Politics & Prophecy: A Lawyer’s View of the End Times
Part 2 – Judgment of the Nations
by Gerald R. Thompson
Rev. 20:1-6 (summary) – Satan is seized, thrown into the bottomless pit, and chained there for a thousand years. Then the pit is shut and sealed over him to prevent him from deceiving the nations until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while. Then, seated on thrones “were those to whom the authority to judge was committed.” Also, the souls of those who had been beheaded for the sake of Jesus and who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received the mark of the beast came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.
The Millennium is, for all practical purposes, the same as the Golden Age of the O.T. The difference is that O.T. prophets saw this period primarily in terms of the restoration of Israel. Whereas Revelation sees it primarily as the establishment of the earthly kingdom of Christ, in which Christians will rule and reign. These two things are not incompatible, nor are they completely separate, nor are they completely identical. They are symbiotic and complementary.
Which is to say, Jesus will establish His worldwide earthly kingdom with its capital in Jerusalem. He will rule all the nations, but Israel will play a prominent role in that kingdom. Israel’s land, fortune and reputation will have been restored, and people from around the world will come to Jerusalem both the worship the king and also conduct official business. Israel will be the center of the world not only geographically, but politically. Don’t be surprised if the GMT/UTC is reset to Jerusalem instead of Greenwich, England.
As an example of this symbiotic relationship between the restoration of Israel and the rule and reign of the Church, consider Mat. 19:28-29:
Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.”
Clearly, the bulk of Jesus’ remarks are directed to believers in Him – those who have left family and property “for my name’s sake.” So He is not speaking primarily to ethnic Jews. Yet, the twelve apostles will sit on twelve thrones governing not the Church, not twelve nations, but the twelve tribes of Israel. Yes, of course the apostles were all Israelites. Yet they will not sit on those thrones merely because of their ancestry, but because they were foundational to the inauguration of the Church. Frankly, I would have expected these twelve thrones to be occupied by the twelve sons of Jacob. So Israel and the Church will both be exalted in the Millennium together, symbiotically.
The Millennium, the 1,000 year earthly kingdom of Christ, is only mentioned once in the entire Bible as a fixed period of time, in Rev. 20:1-10. For this reason, some people discount it as something of an aberration – supposedly you can’t get good doctrine from just one text. And normally I would agree. But the phrase thousand years is mentioned six times in those few verses, adding considerable emphasis. Plus, when put together with scriptures regarding the Golden Age and other scriptures regarding the rule of the nations by Jesus with a rod of iron, you get a fairly comprehensive picture of the time we call the Millennium. The point is, you have to put them together.
Why Christ’s Kingdom Will Be Physical And Political
There are several reasons why a literal, physical 1,000 year earthly kingdom of Christ preceding eternity is plausibly a part of the overall plan of God, even if we were to ignore the mentioning of it in the first few verses of Rev. 20. I have alluded to a couple of these early on, namely, that there is something more that Jesus needs to do on earth, and there is some unfinished business relating to the divine covenants. Both of these are discussed in detail in the next section. Additionally:
1) God is as concerned with the physical as He is with the spiritual.
It really bothers me when people think God is only concerned with spiritual things, and to regard physical things either as necessary but unimportant, or as corrupt and to be avoided. It borders on Gnosticism – the belief that all material things are evil. In eschatology, the view which emphasizes all things spiritual and de-emphasizes all things material is amillennialism. Hence, in the amillennial world, the political kingdom of Christ is not past, present or future, it is non-existent.
There are so many ways in which God has shown himself to be concerned with the physical world, and that it matters, I cannot list them all. But here are a few: God created man from the dust of the ground, a physical being, perfect, without sin, and it was very good. God gave man dominion over the spiritual (oops! I meant physical) world – stuff like plants and animals, involving physical work. The whole familial system created by God is gritty and earthy – sex, children, food, shelter, clothing. And all of it was very good when created, too.
