Ray Faircloth

Buddy
Buddy
Oct 16, 2020
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England
www.rayfaircloth.com
The Kingdom Is Future



Although Paul, in Colossians 1:13, says that Christians have been “transferred…to the Kingdom of [God’s] beloved Son” and so are experiencing the Kingdom now, the vast majority of texts show that the full experiencing of the Kingdom is yet future. So, what is meant by the statement in Colossians? It simply means that Christians now live their lives in harmony with the precepts of the coming Kingdom. However, Jesus made it plain that the Kingdom in its full expression will arrive when he himself returns:



“Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, I say to you, in the new world (regeneration), when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel’” (Matt. 19:28).



Jesus has clearly not yet sat down upon his throne as having established the Kingdom which will take place immediately after the Great Tribulation. So, Jesus warned that, “...when you see these things [the Great Tribulation etc] taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near (Luke 21:31). Furthermore, in the parable of the Nobleman who goes “…to a far country”.....verse 23 indicates that there will be a long time lag when he says: “why then did you not put my money in the bank, and at my coming, I might have collected it with interest” (Luke 19:11-27). In terms of the physicality of the Kingdom Jesus says, “I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes” (Luke 22:18). This is because when Jesus returns the heavenly voices will announce that, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ…” (Rev. 11:15). So, Christians must be patient while anticipating Jesus’ return to establish the Kingdom with its centre in Jerusalem.



We Get a Taste of the Power of the Kingdom Now​



However, Christians now get a taste of life in that future Kingdom because of:



The many biblical descriptions of the coming Kingdom paradise contained in the Scriptures.

Fellowship with other believers.

Having Christ in their lives as holy spirit,



Also, it is as the writer to the Hebrews stated that: “…those who have once been enlightened and have tasted the heavenly gift...and have tasted the ... powers of the age to come…” (Heb. 6:4, 5 ESV) —all because, “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son” (Col. 1:13). Evidently, the Kingdom existed in God’s and Jesus’ minds from before Paul’s time. So, all the realities of the future kingdom may be tasted now because Christians are no longer in the domain of darkness and have been “transferred” out of Satan’s world. Furthermore, we get a taste of the kingdom power when we read of the kind of abilities Jesus was granted. For example: “if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Matt. 12:28).

But what kind of Kingdom will it be?



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The Kingdom Will Be Paradise on Earth



The purpose of this chapter is to demonstrate that:



The coming Kingdom of God will be set up on earth with a returned Jesus as King in the literal Jerusalem of the future.



The coming Kingdom of God will be for the blessing of the nations



Jesus, with his associate rulers, will immediately set about the task of bringing about paradise conditions so that all war, crime, poverty and pollution are steadily and likely miraculously eradicated. Increasingly the nations will be living in harmony.



But first we must look at the background to the biblical statements and promises concerning the coming Kingdom.



The Promise God Made to Abraham

Applies Also to Christians​



An examination of the promises made to the ancestors of the Jews all concerned the earth and there is never any promise of going to heaven. This is why Paul could say: “And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ‘In you shall all the nations be blessed’” (Gal. 3:8) and it will be, “the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world...” (Rom. 4:13). In fact, when we refer to God’s promises in Genesis (12:2, 3; 13:14-17; 17:7, 8; 26:2-4; 28:13-14) as given to the forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob we find that the promises are about inheriting the land, producing progeny, and being a blessing to all nations. As one example of this promise we find that God said to Jacob:



“Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed (Gen. 26:3-4).



So, the three aspects of the promise are encapsulated here. But there is no mention of going to heaven at any time.



Abraham and Others

Have Yet to Receive the Promises​



It may seem surprising to some that Abraham did not receive the prime promise in his lifetime. However, this was shown by Steven in his address to the Sanhedrin (High Council of the Jews) saying:



“[God] moved him [Abraham] to this land in which you now dwell. And God gave him no inheritance in it, not even enough to set his foot on. But even when Abraham had no child, He promised to give it to him for a possession, and to his descendants after him” (Acts 7:4b-5).



Later the writer of the letter to the Hebrews further commented on ALL the ancestors and faithful individuals that, “These all [including Abraham—vs. 8, 9] died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them” (Heb. 11:13). So, we can be sure that all these ones will get the fulfilment of the promise when Jesus returns to resurrect them.



