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Comparing the kingdoms of this world with the kingdom of God.

Introduction

A kingdom is any organization run by a king. God rules the universe, so it is all his kingdom. However, he gives us freedom to "opt out" - we can run the world how we want to. That is why there is so much injustice and suffering. But if we wish, we can choose to live by God's rules. If we do so, we can be part of his kingdom on earth.

A "church" is simply a group of people who have agreed to make God their king. So the church is, in theory, the kingdom of God on earth. But sadly, we do not always live up to that standard!

Three differences between Man's laws and God's laws

1. Freedom.
You can choose to ignore God's rules if you wish, but you cannot ignore man's rules.

2. Efficiency.
God's rules work from the inside and not the outside. Obviously, people who keep a law because they want to will keep the law better.

3. Effectiveness.
The final difference is that God's laws work better than man's laws. To take just one example: most western governments have large welfare systems. A huge percentage of tax goes on health, pensions, social services, etc., yet still people live in disfunctional families, dies of avoidable diseases, etc. But God's law shows individuals how to live healthier and more productive lives. It teaches them to be self sufficient, and to help family members who fall on hard times. Thus, almost all social needs are dealt with at a stroke. If everybody accepted these laws, nobody is left out - everyone's needs are provided for. The regular government would no longer need to take so much tax! Similar points can be said about most of the other arms of government.

Put simply, if you want a world with no taxes, then you want the kingdom of God!

 

"The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature." - Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p.79

 


The remainder of this page is based on John Taylor’s classic work, "THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD". All subheadings are based on the chapters in the book.

For more about President Taylor, see:
For more about the kingdoms of this world, see:
For more about how God organizes the universe, see the page on intelligences.

As usual, words in blue are direct quotations. I have taken the liberty to abridge some quotations without including ellipsis ("...").

1: The Kingdom, or Government Of God

"The Kingdom of God, is the government of God, on the earth, or in the heavens. The earth, and all the planetary systems, are governed by the Lord; they are upheld by his power, and are sustained, directed, and controlled by his will. [also the animal kingdom has beauty and order]. In God's government there is perfect order, harmony, beauty, magnificence, and grandeur; in the government of man, confusion, disorder, instability, misery, discord, and death. The plan of redemption was also made thousands of years ago. The future destiny of this earth is also spoken of by prophecy:

2: The Government Of Man

"Man stands at the head of this beautiful creation. He is endued with intelligence and capacity for improvement. He is placed as a moral agent and has the materials put into his hands to work with. [He has] the works of his Father as a pattern, the conduct of many of the inferior creation as an example, and might make the earth a garden, a paradise, a place of uninterrupted happiness and felicity, a heaven below. … But with all these privileges, what is his situation?"

"We find the world split up and divided … [and terrible conditions in cities] [and those who amass property and power are praised!] the history of the world is a history of the rise and fall of nations -- of wars, commotions, and bloodshed -- of nations depopulated, and cities laid waste [and once-fertile soil now desolate]"

"Nearly one-third, speaking in general terms, of the inhabitants of the earth are engaged in a calling that would be entirely useless if the world were set right."

What if God ran his affairs like men do?

"If God's works had done so, what tumult and ruin there would have been in the immensity of space! Instead of the order that now prevails, man would have been sometimes frozen to death, and at other times burned up; one or two seasons of irregularity, even in climate, would depopulate the earth."

3: How man cannot save the world

In this chapter, Elder Taylor reviews some of the attempts to save the world without God:

"The principles of aggression and protection still rule as strong in the human bosom as ever they did. The world is as belligerent now as it ever was, and as full of commotion and uncertainty."

John Taylor on Capitalism as compared with a monarchy:

"I have conversed with some who seem to think that all that is necessary to promote the happiness of man, is, that he have sufficient to eat and drink, and that through this means it would be obtained." Yet there are plenty of people with full bellies who are unhappy and dissatisfied. For example: "Again, if we notice the position of some of the southern and western States of America. They have abundance to eat and drink, their lands bring forth bountifully. But does this make them happy? Verily, no. The same false state of society exists there; men are awfully under the influence of their depraved passions; men are frequently put to death by what is called "Lynch law," without judge or jury. The pistol, the bowie knife, the rifle, and the dirk, are in frequent requisition, and misery and unhappiness prevail."

"In Mexico, where they possess one of the riches countries in the world, a salubrious climate, a rich soil, abounding also with the most valuable mineral resources, yet the people are unhappy. Guerillas plunder the traveler, the streets are crowded with beggars; the men are without courage or energy, and the country is left a prey to any nation who has covetousness or power to oppress it. The Scriptures say, that "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God;" and as they do not exist in this way, another Scripture tells the story in plain terms, for it says, "Where there is no vision the people perish." Proverbs xxix. 18."