If you consider the various laws God gave to ancient Israel, only about half of them concerned the temple/ tabernacle, priests & Levites, sacrifices, feasts and holy days – you know, spiritual’ things. The rest of the laws concerned clean and unclean food (not from a spiritual perspective, but a physical health perspective), dealing with bodily discharges, waste, various diseases and other health concerns. Not to mention all the commercial and economic laws, land laws, inheritance laws, the judicial system, etc. For a God supposedly only interested in spiritual things, He sure spent a lot of time and effort on physical things and wanted His people to do the same.
And then there’s the whole aspect of redemption. Spiritual redemption you know about. But God also provided for redemption of people from physical bondage (whether slavery or indentured servitude), redemption and release from financial burdens (debts, sureties & pledges), and redemption of the land (whether from transfers or conquests). See, e.g., Lev. 25:25-54; 27:13-33; Num. 18:15-17.
When He sent Jesus to earth, it was done in the most physical of ways – not by dropping in out of the sky, not by miraculously appearing, but being born as a child to real parents, and growing up to adulthood in the real world working as a carpenter. God didn’t have to do it that way. Don’t tell me God isn’t concerned with the physical world – He wanted to do things that way. And just as Jesus came to earth in bodily form (the incarnation), so His kingdom will come to this earth incarnate. When Jesus said His kingdom was “not of this world” (Jn. 18:36), He only meant, “not yet.”
2) Either the Golden Age will be literal or God is a great exaggerator and a liar.
One of the most profound questions you can ever ask someone about prophecy is, “Does God exaggerate?” Amillennialists especially, but also some postmillennialists, would have us believe God didn’t literally mean it when He said Satan will be bound for 1,000 years, the dead in Christ will rise from the dead and rule on earth prior to heaven, the throne of David will be reestablished, or that Israel and Jerusalem will be restored in physical terms in history. They would have us believe all these things are merely allegorical, spiritually symbolic, or a type of things to come in eternity.
Well, if that’s all those things mean, then God is a great exaggerator and a liar. Because the Jews of the first century knew what those things meant: the Messiah would conquer Israel’s enemies in this world and restore Israel in this world. The Jews weren’t actually wrong about that – they just got the timing wrong. Jesus is still going to do those things, and the Jewish Messiah is still going to come. The apostles knew it, too (Acts 1:6).
I don’t know about you, but if all the above prophecies are just allegorical, then I guess all that stuff about Adam and Eve was probably allegorical, too. The flood of Noah probably only covered the Black Sea. Jesus wasn’t really born of a virgin – what does it matter anyway? – his birth was just a spiritual type. We just need to believe, right? Nonsense.
I know God often uses symbolic and allegorical language – much of this discussion is devoted to acknowledging and understanding those symbols. But not everything, not even the majority of things, can be merely symbolic, or the whole framework of understanding God, man and the world in which we live falls apart. Allegorical things are the exception, not the rule, and we have to identify them carefully. Everything else must be literal.
So the way I answer the question is this: God sometimes speaks symbolically, but no, He never exaggerates, and no, God never lies. God is a God of truth. Isa. 45:19; Jn. 1:17; Jn. 14:6. And when God inspired the scriptures, He chose words carefully and knew what He was doing. 1 Tim. 3:16.
The Nature of Kingdom Government
Isa. 2:3b-4 – “For out of Zion shall go the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and 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.”
Mic. 4:3-4 – “He shall judge between many peoples, and shall decide for strong nations afar off; and 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; but they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid, for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.”
These scriptures tell us what the government of the Millennial kingdom will look like. We already know Jesus will rule as King from the Third (or future) Temple in Jerusalem. We also now know He will issue and promulgate laws, and He will judge between the nations as its supreme court of last resort. In other words, Jesus will be the supreme executive, supreme lawgiver, and supreme judge of the world, uniting all three branches of government in Himself without corruption. “For the Lord is our judge; the Lord is our lawgiver; the Lord is our king; he will save us.” Isa. 33:22.
