The World Ahead: What Will It Be Like?
Many eminent politicians and leaders have long realized that the only genuine solution to our massive human problems is a world government. Only this kind of government can bring real peace and stability! But mankind's human efforts in bringing about such government have always failed miserably. The heralded League of Nations founded after World War I did not stop World War II—the most horrifying war in human history—from exterminating about 50 million human beings! The United Nations, founded after World War II, has also failed utterly to bring peace. Literally scores of wars have been raging all over this world in the last few decades, seemingly unaffected—one way or the other—by the so-called "United" Nations! And mankind's puny efforts will continue to fail. For humanity does not know the "way" to peace. To any thinking human being, this should become increasingly evident.
Seeing how human religions have failed to solve man's problems, most educated people in our day have given up on believing in a real God. That is understandable—for mankind has turned away from true religion. Most religions of this world teach and act in a manner totally contrary to the truth revealed in the Bible. However, those who are willing to understand can know that there is a real God. There is a great Creator and Governor of the universe, and He is working out a supreme purpose here below. You, personally, can understand that purpose—if you are willing.
In the New Testament of the Holy Bible, God inspired the Apostle Peter to write, "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts" (2 Peter 1:19, KJV). If you are willing to face the facts of history, you can prove to yourself that the God of the Bible has intervened—again and again—in guiding the major events of human history. For He is a real Spirit Personality, guiding the rise and fall of nations and empires. King Nebuchadnezzar of ancient Babylon was one of the most powerful monarchs in human history, yet God literally drove him insane in order to teach him—and us—a supreme lesson. Why did God do this? He explains: "This decision is by the decree of the watchers, and the sentence by the word of the holy ones, in order that the living may know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, gives it to whomever He will, and sets over it the lowest of men" (Daniel 4:17).
Indeed, God does intervene—when He chooses—to direct human affairs in order to fulfill His ultimate purpose. And the overall conditions He seeks to direct are prophesied throughout the Bible—the inspired word of God. Most "mainstream" Christian churches utterly fail to understand this. They simply talk about a "sweet Jesus" who is apparently disconnected from world affairs and from the rise and fall of nations. Yet, in His inspired word, God tells us, "For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" (Revelation 19:10). For God inspired the Bible through Jesus Christ—and more than one-fourth of the entire Bible is prophecy!
So, we need to understand! As the nations and human institutions around us begin to come apart, as many of our hopes and dreams in this human society begin to come crashing down, we need to focus on the only real answer—the very real God of the Bible! For He will intervene—within the lifetimes of most of you reading this booklet! He will bring about a magnificent new world—Tomorrow's World—an entire new society based on love, joy and peace. If you really study your Bible, you will again and again find this fact revealed and explained. Notice how the inspired Apostle Peter, in one of his earliest sermons, tells us that God will "send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began" (Acts 3:20–21).
In the pages of this booklet, you will read about those soon-coming "times of restoration," when our Creator will intervene to save humanity from its own foolishness! He will literally save us from destroying ourselves (Matthew 24:22)!
In Revelation 11:15, your Bible records the most tremendous event in earth's history. Here, the last of the seven trumpets of Revelation is sounded, and voices in heaven proclaim: "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever."
Yes, the living Christ will soon take over the governments of our war-torn world! At first, the nations of this earth may resist His perfect government. But Christ will return in all the power of God to enforce peace on this earth, "And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron" (Revelation 19:15). Christ will return as Supreme Ruler over all the other governors and kings of this earth, who will be subservient to Him. "And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS" (v. 16).
Hundreds of years before Jesus Christ's human birth, God inspired the prophet Isaiah to record a prophecy about what His job would eventually be. "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever" (Isaiah 9:6–7).
Notice that Christ is called the "Prince of Peace." That is because He alone has the power to really bring peace! God also says: "Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end." With Christ as world Ruler, mankind will recover from the terrible devastation that preceded His coming. Human beings will multiply and replenish the earth, and the laws and ways of God's government will spread around the globe.
As the people gradually learn to obey the Ten Commandments and all the laws of God, there will be an actual "increase" in peace on this earth. Peace, happiness and joy will continue to increase between nations and individuals, as they learn more and more to obey God's ways and perfect laws, which are the only way to peace.
The form and organization of God's government on this earth is already prophesied in your Bible!
As we saw in Revelation 11:15, Christ will be King over all the nations of this earth. He will occupy a definite throne upon the earth when He returns. Before His human birth, an angel prophesied: "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end" (Luke 1:32–33).
Who will rule under Christ? God certainly trained Abraham for a top position of high responsibility in the world ahead. Scripture calls Abraham "the heir of the world" (Romans 4:13). Yes, God will reward Abraham for his faith by giving him a position of service over the whole earth!
In Ezekiel 37:15–28, God shows that He will reunite Israel and Judah. Regarding these two nations, He says: "And I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again" (v. 22).
Christ will rule in an especially direct way over the nations of Israel, because His headquarters will be at Jerusalem. Notice how Scripture describes specifically His rule over the "house of Jacob." God called that house, also known as the house of Israel, to be His chosen people and a light to the rest of the world. They were chosen not as favorites, but as people with a job to perform—which they have utterly failed to accomplish. During the coming thousand-year reign of Christ, the house of Israel will be reunited with the house of Judah, and together they will be the chief nation of the earth, under Christ, to help set the example and carry out His government to all the earth.
Under Christ as King of kings, the resurrected King David will rule directly over the united house of Israel. "David my servant shall be king over them' and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes and do them" (v. 24).
Under Christ and David, Israel will again learn the way to peace—the Israelites will learn to do and obey God's statutes and judgments!
Under David, each tribe of Israel will have its own individual governor—one of the twelve apostles. Jesus Himself designated them for this office before He died: "But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials. And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Luke 22:28–30).
