God’s Program of Election

WE ARE now well into the year 1972, and the peoples and nations of earth continue to be burdened with unsolved problems. Generally speaking, we can expect the headline news to pertain essentially to the same crisis or near-crisis conditions it did during the year 1971. There will be the struggle in Indo-China; the threatenings of war between Israel and the Arabs; there will be the tightrope walking of the western diplomats as they endeavor to balance the power plays between Russia and China at the United Nations and elsewhere.

There will continue to be the poverty struggle of unfortunate ones the world over in their endeavor to keep from starving to death, with millions losing the battle. Even in the United States millions will go to bed hungry every night. This great tragedy of the poor will continue to be a blot against the claims of civilization, although it will not get the publicity afforded to other evils of far less importance.

The fact that China is now in the circle of international diplomacy will change somewhat the character of worldwide news in 1972. Another thing which will make United States news different in 1972 is the fact that this is a presidential election year. Those who follow the news with any degree of regularity will be surfeited with “election news” until it suddenly ends with the election in November. Items in this category began to find a place in the news media several months back in 1971; but now it is swelling into a veritable bombast of claims and counterclaims as various ones announce their intention of trying to get themselves elected to the presidency.

There is more than the usual number of candidates this year; most of them, thus far, of the Democratic Party. One of the best analyses of this situation we have heard to date was by a news commentator on television. He observed that all the candidates are lucid in telling the public what is wrong with America and the world as a result of Mr. Nixon’s more than three years in office. This, he added, the general public already knows.

Each of the candidates is eloquent in his promises to solve all the problems of America and the world. Each presents his credentials for accomplishing this herculean task—even to the fact, as the claim was made for one, that he was kind to his mother. The lament of the newsman was that not one of the candidates thus far has explained to the people how he expects to solve the world’s problems. If any of them has a plan whereby they expect to fulfill their promises they have not revealed it; in fact, they have not even given a hint as to how they will go about fulfilling their promises.

Human Failure

The reason none of the candidates for the presidency of the United States has attempted to explain how he expects to solve the baffling problems which confront the nation and the world is because he has no plan for the accomplishment of so gigantic a task. For instance, they would all, no doubt, like to see the problem of poverty solved, but they know that the people who are not hungry every day would not submit to the extra taxes which would be required. It is inherent human selfishness which creates the problems of the world, and no candidate for the presidency of the United States has the ability to eradicate selfishness from the human heart.

God Has a Plan

While some of the candidates give lip service to God, usually in the closing sentence of their speeches, there is none who seriously, and at whatever cost to himself, endeavors to be guided by God’s principles of righteousness and justice as set forth in the Bible. The Sermon on the Mount is today unthinkable as a major factor in modern politics. And even if this were not so, human wisdom is quite incapable of removing selfishness from the hearts of those over whom they might rule. This is why even where there is a semblance of a plan for human betterment it is almost inevitably marked by failure.

But God has a plan, and with it the necessary wisdom and power to implement it, so that when his due time arrives to put it into operation, the problems of the sin-cursed and dying human race will be solved. Jesus will be the Creator’s chief representative in the execution of his plan, and concerning him the Scriptures state:

“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: and the Spirit [power] of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove [margin, argue] with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.”—Isa. 11:1-4

The expression, “He shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked,” is simply a symbolic manner of stating the fact that this divine Ruler’s word or authority will have to be obeyed by all those who want to continue living, the “rod of his mouth” and the “breath of his lips” symbolizing his authoritative commands. This authority and the power to enforce it will be very essential parts of a rulership which will actually succeed. Simply to argue for the poor and to render righteous judgment among the people would not be enough to accomplish the work designed by the Creator for his representative to accomplish.

God’s Election

Interestingly enough, the Chief Executive in God’s great plan for the solving of human problems is an elected official. He was not elected by man, nor by the preferences of men. He was elected, or chosen, by his Heavenly Father, the Creator. Concerning this, the Creator says, “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.”—Isa. 42:1-4

But Jesus will not be the only Ruler in that wonderful future government. He will be the chief Ruler. The “government shall be upon his shoulder.” (Isa. 9:6) But he will have associates. The Bible calls them “priests and kings.” (Rev. 20:4,6) The Bible also speaks of them as being “joint-heirs” with Jesus. The Prophet Isaiah speaks of that future governmental arrangement as “Zion.” We quote:

“Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.”—Isa. 28:16,17

What a different government this symbolic Zion will be! No longer will anyone be able to hide behind a refuge of lies. Modern diplomacy, at its best, often calls for much less than the whole truth. An apt expression often used to describe this is “the credibility gap.” There will be no credibility gap in Christ’s righteous government. Those who then endeavor to hide behind lies will find that the symbolic water of truth will reveal them and their deceptions, for the knowledge of the Lord will then cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.—Isa. 11:9

In Revelation 14:1 we have a picture of Jesus and his kingdom associates together on Mt. Sion. Jesus is here symbolized as the “Lamb” because he gave himself in sacrifice for the sins of the world. The text reads, “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.”

