When Will God’s Kingdom Come?
“I saw in the night-visions, and, behold, there came with the clouds of heaven one like unto a son of man, and . . . there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom.”—Dan. 7:13, 14, AS.
1. With what has Jehovah created man, and how have some made use of such provision?
JEHOVAH God has created man with a mind to think with. He can use this mind to reason. He can consider opinions of others and can determine for himself what is right and wrong. This means that he can progress by learning, as well as discard old, worn-out conclusions, proved to be erroneous. However, many refuse to utilize their mind and rather permit others to think for them. When new ideas are advanced they are at first, and in many instances always, rejected. Early in the fourteenth century (A. D.) the people lived in great ignorance as compared with our present day. They depended upon their professors and theologians, who in turn relied upon the published discoveries of men who lived prior to their time, many of which discoveries were foundationless. When some new ideas were presented, the theologians of the day rejected them.
2. What was the reaction of the people to ideas of some scientists?
2 In the year 1543 Copernicus published a work in which he refuted the old idea that the sun and all the stars revolved around the earth as a center, as was then taught in all the universities. Though he was right, his theory was rejected. Galileo proved that Aristotle was pitiably wrong on a number of things, but still this would not do. His works gave offense to those who pinned their faith on Aristotle, which included the theologians, and though Galileo was right, he was summoned before the Inquisition and some of his theories were condemned by the church authorities. He was then sentenced to incarceration and observation, and so remained until his death. The people followed suit, and they, as well as those before them, lived and died, rejecting the proved works and clinging to the old, worn-out, false ideas.
3, 4. How do many people use their minds today, and what conditions exist in the nations?
3 Strange as it seems, we are living in a similar condition today. Many people do not use their minds, but rather let others think for them. When sound reasoning is presented that disproves a popular conception or what someone has taught them, they refuse it. They live and die, still clinging to what is false.
4 Today when we look about us we can clearly see the general condition of mankind. In every nation there is evidence of fear, unrest and a craving desire to live in peaceful surroundings. In Christendom they are taught from birth about a kingdom to come, a better form of rule, yes, God’s kingdom. The end of the world was foretold generations ago, in many ways. Various would-be prophets heralded that the end of the world was soon to come, and many people left their homes to seek refuge.
5. What is the general attitude of the people respecting God’s kingdom?
5 The general attitude and understanding relative to God’s kingdom is indeed very confusing. It is something abstract. They know about a “kingdom” but that is about as far as it goes. For instance, some individuals when thinking about God’s kingdom expect to go to heaven and in that way realize it. Some expect man to set up the Kingdom on earth and many expect the world to be converted to the gospel and then God’s kingdom will be established. Still others will contend that Christ will appear in visible form and then set up God’s kingdom on the earth. Yet these very same ones believe that they are going to heaven. Some even think God’s kingdom is within human creatures. A confused and unsettled picture indeed, with each person having his own opinion. They will live and die with their own conclusions, but that does not make them right. It does not mean that the Kingdom does not exist, nor does it mean that there will be no such thing as a Kingdom.
6. What example is given to show difference of opinion, and how can the matter be settled?
6 For example, you may be an observer at a trial and hear the testimony of several witnesses regarding an accident. One says that he saw the lady that was hurt getting on the bus. Another says that he also saw the lady get hurt, but she was not getting on the bus but was getting off. A third person swears that he saw the whole thing and no lady got on or off a bus; it was not even a lady at all but was an old man. All claim that they saw the accident, but each gives a different picture. Nevertheless, because the picture is confusing it does not mean that the accident never happened. It did. There are indications that it did take place. The individual is hurt. Obviously, the difficulty lies in the several individuals’ interpretations of the event. But how can the differences be settled? By considering all the evidence; by investigating in order to reach a logical conclusion. Someone is wrong, maybe all the witnesses are testifying inaccurately, but it is up to the judge to find out. He can do it.
7, 8. (a) What does the confused picture relative to God’s kingdom mean, and how can this be settled? (b) What questions are all persons here asked?
7 So it is with God’s kingdom. Christendom’s picture relative to it is confusing. But does that mean there is no such thing as the Kingdom? Does the confused picture Christendom’s spokesmen portray mean that God’s Word, the Bible, is not true or that God’s kingdom has not taken place? No! Someone is wrong, maybe all of Christendom’s spokesmen, but you must be the judge. You can do it. How? By investigating the various claims. By weighing the evidence with a sane outlook. By going to the information source, the Bible, and thus coming to an accurate, logical conclusion.
8 Going then to the Bible, we find that many people are praying the Lord’s prayer without proper understanding. But how about you? Do you pray with understanding? Are you a merchant, or maybe a farmer or statesman, an executive or laborer? Whatever may be your course in life, what does God’s kingdom mean to you? When will it come? What is God’s purpose respecting it? What is your outlook respecting the Kingdom? How do you fit in in God’s purpose respecting his kingdom? What is your understanding?
9. (a) What was God’s original purpose in creating man? what happened, and what arrangement did God make for man’s future condition? (b) Who was the foretold “seed”, and how do we know?
9 Upon examination of the Scriptures we find that man was created and placed in the garden of Eden. It was God’s purpose that man live under perfect conditions forever. However, man sinned and as a result death came upon all men and all are born in sin. (Ps. 51:5; Rom. 5:12, NW) It was God’s purpose to have mankind redeemed from such a condition. But how was he going to do this? Through the Kingdom arrangement. And so it is that at Genesis 3:15 God speaks of this kingdom and foretells the coming of a “seed” to accomplish this and to bring peace to all mankind. It is also referred to in Genesis 12:3, 7 (AS), which says: “And I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse: and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And Jehovah appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land.” The “seed” referred to was later identified in Romans 1:1, 3 and Galatians 3:16, NW, as Christ Jesus, “who sprang from the seed of David according to the flesh.” This Son of God obediently laid down his life in the flesh and was resurrected in the spirit.
10. What facts relative to Christ’s resurrection do many fail to understand? What do these facts indicate?
10 That Christ was resurrected in the spirit the Bible makes clear. At this point suffice it to say concerning Christ’s resurrection that there are many contentions relative to it. Many point to his various appearances in visible form. Yet these very ones fail to understand that if he was raised in the flesh why the need for materializing a body? Note the account that states that “eight days later his disciples were again indoors, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and he stood in their midst”. (John 20:26, NW) How, pray, tell us, did Jesus get through the locked doors if he had been resurrected in the flesh? The fact that he appeared in a room after going through closed, locked doors indicates that he was a spirit and he merely clothed such spirit form with a fleshly body for the purpose of showing his disciples that he was alive.
11. (a) Was such materialization unusual? What would his resurrection in the flesh mean? (b) What apostolic testimony is recorded showing what kind of resurrection Christ must have experienced?
11 It was nothing unusual. Angels had materialized before but we do not refer to them at that time as human creatures, but as spirit creatures. (Gen. 19:1-11; 32:1, 2; John 20:12, NW) This must be the case; otherwise what flesh did Jesus sacrifice? If he had been resurrected in the flesh there would be no flesh that was sacrificed. Remember that by Christ’s sacrifice of his flesh he provided for mankind’s ransom. But where would such ransom benefit be if Christ took that life back, and if he were now in fleshly form? But that he was resurrected in the spirit we are informed at 1 Peter 3:18 (NW), which says: “Why, even Christ died once for all time concerning sins, a righteous person for unrighteous ones, that he might lead you to God, he being put to death in the flesh, but being made alive in the spirit.” Furthermore, 1 Corinthians 15:50 (NW) says that “flesh and blood cannot inherit God’s kingdom”. No higher learning or philosophical teachings from our religious critics can explain away from God’s Word such simple truths that a child can understand.
12. What does John 6:48-51 bring to our attention?
12 Also, John 6:48-51 (NW) informs us of Jesus’ own words on the matter when he said: “The bread that I shall give is my flesh in behalf of the life of the world,” and, “if anyone eats of this bread he will live forever.” Here Jesus instructs his followers to eat his flesh; but how can they eat his flesh if he did not sacrifice it? He did sacrifice it. So, obviously, he was resurrected in the spirit.
13. What objection is raised by some, and how is this met?
13 But what does all this mean? It means that Christ’s resurrection was in the spirit; hence his second coming must likewise be in the spirit. At this point some may object and refer to Acts 1:11 (NW), which says: “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus who was received up from you into heaven will come thus in the same manner as you have beheld him going into heaven.” Note that the record states that he would come again in the same manner. Jesus disappeared from their sight. They were standing there looking up into the sky and they did not see him any more. He was gone and yet they kept on looking. Then the angels stated: ‘Well, what are you looking for? This same Jesus, as you have seen him go into heaven, will come in the same manner.’ They did not say that he would return in the same form. They were talking, not about Jesus’ form, but his manner of going. He went away quietly, unobserved by the world. The world did not see his ascension, and in this same manner he would return.
14. (a) How is Revelation 1:7 explained where it says that those who “pierced” him would see him? (b) How do any “see” Christ now, and with what other texts would such conclusion be in harmony?
