Restoration of the Kingdom of God - 2
There is both a parallel and a contrast between the entry of Israel into Canaan under Joshua and the forceful incorporation of the nations into the Kingdom of God under Jesus. The Canaanites were the rotten apples, which if permitted to remain, would surely spread their corruption to the new barrelful of Israelite apples - as did in fact occur - 2 Chronicles 33:2. This is why Joshua was directed to wipe out all the people of Canaan who did not immediately submit to the God of Israel - which only a few did - Joshua 2 & 9.
When Jesus returns, “darkness shall cover the earth, and deep - moral and spiritual - darkness the people” - Isaiah 60:2. But at that time the moral power and authority which Jesus brings, will be intertwined with physical power in the hands of his immortal saints who will be assigned positions of responsibility in every nation. Their’s will not be to destroy. Their work will be to “reign on the earth” as “kings and priests” - Revelation 5:10. God promised a “son” or descendant in Bible idiom, to King David who would also be the Son of God to rule on David’s throne over Israel - 2 Samuel 7. Speaking of that promised one, David said, “He who rules over men must be just, 4 ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be like the light of the morning when the sun rises, a morning without clouds, Like the tender grass springing out of the earth, by clear shining after rain” - 2 Samuel 23:3-4.
The clouds of war having cleared, these kings will be the occupying power everywhere. These same immortals who are also priests will shine divine light on the people of each nation, leading them to walk in God’s ways. This role will be a continuation of that which was exercised under the law of God given to Israel - Deuteronomy 17:9; “The lips of a priest should keep knowledge, and people should seek the law from his mouth; for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts” - Malachi 2:7.
The rule of Christ and the saints will bring true justice, fair, impartial and unsullied by any form of corruption. Their work will bring all mankind to submit all due recognition to God, to honour and worship Him and to joyfully conduct their lives in His way. The centre of that worship will require pilgrimage to His appointed place - Isaiah 2:2 “The mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. 3 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. 4 He shall judge between the nations, and shall 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”.
In the original phase of the Kingdom of God, the mortal priests were given the responsibility of administering the law of God - Psalm 82:1-2. This will be transferred to the immortal priests serving under Jesus, who will be chief magistrate in Jerusalem, location of the world supreme court - 8 “Arise, O God, judge the earth; For You shall inherit all nations”. This will be when - “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.
But how will the populations of the earth be moved to abandon their long-established customs, philosophies, religions - and their national pride - to accept the authority of Christ’s government? The peculiarities of human nature are such that it will not come without serious conflict. How will the saints accomplish this troublesome task?