JUST what do you mean, "The kingdom of God"? That, too, is an unsolved mystery, not only to all in the world but to the world's churches, theologians and "Bible scholars" as well. Actually that mystery is connected with its associated mystery, the gospel of Jesus Christ. Why do the churches disagree on what actually is "the gospel of Jesus Christ"? During the first twenty or thirty years after the founding of the Church in A.D. 31 a violent controversy arose over the very question of what is "the gospel of Jesus Christ." There ensued a hundred years in which all history of the New Testament Church was destroyed. It has been called "the lost century of Church history." When the curtain lifted, about the middle of the second century, there appeared an entirely different type of church calling itself Christian, but in the main preaching its own gospel ABOUT Christ, not the gospel OF Christ. The gospel OF Christ was the gospel Christ proclaimed. Jesus was a Messenger sent from God with a message, and that message was THE KINGDOM OF GOD. Christ's message was Christ's gospel — the gospel OF Christ. It had not been proclaimed to the world until the first week in 1953, when for the first time in about 1,900 years — a century of time cycles — it went out on the world's most powerful radio station, Radio Luxembourg in Europe. It seems that today all churches have lost the gospel of Jesus Christ. They preach primarily their gospel ABOUT Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ came preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God. Yet few preach about the kingdom of God today, for they have lost all knowledge of what it is! But does any, except God's true Church, proclaim the true gospel of the kingdom of God today? A prominent evangelist said to a worldwide radio audience that the gospel of the kingdom of God is not for us today. Some denominations proclaim a "gospel of grace", some what they call a "gospel of salvation"; most a gospel about Christ; some a social gospel; some the "Science of Mind" or "Religious Science."
Not One Is Right!
Some churches claim either that their particular denomination, or "Christianity" as a whole, constitutes the kingdom of God. A prominent television evangelist said, "The kingdom of God is within you." Some have even quoted Luke 17:21: "The kingdom of God is within you." The marginal correction as well as the Revised Standard, the Moffatt and other translations all show it should read, "in the midst of you" — that is, Jesus Christ was in the midst of them. He is the King of the future kingdom of God, and the Bible in Daniel 7 and other places uses the terms king and kingdom interchangeably, that is, the king is, or represents, the kingdom he rules. Not one is right! Could anything seem more incredible? Yes, to the mind reared in this world's concepts, one thing is, indeed, still more incredible! And that is the PLAIN TRUTH about what the kingdom of God really is! The truth is not merely surprising — it is shocking — staggering! It is a Great Mystery! Yet it is truly GOOD NEWS — the most glorious GOOD NEWS ever to enter human consciousness!
What is the one and only gospel of Jesus Christ? THE WORLD DOES NOT KNOW! It has not been preached for 19 centuries, strange as that may seem. Look into your BIBLE. Look at it from the very beginning! "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ" you'll read in Mark 1:1. "Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the GOSPEL 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" (Mark 1:14-15). It is necessary to believe that GOSPEL to be saved! And how can you believe it, unless you know what it is? And for 1,900 years, the world did not know. That gospel was suppressed and replaced by man's gospel about Christ. Jesus went everywhere preaching the GOOD NEWS of the KINGDOM OF GOD. He taught in parables about the KINGDOM OF GOD. He sent out seventy men preaching, and commanded them to preach THE KINGDOM OF GOD (Luke 10:9). He sent the apostles, on whom the Church of God was founded, to preach only THE KINGDOM OF GOD (Luke 9:1-2). After the resurrection, before ascending to heaven, Jesus taught his disciples about the kingdom of God (Acts 1:3). Isn't it amazing that the world has LOST the knowledge of what it is? The apostle Paul preached THE KINGDOM OF GOD (Acts 19:8; 20:25; 28:23, 31). And God Almighty, through Paul, pronounced a double curse on man or angel that would DARE preach any other gospel! (Gal. 1:8-9.) Why, then, do so many DARE to preach so many other gospels? The good news of THE KINGDOM OF GOD is something you must understand, and BELlEVE, in order to be saved! Jesus Christ said so! You had better be finding out what it is! That gospel — the kingdom of God — is the subject of this chapter. It follows the chapter on the mystery of the Church, because the kingdom of God follows the Church. The purpose of the Church, remember, is to prepare "called-out-ones" to teach and to rule in the kingdom of God.
Haven't you heard men speak of the kingdom of God something like this: "By Christians everywhere working together to bring about world peace, tolerance and brotherly love, the kingdom of God may at last be established in the hearts of men." Because they rejected Christ's gospel 1,900 years ago, the world had to supplant something else in its place. They had to invent a counterfeit! So we have heard the kingdom of God spoken of as merely a pretty platitude — a nice sentiment in human hearts — reducing it to an ethereal, unreal NOTHING! Others have misrepresented that the "CHURCH" is the kingdom. Others confuse it with the millennium. Still others have, earlier in our century, claimed the British Empire is the kingdom of God. But no one makes that claim any longer. How DECEIVED CAN THIS WORLD GET? The prophet Daniel, who lived 600 years before Christ, knew that the kingdom of God was a real kingdom — a government ruling over literal PEOPLE on the earth. Jesus Christ brought additional knowledge about it that the prophet Daniel might not have known. Still, Daniel knew there was going to be a real, literal kingdom of God on the earth. Daniel was one of four extraordinary, intelligent and brilliant Jewish lads in the Judean captivity. These four men were stationed in the palace of King Nebuchadnezzar of the Chaldean Empire, in training for special responsibilities in the Babylonian government. Daniel was a prophet who had been given special understanding in visions and dreams (Dan. 1:17). Nebuchadnezzar was the first real world ruler. He had conquered a vast empire, including the nation Judah. This king had a dream so impressive it troubled him — moved him to tremendous concern. He demanded that his magicians, astrologers and sorcerers tell him both what he had dreamed, and what it meant. They could not. They were baffled. Then Daniel was brought before the king. Daniel disclaimed any more human ability to interpret dreams than the Chaldean magicians, "BUT," he said, "there is a GOD in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days" (Dan. 2:28). First, God's purpose was to reveal to this world-ruling human king that there is a GOD in heaven — that GOD IS SUPREME RULER over all nations, governments and kings — that God RULES THE UNIVERSE! It was God who placed the cherub Lucifer on the throne of the earth and Lucifer, who has become Satan the Devil, remains on earth's throne only because God allows it, and only until God sends Jesus Christ to sit on that throne when he removes Satan. This Chaldean king knew only about the many pagan demon gods. He knew nothing of the true living ALMIGHTY God. Like people and rulers, even today, he did not know that GOD is the living, REAL, active, RULING and GOVERNING PERSONAGE who actually and literally governs not only what is on earth, but the UNIVERSE ENTIRELY! The whole purpose of this DREAM was to reveal GOD'S GOVERNMENT — the fact that God RULES — the truth of THE KINGDOM OF GOD — the very thing that is the one and only true GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST! And, secondly, to reveal — preserved in writing for us TODAY — what is to happen "in the latter days" — actually within the next two decades — THIS LAST HALF OF THE TWENTIETH century!
For US, Today!
This is no dry, dull, dead writing for a people of 2,500 years ago. This is LIVING, TREMENDOUS, BIG NEWS for OUR DAY! It is advance news for us, NOW. News before it happens — of the most colossal event of all earth's history certain to occur in your lifetime — during the very next few years! This is THE TRUE Gospel! It is the very gospel Christ preached! It is intended for you and me TODAY! It is vital that you UNDERSTAND! Read, in your own Bible, Daniel 2, verses 28 through 35. In his dream, this king had seen a vast statue — larger than any image or statue ever built by man — so tremendous it was terrifying, even in a dream. Its head was of fine gold, its breast and arms of silver, the belly and thighs of brass, legs of solid iron, feet a mixture of iron and clay. There was a time element. Nebuchadnezzar had viewed it until a supernatural STONE came from heaven, smashing the statue on its feet. Then the whole of the statue broke into small pieces, and was actually blown away by the wind — it disappeared! Then this STONE expanded miraculously and quickly became a great MOUNTAIN — so great it filled the whole earth! What did it mean? Did it have meaning? Yes, because this was God's doing. Unlike ordinary dreams, this one was caused by God to convey the message of God's sovereignty to Nebuchadnezzar — and, because it is part of the written Word of God, to us today — to reveal important facts of the TRUE GOSPEL! "This is the dream," said Daniel (verse 36), "and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king." This, then, is GOD'S interpretation. It is decidedly not Herbert W. Armstrong's interpretation. Men ought never to interpret the Bible. The Bible gives us GOD'S OWN INTERPRETATION! Here it is: "Thou, O king, art a king of kings" — he was the first real WORLD RULER over a world empire! "... for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory." God was revealing himself to this human world-dictator as the MOST HIGH Ruler over all. People today, like this Chaldean king, seem not to think of God as a RULER — as the Supreme One who Governs — as the Head of GOVERNMENT. The Eternal was revealing himself through Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar and through the Bible to you and to me TODAY — as a SOVEREIGN, ALL POWERFUL, GOVERNING GOD who is to be obeyed! "Thou," continued Daniel to this human emperor, "art this head of gold. And after thee shall arise another KINGDOM inferior to thee, and another third KINGDOM of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth" (verses 37-39).
What IS a Kingdom?
