Chapter 6:

"Let Your Kingdom Come"

Government! What is it for? Today, it seems, governments are more part of the problem than the solution. Corruption, injustice, bureaucracy, incompetence, partisan gridlock, incomprehensible regulations and byzantine tax codes have caused many to sigh and yearn for a complete overhaul of governance on earth.

The reasons for which governments are established by men is well expressed in the widely respected Constitution of the United States: "to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty." Unfortunately, these have remained goals and not accomplishments. Mankind has proven himself inadequate in power and wisdom to bring about a world (or even a nation) of peace, justice, health and prosperity. To think that any government can do that seems almost ludicrous today.

Yet the Bible promises such a government! Where? Look at Isaiah 9:6,7 (AV): "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be on his shoulder...of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever." Of this same ruler the promise is made (at Isa 11:2-9): " The spirit of Jehovah will settle upon him, the spirit of wisdom and of understanding, ...he will not judge by what merely appears to his eyes, nor reprove simply according to what his ears hear. With righteousness he will judge... he will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the spirit of his lips he will put the wicked one to death... And the wolf will reside with the lamb, and with the young goat the leopard will lie down, the calf and the young lion... together; and a little boy will lead them. The cow and the bear... together their young ones will lie down. Even the lion will eat straw just like the bull... They will not do any harm or cause any ruin in all my holy mountain; because the earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah, as the waters cover the sea." An artist once painted the scene described in this scripture and named his work "The Peaceable Kingdom."

From this we can learn much about the promised Kingdom. It will bring justice by eliminating wicked people, not merely imprisoning them at great cost to taxpayers. The peace to follow will benefit the natural world as well as humankind. And its rule will be earthwide. These same promises are made again and again in the Bible; for example, compare Psalms 72:1-19, 37.9-11, 29, 2 Thess 1:7-9, Rev 19:11-21, 21.1-4.

The Kingdom Promise Unfolds

At the very time Jehovah condemned Adam and Eve for their rebellion, He spoke of a purpose to undo what they had done. At Genesis 3:15 he said: "I shall put enmity between you [Satan] and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will crush your head, and you will strike him in the heel." In other words, there would be a man who would destroy Satan just as one crushes the head of a snake. Satan would only be able to injure him slightly, as a snake strikes at the heel of a man. Who would this special man be?

Centuries later, Abraham found favor in the eyes of God due to his unswerving faithfulness and obedience. So God swore to him: "I shall surely bless you and multiply your offspring like the stars of the heavens and like the grains of sand on the seashore, and your offspring will take possession of the gate of his enemies. By means of your offspring all nations of the earth will obtain a blessing for themselves, because you have listened to my voice." So there would be a descendant* of Abraham who would prevail over all his enemies, have innumerable children, and bring blessings to all nations on earth. This is the same person who would crush Satan. —Gen 22:17, 18.

Abraham’s grandson Jacob had 12 sons, from whom arose the nation of Israel. They came to be in slavery in Egypt, the mightiest empire the world had known up until that time. Then in the days of Moses Jehovah struck the Egyptians and led the Israelites out of Egypt with great power. This proved his ability to defeat any mighty nation on earth.

The Israelites were brought to the foot of a mountain in Sinai. The mountain smoked and roared as Jehovah came down on it. Then he made an extraordinary promise to the assembled people: "If you will strictly obey my voice and keep my covenant, you will certainly become my special property out of all other peoples, for the whole earth belongs to me. You will become to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation." —Ex 19:5, 6 (for the complete account read Exodus 3-19.)

This was a very important promise. The Israelites were chosen to be special, to eventually serve as a "kingdom of priests." And what are priests for? To assist people in their approach to God, to teach and instruct and intercede for them. So these chosen people were to lovingly serve for the blessing of all other nations. At the same time, they would be a "kingdom", which implies rulership. Evidently this special nation would be involved in crushing Satan and blessing all nations.

Centuries passed, and the Israelites kept disappointing Jehovah by turning to worship false gods and carrying on much wickedness. But when distressed by adversity, they would turn back and appeal to Jehovah for help, and he would mercifully come to their rescue. Finally Jehovah’s patience came to an end, and he had the nation conquered by a foreign power, Babylon, the cities burned and the people removed into exile and slavery. Did this mean the Kingdom promise was abandoned? —see 2 Chron 36:12-21.

No, this turn of events was in fact anticipated; Jehovah saw it coming from the time of Moses (see Deut 31:16-21, 24-29). For the sake of his own honor as one who keeps his word, he had them released from exile after 70 years and re-established them on their land, albeit not as a free nation. (see Ezek 36:16-32.)

During all this time there were a few who proved faithful to God and were blessed by him. David proved to be a man agreeable to God’s heart (Acts 13:22), and God made him king of Israel. For David’s faithfulness, God swore that his kingdom would be everlasting. (see Psalms 89:35-37.) But his dynasty only reigned until the destruction by Babylon. How, then, would God’s promise come true?

It would be through the Offspring promised to Abraham. It would be an individual, not the whole nation of Israel, as some thought. This Chosen One, or Christ, would be a natural descendant of David, and inherit the right to his throne. Then when God raised him up to be King forever, His promise to David would be fulfilled.

What about the holy nation, the royal priesthood, that Israel should have become? Remember, that covenant depended on their obedience; God had said, "If you will strictly obey my voice and keep my covenant, then you will certainly become my special property." So it would not apply to anyone who proved disobedient, regardless of their pedigree. As it turned out, when Christ came, the majority of the Jews did not accept him as Messiah. This too was anticipated and foretold. [Isa 53; compare Acts 8:32-35; see also Acts 2:22, 23, 13:27, 28] For this reason Jesus said: "This is why I say to you [the natural Jews], the Kingdom of God will be taken from you and be given to a nation producing its fruits." (Matt 21:43) Today some believe that we should look to the modern state of Israel for the fulfillment of Kingdom prophecies in our time. But according to Jesus, the Kingdom covenant was taken from them long ago. Who, then, is that "nation producing its fruits"?

