Now Is the Due Time to Welcome the Universal Sovereign
1, 2. Daniel, chapter seven, pictures the glorified “Son of man” as being brought in before whom and as being given what?
THE UNIVERSAL SOVEREIGN is “the Ancient of Days,” Jehovah. To him the glorified “Son of man,” Jesus Christ, came, in 1914 C.E., for a share in the “kingdom of the world.”
2 The prophet Daniel foretold this, saying: “See there! with the clouds of the heavens someone like a son of man happened to be coming; and to the Ancient of Days he gained access, and they brought him up close even before that One. And to him there were given rulership and dignity and kingdom, that the peoples, national groups and languages should all serve even him. His rulership is an indefinitely lasting rulership that will not pass away, and his kingdom one that will not be brought to ruin.”—Dan. 7:13, 14.
3. According to Daniel 7:27, who also are brought into that indefinitely lasting kingdom?
3 That kingdom has brought into it later on in this “time of the end” 144,000 spirit-begotten disciples of Christ. Just as Daniel 7:27 foretold: “The kingdom and the rulership and the grandeur of the kingdoms under all the heavens were given to the people who are the holy ones of the Supreme One. Their kingdom is an indefinitely lasting kingdom, and all the rulerships will serve and obey even them.”—Dan. 12:4; Rev. 14:1-3; 20:4, 6.
4. The “great crowd” of today are the subjects of what heavenly government?
4 Because the Ancient of Days takes his Anointed Son Jesus into association with him in “the kingdom of the world” it becomes “the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ.” (Rev. 11:15) Thus all the world of mankind become earthly human subjects of the Universal Sovereign Jehovah and of his Christ. These earthly subjects now include the “great crowd” who are introduced to us in the vision in Revelation 7:9-17. This vision was first understood in 1935 C.E.
5. According to Revelation 3:21, 63 years after Pentecost of 33 C.E. Jesus was encouraging his spirit-begotten disciples to look forward to what?
5 Today the “great crowd” well understands that “the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ” involves two main persons, namely, the Lord Jehovah and his Son, Christ Jesus; also, that this particular government to which they are subject dates, not from Pentecost of 33 C.E., but from 1914 C.E. Accordingly, the “great crowd” observes that, 63 years after Pentecost, Christ Jesus was still encouraging his spirit-begotten disciples to look forward to that kingdom, saying: “To the one that conquers I will grant to sit down with me on my throne, even as I conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.” (Rev. 3:21) They had yet to inherit that coming heavenly kingdom as “heirs indeed of God, but joint heirs with Christ.” (Rom. 8:17) Jesus Christ is the main Heir of God, and his disciples are minor heirs.—Heb. 1:1, 2.
6. According to 2 Peter 1:10, 11, were the spirit-begotten disciples already in that kingdom or yet to enter into it?
6 So the Kingdom of which those spirit-begotten disciples on earth were “joint heirs with Christ” is not something in which they had been since the outpouring of holy spirit at Pentecost of 33 C.E. For that reason the apostle Peter, writing his second letter about 64 C.E., or 30 years after Pentecost, gave his fellow Christians this admonition: “If you keep on doing these things you will by no means ever fail. In fact, thus there will be richly supplied to you the entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”—2 Pet. 1:10, 11.
7. By means of what do they have that entrance into the kingdom supplied to them, and so what temporary relationship to Jesus Christ passes away?
7 In God’s due time the 144,000 joint heirs with Christ are richly supplied that entrance into the heavenly kingdom by means of the “first resurrection.” Then they will no longer be the spirit-begotten subjects on earth under “the Son of [God’s] love.” That temporary relationship with the glorified Jesus Christ will be gone forever. They will be the heavenly immortal, incorruptible kings with him. (2 Tim. 2:11, 12; Rev. 20:4, 6) This means that the temporary subject state that applied to them since Pentecost of 33 C.E. and while they were yet in the flesh on earth will have passed forever. (Col. 1:13) For having lived clean and faithful lives on earth, they inherit “the kingdom of the Christ and of God.”—Eph. 5:5.
