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THE MILLENNIAL OR MESSIANIC KINGDOM

PART 4: THE KINGDOM ENVIRONMENT

By Norman Manzon

 Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: The Inhabitants of the Kingdom
Part 3: The Two Foundational Realities
Part 4: The Kingdom Environment
Part 5: Israel in the Promised Land
Part 6: Worship in the Kingdom
Part 7: Significance of the Kingdom


"The Kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord
and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever."

~ Revelation 11:15 ~

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION
AMC STATEMENT: KINGDOM EXCERPTS
XI. SPIRITUAL CONDITIONS
A. THE PRESENCE OF JESUS AND THE SPIRIT
B. THE CONFINEMENT OF SATAN AND HIS DEMONS

C. THE NON-DIVINE PERSONS IN THE KINGDOM
1. The Groups in General
2. The Jews
3. The Gentiles
D. THE ABSENCE OF INSTITUTIONALIZED FALSE RELIGIONS AND PHILOSOPHIES
E. THE ABSENCE OF IDOLATRY AND OCCULT PRACTICES
XII. KINGDOM GOVERNMENT

A. A MESSIANIC THEOCRACY
B. GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORITIES AND POSITIONS
1. Participants in the First Resurrection: Priests of God and of Christ
2. Jesus the Messiah: King of the World
3. Jesus the Messiah: King of Israel
4. David: King of Israel
5. The Twelve Apostles: Over the Twelve Tribes of Israel
6. Princes, Judges and Counselors: In Israel

7. Zerubbabel: Like a Signet Ring
8. Israel: Over the Gentile Nations
9. The Church and the Tribulation Martyrs: Over the Gentiles
10. Kings: Over the Gentile Nations
XIII. CIVIL LAW IN THE KINGDOM
XIV. LIVING CONDITIONS IN THE KINGDOM
XV. IMPERFECTIONS IN THE KINGDOM
FOOTNOTES

RECOMMENDED READING

INTRODUCTION

The Messianic Kingdom is part of an extended series of studies in support of the We Believe statement of The Association of Messianic Congregations. Much groundwork for this present study has been laid in the three prior studies of the series, links to which are located below the title above. It might be good for the reader to review them so that the present study might be more fully understood in its historical and other contexts. For an even firmer foundation, the following studies by the author might likewise be reviewed: The Destinies of the Dead, The Rapture, The Great Tribulation and The Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Much of what has been examined in these studies will be touched on here, but not treated as fully as before.

It is worth stating again that it is extremely important to realize that the prophesied Kingdom is a literal, earthly Kingdom in which Jesus will reign bodily as king over Israel and the world. A polemic in support of this is presented in section IV of The Messianic Kingdom - Part 1: Introduction.

Also as previously mentioned, a compilation of the Bible's passages concerning the Kingdom would constitute a book. It must therefore be recognized that what is herein presented is, of necessity, a much abbreviated outline and summary.

Before we begin, credit must be given where credit is due. The works of a platoon of scholars have supported my research for this and other end time studies, but I must cite the works of Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum in particular, especially The Footsteps of the Messiah: A Study of the Sequence of Prophetic Events. Footsteps is an 800-page easy read considered by many to be the clearest and most convincing exposition of end time prophesies available. It has served as an invaluable resource in my personal studies over the years and in my composition of this and other end time studies, and I cannot close this paragraph without thanking Dr. Fruchtenbaum for the tens of thousands of hours that he has dedicated to study and production of the body of works that he has which, on a broader scope, has enabled me to get a stronger grasp of the broader body of biblical truth. Having said all of that, I hasten to add that I have not played the part of the talking parrot, but have regularly and laboriously followed the path of the "noble-minded" Bereans of Acts 17:11, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so, and have composed my studies accordingly.

As in previous Kingdom studies, we will begin with a restatement of those declarations in the AMC's We Believe statement that have relevance to the Kingdom.

AMC STATEMENT: KINGDOM EXCERPTS [1]

The Tri-Unity

Part 2: God the Son
We believe that God the Son became flesh in the person of Yeshua of Nazareth, the promised Messiah of Israel, who was conceived of the Spirit of God and born of the Jewish virgin, Miriam (Mary). We believe in His full deity and full humanity, His sinless life, and His miracles. We believe that Messiah Yeshua arose from the dead bodily, ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, making intercession for believers. He will come again in glory establishing His literal Millennial kingdom on earth. (Isaiah 9:6,7; Jeremiah 23:5,6; Micah 5:2; Luke 1:26-79)

