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Jesus Respected Governmental Authority! Pay Caesar's things to Caesar, and God's things to God. See Why? ??? While Jesus was teaching in the temple, opposers tried to put him in an impossible situation by asking whether people should pay taxes. If Jesus said no, his answer would have been deemed seditious and might even have fueled a spirit of revolt among downtrodden people eager to throw off the yoke of Roman oppression. But if Jesus said yes, many would have felt that he condoned the injustices they faced. Jesus’ answer was a masterpiece of balance. He said: “Pay back Caesar’s things to Caesar, but God’s things to God.” (Luke 20:21-25) So his followers have obligations to God and to Caesar—that is, the secular government. ??? Governments maintain a measure of order. They rightly require citizens to be honest, to pay taxes, and to uphold the law. What example did Jesus set in paying “Caesar’s things to Caesar”? Jesus had been raised by parents who obeyed the law even when doing so was inconvenient. For example, Joseph and his pregnant wife, Mary, traveled some 90 miles [150 km] to Bethlehem when a Roman census decree required it. (Luke 2:1-5) Like them, Jesus was law-abiding, even paying taxes that he did not really owe. (Matthew 17:24-27) He also carefully refrained from overstepping his authority in secular matters. (Luke 12:13, 14) ??? We might say that Jesus respected the machinery of government, although he refused to operate it. What, though, did Jesus mean about paying “God’s things to God”?The oldest available records show that Jesus’ followers in the ancient world did not take any active part in politics. Because they gave all their worship to the One whom Christ worshipped, they refused to pledge allegiance to Rome and its emperor, to take up military service, and to accept public office. They suffered all manner of hostility as a result. Their enemies sometimes accused them of hatred against mankind. Was that accusation a fair one? ??? For what, though, was Jesus primarily known? He was addressed, not as Healer, not as Feeder of Thousands, and not even as Resurrector of the Dead—although he did fill all those remarkable roles. But people called him Teacher, and rightly so. (John 1:38; 13:13) Jesus explained that a major reason he came to the earth was to teach people about the Kingdom of God.—Luke 4:43 ??? That is why Christ’s genuine followers devote themselves to the same work that occupied their Master when he walked the earth—teaching people the good news about God’s Kingdom. Jesus Christ commissioned all true Christians to teach people worldwide about that subject. (Matthew 24:14; 28:19, 20) ??? That incorruptible heavenly government will rule over all of God’s creation, according to the law of love. It will accomplish God’s will, even eliminating suffering and death. (Matthew 6:9, 10; Revelation 21:3, 4) No wonder the Bible refers to Christ’s message as “good news”!—Luke 8:1 ??? So if you are looking for the genuine followers of Jesus Christ on earth today, how can you identify them? Will they be mixing in the politics of this world? Or are they making their main mission the same as that of Jesus—preaching and teaching about the Kingdom of God? ??? Would you like to learn more about the Kingdom of God and how it can affect your life now? We invite you to contact Jehovah’s Witnesses locally or to visit their official Web site, www.jw.org. http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2010489
"Love one another."— (John 13:34): "Do not owe anything to anyone except to love one another."(Rom.13:8) “Above All Things, Have Intense Love” WHY? ??? First, “because love is from God.” (1 John 4:7) Jehovah, the Source of this endearing quality, loved us first. The apostle John says: “By this the love of God was made manifest in our case, because God sent forth his only-begotten Son into the world that we might gain life through him.” (1 John 4:9) ??? God’s Son was “sent forth” by becoming a human, carrying out his ministry, and dying on a torture stake—all so “that we might gain life.” How should we respond to this supreme expression of God’s love? John says: “If this is how God loved us, then we are ourselves under obligation to love one another.” (1 John 4:11) ??? Note that John writes, “If this is how God loved us”—not just you but us. The point is clear: If God loves our fellow worshipers, then we ought to love them too. ??? Second, it is especially vital that we love one another more now in order to extend help to our brothers in need because “the end of all things has drawn close.” (1 Peter 4:7) We are living in “critical times hard to deal with.” (2 Timothy 3:1) World conditions, natural disasters, and opposition bring hardships upon us. Under trying circumstances, we need to draw ever closer to one another. Intense love will bind us together and motivate us to “care for oneanother.”—1 Corinthians 12:25, 26. ??? Third, we need to love one another because we do not want to “allow place for the Devil” to take advantage of us. (Ephesians 4:27) Satan is quick to use the imperfections of fellow believers—their weaknesses, faults, and mistakes—as stumbling blocks. Will a thoughtless remark or an unkind act cause us to withdraw from the congregation? (Proverbs 12:18) Not if we have intense love for oneanother! Such love helps us to maintain peace and unitedly to serve God “shoulder to shoulder.”—Zephaniah 3:9. ??? https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1102004259?q=love+one+another&p=par
