The Curse and Creation
“Thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast … I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception … Cursed is the ground for thy sake” (Gen 3:14-17).1 What must have passed through Adam’s mind as he surveyed the idyllic paradise of Eden’s Garden while the voice of the omnipotent Creator removed his dominion, placing each aspect of creation under the curse?
As the Holy Spirit unfolds the Word of God, we see that the desire of God to include creation within the sphere of His kingdom is no new thing. The kingdom of God is timeless, and we understand that His Son is the eternal King, immortal, invisible, very God, who alone is wise and to whom belong honour and glory forever and ever, Amen! (1Ti 1:17). Into His eternal kingdom God introduced angelic beings of various ranks and diverse abilities (Col 1:16; Eze 28:14; Isa 6:2; Luk 1:19; Jud 9; Rev 4:4-11). Inexplicably, with all their lofty privilege, one third of the entire angelic world followed Lucifer in his revolt against God’s throne and therefore into eternal condemnation.
Turning His attention to this universe, God began to further unfold the divine plan to establish His kingdom in this world, placing a Man crowned with glory and honour, together with His Bride, to have supreme dominion over the works of His hands. Something to keep in mind is that God had not many different plans but one great eternal purpose. The phrases kingdom of God, kingdom of heaven, Father’s kingdom, kingdom of His dear Son, kingdom of Christ and of God, and the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ are synonymous, often used interchangeably, and do not speak of different kingdoms but rather varied aspects of the one kingdom. With the hindsight of Scripture, we understand that God was completely aware that Adam would fail, always intending to bring in the Second Man, the Lord from heaven. So, God began to disclose His master plan, unveiling it through the prophets, dispensation by dispensation, culminating in the triumphant work of the cross (Heb 1:1-3; 9:26).
The Christ and Creation
Moving about this planet, we observe the dreadful effects of sin as creation groans under the bondage of the curse. None of us has ever seen a proper blade of grass or perfect apple. The fruit that Caleb, Joshua and their companions saw in the promised land was nothing compared to what this world shall experience when Christ returns and lifts the curse.
First, observe the extraordinary geographical changes as the landscape of this world is dramatically altered during the cataclysmic events of tribulation days. Valleys will be lifted, mountains and hills levelled (Isa 40:4), islands disappear into the sea, capital cities fall, and Jerusalem will be divided into three parts (Rev 16:19-20). Upon the return of Christ, the Mount of Olives will split into two, creating an enormous valley (Zec 14:4).
In contrast with humanity’s weak efforts to prevent any climate change, Christ shall remove the curse and this world will know a true environmental change. Smog-filled cities and polluted rivers will be a thing of the past (Isa 61:4; Eze 36:33-36; 47:8-12). Drought shall not be known, except for those who refuse to come up to Jerusalem to worship the Lord (Zec 14:17). Along with this will come a botanical change, with such a yield of produce that by the time the farmer is ready to sow again the reaper shall still be harvesting (Amo 9:13)! Vineyards and cornfields will flourish on the tops and sides of mountains, and the abundance of lush grass will mean that dairy cows shall graze continually upon the hills, providing milk (Psa 72:16; Joe 3:18).
There will be no more trips to see caged animals in zoos for there will be an animal change. The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. With the change of instinct, the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox (Isa 11:6-7; 65:25).
This righteous reign of Christ will cause a social change, and at last global peace shall be enjoyed (Isa 11:1-5; Luk 2:14). Human physical and biological changes will dispel sickness and death for children. Long life shall be the norm for those born and a person dying at 100 years will be mourned as a child (Isa 65:20)!
Economic change shall herald a time of material prosperity, the nations bringing their treasures up to the Lord in worship. Social security and unemployment will be gone.
Finally, this world will enjoy a political and ecclesiastical change. The will of God will be perfectly expressed and executed on earth. “In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD” (Zec 14:20). Sunday Schools shall flourish (Isa 54:13) and no adult shall exist who has never heard of the Lord (Jer 31:34)! He who will sit upon the throne in Jerusalem will not be there by democratic vote or dictatorial rule but by divine right, and shall be called “Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isa 9:6).
The Church and Creation
“Heaven for eternity,” echoed the preacher, pounding the platform. Nice sentiment maybe, but theologically incorrect. So, what is in store for the Church when we depart this world? As revealed in preceding articles, the Church awaits the resurrection, transformation and transportation to meet the Lord in the air! We will experience not only the ecstasy of reunion with loved ones, but also Christ’s examination of our Christian life. It will be there that crowns are given and loss is suffered, where position and responsibility of administration in the millennial kingdom are disclosed (cf. Mat 19:28; Luk 19:11-27; Rom 14:10-12; 1Co 3:8-15; 4:2-5; 6:2-3; 9:24-27; 2Co 5:9-11; 1Th 2:19-20; 2Ti 2:12; 4:7-8; Jas 1:12; 1Pe 1:7; 5:4; 2Pe 1:11; Rev 2:26-27; 3:21).
Physically and spiritually set for the millennial kingdom, we will enter heaven, transfixed by the scene of angelic beings engaged in worshipful song to God and His Son. Finally, all that heaven waited for has arrived; the enduring cry of countless saints for “thy kingdom come” is answered. Stepping forth is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the holy Lamb of God; let us witness the coronation of the King of the Ages (Rev 4-5)! What solemnity as our Lord unleashes the fierce judgment of tribulation upon an ungodly world (Rev 6-18).
Arriving at Revelation 19:7, a voice from the throne exhorts all to be glad and rejoice and to give honour to Christ, for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. The eternal union of Christ and His Bride takes place and only now can the friends of the Bridegroom (Joh 3:29) be invited to enjoy the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
In Luke 22:14-30 our Lord states three times that He looked forward to that day when He would sit in the kingdom with His disciples, eating and drinking with them. In Matthew 19:28 His words are emphatic: “Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Is the enjoyment of physically being with Christ, reigning in His kingdom on earth, just for the disciples or is it for the entire Church? Hear the inspired word to Laodicea: “Him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne” (Rev 3:21). The Lord says to Thyatira, “He that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron” (2:26,27). When the Corinthian saints were squabbling over petty matters, taking each other to law, Paul chastised them, saying, “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? … we shall judge angels” (1Co 6:2,3).
Hebrews 1:2 declares God’s Son to be the appointed Heir of all things. All things were made by Him and for Him. All things are His, not only by creatorial right but also by redemptive merit. Paul informs us that before the foundation of the world, the Church was chosen in Christ to share in that inheritance and we, exclusively as the Bride of Christ, will be “joint-heirs” (Rom 8:17; Eph 1:4). The Bible is clear: heaven shall open and the newly-wed Christ, accompanied by His Bride clothed in white, shall be revealed. Christ will descend out of heaven, be glorified in His saints, and be admired in all them that believe (2Th 1:10; Rev 19:14; 21:10). Enoch’s prophecy of so long ago shall be finally fulfilled: “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints” (Jud 14). The creation waits with confidence for the curse to be lifted at the manifestation of the sons of God; and when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall we also appear with (Greek sun, i.e., in union together) Him in glory (Col 3:4). We will never leave His side. The Lord Himself promised “that where I am, there ye may be also” (Joh 14:3). Paul, by the Spirit, affirms, “So shall we ever be with the Lord” (1Th 4:17).
To date, God has allowed no one to live a thousand years (Methuselah was 969), but six times in Revelation 20 it is stated that the period of Christ’s reign shall be for 1000 years. What God wanted in the beginning He will get in the end: a Man with His Bride, reigning on the earth with supreme dominion.
1 Bible quotations in this article are from the KJV.