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What Has Religion Done For Mankind?



Kingship and Priesthood — Why Separate

IN THIS world few men can be trusted with a concentration of power in their hands. If, in addition to political power, they have religious power and control in their hands, the possibilities become doubly dangerous for the people under such a political, religious ruler. Remember Nimrod, Babylon's first king.

2 In the kingdom which was set up in Israel the priestly office was kept separate from the king's throne. When the Israelites came asking God's prophet Samuel to set a king over them, they did not ask for a king like Melchizedek, for that ancient king of Salem was a priest upon his throne. The Israelites already had a priesthood which God had fixed in the household of Aaron, Moses' brother. So the Israelites asked for a king like those of the demon-worshiping nations round about. Samuel reminded them of the unfitness of their request, saying: "Ye said unto me, Nay, but a king shall reign over us; when Jehovah your God was your king." Samuel sensed the danger in this. He knew

1. What are the possibilities where religious control is put in a ruler's hands?
2. How were these possibilities guarded against in Israel, and what warning had Moses given against following an unfaithful king?

a human visible king would not in himself be able to save the nation from its foes, nor from internal evils and the consequences. He doubtless had in mind Moses' warning against following an apostate, covenant-breaking king: "Jehovah will bring thee, and thy king whom thou shalt set over thee, unto a nation that thou hast not known, thou nor thy fathers; and there shalt thou serve other gods, wood and stone." This was a long-range prophecy pointing ahead to their exile in Babylon seventy years. —1 Samuel 12:12 and Deuteronomy 28:36, AS.

3 Whom, now, would God choose for their first human king? Back in Egypt he had inspired their forefather Jacob (Israel) to prophesy that the scepter would never depart from the tribe of Judah; and when it came to which tribe should go up first in the assault on the Canaanites in the Promised Land after Joshua's death, God said: "Judah shall go up: behold, I have delivered the land into his hand." (Genesis 49:10; Judges 1:1,2) But God did not select Israel's first king from the tribe of Judah. The tribe of Benjamin must first be given the privilege of providing a ruling dynasty for Israel, because Benjamin, although Israel's youngest son, was the son of Israel's favorite wife Rachel, and so the full brother of Joseph. Due to these grounds for priority over Judah, God instructed Samuel to anoint a promising mature man of the tribe of Benjamin, Saul the son of Kish. From then on he was spoken

3. Whom did G9d choose for Israel's first king and why a man of that tribe, and how was he designated to office?

of as Jehovah's "Anointed". But he did not prove to be a royal figure prophetic of the Christ, the Seed of God's "woman", for Saul turned apostate.  —1 Samuel 12:3,5; 24:6,10, AS; 1 Chronicles 5:1,2.

4 In the second year of his reign Saul showed a lack of faith. He acted impulsively and took upon himself the sacrificial duties of the Levite Samuel, something totally out of order for a Benjamite, even though a king. In disapproval Samuel said to Saul: "Now thy kingdom shall not continue: Jehovah hath sought him a man after his own heart, and Jehovah hath appointed him to be prince over his people, because thou hast not kept that which Jehovah commanded thee." This meant that Saul's godly son Jonathan would not become king to succeed Saul. The man after God's own heart who was to succeed Saul on the throne of all Israel was not yet born. He was born after Saul had reigned ten years. (1 Samuel 13:11-14, AS) And now again Saul showed himself disobedient because of fear and selfishness. He did not carry out fully his duties as Jehovah's executioner against Israel's long-time enemy, the Amalekites. He spared King Agag alive, and for fear of what his warriors would think, he let them spare the fine livestock of the Amalekites, contrary to God's orders. To explain away his weakness in this, Saul told Samuel: "The people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the choicest of the devoted things, to sacrifice to Jehovah thy God in Gilgal."