14 But still others object and refer to Revelation 1:7 (NW), which says: “Look! he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, and those who pierced him; and all the tribes of the earth will beat themselves in grief because of him.” Does it not say that they will see him? Upon examination of this text we must admit that it is figurative. For instance, the religionists who pierced him are also to see him come. Now the “piercing” could not be by those religionists long dead and buried; hence it could not be done directly to Christ. Matthew 25:40 (NW) shows us how this piercing could and would be done to Christ, for it says: “To the extent that you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Their response was that they never saw Christ or that they never found his brothers in such a condition as he described. The fact is that they did it as to him, and hence they “pierced” him by persecuting his followers or otherwise mistreating them. And so the piercing mentioned in Revelation 1:7 is figurative. Hence, too, the “seeing” does not refer to literally seeing Christ with their natural eyes. They see with eyes of understanding. Ephesians 1:18 (NW) says: “The eyes of your heart having been enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he called you.” So they visualize or see Christ’s presence with eyes of understanding. This is in harmony with John 14:19 (NW), which states: “A little longer and the world will behold me no more, but you will behold me.” If he was to come visibly in the clouds, what would stop the world from seeing him? Everyone would see him. Yet he said that the world would not see him any more, but those that followed him and were serving him on earth would. The facts show that this was the case. Hence “every eye” that would see him would refer to those that would be made aware of his presence invisibly by the fulfillment of Bible prophecies relative to his presence.
15. (a) What do Christ’s resurrection and second presence have to do with God’s kingdom? (b) How does Philippians 2:5-11 shed light on the matter?
15 But what does his resurrection and second coming or presence have to do with God’s kingdom? Everything, because the apostles connect the second coming of Christ with the Kingdom and the end of the world. They inquired, as recorded at Matthew 24:3 (NW), “What will be the sign of your presence and of the consummation of the system of things?” He assured them that he would come again, and it is manifest that he would do so in the spirit. And if his presence takes place at the time that the Kingdom is set up, it would mean that the Kingdom would not be visible to man either. Certainly there is no need for him to come again in the flesh. His flesh accomplished its purpose. He sacrificed this flesh and needs not humiliate himself again, because he is now exalted to heavenly glory, as Philippians 2:5-11 (NW) shows: “When he found himself in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient as far as death, yes, death on a torture stake. For this very reason also God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every other name.” So, since he is now exalted, how can he be in the flesh and at the same time be higher than the angels, even higher than he was before he came down from heaven to earth? Since the angels are spirits, and all admit that they are, then most certainly Christ Jesus is a spirit.
LOOKING FOR A VISIBLE “SIGN”
16. Under what conditions were the Jews living in Jesus’ day? How did they understand Daniel’s prophecy as to the “sign”?
16 As one who claims to be a Christian, you base your worship on the Bible, do you not? Then you are interested in what occurred when Jesus came to earth in the flesh. This has an important connection with what we are here considering. Let us briefly consider what took place. The nation of Israel existed then but under the imperial Roman yoke. They still had their form of worship, still sacrificed, and had what we now call the Hebrew Scriptures, commonly called “the Old Testament”. They no doubt read about the coming of the Messiah and referred to the text in Daniel 7:13, 14 (AS), which reads: “I saw in the night-visions, and, behold, there came with the clouds of heaven one like unto a son of man, and . . . there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom.” Now note: they thought this “sign” in the heavens would be the coming of the Son of man with the clouds and would indicate the first presence of the Messiah on earth. But they were looking for a visible sign, a visible sign of their own interpretation; hence they wrongly interpreted Daniel’s prophecy, which actually referred to the second coming or presence of Christ.
17. How did Jesus’ testimony expose their error? Because of their attitude what were they unable to do?
17 That they had such a thought in mind is proved by the account in Matthew 16:1-4 (NW): “Here the Pharisees and Sadducees approached him and, to tempt him, they asked him to display to them a sign from heaven. In reply he said to them: ‘When evening falls you are accustomed to say, “It will be fair weather, for the sky is fire-red”; and at morning, “It will be wintry, rainy weather today, for the sky is fire-red, but gloomy-looking.” You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but the signs of the times you cannot interpret. A wicked and adulterous generation keeps on seeking for a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah.’” Yes, he was there; he was in their midst and performing many wonderful things, all of which proved he was the One to come, yet they did not recognize him and kept on looking for a particular sign not yet due, because they wrongly interpreted the prophecy. So to them Jesus said: “You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky! but the signs of the times you cannot interpret.” No wonder he further said to the Jews: “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.”—John 4:48, NW.
18. What message did Jesus and his followers preach? Why was it right, and in what way did Jesus say the kingdom of God would come?
18 In spite of their refusal to listen, Jesus and his followers went from place to place preaching “The kingdom of heaven is at hand”. Was it not a strange message, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand”? Indeed it was strange to them; but it was right. Why? Because the kingly representative was present, he was in their midst, and in this sense ‘the kingdom of heaven was at hand’. That this is so we have Jesus’ own words: “The kingdom of God is not coming with striking observableness, neither will people be saying, ‘See here!’ or, ‘There!’ For, look! the kingdom of God is in your midst.” (Luke 17:20, 21, NW) So the kingdom of God was not to come with an outward visible sign, as many expected, with “striking observableness”. No, Jesus was there and he rightly preached that the Kingdom in the person of its King was at hand.