Identifying God’s Holy Nation

We find the answer at 1 Pet 2:4-10. There Peter speaks of people being like "living stones being built up into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood...You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a special possession." Then he says: "For you were once not a people, but are now God’s people." What did that mean? Well, his letter was addressed to Christians scattered in various non-Israelite lands (1 Pet 1:1). Those who were Gentiles were at one time "not a people", or special nation of God, but were now "called out of darkness." Paul puts it even more plainly at Ephesians 2:11-22, 3:5, 6. There we read that non-Jews were joined into that covenant that produces a holy nation, a royal priesthood. —see also Romans 9:23-26.

Some argue that all Jews, regardless of their behavior, will be blessed as a holy nation, because Paul says at Romans 11:26 that "all Israel will be saved." But Paul also says they must repent if they would be restored (verse 23). And he notes that only a remnant would repent (Rom 9:27-29). So although the Jews were favored with first opportunity to be chosen for this royal priesthood, most of them turned it down (see Acts 13:45-47.) This made Paul very sad (Romans 9:1-5) but as he then says, "Not all who descend from Israel are really ‘Israel’." (verses 6-8; see also 2:28, 29.) So the "all Israel" that will be saved must mean those who prove to be truly "Israelites" by faith and God’s calling, not due to birth. This true Israel, then, is the nation to whom the Kingdom was given. —2 Pet 1:10, 11.

It is in this true Israel that the prophecy of a new covenant is fulfilled. Jeremiah 31:31-33 reads: “‘Look! There are days coming,’ declares Jehovah, ‘when I will make with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah a new covenant. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their forefathers in the day I took hold of their hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke. . . For this is the covenant that I shall make with the house of Israel after those days: I will put my law within them, and in their heart I shall write it. And I will become their God, and they will become my people. And they will no more teach each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, “Know Jehovah!” for they will all know me, from the least to the greatest of them. For I shall forgive their error, and I shall no longer remember their sin.’” —see also Heb 8:6-13.

How large would this chosen nation be? Is there any limit on its size? For all nations to be blessed, must they become "Israelites" themselves?

That is not what the Bible says. Throughout, the nations that benefit from the rule of this chosen nation are shown as separate from, and submitting to, the royal priesthood. Notice how clear this is in Daniel’s vision at Daniel 7:13, 14, 18, 27. There we see first the Christ receiving his rulership over all nations. Then "holy ones" (note plural) receive the everlasting Kingdom, and all lesser authorities "under the heavens" (that is, on earth) "will serve and obey them." —see also Isaiah 61.5, 6; see also 1 Cor 6:1, 2.

So it is clear that the special nation would be a select and limited group. Evidently God had a "design" or architectural plan, if you will, for this "house", as it is sometimes called. The exact number of "stones" was kept a sacred secret until the Revelation given to John. Then we finally read: "I saw, and, look! the Lamb standing upon Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 having his name and the name of his Father written on their foreheads...And they are singing what seems to be a new song before the throne one was able to master that song but the 144,000, who have been bought from the earth." —Rev 14:1, 3.*

By no means is that the whole number of people to be blessed by God; the very next verses (6, 7) describe the invitation to worship God being proclaimed to "every nation and people." Yes, everyone can benefit from the reign of this Kingdom, if they will only "fear God and give him glory" before it is too late.

Where is the Kingdom?

The coming of this glorious Kingdom was anticipated from the days of the ancient prophets (Isaiah and Daniel particularly had much to say about it), but there was one detail revealed by Jesus Christ that came as a complete surprise. It was so new, so unexpected, that the disciples had difficulty grasping it at first: the Chosen One and those who would reign with him would not reign as men on earth but as spirits in heavenly glory.

On the night he was to be betrayed, Jesus told his disciples to be strong, to keep faithful, because he would be leaving them for a while. But "I am going my way to prepare a place for you, and I am coming again and will receive you home to myself, that where I am you also may be." How touching! How did the disciples react? "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How do we know the way?" (John 14:1-5) They did not understand what he was talking about! They had it fixed in their minds, not that he would die, but that he would at any moment reveal his glorious might and sweep away all oppressive world powers, leading the Jewish nation to victory and world dominance. Even after he had been raised up from the dead (and they knew he was no longer flesh and blood) they asked: "Lord, are you restoring the Kingdom to Israel at this time?" (Acts 1:6) As you have no doubt experienced yourself, old preconceptions die hard. But they finally learned: they were chosen to go to heaven! They would take on spirit bodies! They would see God face to face! How these new ideas must have overwhelmed and thrilled them! From then on they regarded their fleshly bodies as merely a temporary "house" or "tent" from which they would someday move. (2 Cor 4:16-5.8)

This new understanding is woven into everything the apostles wrote about the Christian congregation. Because of this, many Bible readers since then have assumed that everyone who is saved will go to heaven. You may have believed that all your life. Almost every church in Christendom teaches that life on earth has no future; if you are saved, you will surely go to heaven when you die.

Yet the Bible is quite clear that the earth will also be blessed. Jesus promised: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." (Matt 5:3 [AV], which relates to Ps 37:11.) Jesus had not changed his mind about that promise when he later spoke about taking his select disciples away to heaven. He didn’t say, "Oh, forget that, I’ve changed my mind, I’ll just take you away and blow this God-forsaken place up." No, not at all. Those who will reign with him in heaven will inherit this earth as the realm needing the benefit of their reign. We will provide further details about the coming paradise on earth in Chapter 9, "Making Earth a Paradise."

Will You Go to Heaven?

