- What Is the Kingdom Of God or Heaven?
- The Millennial Kingdom
- The Saints of First Resurrection
- The Second Coming of Jesus And The Establishment of the Kingdom
- The Invisible Kingdom of God
- What Is the Second Coming of Christ Like?
- Salvation to the Kingdom of God
- How Many Deaths Are There?
- The Two Resurrections
- What Is the Kingdom Of God or Heaven?
What is the kingdom of God or Heaven?
But he [Christ] said to them: I must preach the good news of the Kingdom of God to the other cities also. For this reason I have been sent. (Luk 4:43)
In this study I look for answers from the Bible for example to these questions:
- What is Kingdom of Heaven? Is it the same as the Millennial Kingdom?
- Where does it exist? In the Heavens or on earth? Within oneself?
- Who is allowed to enter? Is it difficult to enter there? Who are not allowed to enter?
- When shall the Kingdom of God come?
- What was the main purpose of Jesus on earth and why have the main churches forgotten it?
First of all, the Kingdom of God is NOT the same as the Millennial Kingdom whose king is Christ and which is governed by the saints of resurrection at the service of the Christ. This becomes evident by Luke 12:32:
Don’t be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.
God gives the reign of the kingdom to this small number of people (called ‘little flock’), of which size is announced to be 144 000. Only the righteous ones may enter the kingdom of God. The participants in the first resurrection have access as the saints of resurrection. It is important to notice that in resurrection they gain immortality, and they are like God’s angels.
When this little flock, forms the government in God’s kingdom as subordinates of Jesus, there are people in the Millennial Kingdom, who have not even heard of God or Christ. Would these people qualify for admittance?
Other possible “subordinates” of the kingdom may be so called the so-called “great multitude“, a great number of people who have survived the tribulation of the last day. They are the survivors of the great tribulation who have fallen and found the faith. It is said in the Book of Revelation that they have washed their robes and made them white. Naturally a kingdom has subordinates and they are from all nations. They are, however, ordinary mortals who are subjects of the kingdom, but they are not yet in the kingdom of God!
Who are the inhabitants of Heaven?
God made Jesus “Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). If Jesus was God earlier in heaven, why did God the Father degraded Jesus from God to ”Lord and Christ”, in any case well above the angels? God, according to the Bible, also gave Jesus eternal life. But everybody knows that a God already has eternal life. John 5:26: “For as the Father has life in himself, even so he gave to the Son also to have life in himself.” Why did God the Father have to give his son eternal life if Jesus already was God?
Jesus is the only human in heaven. He is not a man of flesh and blood, but a spirit just like God and the angels. How do we know that Jesus is a man in heaven? The Bible says in 1 Cor 8:6: “to us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, ” This letter of Paul has traditionally been thought to be written in the 60s, that is about three decades after Christ ascended in heaven. Why does Paul understate Jesus? Wouldn’t you rather imagine that Paul wanted Jesus to be God in heaven?
There are not yet other men in heaven i.e. in the Kingdom of God. Many believe that there are many good people in heaven. The dead sinners are, according to their belief, in hell. Particularly confident are especially the Catholics, that the Virgin Mary is in heaven. Likewise, all the Saints proclaimed by the Catholic Church are there. The fact that the Bible says that no one besides Jesus has ascended to heaven does not seem to mean anything.
God’s kingdom can only be accessed through the resurrection. When the first resurrection takes place, the resurrected saints are in the spirit body. They are also inhabitants of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God will have lots of new members after the second resurrection and the last judgment following it.
Read more about the Millennial Kingdom in the following articles.
- The Millennial Kingdom
Many people, as I did previously, believe that the kingdom of God and Christ’s millennial kingdom are the same thing. Christ is the King to whom all are subjects in heaven and on earth. Christ becomes the king of all kingdoms when he comes for the second time in the near future. In this sense, why would the kingdom governed by Christ and His holy ones not be the kingdom of God? To preach the kingdom was the main purpose of Christ to be on earth. It is, however, defined in the Bible what kind of people will be admitted to the Kingdom of God. Not just anyone who just hears the word is accepted.
In the parousia of Christ, when he arrives to govern the entire earth, not all nations rejoice and welcome their new king. Psalm 110 says:
A Psalm of David. A statement of Jehovah to my Lord: sit at my right hand, until I place your enemies as your footstool. Rev 2:27 He will rule them with a rod of iron, shattering them like clay pots; as I also have received of my Father: 12:5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron. Her child was caught up to God, and to his throne.
It is hard to interpret Psalm 110:2, which says that Jesus and his saints are forced to “rule in the midst of your enemies”. Does it mean that at least in the beginning there is resistance and Jesus as the king is forced to rule not only with the rod of iron but that they are surrounded by enemies. On the other hand, the ungodly have been destroyed at the great tribulation on the day of the Lord’s wrath and the subjects, such as the great multitude, have been saved for their faith.
1 Cor 15:28 When all things have been subjected to him, then the Son will also himself be subjected to him who subjected all things to him, that God may be all in all.
Christ and the saints of the resurrection, indeed, are forced to govern with the rod of iron. This will continue until all nations are made subject to the reign of Christ. Then the Son himself is subjected to the Father under the power of God. From these verses many conclusions can be drawn: The kingdom that Christ has ruled is formed of many nations, out of which not all of them and not all at once are deferred under his rule. That is why He and the saints of the resurrection must govern with “the rod of iron”. Complete supremacy may take a long time, perhaps close to a thousand years.
The end of the Millennial Kingdom comes when all nations are made subject to the Son and He himself returns the reign to Father. After a thousand years Satan is released and the final great war in which Satan and his human assistants are destroyed. The day of judgment is the end of this era. New Jerusalem, the holy city, comes down out of heaven and all things are made new (Rev 21:5)
Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over these, the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him one thousand years. (Rev 20:6)
Some see a contradiction in the description of Jesus of the persons who have been resurrected (they are like angels and do not marry) compared with Isaiah’s description of life in paradise. These people have ignored the fact that the resurrected are a ‘little flock’ of saints in the spirit body, belonging to the leadership of the kingdom of God. If one cannot marry, no children are born. Isaiah testifies how child mortality is overcome and little children are free to play safely with snakes. Inhabitants of the Millennial Kingdom are the humans on earth will slowly build a paradise on earth in a thousand years. People live human lives, work, marry and children are born and the elderly pass away. Life expectancy will be prolonged and a deceased will be mourned as a young person (Isa 65:20). Death has not yet been overcome. That will happen at the end of the one-thousand-year era; in the final judgment, a good sentence is given to “sheep” who are given eternal life. The bad ones will go through a second death, which is by another interpretation, eternal disconnection from God. The fact that humans are still mortals testifies to the fact that they are not yet in God’s Kingdom. God’s Kingdom is governed by the saints of resurrection who were given in resurrection the gift of eternal life. They are not affected by the power of the second death: … over these the second death has no power… (Rev 20:6)
Satan is bound into an abyss to wait for a thousand years until he is released for a short time (Rev 20:7). Man has a possibility to evolve righteous free of Satan’s plots and achieve eternal life.
A few years ago I wrote a short article about the Millennial kingdom. Now I have decided to supplement it. I noticed that the old dogmas and decrees of church councils dominated people’s minds and people just repeated them without engaging at all in independent thinking. Even in the minds of the scholars thoughts had solidified into five hundred years old ecclesiastical confessions and their justifications, I thought I had to take them into deeper consideration and write about it. I have also noticed that often someone’s opinion is built on one Bible verse alone.
The truth is found in several verses that may have been scattered in the Bible. People seem to be prisoners of their church; in humans, even if they had found the truth in the Bible, there is no courage to speak their mind and, if necessary, to even separate from their Church. According to the doctrine of the Church, a believer in different ways can be expelled from the Church and declared unfit for salvation. Today, however, many churches have a roof high and walls wide, but not it is not such a long time ago that the balefires were burning.
All must be based on the word of the Bible. The early church may not have had a whole series of scriptures. Also, there were no computer-based search engines and programs explaining every word. There were various manuscripts available, – as it is today – a variety of divisive movements, Aryanism, Gnosticism, etc. When reading the Bible was made possible for common people and translations from Latin into the languages of the people, the knowledge of the Bible was liberated and knowledge expanded. Still, the 1530 Augsburg confession contains a lot of Catholic influence, and not all of its doctrines have yet been unleashed in the true Bible-based doctrine.
The Bible has been written to be difficult. It has a mixture of literal and figurative expressions. In one of my articles, I ask, “Why is the Bible written in an ambiguous way”? It would have been possible for God to write the Bible so that no sentence would need to be interpreted and twisted by the scholars. I think I know the answer; God wants us to study, contemplate, doubt, argue, and finally find the truth by searching. To do all this, and not just passively take the “truth” given to us.
What did the Church fathers think of the millennial kingdom?
Eusebius was of the opinion that the heretic Cerinthus, who lived in the Second Century, was the first to teach the millennial kingdom which, according to Cerinthus himself, was taught to him by angels. After the resurrection, the secular kingdom of Christ was to be manifested; For the inhabitants of Jerusalem, there was to be an era of joy and pleasure that would last a thousand years with plenty of food and drink. Apostle John could not stand nor be involved with Cerinthus in any way.
Apostle John, on the other hand, opposed millennialism. I have the impression that a clear line cannot be found. Those who defended the kingdom associated it with the coming of Christ but could not define it.
Also the ecumenical council of Ephesus in 431 the doctrine of the Millennial kingdom was rejected as superstitious and the church rejected the millennialism formally as heretical. The Council confirmed the so-called dual nature doctrine that Christ has two natures, God and man, in one person. The Council also confirmed that the Virgin Mary is the Mother of God. Respect for Mary and her status grew and she was recognized in Ephesus as the Mother of God. Mary could be asked for prayers of intercession as is customary today. The Catholic values and customs thus became much stronger. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_of_Ephesus
The Augsburg Confession is one of the most significant of those of the 16th Century. It’s still today a valid instruction of the Lutheran Church. The Augsburg Confession (Article XVII) states:
1 Our churches also teach that at the end of the world, Christ will appear as judge. 2 He will raise up all the dead. He will give eternal life and everlasting joy to the godly and elect. 3 But he will condemn the ungodly and the devils to punishment without end.
4 We condemn the Anabaptists who think that the punishment of demons and those people whom God condemns will not last forever. 5 We condemn all others who are now spreading the Jewish idea that before the dead are raised, the godly will rule this world and that everywhere the ungodly will be overcome.
I agree with some of the Augsburg Confession points, such as the marriage of priests. The confession was aimed against the Catholic influence, but its authors explained that they accept the original Catholic doctrine, but oppose the papal power. The confession in Augsburg seems to have the spirit of Luther in the sense that preaching without proper authorization was not allowed.
In Augsburg, they did not understand the timing of the Millennium. There is no Millennial kingdom before the first resurrection of the righteous but after it. The righteous i.e. saints will rise in the clouds to meet Christ there and they will rule with him a period of thousand years. The inhabitants of the kingdom are a diverse group; Those who have repented their sins and asking God for help, but also full pagans who have not even heard of Christ. Until the coming of Christ, Satan is still the king of this world, and only after the forces of Satan are destroyed by Christ’s troops and Satan is captured, can the administration of Christ and the Millennium begin.
