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Chap. 15. 'Problems of Pre-Millennialism' — Moral, Spiritual & Biblical.

One characteristic of false views on any subject is that more problems are created than are claimed to be solved. So it is with the false interpretation of prophecy by pre-millennialists. So, before we present our view of Revelation 20, we feel it expedient to list some of the problems raised by the theory we oppose. We classify the problems in two sections; first, those arising from the earthly interpretations of the vision of Revelation 20, and, second, general problems of the theory. We will deal with the latter first and show how pre-millennialism PRESENTS NUMEROUS IDEAS WHICH ARE ENTIRELY FOREIGN TO BOTH LETTER AND SPIRIT OF THE N.T., consideration of which must surely lead every thoughtful student to cast the theory to its rightful place in the limbo of Jewish legends and literalistic sensationalism. We list these problems as follows:

1. According to this theory, the Second Advent leads to a TEMPORARY ARRESTING OF EVIL. But is this in accord with the picture presented by the whole of the Bible? A thousand times, no! The whole witness of Scripture is that the Advent is the FINAL judgment on all evil. IT NEVER GIVES THE SLIGHTEST HINT THAT, AFTER THE RETURN OF CHRIST, SIN AND REBELLION WILL CONTINUE TO EXIST. The whole of the O.T. testifies that the Advent of Messiah will display a Kingdom WHOSE GLORY WILL NEVER DECLINE, BUT WILL BE FOREVER AND EVER, AND WILL ETERNALLY INCREASE IN SURPASSING SPLENDOUR, e.g. "Thy sun shall no more go down…for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended" ( Isaiah 60:20 ). This is the whole tenor of prophecy. As for the N.T., there is no purpose in troubling the reader with the repetition of Scripture after Scripture which assert unequivocally that the Advent brings the end of all evil. Even pre-millennialists give themselves away sometimes when they seriously consider the Advent, minus the millennial spectacles they have manufactured from Revelation 20. Let me give a pointed example. Canon Faussett, in his exposition of 1 Thessalonians 4:16 ( Jamieson, Faussett & Brown Commentary ), seems to forget his pre-millennial views. ( In his comments on Revelation 20 he gives the usual pro-Jewish dogma, stating, 'As the Church began at Christ's ascension, so the Kingdom begins at His Second Advent.' The folly of that statement we have shown dozens of times. ) Carried beyond his pre-millennialism by the irresistible truth of 1 Thessalonians 4, he comments: "Jesus is represented as a victorious king, giving the word of command to the hosts of heaven in His train FOR THE LAST ONSLAUGHT, AT HIS FINAL TRIUMPH OVER SIN, DEATH AND SATAN." How admirable! What a perfect exposition! No opponent of pre-millennialism could have presented a stronger case. The obvious question arises: Why, in the face of this, assert ( as Faussett does ) that 1,000 years after this "FINAL TRIUMPH", Christ will need to gather "the hosts of heaven" once again for another "last onslaught" in order to obtain another "final triumph"? What absurdity! Were it not so serious, it would be laughable, as we see such able expositors get themselves all tangled up in the millennial net. Alexander Reese quotes these words of Canon Faussett, and then tries to extricate himself and the Canon from the confusing dilemma into which these words have forced them. In his admirable chapter on "the Porousia", in which he flays the futurist theory of two Second Advents, he quotes Faussett to show the ridiculousness of the Darbyist theory of a secret rapture based on 1 Thessalonians 4:16. But Reese is a pre-millennialist, although one seems to detect all through his fascinating book a lurking suspicion of the weakness of the foundation on which millennialism rests. So, when he quotes Faussett, he sees clearly the obvious anti-millennial implication of the exposition, and, in a desperate attempt to save the situation he gives us this rather amusing footnote: "Lest the word 'final' should be misunderstood, I remark that Canon Faussett held ARDENTLY to the Kingly rule of Christ following the Advent in Revelation 19:11 and 1 Thessalonians 4." ( Approaching Advent, p. 142 )

How delightful! Nothing must be allowed to undermine this wonderful millennial Kingdom! Not even the acknowledged declaration of 1 Thessalonians 4. But, like two schoolboys caught in the farmer's tree, Reese and Faussett have given the whole game away. It is useless to throw the stolen apples over the wall when they are caught "in the act".

