“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 Isaiah 11:9They 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.
American King James Version×).
When Jesus Christ returns, “the kingdom of the world [will] become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15 Revelation 11:15And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
American King James Version×, NIV). Satan’s world, built on a foundation of lies and deception, will come crashing down, replaced by the Kingdom of truth and light.
To grasp the magnitude of the transformation that will take place at the coming and implementing of the Kingdom of God, we need to understand the magnitude of Satan’s centuries-long deception. It’s difficult even to begin to see how great, how pervasive, that deception has been when we have been immersed in it since our birth. After all, a deceived person doesn’t know he is deceived. To him the deception is what appears normal—it’s the truth that seems odd!
We need to grasp the fact that Satan has constantly deceived and manipulated mankind on every conceivable level. The prophecies of the book of Revelation only begin to scratch the surface of what must take place for the Kingdom of God to be established. One message that comes through loud and clear is that Christ will have to tear virtually everything down and start over. It will be the only way to root out the last vestiges of Satan’s system.
Tearing down and starting over
When you read through the book of Revelation you learn that it isn’t only the obvious areas of deception—such as Satan’s end-time political and religious systems—that must be rooted out and destroyed.
At Christ’s return everything will come crashing down and be swept away. He will start over afresh. Everything that Satan had a hand in building—governments, political systems, economic systems, educational systems, entertainment, media and information systems, every form of society and civilization that we have invented and established over the course of man’s history—must be replaced with something far superior.
Why? Because everything in this present world has been built on a wrong foundation. It is all founded on Satan’s deceptions and outright lies. It has been built on his values—constructed to his specifications, you might say. Almost without exception this world’s systems have all been constructed with no guidance or direction from God.
This is not God’s world. It is not His society. It is not His civilization. It is not built on His values, laws or way of life. Satan has deceived the world for centuries and organized it according to his values rather than God’s.
Satan’s deception is an active, continuing process. At every turn he has taken mankind farther and farther away from God and His instructions for us. Each generation has built on layer after layer of previously established deception. Just as Satan deceived the whole world in the past, he is deceiving it now and will continue to delude it until He is put away at Christ’s return. Then everything he has built must be completely crushed and swept away.
It’s not pleasant to contemplate, but much of the horrendous destruction and devastation poured out on the earth as described in the book of Revelation is God’s judgment on mankind and civilization. As noted earlier, Satan will embark on a frenzy of destruction as the end of his rule draws near and he wages a desperate war to thwart the returning Jesus Christ. But what is left of Satan’s empire will be annihilated by Jesus as He assumes the role of King of Kings.
Just as a new building cannot successfully be built on the rotting foundation of a destroyed structure, God must raze the remnants of Satan’s edifice before He can build a new foundation.
A new kind of government
At Jesus’ return those who have been God’s faithful followers over the centuries—who have successfully resisted Satan’s deceit and rebellion—will be resurrected to immortality (1 Corinthians 15:50-54 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 50 Now this I say, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption.
51 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
American King James Version×; 1 Thessalonians 4:16 1 Thessalonians 4:16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
American King James Version×). God’s Word says of these people: “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 Revelation 20:6Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on 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.
American King James Version×).
Christ, as we have seen, will return to reign on the earth (Zechariah 14:4-9 Zechariah 14:4-9 4 And his feet shall stand in that day on the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall split in the middle thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
5 And you shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal: yes, you shall flee, like as you fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with you.
6 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark:
7 But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.
8 And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.
9 And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.
American King James Version×). Revelation 5:10 Revelation 5:10And have made us to our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
American King James Version×says of those resurrected to be with Christ, “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth” (NIV). God has in mind an awesome purpose for His faithful servants. They are not destined for a life of idleness and ease in heaven for eternity. God has called and is training them for a great responsibility —to reign with Christ as rulers and priests to build a perfect, just and godly civilization on earth! (To learn more, send for or download our free booklet Heaven and Hell: What Does the Bible Really Teach? )
Christ’s Kingdom, the Kingdom of God, will be a literal kingdom ruling over the nations of the earth. Daniel 7:27 Daniel 7:27And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
American King James Version×, referring to the establishment of this Kingdom, tells us that “the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him” (NIV).
Daniel 7:14 Daniel 7:14And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
American King James Version×tells us even more clearly that this will be a literal, world-ruling government. Daniel describes God the Father giving Jesus the Messiah authority and responsibility over the earth: “To Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed.”
