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Most of the articles on these WebPages have been written by godly men with a central belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. However as with most of us, they may have different beliefs concerning some particular doctrines. These articles have been made available for the purpose of “gleaning the good” where good can be found. I do not necessarily endorse all that is written by others, anymore than I expect others to endorse all that I write.

"Do  the  Scriptures  teach  that  at the coming of Christ  the  righteous  dead  will  be resurrected,  and reign on earth  a  thousand years before the resurrection of the  wicked dead?"

J.H. Keaton


     My opening remarks may seem peculiar to all.  An elderly gentleman was boarding  with a widow lady.  One morning he drank nine cups of coffee and passed his cup for the  tenth. The  lady  said,  "Mr. you drink an awful lot of coffee."  "Oh, no,  I  don't  drink  much coffee;  I  have to drink so much water to get a little coffee."  I have a great  deal  of water  here,  and it will be necessary for you to drink all of it in order to  get  enough  coffee to keep you awake until I am through.

     Young Brother King this morning demonstrated to us what a good preacher can do with a  little  text, "Consider the Ant."  I'll show you tonight what a little preacher cannot  do with a BIG text.

     After  hearing my subject announced no one will be surprised when I say it places  me under a considerable degree of embarrassment to appear before this audience to offer  some feeble remarks upon this momentous subject.  My subject is in the form of a question,  "DO THE  SCRIPTURES TEACH?" etc.  Only recently I was casually turning through LOOK  MAGAZINE. 

     I  was  not especially interested in anything at all.  My eyes fell upon a  brief  article under  the heading "BAPTIST."  Of course that attracted my attention.  The  writer  stated that no one Baptist can speak for another Baptist, much less for all Baptists.  There  was a  time  when  that  could  not be said.  It probably can  be  truthfully  said  now,  and especially  is  that  true  in the consideration of my subject.  So far  as  I  know,  our  Baptists  have  driven  no  stakes, nor have they stretched any  cords  relative  to  this question.   A man can be a good valuable American citizen and be a Democrat; a man can  be just  as  good  a citizen and be a Republican.  A man can be a  sound  grace  Baptist  and believe  that there will be a resurrection of the righteous one thousand years before  the  resurrection of the wicked, and that Christ will reign on earth a thousand years with  the  righteous  before the resurrection of the wicked, or he can be just as good a Baptist  and believe  that  the two classes will be resurrected simultaneously.  We may differ  in  our opinion  as to the time of the resurrection of the dead, but we must not differ as to  the extent  of it.  It must be general regardless of the time it takes place.   In  essentials  there  MUST be unity, in non-essentials there should be charity.  I would not have  anyone think  that I am so presumptuous as to believe that I can offer anything on  this  subject which I consider impregnable, nor would I challenge anyone to take issue with what I  say; all  that I can hope to say will be but feeble remarks upon a great subject, and I  humbly  solicit your indulgence.

     This  question  is not to be considered from the standpoint of what  great  men  have  taught,  but what the Scriptures teach will be the deciding factor.  For me to say in  the outset  that  there  will  or  will not be a period of  one  thousand  years  between  the resurrection  of  the righteous and the wicked, commonly called the Millennium,  would  be equal  to a jury finding a man under a severe charge guilty or innocent, and then  proceed with the investigation.  I will not state unreservedly in the beginning that there will or will  not  be  such  a period of time, but I shall proceed  with  the  investigation.  One important  thing we must not forget, and that is that the Scriptures must  harmonize.   We are not to read the Scriptures in such a confused manner as the little poem I am going  to read was written in:


                              It was midnight on the ocean,

                              Not a streetcar was in sight,

                              The sun was shining brightly,

                              It rained all day that night.


     One part of this poem refutes another portion of it.  We must not read the Scriptures  so as to make them conflict; if we do we will be found in mid-ocean at midnight and not  a streetcar to take us any place.  If  we  can  find one text that teaches beyond the peradventure  of  doubt  that  the righteous  and the wicked will be raised simultaneously, then we may search till  patience  be  well  tried and we will never find a text that teaches that there will be  a  thousand years  between  the  two  events.  On the other hand, if we find  one  text  that  teaches  conclusively  that  there  will be a thousand years between the resurrection  of  the  two  classes, then we will never find a text that teaches that both classes will be resurrected at  the  same time.  I am very certain that everyone will agree that the premises  I  have laid down are safe and sound.

