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COMING SOON: Too Good to Be True?
After todayís troubled and evil world - the wonderful world tomorrow.
Hereís just a glimpse into a soon-coming day - and what it will be like!
By Herbert W. Armstrong
Some time back, the musical play Oklahoma was presented at the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena, Calif. Of course I had seen it before, years ago, and also had seen the motion picture of the same name. Many, many times have I heard the musical numbers from the play.
Here I am [editorís note: this section was written some time ago] on the Ivory Coast in Africa - virtually on the equator - but as I looked out the window of the hotel at breakfast and beheld a beautiful day dawning, the song of that play kept haunting my mind: "O, what a beautiful morning,
O, what a beautiful day.
Iíve got a wonderful feeling.
Everythingís goiní my way!"
Yesterday I was writing an article about how Satan broadcasts - how he is the prince of the power of the air - how he now surcharges the air with the moods and attitudes of discontent, unhappiness, vanity, lust and greed, of jealousy and envy, the spirit of competition, antagonism and strife; of suspicion and resentment against others, of fear and worries, of frustrations, of rebellion against authority - especially Godís authority. Satan literally injects this UNHAPPY state of mind into people.
Iíve said it so often: He does not broadcast in words, pictures, sounds or music, but subtly in moods, attitudes, pulses, feelings.
Then, suddenly ...
Then, suddenly that tune from Oklahoma - of the "beautiful day" with "everything goin' my way" - brought to my mind this scripture of SURE PROPHECY: "And it shall be in that day, that LIVING WATERS shall go out from Jerusalem. . . And the [Eternal] shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one" (Zechariah 14:8-9).
LIVING WATERS! Now just what does the Bible mean by that expression? Letís take time to make SURE - for this scripture is speaking of an event that will drastically alter YOUR LIFE in just a few short years.
This term "living waters" is used in a number of places in the Bible. One is the incident of Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at Jacobís well in Samaria. Now in the days of Jesus, Samaria (north of Jerusalem) was populated by gentile people of the Babylonian mystery religion. Back in 721-718 B.C. King Shalmaneser of Assyria conquered the northern kingdom the KINGDOM OF ISRAEL in a three-year siege. He moved the people of 10 of the tribes of Israel from their homes, farms and cities, and carried them as slaves to the land of Chaldea on the southern shores of the Caspian Sea. Then he placed people from Babylon ó people of the Babylonian mystery religion ó in the homes, farms and towns of that land, which became Samaria, occupying the northern two thirds of the lands that had originally been inherited by the 12 tribes of the children of Israel. Much of this is territory now occupied by the Israelis, but claimed by the Arabs, the subject of bitter dispute (II Kings 17:2324).
In the time of Christ these Samaritan people were still there. Their religious leader was Simon the sorcerer. He tried to buy an apostleship in the Church of God. Peter turned him down, for his motives and his heart were evil. This Simon was the "Peter" (or Pater, Father, Papa, leader) of the Babylonian mystery religion (see Acts 8:9-1 1). This Simon deliberately adopted Christís doctrine of "grace," turning it into license to disobey God, and his religion grew, until today it is the largest religion on earth (Revelation 17).
I mention all this because of the possible connection with the woman whom Jesus met at Jacobís well in Samaria, and because I thought it would be interesting to the reader.
The incident is recorded in John 4:2-26. Jesus was walking from Judea to Galilee. He was tired, and stopped at the well to rest. Along came a woman of Samaria to draw water.
"Give me to drink," Jesus asked.
Now the Jews had nothing to do with these gentile Samaritans. They called them "dogs." The Samaritan woman was puzzled that a Jew would speak to her. Notice she recognized immediately that Jesus was a Jew.
She asked: "How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans."
Now notice Jesusí answer: "If thou knewest the gift of God [the Holy Spirit], and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee LIVING WATER."
The woman was confused. She did not understand, of course, that "the gift of God" and "living water" are both symbolic expressions used to designate the HOLY SPIRIT.
Jesus said: "Whosoever drinketh of this water [from the well] shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."
Now I have continually said that Jesus DID NOT come on a "soul-saving crusade." This is not yet the time when God is trying to save the world.
