The World To Come Under The Rule Of Christ

We have seen in previous studies that Jesus the Christ (Messiah) will return to earth with all the authority and power of Yahweh God to overthrow the governments of this present world, to depose Satan and lock him away for 1000 years, thereby releasing humanity from the bondage of Satan and inaugurating the rule of the kingdom of God over the whole earth.

What can we expect ‘the world to come’ under the rule of Christ as king to be like – what do the scriptures have to tell us about it?

Israel Restored

The scriptures indicate that Israel will be restored and become an example and a model for all nations, and a blessing thereby to all:

Isaiah 27:6 RSV
6 In days to come Jacob shall take root, Israel shall blossom and put forth shoots, and fill the whole world with fruit.

Ezekiel 36:8-11 WEB
But you, mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people Israel; for they are at hand to come.
36:9 For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn into you, and you shall be tilled and sown;
36:10 and I will multiply men on you, all the house of Israel, even all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited, and the waste places shall be built;
36:11 and I will multiply on you man and animal; and they shall increase and be fruitful; and I will cause you to be inhabited after your former estate, and will do better [to you] than at your beginnings: and you shall know that I am Yahweh.

Zechariah 8:7-8 WEB
Thus says Yahweh of Hosts: “Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country;
8:8 and I will bring them, and they will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; and they will be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.”

Amos 9:11-14 WEB
In that day I will raise up the tent of David who is fallen, and close up its breaches, and I will raise up its ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old;
9:12 that they may possess the remnant of Edom, and all the nations who are called by my name,” says Yahweh who does this.
9:13 “Behold, the days come,” says Yahweh, “That the plowman shall overtake the reaper, And the one treading grapes him who sows seed; And sweet wine will drip from the mountains, And flow from the hills.
9:14 I will bring back the captivity of my people Israel, And they will rebuild the ruined cities, and inhabit them; and they will plant vineyards, and drink wine from them. They shall also make gardens, And eat the fruit of them.

Ruined cities will be rebuilt, see above (Amos 9:14) and also:

Ezekiel 36:33-35 WEB
Thus says the Lord Yahweh: In the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the waste places shall be built.
36:34 The land that was desolate shall be tilled, whereas it was a desolation in the sight of all who passed by.
36:35 They shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited.”

There will be peace and happiness:

Isaiah 14:5-7 WEB
Yahweh has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of the rulers;
14:6 who struck the peoples in wrath with a continual stroke, who ruled the nations in anger, with a persecution that none restrained.
14:7 The whole earth is at rest, [and] is quiet: they break forth into singing.

Jeremiah 33:10-11 WEB
Thus says Yahweh: Yet again there shall be heard in this place, about which you say, It is waste, without man and without animal, even in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate, without man and without inhabitant and without animal,
33:11 the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who say, Give thanks to Yahweh of Hosts, for Yahweh is good, for his loving kindness endures forever; [and of them] who bring [sacrifices of] thanksgiving into the house of Yahweh. For I will cause the captivity of the land to return as at the first, says Yahweh.

Zechariah 8:4-5 WEB
Thus says Yahweh of Hosts: “Old men and old women will again dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, every man with his staff in his hand for very age.
8:5 The streets of the city will be full of boys and girls playing in its streets.”

Ezekiel 28:25-26 WEB
25 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the nations, then shall they dwell in their own land which I gave to my servant Jacob.
28:26 They shall dwell securely therein; yes, they shall build houses, and plant vineyards, and shall dwell securely, when I have executed judgments on all those who do them despite round about them; and they shall know that I am Yahweh their God.

Jerusalem is effectively made capital of the world, with Jesus’ government headquartered there:

Zechariah 8:3 WEB
Thus says Yahweh: “I have returned to Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called ‘The City of Truth;’ and the mountain of Yahweh of Hosts, ‘The Holy Mountain.'”

Jeremiah 3:17 WEB
At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of Yahweh; and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of Yahweh, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the stubbornness of their evil heart.

Isaiah 62:1-2 WEB
1 For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her righteousness go forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burns.
2 The nations shall see your righteousness, and all kings your glory, and you shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of Yahweh shall name.

