WHY SHOULD we want to study the Bible in the 21st century? What is the Bible? How shall we study it, in order to understand...Read More
Preface: This course is based upon the personal correspondence course initially developed in 1954 that began under the direction of the late C. Paul Meredith in the old Radio Church of God. Various portions have been updated for the 21st century (though much of the original writing has been retained). It also has more scriptural references, as well as information and questions not in the original course. Unless otherwise noted, scriptural references are to the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright Thomas Nelson Publishing, used by permission. The KJV, sometimes referred to as the Authorized Version is also often used. Additionally, Catholic-approved translations such as the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) are sometimes used as are other translations.
WHY should universal peace and prosperity be impossible? Why can’t we have a world bubbling over with joy and happiness?
Ever since the dawn of civilization, HUMANKIND HAS longed to live in a place where all desires would be fulfilled; But even as humans have LONGED FOR such a place, many have been secretly positive such A UTOPIA could never be found on this earth. “Utopia” brings to the minds of the so-called “practical” people the same idea which the term “fairy tale” would bring-an impossibility. Many RIDICULE the IDEA THAT SUCH A PLACE COULD OCCUR HERE.
“All you have to do is to look at history to see that such a thing could not happen,” many say. “Through the ages HUMANS have tried to bring about this utopia by almost every conceivable means—yet without success. Humans have tried no government at all, anarchy. All attempts have FAILED MISERABLY. Utopia is impossible,” many conclude.
Yes, people today are basically right in drawing this conclusion. Disease, fears, worries uncertainties, lack of necessities, poverty, hate, oppression, and injustice are taken for granted. The people of this age can view past history and know that mankind has failed to accomplish this objective. BUT WHY SHOULD UTOPIA BE IMPOSSIBLE?
Must our only hope be in poor, erratic, weak efforts of humans to bring this condition about? If this is true, we are lost. The human race is doomed!
People today have become self-centered! THEY FAIL TO REALIZE THERE IS ANY POWER OTHER THAN THEIR OWN THAT CAN BRING THIS CONDITION ABOUT! What is the power that can do this?
He has the POWER and the WISDOM to make UTOPIA a reality! This is the very message God sent His son, Jesus Christ, to bring to us—the Good News—the GOSPEL—that Christ would soon return with POWER to make a utopia of this earth! We will soon begin to have, for the first time, what we have all desired! Christ, through the POWER OF GOD, and by the wisdom of God, will come to this earth, and through HIS efforts BRING us universal peace and prosperity!
Humans Lack Wisdom
You may have heard that in order to have world peace, we must have world government. But the NATIONS LACK THE WISDOM TO CREATE a workable world government and lack the power to enforce its decisions. Christ will be KING OVER THE WHOLE EARTH and His law, the LAW OF GOD, will be the law of the world (Zechariah 14:9; Micah 4:2). His government will be strong enough to do what the governments of our day cannot do. It will prevent the strong from enslaving the weak. Justice will be received by all. The laws of God will be taught and practiced by those who administer the government. The high and the mighty who rebel against Christ will be forever removed.
GOD HAS ALLOWED A SIX-THOUSAND-YEAR PERIOD FOR HUMANKIND TO RULE itself. During this time, God has kept hands off many of the affairs of this world. Humans have pursued the course that “seems right” to them. But this TIME is now ALMOST UP! The new order—THE WORLD TOMORROW—is about to begin!
Just what changes will really good government bring to the world which we know today? Will unprincipled, scheming politicians hold the power over the earth’s nations? Will there be great political machines to back them as they run for office? Will the Vatican help usher in true world peace? Will wars be fought then, as now, because some power-mad dictator wishes to enlarge his/her sway of government? And what about the Jews—those people who have wandered over the face of the earth for hundreds of years-will they ever have peace? Will people have to labor as hard then as they do now for what they receive? Will people be happy?
On the earth today, there are hundreds of confusing religious denominations. Will there be as many in that day? These and many other questions crowd into our minds as we hear that a new world order is soon to be established.