Christians Have the Abrahamic Promises​



In fact, exactly, the same promises to the ancestors apply to Christians because Jesus confirmed them according to Paul who said:

“…that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers...” (Rom. 15:8).



Paul later elaborated on this confirmation by explaining to the Christians in Galatia:



“…that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith ... Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made ... And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Gal. 3:14, 16, 29).



Therefore, the entire thrust of God’s promises to faithful Hebrews who anticipated Christ, as well as Christians as “Abraham’s seed” concern inheriting the land, producing progeny, and being a blessing to all nations; but there is no promise of going to heaven! It is only by misapplication of the few phrases used by Paul and explained earlier in this book that the pagan Greek notion of going to heaven was adopted by second century Christians.



Paradise Always Refers to Life on Earth


From the very beginning of biblical statements about mankind’s habitat the definition of paradise (a Persian loan-word) was of a park-like place of perfection on the eartha utopia. Indeed, the Greek word used in the Septuagint for the translation of the Hebrew word was paradeisos, “And Yahweh elohim planted a garden [Gk. paradeison] in Eden, in the east” (Gen. 2:8 NOG). This rendering was also the case in Genesis 2:9; 2:10; 2:15; and 3:2. These facts give us the definition of the word “paradise” throughout the Scriptures.


THREE OCCURRENCES OF “PARADISE” IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

The seditionist hung next to Jesus pleads, “…remember me when you come into your kingdom! He [Jesus] said to him… truly I say to you today, you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:42, 43). Jesus here equates the Kingdom with paradise, and paradise was thought of by first century Jews, only as related to the earth. However, please note that commas were not used in the Greek uncial manuscripts of the New Testament. So, a number of translations render this verse with the comma/punctuation placed after the word “today.”



  • “I say unto thee this day: With me shalt thou be in paradise” Rotherham.
  • “Jesus said to him, ‘Truly I assure you even today: you will one day be with me in Paradise.’ ‘Today’ probably belongs in the first part of the sentence” Das Neue Testament, translated by Wilhelm Michaelis.


  • “I promise you today, you will indeed be with me in that future paradise” Anthony Buzzard.


  • “I assure you today, you will be with me in paradise” (KGV).


When one examines the context, both immediate and far, any punctuation must come after the word “today.” In fact, the Greek adverb appears in the Septuagint (LXX) and the New Testament 221 times. In 170 of these occurrences the adverb follows the verb it modifies e. g. in the Old Testament as, “I say unto you today;” “I testify to you today;” “as many as I command thee today, that ye may live” (Deut. 11:8).



The second occurrence of the word “paradise” in the New Testament was when Paul stated that, “…a man [probably himself]…was caught up to the third heaven ... this man was caught up to paradise” (2 Cor. 12:2, 4). This seems most likely to be the 3rd “heavens and earth” (sky and land) that Peter later described in 2 Peter 3:5, 7, 13 as “new heavens and a new earth” and was therefore Paul’s vision of the coming paradise on earth which John also describes.



The final occurrence of the word “paradise” was Jesus’ promise to Christians that, “to the one who conquers, I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God” (Rev. 2:7).



So, living in such a future paradise on earth is what Jesus offered the dying criminal. It is also what Paul had a vision of, and is the promise in the book of Revelation. There is no reason to think that any of these three occurrences of the word paradise ever inconsistently refer to heaven while others refer to earth. So, the Scriptures consistently use the term paradise in a setting that is of the earth. There is no thought of it as being relocated to heaven, but rather our prayer should be, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10).



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Comments on the Kingdom from

Biblical Scholars



W.C. Allen, MA points out that:

the disciples were to preach the Good News [Gospel] of the coming Kingdom (10:7, 24:14) among all nations making disciples by baptism (28:18). The body of disciples thus gained would naturally form a society bound by common aims. Hence the disciples of the Kingdom would form a new spiritual Israel (21:43; [Cp. Gal. 6:16]).



