When Jesus Christ returns to Earth in the full supreme power and glory of the Creator God, He is coming, this time, to save the world, spiritually.
When He sits on the throne of His glory, in Jerusalem, all nations composed of flesh-and-blood mortal humans will be there before Him. He shall begin dividing “his sheep from the goats.” To the sheep, on His right hand, “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34).
Those converted, now, are heirs. We shall inherit the Kingdom at Christ’s coming. The dead in Christ shall be resurrected, rising first—changed to spirit immortality. We which are then alive, in Christ, shall be instantaneously changed to spirit immortality, and caught up with the resurrected ones, to meet the descending Christ in the air.
We shall then be separated by immortality from the mortal humans on Earth.
Wherever Jesus is, from there, we shall be ever with Him. Where, then, will He be? His feet shall stand that same day on the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4).
It is after this that He separates the sheep (those who repent, believe, and receive His Holy Spirit) from the goats (those who rebel). This separation—this educating converts for God’s Kingdom—will continue throughout the entire thousand years of Christ’s reign on Earth.
Christ will give to all nations a new and pure language: “For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the [Eternal], to serve him with one consent” (Zephaniah 3:9).
The pure truth of God will be proclaimed to all people. No one will be deceived any longer. But “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the [Eternal], as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9).
Christ is the “root of Jesse,” father of David. To Christ, then, will the Gentiles seek (verse 10). Christ will set His hand to save all Israel (verse 11). (See also Romans 11:25-26.)
But all this work of world evangelism—of spiritually saving the world (as a whole, not necessarily every individual but surely a majority)—will require, simultaneously, reeducating the world.
Close to half of all people on Earth today are illiterate. They are so ignorant they simply could not be given even what might be called bare “saving knowledge.” A man in a country in the interior of Central Africa had heard the World Tomorrow program on Radio Elisabethville. He was a steady listener, and he received the Plain Truth magazine. He wrote us letters. He wanted to represent this work of God, and raise up a church among his people. We sent two ministers stationed in London to visit this man, get to know him, and determine by personal contact what should be done. They found he was the only man of any education among them. The others were illiterate people. They were so ignorant, it was impossible for them to comprehend anything about God, or Christ, or salvation. Sadly, our ministers said such people would have to receive at least elementary education before they could be reached with the gospel.
Reeducating the World
But now consider those in our more universally educated affluent nations—the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, and such nations.
We covered a section on this world’s paganized, agnostic, decadent education earlier in this book. The academic system was founded by the pagan philosopher Plato. It has always remained pagan. Injected into it, in more recent times, has been German rationalism, and the atheistic theory of evolution.
Evolution, the atheist’s explanation of a creation without a Creator, is the basic concept on which modern education has been built. Modern education is a mixture of truth and error, fact and fable.
The educated of this world started, at birth, from scratch, so far as knowledge goes. At the hour of birth, they knew nothing. The process of education in this world is one of funneling knowledge into minds. It is a process of memorizing. The student is taught from texts. Textbooks are supposed to be true and authoritative. The student must read, study, accept and memorize. In exams he is graded on the accuracy of repeating what was “in the book.” He is not supposed to question, but to accept and believe.
Modern education has been based on a false, erroneous, untrue foundation. The supposedly educated of this world—even the great minds—have absorbed false knowledge. They have been trained in a false approach to knowledge. Almost always, error is based on a false assumed premise or hypothesis, taken for granted, never questioned—and, of course, unproved. The “educated” minds have been filled with such false hypotheses. They have allowed a false sense of values to flood their minds.
Truth appears to them to be fable. What is right may be to them foolishness. That which may be utterly wrong appears to be right. They come to view things through the false concept of evolution.
This mis-education holds their minds captive.
It has been explained how the natural carnal mind, devoid of revealed knowledge from God, is limited to knowledge of the physical and material. The approach to all knowledge in the Western world has been through the evolutionary hypothesis—never through God’s revealed knowledge.
In God’s millennial civilization, the basis of all knowledge dissemination will be revelation. Light will replace darkness—truth will replace error. Understanding will replace crass materialism. True knowledge will replace intellectual ignorance.
