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Preface: This course is based upon the personal correspondence course initially developed in 1954 that began under the direction of the late C. Paul Meredith in the old Radio Church of God. Various portions have been updated for the 21st century (though much of the original writing has been retained). It also has more scriptural references, as well as information and questions not in the original course. Unless otherwise noted, scriptural references are to the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright Thomas Nelson Publishing, used by permission. The KJV, sometimes referred to as the Authorized Version is also often used. Additionally, Catholic-approved translations such as the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) are sometimes used as are other translations.
EVERY KING IS CROWNED IN A CORONATION CEREMONY. JESUS IS NO EXCEPTION! He, too, must be crowned as Supreme Ruler—as King of kings—over this whole world.
Yet almost no one understands WHY!
Christ to be King
Notice what the angelic messenger said to Mary, the mother of Jesus:
31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end (Luke 1:31-33).
Jesus was BORN TO RULE. He was born to reign over the nations. Remember what He said to Pontius Pilate?
Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?”
Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world …” (John 18:37).
Not Yet CROWNED
Remember that in Lesson 3, we learned that Jesus QUALIFIED to become ruler of this earth by His conquest of Satan. But Jesus Christ did not,at His first coming, replace Satan. He was not crowned King. Instead, He was killed!
Jesus was born to be king, though He did not then assume the responsibility of that office (John 18:37). But He WILL COME THIS TIME AS KING OF KINGSto bring the world PEACE AND PROSPERITY.
Yet almost no one has understood WHEN, WHERE, and by WHOM Jesus Christ will be crowned!
Does any human have the authority to grant Jesus the right to rule the world? Will He go to the people to have them elect Him to office? Will He be accountable to the people—or will the people be accountable to Him? Will any human be able to impeach Him? WHO has the only authority to put Jesus Christ into office?
After Jesus is crowned, WILL there BE A MARCH OF TRIUMPH climaxing His victory over the nations which are in rebellion against the rule and the Kingdom of God?
Since Jesus will become “King of kings,” who will be the “kings” ruling under Him? When will they be given their power and responsibility?
Observe that Jesus Christ is not coming merely to be a figurehead King. He is coming to CARRY OUT HIS OFFICE—to BRING PEACE, HAPPINESS and genuine PROSPERITY such as this present world has never seen!
Why will there be great prosperity in the World Tomorrow—the soon-coming MILLENNIUM?
Few People Know!
GOD HAS A “WAY” OF LIFE which, IF FOLLOWED, would MAKE living HAPPY AND JOYOUS for all! If people TODAY would follow this WAY they would KNOW how to meet all the family problems that confront them daily. They would learn to meet these problems as GOD would be happy—happy with the results which would come from the right solution to every problem.
God has promised to create just such a world of happiness and joy and prosperity. But it can’t occur until we learn to let God rule in all actions all twenty-four hours of the day!
CHRIST BROUGHT THE MESSAGE ABOUT THIS WAY. THE WAY OF KEEPING THE COMMANDMENTS AND PRECEPTS REVEALED IN YOUR BIBLE! He said, “I have come that they (you and I) may have life more abundantly” (John 10:10). He preached that people could have full and abundant lives if they let God’s precepts rule in all their activities.
But how did the world accept His message? Were they interested?
Paul reports, “And about that time there arose a great commotion about the Way” (Acts 19:23). He also reports that various PEOPLE “… SPOKE EVIL OF THE WAY …” (Acts 19:9).
THIS has been THE ATTITUDE OF THE WORLD TO THIS DAY! It has not VOLUNTARILY accepted Christ’s message, which, if followed, would have produced a UTOPIA on this earth! Look at the world crisis that now confronts us.
But SOON God, through Christ, as supreme King, will intervene AND PEOPLE WILL BE MADE TO KEEP THE WAY OF GOD. An example—if people do not come to worship Him, rain will be withheld (Zechariah 14:17). The WAY of God—THE WAY REVEALED IN YOUR BIBLE—will then guide them continually. They will PAY God His TITHES. God says when this is done He will “… open for you the windows of heaven, And pour out for you such BLESSING, That there will not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10).
