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Tribulation is pre-millennial, or before the reign of peace.3 See also the diagram on page seventy-two. Therefore the coming is pre-millennial.
No. III. A Persecuted Church.
The true Church is a persecuted, suffering, cross-bearing people thereunto appointed,5 so that "all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (2 Tim. 3:12), and this will continue until Christ comes, which precludes any Millennium until after His coming.
No. IV. Tares and Wheat.
We are nowhere in the New Testament directed to look for the Millennium before the coming of Christ. But we
sign of the Son of man in heaven and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
(3) Mat. 24:21. For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Isa. 24:20. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.
21. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth.
22. And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited.
23. Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.
Also Luke 21:24, etc.
of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
20. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
21. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.
Also John 16:33.
(5) 1 Thes. 3:3. That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.
(6) 2 Thes. 1:7. And to you that are afflicted rest with us, at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with the angels of his power in flaming fire,
8. Rendering vengeance to them that know not God, and to them that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus:
9. Who shall suffer punishment, even eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his might,
are expressly taught that the tares and the wheat will grow together until the end (of this age); that evil men and seducers will wax worse and worse; that as it was in the days of Noah and Lot, so shall it be at the coming of the Son of Man. And such is the character and number of the tares that their destruction, before the harvest, would endanger the children of the kingdom. Mat. 13:29. This absolutely precludes the idea of a millennial reign of righteousness in this dispensation.
From the time that the first Adam surrendered the kingdom to Satan, the effort to re-establish it with man has been a continual failure, though it was given to Noah,
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
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 follows:
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 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 eira (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 eneira (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 é§avrŷn εὐθέως οι παραχρῆμα See Acts 10:33; Mat. 4:22; Luke 1:64, etc.