We are a privileged people. God has made it possible for us to be able to peer into the future through His prophecies. We can know now what will happen then. This age we are in is soon going to pass away and the new one will take its place. Christ will soon force the world to cease from its labor of wars, sickness, heartache and death. A NEW TYPE OF CIVILIZATION IS AHEAD—a millennial UTOPIA. It will be a time of genuine rest—a time of spiritual and physical rejuvenation and boundless peace and prosperity! It will be a time of re-education.
Prophecy tells us about the world to come—the Utopia of tomorrow which God will establish. Compare it with this world in which we now live. God wants you to do this. Then you make the decision WHO CAN RULE BEST—GOD OR MAN?
Christ Will Establish God’s Government
Many people today believe this is not such a bad world. They have not seen too much wrong with this world’s governments in the past. But GOD KNEW FROM THE BEGINNING WHAT IS WRONG WITH THEM!
HE KNEW THAT AS THE PEOPLES OF THE EARTH WOULD BECOME DRAWN CLOSER AND CLOSER TO EACH OTHER BY MORE RAPID MEANS OF COMMUNICATION AND TRAVEL, MIGHTY MEN THROUGH THEIR FORM OF GOVERNMENT, WOULD MAKE SLAVES OF THE WEAK! THEY WOULD NOT AND COULD NOT LIVE WITH EACH OTHER PEACEABLY. LOOK ABOUT YOU TODAY!
It was for this very reason that at the tower of Babel, when the people all the earth were living close to each other, He scattered them by giving them different languages (Genesis 11:8). One man—Nimrod (Genesis 10:8-9)—was then bringing all the known earth under his subjection (Genesis 11:4-6). BUT WHERE IS THERE A PLACE TO SCATTER MANKIND IN THIS MODERN AGE WHEN PEOPLE CAN RAPIDLY MOVE TO ALL PARTS OF THE EARTH’S SURFACE?
What different means will CHRIST use TO PREVENT A HUMAN DICTATOR from enslaving the world? Or if He allows it, will He later stop it?
Remember that GOD IS NOW ALLOWING PEOPLE the opportunity to establish their own forms of human government—communism, democracy, fascism, socialism—TO the end that the nations LEARN THEIR woeful shortcomings!—their BASIC HUMAN WEAKNESSES.
WE MUST HAVE A COMPLETELY NEW FORM OF GOVERNMENT—WORLD GOVERNMENT with Christ as supreme ruler—if there is to be PEACE, or else all life will cease.
IT MUST BE A GOVERNMENT WHICH HAS THE WISDOM TO PLAN FOR THE GOOD OF ALL AND THE POWER TO ENFORCE ITS WISE PLAN ONALL THOSE WHO DO NOT CHOOSE TO ABIDE BY IT! God, the Father, will supply His wisdom in the NEW FORM of government, and Christ is coming with power to enforce it! ”The Kingdom of God [the all-wise] will come with POWER” (Mark 9:1, KJV).
Oddly, the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, that contrary to the Bible, teaching any version of the millennial Kingdom of God is a doctrine of Antichrist! In the years to come, Christ’s gospel of the kingdom message will not be received well as we take it to the world—but it will be done and it will trigger the end according to Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:14.
ONCE JESUS RETURNS, PEOPLE WILL BE INDUCED BY FORCE TO LIVE BY A BETTER CODE OF LAWS than they live by today—a code which will BRING PEACE, HAPPINESS, AND ETERNAL LIFE. THIS CODE OF LAWS HAS ALWAYS BEEN HERE, BUT THE WORLD HAS NEVER LIVED BY IT! For this purpose Christ will set up GOD’S FORM OF GOVERNMENT. Christ’s government will administer these laws and rule the earth. How will this government be fashioned? Let’s understand!
We are about ready for the actual lesson. But first, read this instruction.
This lesson is intended to direct you to the Bible—to help you learn how you can better study the Bible. Here is the METHOD OF STUDY.
Have your Bible in front of you. If not, don’t read another word until you GET YOUR BIBLE—or BIBLES, if you have more than one translation. Have a good dictionary, a CONCORDANCE if you have one, and your pen and paper, all placed in front of you on a desk or table.
Remember—you must OPEN your Bible TO EVERY PASSAGE. Never say to yourself, “Oh, I think I know what the lesson is referring to”—and then pass over the scripture. You need to “keep your nose in the Bible,” so to speak. You must READ AND RE-READ and THINK OUT EACH PASSAGE you read. MEDITATE ON IT in your leisure time in the following 24 hours, and your time of prayer—before you forget it. MAKE IT APART OF YOU! Don’t forget, this is a Bible Study Course—not just a study of these words we send you.
Here is the method of making EFFECTIVE NOTES:
WRITE down neatly on your paper the SUBJECT OF THE LESSON and underscore it.
Next write down the LESSON NUMBER.
Then as you come to each QUESTION SECTION, write down its TITLE and underneath, NUMBER EACH QUESTION as you come to it.
For each QUESTION WRITE DOWN THE ANSWER, together with any pertinent ideas that come to your mind.
Be sure to WRITE OUT THE SCRIPTURE which answers each question. This will AID you greatly in reviewing and REMEMBERING.
Now READ THE LARGE TYPE WORDS IN THIS FINAL INSTRUCTIONS SECTION right down to the end of this section—pay no attention to the small type. AND SUDDENLY—YOU HAVE A FLASH REVIEW OF ALL THE IMPORTANT POINTS! These serve as an INDEX, too. Simple and effective. All the material in the lessons is written this way. USE THE LARGE WORDS FOR THIS PURPOSE!
HAVE YOU PRAYED to God that He will give you an understanding of this lesson? If not, don’t read any further. Go to a private place, kneel down, and ask Him for the understanding and wisdom so that you may properly grasp and apply the material in this lesson you are about to study!
God’s Millennial Government
Christ Next in Authority under the Father
Comment: Today, as never before people are becoming increasingly aware of the NECESSITY OF GOOD GOVERNMENT. Notice the vast amount of space given over to discussions of the actions of governments—whether local, state, or national—of this world!
It can now be seen why Palestine/Israel will have the BEST GOVERNMENT ON EARTH. Why it will be the place to which representatives of the world’s nations will journey to learn more of the new way of living. Jesus will reign and, under Him, have David and the apostles reigning as well.
DUTIES OF THE SAINTS
Comment: Christ compares Himself to this nobleman who has gone off and will return to set up His kingdom. Christ returns at the last (seventh per Revelation 11:15) trump. 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.
Comment: In at least one sense, this has been done before. For Christ, who has existed in the spirit form since His resurrection, appeared in a material form afterward in order to become visible to His disciples. John 20:17, 19-28.
When God really starts to save mankind it will be done under the very strongest possible kind of government. Humans, influenced by our own carnal minds, must be held under rigid rule until they truly become conscious of a BETTER way of living. THE GREAT CENTRAL GOVERNMENT OF THE EARTH IN THE FUTURE WILL BE COMPOSED OF DIVINE BEINGS. David,among others, the apostles, and the resurrected saints will be changed into divine spirit beings (1 Corinthians 15:50-54) that can properly rule.
God the Father, the Supreme, having all power and wisdom, will be at the head of this government. Never again will we have to depend on a human being, with all his frailties, to guide us—WE WILL HAVE PERFECT GOVERNMENT. WE WILL BE RULED PERFECTLY.
Christ, the very Son of God, will be in direct control of the earth. Having been both human and divine, He will know man’s frailties perfectly (Hebrews 2:9-10); but having been divine, He will know what God expects us to measure up to, even without present weak bodies. He will rule with a ROD OF IRON (Revelation 19:15).
David, who in God’s sight ruled as wisely as had been humanly done, will be ruler over God’s model city and nation: JERUSALEM and Palestine/Israel respectively.
