Few people ever think of Jesus Christ as the, Advance Emissary of a world-ruling government. There are millions of people who believe on Christ, who believe Jesus is the Christ, who believe He died for the sins of the world — and yet don't believe Christ. That is, they don't believe what He plainly said in scripture after scripture about bringing a global-governing authority to this earth. Millions of professing Christians are willing to forgive Christ! They are willing to forgive what He said and what He did — and just believe on His person.
They seem to think that Jesus got all carried away with Himself when He talked about a soon-coming global government, about His future rulership and about apportioning positions of responsibility to future kings, presidents, premiers, governors and mayors. All of those scriptures are conveniently categorized as just so much spiritual salt and pepper to flavor "the Golden Rule."
Their enormously practical value to this modern world is all but totally forgotten.
What the World Needs Now. The leaders of the world are groping about for some kind of assurance of human survival! Agreements are arduously negotiated over long, hard, tiresome weeks, months, and even years in some cases. Negotiators tirelessly sweat it out over coffee and cigarettes. Diplomats hop the globe in search of some small vestige of peace. Politicians keep their fingers crossed: they hope that half-insane terrorists will somehow be prevented from pulling the nuclear trigger; they worry about the constant escalation in the number of members in the "Nuclear Club."
People work for peace, they hope for peace and they even pray for peace. And yet there is precious little real peace on this earth. Human survival is threatened fifty times over by the ever-present stark specter of thermonuclear warfare. Brush-fire skirmishes break out here and there all over the globe. The Middle East continually boils over with "rumors of war. " After Lebanon, you wonder which country will be next.
The tortuous twists and turns of international politics are something else again. Africa is a case in point. One military dictator on the continent had the unmitigated gall to tell the United States government that it had to choose between freedom and oppression in deciding whether or not to support "the illegal Rhodesian regime." He forgot to mention that he had recently confiscated virtually all private property in his country and was engaging in a program of "re-education" (a polite word for political incarceration and brutal oppression) of hundreds of its citizens.
Such blatant hypocrisy can only be rivaled by the OPEC minister who dared to tell Washington that it should not use its natural resources as a political weapon (meaning embargoing our food shipments in the event of another oil embargo).
As a matter of fact, the United States government did declare its "unrelenting opposition" to minority rule in both Rhodesia and South Africa (even to the point of the State Department urging the U.S. to join in a total embargo against Rhodesia). At worst we may be looking at a bloodbath; at best the "forced" resettlement of thousands of Europeans currently residing in those two nations. Ever deeper racial polarities in the United States may be another unwanted side effect. Quite a price to pay to help prevent any future Cuban intervention on the African continent. Such are the strange twists and turns afflicting those who are unfortunate enough to be caught up in the confused world of international diplomacy.
Consider the plight of the international diplomat. New despots emerge here and there; guerrilla warfare, political kidnappings, bombings and assassinations pockmark the globe all the way from Central and South America to Europe and beyond. One conflict, as in Angola, seems to spark another like as not on the same continent. Amid the near total dismantlement of the traditional colonial empires, paradoxically you find another giant "colonial" empire emerging, carefully camouflaged by a clever facade of anticolonialism.
The Soviet Union continues to carve out a gigantic, global colonial empire. It has the largest navy the world has ever seen. It has the largest standing army on the face of this earth. Its nuclear capability rivals that of the United States.
The prospects of obtaining a SALT II agreement with the Soviet Union are bogging down. U.S. options for solving Middle Eastern problems appear to be painfully limited. Africa is in ferment in the aftermath of Angola.
The piecemeal efforts of even very dedicated and partially successful ambassadors, envoys and diplomats are somewhat discouraging at best.
The Only Answer. Every thinking person seems to know that the only ultimate solution to our deep-seated global problems is the creation of a super government, a supranational authority that would constitute a world-ruling government.
Many famous politicians, statesmen, presidents, prime ministers, scientists and leaders of world bodies have echoed this solution over and over again until it begins to sound like a broken record. I have quoted their words verbatim on many a radio and television program, on evangelistic campaigns and in the pages of The Plain Truth magazine. (See the accompanying box for a small smattering of these authentic quotations from famous men who seem to speak as with one voice.)
Virtually all statesmen recognize the stern fact that one worldwide government is the only permanent solution to man's ills. They know that only a super-global government, embodying all nations, with world courts, world laws and a world police force, could ever succeed.
And yet, they also know that such a government in the hands of men is impossible I Should it ever happen, it would be a nightmare of hideous proportions. For confirmation of this fact, we need to look back no further than Hitler. If he had succeeded in ushering in his 1,000-year Reich, the world would have been bathed in blood for decades. It would have been dragged through a new Dark Age of horrible repression, religious martyrdom and "big brotherism" — the likes of which can only be envisioned by reading George Orwell's 1984 and Fox's Book of Martyrs.
