Launching the Kingdom Government
“And a great sign was seen in heaven, a woman . . . And she gave birth to a son, a male, who is destined to shepherd all the nations with an iron rod. And her child was caught away to God and to his throne.”—Rev. 12:1, 5, NW.
1. For what purpose did Jehovah create the earth and man?
JEHOVAH God declares in his Word, the Bible, that his purpose in creating the earth was to have it inhabited by perfect, faithful men and women. He says: “I have made the earth, and created man upon it: . . . I am Jehovah; and there is none else.” Further magnifying Jehovah and his purpose with regard to the earth, the faithful witness Isaiah emphasizes that he is “the God that formed the earth and made it, that established it and created it not a waste, that formed it to be inhabited”. (Isa. 45:12, 18, AS) To this end he created a perfect man and woman and gave them a command to multiply and fill the earth with a righteous race of people.
2. What course did Adam and Eve choose, with what result to themselves and their offspring?
2 However, before any children were born to this perfect pair they disobeyed their Maker and fell away to sin. Under the influence of the rebellious spirit creature who had been appointed as their guardian, Adam and Eve foolishly chose to forsake the governmental arrangement provided by Jehovah for their well-being. Violating the principles of faith and obedience to Jehovah’s requirements, they chose the course that led them to sin, slavery and death. No longer could they hope to enjoy the delights of intimate association with their Creator and the wonderful blessings of the beautiful garden home that had been especially prepared for them. Instead, they became the unhappy subjects of a rebel government, facing a sentence of death for unfaithfulness. Nor were they blessed with being able to pass on to their children the wonderful heritage of life as Jehovah had originally purposed. Instead of a blessing from their Creator for themselves and their children, they came under a curse that included the earth on which they lived. The way of rebellion could give them none of the blessings or bright prospects for the future that had been held out for the human family by Jehovah God their Creator.
3. Why did Jehovah defer executing the unfaithful trio, allowing Satan to work toward what goal?
3 Did the treachery of that unfaithful trio move Jehovah to destroy them and abandon his purpose toward the earth? Did their lack of faith make the word and purpose of Jehovah null and void and of no effect? Certainly not! In fact, with full confidence as to the outcome, Jehovah deferred the execution of sentence against them to permit a full-scale proving of his universal supremacy. This made it possible for them to continue working in defiance of their Maker. The appointed spirit son who led the rebellion Jehovah later significantly named the Devil and Satan. Even then, at the dawn of man’s history, Satan was looking far ahead and was determined to gain for himself the worship of all earth’s billions, with a place in the heavens like the Most High himself. His centuries-old efforts to control the people of the earth by means of false worship, oppressive government and regimentation are now rapidly approaching their end.
4. Regarding what did God give positive assurance and despite what efforts on the part of Satan?
4 Immediately after that infamous rebellion in Eden Jehovah openly prophesied that the time would come when he would crush all his opposers and finally carry out his original purpose to make the earth a beautiful home for faithful men and women. He has given us positive assurance through his written Word that his purpose is to launch a righteous world government that will provide prosperity, peace, happiness and everlasting life. ‘Of the increase of that government and peace there will be no end,’ we are told. (Isa. 9:6, 7) What a wonderful prospect that is for troubled humankind today, especially for those who have faith in Jehovah’s promise and look forward to it with confidence, worshiping him in spirit and in truth! That righteous kingdom government of God has not been formed or launched with haste. Jehovah has given the rebel Satan sufficient time to make good his boast that he could turn all men against their Creator. For nearly 6,000 years, yes, right down to our present generation, Jehovah has allowed Satan to remain to prove his defiant challenge. Satan has failed! Now his time is up! And as we briefly review the pages of history we shall observe the incessant attempts of Satan to establish his supremacy and control over the earth. We shall see that his campaign has been fruitless, and time after time loyal servants of Jehovah have remained faithful to His worship, resisting every temptation and pressure brought against them. Finally, we shall see how Jehovah brings his purpose to a climax in our time by the launching of his Kingdom government of righteousness and peace.
5. What was the result of satanic control of mankind from Adam to the Flood?
5 There never has been a time in the history of humanity when Satan has turned all men against Jehovah, although for a period of 1,656 years from the time of Adam until the Flood only ten persons are mentioned in the Bible as remaining faithful to Jehovah. So, it appears that Satan had much his own way during that time. But what was the result of that long period of satanic control over mankind? Once again Jehovah spoke out in condemnation of the rebel system and all those who supported it. “And Jehovah saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And Jehovah said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the ground; . . . But Noah found favor in the eyes of Jehovah.” (Gen. 6:5, 7, 8, AS) To accomplish this destruction Jehovah brought a flood of water over all the earth, and only eight souls survived.
6. What caused the post-flood world to become corrupted?
6 After the destructive fury of the flood had subsided, the eight survivors came forth to start life afresh upon a cleansed earth. Since this family of survivors was devoted to the worship of Jehovah one might reason that conditions would grow better. But Satan soon rallied the wicked forces of his organization, which had been badly upset by Jehovah’s action, and spurred it on to greater activity. His goal has always been to influence, control and corrupt mankind. He seemed to give special attention to one of Noah’s sons, Ham. Noah’s other two sons, Japheth and Shem, continued faithful to Jehovah, but Ham and his offspring were caught in the influence of the wicked one and soon turned back from the worship of the Almighty God, Jehovah.
7, 8. (a) What can be said about the first world power and why was it made prominent in the Scriptures? (b) What nation became the second world power?
