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Government

CHAPTER VIII

Theocracy

JEHOVAH has been compassionate, mercifully gracious, and long-suffering with man. Such is characteristic of him. He has permitted man to have a long period of time in which to put forth his best endeavors to build for himself a desirable government. In that period of many centuries man has tried not only one form of government; he has tried many forms. The history of each form of government has been recorded. No people can read that history with real satisfaction. Disappointment has marked every period of man's experience with these various forms of government. It is God's purpose to teach men that he is the only true God. The time has now come for thoughtful persons to calmly consider the history of the nations during the past twenty-five centuries in particular and learn therefrom lessons of great benefit.

Amidst all the dreadful experiences of time the reverential mind can discern the gracious hand of God holding before man the truth, that he might have opportunity to learn and profit therefrom. For centuries there has been placed before the peoples of so-called "Christendom" the great truth: "Blessed is the nation whose God is Jehovah." (Ps. 33:12) Even when all these nations have disregarded that great

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truth, God has continued to manifest his loving-kindness and long-suffering toward them, abiding his own good time when he will lift the people out of their mire. When the course of the people has been such as to warrant their destruction the great Jehovah God has shown compassion and mercy toward them. Now it is manifest that his due time has come when his purposes shall be more plainly put before the people, that they may understand how a righteous government is to be erected on the earth for them.

There are three primary classes into which may be divided all the governments which man has attempted to establish. Where the supreme political control is in the hand of a single individual, that form of government is called a monarchy. Where the supreme political power is vested in a few, that government is called an aristocracy. Where the supreme power of control is in the hands of the populace, that government is called a democracy. When a monarchy is corrupt, it is called a tyranny. When aristocracy is corrupt, that government is called an oligarchy. Where a democracy is corrupt, the government is designated as a mobocracy. Monarchies are either absolute or limited. The power of an absolute monarchy is vested in and exercised by one supreme ruler. A limited monarchy usually has a fundamental law or constitution which limits the power and authority of the chief ruler and grants a portion thereof to the citizens. A monarchy is either one of heredity or an elective government. A democracy is either direct or indirect. Where the people elect their representatives who form the governing power, such government is designated an indirect democracy or a republic. A direct democ-

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racy is a government in which all the people have some voice in the enactment and enforcement of the laws. Man has tried all these forms.

Looking over the history of the nations whose governments have been either that of a monarchy, an aristocracy or a democracy, not one has been found to be entirely satisfactory to the people. The history of every nation shows that it has been a struggle between the classes. It has been a few against the many. It has been a contest between the exploiting and the exploited. As a general rule, the class smaller in number has ruled and oppressed the class greater in number. These struggles have resulted in many revolutions, great suffering, and much bloodshed. Out of these struggles have developed the various theories or forms of government called radical, including communism, socialism, the soviet and bolshevism. The birth of these has been due to the struggles of the oppressed.

Communism advocates a sharing of all things in common, aiming at the abolition of private ownership of property and at holding of all property for the benefit of the community.

Socialism holds that the means of production and distribution of the wealth of the nations are the collective properties of the workers, who by their efforts produce that property, while the goods which are to be consumed become the private property of the individual workers. Such government would do away with the aristocratic class.

Out of the World War was born the soviet government of Russia. Peoples of that nation had long suffered under a monarchy that bordered closely upon

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a tyranny. The war furnished the opportunity to overthrow the monarchy. "Soviet" really means council or harmony. The soviet government, however, has been anything but harmonious. The government is made up of councils of working men and soldiers called deputies. There are various councils and one supreme council. The soviet rule is called an organized form of dictatorship of the proletariat, but this government denies the right of suffrage to certain classes. The soviet government has not been a success and never can be, and is far from being satisfactory to the people who have tried it. As in all other forms of government where the people are supposed to have a voice, the demagogues and party men dominate the various councils; and therefore the government has presented no advantages over any other government. In fact, bolshevism has resulted in great suffering of the people, and it is feared by many of the other nations and governments of the earth.

