The Kingdom ‘Comes’—from Where?
2. What conditions in government have brought reproach on God’s name, and in what way?
2 In the first place, it is obvious that some sweeping change must take place in order to restore righteousness, peace and happiness to this earth. Not only have individual governments in many ways failed to care for the welfare of their citizens, but the nations are in turmoil among themselves. Hatreds, rivalries and nationalistic prejudices divide people and races. These conditions grossly misrepresent the purpose of the Creator and have caused much reproach to be heaped upon his name.—Romans 2:24; Ezekiel 9:9.
3. (a) How does God’s kingdom “come” into this picture? (b) What is so special about the Kingdom?
3 To correct this situation, a very special government is needed. And that is what Jehovah provides. From where does it come? From Jehovah himself, who dwells in the heavens. It is a dependent kingdom that expresses Jehovah’s own universal sovereignty. It derives its authority from the kingship that Jehovah has exercised from the beginning, long before our heavens and earth were created. Since it is born from God’s heavenly organization, this very special divine government inherits the marvelous characteristics of Jehovah’s agelong sovereignty.—Revelation 12:1, 2, 5.
JEHOVAH’S UNIVERSAL SOVEREIGNTY
4. What expression at Revelation 4:11 aptly describes Jehovah’s sovereignty?
4 Because he “created all things” God is the rightful Sovereign over all existing creation. Even those whom God exalts to kingship in the heavens must “fall down before the One seated upon the throne and worship the One that lives forever and ever.” These humbly acknowledge the supreme sovereignty of the “King of eternity”—as shown by this further description of them:
“And they cast their crowns before the throne, saying: ‘You are worthy, Jehovah, even our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things, and because of your will they existed and were created.’” (Revelation 4:10, 11; Ephesians 3:9)
Is that the way you view God’s sovereignty? It should be.
5. In comparison with human governments, how is Jehovah’s kingship all-embracing?
5 Among humans a kingdom governs according to law. This is necessary for maintaining order. Usually, governments include judges who try cases at law, parliaments to make the statutes of the law, and a king or a president who administers the law. In the universe that he created, Jehovah God fills all three of such offices, as the prophet Isaiah indicates, saying: “Jehovah is our Judge, Jehovah is our Statute-giver, Jehovah is our King.” (Isaiah 33:22) And to this King David adds the words: “Jehovah himself has firmly established his throne in the very heavens; and over everything his own kingship has held domination.” (Psalm 103:19) Let us examine some aspects of that kingship.
GOD’S UNIVERSAL LAWS
6. What demonstrates the superiority of God’s laws?
6 Governments of men seek to regulate the actions of their human subjects, but they cannot control the forces of nature that so profoundly affect their lives. Jehovah, the Universal Sovereign, can, and he does. Men of science have often marveled at the exactness of the laws by which the physical universe keeps running. These are laws of God. It is because such laws apply without variation that men have been able to land on the moon, communicate through satellites, forecast eclipses and bring forth thousands of intricate inventions. God’s laws also control the sun and the rain, and he can regulate these for the blessing of those who obey him.—Psalm 89:8, 11-13; Job 38:33, 34; Zechariah 14:17.
7. (a) How do Jehovah’s laws testify to his godship? (b) Like Job, how should we regard God’s ways?
7 With reference to the stupendous array of heavenly bodies, God’s prophet says: “Raise your eyes high up and see. Who has created these things? It is the One who is bringing forth the army of them even by number, all of whom he calls even by name. Due to the abundance of dynamic energy, he also being vigorous in power, not one of them is missing. Have you not come to know or have you not heard? Jehovah, the Creator of the extremities of the earth, is a God to time indefinite.” (Isaiah 40:26, 28) Through billions of years Jehovah has controlled his vast universe by so-called “natural” laws. Humans have tried to unlock the secrets of these laws, but there is so much they have yet to learn! They have advanced little farther than that faithful man of 3,500 years ago, who declared: “Look! These are the fringes of his ways, and what a whisper of a matter has been heard of him! But of his mighty thunder who can show an understanding?”—Job 26:14.
8. What other qualities of God blend in, showing him to be a Grand Provider?
8 However, in creating our earth, Jehovah did much more than establish it on the basis of his physical laws. His fathomless wisdom and immeasurable love were blended in with his power and his laws, in making marvelous preparation for earth’s future inhabitants. What kindly foresight, what masterful skill, is to be observed in God’s creative works here on earth! (1 John 4:8; Psalm 104:24; 145:3-5, 13) As we noted in an earlier chapter, Jehovah is indeed the Grand Provider!
9. What are some of the things for which we should thank God?
9 We should be thankful to God for all of his marvelous provisions. Also, we should thank him for the way he designed and made us humans, with our physical and mental abilities and our senses whereby we may find delight in his creations. Yes, we should be ready to acknowledge to God, as did the psalmist: “I shall laud you because in a fear-inspiring way I am wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, as my soul is very well aware. My bones were not hidden from you when I was made in secret, when I was woven in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw even the embryo of me, and in your [design] book all its parts were down in writing, as regards the days when they were formed and there was not yet one among them.”—Psalm 139:14-16.
