Chapter 11:

Loyalty to the Kingdom

The Kingdom of God is a real government, established by God with his Son Jesus christened as its King. Dan 7:14 says: “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.”

But not all people are willing to submit to this kingdom. Before the Roman governor Pilate, Jewish leaders accused Jesus of "subverting our nation and saying he himself is Christ a king." As governor, it was Pilate’s responsibility to defend the sovereignty of Rome against subversives and revolutionaries. So he asked Jesus: "Are you the king of the Jews?" Jesus answered: "My kingdom is no part of this world. If my kingdom were part of this world, my attendants would have fought that I should not be handed over to the Jews. But, as it is, my kingdom is not from this source." In effect, Jesus said, ‘Yes, I am a king; but my kingdom is different from yours; it will not be established by political revolt. My disciples are not dangerous to you.’ Although Pilate found Jesus harmless and sought to release him, the mob demanded blood, so he finally gave in to them. As governor, he should have defended the innocent, but that was not as important to him as preserving peace in the province. —John 18:36, Luke 23:2, 3, 20-25.

Today we find the same conflict between God’s Kingdom and the governments of the world. Although most nations today advertise themselves as defenders of freedom and the oppressed (yes, even totalitarian dictatorships say that), sometimes persons who are trying to be true to God and faithful to His Kingdom find themselves accused of subversion in courts of the world. True Christians do not seek to overthrow present governments. But we do teach people to put faith instead in the perfect government of God, which does expose their faults, their limitations, even their wickedness. Governments that demand total submission find this especially hard to accept.

Jesus forewarns us: "look out for yourselves; people will hand you over to local courts, and you will be. . . put on the stand before governors and kings for my sake." (Mark 13:9) This persecution is not always harmful; he added, ‘it will result in your giving a witness to them. What you are to say will be given you by holy spirit; I will give you wisdom which your opposers will not be able to dispute.’ (Luke 21:12-19) So Christians consider it a privilege to defend their obedience to God’s authority before worldly courts, and they have often had good results doing so.

The verses quoted above were part of Jesus’ prophecy of the last days. So as Christians today, we have to expect our obedience to God to put us at odds with the laws of men at times. Loyalty to the Kingdom requires us then to answer as did the apostles: "We must obey God as ruler rather than men." (Acts 5:29) Are you ready to take such a stand?

Of course, to take the correct stand, we must know what God’s law is. We surely do not want to defy man’s law needlessly because of misunderstanding God’s will. Nor do we want to obey man’s law blindly, being unaware when God would have us do otherwise. The same applies in areas other than law. For example, we may face social pressure to conform to popular customs. Not all common customs are unacceptable, but it should not surprise us to discover that many customs popular in this world are far out of harmony with God’s feelings. When we discern this to be the case, loyalty to God sets before us a choice: will we "go along to get along," or will we stand for what is right?

Everyone likes to be liked. Christians too want to be well thought of. We want people to find the Christian way of life attractive, because it is indeed the best way of living. We do not want our submission to God to be seen as unreasonable, even oppressive and cultish. On the other hand, we cannot let pleasing men become more important to us than pleasing God. Jesus said: "Everyone that confesses union with me before men [in the face of intimidation to do otherwise], I will confess union with him before my Father; but whoever disowns me before men [yielding to fear of men], I will disown him before my Father." (see Matt 10:32-39 and Mark 8:38 for more.) There is no escaping it: being a true Christian will mean being regarded as peculiar, rejected, even despised, reviled, and hated, by many people of the world. "All those desiring to live with godly devotion in association with Christ Jesus will be persecuted," says 2 Tim 3:12.

We take heart from the fact that some who have opposed us violently have later become Christians themselves. Paul, one of the most zealous Christians on record, admitted that he was "formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and an insolent man." But he was shown mercy, because he had acted out of ignorance. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of ignorance in the world. So, while remaining optimistic, true Christians do not expect to be popular. If everyone is speaking well of you, if you fit into the community seamlessly, it is time to take stock; you may be doing something wrong. --John 15:19-21, 1 Tim 1:12, 13.

