Public Address: God’s Kingdom Rules—Is the World’s End Near?
SUNDAY, AUGUST 3, 1958, at 3 p.m., D.S.T., at Yankee Stadium and the nearby Polo Grounds (connected with the stadium by wire and sound-amplification system), in New York city, the greatest assembly in the history of Christianity took place. From more than 123 countries and islands of the sea 253,922 persons came together to hear the public address “God’s Kingdom Rules—Is the World’s End Near?” delivered by the president of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society of Pennsylvania. This unparalleled audience expressed its appreciation with many applauses throughout the address. At the conclusion 500,000 copies of the address in printed form were distributed to the audience free, a copy to each one in attendance, together with an extra copy to give to a friend.
Out of regard for the continuing importance of this mighty message, the address has been reproduced herein and is being translated into scores of other languages also. By reading this message you will prove to yourself from Bible and fulfilled Scripture prophecy that God’s kingdom rules and the beginning of a righteous new world for men of good will is near.—THE PUBLISHERS
Public Address 253,922 people heard
“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord [God] and of his Christ, and he will rule as king for ever and ever.”—Rev. 11:15.
1. Only what government is good enough for the earth, and why?
ONLY the best government in the universe is good enough for this earth. That is the way that the earth’s Creator feels about it. For this, all men of good will can be glad. We can be thankful that the Creator does not ignore his creation, even though this earth is so tiny in comparison with the universe. We can be happy that he respects this tiny creation as the work of his own hands and desires to dignify it with the best form of rulership. He wants it to reflect credit to him just the same as all the rest of the universe does. “The heavens are declaring the glory of God, and of the work of his hands the expanse is telling.”—Ps. 19:1.
2. What fact is evident concerning government of the earth by man, and why?
2 It is evident that government of the earth by man has not been the best form of rulership. Today we have the accumulated results of man’s government of the earth and its inhabitants, and those results are not good. We cannot lightly dismiss the matter, we cannot excuse the results by saying that man’s government has been better than no government at all. The fact remains that government of the earth by man has resulted in a terribly divided world, and the race of mankind faces self-destruction by the inhuman weapons of its own manufacture. Government of the earth by man may have produced today a United Nations of eighty-one members, but it has not produced a united mankind, a loving, peaceful brotherhood of all races, colors, languages and families. Not only has it failed to do away with death from merely natural causes, but it speeds up for all humankind a possible sudden, violent destruction by man’s own political, military governments, not to speak of an Armageddon of destruction by man’s Creator. Nothing is more evident, nothing is more undeniable than that government of the earth by man and by the many gods of man has failed.
3. Despite failure till now, what do political rulers do, and what must people do individually?
3 In view of the glaring failure it is time for man to draw some conclusion and decide upon the wise course of action. If political rulers refuse to take the right lead for the people, then the people must individually do so for themselves. The political rulers lay plans and make arrangements to carry on their national governments into the unlimited future. They are not convinced of man’s failure but are stubbornly making further efforts to make a success of it and show to the universe what they can do. They prove that they do not know or care to know or do not have any faith in the purpose of the Creator concerning his own earth. They have faith only in themselves. They thus betray that they have learned nothing from man’s recorded history. They are proud. They have not learned the wisdom and the rightness of the inspired advice of long ago: “Do not put your trust in nobles, nor in the son of earthling man, to whom no salvation belongs. His spirit goes out, he goes back to his ground, in that day his thoughts do perish.”—Ps. 146:3, 4.
4. If not overtaken by world war, what is certain to befall the rulers, and therefore what do we have to decide?
4 Unless first a third world war overtakes them, all the rulers of this critical day will go the way of all previous political nobles and rulers. They will all breathe out their last breath, their lifeless bodies will go back to the ground, their misused powers of thought will perish with them, and mankind will be no better off for their failure in attempts at government. Therefore what each one of us has to decide is whether we will let ourselves go on suffering just because of the foredoomed efforts of mortal men to govern.
5. What does making such a personal decision not mean, and to whom only can we turn for good government?
5 When we make a personal decision to avoid suffering the final disastrous consequences of government by human rulers, it does not mean we will stir ourselves up to revolt against them or will start a revolution or become anarchists. Carrying out a peaceful or a violent revolution would mean we would merely substitute the government by other men with a government by ourselves. The end result would be no different; it would still be government by men, by ourselves. The Communist system of government, which started with a violent revolution and seizure of political power, is an example of this. However, if we turn away from government of the earth by man, even by ourselves, to whom, then, can we turn for good government that will not be a failure? There is only one to whom to turn for successful rulership, and that is to earth’s Creator, man’s Creator. That is, to God. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” So the opening words of the Holy Bible of sacred scripture read.
6. Is turning to that One practical, and why?
6 Turn to God the Creator for earth’s government! Is that practical? Most certainly; just as much so as our turning to man for government of the earth has proved impractical by the results that man has reaped today. Letting God govern his earth according to his divine way is not only most practical but the most reasonable, because it is the most beneficial, lastingly beneficial. This is all the more true now, for God’s kingdom now rules—it has already begun to reign over our earth. All who want to enjoy endless life in peace, health and happiness must bow to it willingly. That is the practical result of turning to God for our government.
