Living in Light of the Promise

MEMORY SELECTION: “According to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” —II Peter 3:13


IN THE passage before us, the Apostle Peter uses certain word illustrations to describe the new order which will be established under the administration of our Lord Jesus and his mediatorial kingdom. That period of time is elsewhere in scripture (Acts 3:21) spoken of as “the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” That is truly a wonderful promise!

Before that blessed time of righteousness becomes a reality, the present social order must be set aside. The expression “new heavens and new earth” describes the invisible and visible aspects of that coming kingdom arrangement. Under the new administration our glorified Lord Jesus, together with the faithful members of his bride (144,000, Rev. 14:1), will constitute the invisible ruling power. The visible portion of the new arrangement will be the responsibility of the “ancient worthy” class, who proved their faithfulness to God before our Lord Jesus opened the way to the spiritual inheritance.

We need not become anxious as we continue to witness the present disruption of the social order. God has all things under control, and it is a necessary part of his plan to destroy the institutions of this present evil world. They must be done away with, because they are controlled by Satan and are based on selfish principles and perpetrated by imperfect men and women. This does not question the sincerity of many who have made worthwhile contributions to assist their fellow human creatures. It means that God has a better way and a better time. We must be patient and wait for it.

In connection with this we turn to Isaiah’s prophecy: “But Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end. For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else.”—Isa. 45:17,18

Since the fall into sin and death, the human family has become alienated from their Creator. Lawlessness and corruption have abounded in an imperfect earth. In the early days of man’s experience, certain angels were allowed to attempt to recover that which was lost in Eden. Their efforts proved to be catastrophic for the world and ended in disaster at the Flood. But “unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.”—Heb. 2:5

During the present evil world Satan has been permitted to test the Lord’s people. He has also been allowed to exercise power in tempting mankind into sin. Satan is the “prince,” or “ruler,” of the present evil world. “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”—II Cor. 4:4

When the “new heavens and new earth” are established, Satan will be bound. “And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.” (Rev. 20:2) During that future time, the human family will be given every assistance by Christ, together with the church, to gain life and all the blessings to be associated with the kingdom. We read (Rev. 22:17), “And the Spirit [our glorified Lord Jesus, who has been given all power in heaven and in earth] and the bride [the 144,000 called, chosen, and faithful, who will be with him, Rev. 17:14] say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

“And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”—Rev. 21:3,4

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