A Kingdom “That Will Never Be Brought to Ruin”
1. What fact has been emphasized by world events throughout mankind’s history?
WORLD events each day underscore the fact that humans have not found happiness by rejecting Jehovah’s sovereignty and trying to govern themselves. No system of human government has brought impartial benefits to mankind. Although men have developed their scientific knowledge to an unprecedented extent, they have not been able to conquer sickness or put an end to death, not even for one individual. Human rule has not eliminated war, violence, crime, corruption, or poverty. Oppressive governments still dominate the people in many lands. (Ecclesiastes 8:9) Technology, greed, and ignorance combine to pollute the land, water, and air. Economic mismanagement by officials makes it hard for many to obtain the necessities of life. Thousands of years of human rule have made this fact obvious: “To earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.”—Jeremiah 10:23.
2. What is the only solution to mankind’s problems?
2 What is the solution? God’s Kingdom, for which Jesus taught his followers to pray: “Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.” (Matthew 6:9, 10) God’s heavenly Kingdom is described at 2 Peter 3:13 as the “new heavens,” which is to rule over the “new earth,” that is, righteous human society. So important is God’s heavenly Kingdom that Jesus made it the focus of his preaching. (Matthew 4:17) He showed the place that it should have in our lives, urging: “Keep on, then, seeking first the kingdom and his righteousness.”—Matthew 6:33.
3. Why is learning about God’s Kingdom of the greatest urgency now?
3 Learning about God’s Kingdom is of the greatest urgency now, as soon that Kingdom will take action to change forever the rulership of this earth. Daniel 2:44 foretells: “In the days of those kings [governments now ruling] the God of heaven will set up a kingdom [in heaven] that will never be brought to ruin. And the kingdom itself will not be passed on to any other people [humans will never again rule the earth]. It will crush and put an end to all these [present] kingdoms, and it itself will stand to times indefinite.” Thus the Kingdom will bring these last days to a close by destroying this entire wicked system of things. Rulership of the earth by the heavenly Kingdom will then be undisputed. How grateful we should be that the relief this will bring is now very near!
4. In connection with the Kingdom, what took place in heaven in 1914, and why is that important to us?
4 In 1914, Christ Jesus was installed as King and was authorized to “go subduing in the midst of [his] enemies.” (Psalm 110:1, 2) Also in that year, “the last days” of this present wicked system of things began. (2 Timothy 3:1-5, 13) At the same time, events that Daniel had seen in prophetic vision actually took place in heaven. “The Ancient of Days,” Jehovah God, conferred upon the Son of man, Jesus Christ, “rulership and dignity and kingdom, that the peoples, national groups and languages should all serve even him.” Reporting on the vision, Daniel wrote: “His rulership is an indefinitely lasting rulership that will not pass away, and his kingdom one that will not be brought to ruin.” (Daniel 7:13, 14) It is by means of this heavenly Kingdom in the hands of Christ Jesus that God will enable lovers of righteousness to enjoy the countless good things that he purposed when he put our first human parents in Paradise.
5. What details regarding the Kingdom are of keen interest to us, and why?
5 Is it your desire to be a loyal subject of the Kingdom? If so, you will be keenly interested in the structure and operation of this heavenly government. You will want to know what it is doing now, what it will accomplish in the future, and what it requires of you. As you examine the Kingdom closely, your appreciation for it should grow. If you respond to its rulership, you will be better equipped to tell others about the wonderful things God’s Kingdom will do for obedient mankind.—Psalm 48:12, 13.
The Rulers of God’s Kingdom
6. (a) How do the Scriptures show whose sovereignty is expressed by means of the Messianic Kingdom? (b) How should we be affected by what we learn about the Kingdom?
6 One of the first things such an examination reveals is that this Messianic Kingdom is an expression of Jehovah’s own sovereignty. It was Jehovah who gave “rulership and dignity and kingdom” to his Son. After God’s Son was empowered to begin ruling as King, voices in heaven appropriately declared: “The kingdom of the world did become the kingdom of our Lord [Jehovah God] and of his Christ, and he [Jehovah] will rule as king forever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15) So everything that we observe about this Kingdom and what it accomplishes can draw us closer to Jehovah himself. What we learn should instill in us a desire to submit to his sovereignty forever.
