MILLENNIAL KINGDOM THEN A NEW HEAVEN AND NEW EARTH

What do you feel when you contemplate living in a new body in the world to come? I am of course assuming I am corresponding with Christians who will be resurrected or raptured to heaven. Have you even given it a thought? Prior to my conversion at 47, I had not given it a thought and to be honest gave it little thought in my early Christian years. When you get to my age, 85 this year, I think about it a lot more than I did previously. As well, my new calling of alerting the church to the escalating persecution that is before us, prior to Jesus second coming, has put my focus on Biblical end times prophecy and the ultimate fate of this world. Quickly, I came to the realisation that most of end times prophecy is all about Jesus returning to rescue His nation Israel from annihilation and to finally fulfill all the O.T. prophecies that Israel’s Messiah will rule the nations. Also, Scripture shows Jesus returning to earth to do battle at Armageddon with the saints. The saints are resurrected and raptured before the wrath of God is poured out on an unrepentant world with the trumpet and bowl judgements of Revelation 8.

Have you ever contemplated what it will be like to do battle with the Lord at the battle of Armageddon?

Did you know that before the White Throne judgement and a new heaven and new earth this Cosmos still has another 1000 years before it is eventually destroyed by fire?

In the not too distant future, Israel will finally realize her destiny as the head of the nations,

All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You. For kingship belongs to the LORD, and He rules over the nations.” Psalm 22:27-28

Jesus Millennial Kingdom is a necessary transition to the new heaven and the new earth. The saved and the unsaved alike will behold the Messiah’s rightful place as the divine sovereign of this universe. Resurrected saints, will hold high offices with responsibilities to match as they reign under King Jesus.

Hence, when I now contemplate living eternally in a wonderful new body I consider possible roles to which Jesus might assign me in His Millennial Kingdom. I also can’t help remembering that Jesus said, He and us will be ruling the nations with a rod of iron.

The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.” Revelation 2:27

The offices of judge and counsellor will be reinstituted.

I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counsellors as at the beginning. Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.” Isaiah 1:26

I will also make your officers peace, and your magistrates righteousness. Isaiah 60:17

“For out of Zion shall go the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plough shares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against other nation,” Isaiah 2:3-4

“For the nation and kingdom that will not serve you shall perish; those nations shall be utterly laid waste.” Isaiah 60:12

Jerusalem will be the capital of the world on the highest summit.

It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it,” Isaiah 2:2 & Micah 4:1

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JERUSALEM – A NEW CITY, A NEW NAME AND A NEW TEMPLE

The city will be surrounded by open country and for the housing of all the tribes of Israel… and the name of the city from that day shall be: THE LORD IS THERE.” Ezekiel 48:15–19,35

She is to have twelve gates, three on each side, each named after a tribe of Israel.” (Ezekiel 48:30–34). your gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day or night, that men may bring to you the wealth of the Gentiles, and their kings in procession.” Isaiah 60:11

The kings and peoples of all the nations will bring gifts, including gold and frankincense, to set before King JesusIsaiah 60:6

The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, “Let us continue to go and pray before the Lord, and seek the Lord of hosts. I myself will go also.” Yes, many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord.Zechariah 8:21-22

There will be those eager to obey and worship the Lord Jesus, while others will be forced to obey. For me it is difficult to understand that despite Jesus and the saints ruling and reigning on this earth for 1000 years that when Satan is released from his chains in the Abyss he is still able to raise an enormous army to come against Jesus and the Saints.

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.Revelation 20:7-10

Will you now think more about the world to come? Will you think differently about your role in ruling and reigning with Jesus in the Millennium?

Next post I will contemplate living on the new earth with Jesus and our Heavenly Father after the White Throne Judgement.