The governmental systems of mankind for centuries have proven their inherent inability to solve our many problems. Now they will be replaced by a ruler and form of government that can at last solve those problems. Jesus Christ will personally rule the peoples of the earth!
This central truth is at the heart of the gospel—the good news—that Jesus taught. The focus of His message is the announcement of a coming world government (Luke 21:31 Luke 21:31So likewise you, when you see these things come to pass, know you that the kingdom of God is near at hand.
American King James Version×) that will not be administered by blinded people who have been duped by Satan. It will not be ruled by selfishly motivated people but by Jesus Christ Himself (Luke 21:27 Luke 21:27And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
American King James Version×).
Building a God-centered civilization
The Hebrew prophets give us dozens of prophecies throughout the Old Testament about this exciting time. One that perhaps best describes the differences between the world tomorrow and today’s world is found in Isaiah 11:9 Isaiah 11:9They 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.
American King James Version×: “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’s prophecy describes how during that time even the nature of animals will be changed: “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” (Isaiah 11:6 Isaiah 11:6The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatted calf together; and a little child shall lead them.
American King James Version×).
Today’s world is full of hurting and destruction. It is blinded to the knowledge of God we so desperately need. Once Satan is removed, along with his attitude of vanity, jealousy, greed, selfishness and hostility, humanity can begin to learn and then experience peace.
Satan will no longer be around to blind the world and enshroud it in spiritual darkness. The world will at last experience freedom from Satan’s spiritual enslavement (John 8:32 John 8:32And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
American King James Version×). People will at last learn godly values and the right way to live—the way to prevent and eliminate pain and misery.
The prophet Micah describes this time of unprecedented peace: “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 peoples shall flow to it. Many nations 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 the law shall go forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 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” (Micah 4:1-4 Micah 4:1-4 1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow to it.
2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
4 But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken it.
American King James Version×).
With Satan-induced blindness removed, men, women, boys and girls everywhere will at last begin to recognize the blessings that come from following God’s way. They will eagerly stream to Jerusalem, Christ’s capital city, to learn His way of life.
Prophecies of Christ’s rule
In one of the Bible’s best-known (but least-understood) passages, the prophet Isaiah describes the kind of ruler Jesus will be: “The government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever” (Isaiah 9:6-7 Isaiah 9:6-7 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, on the throne of David, and on his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from now on even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
American King James Version×).
In contrast to the injustice, incompetence and oppression that so often characterize governments today, “judgment and justice” will be hallmarks of Christ’s coming reign. A new, vastly different kind of epidemic will break out throughout the world, affecting marriages, families, communities and nations. It will be an epidemic of peace. As Isaiah prophesied, “there will be no end” to peace under Jesus Christ’s reign (verse 7). The Prince of Peace will bring calm and goodwill to a world that has never known lasting peace.
Under Christ’s righteous rule, mankind will at last learn God’s ways and experience a wonderful peace. Educational institutions will teach people how to live, not just how to make a living. Biblical principles for healthy and lasting relationships will be thoroughly explained. The multiple millions of people who have never known God’s laws or ways in a world blinded by Satan for thousands of years will at last have access to that wonderful, saving knowledge. (To learn more about the promised Kingdom of God, be sure to download or request your free copy of our booklet The Gospel of the Kingdom .)
The millennial Kingdom and beyond
Jesus Christ will usher in a literal kingdom, the Kingdom of God on earth. But this is not the end of the story. Notice again Revelation 11:15 Revelation 11:15And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
American King James Version×, which was quoted in part earlier: “The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever’ ” (NIV).
Jesus Christ will reign over the nations in a literal kingdom for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:3-7 Revelation 20:3-7 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark on their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6 Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on 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.
7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
American King James Version×). Yet we are also told in the passage just quoted that He will reign forever. In other words, the 1,000-year reign (commonly called the Millennium, from the Latin for “thousand years”) is only the beginning of Jesus’ eternal reign in the Kingdom of God.
Indeed, the reign that Christ will share with the resurrected saints during this time will be for the very purpose of offering entry into the eternal Kingdom of God to all mankind. Millions of physical human beings alive at Christ’s return will live through the devastation of the prophesied end-time events into the Millennium, after which many more generations will be born and live. They will all be given an opportunity for eternal life, to be changed from their physical lives and bodies to spirit and to enter into the eternal Kingdom of God.