     Every doctrine, whether true or false, has its consequences, and no man should openly  avow  a certain doctrine and at the same time deny the consequence of that doctrine.   For instance,  we believe that Christ died and atoned for the elect only.  The consequence  of that  theory is that Christ did NOT atone for all Adam's race, but we are not required  to dwell upon the consequences, but upon the principle of doctrine itself, regardless of  the  consequences.

     So  far as I know, no one has ever been commanded to preach a negative, but in  order to  preach the Gospel, the truth, we must be on the affirmative side.  If  the  Scriptures teach that all the dead will be resurrected at the same time, then that is what we  should preach, and if that is true, it is not necessary to spend our time denying that there will be  a thousand years between the resurrection of the two classes.  On the other  hand,  if  the  Scriptures teach that there shall be two resurrections, one a thousand  years  before the other, then that is what we should preach, and spend no time denying that all will  be resurrected together.  When this service was arranged, all that was necessary in order for the public to know who would speak, was for the committee to give the name of the speaker,  and not all the names of those who would not be the speaker.  The  Scriptures  teach  that  there  shall be a resurrection  of  the  dead,  and  in confirmation of that fact I call attention to the apostle's statement in the 24th  chapter  and 15th verse of the Acts of the Apostles:  "And  have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall  be  a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust."

     The  Apostle does not say in this connection that all the dead will be raised at  the  same  time,  neither  does  he  say  that there will  be  a  thousand  years  between  the  resurrection of the two classes.  Now  I will read from Matthew, 22nd chapter and from verse 24 to verse  30:  "Saying, Master,  Moses said, if a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry  his  wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.  Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when  he  had  married  a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left  his  wife  unto  his brother:  Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh.  And last of all  the  woman died also.  Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven?  for they  all  had  her?  Jesus  answered and said unto them,  Ye  do  err,  not  knowing  the scriptures,  nor  the power of God.  For in the resurrection they neither marry,  nor  are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven."

     The  lesson taught and the idea conveyed in the foregoing texts do not seem to  favor  the idea of a 1,000 years reign on earth with Christ and His people after the resurrection of  the righteous.  If that conclusion can be drawn from the lesson, it must  be  admitted that  the resurrected body will be dwelling on EARTH as the angels of God in HEAVEN.   And if they are as the angels of God in Heaven in the resurrection, and dwell as such on earth  a thousand years, I cannot picture them in any better state than that after they  actually enter  Heaven itself.  I cannot hope to be anything better in Heaven than an angel of  God in  Heaven.   And if the saints of God can dwell for a thousand years on earth in  such  a state as described in the foregoing, they would be reluctant to leave the earth and go  to  Heaven.

      The resurrection as he lived with her on earth; I informed him that if he did he would  be living  in  adultery,  because in the resurrection they neither marry  nor  are  given  in marriage, but are as the angels of God in Heaven.  Brigham Young, who left 27 widows and a whole  battalion of children, would find it inconvenient to provide a living for  such  an army on earth.

     A  very important factor in the consideration of this question is the NATURE  of  the resurrection, not the extent of it, but the very NATURE of it.  If  Christ  reigns on earth a thousand years with His saints before  the  wicked  are  raised,  then  naturally we would wonder if the resurrected body of the saint  will  be  a  physical  body  with  flesh and bones, or will it a spiritual body, an  immortal  body,  a glorified  body? If it is a natural body in the resurrection, then no change was  made  in the body in the resurrection, and the Scriptures teach that it is sown a natural body,  it is  raised a spiritual body, and to picture a spiritual, immortal body, a  glorified  body  living  on  earth  tilling  the  ground  and planting  vineyards,  is  a  stretch  of  the imagination.

     I  will  call attention to St. John 5: 28-29: "Marvel not at this: for  the  hour  is  coming,  in  the  which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,  And  shall  come forth;  they  that have done good unto the resurrection of life; and they that  have  done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."

     We often say that the word ALL has a limited meaning and does not always include  the  entire  race  of  mankind; but even though it be given a restricted meaning  in  the  text referred  to, and does not mean ALL the dead, the fact remains that it does  include  both classes of the dead, both the righteous and the wicked, because both classes are mentioned in  the  text, and makes it very clear that both classes will hear His voice at  the  same  time,  and  shall come forth at the same time, and if that is true, then the idea  of  one thousand  years  between  the  resurrection  of  the  righteous  and  the  wicked  appears unreasonable.  I will call attention to Matthew 25: 31-34:

     "WHEN the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him,  THEN  shall  he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all  nations;  and  he  shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep  from  the goats:  And  he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on  the  left.   THEN shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the  kingdom  prepared  for you from the foundation of the world." From this account  it  would appear  that the separation will take place WHEN the Son of man shall come in  His  glory; and  it does not appear that He shall separate them as a shepherd divideth his sheep  from the goats, if the goats are left in the grave for a thousand years.

