"They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world."
John 17: 16.
JEHOVAH is the God of peace: "The God of peace be with you all." (Rom. 15: 33) "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly." (1 Thess. 5: 23) Jehovah is not a pacifist, as that word is generally defined. In his own due time Jehovah makes war against those who blaspheme his name and defy Him and who oppose THE THEOCRACY. "The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly." (Rom. 16: 20) Jehovah God is always neutral in a controversy or war between nations or peoples who are on the side of Satan and a part of Satan's world.
Christ Jesus is "the Prince of Peace", and when his kingdom is fully in operation there will be no end to peace. (Isa. 9: 6, 7; Heb. 7: 1, 2) But Christ Jesus is not a pacifist. In God's due time and at God's command he makes war upon Satan and all of his organization and will completely destroy all the wicked. (Rev. 19: 11; Ps. 110: 2-4) When there is a controversy or war between those who are of Satan's organization Christ Jesus is always neutral as to the contending sides.
"Neutrality" means to decline or refuse to engage in a controversy or war which is between others, and particularly when such warring nations are unfriendly to the neutral one. In such controversies or wars the neutral one does not take the part of either side, but refuses to take up the fight of one as against the other; and this is particularly true where the neutral one has no just cause to interfere.
The position of Jehovah's witnesses should be clearly and definitely defined, and that position must be fully supported by the Scriptures. Jehovah's witnesses are Christians, who follow the lead of Christ Jesus their Head in obeying the commandments of the Almighty God, and who are therefore wholly and entirely devoted to the kingdom of God, which is THE THEOCRACY. The mere fact that one claims to be a Christian does not mean that he is in fact a Christian.
His course of action must prove his claim. A Christian is one who has fully covenanted to do the will of Almighty God and therefore to be obedient to God's commandments even as Christ Jesus, the beloved and exalted Son of God, obeys Jehovah's commandments. As Christ Jesus is, so are his followers, Jehovah's witnesses, in this world. — 1 John 4: 17.
There is now war among some of the nations of earth. Some of the nations not actually at war have declared their neutrality. It will be difficult for the officials of the nations to clearly understand the real neutrality of Jehovah's witnesses, but their position must be so clearly stated that there may be no occasion to have any doubt as to where they stand and no doubt as to the correctness of the position they take or have taken.
The true followers of Christ Jesus must follow where Christ Jesus leads, because they are called to take that exact course and they must be diligent to obey his and Jehovah's commandments. (1 Pet. 2: 21) Wherever there is a conflict between the laws of the nations and the laws of Almighty God the Christian must always obey God's law in preference to man's law. All laws of men or nations in harmony with God's law the Christian obeys. The words of Jesus, spoken to his disciples, apply to all persons who have made a covenant to be obedient to Almighty God. Concerning such Jesus says: "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." (John 17: 16) That Jesus intended this rule to apply to everyone who becomes a real Christian is proved by his words, as follows: "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word." (John 17: 20) Jesus is sanctified or set aside entirely to the work of his Father, Jehovah, and concerning those who agree to follow in his steps Jesus says: "As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth." — John 17:18,19.
The world mentioned by Jesus consists of the nations of earth under the supervision of the invisible overlord, Satan. (2 Cor. 4:4; John 12: 31; John 14: 30) The world of Satan, therefore, consists of the invisible, called "heavens," and the visible, called "earth"; and
which world, in God's due time, will be completely destroyed. (2 Pet. 3: 7) Jehovah's witnesses are set aside and commissioned by Jehovah God to be the representatives on the earth of the Most High, the Great Theocrat. Jehovah's witnesses are not a political or religious organization, and they have no part in the political affairs of this world, not even of the nations wherein they have their domicile. The authority for this position is clearly stated by Jesus, to wit: "I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them [like aliens and strangers], because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." — John 17: 14.
Further addressing his true followers, the Lord Jesus says: "If ye were of the world [that is, a part of any of the nations participating in war with other nations], the world [that is, the rulers and supporters] would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you [the followers of Christ Jesus] out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." — John 15: 19.
The fact that the true followers of Christ Jesus, real Christians, are hated by the nations of earth is conclusive proof that such Christians must be neutral and not enter into any alliance with nations that are engaged at war with other nations. Some of the nations of earth, such as the United States, are now neutral toward other nations, but the United States or other neutral nations are not hated because of that neutrality. They are a part of the world and continue to have commercial dealings with the nations that are at- war. The position of Jehovah's witnesses is entirely different from that of the nations of earth. Jehovah's witnesses are entirely neutral for Jehovah's name's sake, and because thereof they are hated, as Jesus stated, "for my name's sake," and the sake of his Father's name. Jehovah's witnesses are entirely for the Theocratic Government of the Almighty God by Christ Jesus the King. The uninterrupted rule of Satan has ended, and therefore great woes have come upon the nations of the earth. (Rev. 12: 12) Concerning the end of Satan's world the Lord Jesus says: "Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom"; and in this connection Jesus, further speaking concerning the Christian, says: "And ye [the followers of Christ Jesus] shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake." (Matt. 24: 7-9)
This alone proves that Jehovah's witnesses are entirely separate and apart from the nations of this world.
