My understanding is that the WTS says the "Kingdom of God/Heavens" is a "government".
Where do they get that idea from in Scripture?
I presume that by "government" they mean "a system of exercising authority through an executive policy making body".
Am I correct, or wrong?
Is the "Kingdom" a "government"?
My understanding is that the WTS says the "Kingdom of God/Heavens" is a "government".
They that make up "Gods Kingdom, (Jesus and the 144.000) will be that government. They'll be ruling all the sheeplike ones that survived the big A from the heavens. After god kills all the other governments for not conforming to JW standards, they'll be the only ones left standing. It makes perfect sense right? Or does it sound a bit like Disney.
Yes Doug, you have it right. It is "system" of exercising authority over your soul (psyche). Man is made of spirit, soul and body. When Adam sinned his spirit died or was corrupted beyond repair. His psyche was left without a governor or an overseer. Originally, the spirit was the boss, the soul (psyche) checked in regularly before he made decisions, spoke etc, and the body followed the mind.
With the spirit dead, Sin became the boss of the soul (psyche) and the body easily followed.
"for behold the kingdom of God is within you"
With the elect of God, in their new hearts; the one of flesh not the one of stone, it being of a spiritual nature, and existing in righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit; in the dispossession of Satan, the strong man armed; in the putting down of the old man, sin, with its deceitful lusts, from the throne; and in setting up a principle of grace, as a governing one; it escapes the observation of natural men, and cannot be pointed at as here, or there: hence it appears, that the work of grace is an internal thing; it is wrought in the hearts of men; it has its seat in the inward parts, and is therefore called the inner, and the hidden man: it does not lie in words, in an outward profession of religion: it is oil in the vessel of the heart, and is distinct from the lamp of a visible profession; it does not lie in external works and duties, but it is an inward principle of holiness in the soul, or spirit of man, produced there by the Spirit of God in the re-birth, and is therefore called by his name, (John 3:6).
It also appears to be a very glorious thing, since it is signified by a kingdom: it is a rich treasure; it is gold tried in the fire, which makes rich; it is an estate, that good part, and portion, which can never be taken away; it is preferable to the greatest portion on earth men can enjoy; even the largest and richest kingdom in the world is not to be compared with it; it is a kingdom which cannot be moved; and as it is glorious in itself, it makes such glorious who are partakers of it: "the king's daughter is all glorious within", (Psalms 45:13) and it is high in the esteem of God; it is the hidden man of the heart, but it is in his sight; it is in his view, and is in his sight of great price: it is likewise evident from hence, that it has great power and authority in the soul; it has the government in it; it reigns, through righteousness, unto eternal life; and by it, Christ, as king of saints, dwells and reigns in his people.
Now this is not to be confused with simply religious people as if they had any such internal principle in them, those who are white-washed graves, and who have nothing but rottenness and corruption in them by their imaginations of moral superiority over their non-religious peers, which is just another sin.
The repetitious use of the word "kingdom" in WT literature serves as one of several mechanisms to deflect attention away from Jesus Christ Personally, so as to concentrate on an abstraction. There are other mechanisms of course, the use of the hybrid word "jehovah" being another, and the focussing of attention on the FDS as a collective divinely appointed leadership also being one.
There are numerous examples of how this stress on the concept of the "kingdom" works:
1 The way WT literature treats Ps 72 is interesting in this regard. In recent years, since 1986 in fact, at least two publications have made reference to this Ps and explained it in terms of an abstraction, rather than as it is done in the Ps itself.
For instance, in the "True Peace and Security" book, published in 1986, we find this gem of wisdom, on pg 41: "With God's government by his Son Christ Jesus excercising dominion over all the earth, the ancient Ps of the Bible, Ps 72:7,8 will find fulfillment"
Nine years later, in 1995, referring to this same Ps, The book "Knowledge That Leads to Everlasting Life" says, on Pg 97: " Soon we will be able to rejoice not only because Gods Kingdom rules but also because it will bring blessings to the earth and obedient mankind - Ps 72:7,8"
However even a cursory reading of the text of Ps 72 tells us something different. Evidently initially referring to King Solomon, the Ps is also clearly Messianic in character, and rather than referring to an "it" that supposedly brings blessings to mankind, the Ps repeatedly refers to "HE" and "Him" as the bringer of these same blessings.[Vss 2, 4,6,7,8,9,9,11,11,12,12,13,13,14,14,15,15,15,17,17,17] As can be seen, if this Ps is futuristic in its application as implied by WT literature, then the future blessings mentioned in that Ps will be implemented by an individual Person, not an "it".
