Difficulties and Your Role in the Kingdom of God

By COGwriter

Are the difficulties and trials we face being called today worth it?


What is your role in the Kingdom of God?

Do you know?

Does anything in the Feast of Tabernacles help picture it?


Here is a link to a related sermon: Our role in the Kingdom and Persecutions.

Pictures the Millennium

The Radio and Worldwide Church of God taught in the 20th century that the Feast of Tabernacles helped picture the coming millennium.

But that was not a new idea. Christians have long taught that.

Related to the first/second century, the 20th century Catholic Cardinal Jean Danielou wrote:

Did the Jewish Christians retain the Jewish feasts while giving them new meaning...?

the Feast of Tabernacles was certainly kept in the month of September by Jewish Christianity as by the Jews. (Danielou, Cardinal Jean-Guenole-Marie. The Theology of Jewish Christianity. Translated by John A. Baker. The Westminister Press, 1964, pp. 343,345)

This temporal Messianism had a strong influence on Christians in the form of millenarianism, which had its centre in the Asiatic environment to which both Papias and Cerinthus belonged. This Messianic agitation was connected with the mystique of festivity, which belonged essentially to the Feast of Tabernacles. (Ibid, pp. 345-346)

Cardinal Danielou seemed to see references to the Feast of Tabernacles in the Shepherd of Hermas (ibid, pp. 341-345), which would indicate that around then some in Rome also observed it--though he believed that they later transferred it to become something else.

In the Latin langauge, from PL 1529 & 1535-1536, the Catholic saint and doctor of the church, Jerome wrote:

1529...Judæi et Christiani judaizantes... Judæi Christiani…

1535-1536... Omnes, inquit, qui relicti fuerint de gentibus quae venerint contra Jerusalem, ascendent per singulos annos, ut adorent regem Dominum exercituum, et celebrent festivitatem Tabernaculorum. Hæc quoque Judei cassa spe in mille annorum regno futura promittunt, cujus solemnitatis istud exordium est:

(It is typed by hand from that shown in Catholica Omnia Tabulinum De Ecclesiae Patribus Doctoribusque Materia Migne JP Argumentum Patrologia Latina Volumen MPL025 Ab Columna ad Culumnam 1415 - 1542A, pp. 922, 930 http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/02m/0347-0420,_Hieronymus,_Commentariorum_In_Zachariam_Prophetam_Libri_Duo,_MLT.pdf and is part of http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/1815-1875,_Migne,_Patrologia_Latina_01._Rerum_Conspectus_Pro_Tomis_Ordinatus,_MLT.html which is related to http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/25_20_25-_Rerum_Conspectus_Pro_Auctoribus_Ordinatus.html)

Here is a basically Google-machine translation of the above with minor adjustments for English that Jerome wrote:

Jews and Christian judaizers ... Christian Jews ... All, he says, those who remain survivors of the nations that come against Jerusalem, shall go up every year, to worship the King the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of Tabernacles. These also shall hope in, through the hollow devotion of Jews, a thousand years old promise of the future kingdom, whose festival this is the beginning of.

So, just like those Jerome observed in the 4th/5th centuries who had the revealed vision of God's plan, we in the Continuing Church of God also believe that the Feast of Tabernacles foreshadows the coming millennium. Living in temporary dwellings, while spending second tithe to rejoice (Deuteronomy 14:22-26), helps picture the abundance of the millennium.

We get the tiniest glimpse of some of the potential for the future.

Christian Potential

Yet, your potential is enormous:

5 For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels.

6 But one testified in a certain place, saying: “What is man that You are mindful of him, Or the son of man that You take care of him? 7 You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And set him over the works of Your hands. 8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet.”

For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. 10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,

12 saying: “I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.”

13 And again: “I will put My trust in Him.” And again: “Here am I and the children whom God has given Me.” (Hebrews 2:5-13)

Christians are to be children of God to ultimately rule the universe in the Kingdom of God!

God “seeks godly offspring” (Malachi 2:15).

Jesus taught deification:

34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods” ‘? 35 If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36 do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? (John 10:34-36)

Paul wrote that Jesus was to be the firstborn of many brethren:

29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:29).

Notice that there are to be MANY brethren.

Notice what happened with Jesus is supposed to happen to us:

20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming (1 Corinthians 15:20-23).

18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures (James 1:18).

4 These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb (Revelation 14:4).

16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches (Romans 11:16). 

Christians are to be firstfruits like Christ. As a firstfruit, Christ is divine.

Your role is to be a divine leader.

Notice something Jesus prayed:

10 And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. (John 17:10-11)

Since both the Father and Son are divine beings, Jesus prayed for His followers to be one as He and the Father are—which means part of the God family. Lest anyone wish to interpret the above scripture to mean something else, Jesus continued His prayer and also prayed the following:

20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. 24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:20-26)

Jesus prayed that His followers would become one in the same way He and His Father are one. And they are one divine family. He also said that those He was calling now would help others be called later. If you are called now (see our free online booklet: Is God Calling You?)--that is to be your role.

Furthermore, notice that the Bible does teach that there is a whole family which is named after God the Father, and that we are to know the love of Christ so that we can truly have the fullness of God:

14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height — 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14-19).

