CHAPTER XXII

 

our service with the lord

 

(Rev. Chapter 20:7-10)

 

That vast multitude of resurrected and translated saints in bodies, made “like unto His glorious body” after Christ rose from the dead, will return with Christ to rule this earth, the military power of nations having been all destroyed; all earthly kings deposed; Antichrist, the False Prophet and Satan put out of the way, and millions of wicked people taken off the earth.

 

According to prophecy, the Jews will settle in Palestine, and according to Christ’s promise, the apostles will rule over them:  “Verily I say unto you,” said Christ to His disciples, “that ye which have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Matt. 19:28).  Then we have seen how , by a parable, He taught the people, that those servants who made a profitable use of their opportunities while He was absent from this earth (gone away to a “far country,” heaven, “to receive for Himself a kingdom”), would upon His return, be rewarded, some with ten cities to rule, some with five cities to rule, etc. (Luke 19:12-27).  Ma we be faithful, that we may reign with Him!  The same thing is taught in the letter to the Church in Thyatira:  “He that overcometh, and keepth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron” (Rev. 2:26-27). 

 

But perhaps you ask who are to be ruled after this fashion?  Why, think of the millions that will be left still on the earth, after the Tribulation is past; millions who either have not heard the Gospel call at all distinctly or if they did hear it did not choose to obey it, though they did not worship Antichrist, either!  To be sure, the False Prophet threatened to kill all who did not worship Antichrist and his image or receive Antichrist’s mark.  And doubtless as many were killed as the False Prophet could lay hands upon, but he certainly could not compass the death of the hundreds of millions of inhabitants of the earth but (As we have said before, John’s vision, in which he sees the False Prophet slaying the people, relates to Jerusalem and Palestine).

 

Therefore, everywhere, beginning with the apostles on their thrones at Jerusalem, the saints are scattered throughout the earth, each setting up a government over the territory assigned to them by the Lord.  What a wonderful time of social reform this will be!  These reigning saints will have bodies that never get tired; minds always alert; sprits never daunted; they never die--go right on with their work equally fresh each day, and all day long, setting the world to rights, beautifying the cities, parks and country fields.  They have not Satan to contend against; no temptations to sin, and yet and yet they live among ordinary short-lived mortals who are sickly and sinful.  Yet these mortals are not so malignantly sinful as formerly, when Satan went about tempting them and over-riding their wills.  Now they are only weak and ignorant, and must be taught and governed the best qualities in the encouraged in every way possible, comforted, soothed and healed.  Realizing the enormous powers of those who govern them, they will not attempt to resist.  These are the days prophesied of by Isaiah (ch2) and Micah (ch. 4), when “they shall break their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”

 

The good work will go on from day to day, and from year to year, until finally sin will be almost abolished from the earth, and with the banishing of sin and healing of sickness, the lives of human beings will lengthen again gradually; intelligence will increase, and above all the spiritual life of the people will flourish.  Covetousness will be known no more; neither will fraud, dishonesty and selfishness.  Wealth will be evenly distributed, and a simple, innocent industrious life be chosen by all, instead of luxury, vice and indolence.  Read this picture of those days which are coming:  “I create Jerusalem a rejoicing and her people a joy.  And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people:  and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.  There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days:  for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.”  (The though seems to be, no baby only a few days old shall die; no old man shall be cut off prematurely; at the age of a hundred, one will be still scarcely more than in his infancy; and should one be cut off by death as early as his hundredth year it would prove him a sinner whom God had visited with judgment.)  “And they shall build house and inhabit them; and they shall plan vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.  They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant food and another eat; for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.  They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them.  And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.  The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock:  and dust shall be the serpent’s meat.  They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain.”  (Isa. 65:18-25).

 

This describes Jerusalem, especially, but the same state of joy, peace and comfort will spread all over the earth, as the result of the rule of the saints, who will be taught by Jesus Himself, the King of the whole earth, how to rule the nations with perfect justice.

 

As you can see, this life is so like our present life that nearly all we have learned in this life can be put to good used during the Millennium, when we must teach the nations.  The land, which is given them, they must be taught to cultivate.  They must be shown how to build themselves comfortable dwellings, and be taught the ways and manners of a more civilized and cultured people than have ever yet inhabited this earth.  Not one human being must be left ignorant, degraded, shiftless or neglected; all must be taught the highest possible state of development.

 

Whatever happens when the Lord thus takes this earth under control—I mean, if anyone should be unruly at first—all will be quickly subdued.  The rule, though one of love and mildness, will be as firm as adamant; and no lawlessness be allowed.  Soon perfect order, and that, without the exercise of any brute force will reign everywhere, and then great happiness and prosperity will follow.  And after this has gone on for a thousand years, then the Lord will put human beings to the test.  Not that He need to find out for Himself what is in many; He knows all thing.  But man needs to know what is in himself, and God would have all know for themselves, by their own observation, that He is perfectly just.

 

This is His test, as described in chapter 20:7: “When the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,” but only for “a little season” (v. 3).  Now if, after this thorough drill in right living, any persons can be found who wish to sin, they must be removed from the earth altogether—sent to Hades to await the Great Judgment Day.

 

And John proceeds to tell us that such rebels will be found—people who have only done ight because they did not dare to do wrong, but who in their hearts still loved unrighteousness.  Satan easily makes these people his dupes, by telling them to follow him and they an readily conquer Jerusalem and seize the kingdom and rule the earth as they please.  Strange to say Satan gets an immense following of people, called Gog and Magog, band they arch up to Jerusalem and besiege it, but God rains down fire from heaven and kills them.  Satan is seized, and this time he is thrust into hell (Gehenna), “the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are,:  and where the “shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (20:7-10).  This is the end of Satan, as far as human beings on earth shall ever know.

 

Now I am wondering if any of the children who hear this story of Jerusalem and the whole world, when governed by the Lord Jesus Himself, are saying “But she has not told us one thing about the children who live during the Millennium.”  They cannot be governing cities and countries, putting drink shops out of existence, and teaching people how to be good.  What will the children be doing?  “When all the grown-ups are so useful and holy, will it no be rather hard for us children to keep from doing something to displease them?  Will we not have to be so awfully, awfully good, that we cannot have any good times at all?”

 

Why, that’s just the good part I’m coming to!  Grown-ups will not come home tired from their work; and will not always be in a hurry, and cannot be bothered; and will not have headaches, and be worried with many cares.  They will have time to spend with the young folks, having a good time with them.  Why, the bible tells us what a good time the children, too, are going to have.  Just listen to this:  “I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem:  and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth: and the mountain of the Lord of hosts the holy mountain.  Thus saith the Lord of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every one [of these old people] 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”  (Zech. 8:3-5).

 

That looks as though the old folks loved to have the girls and boys playing all about them, does it not?  And just as it is at Jerusalem, we may be sure it will be in every other city.  No fear of bad boys and rough company; nor of motors and officious policemen, drunken men, and all the rest.  Just a good time out on the public street, where most children love best of all to play; only while the world is so wicked, and the streets unsafe, careful parents cannot allow it.

 

         CHAPTER 23