New Testament Millennial Teaching
By GEO. H. FROMOW
In the following notes we endeavour to demonstrate that the future manifestation of the Messianic Kingdom in this present earth, is abundantly taught in the New Testament; that is that the doctrine of the Millennium is to be found therein in many passages before Revelation 20, where the length of the period is defined as, 1,000 years.
It is a common, but big mistake,
to suppose, as the non-millennarians do, that the
first and only mention of that age in the New Testament is Revelation. 20.
We shall show that other New Testament passages give clear and even more
detailed characteristics of the Golden Age, promised by Old Testament
prophets. Moreover, New Testament
Scripture is always an unfolding of the Old Testament, where the day of Jehovah
and His Chosen Messiah is so lavishly described and is particularly associated
Many Old Testament Scriptures emphasize the temporal and material aspects of the Kingdom, but even so, the earliest promises to Abraham were promises of grace, and so in the development thereof we find abundant spiritual blessings and promises for example, in Zephaniah 3, which, as Dr. G. Y. Biss phrased it, shows features of spiritual blessing common to believers in every age as well as to Israel in the age to come.
Matthew 6: 10,
shall take the first place. This verse forms the first petition of the Lords prayer, more correctly called the disciples prayer in which our Lord bade us pray Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is done in heaven. He did not, in this petition, teach us to pray that His kingdom should extend but come. Is not this a distinct reference to an earthly Kingdom? Where is Gods will to be done, unless in the earth, where it is not now obeyed universally?
Matthew 12: 32
Here our Lord distinguishes this world [Age] and the world to come, concerning certain sins against the Son of Man and against the Holy Ghost which cannot be forgiven, neither in this world, [Age] neither in the world to come. But forgiveness of sins can only be in this life and on this earth. There is no need for forgiveness for the saints in Heaven, in the New Heavens and New Earth or Eternity; and no scripture ever suggests forgiveness for the ungodly dead. Very well, then the only world [Age] to come in which there could be, or could not be, forgiveness of a particular sin, is in the millennial earth, the Age to come.
outlines the seven parables of the Kingdom. There we have the expression the end of the age (not world) three times. We are told in verses 39, 40, 49, what shall happen in the harvest at the end of the age. It is written that then the angel reapers will gather out of His Kingdom all things that offend and them which do iniquity. It does not say that the Kingdom will be gathered out of the world, or transferred to heaven, but that all offences and lawlessness will be removed out of the Kingdom. It does not say the Kingdom will be brought to an end as far as the present earth is concerned. The sphere of the Kingdom is stated by our Lord to be the world, The field is the world; wherefore the Kingdom so purged will continue in the world. The angels will sever the wicked from among the just; the assumption surely is that there is continuity in the sphere of the just from whence the wicked are severed. But the just of this present age will then be translated to the heavenly sphere, but other just ones will continue in this present sphere.
Matthew 19: 28,
reads: Ye which have followed Me, in the
regeneration [Gr. paliggenesia] when the Son of Man
shall sit on the Throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones,
judging the twelve tribes of
Matthew 23: 36-39,
that there is to be a terminus to the desolations of
Luke 1: 32, 33
The Lord God shall
give unto Him the throne of His father David, and He shall reign over the house of Jacob. It has been objected that the throne is not a literal seat.
Truly it is not limited to a literal seat. The
meaning is a sphere of authority. That
sphere of authority as in this passage, is the
Luke 1: 70 - 79
The song of Zachariah, like that of Mary, is saturated with Old Testament predictions and is prophetic in confirmation of those utterances by the Mouth of the holy prophets which have been since the world began. Confirmation, let it be noticed, not annulment or transference, including:
(a) Salvation from our enemies;
(b) the performance of the mercy covenanted to Abraham and the fathers;
(c) deliverance from enemies to serve God without fear in holiness and righteousness
all the days of our life.
These, points doubtless have their spiritual bearing in this age, but clearly anticipate the age to come.
Luke 22: 27 - 29,
is parallel to Matthew 19: 28: I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father bath appointed unto Me, that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. This passage is in harmony with Ezekiels reference to the Lords table in the millennial temple, The table that is before the Lord. It thus supplies additional evidence that the throne and the thrones are to have a manifestation on this earth.
Luke 19: 11 - 27,
gives us the parable of the King going into a far
country to receive for himself a kingdom und to return. The King is the
Lord; the Kingdom, this worlds sovereignty,
especially over Emmanuels Land; the citizens are
John 5: 24 - 29,
give some distinctive marks of the ages present and to come, and these from our Lords own lips:-
(1) The present Gospel age, verse 24: He that heareth My Word is hearing the gospel unto eternal life.
