Divine Rulership—Over Mankind at the Start
“Jehovah himself has firmly established his throne in the very heavens; and over everything his own kingship has held domination.”—Ps. 103:19.
1. What, according to our meaning, is the “establishment” into which we were all born, and what estimate must we make of it?
WE WERE all born into an “establishment.” By that word do we mean the system of things that exists here on our earthly globe? No! We mean an establishment of which our earth is just a very tiny part. We mean an establishment that extends away out into outer space. It takes in more than the Milky Way galaxy of which our sun is merely one of many like suns. It takes in all the galaxies of stars that the greatest man-made telescopes have been able to bring to human view. So tremendously big is this establishment that it needs to be measured in units of distance called “light-years.” Regardless of its hugeness, everybody has to admit that it is a marvelous establishment. It was already here before ever protesting youth of today got here, or before ever mankind got started here. All of us were brought into this establishment, not by our own will or choice. So, is this establishment something to protest about?
2. Why could it not be that man is responsible for running this “establishment,” and what does our reason dictate as to the runner of it?
2 Who runs this staggeringly large establishment? It was already operating orderly before we humans came into existence. It does not need us to keep it running forever, hanging out there in space and working so harmoniously. Needless to say, it is too big for us, too far beyond our power of influence to reach. We cannot control it from here on earth with missiles, spaceships or radar systems. This is no chance establishment. If we were to calculate scientifically, it would be a case of trillions upon trillions of reasons against one bare possibility that such a harmonious, highly organized, perfectly operating “establishment” came about by accident, by chance. It could not come from nothing, for something never comes from nothing. Such a mighty concentration of dynamic energy as this establishment has in itself could never come from a hollow vacuum, from emptiness. According to our reasoning powers with which we have been gifted, it had to come from a central, inexhaustible source of power and energy. And that “source” would have to be intelligent, having know-how besides almighty ability. It must run the establishment.
3. (a) What must we conclude as to the runner of this visible “establishment,” and what is a suitable name for such? (b) What is the title as given in the Holy Bible?
3 We do not want to act “dumb,” do we? That is to say, stupid, senseless, unreasonable, which also means, unscientific? There is nothing else for reasoning, intelligent humans to accept but that the great Runner of this amazing “establishment” of beauty, design and power is an intelligent Person, even though invisible to our frail natural eyes. Does any of us have a better title by which to call that Person than “God”? That is what the Greatest Book on earth calls that Person. And this it does in its very opening sentence, saying: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” In the original language in which this part of the Book was written the word for our English word “God” is Elohimʹ. As The Holy Name Bible, which utterly rejects the title “God,” puts the sentence in English: “In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen. 1:1) This same Creator of the heavens and the earth takes the responsibility for that Book of all books, the Holy Bible, and from the first to the last this Book of more than a thousand pages reveals this intelligent Creator to be a God of perfect activity, of perfect wisdom, justice, love and power. He is perfectly able to run this visible “establishment.”
4, 5. (a) According to the Bible, on what is this earth suspended, and how does our earth compare with the whole establishment in size? (b) What questions as put to Job deserve to be asked of scientists?
4 Our earth is suspended in space upon nothing of a material kind. As that Book of books said in its account of the patriarch Job not quite three thousand five hundred years ago, in Job chapter twenty-six, verse seven: “He is stretching out the north over the empty place, hanging the earth upon nothing.” In comparison with the countless bodies in the heavens, our earth is like a mere speck of dust in the midst of a tremendous dust cloud. Since the God of creation runs or rules the great establishment as a whole, he must also be the ruler of the earth. His rulership, not that of human creatures on the earth, is the true, original, rightful rulership for the earth. A Creator should run his own creation. Man had nothing to do with creating this earth as his everlasting home. On this vital point the same questions deserve to be put to modern-day scientists and evolutionists that were put to the patriarch Job by God respecting the creation of the earth. To Job he said:
5 “Gird up your loins, please, like an able-bodied man, and let me question you, and you inform me. Where did you happen to be when I founded the earth? Tell me, if you do know understanding. Who set its measurements, in case you know, or who stretched out upon it the measuring line? Into what have its socket pedestals been sunk down, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars joyfully cried out together, and all the sons of God began shouting in applause? . . . Was it from your days onward that you commanded the morning? Did you cause the dawn to know its place, to take hold on the extremities of the earth, that the wicked ones might be shaken out from it?”—Job 38:3-13.
6. (a) Whom did God say witnessed the creating of the earth? (b) Why are we in no position to pass judgment upon God’s pronouncement of six thousand years ago on his creative work?
