THE KINGDOM OF THE THOUSAND YEARS

 

OR

 

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE THOUSAND YEARS

 

By  NATHANIEL WEST

 

FOREWORD

 

" He [Jesus] said to them, 'How foolish you are, and how slow of heart that you do NOT believe ALL that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter His glory'? And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in ALL the Scriptures concerning himself," (Luke 24: 25-27). "'This is what I told you while I was with you': - [on the road to Emmaus] - 'Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms'. Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures, (Luke 24: 44, 45).

 

In the Scriptures we find two distinct, contrasted, yet connected experiences of Christ - sufferings and triumph. (1) "The Prophets testified beforehand the sufferings unto Christ, and (2) the glories that should follow them" (1Peter 1: 11): (1) "Behoved it not the Christ to suffer these things and (2) enter into His Glory?" (Luke 24: 26).

 

This double experience is seen very clearly in Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53, as well as in many other places.

 

Two things are certain.

 

(1) That the predictions concerning the sufferings of Christ were fully accomplished in Jesus of Nazareth. On p. 114 of God's Living Oracles (Pickering and Inglis, Ltd.), by Dr. A. T. Pierson, it is said:

 

Minutiae of Detail.

 

Over three hundred predictions about the Messiah are found in the Old Testament.  According to the law of compound probability, the chance of their coming true is represented by a fraction whose numerator is one, and the denominator eighty-four, followed by nearly one hundred ciphers!  One might almost as well expect by accident to dip up any one particular drop out of the ocean as to expect so many prophetic rays to converge by chance upon one man, in one place, at one time. God has put especially upon these prophecies as to His Son the stamp of absolute verity and indisputable certainty, that we may know Whom we have believed. Mistakes in so solemn a matter are fatal and God meant that none should be possible.

 

(2) But it is equally obvious that the accompanying and intertwined predictions of the triumph and glories of Christ, TO BE VISIBLE ON THIS EARTH, have NOT been fulfilled.  The Devil is not crushed and Christ is not here glorified.  Therefore, all those numerous predictions which foretell this simultaneous triumph and defeat remain at present unfulfilled, and the minute, exact, complete accomplishment of the prophecies of His suffering are WARRANT- [What greater means of Official Authorization can we have, other than THE WORD OF GOD?]- for expecting the equally exact and complete fulfilment of those of HIS GLORY AND REIGN, and of the overwhelming of the Devil and his kingdom.

 

From the standpoint of today it cannot be denied that the former have had a complete, literal and accurate fulfilment; which is rational ground for expecting that the latter will most certainly have a complete, literal, accurate, fulfilment in His Millennial Kingdom: GOD has declared it in HIS WORD!

 

It is said that the Seed of the woman should bruise the Serpent's head, and that the latter should bruise His heel.  The Victor's heel has been bruised: now we must wait for the appointed time, for the final and complete victory of Christ over Satan and his kingdom, as a man conquers a serpent when he crushes its head with his heel.

 

This, therefore is our theme, regarding those prophecies of His, which have reference to His Millennial reign. "All of the problems that are raised by the questions concerning the Millennial Kingdom have been subjects for study by the leaders in Christian thinking since the beginning of our era. One of those who has gathered up the results of the study of these men is Nathaniel West.  He has assembled into his volume, 'The Thousand Years in Both Testaments', an astounding wealth of information on the points at issue."

 

G. H. Lang.

 

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The following are some of the characteristics of the 1,000 years, as Dr. West has tabulated them:- 

 

1.  Satan, the Cause of all the World's Woe, shall, together with his evil Angels, be imprisoned in the "abyss," chained, sealed, and locked up, beyond the possibility of getting out, during the whole Millennial reign.  His power over man, and the nations, will be absolutely broken. ISAIAH 24: 21, 22; 27: 1; REVELATION 20: 1, 2. A half week of years, previously to this, he has been dejected from heaven. REVELATION 12: 7-12.

 

2.  Antichrist's kingdom, overthrown forever, and the kingdoms of this world with it, shall never be revived, nor Antichrist and his confederates ever reappear to dwell upon the earth.  These, with the False Prophet, are cast alive into the "lake of fire." ISAIAH 24: 21, 22; REVELATION 19: 20; 20: 10.

 

3. There shall be but One Kingdom, in that day, the Kingdom of Christ, to which all the nations of earth shall be obedient, a kingdom "under the whole heaven," from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth. PSALM 2: 1-12: 72: 8; DANIEL 2: 44; 7: 27; NUMBERS 24: 17; REVELATION 11: 15; ZECHARIAH 14: 9; 11: 10.