     Now  I will read verse 41 of this same chapter: "THEN shall he say also unto them  on  the  left hand, DEPART FROM ME, YE CURSED, into everlasting fire, prepared for  the  devil and his angels." We are not merely to suppose that he shall say to them on His left  hand, DEPART,  and leave them cold, dormant and lifeless in the grave, but before He  shall  say DEPART  into everlasting fire, He is going to raise them from the dead.  The word THEN  is  used in connection with His sitting upon the throne of His glory, and when was it that  He  should  sit  upon the throne of His glory? IT WAS WHEN THE SON OF MAN SHALL  COME  IN  HIS GLORY.   THEN,  THEN, THEN, at the very same time shall He say to them on  His  left  hand DEPART, etc.  The word then means a certain time, means at a given time, and also means at THAT time; so at the very time He shall say to them on His right hand, COME, He shall  say to them on His left hand DEPART.

     I will quote from I. Thessalonians 4: 16-17: "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: Then we which are alive and remain shall be  caught  up together  with  them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we  ever  be with  the  Lord."  I don't think the apostle meant to convey the idea that  the  righteous dead  will  be  resurrected  before  the wicked dead, but the  dead  in  Christ  shall  be resurrected before the living saints who are alive at that time shall be changed, then  we shall we ever be with the Lord.  I would not say that I know what is meant by being caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, so shall we ever be  with  the Lord, but it is doubtful that such a statement can be harmonized with the theory of  a thousand  years  reign on earth.  The word EVER means, AT ANY TIME, AT ALL  TIMES,  and  I believe that wherever the saints are gathered together, that that will be where they shall forever remain.  A thousand years is a long time, still it does not mean always.

     If  the saints who are alive when the Lord comes are caught up together with them  in  the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, I think it is safe to say that regardless of where that  is,  it is ABOVE the earth, and if it is ABOVE the earth, I doubt its being  on  the earth.

     Now I will quote I. Corinthians, 15th chapter and verses 51-52: "Behold, I shew you a mystery;  We  shall  not  all sleep, but we shall all be changed,  In  a  moment,  in  the twinkling of an eye, AT THE LAST TRUMP: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." Some might take it for granted that  since these texts teach that the dead shall be raised incorruptible that only the righteous dead  are considered in the texts, but it is to be remembered that all this is to take place  at the last TRUMP, and if the wicked dead are not raised at the LAST TRUMP, well might we ask when  will they be raised?  We can not allow that another trump shall sound to  awake  the wicked  after the sounding of the LAST TRUMPET, and if the wicked are not raised when  the last  trumpet  sounds,  what  assurance have we that they will  ever  be  raised?  If  the  righteous  are raised when the last trumpet shall sound, and the wicked are not raised  at the same time, then it would appear that the wicked will be raised without the sounding of a trumpet, or else there will be another trumpet to raise the wicked after the sounding of the LAST TRUMPET.

     I will call attention to II. Thessalonians 1: 7-10: "And to you who are troubled rest  with us, when (WHEN) the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty  angels, In  flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the  gospel of  our  Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting  destruction  from  the presence  of  the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When (WHEN) he shall come  to  be glorified  in  his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe . . ."  To  me  this teaches that God will pronounce judgment or take vengeance on the wicked at the very  time He  comes to be glorified in His saints, and if this be true, it can not be true that  the wicked  dead  shall  remain in the grave a thousand years after the  resurrection  of  the  righteous, nor can it be true that the wicked or those who know not God who are living  at the  time, can escape the vengeance of God, because both events are to take place  at  the same time, WHEN HE COMES TO BE GLORIFIED IN HIS SAINTS.  It is not for me to say that  God  will  not  be  glorified in His saints when He is revealed from Heaven  with   His  mighty angels  in flaming fire.  Nor is it for me to say that He will not take vengeance  on  the  wicked and pronounce judgment upon them at the same time.  Because He is to take vengeance on  them who know not God at the same time He is to be admired in all them  that  believe; this  can not be true, if God is admired in all them that believe when He comes,  and  yet does not take vengeance on the wicked for 1,000 years.

