The wonderful Word that we have received from the Lord is a complex document. We find that the Lord is frequently describing two events at the same time. This is what I call a foreshadow. A clear example is the story of Abraham offering Isaac, his only begotten son. This is a foreshadow of God offering His only begotten son, Jesus. When Jesus warned of certain events in Matthew 24, some believe that He was speaking of events that would happen in 70 A.D. when Jerusalem was under siege and the Temple destroyed. Others argue that Jesus was foretelling end-time events. My thought is; why limit the Lord? Could He not have been speaking of both at the same time?
The complexity that we find in God's Word causes some confusion in areas describing future events. We frequently confuse the coming Kingdom Age with the Heavenly Kingdom. I have reviewed all of the prophets of the Old Testament and have attempted to find scriptures that refer to the coming Kingdom. I am sure that my findings do not include everything.
Of course, the Kingdom Age is all about the kingship of Jesus during His earthly reign. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom. (Isaiah 9:7) There will be one king over Israel; and Israel and Judah will never again be two nations. (Ezekiel 37:22) The Lord uses that phrase "never again" many times while referring to the future of Israel.
In the Kingdom Age Jesus will rebuild the Temple "and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne." (Zechariah 6:12) This is how the Jews will be misled by the anti-Christ. He will arrange for a Temple to be built and the Jews will consider this to be a sign.
Again from Isaiah, "Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this." (Isaiah 9:7) Jesus will reign during the Kingdom Age and forever.
The subject of the most prophetic scripture that I found was the Temple in Jerusalem. This is what the LORD says: "I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the LORD Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain." (Zechariah 8:3) The Lord says that "in the last days the mountain of the Lord's temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and peoples will stream to it." (Micah 4:1, Isaiah 2:2) The nations will say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD . . ."(Micah 4:2)
Further, the LORD says: "I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem." (Zechariah 8:3) It is clear that the Lord considers Jerusalem important. Yasser Arafat should have noted Zechariah 2:8; "for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye".
There will be supernatural events at that time; "Then the LORD will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over all the glory will be a canopy." (Isaiah 4:5)
Interestingly, for all of the discussion about and searching for the Ark of the Covenant, the Lord says, "It will never enter their minds or be remembered; it will not be missed, nor will another one be made." (Jeremiah 3:16)
Actually, one scripture is all that is needed for this part. "The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken." (Isaiah 25:8) Amen. The Lord has spoken.
The Kingdom Age will be a time of joy and healing. The Lord will wipe away the tears. "As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you;" (Isaiah 66:13) "Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy." (Isaiah 35:5)
There will be no sickness for the Chosen. No one living in Zion will say, "I am ill". (Isaiah 33:24) Isaiah also says there will never be an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years. The prophet continues by saying anyone who dies before the age of one hundred years will be considered accursed. (Isaiah 65:20) Two verses later he says that the days of the Lord's people will be like the days of trees. Here we must be speaking of the Kingdom Age. There will be no death in Heaven, so we must be speaking of the earthly kingdom.
The Jews have been looking forward to the coming Kingdom for millennia, and for good reason. The Lord says, "I will beckon to the Gentiles, I will lift up my banner to the peoples; they will bring your sons in their arms and carry your daughters on their shoulders." (Isaiah 49:22) Foreign lands will bring the sons of Israel from afar, with their silver and gold, to the honor of the LORD. (Isaiah 60:9) The prophet also says in 49:19 that the Children of Israel will say, "This place is too small for us; give us more space to live in." The Lord says, "I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them."(Amos 9:13) There is that phrase "never again", again. This is the earthly kingdom, the Kingdom Age. In Heaven, the Jews would not have to worry about being exiled again.
This is what the LORD Almighty says: "In those days ten men from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, 'Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.'" (Zechariah 8:23) Considering the persecution heaped on the Jews over the centuries, I believe I can safely say that this has never happened. Again, this is on earth and not in Heaven. All people in Heaven will have the Lord with them.
