I love Sovereign Grace Advent Testimony. Here is a great body of work based on the Historical PreMillennial position for modest costs. The only thing necessary is to convert dollars to pounds as the transaction is being made, which there is a service that automatically does it for you. There is a quarterly newsletter which I always look forward to and read immediately entitled Watching and Waiting containing sermons, articles, or sometimes snippets from books. I can count on picking up new insights with every issue.
The January/March 2007 issue featured two interesting articles. "The Old Testament Prophecies of Christs Millennial Kingdom" by Simon Medhurst and "The New Testament Prophecies of Christs Millennial Kingdom" by Paul Toms. It reminded me how most folks who attend churches that are PreMillennial in their doctrine are quite ignorant of PreMillennial basics in both the Old and New Testaments. I personally believe that most people fail to understand how heavily A-Millennial philosophies have permeated our thinking, perspectives, and even our teaching. So I would like to devote this post to summing up some of the points made in these two articles which were originally sermons that were preached at the Sovereign Grace Advent Testimony Conference back on April 28th of 2006.
Just before I launch into these finely written (preached) articles, I want to preface their insights with a slight criticism. The titles of the messages I slightly disagree with, while agreeing with them at the same time. Was there a "Millennial" kingdom prophesied of in the Old Testament? When we look at a passage in the OT, do we automatically apply a Millennial label without searching out the context of the passage? This type of thinking has been brought out in part by my ONE friends, Jim, who relayed an exercise that a pastor friend of his engaged in one time. The exercise consisted of not reading into a passage any more than was actually there. Just to give you an idea of where I am coming from, take a look at Isaiah 2:2-4, a familiar passage to those who study eschatology. Many folks, myself included, look at this passage and think that here is a passage speaking of Christ’s Millennial Kingdom. But wait! The word "Christ" does not appear in the passage, or its Hebrew corrolative, Messiah, or anointed. The word "Millennial" does not appear either. And finally, the word "kingdom" does not appear either. Which begs the question, "What does the text alone say?" But enough of my pet peeve, let’s get down to PreMillennial basics.
From the OT article first. Mind you, these are snippets, and not the entire articles. Purple denotes direct quotes from the articles. Underlining is mine.
Where Will Christ’s Millennial Kingdom Be?
Jeremiah 23:5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. 6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
This reign of a thousand years upon earth appears to us to be indisputable. We should note that, on the human side, this King is to be son, or offspring, of the house of David; yet He is to bear a name which marks Him as Divine. In the Hebrew it is, Jehovah Tsidkenu. One of the Lord’s main purposes in His second coming is to show His glory, that all may know He is God. We turn to Psalm 102:16. When the LORD shall build up Zion, He shall appear in His glory. Quoting B. W. Newton the speaker continues, "Some Psalms do speak of manifestations in Glory, and yet they are being applied to things on earth, which will be true in the future."
Let us look at Psalm 47, a wonderful millennial psalm. 1 O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. 2 For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth. 3 He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet. 4 He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved. Selah. 5 God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet. 6 Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. 7 For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding. 8 God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness. 9 The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: he is greatly exalted.
In Job 19:25-27, 25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me. This passage comes from one of the oldest books of the Bible. These verses show that from the very beginning God’s people were expecting a Saviour to deliver them in the end times. Mr Spurgeon stated, "This same Jesus literally went up. This same Jesus will literally come again. He will descend in clouds; and, He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth, even as beforehand." Then he made this lovely remark. "Brethren, do not let anyone spiritualise away all this from you."
What Will Christ’s Millennial Kingdom Be Like?
Geography: The second coming of Christ, when the Lord stands upon the Mount of Olives, will be accompanied by a great earthquake and the landscape of the land of Israel and the rest of the earth will be drastically altered. The speaker then quotes Isaiah 40:4-5 and Zechariah 14:4, 9-11 for support which you may look up if you wish.
Ecology: Starting with the millennium, there will be a removal of the curse upon the earth which began with Adam’s fall and continues down to the present, unabated. As the coming again of Christ will be to save the spared remnant of Israel and to destroy their enemies, so it will also be to deliver creation from the bondage of corruption in which it now travails. The speaker here quotes from Isaiah 11:9, 35:1-2, Romans 8:18-23.
Animals will once again be friendly to one another and to humans. The wolf will lie down with the lamb, and the leopard with the baby goats. Little children will be able to play near serpents without fear, Isaiah 11:6-8. Wolves and lambs will feed together, and even the lions will eat straw like the bullock, Isaiah 65:25. The parched ground will become a pool, Isaiah 35:7. The trees shall clap their hands, and instead of thorns there will be trees, Isaiah 55:12-13. The earth will be fruitful, and there will be no famine, Ezekiel 34:27-29.
Health: People will live longer during the Milennium. A person one hundred years old will be considered a child, since, presumably, a person could live throughout the 1000 years in the restored environment, Isaiah 65:20-23. Sickness will not be a problem beause in Malachi 4:2 it says, Unto you that fear My name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
Politics: Jesus Christ will be King of kings and Lord of lords, and of the increase of His government there will be no end, Isaiah 9:6-7. This is an important scripture as here we have the whole of history in a nutshell – Christ’s birth, "a child is born"; His death, "a son is given" (see John 3:16); and His coming again "His government and peace". For a thousand years the devil, "the god of this age", "the prince of this world", "the prince of the power of the air", will be bound that he should deceive the nations no more.
The Millennium will be marked by peace, Isaiah 2:4. With Horatius Bonar we would say, "Come, and make all things new; build up this ruined earth; restore our faded paradise, creation’s second birth. Come, and begin Thy reign of everlasting peace; come, take the kingdom to Thyself, great King of righteousness."
Jerusalem will be the capital of the world, and all nations will come to Jerusalem. It will be considered the centre of the nations, Isaiah 2:2-3, Ezekiel 5:5. David’s greater Son will reign as King over Israel, Ezekiel 34:23-24. No sin or rebellion will be allowed, because the Lord will withhold rain and send plagues on any who would rebel, Zechariah 14:16-19. We do not have to change the Scripture to fit a scheme; not at all. I quote Dean Alfor, who wrote the words of the well known hymn, "Come, ye thankful people, come." He also wrote, "I cannot consent to distort words from their plain sense and chronological place in prophecy, on account of any considerations of difficulty, or any risk of abuses which the doctrine of the Millennium may bring with it. Those who lived next to the Apostles, and the Church for 300 years, understood them in the plain literal sense."
Who Will Be In This Millennial Kingdom?
It will be only those who have been worked on by the grace and mercy of a sovereign God; those who have tasted and seen that the Lord is good; those that have been born again by the powerful work of the Spirit of God in regeneration. Whether Jew or Gentile they must all come the same way, the way of the cross. How wonderful is the sovereign grace of God. The millennial saints will be Christians in the same way in which we are Christians. They will be reconciled through the same atoning Blood. They will have the same Everlasting Priest. For "whom He justified, them He also glorified." So what do we look for? The hope of millennial Israel and of ourselves is the same – not merely the millennial earth, but, beyond the Millennium, to the new heavens and new earth. The apostle Peter tells us to look forward to the new heavens and a new earth. The prophet Isaiah bids us do the same, Isaiah 65:17.
If there is to be no millennium on this earth, the Bible becomes a meaningless book. So much is written of blessing to come to this earth as also to Israel restored and forgiven in her OWN land, that if I am to believe that none of this is true, then I should have to close the book and confess it unreliable.
I think that’s great way to close this first section.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman