Listen to audio:
“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign forever and ever” (Revelation 11:15 NRSV).
After Christ’s thousand-year kingdom has restored humanity to the perfection lost in Eden, Satan is to be loosed “to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth” (Revelation 20:13 ASV). That will be the re-formed world’s final examination. What little the Bible says about it is given in the type of Israel at the Red Sea, by parable in Matthew 25:31-46, and in the prophecies of Isaiah 22 and Revelation 20. While the Bible has little need to give us specifics about God’s eternal kingdom thereafter, a few gems may be gleaned.
God’s sworn promise to Abraham climaxes with, “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth bless themselves” (Genesis 22:18 RVIC). The heavenly seed of Abraham is to be Christ and his faithful Church. We are further promised God and Christ “shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 22:5). The people will not only be blessed from heaven, but they will bless one another going up the highway of holiness. That has been God’s plan from the beginning.
Egypt and other nations will be put to shame and then come to fleshly Israel, “Israel shall be saved by Jehovah with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be put to shame nor confounded world without end” (Isaiah 45:17 ASV). “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Jehovah, as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9, 65:25 ASV).
Foregleams From the Exodus
One of the two longest types in the Bible is given in Exodus 7:14-15:22. Moses comes to Egypt for the ten plagues, picturing Christ’s first advent and the evils during the Gospel Age. The Israelites leave Egypt and are no more under Pharaoh’s influence for three days until they reach the Sea, picturing the world’s exodus into the thousand-year kingdom of Christ, in which Satan is bound. Satan’s little season and its termination are typified by the Israelites passing through the Sea, whereupon Pharaoh and his hosts are drowned.
The original goal had been, “Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness,” later made specific, “three days’ journey in the wilderness” (Exodus 7:16, 8:27). Eventually, “Moses led Israel onward from the Red Sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness” (Exodus 15:22 ASV).2 Typically, we are thus assured that God’s original plan for man will come fully to fruition “in the ages to come.”
The Feast of Unleavened Bread lasted seven days; the first and last day were each to be a holy convocation. The first day would foreshadow the resurrection of the world and the rejoicing that ensues. Three days to the Sea, a day to cross the Sea, and three more days bring us to the latter holy convocation, depicting the rejoicing of mankind to all eternity (Exodus 12:15-16).
During the Millennium, “They shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them” (Isaiah 65:21 ASV). We may reasonably assume that building and planting will continue for humanity to eternity.
“Death shall be no more; neither … mourning, nor crying, nor pain … for the first things are passed away.” In confirmation, “The last enemy that shall be abolished is death” (Revelation 21:4, 1 Corinthians 15:26 ASV).
Because we know what will come after Armageddon, and even after Satan’s loosing for a little season, we should “comfort one another with these words,” and speak peaceably to the people of the world.
(1) Literally, in the wilderness (not necessarily: into the wilderness).
(2) Chapter 15:22c, “And they found no water.” begins a new set of experiences. It properly begins verse 23.