The Kingdom Age will be a time of plenty. "On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine-- the best of meats and the finest of wines. (Isaiah 25:6) "In days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will bud and blossom and fill all the world with fruit. (Isaiah 27:6) "I will provide for them a land renowned for its crops, and they will no longer be victims of famine in the land or bear the scorn of the nations." (Ezekiel 34:29) It seems clear to me that the Lord will provide for Israel in a mighty way. May His Name be praised, now and forever.
The Apostle Paul, in II Timothy 4:8 says there is a Crown of Righteousness awaiting him, "and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing." What a promise for those who wait for the Lord and His coming Kingdom.
Not only will Jerusalem be the premier piece of real estate on earth, but Israel will be the premier nation. "Foreigners will rebuild your walls, and their kings will serve you. (Isaiah 60:10) "And the house of Israel will possess the nations as menservants and maidservants in the Lord's land. They will make captives of their captors and rule over their oppressors. (Isaiah 14:2) "Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it." (Jeremiah 33:9) These are all very good reasons to long for the appearing of the Lord.
The peace the Lord provides will be extraordinary. "The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. (Isaiah 11:6) "He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore." (Micah 4:3)
This will be the reign of the Prince of Peace; Jesus, the only Son of God. The frequently quoted prophecy of Isaiah 9:7 says it best. "Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end."
There are physical changes to the earth that are prophesied. "The LORD will dry up the gulf of the Egyptian sea; with a scorching wind he will sweep his hand over the Euphrates River. He will break it up into seven streams so that men can cross over in sandals. (Isaiah 11:15) "The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom." (Isaiah 35:1)
Most amazing is the picture of fresh water flowing from the Temple to the Dead Sea. "This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Sea (the Dead Sea). When it empties into the Sea, the water there becomes fresh. Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live." (Ezekiel 47:8)
If this is literal, it is fantastic. Even if it is not literal, it is a wonderful picture of God, who dwells in His Temple, being the source of life for all beings. His Wonderful Name deserves all the praise we can give.
The Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:2 makes a fantastic statement. "Do you not know that the Saints will judge the world?" This passage corresponds to Revelation 20:4 at the beginning of the Kingdom Age. I have had difficulty understanding these passages until I found other passages in the Old Testament. I have said before that we will not spend our time floating on a cloud, playing a harp. It appears that the Lord has work for us.
"I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing," declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:3) "Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding. (Jeremiah 3:15) "I will restore your judges as in days of old, your counselors as at the beginning. (Isaiah 1:2) "Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'" (Isaiah 30:20)
My favorite is; "The ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away." (Isaiah 35:10 & 51:11) The prophet uses the identical language twice, for emphasis. Who are the ransomed?
Christians are the ransomed! See 1 Thessalonians 4:14, Jude 1:14, Colossians 3:4, Revelation 22:12 and Deuteronomy 33:2. The parable of the ten minas in Luke 19:12 was told by Jesus to show the people that His Kingdom was not coming at once. In this parable, the servant who used his ten minas (or talents in Matthew 25) was rewarded by being made ruler over ten cities.
The principle of reward for faithfulness is found throughout the Word. Just as we are presented with obstacles and tests in this life, I believe that during the Kingdom Age we will be honored according to our responses to those tests. "To whom much is given, much is expected." (Luke 12:48) I believe the Redeemed will be shepherds or judges or teachers. After all, besides being serious students of the Word, we will have been in the presence of the Lord (during the Tribulation) while waiting for the time that we are to return with Him.
We should be prepared to teach the many Children of Israel that are brought back to the Holy Land by the gentile nations. We should be prepared to make decisions based upon our knowledge of justice through Godís Word. Are you prepared? Study the Word. Just as there are two promises of blessing to those who study the prophecy of the Revelation (Revelation 1:3 and 22:7) there is and will be a blessing for those who study the Word of God.
The two paragraphs above, while based upon my understanding of scripture, are my opinion. Time, or Eternity, will tell if I am correct. I hope that I have saved the most interesting (or controversial) part for last. Come, Lord Jesus.