The question then naturally arises, Will I go to heaven, or stay on earth? Well, who do you think makes that choice? Do we tell God where we want to be, or does he decide for us? As you might expect, it is God who chooses those who will be kings in his Kingdom. From among the millions who have served him faithfully, only the "144,000" are called and anointed by holy spirit to the royal priesthood. Jehovah makes this choice according to his own vision and wisdom, and we should not complain. —see Romans 9:11, 16, 2 Tim 1:9, 2 Cor 1:21, 22; compare Heb 5:1, 4.

It is clear that the faithful 11 apostles were "called." And the letters to the early Christian congregations strongly imply that all who were drawn to Christ in those days (and remained faithful to the end) were also selected for this heavenly calling. That being the case, we could reasonably expect that the full number would by now be complete, or very nearly so. —see 1 Pet 1:1-4, 2 Pet 1:10.

But how does a person know if he is chosen? Jehovah would use his holy spirit to make it unmistakably clear to each one. The Bible says: "For all who are led by God’s spirit, these are God’s sons." (Rom 8:14) Of course, we must all be led by God’s spirit; being led by any other spirit brings death (verse 6). Then Paul says: "The spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are God’s children." (Rom 8:16) So we should sense deeply within ourselves that God has accepted us as his "children," once we have truly accepted him as Father. In the same way that the spirit "bears witness" within us that we are saved, it bears witness within those who are specially called to heavenly kingship, telling them of that calling— unmistakably, beyond a shadow of a doubt. Paul was, of course, particularly writing to people with that calling, and so verses 17 and 18 have special meaning to them. —Romans 8:6-18.

Those who do not receive this special calling should not feel unloved or humiliated. In a way, we are all called by God— to life everlasting. Jesus said: "No man can come to me unless the Father, who sent me, draws him; and I will resurrect him in the last day." (John 6:44) So all who come to faith are drawn by God, and loved by him. And he gives holy spirit to all who obey him (Acts 5:32; see also 1 John 3:19-24.) Nor should we regard a paradise earth as a second-class inheritance. For one thing, it sure beats death. And with an endless future, there are many intriguing possibilities. Who in their right mind would turn it down?

The Israel of God Today

Should we think that the full number of 144,000 was selected many years ago, so that no one alive today has that calling? No. Bible prophecy plainly says that some of these would be here at the time of Christ’s return. At that time, he said he would reward them with authority. (Luke 19:11-19, Matt 24:45-47; see also 1 Thess 4:13-17.) How should this affect us? We should find them and associate ourselves with them. When we do that, we will be fulfilling a prophecy ourselves: Zechariah 8:20-23.

How can we identify the true Israel today? There are many who claim to be God’s chosen people. Some of them fight viciously to establish their claim. That in itself tells us they cannot be God’s people. (2 Tim 2:24, 25) True Christians would be separate from the world’s fights. Often they would be despised, persecuted, dismissed as blasphemers. Yet they would have love among themselves. They would be united, not divided up into denominations. Their unity would not be gained by allowing room for all kind of beliefs and being tolerant of things contrary to the word of God, rather, they would have deep respect for all of the Bible, study it carefully, and live by it. Nor would they hide away in a corner and be hard to find. They would be out in the streets and knocking on doors, obeying to the very end Jesus’ command, "Go...make disciples of people of all the nations... teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you [including the command to be preachers]." They would, like Christ, be known as witnesses of Jehovah, making sure that everyone knows that Jehovah is the Most High. —read John 13:34, 35, 15:17-20, 17:14-23, 26, 1 Cor 1:10, Eph 4:1-6, Matt 28:19-20, Isa 43:10, Ps 83:18, Rev 1:5, 6.

Who today fits this Bible description? The traditional churches of Christendom are often deeply involved with the political divisions of this world, even egging on opposing sides in wars at times. The recent ecumenical movements are weak attempts at unity by sweeping differences under the rug. That is no way to clean house. Jesus said, "Your word is truth." Yet some prominent clergy dare to say that parts of the Bible are myth, and what it says is bad (such as homosexuality) is really good "if they love one another." Amazingly, most of these remain respected spokesmen in their church! As for God’s personal name, they have even removed it from their Bibles, worshipping Jesus as God instead. Do you think Jesus wanted them to do that? —John 7:16-18, 8:49, 50.

In contrast, the people known as Jehovah’s Witnesses are united as a loving brotherhood. We have a well-earned reputation for refusing to be drawn into worldly conflicts, even dying at the hands of hot-headed patriots for our refusal. We are often ridiculed and avoided. Yet we also have a well-earned reputation as Bible students. You have no doubt noticed how thoroughly this book supports what it says with solid, easily understandable Bible references. And we are renowned for our persistent door-to-door preaching. All of us are active, young and old, strong and infirm. No, we’re not hard to find; we’re hard to hide from!

Are all of Jehovah’s Witnesses called to heavenly glory? That is not possible, because there are now over 8,500,000 of us, while the number given for that special calling is much less, and many of those lived long ago. Only a few, a remnant, of these anointed ones remain today. They lead Jehovah's people in publishing the word of God to all who are ready to receive it. This book is just a tiny part of that effort. Do you appreciate the help it has given you?

The principle message for our time is the same one Jesus preached almost 2000 years ago, yet it has greater meaning than ever before. Do you know what it is? Our next chapter will take that up.

