Saving the Human Race—in the Kingdom Way
“Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.”—Matt. 6:10.
1. What good news is there about man, and from what kind of authority and source?
THERE will be no exit of man from the earth. The human race will be saved to endless life on earth in happiness. Is that not good news? Yes, and it is based on the highest authority and comes from the most reliable information source!
2. (a) Why do we not mean by that the modern-day scientists? (b) What do we ask about the scientists as authority?
2 By that do we mean modern twentieth-century scientists? Hardly! The scientists envision a tremendous space catastrophe within the course of some thousands of millions of years in which the earth will be subjected to singeing heat from the sun or from other fiery bodies in space, and earth’s inhabitants will be scorched and shriveled to death and the charred earth will thereafter orbit the sun as a lifeless planet. Such a long-range view of a universal disaster does not disturb the present generation of the human race. But there are also short-range views held by scientists regarding the extinction of the human race. Because of threats to the now-living generation men today have real reason to be disturbed. So from the outlook of modern-day scientists even the near future of all mankind is very foreboding. But are mere human scientists the final authority regarding such a serious matter? By all their experiments to discover new facts and truths, have the scientists at last proved authoritatively what is the purpose of man’s being here on earth?
3. Why can we cheer up and be of good hope because of the authority and news source here referred to?
3 Even the scientists cannot gainsay that only man’s Creator knows the purpose of man’s existence on earth, yes, why he created the earth itself. Only the Creator knows why he put man on the earth. Thus the Creator is the Highest Authority. As he never proves to be false, he is the most reliable news source. So we do not put ourselves in a fool’s paradise when we accept from him the good news that our human race will be saved to endless life in happiness on a beautified earth. For this reason we can cheer up and be of good hope.
4. For that reason, why may we not be unconcerned?
4 May we, however, for the same reason take it easy, be unconcerned? Not at all! The very subject of our discussion suggests that the human race of which we are a present part is seriously threatened with being blotted out. Its continued existence is being questioned, not by mere ordinary men, but by men of affairs, informed men of the world. Disaster impends. The moon offers no escape route. Man threatens to destroy himself, if he is left to his own devices. And his devices are most destructive in this day of advanced science.
5. What are modern-day devices by means of which man threatens to destroy himself?
5 Man’s devices are not just those nuclear and other weapons of modern warfare that are capable of mass killing at high rates of speed. Man’s devices include also his peacetime ways of ruining the earth, namely, by his arranging for man’s living quarters, his making foodstuffs available for human life, his distributing those food supplies, his disposing of the waste products of big industries, his exploiting of the earth’s natural resources, his spoiling of the natural environment of mankind. Warnings of world famine within a few years are not without valid foundation. The weaknesses and limited abilities of the United Nations as an organization for world peace and security are being demonstrated more and more. The repeated advices given to the nations to settle their differences and stop their rivalries within ten years or plunge into world disaster are based on sound judgment and the lessons of history. We are all personally involved.
6. Evidently, then, what are we to expect from man himself, and to what or to whom may we not look in our own behalf?
6 Evidently, not the scientific salvation, but the destruction of the human race is the thing to be expected from man himself. We cannot look to what scientists call “evolution of man” to save us if only it is given some millions of years in which to do so. We cannot look to all the psychologists and psychiatrists of the world to change mankind’s way of thinking and to cause men to develop a new personality so as to unite together against catastrophe. We cannot depend upon any international police force to be formed strong enough and independent and impartial enough to make the nations behave and make this earth a safe place in which to live.
7. (a) To what outside the earth and man himself can we not look in our dire need? (b) To whom could we most reasonably look, and why?
7 Obviously, although scientists are not willing to admit it, we are obliged to look outside of man himself and outside man’s earthly home for deliverance, if the human race is to be saved. Not, of course, to some mythical “men of Mars” to come from another planet to answer our signals of distress and to come and help us. Nor for our astronauts to set foot upon some planet beyond the moon and bring back some inhabitant thereof of superintelligence and superhumanness who can aid us before it is too late! We must look for salvation to some intelligent person outside who is real and who is bigger than all men put together, not only wise and powerful enough but also loving enough to come to our assistance in our dire need. To whom would it be more reasonable, more sane, more intelligent to look than to the Creator of the human race himself? If the human race is still alive today, surely its superior Creator must likewise be alive today.
