Our Incoming World Government—God’s Kingdom
“Make melody to God, make melody. Make melody to our King, make melody. For God is King of all the earth”—Ps. 47:6, 7.
1. Why do we speak of it as “our incoming world government”?
IT IS for us on earth! It is perfectly suited to our pressing needs—this world government of which we speak. It is about to take over the care of all our affairs. That is why we speak of it as “our incoming world government.”
2. What about the ruling abilities of the One who furnishes this world government?
2 It comes from a source far higher, far greater, than us puny human creatures, who have failed so miserably in managing our affairs on earth. It comes from the One who knows how to run, not only our tiny earth, but also the whole universe. It comes from the Creator of all things. The world government is His kingdom that he promised as far back as six thousand years ago. For all of this ought we not to be glad and make melody to Him? Yes, indeed!
3. His kingdom being a world government, over what and whom will God be King?
3 In being a world government, God’s kingdom will not deal with just one nation on earth. Long ago, from the spring of 1513 before our Common Era to the spring of 33 C.E., God was the heavenly King of just the nation of Israel. (Ps. 147:19, 20) But now he gives his own word for it that he will be King over all the earth. This means over people of all nations. That is why, by means of one of his leading prophets, Isaiah, he said these words of encouragement to all peoples: “My own house will be called even a house of prayer for all the peoples.”—Isa. 56:7.
4. What prophecy of meaning for us all did God make back in Eden, and what government agency did he then have in mind?
4 However, thousands of years before that, away back in the garden of Eden, God made a prophecy that has meaning for all peoples. There he said to the great Seducer of all mankind: “I shall put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed. He [the woman’s seed] will bruise you in the head and you will bruise him in the heel.” (Gen. 3:15) Those prophetic words indicated that, just as all the descendants of the first human couple were hurt by the deceptive action of the great Seducer, so all of them would benefit from the bruising of his head by the triumphant “seed” of God’s “woman.” That bodes good for us of today, does it not? Happily, Yes! And when God spoke of the Bruiser of the head of the Adversary, he was speaking of the government agency that he would set up over all mankind. The government was to be of God and by God and for all the people. Over this fact we should all rejoice.
5. How did the song sung by Moses and the quotation made by Paul indicate that God’s purpose for the future embraced more than Israel?
5 God’s government over the nation of Israel with himself as the heavenly King, was only for a period of time. His loving purpose for the future embraced more than just that small nation. It was at Mount Sinai in Arabia that God became King over the nation of Israel; but in the 40th year thereafter his prophet Moses sang a song in the hearing of all the Israelites. In the climax of that song, he said: “Be glad, you nations, with his people, for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and he will pay back vengeance to his adversaries and will indeed make atonement for the ground of his people.” (Deut. 32:43) Some 1,528 years later those words of Moses were caught up by a man who was an apostle of the “good news” to the non-Israelite nations. Incorporating those words into his inspired letter to Roman Christians, he said: “Christ actually became a minister of those who are circumcised [the Israelites] in behalf of God’s truthfulness, so as to verify the promises He made to their forefathers, and that the nations might glorify God for his mercy. . . . And again he says: ‘Be glad, you nations, with his people.’”—Rom. 15:8-10.
6-8. (a) How did Paul show that God was internationally minded as far as justifying people by faith is concerned? (b) So what kind of government does God purpose?
6 The writer who thus quoted Moses’ words was the apostle Paul. He was a far-ranging missionary intent on finally reaching Rome and planning to go even to Spain. He knew what God was then doing, not only for those Jews who accepted the “good news,” but also for uncircumcised non-Jews, Gentiles, who put faith in the “good news.” He knew that God was internationally minded. So to the congregation in Rome, made up of Jewish and Gentile Christians, Paul wrote:
7 “Is he the God of the Jews only? Is he not also [the God] of people of the nations? Yes, of people of the nations also, if truly God is one, who will declare circumcised people righteous as a result of faith and uncircumcised people righteous by means of their faith.”—Rom. 3:29, 30.
8 So for our time God purposes, not a national government, but a world government for people of all nationalities.
THE KINGDOM OF THE SON OF GOD’S LOVE
9. Why does not natural Israel have any inherited claim on the privilege of setting up the promised world government?
9 Today persons who know the mind of God do not depend on any nation, group of nations, or even the United Nations of now 149 members, to set up the sorely needed world government. They know that the Republic of Israel does not have any inherited claim on the privilege of setting up the world government for the blessing of all the families of the earth. The facts show that God’s kingdom over the natural circumcised Jews ceased in the first century C.E. But God then made a gracious move that was related to the world government. He set up a spiritual kingdom. Over whom was that kingdom, inasmuch as the privileges of the kingdom of God were taken away from the nation of fleshly Israel? Who on earth are the subjects of that spiritual kingdom?
