The Kingdom Triumphant!
1. (a) What is the reason for having confidence in mankind’s future? (b) What will Armageddon mean for ruiners of the earth?
WILL mankind be destroyed off this earth? No. And the Kingdom is the reason why. For it is the “King of kings and Lord of lords,” the enthroned Jesus, who goes into action at the Kingdom’s ‘coming,’ to crush Satan’s earthly organization and its oppressive systems. At Armageddon, those would-be ruiners of the earth will themselves be brought to ruin.—Revelation 11:15, 18; 14:19, 20; 19:11-16.
2, 3. (a) What warning does Zephaniah’s prophecy sound? (b) What is required for survival?
2 Our God, Jehovah, has warned us to keep wide awake to what he is about to accomplish at Armageddon.
“‘Therefore keep yourselves in expectation of me,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘till the day of my rising up to the booty, for my judicial decision is to gather nations, for me to collect together kingdoms, in order to pour out upon them my denunciation, all my burning anger; for by the fire of my zeal all the earth will be devoured.’”
But there will be survivors, many of them! And Jehovah is already preparing them, as described by these further words of the same prophecy:
“For then I shall give to peoples the change to a pure language, in order for them all to call upon the name of Jehovah, in order to serve him shoulder to shoulder.”—Zephaniah 3:8, 9.
3 Will you be one of those survivors? Yes, if you “call upon the name of Jehovah.” How may you do this? By making the change to a “pure language”—taking into your heart the cleansing good news of God’s kingdom, and acting upon it. (Mark 13:10) Exercising faith in God’s provision through Christ, you must do as Peter admonished his own people 19 centuries ago: “Repent, therefore, and turn around so as to get your sins blotted out, that seasons of refreshing may come from the person of Jehovah.”—Acts 3:19.
4, 5. (a) How may you come to enjoy intimacy with Jehovah? (b) How may you respond to the “pure language”?
4 Like Jesus, you must show yourself to be no part of Satan’s world. (John 17:14, 16) By dedicating yourself to Jehovah through Christ and undergoing water baptism in symbol thereof, you may enter into a very intimate relationship with Jehovah God. (1 Peter 3:21) This intimacy you should seek always to cultivate, as you serve God “shoulder to shoulder” with all of his organized people on earth. According to your opportunity, you will want to share with these in making known “this good news of the kingdom” to all who will listen.—Matthew 24:14; Romans 10:10-18; Hebrews 13:15.
5 Are you one who is thus responding to the “pure language” of Bible truth? Then place your implicit trust in Jehovah. “As a mighty One, he will save.”—Zephaniah 3:17; Isaiah 12:2-5.
6. What fine counsel did John give, and what should this encourage us to do?
6 As you cultivate love for Jehovah and his righteousness, you also need to live in harmony with Bible principles. The apostle John gave this fine counsel:
“Do not be loving either the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him; because everything in the world—the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the showy display of one’s means of life—does not originate with the Father, but originates with the world. Furthermore, the world is passing away and so is its desire, but he that does the will of God remains forever.” (1 John 2:15-17)
“Forever”! Does that not make it worth while to do God’s will zealously during the final days of Satan’s wicked system? Does it not encourage us in these “last days” to keep close to Jehovah’s organization, as represented on earth by the “faithful and discreet slave”?—Matthew 24:45-47.
A MONUMENTAL WORK
7. After Armageddon, what will remain?
7 As the smoke of Armageddon’s battle clears, Jehovah’s visible organization will still be here, ready for use in whatever way he directs. And may we be counted worthy, also, to be here individually!—Zephaniah 2:3; Psalm 25:8, 9, 20.
8. (a) What will then be needed to accomplish God’s work? (b) How will God’s people have been prepared?
8 God’s people will need to keep organized under the Kingdom government in order to accomplish the monumental work of beautifying the cleansed earth, transforming our globe into a veritable “garden of God.” (Compare Ezekiel 31:8.) Do you also want to share in that work? A willing spirit and God-given energy will be needed to perform that task—the same kind of zeal that Jehovah’s Witnesses now show in ‘preaching this good news of the kingdom in all the earth.’ All will need to be real workers after the example of the King, who said: “My Father has kept working until now, and I keep working.”—John 5:17; 4:34.
9. (a) What kind of work will there be? (b) What indicates this will be no drudgery?
9 No doubt housing projects will flourish earth wide—not the constructing of ugly city blocks of tenements, but the landscaping of beautiful family residences in paradisaic surroundings. Yes, there will be much work to do, but it will be joyful, interesting work, a rewarding work concerning which King Solomon said, “There is nothing better” than that “every man should eat and indeed drink and see good for all his hard work.”—Ecclesiastes 3:12, 13; compare Isaiah 65:17, 21-25.
