"How can so many countries, with such diverse cultures at such different stages of development, agree? It has been said that only an attack from another planet will unify the human race."—TheAge, Australian newspaper.
AN ATTACK from another planet? Whether that would bring together all the nations of the earth or not, Bible prophecy does speak of an impending crisis that will cause the nations of the world to band together. And the crisis will, indeed, be brought about by extraterrestrial forces.
King David of ancient Israel prophetically spoke of this world situation. Under divine inspiration he wrote: "The kings of earth take their stand and high officials themselves have massed together as one against Jehovah and against his anointed one, saying: ‘Let us tear their bands apart and cast their cords away from us!’" (Psalm 2:2, 3; Acts 4:25, 26) Note that the rulers of the world would mass together as one against Jehovah, the Creator of the universe, and his anointed one, or his appointed King, Jesus Christ. How would that take place?
According to Bible chronology and fulfilled prophecies, in the year 1914, God’s Kingdom was established in the heavens with Jesus Christ as King. At that time the nations of the world had one thought in common. Rather than submitting to the sovereignty of God’s newborn Kingdom, they were embroiled in a contest of power—the Great War, or World War I.
How does Jehovah God view such a reaction on the part of human rulers? "The very One sitting in the heavens will laugh; Jehovah himself will hold them in derision. At that time he will speak to them in his anger and in his hot displeasure he will disturb them." Then, Jehovah will tell his Son, the anointed King of the Kingdom: "Ask of me, that I may give nations as your inheritance and the ends of the earth as your own possession. You will break them with an iron scepter, as though a potter’s vessel you will dash them to pieces."—Psalm 2:4, 5, 8, 9.
This final crushing of the opposing nations with an iron scepter will take place at Armageddon, or Har–Magedon. The last book of the Bible, Revelation, describes this climactic event as "the war of the great day of God the Almighty," to which "the kings of the entire inhabited earth" are being gathered together. (Revelation 16:14, 16) Under demonic influence, the nations of the earth will finally be united with one objective—to war against God the Almighty.
The time when humans will mass together to fight against God’s sovereignty is fast approaching. Ironically, their "unity" will bring them no personal benefits. Instead, their action will be a prelude to the long-awaited peace for all mankind. How so? In that final battle, God’s Kingdom "will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms [of the world], and it itself will stand to times indefinite." (Daniel 2:44) God’s Kingdom, not any human organization, will be the government that will fulfill mankind’s desire for world peace.
That is the Kingdom for which many sincere people have prayed, saying: "Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth." (Matthew 6:10) 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. Let us consider some key factors that demonstrate that God’s Kingdom is a reality in full action today.
First of all, it has a powerful and efficient executive branch headed by the enthroned King, Jesus Christ. In 33 C.E., Jehovah God made Jesus Christ the Head of the Christian congregation. (Ephesians 1:22) Since then, Jesus has been exercising his headship, thus demonstrating his administrative ability. For example, when a great famine struck Judea in the first century, the Christian congregation immediately took action to come to the aid of its members. A relief work was organized, and Barnabas and Saul were dispatched from Antioch with a relief ministration.—Acts 11:27-30.
No less can be expected of Jesus Christ now that the Kingdom government is in operation. Whenever disasters—earthquakes, famines, floods, hurricanes, storms, or volcanic eruptions—strike, the Christian congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses responds quickly to the needs of fellow believers and others in the affected areas. For instance, when devastating earthquakes hit El Salvador in January and February 2001, relief activities were organized in all parts of the country, and groups of Jehovah’s Witnesses from Canada, Guatemala, and the United States provided help. Three of their places of worship as well as over 500 homes were rebuilt in short order.
Ever since its establishment in 1914, God’s heavenly Kingdom has been gathering and organizing its subjects from peoples around the world. This is in fulfillment of a remarkable prophecy recorded by Isaiah: "It must occur in the final part of the days that the mountain of the house of Jehovah [his exalted true worship] will become firmly established above the top of the mountains, . . . and to it all the nations must stream." The prophecy shows that "many peoples" would go up to that mountain and embrace Jehovah’s instructions and laws.—Isaiah 2:2, 3.