19. (a) In view of his works, did all the people follow Jesus? (b) What historical account attests to Jesus’ works?
19 Jesus went up and down the land performing many miracles, healing the sick, curing the lame, and doing many wonderful things. (Matt. 12:13, 22; 14:14; Luke 14:1-4, NW) One would think that the people would hail him, without exception. Many did, but others rejected him. (Matt. 12:14, 15; Mark 11:18; John 7:19, NW) Why, even the historians wrote about this man that performed extraordinary works. Josephus records: “Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him.” (Quoted from The Works of Flavius Josephus (Whiston), Volume II, “Antiquities of the Jews,” Book XVIII, chapter III, page 45.) Think of it! He was in their midst, he was with them as the representative of God, yet they rejected him, as stated at John 19:14, 15 (NW): “And he [Pilate] said to the Jews: ‘See! your king!’ However, they shouted: ‘Take him away! Take him away! Impale him!’ Pilate said to them: ‘Shall I impale your king?’ The chief priests answered: ‘We have no king but Caesar.’”
20. (a) What “sign” did that rebellious nation get, but what sign did they not get? (b) What reference indicates that not all then did look for a heavenly sign?
20 Stubbornly they looked for a sign. They got it. But still they did not believe. What was the sign? The “sign of Jonah”, that is, Jesus’ death and resurrection, just as he previously had told them, ‘But no sign will be given this adulterous generation except the sign of Jonah.’ Because of their rebelliousness they suffered destruction, but they never got their visible sign in the heaven that they were looking for. Even many of the disciples, who walked with Jesus and were intimately associated with him, left him before his ministry ended. “Owing to this many of his disciples went off to the things behind and would no longer walk with him.” (John 6:66, NW) However, many did recognize him and did not look for a visible heavenly sign then; for the account states, at John 7:31 (NW): “Still, many of the crowd put faith in him, and they commenced saying: ‘When the Christ arrives, he will not perform more signs than this man has performed, will he?’” Certainly not! They observed that he was the One to come.
21, 22. (a) What was the general attitude of the people after Christ’s resurrection? (b) What questions are all individuals required to answer?
21 Even after his resurrection the generation then living did not believe, for years later the apostle wrote, at 1 Corinthians 1:22, 23 (NW), showing how they still looked for a visible sign: “For both the Jews ask for signs and the Greeks look for wisdom; but we preach Christ impaled, to the Jews a cause for falling but to the nations foolishness.” They had the proof. They had the facts. They could have accepted Jesus, but refused. They lived and died in their confused state and lack of understanding about God’s kingdom, looking for a visible sign in the heavens and overlooking the first presence of Christ Jesus, who was God’s kingly representative.
22 With that background in mind, what do you expect to see in order to believe that God’s kingdom is established? Since it is established, what will convince you? Do you expect to see a miracle of some kind, possibly a visible sign in the heavens? There are many claims respecting God’s kingdom. Which is right? You must consider the evidence and then be the judge. You have a right to be convinced, but it is folly to reject the truth. You lose out!
23. What has God revealed to his people respecting Satan’s purposes?
23 God knew that Satan the wicked one would attempt to turn the attention of the people away from God’s kingdom when it was established. So it was when Satan was ousted from the heavens down to the earth. He was wrathful. He plunged the nations into World War I. He wanted to turn the attention of the people away from the significant event that then was taking place and he proceeded to do so in the most deceptive ways. But he must hurry! Why? Listen to the inspired account at Revelation 12:9, 12 (NW): “So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; . . . Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing he has a short period of time.”
24. What further light does the meaning of the word “mislead” bring out? Why is this a fearful time?
24 Yes, the wicked adversary knows he has only a short period of time now and he does every possible thing in his power to prevent earth’s inhabitants from acknowledging God’s kingdom arrangement. Did you note that the divine record states that he “is misleading the entire inhabited earth”? The word “misleading” carries with it the thought of deceiving or leading astray. Who will deny that the “entire inhabited earth” has gone astray and has been deceived into an improper understanding respecting God’s kingdom? But just as God foretold this, he also foretold the conditions that would exist upon the earth at this time. While on earth, his Son Jesus said: “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth anguish of nations, not knowing the way out because of the roaring of the sea and its agitation, while men become faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”—Luke 21:25, 26, NW.
