How the Day of Reckoning Is Worked Out for Our Good
1. Why will the nations not gain the victory at Har–Magedon, and how will their accounts on the day of reckoning be settled?
THE “war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Har–Magedon is inexorably ahead for all earthly nations. Although heavily armed as never before for global warfare, they could never be expected to gain the victory over the Almighty God. As Commander in Chief of all the heavenly armies, he will give the victory to his grand Field Marshal, Jesus Christ, because this one is “King of kings and Lord of lords.” He will hold the final day of reckoning with all the opposed nations. Weighed in the scales of divine justice, they will be found wanting. Their accounts will be settled by their everlasting destruction.—Rev. 19:11-21; 17:14.
2. Why were the words of Psalm 45:6, 7 addressed to the King after the fight, and what does his wielding of the scepter betoken for mankind?
2 The victory at Har–Magedon will vindicate the universal sovereignty of God the Almighty. Because he successfully uses Jesus Christ to gain this victory, God will count him worthy to retain his heavenly throne. As long as God lasts, the throne of his anointed King Jesus Christ will last. This important fact is emphasized by the words of Psalm 45:6, 7, which the psalmist addresses to the King, saying: “God is your throne to time indefinite, even forever; the scepter of your kingship is a scepter of uprightness. You have loved righteousness and you hate wickedness. That is why God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of exultation more than your partners.” These words we recognize to be the ones quoted by the apostle Paul to prove Christ’s superiority over the angels. (Heb. 1:7-9) Because he loved righteousness and hated wickedness or lawlessness, Christ’s scepter was bound to be wielded in behalf of uprightness. This betokens good for mankind.
3. Who were the “partners” of Jesus Christ, and why was the “oil of exultation” with which he was anointed more than theirs?
3 As a man on earth, Jesus had kings as forefathers. The psalmist mentions that he would have earthly forefathers. Many of these, from King Jehoiachin back to King David, had been his “partners” in sharing the kingdom set up by God and in sitting on “Jehovah’s throne.” (1 Chron. 29:23; 2 Chron. 13:5, 8; Matt. 1:6-12) Those royal forefathers doubtless exulted in their kingship over God’s chosen people. But none of those royal “partners” could feel exultation to the extent that the glorified Jesus Christ feels it. His kingship is far superior to theirs, it being heavenly, yes, superangelic. Jehovah, the God of Jesus Christ, anointed him more abundantly with the “oil of exultation” because of his perfect, incorruptible devotion to God’s righteousness.
MARRIAGE AND CHILDREN
4, 5. What does the psalmist, in Psalm 45:8-14a, show the victorious King as doing next, and why might this be surprising to us?
4 After Jesus Christ has waged a victorious war against his enemies on earth, he can turn his attention to peaceful pursuits. The inspired psalmist pictures him as getting married and raising a family. This might seem surprising, because the Son of God did not become a man on earth in order to marry one of the daughters of men. He did not follow the course of certain angelic “sons of God” in the days of Noah. (Gen. 6:1-4) So a person might wonder how the further words of Psalm 45 could be true:
5 “All your garments are myrrh and aloeswood and cassia; out from the grand ivory palace stringed instruments themselves have made you rejoice. The daughters of kings are among your precious women. The queenly consort has taken her stand at your right hand in gold of Ophir. Listen, O daughter, and see, and incline your ear; and forget your people and your father’s house. And the king will long for your prettiness, for he is your lord, so bow down to him. The daughter of Tyre also with a gift—the rich ones of the people will soften your own face. The king’s daughter is all glorious within the house; her clothing is with settings of gold. In woven apparel she will be brought to the king.”—Ps. 45:8-14a.
