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THE MILLENNIAL OR MESSIANIC KINGDOM

PART 2: THE INHABITANTS OF THE KINGDOM

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

 


an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade
away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the
power of God through faith for a salvation
ready to be revealed in the last time.

~ 1 Peter 1:4-5 ~

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS
RECAPITULATION OF PRIOR FUTURE EVENTS
The 75-Day Transitional Period
1. Scriptural Clarification
2. Significant Events during the Transitional Period
THE MESSIANIC KINGDOM Part 2: THE INHABITANTS OF THE KINGDOM
AMC STATEMENT: KINGDOM EXCERPTS

V. WHO WILL INHABIT THE KINGDOM?
A. HUMAN INHABITANTS
1. God's People on Earth at Tribulation's Close
a. The Lord Jesus
b. The Body of Christ
c. The Jews Saved During the Tribulation
d. The Sheep Gentiles
2. Those Returned Alive to Earth During the Transitional Period
a. Those Resurrected During the Transitional Period
1) The Old Testament Saints
a) The Old Testament Israelite Saints
b) The Old Testament Gentile Saints
c) The Martyred Tribulation Saints
b. Those Returned to Earth from Heaven
1) Enoch and Elijah
2) The Two Witnesses
3. Those Born into the Kingdom
B. WILL HOLY ANGELS DWELL ON EARTH IN THE KINGDOM?
C. ANIMALS AND PLANTS
VI. THE NATURES OF KINGDOM INHABITANTS
A. THE BODILY NATURES OF KINGDOM INHABITANTS
1. The Bodily Natures of People in the Kingdom
a. The Surviving Saved Mortals of the Tribulation
b. Those Who Will Return from Heaven
c. Those Resurrected During the Transitional Period
2. The Bodily Natures of Animals and Plants in the Kingdom
B. THE SPIRITUAL NATURES OF KINGDOM INHABITANTS
1. The Spiritual Natures of Those with Glorified Bodies
2. The Spiritual Natures of Those with Natural Bodies
3. The Nature of Plants and Animals
ENDNOTES
RECOMMENDED READING
 

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS

The Messianic Kingdom is part of an extended series of studies in support of the We Believe statement of The Association of Messianic Congregations. We will begin with a recapitulation of future events prior to the Kingdom. After that, we will review those portions of the Statement that have application to the Kingdom. Much of what will be quoted has been addressed already; and those aspects of what has been quoted that deal with future things have been covered most thoroughly in our last five studies, The Destinies of the Dead, The Rapture, The Great Tribulation, The Second Coming of the Lord and The Millennial or Messianic Kingdom, Part 1: Introduction.

Much groundwork for this present study has been laid in these studies, particularly in the last three. It is therefore suggested that the last three studies, especially, be studied or reviewed before proceeding, particularly The Messianic Kingdom, Part 1: Introduction, where, among other points, a strong polemic for belief in a future literal earthly Kingdom was presented.

RECAPITULATION OF PRIOR FUTURE EVENTS

In our Last Things series, we have thus far seen that every member of the body of Christ, whether living or deceased, will be lifted from the earth and given a glorified body in an event called the Rapture. At some point after the Rapture, the Lord will bring judgment upon the earth during a seven-year period called The Great Tribulation, which will be followed by a brief transitional period before the commencement of the Kingdom. During the Tribulation and transitional period, the Lord will destroy every ungodly human institution, and all who will not repent will be killed. Multitudes from all over the world will repent in response to the preaching of 144,000 Israelites, and multitudes from among that multitude will be martyred. In mid-Tribulation, Antichrist will claim divinity, prohibit all Temple worship, and engage in a campaign to destroy every believer still alive, every Jew, and even the returned Lord Himself. His persecution of the Jews will continue almost until the end of the seven years by which time he will have succeeded in killing two-thirds of them. Those Jews whom the Lord will preserve alive will be those who had proven receptive to spiritual truth, and He will save them all. Upon Israel's reception of the Lord Yeshua as their Messiah, He will return to earth, destroy the army that Antichrist will have gathered from around the world to destroy the Jews, crush all satanic world power and mode of operation, and slay Antichrist. These events and others to be mentioned below will bring the Tribulation and the transitional period to a close, which will be followed immediately by the dawning of the Messianic Age or Millennium.

The 75-Day Transitional Period

1. Scriptural Clarification

That such a period will exist, and that it will last for seventy-five days, may be shown thusly:

And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.

~ Daniel 9:27 ~

In the middle of the week [literally, seven; seven years, the Great Tribulation period] he [the prince of verse 26, Antichrist] will break his treaty with the many [the majority in Israel], take over the temple by force, cause worship to cease, and persecute the Jews for one thousand two hundred and sixty days (Revelation 12:6) until he is slain at the Lord's Return (2 Thessalonians 2:8), which brings the Tribulation to a close. Based on thirty-day months, one thousand two hundred and sixty days is equal to three and a half years.

Daniel 12:11-12: 11. From the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. 12. How blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,335 days!

In mid-tribulation, Antichrist not only prohibits all Jewish Temple worship, but the wing of abominations (9:27) or the abomination of desolation (12:11) is set up. In the Old Testament, abomination is often used in reference to an idol (e.g., Deuteronomy 27:15). Now according to Daniel 12:11, the Abomination of Desolation will remain standing thirty days beyond the end of the Tribulation (1290 minus 1260), and 12. How blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,335 days, which must certainly refer to the commencement of the Kingdom Age. The Kingdom Age begins 1,335 days after the midpoint of the Tribulation, and the Tribulation ends 1,260 days after the midpoint. Thus, there is a transitional period of seventy-five days from the end of the Tribulation until the commencement of the Kingdom (1,335 minus 1,260).

2. Significant Events during the Transitional Period

We have seen thus far that during this transitional period, three significant events will occur:
1. Antichrist will be resurrected and he and the False Prophet will be cast alive into the Lake of Fire. (Revelation 19:20)
2. Satan will be cast into the abyss and imprisoned there for a thousand years, until the end of the Kingdom Age. (Revelation 20:2-3)
3. Those Gentiles still alive will face the Lord's Judgment of the Sheep and the Goats (Matthew 25:31-46). (The word ethnos in the passage, often translated nations, also has the meaning of Gentiles. That's how it should be taken here as eternal salvation or condemnation is based on the decision of individuals, not of nations.) The "sheep" will be those who provide aid to the persecuted Jews of the Tribulation - these brothers of mine Yeshua called them - and will be welcomed into the Kingdom. The "goats" will be those who refuse to aid the Jews, and they will be killed and cast into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels. (The respective salvation and condemnation of the sheep and the goats will not be on the basis of their works, but their works in regard to the persecuted Jews will evidence the state of their hearts. See James 2:17-18.)

Other significant events will occur, as well. To place them all in a logical order, though not necessary the actual order in which they will occur, they are:

1. The removal of the Abomination of Desolation from the Temple (Daniel 12:11);
2. The resurrection of Antichrist and the casting alive of him and the False Prophet into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 19:20);
3. The casting of Satan into the abyss and the imprisonment of him there for a thousand years, until the end of the Kingdom Age (Revelation 20:2-3);
4. The judgment of the Sheep and the Goats (Matthew 25:31-46);
5. The renovation of the heavens and the earth (Isaiah 65:17; 2 Peter 3:13). These passages are not to be confused with the new heaven and new earth of Revelation 21:1, which describes a totally new and perfectly holy order for the Eternal Ages following the Millennium (Revelation 21-22).
6. The resurrection of the Old Testament saints;
7. The return from heaven of the two witnesses;
8. The resurrection of the Tribulation martyrs.

Those events not yet addressed, as well as some others that have, will be touched on below.

Having cleansed the earth of all satanic influence and human opposition and gathered together all who are His since Adam, the Lord will assume His earthly throne and thus mark the beginning of His Messianic or Millennial reign.