So national leaders acknowledge on the one hand that world government is an absolute necessity for human survival, and yet on the other they admit it is an impossibility in the hands of men.
If they would only be willing to take one step further and conclude that world government taken out of the hands of humankind is the only solution. A national news magazine came the closest to this conclusion about a decade ago. It talked about the world needing "a Strong Hand from Someplace."
The Dream Has Never Come True. From time immemorial, humankind has dreamed of putting together some sort of a global authority. And each and every time, some one or some thing has come along to thwart every single human attempt. God Himself frustrated mankind's first organized try at the Tower of Babel by confusing oral communications.
Then, each in its turn, beginning with ancient Babylon, followed by Persia, Greece and the Roman Empire (with its many revivals), first tried and then eventually failed to glue a global community of nations together.
The first serious modern attempt at some form of world government was the League of Nations. However, the seeds of collapse were sown in the League at its very creation. The short-sightedness of Western allies resulted in the terrible inadequacies of the Treaty of Versailles. Intolerable political and economic concessions were abruptly demanded of Germany following her defeat in World War I. Included in the demand for reparations was the stripping away of her entire colonial empire — all her East African colonies, all her eastern European possessions, and all her South Sea holdings. The League's effectiveness was also torpedoed by the lack of U.S. support, influence and active participation following the death of Woodrow Wilson. Subsequent failure to meet the Nazi threat sent the League into permanent political oblivion.
Enter the Atlantic Charter amid the battles of World War II. The provisions of this Roosevelt-Churchill pact proved to be the forerunner of the United Nations charter in 1945. Leaders of nations (great and small) assembled at the world conclave in. San Francisco. Great statesmen there called the United Nations the world's "last chance" for peace. And truly this world body does represent man's greatest single effort in all history to bring all nations together in mutual understanding and cooperation.
What has happened in the thirty years since is true testimony to its real effectiveness. The veto provision in the Security Council and the "one nation-one vote" concept in the General Assembly built in the bitter fruits we see today. All the good the United Nations has done in relieving suffering around the globe (i.e., UNESCO, UNICEF, WHO) has been more than overbalanced by its failure to alleviate discord and enmity between nations.
So far no national government or international body in the history of this world has ever brought its people lasting peace, prosperity and happiness. True, certain governments have succeeded in achieving dizzying military conquests and glamorous economic heights. But each, in its own turn, tottered and toppled, leaving only the splintered shards, ruined buildings and dust-covered monuments to mark its passing.
Further, this war-weary world seems, at this moment, further from the dream of world peace, harmony and understanding between nations than it has ever been. The dream has never come true!
But the imperative for world government is now greater than anytime in history. The stage is set. Enter a message from outer space from that "Strong Hand from Someplace."
The Destiny of the Christ Child. Today the Christian religion is based upon the worship of a personality. The message that personality brought has long since been lost track of. The emphasis begins in the Christmas season with the birth of "a little Lord Jesus away in a manger" and ends in the Easter season picturing His death hanging on a cross. There is precious little in between.
It all begins with little school children annually reenacting the story of the Christ child's birth in pageants and plays complete with all the accoutrements of the nativity scene. Somewhere in the story appears a little boy dressed up in "angel's wings." He pipes up and says: "Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus" (Luke 1:31). Though the rest of the archangel Gabriel's message may then be read, the comprehension generally comes to a halt right there — robbing the annunciation or announcement of Jesus' birth of its real, intended impact. All the ceremony and folderol has obscured the real message almost beyond belief.
But read on: "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" (verse 32). To most people this scripture means anything but what it plainly says. The popular interpretation revolves around a nebulous, ethereal, wishy-washy, "never-never," "spiritual" kingdom in the hearts of men. That it could mean a never-ending literal kingdom with real subjects, actual territory and tangible laws has simply never occurred to the majority of Western churchianity.
But the biblical meaning of this scripture is very literal and very precise! Contrary to the suspicions of some secular historians, King David was a real person who occupied a real throne on this earth in an ancient nation called Israel. The Davidic Covenant consists of a decree or statement that God made to David that his throne would never perish from the earth — so somewhere, somehow that throne still exists on this earth today (see Psalm 89). Jesus Christ of Nazareth is of the lineage of the House of David (see Luke 3 and Matthew 1). So far, so good. It all comes together in a literal sense!
Now, according to the seventh chapter of the book of Revelation, the twelve tribes of Israel will still be extant at the second coming of Christ in numbers no less than 12,000 strong in each tribe. There is the biblical proof that a resurrected, literal, living Christ could rule over the House of Israel forever.
Supporting Scriptures. The cast of supporting scriptures is a huge one. Seven hundred years prior to the birth of Jesus, the prophet Isaiah predicted: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever" (Isa. 9:6-7).