2. The second problem of pre-millennialism is the resurrection of evil. These folk assert that the Kingdom of 1 Corinthians 15 over which Christ reigns is their millennium. As shown when dealing with that Scripture, it is not so. But suppose we take their theory; what then? We are told that Christ reigns till He puts all His enemies under His feet, THE FINAL ONE BEING DEATH ITSELF. In other words, His reign closes with the complete subjugation of every anti-God power and principle. Then in the next breath, they tell us that at the close of this reign, WHEN EVERY FOE SHALL HAVE BEEN DESTROYED ( not merely held in check ), a little season ensues wherein THE FOES OF GOD ARE ABLE TO GATHER FOR A GREATER REBELLION THAN EVER BEFORE. Marvellous! Satan produces the greatest miracle in the story of the human race. He outdoes the resurrection of Christ, for, when every foe had been destroyed by Christ, he is able to resurrect them again; when Christ has conquered and destroyed His very Last Enemy, Satan can bring Him to dread conflict once again; when Christ has brought the race, and everything connected with it, under His sway, the Devil can turn the tables and bring all under his leadership once more. Search the whole of heretical literature, and see if you can find anything more repugnant to the Christian mind than that. Reader, do you believe such nonsense? Mr. Spurgeon, in addressing his ministerial conference on one occasion, said, 'I trust that if any of you err from the Faith and take up with new theology, you will be too honest to pray for power from God to preach this mischievous delusion. If you should do so, you will be guilty of CONSTRUCTIVE BLASPHEMY." We feel almost the same shudder when we are confronted by the above profanity of pre-millennialism.

3. Added to the temporary arresting, then the resurrection of evil, there is the millennial concept of THE FORCEFUL SUPPRESSION OF EVIL. This idea of Christ and His saints rooting out "non-vicious" sin, and smiting the rebellious with the rod of iron; keeping in check the "tiger-like passions" of unregenerate men—and eventually failing to do so ( the end is Satan's rebellion and triumph ) is utterly repugnant and opposed to every concept of the N.T. Reader, we ask again the question we have asked a number of times: Where, in all the writings of the apostles, and the words of the Lord Jesus, do you find such an idea? The presentation of the whole N.T. is that the Coming of the Lord is such a vast, all-consuming display of heavenly glory, that before it ALL EVIL FLEES FOREVER, AND ALL ANTAGONISM CRIES TO BE HIDDEN IN EVERLASTING SHAME. But pre-millennialism would belittle and debase this mighty Advent, by telling us that evil is not abolished, but just subjected to a major adjustment. 'Much of millennial submission to Christ will be only on the surface; in fact, it will be an age of surpassing hypocrisy. Whilst the wolf lies down with the lamb, the wretched beast is only waiting and scheming for the day when "his passions" can be unleashed and his fangs plunged into the helpless creature. A rule of force keeps him in check. Whilst the wilderness blooms and blossoms, and all appears a veritable Paradise, yet the rod of iron hangs over all. In fact, the millennial hill, in reality, covers a smouldering volcano, and eventually there comes the infernal eruption.

If this idea of a Kingdom of Christ in visible glory following His sin-destroying Advent affords satisfaction to anyone, we are speechless with amazement. To us it is revolting. From the resplendent pictures in Scripture, we look for an Advent whose glory shall forever blast away all evil. We look for an everlasting reign of Christ where His Glory shall never be dimmed by EVEN THE SHADOW OF REBELLION: WHERE THE SPLENDOUR OF HIS PERSON AND THE INEFFABLE GLORY OF HIS ALMIGHTY SACRIFICE SHALL EXERCISE ABSOLUTE AND UNDISPUTED SWAY OVER THE HEARTS OF EVERY MEMBER OF HIS KINGDOM FOR EVER AND EVER. Once on Calvary's Tree, He dealt with sin by the omnipotent weapon of His out-poured Blood. Shall He then, when He comes as the Scripture says, 'apart from sin', take up another weapon—an infinitely lesser weapon—to deal with His dreaded foe? Perish the thought—and the man-made dogma that breeds it.