6 In answer to those questions, all of us today would have to say humbly that we were not on the scene. Those whom God here calls “the morning stars” and “all the sons of God” witnessed the creating of the earth and they were all delighted with this tiny part of the visible “establishment.” Well, then, do we inferior human creatures have any reason to criticize God for the way that he created our earthly home? When God finished the preparing of it for man’s dwelling place and put man upon it, then, as the last verse of the first chapter of the Holy Bible says, “God saw everything he had made and, look! it was very good.” (Gen. 1:31) Since the Creator himself looked at his earthly creation and considered it to be “very good,” who are we who have come on the scene six thousand years later to say that it was not “very good” from our human viewpoint? Who are we today to judge what the state of the earth was six thousand years ago when God created the first man and woman in human perfection and put them in a Paradise of Pleasure? The polluted condition of the earth today is no basis for true judgment.
7. (a) What kind of rulership did man have at his beginning, but with what attitude have men been ruling the earth for now thousands of years? (b) Upon what question as to rulership do we now need to decide?
7 We are here by grant of the Creator’s favor. Who, then, are we to think that we humans have the right to run this earth as we please regardless of the Creator, God? And yet that is the way that human history shows that men have been running the earth for thousands of years. Originally, at man’s creation, man enjoyed divine rulership. Today man is suffering under human rulership that ignores God and defies divine rulership. The imperfect human rulers desire all peoples to look only to human rulership and defy divine rulership as they, the human rulers, do. As never before, the question upon which we are obliged to make a decision is, Divine rulership—Are we for it or against it? If we are for it, what does it mean for us? If we are against it, what does it mean for us and those who are dependent upon us? Let us see, for we desire to choose what will mean happiness for us and ours.
THE COURSE OF THOSE WHO ARE AGAINST IT
8. (a) Whom might those on earth who are against divine rulership have in their company? (b) What are they obliged to admit as to whether hostility to divine rulership always existed?
8 Those today who are against divine rulership, that is to say, God’s rulership of the earth, have a lot of company. Likely they have a lot more company than they know of or realize. Likely they have in their company those whom they do not like to admit as being on their side and associated with them. What do we mean? Because they are materialistic in their philosophy, they refuse to agree that there is anything spiritual, even to the point of denying that there is a God, who is a Spirit. At least they do not take the thought of God seriously, nor the existence of any other spirit person of intelligence. They really have no reasonable basis for taking this mental opinion and attitude; yet they hold to it by blinding themselves to apparent facts. However, they will have to admit that this hostility to divine rulership had a start. There is history to prove that it had its start six thousand years ago. It did not start with man, but man got involved.
9. (a) With whom did resistance to divine rulership start, and whose painful experience with him proved the reality of that one? (b) For whose rulership was Job, and so what did Satan desire to test about Job?
9 With whom, then, did hostility to divine rulership have a beginning? It was not with a subhuman creature, like a snake, but with a superhuman creature, one of those of whom God spoke to the patriarch Job as being “sons of God.” (Job 38:7) Job had a painful experience with this beginner of hostility to divine rulership. Job was informed that the name of this one was Satan. In Job’s language the name Satan was the same as saying “Resister.” But “Resister” of whom? Of God, to be sure! Job was in favor of divine rulership. Satan proved that his resistance was against God by trying to destroy Job for his advocating God’s rulership. Satan was no imaginary person to Job any more than he was an imaginary person to God himself. After Job’s hard experience was over, God revealed to Job who was responsible for his sufferings and trials. It was this Satan. At a meeting of the “sons of God” in heaven Satan had put in appearance. There he asked God to lift his protection of Job and let him put Job to the test regarding his loyalty to divine rulership.
10. What did Satan claim that, given free course, he could make Job do, and what does James 5:11 indicate as to whether Job yielded?
10 Satan claimed that, given free course, he could make Job curse God to his very face. This was as long ago as the seventeenth century before our Common Era. The test of Job’s patience and faithfulness was recorded in the Bible book of Job for us to read. Did Satan succeed in forcing Job into the camp of resisters of God and of opposition to divine rulership? More than sixteen centuries later the Christian disciple James the half brother of Jesus Christ writes regarding this and says: “Look! We pronounce happy those who have endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome Jehovah gave, that Jehovah is very tender in affection and merciful.”—Jas. 5:11.