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Psalms 72.1-19
O God, give your judgments to the king,
And give your righteousness to the son of the king.
May he plead the cause of your people with righteousness
And of your lowly ones with justice.
May the mountains bring peace to the people,
And may the hills bring righteousness.
Let him defend the lowly among the people,
Let him save the sons of the poor,
And let him crush the defrauder.
They will fear you as long as there is a sun,
And as long as the moon remains, for generation after generation.
He will be like the rain that falls upon the grass,
Like showers that water the earth.
In his days the righteous one will flourish,
And peace will abound until the moon is no more.
He will have subjects from sea to sea
And from the River [Euphrates] to the ends of the earth.
The desert dwellers will bow down before him,
And his enemies will lick the dust.
The kings of Tarshish [now Spain] and of the islands will pay tribute.
The kings of Sheba and of Seba [southern Arabia] will present gifts.
All the kings will bow low before him;
And all the nations will serve him.
For he will rescue the poor who cry for help,
Also the lowly one and whoever has no helper.
He will have pity on the lowly and the poor,
He will save their lives.
From oppression and from violence he will rescue them,
And their blood will be precious in his eyes.
May he live, and to him let the gold of Sheba be given.
Let prayers be said for him constantly;
May he be blessed all day long.
There will come to be plenty of grain on the earth;
On the top of the mountains it will overflow.
His fruit will be as verdant as Lebanon,
And those who are from the city will blossom like the vegetation of the earth.
May his name last forever;
May his name prosper as long as there is a sun,
May his people come to be blessed by means of him;
May all nations pronounce him happy.
Blessed be Jehovah God, Israel's God,
Who alone is doing wonderful works.
May his glorious name be praised to endless time,
And may his glory fill the whole earth.
Amen and Amen.

Psalms 37.9-11, 29
Evildoers will be done away with, but those hoping in Jehovah will inherit the earth. Just a little while longer, and the wicked will be no more; you will look where they were, and they will not be there. But the meek will possess the earth, and they will find exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.
29 The righteous will possess the earth, and they will live forever on it.

2 Thess 1.7-9
But you who suffer tribulation will be given relief along with us, at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with his powerful angels in a flaming fire as he brings vengeance upon those who do not know God and those who do not obey the good news about our Lord Jesus. These very ones will undergo the judicial punishment of everlasting destruction from before the Lord and from the glory of his strength.

Rev 19:11-21 and 21:1-4
I saw heaven opened, and look! a white horse. The one seated on it is called Faithful and True, and he judges and carries on war in righteousness. His eyes are a fiery flame, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written that no one knows but he himself, and he is clothed with an outer garment stained with blood, and the name he is called is The Word of God. Also, the armies in heaven were following him on white horses, and they were clothed in white, clean, fine linen. Out of his mouth protrudes a sharp, long sword, that he may strike the nations with it, and he will shepherd them with a rod of iron. Moreover, he treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his outer garment, yes, on his thigh, he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. I saw also an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice to all the birds that fly in midheaven: “Come here, be gathered together to the great evening meal of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings, of military commanders, of strong men, of horses and of those riding them, and the flesh of all, of freemen, of slaves, of small ones and great.” Then I saw the wild beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the one seated on the horse and against his army. And the wild beast was caught, and along with it the false prophet that performed in front of it the signs with which he misled those who received the mark of the wild beast and those who worship its image. While still alive, they both were hurled into the fiery lake that burns with sulfur. But the rest were killed off with the long sword that proceeded out of the mouth of the one seated on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.

Rev 21.1-4
I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea is no more. I also saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will dwell with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them, and he will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”

2 Chron 36:12-21
He [Zedekiah, the last king of Israel] continued to do what was bad in the eyes of Jehovah his God. He did not humble himself before the prophet Jeremiah, who spoke at the order of Jehovah. He also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar [of Chaldea], who had made him take an oath by God, and he remained stubborn and hardhearted and refused to turn to Jehovah the God of Israel. Also all the chiefs of the priests as well as the people were exceedingly unfaithful, practicing all the detestable things of the nations, and they defiled the house of Jehovah that he had sanctified in Jerusalem. Jehovah the God of their forefathers kept warning them by means of his messengers, warning them again and again, because he felt compassion for his people and for his dwelling place. But they kept ridiculing the messengers of the true God, and they despised his words and mocked his prophets, until the rage of Jehovah came up against his people, until they were beyond healing. So he brought against them the king of the Chaldeans, who killed their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary; he felt no compassion for young man or virgin, old or infirm. God gave everything into his hand. All the utensils of the house of the true God, great and small, as well as the treasures of the house of Jehovah and the treasures of the king and his princes, everything he brought to Babylon. He burned down the house of the true God, tore down the wall of Jerusalem, burned all its fortified towers with fire, and destroyed everything of value. He carried off captive to Babylon those who escaped the sword, and they became servants to him and his sons until the kingdom of Persia began to reign, to fulfill Jehovah's word spoken by Jeremiah, until the land had paid off its sabbaths. All the days it lay desolate it kept sabbath, to fulfill 70 years.

Deut 31:16-21, 24-29
Jehovah now said to Moses: “Look! You are about to die, and this people will begin to commit spiritual prostitution with the foreign gods that are around them in the land to which they are going. They will forsake me and break my covenant that I have made with them. At that time my anger will blaze against them, and I will forsake them and hide my face from them until they are devoured. Then after many calamities and distresses have come upon them, they will say, ‘Is it not because our God is not in our midst that these calamities have come upon us?’ But I will keep my face hidden in that day because of all the wickedness that they have done in turning to other gods. Now write down this song for yourselves and teach it to the Israelites. Have them learn it in order that this song may serve as my witness against the people of Israel. When I bring them to the land that I have sworn about to their forefathers— one flowing with milk and honey— and they eat their fill and prosper, they will turn to other gods and serve them and treat me with disrespect and break my covenant. When many calamities and distresses come upon them, this song will serve as a witness to them (for their descendants should not forget it), for I already know the inclination that they have developed even before I bring them into the land about which I have sworn.”
24 As soon as Moses had completed writing the words of this Law in a book in their entirety, Moses commanded the Levites who carry the ark of Jehovah's covenant, saying: “Take this book of the Law and place it at the side of the ark of the covenant of Jehovah your God, and it will serve as a witness there against you. For I myself well know your rebelliousness and your stubbornness. If you have been so rebellious against Jehovah while I am still alive with you, then how much more so will you be after my death! Gather together to me all the elders of your tribes and your officers, and let me speak these words in their hearing, and let me take the heavens and the earth as witnesses against them. For I well know that after my death you will surely act wickedly and turn aside from the way about which I have commanded you. And calamity will certainly befall you at the close of the days, because you will do what is bad in the eyes of Jehovah and you will offend him by the works of your hands.”