Many centuries ago Jehovah, the Almighty God, declared his purpose to set up the THEOCRATIC GOVERNMENT, which is his kingdom by Christ Jesus, and which kingdom shall rule the earth in righteousness. In the year 29 (A.D.) Christ Jesus was anointed and commissioned as King of the Theocratic Government or Kingdom, which he declared would be set up at his second coming. Christ Jesus was entirely neutral toward nations when he was on earth. He did not instruct his followers to take sides with any government or any nations of earth in their controversies, but he emphatically instructed all his true followers to devote themselves entirely to God's kingdom, THE THEOCRACY. He urged upon them the necessity of always praying for the coming and full operation of THE THEOCRACY: "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." — Matt. 6: 10.
He told his followers that the nations of this world seek entirely after material or selfish things, and then to his followers he said: "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness [that is, seek THE THEOCRACY, and not democracy, totalitarianism, Fascism, or any other political government]; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matt. 6: 33) The Christian, that is to say, the true follower of Christ Jesus, who is for the government of Jehovah, could not take sides for or against any political government now on earth. Great religious organizations and the Fascists say, "We expect to rule the earth"; while the democracies say, "We will rule the earth"; and all of these are against Jehovah God's kingdom by Christ Jesus. That his followers might have no reason to take a wrongful course Jesus instructs them to give no concern to the affairs of this world, and then adds: "For all these things do the nations of the world seek after; and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." (Luke 12: 30-32) Here is the positive and emphatic instruction that those who will have a part
in the THEOCRATIC GOVERNMENT, that is, in God's heavenly kingdom, must be entirely neutral with reference to earthly nations.
Every nation on the earth, including those that are at war and those that are not now at war, endorse and practice religion, and religion and politics operate together, and not one of such nations is for the Theocratic Government of Jehovah, but all are against it. The nations of the earth pursue the selfish course for commercial and political gain. Some of these nations call themselves "Christian" nations, but they are all opposed to the kingdom of God by Christ Jesus. Every religious institution under the sun has some part in the affairs of this world, and therefore constitutes a part of this world; and that explains why the rulers of the nations of this world do not hate the religious systems, as Jesus stated his followers are hated for his name's sake. That proves that these religious systems are not for the name of Jehovah God nor for the name of Christ Jesus, but against God and his kingdom. The instructions given to those who are for the Theocratic government are that their citizenship is in heaven and their duty is to be entirely loyal and faithful to the heavenly government by Christ Jesus. Concerning this it is written; "(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ; whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things [commercial, political and religious things].) For our citizenship is in heaven [A.R.V.]; from whence also we look for the Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ." (Phil. 3: 18-20) Mark this strong contrast pointed out between those who are Christians and those religionists, that is, who are of this world.
Does the Lord instruct his people to indulge in war for one nation against another nation? No; but, on the contrary, the emphatic instruction to the Christian is stated in these words: "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this [world]; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier." — 2 Tim. 2: 3, 4.
One could not be a soldier of Jesus Christ and at the same time a soldier of the nation that is under the
supervision of God's enemy, the Devil. Hence the Christian does not entangle himself with the affairs of this world: "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God [the great THEOCRATIC GOVERNMENT], and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ [the King of The THEOCRACY]." (2 Cor. 10: 3-5) Then the Christian is specifically instructed as to the warfare to which he is subjected: "For ours is not a conflict with . . . flesh and blood, but with the despotisms, the empires, the forces that control and govern this dark world — the spiritual hosts of evil arrayed against us in the heavenly warfare." — Eph. 6: 12, Weymouth.
The war of one nation against another nation of the earth is not the fight of the followers of Christ Jesus. If the nations of this world desire to fight, that is their affair entirely, and it is not at all the affair of one who has made a covenant to be faithful to Almighty God and his King and Kingdom. The Christian must not interfere in the least manner with the war between the nations. The Christian is not to interfere with the drafting of men of either nation that goes to war. That is the affair of the nations of this world. The Christian must be entirely neutral, and this without regard to his place of birth or nationality. It is the privilege of each Christian to make his own position and relationship to the Lord clearly to be understood, that he is separate and apart from any of the nations of this world. Jehovah's witnesses have separated themselves entirely from this world by covenanting to be faithful to God's kingdom, and they have received the commission from Jehovah God to aid and comfort the peoples of the earth who seek righteousness, and that without regard to what nation such people may be subject to. They bring comfort to those who are seeking the right way, by declaring to them the name and the kingdom of Almighty God by Christ Jesus, calling their attention to the emphatic word of God that his kingdom is the only hope for mankind. (Isa. 61: 1, 2; Matt. 12: 18-21). To those who have covenanted to do God's will as followers of Christ Jesus he says: "Ye are my witnesses
. . that I am God"; that is, the Supreme One, and who gives peace and salvation to those who do his will. (Isa. 43:10,12; Ps. 3: 8) Officials of the nations of this world and who have to do with the selecting of the army cannot have a proper appreciation of the scriptures hereinbefore mentioned, for the reason that they are of the world and have not devoted themselves to Almighty God. Concerning this it is written: "But the natural man [the man devoted to the things of Satan's world] receiveth not the things of the spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the spirit of God." — 1 Cor. 2: 14, 11.
