Last month I wrote about “A New Beginning” that God will bring about when Christ returns to claim control and rulership over the kingdoms and nations of this world. This “New Beginning,” that will have no ending, however, will undergo two “phases.”
In this present article I will discuss the first phase [“Phase I”] of that new beginning. It is what we may call a temporary or preliminary phase, which will prepare the way for the next phase [“Phase II”] which will complete and consummate God’s “New Beginning” that will have no ending for God’s children from among mankind who will inherit everlasting life or immortality in God’s eternal kingdom.
This temporary or preliminary phase of God’s plan is appropriately pictured by the sixth of God’s seven holy days or festivals – the Feast of Tabernacles, also called the Feast of Booths [temporary dwellings]. [For more details of this festival, see: God’s Feasts and the Jews – Part 3.]
The first leg of Phase I is the destruction of this present world as misgoverned by imperfect human beings under Satan’s sway (Revelation 12:9; 1 John 5:19). As Revelation 11:16-18 quotes the twenty-four elders [spirit beings who apparently serve as counselors in Christ’s heavenly court] as saying:
We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty,
The One who is and who was and who is to come,
Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.
The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come,
And the time of the dead, that they should be judged,
And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints,
And those who fear Your name, small and great,
And should destroy those who destroy the earth.
The succeeding chapters of Revelation detail the plagues that will destroy all the wicked from off the earth. Isaiah 24:1-8 had foretold about this dire event and its consequence:
Behold, the LORD makes the earth empty and makes it a waste,
Distorts and scatters about its inhabitants.
And it shall be:
As with the people, so with the priest;
As with the servant, so with the master;
Asw with a maid, so with the mistress;
As with the buyer, so with the seller;
As with the lender, so with the borrower;
As with the creditor, so with the debtor.
The land shall be entirely emptied and utterly plundered,
For the LORD has spoken this word.
The earth mourns and fades away;
The haughty people of the earth languish.
The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants,
Because they have transgressed the laws,
Changed the ordinance,
Broken the everlasting covenant,
Therefore the curse has devoured the earth.
And those who dwell in it are desolate.
Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned.
And a few men are left.
As Isaiah 6:11-13 indicates, only a tenth [10%] of all Israel and all mankind will survive as mortal subjects of Christ’s rule.
Before Christ destroys sinful humanity, He will have put away Satan the devil and his demon cohorts (Revelation 20:1-3) who have misled mankind into sin and death. [See: Two Goats Together, especially the sections “Satan’s fate” and “When will Satan be bound?”]
Phase I – B
After this putting away of Satan and the destruction of wicked mankind, the next step Christ will take will be to clean up all the mess that the destruction will have left behind.
• The carcasses of dead men which are not completely burned will need to be disposed of. As Ezekiel 39:11-12 exemplifies, there will be a lot of burying to do!
• Revelation 19:17-18 shows that carrion-eating birds [vultures, etc.] will help in disposing of the flesh of dead people and horses used in battle. [See also Ezekiel 39:17-20.]
• Revelation 14:17-20 shows that Christ’s wrath will result in such shedding of human and animal blood that it will reach “up to the horses’ bridle” in depth. This layer of blood will need to be plowed into the soil to cleanse it and make it fertile for crops to grow well.
Phase I – C
Then will come the clearing away of all the damage and debris of “the battle of the great day of the Almighty” (Revelation 16:14). All the military hardware left behind will need to be melted down and used for agricultural, industrial and other peaceful purposes (Micah 4:3; Isaiah 2:4). The rubble of destroyed buildings and other structures will need to be cleared away and dumped into low places.
• The earth’s terrain, which will have been vastly transformed by tumultuous earthquakes (Revelation 6:12-14; 16:17-20), will need to be re-landscaped to make it suitable for agriculture, human habitation, and economic endeavors.
• The surviving human beings will need to be comforted and healed as necessary (Isaiah 40:1-3, 11) by Christ and His team of glorified saints who will rule with Him on earth for the next 1,000 years (Revelation 5:8-10; 20:6).
Phase I -D
The next step is to undertake a great work of building infrastructures to make life comfortable and pleasant.
• Sensible houses will be need to be built for the surviving people to dwell in.
• Safe public utilities will need to be put in place: power, water, waste management, roads and highways, mass transport and communication facilities, commercial spaces, etc.
