Table of Contents / Overview
- The Kingdom of God
- Sin Restrained
- A World at Peace
- Worship in the Age to Come
- The End of the Millennium
- Sin and Death Removed from the Whole World
- The Final State
- Do You Want a Part in this Wonderful Future?
THE KINGDOM OF GOD
Lesson 22 dealt with the subject of Fellowship, its privileges and responsibilities. The Apostle John, in his First Epistle, summarizes the matter for us when he says:
"God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin" (I John 1 v 5-7).
Because our present nature is prone to sin, we can only maintain fellowship with God by a continual struggle with the mind of the flesh. If, however, we learn to love God and His ways and overcome our weaknesses, then Christ, at his coming, will approve our efforts and reward us with the change to that perfect spirit nature which God has promised to those that love and obey Him. Thereafter our fellowship with God will be perfect and uninterrupted in His Kingdom (Revelation 21 v 3-4). This last lesson will, therefore, direct your attention to this consummation of God's purpose.
It is one of the great joys of God's way that it remains constant. The Gospel of the Kingdom of God which was preached to Abraham more than 2,000 years before the birth of Christ, is the same confident hope that we have today. To Moses, God declared:
"As truly as I live all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord" (Numbers 14:21).
- Galatians 3 v 8
- Numbers 14 v 21
- Romans 8 v 28-30
- Daniel 2 v 44-45
In Lesson 11 you were shown that the Kingdom of God is not a new concept but has already existed in its initial phase; when Almighty God moved to bring the young nation of Israel out of the Land of Egypt, and delivered them from slavery, He led them to Mount Sinai and there gave them His wise laws. He appointed their leaders and organized them into a holy nation in preparation for their occupation of the Promised Land. At that time they were a people governed by God who was their invisible King. Sadly, through the weakness and forgetfulness of human nature, Israel repeatedly rebelled against God, and his laws and his prophets until there was no remedy, and God overturned the Kingdom. But, even as He did so, He remembered His covenant with their fathers and limited the period of their overthrow,
"UNTIL he come whose right it is, and I will give it him" (Ezekiel 21 v 27).
Here was a clear prophecy of the coming of their Messiah, Christ.
- Exodus 20 v 1-17
- Deuteronomy 4 v 32-40
- Ezekiel 21 v 25-27
- Luke 1 v 30-33
- Acts 3 v 20-21
It should be noted, however, that this is only an intermediate stage. Immortal kings and priests will rule and instruct the mortal population of the earth and only whilst men are restrained by this Divine rule will the natural tendencies of human nature be held in check. The prophecy through Isaiah is rich in descriptions of the millennial rule of Christ and the saints and, amongst many other things, it brings out this aspect of their firm rule.
- Revelation 20 v 1-6
- Revelation 20 v 7-10
- Isaiah 2 v 1-5
- Isaiah 9 v 6-7
- Isaiah 30 v 18-21
"MANY PEOPLE SHALL GO AND SAY, COME YE, AND LET US GO UP TO THE MOUNTAIN OF THE LORD, TO THE HOUSE OF THE GOD OF JACOB (ISRAEL) AND HE WILL TEACH US OF HIS WAYS AND WE WILL WALK IN HIS PATHS: FOR OUT OF ZION SHALL GO FORTH THE LAW AND THE WORD OF THE LORD FROM JERUSALEM. AND HE SHALL JUDGE AMONG THE NATIONS, AND SHALL REBUKE MANY PEOPLE: AND THEY SHALL BEAT THEIR SWORDS INTO PLOWSHARES, AND THEIR SPEARS INTO PRUNING HOOKS: NATION SHALL NOT LIFT UP SWORD AGAINST NATION, NEITHER SHALL THEY LEARN WAR ANY MORE" (Isaiah 2 v 3-4).
READ: Isaiah 2 v 3-4
There is nothing mysterious about peace. God is the sole author of peace: He has declared
"I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things" (Isaiah 45 v 7).
Moreover, God will only give peace on His terms. David tells us in the Psalms:
"God is angry with the wicked every day," (Psalm 7 v 11)
and for this reason, we read:
"There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked" (Isaiah 48 v 22).
But while Christ and the saints are ruling the nations and restraining sin and wickedness then,
"...the work of righteousness shall be peace: and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance for ever" (Isaiah 32 v 17).
This condition of harmony between God and his creation will even extend to the animal world.
- Isaiah 45 v 7
- Psalm 7 v 11
- Isaiah 48 v 22
- Isaiah 32 v 1-17
- Isaiah 11 v 6-9
- Isaiah 65 v 25
It would be difficult to imagine a more confused state in religious matters than that which exists today. Apart from the many non-Christian religions there are at least 300 different sects and denominations of "Christians". The God of Heaven whom most of them claim to worship, is not the author of this confusion.
One of Christ's first tasks after re-establishing the throne of David will be to supervise the instruction of all people in the proper way to worship God. At his first coming he declared:
"God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth" (John 4 v 24).
- Isaiah 25 v 6-7
- Micah 4 v 1-2
- Zephaniah 3 v 8-9
- John 4 v 24
As the world-centre of this true worship, he will erect that great temple which is described in detail in the concluding chapters of the prophecy through Ezekiel. Jeremiah describes the way in which the nations will learn from Israel.