10. In Colossians 1:13 what did Paul call that kingdom, and when did it begin?
10 That kingdom had its start in the first century C.E. The apostle Paul specifically called attention to it in his letter to the Christian congregation in the city of Colossae, Asia Minor (now Turkey), when he said: “Thanking the Father who rendered you suitable for your participation in the inheritance of the holy ones in the light. He delivered us from the authority of the darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of his love, by means of whom we have our release by ransom, the forgiveness of our sins.” (Col. 1:12-14) Away back there in the first century God began making the believers suitable for his purpose even though they were from the Gentile nations. He forgave their sins.
11. What did God’s delivering of the Colossian Christians from the “authority of the darkness” really mean for them?
11 Thus the Colossian believers were made suitable for a share in the inheritance with God’s holy ones, who were in the light. They had been under the “authority of the darkness,” or under the authority of all that such darkness represents. That would include ignorance of Jehovah God, estrangement from him, and not being under his rulership. So, as God made such believers suitable for a share in a brighter life, he “delivered [them] from the authority of the darkness.” They now really became the most enlightened people on earth, for they were now enlightened by God. They were no longer under “the world rulers of this darkness, . . . the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 6:12) God had intervened “to open their eyes, to turn them from darkness to light and from the authority of Satan to God.”—Acts 26:18.
12. With what does Paul say that the enlightened condition of those first-century believers was connected?
12 In this way the first-century believers in the “good news” were brought into a realm of light. But with what was their enlightened condition connected? It was connected with a kingdom. When God “delivered [them] from the authority of the darkness,” he at the same time “transferred [them] into the kingdom of the Son of his love.” (Col. 1:13) That Son is Jesus Christ.
13. What did not only the Colossian Christians but also the enemies understand the official position of Christ to be at that time?
13 At the time that the apostle Paul wrote his letter to the congregation in Colossae, Jesus Christ was spoken of as being a king and as already having a kingdom. That is the way that the enlightened Christian congregation in Colossae understood the matter. Even their enemies came to understand the matter that way. For instance, what was the charge that the mobsters brought against the Christians in the city of Thessalonica? In order to incite the city ruler against the Christians, these mobsters said: “These men [that is, the apostle Paul and his missionary companions] that have overturned the inhabited earth are present here also, . . . And all these men act in opposition to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king, Jesus.”—Acts 17:6, 7.
14. How did Paul compare the imperial Caesars and other political rulers of the day with the glorified Jesus Christ?
14 In showing the difference between the glorified Jesus Christ and the imperial Caesars and other political rulers on earth, the apostle Paul spoke of the immortal Ruler, Jesus Christ, as “the King of those [mortals] who rule as kings and Lord of those [mortals] who rule as lords, the one alone having immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light.” (1 Tim. 6:15, 16) Besides that, the apostle Paul compares this immortal Son of God, Jesus Christ, with King Melchizedek of the twentieth century before our Common Era and says: “This Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, . . . is first of all, by translation, ‘King of Righteousness,’ and is then also king of Salem, that is, ‘King of Peace,’ . . . having been made like the Son of God, . . . And it is still more abundantly clear that with a similarity to Melchizedek there arises another priest, . . . for in witness it is said: ‘You are a priest forever according to the manner of Melchizedek.’”—Heb. 7:1-3, 15-17; Ps. 110:1-4.
15. When was it that Jesus Christ became a King-Priest like Melchizedek?
15 When was God’s Son made a King-Priest like Melchizedek? This was 40 days after his resurrection from the dead, when he ascended to heaven. Then he appeared in the presence of God with the value of his perfect human sacrifice in behalf of the redeemed humans who were to become his subjects in the future.
16. Why, at this point, might some persons have questions about Christ’s reigning?
16 Here, at this point, some persons might experience a little confusion of thought and say, ‘Why, I have understood that Jesus Christ has been reigning in heaven only since the end of the Gentile Times in 1914. So how could it be that he has been reigning in heaven since the year of his ascension to heaven, the year 33 C.E.? (Acts 1:1-11; 2:22-36; Heb. 9:24; 10:12, 13) In what way has he been King all the time since, and over whom has he been reigning?’
THE SPIRITUAL KINGDOM OVER SPIRITUAL ISRAEL
17. Over what did Christ not begin reigning back in 33 C.E.?
17 Well, back in 33 C.E. Jesus Christ did not begin reigning over the world of mankind. He had no share in a world government. He did not start reigning over the Gentile nations, for the Gentile Times were due to end in 1914 C.E.—Luke 21:24.