THE MESSIANIC KINGDOM

Part 2: THE INHABITANTS OF THE KINGDOM

Whereas important introductory material was address in The Messianic Kingdom, Part 1: Introduction, Part 2 will address the inhabitants of the Kingdom; and Part 3, our next study, key aspects of Kingdom life. Inasmuch as a compilation of the Bible's passages concerning the Kingdom would constitute a book, what is presented must be recognized as a much abbreviated outline and summary.

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)

V. WHO WILL INHABIT THE KINGDOM?

Scripture makes in plain that there will be human, animal and plant inhabitants, and we will address the possibility of holy angel inhabitant. There will be demons present on earth in two restricted areas, but we will deal with that in our next study.

A. HUMAN INHABITANTS

The human inhabitants of the Kingdom may be categorized into three groups based on time periods:

  • God's people on earth at Tribulation's close,

  • those returned alive to earth during the transitional period and

  • those who are born into the Kingdom.

1. God's People on Earth at Tribulation's Close

God's people on earth at Tribulation's close will be Jesus Himself, the body of Christ which had returned with Him, the saved Jews and the sheep Gentiles.

a. The Lord Jesus
Having returned to earth by Tribulation's end, the Lord Jesus will remain on earth through the transitional period and into the Kingdom Age to once again “tabernacle” or dwell among us just as He did at His first coming of which John wrote, And the Word became flesh, and dwelt (Greek. tented, tabernacled) among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14). His presence during the Kingdom will be the ultimate fulfillment of the annual Mosaic Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:33-44; Amos 9:11; Zechariah 14:16).

b. The Body of Christ

The Body of Christ, the church, will return to earth with the Lord (Jude 1:14) and remain on earth through the transitional period and for duration of the Kingdom Age. Passages that we are yet to look at speak of the church on earth during the Kingdom Age.

c. The Jews Saved During the Tribulation
These are that third of Israel who remain alive at Tribulation's end. It is comprised of the 144,000 Israelite witnesses of Revelation 7 and those Jews who will receive Jesus as Messiah at the end of the Tribulation. A multitude of passages, some of which we will look at, show Israel in the Kingdom.

d. The Sheep Gentiles
These are those Gentiles who receive the Lord during the Tribulation and display their regenerated state by assisting the Jews whom Antichrist will seek to annihilate. They will differ from the other saved survivors of the Tribulation in that they will still need to pass a test for entry into the Kingdom: the Judgment of the Sheep and Goats during the transitional period, a test which they will all pass (Matthew 25:34-40). Verse 34: Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

2. Those Returned Alive to Earth During the Transitional Period

This group is comprised of those who will be resurrected and those who will be returned to earth, body and soul, from Heaven. The bodies of the resurrected will already be on earth in some form and will be joined with their spirits, which are now in Heaven. Those who will be returned to earth, body and soul, from Heaven are Enoch and Elijah, who had been raptured in Old Testament times, and the two witnesses, who will have been raptured in mid-Tribulation.

a. Those Resurrected During the Transitional Period

1) The Old Testament Saints
All Old Testament Jewish and Gentile saints from Adam to Pentecost will be resurrected during the transitional period to dwell on earth during the Kingdom.

a) The Old Testament Israelite Saints
Matthew 24:31: And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. Mark 13:27: from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven.

Context indicates that His elect refers to Israelite saints. The Lord will send forth His angels to gather the bodies of deceased Israelites from the earth to join their spirits gathered from Heaven. Daniel 12:1-2 provides the timing.

1. Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.

~ Daniel 12:1-2 ~

Your people, Daniel's people, are the Jews. After the time of distress, the Tribulation, those deceased Israelites worthy of everlasting life will be resurrected to dwell in the Kingdom. That they will remain on earth to dwell in the Kingdom is made plain by passages we are yet to look at. Those unworthy will be resurrected at the very end of the Millennium to face the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11).

b) The Old Testament Gentile Saints
Matthew 8:5-13:

5. And when Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, imploring Him, 6. and saying, "Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, fearfully tormented." 7. Jesus *said to him, "I will come and heal him." 8. But the centurion said, "Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9. "For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, 'Go!' and he goes, and to another, 'Come!' and he comes, and to my slave, 'Do this!' and he does it." 10. Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, "Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel. 11. "I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; 12. but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." 13. And Jesus said to the centurion, "Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed." And the servant was healed that very moment.