We can surmise that Daniel—the man whom God led King Nebuchadnezzar to appoint "ruler over the whole province of Babylon" (Daniel 2:48)—will be given a position of rule over the Gentile nations in the Millennium. In fact, he may be given a very high position, similar to that of David, since God used him to help rule over the greatest Gentile kingdom in earth's history—the "head of gold" (v. 38).
Those Christians who grow in grace and knowledge in this life will, in the Millennium, be given positions of rule under Christ. "And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—'He shall rule them with a rod of iron'" (Revelation 2:26–27). And we find that Christ has "made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth" (Revelation 5:10).
Jesus gave the "parable of the minas" to show Christians that in this life we must overcome our human nature, make good use of our time and talents according to God's laws, and prepare for a position of rule and responsibility in the soon-coming government of God on this earth. Notice Jesus' statement to the man who overcame most and gained ten minas: "Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities" (Luke 19:17). To the man who was zealous enough to gain five minas, Jesus said: "You also be over five cities" (v. 19).
True Christians are called to serve, under Christ, in ruling this world! Why is that message not preached in all the churches today?
Even the well-known secular historian, Edward Gibbon, acknowledged in chapter 15 of his famous The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire that the early Christians believed in God's coming world government: "The ancient and popular doctrine of the millennium was intimately connected with the second coming of Christ. As the works of creation had been finished in six days, their duration in their present state, according to a tradition attributed to the prophet Elijah, was fixed as six thousand years. By the same analogy it was inferred that this long period of labor and contention which was now almost elapsed would be succeeded by a joyful Sabbath of a thousand years; and that Christ, with a triumphant band of the saints and the elect that escaped death; or who had been miraculously revived, would reign upon earth until the time appointed for the last and general resurrection."
Yes, the early Christians understood the purpose of God and the reason that He is calling some people out of this present society into His Church—to prepare for "Tomorrow's World!"
True Christians should learn to obey and live by God's laws and ways now so that they will be able to teach and train others to live the way of peace during the soon-coming Millennium when the Kingdom or Government of God will hold sway over this earth!
Here is a specific example of how God's government will rule the nation Israel, which will be under that government during the Millennium. Remember—as most of our readers know—when the Bible uses the term "Israel," or "House of Israel," it is usually referring either to the ten tribes of the "Northern Kingdom" or to all twelve tribes—among whose modern descendants, Scripture shows us, are the peoples of the United States, Britain and the British-descended peoples, and the nations of northwestern Europe. This distinction is vital if one is to understand end-time prophecy. And, you can prove those national identities to yourself if you request and study our truly eye-opening booklet, The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy. It will be sent absolutely free upon your request. In the Millennium, God the Father will continue to be the overall supreme Governor and Ruler of the universe. Under Him is Jesus Christ, who will come to rule this earth within a few short years as King of kings.
Under Christ, King David will be resurrected from the dead, made immortal and placed in charge over the entire reunited House of Israel. Under David, each of Jesus' twelve apostles will be king over one of the twelve tribes of Israel.
In each tribe, under one of them, will be some of the saints who have overcome in the here and now, and have learned to submit to God to carry out His government. As seen from the parable of the minas, some will be governors over territories including several cities. Some may occupy an office similar to that of mayor under these governors.
Other Spirit-born saints will have jobs to do. No matter what their particular office, the attitude will be that of David: "I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness" (Psalm 84:10). There will be no sadness or regret or envy. All will be serving to the fullness of their capacity, and will be experiencing total joy in their service.
Under the Kingdom or Government of God, composed of Christ and the Spirit-born saints, will be human leaders who will help guide the physical peoples of Israel. Scripture prophesies in many places that these peoples will have endured an end-time captivity, and that in the Millennium they will have been regathered in their ancient homeland in and around Jerusalem. There, they will all be instructed in God's laws—which alone bring peace.
"Many people shall come and say, 'Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.' For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem" (Isaiah 2:3).
Even though they will be taught God's laws, many people will at first have to be forced to obey them! "He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore" (v. 4).
God's dealings with ancient Israel often illustrate the pattern of how He will in the future deal with all nations. Many Old Testament prophecies concerning the Millennium have particular reference to Israel. Yet, since God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34), this is only an example—a "type"—of what God will do, in principle, for all nations as they serve and obey Christ.
Foretelling the final regathering of the United States, Britain and the other modern descendants of ancient Israel, God says: "'I will bring back the captives of My people Israel; they shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them; they shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them. I will plant them in their land, and no longer shall they be pulled up from the land I have given them,' says the Lord your God" (Amos 9:14–15).
The fulfillment of this prophecy is yet in the future, for God says Israel shall "no more" be pulled out of its land at this time. This is describing the great physical blessings God will shower upon His people of Israel—including the United States, the British-descended peoples and the peoples of northwestern Europe—when, after Christ's return, He will bring them back from their future prophesied captivity and they will return to their ancestral lands in the Middle East.
Future prophesied captivity? In a passage written more than a hundred years after ancient Israel was taken into captivity, God prophesied through Jeremiah that there will be a future captivity of Israel, but that after this captivity the peoples of Israel would be restored back to their ancient homeland, in and around Jerusalem, after Christ's return (Jeremiah 30:1–11). Study this prophecy carefully! Notice that it predicts a coming punishment and restoration of both "Israel and Judah" (v. 4). This is a time of national punishment and captivity for the United States and the British-descended nations, just before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
"'For it shall come to pass in that day,' says the Lord of hosts, 'That I will break his yoke [the yoke of our captivity] from your neck, and will burst your bonds; foreigners shall no more enslave them. But they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up for them'" (vv. 8–9). At Christ's coming, Israel will be delivered from its captivity. David and all the saints will be resurrected from the dead to take their places as kings and priests in God's government to rule this earth under Christ.
"'Therefore do not fear, O My servant Jacob,' says the Lord, 'Nor be dismayed, O Israel; for behold, I will save you from afar, and your seed from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return, have rest and be quiet, and no one shall make him afraid'" (v. 10). At last peace shall come to this war-torn world—and the entire "House of Israel" shall no more be made afraid by any nation!
Referring to the entire prophecy, God says: "In the latter days you will consider it" (v. 24). Jeremiah 31 continues with the same prophecy (v. 1), and God tells of His blessings to Israel at that time: "Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt, O virgin of Israel! You shall again be adorned with your tambourines, and shall go forth in the dances of those who rejoice. You shall yet plant vines on the mountains of Samaria; the planters shall plant and eat them as ordinary food" (Jeremiah 31:4–5).
Dancing, singing, happiness and joy will overflow in abundance. Israel will rejoice in being blessed by God after Christ brings the Israelites back to the Holy Land, where they will be the "chief nation" of the world and will set the pattern for all nations under His government.
After their national punishment and captivity, Israelites will come back repentant and contrite. "They shall come with weeping, and with supplications I will lead them" (v. 9).
But as they return, God will begin to bless them in every possible way—spiritually and physically. "Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, streaming to the goodness of the Lord—for wheat and new wine and oil, for the young of the flock and the herd; their souls shall be like a well-watered garden, and they shall sorrow no more at all. Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old, together; for I will turn their mourning to joy, will comfort them, and make them rejoice rather than sorrow" (vv. 12–13).
Through obedience to God's ways, there will be an abundance of good things to eat and drink—and there will be overflowing happiness in the human heart at last!
All serious Bible students are familiar with Isaiah 11 as a description of Christ's coming thousand-year reign on earth. Here, Christ is described as the "branch" or offspring of Jesse. He will be the perfect world ruler, fully using God's Spirit. Scripture tells us: "He shall not judge by the sight of his eyes" (v. 3)—rather, He will be able to read the thoughts and hearts of human beings everywhere. He will judge the poor and downtrodden "with righteousness" and will punish the wicked with the death penalty, which will put fear into the hearts of those plotting evil (v. 4).
After Christ's return, the wild and vicious nature shall be removed even from the wild animals. "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them" (v. 6). Even the snakes will be tame: "The nursing child shall play by the cobra's hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper's den" (v. 8).
Most important of all, human beings everywhere will at last learn God's ways, which alone can bring peace. "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea" (v. 9).
This is the wonderful time spoken of by the inspired Apostle Peter as "the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began" (Acts 3:21). Indeed, God has described this blessed reign of Jesus Christ on earth in literally scores of prophecies throughout your Bible.
This was—and is—the message of Jesus Christ! This is the only real way to find true peace!
Some of the survivors from the earth's previous age will be from nations that had spoiled the nations of Israel. To humble them and teach His ways more fully, God will engage some of those people as Israel's servants in the Holy Land in the early years of the Millennium. "For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will still choose Israel, and settle them in their own land [Jerusalem and the surrounding territory]. The strangers will be joined with them, and they will cling to the house of Jacob. Then people will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them for servants and maids in the land of the Lord; they will take them captive whose captives they were, and rule over their oppressors" (Isaiah 14:1–2).
As Lord of lords, Christ will begin to convert and save the entire world during His reign. To do this He will need to strip aside the blindness that has come on all people of the earth as a result of Satan's deceptions (Revelation 12:9).
Isaiah writes: "And He will destroy on this mountain the surface of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever…" (Isaiah 25:7–8).
All peoples will then come to know God. Their blindness and religious confusion will be removed and all who are willing will finally be converted.
The resurrected saints will teach God's way—and God will bless the people as they obey. "For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you. And though the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore, but your eyes shall see your teachers. Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, 'This is the way, walk in it,' whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left" (Isaiah 30:19–21).
It will be a startling experience for some to have a voice behind them suddenly boom out and warn them not to break one of God's commandments! Yes, the saints of God—having been born of the Spirit at the resurrection, and thus having become spirit—will be able to choose to be invisible or visible at will.
There will be no "cheating" on God's law!
Within a few years, as people all over the earth come into contact with Almighty God, He will supernaturally heal millions who had been deaf, blind or mute! "Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert" (Isaiah 35:5–6).
Notice that not only the people, but the land shall be healed and the earth shall receive proper rainfall again with God's blessing. "The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water" (v. 7).
And it shall be a time of singing, and happiness and joy. "And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away" (v. 10).
The world could have peace and happiness now, but it refuses to have it God's way. The Apostle Paul was describing all humanity—Israelites and Gentiles alike—when God inspired him to write: "Destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known" (Romans 3:16–17).
The reason the world cannot have peace is because it refuses to obey the commandments of God as a way of life! As we have seen, when Christ comes to set up His government, the "law" of God shall go forth from Zion and the "word of the Lord" from Jerusalem.
Those who yield themselves most to obey all of God's commandments now will be best qualified for the highest positions in God's government during the coming millennial reign of Christ. For He said, "Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:19).
This is because Christ will establish peace in His Kingdom—and all lawbreakers will be kept outside! Yes, we will peace and prosperity when everyone learns to obey God's commandments! Then the world will be blessed with physical abundance. The sick and the crippled will be healed. The spiritually blinded millions will come to really know God!
The human beings on earth under God's government during Christ's millennial reign are pictured as learning to sing and dance and shout for joy at the wonderful way of life they will experience under the perfect government of God!
As we have seen, even the nature of wild animals will be turned to love instead of hate and selfishness. At last, people will learn that it really is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). All their frustrations and guilt complexes will at last disappear. Then they will come to know "the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding" (Philippians 4:7).
Under God's government and His perfect laws, people will learn that Jesus meant business when He said, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).
This is what the happy, joyous Millennium will be like!