Notice! This is speaking of KINGDOMS. It is referring to Kingdoms that bear rule over the people on earth. It is speaking of Governments! It is not speaking of ethereal sentiments "set up in the hearts of men." It is not speaking of churches. It is speaking of the kind of GOVERNMENTS that bear RULE and AUTHORITY over nations of PEOPLE here on earth. It is literal. It is specific. There is no misunderstanding, here, as to what is meant by the word kingdom. There is no misunderstanding the interpretation. GOD gives his own interpretation through the prophet Daniel. The great metallic image represented national and international GOVERNMENTS — real, literal KINGDOMS. It represented a succession of world-ruling governments. First was the head of gold. That represented Nebuchadnezzar and his kingdom — the Chaldean Empire. After him — later, in time sequence — was to come a second, then a third KINGDOM "which shall bear RULE over all the earth" — world empire! Then, verse 40, the legs of iron represent a fourth world empire. It was to be strong, even as iron is strong — stronger militarily than its predecessors. Yet, as silver is less valuable than gold, brass than silver, iron than brass, though each metal was harder and stronger, the succession would deteriorate morally and spiritually. The two legs meant the fourth empire would be divided. After the Chaldean Empire came the still larger Persian Empire, then the Greco-Macedonian, and fourth, the Roman Empire. It was divided, with capitals at Rome and Constantinople. Now — verse 44! Read it! Get your Bible. See it with your own eyes in your own Bible. Here, in PLAIN LANGUAGE, is God's explanation of what the KINGDOM OF GOD IS: "And in the days of these kings ..." — it is here speaking of the ten toes, part of iron and part of brittle clay. This, by connecting the prophecy with Daniel 7, and Revelation 13 and 17, is referring to the new UNITED STATES OF EUROPE that is now forming, out of the European Common Market, before your very eyes! Revelation 17:12 makes plain the detail that it shall be a union of TEN KINGS OR KINGDOMS that (Rev. 17:8) shall resurrect the old ROMAN EMPIRE. So, mark carefully the time element! "In the days of these kings" — in the days of these ten nations or groups of nations that shall, IN OUR TIME, resurrect briefly the Roman Empire — notice what shall happen: "... shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed ... but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever"!
Yes, in OUR TIME!
Now here we have described FOUR universal world empires — the only four that ever existed! Revelation 13 and 17 show that, after the fall of the original Roman Empire, there would be ten revivals — SEVEN of which would be ruled over by a gentile CHURCH — the "daughter" of ancient BABYLON — a church claiming to be Christian, but actually named by God "MYSTERY, BABYLON the great" — or, more plainly, BABYLONIAN MYSTERIES! Six of those have come and gone. The seventh is now forming — the last, final, brief resurrection of the Roman Empire by ten European groups or nations. These are revealed in Daniel 2 as the ten toes of iron and clay mixed. In their days — and they shall last but a very short space, possibly no more than two to three-and-a-half years — shall the GOD OF HEAVEN SET UP A KINGDOM that shall never be destroyed. This, then, shall be THE KINGDOM OF GOD! Compare with Revelation 17. Here is pictured a church. Not a small church — a GREAT church. She rules over "many waters" (verse 1), which are described in verse 15 as different nations speaking different languages. She posed as the Church of GOD — which Scripture says (Eph. 5:23; Rev. 19:7; Matt. 25:1-10; etc.) is the affianced "bride" of CHRIST, to be spiritually MARRIED to him at his Second COMING. But she has committed fornication. How? By having direct political union with HUMAN GOVERNMENTS of THIS WORLD! She "sat on" (Rev. 17:3) all seven of these resurrections of the Roman Empire — called the "Holy Roman Empire." She RULED OVER the human kingdoms — as a common-law and unmarried "wife" ruling her paramour "husband" — a totally unnatural and ungodly relationship. She is, therefore, to "sit on" this last "head of the Beast" — this final resurrection of the Roman Empire It will be a union of church and state. It is to endure but a very short time. It is to FIGHT AGAINST CHRIST at HIS SECOND COMING! That will be its END. We see it in process of rising, now. (The members of the European Common Market are probably not the same ten that will resurrect the Holy Roman Empire.) Therefore we are CLOSE to the coming of Christ! We are now very near the END of this world!
Christ to Rule All Nations
When Christ comes, he is coming as KING of kings, ruling the whole earth (Rev. 19:11-16); and HIS KINGDOM — the KINGDOM OF GOD — said Daniel, is to CONSUME all these worldly kingdoms. Revelation 11:15 states it in these words: "The kingdoms of this world are become THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD, AND OF HIS CHRIST; and he shall reign for ever and ever"! This is THE KINGDOM OF GOD. It is the END of present governments — yes, and even the United States and the British nations. They then shall become the kingdoms — the GOVERNMENTS — of the Lord JESUS CHRIST, then KING of kings over the entire earth. This makes completely PLAIN the fact that the KINGDOM OF GOD is a literal GOVERNMENT. Even as the Chaldean Empire was a KINGDOM — even as the Roman Empire was a KINGDOM — so the KINGDOM OF GOD is a government. It is to take over the GOVERNMENT of the NATIONS of the world. Jesus Christ was BORN to be a KING — a RULER! When he stood, on trial for his life, before Pilate, "Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world." But Jesus also said to Pilate: "My kingdom is not of this world" — (John 18:37, 36). How amazing — what a tragedy — that in church services and gospel preaching today, one seldom, if ever, hears of Christ as a coming king and world ruler. Spiritual principalities and powers of evil (Eph. 6:12) are ruling the world today. It is these earthly governments of Satan that will be destroyed and replaced by Christ at his Second Coming. Christ's kingdom is of THE WORLD Tomorrow! Have you not read what the angel proclaimed to Mary, the mother of Jesus, prior to his birth? Jesus told Pilate he was born to become a KING. The angel of God said to Mary: "... thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 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 1:31-33). Why do the churches of this world never mention any of these scriptures? Millions have attended churches all their lives and never heard any of these scriptures about Christ becoming a king or about the coming kingdom of God. These scriptures tell you PLAINLY that GOD is supreme RULER. They tell you in plainest language that Jesus was born to be a KING — that he is going to RULE ALL NATIONS — that his kingdom shall rule eternally. But all this is only part of the fantastic, amazing, actually SHOCKING TRUTH about the KINGDOM OF GOD. The KINGDOM OF GOD will rule over the peoples and nations of the earth. Yet these mortal peoples and nations will NOT be the kingdom, not even in the kingdom of God. They shall be merely RULED OVER BY IT!
How Utopia Will Come!
But now let's be specific. Let's see just how tomorrow's utopia is to be ushered in. Remember, this wonderful world-state will not be achieved all at once. Every major step of these soon-coming events is laid bare before our eyes in biblical prophecy. The same Jesus Christ who walked over the hills and valleys of the Holy Land and the streets of Jerusalem more than 1,900 years ago is coming again. He said he would come again. After he was crucified, God raised him from the dead after three days and three nights (Matt. 12:40; Acts 2:32; I Cor. 15:3-4). He ascended to the Throne of God, Headquarters of the Government of the Universe (Acts 1:9-11; Heb. 1:3; 8:1; 10:12; Rev. 3:21). He is the "nobleman" of the parable, who went to the Throne of God — the "far country" — to be coronated as King of kings over all nations, and then to return to earth (Luke 19:12-27). Again, he is in heaven until the "times of restitution of all things" (Acts 3:19-21). Restitution means restoring to a former state or condition. In this case, the restoring of God's government on earth, and thus, the restoring of world peace, and utopian conditions. Present world turmoil, escalating wars and contentions will climax in world trouble so great that, unless God intervenes, no human flesh would be saved alive (Matt. 24:22). At its very climax when delay would result in blasting all life from off this planet, Jesus Christ will return. This time he is coming as divine God. He is coming in all the power and glory of the universe-ruling Creator. (Matt. 24:30; 25:31.) He is coming as "King of kings, and Lord of lords" (Rev. 19:16), to establish world super-government and rule all nations "with a rod of iron" (Rev. 19:15; 12:5). Why do the professing Christian churches omit all these scriptures about Christ coming and of his ruling the earth? Jesus' very gospel was that of the kingdom of God he shall then establish on earth. The millions of church members have never heard these scriptures or the actual gospel of Jesus Christ. Think of it. The glorified Christ — coming in all the splendor, the supernatural power and the glory of God Almighty — coming to save mankind alive — coming to stop escalating wars, nuclear mass destruction, human pain and suffering — coming to usher in peace, abundant well-being, happiness and joy for all mankind. But will he be welcomed by the nations? World famous scientists now say frankly that the only hope for survival on earth is a supreme world-ruling government, controlling all military power. They admit that is impossible for man to accomplish. Christ is coming to give us just that. But will he be welcome? A leading American news weekly gave the following surprising appraisal of man's only hope: The once optimistic hope of Americans, the article said, for a well-ordered and stable world, is fading. Expenditures close to a trillion dollars have failed to provide stability. Rather conditions have worsened. This appraisal indicated that among officials, the prevailing view is gaining acceptance that tensions and world problems are becoming too deep-seated to be solved "except by a strong hand from someplace." "A strong hand from someplace." God Almighty is going to send a very strong Hand from "someplace" to save humanity!
But will humanity shout with joy, and welcome him in frenzied ecstasy and enthusiasm? Will even the churches of traditional Christianity? They will not! They will believe, because the false ministers of Satan (II Cor. 11:13-15) have deceived them, that he is the Antichrist. The churches and the nations will be angry at his coming (Rev. 11:15 with 11:18), and the military forces will actually attempt to fight him to destroy him (Rev. 17:14)! The nations will be engaged in the climactic battle of the coming World War III, with the battle front at Jerusalem (Zech. 14:1-2) and then Christ will return. In supernatural power he will "fight against those nations" that fight against him (verse 3). He will totally defeat them (Rev. 17:14)! "His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives," a very short distance to the east of Jerusalem (Zech. 14:4).
How Nations Will Submit
When the glorified all-powerful Christ first comes again to earth, the nations will be angry. The military forces gathered at Jerusalem will try to fight him! I said "try." But far more powerful armies follow Christ from heaven — all the holy angels (Rev. 19:14, identified in Matt. 25:31). Want to see a description of that battle — and what will happen to those hostile human armies? In Revelation 17, the armies of the now-rising United States of Europe — the resurrected Roman Emperor referred to in verse 14: "These shall make war with the Lamb [Christ], and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings ...." But how will he overcome them? We find that in the 14th chapter of Zechariah: "And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people [armies] that have fought against Jerusalem; their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth" (Zech. 14:12). Perhaps it is even plainer in the Revised Standard Version: "And this shall be the plague with which the Lord will smite all the peoples that wage war against Jerusalem: their flesh shall rot while they are still on their feet, their eyes shall rot in their sockets, and their tongues shall rot in their mouths." This rotting of their flesh off their bones will happen almost instantaneously — while they are still on their feet. What a divine retribution against armies that will fight against Christ. What a demonstration of the divine power with which the glorified Christ will rule all nations. Rebellion against God's law and God's rule must, and speedily will be, put down. Can you realize that every unhappiness, every evil that has come to humanity, has been the result of transgressing God's law? If no one ever had any other god before the true God; if all children were reared to honor, respect and obey their parents, and all parents reared their children in God's ways; if no one ever allowed the spirit of murder to enter his heart, if there were no wars, no killing of humans by humans; if all marriages were kept happy and there were no transgressions of chastity before or after marriage; if all had so much concern for the good and welfare of others that no one would steal — and we could throw away all locks, keys and safes; if everyone told the truth — everyone's word were good — everyone were honest; if no one ever coveted what was not rightfully his, but had so much outgoing concern for the welfare of others that he really believed it is more blessed to give than to receive — what a happy world we would have! In such a world, with all loving and worshiping God with all their minds, hearts and strength — with all having concern for the welfare of all others equal to concern for self — there would be no divorce — no broken homes or families, no juvenile delinquency, no crime, no jails or prisons, no police except for peaceful direction and supervision as a public service for all, no wars, no military establishments. But, further, God has set in motion physical laws that operate in our bodies and minds, as well as the spiritual law. There would be no sickness, ill health, pain or suffering. There would be, on the contrary, vigorous, vibrant good health, filled with dynamic interest in life, enthusiastic interest in constructive activities bringing happiness and joy. There would be cleanliness, vigorous activity, real progress, no slums, no degenerate backward races or areas of earth.