7. For how long has Jehovah been King, and how so? And yet what has been mankind’s reaction toward this fact?
7 Since when has God’s kingdom begun to rule? More than six hundred years before the Christian era the prophet Jeremiah said: “Jehovah is in truth God. He is the living God and the King to time indefinite.” (Jer. 10:10) Yes, the true God, whose name is Jehovah, has always been King. He has always been in control; he has always governed. He is the Sovereign of the universe, and none of his creatures have been able to overturn his sovereign rule, not even the Devil. Yet for almost six thousand years now very few men have acknowledged him as King and desired his kingdom. Even when his time came for his kingdom to rule this earth directly, mankind, almost as a whole, gave no welcome to a government by him. They have yielded no sovereignty to his kingdom; they have rendered no allegiance and loyalty to his kingdom. Nationalism rules.
8. Who acknowledged God’s kingship most, and what does the prayer that he taught prove concerning God’s kingdom?
8 The man who acknowledged most the kingship of Jehovah God and desired most his heavenly kingdom to govern this earth was Jesus Christ. Nineteen hundred years ago he was the one that taught his disciples to pray to the King of heaven: “Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified. Let your kingdom come. Let your will come to pass, as in heaven, also upon earth.” (Matt. 6:9, 10) The very fact that Jesus taught his disciples to pray for the heavenly Father’s kingdom to come proves that the kingdom was not then governing the earth. The Roman Empire, not God’s kingdom, was then dominating the inhabited earth. Every informed person knows that it was the Roman governor at Jerusalem who, at the insistence of the religious leaders of Jerusalem, had Jesus put to death on a torture stake outside the city walls. Yes, indeed, Rome of the Caesars was then governing as a world power; God’s kingdom was not then ruling. It had yet to come in answer to the prayer that Jesus taught. The question was, When was God’s kingdom to begin to rule?
NOT THROUGH THE POLITICIANS OF CHRISTENDOM
9. What have Christendom’s clergy long taught concerning the coming of God’s kingdom, and why is the application of this teaching obnoxious to God?
9 The religious clergy of Christendom have long taught that God’s kingdom came when the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great claimed to become a Christian and when he took religious bishops of the popular Christianity of that day into government service. They have taught further that God’s kingdom would come and rule through governmental politicians as these became Christians, subject to the religious clergy. When, finally, all the politicians in power became Christian and all the human governments became Christian, then God’s kingdom would fully be come. Thus God’s kingdom would not be a direct government from heaven. But this teaching of the religious clergy of Christendom is false. It has served the clergy well as an excuse for meddling in the politics of this world. Any attempt to establish the kingdom of God by means of the politicians of this world must fail. It is an attempt to make messiahs, Christs, out of the politicians of this world. This is most obnoxious to earth’s Creator, for it is a rejecting of his kingdom.
10, 11. With whom did God show that his kingdom would not come through human governments, and how?
10 More than twenty-five centuries ago God the Creator furnished all mankind the proof that His kingdom would not come through human governments or through politicians of this world. In the twelfth century before Christ the Israelite chiefs, like most men of today, thought that it was impractical to have the God of heaven rule them directly as a nation. God had delivered them from slavery in the land of Egypt and had located them in a land of milk and honey in the Middle East. He had given them the most remarkable set of laws known to man. Through the prophet Moses he had given them the Ten Commandments, together with hundreds of other laws. He had proved to them that he was God Almighty and that his name is Jehovah. The first of his Ten Commandments to them declared: “I am Jehovah your God, who have brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slaves. You must never have any other gods against my face.” (Ex. 20:2, 3) He built them up into a nation and brought them into a solemn contract or a covenant with him to be their God of blessing and to have them as his people. He was their invisible King. (Deut. 26:17-19) However, those Israelites lost faith. They cultivated the desire to have a visible human king like all the non-Jewish nations around them. So they came to Jehovah’s prophet Samuel and said: “Now do appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations.”—1 Sam. 8:5.
11 That request for a human ruler was no light thing. It was not the expression of democracy that deserved to be recognized and complied with. It was a rejection of God as King, and he told them so. The Bible record says: “Then Jehovah said to Samuel: ‘Listen to the voice of the people as respects all that they say to you, for it is not you whom they have rejected but it is I whom they have rejected from being king over them.’” (1 Sam. 8:7) For this, Jehovah did not reject them and at once throw them away as his people. He granted them their desired kind of king, because he mercifully held fast to the covenant that he had made with them.
12. What about the practicalness of that kingdom, and in spite of what advantages was this so?
12 Did that kingdom prove practical? Did that Israelite government of human kings succeed? Why do not the Israelis of today have as much land in the Middle East as their forefathers had in Samuel’s day? Why do they not have a God-given human king over them? We merely have to go to the sacred Hebrew Scriptures to learn the answer, which the Israelis themselves cannot contradict. They have no human king today because the experiment of their worldly-wise forefathers with a human king failed, disastrously. It failed in spite of the fact that God anointed as king over them the faithful shepherd David of Bethlehem and established a dynasty or line of rulers in David’s family. It failed in spite of the fact that those kings of the house of David reigned at the city of Jerusalem, where God had chosen to put his name Jehovah, and those kings sat on a throne called the “throne of Jehovah” and reigned as his visible representatives. That Israelite experiment with human kings failed despite the fact that the entire Jewish nation and its king were in a special covenant with Jehovah their God and had his own laws and prophets.
13. For how long did God let the Israelites experiment with their human king, and what now about the “throne of Jehovah” at Jerusalem?
13 God mercifully allowed them a little more than five hundred years to experiment with their human king, who sat on the so-called “throne of Jehovah,” at Jerusalem. Finally God himself, who had yielded to their asking for a human king, became so provoked with the nation and their royal government that he overturned the government in the year 607 B.C. by the armies of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. Seventy years later Jehovah brought a faithful remnant back from their exile in the distant land of Babylon; but His throne was not set up again at Jerusalem. To this very day it has not been set up there. It never will be set up there again.
14. As regards the coming of the kingdom that Jesus taught, what does the Jewish experiment with kingship argue, and how do Christendom’s politicians proceed?
14 What, then, about God’s kingdom that Jesus Christ preached and that he taught his disciples to pray for? In the light of the Jewish experiment, is there any historical reason, not to speak of Bible prophecy, for believing and teaching that God’s kingdom will come through the politicians of Christendom, together with the help of the pope of Vatican City and the religious clergy of Protestantism? No! Can we reasonably think for one moment that the all-wise God, who foreknows all his works from long ago, has launched out on another experiment like that with the Jewish nation? No! God’s own Word answers No! The Son of God, Jesus Christ, answers No! But Christendom’s politicians, instructed and supported by the clergy, Catholic and Protestant, have decided that that is the way God’s kingdom should come and rule. So they have proceeded to govern on the theory of the divine right of kings or on the theory that, as the “higher powers” “ordained by God,” they represent God to every soul subject to them. Yet they sit on no “throne of Jehovah.”—Rom. 13:1.
15. What advantages above the Jews have Christendom’s rulers had, and what now shows whether God’s kingdom is nearer than in Emperor Constantine’s day?
15 From the days of Emperor Constantine the Great till now the rulers of Christendom have had over sixteen hundred years, or more than three times as much time as the Israelite kings had. But have they had more success than the Jewish kingdom had with its capital at Jerusalem, the holy city? Besides having more time than the kings of the house of David, they have had more than the mere Jews’ religion. They have had the complete Holy Bible and its teachings of Christianity, as a greater aid. Yet, with all this advantage, have they succeeded? Through Christendom’s clergy-backed politicians is God’s kingdom nearer now than it was in the days of Emperor Constantine? Is God’s kingdom ruling today by the kings, presidents and governors of Christendom? No! Since 1914 two world wars have been started right in the heart of Christendom, and the whole system of things throughout the earth is in a worsening state of disorder. The ungodly Communist giant has risen up. By this year he has gained control of one third of the earth, with a population of 944,900,000. Desperately Christendom fights to check the giant not only from making further inroads into Christendom but also from swallowing up the non-Christian neutral nations of the world. Because of claiming to be Christian and to be in a new covenant with God through Christ, Christendom has had greater opportunities and heavier responsibilities. So in failing, Christendom is more reprehensible before Jehovah God than the ancient kingdom of Judah that was in the old law covenant through Moses.
COUNTERFEIT OF GOD’S KINGDOM
16. To what is the present United Nations the successor, and so what became the issue following World War I, and how so?
16 One big thing counting heavily against Christendom is its part in the United Nations, now in its thirteenth year, the international organization established in 1945 to guarantee world peace and security. When the United Nations started functioning in January of 1946, the physical properties of the dead League of Nations were turned over to the U.N. as its successor. Back in January of 1918, in the very throes of World War I, the American president, Woodrow Wilson, proposed the League of Nations. The very next month Jehovah’s witnesses, as represented by the president of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, began preaching the startling message, “The World Has Ended—Millions Now Living May Never Die.” Early in the following month prominent witnesses of Jehovah began to be arrested in America for preaching God’s kingdom as the one and only hope for all mankind, and in the course of months the sentencing of them to long imprisonment followed. The issue was then plainly before the American churches of Christendom: God’s kingdom or the League of Nations—which should professing Christians choose?
17, 18. In endorsing what proposal did leading churches of Christendom show their choice, and what statements in their Declaration show that they compromisingly mixed matters?
17 World War I ended with victory for the democratic Allies, but with the foremost witnesses of Jehovah in prison. The Paris Peace Conference was due to begin in January of 1919. The leading churches of Christendom in America declared their choice, but they confused the issue in order to make a compromise. On December 12, 1918, the executive committee of the Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America held their annual meeting and endorsed President Wilson’s plan for a League of Nations with a Declaration that contained the following remarkable statements:
18 “The war crisis of the world has passed, but a world crisis is upon us. . . . The time has come to organize the world for truth and right, justice and humanity. To this end, as Christians we urge the establishment of a League of Free Nations at the coming Peace Conference. Such a League is not a mere political expedient; it is rather the political expression of the Kingdom of God on earth. . . . The heroic dead will have died in vain unless out of victory shall come a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness. The Church has much to give and much to gain. It can give a powerful sanction by imparting to the new international order something of the prophetic glory of the Kingdom of God. . . . The Church can give a spirit of good-will, without which no League of Nations can endure. . . . The League of Nations is rooted in the Gospel. Like the Gospel, its objective is ‘peace on earth, good-will toward men.’ Like the Gospel, its appeal is universal. . . . We call upon all Christians and upon all believers in God and lovers of man, to work and pray with whole souls, that out of the ashes of the old civilization may rise the fair outlines of a new world, based on the Christ ideal of justice, cooperation, brotherhood and service.”
