Why Governments Fail

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Why Governments Fail

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Human governments just don’t work. Learn about a divine government coming to earth that will never disappoint or fail.

Transcript

Historians are saying that the American Empire is in decline. Will a new Chinese or European Empire rise to solve our global problems? Will the United Nations create one world government bringing peace and prosperity to all? On a more personal level, why do politicians promise utopia, but are unable to fulfill what they promise? History proves that all countries, all empires, eventually collapse. On Beyond Today, we’re going to take a look at an ancient prophecy and explore Why Governments Fail .

It doesn’t take long. A new mayor, governor, president, prime minister…the new political platform, the new progressives, the new conservatives, even a new dictator. Everybody promises more chicken in the pot; cheaper transportation, a robust economy and equality for everyone. The new government gains power. Soon people are again disgruntled and begin to feel that their new government let them down just like the old government let them down.

Why is it that political leaders, whether in a democracy, or socialism or totalitarianism, never seem to be able to fulfill the promises they give to their people? Why does it seem that every politician promises to change Washington, only to eventually become part of the bureaucracy?

Why does it seem that eventually all human governments fail?

Popular historian Barbara Tuchman wrote, “A phenomenon noticeable throughout history regardless of place or period is the pursuit of governments of policies contrary to their own interests. Mankind, it seems, makes poorer performance of government than almost of any other human activity. In this sphere, wisdom, which may be defined as the exercise of judgment, acting on experience, common sense and available information, is less operative and more frustrated than it should be.”

Rudyard Kipling captured the repetitive cycle of man’s inability to govern himself in the novel, The Man Who Would Be King. It’s a fascinating tale of two British soldiers in the 19th century, who were in India, who decided to go into the remote mountains, far from any European influences, find what they considered an uncivilized people, and set themselves up as kings.
In the course of the story the two soldiers take over a small mountain tribe, teach them how to use firearms, and proceed to conquer all the neighboring tribes. They institute a benevolent dictatorship. At first the English kings seem to bring progress to the tribes. Eventually, the mountain people begin to look on the two as gods.

Well that is until one of the Englishmen begins to have amorous feelings towards a local girl. This leads the villagers to decide that their rulers really aren’t gods. The Englishmen are dethroned, one is killed, the other tortured. The second king lives just long enough to escape and tell his story.

You know, this is the story of tribes, countries and empires since the beginning of time. Humanity needs government. We need laws, and leadership for the common good. But it is also a proclivity of human beings to become corrupted by the very power inherit in government. You see, the problem with human government is human nature.

In her book, The March of Folly , Barbara Tuchman uses an historical example from the Bible to make this point. During the reign of King Solomon in the 900s BC, Israel was a powerful nation in the Middle East. They were strategically situated on important trade routes and wealth just poured into the nation. Israel had a stable government, powerful army and the temple in Jerusalem was one of the wonders of the ancient world.

After Solomon’s death, his son Rehoboam became king. Now the story is told in the biblical book of 1 Kings in chapter 12, where the people came to their new king and made a request concerning the overwhelming burden of taxation Solomon had instituted. They told King Rehoboam:

1 Kings 12: 4 - “Your father made our yoke heavy; now therefore, lighten the burdensom service of your father, and this heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you.”

Here is an entire nation of people who are willing to serve their king as long as he has their interests at heart.

1 Kings 12:6-8 1 Kings 12:6-8 6 And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, and said, How do you advise that I may answer this people? 7 And they spoke to him, saying, If you will be a servant to this people this day, and will serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants for ever. 8 But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him:
American King James Version×
- “Then King Rehoboam consulted the elers who stood before his father Solomon while he still live, and he said, ’ How do you advice me to answer these people?’ And they spoke to him, saying, ‘If you will be a servant to these people today, and serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.’ But he rejected the advice which the elders had given him, and consulted the young men who had grown up with him, who stood before him.”

