One World, One Government, Under God’s Sovereignty
1. What is sovereignty defined as being, and how has it affected our earth?
FOR CENTURIES it has been argued that the sovereignty of a government has its basic source in the people governed.a In the realm of political science sovereignty is said to be “the supreme power in a State by which the government is administered.”b In recent times more and more lands have gone over to the idea that sovereignty resides with the people.c However, in some lands it is still recognized that the supreme power in the State is possessed by the sovereign, such as the king or the emperor. Whatever be the case, there is today no one man or one national group of people that exercises sovereignty over all the earth. Rather, our earth is the location of many sovereignties. This is a major cause for strife and conflict. The earth has no rest, no global peace.
2. Why are all of us affected by the national sovereignties around the earth, and what patriotic stand do some take toward their national government?
2 All of us are affected by the sovereignties that are exercised around the earth. Relatively few of us individuals are what may be called “a man without a country.” The most of us are members of some nation, citizens of some country. As such, we are expected to have a national pride. We are made very sensitive of our nationality, so that we resent and take offense at any slur that is made against the nation that we represent. During international disputes many devotees of a national government take the patriotic position expressed in the words, “My country—right or wrong!”
3. What internal sovereignty and what external sovereignty do the nations today exercise?
3 Today more nations than ever before in human history command the loyalty of their citizens. In that world body known as the United Nations there are at present one hundred and thirty-eight member nations of diverse political complexions. There are yet other nations that are still outside the United Nations organization. Each of these nations, whether inside or outside the United Nations, is jealous of its internal sovereignty and of its external sovereignty. Each nation claims and safeguards those governmental powers that a political State possesses internally over its own citizens and even over foreigners dwelling within the national borders and over private ships of its citizens on the high seas. In the exercise of external sovereignty, each nation insists and acts upon its right to enter into relations with any foreign political state, either by making a peaceful treaty or by declaring war. From the present-day human standpoint, all of this seems right and natural. Patriotic!
4. During this century, what political movement became epidemic, and what question is raised as to brotherhood between nations and individuals?
4 The facts of modern history show that nationalism has come to the fore in this twentieth century, since the first war that was fought on a global scale. According to the winning side, it was fought to make the world safe for democracy. The striving of the peoples everywhere for national sovereignties by the creation of new political states became epidemic. Nationalism became a plague to all mankind. Instead of pacifying world conditions by the satisfying of local peoples wanting nationhood, it led to the multiplying of problems national and international. After nineteen years of operation by the now dead League of Nations and, then, thirty years of operation by the United Nations, there is today no brotherhood of the nations, just as there is no “brotherhood of man.” And yet, are not all men brothers “under the skin”? Are not all nations brother nations, made up of citizens who are brothers “under the skin”? Why, then, this absence world wide of brotherhood that should make all men everywhere act like loving brothers of one big human family?
5. Do we have on earth “one world” under “one government,” and to whom would this be a desirable thing?
5 We are obliged to confess that mankind today is not “one world” and that, despite the existence of the United Nations, it is not under “one government.” Would we like to have all living mankind to be “one world” and under “one government”? In the face of human experience for the past six thousand years, that would be a most desirable thing for all those of us who desire harmony, peace, justice, security, human fellowship and the joy of living.
6, 7. (a) Why were the peoples of earth never before so close together, so interdependent? (b) How many would be affected by another world war, and why?
6 All of us people, regardless of where we live on this planet, are held captive to this earth. It is true that six space flights have landed men on the moon, but these men, in order to survive, have had to return to this earth. They have been glad to get back to this earth. Here is where they were meant to live, and here only is where human creatures, as human beings, can live forever. Men, wherever they may live on this planet, are neighbors of one another, for they are all inhabitants of the one earth. They are, in general, subject to the same necessities of life. And now the means of rapid communication by telephone, telegraph, radio and television, and the various means for travel on land, on sea and in the skies, have brought all peoples closer together than ever before. Never before were the peoples of the earth so interdependent.
7 Like in one big human body, every other part of human society is affected by what happens to one particular part of the human family. In the face of the advances in the science of modern warfare, another world war, a war employing nuclear weapons with intercontinental ballistic missiles, would have disastrous effects upon all creatures, human and animal, upon our earth.
8, 9. (a) What danger is common to all mankind, and what is needed on the part of all nations to prevent the worst? (b) What warning of doom came from the Far East last January, calling for cooperation by whom?
8 Danger of extinction is now common to all mankind. It is now recognized that one common human effort globally is needed to ward off such a world calamity. An outright self-interest on the part of the people demands such a thing. But where among the self-seeking people of the day is there the feeling of a dire need to cooperate together to prevent the worst? A call for it comes from the Far East:
9 Under the headlines “Miki: Mankind Is Doomed Without Co-operation,” the Times of Singapore, Asia, under date of January 26, 1975, reports: “TOKYO, Sat.—Prime minister Takeo Miki warned yesterday that the world is doomed if individual national interests are carried out ‘in a narrow, short-term sense.’ Mr. Miki said in a keynote speech delivered at the Diet (parliament): ‘The world is becoming smaller and smaller and the whole of mankind shares the same fate aboard the same ship.’ He stressed the need for international co-operation and interdependence among nations. . . . ‘To our regret, however, the world has not yet reached a stage where this interdependence is fully realized. If this situation persists, it is clear that in the not-too-distant future we will be doomed. In this age, no single nation or individual can get along successfully by themselves any longer. The ultimate objective of diplomatic endeavor for any country is, of course, to ensure its national interests. This expression, however, should not be construed in a narrow, short-term sense.’”
