Today, more than ever, this world sorely needs equitable global government. But how will it be established?
IT WAS almost 40 years ago. A war-weary and emotionally drained world in 1945 looked forward to a real respite from war. And to many, it seemed possible. The leaders of the three great world powers — the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union — seemed to be cooperating and working together to heal the war-torn lands of Europe, Asia and North Africa.
The U.N. Is Born
Hopes for lasting peace soared with the establishment of the United Nations shortly after the close of the second global conflict. The founders of that institution even tacitly embraced one biblical prophecy as its motto: "They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (Isa. 2:4). But sadly, the great international experiment in world government became little more than a forum to hear grievances and propaganda. At the time the U.N. was formed, who would have believed that in the decades following its establishment, thousands would perish in Asian, African and South American conflicts? That nuclear war would only narrowly be averted in the early 1960s? That an unexpected bloc of nations, known today as the Less Developed Countries (LDC), would regularly be unable to repay their debts? Today, the problem of government remains. Pick any continent and you'll find aristocracies, communist societies, democracies, dictatorships, monarchies, socialist societies and theocracies. Instead of the U.N.'s avowed motto described in Isaiah 2:4, humanity now faces the opposite condition, foretold in Joel 3:10: "Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak [Third World nations] say, 'I am strong.'" Through the terrifying proliferation of nuclear weapons, the approaching fulfillment of these words is upon us! Look first at what humanity can do! This century has seen much of humanity enjoy a life-style our ancestors would have thought impossible. Today, it's taken for granted that we can pick up a phone and call a friend living in Europe or Asia. We expect the televised evening news (itself an electronic miracle) to include on-the-spot live reports from some far distant land. Or that one can, by way of air travel, in a matter of mere hours personally strike a business deal with a firm hundreds of miles away. At the same time, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) space shuttle may be performing sophisticated experiments in orbit 700 miles above the earth. Or the Soviets will set a new record for time spent by humans in a space station. Or an infrared orbiting telescope may discover unexpected knowledge about a nearby solar system. In sharp contrast, a domestic jet liner carrying 269 passengers is blasted out of the sky. Small nations in Latin America divert desperately needed moneys for industrial and educational development into military hardware purchases. And babies gasp their last breath before succumbing to severe malnutrition in Africa and other continents. For all humanity's awesome technological capacity, the specter of starvation, bloodshed and anarchy continues to haunt governments worldwide.
What IS the Hope of the Future?
Lenin once said that political refugees vote with their feet. If so, there now is a thunderous cacophony, worldwide, of nearly nine million political refugees sounding forth the basic inability of man to govern himself! Amid the paradox of technology and human suffering, the voice of the prophet cries out, "The way of peace they know not" (Isa. 59:8)! One U.S. newsmagazine put it this way: "The dominant view is coming to be that the problems of the world may be too deep-seated to be controlled except by a strong hand from someplace." Many prominent scientists, politicians and world leaders are calling today for what would be the only effective guarantee against absolute nuclear devastation: world government. Their reasoning is well summed up in this statement by the late Albert Einstein: "I am definitely not of the opinion that the danger of war can be eliminated without world government. Without such a concrete safeguard, the arms race and, ultimately, world war are inevitable. "To 'outlaw' anything is of no value," he continued. "We know from long experience... that without safeguards such obligations, however honestly intended, are not honored in the event of war." Even at the birth of the U.N., many remained skeptical of its value. Covering the birth pangs of the U.N. in London, a reporter for The New York Times wrote, January 10, 1946, that "fifty-one nation s of the greatest war-time coalition in history... started today another chapter in man's melancholy search for peace and security." After thousands of years of yearning for peace, is that the best humanity has to offer? A "melancholy search for peace"? After a plea for world unity by then British Prime Minister Clement Attlee, the first meeting of the United Nations General Assembly quickly disintegrated into an ugly political floor fight as superpowers struggled to install a president of the assembly that would favor their own personal interests. So much for "beating swords into plowshares." It was merely a taste of the bitterness that was to come.
What We Have Come To
What do we face today? "We hold this entire terrestrial creation hostage to nuclear destruction, threatening to hurl it back into the inanimate darkness from which it came," declares author Jonathan Schell in his best-selling book The Fate of the Earth. "Indeed," he continued, "if we are honest with ourselves we have to admit that unless we rid ourselves of nuclear arsenals a holocaust not only might occur but will occur — if not today, then tomorrow; if not this year, then the next. We have come to live on borrowed time: every year of continued human life on earth is a borrowed year, every day a borrowed day" (emphasis his). Mr. Schell's solution: "Today the only way to achieve genuine national defense for any nation is for all nations to give up violence altogether." Further, he calls for a new world order: "We must lay down our arms, relinquish sovereignty, and found a political system for the peaceful settlement of international disputes." Governments are ultimately responsible for whatever good or evil society attains to. But in response to Mr. Schell's solution, the question must be asked: What human government is great enough to bring peace, prosperity and joy to the human heart? What human government can guarantee safety from nuclear extinction?
Let's Be Honest!
