What is Gods Kingdom?
As Jehovah’s Witness one of the classic things we asked Christians we met on the door is “As Christians, what do you think it means when you pray for Gods Kingdom in the lords prayer? – The reason why as that not all Christians actually know what this means and why as Christians we pray for this. Now they the Jehovahs Witness can go.. “ Well here is the answer!” Do they teach correct doctrine when it comes to understanding the kingdom of God? To help you as the Christian reach the Jehovahs Witness who you are studying with as well as review this chapter, I have put some suggested questions you could ask them when it comes to talking about this subject.
Gods Kingdom has a King who is the Lord Jesus. I 100% agree with this teaching. In paragraph 4 they even sight 1 Timothy 6:15 which calls Jesus the king of Kings and Lord of Lords. Something that could be a good question to now is this….
In Jeremiah 10:10 – it reads that “Jehovah is in truth God. He is the living God and the King to time indefinite” – If Jesus is the King of Kings, and Jehovah is a King to time indefinite is…is Jesus the king over Jehovah?”
So who reigns with Christ in this kingdom? According to paragraph 6-8 there will be kings and priests that are part of Gods Kingdom in heaven. Once again I agree! However the Watchtowers teaching as to whom these are is some what different to the Bibles view point.
Paragraph 9 now tells you who it is that rule with Christ. They take you to Revelation 14:1,14 – which reads in the New World Translation 1 And I saw, and, look! the Lamb standing upon the Mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty‐four thousand having his name and the name of his Father written on their foreheads. ….14 And I saw, and, look! a white cloud, and upon the cloud someone seated like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. It would be good if you could get them to read verse 4 as well (of chapter 14 which reads 4These are the ones that did not defile themselves with women; in fact, they are virgins. These are the ones that keep following the Lamb no matter where he goes. These were bought from among mankind as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb,5and no falsehood was found in their mouths; they are without blemish.
Then you could ask :-
“Are all the 144,000 men? And do none of them have any children?”
This creates a major issue, because according the verse you have just read they are all virgin men! The Jehovah Witness knows that the 144,000 are actually men, women, married people and single. So now they have a problem because clearly there understanding of these verses is someone different to what the verses actually say.
They also quote Revelation 5:10. If only they quoted verse 9 as well they could see exactly who the kings and priests are. I quote verse 9 & 10 from the New World Translation :-
And they sing a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals, because you were slaughtered and with your blood you bought persons for God out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,10and you made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God, and they are to rule as kings over the earth.”
As you can see the people who are ruling with Christ are the ones that are saved from “every tribe nation and tongue”. Yet Revelation 7:4-8 tells us exactly what tribes the 144,000 come from. Therefore Revelation 5 can not be linked at all to the 144,000.
Paragraph 11 which has the sub-title “What will Gods Kingdom do?” Is now going to try and set up the introduction to there ideas about whom the 144,000 are and what they do. They also subtly drop in Revelation 12:7 to introduce the idea of Jesus being the arch angel Michael, I quote again from the New World Translation…
7And war broke out in heaven: Mi′chael and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled8but it did not prevail, neither was a place found for them any longer in heaven.9So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him
You could ask them :-
“Why is this verse talks about Michael, but then later in verse 17 (of Revelation 12) it talks about Jesus? Surely now Jesus has ascended back to heaven this verse should say “Michael”
So they have dealt with the issue regarding the government in heaven they turn to the issue of the earth.
The claim in paragraph 12 is that when Jesus is crowned king, Satan shortly after is thrown down to the Earth of which he now rules –
So now Satan is on the Earth what can we expect? The next few paragraphs answer this. You then have a graphic picture on page 83 that shows what they mean. In other words we will see violence, famine, wars etc. They will likely ask you – Do you think this is what we see in the world today? Now of course you will say YES.
Now God sees what it is Satan has done to World and sees the corruption of man made governments, God at the opportune time wages war against them, this is what is know as Har-magedon, the details of this are in paragraph 18. After which all government world leaders are destroyed and we have one world government that is the one of God.
Although the Watchtower has completely mis-understood the book of Revelation, I personally would not try to discuss things like The Great White Judgment, the rapture, the coming of the saints, the anti-Christ, and the deep things of Revelation, as it is just going to go straight over there head. So from paragraph 16-20 I would just politely nod along until you get to paragraph 21 as they now reveal how you can avoid being destroyed at Armageddon. “What does this mean? It means that eventually under Gods Kingdom everyone alive will honour Jehovah’s names.”
You could ask them: –
“Does this mean I should only honour Jehovah? Should I not honour Jesus at all?
The Last few paragraphs then talk about how some Bible students have calculated that Christ returned in 1914 and became King. There are so many questions you could ask at this point, here are some suggestions: –
If Matthew 24:36 say know ones the day or the hour, why are people try to calculate the day?
Revelation 1:7 says “Look, he is coming with the clouds,” and “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him” Did anyone actually see Jesus return in 1914?
1 Corinthians 11:26 says “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” If you believe that Jesus has already returned why do the memorial every year?
Although according to Jehovah’s Witness history, the prophecy actually was that Charles Taze Russell thought that Armageddon was coming in 1914, when it didn’t happen they actually had to change what 1914 meant. Although I would not necessary tell the individual that, you could encourage them to find out/ research who actually came up with this date of 1914.
I hope this has been helpful. It is my hope and prayer that you as a Christian can help the un-saved Jehovahs Witness understand what “the bible really teaches” regarding the issue of Gods Kingdom.