Submitting to the Law of God

The world promotes a self-centered, independent spirit. In contrast, if the Bible could be summed up in a single word, it would be obedience. Ecclesiastes 12:13 says: “The conclusion of the matter, everything having been heard, is: Fear the true God and keep his commandments. For this is the whole obligation of man.” One could make a case for stronger words such as faith, loyalty, or dedication. These add the dimensions of trust, devotion, and exclusive commitment, respectively, to simple obedience. In this discussion we mean "obedience" as including all these. But would not "love" be a better summation of the Bible? Yes, that is the foundation of our relationship with God; it is the "greatest command." (Matt 22:36-40) How do we prove our love for God and our fellowman)? See 1 John 5:3 and 2:3-5. From Adam and Eve in Eden to the end of the Millenium, throughout the Bible the foremost issue kept in focus is this: Do we obey God or do we rebel?

But obedience has a bad name in this world. And no wonder, considering the men that have demanded obedience in our time. We rightly condemn those who obeyed Hitler or Stalin or Pol Pot (and so many others*) for not having the moral strength to DISOBEY, to resist. If only more had refused to obey, so many innocent lives would have been saved. Actually, if all people would stand up for what is right, such despots could not come into power.

How do we gain such moral courage? The answer is simple: obedience, to God. If the people had only obeyed what the judges at Nuremberg called "a higher natural law of justice", they could have stood firm. Whose law is highest? That of the sovereign of the universe, Jehovah God. Whose law is "natural"? That of the Creator of nature, Jehovah God.

The three young Jews in Babylon gave us an example of courageous dis/obedience. Mindful of the Second Commandment ("you must not bow before any image"), they refused to give homage to an image of the State erected by the king. The penalty for this was to be death by fire. They did not know going in that they would not die, but they stood firm anyway. Jehovah saved them from the fiery furnace, and the king had to honor the true God. (Read Daniel 3, with especial attention to verses 17, 18, 24, 25, and 28.)

Christians must face a comparable test in our time. Nations today regard their national emblems with reverence very similar to that given to idols in ancient times. In many lands ceremonies honoring the flag bear a striking resemblance to the scene on the ancient plain of Dura. True Christians know how God feels about such genuflection before an image and are prepared to refuse to bow, kiss, salute, sing, recite a pledge, or whatever else the special act of devotion may be. Even though the consequences may be severe, we do not look for excuses and justifications to compromise. We preserve our life by obeying God. Men may honor themselves with high titles and pompous ceremony, but they are still just men. They may threaten, imprison, even torture and kill us for refusing to bow to their will, but they cannot end our life in God’s eyes. They cannot take away the new world that awaits us. By trusting God, we have strength to be loyal to him. (Read 1 Pet 2:13-17, 2 Cor 1:8-10, Psalm 9:18-20, 145:18-20, Luke 12:4, 5, Romans 8:35-39.)

God does tell us to be submissive to worldly rulers within moral limits, to be good citizens, to be cooperative. Therefore we do respect national emblems, in that they do represent a lawful government. We would never burn a flag (as a act of defiance) or misuse one as an article of clothing, even though such disrespect is becoming rather common today. So governments should not take our firm obedience to God as a threat. —see Romans 13:1, 2, 7.

Misplaced Loyalty

Although Satan enjoys using brute coercion, he does not always test our loyalty so directly. He actually gets more success with cunningly deceptive tactics, finding a person's blind side. The only sure defense is to truly know God; then we are morally alert, we have no blind side. As Paul said, we will "not be overreached by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his designs."

One of Satan’s designs is to "disguise himself as an angel of light," to get people to disobey God unwittingly. (2 Cor 2:11; 11:14) Goodhearted people look for ways to serve God. So if Satan can convince us that God favors a nation, or a cause that nation promotes, we could be induced to follow blindly, with misplaced loyalty. For example, German soldiers in World War I proudly wore on their belt buckles the slogan, "Gott mit uns", that is, ‘God is with us’. They were wrong. God did not support their confidence with victory. Naturally, those who won the war believed God was really on their side, but did their victory prove that? Surely they were sincerely fighting "the war to end all wars." By now we know how miserably they failed: the Great War was just the beginning of the horrors of the end times.

Does this look like an angel of light to you?