6. Who is this “king’s daughter” that is brought to the King, and what did John the Baptizer have to do with her?
6 Who, now, is the “king’s daughter,” who is brought to the longing king for marriage as formal instrumental music gladdens the occasion? She is indeed the daughter of a King, namely, Jehovah God, the “King of eternity.” (Rev. 15:3) Thus she is a princess. She is the glorified Christian congregation of 144,000 members, these being viewed as a unit, as a composite body. John the Baptizer had the honorable privilege of introducing the first members of this bridal company to Jesus Christ on earth. John said: “He that has the bride is the bridegroom. However, the friend of the bridegroom, when he stands and hears him, has a great deal of joy on account of the voice of the bridegroom. Therefore this joy of mine has been made full.”—John 3:29; 1:35-42; Rev. 14:1-5.
7. To whom did the apostles, by making disciples, espouse these, and in heaven what do these all together constitute?
7 Likewise, by making disciples of Christ, the apostle Paul and the other apostles espoused them like a “chaste virgin” to Jesus Christ as the “one husband.” (2 Cor. 11:2) Like an engaged girl who leaves her parents’ home to join her husband and live with him, the disciples who are promised in marriage to the heavenly Bridegroom must forget their own earthly people and earthly father’s house and set their affections on their heavenly Fiancé, Jesus Christ. After finishing their earthly course faithfully in virgin chastity, they must await their Bridegroom’s voice as he calls them forth in a resurrection from the dead. (1 Thess. 4:16, 17; John 6:54) In heaven, all the 144,000 together constitute the “daughter” of Jehovah the King, for by means of His spirit he begot them as their adoptive Father. Unitedly they form the New Jerusalem, which is called “the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” On that occasion she is “prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”—Rev. 21:2, 9.
8. Because of the nature of the event, who properly attend according to Psalm 45, and who are those who attend in fulfillment of the psalm?
8 It is a royal event, this marriage of a King’s son to a King’s daughter. This makes it fitting that royalty should attend, a “queenly consort” and princesses. All of God’s heavenly organization, like a queenly “wife” of this “King of eternity,” rejoices like a mother, the angelic members of that organization rejoicing together as if they were princesses. All these heavenly creatures bear in mind that Jehovah God made all of this possible, and so they say: “Let us rejoice and be overjoyed, and let us give him the glory, because the marriage of the Lamb has arrived and his wife has prepared herself.”—Rev. 19:7.
9. Where does the rejoicing of the “virgins in her train as her companions” occur, and why there?
9 However, will anyone on earth rejoice with the holy heavens over this brilliant event of universal importance? Yes! Psalm 45:14b, 15 indicates this, as it goes on to say: “The virgins in her [the bride’s] train as her companions are being brought in to you [the King Bridegroom]. They will be brought with rejoicing and joyfulness; they will enter into the palace of the king.” Where, now, does the rejoicing of these virgin companions of the Bride take place? It is true that they are said to enter into the palace of the king, who is heavenly, but do they marry the king? No! Of course not, for they do not get as far as even being espoused to him. So they do not get begotten by God’s spirit to heavenly life.—John 3:3, 5.
10. Whom do the “virgins in her train as her companions” picture today, and how is it that they are on earth when the marriage takes place in heaven?
10 The members of the “king’s daughter” class are espoused to Christ down here on earth, hence, while they are still human. Therefore, the bridesmaids who are merely “in her train” and are not in line for marriage to the Bridegroom King would be an earthly class. They make their appearance on earth when the heavenly marriage is about to be consummated. Those virgin companions therefore picture the “great crowd” who began appearing in this “time of the end” and who join themselves to the remnant of the bride class before these leave the earthly scene to join the Bridegroom Jesus Christ in heaven. Quite in keeping with this, the “great crowd,” as foretold in Revelation 7:9-17, began forming in 1935 and associating themselves with the last members of the spirit-begotten bride class. By being preserved through the coming “great tribulation,” they will be alive here on earth when the heavenly marriage takes place. At that event they will greatly rejoice.—Ps. 45:15.
“PRINCES IN ALL THE EARTH”
11. Does Christ’s present and future glory depend on any fame of his earthly forefathers, and how does Psalm 45:16 show his marriage to the congregation in heaven to be fruitful?
