Why We Need the Kingdom of Jesus Christ
1. Of which “god” was Jesus born as a son, and why not accidentally so?
ONE important thing we notice about the Son of God who was on earth as a man during the first century of our Common Era. He was not born into some Hindu family in India. He was not born into some Buddhist family in Tibet, nor into the royal family of ancient China, nor into the family of the imperial Caesar of Rome. (Esther 1:1; Luke 2:1, 2) Rather, he “sprang from the seed of David according to the flesh.” (Rom. 1:3) This was not accidental. There was need for this Son of God to be born as the “seed of David.” This was the reason why God chose a Jewish virgin girl who was of the fleshly line of David of Bethlehem to become mother to Jesus Christ. (Luke 1:26-32) This Mary was a worshiper of the God who made her fertile miraculously, and so her son was not born as the son of some Hindu god or of some Buddhist deity or of the Roman Jupiter or of the Grecian Zeus.—Luke 1:34-55; Acts 14:12, 13.
2. Why did Jesus not have to be born of the tribe of Levi and of the family of Aaron in order to be the sacrificial Lamb, and on what day did he die?
2 In ancient Israel, King David’s tribe was that of Judah, a tribe from which no priests were taken to offer sacrifice. Nonetheless, Jesus Christ could be born as “the seed of David” of the tribe of Judah and still become “the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) He did not need to be of the tribe of Levi and of the priestly family of Aaron, from which family the priests of Israel were taken. He could be born in David’s tribe of Judah and still be a perfect, sinless man suitable for sacrifice acceptable to God because of being perfect and unblemished by sin. The perfection and sinlessness that he had maintained as the Son of God in heaven continued with him when he was sent to earth to become the man absolutely equal to the perfect, sinless Adam at the day of his creation in the Garden of Eden. Jesus Christ needed to be such in order to ‘give himself as a corresponding ransom for all.’ (1 Tim. 2:5, 6; Matt. 20:28) He poured out his blood as a sin-atoning sacrifice on Passover Day of 33 C.E., the day when the Jews sacrificed the Passover lamb and ate its roast flesh in celebration of their nation’s deliverance from ancient Egypt.
3. What did Leviticus 17:11, 12 say about blood, and so what benefit is it that we get from Jesus’ blood, and how?
3 In God’s covenant with ancient Israel he said the following words, as found in Leviticus 17:11, 12: “The soul [or, life] of the flesh is in the blood, and I myself have put it upon the altar for you to make atonement for your souls, because it is the blood that makes atonement by the soul [life] in it. . . . ‘No soul of you must eat blood and no alien resident who is residing as an alien in your midst should eat blood.’” So, in pouring out his blood in sacrifice to God, Jesus Christ was pouring out his life as an atonement sacrifice for all of us descendants of the sinful Adam. He presented the lifeblood of his perfect human sacrifice to God in heaven, and so we cannot eat or drink Jesus’ blood in order to get the benefit of it. We must exercise faith in it as fully atoning for our death-dealing sins to benefit from Jesus’ lifeblood.—Heb. 9:11-14, 24.
4. How do Simon Peter’s words about Christ’s blood make it fitting that Revelation features him as a Lamb?
4 One of the first-century Jews who believed in the atoning value of Jesus’ blood was Simon Peter, once a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee. When writing to his fellow believers, Simon Peter said: “It was not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, that you were delivered from your fruitless form of conduct received by tradition from your forefathers. But it was with precious blood, like that of an unblemished and spotless lamb, even Christ’s.” (1 Pet. 1:18, 19) So, now, we can appreciate the fitness of the book of Revelation in continually featuring Jesus Christ as “the lamb,” the one that was “slaughtered.” (Rev. 5:6) All we of mankind certainly need such an atoning Lamb who, with his blood, can cleanse us from our sins and lift from us the condemnation of death. Without life through the sacrifice of this Lamb none of us could enjoy anything in the future with a clean conscience before God. For a fact, then, we cannot do without this Lamb!
5. In offering himself as a sacrifice, Jesus Christ served as the antitype of whom on Israel’s Day of Atonement?
5 In offering himself up as a sacrificial Lamb, Jesus Christ served as God’s High Priest who was foreshadowed by Israel’s first high priest, namely, Aaron of the tribe of Levi. All the further sacrificial high priests of ancient Israel descended from this Aaron the brother of Moses. That is another reason why all mankind needs Jesus Christ, for him to serve as the antitype of Israel’s high priests in taking the blood of the sacrifices into the Most Holy of the temple on the annual Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur.
6. To whom were the Christianized Jews told to look for atonement for sins, and why?
6 The resurrected Jesus Christ carried out this Atonement Day picture when he ascended from earth back to heaven, to appear in God’s presence and offer the merit or value of his perfect human sacrifice in atonement for the sins of all mankind. That is why the Christianized Jews were told to look no longer to the Aaronic high priests but to the antitype thereof, in these words recorded in Hebrews 3:1, 2: “Consequently, holy brothers, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the apostle and high priest whom we confess—Jesus. He was faithful to the One that made him such, as Moses was also in all the house of that One.”