Rather, we are now near the END of the 6,000 years during which God sentenced the world to be cut off from Him - to go its own way, form its own governments, its own religions, its own ways of life. Adam, the first man, rejected God and Godís government over him and his descendants - this whole world. God has INTERVENED into this world of man, swayed by Satan, and called to Him a FEW - such as Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Elijah. He sent Christ to ANNOUNCE His coming Kingdom. He sent His apostles to proclaim that GOOD NEWS. But Simonís fast-growing counterfeit church SUPPRESSED Christís Gospel message from going to the world before A.D. 70. In A.D. 31, Christ raised up HIS CHURCH - the CHURCH OF GOD - for the PURPOSE of standing back of the apostles getting out the true Gospel. But when the Gospel was suppressed, the Church met with such violent persecution that it decreased in size, and ever since has been what Jesus called "the LITTLE FLOCK."
I gave you this incident at the well in Samaria because there is some reason to believe that this woman was at the time living with Simon the sorcerer, founder of the worldís largest religion. (If there were not some special significance attached to her, WHY would God have mentioned her in the Bible?) Anyway, we find here again that "living waters" means the Holy Spirit.
Let me give you one more example. In John 7:37-39, Jesus stood up and said, on the last day of the Feast of Tabernaclesí season: "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly [innermost being] shall flow RIVERS OF LIVING WATER. (BUT THIS SPAKE HE OF THE SPIRIT, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy [Spirit] was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)"
In Ephesians 2:2, Satan is called "the prince of the power of the air." I have written many times how Satan broadcasts. The human spirit in each human person is directly IN TUNE WITH SATANíS WAVELENGTH. As Iíve said many times, he does not broadcast in sounds or pictures. But through the spirit in every man, he infuses ATTITUDES of depression, discouragement, vanity, lust, greed, competition, strife, resentment, discontent, rebellion, frustration. He is WORKING IN people in this way. He is the SOURCE and CAUSE of all of todayís evils.
But SOON NOW - in our living generation - CHRIST will return as KING of kings and LORD of lords, to RULE ALL NATIONS with the GOVERNMENT OF GOD.
One of the very first things to happen will be the PUTTING AWAY OF SATAN (Revelation 20:1-3). Now think of it! Satan will be GONE! Christ will be here! Rivers of living water will flow out from Jerusalem - that is, instead of this EVIL spirit pervading the entire atmosphere, affecting EVERYBODY, causing all evil, the HOLY SPIRIT of God will infuse the atmosphere.
Christ will be here in PERSON. The government will be a government OF LOVE. People will begin to love one another - to help one another. The GOVERNMENT of the KINGDOM OF GOD will bring WORLD PEACE!
Great supernatural physical changes will happen to the earth. Deserts will become rich, fertile, crop-raising soil. Even the topography of the earth will be CHANGED; great mountains will be leveled. Beauty will spring forth everywhere, not only in nature on the earth, but in peopleís lives - it will show on their happy faces.
But will CHRIST rule alone, by Himself - a ONE-MAN rule with no one under Him?
Of course not. Let me explain. I have said the first man, Adam, REJECTED Godís government over him - not only for himself but for the whole human race that sprang from him. It was MAN who made the decision. Instead of accepting GOD as RULER, as the SOURCE of BASIC KNOWLEDGE, Adam decided, for his family - which is all humanity - to produce his OWN knowledge of what is good and what is evil. He took of the tree of THE KNOWLEDGE of good and evil, rejecting the "tree of LIFE" (the "living waters") or the Holy Spirit which would have impregnated him with eternal God-life.
And so, since that was MANíS DECISION, God SENTENCED the human race that sprang from Adam to 6,000 years of being cut off from contact with Him. In effect, God said: "Go form your own governments, your own religions, produce your own knowledge and systems of education. For 6,000 years you are to be CUT OFF from me and contact with me."
But God did reserve the prerogative to INTERVENE when and where necessary for HIS PURPOSE. God was not trying to "SAVE the world" spiritually - instead He had CUT IT OFF FROM HIM. Those not called by God were neither lost nor saved - YET!
The FEW who received salvation and begettal of ETERNAL LIFE were called and chosen by God. Noah did not seek out God and beg for salvation - God CALLED NOAH. The same is true for Abraham, Moses, the prophets of Israel. The KINGDOM OF ISRAEL was not offered spiritual salvation - but ONLY physical, material and national benefits for obedience.