The fact that worldly men and officials do not understand and appreciate the clear distinction between the nations of this world and the great THEOCRATIC GOVERNMENT of Jehovah God by Christ Jesus is no excuse for a Christian to yield to the demands of worldly nations. The Christian has made a covenant to be faithful to God and to his kingdom; and for the Christian to willingly break that convenant means his everlasting destruction. The position here announced of the Christian is nothing new, but was clearly set forth in the Scriptures long centuries ago for the guidance of the man of righteousness who has agreed to be faithful to Almighty God.
Jehovah used the Israelites to set up a typical theocracy, which foreshadowed his real and great Theocracy, his kingdom by Christ Jesus. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were faithful representatives of Jehovah God, and they were always neutral in the wars of other nations. Abraham had nothing to do with the fight between the rulers of Sodom and Gomorrah and their enemies. The invaders overran the land of Sodom and Gomorrah, and a great conflict raged between them. Abraham and Lot, his nephew, were there, but they took no part whatsoever in that war. (Gen. 14: 1-3) After that war between the contending nations was all over and one side seized Lot and his property and fled with the same, Abraham did pursue the invaders, not because he was an ally of the defeated ones, but because
one of the enemy had seized and carried away Lot, the "righteous man." (2 Pet, 2: 7, 8) Then Abraham pursued the invaders and recovered Lot, his nephew, and not because he was his nephew, but because Lot was a faithful servant of Almighty God. Thus the divine rule is established that one of God's devoted servants is justified in acting in behalf of his fellow servants, the servants of God. The rescue of Lot accomplished by the armed forces of Abraham was fully approved by Jehovah, as shown by the following scriptures: "And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine; and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all." — Gen. 14: 18-20.
Abraham's neutrality and the fact that he was not in any alliance with either of the warring factions are further proved by his refusal to accept any reward whatsoever or any part of the spoils taken from the enemy. (Gen. 14: 21-24) This proves that Abraham was not the servant of any earthly king, but that he was the servant and representative of Jehovah God, the great THEOCRAT. Abraham's neutrality was due to the fact that he was wholly devoted to the THEOCRATIC GOVERNMENT, and therefore God addressed him as his "friend." This is further proved by what is written concerning Abraham, to wit: "By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he looked for a city [government] which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." — Heb. 11: 9, 10.
This scripture proves that he was a stranger and did not act as a native nationalist, putting the state above Almighty God. He dwelt in tents with Isaac and Jacob, and thus showed himself separate and apart from the others and that he was a noncombatant. He was a sheep herder, engaged in a peaceful business, and had no part in the affairs of the government in the land where he resided. He had his mind and heart set upon God's kingdom, the GREAT THEOCRACY; and further it is written concerning him; "Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the
stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced [saluted] them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." — Heb. 11: 12, 13. (See Diaglott, Rotherham's, and Young's translation.)
He "saluted" and thus attributed salvation to Almighty God, and hence he did not salute the flag of those worldly governments and attribute salvation and protection to them. He did not look for protection or salvation from any earthly government, and therefore it is written concerning him: "For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned." — Heb. 11: 14, 15.
He could have returned to those governments whence he came by saluting their flag, and thus denying Jehovah God. And why did he not do so? The Scriptures answer: "But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly [that is, The Theocratic Government of Jehovah by Christ Jesus]: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for he hath prepared for them a city." — Vs. 16.
Abraham's neutrality was typical, and furnishes the true and correct guide for the Christians, who form a part of God's "holy nation"; and concerning which it is written: "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him [Jehovah, the Great Theocrat, by faithfully representing him and his government, and not by showing forth the praises of men] who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light." — 1 Pet. 2: 9.
Further showing that the true followers of Christ Jesus are separate and distinct from the nations of this earth, the scripture continues: "Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims [that is, not native nationalists or any part of Satan's world], . . . having your conversation [behavior, course of action] honest among Gentiles [nations]; that, whereas they speak against you as evil doers, they may by your good works [of faithfully representing Jehovah's theocratic govern-
ment by always bearing testimony to his name and kingdom by the course of action you take], which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation [that is, the coming of distress and trouble upon the nations of the earth at Armageddon." — 1 Pet. 2: 11, 12. The only reason for any of the true followers of Christ Jesus to now be upon the earth is that they might bear witness to the name of Jehovah God and proclaim his kingdom. By remaining absolutely and entirely neutral in the controversies and wars between the nations, these Christians stand forth for the witness of the Most High and thus fulfill their commission, maintain their integrity, and prove their faithfulness to Almighty God and his King.
There was a time when those who are now Jehovah's witnesses were a part of this world, but, having made a solemn covenant to do the will of Almighty God and having become the true followers of Christ Jesus, such are no longer any part of the world. "That at that time [as citizens of the world and hence a part of earthly governments] ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world; but now, in Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were far off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone." — Eph.2:12,13,19,20.
