A Sacred Secret Unfolds
“The sacred secret of this godly devotion is admittedly great.”—1 TIMOTHY 3:16.
1. What secret is described at 1 Timothy 3:16?
DO MYSTERIES intrigue you? Do you enjoy delving into secrets? Most of us do! Join us, then, as we investigate one of the grandest of all secrets—a secret that was locked up in God’s Word for thousands of years. This sacred secret vitally affects our lives, both present and future. It is ‘the sacred secret of godly devotion,’ described for us at 1 Timothy 3:16. How thankful we should be to Jehovah, “the Revealer of secrets,” for graciously making known to us this sublime secret and its interpretation!—Daniel 2:28, 29.
2. (a) When did Jehovah first speak of a sacred secret, and what did he then promise? (b) What questions require answers?
2 Jehovah first spoke of a sacred secret after the Serpent had deceived Eve, and Adam had followed her into rebellion. God then promised that the “seed,” or offspring, would crush the Serpent’s head. (Genesis 3:15) Who is this Seed? How would he conquer the Serpent? Would he vindicate God’s truthfulness and His purpose toward this earth?
3. Divine prophecies provided what clues as to the identity and activity of the Seed?
3 In time, divine prophecies revealed clues as to the identity and future activity of the Seed. He would be a descendant of Abraham, would inherit David’s kingdom, and would be called Prince of Peace. ‘To the abundance of his princely rule and to peace there would be no end.’ (Isaiah 9:6, 7; Genesis 22:15-18; Psalm 89:35-37) But as Romans 16:25 states, that sacred secret was “kept in silence for long-lasting times.”
Solving the Mystery
4. How did the sacred secret begin to unfold in 29 C.E.?
4 Finally, after four millenniums, enlightenment burst forth! In what way? In 29 C.E., John baptized Jesus of Nazareth in the Jordan River, and from heaven God’s voice declared: “This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved.” (Matthew 3:17) Ah, here at last was the Seed of promise! The sacred secret had started to unfold in all its glorious facets, including the matter of godly devotion.
5. What is “godly devotion,” and how does it affect those practicing it?
5 What do we understand by “godly devotion”? In the Christian Greek Scriptures, the expression occurs just 20 times, more than half of these in Paul’s two letters to Timothy. The publication Insight on the Scriptures defines “godly devotion” as “reverence, worship, and service to God, with loyalty to his universal sovereignty.” Reverence proceeds out of a heart that draws close to God, in awe of his majesty, his eternalness, and the multiplicity of his grand creations, with thankfulness for the spiritual and material gifts that he showers upon appreciative humans. Truly, each one of us who practices godly devotion can say, as did the psalmist at Psalm 104:1: “Bless Jehovah, O my soul. O Jehovah my God, you have proved very great. With dignity and splendor you have clothed yourself.”
6. (a) How do worshipers of Jehovah differ from Christendom’s pew sitters? (b) What did Paul say at Romans 11:33, 34, and what questions are thus raised?
6 Our devotion to God must find expression, and this it does through actions. In this regard, worshipers of the true God, Jehovah, are vastly different from the pew sitters of Christendom’s fading churches. To many people on earth, religion—if they still have a religion—is a formalism, a cloak that is put on to make them appear holy while they live a life that conforms to the corrupt world around them. They do not even know who God is. Surely, such persons need to consider Paul’s words at Acts 17:23, when he said to Athenians who venerated “an Unknown God”: “What you are unknowingly giving godly devotion to, this I am publishing to you.” Concerning that magnificent God, Paul exclaims at Romans 11:33, 34: “O the depth of God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How unsearchable his judgments are and past tracing out his ways are! For ‘who has come to know Jehovah’s mind, or who has become his counselor?’” How, then, do we come to know God’s ways? It is through learning ‘the sacred secret of godly devotion.’ But how do we do that?