7 As time passed, some of Ham’s descendants journeyed toward Egypt. There they set up the first great world power. As their monuments and inscriptions show, these men were laboring under the influence of Satan the Devil. They had entirely forsaken the pure worship of Jehovah and, instead, worshiped demon gods associated with the Devil in his efforts to dominate the world. The Egyptians raised an army of horsemen and chariots, built schools of learning and gave special attention to commerce. This nation is prominently mentioned in the Bible because of its efforts to destroy the offspring of Abraham that dwelt there for a time, and to whom Jehovah made precious promises in relation to the government he purposed to launch for his kingdom. Yes, the kingdom that was destined to bring blessings to all the families of the earth.
8 By a demonstration of his mighty power Jehovah humiliated the Egyptians and their false gods by delivering the children of Israel, as they were now called, and bringing them to the land promised to Abraham and his seed. With them then he launched a typical theocracy. That government, ruled by Jehovah, was administered through earthly representatives. It came to be known as the nation of Israel. Its people at once became the targets of Satan’s attacks. Satan evidently thought this was the government Jehovah intended to launch to carry out his purpose to fill the earth with righteous human creatures; so he tried to destroy it and its people, but he failed, as did Egypt. The rulers of Egypt were cruel, wicked men and greatly oppressed the people. Their government, which became the first world power, was a complete and miserable failure. It was conquered by Assyria, the second world power, likewise under the influence of Satan.
9. What was Assyria’s outstanding feature, and how did Jehovah deal with it?
9 The government of the Assyrians featured military power. Their aim was to rule the world by the strength of military might. After a successful campaign, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, invaded Palestine with a great army to destroy the nation of Israel and its theocratic government. He sent a boastful and insulting message to the king of Judah, Hezekiah, saying: ‘Your God cannot save you from the might of Assyria and its gods.’ (2 Ki. 18:33-35; 19:14-19, AS) Faithful Hezekiah went to the temple of Jehovah, spread this message before him and asked for help and guidance. Jehovah answered his prayer by sending an angel, who destroyed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in one night. Sennacherib was greatly humiliated and hastened home to seek comfort from his gods. While he was worshiping the god Nisroch, two of his own sons killed him. (2 Ki. 19:35-37, AS) The Assyrian power did not create a government that brought peace and happiness to the people.
10, 11. (a) What was the third world power, and in what did it specialize? (b) In what way did its ruler picture Satan, and why did Jehovah cause Babylon to be overthrown?
10 The next world power discussed in the Bible is Babylon. Mighty Babylon, whose rulers were proud and wealthy, in its governmental setup specialized in religion, religion of the basest kind. Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon at its inception, said in his heart: “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; . . . I will make myself like the Most High.” (Isa. 14:4, 13, 14, AS) His ambition was to overthrow the typical theocracy of Palestine and thus make himself the undisputed ruler of humankind. In this attempt he pictured Satan, who helped him carry out his ambitious plans. Satan turned the children of Israel away from the true, clean worship of Jehovah; and because of their deflection Jehovah permitted Nebuchadnezzar to destroy their land and take them off into slavery for seventy years.—Jer. 25:11, AS.
11 As the end of the period of captivity approached, the king of Babylon made no move to release the Israelites, thinking to hold them permanently as slaves, to the ultimate reproach of Jehovah. But Jehovah promised he would release his people from slavery and restore them to Jerusalem at the end of the seventy years. Therefore he stirred up the Medes and the Persians to attack and conquer mighty Babylon and permit the captive Israelites to return to their own land. This was done on time! The religion of Babylon did not do her people or anyone else any good; rather it did much harm. To this very day the effects of their satanic doctrines are felt among men. They permeate the doctrines of Christendom and lead men into darkness and destruction. Proud Babylon’s false religion was not a blessing, but resulted in a curse.
12. (a) What was the fourth world power, and in spite of services rendered God’s people what kind of government was it? (b) What was the fifth world power?
12 The fourth attempt of Satan at world power was in the setting up of the Medo-Persian empire. This outfit had, as its specialty, law, boasting that the laws of Persia never changed. Alas, with all their so-called ‘perfect laws’, the Medes and Persians did not have a government that could bring peace and happiness to the nation or the world. While it is true that Jehovah used Cyrus, the founder of the Medo-Persian empire, and also later Ahasuerus, to render valuable service to his people Israel, still they worshiped demon gods, and their rulers were fallen, selfish men who could not enact or administer righteous laws that would bring permanent relief to ailing mankind. Medo-Persia fell away to its successor in the chain of world powers, Greece, the fifth.
13. What did the Greeks stress, and to what power did their government give way?
13 Evidently the Greeks felt that culture and education were what man needed to ensure peace and happiness everywhere. They gave this world many philosophers who taught false doctrines that confused the people. Some of their doctrines still afflict humanity in their efforts to learn the way to life and peace. The culture and education of Greece did absolutely nothing to help mankind better its condition. Finally proving ineffective at world rule, Greece gave way in power to Rome.
14. (a) What was the dominant force of the sixth world power? (b) What steps did Constantine take to end religion’s divisiveness, and with what results?