Israel

We believe Israel is God's special people, distinct from the body of Messiah, chosen by Him to be a holy nation and a kingdom of priests. The election of Israel is irrevocable. . . . We believe the Abrahamic Covenant is an irrevocable, unconditional covenant God made with Jewish people. This covenant provides title to the land of Israel for the Jewish people and promises a descendant (the Messiah) who would come to redeem Israel and bless the entire world. The spiritual blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant overflow to all the nations. God will ultimately fulfill every aspect of the covenant in the Messianic Kingdom, both physical and spiritual. . . . (Genesis 12:1-3, 15:1-21; Romans 11:1-29)

Last Things

We believe in the personal, bodily, visible, and pre-millennial return of the Lord Yeshua. At that time He will lift the corruption which now rests upon the whole of creation, totally restore Israel to her own land, give her the realization of God's covenanted promises and bring the whole world to the knowledge of God. We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men. . . . (Daniel 9:24-27; Matthew 24:30; Acts 1:11; Romans 8:19-23; 11:25-27; Titus 2:13)

XI. SPIRITUAL CONDITIONS

What will be the spiritual condition of our planet during the Millennium? What will be the determining factors?

A. THE PRESENCE OF JESUS AND THE SPIRIT

Above all other factors, the overall spiritual condition of the Kingdom will be determined by the bodily reign of Jesus over the world and by the superabundant presence of the Spirit. The reality of these factors was addressed in Part 3: The Two Foundational Realities.

B. THE CONFINEMENT OF SATAN AND HIS DEMONS

In stark contrast to the overwhelming presence and spiritual influence of the Son of God and the Spirit of God is the confinement of Satan and his demons, rendering their destructive, tormenting and deceptive influences null and void. Satan himself will be bound in the Abyss (Revelation 20:2-3), and his demons will be confined to two locations on earth, addressed below.

To sum up thus far, the powerful influence of Satan will be eliminated while the far more powerful influences of the God-Man Jesus and the Spirit will be released.

C. THE NON-DIVINE PERSONS IN THE KINGDOM

1. The Groups in General
As was shown in The Great Tribulation and The Inhabitants of the Kingdom, only the saved will enter the Kingdom. This group will include the saved of every age since Adam. Many will be in glorified, immortal, heavenly bodies, and many will be in mortal bodies.

Those in glorified bodies will be in a state of confirmed creaturely holiness: The sin nature will have been purged from their spirits, they will think only holy thoughts, perform only holy acts, and be absolutely incapable of sinning. Those in mortal bodies, though saved, will retain their sin natures, will be able to sin, and will parent mortal children who themselves will have sin natures and be able to sin (Isaiah 11:8, 65:20; Zechariah 14:17-19; Revelation 20:7-9), which explains why it will be necessary for the Lord to rule with a rod of iron (Revelation 12:5 and 19:15, based on Psalm 2:9). [2]

On the basis of such passages as 2 Peter 3:9 (The Lord is . . . not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance), and the fact that He will have applied that principle to every mortal since Adam, we can be sure that all unsaved mortals in the Kingdom will likewise be given the opportunity to either receive the Lord and be saved, or to reject Him and be eternally condemned.

2. The Jews
Without exception, every Jew born in the Kingdom will receive the Lord. This is made clear in a number of places, including this statement of the New Covenant in Jeremiah:

33. "But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the LORD, "I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34. "They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the LORD.

~ Jeremiah 31:33-34 ~

"They will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the LORD.

Ezekiel also declares the salvation of Israel, and adds that they will walk in holiness:

24. For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. 25. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.

~ Ezekiel 36:24-27 ~

All Jews in the Kingdom will be saved from the least of them to the greatest of them, and every one of them will walk in holiness.

3. The Gentiles
Many Gentiles born in the Kingdom will reject the Lord (Isaiah 11:4, 65:20; Zechariah 14:19; Revelation 20:7-9), and many will receive Him. The latter truth may be seen in these passages:

And many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His ways and that we may walk in His paths."

~ Isaiah 2:3 ~

Then in that day the nations will resort to the root of Jesse [Jesus], Who will stand as a signal for the peoples.

~ Isaiah 11:10 ~

24. In that day Israel will be the third party with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, 25. whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, "Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance." [3]

~ Isaiah 19:24-25 ~

D. THE ABSENCE OF INSTITUTIONALIZED
FALSE RELIGIONS AND PHILOSOPHIES

Although unbelief and sin will reside in the hearts of many, no false religion or philosophy will be allowed to become institutionalized. The Lord destroyed the false church and the worship of Antichrist during the Great Tribulation (Revelation 17:16, 19:20-21), and we can be sure that He will never allow a glimmer of such to arise again, For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:9).

E. THE ABSENCE OF IDOLATRY AND OCCULT PRACTICES

Not only will the institutionalization of false religions and philosophies be disallowed, but idolatry and occultism will be disallowed, as well.

10. "It will be in that day," declares the LORD . . . . 12. "I will cut off sorceries from your hand, and you will have fortune-tellers no more. 13. I will cut off your carved images and your sacred pillars from among you, so that you will no longer bow down to the work of your hands. 14. I will root out your Asherim [4] from among you."

