Theocratic Warfare

by asilentone 7 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • asilentone

    Has the WTBTS ever use those two words "Theocratic Warfare" in their publications?

  • besty

    Yes - WT June 1 1960 Pg. 352

    You can find some other results here using a Custom Google Search Engine I knocked together

  • Atlantis

    As a soldier of Christ he is in theocratic warfare and he must exercise added caution when dealing with God’s foes. Thus the Scriptures show that for the purpose of protecting the interests of God’s cause, it is proper to hide the truth from God’s enemies. Watchtower-1960-June-1-p.352

  • asilentone

    Thank you Besty! you got it before Atlantis! but, Atlantis, Thank you for looking it up for me!

  • Atlantis


    Your welcome! I like besty's link too!


  • besty

    I found the article due to using the Google search tool I created - linked above - basically you can tell Google to only search certain sites and I have entered sites with loads of contetn such as jwfacts freeminds wikipedia rickross etc

    give it a try.....

  • Deputy Dog
    Deputy Dog

    WT1957 5/1



    A WITNESS of Jehovah was going from house to house in Eastern Germany when she met a violent opposer. Knowing at once what to expect she changed her red blouse for a green one in the very next hallway. No sooner had she appeared on the street than a Communist officer asked her if she had seen a woman with a red blouse. No, she replied, and went on her way. Did she tell a lie? No, she did not. She was not a liar. Rather, she was using theocratic war strategy, hiding the truth by action and word for the sake of the ministry.

    In this she had good Scriptural precedent. Did not Rahab hide the Israelite spies by both action and word? Did not Abraham, Isaac, David and others likewise hide the truth at times when faced with a hostile enemy? They certainly did, and never do we read a word of censure for their doing so. Rather, we read of their being termed exemplary servants of Jehovah. Their actions were in line with Jesus’ wise counsel: "Look! I am sending you forth as sheep amidst wolves; therefore prove yourselves cautious as serpents and yet innocent as doves."—Matt. 10:16, NW.

    Perhaps some will wonder as to where the line is to be drawn between use of theocratic war strategy in hiding the truth and the telling of lies. First of all, let it be noted that whenever one takes an oath to tell the truth he is obligated to do so. By dedicating himself to do God’s will each Christian has taken a vow or made an oath to do God’s will and to be faithful to him. To this oath he certainly must be true. Likewise, when a Christian is placed on a witness stand he is obligated to speak the truth if he speaks at all. At times he may prefer to refuse to speak and suffer the consequences rather than betray his brothers or the interests of God’s work. And, of course, there is no occasion for use of war strategy when dealing with our Christian brothers. In dealing with them we tell the truth or tactfully remind them that what they seek to know does not concern them.

    Lies are untruths told for selfish reasons and which work injury to others. Satan told a lie to Eve that worked great harm to her and all the human race. Ananias and Sapphira told lies for selfish reasons. But hiding the truth, which he is not entitled to know, from an enemy does not harm him, especially when he would use such information to harm others who are innocent.

    A great work is being done by the witnesses even in lands where their activity is banned. The only way they can fulfill the command to preach the good news of God’s kingdom is by use of theocratic war strategy. By underground methods the literature is brought into the country and distributed. Would it make sense to hide this literature by one’s actions and then reveal its whereabouts by one’s words when queried? Of course not! So in time of spiritual warfare it is proper to misdirect the enemy by hiding the truth. It is done unselfishly; it does not harm anyone; on the contrary, it does much good.

    Today God’s servants are engaged in a warfare, a spiritual, theocratic warfare, a warfare ordered by God against wicked spirit forces and against false teachings. God’s servants are sent forth as sheep among wolves and therefore need to exercise the extreme caution of serpents so as to protect properly the interests of God’s kingdom committed to them. At all times they must be very careful not to divulge any information to the enemy that he could use to hamper the preaching work.

  • jwfacts

    There is a thread on this with Watchtower quotes regarding theocratic warfare and the need to lie at Following are a number of quotes about theocratic warfare.


    ***w89 1/1p.24par.5UnitedUnderaBannerofLove***

    Jonathan himself was also a fighter for righteousness. He had declared that "there is no hindrance to Jehovah to save by many or by few." Why? Because Jonathan recognized that there is always a need to seek divine guidance for victory in theocratic warfare. When Jonathan unwittingly committed an offense for which Saul sentenced him to death, he humbly accepted that judgment. Happily, the people redeemed him.



    w55 9/1p.519MaintainingSanctityforTheocraticWarfare***



    THEOCRATIC means that which is in line with God rule. The wars being fought by the nations of the world today are not theocratic, for they are not fought by God’s dedicated servants and are not fought at his commands nor according to his rules.