4. How did Saul early and later show a lack of faith and obedience?

5 Samuel was not like the religious clergy of Christendom. He did not let Saul commit a crime and then think that by offering to God some of the material wealth gained by the crime he could bribe God into overlooking his crime. No; but Samuel fearlessly said to disobedient Saul: "Has Jehovah delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices, as in hearkening to the voice of Jehovah? Behold, obedience is better than sacrifice, attention than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and selfwill is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of Jehovah, he hath also rejected thee from being king." When Saul grabbed Samuel's garment as he was indignantly leaving and it tore, Samuel said: "Jehovah has rent the kingdom of Israel from thee to-day, and has given it to thy neighbour, who is better than thou." (1 Samuel 15:20-29, Da) By this Samuel vindicated Jehovah God as clean from all bribery; but Saul, although having a form of godly devotion, was denying its power and was really guilty of demonism and idolatry.

6 Because of rebelling against his heavenly Commander's orders of execution Saul was committing the sin of divination by deciding by spiritistic help what was better than Jehovah's will. By self-will he was guilty of worshiping himself and so was chargeable with iniquity and idolatry. This agrees with the apostle's statement that covetousness is idolatry and a greedy person is an idolater.

5. How did Samuel here vindicate Jehovah as clean from all bribery?
6. How was Saul guilty of divination and idolatry?

(Colossians 3:5; Ephesians 5:5) A ruler guilty of such things could not be rewarded with having a line of kings run in his family.

7Saul and witch of Endor Saul's self-worshiping rebelliousness and greediness led him finally to resorting directly to witchcraft. In this act he was trying to counteract Samuel's refusal to see him any more: "So Samuel saw Saul no more until the day of his death, for Samuel grieved over Saul." Before Saul finished his reign of forty years, Samuel died. (1 Samuel 15:35; 25:1; 28:3, AT) As battle with the superior forces of the Philistines at Mount Gilboa impended, Saul faced his end. "His heart greatly trembled. And Saul inquired of Jehovah; but Jehovah did not answer him, either by dreams, or by Urim [the sacred lot], or by prophets." Here Saul turned straight to demonism with his request: "Seek me a woman that has a spirit of Python, that I may go to her and inquire of her." In defiance of God's law that a witch must be stoned to death in Israel and that any Israelite defiling himself by consulting a witch must be cut off, Saul went by night to the witch located at Endor. (Leviticus 19:31; 20:6,27) Saul asked her to bring up Samuel from the dead."

7. How did Saul resort finally to demonism directly, and why?

8man wanting information from a crystal ball Now the demons practiced a fraud upon Saul. The witch said she saw a god [or, gods] coming out of the earth. By the description she gave of this "god", Saul saw a resemblance of it to Samuel's appearance when alive. Then by the witch the "god" predicted dire calamity for Saul and his army and said, "To-morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me." Spiritualists use this to argue that the human soul survives after death and that the dead may be communicated with and can tell us of the future, because they know more now than when they were alive. But instead of proving the immortality of the human soul, it proves demonism. Witches condemned to death by God cannot bring up the dead; only God Almighty can raise the dead. Samuel was dead and was buried in Sheol or mankind's grave. Concerning him as well as all the dead, Ecclesiastes 9:5,10 says: "The dead know not anything, . . . Whatever thy hand findeth to do, do with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in Sheol [hell, or, grave], whither thou goest." —Da; AS; Dy.

9 If Samuel refused to see Saul while he was alive, he would not let a condemned witch force

8. How did Saul now have a fraud practiced upon him, and why does this not prove the immortality of the human soul?
9. Why was Samuel not actually brought up but a trick performed?

him to come to see Saul after he was dead. If Jehovah refused to communicate a further message to Saul while Samuel was alive, would Jehovah let a witch, one of the seed of the Serpent, force Almighty God to communicate a message by Samuel after he was dead, and use the witch as a medium? Is a witch stronger than Almighty God? So this was all a trick of demonism. It was a demon that impersonated the dead Samuel and made a prediction in the face of the trend of developments and on the basis of what the demon knew of Saul's dealings with Samuel.

