Part 14—“Your Will Be Done on Earth”
The “march of world powers” from the days of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon was foretold by means of a symbolic metallic image shown in a dream to this mighty world ruler. In interpreting the dream Jehovah’s prophet Daniel explained that the gold head of the image pictured the dynasty or line of Babylonian kings beginning with Nebuchadnezzar; the silver breast and arms pictured the Medo-Persian Empire as represented by its line of kings; the bronze (copper) belly and thighs pictured the succeeding world power, the Macedonian or Grecian, established by Alexander the Great; and the legs of iron pictured, first of all, the Roman Empire, that swallowed up the several Hellenic empires that Alexander the Great left behind him. The Roman Empire thus became the sixth world power of Bible history. But does the fulfillment of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream image terminate with the Roman Empire?
34. Why was the Roman not the only world power symbolized by the iron legs?
34 The sixth world power, the Roman, was not the only world power symbolized by the iron legs. Within the centuries of existence of the ironlike system of world power there arose the greatest and mightiest in all the line of march. This was the seventh world power, which was foretold in Bible prophecy. It was the British Empire, the mightiness of which was increased in course of time by the co-operation of the United States of America in the North American continent. This resulted in a dual world power, the strongest and most far-reaching of all history down till A.D. 1914.
35. What was the completing part of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream image, and what interpretation did Daniel place on this final part?
35 But there was a final or completing part of the symbolic image, namely, “its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.” On this the prophet Daniel made the following inspired comment: “And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potter’s clay, and part of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken [brittle]. And whereas thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with [by] the seed of men; but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron doth not mingle with clay.”—Dan. 2:41-44, AS, margin.
36. What would the iron of the image suggest, and what is pictured by the ten toes of the image?
36 As the iron section of the symbolic image started off with the Roman Empire and led on to the Anglo-American dual world power, the firmness and strength of the iron would represent the hardness and toughness of their world control and rule. But what of the ten toes in which the symbolic image terminated? This feature showed that at the time of the end of this symbolic image the remnant of the Roman or sixth world power would vie with the Anglo-American or seventh world power and that there would be other independent political governments associated with those competing powers. The number ten being a Biblical number symbolizing earthly completeness, the ten toes picture all such coexisting powers and governments.
37. What part did the Roman Catholic Church play in a section of the Roman Empire?
37 But how did these symbolic ten toes come to be part of iron and part of miry clay? It came to be that way because “they shall mingle themselves with [by] the seed of men.” It is true that the pagan Roman Empire was partly converted into the Holy Roman Empire, anointed by the religious pontiffs of the Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Catholic Hierarchy tried to dominate this Holy Roman Empire, and a struggle for power arose between the political rulers of this empire and the pope and his religious clergy. There was a marriage of Church and State, except in the United States of America.
38. On the part of the political rulers, what mingling of themselves with or by the seed of men has there been in a strictly political way, and with what result?
38 However, a mingling of rulers or political heads with the “seed of men” would mean a combining with one another and producing a political offspring; or it would mean a popularizing, a democratizing or a socializing of the forms of government. In the nineteenth century the socialist movement made great strides in Christendom. In the year 1848 the Communist Manifesto, giving a brief, clear statement of scientific socialism, was issued by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, and revolutionary movements swept through Europe. Even Pope Pius IX was obliged to flee from Rome, not to return till 1850. The socialist element, when sharing to any extent in government, has aimed at weakening and overthrowing so-called capitalistic government; whereas democratic elements in government have weakened the power of imperial, absolute monarchs. There has been no cleaving together in love or kindredness between these more modern, radical elements and the older imperial types of world domination. It has been like trying to mix iron with clay.
INDESTRUCTIBLE KINGDOM WITHOUT SUCCESSORS
39. How did Daniel interpret the climax of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream?
39 At this stage comes the dramatic climax of the dream of Nebuchadnezzar and its fulfillment! The prophet Daniel continued his interpretation: “In the days of those kings the God of the heavens shall set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people; it shall break in pieces and annihilate all these kingdoms, but it shall stand forever, as you saw how a stone was hewn from a mountain without hands, which broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God makes known to the king what shall be in the future; the dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.”—Dan. 2:44, 45, AT.