According to the Lutheran interpretation, the millennial kingdom is already underway: Christ rules with the saints from Heaven. Satan is already bound and unable to hurt the church. In the end, Satan will be released for a short time, but then destroyed.
What if the Millennial kingdom does not come?
A Lutheran website claims that the Millennial kingdom is not coming at the same time with the second coming of Christ: According to the Bible, the return of Christ is not followed by the Millennial kingdom on Earth, but immediately the last judgment, Heaven and Hell.
Lutherans refer to Matthew for their reasoning: Mat 16:27 `For, the Son of Man is about to come in the glory of his Father, with his messengers, and then he will reward each, according to his work.
25:31 “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory.
32 Before him all the nations will be gathered, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
33 He will set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Jesus comes for the second time and sets up his administration with the saints. Then Jesus sits on the throne of his Millennial kingdom, called ‘the throne of his glory’ in verse 31. Christ has been sitting on the throne of Heaven on the right hand of God for 2000 years. These are two different kingdoms and two different thrones.
According to the Lutheran interpretation, which dates back to the 16th Century Reformation, attention is paid to the words of Matthew and especially to the word then.
This is considered to mean that Jesus will come, but he will come only to only judge the good and the bad. The judgment is immediate, and as a result, the righteous will go to Heaven and sinners will go to Hell.
After death, the great majority of mankind will be judged. They are in the grave from their death until the end of the Millennial kingdom of Christ. There will be a so-called resurrection of judgment. Regardless of how long the dead is buried in the grave, he experiences the resurrection as if right after death because he has no awareness of the time in the tomb.
The last judgment will be for those who have died in the Millennial kingdom as well as those who have died thousands of years ago. Heb 9:27 ”Inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once, and after this, judgment”. The only exception is made by those who died in Christ, who are called to participate in the first resurrection and who reign the Millennial kingdom with Christ. Rev 20:6 tells about these Saints: Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over these, the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with him one thousand years.
In Mat 16:27 and 25:31-33 it is said, that the Son of Man is about to come in the glory of his Father, with his messengers, and then he will reward each, according to his work. – The promised wages of Jesus will come first to the resurrected saints who have come up to the clouds to meet Jesus.
The next verse proves that there truly is the (Millennial) kingdom of Christ, in which he is judging the living and the dead: 2 Tim 4:1 “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom”.
– If there is no kingdom, how could Christ judge in his kingdom? The resurrected saints are said to reign with Christ for a thousand years. In this article, I highlight a number of other arguments I consider to be solid evidence for the ‘dispensational premillennialism’. This monster of a term means that God has seen fit to establish for the human race a 1000-year era before the final judgment.
Why? Would it not be clearer that Jesus will come and judge immediately; the good to Heaven and the evil to Hell. The Earth seems to be in an uninhabited condition after the destruction of the Lord’s day. As I pondered this, I thought that God wants to grant salvation even in the very last moment. Not everyone repented but cursed and hardened themselves when facing adversity. The Bible tells us that much of the gospel work is still left to the Gentiles who survived the day of the Lord. Those who were saved after crying for help from Jesus should also be tested for faith: many people in their trouble call God, but after the problems are gone, they return to their former sinful life.
It is common to form an opinion based on only one or two verses. What if, on the basis of the next Luke’s verse, we began to form our opinion on salvation? Luk 14:26 “If anyone comes to me, and does not hate his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he can’t be my disciple.
Although Reformation cleaned the Church of excessive Catholicism, not all went right. In fact, I think that dispensationalist attitude towards the Millennial kingdom as the last of seven eras given to humanity by God, is ideal for a contemporary interpretation of the Bible.
The Second Argument Against The Millennial kingdom: The Bible tells us that the forces of Heaven are shaken and the elements melt from the burning heat when Christ comes back. After this, can you imagine any terrestrial kingdom anymore?
Mat 24:29 But immediately after the oppression of those days, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken; 30 and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. Then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.
Piet 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
11 Therefore since all these things are thus to be destroyed, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy living and godliness,
12 looking for and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of God, by reason of which the heavens being on fire will be dissolved, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?
Matthew and Peter speak about the same time, the events just before the coming of Christ. According to Matthew, “The sun is darkening” and “the stars fall from the sky”. Peter’s description is even more dramatic: “The heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements of the heat will disintegrate, and the earth and all that is done will burn.”
– Can a man be there when the whole world is being destroyed? Such an understanding of these verses can be obtained. However, let us remember that “the whole world” according to the Bible did not mean the whole world. From Caesar Augustus “a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the entire world should be enrolled” (Luk 2:1). – However, the whole world was only a small part of the Mediterranean environment under the authority of Rome.
Matthew tells: And “the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. Then all the tribes of the Earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory”. – I can’t explain in more detail what it means that Heavens will pass away with a great noise” or how and where “the elements of the heat will disintegrate”. These phenomena have been explained in different ways: the fall of stars, for example, is a description of the warheads of transcontinental missiles before entering the target. Based on the video I saw, I can say that it looked just like a bunch of stars would have fallen to the ground. In other passages, the Bible predicts that the Earth will burn and a large number of people will be destroyed.
And “the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. Then all the tribes of the Earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory”.
Not all this, however, means that our world would be completely destroyed. Ecclesiastes says: 1:4 ” One generation goes, and another generation comes; but the earth remains forever.” Jesus promised in his sermon on the mount: Mat 5:5 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Also, Psa 37:11 promises: But the meek shall inherit the earth, and they shall delight themselves in abundant peace. – If the earth has been spoiled by nuclear contamination and burned, what kind of inheritance is that for the quiet and humble?
The third argument: The Bible teaches that there is one resurrection for all men, both saved and unsaved, that occurs on the last day.
1 The 4:16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with God’s trumpet. The dead in Christ will rise first, 17 then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. So we will be with the Lord forever.
These two groups form the first resurrection:
a) The dead in Christ, who have been in their graves, the oldest for two thousand years
b) At that moment, the righteous who are alive will be caught up to meet Christ
What then is the second resurrection?
Act 24:15 having hope toward God, which these also themselves look for, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. Joh 5:28 Don’t marvel at this, for the hour comes, in which all that are in the tombs will hear his voice,
29 and will come out; those who have done good, to the resurrection of life; and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.
These verses reveal the second resurrection, also called the Resurrection of Judgment. They cannot in any way be regarded as one and the same resurrection. Only the righteous will arise in the first resurrection. In the second resurrection, all will rise, who are in the graves, whether they have done good or evil. The righteous (also called ‘saints’) of the first resurrection will no longer be judged. They have already gained eternal life. The participants of the second resurrection will receive judgment according to their actions.
Fourth argument: Nothing in the New Testament has any reference to the Millennial kingdom that would begin after Jesus’ return. Instead, Jesus and the apostles all taught that at his coming there would be an immediate final judgment, after which only truly believers, who would live forever in the new creation created by God, would remain.
The Book of Revelation tells John’s vision of the future based on what Jesus’ revealed to him. Rev 20:4 I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the word of God, and such as didn’t worship the beast nor his image, and didn’t receive the mark on their forehead and on their hand. They lived and reigned with Christ for the thousand years.
This verse tells about the participants of the first resurrection and their participation in the administration in a kingdom with Christ for a thousand years. This verse does not say what this kingdom is. Could it be the kingdom of God, or? Mat 25:31 But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory.
– The Bible speaks of a thousand years of power for Christ and the saints, but is careful not to call the administration of Christ as the Millennial kingdom. However, the phrase “the throne of his glory” clearly means the throne of the kingdom, whose king Christ will be.
Still other arguments have been put forward; among others that in the early church, the perception of the “thousand years” mentioned in chapter 20 of the Revelation, was that it is a figurative expression of the spiritual administration of Christ in the period between the first and the second coming. – Again, timing does not work the way the Bible means; Christ has ruled the past two millennia in Heaven, but Satan is still the king of this world. Who can claim that this is not the case? A simple justification: if Christ had also taken the inhabitants of the Earth under his control, would he not have taken control of the sinful way of life of the Earth that has been going on for two thousand years?
Isa 9:7 There is no end to the increase of His government and of peace on the throne of David, and on His kingdom, to order it, and to sustain it with justice and with righteousness, from now and forever. The zeal of Jehovah of Hosts will do this.
What is the difference between the Millennial kingdom and the Kingdom of God?
– The kingdom of God is the eternal kingdom in Heaven. You can get there only through the Resurrection. There is only one human in Heaven so far – Jesus Christ.
– You must seek the kingdom of God, but only some of the righteous will be accepted there
– Those in the kingdom of God are in the spirit bodies like Jesus, after his resurrection
– You are born into the Millennial kingdom. Some are there after the trials of the Lord’s day; they are the saved (“escaped”) who have called Jesus or the Father for help. There are still many of those who have not even heard of Christ.
– All residents of the Millennial kingdom are mortal and are in physical bodies. There is no illness or poverty.
Before the Millennial kingdom
The war in Heaven
Jesus said to his disciples: “All authority has been given to me in Heaven and on Earth” (Mat 28:18). Christ has been given all power, but its realization has not yet taken place, but Satan reigns even today as the “king of this world.” All power is a promise of the future, when power is taken away from Satan.
Many biblical scholars have taken it for granted, that when Christ ascended to Heaven, he no longer allowed Satan to deceive anyone, because Jesus died on the cross for all. The discarding of Heaven would have resulted in a war in Heaven, the outcome of which would have been that one-third of the angels, along with their leader Satan, would be thrown onto the Earth.
In fact, I have interpreted that Christ would not have done so, even though he had received from God all power in the Heavens and on the Earth. The question is, whether the Bible statement has come true; Rev 12:7 And war occurred in Heaven, Michael and his angels making war against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels made war. 10: Now is come the salvation, the power, and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ; for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down… – John sees in his future vision that war will end in the victory of Christ and his angels.
The war in Heaven has not yet taken place, and the power of God’s anointed Messiah has not materialized on Earth. These verses are from the Book of Revelation written by John on the island of Patmos in his old days, decades after Jesus had ascended to Heaven. If the war had been right after Christ rose to Heaven, John should have known it. The Book of Revelation is a vision of the future, even though the events in it are told as if they had happened, which may mislead the thoughts.
John wrote the Book of Revelation in the 90’s, i.e. about 60 years after Jesus’ ascension into Heaven. Second, God tolerated Satan as an accuser for a long time. If this is hard to believe, remember, that Satan was the king of this world already when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness. He had not been thrown out of Heaven yet in the time of Jesus. It is for Satan to act freely and to deceive mankind. Satan is still doing that work, and in the foreseeable future Satan’s most important acts in this regard is to introduce to the world the Antichrist and the False Prophet.
