When All Nations Unite Under God’s Kingdom
This public address delivered by the president of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society was heard by audiences totaling four hundred eighty-one thousand one hundred and ninety-five throughout North America and Europe during the past summer.
1. (a) What question does the subject of this address raise at the start? (b) What indicates that God’s kingdom is a matter of concern to the nations, and to which nations?
THERE are many nations. But who says that there is such a thing as “God’s kingdom”—that God has a kingdom? Many persons may ask that challenging question, not merely atheists and Communists, but also very religious persons. All peoples live under some form of government, whether it be called a kingdom, a republic, or a dictatorship or something else. But today, as never before, all peoples are faced with the world-wide proclamation of “God’s kingdom.” It must be a matter that concerns all nations; otherwise, it would not be proclaimed in all the inhabited earth, to all the nations of whatever political form. It does concern all nations—the nation that holds to the Hindu religion and worships Trimurti as god; the Islamic nation that holds that the only god is Allah; also the nation that worships chiefly before the shrine of Buddha as god. It concerns the nations of Christendom that worship a triune god, one god in three persons. It concerns the Jewish nation (represented in the Republic of Israel) that worships the traditional god of its forefathers. Indeed, it concerns the Communist nations that say they worship no god. The god of no one of these nations has thus far united people of all earth’s nations under either his worship or his government. Is there a God that can do this?
2, 3. (a) What facts show whether for world unity we need more than the United Nations? (b) What must be said as to whether the United Nations became the expression of God’s kingdom since 1945?
2 But there is also this question: Does this modern world need an invisible spirit God to unite all nations under his kingdom? Do we need more than the United Nations of today? Has mankind ever before seen such a thing—ninety-nine nations united in one association? No! But at the same time has the world ever seen such a show as it is making, such a failure at unification? Is it living up to its big-sounding name? Is it by nations outside the United Nations that the “cold war” is being fought today with a ruthlessness that does not care even though it keeps all the rest of the world in fear and anxiety? No; it is by the leading nations right inside the United Nations. Have we reason, then, to expect that the United Nations will prove to be a satisfying man-made substitute for “God’s kingdom”? Let us not forget that the United Nations is the successor of the League of Nations, and that during its existence before World War II the League of Nations was religiously called the “political expression of the kingdom of God on earth.” So has the United Nations become the political expression of God’s kingdom on earth since 1945? Ask Hindu India! Ask Communist Russia! Ask Buddhist Japan, Burma, Thailand! Ask Islamic Turkey, Indonesia, United Arab Republic!
3 Did these and other nations join the United Nations because they wanted to be under God’s kingdom, and is this why they stay in it? Did the love of God move them to join up? We do not have to wait for their answer. Common sense and honesty answer No!
4. As regards God’s kingdom, what questions do we ask because so many gods are also represented in the United Nations, and have all these gods strengthened that body?
4 However, one big fact does remain: Not merely many political systems but also many gods are represented in the ninety-nine nations making up the United Nations. So, then, if all nations are yet to be united under God’s kingdom, will all the gods of the many nations get together in conference in the way that the national delegates do in the United Nations General Assembly? Will they then decide which one is to be king over all the gods? Or will they decide to set up a three-member secretariat, a trinitarian governing body, each member of which will represent a certain group of gods or religious creeds? Is God’s kingdom thus to be set up, namely, by the common consent, as it were, of all the gods represented in the United Nations? Will there thus be democratic action among all the gods to unify themselves under one god as king of heaven and earth? Since the human worshipers of these gods differ and disagree among themselves, their gods could hardly be expected to unite and agree and exercise a unifying influence. Certainly the having of so many gods behind the United Nations has not strengthened that body.
5. (a) From where do we get the assurance that all nations will unite under God’s kingdom? (b) In agreement with that Book, what do things observed about our universe prove?
5 Where, then, do we get the idea, where do we get the strong assurance that all nations will unite under God’s kingdom? We get that wonderful vision of the whole human family prosperously at peace with itself and with its God from a Book. It is an old Book. Its wisdom, understanding, knowledge and foresight make it the Book of books. This Book is not contradicted by the facts of today, by the world situation of today. Neither is it contradicted by the actually proved science of today. That Book is backed up by the unity and stability of the known universe. The more that we examine the unity, harmony and stability of the universe, the more do these impressive things prove what this Book says, namely, that there is one God who is over all, who is the Creator of all, who is the Lawgiver of all, who is the central Governor of all.
6, 7. (a) How does the Americana describe God? (b) Of what Book is he the Author?
6 In order that we may have some expressed idea of what God is, we quote from The Encyclopedia Americana, page 743 of Volume 12, of its 1929 edition, which says, under the heading “God”:
The Supreme Being, the First Cause, and, as considered nowadays throughout the civilized world, a spiritual being, self-existent, eternal and absolutely free and all-powerful, distinct from the matter which he has created in many forms, and which he conserves and controls. There does not seem to have been a period of history where mankind was without belief in a supernatural author and governor of the universe. The most savage nations have some rudimentary ideas of God. Man is a religious as well as a rational animal.
7 The so-called Book of Nature is God’s book. The written Book of which he is the Author is called The Holy Bible.
8. (a) What specially makes the Bible different from other religious books? (b) Why can we have confidence about the fulfilling of the prophecy concerning the uniting of all nations?
