Isaiah has described a great event which God has declared He will perform:
Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more (Isa. 65:17-19).
Many Christians believe this speaks of a universal renewal which will occur at the end of the 1,000-year (millennial) reign of Jesus on the earth, using 2 Pet. 3:10,12bc,13 and Rev. 21:1 as passages to support this. Although I agree that there will be a renewal following the Millennium, I see the renewal of which Isaiah spoke to be a “renovation” or “restoration” of the damaged universe and the earth (including the earthly Jerusalem), which will take place after the cosmic tumult of the sixth seal and worldwide destruction of the seventh seal (Day of the Lord) periods within the 70th Week (seeC-12, P-III, S-2 and C-12, P-IV) but before the commencement of the Millennium.
I believe the Day of the Lord judgments will have a devastating impact upon the earth and skies, requiring a complete rejuvenation before the Millennium begins. Jesus Himself stated that “...the renewal of all things...” would be at the time “...when the Son of Man [Jesus] sits on his glorious throne...” (Matt. 19:28a), in Jerusalem at the beginning of the Millennium.
Isaiah continued by describing events (Isa. 65:20-25) which will occur during the Millennium. If the renovation about which he wrote were to occur at the end of the Millennium, Isa. 65:17 would not be in chronological order with the remainder of the chapter.
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief [to unbelievers]. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.
... That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with [God’s] promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness (2 Pet. 3:10,12bc,13).
Peter’s revelation of how the heavens will “...disappear with a roar...” is very similar to a sixth-seal event depicted elsewhere by Isaiah: “All the stars of the heavens will be dissolved and the sky rolled up like a scroll...” (Isa. 34:4a), and also by John: “The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up...” (Rev. 6:14). In addition, Peter’s description of how fire and heat apparently will rage through the sky and across the face of the earth, after the onset of the Day of the Lord, agrees with John’s illustration of fiery events occurring during the Day of the Lord judgments (Rev. 8:5a,7,8a,10, 16:8,9, 18:8b).
Now, why would God wish to re-purge the entire earth and skies with fire at the end of the Millennium if He already will have done so before it begins? And why would a purging even be necessary after Jesus will have been ruling for 1,000 years and will have converted most of this world into a lush paradise? It is true that, at the end of the Millennium, when Satan and the evil angels are released from the Abyss and gather multitudes of people against Jerusalem, God will send down fire from heaven to destroy the mortal armies (Rev. 20:7-9). However, I do not see this single event as being a “purging,” nor as being another “destruction,” of the heavens and the earth.
Like Paul (1 Ths. 5:2), Peter indicated that the Day of the Lord will come “like a thief” (2 Pet. 3:10a) to unbelievers. If this “Day of the Lord” period were to occur at the end of the Millennium, rather than prior to its beginning, how could it come “like a thief” if the Millennium will be 1,000 years long and Jesus will be present and presumably would not conceal an upcoming event of such magnitude? Also, it does not seem plausible that there would be two “Day of the Lord” periods, one before and one at the end of the Millennium.
In his account of the status quo after the Millennium, John related,
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea (Rev. 21:1).
I believe that John’s use of the word “new” was an allusion to the idea that, following the Millennium, the influence of sin contaminating the universe will have “passed away”; and the cosmos will be in a renewed state of being. Sin still will be present during the Millennium, because “...the wages of sin is death...” (Rom 6:23a), and “death” will not be eliminated until the end of the Millennium (Rev. 20:14a). After the Millennium, voluntary evil will be eliminated from the realm of goodness. The absence of the tossing, turning sea (indicating an alteration of the earth’s surface) may be coincident with the elimination of turbulence and unrest in human spirits and souls, direct results of willful sin. (I suspect that there then will be an alteration in the cosmos as well, with completely different star constellations than we see now, all glorifying God.)
Paul’s statement, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Cor. 5:17), seems to have relevance and application to the defeat of sin not only presently but in the world of the future as well. Since, after the Millennium, “There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things will have passed away” (Rev. 21:4), then it seems that wanton sin and its consequences are what will pass away, not the actual earth and heaven themselves.
