Preparing the World
for a New Age
Many cried with tears of joy and hope to hear the Inaugural Address of the forty-fourth President. He seemed to have captured the hopes of the nation in this time of "gathering clouds and raging storms. . ." In this time also of "sapping confidence across our land," he talked about preparing "the nation for a new age."
President Obama eloquently pressed the idea of "the God-given promise that all are equal; all are free and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness." He also shared his wider vision for us: "As our world grows smaller, our common humanity" is yearning for a "new era of peace." For the sake of our "children’s children," President Obama encouraged the people to brave the "icy currents" and what storms may be soon coming. He concluded by encouraging us to keep our "eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us…" carried forth with the "great gift of freedom…safely to future generations."
Inauguration of God’s Kingdom
Now we might ask, What exactly are God’s plans for the inauguration of His new Kingdom administration? The script is quite clearly spelled out in His holy Word, the Bible. The Bible even describes how all slaves actually can become kings! His Kingdom will actually be a restoration of man’s original God-given rights that were lost in the Garden of Eden. Adam and his posterity not only lost life—but they became slaves to the cursed earth for their existence.
"And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast… eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life…In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground…."
During man’s sad history, the wicked have usually prospered. That’s why Prophet Jeremiah asked, "Righteous art Thou, O LORD, that I would plead my case with Thee; Indeed I would discuss matters of justice with Thee: Why has the way of the wicked prospered? Why are all those who deal in treachery at ease?" (Jer. 12:1 NAS) Those in power have more often misused it for their own gratification. Yet, the Scriptures hold out the promise that God will help the downtrodden. "He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor." (Psa. 72:4). People have often enslaved each other—and still do in parts of the world. America has come a long way….
Some History on Slavery
African slaves arrived in colonial Virginia in 1619—one year before the Mayflower. The Atlantic Slave Trade forced transportation of at least 10 million enslaved Africans from their homelands to destinations in Europe and the Americas. Two times that number also perished in the Atlantic’s "middle passage," their bodies thrown to the close following sharks. The hardy survivors were mostly pressed into labor on large plantations in the West Indies or in what became the US. Although some noble souls protested this practice, slavery lasted as a legal institution until the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the U S Constitution in 1865.
Slavery, in fact, was an institution throughout ancient history. But no other people in history owned as many slaves and depended on them so much as the Romans. These slaves were bought and sold in the slave markets. Some slaves were soldiers who had been captured in wars, while others were the children of slave parents. If they tried to run away, they were whipped, burned with iron, and sometimes even killed.
In the early Church, some slaves were being called to follow Christ. Nevertheless, Apostle Paul encouraged contentment with any status:
1 Corinthians 7:21-24
"Were you called while a slave? Do not worry about it; but if you are able also to become free, rather do that. For he who was called in the Lord while a slave, is the Lord's freedman; likewise he who was called while free, is Christ's slave. You were bought with a price…Brethren, let each man remain with God in that condition in which he was called." (NAS)
Freedom for All Slaves
But the Scriptures clearly point forward to a time of freedom for all slaves—not just slaves to other people. But slavery to sin and death! Moses’ Law actually pointed forward to a time of the releasing of slaves and the restoration of the rights of each human being that ever lived. "The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves" (Heb 10:1 NIV)
When the children of Israel came into the Promised Land, they were apportioned land tribe by tribe, family by family (Num. 34). But as can be expected, some by misfortune or mismanagement, went into debt and had to surrender their ancestral property (something like a home equity loan forfeited). But some even fell into deeper debt—so members of those families had to leave their homes and go into compulsory service as bond servants.
However, every fiftieth year the lost land had to be returned—and the enslaved family members returned to their families! It was called a "Jubilee" year.
"You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family."
Of course, at the beginning of the Jubilee year—when the shofar trumpet was blown (Lev. 25:9)—there must have been much confusion and clamor in sorting out who should own what! And it must have taken most of the year to settle things—even so imperfectly. But imagine the joy of families being reunited again!