If one is filled with “all the fullness of God” does not that suggest that they will be also God as part of the Family of God?

The Apostle John taught:

12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name (John 1:12).

1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! 2 Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God (1 John 3:1-2a).

The children of people are people, the children of cows are cows. What are the children of God?

The Apostle Peter taught deification:

3 His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:3-4).

Are not those that are “partakers of the divine nature” somehow deified? And fully partaking of this nature does not happen until after the resurrection (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:50-53).

What God has planned for us is exceedingly wonderful:

9 But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. (1 Corinthians 2:9-10)

It is so fantastic that it is beyond anything any human has ever seen or heard.

Making the World a Happy Place

King Solomon wrote:

19 A feast is made for laughter, (Ecclesiastes 10:19)

God's festivals are also a time to learn while you rejoice:

22 "You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year. 23 And you shall eat before the Lord your God, in the place where He chooses to make His name abide, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, of the firstborn of your herds and your flocks, that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always. 24 But if the journey is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, or if the place where the Lord your God chooses to put His name is too far from you, when the Lord your God has blessed you, 25 then you shall exchange it for money, take the money in your hand, and go to the place which the Lord your God chooses. 26 And you shall spend that money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen or sheep, for wine or similar drink, for whatever your heart desires; you shall eat there before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household. (Deuteronomy 14:22-26)

Now when you consider that God commanded the weekly Sabbath and the seven annual festivals, His plan had happiness and learning in mind.

The Feast of Tabernacles, the sixth of God's annual festivals, pictures the coming millennial reign, on earth.

During this time, God's people will live and reign with Jesus:

9 ... You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10 And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth. (Revelation 5:9-10)

4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4-6)

Your role, if you are a true Christian that will be resurrected then will be to help people live better on the earth during the millennial Kingdom. Kings are to do that as are "priests" who should be in a ministry of truth and salvation.

The Bible teaches:

18 Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law. (Proverbs 29:18)

As kings and priests, teaching God's law will be part of your duties. People will be happy.

Rejoicing and celebration will also be results of God's government.

11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalms 16:11)

6 And in this mountain The Lord of hosts will make for all people A feast of choice pieces, A feast of wines on the lees, Of fat things full of marrow, Of well-refined wines on the lees. (Isaiah 25:6)

Rejoicing in the Feast of Tabernacles now is a foretaste of how you will be able to help others enjoy the millennial Kingdom of God.

Jesus taught:

2 "The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, 3 and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. 4 Again, he sent out other servants, saying, 'Tell those who are invited, "See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding." (Matthew 22:2-4).

See that the Kingdom of God is likened to a wedding celebration.

You will help people live better and prosper:

13 That our barns may be full, Supplying all kinds of produce; That our sheep may bring forth thousands And ten thousands in our fields; 14 That our oxen may be well laden; That there be no breaking in or going out; That there be no outcry in our streets. 15 Happy are the people who are in such a state; Happy are the people whose God is the Lord! (Psalm 144:13-15)

Your reigning and priestly role will help make people happy.

How bold!

Consider that the Feast of Tabernacles is a a time of compulsory rejoicing (Deuteronomy 16:14). A seven day festival (Leviticus 23:34) with training related to the vision of the Kingdom of God.

A week of spiritual uplift and exaltation.

It can, and should, be a time of great gladness as it was in Nehemiah's time:

17 So the whole assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and sat under the booths; for since the days of Joshua the son of Nun until that day the children of Israel had not done so. And there was very great gladness. (Nehemiah 8:17)

The Feast of Tabernacles pictures nothing less than the glorious, utopian reign of Jesus Christ and His handpicked staff, a royal Family, to rule with Him.

Is this our feeling as we approach the Feast of Tabernacles? Or are we perhaps deficient in the very second fruit of God's Holy Spirit — joy (Gal. 5:22)?

Do we really see ourselves as the light of the world (Matt. 5:14), or do our worldly cares dominate our lives to the point that we are, like everyone else in this society, shortsightedly absorbed with our own problems? Are we convinced that God's Spirit is at work within us, or has it been a long time since we felt truly exuberant about our matchless opportunity to live forever (I John 3:1)?

If you feel overburdened with physical, mundane cares, then this Feast of Tabernacles is for you! "If you only had my problems," some people tell Christ's ministry, "then you 'd be miserable, too." Not necessarily. The simple truth is that we all have our crosses to bear (Luke 9:23). And if we'd only rouse ourselves to see it, we'd discern that many of our brethren have it much worse (I Cor. 12:26).

As for the world — would any of us really change places with the people in war-torn or poverty-stricken countries, or the pitiful humans ebbing out their precious days at the end of a plastic tube? Or the thousands of Third World mothers who, before this day is over, will watch their children slip into tired comas as starvation enters its last phases?

Think — analyze — appreciate! We must put ourselves more into God's great Feast of Tabernacles, a feast of rejoicing. To do so we must understand why God commands us to rejoice.

Why rejoice?

We must rejoice with purpose, not just imbibe a meaningless round of steaks, wine, sightseeing and partying, perhaps ending up too tired to attend the crux of the whole Festival, the preaching services.