 

4. There shall be but One Religion, then, the Religion of Christ, alone.  Christianity shall be coextensive with the limits of the world. All false religious systems, and corrupt forms of Christianity, shall have disappeared, forever. ISAIAH 45: 23; 52: 1, 7-10; 66: 17, 23; ZECHARIAH 14: 16; 8: 23; 9: 7; REVELATION 5: 9-14; ZEPHANIAH 3: 9; MALACHI 1: 11.

 

5.  All idols shall be destroyed, of whatever kind. A presage of this, in primary fulfilment, was given at the First Advent, and is celebrated, not only in Plutarch's account of the "Cessation of the Heathen Oracles," but also in the choral strains of Milton's "Ode on the Nativity of Christ." ISAIAH 2: 8; 42: 17; PSALM 97: 7; ZECHARIAH 13: 2.

 

6.  "All Israel" shall be holy to the Lord; and this means, not the Christian Church, nor the Nations, but the Jewish people as such, the natural seed of Abraham.  Their apostasy will be finished, their sin sealed, their iniquity atoned, and everlasting righteousness and holiness be brought in. DANIEL 9: 24; ISAIAH 26: 2; DEUTERONOMY 30: 6; ISAIAH 60: 21; JEREMIAH 3: 17; 50: 20; EZEKIEL 36: 25-27; 37: 23, 24; ZEPHANIAH 3: 13; REVELATION 14: 1-5; ZECHARIAH 14: 20; ISAIAH 54: 13, 14.

 

7.  War shall exist no more. This result of the Binding of Satan, who is the instigator of all war, and cause of all national and international collision, continues throughout the whole Millennial age.  The proof that Satan is not bound, now, is (a) the fact of "War," in the present age, and (b) the fact that when loosed for a "little season," at the end of this age - i.e., the millennial age (Rev. 20: 7), - his first effort is to excite the nations to "War," and (c) to war against the Kingdom of Christ.  In the Millennial age, however, all is peace, not only between man and man, but also between the Nations. ISAIAH 2: 4; 9: 5; MICAH 4: 3, 4; HOSEA 2: 20; ZECHARIAH 9: 10; EZEKIEL 39: 9, 10; REVELATION 20: 1-3.

 

8.  Harmony shall be restored in creation, between man and man, and a covenant of peace be made between man and the lower animal world.  This also is a result of the Binding of Satan, who first entered a Serpent to practice his arts on mankind. ISAIAH 11: 6-9; 65: 25; HOSEA 2: 20; EZEKIEL 34: 25, 28; MICAH 4: 3.

 

9.  The land of Israel shall be transformed from barrenness into beauty, and made fruitful, glorious, and free from plague, and populated by a happy and blessed people; the people to whom, by right, it belongs. ISAIAH 35: 1; 41: 18, 19; AMOS 9: 13-15; ISAIAH 55: 17-25; ZECHARIAH 8: 3-8.

 

10.  Patriarchal years will return, in which a man, 100 years old, shall be esteemed a child.  Instead of saying, as we now do, that such a one has entered his "teens," it will be said that such a one has just entered his "hundreds." ISAIAH 65: 20-22. The risen saints "neither marry, nor are given in marriage." MATTHEW 22: 30; but the un-glorified are a "blessed seed, and their offspring with them." ISAIAH 65: 23.

 

11.  Israel and Judah, or 12-tribed Israel, shall be re-united as One Nation, under One King, in their own land; and, enriched with special gifts of wisdom, knowledge, and grace, be a blessing to all mankind.  Thus, the promise of Abraham will be fulfilled. "in thy seed," etc., etc. EZEKIEL 27: 1-28; MICAH 4: 8; JOEL 2: 27; 3: 1; ZECHARIAH 2: 4; ISAIAH 11 : 9; JEREMIAH 31: 34; ROMANS 11: 12-15.

 

12.  Jerusalem and Mount Zion, by means of physical convulsion and geological changes suddenly effected through disruption, depression, fissure, and elevation, at the Lord's appearing, shall be "exalted" or "lifted high," above the surrounding hills, and the adjacent region be reduced "to a plain," like the Arabal, or Ghor, that runs from the slopes of Hermon to the Red Sea. "All the land will change itself," and the geographic centre of the reconstruction will be determined by the boundaries of the ancient territory of JudahAll this the effect of the "Presence of the Lord," more awful than His "Presence" at Sinai. ISAIAH 64: 1-4; MICAH 1: 3, 4; JUDGES 5: 4,5; PSALM 97: 4, 5; EXODUS 19: 18, 24; HABAKKUK 3: 6, 10; NAHUM 1: 5, 6.; MATTHEW 27: 51, 52; ISAIAH 40: 1-5; 2: 2; MICAH 4: 1; ZECHARIAH 14: 4, 5, 10, 11; JERMIAH 31: 38-40.

 

13.  The City itself shall be built again, broadened, enlarged, and adorned with the wealth of the nations, and the Temple made glorious by the "precious things" of mankind.  Jerusalem shall not only be "lifted up," but made "fruitful as the Valley of the Jordan." PSALM 72: 10; ISAIAH 26: 15 (Revised Version.) JEREMIAH 31: 38; ISAIAH 60: 10-18; HAGGAI 2: 6-9; JEREMIAH 3: 17, and the last nine chapters of EZEKIEL.

 

14.  The "Outcast of Israel" and "Despised of Judah," gathered to enter the Kingdom, will return to their fatherland, from the East, the West, the North, and the South, to sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, conducted thither by Gentile hands, and presented, as a holy Mincha or Offering, to the Lord Himself, revealed in His glory. Auxiliary to this great Ingathering of the Hebrew people, the River of Egypt, the Nile, shall be divided and dried up, and the River Euphrates also, to make way for the march of Israel returning under the protection of Eastern princes.  A high road, moreover, out of Egypt to Assyria will accelerate the movement, and ships from Tarshish, and the Sea-Islands, will cover the Mediterranean, loaded with Israel's sons, their silver and gold, and the wealth of a world startled by the revelation of Christ in His glory.  With ancient valour they shall press their way to the plain of Esdraelon where stands the Hill of Megiddo (Armageddon), and under "One Head," their Bozrah-Conqueror, move to possess the Holy City forever. "Great will be the Day of Jezreel!" ISAIAH 11: 10-16; 26: 13-16; 27: 12,13; 49: 12, 22, 23; ZECHARIAH 10: 10-12; ZEPHANIAH 3: 9; REVELATION 16: 12; ISAIAH 65: 19, 20; MATTHEW 8: 11; ISAIAH 35: 8; 11: 16; 19: 23-25; 60: 9; 63: 1-6; 59: 16-21; REVELATION 16: 16; 19: 11-21; HOSEA 1: 11; ZECHARIAH 12: 4-9.*

 

(* The valley of Jezreel or Valley of Megiddo, is the World-famed Plain of Esdraelon, where Barak defeated Sesera, and young Josiah and the Hebrew Theocracy fell together before the might of Pharaoh-Necho. It stretches from Scythopolis to Mount Carmel, 30 miles long, and 20 miles broad.  On account of the Hill of Megiddo, it is called in the Apocalypse "Armageddon."  It will be, in the final invasion of Palestine by the last Antichrist, the place of Encampment and Rendezvous, for his Western confederates, the ten kings, even as Bozrah will be a scene of slaughter for his South-Eastern reserves and the Valley of Jehoshaphat the final and the fatal Winepress!)

 

15.  Ten men, of all nations, that is, a large number, - in token of their recognition of what the Lord in His glory does for the Jew in the hour of his final deliverance, will "take hold of the skirt of a Jew," then honoured beyond all others, and, detaining his step, beseech his favour, as he moves to the Holy City.  The wiping away of the rebuke and reproach of Israel, brings the national conversion of the Gentiles, international concerts of prayer, and the concourse of men to the Throne of Jehovah, to worship before the Lord. ZECHARIAH 13: 23; JEREMIAH 3: 17; REVELATION 15: 4; ISAIAH 25: 7, 8; 2: 2, 3; MICAH 4: 2; ISAIAH 45: 14-25. Apostolic Christianity was only a pledge of this.

 

16.  A Perennial Stream of living water shall flow from the Temple-Rock toward the Mediterranean and Dead Seas, carrying life wherever it goes, and, with the renovation and transformation of the Holy City, monthly fruits shall grow upon trees on either side of the river. EZEKIEL 47: 1-12; ZECHARIAH 14: 8; JOEL 3: 18.

