Daniel 2:44 And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, Dan 2:45 just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold.
Luke 20:15 “And they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? Luke 20:16 He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When they heard this, they said, “Surely not!” Luke 20:17 But he [Jesus – peace be to him] looked directly at them and said, “What then is this that is written: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’? Luke 20:18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”
John 16:7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. John 16:8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: John 16:9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; John 16:10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; John 16:11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.(Quotations from the English Standard Version of the Bible).
Some people may think that the title of this article is inappropriate. They will say that there is no opposition between God’s kingdom and human government. They’re 2 entirely distinct “kingdoms”, each having its own sphere; and the 2 must never meet. God’s sphere is that which is “spiritual”, and only that; while the sphere of human government has to do strictly with the material world. God is not concerned with matters of human government and society, and human government is not concerned with the things of God and spirituality. So why should I speak as if they were in conflict with each other? As long as we don’t try to mix the 2 spheres, there’s no conflict. Right?
Well, actually that’s quite wrong. Anyone who is consistently a believer in the Almighty, Infinite, and Ineffable One must acknowledge that the Creator of all things is also the Sustainer and Governor of all things. It is quite untrue to say that God’s “sphere” is restricted to the “spiritual” as opposed to the material.
Ultimately, the problems societies face are the result of seeking to ignore God in political, social, and generally “every day” affairs – and consequently substituting other authorities in the place of the King of all the earth. An individual assumes the role of ultimate authority in government, or a group of men do, or “the people” are seen as the ultimate authority. Basically speaking, that is simply atheism; but many supposed “theists” rationalize this by establishing those “categories” or “spheres”.
Those who truly worship the LORD their God, and serve Him only, realize that the only human government which is good, honorable, and just is that government which is in submission to the law of God – Who rules over all things and all “spheres” of life. They pray and work for the “coming” of God’s kingdom to earth in such a way that the will of God will be done by humanity as willingly and voluntarily as it is done by the angels of God in heaven.
Even those Deists – such as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison – who drew up the founding documents of the government of the United States of America recognized this fact. They may not have believed in infallibly inspired Prophets and Revelations (such as the Bible – some modern Deists refer to themselves as a “non-Prophet religion”), but they nevertheless believed in the law of God which can be found in nature and can be discerned by human reason and intuition. For them, the “laws of nature and of nature’s God” were the ultimate laws which supersede even the “will of the people”. Of course, “the people” may refuse to follow the laws of God; but the result will be unjust government.
Those theists, though, who do believe that God has not left it entirely up to human reason and intuition (which are very fallible) to discern correctly God’s law – and that He has sent Prophets from time to time with Revelation to shine light on the darkness of the human mind and reason – find that God has promised that the day would come when He would establish His own righteous government in the earth. He would shatter and crush all ungodly governments.
The Biblical statements quoted at the beginning of this article are examples of this promise of God, and hope of His people. Daniel, for instance, had interpreted a dream of the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar in which he had seen a giant statue representing human government throughout the ages – beginning with his own government. It was one statue or government, yet it was divided into four segments or kingdoms. Looking back historically, we can see that the four kingdoms which constituted one “statue” were Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.
Then Nebuchadnezzar had seen a stone “cut out without human hands” which struck the statue on its toes (which were part of the fourth kingdom, Rome), and caused the whole statue (representing ungodly human government) to collapse. Then the stone itself grew to where it encompassed the whole earth – meaning the kingdom or people whom God would raise up as a godly kingdom would overthrow all the previous corrupt governments (which were in fact only one corrupt government in various forms) and establish God’s kingdom in their/its place.
As I pointed out in a previous article (“The Stone That the Builders Rejected”) I have now come to the conclusion that this “stone” which was “cut out without human hands” ( and which Jesus –peace be to him – called “the stone which the builders rejected”, referring to Psalm 118) is the “great nation” promised to Abraham through his son Ishmael – or rather beginning with that Ishmaelite nation, and then spreading to people throughout the earth. Just as Daniel had said that the stone would crush ungodly empires, so Jesus said that the stone would break and crush all its opponents.
Having said that concerning the nation/stone which would replace the nation of Israel as the cornerstone in God’s kingdom – and which would “bring forth the fruits” of that kingdom – he also spoke of a Prophet (“helper”, “counselor”, or “comforter”) who would come for the good of men after Jesus (peace be to him) departed. One of the reasons for the coming of this other Prophet was to “convict the world … concerning judgment because the ruler of this world is judged”. This “ruler of this world” is none other than the great statue, representing ungodly world government, which Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream and which the Prophet Daniel explained. As there were 4 parts to the statue, so there were several manifestations of the “ruler of this world”; but the coming of the Prophet whom Jesus Christ predicted would indicate God’s judgment of this ruler (whether the ruler is a literal evil spirit named Satan, or a general evil principle pervading all government not submitted to the law of the One Creator and Sustainer of the worlds).
