The Feast of Tabernacles, which we just observed, was an opportunity to get away from our routines and enjoy, as it were, a small foretaste of what the Millennium will be like. We kept it in a place of relative peace and tranquility. We listened every day to encouraging messages. We fellowshipped with brethren whom we may not have seen for a whole year or even longer. We ate in fine restaurants. We saw sights and did things which, due to our busy lives, we didn’t perhaps have the time or opportunity to do at any other time of the year.
The Feast pictures the future; yet not just the future in general, but also our future role in the administration to be established in the Millennium, under the tutelage and direction of Christ. We know that it will be a time of world peace. The nations will not LEARN war anymore. Isaiah 2:4 tells us: “He shall judge between the nations, And rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore.”
That in itself will be major turn-around in comparison with what we see today. Just think of the wars and the hatred in this day and age. In the future, we will function as kings and priests (Revelation 5:10). In that capacity, we will be responsible for both the physical and spiritual well-being of those in our charge.
We will have to ensure their safety and prosperity, with housing, food, clothing and those other physical requirements that a person needs to feel secure in the physical realm. The spiritual growth and understanding will be accomplished through our teaching of God’s Word in relation to His laws, statutes and judgments. People will learn that the way of give produces good and right results. They will compare this with the past human history of wars and destruction as a living example of Satan’s way of get, which brings about curses and suffering.
Threats of war and violence will have been removed in the Millennium. We will be able to concentrate on the accomplishment of God’s plan for all mankind. God’s ultimate purpose is to prepare for Himself a people that will know and worship Him, and to facilitate the process of bringing them into the very Family of God, as His full-fledged sons and daughters.
God wants us to help bring about man’s incredible human potential. But just what will God use as criteria for the distribution of these physical and spiritual responsibilities in the future? How can we prove to God that we can be useful instruments in His service–now and later?
One important aspect is the manifestation of our willingness to submit to authority. If we cannot submit in the flesh, we will not be changed to spirit at the time of Christ’s return.
Let us ask some candid questions: Are husbands and wives submitting to one another? Are wives submitting to their husbands as to the Lord? Are employees submitting to their employers? Are all of us submitting to the hierarchy of the ministry that Christ, as the Head of His Church, has placed in His Church? Are we submitting to Christ in the same way as Christ is totally submissive to God the Father–the greatest authority of all? Are children submissive to the authority of the parents? Are we submitting to governmental authorities over us?
All of these areas–and many more–constitute our training ground now. How we fulfill these obligations is crucial to prove to God our willingness to submit to whatever authority there is for us today. Of course, our obedience would have to cease if we were ordered to act contrary to God’s Word.
Fulfilling our current responsibilities NOW will guarantee our future responsibilities THEN, when conditions in an environment of peace and harmony will be conducive for both the physical needs and spiritual growth of those in our care.