A very significant change that will greatly contribute to peace and understanding among all peoples is to be the introduction of a universal language – a reversal of Babel. In Zephaniah 3:9 we read:

“For then I will turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord to serve him with one consent.”

Many think that this will be some form of Hebrew for it is a very early basic language which may have been used by the angels to teach Adam and Eve. Whether this is the case or not it was certainly the language in which God chose to reveal His great memorial Name, with all its rich prophetic significance, as well as most of the Old Testament Scriptures.

Have we noticed the important reason for the use of one language? It is to enable all to serve the Lord with one consent – universal worship of the One God with unity of mind and understanding. Although Jerusalem will be the focus of all worship it will be necessary to have local arrangements for daily life so that all may be taught of God. We read of this in Malachi 1:11:

“From the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered in my name and a pure offering.”

The education of the whole world in the ways of God will be a tremendous task at the beginning of Christ’s reign for at that time only the angels and saints will know the pure Truth. We have only to think of Africa, India and China to appreciate the scope of the work, not to mention those who only know Christ imperfectly.

The yearly pilgrimage to Jerusalem will be another great unifying factor. From Zechariah 14 we learn that all the nations who survive God’s judgments will be expected to send delegations of worshippers each year to celebrate the great feast of Tabernacles at Jerusalem. Any nation refusing to participate will be punished by drought, famine and plague as in days of old. Such rebellion is hard to envisage, but it probably relates to the early days of the Kingdom before all have been converted.

Some have thought that every mortal person on the earth will be required to go but physical and geographical considerations make this most unlikely. Rather it seems that representative groups of people will go from each country each year and probably each person will go at least once in his or her lifetime. This experience can perhaps be faintly envisaged by those of us who have been privileged to share in the great Isolation League gatherings held every few years, when brethren and sisters from all over the world meet to worship and break bread together in holy fellowship. It is indeed thrilling and so this yearly event in the Kingdom will be an occasion of great happiness and joy in the presence of the Lord Jesus. Perhaps men will be permitted to see their King in His glory and what a stirring and wonderful and awesome experience that would be! We remember how deeply the Transfiguration affected the three apostles in Christ’s lifetime on earth. How much more so when the immortal King is enthroned in all his might and majesty at Jerusalem!

The pictures so far considered relate mostly to the mortal inhabitants of the Kingdom. There will be two distinct elements: first the Jewish theocracy in the land of Israel, a holy people and kingdom of priests with special laws and responsibilities to God; and second the Gentiles in the rest of the world. Above these will be a third group, the saints, who with divine authority and power assist Christ to rule the world in righteousness.

The characteristics of the saints and their life in the Kingdom is another study but here are a few glimpses. When the accepted saints have received the gift of immortality it seems that they will gather together for the great marriage supper of the Lamb. Here the Lord Jesus will once again break bread and drink wine with his faithful brethren and sisters. Sharing a meal has always been associated with true fellowship. This feast would appear to take place in Jerusalem.

There will be a quiet and private place in this city where Christ and his great family meet from time to time. It must be large enough to accommodate all his saints together. Some have assumed that it will be in the temple but this seems unlikely for that whole concourse is designed largely for the use of mortal worshippers and priests.

Mount Zion restored

It is far more probable that Mount Zion restored is the literal site of Christ’s dwelling place and that there he will have his palace and his throne like his ancestor David. Thus indeed would many prophecies of Zion find their greatest fulfilment. As we have seen, the special geography of this area would provide for a secluded royal enclave within the greater Jerusalem. Indeed the phrase “the camp of the saints” in Revelation 20 may refer to this special place of assembly and communion with the Lord.

Each saint will receive his or her inheritance according to personal ability and the use made of talents during probation. Some will rule large territories and others will be local rulers of small towns and villages. Every part of the world will therefore be under the care of a strong immortal being who will have faithful and loving concern for all those in his area. We are being trained for this responsibility now and each of us has qualities God can use in His Kingdom if we choose to develop them aright. No saint will ever again be too tired or ill to carry out his divine duties and as the God of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps so the immortal rulers will ever be alert to the needs of His people.

We have already noted that the twelve apostles are to be given special positions as judges over the twelve tribes of Israel and we know from the great promises that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are at last to inherit their land. Perhaps Isaac will have the rule over the south land where he lived so long and Jacob the north, whereas Abraham would be the supreme ruler over the whole land from the Euphrates to the Nile as originally promised.

