Summary: This article was written and published March, 2015. God’s government of the earth is a biblical principle which enters Scripture in the book of Genesis after the flood in Noah’s time. It is an important principle for us to comprehend in order to better understand the Bible in general. It forms associations with many other bible subjects. It is connected to God’s first creation and the dividing of nations. We will look at its development through time, especially as it is associated with the nation of Israel. We will find an intimate connection between the principle and the Jews as the people of God, and whether they are acknowledged as such by God at different times in their history.
Adam and Cain, in a certain sense, completed the sin of mankind. Adam sinned against God while Cain sinned against his neighbor (Matt. 22:36-40). The fall of man and his separation from God led to this testimony:
“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man…”
Certainly the deluge was a display of God’s government; it was His judgment of fallen man when his evil filled the earth.
Concerning the time from Adam to the flood there are two important points to make. First, there is no principle of government, no display of God’s government in the earth at this time. All we see is the occasional testimony to God in Abel, Enoch, and Noah. I’m sure there were others called of God, but there was no intervention by God in judgment and government until the flood. Second, man filled the earth with sin, wickedness, and violence (Gen. 6:11-12). I know that as yet God had not fully tested man to prove to him exactly what he is as fallen, but there isn’t a statement in all Scripture as condemning of man’s condition than this – “…that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” God shows, at least from His own divine perspective and thoughts, the utter depravity of man.
The principle of government is introduced by God into His revelation after He destroyed the world with the flood. The sword is placed into man’s hands in order to restrict evil (Gen. 9:5-6). “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed.” God brings in His principle of government, and man is made responsible for it, so that there would not be a repeating of what happened before the flood – man filling the earth with violence and sin. The principle develops in the earth through the judgment of God at Babel and the dividing of mankind into nations. God sets up in civil authority many kings and rulers for different peoples and nations, most prominent at the time are the Pharaohs in Egypt.
When God redeems a people for Himself out of Egypt, bringing them on eagle’s wings to Mt. Sinai, it results in a great change in the principle of government (Ex. 19:3-5). Although Israel’s redemption is external in the flesh through types and shadows, still God’s manifested presence comes to live among them. This wasn’t true with Adam; it wasn’t true for Abraham; God never lived with them or on the earth. But as soon as there is redemption of a people, at least outwardly and external, then the presence of God comes down to live on the earth. From Mt. Sinai on it could be said that Jehovah lived in the midst of Israel, or as was feared among the Gentiles,“…there is a God in Israel (I Sam. 17:46).
God rules the world from His throne in the tabernacle. He rules Israel by His manifested presence among them and through the covenant of law He made with them (Ex. 19:5-8). Later when they build Solomon’s temple, God’s glory and presence filled it. His throne of government, the ark of the covenant, would be behind the veil, Jehovah dwelling there in the darkness (II Chron. 6:1).
God’s throne was the ark of the covenant. His covenant with Israel was the practice of His law. The tablets of stone were placed inside the ark and were the basis of God’s government of man in Adam, man in the flesh. This was all Israel ever was, even as a chosen people special to Jehovah, separated from the Gentiles, a wall built up around them by God and His law. God would chastise and judge His people based on their performance in keeping His covenant. The law was always the measure of human responsibility before a holy God, the measure of creature responsibility before his Creator. Specifically, it was the measure of Israel’s responsibility before Jehovah, the one true God.
By providential control God kept His eye on all the nations, raising them up and bringing them down low, giving kings and removing kings, according to His own will and purposes. But it was Israel, as chosen by Jehovah, who was a special treasure to Him above all the nations and peoples on the earth (Ex. 19:5, Deut. 7:6-9). They were His people and He was their God, and He dwelt among them. And His government over them was by His law. When they strayed from Him He would warn them:
II Chron. 36:15
“And the Lord God of their fathers sent warnings to them by His messengers, rising up early and sending them, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place.”
“And the Lord has sent to you all His servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, but you have not listened nor inclined your ear to hear.”
The immediate ministry of the prophets was to call Israel back to the law, and therefore back to God (Neh. 9:26, Jer. 7:13, 29:19). But Israel would not listen. Yes, they had some bright spots in their history, with David and early with Solomon, but from the time they built the golden calf and the tablets of stone were broken before they ever made it into the camp, evil had entered in. Israel had left her first position. Sin would only grow and ripen. Idolatry was her first sin, the breaking of the first commandment. It’s ripening would plague her history all the way to her captivity. From the time of Mt. Sinai Israel was in decline. It would not be long before idolatry, apostasy, and rebellion were fully developed in her. The amazing thing is that this all happens to the Jews in their history when the manifested presence of Jehovah is with them. In a sense it all happens right under God’s nose, so to speak. Why? How could they do this? It simply displays what God was proving about man by giving the law – mankind’s utter depravity.
