Nothing can be of greater interest to a student of God’s Word than to watch the development of the 1000 years in the New Testament.  In the Old Testament, those years are, first of all, implied, though not mentioned, as introduced by Israel’s deliverance and the resurrection of the righteous, in Moses, Deut. 32: 39-43, and David, Psa. 49: 14, 15, then gradually unveiled in Hosea’s “Third DayHos. 6: 2, more fully opened out in the “Many Days” of Isa. 24: 22, and Ezek. 38: 8, and finally, disclosed in Dan. 12: 12, 13, as the blessed time following the resurrections of the just.  So, in the New Testament, we have a like development of the Interval between the resurrections.  First of all, since our Lord, in the Synoptists, has nothing to say of the resurrection of the wicked, He refers simply to the blessed age following the resurrection of the righteous, as a time when the just shall eat bread, and the righteous shine as the Sun, in the kingdom of their Father, Matt. 13: 43, Luke 14: 14, 15.  That this kingdom is a kingdom of glory on earth, is the common teaching of both Testaments.  But next, when our Lord has something to say of the resurrection of the wicked, in the Fourth Gospel, He employs a progressive method of discourse, advancing step by step, while grasping the total present and future in one conception, and, passing onward from one great thought to another, as plainly wakes the suspicion of an Interval between the resurrection of the righteous and the wicked, as He does of an Interval between the spiritual and bodily resurrections themselves.  And it is the very Interval Hosea, Isaiah and Ezekiel saw.  It lies, first of all, wholly concealed, then gradually unveiled, by our Lord, in John 5: 21-29, the classic passage constantly yet vainly quoted, by all Post-millennialists, to prove that no such interval exists.  That very passage, however, proves the contrary!  For, if we dismiss the wrong conceptions of it, that in the exposition of His Life-Giving Power and Judicial Authority, as the Son of Man, our Lord, first of all, uses a most general expression covering all kinds of resurrection, the resurrection of the soul, and the body; and at different times, both now and hereafter, 5: 21; next, as He proceeds from the general to the particular, He limits the expression to a purely spiritual resurrection, 5: 24; next, He passes on to mention the bodily resurrection of those who are already spiritually raised, viz: the resurrection of the righteous, or of some that are in their graves, verse 25; then, finally, extends His thought to include the bodily resurrection of the wicked as well as the righteous, i.e., of “all that are in their gravesverses 28, 29; the wondering crowd staring and listening, as His great discourse ascends to reach its climax.  It is during the progress of His speech to this climax, - which sweeps His whole official work, as the Son of Man, at both Advents and all the way between, and beyond, yea, the whole future in one vast conception, both before and after His second Coming, that the Interval after that Coming, viz.; that between the resurrection of the righteous and the wicked, begins to be detected and, at last, confirmed.  It is manifest that different events, occurring at different times, are grouped together, regardless of any specification of the Intervals between.  The whole time, present and future, is summed up in “the hour that is coming and now is,” in verse 25, and the “coming hour” in verse 28, and which is of larger extent than the “coming hour” in verse 25; that referring only to the time of the righteous, this to the times of both righteous and wicked.  Not a line exists to intimate the simultaneousness of the resurrection of these two classes, any more than the simultaneousness of the bodily and spiritual resurrections themselves.  On the contrary, the “First Resurrection,” foretold by Daniel 12: 1-3, Isaiah 26: 19, and  Rev. 20: 6, is here, as plainly in verse 25, as the “Last Resurrection,” taught by implication in Isa. 24: 22, and clearly in Rev. 20: 12-15, is there in verse 29.  The juxtaposition of both, in general discourse, or in one mental conception, grasping the whole future, verses 28, 29, does not necessarily involve simultaneousness of occurrence.  The Fourth Gospel has no other eschatology than is found in the Apocalypse, and both none other than is found in the Prophets, in Peter and Paul.  It is the voice of Christ that sounds in all.  And this is of first importance in our age, and one of the best exegetically established and victorious replies, - after 60 years of hottest conflict, - to the rationalists, and idealizers, who have assailed the Fourth Gospel on the one hand, and the Apocalypse on the other, as being un-canonical, and not written by the same author, because of difference of style, and chiefly of doctrine, and most of all in eschatology.  The words of Gebhardt, familiar with the whole controversy, are worthy to be quoted here, at length.  Commenting on John 5: 21-29, he says: “The Evangelist and Seer hold essentially the same views.  To an unprejudiced reader there can be no doubt that the Evangelist, in most perfect harmony with the Seer, expected that, after the completion of the earthly kingdom of Christ and the last judgment on Satan, and the passing away of the present world, the final judgment would take place, and that “all the dead until then, remain in the grave, would arise to be judged, in the general resurrection  “As to John 5: 25, there has, unnecessarily, been much controversy.  It can mean nothing else than the “First Resurrection,” in distinction from the general resurrection to judgment.  If the two bodily resurrections do not come externally together, in relation to time (as they do not) then the “Last Day” cannot possibly be anything else than the Great Final Catastrophe in its Twofold Degree of realization, viz; (a) The Advent and what it brings with it; (b) The Final Judgment and what depends upon it; both one and the same in nature, but in time and degree of realization, different.  When the Evangelist uses the name “Last Day” for this Duality, he intends nothing different from Christ’s “Day” which “Abraham saw afar off, and was glad  This is certainly correct.  Our Lord’s discourse here, even in the Olivet Prophecy, groups separate and distant events in one picture, after the manner of pre-exile prophecy.  The neglect to observe this law of prophetic representation, has turned prophetic theology into scholastic dogmatics and, blotting out the Interval between the resurrections and judgments, has given to the Church, since Constantine’s day, a series of Creeds and Confessions, and Standards of Doctrine, wherein both the resurrections and judgments are made simultaneous, without interval, and placed as due at one and the same epoch of time!  And this patent and palpable error of interpretation is one of the chief arguments, used by post-millennialists, against the pre-millennial coming of Christ!  The Church, however, has begun to see her error in eschatology, and in her creed-statement of the biblical doctrine, and to use her fresh light in defence of the truth.  “It is gratuitous,” says Professor Stanley Leathes, in his reply to Kuenen, “and contrary to analysis, to assume that, because events are mentioned in immediate juxtaposition, therefore they are to follow one another in immediate chronological sequence  Plainly so!  That one clear observation overthrows, and consigns to oblivion forever, the ordinary interpretation of John 5:21-29, by post-millennialists.  Allow that one false assumption for one moment, and prophecy stands self-convicted of irreconcilable contradictions, and Kuenen and his Dutch school wave their flag in triumph!