    However, the wars fought by the nation of Israel in times of old were theocratic. That nation owed its existence to God and was organized by him. He gave it its laws and commanded it when to fight and how. Their wars were not wars of conquest or revenge but wars of execution at Jehovah’s commands. Because of these facts Jehovah repeatedly gave them the victory in the face of overwhelming odds.

    Today, as Christian witnesses of Jehovah we are also engaged in warfare at God’s commands and therefore in theocratic warfare. As ‘the right kind of soldiers of Jesus Christ we are commanded to take part in suffering evil.’ Distinct, however, from worldly nations, or even from Jehovah’s servants of old, we do not use carnal weapons. No, not even at Armageddon will we do so. We will simply ‘stand still, and see the salvation of Jehovah,’ as Christ and his heavenly armies engage Satan and his forces in the final war.—2 Tim. 2:3, NW; 2 Chron. 20:17, AS.

    As has ever been true of Christians, "the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but powerful by God for overturning strongly entrenched things." Clothed in the "complete suit of armor from God," we have as our only weapon of offense "the sword of the spirit, that is, God’s word."—2 Cor. 10:4; Eph. 6:11, 17, NW.

    In striking contrast with the way pagan soldiers conducted themselves in warfare, the Israelite soldiers had to keep clean in every respect and to keep their camps clean. Because sex relations made one ceremonially unclean according to the law of Moses, the Israelite soldiers could not have sex relations even with their own wives or concubines while engaged in theocratic warfare. The presence of the priests at the front who blew the silver trumpets that gave the signal for the attack, although they themselves took no part in the actual fighting, further emphasized the sanctity of theocratic warfare back there.

    As Christian warriors we today must likewise maintain sanctity for theocratic warfare. Having a sanctified position before God by reason of Christ’s sacrifice we must keep clean physically, morally and spiritually. We may not use the fact of our being in theocratic warfare as an excuse for loose conduct. We may not imitate the crusaders of the Dark Ages who justified all manner of loose conduct on the basis of their being engaged in a "holy cause." As soldiers in Jehovah’s cause we must prove to be holy, for he is holy.

    Our warfare being for Jehovah’s glory and vindication, it is a holy warfare, a sacred obligation, a sanctified duty. Satan’s system of things being unclean, we may not touch any part of it, and especially must we be careful not to be swerved aside from our holy warfare in time of the wars of the nations of the world, regardless of how religious and worthy these may seem to be in the eyes of the world, as in the case of the war against godless communism. By keeping our camp clean, by living holily, by maintaining sanctity, Jehovah will always accompany us, assuring us of victory and entrance into his new world of righteousness.



    w54 11/15p.697par.4TheChristianWarrior***

    The fact that our enemy is spiritual, superhuman, alters altogether the nature of our warfare and the nature of our weapons of war. True, the witnesses of ancient times did in many cases fight with the various weapons of ancient warfare, and those witnesses furnished a prophetic picture or type of the Christian witnesses of Jehovah today, in their theocratic warfare against Satan the Devil and his superhuman hosts, the demons that are higher and more powerful than blood and flesh.





    Apparently, this cavalry thunders forth under the guiding direction of the four angels. What a fearsome spectacle! Imagine your reaction if you were to be the target of such a cavalry charge! Its very appearance would strike terror into your heart. Did you notice, though, how similar this cavalry is to the locusts that preceded it? The locusts were like horses; in the cavalry there are horses. Both, then, are involved in theocratic warfare. (Proverbs 21:31) The locusts had teeth like those of lions; the horses of the cavalry have heads like those of lions. Both are therefore tied in with the courageous Lion of the tribe of Judah, Jesus Christ, who is their Leader, Commander, and Exemplar.



    w86 9/1p.18par.7ChristianNeutralsinaBloodstainedWorld***

    Since the shedding of blood was so clearly forbidden, why was it that Jehovah permitted, and even commanded, the nation of Israel to engage in warfare? We have to remember that this was a sanctified warfare by means of which Jehovah, the Judge of all the earth, had demon-worshiping nations exterminated. The Canaanites, for example, were squatters in the Promised Land and followed a demonistic, immoral life-style that would endanger God’s holy people. Jehovah had the land "vomit" those depraved humans out of their territory, using theocratic warfare to have it done. (Leviticus 18:1-30; Deuteronomy 7:1-6, 24) This justifies the spiritual warfare of the Christian today.—2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Ephesians 6:11-18.

    ************ w54 11/15pp.692-695PriestswiththeTheocraticArmy**************************



    THE sacredness of theocratic warfare called for a sanctifying of the Israelite men for this service of God as upholders of his universal sovereignty and as executioners of his righteous indignation against the worshipers of false gods. Accordingly it was necessary for priests of the tribe of Levi to accompany the Israelite army. Their presence added sanctity to the army of Jehovah. In the days when his sacred ark of the covenant was sheltered under the tabernacle or tent it was the custom to take the ark into the army camp, as it symbolized the presence of Jehovah God with his fighting forces. (1 Sam. 4:4-6; 14:18, 19; 2 Sam. 11:11) This necessarily required the presence of the Levite priests in the camp, for they were the only ones authorized to carry the ark of Jehovah God. Once a nonpriestly Israelite was killed for touching the ark, thinking to keep it from falling off a cart. Had the Levite priests been carrying the ark, this would not have occurred. (Deut. 31:9; Josh. 3:17; 6:4-11; 1 Sam. 4:4; 2 Sam. 6:6, 7; 1 Chron. 15:2-15, 26) Also when a battle engagement was facing the Israelite army it was customary for a sacrifice to be offered to Jehovah God, and this required the presence of Jehovah’s prophet or of his Levite priests. (1 Sam. 7:9; 13:9) Furthermore, before engaging in a certain battle strategy the God-fearing military commander would consult Jehovah by means of the ark of the covenant or by a priestly ephod or by the sacred Urim and Thummim that were borne by the high priest. The pagans, like Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, resorted to various forms of divination, but Jehovah’s people inquired of him, the true God, for his direction in battle. (Judg. 1:1; 20:27, 28; 1 Sam. 14:37; 23:2, 6, 9-14; 28:6; 30:8; 2 Sam. 5:19, 23; Ezek. 21:21) This, too, required the presence of Jehovah’s prophet or priest with his theocratic camp.

    2 Jehovah specifically ordered priests of his to the front when he gave the following commandment for the Israelites in their battles in the Holy Land, the Promised Land: "In case you should go out to the battle against your enemies and you have seen horses and war chariots, a people more numerous than you, you must not be afraid of them, for Jehovah your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. And it must occur that when you have drawn near to the battle, then the priest must approach and speak to the people. And he must say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel, you are drawing near today to the battle against your enemies. Do not let your hearts sink. Do not be afraid and run in panic or shudder because of them, for Jehovah your God is marching with you to fight for you against your enemies so as to save you." (Deut. 20:1-4, NW) It was most suitable that the fighters of Jehovah’s wars should have his direct representative, his consecrated priest, give this encouragement to them right there at the battle front. However, it was not required of the priests themselves to take up arms and do any of the fighting.

    3 The sounding of the battle signal also called for the presence of the priests in the heart of the camp. No others but they could give the battle signal for a victorious onslaught against the foe. Jehovah’s instructions through Moses were: "Make for yourself two trumpets of silver. You will make them of hammered work, and they must be at your service for convening the assembly and for breaking up the camps. And in case you should enter into war in your land against the oppressor who is harassing you, then when you have sounded a war call on the trumpets you will certainly be remembered before Jehovah your God and be saved from your enemies. . . . and their use must serve as a memorial for you before your God. I am Jehovah your God." (Num. 10:2, 8, 10, NW) The Bible record concerning the use of these two silver trumpets discloses who were the ones to blow them. It was the Levite priests. When they sounded the battle signal, the trumpet blasts animated the whole army, and the rank and file moved into action. The trumpet sound was an appeal for help from on high. It was like an alert to God to go into action with them and give victory, for it was a priestly sound.

    4 Toward the close of the forty years of wandering in the wilderness the Israelites came and encamped on the desert plains of Moab across the Jordan River from Jericho, a city in the Promised Land. From here Moses sent out a military force of twelve thousand to wage war upon the demon-worshiping Midianites. The Record says: "Then Moses sent them out, a thousand of each tribe, to the army, them and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest to the army, and the holy utensils and the trumpets for blowing calls were in his hand. And they went waging war against Midian, just as Jehovah had commanded Moses." (Num. 31:1-7; 22:1, NW) The trumpet calls to Jehovah were answered with victory!