10 Contrary to the demon's prediction, Saul's son Ishbosheth survived him, proving that the demon had not told the truth. Today it is no unusual thing for worried politicians to consult demons through spirit mediums for information on the future, just as unfaithful King Saul did. That is what false religion with its doctrine of human immortality does for mankind! —1 Samuel 28:4-19, Da; 2 Samuel 2:8; 1 Chronicles 8:33; see also Acts 16:16, NW.

11 Now at last Jehovah God turned to the tribe of Judah for a king. Shortly after Samuel pronounced Jehovah's final rejection of King Saul, Jehovah sent him to Bethlehem-judah to anoint the shepherd lad David, the son of Jesse, to be the future king of Israel. He proved to be the man agreeable to God's own heart. Because of the popularity which David gained by killing the

10. What proved the demon prediction false, and yet who today similarly consult demons?
11. Whom did Jehovah have anointed to replace Saul, and how did Saul conduct himself toward that one?

Philistine giant Goliath with a stone from his shepherd's sling and winning other victories over the Philistines, Saul grew jealous of David, especially as he recognized in him God's favored one and the future king of Israel. Satan the Serpent, lying in wait for the seed of God's woman, goaded Saul on to outlaw David and hunt him down like an animal of chase. But in keeping with David's anointing, Jehovah preserved him from Saul's murderous hands. Finally Saul committed suicide, falling on his own sword at Mount Gilboa.

12 The tribesmen of Judah now anointed David king over them at Hebron, in Judah's territory. Later, after opposition from the partisans of Saul's house was overcome, all of Israel's tribes anointed David as king over the whole nation. (2 Samuel 2:1-4; 5:1-3) David was thus anointed three times. He came to be called "Jehovah's anointed", or "Jehovah's Christ". As such, David became a prototype of the Seed of God's woman, Christ the King, the Messiah. He especially portrayed Christ ruling in the midst of his enemies during the "time of the end" of this world, our present time. (2 Samuel 19:21, AS; LXX; 23:1, 2) By his name "David", which means "beloved; dear", he pictured that Christ would be the beloved only-begotten Son of God; and by his birth at Bethlehem-judah he pictured that the Son of God would be born there as a man. In fact, the prophecies speak of the Messiah or Christ as "my servant David". (Ezekiel 34:23, 24; Matthew 3:17) David,

12. How did David now become king of all Israel, and whom did he picture in various aspects?

by his theocratic warfare, subdued all the enemies of his people in the Promised Land and extended their God-given inheritance to the boundaries which God had mentioned to Abraham. (Genesis 15:18-21)David's joy at bringing the ark to Jerusalem In this way David completed the subjugation of the land. Though the foes raged against his rule, he dashed them to pieces as with a rod of iron.

13 After reigning at Hebron for seven and a half years, David captured the last resisting stronghold or citadel in Jerusalem and then made the entire city the national capital. Being such a man of faith in Jehovah God, David was fully devoted to his worship and endeavored to strengthen true religion in Israel.

14 Owing to past interference by the Philistines the sacred ark of the covenant surmounted by its golden cherubim was not resting in the Most Holy of the tent at Gibeon but was kept in custody at the home of a Levite. So King David had it brought up to Jerusalem and put in a tent he pitched for it on Mount Zion. As the ark was

13. What city did David make his capital?
14. How was Jehovah now represented as taking up residence on Mount Zion and reigning there?

being carried by the Levites to its resting place on Mount Zion, the Levites sang a song of King David's composition and said: "The world also is established that it cannot be moved. Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; and let them say among the nations, Jehovah reigneth." (1 Chronicles 16:1-39, AS; Da) Thus Jehovah was symbolically represented as taking up his residence on Mount Zion and reigning there as King over Israel.

