Christian Churches of God
The Kingdom of God
(Edition 2.0 19971027-19971027-20070614)
The Kingdom of God is a system that is little understood by modern Christianity. It is a system of living and a future for the entire human race. It operates on set principles and in accordance with set laws. How and by whom is it established?
The Kingdom of God
In a kingdom it is the king who sets the rules and chooses his administrators to implement these rules over his subjects, those people who dwell in his kingdom. However, in most kingdoms the monarch is subject to his own laws. So too is God subject to His own Laws, as they proceed from His nature.
Now the One True God, who is the Father of all, sent His Son to preach the gospel (or good news) of the Kingdom of God.
Malachi 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. (KJV)
Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in the synagogues, preaching the gospel of the Kingdom and healing all kinds of sickness and disease among the people (Mat. 4:23; 9:35; Mk. 1:14,39). And we see Jesus was also preaching after his resurrection (Acts 1:3).
John preached the Kingdom of Heaven (Mat. 3:2). Now the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God are two names for two aspects of the Kingdom under God. God is the King in Heaven. The Kingdom of God on Earth is established under delegation by Jesus Christ in order to be handed back to God after Christ has completed his responsibilities. His first phase was as Priest-Messiah in order to teach and to save.
Christ sent the disciples out to preach.
Luke 10:1 After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. (KJV)
Matthew 10:7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. (KJV)
After his death and resurrection, the preaching went on and the gospel of the Kingdom of God was spread into Asia Minor and Rome.
Acts 8:12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. (KJV)
Acts 20:25 And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. (KJV)
Acts 28:30-31 And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, 31 Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him. (KJV)
Christ tells us to “seek the Kingdom of God” (Mat. 6:33). He instructed us to consider the Kingdom of God and to pray for it to come. This is part of the example prayer to God our Father in Heaven.
Matthew 6:9-13 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (KJV)
Thus, the Father is the King of the Kingdom of Heaven and of the entire Kingdom of God both on Earth and in Heaven. However, many Scriptures call Christ the King, and also King of Kings and Lord of Lords, so it follows these titles are delegated from the Father to this extraordinary son of His.
Isaiah 9:6-7 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. (KJV)
John 18:36-37 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. 37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. (KJV)
God the Father, the Almighty ruler of the Kingdom, provided the rules of His Law-order from the creation of His spiritual sons in Heaven first, and then to the physical sons commencing with Adam and Eve. How can we know this? We first have to go right back and look at what sin is and when it first appeared.
1John 3:4 defines what sin is:
1John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. (KJV)
Also the wages of sin is death from Romans 6:23.
Lucifer (meaning Light Bearer and who is now called Satan) was one of the Morning Stars in the heavenly realm. These Morning Stars were powerful heavenly beings that were in command of parts of the Kingdom of God. The term Light Bringer comes from the concept of bringing light to the planet or the creation as the brightest of the visible stars. Satan is the current Morning Star. Christ is to replace him as the new Morning Star or Day Star. He will share that with us (Rev. 2:28; 22:16).
Incidentally, the Book of Job tells us that the Morning Stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy on seeing the material creation of the universe (Job 38:1-7).
This Lucifer is described in Ezekiel 28:14-16.
Ezekiel 28:14-16 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. 16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. (KJV)
And Isaiah takes it up.
Isaiah 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! (KJV)
Lucifer had been created perfect but he sinned. To sin, one must break God’s Law, and we are told that this Lucifer became Satan, the Adversary. He was the Red Dragon (Rev. 12:4) and he influenced one-third of the heavenly spirit beings to follow him in rebellion.
Revelation 12:4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. (KJV)
Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. (KJV)
Satan is the present ruler or prince of this world.
John 14:30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. (KJV)
Matthew 4:8-9 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. (KJV)
Jesus does not dispute the claim that the devil ruled this world’s kingdoms. “Their glory” reflects Satan’s law-order or way of life – which is rapidly sending these kingdoms into utter chaos and misery.
In 2Corinthians 4:4, Satan is referred to as the god of this age, and in Ephesians 2:2 as the prince of the power of the air (cf. Jn. 16:11).