Isaiah 62:7 WEB
7 and give him no rest, until he establish, and until he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

The whole area of Israel will transformed to become fertile and beautiful:

Isaiah 41:14-20 WEB
14 Don’t be afraid, you worm Jacob, and you men of Israel; I will help you, says Yahweh, and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.
15 Behold, I have made you [to be] a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth; you shall thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shall make the hills as chaff.
16 You shall winnow them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them; and you shall rejoice in Yahweh, you shall glory in the Holy One of Israel.
17 The poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue fails for thirst; I, Yahweh, will answer them, I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
18 I will open rivers on the bare heights, and springs in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.
19 I will put in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, the pine, and the box tree together:
20 that they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of Yahweh has done this, and the Holy One of Israel has created it.

Isaiah 35:1-2 WEB
1 The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
2 It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing; the glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon: they shall see the glory of Yahweh, the excellency of our God.

Isaiah 35:7 WEB
7 The glowing sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water: in the habitation of jackals, where they lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.

Isaiah 51:3 WEB
3 For Yahweh has comforted Zion; he has comforted all her waste places, and has made her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of Yahweh; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.

The rest of the world also transformed

The rest of the nations of the earth will follow this example and learn God’s ways, and be similarly transformed and blessed:

Isaiah 2:1-3 WEB
1 This is what Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
2 It shall happen in the latter days, that the mountain of Yahweh’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be raised above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it.
3 Many peoples shall go and say, “Come, let’s go up to the mountain of Yahweh, To the house of the God of Jacob; And he will teach us of his ways, And we will walk in his paths. For out of Zion the law shall go forth, And the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem

It is also indicated that God will solve the language barrier for mankind worldwide so that all can serve and worship Him in unison:

Zephaniah 3:9 WEB
For then I will purify the lips of the peoples, that they may all call on the name of Yahweh, to serve him shoulder to shoulder.

Health restored

Man will be released from bondage to sickness and disease:

Isaiah 33:24 WEB
24 The inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people who dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.

Isaiah 35:3-6 WEB
3Strengthen you the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.
4 Tell those who are of a fearful heart, Be strong, don’t be afraid: behold, your God will come [with] vengeance, [with] the recompense of God; he will come and save you.
5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
6Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the mute shall sing; for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.

Jeremiah 30:17 NRSV
17 For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, says the Lord, because they have called you an outcast: “It is Zion; no one cares for her!”

Agriculture is abundantly productive

The land is healed and becomes super-productive:

Isaiah 30:23 WEB
23 He will give rain for the seed with which you sow the ground, and grain, the produce of the ground, which will be rich and plenteous. On that day your cattle will graze in broad pastures

Jeremiah 31:12 WEB
They shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow to the goodness of Yahweh, to the grain, and to the new wine, and to the oil, and to the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all.

Ezekiel 34:27 WEB
The tree of the field shall yield its fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase, and they shall be secure in their land; and they shall know that I am Yahweh, when I have broken the bars of their yoke, and have delivered them out of the hand of those who made slaves of them.

Amos 9:13 WEB
“Behold, the days come,” says Yahweh, “That the plowman shall overtake the reaper, And the one treading grapes him who sows seed; And sweet wine will drip from the mountains, And flow from the hills.

The world re-educated

Has the whole world been deceived? By whom?
Revelation 12:9 NRSV
9 The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him

Is he the real author of wrong education?

John 8:44 NRSV
44 You are from your father the devil, and you choose to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies

Have people been led astray, particularly in their knowledge of the true God Yahweh and His ways?

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 NRSV
13 For such boasters are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.
14 And no wonder! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
15 So it is not strange if his ministers also disguise themselves as ministers of righteousness. Their end will match their deeds.

Titus 1:16 NRSV
16 They profess to know God, but they deny him by their actions. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.

Hosea 4:6 NRSV
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.

Will the devil be allowed to continue this after Christ’s return?

Revelation 20:1-3 NRSV
1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain.
2 He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years,
3 and threw him into the pit, and locked and sealed it over him, so that he would deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be let out for a little while.

The people will now be taught truth:

John 17:17 NRSV
17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

John 8:31-32 NRSV
31 Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples;
32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

Will people acknowledge past error?

Jeremiah 16:19 WEB
19 Yahweh, my strength, and my stronghold, and my refuge in the day of affliction, to you shall the nations come from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Our fathers have inherited nothing but lies, [even] vanity and things in which there is no profit.

They will be led into true repentance and the ways of the true God:

Isaiah 55:6-9 WEB
6 Seek you Yahweh while he may be found; call you on him while he is near:
7 let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to Yahweh, and he will have mercy on him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says Yahweh.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 2:3 WEB
3 Many peoples shall go and say, “Come, let’s go up to the mountain of Yahweh, To the house of the God of Jacob; And he will teach us of his ways, And we will walk in his paths. For out of Zion the law shall go forth, And the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem.

