After the New Covenant—The Millennial Kingdom
1, 2. (a) With whom may the millions of beneficiaries of the operation of the new covenant be compared today? (b) What did the terms of the new covenant say?
MILLIONS of people all around the earth have already received grand benefits from the operation of the new covenant, even though they are not in it. They are like the non-Israelite residents who lived in Israel during the days when the Mosaic Law covenant was still in force. (Exodus 20:10) How has this been the case with such increasing millions of beneficiaries who are associated with the remnant of spiritual Israelites today?
2 In the prophecy of Jeremiah 31:31-34, the One laying down the terms of the new covenant said: “I will put my law within them, and in their heart I shall write it. And I will become their God, and they themselves will become my people.”
3. (a) In what form was the law of the old Mosaic covenant given to Israel? (b) Before the Christian Greek Scriptures began to be written, where did God have the laws of the new covenant written?
3 In the case of the Law covenant, Jehovah God, by means of the prophet Moses as mediator, gave to natural Israel “the handwritten document . . . , which consisted of decrees.” (Colossians 2:14) What, though, about the law of the new covenant? Its Mediator was not to inscribe it on stone, or to write it in a manuscript. Its Mediator left behind no writings of his own. We ascertain what is the law of the new covenant from the inspired Christian Greek Scriptures. (2 Timothy 3:16) But even before those Greek Scriptures began to be written, from about 41 C.E., Jehovah God began writing his law of the new covenant. When? On the day of Pentecost, 33 C.E. Where? Exactly where he had long before promised to write it: “I will put my laws in their mind, and in their hearts I shall write them.”—Hebrews 8:10.
4. God’s writing his laws upon the heart and putting them in the mind of his servants would have what good effects?
4 Being inscribed upon the heart, those laws would be less likely to cease being loved by those who obeyed them. If those laws were put “in their mind,” they would be less likely to forget them. Hence, the keepers of those laws say, in the words of Psalm 119:97: “How I do love your law! All day long it is my concern.” From their most inward being, they set their affections upon Jehovah’s laws as given through his Mediator, Jesus Christ. Thus, with the right motivation, they determine to keep those precious laws. This applies both to the “little flock” in the new covenant and to the “great crowd” of “other sheep” who are, not in the new covenant, but under it.—Compare 1 John 5:3; John 14:15.
Kingdom Issue to the Fore!
5. What did the Mediator of the new covenant foretell at Matthew 24:12-14?
5 Keepers of the laws of the new covenant dare not succumb to what the Mediator, Jesus Christ, foretold as part of “the sign . . . of the conclusion of the system of things”: “Because of the increasing of lawlessness the love of the greater number will cool off. But he that has endured to the end is the one that will be saved. And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations.”—Matthew 24:3, 12-14.
6. (a) Was Matthew 24:14 a mere prophecy? (b) Who have taken it as more than prophetic, and what may be said concerning their endurance?
6 This last statement concerning an earth-wide witness to the Kingdom was not a mere prediction. It was a directive for his disciples living in “the conclusion of the system of things.” It was a guide for their correct course of action down to the complete end of a system of things that is loveless and ridden with lawlessness in general, not merely with disrespect for God’s law. Who today prove to be true Christians, taking those words of Jesus Christ as a directive to them? The historical facts that have multiplied since 1919 truthfully answer, “Jehovah’s Witnesses”! Their Bible educational campaign regarding the Kingdom is the greatest on record, and they have shown endurance in it during the past 67 years. Each year now, it grows in scope and power.
7, 8. (a) During World War I, what did Satan try to do to those in the new covenant? (b) In the postwar period, how did the Kingdom issue leap to the fore?
7 Satan the Devil tried to prevent this phenomenal Bible educational campaign by having the small remnant of spiritual Israelites wiped out during World War I. He failed! Promptly, after their revival from a deathlike state in the summer of 1919, they held their first postwar convention in Cedar Point, Ohio, in September of that year. At the second Cedar Point convention in September 1922, the Kingdom issue leaped to the fore. On the fourth day of that convention, entitled “The Day,” the president of the Watch Tower Society brought his thrilling discourse to a grand climax by exclaiming:
8 “Then back to the field, O ye sons of the Most High God! Gird on your armor! Be sober, be vigilant, be active, be brave. Be faithful and true witnesses for the Lord. Go forward in the fight until every vestige of Babylon lies desolate. Herald the message far and wide. The world must know that Jehovah is God and that Jesus Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords. This is the day of all days. Behold, the King reigns! You are his publicity agents. Therefore advertise, advertise, advertise the King and his Kingdom.”
Getting to Know Jehovah More Discerningly
9. (a) Because of the increase of the evidence respecting that righteous government, people have to take what stand? (b) Those taking a favorable stand are being given what knowledge?
