In the post-Flood world God’s purpose began to unfold when he made a covenant with Abraham, indicating that the seed of promise would come through his linage —specifically, through Isaac and Jacob, whom Jehovah renamed Israel. In time the offspring of Israel became a multitudinous nation —like the grains of sand on the seashore, as God had promised his friend, Abraham.
After four centuries in bondage in Egypt the man Moses came on the scene —being used by God to organize the twelve tribes and establish God’s Law covenant with them. Moses also was inspired to begin the writing and compilation of the document we now call the Holy Bible.
Sadly, though, as the historical documentation shows, several centuries after Israel came into the Land of promise the Israelites had become so corrupt that God expelled them; first, the 10 tribes by means of the Assyrians and then some 150 years later Babylon destroyed Judah and Jerusalem —the city where Jehovah had placed his name. All of the books of the prophets relate virtually the same message. First came the exhortation and warnings. Then the execution of judgment. Then a restoration, so that God’s purpose might be accomplished.
After a humbled remnant were repurchased from captivity eventually the promised Messiah arrived. He then organized a new “nation” and made a covenant with them, as Moses had done with Israel. Christ’s congregation was founded upon the 12 apostles —as opposed to the 12 sons of Jacob, which is why the Christian writer, James, referred to his fellow Christians as the “12 tribes that are scattered about.” After a brief transition phase the old covenant became obsolete, at which point God’s dealings with fleshly Israel came to an end —punctuated by the horrific destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman legions.
The foremost Christian writer and teacher of the first century was Paul. He explained much about the place Israel had occupied and how the true “Israel of God” was actually composed of anointed followers of Christ out of all races —not just Jews. For example in the 9th chapter of Romans Paul explained: “For not all who descend from Israel are really “Israel.” Neither are they all children because they are Abraham’s offspring; rather, “What will be called your offspring will be through Isaac.” That is, the children in the flesh are not really the children of God, but the children by the promise are counted as the offspring.”
“The children of the promise” are those who are called to be in union with Jesus. These are the true Jews, even as Paul explained in the 2nd chapter of Romans: “For he is not a Jew who is one on the outside, nor is circumcision that which is on the outside upon the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one on the inside, and his circumcision is that of the heart by spirit, and not by a written code. The praise of that one comes, not from men, but from God.”
With the coming of Christ a new chapter began, a long-running era leading towards the fulfillment of God’s purpose. The Christian commission involves preaching and teaching all who would hear, for the purpose of calling, training and ultimately choosing 144,000 persons—12,000 from the symbolic 12 tribes — to join Christ in heavenly Mount Zion as part of the Kingdom.
But shortly after the apostles died off the new Israel began to be dominated by agents of Satan and strayed off course, as did the original Israel. Eventually it too became fused with pagan religion just like fleshly Israel had been. Ultimately, Christendom emerged as the state-controlled religion of the decadent Roman Empire and its successors. The truth became snuffed out by demon religion.
But God’s purpose cannot be thwarted —only temporarily resisted. So, toward the end of the 19th century God’s mighty spirit stirred within a few receptive souls. Out of the darkness the light of truth began to dimly flicker. A grouping of spirit anointed Bible Students emerged and began preaching and teaching again —just as the original Christians had done under Christ’s command. This phenomena identified the International Bible Students as the restoration of the Israel of God, who “are ‘a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for special possession, that you should declare abroad the excellencies,’ of the One who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. For you were once not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not been shown mercy, but now you have received mercy.” —1 Peter 2:9
The apostle of Christ quoted and alluded to several passages in the Hebrew Bible, most notably Exodus 19:5,6, in which God declared Israel to be his special property and a holy nation. Clearly, then, the commission Christ gave to his followers involves much more than preaching about Jesus. While it is, of course, true that Jesus became the centerpiece of God’s purpose, the international declaration of the excellencies of the One who calls his servants out of demonic darkness would foremost involve giving witness to the name, character and purpose of Jehovah. Surely, Jehovah’s Witnesses have accomplished that to an extraordinary degree.
