Restoration of the Kingdom of God - 3
After the final crushing of organized resistance to Jesus’ authority as God’s King on earth,
- "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.
Implicit in this is a willing submission to the new government of Christ in which church and state are combined. This will not occur until the old infrastructure of the world - physical, political, religious and social - has been completely obliterated in that final war - Revelation 16:16-21.
The descendants of Jacob grew into a nation which God made his “firstborn” - Exodus 4:22.
- "...O children of Israel...the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt...2 You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities” - Amos 3:1.
- God had established a theocracy in Israel, which he made “a kingdom of priests” - Exodus 19:6. But these spiritual guides, mortal men, failed to fulfil their duty and Israel rebelled against and His law, in preference for idolatry and its practices.
- After centuries of warnings and punishments, God finally sent the Babylonians to kill many of the people, destroy their cities, and take the rest of the people away from their land - all in fulfilment of Leviticus 26.
- These events cured the nation of ever again sliding back into their old idolatry. Even at that, only “a remnant” of Israel were saved - Romans 9:27.
But after Jesus died and was raised back to life, the salvation of God was extended beyond Israel to all nations - God commanded “all men everywhere to repent” - Acts 17:30.
- After 2,000 years the other nations have done no better than Israel, with relatively few entering the narrow gateway to everlasting life, as Jesus taught - “Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it,” because most failed to 15 “beware of false prophets” - Matthew 7:14; 2 Peter 2:1-2.
After the resurrection and judgement at Christ’s return, those rewarded with immortality will be “made kings and priests to God; and they shall reign on the earth” - Revelation 5:10.
- They will be assigned positions of authority, over “ten cities”, “five cities”, etc., according to the measure of their faithfulness - Luke 19:12-27. Their charge will be similar to that assigned by God to Moses - to take command over a people who have been slaves to sin (doing what comes naturally to human nature). They will enlighten and educate them concerning the reality of the Creator, his plan and purpose with His creation.
- Where there is rebellion the immortal rulers will have the power to bring the people into line by their control over disease, the weather, etc., - “Whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, on them there will be no rain. 18 If the family of Egypt will not come up ... they shall receive the plague with which the Lord strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles” - Zechariah 14:17.
- When they must grow their own food and there are no clinics, the people will be dependent on their rulers’ power to keep them alive and healthy - a great motive to accept their guidance.
This first phase of Christ’s kingdom will be less than pleasant for those who resist his authority. But the eventual willing acceptance of the Divine government will bring unprecedented good times for the subjects of Christ’s world-wide kingdom.