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The Triumphant Return and Kingdom #5

God's Literal Kingdom!

                 THE TRIUMPHANT RETURN AND THE KINGDOM #5


From the book by Grant.R.Jeffrey



The Millennial Kingdom of God


     The purpose of the coming kingdom of God, which encompasses
the Millennium and the eternal New Earth to follow forever after,
is another essential yet misunderstood subject. The history of
humanity is, in fact, the history of God's plan to redeem a
willing remnant of a rebellious humanity from the consequences of
their sinful rebellion through the sacrificial atonement of Jesus
Christ on the Cross. The Scriptures record the history of
humanity's first and continued rebellion against God, its tragic
consequences in sin, violence, and death. Finally the Scriptures
reveal the prophecies of God regarding the final conflict and its
resolution when Jesus Christ will appear and gloriously triumph
over the armies of Antichrist at the Battle of Armageddon. All of
the prophetic revelations of the Bible regarding the progressive
unfolding of God's truth and His plan of redemption will
culminate in the return of the Messiah to defeat Satan and his
allies. Then, following the Messiah's destruction of the
Antichrist's armies, Jesus Christ will establish His glorious
millennial kingdom. Christ's Second Coming will usher in the
long-awaited kingdom of God that will endure throughout eternity.
     The kingdom of God on earth provides the spiritual key to
explaining human history, from the fall of Adam and Eve, to
Jesus' First Coming, and until the final appearance of Christ at
the end of this age. The prophecies about the coming kingdom
provide the key to the true understanding of the Scriptures and
God's plan for redeeming humanity from the curse of sin.
     
     Throughout the Scriptures, God repeatedly promises His
followers that the goal is the coming millennial kingdom and the
New Earth to follow forever. The prophecies in both the Old and
New Testament teach that this promised Kingdom will be a real
global kingdom on the earth. The kingdom is not simply an
allegorical picture of a spiritual state of mind. Tragically,
beginning with Origin and St.Augustine during the third and
fourth centuries after Christ, the allegorical method of
scriptural interpretation gradually became the general teaching
of the western Church. Following St.Augustine's book, "The City
of God," which rejected the future premillennial return of Christ
to defeat Antichrist and establish His kingdom, the medieval
Church generally abandoned a literal interpretation of the
Bible's prophecies.

     Jude, the brother of Jesus, knowing that the Church would
someday abandon these biblical principles, wrote the following
message to believers two thousand years ago: "It was needful for
me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly
contend for the faith which was once for all delivered unto the
saints" (Jude 3). How should we evaluate all teachings that are
presented to us regarding the doctrines of the Word of God? The
best and most certain answer is found in the words of the Bible
itself. We should evaluate all teachings according to this
principle: "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not
according to this word, it is because there is no light in them"
(Isaiah 8:20).
     It is very significant that every single Old Testament
messianic prophecy that came to fruition during the life of Jesus
of Nazareth was fulfilled in a literal, common-sense way. Not one
of the Old Testament prophecies about Jesus' birth, life,
death, and resurrection was fulfilled in a purely allegorical
manner. The apostolic Church clearly taught that a personal
Antichrist will literally arise in the last days to rule for
seven years leading to the final Battle of Armageddon. (No such 7
years is mentioned; what is mentioned is 42 months, 1260 days, a
time, times and half a time. Daniel in chapter 12 gives added
days to 42 months, but not even close to 7 years. The 7 year idea
comes from a miss-understanding of Daniel chapter 9. The turth of
that prophecy is expounded fully on this Website - Keith Hunt).
     This battle will end in the triumphant victory of the
heavenly army of Christ. Then, He will establish His Kingdom
ruling from the throne of David in the city of Jerusalem. The
Millennial Kingdom of Christ will ultimately produce the greatest
blessings the world has ever known. All of humanity's longings
for peace, prosperity, health, justice, and righteous government
will finally be realized when Jesus Christ returns to establish
His Kingdom.


The Kingdom of God Is Literal

     The promise of our Lord's return and His establishment of
the kingdom of God is so fundamental to the revealed plan of God
that the failure to understand this foundational doctrine will
prevent a proper appreciation of Christ's plan to redeem the
earth from the curse of sin. The promise of the coming kingdom is
a golden thread that runs through the Scriptures from Genesis to
the last chapter of the book of Revelation. Beginning in Genesis,
God announces His unbreakable covenants with Abraham and his
descendants that will ultimately be realized in the future
kingdom that will be ruled by the promised seed, the Messiah.
     King David and Solomon constantly affirm the reality of the
future kingdom when Christ will finally rule this earth. Each of
the Old Testament prophets added their inspired prophecies to
reveal new details about the coming kingdom. Jesus Himself taught
more about the Kingdom of God than any other topic. The Gospels
and the epistles of Paul and Peter resound with assurances that
Jesus will fulfill His covenants and promises in the last days.
     Finally, the prophet John was given the privilege of
revealing the prophecies of Jesus Christ throughout the book of
Revelation to enable us to see a clear vision of the coming
Kingdom of God.

