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The world is filled with war, terrorism, and threats of more war and terrorism. This has been a constant for 6,000 years. Yet all nations long for peace. Leaders negotiate for it. Millions pray for it. Of course, armies fight for it. Everyone wants it. Yet it remains more elusive than ever.
War is the primary means by which nations have settled disputes throughout history. It is considered a natural state of affairs, while peace has been considered a time of recuperation from the previous conflict, and when preparation is being made for the next war. Georges Clemenceau, the WWI French statesman, said this: “I do not know whether war is an interlude in peace, or whether peace is an interlude in war” (Policies and Opinions at Paris, 1919).
General Douglas MacArthur stated man’s dilemma in stark terms: “We have had our last chance. If we do not devise some greater and more equitable system Armageddon will be at our door” (The Reports of General MacArthur).
But the Bible says world peace will come—and soon.
The presidential historian and columnist Peggy Noonan summarized the jumbled, ugly course that has been man’s history: “In the long ribbon of history, life has been one long stained and tangled mess, full of famine, horror, war and disease. We must have thought we had it better because man had improved. But man doesn’t really ‘improve,’ does he? Man is man. Human nature is human nature; the impulse to destroy coexists with the desire to build and create and make better” (The Wall Street Journal).
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. Neither can leaders end famine, disease, poverty, overpopulation, religious confusion and hatred, as well as every other misery, evil and woe that unchecked human nature can produce.
I repeat: the Bible declares that peace, and solutions to all these troubles, will come—and soon.
Men today are planning a world government behind the scenes—a new world order. Discussions are well underway in certain corners of Europe toward this end. Various treaties are beginning to point the way. The pope is calling for what he called “a true world political authority,” and he added, “with real teeth.”
In 1966, as God began to reveal His truth to me, I had the opportunity to meet with my United States congressman. I had applied to attend the United States Naval Academy. All applicants were required to have a personal interview with their congressman prior to acceptance. When the interview ended, he asked if I wished to ask any questions.
I had only one.
I was learning about a world-ruling supergovernment to be established at the Return of Jesus Christ. So I asked the congressman’s 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.”
This made a lasting impression. I never forgot what a congressman of over 30 years’ experience in the world’s most powerful government stated.
Since that time, many have suggested 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 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 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 the only solution that could bring peace is one world government yet, at the same time, acknowledge this is utterly impossible if left in the hands of men? If men are incapable of governing their own individual lives, how could they possibly govern the entire world?
Man, in his rebellion against God, likes to present his own versions of civilization in the best possible light. In this regard, Ezekiel foretold that modern false religious leaders will declare, “Peace; and there [is] no peace” (Ezek. 13:10). God shows that peace will continue to evade 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 14,500 wars. Someone took the time to carefully count them. But this was in the mid-1960s. How many more have come since? Men seem to invariably go to war in search of peace. Eventually, wars usually come to a truce, which 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. Why?
As part of an extensive prophecy about world conditions in our time, the prophet Isaiah answers: “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” (Isa. 59:8). The solutions of men always lead to more wars, ruin, misery, death and destruction. The apostle Paul quoted Isaiah: “And the way of peace have they not known” (Rom. 3:17).
Recently, I stood at the very lectern in the United Nations General Assembly where so many presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings and popes have called for world peace. I could not help but ask which one had ever made a difference—from 1946 in San Francisco when that institution was founded in the wake of World War II.
The governments of men—all of them—simply do not work. They have never succeeded in finding permanent solutions to what are, for them, insoluble problems. They do not have any of 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 the answer. The truth of the gospel has remained hidden from the vast majority of professing Christians. 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 the gospel is about the Person of Jesus Christ. Certainly, Jesus’ role is enormous, but He is not the gospel. The Bible shows that Christ is preached in conjunction with the gospel.
Others believe gospels of “salvation” or “grace,” or “miracles,” or a “social gospel,” or one about “healing” or “faith.” These are all manmade ideas—NOT what the Bible says!
Mark’s account says this: “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God” (Mark 1:14). That is the gospel Jesus preached. It was in this context that He had said, “Repent, and believe the gospel.” What gospel?—
of the “kingdom of God.” Mark added, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ” (Mark 1:1). 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.
Like a newscaster way ahead of his time, Jesus 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 and sent His 12 apostles to preach, the instruction was to preach about the kingdom of God (see Luke 9:1-2). When He later sent His 70 disciples (Luke 10:1), He also commanded they preach the kingdom of God. Paul preached the same message everywhere he went.