In saying that Jesus will rule and judge all the nations, of necessity it means that nations will still exist. There may be a one world government in the Millennium, but it will not eliminate separate nations. Scripture teaches us that nations were not invented by men, they were created by God in the dispersion following the tower of Babel. Gen. 10:32-11:9. Governments are created by men, but nations were created by God. See my extensive treatment of this subject in my essay, The Right To Alter Or Abolish The Government.
The one world government of Christ will be in stark contrast to globalization movements today, whereby people attempt to destroy what God has created by eliminating both national sovereignties (governments) and national identities. There is only one way to have a godly globalization: maintain national identities and have Jesus Christ as the one world ruler. All current globalization efforts are doomed to fail because they deny these two requirements.
Under Christ, not only will national identities be preserved, but also to some extent national sovereignties. That is, not the governments in place now, but new national governments which are separate from each other. We can expect Jesus to follow the pattern of Exo. 18:24-26 in establishing levels of inferior courts so that He is, in fact, only a court of last resort. It is not by accident that the scriptures tell us that Christ will judge the nations.
Similarly, we can expect Him to appoint national and regional governors, etc. to maintain internal governments for each nation. Perhaps the same will also be true of national legislatures. In other words, the U.S. model of federal and state government will likely be applied to the whole world. No, of course I don’t mean to imply that Jesus will follow the pattern of America – don’t be silly. What I’m saying is that America simply got the idea from the Bible and God’s pre-existing plan.
As noted earlier, every mortal person who enters the millennial kingdom will be an unbeliever. The righteous will all have been transformed at the Second Coming. Only unbelievers will be left. Many people will come to Christ during the Millennium because of the pervasive and visible presence Jesus and His kingdom will have worldwide. But even then, no one will be forced to accept Christ, and many will not.
For those who are born during the millennium especially, it will be all they have ever known – so they will take the kingdom of Christ for granted and it will simply be the system in power. They will not know what it was like before the Second Coming, just like we cannot know what it was like before the First Advent or before Noah’s flood. Reading about the present age will not make it real. They will not necessarily see the millennial kingdom as something special, but treat it as background noise, like Washington politics.
Yet, they will all be born with a sin nature, as this will not have been bred out of the human race. They will act just like people being born now, except the official government position will support Christianity and the knowledge of Jesus will cover the earth. But each person will still have to choose for himself. Just because the world will be a theocracy does not mean people will be made to profess Christ at the point of the sword – that’s Satan’s modus operandi, not Christ’s.
Added to the mix are those unbelievers surviving Armageddon who will remember what it was like before – how they once had freedom to indulge in all kinds of sinful activities, and now they cannot. Some may turn to Christ, but Revelation says repeatedly that in spite of God’s many judgments, the people would not repent. Rev. 9:20; 16:9, 11. So just because Jesus comes to earth to visibly rule does not mean He will be welcomed by the masses. He is just as likely to be greeted with disdain and contempt. They will acknowledge His lordship and sovereignty, but grudgingly.
Many people seem to be under the impression that only Christians, or primarily Christians, will enter the Millennium period. This is often based on a misreading of Mat. 5:20; 7:21 and similar scriptures that an unbeliever cannot enter the kingdom. Oops! I stopped too soon. An unbeliever cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. Which is not the same as Christ’s earthly kingdom. The first is spiritual and eternal. The second is physical, and temporary (1,000 years). One is already here, after a sort (the heavenly, or spiritual). The other has not yet arrived. Don’t get these two confused with each other.
Some people argue Mat. 25:31-46 is a basis for claiming that only believers will enter the Millennium. That text provides:
When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” … Then he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”
According to advocates of this view, verse 31 (the first sentence) refers to the Second Coming. Therefore, all the rest of the text refers to the beginning of the Millennial kingdom. So when Jesus separates the sheep from the goats, only the sheep (believers) will inherit the Millennial kingdom, and the unbelievers will not enter in.
