The Future Restoration 1

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The Future Restoration - Part One

 

With the Tribulation brought to a close by the battle of Armageddon, the world is left in a devastated condition. The condition of the world can be best described by Jesus own words when he said, “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” (Mt 24:21). In other words, this world will suffer more tribulation and destruction than even caused by the great global flood of Noah’s time.” 

What brings the earth to this condition? Let us note that even before the beginning of the tribulation this world will have suffered greatly due to the curse of sin imposed on Adam and his descendents (Gen. 3:17-19). Rom 8:19-21 tells us that even at this present time the earth earnestly longs for the revelation of the sons of God at the close of the Tribulation. The reason for this earnest expectation is creation’s deliverance “from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” 

Man in his history has done much to destroy what God had originally created. We find after the his first 1400 years, man’s sin had become so great God had destroy the surface of this world and all that dwelt upon it except for those few in the ark. This destruction of the flood radically changed the climate and geography of the world leaving it exposed to many “natural” catastrophes never intended by God in His original creation. There would now be hurricanes, tornadoes, glaciers, snow storms, volcanoes, earthquakes, floods, drought, lightning, to mention a few. 

Likewise, with the conclusion of the flood, man and animals would now include meat in their diets as the earth could no longer produce a sufficient amount of vegetation needed to feed world’s population (Gen. 9:2-3). This meant the animal kingdom would become a place of cruelty, violence, and suffering and even at times extinction. Mankind has also been guilty of mismanaging the earth causing great destruction through devastating wars, exploitation of natural resources, pollution of water and land, clearing of forests, turning fertile earth into deserts and etc. 

The earth going into the Tribulation will receive more destruction in 7 years than it has in the previous 6000+ years of human history. In the three series of seven judgments (seals, trumpets, and bowls) God will punish mankind with the very creation he has so often destroyed. All water will be turned to blood killing all aquatic life, 1/3 of all vegetation will be burned up, a mammoth earthquake causes all the cities of the world to collapse, sinks all the islands and flattens all the mountains, and hail weighing over 100 pounds falls from the sky. Add to this the destruction brought about by men and Satan, the earth will be in shambles, hardly even recognizable from its original creation. Likewise any resemblance to a form of civilization and government will also be gone leaving the surviving few humans without any direction and order.

It is important to note the condition of the world and its survivors at the end of the Tribulation to understand the last prophetic words of Daniel 12:11-12. We are told that from the midpoint of the Tribulation until the end of the Tribulation is 42 months or 1260 days (Rev. 12:6, 14; 13:5). However, Daniel prophecies of a period that begins on the 1261 day, the first day after the Tribulation and goes to the 1336 day or the first day of the Millennial Kingdom. This translates into a period of 75 days divided into two sections, the first 30 days (1290 days) and the second 45 days (1335 days).

Dan. 12:11-12, “And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.” NKJV

Daniel does not tell us what will be transpiring during this 75 day period but he leaves one clue that when considered with other Scriptural passages give us a good idea. There are at least four things that the Lord will need to accomplish during this intermediate period,

1) Judgment of the Tribulation Survivors: Daniel states that blessed is the Tribulation survivor who is still living at the 1335 day or 75 days after the close of the Tribulation. The reason this survivor is blessed is because he will be entering the Millennial Kingdom. We know from Scripture that only those who are surviving Tribulation believers will be allowed into the Kingdom. Since there is no blessing associated with the first 30 day period it would imply that during the first 30 days after the Tribulation there will be some survivors who know not the Lord. It is therefore likely that this period will be devoted to Christ’s judgment of both the Jews (Ezek. 20:33-38) and the Gentiles (Matt. 25:31-46) to separate the believers from the non believers. Those who are believers will be allowed into the Kingdom (Matt. 25:34) but those who are not will be sent to “the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41, 46). 

2) Restoration of the Land: To understand the full impact of this restoration we must first determine at what point in the history of the earth will it be restored? There are three possible options. The condition of the earth prior to the Tribulation, the condition of the earth prior to the flood, and the condition of the earth prior to the fall of man. The point of restoration that our Lord will choose is the condition of the earth prior to the sin of man and the curse of nature. In other words the Lord will restore the earth to its original condition at creation. This is declared by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans.

Rom 8:19-24, “For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 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.” NKJV

There are two statements made by Paul that indicate that the restoration point is Creation. First he states that “creation was subjected to futility” speaking of the curse of sin that fell not only upon man but also upon all of creation. God informed man of this curse shortly after his sin.

Gen 3:17-19, “Then to Adam He said, "Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat of it': "Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return." NKJV

The second statement Paul makes is “delivered from the bondage of corruption”. Only in its original created condition was the earth free from corruption. Corruption is the result of death and death was the consequence of the sin of Adam and Eve.

As God restores the planet to its original condition, this means that the land of Canaan will have some significant changes as well. The following is a list of some of the changes that the land of Canaan will undergo prior to beginning of the millennium. 

a. Geographical changes: The Scriptures prophecy that the land will be altered in several significant ways. First of all, Christ will make the land of Israel a plain like a large prosperous valley. 

“Zech. 14:10-11 declares “The whole land of Judah - from Geba on its northern border (Jos 21:17) to Rimmon, probably on its southern border, 35 miles southwest of Jerusalem (Jos 15:32) - will be miraculously leveled to a broad valley like the Arabah, the low plain stretching from below Mount Hermon down the Jordan River Valley and the Dead Sea on to the Gulf of Aqabah.” (from Bible Knowledge Commentary/Old Testament Copyright © 1983, 2000 Cook Communications Ministries; Bible Knowledge Commentary/New Testament Copyright © 1983, 2000 Cook Communications Ministries. All rights reserved.). 