Chapter 19 of the Book of Revelation explains how the Heavenly armies, under Christ’s command, crush the Earthly armies. Heaven rejoice as “the marriage of the Lamb has come”. And: Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty Reigns”. Only when Jesus comes to Earth for the second time will he overcome Satan with his army and deprive him of all the ability to deceive the nations, and cast him into the bottomless pit for a thousand years. Then it can be said, that the power of the anointed of God has come and the Millennial kingdom has begun.
The war with Satan’s troops is an event of the near future. Satan with his angels will be thrown to the Earth; then Satan knows he has only a little time. Satan’s last-minute attempts are to introduce the Antichrist and the False Prophet and activate the Great Harlot, through which ecumenism connects churches with the Catholic Church. The Great Harlot awaits her conviction; Rev 19:2 ”For true and righteous are his judgments, because he judged the great harlot who defiled the Earth with her fornication. And he avenged the blood of his slaves out of her hand.” – the Harlot’s fornication is fornication of religious life and the religious mother church, the Harlot, who has terrorized and killed other believers, will have to pay for it.
Time of tribulation and the Day of the Lord
The time of tribulation and the Day of the Lord will meet all the nations of the world before Jesus’ second coming. In Matthew 24:29, it is told when Jesus comes: “after the days of tribulation.” Jesus does not come at the time of the worst distress, but after that. The first is the time of tribulation, 42 months (3.5 years) and after that the Lord’s Day also 42 months. The time of tribulation is caused by Satan, but the day of the Lord is the time of the plagues of God from Heaven.
Mat 24:29 And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from the heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken; 30 and then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in the heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the earth smite the breast, and they shall see the Son of Man coming upon the clouds of the heaven, with power and much glory;
31 and he shall send his messengers with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his chosen from the four winds, from the ends of the heavens unto the ends thereof.
– Angels gather God’s elect from the Earth. The elect will receive a resurrection to Jesus in the clouds, where the “sign of the Son of Man” will be seen in Heaven, and then all the tribes of the Earth will bawl; and they shall see the Son of man coming upon the clouds of Heaven with great power and glory.
Jesus Christ comes in a very visible way. The angels have assembled God’s chosen ones to Jesus. They follow Jesus where he goes. There is a loud bawl on the Earth. Jesus sits on his throne. King David reigns over Israel. The Apostles reign each one of the twelve tribes of Israel. The other saints rule “whoever five, who ten cities”. Together they represent the Kingdom of God. When the coming of Jesus is a very visible event, the administration of the kingdom of God may well be invisible.
Mat 24:37 But as the days of Noah, so also will be the coming of the Son of man.
38 For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, 39 and they didn’t know until the flood came, and took them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and one will be left;
Verse 40 explains how some of the people are called, others are not; when two men work in the field, “one will be taken and one will be left”. Those elected receive resurrection among the other Saints. Those left on Earth wait for the Day of the Lord. Jesus warns in Mar 13:33: ”Watch, keep alert, and pray; for you don’t know when the time is.”
These difficult times for God’s own people.
Joel predicts in the first chapter: 1:6 For a nation has come upon my land, strong and without number; its teeth are the teeth of a lion, and it has the jaw teeth of a lioness. 1:15 Alas for the day! For the day of Jehovah is at hand. And it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. – But the Day of the Lord is just coming! Yet the people of Israel are subject to violence by attackers: 2:2 A day of darkness and gloominess, A day of clouds and thick darkness. As the dawn spreading on the mountains, A great and strong people; There has never been the like, neither will there be any more after them, Even to the years of many generations. 3 A fire devours before them, And behind them, a flame burns. The land is as the garden of Eden before them, And behind them, a desolate wilderness. Yes, and no one has escaped them. 4 The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses, And as horsemen, so do they run. 5 They shall leap like the noise of chariots on the tops of the mountains, like the noise of flames of fire that devour the chaff, as a strong people set in order for battle. 6 At their presence the peoples are in anguish. All faces have grown pale.
‘A great and strong people’ is attacking the people of God. Joel compares the war machines to horses, riders and chariots. Probably they are modern tanks, rockets, cruise missiles. In Joel’s time, there were no words to describe such.
Joel also moves rapidly forward in his report. The Day of the Lord comes before the attacker has got his final victory: 2:11 And Jehovah shall give his voice before his army, for his camp is very great. For he who does his word is strong. For the day of Jehovah is very great and terrifying, and who can endure it?
Surely you know that the Day of the Lord is not the same as Sunday. Before the Day of the Lord, there is 3.5 years of tribulation. The Lord’s day lasts also for 3.5 years and is even more severe than the preceding time.
When the Lord’s day of destruction is already underway, God still calls: 2:12 Yet even now turn to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning, declares Jehovah.
2:28 “It will happen afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; And your sons and your daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams. Your young men will see visions.
29 And also on the servants and on the handmaids in those days, I will pour out my Spirit.
30 I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood, fire, and pillars of smoke.
31 The sun is turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, Before the coming of the day of Jehovah, The great and the fearful.
32 For it shall be, all who shall call on the name of Jehovah shall be saved. For salvation shall be in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, as Jehovah has said, and among the remnant whom Jehovah shall call.
2 Pet 3:6 through which the world which then was, being flooded by water, perished.
7 But the heavens that now are, and the earth, by the same word have been stored up for fire, being reserved against the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
8 But don’t forget this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.
9 The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some count slowness; but is patient with us, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore since all these things are thus to be destroyed, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy living and godliness, 12 waiting for and hasting the coming of the day of God, by reason of which the heavens being on fire will be dissolved, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?
13 But, according to his promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth, in which dwells righteousness.
God drowned the people of Noah’s time in the flood. At the time of the second coming of Jesus, Peter says in 2 Piet 3:7 ”the present heavens and the earth, by the same word are treasured, for fire being kept to a day of judgment and destruction of the impious men”. – The fire need not be radioactive, nuclear fire and the destruction not necessarily caused by nuclear arms, although the Bible says, that the elements break down from heat. Also, Satan is destroyed according to Rev 20:9 “Fire came down out of heaven from God, and devoured them.” The fire of God can be consuming, as here, or it can be purifying.
When will the Millennial kingdom begin??
It begins when Jesus comes for the second time. And Jesus comes when the Day of the Lord is finished. The angels have assembled God’s chosen ones into the first resurrection to meet Jesus and be as co-rulers of the Millennial kingdom of which Jesus is the king.
What is the administration of the kingdom like?
Many believe that the kingdom of God and the Millennial kingdom are the same thing. Christ is the King to whom all are subordinate, both on Earth and in Heaven. Christ will take the kingship of all secular kingdoms the second time he comes in the near future. Why then is not the kingdom ruled by Christ and the saints exactly the kingdom of God? After all, the proclamation of the kingdom of God was the reason why he was sent on Earth. The Bible tells what kind of people can enter the kingdom of God. I have already stated above that the kingdom of God must be sought and access to the kingdom is only through the resurrection. The Millennial kingdom consists of the relatively small number of people, that remain on the Earth, after the Lord’s day.
20:1 I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 He seized the dragon, the old serpent, which is the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole inhabited earth, and bound him for a thousand years, 3 and cast him into the abyss, and shut it, and sealed it over him, that he should deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years were finished. After this, he must be freed for a short time. 4 I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the word of God, and such as didn’t worship the beast nor his image, and didn’t receive the mark on their forehead and on their hand. They lived and reigned with Christ for the thousand years.
In verse 4 it is said of the resurrected saints that they were alive and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. “And reigned…” this must mean the Millennial kingdom. This is the time when Satan was caught and chained so that he could not deceive people as he does today. Verse 5 states that the rest of the dead will not live again until the thousand years are ended. Up to now, everything would have been timed understandably, but then finally in verse 5 the Bible says: ”This is the first resurrection.”.
The first resurrection took place a thousand years earlier and now is the turn of the second resurrection and the last judgment following it.
However, Panin accepts placing this phrase at the end of verse 5: “The rest of the dead lived not until the thousand years should be finished. This is the first resurrection”. However, it is possible that the ‘first resurrection’ phrase, placed either at the end of the fourth verse or at the end of the fifth verse, may implement the Bible numerical code. It depends on where you place the stop of the cycle counting. Simply changing the position of this “first resurrection,” does not mean that the code is broken. However, the placement of the phrase “this is the first Resurrection” is illogical.
20:5 The rest of the dead didn’t live until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. – Should this read “This is their first resurrection? The statement of verse 5 cannot mean the first resurrection of the saints. Only those who fulfill the conditions of verse 4, will have access to the first resurrection. These saints have already ruled with Christ for a thousand years and the second death has no power on them. They do not even have to participate in the final judgment, as a matter of fact, they are the judges.
Alternatively, there is an error in copying the text, and this statement is misplaced to the end of verse 5 when the right place is at the end of the previous verse.
I cannot accept the explanations in the Revelation commentaries that this statement of verse 5 of the first resurrection, means the bodily resurrection of the saints, and that the “first” resurrection a thousand years ago was the resurrection in the spirit.
The Revelation proves that the Saints of the First Resurrection will rule on Earth. 5:9 They sang a new song, saying, “You are worthy to take the book, And to open its seals: For you were killed, And bought us for God with your blood, Out of every tribe, language, people, and nation, 10 And made them kings and priests to our God, And they [the saints] reign on earth.” – Verse 10 is a significant proof that the millennial kingdom is truly born and lasts for a long time, maybe a thousand years, or if it is a figurative expression, in any case, according to human timing, a long time.
God is a spirit and his ‘colleagues’ are also spirits. The Resurrection means being in the spiritual body and those who receive a positive judgment will continue as God’s co-workers in the Spirit. The coming new world, the one that begins after the Millennial kingdom, will be built with the power of faith and will, not with shovel or excavator.
6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over these, the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with him one thousand years.
7 And after the thousand years, Satan will be released from his prison,
8 and he will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to the war; the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
9 They went up over the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints, and the beloved city. Fire came down out of heaven from God, and devoured them.
10 The devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet are also. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
11 I saw a great white throne, and him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. There was found no place for them.
12 I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and they opened books. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it. Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them. They were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.
15 If anyone was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire.
When you read these verses thoughtfully, you will understand that
– When Jesus comes, Satan will be bound for a thousand years during which Satan will not interfere with the kingdom of Christ (Rev. 20:2)
– When Jesus comes, the saints will be given jurisdiction (20:4)
– The rest of the dead will come alive only after 1000 years have passed (20: 5)
– The second death does not have the power over the saints, and they will rule for 1000 years with Christ
– When those thousand years have passed, Satan will be released for a short time
Jesus refers to the kingdom of God, which is given under his authority (all power in Heaven and on Earth…) No one can enter the kingdom of God, except by being born again and by resurrection. Not even the Catholic saints are in the kingdom of God; they are in their graves waiting for the resurrection.
The Revelation describes the time of the Millennial kingdom with a few core events. You can’t ignore them and say that everything happens on the same day that Jesus comes the second time. These facts, which occur after Jesus’ coming, confirm that the last judgment cannot be at the very beginning of Jesus’ second coming.
After the Second coming of Jesus, the Kingdom of God with Jesus Christ as the king and the saints as co-rulers, will reign through the Millennium. Its leadership is in the spiritual body, but they can also appear as visible people in the fleshly body, just as Jesus appeared to his disciples after his resurrection, and especially to Thomas, who wanted to see in his hands the print of the nails.
