Mankind’s Benefits from the Victory at Har–Magedon
1. Why does mankind stand to benefit eternally from the victory gained at Har–Magedon?
MANKIND stands to benefit eternally from the victory gained at Har–Magedon. That victory will be one for mankind, especially the survivors of the war at Har–Magedon, to memorialize forever. It is a victory that will mark a “great day.” Till now there has been no day like it, for it will be the “great day of God the Almighty.” He will make it a “great day” for Himself by the victory that he gains in the universal war of that day. Mankind could not do otherwise than benefit from the victory of God the Almighty, for He is mankind’s very best Friend.
2. (a) The kingdom that is at issue includes what as its realm, and why? (b) The issue is rulership with what condition on earth?
2 At Har–Magedon God the Almighty takes on as combatants the “kings of the entire inhabited earth.” It is because KINGDOM is the issue to be settled at Har–Magedon. That Kingdom must involve our earth as its realm, for here is where the “kings of the entire inhabited earth” are ruling and are determined to stay ruling. The issue is Kingdom, but not over an earth divided as now between the democratic bloc of nations and the Communist bloc of nations, both blocs coexisting in mutual toleration, or between Christendom and pagandom. The issue is, rather, Kingdom over one whole undivided earth, one Kingdom for all the earth. Will that not be beneficial for all mankind?
3. Does the fight at Har–Magedon over the Kingdom issue occur accidentally, and why can we be thankful that a change is brought about by God?
3 It is by no unforeseen turn in human affairs nor by any accident that the Kingdom issue gets to be fought over at the battlefield of Har–Magedon. The matter is all timed in behalf of God and of man. The Almighty God, who provided the sun, moon and stars and the revolutions of the earth for man’s timekeeping, has fixed his time for the Kingdom of the entire earth. Has he not put up with human rulership over all the earth for enough time by now? Are human rulers the ones to decide when and how Almighty God may take over the kingdom of the earth, his own creation? Is he going to let helpless mankind flounder around to time indefinite in all the world trouble and anguish of nations that began with World War I of the year 1914 and not come to their help? Happily, No! His sorely needed kingdom over the entire earth will be a vast improvement on anything that imperfect, dying human rulers have been able to give mankind thus far. Certainly any change made by Him in rulership of human creatures could never be for the worse. We can be thankful that it is the Almighty God who will make the change for us, and that his wisely chosen time for this has come.
4, 5. To what prayer for His rulership has God long listened, and what did the teacher of that prayer say and do to further the interests of such rulership?
4 For now more than nineteen centuries the Almighty God has listened to the prayer repeatedly offered to him by those who follow the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount, “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) Almighty God has not answered that inspired prayer before now because his own appointed time had not come. That prayer was taught by a man who believed in God’s kingdom to the very point of sacrificing his life in furtherance of the interests of that kingdom. A false Messiah would not do such a thing. In his Sermon on the Mount he not only taught his hearers to pray for the heavenly Father’s kingdom, but also told them: “Keep on, then, seeking first the kingdom and his righteousness.” In his educational work among the inhabitants of Palestine his opening theme was: “Repent, you people, for the kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.” (Matt. 4:17; 6:33) And in his prophecy foretelling troubles incidental to the setting up of God’s Messianic kingdom, he said:
5 “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.
6, 7. (a) Those by means of whom that prophecy is undergoing fulfillment have what faith toward the speaker of that prophecy? (b) What did Simon Peter say about him to the Jews on the festival day of Weeks?
6 That remarkable prophecy has been largely fulfilled, and is still in course of fulfillment, not by means of Christendom with all her earthly kings, wars and political squabbles, but by true believers in Almighty God and in the heavenly kingdom of his Messiah. These know who it was that fulfilled the inspired prophecies in the sacred Hebrew Scriptures as respects God’s promised Messiah. They know that this one was the greatest advocate of God’s Messianic kingdom ever on earth. With confidence and certainty they can prove from the God-given Scriptures that this Messiah was and is the one whom a former tax collector named Matthew Levi called “Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham.” (Matt. 1:1) This is the one to whom a Galilean named Simon Peter bore witness on the feast day of Shavuoth (Weeks) at ancient Jerusalem, to more than three thousand celebrators, saying to these inquiring Jews:
7 “Actually 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 2:34-36.
8. (a) Why are Christendom and the Jews who look for a Messiah of blood and flesh looking for the wrong thing? (b) What will the kingdom of the true Messiah be able to do for mankind?
