This post is based on Appendix 3 of the Rev Bible https://www.revisedenglishversion.com/append/3 as it summarises the main scriptures and points that support a future physical Kingdom on earth that ruled by Jesus as His Father as given him all power and authority on earth. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is in charge (Lord). It shows we have to look forward to.
Jesus made a very plain and simple statement in Matthew 5:5: “The meek will inherit the earth.” Jesus did not invent that statement; he quoted Psalm 37:11. Many of the Jews of Jesus’ time had lost sight of the hope that Israel would be restored on earth, and the situation is the same today. The simple meaning of Matthew 5:5 has been lost due to the traditional teaching that saved people live in heaven forever after they die. Actually, what the Bible teaches is that Jesus Christ will come down from heaven to the earth, fight and win the Battle of Armageddon, and set up his kingdom on earth, which will fill the whole earth (Psalm 2:8; 72:8-11; Daniel 2:35; 7:14; Micah 5:4; Zechariah 9:10; Revelation 2:8; 19:11-21).
He will set up his palace in the newly rebuilt Jerusalem, and for 1,000 years reign over all the earth. All the people who have been saved will be there because they will have been raised from the dead. Many scholars refer to this 1,000-year kingdom as the “Millennial Kingdom.” It is the “Kingdom” that Jesus spoke about so often when he taught about “the Kingdom of God.” After the 1,000 years are over there will be a great war (Revelation 20:7-10). Then there will be the second resurrection, and after that the Everlasting City will come down from heaven to earth, and all the saved people of all time will live in it forever (Revelation 21:1-4). Thus, the future reign of Christ on earth is divided into two parts, the Millennial Kingdom, which will last 1,000 years (Revelation 20:1-7), and the Everlasting Kingdom, which will last forever (Revelation 21-22).
Matthew 5:5 speaks of the “meek,” and those are the people who have not been self-willed or selfish, but instead have believed and obeyed God and thus gotten saved. The meek people will “inherit the earth,” meaning they will get to live forever on earth, which makes sense because God’s original plan was that people would live on the earth. God created Adam and Eve, put them on earth in Eden, and told them to multiply. God’s intent was that humankind would fill the earth. The Fall from Eden ruined the earth, but it did not change God’s plan, which will be fulfilled in the future when Jesus comes down from heaven and sets up his kingdom on earth. After Jesus fights the Battle of Armageddon and conquers the earth there will be the Resurrection of the Righteous, when righteous people like Abraham, Moses, David, Miriam, Deborah, and Ruth, will get up from the dead, and they will be a large part of the people who then populate the earth.
When Jesus said, “The meek will inherit the earth,” he was not teaching new doctrine. He was confirming and reestablishing for his day and time the clear teaching of the Old Testament that had been lost—and sadly is still lost today for most Christians. The Old Testament said that God will destroy the wicked, but the righteous will inherit the earth.
- Psalm 37:9-11 (abridged): For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land. A little while and the wicked will be no more…But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace.
- Isaiah 57:13: The man who makes me his refuge will inherit the land.
- Ezekiel 37:12 (abridged): “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel.”
- Revelation 5:9-10: “And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”
These verses are a small sampling from among the many verses in the Bible that indicate the everlasting home of Israel and of all the saved people will be the earth. The Bible expresses in many different ways the fact that the everlasting home of saved people will be on earth. Some verses specifically speak about being on earth, such as Psalm 37:9, 11, 29. Other verses are wishes for the future, such as the psalmist’s cry, “May sinners vanish from the earth and the wicked be no more” (Psalm 104:35). Some verses mention the attributes of the future earth, such as Isaiah 41:18, which speaks of places that are now deserts becoming places with springs and pools of water.
Others speak specifically of the Kingdom on earth, such as Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. In the dream, the rock that smashed all the other kingdoms will “fill the whole earth” (Daniel 2:35). Others are prophecies of the future that speak of things such as each person having his own vine and fig tree and of swords being made into plow blades, which are then used to cultivate the earth (Micah 4:3-4). All these prophecies are visions and prophecies of the earth, not of “heaven.” In contrast to these clear prophecies about a future life on earth, there are no prophecies about life in heaven in the Bible, and the reason for that is simple and profound: we will not spend eternity in heaven, we will be on earth.
God blessed Abraham by promising him that his descendants would get the land forever. In fact, the reason that the land of Israel is commonly called “the promised land” is that God “promised” it to Abraham and his descendants (cp. Gen. 13:15; 15:18; 17:8). God does not lie (Titus 1:2), so one day His promises must be fulfilled. Since Abraham is dead, the only way that God’s promise to him and his descendants can be fulfilled is that God will give the Promised Land to them after they are resurrected, and that is what the Bible says will happen (Ezekiel 37:12-14). Similarly, God stated many times that His king, the Messiah, would reign on earth from Jerusalem on Mount Zion (cp. Psalm 2:6-8; 110:1-2; Isaiah 2:1-4; 9:6-7; 24:23; 28:16; Jeremiah 3:17; Micah 4:1-3; Zechariah 8:3), but Jesus never ruled as king in his natural life on earth. Nevertheless, God’s promises will not fail and Christ will come back to earth, conquer it, and reign as king from Jerusalem just as the prophecies say.