WHAT IS MISSING ABOUT INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
10. What would impair the unifying strength to the international cooperation that was recommended?
10 This was indeed a solemn warning for the Japanese premier to make. He remains strongly convinced that mankind must now choose between full international cooperation and doom! In his view, however, the national sovereignty of each political state is not to be sacrificed, even while this cooperation obtains. Accordingly, the “ultimate objective of diplomatic endeavor” is to be that of ensuring the national interests of each country. In this way the national groups everywhere would be holding on to their national sovereignty. This would allow for national pride with all its divisive effects to remain. So this would work against true inner unity between national groups. It would be a weakness impairing the strength of international cooperation. Never would the result be “one government”! Neither “one people”!
11. What is the highly important thing that would be missing from such international cooperation?
11 So, then, is it merely the cooperation between sovereign political states that is needed to save the world of mankind from doom? Evidently something more is needed, something highly important. The now defunct League of Nations did not supply that need. The now functioning United Nations does not supply it either. Political scientists of the world might ask, What is the thing needed, that is missing from such organizations for international cooperation? We answer, It is unselfish cooperation with the One whom many nations claim to worship. Who that One is we can determine from the song that used to be treated as a national anthem in a North American country. It is entitled “My Country, ’Tis of Thee,” or, simply, “America.” The last verse of this song, at the playing of which the audience would rise to its feet, reads as follows:
“Our fathers’ God, to Thee,
Author of liberty, to Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright with freedom’s holy light.
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God our King.”
12. (a) How does a certain nation claim that God is its heavenly Sovereign? (b) How does such a singing nation prove whether God is its Sovereign or not?
12 Furthermore, this anthem was sung to the tune of the British national anthem, entitled “God Save Our Gracious King (Queen).” In agreement with that last verse of “America,” the Supreme Court of the nation has ruled that the United States is a Christian nation. Also, in England there is still a union of Church and State, the Church of England being the established State Church. The God of the Holy Bible is the deity here meant. All the nations of Christendom profess to worship this God of the Holy Scriptures. By singing to him the words “Great God our King,” the Americans who can join in that patriotic song are tunefully acknowledging God, “our fathers’ God,” as the sovereign, higher than the chief executive of the United States of America. But do the singers of the anthem say more than they mean? Do they really let him be the Sovereign of their own nation as well as the rest of the universe? The singers prove whether He is their real Sovereign by submissively cooperating with him or failing to do so.
13. (a) Whom does the King James Authorized Version Bible show to be the Sovereign of the Universe? (b) So, how only can “one world” under “one government” come about?
13 The translation of the Holy Bible into English that was authorized by King James I of Great Britain in 1611 to be read in the churches of the country points to the sovereignty of this God. In Psalm 83:18 it reads: “That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.” In fulfillment of the prayer contained in that Psalm, all men, all human inhabitants of the earth, will yet know that the God whose name is Jehovah is the Highest Sovereign of all and, hence, the Sovereign over our earth also. Today the larger number of the political nations do not worship Jehovah as their God, as the nations of Christendom claim to do. But, whereas the so-called “Christian” nations profess to worship the God whose name the Bible says is Jehovah, they do not in fact cooperate with Him. So, in actuality, not one of the nations that are members of the United Nations organization is cooperating with the Most High God, Jehovah. Only when all living mankind obediently cooperates with this Universal Sovereign can there come about “one world” under “one government.”
FOR WHOSE SOVEREIGNTY SHALL WE DECIDE?
14. Why is it now necessary for each one of us to make a personal decision on the issue that must be settled for all the earth?
14 Is such a thing what we want with all our hearts? Since the political states do not want such a thing in God’s way and since they refuse to cooperate with Him, then it is left to each one of us to make his own personal decision on the issue that must shortly be settled for all the earth. Shall we each one pay due respects to Jehovah’s universal sovereignty and live in harmony with it? Only by doing so shall we be privileged to enjoy the “one world, one government, under God’s sovereignty.”
15. What explains why the projects of the nations have failed despite international cooperation?
15 When all of us cooperate and act as a united body, we can generally get things done. When we work together with the Sovereign Lord God Jehovah, we can be sure of working for success. This fact helps us to understand why the nations have failed to have success in their international projects. It is true that the nations, in their desperate plight today, are seeking to unify the world under one single world arrangement. Why, there is even talk of handing over world sovereignty to the United Nations organization. However, as regards the “one world” of mankind under “one government” that the nations would like to bring about for the sake of world peace and security, is it the “one world” under “one government” that the Sovereign Lord God has in mind? Is it what He has foretold in his infallible written Word, the Holy Bible?