19. What was done with this Declaration, and in the following May of 1919 what did the Federal Council of Churches pledge?
19 A special commission made up of the president of the Federal Council and other representative leaders of the churches was appointed to convey that Declaration to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. This special commission of churchmen is on record as having presented this Declaration to officials of the government in Paris, France.a Next, in May of 1919 the said Federal Council of Churches passed a resolution pledging their support in securing ratification of the League of Nations by the American Senate and pledging their devotion to make the League of Nations a success.b
20. How was the so-called “only light there is” blown out, and so what is there to say regarding Christendom’s churches in connection with the League of Nations?
20 Later, an American organizationc that advocated the League of Nations came out with the slogan: “In a world so dark as this, why blow out the only light there is?” But in 1939 the Nazi Leader Adolf Hitler blew out that “only light,” and the League of Nations disappeared in the abysmal darkness of World War II. The efforts of all the churches of Christendom to make the League of Nations a success had failed, their prayers for it had gone unanswered from heaven. What the churches’ Federal Council called the “political expression of the Kingdom of God on earth” had failed, and the heroic dead of World War I had died in vain because, out of the military victory that they had helped to win, a “new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness” had not come forth. What, then, is there to say honestly about the actions and attitudes of the churches of Christendom toward the League of Nations? This: The Holy Bible denounces those religious organizations as guilty of blaspheming and as setting up the idolatry of a vain scheme through associating God’s kingdom with the League of Nations. They grossly deceived all mankind by advocating an abominable counterfeit for God’s true kingdom, and they brought great reproach upon the Most High God.
21. How did Jehovah’s witnesses show whether the kingdom of God had failed with the League, and now why will the United Nations also fail?
21 Thank God, however, that the Kingdom of God did not fail with the League of Nations. Though the League died an eternal death, God’s kingdom has continued to rule. From 1920 onward Jehovah’s witnesses exposed the League of Nations as being the “abomination of desolation” foretold by Jehovah’s prophet Daniel and mentioned by Jesus Christ in his prophecy on the end of this world. (Dan. 11:31; 12:11; Matt. 24:15) Jehovah’s witnesses dissociated the League of Nations from God’s kingdom and declared that the League would fail. They devoted themselves to carrying out Jesus’ prophetic command: “This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for the purpose of a witness to all the nations.” (Matt. 24:14) That kingdom has no “political expression” on earth, not even in the United Nations of today. Let Christendom’s churches, Catholic and Protestant, co-operate now with the United Nations as much as they will, and pray for its success in staving off a third world war. The U.N. will no more have success, it will no more have the blessing and cooperation of God’s kingdom than its predecessor did, the blasphemous, abominable League of Nations.
THE GENTILE TIMES ENDED
22. How was the attention of well-known clergymen in Britain drawn to Luke 21:23, 24, and so what manifesto did they draw up in 1917?
22 Little do the people of the world appreciate that all these things are historical evidence that God’s kingdom rules and has been ruling since the autumn of the year 1914. Toward the climax of World War I a number of well-known British clergymen came out in print on what they understood the happenings in the world to mean. By a dramatic event in the Middle East they had their attention drawn to these words of Jesus’ prophecy concerning the world’s end: “There shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:23, 24, AV) On December 9, 1917, British General Allenby captured Old Jerusalem from the Turks. Then these clergymen met in London and issued a manifesto, which was published in the press of that capital of the British Empire. The press report said:
“The following manifesto was recently issued by a number of England’s most noted ministers:
“‘First—That the present crisis points toward the close of the times of the Gentiles.
“‘Second—That the revelation of the Lord may be expected at any moment, when he will be manifested as evidently as to his disciples on the evening of his resurrection.
“‘Third—That the completed church will be translated, to be “forever with the Lord”.
“‘Fourth—That Israel will be restored to its own land in unbelief, and be afterward converted by the appearance of Christ on its behalf.
“‘Fifth—That all human schemes of reconstruction must be subsidiary to the second coming of our Lord, because all nations will be subject to his rule.
“‘Sixth—That under the reign of Christ there will be a further great effusion of the Holy Spirit on all flesh.
“‘Seventh—That the truths embodied in this statement are of the utmost practical value in determining Christian character and action with reference to the pressing problems of the hour.’”