~ Micah 5:10-14 ~

XII: KINGDOM GOVERNMENT

A. A MESSIANIC THEOCRACY

The government in the Kingdom will not be a democracy. It will be a monarchy, and an absolute one, at that. (This says nothing about what may or may not be the ideal form of government in any of today's political entities.) The God-Man will be its Head, making it a theocracy, a government in which God is recognized as the supreme civil ruler. (God, of course, has always been absolute Ruler over everything. He had absolute authority over Israel in the days of the kings, but He was not recognized as the supreme civil ruler: the kings were.)

B. GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORITIES AND POSITIONS

There will be a chain of governmental command over the whole earth.

1. Participants in the First Resurrection: Priests of God and of Christ

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.

~ Revelation 20:6 ~

All saints of all previous ages who had heretofore been resurrected will reign with Christ in some capacity for the duration of the Millennium. This group is comprised of all Old and New Testament saints, both Jewish and Gentile, the two Tribulation witnesses and all martyred Tribulation saints. Surely, Enoch and Elijah, who had never seen death but had been drawn up directly into Heaven, will reign, as well. Most of the following authorities, including Jesus, are part of the first resurrection group.

2. Jesus the Messiah: King of the World
Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus the Messiah, Jesus Christ, will reign as King over the whole earth. Numerous passages declare this. Perhaps the most succinct are Zechariah 14:9 and Revelation 11:15.

Zechariah 14:9: And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one.

Revelation 11:15: The Kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.

In Revelation 19:16, He is entitled King of kings, which is a Hebrew way of saying "the greatest of all kings." [5] (John, the author, was a Jew). The passage also reveals Him as King of kings in another sense, as the divine King taking dominion over all of earth's mortal kings.

Other passages are Psalm 2:6-8, 72:1-19; Isaiah 9:6-7, 11:1-10, 16:15; Jeremiah 33:14-17; Revelation 12:7, 19:15.

3. Jesus the Messiah: King of Israel
Not only will Jesus be King over the whole earth, He will also assume specific kingship over the nation of Israel.

31. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33. and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His Kingdom will have no end.

~ Luke 1:31-33 ~

5. "Behold, the days are coming," declares the LORD, "When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land. 6. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely; and this is His name by which He will be called, 'The LORD our righteousness.'"

~ Jeremiah 23:5-6 ~

4. David: King of Israel
In Jewish celebrations, accompanied by the joyous traditional dance, the hora, one might hear the joyous and happy round

 Dahveed, melech Yisrael, chai, chai, vekayam! 

which means, "David, King of Israel, lives, lives, and continues to live!"

According to Wikipedia, the song's origin is rabbinic and expresses the hope of the coming Messiah, born of David's line. [6] Nevertheless, it is true that literal David will reign over Israel along with Messiah, Son of David. Surely it will be a joyous occasion when saved Israel in the Millennium will see their resurrected King David reigning over Israel from his glorious throne. He will obviously reign as king under King Messiah.

Jeremiah 30:9: But they shall serve the LORD their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.

23. Then I will set over them one shepherd, My servant David, and he will feed them; he will feed them himself and be their shepherd. 24. And I, the LORD, will be their God, and My servant David will be prince among them; I the LORD have spoken.

~ Ezekiel 34:23-24 ~

If there is any doubt as to whether David may be taken as a symbol of Messiah the Son of David (Matthew 1:1, 21:9, et al), identifying the Speaker in the verse clears it up. In verses 11-22, the Speaker declares that He will search for His sheep; seek them out; care for His sheep; feed His sheep; lead them to rest; bring back the scattered; bind and strengthen the sick. In John 10:7-18, Jesus identified Himself as the good Shepherd Who lays down His life for the sheep, and the Gospels portray how He carried out all that the good shepherd was prophesied to do in Ezekiel 34. Then, in verse 24, the Speaker, Jesus, the one we have identified as King over Israel, declares that he will set a second person, My servant David, to be prince among them: Two separate people.

4. For the sons of Israel will remain for many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar and without ephod or household idols. 5. Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the LORD and to His goodness in the last days.

~ Hosea 3:4-5 ~

Again to distinguish between the LORD their God and David their king: Two chapters later, in 5:15, Hosea identifies the LORD whom they will seek as the One who has left earth and will return: Jesus.

24. My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd; and they will walk in My ordinances and keep My statutes and observe them. 25. They will live on the land that I gave to Jacob My servant, in which your fathers lived; and they will live on it, they, and their sons and their sons' sons, forever; and David My servant will be their prince forever.

~ Ezekiel 37:24-25 ~

In the passages cited, David is referred to variously as king and prince. He will be king over Israel, but in relation to Jesus, Israel's Arch-King, he will be a prince.