8, 9. (a) What did the Creator not have in mind when creating the earth and putting man upon it? (b) Where and how does he say so?
8 The very fact that the human race is here proves that the Creator did not create our earth to be or to become a lifeless charred planet orbiting in space. He did not create the human race to destroy itself eventually or to die out and become extinct like the dodo bird. He was not working in vain and defeating himself or exposing himself to defeat when he created the earth and put man upon it. In explanation of his excellent purpose in putting mankind on this earth, he himself has declared:
9 “This is what Jehovah has said, the Creator of the heavens, He the true God, the Former of the earth and the Maker of it, He the One who firmly established it, who did not create it simply for nothing, who formed it even to be inhabited: ‘I am Jehovah, and there is no one else. . . . I am Jehovah, speaking what is righteous, telling what is upright.’”—Isa. 45:18, 19.
10. (a) Who heard those words declared, and how? (b) To what extent has the book containing those words been considered of value to the human race?
10 Whoever on earth heard this God Jehovah say those words? Well, according to the facts of history a man of long ago did. He was named Isaiah the son of Amoz, and he lived at Jerusalem in the days of several kings of that famous city. He heard those divine words by means of inspiration, that is, by means of the spirit or invisible active force of God. (Isa. 1:1) What he heard and what he saw in vision, as well as historical happenings of his day, he wrote down in a book that is called by his name, the book of Isaiah. This is one of the sixty-six books found in the sacred writings of the Holy Bible. And the words quoted above are found in this book of Isaiah, chapter forty-five, verses eighteen and nineteen. The Bible containing the book of Isaiah has been considered to be of such value to the whole human race that it has already been translated into 244 languages, besides various parts of it being translated into 1,169 other languages. Even the historical figure, Jesus Christ, quoted often the words of the prophet Isaiah as being the inspired truth.
11. (a) What does that divine declaration made in Isaiah’s day indicate concerning God and man? (b) Regarding what will God take due action?
11 Thus to the prophet Isaiah the God who gives his name as Jehovah declares that he did not create the earth simply for nothing but that he formed it to be inhabited. This declaration was made about thirty-three centuries after God, whose name is Jehovah, created the first parents of the human race, the first man and woman. This proves that, not only was man’s Creator still alive, but he was still interested in the earth and in its human inhabitants. He is no God who can be said to be dead because of having abandoned mankind and holding himself indifferent and aloof from the affairs of his own human creation. Clergymen of Christendom are absolutely wrong in saying that “God is dead.” He is immortal; he lives forever. To all eternity he is God. (Ps. 90:2) From man’s creation onward the Creator has kept up his interest in his human creatures and has watched the course of the human race to prevent his everlasting purpose toward mankind from being defeated. He was alive to the human situation in the prophet Isaiah’s day twenty-seven centuries ago; he is equally alive to the situation of the human race today. He will take due action.
12. (a) How will there being someone supreme be demonstrated? (b) The efforts of whom toward saving the human race will fail?
12 The religious clergyman who was quoted in the book God Is No More as saying: “If there is a God, we can’t speak of him as a supreme being,” will shortly be proved to be badly mistaken, to his own disgrace. In direct contradiction of this clergyman the inspired prayer addressed to man’s Creator will be fulfilled, necessarily soon, in these words: “O may they be ashamed and be disturbed for all times, and may they become abashed and perish; that people may know that you, whose name is Jehovah, you alone are the Most High over all the earth.” (Ps. 83:17, 18) He never let himself be defeated during all mankind’s past history; he will not let himself be defeated in the present peril that is facing all the human race. This calls for the saving of the human race in its worst extremity. Man’s present efforts toward saving the human race are unworkable, unrealistic, and are doomed to failure. Jehovah’s way of saving his human creation is workable, realistic, and will succeed. His way of salvation is the Kingdom way.
NOT AN OUTMODED WAY
13. (a) What political fact since 1917 C.E. should not prejudice us against God’s way because of being a kingdom way? (b) Why will God’s way not be an unpopular, outmoded way?
13 Kingdoms as a type of government for mankind are not very popular today. There are fewer kingdoms over men today than there were in the year 1917 before the end of World War I. They have been replaced by people’s forms of government. This should not prejudice our minds and hearts against God’s way because it is the Kingdom way. Democracies have failed just as well as political kingdoms of men. Democracies as well as what kingdoms of men remain are writhing in their death throes today. The kings of Christendom have never ruled, as claimed, “By the grace of God.” Those kingdoms, like all the other kingdoms of this world, have been mere human kingdoms, humanly established. Jehovah God will use none of those kingdoms in his way of saving the human race. Thus God’s Kingdom way will not be an unpopular, outmoded way.