Also, for keeping His days they are assured they will “ride upon the high places of the earth” (Isaiah 58:14, KJV). THEY WILL LIVE IN LUXURY! The Bible is full of such promises for OBEDIENCE. Read Leviticus 26:1-13 and Deuteronomy 28:1-14, which reveal some of the blessings God has promised for obedience. When all obey God, the world will be full of things that are now considered great luxuries! THEY WILL SEE THE DIFFERENCE IN happiness which THESE TWO DIFFERENT WAYS bring them. And they WILL BE CALLED TO REPENT of their way of life and allow themselves to BE RE-EDUCATED TO GOD’S WAY of life. That’s why He is to be made King. He will have complete personal charge of guiding people to repentance and re-educating them in God’s way.
Many who profess Christianity think that the problems on the earth are just because the it is physical, which is part of why many incorrectly teach that ‘heaven is the reward of the saved.’ Most fail to realize that it is the rejection of God and His way of life that has caused the problems that the world faces. Utopia will be coming, and coming to the earth!
Now we are ready for the actual lesson.
Now let us understand WHEN, WHERE and by WHOM Jesus Christ will be crowned.
In granting Jesus authority, does God thereby demonstrate that He Himself rules supreme above the nations, even though He permits men to sit in offices of limited political authority over states and nations? Cf. Daniel 4:34-35.
COMMENT: In Hebrews 2:9 we find the statement that Jesus is “crowned with glory and honor.” This verse does not refer to the actual coronation ceremony or to the actual crown with which Jesus will be acclaimed as King. This verse is figurative in that sense. It compares the present spiritual glory and honor of Jesus to a crown. But according to the actual picture of JESUS Christ, there was NO CROWN upon His head when the Book of Revelation was revealed. AT the PRESENT time the office of Jesus is that of HIGH PRIEST (Hebrews 3:1), not that of King of kings ruling over the nations.
BEFORE HE RETURNS?
COMMENT: The Ancient of Days described in Daniel is the Heavenly Father. The title “Father” was not used because the heavenly Father had not yet physically begotten Jesus. Notice also that One like Son appeared before the Ancient of Days to receive the Kingdom. The Logos or Word (John 1:1) was like the Son of man. He was not yet born as a Son, but since He would become a Son of man through Mary, He was, in Daniel’s day, like the Son of man—the Jesus who would be born of the Virgin Mary.
So we can see that the CORONATION of Jesus occurs immediately BEFORE HE RETURNS the second time to rule the nations! In fact, Jesus returns to FULFILL His office as King of kings. Once given that office, He must carry it out!
COMMENT: Note Revelation 19:12. The proper translation of this verse is: “AND on His head are MANY diadems.” A diadem is a small crown or head-band signifying royal office.
The SMALLER CROWNS or diadems SYMBOLIZE THE LESSER ROYAL OFFICES THAT JESUS WILL HOLD.
How will THINGS BE AFTER CHRIST, as world ruler, WILL HAVE CALLED ALL TO REPENTANCE, and the people have turned to God’s ways? Let us now take a look at the Utopia which will occur. God describes it. It is immediately ahead of us!
Father’s Spirit Will Direct
But when this new river—the river of “living waters”—begins to empty into the Dead Sea not far from the mouth of the Jordan River, then the waters of the Dead Sea will rise until they OVERFLOW SOUTHWARD THROUGH THE DESERT. The overflow will probably carry into the Gulf of Aqaba. It will then be in this area that NEW LIFE WILL SPRING UP ALONG the BANKS when the water will become fresh. Also, all places into which it flows in Palestine, will receive new life!
CHRIST will sit upon David’s throne at Jerusalem, the world’s CAPITAL—the same place from which the river of life arises (Ezekiel 47:1). Won’t His RULE WHICH SHALL also “GO FORTH FROM JERUSALEM” (Isaiah 2:3), HAVE A “HEALING” EFFECT LIKE THE ACTUAL RIVER? It will heal the strife-torn nations of the world (Malachi 4:2).
Will not the Spirit of God direct Christ so that He may guide the nations in the millennium into His own way of life, THE WAY of LIFE which will produce for them the Utopia they have always desired? Isn’t the Spirit compared to “living water”? John 4:10; 7:38. Then won’t the world tomorrow—the millennial world—“have life, and that . . . more abundantly”? (John 10:10).
Here then we see that when Christ returns He will give all nations a PHYSICAL REPRESENTATION OF THE EFFECT OF THE SPIRIT (WATER) OR MIND OF CHRIST. Like the water of the actual river, His godly mental (Spiritual) DECISIONS WILL FLOW OUT FROM JERUSALEM, and LIKE the ACTUAL RIVER, these will HEAL and give life, for they will PREVENT wars and STRIFE which would wound human bodies and also cause death. Also won’t His decisions PRODUCE HAPPIER, healthier and more abundant LIVES? John 10:10; cf. Amos 9:13.