Being in Christ Jesus, one can no longer take sides in the controversies and wars between the peoples and nations, all of which nations are against Jehovah's kingdom: "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." — Col. 3: 1-4.
The truly covenant people of Almighty God now on earth are not pro-"foreign power," nor hyphenated nationalists, with a divided human allegiance; they are not propagandists for either side of the warring factions. They are separate and distinct from all such
and are solely the witnesses of Jehovah God and his THEOCRATIC GOVERNMENT, and hence they must stand aloof from every nation of this world. They must declare the kingdom of God, and without doing so they cannot be faithful to God and receive his approval and salvation to life. To them obedience to the world means everlasting destruction; obedience to Almighty God means everlasting life. What, then, must they do? They must be witnesses for the Lord and obey his commandments by pointing the people to his King and his Kingdom. — Matt. 24: 7, 14.
It has been claimed that the wars of the nation of Israel against other nations is proof that wars between nations may be properly indulged in and hence that Christians should join with other nations in making war. Such reasoning finds no support whatsoever in the Scriptures. The nation of Israel was not organized by any political ruler or dictator or usurper. That was God's typical nation, formed and organized by the great THEOCRAT for the purpose of picturing the real THEOCRACY that shall rule the world by Christ Jesus. Israel had no man-made laws and no political parties and no religious advisers to direct the political affairs. This was true as long as that nation remained faithful to God. God chose the earthly location for his typical theocratic nation, as it is written: "A land which the Lord thy God careth for; the eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year." (Deut. 11: 12) "When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel." (Deut. 32: 8) Jehovah God, the great THEOCRAT, was the ruler of that typical nation Israel, and his will the only law of the nation.
The land assigned to Israel was held in possession previously by the Canaanites and others who were devoted to devil-worship, and who therefore were against Jehovah God. That land God had given to Abraham and to his seed after him. (Gen 13: 14-17; 15: 18-21; Ps. 105: 8-12) The Canaanites, who were against God, refused to surrender possession to God's chosen people and refused to come over on the side of the great
Theocrat, and therefore they must be ousted. The only exception was the people of Gibeon, who voluntarily put themselves on the side of Jehovah and who therefore received protection and deliverance at the hand of God's chosen servant Joshua. Israel's wars against the Canaanites were carried on by the direction of Jehovah God. — Deut. 7:1; Ex. 34: 24.
Joshua, whose name is the same as Jesus and who foreshadowed Christ Jesus, carried on such wars by the direct command of the Almighty God, and Joshua gained the victory for that reason. — Joshua chapters 9 and 10; Joshua 11: 20-23.
Israel was the only nation of earth to which God ever assigned any territory and authorized them to take possession of it by force. Hence the wars of Israel for gaining possession of what belonged to them by the gift of Almighty God foreshadowed Christ Jesus' taking possession of the entire earth, a gift to him from Jehovah God, and Christ acts under the command of the Almighty. (Ps. 2: 6-12) The Israelites did not invade that which belonged to others. They took the land that belonged to them by a gift from Jehovah. Their participation in war was by the command of the Almighty God, and their obedience to his commandment was more acceptable than sacrifice. (1 Sam. 15: 20-23) Such wars were righteous; hence God heard and answered the prayers of his typical people as long as they obeyed him. Victory was not granted to them by reason of their superior military equipment, but because God exercised his almighty power in their behalf. (Joshua 10: 14) King David carried out God's command in taking possession of the entire domain which the great Theocrat had assigned to His typical people. (2 Samuel 8; 1 Ki. 4: 21) Thus he pictured the Greater David, Christ Jesus, taking possession of the entire earth.
When the Israelites violated their covenant with God he permitted them to be punished by their enemies, and they never gained the victory over their enemies under such circumstances. But when the Israelites repented and turned to God he drove out their enemy invaders and gave Israel the victory. (Judges chapters 6 and 7) All these things happened to Israel for types and were written and recorded for the advice and guidance of faithful Christians now on the earth. (1 Cor.
10: 11) None of the nations of "Christendom" ever had any territory assigned to them by the great Theocrat, Jehovah. The so-called "Christian" nations have taken possession of land by what they call "the right of discovery" or by purchase or by conquest, and not by God's will. "Christendom" is the antitype of unfaithful Israel, which unfaithful people lost the whole land by reason of their unfaithfulness to God. "Christendom," that is, the so-called "Christian" nations, are without any authority whatsoever from Almighty God to engage in war and with his approval and blessing. Hence the wars between the nations of the earth, even defensive wars, find no support or justification in the wars that Israel engaged in. There is nothing, therefore, that would justify the true Christian in obeying the political and religious rulers in taking up arms for aggressive war or even for defensive war of one worldly nation against another worldly nation. If the nations of "Christendom" or any other nations of earth desire to engage in war and do so, that is their affair, and it is the duty of God's covenant people to remain entirely neutral as to such wars. Religious leaders, forming a part of this evil world, insist that Christians should engage in war between nations, citing the experiences of Israel as authority. The most powerful religious organization on earth now attempts to justify war, that is, war now raging between the nations, and hence the Roman Catholic Hierarchy of Authority urges the religionists of the various nations to take sides and go to war. Evidently they have overlooked their own previously announced conclusions upon this point. Some conscientious member of the Hierarchy at one time wrote and published the correct position in this matter, to wit: "Here, also, it is to be noted that nations cannot draw a parallel from the Old-Testament titles. The Israelites lived under a theocracy; God, as Supreme Lord of all the earth, in specific instances, by the exercise of His supreme dominion, transferred the ownership of alien lands to the Israelites; by His command they waged war to obtain possession of it, and their title to war was the ownership (thus given them) of the land for which they fought. The privation thus wrought upon its prior owners and actual possessors had, moreover, the character of punishment visited upon them by
God's order for offences committed against Him. No state can find such title existing for itself under the natural law." — The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 15, under the heading "War," and subtitle IV, page 548, column 2.
