What the Thousand-Year Reign Will Accomplish
ABOVE everything else the Scriptures magnify the supremacy of Jehovah God. “That they may know that thou alone, whose name is Jehovah, art the Most High over all the earth.” “Power belongeth unto God.” There is none like him, “declaring the end from the beginning.” Whatever he purposes he accomplishes. He never miscalculates; he never makes a mistake. He is never in a predicament or a quandary because of what some of his creatures do or fail to do. Never is there any need for him to change his purposes. That is why he can so confidently state: “Yea, I have spoken, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed, I will also do it.”—Ps. 62:11; 83:18, and Isa. 46:10, 11, AS.
The thousand-year reign of Christ will furnish a striking example of Jehovah’s ability to carry out his purposes, and that on time, according to his schedule, regardless of what any of his creatures may or may not do. Stating his purpose regarding the earth to man, Jehovah said, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it; have dominion over the [lower animals].” And so that man may ever be mindful of Jehovah’s supremacy! his life was made conditional on obedience. “But from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you must not eat; for the day that you eat of it you shall certainly die.”—Gen. 1:28; 2:17, AT.
Jehovah provided Adam and Eve with everything they needed. They had a measure of the divine attributes of wisdom, justice, love and power; and so they could exercise wise and loving dominion over the lower submissive animals. And that the earth might be filled and become one vast paradise God gave man, and also the lower animals, the power to bring forth offspring, and provided the vegetation with seed so that it could multiply. Having created the earth and man and supplied him with all things needful for carrying out God’s commands, Jehovah desisted from further creative activity. It was now up to man to forward Jehovah’s purpose regarding the earth, and from Bible chronology we ascertain that he was given seven thousand years in which to realize that purpose.—Gen. 2:1-3, AT.
JEHOVAH’S PURPOSE UNCHANGED
But Adam and Eve did not appreciate their blessings and their privilege of cooperating with Jehovah in the carrying out of his purpose regarding the earth or they would not have disobeyed him in the matter of eating the forbidden fruit. Did their disobedience change Jehovah’s purpose regarding the earth and man? No. “He created [the earth] not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited.” He changes not. (Isa. 45:18; Mal. 3:6) If some creatures fail to appreciate their privileges, God chooses others. His purposes will be carried out according to schedule.
Why did not Jehovah immediately destroy the principals of that first rebellion, Satan, Adam and Eve, and start anew? Because his name was involved—whose fault was it that man sinned, Jehovah’s or man’s?—and because of his love for men who would keep integrity. So he allowed man to remain and bring forth offspring and then gave these the opportunity to show where they stood, and for all lovers of righteousness he made provision for everlasting life by Christ’s ransom.
Bible prophecy shows that we are standing at the very threshold of that new world. (Matt. 19:28; 24:1-51; Rev. 11:15-18) In that new world Christ and his bride will reign for a thousand years, during which time Satan and his demons will be bound. And, as we have seen in the foregoing article, instead of the earth’s being desolated during that time, it is during that very time that all the families of the earth will be blessed. Thus Jehovah’s purposes regarding the earth will be accomplished.—Gen. 22:17, 18.
In that new world, instead of hundreds of conflicting religions, causing confusion and strife, there will be but one true worship. Man will learn the fear of Jehovah, which is to hate evil and is the beginning of wisdom. Then all the “earth shall be full of the knowledge of Jehovah, as the waters cover the sea”.—Prov. 8:13; 9:10; Isa. 11:9, AS; Mal. 1:11.
THE DIVINE MANDATE FULFILLED
In that new world Jehovah’s mandate to man to be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth, and which was to be done in righteousness and to life, will for the first time be fulfilled. True, man has multiplied up to the present-time, but it has been in unrighteousness and to death. Then the parents “shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for calamity; for they are the seed of the blessed of Jehovah”.—Isa. 65:23, AS.