5. The Twelve Apostles: Over the Twelve Tribes of Israel
And Jesus said to them, "Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

~ Matthew 19:28 ~

28. You are those who have stood by Me in My trials; 29. and just as My Father has granted Me a Kingdom, I grant you 30. that you may eat and drink at My table in My Kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

~ Luke 22:28-30 ~

The regeneration in the Matthew passage refers to that period during which earth will have been renewed, namely, the Millennium. Though today it is impossible to know with absolute certainty which tribe any Jew belongs to, it will be made clear in the Kingdom; and a territory will be set aside for each tribe over which one of the apostles will rule under David, king over all Israel.

Twelve apostles? Judas, the son of perdition, was never saved - so who will be the twelfth apostle: Matthias (Acts 1:26)? Paul? Someone else? We will find out for certain in the Kingdom.

6. Princes, Judges and Counselors: In Israel
Other designations of some in authority in Israel are princes (Isaiah 32:1; Ezekiel 45:8), judges and counselors (Isaiah 1:26).

The princes in Ezekiel 45:8 appear to be the twelve apostles, each of whom will rule over a tribe: My princes shall no longer oppress My people, but they shall give the rest of the land to the house of Israel according to their tribes. As a whole, though, the three designations will likely include others, as well.

7. Zerubbabel: Like a Signet Ring
Zerubbabel, post-exilic governor of Judah, will be placed in an unnamed position of authority.

"On that day," declares the LORD of hosts, "I will take you, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, My servant," declares the LORD, "and I will make you like a signet ring, for I have chosen you," declares the LORD of hosts.

~ Haggai 2:23 ~

A signet ring was worn by kings and others in high authority to impress their seal in wax. The Lord was pleased with Zerubbabel and promised him a position of high authority on that day, meaning, in the Kingdom. What position he will hold and over whom he will hold it is not stated.

8. Israel: Over the Gentile Nations
Israel as a nation will rule over the Gentiles. Two passages in Isaiah state this plainly:

1. When the LORD will have compassion on Jacob and again choose Israel, and settle them in their own land, then strangers will join them and attach themselves to the house of Jacob. 2. The peoples will take them along and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them as an inheritance in the land of the LORD as male servants and female servants; and they will take their captors captive and will rule over their oppressors.

~ Isaiah 14:1-2 ~

Israel will rule over her former oppressors and will also take individuals from among them as male servants and female servants . . . as an inheritance in the land of the LORD, namely, Israel.


60:10. Foreigners will build up your walls, and their kings will minister to you; for in My wrath I struck you, and in My favor I have had compassion on you. 11. Your gates will be open continually; They will not be closed day or night, so that men may bring to you the wealth of the nations, with their kings led in procession. 12. For the nation and the kingdom which will not serve you will perish, and the nations will be utterly ruined. 13. The glory of Lebanon will come to you, the juniper, the box tree and the cypress together, to beautify the place of My sanctuary; and I shall make the place of My feet glorious. 14. The sons of those who afflicted you will come bowing to you, and all those who despised you will bow themselves at the soles of your feet; and they will call you the city of the LORD, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel. 15. Whereas you have been forsaken and hated with no one passing through, I will make you an everlasting pride, a joy from generation to generation. 16. You will also suck the milk of nations and suck the breast of kings; Then you will know that I, the LORD, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. . . . 61:5. Strangers will stand and pasture your flocks, and foreigners will be your farmers and your vinedressers.

~ Isaiah 60:10 - 61:5 ~

In verse 11, Gentile kings will be led in procession to bring tribute to Israel. Note, in particular, verses 12 and 16: For the nation and the Kingdom which will not serve you will perish, and the nations will be utterly ruined. . . . You will also suck the milk of nations and suck the breast of kings.

Though the following passage does not apply directly because it is contingent upon obedience to the Mosaic Law, which was rendered inoperative at the cross, [7] yet it sums up very nicely what the Lord will bring about upon Israel's future obedience to the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 11:17-20, 36:24-28; Zechariah 13:1; Romans 11:25-27, et al).

The LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you only will be above, and you will not be underneath, if you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I charge you today, to observe them carefully.

~ Deuteronomy 28:13 ~

9. The Church and the Tribulation Martyrs: Over the Gentiles

4. Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. 6. 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.

~ Revelation 20:4-6 ~

Two groups are mentioned: those to whom judgment was given and those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus. As to the identity of the first group, consider what Paul said to the Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians 6:2-3: 2. Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? . . . . 3. Do you not know that we will judge angels? Those to whom judgment was given refers to the church. As to when the church will judge angels will be taken up in a future study, but Revelation 20:6 shows that the saints will judge the world during the Millennium. This is stated again in 2 Timothy 2:12: If we endure, we will also reign with Him. As to the identity of the second group, those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus refers to the Tribulation martyrs. As concerns both groups, they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.