7. Why is it of special interest to us that Jesus Christ is Jehovah’s Deputy Ruler?
7 Consider, too, the fact that Jehovah has put Jesus Christ on the throne as his Deputy Ruler. As the Master Worker whom God used to make the earth and humans, Jesus knows our needs better than any of us do. Furthermore, from the beginning of human history, he demonstrated his ‘fondness for the sons of men.’ (Proverbs 8:30, 31; Colossians 1:15-17) So great is his love for humans that he personally came to earth and gave his life as a ransom in our behalf. (John 3:16) Thus he made available for us the means of release from sin and death and the opportunity for eternal life.—Matthew 20:28.
8. (a) In contrast with human rulerships, why will God’s government endure? (b) What relationship does “the faithful and discreet slave” have with the heavenly government?
8 God’s Kingdom is a stable, enduring government. Its enduring quality is ensured by the fact that Jehovah himself is not subject to death. (Habakkuk 1:12) In contrast with human kings, Jesus Christ, the one to whom God has entrusted kingship, is also immortal. (Romans 6:9; 1 Timothy 6:15, 16) Associated with Christ on heavenly thrones will be 144,000 others, loyal servants of God out of “every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” These too are given immortal life. (Revelation 5:9, 10; 14:1-4; 1 Corinthians 15:42-44, 53) The vast majority of them are already in the heavens, and the remnant of them yet on earth make up the present-day “faithful and discreet slave,” which loyally furthers the interests of that Kingdom here.—Matthew 24:45-47.
9, 10. (a) What divisive, corrupting influences will the Kingdom remove? (b) If we do not want to become enemies of God’s Kingdom, what entanglements should we avoid?
9 Soon now, at his appointed time, Jehovah will send his executional forces into action to cleanse the earth. They will destroy forever those humans who of their own choice refuse to acknowledge his sovereignty and who treat with scorn the loving provisions that he makes through Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:6-9) That will be Jehovah’s day, the long-awaited time for his vindication as Universal Sovereign. “Look! The day of Jehovah itself is coming, cruel both with fury and with burning anger, . . . that it may annihilate the land’s sinners out of it.” (Isaiah 13:9) “That day is a day of fury, a day of distress and of anguish, a day of storm and of desolation, a day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick gloom.”—Zephaniah 1:15.
10 All false religion and all human governments and their armies, which have been manipulated by the unseen wicked ruler of this world, will be annihilated forever. All who identify themselves with this world by pursuing a self-centered, dishonest, immoral way of life will be cut off in death. Satan and his demons will be removed from contact with earth’s inhabitants, securely confined for a thousand years. God’s Kingdom will then have complete control of all earth’s affairs. What a relief that will be for all who love righteousness!—Revelation 18:21, 24; 19:11-16, 19-21; 20:1, 2.
The Kingdom’s Objectives—How Attained
11. (a) How will the Messianic Kingdom accomplish Jehovah’s purpose for the earth? (b) What will Kingdom rule mean for people living on earth then?
11 The Messianic Kingdom will fully accomplish God’s original purpose for the earth. (Genesis 1:28; 2:8, 9, 15) To this day, mankind has failed to support that purpose. However, “the inhabited earth to come” will be subjected to the Son of man, Jesus Christ. All who survive the execution of Jehovah’s judgment on this old system will work unitedly under Christ the King, gladly doing whatever he directs, so that the earth becomes a global paradise. (Hebrews 2:5-9) All mankind will enjoy the work of their hands and benefit fully from the abundance of earth’s produce.—Psalm 72:1, 7, 8, 16-19; Isaiah 65:21, 22.
12. How will perfection in mind and body be brought about for subjects of the Kingdom?
12 When Adam and Eve were created, they were perfect, and it was God’s purpose for the earth to be filled with their offspring, all enjoying perfection in mind and body. That purpose will come to glorious reality under the rule of the Kingdom. This requires the removal of all the effects of sin, and to that end, Christ serves not only as King but also as High Priest. Patiently, he will help his obedient subjects to benefit from the sin-atoning value of the sacrifice of his own human life.