Why rejoice? Because even our attendance at the Feast is a demonstration of the most basic requirement for world peace — the willingness to submit to God's government (Isa. 9:7). Keeping the Feast is, in essence, an act of faith — our faith that God has the answers to the world's problems. We must put ourselves more into God's great Feast of Tabernacles, a feast of rejoicing. (Earle N. Make This a Feast of Joy. Good News magazine, September 1982)

Why Males and Females?

The first book of the Bible teaches:

27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27)

Related to the creation of humans, why did God make them male and female?

Well, an obvious reason would have to do with reproduction as God told the first man and woman:

28 Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth (Genesis 1:28).

In a much later book, the Bible gives a fairly specific related reason:

14 … Between you and the wife of your youth … she is your companion And your wife by covenant. 15 But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. (Malachi 2:14bd-15)

God made males and females so that they could be one and ultimately produce godly offspring (for deification).

Jesus taught:

4 And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,' 5 and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? 6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6)

The Apostle Paul wrote related to this that, “This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church” (Ephesians 5:32).

In addition, the two properly becoming one also helps us better understand the relationship between the Father and the Son (John 17:20-23).

The marriage relationship helps picture the relationship between the Father and the Son as well as what will happen to converted humans after the resurrection.

The Apostle Paul discussed love and gave some other spiritual lessons related to the marital state:

4 … admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children (Titus 2:4).

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:22-27)

Another reason to make males and females was to make it possible, though with physical distinctions in this life, for couples to be glorified together with Jesus (Romans 8:16-17). Working together (Genesis 1:28; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12) and even suffering together was also part of the plan (Romans 8:16-17) for male-female couples.

Let's also see some lessons from history:

30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. 31 By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace. 32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: 33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. 36 Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented — 38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. 39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, 40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us. (Hebrews 11:30-40)

Both men and women had faith and were heirs to the promises—equally. And both men and women are to be made perfect. And this will be better for us.

For what purpose?

To give love in a unique way throughout all eternity.

As the Apostle Paul wrote to Christians (and not just married couples):

12 And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all ... (1 Thessalonians 3:12)

Whether male or female, humans are intended to give love. Increasing love to all will make eternity better.

What about Women?  

Some have concluded that because God proclaimed the man to be head of the home that women will not reign like men during the millennial Kingdom.

But that is not the case.

A woman's responsibilities are just as much a part of God's plan as a man's. Because a wife is in subjection to her husband does not mean she is void of opportunities that develop the type pf character necessary to be a leader in the Kingdom of God.

This life is a training ground for the Kingdom of God. What we do now determines what we will do after Jesus Christ.

Since about half the people ever born were female, it is logical to presume that about one half of those born into the Family of God will have been physically women in the flesh. There is simply no room, when we truly understand God's Word, to think women are relegated to menial tasks or that they are less important in God's eyes.

Jesus taught:

29 They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God. 30 And indeed there are last who will be first, and there are first who will be last. (Luke 13:29-30)

Grandmothers, mothers, teenage girls, and little girls, all were created to fulfill a calling no man could ever adequately fulfill.

A woman who chooses to marry and have children accomplishes just as much in the character building process as any career woman or any male business executive.

The Apostle Paul was inspired by God to write the evangelist Titus:

1 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: 2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; 3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things — 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

6 Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, 7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, 8 sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you. (Titus 2:1-8)

Yes, the Apostle Paul told young and old men and young and old women part of how to live. And yes, his statements to women are not popular with many moderns.

We are not dealing with superiority and inferiority when we talk about men and women and their roles in life. We are simply coming to understand the great purpose for which each was created ...

how about Mary, the mother of Jesus? And how about Joanna? And Mary Magdalene? And Susanna? And Sarah and Deborah and Ruth and Lydia and all the other great women of the Bible?

They are all certainly going to be in God's Kingdom, ruling with Christ.

The apostles are the only ones named to rule in a specific area. You and I, men and women, are only told we will become rulers over one, two, five or 10 cities or more based on how we utilize our talents and, abilities. We will receive responsibility in proportion to how much we overcome.

Multimillion dollar decisions and corporate presidencies have little to do with it.

So how do women enter God's Kingdom?

Exactly like men do!

We must all come to believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Then every one has to repent and be baptized in the name of Christ. After baptism we receive the Holy Spirit. Then we must grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. And remain faithful. And overcome to the end.
It's the same for everyone — no shortcuts. It doesn't matter whether you're male or female. It isn't better to be one or the other. We are all in this together.

There is a crown of righteousness laid up for all Christians. Christ has gone to prepare a place for us, and He will come again (John 14:3). When He comes again, we will all be caught up together to meet Him in the air (I Thess. 4:17). And then both men and women will be changed to spirit — given immortal life.

So the course of life you pursue in career, homemaking, whatever, only makes a contribution to your overall character development process. It is not the end, but a means to the end.

"But could you be a little more specific?" you might ask.

Are there ways women do develop skills to qualify for rulership in a specific manner, especially when they are homemakers? — the homemaker as executive manager. (Kelly R.Women and God's Plan. Good News magazine, June-July 1980).

