Preserved for God’s Kingdom of a Thousand Years
1. The approach of God’s millennial Messianic kingdom means what for human political governments?
THE KINGDOM of God by his Messiah for a thousand years has approached! The basis for announcing this good news is solid, firmly established in inspired Scripture and in world events since 1914 C.E. The millennial kingdom’s approach means that the political governments of imperfect, dying human rulers are approaching their end. “In the days of those kings,” said the inspired prophet Daniel to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, “the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be brought to ruin. And the kingdom itself will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it itself will stand to times indefinite.”—Daniel 2:44.
2. (a) Such crushing of the worldly kingdoms will be the climax of what occurrence? (b) Despite the problem then, what will be “saved” on earth?
2 The crushing of those man-made worldly kingdoms will be the climax of the “great tribulation” that the Messiah Jesus foretold in his prophecy when he answered the question: “When will these things be, and what will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things?” (Matthew 24:3) Since the inaugurating of his kingdom for a thousand years must be preceded by the crushing of all the present kingdoms and republics of men, Jesus was not exaggerating matters when he called that approaching tribulation a great one, a “great tribulation such as has not occurred since the world’s beginning until now, no, nor will occur again.” The greatness of that tribulation would be such that human survival of it, the preserving of the human race alive through it, would be a problem. “In fact, unless those days were cut short, no flesh would be saved; but on account of the chosen ones those days will be cut short.” (Matthew 24:21, 22) Not just the “chosen ones” would be saved; other “flesh” would also.
3. (a) Before they do what, will the remnant witness this preservation of “flesh” alive on earth? (b) By what means will those surviving the “great tribulation” be preserved?
3 Ah, yes! The human race will be preserved on earth despite the approaching unparalleled “great tribulation,” just as it was preserved through the global deluge of Noah’s day. (Matthew 24:37-39) The remnant of “chosen ones” will witness this preservation of “flesh” on earth before they leave the earthly scene for the heavenly kingdom for which they were called and chosen in union with Jesus Christ. (Revelation 17:14; 20:4-6) No member of that clerical “man of lawlessness” class will be preserved; nor will those with whom they used to associate in politics, militarism and commercialism be preserved. The faithful remnant of “chosen ones” and the “great crowd” of sheeplike persons who take their stand uncompromisingly on the side of God’s kingdom by his Messiah will be preserved clear through the destruction of religious Babylon the Great and the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Har–Magedon. (Revelation 7:9-17; 16:13-16; 17:1-16; Matthew 25:31-46) Not by human means, but only by God’s power will they be preserved.
4, 5. (a) Such preservation is called to our attention in what psalm, and for how many does the psalmist express himself? (b) After their preservation, the “chosen ones” and the “great crowd” will be moved, like the psalmist, to voice what toward their Preserver?
4 Such preservation is plainly brought to our attention in the inspired words of Psalm 116, from which the apostle Paul himself makes a quotation in 2 Corinthians 4:13. The writer of that psalm could have been speaking representatively for his whole nation, because not just he himself but also his people, Jehovah’s chosen people, were threatened with death, with an extermination. In the near future, all those who hold unbreakably to Jehovah’s kingdom by Jesus Christ will be threatened with death at the hands of the religious and political foes of God’s Messianic kingdom. Not fighting back with carnal weapons but relying solely on Almighty God and his Messiah to protect, these staunch loyal defenders and upholders of God’s kingdom will have to ascribe their preservation to Almighty God. Will they love Him for this? For His answering their cry for salvation in the time of worldwide danger to life, their hearts will move them to express their affection for their divine Savior as did the psalmist for a like reason:
5 “I do love, because Jehovah hears my voice, my entreaties. For he has inclined his ear to me, and throughout my days I shall call. The ropes of death encircled me and the distressing circumstances of Sheol themselves found me. Distress and grief I kept finding. But upon the name of Jehovah I proceeded to call: ‘Ah, Jehovah, do provide my soul with escape!’ Jehovah is gracious and righteous; and our God is One showing mercy. Jehovah is guarding the inexperienced ones. I was impoverished, and he proceeded to save even me.”—Psalm 116:1-6.
6. (a) Facing seemingly certain death, how did the psalmist feel, according to his descriptions? (b) With what expression did he burst out, and why?
6 The psalmist did not want to die. And yet death seemed a sure thing for him. It was already as if death had its ropes tied fast and unbreakable around him, preventing all moves for escape. It was as if he were already in Sheol (the common grave of mankind), feeling the distressing circumstances of being squeezed in by the narrow walls of a burial pit. He was grieved and distressed at having his life cut short. He was inexperienced in the ways of the world and could not appeal to human aid. He felt impoverished of all earthly help. But wait! His case was not hopeless. There was the God whom he and his nation worshiped. This One could guard him from death and Sheol. He is gracious, he is righteous, he shows mercy, he can provide escape, he can save. His is the name upon which to call for salvation. In appreciation of such a God as this, the endangered psalmist lifted his voice to Him. He entreated him. And, O joy! Jehovah did incline his ear. He did hear the desperate voice, the soulful entreaties. He did save. He did save—“even me,” exclaimed the humble psalmist. How could the psalmist refrain from bursting out with the exclamation, “I do love.” Just that!
7. Why will Jehovah answer the call of the “chosen ones” and the “great crowd” as they face near death, and why will they cry out, “I do love!”?
7 When finally in our generation the uproar of the foretold “war of the great day of God the Almighty” dies down and peaceful quiet settles down at the battlefield of Har–Magedon, the surviving remnant of “chosen ones” and the “great crowd” of fellow survivors will look back and appreciate just what a salvation God the Almighty has wrought in their behalf. It was a near-death experience for them. Whose name could they call upon with assurance of being heard when there seemed to be no other eventuality but violent death—except the name of Jehovah? Not in vain did they do so. For this was not the time for him to let them fall in death, to let them descend into the narrow confines of Sheol. Let the threatening enemies go down into destruction, indeed—but not His worshipers who called upon his name in spite of the taunts and jeers of the enemy. Miraculous divine escape was provided! The ones inexperienced in the wicked ways of the world, the ones who, like Jesus, were not part of this world, were guarded. The gracious, righteous, merciful Jehovah did save them! How could these saved ones but look to Jehovah and say: “I do love”?
WALKING “IN THE LANDS OF THOSE LIVING”
8. He having been rescued from the death of his soul, what was the psalmist determined to do as respects his walking?
8 Feeling now a tremendous sense of relief, the once deeply disturbed psalmist could say: “Return to your resting-place, O my soul, for Jehovah himself has acted appropriately toward you. For you have rescued my soul from death, my eye from tears, my foot from stumbling. I will walk before Jehovah in the lands of those living. I had faith, for I proceeded to speak. I myself was very much afflicted. I, for my part, said, when I became panicky: ‘Every man is a liar.’”—Psalm 116:7-11.
9. (a) What did the psalmist mean by saying that every man was a liar? (b) Because of what did he then speak, and was his speech to no avail?
9 Having experienced deliverance from the death of his soul and finding himself walking among those living on earth, the psalmist could relax and bid his soul, his own self, to return to its resting-place. There was no more need for him to shed tears of frustration. His feet had not stumbled and precipitated him into death. Once indeed he had been panicky, for he had come to the realization that all human help was of no avail: every man proved to be a liar who said that he could help the apparently doomed psalmist or who did try to rescue him. Mankind seemed a delusion to him. But though he had lost faith in the power of mankind to save him from the menacing death, he still held onto his faith in his God. So he spoke in faith, in expression of his faith. If no one else could help him, his God could. In voicing his faith, he spoke of deliverance by means of God. Such kind of speech did not prove to be false, futile. He was kept from stumbling in a death-dealing fall. So now he determined to “walk before Jehovah in the lands of those living.”