8. Did the 1,000-year reign of Christ begin in 1914, and what does the foretold “sign” indicate in this regard?
8 The 1,000-year reign of Jesus Christ with his 144,000 joint heirs did not begin in 1914 at the inauguration of the “kingdom of the world . . . the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ.” What did begin there for Jesus Christ was his official, royal “presence,” or parousia, about which his apostles had asked, according to Matthew 24:3. His “presence” in Kingdom power did not start when God used him to pour out holy spirit at Pentecost of 33 C.E. (2 Thess. 2:2) Only since the Gentile Times ended in 1914 has the foretold “sign” become visible to prove that the Son of God is invisibly present in Kingdom power, in the “kingdom of the world.”
9. From the occurring of the “sign,” the disciples were to know that what was near, and why were they to quit any dejectedness?
9 This kingdom is assigned to destroy the present wicked system of things. In Jesus’ prophecy that sets out the things that make up the portentous “sign,” he referred to the Kingdom when it was about to carry out this destructive work, saying to his apostles: “In this way you also, when you see these things occurring, know that the kingdom of God is near.” (Luke 21:31) By carrying out its assigned work, this kingdom will deliver the faithful disciples of Christ yet on earth from further oppression by the Gentile nations. This explains why Jesus said to his disciples: “As these things start to occur, raise yourselves erect and lift your heads up, because your deliverance is getting near.”—Luke 21:28.
10. When does the “deliverance” of the spirit-begotten remnant take place, and what does it include?
10 The remnant of spirit-begotten disciples of Christ yet on earth saw “these things” start to occur back in 1914 C.E. Their deliverance from the present wicked system of things occurs when the royal “stone” that was cut out of the mountain of God’s sovereignty strikes the “image” of worldly political rulership of the earth and destroys it in the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Har–Magedon. (Dan. 2:44, 45; Rev. 16:14, 16) Their “deliverance” also includes their later being taken from the earthly scene and being ushered into “the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” by the “first resurrection” from the dead. (2 Pet. 1:11; Rev. 20:4, 6) This will enable them to rule as kings with Jesus Christ during the millennium when Satan the Devil and his demons are bound and confined in the abyss, no longer able to dominate mankind’s affairs invisibly.—Rev. 20:1-3.
11. Who else will then enjoy deliverance, but for ignoring what “decree” will the Gentile nations not share in that deliverance?
11 Deliverance also nears for the “great crowd” of sheeplike people who are now taking their stand with the spirit-begotten remnant in favor of “the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ.” But the Gentile nations have ignored the Kingdom “decree” about which they have been given notice, as set out in Psalm 2:1-9: “Why have the nations been in tumult [since 1914 C.E.] and the national groups themselves kept muttering an empty thing? The kings of earth take their stand and high officials themselves have massed together as one against Jehovah and against his anointed one [his Christ], . . . Let me refer to the decree of Jehovah; he has said to me [Christ]: ‘You are my son; I, today, I have become your father. Ask of me, that I may give nations as your inheritance and the ends of the earth as your own possession. You will break them with an iron scepter, as though a potter’s vessel you will dash them to pieces.’”—Rev. 7:9, 10; 11:15.
NEUTRALITY ASSOCIATED WITH KINGDOM PREACHING
12. Despite the end of the Gentile Times in 1914, what position do Jehovah’s Witnesses take toward worldly politics?
12 Since 1914, the “kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ” has had a right to interfere with Gentile nations. Does this mean that Jehovah’s Christian witnesses now have a right to meddle in worldly politics? May they take sides, as Catholics and Protestants do, with this or that political party, even conspiring against established political government or stirring up revolution? Not at all! Uncompromisingly they have copied the example of the Lamb, Jesus Christ, in being “no part of the world.” They hold strictly to the kingdom that was brought to birth in heaven in 1914. (John 17:14, 16; Rev. 12:1-12) In spite of the fierce persecution leveled against them because of their Christian neutrality toward worldly conflicts, they carry out the prophetic word of their heavenly Leader, Jesus Christ, when 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; Mark 13:10.