     The New Testament revealed God's plan to use the Church to
evangelize the world and call out a remnant of people to
salvation in the name of Christ. The Church, by fulfilling
Christ's command to go "into all the world, and preach the
gospel" (Mark 16:15), has led hundreds of millions of souls to
repentance and prepares the world for the coming kingdom of God.
(No, it is only the very few, the little flock as Jesus called
His true disciples, that have been brought to true repentance and
salvation. Most of the Christian world is under a false
Christianity, a Babylon Mystery Religion - Keith Hunt). 
     It would take another complete book to explore the events
involving the Great Commission of His Church that have been
fulfilled during the last two thousand years as the Gospel has
been effectively "preached in all the world." However, the focus
of this book is the prophetic truth concerning the Second Coming
and the kingdom of God.
     In a sense, the Church is designed for the present age of
God's grace and Christ's offer of salvation to all those who will
repent. However, the coming kingdom of God belongs to the future
when Jesus Christ will return to earth to defeat the Gentile
world empires and establish His righteous kingdom forever. When
the kingdom of God arrives with the return of the Messiah, the
Church of Christ will have completed its historical task of
taking the gospel of salvation to the nations and calling out a
remnant from all nations who will repent and be saved. Then the
resurrected saints of the Church will take their promised exalted
place as the "kings and priests" with Christ reigning over the
billions of Jews and Gentiles that compose the worldwide kingdom
of God ruled by His Messiah: "And hast made us unto our God kings
and priests: and we shall reign on the earth" (Revelation 5:10).
     
     The evidence is overwhelming that the Old Testament prophets
understood that God intended to establish a literal kingdom on
earth under the rule of the Messiah. The word kingdom is used 342
times throughout the entire Scriptures, appearing 127 times in
the Gospels alone. The phrase "kingdom of God" appears 68 times,
and "kingdom of heaven" is found 31 times. The angel Gabriel came
to Mary and prophesied that Jesus will rule the kingdom from "the
throne of his father David." The prophecy of Gabriel declares,
"He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest:
and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father
David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and
of his kingdom there shall be no end" (Luke 1:32-33).
     The Jews, both His followers and enemies, affirmed that
Jesus came as their king. For example, when Jesus was born, the
Magi came to King Herod in Jerusalem and asked, "Where is he that
is born King of the Jews?" (Matthew 2:2). Note that Herod's
officials did not dispute their expectation that the Messiah, the
"King of the Jews" should be born at that time. In fact, they
immediately directed the Magi to Bethleham, the city of David
where Micah had prophesied the Messiah would be born (Micah 5:2).
During Jesus' trial, Matthew declares that Jesus accepted the
title "king of the Jews." "And Jesus stood before the governor:
and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the
Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest" (Matthew 27:11). Mark
recorded that a sign reading "King of the Jews" was placed on the
Cross above Christ's head (Mark 25:26).

     Critics of the belief in a premillennial return of Christ
have often argued that Jesus did not teach that this kingdom was
literal but that He taught the kingdom was only spiritual.
However, the evidence is overwhelming that the Old Testament
prophets and the New Testament followers of Christ believed in a
literal kingdom on earth. If, as the critics argue, all of these
individuals were mistaken in their understanding of this kingdom,
then it is inconceivable that Jesus and His inspired apostles
would have failed to correct their mistake on such a
fundamentally important topic.