Ezek 36:16-32
The word of Jehovah again came to me, saying: Son of man, when the house of Israel was dwelling in their land, they made it unclean by their ways and their dealings. Their ways were like the uncleanness of menstruation to me. So I poured out my rage on them because of the blood that they had shed upon the land and because they made the land unclean with their disgusting idols. So I scattered them among the nations and dispersed them among the lands. I judged them according to their way and according to their dealings. But when they came to those nations, people profaned my holy name by saying about them, ‘These are the people of Jehovah, but they had to leave his land.’ So I will show concern for my holy name, which the house of Israel profaned among the nations where they have gone. Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: “Not for your sakes am I acting, O house of Israel, but for my holy name, which you profaned among the nations where you have gone. I will certainly sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the nations, which you profaned among them; and the nations will have to know that I am Jehovah,” declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, “when I am sanctified among you before their eyes. I will take you from the nations and gather you back from all the lands and bring you into your land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will become clean; I will cleanse you from all your uncleanness and from all your disgusting idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit inside you. I will remove the heart of stone from your body and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my spirit inside you, and I will cause you to walk in my regulations, and you will observe and carry out my judicial decisions. Then you will dwell in the land that I gave to your forefathers, and you will be my people and I will be your God. I will save you from all your uncleanness and summon the grain and make it abound, and I will not bring famine upon you. I will make the fruitage of the tree and the produce of the field abound, so that you may never again suffer the disgrace of famine among the nations. Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves because of your guilt and your detestable practices. But know this: I am not doing this for your sakes,” declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. “Instead, be ashamed and feel humiliated because of your ways, O house of Israel.”’

Acts 13:20-22
After this he gave them judges until Samuel the prophet. But then they demanded a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for 40 years. After removing him, he raised up for them David as king, about whom he bore witness and said: “I have found David the son of Jesse a man agreeable to my heart; he will do all the things I desire.”

Psalms 89:35-37
I have sworn in my holiness,
once and for all;
I will not tell lies to David.
His offspring will endure forever;
His throne will endure like the sun before me.
Like the moon, it will be firmly established forever
As a faithful witness in the skies.

Acts 8:32-35
Now this was the passage of Scripture that he was reading [from Isaiah 53]: “Like a sheep he was brought to the slaughter, and like a lamb that is silent before its shearer, so he does not open his mouth. During his humiliation, justice was taken away from him. Who will tell the details of his generation? Because his life is taken away from the earth.” The eunuch then said to Philip: “I beg you, about whom does the prophet say this? About himself or about some other man?” Philip answered, and starting with this scripture, he declared to him the good news about Jesus.
Acts 2:22,23
Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus the Nazarene was a man publicly shown to you by God through powerful works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, just as you yourselves know. This man, who was handed over by the determined will and foreknowledge of God, you fastened to a stake by the hand of lawless men and did away with him.
Acts 13:27,28
For the inhabitants of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize this one, but when acting as judges, they fulfilled the things spoken by the Prophets, which are read aloud every sabbath. Even though they found no cause for death, they demanded of Pilate to have him executed.

1 Pet 2:4-10
As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but chosen, precious to God, you yourselves as living stones are being built up into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, in order to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it says in Scripture: “Look! I am laying in Zion a chosen stone, a precious foundation cornerstone, and no one trusting in it will ever be disappointed.” It is to you, therefore, that he is precious, because you are believers; but to those not believing, “the stone that the builders rejected, this has become the chief cornerstone” and “a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.” They are stumbling because they are disobedient to the word, the end appointed for such ones. But you 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 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the temporary residents scattered about in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, to those chosen. . .

Ephesians 2:11-22
Therefore, remember that at one time you, people of the nations by fleshly descent, were the ones called "uncircumcision" by those called "circumcision," which is made in the flesh by human hands. At that time you were without Christ, alienated from the state of Israel, strangers to the covenants of the promise; you had no hope and were without God in the world. But now in union with Christ Jesus, you who were once far off have come to be near by the blood of the Christ. For he is our peace, the one who made the two groups one and destroyed the wall in between that fenced them off. By means of his flesh he abolished the enmity, the Law of commandments with its decrees, to make the two groups in union with himself into one new man and to make peace, and to fully reconcile both peoples in one body to God through the execution post [of Christ], because he had killed off the enmity by means of himself. And he came and declared the good news of peace to you, who were far off, and peace to those near, because through him we, both peoples, have free access to the Father by one spirit. So you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens of the holy ones and are members of the household of God, and you have been built up on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, while Christ Jesus himself is the foundation cornerstone. In union with him the whole building, being harmoniously joined together, is growing into a holy temple for Jehovah. In union with him you too are being built up together into a place for God to inhabit by spirit.

Ephesians 3:5-6
In other generations this secret was not made known to the sons of men as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by spirit, namely, that people of the nations should be joint heirs and fellow members of the body and partakers with us of the promise in union with Christ Jesus through the good news.

Romans 9:23-26
If this was done to make known the riches of his glory on vessels of mercy, which he prepared beforehand for glory, namely, us, whom he called not only from among Jews but also from among nations, what of it? It is as he says also in Hosea: “Those not my people I will call my people, and her who was not loved, beloved; and in the place where it was said to them, You are not my people, there they will be called sons of the living God.”

Romans 11:25b-26a
A partial dulling of senses has come upon Israel until the full number of people of the nations has come in, and in this manner all Israel will be saved.

verse 23 They also, if they do not remain in their lack of faith, will be grafted [back] in; for God is able to graft them in again.
[Paul was using the illustration of a arborist (God) tending an olive tree (the Kingdom) lopping off dead branches (the faithless Jews) and grafting in fruitful branches (responsive non-Jews). Note that he says Jews can be reconnected to the Kingdom IF they repent. That is up to them. It is not predestined.]