The leadership of the Millennial kingdom: Top management consists of members of the kingdom of God. Jesus Christ, to whom God the Father has given all power in Heaven and on Earth, is the king of this kingdom on Earth. Other leadership consists of the saints of the first resurrection: King David as King of Israel, the Apostles who rule the twelve tribes of Israel, the resurrected saints who govern, some five cities, some ten. (according to the parable of Jesus).
As members of the kingdom of God, they are all in spirit bodies. Like Jesus, they can, after their resurrection, switch to a physical body if they wish.
Who are the inhabitants of the Millennium? It must be remembered that, in the seven preceding years, during the time of tribulation and on the Day of the Lord, a very large number of people died. There has been major upheaval in the world. However, the Earth is habitable as we can see from the examples below. Some, albeit a rather small part of the people, were resurrected and are now in the leadership of the kingdom. Many were converted during the turmoil of the world and cried to God or Christ for help – and kept their lives. There are also pagans, perhaps in remote areas, who have survived. Over a thousand years, the population is growing. People’s life expectancy grows and children are born. Mortality decreases as people live longer and diseases can be cured. As the Millennial kingdom approaches its end, the number of people may be the same as today.
What is the Millennial kingdom like?
The Bible, and especially Isaiah in the Old Testament, describes the Millennial kingdom.
Isaiah chapter 66 tells how after the kingdom was established, teachers were sent to faraway countries where people are pagans, without knowledge and faith. In the kingdom some people are still “worldly” and not at all righteous believers. The righteous men receive the first resurrection and eternal life and they rule with Christ.
Isa 66:19 I will set a sign among them, and I will send such as escape of them to the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the isles afar off, who have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the nations. 21 And I will also take some of them for the priests, for the Levites, says Jehovah.
Mal 1:11 … My name shall be great among the nations, says Jehovah of hosts.
Jes 65:19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people; and there shall be heard in her no more the voice of weeping and the voice of crying. 20 There shall be no more there an infant of days, nor an old man who has not filled his days; for the child shall die one hundred years old, and the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed. 21 They shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. 22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree shall be the days of my people, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. 23 They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for terror. For they are the seed of the beloved ones of Jehovah, and their offspring with them. 24 It shall happen that, before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. 25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed as one; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And dust is the food of the snake. They shall not do evil nor destroy in all My holy mountain, says Jehovah.
Isaiah describes how amazingly different it is in the Millennial kingdom compared with the present world. If such a kingdom of Christ did not come – I wrote some are doubtful – then Isaiah has seen false dreams and not visions from the Lord.
According to Isaiah, child mortality has been eliminated. People’s lifespan is longer; someone who died at the age of a hundred years, was still young. This means that many diseases have been overcome and the health situation has improved over the current level. Animals are no danger to humans; they eat all grass, even the lion. Verse 24 is significant: God hears people’s requests and answers them.
However, death has not yet been removed. The life expectancy of people is, of course, prolonged and the 100-year-old is young to die, and infants do not die. Death is eliminated last, at the end of the 1000-year kingdom, when Satan is destroyed. After the Millennial kingdom, the real kingdom of God will come when Jesus has given power back to the Father.
The kingdom of God is an eternal kingdom that will never be destroyed. The Millennial kingdom of peace led by Jesus and the saints, lasts a thousand years.
When Christ arrives for the second time to rule the whole Earth, not all nations will rejoice at the new King. Psalm 110:1 says: A Psalm of David. The affirmation of Jehovah to my Lord: `Sit at My right hand, until I place your enemies as your footstool.’
Rev 2:27 He will rule them with a rod of iron, shattering them like clay pots; as I also have received of my Father: 12:5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron. Her child was caught up to God, and to his throne.
It is difficult to interpret Psa 110:2 according to which Jesus and the saints will rule in the midst of their enemies. Does it mean that, at least initially, there is resistance and Jesus, as king, has to rule not only with the iron scepter, but also with the enemies surrounding them. On the other hand, the wicked have been destroyed in the great tribulation of the end-time, and on the Day of the Lord’s wrath, and the subordinates, such as the ‘great multitude’, have been saved because of their faith.
When all things have been subjected to him, then the Son will also himself be subjected to him who subjected all things to him, that God may be all in all. (1 Cor 15:28)
Indeed, Christ and the Saints have to rule the peoples with an iron scepter. This continues until all nations are subjected to Christ’s power. Then the Son himself will be subjected to the power of God the Father. From these verses, we can deduce a number of things: The kingdom that Christ takes control of is made up of different peoples, who are by no means all and immediately subordinate to his power. That is why he and the Saints must rule with the “iron scepter”.
It may take a long time to complete subjugation, perhaps closer to a thousand years. The end of the Millennial kingdom comes when everything is subjected to the power of the Son, and the son himself returns the commandment he has received, to the Father. After a thousand years, Satan’s release and the last great war will come, in which Satan and his human troops are destroyed. The last judgment is the conclusion of this era. The new Jerusalem descends on the Earth and everything is made anew (Rev 21:5).
However, some think there is a contradiction in Jesus’ description of the resurrected, and on the other hand in the description of life in paradise by Isaiah? If you do not get married, then there will be no children (the saints are like angels, they do not marry). Isaiah again proves how child mortality has been overcome and toddlers can play safely with snakes. The people of the Millennial kingdom are people on Earth who are gradually building a paradise during the thousand years. People live their lives, work, marry and have children and the elderly die. However, the lifespan is longer, and at the age of 100, the dead is regarded as young to die (Isa 65:20). However, death has not yet been overcome. This shows us that the inhabitants are not in God’s kingdom where everyone is immortal. Eternal life is achieved at the end of the millennium; In the last judgment, the “sheep” who receive a good judgment receive also eternal life, and the evil ones experience the second death, which is the eternal destruction from the presence of God.
The fact that people are still mortals also proves that they are not really in the kingdom of God. The reigning saints received the gift of eternal life in the resurrection, and the second death has no power over them in: Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over these, the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him one thousand years. – The purpose of the first resurrection is to awaken the righteous believers to the leadership of Christ. In verse 20: 6 it is stated that they will be priests of God and of Christ. Governance does not seem to require knowledge of legislation, but true faith.
Satan is bound to wait a thousand years until he is released for a short time (Rev 20:7). Thus, humans have the opportunity to become righteous and be free from Satan’s plot and to have eternal life for themselves. This verse refers to the time when Christ and the saints have come, and the forces of Christ have defeated Satan’s forces and Satan himself is bound for a thousand years. Now, therefore, a thousand-year period begins, when Satan cannot deceive the nations.
Time of peace: Mic 4:2 And many nations shall come and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, and to the house of the God of Jacob. And He will teach us from His ways, and we will walk in His paths. For the law shall go forth out of Zion, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem.
3 And He shall judge between many peoples, and will decide for strong nations afar off. And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, nor shall they learn war still.
4 But they shall each one sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and there shall be no trembling. For the mouth of Jehovah of hosts has spoken.
Isa 32:17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the service of righteousness shall be quietness and hope forever.
18 My people shall abide in a peaceable habitation, and in safe dwellings, and in quiet resting-places.
Time of joy: Isaiah 61:7 Instead of your shame and disgrace, double. They rejoice in their portion; for they shall possess a second time in their land; everlasting joy shall be theirs. 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in Jehovah. My soul shall be joyful in my God. He clothed me with garments of salvation; He put on me the robe of righteousness, even as a bridegroom puts on his ornament, and as the bride is adorned with her jewels.
Paradise: Adam and Eve lived in a park created by God, which is translated into paradise, παράδεισος paradeisos. The best known Bible point where the word Paradise is used is, Luk 23:43: and Jesus said to him, “Verily I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” An alternative translation: “Verily I say to you today; you will be with me in Paradise.” – Jesus promised one of the two other crucified that he may see Jesus in Paradise. In the context of the Millennial kingdom, paradise may well mean a similar parkland where Adam and Eve lived. When the Millennium has been established, it is up to people to restore the Earth to paradise. In the context of the Millennial kingdom, paradise may well mean a similar park where Adam and Eve lived. When the Millennium has been established, it is up to people to restore the whole Earth to paradise.
Salvation in Jesus Christ: 1 Kor 15:21 For since death came by man, the resurrection of the dead also came by man.
Some people believe that only God can bring salvation and redemption to mankind from the power of sin. However, in this Bible passage, the resurrection of the dead is revealed through a human. It is logical in the sense, that man at the end corrects what the first man broke – the relationship with God. The correction must be made by man, not God. Jesus is human in all respects.
15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
Adam and Eve gave death as heritance to the future of mankind. Jesus Christ will make alive those who prove to be worthy in the last judgment.
23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then those who are Christ’s, at his coming.
24 Then the end comes, when he will deliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father; when he will have abolished all rule and all authority and power.
25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
This verse implicitly states that Christ will rule for a long time before all enemies have been subjugated. It is obvious because the Millennial kingdom lasts a thousand years – or this is a figurative expression. I am inclined to believe this. Because Christ and the Saints have the power to rule with a rod of iron i.e. to use force, defeating resistance does not last a thousand years.
26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death.
27 For, “He put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when he says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that he is excepted who subjected all things to him.
28 When all things have been subjected to him, then the Son will also himself be subjected to him who subjected all things to him, that God may be all in all.
The Binding of Satan
Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key to the bottomless pit and a large chain in his hand. He captured the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and tied him up for a thousand years. He threw him into the bottomless pit, locked it, and sealed it over him to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were over. After that he must be set free for a little while. (Rev 20:1-3).
Satan stays bound in the abyss and he cannot deceive anyone in the world.
Paradise on Earth When Satan is Bound
Now begins the Millennial kingdom of peace on earth which was mentioned before in Isaiah’s prophecy. Rev 20:4 tells how … those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or hands. They came back to life and ruled with Christ for a thousand years. 5 … This is the first resurrection.”
Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over these, the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with him one thousand years.
When the thousand years are over in Christ’s kingdom of peace and paradise on earth, the final episode starts:
Satan is released from imprisonment. He goes to deceive nations all around the earth and gathers a huge army to make war. Verse 20:8 says: the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. At the end of the Millennial kingdom, there are a lot of inhabitants. Satan manages to win a huge army on his side. Surely there are also a lot of those who do not join Satan’s troops. The final episode of the rebellion of Satan is described briefly in the Bible, and appears similar to the movie Star Wars: 9 They went up over the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints, and the beloved city. Fire came down out of heaven from God, and devoured them.
20:15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire. – The fiery lake illustrates the second death, discussed in the last chapter.
In the end there is so-called last judgment when all who have not been judged are judged. In verse 20:5 is told what happens to the second death. Most apparently, this refers to the end of Christ’s kingdom when the kingdom has been ruled by him and the saints for a thousand years. ”The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed.” The rest of the dead are those who have died during the Millennial kingdom. They have their judgment and if they prove worthy (their names can be found in the Book of Life), they receive (eternal) life. People are condemned in large numbers, but judgment is also given to Satan and his assistants, the ‘beast’ and the ‘false prophet’. Death itself gets its own judgment.