16, 17. (a) How did nations cooperate together in a bad way nineteen centuries ago at Jerusalem? (b) How did those who prayed and mentioned this evil cooperation address God, and what did they ask Him to do?
16 We know that human creatures and nations can cooperate in a bad work as well as in a good work. It was not quite two thousand years ago that nations got together in a bad work. They cooperated together, but not in cooperation with the Most High God of heaven. This was called attention to in a very solemn way in the city of Jerusalem, after a couple of men had been arrested for preaching in the city temple, had been tried in the Supreme Court and had been released under threats. Concerning the clash of sovereignties that was then and there involved, the historic account tells us, in the following words, according to The New English Bible:
17 “As soon as they were discharged they went back to their friends and told them everything that the chief priests and elders had said. When they heard it, they raised their voices as one man and called upon God: ‘Sovereign Lord, maker of heaven and earth and sea and of everything in them, who by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of David thy servant, didst say, “Why did the Gentiles rage and the peoples lay their plots in vain? The kings of the earth took their stand and the rulers made common cause against the Lord and against his Messiah.” They did indeed make common cause in this very city against thy holy servant Jesus whom thou didst anoint as Messiah. Herod and Pontius Pilate conspired with the Gentiles and peoples of Israel to do all the things which, under thy hand and by thy decree, were foreordained. And now, O Lord, mark their threats, and enable thy servants to speak thy word with all boldness.’”—Acts 4:23-29; also The New American Bible; Revised Standard Version; Moffatt; NW.
18. What did those praying Christians ask God to help them to do, and what was the result of the answer to their prayer?
18 Those disciples of Jesus the Messiah made their individual decisions and took their stand on the side of the universal sovereignty of the Creator of heaven and earth. That is why they prayed to Him to help them to ignore the ruling and threats of the national Supreme Court and go right ahead with the forbidden preaching of God’s message about his anointed Servant, Jesus the Messiah. They exposed the political conspiracy of King Herod Antipas, who represented the national group of the Idumeans, and Governor Pontius Pilate, who represented the Roman Empire and Tiberius Caesar, and the unchristianized Jews. Their prayer was answered, and the preaching of the good news by these upholders of the sovereignty of the Lord God Jehovah went on, both among the Jews and, later, among the Gentile nations. As a result, thousands of believers took their stand upon the side of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, to cooperate with him in his Messianic purpose.
19. In contrast with the situation nineteen centuries ago, we today have reached what fulfillment of David’s words in Psalm Two, and why should we be careful about the decision we make?
19 Today we have reached the climax in this divinely guided course of events that leads to “one world” under “one government” over which God is the Universal Sovereign. The prophetic words of David that were included in the prayer offered by the disciples of the Messiah nineteen centuries ago in Jerusalem had only an initial or a miniature fulfillment. It had involved King Herod and Governor Pontius Pilate and the Jewish people and the Roman soldiers whom these used in nailing Jesus the Messiah to a torture stake. In our twentieth century, the world events since the outbreak of World War I in the year 1914 furnish the proof that we have reached the final and full-scale fulfillment of those words of David found in Psalm Two. Now, more than at any time in the past, the issue of divine sovereignty is up for settlement. Our personal decision on the issue will be most serious in consequences to each one of us.
20 In order to aid us to make the decision that will lead to our enjoyment of “one world, one government,” under divine sovereignty, we need guidance. Can we go to the worldly nations for guidance in this respect? No, for they are bewildered, sinking deeper and deeper into the quagmire of perplexity because of not knowing the way out of their mounting difficulties. We cannot with success turn to the religious institutions of the nations, for the religious counsel that these have given to the political rulers has led the nations to the present international impasse. For the needed up-to-date, realistic, practical counsel that guides us in the right way, we must go to the written Word provided for us by the very One who long ago foretold this world distress. This was the wise course taken by the inspired psalmist of ancient times. Addressing himself to the divine Author of that prophetic Word, the psalmist said:
21 “With your counsel you will lead me, and afterward you will take me even to glory. Whom do I have in the heavens? And besides you I do have no other delight on the earth. But as for me, the drawing near to God is good for me. In the Sovereign Lord Jehovah I have placed my refuge, to declare all your works.”—Ps. 73:24, 25, 28.
22. So, of what can we be certain, according to the psalmist’s words?
22 By now choosing the Sovereign of all the universe to be our refuge, we, too, can be certain that he will lead us with his counsel and afterward bring us to unfading glory.
a The American Declaration of Independence, which was passed by the Continental Congress at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 4, 1776, stated in its second paragraph: “ . . . That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
b See the Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 25, page 317, 1959 edition.
c Since the end of World War I on November 11, 1918, new republics and democratic governments have been established, to the number of over 60 at this writing.
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‘Why is there the absence world wide of brotherhood that should make all men everywhere act like loving brothers of one big human family?’
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‘What is missing is unselfish cooperation with the God of the Holy Bible, Jehovah, the Universal Sovereign.’
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‘Now, more than at any time in the past, the issue of divine sovereignty is up for settlement. You must make a personal decision on the issue.’
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“Then the Lord shall become king over all the earth.”—Zech. 14:9, The New English Bible.