10 Faith in God is never in vain! The apostle Paul knew that. Whereas he realized that his strenuous missionary efforts were working for the life of those who heard his message but were also working for his earlier death, he still had faith in the sustaining power of God. He spoke of living on, not just here on earth, but also by a resurrection from the dead during the “presence” or parousia of Christ. Paul remembered Psalm 116 and wrote to the congregation in Corinth, Greece: “Consequently death is at work in us, but life in you. Now because we have the same spirit of faith as that of which it is written: ‘I exercised faith, therefore I spoke,’ we too exercise faith and therefore we speak, knowing that he who raised Jesus up will raise us up also together with Jesus and will present us [in whom death is right now at work] together with you [in whom life is presently at work].”—2 Corinthians 4:12-14; Psalm 116:10.
11. (a) As respects the “chosen ones” and the “great crowd,” when will it be that they too can say, “Every man is a liar”? (b) Why will it then be fitting to think upon the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:8-10?
11 Faith in God, even in the face of seemingly inescapable death, will be a vital necessity for the remnant of “chosen ones” and the “great crowd” of their loyal companions in the very near future. Certainly these will need to exercise faith when the combined irreligious secular powers make a final assault upon them after the clerical “man of lawlessness” has been done away with and all the rest of religious Babylon the Great has been consumed as with fire. There will then be no human aid to which to appeal, so that it could be said: “Every man is a liar.” Yes, all human assistance proves unavailable, fails, and would be a delusion. But, in order to strengthen faith in Almighty God, they can think of the apostle Paul, who, before speaking of his own faith, said: “We are pressed in every way, but not cramped beyond movement; we are perplexed, but not absolutely with no way out; we are persecuted, but not left in the lurch; we are thrown down, but not destroyed. Always we endure everywhere in our body the death-dealing treatment given to Jesus, that the life of Jesus may also be made manifest in our body.”—2 Corinthians 4:8-10.
12. In the final part of the “great tribulation,” how will they imitate Paul when quoting from Psalm 116, and what will they, like the psalmist, say to themselves thereafter?
12 Under similar circumstances during the final part of the “great tribulation,” the “chosen ones” and the “great crowd” can imitate Paul and “have the same spirit of faith as that of which it is written: ‘I exercised faith, therefore I spoke.’” They too can exercise faith and therefore speak with unabandoned faith in God, in spite of acknowledging that things look very black for them. (2 Corinthians 4:13) Soon after the final assault upon their existence as made by the earthly agents of Satan the Devil, there will come the occasion when the “chosen ones” and the “great crowd” will be able to say: “Return to your resting-place, O my soul, for Jehovah himself has acted appropriately toward you.”—Psalm 116:7.
13. During the “war of the great day of God the Almighty,” how does Jehovah ‘act appropriately’ toward his worshipers, as in contrast with their earthly enemies?
13 “Acted appropriately”—in what way? In a way that was appropriate for Jehovah to act toward his faithful worshipers in their dire distress. In the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” he acts in full harmony with his precious promises recorded in his Holy Word for the benefit and security of his obedient servants. “Jehovah is guarding all those loving him, but all the wicked ones he will annihilate.” (Psalm 145:20) In the desperate situation of the “chosen ones” and the “great crowd,” he acts in the way appropriate to their faith, obedience, loyalty and devotion to Him. He “becomes the rewarder of those earnestly seeking him.” (Hebrews 11:6) So he rescues their souls from the death that the earthly enemies would like to inflict upon them. He rescues them from any cause for shedding tears. He rescues them from any stumbling that the enemies would like to cause, resulting in a fall into death. Could anything be more appropriate for Jehovah to do than this, for the vindication of his Word and name and the complete foiling of the vicious enemies? No!
14. (a) Into what kind of earth will Jehovah’s preserved ones emerge, but where else will there also be a cleansing, and how? (b) So as not to miss the purpose of their deliverance, what will Jehovah’s preserved ones determine to do?