     A careful analysis of the Gospels reveals numerous occasions
when Christ immediately corrected His disciples from their
mistaken belief or misunderstanding of some other issue or
doctrine. For example, when Lazarus died, Jesus' disciples
misunderstood His words. Jesus "saith unto them, Our friend
Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.
Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well"
(John 11:11-12). Immediately Jesus corrected their mistaken
notion that Lazarus was only sleeping, "Then said Jesus unto them
plainly, Lazarus is dead" (John 11:14). On another occasion Jesus
warned them of the false doctrines of the Pharisees and Sadducees
by saying, "Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees
and of the Sadducees" (Matthew 16:6). When the disciples
misunderstood His words as if He spoke about real leaven and
bread, Jesus immediately corrected their mistake. "Then
understood they how that he bade them not beware of
the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of
the Sadducees" (Matthew 16:12).
     Yet, Jesus never once challenged His disciples' repeated
comments that revealed their belief in a literal coming kingdom.
An example is found in the first chapter of Acts, which recorded
Christ's teaching to His disciples following His resurrection.
"They asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore
again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for
you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put
in his own power" (Acts 1:6-7). Jesus affirms that knowledge of
the precise timing of the future establishment of His kingdom is
retained solely by God. If the Kingdom was not literal, but only
spiritual, this would have provided the perfect opportunity to
clarify the issue. However, He did not tell His disciples that
their expectation regarding the setting up of a literal kingdom
of God on earth was incorrect.


Characteristics of the Kingdom of God

     If the Lord wanted us to understand that the kingdom of God
was purely spiritual and not a literal future kingdom, it is hard
to explain why He repeatedly inspired His prophets and apostles
to write about the kingdom in such literal and material language
that was bound to convince readers of the real nature of the
coming kingdom. If language is used meaningfully and purposefully
in the Word of God, then the clear intent of the Lord is to teach
us to expect a real kingdom of God. When you carefully examine
the criticism of the preterists and amillennialists against the
literal kingdom of God, you discover that many of them are
emotionally uncomfortable with the concept of a real and earthly
kingdom, as if this was too "material" or "carnal" for their
liking. However, the real question for those who acknowledge that
God alone is qualified to determine the proper nature of His
future kingdom is this: Is the earthly kingdom of God taught
clearly by Christ and the prophets in the Scriptures? If the
answer is yes, then those who are faithful to His Word must
acknowledge that the Lord intends to establish His real Kingdom
of God on earth to complement His heaven above.


The Millennial Kingdom of God

     In considering the question as to whether the kingdom is
material or spiritual in nature, let's look at the Scriptures
that describe the characteristics of this kingdom:

*    The kingdom will be ruled forever by Jesus Christ as king:
"And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his
kingdom there shall be no end" (Luke 1:33).

*    The king will rule "upon the throne of David" (Isaiah 9:7).

*     The kingdom will be ruled "with judgment and with justice"
(Isaiah 9:7).

*    It has a real government: "The government shall be upon his
shoulder" (Isaiah 9:6).

*    Jesus' disciples will administer the land of Israel: "Ye
also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of
Israel" (Matthew 19:28).

*    The faithful servants of Christ will administer cities of
the kingdom: "Have thou authority over ten cities" (Luke 19:17).

*    The saints will rule and reign with the Messiah during the
Millennium and "shall reign with him a thousand years"
(Revelation 2o:6).

*    The saints will continue to reign with Christ forever in the
kingdom in the New Earth: "They shall reign for ever and ever"
(Revelation 22:5).

*    The kingdom will be ruled from the city of Jerusalem: "The
Lord of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem"
(Isaiah 24:23).

*    The kingdom will govern territory: "He shall have dominion
also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the
earth" (Psalms 72:8).

*    The Kingdom of God will appear in the future at the dramatic
and public Second Coming of Christ, which the whole world will
observe as Jesus announced to His disciples during the Olivet
discourse:

     For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth
     even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of
     man be.... Immediately after the tribulation of those days
     shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her
     light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers
     of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the
     sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the
     tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man
     coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
     (Matthew 24:27,29-30)


God's Eternal Covenant with Israel

     All of the covenant prophecies and promises that God made
with Abraham and His descendants - including the kingdom promises
to David, Solomon, and all the prophets - will finally be
realized during the millennial kingdom and the New Earth that
will follow. These divine promises of peace, justice, prosperity,
and eternal blessings for Israel and the Gentile nations will be
fulfilled when Jesus Christ establishes His messianic throne in
Jerusalem. In addition to these material promises, the Lord also
promised a new spiritual covenant with Israel in which He would
give them "a new heart," including the forgiveness of their sins
and the divine empowering by the Holy Spirit of all the righteous
inhabitants of the renewed nation. The prophet Ezekiel declared,
"A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put
within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your
flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh" (Ezek.36:26). This
promised eternal kingdom of God will fulfill all of the hopes and
dreams of the Chosen People forever. Zechariah and the other
prophets affirm that all of the surviving Gentiles and their
descendents will participate in these millennial kingdom promises
as well.


