might choose to be disputatious and rebel against this custom of veiling women in public and at assemblies of God's people, the apostles and congregations do not recognize such a custom and refuse to observe it among themselves. But that interpretation would be against all that Paul had been saying in the preceding verses. Rather, the conclusion to the matter is this:
If any person disputes the matter and contends for another custom that seems to allow womankind
more freedom publicly, then let it be sufficient to say that neither we apostles nor the congregations of God have or follow the custom contended for by the opposer. Accordingly, Moffatt renders 1 Corinthians 11: 16: "If anyone presumes to raise objections on this point-well, I acknowledge no other mode of worship, and neither do the churches of God." Other modern translations present it similarly: "But if anyone is disposed to be contentious about it, I for my part recognize no other practice in worship than this, and neither do the churches of God." (An Amer. Trans.) "If anyone is disposed to be contentious, we recognize no other practice, nor do the churches of God." (Rev. Stan. Ver.) "In case, however, anyone seems anxious to dispute the matter, we do not observe such a practice [as such a disputer would introduce, footnote], neither do the churches of God." (Gerrit Verkuyl) So would the apostle require veiling today?
Note that the apostle is discussing the matter of a woman's praying or prophesying publicly in a mixed congregation of God's people. When doing these things it would at all times be proper to wear a veil to show her doing these things only in subjection to the male members of the congregation. Back there in apostolic days the holy spirit was poured out upon both sexes, so that at meetings of the congregation the women as well as the men would be inspired by the spirit and would have a prayer to
offer or a prophetic explanation to make. Hence it was well for the women to be prepared at meeting for such unexpected operations of the spirit upon them by being veiled. Today, however, the spirit does not operate outwardly in this manner so as to inspire the women as well as the men to pray and prophesy or explain Scripture. But on other occasions, apart from formal meetings of the congregation, it would not be necessary or required for feminine members to cover their heads that way. We remember how when Samuel's mother Hannah visited the tabernacle at Shiloh she stood and prayed for the birth of this boy. She did not wear a veil or headcovering hiding her face; otherwise High Priest Eli would not have noticed the silent movement of her lips and thought that she was drunk. -1 Sam. 1: 9·27.
Although the veil is of great antiquity as a part of female attire, yet there is nothing to show in Scripture that women who were devoted to God, like Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, etc., wore or had to cover
their faces with a veil when in public on ordinary occasions, either in Egypt, Palestine or Syria. The custom of veiling, therefore, did not arise with the Jewish Christian women. It was observed by the Christians of the first century because of what was
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considered chaste, so as not to offend public taste and thus hinder others' accepting the Kingdom message. Since customs have changed, and since in many progressive lands it is not the custom for women to veil themselves in public to appear decent, moral and respectable, Christians in such lands are under no obligation to veil themselves in public or when attending congregational assemblies. The apostle's argument does not require them to be veiled under such circumstances. Of course, if they want to pray or prophesy at a Christian assembly of mixed membership, then they should veil or cover their head as a symbol of subjection. In that case they will not be like the famous pagan prophetesses known as sibyls who came under demon influence and prophesied with unveiled faces, so that their twisted
features and foaming mouth showed up together with their frantic gestures. The pagan priestesses, too, prayed or delivered their predictions bareheaded or with disordered hair.
The apostle faced the facts when he undertook to discuss women's praying or prophesying among their Christian brothers. The women did pray or prophesy under inspiration. For a woman to be a prophetess among God's consecrated people was not a novelty. Miriam, older sister to Aaron and Moses, was a prophetess. Says Jehovah to unfaithful Israel: "I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of servants; and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam." (Ex. 15: 20, 21; Mic. 6: 4) Many years later Deborah, of the tribe of Ephraim, was a prophetess and an associate of Judge Barak of Israel. As such, she was not the regnant queen of Israel, but Jehovah God was the reigning King of Israel. Deborah campaigned with Captain Barak against the heathen invaders and joined him in singing a victory song that was a prophecy finding fulfillment in our generation. (Judg. 4:8-14; 5:1-31; 17:6; 21:25) We have just mentioned Hannah. She believed in prayer and in making a vow and paying such vow to God. For her faith and devotion she became mother to the prophet
Samuel and, for paying her vow to Jehovah, she became a prophetess. She was a faithful wife to a temple Levite, and as such she was an honor to him and won respect.- l Sam. 1: 4 to 2: 10.
In King Josiah's day there was the prophetess Huldah for him to consult, but later, when building up Jerusalem's walls, Nehemiah was obliged to pray against an unfaithful prophetess, Noadiah. (2 Ki. 22: 14; 2 Chron. 34: 22; Neh. 6: 10-14) At the time that Jesus was born, there was the aged prophetess named Anna. As a young widow she had not gone in for loose conduct, but devoted herself in widowhood to God's house, worshiping, fasting and praying. For this, in her eighty-fourth year, she was
privileged to see the babe Jesus and utter prophecy. -Luke 2: 36-38; 1 Cor. 7: 34; 1 Tim, 5: 5.
Hundreds of years prior to that Pentecostal day of A.D. 33 the prophet Joel had foretold that in the Christian era Jehovah would pour out his spirit upon women as well as men, women of all ages and stations, and they would prophesy. On Pentecost, as the faithful remnant of Jews were met together, both men and women, Joel's prophecy began fulfilling. The holy spirit came down upon men and women alike and they spoke with tongues and explained God's will to their listeners. (Joel 2: 28, 29; Acts 2: 1-18) In the matter of prophesying thus under spirit inspiration, the four virgin daughters of Philip the evangelist are mentioned as prophesying as late as twenty-three years after Pentecost. (Acts 21: 8, 9) So when the spirit came upon the sisters at mixed meetings of the congregation, what man could
rightfully hinder them from prophesying or explaining God's will according to his Word of prophecy? It was a case, not of forbidding them, but of regulating them, that meetings should be conducted orderly and in a most helpful way.
Hence by way of Theocratic organization-instructions Paul said: "He who prophesies addresses men in words that edify, encourage, and console them. He who speaks in a 'tongue' edifies himself, whereas he who prophesies edifies the church. Let only two or three prophets speak, while the rest exercise their judgment upon what is said. Should a revelation come to one who is seated, the first speaker must be quiet. You can all prophesy quite well, one after another, so as to let all learn and all be encouraged. Prophets can control their own prophetic spirits, for God is a God not of
disorder but of harmony."-l Cor. 14: 3,4,29-33, Moffatt.
NOT ALLOWED TO TEACH IN THE CHURCH
When Christian women exercised the gift of prophecy by the spirit and the above regulations were laid down for their use of the gift, it was not in conflict with what the apostle says immediately afterward: "Let everything be done decorously and in order. As is the rule in all churches of the saints, women must keep quiet at gatherings of the church.
They are not allowed to speak; they must take a subordinate place, as the Law enjoins. If they want any information, let them ask their husbands at home; it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in church. You challenge this rule? Pray, did God's word start from you? Are you the only people it has reached?"--1 Cor. 14: 40,33-36, Moffatt.
The "law" to which the apostle here refers enjoining feminine conduct is evidently that law laid down by Jehovah at Genesis 3: 16. Hence the
apostle was not commanding women to keep silent at congregational meetings even when the holy spirit moved them to utter some inspired prophesying. No; but he meant they were there not to question outspokenly what the male members said, so as to challenge the males, object to their sayings, wrangle with them publicly over doctrine, and try to dictate to men and force their opinion upon these. Certainly no Christian sister that was under the inspiration of the holy spirit would do so; and neither should a sister do so when not under such direct influence of the spirit. To do so would dishonor her visible head, the man, who is the image and glory of God. (1 Cor. 11: 7) It would not honor him in public nor make for harmony and unity in the congregation. If women wanted to raise questions against what male Christians had said at meeting, they should wait till they got home and then discuss the matters privately with the adult male members of their families.
