Reap Blessings Through God’s Spirit-Guided King!
“Upon him the spirit of Jehovah must settle down.”—ISA. 11:2.
1. What concerns have some voiced about the world’s problems?
“IN A world that is in chaos politically, socially and environmentally, how can the human race sustain another 100 years?” That is what astrophysicist Stephen Hawking asked in 2006. An article in the journal New Statesman observed: “We have not abolished poverty or constructed world peace. On the contrary, we seem to have achieved exactly the opposite. It is not as though we haven’t tried. We have tried everything from communism to the pure market; from the League of Nations to nuclear deterrence. We have fought too many ‘wars to end war’ to believe that we know how to end war.”
2. How will Jehovah soon express his rightful sovereignty over the earth?
2 Such statements come as no surprise to Jehovah’s servants. The Bible tells us that humans were not created to govern themselves. (Jer. 10:23) Jehovah alone is our rightful Sovereign. As such, he has the prerogative to set standards for us, to define what purpose our life should have, and to guide us toward that purpose. Moreover, he will soon act on his authority to end mankind’s failed attempts at self-government. At the same time, he will destroy all who by rejecting his rightful sovereignty would keep humans enslaved to sin, to imperfection, and to “the god of this system of things,” Satan the Devil.—2 Cor. 4:4.
3. What did Isaiah foretell about the Messiah?
3 In the Paradise new world, Jehovah’s loving sovereignty will be expressed toward mankind by means of the Messianic Kingdom. (Dan. 7:13, 14) Concerning its King, Isaiah prophesied: “There must go forth a twig out of the stump of Jesse; and out of his roots a sprout will be fruitful. And upon him the spirit of Jehovah must settle down, the spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the spirit of counsel and of mightiness, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Jehovah.” (Isa. 11:1, 2) In what specific ways has God’s holy spirit qualified the “twig out of the stump of Jesse”—Jesus Christ—to rule mankind? What blessings will result from his rulership? And what must we do to reap those blessings?
Divinely Qualified to Rule
4-6. What vital knowledge will enable Jesus to serve as a wise and compassionate King, High Priest, and Judge?
4 Jehovah wants his human subjects to grow to perfection under the guidance of one who is a truly wise and compassionate King, High Priest, and Judge. That is why God chose Jesus Christ, whom he by means of holy spirit qualified for those most important responsibilities. Consider some of the reasons why Jesus will fulfill his God-assigned roles perfectly.
5 Jesus has the most intimate knowledge of God. The only-begotten Son has known the Father longer than anyone else, likely for many billions of years. During that time, Jesus acquired such a thorough knowledge of Jehovah that he could be described as the very “image of the invisible God.” (Col. 1:15) Jesus himself said: “He that has seen me has seen the Father also.”—John 14:9.
6 Next to Jehovah, Jesus has the most comprehensive knowledge of all creation, including humankind. Colossians 1:16, 17 reads: “By means of him [God’s Son] all other things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible . . . Also, he is before all other things and by means of him all other things were made to exist.” Just think about that! Jesus, as God’s “master worker,” shared in all other aspects of creation. Hence, he understands every detail of the entire universe, from subatomic particles to the amazing human brain. Yes, Christ truly is wisdom personified!—Prov. 8:12, 22, 30, 31.
7, 8. How did God’s spirit assist Jesus in his ministry?
7 Jesus was anointed with God’s holy spirit. “Jehovah’s spirit is upon me,” said Jesus, “because he anointed me to declare good news to the poor, he sent me forth to preach a release to the captives and a recovery of sight to the blind, to send the crushed ones away with a release, to preach Jehovah’s acceptable year.” (Luke 4:18, 19) When Jesus was baptized, holy spirit evidently made him aware of things he had learned during his prehuman existence, including what God wanted him to accomplish during his earthly ministry as the Messiah.—Read Isaiah 42:1; Luke 3:21, 22; John 12:50.
8 Because he was empowered by holy spirit and perfect in body and mind, Jesus was not only the greatest man who ever lived on earth but also the greatest Teacher. In fact, his listeners were “astounded at his way of teaching.” (Matt. 7:28) For one thing, Jesus was able to address the root causes of mankind’s problems—sin, imperfection, and spiritual ignorance. Also, he could see what people really were at heart and deal with them accordingly.—Matt. 9:4; John 1:47.
9. How is your confidence in Jesus as Ruler enhanced by reflecting on his earthly experiences?
9 Jesus lived as a human. His own experience as a human and his close association with imperfect people did much to help qualify Jesus as King. The apostle Paul wrote: “[Jesus] was obliged to become like his ‘brothers’ in all respects, that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, in order to offer propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of the people. For in that he himself has suffered when being put to the test, he is able to come to the aid of those who are being put to the test.” (Heb. 2:17, 18) Because Jesus was “put to the test,” he can sympathize with those who are undergoing trial. Jesus’ compassion was clearly manifest during his earthly ministry. The sick, the disabled, the downtrodden—even children—felt free to approach him. (Mark 5:22-24, 38-42; 10:14-16) The meek and spiritually hungry were also drawn to him. On the other hand, the proud, the arrogant, and those who did “not have the love of God” in them rejected, hated, and opposed him.—John 5:40-42; 11:47-53.
10. In what great way did Jesus prove his love for us?
10 Jesus gave his life in our behalf. Perhaps the greatest proof of Jesus’ suitability as Ruler was his willingness to die for us. (Read Psalm 40:6-10.) “No one has love greater than this,” said Christ, “that someone should surrender his soul in behalf of his friends.” (John 15:13) Yes, unlike imperfect human rulers, who often lead privileged lives at the expense of their subjects, Jesus gave his very life for mankind.—Matt. 20:28.