Contrary to their once announced correct doctrine, the Catholic clergy in various nations now advise the "Catholic population" to participate in a war, evidently reasoning that their failure to do so would cause the Hierarchy to lose much financial support. It is therefore apparent that they are willing to repudiate their former and once correct position and sacrifice human lives in order to maintain their own present position with the parts of this wicked world.
The Scriptures furnish no precedent or authority for a Christian to engage in war for one nation as against another, for the manifest reason that all such nations are against the great THEOCRATIC GOVERNMENT and hence the fight between the nations is not the fight of one who is in a covenant to do the will of the Almighty God. The Israelites' wars, which Jehovah approved, were for the purpose of taking possession of their own land. Outside of their own territory assigned to them by the Lord they were not authorized to extend their warfare to any more territory at any time. — See Deuteronomy 2: 1-9, 19, 37.
When the holy land was invaded by other nations the Israelites were authorized to fight in a defensive war against such invaders. Specific examples are found in the Scriptures in reference to invasion by Egypt, Ethiopia, Syria and Assyria, and in which Jehovah not only approved the action of his typical people but came to their defense and fought their battles for them. (2 Ki. 18: 9-37; 19: 1-36; 2 Chron. 14: 9-15) When the internal enemy who was against God and his people rose up against them in war they were authorized to fight in self-defense and to subdue the anti-theocratic uprising. Such was the rule that God gave to the Israelites. — See Judges, chapters 3 to 16.
In the wars that raged between the nations in the outside world beyond the boundaries of the Theocratic territory of Israel the Israelites were commanded to remain neutral, and did remain neutral as long as faithful to Jehovah. When they violated that neutrality they suffered defeat and did not have God's help.
(2 Ki. 23: 29-35; 2 Chron. 35: 20-24) This rule governing the typical theocracy fixes the rule by which those who are of the real Theocracy must be guided.
"CHRISTENDOM" NOT THEOCRATIC
There is no so-called "Christian nation" of so-called "Christendom" that is a theocracy, or any part thereof, because not one of such nations even claims Almighty God as the Ruler. All these nations are ruled according to man's law. If such nations had Jehovah God for ruler the political power could not enforce conscription laws. The law of the political governments is not theocratic. Since God commands all of his covenant people to keep themselves aloof from the world and thereby devote themselves entirely and wholly to his kingdom, no person in a covenant to do the will of God is under obligation to take up arms for one political government as against another political government. The interest of the state and the interest of God's theocratic government are not common. The ordinances or laws of the state do not express the will of Almighty God, because God has not authorized any political nation to act for him in declaring and making war on another nation. Exactly the opposite is the Scriptural rule: "Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world [of which 'Christendom' is a part]; 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 [not from the source of 'Christendom']." (John 18: 36) Again says the Word of the great Theocrat: "Blessed is the nation whose God is Jehovah, the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance." (Ps. 33: 12, A.R.V.) Not one nation within the realm of so-called "Christendom" has Jehovah for its God and Ruler, but all such nations hate Jehovah God and his government by Christ Jesus and hate those who bear testimony to his name and his government. (Matt. 24:9) In Germany there are some Christians that are truly and fully the covenant people of God. Why should they fight for Hitler and his gangsters that defy the Almighty God and persecute those who serve Jehovah God and Christ Jesus? Some of these faithful Christians have recently been as the press announces, executed, that is, put to death, because they would not bear arms at
the command of Hitler. Thus the executed one proved his integrity and faithfulness to the great THEOCRATIC GOVERNMENT and is guaranteed resurrection and life everlasting; which no gangster such as Hitler will ever get. — Rev. 2: 10.
The THEOCRACY is the heavenly, invisible government of Jehovah God by Christ Jesus, the King, who is invisible to human eyes. (Isa. 9: 6, 7) That government is not allied with or represented by any religious, political, judicial government on the earth. If the church-state governments were a part of God's Theocracy, then there would be only one government, under one Leader, Christ Jesus. Hence there could be no war between them. There would be no international division, and no rivalry, and hence no bloody conflict between the peoples of those nations. Neither would the clergy of one of such nations pray to some reputed "god" to favor one of such countries at war as against another nation at war. Christ is not divided. The Theocracy is one inseparable, righteous government, always righteous. ( 1 Cor. 1:10-13; 3: 1-4) It follows, therefore, that Jehovah must be neutral, and hence his ear is deaf to the prayers of the clergy of all sides of the war between the nations. Jehovah God hears only the prayers of those who are for his THEOCRATIC GOVERNMENT. (1 Pet. 3: 12) A religious state is anti-Theocracy, and to such state God shows no favors over another like state or nation. Jehovah God is neutral, and his covenant people who have vowed to serve him and his THEOCRACY must therefore remain neutral, depending wholly and entirely upon God for protection and salvation. — 2 Cor. 10: 3, 4.
A "pacifist" may properly be defined as one who refuses to fight under any and all circumstances. The covenant people of God are not pacifists, even as God and Christ are not pacifists. God's covenant people are authorized to defend themselves against those who fight against the THEOCRATIC GOVERNMENT. Nehemiah of Judah was in times of peace the official of the Persian government. He did not engage in building up military defenses for Persia. Because he remained neutral he was falsely accused as a seditionist. (Neh. 1: 11; 2: 1-20) Nehemiah devoted himself to
building up and strengthening the interest of Jehovah's typical covenant people as against the anti-God forces. (Neh. 4: 7-23) His opponents conspired together to fight against Jerusalem and to prevent God's covenant people from carrying out the commandments of the Almighty. Therefore Nehemiah armed the servants of God, who worked with him, and commanded them to "fight for your brethren." — Neh. 4: 1, 14.
Likewise Zerubbabel, who was commanded by Jehovah to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem. (Ezra 1:1-11; 2:1,2; 3:1-13) He did not devote himself to the building up of military defenses of Medo-Persia; and because he remained neutral as to the political state Zerubbabel was accused of sedition, which charge was false. (Ezra 4: 6-24) But Jehovah God protected and blessed Zerubbabel in his work in behalf of the covenant people of God. (Ezra 5: 1-17; 6: 1-22) Thus God's rule is fixed. Likewise Jehovah's witnesses today, in caring for the interest of The THEOCRACY by arranging for and holding public meetings and there proclaiming the name of Jehovah and his King, and by advertising the kingdom as commanded, have the right to defend themselves against the assaults of the anti-God, anti-Kingdom crowd who would hinder such work which God has commanded them to do; and in defending themselves they have the approval of the Almighty. — See The Watchtower, "Doom of Religion." September 15, 1939, page 279.
Being entirely neutral "as between the nations of earth Jehovah's witnesses do not pray to God for one political ruler as against another. They do not pray, as commanded by the ruler of any earthly government, for the success of the armies of one nation against another, but they pray as Jehovah God, by Christ Jesus, has commanded them to pray, to wit: 'Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven.' (Matt. 6:10) God's people are now living on the earth practically under all earthly governments, and it would be entirely inconsistent for them to pray for one government as against another, and particularly in view of the fact that all of such earthly governments are against God's kingdom. Jehovah's witnesses pray to their Father in heaven, who is eternal, and who is neutral as to all earthly governments, and who declares that in his own due time he will by the hand of Christ
Jesus completely destroy all governments that are opposed to and against THE THEOCRACY, for the reason that such opposing governments are under the hand of Satan.
Jehovah's neutrality is further proved by the fact that he ordered his anointed King, following his resurrection, to take no action for or against any other nation on earth until due time for the Theocratic rule to begin. He commanded Christ Jesus to remain inactive toward all such nations until God sends him forth to rule; which he did in 1914: "The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion; rule thou in the midst of thine enemies." (Ps. 110: 1, 2; Heb. 10: 12, 13) At the end of the world, that is, after the time came for Satan to be ousted, God sent forth his King to rule. That did not mean that Jehovah was taking sides between the nations which rise up against each other in war (Matt. 24: 7, 8), nor did Jesus tell his faithful followers to take sides, but, on the contrary, he commanded them to go about amongst all the nations and preach the good news, giving testimony that Satan's world had ended and that the kingdom of righteousness is at hand, which shall vindicate Jehovah's name and bring blessings to the obedient people (Matt. 24: 14) The end of Satan's world has come, and God by Christ Jesus takes a hand in completely ousting Satan and all of his supporters from the earth because the earth belongs to Christ Jesus as a gift from Jehovah God. — Ps. 2: 8, 9.
The rule by which Jehovah's covenant people must now be governed is that of strict neutrality between the nations at war. It is the privilege of all nations to fight it out amongst themselves, but the Christian must not interfere, by word or act, with the governments in any action they may take with reference to the conscription of men or material for the war. The covenant people of God must keep their hands off, because it is not their fight and it would be wrong to try to induce others not to fight. Each one must determine for himself his relationship to God and his government.
Jehovah favors no political nation as against another like nation. In due time he expresses his wrath against all such nations, because all are against his kingdom,
"Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people; let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it. For the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies; he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter." (Isa. 34: 1, 2) — Jer. 25: 31. 32; Zeph. 3:8; Hag. 2: 22; Rev. 11: 17, 18.
