Why do we announce the good news of the coming government of God to rule all nations? For that matter, why did Jesus announce to the world of His day, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other cities also; for I was sent for this purpose” (Luke 4:43)?
You live today in a world of warring political ideologies. Pick any continent and you’ll find monarchies, theocracies, aristocracies, dictatorships, democracies, socialist and communist societies and more. Why?
Look at the condition of our society. Violent crime and riots are commonplace worldwide. Economic recession, high interest and continuing inflation beset businesses. Speculators undermine national currencies. And, difficult as it is to comprehend, the nations arm themselves for a nuclear doom. Has the world taken leave of its senses?
These questions we need to answer! Where are we heading? What is going to happen to save humanity from nuclear extinction?
The year 1981 was the year of the assassin. Do you ever consider why U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II were targets of assassination? And why the untimely murder of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat? We need to wake up to the meaning of what is happening!
Lenin once said that political refugees vote with their feet. So, there is now a thunderous cacophony, worldwide, of nearly nine million political refugee “votes” sounding forth the basic inability of man to govern himself!
While you are reading this article, millions of men, women, and especially children just like you, are homeless, disease-ridden, starving. It’s not a pleasant thought or sight. Most people shrug it off. It’s too much effort to think about it. Yes, it’s a harsh, ugly, sick world we live in.
But why? What is the hope of the future? In the face of vast areas of starvation and squalor, other people enjoy almost incomprehensible life-styles because of technological advances. Awesome computer banks link the earth: electronic communication transmits knowledge at the speed of light; man hurls sophisticated probes at distant planets he maps the earth from orbiting photographic platforms.
Amid this supreme paradox of technology and human suffering the voice of the prophet cries out: “”
The way of peace they know not” (Isa. 59:8).
The root cause of the trouble and confusion of this world is centered in the misuse of government. Governments ultimately are responsible for whatever good or evil characterizes society. What human government is great enough to bring peace, prosperity and joy to the human heart? Certainly the governments of the world’s two or three superpowers have not achieved this goal of government.
Former President Richard Nixon asserts in his book The Real War: “The next two decades represent a time of maximum crisis during which the fate of the world for generations to come may well be determined.”
Other economic, political and military experts are equally pessimistic about man’s ability to solve his problems. We can now begin to see why Jesus Christ brought a message of government - the government of God!
Why can’t humans properly govern themselves? American philosopher Henry Thoreau, in his essay on civil disobedience, summarized it well: “The government itself, which is only the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it.”
Man himself sooner or later must come to realize that any form of government he puts together is flawed. It will eventually fail his only hope is that it won’t be in his lifetime.
The cause lies in human nature, as we see it today. “None calls for justice, nor any pleads for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity” (Isa. 59:4).This is what the ancient prophet Isaiah saw as the climax of human society in our day.
Man’s solution to bad government in many areas of the world is to revolt! The pages of human history are drenched with blood spilled in “wars of liberation.”
As Isaiah continues: “Our offenses are ever with us (including) rebellion and treachery fomenting oppression and revolt so justice is driven back truth is nowhere is to found” (Isa. 59:12-15).
Peace if any really existed-- is but a brief interlude between devastating conflicts. Nations also turn to armed aggression as a supposed solution to political, economic, social and religious conflicts. How did the world get into this condition? There must be a cause for every effect! And the cause has its origin with one man nearly 6,000 years ago.
Man, it seems, has never realized that the cause of his social, economic and political problems is spiritual in nature. But philosophers, politicians and social scientists do not understand spiritual matters; they understand only the intellectual and the material. And, even this world’s religions have failed to grasp these spiritual principles.
When God created the first human being, He set before him two separate, irreconcilable ways of life. That first man could choose to follow God and His rule and government, or to reject Him and invent his own ways. There were two symbolic trees in the garden where the first man was placed. The first, the tree of life, represented God’s Holy Spirit. Through the Holy Spirit the first man Adam and his progeny would have been instructed in God’s way of living. The human family would have come under the government of God which is the way of give, of putting down self-will. Man would eventually have come to inherit eternal life immortality!
The other tree in the garden, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, represented human-acquired knowledge that leads to death.
God wanted Adam and his wife to prosper to enjoy life in the Kingdom of God. So He lovingly warned them: “Of every tree (including the tree of life) of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen. 2:16-17).
Both Adam and Eve rejected God by disobeying and eating from that forbidden tree (I Tim. 2:14). In effect, Adam decided to make his own rules he willingly cut himself off from God’s Spirit, from God’s help and from God’s revealed way of life. He grasped the way of get everything for self. We all have suffered directly from this act, because it set up a pattern of life we call human civilization.
But our story doesn’t really begin with this first human error. It began much earlier, in the realm of spirit. Originally there were only two Personages. There was no universe, no matter, no humanity. Nothing!
“In the beginning (long before the account of the material universe in Genesis) was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). These two Personages were the Word, who later became Jesus Christ, and God, who became His Father. They developed an incredible plan. They created powerful angelic spirit beings of different ranks and then, afterwards, an awesome physical universe (Job 38:4, 7).
Certain angels were put on earth to develop it. But expert organization was required for this development. The government of God was installed over the angels, with the supreme authority always emanating from God, then to the Word and on down. Under the Word a superpowerful angel called a cherub was installed to administer God’s government. His Hebrew name meant “Lightbringer,” Lucifer in Latin. He was given authority over all angels on earth, approximately one third.