Every form of government man has tried, whether that be monarchy, aristocracy, democracy, republic or social, has been unsatisfactory. In all these forms of government there have been many men who have endeavored to establish a just and equitable rule, but have failed. Suppose the World War had made it possible to establish democracy in all the nations. Would that democracy have succeeded and been satisfactory to the people ? It would have been impossible for it to succeed and be entirely satisfactory. The demagogue and the professional politicians would have done as they have always done: put party interests and private interests above the common welfare. No stronger proof is needed to support that

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conclusion than the present-day conditions prevailing in the government of the United States of America. That government is more nearly an ideal democracy than any other nation that has ever existed on earth; and yet it is plainly stated by many who are high in authority, and it is well known by the people in general, that selfish men dominate and control. The general welfare of all the people is secondary, while selfish and favored interests are given chief advantage. The United States of America has been the most favored, and has existed under the most favorable conditions, of all nations under the sun. Within the period of its existence there have been many really noble men who have given their best efforts to establish a desirable government. After more than one hundred fifty years' experience that government is found to be entirely unsatisfactory to the rank and file of the people.

Let it be conceded that honest men in every nation have done their best to erect a satisfactory government. It must also be admitted that they have failed. If, after twenty-five centuries of honest endeavor and strenuous effort on the part of the Gentile nations to establish a desirable government, dissatisfaction and failure are the result, is it not time for sober-minded persons to calmly and dispassionately seek to know the real reason why ? Why are there discontentment, distress and perplexity in every nation? Why has no people been able to establish an ideal and satisfactory government ?

There are two reasons: (1) The invisible ruler of all the nations of the world is evil, and his influence over the visible rulers has been and is evil. (2) Man

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himself is imperfect and therefore susceptible to evil influences. Imperfect men under such conditions could not possibly establish a righteous government.

It follows therefore that before a righteous and ideal government can exist the supreme and unlimited power must be vested in and exercised by one who is just, wise, and wholly unselfish, and that power must be exercised for the general welfare of all and for the special interests of no class. This principle can not be successfully gainsaid by any honest man. Such a government is what the people have desired for centuries. Such a righteous government is exactly the kind of government that God long ago promised to establish for man and which he is now beginning to establish for the benefit of man. He will remove all power from the invisible evil ruler so that evil can not any more influence man while he is striving to reach an ideal condition. Both the invisible and the visible influence of God's government upon man will be for good.

Theocracy

What form of government will then control the peoples of earth? That government will be a pure theocracy. For centuries the whole creation has groaned and suffered in pain, waiting for the manifestation of that government. (Rom. 8:19) Now the time has come for its establishment, and both the rulers and the ruled of the earth should learn the truth and rejoice. What is said here against the various forms of government is not said with a view to provoking revolution, of course, but is said that thoughtful men and

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women might consider the only way that leads to a condition of righteousness, peace and happiness. Such a desirable condition of righteousness, peace and happiness could never have been enjoyed under a monarchy, aristocracy, democracy, communism, socialism, or sovietism, or any like form of government. The desire of the people can come only in God's provided way. "And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation." — Isa. 25: 9.

A theocracy is a government of which the chief ruler is Jehovah God. He is the Maker and Executor of its laws through his duly constituted agencies. While it is true that supreme power has always resided in Jehovah, with the overthrow of Israel's last king he permitted man to take his own course and has not interfered until his time has come to set upon his throne him "whose right it is". He it is whom God has appointed and anointed to rule under and in harmony with Jehovah. The prophecies uttered by the holy men whom God appointed to speak must come to pass some time; and now the time has come when the following prophecies are being fulfilled.

Jehovah King

It was in 1914 that God began to exercise his authority over the affairs of the world through his beloved Son whom he then placed upon his holy throne. There began the fulfilment of the prophecy: "Say

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among the nations, Jehovah hath become King. Surely he hath fixed the world. It shall not be shaken, he will judge the peoples with equity." — Ps. 96:10, Rotherham.

"God hath become king over the nations, God hath taken his seat upon his holy throne." — Ps. 47:8, Rotherham.

"Jehovah hath become king. Let the earth exult, let the multitude of coastlands rejoice. Clouds and thick darkness are round about him, righteousness and justice are the establishing of his throne. Fire before him proceedeth, that it may consume round about his adversaries. His lightnings have illumined the world, the earth hath seen and hath trembled."  — Ps. 97:1-4, Rotherham.