8 David was the first Jewish king of Jerusalem, and his descendant Jesus “of the tribe of Judah” is now the heavenly Lord of David and also the Messiah or Anointed One, the Christ. The religious people of Christendom and also the circumcised Jews who look shortly for a Messiah in flesh and blood are looking for the wrong thing. The true Messiah, whom the inspired David said Jehovah God would invite to sit at his right hand in the heavens and who would be a Priest-King like ancient Melchizedek, is now and always will be a heavenly Messiah, a spirit heavenly Son of God. (Ps. 110:1-4) His Messianic kingdom will be more than that of a mortal man on earth. It will be superhuman and so will be able to do what an earthly kingdom by a mere human ruler could never do for mankind. The true Messianic kingdom is heavenly and is able to break the power of Satan the Devil, who is a disobedient heavenly angel, the prince of demon angels. Mankind, who are the pitiful victims of Satan the Devil and his demons, can get lasting liberation and benefit from such a Messianic kingdom.
KINGDOM SET UP ON TIME
9. (a) The earthly kingdom of David was overturned when, and to continue thus for what period of time? (b) When must Gentile rule go and Messiah’s rule come in?
9 The earthly kingdom of David’s family at Jerusalem was overthrown by the armies of Babylon in the year 607 before our Common Era. Shortly before that calamity Jehovah God used his prophet Ezekiel to declare that the promised Messiah would come at God’s due time and that He would give the Kingdom to this Messiah because of that one’s right to it. (Ezek. 21:25-27) From history, Jews and Gentiles alike know what happened after the destruction of David’s throne back there by the Gentile Babylonians. An uninterrupted time of Gentile domination of the earth set in with no kingdom of the royal house of David to interfere with those Gentile rulers. “Gentile Times” they have been called. (Luke 21:24, Authorized Version Bible) But Almighty God would let the Gentile Times of world domination go on for only so long. He set a fixed time for the end of those Gentile Times. He indicated that fact to the king of Babylon, the destroyer of Jerusalem. (Dan. 4:16, 23, 25, 31) So Gentile rule must go; Messiah’s rule must come!
10. What most powerful political power did Daniel foretell, and how has it been unable to change God’s time and law regarding rulership?
10 By his prophet Daniel, God foretold that a Gentile political power would arise that would try to change God’s time and law respecting earth’s rulership. (Dan. 7:25) However, world history of this twentieth century shows that this foretold political power, the most powerful world power of all human history, was not able to change God’s date for the close of the Gentile Times from the year 1914 to some later date in the indefinite future. True, World War I did break out in the year 1914; but what really marked and spelled the end of the Gentile Times in that year was the birth of God’s Messianic kingdom in the heavens by the installation of his Son Jesus Christ as the Anointed King. During all the troublous years since then the mighty Seventh World Power (the Anglo-American Dual World Power) has been unable to change that fact of universal importance. The wrath that all the worldly nations have expressed in the form of persecution upon Jehovah’s Christian witnesses who have preached “this good news of the kingdom” in all the inhabited earth has been unable to cancel out God’s time for His kingdom.
11. (a) When did the time come for thanksgiving to be offered because of God’s taking his power to reign? (b) What shows whether the thankful ones included the earthly nations?
11 At the close of the Gentile Times in early autumn of 1914 the hour came for the heavenly announcement to be made, as foretold in Revelation 11:15: “The kingdom of the world did become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will rule as king forever and ever.” Well, now, were the nations of Christendom thankful for this turn of events in universal history? Did those who were grateful for the birth of the kingdom of the Lord God in the hands of his Christ include those so-called Christian nations? Not at all! For the prophecy of Revelation 11:17, 18 foretold that the grateful persons would say: “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.” History testifies to the fact that those wrathful nations became violent persecutors of the Kingdom preachers.
12, 13. Was Satan happy over the Kingdom’s birth, and how does Revelation 12:7-12 indicate whether he was?
12 Not to be expected otherwise, Satan the Devil and his demon angels were not happy about the birth of God’s Messianic kingdom in the heavens in 1914. The next chapter of Revelation, chapter twelve, verses seven through twelve, tells us what followed the Kingdom’s birth:
13 “War broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled but it did not prevail, neither was a place found for them any longer in heaven. So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven say: ‘Now have come to pass the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ, because the accuser of our brothers has been hurled down, who accuses them day and night before our God! . . . Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing he has a short period of time.’”
14. (a) Where do the earthly kings let themselves be gathered, why and under what influence? (b) What will it mean finally for us to be gathered there with those kings?