The Millennium The First 1000 Years of the Eternal Kingdom of God

     Most Christians who accept the scriptural truth about the
literal Millennium have unfortunately concluded that the Kingdom
of Christ will only exist for a period of one thousand years.
However, the Scriptures teach that Christ's Kingdom on earth and
in heaven will be eternal. The Millennium will simply form the
first chapter or portion in the eternal plan of God for
humanity's future in the coming kingdom of Christ. Every one of
the Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming kingdom of God
are unlimited in duration. The apostle John was given a unique
prophetic revelation of this initial period of Christ's rule that
will last one thousand years. To emphasize its literal reality,
the one-thousand-year duration of this initial period of Christ's
kingdom is repeated six times in Revelation 20. John prophesied a
number of specific events that would define this period of time.
However, it is a fundamental error to believe that all of the
Bible's many promises of the kingdom of God could ever be
fulfilled in such a short period of time as one thousand years.
The Old and New Testaments prophesy that the kingdom of God will
truly commence with the Coming of the Messiah to usher in the
millennial Kingdom and that it will continue forever.

     And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of
     the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he
     laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the
     Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 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." (Revelation 20:1-3)

     After Adam and Eve sinned against God, Satan received the
dominion of this world from Adam and became "the god of this age"
(2 Corinthians 4:4) and "the prince of the power of the air"
(Ephesians 2:2). Christ will defeat Satan at His triumphant
return at the Battle of Armageddon, and He will cast him into the
bottomless pit for a thousand years. When the millennial kingdom
begins, Jesus Christ will rule throughout this world in
righteousness and justice. Humanity will still be tested as to
obedience during this thousand-year period as they will live
under the righteous government of Jesus Christ, but Satan cannot
tempt them. Any sin will be dealt with judicially by Christ; John
foretold that "she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all
nations with a rod of iron" (Revelation 12:5). Even in this ideal
spiritual condition, the Bible foretells that many of the people
who survive Armageddon will fail this final test of obedience.
When the Millennium is almost concluded, Satan will be released
from his imprisonment in the bottomless pit and set free for "a
little season" (Revelation 20:3). During this time, Satan will
gather a multitude of the sinful rebels of all nations throughout
the earth to join in a last desperate attempt to defeat Christ in
a great battle against "the beloved city" Jerusalem (Revelation
20:9). Satan will finally be defeated by Jesus Christ and will be
sent to the "lake of fire" forever. John prophesies in the
Apocalypse that God will renew the earth and the heavens with
fire from heaven following His victory over Satan's final
rebellion. In a similar manner, as God cleansed the earth from
the pollution of sin with a great worldwide flood during the days
of Noah, (it was a flood, mighty indeed, but it was not world-
wide. See the in-depth studies on that topic on this Website -
Keith Hunt) Christ will cleanse the earth and heaven from the
pollution of sin with fire. Then the eternal kingdom of God, with
Israel and the surviving Gentile nations, will continue
throughout eternity to enjoy the blessings of God under the
direct rule of Jesus the Messiah and the righteous saints of the
resurrected Church acting as holy "priest-kings" of His divine
kingdom.

(Not quite sure what Jeffrey is saying here. If he is teaching
that there will be "physical" people on the New earth, he is
mistaken. The new earth of Revelation 21 and 22 will only be for
all humans who have been born into the family of God, only for
those made immortal and glorified, as well of course for all the
righteous angels and creatures created by God - Keith Hunt)

     Numerous passages throughout the Word of God confirm that
God's plan is that the earth and His kingdom will endure forever.
     For example, the first book of the Bible, Genesis,
reveals God's promise to Noah following the Flood that He would
establish His unbreakable "everlasting covenant" with humanity
and "every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth"
to never again "destroy all flesh" (Genesis 9:15-16). (It was
"waters" that would not destroy all flesh" - Jeffrey left that
part out - it is "fire" at the end that will destroy all flesh,
except those made immortal - Keith Hunt). 
     King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes the following statement:
"One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but
the earth abideth for ever" (Ecclesiastes 1:4). (Yes the earth
made new will abide forever, it will still be a physical earth
forever, so God and His children can enjoy and have as their
universe head-quarters, but physical people will not be there,
only those made immoratl in the family of God, and the angels -
Keith Hunt).
     His father, King David, wrote the following statement
affirming the eternal nature of God's creation: "They shall fear
thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all
generations.... His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be
continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him:
all nations shall call him blessed. Blessed be the Lord God, the
God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. And blessed be his
glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with
his glory; Amen, and Amen" (Psalms 72:5, 17-19). 