14 Rome, too, was interested in and steeped with commerce, education and religion, but the dominant force of this sixth world power was politics. We note in passing that many Christian congregations were established in the scattered provinces of Rome by Christ’s apostles After the passing of the apostles, ambitious men, who outwardly accepted Christianity, began to twist the teachings of the Lord Jesus and his apostles. They did this in order to draw disciples after themselves. (Acts 20:29, 30) As these men grew in power they were called ‘bishops’. They disagreed on many important doctrines, and as a result religion became a divisive factor in the nation. Emperor Constantine took note of this existing condition and called the ‘bishops’ of the various factions to a conference at Nicaea for the purpose of creating a fusion religion. Constantine was a pagan politician and presided at this meeting. These men did not look to the Bible for some way to settle their differences on these doctrines; they thrived on many words and silver-tongued oratory. Among them was an invisible but very much interested delegate, Satan the Devil, the god of this world or system of things. (2 Cor. 4:4) At this council of Nicaea Satan’s far-reaching scheme to turn men away from the Bible was set into motion. Three of his pet doctrines, the trinity, immortality of the soul and eternal torment, were endorsed. This wily devil knew that men believing these false doctrines would not and could not understand Jehovah’s purpose to fill this earth with a righteous race of people. How is this so?
15. (a) How are Constantine’s three pet doctrines proved false? (b) What became the seventh world power?
15 Belief in the ungodly trinity would prevent one from understanding the Scriptural doctrine of the ransom. A perfect man was needed to redeem mankind from Adamic sin and death, and none of Adam’s children could provide the price of the ransom. (Ps. 49:1, 2, 7) In order to redeem mankind it was necessary for Jesus to become a man and die. But for this to occur it would mean a dissolution of the trinity As for the immortality of the soul: if the soul were immortal the precious doctrine of the resurrection would be utter nonsense, because one cannot resurrect a person who is not dead. The doctrine of eternal torment is a fiendish one, for it pictures Jehovah as a cruel monster, and not a God of love, which he is. So Rome did much harm to Christians and brought relief to no one. As this wicked empire deteriorated into decay, the next and seventh world power made its appearance in the form of the British Empire, later joined by America to form the Anglo-American world combine, a great Protestant, democratic power.
16. What characteristics does the seventh world power have, and what belies its claim to be Christian?
16 The special features of the preceding six world powers, namely, commerce, military power, religion, established laws, culture, education and politics, were now all incorporated into this seventh power, and to all of this was added ‘democracy’. Now Satan thought he really had a combination that would succeed in establishing peace and unity on earth. But this power has done little indeed to advance peace and happiness. Although claiming to be Christian, this combination has not relieved the world of its sorrows. Why, look! in one generation man has engaged in two most destructive world conflagrations, wars that upset the economy of all nations, killed millions of the flower of youth and have sown such seeds of discontent that now in the offing is another world struggle. The nations of the world are now divided into two camps carrying on a cold war that soon may become hot. Thinking men fear that such a conflict will destroy civilization as we now know it. In all of this we see that Satan’s methods of government have been tried and have been found wanting.
17. (a) When did the “appointed times of the nations” begin, and end? Instead of God’s kingdom what have the nations accepted since 1914?
17 According to Bible chronology, the “appointed times of the nations”, mentioned by Jesus at Luke 21:24 (NW), began 607 years before Christ and extended over a period of 2,520 years to A.D. 1914. In that very year the first world war erupted to the horror of the so-called “Christian nations” that claimed that they constituted ‘God’s kingdom on earth’. Sober-minded people then realized that the claims of Christendom were fraudulent, and they became perplexed. At that time Jehovah’s witnesses preached that the kingdom of God was the only hope for mankind and that it was at hand and they urged all nations and peoples to accept it. Did the nations do so? No! Instead they persecuted Jehovah’s witnesses, sending many to jail and trying their utmost to stop the preaching work. They accepted the League of Nations instead of God’s kingdom. Why, some of the clergy were so certain the League would bring peace and happiness to the world they called it ‘the political expression of God’s kingdom on earth’. But when World War II broke out that League went into the abyss, or state of inactivity; it could do nothing in the way of preserving peace. At the end of the war the politicians and clergymen attempted to revive the dormant League and called it “United Nations”. This setup still lives, even though finding it difficult to so do, but still can do little to preserve peace in the world. The reason is that the men and nations that make up this union are selfish, fallen creatures who have forgotten Jehovah; they cannot bring order out of confusion.
18. Why have the nations failed to bring peace and happiness and why will God’s kingdom succeed?
18 Nations have failed to bring peace and happiness to the earth, because they have operated on the satanic theory that self-interest and competition would bring out the best in men. Instead of bringing out the good in men, this policy has made men cruel, dishonest and aggressive, developing the spirit that led to wars of conquest and thus brought much sorrow and suffering to all. In direct contradistinction, Jehovah’s Kingdom government will operate on the basis of love and co-operation and will bring peace and happiness to the people.
19. How will Jehovah show his supremacy over Satan?
19 The Bible record shows that governments created by men under the influence of Satan cannot bring the desired consequences. If the present system of things continues, the destiny of humanity can only be total annihilation. Were such to be the case, how would God then carry out his declared purpose to fill the earth with the descendants of Adam and Eve? Well, would he create another human pair and begin again? To do so would prove Satan’s side of the issue, that he could turn all men away from their Creator, something he has never succeeded in accomplishing. Jehovah God will show his supremacy over Satan by redeeming the children of Adam and, through them, carrying out his purpose toward this earth. This program requires a redeemer and a perfect government administered by righteous men. Arrangements toward this end have been made, and so the original purpose of Jehovah relative to this earth and man will be fulfilled to the complete satisfaction of Jehovah’s infinite wisdom.
PREPARING THE KINGDOM GOVERNMENT
20. What were the first two declarations of Jehovah’s purpose to establish a righteous government and to end all wickedness?