After consulting with his young advisors, Rehoboam declared to his subjects, “My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s waist! And now, whereas my father put a heavy yoke on you, I will add to your yoke; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scourges!” (1 Kings 12:10-11 1 Kings 12:10-11 10 And the young men that were grown up with him spoke to him, saying, Thus shall you speak to this people that spoke to you, saying, Your father made our yoke heavy, but make you it lighter to us; thus shall you say to them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s loins. 11 And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father has chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.
American King James Version×
)

Well, as you can guess, the people revolted. The result was that ancient Israel split into two nations: the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. Never again would they gain the wealth, power and influence as when they were a united country - all because a king decided to increase taxes as a show of political muscle.

Sounds like the same problems we face today, doesn’t it? Has anything really changed? You know it’s interesting; it was Rehoboam’s father Solomon who asked, “Is there anything new under the sun?” and apparently, nothing has really changed. You know, we don’t live under a monarch like ancient Israel, but it’s still politics as usual. We may not be concerned about the high price of sandals or setting up an arranged marriage for our daughter, but we are concerned with the high price of gasoline and your daughter’s prom, and we’re still concerned with high taxes.’

You see the truth is, history is made up of human beings who keep repeating the same patterns. Even though it may seem like things will always stay the same, we forget how quickly governments fail and empires fall.

Stay with me here for a moment. I want you just to imagine, just for a little bit. What if you had been a young, aristocratic mother at the height of ancient Babylon’s power? You lived in the shadow of the famous hanging gardens of Babylon. You had a fine husband and a promising future. The Persian army threatened, but you felt safe behind the walls of the greatest city in the world. In one night, the Persians drained the Euphrates River, the water level dropped below the city gates in which the river flowed, and the invaders crept under the gates. In a few hours, your world changed.

Imagine if you had been a merchant during the time of Greek Athenian democracy. You would have reveled in the belief that your way of life was going to influence the entire world.
But Athenian wealth and power has long faded into history.

Imagine if you had been a young Roman in the last days of the empire. You would have looked out over the magnificent Roman Forum and believed it could never end. It would have been impossible to conceive of barbarians burning the greatest city in the world. But they did.

Now I’m not proclaiming a message of gloom and doom. But, you need to stop and take an honest look at your life. You see, you and I live in this little moment of time. We believe that the United States, or Canada, are militarily and economically unbeatable. We believe that our democratic and permissive way of life will last for our lives, and our children’s lives and their children’s lives.

But the seeds of failure that have plagued every human government in history are embedded in our governments. Now I want to explore an ancient biblical prophecy that gives the solution to this problem of government but first, let me tell you how to get your free copy of The Gospel of the Kingdom.

To help you understand why human governments fail, you need to read: The Gospel of the Kingdom . Now I know you’re distressed over politicians who have values that are different than yours. The headlines tell us that governments all over the world are destabilized, but you don’t have to be overwhelmed. Reading The Gospel of the Kingdom will help you see that God has a plan for humanity.

Go online right now to BeyondToday.tv to read or order your free copy of The Gospel of the Kingdom . Or, call toll free: 1-888-886-8632. That’s 1-888-886-8632. Or go online to BeyondToday.tv .

And you can follow Beyond Today on Twitter and join us on Facebook where we welcome your comments and suggestions.

As I said a little earlier, the reason governments fail is because of human nature. Until there is a change in human nature all human governments contain the seeds of their own destruction.
According to an ancient biblical prophecy, there is a government that will bring an end to war, prosperity to all human beings and fulfill all its promises. Now you can’t vote this government into power, but it can be part of your future.

So let’s take look at a prophecy in the Old Testament book of Daniel and discover what it reveals about your future and the future world government.

So let’s go to Daniel chapter 2.

Now, the events of this book, in Daniel, take place in the sixth century BC. Babylon was the superpower of the day ruled by a despot named Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel was among a group of young Jews captured by the Babylonians during one of the invasions of Judah. And Daniel was taken to the empire’s capital city to be indoctrinated in Babylonian culture.