The Jubilee Millennium
Just as the yearly Passover lamb for the Jews pointed forward to the slain "Lamb of God" (John 1:29)—so the Jubilee law pointed forward to the time of earth’s great restoration. After all, Jesus came and died to save what man lost. "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). All of Adam’s posterity die because Adam lost perfection—especially life itself. "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (1 Cor 15:22).
That is why the Scriptures say Jesus was to be sent by his Father to begin the "times of restitution" [KJV], a "period of restoration" [NAS]. This coming time, in fact, was the theme of all God’s holy prophets:
Acts 3:21 NIV
"He [Jesus] must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets."
This is the Kingdom for which we pray, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…" (Matt. 6:10) This Grand Jubilee restoration lasts not one year—but a thousand years! Faithful Christians will be Christ’s Bride in the Heavenly Kingdom. But their joy will be the great work of giving life to all families of the earth (Gal. 3:8). "All who are in the tombs" would then include those who will have an opportunity in this 1,000-year Judgment Day (2 Pet. 3:7,8). They will all have equal freedom to "pursue their full measure of happiness"—with a full individual trial for life during that Kingdom.
"Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment [krisis, St.2920, "decision, for or against]."
The Incoming New Administration
The new administration of the God’s Jubilee Kingdom will certainly accomplish unprecedented change. But it is gradual. Progress is slow resulting in frustration and shouting. First the "land rights" are demanded—including civil rights, handicap rights, workers’ rights, women’s rights, patient rights, etc. Many noble advocates of the common man have good and sincere intentions to establish various social services such as, local food banks and the World Health Organization, etc. However, they lack enough wisdom and power to actually achieve the goals of all their wonderful vision. But God is allowing them to try—to see how far they can progress in spite of the selfish resistance.
Realistically, the crucial issue is the selfishness of the human heart. That is the root problem. Putting excellent laws, policies and programs into effect may help a little—for a little while. But God’s Kingdom will be built from the inside out. God will remove the sinful, selfish heart of people. Even as He promised to deal with Israel, God will work with all mankind: "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh." (Ezek. 36:26).
But although Christians pray for God’s Kingdom administration—in the meantime they also pray for present rulers, yes, even while those governments are shaking or crumbling. Apostle Paul urged "that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity" (1 Tim 2:1-2; Rev 7 1-3). As Christians, we must make use of every opportunity now to develop Christ-likeness by praying, studying the Scriptures, leaving false teachings behind, and assembling with other Christians—letting our light shine!
Transfer of Power—Not Peaceful
But just how close are we to the long promised new Kingdom’s administration? As Jesus is setting up God’s Kingdom "the nations are angry" (Rev. 11:15-18). They are certainly not happy!
President Obama said, We are in the time of "gathering clouds" and storms…soon coming." How true! Certainly, we see today "…dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world…" (Luke 21:25-27) But with our Scriptural panoramic view of the Kingdom, we can lift up our heads and rejoice. Why? Because we know that after the trouble there will be an eternity of true Peace on Earth as never before.
Eyes Fixed on the Horizon
While we not only watch the beginnings of the fulfilling of prophecy—we look forward to God’s promise to every human being that ever lived. Every person will be a "king" adding their own glory to the glory of the "New Jerusalem" government (Rev. 21:24). The Jubilee Law is also a time prophecy which actually tells us how close we are to its full wonderful reality.
With the President, we would hope that all want to see the blessing and prosperity of future generations. However, we realize God’s commission to man was to "multiply and fill the earth" (Gen. 1:28). Nevertheless, whatever the limit—we can actually look forward to the Kingdom time when preceding generations will be reunited with their families now living.
This hope, indeed, overrides all our fears! Therefore, with full confidence we look to the God-given promise that all mankind will soon have equal opportunity in His Kingdom. All people will be able to have complete trust in this new government. But it also will be an "era of responsibility." Each person will be responsible for his own destiny—to love and obey God and bless his fellowman. Finally, this new era of peace and blessing will be not just for Americans—but for all the "families of the earth" (Gen. 12:3; 28:14).