20 A great deal of painstaking labor is required to prepare a vessel for launching. So with the launching of a government. Soon after the “covering cherub” in Eden led the first human pair into the way of death Jehovah declared his purpose to launch a government that would rid the universe of that deceiver. At Genesis 3:15 it is written: “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” The faithful prophet Enoch foretold the destruction of the wicked. Jude refers to this in his epistle: “Yes, the seventh man in line from Adam, Enoch, prophesied also regarding them, when he said: ‘Look! Jehovah came with his holy myriads, to execute judgment against all and to convict all the ungodly concerning all their ungodly deeds that they did in an ungodly way and concerning all the shocking things that ungodly sinners spoke against him.’”—Jude 14, 15, NW.
21, 22. What fitting picture of launching his government did God make with Noah?
21 In the days of Noah Jehovah caused a picture to be made of the launching of the Kingdom government. Conditions on earth at that time were so bad that Jehovah determined to wipe all living creatures off this globe by a flood of waters. Noah was instructed to build an ark to save his household and certain animals. He followed the instructions given to him by Jehovah, built the ark, a watertight seaworthy vessel with room for his family of eight, including himself, and the animals and space for ample supplies of food and water. Then when the mighty deluge burst forth the ark was launched, and for a year it rolled and tossed in the turbulent roar of water, carrying its burden safely through the inundation and storm, and landed safely on a cleansed earth when the waters subsided; and once again the true worship of Jehovah was renewed on earth.
22 Let us now follow through with the picture there made. Jehovah’s Kingdom government, launched on troublous seas, will survive the terrific storm and flood of Armageddon and will protect all people of good will who take their stand for it and enter into God’s “ark” of his new system of things. After Armageddon has completed its destructive work the Kingdom government will guide the people in the way of life and eternal happiness.
23. (a) What purpose did Jehovah reveal to Abraham, and exactly when? (b) What covenant did God make with Israel, and when and under what circumstances?
23 Reverting again to the picture, we learn that some years after the Flood, 427 years, to be exact, Jehovah revealed to his friend Abraham his purpose to bless all the families of the earth through the seed of Abraham. (Gen. 12:1-3) At that time the seed was not identified nor was the nature of the blessings disclosed. Jehovah ratified the law covenant with the natural offspring of Abraham about 430 years later. (Gal. 3:17) Then he launched a typical theocratic government amid such a manifestation of divine power that Moses said, “I am terrified and trembling.” Paul wrote that this was a demonstration or picture of what will take place when the real Kingdom government will be made manifest to mankind.—Heb. 12:18-28, NW.
24. In spite of what advantages did the promised blessings fail to come by Israel, and why?
24 It appears that the Israelites thought the Law covenant was the instrument Jehovah would use to fulfill his promise to bless all the families of the earth. In the days of King David a typical theocratic kingdom was set up in the house of David. Now look at what they had: a covenant, a king of Jehovah’s choosing, a theocratic government; and they were the natural seed of Abraham. Still the promised blessings did not come through this arrangement. Why not? First, the laws on which the covenant was based were perfect, but the people were imperfect and for that reason alone they could not keep the law and thus gain the blessings God promised. Instead of bringing life to Israel, the Law covenant became their tutor or schoolmaster teaching them they were sinners and were in need of a redeemer to bring life to them. Furthermore, the royal theocracy instituted with the house of David was only a shadow or type of the real one that was to be set up with Christ the Greater David.
25. What events marked the beginning and the end of Gentile supremacy?
25 The typical theocracy was overthrown in the year 607 B.C., and from that time forward Gentile nations were permitted to rule the world for a period of 2,520 years, according to Bible chronology. At the end of this period of Gentile supremacy over the earth David’s rightful heir would be seated upon his throne and the real Kingdom government of promise would be launched.—Ezek. 21:25-27.
26. Jehovah’s ruler has what qualifications, and how will he rule?
26 Isaiah, an inspired prophet of Jehovah, wrote about the Kingdom government Jehovah purposed to launch and which would care for the interests of the people on earth. At Isaiah 9:6, 7 (AS) we read these cheering words: “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, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of Jehovah of hosts will perform this.” The appointed ruler of the new world and its perfect government has all the qualifications necessary to fulfill Jehovah’s divine purpose relative to our earth and man upon it. In Psalm 72 we are assured that the King of the new world will remove all oppressors and bring peace to the poor and needy. He will have dominion from sea to sea and his enemies shall lick the dust in destruction. The prophet Daniel was moved to write that the new world’s King would destroy the organization of Satan, visible and invisible, after which he would take over the affairs of the world and fill the earth with the glory of Jehovah.—Dan. 2:44, AS.
27. (a) How was the ransoming of the human race made possible? (b) What is required of those who would be saved with everlasting salvation?
27 Jehovah God’s perfect law requires a life for a life. (Deut. 19:21) Adam, a perfect man at creation, brought the curse of sin and death upon all his offspring through one trespass. For this reason no son of Adam could redeem himself or provide a ransom for his brother. (1 Cor. 15:22; Rom. 5:12, NW; Ps. 49:7) How, then, could mankind ever be saved? By a stupendous miracle Jehovah transferred the spiritual life of his only-begotten Son, the Logos, to the womb of the virgin Mary and brought forth a perfect human child. The full-grown, perfect man Jesus then died for the sins of the children of Adam. (John 1:14; Heb. 2:9; 1 Tim. 2:5, 6, NW) Therefore all who believe in Christ, mankind’s Savior, are released from the inherited condemnation they had from sinner Adam. (Acts 13:38, 39, NW) This does not in any sense mean they are then saved everlastingly, or with everlasting salvation, but that they are in the way to everlasting life. (Rom. 3:25, 26, NW) The teaching that merely believing in Christ brings salvation has resulted in many pernicious doctrines, such as ‘deathbed repentance’ and ‘once saved, always saved’. Accepting Jesus as savior does not at once change the disposition or personality of the believer. It should turn him away from his former life of sin. But in order to obtain everlasting life an individual must maintain his integrity to Jehovah faithful to the end. At Romans 5:1, 2 (NW) it is written: “Therefore, now that we have been declared righteous as a result of faith, let us enjoy peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have gained our approach by faith into this undeserved kindness in which we now stand, and let us exult, based on hope of the glory of God.” This means that we do have access to everlasting life, and if we remain faithful we shall be saved with everlasting salvation.—Matt. 24:13.
PREPARING KINGDOM HEIRS
28. Why was Jesus permitted to suffer, and in what sense was he perfected?
28 A child of a ruling king or monarch, who some day will reign in the place of his father, is thoroughly trained for that position by competent instructors. This training begins in childhood and continues until the parent is satisfied that his son and heir is qualified for the kingly position. It is written: “For it was fitting for the one for whose sake all things are and through whom all things are, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Chief Agent of their salvation perfect through sufferings. Consequently he was obliged to become like his ‘brothers’ in all respects, that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, in order to offer propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of the people.” (Heb. 2:10, 17, 18, NW) If it was necessary for Jesus, the perfect Son of God, to be tested and tried before he could be appointed heir of all things and head of the new Kingdom government Jehovah purposed to launch, how much more is it necessary for those who will be his joint heirs, offspring from Adam, to be tested and proved qualified. Of Jesus it is written, at Hebrews 5:8, 9 (NW): “Although he was a Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered, and after he had been made perfect he became responsible for everlasting salvation to all those obeying him.” Now Jesus was really always perfect in the sense of being flawless in physical and mental ability and construction, so his suffering did not make him perfect in that sense. Well, how then was he perfected by the things he suffered? In this way: he was trained or equipped for the position he was destined to occupy as the head of the Kingdom government Jehovah was preparing for the blessing of mankind. Yes, his faithfulness in all his suffering made him complete as the ‘right hand’ Son of Jehovah to execute his purposes and righteous laws.
29. What qualified Jesus to help his joint heirs, and what makes certain that Satan will fail to turn these aside?
29 Jesus is well qualified to be High Priest and to help all those who will be his joint heirs in the Kingdom arrangement. Said the apostle Paul: “Seeing, therefore, that we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold onto our confessing of him. For we have as high priest, not one who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tested in all respects like ourselves, but without sin. Let us, therefore, approach with freeness of speech to the throne of undeserved kindness, that we may obtain mercy and find undeserved kindness for help at the right time.” (Heb. 4:14-16, NW) It must also be understood that Satan the Devil will use every means at his disposal to try to turn these aside from their faithful service to Jehovah, but he will miserably fail to thwart God’s purpose to make up his Kingdom government with these joint heirs. Concerning the rulers under Satan’s control it is written: “These will battle with the Lamb, but, because he is Lord of lords and King of kings, the Lamb will conquer them. Also those called and chosen and faithful with him will do so.”—Rev. 17:14, NW.
30. By what course does one become of the “called and chosen and faithful”?
30 There are some interesting points to gather from this text in Revelation just quoted. The called ones were justified or relieved from Adamic sin and condemnation and were begotten as sons by means of God’s spirit before they were called to be members of the heavenly kingdom. (Rom. 5:1; 8:16, 17; 1 John 3:1) Those who were called as spiritual sons of God were chosen, and if they remain faithful to Jehovah to the end of their earthly lives they will be privileged to be with Christ in the Kingdom as joint heirs. Jehovah determined that all who would be associated with Christ in His kingdom must be patterned after the image of the Son. “Moreover, those whom he foreordained are the ones he also called; and those whom he called are the ones he also declared to be righteous. Finally those whom he declared righteous are the ones he also glorified.” (Rom. 8:30, NW) Being freed, then, from Adamic sin by faith does not mean and could not mean that one is fully and finally saved. Such must be called, chosen and remain faithful to Jehovah even until death. “Prove yourself faithful even with the danger of death, and I will give you the crown of life.”—Rev. 2:10, NW.
31. During Christ’s reign what will men be able to say regarding their priestly rulers, and why?
31 During the thousand years of the reign of Christ all seeking eternal life will be taught to know that the bride of Christ is composed of those who were formerly condemned children of Adam, but by Jehovah’s undeserved kindness they fought the good fight against Satan and his demons and proved themselves worthy of their calling. Therefore they in turn, that is, those on earth, can be assured that these sympathize with all who desire to do the will of Jehovah in the new world. Jehovah’s purpose to have Christ’s associates in the Kingdom government taken from among the condemned descendants of Adam shows his wisdom, justice and love. Men can say during the reign of Christ: “We have a priestly company able to understand our weakness, because they were at one time as we are now. They can and will be patient with us.”