As the resurrected Christ ascended to heaven in clouds, so he shall return to earth in clouds (Acts 1:9-11; Matt. 24:30). Just as he is returning (I Thess. 4:14-17), the dead in Christ — those who have received and been led by God's Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:11, 14) — will rise in a gigantic resurrection, made immortal — including all the prophets of old (Luke 13:28). Those who have the Spirit of God, then living, shall be instantaneously changed from mortal to immortal (I Cor. 15:50-54) and, together with those resurrected, shall rise to meet the descending glorified Jesus Christ (I Thess. 4:17) in the clouds in the air. They shall be with him, where he is, forever (John 14:3). They shall — with him — come down out of the clouds, and stand with him, therefore, that very same day, on the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:4-5). These changed, converted saints, now made immortal, will then rule the nations — nations of mortals — under Christ (Dan. 7:22; Rev. 2:26-27; 3:21).
Satan Removed at Last!
This most glorious event in all earth's history — the supernatural majestic descent to earth, in the clouds, of the glorified all-powerful Christ — will at long last put an end to the subtile, deceitful, invisible rule of Satan. The coming of Christ in supreme glory as King of kings and Lord of lords is recorded in Revelation 19. But what other great event will have to take place before there can be peace, HAPPINESS and JOY on the earth? SATAN the devil will have to be removed from the throne of the earth. But in Revelation 20:1-3, the advance news is recorded: "And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on ... that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season." The day of man, swayed, deceived, misled by Satan for 6,000 years, will be over. No longer will Satan be able to broadcast through the air into the spirit in man. No longer shall he be able to inject into unsuspecting humans his satanic nature — which we have been misled into calling "human nature."
Human Nature Not to Disappear at Once
But that does not mean that the acquired satanic attitude will disappear from human minds immediately. The multiplied millions shall have acquired it. And even though Satan will then be restrained from continuing to broadcast it, what has been acquired as habit will not be automatically removed. Yet God has made us humans free moral agents. He has given us control over our own minds, except as we may be blinded by Satan's pull of evil by deception. But no longer will earth's mortal humans be deceived! Now the all-powerful Christ, and the immortal saints ruling under him, will begin removing the scales that have blinded human minds. That is why I say complete utopia cannot be ushered in all at once. Multiple millions will still hold to the attitude of rebellion — of vanity, lust and greed. But with Christ's coming shall begin the process of re-education — of opening deceived minds — of undeceiving minds, and bringing them to a voluntary repentance. From the time of Christ's supernatural takeover, and Satan's banishment, God's law and the word of the Eternal shall go forth from Zion, spreading over the whole earth (Isa. 2:3). The 6,000-year sentence God placed on Adam's world, of being cut off from God, will be ended. Christ will begin calling all mortals on earth to repentance and spiritual salvation! God's Holy Spirit shall flow out from Jerusalem (Zech. 14:8). What glory! A new day shall have dawned. Peace shall soon come. Men shall turn from the way of "get" to the way of "give" — God's way of love. A NEW CIVILIZATION shall now grip the earth! But what kind of a new world tomorrow will from then be developed? In Isaiah 2:2-4 and in Micah 4:1-3 it says: "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 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 shall walk in his paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." Think of it! No more wars. No fear of man or beast. World peace at last. Something will have to cause that peace. The law of God, which a professed "Christianity" teaches was done away, shall go out from Jerusalem and the earth will be as full of the knowledge of God's way of life as the ocean beds are full of water. Even the wild animals will be tamed and at peace: "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. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. 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" (Isa. 11:6-9). Now picture the changed conditions! Look now at the solved problems! See, now, a glimpse into a world of no illiteracy, no poverty, no famine and starvation, into a world where crime decreases rapidly, people learn honesty, chastity, human kindness and happiness — a world of peace, prosperity, abundant well-being.
The Population Explosion Solved
God predicts vast reforms everywhere in the wonderful utopian era he says will soon break out on this earth. Can you imagine it? A world of great strides in solving the most crucial problems facing mankind. Today — the greatest and most awesome problem of all is the population explosion. Growing populations in all nations are rapidly outstripping the ability of the world to sustain them. And the areas of the greatest rise in population are the underdeveloped parts of the world — the "have-not" nations of poverty, illiteracy, disease and superstition. Remember, not more than 10 percent of the earth's surface is tillable, or arable, land. And now the latest UN figures indicate the world will double in population in about 34 short years. The daily, ominous pressure of people is one of the truly incomprehensible problems today. But God has the solution, and how simple it is. Simply make most of the earth cultivatable. Reduce the bare, snow-swept and craggy mountains, raise up some of the deep, arid desert valleys, change the world weather patterns. Make all the deserts green and fertile. Open up huge slices of the earth, like the Kalahari Desert, the Lake Chad basin and the Sahara in Africa, the Gobi Desert in Asia, and the great American deserts. Make green and verdant the vast wastes of Mongolia, Siberia, Saudi Arabia and much of the Western U.S. Thaw out the deep ice packs and snowdrifts, the permafrost and tundra from the vast, almost limitless expanses of Antarctica, North America, Greenland, Northern Europe and Siberia. Make level the awesome Pamir Knot, the huge giants of the Himalayas, the Atlas, Taurus, Pyrenees, Rockies, Sierras and Hindu Kush — level the immense sweep of the Andes, and all the other forbidding, towering, virtually uninhabitable mountains of earth. Then, provide good, gentle rainfall, in right balance, just at the right season. And what happens? Multiple millions of acres of unbelievably fertile, productive, wonderful farmland suddenly become available — just waiting to be discovered, and pioneered. Impossible? In the hands of man — certainly. But look what God promises. "Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the Lord, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. "Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff. Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in the Lord, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel. "When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will NOT forsake them. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains [artesian wells] in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. "I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah [acacia] tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree [cypress] together: that they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the Lord hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it" (Isa. 41:14-20).
Pure Water — Fertile Deserts
Can you imagine such a fabulous scene? Deserts becoming green, fertile, garden lands of trees, shrubs, bubbling springs and brooks; mountains brought low, and made inhabitable. Notice how God describes these conditions in many parts of the Bible. "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. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons [jackals], where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes" (Isa. 35:6-7). Read the whole 35th chapter of Isaiah. God says: "The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing ..." (verses 1-2). Some years ago, in a dry, dusty canyon deep in the profusion of hills between Bakersfield and Los Angeles, California, a minor earthquake struck. The proprietors of a small resort, now almost totally ignored, and nearly always deserted because of the parched conditions of the area, were considering closing up and moving elsewhere. Suddenly, a groaning, jolting earthquake rippled through the arid hills. Not long after the earth rocked and groaned beneath their feet, they heard a faint gurgling sound. They ran to the dry, dusty creek bed that coursed through their property — and were utterly amazed to see water flowing swiftly along. As the creek gradually cleared up, they found the water to be crystal clear and pure — sweet and refreshing to drink. Needless to say, their business picked up again. Somehow, the earthquake had broken open an underground water source, sending it cascading through their property. Think about the vast wastes of this earth. Does it sound incredible, unbelievable that God could make them blossom like a rose? Why should it? The mountains were formed. Great forces caused gigantic upheavals, or huge cracks and slippages in the crust of the earth. Massive blocks of granite lunged up into the sky — the earth rocking and reeling in the throes of the greatest earthquakes in its history. Mountains were made — they didn't just happen. The God of all power, who formed the hills and mountains (Amos 4:13; Ps. 90:2), will reform them — will reshape the surface of this earth. Read of the huge earthquakes yet to come that will directly accomplish much of the rehabilitation of the land surfaces. (See Revelation 16:18; Zechariah 14:4.) God says, "The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt ..." (Nah. 1:15).
Land Beneath Sea Reclaimed
Man recognizes much of the wealth of the world lies beneath the seas. Oil, gold, silver, and dozens of minerals — these all remain unobtainable today, lying untapped deep under the vast oceans. Also, seawater contains a great deal of gold and most of the world's gold supplies are under the oceans. Many areas of the earth are ravaged by tidal action — by the ceaseless pounding of the surf that gradually wears away additional land. The lowlands of Europe, Holland in particular, consist to quite an extent of land reclaimed from the sea. Think of the multiple millions of additional acres available to mankind if some of the world's oceans were reduced in size. And God says they shall be! Notice it, "And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dry shod" (Isa. 11:15). Sounds incredible — but it's true! When Jesus Christ becomes the great Ruler of this earth, he will use that great power. In vision, John saw the angels praising Christ at his coming to rule this earth. They said: "We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned" (Rev. 11:17). The combined force of right education about true health, and healing of all sickness, when it is repented of, will mean perfect, utopian health. Notice how God describes it. "But there the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby. For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us. "And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity" (Isa. 33:21-22, 24). Listen to this wonderful promise: "Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you. 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.. ." (Isa. 35:3-6) God describes the rewards for obedience to his laws of mercy and love. Notice Isaiah 58:8: "Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily ...."