Alexander Solzhenitsyn, in a now-famous address at Harvard University, put it this way: "I have spent all my life under a Communist regime and I will tell you that a society without any objective legal scale is a terrible one indeed. But a society with no other scale but the legal one [as in the United States] is also less than worthy of man. A society based on the letter of the law and never reaching any higher fails to take advantage of the full range of human possibilities." Even the ancients deeply pondered the question of right government. Writing some three centuries before the birth of Jesus, the Greek philosopher Aristotle said, "Our purpose is to consider what form of political community is best." Do you know what he concluded? After painstaking, careful analysis, Aristotle finally arrived at the conclusion that all human government is a patchwork of flaws, capable of devastating failure: "The perversions [of human government] are as follows: — of royalty, tyranny; of aristocracy, oligarchy; of constitutional government, democracy. For tyranny is a kind of monarchy which has in view the interest of the monarch only; oligarchy has in view the interest of the wealthy; democracy, of the needy: none of the common good of all." Note his further comment: "We maintain," wrote Aristotle, "that the true forms of government are three, and that the best must be that which is administered by the best, and in which there is one man [monarchy], or a whole family [oligarchy], or many persons [democracy], excelling all others together in virtue...." What government today could be thought of as that virtuous? The Bible, a reliable record centuries more ancient than Aristotle, put it in these plain words: "The God of Israel said... He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God" (II Sam. 23:3). But what did this same ancient record authoritatively declare the human condition would be in this present age? "No one calls for justice, nor does any plead for truth. They trust in empty words and speak lies..." (Isa. 59:4, Revised Authorized Version). The result? "So justice is driven back.... Truth is nowhere to be found" (verses 14-15, New International Version). The Bible often refers to "the heart" when it speaks of humanity's underlying motivation. What does the Bible reveal about humanity's basic motivation? "The [human] heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceeding weak — who can know it?" (Jer. 17:9, Jewish Publication Society trans.)
The Answer Is Spiritual
Man, it seems, has not realized that the cause of his social, economic and political problems is spiritual in nature. But philosophers, politicians and social scientists do not understand spiritual matters — they understand only the intellectual and material. And even this world's religions have failed to grasp these spiritual principles. Mr. Schell concluded his book The Fate of the Earth by stating: "Two paths lie before us. One leads to death, the other to life." He concluded with a plea for disarmament. But we're PAST the time when disarmament would be of help. Human disarmament, in the long run, only opens the door for another dictator armed with a number of nuclear devices to enslave the world. There's no way to stuff the nuclear genie back in the bottle. But humanity is at the crossroads — there are but two choices open to man. They were set before the first two created human beings. They were set before the ancient nation Israel. And today, in your sight, they are set before you! God himself cries: "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; THEREFORE CHOOSE LIFE, that both you and your descendants may live" (Deut. 30:19, RAV). What is this way of life? It's the way of life soon to engulf this earth — a way of life that Jesus Christ came to earth as a human being to announce. It's the way of life known as the KINGDOM OF GOD — a literal world-ruling government headed by none other than Jesus himself! Mythologic fantasy? Hardly. It was here before humanity was created. And it will soon be restored 'to this earth (Acts 3:19-21). (If you'd like an authoritative account explaining who first put the government of God on this earth and what happened to it, read our free booklet Never Before Understood - Why Humanity Cannot Solve Its Evils. Humanity could never fully establish a world-ruling government without incredible violence. And even if it were established, it would soon break up from nationalism (see accompanying box). You cannot vote the kingdom of God into political power. It will be established regardless of whether humans approve or disapprove. One major U.S. newsmagazine recognized the only real solution a few years ago when one of its editors wrote that a "strong hand from someplace" is necessary to rescue humanity from its unsolvable troubles. And that's exactly what will happen! "Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him..." (Isa. 40:10). Jesus Christ will return — when man is poised to annihilate himself — and set up a world-ruling government that will end war, unhappiness and misery (Rev. 19:11-21). Christ will have to — force humanity to live the way that brings happiness.
No Need for Today's Suffering
Ironically, humanity could bypass all its present miseries and the potential for nuclear destruction by embracing God's revealed way of life now. Obedience to God's way of life would immediately net wide-sweeping blessings. God asks today, as he has in the past, for a total change of mind — a commitment to his way of life. In the Bible this change is called repentance. But why must there be repentance? And what must people repent of? We must repent of sin — the breaking of God's law (I John 3:4). "The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated [Authorized Version: "changed"] the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant" (Isa. 24:5, NIV). The laws of God — expressed in the summary 10 points called the Ten Commandments — are LIVING laws. To the minority who change their ways now and begin to earnestly obey God and his laws, God promises protection from the coming nuclear holocaust (Rev. 12:12-14). If you're interested in reaping the physical and spiritual benefits God promises even in this life, write for our free booklet The Ten Commandments. In his first, inspired sermon, the apostle Peter gave some of the most relevant and important advice for us today: "'Save yourselves,' he cried, 'from this crooked generation!'" (Acts 2:40, Moffatt trans.) No advice is more timely!