When He Rules the World


As I recall, it was in the 1980s when I first knew about the song “If I Ruled the World,” composed by Larry Secombe and sung by Tony Bennett [see: https://www.google.com/search?q=if+i+ruled+the+world+lyrics+tony+bennett]. The rather lilting and sweet melody melded well with the sunny lyrics, which went:

If I ruled the world
Every day would be the first day of spring.
Every heart would have a new song to sing,
And we’d sing of the joy every morning would bring.

If I ruled the world
Every man would be as free as a bird,
Every voice would be a voice to be heard,
Take my word, we would treasure each day that occurred.

My world would be a beautiful place,
Where we would weave such wonderful dreams;
My world would wear a smile on its face,
Like the man on the moon has when the moon beams.

If I ruled the world
Every man would say the world was his friend,
There’d be happiness that no man could end,
No, my friend, not if I ruled the world.
Every head would be held up high,
There’d be sunshine in everyone’s sky,
If the day ever dawned when I ruled the world.

The lyrics ooze with high optimism, if with a tinge of braggadocio. Knowing mankind’s failed attempts to bring about a bright, new world which the song eloquently waxes about, we may look at it as an expression of the deep longing and wishes of men – the kind of stuff that many a Miss Universe contestant offer as the hope they want to pursue if given the chance to wear the crown.

Actually, I got to know about the song in a rather round-about way.

In the 1980s, as in previous and later times, the Worldwide Church of God (WCG) headquarters at Pasadena, Calif., U.S.A. would help the choirs of WCG local churches acquire appropriate choral music material to provide special music during their weekly Sabbath worship services and, especially, during the “festivals” or “holydays” which the churches observed locally or as combined congregations.

The highlight of these festivals has been the sixth and the seventh – the seven-day Feast of Tabernacles [often shortened as FOT] and the “Last Great Day” [LGD] — the very season we are in right now. [See: God’s Feasts in the Book of Acts: Mere Time Markers – or to Be Observed?]

These festivals particularly look forward to the establishing of God’s kingdom here on earth after Jesus Christ returns in glory to take over the reins of government of the earth’s nations. Powerful and positive sermons usually detail the “Wonderful World Tomorrow” when Christ transforms the world – as only He can – into a utopia that has eluded humanity these past millennia.

Along this vein, the WCG headquarters’ music department provided music scores of a choral arrangement of Secombe’s song, but with modified lyrics [to fit the church’s theology], in order to enhance festival worship. That’s how, as choirmaster of the WCG’s Manila congregation for several years, I got acquainted with the song. This is how the WCG revised the song and re-titled it “When He Rules the World” –

When He rules the world
Every day will be the first day of Spring,
Every heart will have a new song to sing,
And we’ll sing of the joy every morning will bring.

When He rules the world
Every man will be as free as a bird,
Every voice will be a voice to be heard,
Take my word, we will treasure each day that occurs.

His world will be a beautiful place
Where we will weave such wonderful dreams;
His world will wear a smile on its face,
Like the man on the moon when the moon beams.

When He rules the world
Every man will say the world is his friend,
There’ll be happiness that no man can end,
No, my friend, not when He rules the world.
Every head will be held up high.
There’ll be sunshine in everyone’s sky,
As the day surely dawns when He rules the world.

There are no “ifs” and “woulds” in the WCG version of the song, befitting Christ’s title as the “Amen” [“So be it”] (Revelation 3:14). Christ will surely right every wrong there is in the world today when He rules the world for an initial one thousand years – referred to by Bible students as “the Millennium” [Latin for 1,000 years] (Revelation 20:4) — and beyond (Isaiah 9:7; Revelation 11:15).

Non-transformed mankind not able to rule

On our own accounts and resources, we human beings are incapable of truly ruling ourselves, let alone the world! Jeremiah 10:23, under God’s divine inspiration, affirms: “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps!” Even more seriously, Jeremiah 17:9 declares: “The heart [of man] is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Isaiah 59:8 adds: “The way of peace they have not known, and there is no judgment in their ways; they have made themselves crooked paths.”

Only as each person submits himself or herself to the transforming power of Christ will they be able to really rule themselves and, others as well.  [See: Is There Ever Any Good in Man?  A Law-abiding Universe – But Man! “The Next Chapter of  History,” God’s Spirit and Obedience, and “When He Cometh to Make up His Jewels.”]

When, finally, Christ makes mankind fit to rule with Him in His kingdom, then will Secombe’s boast – and more – come true! [See: World Peace – At Last! and https://www.herbert-armstrong.org, click ENTER HERE, select “Books & Booklets,” and scroll down to the booklet titled “The Wonderful World Tomorrow –What it Will Be Like” or the book titled Tomorrow, What it Will Be Like.]

May God hasten that wonderful day!


Pedro R. Meléndez, Jr.