Those whose names are in the Book of Life, their reward is LIFE.
After the Millennial kingdom
The last “administrative action” of Christ and the Saints, who are participants of the first resurrection, is the execution of God’s judgment. This judgment God has entrusted to his son, Jesus Christ, who has taken the saints to rule with him.
Satan’s last battle
– We know in advance that Satan will be released at the end of the millennium.
– Satan mobilizes a huge army. Even a thousand years have not made humanity totally loyal to God.
– Satan is called in KJV ”the prince of the power of the air”. The modern title could be “Commander of the Satanic air force”.
– The war is short; Satan’s troops surround the camp of the saints, but fire comes down from Heaven and consumes them.
– Satan is thrown into the lake of fire where the Antichrist and the False Prophet have been for a thousand years. They were sent in the lake of fire when Christ arrived and established his kingdom. This is important information; a thousand years in a fiery lake is a long time. However, it is nothing compared to eternity,
The participants of the first resurrection, i.e. the “saints,” reign with Christ. When they were raised from death and raptured up alive, but changed, they met Christ in the clouds. Paul says, speaking of them, that 1 Kor 15:51 Behold, I tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed.
How do they change? The answer to this is staggering: First, they become spirit beings like angels. In the previous verse, it was explained why this should happen: 15:50 Now I say this, brothers that flesh and blood can’t inherit the Kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption. – The resurrected “inherit the kingdom of God”. They are rising into the kingdom of God to work under Christ.
There is another change, at least equally significant. Another vision of the future for us, the sons of God. It’s amazing. Many do not know anything about this, nor can they even imagine: They become like Christ. 1 Joh 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it is not yet revealed what we will be. But we know that, when he is revealed, we will be like him; for we will see him just as he is.
What does it mean to become like Christ? 1 Joh 3:1 … children of God we may be called 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it is not yet revealed what we will be. But we know that, when he is revealed, we will be like him; for we will see him just as he is.
The letter to the Romans described the pious expectation that the creation felt, largely without realizing what was missing: Rom 8:19 For the creation waits with eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 or the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of decay into the liberty of the glory of the children of God.
Jesus calls believers his brothers. Heb 2:11 For both he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one, for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brothers – Paul explains what the believers are; 2 Kor 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new. – Such resurrected saints are there to meet Christ. As members of the kingdom of God, they rule the world under Christ.
What does the Bible tell about Christ himself? According to Hebrews: Jesus, ”who has been made a little lower than the angels,” (2:9), but after being resurrected, Jesus Christ has been raised (1:4) ” ..having become so much better than the angels, as he has inherited a more excellent name than they have. – Christ is now much higher than the angels.
And what is the part of the resurrected saints? We read in 1 John 3:2 above:” we will be like him; for we will see him just as he is.”. – The saints will be like Christ, his brothers and a lot higher than the angels. Jesus is the firstborn among many brothers: Rom 8:29 ”For whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”. – This great change is experienced by all those involved in the First Resurrection.
Christ is described in Revelation 1:14 in this manner: His head and his hair were white as white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire 15 and his feet like to fine brass, as in a furnace having been fired, and his voice as a sound of many waters, – When the Bible says that the saints will be like Christ, does it also mean that the saints become as described above?
The Saints receive eternal life in their resurrection. They will act as rulers and judges together with Christ. They can no longer sin, and they do not have to take part in the final judgment. They are God’s new fellow workers (1 Cor 3:9).
All those who are saved in the last judgment will also become God’s co-workers. God will then have a great number of loyal fellow workers. What for will God use them? I don’t know, but we all know that there are billions of planets in the universe. I wonder if God is planning to continue the work begun on Earth for the whole universe?
- The Saints of First Resurrection
In Jesus’ words, they are like angels but are not actually angels. They are in spirit, and will not marry and have children like regular inhabitants of the Millennial Kingdom. The saints govern the earth and are the kings and priests of it. Secondly, the following quotes may favor the concept of being in spirit in the kingdom of God: Rom 14:17 for the Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. 1 Cor 6:13 Foods for the belly, and the belly for foods, but God will bring to nothing both it and them. But the body is not for sexual immorality, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.
The inhabitants of the Millennial Kingdom are flesh and blood; they eat and drink, have children and die in old age. They are, therefore flesh and blood, unlike their king Jesus Christ and the saints who are in the spiritual body. Those in a spiritual body do not need to be fed! The final kingdom of God will come after the Millennial Kingdom and after the last judgment has been enforced.
The Kingdom of God is thus a government led by Jesus and the Saints of the first resurrection. Now I say this, brothers, that flesh and blood can’t inherit the Kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption. (1 Cor 15:50). – One must be reborn to see the Kingdom of God and to enter it. John 3:3 says: Jesus replied to him: Truly, truly I tell you, unless a person is born from above [Or born again] he cannot see the kingdom of God. Rev 5:9-10 They sang a new song, saying: You are worthy to take the book, and to open its seals: For you were killed, and bought us for God with your blood, out of every tribe, language, people, and nation, 10 And made them kings and priests to our God, And they reign on earth. – On earth or over the earth? Preposition “epi” is generally translated “on” (as on the throne – ἐπὶ θρόνου epi thronou) but some Bibble translations translate this phrase “over earth” and not “upon earth”. On earth means that the administration is located on earth and over earth says the administration can be in heaven.
1 Cor 15:27 For, he put all things in subjection under his feet. But when he says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that he is excepted who subjected all things to him. 28 When all things have been subjected to him, then the Son will also himself be subjected to him who subjected all things to him, that God may be all in all.
The Millennial Kingdom can be characterized as the springboard to the actual kingdom of God that takes place after the Millennial Kingdom when Satan has been destroyed definitively. Those who have been judged worthless in the Last Judgement, have been banished, perhaps forever, from God and those who are given salvation have received the gift of eternal life. At the end, Jesus has surrendered power back to God. The verses in Paul’s letter to the Corianthians reveal that the Millennial Kingdom (or Christ’s kingdom) is a kingdom governed by Christ for a thousand years. After this starts the actual kingdom of God.
Before mankind has reached this far, the mortals must live in the ”first stage” of God’s kingdom. At the kingdom of peace lead by Christ one must try to prove one’s worthiness to the Kingdom of God and for eternal life.
After the first resurrection and Jesus’s second coming when the Kingdom is established, Satan and his troops are bound for a thousand years. The Millennial Kingdom, the kingdom of peace, has begun. The turmoil of wars have destroyed a large number of people, but a small portion is left alive on the earth. Isa 24:1 says: Behold, Yahweh makes the earth empty, and makes it waste, and turns it upside down, and scatters abroad the inhabitants of it. 13 For thus shall it be in the midst of the earth among the peoples, as the shaking of an olive tree, as the gleanings when the vintage is done. 14 These shall lift up their voice, they shall shout; for the majesty of Yahweh they cry aloud from the sea.
For those who walk the broad way, the future is gloomy! “…The inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left” (Isa 24:6) could be a reference to nuclear destruction. This is supported by Zephaniah (1:18) saying that the Lord … “will make a complete end, indeed a terrifying one, of all the inhabitants of the earth”. What other way could such a sudden end come than with the power of nuclear weapons?
- The Second Coming of Jesus And The Establishment of the Kingdom
When Satan tempted Adam to sin in paradise with Eve, God, seeing Satan’s goals, decided to give him time to show how he would succeed in mastering mankind. According to many researchers, the time given was six days each 1000 years. It has been calculated from the Bible, that the time given has already past or is soon passing. To my understanding, the counting of time has been based on the birth list in the Bible beginning from Adam.
The time of Jesus’ coming has a great significance; it pinpoints the end of this current age (Mat 13:39 synteleia aiōn, συντέλεια αἰών); and then the first resurrection and the beginning of God’s kingdom and the beginning of Millennial Kingdom.
Can the correct time for starting counting the time be Adam’s fall in paradise? The problem is that we may not know it. It would be, however, the correct time period to give Satan 6000 years, starting calculation from the time when he got men to fall and transfer under his reign. Based on this kind of calculation it is not possible to determine the right time for the end of Satan’s royalty and the time for the beginning of the kingdom of Christ – the Millennial Kingdom.
Is it possible to determine the time of the second coming of Jesus and the end of Satan’s reign from another point of time? I mean from the death of Jesus? It could be quite logical to think that Jesus would come on the “third day” of his death, which happened in year 31 (or 33). Add two “days” to this – that is 2000 years and we come to 2031. After this, would come the Kingdom governed by Christ, the long rest of mankind aka the seventh day, lasting a thousand years. According to the Bible, the second coming of Jesus happens when the Angel blows the last showphar (trumpet, I Cor 15:49-53)
Many religious denominations have tried to pinpoint the time when the world as we see it ends. The Autumn of 1975 was, according to one interpretation, the end of the sixth millennium. This point of time was presented in many writings. Several people, especially in the United States of America, prepared for the second coming of Jesus by selling their properties in order to act as full-time preachers. Some publications did not put it in words that all knew, but instead used expressions such as: “How appropriate of Jehovah God to start this seventh millennium, rest and liberation, the grand jubilee sabbath.” In his memoir, the member of the governing body of this denomination, explains how he tried to restrain other members’ eagerness but some other members wanted to declare the coming of God’s kingdom without hesitation.
The year 1975 past and 6000 years were fulfilled and nothing happened. That could have not been the right time definition for the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom. I am wondering if the right time for the starting point could be the fall of Adam and Eve when Satan, as far as we know, steps forward for the first time to resist God by lying and seducing. As we do not know, what year this happened, we cannot say when the 6000-year period will end. It is difficult, if not impossible, to find the 6,000-year period that begins with Adam and to determine the exact time when the current world will end and the new world era begins. Instead, time can be counted from the death of Jesus simultaneously observing all those signs that the Bible gives for the times of the end.
One can also ask how do we know that Satan is the king of this world? In Luke chapter 4, Satan, whom the New Testament calls the king (or prince) of this world, says that the world has been given to him. Luk 4:5 The devil, leading him [Jesus] up on a high mountain, showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 The devil said to him: I will give you all this authority, and their glory, for it has been delivered to me; and I give it to whomever I want. 7 If you, therefore, will worship before me, it will all be yours.
1 Jhn 5:19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. – Satan, however, is only temporarily king of this world. God has promised the kingship to Christ. Psa 2:8 Ask of me, and I will give the nations for your inheritance, the uttermost parts of the earth for your possession.
The Bible is full of numbers and their symbolism. Many researchers find the 6000 years believable as the time limit given by God. The following 1000 years era will be the Millennial Kingdom. To me it is also clear that the limits have been set for the reign of Satan: God set the limits on Satan as he was persecuting Job and God will not allow Satan to cause the destruction of the whole world.
The fate of Satan is revealed in the following verse:
Jhn 16:11 about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. Jhn 12:31 Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.
Satan is doomed and the judgment will be enforced when Jesus comes. Satan will be bound for the next thousand years and he cannot deceive mankind during this time.