10. What does Revelation 21:1-4 show as to conditions then?
10 Under what conditions will the Lord’s “other sheep” carry out their work? (John 10:16) Revelation chapter 21 tells us what we may expect. It describes “a new heaven and a new earth.” No longer do corrupt human systems of government hold control in society, for “the former heaven and the former earth” have passed away. Also, the Devil and his subtle influence have been removed. No longer is there a confused “sea” of humanity, tossed to and fro as they pursue godlessness. Instead, a stable human society, the “new earth,” will provide a firm basis for doing God’s will. There you may follow out loyally the directives of the “new heaven,” comprised of the King and his “bride” of 144,000 members. In its capacity as “the holy city, New Jerusalem,” this royal “bride” will ‘come down from heaven’ in that it turns attention to the reconstruction work to be done on earth. And with what happy results! As John relates:
“Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”—Revelation 21:1-4.
11. (a) What grand prospects await the millions of survivors? (b) How will God populate the earth?
11 Notice that there is embodied in that promise the grand prospect that “death will be no more.” It is expected that millions will find salvation through the “great tribulation” to enter into the blessings of the “new earth.” (Revelation 7:9, 14) Yet thousands of millions, billions, will ultimately enjoy life here under the Kingdom. Why do we say “billions”? After the flood of Noah’s day, Jehovah gave to the righteous survivors a mandate, saying: “Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth.” This suggests the joyful prospect of human marriage and the bringing forth of children in righteousness for at least a time after Armageddon. (Genesis 9:1, 7; 10:1-32; Matthew 24:37) However, that will not be God’s principal way of ‘filling the earth’ with mankind at that time. How, then, will God populate our globe, thus accomplishing his original purpose? (Genesis 1:28; Isaiah 45:18) It will be by repeating, billions of times over, his great miracle of the resurrection.
“GOD . . . OF THE LIVING”
12. What teaching of Jesus astounded the crowds?
12 On one occasion, Jesus answered his opposers, saying:
“As regards the resurrection of the dead, did you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob’? He is the God, not of the dead, but of the living.”
From God’s standpoint, those faithful men were as good as alive, and would be resurrected. The crowds were astounded at that teaching.—Matthew 22:31-33; Luke 20:37, 38.
13. What may be expected with regard to faithful “other sheep” who have died?
13 It is reasonable to expect that such faithful ones who endured persecution “that they might attain a better resurrection,” along with integrity-keeping ones of the “other sheep” who today may die before Armageddon, would experience an early resurrection into the “new earth.” Perhaps you yourself have lost dear ones in death, even faithful servants of God. What a joy to welcome these back from the dead, and to tell them of Jehovah’s great act of vindication!—Hebrews 11:35.
14. What marvelous hope is described at John 5:28, 29 and Revelation 20:11-13?
14 However, what of the others of mankind who have died down through almost 6,000 years of history? Jesus says: “Do not marvel at this, because the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out.” (John 5:28, 29) “The dead, the great and the small,” will come forth from the grave to stand before God’s judgment throne.—Revelation 20:11-13.
15. Why will the judgment time not be fearsome?
15 Will that be a fearsome time for the resurrected ones? Religious pictures of the Last Judgment notwithstanding, it will be a most joyous time. For those resurrected ones will not be judged according to their wrong deeds of former times, but, rather, according to their willingness to live up to the righteous requirements for life in the realm of God’s kingdom. (Compare Romans 6:7.) And every effort will be made to help them along the pathway to complete reconciliation with God. The greatest educational program of all time will be carried forward under the Kingdom organization.
16. (a) What are the “scrolls”? (b) Why will education be far superior in the “new earth”?
16 “Scrolls” will be opened. These will be instructions published to help resurrected humans to perform those “deeds” that will qualify them for everlasting life. (Revelation 20:12) The educational facilities and programs in the “new earth,” being directed by Jehovah and his Messianic King, will be far advanced in comparison with anything Satan’s world has ever offered.
BLESSINGS FOR THE “GREAT CROWD”
17. On surviving into that “new earth,” what will you need to do?
17 However, if you are one of the “great crowd” of Armageddon survivors, where will you fit into this picture? The apostle Paul said: “Just as in Adam all are dying, so also in the Christ all will be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22) You, too, will need the benefit of Christ’s ransom, which he will use in raising mankind to perfection during his 1,000-year reign. You, too, will need to avail yourself of the education in the millennial “scrolls,” in order loyally to perform the “deeds” that will lead to your name’s being written in “the scroll of life.”
