Hindu, Buddhist, Mohammedan, Confucian, Shintoist, animist, Jew, Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, Anglican, Protestants of the hundreds of different non-Catholic religious systems, and those claiming no religion of any kind - all are concerned in the true-to-fact answer to this pressing question. For many centuries Christendom has dominated this world, and now the world's fate is bound up with that of Christendom. Can you afford to share Christendom's fate with her? Does Heaven have something better for truth-loving men? Your gaining the correct answers and learning what attitude to take toward Christendom in this time of decision mean great enlightenment that can lead to a happy future for you.
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY
Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, Inc.
International Bible Students Association
Brooklyn, New York, U. S. A.
Made in the United States of America
CHRISTENDOM OR CHRISTIANITY
READER - you know what we mean by "Christendom," namely, that great religious system that spreads around the world and claims to be Christian. According to the religious census there are about five hundred million persons claiming to be Christians that make up Christendom. It calls itself Christendom to distinguish itself from what it calls "heathendom" or "pagandom." Now, whatever you may be religiously, what do you think of Christendom? Do you think there is any hope for it? Do you think that the world may safely rest hope in it? Do you think it is "the light of the world"?
-Which One Is
"the Light of the World"?
Christendom takes pride in thinking that it and Christianity are one and the same thing, because the dictionary defines "Christendom" as being "the Christian world," as being "Christians collectively," and as being "that portion of the world in which Christianity prevails, or which is governed under Christian institutions, in distinction from heathen or Mohammedan lands." Being given this understanding of matters, the Mohammedan
looks on, the Buddhist looks on, the Shintoist looks on, the Hindu looks on, the Taoist looks on, the animist looks on, the Jew looks on, the "godless Communist" looks on, and all consider Christendom and Christianity to be one and the same, or Christendom as being the expression of Christianity. So, as all these non-Christians view matters, the one thing is to be judged by the other, Christianity is to be judged by what Christendom is. But to one who is familiar with Christendom's main book, The Holy Scriptures or Bible, the questions arise, Are they one and the same? Is what Christendom practices the real, Biblical Christianity? And is Christendom a godly example for all the rest of the world, so-called "heathendom" or "pagandom," to follow? These are honest, sincere questions.
Almost all will agree that Christendom is advanced in the ways of this world, so that the rest of the world is treated as backward. But for all her material wealth and her advancement.in living conditions, communications, modern conveniences and scientific methods, can she be looked to as "the light of the world"? Her science, which has brought some material enrichment and improvement, does not make her a light for mankind, but rather now it works feverishly upon the means that can cause the world's blackout in total destruction. Said one minister at a religious rally in St. Louis, Missouri, October 31, 1954, in showing the failure of materialistic science: "We have too many men of science and too few men of God." Said another minister on the same day in a church at Washington, D.C., to show that science is not uplifting Christendom spiritually: "If by some
evil chance our globe is destroyed, this will be the real reason - the tyranny of science and the poverty and defensiveness of the forces of the spirit" -New York Times, November 1,1954.
No, despite all her advantages that have pushed her ahead economically, mentally and militarily, Christendom has not proved herself "the light of ' the world." Why not? Does she not have the Holy Scriptures, the Sacred Bible, by the millions of copies? Yes, but she does not preach or practice its Christianity, rather she follows a confusion of religions. Christianity draws its name from a holy man of nineteen centuries ago, named Jesus Christ, who taught his followers or disciples about the one living and true God. During that first century of the so-called "Christian era" his disciples came to be called "Christians" and what they taught and practiced was called Christianity. (Acts 11:26) Now it was to his disciples, when gathered around him on a mountain, that Jesus Christ said: "You are the light of the world. A city cannot be hid when situated upon a mountain. Likewise let your light shine before mankind, that they may see your right works and give glory to your Father who is in the heavens." -Matthew 5:14, 16, NW*
When this Jesus was about to restore sight to a man born blind he first said: "As long as I am in the world, I am the world's light." Then he performed the wonderful cure of the man's eyes. This miracle of healing was one of many proofs that Jesus Christ was no sinner but was from God in
heaven. (John 9:5, 25, 31, 33, NW) To snuff out that "light," Jesus' religious enemies had him put to death by being nailed on a torture stake. Then a darkness of night settled upon his disciples, so that they could not work as ministers of the light, any more than could Jesus in the darkness of the grave, but they were scattered, quit work and went into hiding. As Jesus had said: "The night is coming when no man can work." (John 9:4 and Luke 22:53, NW) But on the third day from his death and burial, Almighty God resurrected his faithful Son Jesus Christ from the dead. The resurrected Jesus then manifested himself visibly to his disciples to show that he was no longer dead but had returned to the invisible spirit realm, that he might go and be with his heavenly Father again. Thus he again became the Light of his disciples, and he brought them out of their night of inactivity and prepared them for taking up their work again as "the light of the world."
Forty days later he ascended up from his disciples into the invisible spirit heavens to sit down at his heavenly Father's right hand. He had sacrificed his human life forever, but the value of that human sacrifice he could now use in heaven for paying to God the debts that his disciples owed to God and thus relieve them of the condemnation of sin and its penalty, death. Ten days after his ascension to his Father's right hand Jesus Christ poured out holy spirit upon his faithful disciples on earth in the city of Jerusalem. Under its power the disciples openly took up their work of being "the light of the world" and letting the Christian light shine forth. -Acts, chapters 1 and 2.
However, following the activity of Christ's disciples during the first century, a darkness gradually settled down upon the earth. There came a period in-human history that some historians call "the Dark Ages." Who, then, was it that screened out the light, covering over the "light of the world" with a measuring basket, as it were? Do not be surprised at the answer! It was Christendom herself, and it is actually to Christendom that the historical expression Dark Ages is applied. There are religious leaders who take offense at the applying of the expression Dark Ages to Christendom and who claim it was rather a period of great religious glory, but such religionists come under the- woe that God's prophecy mentions: "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness." (Isaiah 5:20) They are even now howling in their woe! They are eating the fruit of their hypocrisy!
What now? Must heathendom or pagandom now come forward to act as "the light of the world"? No! Heathendom cannot do so. The great religious system outside Christendom has indeed much religious tradition and ancient lore, but it also has failed in this dark hour and is itself endangered by "godless communism" no less than Christendom is. Heathendom has no light for itself or for groping Christendom. The religions of heathendom are being combined with those of Christendom in the recently organized World Parliament of Religions, Inc., but this combination does not brighten things. Neither does the forming of the Protestant World Council of Churches of Christ, for even this Council of many members is at disagreement with itself concerning what is the real hope
of Christians. The World Parliament of Religions, Inc., has as one of its chartered purposes "to establish a permanent World Parliament of Religions to work with the UNITED NATIONS in the attainment of world peace and understanding among all peoples." But will that save mankind?
The United Nations is the successor to the League of Nations, which was started in Christendom. In a letter and a petition that were circulated throughout the United States of America in 1934 by The League of Nations Association, Inc., there appeared the challenging words: "In a world as dark as this, why blow out the only light there is?" In 1939 along came Adolf Hitler, the Nazi leader of Germany, and blew out that "only light there is." How? By plunging the nations into World War II and rendering the League of Nations helplessly impotent. Its successor, the United Nations, to which the World Parliament of Religions, Inc., wants to attach itself, is also a false and failing light. It will some not-distant day be blown out forever, without a successor, because, like a will-o'-the-wisp, it deceitfully lures men to the morass of destruction by turning them away from the true "light of the world," Jesus Christ and his kingdom. Then the nations, those of heathendom as well as those of Christendom, will suffer a fate far worse than what they suffered during World War II, namely, everlasting destruction.
If ever Christendom was a light, she is now in these most critical times a "light that failed." Instead of being a safeguard against man's certain destruction for disobeying the commandments of the only living and true God, Christendom is like
a lightship that, in a mighty gale, has broken her moorings and been driven far from her anchorage onto the dreaded sands in front of which she used to stand sentinel, now herself to be pounded to pieces in a raging sea. To try to save herself she brings about alliances or councils for different religious systems to work together outwardly, while the basic differences as to belief and organization still remain. Her internal disunity is a stumbling-block to the heathen or pagan to become a part of her. On this point a British-born bishop of South India said that the disunity of Christian religious bodies "announces to the world the devil's most resounding victory - to have taken the body which Christ formed to be His instrument to draw all men into one and made of it the instrument to divide men from one another..... It is Impossible to continue steadily testifying to every man, Hindu, Moslem, rich or poor, that there is one Saviour, one atonement for all men and all nations and, at the same time, to insist that even this one atonement is not enough to make Christians one." Said another Anglican clergyman the same day in the same New York Cathedral: "The Church is groaning for unity." (New York Times, September 20, 1954) Such self-confessed religious disunity of Christendom is not a mark of Christianity. It is an unmistakable mark of carnality, unspirituality, worldliness, fleshly pride and selfishness. "For you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving like ordinary men?" "Is Christ divided?"
(1 Corinthians 3:3; 1:13, RS*) The true Christian body is not divided, but Christendom is.