8 Long ago this indestructible Book foretold the uniting of all nations under God’s kingdom. That is, of course, a prophecy. But, different from all other religious books, the Bible is full of prophecies. We must admit that, to make prophecies, the Author of the Book had to be sure of himself; he had to have foresight and foreknowledge. The failure of his prophecies would prove that he is not God. However, the prophecies of the Bible have stood the test of time. Many prophecies have been fulfilled. Others are now having a startling fulfillment. Surely, then, those prophecies of the Bible that tell of yet future things that are of importance to us all will be just as certainly fulfilled as have the prophecies applying to the past or to the present. And as respects the prophecy about the uniting of all nations under God’s kingdom, God already has a model on earth. What is it? This we are going to see.
9. (a) What facts about man argue that God is a Person and intelligent? (b) Where do we learn his name, and why should we not let nationalism prejudice us against that God so named?
9 This God is a Person, an intelligent Being. His Book tells us that he created man in his image and likeness. So if man is a person, an intelligent individual, and he resembles God, then God must likewise be a person. He is no nameless God. Neither has he left us to guess at his name. He has caused it to be written many times, not in the Book of Nature, but in the Holy Bible. Thousands of times in the Bible he tells us that the name of the Most High, Almighty, All-wise, All-just, ever-living God and Creator is Jehovah. Our mere mention of that name may cause prejudice to rise up in the hearts of many. Many will associate that name with the Jews, with the Israelites, who recently established the Republic of Israel in the midst of Arab nations in the Middle East. Since they believe that Jehovah is the national God of the Jews, such prejudiced persons do not want him as God. But Jehovah is not a nationalistic God. He is not a God for Jews only. How could he be the national God of the Jews and at the same time admit all nations to his worship and under his kingdom of blessing?
10. (a) Worshiping Jehovah as God does not mean what as regards natural Jews? (b) What should be our attitude toward the people today worshiping Jehovah as God, and why?
10 Jehovah did not begin when the Jewish nation began, just about three thousand six hundred years ago, in 1712 B.C.E. (Gen. 49:28-33) So, if you worship Jehovah as God, you do not exalt the Jews or glorify the Republic of Israel. Worshiping Jehovah does not mean that you must unite with the Republic of Israel or worship in Jewish synagogues, or even at modern Jerusalem. But it is true that any people that has had Jehovah as its God has been honored and blessed because of this. When General Dwight D. Eisenhower was inaugurated as United States president for the second time, in 1957, and took his oath of office, he had his hand on the open Bible (American Standard Version), at Psalm 33:12, which reads: “Blessed is the nation whose God is Jehovah, the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” So the main thing is our having respect for the true God himself, rather than our having respect for the people having him as God. The reason why the natural Jews or the Israelites of today do not evidently have divine blessing is that they do not have Jehovah as their God any more. Yet there is today a people that does worship Jehovah as God with spirit and truth. They are not to be despised, for to despise these faithful ones means to show disrespect and dishonor to God.—John 4:21-24.
THE “KING OF ETERNITY”
11. Under whose kingdom will all nations unite, and what promise of this does Psalm 86:8, 9 contain?
11 It is under the kingdom of Jehovah God that all nations will unite for their everlasting blessing. One of God’s own promises of this is found in the Bible, in Psalm 86:8, 9, which we quote: “There is none like you among the gods, O Jehovah, neither are there any works like yours. All the nations whom you have made will themselves come, and they will bow down before you, O Jehovah, and will give glory to your name.”
12. How does Micah 4:3, 4 show whether unity under God’s kingdom is desirable?
12 One of the blessings from this international unity under God’s kingdom is this, as foretold in Micah 4:3, 4: “And [Jehovah] will certainly render judgment among many peoples, and set matters straight respecting mighty nations far away. And they will have to beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears. They will not lift up sword, nation against nation, neither will they learn war any more. And they will actually sit, each one under his vine and under his fig tree, and there will be no one making them tremble; for the very mouth of Jehovah of armies has spoken it.” In view of this, is God’s kingdom desirable? Yes.
13. How is the Bible divided up today, and yet what makes it a unity?
13 The Bible, which presents these hope-inspiring prophecies, is divided up today into sixty-six inspired books. Nevertheless, the Bible is a unity in itself, just one book as a whole. It is in full harmony within itself, in its many parts, from its first book, Genesis, to its last book, Revelation. One dominant idea, subject or theme runs through the whole Bible and binds it together. What is that? God’s kingdom, the best government in all the universe, and the only one that will endure forever, to mankind’s blessing.
14. (a) When did mankind once have no human kings, empires or colonial powers over them? (b) Why do we have such things today, and why has this been providential for us?
14 Since World War I of 1914-1918 kings, or rulers bearing that title, have been on their way out. Once upon a time there were no human kings nor any human empires nor any colonial powers on earth. There was only a heavenly King over mankind. Who was he? Jehovah God. In the last book of the Bible he is called the “King of eternity.” (Rev. 15:3; Jer. 10:10) Why, then, do we have the human kings of today, why the empires, why the colonial powers? Why international communism? Yes, why the United Nations? It is because of the original rebellion against the “King of eternity.” Was that rebellion not put down at once? No, it was not. Why were not the rebels executed all at once to keep the rebellion from spreading? Well, if they had been at once executed, we would not be here today, with an opportunity of being united under God’s kingdom. Why not? It was because the rebels included our first human parents. We are the latest descendants from those rebels against Jehovah God.
