Covering Chapter 6 Paragraphs 1-7 of God’s Kingdom Rules
Every so often a claim is made in a publication that is so ridiculous, so obviously false, that one has to bite one’s own tongue at the meeting to stop from standing up and shouting, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!”
Such is the claim made in paragraph 2 of this week’s Bible study.
After he became King in 1914, Jesus was ready to fulfill a prophecy he had made some 1,900 years earlier. Shortly before he died, Jesus foretold: “This good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth.”
Jesus waited 1,900 years to fulfill Matthew 24:14? What about this fulfillment?
Indeed, you who were once alienated and enemies because your minds were on the works that were wicked, 22 he has now reconciled by means of that one’s fleshly body through his death, in order to present you holy and unblemished and open to no accusation before him— 23 provided, of course, that you continue in the faith, established on the foundation and steadfast, not being shifted away from the hope of that good news that you heard and that was preached in all creation under heaven. Of this good news I, Paul, became a minister. (Colossians 1:21-23)
What do they imagine Christians have been doing for the past 19 centuries? How did 2.2 billion Christians come into existence on the earth today? Are we to assume that these are totally unaware of the Good News of the Kingdom? The publications would have us believe that only Witnesses understand the Good News, while all other Christian religions fail to capture the truth that it constitutes a real government. The publications have long implied that Christendom views the kingdom as a mere condition of the heart.[ii]
Do a simple internet search for yourself—it will only take a few minutes—and you will see that this statement is totally false. Most Christian religions understand the Kingdom of God to be a real government which will rule over the earth. They may vary as to their understanding of it, but given that we preach a false understanding of the Other Sheep, we can hardly point fingers at the rest.
Additionally, we seem to be suffering from delusions of grandeur when stating that Jesus is only using the eight million Witnesses on earth today to fulfill Matthew 24:14. If Jesus’ work is restricted to the work of JW.org, then it would seem we have a long wait ahead of us before we can say that the Good News has been preached in all the inhabited earth. Are Jehovah’s Witnesses preaching to the 1.6 billion Muslims on earth today? Are the 1.3 billion Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, Zoroastrians, and others in India learning about the Good News from the 40,000 Witnesses in the country? Does the 1 to 185,000 publisher-to-population ratio in Pakistan indicate the Good News is being preached by Jehovah’s Witnesses there?
Some years ago I went to see and hear Handel’s Messiah. When I read the program I was surprised to see that all the song lyrics are taken directly from the Bible. Handel had the entire kingdom theme worked out chronologically in verse and song. It is a remarkable experience, especially when the Hallelujah chorus rings out and the whole audience stands. This tradition dates back to the time when King George II stood at hearing this chorus. If the King stands, everyone stands. The tradition persists and it is widely viewed as an act of recognition that even the King stands to honor the King of Kings, Jesus Christ.[i] It is hardly the act of someone who views the Kingdom of God as an abstract idea, a condition of the heart.
Since Witnesses are preaching their version of the Good News in places where it has already been preached for centuries by other Christian denominations, there are simply no grounds for believing that only by means of the Organization is Jesus able to fulfill the prophecy of Matthew 24:14.
It is nearly impossible not to be facetious in the face of such a false and patently self-serving teaching.
Why would the Organization make such an outrageous claim? The reason comes in the next sentence.
The fulfillment of those words would be part of the sign of his presence in Kingdom power. – par. 2
If the good news has been preached since Jesus’ day, it can hardly serve as a sign of a presence we are taught began in 1914. The belief in the 1914 invisible start of Christ’s Kingdom rule requires us to find signs. Like the Pharisees and Jewish leaders of old, Witness leadership is always looking for a sign. (Mt 12:39; 1Co 1:22) To Witnesses, their preaching work constitutes such a sign. Only Jehovah’s Witnesses are preaching the good news in all the inhabited earth, and that when that preaching finishes, there will be a message of judgment, and then the end will come. In other words, the coming of God’s Kingdom depends, in no small measure, on the preaching work of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
However, none of the elements Jesus describes from Matthew 24:4 through to verse 28 are signs of his presence. Only verses 29 thru 31 represent those. In fact, with the exception of those verses dealing with the destruction of Jerusalem, all the so-called signs are really anti-signs. That is, Jesus is warning us not to be misled by false signs.
Paragraph 5 applies Psalm 110:1-3 to our day from 1914 forward; but really, the people who were offering themselves willingly in the service of King Jesus came forward in his day, and have been coming forward ever since. The historical evidence for this is abundant. To claim that this willingness only manifested itself since 1914 is to ignore mountains of proof available to anyone with a laptop and the willingness to use it.
Paragraph 7 makes the false claim that Jesus did an inspection and cleansing of the Bible Students from 1914 to 1919. It then makes the equally false claim that he appointed his faithful and discreet slave in 1919. If you disagree, then please use the comment section following this article to present the Scriptural and empirical proof to back up such claims. The publication we are studying certainly hasn’t bothered to do so.
[ii] Antichrists have become particularly active during “the last days,” the time in which we now live. (2 Timothy 3:1) A key objective of these modern-day deceivers is to mislead people in regard to Jesus’ role as King of God’s Kingdom, a heavenly government that will soon rule over the entire earth.—Daniel 7:13, 14; Revelation 11:15.
For example, some religious leaders preach that God’s Kingdom is a condition in the heart of men, a view that finds no basis in the Scriptures.
(w06 12/1 p. 6 Antichrists Reject God’s Kingdom)
Consider also the distortion of the meaning of the word “kingdom.” The book The Kingdom of God in 20th-Century Interpretation states: “Origen [a third-century theologian] marks the change in Christian usage of ‘kingdom’ to the interior meaning of the rule of God in the heart.” On what did Origen base his teaching? Not on the Scriptures, but on “the framework of a philosophy and world view quite different from the thought world of Jesus and the earliest church.” In his work De Civitate Dei (The City of God), Augustine of Hippo (354-430 C.E.) stated that the church itself is the Kingdom of God. Such unscriptural thinking gave the churches of Christendom theological grounds to embrace political power.
(w05 1/15 pp. 18-19 par. 14 Foregleams of God’s Kingdom Become a Reality)
Rather than being an abstract condition of the heart, God’s Kingdom is a real government that has accomplished wonderful deeds since its inauguration in heaven in 1914.
(w04 8/1 p. 5 God’s Kingdom Government—A Reality Today)