The disunity is not only regarding religious belief and practice but also regarding race or color of the skin. Concerning the setting of races apart from one another in South Africa the following was said in the Trusteeship Committee of the United Nations General Assembly by the permanent representative from Iraq, a Mohammedan nation: It is "a source of pain that a church which worships God and His law on earth should perpetrate a doctrine of racial inequality. How far removed is the Dutch Reformed Church and its doctrine of racial supremacy from the Sermon on the Mount! How far removed is this unfortunate philosophy from the teachings of Christ!" (New York Times, October 13,1954) Yes, the non-Christian or the so-called "heathen" takes Christendom's Bible and reads a scripture and then asks or wonders why the church members of Christendom do not believe, obey, do or practice this.
The heathen, with God-given intelligence, are sharp enough to see that if the nations of Christendom were Christians according to the Bible or Holy Scriptures, then they would be the most peaceful neighbors on earth and would love one another; in Christendom there would be no wars, no armaments race, no commercial rivalry, no fears or jealousies or suspicions of one another, no racial prejudices or national pride or a superior air toward others less favored, no unfair dealings, no secret diplomacy, no alliances against others,
in fact, no nations at all, but all peoples of Christendom would blend into one and would have one government - God's government by Christ - and all would serve its interests for the blessing of all mankind. There would then be no graft in the visible government on earth, no abuse of power by those in office, no mudslinging or misrepresentation or false accusations in political elections, in fact, no opposing parties representing different policies, hence no politicians, no oppressing of their own poor people, not to speak of the oppressing and making gain of the outside poor and backward peoples. No, none of such things, but only blessings for all men.
Even before Christendom existed and down to this day the "heathen" have used images or relics in their worship, their priests or monks or religious leaders wear distinguishing garments, they have mysterious and awe-inspiring ceremonies, they celebrate numerous holidays, etc. So, when they see people of Christendom do such things, why should they feel obliged to change their own religion? Christendom believes in a fiery purgatory or in a hell of eternal torment of human souls after death, and will the heathen get less painful torture from Christendom's purgatory and hell than from their own heathenish purgatory or hell? Is Christendom's teaching of the "Holy Trinity" - of three persons in one God, namely, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost - less mysterious than their own heathenish triads of gods? Why should not the heathen think their own religions to be of greater antiquity and better than Christendom's religions, especially when Christendom has borrowed so much from heathendom?
Christendom dare not deny this fact; her own mouth confesses it. In 1878 the famous Roman Catholic cardinal of Great Britain, John Henry Cardinal Newman, published what he called "An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine"; and from chapter eight of his Essay the following words are quoted concerning Cardinal Newman's confidence in the power of the Roman Catholic Church to keep from being infected with evil, even when it adopts the pagan things of demon worship to evangelize the heathen:
"5. [Section 1, § 2] Confiding then in the power of Christianity to resist the infection of evil, and to transmute the very instruments and appendages of demon-worship to an evangelical use, and feeling also that these usages had originally come from primitive revelations and from the instinct of nature, though they had been corrupted; and that they must invent what they needed, if they did not use what they found; and that they were moreover possessed of the very archetypes, of which paganism attempted the shadows; the rulers of the Church from early times were prepared, should the occasion arise, to adopt, or imitate, or sanction the existing rites and customs of the populace, as well as the philosophy of the educated class.
"6. . . . The use of temples, and these dedicated to particular saints, and ornamented on occasions with branches of trees; incense lamps, and candles; votive offerings on recovery from illness; holy water; asylums, holydays and seasons, use of calendars, processions, blessings on the fields, sacerdotal vestments, the tonsure, the ring in marriage, turning to the East, images at a later date, perhaps the ecclesiastical chant, and the Kyrie Eleison [the
petition, Lord, have mercy on us], are all of pagan origin, and sanctified by their adoption into the Church."
The cardinal thus confesses that the Roman Catholic Church borrowed from the heathen to mix paganism in with the Roman Catholic ideas of Christianity. This was in disobedience to the command of God through the apostle Paul: "What fellowship has light with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what part has the believer with the unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God, as God says, 'I will dwell and move among them, I will be their God and they shall be my people.' Wherefore, 'Come out from among them, be separated, says the Lord, and touch not an unclean thing.'" -2 Corinthians 6:14-17, Catholic Biblical Association.
