"And the Lord shall be King over all the earth ..."
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Course #11 - The Kingdom of God and Peace on Earth
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Peace on earth - when?
When Jesus was born. the angels sang for joy. The words
of their song are written in Luke:
"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace, good will toward men." (Luke 2:14)
Yet from that day to
this. there has never been any real and lasting peace on earth. And there never
will be, until Jesus comes back to the earth to set up the Kingdom of
The Old Testament tells us a lot about that Kingdom, and gives us
many pictures of the time of peace and prosperity that it will bring.
The extent of the Kingdom
Look again at Psalm 72. In this Psalm we are given a
picture in words of the time when God's Kingdom is established on earth. But,
for the moment, notice particularly verse 8:
"He shall have dominion
also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the
This tells us that the Kingdom set up by Jesus, centred in
Israel, is going to extend over the whole earth. We find the same thing in Psalm
2:8, where God speaks to Jesus, saying: "Ask of me, and I shall give thee the
heathen (nations) for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth
for thy possession."
(When the Bible was first written in English,
about 400 years ago, the word "heathen" meant exactly what our word "nation"
Let us look up one more verse. Turn to the 14th chapter of
Zechariah, and read verse 9:
"And the LORD shall be King over all the
earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one."
The rule of Christ
Jesus Christ will rule from Jerusalem, his capital city,
which he once called "the city of the great King" (Matthew 5:35). His law will
go out through all the earth, as we read in Isaiah 2. Read verses 1-4, and note
"Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the
Lord from Jerusalem." (Isaiah 2:1-4)
An ideal kingdom
Suppose you were asked to say what conditions you would
like to live under in an ideal world.
One of the first things you would
ask for would be security; freedom from fear, and peace to enjoy the fruits of
your labour. In fact, you would probably have a picture in your mind something
like the one the prophet Micah gives us:
"And he (that is, Jesus
Christ) shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off, and
they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into
pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall
they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under
his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of
Hosts hath spoken it" (Micah 4:3,4).
But before there can be peace,
there must be a real effort on the part of men to walk in the ways of God. So
long as men continue to go their own way, there will be trouble. So one of the
first works of the Lord Jesus will be to teach all nations the ways of God. But,
you may say, there are some who simply would not listen! That is true, and those
who do not obey will be punished, as we read in Isaiah 11:
breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked" (Isaiah 11:4)
for, remember, when
Jesus comes back, he will be all-powerful.
Who will be in the Kingdom?
1. First, there will be
the rulers. These will be the men and women who have been disciples followers of
Jesus, from all ages, who have now been given eternal life by Jesus at his
coming. They will be kings and priests, helping Jesus to rule the world. They
will be immortal people (that is, people who will not die again).
they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the
seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out
of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our
God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth" (Revelation
2. There will also be Jews who have accepted Jesus as their
king. Jerusalem will become the capital city for the whole world. All nations
will look to it, because God's law will be based there.
"At that time
they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be
gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk
any more after the imagination of their evil heart" (Jeremiah
Christ will be among them, and they will be greatly blessed,
although they will still be mortal (that is, still able to die).
When Christ comes, God's judgements will be severe, and many people will
perish. But those who are left alive, throughout the world will, under the rule
of Jesus, learn to do that which is pleasing to God - as it tells us in Isaiah
"When thy judgements are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world
will learn righteousness." (Isaiah 26:9)
Prosperity for all
With such perfect conditions as there will be then, there
will be prosperity on every hand. Psalm 72:16 says:
"There shall be an
handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof
shall shake like Lebanon."
Mountain-tops are usually bare If there is
corn upon the top of the mountains, we can imagine how abundant it will be in
the valleys. As we read in Psalm 67:
"Then shall the earth yield her
increase, and God, even our own God, shall bless us." (Psalm 67:6)
deserts will be green in those days. Read the beautiful verses again in Isaiah
35:1,2 which tell us how -
"The desert shall rejoice, and blossom as
the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing."
Healing of mind and body
With these blessings will come also the blessing of
greater health and strength.
When Jesus lived on earth nearly 2000 years
ago, he brought health to many who were sick, by using the power that God had
given him. In the Kingdom of God, this power will be seen again. Read on in
Isaiah 35 to verse 6:
"Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an
hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing." (Isaiah 35:1-6)
We can well imagine, too,
that the mortal people will live longer than they do today. The prophet
Zechariah tells us that this will be so. He says:
"There shall yet
old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his
staff in his hand for very age. And the streets of the city shall be full of
boys and girls playing in the streets thereof" (Zechariah 8:4,5).
These verses speak of Jerusalem, but, as we have seen, the blessings
of the Kingdom will extend over all the earth.
The sure word of God
Perhaps you are thinking, 'All this sounds very nice, but
it is surely too good to be true'. If the promises which we have read about
depended on men, then we certainly could put no trust in them. Even the best men
may not be able to do what they promise, because of human weakness.
these promises come from God, and we may put all our trust in them. Read Isaiah
55:6-11, and notice particularly verse 11:
"So shall my word be that
goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall
accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent
So we may look forward with joy to that time when there shall
be "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace" (Luke 2: 14).
Even greater perfection
The Kingdom age will last for a thousand years. We speak
of this time as 'the Millennium' - 'Millennium' is just another way of saying 'a
It will be a wonderful time, but it will not be
perfect. The ordinary men and women living in the Kingdom will still have human
nature, which finds it so easy to sin. They will still grow old and die. We are
even told that some of the nations will rebel against the rule of the Lord Jesus
at the end of the thousand years.
He will, of course, completely
overcome them. At that time those who have been faithful in the Kingdom age will
be given the gift of eternal life. Those who have died will be raised for
judgement by Jesus.
Then, the whole earth will be filled with the glory
of God, and He - the great Creator - will be "all in all" (I Corinthians 15:28).
1. When Jesus comes back, he will become King of the
2. His capital city will be Jerusalem.
3. All over the world there
will be peace and prosperity, health and happiness.
4. In his world-wide
Kingdom, everybody will learn to obey God's commandments.
5. In the Kingdom
there will be -
(a) immortal people, who followed Jesus and obeyed God in
their lives. Being immortal they will no longer suffer pain or have to battle
against sin. They will help Jesus to rule and care for the world and its peoples
in the Kingdom of God.
(b) mortal people who have survived the dangers and
terrors of the judgements of God on an evil world. They will learn to serve and
Chapters to read: (Psalm 72; Micah 4:1-7)
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Learn by heart: (Psalm 22:27,28):
"All the ends of the world shall remember and turn
unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
For the kingdom is the Lord's: and he is the governor among the
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