This public restriction was not based upon some social custom that was in fashion in some locality at the time. It was based on God's express law and the procedure that God followed. The apostle makes this perfectly clear when instructing Timothy as overseer of a congregation, saying: "Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman
was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet woman will be saved through bearing children, if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with modesty." (1 Tim. 2: 11-15, Rev. Stan. Ver., margin) Eve did not respect Adam's priority and consult him privately on the vital question raised by the Devil. She was therefore deceived and took the lead in eating the forbidden fruit. Then she tried to teach her man what she was misled to believe would make both of them wise, yes, like gods knowing good and evil for themselves. Disaster resulted. So the apostle later expressed fear that the congregation at Corinth might follow Eve's example by trying to take the lead out of the hands of Christ her espoused husband and try to run ahead of him as Teacher, thinking to get teaching more advanced than his.--2 Cor. 11: 2-4.
Miriam the prophetess, some years older than her brothers Aaron and Moses, was one who rebelled against God's use of a man in preference to her. She apparently prevailed upon Aaron to join her in
objecting to the foremost position of their younger brother Moses as Jehovah's prophet. This became the case after Zipporah, Moses' Ethiopian wife, was brought into the camp of Israel. (Ex. 18: 1-12; 2: 15-22) Miriam could now fear that Zipporah as Moses' wife would take the position of first lady in
the camp of Israel and thus oust Miriam from her position as such up till now. Either for this cause or for some other selfish reason Miriam spoke rebelliously against Jehovah's Theocratic arrangement of his people, and she and Aaron spoke against Moses, saying: "Hath Jehovah indeed spoken only with Moses? hath he not spoken also with us?" Moses showed his meekness here by quietly putting up with this disparaging, rebellious speech. Hence Jehovah God himself rose up in behalf of his Theocratic representative Moses. He showed them Moses was dealt with differently from others having the prophetic spirit, and asked: "Wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant, against Moses?" Then he struck presumptuous Miriam with leprosy. Only the intercession of her loving, unresentful brother Moses saved her from being a plagued woman outside Israel's camp the rest of her life. (Num. 12: 1-15, Am. Stan. Ver.) Miriam never entered Canaan, the Promised Land; and in listing her with her brother she is generally put last in order. - Num. 20: 1; 26: 59; 1 Chron. 6: 3; Mic. 6: 4.
Hence, in not trying to teach Christian men at the congregational meetings and not dictating to them, our Christian sisters safely remember that the head of the man is Christ, and the head of Christ is God. Speaking as regards the whole church, Jesus said: "One is your teacher, and all ye are brethren." Matt. 23:8, Am. Stan. Ver.) But even if Christ Jesus is God's appointed Head over the Theocratic organization Zion, yet he himself is taught of God. Isaiah 54:5, 13 says to Zion: "Thy Maker is thy husband; Jehovah of hosts is his name:... And all
thy children shall be taught of Jehovah." (Am. Stan. Fer.) Hence if man in the congregation represents the likeness and supremacy of Jehovah God, then the' women should Theocratically respect what he represents. She should not try to rearrange the divine setup and try to teach the man of God.
HER PROPHETIC ACTIVITIES TODAY
Does this mean that, when attending Bible studies of the congregation where male members conduct and where Watchtower publications are used as study helps, our Christian sisters must not open their mouths? No! It does not mean they dare not answer the questions asked upon the material being studied, nor relate experiences they have in God's service, nor demonstrate before others good ways of presenting God's message to people. In the first century women did not keep silent in the church when God's spirit moved them to prophesy. Today when answering questions, telling experiences and making demonstrations our consecrated sisters are not teaching or trying to teach and dictate to the
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men.If they are expressing themselves in accord with Watchtower publications and in submission to counsel from the Watchtower Society on Theocratic order and procedure for Jehovah's witnesses, then the women are not teaching. It is God through his organization that is doing so. The women are merely using the spiritual provisions He makes for all his
people and are repeating what they have been taught.
