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Plain Truth Magazine
January 1979
Volume: Vol XLIV, No.1
Issue: ISSN 0032-0420
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Roderick C Meredith   
Church of God

Born: June 21, 1930
Member Since: 1949
Ambassador College: 1952
Ordained: December 20, 1952
Office: Evangelist

God's government is coming to this earth soon! What will it be like? What is the real future for which you should be preparing?

   Something is drastically wrong with the world today! Our entire society is dissatisfied, unhappy, discouraged. For many, life no longer seems bearable. There seems to be no future.
   As a result, there has been a dramatic increase in suicides and suicide attempts, especially among the young, those in their teens and early twenties. Comments Dr. Bruce L. Danto, president of the American Association of Suicidology: "Kids feel confused and frightened about the future. If you go to school, it doesn't mean you'll get a job. If you get a job, it may not be a meaningful one. If you get married, it may not last."
   What's wrong? Is there really no hope? Is there nothing to live for? Is life so full of despair that suicide seems an intelligent alternative?
   There is hope. Our human governments have failed us that is the heart of the trouble. But the Bible speaks of another world a soon-coming world with a different form of world government which will set right the ills of today. It will provide the real solution to the present large and growing problems of mental torment, fear and self-annihilation, and will show the way to peace and joy. The Bible also tells of your place in that world.

The Reinstitution of the Government of God

   Jesus proclaimed the soon-coming Kingdom of God the rule of God and showed how we must prepare for it. He revealed that it is to be a world-ruling government set up on this earth, and that we must overcome and learn to obey God now if we are to be a part of it.
   This most tremendous future event in earth's history was prerecorded in Revelation 11:15 in your Bible. Here the last of the seven trumpets of Revelation is sounding and voices in heaven are saying, "The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever."
   The living Christ is soon going to take over the governments of this war-torn world! The nations of this earth may initially resist His perfect government. But He is coming this second time in all the power of God to enforce peace on this earth: "And he shall rule them with a rod of iron" (Rev. 19: 15). He is coming as supreme Ruler over all other governors and kings of this earth: "And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of kings, and Lord of lords" (verse 16).
   In a prophecy about Christ written hundreds of years before His human birth, God foretold what His job would eventually be: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever" (Isa. 9:6-7).
   Notice that here Christ is called the "Prince of peace." That is because He alone has the power to really bring peace! God also says: "Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end." Under Christ as world Ruler after the terrible destruction which precedes His second coming people will again multiply and replenish the earth, and the laws and ways of His government will spread throughout the world.
   Then, as the people gradually learn to obey the Ten Commandments and all the laws of God, there will also be an actual increase in peace, happiness, and joy on this earth, all of which will continue to grow among nations and individuals as they learn more and more to obey God's ways and perfect laws which are the only way to peace.

Organization of God's Kingdom

   he form and organization of God's government on this earth is already prophesied in the Bible!
   Christ, of course, will be King over all. He is to occupy a definite throne upon this earth when He returns. For before His human birth, an angel prophesied: "He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end" (Luke 1:32-33).
   Christ will rule more directly over the people of Israel because His headquarters will be at Jerusalem. Notice the scripture says specifically that He will rule over the "house of Jacob." The house of Israel, or Jacob, was called as God's chosen people to be a light to the rest of the world. They were chosen not as favorites but with a job to perform which they have utterly failed to accomplish. During the coming thousand-year reign of Christ, however, all of Israel will be reunited with the house of Judah and together they will be the chief nations of the earth, under Christ, to help set the example and carry His government to all the earth.
   In Ezekiel 37:15-28, God shows His purpose is to reunite Israel and Judah. Speaking of these two separate nations, who separated nearly a thousand years before the birth of Christ, He says: "And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be a king to them all : and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all" (verse 22).
   Under Christ as King of kings, the resurrected David will again be the direct king over the reunited house of Israel. "And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them" (verse 24).