Now, though, God’s purpose is apparently nearing the end of phase II, which will conclude with the second coming of Christ during the period appropriately called the conclusion of the system. That is when the final stage begins of God’s intention to produce a holy nation. Jesus explained it in an illustration involving the wheat and the weeds —the wheat having been sown by Christ and the weeds by Satan. Both grow together in the same organization until the harvest. During the concluding harvest “The Son of man will send his angels, and they will collect out from his Kingdom all things that cause stumbling and people who practice lawlessness, and they will pitch them into the fiery furnace.”
The harvest will result in the complete removal of all of the Devil’s agents from the midst of the Kingdom. At that time all of the remaining wheat will be gathered into the storehouse, meaning they are chosen —approved members of the then-ruling Kingdom of God. That is when “the righteous ones will shine as brightly as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father,” —at which point God’s purpose to produce a nation of kings and priests is accomplished and the Kingdom Christ becomes fully operational.
Revelation 10:7 describes that momentous event this way: “But in the days when the seventh angel is about to blow his trumpet, the sacred secret that God declared as good news to his own slaves the prophets is indeed brought to a finish.”
“The sacred secret” was first uttered in Eden, when Jehovah foretold that the offspring of the woman would crush the serpent’s head. Foremost, the seed of the woman is Christ, but also those who belong to him, those who have been born again, as was Jesus. So, the bringing to a finish the declaration of the good news involves the revealing of the sons of God, who remain hidden until the parousia and manifestation of Christ. Paul explained it this way: “For you died, and your life has been hidden with the Christ in union with God. When the Christ, our life, is made manifest, then you also will be made manifest with him in glory.” —Colossians 3:3
Contrary to the present understanding of Jehovah’s Witnesses, it is simply out off the realm of possibility that the sacred secret was brought to a finish in 1914. If it were true, then that would mean that all of the sons of the Kingdom had been harvested long ago and there would be no need or reason to continue the declaration of the good news. Ironically, if the mystery of God had really come to its finish over a century ago there would be no reason for the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society to even exist.
But what about the fact that the same 10th chapter of Revelation shows the strong angel, whose imposing presence on earth evokes the seven thunders of God, hands John a little scroll —commanding him to “prophesy again about peoples and nations and tongues and many kings”?
Since the revelations contained in the little scroll are disclosed after the time when the declaration of the good news is brought to a finish, the contents of the little scroll are not revelations contained in the sacred Scriptures we possess; hence, not humanly knowable at this present time. Just as John was commanded not to write down the earth-shaking utterances voiced by the seven thunders, the contents of the little scroll contain the final judgments of God, which John, or rather the remaining ones of the offspring of the woman, a John class if you please, will declare to peoples, nations and many kings. That is when they will shine as brightly as the sun in the Kingdom of God.
The remaining ones are referred to as the “kings from the rising of the sun.” That is appropriate since by then they will have seen Christ in all his glory. That is why in explaining the significance of the Transfiguration, Peter, who witnessed the event that foreshadows the parousia, exhorted anointed Christians to keep fixated on prophecy like a lamp in a darkened place “until day dawns and a daystar rises in your hearts.”
Again, contrary to the teachings of the Watchtower, the day of Christ has not dawned, nor has the daystar risen within anyone. If such were the case it would no longer be necessary to keep looking to the lamp of God’s written word. No, the dawning of the daystar during the world’s bleakest night will result in the complete enlightenment of the sons of the Kingdom and their shining as the sun.
The ascendency of the sons of the Kingdom will be demonstrated by their ferocious denunciation of Satan’s wicked world. No doubt the “reports out of the east” that will so greatly disturb the king of the north and provoke him to genocidal fury will emanate from the shining kings of the dawning, unconquerable Kingdom of Christ.