Zion is the name given to God's organization. Jerusalem is also a name applied thereto, and the two names are often used to mean the same thing. The people of Israel organized by Jehovah constituted typical Zion. That government, as long as the people remained in harmony with God, was a theocracy. It failed, not because of the Lord Jehovah, but because of the imperfection of man and because of the evil influence exercised over man by Satan, which influence will not be permitted when God's righteous government is in full sway. God withdrew his favor from typical Zion in 606 B. C. His prophets foretold a time when he would set up real Zion and thereby represented the Lord as returning to Zion. This undoubtedly takes place at the time God places his Anointed Son upon his throne. (Ps. 2:6) "Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great

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fury. Thus saith the Lord, I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; and Jerusalem shall be called, A city of truth; and the mountain of the Lord of hosts, The holy mountain." (Zech. 8:2,3) "The Lord shall reign for ever, even thy God, 0 Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the Lord." — Ps. 146:10.

The great theocracy, when seen and appreciated by the people, will be the joy of the whole earth. It will be Zion, God's organization, exercising power and authority over man for his good. "Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King." (Ps. 48:1,2) "For the Lord is a great God [in Zion], and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth; the strength of the hills is his also." — Ps. 95:3,4.

In Jehovah is vested all original power, to which there is no limitation. His name Almighty God means that there is no power above him. (Gen. 17:1) In his hand the nations of the earth are no more than the small dust of the balance or the drop of a bucket. (Isa. 40:15-22) He has complete and absolute power over all things. (Rom. 9:21) He may delegate that power to whomsoever he will.

Jehovah God is all-wise. He knew the end from the beginning. (Acts 15:18) His counsel stands for ever. (Ps. 33:11) "The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew." — Prov. 3; 19,20.

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Jehovah is just. "Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne; mercy and truth shall go before thy face." — Ps. 89:14.

He is no respecter of persons or classes. (1 Pet. 1:17; Jas. 3:17) He is unchangeable. (Mal. 3:6) "Righteous art thou, O Lord, and upright are thy judgments." (Ps. 119:137) "Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep; 0 Lord, thou preservest man and beast." — Ps. 36:6.

Jehovah God is love. (1 John 4:16) That means that he is entirely unselfish and that his power is administered not for selfish benefit but for the benefit of all his creatures who obey him. "How excellent is thy lovingkindness, 0 God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings." (Ps. 36:7) — Ps. 63:3.

Jesus taught his followers to always pray to God: "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." Because Jehovah God is the great King above all, the government is therefore spoken of in the Scriptures as God's kingdom, which it is.

His Anointed

Jehovah God has anointed his beloved Son and delegated to him the power to be ruler over all the world. God anointed Lucifer for a certain work and Lucifer abused the power that was delegated to him. God gave his Son Jesus a higher anointing and he has been faithful thereto. — Ezek. 28:14; Num. 24:7.

In the year 1914 A. D., the end of the period of waiting came, and at that time the great prophecy

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came true. God caused to be written: "Yet have I set my king [Anointed One] upon my holy hill of Zion." (Ps. 2:6) The kingdom is therefore God's kingdom and Christ's kingdom, because Christ acts by reason of the power and authority delegated to him by Jehovah his Father. (John 5:22-26; Matt. 28:18) It was in that year, 1914, that the following prophecy began to be fulfilled: "And the seventh angel sounded; and there followed great voices in heaven, and they said, The kingdom of the world is become the kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ: and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, who sit before God on their thrones, fell upon their faces and worshipped God, saying, We give thee thanks, 0 Lord God, the Almighty, who art and who wast; because thou hast taken thy great power, and didst reign." — Rev. 11:15-17, R.V.

Lucifer, who has long been the invisible ruler of the peoples of earth, loved wickedness. Jesus the beloved Son of God has always loved righteousness and hated iniquity. "Thou art fairer than the children of men; grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." — Ps. 45: 2,7; Heb. 1: 9.

It is by divine wisdom that Christ Jesus becomes the ruler. (Prov. 8:1,15) By the authority conferred by Jehovah upon Jesus Christ the responsibility of the righteous government rests upon his shoulder. (Isa. 9:6) Christ Jesus is that One "whose right it is", to whom God has promised and has given the

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kingdom. (Ezek. 21: 27) Having placed him upon the throne and given him the right to rule, Jehovah says to Christ: "Thy throne, 0 God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre." — Ps. 45:6.

He is the One whom Jehovah has sent forth to rule in the midst of his enemies. (Ps. 110:2) It is the mighty Son of God or Priest after the order of Melchizedek whom God will use to make all things new. (Rev. 21:5) Concerning him Jehovah God says: "His enemies will I clothe with shame; but upon himself shall his crown flourish." (Ps. 132:18) He is the firstborn of every creature. (Col. 1:15) "I also will make him my firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth. My lovingkindness will I keep for him for evermore; and my covenant shall stand fast with him. His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon." — Ps. 89:27,28,36,37, R. V.