9 It has now been more than 70 years since Christ was enthroned in Kingdom power in 1914. Since then, the evidence respecting God’s righteous government has increased tremendously. The people of the world of mankind have to take their stand regarding the Kingdom issue, either for the Kingdom or against it. And those taking their stand for that divine government are having fulfilled toward them these vital words of the new covenant: “They will no more teach each one his companion and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know Jehovah!’ for they will all of them know me, from the least one of them even to the greatest one of them.”—Jeremiah 31:34.
10. (a) So under what designation did the remnant of spiritual Israelites begin to welcome the “other sheep”? (b) What knowledge did the “other sheep” acquire?
10 In 1935 the remnant of spiritual Israelites began welcoming the “other sheep” of the Fine Shepherd into active association with them in “one flock” under Jesus Christ, all of them being Jehovah’s Witnesses. Then those “other sheep,” who began building up to be “a great crowd” without any foreordained number, undertook, along with the spirit-begotten remnant, to “observe the commandments of God” and to do “the work of bearing witness to Jesus.” (Revelation 7:9-17; 12:17) Thus from the start in 1935, these “other sheep” also got to know Jehovah “from the least one of them even to the greatest one of them.”
11. How is Christian knowledge of Jehovah different from and better than that of the Jews under the Law covenant?
11 In what way, however, is Christian knowledge of Jehovah different from and better than the knowledge that the Jews had under the old Mosaic Law covenant? The heavenly Maker of the new covenant goes on to tell us: “For I shall forgive their error, and their sin I shall remember no more.” (Jeremiah 31:34; Hebrews 8:12) This is due to the fact that the new covenant is based upon a better sacrifice by means of a better Mediator. (Hebrews 8:6; 9:11, 12, 22, 23) The better sacrifice of the better Mediator needs no repeating, as on the annual Day of Atonement under the old Mosaic Law covenant. (Hebrews 10:15-18) In view of all of this, the knowledge of Jehovah possessed by those in and under the new covenant is indeed better, more enriching, more discerning, more complete than the knowledge of God that the Jews had under the Law covenant.
12. Above all, what position does Jehovah occupy toward those taken into the new covenant and those under it?
12 Above all, Jehovah God, the Covenant-Maker, is the King over those whom he takes into the new covenant and over those whom he places under it. (Matthew 5:34, 35; Jeremiah 10:7) The apostle Paul, 1,850 years before Jesus was enthroned as King in the heavens in 1914, pointed to Jehovah’s kingship over those obeying the laws of the new covenant, saying: “Now to the King of eternity, incorruptible, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”—1 Timothy 1:17.
The Millennial Kingdom After “the Great Tribulation”
13. (a) When and under what circumstances will the “great crowd” in full measure enter into the blessings flowing from the new covenant? (b) What grand purpose will the new covenant have achieved?
13 The “great crowd” of “other sheep,” who are not in the new covenant but are under it, look forward to coming out alive from “the great tribulation.” After this present doomed system of things is destroyed, they will enjoy, for a thousand years, the reign of Jesus Christ and his joint heirs over the cleansed earth. (Revelation 7:9-14) Then the purpose of the new covenant will have been achieved, that of producing “a people for special possession” to become heirs of God’s heavenly Kingdom. (1 Peter 2:9; Acts 15:14) By means of God’s Kingdom, blessings will flow in full measure to the “great crowd” of surviving “other sheep.” Satan the Devil and his invisible demon organization will have been abyssed and will be unable to interfere.—Revelation 21:1-4; 20:1-3.
14. What good preparation will the surviving “great crowd” have had?
14 The surviving “great crowd” of “other sheep” will have had good preparation for taking up life in the new system of things. Like the remnant of spiritual Israelites, they will have come to know God “from the least one of them even to the greatest one of them.” (Jeremiah 31:34) In prayer to God, the reigning King once said: “This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.” (John 17:3) So this universal knowledge of Jehovah God will work out for everlasting salvation. This will be true not only for the “flesh” that will be saved alive out of the “great tribulation” but also for the billions of human dead ones who will hear the voice of the King and come forth from their memorial tombs. All needed knowledge of Jehovah will be imparted to such resurrected ones.—Matthew 24:21, 22; John 5:28, 29; Revelation 20:11-15.
15. Why will the carrying out of the new covenant not result in any loss to the “great crowd” of the “other sheep”?
15 Happily, the carrying out of God’s new covenant to grand success will not result in loss to the “great crowd” of sheeplike ones who survive the destruction of this doomed system of things. Rather, it will open up the way for even grander blessings here on the cleansed earth that will be theirs to inherit and that they will have an initial part in transforming into a global paradise. (Matthew 25:34; Luke 23:43) Shortly now, those ruining the earth will be gone, “but those hoping in Jehovah are the ones that will possess the earth. . . . The meek ones themselves will possess the earth, and they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.” (Psalm 37:9-11) All hail the Millennial Kingdom of Jehovah God by the “Prince of Peace” that follows the carrying out of the new covenant!
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The good news of God’s Kingdom will be preached throughout the earth before this system ends