KINGDOM GOVERNMENT NOT LAUNCHED AT PENTECOST
32. By what erroneous teaching have men made themselves seem important?
32 In the twentieth chapter of the book of Acts we are told that after the death of the apostles certain ambitious men would worm their way in among the congregations of Christians and try to draw disciples after themselves by twisting and perverting the teachings of the Lord Jesus. (Acts 20:29, 30, NW) In time they taught that the Kingdom government was launched at Pentecost and there also a “battle royal” began between Christ and Satan the Devil. The avowed purpose of this battle was to determine who was supreme in the affairs of men, Jehovah God or Satan. By teaching this false doctrine the clergymen made themselves seem very important, for they taught that Jehovah looked to them to help him in the struggle to win men away from Satan. This caused much confusion among Christians and brought great reproach and slander upon the name of the Almighty God, Jehovah!
33. What scriptures prove the Kingdom was not launched at Pentecost?
33 The Scriptures show Christ did not go into action against Satan immediately upon his return to heaven by resurrection. David said in the 110th Psalm: “Jehovah saith unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” (Ps 110:1 AS) Being seated does not indicate action; rather the opposite. However, Jesus did not remain idle while waiting for the time to go into action against the Devil. He was guiding and helping the members of his body still on earth, for he said: “Look! I am with you all the days until the consummation of the system of things.” (Matt. 28:20, NW) God’s purpose was that Jesus should wait at the Father’s right hand until the time came for his enemies to be made the stool for his feet, and THEN he would stand up and go into action, just as Daniel said: “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” (Dan. 12:1) But, more about this trouble later.
34. (a) What had to precede Jesus’ taking his followers to their eternal home? (b) How did Paul show he did not expect his heavenly reward at death?
34 Let us turn our attention now to the time when Jesus met his death as a man. The night before he was killed Jesus told the apostles he would soon leave them, but they should not be troubled, for he was going to prepare a place for them and he would come and take them to that place when it was ready for them. Peter wanted to go with his Master right then, but Jesus told him he could not follow at that time, but would have to wait and come later, when the time was ripe. You see the thing is, the place just was not prepared for the followers of the Master at that time. Jesus plainly told them: “In the house of my Father there are many abodes. Otherwise, I would have told you, because I am going my way to prepare a place for you. Also, if I go my way and prepare a place for you, I am coming again and will receive you home to myself, that where I am you also may be.” (John 13:33, 36; 14:2-4, NW) Jesus spoke about his Father’s house; this refers to his organization, and he said that in it there are many places for service, but at that particular time there was no place for the apostles or other followers, for Satan the Devil, the god of this world or system of things, was still the ruler of this world, with whom Jesus had no dealings; he had no hold on Jesus. (John 14:30) However, the time would come when Christ would cast Satan and his demons out of heaven; then he would take his faithful followers to their eternal home. In the meantime, they were to remain in the sleep of death. The apostle Paul did not expect to receive his heavenly reward at the time of his death, for he said, at 2 Timothy 4:6-8 (NW): “I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the due time for my releasing is imminent. I have fought the right fight, I have run the course to the finish, I have observed the faith. From this time on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me as a reward in that day, yet not only to me, but also to all those who have loved his manifestation.”
35. From when and to when did Gentile rule extend, and how was this pictured?
35 The typical theocracy of Israel was overthrown in 607 B.C. by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and then the “times of the Gentiles” referred to by Jesus at Luke 21:24 began. There he said: “And Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” To picture for us the degrading effects of Gentile rule over our earth, and to give us information concerning the length of this rule, Nebuchadnezzar was reduced to the condition of a beast and remained as such for seven years. According to Jewish reckoning this would be 2,520 days; then Nebuchadnezzar was restored to his throne. In the counting of time in prophecy a day stands for a year. (Ezek. 4:6) So the Gentile times began 607 years before Christ and ended 1914 years after Christ; and then the Kingdom was given to him “whose right it is”.—Ezek. 21:27.
KINGDOM GOVERNMENT BORN
36. When was the Kingdom government first promised, and how is its birth described at Revelation 12?
36 In the very beginning of man’s life, back in the garden park of Eden, Jehovah promised that he would create a government that would destroy Satan and his government or seed, and in the last book of the Bible we have a record of the birth of that government. Revelation 12:1, 5 (NW) reads: “And a great sign was seen in heaven, a woman arrayed with the sun, and the moon was beneath her feet, and on her head was a crown of twelve stars, and she was pregnant. And she gave birth to a son, a male, who is destined to shepherd all the nations with an iron rod.” Verses three and four of this same chapter Re 21:3, 4 read: “And another sign was seen in heaven, and look! a great fiery-colored dragon, . . . And the dragon kept standing before the woman who was about to give birth, that, when she did give birth, it might devour her child.” However, the dragon failed in its purpose and the newly born child was caught up to the throne of Jehovah.
37. (a) What course did Satan take toward the Kingdom, and with what result? (b) What will perish at Armageddon, and who will survive it?
37 This man-child was the kingdom of Jehovah that was to be given to Christ, Jehovah’s beloved Son and Heir. The fiery-colored dragon represented Satan the Devil waiting to destroy the Kingdom government just born. If Satan had had a particle of sense and decency, he would have abdicated at once as a miserable failure; but, instead, he chose to fight against this new government just launched by Jehovah in the hands of his Christ. The result was war in heaven in which Satan and his demon associates were defeated and hurled out of heaven and down to the vicinity of the earth, where he now shows his wrath and anger by seeking to destroy the ‘seed of the woman’ yet on earth. But, with all his ranting and raving in maniacal schemes, he cannot harm Jehovah’s new government or destroy its members on earth. Under Jehovah’s protection this government, launched in 1914, will complacently ride through all the raging storms of trouble the wicked one may raise up in his effort to save his dying organization. But, just as the ark of Noah’s day sailed safely through the terrific tempest of wind and rain that destroyed the old world and landed its passengers and cargo safely on a cleansed earth, so will Jehovah’s government survive. The storm of Armageddon will destroy Satan’s organization, but will not harm the government Jehovah has launched for his kingdom in the new world beyond that battle. At Armageddon Satan will witness the complete destruction of his wicked system of things, after which he and his demons will be abyssed for a thousand years.
