A question enters, here, of great importance. Among all interpreters, ‑ save the spiritualizers who have an easy way of solving every problem, ‑ the Relation of the Risen Glorified Church, to Israel, converted and restored, yet still in the flesh, presents matter for careful study and consideration.  The struggle to the light is full of interest.  This problem troubled the great Bengel.  Rejecting the definite article “the" in Rev. 20:4, before the words “thousand years,” ‑ and upon what seemed to him sufficient critical grounds, Bengel developed a curious Dischiliasm, or doctrine of two successive Millennia.  Because, on critical grounds, the definite article was excluded from verse 4, the 1000 years in verses 4‑6 appeared to be distinct from the 1000 years in verses 1‑3.  According to this view the First Millennium reached from the Epiphany of Christ, the Destruction of Antichrist, and Binding of Satan, to Gog's destruction and the First Resurrection, Gog being put at the end of the first 1000 years.  During this first millennium the Nations, no longer deceived by Satan, and taught by divine judgments, attain to the knowledge and worship of the true God.  The first 1000 years are the period of Satan’s Captivity.  The Second Millennium reaches from Gog’s destruction and the First Resurrection to the Parousia and Judgment of the Great White Throne, and is the period of the Reign of the Risen Martyrs; not, however, on earth, but over the earth, with Christ in heaven; ‑ the period of Israel’s blessedness in their own land.  In short, from the Epiphany to the Parousia are 2000 years, bisected by the First Resurrection.  Though militant, even to the Last Judgment, still the Church enjoys a glorious “Flowering Time” (Flor der Kirche) under the outpoured Spirit, not indeed before the Resurrection of the Martyrs and Israel's return, but before the Last Judgment or Parousia.  And this Church of the last 1000 years is Ezekiel’s Jerusalem below, while the Risen martyrs and the saints in glory form the Jerusalem above where Christ and those with Him, rule the world.  And these two Churches, the “Upper” and the “Lower,” abide separate during the second 1000 years, yet to blend in one, in the final New Heaven and Earth. Such the first brave struggle in the line of exegesis, out of that mediaeval darkness on this subject in which both Lutheran and Reformed were still held; yet not without previous beams of light from Spener, Vitringa and Joachim.  Though “mixed and confused,” the view of Bengel was accepted, by many, as a relief and step out from that spiritualizing and allegorizing mode of exposition which robbed Israel of their future, negated the prophetic word, and still afflicted Protestantism itself.  It is a view that, in part, is still held to‑day, by some, among whom are Delitzsch and Auberlen, but only so far as this, viz., that the Risen Saints, the Glorified Bride, “are retired into heaven, from there to rule over the earth during the 1000 years




Deeper study, however, has produced more light.  No one, now, adopts Dischillasm, and the large preponderance of the best judgment among specialists in eschatology is adverse to the retirement of the Risen Saints into heaven, from there to rule “over” the world.  Hofmann resists the conception and proves the inadmissibility of rendering the preposition “on” by “overA comparison of Rev. 5: 10 and 20: 4 forbids it.  The opinion rests, moreover, upon “the assumption that the Holy Land is not transfigured during the 1000 years*   As to the exclusion of the article, although Bengel has been followed herein by Lachman, Tischendorf, Tregelles, and others, yet De Wette regards the Manuscript authority for this as inadequate, the omission being not only “utterly improbable,” but “contrary to the context,” viz., that the Binding of Satan is the pre-condition of the Reign of Christ with His Risen Saints.  The initial point, or terminus a quo, of the 1000, years, in verses 1-3, is the same as in verses 4-6, therefore there are not two Millennia, but only one Millennium, dating from the Advent and the First Resurrection.  Delitzsch agrees that Bengel's Dischiliasm is not proved by Scripture.  Kliefoth, clearer than all, on this point, concedes the omission of the article, v. 4 and says that, even did the manuscripts justify the omission, “yet such omission is easily accounted for upon internal grounds; for verses 1-3 are one vision, while verses 4-6 are another and distinct vision.  As in the first vision, the 1,000 years are first named without the article, v. 2, and then with the article, v. 3, so in the second vision, the 1,000 years are first named without the article, v. 4, and then with the article, v.5.”  Then confirming De Wette's second reason, viz.: That the initial point of the 1,000 years is the same in both visions, he adds, “Since, however, both visions 1-3 and 4-6, run parallel, the 1,000 years are the same period, in both  They are, as Delitzsch savs, “the period when Israel enjoy the possession of their land, and Jerusalem, the Seat of the First Christian Church whence the gospel went forth, becomes glorious again as the Mother-Church and the Mother-City of the Kingdom of God