The time of the death of Jesus is, depending on interpretation, between the years 31-33. If practicing the symbolism of numbers, the “third day” would start in years 2031 – 2033 when the reign of the Prince of this World ceases. Jesus said, that the time is not known by anyone but the Father in heaven Mat 24:36 But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. Based on the Bible, we can gain an understanding of the culmination of the times of the end. We do not, however, know the date or moment. Jesus, himself and His apostle Paul tell about the signs of the last times. In the Bible, Daniel is told to seal up the truth until the end of time. Since we live in the last days, maybe it would be time for them to be revealed. It is also said in Dan 12:4 But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run back and forth, and knowledge shall be increased. In verse 10 we can read: Many shall purify themselves, and make themselves white, and be refined; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand; but those who are wise shall understand.
Many people have these wondered about these and in several ways ”calculated”. When Jesus was alive, he said that no other than Father in Heaven knows the time and that we should be alert at all times.
The coming of Jesus happens, according to the Book of Revelation, when the seventh Angel blows on a showphar.
Rev 11:15 The seventh angel sounded, and great voices in heaven followed, saying: The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ. He will reign forever and ever! 11:18 The nations were angry, and your wrath came, as did the time for the dead to be judged, and to give your bondservants the prophets, their reward, as well as to the saints, and those who fear your name, to the small and the great; and to destroy those who destroy the earth. – The Revelation says that the coming of Christ involves the first resurrection of the dead, also the ‘wages’ will be paid to the prophets and saints of the first resurrection and to those who fear (honor, love) God. Those who destroy the earth will be destroyed.
Jesus and the saints are described to rule with the rod of iron. Subduing former leaders and peoples of the world into Christ’s new order may occasionally require an ‘iron grip’ when ruling in the midst of the hostile nations.
Is the second coming of Jesus and the establishment of the Kingdom on earth connected to each other? This is widely believed. Christ is the ruler of the kingdom and the King of kings. He rules together with the Saints of the first resurrection.
- The Invisible Kingdom of God
It is said of the coming of the Kingdom of God in Luke 17:20:
Being asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, he [Jesus] answered them, “The Kingdom of God doesn’t come with observation”; [or with a visible display] 21 neither will they say, ‘Look, here!’ or, ‘Look, there!’ for behold, the Kingdom of God is within you. ‘Within you’ in Greek: basileia theos eimi sy entos hymōn. ἐντός entos, preposition G1787: within, inside, within you i.e. in the midst of you.
Instead of saying that the Kingdom of God is “inside you” some have translated “in the midst of you”. NLT, HCSB: “among you”. Comparing different translations, I state that roughly half and half have decided between these two. Both options are possible, to my mind, depending of the point of view of the translator: within you or inside you if it is thought that admittance to God’s Kingdom requires rebirth from inside, and among you if it is thought in concrete that Jesus talked to people around him who is representing the Kingdom of God. Jesus said himself about the Kingdom of God that it cannot be said to be located here or there. The Kingdom of God is not a secular kingdom but spiritual.
Mat 24:26 If therefore they tell you, Behold, he is in the wilderness, don’t go out; Behold, he is in the inner chambers, don’t believe it.
There will be a lot of false Christs before His coming. The aforementioned Mathew’s verse refers precisely to these false Christs. Jesus does not come in secret, but in a very visible way. The Kingdom of God, on the other hand, will not come with fanfares.
John 3:3 says: Jesus answered him: Most assuredly, I tell you, unless one is born anew, [The word translated “anew” here and in John 3:7 anothen also means “again” and “from above”] he can’t see the Kingdom of God.
iēsous apokrinomai kai legō autos amēn amēn legō sy ean mē tis gennaō anōthen dynamai ou horaō basileia theos … ὁράω βασιλεία θεός
ὁράω G3708 to see with the eyes, to see with the mind, to perceive, know, to see, i.e. become acquainted with by experience, to experience
It was taught widely among the Jews at that time that since they descended from Abraham, they were automatically assured of heaven. In fact, some rabbis taught that Abraham stood watch at the gate of hell, just to make sure that none of his descendants accidentally wandered in there. Jesus’ reply to Nicodemus shatters the Jewish assumption that their racial identity – their old birth – assured them a place in God’s Kingdom. Jesus makes it plain that a man’s first birth does not assure him of the kingdom – only being born again gives this assurance. (David Guzik)
If a man is not reborn, he cannot, according to the Bible, see the kingdom of God. This leads to the conclusion that the leaders of the kingdom of God, who are in spiritual bodies, are invisible to other inhabitants of the Millennial Kingdom, unless they wish to be seen. “They are like angels”, that is like spirits and for us the angels are usually invisible. I said usually. In the letter to the Hebrews we can read how the angels (in visible form) may have visited us: Heb 13:2 Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for in doing so, some have entertained angels without knowing it.
John continues the description of Jesus:
3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Don’t be astonished that I said to you, ‘All of you must be born from above.’ [Or born again] 8 The wind [The Greek word pneuma means wind, breath, and spirit] blows where it wants to, and you hear its sound, but don’t know where it comes from and where it is going. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
You cannot see the wind. Jesus says that likewise is the case with everyone born of the Spirit! If all members of the Kingdom of God, who have been born from the Spirit, are like wind and invisible, then is God’s Kingdom itself also (its entire government) invisible? The people of the kingdom, those few who have survived the great tribulation and the wrath of the Lord, are flesh and blood humans. Many of the survivors have not even heard of Jesus and they cannot be in the Kingdom of God. They can become such at the last judgment at the end of the Millennium.
How could the administration of the kingdom and the people’s contacts therein be possible if the administration of the kingdom is invisible? Isa tells how the believers’ connection to God works in real-time! Isa 65:24 It shall happen that, before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.
Mat 6:8 says: Therefore don’t be like them, for your Father knows what things you need before you ask him.
The coming of Jesus himself is, according to the Bible, a very visible event to all. It would feel odd if his kingdom would not come in the same manner – visibly. I reflect the Kingdom later in my writing of salvation.
According to the Bible, the resurrected become spirit beings. According to Jesus, they are like angels. These saints will rule the world. The big question is: do they rule on earth or from heaven? How do invisible spirit beings fit to live and govern the earth? Jesus said, “Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said,” The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; that is, its coming cannot be seen. “Nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘there it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst (Luk 17:20,21). People won’t say, ‘Look! Here it is!’ or “There it is!’ For the kingdom of God is among [or within] you.
The same will also apply to the leadership of the kingdom, the saints. What Bible verses would support the leadership of the kingdom be as spirit beings in heaven, but the subjects of the kingdom would be on the earth? Would the saints also be spirits on the earth? Angels can move between heaven and earth, they can also take the body in flesh. Some angels did so without permission and took the earth’s daughters to their wives (Gen 6). Perhaps they could appear in the kingdom of God in two different kinds of forms but with permission.
Some Apocrypha books tell how the angel appeared as if he was in a fleshly human body. The angel was able to go to heaven and return to the earth without people even realizing that he had gone elsewhere. One such an angel’s long visit to the earth is told in the book Tobit. In it, angel Rafael lives on earth and spends time with people as ‘human’. Here a couple of sentences from the book: “I am Rafael, one of the seven angels who stand near the Lord God and who are allowed to come in front of his glory. … Now you recognize as well that I have not actually eaten anything; it just seemed to you like that“.
According to the Bible, the inhabitants of the millennial kingdom will build houses for living and other related activities that spirits do not do. The resurrected saints “cannot die”, the second death does not have any power over them. The subjects of the kingdom, on the other hand, are mortal, even if their life spans are longer than before. Infant mortality is also removed (Isa 65:20>). An interesting question to consider is as follows: When the last judgment is delivered and the true kingdom of God has arrived, are the members of the kingdom in spirit body or fleshly body?
- What Is the Second Coming of Christ Like?
Although, Jesus is the ruler of the Kingdom of God and it is said of the coming of the Kingdom that it will not come in a visible way, the Bible says otherwise of the coming of Christ:
Luke 17:24 For just as lightning flashes and shines from one end of the sky to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. 25 But first he must suffer a great deal and be rejected by this generation. 26 Just as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 People were eating, drinking, marrying, and being given in marriage right up to the day when Noah went into the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed all of them. 28 So it was in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. 29 But on the day when Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed all of them. 30 It will be the same way in the day that the Son of Man is revealed.
Isa 66:15 For, behold, Yahweh will come with fire, and his chariots shall be like the whirlwind; to render his anger with fierceness, and his rebuke with flames of fire. 16 For by fire will Yahweh execute judgment, and by his sword, on all flesh; and the slain of Yahweh shall be many.
The verses above tell of the great devastation that faces mankind during Jesus’ return. During these days of the Lord’s wrath destruction happens and the first resurrection occurs; those who believe in Jesus Christ will witness a transformation in connection of which they are raptured away:
Luke 17:34-35 I tell you, two people will be in the same bed that night. One will be taken, and the other will be left behind. Two women will be grinding grain together. One will be taken, and the other will be left behind.
In the first resurrection, the dead in Christ rise up, and together with those who live on earth and are participating in the resurrection, they all rise up to meet Christ in the clouds. This is called the rapture.
Rev 1:7 Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, including those who pierced him. All the tribes of the earth will mourn over him. Even so, Amen.
Zec 12:1 An oracle. The word of Yahweh concerning Israel. Yahweh, who stretches out the heavens, and lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him says:… 12:10: And I will pour upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and of supplications; and they shall look on me whom they pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for an only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
Most people will realize the coming of Christ but not all. It takes a long time before humanity reaches a similar state of happiness as in the beginning in Paradise. Jesus will renounce the kingdom to God the Father when all is subdued under his power, that is, at the end of the thousand years. Before this has happened, some people resist God’s administration, judging from the fact that the Bible tells the Kingdom Government to use the iron scepter to break the resistance.
Or the verse:
1 Cor 15:25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
Changes in society will surely happen, but to the outside, the empowerment of the new government and the establishment of the Kingdom will not appear in great ceremonials like parades and orchestras. People need to feel the Kingdom in their hearts. It is not to be read in newspapers that now this and that country has been joined to the Kingdom.
If God’s kingdom does not appear in a visible way it could be due to the fact the administration of the kingdom of God is in the heavens. The coming of Christ would, however, be a very visual event to all. We may ask, how is it possible to control mankind if the “little flock” or the “saints” are in heaven invisible to people? The apocryphal Book of Tobit tells of the angel Rafael who was on earth for a long time without anyone noticing anything odd or supernatural about him. It was only later that he revealed he was an angel of God. “I am Rafael, one of the seven angels next to God who are admitted to his presence… Praise the Lord here on earth and give all glory to God. I will rise to him who sent me.”
Jhn 14:1-4 Don’t let your heart be troubled. Believe in God. Believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions. If it weren’t so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will receive you to myself; that where I am, you may be there also. Where I go, you know, and you know the way.