38. (a) Just what was the place Jesus went to prepare for his followers, and how was the preparing of it pictured? (b) What has been the portion of the remnant on earth since then?
38 The situation now, according to chronology of the Bible and secular history, is that Satan and his angels are expelled from heaven forever and Christ Jesus is the king of the new world since A.D. 1914. The following quotation from the book “The Kingdom Is at Hand”, page 189, paragraph 2, will be of interest here. “In the days when the complete organization of God’s adversary is in power and actively ruling and bruising and breaking in pieces all humankind, it is then that the God of heaven cuts out his ‘Stone’ and sets up the kingdom of the Seed of his ‘woman’. This kingdom takes the place over mankind that was vacated by [the Devil] when he quit Jehovah’s organization at Eden.” So the place being now ready that Jesus went to prepare for his dead faithful followers, they were called forth from the sleep of death to be united forever with their Lord and Head Christ Jesus in heaven. The remnant of his joint heirs still on earth were not taken to heaven at that time, but were separated from the doomed world of Satan and brought into a special and close relationship with the now enthroned and reigning Lord Jesus at the temple. They were commissioned to do a particular work before being taken into the heavenly kingdom with Christ and the other members of the bride class.—1 Thess. 4:15, 16, NW.
39. In what respects was Christ’s spiritual temple foreshadowed by Solomon’s temple?
39 The temple of Solomon in Jerusalem was a picture of the spiritual temple of Christ, the Greater Solomon, that he would build out of living stones. (1 Pet. 2:5, 6, NW) David planned to build that temple, but Jehovah did not permit him to do so, because he was a man of many wars and he was used by Jehovah to defeat all the enemies of Israel before Solomon began the work of building the temple. Christ Jesus did not erect his spiritual temple until his enemies were put under his feet. This was done when Satan and his angels were hurled out of heaven and down to the vicinity of the earth, Jehovah’s footstool, at the end of the war in heaven that began A.D. 1914. The record states that Solomon began building the temple in the fourth year of his reign. In like manner Christ the Lord began building his spiritual temple in the fourth year of his reign, A.D. 1918. There were many persons at that time who professed to be among the joint heirs of Christ, members of this temple class, but who proved themselves to be selfish, seeking their own gain, and these were rejected when judgment began at the temple. It was thus completely cleansed of all unrighteous ones and then the work of preaching the good news of Jehovah’s launched Kingdom government was started in real earnest and with telling effect.
PREPARING FOR THE MILLENNIAL REIGN
40. How is a New World society now being formed as foretold at Isaiah 32:1, 2?
40 Now, at this crucial time in history, Satan’s wicked system of things is going through its death throes and struggling to stay alive. While this continues and worsens, Jehovah’s servants are busy in their work of searching for and feeding the Lord’s other sheep, who will be carried alive through the battle of Armageddon and who form the nucleus of the new earth. The work they do now is a world-wide service, just as Revelation 7:9 indicates when it says that they will come from all nations and tribes and people. All of these people participate in an educational work well organized. Missionaries are instructed for service in many lands at the Watchtower Bible School of Gilead, in South Lansing, New York. These join the many thousands of others as good-will companions of the anointed remnant of the body of Christ now on earth in forming a New World society that is carrying on a campaign of education for life in the new world. They recognize the Kingdom government that was launched in heaven in 1914 and seek to live always in harmony with its principles. Thousands of people are aided by this society and are studying the Bible to learn about the government of Jehovah. The prophet Isaiah referred to this work in the thirty-second chapter of his prophecy, verses one and two, in these words Isa 32:1, 2 : “Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in justice. And a man shall be as a hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest, as streams of water in a dry place, as the shade of a great rock in a weary land.”—AS.
41. (a) Who are the sarím? (b) How long will the gathering of the other sheep continue, to be followed by what?
41 Christ Jesus is on the throne of the new world in heaven, and on earth he has the remnant of the anointed members of his body, together with many young men who are in positions of responsibility in Jehovah’s service organization. These are referred to by the prophets as sarím, which means “heads or captains over various numbers of workers”. The Hebrew word is also translated “princes”. These sarím are very busy all over the world helping the other sheep organize their service and carry it on effectively. Under Jehovah’s protection this work will continue until all the other sheep have been gathered into the “one flock” under “one Shepherd”, then the battle of the great day of God Almighty will begin. That will be the worst trouble man will ever have experienced or will ever see. It will destroy every vestige of Satan’s organization both visible and invisible.
42. When will the faithful men of old join the New World society, and with what qualifications?
42 The New World society now operating in the earth will survive Armageddon and be joined by the faithful men of old, who the psalmist says will be made “princes in all the earth”. (Ps. 45:16) Just how many of them there will be and exactly when they will be brought back from the memorial tombs where they sleep in death, we do not know; but when they do return, they will quickly learn about the new world they longingly looked forward to in the days they spent on earth in times past. These faithful ones will be made up of men and women and it is to them that the apostle Paul refers in Hebrews, chapter eleven. Among them will be men trained to care for the affairs of the new world in many capacities. Look at Moses, the lawgiver. Where among the judges of this world could we find a man as well qualified to administer justice? He was well trained during the years he led the Israelites from slavery in Egypt to the border of the Promised Land. Then there was Joseph as a food administrator. He saved Egypt from famine and starvation by carefully storing up extra food during the years of plenty and then distributing it during the years of famine. David was a man used to administer righteous laws for the good of the nation over which he ruled as king. Moreover, the righteous government that Jehovah launched with his kingdom in 1914 will have a well-qualified and capable administrator, one that will get results, Jesus Christ.
