Sustaining His Servant (Samson, Part 3) № 23
Поддержка Его слуги (Самсон, Часть 3)
1935, 01 декабря
На русском журнал переведен полностью.
Для перевода выберите язык. Перевод машинный.
“THE TESTIMONY OF FAITHFULNESS” PERIOD
Appropriate to the covenant of faithfulness for the kingdom into which the approved ones are taken, the nine days, December 7 to 15 inclusive, of special action in unity have been designated “The Testimony of Faithfulness”. Those anointed ones who will be faithful unto death will be found diligent during that period in advancing the testimony of Jesus Christ as commanded by Jehovah. All present Jonadab brethren will faithfully join in, thereby maintaining their integrity toward the Lord. All together will concentrate on placing the combination of Jehovah, Prophecy and Preservation and the booklet Government, with everyone contributing 50c. Previous testimony periods emphasize the wisdom and helpfulness of thinking, planning and arranging without further delay for your sharing in this one as largely as you can. All the faithful will bestir themselves. The usual report thereon of work you do will be submitted, direct to this office if you are not under supervision of one of our branch offices.
YEAR BOOK 1936
The Year Book, including the annual report of the activities of Jehovah's witnesses throughout the earth, is nearing completion and will go on the press shortly. AU those devoted to the Lord, including the remnant and the Jonadabs, will be anxious to read this report and to have the benefit of the year text and the daily comments on the daily texts. Only a limited number of these can be published, and therefore the cost of publication makes it necessary for us to receive fifty cents a copy for this book. Orders sent in early will enable us to know how many to manufacture. Please place your orders as soon as convenient. Each company of Jehovah's witnesses and the Jonadabs may send in orders through the company secretary. Your early attention to this will be appreciated.
CALENDER FOR 1936
The text “For Jehovah and for Gideon” (Judges 7:18, A.R.V.) is appropriate for Jehovah’s publishers, and therefore it will be used for 1936 the same as for 1935. Calendars are being prepared for those who desire them. The same illustration will be used; however, the general design and appearance will be different, the calendar pad, of course, for the year 1936. The companies and individuals will please send in orders as soon as possible, for the number required for 1936, as we wish to print only what are required. The price will be, for single calendar, 25c; for lots of five or more, 20c each.
SUSTAINING HIS SERVANT
(Samson, Part 3)
“But God clave an hollow place that was in the jaw, and there came water thereout; and when he had drunk, his spirit came again, and he revived: wherefore he called the name thereof En-hakkore, which is in Lehi unto this day.”—Judg. 15:19.
JEHOVAH sustains his servant that is faithful and true to him. All men, by reason of inherent sin, are weak within themselves, but when a man becomes a servant of God and then with a pure heart continues faithfully devoted to God he is certain to be sustained in the time of crisis. “For the eyes of Jehovah run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. ” (2 Chron. 16: 9, A.R.V.) Such is the fixed and unchangeable rule of Jehovah. The heart of man stands for his motive and his devotion. If he is completely devoted to God and his motive is pure and right toward God, then he is certain to receive the sustaining grace of God in times of need. All men make mistakes, and no man of himself can do anything perfectly. When he is weak and then casts his burden upon the Lord, fully appreciating that his strength must come from Jehovah, and by God’s grace he determines to continue faithful and diligent in the performance of his covenant, being moved so to do unselfishly, he may confidently rely upon God to sustain him. “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. ’ ’—Ps. 55: 22.
2 A pure heart does not mean merely that a man has good intentions, but it does mean that he is moved to take a course of action, and that he does take such course of action, not for selfish gain, but that he may do the will of God. Then he has a pure heart, and it is written: “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” (Matt. 5:8) One is a servant of Jehovah when he renders service to Jehovah and does so unselfishly or with a pure heart. (Rom. 6:16) The servants of God generally have been wrongfully judged by most men because men look only at such things as the natural eye can see. God knows the heart or motive of his servants, and he judges them righteously. (John 7:24) Commentators have leveled much criticism against Samson, and that without just cause or excuse. Their criticism, however, has not at all altered the matter.
3 Samson was a servant of God, and no one is competent to judge His servant. “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.” (Rom. 14:4) God did make Samson stand and perform his will, and finally entered of record his approval of Samson. (Heb. 11:32) This of itself is proof that Samson was acting under God’s direction and that he pictured a class of faithful servants of God who would be on earth at the end of the world.
4 The estrangement of Samson and his betrothed wife must have been generally known among the Philistines, otherwise Samson would have visited her in the usual and customary way. “But it came to pass within a while after [(R.V.) after a while], in the time of wheat harvest, that Samson visited his wife with a kid; and he said, I will go in to my wife into the chamber. But her father would not suffer him to go in.”—Judg. 15:1.
5 He waited till God’s due time, and then he went again to Timnath. The time was opportune to again afflict the Philistines by destroying their crops. Samson’s original purpose in getting the Philistine woman was that “he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel”. (Judg. 14:4) His natural kinsmen in Israel had not rallied to his support, they failing to recognize Samson as the Lord’s chosen one to begin the deliverance of Israel. Samson must go alone, and in this part of the drama Samson pictured the “faithful servant” class. His kinsfolk pictured the weak-kneed, faithless crowd who pretended to be servants of God but feared men. Jehovah had not interfered with Samson’s betrothed wife’s being given to another, which doubtless God would have done had the betrothed been a servant of God.—Gen. 20:1-18.
6 Manifestly it was the will of God that Samson his servant should now further humiliate the Philistines. “And her father said, I verily thought that thou hadst utterly hated her; therefore I gave her to thy companion: is not her younger sister fairer than she? take her, I pray thee, instead of her.” (Judg. 15:2) The father of the woman said to Samson: ‘I verily thought thou didst hate her’; and then he offered his younger daughter to Samson for wife. But we must remember that Samson was not on a woman-hunt, but was seeking an occasion to punish God’s defamers. This proves that God is not selecting persons for his servants who merely appear to be so very good that all others may say, “Behold, what a good man he is”; but that which pleases the Lord God is the servant who faithfully obeys his commandments and at all times maintains his integrity. Whenever the Devil sees a man faithfully performing service to God, the Devil is certain to launch against that man some scandalous lie to enable other persons to say in substance: ‘‘God would not use that sort of man, against whom such charges are made, and therefore such is proof that he is not the servant of God.” Let it be kept in mind that God judges his own servants and the servant need not be concerned about the adverse judgment of imperfect creatures. Men-pleasers are an abomination in the sight of God. He that is diligent in his endeavors to please Jehovah and receive his approval is the faithful servant of the Most High.
7 Having determined upon the course he would take, Samson knew that he would be blamed by the Philistines, and he also knew that he would in fact be without blame because he was carrying out God’s purpose: “And Samson said concerning them, Now shall I be more blameless than [(R.V.) This time shall I be blameless in regard of] the Philistines, though I do them a displeasure.”—Judg. 15:3.
8 Samson was commissioned to bring a calamity or evil destruction upon the Philistines, and therefore in what he did he was blameless. So likewise during the Elijah period of the work performed by the faithful servants of God, these servants were used to bring evil upon the modern Philistines by proclaiming the truth, because the Word of God’s truth is sharper than a two-edged sword. The wielding of that Word “shocks the religious susceptibilities” of the hypocritical crowd and ‘burns their pastures’.—Ezek. 34:1-8 ; Jer. 25:34-38.
9 The proclamation of the message of truth has inflicted much punishment upon the modern Philistines. In performing this work the faithful servants of God are without blame before him, even as Samson was blameless: “And Samson went and caught three hundred foxes [(R.V., margin) jackals], and took firebrands, and turned tail to tail, and put a firebrand in the midst between two tails.”—Judg. 15:4.
