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The Kingdom

 

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that:

  1. Christ will not be physically present on earth during the millennium [1]
  2. The 144,000 of Revelation chapters 7 and 14 will rule invisibly with Christ during the millennium [2]
  3. The great crowd of Revelation chapter 7 will live through the great tribulation and enter directly into the cleansed earth [3]
  4. The “earthly hope” is the Biblical hope for Christians alive now [4]

What does mainstream Christianity believe?

Q1. What is the Kingdom?

Answer: It is the kingly reign of God. The church is the community under this kingdom and witnesses about it.

Ps 103:19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.

Dan 2:44 In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed [Preliminarily since 33 AD believers have begun experiencing blessings of God’s rule in their lives, but when Jesus returns he will rule as king of the kingdom in its millennial phase and on into an eternal future]

Zech 14:9 The Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day the Lord will be one and his name one [God will re-establish His reign on earth]

Matt 6:10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Matt 10:7 Proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand’

Luke 17:21 Nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you. [Greek ‘entos’ means ‘inside’ (Matt 23:26). The crowd had the opportunity to have king Jesus live inside their hearts (Rom 14:17) but the Pharisees were ignoring the king stood in front of them!

Col 1:13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son [Since Pentecost 33 AD]

John 3:3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” [To share in the regeneration of the world by the kingdom, one first needs personal spiritual regeneration]

(Also, Isa 9:6-7; Dan 4:34-35; 7:27; Rev 11:15)

Q2. Will Christ be physically present on earth during the millennium?

Answer: See Return of Christ Q2; see Israel.

Q3. Will humans inhabit the earth during the millennium?

Answer: Armageddon will overthrow systems opposed to Christ the king – including Antichrist and the False Prophet. During the millennium the resurrected saints will reign with Christ over Israel and those of the nations surviving Armageddon.

Dan 7:22 The Ancient of Days came, and judgement was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom.

Matt 19:28 In the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Matt 25:31 When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another …

John 5:24 Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgement, but has passed from death to life.

Rev 20:4 Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus … they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

(Also, Isa 65:20; 66:15-16; Ezek 20:32-38; 45:8-9; Rev 2:26-27; 3:21)

Q4. What is the Biblical hope for Christians alive now?

Answer: See Return of Christ Q1 (a)

1 Pet 1:3-5 According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Q5. Will the present heaven and the present earth remain forever?

Answer: After the close of the millennium and the final judgment on Satan and unbelievers (Rev 20:7-15) the old heaven and earth will pass away.

Ps 102:25-26 You laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment.

Matt 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

Heb 1:10-12 You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment,

2 Pet 3:7-12 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgement and destruction of the ungodly. … But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

Rev 20:11 From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them.

(Also, Isa 51:6; Matt 5:18)

Q6. Will a new heaven and a new earth be created?

Answer: The promise in 2 Peter and Revelation is for “new” (kainos) heavens and earth, that is, ‘taking the place’ of the old, improved.

Additional Info

Isa 65:17 “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.

2 Pet 3:13 But heavens new in quality and an earth new in quality according to His promise we are looking for, in which righteousness is permanently at home (Wuest Translation)

Rev 21:1 I saw a heaven new in quality and an earth new in quality … (Wuest Translation)

Summary: 

  • Christ will be physically present with his bride on earth during the millennium
  • There will be those who will live through the great tribulation and enter directly into the cleansed earth – though not the “great crowd”
  • The rapture is the Biblical hope for Christians alive now

Endnotes

  1. Insight Vol 2 pp 677-678
  2. Watchtower 2002 Feb 1st pp 19-23, para 17
  3. Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom chap 11, pp 149-158
  4. Watchtower 2019 Sept pp 1-32, para 3
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