14 Thus Satan the Devil and his demon angels and the nations of the earth experienced the same feelings at the birth of God’s Messianic kingdom at the close of the Gentile Times in 1914. It is not surprising, therefore, that the inspired expression out of the mouth of the great dragon, Satan the Devil, would gather the kings of the entire inhabited earth to a war at Har–Magedon over the issue of the Kingdom. Nor is it any cause for surprise that the kings of these wrathful nations would let themselves be gathered there under such demon influences. But the personal question that deserves our close examination is, Are we as individuals letting ourselves be gathered there on the side of those misled “kings of the entire inhabited earth”? If we do so, then we will undeniably show that we are for their kingdom, and not for God’s Messianic kingdom. Then, too, we shall be obliged to take what those “kings of the entire inhabited earth” will take at Har–Magedon. What is that? Revelation 19:19-21 tells us:
15. How does Revelation 19:19-21 pictorially show what befalls the kings of the earth and their backers at Har–Magedon?
15 “And I [the apostle John] saw the wild beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together [that is, at Har–Magedon] to wage the war with the one seated on the horse and with his army. [And upon his outer garment, even upon his thigh, he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. (Re 19 Verse 16)] And the wild beast was caught, and along with it the false prophet that performed in front of it the signs with which he misled those who received the mark of the wild beast and those who render worship to its image. While still alive, they both were hurled into the fiery lake that burns with sulphur. But the rest were killed off with the long sword of the one seated on the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth. And all the birds were filled from the fleshy parts of them.”
16. (a) So who emerges victor at Har–Magedon, and why is he called King of kings? (b) By whom is the execution of the enemies carried out, and how are the corpses of the defeated ones disposed of?
16 From that prophetic symbolic picture it should not be hard for anyone to determine who emerges as the victor at that “war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Har–Magedon. It is the King of kings and Lord of lords, who is pictured as the one seated on the white war-horse. (Rev. 19:11) As if a long sword were protruding out of his mouth, this heavenly Warrior shouts out commands for the execution of the kings of the earth and those lined up on their side at Har–Magedon. The heavenly angelic army do the carrying out of these commands of the King of kings. In this way it is proved that he is a King of kings, that is, a King superior to all those kings of the earth. All those who follow and politically support such kings of the earth will be killed off with such human kings. The followers of the King of kings, who survive that universal war at Har–Magedon, are not here pictured as being commanded to bury the corpses of those earthly kings and their armies. Who, then, will dispose of those exposed stinking corpses? The agencies of disposal are pictured as scavenger birds.
17. What do such death and disposal of bodily remains mean for such executed ones, and why?
17 Such an odious death and disposal of the fleshy remains means a death from which there is no hope of a resurrection. This is because they are executed by the Almighty God by means of his heavenly armies under Christ at the battlefield of Har–Magedon. They prove themselves to be irreformable opposers of Jehovah God and his Messianic kingdom. They will never live again, any more than will the symbolic “wild beast” and the symbolic “false prophet,” human political organizations, that are destroyed forever as if hurled while still alive into a “fiery lake that burns with sulphur.” Revelation 20:14 and Re 21:8 calls this fiery sulfurous “lake” a symbol of “the second death,” eternal annihilation!
POSTWAR BENEFITS TO SURVIVORS
18. Lovers of righteous government will love whom and hate whom, and on what side will they line up without delay?
18 Because this is such a serious matter for all people of this generation, the Bible is very plain and outspoken as to what awaits those who now line up on the side that is headed for defeat in the universal war at Har–Magedon. True lovers of a perfect righteous government for all mankind shrink back in horror at the fate of those who will deliberately fight the King of kings and who thereby reject God’s Messianic kingdom. They love the merciful God from whom this long-promised Kingdom of righteousness, peace and prosperity comes. They hate God’s adversary, Satan the Devil, from whom all misgovernment of mankind has come, together with all its unrighteousness, insecurity and hard way of living. They long to see the right of Jehovah God to universal sovereignty over all intelligent creation vindicated by his glorious victory through his Son Jesus Christ at Har–Magedon. Such lovers of the rightful Universal Sovereign are people that will line up now, without further delay, on the side of His Messiah, the King of kings and Lord of lords. On that side only can they survive.
19. Why will Jehovah’s victory at Har–Magedon be an occasion for unspeakable joy on the part of the earthly survivors?
19 Divine Victory at the battlefield of Har–Magedon will be an occasion for unspeakable joy for all the survivors on earth, the place at which the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” takes place. Their songs of exultation in the vindication of Jehovah’s universal sovereignty will be something the equal of which this entire earth has never before heard. O to think of seeing in actuality the whole earth rid at last of the beastly political system that Jehovah’s great adversary has used since the Babylon of Nimrod’s kingdom! Yes, the whole earth cleared for the humane kingdom of Jehovah’s Anointed One to exercise loving control for God’s glory and mankind’s eternal blessing!
