The exercise of power in human existence is concentrated in government, which establishes laws, controls and collects all types of value (like money, land, and rights), and enforces its chosen form of organization (through soldiers, police, and judiciary) at the point of a sword.
Whether governing billions, or just one, self-rule is an experiment of diversity with one primary purpose. Human government is a study in abject failure of every conceivable method.
This is not a condemnation of any existing government, but rather an observation about why history discards one type of government after another, like some monstrous defect factory. It doesn’t seem to matter where one lands their time machine, human government, like human physiology, is a record of constant and repeated death.
The variations of human government are a study into the ability of man to manage himself. As the saying goes, “there is nothing new under the sun.” However, that doesn’t mean that there are not new combinations or styles of self-rule; rather, as it might apply to government, that the experiment is guaranteed to prove the same outcome.
It doesn’t matter whether it is a monarchy, democracy, theocracy, dictatorship, communistic, a god-governed, a mob-governed, a strong-man, a crafty woman, an isolated island, a resource rich, a desert poor, a young or old leader, with devout or atheistic beliefs, small or large clan, an off-the-chart wise ruler, a mentally deranged or simpleton leader, a committee, a law-bound, a chaotic leaderless period, or any other possible form of self-rule. History documents that humans cannot govern themselves without eventually destroying everything around them.
There is a very important reason for this experiment. It would appear that the Creator who set history spinning is giving us every conceivable opportunity to test our ability to govern ourselves. In his amazing grace, he is allowing humanity to test their ability to be their own god, to do things their own way, to see what happens when we try to do life on our terms. So far, the conclusion is a dismal failure.
Even after the Lord returns to destroy the wicked in the great battle of Armageddon, and raise his faithful to eternal life as priests in his kingdom, the Bible prophecies that there will still be a form of human self-rule that after a thousand years will raise its ugly head. This experiment will continue through this Millennium, to provide one final set of options to human self-rule that have not been tested yet.
In some way, there will be non-Christian humans existing during this glorious time. Imagine, a time when there will be no wars for a thousand years. Imagine, there will be no Satan to fuel the fires of desire, and people can live entirely per their own compass. Imagine, there will be a time when you can actually trust your ministers to be righteous, to always say what is truthful, to never sin, to perfectly lead people in the ways of God. There has never been a human government that could try to fly with its own wings in such a favorable wind. If you have heard the story of Gog, then you know how it ends—just like every single form of human self-rule throughout history—complete destruction.
Lest you think this only applies to civil government, the same can be observed about religious government. No form of religion is capable of ruling humanity rightly either. Even when that religious government has been established by the one true God, it has still been given permission to experiment with human will.
The biblical record of Noah’s flood is a disturbing rebuke, not just against general immorality, but specifically against those who should have known better—those who belonged to God as descendants through the lineage of Seth. They eventually chose to cross the line and marry whomever they desired, rather than stay within the boundaries.
The historic tribes of Israel where given divine assistance and blessings, but they too chose to live and marry outside those defined limits given by God, and the text says that the Lord divorced her. Not even the glorious Temple, and practices that mirrored what exists in heaven, could provide enough staying-power so long as humans were allowed to still do things their own way.
Angering as it might be to many, this likely remains just as true within the Church. The experiment of self-rule through thousands of denominations appears to prove the exact same result. Professing Christians indulge their own desires, marry outside the faith, divorce and remarry in adulterous rebellion, set themselves up as leaders and teachers, just like the people of God in times past. Priests abuse children and church leaders allow it. Ministers revolt against the established church authority, thinking they have a better way to lead God’s people, but in so doing, they defy the scriptural commands that say that those who do so are rebelling against God. In time, their new version of Christian self-rule, distorts the gospel and proves to be just as unreliable.
The Lord himself has revealed that he has allowed wolves, weeds, leaven, chaff, and false teachers to enter his Church, to undermine the purity of Christian government, and lead many away toward believing things taught by demons without realizing it. But this experiment is not out-of-control, like some damaged fighter plane in a spiraling nose-dive. God has promised that in spite of the human distortion that infects everything we touch, he will intervene and prevent the gates of Hell from overcoming his Church—not meaning any organized form of human-defined government, but rather the hidden, Spirit-bound and preserved true people of faith.
A caution needs to be shared at this point. Just because human self-rule, both civilly and religiously, are destined to come up short of the glory of God, does not allow believers to reject either. Rather, God commands his faithful to remain submissive, to remain supportive of government, and to continue to honorably participate in his public Church Body. Just know, that all human self-rule is flawed.
Most parents come to recognized that even their own attempts at governing their family, though filled with many joys, are ultimately littered also with failure. Individual Christians, at least those who have the ears to hear what the Bible declares, have come to admit that their own natures prevent them from ever being righteous on their own—not even with some assistance from the Spirit of God. We stay in the game and continue to give it our best effort, but the lesson of life is that there is only one Lord of all!
We need to be saved. We also need, from that point, to learn to put every personal agenda and private will to death, submitting absolutely and completely to the lordship of the King of Kings. It cannot be a mix; there can be no 50-50. Self-rule doesn’t work.
This is not a call to abdicate responsibility; it is an invitation toward submission, while honorably conducting our established authority, to perpetuate the rule of heaven alone. Submission to the rule of the Lord is the only way. We demonstrate that desire by how completely we embrace the words of God—by how fully we live within the boundaries he has established—by how we restrain doing things our way, per our ideas, for our benefit, no matter the initial cost which will look and feel very much like the Cross. We show our true colors by how completely and thoroughly we repent whenever our efforts come up short of absolute perfection: “as your heavenly Father is perfect”.
Human government is a divinely established experiment in trying to live without God, or with only partial dependence upon him, or with only religious influence, or with at least some shred of independence and personal agenda still in operation.
The truth, which history will prove in its time, is that there is only one Lord, only one Kingdom, only one form of righteous rule by which humans can safely exist for eternity. His name is Jesus!