In Matthew 2:2, Jesus is called the "King of the Jews." In Micah's prophecy (quoted in Matthew 2:6), He is called a governor or a ruler of the people of Israel. Micah wrote: And you, Bethlehem Ephratah [the place of Jesus' birth], you who are little among the thousands of Judah, out of you shall come forth to me to be ruler of Israel, he whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting" (Micah 5:2). The apostle John tells us of a woman (biblical symbol for a church) who "gave birth to a son, a maje child, who is to shepherd all the nations with an iron flail [rod]..." (Rev. 12:5, Moffatt translation ). The prophet Zechariah says He will "be king over all the earth" (Zech. 14:9). These scriptures expand Christ's Kingdom far beyond the borders of ancient Israel to every nation on earth.
Jesus Christ of Nazareth was the promised descendant (called in the Bible "seed," "root," and "Branch") of David whose ultimate destiny is to fulfill Jeremiah's prophecy: "Behold, the days come... that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel' shall dwell safely ..." (Jer. 23:5,6).
Encounter with Pilate. Millions have misunderstood the timing of the arrival of the Kingdom of God. Motion pictures, passion plays and television screenings of the crucifixion sometimes reenact scenes showing Jesus being spit upon, clothed with a purple robe and coronated with a crown of thorns. The obvious intent is to ridicule the idea that Jesus had come as a conquering king to set up a kingdom then — by those who tend to disbelieve in His divinity and Messiah ship now.
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder.... Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end." His last hours with Pontius Pilate — the Roman ruler — do in fact reveal that He came two thousand years ago only as the Advance Emissary of the coming Kingdom of God.
Pilate was in a political quandary — between a rock and a hard place — over the illegal trial of Jesus Christ. His wife had had some strange dreams. He sensed that Jesus was not guilty and that political motives and professional jealousy were the real reasons behind His indictment. Yet Pilate feared that the chief priests would stir up a riot and the Roman government would "have his head" if he intervened too strongly on Jesus' behalf.
The famous conversation begins in John 18:33: " Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?" Jesus was aware of Pilate's previous meetings with His accusers, so "Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?" (Verses 34-35.)
Then Jesus Christ answered Pilate's original question directly: "My kingdom is not of this world [this age, this system, this society — Greek, cosmos]: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence " (verse 36).
By now Pilate is really puzzled. He knew that they were discussing a real, literal kingdom — not some kind of ethereal " in-your-heart nothingness." And yet Jesus told him that He possessed no kingdom then — He was not exercising kingly prerogatives and authority over real, live subjects at that time.
Pontius Pilate simply couldn't grasp a king without a kingdom, so he repeats the original question: "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..." (verse 37). Jesus Christ of Nazareth plainly understood the long-run purpose of His birth as a human being — not just the fact that He was to die for the sins of the world. The prophecies of His eternal kingship by Isaiah and the angel Gabriel were not in vain.
But that Kingdom would never put in an appearance until the end of this present age of man — or "present evil world " as the apostle Paul later described it.
Whether Pilate ever did "tumble". to what Jesus meant is a moot question. But judging by what transpired afterwards, Pilate apparently at least halfway believed Him. After they had hung Jesus upon the stake, "Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he [Jesus] said, I am King of the Jews" (John 19:19-21).
The chief priests and the Jewish nationals had previously shouted: "We have no king but Caesar" (verse 15). They simply didn't want Jesus recognized as their king. However, Pontius Pilate was adamant and said: "What I have written I have written" (verse 22).
"Thy Kingdom Come." The people of Jesus' generation, because they misunderstood the timing of many of the Old Testament Messianic prophecies, never did seem to get the true time factor of the Kingdom of God straight.
The parable of the pounds is a case in point: "And as they heard these things, he [Jesus] added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they [erroneously] thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear" (Luke 19:11).
Later, just before Jesus' ascension to heaven, the disciples were still very anxious about exactly when the Kingdom of God would actually come to this earth: "When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he [Jesus] said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power" (Acts 1:6-7).
Notice that at no time did these discussions revolve around the Protestant concept of an ethereal "kingdom in your heart." Always they would talk about a literal kingdom with a literal king!
What was one of the cardinal points that Jesus told His disciples to pray about regularly as a major portion of their daily prayers? Simply: "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven" (Matt. 6:10). Do you think Jesus Christ would. ask His followers to pray for a kingdom to come that was already here? Is the Father's will being done on earth now as it is in heaven?
Anyone who has been reading The Good News very long knows that this is not God's world, but Satan's (see Rev. 12:9; II Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:2; etc.). God's will is not literally being done on this earth today except in the overall sense of His great long-term purpose.
Plainly, the Kingdom of God has not yet come to this earth!
A Global Issue. The good news of the coming government of God is a huge, broad global issue. It is not a "religious issue" in the traditional sense. What is "religious" about human survival? What is "religious" about all the worldwide reforms that must take place if the human species is to survive? Never forget that these biblical scriptures I quoted in this article have everything to do with this problem-prone world in which we now live.
