How could the earth possibly hold, during the Great White Throne Judgment, all the people who have ever lived (Rev. 20:5, 11-12)? The earth is too crowded even now.
This world in its present state can hold few more people. Many cities are pitifully crowded. Farmers are desperately searching for more tillable land. Thousands starve to death daily — and the world's population is only about 4.5 billion. How could this same earth hold approximately 40 billion more people — nearly 10 times the number of people living on earth today? The key is this: They will not live in this world, this age, this society. They will be resurrected after a thousand years of renovation by God's government (Rev. 20:4-5). Let's examine some of the physical changes this government will effect: "Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain" (Isa. 40:4). Much of the world is pockmarked with gigantic mountain ranges that are too high and forbidding to be of use. These mountains will be miraculously lowered to a tillable altitude, and valleys will be raised. There will be the beauty of rolling hills and variety in God's creation, but no more useless areas such as the Himalayas, Antarctic ranges and the higher Andes. "The desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly" (Isa. 35:1-2). Only about 10 percent of the earth's land area is being used today. Why? Mainly because deserts or polar iceboxes monopolize each major continent. "The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water" (verse 7). When God restores the right climate, these areas will all begin to blossom with a beauty unseen in this present world. These changes will take time, but God and His transformed saints have 1,000 years to prepare every square inch for these multitudes. Now the question is: Will the earth's land hold all these people? Simple mathematics, 50 million square miles of land surface divided among 40 billion people, gives us a roomy 4- or 5-acre plot for each medium-sized family of four to six members. This is the perfect size: large enough to feed a family and allow for plenty of elbowroom, but small enough to discourage large-scale, greedy profit farming. This fits in perfectly with God 's prophecy in Micah 4:4: "But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid." God's Word stands wonderfully true under any test.
Revelation 2:6 mentions the Nicolaitans, whose deeds Christ says He hates. Who were the Nicolaitans?
The word Nicolaitan means "a follower of Nicolas." It comes from two Greek words, nikos and laos. Nikos means "conqueror" or "destroyer" and laos means "people." The original Nicolas was the conqueror or destroyer of the people! That was Nimrod — the arch rebel who conquered the people and founded man-made civilization within two centuries after the Flood. While Nimrod was alive he put himself in the place of God. And when he died, his admirers continued to worship him as a divine hero. They called him "Baal," a name meaning "master" or "lord" found throughout the Old Testament. Nimrod also had other names, one of which was "Santa," commonly used throughout Asia Minor. "Santa Claus" is but a shortened form of "Santa Nicholas" or "Saint Nicholas." Thus, many unknowingly honor this Nicholas even in our day by observing ancient pagan customs associated with December 25th, the "Saturnalia" or birthday of Nimrod. Of course, these customs have been renamed and made to appear innocent. Our booklet entitled The Plain Truth About Christmas explains this subject in greater detail. It is free upon request.
Would you explain the celebration of Hanukkah or, as it is sometimes called, the Festival of Lights? James 1:17 says God is the "Father of lights." Would this pertain to Hanukkah?
James' reference to God as the "Father of lights" has no connection with the observance of Hanukkah. Hanukkah is observed in honor of the rededication of the Temple by Judas Maccabaeus in the second century B.C. It is an eight-day festival in which candles are lit, one on the first evening, two on the second and so on until eight are lit on the last evening, symbolizing that the light of faith is certain to grow. Jesus, a physical Jew, was present at the Festival of Dedication (John 10:22). We learn from Christ's example that it is not wrong to acknowledge certain national holidays, as long as they are not derived from paganism and do not violate God's law. Thanksgiving, an American holiday, is an example. Modern Hanukkah customs are similar to Christmas celebrations, because many Jews, especially in the United States and Canada, have adopted Christmas customs and attached them to the celebration of Hanukkah. Our free booklet, Pagan Holidays - Or God's Holy Days - Which?, explains in detail the God-ordained Holy Days that picture God's awesome plan and that true Christians are commanded to observe. Why not write for it?