Allen goes on to say:

In view of the needs of this new Israel of Christ’s disciples, who were to await his coming on the clouds of heaven, it is natural that a large part of the teaching recorded in the Gospel should concern the qualifications required in those who hoped to enter the Kingdom when it came…Thus the parables convey some lesson about the nature of the Kingdom and the period of preparation for it. It should be sufficiently obvious that if we ask what meaning the parables had for the editor of the first Gospel, the answer must be that he chose them because…they taught lessons about the Kingdom of God in the sense in which that phrase is used everywhere in the Gospel of the Kingdom which was to come, when the Son of Man came upon the clouds of heaven. Thus the Parable of the Sower illustrates the varying reception met with by the Good News [Gospel] of the Kingdom as it is preached amongst men. That of the tares also deals not with the Kingdom itself, but with the period of preparation for it. At the end of the age, the Son of Man will come to inaugurate His Kingdom…


In Good News According to Mark, Eduard Schweizer notes that:

Mark (1:14, 15) gives a brief summary of the preaching of Jesus. Preaching and Good News are Mark’s favorite expressions. The call of Jesus is accurately summed up in 1:15, where the association of repentance and faith reveals the language of the church (Acts 5:31; 11:18; 20:21). Mark’s concern is to make clear that in this preaching Jesus continues to go forth into the world and this call, therefore, is being directed also to the one who reads this Gospel today. Consequently this section serves as a caption to the whole gospel (cp. the epilogue). (pp. 45).



Ernest Scott, D.D. Professor of NT, Union Theological Seminary, NY, stated in 1931 that:

It seems almost impossible to define the Christian ‘Gospel.’ Sometimes it is identified with our religion as a whole, sometimes with some element in it which is regarded as central. To accept the Gospel is to believe in the atonement or the love of God, or the revelation in Christ or the fact of human brotherhood. Yet it is well to remember that the word which is now used so loosely had, at the outset a meaning which was clearly understood. “Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and saying, The time is fulfilled and the KG is at hand.” The Gospel underwent a marvelous development… but the Good News has always been essentially what it was at the first—the announcement of the Kingdom. It is evident from the manner in which Jesus made the announcement that he took up an idea which was already familiar. He did not explain what he meant by the Kingdom, for he could assume that all his hearers were looking forward to it. Their hope for it had been newly stimulated by John the Baptist… They had long been thinking of the Kingdom and wondering when it would come and a prophet had now arisen who declared that it was close at hand…. In the religion of Israel we must seek for the immediate origin of the Kingdom idea of Jesus… The idea persisted long after the royal house was firmly established that the reigning king was only the vice-regent of the invisible King…. Israel had been chosen by a unique God who was known as yet only by His own people, but was nonetheless King of the whole earth. The day was coming when all nations would own his sovereignty…. On the higher levels of prophecy the purified Israel of the future is conceived as attracting all nations by its high example, to the service of the One God. More often it is assumed that Israel when fully disciplined will be restored to God’s favor and advanced by Him to the sovereign place (Acts 1:6). As King of this preeminent people God will reign at last over the world….On the one hand God is already King. On the other hand it is recognized that the Kingship lies in the future… They look for a coming day when He will overcome all usurping powers and assert Himself as King. So the prophets keep before them the vision of a new age when the Kingdom of God will be fully manifested... In that happy time Israel will be exalted, the cause of justice will be established, the earth full of the glory of the Lord. Nature in that day will be restored to its pristine glory and the wolf will lie down with the lamb and cattle will feed in large pastures, the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun. God’s faithful people. He [and His Messiah] will reign from Mount Zion and all nations will serve Him. King over a righteous nation he will extend his dominion over the whole earth. pp. 11-21.

In the Harper Collins, Bible Dictionary it states that: “The Gospel is the proclamation of the Kingdom announced by Jesus (Mark 1:14, 15) and now proclaimed by the church.”



Summary


The Kingdom cannot be simply an ethical rule in one’s heart because the biblical descriptions of it are of future world-changing events at the time of the return of Christ and his return will be seen just as dramatically as lightning is seen.



The kingdom cannot be the Church because Christians actually are the church, but are currently heirs of the Kingdom and have yet to inherit and become possessors of it by a future entering into it. Furthermore, Christians as the church are currently “…flesh and blood” which “cannot inherit the kingdom” until they are granted immortality (1 Cor. 15:50).