When Israel strayed further from His law and needed chastisement, Jehovah would use the heathen nations as a rod of correction against His own people (Neh. 9:26-27). There is a subsisting principle associated with God’s government – judgment begins at the house of God (I Pet. 4:17). Israel would always be corrected first or judged first, before judgment came on the nations surrounding them, even those used by Jehovah in His chastisements. He may use a greater evil to correct His own people, but then in turn He would judge the arrogance and pride of that nation He used.
These were Jehovah’s general dealings with His people Israel in the principle of government. Also we should note that David’s son Solomon failed in his involvement with his many wives and their idols. The kingdom was divided. Two houses would now exist, each with their own kings and rulers. This was caused by Israel’s idolatry, apostasy, and rebellion against Jehovah ripening and growing. Things would continue on a steady path of decline and failure concerning human responsibility.
When there is corruption and failure, yet the dispensation continues on, it is only because of the mercy and longsuffering of God. Dispensations do not continue because of any improvement in human behavior (mankind’s biblical history has never showed an improvement or recovery in responsibility). All dispensations fail at their beginning, and disobedience to God’s will is the culprit. This was true with Israel concerning the law, priesthood, and royalty. It was true with Noah and the principle of government – he gets drunk. It was true with Abram and the principle of election and calling – he heads down to Egypt and gives his wife to Pharaoh. Adam in innocence and in paradise eats the forbidden fruit, failing in his responsibility to obey the will of his Creator. When given world power and dominion, Nebuchadnezzar sets up idolatry and persecutes the Jews. He fails in his responsibility to the Most High God of heaven, who gave him this authority over all the world (Dan. 2:37-38, 4:17, 4:25-26). The Jewish dispensation, after much patience of God with the Jews, finally comes to an end with the rejection of Messiah as their King. To Israel Jehovah says (Is. 65:2): “All day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and contrary people.” (Rom. 10:21) They are judged concerning the principle of calling and are fully set aside by God. Israel’s evil had fully ripened in their dispensation. God could no longer recognize the Jews as His chosen people. In 70 AD, God brings in the Romans to destroy Jerusalem and the temple.
But what this article is about is the principle of God’s government of the earth, and this principle’s intimate relationship with the nation of Israel. During the Jewish dispensation, that period of time from the exodus of the Jews to the presentation of Messiah, there were two biblical principles closely associated with Israel – the first was calling and the second was government. We will speak of calling in a little more detail later. But as we already know, God ruled the world from the midst of Israel. However, because of Israel’s sin and rebellion against Jehovah, and because the longsuffering and mercy of God does in fact have an end, we eventually see a dramatic change in Israel’s position and this principle of government.
The northern kingdom of Israel was scattered into the nations by the Assyrian. Jehovah preserved Judah and Jerusalem for a longer period of time out of respect for His servant David. But the sin of Manasseh brought an end to God’s patience (II Kings 21:1-16). Judah and Jerusalem was set for judgment. God brings Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians to destroy the city and temple, and take a remnant captive to Babylon. The presence and glory leave the temple, leave the city, and leave the earth. The ark of the covenant, Jehovah’s throne of government, is lost forever. World power and dominion is given by God to the Gentiles. A new age begins, called “the times of the Gentiles.” (Luke 21:24) The principle of government of the earth is given to Nebuchadnezzar.
The times of the Gentiles are prophetically shown by the prophet Daniel. From man’s perspective it is a great image having five parts (Dan. 2:31-35). From God’s perspective it is four unruly beasts that go their own way and do their own will (Dan. 7:2-8). It is four successive world empires that God would bring forth on the face of the prophetic earth. They would rule the world, and rule over and afflict the Jews and their land.
At this time Israel was set aside concerning the biblical principle of government. God would not acknowledge them any longer as His people. He would no longer be their God (Hosea 1:9). He would no longer live among them. His presence would leave the temple. It would leave the earth. God’s throne of government was no longer with Israel. His throne was no longer on the earth. The physical proof that Israel was set aside by God was that the temple and the city were destroyed, and the remnant of Judah went into captivity. From this point on the Jews would be under the rule of the Gentiles.
