The Divine Will Done in Heaven and Earth
1. What was it that got Jesus out of his carpenter shop and led him to John the Baptist?
UP TO thirty years of age Jesus was a carpenter in the obscure town of Nazareth in the despised province of Galilee. Rome was then dominating the earth as the sixth world power. What was it that got Jesus out of his carpenter shop and out of his obscurity? It was the announcement by John the Baptist, “The kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.” Jesus later taught his disciples to seek first God’s kingdom. So how could he hold himself down to carpentering when the interests of the kingdom of the heavens, that is, the kingdom of God, were to be served? Jewish people were repenting of their sins and being baptized by John in preparation for that kingdom, to be in subjection to it rather than to the pagan Roman Empire. How, then, could Jesus himself hold back from going to John the Baptist and declaring his stand for the kingdom of the heavens, the kingdom of God? It was no repentance over sins that drove the sinless Son of God to John to be baptized. His solemn determination to do the will of his heavenly Father in behalf of the greatest kingdom in the universe was what led Jesus to John.
2. What did Jesus’ water baptism declare concerning him, and what did Isaiah 53:7-12 show to be Jehovah’s will concerning him?
2 Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan by John did not declare Jesus’ need to come into harmony with God’s Ten Commandments and other laws through Moses. It declared Jesus’ entrance into the Kingdom service. He made that the thing for which he lived henceforth. He died to everything behind on earth. His coming fulfilled Psalm 40:7, 8, which prophesied: “Here I have come, in the roll of the book it being written about me. To do your will, O my God, I have delighted.” God’s will for him was expressed in part in Isaiah 53:7-12: “He was being brought just like a sheep to the slaughtering . . . Because of the transgression of my people he had the [death] stroke. And he will make his burial place even with the wicked ones, and with the rich class in his death, despite the fact that he had done no violence and there was no deception in his mouth. But Jehovah himself took delight in crushing him; he made him sick. . . . and he himself carried the very sin of many people, and for the transgressors he proceeded to interpose.”
3. How did Jehovah’s rule of action cause Jesus to prove that he was the “lowliest of men”?
3 Jehovah’s rule of action toward Jesus was, “Before glory there is humility.” (Prov. 18:12) Jesus’ humility was to be proved by perfect obedience to God’s will. So, “although he was a Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered.” It was God’s will, “in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Chief Agent of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” (Heb. 5:8; 2:10) Thus Jesus showed he was the “lowliest of men” in that he “humbled himself and became obedient as far as death, yes, death on a torture stake.”
4. What exaltation followed Jesus’ showing himself the most subservient to the will of the heavenly Father?
4 Was there anyone in the whole universe more subservient to the will of the heavenly Father? Was there anyone more deserving to whom God could will to give the Kingdom? “For this very reason also God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every other name, so that in the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the ground, and every tongue should openly confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”—Phil. 2:8-11.
5. Why should political rulers, especially “Christian” ones, have no reasons for objecting to Jesus’ becoming king, and yet what shows they pray his prayer hypocritically?
5 No human creature, therefore, not even the highest, mightiest potentate, has true ground for objecting to having the one who was the “lowliest of men” in such an incomparable way set up over the kingdom of men. No rulers, especially those who claim to be Christian, have any moral or religious reason for fighting against such a King when taking the rulership over all the earth and its peoples. Yet by their insane, beastlike course of action since 1914 they keep on saying concerning the “lowliest of men,” or God’s own choice: “We do not want this man to become king over us.” (Luke 19:14) They act hypocritically when they go to their church buildings and join in repeating the Lord’s Prayer: “Your kingdom come! Your will be done on earth as well as in heaven!”—Matt. 6:9, 10, AT.
6. How does Nebuchadnezzar’s statement after passing through “seven times” of insanity show it does such rulers no good to object?
6 Little good it does them to object and to fight against the “lowliest of men” now in Kingdom power. Remember what Nebuchadnezzar said after passing through his “seven times” of insanity. He blessed the Most High God and said: “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing; and he does according to his will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, ‘What doest thou?’” Indeed, what do all the kings and rulers now gathered with their armies to Armageddon amount to? Nothing, in comparison! Even among the “host of heaven” the Most High God, Jehovah, does according to his supreme will.
