Making One World Under God’s Kingdom
1. According to world leaders, what two alternatives now face mankind?
IT IS becoming increasingly evident that all mankind are one world and must get along together as one world if they are to survive. Many world leaders are deeply aware of this fact. For example, some years ago, President Ferdinand E. Marcos of the Philippine Republic told the General Assembly of the United Nations:
“The problems of world security and development . . . are global in their dimensions and they hammer home in crisis after crisis the one central fact of our existence: that our world is one, in technology, in economics, in vulnerability to the atomic weapons of war, in long-term warfare, in the ultimate destiny of the human species.”
More recently, a prime minister of Japan, Takeo Miki, declared:
“The world is becoming smaller and smaller and the whole of mankind shares the same fate aboard the same ship. . . . To our regret, however, the world has not yet reached a stage where . . . interdependence is fully realized. If this situation persists, it is clear that in the not-too-distant future we will be doomed.”
The alternatives are clear to many thinking persons: Unite mankind as one world, or let “the human species” perish.
2. What is the only hope for uniting mankind, and why? (Psalm 68:20)
2 What body of men is there on earth today that can unite all mankind as one world? Not even the United Nations can start to shoulder that task. The reason is plain. If mankind is to become united, it must be under God’s sovereignty. Just as the vast universe is held together by Jehovah’s physical laws, so mankind, in order to survive and to enjoy peace and happiness, must become united under God’s moral laws.
3. (a) What means does Jehovah use to restore unity to all the universe? (Daniel 7:13, 14) (b) Whose sovereignty did King David exalt, and in what declaration of his may we join?
3 The means that Jehovah uses to restore unity and peace in all the universe is the Messianic kingdom of Christ Jesus. This is a kingdom rulership operating under Jehovah’s sovereignty, but always exalting God’s own supreme kingship. Even though he himself was a powerful king, David declared:
“Yours, O Jehovah, are the greatness and the mightiness and the beauty and the excellency and the dignity; for everything in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Jehovah, the One also lifting yourself up as head over all. The riches and the glory are on account of you, and you are dominating everything; and in your hand there are power and mightiness, and in your hand is ability to make great and to give strength to all. And now, O our God, we are thanking you and praising your beauteous name.” (1 Chronicles 29:11-13)
As we now review Jehovah’s purpose respecting his kingdom, we should, like David, want to thank and praise Him for what He is doing on our behalf.
THE KINGDOM IN PROPHECY
4 The angel Gabriel said of Jesus: “Jehovah God will give him the throne of David his [fore]father . . . and there will be no end of his kingdom.” Also, Jesus referred to himself as “something more than [David’s son] Solomon.” (Luke 1:32, 33; 11:31) As a warrior-king, David extended the borders of Israel to the full limit of the territory that Jehovah had promised His people, and then King Solomon reigned for a glorious forty years of peace over a prosperous nation:
“Judah and Israel were many, like the grains of sand that are by the sea for multitude, eating and drinking and rejoicing.” (1 Kings 4:20)
But as a far greater warrior than David, Jesus will go forth “conquering and to complete his conquest” of the entire wicked world. Then with a far grander and wiser rulership than Solomon’s he will reign in peace “for a thousand years.” (Revelation 6:2; 20:4) What a happy time all mankind will enjoy when Christ Jesus rules as King over a paradise earth!
5. The fulfillment of what prophecies identify Jesus as Messiah? (Luke 24:25-27)
5 Many faithful prophets of God pointed forward to the Messianic kingdom. Literally hundreds of their prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus, thus serving to identify him clearly as the promised Messiah. For example, these foretold that he would be born of a virgin in the city of Bethlehem, that he would be despised, afflicted and impaled, and that he would rise again on the third day.
6. How was Jesus identified as King? (Matthew 21:4-9)
6 The sufferings that Jesus went through could not possibly have been “staged” just to make the ancient prophecies come true. The cruel persecutions that Jesus’ own countrymen heaped upon him were real, and Jesus’ integrity in support of Jehovah’s sovereignty was also real. All of this established him to be the promised Messiah. When on trial before Pilate, Jesus acknowledged that he, Jesus, was “a king,” but made it plain that his kingdom is “no part of this world.” Pilate then wrote a title to put on the execution stake: “Jesus the Nazarene the King of the Jews.” (John 18:36, 37; 19:19) However, Jesus’ kingdom was yet future.
7 Because Jesus had shown integrity to the death, God now resurrected him in the spirit and raised him to His own right hand of favor in the heavens. The apostle Peter pointed out how this fulfilled David’s prophecy at Psalm 110, saying:
“David did not ascend to the heavens, but he himself says, ‘Jehovah said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet.”’ Therefore let all the house of Israel know for a certainty that God made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you impaled.” (Acts 2:34-36)
“This Jesus” is no longer a babe in a manger. Nor is he a helpless martyr nailed to a cross. No, he is now the mighty “Lord of lords and King of kings” whom Jehovah will use in restoring His sovereignty in all the universe.—Revelation 17:14.