There are many verses stating that, in the future, God’s people Israel will be gathered to the land of Israel (cp. Isaiah 11:11-12; 27:13; 56:8; 66:20; Jeremiah 12:15; 15:15-17; 23:3-8; 29:14; 30:3-10; 31:8; 32:37-38, 42-44; 33:10-13; 46:27; Ezekiel 11:17; 28:25; 34:11-13; 36:24; 37:21; 39:28; Hosea 1:11; Amos 9:14-15; Micah 2:12; Zeph. 3:18-20; Zechariah 8:7-8; 10:6; John 11:52). Although some of historic Israel had been given to the Jews, not all of it has, and furthermore, the Jews have not yet been gathered back to Israel, although there are now, and have been for some time now, some Jews moving to the land of Israel. That will happen in the future when dead Jews are raised and brought to Israel (Ezekiel 37:11-14), and living Jews are brought there also. Also, Gentiles will be resurrected and fill the earth: “Do you not know that the saints [the believers] will [one day] judge and govern the world?” (1 Corinthians 6:2, Amplified Bible). So, in the future, resurrected believers will again inhabit the land. At that time, what both the Psalmist and Jesus Christ said will be fulfilled: “The meek will inherit the earth.”
Another reason to believe that everlasting life will be on earth is that all the prophecies relating to the activities of Israel in the future are tied specifically to the earth. These include:
- The wolf lying down with the lamb and the lion eating grass like cattle (Isaiah 11:6-9; 65:25).
- The land healed and the deserts blooming (Isaiah 32:15; 35:1, 2, 7; 51:3).
- Israel becoming the glory of the earth (Isaiah 60).
- The country of Israel being divided among the twelve tribes (Ezekiel 47:13-48:29).
- The Messiah getting his own land area (Ezekiel 45:7; 48:21, 22).
- A new Temple will be built in Jerusalem (Ezekiel 40-44; cp. Isaiah 56:5, 7; 60:7, 13; Joel 3:18; Micah 4:2; Hag. 2:6-9; Zechariah 6:12-15).
- A river flowing out of the Temple and healing the land (Ezekiel 47:8-10; cp. Joel 3:18; Zechariah 14:8).
- The law going forth from Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:1-3; Micah 4:1, 2).
- People living in secure homes (Isaiah 32:18).
- Each family having its own vine and fig tree (Micah 4:4).
Not only is the earth going to be the home of believers, it is going to be their home forever. Psalm 37:29: “The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever.” The first 1,000 years of that “forever” will be in the Millennial Kingdom, the rest of it will be spent on earth in the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21-22). Since the earth is going to be restored to its Paradise state, and be the home of so many people, it is natural for people to think that eventually the Millennial Kingdom of Christ will, like this earth, degenerate to being a polluted and politically corrupt place with poverty, hunger, and misery. It will not. Jesus will rule the earth with a “rod of iron” to make sure that does not happen (Psalm 2:9; Revelation 2:27; 12:5; 19:15; 20:4, 5 KJV). Some of the clear promises about the Kingdom on earth are:
- There will be justice on earth (Isaiah 2:4; 9:6, 7; 11:1-5; 32:1-2, 5, 16, 17; 42:3-4; 51:5; Jeremiah 23:5-6; 33:15). “He [The Messiah] will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever” (Isaiah 9:7). Jesus will reign as king, and he will appoint judges and rulers to help him rule. For example, the twelve apostles will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28), and there will be other judges as well (cp. Jeremiah 23:4, also Jeremiah 3:15; 33:26; 1 Corinthians 6:2; Revelation 2:26-27).
- There will be no war (Isaiah 2:4; 9:4-7; 60:18; Hosea 2:18; Micah 4:3, 4; Zechariah 9:9, 10). In Christ’s Kingdom on earth, “nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.” Furthermore, the rulers that Jesus will set up as administrators and governors under him will be wonderful, godly people and are described in prophecy as being “like a shelter from the wind,” like “a refuge from the storm,” “like streams of water in a dry land, like the shade of a great rock in a weary land” (Isaiah 32:2).
- The resurrected believers and Christians (who were in the Rapture) will enjoy perfect health (Isaiah 29:18; 32:3, 4; 33:24; 35:5, 6; 57:19; Jeremiah 33:6; Mal. 4:2). “No one living in Zion will say, ‘I am ill’” (Isaiah 33:24).
- People will live safely on the earth (Isaiah 11:6-9; 32:18; 54:14-17; 60:11, 17, 8; 65:17-25; Jeremiah 23:4; 30:10; 32:37; 33:6; Ezekiel 28:26; 34:25-31; Micah 5:4, 5; Zeph. 3:13-17). “They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD (Isaiah 11:9).
- There will be no hunger because the land will be healed (Isaiah 25:6; 30:23-26; 32:15; 35:1-7; 41:18-20; 44:3; 51:3; Jeremiah 31:5, 11-14; Ezekiel 47:1-12; Hosea 2:21, 22; Joel 2:18-26; Amos 9:13). “Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs” (Isaiah 35:6-7).