The first Protestant religious systems or sects broke away from the Catholic system in rebellion against the totalitarian rule of the pope of Rome. They now feel that they have a reformed religion, a purified form of Christianity superior to Roman Catholicism, and that God is with them and they are the light of the world. Said a Protestant clergyman in a Brooklyn (New York) church, November 7, 1954: "The forces of Protestantism are essentially true and the future is with it, because God is behind it, underneath it, above it and beyond it." "Protestantism is not a mere departure from established Christianity, it is not the establishment of something new, but the recovery of something that had been lost. We desire increasingly to be the successors and the true interpreters of the
Apostles and early members of the Christian Church." -New York Times, November 8, 1954. However, let Protestants bear in mind this: In departing from the established Roman Catholic Church with its pagan-drawn beliefs, philosophies, rites and ceremonies, the Protestant reformers discarded some things of Catholicism but held on to many things vital and fundamental to Catholicism. Where did the Protestant sects get Sunday observance, the crucifix, Christmas and Easter? Where did they get their teaching of the unexplainable, mysterious "trinity"? Where did they get their teachings of the immortality of the human soul, of a fiery hell for the everlasting torture of immortal human souls after death, of the fiery destruction of the world (the literal sun, moon, stars, planets and our earth) ? Whom did they copy in dividing up the church into the clergy (called Doctors of Divinity and Reverends) and the laity? In forming state churches or unions of state and church and meddling in the political affairs and violent controversies of the nations, whom do they imitate? Certainly not Bible Christians! Certainly not the Bible Christianity!
POINTED QUESTIONS AND AUTHORITATIVE ANSWERS
Since such proof exists that Christendom does not practice true Christianity, is there a real Christianity being practiced today anywhere? Since it was as long ago as nineteen centuries that Christianity appeared, is it practicable to be a Christian today? Can an intelligent, informed per-
son be a genuine Christian in such a late and modern age as this twentieth century? If so, are there true Christians in the midst of Christendom? Are the real kind of Christians a part of Christendom and are they responsible for her existence? Are true Christians today just an exception here and there to the mass of pretending ones, or are the actual Christians a separate, recognizable, organized body today? Who are Bible Christians today? Really, what is a Christian? Since Christendom has proved to be a "light that failed," has Christianity failed with her as "the light of the world"? To answer all this, we must now determine who are true Christians and whether these have failed.
A Christian is not one who merely calls Jesus Christ "Lord" or "Master," yet does not obey God. Jesus Christ said concerning our very day: "Not everyone saying to me, 'Master, Master,' will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will. Many will say to me in that day: 'Master, Master, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?' And yet then I will confess to them: I never knew you at all. Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness." (Matthew 7:21-23, NW) Hypocrites may call Jesus "Lord" or "Master," but he now rips away the hypocritical mask of these who work lawlessness toward the only living and true God. It was Jesus' disciples or learners who were called Christians, first at Antioch, Syria, and hence a Christian is one who accepts Christ's teaching and obeys it, believing the things he believed, preaching the things he preached, and following him or copying his ex-
ample in doing the will of his God and heavenly Father, even at the cost of life itself. (Matthew 16:24; 1 Peter 2:21) Said the apostle Paul: "Become imitators of me, even as I am of Christ." (1 Corinthians 11:1, NW) Since Jesus Christ said that a disciple should become as his teacher and a slave as his master, the question, What should a Christian be? can be answered authoritatively by answering the question, What was Jesus Christ as an example to his followers or imitators?
QUESTION: Was Jesus a monk, or were bis twelve apostles or tbe seventy evangelists whom he sent out monks? Did Jesus avoid the people for the sake of seclusion and for protecting himself against the temptations of this world?
ANSWER: No. Up until thirty years of age he was a carpenter at Nazareth and was called the son of the carpenter Joseph. At thirty he dedicated himself to the work God had sent him from heaven to do and he was baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. He was then led by God's holy spirit into the wilderness among the wild beasts. Here he came face to face with three great temptations by the great Tempter, the adversary, Satan the Devil. In resisting the Devil, Jesus refused to use his miraculous power for his own selfish benefit; he refused to put God to the test by attempting a spectacular leap from a temple pinnacle to prove to people he was God's Son; he refused to worship Satan as god but reserved his worship for Jehovah as the only living and true God, even
though the Devil offered him all the kingdoms of the world as a bargain.
Although the Devil was not then through with him, Jesus did not stay in the wilderness and become a hermit monk. At the end of forty days he left the wilderness and went out among the people
to do them good and to go before the sheeplike ones as their shepherd. His mother Mary was not a nun, but after conceiving Jesus by holy spirit she became the wife of Joseph the carpenter; nor were the various women that accompanied him at times to wait upon him nuns. He did not tell his apostles or his other disciples to establish monasteries or nunneries, but said to them before he ascended to heaven: "Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you." (Matthew 28:19, 20, NW) So true Christians do not hole up in monasteries, but go to the people of all nations with Christ's teachings. Monks, nuns are heathen.
QUESTION: Was Jesus as a bachelor against marriage and having children? What was his position toward divorce ?
