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The world is filled with war, terrorism, turmoil and confusion. While men have created many amazing technological inventions, they cannot “create” peace. Scientists have unleashed the power of the atom but are powerless to “unleash” peace upon earth. Astronomers have discovered much about the size, majesty and precision of the universe, but they cannot “discover” the way to peace. They can find galaxies far away throughout the universe, but they cannot “find” peace here on earth.
War has been the primary means by which nations have settled disputes throughout history. It has been considered a natural state of equilibrium, while peace has been considered a period of recuperation from the previous campaign, during which preparations are made for the next venture or conquest. A quote by Georges Clemenceau, the French statesman during WWI, accurately reflects this state of affairs: “I don’t know whether war is an interlude during peace, or peace is an interlude during war.”
General Douglas MacArthur eloquently stated mankind’s current dilemma: “We have had our last chance. If we will not devise some greater or more equitable system…Armageddon will be at our door” (April 19, 1951, speech to Congress).
In 1966, as God began to call me into His truth, I had the opportunity to meet with my United States Congressman from Ohio. I had applied to attend the United States Naval Academy and all applicants were required to have a personal interview with their Congressman in the final stages prior to acceptance. At the end of the interview, he asked me if I wished to ask him any questions. Here was a highly respected, long-time member of Congress giving me the opportunity to ask him any question on my mind.
I had only one.
I was learning about the soon-coming, world-ruling, supernatural government to be established at the Return of Jesus Christ. With this on my mind, I asked the Congressman his opinion of one world government, if it were in the hands of men. His answer was immediate and emphatic, “I do not believe it would work, but if I did, I would shout it from the housetops.” He went on to express various concerns.
This made a lasting impression. I have never forgotten my conversation with this congressman of over thirty years’ experience in the federal government.
Since that time, many have suggested that one world government is the only way to world peace and stability. But many questions arise. Who would bring it? How would it be phased in? What laws would it administer? How would they be enforced? Would sovereign nations relinquish their authority to it? Would it succeed, or would it eventually oppress and enslave all mankind? These questions always stop thinkers, planners, leaders and scientists in their tracks!
Therefore, world peace remains as elusive as ever. Seemingly everyone yearns for it, but no one knows how to obtain it. Why? Why cannot the experienced leaders and intelligent thinkers of our time find the way to peace? Why do people understand that the only solution that could bring peace is one world government yet, at the same time, acknowledge that this is utterly impossible if left in the hands of men? If men are not capable of governing their own individual lives, how could they govern the entire world?
Mankind, in its rebellion against God, likes to present his own versions of civilization in the best possible light. In like manner, the false prophets of Israel, as Ezekiel prophesied of our time, are to declare, “Peace; and there was [is] no peace” (13:10). God shows that peace will be elusive to those who forsake His ways.
It has been said that all nations are either preparing for war, at war or recovering from war. It has also been noted that history has recorded over 14,600 wars. And this figure was derived in the mid-1960s. Men seem to invariably go to war in search of peace. But, the outcome of war usually involves a truce, but always fails to yield permanent peace. This is because men cannot, and never will, find the way to peace on their own without outside help. In reality, they have no chance to achieve world peace. Here is why.
As part of an extensive prophecy about world conditions in our time, the prophet Isaiah answers this question: “The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goes there shall not know peace” (59:8). The solutions of men always lead to more wars, ruin, misery, death and destruction. The apostle Paul wrote, quoting Isaiah, “And the way of peace have they not known” (Rom. 3:17).
The governments of men simply do not work. They have never succeeded in finding permanent solutions to what are, for them, insoluble problems. They do not have the answers to mankind’s biggest questions. It has not been given to men to understand the path to peace—or, for that matter, the way to abundance, happiness, health and prosperity. No wonder the greatest thinkers, leaders, educators and scientists have failed miserably in their quest for peace on earth! God has not yet revealed to the vast majority of mankind the solution to its unending wars, and world troubles.
Jesus stated, “Repent you, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). But just what is the gospel? Most never concern themselves with this question. The truth of the gospel has remained hidden from view to the vast majority of professing Christians. Ever since the first century there has been a conspiracy to deceive would-be Christians about the meaning of the gospel. Shocking as it seems, this has happened.
Most believe that the gospel is about the Person of Jesus Christ. Certainly, Christ’s role is enormous, but He is not the gospel. The Bible shows that Jesus Christ is preached in conjunction with the gospel.
Others proclaim a “gospel of salvation” or “gospel of grace.” Still others believe a “gospel of miracles” or a “social gospel” or a “gospel of foods” or of “healing” or “faith.” There are also those who merely think of “gospel music” when the word gospel comes to mind. These are all man-made ideas that are not what the Bible says!