7. Why can it be said that “the sacred secret of this godly devotion is admittedly great”?
7 In 1 Timothy chapter 3, the apostle Paul first outlines what is required of responsible servants in God’s household, described in 1Ti 3 verse 15 as “the congregation of the living God, a pillar and support of the truth.” Then Paul adds, in 1Ti 3 verse 16: “The sacred secret of this godly devotion is admittedly great.” Great indeed because Jehovah sent his only-begotten Son to earth to unlock this secret, to demonstrate what godly devotion really is and how it is vital, pivotal, in true worship. The sacred secret of this godly devotion is illuminated in Jesus’ life course here on earth. All lovers of Jehovah must build their faith and their lives on Christ, who exemplified godly devotion. How, then, did Jesus clarify the sacred secret of godly devotion?
8. (a) What are the six facets of the sacred secret Paul describes at 1 Timothy 3:16? (b) Who is the “He” who is made manifest?
8 By divine inspiration, Paul answers that question. Here at 1 Timothy 3:16, he describes six facets of this sacred secret, saying: “He  was made manifest in flesh,  was declared righteous in spirit,  appeared to angels,  was preached about among nations,  was believed upon in the world,  was received up in glory.” Who is the “He” who is made manifest? Obviously, “He” is the promised Seed, Jesus, who came to do God’s will. He is central to the sacred secret, making it truly great.
9. What proof is there that 1 Timothy 3:16 should not read: “God was manifest in the flesh”?
9 Trinitarians try to muddy up the understanding of the sacred secret by saying that “He” at 1 Timothy 3:16 is God himself. They base this on the King James Bible, which reads, “God was manifest in the flesh.” However, what do the most reliable Greek manuscripts say? Consistently, they use the pronoun “He” instead of “God.” Textual critics now agree that the insertion of “God” in this scripture is a scribal error. Thus, more recent translations, such as the American Standard Version, The New English Bible, and the New World Translation, correctly read: ‘He [or, He who] was manifest in the flesh.’ No, it was not God himself who appeared “in the flesh.” Rather, it was his beloved Son and first creation, of whom the apostle John wrote: “So the Word became flesh and resided among us, and we had a view of his glory, a glory such as belongs to an only-begotten son from a father; and he was full of undeserved kindness and truth.”—John 1:14.
“Manifest in Flesh”
10. (a) How did the first feature of the sacred secret become apparent at Jesus’ baptism? (b) Why did Jesus become “the last Adam”?
10 At Jesus’ baptism the first feature of the sacred secret became apparent: Jesus “was made manifest in flesh” as the anointed Son of God. Jehovah God had transferred his Son’s life from heaven to the womb of Mary so that Jesus could be born in the flesh as a perfect human. Thus, as 1 Corinthians 15:45-47 shows, Jesus became a second, or “last,” Adam, a perfect human soul corresponding exactly to the first Adam. For what purpose? First Timothy 2:5, 6 refers to “the last Adam” as “a man, Christ Jesus, who gave himself a corresponding ransom for all.” On this legal basis of a perfect human sacrifice, Jesus mediates the new covenant toward the 144,000 humans who become joint heirs with him in his Kingdom.—Revelation 14:1-3.
11. To whom do the benefits of Jesus’ ransom sacrifice extend?
11 Would others also benefit from Jesus’ sacrificial death? Positively yes! First John 2:2 states that Jesus Christ “is a propitiatory sacrifice for our sins [that is, the sins of anointed Christians like John], yet not for ours only but also for the whole world’s.” The benefits of Jesus’ ransom sacrifice thus extend far beyond the 144,000 anointed Christians to the entire world of mankind. “A great crowd” who are now living and thousands of millions who will be resurrected in the Paradise earth are to receive everlasting life on the basis of their faith in Jesus’ ransom sacrifice. Already, as prophesied at Revelation 7:9, 10, the great crowd have washed their robes and made them white by exercising faith in the shed blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. They are counted righteous as to friendship with God. With joy, they learn the various facets of the sacred secret and display godly devotion in harmony with Jesus’ example!