14. (a) What, then, is the kingdom that is God’s means of saving our race? (b) When and why was the preaching of that kingdom diminished, but why is now the time for it to be preached?
14 What, then, is the kingdom that God will use for saving the human race? It is the kingdom that was proclaimed by Jesus Christ up and down the land of Palestine nineteen centuries ago, saying: “The kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.” (Matt. 4:17, 23; 10:7) This is the same as saying: “The kingdom of God has drawn near.” (Mark 1:14, 15) The setting up of Christendom in the days of Roman Emperor Constantine in the fourth century C.E. caused the preaching of this kingdom of God to be practically not heard anymore, inasmuch as religious clergymen hailed the human kingdoms of Christendom as being component members of the kingdom of God. But the preacher Jesus Christ said that the good news of the real kingdom of God would be preached world wide down to the end of this present system of things. In his remarkable prophecy regarding the sign preceding the end of this distressed system of things 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 will come.” (Matt. 24:14) Today that end is plainly near. True to prophecy, we hear the Kingdom preached!
15. (a) When on earth, Jesus’ preaching the nearness of God’s kingdom pointed to what important feature about it? (b) What can be said about the crushing of hopes of a kingdom in Christ’s hands at his execution on a stake?
15 The fact that so far in the past as the first century C.E. Jesus Christ preached, “The kingdom of God has drawn near,” points to an important feature of this kingdom that does not originate with men on earth. What feature? That Jesus Christ, who was then near at hand on earth, is God’s appointed one to rule in that widely preached kingdom of God. But was not any hope of God’s kingdom in the hands of Jesus Christ crushed when he died? Was he not put to death for preaching God’s kingdom, those who were calling for his execution as a seditionist saying: “This man we found subverting our nation and forbidding the paying of taxes to Caesar and saying he himself is Christ a king”? (Luke 23:1, 2) No, the hope of God’s kingdom in the hands of Jesus Christ as his appointed King was not crushed by that unjust execution of him on a stake outside Jerusalem. Why not? Because on the third day of his death Jehovah God, who can never be defeated, raised Jesus Christ from the dead to spiritual life in the heavens, clothing him with immortality as a reward. He proved his resurrection by means of appearances to his disciples.
16. What reasons are there for Jesus Christ as a ruler being called “king”?
16 Why, though, call Jesus Christ a “king” and his government a “kingdom”? Today human kings are mainly mere figureheads and serve as a symbol of the nation, whereas the real work of running the government is done by the premier or prime minister and the laws being made by the Parliament or Legislature. However, in past human history there have been kings who have ruled as “absolute monarchs,” as a one-man government. And Jesus Christ is rightly ranked as a king because he is the descendant and legal heir of an earthly king. Of course, he was the son of a greater than King David, for Jehovah God audibly, in the hearing of men, declared Jesus to be his Son. As such he was the Son of the heavenly King, for Jehovah God ranked himself as the King of his chosen people on earth. (1 Sam. 8:7; 12:12) And concerning the Most High God as being an absolute monarch, Isaiah’s prophecy, Isa chapter thirty-three, verse twenty-two, says: “Jehovah is our Judge, Jehovah is our Statute-giver, Jehovah is our King; he himself will save us.” But Jesus Christ was the one whom Jehovah God promised to raise up to David as his Permanent Heir in the kingdom.
17. (a) Because of David’s outspoken care for God’s place of worship, what arrangement was made with him? (b) What would be required of his Permanent Heir, and what would he be entitled?
17 Because of King David’s outspoken desire to build a grand temple at Jerusalem for the worship of the Most High God, Jehovah made a solemn promise or covenant with him for an everlasting kingdom. Through his prophet Nathan he said to David: “Your house and your kingdom will certainly be steadfast to time indefinite before you; your very throne will become one firmly established to time indefinite.” (2 Sam. 7:1-17) David’s son Solomon died and also his successors on the throne of Jerusalem died and did not prove to be, any one of them, a permanent heir of David, to keep David’s kingdom going on forever. It required an undying descendant of David to become his Permanent Heir in the kingdom, to fulfill God’s kingdom covenant to David. As successor to King David, this Permanent Heir would be entitled a “king.”
18, 19. (a) Whom did Jehovah pick to be the mother of David’s Permanent Heir, and how was the legal right to the kingdom to be conveyed to him? (b) Why was Gabriel sent to the prospective mother, and what did he say to her?
18 When, almost two thousand years ago, Jehovah God picked a virgin girl to become the human mother of his heavenly Son, he picked a virgin who was of the royal family of David. At the time, she was engaged to marry a man who also was of the royal family of David, and who could act as a foster father to her virgin-birth son, adopting him as the firstborn and conveying to him thereby the legal right to the kingdom of David. (Luke 3:23-31; Matt. 1:1-18) Before these two, Mary and Joseph, came together as wife and husband, God sent his angel Gabriel to Mary as a virgin to explain matters to her and gain her consent to have Almighty God make her pregnant by means of his spirit or invisible active force. In course of explanation, Gabriel said to Mary:
19 “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 rule as king over the house of Jacob forever, and there will be no end of his kingdom.”—Luke 1:26-38; Matt. 1:18, 19; Rom. 1:3, 4.
BIRTH OF A SAVIOR
20, 21. (a) Where was David’s Permanent Heir to be born, and how was this brought about? (b) Why was an angel sent to the shepherds at Bethlehem, and what did he say to them?
20 Such a declaration to Mary was an assurance that this Jesus would be the Permanent Heir of King David, in fulfillment of God’s kingdom covenant with David. Accordingly, the heavenly Son of God had his life transferred by means of God’s spirit to the womb of Mary the virgin in order that he might be born into the royal family line of David. In order to fulfill God’s prophecy in Micah 5:2, Mary and Joseph moved back to Bethlehem in the Roman province of Judea, the birthplace of David himself. David had been a shepherd at Bethlehem, and there were still shepherds there at the time of Mary’s giving birth to her miraculous firstborn Son. This event was of importance to the whole human race. It therefore deserved to be verified by eyewitnesses, members of our race. So on the night that Jesus was born in the city of David’s birth God sent his angel to announce the human birth of his Son to shepherds in the fields of Bethlehem. The glorious angel calmed the fears of the surprised shepherds by saying:
21 “Have no fear, for, look! I am declaring to you good news of a great joy that all the people will have, because there was born to you today a Savior, who is Christ the Lord, in David’s city. And this is a sign for you: you will find an infant bound in cloth bands and lying in a manger.”—Luke 2:1-12.
22. (a) In what sense was the newborn child to be “Christ,” of whom was he to be Lord, and to the joy of how many people? (b) What did the army of angels say on that occasion?
22 There we have the statement of the divine purpose: This newborn Jesus was to become the Messiah or Christ, One anointed to the kingship just as his forefather David had been anointed to the kingship over God’s chosen people. Furthermore, he was to be a king greater than David had been, for he would become David’s “Lord,” in fulfillment of the prophetic Psalm 110:1, 2. He was to be also a “Savior,” and, if this did not mean that he would be a Savior of our human race, why would “all the people” be due to have a “great joy” at the good news of his birth? Already there was “great joy” in all the holy heavens at this miraculous birth of universal importance. In evidence of this we read, in a written document by a man who was alive in Jesus’ earthly days, these words: “And suddenly there came to be with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God and saying: ‘Glory in the heights above to God, and upon earth peace among men of goodwill.’”—Luke 2:13, 14.
23, 24. (a) Among whom was this “great joy” then to begin on earth? (b) How did such ones enter into that “great joy”?
23 Now the time had come for the “great joy” at the good news to begin on earth among men toward whom Jehovah God had goodwill. The glorious angel had told them the “good news of a great joy,” and now they had to verify the historical basis for this good news by going and becoming eyewitnesses of this birth in a manger of Bethlehem the city of David. The angel had given them the “sign” to distinguish this newborn boy from any other boys that might be born that night inside or outside of Bethlehem. Did they not want to “get involved,” or did they desire to establish the “sign” and become responsible eyewitnesses of this most important birth ever to take place on earth? The honest investigator’s account tells us the answer, saying:
24 “So when the angels had departed from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another: ‘Let us by all means go clear to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which Jehovah has made known to us.’ And they went with haste and found Mary as well as Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw it, they made known the saying that had been spoken to them concerning this young child. And all that heard marveled over the things told them by the shepherds, but Mary began to preserve all these sayings, drawing conclusions in her heart. Then the shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all the things they heard and saw, just as these had been told them.”—Luke 2:15-20.