"Let me remark here, that the form of government will not materially affect the position of the people, nor add to the resources of a country. If a country is rich and prosperous under a monarchy, it will be so under a republic, and vice versa. If poor under one, it will be under another."

4: Man's Relationship with God

"What is our relationship to God? In answering this, I would briefly remark, that the position that we stand in to him, is that of a son. Adam is the father of our bodies, and God is the father of our spirits."

God is a personal God, a being we can come to know and follow. We can try to become like him.

"However [man] may vaunt himself or his own abilities, there are some things he has not control over. He came into the world without his agency, he will have to leave it, whether he desires it or not; and he will also have to appear in another world. He is destined, if he improves his opportunities, to higher and greater blessings and glory than are associated with this earth in its present state."

"It is the corruption of the world, that has made men unhappy; and the corruption of religion that has made it gloomy."

5: Man's Purpose in Being on Earth

"Man, through obedience to the Gospel, is placed in a position to be an adopted son of God, and have a legitimate right to his Father's blessings, and to possess the gift of the Holy Ghost."

The book "The Government of God" contains a lengthy discussion of the importance of family relationships, both here and in haven, and hence the importance of the law of Chastity. Briefly, what we do in our families has a tremendous effect on our children,their children, and their children. It thus has a great effect on the nation as a whole.

"What is more amiable and pleasant than those pure, innocent, endearing affections which God has placed in the hearts of the man and woman, who are united together in lawful matrimony?"

But national leaders often break these moral laws:

"But as the nations themselves have forsaken God, how can they expect to stop this crying evil; for the very legislators who pass these laws are in many instances guilty themselves; and when kings, princes, and rulers, corrupt themselves, how can they expect the people to be pure? "

God intends for man to rule on earth for eternity - see the following scriptures and others:

"This earth is man's eternal inheritance, where he will exist after the resurrection, for it is destined to be purified and become celestial."

6: Man's Accountability to God.

"Man's body was given him by God, and also his spirit, for the purpose heretofore mentioned. God had his object in view in the creation of the world and of man (which it is not necessary here to investigate); and if man is placed as an agent to act for the Lord, and also for himself, and then should neglect the Lord, he would certainly be held responsible to his Creator."

"That the Lord looks upon the world in this manner is evidence from the words of our Savior. "There was a certain householder which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a wine-press in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country. [etc.]"

"God made a covenant with Noah, Abraham, the Children of Israel, and the primitive saints. The making of a covenant naturally implies two parties: in such cases, God is one, the people the other. If the people fulfill their covenant, the Lord is bound to fulfil his; but if man transgresses, then the Lord is not bound to fulfil his engagement. "

"Man has lost sight of the object of his creation, and his future destiny; and losing sight of his origin, his relationship to God, and his future destiny, he has fallen into the mazes of ignorance, superstition, and iniquity, and is groping in the dark, and knows not how to conduct himself in the world, or how to prepare for the world to come."

7: God Will Eventually Reward or Punish

God destroys the wicked nation eventually.

"The Lord has given laws, and although he has not forced man to keep them, nor coerced his will, yet he has punished him for disobedience, as a father would a son. He punished the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, Babylon, Nineveh, Jerusalem, and many other cities, and will punish the world on the same principle."

"Again: he has offered rewards, and given them to the faithful, such as Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; he protected the Children of Israel, and blessed them with temporal and national prosperity when they served him, and punished their enemies; and he would have extended his blessings to the world, if they would have been obedient to him."

[This is the message of the Book of Mormon!]

"Hence Jesus said to the Jews, "How often would I have gathered you together as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not." God would have benefited them, but they would not be benefited."

8: Who Has the Right to Govern the World?

"There are two things necessary, however, to make their authority legal, and to authorize them to act as God's representatives on the earth.

  1. The first is, that they should be called of God;
  2. and the second, that the persons by whom they are anointed are duly authorized to anoint them."

"Hosea complains, that "they have set up kings, but not by me; they have made princes, and I knew it not." Hosea 8:4."

"Authority to anoint kings and queens, in order that they may be anointed of the Lord, must be given in one of three ways.

  1. It must, first, have been given by revelation to the primitive Christian Church, authorizing them to administer in this ordinance, and empowering their successors to do it;
  2. secondly, by direct revelation;
  3. or, otherwise, it must have been transmitted from the ancient Jews, through a lineal descent.
  1. In regard to the first, we find no such record in the New Testament;
  2. In regard to the second position, all Christendom deny present revelation;
  3. and in regard to the third, if there was authority associated with the Jews to ordain kings, the Christians certainly could not claim a Jewish rite; for the Jewish nation and authority were all destroyed: "they were broken off because of unbelief." Rom. 11:17,19,20."