23. What public comment did the London press make on this manifesto of these eight British clergymen?
23 After publishing the names of the eight ministers of five religious denominations who signed the manifesto, the press report said: “These are well-known names, and are among the world’s greatest preachers. That these eminent men, of different denominations, should feel called upon to issue such a statement is of itself exceedingly significant.”d
24. What did those eight clergymen prove to be, and how did they show their attitude toward God’s kingdom by 1926?
24 The eight clergymen who signed the manifesto were disappointed as to what they expected. In other words, they proved to be false prophets. By the year 1926 they had come out in opposition to Jehovah’s witnesses, who were intensely publishing in all the inhabited earth the good news of God’s kingdom, that it now rules.
25. Why did those “times of the Gentiles” disappoint those clergymen’s expectation, and for whom did the end of those Gentile times mean the end of something?
25 The “times of the Gentiles,” mentioned in the foregoing manifesto, disappointed the ministers’ expectation by not ending sometime after General Allenby captured Jerusalem in 1917 and Britain received the mandate over Palestine from the League of Nations. Today the Arabs possess Old Jerusalem, and the Mohammedan mosque known as the Dome of the Rock occupies the location of the ancient temples built to Jehovah God. Why is this? It is because those “times of the Gentiles,” concerning which Jesus Christ prophesied, ended years before Jerusalem’s capture from the Turks. They ended in 1914, in the year in which World War I burst upon the nations of Christendom, although those nations were bound together under the permanent tribunal for international arbitration known as the Hague Court. The word “Gentiles” means, literally, “nations.” Jesus used the word to mean the non-Jewish nations, because he said that Jerusalem, which was Jewish, would be trodden down by the Gentiles, that is, by the non-Jews. Consequently, the ending of those “times of the Gentiles” meant that something ended for the non-Jewish nations of the world, including the nations of Christendom. What?
26. What happened at the beginning of those Gentile times, and what did that happening really mean?
26 We can learn the answer by finding out what began for the non-Jewish nations when those “times of the Gentiles” began. For one thing, the Gentiles began trampling upon Jerusalem. That did not mean just the destruction of a city, the capital city of the Jews. It meant more. It meant the trampling upon the kingdom of Jehovah God. Ancient Jerusalem was the city where God had chosen to place his name. The temple, built to him by wise King Solomon, was there on Mount Moriah. Jehovah’s visible representative, the king anointed by his high priest, reigned at Jerusalem; and the king’s throne was called “the throne of Jehovah.” (1 Chron. 29:23, AS) The government of the nation of Israel, with its seat at Jerusalem, was a theocracy. It was a miniature earthly Kingdom of God. Jesus Christ said that Jerusalem was the “city of the great King.” So the treading down of Jerusalem meant treading down God’s kingdom.—Matt. 5:35.
27. Shortly before Jerusalem’s destruction, what did the prophet Ezekiel say to its king?
27 The treading down began at God’s due time. The last king of the house of David to sit on the earthly “throne of Jehovah” at Jerusalem was Zedekiah. About four years before Jerusalem was destroyed for the first time, the prophet Ezekiel was inspired to say to King Zedekiah: “O deadly wounded wicked one, the prince of Israel, whose day is come, in the time of the iniquity of the end, thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Remove the mitre, and take off the crown; this shall be no more the same; exalt that which is low, and abase that which is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: this also shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.”—Ezek. 21:25-27, AS.
28. In June and July of 607 B.C., what did the Gentile Babylonians do as regards Jerusalem?
28 In June of the year 607 B.C. King Zedekiah was captured while fleeing from the breached city of Jerusalem, and King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon blinded him and took him captive to Babylon to die there in prison. In the next month, July, the Gentile Babylonians looted Jerusalem and its temple of Jehovah and then destroyed the capital city and temple of that ancient typical kingdom of God.
29. Thus when did the “times of the Gentiles” begin, and with what state of affairs?
29 Two months later the last of the few Jews remaining in the ravaged land of Judah fled in fear down to Egypt, and the land of Judah became desolate of man and domestic beast. Thus, about October 1 of that year 607 B.C., the “times of the Gentiles” began. They began with the Gentiles, or non-Jewish nations, holding world domination through Babylon and no more having to bother with God’s kingdom, because Jehovah God himself had overturned the kingdom. The reason was that the Jews had failed to appreciate it.
30. How long was the kingdom in the house of David to be overturned, and why did God not give the Kingdom power to Jesus on earth nineteen centuries ago?
30 Through the prophet Ezekiel Jehovah said that the kingdom would be no more until the one should come who had the right to it, at which time Jehovah would give it to him. Nineteen hundred years ago the Son of God from heaven became the man Jesus Christ on earth, in the royal family line of King David. Jehovah God anointed Jesus with holy spirit to become the Christ. In this way God made a covenant with Jesus Christ for the Kingdom, an everlasting Kingdom. Jesus always preached about this kingdom, but God did not give him the Kingdom at that time. It was not God’s will for Jesus to be a human king on earth at Jerusalem in the Middle East. It was God’s will, according to the prophecies, that Jesus die and be resurrected from the dead and return to heaven and sit down at God’s right hand, to become king there.—Heb. 1:3, 8, 13.