25. (a) So what things combine to show that that was no ordinary birth for which modern-day clergymen argue? (b) How, today, can we join with those shepherds, or like whom of that time can we be?
25 If that had been an ordinary birth of a boy conceived by a woman who had first had sexual relations with her husband, would that occasion have been one for God, for angels and for God-fearing men to make so much about it? Shall we join with the many clergymen of Christendom today who dispute the “sign” that the shepherds established as being true and who say that a virgin birth would have been an impossibility for Jesus? Shall we join the shepherd eyewitnesses and feel “great joy” at the established “sign” and glorify and praise God as we tell others about it, or shall we be like King Herod the Great, then ruling in Jerusalem? When, about two years later, he heard the news about Jesus’ birth, he got afraid for his own kingdom and tried to kill Jesus. He succeeded in having only the boys in Bethlehem two years old and under killed off. But the young child Jesus escaped, and King Herod was defeated in his own efforts to defeat God’s way for saving the human race by Christ the Lord.—Matt. 2:1-23.
26. Does not Christendom share in that “great joy” at Christmastime, and what basic facts about “Christmas” must be considered?
26 Surely Christendom today must be likened to those shepherds of Bethlehem, must she not? Do not her almost one thousand million church members show “great joy” and glorify and praise God each year by celebrating Christmas? History answers that those shepherds of Bethlehem did not celebrate a Christmas each year after they had visited the infant Jesus in the manger. Mary did not celebrate Christmas thereafter on the anniversary of her bringing him into this world. Jesus’ apostles and other disciples did not celebrate Christmas annually and give him a lot of gifts and wine and dine him on his birthday. Why, the Holy Bible, which tells us about his miraculous birth and which was completed about a hundred years after his birth, does not give us even the date of his birth so as to enable us to celebrate the day. The Bible does not even contain the name Christmas. It is a name made up by Christendom after her establishment in the fourth century and is celebrated on a fictitious date, on one date by Roman Catholics and Protestants and on another by Greek Orthodox.
27 What has Christendom given “all the people” to cause them to have “great joy” at the virgin birth of Jesus Christ? Is she full of “great joy” at what Jesus Christ is today and, for that reason, full of “great joy” because long ago he was born at all? For people today to have “great joy” that Jesus Christ was born long ago in Bethlehem means for them to have “great joy” at what he is today as a result of that birth. As the Holy Bible says: “A name is better than good oil, and the day of death than the day of one’s being born. Better is the end afterward of a matter than its beginning.” (Eccl. 7:1, 8) Jesus Christ is, as a person, far better today than when he was a newborn babe nineteen hundred years ago.
28. (a) For his faithfulness to a martyr’s death, how did God reward Jesus Christ? (b) What pertinent questions, therefore, arise as to Christendom in this regard?
28 As a reward for faithfulness to the interests of God’s kingdom even to a martyr’s death at Jerusalem Jesus Christ was raised from the dead by Jehovah God to immortal life in heaven. God “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 acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil. 2:5-11) But what about Christendom, the celebrator of Christmas? Does she today bend the knee in the name of Jesus to offer submission to God as the Most High? Does Christendom, the celebrator of a birthday, openly acknowledge with her tongue that Jesus Christ is her Lord to the glory of God the Father of Christ? Twentieth-century history answers No!
29. Why does twentieth-century history answer No to those questions?
29 To this day Christendom has not renounced her claim to be Christ’s kingdom. Who is it that reigns and rules in her? Not Jesus Christ, but her political kings, presidents and governors who come from some human, man-made dynasty or who have been elected to office by the common people or who have seized power by some military or political coup. The political rulers of Christendom do not yield over their sovereignty to Jesus Christ as Lord, even though their tongues may call him “Lord.” As for the people, they demand rulership of the nations for themselves, the people, and not for any king. Whether as to her political rulers or as to her peoples, Christendom does not recognize Jesus Christ in his official position today as reigning King.
[Picture on page 620]
God will not use human kingdoms to save the human race; such kingdoms will be swept away by God’s kingdom, which will rule the earth forever