40. How was the symbolic stone cut out without hands. and what is the mountain out of which it was thus cut?
40 A.D. 1914 the “seven times” or the “appointed times of the nations” ended. In the fall of that year, according to the Bible’s time schedule, the God of the heavens set up his promised kingdom, enthroning and crowning his anointed Son, the glorified Jesus Christ, to be the King of kings and Lord of lords. (Rev. 12:1-5; 17:14; 19:16) Thus this establishment of God’s kingdom was by no human hands. It was as if a stone had been cut out of a mountain without human hands. Jehovah God’s universal sovereignty is symbolized by the mountain; and this kingdom in the hands of his anointed King who fulfills the kingdom covenant with David is simply an expression of Jehovah’s universal sovereignty. It is the “kingdom of our Lord [God] and of his Christ.”—Rev. 11:15.
41. In what way was it “in the days of those kings” that God’s kingdom was thus born?
41 This birth of the Kingdom occurred “in the days of those kings,” not merely the kings pictured by the ten toes but also those pictured by the iron, bronze (copper), silver and gold parts of the image. Although the Babylonian, the Persian, the Grecian and the Roman Empires had long ago passed away as world powers, yet there were the basic remnants of those previous world powers still in existence in 1914 (A.D.), the Turkish Ottoman Empire occupying the territory of ancient Babylonia, whereas national governments operated in Persia (now Iran) and in Greece and in Rome, Italy.
42. Why will the power of that kingdom not be left to another people, and when will it strike the symbolic image?
42 This heavenly kingdom set up by the God of the heavens will never be destroyed. It will therefore not leave its sovereignty to any new world power as a successor, nor will it ever be trodden down or trampled on by any worldly nation. There will be no nation or worldly power on earth to which to leave such sovereignty, for God’s kingdom by his anointed King will break all these kingdoms pictured in the metallic image to pieces and bring them to an everlasting end. That heavenly kingdom, brought forth like a newborn babe from God’s universal organization over which he exercises sovereignty, is now speeding on its mission to strike the symbolic image on its feet of iron and clay. At the time for the final Armageddon war, “the war of the great day of God the Almighty,” that symbolic Stone will strike the symbolic image with crushing impact.
43. How thoroughly will the symbolic image be disposed of, and how will the stone become a mountain filling all the earth?
43 The literal destruction of the symbolic image will rapidly go forward, without a hand being raised by any of Jehovah’s witnesses on earth. The symbolic image of world domination by rulers of this old world will be ground to powder, and the wind of God’s storm will sweep the powder away like the chaff of the threshing floor, never to be brought together again on earth. Like the image-smashing stone that grew to mountain size to fill our entire earth, God’s kingdom will become the governmental mountain that will fill the whole earth and dominate all human affairs forever. “They will not do any harm or cause any ruin in all my holy mountain; because the earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters are covering the very sea.” (Isa. 11:9) The will of the great God will then be done on earth as well as in heaven. The long march of ungodly world powers will have ended forever.
THE KING FOR ENFORCING THE SUPREME WILL
1, 2. During the sway of what world power was the heir of the promised kingdom born, and according to Gabriel’s announcement what was he to have precede him?
WHEN the Roman Empire was holding sway as the sixth world power of Biblical history, the heir to the long-promised kingdom of God was born among men, about October 1 in the year 2 B.C. This heir of the heavenly kingdom really came down from heaven. What events in heaven preceded his birth on earth have not been made known to us, but there were important preliminaries to his birth here on earth. Quite fittingly for a king, he was to have a forerunner to introduce him among men. About fifteen months before the birth of the promised King of the family line of David, the angel Gabriel appeared to the father of the future forerunner. He appeared inside the first holy compartment of Jehovah’s sanctuary in Jerusalem, or in so-called Herod’s temple, where priest Zechariah was offering incense to Jehovah while the worshipers were praying outside in the courtyard. Gabriel said:
2 “Have no fear, Zechariah, because your supplication has had acceptance, and your wife Elizabeth will be the mother of a son to you, and you are to call his name John. And you will have joy and great gladness, and many will rejoice over his birth; for he will be great before Jehovah.a But he must drink no wine and strong drink at all, and he will be filled with holy spirit right from his mother’s womb, and many of the sons of Israel will he turn back to Jehovahb their God. Also he will go before him with Elijah’s spirit and power, to turn back the hearts of fathers to children and the disobedient ones to the practical wisdom of righteous ones, to get ready for Jehovahc a prepared people.”—Luke 1:13-17.
