If there is one thing this world has always lacked, it is effective, just government. Every humanly devised system has ultimately failed to bring about permanent peace, universal human dignity, happiness and fulfillment for mankind. And all of man's governments will continue to fail until God replaces them with His own system. What will it be like to live directly under the government of Almighty God?
The line between "civilization" and barbarism is razor thin. The bloodlust of man lurks just below the surface of his psyche. Given the right happenstance chemistry it bubbles to the surface in spates of mayhem, oppression and bloodletting. Wars and rumors of war characterize our violent "civilization" (falsely so called!). The allegedly "free" world is a caldron of violence, crime, graft in high places, government corruption and personal immorality. Racism, political infighting, petty revolutions and serious rebellions generate heartache and despair daily in the human realm. It's better to be free, in the usual sense of the word, than to live under an oppressive, godless, communist dictatorship. I'll grant you that. But what a terrible price we seem to have to pay for our "freedom"! Crime statistics continue to rise with frightening regularity. Governments and political parties, supposedly built upon altruistic platforms of justice and right, seem hopelessly impotent in the face of crime — organized or disorganized. Wherever you go on this vast globe called Earth, you are liable to find yourself in personal danger of some sort. The term "man's inhumanity to man" has become a cliche in the modern world, and it has characterized man's entire history. Who really values any human life except his or her own and the lives of those who make up the empirical self? What government is not willing to stoop to sabotage, murder and mayhem to further its own ends? Why do we need KGBs, CIAs and other clandestine "secret agencies"? Why the pain of Lebanon, Northern Ireland and the nations of developing Black Africa? Why such terror, such suffering, such hideous. indiscriminate bloodshed and hostility? Governments, and conclaves of governments such as the United Nations, seem utterly helpless in the face of world violence and disorder. In fact, they often appear to instigate it! World Out of Order. The "faint high wine of madness" (as one writer put it) is in the air. The world is out of order, out of sync, out of harmony. When we speak of peace we must speak comparatively — not absolutely. When we think of human dignity, we must realize that it is possessed only by a very elite, very tiny minority. The overwhelming majority of the human race lives in squalor, pain and indignity. When, and how, will mankind ever be emancipated from " the human condition"? Not in this age! And not by the governments of man! It will take a greater-than-human Power to rectify the sufferings of mankind. World order can only be brought about by a world government — and a divine one at that. Abraham Lincoln may have been "The Great Emancipator" in terms of America's slaves, but the Creator God will be the greatest Emancipator ever. He will elevate the entire human race, created in His very image, to a new plane of existence. He will progressively bring about an end to the general squalor and indignity that besets humanity. End of War. God, through Jesus Christ, will put an end to war once and for all. An absolute end! War will be banished from the face of a scarred earth. And those scars will be healed. The world will blossom like a beautiful spring bloom and peace will break out everywhere. The human race will for the first time in its history gain a universal concept of why it exists. Mankind as a whole will be given a great transcendental goal toward which it will be encouraged to strive. All humans will be taught to "seek first the kingdom of God" (Matt. 6:33). Spiritual values will replace materialistic goals. Man will be reoriented in a completely new direction. First Comes Apocalypse. But before these utopian conditions can be brought about, there will come a time of apocalyptic happenings so terrifying and mind-boggling that they will be without precedent in human experience. The Kingdom and government of God will not be welcomed to this earth! Notice what is prophesied in the second Psalm: "The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and his anointed, saying, 'Let us break their bonds asunder, and cast their cords from us'" (Ps. 2:2-3). This prophecy concerns the return of Jesus Christ to establish the Kingdom here on earth! The nations of this earth will not welcome that wonderful event. Instead, shockingly, they will turn on their Creator and seek to bite the Hand that has fed them since Adam rose out of the dust of Eden! Man does not want to be ruled by the government of God! In the days of Nimrod, the people of the world built a tower in Babel out of rebellion toward God (Gen. 11). In the days of Moses, the people rejected God in favor of a human spokesman (Ex. 20:18-20). In Samuel's time, the children of Israel rejected divine government in favor of a human king (I Sam. 8:7). And God has given man what he has wanted — human government. And with it enormous tax burdens, military conscription, injustice, crime, war and all of the other attendant evils of human governments! (Samuel warned of this and his warning went unheeded — see I Samuel 8:4-19.) Man, it seems, wishes to be free from God and enslaved to these evils. But freedom from divine government and guidance is no freedom at all. It is bondage: It is suffering. It is pain, heartache and oppression. As