ANSWER: He was not against marriage, but one of the first apostles that he picked was Peter, a married man. He blessed the little children who were brought to him. His first miracle, that of turning water into wine, was performed at a wedding feast that he and his mother and his disciples
attended. He was against "common-law marriage," such as is winked at by religious clergymen in many lands of Christendom. He was against easy divorce, but taught that the only Scriptural grounds for divorce was that of adultery or immorality by one of the marriage partners. He was against having more than one living wife. Through his apostle Paul he instructed that a Christian minister must be the husband of only one living wife, as Adam the first man had been in Eden with Eve. He was against immorality. He converted harlots or prostitutes rather than make or patronize them. Hence he said that tax collectors and harlots went into God's kingdom ahead of the unconvertible religious priests and elders. -Matthew 19:3-9; 21:31, 32; 1 Timothy 3:1-4,12.
QUESTION: What did Jesus and his disciples follow as their vocation, and how did they work at it?
ANSWER: After quitting the carpenter work at Nazareth and being baptized and anointed with God's spirit, Jesus preached God's message. He called his apostles from various secular occupations and sent them also out to preach, after he had taught them. His apostle Paul said: "Woe is me if I did not declare the good news!" In his preaching work Jesus and his disciples were repeatedly reported as being in the private houses of the people. It is manifest therefore that Jesus preached not only publicly in the temple, in synagogues, in the streets and at the seaside and in the mountains, to crowds, but also to individuals and
to the homes of the people, from house to house. In sending out his apostles and seventy evangelists to preach he instructed them to go, not only to different cities, but also to the private houses of the people. After ascending to heaven he poured out holy spirit upon his disciples assembled at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, and all those upon whom the spirit was outpoured were reported as follows: "Every day in the temple and from house to house they continued without letup teaching and declaring the good news about the Christ, Jesus." (1 Corinthians 9:16; Acts 5:42, NW) Paul, evidently Jesus' most zealous apostle, said of himself: "I did not hold back from telling you any of the things that were profitable nor from teaching you publicly and from house to house." (Acts 20: 20, NW) If anyone today objects to Jehovah's witnesses' using this method of preaching in public places and from house to house, he criticizes and objects to Jesus and his apostles for setting the example in using these methods.
So the first churches or congregations were established in homes of the people. Peter established a congregation in the home of Cornelius, the first uncircumcised, non-Jewish convert. Aquila and Priscilla had a church or congregation meet in their home, and Philemon had one meet in his home. The church is the congregation, and not the house or building. So do not be backward about going to a meeting in a home of one of Jehovah's witnesses. That was how Christianity started its meetings. It was the fallen-away or imitation Christians that took over the pagan temples and
turned such decorated structures into so-called "churches," to attract many churchgoers. -Romans 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:19; Philemon 2.
QUESTION: Did Jesus Christ and his twelve apostles gain a college or university degree and then graduate from a theological seminary to obtain the title of Doctor of Divinity or Reverend in order to have authority and an ordination to preach?
ANSWER: No. Jesus was a carpenter till thirty years of age. Then God's time came for him to preach. So he dedicated his life to doing God's will in this respect, and after he was baptized in water God anointed him or poured out his holy spirit upon him. In the Nazareth synagogue Jesus openly declared that God thus anointed or ordained him to preach and sent him to preach. He had no human unction or ordination. On the day of Pentecost Jesus, back in heaven, began anointing his disciples on earth with the holy spirit from God to preach; they likewise had no human ordination to preach from house to house or otherwise. (Luke 4:1-21; Isaiah 61:1-3; Acts 2:1-47; 5:42; 1 John 2:20, 27) Today Jehovah's witnesses do not need college diplomas or theological seminary certificates and clergy ordination to preach, for God ordains them through Christ after they have dedicated their lives to him to do his will and work. Jehovah's witnesses show from the Scriptures that only to do special preaching and ministerial work within a congregation a Christian must have an appointment or ordination by the governing body
of the earthly organization of God's people. (Acts 14:23; 6:2-6; 1 Timothy 3:1-15; 5:22; Titus 1:5-9) God gives his ordained ones his message.
QUESTION: Is the exposing of false religions a persecution of their adherents? Is it un-Christian bigotry?
ANSWER: No; otherwise Jesus Christ was a bigoted persecutor of the Jews, and his apostles and early disciples were the persecutors instead of the persecuted ones, and all of Jehovah's prophets of ancient times before Jesus were persecutors and bigots, for they all exposed the false religion of apostate Jews and of the heathen nations. Once, because King Herod Antipas of Judea threatened to kill him, Jesus called this wicked ruler "that fox." Jesus called the religious leaders of Judaism "blind guides," "hypocrites," "fools and blind ones," resembling "whitewashed graves," sons of murderers, "serpents, offspring of vipers," and Jerusalem he called "the killer of the prophets and stoner of those sent forth to her." (Luke 13:32; Matthew 15:14; 23:13,16,17, 23-25, 27, 31, 33, 37, NW) In The Revelation or Apocalypse the glorified Jesus in heaven called the false Christians who pretended to be spiritual Jews "a synagogue of Satan," and Jesus pictured the world's great system of religion which has relations with the political rulers of this world as a great harlot with a golden cup full of the unclean things of her fornication and as drunk with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. John, Jesus' beloved apostle, wrote this Revelation down. (Revelation 2:9; 3:9; 17:1-6, NW)
The disciple James called the worldly-acting Christians of his day "adulteresses." -James 4:4, NW.
Jehovah's witnesses of the present time are not to be called persecutors of other religions because of exposing their falseness and unscripturalness and because of applying to such religions those names, designations and symbols from the mouths and pens of Jesus Christ and his inspired disciples and all the inspired prophets previous to Jesus. God's command to his witnesses is: "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and declare unto my people their transgression, and to the house of Jacob their sins." (Isaiah 58:1, American Standard Version) If "the light of the world" must not be covered but must shine forth, there has to be an exposure of the dark things. The apostle Paul writes Christians not to suck in or assimilate the dark things of false religion: "Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.... all the things that are exposed are made manifest by the light: for all that is made manifest is light." (Ephesians 5:11-13, Catholic Biblical Assn.) To refuse to expose the dark things means not to be "the light of the world." To make the Jews his converts Jesus did not use an inquisition or fire and sword upon them, but tried to "open their blind eyes with the truth. Like him, Jehovah's witnesses of today do not persecute or brandish fire and sword to make converts, but let the truth shine. Love expresses itself in correcting, not in letting the error or wrong course go without an attempt to prevent disaster. "Open rebuke is better than hidden love." -Proverbs 27:5, CB.
QUESTION: To be a true Christian must one be in good standing with this world ? Is that what is meant by 'having a good testimony from them that are outside'? (1 Timothy 3: 7, NW) So, was Jesus popular, or were his apostles popular?
ANSWER: No. To be in good standing with the world at any time the Christian would have to compromise, because the world is hostile to God and his kingdom under Christ. Jesus was not popular even among his own nation, the religious Jews. It was because he taught the truth which exposed the error and called for a return to God and his commandments. Warning his disciples that they would not be popular either, Jesus said to them: "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were part of the world, the world would be fond of what is its own. Now because you are no part of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, on this account the world hates you." The Jews had no real reason to hate Jesus, but only reason to love him for telling the truth about Jehovah God and seeking to bring about their salvation. The Christians are slaves of Jesus Christ, who bought them with the sacrifice of his human life, and Jesus says to them: "Bear in mind the word I said to you, A slave is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will persecute you also." -John 15:18-20, 25, NW.
Concerning our own days, the "last days" with the most critical times, we read: "In fact, all those desiring to live with godly devotion in association
with Christ Jesus will also be persecuted." (2 Timothy 3:1,12, NW) So, if one imitates Jesus and is a real Christian, Satan the Devil will see to it that he is out of favor with this world and is persecuted, even by people who claim to be religious, as the Jews were. It is no discredit to Jehovah's witnesses, therefore, that they are hated in all the nations, in Christendom as well as in heathendom. As one of the proofs marking the end of this worldly system of things Jesus said to his disciples: "Then people will deliver you up to tribulation and will kill you, and you will be hated by all the nations on account of my name." (Matthew 24:9, NW) The fact that Jehovah's witnesses are thus hated everywhere raises the question as to whether they are the only real Christians today. Despite their being persecuted for their faithfulness to the Bible and preaching its truths, they do have a good testimony from those on the outside as to their morality, their being peaceable and law-abiding and orderly, and their being dependable workers, conscientious and efficient.
QUESTION: Is a Christian a pacifist?
ANSWER: No. A true Christian is no pacifist, even though he keeps the Beatitudes, including, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." (Matthew 5:9) Jesus, who pronounced the Beatitudes, was no pacifist, and God his Father is no pacifist. Almighty God fought victoriously for his friend Abraham against aggressive invaders of the Promised Land. Jehovah God also fought for Abraham's descendants,
the twelve tribes of Israel, performing many miracles to destroy their enemies. In the prophet Moses' day there was already in existence what he called "the book of the Wars of Jehovah." (Numbers 21:14, AS) Even late in Jewish or Israelite history we read: "Jehovah fought against the enemies of Israel." (2 Chronicles 20:29, AS) In one night the "angel of Jehovah" struck dead 185,000 Assyrian soldiers who were threatening His holy city of Jerusalem; and it is believed that this angel of Jehovah was Jehovah's only-begotten Son who later became Jesus Christ on earth. (2 Kings 19: 35, AS) Jesus on earth did not take up the literal sword to destroy human lives. When his apostle Peter struck a man with a sword in an attempt to defend Jesus, Jesus said: "Put up again thy sword into its place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword." (Matthew 26:52, AS) So Jesus did not die by the sword, but was nailed to a torture stake on Calvary because he was unpopular with the Jews.