God allows the wicked to reign to fulfil his will (e.g. Nebuchadnezzar; Cyrus) Hence Paul says "the powers that be, are ordained of God". But he expects us to do what is right.

"The Lord had his eye on something yet more glorious, something in which the salvation, and happiness of the world were concerned; a rule of righteousness, when, not only one nation, but the kingdoms and dominions of the whole earth, should be given to the Son of God; and when all nations, kindreds, people, and tongues should serve and obey him; and as the earth belonged to him, and the people also, that he should govern them."

9: Will the Present State Last Forever?

The world cannot remain as it is, for the following reasons: --

  1. It would be unreasonable. . If God is interested in the welfare of his creatures, he certainly never would permit [it]
  2. It would be unjust.
  3. It would be unscriptural.
  4. It would frustrate the designs of God, in regard to the spirits of the righteous; the dead; the progression of the world, and its final exaltation; and also the exaltation of man.

This state of things, then, is merely permitted for a season:

10: Will God's Kingdom be Literal or Spiritual?

"It would be almost unnecessary to answer such a question as the above, were it not for the opinions that are entertained in the world

"The kingdom of God, as I have already stated, is the government of God, whether in the heavens, or on the earth. Hence Jesus taught his disciples to pray, "Thy kingdom come, they will be done on earth, as it is done in heaven."

But what about those who quote the scripture "The kingdom of Heaven is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy, in the Holy Ghost." But "Righteousness is an attribute, a principle, a state of being, not a government". Hence the kingdom is based on that, just as modern kingdoms are based on economics (meat and drink). But each is still a literal kingdom

11: The Establishment of the Kingdom of God upon the Earth.

Some say that, since the angel said to Mary that Christ was to have the throne of David, and the increase of his government was to have no end, therefore the kingdom of God established in New Testament times still existed in the Dark Ages.

But "the Angel's testimony to Mary has not yet been fulfilled. It is stated, that "The Lord shall give unto him the throne of his father David, and he shall reign over the House of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end;" whereas he did not sit upon David's throne, nor does he now; he did not reign over the house of Jacob, nor does he now, for the ten tribes are yet outcasts; "the house of Judah is scattered, and without a king," and Jesus himself, when asked to divide an inheritance, demanded, "Who made me a ruler or king." He, indeed was a king; "but in his humiliation his judgment was taken away."

Elder Taylor then quotes the prophecies about the church being an Ensign to the nations, and also the logical necessity for kingdom of God to have modern day prophets.

"In making a brief summary of what we have said before in relation to the means to be employed for the establishment of the Kingdom of God, we find the following: --

12: The Effects of Establishing His Kingdom

Quoting parley p. Pratt from his "Voice of Warning":

"Now, we can never understand precisely what is meant by restoration, unless we understand what is lost or taken away;…

The earth as created as an ordered place where God's voice was heard, and everything was provided for our happiness (see Genesis chapters 1-3).

The waters were at first gathered into one place - perhaps implying that there was just the one large landmass. There were no noxious weeds – this was a condition of the Fall. God declared it to be not just good, but "very good".

"And to crown the whole, we behold man created in the image of God, and exalted in dignity and power, having dominion over all the vast creation of animated beings

Adam and Eve were the given the opportunity to gain knowledge - to see what they would do with it. Adam's descendents are in the same position. Will we use our knowledge (and thus freedom) to behave as God does, or will we not? God has provided a savior for us so that we can (a) have a perfect example to follow, and (b) have a chance to turn back when we do things wrong.

Finally, Adam, the Ancient of Days, will return the world to its rightful owner, its savior Jesus Christ. He and all of us will give an account of what we have done with it. This is described in Daniel chapter 7 and elsewhere.

A great council will then be held to adjust the affairs of the world, from the commencement, over which Father Adam will preside as head and representative of the human family.

And thus the world's affairs will be regulated and put right, the restitution of all things be accomplished, and the Kingdom of God be ushered in. The earth will be delivered from under the curse, resume its paradisiacal glory, and all things pertaining to its restoration be fulfilled.

Jesus referred to this day in the parable of the talents, where it is said to the faithful servant:

Well done, [thou] good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. - Matthew 25:21

The kingdom of God on the earth has been small, weak, unpopular, trampled under foot of men; and none but men of noble minds, firm hopes, and daring resolutions, have advocated its principles. These men, being possessed of intelligence from the heavens by the ministering of angels, the communications of the spirits of the just, and the manifestations of eternal things, knew of the approaching day of the glory, the reign of God on the earth; they understood their destiny...

- John Taylor

 

The bottom line:

The kingdoms of this world will be given to the Saints when Christ comes again - its all in Daniel chapter 7.

 

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