3. When did Gabriel appear to Mary, and what were her circumstances?
3 After his week of temple service was up, old Zechariah went home and his aged wife Elizabeth conceived the child to be named John. During the sixth month of her pregnancy the angel Gabriel was sent about sixty miles north of Jerusalem, to the city of Nazareth in the province of Galilee. He appeared to a virgin Jewess named Mary, the daughter of Heli, of the family line of King David. (Luke 3:23-31) She was engaged to marry a carpenter named Joseph, who also was of the family line of King David but through the second-last king of Jerusalem, Jeconiah or Jehoiachin. But before finally merging in King David, the ancestral lines of Joseph and Mary meet in Zerubbabel and his father Shealtiel, descendants of David. Thus Mary’s coming offspring would have fleshly descent from King David through both his son King Solomon and his other son Nathan. Luke 3:34-38 gives that part of Mary’s ancestry that reaches back from Abraham to “Adam, the son of God,” as follows: 1. Adam. 2. Seth. 3. Enos. 4. Cainan. 5. Mahalaleel. 6. Jared. 7. Enoch. 8. Methuselah. 9. Lamech. 10. Noah. 11. Shem. 12. Arphaxad. 13. Cainan. 14. Shelah. 15. Eber. 16. Peleg. 17. Reu. 18. Serug. 19. Nahor. 20. Terah. 21. Abraham. From Abraham Joseph’s ancestry and Mary’s run as follows:
21. Abraham Abraham
22. Isaac Isaac
23. Jacob Jacob
24. Judah Judah
25. Perez Perez
26. Hezron Hezron
27. Ram Arni
28. Amminadab Amminadab
29. Nahshon Nahshon
30. Salmon Salmon
31. Boaz Boaz
32. Obed Obed
33. Jesse Jesse
34. David David
35. Solomon Nathan
36. Rehoboam Mattatha
39. Abijah Eliakim
40. Asa Jonam
41. Jehoshaphat Joseph
42. Jehoram Judas
43. [Ahaziah] Symeon
44. [Jehoash] Levi
45. [Amaziah] Matthat
46. Uzziah Jorim
47. Jotham Eliezer
48. Ahaz Jesus
49. Hezekiah Er
50. Manasseh Elmadam
51. Amon Cosam
52. Josiah Addi
53. [Jehoiakim] Melchi
54. Jechoniah Neri
55. SHEALTIEL SHEALTIEL
56. ZERUBBABEL ZERUBBABEL
60. Abiud Joda
61. Eliakim Josech
66. Azor Esli
69. Zadok Mattathias
70. Achim Joseph
71. Eliud Jannai
72. Eleazar Melchi
73. Matthan Levi
74. Jacob Matthat
75. Heli (Mary’s father)
76. Joseph Joseph (son-in-law of Heli)
77. JESUS (foster son) JESUS (Mary’s son)
4. What was the information that Gabriel gave to Mary, and how did she respond to it?
4 Oh what news Gabriel brought King David’s distant granddaughter Mary! “Have no fear, Mary, for you have found favor with God; and, look! you will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and you are to call his name Jesus. This one will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and Jehovah God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will be king over the house of Jacob forever, and there will be no end of his kingdom.” Mary, not yet united to the carpenter Joseph, asked how this birth could be without a human father. Gabriel answered: “Holy spirit will come upon you, and power of the Most High will overshadow you. For that reason also what is born will be called holy, God’s Son.” Submissively Mary said: “Look! Jehovah’s slave girl! May it take place with me according to your declaration.”—Luke 1:26-38.
(To be continued)
a “Jehovah,” in at least nine printed Hebrew translations of the Biblical account of Luke.
b “Jehovah,” in at least nine printed Hebrew translations of the Biblical account of Luke.
c “Jehovah,” in at least nine printed Hebrew translations of the Biblical account of Luke.