Nebuchadnezzar had a disturbing dream and demanded his astrologers and sorcerers to give him an interpretation. The astrologers and sorcerers of the court asked the king to tell them the dream and they will give him, of course, the meaning. Nebuchadnezzar basically tells them, “You’re supposed to be the men of mysterious magic and connected to the gods. You tell me the dream and then I’ll trust your interpretation.”

Of course the astrologers and sorcerers were in a panic. Daniel asks the God of his fathers to reveal to him the dream and its meaning. God answers Daniel’s prayer and the young man reports to the king.

He explains that Nebuchadnezzar had seen a vision of an image of a man with a head of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, legs of iron and feet made partly of iron and clay. Now since this is exactly what the king had seen in his dream, he was very attentive to Daniel.

Then Daniel told the king, this is what he said,

Daniel 2:37-43 Daniel 2:37-43 37 You, O king, are a king of kings: for the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. 38 And wherever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven has he given into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all. You are this head of gold. 39 And after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to you, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. 40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: for as much as iron breaks in pieces and subdues all things: and as iron that breaks all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. 41 And whereas you saw the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, for as much as you saw the iron mixed with miry clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. 43 And whereas you saw iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not join one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.
American King James Version×
(NIV) - “The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; in your hands he has placed mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds of the air. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over all of them. You are that head of gold.After you, another kingdom will rise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth. Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron - for iron breaks and smashes everything and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others. Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay.”

Now, we’ll continue with the next verses in a moment.

Much of this incredible prophecy has already been fulfilled just as God said it would. Babylon ruled the Middle East for a couple of generations until mighty Persia conquered them in one night. Persia was the regions superpower for a number of centuries, until defeated by the Greeks in celebrated battles like Marathon. The fourth kingdom of iron was Rome. The iron fist of Roman legions united the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Europe into the greatest empire the world had ever known.

But part of this prophecy has yet to be fulfilled. The Roman Empire would become divided and eventually a mixture of strength and weakness, but the prophecy of the time of the ten toes has yet to be fulfilled.

Now how do we know that? How do we know that this part of the prophecy has yet to be fulfilled?

Well Nebuchadnezzar’s dream didn’t end with the image of gold, silver, bronze and iron. In his dream, a stone, cut without human hands, strikes the image on the feet and crushes the entire image into pieces.

So let’s go back now to Daniel 2 and pick put the story here in verse 44:

Daniel 2:44-45 Daniel 2:44-45 44 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. 45 For as much as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God has made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.
American King James Version×
(NIV) - “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands - a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces. The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future.”

You see there is coming a time, when the Almighty Creator God is going to intervene in human history. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is returning to save humanity from our own cycles of self-destruction. That’s the reason for this program. All the democracies, dictatorships, and monarchies of this world will someday be replaced by the Kingdom of God. On Beyond Today we’re dedicated to proclaiming the message of the coming Kingdom of God. We look beyond today’s struggles and depressing headlines to a future of peace and prosperity for all of humanity.

Now with that in thought, the Old Testament is filled with prophecies of when God will send a Messiah, a Savior for all humanity. Jesus came the first time, not as King of Kings, but to sow the seeds of the Kingdom of God among those who would follow Him.

Now, when Jesus came the first time, we read in the Gospel of John of one of the greatest ironies of all time. The Son of God stands before the Roman governor of Judea and Pontius Pilate asks him,

John 18:37 John 18:37Pilate therefore said to him, Are you a king then? Jesus answered, You say that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Every one that is of the truth hears my voice.
American King James Version×
(NIV) - “’You are a king, then!’ said Pilate. Jesus answered, ‘You are right in saying that I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.’”

You and I live in a remarkable time. We live between the two greatest events in human history. Jesus Christ came to this earth the first time to give us an example of a perfect human life, to die as the Savior for all humanity and be resurrected to be with His Father. He is coming the second time, as King of Kings.

But what does that have to do with getting the kids to soccer practice, dealing with your cantankerous boss and finding the money to fix the transmission in the family car? Well actually, the gospel of the Kingdom of God has everything to do with every aspect of your life.