     I  will read from Acts, 3rd chapter, verses 20-21: "And he shall send  Jesus  Christ, which  before  was  preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive  until  the  times  of restitution of all things." Restitution means the act of restoring to the original  owner, making good a loss.  According to this text, how long will Jesus Christ remain in  Heaven? I would say until the time is ripe for the Kingdom to be delivered back to the Father, the  original owner.

     Now I will read I. Corinthians, chapter 15, verses 24-25: "Then cometh the end,  when He  shall  have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall  have  put  down  all  RULE  and all AUTHORITY and POWER.  For he must reign, [not  on  earth  but  in Heaven] till he hath put all enemies under his feet."  Heaven is to receive.  I think that means  retain  Him until He hath put all enemies under His feet.  I  believe  that  before Jesus  dismounts the Mercy Seat, that all His enemies will have been made  His  footstool, that  He will make good for all their shortcomings and present them faultless  before  His Father's  throne.   Now, allow me to repeat just a little.  Then cometh the  end  WHEN  He shall have delivered up the Kingdom to God, even the Father.  When He shall have put  down all rule and all authority and power, for He must reign till He hath put all enemies under His  feet.  Now, when is this to take place? I think it will be at the very time when  God sends  Jesus Christ, because Heaven was to receive Him until the times of the  restitution of  all  things, and that time will be when He restores the Kingdom to the  Father.   Then Christ shall put down all RULE and all AUTHORITY and all POWER.

     Will Christ RULE and reign on earth a thousand years after He has put down ALL  RULE, all  AUTHORITY  and  all POWER and the RIGHT to rule? It was not  the  Devil's  power  and authority  and  right  to  rule that Christ put down, because the  Devil  never  had  such authority.   Christ will put down His own rule and authority and deliver the kingdom  back to  the  Father whose right it is to rule, and God will be all in all.  God's  people  are heirs of God and joint heirs with the Lord Jesus Christ.  The Scriptures do not teach that God's  people are heirs WITH God, but heirs OF God.  Neither do the Scriptures teach  that anyone is an heir OF Jesus Christ, BUT HEIRS OF GOD AND JOINT HEIRS WITH CHRIST.  A  joint heir is an equal heir, and I doubt that one joint heir will exercise dominion over another  joint  heir  in the resurrection.  Jesus Christ has the right to rule and reign  over  His  joint  heirs NOW, because they have not come into the full possession of the  inheritance, but when they are resurrected from the grave they shall be like Him, and that will be  the redemption of the purchased possession.

     What  are the Lord's people heirs to?  Not heirs to a dwelling place on EARTH  for  a thousand  years, but heirs to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that  fadeth not  away,  reserved in HEAVEN (not on earth) for you, who are kept by the  power  of  God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time.  See I. Peter 1: 4-5.

     I think  the Gospel dispensation is the last dispensation; hence, God hath in  these  last days spoken to us by His Son.  Hebrews 1: 2.  Jesus was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.  I. Peter 1: 20. I doubt  that e  last DAYS and the last TIMES mentioned here refer specifically to the very last  days or the setting of the last sun, but as this is the LAST dispensation, the LAST age,  these terms apply to any time during this dispensation; but if another dispensation is to follow this  one  on  earth,  these  would  not be the last  days,  nor  would  it  be  the  last dispensation.

     So  far  as I know, the word Millennium is not a Bible term, while it  is  true,  all lexicographers give its meaning, A THOUSAND YEARS.  But if it means a thousand years, what right  have we to say that it applies to any particular thousand years any more  than  any other  thousand years? 365 days constitute a year, but what right have we to say that  365 days constitute some special year and will not apply equally to any other year in history?

     Now, I will not seek to keep back, or conceal anything that might seem to support the theory  of  a  thousand  years  reign on earth with  Christ  and  His  people  BEFORE  the resurrection  of the wicked, and if there is any ground for that theory, it will be  found in the book of Revelation, and especially the 20th chapter, but allow me to say that there are many things in this book hard to be understood, so far as I am concerned.  I will read from Revelation, 20th chapter, and from verse one to verse seven: "And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.  And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a  thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set  a  seal  upon  him,  that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years  should  be  fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.  And I saw thrones, and  they that  sat  upon them, and judgment was given unto 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 worshiped  the  beast, neither his image, neither had they received his  mark  upon  their  foreheads,  or  in their hands, 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 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."