Many years ago, I handed a comparatively brief paper, disproving the evolutionary theory, to a scientist, asking for comment. This was the approximate comment: “Mr. Armstrong, you appear to have an uncanny knack of getting immediately to the trunk of the tree, and its roots, avoiding all the little twiggy propositions dependent on the trunk. You chop down the trunk, pull out the roots, and all supporting equations come crashing down. I have to admit you have chopped down the entire tree. Yet I have to go on believing evolution. All my life has been devoted to science and philosophy based on evolution. I have done graduate work and post-doctorate work at some of our highest-rated universities. I have been continually in contact with scientists, and have absorbed that atmosphere completely. I am so steeped in it I would be utterly unable to disbelieve in the evolutionary process, even though you disprove it.”
One of the great problems facing the returned glorified Christ will be that of reeducating the supposedly educated. These minds—and they are, indeed, the world’s finest and best minds—have become so perverted with false education that they will be unable to accept truth until they first unlearn error. And it is at least ten times more difficult to unlearn error, firmly imbedded in the mind, than it is to start from “scratch” and learn new truth.
It may actually take them longer to come to a knowledge of truth—to become truly educated—than the illiterate of this world.
God’s inspired Word, the Holy Bible, is the foundation of knowledge. But they have been trained to hold this true foundation in prejudiced contempt.
Yes, indeed, the educating and reeducating of the world will be one of the most important tasks the Kingdom of God will face, after Christ returns to rule. Today people follow the false and deceptive values. Their entire thinking will require a reorientation—a change of direction.
A Headquarters Church
We have seen that the Earth, after this thousand-year-period begins, will be as full of the true knowledge of God as the oceans are full of water (Isaiah 11:9). How will this be brought about?
The Prophet Micah gives part of the answer: “But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the [Eternal] shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it” (Micah 4:1).
Prophecy uses “mountain” as a symbol of a major nation, and “hills” as a symbol of smaller nations. In other words, the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of resurrected immortals—the ruling Kingdom—will be established in complete authority over the major nations (of mortals) and exalted above the small nations—and people will flow to God’s Kingdom.
Now continue: “And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the [Eternal], and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion [the Church], and the word of the [Eternal] from Jerusalem. And he [Christ] shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (verses 2-3).
This knowledge—this teaching—and even knowledge of God’s law—shall go forth from the Church—and from Jerusalem, the new world capital.
We add another fact revealed in Acts 15. A misunderstanding had arisen about certain doctrinal duties in the church at Antioch. This was in the early days of the New Testament Church of God. The pattern is there revealed that there was a headquarters church at Jerusalem. The apostles Peter and James, and other top-ranking ministers, were there. So the matter was taken to this headquarters church for authoritative instruction.
Gathered there for this conference were the headquarters apostles, plus Paul, and the elders. Even so, there was sharp contention and much disputing. Then Peter, chief apostle, rose and gave God’s inspired decision. The Church received its teachings from the apostles. But in the Kingdom, Jesus Christ Himself will be there to lead His headquarters church. At Jerusalem, James was pastor. And as a matter of protocol to make Peter’s decision official, James approved it and wrote up the official authoritative document.
This chapter discloses the pattern.
Christ, Himself, will be ruling from Jerusalem. Stationed there with Christ, under immediate direction of Elijah, it is indicated, will be those immortals chosen by Christ to constitute the headquarters church. Revelation 3:12 indicates those of this “Philadelphia” era will be pillars in that headquarters church.
Next, in this all-important headquarters church organization, working with and directly under Elijah, it appears, will be the resurrected John the Baptist. He came “in the spirit and power of [Elijah]” (Luke 1:17). Of him, Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist …” (Matthew 11:11). He was the Elijah prophesied to come (Matthew 17:10-13; and 11:7-11).
Jesus said that no man who ever lived was greater than John the Baptist. Yet, even the least in the resurrected Kingdom will be greater (Matthew 11:11). It is evident that John the Baptist will be placed in very high office. It seems logical that he should be placed with, or immediately under, Elijah.
This headquarters church, at Christ’s own world capital of Jerusalem, then, undoubtedly will be given the administration of the world’s new system of education.
Also the indication is that the teaching of spiritual truth—of the true gospel, the spiritual conversion of the world—will be directed, worldwide, from this headquarters church, under Elijah and the overall direct supervision of Jesus Christ.
The principal purpose for which Christ is returning to Earth is to spiritually develop in humanity godly character, and to save the world. Most religious people, ministers and evangelists (fundamentalist) have supposed that this time, now, is the only day of salvation. The verse of Scripture they rely on is a mistranslation (2 Corinthians 6:2). It should read “a day of salvation,” not “the” (quoted from Isaiah 49:8, where it is a not the). If Christ had been trying to “save” the world, He would have saved the world. It hasn’t been “saved.” God doesn’t use a babylon of confused, disagreeing religious organizations, divided into hundreds of different concepts of theological doctrine, as His instruments.
