When Christ rules on earth during the Millennium, how will the non-Israelite nations come to the point of repentance and acceptance of God’s Way of Life?


In previous Q&A’s, we showed how the survivors of the modern descendants of the houses of Israel and Judah will be brought out of captivity and led to the Promised Land, where they will settle down. We discussed a subsequent invasion of Far Eastern nations into the Promised Land at the beginning of the Millennium, and how God will deal swiftly with these hostile armies.  We also discussed the fact that Christ will come to bring spiritual and physical restoration for all peoples, but He will rule in Jerusalem over—at first–the Israelite nations. How, then, will “Gentile” nations come to and accept the truth?

The Bible makes very clear that after Christ’s return, He will sit on the throne of David in Jerusalem (Luke 1:32) to rule the entire world. But it will be a process—all the nations will not automatically and immediately know and embrace the truth; they will have to be taught and their minds will have to be opened.

How is this going to happen?

As mentioned, Jesus Christ will deal at first with the survivors of the modern descendants of the houses of Israel and Judah. He will convert them and bring them back to the Promised Land, under the resurrected David, their king (Jeremiah 31:8-9). They will submit to Christ’s rule. We also read that the original apostles will sit on thrones and rule the tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28).

The effect will be that there will be no more hurt or destruction in all His holy mountain, and ultimately, the earth will become full of the knowledge of the LORD, and the Gentiles will seek Him, as we read in Isaiah 11:6-10.

Why will the Gentiles seek Him?

Isaiah 2:2-4 gives us a clue. We are told that the Gentiles will hear or somehow learn about the righteous rule in Jerusalem, and they will want to learn more about it. They may at first send ambassadors or messengers to Jerusalem to inquire more about what they have heard, and to report back to them (compare Isaiah 14:32. For historic examples, see Jeremiah 27:2-3 and 2 Chronicles 32:31). As a consequence, since God will be opening their minds, the Gentile nations will be led to forsake war and choose peace  (compare Zechariah 9:10).

But this is a process. Recall that at the beginning of the Millennium, Asiatic hordes will try to conquer the land of Israel (compare chapters 38 and 39 of the book of Ezekiel). But notice WHY God will be dealing with the hordes supernaturally, mightily and swiftly. For one reason, He wants to have the survivors of Israel and Judah understand, once and for all, HOW powerful God is, and that He will always defend them, and that there is never a need for them to fight in war. In fact, God wants them to realize that it would always be wrong for them to fight in war.

Notice Ezekiel 39:22: “So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day forward.”

Compare also verse 7, first part: “So I will make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel. And I will not let them profane My holy name anymore.”

Israel profaned God’s holy name by violating His commandments and by refusing to make a difference between the holy or clean things and the unholy or unclean things (Ezekiel 22:26). They violated His holy Sabbath and His annual Holy Days, and substituted them with human holidays and religious practices which had been invented for the purpose of worshipping pagan gods and demons (Ezekiel 20:11-13,16, 18-21, 23-24; compare Psalm 106:35-38). Even though God had commanded them to keep His Law for their own good (Deuteronomy 6:24) and not to worship or offer sacrifices to demons (Leviticus 17:7), they continued to do so (Deuteronomy 32:17; Amos 5:25-26).

And so, as God had “given them up” to the worship of idols in the wilderness (Acts 7:42-43)—that is, He did not force them to keep His Law, as He gave them free will to decide—so He later “gave them up” to statutes that were not good (Ezekiel 20:25). And such is the case with the modern descendants of ancient Israel—as is the case with all of mankind—even though Paul warns us that we are not to engage in the worship services of unbelievers, as they are serving demons and not God (1 Corinthians 10:20-21).

But once Christ rules on earth, all of this will change.

Let’s return to the description of events in Ezekiel 38 and 39, and continue reading the second part of Ezekiel 39:7:

“Then the nations shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One of Israel.”

Notice also Ezekiel 38:23:

“Then I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the LORD.”

God’s mighty intervention for Israel at that time, after He allowed them to go into slavery and become captives of war, will help to cause an interesting change in the minds of the nations, and it will reinforce in Israel’s mind the need to glorify God and obey Him.