OUR DESTINY IS NOT HEAVEN BUT ON A NEW EARTH

Many in the church think that our final destiny is heaven. It seems like that’s what Jesus promised when He said, “if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, that where I am, you may be also” (John 14:3). But that is not the end of the story, because in Revelation, John declares that the place Jesus is preparing will ultimately come “down out of the new heaven from God to the new earth ” (Rev. 21:2) Scripture doesn’t conclude with God’s children floating on clouds up there, but with God living with His saints down on a new earth.

 

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For the Jews, Jerusalem is:

1. The home of God on earth. David sings “praises to the Lord, who dwells in Zion” (Ps. 9:11a). Asaph calls on God to remember “Mount Zion, where you have lived” (Ps. 74:2c) and God Himself concludes the prophecy of Joel with the cheer, “The LORD dwells in Zion!” (Joel 3:21).

2. The place where God will defeat the powers of evil. Zechariah prophesies that God will destroy all of His enemies at a climactic battle in Jerusalem (Zech. 12:1–914:12–15). Joel prophesies “Blow the ram’s horn in Zion, sound the alarm on My holy mountain! All the inhabitants of the earth will tremble, because the day of the Lord has come, because it is near” (Joel 2:1). Amos adds, “The LORD roars from Zion and utters His voice from Jerusalem” (Amos 1:2a). Isaiah declares that “the Lord of Hosts (shall) come down to fight for Mount Zion, and for its hill” (Isa. 31:4c).

3. The source of blessing for the world.  Psalm 46:4 states, “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy dwelling place of the Most High.” Ezekiel 47 adds that this river, which begins in the temple, runs from Jerusalem all the way to the sea. The sea then carries its new fertile, fresh water to the ends of the earth. He writes: “By the river upon its bank, on this side and on that side, shall grow all kinds of trees for food, whose leaf shall not fade nor shall its fruit fail. They shall bring forth fruit according to their months, because their water issues out of the sanctuary. And their fruit shall be for food and their leaves for medicine” (Ezek. 47:12).

God’s City

All of the O.T. prophets were shown Jerusalem would eventually be restored. Even before the carnage began, Isaiah announced that God would keep His promise. “Good news” would eventually come to Jerusalem, for “the glory of the LORD will be revealed” there—in a way that no one would expect (Isa. 40:1-11). God’s glory was revealed when the Son of God came to earth. Jesus recognised the importance of Jerusalem, and He was “steadfastly set to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51). There, He defeated the powers of evil before the dwelling place of God. His death provided life-giving water for the world. John records Jesus saying, “He who believes in me, … out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.” John then explains, “By this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believe in him would receive” (John 7:38-39). The Spirit came to Jerusalem on Pentecost, where the life-giving water of the gospel bubbled up, streamed into Samaria and finally poured “to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Those who are washed will join Jesus when He brings His new Jerusalem to the new earth.

New City

John’s Revelation consummates the biblical focus on the new Jerusalem. Its descent from heaven means:

  1. God is with us. John writes, “And I heard a loud voice from heaven, saying, “Look! The tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them. They shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God” (Rev. 21:3). Three times in this verse, John says that God will live with His people. The biblical story doesn’t end with God taking us up to live with him, but with God coming down to live with us. He is Immanuel, which means “God with us” (Matt. 1:23).
  2. Evil has been vanquished forever. Jesus will return and “wipe every tear” from our eyes. “Neither shall there be any more sorrow nor crying nor pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:4b). This perfect bliss will continue forever, for “No unclean thing shall ever enter” the new Jerusalem (Rev. 21:27).
  3. The entire world flourishes under the blessing of God. In spectacular fulfilment of Ezekiel’s vision, John declares that a river of life will flow “from the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street” (Rev. 22:1b-2a). Its waters will nourish the tree of life, which bears monthly fruit, and leaves that heal the nations. Every nation bears the scars of their bloody attempts to achieve peace and prosperity. Their wars will continue until the end, when Jesus brings His kingdom of peace to earth and reigns over our world from the new Jerusalem. John closes his letter, and the entire Bible, with the only appropriate response: “Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus!” (Rev. 22:20b).