God’s Kingdom Now Rules!
God’s Kingdom started ruling in heaven in the year 1914. That is also when the last days of human rule began. How do we know? Consider Bible prophecy and the conditions and attitudes that have been evident since 1914.
1. What does Bible prophecy indicate?
The Bible book of Daniel indicated that God’s Kingdom would begin ruling at the end of a period called “seven times.” (Daniel 4:16, 17) Centuries later, Jesus referred to that same time period as “the appointed times of the nations,” and he taught that it had not yet ended. (Luke 21:24) As we will see, the seven times ended in the year 1914.
2. What conditions and attitudes have been evident since 1914?
Jesus’ disciples asked him: “What will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things?” (Matthew 24:3) In answer, Jesus foretold many things that would happen after he began ruling in heaven as King of God’s Kingdom. Some of these include war, food shortages, and earthquakes. (Read Matthew 24:7.) The Bible also foretold that people’s attitudes in “the last days” would make life “hard to deal with.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5) These conditions and attitudes have especially been evident since 1914.
3. Why have conditions become so bad since God’s Kingdom began ruling?
Shortly after Jesus became King of God’s Kingdom, he went to war in heaven against Satan and the demons. Satan lost that war. The Bible says that “he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him.” (Revelation 12:9, 12) Satan is very angry because he knows he will be destroyed. So he causes pain and suffering all over the earth. No wonder world conditions are so bad! God’s Kingdom will undo all these problems.
Examine how we know that the Kingdom started ruling in 1914 and what this should mean for us.
4. The Bible’s chronology points to 1914
God caused King Nebuchadnezzar of ancient Babylon to have a prophetic dream. That dream and the interpretation Daniel gave indicate that it applies both to Nebuchadnezzar’s rulership and to God’s Kingdom.—Read Daniel 4:17.a
Read Daniel 4:20-26, and then use the chart to answer the following questions:
(A) What did Nebuchadnezzar see in his dream?—See verses 20 and 21.
(B) What would happen to the tree?—See verse 23.
(C) What would happen at the end of the “seven times”?—See verse 26.
How the Tree Dream Relates to God’s Kingdom
THE PROPHECY (Daniel 4:20-36)
(A) An enormous tree
(B) “Chop down the tree,” and let “seven times pass”
(C) “Your kingdom will be yours again”
In the first fulfillment of this prophecy . . .
(D) Whom did the tree represent?—See verse 22.
(E) How was his rulership interrupted?—Read Daniel 4:29-33.
(F) What happened to Nebuchadnezzar at the end of the “seven times”?—Read Daniel 4:34-36.
(D) Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon
(E) After 606 B.C.E., Nebuchadnezzar loses his sanity and is unable to rule for seven literal years
(F) Nebuchadnezzar regains his sanity and begins ruling again
In the second fulfillment of this prophecy . . .
(G) Whom did the tree represent?—Read 1 Chronicles 29:23.
(H) How was their rulership interrupted? How do we know that it was still interrupted while Jesus was on earth?—Read Luke 21:24.
(I) When and where was this rulership restored?
(G) Israelite kings who represent God’s rulership
(H) Jerusalem is destroyed, interrupting the line of Israelite kings for 2,520 years
(I) Jesus begins ruling in heaven as King of God’s Kingdom
How long are the seven times?
Some portions of the Bible help us to understand other portions. For example, the Bible book of Revelation says that three and a half times equal 1,260 days. (Revelation 12:6, 14) Seven times is double that number, or 2,520 days. Sometimes the Bible uses a day to represent a year. (Ezekiel 4:6) That is the case with the seven times mentioned in the book of Daniel—they represent 2,520 years.
5. The world has changed since 1914
Jesus foretold world conditions that would be evident after he became King. Read Luke 21:9-11, and then discuss this question:
Which of these conditions have you observed or heard about?
The apostle Paul described what people would be like in the last days of human rule. Read 2 Timothy 3:1-5, and then discuss this question:
Which of these attitudes have you noted in people today?
6. The rule of God’s Kingdom should motivate us
Read Matthew 24:3, 14, and then discuss these questions:
What important work shows that God’s Kingdom is now ruling?
How can you have a share in this work?
God’s Kingdom is now ruling, and the day when it takes full control of the earth is near. Read Hebrews 10:24, 25, and then discuss this question:
What should each of us do as we “see the day drawing near”?
SOMEONE MAY ASK: “Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses talk so much about 1914?”
What would you say?
Bible prophecy, chronology, and world conditions prove that God’s Kingdom is now ruling. We show that we believe this by preaching about it and attending congregation meetings.
What happened at the end of the seven times foretold in the Bible book of Daniel?
What convinces you that God’s Kingdom began ruling in 1914?
How can you show that you believe the Kingdom is ruling now?
Consider what historians and others say about changes in the world since 1914.
Read how the prophecy found at Matthew 24:14 affected one man’s life.
“I Loved Baseball More Than Anything!” (The Watchtower No. 3 2017)
How do we know that the prophecy recorded in Daniel chapter 4 applies to God’s Kingdom?
“When Did God’s Kingdom Begin Ruling? (Part 1)” (The Watchtower, October 1, 2014)
What indicates that the “seven times” mentioned in Daniel chapter 4 ended in 1914?
“When Did God’s Kingdom Begin Ruling? (Part 2)” (The Watchtower, November 1, 2014)
a See the last two articles in the Explore section of this lesson.