Each of Christ’s own twelve apostles will have a throne of his own, and each will rule over one of the twelve tribes of Israel which will inhabit Palestine/Israel. With their former training under Christ, and under His guidance in the future, they will make Palestine/Israel become the WORLD’S CENTER of religious knowledge; “All nations shall flow unto it” (Isaiah 2:2).
The saints—those being called at this time—are now receiving their instruction in the work they will do then as kings, rulers, priests, and judges. In those days, “The EARTH shall BE FULL of the KNOWLEDGE OF THE LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9). Wickedness will not be tolerated. All nations will live by the TEN COMMANDMENTS.
But will humanity constantly live under the threat of force from God? Is God a harsh, stern, cruel monster—as the churches have represented Him? Doesn’t He enjoy having active and willing cooperation from humanity at all times?
How will God begin to instill VOLUNTARY cooperation in place of forced submission?
Government is far more effective with a cooperative citizenry; but there is only one way to achieve it—through RE-EDUCATION—unlearning this world’s unsatisfactory ways and learning God’s better ways.
Now let’s study God’s RE-EDUCATION program.
How People Will Be Re-Educated
GOD, the Creator of heaven and earth, HAS set in motion various IMMUTABLE LAWS which inexorably govern the things He has created. The stars, the moon, and the sun are all governed by His laws. They go along in the paths or ways which have been ordained for them by the laws of God.
Humanity, also, has been created by the same God. God has also ordained paths IN WHICH HUMANITY SHOULD GO—ways which would bring him great peace and happiness. But, unlike the sun and the moon, there are OTHER PATHS or ways which are open to humans. God has made man a creature who CAN CHOOSE!
Down through the ages man has exercised choice. He has chosen to do what he thought was right. Having chosen these things as the best course, man has established his own EDUCATIONAL SYSTEMS to teach these choices, whether right or wrong, to the following generations.
The greatest cause of the world ills TODAY is MIS-EDUCATION. Humans are the highest mortal being God has created. The human MIND elevates humans above dumb animals. Did not God intend our minds then, to be developed, trained, used to HIS honor and glory?
Today we live in a confused, misguided, deceived, chaotic world. This world is not happy. It’s filled with strife, fear, ignorance, deception, injustice, crime, suffering, anguish, woe and DEATH!
Because this whole worldly civilization is BASED on a system of false education—A SYSTEM OF MIS-EDUCATION!
Another System Needed
Modern education is almost wholly materialistic. It rejects the basic revelations of God. In many states in the U.S.A. the reading of the Bible in public school classrooms is barred!
INCONSEQUENTIAL DETAILS ARE TAUGHT instead of teaching the on-coming generation the BASIC KNOWLEDGE OF LIFE—what life is, why we are here, where we are going, and how to live successfully, usefully, happily, joyfully!
Yes, something is WRONG with this world’s education, as well as with its religion, its politics, its economics, and its society! And wrong education is a basic cause of ALL the world’s wrongs today!
Our first parents REJECTED THE REVEALED KNOWLEDGE of God. To Adam and Eve, God revealed certain definite facts, principles, laws. This knowledge they rejected. Immediately they broke four of the Ten Commandments in the “original” sin. They DEPARTED FROM GOD’S REVEALED WAY OF LIFE. Down through the centuries man has continued to reject God’s revealed KNOWLEDGE.
Jesus said, “And you shall know the truth, and the TRUTH shall make you free” (John 8:32). Notice “…you shall KNOW-knowing is KNOWLEDGE—EDUCATION! Ignorance, and a false education in error have enslaved the human race in poverty, fear, inequality, discontent, unhappiness, sickness, suffering and DEATH!
And what is TRUTH? “Thy Word,” Jesus said, “is TRUTH” (John 17:17, KJV). It reveals the WAY to WORLD PEACE. It leads man out of sickness into HEALTH; out of suffering and death into LIFE! It reveals the LAWS OF LIFE, which alone can lead to peace, prosperity, happiness, joy and finally eternal life!