(2) The first resurrection is in verse 25, where the hearing is the voice of the Son of God, as it was heard by Lazarus, and as it will be heard at His return, when He shall descend with a shout.
(3) The authority of the Son of Man for judgment, verse 27. His being given authority from the Father to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of Man, surely indicates the execution of governmental judgment over the nations and is another reference to Daniel 7, where the Son of Man is invested with governmental authority universally.
(4) The second resurrection (verses 28 - 29), which, according to Revelation 20, follows the 1,000 years, is seen here to be in the same order and relation. Indeed, every Scripture in which the two resurrections are named preserves this same connection. B. W. Newtons tract on the Word of God and the Voice of the Son of God is helpful on these verses.
Acts 1: 6, 7
The. disciples ask: Wilt thou at
this time restore again the
Acts 2: 30,
further reference to Christ being raised up to sit on the throne of David, but
seeing that both Jews and Gentiles had rejected Him as King, the Father has
received Him saying (verses -
34, 35) in the language of Psalm 110, Sit Thou on My right hand until I make Thine enemies thy footstool. Psalm 110 is the most quoted in the New Testament of
all Old Testament passages, and it is a psalm of Christs government. Following the period to be
terminated by that until: The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength
Acts 2: 16 - 21,
similar order of events and the prediction of Joel. 2, where
we find the following succession of Divine dealings with
(2) Signs in the heavenly bodies;
(4) The full
Pentecostal outpouring, first upon
The first Pentecost was a sample, a foretaste of the Feast of Tabernacles yet to come. In order to fulfil all this there must needs be a period of government on and over the earth, otherwise no display of all this detail could be effected. The partial outpouring of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost, while the Lord is on the Fathers throne, in no way lessens the hope of His full outpouring when the Lord sits upon His own throne.
Acts 3: 18 - 26,
is a further confirmation of those things which God before showed by all His prophets. (This confirmation of the prophets is emphatic by six references to Old Testament, prophets in the paragraph.) These predictions are:-
(1) The times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord;
(2) The times of the restitution [restoration] of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began;
(3) those days foretold;
(4) All the kindreds of the earth blessed in and with the seed of Abraham.
Let it be noted, the heavens
must receive Jesus until these things come to
pass; therefore His coming again must precede these things; or in formal terms
His coming must be pre-millennial. His
coming ushers in the refreshing, the restitution, the restoration, the
rehabilitation of the
Acts 15: 14 - 17
As in chapter 2 the prophecy of Joel 2 is
confirmed, so here the prediction of Amos 9 is
confirmed. There we are taught that after the out-gathering of this present age (Acts 15: 14) and after Israels desolations (Amos 9: 9, 10), in that day I will return and build again the tabernacle of David which is fallen down
and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up; that the
residue of men may call upon Me.
Compare the Acts and Amos passages; Amos says the remnant of
Once again the two ages are clearly marked off. (1) The present age of visitation of the nations to out-gather the elect; and (2) the future age, when the residue of men seek the Lord, these ages being intersected by the return: I will return. The use of this passage by James would seem to be, in effect, this: If the Lord will so act in the age to come, it cannot be that He will disapprove of a Gentile ingathering in this day of grace.
Acts 17: 31,
is in full harmony: He hath appointed a day in the which He will judge the world [Gr. Oikoimene, the inhabited earth] in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained. There is no reason to limit judge here to the one day of judgment, or to His judgment of the antichristian nations, or to the Great White Throne. It is quite in keeping with all other references to this subject to think of His judgment as His governance of the earth for the one thousand years. His judgments are not only penal, they vindicate His chosen, and order all beneath Him. In the final chapters of the Acts we find the Apostle Paul speaking of the hope six times in four passages.
For the foundation passages on which this expression The Hope of Israel rests, see Jeremiah 14: 8; 17: 13. Christ and Gods purposes in Him form the Hope of Israel, to be realized at the first resurrection.
Romans 4: 13,
The promise that he should be heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. What could be clearer than that all* the promises concerning blessing in Christ, whether the spiritual blessings of the Covenant or concerning the land and people, nations and world, were made not under the conditional covenant of works, but under the unconditional covenant of grace! Galatians 3: 18, teaches the same thing: For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise, but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
[* NOTE. The teaching of Paul in Galatians chapter 3, has to do with justification by
faith. Therefore, the inheritance in this 3rd chapter is an eternal
inheritance in a new heaven and a new earth
(Rev. 21:1); Gods unconditional promise to
ALL His redeemed children, after the Great White Throne
Judgment at the end of the millennial kingdom. But in chapter 5
the inheritance is clearly shown to depend
WORKS after regeneration: I warn you as I did before, that those
who live like this will NOT
Romans 8: 18 - 23,
speaks of the deliverance of this creation from its groans and bondage. Mark, it does not speak of the new creation which is heavenly and suited to spiritual bodies, but it speaks of the relief of this Adamic creation; and that is to be at the manifestation of the Sons of God. Then will this creation enter into the liberty of the glory (R.V.) of the Sons of God.