31. What was shouted at Jesus’ triumphal ride into Jerusalem, but what happened on Passover day?
31 Four days before the Jewish Passover of A.D. 33 Jesus rode in triumph into Jerusalem. Multitudes of Jews shouted: “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” “Blessed is the One coming as the King in Jehovah’s name!” “Blessed is he that comes in Jehovah’s name, even the king of Israel!” But on Passover day a different kind of crowd, led by Jewish priests, howled for Jesus’ death, and the Roman soldiers nailed him to a stake to die, with the criminal charge posted over his head: “Jesus the Nazarene the King of the Jews.”—Mark 11:10; Luke 19:38; John 12:13; 19:12-22.
32. What happened on the third day of Jesus’ death, and to whom did he later ascend, and why was the Kingdom power not given to him then?
32 On the third day of Jesus’ death Jehovah God raised him from the dead. Then out of the invisible spirit realm the resurrected Jesus made appearances to his faithful disciples. Ten days before the coming festival of Pentecost Jesus ascended out of their sight and returned to heaven and appeared before God with the lifesaving value of his human sacrifice. By his faithfulness to God’s kingdom even to an undeserved death Jesus proved his right to the royal throne in God’s kingdom. Yet God did not give him the Kingdom power at that time. It was not God’s time. Less than two months prior to that Jesus had given his prophecy concerning the end of this world. He had said that the “times of the Gentiles,” already begun, would run on and that God’s kingdom as symbolized by earthly Jerusalem would continue to be trodden down by the Gentiles until their times to tread God’s kingdom underfoot would end. What was then to happen to these Gentile enemies of God’s kingdom?
33. What did Jesus then have to do at God’s right hand, and until when?
33 An inspired Bible writer tells us when he says concerning Jesus Christ: “This man offered one sacrifice for sins perpetually and sat down at the right hand of God, from then on awaiting until his enemies should be made a stool for his feet.” (Heb. 10:12, 13) So Jesus had to wait till the Gentile times ended.
“THE APPOINTED TIME OF THE END” (Dan. 8:19, AS)
34. Why were the signers of the London Manifesto without excuse for not knowing when the Gentile times ended, and how do we calculate when those Gentile times did end?
34 Those eight clergymen who signed the London Manifesto had no excuse for not knowing when the “times of the Gentiles” ended. Since 1877 in particular Jehovah’s witnesses had widely published by books, booklets, magazines and Bible tracts, as well as by word of mouth, that God’s marked time for the Gentile times to end was A.D. 1914, in the early autumn. Through a dream to Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar, who first destroyed Jerusalem, Jehovah God revealed that the times allotted by Him to the Gentiles for treading down God’s kingdom were seven in number, each of these times amounting to 360 solar years. The seven times were thus to run for seven times 360 solar years, or 2,520 solar years. (Dan. 4:16, 23, 25, 32, AS) Since those seven times began with the desolating of Jerusalem and the land of Judah in the early autumn of 607 B.C., they ended in the early autumn, or about October 1, of the year 1914 of our twentieth century.e
35. What did the end of the “times of the Gentiles” in 1914 really mean, and so since then what do Jehovah’s witnesses announce?
35 The whole world, including Christendom, is Gentile. So what did the end of the “times of the Gentiles” A.D. 1914 mean? It meant the end of their treading down, not that Jerusalem relic over in the Middle East, but the kingdom of God. In 607 B.C. the start of the Gentile times meant Down with the typical kingdom of God among the Jews and up with the Gentiles to divinely permitted world domination! In 1914 the end of the Gentile times meant just the reverse. It meant Down with the Gentile treaders and up with the kingdom of God! It meant the birth of God’s kingdom, not at Old Jerusalem on earth, but up in heaven, where Jesus had sat waiting at God’s right hand until the Gentile times ran out. Then Jehovah God gave Jesus Christ the active power of the Kingdom, because he had the right to it. Therefore, since A.D. 1914, Jehovah’s witnesses announce to all the world, “God’s kingdom rules!”—Rev. 11:15.
36. In prophesying the world’s end, what did Jesus not give for it, and so what do we ask you to accept in order to know when God’s kingdom began to rule?
36 We do not ask you to accept the mere date 1914 as proof that God’s kingdom rules. There is more to the matter than the mere date. We ask you to accept what came with that date and what therefore confirms that date. When prophesying about the world’s end, Jesus gave no date. He gave what may be more convincing than a date by which we could know that God’s kingdom has begun to rule. Jesus foretold the world happenings and conditions. Three Bible writers give us separate accounts of what Jesus said. We quote from the Authorized Version or King James Bible Version, which was published in 1611, or about 350 years ago.
37. What question did Jesus’ apostles ask him, and what did he say would mark the beginning of the time of the world’s end?
37 Jesus had just predicted the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple by the Romans, which was to occur in the year 70. So certain apostles came to him privately and asked him: “Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” Jesus said that down till the time of the world’s end there would be false Christs and wars and rumors of war just as in the past, but those would not spell the end: “but the end is not yet.” Then, to point out to us the evidence of the beginning of this world’s time of the end, he went on to say: “Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”—Matt. 24:1-8, AV.
38. Besides other details, what does Luke add concerning the world conditions?
38 All those things concentrated together would mark the opening sorrows, the initial pangs of distress, of the world’s time of the end. The disciple Luke’s account says the same thing. Besides other details, Luke adds: “Until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.”—Luke 21:24-26, AV.