Palestine: Garden of Eden
Today, we have great SMUDGE-BLACKENED CITIES which are often crowded, dangerous, and/or gloomy. In the cities of TOMORROW these conditions will NOT EXIST. They will be of a size which will be small enough to promote family life. A PROPER BALANCE BETWEEN INDUSTRY AND those things which promote JOYOUS LIVING will be maintained. Does Zechariah 8:4-5 also help verify this?
The forests of Lebanon are situated in the northern part of Palestine. The scriptures frequently refer to the beauty and splendour of the “Cedars of Lebanon,” almost none which still exist. Will the number of trees in the forest increase markedly in the millennium? Isaiah 29:17. Will God allow the FORESTS to be destroyed for lack of PROPER SUPERVISION? With a GREAT AMOUNT of LUMBER then, will it not make it easier for us all to have BEAUTIFUL HOMES?
COMMENT: Zion is a hill in the environs of the city of Jerusalem. It is the mount on which the old city of David was built. Geographically speaking, Zion is often used in the Bible to stand for Jerusalem or for the land of Palestine, and spiritually-speaking, sometimes the Church of God.
World to Share Prosperity
We have seen that CHRIST will establish His capital in Jerusalem. It will be in Palestine among the Israelites. From His capital city, Jerusalem, He will RULE ALL NATIONS of the world. CHRIST WILL RULE OVER A COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS. Then won’t all nations have the same ruler—Christ? Isaiah 2:2-4.
COMMENT: God has made Israel and its descendants a promise that He will set them “high above all nations of the earth,” if they will obey Christ (cf. Deuteronomy 28:1). Therefore those of ISRAEL who are obedient will OCCUPY the LAND OF PALESTINE and RECEIVE a RELATIVELY GREATER SHARE OF BLESSINGS than other nations. BUT, aside from this, ALL NATIONS can SHARE in the promises IF they will OBEY Christ! This world will become a UTOPIA for the obedient!
Ancient Israel was never able to claim all the promises of Deuteronomy 28:1-14 and Leviticus 26:1-13 over long periods of time, for the people were not constant in their obedience to God. In the millennium, with Christ ruling rigidly (“with a rod of iron”), their descendants will be obedient and therefore they will receive all of these blessings.
COMMENT: Zion is sometimes used as a general name for the city of Jerusalem. This will be AN ACTUAL ROAD. But, WILL THIS ACTUAL HIGHWAY BE KNOWN AMONG THE NATIONS AS representative OF ANOTHER WAY—GOD’S WAY of life? What is this way called? Isaiah 35:8. Will the unclean—those who cling to sin—pass over it? Isaiah 35:8. Will lions or other ravenous beasts attack those who pass over it? Isaiah 35:9. Who will use it? Same verse.
COMMENT: At the tower of Babel God separated the various nations by giving them various languages (Genesis 11:9). Why? Because they were rebellious against His Way of Life. People wanted to live by depraved lusts. Different languages of the different nations are a barrier against the spread of human depravity to allow humans to survive longer than they would have if they gained too much knowledge too fast. If He had not done this, they would soon have destroyed themselves. But by adding foreign languages, God also caused them to disperse (Genesis 11:6).
In the millennium there will be no danger of self-destruction. God will then restore to all peoples ONE LANGUAGE. It will be valuable in the exchange of proper ideas, and will aid in establishing of peace and harmony. Does this not show we will be liberated from the language barrier?
COMMENT: Much is said in the Bible about how nature, influenced by God, will co-operative to make life easy for mankind in the millennium when they are under God’s rule. Compare the EASY LIFE of GOD’S WAY with the HARD LIFE of man’s way when he rules himself. God calls man’s way the BABYLONIAN system. Read of the RIGOR AND TOIL AND BONDAGE of living by this system in Revelation 18:2, 10, 13, 14, 23, 24.
GOD’S WAY OF LIFE is the WAY OF LIBERTY—the EASY WAY, but MAN IS NOT REALLY CONVINCED THAT IT IS. God is now, through man’s own Babylonish system, LETTING MAN CONVINCE HIMSELF! LOOK AT THIS WORLD’S FOREBODING FUTURE!