But the real world evangelism will be administered by this headquarters church, composed of resurrected immortals, under direct personal supervision of Christ Himself.
One thing there will not be in the millennial headquarters church is a doctrinal committee of intellectual “scholars” to decide whether Christ’s teachings are true doctrines.
There was no such doctrinal committee in the first-century headquarters church at Jerusalem. All teaching came from Christ through the apostles—and a few times Christ communicated to apostles via the prophets. God’s Church today, as in the first century, receives its teachings from the living Christ, through an apostle, just as in a.d. 31.
One other tremendous organizational function will be directed from this headquarters church—that of direction of all the churches over the world. These churches will be composed of those who become converted—begotten of God by receiving His Holy Spirit—though still mortal.
Just as the converted Christian in this present age must continue to live a life of overcoming, and of spiritual growth and development (2 Peter 3:18), so will they in the Millennium. Happily they then will not have to overcome Satan. But they shall have to overcome all evil impulses, habits, or temptations, innate within themselves.
With only one Church—one religion—one faith—there will be many church congregations in every city, others scattered through rural areas. There will be district superintendents over areas, and pastors, elders, deacons and deaconesses in every local church.
This, then, gives an insight into how the world will be organized.
This shows how a super world government can, and will, be established on Earth.
Why Supernatural Force
World leaders today are virtually unanimous in concluding that man’s only hope of being saved alive for even another generation lies in establishing an all-powerful super world government. Yet all confess that nations are utterly unable to bring it about.
Sir Winston Churchill once said: “The creation of an authoritative all-powerful world order is the ultimate aim toward which we must strive. 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, a former British Prime Minister, said: “The world needs the consummation of our conception of world organization through world law if civilization is to survive!” Again he said, “We have not an awful lot of time. There is too much dangerous stuff in the world, and there are too many fools about, trigger-happy idiots and the like.”
We could reproduce such quotes from world leaders, past and present, for the next hundred pages. But all know that man is utterly helpless and unable to bring about such a solution.
Would the United States say to the leaders of other nations, “We are ready to relinquish all sovereignty over ourselves, and place our great nation under the absolute rule of leaders from Russia, China, France, Egypt, and other countries”? Would the leaders in the Kremlin step down, and relinquish all Communist sovereignty to a government headed by leaders from the United States, and these other countries?
And, if men should undertake to establish a super world government, wielding all the military power over all nations, what form of government would the nations submit to? The men in the Kremlin would never step down in submission unless this world government would be Russian communism—and even then, these men in the Kremlin would insist on having all the power. But the Chinese communists would not submit to that—they would demand that the new world government be their brand of communism.
Most nations would never accept democracy as the form of world government, and the United States would accept nothing else.
Could anything be more impossible than for this world’s nations to get together, in a new world government of some form, each surrendering all its power and sovereignty to it?
No, and even when Almighty God, the Creator and Ruler over the entire universe, does supernaturally intervene to set up His world government—His perfect government—the nations will be angry. The nations will fight. Men will say, “We don’t want God to rule over us!”
That’s why Christ is coming in all the power and glory of God’s supernatural force. That’s why He will rule with a rod of iron. Man will never submit to the way of peace, prosperity, happiness, and abundant well-being unless he is forced into it!
Purposed Long Ago
But God Almighty is working out a purpose here below.
And the Eternal God carefully planned every move toward the accomplishment of that purpose.
His first promise of this happy state was made to Abraham. God promised Abraham this whole Earth as an everlasting inheritance for him and his children. God promised that through Abraham all nations of the Earth would be blessed.
At the same time, God began insuring the efficiency and perfection of His world-ruling government by causing Abraham, Isaac, Israel and Joseph to be trained—during a lifetime—in several basic essentials for top personnel in a government of perfection.
First is right attitude. That is essential. God looks on the heart—the spirit—the attitude. That is where He looked in choosing David to be king over Israel (1 Samuel 16:6-7, 11-12). That is where He looks in you, and in me. These men were trained in submission to God and those over them in authority. They were trained in teamwork—in harmoniously working together.
Secondly, they were trained in knowledge of the true values.
After that, they were trained in handling people, in wise management of people, of wealth—without letting it turn their heads.
In the same way, King David was trained and developed.