This activity has resulted in the most significant movement of modern times—an international brotherhood of over 6,000,000 Christians in more than 230 lands of the earth. At international conventions of Jehovah’s Witnesses, observers are often astounded to see the love, peace, and unity among the vast crowds of people, transcending barriers of nationality, culture, and language. (Acts 10:34, 35) Would you not agree that for a government to be able to bring hundreds of ethnic groups together in peace and harmony, it must be effective and stable—and real?
Every government has standards that its citizens are expected to meet, and everyone who wants to live under that government must meet those standards. Similarly, God’s Kingdom has standards that all who would qualify as its subjects must measure up to. However, to enable so many people with vastly different backgrounds to accept and abide by the same standards is certainly a mammoth undertaking. Here, then, is another factor that testifies to the reality of God’s Kingdom—its effective program of education that reaches and transforms not only the mind but also the heart.
How does the Kingdom government accomplish this challenging task? By the apostolic method of preaching "from house to house" and teaching God’s Word on an individual basis. (Acts 5:42; 20:20) How effective is this form of education? Jacques Johnson, a Catholic priest, wrote in a Canadian weekly about his efforts to dissuade a woman from studying with Jehovah’s Witnesses. "I was quite baffled and realized that I was involved in a losing battle," he said. "I began to realize that over several months these JW women knitted meaningful relationships with this young shut-in mother. They connected with her by helping her, befriending her, establishing meaningful bonds of the heart. She soon became an active member in their religion and there was little I could do to prevent that from happening." Just as the heart of this former Catholic was moved by the Bible message taught by Jehovah’s Witnesses and by their Christian conduct, so the hearts of millions worldwide are being touched.
This form of education—Kingdom education—is centered on the Bible, upholding its values and its standards on morals. It teaches people to love and honor one another regardless of their background. (John 13:34, 35) It also helps people to respond to the admonition: "Quit being fashioned after this system of things, but be transformed by making your mind over, that you may prove to yourselves the good and acceptable and perfect will of God." (Romans 12:2) Leaving behind their former way of life and happily conforming to the laws and principles of the Kingdom government, millions have found peace and happiness now and bright prospects for the future.—Colossians 3:9-11.
An outstanding aid in achieving this worldwide unity is this magazine, TheWatchtower. By means of coordinated translation methods and multilanguage publishing equipment, the principal articles in TheWatchtower are published simultaneously in 135 languages, and over 95 percent of its readers worldwide can study the material in their own language at the same time.
A Mormon writer cataloged the most exceptional missionary successes outside of his own church. He listed TheWatchtower and Awake!, published by Jehovah’s Witnesses, as the best evangelizing magazines and said: "No one could ever accuse Watchtower or Awake! of fostering complacency—to the contrary, they generate a sense of awareness that I have rarely encountered in other religious publications. The Watchtower and Awake! are refreshing in their factual-based, well-researched, relevant real-world content."
Evidence is overwhelming that God’s Kingdom is a reality in full operation. Jehovah’s Witnesses happily and energetically share "this good news of the kingdom" with their neighbors, inviting them to become its subjects. (Matthew 24:14) Does such a prospect appeal to you? You can enjoy the blessings that come from associating with those who are being educated in and endeavoring to live by the standards of the Kingdom. Better still, you can come to enjoy the prospect of living under Kingdom rule in the promised new world in which "righteousness is to dwell."—2 Peter 3:13.
For a detailed discussion, see chapter 10, "God’s Kingdom Rules," in the book KnowledgeThatLeadstoEverlastingLife, published by Jehovah’s Witnesses, pages 90-7.
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In 1914 the nations became embroiled in a world war
Voluntary relief work is evidence of Christian love in action
Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide benefit from the same program of education