THE KINGDOM RULES IN POWER
8. What grand pronouncement is reported at Revelation 11:15-18?
8 In order to demonstrate God’s sovereignty, the Kingdom must exercise real power. The time for this is now here! It is the time when “the kingdom of the world” becomes “the kingdom of our Lord [Jehovah] and of his Christ, and he will rule as king forever and ever.” Concerning this grand occasion, pronouncement is made in heaven itself:
“We thank you, Jehovah God, the Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and begun ruling as king. But the nations became wrathful, and your own wrath came, and the appointed time for the dead to be judged, and to give their reward to your slaves the prophets and to the holy ones and to those fearing your name, the small and the great, and to bring to ruin those ruining the earth.”—Revelation 11:15-18.
9. What proves that Jehovah has taken his power through Christ’s kingdom? (Revelation 6:3-8)
9 When does all of this happen? Well, when notably in human history did the nations become wrathful against the Kingdom proclamation and set about ruining the earth? Is it not in this twentieth century, and especially from World War I in 1914, that the earth has been plagued by violence and pollution on an international scale? Certainly this is so. There is much other evidence, too, that Jehovah took his great power and began to rule over the earth through Christ’s kingdom in that year 1914. As David foretold concerning his “Lord,” Jesus Christ is now poised to “go subduing in the midst of [his] enemies.”—Psalm 110:1, 2.
10 First, however, there is a Kingdom work to be done here on earth. Jesus foretold this nineteen centuries ago when his disciples asked him the question, “What will be the sign of your presence [in Kingdom power] and of the conclusion of the system of things?” In his answer, Jesus described the world wars, the food shortages, the great earthquakes, the pestilences, the lawlessness, the persecutions, the fear and the anguish of nations that have afflicted mankind ever since 1914. Then he went on to say:
“This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come. . . . For then there will be great tribulation such as has not occurred since the world’s beginning until now, no, nor will occur again. In fact, unless those days were cut short, no flesh would be saved; but on account of the chosen ones those days will be cut short.”—Matthew 24:3-14, 21, 22.
11. (a) How extensive has the witness been, and what is resulting? (b) Will some people survive the “great tribulation”? (Zephaniah 2:3)
11 In fulfillment of this prophecy, the Christian witnesses of Jehovah have, since 1914, been proclaiming throughout the earth that Christ is present in Kingdom power. This witness has penetrated to the islands of the sea, through bamboo and iron curtains and into lands long darkened by the sectarian religions of “Babylon the Great.” So now “the end”—the “great tribulation”—is due to come. But some “flesh” from among mankind will be saved!
12 How does the “great tribulation” take place? Jesus says that it comes suddenly, like a thief, within the “generation” of those who are observing the fulfillment of his “sign” today. (Matthew 24:34) As Revelation chapters 16 to 19 describe, Jehovah uses beastlike radical powers from within the United Nations as his agents in devastating the world empire of false religion, “Babylon the Great.” Then, at the world situation called Har–Magedon, Christ Jesus will fight the decisive “war of the great day of God the Almighty” against “the kings [rulers] of the entire inhabited earth.”—Revelation 16:14, 16.
13 The prophet Daniel describes these political powers of earth as an immense image, and Christ’s kingdom as a stone that Jehovah cuts out of the mountain of His universal sovereignty. This stone He hurls against the feet of the image, so as to crush it and grind it to powder. (Daniel 2:31-35) Describing this action against the wicked rulers, Daniel continues, saying:
“In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be brought to ruin. And the kingdom itself will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it itself will stand to times indefinite.” (Daniel 2:44, 45)
Thus Christ’s kingdom vindicates God’s universal sovereignty for all time! The King then hurls Satan and his demon angels “into the abyss” of immobility, and enters on His peaceful thousand-year kingdom that will at last unite all mankind as one world. How our hearts thrill at the prospect of these great events that “the grand God himself” purposes for the immediate future!—Revelation 20:2, 3.
[Box/Pictures on pages 148-149]
“SIGN” OF THE INVISIBLE PRESENCE OF EARTH’S NEW KING
World War I in 1914 ushered in “the century of Total War”; 69 million died in two world wars. Appalling growth in crime has followed.
Since 1914, 700,000 persons have died in earthquakes; 21 million died in 1918-1919 ‘Spanish flu,’ and over 1,000 million are now starving or are undernourished. Food prices spiral.
“On the earth anguish of nations, not knowing the way out . . . while men become faint out of fear.” (Luke 21:25, 26)
Combined nuclear arsenals of United States and Soviet alone contain bombs equivalent to 5 tons of dynamite for each person on earth. New York “Times” headlines, March 1, 1976: “World’s Spending on Arms . . . at Record Levels. . . . Annual Outlay at $300 Billion . . . [Arms] Race ‘out of Control.’”
“This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14)
More than 2 million witnesses of Jehovah, now active in 210 countries and territories world wide, conduct weekly Bible studies in 1,400,000 homes. Since 1942 volunteer Witnesses have manufactured for field distribution 415 million Bibles and Bible textbooks and 5,950 million copies of the “Watchtower” and “Awake!” magazines.
Watchtower Printery Brooklyn, N.Y.
“As these things start to occur, rain yourselves erect and lift your heads up, because your deliverance is getting near.”—Luke 21:28.
[Chart on page 145]
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HOW THE MESSIAH FULFILLED BIBLE PROPHECY
Prophecy Matters Foretold Fulfillment Stated
Prophecies in Psalms
Prophecy of Isaiah