The Way Leading to Life in True Happiness
CONDITIONS all over the earth are due to make a complete about-face in the near future. The magnificent change soon to come will result from the fresh start that God will give mankind.
But obviously mankind needs help in order to receive this fresh start. How true the words found at Jeremiah 10:23 have proved to be: “To earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.”
How will God help man out of his dilemma? Not by remodeling or reforming the present world order. God’s Son said: “No one cuts a patch from a new outer garment and sews it onto an old outer garment; but if he does, then both the new patch tears away and the patch from the new garment does not match the old.” (Luke 5:36-38) The new order that God’s Word foretells will not be just a ‘new patch on an old garment.’ It will completely replace this old order because the old order is beyond cure or reform. It has never solved mankind’s greatest need.
What is mankind’s greatest need? How will God’s kingdom government fill that need?
Meeting the Need Successfully
More than all other things mankind needs to gain freedom from human imperfection and the bondage that goes with it.
Is that imperfection not obvious to all of us? We see it in our own bodies, we can sense it in our own minds and hearts. We have a constant struggle, trying to hold to what is right and good, while finding ourselves leaning toward what is wrong and evil.—Rom. 7:22, 23.
And, even though we may hold to a right course with mind and heart, our bodies still get sick, grow weak, become aged, and answer the call when death knocks at the door. Life’s shortness pressures people to try hurriedly to ‘get all they can while they can.’ It pushes them toward impatience, selfishness, unconcern for their neighbor. All are affected—from the poorest peasant to the most powerful potentate. The world’s troubled course is, in fact, but a reflection of the human imperfections and weaknesses found in the millions of individuals that compose the world.
What, then, will the government that Jehovah God has assigned to rule our earth do? That government is specifically designed to get at this root cause of human troubles. How will it do so? To understand how, we need first to understand how human imperfection began. The Bible, the only reliable record of human history from its beginning, makes that clear.
It shows that man’s Creator is not the source of human imperfection. Of Jehovah God, the Bible says: “Perfect is his activity.” (Deut. 32:4) Mankind at the beginning, therefore, was perfect. So were man’s first surroundings. We would not expect the Creator to have brought man forth on a barren desert or on a garbage heap, would we? Nor did he, for the Bible shows that God started human life off in a garden home, a region named Eden, and that he instructed the first human pair to see that the whole planet became such a garden, telling them: “Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it.”—Gen. 1:28.
But the perfection that Adam and Eve enjoyed, and the blessings that went with it, were all conditional—depending upon their continued obedience to the One who gave them life. Their perfection included their possessing the faculty of free will. What does that mean?
It means they were free to choose the course that they would follow. But they would have to accept the consequences of their choice. They could submit to their Creator’s will, or they could go against that will. By obedience to his will they could retain their perfection; by disobedience they would suffer the loss of it.—Gen. 2:15-17; compare Deuteronomy 30:15, 19, 20.
The historical record shows that Adam, the first father of us all, willfully violated a simple but clear-cut law that had been given to him. He lost perfection, not only for himself, but for all his unborn offspring. Thus we read: “Through one man [Adam] sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because they had all sinned.”—Rom. 5:12.
Just like copies made from a mold or pattern that has a flaw, all of us descendants of that first man have been born with inherited sin, the inborn tendency toward wrongdoing and selfishness. The entire human race, then, came into a severe disability from which no person could free himself by his own efforts. That disability was an enslavement to sin and all its effects, including sickness, pain and death.
Thus, as Romans 8:20, 21 states: “The creation was subjected to futility, . . . on the basis of hope that the creation itself also will be set free from enslavement to corruption and have the glorious freedom of the children of God.” Yes, God did not purpose that mankind should futilely strive forever to get free from enslavement. He has provided a grand hope. How has he done this?
To free mankind from this enslavement, while at the same time meeting the proper demands of divine justice, God’s Son while on earth offered up his own life in sacrifice. Mankind’s forefather Adam had forfeited the right to perfect human life for himself and all his offspring. None of Adam’s descendants could free mankind by paying over as a ransom a perfect human life, for none possessed this. As Psalm 49:7 says: “Not one of them can by any means redeem even a brother, nor give to God a ransom for him.” But Christ Jesus could and did. He willingly gave “his soul a ransom in exchange for many.”—Matt. 20:28.
He, then, is the vital factor that will bring to an end mankind’s downward slide into weakness and death and start all obedient ones on the road back to perfection and life. That is why Christ Jesus, in speaking to his disciples of his future reign over earth, referred to it as a time of “re-creation” or “regeneration.” (Matt. 19:28) His life-restoring administration will educate and guide all its subjects in righteousness, including all those resurrected from their graves. It will administer the benefits of his ransom sacrifice to bring them to complete freedom from sin and imperfection.—Rev. 20:12, 13.
This is beautifully described in the last book of the Bible in a prophetic vision. There God’s government is represented, not by any of today’s powerful capitals, such as Washington, Moscow, Peking, London or Paris, but by a symbolic city called the New Jerusalem, a heavenly capital. Showing the effects of the extension of Kingdom power to the earth, the account says: “And [God] will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”—Rev. 21:2-4.
