“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” -Matthew 28:18
Jesus’ words are clear and unmistakably with reference to his rule and reign at the time in which these words were spoken. In fact, His words speak to his having “all authority” as something he already possessed. How then, could the Watchtower view this authority as not having been bestowed for another 2,000 years in the future? Notice the consistent application of “All authority has been given me in heaven and on earth…since 1914”:
*** cf chap. 9 pp. 94-95 par. 15 “Go . . . and Make Disciples” ***
Before giving the commission, Jesus says: “All authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth.” (Verse 18) Does Jesus really have such vast authority? Yes, indeed! He is the archangel, commanding myriads of myriads of angels. (1 Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 12:7) As “head of the congregation,” he has authority over his followers on earth. (Ephesians 5:23) Since 1914, he has been ruling as Messianic King in heaven. (Revelation 11:15) His authority reaches even into the grave, for he has the power to resurrect the dead. (John 5:26-28) By first declaring his extensive authority, Jesus indicates that the words that follow are not a suggestion but a command. We are wise to obey, for his authority is not self-assumed but divinely bestowed.—1 Corinthians 15:27.
*** w04 7/1 p. 8 pars. 3-4 ‘Go and Make Disciples’ ***
First, why should we obey the command to make disciples? Jesus stated: “All authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth. Go therefore and make disciples.” The word “therefore” points to a major reason why we should obey this command. It is because Jesus, the one who issued the command, has “all authority.” How extensive is his authority?
4 Jesus has authority over his congregation, and since 1914 he has had authority over God’s newly established Kingdom. (Colossians 1:13; Revelation 11:15)
*** w61 9/1 p. 524 par. 10 Hold Your Position ***
As part of the composite sign earlier referred to, Jesus said: “And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” This would be in fulfillment of the vision given to the prophet Daniel, where he saw coming “with the clouds of the heavens” a “son of man,” who is given “rulership and dignity and kingdom” by Jehovah, the enthroned “Ancient of Days.” As has often been shown from the Scriptures in these columns, this was fulfilled A.D. 1914, at the expiration of the “appointed times of the nations,” when Christ began to rule as king. It is in this way and through this kingdom under Christ that Jehovah can be said to assume kingly power, and it is by this means that he will assert his authority in no uncertain terms. When on earth Jesus said: “For the Father judges no one at all, but he has committed all the judging to the Son,” and shortly after his resurrection he said: “All authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth.” But he knew he would first have to sit and wait at his Father’s right hand until the due time to receive the rulership and kingdom before exercising that authority and executing that judgment.—Luke 21:27; Dan. 7:13, 14; John 5:22; Matt. 28:18; Ps. 110:1.
*** w87 7/1 p. 18 par. 11 Michael the Great Prince Stands Up ***
After his resurrection in 33 C.E., Jesus told his followers: “All authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth.” (Matthew 28:18) Jesus has long exercised such authority over his anointed servants on earth. (Colossians 1:13) However, the time had not yet come for Jesus to exercise authority as King of God’s Kingdom. Rather, after his ascension he ‘sat at God’s right hand in heaven’ until the time for the establishment of that Kingdom. (Psalm 110:1, 2; Acts 2:34, 35) That time came in 1914, “the time appointed.” (Daniel 11:29) In that year, Jesus was enthroned as reigning King of God’s Kingdom and immediately, as Michael the archangel, he cast Satan out of heaven. (Revelation 11:15; 12:5-9) So since 1914 Jesus has been “standing” as King.—Psalm 2:6.
*** w83 10/1 p. 22 Do You Respect the Name of Christ? ***
Finally, Isaiah said that Jesus’ name would be “Prince of Peace.” He would be a King, bringing peace to his subjects. (Psalm 72:6, 7) After his resurrection Jesus showed the extent of his authority when he said: “All authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth.” (Matthew 28:18) This great authority included ruling as King over his own congregation since 33 C.E. and over God’s Kingdom since 1914. (Colossians 1:13; Revelation 11:15)
*** re chap. 4 pp. 18-19 par. 4 Jesus Comes With Encouragement ***
Now in Jehovah’s presence, he is exalted high above all earthly kings, being invested with “all authority . . . in heaven and on the earth.” (Matthew 28:18; Psalm 89:27; 1 Timothy 6:15) In 1914 he was installed as King to rule among the earthly nations.—Psalm 2:6-9.