This is when Satan becomes god of this world. We might think it was when he deceived Adam in the garden. But how could the devil be god of the world when Jehovah’s manifest presence and glory resided on the earth and in Israel? From the time of the giving of the law through Solomon’s temple God ruled the earth, dwelling in the midst of Israel. As long as His presence and glory were on the earth, Satan could not be god of the world. But in the book of Daniel you see how God refuses to acknowledge the Jews as His people, always referring to them as Daniel’s people. And in Daniel we first see principalities and powers in the heavenlies – spiritual wickedness in high places. When God’s presence leaves Israel, then you have Satan in the heavens as the prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2). Now he is god of the world or age (II Cor. 4:4).
These truths and principles go a long way in explaining many things about Israel’s position before God after the return of the remnant from captivity in Babylon. The Jews had fallen from their original position. Their idolatry and apostasy became so great that God could no longer tolerate living with them. Their rebellion exhausted the longsuffering of God. Even though they rebuilt the walls of the city and rebuilt the temple, and started the sacrifices again, still they never had the glory return. Nehemiah’s temple never had the glory that Solomon’s did. It never had the Presence. There never again was an ark behind the veil.
What about the practice of the law at this time? How would the Jews keep the day of Atonement? The goat that was sacrificed for the nation, where would the high priest take its blood? Where was the mercy seat? What would be the reason for the burning of incense? Even though they rebuilt a temple, what importance is given to the things that were missing? Things that could not be recovered. The practice of the law, and therefore Judaism, was only hollow rituals without Jehovah’s throne and presence.
A concise history of these transitional events is told in II Chronicles 36. When the remnant of Judah returned from Babylon under Cyrus the Persian, they were under Gentile rule. They were not acknowledged by Jehovah as His people. Nehemiah was spiritually intelligent enough to recognize the change in circumstances, and what consequences there would be as a result. He would be a governor among this remnant (Neh. 8:9), but he would not presume to have a right to recapture Moses’ authority and position. He would not assume to be Israel’s deliverer. He would not pretend to have Mosaic power. He would not commission the building of a second ark and then stick it behind the veil. There were no miracles in their return from captivity. Why? The circumstances were entirely different. There was a change in the principles. This all necessitated a change in God’s ways and dealings with Israel.
The return of the remnant of Judah from Babylon had one grand purpose in the counsels of God. But first let us see clearly what it wasn’t in purpose. It was not revival for Israel, although their captivity did serve to wipe their house clean of all their idols (Matt. 12:43-44). It was not restoration for Israel – from this point forward they were under the dominion of the Gentiles: “Here we are, servants today! And the land that You gave to our fathers, to eat its fruit and its good things, here we are, servants in it! And it yields much increase to the kings You have set over us, because of our sins; also they have dominion over our bodies and our cattle at their pleasure; and we are in great distress.” (Neh. 9:36-37) Why do you think tax collectors were so despised in Israel, even though they were Jews? Because they worked for the Gentile overlords who inflicted great hardships on the nation, while the collectors themselves were made personally rich through this misery.
Then what was God’s purpose for the return from Babylon, the rebuilding of walls and temple, and the restart of the sacrifices? All the time and all the events, from Nehemiah to John the Baptist, had only one purpose in the mind and counsels of God – to prepare the way of the Lord. It was all preparation. God would test man in Adam one more time. He would do this by testing Israel who represented mankind and served as the test case. “Then last of all he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.'” (Matt. 21:37)
When Jehovah gave the law to Israel He tested the principle of human responsibility. The law was the perfect measure of this, and exposed what man really was in the flesh. When God tests responsibility He is looking for the fruit of obedience. Specifically the law was God looking for human righteousness – could man do right in his relationship with Jehovah and his neighbor. With the law Israel failed miserably. They could not obey His commandments, they could not keep the covenant, they could not do the law. There are many different servants of God who in different places in God’s word describe in detail the failure and ruin of Israel (Deut. 31:14-32:44, Ps. 78, Dan. 9:1-19, Acts 7:1-53) . Nehemiah’s book is just one of them:
Nehemiah 9:26-35 (DARBY)
“But they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs, and slew thy prophets who testified against them to turn them to thee, and they wrought great provocations.
And thou gavest them into the hand of their oppressors, and they oppressed them; and in the time of their distress, when they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from the heavens, and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them saviours, who saved them out of the hand of their oppressors.