39. When and with what did that series of world-distressing events begin, and why is all mankind quaking today?
39 There is distress of nations with perplexity today in this nuclear, missile, space age with its Communist menace and sputniks as in no previous period of history. That needs no proof on our part. Everybody must admit it. But when did this period of distress of the nations begin? With this generation! World historians agree that it began with World War I. The world can never forget that the war of total mobilization of nations and kingdoms around the globe began in 1914. The other things that Jesus named as part of the beginning of sorrows followed, that is to say, famines, pestilences and earthquakes. Only last December 4 (1957) there occurred what was called “one of history’s greatest earthquakes” in Outer Mongolia. It struck the Gobi-Altai Mountains and “moved mountains, diverted rivers, created new mountains and valleys and opened up new watercourses.” (Standard Times, New Bedford, Massachusetts, as of January 23, 1958) However, today all mankind is quaking because of world events and developments and possibilities.
40. Why did that series of world events not begin accidentally in 1914, and what did those events from then on prove?
40 This long series of world-distressing events did not begin accidentally in 1914. It began in 1914 because the “times of the Gentiles” ran out that year. Its beginning in that year stamped 1914 as the year when the “times of the Gentiles” ended, and the denial of this fact by all of Christendom’s clergy cannot disprove it. World events from 1914 onward prove not only that Jesus Christ was a true prophet but that in 1914 he came into the Kingdom power to which he had a right and that his presence in the heavenly kingdom began then. God’s kingdom by his anointed King, Messiah, had been born. The Gentile nations, including Christendom, no longer held the world domination on earth. God’s kingdom rules, dominates!
41. As another visible evidence of the Kingdom’s establishment, what feature did Jesus add to his prophecy, and how is this prophetic feature being fulfilled?
41 After Jesus foretold the beginning of world sorrows and the persecution and hatred against his true followers, it was therefore in the proper order of things that Jesus added as another visible evidence of the establishing of God’s kingdom in the heavens in 1914 this feature: “And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for the purpose of a witness to all the nations, and then the accomplished end will come.” (Matt. 24:9-14) Is this good news of the established kingdom being preached as a witness to all the nations since 1914? If for an answer we look to the ministerial signers of that London Manifesto and to all the rest of the religious clergy of Christendom the answer is No! But if for an answer we look to Jehovah’s witnesses, who are today reporting their preaching in 164 lands and islands around the globe, the overwhelming answer is Yes! Since the close of World War I Fascism, Hitlerism or Nazism, communism, World War II and the Catholic and Protestant clergy of Christendom have proved unable to stop them. Jesus Christ prophetically said that the Kingdom good news would be preached after the end of the “times of the Gentiles.” Even so, this good news has been preached and is being preached now, even though Christendom’s clergy are spiritually blind, deaf and dumb as to this sensational news event.
THE MEANING OF THE END
42. In view of the Kingdom’s establishment, why is the world’s end near, and how does Daniel’s prophecy confirm this fact?
42 The question now comes up for answer, Is the world’s end near? The reply of Bible prophecy and world conditions is Yes. This world, including Christendom, and God’s kingdom are not friends. They cannot mix. Jesus Christ, just before he was handed over for execution, said to the Roman governor: “My kingdom is no part of this world.” To his disciples he said: “Because you are no part of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, on this account the world hates you.” (John 18:36; 15:19) God’s kingdom stands for his promised new order of righteousness. The apostle Peter said to his fellow Christians: “We, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” (2 Pet. 3:13, AV) God’s kingdom will bring in that new order. That spells absolute annihilation for this old world. Looking to this day when the times of Gentile domination without interference from God’s kingdom have passed, the prophet Daniel said: “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, nor shall its sovereignty be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand for ever.” (Dan. 2:44, RS) That destruction by God’s kingdom means Armageddon for this old world.
43. To where are the nations on the march, and for how long now?
43 Since the close of World War I in 1918, the Gentile nations led by the god of this world, Satan the Devil, have been on the march to Armageddon for their final, showdown fight against God’s kingdom. That means that by the year 1958 they have been on the march for forty years; and neither the League of Nations nor the United Nations organization has halted their march or caused them to disarm toward God’s kingdom. How much longer will the march go on before the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” begins?
44. What did Jesus prophesy concerning this generation to indicate that the world’s end is near?
44 This generation of humankind is nearing its normal end. Jesus prophesied that this generation, which saw the Gentile times end amid World War I and the beginning of world sorrows, would also see the end of those sorrows in the world’s destruction at Armageddon: “This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away.” (Matt. 24:34, 35; Rev. 16:14, 16) We know not the day or hour, but the world’s end is near.
45. How do we know whether to be sorry over this world’s end or not, and, for this reason, of what lies must we free our minds?
45 The world’s end is nothing over which to be sorry. Should we be sorry because a new world, God’s righteous new world of new heavens and a new earth, is to begin after this old world ends in Armageddon? Jesus instructed his faithful disciples to rejoice as they saw the evidences that the end of the old world of Satan the Devil and the new world of God’s kingdom were near. Let us free our minds of the religious lies of Christendom’s clergy and the theoretical lies of the modern-day scientists that the end of this world means the end of the earth on which we live and the end of the sun, moon and stars that give us light from heaven.—Eccl. 1:4.