Happiness in Health
In describing the conditions of good health and plenty to be ushered in upon the earth, God says, "For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds ..." (Jer. 30:17). "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. And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the [Eternal]" (Jer. 31:12-14). And why not have good health? Why should we be so willing to believe such a perfect state of health and joy is impossible? Why are all these scriptures ignored by professing Christian preaching? Instead they picture going to heaven with idleness and ease and no accomplishment. There are blessings for observing the laws of health — absolute guarantees good health will result — and that sickness and disease will become in the third and fourth generations a thing of the past. Notice what God promised his people: "... if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day ... all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God. "Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store" (Deut. 28: 1-5) . Also, God shows individual races returning to their own lands, repopulating them. "He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit" (Isa. 27:6). God says the wastes will be rebuilt. "For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn unto you, and ye shall be tilled and sown: and I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, even all of it: and the cities shall be inhabited, and the wastes shall be builded: and I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bring fruit: and I will settle you after your old estates ..." (Ezek. 36:9-11). Read the whole chapter of Ezekiel 36. God says: "... I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded .... This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited" (verses 33, 35). And what about all other nations? Notice: "In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt [Egypt still exists as a nation] to Assyria [many of whose people migrated centuries ago to north central Europe — modern Germany], and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance" (Isa. 19:23-25).
Think what an almost unbelievable step forward it would be, if all nations and peoples everywhere spoke, and read, and wrote the same language. But today, vast areas of the earth do not even possess a written language. Millions upon millions are illiterate — cannot read or write, even their own names. Once the returning Christ conquers this earth, he will usher in an era of total literacy, total education — and give the world one, new, pure language. This subject by itself needs a book to describe. The whole literary processes of the whole earth changed. Today, all languages are corrupt. They are literally filled with pagan, heathen terms — superstition — misnomers — exceptions to rules — peculiar idioms. God says: "For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent" (Zeph. 3:9). Think of the new era of good literature, good music, and of the avoiding of duplicated effort, misunderstandings through linguistic difficulties and thousands of painstaking hours of translations. What an age it will be, when all the world becomes truly educated — and speaks the same language.
What about the Economic Structure?
God shows Jerusalem will become the financial capital, as well as the spiritual capital, of earth. The Creator says, of the newly built city: "Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea [the world's gold and silver reserves are mostly under the seas] shall be converted unto thee, the forces [wealth, margin] of the Gentiles shall come unto thee" (Isa. 60:5). But, as we've read, God Almighty says he'll raise many places now covered by waters of the oceans; that he'll make much more land available. Scientists know most of the earth's raw materials lie in the strata beneath the depths of the seas. God says this vast wealth will become available for use during the reign of Jesus Christ on this earth. God says the wealth of the world will be centered in Jerusalem, and that the vast rebuilding programs, rehabilitation processes and new-age pioneering that begin will be backed by that wealth. "... Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; and I will shake all nations, and the desire [desirable things, margin] of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts" (Hag. 2:6-8). But God's great treasury will be for public display. No gold bricks, reposing in deep, subterranean vaults — utterly useless except for their meaning — no fear of thievery, or robbery. But breathtakingly beautiful decorations for the capital building, the Temple in which Christ will dwell. A fixed standard will be set up, and values will never change. No more speculating or gambling on other people's ability. Never again will any person become rich from investing in the labors and creative ability of another person. No more stock markets, world banks, financing centers, insurance companies, mortgage companies, loan agencies, or time payments. In God's abundant government people will buy only what they need, when they can afford it, when they have the cash to pay for it. No more interest. And no more taxes.
The Tithing System
But the tithing system will be universal. Today's governments demand up to 40, 50, and even 90 percent in inheritance taxes, income taxes, hidden taxes; federal, state, county, school board and city taxes. But God requires only ten percent. And out of that ten percent will be financed the entire governmental, educational and spiritual leadership of the whole earth. "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? [And God answers] In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it" (Mal. 3:8-10). That's a prophecy for now. And what a blessing that will be. None of the financial burdens that curse most peoples today. God says financial blessings are to become the order of the day. Take away thievery, robbery, accidents, weather damage, rust, rot and decay, from plants, stores, manufacturing concerns. How much less could merchandise then sell for — and at how much greater profits?
The Weather Patterns
Take away weather problems, insect damage, blight and fungus from farmers — losses through government price controls and over flooding of markets — and what would be their lot in life? God will accomplish these things. Our God is a multibillionaire heavenly Father. "The gold is mine," he says (Hag. 2:8). And God wants every child of his to truly prosper. "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health ..." (III John 2). Christ said, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). God wants fullness, abundance in every life. But look at the material "successes" you've known. How truly happy are they? As J. Paul Getty, one of the world's richest men, is reputed to have said, "I'd give all my millions for just one happy marriage!" In God's kingdom, commands of his will be obeyed. They'll become the standard for regulating commerce, business, finance, and the entire economic structure of the world. And all will be on the giving basis. Christ said: "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again" (Luke 6:38). The giving standard will be followed in God's rule on this earth — not the grasping, conniving, striving, deceitful, clandestine, furtive, scurrilous, devious, cheating and lying chicanery that is commonplace in today's business world. But when God converts rebellious mankind by the display of his mighty power — when he brings to pass his promise: "As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God" (Rom. 14:11), when he humbles the vain, proud spirit of man — then man will be made willing to give. And until God breaks the haughty spirit of man (Isa. 2:10-12, 17) — the peoples of earth will not be ready to accept such a wonderful, loving, generous, honest, giving standard for the whole economy. It would require a thick book to begin to describe the wonderful conditions that could prevail on this earth — and that will finally prevail, when the human heart is humbled, converted — given the very nature of God (II Pet. 1:4). Never again will anyone build a building he can't afford, and doesn't need, to lease and rent to tenants who help him pay for it. No more interest. God says it is sin to lend money at "usury" or interest. Once each fifty years, all debts, public and private, will be canceled, completely.
Economy of the World Healed
Since governments will be in the hands of the spiritual family of God, and partially administered by those human leaders directly under that great ruling family — and since there will be no huge bureaus watching other huge bureaus, which are suspiciously watching other bureaus; no military establishment; no "intelligence" (spy) agencies or members of Interpol; no huge cartels, monopolies, unions, or giant government spending — the economy of the world will be healed. Think of it. No more foreign aid — none of the wasted billions to buy "lovers" (allies) (Ezek. 23:9, 22; Lam. 1:2, 19; Ezekiel, 16th chapter) who turn and rend you later. No more strings-attached government grants to industry, to science and space technology, to schools and institutions for research. Instead, every necessary industry, educational institution, and business will be in sound financial condition. What a world that will be!
Tomorrow's World Governmental Structure
Now notice just how the new world government will function during the next thousand years. It will not be so-called democracy. It will not be socialism. It will not be communism or fascism. It will not be human monarchy, oligarchy or plutocracy. It will not be man's government over man. Man has proven his utter incapability of ruling himself. It will be divine government — theocracy — the government of God ruling over humans. It will not be government from the bottom up. The people will have no votes. It will not be government of or by the people — but it will be government for the people. It will be government from the top (God Almighty) down. It will be hierarchy in form. There will be no election campaigns. No campaign fund-raising dinners. No dirty political campaigns, where each candidate attempts to put himself forward in the most favorable light, defaming, denouncing, discrediting his opponents' No time will be wasted in mudslinging campaigns in the lust for power. No human will be given any government office. All in government service will then be divine Spirit beings, in the kingdom of God — the God family. All officials will be appointed — and by the divine Christ, who reads and knows men's hearts, their inner character, and abilities or lack of ability. You'll find a description of Christ's supernatural insight into the very character of others in Isaiah 11:2-5. Notice it: "And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; and shall make him of quick understanding ... and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears [hearsay]: but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth ..." (Isa. 11:2-4). Remember, God is the Supreme One who is love — who gives — who rules with outgoing concern for the ruled. He will rule for the highest good of the people. The most able, the most righteous, those best fitted for office will be placed in all offices of responsibility and power. There will then be two kinds of beings on earth — humans, being ruled by those made divine. Some resurrected saints will rule over ten cities, some over five (Luke 19:17-19). Think of it — no money wasted on political campaigns. No splits in political parties with quarreling and hatreds. No political parties!
What Is the New Covenant?
In short, under the New Covenant, which Christ is coming to usher in, what we shall see on earth is happiness, peace, abundance and justice for all. Did you ever read just what this New Covenant will consist of? Did you suppose it will do away with God's law? Exactly the opposite. "For this is the covenant [that Christ is coming to establish, you'll read in Hebrews 8:10] ... I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts ...." When God's laws are in our hearts — when we love God's ways, and in our hearts want to live by them, human nature will be put under subjection — people will want to live the way that causes peace, happiness, abundance, joyful well-being! But remember, the humans remaining on the earth after Christ's return — ruled then by Christ and those resurrected or changed to immortality — will themselves still have human nature. They will be still unconverted.
Two Courses of Action
But Christ and the governing kingdom of God, then set up as the governing family, will bring about the coming utopia by two basic courses of action. 1) All crime and organized rebellion will be put down by force — divine supernatural force. 2) Christ will then set his hand to reeducate and to save or spiritually convert the world. Notice, first, how the social and religious customs will be changed by divine force. God gave seven annual Festivals and Holy Days he commanded to be observed. They contained great and important meaning. They pictured God's master plan for working out his purpose for humanity. They were established forever. Jesus observed them, setting us an example. The apostles observed them (Acts 18:21; 20:6, 16; I Cor. 5:8; 16:8). The true, Original Church — including gentile converts — kept them. They were God's way — God's customs for his people. But people rejected God's ways and customs, and turned, instead, to the ways and customs of the pagan religions. People did what seemed right to themselves. And since human minds in this world have been hostile against God (Rom. 8:7), attitudes of hostility against God's way of life have prevailed. The ways that seem right to a man have been ways contrary to the ways that produce peace, happiness and abundant living. These same wrong ways seem right to most people today! We realize they seem right — not wrong — to most who will be reading these words. But can we realize that "there is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death"? (Prov. 14:12). And if you turn to Proverbs 16:25 you will see the same thing repeated: "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." God said through Moses: "Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes" (Deut. 12:8). And again: "Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them [pagan religious customs] ... and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the Lord thy God: for every abomination to the Lord, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods ..." (Deut. 12:30-31). Today the professing Christian world rejects God's Holy Days; holy to him, but which a deceived "Christianity" hates. They observe instead the pagan days — Christmas, New Year's, Easter, and others — "which God hateth"! Many know and confess that these are pagan — but they argue, "We don't observe these in worshiping the pagan gods, we use their customs in worshiping Christ and the true God." That is the way that "seemeth right" to people. They may not mean any wrong. They are deceived. A deceived man doesn't know he is wrong. He thinks he is right. He may be as sincere as those who have found God's way and obey it. Yet God says he will not accept that kind of observance or worship. It is an abomination to him — "which he hateth." But it is those who have been deceived, whose eyes God will open to his truth when Christ returns to rule all nations of mortals still left alive.