When He taught about the Kingdom of God, Jesus made it clear that ultimately it is an eternal kingdom, not one that lasts only 1,000 years. In Matthew 19:16 Matthew 19:16And, behold, one came and said to him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
American King James Version×we read of a wealthy young man who asked Jesus a fundamental question: “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” Jesus explained to him that he needed to keep God’s commandments and “be perfect” (Matthew 19:21 Matthew 19:21Jesus said to him, If you will be perfect, go and sell that you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
American King James Version×). When it became clear that the young man was not willing to do all that would be required, Jesus went on to say in Matthew 19:24 Matthew 19:24And again I say to you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
American King James Version×that “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” Here, entry into the Kingdom of God is equated with eternal life.
Yes, the millennial reign of Christ will open the door for millions of human beings to be saved and enter the eternal Kingdom of God. The Millennium, a time of unparalleled peace, happiness and prosperity, will be just a foretaste of the even greater eternal Kingdom.
Unknown to most people, God established a series of festivals revealed in the Bible that picture how He will eventually reconcile humanity to Himself. In the process represented by the festivals, we learn why God allows Satan to exist until Jesus Christ’s return to the earth to establish the Kingdom of God. (To learn more about these days of worship, be sure to download or request our free booklet God’s Holy Day Plan: The Promise of Hope for All Mankind .)
Satan’s final role
The Bible reveals that Satan plays one final role after Christ’s return and the establishment of the Kingdom of God. Earlier we read that Satan will be bound “so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished” (Revelation 20:3 Revelation 20:3And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
American King James Version×). But, then, “after these things he must be released for a little while” (same verse).
During the Millennium many will be born who will not be exposed to Satan’s influence. God’s way will be the only way they will have ever known. Yet the Scriptures reveal that God tests people to see if their obedience is from the heart (Deuteronomy 8:2 Deuteronomy 8:2And you shall remember all the way which the LORD your God led you these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you, and to prove you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments, or no.
American King James Version×; Revelation 2:10 Revelation 2:10Fear none of those things which you shall suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that you may be tried; and you shall have tribulation ten days: be you faithful to death, and I will give you a crown of life.
American King James Version×). One way He does this is to allow them to choose between good and evil (Deuteronomy 30:19 Deuteronomy 30:19I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live:
American King James Version×). The book of Revelation describes one such way this choice will be presented at the end of the Millennium.
Notice how it will occur: “When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them” (Revelation 20:7-9 Revelation 20:7-9 7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
American King James Version×, NIV).
God does not reveal whether this is the only test He will give then to separate those who sincerely want to obey and follow Him from those who don’t. But it will certainly be the final and most significant test. It will be a vital part of the judgment process, to determine once and for all where any root of the devil’s attitudes and thinking remain on earth. Here, at the end of the Millennium, those who have chosen to follow Satan will be gathered together at once and destroyed.
Then comes the time for Satan’s permanent removal: “And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:10 Revelation 20:10And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
American King James Version×, English Standard Version). At last, he will not be able to deceive anyone ever again.
Following Satan’s final rebellion, there will be a general resurrection of humanity—all those who lived in Satan’s world without a real opportunity for salvation (Revelation 20:5 Revelation 20:5But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
American King James Version×; Revelation 20:11-12 Revelation 20:11-12 11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
American King James Version×). These will be able to compare their former life under Satan’s dominion with life under the rule of God—and decide whether or not to accept God’s way and eternal life in His Kingdom. (To better understand the great events to take place at this time, download or request our free booklet The Book of Revelation Unveiled .)
A wonderfully transformed heaven and earth
In the end there will be only God and those who have chosen His way rather than Satan’s. Continuing further in the book of Revelation, John describes another incredible sequence of events after the 1,000-year reign of Christ and the general resurrection period: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away” (Revelation 21:1 Revelation 21:1And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
American King James Version×, NIV).
In this new world “the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God” (verse 3, NIV). Satan’s rule as “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4 2 Corinthians 4:4In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine to them.
American King James Version×, KJV) will be but a vanishing memory.
Revelation 21:4 Revelation 21:4And 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.
American King James Version×tells us what the world will be like when Satan’s influence is no more: “[God] will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (NIV).
Is there really a devil? Yes. Absolutely. And other demons besides. But God assures us the time is coming when Satan, his demons and their works—the physical suffering, misery, mental anguish and mourning they bring—will be no more. May you have the wisdom, strength and love for truth to resist Satan’s deceptions and be there to see that wonderful day!