Let me add that I take another statement by John, “Earth and sky fled from his [God’s] presence, and there was no place for them” (Rev. 20:11bc), to be figurative. Just as John describes, “Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found” (16:20) after the greatest ever earthquake rocks the earth (16:18), so the earth and sky will be “rolled up like a robe” and “changed like a garment” (Heb. 1:12ab) when God begins the “great white throne” judgment at the end of the Millennium (Rev. 20:11a). In neither case do I believe that the things in question (islands, mountains, earth, and sky) “cease to exist,” as this would seem to violate God’s guarantees to the contrary (Psalm 72:5,17ab, 104:5; Eccl. 1:4). (Besides, how would the living things on the earth exist between the times the first earth disappeared and the second earth was re-created?) I believe this means that evil influence and free-will sin in the old realm of earth and sky will “flee” away from God’s presence; and, in the new eternal realm, no knowledge of evil will exist.
Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matt. 24:35). The Greek term parerchomai, for “pass away,” indicates a change from one condition or state to another, not an annihilation.
So, at the beginning of the Millennium, there will not be an elimination of sin; but, rather, the “...creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God” (Rom. 8:21—see “liberation from bondage to decay”: P-III). Jesus, upon His return, will not abolish willful sin and death (for yet another 1,000 years); but He will reverse the long-standing effects of ruination, and of the purging effects of His righteous Judgments, on the earth. Such will be the dramatic opening of the Millennium: a renovation and restoration of all Creation.
A good example demonstrating that a dramatic change will occur in the heavens is found in a description by Isaiah, referring to the beginning of the Millennium when God restores the people of Israel:
The moon will shine like the sun, and the sunlight will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven full days, when the Lord binds up the bruises of his people and heals the wounds he inflicted (Isa. 30:26).
The fact that the sun and moon, during the Millennium, actually will radiate so much light (and heat) may be reflected in this psalmic passage (which I believe applies partly to the present age and partly to the coming age):
The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night (Psalm 121:5,6).
How else could the moon harm at night unless it were as bright (and hot) as the sun is now? Somehow, the people of the world (at least, the ones who accept the rule of Jesus as King over the earth) will be shaded from the rays of the millennial sun and moon (maybe by a worldwide cloud cover or a new “industrial strength” ozone layer to replace our disintegrating one).
It may be that the grand-scale alteration and remodeling will occur, or begin to occur, when Jesus sets foot on the Mount of Olives, at the end of the 70th Week. Up to that point in time, there will not have been a day like it.
And it shall come to pass in that day [of the Lord’s return], that there shall not be light, but heavy clouds and thick; and there shall be one day which shall be known as the Lord’s, not day and not night; but it shall come to pass, that at evening time there shall be light (Zech. 14:6,7—Masoretic Text).
Extremely thick, heavy, dark clouds will encompass the area around Jerusalem. I suspect this immense gathering of clouds will result in the deluge of rain and hail which will fall upon the Magog and accompanying armies under Gog (Ezek. 38:22b—see “interpretations”: C-12, P-IV, S-2). During that particular day, the light from the sun will not be able to penetrate the exceedingly massive cloud layer; therefore, the daytime will be dark. However, by the time the battle is over, the brightly-enhanced moon (which will be as bright as the sun is now) will rise, and the nighttime will be light. Thus, on this particular day, the daytime will not be the typical “day,” and the nighttime will not be the typical “night.” (Perhaps a remnant of clouds, or another type of protection from the bright, hot sun and moon, will remain initially throughout the world until the beginning of the fourth Bowl Judgment—Rev. 16:8—and then temporarily be withdrawn.)
The Bible describes how Jerusalem (and possibly a good part of Israel) will be directly protected from the blazing daytime sun during the Millennium:
Then the Lord will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over all the glory will be a canopy. It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain (Isa. 4:5,6).