How does 1 Kings 4:25 mention the expression “under His FIG TREE”? Did every man mentioned there actually sit “under his fig tree” all the days of Solomon or is this essentially a symbol of PEACE? THIS SHOWS THE NECESSITY OF LETTING THE BIBLE INTERPRET ITSELF! All will rest under the shade of their own trees and grape arbors and none will rob them of it by wars or other means.
What will happen in the millennium when men and women obey THE WAY of God? Will GOD REMOVE this CURSE? Consider what is taught in Isaiah 55:13.
COMMENT: Some assume that Isaiah 11:9 means that humans will not kill and eat animals during the millennium. By comparing it with verse 8, it is plainly shown that serpents or WILD ANIMALS WILL NOT DESTROY each other OR HURT little children. It is not referring to the human diet. Otherwise, there would be no reason to tell of the abundance of fish that fishermen will catch (Ezekiel 47:9-10).
AND, above all, WHAT DOES GOD SAY HE WILL DO WITH THE NATURE OF HUMANS in the millennium? Ezekiel 36:26-27.
COMMENT: AS GOD IS GOING TO CHANGE THE INBORN DESIRE OF THE LION FROM THE WISH TO DESTROY FOR FOOD TO THE DESIRE TO EAT STRAW, and is going to pacify the natures of all other creatures, WHAT MARVELLOUS AND MIRACULOUS THINGS ARE IN STORE WHEN GOD CHANGES HUMAN NATURE IN THE DAYS JUST AHEAD! This change occurs in the MIND. It is BROUGHT ABOUT BY REPENTANCE!
That is what WILL MAKE the Millennial world AND ACTUAL UTOPIA!! REMEMBER THIS. It is one of the most important points in your Bible! There will be more on this—much much more—when you come to the Lessons on the Old and New Covenants! These will vitally apply to you—personally! They will explain to you how you can have an inward “Utopia” start now!
GENERAL SUMMARY, PLUS!
GOD WILL SOON FORCE THE PEOPLE OF THIS WORLD TO CEASE FROM FOLLOWING THEIR WAY OF LIVING. They will be compelled to step aside AND WATCH HIS WAY—the way this age calls heresy or cultic—IN ACTION ON THIS EARTH! The two mighty streams of water, which will flow east and west from Jerusalem and give abundant life to all things they reach, will call the attention of all nations to the influence of the rule of Christ as He administers not man’s, but God’s precepts, for a full and abundant life.
What will happen? What else could possibly happen than that the Utopia mankind has always longed for will begin to materialize. And HUMANANITY WILL AT LONG LAST BEGIN TO WAKE UP! Humans will BEGIN TO SEE through the veil of the prejudices which have prevent them from FOLLOWING the methods—the LAWS OF GOD, if you please—which would BRING ABOUT THE REALIZATION OF TRUE DESIRES.
Has God known from the beginning that humans would finally BECOME CONVINCED HIS WAYS WERE WRONG when they have the results of the two ways—Satan’s way and God’s way—laid side by side for comparison? Hear what God says—HE PLANNED IT THIS WAY!—“The Lord of hosts (shall) make unto ALL people a feast of fat things, a feast of wine on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wine in the lees well refined (in the millennium). And He will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spead over all nations” (Isaiah 25:6-7, KJV). A veil that Satan the Devil, who will be bound for one thousand years (Revelation 20:1-3), has helped cast over humanity (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).
Do you grasp the significance of this? God said long ago that a time would come WHEN HE WILL CAUSE THE PEOPLE OF THIS EARTH TO LIVE UNBELIEVABLY WELL AND THAT IN DOING THIS THEY WOULD WAKE UP TO A GREAT TRUTH!—THE TRUTH THAT GOD’S WAYS ARE BEST. This time is about here. This is the “GOOD NEWS” of the world tomorrow!
What will they begin to do, when this truth starts to dawn on them? GREAT NUMBERS WILL FERVENTLY REPENT OF FOLLOWING THEIR OLD INEFFECIENT WAYS OF TRYING TO HAVE TRUE HAPPINESS, AND GOD WILL BEGIN TO MIRACULOUSLY CHANGE THE NATURES OF THESE REPENTANT ONES. THEY WILL FERVENTLY SEEK TO BE RE-EDUCATED TO GOD’S WAY AS REVEALED BY THE COMMANDMENTS AND PRECEPTS IN YOUR BIBLE! The old ways of this world will be outmoded! THEY WILL HAVE FOUND A BETTER WAY and they will be firmly convinced that THE MORE THEY CAN LEARN OF GOD’S BETTER WAY, THE HAPPIER THEIR EXISTENCE WILL BE! And in the mean time they will marvel at the rich rewards they receive for their relatively easy labors.