- Ezekiel chapters 40 & 48
- Jeremiah 16 v 19-21
When the Kingdom of God existed in the days of David, the priests were taken from the tribe of Levi and the kings from the tribe of Judah. When the Kingdom is reestablished, Christ will combine both offices in his own person as a Priest-King after the order of Melchisedec. The immortalized saints who assist him will also be kings and priests, both ruling and instructing the peoples entrusted to their care. For this reason there will not be in Christ's Kingdom people who are ignorant of spiritual things but everyone will be fully instructed in the truth.
- Hebrews 7 v 1-4 & 11-25
- Revelation 5 v 9-10
- Hebrews 8 v 10-11
The inhabitants will not be allowed to neglect their religious observances because the saints will be moving amongst them to ensure that God's laws are obeyed. In addition, everyone will be required to go up to Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. This form of worship will continue throughout the period of the Millennium.
- Isaiah 30 v 20-21
- Isaiah 66 v 23
- Zechariah 14 v 16-21
There are many of our day who hold the false belief that man is naturally good at heart and only needs encouragement. The Creator of man tells us very differently:
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked." (Jeremiah 17 v 9)
- Jeremiah 17 v 9
Those who know what God has revealed will not, therefore, be surprised to learn that at the end of the thousand years of Christ's perfect rule there will be a revolt and an attempt to overthrow Christ and the saints, but God will overthrow them. There will then be a second resurrection and judgment when all the subjects of Christ's Kingdom will be summoned before Christ. As at the first judgment at Christ's return, the righteous will be approved and raised to the divine nature, and the wicked will be rejected and destroyed.
- Revelation 20 v 7-9
- Revelation 20 v 5 & 11-15
The number of the elect will now have been made up and all the righteous will have been rewarded with eternal life. Sin's flesh will, therefore, have been eliminated from the earth and with it the temptation to transgress God's commandments. Sin produced death but, with sin gone, death will also disappear from the earth. So it is written:
"The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death" (I Corinthians 15 v 26).
- Romans 8 v 28-30
- Revelation 20 v 14
- I Corinthians 15 v 22-28
Christ now hands over the world, with its perfected population to God.
When our first parents sinned they were driven out of the garden and lost the privilege of open communion with the angels of God, but when Christ (the second Adam) has removed sin and death the redeemed of all ages will have the joy of perfect association with God.
As we have read in Revelation 21:
"I SAW A NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH: FOR THE FIRST HEAVEN AND THE FIRST EARTH WERE PASSED AWAY ... AND I HEARD A GREAT VOICE OUT OF HEAVEN SAYING, BEHOLD THE TABERNACLE (DWELLING) OF GOD IS WITH MEN, AND HE WILL DWELL WITH THEM, AND THEY SHALL BE HIS PEOPLE AND GOD HIMSELF SHALL BE WITH THEM AND BE THEIR GOD. AND GOD SHALL WIPE AWAY ALL TEARS FROM THEIR EYES: AND THERE SHALL BE NO MORE DEATH, NEITHER SORROW, NOR CRYING, NEITHER SHALL THERE BE ANY MORE PAIN: FOR THE FORMER THINGS ARE PASSED AWAY" (Revelation 21 v 1-4).
- Revelation 21 v 1-4
No mediator or priest will be needed for the sons and daughters of God will then have direct access to Him. Because they will partake of His own Spirit Nature, they will always be in direct touch with the Eternal Creator, drawing their life and power directly from Him: rejoicing in the joint possession of this earth for evermore.
You have now received the essential Gospel message. You have already shown a desire to understand and believe this message and now you have a choice to make. Attaining a place in the Kingdom of God is a personal matter and depends on one's determination to do what God requires.
It might be thought that all who hear the good news of this coming Kingdom would gladly respond to the command of Jesus to
"... seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness" (Matthew 6 v 33).
But, sadly, experience teaches us otherwise. Man's natural inclinations are towards present things and it is only by a conscious and sustained effort that he can bring himself to contemplate spiritual things and to obey the commandments of God. Christ's parable of the Sower (Matthew ch 13 v 1-23) tells us that the good seed of the Gospel message falls on many different types of soil and the best of seed cannot bring forth fruit if the soil is unsuitable.
You have a wonderful opportunity before you which we urge you to grasp. We are told that when the Apostle Peter preached the Gospel in Jerusalem,
"... they that gladly received his word were baptized" (Acts 2 v 41).
We sincerely hope that this will be your response also and, having been baptised, that you will continue in the reading and studying of God's word and so be able the more to appreciate His purpose and to live a life in accordance with Christ's commandments.
We cannot do better than conclude with the words of Paul:
"I commend you to God and to the Word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified" (Acts 20 v 32).
May God bless you to this end.
Using references where possible to support your replies, answer the following:-
- Who will be the rulers in the Kingdom of God?
- State some of the benefits of Christ's rule.
- Say, briefly, what you know of worship during the Millennium.
- Who will be judged at the end of the Millennium?
- "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death" (I Corinthians 15
What do you understand by this statement?
- Explain fully what you must NOW do to obtain a place in this coming Kingdom.