Rulers Under David

   Under David, each of the twelve tribes of Israel will have its own individual governor one of the twelve apostles. Jesus Himself designated them for this office before He died: "Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Luke 22:28-30).
   The apostle John foresaw this in vision and recorded it in Revelation 20:3-4, in a prophecy of Christ's coming thousand-year reign the millennium: "I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them."
   Perhaps Paul the apostle to the Gentiles (Gal. 2:8) will be given a position of rule over the Gentile nations in this millennial kingdom. In fact, he may be given a very high position since, compared to the other apostles, he "laboured more abundantly than they all" (I Cor. 15:10).
   Those Christians who grow in grace and in knowledge now in this life will also be given positions of rule under Christ during the millennium: "And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron" (Rev. 2:26-27). Again, in Revelation 5:10, we find that Christ has "made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth."
   Jesus gave the parable of the pounds to show Christians that in this life we must overcome our human nature, make good use of our time and talents according to God's laws, and prepare for a position of rule and responsibility in the soon-coming government of God on this earth. Notice Jesus' statement to the man who overcame most and gained ten pounds: "Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities" (Luke 19:17). To the man who was zealous enough to gain five pounds, Jesus said: "Be thou also over five cities" (verse 19).
   True Christians are called to serve, under Christ, in ruling that new world! Why isn't that message being preached in all the churches today? It used to be.

The Real Purpose of the Christian Life

   As the well-known secular historian Edward Gibbon stated in the fifteenth chapter of his famous book, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, the early Christians believed in God's coming world government: "The ancient and popular doctrine of the millennium was intimately connected with the second coming of Christ. As the works of creation had been finished in six days, their duration in their present state, according to a tradition attributed to the prophet Elijah, was fixed as six thousand years. By the same analogy it was inferred that this long period of labor and contention which was now almost elapsed would be succeeded by a joyful Sabbath of a thousand years; and that Christ, with a triumphant band of the saints and the elect that escaped death, or who had been miraculously revived, would reign upon earth until the time appointed for the last and general resurrection."
   Yes, the early Christians understood the purpose of God and the reason that He calls some out of each age into His Church: to prepare for the world tomorrow. True Christians should learn to obey and live by God's laws and ways now so that they will be able to teach and train others to live the way of peace during the soon-coming millennium when the government of God will hold sway over this earth!
   The saints will serve under the apostles, prophets, and kings, such as David. For example, in each tribe, headed by one of the apostles, will be some of the saints who have overcome and learned to submit to God's government here and now. As the parable of the pounds illustrates, some will be governors over territories including several cities. Some may occupy an office similar to that of mayor under these governors.
   Other Spirit-born saints will have other jobs to do. No matter what the particular office to be inherited, the attitude of the begotten children of God should be that of David: "I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness" (Ps. 84:10).
   In the Kingdom of God, under Christ and the Spirit-born saints, will be those human leaders who will help guide the physical peoples. They shall all be taught and instructed in God's laws which alone bring peace: "And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem" (Isa. 2:3).
   Even though they are taught God's laws, many people will at first have to be forced to obey them! "And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (verse 4).

Israel Blessed Under God's Government

   God's dealing with Israel is often used as a type of the way He will deal with all nations. Many of the Old Testament prophecies concerning the millennium have particular reference to Israel. Yet, since God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34), this may be viewed as a type of what God will do, in principle, for all nations as they serve and obey Christ.
   Speaking of the final regathering of Israel, God says: "And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God" (Amos 9:14-15).
   The fulfillment of this prophecy is yet in the future, for God says Israel shall "no more" be pulled out of her land at that time. This is speaking of the great physical blessings God is going to shower upon His people of Israel when He brings them back from captivity after Christ's return. (If you do not yet understand the true identity of America, Britain and the democratic peoples of northwestern Europe, please read our free booklet entitled The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy.)
   In a prophecy written over one hundred years after the first and only captivity of non-Jewish Israel so far, God prophesied through Jeremiah of a future captivity of Israel our people and their restoration back to Palestine after Christ's return (Jer. 30:1-11). The time of our national captivity is called "the time of Jacob's trouble" (verse 7). But we will be rescued out of this national punishment and captivity at the second coming of Jesus Christ: "For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will break his yoke [our yoke of captivity] from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him: But they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them" (verses 8-9). At Christ's coming, Israel will be delivered from their captivity, and David and all the saints will be resurrected from the dead to take their places as kings and priests in God's government to rule this earth under Christ.
   "Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the Lord; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid" (verse 10). At last peace shall come to this war-torn world and Israel shall no more be made afraid by any nation!