Apparently, a translucent atmospheric covering (or “canopy”) of some type will be provided to protect and shield the people from the sun’s intense radiation and also from the elements. (The cloud of smoke and flaming fire are reminiscent of the pillars of cloud and fire which guided the children of Israel after they left ancient Egypt and throughout the desert for forty years—Exo. 13:21,22; Num. 14:14c; Neh. 9:19.)
The sun and the moon will remain in existence forever, presumably in this intensified state, just as the throne of David will be in place for eternity:
Once for all, I have sworn by my holiness—and I will not lie to David—that his line will continue forever and his throne endure before me like the sun; it will be established forever like the moon, the faithful witness in the sky (Psalm 89:35-37).
Fountain and River of Living Water
Zechariah described a great earthquake to take place in Jerusalem, on the day that Jesus touches the earth again, probably the same quake described by Ezekiel (Ezek. 38:19) and by John (Rev. 11:13).
On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south (Zech. 14:4).
Interestingly, it was discovered a few years ago that a major ground fault extends from the Dead Sea to the Mediterranean Sea and passes through Jerusalem.
I believe that this quake will cause the Mount of Olives (and Jerusalem) to raise up, possibly to be the tallest of all mountains (most of which will have been reduced in size during the Day of the Lord—Rev. 16:18,20). The millennial Temple, which Jesus will build (see “millennial Temple” following next), will sit on the top (Isa. 2:2; Ezek. 40:2a; Zech. 14:10b). Apparently, the temple will sit atop the north portion of the mountain (which will have split in two from east to west), because a fountain of water will flow out of the Temple (Joel 3:18c) on the south side (Ezek. 47:1c,2c). The water will cascade down into the great valley created by the earthquake (Zech. 14:4b) and flow both toward the east and toward the west.
Ezekiel described only the portion of the river running east, toward the Dead Sea (Ezek. 47:1b,3-5,8), although he apparently recognized that it split into two segments (most translations say “rivers” in 47:9a). Zechariah wrote,
On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern [Dead] sea and half to the western [Mediterranean] sea, in summer and in winter (Zech. 14:8).
The River of Living Water will change the Dead Sea’s extremely salty water into fresh, and there will be swarms of fish and other living creatures wherever the river flows (Ezek. 47:8b,9). (At the present time, the Dead Sea is essentially lifeless due to its extremely high content of sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, bromide, gypsum, potash, and other minerals.)
On either side of the river will be a great number of trees (Ezek. 47:7). They will be fruit trees of numerous varieties, the leaves of which will not wither. The trees will produce fruit dependably every month, due to the refreshing, life-giving water coming forth from the Temple’s Fountain of Living Water. Their fruit will be used for food, and their leaves will be used for healing purposes (47:12). The great River of Living Water and the large assortment of fruit trees with their medicinal leaves, which will exist in Israel during the Millennium, is but a foretaste of the River of the Water of Life and the species of Tree of Life that will be seen in the heavenly City, the New Jerusalem, which will come down to sit on the earth following the Millennium (Rev. 21:2,10, 22:1,2—see “street of gold; River and Tree of Life” and “leaves for healing”: “the New Jerusalem”: C-14, P-II).
God promised David that one of his descendants would build a house (Temple) for Him, and God would establish His kingdom and throne forever (1 Chr. 17:11-14—see “God’s promise to David”: C-2, P-III). When Zechariah crowned the high priest, Joshua (Zech. 6:11-13—see “final Temple built”: C-5, P-III), this was a picture or a symbol of the crowning of “the Branch” (3:8) or Messiah (Jesus Christ), our ultimate High Priest (Heb. 4:14, 8:1,2—see “Jesus, our High Priest”: C-5, P-II), who will build the future millennial Temple.