There are several factors which mitigate against such an interpretation. First, Jesus will in fact judge all the nations at the Second Coming, but this will be done in the context of Armageddon, where he will not separate the unbelievers, rather He will destroy them. Second, unbelievers are not sent to the lake of fire at the beginning of the Millennium, but at the end. Third, the Millennial kingdom has not been prepared from the foundation of the world, which speaks of eternity, because the Millennium will be merely an earthly kingdom.
Clearly, the context in Mat. 25 is the Great White Throne judgment which occurs at the end of time. It is only then when believers and unbelievers are separated, eternal rewards and punishment are meted out, and the wicked are sent to the lake of fire. The jump in time between verses 31 and 32 is just one more example of when separate events are telescoped together when viewed from a long way off. It’s not as if this is the only time such a thing occurs in biblical prophecy. So v. 32 (separating the sheep and goats) refers to the beginning of eternity, i.e., the new heavens and new earth.
What’s that you say? “Every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess, that Jesus is Lord.” Isa. 45:23; Rom. 14:11; Php. 2:10. True enough. That’s what people will do outwardly, and that’s what everyone will see in public. But is that what absolutely everyone on earth will believe and accept in their heart? Are these verses actually to be understood as standing for universal salvation? Is that what the Bible says – everyone on earth will be saved once Jesus returns? I’d be a little cautious of making that leap, if I were you.
If absolutely everyone is going to be saved in the Millennium, who are the people who will be waiting for Satan to lead them in a final battle against the God most High? Don’t tell me these are more backsliding or apostate Christians coming to plague the world again! Aren’t these people in fact going to be unbelievers in the time of Christ’s kingdom who will not accept Him, and who are biding their time to get out from under His thumb (the rod of iron)? Is Jesus really going to need to rule a kingdom composed of 100% believers with a rod of iron? So what is the rod of iron?
Rule with a “Rod of Iron”
Ps. 2:1-3 – Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”
Ps. 2:7-12 – The Lord said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Rev. 2:26-27 – “The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron.”
Rev. 12:5 – She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron.
Rev. 19:15 – From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.
I used to wonder why the nations would rage against God, but no longer. Today days of rage’ are common throughout the world, and there is no shortage of people who hate Jehovah and Jesus. God’s response? Jesus will rule over them with a rod of iron, in other words, rule them harshly against their will. God will not oppress the people, but He will not let them practice evil, and to their sin natures it will seem like oppression.
And why do the nations rage? Is it because they reject the Gospel and Jesus as Savior? No, it is because they want to get out from under the cords and bonds, i.e., restraints placed on them by God. Which is to say, the nations want to get out from under God’s law, because it is the law which constrains. It is no coincidence that the Antichrist will be called the lawless one. 2 Thes. 2:3-9. The main goal of the forces of evil is to escape the constraints of God’s laws.
Just imagine: during the Millennium, no one will be able to open a casino, start a house of worship for the moon-god, or become a recognized sex worker. All LGBT(QIA) activities (which are simply differing methods of engaging in homosexuality) will be banned. “Community organizing” will finally be recognized for what it is: rabble-rousing and meddling in nobody’s business, and be prohibited, notwithstanding the seal of approval of former Presidents.
No one will be allowed to openly promote or engage in pornography, idolatry, abortion, bribery and corruption, or a host of other profitable vices and sins. They will all be shut down. All the purveyors and teachers of false religions, humanism, atheism, materialism and evolution will go back into the closet for a thousand years. And unbelievers won’t be happy about it. Instead of tolerating and winking at vice, the Millennial kingdom will actually eliminate all public vice.
I don’t mean to suggest that all forms of sin will be eliminated – it won’t. I daresay many of the worst vices will continue to exist out of the public eye and in secret. Human nature and temptation will exist and continue during the Millennium as they do now. The Millennium is a period of relative rest, not perfection or innocence.