World War II was then fought to "make the world safe for democracy," yet freedom and democracy are still far from secure in this world. What provoked the second world war? Totalitarian Fascist, Communist and Nazi regimes came to power in the social and economic upheaval caused by the first world war. The people did not see totalitarianism as evil; they embraced it as the solution to the weakness, corruption, failures, and injustices of the existing governments. They were seeking justice, but rather than following the Prince of Peace, they followed that counterfeit "angel of light."

Many who thought themselves Christian supported Hitler and Mussolini enthusiastically. They found Hitler’s tough law-and-order approach to society attractive. They liked his militaristic nationalism, his extreme pride of nation. He opposed pornography, prostitution, abortion, obscenity in modern art, and homosexuality. His Nazi Party advocated discipline, punctuality, cleanliness, and respect for authority. And he had a final answer to that "Jewish question." What was there not to like?

So religious leaders willingly reassured the German people that Nazi policies did not violate tenets of Christian faith and morality. As a result, when "duty" called, they went with a clear conscience and shot Jews and other "enemies of the state" in the back en masse, even inviting their wives or girlfriends to visit and observe the carnage. There was no secrecy, and no sense of shame or guilt hindered them. Many of the atrocities were meticulously recorded and photographed.*

Satan succeeds this way again and again. Today there are many groups who claim to be "God’s army" fighting "holy war" (jihad), committing the most ungodly of atrocities in His name. World Trade impactMillions rejoiced when their suicidal "holy warriors" destroyed the World Trade Center in New York, crushing almost 3,000 "infidels". No doubt the terrorists’ last words were "Allahu akbar!" (God is great!). Such is the power of Satan’s form of religion. Or as Arab journalist Ahmad al-Sarraf asked on Al Jazeera TV soon afterward: "Why don’t we have tolerance? This rhetoric of hatred is in all sermons, in all schoolbooks." That is an excellent question. We should ask ourselves: what does my religion teach? Just as important, what do its members actually do?

What about ourselves personally? Do we learn, or do we keep on allowing ourselves to be deceived? When the marching band plays patriotic music and the politicians wave the flags and the preachers fervently urge us to join the fight, do we cry "Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!"?

Christian Warfare

Bible prophecy is clear: until the end true Christians will be a minority, a tiny minority, in a world that largely fails to know God. And until the end the world will go on fighting and carrying on wars. Grand words will ‘justify’ every side. Nothing Christians do will change that. Do we care? —Mark 13:4-13, 22.

"All that is necessary
for evil to triumph
is for good men
to do nothing"
—Edmund Burke (-?)

Absolutely. God tells us how to respond. Do we obey Him, or do we listen to what the leaders or activists of the world say must be done? God recruits us as His soldiers and equips us with effective weapons for war: His kind of war. Yes, Christians are "God’s army", but they fight a spiritual warfare. Paul describes our war at 2 Cor 10:3-5: "Though we walk in the flesh, we do not wage warfare according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but are powerful by God for overturning strongly entrenched things. For we are overturning reasonings and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God; and we are bringing every thought into captivity to make it obedient to Christ." (see also Ecclesiastes 9:18, Daniel 11:32-34.)

Our "sword" is not made of steel; it is God’s word of truth (see our fighting equipment described at Ephesians 6:10-18; this is illustrated in Chapter 2). We do not use this "sword" aggressively, in a way that harms people. We do not compel people to bow before God. Rather, with God’s word we attack the true roots of conflict: ignorance, deception, selfishness, pride. (2 Tim 2:24-26) By teaching loyalty to the kingdom of God above any authority on earth, we point people to that "higher natural law of justice."

In this we are fulfilling a prophecy: “In the final part of the days, . . . many peoples will go and say: ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will instruct us about his ways, and we will walk in his paths.’ . . . He will render judgment among the nations and set matters straight respecting many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, nor will they learn war anymore.” Those who listen to God do not even learn how to wage war. They leave such methods behind; they find better ways to solve their differences. —Isaiah 2:2-4.

