The Only Hope for Righteous Rule
“And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be brought to ruin.”—Daniel 2:44.
HISTORY reveals that many rulers of past ages were considered to be gods. Even in our century Stalin and Hirohito were so acclaimed. None of such so-called gods measured up to the Biblical proof of godship, namely, the ability to foretell the future. Jehovah challenges all false gods: “Cause us to hear even the things that are coming. Tell the things that are to come afterward, that we may know that you are gods.” (Isaiah 41:22, 23) No human rulers have ever been able to foretell the future, not even of their own rulership. They have always made glowing predictions of what they will do in office, but they have proved themselves false prophets so often that people now place little trust in their forecasts.
World War I was fought ‘to make the world safe for democracy.’ It did not. The League of Nations was to be ‘the political expression of God’s kingdom on earth.’ It was not. World War II was to rid the world of dictators. They still flourish. The United Nations was to unite nations in peaceful cooperation. They are split into Eastern and Western blocs, and Third World nations are pawns as wars cold and hot rage on. World rulers proclaim hope but, for the most part, they produce hopelessness. Their predictions of better times go unfulfilled. As it was in ancient times, so it is today: “Treating the wounds of my people slightly and lightly, saying ‘All’s well, all’s well,’ when all is not well.” (Jeremiah 6:14, Moffatt) Little wonder people no longer believe the promises of politicians!
Jehovah—a God Who Knows the Future
However, Jehovah God knows government, and his predictions concerning human governments are always fulfilled. Some 150 years before Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the land city of Tyre, God’s prophet Isaiah foretold its destruction. His prophet Nahum predicted the fall of Nineveh, and that not only came to pass but did so in the way Jehovah had described. (Isaiah 23:1-13; Nahum 1:8; 2:6, 8; 3:13) Years before Judah fell to Babylon, Jeremiah foretold it, and also the restoration of the Jews that would follow a 70-year desolation period. But Isaiah predicted the same events over a hundred years before Jeremiah did and even gave the name of the one who would overthrow Babylon and release the Jews from captivity.—Jeremiah 29:10; 51:30, 37; Isaiah 13:17-22; 44:26-28; 45:1, 2.
Even more striking is Jehovah’s predictive power relative to human governments when in a vision he reveals to Daniel the rise and fall of world powers. In Daniel chapter 8 the prophet sees a two-horned ram that is supreme, until a he-goat with a great horn between its eyes comes out of the west and smites the ram and breaks its two horns. But as soon as the goat becomes mighty, the big horn is broken and four smaller ones come up in its place. (Da 8 Vss. 3-8) We are not left in doubt as to the interpretation of all of this.
“The ram that you saw possessing the two horns,” the account explains, “stands for the kings of Media and Persia. And the hairy he-goat stands for the king of Greece; and as for the great horn that was between its eyes, it stands for the first king. And that one having been broken, so that there were four that finally stood up instead of it, there are four kingdoms from his nation that will stand up, but not with his power.”—Da 8 Vss. 20-22.
Some years after Daniel was used to predict these momentous events, the dual nation of Medo-Persia, the two-horned ram, did overthrow Babylon to become the Fourth World Power. More than two centuries after Daniel recorded this prophecy, Alexander the Great rose to power and cast down Medo-Persia. Upon Alexander’s death—the breaking of the great horn on the he-goat—the Fifth World Power of Greece was divided into four parts. Each part was ruled over by one of Alexander’s four generals—the four little horns that replaced the great horn, but they never gained its power.
Daniel chapter 7 also shows by a vision a succession of beasts representing the rise and fall of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and the Roman Empire. In Da chapter 2 a dream of Nebuchadnezzar represents by means of a great metallic image in human form the rise and fall of world powers down to our day, and then it shows the destruction of that colossal image:
“A stone was cut out not by hands, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and of molded clay and crushed them. At that time the iron, the molded clay, the copper, the silver and the gold were, all together, crushed and became like the chaff from the summer threshing floor, and the wind carried them away so that no trace at all was found of them. And as for the stone that struck the image, it became a large mountain and filled the whole earth.”—Daniel 2:34, 35.
The stone that becomes a mountain and fills the earth is Christ’s kingdom that replaces all human governments, as Daniel 2:44, 45 reveals: “And 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; forasmuch as you beheld that out of the mountain a stone was cut not by hands, and that it crushed the iron, the copper, the molded clay, the silver and the gold.”
The seventh chapter of Daniel also speaks of the succession of human rulerships and also concludes its parade of governments with their replacement by Christ’s kingdom: “With the clouds of the heavens someone like a son of man happened to be coming; and to the Ancient of Days [Jehovah God] 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.”—Daniel 7:13, 14.
6,000 Years of Failures Are Enough!
Jehovah God has patiently allowed people thousands of years to try many times over all the kinds of governments they could think of. Not one has brought permanent blessing to its subjects. These have been starved, impoverished, oppressed, victimized by religious, racial, national and economic prejudices, heavily taxed to support corrupt governments, and have been diseased, crippled and killed by centuries of senseless wars waged by greedy and power-mad rulers. No honest person can contend that given more time men could have established a righteous government. Over and over again it has been demonstrated that ‘it is not in man that walks to direct his steps.’ (Jeremiah 10:23) Also, repeatedly proved is the fact that no human rulers were in reality gods able to predict the future, even of the governments they controlled.
In sharp contrast, Jehovah has proved himself to be the God who does know the future, including that of human governments. He also knows, and has told mankind through his Word, the Bible, of a righteous government under his appointed king, Christ Jesus. Whereas human rule has been a curse for mankind, Christ’s kingdom will bring blessings of health, happiness and endless life in a paradise earth.—Compare Luke 23:42, 43; Revelation 11:15.
Let all honest persons who love righteousness now acknowledge Christ Jesus as their Redeemer and King. Recognize that “there is no salvation in anyone else, for there is not another name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must get saved.”—Acts 4:12; Matthew 12:21.