The Kingdom cannot be paradise in heaven because it is paradise on earth that is promised to all.



So, now we will examine the basics of how the Kingdom is established.



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Jesus as King to Fulfil the Promises

For the Glorious Future



To fulfil the promises for Christians of land, progeny and blessing of the nations Yahweh promised a Messianic prophet (Deut. 18:15-19) ruling as king over a kingdom of substance (2 Sam. 7: 12-19, 2 Chron. 17:13-14) to bless the nations and to turn the earth into paradise. In fact, the kingdom really is the Abrahamic covenant renewed by Jesus as the New Covenant. All of this describes fully what was being offered to Christians and is what Christ verified.



The King Will Rule on Earth in Literal Israel​



Jesus’ judgment of peoples and rulership over them can only occur if he is literally on the earth in harmony with the entreaty, “May he [Messiah] rule…to the ends of the earth (Ps. 72:8 NASB) and the prophecy that, “...he [Messiah] shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land” (Jer. 23:5). The evidence that this will be in Israel comes from the prophecy of Micah that, “...from you [Bethlehem] shall come forth to me one who is to be ruler in Israel” (Micah. 5:2) as well as from the question the disciples posed to Jesus of, “will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). This shows that they anticipated Messiah’s rulership over Israel and Jesus didn’t correct them as regards the location of the Kingdom, but only showed that the time for its appearance wouldn’t be known by them.



Christians Will Rule with Jesus on Earth


Beginning with the Sermon on the Mount Jesus showed that for Christians, “theirs is the Kingdom of heavens ... they shall inherit the earth (Matt. 5:3, 5) and because they act as Kings and priests Jesus has, “...made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth (Rev. 5:10) as righteous managers of the world (1 Cor. 6:2 see Moffatt’s translation).

After discussing the Parable of the Soils in relation to the Kingdom, Professor W.C. Allen stated that: “There is nothing here nor elsewhere in this Gospel to suggest that the scene of the Kingdom is other than the present world renewed, restored and purified.” So here he shows that Matthew did not expect believers to ‘go to heaven,’ but that Jesus will return to the earth to rule with Christians on a renewed earth.



A Political Kingdom Foretold


Some Christians do not like the thought of God’s kingdom as being a political entity. In fact, many Christians feel that the rulership of Jesus in their hearts is enough to steadily bring about world improvement. Apart from the Scriptures denying such a view, one only has to examine the consistently deteriorating moral conditions to realize that this is not God’s plan. Indeed, His plan involves dramatic intervention and so requires a changing over to a world government as described by Daniel that:



“…the stone [The kingdom] that struck the image [“on its feet” therefore on earth] became a great mountain and filled the whole earth...The God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed...It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end...” (Dan. 2:34, 44).



As shown in Daniel and Revelation the Kingdom absorbs the Kingdoms of the world at the time of Jesus’ return because, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ…” (Rev. 11:15).



Jesus Gets the Throne of King David


Undoubtedly the term “the throne” means the rulership in the Davidic line and which kingship was entirely on earth as a government just as in the prophecies of the future Messiah because: “The government will rest on his shoulders…On the throne of David and over his kingdom” (Isa. 9:6, 7 NASB) and “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations...” (Matt. 25:31). So, Jesus is here prophesied to reign on David’s throne, which no Jew of the time would have imagined to be anywhere but on earth (Luke 1:32, 33). This totally excludes any thought of a Kingdom in heaven as further shown in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia 1986 edition which notes that:



The coming of God’s kingdom is an eschatological event when the kingly reign of God...will be manifested on earth de facto, so that His will is done on earth as it is in heaven. This means two things: negatively, the judgement of the wicked and the subjugation of every hostile power: positively, the salvation of the righteous and the redemption of a fallen creation from the burden of evil.



Literal Jerusalem of the Future Will Be the

Capital City of the Kingdom


The fact is that we are to connect the arrival of the Kingdom and the future return of Jesus to literal Jerusalem just as when Jesus:



“…proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. He said therefore, “A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return. Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten minas… When he returned, having received the kingdom…”” (Luke 19:11-12, 15).