God's instruction to 'love your enemies' may not seem at first to be practical. But his wisdom always proves superior in the end. To the Muslim, violence is the honorable response to religious insult, and to the modern radical Jew, double retaliation will "teach them a lesson they won't forget!" So we have an endless exchange of exploding zealots and bulldozed houses. Mark well the peace they have achieved by such 'wisdom'. Yes, peace through violent intimidation, works every time. . .

God says: “The entire Law is fulfilled in one commandment, namely: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ If, though, you keep on biting and devouring one another, look out that you do not get annihilated by one another.” (Gal 5:14, 15) “Whatever other commandment there is, is summed up in this: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does not work evil to one's neighbor; love is the law's fulfillment. . . Let us therefore throw off the works belonging to darkness and let us put on the weapons of the light. Let us walk decently . . . not in strife and jealousy.” (Rom 13:9-13) If we learn the ways of God, even though they are difficult and not without risk, we will succeed.

But of course most people will not listen. Not everyone is willing to be taught the ways of peace. So there will indeed have to be a ‘war to end all wars’. That will be God's war, and it will not need our participation. (compare 2 Chronicles 20:12, 15-17, 22, 23; see Ezekiel 38:18-23 and Rev 19:11-18. For more detail see chapter 8, Armageddon.)

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Luke 23:2-3, 20-25
Then they began to accuse him, saying: “We found this man subverting our nation, forbidding the paying of taxes to Caesar, and saying he himself is Christ a king.” So Pilate asked him: “Are you the King of the Jews?” In answer he said: “You yourself are saying it.”
. . . 20 Again Pilate called out to them, because he wanted to release Jesus. Then they began to shout, saying: “To the stake with him! To the stake with him!” The third time he said to them: “Why? What bad thing did this man do? I found in him nothing deserving of death; I will therefore punish him and release him.” At this they became even more insistent, demanding with loud voices that he be executed, and their voices prevailed. So Pilate made the decision that their demand be met. He released the man [Barabbas] they were demanding [to be released], who had been imprisoned for sedition and murder, but he surrendered Jesus to their will.

Luke 21:12-19
But before all these things happen, people will lay their hands on you and persecute you, handing you over to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and governors for the sake of my name. It will result in your giving a witness. Therefore, settle it in your hearts not to rehearse beforehand how to make your defense, for I will give you words and wisdom that all your opposers together will not be able to resist or dispute. Moreover, you will be handed over even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, and you will be hated by all people because of my name. But not even a hair of your heads will perish. By your endurance you will preserve your lives.

Matthew 10:32-39
Everyone, then, who acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father who is in the heavens. But whoever disowns me before men, I will also disown him before my Father who is in the heavens. Do not think I came to bring peace to the earth; I came to bring, not peace, but a sword. For I came to cause division, with a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. Indeed, a man's enemies will be persons in his own household. Anyone who has greater affection for father or mother than for me is not worthy of me; and anyone who has greater affection for son or daughter than for me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not accept his torture stake [Gr:stauron, Latin crux; see chapter 4b] and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his soul will lose it, and whoever loses his soul for my sake will find it.

Mark 8:38
For whoever becomes ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of man will also be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

John 15:19-21
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 what 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 also observe yours. But they will do all these things against you on account of my name, because they do not know the One who sent me.

1 Timothy 1:12, 13
I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who imparted power to me, because he considered me faithful by assigning me to a ministry, although formerly I was a blasphemer and a persecutor and an insolent man. Nevertheless, I was shown mercy, because I was ignorant and acted with a lack of faith.

Matthew 22:36-40
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” He said to him: “‘You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. The second, like it, is this, ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments the whole Law hangs, and the Prophets.”

1 John 5:3
For this is what the love of God means, that we observe his commandments; and yet his commandments are not burdensome.

1 John 2:3-5
By this we know that we have come to know him, namely, if we continue observing his commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know him,” and yet does not observe his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in this person. But whoever does observe his word, in this person the love of God has truly been made perfect. By this we know that we are in union with him.

1 John 3:23, 24
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.

Daniel 3:17-18
If it must be, our God whom we serve is able to rescue us from the burning fiery furnace, O king, and to rescue us from your hand. But even if he does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold that you have set up.