Before we advance farther it is of the first importance to advert to the celebrated passage. Dan.12:1-3, in connection with John 5:25-29.  If we open the theological textbooks we have been accustomed to study, or the ordinary commentaries, we shall find that, upon the question of the resurrection, these two passages are uniformly quoted, first of all, to prove a universal and simultaneous resurrection of the dead. They are the exegetical stronghold of post-millennialism, and are alleged to deny clearly the interval of 1,000 years between the resurrections, and to affirm the contemporaneous occurrence of both.  Nothing is more incorrect than this. The passages cannot be equated, nor does either teach, or even imply, a simultaneous resurrection of the righteous and wicked.  The points wherein these supposed parallel passages agree are fewer than those in which they differ.  They are only parallel in part, i.e., in respect to the "First Resurrection In Dan. 12:1-3, only the resurrection of the righteous is taught, i.e., of Israel’s* faithful dead, contrasted with which is the non-risen condition of the wicked destroyed from the face of the earth.  In John5:25-29 the resurrection of both righteous and wicked is taught, but not asserted as simultaneous.  There are no proof-texts for any such doctrine in all the Bible.  The Old Testament does not and cannot contradict the New, by abolishing the interval of the 1,000 years which separates the resurrection of the wicked from that of the righteous.


[* Many Christians today imagine that the saints of this dispensation will be elevated to the heavenly sphere of Christ’s Millennial Kingdom, while those who lived during Old Testament times will be on  earth, i.e. in the earthly sphere of the Kingdom.  Nothing could be further from the truth: the righteous of all ages will share the same privileges; and Old Testament saints inheriting the Kingdom, will not be rewarded in any lesser degree than saints living today, who will be judged as worthy (by the standards of their own righteousness, Matt 5: 20.) to inherit that same Kingdom.  “And these all, - (Old Testament saints included) - having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect,” (Heb. 11: 39, 40).  Only by means of resurrection will the dead be made ‘perfect’: And it is this First Resurrection of the dead which is taught in John 5: 25.]


Were it true that “at that time," Dan. 12: 1, when Antichrist comes to his end, Dan. 11: 45, a simultaneous resurrection takes place, or that Dan. 12: 1-3, even implies such a thing, no exegetical talent possible to angel or man, could reconcile this polar antagonism to other Scriptures.  The true rendering of Dan. 12: 1-3, in connection with the context, is “And (at that time) Many (of thy people) shall awake (or be separated) out from among the sleepers in the earth-dust.  These (who awake) shall be unto life everlasting, but Those (who do not awake at that time) shall be unto shame and contempt everlasting So, the most renowned Hebrew Doctors render it, and the best Christian exegetes, and it is one of the defects of the Revised Version that - for reasons deemed prudent, doubtless, by the Old Testament Company - it has allowed the wrong impression King James’ Version gives, to remain.  A false doctrine is thereby, through defective rendering, given colour from the Word of God which repudiates it at every step.