12. How was Jesus “declared righteous in spirit”?
12 What, now, of the second feature at 1 Timothy 3:16? Jesus “was declared righteous in spirit.” But how? By Jehovah’s raising his integrity-keeping Son from the dead to spirit life. This amounted to God’s declaration that Jesus was altogether righteous and worthy of further exalted assignments. As Romans 1:4 puts it, Jesus “was declared God’s Son according to the spirit of holiness by means of resurrection from the dead.” Confirming this, Peter tells us in his first letter, 1Pe chapter 3, verse 18: “Christ died once for all time concerning sins, a righteous person for unrighteous ones, that he might lead you to God, he being put to death in the flesh, but being made alive in the spirit.” Is Jesus’ example of godly devotion leading you to God?
13. The resurrected Jesus appeared to what angels, and what kind of message did he preach to them?
13 Continuing with 1 Timothy 3:16, Paul next refers to the third feature of the sacred secret, saying that Jesus “appeared to angels.” Who might these angels be? Concerning Jesus, now “made alive in the spirit,” Peter writes at 1 Peter 3:19, 20: “In this state also he went his way and preached to the spirits in prison, who had once been disobedient when the patience of God was waiting in Noah’s days.” According to Jude 6, those spirits were “the angels that did not keep their original position but forsook their own proper dwelling place” in the heavens. They took on fleshly bodies in order to enjoy illicit sex relations with women. When the Deluge compelled those angels to return to the spirit realm, they were thrown into Tartarus, a condition of utter debasement. (2 Peter 2:4) The resurrected Jesus preached to them. But was that a message of salvation? Definitely not! Rather, Jesus condemned their wickedness as being the very antithesis of godly devotion. Any of God’s people who toy with sexual immorality today should take warning from the judgment pronounced upon those angels!
14. How was it that Jesus began to be “preached about among nations”?
14 The fourth feature of 1 Timothy 3:16 is that Jesus “was preached about among nations.” How has this been fulfilled? Just before his arrest, Jesus told the apostles: “Most truly I say to you, He that exercises faith in me, that one also will do the works that I do; and he will do works greater than these, because I am going my way to the Father.” (John 14:12) Shortly thereafter, at Pentecost 33 C.E., Jesus poured out holy spirit on his disciples, and the startling news that “this Jesus God resurrected” began to be preached to the Jews. Later, Samaritans also accepted the word of God and began to receive holy spirit. (Acts 2:32; 8:14-17) Then, in 36 C.E., Peter preached to Cornelius and other Gentiles assembled in his house. Thus, the good news regarding Jesus began to be “preached about among nations,” that is, among non-Jews, who were also anointed with holy spirit.
15. What proves that first-century Christians had learned well the sacred secret of godly devotion?
15 As reported at Acts 12:24, “the word of Jehovah went on growing and spreading.” Acts 17:6 relates that in northern Greece opposers cried out, as they do there to this day: “These men that have overturned the inhabited earth are present here also.” Within 30 years, Paul could write from Rome that the good news had been “preached in all creation that is under heaven.” (Colossians 1:23) Christians of that time had learned well the sacred secret of godly devotion. How zealously they were applying it! And may we likewise learn and apply it in this climactic day of Kingdom preaching!
16. What was the fifth feature of the sacred secret, and what activity made it apparent?
16 In response to that first-century preaching, the fifth feature of the sacred secret of 1 Timothy 3:16 became notably apparent. Jesus now “was believed upon in the world.” This was a result of the Christlike godly devotion of zealous missionaries, including Paul and Timothy. They carried the good news into Asia Minor and Europe, perhaps as far as Spain, and into East Africa by the mouth of the baptized Ethiopian, while Peter served in Babylon.