46. As regards this earth, why does God’s kingdom come in answer to Jesus’ prayer, and hence what is it that must and will end?
46 Jesus Christ taught his disciples to pray to their Father in heaven: “Let your kingdom come. Let your will come to pass, as in heaven, also upon earth.” (Matt. 6:10) God’s kingdom comes, not to destroy this earth, but to destroy Satan’s world. God’s kingdom comes, not to burn up this earth, but to bring to pass God’s will here on earth as well as in heaven. For that reason the earth is worth preserving as God’s creation; and God will preserve it for all eternity as the home of redeemed, uplifted, perfected men of good will. The song of the angels at Jesus’ human birth, “Glory in the heights above to God, and upon earth peace among men of goodwill,” will forever be true. (Luke 2:14) Satan’s world and its nations are opposed to God’s will on earth or in any other part of the universe. Satan’s world is his organization made up both of wicked demons in the invisible heavens and of wicked men and nations on the visible earth. Hence it is Satan’s world, with its ungodly system of things, that must and will end, be destroyed.—Eph. 2:2, 3.
47. What will survive the world’s end, and what occurrence in Noah’s day did Jesus use as an illustration of this?
47 The earth will survive the world’s end. Men of good will on earth will also survive the world’s end, by the special protection of God’s kingdom that now rules. Jesus prophesied that it would be at this world’s end as it was in the end of the ungodly world of Noah’s day. The great flood from heaven wiped out that ancient world, but Noah and his family, together with select birds and animals, survived in the ark and started human life anew on the cleaned up earth. Though at Armageddon there may be more fire than the lightnings at the flood of Noah’s day, yet men of good will are assured of surviving this wicked world’s end and beginning life on earth in God’s new world.—Matt. 24:37-39.
48. Why, therefore, should men of good will rejoice as regards the future government over them?
48 Rejoice, you men of good will! For that means living under the best government of the universe, God’s kingdom. In his new world, no matter where you live on earth, you will be under the one theocratic government, God’s kingdom by Jesus Christ.
49, 50. (a) What will that government do that political governments by men have not done? (b) Whom will destruction of Adamic death benefit, and how?
49 That government will do for mankind what no political government of men during all the “times of the Gentiles” has done. It will rid mankind of the interference of Satan’s invisible demonic organization. It will also rid the earth of ungodly communism and of the clergy meddlers in politics and of everything contrary to the will of God. It will rid the earth of man’s “last enemy,” death, the death that all of us inherited because of the original sin of our first father, Adam, by whom death entered into the world.—Rom. 5:12; 1 Cor. 15:25, 26.
50 Destruction of Adamic death will benefit not only the living survivors of Armageddon but also all those of mankind who sleep in death in the memorial tombs. As regards the earthly survivors of the world’s end, because of loyally obeying God’s kingdom of Christ and his glorified faithful disciples they will be freed from the condemnation of death inherited from Adam. They will be cured of all imperfections of body, mind and heart, finally attaining to human perfection in God’s image and likeness. As regards those humans sleeping in the memorial tombs or who lost their lives at sea, Jesus Christ the King will again exercise the power that he used when here on earth to raise the dead to life. He will fulfill his own promise and call the human dead forth to life on earth with all its blessed opportunities under God’s kingdom. “There is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous,” says God’s Word.—Acts 24:15; John 5:28, 29; Rev. 20:13.
51. According to what will they be judged, and how will those who pass the final test be rewarded?
51 All those living on earth in the new world will be judged by the way they conduct themselves toward God, Jehovah, and toward his King, Jesus Christ. His kingdom will make all the earth a delightful Paradise. All men who pass the final judgment test with unswerving devotion and obedience to God and his kingdom will be rewarded with the right to life in human perfection in this earthly Paradise forever. There they will always do the divine will.
52, 53. (a) For what should men now turn to God? (b) What do we now hail, and what is our prayer regarding it?
52 Oh, therefore, let all men of good will turn now to God for earth’s government!
53 All hail to God’s kingdom that now rules! May it bring the old world’s end in his own appointed time soon. May his kingdom usher in the everlasting new world to man’s eternal salvation and to God’s unfading glory by Jesus Christ!
For there has been a child born to us, there has been a son given to us, and the princely rule will come to be upon his shoulder. And his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Father for eternity, Prince of Peace.—Isa. 9:6.
a See Federal Council Bulletin as of January, 1919, pages 12-14; also the Council’s annual report for the calendar year of 1919, page 11.
b See Federal Council Bulletin as of June, 1919, page 94.
c The League of Nations Association, Inc., formerly having national headquarters at 6 East 39th St., New York, N. Y., Raymond B. Fosdick, president.
d See the book Millions Now Living Will Never Die (copyrighted 1920), pages 39, 40. Also The Golden Age as of July 28, 1926, page 693c.
e Literature of Jehovah’s witnesses giving fuller proof of this is available in abundance elsewhere for anyone who desires further information on how the end of the Gentile times is determined.