A Change of Rulership—Soon!
MOST people have overlooked a matter of utmost importance. It is this: In their struggle for world control, the contesting nations have failed to recognize that there is a greater authority and power than theirs. They ignore the fact that “the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind, and that to the one whom he wants to he gives it.” (Daniel 4:25) Who is this one whom the Almighty God chooses as King over the entire earth? When does he receive world control?
Still Another King
Before prophesying about ‘the king of the north and the king of the south,’ Daniel had this prophetic vision regarding God’s chosen king: “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 to him there were given rulership and dignity and kingdom, that the peoples, national groups and languages should all serve even him. His rulership . . . will not pass away, and his kingdom . . . will not be brought to ruin.”—Daniel 7:13, 14.
That vision went on to picture successive world governments as beasts. And, indeed, “man has dominated man to his injury” with beastlike cruelty. (Ecclesiastes 8:9) Men have also ruled under the beastly control of rebellious spirit princes, chief of whom is Satan himself. (Daniel 7:17; 10:13; compare Revelation 12:9; 13:2-4.) In contrast, “someone like a son of man” receives ruling authority from Jehovah God. This God-appointed ruler has qualities appropriate for a ruler of humans who were originally made “in God’s image.” (Genesis 1:27) But who is he?
Jesus applied the term “Son of man” to himself when he was on earth 1,900 years ago. Being then a human, he was literally “a son of man,” and he perfectly displayed fine qualities, such as love, compassion, and justice. He also gave his life to ransom humans, thus acting out the role of mankind’s closest relative—truly a “Son of man.”—Matthew 20:28; Hebrews 2:11-17.
Further applying Daniel’s prophecy, Jesus said: “They will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” He later portrayed himself in a similar picture, saying: “When the Son of man arrives in his glory, . . . he will sit down on his glorious throne.” (Matthew 24:30; 25:31) Today Jesus is no mere man on earth. Since his death and resurrection in 33 C.E., he has been a heavenly spirit in God’s image. In contrast with human rulers, he is the only King “having immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom not one of men has seen or can see.” (1 Timothy 6:16) His Kingdom rule will not have the beastly qualities of the wicked spirits who have influenced human governments.
Jesus is thus the only King appointed by God as His Messiah, or Christ, and authorized to rule the entire earth. (Daniel 7:14) This means that all human governments, including “the king of the north” and “the king of the south,” must come to their end and be replaced by God’s Kingdom under the rulership of Christ.—Daniel 2:44; compare Psalm 2:7, 8, 12.
“The Great Prince” Assumes Power
However, Jesus did not begin his rule over mankind in 33 C.E. He had a period of waiting. It was only after this that Jehovah empowered him to “go subduing in the midst of [his] enemies.” (Psalm 110:1, 2; Acts 2:32-36) Foretelling this, Daniel said: “During that time Michael will stand up, the great prince . . . And there will certainly occur a time of distress such as has not been made to occur since there came to be a nation until that time.”—Daniel 12:1.
This prophecy followed Daniel’s indicating that the struggle between “the king of the north” and “the king of the south” in the present “time of the end” would be reaching its climax. At this stage, one of these ‘kings’ would “go forth in a great rage” in order to annihilate many people. (Daniel 11:40, 44, 45) It would be then that Michael “who is standing in behalf of” God’s own people would act decisively so that they could escape.—Compare Daniel 11:2, 3, 7, 20, 21; 12:1.
How, though, does this link up with Jesus? Remember that he included Daniel’s prophecy with his own asserting of himself as King in the future. In this regard he also spoke of an unparalleled “great tribulation.” (Matthew 24:21, 29-31) He was clearly referring to the “time of distress” that Daniel mentioned in connection with Michael. (Compare Matthew 24:15; Daniel 11:31.) Jesus thus identified himself as Michael who would stand up to rule.
Jesus and Daniel gave these prophecies in their descriptions of events during “the time of the end.” These events have been remarkably fulfilled since 1914. Jesus then assumed power in heaven as King, and he has been ruling in the midst of his enemies.—Matthew 24:3, 7-12.
You probably realize that the nations have failed to recognize Christ’s Kingdom. They reject the message about its establishment and continue to assert their own sovereignties. That message is foolishness to them. Thus “not one of the rulers of this system of things came to know” God’s wisdom in choosing Christ as King. Blinded by a system controlled by Satan and his rebellious spirit princes, they find themselves opposed to the Messianic Kingdom.—1 Corinthians 2:8; compare Luke 4:5, 6; 2 Corinthians 4:4.
So, as Jesus foretold, those who faithfully preach his Kingdom are persecuted. They will come under yet greater attack. (Matthew 24:9, 14; Daniel 11:44, 45; compare Ezekiel 38:14-16.) Jesus, though, will come forth as “King of kings and Lord of lords” to battle on behalf of his people. This battle will end in complete victory for God’s chosen King. The attackers of his people will ‘have to come all the way to their end, and there will be no helper for them.’ All other ‘kings’ will have been brought to ruin.—Revelation 11:15, 18; 19:11, 16, 19-21; Psalm 2:1-3, 6-9.
Having started in 1914, “the time of the end” is now well advanced. Jesus said that the generation that saw the beginning of that time would also see its end. (Matthew 24:32-34) We are, therefore, rapidly approaching that glorious time when Christ Jesus will fully take over rulership of earth’s affairs and unite all obedient mankind under his one government.
Yes, there is going to be a change of rulership soon. Yet what will this mean for you? It could mean that your future will end along with present human governments and their supporters. Or, depending on your course of action, it could mean everlasting life and security in an earthly paradise, sustained and controlled by God’s Kingdom. This can prove true if you loyally support Christ’s rulership along with the millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide.