How to Pick the Perfect President


How to Pick the Perfect President

A view of American democracy from higher up
From the June-July 2008 Trumpet Print Edition

The longer the two Democratic presidential contenders lock horns, the more ugly revelations about them surface. Meanwhile, Republicans have ended up with a candidate reviled by many prominent conservatives. By the time America’s election rolls around in November, about a billion dollars will have been spent to empower an individual whose flaws and dirty laundry will have been the subject of public scrutiny for months—an individual whom roughly half of the electorate deeply opposes, and many of the other half are simply settling for.

Power to the people.

This is the approximate system of government, by the way, that America proposes to export to some of the most ideologically hateful and violent nations on Earth in order to solve the problems of the world.

Have you ever asked what God thinks of all this?

Does God believe in “power of the people”? Does He influence the outcomes of elections? Does He even care who assumes big governmental offices?

Most people would not even presume to guess. But answers to these questions do exist. They are plainly revealed in Scripture—it’s just a matter of whether we are willing to accept them.

God Is Supreme

The Bible makes clear an important truth—something the average independently minded voter would be loath to accept.

Who really chooses world leaders? Is the ballot truly the ultimate authority in American democracy? According to God’s Word, the answer is no.

The ultimate authority over all governments, worldwide, is God. Every election, every appointment, every coronation, every revolution, coup and political mutiny—in every country and throughout history—God has allowed, or influenced, or orchestrated to the detail.

The Prophet Daniel explained as much, codified as part of inspired Scripture, in this statement he made to the most powerful of world leaders in his day, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon: “[T]he most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men” (Daniel 4:17).

The Apostle Paul supported the same doctrine in the New Testament, in a letter to Church members in Rome—the epicenter of the mighty Roman Empire, even the world, at the time: “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God” (Romans 13:1).

In other words, there is no world leader that doesn’t owe deference to God as the source of his power.

How many heads of nations, not to mention the masses that elect them or otherwise pay them homage, understand this point of truth?

Read for yourself what the Prophet Isaiah quotes this great God Himself as saying: “To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. … I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me” (Isaiah 40:25; 46:9).

Presidents, prime ministers and kings contrive great plans and frame elaborate policies, convinced of their own preeminence. Here is how the supreme Creator God describes their schemes: “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord …” (Psalm 2:1-2). And how does God then respond? “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. … [God] shalt break them with a rod of iron; [He] shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling” (verses 4, 9-11).

What does God think of our democratic system? The best answer is that He looks down upon any government or leader that refuses to acknowledge His supremacy. God would shower favor and blessings upon a democracy or other nation that truly recognized its indebtedness to Him and set its heart to obey Him. But when it doesn’t, His judgment is justly severe.

“Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. … All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity” (Isaiah 40:15, 17).

God “bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. … [He] shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble” (verses 23-24). The authorities of this world would be well advised to heed the warnings of this mighty Being, who claims indisputable superiority over the greatest of superpowers.

Do you believe these scriptures?

What does this mean for the kingdoms of this world? Will God one day fulfill these threats—or is this mere bluster?

The True Gospel

You probably don’t realize it, but the gospel message of Jesus Christ was, at its heart, about this very subject. Christ announced the soon-coming destruction of all human, imperfect, ill-devised governments, to be superseded by one world-ruling kingdom under God the Father.

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:14-15). When Christ spoke of a kingdom, He was referring to a literal government. The leaders of Christ’s day certainly didn’t pass His declaration off as some fuzzy spiritual concept: They took it very seriously. In fact, they perceived it as a threat against them—a direct challenge to their cherished positions of authority—and they killed Christ for it! (You can read a phenomenal explanation of Christ’s gospel message by ordering a free copy of our book The Incredible Human Potential.)

Yes, soon God will strip all power away from the kingdoms of this world. “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Daniel 2:44). “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).

The Kingdom of God will rule the Earth—the very territory now controlled by a teeming multitude of assorted governments. This divinely ruled kingdom will have all the characteristics of kingdoms today: leaders, administrative bodies, judges, citizens, laws.

So, what sort of system of government will God establish? Will He govern through “power of the people”?

No. God alone will decide who fulfills the offices in His Kingdom. He will choose those individuals for their obedience to His perfect law, which will be the absolute standard of conduct taught throughout the kingdom and expected of everyone (Isaiah 2:2-3). He will ensure that they are deeply humble people, so He can trust that even with great authority they will always serve the citizens before themselves (Matthew 20:25-27). He will choose those skilled in administering judgment with mercy. They will have rock-solid character and a proven readiness to handle power graciously.

These fundamental, premier qualities of leadership cannot be categorically determined by any of the methods of choosing leaders currently employed. Only God can evaluate with perfect discernment based on perfect criteria.

That is the government that is about to rule this world. It will eradicate the myriad of problems rampant today, leading eventually to this beautiful result: “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

There is a perfect government—the government of God!

If you want to know more about this coming government—and your potential part in it—request our free booklet The Wonderful World Tomorrow—What It Will Be Like. Understand and set your heart on the true hope of the gospel—the gospel of the Kingdom of God!