25. What must persons today guard against, and why is not the “sign” referred to in Luke 21 literal?
25 This prophecy points to the time of the end of the world, where we are now living, which prophecy is in harmony with Revelation quoted above. Now then, are you going to look for a visible sign in the heavens as those rebellious Jews did in Jesus’ day? Are you looking for such things to happen literally in the heavens as mentioned in Luke chapter 21? Be careful. Walk cautiously, for you may be looking for a visible sign in the heavens and overlooking the real and important sign that is before you. Jesus’ prophecy that Luke recorded says that the nations or peoples would be in anguish, and they would not know the way out, and, further, men would become faint out of fear. But why all of this? The account says, “because of the roaring of the sea and its agitation,” and because of the things the people expect to come upon the inhabited earth. The “sea” represents those, many millions, who are unstable and alienated from God. They are in such condition because they do not accept God’s Word and hence are disturbed over world conditions. They are in fear, in the dark.
26. Describe the conditions existing upon the earth today. What do these facts prove?
26 Man’s prosperity no longer exists, thus causing distress. Man’s rule is in opposition to God’s kingdom, and hence it is seen to be ineffective, powerless. It is filled with wickedness, graft and totalitarian methods, and corruption of all kinds. The various governments and schemes of men are shattered and darkened, and there is nothing that they can do about it; and so they are in fear. For the past six thousand years man has experimented and failed. Still the masses of humankind cling to the dim light of the so-called United Nations, and even now we hear in the distance the rumbling voices for something better, a world government. The cry from many is that the U. N. is now a menace to world freedom! So this in itself is proof of man’s failure thus far, and, just as Jesus stated, men are becoming faint out of fear, “not knowing the way out because of the roaring of the sea [unstable peoples alienated from God] and its agitation.” The facts are before you which are occurring in fulfillment of the prophecy foretelling the general shakedown of man’s rule as if by an earthquake.—Heb. 12:26-29, NW; Zech. 14:3-5, AS.
NATIONS “GATHERED” AND PEOPLES “SEPARATED”
27. (a) What else did a similar prophecy foretell would take place at the end of this system of things? (b) In what way are the people of good will gathered?
27 But something else of far greater importance was foretold as due to take place, according to the Bible. In the same prophecy on the end of this system of things and the establishment of God’s kingdom, Jesus states: “And then the sign of the Son of man will appear in heaven, and then . . . he will send forth his angels with a great trumpet-sound and they will gather his chosen ones together from the four winds, from one extremity of the heavens to their other extremity. “ (Matt. 24:30, 31, NW) When we can behold what the prophecy speaks of as taking place on the earth, it must mean that God’s kingdom is established. The prophecy states that angels would be sent forth with a trumpet-sound. Why? To gather the chosen ones, or God’s elect, throughout the earth. We have just considered the perplexed, unsettled state of the world, which is in fulfillment of prophecy. Now, what else do we note? Jesus speaks of a gathering work. Gathering to what? Gathering to some nation or to a certain spot on earth? No! Remember, angels are sent and they would sound a trumpet. Do you hear a trumpet? No! Nor should you expect to see angels. Angels are sent to accomplish a work. They are messengers, hence they bear a message. Trumpets are used to announce something. Hence the angels with the trumpet-sound must refer to preaching the gospel under angelic guidance. Why? Because this prophecy speaks of a gathering work, and the preaching spreads good news and results in gathering first the remnant of those whom God chooses for his heavenly kingdom with Christ Jesus. Later the people of good will hear the message about the Kingdom as they might hear a trumpet-sound, and they respond to it. In this way they are all gathered out from the troubled, perplexed nations.
28. Why is reference made to The Watchtower of July 1, 1920, and what does it show?
28 Can you deny that such is taking place? Note these comments as published in The Watchtower of July 1, 1920. At this time we refer to portions of the article “Gospel of the Kingdom”, to show that something of great importance is taking place at present and has been taking place for years, and that such is in fulfillment of the “sign”. To some the quotation may not be of any significance, but it is recorded history in proof of fulfilled prophecy. It is taking place and, remember, we are considering the evidence. You are the judge in this matter. That article stated in part: “We can now see that 1914 is a date clearly marked in the Scriptures. . . . The way now seems to be open to go forward in the Lord’s work, and the first thing to be done would seem to be the taking up of the message of truth. . . . To this end June 21st  has been set as the date for the beginning of this work. . . . Therefore it seems that now is the time for the church to proclaim far and wide in Christendom this good news. . . . We earnestly request the friends . . . to rent a well located and popular meeting place and thoroughly advertise a public meeting.” There was no question about it. The gathered remnant of God’s chosen ones then responded and there was then organized activity in fulfillment of the prophecy of Matthew 24:14, “announcing Jehovah’s kingdom.”
29. (a) How is the message preached today like that in Jesus’ day? (b) What did The Watchtower of April 15, 1919, have to say, and why is such reference now significant?