14 For the remnant of God’s “chosen ones” and the “great crowd,” this signifies emerging alive in the flesh from the “great tribulation” in which the entire present “system of things” will be wiped out. Before them will stretch all the lands of the cleansed earth. Not only has the earth been cleansed of all the evildoers by the “great tribulation,” but now there is a cleansing of the invisible spirit realm in the immediate neighborhood of the earth. How? In that the “dragon . . . the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan,” and all his demon angels are seized, chained, and hurled into an “abyss” from which it is impossible for them to deceive and mislead the nations on earth during the thousand-year reign of Jehovah’s Messiah and all the 144,000 “chosen” ones. What a unique occasion that will be to manifest appreciation! Jehovah’s worshipers had been threatened with lying slain among the dead, but, look! here they are alive! So now they can show determination not to miss the purpose of their being spared from death. Having been rescued just as the psalmist was, they can say, like him: “I will walk before Jehovah in the lands of those living.” (Psalm 116:9) This they now can do with freedom from disturbance, with rest for their souls.
TAKING UP THE “CUP OF GRAND SALVATION”
15. Thus, when Christ’s millennial reign begins, what salvation will have been wrought on the earth, and what “cup” will God’s loyal ones take up?
15 Thus when the glorious thousand years of Messiah’s reign over all the earth are ready to begin, a “grand salvation” will indeed have been wrought by God for all his loyal ones on earth. Just think of it! For these loyal ones there has come a good riddance of all the wicked ones on earth and in the invisible realm about the earth. There can now follow a preservation of such loyal ones all during the thousand years of God’s Messianic kingdom, the loyal ones of the “great crowd” being the ones that will forever keep living upon the cleansed earth. In appreciation of this the preserved loyal ones should feel moved to say what the psalmist said: “What shall I repay to Jehovah for all his benefits to me? The cup of grand salvation I shall take up, and on the name of Jehovah I shall call. My vows I shall pay to Jehovah, yes, in front of all his people.”—Psalm 116:12-14.
16. (a) Who offers to the loyal ones the “cup of grand salvation,” and how? (b) How do they drink that “cup,” and upon what do they call?
16 A cup contains a portion of drink for one to imbibe or even to pour out as a drink offering to Jehovah God. It is He who has offered to his loyal ones on earth the “cup of grand salvation.” How? By preserving them through the “great tribulation.” The portion for them to drink is the “grand salvation.” All his acts of salvation Jehovah has wrought for them through the heavenly Messiah. The loyal ones do not refuse this gift of “grand salvation” that extends their life on earth into the blessed thousand years of earth-wide rule by the Messiah. Gratefully they will drink it, enjoying life “in the lands of those living.” But as they do so, they will call upon the name of Jehovah. Using his name, they will call upon Him through his Messiah to bless and guide them in all their efforts henceforth to use their lives on earth in full harmony with his will. They will openly, publicly, name Him as their God.
17. What will be done about any “vows” that Jehovah’s loyal ones may have made during the time of danger to their lives?
17 Have they any dues to pay Him? That is, during the time that their souls were in danger and death seemed imminent, did they make any vows, any solemn promises to Jehovah God through Jesus Christ? If they did so in their desire for divine deliverance, then such “vows” they will dutifully and lovingly pay to Jehovah who acted in harmony with their vows and preserved them for uninterrupted life on earth. At Jehovah’s spiritual temple they will do so, inasmuch as their doing what they vowed to do will be “in front of all his people.”
18. For how long will the preserved remnant of “chosen ones” do this on earth?
18 Even those of the remnant of God’s “chosen ones” will do so, for whatever time these spirit-begotten ones are retained on earth before they pass off the earthly stage of activity and are gloriously united with all the others of the 144,000 joint heirs of Christ in his heavenly throne.—Ecclesiastes 5:2-6.*
“THE DEATH OF HIS LOYAL ONES”—HOW PRECIOUS!