Thus by showing proper modesty and submissiveness our consecrated Christian sisters will show real Theocratic charm and will win respect of all the congregation and the blessing and approval of Jehovah God. In final fulfillment of Joel 2: 28, 29 his spirit has been poured out in these last days of this world. It has been outpoured with mighty activating power upon all consecrated flesh, male and female. Irresistibly the Lord God's daughters and maid-servants must prophesy, explaining His will and purpose to others according to his prophetic Word. So, with his blessing and therefore his unmistakable
approval, women are engaging in spreading his Word from house to house and in public places. They are carrying on private Bible studies with Watchtower publications in the homes of the ignorant. As mothers, they are instructing their own children in God's Word. They are acting as missionaries to lands calling for spiritual help. They are offering the spiritual sacrifices of praise to God everywhere, together with their Christian brothers. Records show more women are engaging in this service than men.
Though subordinate according to God's will, such women are most helpful to their Christian brothers and are fighting shoulder to shoulder with them for the faith of the Kingdom gospel. We rejoice
with them in their privileges. We admire them for their uncomplaining submissiveness and loyalty. We are glad they share equally with us in vindicating Jehovah's name. We thank God they are heirs with us of the gracious gift of eternal life in the righteous new world. In all purity we will help them to gain it.
WHERE THE MONEY COMES FROM FOR KINGDOM WORK
IF THE Watchtower Bible and Tract Society were a commercial organization, selling some product or service, or peddling a religious message, in this world where dollar-getting is the order of the day, people would not ask concerning the Society: "Where does all the money come from for this?" But because the Society does not follow the method of Christendom's religious organizations of taking up money collections or demanding tithes, the question is frequently asked.
The Society has a Godly purpose, which purpose was clearly stated in the charter granted it in 1884, to wit: "The purpose for which the corporation is formed is, the dissemination of Bible truths in various languages by means of the publication of tracts, pamphlets, papers and other religious documents, and by the use of all other lawful means which its Board of Directors, duly constituted, shall deem expedient for the furtherance of the purpose stated."
From the very formation of the Society, even before its legal incorporation in 1884 for the above-stated work, persons devoted to God recognized that, since this work is of Him, he will make regular provision for it to continue. To this year of 1949 Jehovah God has performed this miraculous provision. How? Through willing, unforced, unsolicited givers. Persons have been moved by love of God and his Word and by His spirit to contribute what they had of time; effort, ability and money to the spreading of the message of man's salvation by God's kingdom. The many privileges of supporting the world-wide witness to God's kingdom have been grasped voluntarily and cheerfully, and only God's spirit leads a person to do that. All along the Lord God has permitted men and women to contribute of
their own free will money, or material wealth, to the support of His work on earth. If this were not so, the widow would not have dropped her two coins, her last mite, into the collection box, causing Jesus to say she donated more than
all other contributors. (Luke 21: 1-4) "God loveth a cheerful giver." (2 Cor. 9: 7) Thus the money has come from thousands of men and women, in all stations of life and in all parts of the earth, who want to share in helping the Society as an organization to advance Bible-education among all peoples, with no financial profit to themselves and with no financial profit to the Society or anyone connected with it.
In doing this, such contributors act wisely, discreetly, looking beyond this present uncertain world to the approaching new world of eternal life, peace and plenty. With money and other material things, or, "mammon," as Jesus called them, at Luke 16: 9, they are making friends with
Jehovah God and Christ Jesus, and through these two they hope to gain eternal dwellings in the new world, there to serve Them forever.