     Before  commenting  upon what I have read, I would call attention to  the  fact  that HEAVEN  is God's throne, and the EARTH is His footstool, and it appears unlikely that  God will ever establish THRONES upon His footstool.

     Now, let us examine what I have read from a literal standpoint, and if this is to  be taken in that light, then the angel came down from Heaven with a LITERAL KEY in His  hand, and also a great chain in His hand. And if the key was literal, the chain was literal, and the pit was literal.  We are on safe ground to say the thousand years was literal, BUT  if the key, the chain, the pit and everything else in connection with this matter was used in  a figurative sense, which we must admit, then we can well afford to say that the  thousand  years  was not a literal thousand years.  The fact is not to be overlooked that  John  saw the  souls of them that were beheaded, and they lived and reigned with Christ  a  thousand years,  but John did not say that this thousand year reign was on earth, and since it  was  the  souls  of  them that were beheaded who reigned with Christ a thousand  years,  it  is  doubtful  that it refers to a reign on earth after the resurrection of the  body,  because John  did  not see the body.  It is also worthy of note that no one  was  mentioned  among those  who  reigned with Christ except the souls of them who were beheaded.   The  average saint who sleeps in the grave was not BEHEADED.  To be beheaded means to amputate the head from the body or have it done.  Hundreds and thousands of the saints were put to death  in every  conceivable  manner during the dark ages of Papal rule, but I have  never  seen  an  account  of  the number that were actually beheaded.  Perhaps Fox's book of  martyrdom  or Cox's  exposition  of Revelation would give it.  It is true that all the  apostles  except John died a martyr's death, but only John the Baptist is said to have been beheaded in the prison  and  his head was brought to the damsel in a charger.  It is not  unreasonable  to  suppose  that hundreds and thousands of the saints were beheaded, but what I'm  trying  to get at is this: if those who reigned with Christ a thousand years were ONLY those who were beheaded, it would not include all the elect, dead or alive, and we are without  authority to say that anyone reigned with Christ a thousand years except those who were beheaded.

     The  souls of our departed loved ones who have fallen asleep in Jesus are living  and  reigning with God now, but that can not be said of the body; therefore, it is doubtful  if the thousand years reign was subsequent to the resurrection of the body.  I will read from Revelation  1:  7: "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him,  and  they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.  Even so,  Amen."  I  cannot  understand how every eye shall see Him when He comes  with  clouds,  if millions  of the race are left in the grave a thousand years.  Even them that PIERCED  Him shall  see Him when He comes with clouds.  I do not think that the word "clouds"  in  this text  necessarily means a mass of visible vapor in the air, but it probably has  reference to  the holy angels that shall accompany Him.  A great cloud of witnesses, or it  probably  refers  to a cloudy and dark day when the great mass of mankind will be further  from  the  truth than ever before.  Sectarian clouds of confusion.

     I agreed in the beginning that I would not consider this question from the standpoint  of  what great men have said, and I'm not, but since it is claimed that a day in  prophecy means  a year in history, some great men have thought that rule should be applied  to  the thousand years and literally that would extend the period to 360,000 years.  One day  with the  Lord  is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as one day, and with  all  these  rules applied it would be hard to tell when the thousand years would end, even though that  period begins at the resurrection of the righteous.

     It  is to be observed that John in writing the book of Revelation was  instructed  to  write the things which he had seen (PAST TENSE) and the things which are (PRESENT  TENSE), and the things which shall be hereafter (FUTURE TENSE).

     I  am not saying that the thousand years were past when John wrote; I am  not  saying  that  the thousand years were then present, but it would seem that if the  thousand  years were in the future when John wrote, that it was in the near future because he was to write reign  on  earth, and that was shortly to come to pass, what are we to think of  the  longperiod  of two thousand years that have passed and yet it has not come to pass?  What  did  John  mean by saying MUST SHORTLY COME TO PASS? I have no doubt that the Jews will  return to  Palestine before the coming of Christ, but I think it will be those who are living  on earth and not those who are in their graves that will rebuild the land.  Canaan was  given to  the Jews as a nation and not as individuals, thus it will be the Jews as a nation  who shall rebuild the country and not the same individuals that formerly inhabited that  land. 

     God  give Canaan to the Jews for an everlasting possession, and any nation or  combination  of  nations  that interferes with their return to Palestine (when the time is  ripe)  will find themselves arrayed in battle against the Divine providence of God.