Paul wrote: "For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now" (Rom. 8:22, KJV). Man has been consigned to a pain-filled existence until such time as we collectively acknowledge and accept the government of God in the human realm. God will not give man a choice of what kind of government he will have in the world tomorrow. Nor will man be able to select his own leaders. The government and Kingdom of God will be established in power, and Jesus Christ will reign supreme (Mark 9:1). The divine government of tomorrow's world will be authoritarian, yet benevolent. The rule of law and justice will prevail. God's government will take loving care of the sick, the blind and the maimed. Isaiah, prophesying of that glorious Messianic age, wrote: "In that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book, and out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind shall see. The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall exult in the Holy One of Israel. For the ruthless shall come to nought and the scoffer cease, and all who watch to do evil shall be cut off" (Isa. 29:18-20). Twofold Commission. God cares for the "little people" of this world! He will oppress the sinners and avenge the oppressed. He will fight for the cause of the helpless and heal the sick. The Messiah will help the helpless and punish the unjust in that glorious world tomorrow! Christ's twofold commission is summed up by Isaiah: "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good tidings [the gospel!] to the afflicted; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn" (Isa. 61:1-2). Jesus Himself quoted this section of Scripture, in part, in application to His earthly ministry (Luke 4:16-20). But He stopped quoting midway through verse 2! Why? Because the rest of the prophecy concerned His second coming and the Messianic Age! Christ's reign on the throne of David is to be ushered in by "the day of vengeance of our God." Referring back to the previously quoted prophecy in the second Psalm, we can see that Jesus will have to begin His reign by destroying the opposition forces who will be led by Satan the devil (Rev. 19:11). As Jesus and His armies descend to the Mount of Olives on the east of Jerusalem, the kingdoms of this world will gather together against that city (Zech. 14:1). The city will be taken and typically human plundering, pillaging and raping will follow (verse 2). "Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives which lies before Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley.... Then the Lord your God will come, and all the holy ones with him.... And the Lord will become king over all the earth... " (Zech. 14:3-9). From that point onward, throughout all future eternity, the government of God will be established upon this earth and throughout the universe! As God's government, under Christ, spreads throughout the world, the good fruits of peace and harmony will be borne. Isaiah spoke of this utopian time: "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given ; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called 'Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.' Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and for evermore" (Isa. 9:6-7).
"For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called 'Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.' Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and for evermore" (Isaiah 9:6-7).
That is at once a prophecy and a promise. It will occur! The prophecy is sure and it will come to pass. "The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this"! Spiritual Knowledge Explosion. Once the Kingdom is established upon the earth, Jesus Christ will set about disseminating spiritual knowledge. The righteous, holy and just laws of God will "go forth from Zion" (Micah 4:2). The nature of all living creatures will be changed — man and animal alike! Knowledge of God will begin to blanket the earth as the sun rises on the New Age. "The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid.... They shall not hurt or 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). Today we live in a world of spiritual darkness. It's an evil time when God is pushed out of the picture by materialism and spiritual error. In God's world it will be different. Jesus Christ will shine as "the Sun of righteousness," and the gloom of spiritual darkness will be vaporized by the white light of truth. Divine "Medical Plan." This present evil world is a world of sickness, disease and human suffering. Medical expenses are becoming ever more unreasonable and sickness is an ever-present reality for most families. The world is SICK! Jesus Christ will make the medical profession an obsolete occupation! "But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall" (Mal. 4:2, KJV). Isaiah prophesied of that time: "Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing for joy" (Isa. 35:5-6). (A word of caution: Today's world is not "the world tomorrow"! Those who have not the faith to trust in God for healing are not condemned if they avail themselves of the services of the medical profession which is the best help this world has to offer the sick.) In short, Jesus Christ will institute the greatest, universal "medical plan" ever — miraculous, divine healing! As though experiencing a foretaste of tomorrow's world, many today have experienced miracles of healing (James 5:14-15). But such healings are the exception rather than the rule in a world which "has a form of godliness but denies the power thereof' (see II Tim. 3:5). Real healing, on a grand scale, will not