THE UPWARD CALL
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;
but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God
IN CHRIST JESUS.
(Philippians 3:13-14 NASB)
Governance in the Age to Come
May 19, 2010
As we approach the glorious age of the kingdom of our Lord, I believe it is important for us to
understand as much as we can about the nature of this kingdom. Unfortunately, there is not enough of
the right type of teaching on it. I am not stating that there is no teaching on the kingdom; quite the
contrary, there is a plethora of teaching on the matter. Although some of it might be helpful, at least as
far as it goes, I personally believe that most of it misses the mark because it does not shed enough light
on how the kingdom will unfold and operate in the next age, which is called the Eon of the Eons or
the Age to come (Matthew 12:32; Mark 10:30; Luke 18:30; Ephesians 1:21; Hebrews 6:5). It is also
called the Kingdom Age , the Tabernacles Age, and the Messianic Age , or, to quote the loud
voices in heaven, it is the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ (Revelation 11:15).
If the word eon is strange to you and you want to know why I use it, then please see my book The
Purpose and Plan of the Eons , in particular, volume 1, chapter 1, The Eons , and for other explanations
see issues #03-09131, June 15, 2009, Eon (Age), Not Eternal or World ; #03-0982, November 23,
2009, Immortal Life and Eonian Life ; and #03-09132, June 16, 2009, Eonian Good News .
Last year, starting on January 6, 2009, I began an open-ended series titled The Kingdom of Our Lord
(issues #03-0961 through #03-0980). I feel that I have only begun to touch upon the matter and
continue to search and ask the Lord for more insight on this most important subject. Going forward,
Lord willing, I trust that I can add to this series. One area I plan to write about that has been on my
mind for the last month is the Ten Commandments and the coming kingdom.
As I think back on nearly 30 years of teachings, I do not recall a single message or teaching devoted to
the government of the coming kingdom, other than perhaps a reminder that it will be a time of peace
and the wolf and the lamb will graze together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox (Isaiah
65:25). But I never heard a message on how the government of God in the next eon will operate. How
will the conquerors, the ones who endured to the end and are resurrected and transfigured, reign upon
the earth (2 Timothy 2:12; Revelation 5:10; 20:6)? How will the inhabitants of the world learn
righteousness (Isaiah 26:9)? What laws of God will be written on the hearts of those destined to judge
the world and the messengers (1 Corinthians 6:2-3; Hebrews 8:10)? What will the government of the
kingdom nations look like? For some thoughts about kingdom nations, please see issue #04-1050, May
12, 2010, Kingdom Nation . What does Scripture teach us on the matter?
I suppose some might respond that the kingdom is all about Christ; He is the kingdom. But what does
this mean in practice? It is too general to have any meaning. Others might respond that the kingdom is
not so much about government as it is about character and quality; it is a matter of the heart. After all,
Paul wrote that the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace
and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17 NASB). True; however, Isaiah also tells us: There will be
no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his
kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and
forevermore (Isaiah 9:7 NASB). A throne speaks of ruling and governance. We know that
righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne (Psalm 97:2), and this speaks of the standard
by which He will govern. We also know that those who will reign upon the earth are a kingdom, the
kingdom of Christ (Revelation 5:10; 11:15).
I suspect that we will not have all the answers to these questions, and many more, while we continue to
occupy mortal bodies. We must be like Jesus if we are to know how to reign with Him in the Age to
come, and this requires the redemption of our bodies; that is, we need to be clothed with our dwelling
from heaven (2 Corinthians 5:2), which speaks of immortality that comes through resurrection and
transfiguration. This mortal must put on immortality (1 Corinthians 15:53) if we are to reign with Christ
in His kingdom in the next eon. Simply, we need an immortal, spiritual, celestial, glorified body in order
to have the wisdom and knowledge necessary to lead the nations and teach them the righteous
governance of God.
But, this should not stop us from seeking light on the matter, asking the Lord to open the eyes of our
understanding. This reminds me of when, over ten years ago, a sister in the Lord asked me: “Are you
still writing on the kingdom,” as if it were a small matter? Well, a decade later my response is: “Yes, I
am,” and as I do, I am pressing on toward the goal for the prize!
Let me ask: Why do you think that there seems to be such little desire to know how the kingdom will
operate on earth in the next age? What will kingdom governance look like? I have no doubt that there
are many reasons, some good and some bad. I see many reasons, but let me offer one.
I believe that part of the reason that so little seems to be taught on the nature of the kingdom in the
oncoming eon can be traced to the erroneous teaching about heaven and hell . If you are taught
that when you die, or if you are alive when the so-called rapture comes, you will leave this earth to walk
on streets of gold forever and ever, what value is it to know how the kingdom will operate on earth
during the coming age? After all, as the flawed thinking goes, you won’t be on earth; heaven is where
you will be forever. If this were true, then how do we resolve Revelation 5:10: And they will reign
upon the earth ?
What I find rather interesting about so much teaching on “going to heaven” is that there is so little
teaching on what the heavenly host will be doing in heaven forever and ever and ever. I wonder: Will
they wear out their shoes walking on those golden streets? Will they get tired of eating all that fruit from
the tree of life? Will they walk hand-in-hand with their forefathers having good conversation day after
day? Will they sit under the trees that line the river of the water of life and just take it easy? After all,
you know, they had a hard life on earth and now they get to rest forever and ever.
If this is what it is all about, then I think eternity will be pitifully boring!
If you think I am exaggerating, then I ask you to listen carefully, especially at funerals, to what is said by
preachers and family members about what the deceased is doing in death. I realize that much of what is
said is designed to make the grieving feel better about their loss. Wouldn’t it be much better to tell the
truth that the deceased is asleep in Jesus, waiting for the glorious day of resurrection, assuming the
person belongs to the Lord? We don’t have to get into whether they will be in the first or the second
resurrection, for only the Lord knows this. For those who clearly did not belong to Christ, we could
encourage the grieving with God’s purpose that He wills all men to be saved and to come to the
knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4), and all will come to this knowledge, and all will eventually bow
the knee and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Wouldn’t this be a novel sermon at a funeral? Please see
issue #03-09166, September 16, 2009, Every Knee Will Bow .
Well, this is only one thought, but I want to leave you with an encouragement from Paul who wrote that
Christ is the Head of the ecclesia which is His body, the complement of the One completing
the all in all (Ephesians 1:22-23 CV).
I have devoted two issues to this verse; for more understanding, please see issues #02-08110 and #02-
08111, September 2008, The Complement of the One .
Do you realize that the body of Christ is the vessel through whom Christ will head (sum) up all things in
the heavens and on the earth (Ephesians 1:10)? This is the purpose of the eons [ages] (Ephesians 3:11
CV), and it will be done through Christ’s body. He will not head up all things by fiat or by Himself. He is
going to do it through His body, which is His very complement, that is, His very image and likeness.
Some translations use the expression the fullness of Him who fills all in all . Simply, the body of Christ
will be full of Christ, and He will fill all in heaven and on earth through His body. Through His body,
Christ will complete or bring about the all in all for God the Father. Think about it; and as you do, ask
yourself if it is a small matter to seek for greater understanding of the governance of His kingdom in the
Age to come.
The Upward Call: #04-1054
by: Stuart H. Pouliot