What happens after God removes the present "ruler of this world"? (John 12:31).
". . . And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, 'The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!'" (Revelation 11:15).
Will a miraculous, unprecedented event accompany Christ's return?
"For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17).
Does the Bible provide other details about this resurrection?
"What I mean, my friends, is this: flesh and blood can never possess the kingdom of God, the perishable cannot possess the imperishable. Listen! I will unfold a mystery: we shall not all die, but we shall all be changed in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet-call. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will rise imperishable, and we shall be changed. This perishable body must be clothed with the imperishable, and what is mortal with immortality. And when this perishable body has been clothed with the imperishable and our mortality has been clothed with immortality, then the saying of scripture will come true: 'Death is swallowed up; victory is won!'" (1 Corinthians 15:50-54, Revised English Bible).
"The sun has a splendour of its own, the moon another splendour, and the stars yet another; and one star differs from another in brightness. So it is with the resurrection of the dead: what is sown as a perishable thing is raised imperishable. Sown in humiliation, it is raised in glory; sown in weakness, it is raised in power; sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body" (1 Corinthians 15:41-44, REB).
Will people brought up in this resurrection rule with Christ in His Kingdom?
"Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years" (Revelation 20:6).
The return of Jesus Christ will mark not only the beginning of the Kingdom of God but the time when God will resurrect the dead in Christ and give them eternal life to reign with Jesus forever.
Who will be in this resurrection to eternal life in God's Kingdom?
"To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne" (Revelation 3:21).
Will the 12 apostles play a special role during the millennial reign of Christ?
"But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials. And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Luke 22:29-30).
Will Jesus literally return to earth?
"And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley; half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south . . . Thus the LORD my God will come, and all the saints with You" (Zechariah 14:4-5; compare Revelation 5:10).
This prophecy describes Jesus Christ's literal return to earth, where He will meet and be accompanied by the resurrected saints. He will return to the Mount of Olives, which overlooks Jerusalem from the city's east side.
What will be the status of Jerusalem after Christ's return?
"Thus says the LORD: 'I will return to Zion, and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, the Mountain of the LORD of hosts, the Holy Mountain'" (Zechariah 8:3).
"At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the LORD, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem. No more shall they follow the dictates of their evil hearts" (Jeremiah 3:17).
"For Zion's sake I will not hold My peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burns. The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, and all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD will name . . . You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent, and give Him no rest till He establishes and till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth" (Isaiah 62:1-7).
Jerusalem, that ancient city over which so much blood has been shed throughout the centuries, will become the government and religious center of the world in the Kingdom of God.
Will the Messiah bring other nations under His rule?
"Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, 'Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.' For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem" (Isaiah 2:2-3).
Notice that the Kingdom of God, established by Jesus the Messiah, will take control over the kingdoms the world. It will be a literal kingdom replacing the present systems of government, which have refused to accept and enforce the laws of God. This godly Kingdom will become a reality at the return of Christ.
How will Jesus Christ deal with people who will not come to Jerusalem to worship Him as He commands?
"And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, on them there will be no rain. If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the LORD strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles" (Zechariah 14:16-18).
Nations that lose their water supplies will soon realize their survival depends on the goodwill of the new King in Jerusalem. Eventually all the nations will respond to Christ's summons and come to Jerusalem to learn the ways of God.
What will happen to the barren, dry areas around Jerusalem?
"For the LORD will comfort Zion, He will comfort all her waste places; He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness will be found in it, thanksgiving and the voice of melody" (Isaiah 51:3).
"I will open rivers in desolate heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will plant in the wilderness the cedar and the acacia tree, the myrtle and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the cypress tree and the pine and the box tree together, that they may see and know, and consider and understand together, that the hand of the LORD has done this, and the Holy One of Israel has created it" (Isaiah 41:18-20).
"The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it . . . They shall see the glory of the LORD, the excellency of our God . . . The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water; in the habitation of jackals, where each lay, there shall be grass with reeds and rushes" (Isaiah 35:1-7).
What affect will these changes have on agriculture?
"'Behold, the days are coming,' says the LORD, 'when the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him who sows seed; the mountains shall drip with sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it'" (Amos 9:13).
Along with the transformation of the land, what change will take place among wild animals?
"The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra's hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper's den" (Isaiah 11:6-8).
What will happen to the state of people's health during this time?
"Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert" (Isaiah 35:5-6).
Will Christ put an end to war and violence?
"He shall judge between many peoples, and rebuke strong nations afar off; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken" (Micah 4:3-4).
Will the world at last experience peace?
"My people will build houses and live in them, plant vineyards and eat their fruit; they will not build for others to live in or plant for others to eat. They will be as long-lived as a tree, and my chosen ones will enjoy the fruit of their labour. They will not toil to no purpose or raise children for misfortune, because they and their issue [descendants] after them are a race blessed by the LORD" (Isaiah 65:21-23, REB).
"They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea" (Isaiah 11:9).
The Kingdom of God, under Jesus Christ's supervision, will bring blessings of peace and prosperity to the world. God will restore what He removed when He expelled Adam and Eve from the garden in Eden: access to the knowledge of Him through the tree of life (Revelation 22:1-2). Universal peace will result. God will allow no one, man or beast, to harm any part of His creation.
What is the key to this wonderful change?
"But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more" (Jeremiah 31:33-34).
Human beings, on their own, cannot achieve this incredible transformation of behavior and heart. It can come only as the result of God's Spirit working in their minds and hearts, enabling them to obey His commandments from the heart (Zechariah 4:6; Ezekiel 36:25-37). God will change the very nature of man.
Human beings can then begin to achieve their unlimited spiritual potential. God can then shape all people—every race and nation—into His spiritual image, which was His original intent.