7. How has Jehovah handled powerful spirit princes, and how was the newborn kingdom enabled to carry out God’s will?
7 God’s angel who was sent to Daniel revealed that all seven world powers of human history have each had a spirit demon “prince” in unseen control. Over all seven princes is the “ruler of the demons,” Satan the Devil, “the ruler of this world.” (Matt. 12:24; John 12:31; 14:30) These seven demon “princes” and their satanic ruler are far more powerful than earth’s rulers. Yet God has handled all eight of those spirits in having his will come to pass in heaven. During the career of all seven world powers beginning with ancient Egypt till now, Jehovah has let none of the spirit princes successfully interfere when he changed the times and seasons. In 1914, when the “seven times” appointed for the nations of Satan’s world ran out and it became the divine will for the kingdom of the “lowliest of men” to be set up, Jehovah did according to his will in the host of heaven. The great fiery-colored dragon, Satan the Devil, coiled himself up to spring and swallow up the Kingdom as soon as it should be born. However, he did not get to bury his fangs into the Kingdom. God’s will came to pass, and the Kingdom was put out of reach of the dragon’s jaws and it began carrying out God’s will.
8. After the birth of the kingdom, how did the heavenly Father’s will come to pass among the “host of heaven”?
8 God’s will was for war at once in heaven against the dragon and his demon host. These fought against the execution of the divine will. They merely battered themselves against the irresistible. In a prophetic preview of that heavenly war that began in 1914, the apostle John says: “Neither was a place found for them any longer in heaven. So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven say: ‘Now have come to pass the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ.’” (Rev. 12:3-10) Thus the heavenly Father’s will came to pass among the host of heaven.
9, 10. (a) In view of the lack of success of the spirit princes up in heaven, what questions do we ask concerning earthly world powers? (b) How far has Satan finally got with all his opposition to God, and why will God keep on doing his will among men more drastically since 1914?
9 Satan the Devil and his world-power princes and his other demon angels could not succeed up in heaven. How, then, can the mighty seventh world power and the terrifying Communist power and all other political powers of men, all of them being lower than the angels, succeed on earth? How can they win out against the divine will that Jehovah’s kingdom by Christ should take over exclusive control and possession of the earth? The Most High God was able to control and regulate superhuman, angelic creatures. He has held onto his position of Most High and Almighty even among legions of enemy angels, the demons. He tolerated Satan the Devil up in heaven for about 5,938 years. With all his diabolical opposition during all that time, where and how high has the Devil got by this year 1959? As high as God’s footstool, the earth, down to which the Devil was violently ousted from heaven since 1914.
10 Down here, in rage at his humiliation, he eggs on men to a race into outer space to see how high they can get, for selfish advantages, without regard for God’s will. The Devil and his demons are acting behind a screen more impenetrable than the Iron Curtain. They are madly driving all the political rulers and their armies into a state of opposition to Jehovah God for an Armageddon fight, “the war of the great day of God the Almighty.” (Rev. 16:14, 16) But God has long held mighty angels and devils in subjection and in check. Much more easily can he check all human inhabitants on this his footstool. He will keep on doing according to his will among men, more drastically now since His “appointed times of the nations” have expired and since there is no more any divine restraint upon the kingdom of his Christ as regards interfering with the Gentile world powers.
THE LAMB BECOMES A LION
11. (a) What plain Bible truth should the nations of the Eastern, Western and neutral blocs now know? (b) By objecting to the fulfillment of Psalm 2:7-9, what will the nations cause the “lowliest of men” to do?
11 Whether they are of the Eastern bloc or of the Western bloc or of the neutral bloc, let all nations know this plain Bible truth: The Creator and Owner of this earth has not given the earth to communism—and it is useless for the Communist bloc to continue scheming and working for earthwide domination. Nor has the Most High God given this earth to democracy, a government of and by the earth’s inhabitants who are accounted as nothing to Him. Since 1914 he has given this earth to theocracy, to the rule of God by Jesus Christ, not by the priests and clergy of Christendom. In Psalm 2:7-9 God long ago invited his heavenly Son to ask for the entire earth at the end of the “seven times” of world domination by Satan through mighty empires and nations on earth. Let the seventh world power, that is, the Anglo-American combination, let the eighth world power, that is, the United Nations with its eighty-one members Communist, democratic and neutral, let all the nations inside or outside the U.N., object, if they will, to God’s invitation to Christ. Let them fight against Christ’s acceptance of God’s invitation and taking over the earth. If the worldly nations under the demon princes and the chief demon Satan are sparring for a fight in this nuclear, missile, space age, then this time the “lowliest of men,” Jesus Christ, will take on the fight.
12. In contrast with his role on earth nineteen hundred years ago, what fight did Jesus Christ have on his hands in 1914, and how did it turn out?