A great many from both groups, if not all, will rule over the Gentile nations, as will be made clear immediately.

10. Kings: Over the Gentile Nations
There will be kings over the Gentile nations. Some will be saved (Isaiah 2:3; 19:24-25), some will be disobedient to the Lord's commands, some are called His enemies; and, as the Millennium draws to a close, all the rulers of the nations at that time will lead their armies in an attack on the camp of the saints and the beloved city in which the Lord will dwell. (Psalm 72:8-10; Isaiah 60:10-11, 16; Zechariah 14:17-19; Revelation 20:8).

In the context of the Millennium as a whole, a great many of these kings, if not all, will be Gentiles. We know this because there will be rebels among them, and every Jew in the Kingdom will be serving the Lord in holiness (Ezekiel 36:27). Another conclusion that can be drawn is that Israel, the church and the Tribulation saints, all being true servants of the Lord, will be placed in authority over the kings of the Gentile nations.

Thus far we have seen that Israel, the church and the Tribulation martyrs will rule over the Gentiles. How these groups will interrelate in their mutual rulership remains to be seen.

XIII. CIVIL LAW IN THE KINGDOM

There will be civil laws and judgments that must be obeyed. There will also be laws relating to Millennial Temple worship, which will likewise be taken up in a future study; but for now, we'll establish the fact that there will be civil laws.

2. Now it will come about that in the last days the mountain of the house of the LORD will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills; and all the nations will stream to it. 3. And many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His ways and that we may walk in His paths." For the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

~ Isaiah 22:2-3 ~

Micah 4:1-2 reads exactly the same, except where Isaiah says, For the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem, Micah says, For from Zion will go forth the law, even the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 3. And He will judge between many peoples and render decisions for mighty, distant nations.

The law that will go forth from Zion will include both Temple law and civil law. The declaration, He will judge between many peoples and render decisions for mighty, distant nations shows that many of the civil judgments rendered by Jesus will be on an international scale. All of His judgments will carry the force of law; and when necessary and called for, He will enforce them with a rod of iron (Psalm 2:9; Revelation 2:27, 12:5, 19:15). He will likewise render judgments concerning the poor: But with righteousness He will judge the poor, and decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; and He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked (Isaiah 11:4).

Inasmuch as there will be civil laws and judgments proceeding from Jesus, there must certainly be the same proceeding from David, the apostles, and those serving under them.

XIV. LIVING CONDITIONS IN THE KINGDOM

Earth's present condition bears the scars and devastations of sin on every hand: in extremes in weather, earthquakes, lava flows and tsunamis, in crop damage due to locusts and other infestations, in the injuriousness of mankind on personal and international levels, in the destruction and poisoning of the environment by careless humanity, and in the countless illnesses, diseases and injuries that afflict the human race and all living things. However, in the renewed earth under the personal stewardship of King Jesus, none of these conditions will prevail nor even be remembered: For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things will not be remembered or come to mind (Isaiah 65:17).

The following passages are a few among the many that reveal living conditions in the Kingdom:

1. Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit. 2. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. 3. And He will delight in the fear of the LORD, and He will not judge by what His eyes see, nor make a decision by what His ears hear; 4. But with righteousness He will judge the poor, and decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; and He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked. 5. Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins, and faithfulness the belt about His waist. 6. And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little boy will lead them. 7. Also the cow and the bear will graze, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. 8. The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child will put his hand on the viper's den. 9. They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.

~ Isaiah 11:1-9 ~

1. The wilderness and the desert will be glad, and the Arabah will rejoice and blossom; like the crocus. 2. It will blossom profusely and rejoice with rejoicing and shout of joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. . . . 5. Then the eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. 6. Then the lame will leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute will shout for joy. For waters will break forth in the wilderness and streams in the Arabah. 7. And the glowing sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water: in the habitation of jackals, where they lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. 8. A highway will be there, a roadway, and it will be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean will not travel on it, but it will be for him who walks that way, and fools will not wander on it. 9. No lion will be there, nor will any vicious beast go up on it; these will not be found there. But the redeemed will walk there, 10. And the ransomed of the LORD will return and come with joyful shouting to Zion, with everlasting joy upon their heads. They will find gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

~ Isaiah 35:1-2, 5-10 ~

No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his days; for the youth will die at the age of one hundred and the one who does not reach the age of one hundred will be thought accursed.

~ Isaiah 65:20 ~

"The wolf and the lamb will graze together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox; and dust will be the serpent's food. They will do no evil or harm in all My holy mountain," says the LORD.

