A VISION OF OUR FUTURE HOME
1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle 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.
4 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.
When God’s Heaven is real, the earth will lose its thrill. Somewhere over the last few decades Heaven has almost disappeared from the language of the church. How could such a wonderful truth disappear from the hearts of God’s saints? As Heaven has departed our thoughts and longs, the world has taken its place. There is no way for the believer to be captured by this sin sick world but we first lost our Biblical concept of the future.
The “New Agers” are predicting a “Crystal Kingdom” in the near future. Kingdom Dominion theorists are preaching a golden age in which the church takes dominion over the earth. In fact, they blame the Biblical doctrine of the Rapture as the culprit that has hindered the church from this ill-conceived task. Instead of the present ministry of soul-winning, discipleship, salt and light influence, and the preparation of a Bride for the Son, they say we should be taking over the earth and establishing the literal kingdom. It is the same old lie Satan has told men repeatedly.
One great fact we should always remember is that there is only one antidote for error and that is truth. When error arises, we do not just cry out against the error. We rededicate ourselves to the wonderful “truths” of the Holy Scripture. Our subject for this article is one of those great Biblical concepts that very few of us ministers have ever touched. It is time to preach the “Biblical Golden Kingdom (Millennium).”
Abraham looked for this Golden Kingdom; why should we be ashamed to do the same? The Holy Scripture records, “By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles (a tent or cloth hut) with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:9-10). His acquaintance with God and the revelations of truths, though much less than present, assured him that after the present age there was a celestial kingdom. He endured the tents and huts in grand anticipation of the golden future. Faith was his stay.
The First Covenant is filled with the hope of the future. Almost every prophet has some revelation of this great reality. Isaiah gave a vivid description in Isaiah 65:17-25, “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD” (Isaiah 65:17-25).
Zechariah clearly placed this day as the day (revelation) of the Lord (Jesus Christ) when He would descend from the Father’s right hand to take possession from our enemies. “Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle . . .” “And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.” “In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD’S house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah 14:3, 9, 20-21).
“Righteousness will cover the earth as waters cover the sea, the lion and the lamb will lay down together, the sword and the spear will be beaten into harvesting instruments, the earth will learn war no more.” The First Covenant literally abounds with these kinds of expressions as these Holy Ghost inspired servants labored under pressure, but lived with spiritual eyes trained on the Golden Kingdom. They knew better than to even suggest this kingdom would be of their own doing. It was the “payday someday” that they lived to enjoy. Paul said, “(Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise” (Hebrews 11:38-39). Believe me; they will yet receive the promise!
This hope of a golden age was so embedded in the Jewish mindset that the disciples of Jesus could not grasp His kingdom concepts. They wanted an earthly kingdom, but He was establishing a spiritual one. Even at His ascension in Acts, they were still asking the question, “. . . wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). The Messiah, as they supposed, was to fulfill all those golden promises. They finally saw the church age or dispensation as the interlude between Christ’s death and the golden future. After they were filled with the Holy Spirit, they labored untiringly, always watching for Jesus to return to get them. His coming was their Biblical signal that it was time for the golden kingdom. We are still watching as they did for that event (the Rapture) and the beginning of “the consummation of all things.”
The Time Is At Hand
Every Biblical sign points to the completing of the church. Israel is in place in Palestine. Babylon is being readied for the Antichrist. A world religious alliance never before considered in history is almost complete. World government is being either demanded or considered by almost every leader of the world. The only groups of people in all societies that are losing their rights are Bible-believing fundamental Christians. We are becoming more than ever a despised minority.
Before the final judgment of the wicked one, called the Great Tribulation, Jesus will come for His Bride. Satan hates this great Biblical truth, but he cannot stop Him or us. We will rise. “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:1-3).
Following the seven (7) years of the Great Tribulation, Jesus and His raptured saints will return to the earth to establish the Golden Kingdom. “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matthew 24:21-22).
1 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.
2 Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.
3 God is known in her palaces for a refuge.
Theologically, it has been called the Millennium, which means “one thousand years.” John spoke as the Holy Ghost gave him the utterance, “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4-6). These words are very plain and they are to be interpreted literally. Jesus alone can defeat the armies of Satan and He will do so.