17. Why is Jesus believed upon throughout the modern world?
17 What of our day? Since 1919 the anointed remnant have been exhibiting exemplary godly devotion. These anointed ones have built solidly on the foundation of faith laid by Jesus. Especially since 1935, they have proceeded to gather a great crowd, who rejoice in the prospect of passing through “the great tribulation” and enjoying everlasting life in a paradise earth. (Revelation 7:9, 14) Thus, the good news focusing on Jesus is believed upon throughout the modern world. In godly devotion, over 3,700,000 Witnesses of Jehovah are now preaching and prospering around the globe!
18. How was Jesus “received up in glory”?
18 One more facet of that sacred secret remains, the sixth: Jesus “was received up in glory.” During the 40 days after being made alive in the spirit, Jesus materialized fleshly bodies, appearing to his disciples and telling them “the things about the kingdom of God.” Then he ascended to heaven. (Acts 1:3, 6-9) His prayer, recorded at John 17:1-5, was thus answered: “Father, . . . glorify your son, that your son may glorify you . . . I have glorified you on the earth . . . So now you, Father, glorify me alongside yourself with the glory that I had alongside you before the world was.”
19. What must have attended Jesus’ return to heaven?
19 What great rejoicing must have attended Jesus’ return to heaven! Much earlier, when Jehovah founded the earth, “all the sons of God began shouting in applause.” (Job 38:7) Even more so must those angelic hosts have been overjoyed to receive again into their midst the loyal Champion of Jehovah’s sovereignty!
20. Why has Jesus inherited such an excellent name, and what did he do while on earth?
20 At Hebrews 1:3, 4, Paul says of the victorious Jesus: “After he had made a purification for our sins he sat down on the right hand of the Majesty in lofty places. So he has become better than the angels, to the extent that he has inherited a name more excellent than theirs.” Christ received that name because of his triumph over unrighteousness. This Son of God had indeed blazed the trail of godly devotion here on earth. He had also set a pattern for all others who will attain to everlasting life. With Jesus’ exaltation to God’s right hand in heaven, the sacred secret of this godly devotion was revealed in all its features.
Learning the Sacred Secret of Godly Devotion
“Even Christ suffered for you, leaving you a model for you to follow his steps closely.”—1 PETER 2:21.
1. What has been Jehovah’s purpose regarding ‘the sacred secret of godly devotion’?
“THE sacred secret of this godly devotion” is no longer a secret! (1 Timothy 3:16) How different it is from the secrets of false religion, like the mystic Trinity, which remain secrets! No one can understand them. Rather, Jehovah has purposed that the sacred secret revealed in the person of Jesus Christ should be given the widest possible publicity. Jesus himself became the outstanding example of a zealous proclaimer of the Kingdom of God. We can learn much from his message and manner of preaching, as we shall now see.
2. Why is Jesus’ ministering put ahead of the ransom? (Matthew 20:28)
2 Let us give further consideration, then, to Jesus’ being “made manifest in flesh.” (1 Timothy 3:16) At Matthew 20:28 we read that Jesus “came, not to be ministered to, but to minister and to give his soul a ransom in exchange for many.” This even puts his ministering ahead of the ransom. Why so? Well, back in Eden the wily Serpent had disputed Jehovah’s rightful sovereignty over mankind, implying that God’s creation was faulty and that under test no man could keep integrity to the Most High. (Compare Job 1:6-12; 2:1-10.) Jesus’ flawless ministry as a perfect man, “the last Adam,” showed the challenger Satan to be a wicked liar. (1 Corinthians 15:45) Moreover, Jesus fully proved his qualifications to serve as God’s “Chief Agent and Savior” and to “judge the inhabited earth in righteousness,” in vindication of Jehovah’s sovereignty.—Acts 5:31; 17:31.
3. How did Jesus completely refute Satan’s challenge?
3 Jesus completely refuted Satan’s taunting challenge! In all history, no man on this earth served God so devotedly—despite mockings, scourgings, and physical and mental tortures. Christ had to endure blasphemous reproaches as the Son of God. Through it all—even to a cruel and shameful death—he was steadfast, immovable in loyalty to his Father. At Philippians 2:8, 9, Paul writes that because Jesus obeyed ‘as far as death, yes, death on a torture stake, God exalted him and gave him the name that is above every other name.’ Jesus exposed Satan as the venomous liar that he is!
4. Why could Jesus tell Pilate that he had come into the world to bear witness to the truth?
4 Thus, at the conclusion of just a few years of intensive preaching, Jesus could boldly testify to Pontius Pilate: “You yourself are saying that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone that is on the side of the truth listens to my voice.” (John 18:37) Jesus had displayed superlative godly devotion in proclaiming God’s Kingdom truth throughout Palestine. He trained his disciples to be zealous preachers also. How his example stimulates us to follow in his steps today!
Learning From Our Exemplar
5. What can we learn about godly devotion by looking intently at Jesus?
5 By our godly devotion in doing Jehovah’s will, we too may prove the Devil a liar. Whatever trials we suffer, none will ever equal the agonies and indignities experienced by Jesus. Let us, then, learn from our Exemplar. As Hebrews 12:1, 2 urges us, may we run the race with endurance “as we look intently at the Chief Agent and Perfecter of our faith, Jesus.” Unlike Adam, who failed when tested as to godly devotion, Jesus became the one man on earth who met all tests perfectly. To the death, he proved “loyal, guileless, undefiled, separated from the sinners.” (Hebrews 7:26) In flawless integrity, he could say to his enemies: “Who of you convicts me of sin?” Jesus hurled back Satan’s challenge, declaring: “The ruler of the world . . . has no hold on me.” And in concluding his final talk to his disciples before his betrayal and arrest, he told them: “Take courage! I have conquered the world.”—John 8:46; 14:30; 16:33.
6. (a) Why does Jesus know what kind of refreshment is needed by mankind? (b) To what extent did Jesus display godly fear?
6 In the flesh here on earth, Jesus experienced what it means to be human, “a little lower than angels.” (Hebrews 2:7) He became acquainted with human frailties and is therefore well-equipped to serve as mankind’s King and Judge for a thousand years. This Son of God, who said, “Come to me, all you who are toiling and loaded down, and I will refresh you,” knows what kind of refreshment is needed by mankind. (Matthew 11:28) Hebrews 5:7-9 tells us: “In the days of his flesh Christ offered up supplications and also petitions to the One who was able to save him out of death, with strong outcries and tears, and he was favorably heard for his godly fear. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered; and after he had been made perfect [in obedience] he became responsible for everlasting salvation to all those obeying him.” Jesus did not waver, even though he had to endure to the point of experiencing the sting of human death in receiving a ‘heel wound’ from the hateful Serpent. (Genesis 3:15) Like Jesus, may we always display godly fear, even to death if necessary, confident that Jehovah God will hear our supplications and grant us salvation.
‘Living to Righteousness’
7. According to 1 Peter 2:21-24, what model did Christ leave for us, and how should his course affect us?
7 While manifest in flesh, Jesus loyally unveiled the sacred secret of godly devotion. We read at 1 Peter 2:21-24: “Even Christ suffered for you, leaving you a model for you to follow his steps closely. He committed no sin, nor was deception found in his mouth. When he was being reviled, he did not go reviling in return. When he was suffering, he did not go threatening, but kept on committing himself to the one who judges righteously. He himself bore our sins in his own body upon the stake, in order that we might be done with sins and live to righteousness.” As we meditate on Jesus’ course, how it encourages us to pursue godly devotion, to keep integrity, and to live to righteousness as he did!
8. How can we live to righteousness as Jesus did?
8 Jesus truly lived to righteousness. Psalm 45:7 prophesied of him: “You have loved righteousness and you hate wickedness.” Applying those words to Jesus, the apostle Paul said at Hebrews 1:9: “You loved righteousness, and you hated lawlessness.” In the light of our understanding of the sacred secret of this godly devotion, may we like Jesus always love what is righteous and hate what is bad. In Christian morals, today so fiercely under assault by Satan’s world, and in all our dealings with those inside and outside of God’s organization, let us be resolved to live to righteousness, upholding Jehovah’s right principles. And let us continually feast upon God’s Word in order to have the godly insight so essential for resisting the Devil and his devices!
9. What added to Jesus’ zeal in the ministry, and this involved what regarding false religious shepherds?
9 Something additional motivated Jesus to be zealous in his ministry. What was that? At Matthew 9:36 we read: “On seeing the crowds he felt pity for them, because they were skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd.” So Jesus “started to teach them many things.” (Mark 6:34) Of necessity, this involved exposing the wickedness and lawlessness of the false religious shepherds. According to Matthew 15:7-9, Jesus said to some of these: “You hypocrites, Isaiah aptly prophesied about you, when he said, ‘This people honors me with their lips, yet their heart is far removed from me. It is in vain that they keep worshiping me, because they teach commands of men as doctrines.’”
A Deplorable Mystery
10. Today, “the mystery of this lawlessness” focuses on whom, and of what are they guilty?
10 As Jesus spoke out against false religious leaders, so we today deplore a mystery that stands out in sharp contrast with the sacred secret of godly devotion. At 2 Thessalonians 2:7, Paul called it “the mystery of this lawlessness.” It was a mystery in the first century C.E. because it would not be unveiled until long after the apostles’ death. Today, it focuses on the clergy of Christendom, who are more interested in politics than in declaring the good news of God’s righteous Kingdom. Hypocrisy abounds in their ranks. Television evangelists of Christendom’s Protestant sects are a glaring example: charlatans who fleece their flocks, build up multimillion-dollar empires, consort with prostitutes, weep crocodile tears when they themselves are exposed, and keep begging for money, always more money. Roman Catholicism’s Vatican presents a similar unsavory picture, with its unscrupulous political connections, outward pomp, and corrupt banking practices.
11. What will happen to Christendom’s clergy and all of Babylon the Great?
11 No wonder Christendom’s clergy class can be identified as “the man of lawlessness”! (2 Thessalonians 2:3) This dominant part of harlotlike Babylon the Great will be fully exposed and devastated, along with all the rest of false religion. As we read at Revelation 18:9-17, politicians and merchants (and their bankers) will then lament: “Too bad, too bad, you great city!” Babylon the Great and her mysteries will have been laid bare, in stark contrast with all that illuminates the sacred secret of godly devotion.
12. Jesus’ love of righteousness led him to do what?
12 Jesus’ love of righteousness and hatred of lawlessness led him to exert himself unsparingly in behalf of true worship. On his first visit to Jerusalem as the anointed Son of God, Christ drove the merchants and money brokers out of the temple, declaring: “Take these things away from here! Stop making the house of my Father a house of merchandise!” (John 2:13-17) On a later visit to the temple, Jesus told opposing Jews: “You are from your father the Devil, and you wish to do the desires of your father. That one was a manslayer when he began, and he did not stand fast in the truth, because truth is not in him. When he speaks the lie, he speaks according to his own disposition, because he is a liar and the father of the lie.” (John 8:44) What courage Jesus showed in telling those religionists to their faces that they were liars and sons of the Devil!
13. (a) Where especially is Jesus’ hatred of lawlessness expressed? (b) Why do the lawless clergy merit judgment similar to that pronounced by Jesus upon the scribes and Pharisees?
13 Jesus’ hatred of lawlessness is nowhere better expressed than in his stinging denunciation of the viperous scribes and Pharisees, as recorded in Matthew chapter 23. There he pronounces a sevenfold “woe,” comparing them to ‘whitewashed graves—full of every sort of uncleanness, hypocrisy, and lawlessness.’ How Jesus yearned to deliver the oppressed people from that lawlessness! “Jerusalem, Jerusalem,” he cried out, “how often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks together under her wings! But you people did not want it. Look! Your house is abandoned to you.” (Mt 23 Verses 37, 38) The lawless clergy of our day merit a similar judgment because, in the words of 2 Thessalonians 2:12, ‘they do not believe the truth but take pleasure in unrighteousness.’ Their lawlessness is the very antithesis of the godly devotion that Jesus so loyally displayed while here on earth.