~ Isaiah 65:25 ~

2. Many nations will come and say, "Come and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD and to the house of the God of Jacob, that He may teach us about His ways and that we may walk in His paths." For from Zion will go forth the law, even the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 3. And He will judge between many peoples and render decisions for mighty, distant nations. Then they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they train for war. 4. Each of them will sit under his vine and under his fig tree, with no one to make them afraid, for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken.

~ Micah 4:2-4 ~

Many Kingdom passages describing a bountiful earth and copacetic social conditions are actually specific to Israel. For example, the Arabah in Isaiah 35:1,6, often translated desert, is the name of a desert area south of the Dead Sea; Carmel and Sharon in verse 2 are places in Israel; the mountain of the house of the LORD in Isaiah 2:2 is Mt. Zion in Jerusalem, a literal mountain on which the Millennial temple will be built. However, although such blessings will exist in Israel, there are plenty of indications that similar conditions will exist throughout the earth, not counting areas of localized judgments. To begin with, the entire earth will have been renovated (Isaiah 65:17; 2 Peter 3:13); similarly, the blessings of peace, security and prosperity described in the Micah passage are in the context of many nations (verse 2), and the reason given in the Isaiah 11 passage for the docility of animals is in the context of the earth (verse 9).

Areas that were formerly deserts will be bountiful botanical gardens (Isaiah 35:1). Yahveh Tsid-KE-nu, Jehovah Our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6), will teach the nations to walk in His paths (Micah 2:2). As such, they will normally resolve their differences peacefully between themselves; but when necessary, the Lord will personally resolve their disputes. If any choose to rebel against His judgment, with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked (Isaiah 11:4) when necessary so that armed conflict will be a thing of the past.

He will likewise bring justice to the poor and afflicted. No longer will some be basking in a surfeit of luxury while others suffer in poverty and want. The Lord will see to it that each person will enjoy a comfortable, bountiful, beautiful, secure place in which to dwell: Each of them will sit under his vine and under his fig tree, with no one to make them afraid (Micah 4:4). [8]

He will also heal all physical maladies: 5. Then the eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. 6. Then the lame will leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute will shout for joy. (Isaiah 35:5-6)

Isaiah 35:5-6 is specific to Jews that will recently have been ransomed at the end of the Tribulation and be returning to Israel (verse 8), yet it is hard to imagine that such healing and health will not be the condition of all the ransomed in the Kingdom. Due to the abundance of nutritious food, a healthy environment and greatly improved human relationships, the overall health of the human race will greatly exceed what it is today as evidenced by the fact that one who does not reach the age of one hundred will be thought accursed (Isaiah 65:20).

But how is it that there will be the poor and physically afflicted in the Kingdom to begin with?

Those who enter in glorified bodies will have been lifted to the pinnacle and epitome of human health and vitality and will be living on a plane far above such physical needs as food and sleep. But those who "walk into" the Kingdom from the Great Tribulation will be in their natural, mortal bodies and will have endured the great devastations of that terrible time, as well as persecutions, being either Jewish, or being Gentiles who withstood the dictates of Antichrist and offered succor to the persecuted Jews (Matthew 25:31-45). Surely, many from both groups will be in poverty and poor health when they enter, and surely, it seems, the passages of healing and prosperity will apply to them all, not just the Jews. Furthermore, they will bear descendants who will likewise be in their natural bodies; but the passages that speak of the bountifulness of the earth and of economic well being seem to declare that, as with war, hunger and want will be a thing of the past as a general rule. (There will be national and familial judgments: Droughts, plagues and fire from Heaven are mentioned [Isaiah 60:12; Zechariah 14:16-19; Revelation 20:9].)

Isaiah 65:20 tells us that there will also be death in the Kingdom, at least for unbelievers, who will die at the latest at the age of a hundred. Isaiah 11:4 also shows that there will be death by capital punishment. Isaiah 65:20 also declares that there will be no infant mortality and implies that believers will live far beyond a hundred, possibly not dying at all.

XV. IMPERFECTIONS IN THE KINGDOM

The Kingdom will be a paradise compared to our present state, but it will not be a pre-Fall edenic paradise. Certain of the aspects of the Adamic curse will be eliminated (such as the violence of animals) and others mitigated (such as the devastations of the planet's geography), but it will not be totally devoid of the curse or of judgment for sin.

  • The Adamic curse will still be upon the serpent: and dust will be the serpent's food (Isaiah 65:25b).

  • Babylon (southern Iraq between the Tigris and Euphrates) and Edom (original territory: southern Jordan) will be utterly desolate for the duration of the Millennium, filled with demons and unfit for human habitation. (Babylon: Isaiah 13:19-22; Jeremiah 50:39-40; 51:41-43; Revelation 18:1-3, etc. Edom: Isaiah 34:8-15; Jeremiah 49:9-22; Ezekiel 35:10-15; Joel 3:19; Obadiah 1:5-6,10,18, etc.). As to the nature of the creatures that are said to dwell in Babylon and Edom during the Millennium, see footnote 9.