• Agricultural activities will be undertaken to provide healthy and nutritious food that is free from all the pollutants and harmful additives of today’s self-serving farming practices. [See: When One Who Preaches Christ Plants Corn.] God will make former deserts productive (Isaiah 35:1-2, 6-7). Having enjoyed some Sabbath or rest, lands will become more productive (2 Chronicles 36:21).
• At this time a new temple in Jerusalem will be built to house Christ’s throne as King of kings and His team of glorified saints who rule with Him. [See: The Temple in Ezekiel 40-48.] From this temple a stream of living water will flow out to cleanse and purify the seas and oceans and marshlands of pollution (Ezekiel 47:1-12). This will result in healthier fish and beaches for all to enjoy.
• School buildings will need to be provided for the formal education [or re-education] of the human survivors who will become subjects of Christ’s kingdom. So thorough will this re-education become that God’s knowledge and truth will fill the whole earth “as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9). Worship centers [churches rid of idolatries] will also be set up all over the earth to hasten the learning process.
• All this transformation of the earth’s and mankind’s spiritual landscape will result in a world filled with such abundant peace and prosperity as mankind has never experienced before! [See: World Peace – At Last!]
Phase I – E
At or toward the end of Christ’s 1000-year reign with His saints, Satan and /his demons will be released for a short season in order to deceive the horde of human beings who will think to rebel against Christ’s government. But they will not go far, for Christ’s superior power will overcome and destroy them swiftly (Revelation 20:1-9).
Hopefully these rebels will be given a chance to repent and be saved, along with all other human beings who had not known and accepted Christ in their lifetime.
Phase I – F
After this great destruction and eventual cleansing of the earth, a massive resurrection to physical life of all human beings who had never received the saving knowledge of God and Christ will take place (Revelation 20:5, 11-12). This will be their time of judgment and their chance to be saved, if they would. [See: This Is Not the Only Day of Salvation.]
At the end of that judgment period, all the dead who had willfully rejected God in their lifetime will be resurrected to be destroyed in the lake of fire [the “second death”], along with those judged unworthy during the judgment period after the 1,000-year [ or millennial] reign of Christ (Revelation 20:13-15; 21:8). Those who prove righteous to the end will be resurrected or changed to immortality, just as Christ’s saints will have been changed at His return (1 Corinthians 15:50-55; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-16).
Phase I – G
The intense fire that will destroy all the wicked of the earth will also destroy or melt and dissolve the elements of the present earth and heaven. 2 Peter 3:7, 10 describes this awesome event. It will immediately precede the beginning of “Phase II” of God’s new beginning. Unlike Phase I, Phase II will last forever and ever.
Only the faithful and righteous among men will take part in that bright new world – the true eternal “city of God,” the “New Jerusalem” (Revelation 21-22). This is that city or country which father Abraham and other righteous people have sought for or looked forward to, one not made by human hands [such as today’s world], but made by God alone (Hebrews 9:11; 11:10; 12:20; 13:14). No wicked or evil person will be included or allowed in that city (Revelation 21:8; 22:14-15).
• Even the seas will be gone (Revelation 21:1)! The sea is symbolic of sinful humanity (Revelation 13:1). All unrepentant wicked, ungodly people will have been destroyed in the “lake of fire” (Revelation 21:8). Only righteous human beings, given immortal or everlasting life as Jesus judges, will survive the great fire of destruction and live on into eternity – forever and ever. The resulting expansion of the earth’s surface will enable the billions of the saved to have ample living space. [See: Enough Room on Earth for the Saved?]
• God will serve as the Sun and Christ as the Moon to light the new heaven and new earth (Revelation 21:23-24). There will be no night or darkness at all in the New Jerusalem (Verse 25).
• Since only immortal, divine beings will live forever in that new earth, there will be no need of physical food for them to survive as we do in this present life. However, the original “tree of life” will be restored, after it had been taken away from Eden after Adam and Eve sinned (Revelation 22:2-3; Genesis 3:22-24). The immortal people of God will eat the fruit of that tree not for physical sustenance, but for enjoyment and pleasure, and to maintain spiritual health.
Phase II of God’s new beginning being what it is, it behooves those who desire to enjoy its glorious pleasures and delights to keep themselves “in holy conduct and godliness,” and “without spot and blameless” (2 Peter 3:11, 14). We are commanded to “beware lest [we] fall from [our] own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked” (Verse 17). Instead we are to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Verses 17-18).
Jesus admonishes His people to overcome sin, this world and the evil one [Satan], to repent, “be faithful unto death,” and “hold fast” what Christ has given us lest we lose our “crown (Revelation 2-3).
Pedro R. Meléndez, Jr.