Questions From Readers
● The December 1, 1979, issue of The Watchtower refers to the United Nations as being “the eighth world power.” Is not the Anglo-American, the Seventh World Power, the last world power?
The United Nations, as the successor of the old League of Nations, is a “world power” in that its member nations, influence and organization are world wide in scope.
The Anglo-American combine, nevertheless, continues in its powerful dominating position as the Seventh World Power. Even the Soviet Union has not surpassed it because of coming to have superior military, political and commercial might. The Bible shows that there will be only seven world powers in this sense, to correspond to the seven heads of the wild beast. (Rev. 13:1) There is rivalry and competition between the Anglo-American world power as the “king of the south” and the socialistic “king of the north,” but there is no indication in Scripture that the latter will replace the former as an eighth world power before both come to their end.—Daniel 11:40-45.
Yet, both “super powers” have cooperated, along with other nations of the world, with few exceptions, in producing and keeping in existence the United Nations organization. This is in fulfillment of prophecy in that the scarlet-colored wild beast, representing the United Nations organization, is said to be “also itself an eighth king, but springs from the seven, and it goes off into destruction.” (Rev. 17:9-11) This wild beast also has seven heads to correspond with the seven world powers that have been on the world scene in past centuries and down to the present. But the whole scarlet-colored wild beast, heads included, comes to be like an “eighth king,” in that the United Nations is a tool used by the member nations in attempting to impose a collective will upon the nations as a whole, while holding on to their respective sovereignties.
The United Nations does not have much power in itself, not even having an army, except where the members make specific provision for this. It really derives its existence and power from the nations that make up its membership. Particularly is this true of the Anglo-American world power that took the initiative to bring into existence first the League of Nations and then the United Nations. (Rev. 13:11-15) Before it goes into destruction along with all the nations to whom it owes its existence, the Scriptures show that this “eighth” world power, with the prominent ruling elements taking the lead as the “ten horns” of the beast, will turn on “Babylon the Great,” the world empire of false religion, and destroy it.—Rev. 17:12-18.
● When does the “revealing of the sons of God” take place, as mentioned at Romans 8:19, and for what purpose?
When Paul mentions the “glory that is going to be revealed in us,” referring to himself and other anointed “sons of God,” he obviously is speaking of the glory that comes to them when resurrected to heavenly life. (Rom. 8:18) However, it is not until these glorified “sons of God” begin to fulfill their duties in behalf of humans on earth that these earthly subjects of the kingdom begin to experience the “revealing of the sons of God.”
Paul speaks of “the eager expectation of the creation” in “waiting for the revealing of the sons of God.” So men of faith down through the centuries have longed for the time for their “revealing,” knowing of the relief that would follow. At Har–Magedon there will be “relief” at “the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with his powerful angels,” repaying “tribulation to those who make tribulation” for worshipers of God. This will mean destruction for these persecutors and opposers. (2 Thess. 1:6-10) Revelation 2:26, 27 shows that resurrected anointed ones, as part of the “seed” of God’s heavenly, wifely organization, will be associated with Christ Jesus in bringing this destruction on the wicked. (Gen. 3:15; Gal. 3:16, 29; Rev. 16:14, 16; 19:11-21) Following this, the Devil and his demons will be abyssed. (Rev. 20:1-3) With both spirit and human opposers cleared away, there will be immeasurable relief from oppression, temptation and misleading propaganda. Here is where the long-awaited revelation of the sons of God has been accomplished, and the “great crowd” of human survivors of the “great tribulation” will rejoice at this revelation.
Paul shows that there is more involved than just doing away with the oppressors. In connection with the “revealing of the sons of God,” he said “creation itself also will be set free from enslavement to corruption and have the glorious freedom of the children of God.” (Rom. 8:21) It is when the Lord Jesus Christ and his anointed joint heirs in the heavens begin to administer the benefits of the ransom sacrifice during the thousand-year reign that the human subjects of the kingdom will begin to experience deliverance from the effects of sin and death. By the end of that millennial reign, all obedient earthly subjects will have been assisted by Jesus and his associate kings and priests to attain to perfection. Those who continue to remain faithful to God during the test by the released Devil and his demons will then have their names written in “the book of life.” (Rev. 20:12-15) Then they will enjoy completely “the glorious freedom of the children of God.” (Rom. 8:19-22) Thus the grand purpose of the “revealing of the sons of God” is accomplished.