It does seem likely that the saints will be given inheritances in the territories that had special significance for them in their mortal life and that many like King David will receive their portion in the Holy land. Perhaps Joseph will again rule Egypt and Daniel and his three friends again be presidents over the provinces once ruled by Babylon and Assyria. In Isaiah 19:23–25 we read that in that day “there shall be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria … and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land.” A remarkable prophecy indeed.

Since the land of Israel is small it is also evident that many of the later saints and certainly the Gentiles must receive their inheritance in other parts of the world. It would seem appropriate if the Apostle Paul were again to be in charge of the areas in Asia Minor and Greece where he worked so long and diligently and Barnabas of his beloved Cyprus where he chose to preach in his lifetime, and we could think of Timothy and Titus who also had commitments to specific places, namely Ephesus and Crete.

If true this would imply that some of the saints of our own times could also be given the care of areas in which they were particularly involved and that perhaps in God’s mercy some of us will be sent back to our own neighbourhoods to convert and teach with divine power and to raise their way of life to God’s standards. This will be a process, for God does not use continuous miracles to compel service. The people in the wilderness soon got used to the daily miracle of manna and the other evidences of God’s presence, and took them for granted and many reverted to their evil ways. So it will require the constant vigilance of the saints to inaugurate and maintain healthy physical and spiritual communities worldwide.

Immeasurable joy and happiness

For the saints there will be times of great activity interspersed probably with periods for spiritual renewal and fellowship at Jerusalem with the Lord. Here there will be divine music and great hymns of thanksgiving and praise sung with pure immortal voices – a time of immeasurable joy and happiness.

Those who believe that the last few chapters of the Revelation are largely consecutive have little problem in accepting the reality of rebellion at the end of the Millennium. Since the human population is still mortal and carnal it will also be prone to sin, rebellion, ambition and greed and so, when after hundreds of years of righteous government and the firm suppression of outward evil the controls are removed, the outcome is logical and inevitable.

Before the earth can be finally perfected there must also be a final test, a very real trial of faith and loyalty such as few in that splendid era will have experienced. So the saints are withdrawn from their worldwide stations towards the end of the Kingdom age to the “camp of the saints” at Jerusalem and the world is left to govern itself for a period. This will reveal very quickly those individuals and nations who have truly believed and accepted Christ and his divine principles and those who have not. We learn from Revelation 20:7–9 that a massive rebellion develops which heads up in a final siege of “the camp of the saints” and the beloved city.

These evil forces have understood nothing of God’s goodness or the might and majesty of the King of Kings and having displayed their wickedness and treachery to the whole world they are destroyed by the fire of God. God has indeed defended His city with a wall of fire round about.

This will be followed by the last judgement when all the living and dead of the Kingdom age stand before God. The faithful will be given immortality and all evil destroyed. This is the great and final ingathering of God’s saints. Death will at last be swallowed up in victory for there will be no more sin. Only then can all tears, sorrow and pain pass away to be remembered no more in the supreme joy of utter perfection.

Then the Lord Jesus will give the Kingdom back to God, a world made beautiful and glorious – Eden restored. Perfect communion will then exist between the Almighty Creator and man. At that time will be fulfilled the words of Revelation 21:3:

“The tabernacle of God is with men and he shall dwell with them and they shall be his people and God himself shall be with them.”

A symbolic vision of the time when God will be “all in all” was given to the Apostle John in the last two chapters of the Revelation. Although it is difficult to grasp with our mortal limitations we can appreciate something of the wonder, glory and splendour that is conveyed by his inspired words in Revelation 21:9–27 and 22:1–5.

All pictures of the Kingdom were given to strengthen and encourage God’s saints on their journey through life. Such prophecies enabled the Lord Jesus to endure the cross for the joy set before him; they fired the Apostle Paul to preach the Gospel without ceasing and they sustained and comforted the aged John in his island prison on Patmos. So what should they do for us?

How real is our vision of the Kingdom? Do we seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness? If we do not, we have little hope of sharing it. Let us thank God that we still have time to prepare ourselves for that great Day so that in God’s mercy we “may have right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city” (Rev 22:14).