This Lucifer decided he knew better than God how to rule the earth. Further, he decided he didn’t have enough authority. So he rebelled and finally led one third of the angels against the two divine Personages (Isa. 14:12-15; Ezk. 28:15-19).
The result? “Now the earth was (better translated from the Hebrew as “became”) formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters” (Gen. 1:2, NIV).
A devastated earth now needed God’s attention. God, through the Word, began to renew the earth’s surface (Ps. 104:30), preparing it for man. And on the 6th day, He created man out of the soil, and began to educate him in God’s way.
When Lucifer (now called Satan) rebelled, the government installed through him over the earth needed a replacement. God now offered Adam the chance to qualify to replace Satan on that earthly throne.
Now grasp this - if Adam had qualified to replace Satan, this world would have been drastically different. Wars, crime and violence would have been unknown. God’s government, operating directly from God (today in the Personage of the Father), and through Christ on down, would have led to happy prosperous lives.
But Adam rejected God’s government. And Adam and the whole human family came under the government of Satan since Adam had failed to replace Satan (Rom. 5:12). God set into action a plan for mankind that would last 6,000 years. Man, beginning with Adam, would be allowed to work out his own governments and social structures apart from God’s. God left Satan on the earth’s throne with the ability to influence humanity (2 Cor. 4:4).
But God did not step completely out of the picture! God not only remains in complete control of the Universe, but he also determines just how far Satan can go in ruling over humanity. In the day of the prophet Daniel God chose to reveal to the King of Babylon Nebuchadnezzar-- that “the most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it (authority in human government) to whomsoever he will, and sets up over it the basest of men” (Dan. 4:17).
Throughout this 6,000-year period, man has been allowed to experiment with all sorts of governments. Today, human governments are often voted in expressing (in theory) the will “of the people.”
But, again, discerning men realize the limitations of the will of the people. Thoreau points out: “All voting is a sort of gaming, like checkers or backgammon, with a slight moral tinge to it, a playing with right and wrong, with moral questions. Even voting for the right is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it should prevail.”
But how does man determine what is right without an absolute standard? God’s Word reveals that human beings are innately selfish and self-centered to one degree or another, regardless of political ideology! If you are remotely knowledgeable of today’s political systems this fact rings true. Today, in the United States, Congress has an approval rating under 20%. Why? Because most have their own political ambitions in mind or are influenced by vested interest groups. It is the same all over the world!
Jesus Christ came to this earth with the announcement that a solution to human problems is coming. When Adam failed to qualify for Satan’s earthly throne, God allowed Satan to continue occupying it (II Cor. 4:4). But now God sent the Word, who became the human Jesus, to meet Satan in spiritual combat and to qualify to replace Satan. Christ could not, in fact, announce the solution until he had first qualified to replace Satan. He did qualify when he resisted Satan and chose to obey God and operate under this government (Matt. 4:1-11).
Once he had qualified by overcoming Satan, Christ began his ministry. What was it concerned with? What was his announcement?
“Now after that John was put into prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel (good news for “gospel” means good news) of the kingdom of God, and saying, the time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mar, 1:14-15).
Christ was delivering the good news announcement that God is going to restore His government on earth. And that the ruler of the government of God on earth will beJesus Christ himself! When asked if he was a king, Christ answered, “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world” (John 18:37).
What will the world be like under the government of God? How will human nature be changed? First, Satan will be replaced. He will be restrained from deceiving the world for a thousand years (Rev. 20:1-4). Then we read: “After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts: and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jer. 31:33-34).
Yes. God’s law will serve as the basis for His restored government. Any kingdom must have four things to qualify as a kingdom: 1) a king or ruler, 2) laws, 3) territory, 4) subjects.
Jesus Christ will be King, God’s law (summarized in Ex. 20 and kept according to the spiritual intent) will be the basic legal code, imbued in man by the Holy Spirit of God. The whole earth will be the territory of the Kingdom of God. And God’s saints will assist as rulers in the literal Kingdom of God (Mat. 25:34; Rev. 5:10), and the mortal human family will become heirs to that Kingdom if they voluntarily come under that government and let God’s laws rule their lives.
Christ as the head of a perfect government that combines church and state will come at or near the close of this 6,000 years of man’s government. He will intervene, at the last moment, when man finally threatens to erase himself off the face of the earth (Matt. 24:22, Joel 2:2-3). He will bring with Him the solution to man’s problems He will replace Satan’s government and man’s governments with God’s government! There will be no human beings in God’s government, only spirit beings who have proven they are capable of obeying the commandments of God and have submitted to God’s government during their lifetime!
Man will be taught how to properly worship God (Deut. 10:12). Man’s carnal, hostile nature toward God (Rom. 8:7), will be replaced by God’s nature through His Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5).
One thousand years of joyous prosperity and development will follow man’s 6,000 years of suffering (Rev. 20: 4-6). You can be part of that Kingdom Christ preached.
God has in store for you things virtually beyond human comprehension. As the apostle Paul stated: “This is my prayer. That God, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ and the all-glorious Father, will give you spiritual wisdom and the insight to know more of him: that you may receive that inner illumination of the spirit which will make you realize how great is the hope to which he is calling you the magnificence and splendor of the inheritance promised to Christians and how tremendous is the power available to us who believe in God” (Eph. 1:17-19 Phillips translation).