All Will Keep God's Festivals
People will no longer be blinded and deceived in regard to God's commands and ways. Then he will enforce obedience to his customs. Go back to the 14th chapter of Zechariah: "And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem [that is, those who were not in the armies supernaturally destroyed] shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles" (verse 16). This Feast of Tabernacles is one of the seven annual Festivals God commanded his people to observe. But ancient Israel rebelled. They rejected God's Festivals, and turned to pagan festivals. The Jewish people, after Ezra and Nehemiah, observed them. But false "Christian" ministers taught that God's Festivals were "part of the old Mosaic system — not for us today." The clergy deceived and prejudiced the people. The people were deceived into believing that Christmas, New Year's, Easter, etc., were days Christ ordained. But now Christ is returning to earth to restore God's ways — including God's Festivals. Those who rebelliously won't keep God's Holy Days now — who sneer at them in scathing contempt — will observe them when Christ returns. Notice what this scripture says: "And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth [including gentile nations] unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles" (Zech. 14:17-19). These passages give us the method by which Christ will "rule with a rod of iron" — of how he will use supernatural force to bring people of all nations to his right ways — ways that are the cause of real blessings.
The Perfect Government
Yes, Jesus Christ very soon is going to return to this earth. He is coming in power and glory. He is coming to rule all nations! But he is not going to do this ruling, supervising, all alone, by himself. He is coming to set up world government. It will be a highly organized government. There will be many positions of authority. Right here, it is time we stop to explain the mechanics of this perfect form of government. First, it is the government of God — not human government. Man won't acknowledge it yet, but man has demonstrated by 6,000 years of inefficient, bungling, wasteful efforts of human government that mortal man is utterly incapable of rightly governing himself. As for man being qualified to rule and administer government, God says of government officials today: "None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity .... Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace." Then the people, under this human mis-government, say: "Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light [solution of civil, personal, national and world problems], but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness. We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noonday as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men" (Isa. 59:4, 7-10). Then, in this chapter foretelling our time, the final solution is given: "And the Redeemer shall come to Zion ..." (verse 20). And, continuing: "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee" (Isa. 60:1). The only hope of justice — of peace — of truth — of right solutions to all this world's problems — is the coming in power and glory of Christ to set up world government. Right government. The government of God! In this, and many other passages, God shows in his Word to mankind how utterly helpless man is to govern himself and his fellows. Now 6,000 years of human experience have brought mankind to the very brink of world suicide. So, in other words, the first 6,000 years of God's 7,000-year plan were allotted to Satan to labor at his work of deceiving the world, followed by 1.000 years (one millennial day) when Satan shall not be allowed to do any of his "work" of deception. Put another way, God marked out six millennial days to allow man to indulge in the spiritual labor of sin, followed by a millennium spiritual rest under the enforced government of God.
Government Planned from Beginning
And now comes a wonderful truth. Now we come to a revealed insight into the wonderful planning, preparing and organizing of the perfect government of God. There will be no incompetent and selfishly ambitious politicians seeking to get their covetous hands on the throttle of government power by the deceptive political methods of this world. Today people are asked to vote into office men they know little about — men whose qualifications are largely misrepresented. In the soon-coming government of God, every official placed in authority shall have been tried and tested, trained, experienced and qualified, by God's qualifications. The fact illustrates the purpose and necessity of the Church. The function of the Church is not merely to convert the "first fruits" — not merely to bring about salvation to those specially called out of the world and into the Church, but to prepare and train them for these positions of leadership in the kingdom when salvation will be opened to all the living. God has planned ahead, but not only for his government to rule the earth. He had said to Adam, in effect: "Go, plan your own human governments, create in your own imaginations your own gods and religions; develop your own knowledge and educational structure, plan your own social systems (in a word, organize your own human civilization)." But in sentencing man to 6,000 years of being cut off from God, he reserved the prerogative of calling to special service and contact with God such as he should choose for his purpose. During this day of man, God has prepared for his own millennial civilization, in all its phases — governmental, educational, religious — his whole civilization. It all began with Abraham. In his day, there was only one man on earth who was at once a man of strong character and at the same time meekly and wholly submissive and obedient to God — to God's laws and his direction and rule. That man was Abraham. God began training men for top positions of authority in his coming world, with Abraham. Abraham lived in the most "advanced" civilization — the most developed and, as people thought, most desirable locality. God said to Abraham (then named Abram), "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee" (Gen. 12:1). There was no argument. Abraham didn't say, "But why? Why must I give up all the pleasures of this civilization — give up even my relatives and friends?" Abraham didn't argue or delay. It is written, simply, "So Abram departed ..." (verse 4). Abraham was put to severe tests. But, after he died, God said, "Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes [of government], and my laws" (Gen. 26:5). Abraham was being trained for high position in the government of God, now soon to rule the world. He believed in, was obedient and loyal to, God's government — its statutes and laws. Abraham was given the promises on which the salvation of every person, through Christ, is based. He is called the father (humanly) of the faithful (Gal. 3:7). To the gentiles of Galatia, the apostle Paul wrote: "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye [gentiles] Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Gal. 3:29). In the 16th verse, he had said: "Now to Abraham and his seed [descendant — Christ] were the promises made ...." God was starting to prepare for his kingdom — to train topflight personnel for positions in God's civilization with Abraham. When Abraham proved obedient, God blessed his labors and allowed him to become wealthy. God gave him experience in the wise handling of wealth and in directing a great force of men. Isaac was reared by God-fearing, God-obeying Abraham, in God's ways, obedient to God's government. He became heir along with his father Abraham. He too, was trained in obedience, and also in directing and ruling over others. Then Jacob, born with this rich heredity, was educated to follow through on the same pattern Abraham and Isaac had learned. Even though his father-in-law deceived him, and held him down, Jacob also became wealthy. He was human — as were Abraham and Isaac and all humans. He made mistakes. But he overcame. He repented. He prevailed with God. He never quit! He developed the qualities and character of leadership. He became the father of the twelve greatest nations-to-be in the soon-coming world tomorrow.
The Pattern of Government Organization
God has not told us, in so many words, precisely how his coming world super government will be organized. Yet he has given us the general pattern. He has told us specifically where 14 high executives (including Christ) will fit in. And from them we may deduce a great deal of the remaining governmental structure. Much of the coming structure of government is at least strongly indicated by what is plainly revealed. We know it will be the government of God. God Almighty — the Father of Jesus Christ — is Supreme Lawgiver, and Head over Christ, and over all that is. We know that Jesus Christ is to be King of kings, and Lord of lords — over both state and church, united through him. We know that King David of ancient Israel (details later) will be king over the twelve great nations composed of literal descendants of the twelve tribes of Israel. We know the twelve apostles will each be a king, sitting on a throne, over one of those great nations descended from the tribes of Israel. We know it will be government from the top down. There is to be a definite chain of authority. No one will be elected by the people. Mortal humans have proved they do not know how to judge qualifications, and do not know the inner minds, hearts, intents and abilities of men. All will be divinely appointed from above. All, in positions of governmental authority, will be resurrected immortals, born of God — no longer flesh-and-blood humans. With this in mind — with the knowledge that Abraham is (humanly) the father of all who are Christ's and heirs of salvation — it becomes plain that Abraham will be given a greater position of authority in God's kingdom than David — and that he will be over both Israelites and gentiles. He is "father" of gentile converts as well as Israelites. Then again, repeatedly the Bible uses the phrase, "Abraham, Isaac and Jacob," grouping them together as a team, and calling them, together, "the fathers." For the promises were repromised, also, to Isaac and Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel. What is plainly revealed indicates, then, that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will function as a topflight team, with Abraham as chairman of the team, next under Christ in the coming world government of God. Jesus himself said, definitely, that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob shall be in that glorious and glorified kingdom (Luke 13:28). Joseph qualified in a very special way, but we shall come back to him a little later.
Both Church and State
Another principle is made clear in God's Word: church and state will be united under Christ. There will be one government, over all nations. There will be one Church — one God — one religion — one educational system — one social order. And, as in God's original pattern in ancient Israel, they will be united. Three men — Peter, James and John, among the original twelve disciples — were privileged to see the kingdom of God in a vision (Matt. 17:9). In this vision, Jesus, who was actually with them in person, became transfigured — appearing as the glorified Christ. His face became bright, shining as the sun, his clothing white as light. Two others appeared with him in this vision — this glimpse into the coming kingdom — and they were Moses and Elijah. These two, in the vision, represented the offices of church and state, with and under Christ, as they will be in God's kingdom. Both Moses and Elijah qualified in their human lifetime for very high positions in the kingdom of God. Moses was the one through whom Christ (yes, he was the God of the Old Testament, as many, many scriptures prove) gave the laws and the statutes of government for the nation Israel. Moses was trained as a son of a pharaoh (king of Egypt). His training and experience were among gentiles, as well as the children of Israel. Elijah, above all others, is represented in Scripture as the prophet who restored the worship of the true God — and obedience to his commandments. When Elijah ordered King Ahab to gather on Mount Carmel "all Israel" (I Kings 18:19-21) and the prophets of Baal and of Asherah (Easter), he said: "How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him ...." (verse 21). And when, at Elijah's 18-second prayer (verses 36-37), the fire fell miraculously from heaven consuming Elijah's sacrifice, the people fell on their faces, and said, "The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God" (verse 39). The vision of the Transfiguration (Matt. 16:27 through 17:9) gave the apostles Peter, James and John a preview of Christ coming in his kingdom — as he shall come. The indication is thus given that Moses and Elijah represented the heads, under Christ, of state or national world government (under Moses), and church or religious activity (under Elijah). These two men, like the "fathers," Abraham, Isaac and Israel, will then be resurrected immortal, in power and glory. Certainly the indication is given us that, under Christ as King of kings, and under Christ's top team — the "fathers" — will be Moses over all organized national and international government; and Elijah, over all organized church, religious and educational activity. Actually, the gospel and religious development is merely spiritual education. And it is significant that Elijah had organized and headed three schools or colleges (II Kings 2:3, 5; 4:38 — at Bethel, Jericho and Gilgal) teaching God's truth in a world corrupted by false pagan education.