But when they had rest, they did evil again before thee; and thou didst leave them in the hand of their enemies, and they had dominion over them; and again they cried unto thee, and thou heardest [them] from the heavens, and many times didst thou deliver them, according to thy mercies.
And thou testifiedst against them, that thou mightest bring them again unto thy law; but they dealt proudly, and hearkened not unto thy commandments, but sinned against thine ordinances (which if a man do, he shall live in them); and they withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear.
And many years didst thou forbear with them, and testifiedst against them by thy Spirit through thy prophets; but they would not give ear: and thou gavest them into the hand of the peoples of the lands.
Nevertheless for thy manifold mercies’ sake, thou didst not make a full end of them nor forsake them; for thou art a gracious and merciful God.
And now, our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who keepest covenant and loving-kindness, let not all the trouble seem little before thee, that hath come upon us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all thy people, since the days of the kings of Assyria unto this day.
But thou art just in all that is come upon us; for thou hast acted according to truth, and we have done wickedly.
And our kings, our princes, our priests, and our fathers, have not performed thy law, nor hearkened unto thy commandments and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them.
And they have not served thee in their kingdom, and in thy great goodness that thou gavest them, and in the large and fat land that thou didst set before them, neither turned they from their wicked works.”
This passage tells all the different ways of God in His dealings with His people. When they departed from the law He sent His prophets to them to call them back. When they wouldn’t listen and hardened their hearts, God used the surrounding nations to chastise and correct them. When they cried out to Jehovah for mercy, He would hear them and often showed mercy and relieved their miseries. But eventually Israel’s and Judah’s apostasy came full, Israel first, then Judah after, and God would not tolerate it any longer. It wasn’t because Jehovah decided He could be unfaithful to the covenant He made with Israel. It was because the founding principle of Israel’s covenant was human responsibility. The passage above spells it out for us (v. 29) – “Which if a man does, he shall live by them.” But Israel failed to keep the law (v. 34). They shrugged their shoulders, stiffened their necks, and would not hear. However, what was the testimony in the passage above concerning God’s ways and dealings with them? This is found there as well (v. 33) – “However You are just in all that has befallen us; for You have dealt faithfully, but we have done wickedly.”
The principle of government was taken from the Jews. Israel was set aside. But in providence, God arranges for a remnant of Judah to return. So God was preparing. He would have the walls and temple rebuilt, though His presence never returned. The sacrifices were restarted, but there was no mercy seat. All would simply be external fleshly rituals of Judaism (Heb. 9:9-10). However, despite all Israel’s failure and deserved misery, despite no longer being recognized by Jehovah as His people, the Holy Spirit through the prophets created a certain hope and expectation for the Jews. Jehovah had promised to send His Messiah to Israel. God would have one final test of the responsibility of man in the flesh – last of all He sends His Son, saying, they will respect My Son. But we know what happened. “And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him.” (Matt. 21:39) He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him (John 1:11). They said He is not their King, they would not have this man rule over them; their king was Caesar (John 19:12-22). God came to the fig tree one last time, looking for fruit, but found none. When He sent His Son it was the end of the world, the end of the age, and the fullness of time (Heb. 9:26, Gal. 4:4). The world was judged and condemned. The prince of the world was cast out (John 12:31). Man in the flesh was condemned – it was impossible for him to please God (Rom. 8:8). God curses the fig tree (Matt. 21:19) – “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.” Man in Adam was proven utterly depraved. God took the kingdom away from Israel, they had killed His Son (Matt. 21:43).
The cross of Christ is the hinging point of human history. It was when God stopped His testing of human responsibility. He had fully proven His point about what man in Adam was – utterly depraved. He stopped looking for fruit in Adam. Through the work of redemption God comes in with sovereign grace. This is His perfect answer to man’s failure in responsibility – a work that would be all His own, without any human hands. Instead of the old Adam man, God’s workmanship through sovereign grace would bring in a new creation born of Him.
Soon after the cross Israel was set aside concerning another biblical principle – the principle of God’s calling. This is not permanent, but for a period of time that God alone knows. The gifts and callings are irrevocable (Rom. 11:29). Israel is God’s earthly calling. But at this time God has set this aside and isn’t dealing with it. Calling is now with the church. It is not an earthly calling, but rather a heavenly one (Heb. 3:1). And God will not deal with two callings at the same time. Israel’s house was made desolate so God would be free to form the church (Matt. 23:38-39). The Jewish dispensation ended, while the dispensation of the kingdom of heaven in mystery began (the Christian dispensation). When Israel is set aside concerning the principle of calling, God brings in the Romans to destroy the city and temple again. It is the physical proof of this biblical reality.