SOMETHING MORE THAN A HIGH PRIEST NEEDED
7. In what way is Jesus Christ a suitable high priest for us, and where does chapter one of Revelation picture him as serving as such?
7 In explaining further to Christianized Jews how Jesus Christ as High Priest serves more effectively than did Aaron and his successors, the book of Hebrews goes on to say, in Heb chapter seven, verse twenty-six: “Such a high priest as this was suitable for us, loyal, guileless, undefiled, separated from the sinners, and become higher than the heavens.” The book of Revelation, chapter one, verses twelve through eighteen, pictures the glorified Jesus Christ as serving as High Priest for the Christian congregations. However, Re chapter five pictures him as being more than God’s High Priest. This points up the fact that we all need Jesus Christ for another reason besides his being a sacrificial Lamb and our High Priest.
8. What titles are given to the Lamb in Revelation 5:9, 10, and to what does all of this have reference besides priesthood?
8 Revelation 5:5, 6 identifies the Lamb who was slaughtered as being “the Lion that is of the tribe of Judah, the root of David.” Such titles indicate something regarding the Lamb Jesus Christ. Re 5 Verses nine and ten give additional emphasis to this. In those verses it is said to the Lamb: “You are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals, because you were slaughtered and with your blood you bought persons for God out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and you made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God, and they are to rule as kings over the earth.” To what, then, does all of that have reference besides priesthood? Why, of course, to government, to kingdom. Ah, yes, we all need a perfect, righteous government over all the earth.
9. According to Genesis 49:9, 10, what was the ‘Lion of the tribe of Judah’ to have, and, in this connection, what made it necessary for Jesus to be “the root of David”?
9 According to the prophecy in Genesis 49:9, 10, the Lion that is of the tribe of Judah was to have a scepter and a commander’s staff, and the obedience of all the peoples was to belong to him rightfully. That meant government for the Lion of the tribe of Judah. David was of the tribe of Judah, and for forty years he ruled as king over the Israelites. Jesus Christ had to be “the root of David,” for to King David of Jerusalem God had promised a dynasty of successors in his family that would have a kingdom forever.
10. According to Gabriel’s words to Mary, whose throne was her son to have and for how long?
10 That is to say, as a reward to King David for his unswerving exclusive worship of Jehovah as the one living and true God, Jehovah made a covenant with David for an everlasting kingdom in his family line. (2 Sam. 7:1-17) That is why the angel Gabriel, when announcing the coming birth of Jesus to Mary, who was of the tribe of Judah, said: “Jehovah God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule as king over the house of Jacob [Israel] forever, and there will be no end of his kingdom.”—Luke 1:26-33.
11. When we pray the words of Mathew 6:9, 10, we are admitting to God our need of what?
11 What, now, if we pray to Jehovah God as Jesus instructed his disciples to pray: “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”? Well, thereby we are admitting to God that we need the kingdom of his Son Jesus Christ.—Matt. 6:9, 10.
12. In what effort has Christendom failed, and therefore what will God’s kingdom by Christ have to do to the kingdoms of this world?
12 So-called Christendom has never been God’s kingdom by Christ. Christendom has failed in her attempt to convert the governments of the world to be really Christian governments. How, then, are we ever to have Christ’s kingdom over the earth when all these political governments are around and running earth’s affairs? We cannot under those circumstances. That is why we need to have these imperfect failing governments of men put out of the way, cleared off the earth. This cannot be done by human power. For that reason we need the kingdom of Jesus Christ for this job. It will carry out this job, according to God’s prophecy in Daniel 2:44, which says: “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.”
13. When and where will the violent removal of those worldly governments take place, but what more will the earthly survivors need to have?
13 This violent removal of the political governments of today will be accomplished at the height of the coming “great tribulation” at what Revelation 16:14, 16 calls Har–Magedon. There will be human survivors of that “war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Har–Magedon. These will need to have more than an earth rid of the corrupt, incapable governments of sinful, dying men. What more than that will they need? Nothing less than the removal of all the invisible wicked superhuman intelligences that have masterminded these political governments. But what are those unseen superhuman intelligences? Modern science will not believe it when we answer, Satan the Devil and his demon angels. But let Jesus Christ himself, not modern science, be found true. He said that Satan the Devil is “the ruler of this world.” Certainly Jesus Christ, whom God sent from heaven, ought to know.—John 12:31; 14:30.
14. What government will be powerful enough to dislodge Satan and his demons from their position over earth’s inhabitants, and how?