be experienced until the government of God is established upon this earth and the knowledge of God is spread abroad. Annual Festivals. According to the prophet Isaiah, the annual festivals of God, originally given to ancient Israel (see Ex. 12:16, 21; Lev. 23), will be observed in tomorrow's world. Even non-Israelite nations will be required to keep those days! Notice Isaiah's prophecy: "From new moon to new moon [month to month], and from sabbath to sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, says the Lord" (Isa. 66:23). Zechariah elaborates in even greater detail: "Then everyone that survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of booths" (Zech. 14:16). (The "feast of booths" is also known as the festival or feast of tabernacles.) Those nations that refuse to observe these festivals, for whatever reason, will be the recipients of divine wrath, according to Zechariah: "And if any of the families of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, there will be no rain upon them. And if the family of Egypt do not go up and present themselves, then upon them shall come the plague with which the Lord afflicts the nations that do not go up to keep the feast of booths. This shall be the punishment to Egypt and the punishment to all the nations that do not go up to keep the feast of booths" (Zech. 14:17-19). (If you would like more information on these annual festivals, be sure to request our free booklet on the subject. Just ask for the booklet on the festivals. Pagan Holidays - or God's Holy Days - Which?) The End of Racism. God's government will bring about cooperation among nations instead of competition. When all nations are dedicated to seeking God, and His will, instead of their own selfish nationalistic ends, a natural spirit of harmony and brotherhood will appear. As Paul said: "... He [God] made from one [Adam] every nation of men to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their habitation, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after him and find him. Yet he is not far from each one of us" (Acts 17:26-27). All of us on this good earth have a common origin — no matter what our color, ideology or creed. We have all descended from Adam, and from Eve, who is called "the mother of all living" (Gen. 3:20). And they were created in the image of God for His divine purposes. In the new world, God will bring about peace among the nations and international cooperation on a scale previously unheard of. All people will become "spiritual Israelites" (see Gal. 3:28-29). There will be no "master race" but the Kingdom of God (Dan. 2:44). As in the community of the Church, all men will be "brethren" (Matt. 23:8). Nations will work together, without feelings of superiority or inferiority, to fulfill God's purposes. Isaiah again sheds light on the international relations of tomorrow's world: "In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian will come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, 'Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my heritage"'! (Isa. 19:23-25). God will call the Egyptians "my people" in the world tomorrow! He will regard the descendants of ancient Assyria as "the work of my hands"! And Israel will be "my heritage"! What beautiful complimentary words! And how much they portend for the future of international relations. The common denominator among all nations will be the worship of the one true God! This will be the catalyst that binds nations together in a bond of brotherhood. The "brotherhood of man" will no longer be a mere slogan or platitude in those days — it will be a reality! Imagine all of the races of man working, worshiping, laughing and playing together under God's sun in a spirit of mutual respect, love and commonality of worship! What a dramatic contrast to today's world of racism, bigotry, intolerance and religious division! But it will take the government of God to bring about that marvelous prophecy of the prophet Isaiah. To Sum Up. The government of God will be a universal theocracy. It will fill the earth and bring about the peace that has escaped mankind throughout his long history. It will be a government of justice, equity and fairness. God is not a respecter of persons. He dispenses justice with equal treatment for all. There will be no favoritism and no prejudice. God will not be guilty of nepotism or injustice. The government of God will be instituted for the good of all. It will be authoritarian, yet benevolent. Programs of ecological reform will bring about a beautiful, verdant refurbished earth (Isa. 35:1-2, 6-7). There will be one God and one religion. Blessings and curses will be dispensed for obedience and disobedience. God will heal and bless the righteous. He will answer the prayers of the faithful. Peace and prosperity will blanket the earth, and the knowledge of God will spread like wildfire. The problems of "this present evil world" will disappear as the influence of the god of this present world (II Cor. 4:4) vanishes from the earth (Rev. 20:1-3). A new, millennial age will dawn. It will be the Messianic Age — the Age of the Messiah. Jesus Christ, and all of the saints, the "firstfruits of the kingdom" (see James 1:18) will reign for a glorious thousand years (Rev. 20:4). But that new age will only come when the Kingdom of God is established upon this earth. Only the Father knows just when that will happen (Acts 1:7). Jesus left word concerning what His followers should do until the Kingdom is established. It is found in Matthew 6:10. He said we should pray: "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."