But anyone practicing vice will have to do it at great personal peril, and this will be a vast change from our current situation. Those who wish to do evil will be frustrated at every turn, and that frustration will seethe and rage within them so that they bring themselves to the boiling point rather than repent and turn to Christ. They will instead plot in secret to overturn God’s rule of the earth.
Because of the profound ignorance of God’s laws among Christians today, most people have absolutely no idea what it will mean to rule and reign with Christ when the Millennium gets here. The most I get from others is that they think they will live “large and in charge.” But I conceive it will mean that Christians will be involved in the daily affairs of governing the kingdom of Christ. In other words, the saints will be public officials – government workers, if you will.
Some will administrate, but others will be police – enforcers of God’s laws. Some will undoubtedly be judges in the legal sense – trying cases and rendering legal decisions in disputes. Some will prosecute crime. Some may even govern in the traditional sense – be a ruler of a province under the general authority of Christ.
That is, they will engage in tasks the average Christian is totally unprepared for. Any Christian who has been a government employee or public office holder will probably be the least prepared of all. Not only will they be totally ignorant of God’s laws like everyone else, but they will also have to unlearn their entire understanding of how good government works. So most of the saints are likely to be very low level workers in the kingdom, such as filing clerks or sanitation workers. You know, stuff the average Christian is actually qualified for.
It is at least a possible interpretation of prophecy that the saints in the Millennium will return to earth after being translated’ and rule in the kingdom with immortal bodies while the general population will consist of mortal people. The saints will have, ostensibly, bodies after the manner of what Christ had following His resurrection and before the ascension. It is hard to talk of such things with any degree of certainty because it is so foreign to all of our common experiences in the history of the world. Yet, that is what scripture seems to indicate. 1 Jn. 3:2.
If this will be the case, it seems to me to make perfect sense. What better way for Jesus to rule with a rod of iron all over the world, than to have an army of incorruptible agents dispersed over the surface of the planet enforcing His laws and commands? Is He more likely to enforce His laws in person all over the globe, or to employ agents to assist Him? Agents who will not take a bribe or look the other way. Agents whose judgment will be free of bias or prejudice. Agents who cannot be attacked or harmed (physically or mentally) or held for ransom by wrongdoers. Agents who are unattached to any mortal family members and therefore cannot be threatened. Agents who cannot be coerced.
Yes, to the evildoers, it will seem like insufferable oppression. But to the godly, both mortal and immortal, it will be the ultimate fulfillment of Luke 4:18-19: “He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
A New World Order
I’d like to emphasize the ways in which the millennial kingdom of Christ will be a time in the history of the world unlike any other. I’m going to do this by extrapolating a few principles that we know for certain and make some logical assumptions about how those will play out in the future. Generally, things created by God will remain mostly constant, but things created by men will change drastically.
What are the things created by God? Physical laws and the heavens and earth as we know them now. Human nature will not change, as man was created by God. The divine covenants will not change, as they all began in the mind of God. Nations and ethnicities will not change, as God is the creator of these as per Gen. 10-11. The other basic institutions of society – individual, family and Church – will not change, as God is the creator of all of them as well. No man or group of men created the family, the husband-wife relationship and the definition of marriage, or the parent-child relationship. Nor did any man create sex or the male and female genders.
However, some creations of God will change. For example, we have already discussed how the earth’s topography will be severely modified in the Millennium. Also, the relationship between humans and animals will change significantly. Apparently, God will also cause some kind of change to the languages spoken by the nations – which languages were first instituted by God.
“When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, he will punish the speech of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the boastful look in his eyes.” Isa. 10:12. “You will see no more the insolent people, the people of an obscure speech that you cannot comprehend, stammering in a tongue that you cannot understand.” Isa. 33:19. “For at that time I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech, that all of them may call upon the name of the Lord and serve him with one accord.” Zeph. 3:9.