Jesus said that he will come again and take his own to join him. So knew the apostles as we do where Jesus is: in heaven with Father. According to the previous verses, it seems like the location of apostles and the Kingdom administration is in heaven, not on earth. This can be interpreted otherwise as well. Jesus promises to come back, that is for sure. “I will take you to me” may mean for two things: Jesus promises to take them where he has gone that is to heaven, or: Jesus will take them to him in resurrection on earth where he has returned. In any case, it is certain that Jesus and his apostles will be together. – The question of in heaven or on earth must be solved by other parts of the Bible. The question of heaven or earth needs to be solved on the basis of other Biblical passages.
Even the book of Moses describes the fallen angels who take a human form in the flesh without permission and who married human daughters and had children with them… “When the sons of God joined with the daughters of men and they bore children to them”.. (Gen 6:4). Perhaps rulers who act as kings and priests actually are in spirit body but are allowed to appear in the flesh. In fact, they could have access to heaven but they could still rule the earth as if they were in flesh and blood.
Some believe that Jesus has already in 1914 taken power and rules over earth invisibly from heaven. Some believe that the word referring to coming, parousia, means in this case “presence” meaning Christ had not only come back but in fact rules the earth already. It is hard to see signs of the government of Jesus, so ungodly are the times on earth. Satan said in the desert to Jesus that the earth has been given to him to rule. After his resurrection, Jesus was raised above all in heaven and earth. There cannot be two rulers on earth and at this time it is still Satan. For this reason, I do not consider it possible for Christ to be the invisible ruler of the earth. It would feel right to believe that the beginning of the government of the kingdom of God on earth would be a one-off event connected to the second coming of Jesus and not only to his invisible presence, parousia. Again, one must remember what the Bible said about the Kingdom to come; it will not come in a visible way. Ruling the earth is actualized on the day of the Lord’s wrath by the destruction of God’s enemies. In Psa 110:2 Yahweh will send forth the rod of your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of your enemies.
The second coming of Christ also precedes action by Satan. He causes great miracles and many fall into keeping them true, even the chosen ones. On the other hand, Jesus promised that the believers will make grand miracles, even bigger than he did at His times. According to Bible, no one but God the Father knows the exact time but in any case, we are living in the last days before the great tribulation and the day of the Lord. Everyone can study the signs of the time and be ready.
Isaiah Speaks of the Millennial Kingdom
In Isa 66 it is told how after the establishment of the Kingdom, teachers are sent to foreign lands. Those that need to be taught are gentiles without knowledge and faith. When the Kingdom will have, at least in the beginning, both righteous believers and pagans, one must understand that the Kingdom will have people who are still “wordly” and not all of them righteous believers. The righteous ones were givreceived the first resurrection and with it eternal life in order to govern with Christ.
66:19 I will set a sign among them, and I will send such as escape of them to the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the isles afar off, who have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the nations.
Isa 65:19-25 I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people; and there shall be heard in her no more the voice of weeping and the voice of crying. 20 There shall be no more there an infant of days, nor an old man who has not filled his days; for the child shall die one hundred years old, and the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed. 21 They shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. 22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree shall be the days of my people, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. 23 They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for calamity; for they are the seed of the blessed of Yahweh, and their offspring with them. 24 It shall happen that, before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. 25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox; and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, says Yahweh.
Death has not been overcome. The life span of man has been prolonged and a hundred year old is young in death, and no infant mortality exists. Death is removed last, that is, at the end of the Millennial Kingdom when Satan is destroyed. The true kingdom of God will come after Jesus has surrendered power back to the Father at the end of Christ’s Millennial Kingdom. What happens after the Millennial Kingdom has ended and the last judgment has been implemented and Christ has given up power? On the throne of God both God the Father and His Son (whom the Bible calls ‘Lamb’) are seated. The last chapter of the last book of the Bible confirms this: Rev 22:3 There will no longer be any curse. The throne of God and the lamb will be in the city. His servants will worship him.
The Kingdom of God is eternal kingdom which will never perish. The Millennial Kingdom of peace governed by Jesus and the Saints lasts for a thousand years.
- Salvation to the Kingdom of God
To receive the Kingdom of God:
But He [Jesus] said to them, I must preach the good news of the Kingdom of God to the other cities also. For this reason, I have been sent. (Luk 4:43)
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Mat 6:33)
Mar 10:14 But when Jesus saw it, he was moved with indignation, and said to them: Allow the little children to come to me! Don’t forbid them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, whoever doesn’t receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never get into it at all.
Matthew says the same, but with more emphasis:
Mat 18:3-4 .. Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven. Then he said: Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.
A child believes his parents without questioning what he is told. Adults are more hesitant and demand proof. This is, to my understanding, what this means: pure faith to God’s word without having to be present to witness his miracles.
Jhn 5:24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word, and believes Him who sent me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. – John must mean that by believing, man receives a certain promise of eternal life. The Bible tells that the chosen ones are judged while living and will not face the judgment with the rest of the world. The judgment even includes the harsh teaching of how God reprimands his chosen ones.
Heb 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things we hope for, the certainty of things we cannot see. 2 Cor 5:7 For we live by faith, not by sight.
Jas 4:6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
Jesus went around the country preaching the Kingdom of God. He did not emphasize himself, but the future Kingdom of God. Luk 4:43 But he [Jeesus] said to them: I must preach the good news of the Kingdom of God to the other cities also. For this reason, I have been sent.
Mat 6:31 Therefore don’t be anxious, saying, ‘What will we eat?’, ‘What will we drink?’ or, ‘With what will we be clothed? 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first God’s Kingdom and his righteousness; and all these things will be given to you as well.
– What does Mathew mean by “all these things will be added to you”? People often have shortcomings in their daily lives. People worry about their livelihoods. Where will they find the strength to think about how to enter into God’s kingdom if there is no money for food or rent or for the education of children? Mathew, however, aims to assure that God will take care of this life’s daily needs if we have first demonstrate our willingness to obey God’s will.
1 Cor 15:50 Brothers, this is what I mean: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, and what decays cannot inherit what does not decay.
51 Behold, I tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this corruptible will have put on incorruption, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then what is written will happen: Death is swallowed up in victory.
Jhn 3:3 Jesus replied to him: Truly, truly I tell you, unless a person is born from above [or born again] he cannot see the kingdom of God 4 Nicodemus said to him: How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 5 Jesus answered: Truly, truly I tell you, unless a person is born of water and Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. – If you are born again, or born from above, what is born is spirit. In the world to come after resurrection such a person will change into a spirit body.
1 The 4:13 But we don’t want you to be ignorant, brothers, concerning those who have fallen asleep, so that you don’t grieve like the rest, who have no hope. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with God’s trumpet. The dead in Christ will rise first, 17 then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. So we will be with the Lord forever.
Jhn 14:3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will receive you to myself; that where I am, you may be there also. – Jesus ascended into heaven, but said he would return to earth. This being the case, how would it be possible that those resurrected would rise to heaven and Jesus would come to earth?
Two common criminals were crucified together with Jesus. One of them said to Him: Luk 23:42 He said to Jesus: Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom. The thief must have heard Jesus preach of the kingdom of God (or heaven) and understood it to come later and not “today”. This is why he asked Jesus to remember him when the kingdom comes in time. He also was waiting for the kingdom to come on earth and was not appealing to go with Jesus to heaven. “Today” Jesus did not go to any paradise; he died and was put into the grave. “Today” the thief had no possibility to go to paradise.
The widely accepted translation:
Luk 23:43 says: And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with me in Paradise. To many scholars and to my mind as well this is wrong. The correct translation is this: Truly I say to you today, you shall be with me in Paradise. The explanation to this may be that at the times of the original text no punctuation was used. Later on, the punctuation has been added to support the belief of heaven as the final reward to the believers. So the comma was added, but in the wrong place. NENT translated traditionally: 43 “And he said to him, Amen I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in: Paradise”. Once again, it can be asked where did NENT’s translator Ivan Panin found the information that the comma should be placed in front of the word today? To my understanding, the placing the commas cannot affect the numeric calculation of the Greek text, so it would have been more correct to leave the comma out than to cause an incorrect meaning in the translation by inserting the comma. On the other hand, one must understand that at that time, it was extremely difficult to present a translation that differed from the mainstream.
Who Can Get to the Kingdom of God?
Who can enter the kingdom of God? Is it easy or difficult to access? If it is hard, there should not be any pagans, only righteous believers. If there are any others aside from the righteous who are not the resurrected saints, it most likely cannot be the Kingdom of God. Mainly this reflection concerns the Millennium Kingdom, and especially its early stages. The Bible tells how God’s word is spread in faraway lands. Isaiah says:
Isa 66:16 For by fire will Yahweh execute judgment, and by his sword, on all flesh; and the slain of Yahweh shall be many. 18 For I know their works and their thoughts: the time comes, that I will gather all nations and languages; and they shall come, and shall see my glory.
19 I will set a sign among them, and I will send such as escape of them to the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the isles afar off, who have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the nations.
In the day of the Lord’s wrath, many are killed. Some, the survivors, will, however, survive on earth. Are they already in the kingdom? On the other hand, when Christ has come to rule with the saints it is obviously a matter of governing the kingdom – sometimes even with a “rod of iron”. Some of the subjects of the kingdom may well be survivors of the Day of the Lord’s Wrath. Instead of speaking of the concept of the kingdom of God it might be better to talk about the kingdom of Christ or the Millennial Kingdom of Peace. Kingdom does not mean only the heavenly governing, although it is clear, that a kingdom must have an administration. The Millennial Kingdom includes in the beginning people who have not even heard of Christ and his kingdom, but gradually the gospel will be brought into everyone’s attention.
1 Cor 15:50 Now I say this, brothers that flesh and blood can’t inherit the Kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption. — I repeat: flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.
Jhn 3:3 writes: “Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” 5 Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.
Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. The survivors of the Day of Lord’s Wrath will remain in the Millennial Kingdom. There are two types of survivors: those who came to believe in the last moment, but also those who have never even heard of Jesus or God (see Isa 66:19). The number of these people is few compared to the grand population of the world of seven billion at present. Most of mankind has been destroyed.
One must be reborn. Reborn are those who have had part of the first resurrection; 1) those resurrected dead in Christ and 2) those resurrected living and deemed worthy. These two groups are changed in an instant and given spiritual bodies and they will be raptured to meet Jesus in the clouds.
Jesus Christ is the firstborn of the dead like Rev 1:5 says: and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us, and washed us from our sins by his blood;
After the firstborn, there will be other sons of God (or children of God); the saints of the first resurrection, and the so-called great multitude and the converts during the time of the Millennial Kingdom. The Bible says that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. We know that Jesus was both in spirit and in flesh and blood. He could appear suddenly, as he did for example, to the apostles and had them feel the wounds in his hands.
Mar 16:12 After this, he appeared in a different form to two disciples as they were walking into the country. Luk 24: As they said these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, Peace be to you. Jhn 20:26 … After eight days again his disciples were inside, and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, the doors being locked, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace be to you.” 20:27 Then he said to Thomas: Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Take your hand, and put it into my side. Stop doubting, but believe.
When the Bible says that the resurrected are like Jesus, it is obvious, that they can be in both forms in the kingdom, in the form of spirit and in the flesh. Man will become angel-like spirits in resurrection.
