Bible Symbolism

 Revelation 22:5.... and they (the saints) shall reign for ever and ever.

Daniel 7:27. And the kingdom and empire, and the greatness of the dominion under the whole heaven, will be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all empires shall serve and obey him.


     The subject of the rule of Gods saints in the world may be one of the most misunderstood or mysterious subjects in the Bible. It could also be said that it may be the most warred against knowledge on earth. Meaning politically; there may not be a subject or knowledge that the spiritual powers of wickedness behind the earthly powers of sinful men want to keep from Gods saints and people in general than this.  We'll start with two scriptures to lay some groundwork.

John 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
Luke 17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God comes not with observation:  (visibly) 21 Neither shall they say, See here! or, see there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Matthew 21:43 Therefore say I to you, (Jesus speaking to the nation of ancient Israel.)  The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to peoples bringing forth its fruits.

     What can be ascertained by these verses is that he kingdom of God although here does not operate in the same fashion the worlds kingdoms operate.  Nor is it visible like the worlds kingdoms or governments are. It is something that is internal, in the hearts of people that bears fruit not just in their own lives but culturally and in their nations. That is why it was being removed from ancient Israel. It was not bearing fruit in their culture and nation. "Ok," some say. "What does that have to do with ruling though?" That is a good point because for more than a millennia Christians were brutally ruled over, oppressed and murdered. Bible prophecy explicitly tells us when this age of promise was to begin though. Using that timeline and observing what has happened since these days of promise began is a necessary component of understanding how the saints "rule" on earth.  These two links go over that timeline. The first one is a short synopses of it from another verse about the New Jerusalem. This other one is a book length article called End Time Prophecy that goes over it in great detail.  They show how the Bible prophesied four empires that would rule over the saints, named them and prophesied the date they would end that began this current age of promise. The last one, the Roman Empire ended in 1453 AD with the fall of Constantinople which had been the capitol of the Roman Empire since 333 AD.

      What changed since then? Basically the fundamental change came when the first commercial printing press went on line in Europe the exact same time the Roman Empire fell.  Bibles illegally got printed and for the first time in history (illegally also) the general public got access to them and in their own languages to boot, (also highly illegal.) . This happened in northern Europe. The next thing that happened, which outside of ancient Israel was also a first in history. The powers that existed raised an army to wipe out these northern Europeans who were in mass being influenced by scripture but lost, or at least were fought to a stalemate. They had been very successful over the last millennia and a half with genocides of peoples who managed to hand write enough scripture for the general population to be influenced by it. Hand or wood plate printed Bibles took time though and it was quite easy for the authorities to stay ahead and keep the public from really gaining access to the scripture.  When the public did start getting access and the scripture started to influence cultural thought it was usually contained to a specific nation or ethnic group. They were never a match for the kings and empires that surrounded them.  With the advent of commercial printing presses hand written or wood plate printed material in Europe went from the tens of thousands a year to the tens of millions within a few decades. The thought that developed over the next few centuries in northern Europe was imported via northern Europeans to North America and gave us the free world so many now enjoy.

      What has been developing in the world since then, even with all the setbacks pretty conclusively shows what the verse in question means when it says the saints shall rule. It's their ideas, their judgments, the standards they set up as right and wrong that become the standards for the world.  The thinking that is developed in their hearts through Gods Word and through their Father in heavens guidance and discipline becomes the gold standard for human thought and practice.  Can you see the difference between Gods kingdom and the kingdoms of this world in this? Gods' kingdom is one of influence that through his grace seeks personally developed thinking and responsibility that people may be self governing according to what is right. To get people to walk according to the laws of nature and natures God. The worlds kingdoms conquer people and impose themselves on them through, coercion, force and various other pressures to control them for their own selfish interests.  For Gods kingdom to rule a solid portion of the population  must acquire Gods grace and knowledge. Ignorance, lies, delusion, superstition, (today pseudo-science is replacing superstition,)  are the currency of the worlds kingdoms that allow them to bear rule.  Here are a few verses that allude to this in principle.

     Luke 22:24 And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. (Arguing about who should be the head of the church, or the ruler of an institution or the government.) 25 And he said to them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. 26 But you shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. 27 For whether is greater, he that sits at meat, or he that serves? is not he that sits at meat? but I am among you as he that serves. 28 You are they which have continued with me in my temptations. 29 And I appoint to you a kingdom, as my Father has appointed to me; 30 That you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Luke 10:1 After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. 2 Therefore said he to them, The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborers into his harvest.17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.18 And he said to them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. 19 Behold, I give to you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

     So you can see in these verses, at least in principle how the words in the previous paragraph are relevant. The Word of God was committed to the Jewish people to bring forth into the world. That is how the twelve apostles are to rule. The Word, their words, the Bible, their part of it anyway that they bring into the earth. Then in Luke 10 we see how Satan and his rule of evil is brought down. The publishing of the Word, especially when accompanied by miracles.

