On September 17, 1787, representatives of the thirteen newly independent colonies in the Americas agreed to the wording of a document that began with the now famous preamble, "We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
"A more perfect Union." These words are meant to call one's attention to the contrast between the new nation described in the Constitution with the United Kingdom, from which the States had just gained their freedom. On September 25, 1789, Congress proposed what has come to be known as the Bill of Rights: twelve articles of amendment to the Constitution, ten of which were ratified by the required number of States by December 15, 1791. Finally, a more perfect form of government was described and established. Or was it?
As the biblical book of Judges was brought to a close, the writer, with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God, penned the words which describe not only the condition of Israel at the time, but a condition common throughout the history of all mankind. "In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes" (Judges 21:25). People, generally, have a tendency to consider their mannerisms and approach as normal and more acceptable than those of others. This is true in most everything: political views, religious doctrinal interpretation, child rearing, etc.
This is readily seen by examining Christians of different ethnic backgrounds. There are stark, cultural differences, for example, between Hispanic, Russian, and American Pentecostals. While they all share a common understanding of the gift of the Holy Ghost, they are vastly different in how they manifest it. Their respective cultures have had a profound impact on how each group expresses itself, including whether or not one should dance in the Spirit, or even if it is acceptable to clap.
What is considered proper attire for the believer has also been influenced by the ethnic culture. For instance, the Russian Pentecostal women traditionally wear some kind of covering over their head. (See 1 Cor. 11:1-16.) Many of them have told me that this practice is a requirement of God, and feel that the Lord sent them here to teach American Christians to do so to be more holy. While that Scripture does talk about women covering their heads, it goes on to show that a woman's long hair "is given her for a covering" (verse 15). They are adamant, however, that some kind of scarf be worn. When viewing videos of large gatherings in Eastern Europe, the women, regardless of their religion, can be seen with some sort of covering for their head. Could it be that not only Scripture, but Russian culture is also influencing this attitude?
All people, whether consciously or not, are inclined to believe that their way is God's way. God, however, dealt with that attitude in Isaiah 55:8, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord." How much more when it comes to matters of politics.
What could be considered the perfect governmental system? What is the standard by which governmental systems should be judged? What are the criteria for determining a perfect system of rule, and where could such criteria be found?
The tendency is to set your own system as the standard. Our method is right, and everyone else is to be rated by how closely their system lines up with ours. This is readily seen in the current effort to spread democracy around the world. The first question should not be how that can be accomplished, but whether or not it should be. Is democracy righteous? Is a dictatorship evil? What are you basing your answer on? Are you basing it on sentimental attachment to your country of origin, or on the Bible? Consider this: during the millennial reign of Christ, will his government operate according to the principles of democracy?
One night, God gave a dream of an image depicting the succession of world empires to Nebuchadnezzar, the ruler of the Babylonian Empire, the super power of its day. In the interpretation given by Daniel, he is told, "Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold. And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest 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, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. 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. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay" (Daniel 2:37-43).
Each successive empire, while greater in scope and power, was deemed by God to be inferior to the one before. How was the empire of the Medes and Persians inferior to that of Babylon? The answer is found in Daniel 6:15. Some of Darius' subordinates conspired against Daniel and encouraged the king to decree a law forbidding prayer to anyone but him. When Daniel was caught disobeying the law, the king, although he admired Daniel very much, could not spare him from the lion's den. Why? "Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed." (The same limitation on the office of the Medio-Persian king is evident in the book of Esther. Even when the king discovered the Jewish heritage of his queen, he could not rescind his previous order to slaughter the Jews on the set day. His only option was to pass a second law allowing the Jews to defend themselves.) No such restrictions were imposed on Babylonian kings, who could, at will, make and rescind the laws. As Daniel said, "Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold."
Later, the Greek Empire would be known for its democracy, and the Roman emperors would themselves be subjugated to senatorial politics. Finally, the Lord showed Nebuchadnezzar a kingdom that would not be strongly united, being represented by iron mixed with clay. Today's world empire known as the United Nations best fits that prophecy, striving for unity, while consisting of nations that could not be further from one another ideologically. It is during the reign of this world government that the rest of the prophecy will come to pass.
"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" (Dan. 2:44). God is preparing the world for the rise of a perfect government. It shall exceed even the greatness of Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom. The Lord Jesus Christ shall descend from heaven, and take His place on the throne of David. He shall not rule by tyranny, but He shall reign as supreme, sovereign Lord over all the earth. He shall not rule by public opinion polls, committees, or congressional or parliamentary limitations. He will not campaign for support of His agenda.
God has highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Sing unto the Lord with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm. With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the Lord, the King. Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together before the Lord; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity" (Psa. 98:4-9). "Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in" (Isa. 26:2).
As Daniel said, "And the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure." Blessed be the name of the Lord.Next Article - Newsbriefs - Israel Completes Gaza Pullout