It is the pleasure of The Watchtower to have many thousands of new readers. To all our readers, new and old, we delight to bring information concerning the present expansion of true worship of God on earth. The Watchtower itself is published in twenty-two languages, but the Society operates through more than sixty Branches and literature depots in over ninety different lands. In addition to this, it has sent abroad more than 500 missionaries graduated from the Watchtower Bible School of Gilead, whom it supports financially, besides maintaining other hundreds of home missionaries or special publishers and traveling representatives. Also, yearly millions of pieces of literature are distributed absolutely free of cost to those accepting. And the work is not by any means over now, but we
look forward and are preparing for an even greater work, of bringing the saving news of God's kingdom by Christ to hundreds of millions in all lands.
Hence, in sincerity, persons often inquire as to how a work of such magnitude is maintained, it being obvious
that there is no monetary gain to the field ministers for publishing the message and likewise no monetary gain to the Society. True, some money is contributed for the literature printed, but the money donations received at the time that the Society's printed publications are placed with the people are applied toward printing and distributing more Bible-study helps; but such money-donations fall far, far short of sufficiency to carryon the Society's global work. Money gifts, in addition to the gifts for the literature, are financing our work in all lands. All this is by the grace of Jehovah God. This fact is not a secret; but The Watchtower has repeatedly announced it, since the Society's organization. Every year, the May 1 issue of this magazine, in an article such as this, has outlined the donation arrangement generally known as "Good Hopes".
The Society, in harmony with its governing principle mentioned above, never solicits money, never 'takes up a collection', never indulges in the mark of worldly-religion, begging. This article is not a solicitation for money, but is merely a reminder of the privilege open to its readers. Many persons, reading of what is done out in the field by the foreign and home missionaries, rejoice at it. They would like themselves to engage in foreign service and join in carrying the gospel to the ends of the earth; but, due to their physical condition or their obligations in their own home-country, they are unable to enjoy this privilege. Also they want to see the expansion work suffer no lag or diminution, and hence they earnestly desire to help the work by monetary contributions to the Society. Contribution to the "Good Hopes Fund" offers them an opportunity to do this. Through this "Good Hopes Fund" the Society is greatly assisted by being informed in advance the amount the contributors hope to donate during the twelve months now beginning. Such information enables the Society to
anticipate how much it can spend as a limit during the year ahead.
Planning in advance what we can arrange to give is in harmony with the advice regarding donations at 1 Corinthians 16: 2. So it is suggested that, upon receiving this issue of The Watchtower, you address a postcard or letter to the Society and keep a copy as a reminder to yourself
concerning the amount you hope to contribute. All you need to write is, in substance:
By the Lord's grace I hope to be able to contribute to the work of announcing the kingdom of Jehovah during the ensuing year the amount of $................, which I will remit in such amounts and at such time as I can find it convenient, as I am prospered.
Address yrour card or letter to
Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society
124 Columbia Heights
Brooklyn 2, New York
Those residing outside of the United States, and who desire to contribute in the above way to the coming year's expense, please address letters or cards to the Society's office in the respective country in which you live. (See page 130 for a list.)
Some persons may not care to undertake any such voluntary arrangement as that above, feeling they are obligating themselves. They prefer to send in their contributions to the Society at any time, according to their prosperity or ability to do so. In such cases they should send all their contributions to the Society at the above Brooklyn address, even if they have not notified the Brooklyn office in advance.
Your desire and ours is that God's will may be accomplished through his organization. And so, in prayer, present to Him our need for His guidance, that all money contributions we receive may be used to the best advantage to announce the Kingdom, until the end comes and the new world enters.-Matt. 24: 14.
EZEKIEL STRESSES JEHOVAH'S VINDICATION
SALVATION of creatures! Salvation of the kingdom! These are the dominating thoughts that current through the minds of the Judeans. Many gods they worship to insure personal salvation, and many schemes they hatch to preserve the nation. The times are stormy with political upheaval and international pressures. A tug of war between the world powers of Egypt and Babylon had been raging for some years now for control of Judah. First Egypt dominated through the puppet-king Jehoiakim, but after Nebuchadnezzar's defeat of the Egyptian armies in the battle of Carchemish at the Euphrates river in 625 B.C. the political strings passed into Babylon's hands.