Will they seek in vain for teachers? No! This is the time when God says Christ will come with “ten thousands of saints” for the very purpose of teaching them (Jude 14, 15). Of this time God says:
Your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore, But your eyes shall see your teachers. Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left.” (Isaiah 30:20-21).
RE-EDUCATION away from THIS WORLDS ERRORS WILL BE CONDUCTED ON A VAST SCALE! The results:
For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord (God’s knowledge) As the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:9).
GOD PROMISES THIS!
And what about corrections when people err? They will be swift and certain, but will become milder and milder as people learn more of the ways which really make them happy. The many—not few—will go up to Jerusalem by the actual road named “The Way of Holiness” (Isaiah 35:8, KJV), which Christ will have built as a PHYSICAL REMINDER of God’s way. They will say, “He will teach us His ways” (Micah 4:2). They will also, in prayer, seek God by His Spiritual “Way of Holiness.”
As with all the physical creatures, humanity’s own nature will begin to change. The changes in the natures of these creatures will be a CONSTANT REMINDER to humans of the change that is taking place within humans. Humanity, like lions, will become peaceful. There will be not be the type strife about which way to follow. Humanity will KNOW! For a time, HUMANITY’S INNER MOST DESIRE WILL BE TO BECOME EVER CLOSER AND CLOSER TO GOD BOTH MENTALLY AND BODILY—CLOSER TO THE ONE WHO CAN MAKE ALL PROPER DESIRES FOR UTOPIAS COME TRUE!
They will at last learn that God is the best FRIEND they have ever had!
Then GOD WILL REALLY SET HIS HAND TO SAVE THE WORLD. The harvest of human souls will become ripe for gathering into the Kingdom of God. Human experience in living both the evil and good way of life to the full will convince the mortal human beings still alive at Jesus’ return that God’s way is best for us. The vast majority will undoubtedly choose the good way of life—God’s WAY—and will begin to OBEY God, fitting themselves to be transformed into immortal beings in the Kingdom of God.
God will not be hurried, nor does He falter, in carrying out His PLAN to make us His sons. No wonder that this present age is only “A day of salvation” (Revelation 20:12).
What of those not resurrected before the millennium?
5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. Revelation 20:5.
What will those who are resurrected later see? A judgment and an opportunity:
7 Now when the thousand years have expired, … 11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who 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, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. (Revelation 20:7,11-13).
Those not called in this age, those who never really had an opportunity for salvation, will realize their guilt in the judgment. Doesn’t the Bible teach that “Mercy triumphs over judgment?” (James 2:13).
Those willing will be called then into a covenant with God. Those who refuse by rebelling will not become part of spiritual Israel (cf. Romans 2:29). During this time of judgment, God will plead with people, who by then should realize that they have sinned and need salvation through Jesus Christ–the only name under heaven whereby men can be saved (Acts 4:10-12).
God will be able to contrast His ways with the ways of humankind. When those resurrected see how humans started out with a very good and beautiful Earth, then messed up and nearly completely destroyed it (Revelation 11:18) in their 6,000 years, they will realize that it was not wise for humankind to distance itself from the true God. He will apparently point out Satan’s role in deceiving humankind (Revelation 12:9) as well as show how insignificant Satan really is (Isaiah 14:12-16). He will apparently point out the dangers of individual sin and lust (James 1:14-15) and point out how well humanity did during the millennium.
God will point out that He had to intervene to stop the destruction of all flesh (Matthew 24:22). Jesus will have implemented His kingdom for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:4-5). God may also to point out how well humans did during this millennium (Isaiah 35:1-10; 41:20; 51:3). And He will apparently explain that to all that since each individual is unique and can give love in a unique way, that He has a special purpose of each individually (John 14:2-3) to complete God’s plan (cf.1 Corinthians 12:12-27), an eternity so great that is now beyond their comprehension (1 Corinthians 2:9). Nearly all who ever lived will accept God’s offer of salvation—and part of the reason why will be because they will how well humanity did following God’s ways during the utopia known as the millennium.
For more information on some of these last items, please check out the articles Universal Offer of Salvation (http://www.cogwriter.com/apocatastasis.htm), The Last Great Day: Shemini ‘Azeret (http://www.cogwriter.com/last-great-day.htm), and Does God Have a 6,000 Plan? (http://www.cogwriter.com/six_thousand_year_plan_6000.htm).