This capital city of the Kingdom is to be Jerusalem because, “Abraham...was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God ... they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one” (Heb. 11:8-10, 16). So, when Jesus returns, then, “they will call Jerusalem ‘The Throne of Yahweh,’ and all the nations will be gathered to it…” (Jer. 3:17). All of this clearly shows that the beloved city heavenly Jerusalem will be on earth at the end of the Millennium. In confirmation of this Justin Martyr in his Dialog with Trypho said:



But I and others who are right-minded Christians on all points are assured that there will be a resurrection of the dead, and a thousand years in Jerusalem, which will then be built, adorned and enlarged, as the prophets Ezekiel, Isaiah, and others declare ... And further, there was a certain man with us, whose name was John, one of the Apostles of Christ, who prophesied by a revelation that was made to him that those who believed in our Christ would dwell a thousand years in Jerusalem; and that thereafter the general and eternal resurrection of all men would take place.



The Kingdom Brings Regeneration of the World​



As people daily see so many terrible things happening in the world, especially with its morals, it becomes more and more evident that something is very wrong with the way the world runs, and that current governments fail to bring peace and stability to the world—some even making things worse. The Bible gives the only answer that makes good sense. It shows that there is “a god of this age” (2 Cor. 4:4) who is further described as the Satan—the Adversary. He is the one who encouraged Adam and Eve to sin which is what makes for all the trouble that exists in the world today. The solution is God’s Kingdom headed by Messiah Jesus to bring about the removal of the Satan and his agents and to renew the world. Jesus spoke to his disciples exactly of this New World, saying:



“In the regeneration (Gk palingenesia), when the Son of Man will sit down on his glorious throne...”

(Matt. 19:28).

Here, the ESV renders the term “the regeneration” as, “in the new world,” NLT as, “when the world is made new,” and Barclay as, “at the rebirth of the world,” thereby demonstrating the fact that improving conditions will begin to exist very soon after the kingdom is established. The regeneration of the whole world is synonymous with the Greek phrase apokatastasis panton meaning “restoration of all things” (Acts 3:21). This process begins when Jesus returns and establishes the kingdom:



“...that he [God] may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things (apokatastasis panton) about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time” (Acts 3:20, 21).



This is not the restoration only of true worship, as some propose, but of the restoration of things of which God spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets of old time” involving humanity in general and resulting in “the new skies and new land” a composite phrase for a New World (Isa. 65:17-25; 2 Peter 3:13). It is as when God says, I will make all things new” (Rev 21:5). So shortly after Jesus returns, this restoration will begin. Furthermore, it is logical that, after the establishment of the Kingdom and after dealing with his primary enemies of God’s Kingdom, Jesus would immediately bring into effect the processes to improve conditions in the world—for example world disarmament (Isa. 2:1-4). There would be no need for any decades’ long gap!



SUMMARY


Under the heading The Kingdom of God, Eduard Schweizer explains that:



When Jesus proclaims that the Kingdom of God is near, he is adopting a concept which was coined in the OT. Although it denotes God’s sovereignty over creation (Ps 103:19; 145:11ff.) it refers primarily to God’s unchallenged sovereignty in the end time (Isa 52:7)…Judaism spoke of the reign of God which comes after the annihilation of every foe and the end of all suffering…. In the NT the Kingdom of God is conceived first of all as something in the future (Mark 9:1, 47, 14:25; Matt. 13:41-43; 20:21; Luke 22:16, 18 I Cor 15:50. et al) which comes from God (Mark 9:1; Matt. 6:10; Luke 17:20; 19:11). Therefore it is something man can only wait for (Mark 15:43), seek (Matt. 6:33); receive (Mark 10:15; cp Luke 12:32) and inherit (I Cor 6:9f; Gal 5:21; James 2:5), but is not able to create it by himself …. Repentance is nothing less than a whole-hearted commitment to the Good News. Good News According to Mark, pp. 45, 47.



Now we will look at some of the major details concerning what life will be like in God’s kingdom.