19. In order to be untied from the bands of death, the psalmist appealed to God on the basis of what relationship? And why rightly so?
19 Placing a high value on what affects the feelings of his God, the rescued psalmist could exclaim: “Precious in the eyes of Jehovah is the death of his loyal ones. Ah, now, O Jehovah, for I am your servant. I am your servant, the son of your slave girl. You have loosened my bands.” (Psalm 116:15, 16) The psalmist exclaimed, “Ah, now, O Jehovah,” in a beseeching, entreating way. This supplicating attitude was what he did have during the period of his being endangered with death. At that time he appealed to God that those bands with which he appeared to be tied to death might be loosened and he be freed from death. He pleaded with God for this favor on the basis that he was Jehovah’s servant, yes, Jehovah’s servant of a second generation, for he was a son of Jehovah’s “slave girl.” As it were, the psalmist reminded Jehovah of His responsibility for his servants, to preserve them alive. And now, after his confrontation with death, the psalmist could speak of Jehovah as having lovingly carried out His responsibility.
20. (a) With what kind of persons did the psalmist classify himself, and why not presumptuously so? (b) How costly did the psalmist appraise the death of one of Jehovah’s “loyal ones” to be to him?
20 The psalmist classed himself as being one of Jehovah’s “loyal ones,” when he let his deep appreciation move him to say: “Precious in the eyes of Jehovah is the death of his loyal ones.” The psalmist did not thus classify himself presumptuously, for Jehovah showed that he considered the psalmist to be loyal because Jehovah spared him from death. Instead of letting the psalmist suffer death and thereafter have a Levitical priest preach a funeral sermon and say over him, “Precious in the eyes of Jehovah is the death of his loyal ones,” Jehovah considered the death of the psalmist too costly to let it occur. So he rescued the psalmist’s “soul from death.” Consequently, the psalmist could now appreciate how costly the death of a loyal one would be to Jehovah. As it were, the death of the loyal servant was too high a price for Jehovah to pay. Too much is involved for Jehovah by letting death occur.
21. (a) After the “great tribulation,” what will the loyal ones in a correct appreciation of values be moved to say because of their preservation? (b) How has their death been too costly to permit as respects His sovereignty?
21 After the lives of the “chosen ones” and the “great crowd” have been spared clear through the “great tribulation,” they too will be moved with the correct appreciation of values to exclaim: “Precious in the eyes of Jehovah is the death of his loyal ones.” (Psalm 116:15) They will appreciate that Jehovah has considered it too costly to allow their death to occur during the “great tribulation” at the hands of their enemies, religious and secular. For Him to let these enemies triumph over them and wipe them from the face of the earth would be a blot upon his universal sovereignty, his rulership over heaven and earth. He is the Creator of the earth and he created it for those loyal to him. If he cannot preserve his loyal ones on earth even under the heaviest, most dastardly attack by anti-God enemies, it would be as if his enemies were more powerful than he is and they had the right to say who shall live permanently on the earth. The wiping out of his loyal ones by his enemies during the “great tribulation” would impugn his rulership of the earth, in fact, his whole universal sovereignty. So he cannot let their death, forced by the enemies, occur!
22. Why is the forced “death of his loyal ones” too costly for Jehovah to allow when His worship and the founding of the “new earth” are considered?
22 What is more, if Jehovah were to let his earthly enemies defiantly destroy the remnant of His “chosen ones” and the “great crowd” during the “great tribulation,” not only would the enemies have momentarily triumphed and the onlooking Satan and his demon angels feel great glee, but what else? The forced “death” of all Jehovah’s loyal ones from the earth would leave the earth without those worshiping Him as the only living and true God. It would leave the courtyards of his great spiritual temple, which are at the earth, without those who offer up to Him the sacrifices of praise, thanksgiving and sacred service. Also, the basis for the “new earth” under “new heavens” would have been removed, before the thousand years of Jehovah’s Messiah Jesus were timed to begin! Could the Most High and Almighty God Jehovah let such a highly important thing take place by the forced “death of his loyal ones”? No! Their death under such circumstances in which a universal issue was involved would be “precious,” costly, for Jehovah. Out of respect for Himself, it is too costly to allow.