2 Perhaps the most blasphemous application of the "kingdom" into WT theology, and in direct contradiction of Jo 5:40, is an illustration found on the inside cover of the 1985 WT brochure entitled: "The Government That Will Bring Paradise" in this illustration, we see Jesus, surrounded by what evidently are His attentive disciples, pointing away from Himself to a glorious, radiantly crowned mountain, symbolizing God's Kingdom, as the bringer of "paradise"
There is not for a moment any shred of doubt in the minds of the WT leadership that the Kingdom as conceived by them is "A real operating heavenly government" [Knowledge book, pg 91] already constituted and prepared to take control of human affairs. In fact, it is so real, that those members that have died and gone to heaven already are, according to the Jan 1 WT of 2007, communicating with those members of the kingdom who are still alive here on earth. !!
Yes you're right the dubs believe in "Theocracy" which is rule by God - part of their argument for not voting - they vote for God and not any political party and as God isn't on the boxes to tick...(that's how it was explained to me anyhow)
But really they mean rule by the borg when they say theocracy as it relates to your everyday life in the cong
There is some old information in Rutherford's book "Government", Chapter 8, page 247 starts the subtopic Theocracy.
I can't get it to copy here but it says in part,
"What form of government will then control the peoples of earth? That government will be a pure theocracy. For centuries the whole creation has groaned and suffered in pain, waiting for the manifestation of that government. (Rom 8:19) Now the time has come for its establishment, and both the rules and the ruled of the earth should learn the truth and rejoice. ... The desire of the people can come only in God's provided way. "And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation." - Isa. 25:9.
"A theocracy is a government of which the chief ruler is Jehovah God. He is the Maker and Executor of its laws through his duly constituted agencies. ...
The next subtopic is Jehovah King. It goes on to say that it was in 1914 that God began to exercise his authority over the affairs of the world through his beloved Son whom he then placed upon his holy throne. ... Jehovah hath become King. ... It shall not be shaken, he will judge the peoples with equity." - Ps. 96:10, Rotherham.
"God hath become king over the nations, God hath taken his seat upon his holy throne." - Ps. 47:8, Rotherham.
"Jehovah hath become king. ... - Ps. 97:1-4, Rotherham.
"Zion is the name given to God's organization, Jerusalem is also a name applied thereto, and the two names are often used to mean the same thing. ... That government, as long as the people remained in harmony with God, was a theocracy."
I ordered the CD "Rutherford's Rainbow" from Freeminds.org. It has Rutherford's books on it. I found it interesting there was only one mention of Jesus being involved. Everything else referred to Jehovah and to God.
By the way, welcome to the Forum, DM.
Incidently, are you the guy who wrote the book "Witnessing the Name"?
If you are, great book.
Hi Moggy Lover,
Yes, I did write "Witnessing the Name", and I thank you for your comments. I wrote that some 20 to 30 years ago, when we had nothing like the www for research (mind you, some institutions place low esteem on a study based on the www, preferring the good old "library" technique.)
You will find a copy of it on the "NWT" page of my web site http://au.geocities.com/doug_mason1940 (follow the prompts, as they say).
I posed the question about "Kingdom=government" because I am in the throes of putting down some thoughts on the foundations and claims of the "Governing Body"
I have been deciding how to address the matter of "kingdom". I am coming to the decision that the issue deserves a separate document, and in this document I shall restrict my thougts to "kingdom" in the direct context of the overall topic.
This is a very good question and a very important one that deserves much more attention.
I think the WBTS is right to identify a 'heavenly governmental rulership' in relation to the Kingdom; however, where they go wrong is by restricting the meaning of the kingdom to this.
It is apparent in scripture that the kingdom is much more than just a 'governmental rulership' in heaven made up of supposedly 144,000 only.
The Kingdom is basically: God's entire dominion (rule), both in heaven and on earth.
According to scripture Satan rules the world, so the world is not presently a part of God's dominion, ie, is not included in God's kingdom. But individuals in the world who have been reconciled to Christ enter into God's kingdom, ie, they come under God's rule or dominion.
Matthew 25:34 is just one scripture that gives the lie to the Society's very narrow interpretation. There the 'sheep' (who the Society says are an earthly class) are said to 'inherit the kingdom'.
the WTS says the "Kingdom of God/Heavens" is a "government". Where do they get that idea from in Scripture?