     "And  I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they  shall  build  the  waste  cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink  the  wine thereof;  they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.  And I will plant  them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have  given  them, saith the Lord thy God."  Amos 9: 14-15.

     I  would  not say that the return of the Jews to Palestine is in any  wise  connected  with the thousand years reign, but this is to take place before the resurrection.  So  far as  I  know there is nothing to indicate how long this reign of the Jews will be,  and  the fact  that  it  did not occur SHORTLY after the book of Revelation was  written  makes  it appear  doubtful that there is any connection, but let us add this period, be it  long  or  brief, to the two thousand years that have already passed since the book of Revelation was written.   Then  I call attention to Revelation  1: 1: "The Revelation  of  Jesus  Christ, which  God  gave  unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must  shortly  come  to pass."  Now I will read verse three of this same chapter: "Blessed is he that readeth, and they  that  hear  the  words of this prophecy, and keep those  things  which  are  written  therein:  for the time is at hand." I will repeat John, "And I saw thrones and  they  that sat  upon  them and judgment was given unto them."  I think here is  where  one  important thing is overlooked.  It was not those who were beheaded that John saw on the thrones.  It was not the beheaded class that judgment was given unto.  After John testified to the fact  that  judgment was given to them who occupied the thrones, then he goes on to  say,  after  completing that sentence and coming to a complete stop, "AND I SAW THE SOULS OF THEM  THAT WERE  BEHEADED, AND THEY LIVED AND REIGNED WITH CHRIST A THOUSAND YEARS," But we put  more into  the text than we can get out of it when we say that those who reigned with Christ  a thousand years were seated with him on the thrones, and reigned with Him on earth. 

                           Triumphant grace and man's free will

                               Shall not divide the throne,

                             For man's a fallen sinner still

                                And God shall reign alone.


     God has not turned, nor will He turn the affairs of this world over to wicked men and devils; neither will He submit His throne or turn the government of Heaven over to angels. In  reading  the  parable  of the ten virgins, it will  be  observed  that  when  the bridegroom  came  at midnight that all the ten virgins were sleeping, and  the  bridegroom appeared  to all at the same time.  If this means that the five foolish virgins were  lost  and  the five wise were saved, then it follows that the lost went to their doom  (whatever  that was) at the same time the wise were received into the Kingdom, but to me, it  appears doubtful  that God would compare His Kingdom to any group of persons if half of them  were lost.  When the flood came upon the earth, the wicked were destroyed at the same time that Noah and his generation were preserved in the Ark.

     I will call attention to Hebrews 11: 5: "By faith Enoch was translated that he should  not  see  death;  and  was  not found, because God had  translated  him:  for  before  his translation  he  had  this  testimony, that he pleased God."  Enoch was  one  of  the  Old Testament  saints, one of the RIGHTEOUS, and was translated soul, body and spirit.   WHERE earth  to  HEAVEN.   Now if there is a 1,000 years reign of the righteous  on  earth,  and  Enoch,  being one of the righteous, will he be brought back from Heaven to reign on  earth 1,000  years?  I will read II.  Kings 2: 11: "And it came to pass, as they still went  on, and  talked, (that was Elijah and Elisha) that, behold, there appeared a chariot of  fire, and  horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind  into  HEAVEN."  It  seems  to me that here we have two of the righteous who  will  NOT  reign  a thousand years on earth; and I believe I can point to another class (not by name) who will not reign on earth 1,000 years.  I will read Matthew 27: 51-53: "And, behold, the veil  of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and  the rocks  rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept  arose, And  came  out  of the graves after his resurrection, and went into  the  holy  city,  and appeared unto many."  It will be observed that those who came out of their graves did  not come  forth at the same time that Christ arose, but AFTER His resurrection, and went  into the holy city and appeared unto many.  My opinion is that the holy city is Heaven  itself. 

     Again I ask the question, will those who have already gone to Heaven be brought back  FROM Heaven to reign on earth 1,000 years?

     When  Israel crossed the Red Sea, Pharaoh's army drowned at the same time.  The  same  day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from Heaven and destroyed  the city.  The rich man received his punishment at the same time Lazarus was carried by angels to Abraham's bosom.  God placed a curse upon Cain at the same time He conferred a blessing upon  Abel. They shall come from the east and from the west, from the north and  from  the south,  and shall set down in the Kingdom with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the  children  of  the Kingdom shall be cast out.  When the Kingdom was taken from the Jews and given  to the Gentiles there was no intermediate period.  The Jews were cut off at the same time the Gentiles were grafted in.

