Vertical thinkers read mankind's stories—and consider how our violent and immoral failures must be reversed. They want the vertical change of man looking up to God. They hope not for just a better world, but for a completely better world. They pine for the time when the true Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, will return to the earth to completely change the nature of things.
This is the story of man, wolf and lamb.
"Man is a wolf to man" is an ancient Latin proverb that describes the warlike animosity and predatory nature that people exert against each other—individuals against individuals, nations against nations. In essence, mankind is wolflike.
If you know a little history, you know how apt the lupus (Latin for wolf) label is for human nature.
The dogs of war
University of Hawaii professor emeritus Rudolph Rummel (author of Power Killsand Death by Government) has researched the numbers of people murdered by their own governments throughout history—not including battle deaths or criminal punishment. In the 20th century alone he estimates that rulers exterminated 262 million of their own subjects.
He cites Shakespeare's famous and somber lines about the violent perversity of mankind: "Tumultuous wars shall kin with kin and kind with kind confound; disorder, horror, fear and mutiny ... and this land be call'd the field of Golgotha and dead men's skulls" (Richard II , act 4, scene 1).
Dr. Rummel's research does not study deaths caused by wars with other nations. Other experts reckon upwards of 160 million war deaths from 1900 to 1999. With Germany's Hitler, the Soviet Union's Stalin, Japan's militarists, China's Mao and their other dictator "friends," the 20th century was phenomenally wild-natured and predatory.
It evokes another famous line from Shakespeare, when Mark Antony promises revenge for Caesar's assassination: "Cry 'Havoc,' and let slip the dogs of war" (Julius Caesar, act 3, scene 1).
What are wolves but dogs with wild, untamable predatory natures? What has human nature been throughout time but wild, self-serving, lustful and murderous—wolflike?
In the wake of 72 million human deaths during World War II, U.S. Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur sadly but correctly surmised planet earth's plight: The solution "must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh." Will there ever be a time when that wild nature is changed? Yes, absolutely!
The wolf and the lamb
Here by ancient prophecy enters the lamb into our story about man and wolf.
"The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them" (Isaiah 11:6).
What a word portrait of the peaceful farmyard! Former predators with wild natures will then be as faithfully tame around domesticated livestock as our house pets today!
When she was young, I told my daughter hundreds of bedtime stories about a pet grizzly bear named Woofer and the sister and brother who owned him. The time will come when small children can have lions, tigers or grizzly bears for pets—or formerly poisonous snakes:
"The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra's hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper's den" (Isaiah 11:7-8).
Today wild wolves will readily kill and eat lambs, but in the future, they will be like border collies or sheepdogs to the flock. When will this seemingly magical time come upon us?—Soon.
Ending the end time
We live in the end time—the last days of the world as we know it. In but a few years the forces of evil and covetousness will in fact "cry 'havoc' and let slip the dogs of war." It will be an era of unprecedented terror and destruction.
Jesus Christ forecasted tomorrow's news far in advance. He said that "nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom...And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened" (Matthew 24:7, 22). The elect are true vertical thinkers.
The only way that our world's wolflike future war can be halted before humanity is annihilated will be for Christ to literally return from heaven to earth and stop the fighting and killing. And He will do just that—powerfully and dramatically! Man will no longer be allowed to be wolf to man.
The prophecies in the Bible show that Jesus will personally rule all the nations from His capital in Jerusalem for 1,000 years—a period often referred to as the Millennium. During that peaceful world of tomorrow, Christ will also change the wild nature of the animals to fulfill the prophecies above.
But is taming wild animals what Jesus Christ and the Father ultimately seek?
The greater nature
Animal nature will be changed in the Millennium, but Isaiah's prophecy indicates something far more important.
"They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea" (Isaiah 11:9).
The prophesied change in animal nature, while literal, is also representative of a coming change in human nature—taming the beastly nature of people. After all, did Jesus die for the sins of animals? Is God all about bringing lions and tigers and bears to glory? No.
God values human life phenomenally higher than that of animals even though He made both. The greater potential for you and me is to be the divine children of God in His family and Kingdom. That incredible destiny is not offered to animals or even to angels! Read Hebrews 2:5 about the angels.
In the prophecy from Isaiah, the "holy mountain" is the Kingdom or government of God on earth during the Millennium. God doesn't want people to hurt or destroy each other—no wolfish wars or other behavior. He wants all human beings to be completely filled with knowledge about Him and His way of life like the waters cover the seabeds.
The Father through His Son Jesus Christ is in the business of changing the nature of mankind through spiritual conversion by placing His Holy Spirit—the power of God—within the minds of a humbled and faithful humanity. When that happens, wolflike, selfish, predatory human nature will begin to transform into God's loving, divine nature. Amazingly, this change is your and all mankind's destiny.
God will indeed change the nature of wild carnivores so that in the world tomorrow the wolf can and will dwell with the lamb as barnyard pets of a little child. But the greater nature change is for mankind.
Man is a lamb to man
The good news is that homo homini agnus ("man is a lamb to man") will replace homo homini lupus. Man is now a wolf to man, but in the 1,000 years of Christ's rule as King of Kings on earth, man will be as a lamb to man. What a wonderful contrast to today! VT