15, 16. (a) How did there come to be an opposition god, and what is he named? (b) How did he make a god of himself, and what did Jesus and Paul call him?
15 Let us not overlook one fact of stern reality. There is an opposition god in the universe. This invisible, spirit creature is, in Bible language, called Satan the Devil, that is to say, the Opposer the Slanderer. He was the ringleader in the rebellion. He broke up the original happiness, peace and health of the human family. He was the one to begin opposing Jehovah God. In order to get our first parents to rebel against God, he slandered Jehovah God their Creator, saying that Jehovah was a liar, that he was an undemocratic censor of knowledge and information that the people were entitled to have for freeing themselves and lifting the standard of living. Satan said that man had nothing to fear from rebelling against Jehovah God. “You positively will not die. For . . . you are bound to be like God, knowing good and bad,” Satan said.
16 First the woman, Eve, and then the man, Adam, joined Satan the Devil in his rebellion. Then that disloyal spirit creature became a god, an opposition god against Jehovah God. This meant the beginning of a divided universe. (Gen. 3:1-7) Thousands of years later, the loyal Son of God was sent into this world, and he said that Satan the Devil is the “ruler of this world” and the one “who is misleading the entire inhabited earth.” (John 12:31; 14:30; Rev. 12:9) The Christian apostle Paul called him the “god of this system of things,” “the ruler of the authority of the air, the spirit that now operates in the sons of disobedience.”—2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:2.
17. What has that rebellion of long ago meant to us today?
17 We today are almost six thousand years removed from that original rebellion against the King of eternity. Yet we know, we feel, we see what it has meant to us. It has meant death to us. (Gen. 2:17; Rom. 5:12) It has meant the loss of the garden of Eden, the paradise of pleasure, to us. (Gen. 3:22-24) It has meant our coming under human political governments, not founded or backed up by the King of eternity, but inspired and backed and dominated by the “god of this system of things,” “the ruler of this world.” We find the situation as the Christian apostle John described it: “The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.”—1 John 5:19.
18. How do we know that Satan’s rulership is foredoomed to fail?
18 But what of this? What if the opposition god, Satan the Devil, is “ruler of this world,” “the god of this system of things”? His rebellion is foredoomed to fail; and he and all those who persist with him in this rebellion will suffer the penalty of annihilation, an absolute blotting out from all existence. When Jehovah God held court and pronounced sentence upon the three original rebels, he said to Satan the Devil, who had misled the woman Eve by means of a serpent: “I shall put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed. He will bruise you in the head and you will bruise him in the heel.”—Gen. 3:14, 15.
19 In those words Jehovah God declared that, in his own chosen time, he would crush the rebellion by crushing its ringleader together with the seed or disciples of that ringleader. He would thus reunite his universe in heaven and in earth under his everlasting kingdom. To win this universal victory for the kingdom of God he would use his own loyal Seed, his own Son, whom he would produce by means of his own loyal “woman.” We find this remarkable Kingdom promise in chapter three of the first book of the Bible. Then the theme of that Kingdom runs all through the sixty-six inspired books of the Bible to the last book, in which we read this thrilling prophecy of the final uniting of all nations under God’s kingdom:
20 “Great and wonderful are your works, Jehovah God, the Almighty. Righteous and true are your ways, King of eternity. Who will not really fear you, Jehovah, and glorify your name, because you alone are loyal? For all the nations will come and worship before you, because your righteous decrees have been made manifest.”—Rev. 15:3, 4.
21. What message startled the Roman world nineteen centuries ago, and what two witnesses started the proclamation of the message?
21 When those words were written nineteen hundred years ago, the Roman Empire was yet dominating Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Several decades of years before the apostle John wrote those words, a bold announcement startled the Middle East. Soon it was reported throughout the Roman world. It was this: “The kingdom of God has drawn near.” This was a message that worshipers of Jehovah God had waited for thousands of years to hear. At the start there were two proclaimers of that message, two witnesses to the truth of that message, first a faithful worshiper named John the Baptist and, shortly after him, Jesus Christ, whom his disciples confessed to be the Son of God.—Matt. 3:2; Mark 1:14, 15; John 1:49.
22. (a) How did John and Jesus suffer for loyalty to God’s kingdom? (b) How was the heel wound of God’s Seed remedied, and how will matters now be reversed?
22 The head of John the Baptist was chopped off for his being loyal to the kingship and law of Jehovah God. Jesus Christ was nailed to a stake to die for preaching and upholding the kingdom of God, the kingdom of the heavens. Satan the Devil, “the god of this system of things,” interpreted such preaching to mean sedition and revolt against the Roman Emperor. Using this false charge, Satan the Devil as the Great Serpent was able to bruise the heel of the Seed of God’s “woman.” But God Almighty healed the wound of his Seed, his Son Jesus Christ, by raising him from the dead on the third day and by having him return to heaven from which he had been sent. (1 Cor. 15:3-7, 24-28; Rom. 1:1-4; Acts 2:22-36) Now matters were to be reversed and Satan the Serpent, the devilish leader of rebellion against the King of eternity, must have his head crushed.
23. How did Jesus prove his worthiness of kingship, and what earth-wide proclamation did he foretell?
23 Jesus Christ was born on earth in the line of kings, he being a direct descendant of ancient King David of Jerusalem. (Matt. 1:1, 17) He was anointed with God’s spirit to become the acting king in the future kingdom of God. (Luke 3:21-23, 38; 4:1-21) His worthiness of rulership he proved by all the time preaching God’s kingdom. He taught his disciples the model prayer: “Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified. Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.” (Matt. 6:9, 10) He trained and sent out his disciples to preach God’s kingdom. (Matt. 10:5-7; Luke 9:1, 2; 10:1-3, 8, 9) Because God’s kingdom is for the blessing and uniting of men of all nationalities and races, Jesus foretold that in due time the Kingdom message would be proclaimed everywhere. He said: “This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end [of Satan’s system of things] will come.”—Matt. 24:3, 14.
24. Because people were expecting God’s kingdom back there, what illustration did Jesus give to correct them?
24 To the close of Jesus’ earthly life, many persons to whom he had preached thought that God’s kingdom was to be set up back there nineteen centuries ago. Concerning Jesus’ last trip up to Jerusalem, where he suffered martyrdom, we read of this popular expectation, in these words: “While they were listening to these things he spoke in addition an illustration, because he was near Jerusalem and they were imagining that the kingdom of God was going to display itself instantly. Therefore he said: ‘A certain man of noble birth traveled to a distant land to secure kingly power for himself and to return. . . . Eventually when he got back after having secured the kingly power, he commanded to be called to him these slaves to whom he had given the silver money, in order to ascertain what they had gained by business activity.’” After dealing with those slaves as respects their zeal and faithfulness for the interests of the kingdom, the king turns his attention to the opposers of his kingdom and says: “Moreover, these enemies of mine that did not want me to become king over them bring here and slaughter them before me.” (Luke 19:11-27) Woe, then, to all those who refuse to unite under God’s kingdom!
25, 26. (a) How did Jesus thus illustrate that it would be a long time before God’s kingdom would be put in power? (b) What earthly benefit will Jesus’ kingship mean for mankind, and how did he give assurance of that while he hung on a stake?
25 To go to a distant land and then to return by the means of travel of nineteen hundred years ago, not by jet plane, would require a long time. By this point of the illustration Jesus indicated that it would be a long time from then before God’s kingdom would be actually put in power over our earth. As pictured by the “man of noble birth” in this illustration, Jesus Christ, who was the Son of the King of eternity as well as the descendant of King David, had to go to a “distant land” to secure for himself kingly power. He had to go far beyond outer space and its planets and galaxies, namely, to heaven itself, to Jehovah God, who is the source of all ruling power. As it is written: “There is no authority except by God.” (Rom. 13:1) From God as the source of rulership Jesus Christ would receive kingly power for mankind’s benefit. Benefit, indeed, because the setting up of his kingdom over mankind in the name of Jehovah God means the restoration of Paradise to our earth.
26 Even while Jesus was hanging upon the stake with the sign above his head, “Jesus the Nazarene the King of the Jews,” he declared that his kingdom would bring back to earth the Paradise from which mankind had been cast out. (John 19:12-22) One of two evildoers who were hanging on stakes on each side of Jesus said with faith in a future day of judgment before God: “Jesus, remember me when you get into your kingdom.” He felt that Jesus would be declared innocent before the judgment seat of God and would be given a kingdom. Jesus agreed with this and said to this sympathetic evildoer: “Truly I tell you today, You will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:39-43) Such a glorious promise showed that Jesus Christ believed in his own resurrection from the dead and that under his kingdom there would be a resurrection of all the dead in the graves, the righteous ones and the unrighteous. Thus this well-disposed evildoer would come back to life on earth and would enjoy Paradise under the kingship of Jesus Christ.—Acts 24:15; John 5:25, 28, 29.
27. (a) How was Jesus made alive again, and how did he prove it to his disciples? (b) When did he go to a “distant land,” and when was evidence given of his arrival there?
27 On the third day from his death for preaching God’s kingdom, Jesus was resurrected, “he being put to death in the flesh, but being made alive in the spirit.” (1 Pet. 3:18) During the forty days that he lingered here at the earth to make appearances to his disciples there were “upward of five hundred” witnesses to the actuality of his being alive again, as a spirit person who could appear and disappear as holy angels of God had done on numbers of occasions. (1 Cor. 15:3-8; Luke 24:15-36; John 20:19-26) On the fortieth day from his resurrection from the dead he began traveling to the “distant land,” and this before the very eyes of his faithful apostles on the Mount of Olives. Two angels appeared and said to them: “Why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus who was received up from you into the sky will come thus in the same manner as you have beheld him going into the sky.” (Acts 1:1-11) Ten days later, on the festival day of Pentecost, miraculous evidence was given that Jesus Christ had arrived, that he was in the presence of Jehovah God and was seated at God’s right hand in the heavens.
28. On that day what did Peter say to confirm Jesus’ arrival there?
28 That day the apostle Peter under inspiration by God’s spirit said to three thousand or more listeners: “This Jesus God resurrected, of which fact we are all witnesses. Therefore because he was exalted to the right hand of God and received the promised holy spirit from the Father, he has poured out this [spirit] which you see and hear. Actually [King] David did not ascend to the heavens, but he himself says, ‘Jehovah said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet.”’ Therefore let all the house of Israel know for a certainty that God made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you impaled.”—Acts 2:1-36.
THE TIME OF RETURN WITH KINGLY POWER
29, 30. (a) Where is God’s kingdom properly set up, and why? (b) How will Christ return with kingly power, and how will this become evident?
29 That was nineteen hundred years ago. Thus a long time has intervened between then and now. But where is the kingdom of God? Where is the return of the Son of God with kingly power? Well, where else should God’s kingdom be but up in heaven? “The heaven is my throne,” Jehovah God says. (Acts 7:49) So for the Son of God to return to this earth with kingly power it is not necessary for him to become a man on earth again. He becomes a man no more, inasmuch as he sacrificed his human nature forever in order that he might offer to God in heaven the value of this human sacrifice in behalf of us, dying mankind. On this remarkable point it is written: “When Christ came as a high priest of the good things that have come to pass . . . he entered, no, not with the blood of goats and of young bulls, but with his own blood, once for all time into the holy place and obtained an everlasting deliverance for us. For Christ entered . . . into heaven itself, now to appear before the person of God for us.” (Heb. 9:11, 12, 24) For this reason the setting up of God’s kingdom through Christ means the lifting of the condemnation off obedient mankind and the bestowing of eternal life upon them.
30 Just before his death Christ told his disciples: “A little longer and the world will behold me no more.” (John 14:19) Hence he will accomplish his return with kingly power invisibly, by extending his kingly power from heaven to earth and by bringing in changes here on earth in fulfillment of the prophecies of God.
31. (a) When did God want his Son to step into office for his work as king? (b) Why is the time period involved called the “appointed times of the nations”?
31 Here, now, is the question: When would God want his Son to step into office and begin reigning, to slaughter off his enemies and to bless the people who unite under this kingdom of God? This is an event of universal importance. God has a fixed time for it. Jesus, when prophesying about the “conclusion of the system of things,” foretold that all this would be when the “appointed times of the nations” ended. (Luke 21:24) Those times were the times that Almighty God appointed for the worldly nations to rule the whole earth without interruption or interference by the kingdom of God.
32. (a) When did those “appointed times” begin, and when did they end? (b) Why can we be thankful that those “times” were not to go on forever?
32 We must remember that more than twenty-five centuries ago Jehovah God had a miniature kingdom of God here on earth with its capital at Jerusalem. That was why Jesus Christ called the Jerusalem of his day “the city of the great King.” (Matt. 5:35) But in the year 607 B.C.E. Jehovah God permitted the empire of Babylon to destroy Jerusalem for the first time. So he let the worldly nations take over the visible control of the entire earth. There the “appointed times of the nations” began. We today, who are faced with the worst world situation in all human history, can best appreciate what the “appointed times of the nations” has meant for mankind. Thank God, those “appointed times of the nations” were not to go on forever, that is, till the nations destroyed themselves. God appointed an end to them, to be followed by the re-establishment of God’s kingdom. According to God’s own appointment, the end of those times came in that marked year of 1914.
33. (a) Why was it not by accident or miscalculation that World War I broke out in 1914? (b) How can we calculate that date, but how can we also otherwise prove the date?
33 It was not merely accidental, it was not by mere miscalculation on the part of some maniac, that World War I broke out in 1914 and that the world has never been the same since then. It was because the “appointed times of the nations” ended in 1914. That year was God’s own chosen time to renew the kingdom of God over the earth and put his self-sacrificing Son Jesus Christ on the heavenly throne to rule mankind and to destroy the enemies of God and of man. By means of the Bible’s time schedule, together with historical chronology, we can calculate the date 1914 exactly, as being 2,520 years from Jerusalem’s destruction in 607 B.C. But even if we did not have the means to calculate the date, we have the visible evidences foretold by divine prophecy to prove the date.
34. What evidences did Jesus Christ foretell to prove his invisible return, and when did those evidences begin?
34 A few days before Jesus Christ was put to death he was asked about the evidences to mark his invisible return and the end of this system of things. The evidences that he foretold are there in the Bible for us to read, in Matthew chapter 24, Mark chapter 13 and Luke chapter 21. Check for yourselves those chapters. Then you will not be surprised that it was in 1914 that World War I began, followed by famines and food shortages, by pestilences more destructive than the war, by earthquakes in one place after another, by persecution of the true followers of Christ, by the setting up of the League of Nations, by the increasing of lawlessness and the cooling off of human love, by the growing distress of nations with perplexity, the politicians not knowing the way out, yes, and by the preaching of the good news of God’s kingdom in all the inhabited earth to all the nations, this preaching being done, as the facts show, by the Christian witnesses of Jehovah. Jesus Christ foretold all this combination of things as the unmistakable visible, feelable evidence that he had returned invisibly with kingly power to rule in the midst of his enemies, the worldly nations.