You’ve all heard that Jesus died for you sins. Well that’s part of God’s plan for humanity, but the gospel is even more than that. God wants to change your life.

What does it mean to live by the values of God’s Kingdom and how can that change your life? We’ll discuss that with the Beyond Today panel, but first, let me tell you about how you can get a free subscription to The Good News magazine.

The Good News magazine is dedicated to proclaiming the gospel of the coming Kingdom of God. In every issue, you will read articles about Christ’s prophesied return and what that means to your life today. Find out how God wants to help you in your marriage, how to manage your finances, how to understand how the Bible can change your life, and how to have a vision of the Kingdom of God. This magazine is offered free of charge in the public interest. So go online right now to BeyondToday.tv to read or order your free subscription to The Good News magazine. Or, call toll free: 1-888-886-8632. That’s 1-888-886-8632. Or go online to BeyondToday.tv . And you can follow Beyond Today on Twitter and join us on Facebook where we welcome your comments and suggestions.

How can the knowledge of Christ’s coming to establish the Kingdom of God effect your life now? To help you with understanding how to make the Kingdom of God practical in your life, we’re joined by fellow Beyond Today hosts, Steve Myers and Darris McNeely.

Now I said earlier in the problem that the problem with human government is human nature. What is the problem with human nature?

Darris McNeely:
Well Gary, human nature just doesn’t work. The purpose of government, any government over people, should be to produce peace, prosperity, the common good. But, as noble as any document that has ever been created to create a government, it is, there’s always a breakdown. Human nature just doesn’t work when power, control, money enter the picture.

Thomas Jefferson helped to craft the Declaration of Independence and the founding documents of the American government. A brilliant mind when it came to theory and putting it down on paper. Thomas Jefferson, he said that “all men are created equal,” but he held slaves. It’s an anomaly for historians to try to figure out the character of the man in the actual application. Revolutions have come and gone throughout human history. In 1789, the French overthrew the corrupt Bourbon dynasty of France and then they turned on themselves and essentially ate their own young. And that government corrupted itself and had to be rescued by a dictator, Napoleon. So, human nature just doesn’t work when it comes to the actual ground swell application of the principles of government to produce what it should.

Gary Petty:
You know what the grandest ideas, it doesn’t…(unclear what said at 21min.)

Steve Myers:
That’s the interesting part because even the most noble intentions, people want good things, they want the best. But that human nature creeps in there and it becomes a self-thing. That there’s this self-will and people become centered on themselves and they are self-seeking. And the governments can tend to go that way. So then you have self-ambition, and ultimately that leads to self-destruction and that’s where the government begins to crumble and fail.

Gary Petty:
Human nature is basically selfish. That’s the problem with everything we do.

Steve Myers:
Probably a key word…

Gary Petty:
Yes.

Steve Myers:
Selfish. Human nature and selfishness go hand in hand.

Gary Petty:
I talked earlier about Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Now it’s an ancient prophecy, seems far removed from our life today, but what can we learn from that? What can people learn from that in their practical everyday life?

Darris McNeely:
That there’s more to this world, history and life than meets the eye. That God is in charge. God is guiding history to a conclusion and that He is ultimately responsible. And even when it looks dark, when things don’t go right according to individual or even larger plans, God is ultimately in charge. That’s one of the things to step back from in that story in Daniel chapter 2–to learn that God ultimately is in charge.

Steve Myers:
Yeah. There’s a phrase within those chapters that’s repeated over and over and over again. It says there is a God in heaven. God is in control and even though it can look so terrible, doom and gloom, everything is going to fail that ultimately, it is a message of hope! It’s a message that says, you know, God has something better planned. Even though we don’t know how to govern ourselves, God has something in mind that will solve those problems for us.

Gary Petty:
You know, that’s real comforting when you think about the mess that human beings seem to make eventually of everything. That God has a plan and in the end it all works out. How do we take this, while we’re talking about this, idea, this knowledge of the return of Jesus Christ to establish God’s Kingdom on this earth? How do we turn that into reality and everyday practical life?