This stamping out of evil in Christ's Kingdom by a rod of iron rule, i.e. by force, is a false concept. Christ has told us that "in the end of this age, the Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His Kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity" ( Matthew 13:41 ).

4. The pre-millennial doctrine affords the basis for the delusion of a "second chance", and carnalises the salvation of God. Amongst the headaches of pre-millennial theories, one of the worst is the question of the inhabitants of this "castle-in-the-air" Kingdom. We have already quoted leading pre-millennial writers on this matter, showing that this kingdom is occupied by a mixed multitude. In his notes on Micah 5, Scofield comments: "In the morning of the kingdom, which is set up in power…there is world-wide preaching to Jew and Gentile…and the unrepentant will be broken with His rod of iron" ( p. 950 ). This is a futurist fairy tale, and leaves us bemused and befogged. We had thought that ALL Israel ( meaning Jews, according to the theorists ) were saved at the Glorious Appearing. But now this delusion is shattered by the theorists themselves, because in this wonderful kingdom, the Jewish super-evangelists' first job will be to convert their fellow Jews, as well as Gentiles. Where will it all end? On the other hand, we have one of the more modern dispensational writers ( Stanton in "Kept from the Hour" ) trying to sort out this Chinese puzzle by saying, when discussing who will inhabit this kingdom, "nor shall the unrighteous, for those not killed by the tribulation judgments shall be destroyed by the brightness of His Appearing" ( p. 269 ). Again he says: "There are indications that the unrighteous shall in no wise inherit the Kingdom of Christ. God shall purge from among Israel all the rebel Jews ( Ezekiel 20:38 ). The tares are rooted out from among the wheat and burned with fire, and this before the righteous shine forth in the Kingdom of their Father." So one writer contradicts the other in this welter of carnal guesswork. Not only so, but this last writer also contradicts himself, for, on the next page ( 270 ), he speaks of UNBELIEVERS in the millennium, quoting Revelation 20:7-8: "Those who succumb to this final Satanic delusion are not redeemed men." Out of all these "Old-Moore-like" speculations, the obvious teaching is that there are considerable numbers of unregenerate people who enter this Kingdom. If we take the dispensational interpretation of Matthew 25, whole nations irrespective of redemption through the Blood of Christ, but simply because of alleged friendliness to the Jews during "the tribulation", enter into this kingdom. The position then, with which we are confronted, is that multitudes of people who have LIVED IN DELIBERATE REJECTION OF THE GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD DURING THIS AGE, NOW HAVE ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY OF SALVATION ( ? ) THROUGH "ANOTHER GOSPEL", viz. "the beautiful Gospel of the Kingdom" ( Scofield, p. 949 ).

One thing that evangelical Christianity has always set its face against is the error that men who have rejected the Gospel of Christ in this world will receive another chance of salvation in another world. But lo, and behold! here is the very thing itself, under a slightly different guise. That men who have refused God's salvation in this age should have an opportunity of salvation in another age, after the Return of Christ, is not one whit different in principle from men receiving another opportunity after death. Yet, evangelical preachers, particularly those of the Brethren body, who so strongly preach against the latter, tenaciously hold the other as Bible truth. The only redeeming feature of these men is that, generally speaking, whilst they preach present salvation to the general congregation, they reserve these "spider-spun" theories for their own classes and conferences. The writer has frequently told them: "Mercifully, when you preach the Gospel, you preach in flat contradiction to, and condemnation of, the doctrines involved in your prophetic theories."

The whole burden of Scripture is that THIS ( the age of grace ) is the Day of Salvation. The whole theme and challenge of the Hebrew epistles ( written to Jews ) is that GOD HAS NO PROVISION FOR ANY MAN OTHER THAN THE GOSPEL OF HIS GRACE. So pre-millennialism is not only a delusion, but a danger. 

5. Following closely upon the last problem, is one closely associated with it, viz. the physical and material aspect of the inhabitants. Stanton ( above ) is perplexed by it. He asks, "Who then, shall populate the millennium? Can immortal beings marry and beget children?…Will men who have put on immortality own property, ploughing their fields and cultivating their vineyards?" ( p. 270 ) If it were not for the seriousness of the issue, one would be convulsed with laughter at the ridiculousness of the ideas posed by such questions. Are these men so blind that they cannot see the foolishness of teachings that raise such problems? "Human folly, how far wilt thou go, when priests lead thee by the nose?" So queried Mr. Spurgeon in one of his scathing denunciations of ritualism. We trust we shall be excused if we ask, "Believer, how far in folly wilt thou go, when dispensationalism leads thee by the nose?" In this millennium there will be the queerest mixture ever known. Glorified saints will return from heaven to mingle with "earth-dwellers"; resurrected saints who have attained to angelic stature ( Luke 20:36 ) will dwell with ordinary men, who will, presumably, have to carry on daily occupations. According to literalistic interpretations of O.T. prophecies, there is gong to be building of houses and planting of vineyards. Will the glorified saints join in this? Enough! We once saw a film attempting to portray in exaggerated literalistic manner the Negro's conception of heaven; saints and angels joined in "fish-frys" and such things. We are reminded of it by this aspect of pre-millennialism.

6. Closely allied to this is the problem of death in the millennium. We have previously shown our Lord's refutation of this idea, when He stated that the age that follows this present Gospel age is one where death is unknown ( Luke 20:36 ), and Paul announces the truth that death is swallowed up FOR EVER at the Advent of Messiah ( I Corinthians 15:54, quoting Isaiah 25:8, R.V. ). But the pre-millennialists affirm there will be death in their kingdom. For this starting and extravagant idea, their sole support is a peculiar, isolated text in Isaiah: "There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner, being an hundred years old, shall be accursed" ( 65:20 ). Upon such a statement, and that alone, IS BUILT UP THE REVOLUTIONARY IDEA THAT DEATH SHALL EXIST IN THE KINGDOM OF ONE WHO HAS SWALLOWED UP DEATH FOREVER! Is it any wonder that pre-millennialism was rejected by Bible scholars for many centuries and is being rejected again by ever-increasing numbers of Christian men? Millennialists' opinions are divided on this "death question". Some think it applies to righteous and unrighteous—and if this text did refer to physical death ( and did refer to a millennium ) such a conclusion might be reached, for, as the death of unrighteous men during the millennium is accepted by those who hold the theory, the statement of the text that the child died could be construed as support for the belief that death is known among the righteous also. But if this is so, when are they raised? because, according to pre-millennial interpretation of Revelation 20, the only resurrection following the establishment of the Kingdom is that of the ungodly for the Final Judgment. Others, however, hold that death will affect only the unrighteous. All sorts of problems arise here. First, this lonely proof text says nothing about the death of the sinner; again, if Jewish evangelist are busy during the Kingdom age, may there not be some "death-bed conversions"? If so, then the righteous die. Again, if only sinners die, then the righteous live right through the millennium, and as many entered it as grown men ( according to teaching on Matthew 25 ), then we shall see mortals living to an age beyond Methuselah's. That of itself poses another question: Will such people continue forever in their mortal state, or will there be another divine manifestation ( of which the Scripture gives not the shadow of a hint ), conferring immortality on these remarkable "Millenarians". Yet again, when these unrighteous people die during this millennium, will the immortal saints who are everywhere watching over this Kingdom be in attendance at the burials? What a thought! So we could go on with these questions suggested by this queer theory. There is a simple answer to them all—let the reader accept the inescapable fact that the N.T. teaches that the Advent brings the complete abolition of death, and ushers in the eternal age, and these stupid problems will never arise. 

7. Another problem is that of God's redeemed people, who have been delivered from the presence of sin at the Advent of the Saviour. Hear even the pre-millennialists orate on this particular point! But what they preach from the pulpit in an evangelical meeting is contradicted by the theories they propagate in their classes and their books, for, according to them, the saints will once again be brought into contact and conflict with the accursed thing. For, according to most of this school, the main occupation of the saints during the millennium will be putting down rebellion and stamping out "pockets of resistance", with the rod of iron. We do not relish this prospect. According to the O.T., we had been led to expect a Kingdom where "no unclean thing passes over it," where the ransomed obtain "everlasting joy upon their heads, and sorrow and sighing flee away" ( Isaiah 35 ). As for the N.T., every picture it presents to the believer is that the Coming of the Lord ( or previous death ) brings him to his heavenly citizenship ( Philippians 3:20-21 ), where all the inhabitants

…see His face
And never, never sin.
And from the rivers of His grace,
Drink endless pleasures in."

8. Coupled with this problem of sin is the problem of war. The Kingdom of the theorists is brought to an end with a gigantic war, involving the four quarters of the earth: "The Second Armageddon" they call it. But the Kingdom foretold in the O.T. ( upon which the millennial idea is based ) is one of which it is said, "Neither shall they learn war any more" ( Isaiah 2:4 ). The attempts of the pre-millennialist to get round this are amusing ( or pathetic ), and recall an incident in the writer's experience at the time he came into conflict with his former colleagues through his rejection of pre-millennial teaching formerly held. It was at a Christian rally; the preacher was an exceedingly able man, and a powerful advocate of the literalistic school. ( He has since gone to be. with the Lord, and we thank God for the memories of vigorous Gospel witness together in the Birmingham Bull Ring, before the rejection of pre-millennialism secured the writer's exclusion from the old fellowship. ) The substance of his address on this occasion led on to the Second Advent, and he pressed it home with a peroration that concluded with the words of Isaiah, "And they shall learn war no more." Whether it was that he caught sight of me at that moment ( he knew I was present ), or whether my thoughts made a powerful telepathic protest to his mind, I know not, but he paused for a moment after the quotation, and then added, "For the period of His reign." Exquisite!

9.
Lastly, the question is prompted: "If the devil is banished from the earth, and rendered completely powerless to tempt earth's inhabitants, what possible power is there to prevent everyone from coming to repentance?" We are told that the deliberate enemies of God are destroyed at the Advent, and only those sympathetic to the Kingdom ( even though unconverted ) enter it, joined, perhaps, by distant heathen who had never heard the Gospel. Suppose these "sympathetic unregenerateves" enter the Kingdom. There will be no devil to deceive them; all the glorified forces of heaven and earth combine to draw them to surrender to the King; and, greatest of all, He Himself in all His indescribable glory will dwell among them. ( The Glorified Christ among unregenerate mortals; what a conception! ) Surely, no human heart will be able, let alone willing, to resist this overwhelming and unhindered display of divine power, righteousness and love. But we are solemnly assured that it will be so, and not just a few here and there, but on such a scale that when the deceiver is unloosed again, he finds a numberless army ready to follow him. Of all the wild creations produced by the human mind in the name of theology, this would be difficult to beat. We invite the reader to reject it finally and forever.