10 Jackals inhabit that country, and these animals travel in bands or packs; but not so with the foxes. There is nothing in the record to show that Samson had any human assistance in catching the jackals, and in tying their tails together, and it is manifest that he had the necessary sustaining help from the Lord in performing this feat. It was not the mischievous prank of a boy, but a well arranged exploit against the defamers of God’s name and the oppressors of his people. It was a deliberate arrangement to inflict punishment upon such enemies. Here Samson clearly pictures those who are faithful servants of God during the period of the Elijah work. The fact that he had to use jackals to accomplish the desired end shows that none of his brethren aided him in inflicting the punishment upon the Philistines. In like manner we see that none of the sanctimonious weaklings of the Elijah period rendered any aid to the faithful ones, but they always assumed the attitude of goody-goody, harmless creatures. Such weaklings then said: “We should be considerate with the clergy and not hold them up to ridicule and talk about their weaknesses, but should talk more about love.” How could anyone be a faithful servant of God and at the same time talk sanctimoniously and sentimentally about what was then generally understood to be “love”? Love for God means to obey his commandments and to do so joyfully. (1 John 5:3; John 14:15) During the Elijah period those professed servants of God who did according to their own wish in order to avoid reproach were not moved so to do by love, and hence they did not have a pure heart. He who has a pure heart will be diligently striving to do the will of God as commanded, regardless of what creatures may think or say, and it is toward such faithful ones that God shows his strength in times of need.
11 When Samson had his band of jackals prepared, then he lighted firebrands to their tails and away they went through the wheat fields and among the olive trees, carrying destruction wheresoever they went: “And when he had set the brands on fire, he let them go into the standing corn of the Philistines, and burnt up both the shocks, and also the standing corn, with the vineyards and olives.” (Judg. 15:5) In those days the word “corn” included wheat, barley, rye, millet, oats and like grains. A band of jackals carrying 150 firebrands, and scattered throughout the fields and olive orchards, would bring great destruction, and that so rapidly that the Philistines could not stop the conflagration until the fire had burned out, and that necessarily would bring famine upon the Philistines. Their grains evidently were ripe and would burn easily, and the Philistines had to stand by and see them perish.
12 The Elijah work of God’s faithful servants was likewise mischievous to the modern Philistines. A great number of tracts, booklets and books were put amongst the church-goers of “organized Christianity”, and the result was that this message of fiery truths spoiled the provender of the clergy which they had prepared for the people’s consumption and out of which they reaped their own harvest. The Elijah period of the work made the clergy sick, and they were often heard to howl: “Those Millennial Dawnists are spoiling our churches.” The fact is that God was using them to spoil the pastures of the hypocritical keepers of the flocks.
13 The Philistines were dreadfully wrought up because of this disaster, very hot and angry at what had been done to them, and they met and each one said to the other: “Who hath done this [thing]? And they answered, Samson, the son in law of the Timnite, because he had taken his wife, and given her to his companion. And the Philistines came up and burnt her and her father with fire. ’ ’—Judg. 15: 6.
14 Someone else gave them the answer, because the text reads: “And they answered.” Who were the ones that gave the answer? Manifestly it was the weak-kneed, faithless Israelites who consorted with the Philistines and who foreshadowed those faithless ones of the Elijah period who afterwards formed the “evil servant” company. And here is a suggestion as to the fate of the “evil servant” and treacherous class. That which befell the treacherous betrothed wife well pictured what will be the fate of the “evil servant”.
15 Samson did not seem to be disturbed because the Philistines had burned his treacherous woman. But even that was not sufficient. He was commissioned to inflict punishment upon the Philistines, and he would not cease in performing that work until he had done what God had commanded him: “And Samson said unto them, Though ye have done this, yet will I be avenged of you, and after that I will cease.”—Judg. 15:7.
16 The language of Samson here seems to indicate that the Philistines’ burning the woman and her father was a proper thing in avenging him but this was insufficient, because he says: “Yet will I be avenged of you, and after that I will cease.” As a Nazarite Samson must keep covenant with God, and to do so he must perform the God-given commission to him. His language means that whenever God’s vengeance has been fully expressed against the Philistines, then he would cease his depredations upon them, and not before. This pictures that the faithful servants of God will continue to do God’s bidding to the very end and will not cease until God stops them. The cause of Jehovah knows no defeat, and the expression of his vengeance must continue until it is fully accomplished.
17 The Philistines throughout the land apparently had gathered at Timnath to execute the woman and her father, who had made the marital arrangement with Samson. The burning of the man and his daughter furnished an occasion for Samson to go after the Philistines, and a real fight followed: ‘ ‘ And he smote them hip and thigh with a great slaughter: and he went down and dwelt in the top of the rock Etam.” (Judg. 15:8) How many Philistines were killed in that fight by Samson is not known, but there must have been a great number, because it is stated that there was “a great slaughter”.
18 It does not necessarily follow that the conflict of Samson with the Philistines foreshadowed events that come to pass upon the modern Philistines in chronological order, but that they pictured repeated defeats of the modern Philistines, the ecclesiastics of Satan’s organization during the period of the Elijah work of the church; and this also well pictured defeats inflicted upon the “Philistines” after the end of the Elijah period and during the Elisha period of the church. Following the “great slaughter” Samson went to dwell in the cliffs of the rock of Etam. The name “Etam” means “place of ravenous birds”, such as the eagle or vulture. Samson preferred to make his dwelling there rather than amongst his brethren, and thus to show his complete reliance upon Jehovah God for protection and not to trust for help or protection to be furnished by his weak-kneed faithless brother Israelites. Likewise the true and faithful servants of Jehovah God have found refuge and consolation in the great “Rock of Ages”, Jehovah, and not amongst those who are weak-kneed and faithless. (Isa. 26:4, margin) Although surrounded by the beastly and ravenous organization of Satan, in the Great Rock God’s people have been sheltered and protected, shielded and sustained.
19 How long Samson dwelt at the rock of Etam is not definitely stated, but it must have been some time before the next exploit was performed by him. The territory of Judah bordered upon that of Dan, and now in order to have revenge for the slaughter that Samson had wrought upon the Philistines, that people prepared to make war on Judah and with other Israelites with whom they might come in contact: “Then the Philistines went up, and pitched [their war camp] in Judah, and spread themselves in Lehi.” (Judg. 15:9) The gathering of the warlike Philistines in camp to attack Israelites was a real test of faith upon the Judeans. Would they resent the attack of the Philistines? or would they compromise with them to save their own hides? “And the men of Judah said, Why are ye come up against us? And they answered, To bind Samson are we come up, to do to him as he hath done to us,”—Judg. 15:10.
20 The very language of the Judeans shows that they were hedging and were willing to compromise. They were willing for Samson to take the brunt of the fight and punishment just so they were protected. The Philistines had concluded that they must have an army to go against the man Samson, upon whom God had put his power. Probably they thought to draw Samson into the land of Judah and there engage the Israelites in battle and get him as well as the others. Up to that time their god Dagon had not been able to deliver the small company of soldiers out of the hand of Samson, and now they would send up a whole army; which they did. The Philistine god Dagon was nothing like the God of Samson. “For their rock [Dagon, the Philistine god] is not as our Rock [Jehovah], even our enemies themselves being judges.”—Deut. 32:31.
21 The Philistines would now compel the Judeans to render aid to them in getting Samson, or else they would attack the Judeans. How well this illustrates what happened near the end of the Elijah period! The Judeans in this part of the drama pictured that large company of faithless ones who consorted with the modern Philistines against the true and faithful class. The Judeans in Samson’s day had fallen away from their devotion to God and had become wicked and faithless, and so Judah was ready to compromise. They had failed to give heed to the counsel of Jehovah: “For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them. O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end! How should one [of their enemies] chase a thousand, and two [of their enemies] put ten thousand [unfaithful Israelites] to flight, except their Rock [Jehovah] had sold them [the unfaithful ones because of their unfaithfulness], and the Lord had shut them up ? ’ ’—Deut. 32: 28-30.
22 Likewise about the beginning of the World War Satan put a test upon all who had covenanted to do service for Jehovah; Satan and his agents sought to destroy the people of God, and saw that the great World War would furnish the opportunity to accomplish their wicked purpose. In every nation of “Christendom” engaged in that war the clergy were against the covenant people of Jehovah, and particularly against those who persisted in serving God by telling of his kingdom. The modern Philistines, the ecclesiastics at that time, went out to kill God’s people. In every country efforts were made to force the faithful servants of God into the war. In all the countries that had enacted a conscription law with the “conscientious” provision therein, the clergy got themselves appointed on the draft boards or commissions and there used their power and influence to destroy the faithful servants of God. The faithless crowd that afterwards developed into the “evil servant” class co-operated with the modern Philistines. “Then three thousand men of Judah went to the top of the rock Etam, and said to Samson, Knowest thou not that the Philistines are rulers over us? what is this that thou hast done unto us? And he said unto them, As they did unto me, so have I done unto them.” —Judg. 15:11.
23 Here the host of Judeans pictured the weak-kneed and faithless modern Judeans, the professed servants of God, who sought to induce the faithful ones to bow to the dictates of the commercial, political and ecclesiastical rulers of the world in violation of their covenant with God. The faithless ones said to those who were standing firm to the Lord substantially this: ‘Don’t you know that the “higher powers” are the present-day rulers of this world, and that we must be obedient to them? Why get all of us into difficulties and jeopardize our interests in persisting in holding out that you cannot conscientiously go to war? These “higher powers” are ordained of God.’ Thus they argued, and cited Romans 13:1-3 in support of their argument. This was the crowd that wanted peace at any price and were willing to compromise and, being unable to entice the faithful ones to compromise, to resort to a treacherous conspiracy with the modem Philistines.
24 As stated in the eleventh verse, foregoing, the three thousand Judeans made a like argument to Samson. To them Samson replied: ‘As they have done unto me, so I have done unto them.’ The Philistines had reproached the name of Samson’s God by wickedly opposing and persecuting Jehovah’s chosen people, and the faithful Samson would not let the insult go unnoticed. Likewise the “faithful servant” class said to the clergy, and to their faithless brethren, and to all “Christendom”: ‘You have reproached God’s holy name by inflicting upon God’s faithful people great indignities, and we will not compromise by bowing to you, but we will obey God and do what he has commanded us to do.’
25 The Judeans, failing to win Samson to their side, proceeded to act against him by binding him: “And they said unto him, We are come down to bind thee, that we may deliver thee into the hand of the Philistines. And Samson said unto them, Swear unto me, that ye will not fall upon me yourselves.” (Judg. 15:12) The Judeans there demonstrated their extreme selfishness and fear of men instead of fear of God. Likewise the faithless ones during the Elijah period of the church demonstrated their extreme selfishness and fear of men rather than fear of and obedience to God. They wanted to shield and protect themselves. They were not willing to trust God to protect them, because they were faithless servants. Samson was not afraid of his ability to defend himself against his faithless brethren, but he knew he was not commissioned to indulge in mortal combat with his kinsmen. And therefore he asked them to swear unto him that they would not fall upon him in combat. He could doubtless have worsted the whole three thousand, but that was not his fight.
26 The spokesman of the three thousand drew near to Samson and disclosed their purpose: “And they spake unto him, saying, No; but we will bind thee fast, and deliver thee into their hand; but surely we will not kill thee. And they bound him with two new cords, and brought him up from the rock.” (Judg. 15:13) Those Israelites preferred to deliver up the faithful servant of God, Samson, regardless of what punishment he might suffer, hoping thereby to save themselves from war. And likewise during the Elijah period many of the weak-kneed and faithless ones preferred to deliver their brethren into the hands of the modern Philistines for the same or like selfish reasons. Men among that faithless crowd, pretending to be servants of God, went to the worldly ones, that is, the supposed “higher powers”, and said, in substance: ‘We are in favor of doing whatsoever your laws say; and it is the other fellows [referring to the “faithful servant” class] that stand out against you, and we are ready to deliver them into your hands.’ They made known to the enemy who were the ones standing firm, and hence enabled the enemy to lay hold of such faithful ones. They entered into a conspiracy, as Judas entered into a conspiracy against Christ Jesus. God’s rule concerning such is stated by Jesus in these words: “Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from abovetherefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.” (John 19:11) No wonder the Lord says to such faithless ones that their portion shall be “with the hypocrites”, that is to say, the modern-day Philistines.—Matt. 24: 51.
27 The weak-kneed Israelites bound Samson with strong cords and brought him forth from the rock of Etam and led him to Lehi: “And when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands.”—Judg. 15: 14.
28 Doubtless there was a great shout that went up from the army of the Philistines when they saw Samson being brought to them apparently securely bound. Enemies are always noisy when they think they have God’s faithful servants within their power. The beginning of the World War opened the gate for the enactment of conscription laws. This furnished the means of tying up the faithful; and the faithless, acting with the modern Philistines or ecclesiastics, shouted with glee and beat each other on the back when they saw the faithful men who had stood for the Lord being thrust into military or concentration camps or incarcerated in prison.
29 Samson had now reached a great crisis. Would God sustain his faithful servant? If so, that would be proof that Samson had God’s approval. Jehovah then caused his spirit to come mightily upon Samson, and his ropes with which he was bound fell from his hands. Samson quickly looked about for a weapon of God’s provision, and he found the jawbone of an ass that had recently died. “And he found a new [a moist (margin)] jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith.”—Judg. 15:15.
30 By causing Samson to use the jawbone of an ass Jehovah there demonstrated that the deliverance of his faithful servant did not come by means of the bow, spear, sword or horse, or other means of warfare invented by man, but was the result of the spirit or invisible power of Almighty God. “He delighteth not in the strength of the horse; he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man.” (Ps. 147:10) “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.” (Ps. 27:10) “For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me.” (Ps. 44:6) Samson put his trust in Jehovah God, and Jehovah sustained his servant. Likewise those who put their trust in Jehovah God in the Elijah period, and who feared not man but remained true to Jehovah, God sustained.
31 The ass was not an animal of war. Only the miracle of God could have made that jawbone of an ass stand the great wear and tear of crushing the skulls of a thousand men. While Samson was doing that work in the name of Jehovah, the three thousand Judeans stood by and looked on and gave no help. Samson, the faithful servant, fought alone, so far as any human help was concerned, but he fought in the strength of the Lord. Likewise during the days of the Elijah work of the church there was a faithful, zealous and fearless company of men and women that continued to do the work, while many others stood by and refused to do anything to the honor of Jehovah. Those who really continued to serve Jehovah were made up of the peaceful, meek and obedient class like unto an ass, and they used their jaws to do the speaking or witness work in the name of Jehovah and Christ Jesus, and they continued to slay the modem Philistines with the Word of God. The warfare continued, and the righteous held up the banner of the Lord.