CHRIST came to ANNOUNCE His coming KINGDOM OF GOD - to be ushered in AFTER man's 6,000-year SENTENCE had ended. Jesus called and taught His disciples His message of HIS KINGDOM; He sacrificed Himself for us; His apostles went out proclaiming the GOOD NEWS. Christ "added to the church" as many converted Christians as needed to stand back of the apostles, in diligent and earnest prayer, in encouragement, in tithes and offerings. In their own lives, they were to overcome Satan and Satanís WAYS and thus qualify to help Christ govern the world in the Kingdom of God - after the 6,000 years (Revelation 3:21, 2:26-27).
During this 6,000 years God has called no one to spiritual salvation except those He called to back up the apostles getting out the Gospel; they were also called to qualify, by overcoming Satan, to sit with Christ on His throne in the Kingdom of God.
Now letís take a look into the newspaper headlines of the near future. The NEW world tomorrow is going to come IN OUR TIME!
And, remember, it wonít become utopia all at once. When the Supreme Ruler, Jesus Christ, comes again to earth already crowned as KING of kings, in all the vast POWER AND GLORY of Almighty God, the gentile nations actually will resist Him at first. He is coming to rule by divine FORCE. How ironic that the nations will have to be FORCED to be happy, prosperous, physically fit and well, living abundantly and joyfully!
These might be the headlines you will read in the newspaper of the future: "Crime Rate Drops to Zero." "No Wars During This Year! Former Soldiers Being Rapidly Assimilated Into Food Production and New Industries." "Disease Epidemics Disappear. Millions Have Been Supernaturally Healed of Sickness and Disease. Causes of Cancer, Heart Attacks, Other Fatal Diseases Revealed. Authorities Predict All Such Diseases to Disappear, by Avoiding Causes, Within Coming Year!" "Thousands of Hospital Properties Up for Sale. Sensational Decline in Sickness and Disease Releases Increasing Hundreds of Thousands of Doctors, Nurses, Attendants and Staff Personnel for Happier and More Useful Occupations. Knowledge of Causes Reduces Sickness and Disease! Thousands of Afflicted Now Being Divinely Healed!" "Rapid Increase in Food Production. All Records Broken for Increased Food Production. Agricultural Authorities Reveal Abolition of Artificial and Synthetic Fertilizers and Return to Natureís Laws of Soil Enrichment Resulting Not Only in Bumper Crops, but Vastly Improved Quality and Flavor."
Well, how are those, for a starter?
But now letís be specific! Letís see just how tomorrowís utopia is to be ushered in. Remember, this wonderful world-state will not be achieved all at once.
Every major step of these soon-coming events is laid bare before our eyes in biblical PROPHECY.
The same Jesus Christ who walked over the hills and valleys of the Holy Land and the streets of Jerusalem more than 1,900 years ago is coming again! He said He would come again. After He was crucified, God raised Him from the dead after three days and three nights (Matthew 12:40, Acts 2:32, I Corinthians 1 5:3-4). He ascended to the throne of God, headquarters of the government of the universe (Acts 1:9-11, Hebrews 1:3, 8:1, 10:12, Revelation 3:21).
He is the "nobleman" of the parable, who went to the throne of God - the "far country" - to be coronated as KING of kings over all nations, and then to return to earth (compare Luke 19:11-27). He is in heaven until the "times of restitution of all things" (Acts 3:19-21). "Restitution" means restoring to a former state or condition - in this case, restoring GODís GOVERNMENT to earth, and thus, restoring WORLD PEACE and utopian conditions.
Present world turmoil, escalating war and contentions, will climax in world trouble so great that, unless God intervenes, no human flesh would be saved alive (Matthew 24:22). At its very climax, when delay would result in blasting all life from off this planet, Jesus Christ will RETURN! This time He is coming as divine GOD! He is coming in all the POWER and GLORY of the universe-ruling Creator! (Matthew 24:30, 25:31). He is coming as KING of kings and LORD of lords (Revelation 19:16) to establish WORLD SUPERGOVERNMENT and rule all nations "with a rod of iron" (Revelation 19:15, 12:5).