35, 36. (a) Of what is Christendom made up, and where and how did Jesus answer the question about her wanting him to return? (b) In answer to the question, what does Revelation 11:15-18 show?
35 Now let us turn to the last book of the Bible, as it is said to be “a revelation by Jesus Christ, which God gave him, to show his slaves the things that must shortly take place.” (Rev. 1:1) This book, Revelation, was written in the year 96. This means that Jesus Christ had been back in heaven for sixty-three years when he gave this prophetic revelation to his apostle John, who was then exiled on the penal island of Patmos. In that book Jesus Christ answers the question as to whether Christendom, which is made up of so-called Christian nations, would really want him to return and rule over them. His answer is in these words of Revelation 11:15-18:
36 “Loud voices occurred in heaven, saying: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will rule as king forever and ever.’ And the twenty-four older persons who were seated before God upon their thrones fell upon their faces and worshiped God, saying: ‘We thank you, Jehovah God, the Almighty, the one who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and begun ruling as king. But the nations became wrathful, and your own wrath came, and the appointed time for the dead to be judged, and to give their reward to your slaves the prophets and to the holy ones and to those fearing your name, the small and the great, and to bring to ruin those ruining the earth.’”
37. What, therefore, did the year 1914 mark, and what will God’s dealing with earth’s ruiners mean?
37 According to that, there was to be wrath of the nations when the kingdom of the world became the kingdom of Jehovah God and of Christ Jesus and when God by Christ began to rule forever and ever. The year 1914 marked the explosion of the wrath of the nations, beginning right in Christendom itself; and since 1914 they have been ruining the earth for mankind as never before. They need to be ruined themselves; and God Almighty will do it by his king Jesus Christ. When God does so, that will mean the end of this system of things, to be followed by God’s New World system of things.
THE UNITING UNDER WAY
38. (a) Who believe in the establishment of God’s kingdom that year, and what do they do? (b) What fears should there not be about future domination of the earth, and accordingly what do Jehovah’s witnesses do?
38 Do you accept those evidences of the establishment of God’s kingdom in the heavens in 1914? Many persons of all nations now do so. Under this kingdom, in the establishment of which they believe, they now unite. Yes, Jehovah’s witnesses, who are at present found in 181 lands and island groups around the earth, unite under God’s kingdom. From his Word they know that his kingdom by Christ will take charge of the whole earth. There is no need for the democratic Western bloc of nations to fear that the Communist bloc will take universal control of the earth. There is no need for the socialist Communist bloc to worry in fear that the democratic Western bloc of nations will take over world domination. There is no need for the neutral bloc of nations to try to keep in the middle, siding with neither bloc, for fear that either bloc of “cold war” fighters will gain final victory and then what will they do if they have sided with the losing bloc? None of those national blocs will gain the world domination, no matter which bloc dominates at present in outer space. The universal rule, including domination of the whole earth, has already been conferred, not on the choice of the Democrats, nor on the choice of the Communists, nor on the choice of the neutrals, nor on the choice of any man, but on God’s choice of ruler, mankind’s Savior Jesus Christ. At the end of the “appointed times of the nations” in 1914, Jehovah God took his power and enthroned Jesus Christ in the heavens. So in loyalty to the “King of eternity,” Jehovah’s witnesses unite under God’s kingdom, no matter in what lands they are found. They preach it everywhere.
39. (a) According to Jesus’ illustration of the man of noble birth, what event is fast approaching, and what will this mean to the nations? (b) Unlike human dictators, what regulation will Christ apply to the earth, and what will this mean to choosers of him?
39 According to Jesus’ illustration of the man of noble birth who went to a distant land to get kingly power and to return and hold judgment with his servants and with his enemies, the time is fast approaching for Christ to slaughter his enemies in the war of all wars. Revelation 16:14 calls that war the “war of the great day of God the Almighty.” This will mean an Armageddon disaster for all nations hostile to God’s kingdom, including the nations of Christendom. We must either submit to Christ’s rule or be slaughtered. Throughout history the policy followed by human dictators has been, Rule or ruin! But the regulation now to be applied to all the earth by God’s installed King, Jesus Christ, is, Be ruled or be ruined. This will not ruin or spoil things for any of those who choose to be ruled, for they will be ruled in God’s loving way. That will mean lasting life, peace and happiness for them.
40. (a) What prayer have billions prayed for centuries, and what test is now on for those praying it today? (b) What question do we raise as to the spectacle presented by the choosers of God’s kingdom?
40 For centuries billions of persons have taken upon their lips the prayer taught by Jesus: “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matt. 6:9, 10, AV) Now in this day of decision, when the vast majority of mankind are going contrary to God’s will and kingdom, the honesty and sincerity of each one who offers that prayer is being tested. Does one really mean it? There are those who do mean it. Though all the world be against them, they choose to be ruled in God’s way, by his kingdom under Christ. What has been the result of this choice of theirs? What kind of spectacle do these choosers present to the rest of mankind? Do they present a spectacle of disunity, of international suspicions, of mutual rivalries and jealousies, of racial prejudices, such as the United Nations organization displays? A candid investigation answers No!