Concerning those who are with the Lamb on mount Sion, verse 4 of this chapter reads, “These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.” One of the interesting points here mentioned is that those who are with the Lamb on mount Sion, are there because they follow him “whithersoever he goeth.” In following him they became like him.

We have another reference to this in I Peter 1:2, which reads concerning this same class, “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father.” Here we have a definite statement that those associated with Jesus as his joint-heirs are elected to this position by God the Father. Peter explains that this is according to the operation of God’s foreknowledge. Romans 8:29 reads, “Whom he [God] did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son.”

In other words, these who live and reign with Christ attain this high position in the divine plan through the election of God, the terms being that they must be conformed to the character-likeness of his dear Son. These God draws to himself, and extends to them the invitation to run for this high position. They are not self-declared candidates for rulership in the messianic kingdom. Paul speaks of their “heavenly calling.”—Heb. 3:1

But the “calling” of God is not enough. Peter wrote, “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”—II Pet. 1:10,11

We do not make our election sure by seeking the votes of the people; but, through faithfulness to the will of God, seeking his approval—his “well done, thou good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many.” (Matt. 25:21) Everyone who lives and reigns with Christ will do so only because he has made his calling and election sure. In Revelation 17: 14 this class is again pictured with the Lamb, and the statement concerning them is that they are “called, and chosen, and faithful.”

Days Shortened by Elect

The divinely elected rulers in God’s world of tomorrow are referred to in Matthew 24:21,22. Here Jesus is presenting one of the signs of his second presence at the end of the present Gospel Age, “Then,” he says, “shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” Here Jesus is quoting in part from Daniel 12:1, where that prophet speaks of a great “time of trouble” resulting from the standing up of Michael.

The name Michael means one who speaks and acts for God, and Jesus is that One. What Daniel refers to as a time of trouble Jesus describes as a time of great “tribulation.” Daniel’s prophecy declares that it would be a time of trouble such as never was since the beginning of the world, and to this Jesus adds, “No, nor ever shall be” again. Thus Jesus locates the fulfillment of the prophecy as being just prior to the establishment of his kingdom; that glorious messianic kingdom which will make an end of all trouble.

Then Jesus explains just how severe that trouble will be: “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved.” (vs. 22) This is familiar language today, when the total destruction of the human race is threatened through nuclear fission, and by environmental pollution. There seems to be little doubt but what Jesus is referring to the very time in which we are living.

However, Jesus does not leave us with a hopeless picture of this situation. Having said that unless these days of tribulation should be shortened, all flesh would be destroyed, he continues by saying, “But for the elect’s sake, those days shall be shortened.” The word “sake” as it appears in our English translations, is not in the original Greek text. The text would be better translated, “By the elect those days will be shortened.”

In other words, Jesus is describing divine intervention in the affairs of men by God’s elect class, in time to prevent all mankind from being destroyed. As we have seen, Jesus is the principal One in this elected class, and those associated with him will be the called, chosen, and faithful of this Gospel Age, exalted to heavenly glory and endued with divine power to prevent mankind from being destroyed by their own madness—and then, to extend God’s promised blessings of peace, life, and happiness to all mankind.

We are glad that God will not depend upon the votes of the people to elect his rulers of the world to come. We are glad that he who reads the hearts, and is able to give strength and ability even to the weak, is making his own selection, and that finally, when all those whom he has called and chosen have made their calling and election sure through faithfulness to God and to his eternal principles of righteousness, the long-promised kingdom of peace and happiness will be manifested.

And one of the things to be accomplished by that kingdom will be the writing of God’s law in the hearts of the people; to give them hearts of flesh instead of selfish hearts of stone which today are hindering all human efforts to make this earth a better place in which to live. Yes, when God’s elected rulers begin to solve the problems of fallen humanity, they will get right at the root of all things, and eradicate the selfishness which has corrupted essentially all human relationships and efforts since the beginning of the world.—Jer. 31:31-34

Part of God’s plan is the redemption from death that has been provided through the sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary’s cross. Because of this, the new rulers of earth will be able, in addition to solving other problems of the people, to offer them the opportunity to escape from the slavery of sickness and death. Even those who have died will be awakened from the sleep of death and given an opportunity of sharing in the blessings of that glad new day.

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |