Tuesday, 2 September 2014

God’s Kingdom on Earth – What will it be like? – PART I

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Wherethere is no vision, the people perish…”               Proverbs 29:18
God's House of Prayer for all Nations
So you believe in the Kingdom of God on Earth, but what will it really be like? 
Do you know enough about this to have a vision of this time whereby you actively look forward with earnest desire that the day would come tomorrow?
How can you be certain that you will even like this time?
I mean what is it you see yourself doing, what friends will you have, what family will you have etc...?
Knowing the answers to these types of questions can make the difference between fearing this time, to looking forward to it with absolute eager excitement and joy.
All the passages that speak about this time in the Bible portray it as a time of unspeakable joy, peace and happiness beyond anything we can even imagine.  As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 2:9
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”  Cp Isaiah 64:4
So we have every reason to look forward to this time and pray earnestly that it will come soon on this earth.
But we won’t have this joyful expectation if we have lots of unanswered questions that confuse us and cause doubt to be present in our mind about this time.
To the faithful who read the Bible, God has given us the answer to every question we could possibly ask about what this time will be like.  Some answers give us a complete picture, some we can confidently take from precedents God has already established with His people Israel as He established them in their land as His people, His Kingdom nation on Earth as it were.
Other answers, especially those where the question is about things we have very little revelation in the Bible, we must resolve to accept what Abraham said of the LORD and what the Angels agreed with Abraham when he pushed for a number of hypothetical answers about the few righteous people who lived in Sodom and Gomorrah before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for the gross evil that was done by most of the people living in these two cities.  At the start of Abraham’s questions he said “shall not the judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25.   The angels concurred with this and proceeded to explain that if a few righteous were found in Sodom and Gomorrah then the LORD would not destroy these cities for their sake.  Abraham took this right down to the family of his nephew Lot consisting of 10 people, and even for just 10 people the angels replied that the LORD would not destroy these two cities.  This shows us how gracious and merciful the LORD is.
Sadly, even amongst Lot’s family of 10, only 4 people were found to be righteous, and they were saved by the Angels ahead of the complete destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
So we too can have every confidence in the words of Abraham, “Shall not the judge of all the earth do right!”  And so for the answer to some questions we must leave it at this and know that whatever happens the LORD shall do what is gracious, merciful, righteous and just for all.
But that said, most questions are answered for us in the Bible, so we can build a sound and complete vision of the time of God’s Kingdom upon this earth.
So let’s have a look at some of the questions we might have on this time of major transformation of the earth and life as we know it today.
Some key questions concerning this time might be as follows:
  1. WHAT CHANGES WILL THERE BE LIVING IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD ON EARTH?
  2. WHAT WILL THE BELIEVERS BE DOING AT THIS TIME?
  3. HOW DO THE BELIEVERS PREPARE FOR THAT TIME NOW?
Okay, so let’s look at this first question and answer it from the Bible.
WHAT CHANGES WILL THERE BE LIVING IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD ON EARTH?
Dramatic Changes are spoken of in the Bible
  1. “Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel… and all the men thatare upon the face of the earth…”
  2. The first thing we learn is that when Christ returns there will be massive worldwide earthquakes that will effectively put an end to the life man now lives ie. Power sources will be destroyed; buildings (all above 2 stories according to some scientists) will collapse.  Just imagine the massive piles of rubble left in all the cities of man around the world. 
  3. Let’s have a look at the Bible passages that speak of this:
·       See Ezekiel 38:18-20
18And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face. 19 For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; 20 So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.
The trigger point for this global earthquake will be the return of Christ standing on the Mount of Olives facing all the nations that have gathered there for battle.
·       See Zechariah 14:1-5
1Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3Then shall the LORD (represented by Christ) go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. 4And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. 5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.
The mount of Olives was the very place Christ was taken up into heaven from.  And as this was the last place he was seen, so he will reveal himself to all nations from this very spot and all nations shall shake at his presence.
Christ shall return to the Mt of Olives
At this very same time of Christ’s intervention in the battle of Armageddon, the final work of Elijah will commence in regathering all the Israelites still scattered throughout the world (estimated at 6 million today).  Elijah’s work is spoken of in Ezekiel.
·       See Ezekiel 20:33-38
33As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you: 34And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. 35 And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. 36 Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD. 37 And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: 38 And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
Now you need to imagine this task upon the turmoil that will be raging throughout the world following the global shaking and destruction in all nations.  Transportation systems will have been knocked out, so the task of getting the scattered Israelites together and moving them will be a manual one.
But at this very same time the false teaching of the Anti-Christ (http://www.truebibleteaching.com/bible-teaching/342-the-anti-christ-revealed.html) will cause all mainstream religions to cry out that this is not the real Christ but Anti-Christ. This will cause nations everywhere to rise up against the proclamation of the real Christ to submit to his righteous rule.
·       Psalm 2 speaks of this time as follows:
1Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? (false teaching of anti-christ) 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed (Christ), saying, 3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us (this will be in response to Christ’s call for all nations to submit to him). 4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. 5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. 6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. 7I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. 8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. 9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. 10Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. 11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
Jeremiah also speaks of this time as follows:
·       See Jeremiah 25:30-33
Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, The LORD shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth. 31 A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the LORD. 32 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. 33 And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground.
This passage along with Psalm 2 paints a pretty grim picture of God at war as it were with the nations, in reality the nations will engage in warfare with Israel as they try by land to travel back to their Promised Land of Israel.
In another passage in Zechariah 9:11-15
“…and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth... 13 When I have bent Judah (Israelites in the Land of Israel) for me, filled the bow with Ephraim (Israelites scattered throughout the world), and raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece (Europe), and made thee as the sword of a mighty man. 14 And the LORD shall be seen over them (as the pillar of cloud and fire in Israel’s wilderness wanderings from Egypt), and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord GOD shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south. 15 The LORD of hosts shall defend them; and they shall devour, and subdue…”
Judah and Ephraim are here used to describe the Israelites in the land being ‘Judah’ and the scattered Israelites around the world being ‘Ephraim', so we see that the cause of the people of Israel ie. the call for 'Ephraim' to return will cause the scattered of Israel throughout the world to return to the land of Israel, and as they do so they will be God’s tool of judgement on the nations who resist them.  God will fight for Israel just as he did for Israel of old coming out of Egypt to the Promised land.  In so many ways this coming out of Egypt is used as a type of the final coming out of Israel from the nations of the world.
After man’s final conflict in the battle known as ‘Armageddon’ the Lord Jesus will set about to establish God’s Kingdom on Earth.  This Kingdom will be centred in Israel in Jerusalem.  Above is an artist’s drawing of the Temple of God as it is described built around an elevated Mt Zion following the great earthquake described in Zechariah 14:3
Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. 4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.”
In this day the words of the Psalmist will start to be fulfilled:
“Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.”  Psalm 48:2
Where Jerusalem is today will be completely changed, a vast flat plain will exist with a mountain in the centre, the new Mt. Zion as seen in the illustration below:
1.    Shows the Temple overlaid on Jerusalem as it is today
2.    Shows a view of the new Temple sitting on the plain where Jerusalem was with Mt. Zion elevated with the rivers of water described in the prophecies of Ezekiel 40-48
God's new House of Prayer for all Nations overlaid on Jerusalem of todayGod's House of Prayer for all Nations
At this time the building of the Temple of God will commence:
10And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee. 11 Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. 12 For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. 13 The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious. 14 The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.”  Isaiah 60:10-14
When this Temple as God’s “House of Prayer for all Nations” is finished all families of all Nations will be required to come once a year to worship the One True God there.
·       Zechariah 14:16-19
16And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. 17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. 18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. 19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
Remember massive changes will have taken place throughout the world as a result of the earthquake described in Ezekiel 38:19-20
Earths FaultlinesFor in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; 20 So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.”
Given the nature of the fault lines in this region and how they join to all the major fault lines throughout the world (see map above left) some scientists have predicted that such a worldwide shaking of the earth could level every building above 2 stories.  Well this certainly seems to be the intent of the words in Ezekiel 38 ie. “...every wall shall fall to the ground.”
So with such a massive worldwide earthquake just imagine the devastation around the world, every major city will be a pile of rubble, dams will break, electricity will have been knocked out, communications will be knocked out along with international monetary systems, and no one will quite know where to start to try and put things back together.  In fact major cities around the world most likely will be abandoned as a pile of rubble.
So what have we discovered so far?
  1. There will be massive earthquake driven changes to the earth, resulting in major topographical changes to the land of Israel and catastrophic disruptions to the way people live around the world with every major city reduced to rubble.
  2. That the world at large led by the Catholic Church and all other mainstream churches will say that this is anti-christ and cause the world at large to resist the rule of Christ by which as a result many people all over the world will perish.
  3. That during this time Elijah will lead the people of scattered Israel back to the land of Israel which will be met by the opposition of the world so that these returning Israelites will have to fight their way back from all nations where they are still scattered.  As they do so they will become God’s “arrow” against the nations who resist and they shall be judged and subdued for doing so.
  4. God’s House of Prayer for all nations will commence to be built upon a new topographical Mt Zion.
When you have digested what we have learnt so far you should be ready to move onto the next Part II of this article series.
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