Declaring God’s Judgments
14. Appreciation for the sacred secret of godly devotion should move us to do what?
14 Our appreciation for the sacred secret of godly devotion should lead us always to follow Jesus’ steps closely. Like him, we should be zealous in proclaiming what Isaiah 61:2 describes as “the year of goodwill on the part of Jehovah and the day of vengeance on the part of our God.” And may we zealously do our part “to comfort all the mourning ones.” As when Jesus was on earth, it takes courage today for us to declare Jehovah’s judgments, including the strong messages in outspoken Watchtower articles and in the book Revelation—Its Grand Climax At Hand! We must preach boldly and tactfully, our utterances being “seasoned with salt” so as to be tasteful to those inclined toward righteousness. (Colossians 4:6) Having learned from Jesus’ example of godly devotion, may we be able to report in due time that we have finished the work Jehovah gave us to do.—Matthew 24:14; John 17:4.
15. As to God’s sacred secret, what has happened since 1914?
15 While manifest in flesh, what a splendid Exemplar Jesus was! How clearly the sacred secret of godly devotion was fulfilled in him! How boldly he magnified Jehovah’s name! And how marvelously Jesus’ Father rewarded him for his integrity-keeping course! But there is yet more to God’s sacred secret. Since 1914 we have been living in “the Lord’s day.” (Revelation 1:10) As Revelation 10:7 states, it is the time for ‘the sacred secret of God according to the good news to be brought to a finish.’ Heavenly voices have now proclaimed: “The kingdom of the world did become the kingdom of our Lord [Jehovah] and of his Christ, and he will rule as king forever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15) Jehovah has installed the Messianic King, Jesus Christ, on his glorious throne to be coruler with Him!
16. How did the newly enthroned King, Jesus Christ, quickly show his regard for godliness in heaven?
16 As coruler with God in the newborn Kingdom, Jesus is also called Michael (meaning, “Who Is Like God?”). No rebel may ever succeed in being like God, and the newly enthroned King quickly demonstrated this by hurling the original Serpent, Satan, and his angels down to the earth. (Revelation 12:7-9) Yes, Jesus has regard for godliness in heaven, just as he displayed godly devotion while on earth. The glorified Jesus Christ will not rest until he has exterminated false religion and completely wiped out Satan’s organization, visible and invisible.
17. Since 1914, what has been happening in fulfillment of Matthew 25:31-33?
17 Since 1914 the fulfillment of Jesus’ own prophecy at Matthew 25:31-33 has radiantly illuminated the sacred secret of God. There Jesus declares: “When the Son of man arrives in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit down on his glorious throne. And all the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will put the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left.” From his vantage point in the heavens, this glorious King, Judge, and Advocate of godly devotion will bring vengeance, first on the man of lawlessness and other factions of Babylon the Great, and then on all remaining elements and goatish supporters of Satan’s wicked earthly organization. Satan will then be abyssed. (Revelation 20:1-3) But sheeplike “righteous ones” will depart into everlasting life. (Matthew 25:46) May your pursuit of godly devotion place you in that upright group!
18. What joyous privilege do we have in connection with the sacred secret of godly devotion?
18 Revelation 19:10 encourages us to “worship God.” And why? The scripture continues: “For the bearing witness to Jesus is what inspires prophesying.” So many of the inspired prophecies of ancient times bore witness to Jesus! And as these prophecies have been fulfilled, the sacred secret of God has become crystal clear. We rejoice, therefore, to know that the sacred secret of this godly devotion came to be personified in Jesus. Marvelously privileged we are to follow in his steps as humble ministers of the Kingdom of God. Yes, we are honored to share in understanding and proclaiming all of the sacred secret of God according to the good news!