32 Immediately following this slaughter of the Philistines with the jawbone of the ass Samson sung a song of victory to Jehovah: “With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw [jawbone] of an ass have I slain a thousand men.” (Judg. 15:16) In that song or declaration he was not boasting of his own power, but giving glory to Jehovah God, who had sustained him in that terrible crisis. Samson did not keep the jawbone of the ass and hang it up in his tent as a relic to be worshiped or viewed with great awe, as some men like to do and as some during the Elijah work liked to point with pride to what they had accomplished. He had relied upon God, and not upon the instrument he held in his hand. That instrument having served his purpose, he had no further use for it. “And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking, that he cast away the jawbone out of his hand, and called that place Ramath-lchi.”—Judg. 15:17.
33 Samson gave an appropriate name to the place where the battle was fought. The word “Lehi” means “a jawbone”, and the place was so named by Samson after Samson slew the Philistines there who had come up against him. Samson named the place “Ra-math-lehi”, meaning “lifting up of the jawbone”, that is to say, using it then and there to vindicate Jehovah’s name by slaying his enemies. In this manner Samson memorialized the place of victory to the vindication of Jehovah God; and this shows that the proper thing for faithful servants to do is to always give glory to God for his sustaining grace and power and never honor man.
34 That fight in which a thousand Philistines fell before Samson was a great and trying ordeal upon Samson, and when it was finished he was near unto exhaustion and much in need of refreshing water. “And he was sore athirst, and called on the Lord, and said, Thou hast given this great deliverance into the hand of thy servant; and now shall I die for thirst, and fall into the hand of theuncireumeised?’’ —Judg. 15:18.
35 It was the very hot season of the year, and Samson had fought on without stopping to quench his thirst, even if there was anything near by with which he could have quenched it. He did not claim the victory to himself, but, giving all glory to Jehovah God, he confessed himself the servant of God, and then with confidence called upon the Lord for help that he might not die. This shows that he knew that he was entirely dependent upon Jehovah and that the victory just won was God’s victory, and not his own. His conduct at this point points with emphasis to the fact that Samson was a man of faith and that because of his faith and faithfulness God puts him on his approved list. (Heb. 11: 32) He fully realized that now, although he had put the Philistines to flight and had slain a thousand, he would now fall into the hands of the uncircumcised crowd because of his near exhaustion. He knew that should that occur the un-cireumcised horde of Philistines would reproach Samson’s God and further defame his name and would say: “His God cannot help him from dying from thirst in the wilderness, where he found the jawbone of the ass withering.” That not only would be a reproach on Jehovah’s name but would be the downfall of Jehovah’s people. Samson therefore prayed God that he might have water to refresh him and that he might live to fight on. Thus he pictures the faithful ones during the Elijah work who often found themselves in difficulty and in need of refreshment and help that they might live and continue to bear testimony to the name and glory of Jehovah God and his King. The faithfulness and constancy of Samson was set before the followers of Christ Jesus as an example unto them, and they are admonished to do likewise. (Heb. 12:1) Would Jehovah let his servant Samson die in the wilderness for want of water? No; because God always sustains those who are faithful and true to him. Samson was at Lehi, the place near the jawbone, and there God would refresh him, sustain him, and permit him to live. “But God clave an hollow place that was in the jaw, and there came water thereout; and when he had drunk, his spirit came again, and he revived: wherefore he called the name thereof En-hakkore, which is in Lehi unto this day.”—Judg. 15:19.
36 This does not mean that God brought water out of Samson’s jaw, nor out of the jawbone of the ass that had been cast away, but that he brought forth water at a point in that land which Samson had called Lehi, that is, “a jawbone,” or “Ramath-lehi”, meaning the place of lifting up the instrument of vindication to Jehovah’s name. Whether God brought forth a stream of water by means of an earthquake or by causing the earth to split and water to flow out, is not stated. It is sufficient to know that Jehovah God there refreshed and sustained his faithful servant. Manifestly the Lord refers to all such faithful ones who rely upon him under all circumstances, when he caused the prophet Isaiah to write: “When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.” (Isa. 41:17,18) The prophetic picture here clearly foreshadows that God’s faithful servant class may confidently rely upon Jehovah to sustain them in every time of need and that he will never forsake those who continue faithful in the performance of their covenant to do his will.
37 After Samson had refreshed himself with the sweet waters provided by the hand of the Lord he was revived and rejoiced. Likewise during the Elijah period when the conflict was trying and the faithful became tired, worn, weary and thirsty for some refreshing assurance from the Lord, he provided it, and on they went with their work, doing with their might what their hands found to do, and continued to rejoice. This is exactly in accord with God's promise to those who are faithful to him. (Isa. 40: 29-31) What God does to one faithful servant, he does likewise to all those who are faithful to him.
38 Being refreshed, Samson in an expression of gratitude called the place by the name ‘‘En-hakkore, which is in Lehi”, meaning “the fountain of the crier”, that is, the well of water provided for him that called upon Jehovah. The place was so called unto the day of the making of the divine record of the book of Judges. That permanent spring of water, which God had brought forth for his name’s sake, became a memorial of his power and of his faithfulness toward those who called upon him and who served him in spirit and in truth. How fitting is The Watchtower, and its kindred publications, as a means or channel of bringing refreshing truths to the servants of God. It is God’s provided instrument, and not man’s. It was so during the Elijah period of the church that The Watchtower was used to bring refreshing truths of life to God’s faithful people. Even to this day God graciously continues to use the Watch Tower publications to bring forth refreshing waters of truth, which he employs to sustain his faithful people. The faithful servants of the Lord are fully assured that God, who has promised to sustain them, will always faithfully carry out his promise, and hence with confidence they may sing as they go on with their work: “Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength. ’ ’—Isa. 26: 2-4.
39 Samson had begun to deliver Israel from the uncircumcised Philistines, and he continued to judge Israel: “And he judged Israel, in the days of the Philistines, twenty years.” (Judg. 15:20) The continuous service of Samson as judge of Israel is a silent testimony to his faith and faithfulness as a servant of Jehovah, and this is further proof that he represents God’s faithful people and that he is held forth as an example for those faithful ones to follow who have undertaken to serve God.—Heb. 11:32; 12:1.
40 Jehovah then sent Samson to Gaza. The record does not specifically so state, but it must be kept in mind that Samson was Jehovah’s servant playing a part in the prophetic drama under the direction of the Most High: “Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot, and went in unto her.” (Judg. 16: 1) The name “Gaza” means “strong; fortified”. It is also the feminine gender noun for “goat”; and it was true to its name, as history subsequently shows. It was an ancient city, being mentioned as early as Genesis 10:19. It was one of the five principal cities in the Philistine league. (Josh. 13:3) Although the city was situated some distance from the sea, it had a port on the sea and did a commercial business in the sea. Its people practiced the Devil religion, Da-gon the fish-god being their deity. Its fortifications were very strong at that time. It was the key city to Palestine, being situate on the southern border. It was the key or way of entrance into Egypt from the north. The evidence is quite conclusive that the Philistines were the Caphtorim who migrated from Egypt, drove out the earlier inhabitants of Gaza, and dwelt there in their steads. (Deut. 2:23; Amos 9:7) The territory occupied by the Philistines formed a portion of the promised land and, as heretofore stated, had been assigned to the tribe of Judah; but the Philistines held possession of it most of the time.