~ Matthew 8:5-13 ~

There are three groups, all of which include or are comprised solely of Gentile saints, that Jesus must have had in mind when he said, many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.

1. Old Testament Gentile Saints
That the centurion was a Gentile is clear from verse 10 and by the fact that Jesus contrasted him with the sons of the kingdom, that people to whom the promises of the Kingdom were made, the Jews. That he and other believing Gentiles will have a place in the Kingdom is made plain by verse 11 and by the fact that Jesus identified him as a case in point. That he was an Old Testament believer when he exercised faith is clear by the fact that he did so before the cross; and, of course, he, as well as all other Old Testament Gentile believers, would need to be resurrected and gathered
from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.

An important thing to note is that the gathering must be from outside of Israel to Israel because Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, being Jews, will dwell in the Land. Numerous passages declare that all Jews in the Kingdom will dwell in the Land, e.g., Ezekiel 36:24-28:

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. 28. You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God.

2. The Body of Christ
If the centurion lived long enough to be baptized by the Spirit into the body after Pentecost, then he would be a church saint who would die, be resurrected and raptured prior to the Tribulation along with the rest of the church, return with Jesus from Heaven and almost certainly remain localized with Him in Southern Jordan where He will defeat's Antichrist's armies (Isaiah 34:1-7; 63:1-6; Habakkuk 3:3; Micah 2:12-13; Revelation 19:11-21). If that will be the case, then he and the rest of the body would need to be gathered from [the] east to
recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

3. The Sheep Gentiles
The centurion, being Gentile, must also have brought to Jesus' mind the Sheep Gentiles, who will be gathered
from east and west.

I cannot conceive of Jesus not having any of the three groups in mind when He made the declaration; and for the Old Testament Gentile saints to enjoy the Kingdom, they must be resurrected prior to Kingdom; and Scripture does not indicate, nor is there any reason to believe that they will be resurrected during the grim time of the Great Tribulation. The only reasonable conclusion is that they will be resurrected during the transitional period at or about the same time as the Old Testament Israelite saints.

Apart from the passage, another way of looking at it is this: The Old Testament Gentile saints will certainly need to be resurrected in time for the Eternal Ages that will follow the Kingdom, for flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable (1 Corinthians 15:50), and no resurrection of any these groups is said to occur after the Millennium begins;and again, there is no reason to believe that they will be resurrected during the grim time of the Great Tribulation. The only reasonable conclusion is that they will be resurrected during the transitional period at or about the same time as the Old Testament Israelite saints.

c) The Martyred Tribulation Saints
Multitudes of those who exercise faith in Messiah during the Tribulation will be slain (Revelation 7:7-11); but Revelation 20:4 says of them,
and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. Obviously, if they are to reign with Christ for a thousand years, they would need to be resurrected before the thousand-year Kingdom; and if the point of the statement is that their resurrection will result in their reigning with Christ, then surely they will be resurrected just prior to the beginning of Hiss reign, that is, during the transitional period.

b. Those Returned to Earth from Heaven
1) Enoch and Elijah

Enoch and Elijah were raptured in Old Testament times (Enoch: Genesis 5:24; Hebrews 11:5. Elijah: 2 Kings 2:11). Whereas those resurrected for the Kingdom will have their bodies joined with their spirits at their resurrection, Enoch and Elijah will already be residing in Heaven body and soul, and will return to earth in their glorified bodies just as Christ and the body will already have returned in their glorified bodies; but whereas Jesus and the body will return prior to the end of the Tribulation, Enoch, being a (pre-Abrahamic) Gentile, will likely return with the resurrected Old Testament Gentile saints, and Elijah, being Jewish, with the Old Testament Israelite saints.

