THE GOLDEN AGE

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    [Isaiah:11:1-10]; [Isaiah:35:1-10]; [Revelation:20:7-10].

    Lesson No.: 
    168
    Class: 
    Senior
    Memory Verse: 

    “Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert” (Isaiah 35:6).

    Notes: 

    The Curse
    "Curse is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
    “Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
    “In the sweat of thy face shall thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Genesis:3:17-19).

    When God placed man in the Garden of Eden every tree that grew was pleasant to the sight. God looked upon His creation and pronounced it very good. Peace reigned in all quarters and man dwelt safely among the beasts of the field. All was serene until Eve yielded to the temptation of Satan and sin came into the world. With sin came the curse upon all the earth.

    Disease, sickness, and death entered into the world as the result of sin. The nature of animals became wild; thistles and thorns sprang up, and the beauty of nature was defiled. Enmity was put between the seed of the woman and the serpent, but God gave a promise that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head. This promise looked forward to the time when Christ would come and put down Satan. What a change it will make in this world when sin and Satan are removed and the curse is lifted!

    No Desert
    Have you ever known of a place where there was nothing but barren sand dunes on which not one blade of grass grew, where the weather was so hot that it seemed there was not a breath of fresh air anywhere? Some day that is all going to be changed. When Satan is bound and the curse is lifted, the desert will rejoice. God has promised:

    “I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water” (Isaiah:41:18).
    “For in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.
    “And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water” (Isaiah:35:6, 7).

    Man has built many great dams for irrigation projects. He has been successful in getting water to a small part of the arid land and making it productive, but most of the deserts cannot be reached with water by man-made efforts. In the great Millennium, God will open rivers, fountains, pools, and springs in the now parched lands. What a changed will be made in this old earth when God takes over! The great Sahara Desert, which covers an area two-thirds as large as the United States, will in that day blossom as the rose. No longer will man famish for water on the wastelands: “For in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.”

    The land of Palestine, especially, will be exceedingly productive and fertile during the Millennium. “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the ploughman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt” (Amos:9:13).

    Vegetation
    “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
    “It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God” (Isaiah:35:1, 2).
    “I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together” (Isaiah:41:19).
    “For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
    “Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree” (Isaiah:55:12, 13).

    “The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” (Romans:8:22). All creation feels the effects of the curse and sin. Upon every shrub there is a blight. Everywhere we see mildew, plant disease, termites, and all kinds of insects marring the beauty and perfection of all vegetation. When Satan is bound and God lifts the curse, “the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” All nature will feel the sweet release from the corruption that now permeates the world. The glory of Lebanon -– the giant cedars for which it was famous -– will grow in places, which are now sand hills or filled with sagebrush. The roses of Sharon shall bloom where now there is nothing but wind-blown sands. The beauty of Carmel by the sea with its rich vegetation will be duplicated in the now barren lands. The roses will be without thorns; no thistles will grow in the fields. Instead of the thorn tree and briers will be ornamental myrtles and stately fir trees.

    Animal Life
    “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.
    “And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
    “And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.
    “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).
    “And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely” (Hosea:2:18).
    “And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods” (Ezekiel:34:25).
    “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD” (Isaiah:65:25).

    What a change it will make in animal nature when God makes a covenant with the beasts of the field! The lion will be as tame as a kitten and will eat straw like an ox. A little child will be able to lead the leopard around. The poison venom of the serpent will be gone, and a baby will be safe anywhere in the woods. All animals will dwell together in peace. If we look out the window and see a lion or bear in the pasture with the lambs it will be no cause for alarm. They shall feed together, and those animals that are now afraid of people will come up and eat out of their hand. “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.”

    Infirmities Loosed
    “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
    “Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing” (Isaiah:35:5, 6).

    All sickness, diseases, and infirmities are the work of the devil and the result of the curse. What a glorious day it will be when Satan is bound and every man’s infirmity is loosed! The lame man will leap as the deer. The deaf-mute will no longer make signs with his hands, but his tongue will be loosed and he shall both speak and hear. There will be no more need for hearing aids, glasses, or crutches. Seeing-eye dogs will no longer lead blind masters, for the eyes of the blind shall be opened.

    Longevity
    “There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed” (Isaiah:65:20).
    “For the child shall die an hundred years old.” From this we understand that at one hundred years of age one will still be considered young -– a mere child.