18. Although Christ then began reigning, why was it not over “the world”?
18 On Pentecost of 33 C.E., at the outpouring of God’s holy spirit, a new nation came into existence, spiritual Israel. (Gal. 6:15, 16; 1 Pet. 2:9, 10) Hence, the glorified Jesus Christ then began reigning over spiritual Israel, over those whom God “transferred . . . into the kingdom of the Son of his love.” (Col. 1:13) To this congregation of spiritual Israelites the words of Jesus Christ apply: “They are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world.” (John 17:14) Inasmuch as he began reigning over those who were “no part of the world,” he was not reigning over the world. So he was reigning over something that was separate from the world. His subjects were in the world but were “no part of the world.”
19. So what kind of kingdom was “the kingdom of the Son of [God’s] love,” and who were its subjects?
19 Jesus Christ was never an earthly human king. He is now a heavenly spiritual King. (John 18:36) According to Hebrews 4:14, he “passed through the heavens.” And according to 1 Peter 3:22, “he is at God’s right hand, for he went his way to heaven; and angels and authorities and powers were made subject to him.” This included spiritual Israel on earth. Consequently Christ’s kingdom since Pentecost of 33 C.E. has been a spiritual one. The worldly-minded churches of Christendom, who meddle in the politics of this world, have not subjected themselves to “the kingdom of the Son of [God’s] love.” They are the friends of this world.—Jas. 4:4.
20. Because of a special relationship of its subjects to God, Christ’s kingdom had to be of what kind?
20 Christ’s kingdom was necessarily of a spiritual kind in that it was over dedicated, baptized Christians who were begotten by God’s spirit to become the spiritual children of God. It was just as Jesus told the Jewish ruler Nicodemus: “Unless anyone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. . . . Unless anyone is born from water and spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. What has been born from the flesh is flesh, and what has been born from the spirit is spirit.”—John 3:3, 5, 6.
21. Why was Christ’s kingdom then not a world government?
21 According to John 1:12, 13, with regard to those who received Jesus as the Messiah, “to them he gave authority to become God’s children, because they were exercising faith in his name; and they were born, not from blood or from a fleshly will or from man’s will, but from God.” For this reason, Christ’s kingdom since the outpouring of the holy spirit upon the Christian congregation at Jerusalem on Pentecost of 33 C.E. has been over a spirit-begotten class, over spiritual Israelites. (Rom. 2:29) It has not been a world government over earthly nations.
22. According to what announcement at God’s due time was Christ to share in world government?
22 Well, now, is “the Son of [God’s] love” to be King over only a congregation of spirit-begotten disciples? In order for the world of mankind to become his subjects on earth, will they all have to become spirit-begotten, “born again,” as the spiritual sons of God? Is that how the world government over all mankind comes, by a world conversion to Christianity before the millennial reign of Christ? No! And yet Jesus Christ will share in world government over the whole human race. In the prophecy of Revelation 11:15, the announcement was to be made at the due time of the Lord God: “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.”
23. Why does God recognize Jesus Christ as deserving a share in world government?
23 That announcement heralds a world government! How, then, is Jesus Christ to gain a share in that world government? The Lord God recognizes his Son as having a right to share in such a world government. Why so? Because God gave his Son to die for all the human race, and this Son died as a perfect human sacrifice. By this he redeemed the whole human family. As Hebrews 2:9 says: “That he by God’s undeserved kindness might taste death for every man.” Also, 1 Timothy 2:5, 6 calls him “Jesus, who gave himself a corresponding ransom for all.”
24. What time did God set for giving his Son a share in world government?
24 However, the Lord God set a time for giving his self-sacrificing Son a share in the world government. When? At the end of the Gentile Times. At that marked time God’s permission of the Gentile Nations (including those of Christendom) to dominate the whole world without interference from God’s kingdom was to expire.—Luke 21:24; Heb. 10:12, 13.
25. What have the intervening centuries allowed for God to do, with a vital tie to the incoming world government?
25 All the intervening centuries have allowed God to go ahead with something that has a vital connection with our incoming world government. What has that been? The transferring of additional approved disciples of Jesus Christ into the spiritual “kingdom of the Son of his love.” (Col. 1:13) He has been doing this according to his own divine will by begetting them with his spirit. (Jas. 1:18) His purpose is to have 144,000 thus taken from among mankind and transferred into his Son’s spiritual Kingdom. These 144,000 must be such as will steadfastly remain in that kingdom in spite of all the trials, hardships and persecution experienced in this world. They must prove to be spirit-begotten disciples who remain “faithful even to death.”—Rev. 2:10; 7:4-8; 14:1-3.
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First-century Christians recognized Christ’s kingship over them as a spiritual Israel