Note Ezekiel 39:23:

“The Gentiles shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity; because they were unfaithful to Me, therefore I hid My face from them. I gave them into the hand of their enemies, and they all fell by the sword.”

But when God intervenes for Israel and when He brings the Far Eastern nations into judgment with a great earthquake, pestilence and bloodshed, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire and brimstone (Ezekiel 38:19, 22), so that even the troops of the hostile armies will begin to fight each other (verse 21), then it will become clear to the nations that God is now hallowed in Israel, and that Israel’s former sins have been forgiven. But equally importantly, Israel will know and understand this too (compare Ezekiel 39:27-29).

These events will also make clear to all peoples that God will not allow compromise with His holy Law (compare Isaiah 11:4).

Undoubtedly, that message and the word of the events will spread. People will want to know what is happening in Jerusalem and the Promised Land, and why God is acting so powerfully on behalf of Israel. And so, their ambassadors and messengers will appear in Jerusalem and return and report back to them, telling them about Jesus Christ’s rule with mercy, justice and righteousness, and what the requirements are to please God (compare Psalm 98:1-9). One of these requirements will be the abolishment of war and the destruction of all the weapons of war, and the observance of the Feast of Tabernacles.

But not every nation will be immediately prepared and willing to obey God and keep His Sabbath and His Holy Days. We read in Zechariah 14:16-19, that not every nation will immediately worship God in the right way—some will refuse for a while to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. When this happens, God will deal with them. He will withhold certain blessings—rain in due season which is necessary for a good harvest—and so they will learn swiftly that it does not pay to disobey God.

People will have to be taught—Israelites and Gentiles alike. Christ’s government and peace will increase. His rule will start in Jerusalem with the nations of Israel and Judah, but it will spread from there to the entire world (compare Isaiah 9:5-7). Isaiah 60:1-3 explains that the Gentiles will come to Christ—quite literally, by sending ambassadors first and then appearing in Jerusalem themselves, for instance during the Feast of Tabernacles—and most certainly also spiritually, in that they are accepting the Way of God and are “coming to Him” in spirit and truth. They will come to the right understanding, as Jeremiah 16:19-21 explains. Even Gentile kings will want to please God (Psalm 68:28-29). They will be drawn to Christ the King (Isaiah 49:5-7).

Gentiles will recognize that God is ruling in Jerusalem, and that Israel and Judah have been responding to God’s call. And so, Gentiles will want to show their respect, not just for God, but also for modern Israel and Judah (Isaiah 60:14; 61:9; Jeremiah 33:9).

Gentiles will want to seek Jesus Christ, the LORD, in Jerusalem. They will realize that God is with the Jews, and so they will ask them for help (Zechariah 8:20-23).

In addition, we are told that Israelites and Jews will be sent to foreign lands to teach the Gentiles (Isaiah 66:19). They will declare God’s glory to them, and the Gentiles will come to see His glory (verse 18). Note that some of those peoples include survivors from the country of Tubal, who had sent their armies previously against the Promised Land, as we read in Ezekiel 38.

But as Jesus Christ will deal and work directly with the Gentile nations, so will His born-again disciples who have become immortal members of the Family of God. As they will help Israelites and Jews (Isaiah 30:20-22), so they will help other nations as well.

We read in Obadiah 21 that they will become “saviors” to judge the “mountains of Esau,” when the Kingdom of God has been established on earth. They will be saviors in the sense that they will help the nations to come to salvation. As Christ will rule with uncompromising righteousness and mercy (Psalm 2:8-9), so will they (Revelation 2:25-27; Psalm 149:5-9).

During the entire Millennium or one thousand years, they will rule under Christ on this earth (Matthew 5:5; Romans 4:13; Revelation 5:10; 20:4, 6; compare also Daniel 7:27, clarifying that their rule will be on earth, as the Kingdom of God will be established “under the whole heaven”). Their rule will spread from Jerusalem, until God’s peaceful and righteous Way of Life engulfs the entire earth, as water covers the sea (Habakkuk 2:14).

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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