(And it will be so, for as God's children we shall forever give
respectful fear to our Father. David was not teaching physical
humans will forever be on this earth. The last verses of
Revelation 20 clearly show this will not be the case. All
physical mortal life will end as the new earth comes into being -
Keith Hunt)

     David also wrote: "And he built his sanctuary like high
palaces, like the earth which he hath established for ever"
(Psalms 78:69). In another passage David spoke of the Lord God as
the Creator, "Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it
should not be removed for ever" (Psalms 104:5).

(True, the physical earth will forever be in the universe. But
human physical life one day will be no more - Keith Hunt)

     These passages confirm that God will redeem the earth from
the curse of evil after the Millennium. The renovated and sinless
earth will continue forever as part of the eternal kingdom of
God. Many Christians have misunderstood the scriptural references
to the New Earth as if they taught that God would annihilate His
original creation and replace it with a newly created New Earth.
However, the numerous passages quoted above demonstrate that God
created the original earth to exist forever as part of the
eternal kingdom of God. When we examine the passages in the Bible
that deal with the New Earth we find that the Lord plans to
renovate the surface of the earth with fire similar to the
renovation of the pre-Flood earth with water during the days of
Noah. While the surface of the earth was transformed by the
actions of the water, the original earth remained. Similarly, God
will purge the earth with fire following Satan's final rebellion
at the end of the thousand-year Millennium and present humanity
with a New Earth cleansed of the pollution and remnants of
humanity's sinful rebellion.

(True, but remember physical human life will either be destroyed
or in the immortal glorified family of God by the end of the
White Throne Judgment period - Revelation 20 - Keith Hunt)

     If this interpretation is correct, then the burning of the
earth must be confined to the surface of the planet as occurred
during the biblical Flood. The apostle John wrote: "And I saw a
new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first
earth had passed away" (Revelation 21:1). The Greek word used in
this passage "Parerchomai" indicates something that is
transformed from one condition into another, but the word does
not suggest the annihilation and replacement by something
completely new and different. The words of Revelation 21:1 do not
prophesy the annihilation of the existing heaven and earth but
rather declare that they "passed away." Just as "the world that
then existed perished, being flooded with water" (2 Peter 3:6) in
the days of Noah, the present earth will be burnt with fire after
the Millennium. While the ancient pre-Flood world "perished," the
planet earth survived to be renovated following the Deluge.
Similarly, God's plan for "the restitution of all things" will
renovate His earthly creation into a holy and eternal kingdom of
God on earth and in heaven. The inspired promise of God was
recorded by Luke in the book of Acts: "And he shall send Jesus
Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must
receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God
hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world
began" (Acts 3:21).


Jesus Christ and His Kingdom


     All of the Gentile nations, as well as Israel, will witness
the coming glory of God when Jesus Christ returns from heaven at
the Battle of Armageddon. Christ's glorious return will
demonstrate both His humanity and His divinity. He will
demonstrate His multiple roles as Judge, King, Teacher, Shepherd,
and the promised Redeemer of humanity in the sight of all men. As
the true "son of David," Jesus will finally take His rightful
place as King of kings upon the throne of David. Jesus is truly
both perfect man and perfect God. Christ will show His
righteousness, holiness, mercy, and goodness as He rules the
planet. He will then receive the full and worthy worship of all
humanity and fulfill each of the remaining prophecies of the Old
Testament. A perfect and just peace will issue forth from
Jerusalem, "the City of Peace," because the Prince of Peace will
rule humanity with holiness and justice forever.

     The problem many scholars face when they consider the
prophecies about this real millennial kingdom is similar to the
problem faced by the Jews during the lifetime of Jesus. Many Jews
truly believed that God would send His Messiah to the earth at
that precise time in history based on the clear prophecies of
Daniel. However, when Jesus actually stood before the Jewish
religious leaders as the promised Messiah in the flesh, many of
them had a very difficult time accepting His physical reality.
The tremendous truth that God had revealed Himself to man in the
form of "the Son of Man" with a "real" material body was very
shocking to the Jews.