2) The Two Witnesses
Perhaps the two witnesses will be among the Jews saved during the Tribulation. If they are, they are a special case. They, whom Antichrist will slay in mid-Tribulation, will be resurrected after three and a half days and be taken into Heaven (verses 7-11), which necessitates the glorification of their bodies. In view of the facts that the Lord will evangelize the world through 144,000 Jewish men, and that the two witnesses will have their ministry in Jerusalem (verse 8: the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified), they must surely be Jewish; and since the Lord has promised to gather all Jews into the Promised Land for the Kingdom (Matthew 24:31; Mark 13:27), they will likely be
gather[ed] together to earth during the transitional period as will the Old Testament Israelite saints.

3. Those Born into the Kingdom

As we will see further, some will enter the Kingdom with glorified bodies, and some with natural bodies; and according to Matthew 22:28-30, no one with a glorified body can bear children: For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. However, those who enter the kingdom with natural bodies will bear children who, like their parents, will have natural bodies; and they too will bear children.

B. WILL HOLY ANGELS DWELL ON EARTH IN THE KINGDOM?

Angels will return to earth with Jesus and the body of Christ (Matthew 25:31), an angel will bind Satan in the abyss for the duration of the Millennium (Revelation 20:1-3) and angels will gather all Old Testament Jewish believers to the Promised land (Daniel 12:1-2; Matthew 24:31; Mark 13:27); but will the angels remain on earth beyond these events? These passages and Hebrews 1:14 may be indicators, as well as the fact that the angels worship Him (Hebrews 1:6); but I have searched in vain for a passage that states plainly that they will. I must therefore conclude that Scripture simply does not say.

C. ANIMALS AND PLANTS

Such passages as Isaiah 65:25a and Micah 4:4 show that there will be animals and plants in the Kingdom:

Isaiah 65:25a: 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.

Micah 4:4: 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.

VI. THE NATURES OF KINGDOM INHABITANTS

A. THE BODILY NATURES OF KINGDOM INHABITANTS

1. The Bodily Natures of People in the Kingdom

a. The Surviving Saved Mortals of the Tribulation
Those saved mortals alive on earth at the end of the Tribulation will remain on earth through the transitional period and the commencement of the Kingdom and will retain their natural, mortal bodies. This is corroborated by the fact that there will be death in the Kingdom (Isaiah 65:20; 1 Corinthians 15:25-26). This group includes the Israelites saved during the Tribulation and the sheep Gentiles.

b. Those Who Will Return from Heaven
Those raised bodily to Heaven and returned to earth will have glorified bodies (2). This is shown plainly by 1 Corinthians 15:50: Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable, the context of which is the resurrection and Rapture of the body of Christ into Heaven. Of necessity, then, the same must also be true of Enoch, Elijah and the two witnesses, who will return from Heaven.

c. Those Resurrected During the Transitional Period
What of this group? At least two passages shed light on the matter:

1. Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.

~ Daniel 12:1-2 ~

Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life: The passage refers specifically to the bodies of the deceased faithful in Daniel's day. Not only will their spirits experience eternal life, but their bodies will awaken to everlasting life. If these saints will arise in their natural bodies, which would die again, it could not be said that their bodies will awaken to everlasting life. The passage must certainly refer to resurrection in glorified bodies.

1 Corinthians 15:23 speaks of Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming. Christ is the first fruits of those who will receive their glorified bodies. These will include all the righteous who will be resurrected during the transitional period, namely, the Old Testament saints and the martyred Tribulation saints.

From these passages we can conclude that not only will those who return from Heaven possess glorified bodies, but also all of the righteous who will be resurrected during the transitional period will have glorified bodies, as well.

2. The Bodily Natures of Animals and Plants in the Kingdom

Isaiah 65:25a: 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.

Micah 4:4: 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.