41 The history of the Philistines well corresponds with that of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy system. The Catholic organization sprang out of Pagan Rome, that is, Satan’s organization, pictured by ancient Egypt. Early in its history the Roman Catholic system assumed to occupy a place as God’s people, and which was represented by the land of Judah, or those who praise Jehovah. In other words, it pretended to be praisers of God, yet at the same time served the Devil. It is a fact now well known to all that it is a commercial-political organization, operating under a religious name, and its main purpose is to enrich itself and to rule the earth. It fraudulently employs the name of the Lord to accomplish its purposes. It has always been the deadly enemy of the true worshipers of Jehovah God. Modern Gaza and its inhabitants are doomed to destruction at the hand of the Lord, and it seems that such destruction will take place in the early part or beginning of Armageddon. (Jer. 25:20; 47:5) That wicked organization has been and continues to be guilty of many crimes, among which dastardly deeds was the carrying away and the humiliation of God’s people during the World War period, at the close of the Elijah work, particularly from the years 1917 to 1919. For its many crimes against his people Jehovah has declared that he “will send a fire on the wall of Gaza, which shall devour the palaces thereof: . . . the Philistines shall perish, saith the Lord God”. (Amos 1: 6-8) When Jehovah expresses his fierce anger against the modern Philistines, they shall be rooted up and cleared out and the way be made clear for the praise of Jehovah by all those who devote themselves to God and who continue to seek meekness and righteousness. “For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noonday, and Ekron shall be rooted up. Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites! the word of the Lord is against you; O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant. And the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; they shall feed thereupon: in the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down in the evening; for the Lord their God shall visit them, and turn away their captivity. This shall they have for their pride, because they have reproached and magnified themselves against the people of the Lord of hosts. ’ ’—Zeph. 2:4, 5, 7,10.
42 The Roman Catholic Hierarchy, which is the chief part of the modern uncircumcised Philistines, has always been given to conquest for the acquisition of wealth and power. That cruel organization has reached out to every part of the earth and has enriched itself by fraudulently extracting money from the people. Today it holds possession of the choicest places on earth and connives and operates with the commercial giants everywhere, and the spineless politicians everywhere, to subjugate the people and take away their possessions. It is the chief religious element of the Devil’s visible organization, and its commercial and political allies and pets operate under other names to deceive the people. Its commercial strength, pictured by Tyre, shall be devoured with fire. (Zech. 9:3-7) Let all persons who are now fully devoted to Jehovah take courage and rejoice that the day of deliverance is at the door, when the modern Philistines and all their wicked allies shall cease to exist. Without a doubt Jehovah today is unfolding to those who love him an understanding of his prophecy that the ones devoted to his cause may receive comfort and strength to carry on the witness work in his holy name.
43 Samson did not go to Gaza to gratify his human desire upon a harlot, and there is no evidence to warrant harsh criticism of him because he was at the house of a harlot at Gaza. Manifestly the purpose of Samson’s visit to Gaza was to find an occasion against the Philistines that his commission from Jehovah might be fulfilled. So far as the record discloses Samson went down to Gaza alone. Going among his deadly enemies shows his courage, because he was relying upon God for his protection and security. He was there as Jehovah’s instrument or servant to again make a triumphant show of God’s superior power against Satan’s organization. Samson entered the gates of that fortified city alone. This part of the drama shows God’s purpose to demonstrate his power against the modern Philistines in their fortified position, which they think is invulnerable.
44 At Gaza Samson saw a harlot and went in unto her. That was not the only time God has used a harlot woman in making a picture of his purpose. The house of the harlot was a public establishment and was probably the only place that would receive Samson and give him lodging for the night. The fact that Samson is not reproved in his conduct shows that he was at the house of the harlot for a legitimate purpose and in harmony with God’s will. Probably he had in mind what had taken place at Jericho when the two spies were sent there, concerning whom it is written: “And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot’s house, named Rahab, and lodged there. And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, Behold, there came men in hither to night of the children of Israel to search out the country. And before they were laid down, she came up unto them upon the roof; and she said unto the men, I know that the Lord hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.”—Josh. 2: 1, 2, 8, 9.
45 There is no evidence that Samson had sexual intercourse with the harlot or even any conference with her. The words, “And [he] went in unto her,” do not necessarily mean that he had relations with her. He went into her house just the same as the spies went into the house of Rahab and “lodged there [(margin) lay there]”. Regardless of what the argument may be, and regardless of how human creatures pretend to be shocked at the fact of Samson’s spending a night in the house of a harlot, he was there at Jehovah’s direction and therefore all presumptions must be indulged in his favor. The “strong-arm squad” of the Philistines evidently were keeping close check on the house of the harlot for the reason best known to themselves. They usually hang around such places. At any rate, they spread the news quickly that Samson was in the harlot’s house. “And it was told the Gazites, saying, Samson is come hither. And they compassed him in, and laid wait for him all night in the gate of the city, and were quiet all the night, saying, In the morning, when it is day, we shall kill him.”—Judg. 16:2.
46 In this verse of the text the word translated ‘ ‘ is come” (hither) is the same word translated in the preceding verse ‘ ‘ went in ’ ’, and supports the conclusion that Samson was merely a lodger in that house. The strong-arm squad immediately compassed the house about and lay in wait for Samson, that Samson might be taken unawares. The Lord must have informed Samson, however, from what occurred later that night
47 The guards were quiet during the night, saying to each other, “In the morning, when it is day, we shall kill him.” During the Elijah period of the church the modern Philistines, the leaders of the religious element and their chief dupes, tried to entrap the faithful people of the Lord and closed all loopholes to prevent their escape. They 'lay in wait’, thinking they knew how to get their prey at the time most convenient for them. The period of the Elijah work was drawing near to a close, and the modern Philistines “laid wait” for God’s people, expecting to have them completely bottled up. “And Samson lay till midnight, and arose at midnight, and took the doors of the gate of the city, and the two posts, and went away with them, bar and all, and put them upon his shoulders, and carried them up to the top of an hill that is before Hebron.”—Judg. 16: 3.
48 After his long journey from the north Samson was taking his rest upon his bed in the harlot’s house. The text does not even indicate that he was with the harlot. The same Hebrew word here translated “lay” is translated “lodged” at Joshua 2:1, referring to the spies in Rahab’s house. God’s people are often in a place or position which to the evil-minded looks very suspicious, and the scandalmongers wag their heads, look pious, hold their eyebrows high, and scowl at the conduct of God’s faithful people, claiming it to be wrong. It is better to let God judge his own servants, since he knows.—Rom. 14: 4.
49 Samson undoubtedly knew of the Philistines’ purpose to capture and kill him. It is not to be expected that he went into the enemy’s fortified city with any thought of being received and permitted to depart in peace. He did not wait until morning, but concluded that midnight was the best time for him to get out of the city and to demonstrate the power and protection of his God Jehovah. He knew that the gates of the city would then be locked and that the strong-arm squad would think that they had him completely secure, and for him to break away from the city under such circumstances would be further evidence that Jehovah was protecting Samson and supplying him with strength. The gate had two leaves or doors, and the posts holding them up were very great and ponderous. The walls of the city were so massive that the military engineers of Alexander found them almost insurmountable barriers to entering the city.
50 Samson left the house of the harlot at midnight and probably had to fight a number of the guards before he reached the city wall. Having knocked out the guards, then he laid hold upon the posts and tore them and the gates away from their moorings, bars and all, and carried them away on his shoulders up to the top of the hill at Hebron, a distance of at least forty miles. No man could have done that save by the strength supplied by the Lord.
51 Hebron was a priests’ city in the higher, mountainous-country part of the land of Judah. To carry the gates there might seem like a useless expenditure of strength. Not so, however. Only a miracle of the Lord could enable Samson to escape from the city with that great load. He might have dumped the gates just outside of the city walls, but carrying them out of the Philistines’ country into the land occupied by Judah magnified God’s power bestowed upon his faithful servant and dealt a stunning and humiliating blow to the pride of the Philistines. The disposition of those gates and the posts at Hebron should have been strong and tangible proof to all the Israelites and their priests that God’s power was upon his faithful servant Samson, and therefore should have been an incentive for the other Israelites to support Samson,
52 This corresponds to what took place in the year 1914. For some time prior to that time God’s “faithful servant ’ ’ class, led by the then editor of The Watchtower , had repeatedly announced 1914 as the end of the world. The modern-day Philistines were lying in wait for that servant class, expecting that in 1914 nothing would come to pass, and hence the Society and its supporters would be put out of business and receive severe ridicule and reproach and would come to an end. Instead, the modern Philistines, the modernists, were the ones who were nonplussed and put to shame and had to crawl into their holes in 1914, when the World War suddenly broke. They had been saying there could never be another war, and now it had come exactly as God’s faithful servants had declared it would. In 1914 God’s “faithful servant” class continued by the grace of the Lord to present the message of the kingdom, showing that the World War was evidence that the world had come to an end. This demonstrated that what they had said previously was not of their own knowledge but was a manifestation of God’s foreknowledge and power. Those who had faith in God and in his Word should have taken this evidence as conclusive proof that God was with the Society or organization of faithful men and women who were proclaiming the end of the world and the kingdom of God. The faithful ones stood firm, while many others, fearful and weak-kneed, fell away.
53 The time was near the close of the twenty years of Samson’s judgeship of Israel when the events came to pass as here mentioned. Samson’s father and mother had been his helpers. That the father and mother, his helpers, were now dead may well correspond with the time when Christ straightway came to the temple and when the office of the holy spirit as a helper ceased and when all who professed to be of the house of God stood before Christ Jesus, the great Judge, for an accounting. All then were under the direction of the Lord Jesus, and not the holy spirit as helper. “And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley [(margin) by the brook] of Sorek[ (Roth.) ravine of Shorek], whose name was Delilah.’ ’ (Judg. 16:4) The word ‘‘Sorek”, or “ Shorek’ ’, means “hissing”, as in a scornful manner in reproach. It was during the World War, and particularly at about 1917 and 1918, that God’s people were hissed at, scorned and hated. (Matt. 24:9) The location of the ravine or valley of Sorek is not definitely fixed, but the weight of authority appears to fix the place at about thirteen miles west of Jerusalem, which would make the place not far distant from the home of Samson. In that valley of Sorek resided a woman by the name of Delilah. Her name means “languishing”, that is, with an unclean desire or extreme selfishness. Biblical commentators generally class Delilah as a Philistine woman, but the evidence supporting that conclusion is not at all satisfactory. Without a doubt she was quite familiar with the Philistines, because they felt free to approach her and engage her to carry out a conspiracy against Samson. The decided weight of the evidence shows that she was not a Philistine, but of the Israelites. Nor is there any evidence that she was a harlot. If a harlot, then it was the business of Judge Samson to clear her out of Israel.
54 Since it was through the efforts of Delilah that Samson met what appears to be his defeat by the Philistines, it seems important to locate, according to the Scriptural proof, just whom Delilah pictured. If she was a Philistine woman, why should Samson, after his previous experiences with the Philistines, be so moved that, as the Scriptures say, “he loved” the woman ? If she was an Israelitish woman, there would be some reason why Samson should love her. We must bear in mind that Samson was the faithful servant of Jehovah, playing his part in one of Jehovah’s great dramatic prophecies recorded for the special instruction and comfort of the remnant of God on earth at the end of the world. The fact that Delilah is given such a prominent part in this prophetic drama, the playing of which part brought such apparent disaster upon Samson, is proof that whomsoever she pictured or represented in the drama must be prominently identified in the Scriptures and the events which thereafter followed. Whom, then, did Delilah picture in that drama? and what important part did she play as related to modern times?
(To be continued')
QUESTIONS FOR STUDY
1. What are the conditions on which man may receive the sustaining grace of Jehovah?
2,3. What is meant by “ a pure heart ’ ’ ? By being a servant of Jehovah? Have the servants of God been judged aright? Show whether adverse criticism of Samson is justified.
4-6. Explain Samson’s purpose in again going to Timnath, and his going alone. What is shown in the fact of his not considering the offer made by his betrothed wife’s father?
7-12. What was the “displeasure” which Samson did to the Philistines? How could Samson be blameless in bringing that calamity upon them? How does this find application as a prophecy?
13, 14. Show that the affair recorded at verse 6 was truly prophetic.
15-18. Seeing that the Philistines had burned his treacherous woman and her father with fire, why should Samson now proceed as recorded in verses 7,81 What is foreshown therein?
19-21. What did the Philistines then do, and why? How did the men of Judah regard this action? Apply the picture.
22-24. Point out fulfillment of verse 11.
25-28. Why had the men of Judah gone up to the rock of Etam, where Samson now was? Explain his asking them to swear to him as recorded in verse 12. What was their reply? Why would they bind Samson and deliver him into the hand of the Philistines? Why should these “men of Judah” desire or be permitted to ill-treat Samson in this manner? How has this part of the picture had fulfillment?
29-35. What instruction for God’s faithful servant is seen in verse 15? In verses 16,17?In verse 18?
36-39. Explain verse 19. What was clearly foreshadowed therein? What is now seen in verse 20?
40-42. Account for Samson’s going to Gaza. Briefly compare the history of the Philistines with that of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy, as serving to confirm the identity of the modern Philistines. Show that the Scriptures clearly foretell the destruction of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy.
43,44. Explain Samson’s going alone to Gaza, and the absence of record of any reproof of Samson in connection with his procedure there. Relate another recorded incident further confirming the propriety of Samson’s lodging where he did.
45-48. Account for the Gazites’ learning of Samson’s presence there, and for their lying in wait for him until the morning. Describe the situation in which this part of the picture has had fulfillment.
49-52. Point out the wisdom in Samson’s leaving the city at the time mentioned and in the manner described at Judges 16: 3, and account for the strength and security in which he did this. Apply this part of the prophetic picture.
53, 54. When did the event recorded in verse 4 take place, and what does that fact suggest? What is shown in the name of the place where Delilah dwelt? Who was Delilah? and whom did she picture in the drama?
THE WATCHTOWER has been requested to answer the following questions for the benefit of those who desire to be in harmony with the Lord and his work here on the earth: “What is the proper relationship between the remnant and the Jonadabs where the conditions exist as stated below: “Where the anointed are greatly in the minority? Where there is but one brother claiming anointing in a group of twelve to twenty publishers? Where, in a large group of men and women, the only one or ones claiming anointing are women? As above, when the sisters are old and incapable? Where the one or few anointed are foreign, able only with difficulty to express themselves in English, with several EnglishspeakingJonadabs? Where the group of Jonadabs resent the bossing of one brother claiming anointing, and do not co-operate with him because he is a ‘roughriding’ foreigner? Where, because claiming anointing, an old man holds all service arrangements and leading of meetings in his own hands, and younger, more efficient Jonadabs are available who could get more witnessing done, but who try to get on with the old brother ?’’
Answer: The Scriptures make it quite plain that Jehu was sent out by the Lord Jehovah to drive the chariot and that Jonadab, by Jehu’s invitation, rode with him. This does not indicate that Jonadab aspired to be the driver or that there was any difference between him and Jehu, but they both went on harmoniously together. The Scriptural illustration is obvious.
The chief objective in all meetings for the study of God’s Word should be to ascertain the will of the Lord as expressed in his Word. If the company has been in existence for some time past, and among those attending the study class there are some who are well known to possess the Scriptural qualifications of a leader in fact, as stated by the apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 3:1-7, then all those present who claim to be fully consecrated to do the will of God should select a study leader and other servants from amongst those who possess the qualifications set forth in the scripture above cited.
No man should assume to be the only one anointed of the Lord and therefore the only one qualified to be the class leader. If he in fact possesses the Scriptural qualifications and has the spirit of the Lord, the others present who have a sincere desire to do the will of God will gladly vote for him to be the leader of the class study. For any person to arbitrarily assume to be the class study leader or the chairman of the company is entirely wrong.
Where there is no man amongst the company, that is, no one of the male sex, who does possess the Scriptural qualifications stated in the above text, then some one of the company who has and manifests the mind of the Lord, and who appears to be apt to direct a class study, should be chosen for that purpose. He can be selected to preside at the class study and propound the questions and keep order while they are being discussed.
A woman should not be selected to lead the class study where there are some male members present that might lead. No one who speaks the English language in a broken manner, and difficult to be understood, should be put forward as a leader of a class study. If any one assumes to be boss he should not be selected to preside or direct the class study. “Roughriders” find no proper place amongst the Lord’s people.
It is entirely improper for any man, whether he be old or young, to voluntarily assume the responsibility of directing everything or anything in a company or in a class study without first receiving the consent of the majority of those who attend. Nor should any man be selected as chairman who insists that he is the only one qualified. Even though he claims to be the only one who has received the anointing of the Lord, that is not conclusive. It is for the company then to first determine whether or not he manifests the spirit of the Lord. The fact that a man thinks he has been a long time in the truth and that this gives him precedence over others is entirely a wrong conclusion. Anyone who is brought forth or put forth to act in the capacity of the leader of a class study or as chairman of a meeting, in order to be properly selected, must first show that he has and manifests the spirit of the Lord, that he is kind and considerate, and that he deals justly with his brethren.
Where there are a number of persons meeting together who sincerely desire to study God’s Word and to understand it they will have no difficulty in agreeing on someone to act as chairman and propound the questions and keep order, whether he claims to be of the anointed or of the Jonadabs. To be sure, the anointed remnant should be first selected, but if the company cannot see and understand that the one put forward to act as chairman or director of the class is in truth and in fact a child of the Lord, then they should not be forced to do so. Everyone who is of the temple class will be anxious to dwell together in peace and will do so and will attempt to keep peace and order amongst his brethren. Everyone who has good will toward God and wants to obey God will do the same thing.
If a majority of the company are of the opinion that no one present gives evidence of being of the anointed remnant, then let the brother be selected who comes the nearest to having the spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ and the apostles.
In this connection it is entirely appropriate to say that those who are sent out as representatives of the Society are requested to deal fairly and justly with their brethren. It has been reported that some who have been sent forth as representatives of the Society will at times say to the persons present: “Do as I say, or get out.” Anyone using such expression does so contrary to the wish of the Society, and certainly such an attitude is contrary to the spirit of the Lord. The Society does not endorse anyone who manifests an arbitrary and dictatorial spirit; and if one does manifest such a spirit, then, though he claims to represent the Society, he does not in fact represent the Society.
All should keep in mind that the adversary will do everything possible to disrupt the Lord’s people, and the only way to resist him is to do as the Lord has directed. Love is the principal thing, and love means an unselfish desire to do good and doing good toward others, and not merely looking after self-aggrandizement. Keep in mind the great commandment to love God with all one’s heart, mind, and strength and to love our brethren as ourselves, and by following this rule peace will prevail amongst all those who study the Lord’s Word.
From time to time reports show that local service directors, who have been appointed by the Society, assume the attitude of a boss or dictator. Such an attitude is entirely wrong. The service director should attend strictly to his business, which is to organize the territory and the workers, assign the territory, and put the workers in the field and take the lead, going before them and actively engaging in the witness work. Anyone who pleases the Lord will be anxious to do the Lord’s work, and not to exalt himself.
When a service meeting is called the service director, by virtue of his position, presides at the meeting. He should avoid making a discourse or permitting anyone else to take up the time discoursing. The attention of the company should be called to the Director, which is published by the Society, and it be explained and the purpose set forth, discussing its contents where such discussion is required. No time should be wasted in relating personal experiences, but the time should be occupied in considering ways and means to more efficiently carry on the work. It is reported to the Society that often a service meeting is conducted in this way: The first 30 minutes is occupied in a discourse by the director, then a talk by some other brother several minutes, then the playing of a phonograph record, then another discourse by some brother present. Such manner of conducting a service meeting is entirely out of order and not conducive to the welfare of the Lord’s service. Let the brethren remember that God has taken out of the world a people for his name and commissioned them to publish his name and his kingdom. The day of “windjamming” is past. This is no time to listen to long-winded dissertations or the unnecessary “experience” of some one as to his views relating to some particular scripture. A service meeting should be strictly in the interest of service. If it is desirable to have someone give a brief talk on service, then let this be limited to five minutes and not more than three speakers, at the outside, during the entire meeting. If each one of the speakers confines himself to a point that is helpful in the service, some good may result. The Lord feeds his people through The Watchtower, and not by discoursing indiscriminately.
EXPELLING CHILDREN FROM SCHOOL
SCHOOL boards now indulge in the expulsion of children from school because such children refuse to engage in the ceremony of saluting a flag. These children have been taught by their consecrated parents to love and serve Jehovah God and his King, Christ Jesus, and that their allegiance and devotion must be to God at all times, and that they must always do that which is right regarding every person. They have been properly taught that the law of Jehovah God is supreme and cannot be overridden by the law of man. Many of these children now in the schools will doubtless be of the “great multitude” and, if so, they must salute God and Jesus Christ and none other, because such is the commandment of the Word of God. (Ex. 20:3-7; Rev. 7:9,10) The child must intelligently choose to obey Almighty God or do violence to his own conscience and violate God’s commandment. When a school board has been informed that a child in school refuses to salute the flag only for the reason that the child believes on and serves Jehovah God and Christ Jesus, and that the child cannot disobey the Almighty God, and the school board then under such circumstances, and with such knowledge, expels that child from school, the school board is doing injury to the child and pursuing a lawless or iniquitous course. They do exactly what Jehovah God by his prophet says, they ‘frame mischief by law’. “They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.” (Ps. 94: 20, 21) In attempting such action the school board is doing violence to the Constitution of the United States, which guarantees the right of all to worship Almighty God without interference. Not only is the school board doing injury to the child and treating it unjustly, but it is attempting to compel the child to bring reproach upon God’s name, and the board itself, above all, is reproaching the name of Jehovah God. The child who thus is made to suffer by reason of the iniquity of men enjoys the privilege of being reproached for the name of Christ. The child may confidently trust in the Lord, knowing that the ultimate result will be to its good and to the glory of God. For the consolation of such a faithful child Jehovah puts in its mouth these words: “But the Lord is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge. ’ ’ (Ps. 94:22) Concerning those men who, moved by selfishness, work injury to the child, God through his prophet emphatically says: “And he [Jehovah God] shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness; yea, the Lord our God shall cut them off. ’ ’—Ps. 94: 23.