15 Mount Zion or Jerusalem became by this a symbol of Jehovah's capital organization over the universe, namely, his theocratic kingdom in the hands of his anointed Seed of the woman, Christ. This is a heavenly organization, and Jerusalem or Mount Zion on earth was merely its visible symbol. It was called the "city of the great King". King David and his successors merely ruled there as representatives for the invisible Supreme King, and so they were said to sit upon the "throne of Jehovah". We remember that King Melchizedek, "priest of the most high God," had ruled at that city when it was known just as Salem. —Psalm 48:1; Matthew 5:35; 1 Chronicles 29:23, AS; Genesis 14:18; Psalm 76:1,2.

16 While David lived in a palace on Mount Zion he was dissatisfied to have Jehovah's ark of the testimony under a lowly tent. So he disclosed to the prophet Nathan his desire to build a worthy temple for it. But God said: "Thou shalt not build

15. What did Mount Zion thus come to symbolize, and on what did the kings there sit?
16. How did Jehovah now come to make a covenant with David, and for what was it?

a house unto my name, for thou art a man of war, and hast shed blood." (1 Chronicles 28:3, Da) It was then that Jehovah God made a covenant with David for a kingdom. By this the kingdom was to be established in David's family and he was to have a line of rulers sit on the throne until one of his descendants would come who was to rule forever.

17 David's son was to build a material temple there at Jerusalem. But in this building work he was only a foreshadowing of the coming permanent Heir of the covenant who was to build a grander temple, a spiritual one. Jehovah said: "He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him [Saul] that was before thee: but I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore." —1 Chronicles 17:3-14.

18 This fixes it unchangeably that the Christ, the Seed of God's woman, was to be an earthly descendant of King David. As a natural heir of his he was to receive the fulfillment of this covenant for the everlasting kingdom. In Psalm 89 Jehovah God said: "I also will make him my firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth. My lovingkindness will I keep for him for evermore;

17. According to this, who was to build the temple and whom did he therefore foreshadow?
18. Whose descendant was the Seed of God's woman therefore to be, and so what would he be called, and how long would he rule?

and my covenant shall stand fast with him. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness: I will not lie unto David: His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as the faithful witness in the sky." (Psalm 89:27,28,34-37, AS) This heavenly kingdom of the Seed of God's woman or organization will rule over our earth for time and all eternity. It is the means by which the head of the Serpent will be crushed and the death-infected people be given a life-giving government of righteousness. Because of his descent from David this Seed on earth would be called "the son of David". —Matthew 1:1.

19 According to the covenant for the everlasting kingdom this "Son of David" was to be infinitely higher than his forefather David. King David himself was led to recognize this unusual fact, and so he spoke prophetically of him as "my Lord (or Master)". He was inspired to sing: "Jehovah saith unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. Jehovah will send forth the rod of thy strength out of Zion: Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Jehovah hath sworn, and will not repent: Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek." (Psalm 110:1,2,4, AS) The Son of David was to be David's Lord or Superior because he was to sit enthroned at God's right hand in the heavens, not on an earthly Mount Zion but on the heavenly

19. How was he to be higher than David and where and for how long, and how was this foretold?

height symbolized by Mount Zion. Also David was only a king, and that for forty years, whereas his Son and Lord was to be both priest and king, just as Melchizedek of old had been. Also, he was to be such a royal priest forever, and was to be made such by Jehovah's sworn oath.

20 Kingship and priesthood were to be united in this Son of David. Concerning him a later prophecy said: "Behold, the man whose name is the Branch: and he shall grow up out of his place; and he shall build the temple of Jehovah; even he shall build the temple of Jehovah; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne." (Zechariah 6:12,13, AS) In David's case the kingship had been separate from the priesthood, even as the priesthood in Israel had existed hundreds of years before the Davidic line of kings. This separation of kingship and priesthood in Israel allowed for the Aaronic priesthood to keep on functioning at Jerusalem even after there was an interruption in the rule of David's line and until the Messianic Son of David came. This royal Seed would be chiefly interested in clean religion and would build Jehovah's great temple.

20. What were to be united in him, but what did their separateness in Israel allow for?

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