11. How does the record show that God won out over Satan through Job’s not cursing God to his face?
11 In the case of Job, Jehovah God won out over Satan, for Satan proved to be a liar. How so? As Satan brought trials upon Job, we read, “in all this Job did not sin or ascribe anything improper to God.” When the state of Job seemed desperate and his wife gave up hope concerning him, she said to him: “Are you yet holding fast your integrity? Curse God and die!” But Job said to her: “As one of the senseless women speaks, you speak also. Shall we accept merely what is good from the true God and not accept also what is bad?” Hence the record says: “In all this Job did not sin with his lips.” Finally, before Jehovah reversed the situation for Job, he said to three hypocritical critics of Job: “My anger has grown hot against you and your two companions, for you men have not spoken concerning me what is truthful as has my servant Job.” (Job 1:1-22; 2:9, 10; 42:7, 8) This, in effect, proved to be a rebuke to Satan, and he was exposed as a slanderer or Devil.
12. How long before Job’s time and at what place was the issue over divine rulership raised, and with what result to God’s seventh creative day or Sabbath?
12 Thus this historical person, Job of the land of Uz, remained faithful to Jehovah as God Almighty. Job was in favor of divine rulership. However, it was more than two thousand four hundred years before Job’s trial that Satan the Devil raised the issue over divine rulership. This was shortly after the Creator, Jehovah God, had planted the Garden of Eden some hundreds of miles to the northeast of the location of the land of Uz. Into that Paradise of Pleasure Jehovah had put the first man and woman to live and serve in subjection to the divine rulership. It was then about the beginning of Jehovah’s seventh creative day, about 4026 B.C.E., or almost six thousand years ago. (Gen. 1:28 to 2:3) Did this seventh creative day, this great Sabbath Day for Jehovah as respects earthly creation, continue peaceful, with all creation in heaven and on earth in loyal submission to divine rulership? Our own human experience today as well as earthly history for the past six thousand years answers No. The calm of this great Sabbatic Day of Jehovah began to be disturbed from almost its very beginning.
13. How did a heavenly “son of God” cause temptation to form for him, and into what course did it draw him?
13 At that critical time one of those “sons of God” in heaven who had witnessed Jehovah’s creation of man and woman in the Garden of Eden let selfish desire enter into his heart and let it draw him and entice him away from divine rulership. He began to envy God’s rightful rulership over this human pair whom God commanded to raise a big happy family and fill all the earth, at the same time extending the Paradise in Eden to the very ends of the earth. (Gen. 1:26-28) This heavenly “son of God” now came under temptation of his own forming and desired to have that rulership over that first human couple and their family with which they would fill the earth. He cultivated this selfish desire until it became fertile and gave birth to sin. That sin was his launching off into resistance to the Divine Ruler over all, the Most High and Almighty God Jehovah. In this way this heavenly “son of God” converted himself into Satan or the Resister. God was in no way to be blamed for this as if tempting anybody in heaven or on earth to badness, to wickedness.—Jas. 1:13-15.
14. How was it that Satan at Eden proceeded differently from what he did at the meeting of the “sons of God” before Jehovah, and how did he get Eve to listen to him?
14 At the Garden of Eden no coming together of the heavenly sons of God before Jehovah God is reported as having taken place at that time. Nor did Satan disclose what was in his heart and, as in the case of Job, ask the Supreme Ruler Jehovah to remove his protection from around Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. There then being no wickedness in all the realm of existence, there was nothing from which this first human couple needed to be protected. So Satan did not need to ask Jehovah to open up the way for him to get at Adam and Eve and put them to the test and make these earthly human subjects of divine rulership sin against God. Having yielded to his own temptation, he proceeded to make himself the Great Tempter by putting temptation in the way of Adam and Eve. Without disclosing his selfish purpose to other heavenly sons of God, he sneakily put on a disguise and deceitfully used a serpent in the Garden of Eden as his harmless-looking agent to set the trap. The woman Eve, despite her human perfection, was not aware that the unseen spirit creature, Satan, was using ventriloquism through the serpent to tempt her. So, instead of refusing to listen, she listened.
15. How did Satan turn himself into the Devil, and into what course did he influence Eve to go?
15 By the serpent, the traitorous son of God, Satan, struck at the law of God concerning the tree of the knowledge of good and bad, as if God were misusing his divine rulership. Satan now transformed himself into the Devil, which means Slanderer, by calling God a liar who was unable to enforce the penalty for violating his law against eating the forbidden fruit. Would Eve die for defying divine rulership and exercising human self-rule? No! said Satan the Devil through the serpent. “You positively will not die. For God knows that in the very day of your eating from it your eyes are bound to be opened and you are bound to be like God, knowing good and bad.” Eve could not see Satan the Devil any more than we today can see him with our natural eyes. Letting now the newly formed selfish desire for a forbidden thing draw her and entice her, she mothered human sin by calling into question divine rulership and breaking the divine law. Satan the Devil knew that the transgressor Eve would next try to persuade her husbandly head, Adam, to eat the forbidden fruit with her.—Gen. 3:1-6.