Isaiah adds to this, “Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough places smooth” (Isa 40:4). This will indeed be a great benefit for Israel’s prosperity as it will increase the area of land useable for agriculture several fold. As we remember from the time of Abraham and the disagreement he had with Lot, Abraham was given the less productive land of the mountains (Gen.13:8-13). No longer will there be an un productive area in all of Israel.

At this point, there is one item that should be addressed. The Scriptures seem to indicate that the Dead Sea area which is the lowest place upon the earth will likewise be raised up and the lake will be come a fresh water lake teaming with fish.

Ezek. 47:7-11, “When I returned, there, along the bank of the river, were very many trees on one side and the other. Then he said to me: "This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed. And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes. It shall be that fishermen will stand by it from En Gedi to En Eglaim; they will be places for spreading their nets. Their fish will be of the same kinds as the fish of the Great Sea, exceedingly many. NKJV

The Dead Sea is a dead sea because its water flows in from the North but has no place for the water to flow out. This is where Sodom and Gomorrah once thrived and it is described in Abraham’s times as “the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar” (Ge 13:10) NKJV. At the time of Abraham the land was much higher enabling the Jordan to flow beyond the Dead Sea all the way to the Gulf of AqabaIt would appear that when God brought His judgment upon Sodom and Gomorrah, He did more than vaporize those cities. God also sank the whole valley to become the lowest place on the earth thus dooming the valley to a place of death making it uninhabitable by man. A look at maps of the region seems to illustrate this point. Map A shows the dried up river bed of what was once the southern end of the Jordan river. Map B shows the how the Dead Sea area does not fit the altitude of the surrounding area but almost looks as it was pushed downward by the “foot” of God.

 

   Map 5

 

b. Productivity Changes: much of Israel today is still an arid land with the sand of the desert covering many parts of the land. Where the land has been reclaimed it has been done with great effort and requires man made watering sources such as irrigation. In the Kingdom, all of the land will be extremely productive. Isa. 32:15-16 declares that the wilderness (desert) will become a fruitful field and the fruitful field will produce so much it will be considered as thick as a forest. Many other examples can be cited regarding this restoration of which the following are a few

Isa. 35:7, “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” NKJV.

Isa. 55:13, “Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree, And instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree” (Isa 55:13) NKJV.

Ps 67:6, “Then the earth shall yield her increase; God, our own God, shall bless us.” NKJV

Ps 72:16, “There will be an abundance of grain in the earth, On the top of the mountains; Its fruit shall wave like Lebanon; And those of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth.” NKJV

Amos 9:13, “Behold, the days are coming," says the Lord, "When the plowman shall overtake the reaper, And the treader of grapes him who sows seed; The mountains shall drip with sweet wine, And all the hills shall flow with it.” NKJV

Isa 35:1-2, “The wilderness and the wasteland 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 to it, The excellence of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, The excellency of our God.” NKJV

Not only is the land going to be many times more productive then it is now, but its productivity will surpass even that of Joshua’s day. With the restoration of the earth to its original created condition there will no longer be the loss of productivity brought about by the curse of sin. For example, no longer will crop productivity be limited by insects, animals, weeds, drought, storms and disease. Likewise with the curse lifted, every plant will realize the full potential that God originally created in it. The yields in that day will far out weight anything that modern farming methods can hope to produce. 

One other enemy of that the Israelite farmer will be eliminated in the Millennium. Over the history of the Israelite nation, often the work and labor of the farmer in planting and cultivating his crops is lost at the hands of an invading army. No longer will this be a problem as peace will reign over all the earth. God promises that the fruit every man’s produce and labor will be enjoyed by him and his family.

Isa 65:21-23, “They shall build houses and inhabit them; They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; They shall not plant and another eat; For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people, And My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, Nor bring forth children for trouble; For they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the Lord, And their offspring with them.“ NKJV

c. Animal Changes: since animals also have been affected by the sin curse, with the curse removed significant changes will follow. No longer will any animals be a threat to any human and that will includes all wild and dangerous animals. They will now come under the complete dominion of mankind (Gen. 1:26) as God had originally intended it and will be able to harm even the smallest of child. Likewise animals will no longer be a danger to themselves. Animals will no longer attack, kill, and eat other animals but rather become vegetarians in diet as God had originally created them (Gen. 1:29-30). This is reflected in the prophets of the Old Testament

Isa 11:6-9, “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. The cow and the bear shall graze; Their young ones shall lie down together; And the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra's hole, And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper's 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.” NKJV

Isa 65:25. “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, The lion shall eat straw like the ox, And dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain," NKJV

Hos 2:18, “In that day I will make a covenant for them. With the beasts of the field, with the birds of the air, And with the creeping things of the ground. Bow and sword of battle I will shatter from the earth, To make them lie down safely.” NKJV

d. Climatic Changes: God tells us that the climate will be changed probably to reflect the original climate at the time of creation. Isaiah writes that the sun will be 7 times brighter than at present and the moon will be as bright as the sun (Isa. 30:26). It would appear that if there was an increase of such a nature that the earth would be so flooded with sunlight that it would become difficult to inhabit. With the Lord in charge, it will not be a curse or a problem to the inhabitants of the land but rather a blessing that will probably play a role in the greater productivity of the land.