18. What Kingdom program should bring special joy?
18 Today, your imperfect human brain is capable of absorbing and retaining only a fraction of its full potential. Perhaps you have been heard to exclaim, ‘If only I could remember!’ How thankful you should be for Christ’s sacrifice! For, as part of the Kingdom’s program for uplifting mankind not only will bodily aches and pains be removed but that marvelous creation—your human mind—will be perfected for studying out and retaining information, reasoning upon it and, above all, worshipfully appreciating the grand qualities of our God, Jehovah. Language barriers, which resulted from the confusion of tongues at the tower of Babel, will be removed, and all mankind will be taught one language so as to worship Jehovah together in unity, as suggested in Zephaniah 3:9.
19. In what joy will the Kingdom’s subjects share?
19 Perfect human hearts, also, will be motivated by love of God and neighbor. There is no wonder that the Sovereign Lord Jehovah addressed these words to his appreciative people:
“Here I am creating new heavens and a new earth; and the former things will not be called to mind, neither will they come up into the heart. But exult, you people, and be joyful forever in what I am creating. For here I am creating [New] Jerusalem a cause for joyfulness and her people a cause for exultation. And I will be joyful in Jerusalem and exult in my people; and no more will there be heard in her the sound of weeping or the sound of a plaintive cry.” (Isaiah 65:17-19)
The radiant joy and exultation of the 144,000 corulers of Christ in his kingdom will be reflected to the billions of the Kingdom’s subjects on earth as these advance toward human perfection.
JEHOVAH’S NAME FOREVER SANCTIFIED
20. (a) Why will the 1,000 years pass quickly? (b) How did David bless Jehovah? (c) Are you moved to similar expressions of praise?
20 A thousand years will pass, just like one day from Jehovah’s standpoint, and how brief a time it will seem also to humankind, so busily occupied in constructive works! (2 Peter 3:8) We can anticipate, too, that there will be relaxation time for happy associations and healthful exercise, the enjoyment of music and other worthwhile arts, and always arrangements for worship of our Grand Creator. All will want to bless Jehovah, as did David in making arrangements for temple worship, saying:
“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.
21. (a) How will Christ conclude his millennial reign? (b) What will the Kingdom have accomplished?
21 In harmony with this magnificent expression of praise, the One greater than David, Christ Jesus, will conclude his millennial reign of peace and reconstruction by doing what the apostle Paul foretold:
“Next, the end, when he hands over the kingdom to his God and Father, when he has brought to nothing all [opposing] government and all authority and power.”
Once and for all, God-rule will have been shown to be the right kind of government, sufficiently powerful to bring everlasting benefits to worshipers of Jehovah. Under the Kingdom’s benevolent rule, Adamic death will have been removed and all mankind made alive “in the Christ.” Thus, the billions who then live on earth will have been “set free from enslavement to corruption and have the glorious freedom of the children of God.”—Romans 8:21; 1 Corinthians 15:22-28.
22. (a) What short season of testing will follow? (b) What final act of vindication will Jesus perform?
22 For a short season, Satan will be released from the abyss, to test the perfected world of mankind regarding its loyalty to Jehovah’s kingship. An indefinite number may choose to follow the Devil, but judgment will be executed swiftly upon them. The “seed” of God’s “woman,” Christ Jesus, will perform his final act of vindication by crushing the head of the original Serpent, annihilating him and his brood as completely as by fire that lasts “day and night forever and ever.” The great issue raised in Eden as to Jehovah’s rightful sovereignty over his creatures will have been tried and settled for all time!—Revelation 20:7-10; Genesis 3:15.
23. (a) Reflection on God’s promises should cause us to do what? (b) Why should we want to see ‘God’s kingdom come’?
23 When we reflect on the marvelous promises of the “King of eternity,” our Grand Creator, the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, are we not moved in thankfulness to praise his name? Are we not moved, as were some on the day of Pentecost, to speak about “the magnificent things of God,” about his “King of kings” and the Messianic Kingdom? (Acts 2:11; Revelation 15:3; 19:16) Are we not moved to pray to our heavenly Father, “LET YOUR KINGDOM COME”? (Matthew 6:9, 10) Yes, “COME,” to destroy Satan’s works and organization out of the earth! Yes, “COME,” to provide for all mankind the right kind of government! Yes, “COME,” to bring in the glorious millennial reign for the restoration of paradise, the resurrecting of the dead and the uplifting of all willing mankind to human perfection! Yes, “COME,” that Jehovah’s matchless name may be sanctified for all eternity!
[Picture on page 180, 181]
In the new earth, children brought forth in righteousness will experience none of the woes that plague families today