Now, let us review why our war-torn world is the way it is, and why and how the Millennium will be so much better!
Very few people fully grasp that this is definitely not God's world. When I grew up in a "mainstream" church, I was taught in Sunday school to sing, "This is my Father's world." However, if we will let God's inspired word tell us the Truth, we will find an entirely different explanation! For God inspired the Apostle John to describe Satan the Devil being cast back to this earth in Revelation 12:9, "So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."
Do you, personally, believe that the "whole world" is deceived, as the Bible clearly explains again and again? It is vital that you prove this to yourself by studying this topic in God's word. For it is stated in many different ways. If we are to believe the Bible, we must come to know that this is indeed a deceived world under the direct influence of Satan the Devil. For Satan is called the "god" of this world.
Notice: "But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them" (2 Corinthians 4:3–4). So Satan is the invisible spirit being who, in fact, is the "god" over the nations of the earth in this age—this particular 6,000-year period leading up to Christ's Second Coming as King of kings. The great God, the Creator, has allowed this to happen to "test" human beings and also to help us learn through human suffering that man's ways will not bring the desired result. Then, when Christ intervenes, mankind can more fully appreciate how wonderful God's ways are by comparison!
However, during this present age, Satan the Devil is "broadcasting" wrong attitudes and he influences people to take wrong actions continually. The Apostle Paul reminded the Christians of Ephesus that they had "once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience" (Ephesians 2:2). So, Satan the Devil is busy. He "works" continually—turning mankind away from God and God's true ways. He is the source of much of the suffering and evil—the wars, rapes, tortures and various other abominations occurring in today's world.
God makes it clear that in the Millennium, Satan will be banished. God describes in the book of Revelation how—after Christ's return—He will send a great angel to deal with Satan, "Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while" (Revelation 20:1–3).
It is clear from the above passage that Satan has been the one to "deceive the nations." In order for the world to have genuine peace and joy, he must be "bound" for the entire thousand years of Christ's rule over the earth (Revelation 20:1–3). So this will be done!
Then, after the Millennium, he will be loosed for a comparatively short period of time (Revelation 20:7–8). At that point, it is amazing to see how quickly, apparently, Satan will be able to "deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth!" Human beings, it seems, are very susceptible to being led away by Satan and his demons and also wrongly influenced through his false ministers. For genuine peace and joy to be restored during Christ's rule, Satan and all his demons must be put away!
The Apostle Paul warned the Christians of his day: "For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears" (Acts 20:29–31).
For your own sake, please consider whether you are truly following the "whole counsel of God," to which Paul had just referred (v. 27)! Certainly most of you may understand part of the Bible, part of Christ's true teachings—and perhaps a little bit regarding prophecy and the awesome purpose for which God created you. However, just "accepting Jesus," joining some church down the street, and hoping to "float off to heaven" when you die is not what true Christianity is all about! Most who call themselves "Christians" have never been taught the full purpose of human existence! It is vital that you come to fully understand and follow the "whole counsel" of Almighty God (Job 15:8; Acts 20:27).
We have just read Paul's warning that "savage wolves" would come in and "draw away" many from the Truth of God. Paul also urgently warned God's people about a great "falling away" (2 Thessalonians 2:1–12). He wrote: "For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming" (vv. 7–8).
What did Paul mean by "lawlessness"? Was Paul describing mere human laws being violated? No! Paul was obviously referring to something more than "traffic laws" being violated. Paul was describing a religious system—the "mystery of lawlessness"—that was slowly but surely taking over the name of Christianity, perverting Christ's teachings and practices, convincing people to abandon God's great spiritual law!
Nearly all respected historians know that a massive change came over the professing Christian church within a century after Christ and the original apostles died. One historian writes: "For fifty years after St. Paul's life a curtain hangs over the church, through which we strive vainly to look; and when at last it rises, about 120ad with the writings of the earliest church-fathers, we find a church in many aspects very different from that in the days of St. Peter and St. Paul" (Jesse Lyman Hurlbut, The Story of the Christian Church, p. 41).
On whose authority did the early bishops make these drastic changes? Did God or Jesus Christ tell them to make His Church very different from the original Church known to Christ and the apostles?
Rather, even after His death, Jesus told the apostles, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age…" (Matthew 28:19–20).
On whose authority did the so-called "church fathers" do away with—and virtually destroy for their followers—the teachings of Jesus Christ and the original apostles? The real answer is that they had no such authority! That is why God inspired the Apostle Jude to exhort true Christians: "Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ" (Jude vv. 3–4, NASB).
Jude tells us that we will literally need to "contend"—fight—for the "faith which was once for all delivered to the saints." He warns about certain men who "crept in" to turn the concept of grace into "licentiousness"—into a license for deceived people to think that they can disobey God's great spiritual law and still somehow enter the Kingdom of God!
This, my friends, is exactly what most "mainstream" Christians believe today. Many churches talk about the Ten Commandments as a good "general guideline." But if you pin them down, the vast majority of mainstream ministers will say that a Christian is not bound to keep the Ten Commandments as a way of life! This is one reason why God inspired Jude to exhort us to contend for the true faith which was "once for all delivered to the saints."
What would it mean to restore the original Christianity of Christ and the apostles? What differences would we find if the "original Christianity" of the New Testament was genuinely taught and practiced once again?
Wow! This restoration would involve far more than most of you probably realize! Because, as historian Hurlbut acknowledges, by 120ad we find a professing Christian church "in many aspects very different from that in the days of St. Peter and St. Paul."