16. How did Adam come into possession of the forbidden fruit, and on what fundamental issue did he make a decision, with effect upon whom?
16 Eve wanted company in her transgression. She desired her husband to join her. He did not pick any fruit off the forbidden tree at her suggestion, but his wife offered the fruit to him. Her voice became very pleading, tempting him to share with her in the forbidden fruit. Under the deception, she did not think that it would kill him to do so. A decision affecting the whole human family was now Adam’s to make. He had to make a decision, not only for himself, but for his unborn offspring that was in his loins. He faced the great issue, Divine rulership—Am I for it or against it? Instead of listening to his heavenly Father’s voice of warning about the deadly consequences of eating the forbidden fruit, Adam listened to his wife’s persuasive voice. He did not choose to prove that “serpent” a liar and God true. Contrariwise, he chose to please his wife. He accepted the forbidden fruit at her hand.—Gen. 3:6, 12, 17.
MANKIND BROUGHT UNDER DEMON RULERSHIP
17, 18. (a) For whose rulership did Adam decide, and on whose side did he put himself? (b) How does the apostle John analyze under whose rulership Adam’s firstborn son was?
17 Here resistance on earth to divine rulership started. Adam, the earthly head of the human family, decided for human self-rule. He was also deciding in favor of something else, although he may not then have realized it. Like his wife Eve, he did not with his natural eye see Satan the Devil as the moving power behind that talking “serpent,” but, just the same, Adam was deciding in favor of Satan’s rulership as against divine rulership. Adam and Eve were now on the side of Satan the Devil—against divine rulership, against theocratic rule. That is why Adam and Eve were driven out of the Paradise of Pleasure, to bring forth their family outside on ground upon which God’s curse rested. Their firstborn son, Cain, showed under whose rulership he was when he murdered his God-fearing brother Abel. (Gen. 3:17 to 4:16) In pointing this out the apostle John writes:
18 “This is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should have love for one another; not like Cain, who originated with the wicked one and slaughtered his brother. And for the sake of what did he slaughter him? Because his own works were wicked, but those of his brother were righteous.”—1 John 3:11, 12.
19. As in Cain’s case, how does mankind today prove that it is not submitting itself to divine rulership?
19 All this illustrates the serious consequences that follow from going against divine rulership. Do we have fratricide, the killing of brother by brother, today? No one can deny that we have it on a colossal scale, especially when world wars come along. Men wise in the wisdom of this modern world may say that Satan the Devil has nothing to do with this. But we have better information from authoritative sources rather than from these self-opinionated persons. Brother haters and brother murderers today originate from the same wicked one now as they did in the days of Cain and Abel, only there are more of them now than there were on earth in the first century of the human family on earth. Yes, and more than in the first century of Christianity, when the apostle John wrote the foregoing words about brother love and brother hate. The evidence is overwhelming, therefore, that mankind today is not just under human rulership but, unknown to itself, also under Satanic rulership. The increasing lack of brotherly love proves that mankind is not submitting itself to divine rulership. “God is love,” we read in 1 John 4:8, 16.
20. In whose days did there come a break in Satan’s rulership over mankind, and what men down to him were in favor of divine rulership?
20 From the day when Adam and Eve took their stand against divine rulership until now, there has been only one temporary break in Satanic rulership over mankind. This was in the days of the patriarch Noah, the tenth man in line of descent from Adam. Before Noah, the faithful martyr Abel had been in favor of rulership by the Divine Being whom he worshiped. Also, the prophet Enoch, the seventh man in line of descent from Adam, was for divine rulership. Evidently so that Enoch might not be murdered by ungodly opposers, Jehovah God miraculously took him from the earthly scene when he was just 365 years old. (Gen. 5:18-24; Heb. 11:4, 5; Jude 14, 15) In favor of whose rulership Noah was is evident from the record in Genesis 6:9, which reads: “This is the history of Noah. Noah was a righteous man. He proved himself faultless among his contemporaries. Noah walked with the true God.”
21. (a) In the light of what prophecy of Jesus do we do well to note the situation existing in Noah’s day? (b) How does the account in Genesis show that divine rulership was not recognized in Noah’s preflood days?