Daniel 3:24-25
King Nebuchadnezzar then became frightened and quickly rose up and said to his high officials: “Did we not tie up three men and throw them into the fire?” They answered the king: “Yes, O king.” He said: “Look! I see four men walking about free in the midst of the fire, and they are unharmed, and the fourth one looks like a son of the gods!”

Daniel 3:28
Nebuchadnezzar then declared: “Praised be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who sent his angel and rescued his servants. They trusted in him and went against the command of the king and were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god except their own God!”

1 Pet 2:13-17
For the Lord's sake subject yourselves to every human creation, whether to a king as being superior or to governors as sent by him to punish wrongdoers but to praise those who do good. For it is the will of God that by doing good you may silence the ignorant talk of unreasonable men. Be as free people, using your freedom, not as a cover for doing wrong, but as slaves of God. Honor men of all sorts, have love for the whole association of brothers, be in fear of God, honor the king.

2 Cor 1:8-10
For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the tribulation we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under extreme pressure beyond our own strength, so that we were very uncertain even of our lives. In fact, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. This was so that we would trust, not in ourselves, but in the God who raises up the dead. From such a great risk of death he did rescue us and will rescue us, and our hope is in him that he will also continue to rescue us.

Psalm 9:18-20
But the poor will not always be forgotten,
Nor will the hope of the meek ever perish.
Rise up, O Jehovah! Do not let mortal man prevail.
May the nations be judged in your presence.
Strike them with fear, O Jehovah,
Let the nations know that they are only mortal men.

Psalm 145:18-20
Jehovah is near to all those calling on him,
To all who call on him in truth.
He satisfies the desire of those who fear him;
He hears their cry for help, and he rescues them.
Jehovah guards all those who love him,
But all the wicked he will annihilate.

Luke 12:4
Moreover, I say to you, my friends, Do not fear those who kill the body and after this are not able to do anything more.

Romans 8:35-39
Who will separate us from the love of the Christ? Will tribulation or distress or persecution or hunger or nakedness or danger or sword? Just as it is written: "For your sake we are being put to death all day long, we have been accounted as sheep for slaughtering." To the contrary, in all these things we are coming off completely victorious through the one who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life nor angels nor governments nor things now here nor things to come nor powers nor height nor depth nor any other creation will be able to separate us from God's love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 13:1, 2, 7
Let every person be in subjection to the superior authorities, for there is no authority except by God; the existing authorities stand placed in their relative positions by God. Therefore, whoever opposes the authority has taken a stand against the arrangement of God; those who have taken a stand against it will bring judgment against themselves.

7 Render to all their dues: to the one who calls for the tax, the tax; to the one who calls for the tribute, the tribute; to the one who calls for fear, such fear; to the one who calls for honor, such honor.

[Of course, we cannot give worship to men, even if that is demanded; if the "fear" or "honor" expected clearly rises to that level, we have to decline, regardless of the consequences.]

2 Cor 2:11
. . . that we may not be overreached by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his designs.

2 Cor 11:14
. . . And no wonder, for Satan himself keeps disguising himself as an angel of light.

Mark 13:4-13, 22
[The disciples asked:] "Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are to come to a conclusion?" So Jesus began to tell them: "Look out that nobody misleads you. Many will come on the basis of my name, saying, 'I am he,' and will mislead many. Moreover, when you hear of wars and reports of wars, do not be alarmed; these things must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in one place after another; there will also be food shortages. These are a beginning of pangs of distress. As for you, look out for yourselves. People will hand you over to local courts, and you will be beaten in synagogues and be put on the stand before governors and kings for my sake, for a witness to them. Also, in all the nations, the good news has to be preached first. And when they are taking you to hand you over, do not be anxious beforehand about what to say; but whatever is given you in that hour, say this, for you are not the ones speaking, but the holy spirit is. Furthermore, brother will deliver brother over to death, and a father a child, and children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. And you will be hated by all people on account of my name. But the one who has endured to the end will be saved. . . For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will perform signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, the chosen ones.

For a full discussion of the signs of the nearing end, see chapter 7.

Ecclesiastes 9:18
Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but just one sinner can destroy much good.