    Babylon was the birthplace of institutionalized astrology and idolatry at the Tower of Babel; the Kingdom of Babylon destroyed the Holy Temple, the house of the God of Israel; and the rebuilt city of Babylon will be Antichrist's capitol in the Great Tribulation. Pointedly, each of these epochal instances have to do with the overthrow of God and the establishment of Satan as God.

    As for Edom, at least two reasons are specified for their judgment: their everlasting enmity toward Israel, and their desire to possess the Land that Israel had lost to Assyria and Babylon in terrible, devastating judgments (Ezekiel 35:10-14). [9]

    An interesting aside here is that all demons (except those spoken of in 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 1:6) will be imprisoned in these locations and no demon will be with Satan in the Abyss. We can derive this from Isaiah 24:21-22:

    21. So it will happen in that day, that the LORD will punish the host of heaven on high, and the kings of the earth on earth. 22. They will be gathered together like prisoners in the dungeon, and will be confined in prison; and after many days they will be punished.

    The translations of the passage are diverse. However, the following can be gathered from common threads among the translations and from related passages:
    1. The verses prior to Isaiah 24:21-22 describe the Great Tribulation, setting the context of the passage.
    2. Satan and his demons will be wreaking havoc until the end of the Tribulation.
    3. The host of heaven refers to demons. We know this because they will be punished.
    4. They will not be gathered together . . . after many days, but will be punished after many days. First comes the gathering together, and then, after many days comes the punishment. They will be gathered together at some point after the Great Tribulation and the very beginning of the Millennium. We know that the beginning of the Millennium is the latest point at which they will be gathered together like prisoners in the dungeon because, as we have seen, they will be imprisoned in Babylon and Edom for the duration of the Millennium.
    5. Even if they were gathered at the very end of the Tribulation we cannot conclude that their punishment will be their imprisonment in Babylon and Edom because the seventy-five day interval between the Tribulation and the Millennium can hardly be called many days. The number of days in a thousand years can certainly be called many days!

    From these things we can conclude that the host of heaven will be gathered together like prisoners in Babylon and Edom, and then, at the end of the thousand years, be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire.

    But what about the kings of the earth on earth? Who are they? They cannot be the human kings who are killed with their armies at the end of the Tribulation (Revelation 19:16-19), because the spirits of human unbelievers go to Hades upon death, not Babylon or Edom, and the Isaiah passage groups them together with the Host of heaven who will be gathered together like prisoners. They will go to Babylon and Edom right along with the host of heaven - and the inhabitants of Babylon and Edom will be demons. So who are these kings of the earth on earth? They must be those demons who have authority over nations, such as the prince of Persia and the prince of Greece in the days of Daniel (Daniel 10:20).

    To sum up, the demonic host of heaven and the demon kings of the earth on earth will be gathered together like prisoners in the dungeon in Babylon and Edom. They will remain there for the entire Millennium, and will then be punished by spending eternity in the Lake of Fire (Matthew 25:41).

Please note that the following have reference only to those in their natural bodies:

  • There will be some who are poor at the beginning of the Millennium. (Micah 4:4)

  • There will be some who are physically afflicted, at least at the beginning of the Millennium. (Isaiah 35:5-6)

  • Those in their natural bodies will possess the sin nature. (Isaiah 11:8, 65:20; Zechariah 14:17-19; Revelation 20:7-9)

  • Many will reject the Lord and His salvation. (Isaiah 11:4, 65:20; Zechariah 14:19; Revelation 20:7-9)

  • The unsaved, if not others, will die of old age. (Isaiah 65:20)

  • There will be capital punishment. (Isaiah 11:4)

  • National sins will be committed, not the least of which will be the gathering of all nations at Jerusalem at the end of the Millennium in Satan's final attempt to overthrow the Lord. (Isaiah 60:12; Zechariah 14:19; Revelation 20:7-9)

  • There will be localized familial and national judgments: droughts and plagues are mentioned, as well as fire from Heaven. (Isaiah 60:12; Zechariah 14:16-19; Revelation 20:9)

Though these sin-based phenomena will be present in the Kingdom, yet, the overall level of holiness and quality of life will be breathtakingly closer to perfection than they are in our present age. Absolute perfection must await the Eternal Ages beyond the Millennium.

~

In our next Kingdom study, we will focus on Israel in the Kingdom and on Kingdom worship.

Shalom,
Norm

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Scriptures chosen by the author are in the New American Standard version unless otherwise noted. Scriptures in quotes by others may be in different translations. Names, titles and other terms within quoted scriptures and elsewhere may have been changed from the English to the Hebrew form for the sake of cultural sensitivity.