In the Scriptures "The Stone" is used to symbolize God's Anointed King. All government-builders, including the clergy both of the Jews and of so-called "Christendom", have rejected him. "The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes." (Ps. 118:22,23) This mighty Stone has become the great King, and his kingdom is one that can never be wrongfully influenced or moved out of the way. — Heb. 12: 28.

God used Moses as a type to foreshadow Jesus Christ. Moses might have become the king of Egypt; but he refused, preferring to serve Jehovah. (Heb. 11:25) Likewise Jesus refused Satan's offer to him

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of the rulership of the world. (Matt. 4: 8-10) Moses did not seek to exalt himself as king over Israel. He knew that the sceptre could never depart from Judah. Likewise Jesus did not seek earthly kingship over Israel, but withdrew when the people would by force make him king. (John 6:15) Him who was abased Jehovah God has exalted above all others; and in due time all others shall bow before him to the glory of Jehovah God. — Phil. 2: 5-11.

Jesus Christ, earth's new and rightful Governor, is the "express image" of Jehovah God and he acts in exact harmony with Jehovah. In him is therefore found the complete expression of justice, wisdom, power, and love; and such is a guarantee that as Ruler over all the peoples all his power and authority shall be exercised unselfishly for the benefit of the people. (Heb. 1:3) Jehovah God has made him, Christ Jesus, the "leader and commander to the people". (Isa. 55:4) His leadership and rule over the people will be in exact accord with Jehovah's will. "The [anointed] king's heart is in the hand of the Lord [Jehovah], as the rivers of water; he [Jehovah] turneth it [the King's heart] whithersoever he will." (Prov. 21:1) His thoughts are so lofty, good and righteous, and so far above those of man, that they are unsearchable. (Prov. 25: 2, 3) "An oracle [God's Word] is on the lips of a king [Christ], . . . his mouth must not be unfaithful." (Prov. 16:10, Rotherham) "Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand [unlimited power], and his arm [his Anointed King] shall rule for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him." (Isa. 40:10) That Jehovah God has prepared him and made him the

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ruler over all the world is testified to by the prophet: "Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? he gave them as the dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow."  — Isa. 41:2.

Associates

In the great government of Jehovah God there will be no one clothed with power and authority save those who receive it from Jehovah and who act exactly in accord with his will. Many who have supposed that God has been trying to get them into heaven will be disappointed. God has taken out a people for his name and has put these through a course of training and is yet training the remnant on earth to fit into some place in his kingdom. Jesus covenanted to take into his kingdom only those who have followed the course similar to that which he led, that is to say, those who have been with him and like him in his trials and who have remained absolutely loyal to God through them all. (Luke 22: 28-30) To that class he said: "The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you." (John 15:20) As Jesus came to the world to be a witness and was reproached because of his faithfulness as a witness, even so those who shall be associated with him in his kingdom must be faithful and true witnesses to all and suffer reproach because of that faithfulness. (John 18: 36, 37; Isa. 43:10-12) To such the Lord said: "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also

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overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. " — Rev. 3:21.

No Others

Jehovah God through his prophet plainly states that his official government shall have none as a part thereof aside from his anointed because "the kingdom shall not be left to other people". (Dan. 2:44) This for ever precludes the profiteers, the politicians, and the clergymen and all other selfish ones from being of that government. "The Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will." (Dan. 4: 32) It is certain that God would give no one a part therein save those who are completely in harmony with him and who have successfully stood the test of loyalty to him. Jehovah God through his prophet pictures the falling of the forces of earth, which have been controlled by Satan, and then describes those who shall have a part in the glorious theocratic government for the blessing of humankind. "I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be de-

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stroyed. But the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him."  — Dan. 7:9, 13, 14, 18, 27.

The righteous government now being set up is, and ever will be, a pure theocracy. In the Scriptures it is called God's kingdom because Jehovah God is the Ruler above all. It is called Christ's kingdom because the Anointed One of God rules in accord with and under the supervision of Jehovah. It is called the kingdom of heaven because the Ruler and Controller will be invisible to human eyes and will at all times exercise a beneficent power and influence over men.

What then will be the destiny of the millions who have consecrated to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and who think they are going to be of the heavenly kingdom? In what way will that heavenly kingdom or righteous government be so exercised as to be visible to human eyes?



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