Since Jesus' day Jehovah God has not fought for his Christian witnesses by destroying their enemies as He did the enemies of the Israelites, but has let many of these suffer martyrdom for their faithfulness to him. But at the oncoming battle of Armageddon Jehovah God will again fight by Jesus Christ in heaven for his people and destroy all their enemies along with the wicked worldly system of things. Armageddon will be His fight That is why Jesus called it "the battle of that great day of God Almighty." (Revelation 16: 14-16) Hence true Christians will not have to take up literal weapons and fight in that universal bat-
tle. However, they approve of Jehovah's battle of Armageddon, even as they approve of all other theocratic battles that he fought for his chosen people long ago before Christ. Hence Jehovah's witnesses are not extreme pacifists.
Both Jesus and the Bible prophecies foretold the wars of the worldly nations, including the world wars in our day, and therefore Jehovah's witnesses have never interfered with the nations in prosecuting these wars nor tried to obstruct the preparations for such wars. They have remained neutral, as God has and as Jesus Christ has, who said to the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate: "If my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence." (John 18:36) Therefore neither Jehovah God nor Jesus Christ nor his true followers have been responsible for the countless wars and the religious crusades against Mohammedans and other peoples with which Christendom has bloodied the pages of her history till now.
All the Christian Scriptures in the Bible declare that the Christian's warfare is spiritual and not against blood and flesh, and that the Christian's equipment is the "whole armor of God" and that "the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God." (Ephesians 6:11-18; 2 Corinthians 10:3, 4, AS) So true Christians are fighters against Satan and error and for truth and God's kingdom by Christ. For all these reasons Jehovah's witnesses, although they object conscientiously to breaking their Christian neutrality toward worldly conflicts, are not pacifists.
QUESTION: What did Jesus preach, and what did he say Christians should preach now?
ANSWER: Jesus Christ made God's kingdom or the "kingdom of heaven" the foremost subject of all his preaching. He instructed the twelve apostles and the seventy evangelists whom he sent out to preach God's kingdom. In his sermon on the mount he taught Christians to pray for the coming of God's kingdom. He foretold this time of the end of today's worldly system of things, but he did not say that his followers would then preach democracy, or communism, or fascism, or national socialism, or union of church and state, or Zionism, or moral rearmament of worldly politicians. He foretold, instead, that, in the face of persecution and world-wide hatred for true Christians, "this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." (Matthew 24:14) By "this gospel" is meant the good news of God's kingdom as having been established and not as yet to come, Jehovah's witnesses are the only ones today preaching this good news, particularly since the year 1914. For then God's kingdom by Christ was established in the heavens, to bring this old world to its end and bring in a righteous new world, as Jehovah's witnesses show from Bible prophecies and its time schedule and also from the world events since A.D. 1914.
QUESTION: Is a Christian in favor of remaking this old world and so in favor of the United Nations?
ANSWER: No. The true Christian is not for remaking this old world, since God's Word dooms it to destruction and predicts its end or total destruction at the "battle of that great day of God Almighty." The Christian is in the midst of this world, but, as Jesus Christ said concerning his disciples, "they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." (John 17:16) The Christian therefore does not take part in the filthy, corrupt politics of the world. He does not go campaigning for the rival politicians of the different political systems of this dying world. Yet he is law-abiding, obeying the man-made laws that are not opposed to God's always-righteous laws. He pays his taxes to the governments over him, as Jesus instructed, saying: "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's." (Matthew 22:21) The Christian cannot, therefore, be in favor of the United Nations, successor to the dead League of Nations, for the United Nations is a part of this doomed world; it is meant by worldly-wise politicians to keep this world from ending, and it is maintained as a human substitute for God's now established kingdom by Christ. Although the United Nations is religiously backed by Christendom, it is not of God but of God's great adversary. The Christian is first, last and all the time for God's kingdom by Christ, which he is now obligated to preach to all the nations before the complete end of this world comes at Armageddon. That is why the meeting places of Jehovah's witnesses are today called Kingdom Halls, as a testimony to Jehovah's kingdom by Christ.
QUESTION: Are Jehovah's witnesses a Christian organization, or, as one clergyman said, an "Old Testament" organization?
ANSWER: Jehovah's witnesses bear God's name and were foretold in the first thirty-nine books of the Bible, which Christendom calls the "Old Testament," but that does not make Jehovah's witnesses an Old Testament organization. They are a Christian organization, for they are conscientious disciples of Jesus Christ, having dedicated themselves wholly to God through the merit of Jesus Christ, and have been baptized as Jesus was and they now try to do God's will as Jesus set the example for them and instructed them. Their bearing the name "Jehovah's witnesses" does not put them under the old Law covenant under which the ancient Jews were, but they claim to be under the new covenant with Jesus Christ as its Mediator.