[*NOTE. The Greek word with the Genitive never means “over,” but “on” “upon” Rev. 5: 10]


There is no exegetical ground, therefore, whatever, for the doctrine of two millennia, and it is plain that the doctrine that the Risen Saints are retired into heaven to rule, from there "over" the world, and the Church below, is critically unjustified. Such a view rests entirely on dogmatic  grounds, arbitrary pre-suppositions, apart from exegesis, and alleged “inconceivability” and “incongruity” of the opposite view, and is therefore worthless.  The assumption, moreover, that there is no transfiguration of the Holy Land anterior to the final Regenesis of all things, is at variance with the express letter of God’s word, in many most notable passages, and avoided only by regarding such passages as mere “poetry” or “artistic ornamentation In opposition to this, it is our duty to say, with Kuper,  “The prophets of the Old Testament, like St. John in Patmos, are no mere Poets, nor Phantasts, but holy men of God who have spoken as they were impelled by the Holy Ghost.” “To interpret Israel's hope in the Kingdom, described by Ezekiel in chapters 40 - 48, phantastically, we have no right,” says Smend, “still less to interpret those visions spiritually, as is now almost generally the case Nor is there any authority for Dusterdieck and Kliefoth, Bertheau and Riehm, to interpret them “ideally  Even Kuenen has convincingly demonstrated that, and Orelli as well.


The Church of Christ, in the glorious Kingdom of Christ during the 1000 years, will be ONE, not Two.  The “right of judging” given to the Saints at the coming of Christ, is to be explained from the word “they lived and reigned with Christ The two expressions are of and in commensurate force.  The power of judging belongs to the kingly office of Christ, and the power of life belongs to the priestly office of Christ, “a priest forever, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless lifeHeb. 7 :16.  And because of this, the co-regency and co-ministry of those who are one with Christ, at His Appearing and Kingdom, is not that of one part of the Church over another part of the Church, but that of the whole Church as One, “on the earth,” and having “power over the nations As Luthardt has admirably said, “There shall not be one part of the Church, the Gentile part, glorified in heaven, and another part, the Jewish part, glorified on earth.  The Church shall be one with the Lord returned to earth in her midst, like the sun in the temple in New Jerusalem.  The distinction still obtains, however, between the glorified church gathered around her Lord, in her glorified place on earth, and the outer unglorified humanity still liable to sin and death, yet freed from Satanic dominion, and subject to the dominion of Christ and his Church.  The Earth, not heaven, is the place of the glorified Church.  When the Bridegroom comes, He descends from heaven.  For that reason, the Church* goes out to meet him,” even “to a meeting of the Lord, in the air,” as Paul declares. 1 Thess. 4: 27.  By the wonderful ministry of angels the whole body of believers is gathered to Him from all places.  The Bridegroom, however, is on his way to the Bride-chamber, therefore turns not back, but continues to move in the same direction He first took.  The Church does not remain in the air, nor is she retired into heaven, but after her ascension, accompanies the Bridegroom hitherward to the Holy Place where He will celebrate the marriage Supper of the Lamb. Of a journey backward with the Bride to heaven, the Scripture knows nothing.  The Bride glorified, her Place is also glorified.


[* The ‘church’ here is the ‘church of the firstborn,’ and therefore must include the dead of all previous ages whom the Lord will account ‘worthy’ to rule with Him in His Millennial Kingdom.  “God having provided some better thing concerning us - [i.e., saints living in N. T. times] - that apart from us they - [i.e.,  O. T. saints] - should not be made perfect,” (Heb. 11: 40): only saints resurrected AT THIS TIME wil reign with Christ in His Millennial Kingdom.– Ed.]


