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Saul (1 Sam. 9:16; 13:13), Nebuchadnezzar9 and others. And it will be a failure in this sin-cursed earth until the second Adam, who has overcome Satan, shall return to purify the earth and establish the kingdom on resurrection ground. Therefore there will be no Millennium until Christ comes.
But while we are not told to look for the Millennium, we are repeatedly and most solemnly enjoined to look for the return of our Lord. So we again conclude that His return must be pre-millennial.
No. V. The Literal Reign of Christ.
The millennial kingdom will be a literal reign of Christ on the earth, and not simply a spiritual exaltation of the Church.
"A king shall reign in righteousness" (Isa. 32:1; Jer. 23:1-6), "upon the throne of David"10 "in Jerusalem."11 The apostles shall sit upon the twelve thrones (Mat. 19:28), and the Saints shall reign upon the earth. Rev. 5:10.
Speaking of the kingdom, or crown of Israel, the Lord God says: "I will overturn, overturn, overturn it, and it
(9) Dan. 2:37. Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.
38. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.
(10) Isa. 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.
Luke 1:32. He shall be great, and shall be called the
Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
33. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
(11) Jer. 3:17. At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart.
Zech. 14:16. And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it Him." Ezek. 21:27.
The multitude of passages which bear upon this fact we can not even refer to. Dr. J. Pye Smith says that they are far more numerous than those which describe the humiliation and suffering of Christ.
And they are so specific, so full of detail, so like the prophecies concerning the first coming, in their literalness, that our post-millennial brethren are compelled to do the utmost violence to the laws of interpretation in the "spiritualizing" method with which they meet this argument.
We believe that we have the word of prophecy spoken by "holy men of God," "as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Peter 1:19), and that we should direct our first efforts toward understanding the literal sense (as it is called), "which alone," as Martin Luther says, "is the substance of faith and of Christian theology."
Jesus is in "heaven," at "the right hand of God" (1 Pet. 3:22), "upon the throne with the Father" (Psa. 110:1; Rev. 3:21), in the Holy of Holies, or true Holy Place (Heb. 9:24), making intercession (Rom. 8:34), for those that come unto God by Him. Heb. 7:25. But Heaven has only received Him until the time of restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets (Acts 3:21), when He shall come again, to sit in the throne of His Father David.12
This again proves His coming to be pre-millennial.*
No. VI. Argument From the Order of the Resurrection.
We believe we have a conclusive argument based upon the Resurrection, which may be briefly stated as fotlows:
All the dead will be raised, but, as Jesus was raised out of the dead and the rest of the dead were left, so the dead
*For further evidence of the distinction between the Church and the Kingdom, see page 83.
(12) Acts 3:20. And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you;
21. Whom the heaven must receive until the times of resti
tution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
in Christ that are His at His coming, will be raised out of the dead, and the rest of the dead will be left until another and final resurrection, and the Millennium will occur between these two resurrections, thus clearly showing Christ's coming to be pre-millennial.
We believe that any unprejudiced mind will be convinced of this by simply reading the following passages:
Order of the Resurrection.
1 Cor. 15:22-26. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order. Christ the first fruits; afterwards they that are Christ's at
His coming:. Then (or afterwards) the end* The last
enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
Dead in Christ Rise First.
1 Thes. 4:13-17. But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For IF WE Believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which
sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him For the Lord
Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first.
The First Resurrection.
Rev. 20:4-14. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them....and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the Word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast .... and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But The Rest
OF THE DEAD LIVED NOT AGAIN UNTIL THE THOUSAND YEARS WERE FINISHED. THIS IS THE FIRST RESURRECTION. Blessed
and holy is he that hath part in the First Resurrection, on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. And when the thousand years are expired Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go
out to deceive the nations And I saw a Great White
Throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth
* The Greek etra (ita) here signifies next in order, but not necessarily immediate, as will be seen by the use of the same word in Mark 4:17, 28; 1 Tim. 2:13. And in this same chapter (vs. 5-7), it is used interchangeably with cwe'm (epita). This fact seems to have been altogether overlooked by Postmillennialists who have therefore entirely misconstrued the passage.
When the Holy Spirit means immediately He uses ifavrijs, •Mecos or ffapaxpW. See Acts 10:33; Mat. 4:22; Luke 1:64, etc. and the heaven fled away; And I saw the dead, small
and great, stand before God; and the sea gave up the
dead which were in it, and death and hell (Hades) delivered up the dead which were in them
These three passages are so plain that the wayfaring man need not err therein.
In the first, we are told the order of the resurrection— each "in his own order" (Gr. Band.). The figure is taken from troops moving by bands or regiments.
First, Christ ("the first born from the dead." Col. 1: 18).
Next, the godly, who die in Christ and who are His at His coming.
Next, the end, when "the rest of the dead" (who are not Christ's) shall come forth and death itself be destroyed.
The second passage reiterates and emphasizes the fact that the dead in Christ shall rise first and that they rise when the Lord descends from Heaven with a shout. The resurrection of the ungodly is not spoken of, for they have no part in this blessed first resurrection.
In the third passage we have the first resurrection completed by the resurrection of the Tribulation Saints (see page 101) and the reign with Christ for a thousand years is stated to occur before the rest of the dead are raised. And after the thousand years the rest of the dead, who lived not again until the thousand years were finished, stand before God, and death and Hades deliver up the dead in them.
This one thousand years is the Millennium (Latin, mille annum). What could be plainer than this proof that Christ's coming is to be pre-millennial 1 The dead in Christ are raised at His coming and they are raised before the millennium. Therefore His coming must be pre-millennial.
It is objected that we have no right thus to bring together these passages from different parts of the Word.
We answer—why not? Are they not all inspired?13 Are they not all the product of one mind? See how plainly we are taught that they are all the utterances of the Holy Spirit.14 And it is clear that they all relate to the same subject, viz.: the resurrection.
Paul uses quotations in the same manner in Rom. 3 to prove that all have sinned, and again in Rom. 10 to prove the righteousness which is of faith, and in Heb. 11 to show the fruits of faith. We must certainly acknowledge the propriety of following his example.
Indeed, the same method of aggregating proof texts is used and relied upon to show the divinity of Christ and every evangelical doctrine.
Only Souls Mentioned.
It is objected that only the souls are mentioned in Rev. 20 and therefore it cannot be a literal resurrection, but is only the regeneration, or spiritual resurrection and present life of believers in Christ.
(13) 2 Tim. 3:16. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
2 Tim. 3:16 (R. V.). Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness:
17. That the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work.
Or, Every scripture is inspired of God and profitable.
(14) John 14:26. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all
things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
John 16:13. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
1 Cor. 2:10. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
2 Pet. 1:21. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.