But this precious fund of KNOWLEDGE the wise of this world REJECT! GOD’S LAWS AND WAYS they flout and disobey! Instead, the learned of this world have become so steeped in the fables of a God-rejecting materialism masquerading falsely under the attractive names of “rationalism,” “modern science,” “higher education,” etc.., that it has become impossible to UNlearn these deceptions and come to a knowledge of the TRUTH!
What does God say of the wisdom of this world? “For the WISDOM OF THIS WORLD IS FOOLISHNESS WITH GOD” (1 Corinthians 3:19).
We have been born into a world steeped with traditional ideas—and we usually accept them without question. We seldom, if ever, investigate to see where they came from and if they are true. Almost everyone takes for granted what is spoken or written. The majority can’t be wrong!—so it is mistakenly thought.
Our educational system has not dared to examine the fundamental concepts underlying human society—the false traditions that have led us into political and religious strife, world-wide confusion, impending chaos, and death. God says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge [true knowledge]” (Hosea 4:6).
What WE NEED is a COMPLETE CHANGE—RE-EDUCATION—ENFORCED BY THE AUTHORITY of an infallible world government—the Kingdom OF GOD.
Isn’t this exactly what has happened in this age of scientific advancement and mass education? Has scientific education secured peace, or has it brought the threat world-destruction?
What is True Education?
A common misconception, especially in the U.S.A. and Canada, is that EDUCATION HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH A WAY OF LIFE! The biggest controversy today is whether RELIGIOUS education should be taught in public schools. In most of the western world, the Bible is either politely passed over or totally rejected from the academic educational system. Why?
Is it not due to religious CONFUSION?—and due to the fear that one false religion will force its beliefs upon another? Who suffers from this attitude?
The WORLD TODAY DOES NOT REALLY BELIEVE that GOD, through Christ and THE BIBLE, HAS GIVEN US THE BEST PRECEPTS by which to govern each event in our daily lives! In Christ’s time a group of people lived their daily lives by following every rule and teaching of the Scriptures. That group was under the direct guidance of Christ’s twelve disciples whom He had personally trained for this duty. That group was called the CHURCH OF GOD (Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 15:9).
The word “church” is translated from the Greek word ecclesia which is defined as a crowd or group or called out group. There is nothing sanctimonious about the word church. A crowd or church is holy only if it is God’s Church.
But the hundreds of churches or crowds which follow this present evil world as worldly churches—following worldly ways, customs and traditions.
Do we have a record that the true apostolic Church preached God’s way of life? Acts 16:17; 19: 9, 23. Does this world approve of GOD’s WAY OF LIFE? What does the world call it? Acts 24:14, KJV. Isn’t God’s way of life a matter of re-education? Of unlearning the false concepts of this world and learning the true values which can make life worth living?
Are we then to be conformists to the ways of THIS world? Are most people going along with the crowd—conforming to the latest fad? Romans 12:2.
Objective of RE-EDUCATION
God’s System of Re-education
Now let us understand GOD’S PROGRAM OF RE-EDUCATION. Although human beings generally act in accordance with what seems right to them (Proverbs 14:12), do they really know what is right? Do they know how to govern and educate themselves properly? How to stamp out crime? How to guarantee justice at home and world peace abroad?
All forms of HUMAN government HAVE FAILED MISERABLY. Humans are beginning to realize their shortcomings! Since human beings—from the leaders down to the ordinary citizens—cannot adequately govern or educate themselves, then it means we must look to the Creator—the one who knows all—to do it.
Comment: The proper translation of Revelation 5:9-10 according to the original Greek is that Christ purchased with His blood men “…Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, v.10 And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.”
As ministers and teachers, Christ and the saints shall re-educate every nation. But they must carry authority to enforce God’s educational program. Therefore they are a government with absolute power to overcome any type of opposition easily.
Comment: How does one come to really know God? 1 John 2:3-5. How can the disobedient know God if they are separated from Him? Isaiah 59:2, 10.