The terms kingdom and kingdom of God are found scores of times through the New Testament. Yet, it is 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. “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 be good news for a mankind that has never known it.
Christ’s disciples asked what would be the sign of His Coming and the end of the age. He warned of deception from many who would come “in [His] Name,” saying, “Christ was Christ” (Matt. 24:5; Mark 13:6; Luke 21:8). He meant that they would put an emphasis on His Person instead of the message He brought. But He also foretold 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” (Matt. 24:14).
We are now in the time of the end. Remember, if the kingdom of God had been preached through the centuries, from Jesus’ time to the present, proclaiming it today could not be a sign the world has reached the end of the age. Grasp this!
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—through The Restored Church of God.
Prior to Jesus’ birth, an angel appeared to His mother, Mary. Here is what she was told: “...the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto...Nazareth, to a virgin...and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, you that are highly favored...you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. 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 forever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:26-33).
Jesus told Pilate, “My kingdom [government] is not of this world.” Pilate asked, “Are you a king then?” Jesus responded, “You say that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world” (John 18:36-37).
Jesus Christ was born to be a King!
Here is what was foretold in Isaiah about Christ: “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, Counselor, 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 forever” (Isa. 9:6-7).
When Christ establishes God’s government on Earth, it will usher in peace for all nations!
Soon the whole world will see this verse fulfilled: “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever” (Rev. 11:15). Just as there is no doubt that countries today represent real, literal, physical governments (kingdoms), this passage leaves no doubt that God’s coming government is also real and literal.
Jesus Christ was born to rule all nations of the earth forever. This is the central theme of the entire Bible. Notice: “And out of His [Christ’s] mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron...and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS” (Rev. 19:15-16).
Have you ever been told about these passages? I never learned or even heard of them in the church of my youth—yet here they are, available with unmistakable clarity.
The capital city of the modern Jewish nation of Israel is Jerusalem. Though this city has known nothing but war, strife and bitter division throughout its history, its name means “city of peace.” This is because Christ will return there to establish His kingdom. The Prince of Peace will rule from the city of peace. Beginning in this single city, peace will spread around the world. Eventually, it will “break out” everywhere!
Final, true world peace and prosperity will come in your lifetime. It is as certain as the Word of God! In the end, the world will not be disappointed! Awesome news lies ahead.
Most assume God is trying to save the world now—that today is the only opportunity for salvation for all mankind. The whole world has been deceived about salvation and the most important questions and answers of life. Most people have no idea why they were born—why they were put on Earth. No wonder they do not understand why man cannot find peace, happiness, health and abundance on his own.
Matthew 24:27 states that Jesus will come like lightning shining from the east to the west. This will be an earth-shattering event no one could miss. But will He come to rule by Himself—or will there be others with Him? We could ask: When Christ establishes His world-ruling government, who else might be part of the structure He establishes? If the governments of men require the efforts of many, who assist a supreme leader, is God’s government different? No!
Let’s examine some of what the prophet Daniel recorded about God’s kingdom.
Just before Jesus’ Return, God officially grants Him the authority to rule the world He is returning to. Notice: “There was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed” (Dan. 7:14).
Again we ask whether Christ rules alone, or are others to rule with Him? Exactly how does God intend to manage all the peoples and nations of Earth?
BELIEVE THIS VERSE FOR WHAT IT SAYS! The ultimate calling of Christians is to join with Christ to share rulership in the kingdom of God over all nations and all peoples. Truly, Christ will be “KING of kings and LORD of lords” (Rev. 19:16).
These other kings and lords can be you or anyone willing to accept God’s terms for entering His kingdom.
Daniel’s prophecy concludes with further confirmation of the marvelous potential ahead for all the true saints of God: “And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him” (Dan. 7:27).
What could be plainer? No wonder Jesus stated, “And he that overcomes, and keeps My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of My Father” (Rev. 2:26), and He added, “To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My throne...” (Rev. 3:21).
The phrase “in My throne” is used because Jesus understood His throne is on this earth, unlike the Father’s, which is in heaven. Luke 1:32 revealed Christ will sit in Jerusalem on the throne of David. (Take time to read this verse.) When Christ returns, the saints will rule with Him—on Earth!—as spirit-composed beings in the kingdom of God.
WHEN Will the Kingdom Come?
All want to know when Christ will return. Recall the disciples asked Him, “What shall be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matt. 24:3).
The entire remainder of Matthew 24 is Christ’s answer detailing many events—in sequence—that would precede His Coming. Referring to the exact time of His Coming, He stated, “But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Matt. 24:36).
Just a few weeks later, in Acts 1, prior to Jesus’ final ascension back into heaven, the disciples proved they still did not either understand or really accept His previous explanation. So they probed further. Notice: “...they asked of Him, saying, Lord, will You at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And He said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in His own power” (Acts 1:6-7). Christ gave them the same answer as in Matthew—“it is not for you to know the times or the seasons.”
Think. The New Testament Church was to be established just 10 days after this encounter (read Acts 2:1). Why would Christ answer, “it is not for you to know the times or the seasons” if God’s kingdom was going to be the Church—as millions believe!—which was to be almost immediately established on Pentecost—just 10 days later?
The same is true for us today. We cannot know exactly when Christ’s kingdom will come, but we can know a close approximation. At the end of Luke’s long prophecy that parallels Matthew 24, Jesus stated, “when you see these things come to pass, know you that the kingdom of God is [near] at hand” (Luke 21:31).
He did want them to know that “you shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you”—but not to know when the kingdom would arrive (Acts 1:8). The same is true for all who are converted today. We cannot know the date of Christ’s Return, but we can know that we will receive power now to grow and overcome—and to preach the gospel of the kingdom of God, until He does return.
False teachers almost universally proclaim that the kingdom of God is now on Earth. Jesus said otherwise—that it would come at His Return.
True Christians are not activists seeking to “make this world a better place”—thereby bringing God’s kingdom to Earth. They have their “feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace” (Eph. 6:15). They walk through life having their “feet” covered with the knowledge of how the true gospel spells the only way to final world peace. They understand with certainty that the kingdom of God—bringing “government and peace”—is coming. They know what lies ahead for this world. They do not go off to serve and kill in the endless, futile wars of men and nations—or participate in the affairs of failing, doomed governments.
They do not take matters into their own hands, and try to supposedly “spread the kingdom,” thereby attempting to neutralize God’s purpose, which is to show man that he is not capable of governing himself!
How can one spread what is not here?
Paul was inspired to write: “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord [the time of God’s wrath] so comes as a thief in the night. For when they [leaders and religionists] shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction comes upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief” (I Thes. 5:2-4). Others, yes—true Christians, no!
All who understand these truths need never again be “in the dark” about God’s Plan—or their awesome potential role within it. A new world order IS coming—but it is far from what men are planning.
Citing Isaiah 52:7, Paul also recorded, “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings [good news] of good things” (Rom. 10:15). He further cited Isaiah: “But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah said, Lord, who has believed our report?” (Rom. 10:16).
Sadly, most people will not believe “God’s report” of what lies ahead for civilization. They will not believe that they are unable to bring world peace through human effort. Many will shout “Peace, peace; when there is no peace” (Jer. 6:14; 8:11)—and most will continue eagerly believing their false predictions, even in the face of abject failure.
The professing Christians of this world will continue desperately striving to bring about the kingdom of God and world peace through organizations and efforts of men. Deceived religious leaders will tell them that this is their “Christian duty.” Vast numbers will see this as the sole mission of their church.
Millions are looking for peace and security around every corner—but they will be bitterly disappointed—in the short term. This is because world conditions, leading into a final devastating period of worldwide calamity, will get infinitely worse before they ultimately get better.
Most people know of what is called “The Lord’s Prayer.” Many can recite it from memory, having practiced this without understanding it is simply a model or guideline for how to pray. I learned it at age four. It begins, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom COME. Thy will be done in earth...” (Matt. 6:9-10). But, of the masses who recite it, how many actually think about the phrase “Thy kingdom come”—or, for that matter, God’s “will [His Master Plan] be[ing] done on earth”?
For 2,000 years, countless millions have sought to follow Christ’s instruction, praying, “Thy kingdom come” without ever really pondering the staggering meaning behind this small phrase. Almost none know He stated just a few verses later, “But seek you first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness” (Matt. 6:33).
I ask: will you do this?
I have barely scratched the surface of this subject. You should want to know more about it—including how you can fit directly into the coming world peace.