Rom 9:27-29
Moreover, Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Although the number of the sons of Israel may be as the sand of the sea, only the remnant will be saved. For Jehovah will make an accounting on the earth, concluding it and cutting it short.” Also, just as Isaiah foretold: “Unless Jehovah of armies had left an offspring to us, we should have become just like Sodom, and we should have resembled Gomorrah.”

Romans 9:1-8
I am telling the truth in Christ; I am not lying, as my conscience bears witness with me in holy spirit, that I have great grief and unceasing pain in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were separated from the Christ as the cursed one for the sake of my brothers, my relatives according to the flesh, who are Israelites. To them belong the adoption as sons and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the sacred service and the promises. To them the forefathers belong, and from them the Christ descended according to the flesh. God, who is over all, be praised forever. Amen. However, it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who descend from Israel are really “Israel.” Neither are they all children because they are Abraham's [natural] 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 [divine] promise are counted as the offspring [of the covenant].

Rom 2:28, 29
For he is not a Jew who is one on the outside, nor is circumcision something on the outside, on 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. That person's praise comes from God, not from people.

Acts 13:45-47
When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began blasphemously contradicting the things Paul was saying. Then Paul and Barnabas boldly said to them: “It was necessary for the word of God to be spoken first to you. Since you are rejecting it and do not judge yourselves worthy of everlasting life, look! we turn to the nations. For Jehovah has commanded us in these words: ‘I have appointed you as a light of nations, for you to be a salvation to the ends of the earth.’”

2 Pet 1:10, 11
Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and choosing sure for yourselves, for if you keep on doing these things, you will by no means ever fail. In fact, in this way you will be richly granted entrance into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Heb 8:6-13
But now Jesus has obtained a more excellent ministry, because he is also the mediator of a correspondingly better covenant, which has been legally established on better promises. If that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need for a second. For he does find fault with the people when he says: “‘Look! The days are coming,’ says Jehovah, ‘when I will make with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah a new covenant. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their forefathers on the day I took hold of their hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, because they did not remain in my covenant, so I stopped caring for them,’ says Jehovah. ‘For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,’ says Jehovah. ‘I will put my laws in their mind, and in their hearts I will write them. And I will become their God, and they will become my people. And they will no longer teach each one his fellow citizen and each one his brother, saying: “Know Jehovah!” For they will all know me, from the least to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful toward their unrighteous deeds, and I will no longer call their sins to mind.’” In his saying “a new covenant,” he has made the former one obsolete. Now what is obsolete and growing old is near to vanishing away.

Daniel 7:13, 14, 18, 27
I kept watching in the visions of the night, and see there! with the clouds of the heavens, someone like a son of man was coming; and he gained access to the Ancient of Days, and they brought him up close before that One. To him there were given rulership, honor, and a kingdom, that the peoples, nations, and language groups should all serve him. His rulership is an everlasting rulership that will not pass away, and his kingdom will not be destroyed.

Daniel 7:18
The holy ones of the Supreme One will receive the kingdom, and they will possess the kingdom forever, yes, forever and ever.

Daniel 7:27
The kingdom and the rulership and the grandeur of the kingdoms under all the heavens were given to the people who are the holy ones of the Supreme One. Their kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all rulerships will serve and obey them.

Isaiah 61:5, 6
Strangers will stand and shepherd your flocks, and foreigners will be your farmers and your vinedressers. As for you, you will be called the priests of Jehovah; they will call you the ministers of our God. You will eat the resources of the nations, and about their glory you will speak with delight.

Rev 14:6, 7
I saw another angel flying in midheaven, and he had everlasting good news to declare to those who dwell on the earth, to every nation and tribe and tongue and people, saying with a strong voice: “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of the judgment by him has come. So worship the One who made the heaven and the earth and sea and fountains of waters.”

Rev 7:4
I heard the number of those who were sealed, 144,000, sealed out of every tribe of the sons of Israel.

Rev 7:9 After this I saw, and look! a great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes; and there were palm branches in their hands.

1 Chronicles 23:1-6:
When David had grown old and was near the end of his life, he made his son Solomon king over Israel. He then gathered all the princes of Israel, the priests, and the Levites. The Levites who were 30 years old and up were numbered; their number, their head count man by man, was 38,000. Of these, 24,000 served as supervisors over the work of Jehovah's house, and there were 6,000 officers and judges, and there were 4,000 gatekeepers, and 4,000 gave praise to Jehovah on the instruments about which David said, “I made them for giving praise.” Then David organized them into divisions according to the sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

2 Chronicles 35:10:
The service was prepared, and the priests stood at their places and the Levites by their divisions, as the king had commanded.

1 Cor 6:1, 2
Does any one of you who has a dispute with another dare to go to court before unrighteous men, and not before the holy ones? Or do you not know that the holy ones will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you not competent to try very trivial matters?

John 14:1-5
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. There are many rooms in my Father's house. If not, I would have told you, for I am going my way to prepare a place for you. And if I go my way and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will receive you home to myself, so that where I am you also may be. And where I am going, you know the way.” Thomas said to him: “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”

2 Cor 4:16-5:8
Therefore, we do not give up, but even if the man we are outside is wasting away, certainly the man we are inside is being renewed from day to day. For though the tribulation is momentary and light, it works out for us a glory that is of more and more surpassing greatness and is everlasting; while we keep our eyes, not on the things seen, but on the things unseen. For the things seen are temporary, but the things unseen are everlasting. 5 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, should be torn down, we are to have a building from God, a house not made with hands, everlasting in the heavens. For in this house we do indeed groan, longing to put on the one for us from heaven, so that when we do put it on, we will not be found naked. In fact, we who are in this tent groan, being weighed down; because we want, not only to put it off, but to put on the other, that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who prepared us for this very thing is God, who gave us the spirit as a token of what is to come. So we are always of good courage and know that while we have our home in the body, we are absent from the Lord, for we are walking by faith, not by sight. But we are of good courage, and are eager to be absent from the body and to make our home with the Lord.