Ezekiel was taken in his spirit to the top of the great, high mountain (Ezek. 40:2a), which will be formed after Jesus comes to the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:4—see the previous section, “Fountain and River of Living Water”), on a future Yom Kippur (on the tenth day of the first month, Tishri—Ezek. 40:1a). A “man,” whom I believe was Jesus, the “Body” and physical manifestation of God, held a linen cord and a measuring rod (Ezek. 40:3). He measured the future millennial Temple, the outer and inner courts, the rooms for the priests, and the altar (40:5–43:27). This act of measuring was, I believe, a preview of the future time when Jesus will be in charge of building the new Temple.
I do not think we can be sure whether Jesus will build the Temple by Himself or will direct the construction of it by others. But, in any case, it will be built; and the entire area on top of the mountain which has been raised up, around and including the Temple, “...will be most holy” (Ezek. 43:12a). In addition, just as the second temple was reconsecrated and rededicated on Kislev 25, 164 B.C. (see “Antiochus IV Epiphanes”: C-11, P-II), I believe the millennial Temple will be dedicated and consecrated on Kislev 25 (the first day of Hanukkah), 75 days following the physical return of Jesus to earth on Yom Kippur at the end of the 70th Week (see “45-day extension”: C-12, P-IV, S-3).
According to further descriptions by Ezekiel, there will be offerings and sacrifices in the new Millennial Temple (Ezek. 43:18-27, 45:13–46:24). (This is why an altar will be present—43:13-17.) The sacrifices will not be for the purpose of atoning for sins, just as such sacrifices in the past never really atoned for the sins of the people (Heb. 10:4,11b). The sacrifices in the past were to be reminders to people of their sins (10:3) and to point to and be examples of the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus (9:26b,28a, 10:12a). Similarly, sacrifices during the Millennium will be performed to remind the people of their wrongdoing and of the great and final sacrifice by Jesus for them. There even is an indication that there will be kitchens in the Temple where the sacrifices will be cooked (Ezek. 46:24). Zechariah was more specific about this when he noted, “Every pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the Lord Almighty, and all who come to sacrifice will take some of the pots and cook in them” (Zech. 14:21ab).
Jesus will rule the world from the millennial Temple, on top of the newly-created holy mountain; and to this Temple people from every nation on earth will come to worship Him:
In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it (Isa. 2:2).
It will be during the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) each year that the people of the world will come to worship Jesus in Jerusalem (Zech. 14:16; Rev. 15:4)—initially beginning 5 days after His return, though the new Temple, presumably, will not yet be built at that time. For the first time ever in history, Church and State will be unified successfully and will exist in harmony; the High Priest and the King will be one person—Jesus Christ (Zech. 6:13).
It is a fact that the Lord Almighty literally will rule and reign over the world from Jerusalem (Isa. 24:23b) during the Millennium and, in fact, forever. He will be the Messiah that Israel has long awaited (see “messianic predictions”: C-3, P-I). Jeremiah verified this:
“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up to David [or up from David’s line] a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteousness” (Jer. 23:5,6).
Micah added, “I will make the lame a remnant, those driven away a strong nation. The Lord will rule over them in Mount Zion from that day and forever” (Micah 4:7).
But how do we know for sure that this ruler will be Jesus? We know this from what the angel Gabriel told the virgin Mary:
You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob [Israel] forever; his kingdom will never end (Luke 1:31-33).
John specifically told us that Christ would reign “a thousand years” (Rev. 20:4d).
What is the purpose of this reign of Jesus on the earth during the Millennium? Paul indicated that the Will of the Father will be “...put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment [in the Millennium]—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ” (Eph. 1:10).
For [Christ] must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death [see Rev. 20:14a]. For he “has put everything under his feet” [see Psalm 8:6b]. Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God [the Father] himself, who put everything under Christ. When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him [the Father] who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all (1 Cor. 15:25-28).
A significant step taken against destroying death, the “last enemy,” will be the elimination of wars, which will be a result of Jesus’ acting as the perfect arbitrator between nations. In fact, all instruments of war will be converted into useful tools.
He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore (Micah 4:3).
If death, a powerful foe, is the “last enemy to be destroyed,” then the conclusion of the Millennium is the “end” of which Paul spoke when he said, “Then the end will come, when he [Christ] hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power” (1 Cor. 15:24). “Death” will be destroyed by being cast into the fiery lake (Rev. 20:14a—see “lake of fire; fiery furnace”: “references to hell”: C-14, P-I).
those who will reign: Along with Jesus, there will be others who will rule and reign with Him. Isaiah, referring to the time this would occur, said, “See, a king will reign in righteousness and rulers will rule with justice” (Isa. 32:1). And Daniel noted that, after the power of the final human “king” (the Antichrist) is taken away and destroyed (Dan. 7:26),
Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him (Dan. 7:27).
The Father has declared to the Son (Jesus),
...You are my Son; today I have become your Father [or begotten you]. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will rule them with an iron scepter; you will dash them to pieces like pottery (Psalm 2:7-9).
Now, the resurrected, glorified Jesus referred to this same Authority when He spoke to John in his revealing vision of the future:
To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations—“He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery”—just as I have received authority from my Father (Rev. 2:26,27).
Thus, the Authority of the Father, which has been given to Jesus to rule and reign over the nations of the earth, will in turn be given by Jesus to anyone who overcomes the alluring (but counterfeit) satanic ways of the world (which lead to destruction) and who does His Will (literally, “keeps His works”).
The phrase, “rule them with an iron scepter,” actually means “shepherd them with an iron staff.” For instance, at the beginning of the Millennium when God brings select Jews to live in Jerusalem (Jer. 3:14b), He has said, “Then I will give you shepherds [transformed saints] after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding” (3:15). This indicates a benevolent but firm guidance of the populace of Jerusalem (and, of course, of the earth)—not a malevolent and severe oppression of them. Only those who refuse to accept and acknowledge the Authority of Jesus will be disciplined accordingly.
Jesus also said, “To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne” (Rev. 3:21). John, when he viewed the future time of the Millennium, “...saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge” (20:4a). I believe these include, first of all, those throughout history (resurrected and transformed at the end of the 70th Week—Rev. 11:18cd) who, though they never heard the Name of Jesus, humbly have acknowledged their sinful state before God and have looked forward to being with God, via their eventual redemption by Him. (Job is an example of such a person, evidenced by his statement, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth”—Job 19:25). Job’s Redeemer is Jesus Who indeed, in the end, will return to earth.
On these thrones also will be all who have known and accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord and who have been changed at the Rapture (1 Cor. 15:51,52). And, joining all of these, there will be those believers who were killed during the final half of the 70th Week who did not worship the Antichrist nor take his mark (Rev. 20:4bcd). Paul said, “God had planned something better for us [believers in Jesus] so that only together with us would they [pre-Jesus believers in the redemptive Power of God] be made perfect” (Heb. 11:40). All of these “...will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years” (Rev. 20:6c). Furthermore, following the Millennium, “...they will reign for ever and ever” (22:5c).
government under Jesus and the saints: I suspect that the world government during the Millennium will be patterned after the advice that Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, gave to Moses (a “type” of Jesus):
You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. Teach them the decrees and laws, and show them the way to live and the duties they are to perform. But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves (Exo. 18:19b-22c).
The ruling saints themselves will be “...from every nation, tribe, people and language...” (Rev. 7:9a); therefore, maybe each saint having direct contact with mortal people will represent an area where he/she previously had lived. For instance, during the Millennium, I believe that the resurrected David, second king of Israel, literally will rule over the nation of Israel (see the following section, “David, the king”). The resurrected twelve apostles of Jesus will judge and rule over the twelve tribes of Israel (Matt. 19:28), presumably one apostle over one tribe. The 144,000 sealed Jews, 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes (Rev. 7:4-8) also, no doubt, will have their places in the governmental hierarchy of Israel. Israel’s government likely will be a model for the world government, as Israel (and particularly Jerusalem) will be the example for the world in many other ways during the Millennium.
