ENTER “THE KINGDOM OF OUR LORD AND OF HIS CHRIST”
8. Since when was the “sign” readable, and the time for what announcement did it indicate?
8 How many of us have noticed that “sign” and read its meaning as it has unfolded before our eyes since the end of the Gentile Times in 1914? It indicates that then was the due time for loud voices in heaven to proclaim: “The kingdom of the world did become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will rule as king forever and ever.”—Rev. 11:15.
9. How does this “kingdom” compare with that mentioned in Colossians 1:13, and who is said to do the ruling as king in it?
9 Let us listen to that proclamation again and notice what it says. Not, ‘and they will rule as kings forever and ever,’ but, “and he will rule as king forever and ever.” Who, then, is the One that is said to do the ruling as king forever and ever? He must be the leading one spoken of in the proclamation, the one who has a Christ or Anointed One. He must be the one spoken of as “our Lord.” The one who is called in heaven “our Lord” is the Principal One, and “his Christ” is the secondary one, the subsidiary one. Hence, the government is termed “the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ,” and is something of greater proportions and bigger dimensions than “the kingdom of the Son of his love,” spoken of in Colossians 1:13, the apostle Paul mentioning such a kingdom about 35 years before John wrote the Revelation. So at the taking over of the “kingdom of the world” it is Jehovah God who really starts reigning. He is “the Lord of the earth.”—Rev. 11:4; Zech. 14:3-9.
10. So this marks the start of what for the “King of eternity”?
10 That the foregoing is the correct application of the expression “our Lord” is supported by what the 24 elders said as they worshiped before the divine throne: “We thank you, Jehovah God, the Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and begun ruling as king.” (Rev. 11:16, 17) So this marks the start of a special period in the universal rulership of God, “the King of eternity.”—1 Tim. 1:17; Rev. 15:8.
11. The symbolic male child born by God’s “woman” plays what kind of role, but who, basically, exercises the kingship?
11 The kingship of Jehovah God is what is exalted even in what is said in connection with the birth of an offspring by God’s heavenly “woman.” The offspring is pictured as a male child, “who is to shepherd all the nations with an iron rod.” That doubtless means that the symbolic male child is to break all the political nations of the earth to pieces as when smashing clay pottery. So it has a governmental role to fulfill. But who, basically, wields the kingly power? This is spelled out for us in the words: “And her child was caught away to God and to his throne.”—Rev. 12:1-5.
12. Who is it that enthrones the symbolic male child, and accordingly, thereafter, who is said to have the kingdom, and to whom is authority given?
12 God is the One who enthrones this symbolic male child. God is the Source of all rightful rulership. The symbolic child is given a position subsidiary to God’s kingship. As a governmental agency of God it is spoken of as something brand new, as fresh as a newly born baby, not as something that had already been in existence since Pentecost of 33 C.E. Accordingly, when war breaks out in heaven after the birth of this symbolic male child and finally the victory is won, Satan and his demons being ousted, a loud voice in heaven is heard to say: “Now have come to pass the salvation and the power and the kingdom [of whom?] of our God and the authority of his Christ, because the accuser of our brothers has been hurled down.” (Rev. 12:7-10) Thus again the kingdom is said to be that of our God. He is the One who really does the reigning, and his Christ or Anointed One, Jesus, gets “authority” to rule in a secondary way under the Lord God.
13. At the close of the Gentile Times in 1914, what was at issue with respect to Jehovah, and how had this been expressed much earlier toward our earth?
13 There is a sound Scriptural reason why matters are stated in this way, with emphasis on the kingship of Jehovah God. It is His universal sovereignty that is at issue when there occurs the take-over of the “kingdom of the world” at the close of the Gentile Times in 1914. Two thousand five hundred and twenty years before that Jehovah had had a kingdom in the earth that represented him in the midst of the Gentile nations. That was the kingdom of the royal house of David at Jerusalem. David and his royal successors were said to sit on “Jehovah’s throne” at the capital city of the nation. (1 Chron. 29:23) Shortly before his death David made a generous contribution to the building of a temple to Jehovah and at that time he said: “Yours is the kingdom, O Jehovah, the One also lifting yourself up as head over all.” (1 Chron. 29:11) Thus the kingdom of the royal house of David was an expression of the universal sovereignty of Jehovah God toward the earth.
14. Despite God’s everlasting covenant with David for a kingdom, what interruption occurred in the occupancy of the throne by David’s descendants?
14 In harmony with God’s covenant with King David for an everlasting rulership, the royal house of David continued to occupy “Jehovah’s throne” at Jerusalem until the summer of 607 B.C.E. At that tragic time the Babylonian armies captured Jerusalem and destroyed it, and King Zedekiah was deported to Babylon as an exile. The complete desolation of the land of Judah followed, by the middle of the seventh lunar month, Tishri, of that year. Although the exiled Jewish survivors were restored to Jerusalem and the land of Judah 70 years later, “Jehovah’s throne” was not reestablished at Jerusalem, to be occupied by a descendant of David with the royal right to the crown and the scepter. Why not?
15. How was the interruption of Jehovah’s sovereignty toward our earth pictured in a dream of King Nebuchadnezzar?
15 It was because now, since the desolating of the land of Judah in the year 607 B.C.E., the Gentile Times had set in and were due to run for 2,520 years, or until 1914 C.E. Jehovah’s sovereignty toward this earth was like the lofty tree seen in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. That tree was chopped down, only its rootstock being left in the ground. “Seven times” were ordained to pass over the tree stump before any tree growth could spring up from it. For that reason bands of iron and copper were fastened around the tree stump, to stay there till the “seven times” were finished. (Dan. chap. four) True to this picture, at the end of “seven times” of unimpeded Gentile domination of the earth Jehovah’s universal sovereignty was to express itself again toward our earth.