     The same difficulty is paralleled in some measure by many
scholars today as they contemplate the reality of both heaven and
the millennial kingdom. The prophesied kingdom of Christ will be
visible and concrete, yet it is at the same time spiritual in its
context. The concept of a totally material and natural kingdom,
divorced from the spiritual, is obviously unscriptural. However,
the alternative suggested by some scholars of a purely spiritual
kingdom, without any tangible, earthly, and material element, is
contradicted by the plain declarations of many passages in the
Word of God. Christ has promised in the clearest language
possible that He will establish His kingdom of righteousness on
this earth.
     God's Holy Spirit will be poured out on Israel as well as
the Gentile nations and will transform humanity forever: "And it
shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon
all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old
men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And
also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days I
will pour out my spirit" (Joel 2:28-29). The Lord gave His Church
the divine power of His Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost,
spiritually giving birth to and empowering the Church of Christ
almost two thousand years ago. However, this supernatural
empowerment of the Spirit was only the foretaste of the coming
millennial kingdom, in which the spirits of all natural men and
women who are believers will be eternally renewed by the Holy
Spirit of God. The transforming power of the Holy Spirit will
manifest Himself in the glorious praise, joy, and worship of the
saints forever. The emotional, social, and religious barriers
that separate believers today will be removed forever by the
divine supernatural unity and fellowship of God's Holy Spirit.

     When the Lord pours out His Spirit upon the Chosen People of
Israel, their hearts will overflow with the joy of a bride who
finally sees her bridegroom. The Gentile nations will also bask
in the great blessings granted to Israel. All of the redeemed
will share in the glory of Christ's kingdom.

     The Scriptures reveal that one of the greatest blessings
that will flow from the millennial kingdom will be a true and
lasting world peace. For the first time in human history,
soldiers will truly lay down their weapons. They will be secure
in the knowledge that their nations, homes, and families are safe
at last. The prophet Micah prophesied that "he shall judge among
many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall
beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into
pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war anymore" (Micah 4:3).

     It appears that Micah may be referring to the enormous
release of financial, scientific, material, and human resources
from the task of war, which will then be utilized to meet the
real needs of humanity. Almost one trillion dollars is spent
annually on the military around the world. The allocation of such
presently unimaginable sums of money for the use of all people
will allow us to solve many of the greatest problems facing us
today. Today, we cannot find the funds to provide for the
homeless on the streets of our cities, or feed the starving
millions throughout the Third World. It is a sad indictment on
our national priorities that such enormous funds are available
for weapons of war but not for the truly needy in our societies.

     After the global devastation during the Great Tribulation
and the cataclysmic Battle of Armageddon, the cities and
infastructure of our planet will need to be rebuilt. Then,
finally, all of the energies of this incredibly productive world
can be turned to achieve something positive: the rebuilding of
the planet's environment and the feeding of its precious
children.
     Can you imagine what your life would be like if we were
living today in the millennial Kingdom of God? There would be no
need for locks on our doors and security systems in our homes to
protect our innocent children and ourselves. When the Millennium
is introduced by the dramatic return of Jesus Christ, the life of
every single human will be transformed forever when the influence
of Satan will be eliminated from our planet as the devil is
confined to the bottomless pit for a thousand years. For the
first time in the history of humanity, we will be able to live
without the threat of violence, without fear of constant hunger
and devastating plagues and disease, without the ever-present
threat of death of our loved ones.

     The Messiah, Jesus Christ, will create a just society for
all of humanity. Some Christian writers have imagined that the
verses that promise that the Church will "reign and rule" suggest
that Christ will passively rule the earth from His throne.
However, when you consider the practical nature of God's plan and
the enormous number of resurrected saints who will be available,
it is probable that resurrected Christians shall provide
millennial leadership in a multitude of roles, including
government. The greatest adventure we could ever imagine awaits
us in the coming kingdom of Christ.

     The curse of sin, and the resulting judgment that God placed
upon the earth following the sin of Adam and Eve, will finally be
lifted when the kingdom of God is established during the coming
Millennium. The deserts will blossom and the earth will produce
abundantly under the blessing of God. The prophet Isaiah foretold
that all sickness would be eliminated (Isaiah 33:24). All of the
deaf and the blind will be cured as Christ heals people in the
future millennial kingdom. Even the devastated land of Lebanon
shall become a fruitful and productive nation when the Messiah
renews the earth from the curse of sin. "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? 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"
(Isaiah 29:17-18).

                           ....................


NOTE:

THE KINGDOM OF GOD ON EARTH WILL BE VERY LITERAL. AS YOU STUDY
THROUGH MY STUDIES ON THE OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETS YOU WILL SEE
CLEARLY HOW LITERAL WILL BE THE KINGDOM OF GOD ON EARTH FOR THAT
FIRST 1,000 YEARS, UNDER THE RULE OF CHRIST THE MESSIAH.

INDEED, WE PRAY, THY KINGDOM COME, THY WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS
IT IS IN HEAVEN!!

Keith Hunt


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