Ps 37:9-11
For those who do evil will be cut off,
But those hoping in Jehovah will possess the earth.
Just a little while longer, and the wicked one will be no more;
You will look at where they were, and they will not be there.
But the meek [humble, lowly, oppressed, downtrodden] ones will possess the earth,
And they will find exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.

Romans 9:11, 16
When they [Jacob and Esau] had not yet been born and had not yet done anything good or bad, so that God's purpose respecting the choosing might be dependent, not upon works, but upon the One who calls . . . So, then, it depends, not on a person's desire or on his effort, but upon God, who has mercy.

(Note that this does NOT relate to salvation, as if you might wish with all your heart to be for God, yet he could arbitrarily and coldly ignore that and reject you. The context relates to being chosen as the covenant people, which is a special calling. One can be saved without being so selected; that special choice is His, not ours.)

2 Timothy 1:9
He saved us and called us with a holy calling, not because of our works, but because of his own purpose and undeserved kindness. This was given to us in connection with Christ Jesus before times long ago.

(The purpose to have a special people, the holy calling, was decided immediately after mankind sinned. But the individuals finally chosen for it were each chosen during their life, due to their faith, not their nationality, and certainly not from some personal predestination, as if they had no free will in being good or bad. As for Jacob and Esau, God chose Jacob before he was born, but not before he was conceived. Personality is to an extent genetically determined, and God could see from that alone that Jacob would more easily be a spiritually-minded man than Esau. (Genesis 25:27) Esau might have made a good soldier, and scripture does not say he was doomed to be evil. He just wasn't what God wanted to carry forward the line to the Christ. Since they were twins, God could have had Jacob come out first, then there would never have been a question about the birthright. But God did not want this choice established by tradition.)

Genesis 25:27
As the boys got bigger, Esau became a skilled hunter, a man of the field, but Jacob was a blameless man, dwelling in tents [apparently meaning he was conscientious and studious; their personalities were very different].

2 Corinthians 1:21-22
But the one who guarantees that you and we belong to Christ and the one who anointed us is God. He has also put his seal on us and has given us the token of what is to come, that is, the spirit, in our hearts.

Heb 5:1, 4
For every high priest taken from among men is appointed in their behalf over the things relating to God, so that he may offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. . . A man does not take this honor of his own accord, but he receives it only when he is called by God, just as Aaron was.

1 Pet 1:1-4
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the temporary residents scattered about in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, to the ones chosen according to the prognosis* of God the Father, with sanctification by the spirit, for the purpose of their being obedient and sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ: May undeserved kindness and peace be increased to you. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for according to his great mercy he gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an incorruptible and undefiled and unfading inheritance. It is reserved in the heavens for you.

*this was the actual Greek word used. It literally means "advance knowledge", but includes an element of decision, not mere discovery. The Latin equivalent is "prediction", to say in advance. Usually translated "foreknowledge", which while technically accurate, can be misleading, as it can give the impression God did not decide it, he just learned it. See the discussion on predestination in Chapter 4.

2 Pet 1:10
Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and choosing sure for yourselves, for if you keep on doing these things, you will by no means ever fail.

(Clearly, although God chooses, he can change his mind if the one chosen doesn't appreciate it properly.)

Rom 8:6-18
For having the mind set on the flesh means death, but having the mind set on the spirit means life and peace; because a fleshly mindset means enmity with God, for it is not in subjection to the law of God, nor, in fact, can it be. So those who are in harmony with the flesh cannot please God. However, you are in harmony, not with the flesh, but with the spirit, if God's spirit truly dwells in you. But if anyone does not have Christ's spirit, this one does not belong to him. But if Christ is in union with you, the body indeed is dead on account of sin, but the spirit is life on account of righteousness. If, now, the spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also make your mortal bodies alive through his spirit that dwells within you. So, then, brothers, we are under obligation, not to the flesh to live in accord with the flesh; for if you live in accord with the flesh you are sure to die; but if you put the practices of the body to death by the spirit, you will live. For all who are led by God's spirit, these are God's sons. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery causing fear again, but you received a spirit of adoption as sons, by which spirit we cry out: "Abba [Papa! or Daddy!], Father!" The spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are God's children. If, then, we are children, we are also heirs: heirs indeed of God, but joint heirs with Christ, provided we suffer together that we may also be glorified together. So I reckon that the sufferings of the present season do not amount to anything in comparison with the glory that is going to be revealed in us.

1 John 3:19-24
By this we will know that we originate with the truth, and we will assure our hearts before him regarding whatever our hearts may condemn us in, because God is greater than our hearts and knows all things. Beloved ones, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have freeness of speech toward God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we are observing his commandments and doing what is pleasing in his eyes. Indeed, this is his commandment: that we have faith in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he gave us a commandment. Moreover, the one who observes his commandments remains in union with him, and he in union with such one. And by the spirit that he gave us, we know that he remains in union with us.

Acts 5:32
We are witnesses of these matters, and so is the holy spirit, which God has given to those obeying him as ruler.

Luke 19:11-19
While they were listening to these things, he told another illustration, because he was near Jerusalem and they thought that the Kingdom of God was going to appear instantly. So he said: "A man of noble birth traveled to a distant land to secure a kingship for himself and to return. Calling ten of his slaves, he gave them ten minas and told them, 'Do business with these until I come.' But his citizens hated him and sent out a body of ambassadors after him to say, 'We do not want this man to become king over us.' When he eventually got back after having secured the kingship, he summoned the slaves to whom he had given the money, to find out what they had gained by their business activity. So the first one came forward and said, 'Lord, your mina gained ten minas.' He said to him, 'Well done, good slave! Because in a very small matter you have proved yourself faithful, hold authority over ten cities.' Now the second came, saying, 'Your mina, Lord, made five minas.' He said to this one as well, 'You too be in charge of five cities.'