23. The “great tribulation” is the time for what with regard to Jehovah’s sovereignty and name and the taking care of the universal issue, and in what way?
23 The coming “great tribulation” is the time for Almighty God Jehovah to vindicate his universal sovereignty and to sanctify his worthy name and to force all his foes to know that He is the Jehovah of the divinely inspired written Word, the Holy Bible. In full favor and support of this he will do as he has solemnly promised in his unchangeable Word, namely, rescue the souls of his loyal ones on earth from death during the “great tribulation,” when the universal issue will be finally settled for all time to come! As in the case of the patient Job, whose life Jehovah preserved because of Job’s unbroken integrity, Jehovah will prove once again that he can put loyal men on earth who under the severest test by Satan the Devil will hold fast their loving integrity to Jehovah.
24. For what reasons will Jehovah recognize these “loyal ones” as his servants, and what “bands” will he loosen for them at the critical time?
24 Certainly Jehovah will recognize the remnant of His “chosen ones” and the “great crowd” as his servants in view of their choice of Him as their God and in view of His purchase of them through the sin-atoning blood of his High Priest, Jesus the Messiah. At the crucial time Jehovah will hear their earnest appeal to him and will loosen the “bands” of violent death that the foes of Jehovah and his Messianic kingdom try to fasten upon them. What a lasting reason this will be for them never to forget their servanthood to their heavenly Owner and Supreme Master, Jehovah!
25. With what words did the psalmist conclude Psalm 116, in a sense of debt to Jehovah?
25 For all such divine undeserved kindness, thanksgiving is due indeed to the Great Preserver and Rescuer from death. The psalmist was overwhelmed with a feeling of gratitude, so that he concluded his beautiful psalm, saying: “To you I shall offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and on the name of Jehovah I shall call. My vows I shall pay to Jehovah, yes, in front of all his people, in the courtyards of the house of Jehovah, in the midst of you, O Jerusalem. Praise Jah, you people!”—Psalm 116:17-19.
26. (a) How did the composer of Psalm 116 not leave unknown the God whom he worshiped? (b) How did this psalmist desire to express his thanksgiving to his God and to exhort the people to offer praise?
26 The psalmist, whoever he was, was a worshiper of the God whose name he was inspired to use fifteen times in the name’s full form in his psalm, finally bursting out with the closing exclamation, in Hebrew, “Hallelujah!” or, “Praise Jah, you people!” The psalmist worshiped Him at His temple in the holy city of Jerusalem, it not mattering whether that temple was the one built by King Solomon or the one built afterward by Governor Zerubbabel after Israel’s exile in Babylon. The unnamed psalmist desired to do more than offer merely a private expression of thanksgiving to his divine Rescuer. He desired to offer thanksgiving publicly by means of a sacrifice on God’s altar in the temple courtyard, calling on Jehovah’s name in the hearing of all His people there. Possibly he was the first one to recite this psalm of his own composition, thus furnishing a part of what became the Hallel (“Praise”) for the Jews on special occasions. (Psalms 113-118, 136) How could his grateful self hold back from exhorting all the worshipers in the temple courtyards to “praise Jah” by concluding his psalm with “Hallelujah”?
27. (a) In view of what earlier thankful sacrificers was the composer of Psalm 116 not alone in offering sacrifices of thanksgiving for a rescue from death? (b) How will the survivors of the end of this system of things act true to that pattern?