Then Jehovah will restore man’s dominion over the lower animals. “The wolf shall couch then with the lamb, the leopard’s lair shall be the kid’s; the lion shall eat straw like any ox, wolf and lion shall graze side by side, herded by a little child.”—Isa. 11:6, 7, Mo.
Because of man’s disobedience he was sent forth into a cursed earth, one bringing forth thorns and thistles. But in the new world the earth will yield her increase and “instead of the thorn shall come up the fir-tree; and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle-tree”. Even as Eden was a place of verdure, abounding with all manner of plant life, trees, shrubs, flowers, etc., so also will the new earth be. And even as Jehovah has rejuvenated the spiritual condition of his servants at the present time, so in the new earth: “The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.”—Gen. 3:17, 18; Ps. 67:6, 7; Isa. 35:1, 2, 7; 55:13, AS.
Jehovah’s purpose regarding Adam and Eve included neither idleness nor hard labor. So also in the new earth, man will work but it will not be with sweat of face. And just as in Eden Jehovah gave man perfect health and the prospect of endless life, so in the new world. As in a spiritual way now for all the faithful, so then, too, “the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick.” Christ will reign until death, the very last enemy, has been destroyed.—Isa. 33:24; 1 Cor. 15:24-26.
In the new earth men will realize the fruit of their labors even as man did in the garden of Eden. Instead of corrupt politicians and greedy interests oppressing and exploiting the people, causing them to mourn, the people will rejoice because then a righteous “new heavens” will reign over obedient mankind. Yes, “They shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.”—Prov. 29:2; Isa. 65:21, 22.
In that new world every man shall sit “under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid”. (Mic. 4:4) No crime, organized or unorganized, no racketeering, no violence of any kind. And no more war! Now every national economy is geared to the production of implements of war, but then “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”. Of “peace there shall be no end”. All this is certain because “the mouth of Jehovah of hosts hath spoken it”.—Isa. 9:7; Mic. 4:3, 4, AS.
Imagine it, a world without undertakers, without doctors, without insurance agents, without lawyers, without policemen, without jails! With such conditions who would not want to fall in line with the new system of things and do what is right? Should any willfully rebel, they will have ample time to demonstrate their mental attitude before being destroyed as incorrigible.—Isa. 65:20, Ro.
Then, to make sure that all obedient ones are acting from love, from principle, and not merely from policy, there will be one final test of integrity. Satan and his demons will be returned from the abyss or death state to permit them to try to turn all away from Jehovah God. Those whose hearts are not fully in tune with Jehovah’s righteous arrangement will be ensnared by Satan and his demons and will take part in his rebellion against the righteously constituted authority on earth at the end of the 1,000 years. Being unfaithful, fire will come down from heaven and devour them. Then all the obedient will realize life in the fullest sense, being given the right to life, pictured by having their names written in the book of life.—Rev. 20:6-10, 15.
Having reigned until all enemies have been destroyed, “then the Son himself will also subject himself to the one who subjected all things to him, that God may be all things to everyone.” (1 Cor. 15:28, NW) Which fact further shows that Christ’s reign is full of activity in behalf of Jehovah’s name, man and the earth, and not a rule over a desolated earth. Incidentally, if those who are to enjoy these blessings had an interim of 1,000 years in heaven between their experience with present evil conditions and the blessings of the new world, as claimed by some, the contrasts the Scriptures make between the two conditions would lose all their force. Besides, if the saints were to return to a desolated earth at the end of the 1,000 years, would that not mean God’s creative work starting all over again, providing men with all the things needed for life on earth?
Truly the Scriptures magnify the supremacy of Jehovah and, when understood, are seen to be consistent and reasonable. They show that at the end of the millennial reign of Christ all of Jehovah’s purposes regarding the earth will come to be fully realized. His sabbath of 7,000 years will end by having the earth handed over to him, a paradise of Eden covering the globe. His purposes and supremacy having been fully vindicated during this sabbath, it will indeed have been a day sanctified.—1 Cor. 15:24; Gen. 2:3.