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Major Future Accomplishments

of the Coming Kingdom



The Millennial Phase of the Eternal Kingdom—

a Transitional “New Heavens and New Earth”​



In the penultimate vision given to John and expressed in the Book of Revelation it is revealed to him that there will be a one-thousand-year period that will be a transitional phase toward God’s full accomplishing of His purpose for mankind and the earth. This is when Jesus as King of God’s Kingdom will accomplish the following dramatic improvements:



THE REMOVAL OF SATAN’S INFLUENCE

“…an angel seized…Satan...and bound him for a thousand years...they
[Christians of the first resurrection] came to life and ruled as kings with Christ for a thousand years” (Rev. 20:1, 2, 4).



THE END OF NATIONAL WARS

“And it shall happen in the future of the days the mountain of the house of Yahweh shall be established; it will be among the highest of the mountains, and it shall be raised from the hills. All of the nations shall travel to him; many peoples shall come. And they shall say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of Yahweh, to the house of the God of Jacob, and may he teach us part of his ways, and let us walk in his paths.” For instruction shall go out from Zion, and the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations and he shall arbitrate for many peoples. They shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. A nation shall not lift up a sword against a nation, and they shall not learn war again”
(Isa. 2:2-4). This is also shown by the parallel account in Micah 4:1, 4.



EXTRAORDINARILY LONG LIVES FOR THE MORTAL POPULATION

“New Heavens and New Earth ... I create Jerusalem for rejoicing (the capital of the kingdom will be on earth) ... no longer the voice of weeping ... no longer an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his days (natural death of mortals at very old ages still occurs in this quasi paradise); for the youth will die at the age of one hundred and the one who does not reach the age of one hundred will be thought of as accursed. They will build houses, plant vineyards...for as the lifetime of a tree so will be the days of my people”
(Isa. 65:17-25 NASB).



This phase of the Kingdom results in near paradise conditions of peace, joy, and abundance, so that in Isaiah 11, the peace among all peoples is pictured by predators and prey in the animal world as being reconciled and living in harmony. Isaiah’s picture shows that:



“a wolf shall stay with a lamb, and a leopard shall lie down with a kid, and a calf and a lion and a fatling together as a small boy leads them. And a cow and a bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together. And a lion shall eat straw like the cattle. And an infant {the utterly helpless} shall play over a serpent’s {poisonous} hole, and a toddler shall put his hand on a viper’s hole. They will not injure and they will not destroy on all of my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of Yahweh, as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:6-9 LEB).



The fact that all this happens because of “fully knowing Yahweh” indicates that it applies to human predators and prey rather than to the literal animals, although that is a likely secondary meaning. Such a change of nature of these predators is pictorial of a Garden of Eden restored, but not limited to that original geographical area. It will be a world-wide utopia. Indeed, the Psalms, in particular point to such peaceful conditions of abundance because, “…the wicked one will be no more” (Ps. 37:10) and “…the righteous will sprout, and abundance of peace” (Ps. 72:7) with plenty for everyone because there will be, “…plenty of grain” (Ps. 72:16) as meaning plenty of all necessary resources. Isaiah completes our picture of abundance showing that: “on this mountain Yahweh of hosts will make for all peoples a rich feast [banquet], a feast of aged wines, fat filled with marrow, filtered aged wine” (Isa. 25:6). Along with these wonderful conditions we can expect to see miracles occurring everywhere for at least a period of time. Just as miracles of healing occurred when Jesus originally walked the earth, so, too, we can expect these as being done to help the mortal population. However, as glorious as all of this is, the Kingdom paradise in its absolute fullest form comes after the second resurrection and judgment sometime after the Millennium when there will be no more death of any of humankind. (Rev. 20-22).

But how will all of the millions of those who have died over the centuries be able to enjoy all of the wonders of God’s Kingdom. Indeed, it will be by means of the resurrection—a subject that we will examine next.

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LeeB

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Paul often spoke in prophetic present tense, speaking of things which do not yet exist as though they do. Romans 4:17 KJV Another example is Romans 8:30 the called and justified saints are not glorified until they enter the kingdom. Paul was often misunderstood because of this style of speaking and writing. 2 Peter 3:15,16 The desire in the spirit of a Christian is for the kingdom to be a reality, they yearn with a burning desire for it to come, it is in their mind/spirit and in this sense is within them as they are to live their present lives as though they actually are in that kingdom.