If lions will be eating straw, there must of necessity be modifications in the bodies of at least some animals: Perhaps lions will have flat teeth, which are common to herbivores today, and modified digestive systems; also of some plants as well, such as the presently flesh-eating Venus flytrap. In addition, the thorns on at least some plants are thought to be modified or unopened leaves. If all plants and animals will be benign in the Kingdom, then perhaps what are now thorns will open to become beautiful leaves, evidencing the lifting of the thorns and thistles aspect of the Adamic curse (Genesis 3:18). Even so, we can assume that plant and animal bodies and structures will be natural and not glorified as Scripture simply does not say that they will be glorified. Further, the serpent must of necessity have a natural body as the Isaiah passage declares that the curse of Genesis 3:14 will still be residing upon it.

B. THE SPIRITUAL NATURES OF KINGDOM INHABITANTS

1. The Spiritual Natures of Those with Glorified Bodies

All those in their glorified bodies will have been healed of their sin natures, leaving natures that are pure, holy, undefiled and incapable of sinning, a condition which theologians refer to as "confirmed creaturely holiness." The garments of the members of the body of Christ will have been purified at the Rapture (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; Revelation 3:5,18; 4:4; 19:7-8, 21:9-11), and we can assume that all others in glorified, immortal bodies receive a comparable purification at the time of their glorification. Death is the result of sin; and if their bodies will not die, then the sin nature cannot reside within them. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive (1 Corinthians 15:22).

2. The Spiritual Natures of Those with Natural Bodies

Those with natural bodies will not have gone through a spiritual cleansing process as those with glorified bodies, and they will retain their sin natures. There will be sin in the Kingdom (Isaiah 65:20; Zechariah 14:17-19; Revelation 20:7-9), and it certainly cannot come from those in glorified bodies. It can only come from those in natural bodies.

3. The Nature of Plants and Animals

Scripture does not speak of animals or plants having a sin nature, but it is obvious that sin has perverted them. Carnivores devour other animals and humans, males engage in fights for females, and such plants as the Venus flytrap devour insects. However, their natures will be changed for the Millennium.

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.

~ Isaiah 11:6-8 ~

Isaiah 65:25a: 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.

At the time of the renovation of the earth for the Kingdom, the behaviors of animals and of at least some plants will be changed. Animals will not devour or harm one another or harm even a little child. Further, if the weaned child will put his hand on the viper's den, then it follows that the Lord will not allow any poisons that animals or plants may retain to harm anyone. More likely, animals and plants that are now poisonous will be purged of poisons.


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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.


ENDNOTES

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

2. For the nature of glorified bodies, see 1 Corinthians 15:36-50.


RECOMMENDED READING

By 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 004: The Campaign of Armageddon
5. Messianic Bible Study 010: The Rise and Fall of the Antichrist
6. Messianic Bible Study 017: The Messianic Kingdom
7. Messianic Bible Study 018: Israel and the Messianic Kingdom
8. Messianic Bible Study 028: The Olivet Discourse
9. Messianic Bible Study 039: The Rapture of the Church
10. Messianic Bible Study 067: The Seventy Sevens of Daniel

* All of Dr. Fruchtenbaum's publications are available at Ariel Ministries in various formats, many for free listening and reading.

By Dr. David L. Cooper
Cooper, Dr. David L. "Biblical Research Society - What We Believe: The Millennial Reign of Christ." Ariel Ministries: Home. The Biblical Research Society, n.d. Web. 24Apr.2014. http://ariel.org/dlc/dlc.htm.

By Norman Manzon
Manzon, Norman A. "The Prophetic Feasts of Israel." The Bible Study Project, n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. http://www.biblestudyproject.org/feasts-of-israel-messianic.htm.

Manzon, Norman A. "The Faithful Remnant of Israel." The Bible Study Project, 312011. Web. 24 Apr .2014. http://www.biblestudyproject.org/faithful-remnant-of-israel-messianic.htm.

 
The Messianic Kingdom:
The Inhabitants of the Kingdom
~ a messianic Bible study ~
© Norman Manzon, 2014.
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