The world government will be tiered like a pyramid, with Jesus at the top. Depending upon how the saints surrendered their lives to service for God and handled the responsibilities God gave them during their mortal lives on earth (Matt. 24:45,46; Luke 19:12,13,15,16,18), they accordingly will be assigned leadership over greater or lesser numbers of mortal people or other saints (Matt. 24:47; Luke 19:17,19,26a). Some saints will have authority over groups of a thousand individuals (mortals or saints), some over groups of a hundred, some over groups of fifty, and some over groups of ten.
roles of saints: The immortal, perfected saints, who benevolently will guide and direct the mortal people of the earth, will have renounced sin and evil (and in fact, I believe, will have allowed the knowledge of evil to be removed from their minds) and will be ideal delegates of the people to Jesus in Jerusalem. They will educate the people about the laws decreed by Jesus, shepherd them in the right ways to live, and inform them of their jobs and tasks. All glorified saints will “fear” God (see “fear vs. arrogance”: C-9, P-II), merely one requisite for eternal Life. Unlike many corrupt elected officials today, who often improperly represent the people who elect them, the saints will be incorruptible (1 Cor. 15:52b), just as Daniel “...was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent” (Dan. 6:4b) in his service to the king. They will be “trustworthy” and will “hate dishonest gain” (Exo. 18:21a). Saints already will have received their priceless, eternal rewards and treasures from God (Gen. 15:1; Matt. 6:20, 16:27; Luke 6:23a,35b; Rev. 11:18d, 22:12) and will have no interest whatsoever in earthly wealth nor in material gain.
Since glorified saints will not need to sleep, they will be available at all times to answer any question and settle any dispute. Cases involving people in different jurisdictions or nations probably will be decided by Jesus, if representatives from each area cannot agree on a proper judgment. Whether the saints will dwell primarily in Jerusalem or in the areas of their jurisdiction is unknown. However, this is inconsequential, as they will be able to travel wherever they wish to go instantaneously, at the speed of thought.
Mortal people living during the Millennium will bring all their questions, concerns, and problems to the saints. No one will be ignored; everyone will receive straightforward, accurate information and be treated with respect, dignity, and absolute fairness. The immortal saints never will tire of attending to the needs of the people they will be assigned to serve because, in doing so, they will be serving the Father and the Son, a commitment they will have made for eternity. Along with this commitment to serve God and His people, they permanently (and voluntarily) will use their right of free choice properly and correctly; in all cases, forevermore, they will choose what is good, right, truthful, and honorable. And, above all, they freely will give God the true Love that He desires (see “God’s Plan”: C-15, P-I).
As I have indicated before, I believe the resurrection and rewarding of pre-Jesus (Old Testament) believers in the Redeemer (Messiah) will take place after the bodily return of Jesus to earth (Rev. 11:18cd—see “physical return of Jesus”: C-12, P-IV, S-1). I believe that King David will be resurrected at this time, after all remnant Israelites are returned to Israel out of bondage and exile.
“In that day,” declares the Lord Almighty, “I will break the yoke off their necks and will tear off their bonds; no longer will foreigners enslave them. Instead, they will serve the Lord their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them” (Jer. 30:8,9).
This is a prophecy that Israel will serve two people: 1) Jesus, their Lord and God and 2) David their king, who will be resurrected.
Some interpret “David” as being another name for Jesus. I disagree and believe that King David, from ancient times, literally will be the king over Israel (under Jesus, the King of kings) after the 70th Week is over. In the New Testament, Jesus is called “the son of David” (Matt. 1:1), David’s “Lord” (22:45), a “descendant of David” (Rom. 1:3), “the Root of David” (Rev. 5:5b), and “the Root and the Offspring of David” (22:16b); but I can find no place where Jesus is referred to specifically by the term, “David.”
God, through Jeremiah, also said,
Their leader will be one of their own; their ruler will arise from among them. I will bring him near and he will come close to me, for who is he who will devote himself to be close to me? (Jer. 30:21).
The “leader” who is “close” to God is David, whom God already has once chosen to lead His people:
...the Lord has sought out a man [David] after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people... (1 Sam. 13:14b).
God told Hosea that, after “...many days [centuries] without king or prince,...the Israelites will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king” (Hosea 3:4,5a). Furthermore, God also said, pertaining to the time after Jesus’ return,
I will save my flock, and they will no longer be plundered. I will judge between one sheep and another. I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd. I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them (Ezek. 34:22-24b).
I also believe that David is the “prince” in the following passage (which will occur when the millennial Temple is standing): “The prince himself is the only one who may sit inside the gateway to eat in the presence of the Lord [Jesus]” (Ezek. 44:3a). This distinguishes between David, the prince (King of Israel), and Jesus, the Lord (King of the earth).
David himself stated, “Yet the Lord, the God of Israel, chose me from my whole family to be king over Israel forever” (1 Chr. 28:4a). In his mortal body, David initially was a shepherd over the sheep of his field (1 Sam. 16:11b); in his immortal body, David will shepherd the “sheep” (people) of Israel—forever.
A utopia is a political and social system in which relationships between individuals and the State are in perfect adjustment. This does not necessarily imply that evil would not exist in such a society, but it does mean that each and every individual would be treated fairly by the government and always would obtain perfect justice from the State.
Impossible and impractical through human endeavors alone, utopia will be a reality during the Millennium under Jesus Christ, who “...will rule from sea to sea and...to the ends of the earth” (Psalm 72:8). Mortal people will continue to inhabit the earth during the Millennium, either having survived the Day of the Lord period and accepted the sovereign Authority of Jesus or being born to mortal parents during the millennial period. Evil still will be present in the world during the Millennium, but it continually will be exposed and judged.
As the Faithful and True King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev. 19:11b,16), Jesus will see to it that the people of the earth are judged with equity (Psalm 96:10c), because He will be endowed by the Father with justice and righteousness (72:1,2). From Jerusalem, Jesus’ Word will become international law: “The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Isa. 2:3c). Furthermore, “Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever” (9:7).
Jesus will not judge as court systems do now (by physically seeing and hearing “evidence,” which all too often is false, misleading, and/or deceptive). Knowing everything (because He is God—see “Messiah, Son, and God in one” and “the ‘I AM’”: C-6, P-III), Jesus will judge with supernatural knowledge, wisdom, and righteousness: “He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth” (Isa. 11:3b,4ab). He will see to it that justice is served in every case, even to the punishing of those who mistreat other people (Psalm 72:4,12-14). In fact,
The ruthless will vanish, the mockers will disappear, and all who have an eye for evil will be cut down—those who with a word make a man out to be guilty, who ensnare the defender in court and with false testimony deprive the innocent of justice (Isa. 29:20,21).
Very often in the present age, the arm of the law is too short. Court trials drag on and on, the rights of too many innocent people are violated and they are not recompensed properly, and too many criminals do not have to pay adequately, or at all, for their crimes. During the Millennium, however, impartial and immediate justice will be swift, perfectly fair compensation for all wrongdoing will prevail, and just punishment always will be dispensed.
In the world now, deception and lies run rampant, virtually unchecked. They infect individuals, businesses, and governments; nothing seems to be exempt. Furthermore, there is not sufficient deterrence against doing evil because, for one thing, not enough people are caught and exposed.
Under the world rule of Jesus Christ and the saints during the Millennium, though, all of this will change. All criminals and their crimes will be revealed publicly, making people think twice before committing misdeeds. Misleading advertising will be shown to be false, ungrounded scandals will be disproved, attempts at delusion will be unveiled, underhanded motives will be disclosed, and the nature of false dealings will be divulged. This is because Jesus is “truth” (John 14:6a), and He will be the “light of the world” (8:12a, 9:5) when He comes—illuminating all darkness, uncovering all evil, and dealing with all sin immediately, firmly, and straightforwardly. And righteousness will flourish, unbounded.
Proceed to Chapter 13, Part III
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Copyright © 1998– by Ted M. Montgomery, O.D. Most rights reserved.