FOOTNOTES

1. The entire We Believe statement of the Association of Messianic Congregations may be found at http://www.messianicassociation.org/believe.htm.

2. Here is an interesting contrast: Whereas Adam and Eve succumbed to sin via the Devil's temptation before they had the sin nature, those in the Kingdom in natural bodies will have the sin nature; and though the Devil and his demons will be bound and cannot tempt, they will be tempted of their own sin nature to sin, and will sin.

3. Assyria is now "primarily Iraq and parts of Syria." Fruchtenbaum, Dr. Arnold G. The Footsteps of the Messiah: A Study of the Sequence of Prophetic Events. San Antonio: Ariel Ministries, 1982. P. 498.

4. Asherim are idols of the false goddess Asherah.

5. Fruchtenbaum, Dr. Arnold G. Biblical Lovemaking: A Study of the Song of Solomon. San Antonio: Ariel Ministries, 1983. P. 1.

6. "David Melech Yisrael." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc, n.d. Web. 30Nov.2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Melech_Yisrael>.

7. See The Abolition of the Law by Norman Manzon.

8. The phrase under his vine and under his fig tree is not to be taken literally, though it may be the actual case for many. It is an idiom for personal prosperity. In 2 Kings 18:31, the Assyrian general Rabshakeh shouted to the people of Judah,

Do not listen to Hezekiah; for thus says the king of Assyria: "Make peace with me by a present and come out to me; and every one of you eat from his own vine and every one from his own fig tree, and every one of you drink the waters of his own cistern."

~ 2 Kings 18:31 ~

9.
Edom
As to the nature of the creatures that will inhabit Edom, we'll use Isaiah 34:14 as an example. Hairy goat refers to a demon in goat form (Fruchtenbaum, Arnold G. Messianic Bible Study 017: The Messianic Kingdom. San Antonio: Ariel Ministries, 1983, 2005. P. 29.), and night monster (screech owl, KJV) refers to a female demon (Keil and Delitszch Commentary on the Old Testament).

Also, see "Esau" in The Satanic and Human Aspects of Antisemitism by Norman Manzon.

Babylon
As to the nature of the creatures that will inhabit Babylon, we'll use Isaiah 13:19-22 as an example. The first thing to note is Revelation 19:2-3:

2. He has judged the great harlot [Babylon] who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and He has avenged the blood of His bondservants on her. 3. And a second time they said, "Hallelujah! Her smoke rises up forever and ever."

Babylon will burn throughout the Millennium. (Forever and similar translations in Scripture often mean until the end of a person's life or until the end of an era. See different translations of 1 Samuel 1:22. Also Exodus 21:6; Psalm 89:1; Proverbs 5:19.) It will be a place where no earthly creature can exist. What, then, will be the nature of the creatures that will dwell there?

Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird.

~ Revelation 18:2 ~

Just as the creatures that will inhabit Edom throughout the Millennium will actually be demons in the form of earthly creatures, the same will be true of Babylon.

RECOMMENDED READING

Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum
1. The Footsteps of the Messiah: A Study of the Sequence of Prophetic Events. Many consider Footsteps a landmark work in the piecing together of end-time prophecy.
2. Messianic Bible Study 002: The Jews and the Tribulation
3. Messianic Bible Study 003: The Basis of the Second Coming of the Messiah
4. Messianic Bible Study 017: The Messianic Kingdom
5. Messianic Bible Study 018: Israel and the Messianic Kingdom
6. Messianic Bible Study 028: The Olivet Discourse
7. Messianic Bible Study 062: The Feasts of Israel
8. Messianic Bible Study 084: The Four Women of Revelation
9. Messianic Bible Study 113: The Jewish Wedding System and the Bride of the Messiah

Dr. Fruchtenbaum's publications are available at Ariel Ministries in various formats,
many for free listening at Ariel Ministries' Come and See.

Also, Premillennialism in the Old Testament, Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum: http://www.ldolphin.org/otpremill.html (27/10/2012).

Norman Manzon
1. The Prophetic Feasts of Israel.
2. The Faithful Remnant of Israel.

Cooper, Simmons, Wales
Cooper, Dr. David L. "Biblical Research Studies Group - What We Believe." Biblical Research Studies Group, http://biblicalresearch.info/page792.html. See section, "The Millennial Reign of Christ."

Simmons, Thomas P. "Chapter 42 - The Millennium." Providence Baptist Ministries. http://www.pbministries.org/Theology/Simmons/chapter42.htm.

Wales, Ronald E. "The 1,000 Year Messianic Kingdom called The Millennium | Biblical Future Events." http://www.biblicalfutureevents.com/5-1000-year-messianic-kingdom-called-millennium.


The Messianic Kingdom:
The Kingdom Environment
~ a messianic Bible study ~
© Norman Manzon, 2014.
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