- Theological arguments and bickering will come to an end. The house of Israel will know God (Isaiah 29:23, 24; Jeremiah 31:33, 34; Ezekiel 11:18-20), and Christians will “know fully” (1 Corinthians 13:12). “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9; Hab. 2:14). In fact, idolatry will cease and Yahweh will be the only God worshiped (Zechariah 14:9).
- The people will be holy and blessed, and there will be joy (Isaiah 4:2-5; 35:10; 51:3, 11; 60:1-22; 61:4-11; 62:1-12; 65:17-25; Jeremiah 30:18, 19; 31:4, 12-14; Luke 6:21). “The ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away” (Isaiah 51:11).
- People from other nations will worship God, and even come to Jerusalem to worship, and foreigners will be allowed to sacrifice at the Temple (Psalm 102:15: Isaiah 2:2-4; 14:1; 19:18-25; 49:6; 51:4-5; 56:3-8; 60:3, 9, 14; 66:18-21; Micah 4:2; Zechariah 2:11; 8:20-23; 14:16). “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations” (Isaiah 56:7).
Still more evidence that the Kingdom will be on earth is that the jobs that are described in the Kingdom are jobs that we are familiar with on earth. Even as resurrected believers, there will still be work to do on earth. Jesus himself will rule as a king and serve as the High Priest, and everyone else will have jobs to do as well. The Bible specifically mentions many jobs in Christ’s worldwide kingdom, some having more honor, some having less. These include:
- leaders and judges (Isaiah 1:26; 32:1; Jeremiah 3:15; 23:3-4; Ezekiel 44:24; 1 Corinthians 6:2; 2 Tim. 2:12; Revelation 2:26).
- builders (Isaiah 54:12; 60:10, 61:4; Jeremiah 30:18; Ezekiel 36:10, 33; Amos 9:14).
- farmers (Isaiah 30:23-24; 32:20; 61:5; 62:9; Ezekiel 36:9, 34; 48:19; Amos 9:13).
- herdsmen (Isaiah 30:23-24, 60:6-7; 61:5; Jeremiah 31:12).
- vinedressers and vintners (Isaiah 25:6; 62:8; Jeremiah 31:5; Amos 9:13).
- metalworkers (Isaiah 2:4; 60:17; Micah 4:3).
- fishermen (Ezekiel 47:10).
- landscapers (Isaiah 60:13).
- servants (Isaiah 14:2).
- cleanup duties and gravediggers (Isaiah 9:5; Ezekiel 39:14, 15). [There will be death in the Millennial Kingdom because there will be “natural people” there who survived the Tribulation, and whom Christ allowed into the Kingdom at the Sheep and Goat Judgment (Matthew 25:31-46; Isaiah 65:20)].
The Bible does not name every job in the future kingdom of Christ. Enough are named to show us that the kingdom will be similar in diversity and needs to earthly kingdoms and nations of today.
The Millennial Kingdom is referred to by many different names in Scripture. This is not unusual; many people and places are called by different names. For example, Jerusalem is called “the city of David” (2 Samuel 5:7, 9), “the city of God” (Psalm 46:4), “Salem” (Psalm 76:2), “Zion” (Psalm 76:2), “the Lord our Righteousness” (Jeremiah 33:16), “Sodom” (Ezekiel 16:46), “the city of the great king” (Psalm 48:2; Matthew 5:35), “Ariel” (Isaiah 29:1, 2, 7), “the City of Truth” (Zechariah 8:3), and others. The different names emphasize different points that God is trying to make about the person or place.
The Millennial Kingdom is also called by many names and the most common ones are listed below; a study of the context where they are used shows they all refer to the Millennial Kingdom.
- The kingdom of God (Mark 1:15).
- The kingdom of heaven (Matthew 4:17; “The Kingdom of heaven” could be used because the Kingdom was of heavenly origin or quality, or it could be used as a circumlocution for “The Kingdom of God” because the Jews often avoided saying the name of God).
- Your [God’s] kingdom (Matthew 6:10).
- The kingdom of their Father (Matthew 13:43; “their” being the righteous people who will live there).
- The kingdom of our father David (Mark 11:10; Christ’s Kingdom is an extension of David’s Kingdom and fulfills the prophecies that Christ would reign on David’s throne).
- My kingdom (Luke 22:30; spoken by Jesus who will be King).
- Paradise (Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 12:4; Revelation 2:7; “Paradise” was the Greek name for the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:8), and so when Christ sets up his kingdom on earth and restores the planet to an Eden-like state, the Kingdom will be called “Paradise.” [For more on Paradise, see commentary on Luke 23:43.]
- The kingdom of Christ and of God (Ephesians 5:5).
- The kingdom of the Son He loves (Colossians 1:13).
- His heavenly kingdom (2 Timothy 4:18).
Understanding that “the Kingdom of God” is the kingdom that Christ will establish and rule on earth when he comes and conquers the earth clarifies many scriptures that are otherwise unclear, and thus understanding what the Kingdom of God is will greatly help the Christian understand the Bible.