And thus the Bride above and the Bride below, the Risen Glorified Saints, and Israel in the flesh, redeemed, restored and holy, shall be One Bride, One Glorious Church in the Millennial Age, and share a Mutual Jubilee and Holy Sabbath.  And what Luthardt has said concerning Israel and the Gentile Church shall be likewise true concerning Israel themselves.  There shall not be one part of Israel in heaven, the glorified part, and another part of Israel on earth, the unglorilled part.  Israel's faithful dead will share with Israel's faithful the joy of the Kingdom on earth.  As Weber has said, “The Jewish Christian Church shall again revive.  From the Dispersion shall the living, and from their graves shall the dead be brought back to enjoy, together, in the Holy Land, the promised glory of the Messianic Age So Fuller. “Not merely those who survive to see the Advent, shall be delivered from the Tribulation, but also many from the sleepers in the dust shall be awaked, in order to enjoy the Redemption “The confessors of Jehovah,” says Delitzsch, “shall be waked from their graves and form with the faithful living, a glorious Church.  Here is the ‘First Resurrection’ “It is at the coming of the Lord Jesus that Israel is delivered.  It is then also that the ‘First Resurrection’ takes place,” adds Tregelles.  “The prophets predict” writes Koch, “that Israel, when Messiah comes, shall be delivered and their faithful dead shall rise.  The whole great company of those who have fallen asleep in Christ shall be waked to share the glory of His Kingdom on earth.  To Israel of the End-Time, of whom the prophets have spoken, the Church of all believers - [‘considered worthy’ (Luke 20: 35) – Ed.] - gathered out from all the nations shall be added, and together all shall reign with Christ, the 1,000 years So also Kiesselbach: “The prophet Isaiah in 26: 19 says more than that the faithful Israelites raised from the dust, shall be gathered, like the living, to their fatherland.  He tells us that these dwellers in the dust shall sing.  They shall share the rapture of the Home-Coming ones from distant lands, and for this very purpose the pious dead of Israel shall be waked from their graves “Not merely,” says Cloter, “the first converts from Israel together with a definite number gathered out from the Gentiles, but also the last converted Israel and all the holy dead shall share, together, the salvation in the Kingdom of Christ


So Hofmann: “Precisely that People whom the Tyrant, already pictured, would have destroyed, shall be delivered out of the unheard of Tribulation coming on the world in the last time, and shall enjoy the changeless and imperishable salvation.  The two propositions, ‘Thy people shall be delivered,’ and ‘many from among thy people shall awake out from among the sleepers in the dust,’ are contemporaneous events.  The Angel’s purpose was not to teach the universality of the resurrection, but to add to the limited number of those who, in the flesh, survive to see the Outcome of things, the many from the dead who, also, should none the less have part therein And Baur to the same effect. “In the Millennial Kingdom the Patriarchs and Prophets, and all the righteous shall be waked to enjoy, with the living, the peace of this Kingdom which, like the heavenly Jerusalem, is painted in colors the most glowing And this he assures us was “the faith of the primitive Church




If more were needed to confirm the view that the Risen Saints are not retired into heaven to rule the Church below, and the world, from there, the Scriptures will supply it.  In Isa. 26: 19, the dead are not awaked to be retired to heaven, but to rejoice on earth, and “sing” as they wake, and swell the jubilee.  In Dan. 12: 1-3, they rise to "stand" with Daniel in their “lot," verse 13, and take the kingdom, here, 7::27.  And yet, they “shine as the brightness of the firmament, and as the stars forever They possess a true, real, yet spiritual body, not like that of Lazarus after his resurrection, but like that of the Lord Himself, who tarried therewith 40 days on the earth; a glorious body even then, pervaded by the Spirit, and free from all earthly limitations incident to His state of humiliation.  So, in the parable, when the Son of Man has come with all His holy angels, and Wheat and Chaff are parted, the  “righteous shall shine in the kingdom of their FatherMatt. 13:43, - the kingdom to come where God's will is done “on earth."  Nor does Paul contradict this when speaking of the glory of the heavenly lights, he adds, “So also is the resurrection1Cor.15:42.  “The manifestation of the sons of God” is due to the manifestation, or Apocalypse, of the “Son of God,” and is glorious as was the transfiguration on the Mount. Matt. 17:1-4.  To be raised and changed, and “so” to be caught up and “so” to be with the Lord forever, as risen and changed, does not require a remaining forever in the air, nor a disappearing, backward, forever in the Heavens.  That is not the language of Paul. 1 Thess. 4: 16.