As I said in previous articles (here and here) , I now recognize the “helper” whom Jesus predicted as Muhammad (peace be to him and his family). The great characteristic of the Religion of God, whose last Prophet was Muhammad, is simply that it proclaims the greatness and kingdom of God over all, and calls men to submit to God. The “kingdom” of Islam (submission to God) is that kingdom which “the God of heaven” has set up.
This “Muhammadan” Islam is not intended to be a separate religion from previous religions such as Judaism and Christianity, and in conflict with them. Rather the “Muhammadan” revelation is a continuation of, and fulfillment of, those religions. In fact, they all constitute the one “Religion of God” which is Islam (submission to the One God). The revelation given to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be to him and his family) just confirms the others, and ‘rescues’ them from corruption which had set in.
When God said to Muhammad, “it is He who has sent forth His Apostle with [the task of] spreading guidance and the religion of truth, to the end that He make it prevail over all [false] religion, however hateful this may be to those who ascribe divinity to aught but God” (Qur’an 61:9, Muhammad Asad version), the “religion of truth” spoken of is not “Islam” as opposed to Judaism, Christianity, or other monotheistic religions. It is the one “Islam” which pervades all those true religions, but which has reached its perfection in the revelation given to Muhammad.
Many Christians have fallen into the snare of thinking that because Jesus the Messiah/Christ/Anointed One said that his kingdom was “not of this world”, and that the kingdom of God is “within you”, we should not be concerned with seeking and establishing righteous and godly human government. They have fallen for the “separate spheres” mode of thinking. But Jesus Christ himself denied the correctness of that conclusion.
Yes it is true that God’s kingdom must begin within people, and spread outward. And it is true that Jesus himself was not the one appointed by God to smash and destroy ungodly human governments. But he said that another Prophet and Leader of another (non-Jewish) nation would come after him who would effectively demolish ungodly government and establish God’s kingdom in human society.
Those whose “eyes and ears are open” to God, and who love His kingdom, should be delighted to see God fulfilling His promise of His glory filling the earth as the waters cover the sea! But so many people are deathly afraid of the spread of Islam (submission to God) and “Shariah” (God’s law). As the Qur’an says in 24:48 – When they are summoned to God and His apostle, in order that He may judge between them, behold some of them decline (to come). [Yusuf Ali English Version]. Why is that? Is it that there is a disease in their hearts? or do they doubt, or are they in fear, that God and His Messenger will deal unjustly with them? [Verse 50] I’m afraid that there is an underlying doubt of God’s goodness and trustworthiness in many people who are afraid of the “triumph” of the Religion of God. Such a doubt is of course in reality atheism or agnosticism. Those of us who claim to believe in the God of all the earth (and of all the worlds) should check ourselves carefully to make sure such a doubt of God does not lie secretly within us.
For myself, I can say that I am delighted to see the continued spread of Islam (submission to God) throughout the earth – even in the midst of tremendous opposition – because this is the spread of the Religion of God and the Kingdom of God; the Kingdom which the God of heaven has set up and which will certainly prevail over all false religion and government (religion and government which establishes other ‘gods’ or authorities beside the One) no matter how much those who serve other authorities than God may hate it. I believe, with Abraham, that “the Judge of all the earth will do right” and I have no fear of His religion as my rule and authority – though I certainly want to make sure whatever rule asserts itself to be “of God” is really what it claims to be. 🙂
And I recognize no real conflict with the founding documents of the USA – because the government of the USA is founded on the conviction that all true law is derived from “the laws of nature and of nature’s God”. The Qur’an and the Shariah derived from it do not claim to be anything other than this “natural law”. Revelation such as the Qur’an was only necessary because of the “darkness” of human vision, understanding, and reason which sometimes hinders us from recognizing God’s “natural” law (or certain aspects of it at least).
One of the basic premises of this Divine Revelation in the Qur’an is “freedom of religion”. For instance: [2:256] There shall be no coercion in matters of faith. Distinct has now become the right way from [the way of] error: hence, he who rejects the powers of evil and believes in God has indeed taken hold of a support most unfailing, which shall never give way: for God is all-hearing, all-knowing. And [10: :99] And [thus it is:] had thy Sustainer so willed, all those who live on earth would surely have attained to faith, all of them: dost thou, then, think that thou couldst compel people to believe…? As shown in this article the “Muhammadan” manifestation of the Religion of God, Islam (submission to God), is both multicultural and religiously pluralistic. There would be little difference between a truly “Islamic” nation and the USA as envisioned by the “founding fathers” in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. For this reason, most (if not all) “American Muslims” believe that the USA – in its principles – is already so “Islamic” that they have no desire to “replace” the Constitution with “Shariah”. They would simply strive to bring present practice in the USA into conformity with the principles espoused in its founding documents, and call upon citizens to submit to “nature’s God”, Who is the same One as is presented in the Qur’an.
May God cause His light to shine upon us; and may His rightly guided leader (“Mahdi”) appear soon to lead us fully out of the mess we have made of things and into a truly godly society with godly government.