Those who were women will have the same basic roles as those who were men in the Kingdom of God.

The Apostle's Roles

Do the apostles have a special role?


27 Then Peter answered and said to Him, "See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?"

28 So Jesus said to them, "Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Matthew 19:27-28)

But even in their special role, they look to be kings, and probably also priests.

What About Gentiles?

Those apostles are only twelve people.

What about the rest of the Israelites? What about those that are physically Gentiles?

All of the resurrected Christians will become kings and priests after Jesus returns.

Notice something from the late Pastor General of the old Worldwide Church of God:

When He comes, the gentile times will be over — the BLINDNESS will be removed from the Israelites — and their opportunity — their FIRST chance — of salvation will then come to those whom God had blinded! This is at the time when He comes to REIGN on HIS THRONE — the throne of David, with the saints made immortal reigning and ruling with Him — and the time is DURING THE THOUSAND YEARS!

Notice verse 31. These blinded Israelites have not now, in this age, received mercy, that through the mercy of the gentiles saved in this age, they MAY, THEN, obtain mercy and salvation. How? Because these saved gentiles will then be kings and priests, assisting in this wonderful Work! (Armstrong HW. Where Will The MILLENNIUM Be Spent? Tomorrow’s Word magazine, September 1971, p. 5)

25: “Blindness in part is happened until Israel”-HOW LONG? Forever? No-note it-“UNTIL the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” -the end of this age during which God is calling a people from among the Gentiles to bear His name (Acts 15: 14). … These blinded Israelites have not now, in this age, received mercy, that thru the mercy of the Gentiles saved in this age, they MAY, THEN, obtain mercy and salvation. How? Because these saved Gentiles will then be kings and priests, assisting in this wonderful work! (Armstrong HW. Where Will The MILLENNIUM Be Spent? Plain Truth, February-March 1954 , pp. 4-5)

(For more on Romans 11:25, please check out the article What About Romans 11:25 and the Full Number of the Gentiles?)

The Apostle Paul wrote:

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:28-29)

11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian nor Scythian, slave nor free: but Christ is all and in all. (Colossian 3:11, Jubilee Bible 2000)

So, whether you are Jew or Gentile, male or female, bond or free, Israelite or barbarian, you have the same opportunity to be kings and priests in the kingdom of God.

You will help them from what you learn from God as well as all you learned in this life.

God has a specific plan for you.

What About YOU?

God made you to give love in your own unique way (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:20-13:10). Others, even most of those in the other COGs, do not understand this.

Now how will you be able to do that?

Essentially, by now living by faith and obedience to God in this life.

By being obedient, making biblical choices, having faith, practicing love, and enduring to the end, Christians will not only build character but make eternity better for themselves and others.

As far as faith goes, since God’s existence is a fact (cf. Romans 1:20; see also the free book, available at ccog.org, Is God’s Existence Logical?), it does not take faith to believe that there is a God. Even the demons believe and tremble (James 2:19). However, it does take faith to trust, believe, and obey God. That is part of the “mystery of faith” (cf. 1 Timothy 3:9; more on faith can be found in the free booklet, available online at ccog.org, Faith for Those God has Called and Chosen).

God grants His Holy Spirit to those who “obey Him” (Acts 5:32). It is possessing of God's Holy Spirit that makes one a real Christian (Romans 8:10-11).

Christians, themselves, later will be changed and perfected at the first resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:50-54) in order to help give love and actually make eternity better (see also The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you?).

The Apostle Paul referred to this change as “a mystery” (1 Corinthians 15:51).

Those who are currently non-Christian will have this opportunity after they are resurrected (see also the free book, online at ccog.org, Universal OFFER of Salvation, Apokatastasis: Can God save the lost in an age to come? Hundreds of scriptures reveal God’s plan of salvation).

God is good (Mark 10:18) and does what is right (cf. Genesis 18:25).

God also wants us to do good as this pleases Him (Psalm 34:14; Hebrews 13:16).

19 You are great in counsel and mighty in work, for your eyes are open to all the ways of the sons of men, to give everyone according to his ways and according to the fruit of his doings. (Jeremiah 32:19)

9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:9-10)

5 … God, 6 who “will render to each one according to his deeds”:  7 eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; (Romans 2:5-7)

God wants good for you and if you truly love and “obey Him” (Acts 5:32; Hebrews 5:9), that is how everything will turn out (Romans 8:28).

Notice the following:

24 Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God. (Ecclesiastes 2:24)

12 I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, 13 and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor--it is the gift of God. 14 I know that whatever God does, It shall be forever. (Ecclesiastes 3:12-14)

The above is true, essentially because being productive in work is intended to make things better. And humans should enjoy being productive.

Furthermore, God's plan takes into account what has happened to you. Notice Old Testament teachings related to that:

11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever, The plans of His heart to all generations. 12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance. 13 The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. 14 From the place of His dwelling He looks On all the inhabitants of the earth; 15 He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works. (Psalms 33:11-15)

1 For I considered all this in my heart, so that I could declare it all: that the righteous and the wise and their works are in the hand of God. (Ecclesiastes 9:1a)

9 A man's heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)

24 A man's steps are of the Lord; How then can a man understand his own way? (Proverbs 20:24)

173 Your hands have made me and fashioned me; (Psalm 119:73)

17 ... “God shall judge the righteous and the wicked, For there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.” (Ecclesiastes 3:17)

Notice, now, passages in the New Testament:

11 But the one and the same Spirit is operating in all these things, dividing separately to each one as God Himself desires. … 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and you are all individual members. (1 Corinthians 12:11, 27, AFV)

7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. (Galatians 6:6-8)

10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name ... (Hebrews 6:10)

God has a plan for ALL! That includes YOU INDIVIDUALLY whether you are called in this age or not. And He considers ALL OF YOUR WORKS.

All that you have been through, all that you have suffered, all of which you accomplished, etc. is preparing YOU to make eternity better (unless you will ultimately refuse to support God’s Kingdom). Everything you have been through has been preparing you for the calling and work God has for you! YOU will be able to give in a unique way and help make eternity better!

You are accountable for what you do (Romans 14:12). God will judge based on what you do (Ecclesiastes 12:14) as well as what you fail to do (Matthew 25:24-30). The more you do what you should do, you will make eternity better for your own self and others. The more you do not do what you should not do, you will make eternity better for your own self and others. God is a righteous judge (2 Timothy 4:8).

We are getting closer:

11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. (Romans 13:11-14)

Don't give up. Don't make excuses.

Believe God (cf. Marks 16:16).

Everything God has done He has had a reason (Ezekiel 14:23). While the length of our life tends to be mystery for us (cf. Ecclesiastes 9:12), it is not to God.

“Have faith in God” (Mark 11:22) as He has fantastic reasons for everything He does—even when it does not always seem that way to us (cf. Hebrews 12:11; Romans 8:28).

Many have erroneously judged God based on their own conclusions, yet the Bible also teaches.

5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God. (1 Corinthians 4:5)

Some things have been hidden. We also do not know everything about any human.

All people are not the same. God has an individual plan for each of us (1 Corinthians 12:4-12).

God is working with all so that each of us can have our part in eternity! As scripture teaches:

17 The work of righteousness will be peace, And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever. (Isaiah 32:17)

11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)

Peace and pleasures forevermore. A better eternity!

What is something YOU SHOULD DO?

11 Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. 12 Who is the man who desires life, And loves many days, that he may see good?  13 Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit. 14 Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it. (Psalm 34:11-14)

3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. 4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:3-4)


What does all this mean?

It means that God created what He did so His creation could do good.

Or more specifically, God created everything He did so that eternity would be better!

Isn’t that great?

19 Oh, how great is Your goodness, Which You have laid up for those who fear You, Which You have prepared for those who trust in You In the presence of the sons of men! (Psalm 31:19)

The Psalmist says that God’s goodness is great because of what He has prepared for us to come.

In Hebrews 11:4-12, starting with Abel, we learn about various ones called of God in the Old Testament. And referring to them, notice what the verses that follow teach:

13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. (Hebrews 11:13-16)

So at least since the time of Abel, people have had faith that God had a plan for something better, and that God is the God of those who truly understood that. The “city” is New Jerusalem which will come down to the earth from heaven (Revelation 21:2).

The plan is for things to get better.

Consider the following from the New Testament:

17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. (James 4:17)

Doesn't that mean Christians are to do good?

Doing good is making things better.

What About Children and the End Times?

Children whose parents (or at least one parent) are Philadelphian Christians are subject to be protected from the hour of trial (Revelation 3:10) in the wilderness (Revelation 12:14-16; see also There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Near Petra).

Presuming they not rebel, but instead will go and be protected, they are subject to living into the millennial Kingdom of God.

There they will be able to give a witness to those who are not spirit beings (like their parent/parents should be). They will essentially be able to teach.

But they will also learn during the millennium. And presuming many will decide to accept God's way of life during that portion of the Kingdom of God.

Now, those who are younger children when they enter it, will play:

6 "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, The leopard shall lie down with the young goat, The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them. 7 The cow and the bear shall graze; Their young ones shall lie down together; And the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8 The nursing child shall play by the cobra's hole, And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper's den. 9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord As the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:6-9)

Zechariah 8:3-5 also teaches that children will play then.

Don't Lose Faith

Before then, however, there is a nightmarish but mercifully short dark age just ahead of us:

4 And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matthew 24:4-8)

The sorrows are happening with the opening of the first four seals of Revelation 6, also known as the four horseman of the apocalypse.

Here is what Revelation 6 foretells:

1 Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, "Come and see." 2 And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.

3 When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come and see." 4 Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.

5 When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come and see." So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine."

7 When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come and see." 8 So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6:1-8)

Persecution hits after those four seals are opened.

9 "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. (Matthew 24:9-13)

Even though many who looked to be in the Church of God will have their love grow cold (that is why they are NOT Philadelphians), we are not to lose faith when this happens. We must continue.

The persecution Jesus spoke of looks to be related to the persecution of Daniel 11:28-35.