Throughout this passage creature may be rendered (as it is once) creation.
Romans 9. - 10.
These chapters need a full
exposition to bring out all that is stated or implied as to the age to come,
the age of
Look at chapter 11: 11 - 32
The reconciling of the world, life from the dead waits
upon Israel being grafted into her own olive tree, for God is able to
graft them in again; so all Israel
shall be saved, i.e. the spared elect remnant of Israel will be the nucleus of the redeemed nation of the
millennium. This grafting in of
Romans 15: 1 - 13,
is emphatic as to our hope and affirms that Jesus Christ was a
minister of the circumcision for the truth of God. to confirm
the promises made unto the fathers. There follow four
quotations from Old Testament prophecy, all of which show Gentile blessings as being with
1 Corinthians 6: 2, 3,
asks the question: Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and judge angels?; and the time of so doing is set over against judging among brethren in this life. This surely is in full keeping with Luke 22: 27-29, previously noticed.
1 Corinthian s 15: 23-28,
gives us the order of the saints resurrection; every man in his own order [rank]
(1) Christ the firstfruits,
(2) Afterwards [or then, next in time] they that are Christs at His Parousia.
(3) Then the Kingdom, verses 24 and 25. The character of that kingdom as of one in which all things shall be subjugated is further unfolded in verses 27, 28.
(4) Then cometh the end, verse 24. When? The verses following supply the answer, When He shall have ... put down all rule and all authority and power ... put all enemies under His feet ... all things under His feet ... all things subdued under Him. This subjugation will evidently take time, a time defined in Revelation 20 as one thousand years. Our Lord must put down all His enemies before He delivers up the Kingdom to His Father at the end. This putting down can only be done on the earth, obviously!
(5) Then the end of the resurrection; as resurrection is the primary subject of the passage, it must be the subject of the end - when He shall have delivered up the Kingdom, i.e. the second resurrection.
(6) The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death (verse 26). Death, the last enemy, is not to be destroyed until the thousand years are
finished. - B. W.
1 Corinthians 15: 54 - 57
Verses 51 to 54 unveil some details of the secret of the great change at the resurrection at the last trump, when it is said: Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written Death is
swallowed up in victory. This last quotation is from Isaiah 25: 8. Will anyone dare to
suggest that although the words quoted will have a literal fulfilment, and victory come to the redeemed, the rest of Isaiah 25 is to be spiritualized and have no fulfilment regarding
Israel and the nations in that mountain. He will destroy the
face of the covering cast over all peoples, etc. (see Isaiah 25: 8). The statement that then shall be brought to pass (Isaiah 25: 8) fixes the time of
2 Corinthians 3: 14 - 18,
in its reference to the vail of unbelief over the heart and mind of Israel, has a further distinct link with Isaiah 25 and the removal of the vail covering Israel and then that covering the nations: When it [the heart of Israel] shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.
Galatians 4: 27,
is a quotation from Isaiah 54: 1: Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not: break forth and cry, thou that travailest not, for the desolate hath many more children
than she which hath an husband. The application, even the fulfilment,
here is that the rejoicing is under grace and not under works,
but the quotation does, not empty the passage of Isaiah 54 of that content
which tells of
Philippians 2: 10, 11, and Colossians 1: 20,
anticipate the age when every knee shall have to bow to our Lord, in heaven, on the earth and under the earth, and all things in heaven and earth be reconciled to Himself.
2 Thessalonians 1: 5.10,
speaks of an aspect of the
1 Timothy 2: 12,
informs us that if we suffer with Him we shall also reign with Him.
Ephesians 1: 21, and 2: 7,
speak of the age to come and ages to come as distinct from this age. The age to come can only mean the millennial age; ages to come may include the eternal state; even as the dispensation of the fullness of the times in chapter 1: 10, gathers up all the ages and dispensations.