Darris McNeely:
I think one of the most, quickest ways to do that is to look at the Scriptures, look at the Sermon on the Mount–Matthew chapters 5, 6 and 7 to begin with. Read the Sermon on the Mount. It has been called the constitution of the Kingdom of God. It is the charter for a citizen of the Kingdom of God. Read what Christ said in regard to the spiritual application of His eternal spiritual law and you will begin to understand what it means in terms of a practical application in a day-to-day life of the principles, the values, the laws of that coming Kingdom to this earth. The Sermon on the Mount is probably the best place for anyone to start to understand what it’s going to be like.

Steve Myers:
Yeah. It focuses on laws and living by that standard. And it’s also interesting that it focuses on the monarch, it focuses on…

Gary Petty:
The King Himself.

Steve Myers:
…The King Himself, Jesus Christ. And we’re to follow His example. So He’s going to be totally unlike, you know, the presidents and dictators and monarchs of this world, or any other age, because He’s coming and He already set the example. So there’s some interesting phrases in the Bible that point to that example, that says that we should walk as He walked and live as He lived. And so that should be our example and if we don’t know what He did and how He lived and how He conducted Himself well we should get into our Bible and understand Him on a deeper level, on a personal level. So that we can follow that King, obey those laws and do the things that are right and then that’s going to give us that perspective of what God wants for us.

Gary Petty:
I’ve had people ask me before what political party I belong to and I always tell them, “I’m a monarchist. I have a king and I’m a monarchist.” How is this knowledge, this understanding of the Gospel of Kingdom, how has it affected your life?

Darris McNeely:
It’s given me a structure of hope - a structure of hope for a whole life and a way to live. It has also helped to frame a world view for me. When you understand that the Kingdom of God in reality is talking about a government that God is going to bring to this earth to replace the governments of this world, then that is a structured world view that doesn’t detach you from responsibility in everyday life but, it gives you hope of a better time to come and it helps to frame the decisions we make in our own daily life, how we interrelate with one another. Also, it helps us to have a balanced approach to government, to politics, that we understand, you know, that no government, human government, essentially is going to be the one answer that God’s government is going to bring that.

Gary Petty:
So we don’t despair.

Darris McNeely:
We don’t despair. It gives us hope.

Steve Myers:
You don’t have to worry about the next election. Is this party going to represent what I believe? It gives you peace of mind, I think, to realize that even though there are so many difficulties out there, that when we focus on the vision that God has for us, then that changes our whole perspective so that the worry, and the over anxiousness about what’s happening around us has a solution and it’s in what God has planned.

Gary Petty:
I know the Gospel of the Kingdom of God has changed my life because it’s given me purpose. Knowing that Jesus Christ died for me and was resurrected, knowing that He’s coming back, it makes every day worth living. Trying to become Christ-like, trying to prepare for that Kingdom. What a way to live life! What a way to look at life! Now remember to order your free copy of The Gospel of the Kingdom . It will help you discover how you can become a citizen of the Kingdom of God. The Good New magazine will help you live a life dedicated to Christ and His Kingdom.

Now I would like to send you both, The Gospel of the Kingdom of God and a one-year subscription to The Good News magazine. Simply call toll free: 1-888-886-8632. That’s 1-888-886-8632. Or go online to BeyondToday.tv to read or order your copy of The Gospel of the Kingdom. And you can follow Beyond Today on Twitter and join us on Facebook where we welcome your comments and suggestions.

There is coming to this earth a government that will not fail. And I guarantee you, it’s not going to be formed by the United Nations, European Union, the United States of America, or a new Soviet Empire. God is going to send Jesus Christ back to this earth, not as a baby in the manger, but as conquering King and you could be part of what God is doing.

The problem with human government is human nature. Perfect government needs a divine ruler.

Jesus of Nazareth is the prophesied Messiah. He is returning to Jerusalem to rule the world and only then will all humanity experience peace and prosperity under one world leader that keeps His promises.

Join us next week to learn more about the Kingdom of God. Thanks for watching.