But let's start with Daniel 11:27 which specifically shows that the King of the South (a confederation of peoples in North Africa and the Middle East per Daniel 11:40-43; cf. Ezekiel 30:1-9) will make a deceptive deal with the King of the North:

27 Both these kings' hearts shall be bent on evil, and they shall speak lies at the same table; but it shall not prosper, for the end will still be at the appointed time (Daniel 11:27).

Then we learn, somewhat oddly, something upsets the King of the North even though he feels that he made a very good deal:

28 While returning to his land with great riches, his heart shall be moved against the holy covenant; so he shall do damage and return to his own land (Daniel 11:28).

This verse about his heart being "moved against the holy covenant" could be referring to the fact that some of God's people are warning against what the deal in verse 27 means. Notice verse 28 from a different translation:

28 Then the king of the north will return to his country with great treasures. But on the way, he will attack the religion of God's people and do whatever else he pleases (Daniel 11:28, CEV--Contemporary English Version).

Since it is the Church of God religion that historically is the "religion of God's people" (for many details, see Continuing History of the Church of God) and its members are the ones who fulfill the new covenant by having the law written into their hearts, it seems likely that the literal expression "holy covenant" refers to the most faithful of the true Christians (cf. Luke 1:72-75; Hebrews 8:8-12; Daniel 12:7). It appears that God's people are teaching something publicly that the King of the North does not want taught--otherwise he would have little reason to bother to attack such a "little flock" (Luke 12:32). This is about the time that the "one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days" days (1335 days) mentioned in Daniel 12:12 begin--although it may not be until the next verse or two.

Continuing in the NKJV:

29 At the appointed time he shall return and go toward the south; but it shall not be like the former or the latter. 30 For ships from Cyprus shall come against him; therefore he shall be grieved, and return in rage against the holy covenant, and do damage. So he shall return and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant (Daniel 11:29-30).

A term referring to western lands, not Cyprus, is a better translation related to verse 30:

30 For warships from western coastlands will scare him off, and he will withdraw and return home. But he will vent his anger against the people of the holy covenant and reward those who forsake the covenant. (Daniel 11:30, New Living Translation 1996 Greg Laurie)

30 Ships of the western coastlands will oppose him, and he will lose heart. Then he will turn back and vent his fury against the holy covenant. He will return and show favor to those who forsake the holy covenant. (Daniel 11:30, NIV)

30 Ships from the west will come to attack him, and he will be discouraged. Then he will start back to his own country and take out his anger on the religion of God's faithful people, while showing kindness to those who are unfaithful. (Daniel 11:30, CEV)

30 Ships will come from the west to attack him, and he will be discouraged and turn back. Angry at the holy promise, he will return, take action, and favor those who abandon the holy promise. (Daniel 11:30, GWT)

Notice that after suffering at least a naval embarrassment, the King of the North seems more upset with God's people than the power that confronted it militarily (watch also A US naval conflict with Europe is prophesied). This angers him to further persecute:

31 And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation. 32 Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. 33 And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering. 34 Now when they fall, they shall be aided with a little help; but many shall join with them by intrigue. 35 And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time. (Daniel 11:31-35, NKJV).

(The words in italics are NOT in the original Hebrew.)

You may be one who will, in this age, instruct many. You also may be one who will be subject to the coming persecution.

The persecutions above are by one called the King of the North (Daniel 11:40; 7:25a)--the King of the North will NOT like the message that the Philadelphians are proclaiming at least of part of which will likely be the Continuing Church of God identifying him to the world as the prophesied King of the North. The persecuted Christians will instruct many--probably explaining more perfectly things related to Matthew 24:14 and Matthew 28:19-20!

The old Radio Church of God realized that Daniel 11:32-35 was talking about what happens to the faithful just before 'the end' (the start of the Great Tribulation). Notice the following:

A Prophecy for Today

Daniel prophesied: "The people that do KNOW their God shall be strong, and do exploits" (Dan. 11:32). Such a statement could refer only to God's people. Now notice what follows: "And they THAT UNDERSTAND among the people shall instruct many; yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days" (verse 33). ...

This prophecy concerns GOD'S CHURCH. Continuing "Now when they [God's people] shall fall, they shall be holpen [helped] with a little help: BUT MANY SHALL CLEAVE TO THEM WITH FLATTERIES" (verse 34). Here is the point that most people have missed. Many individuals who assemble with us on God's Sabbath, or in God's Feasts, are prophesied to cleave to us with flatteries!

Other translations make this even clearer. The Moffatt Translation states: "Many shall join them under FALSE PRETENSE." Yes, some do JOIN THEMSELVES to God's Church, with false pretenses, claiming to be true brethren, claiming to obey God, claiming to have God's Holy Spirit, and yet they are not a part of the body of Christ. God has not JOINED them to His Church!

In "The Complete Bible", AN AMERICAN TRANSLATION by Gordon-Goodspeed we read: "Many shall attach themselves in HYPOCRISY." These people who attach themselves to God's Church assemble under false pretense. They are inwardly hypocritical, and flatter or deceive others.

If you have the idea that all who come to God's Church are truly converted Christians, this scripture ought to dispel this delusion! There are some among us who are not converted. They are not a real spiritually LIVING part of the body of Christ. They are not letting Christ do His work in them. They have not truly and completely surrendered their lives to Christ in full repentance.