Both the First and Second Covenant give great support to the role of the Messiah in His personal victory over our enemies. Daniel saw all of the man-made empires as a great image made of divers metals with a mixture of clay in her last stage. Then he saw the victor as the following, “Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth” (Daniel 2:34-35). The little stone (our crucified Saviour) became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. This great kingdom will be the one-world government with Jesus Christ as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Always remember that Satan’s efforts are a duplication of the Father’s plan. Lucifer’s one-world government, headed by the Antichrist, is an ill-conceived effort to pre-empt the kingdom of Jesus Christ. It will fail miserably.
The Celestial Kingdom
The glory of the Garden of Eden presents a foretaste of this grand time. Every distasteful result of human sin that has spoiled our planet will be removed. Earthly creatures will become as tame as a house kitten. The harsh atmospheric conditions will be changed to that which enhances our pleasure and comfort. From east to west and north to south, our world will be free of the curse. The only reminder of our former state will be the death of natural men who survived the tribulation and a withholding of earthly blessing from those of this same group who refuse the worship of the true creator, God.
Human government has been a dismal failure. Our nation of America has probably been the greatest success of all efforts to govern society. Even this nation will continue to disintegrate as we approach the end. Most governments have made life unbearable for its subjects. Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar elevated human control over the masses to an art form. Bureaucracies were established to create a system of domination. You should notice how the church has become an extension of this same design. The “Shepherding/Discipleship” disaster (still strong) was a striking example. Jesus will set up a government that is righteous and just.
The Bride of Christ that was raptured before the Tribulation and other orders of resurrected saints will reign with Christ over this golden kingdom. As soon as the Bride arrives in heaven a celebration commences. “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:9-10). This heavenly event will end in the coronation of the King Himself and will then proceed to leave the heavenly city for the inauguration of the New King in the world capitol, Jerusalem.
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:11-16).
19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
20 In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, Holiness Unto The Lord; and the pots in the Lord‘s house shall be like the bowls before the altar.
21 Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts.
Isaiah the prophet spoke of this glorious day. Obedient believers have tasted a little of this joy as we have awaited the grand finale. “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God. Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there: And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Isaiah 35:1-10). The center of this stream of earthly prosperity and sanctified government shall be Jerusalem and the throne of David. Righteousness will literally fill the earth.
The animal kingdom will become a joy to all mankind (Isaiah 11:6-9). Everything that our Father created was for His and our pleasure. It will be a worldwide zoo of uncaged creatures in their natural habitats. It will be a delight to experience their beauty. No animal slaughter will ever occur again. “And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely” (Hosea 2:18).
1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
Glorified saints of the nations of the world will be His ruling elite. Governors, princes, mayors, and all governing individuals will be his faithful servants who have earned the right to rule by virtue of obedience to Him. It will be a world of justice, mercy, equality, and compassion. Every saint will be rewarded according to what they have done in the flesh. It will be a merit system instead of a caste system. We will have equal rights but individual rewards.
Multiple scriptural details describe the grandness of this hour. The return of this triumphant Redeemer riding His great white stallion will be too glorious to describe. His appearing in the air above the marching hordes of the Antichrist’s army will strike paralyzing fear. The sword of His mouth is but His piercing words of judgment. The entire army of millions will be instantly defeated. The Battle of Armageddon will be months in organizing and moments in finalizing. The Word of God will take flaming vengeance on this diabolical mob.
With the same expression of eternal glory He will turn to the establishment of His earthly kingdom after the enemy is vanquished. This entire planet will become His parish and object of kingly favor. Not a detail will be forgotten. Every member of His Bride will be placed in proper authority. The resurrected saints who were guests of the Bride or the Groom will be given places of service. He will quickly establish a worldwide theocracy based on the holiness of His Person. With sin judged and adjudicated, the earth will be free of its curse. Even the beauty of a sunrise will be enhanced by the absence of a poisoned atmosphere. Every expression of our natural world will be a testimony of the Redeemer’s created glory.
Every believer should live in grand anticipation of this Golden Kingdom. It is hard to imagine, but after this one thousand years of righteousness, an even greater period will follow. The New Jerusalem will descend from God out of heaven to be fixed over this planet, Earth. Only then will Abraham enter into that “city without foundation,” suspended in the mid-air above the earthly kingdom. John described this city as a Bride adorned for her husband. (Revelation 21 & 22). It is the final glory of His kingdom and eternity will then begin. This glorious kingdom will be the everlasting abode of our eternal God and His glorified family. What a future an overcoming Christian can live to inherit.