But puppet-king Jehoiakim rebelled at Babylon's pulling of the strings, and as a result brought against Jerusalem the hordes of Nebuchadnezzar's fighting men. Now as the Judeans look back at that trying time only five years ago, in 618 B.C., how well they remember that many thousands of important and essential Israelites were taken captive to Babylon! They fear that Babylon may return to again slaughter and enslave, and many hopeful eyes turn toward Egypt for salvation. Even many of the religious
prophets point to Egypt as the source of salvation for both
nation and individuals.
But in this year 613 B.C. not all eyes look toward Egypt, not all minds focus on salvation of creatures and nation. Ezekiel's eyes and mind, for an outstanding example. In this year, over in Babylon, among the captives by the river Chebar, his eyes are opening to visions and his mind is comprehending something far more important than personal or national salvation. Not only are his eyes and mind busy absorbing this all-important truth, but his hand is at work writing it and his tongue telling it. This truth is that the most important issue up for settlement before the entire universe is the vindication of the name of Jehovah God. All the prophecies that Ezekiel is inspired to utter high-light the one theme: Jehovah's vindication. More than sixty times crops out the majestic determination: "They [or ye] shall know that I am Jehovah."
The first three verses of the book of Ezekiel tell that
Ezekiel was of priestly rank, the son of Buzi, was carried captive to Babylon and in the fifth year of that captivity was inspired of God to prophesy, in 613 B.C., at which time
May 1, 1949
he was thirty years of age. He continued to prophesy for at
least twenty-two years, or until 591 B.C. (Ezek. 29: 17) The prophecies he was inspired to speak he was also inspired to write down for a permanent record; and it is in that record that Ezekiel stresses over and over again Jehovah's vindication. This is true regardless of which of the three sections of his prophecy is considered: the first, which concentrates on the fall and desolation of Jerusalem; the second, which pronounces woes upon foreign nations; or the third, which thrills to the glorious restoration that is to come to Israel.
The first section is comprised of chapters 1 to 24. At the outset Ezekiel has a glorious vision of Jehovah's chariot-like organization, attended by cherubim, and out from the throne of which comes a voice commissioning Ezekiel as prophet and watchman unto the house of Israel.* He is to hear the words from Jehovah's mouth, repeat them to Israel as a warning from God, and this whether the peoples hear or forbear to hear. In many pictorial ways, by symbolic parables and pantomime, the "prophet portrayed the siege and fall of Jerusalem and the toll of sword and famine and pestilence that would ravage it. But the justness of the destruction is clear when visions disclose the flagrant practices of demon-worship carried on at the temple in Jerusalem, to the defamation of God's name. Mercy, too, is evidenced by a man in linen preceding the men with slaughter weapons, marking those of good-will that are saddened by the abominations committed against Jehovah's name. And Ezekiel took pains to show that the king and princes and prophets and people that broke covenant with Babylon and looked to Egypt for help did wrong, that those who sought to save their skin and nation at the cost of breaking covenant with God would be brought low.
But the part in this first section that puts the important matter in so many words is Ezekiel's review of the history of Israel, showing it to be one of rebellions against God, yet at the same time showing why Jehovah continually wrought salvation for them: "They rebelled against me, and would not hearken unto me; ... Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. But I wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, among which they were, in whose sight I made myself known unto them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt.... But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: ... Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them in the wilderness, to consume them. But I wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I brought them out.... The children rebelled against me; ... Nevertheless I withdrew my hand, and wrought for
my name's sake, ... And ye shall know that I am Jehovah, when I have dealt with you for my name's sake, not according to your evil ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord Jehovah." -Ezek. 20: 8-44, Am. Stan. Ver.