12 On earth nineteen centuries ago he was the Lamb of God, harmless and seemingly defenseless and nonbelligerent. No one on earth saw Jesus Christ in a violent fight. During World Wars I and II he was not fighting against men, on either side, regardless of what the religious clergy may have told their respective sides—with no Bible support. In 1914 Jesus Christ had on his hands a bigger fight than one with Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany or with Czar Nicholas II of Russia. In the war that broke out in heaven in 1914 he had on his hands a fight against a monster, the symbolic dragon Satan the Devil, and his demon angels, but he hurled them down to the earth.
13. (a) How about men seeing the “lowliest of men” fight in battle action? (b) How will he prove himself King of kings?
13 None of us then living on earth saw that invisible fight. With our eyes we could see only World War I raging on earth. Ah, but at the coming battle of Armageddon all humankind will really see Jesus Christ, the “lowliest of men,” fight, in battle action for Jehovah God. Then the great world powers, the other nations and all the people will know how Jesus Christ can really fight, yes, fight to victory against everything that is out of accord with the divine will. Then he will show himself, not as the slain Lamb, but as the kingly “Lion that is of the tribe of Judah,” the Lion of Jehovah’s praisers. To all mankind he will prove himself King of kings by gaining the victory, and Satan’s entire world will bite the dust at his footstool.—John 1:29, 36; Rev. 5:5, 12; 17:14; 19:11-21.
THE PEOPLE FOR THE DIVINE WILL
14. Why is this a period of greater change than in Noah’s day, and who are the firmly resolved, settled people that Jehovah foresaw for this time?
14 The occasion is here for the God of heaven to ‘change times and seasons, to remove kings and set up kings.’ (Dan. 2:19-21, RS) It is the time for removing the old world and setting up the new world under the “lowliest of men,” the King of kings. Even in the days of Noah distinguished by the global flood, men did not pass through a period of greater change than that through which this generation is passing. (Matt. 24:37-39) In the midst of all this change and unsettlement the God of heaven foresaw a stable, firmly resolved people who know what they want. That people is all you who have dedicated yourselves to the God of heaven and who want nothing else but that the heavenly Father’s will should come to pass, as in heaven, also upon earth. It is you, who sincerely pray for his kingdom to come in complete fulfillment of his covenant for the Kingdom that he made with Jesus Christ. It is you, who uphold that Kingdom covenant without any compromise with worldly rulers, even the totalitarian, dictatorial, Communist rulers of this world.
15. Pointing to such uncompromising people, what did Jehovah’s angel say to Daniel?
15 Pointing to you uncompromising people, Jehovah’s angel said to Daniel: “They [the politicians] shall set up the abomination that makes desolate. He [the dictatorial ruling power] shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant; but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action. And those among the people who are wise shall make many understand, though they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plunder, for some days. When they fall, they shall receive a little help. And many shall join themselves to them with flattery; and some of those who are wise shall fall, to refine and to cleanse them and to make them white, until the time of the end, for it is yet for the time appointed.”—Dan. 11:31b-35, RS.
16. How do you uncompromising people intelligently refuse to violate God’s covenant for the kingdom, and how have you settled the issue, The wild peace-beast or the Prince of Peace?
16 You who know your God refuse to violate his covenant for the Kingdom. You know that the God of heaven has given this kingdom to the “lowliest of men,” Jesus Christ. You are in favor of no one else to be set up over the kingdom of men. You know that God forewarned how men in this period of change would reject God’s kingdom and would decide on something man-made instead of the theocratic kingdom. They would set up the “abomination that makes desolate,” a substitute for the kingdom of God’s will. Today this abominable political idol, which has been set up with the full approval of the religious clergy, is the United Nations; and men idolize it by assigning to it more and more powers as the world’s last hope. They turn their eyes away from God’s kingdom, which is being proclaimed world-wide, and they bow in worship before this political-religious abomination, which God’s Word likens to a scarlet-colored wild beast, an international peace-beast. But as for you, you refuse to join in this international worship and to look to the U.N. for bringing in world peace, as this worship violates God’s covenant with the Prince of Peace for the kingdom. You know that the issue is, The wild peace-beast or the Prince of Peace! You have chosen the Prince of Peace, God’s anointed Son and reigning King.