Notice that this prophecy continues right up to the time of the end (verse 35), to the return of Jesus Christ. Here is a prophecy which concerns us today! (Neff L. Beware of False Brethren! Good News, January 1960)

Don't think you cannot make it:

1 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play." 8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:1-13)

Have faith. Don't give up!

Anyway, the Book of Daniel shows a two-part persecution coming (I added the a and b below for emphasis):

25 a He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. b Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time. (Daniel 7:25)

First of all (a), the Beast shall persecute certain of the saints, which is consistent with what Jesus said was coming in Matthew 24.

The persecution in Daniel 7:25 a, which are consistent with the persecutions in Daniel 11:28-35, are a factor in the opening of the fifth seal in Revelation, which is followed by the start of the Great Tribulation:

9 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed. (Revelation 6:9-11)

Now, do not get discouraged. What awaits you is so much better than what you will go through as the Apostle Paul wrote:

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. (Romans 8:18-25)

Notice also the following:

14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)

Right now, part of your role, is support the fulfillment of Matthew 24:14.


You do this through your prayers, your willingness to endure as a Philadelphian, as well as your tithes and offerings. Some of you also help out with translating, hosting church services, editing, speaking, and/or supporting website operations.

Notice what happens after the world has sufficiently got the gospel witness:

21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened. (Matthew 24:21-22)

Jesus also taught that Philadelphian Christians are subject to be protected from the hour of trial to come:

7 "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, 'These things says He who is holy, He who is true, "He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens": 8 "I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie — indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. (Revelation 3:7-11)

But this protection takes place AFTER Daniel 11:35 (see also There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Near Petra) but lasts until Jesus returns.

For the elect's sake God will joyfully give the order sending Jesus Christ to this weary planet :

29 "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:29-31)

The world will not be pleased by Jesus' return, but we should be comforted now, knowing about it.

13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

Knowing that God's side, which we hope to remain on, will win should be comforting to all, despite the tests and trials we have to go through.

Jesus' Mission

Jesus' mission? More than only proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God, His mission will involve nothing less than the physical and spiritual restructuring of the human race. Christ's return is the most enormous rescue operation in history. What a prospect!


1"Behold! My Servant whom I uphold,
My Elect One in whom My soul delights!
I have put My Spirit upon Him;
He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.
2 He will not cry out, nor raise His voice,
Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.
3 A bruised reed He will not break,
And smoking flax He will not quench;
He will bring forth justice for truth.
4 He will not fail nor be discouraged,
Till He has established justice in the earth;
And the coastlands shall wait for His law." (Isaiah 42:1-4)

Justice will be established. And His people will reign with Him (Revelation 20:4-6).

7 And I will cause the captives of Judah and the captives of Israel to return, and will rebuild those places as at the first. 8 I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned and by which they have transgressed against Me. 9 Then it shall be to Me a name of joy, a praise, and an honor before all nations of the earth, who shall hear all the good that I do to them; they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and all the prosperity that I provide for it.' 10 "Thus says the Lord: 'Again there shall be heard in this place — of which you say, "It is desolate, without man and without beast" — in the cities of Judah, in the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without man and without inhabitant and without beast, 11 the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who will say: "Praise the Lord of hosts, For the Lord is good, For His mercy endures forever" — and of those who will bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord. For I will cause the captives of the land to return as at the first,' says the Lord.

12 "Thus says the Lord of hosts: 'In this place which is desolate, without man and without beast, and in all its cities, there shall again be a dwelling place of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down. 13 In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the lowland, in the cities of the South, in the land of Benjamin, in the places around Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, the flocks shall again pass under the hands of him who counts them,' says the Lord. 14 'Behold, the days are coming,' says the Lord, 'that I will perform that good thing which I have promised to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah: 15 'In those days and at that time I will cause to grow up to David A Branch of righteousness; He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. 16 In those days Judah will be saved, And Jerusalem will dwell safely. And this is the name by which she will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.' (Jeremiah 33:7-16)

Jesus will make the world a better place:

17 "The poor and needy seek water, but there is none, Their tongues fail for thirst. I, the Lord, will hear them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. 18 I will open rivers in desolate heights, And fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, And the dry land springs of water. 19 I will plant in the wilderness the cedar and the acacia tree, The myrtle and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the cypress tree and the pine And the box tree together, 20 That they may see and know, And consider and understand together, That the hand of the Lord has done this, And the Holy One of Israel has created it. (Isaiah 41:17-20)

Jesus will hear and help.

The Millennium Will Be a Time of Abundance

We will have a part in supporting what Jesus will be doing.

Refugees, displaced persons, concentration-camp prisoners, scarred and maimed victims of the war to end wars, all will be in need of shepherding to Palestine:

12 Surely these shall come from afar;
Look! Those from the north and the west,
And these from the land of Sinim."

13 Sing, O heavens!
Be joyful, O earth!
And break out in singing, O mountains!
For the Lord has comforted His people,
And will have mercy on His afflicted.

14 But Zion said, "The Lord has forsaken me,
And my Lord has forgotten me."

15 "Can a woman forget her nursing child,
And not have compassion on the son of her womb?
Surely they may forget,
Yet I will not forget you.
16 See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
Your walls are continually before Me.
17 Your sons shall make haste;
Your destroyers and those who laid you waste
Shall go away from you.
18 Lift up your eyes, look around and see;
All these gather together and come to you.
As I live," says the Lord,
"You shall surely clothe yourselves with them all as an ornament,
And bind them on you as a bride does. (lsaiah 49:12-18)

The Apostle Peter taught:

19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20 and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, 21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. (Acts 3:19-21)

Brethren, we all will have a part in the restoration of all things. We will assist making the world a better place.

The rebuilding of the "waste places" will start there:

7 How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, "Your God reigns!" 8 Your watchmen shall lift up their voices, With their voices they shall sing together; For they shall see eye to eye When the Lord brings back Zion. 9 Break forth into joy, sing together, You waste places of Jerusalem! For the Lord has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem. 10 The Lord has made bare His holy arm In the eyes of all the nations; And all the ends of the earth shall see The salvation of our God. (Isaiah 52:7-10).

Well-organized, ecologically integrated communities will spring up under the direction of the God Family:

1 The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; 2 It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, Even with joy and singing.The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, The excellence of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the LORD, The excellency of our God. 3 Strengthen the weak hands, And make firm the feeble knees. 4 Say to those who are fearful-hearted,"Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, With the recompense of God;He will come and save you." 5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. 6 Then the lame shall leap like a deer, And the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, And streams in the desert. 7 The parched ground shall become a pool, And the thirsty land springs of water; In the habitation of jackals, where each lay, There shall be grass with reeds and rushes. 8 A highway shall be there, and a road, And it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, But it shall be for others. Whoever walks the road, although a fool, Shall not go astray. 9 No lion shall be there, Nor shall any ravenous beast go up on it; It shall not be found there. But the redeemed shall walk there, 10 And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, And come to Zion with singing,With everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, And sorrow and sighing shall flee away. (Isaiah 35:1-9)

4 But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, And no one shall make them afraid; For the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken. (Micah 4:4).

Broad avenues lined with healthy, fragrant trees will shade youngsters and senior citizens:

3 "Thus says the Lord: 'I will return to Zion, And dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, The Mountain of the Lord of hosts, The Holy Mountain.' 4 "Thus says the Lord of hosts: 'Old men and old women shall again sit In the streets of Jerusalem, Each one with his staff in his hand Because of great age. 5 The streets of the city Shall be full of boys and girls Playing in its streets.' (Zechariah 8:3-5)

Likely, rustic community centers in park settings will play host to church services, socials, youth activities, weddings — vital components in the abundant life (cf. Isaiah 61:8-11).

We will help make this happen:

4 And they shall rebuild the old ruins, They shall raise up the former desolations, And they shall repair the ruined cities, The desolations of many generations. 5 Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, And the sons of the foreigner Shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers. 6 But you shall be named the priests of the Lord, They shall call you the servants of our God. You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, And in their glory you shall boast. 7 Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, And instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double; Everlasting joy shall be theirs. (Isaiah 61:4-7)

Consdier the following:

12 Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, Streaming to the goodness of the Lord — For wheat and new wine and oil, For the young of the flock and the herd; Their souls shall be like a well-watered garden, And they shall sorrow no more at all. 13 "Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, And the young men and the old, together; For I will turn their mourning to joy, Will comfort them, And make them rejoice rather than sorrow. 14 I will satiate the soul of the priests with abundance, And My people shall be satisfied with My goodness, says the Lord." (Jeremiah 31:12-14)

Notice that God will help the people and the priests--the priests--us after being in the first resurrection. We will be satisfied with God's goodness and abundance. Don't think you cannot make it!

YOU Can Make It

If you endure, you will be able to be a king and priest in the millennial kingdom. Notice also:

6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; (Philippians 1:6)

There really is hope — a vision worth hanging on to as Jesus really is coming quickly (Revelation 3:11).

But it shouldn't surprise us. Our God is called "the God of hope":

13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

Yes, we have hope.

Hope for a sparkling picture! God commands the Feast of Tabernacles as a sure token — an act of faith — that utopia is coming.

God has a plan for you to help in His kingdom. God made you to give love in your own unique way (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:20-13:10).

First in the millennium, and then later for all eternity.

We are to celebrate the world tomorrow in advance during the Feast of Tabernacles.

Now project yourself ahead: Who will conduct the vital Sabbath services, the Bible studies giving key instruction to keep things "on track"? Who will organize the construction of halls, coordinate urban renewal and farm policy, streamline traffic and industry? We will! That is part of our calling, for God "has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen." (Revelation 1:6)

A kingdom that will be full of happiness and gladness.

One that you will be able to help make better! And one that will be better for YOU!

Here is a link to a related sermon: Our role in the Kingdom and Persecutions.

For more about God's plan for you and eternity, check out the free online book: The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you?

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Thiel B. Difficulties and Your Role in the Kingdom of God. COGwriter (c) 2019 1020 https://www.cogwriter.com/kingdom-role.htm