God Almighty has a master plan for global peace and prosperity. Beware of counterfeits!
Never has there been a time like the 20th century — a time so fraught with fear and uncertainty! This century has experienced widespread unrest and turmoil. It has been plagued by a host of perilous political, economic and social problems. Crisis has followed crisis. Turn time back, for a moment, to the Great Depression, and imagine the scene: In many countries, economic disasters are fueling political pandemonium and social chaos. Unemployment is skyrocketing. Bank failures are increasing. Industrial production is declining. To despairing millions, the years ahead look dark and gloomy. But amid the chaos, a voice is screaming out, offering an elusive hope to frustrated millions, declaring that better times lie ahead, that peace and prosperity are on the way. That voice declares that a new government will soon bring order out of chaos. And that government, it boasts, will rule the earth for 1,000 years! The time is the early 1930s, and the voice is that of Adolf Hitler. Hitler's grandiose promises seduce millions. His play for power succeeds. January 30, 1933, the former corporal and frustrated artist becomes chancellor of Germany. The "Third Reich" has begun. Appropriating a biblical concept, Hitler declares that his accession to power marks the beginning of a glorious thousand year Reich — a Millennium.
Hitler's grand scheme
Few today — five decades later — realize that Adolf Hitler envisioned himself as the one who would personally bring to pass the long-awaited Millennium – the thousand-year Reich. Hitler's thousand-year Reich was the revival of an age-old theme. The German Reich ("Empire") was the oldest surviving political institution in Europe, the bulwark of European civilization for some nine centuries. It was in the year A.D. 962 that Pope John XII crowned the powerful German king Otto as Emperor. That event marked the beginning of the Sacrum Romanum Imperium Nationis Germanicae — the "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation." With Germany as its power center, the Holy Roman Empire bore rule over Europe of the Middle Ages. It was regarded as God's chosen political organization, the "Kingdom of God" on earth, with a mission from God to protect Christianity. Centuries later, in 1806, Napoleon finally swept away the moribund Holy Roman Empire. But following the German victory in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, Germany once again emerged as the dominant force in European affairs. Through the efforts of Otto von Bismarck, the German states were again united into a single Reich, or Empire. But this Second Reich, successor to the medieval Reich inaugurated by Otto the Great, was to last a mere 47 years, until Germany's bitter defeat in 1918. In 1933 Adolf Hitler, using Germany's growing economic crisis as a stepping-stone to power, gained control of Germany, inaugurating the Third Reich of German history. It quickly became clear that Hitler's geopolitical aims far transcended his own country's borders. Hitler held an unshakable conviction that his German Reich would one day rule all of Europe — and from there seize the leadership of the world! He dreamed of a "new world order" that would remake the political face of the earth, with himself at its helm. In 1939 Hitler began in earnest his struggle for the mastery of the world. At the outset of war, Germany seemed almost invincible. Not since the days when the Roman Empire was at its height had one man ruled such vast expanses in Europe.
A different order is on the way
But during those years, another voice was crying out — with a radically different message. "Adolf Hitler has a 'thousand year plan' — his 'New World Order' — which he says he is commissioned by destiny to establish on earth," wrote Editor Herbert W. Armstrong in a major front-page article in the May-June, 1941, issue of the Plain Truth magazine. "He has said it will decide the fate of the world for a thousand years to come. It is the most amazing plan for world rule ever envisioned by man... its purpose is to remake and reshape the political and economic systems of all the earth." Mr. Armstrong continued: "The Nazi Thousand -Year Plan — Hitler's 'New World Order' — proposes to harness on the world a single gigantic union of nations in bondage. Hitler conceives the German, or Aryan, race to be chosen by destiny to rule the world with National Socialism for the next thousand years... the whole world will be completely reorganized, according to German genius for organization and efficiency." But, as that Plain Truth article went on to explain, God had something completely different in mind. True, there would one day emerge a "new world order" on earth — but not Hitler's order!
Man's failed utopias
Adolf Hitler was not, of course, the first to nurture dreams of global dominion. Since ancient times, leaders have sought to carve out great empires for themselves. Their stories have been written in blood across the pages of history. Not all who have envisioned world government, however, have been power-hungry madmen. Many people of reason and integrity have postulated schemes for ideal societies. In 1516 English statesman Sir Thomas More penned a now famous description of an ideal commonwealth governed entirely by reason and free of crime, poverty, injustice and other ills. The name More gave to his imaginary society of ideal perfection was Utopia, from the Greek meaning "nowhere." And well-named it was, for there certainly was no such place anywhere in the world — then or now. Since then, the name of More's fictitious society, Utopia, has been applied to all such idealistic social schemes. Some reformers have even attempted to put their theories into actual practice, gathering followers and organizing "utopian" communities. But all of these efforts failed. Hitler, too, ultimately failed to give Germans the Millennium. His ephemeral thousand- year Reich lasted a scant 12 years, bombed to ruins by Allied forces. But Bible prophecy reveals that man's dreams of world empire are not yet dead. There will yet arise a final ill-fated attempt to gain control over the world. But that, too, will fail totally. The lesson of nearly 6,000 years of human history is clear. Humanly devised "utopias" and "millennia" cannot succeed. They are doomed to failure. But make no mistake: A millennial utopia is on the way — but not one of human making.
World government under God
As Herbert W. Armstrong declared in his 1941 article: "almighty God also has a thousand-year plan for the destiny of earth's nations … and so it stands revealed that Hitler's 'New World Order' is only the devil's counterfeit of the thousand-year reign of Christ!" Few today realize that the Gospel or good news of Jesus Christ was — and is — a message about government. Jesus' message was about a government that will soon rule this world for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:4-6)! His Gospel is the "political platform" for His coming Kingdom — a world-ruling, all-powerful government. Throughout history, this world's political leaders, cut off from God, have not perceived the way that leads to peace (Isaiah 59:8). They have devised their own imperfect governments based on competition and strife, greed and vanity, exploitation and aggression. All have failed. All were fatally flawed. All were counterfeits of God's great plan for world government. But God will not fail. The message of the annual Feast of Tabernacles is that a millennial utopia will be successfully established on earth — soon now! Jesus Christ will return to.the earth and rule with righteousness as King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:11-16). Be sure to read this entire issue of The Good News for more about this wonderful God ordained autumn festival and its great meaning. This magazine, along with The Plain Truth, is proclaiming to all nations the good news of soon coming global peace, prosperity and happiness. The counterfeit utopias that mortals have sought to create through human power will all fail. Only when nations begin to seek God's ways and to obey His law will peace and a true utopia at last fill the earth. For an advance look into this world's awesome future, read our free book The Wonderful World Tomorrow - What It Will Be Like. What a picture. And it is real!