THE government of Jehovah God is of paramount importance to all who are seeking the way to life. By and through his government or kingdom Jehovah will vindicate his name and establish lasting peace in the universe, and never again shall affliction rise up. (Nah. 1:9) In all periods of time honest men have desired such a government and have had some vague knowledge of its coming. Now God’s kingdom or government is here, and every person of good-will toward God will be anxious to learn about that government. The government of Jehovah God is a Theocracy because under the immediate direction and administration of Almighty God. It is a righteous government because all of Jehovah’s ways are right and righteous. Jehovah is supreme; and all who have a part in his government must be in full accord with him and joyfully obey his commandments.
Following the rebellion in Eden the first ray of hope set before man was God’s promise to establish a righteous government on earth. Abel had faith and hope in that coming government. Likewise Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and a few others desired that government and by faith looked forward to it. (Heb. 11:1-16) With the descendants of Abraham God set up a typical Theocracy. He used the Israelites to make prophetic pictures of his coming real Theocratic government. Moses, Aaron, Joshua and Samuel were representatives on the earth of God’s Theocratic government. When the Jews requested a man for king they displeased God, and concerning this it is written: “And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.”—1 Sam. 8:7, 8.
Demon religion, brought in by the Devil, was the reason for the Jews’ rejecting God as King. They wanted to be like other people. Because of Saul’s unfaithfulness he was rejected by the Lord. God then made David king over Israel; and David was a type foreshadowing Christ Jesus, the Beloved of Jehovah, and who is the world’s real and true King under Jehovah, the “king of eternity”.—Jer. 10:10, margin.
The last typical king of Israel was Zedekiah, the unfaithful and wicked one. He was overthrown, and God declared that the kingdom should be “no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him”. (Ezek. 21:27) Thereafter the Devil continued as the invisible lord of the Gentile nations and carried on his wickedness without interruption, God suffering him to do so in order that the Devil might have full opportunity to carry out his boasted challenge. God’s expressed purpose is to have a righteous world, and concerning this he said: “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.”—Isa. 65:17, 18.
“Jerusalem” as used in this text refers to his great government of righteousness under Christ the King, and the prophecy here recorded is about completely fulfilled. All of God’s holy prophets prophesied concerning the restoration of all things pertaining to the Kingdom, and which prophecies must come true. (Acts 3:20, 21) God’s prophet wrote foretelling the birth of the King and of his righteous and glorious reign. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” (Isa. 9:6, 7) That prophecy must be completely fulfilled.
Approximately four thousand years after the rebellion in Eden Jesus was born at Bethlehem. There the prophecy of Isaiah above quoted was beginning to have fulfillment. It was then and there that the messengers of Jehovah declared: “Glory in the highest unto God! and on earth peace, among men of good-will.” (Luke 2:14, Rotherham) Clearly now it is seen that the birth of the child Jesus shall in due time be ‘glory to Almighty God’ for all creatures that live, and that through him and his government peace shall come to stay and shall be a blessing to all men of good-will, and to none other. The above-quoted text from Rotherham emphasizes the fact that peace on earth is to men of good-will only. Why should the kingdom of Jehovah God under Christ ever be a blessing and a joy to anyone who is not of good-will toward God? All the enemies of God shall perish forever, and hence to them the Kingdom will be nothing. (Pss. 21:8; 37:20) After the coming battle of Armageddon never again shall Satan and his wicked rule be in vogue. Never again will his religious agents and their organization be in existence. Then the memory of those wicked ones shall perish forever; as it is written: “The memory of the just is blessed; but the name of the wicked shall rot.” (Prov. 10:7; Isa. 26:14) Today the people on earth that are of good-will toward God and his kingdom have reason to rejoice, and should rejoice, because the time of complete deliverance and peace everlasting is near. For that reason God is now making clear his purpose to those who desire his righteous government.
At the time of the baptism of Jesus he was anointed to be King. (Matt. 3:16; John 18:37) His first public proclamation when he thereafter returned to Galilee was: “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” He instructed all persons of good-will to continue to pray to God: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matt. 6:10) Because he was and is the King under the immediate command of the almighty Theocrat, Jehovah, that beloved One, Jesus, was impaled on a stake by Satan’s religious agents. It was their hope to destroy him, but God defeated his enemies by raising Jesus out of death and exalting him to the highest place in the universe next to God himself. Christ Jesus is the “heir of all things”, and he is the “express image” of his Father, Jehovah; and concerning the beloved Son God commands ‘all the angels to worship him’. (Heb. 1:6) Furthermore Jehovah commands that ‘every knee to him shall bow, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God’.—Phil. 2:10, 11.