2 Timothy 4: 1
The Lord will
judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and his kingdom. What kingdom? Evidently
that aspect of the Kingdom which will be manifested at His appearing. The present spiritual manifestation of the
Kingdom and its heavenly eternal fullness are neither, of them dependent, on
His appearing and glory! Here the
Kingdom is seen as ushered in by His appearing, that appearing being to
Hebrews 2: 5,
world to come. The Greek is Oikoumene and
means inhabited earth; it is the word used of the
B. W. Newton has a
very useful tract on this passage entitled The
World to Come, a booklet we wish every non-millennarian
would read. Dr. Oswald Allis has said: In Hebrews we
find nothing about a return to the
Moreover, in verses 12 and 13 there are three quotations from the Old Testament showing our Lords unity with His brethren, the sanctified, the church, the trusting ones and His children; the context of which in the passages quoted concerns the Kingdom. Thus Psalm 22: 27, 28: All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord; and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. For the kingdom is the Lords: and he is the governor among the nations. And in Psalm 18 the trusting one becomes head a of all the nations. (verse 43), and subdueth the peoples (verse 47). Then that from lsaiah 8: 18, takes us back to the great prophecy of Emmanuel and His land (Isaiah 7 and 12). What further need of speaking to any Hebrew of the restoration of the land!
James 1: 18,
speaking of believers today, says that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures. What shall the afterfruits secondfruits or laterfruits be? In Hebrews 12: 23, we are called the general assembly and church of the firstborn. Surely first implies a second in all these passages. We submit that these expressions dispose of a frequent objection that the Church will be complete at our Lords return. It is true that the Church of this age will he complete, they that are Christs at His coming; but that does not exclude them that shall believe, afterwards, a church, an election, fruit in the coming age.
1 Peter 1: 5,
speaks of Salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Does not the last time refer to the last age or dispensation?
2 Peter 3: 10.12,
treats of the Day of the Lord which will come as a thief in the night, in which [i.e. in the Day of the Lord] the heavens shall pass way, the day of God wherein the heavens being on fire shall he dissolved. That is to say, this passing away of the heavens and earth and all therein will not be at the beginning of the day of the Lord, but at the end. There is nothing here to suggest that these happenings take place at the beginning of the Day of the Lord. On the contrary, that day of 1,000 years having run its course; the Lord having been not slack concerning His promise in the matter of the manifested [millennial] kingdom; then, at the end of the Day the heavens and the earth shall pass away.
However, even the Millennium is not the greatest end God has in view we look for new heavens and a new earth, the new creation wherein dwelleth righteousness.
In the book of the Revelation, the reign of the Lord and of the saints over the earth is named before chapter 20.
In chapter 2: 26, 27,
He that overcometh* and keepeth my words unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations [When, unless in a coming age of rule over the earth?] and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. Obviously, our Lord is alluding to Psalm 2 and His having the nations under His sovereignty.
[* See Selected Quotations Numbers, - 136, 169, 177, 279, 318, 341, 383, 457, 580, 626 and 673.]
In chapter 3: 12,
He that overcometh is to have written upon him the name of the New Jerusalem which cometh down out of heaven from God, a reference to the later chapter (21), where the New Jerusalem is seen in relation to the earth below.
In chapter 3: 21,
is a reference to believers sitting with Christ His throne, even as Christ is now on the Fathers throne; a clear distinction between the Fathers and our Lords throne at present in heaven and the coming [millennial] throne of manifested power over the nations or the throne of His father David.
In chapter 5: 10,
And hast made us unto our God kings and priests and we shall reign on the earth, or as Dr. S. P. Tregelles renders it, and they shall reign over the earth.
Revelation 11: 15,
And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever.
The seventh trumpet is the last trump of 1 Corinthians 15: 52, the events which follow here agree with the events which are associated with the passage there quoted from Isaiah 25: 8, namely, the kingdoms of this world are manifestly made our Lords. Chapter 4 does not say the kingdoms of heaven, or of the world of eternity or of the new heavens and the new earth; but of this world. To us this is another conclusive passage.
In chapter 14,
the Lamb is seen standing on
when the earth has been cleansed of the vine of the earth, of Christendom
We submit that we have demonstrated the fact of the manifested reign to come, not as reading backwards from Revelation 20, but as reading forward from Old Testament Scriptures which abundantly speak thereof, to New Testament Scriptures which move forward with a consistent confirmation of the promises and prophecies made to the fathers, and a consistent confirmation of the same order of events in grace and judgment. All is a harmonious plan, nothing strained, forced, misapplied, spiritualized,
crowns and completes our study, with its six-times-named definition of the Millennium:
(1) The Devil is bound 1, 000 years (verse 2);
(2) The nations are no longer deceived 1,000 years (verse 3);
(3) The saints reign with Christ this 1,000 years (verse 4);
(4) The rest of the dead live not again for 1,000 years (verse 5);
(5) The saints shall be priests and kings 1,000 years (verse 6);
(6) Satan shall be loosed at the end of a 1,000 years (verse 7).