The Kingdom of God is running on a campaign of global reforms.
"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... of his kingdom' there shall be no end." Its coming promises to solve the age-old problems of feeding, clothing, housing and educating humankind. It involves the total abolition of military conscription.. It involves fundamental agrarian reform, a parcel of land for every family, the complete abolition of the present prison system, full employment, linguistic reform, and perhaps most important of all, religious reform. In fact, it absolutely guarantees man's first utopian state since the "microcosmic" Garden of Eden.
The United States of America is currently going through the long, tiresome exercise of choosing its Presidential candidates for the November election. Richard A. Falk, professor of International Law and Practice at Princeton University and. a Senior Fellow at the Institute of World Order, had something very interesting to say about the qualities we need in a President: "That person should be the next President who can begin the process of coping with the world order crisis in a positive manner. As yet, no political leader of national stature. has done more than merely acknowledge the dangers generated by the interplay of such trends as population growth, mass poverty, ecological decay, political repression, and spreading technologies of mass destruction.... We desperately need leadership that can awaken the American people to the magnitude of the challenge without generating a sense of anxiety and helplessness.
"We need, in other words, a President who can begin the process of adjustment that involves a series of difficult moral and political choices about the direction of national development.... The effort to reorient national development should proceed within a far wider framework of global reform.... Hence I envisage the process of adjustment ... on the global level by increasing supranational authority and coordination of specific tasks (managing the oceans, distributing food and capital, overseeing the disarmament process, protecting the environment)" (Worldview, April 1976, pp. 9-10, emphasis mine throughout quote).
Is anyone of our present crop of candidates able to effectively initiate such a "process of coping" with our incredible, unbelievable domestic and international problems by successfully reordering our national priorities? The answer is all too obvious. Such a gigantic task is simply "beyond the ken" of one man in this super-complex space age.
Professor Falk also said in the same article: "...This positive national mood can evolve only if the Presidential leadership can project an image of a new political order organized around a set of positive values — peace, economic well being for all, widespread realization of human rights, ecological balance — anchored finally in a cohering new pattern of identity and loyalty that is expansive as to both time and space. This pattern of identity and loyalty depends on seeing the planet from afar as a whole and upon a sense of destiny that extends concern forward to future generations. It is, in other words, a call for spiritual or religious underpinning to guide and sustain the new focus of political energy."
Utopia can never be brought about by leaders without an overview or a view from afar. In fact, man has never been able to marshal forth the proper mental attitude and broad capacity to bring about a human millennium here on earth.
And more importantly, utopia can never happen without leaders possessing a strong spiritual capacity. This is perhaps the greatest lack in our modern world.
If a Presidential candidate ever comes along with the wisdom of Solomon, the patience of Job and the mercy of Christ, then I guarantee you that I will vote for him. I would campaign for such a candidate with every fiber of my being. I would use all of the media tools at my disposal to get such a man elected.
Trouble is, Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the only Being who has ever been flesh and blood who possesses all of these qualities! No other man ever has!
Jesus Christ has the overview! He literally sees this planet from afar. He is the Visitor from Outer Space who knows just what this earth needs! This is why this world desperately needs Jesus Christ of Nazareth! Only He can bring it the Kingdom of God! Did you know He offers you a chance for citizenship in advance?
WORLD GOVERNMENT: NEEDED FOR HUMAN SURVIVAL
Jesus Christ of Nazareth: "And if those days had not been shortened, no human being would be saved" (Matt. 24:22).
Albert Einstein: "In the light of new knowledge, a world authority and an eventual world state are not just desirable in the name of brotherhood, they are necessary for survival."
Norman Cousins: "The management of the planet, therefore, whether we are talking about the need to prevent war or the need to prevent ultimate damage to the conditions of life, requires a world government. Humanity needs a world order."
Winston Churchill: "Unless some effective world super-government can be brought quickly into action, the proposals for peace and human progress are dark and doubtful."
Clement Attlee: "The world needs the consummation of our conception of world organization through world law if civilization is to survive."
Joseph Rotblat, Polish-born physicist who helped develop the first atomic bomb: "Some sort of world authority must be found. I can't see any other way of the world surviving."
Edward Teller: "Some form of supranational government is absolutely necessary if the world wants to end the danger of nuclear war..."
Hans J. Morgenthau: "There is no shirking the conclusion that international peace cannot be permanent without a world state, and that a world state cannot be established under the present moral, social, and political conditions of the world. There is also no shirking the further conclusion that in no period of modern history was civilization more in need of permanent peace and, hence, of a world state...."
Charles E. Osgood of the University of Illinois: "What we need, and that most urgently, is an enlivened search for new alternatives of war as a means of resolving human conflicts. A world government may be the only permanent solution."