QUESTION: If the times of the gentiles is in future, as e-watchman claims, how are we to understand the scripture at Ezekiel 21:25-27, used as a principle proof text of the Appointed Times of the Nations (Insight volume), that the Gentile Times started when Jerusalem was destroyed sometime between 607-587 B.C.E.? (Question slightly edited)
ANSWER: The verses in question read: “But your day has come, O fatally wounded, wicked chieftain of Israel, the time of your final punishment. This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: ‘Remove the turban, and take off the crown. This will not remain the same. Raise up the low one, and bring low the high one. A ruin, a ruin, a ruin I will make it. And it will not belong to anyone until the one who has the legal right comes, and I will give it to him.’”
When the Chaldeans sacked Jerusalem that was the end of the kingdom of Judah. The 10 tribe kingdom of Israel had already been destroyed by the Assyrians, but because Jehovah’s covenant with David extended over all the tribes, Zedekiah was considered the chieftain of Israel as well.
But the ruination of David’s kingdom posed a serious problem considering that God had already stated that the kingdom would rule to time indefinite. So, God made it clear through Ezekiel that the overthrow of David’s dynasty was not the end of it. In due time God would renew the kingdom, giving it to someone who was legally entitled to it.
The one who was legally entitled to the throne was Jesus Christ. He met the qualifications, in that, he was of the tribe of Judah and he was a son of David. And upon his baptism and anointing Jehovah conferred the kingdom upon his son. Before his death Jesus was hailed as the son of David and the King of Israel. And even upon his death Pilate posted signage declaring him to be such.
Although Jesus obtained the legal right to sit upon the throne of Israel while on earth, his having been born again and his faithfulness into death entitled him to be resurrected into the spirit realm as the first immortal of the new creation. However, his legal claim to the throne was retained. So, now that Christ is at the right hand of God the throne of the kingdom of Israel has been transferred from earthly Jerusalem to the Jerusalem above.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are well aware of the fact that Jesus became king over the Christian Israel of God as soon as that nation came into existence in 33 C.E. And ever since then anointed Christians are said to have been ‘transferred into the kingdom of the son of God’s love.’
So, as far as the prophecy of Ezekiel is concerned, the kingdom of Israel has already been given to the one who was legally entitled to it.
Worded differently, God did not confer the throne upon Jesus in 1914 for the simple reason that the Kingdom had already been given to him. Christ’s coming in the future is for the express purpose of asserting his power as the King. That is when all his enemies will become his footstool, as it were.
Ironically, the very first order of business will be for Christ to dispatch his angels and remove all persons doing lawlessness and all stumbling blocks out from his Kingdom. Among the many stumbling blocks destined to be removed is the demonic delusion that Jesus began ruling the world in 1914.