     "These  shall  go  away  into everlasting punishment, but  the  righteous  into  life  eternal"  (Matt.  25:  46).  I think both events will take place at  the  same  time,  but according  to this one text (alone) if there should be a period of time between, it  would appear that the wicked will be dealt with first.

     I know of no two events of importance, opposite in nature, that did not occur at  the same time.

     I  recently  read a lengthy article written in defense of the 1,000  years  reign  in which  the writer made the following statement:  "Christ is to make one more  advent  into this  world just before the Millennium to destroy His enemies (still living on earth)  and the world by fire, and to make Himself a new Garden of Eden, wherein shall dwell His bride a  LITERAL  thousand years." Now, I will read another statement from this  article  before making any comment on the first: "Please note that Satan is not bound, or to be bound,  to prevent his deceiving the ELECT, but that he should deceive the NATIONS no more, till  the thousand years should be fulfilled."

     Now let us notice, according to this view, the living wicked are to be destroyed even  before  the Millennium begins, and the wicked dead, according to this reasoning,  are  not resurrected  until the thousand years are finished, then no one is living on earth  except the  righteous  during the thousand years. Then who is it that make up  the  nations  that Satan  can not deceive during the thousand years? If the Devil can not deceive the  elect,  and  there are none of the non-elect on earth, then I can not understand why Satan  should be  bound with a chain and spend a thousand years in the pit.  There wouldn't be much  use for the farmer to set a trap to catch the fox, to keep the fox from catching his  chickens if  he didn't have any chickens, nor would it be necessary to keep the Devil  in  solitary  confinement,  even bound with a chain to keep him from deceiving the nations and  not  one  inhabitant of the nations living.  If all the wicked who are living when Christ comes  are destroyed,  and those wicked ones who are already dead will not be raised for  a  thousand years, then the Devil might as well be loosed from his grave clothes and let go.

     Let  us keep in mind that the things which were in the future at the time John  wrote  were  to  come  to pass SHORTLY, and the word shortly means SOON, AFTER  A  LITTLE  WHILE, LITTLE  WHILE?  Does  that  seem like a brief period? Does it look  like  coming  to  pass SHORTLY?

     Two young men (Mormon elders) were traveling through the country.  They stopped at  a  farm  home  and  told the man of the house they were looking for Jesus  Christ.   The  old gentleman said, "Why, boys, Jesus Christ passed here two thousand years ago."

     For  many years the Jews have been returning to Palestine as fast as conditions  will  allow,  but the Jews were not beheaded for the witness of Jesus and for the Word  of  God. The  Jews have, until this day, denied that Jesus Christ was ever born in the  world,  but the  fact  remains  that  their  being restored to Palestine  does  in  some  way  mean  a RESURRECTION from the DEAD; else the apostle's statement in Romans 11: 15 is  meaningless,  which I shall read: "For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what  shall  the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?" It was through the fall  of  the Jews that the Gentiles were grafted in, but the Jews shall be grafted in again.  The  Jews are  dead  now,  not physically, but to the privileges of the  Kingdom,  and  their  being grafted  in  again  will be equal to a RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD.  I  call  attention  to  Colossians  3: 1-4: "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which  are  ABOVE, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  Set your affection on things ABOVE, not on things  on  the EARTH.  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ  in  God.   When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory."

      In  reading the book of Revelation it is to be observed that John did not  write  the  first three verses of the first chapter.  I'm going to quote these verses: "The Revelation of  Jesus  Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants  things  which  must shortly come to pass; and he sent and SIGNIFIED it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare  record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of  all  things  that  he saw.  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this  prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand."

