Matthew 5 reads: "Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.".This single passage most directly refutes the popular notion today that Christians die and then live with Jesus in heaven forever, a widespread misconception about the Bible's teachings on "eschatology," or the doctrine of last things. The Bible clearly teaches that God created men and women as kings over the whole earth. The earth, not heaven, is their eternal home. This is why God gave humans physical bodies, and why He will raise them up again at the Last Day.
Heaven was meant only as a temporary abode for men until the resurrection of their bodies. Obviously, since "God gave to men the earth" (Psalm 24), and since Adam and Eve were the only humans on the earth in the beginning -- they were created as king and queen to rule the earth. This is the paradise they lost, but which is restored in the book of Revelation.
In the ancient Near East, only kings were said to bear the divine image. By saying that God created man after his own image, He straightforwardly implied their kingship over the creation. Moreover, the book of Revelation opens by plainly declaring that its major theme has to do with Christ making his people "kings and priests" in these words (Rev.
1:4-6).". Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father."Notice this text calls Jesus "prince over the kings of the earth.
".As the drama of Revelation unfolds, these "kings of the earth" eventually give their power and authority to the Beast. This would make the Beast a counterfeit "king of kings.
" These kings of the earth then -- under the authority of the beast -- kill the saints, who die as martyrs for their faith in Jesus. Then Jesus, the "King of kings" (as Revelation 19 calls Him) raises his martyrs from the dead TO REPLACE THOSE KINGS WHO HAD KILLED THEM as kings (and priests) over the various nations. Thus, Revelation 1:4-6 (above) is fulfilled in Revelation 20:4-5 --.And I saw [kings'] thrones, and they [which] sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.
This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him [as kings for] a thousand years.And we are subsequently told that the reign of Christ's priest-kings is over the nations, since that was the jurisdiction of the kings whom these have replaced, and since -- on account of the reign of these priest-kings, Satan can no longer go out to deceive the nations -- until their reign over the nations is ended 1,000 years later.
Consider also in this light the promises to the churches in chapter 2 (vv. 26-27) of Revelation: "And 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; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star.".
Here, the phrase "power over the nations" is self-explanatory. This is what kings have. And the "morning star" somewhat obviously means here "the glory with which the morning star shines as a harbinger of a New Day Dawning -- meaning "Resurrection Glory that Begins a New Era on earth.
".The rod of iron is the law of the Lord, the only biblically-sanctioned standard of righteousness and justice. Consider also that the Bible names Jesus the "Forerunner," as the One who inaugurated the New Covenant.Thus, just as the Lord Christ said He must suffer first and THEN enter his glory as "king over the nations," so also his people must follow His lead.
Thus, they inherit the nations only in the resurrection -- as did Christ Himself. Jesus here refers to the saints ruling the nations with a rod of iron in the words "EVEN AS I RECEIVED OF MY FATHER.".Rev.
3:21 adds the promise: "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." Rev. 5:9-10 says it bluntly. This song of the "4 beasts and 24 elders" says that these priest-kings shall reign on the earth."And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for 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.
".Conclusion: This is what it means when Jesus says, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." The meek, those who obey the gospel and produce the fruit of righteousness in keeping with repentance, inherit the earth just as Jesus did -- first suffering in this life, and then entering into glory by resurrection. Jesus had already hinted at this in saying that a seed does not produce fruit until it first dies..Carson Day has written some 1.3 gazillion articles and essays with insightful, if sometimes alternative, viewpoints. He started an online business in 2004, and continues to bring God's Word to bear on practical matters to illumine its teachings.To see his blog sites, go to: http://ophirgold.blogspot.
com (The Omniblog) or http://extremeprofit.blogspot.com (Carson's Day Trading Outpost).
By: Carson C. Day