The principle of government was given to the Gentiles at the time of Judah’s captivity. Jesus labeled this period as the “times of the Gentiles.” These times are still going on today. God’s institution of biblical calling is with the corporate church world (Christendom); His institution of world government is with the Gentiles. This is God’s intended order until the end of the age. Civil government of the earth is with the Gentiles, not with the church. When Christendom is involved with government it is in violation of God’s intended order and against His will. In her history, Christendom’s involvement with civil government is known prophetically as Mystery Babylon having adultery and fornication with the kings of the earth and having a drunken influence over the masses (Rev. 17:1-5). The church is not of the world as Christ is not (John 17:14). Her individual members are to stay apart from the world. We are not to have a relationship with it (I John 2:15-16). I know that throughout her history Christendom has sought civil power, but she has done so unrighteously and against the Lord’s will. It has been her sin that has played a major part of her corruption and ruin.
There is one more accessory truth related to the biblical principle of government. The only source of governing authority is God (Rom. 13:1-7). He sets every civil power in place on the earth. This was confirmed by Jesus before Pilate (John 19:11). The same was spoken of by Daniel when the principle was given over to the Gentiles (Dan.2:37). This understanding is without exception. All authority comes from God – for kings and presidents down to local magistrates. Whether they know it or not, once they are set in authority they will have to answer to God for how they govern. This is their responsibility/duty in their God-given position. God is looking for obedience to His will in every decision they make. Will they do right in the sight of God with the authority they are given? (II Chron. 24:2, 25:2, 29:2, 33:2, 34:2, 36:5) I know Satan now is the god of this world and age. This doesn’t mean he sets up any civil authority to govern. This remains solely God’s right and responsibility. However, how men behave when given power is an issue of individual human responsibility, and they all will answer to God for it – for the good they have done or the evil. This is always where Satan comes in and corrupts – where human responsibility is looked at and obedience to God is required.
I would not advise any true believer to be involved in the government of this world. That would be a compromising position with all the temptations and pressures going in the wrong direction. The believer can’t possibly do the will of God as part of the world, or while having a relationship with it. The world follows its own course, guided by the prince of the power of the air, who is the spirit that is working in all the sons of disobedience (Eph. 2:2). It is foolish and presumptuous thinking that you will change the world. Jesus didn’t change the world when He came into it as the Son of God. When He came to the world He created, it failed to recognize and acknowledge Him (John 1:10). The world hated our Lord (John 15:18, 22-25). They put Him on trial and gave Him a cross in order to crucify Him. As Christian disciples we are asked to take up a cross and follow Christ. Do you reason that somehow this means the world will except you and allow you to change its ways or course? The cross is always the symbol of the rejection of the world.
Then, before Jesus was crucified, God condemns the world in Adam (John 12:31, Matt. 21:19). The believer, in grace, is chosen or elected out of the condemned world (John 15:19). Our redemption in Christ gives us the same relationship with God and the Father that Jesus has (John 20:17). So then He says, “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” This would mean just in the same way – just as I am not… But God’s choice to redeem certain ones out of the world never changes the world.
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.”
Jesus did not come into this world in power and glory, but rather in humiliation, a divine person taking on human flesh and submitting Himself to death in order to accomplish the work of redemption (Phil. 2:6-8). He came showing mercy, compassion and grace. But there is a biblical principle we all need to be aware of – only God’s judgment can change the world; when the world is shown grace, it never learns righteousness (Isa. 26:9-10). Are we greater than our master? Will we change the world when He didn’t? Will the church, by the gospel of God’s grace, win America, win the world? During the Christian dispensation, believers follow the example of Christ (I John 2:6). For us this is humiliation and a cross of rejection. And in the verse above this means the world will hate and persecute us. Are we prepared to handle this? Or will we compromise our thoughts and walk to better fit in with the world? (I speak to all true believers, especially myself)
Our business is to walk as Christians, and to show the character of Christ; it is not to set the world right. When Jesus comes again He will do that – set the world right, for He will take it into His own hands and under His own divine power. But that is not grace. If we could set ourselves right in Christ, that is what we should do. And love other Christians as Christ loved us, helping them to be right, if we can do this in kindness and grace. The believer should be the perfect presentation of the character of Christ in the world that rejected Christ. How will the world follow you or your influence, if the world hates you like it does your Master? It will not. It may follow you if you compromise your Christian values and adopt their values, and start looking like the world. If you look enough like the world, they will think you are one of them. But this is the world influencing you instead of you, as a faithful believer, influencing or changing the world. If the world was ever going to change, it would have done so when the one light of the world was in it.