DIVIDING THE PEOPLE
Jehovah assumes no responsibility for national division, that is for one system of government of men as against another system of government. On the contrary, Christ Jesus, Jehovah's King, is now present, judging and separating the people of all nations into two classes, that is to say, the obedient ones in one class, designated as "sheep," and the disobedient or opposing ones, designated as "goats." (Matt. 25:31-46) The questions or issues upon which the individual division takes place and which all such individuals must by their course of action answer are these: Are you for the Theocratic rule by Christ Jesus the King? Do you, on the contrary, favor the continuation of Satan's rule by the political and religious elements of this world? Each individual must choose for himself.
Jehovah's covenant people stand aloof from the nations that are anti-Theocracy, and they must remain neutral as to all such nations. There is but one nation that has Jehovah's approval, and that is his "holy nation," composed of Christ Jesus, the Head and Ruler, and all those who fully support and are associated with Christ Jesus. (1 Pet. 2: 9) These faithful followers of Christ Jesus, in order to live, must prove their integrity and remain true and faithful to Jehovah and his King. Now the nations of earth, controlled by the religious and political rulers, conspire together to cause God's covenant people to be cut off from being a holy nation. (Pass. 83: 2-18; 2: 2-6) As to all such opposing nations, they are the enemies of God and of his covenant people, and therefore the covenant people must not mix up with or become a part of any of such opposing nations.
What shall be the end of those nations that oppose the Theocracy and that persecute the faithful witnesses and their "companions," who obey the commandments of God by preaching this "gospel of the kingdom"? Jesus answers that question as follows: "And shall not
God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" — Luke 18: 7, 8.
Even if some nations of earth have heretofore declared that they are God's nation, it is certainly true now that every nation on earth has forgotten God and now opposes his Theocratic government. Because they oppose that kingdom and those who work under the King's supervision, all such nations are wicked and their end is fixed. "The Lord is known by the judgment which he executeth; the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. . . . The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations [(Hebrew) goyim] that forget God." (Ps. 9: 16, 17) Concerning such Jehovah directs his covenant people to pray; "Arise, O Lord; let not man prevail; let the heathen [(Hebrew) goyim; nations] be judged in thy sight. Put them in fear, O Lord; that the nations may know themselves to be but men." (Ps. 9: 19, 20) "O God, the heathen [(Hebrew) goyim] are come into thine inheritance; thy holy temple have they defiled; they have laid Jerusalem on heaps." "Pour out thy wrath upon the heathen that have not known thee, and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon thy name [in spirit and in truth and without hypocrisy]." (Ps. 79; 1, 6; 2 Tim. 3: 5) (Isa. 64: 1, 2; Rev. 11: 17, 18) It would be entirely inconsistent and in disobedience to God's' commandments for any covenant child of his who supports His THEOCRACY to line up with and fight for one earthly nation as against another earthly nation, both of which nations are against the THEOCRATIC GOVERNMENT. Therefore the position of Jehovah's witnesses is complete neutrality.
Without a question of doubt every nation of earth has violated the everlasting covenant of God concerning the sanctity of life. This they have done by wrongfully killing human and beast creation, and particularly by killing those who are devoted to God, and whom they have killed because such were faithful to Jehovah God. (Gen. 9: 4-6, 16, 17) The only justified killing of any human creature is in self-defense or as God's executioner. (Ex. 22: 2) No nation on earth has ever claimed that it is free from the wrongful taking
of the lives of others, and which has been done in disregard of God's law. Concerning all such it is written: "The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant." — Isa. 24: 5.
Those who are for the great THEOCRACY and who have therefore made a solemn covenant to do the will of Almighty God, the great THEOCRAT, must keep themselves unblemished and uncontaminated from the affairs of the nations of earth, which are against the great THEOCRAT; as Jesus plainly declared: "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth." (John 17: 16, 17) By the truth of Jehovah's Word they are completely set aside to his exclusive service. Therefore such are commanded to 'keep themselves unspotted from the world'. (Jas. 1: 27) "Unspotted" means to be free from blemish and from mixing up with the affairs of this world. Those who worship God in spirit and in truth must do that very thing. Such constitutes the true worship of Almighty God. There has crept into the Authorized Translation of the Bible in James 1: 27, the word "religion," which is improperly there. The correct translation of that text is as follows: "For the worship that is pure and holy before God the Father, is this: to visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction, and that one keep himself unspotted from the world." — Jas. 1: 27, Murdock's Syriac.
Within the realms of warring nations there doubtless are many who have devoted themselves to Jehovah God and his kingdom by Christ Jesus. Those respective nations by law conscript the man-power and send men to war against other men. That is the affair and responsibility of each of such nations, about which true neutrals have nothing to say. Public officials who have to do with conscription and the hearing of applications for exemption from military service do not understand and appreciate the relation of Jehovah's witnesses and their "companions," the "other sheep" of the Lord to Jehovah, the great THEOCRAT, and Christ Jesus. In order to induce Christians to with-
draw their application for exemption from military service the conscription officer propounds this question: "Would you defend your mother from attack?" Of course, the Christian would give the answer which the Lord Jesus gave, because such is the Scriptural answer, by which he is governed. It is not for one person to decide for another what answer should be given, but the Lord himself fixes the matter. Each person must decide for himself his own relationship to God and Christ. Christ's definition of who is the mother or brother of one of the covenant people of Jehovah God furnishes the true and correct guide for all Christians. Jesus was instructing the people, and concerning those who would love him and his kingdom he said: "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad." — Matt.12:30.