How, then, does the name Jehovah have anything to do with them as Christians? It is because Jehovah is the exclusive name of the Most High God, that name occurring at least 6,823 times in the sacred Hebrew Scriptures, as shown by the American Standard Version Bible. Moreover, Jehovah laid the foundation for Christianity in his Son Jesus Christ, and made the first Christian. He called Jesus "my servant." He anointed Jesus with holy spirit right after Jesus' baptism, thus making Jesus the Christ, for "Christ" means "Anointed One." (Isaiah 42:1; Matthew 12:15-18) Before Jesus there were witnesses of Jehovah all the way back to the third known man on earth, the martyr Abel. (Hebrews 11:1 to 12:2) But Jesus
became the first Christian witness of Jehovah. Jesus said he came to "bear witness" and he called himself "the faithful and true witness." (John 18:37; Revelation 3:14; 1:5) This agreed with Jehovah's words to his chosen people: "Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and I am God." (Isaiah 43:10-12; 42:8, AS) Since Jehovah God laid Jesus as the foundation stone of Christianity, Jehovah now belongs to Christianity, even as he once did to the natural Jews under the old covenant. Jesus Christ as Jehovah's chief witness left the example for his followers. Hence true Christians today must be Jehovah's witnesses, bearing witness not only to Jesus Christ as the reigning King but also to the name of his God and Father, Jehovah.
QUESTION: Who are the Bible Christians today?
ANSWER: Not letting ourselves be prejudiced against them by reason of the international and interreligious hatred against them, but honestly examining the facts about them and comparing the facts with the Holy Scriptures of the Bible, we are led irresistibly to the conclusion that Jehovah's witnesses are the Bible Christians of today. They resemble their great Leader and Exemplar, Jesus Christ. They believe, teach and stick to the whole Bible, including the "Old Testament" Hebrew Scriptures, which were the only Scriptures that Jesus Christ had on earth in his day. Despite the foretold persecution and international hatred, they are the only ones preaching the good news of God's established kingdom, which will put an end to this wicked, worldly system of things under Satan and usher in God's promised new world with op-
portunities for everlasting life on a paradise earth under God's kingdom for obedient mankind, even those dead in the graves to have an opportunity for such life by a resurrection from the dead. As true Christians, Jehovah's witnesses are in the world but are no part of the world, no, nor any part of war-ridden, bloodstained, religiously split, Communist-breeding Christendom. Jehovah's witnesses are not just an exceptional Christian here and there, but they are an organized, recognizable body, a New World society, preaching in already more than 160 lands and preparing themselves to live in God's new world forever.
THE LIGHT THAT HAS NOT FAILED
Not Christendom, but Christianity is "the light of the world." Christendom with her United Nations organization is the "light that failed" and has no future beyond the battle of Armageddon. True Bible Christianity has not failed, but in this twentieth century it is still the only "light of the world," for it is preached and practiced by Jehovah's witnesses, who have an everlasting future before them, clear through Armageddon and beyond it forever. Their God-given message of his established kingdom under Christ is the only bright message of hope based on the Bible, for God's kingdom is the only hope of all mankind. Under the hottest persecution they keep hold on their integrity toward Christianity and its God, Jehovah, and so they continue to flourish and increase.
Many who belong to church systems of Christendom will dispute the foregoing statements, but it is high time for persons who think themselves
Christians to wake up and examine whether they really are. (1 Thessalonians 5:21, 22; 2 Corinthians 13:5, 6) Self-deception will not save anyone nor guarantee a stubborn person a resurrection in the new world or a safe passage through the battle of Armageddon into the new world without dying. Zeal toward God must not be an ignorant and self-righteous zeal to be of real benefit and protection. Zeal must show itself eager to learn the Bible truth and to attain to God-given righteousness. (Romans 10:2-4) Then, with true knowledge, the person with zeal toward God will be led out of the darkness and confusion and doom of Christendom and will come to unity of faith with the true Christians in the New World society.
Those of you who are honest non-Christians or heathen and who have till now refused to accept the Holy Bible and Christianity because of the false exhibition that Christendom has made of it, do not let yourselves be further stumbled. Look away from Christianity's worst earthly enemy, hypocritical Christendom, and turn to Jehovah's witnesses. They are letting the light of God's kingdom shine to the far corners of the earth. Let them as representatives of Jesus Christ the reigning King enlighten you and show you the way through the "battle of that great day of God Almighty" into the endless new world of peace, righteousness and healthy, happy life under God's love through Jesus Christ. Then you yourself shine forth the good news to others and thus become a part of "the light of the world."