I think at the very least the language of the king of Assyria (or, the Assyrian, aka the Antichrist) will be changed. (Which is the more likely candidate: Latin or Arabic?) But it is also possible the change in language of the nations (presumably to Hebrew) will be more widespread, including the whole world. How else would all of the peoples call upon Jesus “with one accord”? But I have to leave it as an open question as to the extent of language changes.
What are the things created by men? Governments are created by men pursuant to the consent of the governed. We have already discussed how Christ will institute a worldwide government with all nations being under His rule. All other social relationships – employment, businesses, academia, religion, and the military, to name but a few, will be reshaped and revised. All the things built by people, whether physical or institutional or structural, will be shaken. Very few, if any, will survive un-transformed.
The leading principle for the Millennium is that Christ will put all things in subjection under His feet. Heb. 2:5-9. Which means, as that scripture says, nothing will be left outside of His control. He will rule the world with a rod of iron, He will have the glorified saints dispersed around the world to implement His policies, and He will literally institute a new world order.
No More Wars
One of the most significant aspects of this new world order will be the fact that nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. Isa. 2:4; Mic. 4:3. Further, those same verses indicate the nations shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks, indicating that the weapons of war will be converted into agricultural tools, and possibly other benign implements. Let’s take a minute to think through what that really means.
War, obviously, will be abolished, and all disputes will be resolved without the need for military actions. This will largely be a direct result of the implementation of the worldwide kingdom of Christ, where all the nations will report directly to Him, and be under His leadership and control. Thus, the nations will no longer be making independent decisions based on perceived self-interests (i.e., selfish interests).
All national leaders will submit to, and undoubtedly be appointed and installed in office by, Christ Himself. From what we have already seen so far, these leaders are likely to be resurrected saints, who will be purged of any evil intentions or sin nature, and whose loyalty and obedience to Christ will be absolute. With that kind of world government, there cannot help but be universal peace.
As if it needs to be said, the elimination of war also means there will be an eradication of terrorism and all remnants of holy jihad. Firstly, because the elimination of war does not merely refer to wars sponsored by nations – it encompasses all forms of armed conflict regardless of the motivation. It would be a poor peace indeed if only officially declared conflicts were eliminated, but unofficial conflicts were allowed to persist. When Jesus is called the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6), I believe it means we have to take that in the broadest sense possible.
Secondly, if there is one thing we can be sure of, it’s that God will totally wipe out any desire and capacity of the enemies of Israel to carry on any conflicts which have historically existed, including specifically holy jihad. After all, the enemies of Israel – to the extent they survive the Tribulation at all – will join Israel in the worship of Jesus in the Millennium (as we have seen).
However, the Millennium will not merely be a time of no more wars – no one will need to learn the art of war. So, no one will need to train for war or be educated about strategy or tactics or weaponry. All war colleges and military academies will be obsolete and vanish. Gone will be all standing armies, army reserves and the need for military sailors, marines and airmen. There won’t even be a need for the national guard or militia groups – what possible contingencies would they ever be needed for? Domestic insurrection? With the nations ruled by the saints, it won’t happen. Natural disasters? With Christ reforming the surface of the earth and restoring the relationship between humans and animals (if you will, between men and nature) – natural disasters (hurricanes, floods, tornados, earthquakes, etc.) will no longer occur.
Weapons manufacturers will have been put out of business by the great earthquake, and nothing afterward will put them back in business. The market for weapons will literally dry up. Not only will no one need weapons to kill people, it is very likely (as we have seen) that no one will need to hunt, either. The right to bear arms and the National Rifle Ass’n will all be long distant memories never to be revived.
If I can extrapolate a bit, it is also likely there will not be a need for any police forces, either. Judgment will be implemented and laws enforced by the saints, who will not need weapons to do their jobs. No one will need to keep the peace, because peace will be universal. All law enforcement agencies and bureaus, the FBI, etc., will be unnecessary. Yes, the laws of the King of Kings will be enforced, but by saints who will not need to be armed, and who do not need to be employed at taxpayer expense. No one (among mortals) will make a career of law enforcement.