Respected historian Will Durant wrote, "Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it. The Greek mind, dying, came to a transmigrated life in the theology and liturgy of the Church; the Greek language, having reigned for centuries over philosophy, became the vehicle of Christian literature and ritual; the Greek mysteries passed down into the impressive mystery of the Mass. Other pagan cultures contributed to the syncretist result. From Egypt came the ideas of a divine trinity… and a personal immortality of reward and punishment; from Egypt the adoration of the Mother and Child, and the mystic theosophy that made Neoplatonism and Gnosticism, and obscured the Christian creed…" (The Story of Civilization, Vol. 5, Durant, pp. 595, 599).
For hundreds of years during the Dark Ages, the genuine Christianity of Christ and the apostles was indeed "obscured." Men wrongly taught, in Jesus' name, a totally different way of life and approach to God. False teachers replaced the original Holy Days—commanded by God, and observed by Christ and the apostles—with pagan days and worldly concepts. As historian Jesse Lyman Hurlbut wrote: "The forms and ceremonies of paganism gradually crept into the worship. Some of the old heathen feasts became church festivals with change of name and of worship. About 405ad images of saints and martyrs began to appear in the churches, at first as memorials, then in succession revered, adored, and worshipped" (The Story of the Christian Church, p. 73).
At that time, false believers presenting themselves as "Christians" gradually introduced "heathen feasts" such as Christmas, Easter and All Saints Day into the professing Christian church. But what about the fourth commandment of Almighty God? What about the commanded weekly day of rest and worship? "As long as the church was mainly Jewish, the Hebrew Sabbath was kept; but as it became increasingly Gentile the first day gradually took the place of the seventh day" (ibid., p. 45).
Was this God's idea? Did God gradually change His divine law so His worshipers could honor the "day of the sun"—Sunday—as the pagans had done for centuries?
As scores of authorities acknowledge, the early true Christians—Gentiles and Jews alike—all worshiped on the seventh-day Sabbath. Historians agree that this continued for at least a generation or two after the deaths of the Twelve Apostles! God did not change His law. The Apostle Paul instructed Christians: "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ" (1 Corinthians 11:1). The Apostle John observed: "He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked" (1 John 2:6).
These two apostles, like all the others, knew that Jesus Christ came to show the perfect example, and that Christians ought to follow His example, strengthened by the Holy Spirit. This was the commonplace understanding in the Apostle Paul's day, as Christianity spread across the Roman Empire. Historians acknowledge this fact, as the following meaningful quotation reminds us: "Everywhere, especially in the East of the Roman Empire, there would be Jewish Christians whose outward way of life would not be markedly different from that of the Jews. They took for granted that the gospel was continuous with [the religion of Moses]; for them the New Covenant, which Jesus had set up at the Last Supper with His disciples… did not mean that the covenant made between God and Israel was no longer in force. They still observed the feasts of Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles… the weekly Sabbath and the Mosaic regulations concerning food. According to some scholars, they must have been so strong that right up to the fall of Jerusalem in ad70 they were the dominant element in the Christian movement (Judeo-christianisme, "Paul and Jewish Christianity," Davies, 1972, p. 72, quoted in Bacchiocchi, From Sabbath to Sunday, p. 151).
So, for about the first 40 years after Christ's resurrection, the true Church of God—keeping God's weekly and annual Sabbaths—was the "dominant element" among those who called themselves "Christians." True Christians were still following the example set by the Jerusalem Church of God!
Who dared to change all of that?
The inspired Apostle Paul told the Ephesian elders, "For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood" (Acts 20:27–28).
If one could have looked in on the "church of God which is at Corinth"—as Paul addressed the Corinthian Christians—what way of life would one have observed among these Gentile Christians? What laws of God and biblical teachings would stand out as being different from mainstream "Christianity" as it is practiced today?
First, even to be present with the early Christians when they met, one would need to grasp the vital importance of obeying each of the Ten Commandments—including the Fourth Commandment. For the Fourth Commandment states, "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates" (Exodus 20:8–10).
This commandment, above all others, reminds the believer that the true God is the Creator. God made the seventh day "holy time"—not Sunday, which is the first day of the week. He did this right at the time of creation—long before there were any Jews. For the Sabbath was not made for the Jews! Jesus Christ Himself said, "The Sabbath was made for man" (Mark 2:27). It was made when human beings were made, then later was made part of the codified spiritual law—the Ten Commandments—which God Himself wrote on two tablets of stone (Exodus 34:28).
Worshiping regularly on the seventh day—the day that begins at what we today call Friday at sunset, and continues until sunset on Saturday—the early Christians were always mindful that the true God was the Creator of heaven and earth, who gave the Ten Commandments that reveal the basis of the right way of life! And the early Christians also observed the annual Holy Days—seven annual festivals directly commanded in the Bible. For Christ and the apostles taught Christians to live "by every word of God" (Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4)—and the only written word of God then available was what we call the Old Testament.
From the Old Testament book of Zechariah, the early Christians would have read and understood that when the Messiah returns to earth as King of kings, He will direct all nations—Jews and Gentiles alike—to keep the Feast of Tabernacles, one of the seven annual festivals that God commanded His people to observe.
As Zechariah wrote: "And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles" (Zechariah 14:16). Then the prophet goes on to tell us that God will shut off the rain from any nation refusing to "keep" the Feast of Tabernacles (v. 17)! This, my friends, will occur during the soon-coming rule of Jesus Christ!
Does it sound as though the genuine Christ of your Bible means business when He commands obedience to God's Laws? Yes, it does! And, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). Are you familiar with that aspect of the biblical Jesus Christ?
Meeting with the original Christians at Corinth, one would also note that they were not observing Easter. Rather, they kept the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread, two of God's commanded annual observances (1 Corinthians 5:6–8). After reminding them that Jesus Christ was sacrificed as our Passover, Paul instructed the Christians at Corinth, "Therefore let us keep the feast" (v. 8). Since Paul's whole context here involves the Passover and Unleavened Bread, it is obvious that he was exhorting these Gentile Christians to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread—the Feast observed in connection with, and occurring just after, the Passover!
Also, if we met regularly with the early Church of God at Corinth, we would hear one of the elders reading Paul's first letter to them, in which he wrote, "But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost" (1 Corinthians 16:8). Pentecost? Perhaps you thought that Pentecost was a one-time event when the Church began, when Peter preached to a massive crowd and 3,000 people were converted (Acts 2).
No. Pentecost was also one of the seven annual festivals—listed in Leviticus 23—which the early Christians observed. These festivals point out and help us commemorate the great Plan that God is working out here on earth. Without observing these true biblical Holy Days—which Christ and the early Church observed—most of today's churchgoers are in total ignorance of the Plan which God is working out among humanity today! We have prepared a well-documented booklet which fully explains these God-given festivals and their meaning, titled The Holy Days: God's Master Plan. Please write for your free copy.
With all of the above information in mind, it should be obvious that this world has been really messed up by Satan the Devil! This powerful spirit being—the present "god" of this world—has deceived most professing ministers, most teachers and educators, and the vast majority of people on this earth today! God's word makes that very plain!
Therefore, we can more fully understand why and how this world has jumped "off the track" in so many ways. For its religious system—including scores of false beliefs and concepts about God and His entire Plan of salvation—its educational system, its political system and the entire structure of this world has been perverted by the cunning machinations of Satan the Devil. The modern "system" of this world is called "Babylon" in your Bible. That is why God commands His true saints, "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues" (Revelation 18:4). So we must do just that and realize that there is an urgent need for the "times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken of by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began" (Acts 3:21).
Since Satan the Devil has completely confused mankind in its pursuit of religion, it should come as no great surprise that he has also confused and misguided people in their pursuit of education. Jesus Christ said, "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them" (Matthew 7:19–20).
The "fruits"—the results—of modern education are all too obvious for one who has eyes to see. Most historians profoundly realize that Germany was the "most educated" nation in the world just prior to World War II. Proportionately, Germany had more men and women with advanced academic and professional degrees than any nation on the face of the earth! But it was the wrong kind of education, which prepared millions of these "educated" people to fall for Adolf Hitler's lies and to allow their "educated" nation to participate in the torture and extermination of millions of Jews and others!
This education—so often repeated, to an extent, even in our modern society—consists primarily of learning about material things. It almost totally neglects the spiritual aspects of life. It almost totally neglects character development—the teaching of right values, of respect for those in positions of authority, and the very purpose for human life. For indeed the "great educators" in our colleges and institutions of higher learning do not know these values or this purpose even themselves! So how can they possibly be expected to impart this kind of understanding and knowledge to others?
Therefore, the "fruits" of higher education in today's society all too often involve higher rates of suicide, broken homes, the development of a cynical and agnostic view of God and the Bible, the breakdown of respect for parents, leaders and for others in general. Certainly, a fair degree of technical and materialistic information may have been imparted. But the understanding and values that make life worth living are almost totally neglected!
When you read the dozens of passages about Christ's coming government, it is obvious that an entirely different educational system will soon be set up over this entire world! The basis of this educational system will be the true knowledge of God and His way of life! The modern "intelligentsia" of this world may sneer at this. But during the Millennium, teachers will spread genuine knowledge that will bring about peace and joy. Certainly students will be taught the "three R's"—reading, writing and arithmetic. They will also be taught true science—and we should note that much of "modern science" is correct and extremely helpful. But they will also come to understand that behind this magnificent and intricate creation is the "Supreme Mind"—the God who is the Creator of heaven and earth, and who created us for a purpose. They will learn not only the physical laws that give order to our world, but also the spiritual laws that regulate human happiness and well-being.
It is often more difficult to un-learn untruths and wrong concepts than it is to learn the pure truth in the first place. So it may take a generation or two to help people truly understand the awesome and wonderful ways of God that affect every phase and facet of life. As part of this way of life, people will enjoy the right kind of music, art and literature. There will be no more vile and pornographic scenes in whatever entertainment may be available.
God created us male and female. Notice His first command to Adam and Eve, "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it" (Genesis 1:28, KJV). So God is not against sex! Rather He created it as a wonderful and beautiful thing to draw a young man and woman together and to help solidify their relationship in marriage and also, obviously, bring about the begettal of children. For God is a family—and wants the human family to learn lessons of giving, sharing and serving so we can later serve in His Family throughout all eternity. So, during the Millennium, there will be none of the vile emphasis on sex as merely a mechanical thing apart from genuine love and out-flowing concern in marriage. Rather, entire courses may be offered on "How to Have a Happy Marriage," "How to Rear Children," "How to Organize a Family Budget," and similar topics of practical benefit.
You may be thinking, "That sounds old-fashioned." Maybe it does in our present circumstances. But the result of this pure teaching, pure entertainment and a pure way of life permeating our entire culture will be happy families, happy children and a depth of joy and peace—and even financial prosperity—beyond what humanity has ever before known.
All through our present society, in America and elsewhere, we constantly behold the spectacle of dishonest politicians, businessmen and other leaders. But in the Millennium, there will be no such thing as a "WorldCom scandal" or an "Enron scandal." People will not be taken advantage of by corrupt leaders in government, business, or our vain and corrupt educational system. Rather, as we have seen, Christ will set up a Kingdom and decide with equity for the benefit of the meek of the earth!
Part of this new teaching will also involve racial relations. For God commanded His people to be fair and equitable to the "stranger" in ancient Israel—and how much more under the New Covenant! God told His people in Israel: "And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him. The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. You shall do no injustice in judgment, in measurement of length, weight, or volume" (Leviticus 19:33–35). Racial and ethnic "minorities" will no longer be oppressed by the majority in any part of the world under Christ's coming government!