Necessarily one who is against the King is not for him, and one who is for the King cannot be against him. (Mark 9: 40) The two texts above referred to are in exact harmony. Stated in common phrase, the position of every person is either for the King and his kingdom or against the King and his kingdom. There is no middle ground. At that point of his discourse to the people the following took place and these words were uttered by Christ Jesus: "While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." — Matt. 12: 46-50.
Further, Jesus clearly defined the relationship of those who do the will of Jehovah God: that all who sincerely do the will of God by obeying his commandments occupy the relationship to each other as brother, sister, and mother, that is, the family relationship of the family of God. The fact that one has a brother and sister and mother after the flesh but who are against the Theocracy by Christ Jesus does not at all mean that the Christian is under any obligation
whatsoever to care for or protect such opponent of the kingdom.
The Scriptural answer to the propounded question, therefore, is this: If the one who is called "my mother" is against the kingdom of Jehovah by Christ Jesus, then the only duty I have towards such is to tell her of God's provision for mankind. If she is really devoted to God and his kingdom, then as my real relative in Christ Jesus I will do whatsoever I can for her protection and defense; but that does not mean that I must fight against the nation or people that is fighting another nation, both of which are against God and his kingdom. As to such nations I am entirely neutral and cannot and will not fight for one as against the other. If an enemy of the great THEOCRACY and His King attempts to do me harm and to hinder me and my work for the kingdom and fights against me and my spiritual mother or brother, then I have the right to defend myself against such assaults, and the right to defend my brethren, and I will do so? — Neh. 4: 14.
Thus the Christian clearly defines himself as for peace and righteousness but not as a pacifist.
The position of the true follower of Christ Jesus is clearly set forth in the Scriptures. Such follower of Christ Jesus cannot compromise. One is either for THE THEOCRACY or against that righteous government. If for the THEOCRATIC GOVERNMENT and His King, then he is not going to compromise in order to escape hatred or punishment at the hands of enemies. He is now in a position to prove his integrity toward God and to prove that the Devil's challenge to Jehovah is a wicked lie. (Job 2:5) Therefore as a follower of Christ Jesus he can be faithful and true to God, and will do so, come what may.
Jehovah the great Theocrat has now enthroned his King and sent him forth to rule. (Pss. 2:6; 110: 2; Rev. 11: 17) Christ Jesus is now at the temple of Jehovah conducting his judgment of the nations. God's "strange work" of exposing the fallacy and the hypocrisy of religion, and pointing the people to the fact that The Theocracy is the only hope for the peoples, is now in progress, and that work will be finished in his due time. (Isa. 28: 21; Matt. 12: 18-21) The Lord's "other sheep," the "great multitude" (Rev. 7:
9-17), are now hastening to take their stand on the side of Jehovah and his King. The "strange work," when completed, will be quickly followed by God's act, "his strange act," at the battle of the great day of God Almighty called "Armageddon," and at which battle all the opponents of The THEOCRACY will die. Only those who have declared themselves for THE THEOCRACY and who maintain their integrity shall live. Some of them may be killed by the enemy because of their faithfulness, but such have the promise of resurrection to life. Therefore all who receive protection and salvation from Jehovah must prove their integrity to the great Theocrat and to his King. No one who is devoted to the Theocratic Government and its King will fear what man can do to him. He will fear God and obey him. (Isa. 8: 13, 14) Let all the faithful ones keep in mind the words of Christ Jesus spoken to them: "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matt. 10: 28) "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." (Matt. 24:13) It is far better to die faithful to God and because of faithfulness and receive at the hands of the Lord everlasting life than to compromise with any part of Satan's organization and suffer everlasting destruction. Concerning the faithful it is written that those who now die faithful shall have an instantaneous resurrection from death. (1 Cor. 15: 51, 52) Jehovah God is the fountain of life, the everlasting Father, and the Giver of life to those who obey him, which gift he makes through Christ Jesus, his beloved Son. (John 3:16; Rom. 6:23) "Salvation belongeth unto Jehovah," and not to man nor to any organization of men. (Ps. 3: 8) There is no room for compromise with the enemy. Remember that God has said to his people concerning the enemy: "And they shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee." — Jer. 1:19.
Those who have taken their stand on the side of the great THEOCRAT and his King will stand fast in that position, trusting in and relying solely upon God, well knowing that God will deliver them and grant unto them everlasting life. All who are on the Lord's side will be neutral as to warring nations, and will be entirely and wholly for the great THEOCRAT and his King.
November 1, 1939 issue
Printed and Published by
Watchtower Press, London, W.2