As Christ speaks to Saul on the way to Damascus (Acts 26:16-18), he tells him that he, Saul, is being sent to turn the Gentiles from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. This period of darkness was to last almost six thousand years. Mankind has been sinning since Adam, as we see in Romans 5:12.
Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (KJV)
We are separated from God because of sin.
Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. (KJV)
Also, without God’s help, we cannot obey God’s Laws.
Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (KJV)
Jeremiah 10:23 O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. (KJV)
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (KJV)
So, how can mortal man be reconciled to God, our Father? Are we to be left to perish?
Because God is love (1Jn. 4:8), He loves us as part of His Plan for man’s redemption. He provided a ransom for the fallen Host and mankind so that we all might be reconciled to Him. He sent a Being to pay the death penalty for our sins and the sins of Satan and his demons. Jesus became the sacrifice, which expiated our sins.
Philippians 2:5-9 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, (RSV)
Now, what about the administrators for God’s Kingdom? God, in His unfathomable wisdom, chooses whom He will from among men. He called different ones from Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the prophets – those both named and unnamed – the apostles, disciples, those martyred since Christ, and on into this current age. God the Father does the choosing.
John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. (KJV)
These are Christ’s words. Christ’s sacrifice was for the whole world – past, present and future. But there are obligations to be met. One must accept the sacrifices, be baptised, receive the Holy Spirit and, by obedience to the Law-order, proceed with increasing knowledge and practise of God’s Laws, based on love.
Matthew 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (KJV)
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (KJV)
Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (KJV)
However, Galatians 5:22-23 also shows the fruits of the Holy Spirit, which should become manifest in the converted person’s mind and behaviour.
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (KJV)
This Holy Spirit is in us now as a deposit, or an earnest in our hearts (2Cor. 1:22), of what we shall inherit.
1Corinthians 15:49-52 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (KJV)
1Thessalonians 4:13-17 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (KJV)
John 3:5-7 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (KJV)
These resurrected humans, as spirit beings, become the administrative arm of God’s government with Jesus Christ.
However, there is a “bad news” scenario before the “good news” of the return of Christ, as King-Messiah and conqueror, and the setting up of the Kingdom of God.
The Book of Joel, in chapters 1 and 2, has an horrendous message to mankind regarding our final predicament caused by our disregard of God’s Laws, and by assuming that man is top of the pile, and that there is no God or Jesus Christ.
Matthew 24:3-44 also deals with conditions prior to Christ’s return. Matthew 24:21-22 is especially moving because Christ will only return when mankind is in the real danger of destroying itself completely.
The real point is that Christ returns to save his elect. The elect are those persons being led by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:14) and obeying God’s Laws. Thus humanity goes into the next phase of the Plan of God, and the Kingdom.
From the following Scriptures we see that Jesus Christ will be King of the Earth, governing the Kingdom.
Revelation 19:11-16 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. (KJV)
Revelation 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. (KJV)
From the above, we see the Kingdom of God will arrive when Christ, as appointed and delegated king, returns. There are numerous Scriptures to cover this aspect: Daniel 2:44-45; 7:13,14,27; Isaiah 9:6; Zechariah 6:12-13; Matthew 24:24,27; 27:11; Luke 17:24; 23:3; John 18:37; Acts 1:11; 3:19-21; Revelation 1:7; 17:14.
From 1Thessalonians 4:17 we are told: And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
By applying further Scriptures we can determine just where the administrative arm will be in operation.
Revelation 5:9-10 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. (KJV)
Revelation 4:6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. (KJV)
Zechariah 14:1-9 Behold, a day of the LORD is coming, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in the midst of you. 2 For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women ravished; half of the city shall go into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3 Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. 4 On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives which lies before Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley; so that one half of the Mount shall withdraw northward, and the other half southward. 5 And the valley of my mountains shall be stopped up, for the valley of the mountains shall touch the side of it; and you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzzi'ah king of Judah. Then the LORD your God will come, and all the holy ones with him. 6 On that day there shall be neither cold nor frost. 7 And there shall be continuous day (it is known to the LORD), not day and not night, for at evening time there shall be light. 8 On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea; it shall continue in summer as in winter. 9 And the LORD will become king over all the earth; on that day the LORD will be one and his name one. (RSV)
Zechariah 14:12-15 and Zephaniah 1:14-17 show that the Day of the Lord will be fierce and bloody.