      Then  John begins with the fourth verse, "John to the seven churches," etc.  In  some  Bibles, not in all of them, these three verses are called "INTRODUCTION." Of course,  that is the work of the publishers and not the translators.  Still it is something not found in any  other book.  Now, let's take these three verses into consideration.  He SIGNIFIED  it by  His  angel unto His servant John.  The word signification means by means of  signs  or  symbols.  The word SIGNIFY means to indicate, as a meaning, to betoken, as this  signifies war, declare, denote, imply, etc.  The word symbol means an emblem or sign, as the dove is a  symbol  of peace.  Figures are symbols of numbers, anything that  represents  something else  and  so forth.  The paper money we carry is only a token or symbol of  the  genuine.  Now,  according  to  the first three verses of the book of Revelation, it  is  a  book  of  symbols, written in language or terms that indicate or signify something else.  The  bread and  wine we use in communion are not the genuine body and blood of Christ, but  they  are tokens  of His body and blood.  The book should be read with these introductory verses  in mind  and  understood,  and when that is done we will get the idea that what  was  in  the  future  when John wrote was to come to pass shortly, and the time was already at hand.  It  is claimed by some that at the coming of Christ all the wicked dead will be destroyed  and that Christ will turn this earth into a new Garden of Eden in which His bride shall  dwell a thousand years, during which time Satan shall be bound lest he deceive the nations.   It is  the contention that he will not be bound to prevent his deceiving the elect,  but  the  nations of earth.  It is also claimed that the wicked dead shall remain in the grave until the  thousand  years is fulfilled.  Now, let's see what we have.  All the wicked  who  are living when Christ comes are to be destroyed, and all the wicked dead are to remain in the grave  until  the  end  of the thousand years.  And Satan is  not  bound  to  protect  the  righteous, but the wicked.  Yet all the living wicked were destroyed when Christ came, and the wicked dead shall remain dead until the thousand years are ended.  Now, why bind Satan and cast him into the pit to keep him from deceiving the nations and not one inhabitant of the nations living?

     Why would a farmer set a trap to catch the fox to keep the fox from catching chickens none  of  the  non-elect on earth during the thousand years then Satan might  as  well  be loosed from his grave clothes and let go.

     If  there  is to be a thousand years reign between the resurrection and  Heaven,  and  when Christ appears the saints shall also appear with Him in glory, then the saints  enter into glory during the millennium, and if all this is to be on earth and the Lord's  people are  forbidden to set their affections on things on the earth, then the Lord's people  are

forbidden to set their affections on ANYTHING that might be during the millennium.

     I  will  read  from  St. Luke, chapter 24 and verse 26: "Ought  not  Christ  to  have  suffered  these things, and to enter into his glory?" Now, where is Christ? At  the  right hand of God in HEAVEN.  Christ is not dwelling on earth in His glory now, and when  Christ who is our life shall appear, then shall we also appear with Him in glory.  And if  Christ is  not dwelling on earth in His glory now, neither will we be when we appear with HIM  IN  GLORY.   If we live with Christ in glory and that during the thousand years, then when  we are translated at the end of the thousand years, what are we going to translate to? It can not be to GLORY, because we have been living with Him in glory for a thousand years.

     I  will  read from II. Corinthians 5: 1-2: "For we know that if our earthly  house  of  this  tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with  hands, ETERNAL  IN THE HEAVENS. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon  with our  house which is from HEAVEN."  When the earthly house of this tabernacle is  dissolved we  will not be looking for a temporary abode, or a place to live a thousand  years.   But  for  a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal and in the  heavens.   David  said,  "As for me I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness." I think David  was looking forward to the resurrection of his body, and if David awakes with the likeness  of Christ,  and  lives  on  earth  1,000 years in his likeness and  in  a  state  of  perfect satisfaction and as an angel of God in HEAVEN, what can he hope to enjoy in Heaven  itself  that  he has not been enjoying for 1,000 years?  Here we have no continuing city,  but  we seek one to come.  That which we seek, is a continuing city.

     Those  who  are fortunate enough to obtain that world and the resurrection  from  the  dead will not be worried with the thought that the Devil will ever be permitted to  molest them again.  There the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest.

      I  would not have anyone believe that what I'm going to introduce in conclusion  will prove  or  disprove anything, but I have never read a dying testimony of  anyone  who  was blessed  to see and describe anything that would apply to a reign on earth of  a  thousand years,  but in every instance they were permitted to see such visions as we can only  hope to see in the immortal world.  I have never seen a sacred hymn that had for its background

anything  that  would seem to indicate that the writer was referring to  anything  in  the  great beyond except Heaven.  I remember a song I heard in my youth:  Lord, I want to  join the angels' beautiful home."  That song perhaps is obsolete, but that is still the  desire of our hearts.


                         The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,

                                The sun forbear to shine,

                             But God who called me here below

                                  Will be forever mine.

                         When we've been there TEN THOUSAND YEARS,

                                Bright shining as the sun!

                         We've no less days to sing God's praise

                                Than when we first begun.