Jehovah’s Purpose Attains Glorious Success
1, 2. (a) What is Jehovah’s purpose regarding his intelligent creatures? (b) Who were included in God’s united family of worshipers?
ALL intelligent creation united in worshiping the only true God and all of them enjoying glorious freedom as children of God—that is Jehovah’s loving purpose. It is also what lovers of righteousness earnestly desire.
2 Jehovah began fulfilling this grand purpose when he started his works of creation. His first creation was a Son who since his resurrection is “the reflection of [God’s] glory and the exact representation of his very being.” (Hebrews 1:1-3) This Son was unique, being created by God alone. Subsequently, it would be through this Son that all others were to be brought into existence: first the angels in heaven, then humans on earth. (Job 38:7; Luke 3:38) All of these made up one universal family. To all of them, Jehovah was God, the Universal Sovereign, and their loving Father.
3. (a) What have all of us inherited from our first parents? (b) What loving provision did Jehovah make for Adam’s offspring?
3 When our first human parents were condemned to death as willful sinners, they were evicted from Eden and disowned by God. They ceased to be part of his universal family. (Genesis 3:22-24; Deuteronomy 32:4, 5) All of us are their descendants, so we have been born with sinful tendencies. But Jehovah knew that some from among Adam and Eve’s descendants would love righteousness. So He lovingly made a provision whereby these could attain to “the glorious freedom of the children of God.”—Romans 8:20, 21.
Israel Loses Favored Position
4. What privilege did Jehovah extend to ancient Israel?
4 Some 2,500 years after Adam’s creation, Jehovah extended to certain humans the privilege of having a special relationship with Him. He chose ancient Israel to be his people and gave them his Law. (Genesis 12:1, 2) He formed them into a nation and used them in connection with his purpose. (Deuteronomy 14:1, 2; Isaiah 43:1) However, they were still in bondage to sin and death, so they did not enjoy the glorious freedom that Adam and Eve originally had.
5. How did the Israelites lose their special standing with God?
5 Nevertheless, the Israelites had a favored standing with God. They also had the responsibility to respect Jehovah as their Father and to work in harmony with his purpose. Jesus stressed the importance of their fulfilling that obligation. (Matthew 5:43-48) However, the nation of Israel failed to do this. While those Jews claimed “we have one Father, God,” Jesus declared that their actions and the spirit they showed belied such a claim. (John 8:41, 44, 47) In 33 C.E., the Law was terminated by God, and Israel’s special relationship with him ended. But did this mean that people could never enjoy a favorable relationship with God?
Gathering “the Things in the Heavens”
6. What is the purpose of the “administration” that Paul mentioned at Ephesians 1:9, 10?
6 The apostle Paul showed that some among humankind could enjoy a special relationship with God. For example, regarding Jehovah’s arrangement whereby those who exercise faith may become members of His household, Paul wrote: “[God] made known to us the sacred secret of his will. It is according to his good pleasure which he purposed in himself for an administration at the full limit of the appointed times, namely, to gather all things together again in the Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth.” (Ephesians 1:9, 10) This “administration” centers on Jesus Christ. Through him, humans are brought into an approved condition before God. A limited number of them have the prospect of being in heaven. Far greater numbers will live on earth forever.
7. Who are “the things in the heavens”?
7 First, starting in Pentecost 33 C.E., attention was given to “the things in the heavens,” that is, those who would be joint heirs with Christ in the heavenly Kingdom. On the basis of their faith in the value of Jesus’ sacrifice, they were declared righteous by God. (Romans 5:1, 2) In time, Jews and Gentiles were included, and “the things in the heavens” would number 144,000. (Galatians 3:26-29; Revelation 14:1) Only a remnant of them are still on earth.
Gathering “the Things on the Earth”
8. Who are “the things on the earth,” and what is their relationship with Jehovah?
8 The same administration is also gathering “the things on the earth.” Millions of people are now being gathered with the prospect of living forever on earth. In unity with the remnant of Kingdom heirs, they magnify the name of Jehovah and exalt his worship. (Isaiah 2:2, 3; Zephaniah 3:9) They also address Jehovah as “Father” because they recognize him as the source of life. And they enjoy an approved standing before him on the basis of their faith in Jesus’ shed blood. (Revelation 7:9, 14) But since they are still imperfect, being fully acknowledged as God’s children is yet future.