The second section, chapters 25 to 32, was delivered
during the time of the siege and fall of Jerusalem, and directed against several heathen nations, such as Ammon, Moab, Edom, Philistia, Tyrus, Zidon and Egypt. Some of these nations were particularly rebuked for rejoicing and
• See front cover page of The Watchtower.
clapping their hands at the fall of Jerusalem, for reproaching the Israelites upon whom Jehovah had seen fit to put his name. Their self-exaltation and their railing against Jehovah's name-people were slurs against the Almighty One, and destruction of the blasphemers would contribute to the vindication of the name of the Most High.
Chapter 33 reviews Ezekiel's duties as a watchman, making clear his obligation to warn the wicked that they might turn from their evil or die in their inequity. It is during this review of duty that a messenger arrives from Jerusalem, telling Ezekiel and the captives in Babylon of the fall of the city. (Ezek. 33: 21, An Amer. Trans.) Ezekiel's prophecies of desolation were fulfilled, but he wastes no time with taunts of "I told you so". Rather, in this closing section of sixteen chapters, he continues to look to the future as he paints a series of glorious pictures of restoration. False shepherds that fed and clothed themselves at the expense and to the neglect of the flock are cast from favorable consideration, and in contrast Jehovah the Great Shepherd is pictured as gathering his people like a flock and herding them into lush pastures of peace and safety. The faithful Jewish displaced persons Jehovah will resettle in their homeland, breaking the oppressor's yoke and the enslaver's chains, making possible the rebuilding of the waste places and repopulating of desolated cities. Why,
even a heart of flesh will he give to replace the stony hearts of one-time rebels! And for what purpose is all this glorious restoration of Israel? Read it for yourself, just as Ezekiel wrote it:
"Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: I do not this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for my holy name, which ye have profaned among the nations, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which hath been profaned among the nations, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the nations shall know that I am Jehovah, saith the Lord Jehovah, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land. And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited. Then the nations that are left round about you shall know that I, Jehovah, have builded the ruined places, and planted
that which was desolate: I, Jehovah, have spoken it, and I will do it.... And they shall know that I am Jehovah." -Ezek. 36: 22-24, 35, 36,38, Am. Stan. Ver.
By additional parables and pictures Jehovah through Ezekiel sounds a message of courage to the captives in Babylon, greatly increased now by the thousands brought in after Jerusalem's fall in 607 B.C. Outstanding is the account of Gog's malicious assault on restored, peaceful
Israel and the final defeat inflicted on that wicked tool of Satan, and the cleansing activities of the remnant of Israel after that furious fight. The closing chapters relate Ezekiel's vision of Jehovah's restored temple in the Holy Land, wherein true worship will be practiced in praise of God and further vindication of his name.
"Ezekiel is unto you a sign." (Ezek. 24: 24) His words and visions, parables and pantomimes were a sign to the people. They were both warning and instruction. They did not point to nations as sources of salvation; they did not
Brooklyn, N Y.
even stress salvation of creatures. Ezekiel stressed Jehovah's vindication, and those he pictured do likewise today. Ezekiel's name means "God will strengthen; strength of God". The present spiritual remnant that he pictured are "strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might", are "strengthened with might by his spirit". (Eph. 6:10; 3:16) Jeho-
vah's witnesses stand as watchmen and warn that not national salvation, not personal salvation, but Jehovah's vindication is the issue of universal importance. At Armageddon he will vindicate his name, and thereafter restore Edenic conditions to earth. In Jehovah's vindication lies creature salvation.
