Personal from Herbert W Armstrong — Americans have a new president, but his attempts at achieving world peace will fall short, as it has with those presidents before him. The difficulties he will encounter are simply more than any human being can properly handle, because this world of ours has progressed too rapidly in the wrong direction! "Oh, I wouldn't say that!" many will exclaim. No, people don't want to believe it! They seem to prefer to deceive themselves with wishful thinking. But therein lies the DANGER! Most men are afraid to face the facts! But these are facts nonetheless. The development of engines of mass destruction has far outpaced the development of man's power to control them. Man has built the awesome Frankenstein monster that threatens to destroy him. Man has reached that stage of development and "progress" where he is utterly unable to save himself! These relentless forces now set in motion would continue until the fear so frankly expressed by top scientists of the blasting of human life completely out of existence would become a reality, IF it was not for one thing — the intervention of almighty God to save us from ourselves! Shocking? Maybe to some. But thank God! His intervention is sure. It's time millions were becoming ALARMED — yes, FRIGHTENED — aroused by what's happening today and a little more than curious to learn what's prophesied for the not-too-distant future.
For the immediate future — the next five, ten, or twenty-five years — the sobering revelation of Bible prophecy shows this world will go from bad to worse. World confusion, hatred, strife, warfare and terrible destruction will increase with rapid acceleration. It's the natural course to expect. The United Nations won't be able to bring peace. The aggressor nations — and we are so gullible we never recognize them until AFTER they plunge the world into another war — will go right on with their scheming and diabolical planning for world rule. The dreaded nuclear war we have all feared for so long will come — not because God wills it, but because men will choose to unleash this destructive power on one another. The greatest prophet who ever lived looked down into our time and the now-imminent future and said, "And there shall be... distress of nations, with perplexity... men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.... And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with POWER and GREAT GLORY. And when these things begin to come to pass... know ye that the KINGDOM OF GOD is nigh at hand. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled" (Luke 21:25-32).
World Government Needed
World government is needed, but through human leaders it is simply impossible! What man lives today who has the qualifications — who could safely be entrusted with that much POWER? What man would not abuse such vast power, exalt himself, wield it for his own ambitious and selfish purposes? What man has the wisdom to execute such power, to save this world from itself, and to administer his great office for the good of the governed? Human civilization has "progressed" adversely to the point where now it is utterly HELPLESS to save the world from itself. The world's sole hope now lies in the supernatural intervention of GOD! We're so hopelessly involved and entangled in the type of paganized, competitive-government civilization built upon earth that we cannot extricate ourselves. Let's face it. We're in the death grip of an evil system, and only God can save us from extinction. But God will intervene. He will send Jesus Christ once again to earth, and this time not as a lamblike gentle teacher, but in all the supreme, supernatural POWER and GLORY of God. "And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heavens must receive until the TIMES OF RESTITUTION of all things" (Acts 3:20-21). Jesus Himself said, "If I go... I will come again" (John 14:3). And His coming happens to be the world's only hope.
World Government Through Christ
Few seem to have understood the purpose of either Christ's coming to earth over 1900 years ago or His prophesied second coming, now imminent. He came the first time as a divine messenger, bearing a MESSAGE from God. That message was the GOOD NEWS (gospel) of the KINGDOM OF GOD — a future WORLD GOVERNMENT. That message was Christ's gospel. In other words, it was the true gospel of Jesus Christ — the very gospel He commissioned all New Testament ministers to preach to all the world throughout this age. Yet almost universally that true gospel message is rejected today, and men have, as prophesied, turned to another gospel — a gospel ABOUT a different Jesus, certainly not the same Jesus described so vividly in the New Testament. Yes, it was Jesus Christ who first proclaimed to the world the idea of world peace through a future WORLD GOVERNMENT. Jesus proclaimed Himself the future KING of that world government — and for this cause He was crucified (John 18:37). But what men did not understand about His message was that His kingdom was for the FUTURE. He said plainly, "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36). Now notice the descriptions of Christ's imminent return to this earth: "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war [against evil].... And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations...." ("For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword" — Heb. 4:12. This is not a sword of steel to do physical harm, but the Word of God to correct and do spiritual GOOD!) "... and he shall rule them [all NATIONS] with a rod of iron; and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath... a NAME written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords" (Rev. 19:11-16). Yes, Jesus will be a supernatural, divine world ruler, a KING over all kings of the earth. His weapon will be the WORD OF GOD — THE TRUTH! And Jesus said it is the TRUTH that shall make men free. He will be a "world KING" who shall judge all nations in RIGHTEOUSNESS. Surely that's the world's greatest need.
Is a REAL UTOPIA Impossible?
Men ridicule the idea of a Utopia today, as though it were impossible. But WHY should Utopia be thought of as impossible? WHY shouldn't men have it? The answer comes through another question: Why is there so much unhappiness, strife, injustice, fear, and suffering now? Simply because men are thinking, acting, and living contrary to all the laws by which such happiness, universal prosperity, and joy could come. That's the plain and simple answer. Because of selfishness, greed, and vanity. Suppose everyone on earth loved all his neighbors equally with himself. Suppose everyone was honest, kind, just, considerate, gentle, pleasant, and cheerful, industrious, in perfect health, and of keen, alert mind, humble, trusting fully in God, and working happily with zeal and enthusiasm to accomplish all the good he could. Can you visualize what a wonderful world would result? Well, it would be a real and practical Utopia. But, you say, that's contrary to human character. Yes, true. But Jesus Christ is coming to change that! The POWER OF GOD in one, through His holy spirit, changes, converts, that soul. It gives him power, if he wills, to master — to overcome the nature within. Through FAITH he can be changed into the kind of person described above. And the mission of Jesus Christ of Nazareth at His second coming is to work exactly that change in humanity! IMPOSSIBLE? Oh, no! Nothing is impossible with God! And Jesus is coming in all the supernatural power and glory of GOD!
A Preview of Coming UTOPIA
It's possible, now, for us to peer into the future — on over past and beyond the hellishness this world will put itself through during the immediate future — and catch a preview of the world tomorrow! First, the nature of Christ's world rule: "With righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth.... They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the KNOWLEDGE OF THE ETERNAL, as the waters cover the sea [none deceived, as most are today — true knowledge universally — true education shall be a basic part of the program]. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse [Christ], which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it [Christ] shall the Gentiles seek" (Isa. 11:4-10). Now for the effect — a preview of HAPPINESS and WORLD PEACE: "But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain [kingdom] of the house of the Eternal [that is, the KINGDOM OF GOD] shall be established in the top of the mountains [that is, reigning over the great nations of earth] and it shall be exalted above the hills [the smaller nations]... And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Eternal, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he [Christ] shall teach us of HIS ways, and we will walk in HIS paths: for THE LAW shall go forth of Zion, and the Word of the Eternal from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, NEITHER SHALL THEY LEARN WAR ANY MORE" (Micah 4:l-3). It is when people are undeceived by Satan, when God's LAW goes forth, when people begin to seek God's laws and live by His ways, and when, through Christ and the indwelling of God's holy spirit, we are able to develop in our lives the character of God that we shall have PEACE, PROSPERITY, HAPPINESS and JOY!