20. In addition to that joy there will be the joy over what still mightier triumph?
20 Added to that incomparable joy will be the joy occasioned by a still mightier triumph on the part of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. This will immediately follow up the end of the war at Har–Magedon. This will be the binding of the Wicked One who has masterminded the visible political system on earth to man’s hurt, namely, Satan the Devil, together with all his demon angels. They will be removed from the earth’s neighborhood and imprisoned under seal in a distant abyss, powerless to interfere with God’s Messianic kingdom.
21. (a) How will the survivors witness the abyssing of the demons, but how will it be made real to these survivors? (b) Why will the survivors feel secure within the embrace of God’s Messianic kingdom?
21 This long-desired abyssing of the demons the earthly survivors of Har–Magedon will see only with their eyes of faith, according to the prophetic description given in Revelation 20:1-3, but they are bound to feel the delightful effects thereof in a very realistic way. No longer will they be obliged to keep on the “complete suit of armor” from God in order to fight and stand firm against the machinations of the Devil. No longer will they have to wrestle with invisible superhuman governments and “wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places.” No longer will the adversary, the Devil, go walking around like a roaring lion to seek out someone to devour. (Eph. 6:11-18; 1 Pet. 5:8) There will be freedom from fear of such malicious invisible opponents, and the survivors of earth’s greatest tribulation will feel soothingly secure within the embrace of the Messianic “new heavens.” That heavenly government will have the tenderness of an Oriental shepherd who lovingly safeguards his sheep. The Fine Shepherd, Jesus Christ, who laid down his life for his human “sheep,” will be a royal Shepherd over all men for whom he died.—Rev. 21:1; 7:9-17; John 10:10-16.
22. (a) What will his bringing of his worshipers alive through the “great tribulation” be for Jehovah, in exemplification of Psalm 145:20? (b) Who on earth will be the first to enter into the grand things prophesied for the Kingdom’s realm?
22 We do not forget that the wicked aim of Satan and his demons after being ousted from the holy heavens and down to the earth was to bring such “woe” upon earth and sea as to cause the destruction of all humankind, especially the true worshipers of Jehovah God. In the light of this fact the bringing of such worshipers alive through the “great tribulation” and its Har–Magedon climax will be a victorious feat on the part of the Almighty God and his Messianic King. (Matt. 24:21, 22; Mark 13:19, 20) It is another exemplification of the Bible’s assurance: “Jehovah is guarding all those loving him, but all the wicked ones he will annihilate.” (Ps. 145:20) He has prophesied glorious things for this earth under the thousand-year kingdom of the Messiah Jesus, and the survivors of the “great tribulation” will be the first ones on earth to enter into the realization of those glorious prophecies.
23. (a) The earth will then be a place of what relationship between earth’s inhabitants? (b) Why will there then be no further rendering of Caesar’s things to Caesar?
23 At last the whole earth will be a place of human brotherhood—among those survivors who have faithfully ranged themselves on the side of Almighty God and his Son Jesus Christ. There will be no need for a Peace Conference to draw up a Treaty of Peace and to heal the wounds and patch up the differences between the victors and the defeated. There will be no defeated ones alive on earth. The living, the sharers in Jehovah’s divine victory, will no more divide their attention between rendering to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s, for “Caesar” and his political government will be gone for all time. (Matt. 22:21) All things now must be God’s, and earth’s inhabitants must render these all things to God.—Ps. 103:19; 1 Chron. 29:11.
24. Under Satan’s rule earth has been a place where what reigned, but what will reign instead under God’s kingdom?
24 Under the Devil’s rule over mankind during the past six thousand years earth has been a realm where sin and its penalty death have reigned. Under the one government earth wide by God through the Savior Jesus Christ earth will become a realm where righteousness and its reward, life, will reign. The tribulation survivors will themselves know the feel of real rejuvenation of body and mind as they carry out the will of the Divine Government.
25. (a) The earthly survivors will rejoice to see the benefits of the Kingdom extended to whom else, by what means? (b) What earthly condition will welcome back such returning ones? (c) How will the eyes and hearts of the survivors be blessed for now taking the victorious side?
25 The loving hearts of the survivors will rejoice when life benefits under a perfect heavenly Government are extended to those who sleep in the bosom of the earth, a miraculous thing that will take place when the resurrection of the dead starts at the command of Jesus Christ. (John 5:28, 29) What a transformation of earth’s conditions will have taken effect when that return of the ransomed dead begins! Paradise under reconstruction will greet their eyes and welcome their return! The joys of then living and serving under God’s Messianic kingdom can only be imagined. But blessed will be the eyes and hearts of those surviving on the victorious side at Har–Magedon, for they will live and prepare to see these things come in!
[Chart on page 237]
(For fully formatted text, see publication)
Gentile Times Ended
Messianic Kingdom Born in Heaven