10. What shows Jehovah to be fully capable of righting matters on earth?
10 The Sovereign Lord Jehovah, who created the universe and all things in it, establishing the systems of things out of his love and wisdom, and according to his righteous laws, is also the one of whom the Bible says: “Righteousness and judgment are the established place of your throne; loving-kindness and trueness themselves come in before your face.” (Psalm 89:14) Surely Jehovah is in position to bring forth a Kingdom government that will set matters right in the earth. (Psalm 40:4, 5) But how does he do this?
REVEALING A SECRET
11. (a) Why, today, should we be happy that true knowledge is available? (b) How may we identify “Michael,” and what does his name signify?
11 In the Bible we find many prophecies that refer to God’s setting up a kingdom that will sanctify his name and cause his will to be done on earth. One of these is the prophecy of Daniel, which points to “the time of the end” when “true knowledge will become abundant.” We can be happy that such knowledge is available to us today. For Daniel tells us:
“There will certainly occur a time of distress such as has not been made to occur since there came to be a nation until that time. And during that time your people will escape.”
As Daniel states, this will be at the time when the great prince Michael stands up on behalf of God’s people. The Bible identifies Michael as Jesus Christ, who wars against God’s enemies in order to sanctify Jehovah’s name. Appropriately, then, the name “Michael” means “Who Is Like God?” for it is Michael who proves that no one can successfully challenge Jehovah’s sovereignty.—Daniel 12:1, 4; Revelation 12:7-10.
12. What is the dream picture at Daniel 2:31-33, and why should it interest us today?
12 The prophecy of Daniel tells also of a dream had by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, a dream about a succession of kingdoms. The king promptly forgot what the dream was about, though it continued to agitate him greatly. Finally, the “Revealer of secrets,” Jehovah God, used Daniel to make known to the king not only the dream but also its interpretation. (Daniel 2:29) Since the fulfillment of this prophetic dream continues right down to and beyond our day, we should be deeply interested in its meaning. The dream was about an “immense image” of human form—dreadful in appearance. You may read about it at Daniel 2:31-33. What does that image picture?
13. What do the various sections of the image picture?
13 Daniel made known to Nebuchadnezzar that its head of gold stood for the “king” of Babylon, and that the lower parts of its body represented other kingdoms that would arise after Babylon. Today, we can recognize these as the mighty empires of Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome, with the “legs” extending down into the dual Anglo-American World Power of modern times. But what of the feet, made “partly of molded clay of a potter and partly of iron”? In recent years, socialistic popular movements have greatly weakened ironlike authority in the Anglo-American World Power, even as the feet of the immense image were made fragile due to the iron “not mixing with molded clay.” Thus, this dreadful image represents successive human “kings,” or world powers that terminate when God’s kingdom destroys them.—Daniel 2:36-44.
14, 15. What does the “stone” do to the image, and how can we identify that “stone”?
14 For, look! A “stone” is miraculously cut out from a mountain, “not by hands.” No human physical agency is responsible for this operation. Rather, Jehovah himself brings it forth, according to his holy will. Hurtling toward the mighty image, the stone strikes it at the feet. It crushes the entire structure of human rulership, so that the remains are scattered as chaff before the wind. The stone itself then becomes a large mountain that fills the whole earth.—Daniel 2:34, 35.
15 What could this “stone” be? The prophecy removes all doubt when it states:
“In the days of those kings [the Anglo-American World Power and the surviving remnants of the world powers that have preceded it] 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.
16. In praying, “Let your kingdom come,” what things are we petitioning?
16 What does this mean for us today? It means that when we pray for God’s kingdom to “come,” we are in fact petitioning that the heavenly kingdom use its destructive power in crushing all man-made governments, which have failed so miserably to bring in peace and prosperity. Happily, that “stone,” on completing its mission of destruction, will itself grow into a governmental mountain that fills the whole earth. It will bring peace such as mankind has not known since the days of King Solomon, “the abundance of peace until the moon is no more”—which means forever!—Psalm 72:7.
17. (a) Why should the relationship of the “stone” to the original “mountain” give us confidence? (b) What further action does the Kingdom take? (c) As stated at Psalm 85:8-12, what confidence should we have?
17 However, what of the “mountain” out of which this Kingdom “stone” is cut? (Daniel 2:45) The “stone” must be dependent on, and be made of the same stuff as the mountain, and indeed it is. This Kingdom rulership is cut out from the all-embracing, overall sovereignty of the King of eternity—Jehovah God. Just as the universal sovereignty of Jehovah reflects all of his fine qualities, so the kingdom that is cut out of that sovereignty must exalt Jehovah God and his grand purposes. It sanctifies his name by crushing his enemies, showing that he is not a party to their wicked deeds. Then this kingdom by Christ Jesus fills the earth with law and order, and with love and joy, transforming it into the righteous, peaceful place that God purposed from the beginning. Truly, we should be praying for ‘the Kingdom to come’!—Psalm 85:8-12.