When children are expelled from school for the reason above stated and are thus wrongfully denied the benefit of schooling, what shall be done by the consecrated parents of the child? Probably the Lord has permitted this condition to come about in order to show the parents the necessity of teaching their own children or having them taught by someone who is devoted to Jehovah God and his kingdom. The advice, therefore, is here given to the consecrated parents of such children that they arrange to have their children taught in private schools or by private teachers, that is, by someone devoted to God and to his kingdom. There may be in the community a woman or man who is devoted to God and his kingdom and who would count it a great privilege of service to God to teach children under these circumstances. The teaching of children under the conditions here mentioned would be and is a service unto Jehovah God and his kingdom. The children could thus be taught the truth of and concerning the kingdom of God along with the other studies that it is necessary for them to have. In this manner the children would be taking a preparatory course to enable them to fit themselves to receive the special protection of the Lord God during the time of Armageddon. The Scriptures expressly state that all such who do receive God’s protection must seek meekness and righteousness. (Zeph. 2:1-4) They could seek neither meekness nor righteousness in schools where they are compelled to violate their conscience and, above all, to violate God’s law. It is far more important to teach the children the truth of and concerning Jehovah’s kingdom than anything else. Doubtless there will be a great multitude of these young ones who will shortly learn to praise God and be the recipients of his rich blessings soon to be administered to all who love and obey him. We know that the iniquitous rule of Satan must shortly end and that the kingdom of Jehovah God under Christ will take over all the affairs of earth. The parents can give to the children no greater heritage than a knowledge and understanding of Jehovah’s purposes. Let not the parents be discouraged anywhere by reason of the iniquitous act of law-makers and law-enforcers of this world. Be diligent to look after your children and to help your neighbors to teach their children concerning God’s kingdom. It is quite probable that the Roman Catholic Hierarchy will bring to bear influence upon law officers to take the children away from parents and put them in a Catholic institution, and to do this on the theory that the parents are not competent to train their children. Of course, such action will be grossly wrong, but the consecrated parents should now fortify themselves by making arrangement to teach their children the truth of and concerning God’s kingdom and then trust implicitly in the Lord to bring about the result to the good of those who love him and to his own glory and praise.
It is written in the Scriptures: “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not. ’ ’ (Eccl. 12:1) All who understand the Scriptures well know that the great evil day upon all the world is just ahead, that it will be a time of tribulation such as the world has never known. (Matt. 24: 21, 22) It is the time of the battle of the great day of God Almighty, in which all the world shall perish and only those who turn to Jehovah God shall live. To those who love God the light is now shining more brilliantly than ever, and just preceding that great evil day it is an obligation laid upon the parents to see that their children are taught to remember the Creator and his provision made for his creatures, and especially to impress that upon them before that terrible day breaks upon the earth. It will be only those who have been taught that can be fortified. Those who are now taught to remember and serve the Creator, Jehovah God, and his kingdom will be the ones in line for the protection and blessing of the Lord. The truth is set forth in a simple way in The. Harp of God, and this may be used to instruct the children; and, by the Lord’s grace, the Society will soon have a publication especially for the benefit of the “great multitude”.
THINGS HID, NOW MADE MANIFEST
Dear Brother Rutherford:
Loving and happy Christian greetings in the name of Christ Jesus, Zion’s King. The undersigned company take this opportunity to drop you a few lines though we are aware of how busily engaged you are in the “King’s business’’; still we cannot forbear expressing to you in a feeble way the great appreciation we have for you, and our thankfulness to our loving heavenly Father for using you as an elder, in the real meaning of that term as made manifest to us lately from the temple, to convey through his earthly channel the Watch Tower and you his willing servant to the Lord’s people the “food convenient’’ for us; we have reference to the articles appearing in the Watchtowers of August 1 and 15 respecting “The Great Multitude’’. Language fails us to express ourselves as we would like to in appreciation to God for this special feast, which is some of the ‘things hid from generations past but now made manifest to his saints ’. We are very glad to express ourselves as being fully in harmony with the light thrown on the “great multitude”, that there is no need for stumbling, but that we are seeing “eye to eye” with that which we have received from our Teachers, Jehovah and Christ Jesus, and the intent of our heart is fully expressed in the words of the psalmist David as recorded in Psalm 27: 4. We are one hundred-percent devoted to the Lord’s work which he is doing in the earth, and the Watch Tower Society, his earthly vehicle, and you, dear Brother Rutherford, who so unselfishly are daily laying down your life in sacrifice in Jehovah’s cause and on the behalf of his people. Our sincere prayer to the Lord is that he will continue to keep you in his “secret place” and use you as you devote yourself to the King of kings and Lord of lords. We look forward with sharpened appetites to the further light to be thrown on “prisoners”, the “priests”, the “Levites”, the “scapegoat”, “Samson,” and the ‘foolish virgins’. Our united prayers go out on your behalf to the end that the Lord may bless, preserve and direct you to carry out the work he has given you to do until you shall hear his “Well done”.
Yours by grace in vindication service,
Port Limon (Costa Rica) company of Jehovah’s witnesses.
GLAD TO SERVE
I want to say that I am deeply appreciative of the wonderful work that you are doing in the interest of the coming kingdom, and I am convinced from your writings, which I am sure are inspired by the flashes from the temple, that Armageddon is near at hand, and I rejoice to know that the evil reign of Satan over the people of this earth is about to be brought to a close.
For some years past I have been a subscriber for The Watchtower, and also The Golden Age, and it has afforded me genuine pleasure in keeping up with the correct interpretations as contained in your writings relating to the closing scenes of this age.
With the hope that I may be considered as a humble Jona-dab I have contributed, and am still contributing, in a humble way to help those faithful men and women who are going from house to house distributing literature telling of the close approach of that kingdom which our blessed Redeemer taught us to ever pray for.
Although not a very old man, yet I have become convinced that I don’t want any longer to be an active practitioner of my profession as a lawyer, for the reason that I want to wholly sever my connections with any and all worldly organizations so that I will not have anything to divide my loyalty toward the coming kingdom.
In this connection I will state that some four years ago I was elected by the Bar Association of Rusk County as its first president, which office I am still holding, although we have not met as an association for something like three years, and really such organization is now virtually defunct. However, I would like to have your advice as to whether I should tender my resignation as president of this virtually defunct organization in order that I might be fully severed from any and all organizations which might be a part and parcel of Satan’s world.
I have let it be known heretofore to all of Jehovah’s witnesses that I would gladly go to their rescue, free of charge, and give them the benefit of my legal services should they get into any trouble with officers of the law by reason of their work. That is to say, I have given all of Jehovah’s witnesses that I have come in contact with this information, and I here and now tender to you, as president of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, my services to help any and all of Jehovah’s witnesses who may get into trouble with officers of the law by reason of their work in this section of Texas; my services to be given free.
And in this connection it has occurred to me that my services in behalf of such of Jehovah’s witnesses as may be oppressed by reason of their work might, as president of the Bar Association of Rusk County, be more effective in their behalf than were I only a private practitioner of the law. Therefore I would thank you to give me your ideas on the subject above mentioned.
Permit me to say that I have especially enjoyed your thorough explanation of the Scriptures relating to the “great multitude” class. I have been greatly comforted by such explanation, and the fact that it has been given to you to explain such Scriptures further convinces me that Armageddon is close at hand.
I am sending you herewith my check for . . . which I want you to use in any way that you see proper for the advancement of the blessed kingdom which we are all praying for.
May God bless you and the noble work that you are doing in furtherance of the coming kingdom, is my constant prayer.
Yours in the true faith,
R. T. Jones, Texas.
A GREAT PRIVILEGE
Dear Brother Rutherford:
For Jehovah and for Gideon.Greetings.
Indeed it was a great privilege for the opportunities which we have had in having a part in declaring and announcing the name of our great God Jehovah of Hosts and of his kingdom through Christ Jesus, which is the only hope for mankind. We thank our God, making mention of you and all the brethren, and our prayers are that Jehovah will continue to use us all and that we may remain faithful to the end. We wish to express our love and thanks to the many friends who have been wilting to us and who have come to visit us while incarcerated, and wish Jehovah’s rich blessings upon all who faithfully serve and seek to do His will.
With much Christian love,
Your brethren in Jehovah’s service,
Peter Semansky, Alice Rosendahl, Ella Hering, New Jersey.