How grand, when the aging process in humans is reversed and, with the help of God’s Son as High Priest, they return from the road to death and the grave and start back on the road to the freshness and vigor of youth! We can have confidence that the head of God’s government will not be harsh in his direction of earth’s inhabitants as they work to bring their lives ever more fully in harmony with God’s will and purpose. For with reference to Christ Jesus’ priestly service, in view of his experiences here on earth, Hebrews 4:15 says: “We have as high priest, not one who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tested in all respects like ourselves, but without sin. Let us, therefore, approach with freeness of speech to the throne of undeserved kindness, that we may obtain mercy and find undeserved kindness for help at the right time.”
Coming Government Opens Way to Global Blessings
While supplying the greatest need of all mankind in providing the means for them to gain freedom from sin and death, that government will also provide the solution to all others of mankind’s problems. It will give mankind what it has always needed and never had—one government that rules the entire earth.
The problems of earth’s inhabitants are all interwoven. We all have this one planet for our home, and only if all unitedly use this home in the right way can there be full enjoyment of it. The dividing up of the earth into the present patchwork of nations and kingdoms with their frontiers and zigzagging political frontiers and their tariff walls and other barriers has worked against any genuine global cooperation.
God’s kingdom by his Son will smash all those barriers and erase all the political divisions off the map. Then earth’s produce will flow freely and, under God’s blessing, abundantly. King David’s prayer of long ago will find its greatest fulfillment in the rule of Christ’s Messianic government, namely: “Let him judge the afflicted ones of the people, let him save the sons of the poor one, and let him crush the defrauder. . . . In his days the righteous one will sprout, and the abundance of peace until the moon is no more. And he will have subjects from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth. . . . There will come to be plenty of grain on the earth; on the top of the mountains there will be an overflow.”—Ps. 72:4-16.
With heavenly direction this planet will come to be the global garden that God purposed it should be. (Gen. 1:28) Gone for all time will be the specter of hunger and famine, the sight of children with spindly arms and legs and swollen bellies. What a blessing it will be to see the end of nationalistic pride, of racial prejudice and tribal hatreds as all surviving persons unite in one grand human family, free to move about the whole earth without hindrance!
What a blessing, too, to be no longer under human political governments, committed to maintaining huge armed forces and weaponry, with mankind bearing the crushing tax burden now mounting to some $200 billion a year! How much can be done on earth with all its resources being used for constructive, helpful purposes instead of to the damage and hurt of mankind! For all those then qualifying to live under God’s one government will have had to fulfill personally the prophetic picture at Micah 4:3, 4:
“And they will have to beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears. They will not lift up sword, nation against nation, neither will they learn war anymore. And they will actually sit, each one under his vine and under his fig tree, and there will be no one making them tremble; for the very mouth of Jehovah of armies has spoken it.”
Gone, too, will be the giant commercial systems that have waged commercial war and fostered the spirit of greed and hard-hearted ambition that often leads to actual shooting wars. Brought to an end will be their befouling of the earth and polluting of it for selfish gain. In place of selfish competition, all those living under God’s righteous government will practice loving cooperation. Yes, genuine love of God and of neighbor will enable the subjects of God’s kingdom to accomplish, for the betterment of this earth and life on it, things a thousand times more wonderful than all this present world’s industrial, technological and scientific systems have ever done.
Work, then, can become genuinely satisfying, knowing that it is truly to the honor of the Most High God and for the tasting good of one’s fellowman. Yes, best of all, persons can then enjoy a truly close, meaningful relationship with their Creator, having the positive assurance that they are doing what is right and best.
Under God’s righteous rule the prophecy at Isaiah 32:17, 18 will see its grandest fulfillment ever: “And the work of the true righteousness must become peace; and the service of the true righteousness, quietness and security to time indefinite. And my people must dwell in a peaceful abiding place and in residences of full confidence and in undisturbed resting places.” What a blessing to have such security, to know that—whenever you hear a knock on your door, day or night—you can open to the one knocking without fear, knowing that, whoever it is, he or she is your friend!
This world—not the planet Earth but the masses of mankind—goes stubbornly, blindly, on the road that can lead only to destruction. Its course can only lead to a disastrous collision with God’s heaven-powered government. Yet the majority prefer to ignore the foretold signs, minimize the dangers, and shut their ears to the warning now being sounded earth wide by those placing their full hope in God’s promises. What, though, will you do?
Can you see the futility of man’s age-old gropings after peace and security by human methods? Can you see the failure of man-made governments and systems to solve the most serious problems facing all humans? Do you see the wisdom of God’s way and why it must be the only way that can possibly lead to genuine life in true happiness? Then you need to take decisive action now.
You will want to learn more about the course that God has outlined in his Word for those wanting to attain the grand goal he sets before us. If you have not already done so, why not accept the invitation of Jehovah’s witnesses to have a free Bible study in your home to answer your further questions? While time allows, find the way that leads to life—for your own eternal welfare and that of those you love.
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After the end of this wicked system of things, the earth will come to be the global garden that God purposed it should be