Matt 24:45-47
Who really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his household staff, to give them their food at the proper time? Happy is that slave if his master on arriving finds him doing so. Truly I say to you, He will appoint him over all his belongings.

1 Thess 4:13-17
Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who are sleeping in death, that you may not grieve as others do, who have no hope. For just as we believe that Jesus died and rose again, so too, through Jesus, God will bring back [to life] with him those who are asleep in death. For we tell you this by the word of the Lord: we who live to the presence* of the Lord shall in no way go ahead of those who are sleeping in death. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven and give the command with an arch-angelic voice and with the trumpet of God, and those who are dead in union with Christ shall rise first. After that we who are alive, who have survived [to that time], shall together with them be caught away in clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. So, be comforting one another with these words.
*the meaning of this word is discussed in the next chapter.

Zechariah 8:20-23
This is what Jehovah of armies has said, "It will yet be that peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will come; and the inhabitants of one city will go to those of another and say: 'Let us earnestly go to beg for the favor of Jehovah and to seek Jehovah of armies. I am also going.' And many peoples and mighty nations will come to seek Jehovah of armies in Jerusalem and to beg for the favor of Jehovah." This is what Jehovah of armies has said, "In those days ten men out of all the languages of the nations will take hold, yes, they will take firm hold of the robe of a man who is a Jew, saying: 'We will go with you people, for we have heard that God is with you people.'"

(The man who is a Jew would be Jesus; but note they say, 'We will go with you people.' So they are joining an established people, covenant Israelites by spirit.)

2 Tim 2:24, 25
A slave of the Lord does not need to fight, but needs to be gentle toward all, qualified to teach, showing restraint when wronged, instructing with mildness those not favorably disposed, hoping God may give them repentance leading to an accurate knowledge of truth.

John 13:34, 35
I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have [such] love among yourselves.

John 15:17-20
These things I command you, that you love one another. If the world hates you, you know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were part of the world, the world would be fond of what is its own. Now because you are no part of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, for this reason the world hates you. Keep in mind the word I said to you, 'A slave is not greater than his master.' If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have observed my word, they will observe yours also.

John 17:14-23, 26
[Jesus prayed, saying:] “I have given your word to them, but the world has hated them, because they are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world. I do not request that you take them out of the world, but that you watch over them because of the wicked one. They are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world. Sanctify them by means of the truth; your word is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I also sent them into the world. And I am sanctifying myself in their behalf, so that they also may be sanctified by means of truth. I make request, not concerning these only, but also concerning those putting faith in me through their word, so that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in union with me and I am in union with you, that they also may be in union with us, so that the world may believe that you sent me. I have given them the glory that you have given me, in order that they may be one just as we are one. I in union with them and you in union with me, in order that they may be perfected into one, so that the world may know that you sent me and that you loved them just as you loved me. . . 26 I have made your name known to them and will make it known, so that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in union with them.”

1 Cor 1:10
Now I [Paul] urge you, brothers, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you should all speak in agreement, and that there should be no divisions among you, but that you may be properly united in the same mind and in the same line of thought.

Eph 4:1-6
Therefore I [Paul], the prisoner in the Lord, appeal to you to walk worthily of the calling with which you were called, with all humility and mildness, with patience, putting up with one another in love, earnestly endeavoring to maintain the oneness of the spirit in the uniting bond of peace. One body there is, and one spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Matt 28:19-20
Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you. And, look! I am with you all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.

Isa 43:10
“You are my witnesses,” declares Jehovah, “Yes, my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and have faith in me, and understand that I am the same One. Before me no God was formed, and after me there has been none.”

Ps 83:18
That people may know that you, whose name is Jehovah,
You alone are the Most High over all the earth.

Rev 1:5, 6
From Jesus Christ, "the Faithful Witness," "the firstborn from the dead," and "the Ruler of the kings of the earth." To him who loves us and who freed us from our sins by means of his own blood— and he made us to be a kingdom, priests to his God and Father— yes, to him be the glory and the might forever. Amen.

John 7:16-18
Jesus, in turn, answered them and said: “What I teach is not mine, but belongs to him who sent me. If anyone desires to do His will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or I speak of my own originality. Whoever speaks of his own originality is seeking his own glory; but whoever seeks the glory of the one who sent him, this one is true and there is no unrighteousness in him.”

John 8:49, 50
Jesus answered: "I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. But I am not seeking glory for myself; there is One who is seeking and judging."

Review for Chapter 6

How will God's Kingdom establish peace?

What did Jehovah promise Abraham?

Who were Abraham's offspring?

What was the purpose for Israel?

Who is Abraham's Offspring?

What is the New Covenant, and what did it establish?

Who became God's chosen people?

Why did most Jews fail to enter the new covenant?

Who are the nations blessed by the Offspring of Abraham?

What number is given in scripture for the royal priesthood?

Where is the Kingdom?

What is the purpose of the royal priesthood?

How have you been called by God?

How can the holy nation be identified today?

Restore Scripture View

Use mouse or finger to move footnote

Abraham may not have known at the time whether this referred to a single descendant or to all who would spring from him. The answer became clear many generations later.

Although we are taking this number as literal, we cannot prove that it is; most of the Revelation is in symbols. One thing is clear, however: there are two distinct groups blessed by God. One is chosen for special service and is limited, while the other is left indefinite in number and is much larger.
If figurative, what would the number 144,000 mean? It would highlight that this nation is organized for its work, just as the Levites were organized into divisions of service. Compare Rev 7:4 to 7:9; see also 1 Chronicles 23:1-6 and 2 Chronicles 35:10.