Will there be an age of righteousness is more than a difference of opinion in regard to the prophetic program. As another has said, “If it were simply a matter of difference of opinion in regard to the prophetic program, there would be abundant room for toleration here and no one need feel unduly disturbed because of differing eschatological conceptions. But there is far more involved than the mere question of prophetic interpretation. If the Amillennialists are right, much precious sanctifying truth must needs be relinguished or explained away, for if their position is correct, there will be no Rapture of the Church or Judgment Seat of Christ preceding the resurrection of the wicked dead and the judgment of the Great White Throne. Hence, no one can speak with assurance as to his final salvation because that matter awaits settlement at the judgment day, and the saints will not reign with Christ over this world because His Kingdom will not be established until Eternity begins. The whole dispensational outline of Bible truth is destroyed if Christ is not to reign over the earth and be acclaimed by all peoples as ‘King of kings and Lord of lords’.”
It behooves us then to turn once more to the Word of God and examine carefully the Scriptures which Millennialists have taken as proof of a “good time coming” when
Jesus shall reign where’er the sun
Doth his successive journeys run;
His Kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
Till moons shall wax and wane no more.
Isaac Watt’s magnificent hymn is based upon and is almost a paraphrase of the 72nd Psalm, a portion of inspired Scripture which certainly depicts the Kingdom of God everywhere triumphant. While originally written for Solomon, we realize that a greater than Solomon was in view (Ps. 72:4-11, 17). These words were never fulfilled in the days of David’s own son, but unless the truth of inspiration is to be denied, they must of necessity have their fulfilment in and through great David’s greater son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Now it has never been true in the past that all kings have made obeisance to Him and all nations have served Him, or that all nations have called Him blessed. But as truly as God is God and as this Psalm is part of His inspired word, such a time of blessing must yet come for this poor world.
It has been said that the whole doctrine of the Millennium rests upon a misapprehension inasmuch as the very word “Millennium” is unknown to the English Bible. Because of this, we are told, the doctrine of the Millennium is an unscriptural fallacy. But such reasoning would rob us of many other precious truths which even our Amillennial friends hold to be self-evident and important. The word “trinity” is not found in the Bible, but the doctrine of one God existing eternally in three persons, revealed to us by our Lord Jesus Christ as the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, is clearly taught in the Bible. The word “substitution” is not found in Scripture, but Isaiah 53:5 clearly teaches it, and when Paul exclaims, “The Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me,” he is proclaiming the truth of a substitutionary atonement. And though the word “Millennium” is not found in the Bible, yet it is a fact not easy to explain away that the expression “A thousand years,” which is the English equivalent of the Latin form Millennium, is found six times in Revelation 20.
In that chapter we learn that a time will come when Satan, the great enemy of God and man, will be bound for a thousand years and unable to go out and deceive the nations until the thousand years are finished. The first resurrection we are told, will take place at the beginning of that thousand years and the resurrected saints will live and reign with Christ a thousand years. The rest of the dead will not be raised until the thousand years are finished. After the thousand years we have the judgment of the Great White Throne.
Certainly, nothing answering to this thousand year period, whether we take it literally or not, has ever been known on this earth. It is folly to say that Satan was bound at the beginning of the Christian era, as some do, and that now we are living in the time of his loosing. He has had fearful and awful power throughout all the centuries since Christ died on the cross. But if Revelation 20 is to have a fulfilment at all, the day must come when Satan will be not only restrained in measure but will have no power at all to deceive the nations. During that time the saints of God are to reign over this world! (H.A.I.)
This is in accord with many prophecies which are plainly discerned in the Old Testament (Dan. 2:44, 7:13-14, 22, 27; Isa. 60:1-22; ch. 61; Jer. 31; Zech. 14:16-21; Isa. 2:2-5; Mic. 4:1-5, 4:4; Isa. 65:25, 11:6-9, 33:24 etc). In the face of these Scriptures and many many more, it is beyond me to understand how any Bible loving believer can declare that the Millennium is but an idle dream, hopeless of fulfilment. We Millennialists are not in bondage to a theory, as we have been accused, but to God and His blessed Word.
Christ’s Reign —Spiritual or Literal?
“The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David; He will not turn from it: Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne” (Ps. 132:11). This is one of the many Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament. It is a prophecy which has never been fulfilled. When our Lord was here on earth, He did not sit upon any “throne,” instead of a throne He was nailed to a tree. True, He is now seated at the right hand of the Majesty on high, but this is not the fulfilment of what Jehovah swore in truth. David never occupied a heavenly throne; his throne was an earthly one, he reigned in Jerusalem; and God has declared that the Lord Jesus Christ shall sit upon David’s throne. This prophecy was confirmed in New Testament times. Note the compound prophecy in Luke 1:30-33, “Fear not, Mary: for thou has found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call His name JESUS. 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: and He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever: and of His Kingdom there shall be no end.”
Note five items in this prophecy. Mary, the virgin, was to conceive and bring forth a Son; her Son’s name was to be called Jesus; Jesus was to become great and recognized as the Son of God; the Lord promised to give unto Him the throne of David, and over the house of Jacob He was to reign for ever.
Utterly unlikely as it appeared to human wisdom at the time, part of this prophecy has already been fulfilled, literally fulfilled. There was a literal birth, Mary’s Son was literally named Jesus, and a literal greatness has become His portion. By what slight of the hand then can the exegetical knife be run through this prophecy, and a literal throne of David and a literal reign over the house of Jacob be denied?
Scripture after Scripture teaches that He is coming to reign. I believe that in the Millennium, Christ will set up on the earth a visible, material Kingdom, and that He will occupy the literal throne of David and reign from Jerusalem as the King of the Jews. Isaiah foretold it, “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.” Ezekiel predicted it, “The place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever” ect. (43:7). At the close of his prophecy Ezekiel says of Jerusalem in the Millennium, “And the name of the city from that day shall be, The Lord is there.” Zephaniah heralded it, “Sing, O Daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. The Lord hath taken away thy judgments, He hath cast out the enemy: The King of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of thee” (3:14-17). Zechariah announced it, “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, Lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee saith the Lord… and the Lord shall inherit His portion in the holy land and shall choose Jerusalem again” (2:10-12, 8:3, 23 and 14:16).