Psalms 25:8-9 WEB
8 Good and upright is Yahweh, Therefore he will instruct sinners in the way.
9 He will guide the humble in justice. He will teach the humble his way.

Habakkuk 2:14 WEB
14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of Yahweh, as the waters cover the sea

Jeremiah 31:34 WEB
34 and they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know Yahweh; for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says Yahweh: for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more.

Isaiah 29:24 NRSV
24 And those who err in spirit will come to understanding, and those who grumble will accept instruction.

Isaiah 19:21 WEB
21Yahweh shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know Yahweh in that day; yes, they shall worship with sacrifice and offering, and shall vow a vow to Yahweh, and shall perform it.

Natures of animals changed

The basic natures of animals will be transformed:

Isaiah 11:6-8 NRSV
6 The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.
7 The cow and the bear shall feed; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8 The sucking child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.

Hosea 2:18 WEB
18 In that day I will make a covenant for them with the animals of the field, And with the birds of the sky, And with the creeping things of the ground. I will break the bow, the sword, and the battle out of the land, And will make them lie down safely.

Man changed also

Ezekiel 36:26-27 NRSV
26 A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
27 I will put my spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances.

Jeremiah 31:33 WEB
33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says Yahweh: I will put my law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people:

Romans 5:5 NRSV
5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

2 Peter 1:4 NRSV
4 Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants of the divine nature.

Summary
In this study we have had a brief look at some of the aspects of the wonderful transformation to take place under the rule of Christ as head of the government of the kingdom of God after his return to earth.

This only scratches the surface, and yet we start to get an idea of the total change and transformation that will take place for the benefit and blessing of all mankind.

If we are willing to believe the gospel that Jesus brought regarding the coming of the kingdom of God, and study the scriptures diligently, then we can start to glimpse what a wonderful positive future our perfect Father God has in store for us all.

The Kingdom of God Pt 3

In Part 1 we looked at WHAT the kingdom of God is, and WHY it is coming, using two of Kipling’s ‘honest serving men’.

In Part 2 we studied the scriptures regarding WHEN this will take place and HOW it will be brought about.

In this study we will continue and examine what the bible teaches about WHERE this will happen and WHO will be involved.

WHERE will the kingdom of God be?

Did Jesus teach his disciples (and by extension us) to pray to the Father for His kingdom to come? Was it to come to earth and involve our Father’s will being done here on earth ‘as it is in heaven’?

Matthew 6:10 NRSV
Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Will Christ arrive on the Mount of Olives just outside Jerusalem, to set up God’s government starting from here – on the earth?

Zechariah 14:1-4 WEB
Behold, a day of Yahweh comes, when your spoil will be divided in your midst.
14:2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city will be taken, the houses rifled, and the women ravished. half of the city will go out into captivity, and the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city.
14:3 Then Yahweh will go out and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
14:4 His feet will stand in that day on the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in two, from east to west, making a very great valley. Half of the mountain will move toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

Were the apostles told that Christ would return in the same way as he had gone (into the clouds on the Mount of Olives, out of the clouds arriving on the Mount of Olives) – back to the earth?

Acts 1:11-12 NRSV
They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away.

Will God’s kingdom and government be established and flow out of Jerusalem – on the earth?

Isaiah 2:2-3 WEB
It shall happen in the latter days, that the mountain of Yahweh’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be raised above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it.
2:3 Many peoples shall go and say, “Come, let’s go up to the mountain of Yahweh, To the house of the God of Jacob; And he will teach us of his ways, And we will walk in his paths. For out of Zion the law shall go forth, And the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem.

Did Jesus say the inheritance of the meek was to be the earth?

Matthew 5:5 NRSV
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Was the promise to Abraham and his descendents to inherit the world?

Romans 4:13 NRSV
For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith.

Are the saints to rule the earth?

1 Corinthians 6:2 NRSV
Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases?

Is it the earth that will be full of the knowledge of Yahweh?

Isaiah 11:9 WEB
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Yahweh, as the waters cover the sea.

This is supported throughout the prophetic writings:

Habakkuk 2:14 WEB
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of Yahweh, as the waters cover the sea.