13. So why did the end of the Gentile Times and the start of Christ’s millennial reign not take place simultaneously?
13 This Kingdom witness has to be done before this system of things ends and Christ’s 1,000-year reign begins. Hence, the birth of God’s kingdom in the heavens in 1914 did not mean the beginning of Christ’s millennial reign. According to Bible prophecies, much has to take place before this system of things ends, making way for Christ’s reign of 1,000 years with his 144,000 spirit-begotten disciples.—Rev. 20:4, 6.
14. What is Satan determined to accomplish respecting the nations before he is abyssed, and why?
14 Satan the Devil is determined that, before he and his demon angels are hurled into the abyss for 1,000 years, he will drag all the nations down into destruction and thus prevent their becoming Christ’s subjects during His millennial reign. To this end he is leading all the worldly nations to the battlefield of Har–Magedon, there to fight against Jehovah God and his Christ. (Rev. 16:13-16) Satan the Devil will thus be responsible for the everlasting “woe” that strikes the Gentile nations there. (Rev. 12:12; 19:11-21) How can we escape that woeful destruction with those nations?
15. For refusing to march with the Gentile nations under Satan, what has been the experience of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and why?
15 We must refuse to march as allies with the Gentile nations in their march to fight against Jehovah God the Almighty at Har–Magedon. Such refusal has brought great hardship upon Jehovah’s Christian Witnesses. Especially since the ouster of Satan the Devil and his demon angels from heaven, the remnant of the prospective joint heirs of Christ have been the main target of the wrathful Satan the Devil. (Rev. 12:13-17) His aim is to break their integrity toward God. In this way he would make them unfit to rule as kings with Christ during the 10 centuries when all the demons are imprisoned in the abyss. Satan the Devil is bent on preventing Christ from having the full number of 144,000 associate kings in the heavenly world government. Will Satan the Devil succeed in this? Never!
16. How will a demon-free millennium be brought in, and as an expression of what will God’s world government by Christ rule?
16 Well might an earthworm try to prevent a farm tractor from running over it as for Satan and all the earthly nations of which he is the invisible ruler to succeed in crippling and halting God’s incoming world government! Besides having suffered defeat in the earlier war in heaven, Satan will see the defeat of his misled nations at Har–Magedon. He will see Christ irresistibly use his “iron scepter” in dashing all the assembled nations to pieces as if they were earthenware vessels fashioned by a potter. (Ps. 2:8, 9; Rev. 12:5) Then Satan and his demons will be seized by the victorious Christ and be chained and hurled into the abysmal dungeon. This will be sealed tight shut for 1,000 years. During that demon-free millennium God’s world government by Christ will rule as an expression of his rightful universal sovereignty.—Rev. 20:1-6.
WELCOME “THE GLORIOUS KING” IN!
17. To demonstrate our belief in the certainty of world government, what should be done by us now, imitating whose example?
17 Divine world government for the relief and blessing of oppressed dying mankind is certain. Do we believe that fact? Our belief in this joy-inspiring fact calls for us to do something now! Do what? Do like the dedicated, baptized “great crowd,” which began forming 20 years after the birth of God’s kingdom in 1914. They are hailing “the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ” as the only hope for everlasting deliverance! According to the prophetic vision given in Revelation 7:9-17, the “great crowd” clean up their lives and serve Jehovah God at his spiritual temple now! Our following this same course will ensure our being on the winning side during “the war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Har–Magedon. (Rev. 16:14, 16; 19:11-21) Before us will then open the way to Paradise on earth under the best government that humankind will ever have had. Our desire for the best moves us to prepare for its coming now!