Not all awake “at that time,” but only many.  The “These" who awake, “at that time,” are the righteous of Daniel’s people, the as many as are “written in the BookDan. 12: 1; they, of whom the “instructed many,” and they that “understand11:33, are the types, the “Many” who are “turned to righteousness,” with those who have turned them, Dan. 12: 3.  The “Those” who do not awake, at that time, are the wicked * dead, Isa. 26:14, whom John calls the “rest of the deadRev. 20:7, and whom the pre-Christian Hebrew Teachers, the “Maskilim," called “Shear Hammethim," i.e., the “Remainder of the Dead."  They include the “Slain of the LordIsa. 66:16; the “carcasses” of the anti-christian host rotting on the field of the last conflict with the Beast; and described as “an abhorrence" to all beholders, Isa. 66:24; Dan. 7:26; Rev. 19: 17-21; 14: 20.  “Dead, they shall not live; Deceased, they shall not riseIsa. 26:14.  The grammatical and logical subject of the verb “awakeDan. 12:1-3, is “Many out from among the sleepers;" - not all.  The grammatical and logical subject of the verb “come forthJohn 5: 25-29, is “All that are in their graves,” - not merely many.  In John, the “come forth” belongs to both the clauses, “they that have done good,” and “they that have done evil,” because two classes are included in the “All that are in their graves In Daniel, on the contrary, the “awake” belongs to only one of the classes, viz., the “These,” because only one class is the total of the “Many out from among the sleepers It cannot belong to the “Those” from whose company “Those” are separated by means of the resurrection.


[* Some regenerate believers are described in the Holy Scriptures as “wicked”: “Thou wicked servant I forgave thee all that debt. ... So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses ...” (Matt. 18: 32, 35).   “For what have I to do to judge them also that are without?  Do not ye judge them that are within? but them that are without God judgeth.  Therefore put away (expel) from among yourselves that wicked person,” (1Cor. 5: 12, 13): See also Num. 16: 26.]


In brief, “Many out from among” cannot mean “All that are in The angel who spoke to Daniel was a better logician than to say that a part is the whole.  The common Church-Doctrine of a universal and simultaneous resurrection is not the Doctrine of the Word of God.  It rests on bad exegesis, misconception of the text, and disregard of the law of development in prophecy with respect to the Ages and the Ends.  Dan. 12: 1-3, teaches only the “First Resurrection,” as does Isa. 26: 19, its Old Testament “Companion-Piece,” as Delitzsch calls it, and as does Rev. 20:4-6, its New Testament “Companion-Piece And it is this first resurrection that is taught in John 5:25.  Daniel sees the Second Advent, the Deliverance of Israel’s surviving 144,000, the resurrection of Israel's faithful dead, and the Blessed Age beyond; “the 1,000 years,” when he stands in his lot.  For a full discussion of the passages, see “The Presbyterian Review.  Notes.  Jan. 1884.”*


[*1. Professor Briggs (Mess. Proph. I. 42), - “Some are to rise to receive their everlasting reward, and Some to shame and everlasting abhorrence


2. Excellently does Petri also reply, - “So long as you construe the ‘Sleepers’ with the ‘Many’ your philological acquirement can only be absurdly applied; for the partition is manifest


3. Excellently Fuerst also. -  “In Daniel 12: 2, the substantive verb, frequently omitted, is to be supplied


4. So Cocceuis, the best Hebraist of his day. -  “No universal resurrection is taught here.  Those who are unto eternal life are distinguished from those who are unto eternal shame and contempt.  The former awake at the time specified 11: 45; 12: 1.  To carry the verb ‘awake’ into the second member of the verse is to add to Scripture which I dare not do  (On Dan. 12: 2.)


5. So Saadis the prince of Hebrew scholars, the two Kimchis, Abarbanel, Bechai and Maimonides.


6. So Daechsel, - “Some Jews and Socinians, interpreting right, yet argue that in the Old Testament, the resurrection of the wicked is not taught.  This error lies in assuming that the time when Michael stands up, viz., the Advent, is the Absolute End which it is not, but only the Relative End.  Keil says he is ‘surprised to find the word Many here where the word All might have been expected!!!’  Professor Briggs says, ‘Daniel has not learned that the heathen will rise from the dead also!’ (p. 427), only Israel ! i.e., he did not know Isa. 24: 22.


“The Church idea of the resurrection is unbiblical.  The resurrection is not simultaneous but progressive, at different epochs.  A plurality of time-points is clearly distinguished: the resurrection of individual believers out from the mass of their own number as a result of Descensus ad inferos. ... Church dogmatics have not reproduced accurately the Bible doctrine of the resurrections.  In fact, in no other part of dogmatic study has so little been done as in Eschatology, because the subject matter is prophetic]