27 The psalmist is not alone in offering a sacrifice of thanksgiving to Jehovah for a rescue from death. Many centuries earlier there were the Flood survivors, Noah and his family. Although they had no temple courtyard in which to worship, what was the first thing that they did after emerging from the ark up there on Mount Ararat? On a newly built altar they offered a grand sacrifice of thanksgiving to Jehovah for having preserved them through the global deluge. (Genesis 8:18-22) What a fine pattern for imitation was thus set by those eight human souls whom Almighty God kept from being destroyed with the “ancient world” of that time. True to that prophetic pattern, after the approaching spectacular end of the present violent system of things thanksgiving to Jehovah will be offered up like sacrifices by the surviving remnant of His “chosen ones” and by their companions, the “great crowd,” because Jehovah has preserved them by His miraculous saving power.—Psalm 116:17.
28. (a) Where will the survivors of the end of this system offer their sacrifices, and with what cry will they make earth resound? (b) How long will the spiritual “chosen ones” and the “great crowd” work together on the cleansed earth?
28 In the earthly courtyards of Jehovah’s spiritual temple these survivors of mankind’s greatest tribulation of human history will offer their sacrifices of thanksgiving as they enter the blessed thousand years of Christ’s reign. In an ecstasy of joy and jubilation they will make the whole earth resound with their irrepressible cry, “Hallelujah!” What a pleasurable sense of being alive there will be then, especially after one has been snatched from the jaws of death! With a mutual love, like that between David and his loyal friend Jonathan, the remnant of Jehovah’s “chosen ones” and the loyal “great crowd” will peacefully take up work together under the “new heavens” of God’s Messianic kingdom. (2 Peter 3:13) Side by side they will continue to work together on the cleansed earth until God’s due time for calling the remnant of His spirit-begotten “chosen ones” to their thrones with the King Jesus Christ in the “heavenly Jerusalem.” How the departure of this spiritual remnant will be brought about is not now known from the Scriptures. But the “chosen ones” know that they must be faithful to their death in the flesh, in hope of a heavenly resurrection.—Revelation 2:10; Romans 6:5; Hebrews 12:22.
29. (a) After departure of the spiritual remnant, what will the “great crowd” continue on doing in behalf of the cleansed earth? (b) Their joy will be rapturous at the return of whom?
29 However, Jehovah’s blessing will not depart from the “great crowd” of his worshipers left on earth in the courtyards of his spiritual temple. Under the heavenly Messianic government they will carry on with the work of clothing the cleansed earth with the loveliness of a Paradise of Pleasure. What rapturous joy will be theirs as the resurrection of the earthly dead proceeds, to afford those who come forth from the graves the precious opportunity to gain eternal life on a Paradise earth under Jehovah’s universal sovereignty!
30. (a) By means of what do we now see the glorious scene, and through what work is the prospect of being on the scene set before earth’s inhabitants? (b) Why is there reassuring basis for one’s doing one’s best to realize that prospect in one’s own case?
30 In the brilliant light that is now streaming from God’s prophetic Word we can see with our eyes of faith that glorious scene. And, oh, to think that a “great crowd” of those who now seek to worship and serve Jehovah God through Jesus Christ will be preserved alive through the coming “great tribulation” to be right there on that scene! What an inspiring prospect! It is now set before earth’s inhabitants by the preaching of “this good news of the kingdom . . . in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations,” before the end of this system of things comes. (Matthew 24:14) How worthy that thrilling prospect is of each one’s now putting forth his best efforts to realize it in his own case, in faith and appreciation toward Jehovah God, who holds out the inviting prospect! There is reassuring cause for every seeker of everlasting life in happiness to put forth such efforts now, inasmuch as “God’s kingdom of a thousand years has approached.”
Christ’s thousand-year reign will go ahead in spite of there being yet a remnant of Kingdom heirs on the earth. After a temporary post-tribulation work on earth, they will be taken into the heavenly kingdom to share with him in his reign up there, this reign being, in the case of Jesus Christ himself, a full thousand years long. Thus this remnant does not fail to have some share in Christ’s thousand-year-long reign in heaven.