PERIOD OF WAITING
Although fully clothed with power and authority as King when he ascended into heaven, Jesus the King must wait to begin his reign until Jehovah selected the 144,000 body members of his royal organization from among men, and when that is finished the enemy shall be put down. So Satan continued his wicked course without interruption. Hence it is written: “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” (Ps. 110:1) “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.” (Heb. 10:12, 13) Those who shall be associated with Christ Jesus in his kingdom must first be selected, and they must prove their integrity under the test. Such faithful ones are taken into the covenant for the Kingdom. (Luke 22:28-30) After the return of Christ Jesus in his Kingdom power the faithful are ‘made kings and priests unto God’ to reign with Christ Jesus. (Rev. 1:6; 5:10) As the typical kingdom of Israel was made up of twelve tribes, so in the antitype the associates with Christ Jesus are of twelve clans or tribes, all of one family and all together constituting the 144,000. (Rev. 7:4) That favored body of creatures composing “the body of Christ”, the anointed ones, must, every one of them, be put to the test, prove faithful and true, be baptized into the death of Christ, and experience the resurrection change from human to spirit, and be forever with Christ Jesus in his kingdom.—Rom. 6:3-5; 1 Cor. 15:51-55; Rev. 20:4.
The period of Christ’s waiting, according to God’s good pleasure, has been approximately 1900 years, during which time the members of the body of Christ have been selected, and the death and resurrection change of the remnant yet on earth of the 144,000 soon shall take place. Those of these elect ones who died in Christ have already been resurrected. (1 Thess. 4:15-17; 2 Tim. 4:1) The period of waiting ended A.D. 1914, and the King assumed his high office under the command of Jehovah, the great Theocrat. “The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion [saying]: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.” (Ps. 110:2, 3) “We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and to them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.”—Rev. 11:17, 18.
The first work of the enthroned King is to oust the rebel Satan, and therefore the “war in heaven” began in 1914. (Rev. 12:1-17) The battle of Armageddon yet to come will dispose definitely of all those who oppose Christ the King, and that will be the end of Satan’s reign.
The kingdom of heaven is God’s capital organization called Zion. It consists of Christ Jesus, the Head, together with 144,000 associates, who are designated as kings and priests unto God and Christ. All of such are spirits in the likeness of Christ Jesus. The number will be no more and no less than 144,000 members. The Kingdom is the creation of Jehovah God, and he is over all and above all. He is the great and almighty Theocrat. The King, Christ Jesus, will fully and completely carry out Jehovah’s purpose. The kingdom or government of peace is The Theocracy.
But what about the men of faith that lived before Jesus, who devoted themselves to God, refused to compromise with Satan or worldly governments, and looked to the promised rule of Almighty Jehovah? None of them can ever be members of the heavenly kingdom or government of Jehovah, for the manifest reason that they all died before the ransom sacrifice was provided by Jesus and paid over.
Those men are held forth in the Scriptures as examples of faith and true devotion. (Heb. 12:1) Being faithful, they received at God’s hand a “good report”. They were witnesses to the name and majesty of Almighty God, and he approved them, and concerning them the inspired apostle, who is a member of the Kingdom, wrote: “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us [Christians], that they without us should not be made perfect.” (Heb. 11:13, 39, 40) The apostle Paul spoke also of himself when he said “us”, and he knew that he could not be made perfect until the coming of Christ Jesus, the King of glory (2 Tim. 4:8); and therefore the faithful men of old could not be made perfect until the setting up of the Kingdom. It is certain, then, from the Scriptures that these men will be brought back from death as participants in a “better resurrection” following the Kingdom’s establishment. (Heb. 11:35) What, then, shall be their place in Jehovah’s arrangement and under his Theocratic government?
The kingdom or government of Jehovah is spiritual: therefore invisible to human eyes. God had his representatives on earth during the tenure of his typical kingdom of Israel and so he will have his representatives on earth during the reign of Christ the King of glory. And those visible representatives, acting with authority, will be made up of the faithful men of old mentioned at Hebrews chapter eleven, as well as others not there mentioned by name; and concerning them it is written: “Instead of thy [Christ’s] fathers shall be thy children whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth.”—Ps. 45:16.
The King, Christ Jesus, is the Ruler, and the earthly representatives of that great Ruler are called the “princes”, who shall represent the Kingdom on the earth. As Samuel the prophet, under the typical kingdom, went about among the people delivering to them the commands of Jehovah, so under the reign of Christ the faithful men of old, the princes in the earth, shall go among the people directing them according to the commands of the Lord. That is the Theocratic government in operation toward the paradise earth to come.
The abundance of Scriptural evidence, together with the physical facts that have come to pass showing the fulfillment of prophecy, conclusively proves that the time for Armageddon, the battle of the great day of God Almighty, is very near and that in that battle all of God’s enemies will be destroyed and the earth cleared of wickedness, preparatory to the complete establishment of righteousness. The affairs of earth then will be under the complete control of Christ Jesus; and the faithful men of old above mentioned will act as representatives of the heavenly Theocratic government. They will inhabit the glorified earth with men of good-will preserved through the battle of Armageddon. Such “great multitude” of Armageddon survivors will marry and multiply and fill the earth with offspring devoted to God; and thus an inhabited earth will rejoice under the righteous administration of God’s heavenly government.