All who, made immortal, will occupy important executive offices in the coming world super government were trained in these essentials. All realize fully not only the power, but the wisdom, the love, the holiness and perfection of Almighty God. All know of a certainty that His ways are the right ways—His laws, the right and perfect laws—His rule and His government, the perfect government that will bring every blessing to those whom they govern.
In this way, the everliving God has prepared for His Kingdom. He began, long ago, selecting men of outstanding ability who would yield fully to Him, inculcating into their innermost being those principles and characteristics that form the seven basic laws for success in life:
1) The right goal—to be born into God’s Kingdom—the goal which inspires motivation and stimulates the ambition to achieve that goal.
2) The right teaching, or education. Every one of these men was freed from the shackles of pagan teaching, tradition, erroneous knowledge, false sense of values, and pagan customs. Every one was trained in God’s way, based on God’s law, and the principles of that law. They were trained in the ways of righteousness. They became skilled in applying the principles of God’s commandments, laws, statutes and judgments.
3) They were trained in the development of good health—avoiding the causes of sickness, disease, infirmities. They were trained in keeping their minds sharp, clear, alert, balanced, sound.
4) Every one was trained in developing drive—constantly putting a prod on self, not only to accomplish more, strive harder, but to drive the self away from wrong desires, impulses, or temptations, and into the right ways of God’s law. They were trained to flee temptation. (They were all human. They all did sin—sometimes seriously—but they repented; they profited by mistakes; they overcame these things.)
5) These men were schooled through a lifetime in resourcefulness. God allowed multiple problems, hazards, obstacles to confront them—to try the mettle of these men. They learned how to face up to and solve problems—not to be defeated by them.
6) These men endured. They kept their eyes constantly on the goal. When the going got so tough that even with their resourcefulness they could not think their way through—when it appeared they were completely defeated, when it appeared hopeless to try to carry on further—they did not give up—they never quit! They endured through thick and thin—they endured to the end. They endured by faith in God.
7) And, along with these traits, these men relied on the guidance and the help of God. They walked with God. They talked to God. They listened to God—whether He spoke verbally and in person, or through His Scriptures. They sought wisdom from God. They relied on God for guidance, for protection, for every need. They submitted to and obeyed God.
Compare with Today’s Politicians
And now—finally. Consider!
Take outstanding, superior men, having undergone a human lifetime of this attitude, this training in the ways of success and perfection. But now change these men by a resurrection into the perfection of immortality.
And consider that immortality will multiply their aptitudes, abilities and powers perhaps a million times above what they achieved as humans, by infusing into them the power and glory of God.
That is what God is going to do!
And there you have the chief executive personnel, under Christ, administering the new super world government.
Compare that to the scheming, compromising, selfishly motivated politicians that head most of the governments of this world today and other phases of civilization.
Feast your eyes for a while on the picture of the World Tomorrow which God’s government will produce—as we shall now do—and when you take your eyes from this book, and look again on this drab, ugly, sin-sick world of corruption, violence and suffering—it will make you sick at heart.
But doesn’t it make you want to shout for joy, to realize what a civilization—what a world—is actually coming?
Doesn’t it make you want to really put your heart into your prayers, praying earnestly, “Oh God! Thy Kingdom come! Thy will be done on Earth, as it is in heaven!”
Just a few general afterthoughts before we leave the subject of the personnel and organization of the coming Kingdom.
One may well ask: “What of such men as Abel, and Enoch?” You read of them, in the faith chapter—Hebrews 11—as men of faith and righteousness (verses 4, 5). We answer: God has not revealed to us where they will be placed. We have mentioned here only those few where there appears to be real scriptural indication, based on what is revealed, as to what posts they will fill in the Kingdom. This same 11th chapter of Hebrews implies, certainly, that others such as the harlot Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthae and Samuel will be in God’s Kingdom. We cannot presume to decide what office Christ has in store for them. And there are many, many others.
It is one of the joys of anticipation to realize that we shall know where they shall be placed in the near future.
Someone may ask, “What about the women?” Yes, there were outstanding women—Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel. There were Miriam, Deborah, and others. In the Kingdom, there will be no sex—no male and female (Matthew 22:30). Women, then, will be the same as men.
Sarah is called the mother of righteous women in the New Testament (1 Peter 3:6). Deborah actually judged, or ruled, Israel for a time. Their status in the Kingdom will be the same as men. We would certainly suppose that women such as these will be given high position and great honor in the Kingdom. But we do not presume, in this present writing, to suggest what it shall be.