ANSWER: When Jesus was on earth he personally undertook and also organized and directed an extensive preaching campaign. His message was simple: ‘Repent, you people, for the kingdom of the heavens has drawn near!’
That was the message Jesus instructed his disciples to preach. But in what sense had the kingdom drawn near 2,000 years ago? Well, as a son of David Jesus was a legal heir to the throne of Israel and when he was anointed by holy spirit Jesus was called to become king – a messianic king.
Not only that, those who became Jesus’ disciples were called into his kingdom too and upon their anointing entered into the kingdom, at least spiritually. As Paul wrote, Christians have been transferred into the kingdom of the son of God’s love.
But there is another aspect to the kingdom. The 7th chapter of Daniel depicts someone like a son of man, an obvious reference to Christ, being brought before the throne of God and rulership and authority are given him so that all the nations become subject to him. Obviously, all the nations did not begin serving Christ in the first century. Christians back then, nonetheless, still accomplished a remarkable preaching campaign. Virtually all of the nations lining the great Mediterranean Sea had an opportunity to hear the good news. That was a very extensive area to cover when we consider there were no modern means of transportation or communication.
But the point is, the extraordinary accomplishments of the first century Christians came about before 1914, the time that Jehovah’s Witnesses suppose Jesus began ruling over the world. But when we take into account that Christians have many tools at their disposal now that were not available to the original Christians why do we suppose that the world wide work of the Watchtower Society could only be accomplished if Jesus has become king over all the nations?
Of course, the reason Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that is because Jesus foretold – among other things that will occur during the conclusion of the system of things – that “the good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth and then the end will come.”
The problem is Jehovah’s Witnesses lack insight into the future. And the reason is because God has allowed the leadership of the Watchtower Society to fall into a spiritual stupor. Because virtually all prophecy has been tied to 1914 and there is no discussion allowed, the Governing Body has effectively blinded the entire organization to the future unveiling of the judgments of Jehovah and the revelation of Jesus Christ.
To demonstrate the point take for example the Watchtower’s interpretation of the 10th chapter of Revelation. Revelation 10:1-2 depicts Jesus coming down from heaven to establish his authority over the earth. Jehovah’s Witnesses have been led to believe that this profound event is history. However, consider more closely the seventh verse, which states: “There will be no delay any Longer; but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to blow his trumpet, the sacred secret of God according to the good news which he declared to his own slaves the prophets is indeed brought to a finish.”
If Jesus took up authority over the world in 1914 how can it be said that “there will be no delay any longer”? Why have successive generations come and gone since then and still there is no end? How can it possibly be true that the good news was brought to a finish in 1914? Since no reasonable answer is possible it must be concluded that the Watchtower interpretation is in error. That being the case, the coming of Christ and the consummation of the gospel age is still in our future.
With that knowledge now consider the implications of the last verse of the 10th chapter, where Jesus hands a little scroll to John and commands him : “You must prophesy again with regard to peoples and nations and tongues and many kings.”
Like all other prophecy the Watchtower has trivialized the meaning of this development by assigning its fulfillment to the obscure past. But there is no question that the Revelation of Christ has not occurred yet. That being true, whatever Jehovah’s Witnesses have accomplished to date as regards the world wide preaching of the good news is only a preliminary phase. The concluding phase is yet to come, and it will occur in the aftermath of the collapse of the Anglo-American kingdom and the desolation of Watchtower Society. That is when the sons of the kingdom will take up the commission to “prophesy again.”
And then the end will come.