16, 17. (a) At that marked time, what kingdom would be due to become Jehovah’s possession, and what proclamation would fittingly be made? (b) At the destruction of Babylon the Great, what is to be announced in confirmation of Jehovah’s rulership?
16 At that marked time in God’s schedule of events the occasion would call for ‘the kingdom of the world to become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ.’ (Rev. 11:15) Valid reason that would be for tremendous joy on the part of all those in heaven and on earth who had prayed for God to assert once again his full sovereignty toward our earth, where the Gentile powers had held world domination for so long. Then, and not at the pouring out of holy spirit on Pentecost of 33 C.E., the proclamation of Psalm 97:1, 9 would be due to be made: “Jehovah himself has become king! Let the earth be joyful. Let the many islands rejoice. For you, O Jehovah, are the Most High over all the earth; you are very high in your ascent over all other gods.” (Also, Psalm 99:1.) Later on, the destruction of Babylon the Great (the world empire of false religion) would confirm Jehovah’s kingship. With a Hallelujah the cry will ring out:
17 “Praise Jah, you people, because Jehovah our God, the Almighty, has begun to rule as king.”—Rev. 19:6.
18. Who then takes to himself his power to rule as king, and what gift does he make to his Son?
18 These proclamations put in bold relief the fact that it is the Sovereign Lord Jehovah who takes up reigning again toward our earth at the close of the “seven times” of Gentile domination. It is He who takes his great power to himself and takes over “the kingdom of the world.” (Rev. 11:15-17) Then he gives to his Son, Jesus Christ, a share in “the kingdom of the world.” Thus “his Christ” shares in something that he never had before, as a gift from the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. This is just the gift that He promised to make. It was about the time that he was going to overthrow and bring to ruin the kingdom of David’s royal line at Jerusalem. To the last reigning descendant of King David, he then said: “Remove the turban, and lift off the crown. This will not be the same. . . . A ruin, a ruin, a ruin I shall make it. As for this also, it will certainly become no one’s until he comes who has the legal right, and I must give it to him.”—Ezek. 21:25-27.
19. According to Jesus’ own prophecy at Luke 21:24, why could he not be given that to which he gained the “legal right” even at Pentecost of 33 C.E.?
19 Jesus Christ proved to be the one “who has the legal right,” by his faithfulness in the flesh to the death. He is David’s Permanent Heir. But the thing to which he has the “legal right” was not given to him in 33 C.E., after he ascended to heaven. Forty-four days before his ascension he gave his prophecy as recorded in Luke 21:5-36. In this he foretold the destruction that was to come to the then existing Jerusalem, which did come at the hands of the Roman legions in 70 C.E., and with regard to that he said: “They [the Jews] will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations, until the appointed times of the nations are fulfilled.” (Luke 21:24) So in 33 C.E. he could not be given that to which he had gained the “legal right,” not even at Pentecost of that year.
20. According to Ezekiel 21:25-27, to what did Jesus gain the “legal right,” and what only could David bequeath to Jesus as his Permanent Heir?
20 That to which Jesus Christ gained the “legal right” was the Davidic kingdom, an earthly kingdom, the “turban” and “crown” of which had been worn by David and his royal successors. (Ezek. 21:25-27) As a perfect human, Jesus was born into the royal family of David, which naturally put him in line for the Davidic kingdom. (Rom. 1:3, 4; Luke 1:32, 33) Since David was an earthly king, he could not bequeath to Jesus Christ anything more than he himself had had, an earthly kingdom. The angel Gabriel told Jesus’ earthly mother, the virgin Jewess Mary, that God would give him “the throne of David his father.” Was this kingdom given to Jesus in 33 C.E., when he ascended back to heaven and sat down at God’s right hand? David’s kingdom had been overthrown in 607 B.C.E., to continue inoperative for the “seven times” of Gentile world domination, or, for 2,520 years from 607 B.C.E.—Acts 1:6.
21. So, before Jesus could exercise his right to David’s kingdom, he had to wait for God to take what action?
21 So, before the glorified Jesus Christ could exercise the rights of David’s earthly kingdom, he had to wait at God’s right hand until the Gentile Times ended in 1914 C.E. (Heb. 10:12, 13) He had to wait until Jehovah God took to himself his “great power” as Universal Sovereign and brought to an end the Gentile Times and assumed “the kingdom of the world.” Then God could invite Jesus, as the Permanent Heir of King David, to share with Him in the “kingdom of the world,” a kingdom over all mankind on earth.—Rev. 11:15.
22. Thus when was the new kingdom brought forth, and how was this pictured in Bible prophecies?
22 Thus in 1914, not in 33 C.E., the symbolic “stone” seen in King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream was cut out of the great mountain that pictured Jehovah’s universal sovereignty. (Dan. 2:34, 35, 44, 45) It was at that time also that Jehovah God planted his “feet” upon the symbolic “mountain of the olive trees” and it split in the middle to form two mountains, one toward the north and the other to the south. (Zech. 14:4, 9) This corresponds with the birth of the male child by God’s heavenly “woman,” as pictured in Revelation 12:1-5. In this way a new “kingdom” was brought forth, a new expression of God’s sovereignty toward our earth. God then put his King-Designate on the throne to exercise his “legal right.” The symbolic bands of copper and iron were removed from around the “rootstock” of God’s interrupted sovereignty toward our earth. The prescribed “seven times” had now passed over the rootstock.—Dan. 4:23, 26.
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.