Jeremiah 4:27 For thus hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end. (KJV)
However, there will be some people left on this poor mauled planet.
Jeremiah 4:29 The whole city shall flee for the noise of the horsemen and bowmen; they shall go into thickets, and climb up upon the rocks: every city shall be forsaken, and not a man dwell therein. (KJV)
Compare this with Revelation 6:15.
Revelation 6:15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; (KJV)
So, despite the carnage, there will be people who are left, and they will become the subjects of the administrative arm of God’s Kingdom on this Earth. God is love and He who rules over them will be compassionate, kindly, and beneficial to them in every way.
Jeremiah 32:37-41 Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely: 38 And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: 39 And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: 40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. 41 Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul. (KJV)
Jeremiah 23:3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. (KJV)
There are further such promises in Jeremiah 32:44 and Ezekiel 28:25-26 – beautiful promises of safety, homes, and vineyards.
Messiah will rule from Jerusalem, the city chosen by God (1Kgs. 11:13; Jer. 17:18-21). He had affection for Jerusalem and knew that it would be the centre of government (Lk. 13:34-35). He will sit on David’s throne ruling from there (Jer. 33:14-16; Lk. 1:32-33).
Ruling with Christ will be the twelve Apostles, the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Elijah, the prophets and the saints sitting on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel and the world (Mat. 19:28; Lk. 9:28-36; 22:29-30).
These Apostles, Patriarchs, prophets and saints will assist Christ, as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, ruling from Jerusalem for this entire period as kings and priests (Rev. 5:10). They will sit on Christ’s throne as he sits on the Father’s Throne (Rev. 3:21). This is determined by the Father (Mat. 20:20-23; Mk. 10:35-40). Their responsibilities will be to ensure peace and justice as spirit beings for the thousand years. They are selected and trained over a long period and under persecution and hardship to ensure they rule wisely in the Holy Spirit. They are given cities according to their dedication (Lk. 19:11-27; Rev. 2:26-29).
This is the fulfilment of the promises made by Christ in the Beatitudes where we, being filled with righteousness and persecuted for it, inherit the Earth. Ultimately, we will see God (Mat. 5:5-12). No man has seen God or ever can see Him (Jn. 1:18; 1Tim. 6:16). This promise is to the spirit beings. Having overcome, they eat from the garden. They have no second death. They eat manna and are given a new stone or name and position. They have power over the nations and rulership. The names of the elect will not be blotted out of the Book of Life. Those who persecute us will be made to acknowledge us. Some of us will be pillars in the Temple of God and sit on Christ’s throne (Rev. 2:7,11,17,26; 3:5,9,12,21). The effects Christ and the saints have in the rulership of the planet can be seen from Scripture. The people will be blessed by their rule.
This 1,000-year rule of Christ will be a learning period for them, and their children, and they will have instruction in the ways of God under optimum conditions, because Satan, the ruler of this world, will be held back from his wicked activities for that time.
Revelation 20:1-3 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. (KJV)
Regarding the absolute evil of Satan and his demons, The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (vol. 3, p. 26) states:
The NT interprets the evil of this age in terms of satanic and demonic power. Satan is the “god of this age” (IICor. 4:4) who has been allowed in the sovereign wisdom of God to exercise great power in human affairs (Matt. 4:9). Satan is a spirit hostile to God who does all he can to frustrate the will of God. Allied with him are evil spirits – demons – who are capable of taking possession of the human personality.
The ultimate enemies of God are not sinful people or pagan nations but evil powers. Since this conflict involves the destiny of individuals and of human history as a whole, however, the conflict is waged on the scene of human history. This is one of the fundamental presuppositions of the Bible – that there is a real invisible spiritual world of both good and evil that impinges upon and determines human existence and destiny. The theology of Satan and demons affirms their existence. Evil is not merely human ignorance, failure, or error, nor is it blind fate or irrational chance. Evil has its roots in personality, and it is greater than man and stronger than man. It is God’s purpose finally to subdue and destroy these evil powers and deliver people from their enslavement.
The first priority will be to remove idolatry and to establish true worship under the Law. Idolatry was introduced by the demons that are put away for the period (see also Jer. 17:17-20; cf. Zech. 13:1-2,7-9). As kings and priests we will be given authority to deal with nations that do not serve God (Isa. 60:12).
From Scripture we can try to build a picture of the 1,000 years under God’s rule. Isaiah 2:4 says neither shall they learn war anymore. Young men and women won’t be drafted into armies to learn the way of war again. Fear of wars will be abolished. No more human lives will be wasted or minds warped by warfare (cf. Mic. 4:3).
There will be no more language barriers.
Zephaniah 3:9 For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent. (KJV)
God gives the whole world one pure language. There will be no more confusion or lack of understanding between people. Everyone speaks, reads, and writes the same language. There will be ever more benefits for education, and for knowing God.
Ezekiel 28:26 And they shall dwell safely therein, and shall build houses, and plant vineyards; yea, they shall dwell with confidence, when I have executed judgments upon all those that despise them round about them; and they shall know that I am the LORD their God. (KJV)
People will be taught to know and serve the Lord God and they will be confident people, fearing nothing because they know that they are doing the right thing.
All the nations will keep the Laws and send their representatives to Jerusalem for the Feasts or they will receive no rain. All nations that obey and worship God will be guaranteed rain in due season.
Zechariah 14:16-19 Then every one that survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of booths. 17 And if any of the families of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, there will be no rain upon them. 18 And if the family of Egypt do not go up and present themselves, then upon them shall come the plague with which the LORD afflicts the nations that do not go up to keep the feast of booths. 19 This shall be the punishment to Egypt and the punishment to all the nations that do not go up to keep the feast of booths. (RSV)
The blessings and the curses will be applied in the Millennium. People will be healed of their afflictions commencing from Jerusalem (Isa. 30:19-26; Rev. 22:2).
Cities will no longer be the overcrowded sprawling disasters that they are now, and with all manner of evil therein. God’s rule will be followed.
Isaiah 5:8 Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth! (KJV)
Zechariah 2:4 And said unto him, Run, speak to this young man, saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein: (KJV)
The unwalled cities and villages are so because God will be the protection.
Zechariah 2:5 For I, saith the LORD, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her. (KJV)
Jeremiah 33:10-13 Thus saith the LORD; Again there shall be heard in this place, which ye say shall be desolate without man and without beast, even in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate, without man, and without inhabitant, and without beast,11 The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD. 12 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Again in this place, which is desolate without man and without beast, and in all the cities thereof, shall be an habitation of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down. 13 In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the vale, and in the cities of the south, and in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, shall the flocks pass again under the hands of him that telleth them, saith the LORD. (KJV)
Ezekiel 48:17-19 And the suburbs of the city shall be toward the north two hundred and fifty, and toward the south two hundred and fifty, and toward the east two hundred and fifty, and toward the west two hundred and fifty. 18 And the residue in length over against the oblation of the holy portion shall be ten thousand eastward, and ten thousand westward: and it shall be over against the oblation of the holy portion; and the increase thereof shall be for food unto them that serve the city. 19 And they that serve the city shall serve it out of all the tribes of Israel. (KJV)
This agricultural work will be very beneficial to men and women who have been through the horrors of war and pestilence prior to Christ’s return. Their spiritual growth and physical wellbeing will be enhanced by their participation in the whole community. No one will make them afraid (Jer. 30:10).
Mankind will renew its connections with the Earth and the seasons of change. Patience in waiting for crops and animals to mature will be beneficial for their entire development. Cooperation and not competition will be the norm.
Note the story of Ruth.
Ruth 2:2-3 And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter. 3 And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech. (KJV)
It appears that the community planted their crops together on common land and pooled their resources. Again, Amos 9:13-15 points to a cooperative effort.
What a beautiful scene of harmony, peace and security under the rule of the justice and righteousness of God’s Law.
Isaiah 32:16-19 Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. 17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. 18 And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places; 19 When it shall hail, coming down on the forest; and the city shall be low in a low place. (KJV)
The cities will be low-lying in the plains with no hail on the crops.
Forests will be of great value and be properly managed. The deaf will hear the Laws of God propounded and explained. The blind will see. This refers to the “spiritually” deaf and blind, as well as the physically handicapped.
Isaiah 29:17-19 Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest? 18 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. 19 The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. (KJV)
The deserts will be reclaimed and waters reduced – producing more land (Isa. 35:5-10). There will be national wilderness areas between the cities with their accompanying villages (Num. 21:25; Ezek. 38:11; Zech. 2:4; Jer. 31:24,27).
There will be no conflict between animals and people and pastures. The animals can live in their respective habitats. The Earth will be managed as it should have been from the first at Eden. A new Spirit will be given to the Earth.
Isaiah 11:6-9 explains this scenario.
Isaiah 11:6-9 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. 7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. 9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. (KJV)
As Luke 19:17-19 speaks of rulers of 5 or 10 cities, there must be organised groups of cities – no doubt with an ample distribution of natural habitat between. There would also probably be a ceiling in the number of persons in a city and its areas, and then new cities would be built but not in the same sense as we see them now. It is forbidden to have house on house and field on field.
Isaiah 5:8 Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth! (KJV)
Animal husbandry is catered for as we see in Isaiah 30:23-24.
Isaiah 30:23-24 Then shall he give the rain of thy seed, that thou shalt sow the ground withal; and bread of the increase of the earth, and it shall be fat and plenteous: in that day shall thy cattle feed in large pastures. 24 The oxen likewise and the young asses that ear the ground shall eat clean provender, which hath been winnowed with the shovel and with the fan. (KJV)
Common land will be available for use.
Numbers 35:2-3 Command the children of Israel, that they give unto the Levites of the inheritance of their possession cities to dwell in; and ye shall give also unto the Levites suburbs for the cities round about them. 3 And the cities shall they have to dwell in; and the suburbs of them shall be for their cattle, and for their goods, and for all their beasts. (KJV)
Here suburbs mean common grazing land not buildings.
City dwellers and country people will live harmoniously as a “whole” community, with cooperation, care and consideration for each other. This seems to be a perfect way to live, and the environment would be of major importance to all.
Energy for living and workplaces would be supplied from the almost inexhaustible source of the sun (and the wind) as it could be used now but is not because of the greed of men.
The vision of millennial Jerusalem was given to Zechariah (Zech. 8:1-23).
But the Kingdom of God does not end there. At the end of the 1,000 years of peace and prosperity, Satan will be loosed and again trouble the Earth (Rev. 20:3).
Revelation 20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. (KJV)
However, there will be another resurrection, and all the humans that ever lived will be brought to life, i.e. those who weren’t part of the First Resurrection at Christ’s return.
Revelation 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. (KJV)
They will have 100 years of intensive training (Isa. 65:20) when all humans will have the choice of following God and His way or not.
Isaiah 65:20 There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. (KJV)
To follow Him one goes on to become a spirit being and part of the spiritual eternal Kingdom of God. Should anyone continue in rebellion, they will die and be burned, never more to live. Eternal life in God’s Kingdom should be the goal of humanity just as it is God’s desire for all.
2Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (KJV)
John 17:3And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (KJV)
The curse of humanity has been our inability to love each other, and Satan has held sway – leading us to every kind of sin because he turned from the nature of God to a false way and spirit.
Christ will hand the Kingdom back to God on His arrival after the subjugation of the planet.
1Corinthians 15:24-27 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 "For God has put all things in subjection under his feet." But when it says, "All things are put in subjection under him," it is plain that he is excepted who put all things under him. (RSV)
God is still supreme in all of this activity. All things are done according to His Law.
Man has to learn who God is and love Him, to learn He is the centre of all things, that He is love and the centre of goodness, and that all creation emanated from Him. So man has to be taught the basics for a harmonious life and to love his fellow man. Physical existence is for us to learn these things because the ultimate choice is this: Do we want His way to be our way? Do we want an eternal peaceful, loving life OR NOT?
When Christ returns, this Law-order or social system will be established to show people the benefits and blessings of living God’s way which the world, as a whole, has never known.
Then, let us earnestly pray "THY KINGDOM COME", and in our individual lives reflect that soon-coming Kingdom in every action.
See also the paper The Eternal Kingdom of God (No. 144)