29 When Christ was on earth he sent his followers to preach. Today, under guidance of Christ and the appointed angels, his followers preach freedom to the people. Jesus and his disciples preached a message of comfort to the people; it was different; it did not put faith in man, but only in God’s kingdom. Such is the case today; and to show that the need for preaching was seen away back in 1919, please note these comments from The Watchtower of April 15, 1919, page 120, paragraph 1: “The time is coming . . . when freedom shall come to all mankind. There are thousands of good, honest people in the world who believe that this freedom can come to them through Socialism; but freedom through this channel is impossible. There now threatens the earth that which is commonly called ‘Bolshevism’; and many have pinned their hopes to this as the means of freedom and blessing. But these are doomed to disappointment. Others have hope that anarchy will bring them relief; but this scheme likewise, as well all other human schemes, must fail. The child of God is not at all surprised to see such conditions of unrest prevailing amongst men. For more than six thousand years the human race has been in bondage to the great Adversary and has fallen under the great enemy, death. . . . The mass of humanity does not understand how this blessing is to come. It has been the privilege of Christians . . . to see that this liberty will come to mankind through the beloved Son of God, Christ Jesus.” Remember, this was away back in 1919 and it was published in a magazine distributed throughout the earth. Since then the same publishing work has increased and increased, and today hundreds of thousands are preaching about the way to liberty by means of God’s kingdom under Christ Jesus. The ranks of these Christians have expanded tremendously and Jehovah’s witnesses recognize the fulfillment of the prophecies.—Ps. 68:11; Isa. 60:1, 21, 22, AS.
30. (a) What is the meaning of Matthew 25:31, 32, relative to a ‘separating’ work? (b) What does the taking place of such things indicate, and in view of what can we not deny the Kingdom’s establishment?
30 Have you ever read this text as recorded at Matthew 25:31, 32 (NW)? It reads: “When the Son of man arrives in his glory and all the angels with him, then he will sit down on his glorious throne. And all the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.” What do you think it means? It speaks of the arriving of the “Son of man” with angels and of a gathering work that will take place, and the people will be separated into two groups, sheep and goats. Right now Jehovah’s King, Christ Jesus, is on the throne and he is separating the people, and he does this by the preaching of the gospel of the Kingdom. (Ps. 2:6-12, AS) Daily hundreds hear this message, accept it, and are thus separated from the world, and the peoples are separated as sheep and goats. It is in this way that the prophecies considered are to have fulfillment, and this at the establishment of God’s kingdom. Do not forget this point: Such things that you would see taking place, that you would behold, would indicate that God’s kingdom is established. The facts cannot be denied, that such work is taking place. That you do not “see” Christ’s presence in visible form does not deny his presence in Kingdom power and the establishment of the Kingdom.
31. (a) How could Christ be seated upon his “glorious throne” and yet appear in the “clouds”? (b) What additional facts show that Christ does not need to appear in the flesh, and how does Acts 15:14 shed light on how this is done?
31 In Matthew chapter 24 Christ speaks of the many features of the sign that would take place at the end of the world, and these together would indicate that he is enthroned. Keep in mind that the prophecy said he would be seated upon his “glorious throne” and that he would appear in the “clouds”. Obviously his throne that is glorious is in heaven and the clouds denote his invisible presence, which presence is revealed by the work’s being accomplished in harmony with prophecy. It would be an insult to his glorious position to think that Christ would have to give up that exalted position at the right hand of God, and come to the earth in the flesh. Do we deny that God does direct the activity of his people upon the earth? No! When it speaks of his visiting the people with destruction, as he did in the past, does it mean that God had to visibly come to earth? No! Showing that this is the case, Acts 15:14 (NW) declares: “God for the first time turned his attention to the nations to take out of them a people for his name.” Hence all that is necessary is for Jehovah to ‘turn his attention’ or set his mind to accomplish something and it is done. Just so then with Christ’s “coming”. He is given power in the heavens, and it is affronting to such majestic power to think that he cannot direct the affairs of his servants on earth through his angels, while seated upon his glorious throne. (Ex. 32:34; Isa. 26:14) That this is the correct view is shown by Christ’s words, when he says: “From henceforth you will see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” (Matt. 26:64, NW) He is “sitting at the right hand” of God and is directing the work by this “power”. He is therefore present in this way and so comes “on the clouds of heaven”, that is, with an invisible presence. Though he is not present in body, his servants behold his invisible presence through means of the fulfillment of prophecy.—Dan. 12:1, 10.