TRUTH SWEEPS AWAY REFUGE OF LIES
A court trial in Quebec City centered around the work of Jehovah's witnesses, and appearing to testify against the Witnesses was a Catholic priest. The result was much discussion about Catholic doctrine in the light of the Bible. That this was an eye-opener to honest Catholics is shown by the following experience of a pioneer publisher in Quebec City:
"The other night when I arrived back at the hall I found two of our company publishers very ably haying a book study with seven young men who had been following the court trial. They had read our hall address in the papers. One of their number has a sister with whom I placed some literature in 1946. This group of young men customarily hang around a corner downtown, drink 'cokes' and generally do nothing but talk. However, because of the interest in the trial they all procured Bibles and had many questions to ask. The priest refused to answer their questions; so they came to Jehovah's witnesses. They were all quite satisfied with the answers received and were loud in their praise of our knowledge of the Bible. The last boy did not leave the hall till 3 a.m."
GOD'S WORD DISPELS DESPONDENCY
While in a hospital in Florida one of Jehovah's witnesses helped a patient by telling him some of the marvelous truths contained in God's Word.
"There was a young man who had been in the hospital for sixteen months. He had been in the Pacific islands during the war and hardly got a scratch, but was run down by an auto and had his left leg crushed, and after all this time he thinks it will have to come off. His wife, who is a Catholic, told me that he felt so despondent that nothing would cheer him up. Well, the next time I saw him on the porch, I began talking to him about the truth. At first he was not interested, but, when I took the Bible and showed it to him, then he believed it. I took him from when God formed man and blew breath into his nostrils and he became a living soul, right up to the Kingdom. He was surprised, as he said he had asked several ministers and none could tell him what I told him about the resurrection and the new world. Why, he talked about it to everyone. He took 'Let God Be True', 'The Truth Shall Make You Free', 'The Kingdom Is at Hand', 'Equipped for Every Good Work', and a Bible. He has read all of them and
is reading the 'Let God Be True' book the second time. I am going to have a Bible study with him on Tuesdays. His wife told me that I did him more good than all the nurses and doctor put together."
BOOK STUDIES MAKE NEW PUBLISHERS
The following experience sent in by a publisher in Texas shows the need to back-call on all placements, and also that it is not always experience that enables one to place literature. The bubbling zeal of newly interested ones is also effective.
"I called on a good-will lady to conduct a study in 'Let God Be True', and found she had company. I asked the lady visitor whether she cared to study with us. 'Yes, I do!' she quickly replied. She asked many questions and when the study was over said that she had the book 'Let God Be
True', but that she had not studied it because she could not understand it. I set a date to call on her, and when I arrived she was waiting for me. I asked her to select a subject that she would be specially interested in hearing discussed, and she chose the 'new earth'. She was very thrilled and asked many interesting questions, and said that she realized that all she had now was going down into destruction and that she wished she could sell everything and just go into this work. I invited her to go out into the work with me for an hour right then. She stated she would be glad to go, but she didn't know how to give a witness. I stated that she could listen to me and learn, and then she could try a door. She got her mother to keep her twin babies, and she went with me to the first house. When I started to witness to the householder the householder said she couldn't take the book and handed it back to me. But it was soon placed when the newly interested lady began telling how wonderful she had found the book to be. The next door I gave the witness and again the householder refused, but the new witness joined me in testifying and soon she made the placement. The next door she took alone, and returned to tell me that the lady was quite sarcastic. But at the next door, where I had tried but failed to make placements in the past, she gave a brief witness and as she left I could hear her saying, 'You be sure to read this book.' I only had two studies with this good-will lady of about 20 years of age. Now she attends company studies and participates in the Theocratic ministry school reviews."
(Continued from page 130)
time to plan your vacation for 1950. Now is the time to save your funds so you can make the trip.
We ask too that all pray to the Lord for a rich blessing to
be upon this assembly, that His will may be done and that convention may redound to His honor and praise.
It is with real joy that we look to 1950 and this International Convention of Jehovah's witnesses in New York city, for not
only will be brethren be attending the convention but they will be able to visit both the new Bethel home and the new factory, as well as the new radio station, which should be fully completed, and inspect them. The Watchtower Bible School of Gilead is not too far distant, so many of the visitors may enjoy that also.
Further information concerning this International Convention will be published later in The Watchtower.