43. What result has Satan’s influence had upon man, and how was the end of his organization foreshadowed in Noah’s day?
43 Satan the Devil rebelled against Jehovah’s righteous arrangements for mankind, thinking he had a better method of dealing with human creatures. For about 6,000 years he has largely dominated the human race and his influence among men has caused trouble, sorrow, pain and death. He has reproached the name of Jehovah and persecuted all who stood for that name. Now his time is up and shortly he will see his wicked organization destroyed at the battle of Armageddon, following which he will be sealed in the abyss of inactivity. As stated in preceding paragraphs, that battle will be the most terrible trouble the earth will ever have witnessed. Jehovah has given us several pictures of it and its severity; for example, the flood of Noah’s day, when all creatures on earth, except those in the ark, were destroyed by the watery deluge. Noah was a preacher of righteousness and warned the people of the coming disaster, but they went right ahead with their affairs of life and paid no attention to the warning Jehovah sent them. When the flood came it was too late to seek refuge in the ark, and all, save eight souls, went down to death.
44. What interesting and fitting picture of Armageddon is given at 2 Chronicles, chapter 20?
44 Another interesting picture of Armageddon is found in 2 Chronicles, chapter twenty. Three nations, representing the three divisions of Satan’s organization, religion, politics and commerce, united to destroy Jerusalem and the typical theocracy that had been launched for Israel. King Jehoshaphat was fearful of this great army made up of men of Moab, Ammon and Mount Seir, and called the people to the temple to pray for Jehovah’s protection. Jehovah told the people of Israel not to be afraid because of the armies of the enemy, for the battle was not theirs but God’s. They were just to sing the praises of Jehovah and leave the rest to Him. This faithful course resulted in their deliverance. Moab and Ammon turned and fought against Mount Seir, and when they had destroyed her they fought against each other; and when they had finished that fight, there was not much left for Jehovah to destroy. All the while this fight was being waged the servants of Jehovah were singing his praises. So now, at Armageddon, the different parts of Satan’s organization will turn against and fight each other while Jehovah’s witnesses will be singing his praises and proclaiming the doom of Satan and his system of things.
45. In spite of what will Satan be unable to protect his world?
45 With the lethal weapons such as the atom bomb and the more powerful hydrogen bomb at his disposal, Satan will suffer complete defeat. All the power he has built up on earth via his dupes will be destroyed with him. The only place of safety will be inside the confines of God’s system of things. He has promised to protect his servants as completely as he did Noah and his family during the flood. (Isa. 26:20, 21) All the armies and weapons of man will prove weakly ineffective to protect and save this old world. It will pass away in the worst trouble ever witnessed on earth.—Matt. 24:21, 22.
46. What blessings await Armageddon survivors?
46 With Satan and his wicked organization annihilated, the New World society made up of the anointed remnant, the captains or sarím now serving in official capacities and the great crowd of other sheep, later augmented by the resurrected faithful men of old, will make rapid progress in building up the new system of things on the earth. Just think; all the resources of mankind, both physical and financial, will be available for reconstruction work! The earth will be made beautiful with lovely homes for all living. People will not learn about war, but under peaceful conditions Jehovah will reissue the Edenic mandate for man and woman to multiply and fill the earth as originally given to Adam and Eve. This time a people devoted to Jehovah and governed by righteous laws enacted for this new world under the Prince of Peace will happily carry out this mandate. There will be much for everyone to do; instructors will be busy teaching those coming forth in that rising generation; building beautiful homes will require much work; also, subduing the earth and making it like the paradise garden of Eden will take work, but it will be a happy task for mankind under the perfect conditions that will then prevail.—Isa. 65:17-19, 21-23, AT.
47. (a) What will the end of the 1,000-year reign of Christ see? (b) What futile attempt will be made at that time, to be followed by what?
47 Finally, at the proper and due time, the dead in the graves, or memorial tombs, will return to join the living, with the hope of perfect and everlasting life before them. Think of the many happy family reunions as the dead return to life! These, though, will have much to learn about the new world and the things that happened while they were resting in the sleep of death. It will be a great privilege to aid all such in their efforts to learn the way to life. What a happy time all dedicated servants of Jehovah will have in co-operating with one another in learning perfectly the ways of Jehovah and beautifying the portion of the earth assigned to them! When the thousand-year reign of Christ is ended, then the whole earth will be as beautiful as Eden was, the sample Jehovah gave us a long time ago. At that time Satan and his incorrigible demons will be released from the abyss, where they have been incarcerated for the thousand years of Christ’s reign, and will proceed in a vile attempt to overthrow the new world, but it will fail. We read in the Bible that the end of his host on earth will be by fire coming down from Jehovah out of heaven, and he himself and his demons will be executed with “second death”, annihilation. (Rev. 20:7-10) That will ultimately end all rebellion and wickedness. The earth will be filled with perfect men and women who will live forever and rejoice in the vindication of that holy name JEHOVAH!
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