What We Learn From God’s Permission of Wickedness "But for this very reason I have kept you in existence: to show you my power and to have my name declared in all the earth." (Exodus 9:16) For the Sake of His Great Name What is involved in connection with the fulfillment of Jehovah’s purpose for the earth and mankind? God’s name is involved in the fulfillment of his purpose regarding the earth and mankind. That name, Jehovah, means “He Causes to Become.” So his name embodies his reputation as the Universal Sovereign, the Purposer, and the God of truth. Because of Jehovah’s position, the peace and well-being of the entire universe require that his name and what it encompasses be given the full respect it deserves and that all be obedient to him. (a) According to Exodus 9:15, 16, why does Jehovah allow the wicked to continue for a time? (b) In Pharaoh’s case, how was Jehovah’s power shown, and how was His name made known? (c) What will result when the present wicked system ends? What Jehovah said to the ruler of Egypt in the days of Moses further indicates why God has allowed the wicked to continue. When Pharaoh forbade the departure of the sons of Israel from Egypt, Jehovah did not immediately strike him down. Ten Plagues were brought on the land, demonstrating Jehovah’s power in amazing ways. When warning of the seventh plague, Jehovah told Pharaoh that He could easily have wiped Pharaoh and his people off the face of the earth. “But, in fact,” Jehovah said, “for this cause I have kept you in existence, for the sake of showing you my power and in order to have my name declared in all the earth.”—Exodus 9:15, 16. (a) What group is now benefiting from Jehovah’s long-suffering? (b) How will the dead benefit? But what about inhabitants for the earth? Jehovah’s long-suffering has also made possible the gathering together of “a great crowd” out of all nations. They now number into the millions. Jehovah has promised that this earthly class will survive the end of this system and have the prospect of everlasting life on a paradise earth. (Revelation 7:9, 10; Psalm 37:29; John 10:16) In God’s due time, multitudes of the dead will be resurrected and given the opportunity to be earthly subjects of the heavenly Kingdom. God’s Word foretells at Acts 24:15: “There is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.”—John 5:28, 29. Has there been any injustice in all of this? No, because by holding off his destruction of the wicked, or “vessels of wrath,” God is showing compassion to others, in harmony with his purpose. This shows how merciful and loving he is. Too, having had time to observe the unfolding of his purpose, we learn much about Jehovah himself. We marvel at the various aspects of his personality that come to light—his justice, his mercy, his long-suffering, his diversified wisdom. Jehovah’s wise handling of the issue of universal sovereignty—his right to rule—will forever stand as a testimony to the fact that his way of ruling is the very best. With the apostle Paul, we say: “O the depth of God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How unsearchable his judgments are and past tracing out his ways are!”—Romans 11:33. If we are loyal to Jehovah, he will reward us generously. His Word says: “Become steadfast, unmovable, always having plenty to do in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in connection with the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:58) It also states: “God is not unrighteous so as to forget your work and the love you showed for his name.” (Hebrews 6:10) James 5:11 notes: “Look! We pronounce happy those who have endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome Jehovah gave, that Jehovah is very tender in affection and merciful.” What was the outcome for Job? “As for Jehovah, he blessed the end of Job afterward more than his beginning.” (Job 42:10-16) Yes, Jehovah is “the rewarder of those earnestly seeking him.” (Hebrews 11:6) And what a reward we have to look forward to—everlasting life on a paradise earth! https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1102002067?q=ex+9%3A16&p=par