21 We today do well to take note of the world situation in Noah’s day down to his six hundredth year of age. Why? Because Jesus Christ said in his prophecy regarding world conditions at the “conclusion of the system of things” this significant statement: “Just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be. For as they were in those days before the flood, . . . they took no note until the flood came and swept them all away, so the presence of the Son of man will be.” (Matt. 24:3, 37-39) Besides the eating, drinking and marrying that was then going on in those pre-Flood days, there was a situation that called for the Creator to bring that globe-sweeping Flood. It was what was described in Genesis 6:11, 13, where we read: “The earth came to be ruined in the sight of the true God and the earth became filled with violence. After that God said to Noah: ‘The end of all flesh has come before me, because the earth is full of violence as a result of them; and here I am bringing them to ruin together with the earth.”’ Certainly, then, divine rulership was not recognized.
22, 23. (a) In the pre-Flood days, how did Satan’s rulership take on added force in connection with “women being given in marriage”? (b) How was it evident that the Nephilim offspring of the angelic-human marriages were of no moral help to mankind?
22 In those pre-Flood days, Satanic rulership over the human family took on added force. How so? Well, in Jesus’ reference to the days of Noah he spoke of “women being given in marriage.” (Matt. 24:38) Among those women being then married off were many women who were taken by persons whom Genesis 6:4 calls “the sons of the true God.” They were heavenly “sons of God,” just as Satan the Devil had once been, but they were tempted to come down and take up living on earth because of the “good-looking” daughters of men, who were available for marriage.
23 So these heavenly “sons of the true God” materialized as men and “went taking wives for themselves, namely, all whom they chose.” Possibly, more than one wife each. Among the offspring of such angelic-human marriages were what the Bible calls Nephilim, which means “Fellers,” that is, those who cause someone or something to fall forcibly. “They were the mighty ones who were of old, the men of fame.” (Gen. 6:1-4) Those hybrid Nephilim or Fellers were manifestly not of any moral help to the pure human stock of mankind, for after that the Bible reports that the earth was being ruined and was filled with violence. This definitely proves that those angelic “sons of the true God” had acted sinfully in marrying the “daughters of men” for sexual satisfaction.
24. (a) Did those marrying “sons of God” sin, and on whose side did they put themselves? (b) At the Flood, what happened to the Nephilim, and what were the married “sons of God” obliged to do?
24 That those heavenly sons of God did sin by leaving their invisible spiritual estate and their own proper habitation in God’s celestial service is positively stated in the Bible. (1 Pet. 3:19, 20; 2 Pet. 2:4, 5; Jude 6) This decidedly put them in opposition to divine rulership both in heaven and on earth. That put them on the side of Satanic rulership and under it. Their hybrid offspring, the Nephilim, were not preserved through the global flood; none of them were taken into the great ark that Noah and his three sons built. Being human because of their human mothers, they were drowned in the Flood, along with their earthly relatives. Their angelic fathers dematerialized and unwillingly, under compulsion, disappeared into the spirit realm. There they were obliged to join Satan the Devil as their ruler.
25. How was there thus an interruption of Satan’s rulership brought about, and under what did mankind get a new start?
25 The global flood interrupted the Satanic rulership over the human family. Noah and his wife and their three sons and three daughters-in-law, inside the ark during the deluge, were all for divine rulership. They survived that global cataclysm, but all those who were against divine rulership were drowned in the floodwaters. Consequently, when Noah and his fellow survivors stepped out of the ark onto the cleansed earth, the human family was once again under divine rulership. In evidence of that fact Jehovah God as the Divine Ruler told Noah and his family to do what he had told Adam and Eve in Eden to do, to fill the earth with their offspring, subject to certain stated divine laws. (Gen. 6:13 to 9:7) Mankind thus got a second start under divine rulership.
26. Consistently, why should God not be less concerning about earthly conditions today, and how do we know whether he will do something about this as in Noah’s day?
26 If the ruination of the earth and the filling of it with violence in the preflood days of Noah were deserving of mention in the Holy Bible, certainly the greater ruination of the earth and the filling of it with more widespread violence in this twentieth century are due for mention. Is God the Creator less concerned about this present-day far-worse world condition than he was with that of Noah’s day? By every rule of consistency he should be far more concerned about it and hence obliged to do something about it as Creator of heaven and earth. Jesus Christ the faithful Son of God prophesied that God would do so.
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The pre-Flood people kept on eating, drinking and marrying, taking “no note until the flood came” and destroyed all those ignoring divine rulership. “So it will be also in the days of the Son of man.”—Luke 17:26, 27