    5 Centuries after that theocratic war against Jehovah’s enemies, the twelve-tribe kingdom of Israel in the Promised Land was divided into two kingdoms, the kingdom of Judah and the kingdom of Israel. On one occasion the armies of their two kings faced each other on the battlefield. King Abijah of the kingdom of Judah, faithful to God, had four hundred thousand men in the field against twice as many, eight hundred thousand idol worshipers, under King Jeroboam of the kingdom of Israel. But King Abijah of Judah had more than four hundred thousand warriors with him, and of this extra vital help he made mention in his appeal to the opposing army, saying: "But as for us, Jehovah is our God, and we have not forsaken him; and we have priests ministering unto Jehovah, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites in their work: . . . And, behold, God is with us at our head, and his priests with the trumpets of alarm to sound an alarm against you. O children of Israel, fight ye not against Jehovah, the God of your fathers; for ye shall not prosper."

    6 This appeal did not avail with the enemy. The battle was joined, and King Abijah’s army found themselves ambushed. The situation was dangerous. But divine help came in response to the trumpets. The Record says: "And when Judah looked back, behold, the battle was before and behind them; and they cried unto Jehovah, and the priests sounded with the trumpets. Then the men of Judah gave a shout: and as the men of Judah shouted, it came to pass, that God smote Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. And the children of Israel fled before Judah; and God delivered them into their hand." Why, then, did this holy victory come? Jehovah answers in the Record, saying: "Thus the children of Israel were brought under at that time, and the children of Judah prevailed, because they relied upon Jehovah, the God of their fathers." The priestly blast upon the holy silver trumpets pealed forth as a memorial, a reminder to trust in Jehovah. A united shout of confidence in Him, a Hallelujah! thundered from the mouths of his battlers, and, infused with divine courage, the army of Judah charged against the foe to the front and rear, and Jehovah vindicated their reliance on him with victory!—2 Chron. 13:3, 10-18, AS.

    7 Another illustration of the holiness of theocratic warfare and of how Jehovah used his devoted tribe of Levites in connection with the army occurred at a very tense time in the kingdom. The allied armies of demon worshipers, the Moabites, the Ammonites and the men of Mount Seir, were on their way through the Judean wilderness for an assault on the holy city of Jerusalem. King Jehosh´aphat proclaimed a fast throughout the kingdom and had all the people gather at the temple in Jerusalem. In solemn appeal for all the men, women and children about him, King Jehosh´aphat lifted a prayer to Jehovah. Then Jehovah chose his instrument by which to give consolation and instructions for meeting the crisis. He chose a holy man, a Levite singer named Jahazi´el. He put his holy spirit upon him, moving him to say: "Thus saith Jehovah unto you, Fear not ye, neither be dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow go ye down against them: . . . Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of Jehovah with you, O Judah and Jerusalem; fear not, nor be dismayed: tomorrow go out against them; for Jehovah is with you."

    8 Next morning they obediently did go out of the city’s protective walls and march to meet the oncoming foe. But how? The two silver trumpets in the priests’ hands did not go along to sound an alarm. There was to be no infantry charge with shouting against Moab, Ammon and Mount Seir. They did not need to fight in this battle; it was a holy battle; it was not their battle, but God’s. As they went out, King Jehosh´aphat, as the chief officer of the army, stood up and exhorted the marchers in obedience to Deuteronomy 20:5-9, saying: "Believe in Jehovah your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets [such as Jahazi´el], so shall ye prosper." At the same time, to strengthen their belief and confidence in Jehovah, King Jehosh´aphat stationed Jahazi´el and his fellow Levite singers in their holy array at the very head of the marching column. Instead of a shout following a trumpet alarm, these holy Levites marched forward, singing: "Give thanks unto Jehovah; for his loving-kindness endureth for ever." King Jehosh´aphat and the army followed, taking a secondary position. This emphasis on the holiness of the war was not misplaced, for we read: "And when they began to sing and to praise, Jehovah set liers-in-wait against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, that were come against Judah; and they were smitten. For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another." Arriving at the watchtower in the wilderness, the theocratic procession came in view of the slaughter that had occurred.

    9 All they now had to do was to despoil the dead bodies. After three days of this they assembled at the valley of Ber´acah and blessed Jehovah, and then to sacred music they returned to Jerusalem and its temple, rejoicing, "for Jehovah had made them to rejoice over their enemies." What was the result of Jehovah’s holy battle against the ungodly aggressors? The Record answers: "And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of the countries, when they heard that Jehovah fought against the enemies of Israel." (2 Chron. 20:1-29, AS) The ancient world was given to know that Jehovah is no pacifist but is a fighter, a fighter who always wins and who is therefore to be feared. Woe to the fighters against God; they are in a losing fight! But not so those who are fighting Jehovah’s battles. These are the ones who give themselves wholly to the Christian theocratic warfare. Exclusively for this warfare they are sanctified, because it is holy, it being authorized by the Holy One of the universe and backed up by him with victory in view.

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