From these general problems, we turn now to those created by the pre-millennial interpretation of Revelation 20. Obsessed with their literalistic ideas of an earthly, material fulfilment of O.T. prophecies, they have excitedly grasped at this passage as giving a N.T. setting for their theory. To borrow Alliss's phrase, "It is the frame which fits the picture of O.T. prophecy." They remind us of the official "Yard" men in many of the Sherlock Holmes stories. The crime presented no difficulty to them; it was as clear as daylight what had happened and who was the guilty culprit. They proceeded with their triumphant arrest; then came the snags; things did not fit so easily as they first suspected; in fact, it soon became apparent that their certain solution was impossible, and was simply the result of impetuous superficiality. So it is with pre-millennialists and Revelation 20. One or two apparent ideas in the passage have seemed to provide just the situation they need to back up their views of the O.T. prophecies. Their excitement at this discovery has paralysed their powers of spiritual investigation, with the result that they fail to see that there are numerous factors in the vision THAT SIMPLY CANNOT BE SQUARED WITH THE EARTHLY INTERPRETATION THEY GIVE IT, and, indeed, show their interpretation to be rashly superficial and false. A careful reading of the passage will convince the thoughtful student THAT THERE IS NOTHING IN THE BURDEN AND SPIRIT OF THE WHOLE VISION TO SUGGEST ITS IDENTITY WITH SCENES OF EARTHLY, MATERIAL and NATIONAL PROSPERITY; the whole scene vibrates with the greater reality of spiritual conflict and triumph, and is a fitting counterpart to those classic O.T. passages which describe the complete triumph of Messiah and His People over their tyrant foes, e.g. Psalm 2 and Psalm 110, which, as we have already seen, are the ground for repeated apostolic expositions of the reign of Christ and His redeemed. As with the general tenor, so with the details; the pre-millennial interpretation of these bristles with difficulties, whilst some are utterly impossible. We consider them now.

1. There are factors which even pre-millennialists have to acknowledge are symbolic; the key and the chain are certainly not literal. Then why insist the 1,000 years must be literal? Many millennialists also acknowledge the symbolic character of Scripture numbers. There is no doubt with us that "thousand" has a symbolic meaning in Revelation. The "ten thousand times ten thousand" of Revelation 5 is surely typical of the vast host of the redeemed. The 144,000 of chapters 7 and 14 are clearly typical ( unless we surrender to Seventh Day Adventism or Millennial Dawnism ). So is the "one thousand, six hundred" of 14:20, where the river of blood six feet deep and two hundred miles long is clearly a figure. W. J. Grier quotes Bishop Wordsworth as saying that the number 'one thousand' is used more than 20 times in Revelation, "not once, as I believe, is it used literally. It is employed as a perfect number." ( The Momentous Advent, p. 83 ) 

2. There is no statement the thrones John saw were on earth.

3. The next feature seems to cancel out the idea of earthly thrones, for John is careful to note that he saw "souls". This seems to point to the intermediate state. Not saints in their glorified bodies, but "spirits of just men made perfect" ( Hebrews 12:23 ), come before the Seer's vision. It connects with 6:9, where he had previously seen the souls under the altar. They also had been slain for the Word of God, and there is much to support the view that they represented the martyrs of the O.T. Church. Now John sees them, with the martyred company of the N.T. Church, enthroned with Christ. 

4. The company specifically named by John is a grave objection to the pre-millennial view, particularly futurism. We are told it consists of the martyrs and those who have resisted and overcome the Beast. Dispensationalists identify these latter as a company on earth after the rapture. Is the millennial reign to be limited to this company, FROM WHICH THE WHOLE CHURCH IS EXCLUDED? An effort is made to get over this difficulty by quoting verse 6, "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection", and contending that the whole Church, being in the "first resurrection" is referred to in this millennial rule. The manufactured character of such an argument is self-evident. John's words in verse 6 are not given to vastly enlarge the company of verse 4, but simply to describe their character. The concluding phrase of verse 5 emphatically states that the reigning of the select company named in verse 4, IS the first resurrection, not a fragment that contributes towards it.

5. The doctrine of at least two separate physical resurrections from this passage demands a view of the resurrection totally unsupported by the rest of Scripture. The unanimous testimony of the Word is to A resurrection.

"There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and of the unjust" ( Acts 24:15 ).

"A day in which He will judge the whole world" ( Acts 17:31 ).

"The hour is coming in which ALL that are in the graves shall come forth…" ( John 5:28 ).