Psalms 96:9-13 WEB
Worship Yahweh in holy array. Tremble before him, all the earth.
96:10 Say among the nations, “Yahweh reigns.” The world is also established. It can’t be moved. He will judge the peoples with equity.
96:11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice. Let the sea roar, and it’s fullness!
96:12 Let the field and all that is in it exult! Then all the trees of the woods shall sing for joy
96:13 Before Yahweh; for he comes, For he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, The peoples with his truth.

Does Christ instruct us to be ready for his return to the earth?

Luke 21:34-36 NRSV
“Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly,
35 like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth.
36 Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

For further evidence see also Joel 3:1-3, Obadiah 15-21, Micah 4:1-4, Isaiah 9, 11, 25, 35, 60, 61, 66, Daniel 2 and 7.

So it is evident that Christ returns to the earth and establishes the kingdom of God here on earth.

Let us now see who is involved in the kingdom of God that is to be set up and ruled over by Messiah Jesus.

WHO should we expect to be involved in the kingdom of God?

First of all, as we have seen it is the kingdom belonging to Yahweh God our Father, it is His rule and government that He administers through Jesus as Messiah king here on earth.

Daniel 7:13 WEB
I saw in the night-visions, and, behold, there came with the clouds of the sky one like a son of man, and he came even to the ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

Matthew 19:28 NRSV
Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man is seated on the throne of his glory, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Luke 22:28-29 NRSV
“You are those who have stood by me in my trials;
29 and I confer on you, just as my Father has conferred on me, a kingdom,

Matthew 25:31 NRSV
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory.

Revelation 11:15 NRSV
Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign forever and ever.”

Luke 1:31-33 NRSV
And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.
32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David.
33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

Will Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, together with all the prophets be in the kingdom?

Luke 13:28 NRSV
There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrown out.

Can ‘flesh and blood’ inherit the kingdom of God?

John 3:5-6 NRSV
Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.
6 What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.

1 Corinthians 15:50 NRSV
What I am saying, brothers and sisters, is this: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

But will we who are Christ’s at his return be changed so we can inherit the kingdom with him?

1 Corinthians 15:51-55 NRSV
Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed,
52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
53 For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality.
54 When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

Will the saints of the Most High receive the kingdom?

Daniel 7:18 WEB
But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.

Daniel 7:27 WEB
The kingdom and the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole the sky, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High: his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

Luke 12:32 NRSV
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

2 Peter 1:11 NRSV
For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly provided for you.

Will we rule over the earth with Christ?

Revelation 2:26-27 NRSV
To everyone who conquers and continues to do my works to the end, I will give authority over the nations;
27 to rule them with an iron rod, as when clay pots are shattered—

Revelation 3:21 NRSV
To the one who conquers I will give a place with me on my throne, just as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.

Who will not inherit a part in the kingdom?

Galatians 5:19-21 NRSV
Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness,
20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions,
21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Ephesians 5:5 NRSV
Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure person, or one who is greedy (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 NRSV
Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites,
10 thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God.

The goods news is that we don’t have to remain like that! Look at verse 11 if you wish to be an inheritor of the kingdom of God:

1 Corinthians 6:11 NRSV
And this is what some of you used to be. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

2 Thessalonians 1:5 NRSV
This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, and is intended to make you worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering

Will Satan and his influence be taken out of the picture?

Revelation 20:1-3 NRSV
Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain.
2 He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years,
3 and threw him into the pit, and locked and sealed it over him, so that he would deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be let out for a little while.

So we see that the kingdom belongs to the Father but He is delighted to place His dearly beloved son Jesus on the throne to rule over the earth as king.

It is also His good pleasure to grant us His children a part in the kingdom as our inheritance, ruling with and under Christ the king.

As many scriptures detail, this is a wonderful righteous and just government for the benefit of all the earth’s inhabitants, ushering in universal peace, abundance and joy – living the way our God planned it from the very beginning.

All will be free from the bondage of Satan that currently besets mankind

The Kingdom of God Pt 2

In Part 1 we looked at WHAT the kingdom of God is, and WHY it is coming, using two of Kipling’s ‘honest serving men’. In this study we will continue and examine what the bible teaches about WHEN this will take place and HOW it will be brought about.

WHEN is the awaited kingdom of God to be ushered in?

This is a question that the disciples were always eager to know the answer to.

Did Jesus say his return to set up the kingdom would be heralded with a loud trumpet blast?

Matthew 24:30-31 NRSV
Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see “the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven’ with power and great glory.
31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Did Paul also describe this event?

