The Good News, in conjunction with the Correspondence Course Department, presents brief excursions into the study of the Bible, delving into topics relevant to the development of future members of the God Family. Bible study is one means by which Christians are renewed daily (II Cor. 4:16), so let's refresh ourselves with more of the precious truths of God's Word!
Instructions: The format of these ministudies is similar to that of the Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course. Look up and read in your Bible the scripture references given in answer to the questions. Comments following the questions elaborate on the scriptures just read. That's all there is to it! (These studies are based on the King James Version of the Bible, unless otherwise stated.)
Great statesmen and leading scientists have openly stated that man's only hope for world peace lies in world government — one universal government wielding supreme power and authority over all nations. But these same leaders also admit that the nations could never bring about a world-ruling government. Agreement on who would rule and how would be utterly impossible.
Yet Bible prophecy tells us that world government will soon be established. Jesus Christ is coming again to restore and administer the government of God on earth. And a veritable utopia will result!
Exactly how will God create and maintain world peace once Christ returns? This study will answer that question, as we review several basic scriptures describing what Christ's government will be like in the world tomorrow.
1. Where did Jesus Christ go after His resurrection? Acts 1:11, Rev. 12:5. Will He come again? John 14:3, Acts 1:11.
2. How long will Christ remain in heaven before He returns to earth? Acts 3:20-21. Will He come with great power and glory? Matt. 24:30, Rev. 19:11-16. How will Christ begin to rule the earth? Rev. 19:15.
The glorified Christ is coming to restore the rule of the government of God over all the earth. God's government was taken away from the earth when the archangel Lucifer (now Satan), whom God had made ruler over our planet, rebelled. Satan attempted to dethrone and replace God as ruler of the entire universe (Isa. 14:12-14).
In previous ministudies we covered the dramatic return of Jesus Christ and the awesome, earth-shaking events of the "Day of the Lord," which will precede Christ's return. We learned that earth's inhabitants will refuse to yield to Christ's authority when He returns. Therefore Christ will have to powerfully subdue the world and force mankind, at first, to submit to His rule.
Christ will use a "rod of iron," symbolizing absolute authority. He will rule with power, not hesitating to use it when necessary. Men, influenced by their old habits and attitudes formed in this present evil world of the devil (II Cor. 4:4, Eph. 2:2), will have to be forced to learn the positive fruits of living God's way.
3. Will Christ rule supreme in the coming government of God? Rev. 19:16. Where will His throne — His headquarters — be? Jer. 3:17.
The coming government of God will not be a democracy. Government will be from the top down, with Christ reigning supreme. From His headquarters at Jerusalem, Christ's rule will spread over the entire earth.
4. Will the born-again sons of God — those Christians who voluntarily came under the government of God in His Church and proved their loyalty to God during their mortal lives — assist Christ by reigning with Him in the world tomorrow? Rev. 2:26-27, 3:21, 5:10, 20:4. What did God inspire Daniel to prophesy? Dan. 7:13-14, 18,22, 27. Will many also be rulers over cities? Luke 19:16-19.
5. How will these immortal spirit rulers serve the people? Rev. 1:6, 5:10, I Cor. 6:2.
In the United States today, the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government are separate. Then there is the teaching field, which, in democratic countries, is separate from (though in most cases overseen by) the government.
In God's coming Kingdom on earth, however, these four functions will be united. The God Family establishes the laws (the legislative function). The God Family will enforce the laws (the executive function). It will also interpret those laws and judge cases concerning them (the judicial function). And the God Family will be responsible for the educational function — it will faithfully teach the people God's law, which is the way to peace, prosperity and happiness.
Each divine ruler will serve his subjects in genuine love and concern (I John 4:16), never acting selfishly.
6. How much power will each ruler exercise, under Christ, in his own area? Rev. 2:26-27.
Absolute and definite authority will exist on the spot in all parts of the world. Yet all governmental policies will be based on the pattern laid down from world headquarters by Christ Himself, and each ruler under Christ will be responsible directly to Christ. God's government will be perfectly organized, devoid of useless red tape and excess-baggage bureaucracies.
7. Will this divine government be permanent? Dan. 7:14, 18.
No time or money will be wasted on campaigning and elections. There will be no politicians to cater to special, organized groups or classes to get votes. In the world tomorrow God will appoint His resurrected saints as the rulers and educators, and no lobbyists or other pressure groups will be able to unduly influence or corrupt them.
There will be no insurrections, no rebellions — God can't be overthrown. Satan's failed coup proved that! Nor will any member of the God Family ever turn into another adversary (I John 3:9).
8. Will the nations finally begin to seek Christ and ask for instruction in God's way of life? Mic. 4:1-2. Will people learn the way to peaceful productivity? Verse 3.
Notice again that in God's pattern for world rule, religion and government are not separate. In addition to ruling as supreme king over all the nations, Christ will also be supreme educator.
To bring mankind to repentance, Christ will reeducate the world in His way of life —the way of God's law of love — so people may, of their own free will, decide to follow His way to physical and spiritual blessings.
9. What will happen to those nations that refuse to be reeducated in God's way? Zech. 14:16-17. And if they still won't obey? Verses 18-19.
Christ will start immediately to reeducate the people of the world through His Holy Days. The world will come to know that Christ is the Lord, and that God's master plan teaches the way to physical blessings and spiritual salvation. Those who stubbornly refuse to keep the Feast of Tabernacles will suffer from drought and plagues until they submit to God and keep the Feast.
10. Will God's spirit teachers take a personal part in bringing about complete comprehension of God's law, and in directing people to take right action? Isa. 30:20-21.
God's spirit-born children will be able to appear suddenly or speak as if from nowhere — lawbreakers will freeze in the act and potential crimes will be prevented. Thus, with proper guidance from Christ and with Satan's sinful influence restrained (Rev. 20:1-3), violence and crime will be stamped out.
11. How successful will the priest-teachers be in teaching the knowledge of— God's way to the world? Jer. 31:34, Hab. 2:14, Isa. 11:9. As a result, will the Millennium become like one continual Feast of Tabernacles —one great feast of rejoicing? Isa. 25:6-7.
During the Millennium no religious confusion will exist because Satan will have been restrained at Christ's coming. Humans will then be teachable — their eyes will be opened to God's revealed truth.
People will begin to live God's way of love — the way of giving and outgoing concern for others — the way of true values — the way of peace, of happiness, of well-being, of joy and, ultimately, spiritual salvation.
Next month we'll study conditions on earth after all nations have been reeducated to God's way of life. We'll learn what utopia will really be like!