One of the fatal objections to the pre-millennial interpretation of Revelation 20 is that it demands ideas which are entirely out of accord with the plan, definite statements of the rest of Scripture. This, alone, is sufficient to rule it out of court.

6. The complete absence of millennial ideas from this passage. Writings of the pre-millennialists teem with descriptions of their prophetic utopia. Humanity, the animal race and the natural creation, all join in forming a vast pro-Jewish Co-operative Society, producing prodigal fertility, amazing longevity, and universal pacivity. But John records nothing of this. We do not press such absence as a fundamental objection, but it is at least suggestive. After all, if we followed the dispensational method of "notable omissions", our argument would be conclusive.

7. The startling fact that at the close of this period, Satan finds on earth, ready to hand, such a vast body of responsive material to raise a universal rebellion seems to us to utterly shatter the idea that this 1,000 years has been the one so vividly portrayed for us by the fanciful descriptions of futuristic writers. The figures employed "four quarters of the earth", "as the sand of the sea", contrasted with "the camp of the saints", and "the beloved city", seem to indicate a staggeringly overwhelming numerical superiority of Satan's forces. And we are asked to believe that this amazing state of affairs comes to pass after Christ has reigned in person and glory at Jerusalem for 1,000 years. Read dispensational literature with its glowing pictures of practically the whole world converted; no devil, no temptation, no "vicious sin" ( S. Gorman's foolish phrase ), the whole earth "filled with the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea". And then, when the devil is given the smallest chance, he upsets it all, and completely reverses the whole situation! Was there ever anything so fantastic and outrageous as that, put forward for Christian consumption? How incredibly gullible can men become when their minds are obsessed by false theories! We are convinced the whole conception is so ridiculous that we doubt whether those who propagate it really believe it.

8. The identifying of Satan's host with Gog and Magog immediately connects it with Ezekiel 38 and 39. The writer of the Apocalypse lives in the realm of Scriptural symbolism, and his symbols are not a variation of their use in other parts of the Bible. The use of them and their meaning elsewhere, is a clear clue to our understanding of them in Revelation. So with this phrase. The pre-millennialist is hard put to it to reconcile these two portions of Scripture. The prophet adopts language which points to the complete destruction of Gog and Magog, and futurists identify this with the destruction of the anti-Christian powers at the Glorious Appearing. Then how can Satan raise up these mighty powers again after another 1,000 years? Dr. Scofield feels the awkwardness of the situation ( as well he might ) and tries to meet it by stating: "The whole prophecy belongs to the yet future Day of Jehovah, and to the Battle of Armageddon, but includes also the final revolt of the nations at the close of the Kingdom age" ( p. 883 ).

The reader will see at once the "elastic" interpretation of Dr. Scofield. He is forced to locate Ezekiel's destruction of Gog and Magog at the Glorious Appearing, but because his theories demand an interpretation of Revelation 20 that presents Gog and Magog in full activity once again, 1,000 years later, he advances the nonsensical idea that Ezekiel's message really embraces two destructions, with the age of Israel's glory in between. This is not Scripture exegesis, but the regrettable shuffling of the Bible passages like a pack of cards, in order to pull off a plausible trick. No! it is clear that the prophet's message is one of unqualified gladness for the people of God; when Gog and Magog have been overthrown, God dwells among His people, His eternal purposes are realised, AND GOG AND MAGOG WILL NOT RISE TO TROUBLE THEM A SECOND TIME.

We have already stated that John's reference to these evil powers is a guiding principle for the correct understanding of his vision. It is set there to show that THE 1,000 YEARS REIGN PRECEDES THE DESTRUCTION OF THE ANTI-GOD POWERS, AND AS THIS LATTER COMES TO PASS AT MESSIAH'S GLORIOUS APPEARING, IT IS EVIDENT THAT THE 1,000 YEARS IS A PERIOD THAT COMES BEFORE, NOT AFTER, THE SECOND ADVENT.