41. What working model do these choosers present, and for the secret of what must we turn to them?
41 These choosers of God’s kingdom present the actually alive model demonstrating how people of all nations can now unite and will unite under God’s kingdom after it has brought to ruin those who are ruining the earth and after it has bound the one chiefly responsible for the ruinous course of the nations, Satan the Devil. Today, amid a world in turmoil, these united ones out of all the nations are an example of unity on a global scale, and this in spite of their own inherited human imperfections and weaknesses. Not to the United Nations, but to these exemplary people we must turn and ask, What is the secret of their loving, peaceful unity? How do they attain to it?
HOW THEY DO IT
42. (a) How have they attained such loving, peaceful unity? (b) Why are there no politics in God’s kingdom?
42 They attain it because they have accepted, not the United Nations, but God’s kingdom as the only hope of humanity. They have accepted God’s kingdom by Christ as the rightful ruler of the whole world, not of just a part of the world. There are no politics in God’s kingdom. The Ruler on the heavenly throne of God’s kingdom is not the choice elected by the Democrats or the Republicans, or by the Communists, or by the neutrals, or by any other national groups or party. Christ is the choice by the Most High God. How, then, could there be any politics under God’s kingdom, which is a theocratic government ruled from the Top down and not from the people up? So those who have united in preaching “this good news of the kingdom” everywhere have not only come out of 181 lands and political divisions but also left their politics behind them. They have not brought their national or local politics into the New World society of Jehovah’s witnesses.
43. (a) In prayer what did Jesus say as to his disciples and the world? (b) What course of action do they today take toward the world?
43 When Jesus offered his prayer for his disciples, he said to God: “They are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world. I in union with them and you in union with me, in order that they may be perfected into one.” (John 17:14, 23) So, although now being order-keeping citizens of 181 political divisions, they let the world run itself. But they themselves let God rule them in harmony with the Holy Bible. In the words of Acts 5:29 they say to all opposers: “We must obey God as ruler rather than men.”
44. For unity, from what else have they broken away, and so what fatherhood and brotherhood do they really enjoy?
44 Not only have they come away from all the political parties and wranglings of this world, but they have also broken away from all the variety of gods that they once worshiped. They have come away from the thousand or more disunited religious sects of Christendom. They have united in the worship of the one God, the Most High and Almighty God, the Creator of all things good. Certainly only such a God, only the one “living and true God,” would be able to make his sincere worshipers one. Only in the case of such worshipers could we speak of the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. In harmony with His being the “one living and true God,” he bears a name that is borne by no other personage in the universe. That name is Jehovah.—Ps. 83:18; Isa. 42:8.
45. (a) What is their book of religion, and how is it a powerful factor in unifying them? (b) On learning from it what is God’s will, what do they do?
45 Only the one Book reveals and names this Most High and All-powerful God. It is the Book of which he inspired the writing and of which he is therefore the one Author, and that is the Bible. To those who are united under God’s kingdom the Bible is their book of religion. This book is a powerful factor in unifying them, for from this one Book they get the one faith or belief, the one hope, the one rule of life. From this one Book they learn what is the will of God, and they dedicate themselves to God through the ransom sacrifice of his Son Jesus Christ in order to do that will. These united worshipers symbolize their dedication of themselves to God by being baptized in water, the one and the same baptism that their Lord Jesus Christ set as an example for them.
46. (a) What else is a potent force for unifying them? (b) What has this potent force made it possible for them to realize now in fulfillment of prophecy?
46 There is also another potent force for unifying these baptized believers in God’s Word the Bible. It is something that the United Nations and all the rest of this world do not have. For its part, the United Nations, which is a representative of this world, has the spirit of this world. We are all acquainted with what the spirit of this world is, because the fruitage of that spirit is seen in abundance on every hand. But, says the apostle Paul to the dedicated, baptized adherents of God’s Word: “Now we received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is from God, that we might know the things that have been kindly given us by God. These things we also speak, not with words taught by human wisdom, but with those taught by the spirit.” (1 Cor. 2:12, 13) The fruitage of that spirit is love, love toward God, love toward Christ, love toward the brotherhood of the Christian worshipers of Jehovah God. (Gal. 5:22) Nothing else holds people together as love does. For this reason God’s Word says: “Clothe yourselves with love, for it is a perfect bond of union.” (Col. 3:14) This spirit of love is what has made it possible now, before Armageddon, to realize the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy in the New World society of Jehovah’s witnesses: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”—Isa. 2:4, AV.
47. What powerful set of things does Paul enumerate for holding them together, and how long will this loving unity hold?
47 The apostle Paul pointed to the secret of this unbreakable unity of the modern-day Christian witnesses of Jehovah God, when he wrote down this command to them: “Walk worthily of the calling with which you were called, with complete lowliness of mind and mildness, with long-suffering, putting up with one another in love, earnestly endeavoring to observe the oneness of the spirit in the uniting bond of peace. One body there is, and one spirit, even as you were called in the one hope to which you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all persons, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Eph. 4:1-6) What a powerful set of things to be enjoyed in common for holding together those who today unite under God’s kingdom, regardless of the nation or race to which they belong at present! This loving unity will hold despite the increasing disunity of this selfish, loveless world, even when the whole worldly system of things crumbles in disunity at its Armageddon in the “war of the great day of God the Almighty.”