Even the Jewish teachers who saw in that far-reaching chapter, ‑ the 40th of Isaiah, ‑ the “Rapture of the Saints” in connection with the revelation of the “Glory of the Lord” which “all flesh” shall see “together," never dreamed of a detention in the air of the risen ones, or of those changed and who are described as “The ones expecting JehovahIsaiah 20: 31, was to the pious in Israel, what 1 Thess. 4: 16 is to us, but nowhere in all their literature, biblical or post-biblical, do we find either the view of aerial detention, or retirement to heaven, but always and everywhere, that of an open, free intercourse among all, “in the land of the living,” where the righteous no more are entombed, “nor die any more  The Gemara Sanhedrin preserves the tradition of the house of Elias, saying, “The righteous, whom God will raise up in the first resurrection, shall not return to the dust again, but in them, - during the 1000 years in which He restores the world, - the Blessed One will fulfil that word in Isaiah 40: 31.  “They shall renew their strength; they shall mount up as with wings of eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint The song of the 4 living creatures, and of the 24 Elders, is that the Kingdom of the Lion of Judah’s tribe, when He comes to reign, is “on the earth,” not “over” it. Rev. 5: 10.  It is “in This Mountain (even the literal “Mount Zion” where “He reigns gloriously before His ancients,” (Isa. 24: 23) that “the Lord of Hosts will make unto all peoples a feast of fat things,” and here “destroy the face of the covering cast over all peoples, and the veil that is spread over all nations,” and “swallow up death in victoryIsa. 25: 6, 7.  As Orelli beautifully says, “He will bring to the nations a true and divine surprise, when He takes away the covering that long enough has veiled their eyes.  They shall behold Him, then, as the Dispenser of all Life and Grace, and taste how good He is to those who bow before His majesty.  By a second marvel, He will show His omnipotent Love, abolishing Death with the Woe that has wrung from man uncounted tears, and extinguish the curse which, from the very beginning, has blasted the whole human race!”  Such will be the character of the Millennial Age, unchanged, till in mystery again its light shall fade a moment, only to reappear in brighter glory and shine eternally with the full splendor of an undimmed and unsetting sun.




To what extent the Glorification of our planet shall go, at the Second Coming of the Son of Man, is a point left undetermined in the Scriptures.  How far, outside the boundaries of the holy land the glorifying energy of the Spirit will pass when once the resurrection has come, what other cosmic convulsions and re-formations, besides those foretold, will occur, it is impossible to decide.  Here, as in other respects, we “see through a glass darkly If, with Lange, Christlieb, Van Oosterzee, and others, we regard the, "Palingennesia" or “Anakainosisas a mighty Cosmical “Proccss” begun by catastrophe and convulsions in heaven and earth, at the Apearing of Christ, and completed at the close of the 1000 years, by similar changes, while yet the evolution continues between, according to the law of geologic ages, then of this much we are certain, that Palestine is not the limit of the transformation.  Scientific reasons come in here to confirm this conclusion.  Geology itself teaches us that our Planet was once a vast mass of water, to the eye, that, only after some time, the dry land appeared, that what, is now land, was once submerged, and what is now sea was once land, and that all the mountains and valleys, and rivers and plains, are not of the same age.  And Scripture teaches the same lesson.  The earth and the world are expressly said to have been "formedand the mountains to have been “brought forth," and the seas to have been “gathered Scripture, in advance of Geology, foretold these phenonictia before Science explained them, and the experience of the past should advise us what to expect in the future.  God's word will prove true, and that in the most literal manner, precisely where reason is blind, and a spiritualizing interpretation seeks to bridge over what men choose to call a “difficulty”.  We know, from Paul, that, at the “redemption of the body,” “the creature itself also, shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of GodROM. 8:21.  It, too, shall share in the power of the resurrection.  We may not attempt to be wise above what is written.  This much, however, is sure to faith, that He who establishes His Kingdom of glory on earth, and rewards the righteous with rule over the “cities” and “nations” of men, will find a fit place of abode for His saints who, like Him, are conquerors over the grave.  Holding this, we are, at the same time, also permitted to hold that the power of locomotion given to a “spiritual body” i.e., a body under the perfect dominion of the Spirit, a body with motion “equal to the angels,” and such as our Saviour had at His ascension and wore during 40 days, appearing and vanishing by turns, will enable the raised from the dead, to transcend the limits of earth, “mount up” toward heaven as on eagle's wings, “run” without sense of fatigue, “walk, and not faint Even now, clogged and infirm as we are, the power of our will lifts us at once from our seats and bears us with ease along our way.  How much more obedient to the volition of the saint will his resurrection vesture be!  As there is nothing to compel us to restrain the visible, glorious personal Presence of Christ, to an uninterrupted stay upon earth during the 1000 years, so there is nothing to forbid the motion of His risen saints.  A free and open intercourse between heaven and earth is as believable a view - an appearing and disappearing, like that of the Saviour and like that of the bodies of many saints who arose and went into the Holy City, and there vanished away ‑ as is the scene of the Transfiguration, or the story of the post-resurrection life of Christ on the earth. Angelic ministry, moreover, waits on both Him and the Saints, and it may be that, in the Millennial Age, that word of Israel's King to Nathaniel will come to its full realization: “Hereafter ye shall see Heaven Open, and the Angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of ManJohn 1: 52.