18. What does the Sovereign Lord God now bring with him, and so what should we acknowledge as belonging to him?
18 Behold now, with eyes of faith, the victorious march of the Sovereign Lord of all creation! He brings with him world government by Christ for the blessing of all the families of the earth, living and dead. Let us acknowledge his rightful sovereignty and say in the words of Psalm 24:1, 2: “To Jehovah belong the earth and that which fills it, the productive land and those dwelling in it. For upon the seas he himself has solidly fixed it, and upon the rivers he keeps it firmly established.” Ah, yes, no subterranean waters will ever rise to overflow the earth like a flood, while at the same time the seven seas have bars set for them by the Creator.
19, 20. In harmony with Psalm 24, we now have reason to be like the citizens of ancient Jerusalem on what occasion?
19 We now have reason to be like the citizens of ancient Jerusalem in the year 1070 B.C.E. King David was then having the sacred ark of the covenant carried by the Levite priests toward the city gates. As the joyful city watched the approaching procession conducting the symbol of God’s presence, they heard the cry ring out:
20 “Raise your heads, O you gates, and raise yourselves up, O you long-lasting entrances, that the glorious King may come in!”
21. (a) Why were the gates and the ancient entrances of Jerusalem called on to heighten themselves? (b) Why was it then fitting to declare that Jehovah was “mighty in battle”?
21 In order for the name of the royal Personage to be heralded abroad, the guards or sentries at the gates respond: “Who, then, is this glorious King?” Promptly and without shame there comes back the priestly reply: “Jehovah strong and mighty, Jehovah mighty in battle.” (Ps. 24:7, 8) Ah, then, it is no lowly individual that asks entrance into the royal city. It is the loftiest Personage in all the universe, Jehovah “the glorious King.” For that reason the gates and the long-lasting or ancient entrances seemed to be too low. Hence, they should heighten themselves for the passing through of so lofty a king. He was far loftier than King David, who sat on “Jehovah’s throne” at Jerusalem. (1 Chron. 29:23) In earlier times other kings may have passed through the ancient entrances of the city, but none as glorious or as mighty as Jehovah, the Most High God. He was the One that did battle and gave the victory to King David over the former pagan occupants of the city, the Jebusites. He, too, was the One that gave to King David the victory over the Philistines in their two attempts to depose David from his throne in the newly captured city of Jerusalem.—2 Sam. 5:4-25.
22. How was “Jehovah of armies” them symbolized, and on what kind of mission was he thus approaching the entrances of Jerusalem?
22 It was on a peaceful mission that the Warrior-King, Jehovah, as symbolized by the ark of the covenant, approached the city in 1070 B.C.E. In deference to his highness, the cry again arises from the oncoming marchers: “Raise your heads, O you gates; yes, raise them up, O you long-lasting entrances, that the glorious King may come in!” Once again the inquiry is made: “Who, then, is he, this glorious King?” Back comes the reassuring answer: “Jehovah of armies—he is the glorious King.”—Ps. 24:7-10.
23. (a) Why, since 1914, is Jehovah of armies especially “the glorious King”? (b) What will he maintain at Har–Magedon, and after that what will he do for mankind?
23 Today in this year of 1978 C.E. the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Har–Magedon approaches. Now, long since the Gentile Times ended in 1914, “Jehovah of armies” is especially “the glorious King.” Why so? Because, as Psalm 47:8 foretold, “God has become king over the nations,” he again acting as the Universal Sovereign toward our earth. He will display his mightiness in further maintaining at Har–Magedon “the kingdom of the world . . . the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ.” (Rev. 11:15-18) Jehovah’s Christ, the Son greater than King David, is the one whom he has enthroned to represent Him in the world government. First, Jehovah of armies, attended by his Son Jesus Christ and armies of heavenly angels, will rid the universe of today’s wicked system of things. Then he will bless mankind with righteous world rulership through his Son, Jesus Christ. This grand prospect gets nearer to its realization!
24. So what does this Jehovah of armies now deserve from us?
24 Does not this “glorious King,” Jehovah of armies, deserve now a heartfelt welcome from us? Most certainly, Yes! Come in, then, O our glorious King!