0n the National Level
Now we gain further insight into God's coming world government organization. On the purely national level, the nations descended from the two tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh (descended from Joseph), will become the two leading nations of the world (Jer. 30:16-18; 31:4-11, 18-20; Isa. 14:1-2; Deut. 28:13). But, next to them will be the nations descended from the other tribes of Israel. And, after them, but still prosperous and full of abundant blessings, the gentile nations. King David, resurrected, immortal, in power and glory, will be king, under Moses, over all twelve nations of Israel (Jer. 30:9; Ezek. 34:23-24; 37:24-25). Each of the original twelve apostles will be king, under David, over one of these then super-prosperous nations (Matt. 19:28). Under the apostles, each now king over a great nation, will be the rulers over districts, states, shires, counties or provinces, and over cities. But, in every case, these kings and rulers will be resurrected immortals, born into the kingdom (family) of God as Spirit beings — not flesh-and-blood mortals. And, in every case, they will be those who qualified not only by conversion, but by overcoming, spiritual character development, growth in Christ's knowledge training in being ruled by God's law and government, as well as learning to rule. The parables of the pounds (Luke 19:11-27) and talents (Matt. 25:14-30) make this very clear. The one who multiplied his spiritual abilities ten times over is pictured as ruling over ten cities. The one who developed only half as much in God's character and abilities is pictured as being given rule over five cities. The parable of the talents shows the same thing, but also we are to be judged by how ,well we do with what we have to do with. That is, one of lesser ability will be judged according to motivation, application, diligence and persistence according to ability. To whom much — in natural ability, and spiritual gifts — is inherited and given, much will be required. The one of lesser ability stands just as good a chance for reward in God's kingdom as the one of great ability — if he tries as hard. But what of all the gentile nations? Who will be given top positions of rule over them? There is strong indication — not a definite, specific statement — but indication, according to principles and specific assignments that are revealed, that the prophet Daniel will be made king over them all, directly under Moses. What prophet — what man of God — did God send to be trained at top-level government authority, in the world's very first world empire? And what man refused to follow pagan ways and customs, even while serving next in authority to the king himself? What man proved loyal to God, and the worship of God, and obedient to the laws of God — even while serving at the top in the first world empire? Why, of course, it was the prophet Daniel. At first thought, one might suppose Christ will put the apostle Paul at the head — under Moses and under Christ — of all gentile nations. And indeed Paul qualified for high position over gentiles. But Daniel was thrown into almost daily contact with the king in the world's first world government. And though that was human government, Daniel proved completely loyal and obedient to God and God's rule. He was used, to reveal to King Nebuchadnezzar, and immediate successors, that it is God who rules over all kingdoms. Daniel refused the king's rich food and delicacies — including what was unclean according to God's health laws. He prayed three times a day to God, even though it meant being thrown into the den of lions. He trusted God to protect and deliver him from the lions. He gained knowledge and wisdom in the affairs and administration of government over nations. When God, through the prophet Ezekiel, named three of the most righteous men who ever lived, he named Daniel as one of them. The other two were Noah and Job (Ezek. 14:14, 20). And it is evident that God will assign Noah and Job to offices of very great magnitude. More of that, later. God in his Word gave Daniel the assurance that he shall be in the kingdom of God, at the time of resurrection (Dan. 12:13). It is an interesting possibility, in passing, to consider that Daniel's three colleagues in this Chaldean Empire service — Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego — might serve as a team directly with and under Daniel, even as the three "fathers" very possibly may serve as a team directly with and under Christ himself. In fact, there are a number of such teams that appear to be possibilities. But what about Paul? As the twelve original apostles were sent to the lost house of Israel, Paul was the apostle to the gentiles. That is the key. Christ himself said specifically that each of the twelve shall be a king over one of the nations of Israel. It is inconceivable that Paul would be over no more than one gentile nation. It might even be inferred that Paul rated a little higher in ability and accomplishment than any one of the twelve apostles. And, again, no gentile nation will be as great as one of the Israelite nations. The indication, then, seems to be that Paul will be given position over all gentile nations, but under Daniel. Of course there will be kings appointed by Christ over every gentile nation. And district rulers under them, and rulers over cities. There is no indication as to the identity of any of these, except that those apostles and evangelists who worked with and directly under Paul — Barnabas, Silas, Timothy, Titus, Luke, Mark, Philemon, etc. — undoubtedly will be given offices of importance. And what of other saints of that same time, in the first flush years of the Church, when its membership at first multiplied in number of converts? And what of many converted since, and down to our present day? We can mention, here, only what seems to be rather clearly indicated from what God has already revealed.
The International Level
Besides these revealed and indicated assignments of government over nations and groups of nations on the national level, there will be positions of great magnitude on the international level in the areas of scientific and social functions. And there are a few indications of what some of those operations will be, and the possible — if not probable — personnel. Since Noah lived first, we now take a look at Noah. In Noah's day, the chief cause of the violence and chaos of world conditions was racial hatreds, interracial marriages, and racial violence caused by man's efforts toward integration and amalgamation of races, contrary to God's laws. God had set the boundary lines for the nations and the races at the beginning (Deut. 32:8-9; Acts 17:26). But men had refused to remain in the lands to which God had assigned them. That was the cause of the corruption and violence that ended that world. For 100 years Noah had preached God's ways to the people — but they didn't heed. At that time, even as today, that world faced a population explosion. It was when "men began to multiply on the face of the earth" (Gen. 6:1). Jesus said, of our time, right now, "But as the days of Noe [Noah] were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matt. 24:37) — or, as in Luke 17:26, "And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man." That is, the days just before Christ returns. Today race wars, race hatreds, race riots and race problems are among the world's greatest social troubles. Noah merely preached to people in his human lifetime. But Noah, in the resurrection, immortal, in power and glory, will be given the power to enforce God's ways in regard to race. It seems evident that the resurrected Noah will head a vast project of the relocation of the races and nations, within the boundaries God has set, for their own best good, happiness and richest blessings. This will be a tremendous operation. It will require great and vast organization, reinforced with power to move whole nations and races. This time, peoples and nations will move where God has planned for them, and no defiance will be tolerated. What a paradox. People are going to be forced to be happy, to have peace, to find abundant and joyful living! Above, we said we would come back, later, to Joseph, son of Israel and great-grandson of Abraham. Joseph became food administrator of the greatest nation on earth of that time — Egypt. Joseph was synonymous with "prosperity." "And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and ... the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand" (Gen. ,9:2-3). He was made actual ruler for the pharaoh of the world's greatest nation. But his specialty was dealing with the economy — with prosperity. And what he did, he did God's way. It seems evident, therefore, that Joseph will be made director of the world's economy — its agriculture, its industry, its technology, and its commerce — as well as its money and monetary system. These systems will be on the international level, the same in every nation. Undoubtedly Joseph will develop a large and perfectly efficient organization of immortals made perfect, with and under him in this vast administration. This will be an administration that will eliminate famine, starvation, poverty. There will be no poverty-stricken slums. There will be universal prosperity! Another tremendous project on the worldwide international level will be that of rebuilding the waste places, and the construction of whatever really great and large buildings or structures Christ will require for the world he will create. "And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations" (Isa. 61:4). Job was the wealthiest and greatest man of the east (Job 1:3) and a noted builder. (Compare Job 3:13-14 with God's challenge in Job 38:4-6.) He was so upright and perfect, God even dared Satan to find a flaw in his character. Actually, there was a terrible sin in his life — self-righteousness. But God brought him to repentance. (See Job, chapters 38-42.) Once this man, of such strength of self-mastery that he could be so righteous in his own strength, was humbled, brought to reliance on God, filled with God's Spirit — well, surely no man who ever lived could equal him as an engineer over vast stupendous world projects. Indication is strong, therefore, that Job will be director of worldwide urban renewal, rebuilding the waste places and the destroyed cities, not as they are now, but according to God's pattern; vast engineering projects, such as dams and power plants — or whatever the ruling Christ shall decree. At least one other man seems indicated as a top assistant in this vast administration. That is Zerubbabel (Haggai, and Zech. 4). So much for the new world super-civilization on the national and international level. Now we come to the world tomorrow on the individual level — the Church — the religion — the educational system.
Education and Religion Tomorrow
When Jesus Christ returns to earth in the full supreme power and glory of the Creator God, he is coming, this time, to save the world, spiritually. When he sits on the throne of his glory, in Jerusalem, all nations composed of flesh-and-blood mortal humans will be there before him. He shall begin dividing the "sheep from the goats." To the sheep, on his right hand, "Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matt. 25:34). Those converted, now, are heirs. We shall inherit the kingdom at Christ's coming. The dead in Christ shall be resurrected, rising first — changed to Spirit immortality. We that are then alive, in Christ, shall be instantaneously changed to Spirit immortality, and caught up with the resurrected ones, to meet the descending Christ in the air. We shall then be separated by immortality from the mortal humans on earth. Wherever Jesus is, from there, we shall be ever with him. Where, then, will he be? His feet shall stand that same day on the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:4). It is after this that he separates the sheep (those who repent, believe, and receive his Holy Spirit) from the goats (those who rebel). This separation — this educating of converts for God's kingdom — will continue throughout the entire thousand years of Christ's reign on earth. Christ will give to all nations a new and pure language: "For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent" (Zeph. 3:9). The pure truth of God will be proclaimed to all people. No one will be deceived any longer. But "the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea" (Isa. 11:9). Christ is the "root of Jesse," father of David. To Christ, then, will the gentiles seek (Isa. 11:10). Christ will set his hand to save all Israel (verse 11). (See also Romans 11:25-26.) But all this work of world evangelism — of spiritually saving the world (as a whole, not necessarily every individual but surely a majority) — will require, simultaneously, reeducating the world. One of the great problems facing the returned glorified Christ, will be that of reeducating the supposedly educated. These minds — and they are, indeed, the world's finest and best minds — have become so perverted with false education that they will be unable to accept truth until they first unlearn error. And it is at least ten times more difficult to unlearn error, firmly imbedded in the mind, than it is to start from "scratch" and learn new truth. It may actually take them longer to come to a knowledge of truth — to become truly educated — than the illiterate of this world. God's inspired Word, the Holy Bible, is the foundation of knowledge. But they have been trained to hold this true foundation in prejudiced contempt. Yes, indeed, the educating and reeducating of the world will be one of the most important tasks the kingdom of God will face, after Christ returns to rule. Today people follow the false and deceptive values. Their entire thinking will require a reorientation — a change of direction.
A Headquarters Church
We have seen that the earth, after this thousand-year period begins, will be as full of the true knowledge of God as the oceans are full of water (Isa. 11:9). How will this be brought about? The prophet Micah gives part of the answer: "But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it" (Mic. 4:1). Prophecy uses "mountain" as a symbol of a major nation, and "hills" as a symbol of smaller nations. In other words, the kingdom of God, the kingdom of resurrected immortals — the ruling kingdom — will be established in complete authority over the major nations (of mortals) and exalted above the small nations — and people will flow to God's kingdom. Now continue: "And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion [the Church], and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he [Christ] 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" (verses 2-3). This knowledge — this teaching — and even knowledge of God's law — shall go forth from the Church — and from Jerusalem, the new world capital. Christ, himself, will be ruling from Jerusalem. Stationed there with Christ, under immediate direction of Elijah, it is indicated, will be those immortals chosen by Christ to constitute the Headquarters Church. Revelation 3:12 indicates those of the "Philadelphia era" will be pillars in that Headquarters Church. Next, in this all-important Headquarters Church organization, working with and directly under Elijah, it appears, will be the resurrected John the Baptist. He came "in the spirit and power of [Elijah]" (Luke 1:17). Of him, Jesus said, "Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist ..." (Matt. 11:11). He was the Elijah prophesied to come (Matt. 11:7-11). Jesus said that no man who ever lived was greater than John the Baptist. Yet, even the least in the resurrected kingdom will be greater (Matt. 11:11). It is evident that John the Baptist will be placed in very high office. It seems logical that he should be placed with, or immediately under, Elijah.
Elijah to Come in Our Day
Remember, once again, God's principle of duality. As Jesus said in Matthew, the prophecy of Malachi 3:1 applied to John the Baptist in type; but if you will continue reading through verse 5, it becomes very clear that the prophecy is speaking of one to prepare the way before the Second Coming of Christ. John the Baptist was a voice crying out in the physical wilderness of the Jordan River, preparing the way for the First Coming of Christ, as a physical human being, to his physical Temple at Jerusalem and to the physical people of Judah, announcing the advance good news that the kingdom of God would in the future be established. But also preparing the way before his Second Coming was a messenger of whom Elijah was a type. A voice crying out in the worldwide spiritual wilderness of religious confusion, preparing the way for the spiritual glorified King of kings and Lord of lords to come in the supreme power and glory of God to his spiritual temple, the Church (Eph. 2:21), to actually establish the kingdom of God. Further, in Matthew 17:1-8, Peter, James and John saw the vision of Moses, Elijah and Christ glorified in the kingdom of God. Then in verse 10 the disciples asked Jesus, "Why then say the scribes that Elias [Elijah] must first come?" Remember John the Baptist had finished his ministry and had been imprisoned before Jesus even began his ministry. At the time the disciples asked this question, John the Baptist had come and been put to death. Yet Jesus answered, speaking of the yet future, "[Elijah] truly shall first come, and restore all things" (verse 11). This could not possibly refer to John the Baptist. John the Baptist restored nothing, but called on people to repent in preparation for the First Coming of Jesus as a physical human. In the first few years of the New Testament Church, Jesus' true gospel had been suppressed and supplanted with a false gospel — not the gospel of Christ (the kingdom of God) but man's false gospel about a Christ who did away with his Father's commandments. Also Malachi 4:5-6 pictures the Elijah to come at the very end of the Church age — at a time when, if this end-time message were not proclaimed, the glorified Christ would come and smite the world with total destruction. (The word curse in this verse is translated from the Hebrew, which in Moffatt's translation is given the meaning total destruction.)
Education the World Tomorrow
This Headquarters Church, at Christ's own world capital of Jerusalem, then, undoubtedly will be given the administration of the world's new system of education. Also the indication is that the teaching of spiritual truth — of the true gospel, the spiritual conversion of the world — will be directed, worldwide, from this Headquarters Church, under Elijah and the overall direct supervision of Jesus Christ. The principal purpose for which Christ is returning to earth is to spiritually develop in humanity godly character, and to save the world. Most religious people, ministers, and evangelists (fundamentalist) have supposed that this time, now, is the only day of salvation. The verse of Scripture they rely on is a mistranslation (II Cor. 6:2). It should read "a day of salvation," not "the" (quoted from Isaiah 49:8, where it is a not the). If Christ had been trying to "save" the world, he would have saved the world. It hasn't been "saved." God doesn't use a Babylon of confused, disagreeing religious organizations, divided into hundreds of different concepts of theological doctrine, as his instruments. But the real world evangelism will be administered by this Headquarters Church, composed of resurrected immortals, under direct personal supervision of Christ himself. One thing there will not be in the millennial Headquarters Church is a doctrinal committee of intellectual "scholars" to decide whether Christ's teachings are true doctrines. There was no such doctrinal committee in the first century Headquarters Church at Jerusalem. All teaching came from Christ through the apostles — and a few times Christ communicated to apostles via the prophets (of which there are none in God's Church today since the Bible for our time is complete). God's Church today, as in the first century, receives its teachings from the living Christ, through an apostle, just as in A.D. 31. One other tremendous organizational function will be directed from this Headquarters Church — that of direction of all the local churches over the world. These churches will be composed of those who become converted — begotten of God by receiving his Holy Spirit — though still mortal.
Millennial Growth in Knowledge, Overcoming
Just as the converted Christian in this present age must continue to live a life of overcoming, and of spiritual growth and development (II Pet. 3: 18), so will they in the millennium. Happily they then will not have to overcome Satan. But they shall have to overcome all evil impulses, habits or temptations, innate within themselves. With only one Church — one religion — one faith there will be many church congregations in every city, others scattered through rural areas. There will be district superintendents over areas, and pastors, elders, deacons and deaconesses in every local church. This, then, gives an insight into how the world will be organized. This shows how a super world government can, and will, be established on earth. The very purpose of the Church of this present time is to provide God's training school or teachers' college to train in spiritual knowledge, education and godly character, to supply all the positions at the beginning of this wonderful 1,000-year reign of Christ on earth. After the end of this coming millennial rule of Christ on earth, will come the final judgment. I have mentioned in this book that at the time of the first Adam's sin, God closed off from humanity as a whole the "tree of life" symbolizing God's gift of his Holy Spirit and begettal of immortal God-life, until Christ the second Adam shall have replaced Satan on earth's throne and come to reign over all nations on earth. Meanwhile, we have covered how the prophets were a pre-foundation of the Church of God. And the apostle Peter mentioned (I Pet. 4:17) that the JUDGMENT had begun with the Church. Those God has called to come to him through Jesus Christ during this Church age have been here and now judged, during this life. But judgment has not yet come to the world. Does that mean the world is freed to commit sin? Not at all. God allows people to sin, but they are not now as yet judged for their sins.
After the Millennium
Following the millennial reign of Christ and the Church on earth, however, shall come the time of God's JUDGMENT on this world. A criminal may have committed a great crime — even murder. But until caught, and brought to trial before a judge, he has not yet been judged or condemned. In the final judgment, with Christ on the judgment seat, every human who has lived in this world shall be brought back to life (Rev. 20:11-12). They shall then give account for their sins committed in their first life. The dead IN Christ at the time of Jesus' Second Coming shall be resurrected to immortal God-life if they shall have died, and those Still living who are IN Christ at his coming and led by his Holy Spirit shall be changed instantly into immortal God-life. They shall rule and teach with and under Christ during the thousand years. But all others who have died shall not live again until the end of the millennium (Rev. 20:5). The 37th chapter of Ezekiel also shows the resurrection at the time of the judgment. This 37th chapter is the prophecy of the "dry bones." The Bible itself interprets these dry bones in verse 11 where it says these dry bones are the House of Israel: "... behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost ...." Like the prophecy says: "Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: and I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord" (verses 4-6). Next this prophecy tells of the Great White Throne Judgment when this whole house of Israel, who sinned so greatly against God, shall be resurrected. The prophecy continues: "So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. "So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army" (verses 7-10). This shows being brought back to mortal life, sustained by breathing of air, just as in their original life. That is, mortal lifestyle unconverted. Then God says, "Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel." This is the resurrection in the Great White Throne Judgment. All the ancient Israelites are resurrected mortal, precisely as in their first life. Then what? "And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, and shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord" (verses 13, 14). In other words, in the Great White Throne Judgment after the millennium, Old Testament Israel will be resurrected; then they shall come to "know the Lord." God's knowledge will come to them. The resurrected then will read this: "And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have wrought with you for my name's sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord God" (Ezek. 20:43-44). Then upon this repentance, notice again in Ezek. 37:14: "And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord." Thus, in the Great White Throne Judgment, they will come to know that Christ the Savior had come and died for them. And upon their repentance they shall receive the Holy Spirit and with it salvation and eternal life. All who had lived, previously unjudged, not only Israel, but of all nations, will be resurrected MORTAL, physical, as they were in their first life up to the time of death. Those in this judgment will be mortals. They will then give account and be judged. Concerning this Great White Throne Judgment Jesus said: "The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here" (Matt. 12:41-42; also in Luke 11:31-32). Also: "But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city .... But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you" (Luke 10:12, 14). There will be punishments. Those who have sinned little will be beaten with few stripes, but those who have sinned greatly, knowing God's will, with many stripes (Luke 12:47-48). But the penalty for sin is DEATH in the final last judgment. Since all have sinned, all shall be judged guilty and sentenced. But they shall learn that Jesus Christ paid their penalty in their stead. And in repentance, demonstrated by performance, they will be given an opportunity yet at that time to choose LIFE, and be made immortal. What a merciful God is the Creator, whose mercy is as great toward us as the heavens are high above the earth. And he is able to remove our transgressions from us as far as the east is from the west (Ps. 103:12). BUT THERE IS MORE! MUCH MORE!
Incredible Human Potential Revealed
In the book of Hebrews we read: "For unto the angels hath he [God] not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak" (Heb. 2:5). The theme of the context here is "the world to come." There is but one earth, but the Bible speaks of three worlds, ages or civilizations on the earth — the "world that then was" (the antediluvian world from Adam to Noah); this "present evil world" (from the Flood until Christ's return, yet future); and "the world to come" (which will start when Christ comes and sets up the kingdom of God). This verse speaks of angels as if the world had been put in subjection to angels; in fact, in the very beginning of this book of Hebrews, the first chapter, it is speaking of Christ and angels and the relation of angels to humans. This was explained in Chapter 2 of this book. But bear in mind the general theme here, or context, is "the world to come, whereof we speak" — not this present age, now coming rapidly to its end! Continue on in verse 6: "But one in a certain place testified, saying ...." Then follows a quotation from the first six verses only of the eighth Psalm. In this psalm, David continued showing specifically that God has now placed in subjection under man the solid earth, the earth's atmosphere or air, and the sea. But now the writer of the book of Hebrews is inspired to expand David's prophecy to add something radically different — something to happen in the world to come! This revealed knowledge of God's purpose for mankind — of man's incredible awesome potential staggers the imagination. Science knows nothing of it — no religion reveals it, so far as I know — and certainly higher education is in utter ignorance of it. Nevertheless, it is what God says he has prepared for them that love him (I Cor. 2:9-10). I have said before that God revealed necessary knowledge to our first parents, but they didn't believe what he said! Some 4,000 years later, Jesus Christ the second Adam appeared on earth with a message direct from God the Father in heaven, revealing the same necessary knowledge — but only a handful — a hundred and twenty — believed what he said, though many professed to "believe on him" (as in John 8:30-31, 37-38, 40, 45-46). Today science, religion and education still do not believe WHAT HE SAID. But now let's see what is said in this passage in Hebrews, beginning where Hebrews leaves off quoting the eighth Psalm: "Thou hast put all things in subjection under his [man's] feet. For in that he [God] put all in subjection under him [man], he [God] left NOTHING that is not put under him" (Heb. 2:8). Is it possible God could mean what he says ("all things")? Nothing excluded? In the first chapter, the Moffatt translation of the Bible renders the Greek word translated "all things" as "the universe" (verse 8). In other words, for those willing to believe what God says, he says that he has decreed the entire universe — with all its galaxies, its countless suns and planets — everything — will be put under man's subjection. But wait a moment! Before you disbelieve, read the next words in the same eighth verse: "But now we see not yet all things [the endless universe] put under him [man]." Remember (verse 5), this is speaking of the "world to come" — not today's world. But what do we see now, today? "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels [or, "for a little while lower"] for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour." Man, other than Christ, is NOT YET "crowned with glory and honour." But see how Christ is already crowned with glory and honor. Continue: "For it became him, for whom are all things [the entire universe] and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings .... for which cause he [Christ] is not ashamed to call them brethren" (verses 10-11). In other words, Christians having God's Spirit are joint heirs with Christ to INHERIT all that Christ already has inherited. He is now in glory! He has already inherited the entire universe. He sustains it by his power. Man, if he is converted, having God's Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9), is now only an HEIR — not yet a possessor. But see now how Christ already has been crowned with glory and honor — and is already in possession — has already inherited. Begin with Hebrews, chapter 1: "God ... hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things [the entire universe], by whom also he made the worlds; who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding [sustaining] all things [the entire universe] by the word of his power ..." (Heb. 1:1-3). The living Christ already sustains the entire universe by his limitless divine power. The passage continues to show his superiority over the angels — he is the begotten and born Son of God — angels are merely individually created beings. Angels are now administering spirits (invisible to us), ministering to us — to us who are now in lower status than angels — but who are heirs of salvation, when we, like Christ, shall become born sons of God (Heb. 1:4-14).
Outer Space — Planets Now Dead Now put this together with what is revealed in the eighth chapter of Romans. Here it speaks of Christ as God's Son: "... that he might be the firstborn among many brethren" (Rom. 8:29). Humans, having God's Holy Spirit, are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ — who, alone of all humans, has already been born as God's Son by a resurrection from the dead (Rom. 1:4). He is the FIRST of the human family to be born into the family of God — the kingdom of God. He is our pioneer who has gone on before. We shall follow at the resurrection of the just at Christ's return to earth in supreme power and glory. This eighth chapter of Romans, verse 9, says if we have within us the Holy Spirit of God we are his begotten sons, but if we do not have his Spirit we are none of his — not Christians at all. But verse 11 says that if we have God's Holy Spirit growing within and leading us we shall be raised from the dead by his Spirit — (or if living when Christ comes we shall be changed from mortal to immortal). Now continue: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God .... The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ ... also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us ..." (Rom. 8:14-18). Continue, Revised Standard Version: "For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God; for the creation [all the suns, planets, stars, moons] was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God. We know that the whole creation [stars, suns and moons now in decay and futility] has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves [we Spirit-begotten humans], who have the first fruits of the Spirit [the very FEW now being called to salvation — the "first fruits"], groan inwardly as we wait for the [birth] as sons" (verses 19-23). What an amazing marvelous revelation of knowledge! No more amazing, awesome, eye-opening passage could be written! It is so astonishingly revealing, one doesn't fully grasp it just reading quickly through. First I quoted from verse 29 of Romans 8 stating Christ WAS the firstborn of MANY BRETHREN. In Hebrews 1, we see that Christ, the first human to be born by a resurrection from the dead, has been glorified and now sustains the entire universe. He is our Pioneer who has gone on ahead. At his return to earth in power and glory, those who have been converted and received God's Holy Spirit shall be born into the God family by a resurrection. Then the entire universe will be put into subjection UNDER them! Then, from Romans 8, if we have and are led by the Holy Spirit of God, we shall be raised to Spirit composition and immortality in the God family even as Christ was in A.D. 31 upon his resurrection. Now once again from verse 19: "For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God" (RSV). This shall happen after the time of the resurrection, when those who are human actually become — by a resurrection or instantaneous change from mortal flesh to Spirit immortality — sons of God.
Astonishing? — Entire Universe to Be Renewed
Now understand please. Why should the whole universe — the creation — be waiting with eager longing for the actual birth and appearing of all these sons of God, to be born into the family of God? The following verses portray a universe filled with planets in decay and futility — yet as if subjected now to this dead state in hope! "Because the creation itself [the universe not now capable of sustaining life] will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God." How did all the planets fall into the bondage of decay? Surely God did not so create them! Decay signifies a state or condition caused by degeneration and decomposition from a previous undecayed state. God, then, created these planets in a state of NONdecay. But something caused deterioration to set in. What could have caused all this "bondage to decay"? It cannot be the state in which God created them! Everything we read in God's revealed Word about God's creation shows it to have been a perfect creation. The earth was first created a perfect creation of glorious beauty. We see that angels inhabited the earth prior to the creation of man. Angels, who were perfect from the creation until iniquity or lawlessness was found in them, caused the whole surface of the earth to turn into a state of decay, confusion and emptiness, as shown in chapter 2. Could the whole universe with its myriad of other planets have been created for the eventual purpose of sustaining life? We are not told specifically by revelation in God's Word whether it was or not, but what we are told throws additional light on why God decided to create man! Continue this passage in Romans 8:22: "We know that the whole creation [universe] has been groaning in travail together until now." Consider that the creation is compared to a mother about to be delivered of her child. The creation is pictured as groaning in travail in hope (verse 20), awaiting the birth by resurrection to immortality, of the children of God. It is as if the creation is the mother and God is the father. Anyway the whole thrust of the passage is that when we (converted humans) are born of God — then having the power and glory of God — we are going to do as God did when this earth had been laid "waste and empty" — Hebrew, tohu and bohu (Gen. 1:2). Christ, who renewed "the face of the earth" (Ps. 104:30), was renewing what had been destroyed by the rebellion of the sinning angels. What these wonderful passages imply and indicate goes far beyond the amount specifically revealed. This passage indicates precisely what all astronomers and scientific evidence indicate — the suns are as balls of fire, giving out light and heat; but the planets, except for this earth, are in a state of death, decay and futility — but not forever — waiting until converted humans are BORN the children of God; born into the very divine family of God, forming the kingdom of God. Jesus' gospel was the kingdom of God. What I am showing you here is that Christ's gospel of the kingdom actually includes all this knowledge here revealed — even the whole universe is to be ruled by us, who, with God the Father and Christ, become the kingdom of God. God is first of all Creator, but God is also Ruler. And he is Educator, who reveals knowledge beyond and outside the scope of human mind of itself to comprehend! Put together all these scriptures I have used in this chapter, and you begin to grasp the incredible human potential. Our potential is to be born into the God family, receiving total power! We are to be given jurisdiction over the entire universe! What are we going to do then? These scriptures indicate we shall impart life to billions and billions of dead planets, as life has been imparted to this earth. We shall create, as God directs and instructs. We shall rule through all eternity! Revelation 21 and 22 show there will then be no pain, no suffering, no evil, because we shall have learned to choose God's way of good. It will be an eternal life of accomplishment, constantly looking forward in super-joyous anticipation to new creative projects, and still looking back also on accomplishments with happiness and joy over what shall have been already accomplished. We shall never grow tired and weary. Always alive — full of joyous energy, vitality, exuberant life and strength and power!
Earth To Become UNIVERSE Headquarters
Finally, even God the Father will come to this earth. His throne over the whole universe will be established on this earth. Notice in I Corinthians 15:24, after speaking of the various resurrections, it is recorded: "Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power." In Revelation 21:3: "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God." And further in Revelation 22:3: "And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him." When it speaks of God and the LAMB, the LAMB represents Christ and God refers to the FATHER. Finally the at-one-ment shall be completed. Both God the Father and the Son Jesus Christ in us and we united with them as the one great supreme God family. How wonderful beyond the ability of words to express is the glory of God and his wonderful purpose actually now in progress. Praise, honor and glory be to God and to Jesus Christ forever and forever. With God's great master plan of seven thousand years finally completed — the mystery of the ages finally revealed, and with the re-creating of the vast universe and eternity lying ahead, we come finally to THE BEGINNING.
SUGGESTED READING from the published works of Herbert W. Armstrong