THE QUESTION ANSWERED
32. When did all these things begin to take place, and why does not the world recognize the sign?
32 The big question is, though, When did all this begin to take place, for the beginning of these things must refer to the establishment of God’s kingdom? The facts show that the many things spoken of in Matthew 24 and other prophecies began to take place from and after 1914 particularly. And it has been shown through this publication that 1914 did mark the beginning of the many features of the sign. But how is it that if this took place in 1914 the nations did not recognize this sign? Christendom did not. Jesus’ prophecy did not say that she would, but that she would rage at the coming of the Kingdom. “And loud voices occurred in heaven saying: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ,’ . . . ‘We thank you, Jehovah God, the Almighty, the one who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and begun ruling as king. But the nations became wrathful, and your own wrath came.’”—Rev. 11:15-18, NW.
33. (a) How then does “every eye” see him? How does The Watchtower of January 1, 1914, show this was the case? (b) What does Satan’s invisible presence show? How does such presence affect the nations, and what does it prove as to Christ’s presence?
33 That the year 1914 was seen to be significant, we again refer to The Watchtower, and this time to the issue of January 1, 1914 (pages 3, 4). “From every point of view the year 1914 seems big with possibilities. . . . We believe that the year 1914 gives evidence of greater possibilities of service for the truth than has any previous year . . . Let us be more than ever on the alert, therefore, to be used and useful in the service of our King.” So it is clear that in 1914, according to the facts as they happened, fulfillment of the prophecy recorded in Revelation chapter 12 began to take place. At that time Satan was cast out of heaven. He was debased to the earth. No one will argue that Satan is bodily present, nor can any contend that they do not feel and see the effects of his invisible presence. Because of his presence there has been steadily increasing woe upon earth following the first total war in 1914. Concerning that date Jesus said: “Nation will rise against nation.” (Matt. 24:7, NW) All this was brought about by Satan in his wrath, and was a sign that the “Son of man” appeared in heaven in power. And just as we do not deny Satan’s presence, we cannot deny the presence of Christ in power since A. D. 1914.
34. What did The Watchtower of March 1, 1925, have to say about the Kingdom, and what does the acknowledgment of this away back there prove?
34 The Watchtower of March 1, 1925, stated: “In that year  the Lord took his power and began his reign. There the ‘man child [the Nation], which was to rule the nations with a rod of iron,’ was born. . . . In 1914 the birth of the nation occurred. In 1914 the war in heaven began, and Satan and his official family were thrown out of heaven. . . . The new nation is born. Its glory shall fill the whole earth. The kingdom of heaven is here.” (Pages 69, 73, 74) Now observe, this was seen and acknowledged by God’s people living then. It is recorded history. Those that saw this are the ones who had this keen mental perception. (Isa. 66:14-16, AS) Since that date 1914, then, evidence points overwhelmingly to the fact that God’s kingdom has come!—that it was established in the heavens at the time of the enthronement of Christ. (Ps. 2:6-12, AS) A strange message indeed to be heralding throughout the world. But is it any stranger than it was in Jesus’ day?
35. How does the Kingdom’s establishment affect this generation?
35 What does all this mean? Jesus’ words, at the conclusion of telling his disciples of all these things, give us the answer. He says: “Truly I say to you that this generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.” (Matt. 24:34, NW) He meant what he said. The generation that began to see these things in 1914 will witness the final accumulated judgments of Jehovah God, though some individuals who are part of this generation may die before the end of this world’s system of things takes place.
36. In what condition do we find the world in general, what will be Christendom’s end, and what does supporting this arrangement mean?
36 Hence the urgency of the time. The world in general does not recognize nor will it ever accept God’s kingdom as being established. Jerusalem (Christendom) of today, like Jerusalem of old, will remain asleep, close her ears to the message “announcing Jehovah’s kingdom”, persecute those who preach it, continue to hold on to old, false ideas that are foundationless, deny Christ enthroned, and thus bring upon herself and her people that follow her the divine judgments of Jehovah at Armageddon. In fact, the Bible predicts this presumptuous course of Christendom and so dooms her to destruction. Does this sound like world conversion? No! It is clear, then, that all persons are now under judgment. For anyone to support this arrangement of things that is proved wrong, to reject the truth as preached by God’s witnesses, is to deny the establishment of God’s kingdom.
TIME OF DECISION
37. (a) What decision now faces everyone? How does 2 Peter 3:3-7 appropriately describe the present generation? (b) What does this generation insist upon, but what will it get?