2 Thessalonians 1:5-8 NRSV
This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, and is intended to make you worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering.
6 For it is indeed just of God to repay with affliction those who afflict you,
7 and to give relief to the afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels
8 in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

Notice in the scripture above who are granted rest and who are afflicted, particularly verse 8.

The kingdom of God was very real to the apostles and followers of Christ, and they keenly expected it’s arrival, but what were they told regarding timescales for this?

Acts 1:6-7 NRSV
So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?”
7 He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority.

Mark13:32-33 NRSV
“But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
33 Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come.

Matthew 24:36 NRSV
“But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

Were all the heros of faith still awaiting the promises, not yet having received their inheritance (the kingdom) – and still haven’t to this day?

Hebrews 11:39-40 NRSV
Yet all these, though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised,
40 since God had provided something better so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect.

When Jesus was preaching about the kingdom the people expected it to immediately appear, to correct their misunderstanding he told a parable about a nobleman receiving a kingdom. This was a picture of himself going to heaven to receive the kingly power from the Father and to return subsequently to reign as king over that kingdom:

Luke 19:11-12 NRSV
As they were listening to this, he went on to tell a parable, because he was near Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately.
12 So he said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to get royal power for himself and then return.

Luke 19:15 NRSV
When he returned, having received royal power, he ordered these slaves, to whom he had given the money, to be summoned so that he might find out what they had gained by trading.

Was this spelled out more clearly in Acts?

Acts 3:17-22 NRSV
“And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers.
18 In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer.
19 Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out,
20 so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah appointed for you, that is, Jesus,
21 who must remain in heaven until the time of universal restoration that God announced long ago through his holy prophets.
22 Moses said, “The Lord your God will raise up for you from your own people a prophet like me. You must listen to whatever he tells you.

Notice that Christ will be in heaven UNTIL God’s time to establish all that the prophets foretold. Also that in the mean time we are to listen to all that he told us – to repent, believe and be made ready.

Although we are told that we cannot know the time of Christ’s return, we are given certain signs which will indicate to us that this event is close and imminent:

Luke 21:25-28 NRSV
“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
26 People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
27 Then they will see “the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory.
28 Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

So we do not know exactly when to expect Christ’s return, however there are indicators we can look out for, but how will it happen when it does take place?

HOW will the kingdom of God be ushered in?

We are told that at the sound of a loud trumpet call (the signal for war) Christ will return in power and glory:

Matthew 24:30-31 NRSV
Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see “the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven’ with power and great glory.
31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Will he over throw the wicked with power when he comes the second time?

Isaiah 11:1-4 WEB
There shall come forth a shoot out of the stock of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots shall bear fruit.
11:2 The Spirit of Yahweh shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Yahweh.
11:3 His delight shall be in the fear of Yahweh; and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither decide after the hearing of his ears;
11:4 but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and decide with equity for the humble of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; and with the breath of his lips shall he kill the wicked.

Will he arrive on the Mount of Olives just outside Jerusalem, to fight the nations assembled in that area?

Zechariah 14:1-4 WEB
Behold, a day of Yahweh comes, when your spoil will be divided in your midst.
14:2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city will be taken, the houses rifled, and the women ravished. half of the city will go out into captivity, and the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city.
14:3 Then Yahweh will go out and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
14:4 His feet will stand in that day on the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in two, from east to west, making a very great valley. Half of the mountain will move toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

Were the apostles told that Christ (Yahweh’s anointed agent through whom he carries out His plan) would return in the same way as he had gone (into the clouds on the Mount of Olives, out of the clouds arriving on the Mount of Olives)?

Acts 1:11-12 NRSV
They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away.

Will he destroy those who oppose God?

2 Thessalonians 2:8 NRSV
And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will destroy with the breath of his mouth, annihilating him by the manifestation of his coming.

Will all the kingdoms of the world become the kingdom of our God and of His Christ when this trumpet is blown?

Revelation 11:15 NRSV
Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign forever and ever.”

We have seen that God’s kingdom will be ushered in, with Christ as king, when he returns from heaven with all the power and glory given he by the Father.

He will overthrow the wicked and destroy those who fight against God’s government with overwhelming power, setting people free from Satan’s bondage and instituting the right conditions for the loving and righteous rule of God to deliver universal peace, prosperity and joy for all remaining mankind.

In the next study we will look at WHERE this will take place and WHO will be involved.