What is the meaning of being born from “water and Spirit?” Many think that born from water means baptism while others think that ‘water’ refers to the natural birth of man. Rebirth is, in the word of the NT, a significant event, whereas, natural birth of human from mother’s womb, albeit ‘water’, happens to every human being, both to a sinner and to a believer wanting to become God’s child. However, I do believe, that Jesus meant the word of God. The word of God is the water of life that Christ offers free of charge.
Jhn 4:14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.
1 Pet 3:21 says of the significance and meaning of baptism:
This is a symbol of baptism, which now saves you – not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, – Baptism itself does not mean salvation. Salvation comes from the faith in the word of God, the water of life.
Although a believer is a kind of reborn in spirit, the final rebirth in spirit happens in resurrection or in the last judgment. Those who died in the faith of Christ and those who live at the time of the second coming of Jesus, experience the alteration in a split of a second and thus both groups thus are born in spirit. They are born in the spirit body; the bible says:
What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. (Jhn 3:6.)
The Bible clearly states that there is no self-evident entrance to the Kingdom of God; Mat 7:21 Not everyone who keeps saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will get into the Kingdom of heaven, but only the person who keeps doing the will of my Father in heaven.
Another point is the statement of how hard it is for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. It may be asked with justification, how those who are dead now (the worthless of the first resurrection) may rise from death and be transferred to the kingdom of God without fulfilling the previously stated rule of meeting God’s will? According to the Bible God does not operate in a way that everyone would necessarily understand His words and acted upon His will. This is said in the Bible: 2 Cor 4 Even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled in those who perish; 4 in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not dawn on them. – Numerous people live “according to the course of this world guided by the king of this world” and are headed for damnation.
At the end of times, 2 The 2:11-12 even says that: For this reason, God will send them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie. 12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.
”Those who have not believed the truth” means those, members of the Christian churches, who have heard the gospel but have not believed it. According to a study in Spring 2015, only a small number of participants of the study believed in God of the Bible. According to the biblical prophecy in the last days, people want to listen to the teachers whose lessons “tickle their ears”. People want to hear such a teacher who assures that “everyone gets to heaven”. Jhn 4:24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. – Those in spirit pray God in spirit and truth. However, not all people search for the truth, but rather want to hear teaching that responds to their own wishes.
1 Tim 5:24 says: The sins of some people are obvious, going ahead of them to judgment. The sins of others follow them there. – Earlier, that is, at the second coming of Jesus, many will get judgment. Some get a good judgment and will participate in the first resurrection of the saints of Christ, others are judged to damnation. Later, after the Millennial Kingdom of ruling of Christ, the so-called resurrection of damnation judges those who lived during the Millennial Kingdom. A hundred years are given to each to prove their willingness to serve God. Isa 65:20 KJV “but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed”.
2 Pet 2:9 the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment; – The godless die during the great tribulation or during the day of the Lord and remain in death waiting for the final judgment.
Mat 7:21 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. – Not everyone will enter the Kingdom of God according to Mat 7:21; only those who will do the will of God.
Jesus himself describes how difficult it is to enter the Kingdom in Mat 19:
23-24 Then Jesus said to his disciples: Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to get into the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into the kingdom of God.
How narrow is the gate, and restricted is the way that leads to life! Few are those who find it. (Mat 7:14)
Peter, as well, spoke of the same difficulty when he said: and if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner? (1 Pet 4:18)
Mat 5:20: For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. – Here it is described how entrance into the Kingdom has its preconditions.
Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over these, the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him one thousand years. (Rev 20:6)
What about the millions and billions of people who have died during the many centuries and are lying in their graves? When will they resurrect? Those dead, who died in Christ, were already resurrected (first resurrection) but what about the others, those who had not perhaps even heard of Jesus and of salvation through faith, what will happen to them?
Some have adopted such a doctrine that the dead will gain resurrection to the Millennial Kingdom. According to one version they each have one hundred years to repent and believe the gospel. This seems to be based on Isa 65:20: There shall be no more there an infant of days, nor an old man who has not filled his days; for the child shall die one hundred years old, and the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed. – Here can be concluded surely that a person in the Millennial Kingdom has been given one hundred years to repent and believe the gospel. Here is nothing to say that those people – or other people of the kingdom – would be resurrected. I do not regard this opinion possible on the basis of what the Bible teaches of the second death.
- How Many Deaths Are There?
Apart from the question of how many resurrections will be, one should also find out how many deaths can be possible for a human being. Participants in the first resurrection are happy because they do not face the second death. However, most of the human race face the second death in the last judgment.
If the dead would resurrect to the Millennial Kingdom, where they will eventually still die, because the death is overcome only last that is at the end of the Millennial Kingdom, they would experience the second death. This would be similar to “regular death” like the first death which all have experienced. With the Last Judgement, those judged to damnation (after having experienced two deaths) would have to experience a “third death” of which the Bible does not speak of anywhere. The bible speaks of the judgment to damnation as a second death which is final differentiated from the first death during which man only “sleeps”. When the final, “judgment resurrection” has happened, some would face the “third death” if there would be such a second resurrection during the Millennial Kingdom. No mention of such is found in the Bible. The Bible speaks only of the second death, which, – as many interpret – means the total and final destruction, and thus it is eternal separation from God.
Isaiah describes how human life expectancy is prolonged in paradise; a hundred-year-old who dies is considered young. He does not say yet that men live forever; that will only be achieved after death has been defeated and Satan has been destroyed in a thousand years.
2 Tim 4:1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom: – Another explanation worth considering could be this: Those deemed unworthy in Millennial kingdom will be judged before judgment resurrection. The Bible says that some will be judged before than others: The sins of some people are obvious, going ahead of them to judgment. The sins of others follow them there (1 Tim 5:24). – Firstly, Paul says Christ will judge the living and the dead. It is often thought that judgment happens only for the dead after the judgment resurrection. The people of the Millennial kingdom could thus have the judgment after having proved worthless before God. The important thing to remember is that Jesus executes judgment both on his arrival and during his reign in his kingdom.
The Bible says:
Jde 1:14-15 … Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied about these people when he said, “Look! The Lord has come with countless thousands of his holy ones. He will execute judgment on all people and convict everyone of all the ungodly things that they have done in such an ungodly way, including all the harsh things that these ungodly sinners have said about him”.
Jesus comes with thousands of saints to judge the quick and the dead, but the Bible says nothing about the judgment happening separately from the so-called last judgment. The saints, according to this, come with Christ! Also notice, that the saints are a large number, “many thousands”. On the other hand, it is said in the Bible that the Kingdom’s government is given to a “little flock”. Some researchers have interpreted this to consist of only 144 000 righteous men.
One religious organization is of the opinion that mainly all of the dead resurrect in a certain order to an earthly paradise where they may prove worthy of eternal life. It would feel fair and just that all were given the opportunity to learn to know God and prove to be worthy. Previously Mat 7:21 is stricter in his definition, using the words of Jesus about who will enter the Kingdom of God: ”he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven will enter.” Does Mathew mean entering through resurrection? What about those who survive the first resurrection without being part of it? What proves that there would be a second resurrection in which everyone could participate?
Rom 2:7 eternal life to those who strive for glory, honor, and immortality by patiently doing good; 8 but wrath and fury for those who in their selfish pride refuse to believe the truth and practice wickedness instead. 9 There will be suffering and anguish for every human being who practices doing evil, for Jews first and for Greeks as well. 10 But there will be glory, honor, and peace for everyone who practices doing good, for Jews first and for Greeks as well. 11 For there is no partiality with God.
12 For all who have sinned apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law.
13 For it is not merely those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight. No, it is those who do the law, who will be justified.
14 For whenever Gentiles, who do not possess the law, do instinctively what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law.
15 They show that what the law requires is written in their hearts, a fact to which their own consciences testify, and their thoughts will either accuse or excuse them
16 on that day when God, through Jesus Christ, will judge people’s secrets according to my gospel.
By Jesus’ own words in resurrection, one does not marry. When in the Millennial kingdom there are, according to Isaiah, small children (presumably born in the kingdom) whose parents are in flesh and blood. The parents are not resurrected nor the children of them.
Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom. Jesus also said that one cannot enter the kingdom of God without rebirth (through resurrection). When a man repents and believes and starts to change his life to God’s will, the Holy Spirit comes to him and it can be said “he is reborn”. The actual rebirth happens in resurrection when a man is reborn in spirit.
- The Two Resurrections
There is going to be two resurrections. According to the Bible, both in the beginning and at the end of the Millennial kingdom happens a resurrection. The righteous dead will resurrect in its beginning and they receive their reward (eternal life). The wicked sinners are sent into damnation at the end of the one thousand year era. During the Millennial kingdom, those who have done God’s will rise for judgment that brings them life.
Act 24:15 having hope toward God, which these also themselves look for, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.
Jhn 5:28 Don’t be amazed at this, because the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and will come out—those who have done what is good to the resurrection of life, and those who have practiced what is evil to the resurrection of condemnation. – There will be two resurrections. The Book of Revelation calls the first resurrection the resurrection of life:
Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. (Rev 20:6).
After the first resurrection, the kingdom ruled by Christ and His holy ones is established and its Millennial era begins. Those who have not received resurrection in this first round will rise again in the second resurrection of which the book of revelation says: 20:5 The rest of the dead didn’t live until the thousand years were finished…
1 Cor 6:2-3 You know that the saints will rule the world, don’t you? And if the world is going to be ruled by you, can’t you handle insignificant cases?
Jesus said to them: Truly I tell you, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne in the renewed creation, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, governing the twelve tribes of Israel. (Mat 19:28). – What and where are these twelve tribes of Israel? At the moment their remnants are scattered around the world. This involves the questions of what is Israel and who is a Jew. In addition to natural Israel, there is a so-called God’s Israel or spiritual Israel. According to Paul, a person is not a Jew because of his appearance, nor is circumcision something external and physical. No, a person is a Jew inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by a written law. That person’s praise will come from God, (Rom 2:28-29).
The saints of the resurrection will rule the kingdom with Christ. (King) David also has a significant role in governing the kingdom. Some have interpreted the Bible so that the resurrected will go to Christ in heaven. Jesus himself gave the answer to this question:
Jhn 14:1-3 Don’t let your heart be troubled. Believe in God. Believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions. If it weren’t so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will receive you to myself; that where I am, you may be there also.
Jesus says he will go to heaven to prepare a place for his disciples. Does He prepare a place in heaven? This alternative comes easily to mind because he said, “In my Father’s house are many dwelling places”. What if Jesus meant something else with preparing a place? For instance, the governing of the whole kingdom of God. Could it be that Jesus would come back, as promised, but the resurrected disciples and other righteous would go to heaven? No, Christ and the holy ones will rule with the rod of iron together on earth. When the holy ones are in spirit body, it is possible, to think that they, like angels, have access to heaven. Some interpret the epi-preposition in the Greek text as they rule over (not on) the earth from heaven. This way Jesus and the apostles were surely together, but then Jesus’ promise of coming back is unfilled.