September marks the 70th anniversary of the start of World War II in 1939. Ceremonies across Europe will note this time as leaders of former antagonists, Germany and Russia, will commemorate it with speeches about peace, unity and better understanding. Unmentioned in all this will be a fundamental cause of the great global conflict.
World War II, like any past war, sprang from failed ideologies of nations bent on creating utopian world orders based on their views. Hitler wanted a world based on Nazism. Stalin desired a rule based on the totalitarian views of communist socialism. Both men created monstrous systems of evil that led to the death of tens of millions of humans. So much for peace and happiness.
This has been the legacy of every humanly devised government and social system intending to create the perfect world. No system created by man has brought about the utopian world promised by God through the prophets of the Bible. These images of a world at peace have inspired the ages.
Isaiah's vision of the wolf living with the lamb, the leopard lying down with a goat and a little child in the midst of this pastoral scene is one of the most beautiful and hopeful in the entire Bible. Venomous snakes are rendered harmless as children interact safely with them. "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 11:6-9).
This scene has been drawn by artists as "the peaceable kingdom" and stands as the ideal hope for mankind. Yet sadly, despite the best efforts and intentions of philosophers, politicians, religious leaders and social reformers, it has not happened. At no point in history has any human agency been able to create this scene for any appreciable length of time.
Reading through the prophets you must conclude that only God can bring about the reality called the Millennium, the thousand-year-long reign of Christ on the earth as the long foretold Messiah. Every revolutionary of the modern world has tried to impose his or her vision of a perfect and just world. The murder of millions of people has been justified in the human pursuit of this goal.
In this issue we have an article about the age-old dream to have the entire world at peace. Reading the scriptures on the subject and studying the historical path of the teaching, there is only one conclusion you can draw. It is that if you believe in God and His Word, the Bible, you must believe it is in His power to bring about the conditions of the messianic age. You must also conclude that it is only God, not any humanly devised system or substitute, who can create this perfect world of peace, justice and harmony. Its creation rests only with God and no other human effort.
The words of Zechariah 4:6 remind us such realities must come from God. "This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the Lord of hosts."
To believe God and live with this vision of the future in your mind is to anchor your life around the most important goal and hope a human can have. Living by the laws and principles of that coming Kingdom can make all the difference in your life today. The reign of the Kingdom of God on this earth is more than a dream. It is a living reality that can lift your life beyond anything you can imagine for yourself. Seize it now and begin to live it today. WNP