“For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”  Habakkuk 2:14

No rivalry or jealousy

Since the “one flesh” relationship will not exist among the saints it will be possible for those who  have been married more than once to share happy companionship with more than one partner. There  will be no rivalry or jealousy, only thankfulness and  love and appreciation of the different qualities each has given to the other and which they may still give.

For those who have been mis-matched in this life or have been denied a marriage partner there  will be the richest opportunities for splendid comradeship among the saints of all the ages since Adam. And if a good marriage is one of the most  rewarding experiences in this life, then we can be  sure that God has something far more wonderful  and satisfying in store for all those who love Him.  God through the prophet Isaiah comforts the  faithful eunuchs who have been deprived of human  marriage with the promise of a special blessing:

“Even unto them will I give in my house and  within my walls a place and a name better than  of sons and of daughters; I will give them an  everlasting name, that shall not be cut off” (Isa 56:5).  We must remember that the promised joy of  renewed relationships, whether of family or friend,  can be in no way exclusive as they may be at present.  The saints are primarily one family in Christ  Jesus and this is the unity that must predominate.  However since the Lord is very merciful and  understanding it seems likely that the saints of each  generation will be allowed to begin their Kingdom  life in the company of those they already know and love in the Faith. In the course of the millennium each saint will come to know all the other saints since the time of Adam, so that when the Lord  Jesus delivers up the Kingdom to his Father, he and they will all be truly one. This would be the supreme  fulfilment of that most wonderful prayer that the  Lord Jesus prayed just before he suffered:

“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them  also which shall believe on me through their word;  that they all may be one; as thou, Father art in  me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us”  (John 17:21).

A process of spiritual education

If this ever deepening fellowship is a process, then  so is the spiritual education of the saints. God could  perfect and glorify this earth in a moment of time,  but He has chosen to take a millennium to do so. Thus it would seem that, after the initial period  of divine intervention and miracle when the new  order is being established, then God’s righteous laws  will be allowed to take their course. The world is  gradually made beautiful, the mortals are patiently  educated, taught and trained in the ways of God  under the supervision of the saints, and the saints  themselves will learn more and more about the  mind of God and His great purposes from the Lord  Jesus himself.

There will be so much to do and to learn that  the thousand years will hasten by. That the saints are  not instantly endowed with full knowledge seems  confirmed by the fact that even the angels were  not informed of all the details of Christ’s coming  for they themselves desired to “look into” the Old  Testament prophecies (1 Peter 1:12). Neither did  they know during Christ’s ministry the day and  hour of Christ’s second coming. This prospect of  continuing to grow in knowledge and spiritual  perception with purified and perfected minds is  exciting, for it will be progress of the finest kind.  Thus with the work of administration and rulership,  the times of refreshing in the presence of the Lord  and the vast opportunities for ever increasing  knowledge of God’s ways, there will be constant  purposeful activity in God’s service – a very busy  time indeed.

Although the saints will not experience physical  pain and suffering personally, they will be very  sympathetically aware of the problems of the mortal  population. Just as the angels in Genesis 3 knew  good and evil by experience (for the word “know”  in this connection conveys the idea of experimental  knowledge), but were not tempted by anything  outside the will of God, so the saints will recognise  sin in all its forms among the mortal population,  yet will not be influenced by it. The bias to sin will  have been removed for ever, so temptation in any  form will have no power. Like the angels they will  be vehicles of God’s spirit, ever fulfilling the will of  the Creator, as the Lord Jesus has ever done.

The saints will still have right emotions. As the  angels now rejoice over one sinner that repents,  so they must grieve when we sin and fall away. It  is possible to grieve the Holy Spirit of God and  to crucify the Son of God afresh by denying him.  The Lord Jesus suffered righteous anger against  wickedness and hypocrisy and so it will be with  the saints. Just as long as there is mortality on this  earth there will be some sorrow and sadness which  will be shared in measure by the immortal rulers.  Thus it is only after the last Judgement at the end  of the Kingdom that God can finally fulfil His  greatest promise:

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their  eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither  sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more  pain: for the former things are passed away” (Rev  21:4).

Then when all sin and rebellion is finally  destroyed and the faithful of the Kingdom Age are  made immortal, God will at last dwell with men.  They “shall see his face: and his name shall be in  their foreheads” (Rev 22:4).

“We make the answer now”

And the qualifications for those who long to share  that glorious time? We all know them: obedience  to God’s commands now and continuing in them  faithfully, suppressing the works of the flesh and  developing the fruits of the spirit. We have before us  the perfect example of the Lord Jesus who showed  us the way, and the mind of Paul:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,  longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness,  temperance” (Gal 5:22–23).

The Lord requires these lovely characteristics  in all those who will share his Kingdom and rule  for him. How splendidly different the world will be  when these principles prevail from Christ’s throne  in Jerusalem down to the remotest village in the  furthest corner of the earth. With this wonderful  and sure hope before us, let us meditate upon the  Kingdom more often and more deeply and let us  pray most earnestly that the Lord will say to each  one of us:

“Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the  kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of  the world” (Matt 25:34).