Notice Mark’s account once again! “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God.” That is the gospel Jesus preached. It was in this context that He had said, “Repent you, and believe the gospel.” What gospel?—of the “kingdom of god.” Verse one refers to this very message when it says, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” The gospel of Jesus Christ was about the kingdom of god—not something else! One must believe and understand that gospel to be saved—not a counterfeit or substitute.
The truth of this subject is so important that God inspired Paul to warn the Galatians then—and us today: “I marvel that you are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that you have received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:6-9).
This is a very strong statement! In the next chapter (2:5), Paul went on to stress the hope “that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.” So there is the true gospel, with all others false.
Plainly, Paul never taught a different or additional gospel, as some allege. Ironically, God used him to be the one to warn against ever allowing such false teaching. He even pronounces a curse (1:8) on any man, angel or even apostle—“But though we [apostles]…preach any other gospel”—who chooses to violate this command. What a powerful scripture!
Paul further explained that the apostles were entrusted by God to preserve the true gospel. Notice I Thessalonians 2:4: “But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which tries our hearts.” This is a responsibility not to be taken lightly. True ministers always teach what God commands, not what “pleases men” or Bible “scholars.” So any idea that Paul taught another gospel (usually thought to be about Christ) is silly. He would have been literally pronouncing a curse on himself!
All who preach a false gospel automatically pronounce a curse on themselves. Why do men not fear to do this? Why are so many willing to teach any one of a variety of false gospels? The churches of mainstream Christianity cannot agree on what the gospel is.
Since Christ said the gospel was about the kingdom of God, and men do not know what the kingdom of God is, they have concluded that the kingdom may be a particular church denomination or Christianity collectively.
Others reduce it to a “warm feeling” in the “hearts of people.” Still others believe that it is the “millennium” or even the “British Empire.” Some have even concluded that the gospel of the kingdom of God is not for mankind today!
What incredible ignorance!
The masses are deceived (Rev. 12:9) by the god of this world (II Cor. 4:4), who uses his ministers as instruments to spread the most popular false gospel, about the Person of Christ, instead of the message of the kingdom of God, which Christ brought.
Notice II Corinthians 11:13-15, where Paul wrote, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness…”
This is a blunt, shocking scripture. Yet it is true that Satan has ministers who appear to be the ministers of God.
The following verses continue Paul’s description of the work of false ministers.
Notice: “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that comes [speaking of false preachers] preaches another Jesus…or if you receive another spirit…or another gospel, which you have not accepted…” (vs. 3-4). If Christ IS the gospel, then why are “another Jesus” and “another gospel” listed as two separate problems?
People need to wake up to the deception—the mass delusion—of a supposed Christianity that denies virtually all the plain truths of the Bible! God’s plan for mankind is staggering—incomparable to anything human beings have devised to replace what He says. The world ignores plain, clear, unmistakable scriptures found throughout the Bible about the kingdom of God.
Like a newscaster far ahead of his time, Christ came to make an announcement about a complete change in the way the world would one day be governed. With this change would come unprecedented world peace, and happiness, harmony, universal health and prosperity.
Everywhere He went, Christ spoke about the kingdom of God. It was the subject of most of His parables. When He commissioned His twelve apostles and sent them to preach, the instruction was to preach about the kingdom of God (Luke 9:1-2). When He later sent out His seventy disciples (Luke 10:1), He also commanded them to preach the kingdom of God (vs. 9). Paul preached this same “kingdom of God” message everywhere he went (Acts 19:8; 20:25; 28:23, 31).
The terms kingdom and kingdom of God are found scores of times throughout the New Testament. Yet, it is absolutely astonishing how nearly everyone has lost the knowledge and true meaning of what this kingdom is!
The word “gospel” is an old English word meaning “god spell” or good news. The word “kingdom” is also an old English term simply meaning government. In other words, Christ preached “the good news of the government of God.” The coming of world peace, happiness, health and abundance will certainly be good news for a mankind that has not known it for 6,000 years.
Christ’s disciples asked Him what the sign of His Coming and the end of the age would be (Matt. 24:3). He warned the disciples of deception from many who would come “in His Name,” saying, “Christ was Christ” (vs. 5). He meant that they would put an emphasis on the person of Christ instead of the message He brought. But, He also prophesied that “this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (vs. 14).
We are now in the time of the end. Remember, if the kingdom of God had been preached through the centuries, from the time of Christ to the present, proclaiming it today could not be a sign that the world has reached the end of the age. Impostors and false leaders suppressed the preaching of the true gospel to the world until the 20th century. Starting in 1934, Herbert W. Armstrong began the fulfillment of this prophecy. It continues today—The Restored Church of God is preaching this gospel. (To learn more about how peace will arrive, read my booklet How World Peace Will Come!)