Joy Under God's Government

   Referring to the entire prophecy, God says: "... in the latter days ye shall consider it" (verse 24). Jeremiah 31 continues with the same prophecy (verse 1), and God tells of His blessings to Israel at that time: "Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry. Thou shalt yet plant vines upon the mountains of Samaria: the planters shall plant, and shall eat them as common things" (Jer. 31:4-5).
   Dancing, singing, happiness and joy will overflow in abundance as Israel is blessed by God after Christ brings them back to Palestine to be the chief nation of the world and to set a pattern for all nations of His government.
   After their national punishment and captivity, they will come back repentant and contrite. "They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them" (verse 9).
   But as they return, God will begin to bless them in every possible way spiritually and physically. "Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the Lord, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all. Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow" (verses 12-13).
   Through obedience to God's ways, there will be an abundance of good things to eat and drink and there will be overflowing happiness in the human heart at last!
   The entire 11th chapter of Isaiah is a description of the coming thousand-year reign of Christ on earth. Here Christ is described as the "branch" or offspring of Jesse. He will be totally motivated by God's Spirit to become the perfect world Ruler!
   As a divine Being, "he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes," but will be able to read the thoughts and hearts of men everywhere. He will judge the poor and downtrodden "with righteousness" and will punish the wicked with the death penalty, which will put fear into the hearts of evildoers (verses 3-4).
   After Christ's return, the wild and vicious nature shall be removed even from the wild animals such as the wolf, the lion, and the poisonous snakes! "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them" (verse 6).
   Most important of all, human beings everywhere will at last learn God's way which alone can bring peace. "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea" (verse 9).
   This is the wonderful time spoken of by the apostle Peter as "the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began" (Acts 3:21). Indeed, God has described this blessed reign of Jesus Christ on earth in literally scores of prophecies throughout the Bible.
   This was the message of Jesus Christ! This is the only real way to find true utopia!

Conditions During the Millennium

   In order to humble them and teach them God's ways more fully, Christ will force some of the peoples who have helped spoil His people Israel to become their servants in the land of Palestine during the early years of the millennium. "For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land [Palestine]: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob. And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the Lord for servants and handmaids: and they shall take them captives, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors" (Isa. 14:1-2).
   As the Lord of lords, Christ will begin to convert and save the entire world during His reign. To do this He will have to heal the spiritual blindness that has come on all people of the earth as a result of Satan's deceptions (Rev. 12:9).
   Isaiah says: "And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory ..." (Isa. 25:7-8).
   All peoples will then come to know God. Their blindness and religious confusion will be removed and they will finally be converted.
   The resurrected saints will teach the people God's ways and they will be blessed by God as they obey. "For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left" (Isa. 30:19-21).
   It will be a startling experience for some to have a voice behind them suddenly boom out and warn them not to break one of God's commandments! But the saints of God now born of the Spirit, having become spirit at the resurrection will be able to be invisible or visible at will.
   There will be no "cheating" on God's law!
   Through the restoration of real contact with Almighty God, millions of deaf, blind, dumb and crippled people all over the earth will be supernaturally healed. "Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert" (Isa. 35:5-6).
   Notice that not only the people, but the land, shall be healed and the earth shall receive proper rainfall again with God's blessing. "And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water" (verse 7).

The Way to Blessings

   The world could have peace and happiness now, but it refuses to have it God's way.
   Speaking of all humanity Jews and Gentiles alike the apostle Paul was inspired to write: "Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known" (Rom. 3:16-17).
   The reason the world cannot have peace is because it refuses to obey the commandments of God as a way of life! As we have seen, when Christ comes to set up His government, the law of God shall go forth from Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
   Those who yield themselves most to obey all of God's commandments now will be best qualified for the highest positions in God's government during the coming millennial reign of Christ. For He said: "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 5:19).
   This is because Christ is going to have peace in His Kingdom and so all lawbreakers are going to be kept outside!
   This same principle holds true in the New Jerusalem, the. Holy City which will come down out of heaven to this earth after the millennium. "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city" (Rev. 22:14).
   Yes, we will have real utopia when we learn to obey God's commandments! Then the world will be blessed with physical abundance. The sick and crippled will be healed. The spiritually blinded millions will come to really know God!
   The human beings on earth under God's government during Christ's millennial reign are pictured as learning to sing, dance and shout for joy at the wonderful way of life they will experience under the perfect government of God!
   Under God's government and His perfect laws, people will learn that Jesus meant fully what He said: "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). This is what the happy, joyous world tomorrow will be like!
Our booklet entitled Coming A New Age! portrays God's fast-approaching new world, where love, peace, harmony and beauty will replace current conditions of evil, rebellion and injustice. In this totally unique age the government of God will reign supreme and man will ultimately realize this magnificent destiny.

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Plain Truth MagazineJanuary 1979Vol XLIV, No.1ISSN 0032-0420
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