9. The description of Christ's people as "a camp" and a "City", encompassed by gigantic foes is graphic. It suggests a Church beset by vast forces of evil, this accords with a strong line of teaching throughout the N.T. regarding the Church in the closing days of time. But it is absolutely impossible for it to refer to the close of this supposed millennium, for, with all that is gong to happen then ( according to its advocates ) the people of Messiah will have an overwhelming majority, with His enemies but isolated remnants—especially after "the rod of iron" has rooted out and smashed the "vicious" ones. If we listen to the theorists, this Kingdom will be inhabited by the countless host of the redeemed; then there will be the "numberless multitude of tribulation saints"; then we must not forget the whole race of earthly Israel; and to crown it all, the millennium itself will be the time when the Spirit will be poured out upon all flesh, and those wonderful Jewish evangelists will convert the vast majority of the "heathen in the outlying parts of the earth". So we have this vast accumulation of millions upon millions of Messiah's subjects—and expanding for 1,000 years, whilst the straggling remnant of Satan's followers who dare to show themselves, are "smashed in pieces like a potter's vessel". Then, WONDER OF WONDERS, HELL OUTDOES ALL THE MIRACLES OF HEAVEN, for "in a little season", everything is completely reversed; Satan's followers become a vast, unnumbered multitude ( where he gets them from, no one knows ), whilst the universal Kingdom of Messiah is reduced to a beleaguered camp! Has anyone ever heard of such a mass of self-contradiction as that?

10. This vast insurrection at the close of the 1,000 years is followed by a universal judgment, at which ALL stand before God, and those whose names are not written in the Lamb's Book of Life are cast into everlasting fire. This is another guide-post to the location of this vision, for it has been shown a score of times and more, in these pages, that the fiery doom of the wicked is everywhere affirmed to be executed at "the end of this age", at the Glorious Appearing. It is the testimony of Christ ( Matthew 13:50 and 25:41 ), Paul ( Romans 2:5 ), Peter ( 2 Peter 3:7 ) and John ( Revelation 1:7 ). Therefore, the interpretation of Revelation 20 which places the destruction of the wicked 1,000 years after the Glorious Appearing ( and entirely unrelated to it ) contradicts the rest of Scripture, and must, of necessity, be false. On the contrary, the conclusion is forced upon us that "the 1,000 years" and "the little season" must precede the Advent. 

11. Verses 8-9 describe the FINAL CONFLICT WITH THE FORCES OF EVIL. Here God forever puts an end to human and Satanic rebellion. THIS CAN BE NOTHING LESS THAN THE GREAT DAY OF GOD ALMIGHTY. There cannot be two such days, especially two days separated by 1,000 years of divine glory. To say that an event of divine destruction of God's foes, followed by an age of universal divine triumph, and this in turn followed by another act of divine vengeance, is the great Day-of God Almighty is the extreme of absurdity. The Great Day is the ONE GREAT DAY THAT GOD ALMIGHTY HAS APPOINTED FOR THE FINAL ACT OF VENGEANCE ON ALL HIS FOES. Now, in Revelation 16:14 this very Day is introduced, in conjunction with the thief-like Coming of the Lord Jesus. It is the same Day as Revelation 20:8-9, and this conforms to everything else in the N.T. about That Day. It is typified by the judgment of the Flood and Sodom; these figures were employed by Christ, Peter and Paul to tell us that the Day when God shall execute vengeance on ALL that know not the Gospel is the Day of His Appearing. Therefore, an interpretation of Revelation 20 which locates the final judgment of God upon evil at a time entirely different from the Coming of the Lord, is a false one.

Thus, our examination of the pre-millennial conception of Revelation 20 has shown it to be without foundation. It is nothing but a wild conclusion, drawn from a purely superficial reading of the passage, without any consideration of the clear, indisputable teaching of the rest of the N.T. Nay, more, it is an interpretation that flatly contradicts the repeated eschatological statements of Christ, Paul, Peter and John. Therefore, we have no hesitation in rejecting it as a figment of human imagination.

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