All crime and organized rebellion will be put down by FORCE - divine supernatural force. Christ will then set His hand to reeducate and to "save" or spiritually convert the world.
THINK OF IT! The glorified CHRIST - coming in all the splendor, the supernatural POWER and the GLORY of GOD ALMIGHTY; coming to save mankind alive; coming to STOP escalating wars, nuclear mass destruction, human pain and suffering; coming to usher in PEACE, abundant well-being, happiness and joy for all mankind!
As the resurrected Christ ascended to heaven in the clouds, so He shall return to earth in the clouds (Acts 1:9-11, Matthew 24:30). Just as He is returning (I Thessalonians 4:14-17), the dead in Christ - those who have received and been led by Godís Holy Spirit (Romans 8:11, 14), including all the prophets of old (Luke 13:28) - will rise in a gigantic RESURRECTION and be made IMMORTAL. Those then living who have the Spirit of God shall be instantaneously changed from mortal to immortal (I Corinthians 15:50-54), and, together with those resurrected, shall rise to meet the descending glorified Christ (I Thessalonians 4:17) in the clouds in the air. They shall be with Him forever (John 14:3). They shall - with Him - come down out of the clouds and
stand with Him, therefore, that very same day, on the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4-5).
These changed, converted saints, now made immortal, will then rule the nations - nations of mortals - UNDER CHRIST (Daniel 7:22, Revelation 2:26-27, 3:21).
Now notice just HOW the new world government will function!
It will not be a so-called democracy; it will not be socialism; it will not be communism or Nazism; it will not be human monarchy, oligarchy or plutocracy. It will not be MANíS government over man. Man has proven his utter incapability of ruling himself!
It will be DIVINE government - the government of GOD. It will not be government from the bottom up. The people will have NO VOTES. It will not be government of or by the people - but it will be government FOR the people! It will be government from the TOP (God Almighty) down!
There will be no election campaigns! No $100-per-plate campaign fund-raising dinners. No dirty political campaigns, where each candidate attempts to put himself forward in the most favorable light, while defaming, denouncing, discrediting his opponents. No time or money wasted in mud-slinging campaigns in the lust for power. No splits in political parties with quarreling and hatreds. In fact, no political parties! No HUMAN will be given any government office. In the Kingdom of GOD, ALL in government service will then be divine spirit beings.
All officials will be APPOINTED by the divine CHRIST, who reads and knows menís hearts - their inner character, their abilities or lack of ability. Youíll find a description of Christís supernatural insight into the-very character of others in Isaiah 11:2-4: "And the spirit of the [ETERNAL] shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the [ETERNAL] and shall make him of quick understanding... and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears [hearsay]: but with RIGHTEOUSNESS shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth."
Remember, GOD is the Supreme One who is LOVE - who GIVES - who rules with outgoing concern for the ruled. His will be rule for the HIGHEST GOOD of the people! The most ABLE, the most RIGHTEOUS, those best fitted for office will be placed in all offices of responsibility and power.
There will then be two kinds of people on earth - humans and those made divine, who will rule the mortals. Some resurrected saints will rule over 10 cities, some over five (Luke 19:17-19).
But further, God has set in motion physical laws that operate in our bodies and minds, as well as His spiritual law. There will be no sickness, ill health, pain or suffering.
There will be, on the contrary, vigorous, vibrant GOOD HEALTH. People will be filled with dynamic INTEREST in life, enthusiastic interest in constructive activities bringing happiness and joy! There will be REAL PROGRESS, cleanliness, no slums, no degenerate peoples or areas of earth.
All this will be accomplished under the NEW Covenant that Christ is coming to usher in. Did you ever read just WHAT this New Covenant will consist of? Did you suppose it will DO AWAY with Godís law? EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE! This is the covenant that Christ is coming to establish (Hebrews 8:10): "I will put my laws into their MIND, and write them in their HEARTS."
When Godís laws are IN OUR HEARTS - when we LOVE Godís WAYS and in our hearts WANT to live by them - HUMAN NATURE WILL BE PUT UNDER SUBJECTION; people will live the WAY that is the CAUSE of peace, happiness, abundance, joyful well-being! May God speed that day!