But I necessarily take it further, as some things are wholly incompatible with the rule and reign of Christ, such as government assassins, spy agencies, government surveillance, clandestine activities of all sorts, double agents and moles, etc. All these will disappear.
I also strongly believe, though I cannot prove, that essentially every single job existing today – the primary function of which is to monitor, supervise, or regulate the activities of others – will be unknown in the Millennium. Why? Because not merely war, but conflicts, disputes, disobedience, rebellion and protests of every conceivable kind, right down to the local level, will probably be dealt with at the local level by the saints so efficiently no one will hardly notice such things occurring – and for the most part, will not occur at all.
I might be wrong, but I suspect this also has implications for national border security and immigration concerns. No one will be trying to penetrate national borders for subversive purposes or to infiltrate an enemy. Immigration may – I’m hazarding a guess here – become essentially unregulated because all nations will be under the worldwide government of Christ, and ruled by governors appointed by Him. So what national interests, exactly, need protection from the intrusion of foreigners? There won’t be any nanny states or welfare states in the Millennium for immigrants to take advantage of. And there won’t be any foreign influences (rogue ideologies, bad state actors, contrary religions, or significant criminal elements) to guard against. So why would anyone need to be kept out of any country?
It’s easy to assume that because there will be unparalleled peace and prosperity in the world, that will fuel technological improvements in agricultural production. However, I don’t see it that way. Historically, God has used environmental factors (floods, pestilence, fires, etc.) to stifle agricultural production in response to man’s sin. Thus, famine, drought and waste are very often an indication of God’s judgment of a nation. For example.
But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes that I command you today, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you. … The Lord will make the pestilence stick to you until he has consumed you off the land that you are entering to take possession of it. The Lord will strike you with wasting disease and with fever, inflammation and fiery heat, and with drought and with blight and with mildew. They shall pursue you until you perish. And the heavens over your head shall be bronze, and the earth under you shall be iron. The Lord will make the rain of your land powder. From heaven dust shall come down on you until you are destroyed. Deut. 28:15, 21-24.
Man’s response historically has been to ignore or deny the sins of which he stands accused, and especially in recent times, to find a scientific way to beat back the effects of God’s judgment while leaving the sin problem unaddressed. Thus, in the wake of pestilence, man developed insecticides and other artificial and/or hazardous chemical means for protecting his crops. Then, people tried to genetically strengthen various crops through selective breeding or hybridization.
This was followed by genetic alterations by introducing foreign DNA strands into plant DNA to make it inherently resistant to certain insects or fungus, etc. in order to avoid the side effects of chemical deterrents. Now there are entire industries producing what are commonly known as GMO’s, or genetically modified organisms which have literally taken over certain basic food crops.
I predict advances in agriculture during the Millennium will not follow this course. Rather, once God’s wrath has been unleashed and concluded, all pestilences, droughts and famines will be removed worldwide. There simply won’t be any need for pesticides or other harmful chemicals, nor any need for GMO’s. God will restore viability and fruitfulness to the non-hybrid (heirloom) strains of seeds and the earth will see a radical improvement in agricultural production as a result. A side consequence will be the abandonment of vast chemical production companies and government monitored seed banks.
I say this because there is a fundamental principle at work here, namely, that the ground, the soil, the creation itself reflects the sin condition of its inhabitants. Laugh if you will, but consider these scriptures:
The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth. Gen. 4:10-12.
But you shall keep my statutes and my rules and do none of these abominations, either the native or the stranger who sojourns among you (for the people of the land, who were before you, did all of these abominations, so that the land became unclean), lest the land vomit you out when you make it unclean, as it vomited out the nation that was before you. Lev. 18:26-28.
For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. Rom. 8:22.