Nearly all authorities acknowledge that education should ultimately begin in the home. Yet far too few parents, today, realize this responsibility or take the time to perform it. As the God of the Bible told His people in ancient Israel, "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes" (Deuteronomy 6:6–8).
So the God who gives us life and breath expects parents to teach their children—from infancy—a right way of life. That way is based upon loving and honoring their Creator. It is based upon loving and honoring their parents—which is the fifth of the Ten Commandments. It is based upon teaching human beings how to properly respect every human being made in God's image. In fact, the entire panorama of "statutes" given in the Old Testament has to do with fairness, equity, kindness and out-flowing concern for human beings. This is realized far too little in today's world.
One of the major hindrances to parents teaching their children in the home began during World War II. For the first time, countless millions of women began to work outside the home—and, as a whole, many never fully returned to the home! So, the modern mother is often too busy and too exhausted to spend countless hours working with her young sons and daughters—teaching them a right way of life, teaching them basic knowledge of proper speech and arithmetic and general practical values. Often, the money earned by these young working mothers is mostly consumed by extra taxes, extra expenses for wardrobe, travel, childcare and other needs associated with the job. So very little or nothing may ultimately be added to the "extra" money available for the family. If there is any "extra," it is often spent on getting a second television set, a second car and things that frankly do not contribute to the overall good of the family or society in the end. In fact, the time and effort taken away from the tremendous benefit of being a full-time mother does not compare!
Therefore, during the Millennium, women will be truly "liberated" to spend more time at home with their own children. As in the past, and as in many cultures even today, families will be somewhat larger—and, as a result, children will be more balanced as they interact with more siblings under the direct guidance of parents. There will be more "family gardens" where vegetables and fruits are raised. Perhaps more animals will be purchased such as cows, goats and horses so that the children can become aware of where milk actually comes from! It may seem strange to some older folks, but millions of young people today have a hard time relating to the fact that the milk they drink does not come from a factory, but is squirted out of the udder of a cow! I, personally, have experienced younger folks being literally disoriented as they realized where their milk actually came from!
Certainly, all of the above will help children understand that their food and clothing come from the soil, and that the Creator who guides the weather is ultimately involved in everything that we eat and wear and use.
Being cut off from nature—and from practical living such as outlined above—has, in fact, produced millions of disaffected young people to whom human life is cheap, who think teachers and parents are there to be dis-respected and who have no concept of God as the Creator of all that is. These young people, therefore, end up feeling extremely "empty" after a while and it is a fact—as indicated before—that the more highly educated young people in today's society have the highest rates of suicide!
In spite of the sarcasm and cynicism that may be expressed by modern "educators" regarding teaching the right ways of life outlined above, the "fruits" of modern education speak for themselves.
Within the setting of peaceful, semi-rural communities during the Millennium, there will be top-quality teachers. These teachers will be well-compensated and highly respected—totally unlike in today's perverse society, where teachers often live in near-poverty and face countless obstacles doing their jobs, while school drop-outs can earn millions of dollars for yelling and screaming a kind of "music," or for jumping around on a playing field or even literally beating up on each other. In the world ahead, mankind's values will be totally changed. People will produce something worthwhile, and will be properly paid for it!
Under Christ's coming government, teachers in educational institutions will be of outstanding character. The Bible reveals this approach again and again. Teachers will set examples that students will come to appreciate and want to follow. In the world ahead, teachers will not only be personable; they will share genuine out-flowing concern for their students, sharing their own lives and taking a deep interest in their students' lives in every helpful way.
Yet they will not just be "social workers" or "babysitters" as is so common today. Teachers in the world ahead will offer a demanding curriculum, and will set high academic standards to give students the genuine sense of satisfaction that comes from succeeding at real work. And since the knowledge they impart will be practical—as well as being taught by highly respected individuals—students will learn to appreciate the challenge as they grow in true knowledge and understanding.
Schools and colleges will no longer be "academic factories" turning out thousands of young people educated only in technical information. Rather, they will be community-based educational institutions designed to further the basic training that has already been given in the home regarding right principles of living, practical knowledge and technical information with the understanding of how to use this knowledge to genuinely further the well-being of the entire world.
During the Millennium, teachers will know that their students are, with only the rarest exceptions, being trained well at home by both parents. So teachers will be confident in playing a role of supplementing what parents have done. There will be close communication and cooperation between parents and teachers, and between teachers and students. Schools and families will mutually support each other in developing well-rounded and competent individuals. For they will live in a society based upon the principles of the Creator, which will bring a depth of peace and prosperity and productiveness beyond anything man has ever known.
During the Millennium, the entire approach to agriculture and health will be vastly changed from the emphasis we see today in many "mega-farmers" and agro-businesses. Today, profits reign supreme, at the expense of food quality and health. But in the world ahead, with the living Jesus Christ directly in charge, farmers will have what the Bible calls the "fear of God" guiding them. They will be willing—even eager—to genuinely serve their fellow human beings in how they produce and distribute agricultural commodities.
This will even involve the way they take care of the soil. In our modern day, mechanization has sped up mankind's ability to use—and abuse—the earth. Vast acreages of deserts have been turned into productive farmlands. Because of the misuse of our soil, vast areas of the earth are also returning to desert. This will help bring about the coming famines prophesied by Jesus Christ (Matthew 24:7).
Under Christ's rule, however, farmers will be careful to use natural fertilizers and environmentally friendly techniques to ensure that the soil is not drained of the nutrients which nature provides under optimum circumstances.
In today's world, the meat we eat is often a "chemical soup" of hormones and drugs designed by scientists to speed the growth of animals and maximize farm profits. But when we feed drugs to our livestock, we end up eating those drugs ourselves. For more than 20 years—from the 1950s through the 1970s—many American farmers put a chemical called stilbestrol in cattle feed to enhance the growth of their animals. This chemical, which in some countries was given to pregnant women to prevent miscarriages, was withdrawn from the market after it was linked to increased risk of cancer—but not until it had put hundreds of millions of people at risk.
