This post is part of a series of posts summarising chapters of the Jehovah Witnesses' booklet, "What does the Bible really Teach?", and seeking to evaluate those chapters against Scripture somewhat briefly. Those posts were introduced at the Introduction, and a contents page will be added to that entry once this run of posts has finished.
Chapter 8: What is God’s kingdom?
Jesus taught us to pray that God’s kingdom come: What is that kingdom?
What God’s kingdom is: A government established by God with Jesus as his chosen king. Jesus rules from heaven, and because he will never die the good he does lasts forever. He will rule with justice and compassion. He will rule with “corulers”, which will number 144,000 (see chapter 7). Jesus, and the corulers, have suffered, so know what it is like.
What will God’s kingdom do?: The big problem is that Satan wants to rule on earth. Now that Christ is in heaven, Satan has been cast down (Revelation 12:10), which is good news for heaven, but bad news for earth. But, God’s kingdom will win out; false spirits will induce the kings of earth to gather for a big final battle called Armageddon. In that battle, all those who rebel against God’s rule will be destroyed, so that after that there will be one rule, which is God’s gracious rule.
When does God’s kingdom act?: Jesus’ reign did not begin at the ascension, because both Peter and Paul quoted Psalm 110:1 which says that there is a delay before Jesus begins to reign. Calculations showed that his reign would begin in 1914; since that time, Satan is on earth and time is short.
On the 144,000, see chapter 7.
It is correct to say that Satan knows his time is short, and that all nations that still oppose God before Jesus returns will gather for one final onslaught when they will be destroyed. However, in pointing to Acts 2:32-34 and Hebrews 10:12-13, another reference in 1 Corinthians 15:25 to Psalm 110:1 was missed. This says that Christ has reigned since his ascension, and the delay is not until he starts to reign but until his enemies are all subdued. So his reign began in AD33, or thereabouts, not in 1914.