37 Jesus warned that as it was in the days of Noah so it would be at the second presence of the Son of man. Do we not see the parallel? Yes; the world attaches no significance to the features of the “sign”, even though the message is being preached world-wide and all have an opportunity to hear it. To reject Jehovah’s King and his kingdom as preached means that you refuse to become subject to it and choose, instead, to follow error rather than truth. Remember, you are the judge. You have considered the evidence. At least, you have heard the evidence. There is no doubt that many persons are wrong in their conceptions or contentions about the kingdom of God. But the confused condition of the world does not prove that God’s kingdom is not established. It is, and we have shown by Scriptural and logical reasoning that it is so. What are you going to do about it? Are you going to follow the same course as those who rejected Christ and had him impaled? Will you follow the course of those who today refuse to give up false doctrines about God’s kingdom and so reject his enthroned King? (Ps. 2:6-12, AS; Acts 3:22, 23; 4:24-30, NW) Will you attach no significance to the evidence that you see in fulfillment of prophecy, which indicates beyond question of doubt that God’s kingdom has come? Will you be among those described in 2 Peter 3:3-7 (NW)? “For you know this first, that in the last days there will come ridiculers with their ridicule, proceeding according to their own desires and saying: ‘Where is this promised presence of his? Why, from the day our forefathers fell asleep in death, all things are continuing exactly as from creation’s beginning.’ For, according to their wish, this fact escapes their notice.” Empty, wishful thinking, yes; and as it was with the generation of Jesus’ day, so it is today. Because they insist on a visible sign from heaven and demand that Christ so come, they grope in blindness and reject God’s kingdom that is established and which is now indeed among them. They will get no such visible sign. The only “sign” that they will get will be the continuing fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy on the world’s end, including the message “announcing Jehovah’s kingdom” as now being preached world-wide respecting Christ’s enthronement.—Matt. 24:14; Luke 17:21, NW.
38. In what sense do Christians still wait for God’s kingdom to come?
38 While God’s kingdom is now established in the heavens, Christians wait for it to come in all its fury and destructive power against Satan’s organization visible and invisible. This will be during Jehovah’s battle at Armageddon. (Rev. 16:14-16, NW; Isa. 13:4-9; Jer. 25:32-38; Ezek. 9:2, 5-7; Ps. 46:8-11, AS) Then Jehovah will rid the earth of all wickedness and would-be opposers of his kingdom. This makes way for a righteous and completely new world system of things.
39. Of what is Matthew 25:34 a promise, and how do such persons “inherit” a kingdom?
39 This, therefore, is a wonderful time to be living. You want to accept God’s kingdom, which will place you in the way of realizing a new world of Jehovah’s making. (Isa. 65:13-25, AS; 2 Pet. 3:13, 14, NW) Jesus said to his other sheep, at Matthew 25:34 (NW): “Come, you who have my Father’s blessing, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the world’s foundation.” This is not a promise of heavenly life. It is a promise of living forever under the righteous kingdom of heaven in peace and happiness and under perfect conditions. How then do these sheep “inherit” the kingdom? At that time the heavenly kingdom that is now established will extend its realm over all the earth. Those who prove worthy to live then will become children of Jehovah’s King, Christ Jesus, and in this way they will inherit a kingdom. Then the earth’s inhabitants will be subjects of the heavenly kingdom and will be children of the One who has given his life for them. In this way, too, he, Christ Jesus, becomes their “Everlasting Father”.—Isa. 9:6, 7, AS.
40. What wise counsel is offered to all people? Learning about the Kingdom, what should all persons do, and to what end?
40 Those living at this time and who take advantage of this arrangement have wonderful prospects ahead of them; yes, a blessed lot indeed. So work for it. Study God’s Word. Fill your mind with the truths about God’s kingdom. In the world today, what is of any value? On the other hand, try to visualize a new world free from all sin, wickedness and death. This new world offers you everything. It is worth grasping, for it is what the heavenly kingdom of God is now proceeding to accomplish. Do not cast all the evidence aside. Be cautious, sensible. You have heard the testimony from God’s Word, the Bible. It costs nothing but a little time on your part to investigate thoughtfully, carefully. Whether you are a Catholic or a Protestant, a Jew, or whatever you are, study God’s Word, learn of his purposes. Why rely upon men any longer? They have proved false respecting their views about God’s kingdom. Why cling to old, worn-out, false doctrines offered by the world and its religious leaders? Use your mind that God has given you and, in the light of his Word, determine for yourself what is right and what is wrong. (Ps. 119:105; John 17:17, NW) The world is proved wrong in its views about God’s kingdom. His kingdom has come, and world leaders are asleep to its presence. Shake loose from the many erroneous views and take notice of the many facts in fulfillment of Bible prophecy. (Psalm 2; Dan. 2:44, AS) No matter where you live, Jehovah’s witnesses will be glad to help you learn more about this. And then when you learn more about God’s kingdom, express your love for your neighbor by talking about it to him so that he too can learn of it. By doing this you will reap many blessings under God’s kingdom that has come and that soon will sweep from the entire earth Satan’s wicked organization, visible and invisible. “The lofty looks of man shall be brought low, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and Jehovah alone shall be exalted in that day.”—Isa. 2:11, AS.