This post presents an approach that seeks to establish the necessity of an intermediate earthly kingdom without necessarily having to espouse beforehand any particular theological system. This approach consists of the integration of key biblical texts that contain within their own contexts clear indicators of how to interpret them. A careful examination of the nature of periods preceding and following the intermediate earthly kingdom combined with an integration of the texts showing a sharp contrast with those preceding and following periods establishes the necessity of an intermediate earthly kingdom.
Periods preceding and following the intermediate earthly kingdom
Present state: Sinners sinning, death taking place, children being born, most die before 100, carnivorous animals, Satan not bound, no Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, Israel not preeminent among the nations of the world, Christ not ruling physically on the earth, no nation worshiping Christ as King on the earth
Eternal state: No sin, no death, no procreation, people live forever, Satan forever punished in the lake of fire, a new heaven and a new earth, new Jerusalem, no Temple, Christ and God rule forever
Sharp contrast of the intermediate earthly kingdom with the preceding and following periods
Isaiah 65:20-25: Period with infants and old men, death – not eternal state; period with 100-year old people called youths, people’s life span compared to trees, complete harmony in the animal kingdom – not present state; combination of all these demands an intermediate earthly kingdom
Ezekiel 36: God judged His people who sinned exceedingly in their own land and scattered them among the nations of the world; such scattering led to His name being profaned on account of those people; God has purposed to vindicate the holiness of His great name by bringing those people out from the nations where He had scattered them and back into their own land; clearly not speaking of the Church anywhere in these verses; glorious changes in the land testify about God to the nations, and all know Him; shows that an intermediate earthly kingdom is a necessity for the vindication of God’s holy name
Zechariah 14: Marvelous chapter clearly showing an intermediate earthly kingdom; the Lord returns to the earth to defend His people; establishes His kingdom in the world; immense topographical changes in Palestine; He is worshiped worldwide with no idolatry anywhere; annual worship of Yahweh by surviving nations; sin still occurring—nations refuse to come to worship—shows that this cannot be the eternal state; all-pervasive holiness of the LORD’s house concludes the chapter; chapter describes an extended period of time that cannot be the eternal state nor the present because it features both the worldwide worship of Yahweh and sinners still refusing to worship Him– demands an intermediate earthly kingdom
Scripture repeatedly teaches an intermediate earthly kingdom
Not necessary to hold to or even know a particular theological system to understand the Scripture’s teaching about the intermediate earthly kingdom – the passages themselves provide contextual indications of how they are to be interpreted
Vindication of God’s holy name necessitates an intermediate earthly kingdom
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