Daniel 11:32-34
Those who act wickedly against the covenant, he will lead into apostasy by means of smooth words. But the people who know their God will prevail and act effectively. And those having insight among the people will impart understanding to the many. And they will be made to stumble by sword and by flame, by captivity and by plundering, for some days. But when they are made to stumble, they will be given a little help.

2 Tim 2:24-26
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. Perhaps God may give them repentance leading to an accurate knowledge of truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the Devil, seeing that they have been caught alive by him to do his will.

2 Chronicles 20:12
[King Jehoshaphat prays when a great coalition of enemy forces approaches:] O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless before this large crowd that is coming against us; and we do not know what we should do, but our eyes are toward you.
15-17He [Jahaziel the prophet] said: “Pay attention, all Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat! Here is what Jehovah says to you, ‘Do not be afraid or be terrified because of this large crowd, for the battle is not yours but God's. Tomorrow go down against them. They will be coming up by the pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the valley before the wilderness of Jeruel. You will not need to fight this battle. Take your position, stand still, and see the salvation of Jehovah in your behalf. O Judah and Jerusalem, do not be afraid or be terrified. Tomorrow go out against them, and Jehovah will be with you.’”
22-23 [marching toward the enemy:] When they started off, joyfully singing praises, Jehovah set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and the mountainous region of Seir who were invading Judah, and they struck each other down. And the Ammonites and the Moabites turned against the inhabitants of the mountainous region of Seir to destroy and annihilate them; and when they finished with the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another.

Ezekiel 38:18-23
“On that day, the day when Gog [the evil leader of a massive attack on God's holy people at the end of the days] invades the land of Israel,” declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, “my great rage will flare up. In my zeal, in the fire of my fury, I will speak; and in that day there will be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. Because of me the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the wild beasts of the field, all the reptiles that creep on the ground, and all humans on the surface of the earth will tremble, and the mountains will be thrown down, and the cliffs will fall, and every wall will collapse to the ground. I will call for a sword against him on all my mountains,” declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. “Every man's sword will be against his own brother. I will bring my judgment against him with pestilence and bloodshed; and I will rain down a torrential downpour and hailstones and fire and sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many peoples with him. And I will certainly magnify myself and sanctify myself and make myself known before the eyes of many nations; and they will have to know that I am Jehovah.”

As explained in chapter 6, "Israel" here means God's favored people in the last days. This is no longer those born Jewish nor is it the modern state of Israel.

Rev 19:11-18
I saw heaven opened, and look! a white horse. And 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 diadems. He has a name written that no one knows but he himself, and he is clothed with an outer garment stained with blood, and he is called by the name The Word of God. Also, the armies in heaven were following him on white horses, and they were clothed in white, clean, fine linen. And out of his mouth projects a sharp, long sword with which to strike the nations, and he will shepherd them with a rod of iron. He also 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 and said 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 and military commanders and strong men, and the flesh of horses and of those seated on them, and the flesh of all, of freemen as well as of slaves and of small ones and great.”

The review questions are linked to the last section of multi-part chapters.

Just to list a few recent ones:
Charles Taylor of Liberia
Idi Amin of Uganda
"Papa" and "Baby" Doc Duvalier of Haiti
Mengistu Haile Mariam of Ethiopia
Saddam Hussein of Iraq
Nicolae Ceausescu of Romania
Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe
Moammar Ghadafi of Libya
Hafez al-Assad of Syria
Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria
Salva Kiir and Reik Machar of South Sudan
And so many, many more...
Those in Africa tend to be more open with their wickedness; in other places the corruption and exploitation is exposed to the world when they are deposed. This delay is often due to the world system's complicity in the cover-up. Most of these were tolerated for decades with an occasional "tsk, tsk" or "oh my!", turning a blind eye and acting helpless while they committed monstrous atrocities against their own people. On losing power, some were even given asylum in "friendly" countries where they could live out their lives in luxurious villas, using money stolen from their impoverished (or dead) former subjects, safely held for them in Swiss bank accounts. Or as Human Rights Watch prosecutor Reed Brody recently observed in disgust: "Kill one, go to jail; kill twenty, go to an institute for the insane; kill twenty thousand, get political asylum."
For more detail see the book Betrayal— the German Churches and the Holocaust, pages 2-11.