Empowered to Apply the Ransom
11. Why can we have complete confidence in Jesus as our Ransomer?
11 How appropriate that Jesus as High Priest is the one to take the lead in applying to us the benefits of his ransom sacrifice! In fact, during his earthly ministry, Jesus gave us a preview of what he will do as our Ransomer during his Thousand Year Reign, which we can enjoy if we are faithful. He healed the sick and disabled, raised the dead, fed multitudes, and even controlled the elements. (Matt. 8:26; 14:14-21; Luke 7:14, 15) Moreover, he did these things, not to flaunt his authority and power, but to demonstrate his compassion and love. “I want to,” he said to a leper who entreated him for a cure. (Mark 1:40, 41) Jesus will demonstrate that same compassion during his Millennial Reign—but on a global scale.
12. How will Isaiah 11:9 be fulfilled?
12 Christ and his corulers will also continue the spiritual education program that Jesus began some 2,000 years ago. Thus the words at Isaiah 11:9 will be fulfilled: “The earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters are covering the very sea.” That divine education will no doubt include instruction on how to care for the earth and its countless creatures, as Adam was originally commissioned to do. By the end of the 1,000 years, God’s original purpose as stated at Genesis 1:28 will have been fulfilled, and the ransom sacrifice will have been fully applied.
Empowered to Judge
13. How did Jesus demonstrate his love of righteousness?
13 Christ is “the One decreed by God to be judge of the living and the dead.” (Acts 10: 42) How comforting, then, to know that Jesus is incorruptible, that righteousness and faithfulness are like a belt firmly girded about his loins! (Isa. 11:5) He demonstrated a hatred for greed, hypocrisy, and other evils, and he censured those who were callous toward others’ suffering. (Matt. 23:1-8, 25-28; Mark 3:5) Moreover, Jesus showed that he was not deceived by outward appearances, “for he himself knew what was in man.”—John 2:25.
14. In what way is Jesus demonstrating his love of righteousness and justice now, and what should we ask ourselves?
14 Jesus continues to demonstrate his love of righteousness and justice by overseeing the greatest preaching and teaching campaign in the history of the world. No man, no human government, and no wicked spirit can stop this work from being accomplished to God’s complete satisfaction. Thus, we can be absolutely confident that when Armageddon is over, divine justice will have prevailed. (Read Isaiah 11:4; Matthew 16:27.) Ask yourself: ‘Do I reflect Jesus’ attitude toward people in my ministry? Do I give Jehovah my best even if my health or personal circumstances might limit what I can do?’
15. Keeping what in mind can help us give God our best?
15 We will be helped to serve God whole-souled if we keep in mind that the preaching work is his work. He commanded it; through his Son he directs it; and by means of holy spirit he empowers those who share in it. Do you cherish the privilege you have of serving as God’s fellow worker along with his spirit-guided Son? Who else but Jehovah could impel more than seven million people, most of whom are considered “unlettered and ordinary,” to share the Kingdom message with people in 236 lands?—Acts 4:13.
Through Christ, Bless Yourself!
16. Genesis 22:18 implies what about God’s blessing?
16 Jehovah told Abraham: “By means of your seed all nations of the earth will certainly bless themselves due to the fact that you have listened to my voice.” (Gen. 22:18) This implies that appreciative ones can confidently look forward to the blessings the Messianic Seed will bring. And they actively serve today with those blessings in mind.
17, 18. What promise of Jehovah do we read at Deuteronomy 28:2, and what does it mean for us?
17 To Abraham’s fleshly seed, the nation of Israel, God once said: “All these blessings [set out in the Law covenant] must come upon you and overtake you, because you keep listening to the voice of Jehovah your God.” (Deut. 28:2) The same can be said to God’s servants today. If you desire Jehovah’s blessing, “keep listening” to his voice. Then his blessings “must come upon you and overtake you.” What, though, does “listening” involve?
18 Listening certainly includes taking to heart what is said in God’s Word and the spiritual food that he provides. (Matt. 24:45) It also means obeying God and his Son. Jesus said: “Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will.” (Matt. 7: 21) And listening to God means willingly submitting oneself to the arrangement he has set in place, the Christian congregation with appointed elders, “gifts in men.”—Eph. 4:8.
19. How can we be in line for a blessing?
19 Among those “gifts in men” are the members of the Governing Body, who act in a representative way for the entire Christian congregation. (Acts 15:2, 6) In fact, our attitude toward Christ’s spiritual brothers is a major factor that will determine how we will be judged during the coming great tribulation. (Matt. 25:34-40) Thus, one aspect of the way we gain a blessing is by giving our loyal support to God’s anointed ones.
20. (a) What is a key responsibility of the “gifts in men”? (b) How can we show that we appreciate these brothers?
20 The “gifts in men” also include members of Branch Committees, traveling overseers, and congregation elders—all of whom have been appointed by holy spirit. (Acts 20:28) These brothers’ primary responsibility is to build up God’s people “until . . . all attain to the oneness in the faith and in the accurate knowledge of the Son of God, to a full-grown man, to the measure of stature that belongs to the fullness of the Christ.” (Eph. 4:13) Granted, like the rest of us, they are imperfect. Still, we bless ourselves when we respond appreciatively to their loving shepherding.—Heb. 13:7, 17.
21. Why is it urgent for us to obey God’s Son?
21 Soon Christ will act against Satan’s wicked system. When that occurs, our lives will be in Jesus’ hands, for he has been authorized by God to guide the foretold “great crowd” to the “fountains of waters of life.” (Rev. 7:9, 16, 17) Hence, let us do our utmost now to submit willingly and appreciatively to Jehovah’s spirit-guided King.
What Did You Learn From . . .
• Acts 10:42?
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Jesus’ compassion was evident when he resurrected Jairus’ daughter
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Jesus Christ is overseeing the greatest preaching campaign in history