10.Will instruction of the Almighty and a divinely imparted new attitude on life soon begin to produce MATERIAL BENEFITS? Isaiah 32:15-20. How about the Assyrians? Isaiah 19:23-25.
Will Cushite Africans (often translated as Ethiopians) also seek to gain the benefits from a relationship with Christ? Psalm 68:31. These prophecies refer to a few nationsnear Israel as types of all nations. True Christianity pays!
11. Will Gentile rulers bring presents to Christ in acknowledgment of His educational and material benefits? Psalm 68:28-29. Upon what condition has God always promised to shower material prosperity? Malachi 3:10-12.
Isn’t it plain that the BASIS OF RIGHT EDUCATION IS GOD’S LAW? It is what PRODUCES PROSPERITY, peace and HAPPINESS! Notice the words of the prophecy:
“Many people shall come and say,
‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
He will teach us His ways,
And we shall walk in His paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.’ Isaiah 2:3.
Since the days of Adam, people have been living the WRONG WAY (Genesis 3:6-10). Wrong methods of meeting the problems of life are promoted, even to the point of EDUCATING MANKIND IN THE USE OF FORCE AND VIOLENCE to take from others what is not rightfully theirs!
This is the world you and I were born into! From childhood WE HAVE KNOWN NOTHING ELSE. Our subconscious minds have normally accepted, without much question, the teachings of our parents and the education system of our time.
You now BEGIN TO REALIZE this world’s way is often mentioned in the Bible: “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12). This is the way which tradition and this world’s educational systems have furthered. This destructive WAY, feeding upon itself, is about to destroy itself along with its educational system by which it is promoted. This world’s “way of life” is about to cause the death of the people it deceives!
What does God say? “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). FOR LACK OF TRUE KNOWLEDGE, THE TIME WILL COME WHEN NO FLESH WOULD BE LEFT ALIVE, IF GOD DID NOT INTERVENE! (Matthew 24:21-22, 29-31).
Christ must intervene with another—a different—a better—educational system if man is to continue to live on this earth!
Under God’s government, which Christ will soon establish, education will be different! CHRIST WILL RE-EDUCATE the world in the right WAY, God’s way—a way which humankind has never tried in all his six thousand years of existence. God will re-educate US FROM HUMANITY’S WAYS which develop evil, competitive, dictatorial Babylonish systems. He will re-educate us TOWARD HIS WAYS. He, the Creator of all things, knows the way which will work out best for us.
What will be the objective of the coming world’s new educational program? It will seek to develop a fully balanced individual—THE WHOLE HUMAN. No longer will there be unbalanced one-tracked individuals—the Hitlers, Mussolinis, and Stalins. People will live and let live! The type, who are the trouble makers of today’s world, will be no more.
FULLY BALANCED individuals will be those who recognize they have found a perfect set of standards—the LAWS of GOD—which best serve their own interest and the interest of those around them. They will be desirous of abiding by these laws. In coming to this attitude they will have developed, as near as is humanly possible, an extremely necessary thing—“perfect character.”
Christ is coming to RE-EDUCATE ALL WHO REPENT—all who DESIRE to TURN FROM THEIR OWN WAYS—to be ‘WHOLE MEN”. The least of people will receive individual instruction—none will have an excuse for failing. Then, at long last, people will come to realize that their proper actions do influence favorably both men and nature toward them. They WILL PRODUCE a UTOPIA!
This world is on its way out! The time has now come that God’s plan is going to move forward—like it or not. “THE WORLD TOMORROW,” the millennial reign of God is NEAR. It is AT OUR VERY DOOR. It will influence your life tremendously. What will “The World Tomorrow” be like?
God has allowed those who really believe His Word to glimpse a view of this exciting, MUCH-TO-BE-DESIRED PLACE! God allows us to see what this earth can really be like when it is filled with “whole humans”—men and women of character! You can glimpse a view of this coming Utopia in the next lesson.