Another unhealthy trend among cost-conscious farmers is the feeding of dead animals to live animals. This practice causes disease to spread dangerously throughout herds. One disease found in cattle, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, can spread to human beings as the brain-wasting Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease (also known as "mad cow disease") when a person eats meat from a diseased cow.
Why such practices?
As in so many other aspects of modern society, the motive is greed. Our businessmen—and often the authorities who ought to be properly guiding them—are far more interested in making more money or getting a "payoff" than in making sure that the health of their fellow human beings is best protected!
Today, in America, we see vast acreages being set aside to grow corn because some farmers believe they can make more money selling it to produce ethanol. So they let their wheat crops diminish. Now, the cost of a bushel of wheat has skyrocketed, and the world's supply of wheat to make bread—and other products—is at an all-time low. Yet, the populations in many areas continue to explode, and increasing hundreds of millions of people are subsisting on starvation diets!
Undergirding everything we have described in this booklet is the inspired realization that the Family of God will be the ultimate teachers in the Millennium. That family will include not only God and Jesus Christ, but also God's Spirit-born sons and daughters who are now being trained as "teachers" for the Millennium. For the Bible makes it clear that the priests in ancient Israel were—outside of the home—the primary teachers in that society. And your Bible clearly reveals that true Christians, today, are called to be "priests"—or teachers for the Millennium. The inspired song of the saints helps us understand our ultimate goal, "And they sang a new song, saying: 'You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth'" (Revelation 5:9–10). So we see that the true saints of God will not only be "kings" assisting Christ as King of kings (Revelation 19:16), but teachers as well!
We will be assisting Christ in helping reorganize the entire system of this world's governments, educational systems, judicial systems, social systems and religious systems! It will be a tremendous opportunity and challenge! All over this earth at Christ's return, literally hundreds of millions of human beings will come back from various forms of slavery and subjugation. What is predicted for Israel is only a "type" of what will happen to everyone at that time. God's word states, "They shall come with weeping, and with supplications I will lead them. I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters, in a straight way in which they shall not stumble; for I am a Father to Israel, and Ephraim is My firstborn…. Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, streaming to the goodness of the Lord—for wheat and new wine and oil, for the young of the flock and the herd; their souls shall be like a well-watered garden, and they shall sorrow no more at all" (Jeremiah 31:9, 12). Later, God tells His people, "Thus says the Lord: 'Refrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; for your work shall be rewarded, says the Lord, and they shall come back from the land of the enemy. There is hope in your future, says the Lord, that your children shall come back to their own border'" (vv. 16–17).
Still later in this chapter, God reveals the basis for the entire way of life and the joy that will come to the world at that time, "Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more" (vv. 31–34).
The Ten Commandments—the magnificent spiritual law which God gave to Abraham and his servants (Genesis 26:5) long before it was codified for Israel—reveal a way of life that will enable all mankind to learn how to love and serve our Creator and have His divine blessing, and how to truly love our fellow human beings—thus attaining an unprecedented depth of peace and joy.
In the New Testament, God revealed through the Apostle John, "Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years" (Revelation 20:6). The "overcomers"—the true saints of God—are called to be "priests" of God and of Christ and will obviously assist Christ in introducing the right way of life to the entire world.
What a magnificent future!
For every human being on earth can look forward to a time when those still living will be directly taught by the Spirit-born sons and daughters of God in a way that is based totally on love and out-flowing concern. It is difficult for many to genuinely believe God's word. But, for those of us who can, God tells us, "And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him" (1 John 4:16).
When people are literally "surrounded by love"—when they are constantly protected, guided and encouraged by those who have total out-flowing concern for them, the depth of happiness and the "peace of mind which passes all understanding" will be profound. This is the kind of world God is preparing! This is the kind of rulership the living God wants you and me to learn, in preparation for assisting Jesus Christ in bringing about His Millennial rule.
In the book of Hebrews, God tells us that man was made "a little lower than the angels" (Hebrews 2:6–7). The writer then continues, "You have put all things in subjection under his [man's] feet. For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him" (v. 8). The clear indication is that God intends, ultimately, for human beings to be full sons of God—having total power over the universe under God and Christ.
In His final complete prayer, Jesus requested the Father, "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one" (John 17:20–22).
If you read these verses honestly in their context, it is obvious that Christ intended that His faithful saints would become "one" with the Father just as He and the Father are one. So the very genuine future for those who truly surrender and give their lives to God is to share the complete power and glory of the God Family with the Father and Christ throughout all eternity! Together, the true saints will assist Christ in ruling, in teaching—in healing and encouraging—and in blessing the sons and daughters of men all over this earth.
If we "make it," we will be able to interact on a constant basis not only with Christ and the Father but with the awesome "heroes" of the Bible—Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Elijah, Elisha, David, Peter and Paul, Sarah and Ruth, and so many others. As Spirit beings in the actual "Family of God"—composed of His Spirit—we will be able to serve, to create, to plan and to accomplish right along with these magnificent personalities about whom we have read for so many years in God's word!
For God's word tells us, we will not have come into a mere physical relationship with God, as at Mount Sinai. "But," as God states, "you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect" (Hebrews 12:22–23).
In that magnificent future, soon to be established at Christ's coming, we will be able to fellowship and interact with the greatest leaders of the Bible and many other such faithful servants—the spirits of just men made perfect now and forever!
And in that blessed role we will have the wonderful opportunity to share the very love of God, the wisdom of God and the out-flowing concern of God with those people who live on through the Millennium. May God grant this to be your future! May God help all of us to grasp His truly awesome purpose for our lives! And may God help each of us to "go all out" to do our part in preparing for a place of love and service in the very real world ahead!