Here are some passages that say all this a lot clearer.  John 5: (Jesus speaking to the religious leaders of his day) 45 Do not suppose that I will accuse you before the Father. The one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have placed your hope. John 12:47 And if any man hear my (Jesus's) words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 He that rejects me, and receives not my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. You see it is the word of truth that judges mankind. The Word that Moses (and the prophets) spoke and the word that Jesus is speaking is saving and judging all generations. This word though has been given to others to deliver. Romans 3:1 What advantage then has the Jew? ....... 2 Much every way: chiefly, because that to them were committed the oracles of God. 2 Corinthians 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses to them; and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.  That is by far the main aspect of the saints judging the world and reigning. It is their word which in reality is Gods word from their lips that both bring salvation and judgment, both temporal and eternal. This is why all saints are included in this rather than just those who are alive at any given time and place. 

     Now here is the same thing being said using illustrations. Ephesians 6:17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God: Revelation 19:15 And out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he should strike the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. Revelation 19:21  And the remainder were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the vultures were filled with their flesh. Revelation 2:16  Repent; or else I will come to you quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. So it can be seen that the main reason the saints are judging the world is because the Word of God is coming through them into the world. That the nature of this word is not just eternal but temporal. It will govern the earth. It will govern what is right and what is wrong. It will pass sentence on what is right and what is wrong and it will reward right and punish wrong. This is how the saints reign. Let me ask you dear reader. Do believers need to run a country if unbelievers who hold the same principles and standards the Bible lays out for personal conduct, human relationships and government run it  instead? The answer to that would be it would be better generally if they were believers but not absolutely necessary. This is what we have seen in the USA for example. About a third of the population who are not believers but still hold Christian principles for life as basic truth. This is the saints reigning. You would be totally deceived if you think it was like this in the ancient world. Someone might object about how bad it is. Well, look at yourself and start the change for the better there. 

      Here is a promise attached to this for those who overcome sin and by extension to nations that overcome sin. Revelation 2:26 And he that overcomes, and keeps my works to the end, to him will I give power over the nations: This in a practical way is in accordance with many prophecies we have looked at in this article already. It has also been a fact on planet earth since the fall of the Roman Empire in 1453 A.D. that the nations most influenced by the Gospel are the nations that have been dominate in the world, economically and militarily. 

      Isaiah 42:1 Behold my servant, (the messiah) whom I uphold; my elect, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit on him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. 2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. 3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment to truth. 4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law. ....49:8 Thus said the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard you, and in a day of salvation have I helped you: and I will preserve you, and give you for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;

      This is the good news about the prophesied Kingdom of God that was to come into the earth. In fact the only way these prophesies can be fulfilled is if Gods saints full of knowledge and righteousness have a say, the main say in how nations run their affairs. Which is exactly what Daniel and many other scriptures say would begin to happen once that fourth empire, the Roman ones ends.

      Daniel 7:7 After this I looked in the night visions, and saw a fourth animal, (The Roman empire,) dreadful and terrible, and exceedingly strong; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and crushed, and trampled what was left with its feet: and it was different from all the animals that were before it; and it had ten horns. ..... 9. I looked until the thrones were set up, and the ancient of days sat, whose robe was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the flames of fire, and its wheels were burning fire..... 11..... I looked until the animal was killed, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. 12. As concerning the rest of the animals, they had their empires taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. 13. I saw in the night visions, and look, one like the Son of man (the messiah) came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14. And there was given him an empire, and glory, and dominion, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his empire is an everlasting empire, which shall not pass away, and his dominion that which shall not be destroyed. 15. I Daniel was distressed in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. 16. I came near to one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. 17. These great animals, which are four, are four kings,(empires) which shall arise out of the earth. 18. But the saints of the most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. .......22. Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom........ 27. And the kingdom and empire, and the greatness of the dominion under the whole heaven, will be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all empires shall serve and obey him.

     Imagine a world with billions of Christians who actually believe they are here for what could amount to thousands of more years.  If they understand it was Gods will to found and maintaining nations on Biblical principle and worked with him to do so.  What would it be like of Christians today like the founders of the United States expected the whole world to eventfully adopt the Bible based Christianity that enabled the founding of their nation and for them to model their nations in the same way? It is easy to see what happens when they don't believe this. A very motivated and wicked minority that do believe they here for the long haul are ruling over them and the believers are blaming what amounts to a failure of doctrine and a scriptural vision for the future on it being "the end times." Take heart though: Isaiah 9: 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.


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