13. What physical benefits will be realized under Kingdom rule?
13 Under Kingdom rule, earth’s inhabitants will realize marvelous physical benefits. “At that time the eyes of the blind ones will be opened, and the very ears of the deaf ones will be unstopped. At that time the lame one will climb up just as a stag does, and the tongue of the speechless one will cry out in gladness.” (Isaiah 35:5, 6) Flesh disfigured by age or disease will become fresher than that of a child, and chronic weaknesses will give way to vigorous health. “Let his flesh become fresher than in youth; let him return to the days of his youthful vigor.” (Job 33:25) The day will come when no one will have reason to say, “I am sick.” Why? Because God-fearing humans will be relieved of the burden of sin and its grievous effects. (Isaiah 33:24; Luke 13:11-13) Yes, God “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 21:4.
14. What does attaining human perfection include?
14 Attaining perfection, however, involves much more than having a sound body and a sound mind. It includes properly reflecting Jehovah’s qualities, since we were made ‘in God’s image, according to his likeness.’ (Genesis 1:26) To that end, much education will be required. In the new world, “righteousness is to dwell.” So, as Isaiah foretold, “righteousness is what the inhabitants of the productive land will certainly learn.” (2 Peter 3:13; Isaiah 26:9) This quality leads to peace—between people of all races, among close associates, in one’s family and, above all, with God himself. (Psalm 85:10-13; Isaiah 32:17) Those who learn righteousness will progressively be educated in God’s will for them. As love for Jehovah becomes deeply rooted in their hearts, they will follow his ways in every aspect of their lives. They will be able to say as did Jesus, ‘I always do the things pleasing to my Father.’ (John 8:29) How enjoyable life will be when that is true of all humankind!
Accomplishments Already Evident
15. Using the questions in this paragraph, highlight accomplishments of the Kingdom and show what we should be doing now.
15 The impressive accomplishments of God’s Kingdom and its subjects are evident. The following questions and scriptures will remind you of some of these accomplishments, as well as of things that all subjects of the Kingdom can and should be doing now.
The gathering of the remaining members of what group is being given attention since Christ was enthroned? (Revelation 14:1-3)
What work did Jesus foretell that he would do after the outbreak of the great tribulation, as recorded at Matthew 25:31-33?
Kingdom of a Thousand Years
16. (a) How long will Christ rule? (b) What marvelous things will be done during and after that time?
16 After the abyssing of Satan and his demons, Jesus Christ and his 144,000 joint heirs will rule as kings and priests for the thousand years. (Revelation 20:6) During that period, mankind will be brought to perfection, with sin and Adamic death forever eliminated. At the end of the Thousand Year Reign, having successfully carried out his assignment as Messianic King-Priest, Jesus “hands over the kingdom” to his Father, “that God may be all things to everyone.” (1 Corinthians 15:24-28) At that point, Satan is released for a little while to test redeemed humankind as to their support of Jehovah’s universal sovereignty. After that final test is complete, Jehovah will destroy Satan and the rebels who sided with him. (Revelation 20:7-10) Those who upheld Jehovah’s sovereignty—his right to rule—will have fully demonstrated their unswerving loyalty. They will then be brought into their proper relationship with Jehovah, being accepted by him as his sons and daughters, divinely approved for everlasting life.—Romans 8:21.
17. (a) What will happen to the Kingdom at the end of the thousand years? (b) In what sense is it true that the Kingdom “will never be brought to ruin”?
17 Therefore, Jesus’ own function and that of the 144,000 will change in relation to the earth. What will their future activity be? The Bible does not say. But if we faithfully uphold Jehovah’s sovereignty, we will be alive at the end of the Thousand Year Reign to find out what Jehovah has purposed for them as well as for his awesome universe. Nevertheless, Christ’s thousand-year rulership will be “indefinitely lasting” and his Kingdom “will not be brought to ruin.” (Daniel 7:14) In what sense? For one thing, the ruling authority will not pass into the hands of others who have different aims, as Jehovah will be Ruler. Also, the Kingdom “will never be brought to ruin” because its accomplishments will endure forever. (Daniel 2:44) And the Messianic King-Priest and his associate king-priests will forever be honored because of their faithful service to Jehovah.
• Why is God’s Kingdom the only solution to mankind’s problems? When did the King of God’s Kingdom begin to rule?
• What is especially appealing to you about God’s Kingdom and what it will accomplish?
• What accomplishments of the Kingdom can we already see, and what part do we have in these?
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Under God’s Kingdom, all people will learn righteousness