by being snatched out of the fire? Sincere, wise fellow workers of God do not care to prove themselves poor builders and suffer fire loss. They appreciate the joyful reward that God holds out to all his faithful fellow workers. This is what they desire and what they are working for!
36. As regards personal benefit, what building work should we appreciate, and what action should we take toward it, in what way, with what result?
36 Let us, then, appreciate all the Christian building work that God’s constructive theocratic organization is doing on each one of us. At the same time let us do God’s approved work in cooperation with that organization, as we continue building on the one right foundation, Jesus Christ, doing so with the noninflammable, fire-resistant materials of spiritual gold, silver and precious stones. This will result in our own everlasting life and that of others on whom we do building work.
What Price Government?
IN ORDER to get rulership or power in government, men have been ready to stoop very low. World history is filled with the names of rulers who have used bribery, lies, intrigue and murder to gain power. Men have murdered their wives, and wives their husbands; sons, daughters, mothers and close relatives have been imprisoned, enslaved, poisoned, beheaded and slaughtered in a lust for governmental power. Some have been willing to betray their country to an enemy nation—a terrible price to pay.
The Bible tells us that there have been seven great world powers that have succeeded one another in ruling over humankind in the world’s political field, namely, Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome and finally the Anglo-American Empire system. The world’s system of political government is pictured in the Bible as a “wild beast” having “seven heads.” How did this “wild beast” and the “seven heads” thereof get their authority in government and what price did the beast and its component governments have to pay for this authority?
WHAT THE THRONE IS
The Bible speaks of the “throne” or “seat” of the “wild beast.” (Rev. 13:1, 2; AV) Would this mean the capital city of the world power that happened to rule at any period of history? We know that during the rule of the seven world powers the capital city representing the dominant world power has changed with the change of political control. From the seventeenth century up until World War II, England dominated as the world power and in the latter part of this period was joined by the United States; but during that time the British Empire was the stronger member, its capital being London, England. After World War II the United States became the stronger one of the dual world power, its capital being located in Washington, D.C. Would this be what could be called now the seat or “throne of the wild beast,” since it is the stronger one of the present Seventh World Power?
A throne stands for the seat of rulership or of kingdom. The throne would be the office or dignity of the government as a sovereign. Its location would have reference to the basis of its authority or that on which rests the grant of the power and authority to act in a sovereign way.
For example, the first prophecy uttered, at Genesis 3:15, gave the promise of a seed to crush the serpent’s head. This promise was directed toward Abraham when God told him that his seed would take possession of the gate of his enemies, indicating that the seed would rule. The seed would bear the scepter of rulership and was to be known as Shiloh, meaning “the one whose it is.” These promises reveal that the seed to come would have his rulership by authority from Jehovah God.—Gen. 22:17; 49:10.
David, who as king foreshadowed Jesus Christ the King of the kingdom of God, was said to sit upon “Jehovah’s throne.” (1 Chron. 29:23) Jehovah was therefore the Source and Foundation of David’s power and authority as ruler. Of Jesus, it was prophetically said in the Psalms: “God is your throne to time indefinite, even forever; the scepter of your kingship is a scepter of uprightness.” The apostle Paul actually applied this text to Jesus where he said: “But with reference to the Son: ‘God is your throne forever, and the scepter of your kingdom is the scepter of uprightness.’” (Ps. 45:6; Heb. 1:8) From these things we see that Jesus’ throne, which means his office or authority as sovereign, has its source in Jehovah. Jehovah is the Originator and Giver of his throne. Christ’s kingdom would therefore carry out the purposes of Jehovah and bring honor to him.
Certainly the basis for the throne of the “wild beast” is not in Jehovah God’s promise of the Messiah, the Seed of his heavenly woman. It is not a throne “by the grace of God.” Revelation says: “The dragon gave the beast its power and its throne and great authority.” (Rev. 13:2) The “throne of the wild beast” was given by the Dragon, Satan the Devil. The “throne” functions within the allowance of activity and time that Jehovah God granted to Satan the Devil to carry out his enmity against the Seed of the woman and to bruise the heel of the Messianic Seed. (Gen. 3:15) God did not give the Dragon or the beast its authority. He did, however, permit the Dragon, Satan the Devil, to exist because of the issue that was raised in the universe regarding the rightfulness and righteousness of Jehovah God’s sovereignty, God allowing a time for all creatures in the universe to be able to take a stand on the issue.
THE PRICE PAID
But what price did the “wild beast” pay for this grant of authority from the Dragon? We can be sure that it was not a free grant to the “wild beast.” The “wild beast” must have had to give the Dragon something in repayment. What? We can see what the Dragon required of the “wild beast” when we see what the Devil required of Jesus Christ when trying to tempt him with the gift of the kingdoms of earth. “The Devil said to him: ‘I will give you all this authority and the glory of them, because it has been delivered to me, and to whomever I wish I give it. You,