PROTECTION AND SURVIVAL
48. (a) Who on earth claim to be the principal protectors of the people, but against what can they not protect the people? (b) With regard to such claimed protectors, what decision do we have to make?
48 Those who today are united under God’s kingdom have the greatest government of the universe to protect them. In these days of world-wide fear of a third world war with nuclear weapons and missiles, the various governments set up by puny men view themselves as the principal and most powerful protectors of the people. By their own monumental foolishness they create a world situation that threatens to wipe out modern civilization, yes, wipe out the human family. At the same time they claim to be the biggest and best protectors against such a thing. But if they can protect themselves from their own international conflicts, they cannot protect themselves against God’s universal war against Satan the Devil and Satan’s world. They do not appreciate that by being bound together in the United Nations they are united against God and his kingdom by Christ. They do not believe that the “appointed times of the nations” ran out in 1914 and that it is time to make way for the kingdom of God to take full, undisputed, unhindered control of all the earth. They do not discern that by their own opposition against God’s kingdom he is forcing them into a unity in which they will be slaughtered in the “war of the great day of God the Almighty.” So what shall WE do? Be united under God’s kingdom for our salvation or be united with them to be slaughtered with them?
49. How does Zephaniah 3:8, 9 warn us and then show us the correct course to take?
49 The prophecy of Zephaniah 3:8, 9 warns us:
“‘Therefore keep yourselves in expectation of me,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘till the day of my rising up to the booty, for my judicial decision is to gather nations, for me to collect together kingdoms, in order to pour out upon them my denunciation, all my burning anger; for by the fire of my zeal all the earth will be devoured.’”
And then, to show us the correct course to take for our salvation, Jehovah says:
“For then I shall give to peoples the change to a pure language, in order for them all to call upon the name of Jehovah, in order to serve him shoulder to shoulder.”
50. In view of this scripture, what do Jehovah’s witnesses do, and under what government do they enjoy protection?
50 Serving shoulder to shoulder signifies unitedness. It is the way that the New World society of Jehovah’s witnesses has determined to serve him. They have been given a change of language from the language of this doomed world. Hence in unison they call upon the name of Jehovah God through his reigning King Jesus Christ. Under God’s kingdom they unite, shoulder to shoulder, because his denunciation and the fire of his zeal is against all other existing kingdoms or governments. God’s kingdom is the only government of protection, the only government that can and will preserve us. In the coming test of strength of governments, God’s kingdom by his Christ will prove stronger and will win.
51. For whom does Daniel 2:44 foretell the victory, and how?
51 The prophecy of Daniel 2:44 assures us of this, saying: “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be brought to ruin. And the kingdom itself will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it itself will stand to times indefinite.”
52. Who is the one for us to seek, and with what qualities, and with what probability?
52 The God of heaven who has set up this kingdom is the One whom the Bible tells us to seek with righteousness and meekness, not by our violently rising up against any human rulerships. With authority God tells us that if we thus righteously and meekly seek him we may then “be concealed in the day of Jehovah’s anger.” His anger, his war operation, is the main thing from which to be hidden, for he can destroy and none of his enemies can escape total destruction by vainly trying to hide themselves from him.—Zeph. 2:3.
53. What is the way in which we should serve him and call on his name?
53 Let us, then, act according to Bible wisdom, which is heavenly wisdom. Satan the Devil, “the god of this system of things,” keeps on dividing this world by all sorts of selfishness and materialism, in spite of its United Nations. To continue serving Satan the Devil as god means our ruin. The one “living and true God,” Jehovah, is the God for us to choose and serve. Let us all together seek him. Let us close ranks today under God’s kingdom. Let us call upon the name of Jehovah with the language of love, faith, hope and truth, as subjects of his all-conquering kingdom. Thus let us serve him and the interests of his kingdom “shoulder to shoulder.”
54. How must we go through Armageddon, and how too will we serve after it?
54 In order to be hidden and mercifully preserved through the universal war of Armageddon, we must go through that war united in the worship of Jehovah God. After that we shall begin life in the New World, all of us united in love’s perfect bond of union, under the triumphant kingdom of God. Unitedly we shall peacefully address ourselves to the healing of the earth that has been so ruined by selfish exploiters and warmongers. Unitedly we shall bend our energies to transforming this earth into a paradise like the garden of Eden. Unitedly we shall make preparation for the dead to return from the memorial tombs by the resurrection power of God. Unitedly we shall get ourselves ready to educate these resurrected ones in the truths of God’s one pure religion and in the laws of his kingdom. Thus these will be helped to gain eternal life with us in bodily and mental perfection in God’s righteous new world.
55. (a) When must we begin seeking unity, and how has it been made possible for us to do so? (b) In appreciation, what will we do, and what result will we show?
55 Regardless of what have been the racial and national backgrounds of us people today in this divided world, perfect peace and loving unity will forever mark that new world under God’s kingdom. But now is the time to begin seeking that unity. We just have to do so. And Jehovah God has made it possible for us to do so now by his Son Jesus Christ and by his congregation of Kingdom witnesses. The opportunity is ours today regardless of what our race or nationality is at present. In appreciation of this goodness of Jehovah God we will together take up his worship and service and message, and by his spirit we will show what happens when all nations unite under God’s kingdom.