9. What promise does Romans 8:21 hold out for mankind?
9 These with earthly hopes are now eagerly waiting for the time when the human creation will be “set free from enslavement to corruption.” (Romans 8:21) That emancipation will begin after Christ and his heavenly armies bring the great tribulation to a close by means of the Armageddon climax. This will mean the destruction of Satan’s entire wicked system of things, to be followed by the blessings of the Thousand Year Reign of Christ in Kingdom power.—Revelation 19:17-21; 20:6.
10. Jehovah’s servants will sing what song of praise?
10 How exhilarating it will be when Jehovah’s servants on earth unite to echo the sentiments of his servants in heaven, who joyously proclaim: “Great and wonderful are your works, Jehovah God, the Almighty. Righteous and true are your ways, King of eternity. Who will not really fear you, Jehovah, and glorify your name, because you alone are loyal? For all the nations will come and worship before you, because your righteous decrees have been made manifest.” (Revelation 15:3, 4) Yes, all of Jehovah’s servants will unite in worship of the only true God. Even the dead will be resurrected and given the opportunity to join in raising their voices in praise to Jehovah.—Acts 24:15.
Marvelous Freedom Ahead
11. What marvelous freedom will be enjoyed by survivors of the great tribulation?
11 After the great tribulation, with its Armageddon climax, has cleansed the earth of wickedness, no longer will Satan the Devil be “the god of this system of things.” No longer will worshipers of Jehovah have to contend with Satan’s vile influence. (2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 20:1, 2) No longer will false religion misrepresent Jehovah and serve as a divisive influence on human society. No longer will servants of the true God experience injustice and exploitation at the hands of human authorities. What marvelous freedom will be enjoyed!
12. How will all be freed from sin and its effects?
12 As “the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world,” Jesus will apply the value of his sacrifice to cancel out the sins of mankind. (John 1:29) When Jesus was on earth and forgave a person’s sins, he healed the forgiven one as proof of it. (Matthew 9:1-7; 15:30, 31) In like manner, Christ Jesus, as heavenly King of God’s Kingdom, will miraculously heal the blind, the speechless, the deaf, the physically maimed, the mentally afflicted, and those with any other sickness. (Revelation 21:3, 4) All obedient ones will get “sin’s law” nullified so that their thoughts and actions will be pleasing, both to themselves and to God. (Romans 7:21-23) By the end of the Millennium, they will have been brought to human perfection, in the ‘image and likeness’ of the only true God.—Genesis 1:26.
13. At the end of the Millennial Rule, what action will Christ take, and with what result?
13 When Christ has brought mankind to perfection, he will then give back to the Father the authority that was conferred upon him for this work: “He hands over the kingdom to his God and Father, when he has brought to nothing all government and all authority and power. For he must rule as king until God has put all enemies under his feet.” (1 Corinthians 15:24, 25) The Millennial Rule of the Kingdom will have fully accomplished its purpose; so no longer will there be a need for this subsidiary government to remain between Jehovah and mankind. And since sin and death will have been completely removed and mankind redeemed, the need for Jesus as a Redeemer ends. The Bible explains: “Then the Son himself will also subject himself to the One who subjected all things to him, that God may be all things to everyone.”—1 Corinthians 15:28.
14. To what will all perfected humans be subjected, and why?
14 Following this, perfected mankind will be given the opportunity to demonstrate that their choice is to serve the only true God forever. Hence, before fully adopting them as his children, Jehovah will subject all those perfected humans to a final test. Satan and his demons will be loosed from the abyss. This will result in no lasting harm to those who truly love Jehovah. But any who disloyally allow themselves to be led into disobedience to Jehovah will be destroyed forever, along with the original rebel and his demons.—Revelation 20:7-10.
15. What situation will once again exist among all of Jehovah’s intelligent creation?
15 Jehovah will then adopt as his children all the perfected humans who upheld God’s sovereignty during that final test. From that time on, they will share to the full the glorious freedom of the children of God as part of God’s universal family. All intelligent creation in heaven and on earth will once again be united in worshiping him as the only true God. Jehovah’s purpose will have attained glorious success! Do you want to be part of that happy, everlasting, universal family? If so, we encourage you to take to heart what the Bible says at 1 John 2:17: “The world is passing away and so is its desire, but he that does the will of God remains forever.”
• Before the rebellion in Eden, what relationship did all worshipers of Jehovah have with him?
• What responsibility rests on those who are God’s servants?
• Who will yet become children of God, and how is this related to Jehovah’s purpose regarding united worship?
[Picture on page 190]
Obedient humans will enjoy life in a global paradise