17. How have you uncompromising people shown that you know your God, and how have you been tested by persecution?
17 You have taken this uncompromising stand for the Kingdom because you know your God. You know he is not some bodiless cosmic intelligence vaguely called God, without a purpose, without a history and without a name. Your God is a personal God, whose name you know to be Jehovah. You know you are commissioned by him to be his witnesses and to make known his holy name. You are spiritually intelligent and you discern what God’s main work for you is during this short period before the complete end comes upon this world. In agreement with your solemn decision to do God’s will you engage in a Bible educational work to “make many understand” the divine will, that these may do it and be saved into God’s new world of righteousness. For this unwavering course of action you have undergone much persecution. You have been forced to stumble and stagger along because of sword and flame, captivity and plunder, for many days till now, by dictatorial powers. Some of our number have been made to stumble even to a fall into death. This has served as a test of our faith in God and a test of our integrity toward him and of our loyalty to his kingdom, which we are commissioned to preach to all the nations for a final witness before their end comes.
18. In what refinement and cleansing has this persecution resulted?
18 Because of this persecution that has dealt so cruelly with many of us even to the death of martyrs of faith, we have had our numbers refined. We have been cleansed of all partnership with this world and have been made white in our righteous appearance before God’s eyes. We are determined, however, to endure this persecution and oppression because of our exclusive devotion to Jehovah God until his time comes for the enemy persecutor’s end at Armageddon.
19. In fulfillment of the angel’s prophecy, with what have many persons joined themselves to us, and how does this include spies?
19 In our Bible-educational work in 175 lands, islands and territories we have reached many millions of people of many kinds. Hundreds of thousands have gained understanding in God’s Word and have responded to the announcement of God’s kingdom and, like Jesus, have dedicated themselves to God for the doing of his will. But it has also been true that “many shall join themselves to them with flattery.” These many have become personally acquainted with the people that know their God. They have a closeup view of the New World society of Jehovah’s witnesses. They have only good words for the cleanness of the organization and for the love its members show for God and his Christ and for one another. They express admiration at our courageous stand for the principles of God’s Word. They associate themselves with us in a study of God’s Word, even in their own homes and in our Kingdom Halls. But how much of all this is little more than flattery? It is sheer flattery if any enemy agents come into our midst to spy upon us and to try to undermine the organization spiritually and to betray us to dictatorial or totalitarian rulers, after their flattery has thrown some of us off guard.
20. It is largely flattery if outspoken admirers do not advance to what point, and so to mere chatterers what do we say?
20 It is largely flattery if the outspoken admirers go no farther than mere words and do not copy God’s dedicated people and do not likewise dedicate themselves and join with us in witnessing to God’s kingdom, although this makes the world their enemy and brings suffering and persecution upon them. In our Bible-education work and witnessing to God’s provision for salvation we are not seeking merely to hear words of flattery. We are seeking the lost sheep of the Great Shepherd Jehovah, in order to bring them to the fold under his Right Shepherd Jesus Christ. Not the winning of words of praise from flatterers, but the gathering of sheeplike people to God’s refuge of salvation is what means that our work has been a success. The joining of sheeplike lovers of God with us in worshiping and serving him while at the same time suffering with us—this is what gives us real help, though this be little in comparison with what God and Christ and the holy angels give us. To mere flatterers we say, Do not flatter creatures, but give true praise to the Creator. Become his dedicated witnesses. This is what saves!
21, 22. (a) What is it that so wonderfully unites us? (b) In harmony with his expressed will, what is our united prayer?
21 Amidst the anarchistic conflict of human wills today, we are exclusively for God’s expressed will. This divine will is what unites us so wonderfully in heart, in mind, in words and in action. Our united prayer to God is, Let his kingdom come in its victorious assault upon the Devil’s entire organization at Armageddon. Yes, let his perfect, righteous and holy will come to pass, as in heaven, also upon this earth, his footstool. Let the wicked opposers of his will be swept out of existence. Let the faithful, loving, obedient doers of his will behold his vindicative victory over all his enemies at Armageddon and let them enter into the new world of righteousness, peace, truth and holiness. Let the entire earth be filled with the knowledge of the glory of Jehovah as the waters cover the sea basins.
22 Let his kingdom bless this earth, that paradise may be restored and beautify his earthly footstool and provide an everlasting happy home for perfect human creatures in his image and likeness. Let his anointed King call out and all those in the memorial tombs hear and come forth in resurrection to the opportunities to be won and enjoyed forever in Paradise by all those who obey his kingdom. Let all the wicked everywhere be annihilated, but let all those loving Jehovah be guarded for life eternal. Let all his works, in all places of his domination, bless Jehovah. Let every breathing thing praise Jehovah, because his will has come to pass.