14 Also, in the vision that the glorified Jesus Christ transmitted to the Christian apostle John he pointed out that Satan the Devil is the one “who is misleading the entire inhabited earth.” (Rev. 12:9) So it will require a heavenly spiritual government to dislodge Satan and his demon angels from their controlling position over all earth’s inhabitants. The kingdom of Jesus Christ is just such a heavenly government powerful enough to bring this relief to mankind. This, too, is why we need that kingdom. After its victory in the war at Har–Magedon, it will bring about the imprisonment of Satan the Devil and all his demon angels in an abyss far away from the vicinity of our earth. Their imprisonment will last for the thousand years of Christ’s kingdom.—Rev. 19:11 through 20:3.
15. How does Revelation picture the life-giving benefits abounding for all those on earth under Christ’s kingdom?
15 During this millennial reign of Jesus Christ, life-giving benefits will flow like a river to all those on earth for whom he gave his life as a sacrificial Lamb. This is beautifully pictured in the last chapter 22 of Revelation. In it the apostle John shows the source of the provisions for the everlasting life of the human family. John says: “And he [an angel of God] showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, flowing out from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of [the city’s] broad way. And on this side of the river and on that side there were trees of life producing twelve crops of fruit, yielding their fruits each month.”
16. In what do all such life-giving benefits find their source, and how will the Kingdom see to it that there is no more a curse upon mankind?
16 Then, to show that such blessings find their source in the royal throne of God and of the Lamb Jesus Christ, the apostle John adds these words: “And no more will there be any curse. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his slaves will render him sacred service.” (Rev. 22:1-3) God’s kingdom by Christ is one for blessing mankind, and not for a curse upon them. God’s Son, Jesus Christ, will see to it that affairs on earth are carried on in righteousness so as to result in blessings.
NEED OF THE KINGDOM BY THE HUMAN DEAD
17. Who will be first to partake of those life-giving provisions, but why will there be other partakers?
17 First to partake of those life-giving provisions from God’s throne through Christ will be the “great crowd” of worshipers who are survivors of the “great tribulation” in which the kingdoms of this world are crushed. (Rev. 7:9-14; Dan. 2:44; Matt. 24:21, 22) Well, then, will there be other partakers of the symbolic river of water of life and symbolic trees of life? Yes, inasmuch as Jesus Christ died as “the Lamb of God” for more humans than just those tribulation survivors. Let us recall what Jesus said not far from a burial tomb at Bethany near Jerusalem in the year 33 C.E. At that time he said: “I am the resurrection and the life. He that exercises faith in me, even though he dies, will come to life; and everyone that is living and exercises faith in me will never die at all. Do you believe this?” Martha, the sister of dead Lazarus, answered: “Yes, Lord; I have believed that you are the Christ the Son of God, the One coming into the world.” (John 11:25-27) Now what about us today? Can we ourselves give the same answer of faith to that question?
18. Why do we have solid reason for answering Yes to Jesus’ question, as Martha did, and why can Jesus still say: “I am the resurrection and the life”?
18 We have solid reason for answering Yes, because Jesus then supported his remarkable words by resurrecting his friend Lazarus although it was on the fourth day of that one’s death. (John 11:28-45) Not long after that, the time came for Jesus himself to be resurrected from the dead. He died on Passover Day. On the third day therefrom he was raised from the dead by the almighty power of his heavenly Father. On the fortieth day therefrom, he ascended into heaven from a place near Bethany on the Mount of Olives. (Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:1-12) In heaven the glorified Jesus Christ can still say: “I am the resurrection and the life.” That he is authorized by God his Father to raise the dead, he assures us by his words in the Revelation vision to John: “I became dead, but, look! I am living forever and ever, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.”—Rev. 1:18.
19. How was Jesus Christ, when resurrected, “the firstborn from the dead,” and not his friend Lazarus and others whom Jesus resurrected?
19 Jesus Christ was the first one to be resurrected from the dead to live as a resurrected person forever. So he is correctly called “the firstborn from the dead” and “the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep in death.” (Col. 1:18; 1 Cor. 15:20) Even his friend Lazarus and others whom he and his apostles raised from the dead succumbed thereafter to death and were buried in the common grave of mankind, that is to say, in Hades. Their earlier release from death and Hades had been only temporary. Hence, “the gates of Hades” must remain closed upon such ones and upon all the other ransomed human dead until the establishment of Christ’s kingdom in the heavens at God’s appointed time.—Matt. 16:18; Isa. 38:10, 18.
20, 21. When and where was Christ’s kingdom established, and whom would he as reigning King resurrect first?
20 World history in our twentieth century furnishes us the fulfillment of Bible prophecy and indicates that Christ’s kingdom was born in the heavens at the close of the Gentile Times in the year 1914 C.E. (Luke 21:24; Ezek. 21:25-27) In heavenly Kingdom power Jesus Christ would direct his attention first to his dead faithful disciples, such as his apostles and other disciples who were called to the heavenly kingdom with him. These he would resurrect to immortal heavenly life, in order for them to be a “kingdom and priests to our God,” as stated in Revelation 5:10. Thus would be fulfilled what the apostle John tells us in Revelation 20:4-6:
21 “And I saw thrones, and there were those who sat down on them, and power of judging was given them. Yes, I saw the souls of those executed with the ax for the witness they bore to Jesus and for speaking about God, . . . And they came to life and ruled as kings with the Christ for a thousand years. . . . This is the first resurrection. Happy and holy is anyone having part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no authority, but they will be priests of God and of the Christ, and will rule as kings with him for the thousand years.”
22. During his millennial reign, how will Jesus Christ use the “keys of death and of Hades,” and in what way will the “great crowd” of tribulation survivors see something never before witnessed on earth?
22 During his millennial reign Jesus Christ as High Priest as well as King will use the “keys of death and of Hades” in behalf of the rest of dead mankind. These dead will hear his voice and will come forth, just as he himself foretold in his words recorded in John 5:28, 29. Then the “great crowd” who live through the “great tribulation” and the binding and abyssing of Satan and his demons will witness a miracle without any equal. They will witness the return to life on earth of all the human dead for whom the High Priest Jesus sacrificed his perfect human life as “the Lamb of God.” (John 1:29; 1 Tim. 2:5, 6; Heb. 2:9) Eventually the number of resurrected ones will mount up into the billions, all these being descendants of sinful Adam from whom they inherited imperfection, sinfulness and condemnation to death. Never will there have occurred anything like this on earth. The apostle John was given a brief vision of this marvelous miracle of God through Christ, and John describes it in Revelation 20:11-14.
23. Why was John not dismayed at the resurrection vision, and when will earth’s inhabitants see 1 Corinthians 15:26 fulfilled?
23 Was John dismayed at the sight? Did he see the earth overfilled with people? Not at all! Jehovah God made the earth to be comfortably filled with men and women in human perfection, with no condemnation of death resting upon them but with the right to everlasting life granted to them in reward for unbreakable devotion to Jehovah God. All will live in a global paradise! (Gen. 1:26-28) So, when the last one of the ransomed human dead has been called forth through the opened “gates of Hades,” the common grave of mankind will exist no more. Hades will have been cast into the “lake of fire,” to its own eternal death. And when all those living on earth under Christ’s millennial kingdom have responded to its discipline and thus been freed from all sinfulness and healed of all human imperfections, they will then indeed be alive, fully so. Then “death,” the death that mankind inherited from Adam, will join Hades in the “lake of fire.” (Rev. 20:14) At that glorious accomplishment men will see fulfilled the words of 1 Corinthians 15:26: “As the last enemy, death is to be brought to nothing.” Any who are destroyed thereafter with Satan and his demons for willful disobedience will suffer “the second death,” from which there is no resurrection.
24. Why do we never need to be ashamed to bear witness to Jesus, and with whom are we moved to bear witness to him?
24 Time would fail us to bear witness to Jesus Christ and tell all that he means to us as members of the fallen human family. Never will we be disappointed in him. “For the Scripture says: ‘None that rests his faith on him will be disappointed.’” (Rom. 10:11; Isa. 28:16) We need never be ashamed to bear witness to Jesus Christ by word of mouth or by printed page. Increased appreciation of how much we need him moves us to join angels in bearing witness to him for the glory of Jehovah God and for the sake of mankind in its present desperate plight.
25. Why should no credit go to us Witnesses for the substance of the witness that we give, and who inspired the prophecies about Jesus, and for what purpose?
25 Let us remember what the angel said when the apostle John gratefully fell at his feet to worship him: “All I am is a fellow slave of you and of your brothers who have the work of witnessing to Jesus. Worship God; for the bearing witness to Jesus is what inspires prophesying.” (Rev. 19:10) So no credit should go to us humans as though the substance of the witness to Jesus Christ originated with us. It is Jehovah God who saw our dire need and helplessness and who lovingly provided his heavenly Son to become the man Jesus Christ in behalf of us all. Furthermore, God by his active spirit inspired all the Bible prophecies concerning Jesus Christ that, by them, we might be directed to “the Lamb of God,” to this High Priest of God, to this Messianic King who will give long-misruled mankind finally a perfect, righteous government.
26. To what answer have we been led by our study of the question, Who is Jesus Christ, so that we all need him?
26 Who then, is Jesus Christ, so that we all need him? Our fact-finding study of this challenging question has led to a satisfying answer. He is the needed One whom the Creator of all things provides and uses to restore us to the happy, blessed family of our heavenly Father. Within that universal family circle we shall enjoy life in bliss forever, abounding in his love and care and lovingly worshiping and serving him to all ages.—1 Cor. 15:28; John 14:6; Acts 4:12.
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