11 When on earth, Jesus Christ had illustrious forefathers. But his present and future glory does not depend upon any luster imparted by such forefathers. With him, the royal dynasty of King David remains fixed, for he is the Permanent Heir of King David and his kingdom will never be passed on to a successor. (Luke 1:31-33) However, Psalm 45:16 pictures his marriage to the congregation of 144,000 glorified disciples as being fruitful, just as marriage was meant to be. Hence, this verse, addressed to the Bridegroom King, says: “In place of your forefathers there will come to be your sons, whom you will appoint as princes in all the earth.”
12. What is the highest station to which these “sons” on earth can attain, and why will the King have enough of them for appointments “in all the earth”?
12 None of these “sons” will become the successor to the heavenly King. A princely station on earth is the highest station to which any of these “sons” could attain. For the appointment of “princes in all the earth” there will have to be many of them. The King will have sufficient “sons” for this purpose, for, in addition to his title “Mighty God,” another of his titles will be “Eternal Father.” (Isa. 9:6) His perfect human sacrifice for all mankind enabled him to become such. By that ransom sacrifice he bought them all.
13. How will the King become the life-giving Father to all the ransomed dead, and how will the “great crowd” be able to furnish the King with his first “princes”?
13 Consequently the King can become the life-giver to the “great crowd” of bridesmaids who survive the “great tribulation” and come under his 1,000-year kingdom. He can also become the father to all the dead of mankind, including his earthly forefathers. How? By resurrecting them from the dead back to life here on earth. (John 5:28, 29) The worthy God-fearing males among all such earthly children he can make “princes in all the earth.” In this way he will exercise his rulership around the whole globe. Logically, the “great crowd” that survive the “great tribulation” and become the first earthly subjects of his kingdom will furnish the King with his first “princes” to serve as earthly representatives of him.
14. How will these “princes” from the “great crowd” be joined by others in official service on earth, and what will this governmental arrangement guarantee for all mankind?
14 What a grand privilege that will be! These “princes” from among the “great crowd” will be joined by others in official service, for the forefathers of Jesus Christ and other faithful men from Abel to John the Baptizer will be resurrected and be made his princely representatives. What a grand, incorruptible government such an arrangement will guarantee for all mankind! This is the greatly needed government that Jehovah God purposes to establish to replace today’s national governments that must shortly reckon with his victorious King, Jesus Christ.
15, 16. (a) Why, according to Psalm 45:17, did the psalmist want to live a long time? (b) Who knows the actual name of the King, and is it worthy of being mentioned and lauded for so long?
15 Like the heart of the inspired psalmist of old, are not our hearts stirred with such “goodly” prospects for the near future? Yes, and in gladsome response our tongues take up the closing words of the psalmist that he addressed to the charming King whose government is backed by God’s own throne: “I will make mention of your name throughout all generations to come. That is why peoples themselves will laud you to time indefinite, even forever.”—Ps. 45:17.
16 The psalmist wanted to live long—“throughout all generations to come”—just to make mention of the king’s name. He did not say the king’s name. Really he did not, in fact, know the name of the king of whom he prophetically wrote under inspiration. But we today can identify the King of whom the psalmist prophetically wrote, and we know his name. It is Jesus Christ, the Son of Jehovah God. Is his name worthy of being mentioned “throughout all generations to come”? The psalmist foretold that there would be “peoples” who would think so and who would therefore “laud” the bearer of this name “to time indefinite, even forever.”
17. So now is the time favorable for our doing what, and our doing so will signify what for us?
17 Today there is set before us the opportunity of being preserved alive through the coming day of reckoning for all the nations and of entering into the blessings of God’s kingdom that will supplant them all. Even now by faith we can exult with His anointed King, for this King’s victory at Har–Magedon is certain and his reign over a cleansed earth for 1,000 years is sure. Ah, then, now—today—is the time favorable for us to put ourselves among those “peoples” who will laud the victorious King “to time indefinite, even forever.” This will redound to the glory of Jehovah God, his heavenly Father, who himself is the supreme “King of eternity” as well as the “King of the nations.” Our doing this will mean for us a life of lauding and of praising His anointed King “even forever.” This will impart real significance to life. It will set before us a lofty purpose for our living to all eternity.