“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”
All the world lies in darkness. The light of God was present in the world is its divine and purest form, in Jesus the Son. Yet the world could not comprehend it, did not know Him, and even in coming to His own, the Jews, they did not receive Him (John 1:10-11). He came by grace and goodness, not by seeking righteousness and delving out judgment (John 1:17). The Scriptures describe His coming into the world: “…that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them…” If the world was ever going to change because it saw a bright light, it would have been at this time (John 9:5). But what did the world do to this true light of God sent into the world by God? They hated Him and they killed Him (John 15:22-25). By doing so they hated and rejected the one who sent Him.
“And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.”
Now every true Christian is a child of the light because he is a child of God – God is light (Eph. 5:8). Every Christian is a light shining in this world of darkness. But does any believer think that his light shines greater than Jesus’ light shown when He was here? I hardly think so. If the one true light of the world, when in the world, did not change the world, how is your light, as a believer, going to do it? Light has this effect in the world – they do not do in the light what they will do in the darkness. In general, Christendom has brought a certain light to bear upon the world, and has this meager effect. For the most part the world just moves away from the light, and continues on its evil course, following its own little god Satan. The world does not want to be in the light, and it will never come to the light. We are tempted to think that the light serves to attract them. It does not – they may look at the light, but their action is only to move away from it. Another purpose of the light – it is the testimony of God against the evil of the world (John 7:7).
We should be taught of the Spirit enough to be able to follow this progression of truths and realities in the Scriptures. As Christians we do not belong to this world at all. I would have serious doubts of God wanting us to be part of its government or politics. God’s grace, which is the essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the means by which God changes every unbeliever He freely justifies (Rom. 3:24), will never change the world:
With my soul I have desired You in the night, Yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early; For when Your judgments are in the earth, The inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. Let grace be shown to the wicked, Yet he will not learn righteousness; In the land of uprightness he will deal unjustly, And will not behold the majesty of the Lord.
Grace through the gospel allows evil to continue, even seem at times to prosper. Sin and corruption will ripen in the world during this present evil age (Gal. 1:4). The true believer is delivered by God from it, while he still has to walk in the midst of it. However, there is no power given to us to change the world. During His prayer to His Father Jesus said this: “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” (John 17:15-16) There is no giving of power in this passage for the believer to change the world. Rather it shows the complete dependence we have on God just to stay clear of it.
When Jesus returns in power and glory, He will judge the world. He returns to destroy and eventually put an end to all Gentile government (Dan. 2:34-35, 44-45, 1 Cor. 15:24-25). Why would the believer want to be part of what Christ comes back to judge? The only thing that will change the world, and this we patiently wait for, are the judgments of God. Evil will be destroyed, and what remains of the world will learn righteousness through this. The coming millennium will be the reign of a King by judgments in righteousness (Ps. 72). He will rule the Gentile nations with a rod of iron; He will dash them in pieces as a potter’s vessel (Ps. 2:8-9, Rev. 2:26-27, 12:5).
When Israel is brought back and restored in their land, it will be through the sovereign grace of God. They will again be associated with the two principles that were taken from them – the principle of God’s calling and the principle of God’s government of the earth. These two were paired with Israel at Mt. Sinai. Government was removed from Israel when they failed in the law, and the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and the temple the first time. Calling was removed from Israel when they rejected their Messiah, and the Romans destroyed the city and temple again. All eventually will be made good for Israel by the second Adam, the Son of Man – both calling and government. The Jewish nation will be made the center of the millennial earth; Jerusalem will be the capital city of the government of God over the earth; the throne of David and the throne of the Son of Man will be in Jerusalem; all the Gentile nations will serve the nation of Israel (Is. 60:12).
Deuteronomy 32:8-9 (DARBY)
When the Most High assigned to the nations their inheritance, When he separated the sons of Adam, He set the bounds of the peoples According to the number of the children of Israel.
For Jehovah’s portion is his people; Jacob the lot of his inheritance.