    This passage of Scripture also shows the possibility of death during the Millennium to those who live through the Tribulation or are born during this period. However, long life will be the rule to those who serve the Lord. Their life shall be long like the life of a tree. Some trees live for more than a thousand years. It is quite likely that many people shall live through the entire period of the Millennium. Of course, we know that those who come back with Christ with glorified, or immortal, bodies shall live forever. The world will be free from disease except as a punishment for sin. “The sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.” A plague shall be sent upon those who refuse to obey God during the Millennium. [See [Zechariah:14:16-19].)
    Government

    “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
    “And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
    “And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
    “But with righteousness shall be judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked” (Isaiah:11:1-4).

    The Millennium will be the literal reign of Christ on the earth for a thousand years. “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation:11:15). What a glorious thought! “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder” (Isaiah:9:6). “And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation:19:16). What a change from the political tangle this world has been in for centuries! Jesus shall rule the world “with a rod of iron” -– not the despotic rule of a tyrant, but the exacting rule of the Almighty God. He who demands perfection in the smallest to the greatest of His creation; who orders the path of the sun, moon, and stars, shall also rule exactingly in the political world. “He shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: but with righteousness.” There will be no more bribing of the jury, buying off the judges, nor selling secrets to aliens. Offices will not be gained by political power, but will be given to those who qualify and whose right they are.

    The Reigning Saints
    “To him that overcometh” -– the redeemed and purified of all ages -– Jesus says, “will I grant to sit with me in my throne” (Revelation:3:21). To those who are faithful to God in this present life He will say: “Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities” (Luke:19:17). To all who have part in the First Resurrection it is promised: “They shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years” (Revelation:20:6). Of those who were beheaded for the Word of God because they refused to worship the beast, it is said, “They lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years” (Revelation:20:4). To the Christian who is suffering and enduring affliction here, are the comforting words: “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him” (II Timothy:2:12). The song of the redeemed around the throne will be: “Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation:5:9, 10). The glorified saints of God will return to earth with Jesus to reign with Him for a thousand years.

    Jerusalem, the Capital
    When Christ was on earth, the Jews were looking for Him to set up His Kingdom. After the Resurrection the disciples asked: “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts:1:6). They were familiar with the promise that the “Lord shall reign over them in mount Zion” (Micah:4:7). Many of the people wanted to take Christ and make Him king immediately, but it was not God’s time. Nevertheless, the promises will be fulfilled during the Millennium that “the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem” (Micah:4:2). Jesus will be King of all the earth and Jerusalem will be His capital.

    Pure Religion
    All false systems of religion shall be done away. “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk:2:14). “And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also. Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD” (Zachariah:8:20-22).

    “And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.
    “No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:
    “And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Isaiah:35:8-10).

    When the Lord reigns in Jerusalem there shall be no unclean thing there. “Every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah:14:21). “In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD” (Zechariah:14:20). None but the redeemed will dwell there. “So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more” (Joel:3:17). “There shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah:14:21). All nations shall seek the Lord at Jerusalem. “In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you” (Zechariah:8:23).

    The Jews
    The Jews who have been brought through the Tribulation and have turned to Christ will dwell in their homeland, Palestine. The twelve Apostles “shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Matthew:19:28). Through the falling away of the Jews, salvation is come unto the Gentiles. “Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness?” How glorious will be the time when Israel is restored! No wonder that ten men shall take hold of the Jew saying, “We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.”

    God and Magog
    For a thousand years Christ shall reign upon the earth. For a thousand years the earth shall be free from war and violence. “They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isaiah:2:4). There will be no standing armies, ammunition factories, or atomic-bomb stock piles. The Prince of Peace shall reign over all the earth.

    “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
    “And shall go out to deceive the nations which arse in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
    “And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
    “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet arse, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Revelation:20:7-10).

    God wants a tried and proved people to serve and worship Him. He led Israel forty years in the wilderness to prove them to see whether or not they would serve Him. (See [Deuteronomy:8:3].) For a thousand years the world will be without a tempter. Then Satan will be released for a short season that people might exercise their free will to serve God. Although the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth like the waters cover the sea, Satan will soon again be able to deceive thousands and persuade them to fight against the people of God. The Gospel will be published to all creatures for a thousand years and yet they will fall by the thousands into the snare of the devil and be lost. It lets us know how necessary it is to have a sure foundation on which to build and an experience that will stand the test.

    Satan goes out to deceive the nations that are in the four quarters of the earth -– in every direction -– Gog and Magog, to gather them to battle against Jerusalem. It is very likely that in “Gog and Magog” the entire Gentile world is included. This battle is not the one mentioned in [Ezekiel:39:1-29], which takes place before the Millennium, in which it is stated that they shall “come up from the north parts.”

    “And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them” (Revelation:20:9).

    When the last saint of God has been tried and found true, God soon makes short work of the devil and his followers. The devil is cast into the lake of fire and his followers are devoured by fire from Heaven. The victory goes to our God who doeth all things well.