There are many other scriptures which are just as easy to find to the effect that the ground will also recognize and respond to the righteousness of its inhabitants. Ps. 98:8; Isa. 55:12; Lk. 19:40. So the first and foremost way to boost agricultural production is to stop sinning. And in the Millennium, even though the ground will still be cursed and mankind will still have a fallen nature, the degree to which the earth will be defiled by sin will be greatly lessened. As a result of which, the entire planet will be extremely fruitful – without the assistance of chemicals or genetic modifications.
Medicine and Science
We’ve all seen the future of medicine on TV in the shining example of Star Trek, haven’t we? A little device that you hold in your hand about the size of a small flashlight – you just wave it over a sick person, and the device repairs blood vessels in the brain non-invasively, avoiding surgery and trauma. And they have pills that grow new kidneys overnight. Wow! What a future to look forward to. Actually, I don’t think things are going to go in that direction at all.
I have already mentioned a while back the healing (or living) waters that will flow from underneath the Third Temple in Jerusalem and the special fruit trees that will grow along the banks of the rivers created by this flow of living water. See Zech 14:8 and Ezek. 47:1-12. Of these trees, the scripture says, “Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.” Ezek. 47:12.
Let me tell you what I think this means. This special water and these special leaves – which do not yet exist in the natural world, but they will – will heal the people of the nations of all their illnesses and diseases. They will heal people with toxins, pathogens, genetic disorders, and perhaps even certain traumas. They will literally be a cure all. So there simply will be no need for great advances in medical science – healing will come not from technology, not from human advances, but by God’s provision. Hospitals and most medical practices will be a thing of the past.
And people, being inherently entrepreneurial, will make the most of it. No one is going to patent anything or get any exclusive economic or legal rights, but people are going to bottle that water and ship it worldwide so everyone doesn’t actually have to travel to Jerusalem to take advantage of it. Those leaves are going to be harvested, dried, chopped up and made into teas, bread and any number of other confections and distributed around the world as well. Everyone will have bottles of the stuff in their pantries. And that is the future of medicine.
Not only will drug manufacturing become obsolete as a result, but so will all forms of genetic manipulation and the abominable practice of using animal parts or animal DNA to treat humans. There are three reasons I say this: 1) God is sovereign in the choice of what each creature inherits biologically, and He doesn’t like it when men play at being God; 2) in the Dominion Mandate (Gen. 1:28) God never gave men dominion over other men, which means (I believe) people lack authority to manipulate the human genome; and 3) God created every plant and animal after its kind (Gen. 1:11-12, 21, 24-25) and He never intended that men should genetically mix together creatures which God made to be separate and distinct.
That’s a mouthful, I know. I could unpack each of those three points in great detail, but I won’t do it here. This is just where I think things are going in the Millennium – and we aren’t there yet. And – do I have to say it? – say goodbye to in vitro fertilizations, surrogate motherhood and abortions. You can figure those out on your own, right?
In other ways, however, technology in general may explode. I would expect to see vast production of clean energy, vast computing power, and beautiful gleaming cities. No, I don’t expect we’ll see a jet pack or a flying car in every garage, but self-driving cars with unparalleled safety? I think it very likely. Perhaps even a cheap and efficient way to desalinate salt water, among other marvels.
But no colonization of space or traveling to distant worlds – these are not within the scope of the Dominion Mandate. There will be absolutely no need for any ongoing SETI activities (the search for extraterrestrial intelligence). No messages sent to other worlds. No first contact with alien races. Guess what? We aren’t alone in the universe! In fact, we never were. God has been with us all along – most people just couldn’t or wouldn’t see it. Come, Emmanuel!
I could be wrong, but I also don’t think the Millennium will see the development of matter transporters, time machines, traveling at the speed of light or faster, powerful and destructive ray guns in the form of a hand-held device, or cloaking technology (i.e., invisibility), etc. God alone is the master of all time and space (and the space-time continuum), and there are limits to what people can do. We will never ascend to become gods.
* Ver. 8.0. Copyright © 2013-2020 Gerald R. Thompson. All rights reserved. Used by permission. All Bible quotations are from the English Standard Version.