The Kingdom March 2019

In March, we will commence our second series of studies under the guidance of Brother Steve Hughes.

In this series of Bible studies, we will explore what it will be like to actually live in the Kingdom of God on Earth. This series is therefore a natural progression from Scott’s studies on Kingdom Living Now. In this series, we will use scripture in an attempt to build a realistic picture of what the kingdom will actually be like.

Of course, we cannot know exactly what the kingdom will be like, but it is good for us to imagine. As it says in Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision the people perish…” Clearly this is not talking about natural sight, but mental sight. Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom of God (Mark 1:14) and a major part of the message of the New Testament is being ready for the return of Jesus as king of the Jews and the whole world.

The material in this study has been taken from Steve’s eBook, the Kingdom of God on Earth, which can be downloaded by clicking the link. This series of studies is based on chapters 2, 7, 10 and 13 of the book.

Study One: The return of Jesus

The Bible contains about 1,000 direct and indirect references to the return of Jesus to the earth. The primary reference to the return of Jesus is Acts 1:10-11 where Jesus ascends to heaven and two angels tell the disciples that Jesus is coming back.

We need to go back to the account of the origin of the universe, the Earth, and humankind recorded in the book of Genesis to place the return of Jesus in context. In Genesis 1:26 we are told that Adam and Eve were created in the “image and glory of God”. “Image” means that Adam and Eve were created in the physical form of God, and “glory” means they had the mental capacity to develop godly characters (1 Corinthians 11:7).

We know from Numbers 14:21, that it is God’s purpose to fill this earth with men and women like Himself. Although Adam and Eve failed the test of character that God set them in the Garden of Eden, God’s purpose remained unchanged, and so He set in motion his plan of salvation centred in the Lord Jesus Christ. The pivotal event of God’s plan was of course the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, which as we all know from our modern calendar, occurred nearly 2,000 years ago. The next major event in God’s plan is the return of Jesus and establishment of the Kingdom of God on Earth. During the kingdom, the whole population of the Earth will know God (Jeremiah 31:34).

Study Two: A house of prayer for all nations

In the kingdom, it will be the first time the world has a capital city for all nations – Jerusalem. As well as being the administrative capital of the world, it will be the centre of worship. A temple will be built in Jerusalem – the house of prayer for all nations (Isaiah 56:7). People will travel to Jerusalem from all over the world.

A unique aspect of the temple is that the central section will actually be a place where heaven touches the earth. In Isaiah 61:1, God says, “The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool”. The centre of the temple will be this place of connection. God’s presence will be seen as a light above the centre of the temple. The temple will be the focal point for education in the ways of God.

Study Three: The plowman shall overtake the reaper

Currently, the world faces major issues over food security due to climate change. Each year, millions of children die of malnutrition. In addition, malnutrition increases the burden of disease. When Adam and Eve were ejected from the Garden of Eden, a curse was placed on the ground, making it more difficult to grow food. We are all familiar with this curse. It can be summarised in a single word – weeds!

In the kingdom this curse will be removed. Food production will be so great that there will not be enough time to harvest crops before the start of the sowing season (Amos 9:13).

Famine will be a thing of the past. The greatly improved food security in the kingdom will be a direct consequence of humankind collectively trying to follow God’s ways.

When the angels announced the birth of Jesus, they said: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and good will toward men.” (Luke 2:14). It is commonly assumed that these words apply each Christmas, and yet they have not yet come true. There will never be peace on earth until people glorify God. People cannot glorify God until they acknowledge that God’s ways are right (Isaiah 26:9), the result of which will be peace (Isaiah 32:17).

In the kingdom, the absence of war will free up resources for agriculture, and so the words of Isaiah 2:4, “they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks”, written in large writing on a curved wall outside the United Nations building in New York, will actually come true.

Study Four: God All in All

At the end of the kingdom, God will arrive on the Earth. The last time God was on the Earth was during the seven days of creation. We are told that God will dwell on the Earth and therefore, contrary to the common assumption that the Bible teaches that people go to heaven at death, the reverse will occur – heaven will come down to Earth – as alluded to in the Lord’s Prayer “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

At the end of the 1,000 years of the kingdom, something incredible is going to happen. The death of death! Death is going to be eradicated from the earth. In Romans 6:23, we read “the wages of sin is death”. If there’s no more death, then there can be no more sin. The earth will be populated by men and women with the glorious character of God who have been endowed with immortal, divine nature. We are destined to become part of God’s divine family and share in a oneness described as being God “all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28). At the end of the kingdom, God’s ultimate purpose to fill this earth with men and women like himself will be realised.