 

17.  A Re-distribution and Division of the Holy Land shall be made according to the 12 tribes of Israel.  Bounded, according to ancient covenant, North and South by the Euphrates and Nile, and East and West by the Sea of Oman and the Mediterranean, thirteen equal spaces of 50 miles each, the "Temple" and the "Holy Oblation" between seven on the North of the Tribes, each in their "lot," and five in the South, will cover the area where Israel dwells. The Glorification of the Land by means of the Temple-Waters, and the Redistribution of the Land go together.  The name of the Holy City is "Jehovah Shammah, The Lord is There!" EZEKIEL 47: 1-12; 47: 13-23; 48: 15, 35.

 

18.  There will be a Cessation of Sorrow, Tears, and Death, for God's people in that age.  Although Sin and Death still exist, yet nowhere do we read that God's people are subject to the same. Elsewhere existing, though not reigning as now, yet among God's people these things never come. ISAIAH 25: 6-9; 26: 1-4; 35: 10. The universality of this exemption is reserved for the final New Heaven and Earth. REVELATION 21: 1-4.

 

19.  There will be a Sevenfold Fulness and Increase of Light, Solar and Lunar, in that day, when parted Israel are reunited in their fatherland. ISAIAH 30: 26; 60: 19, 20; ZECHARIAH 2: 5; ISAIAH 4: 5.

 

20.  There shall be a Restoration of Samaria, Sodom, and Gomorrah, less guilty than Jerusalem, in that day, and an alliance between them all, in covenant holiness, humility, and acknowledge of the Lord; as also between Israel, Egypt and Assyria. EZEKIEL 16: 46-63; ISAIAH 19: 23-25; 11: 16.

 

21.  A Yearly Concourse of people, from all nations, shall go to Jerusalem to worship.  As already, in the Holy City, ages before, a Christian Passover was celebrated, and a Christian Pentecost was enjoyed, where "Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, and dwellers in Mesopotamia and in Judea and in Cappadocia, in Pontus and Asia, Pheygia, Pamphylia, in Egypt and the parts of Lybia about Cyrene, and sojourners from Rome, both Jews and Proselytes, Cretes, and Arabians," all saw and heard "the wonderful works of God," so a Christian Feast of Tabernacles shall not only be celebrated for the glorious Millennial ingathering, and remembrance of Desert-Life and the tribulation gone forever, but shall become a stated service in the metroplis of the new kingdom. ZECHARIAH 14: 16; ACTS 1: 9-12; JOHN 7: 2, 37-39; REVELATION 22: 17.

 

22.  Israel shall be a Priestly Nation, as well as Royal, in presence of all Nations, offering perpetual spiritual sacrifice to God through Jesus Christ, an example of religious devotion to the whole world. ISAIAH 66: 21; 61: 4-6.

 

23.  The Jewish people and their Land, long divorced and desolate, shall be remarried with grand solemnities, as a New Bride to the Lord, over which He will joy with singing, and rest in His Love. ISAIAH 62: 1-12; ZEPHANIAH 3: 15-17; REVELATION 19: 7-9; 20: 9; HOSEA 2: 9.

 

24.   The faithful dead of Israel will awaken to share the joy of living Israel's Conversion to Messiah, and Restoration to the LAND OF PROMISE, and to celebrate the World's Sabbath, and Israel's Jubilee. DANIEL 12: 1-3; ISAIAH 26: 19; EZEKIEL 37: 12; HOSEA 13: 14; REVELATION 20: 4-6.

 

25.  Not only shall the 12 Apostles sit on their thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel, and the martyrs of Jesus bear eminent rule, but the vast multitudes of those - ["Accounted worthy," Luke 20: 35] - who have fallen asleep in Christ, in all ages, shall awake to share the joy, and with those who are "changed," enter the glorious kingdom of God, and live and reign with Christ, 1,000 years.  The Church above and below shall be ONE. The Heavenly and Earthly Bride shall be one. MATTHEW 19: 28, 29; REVELATION 20: 4-6; REVELATION 11: 18; 1CORINTHIANS 15: 23; 1THESSALONIANS 4: 13-18; LUKE 12: 35-37.

 

26.  Around the Land of Israel thus glorious, and the Holy City, now the light of the world, because of the glory of Christ, within it and on it, the Nations of earth shall dwell in obedient and willing submission, and, blessed in Abraham's seed, and free from Satanic dominion, enjoy the Millennial Age of righteousness, peace and rest. PSALM 72: 6-20; ISAIAH 61: 11; 66: 8-12; ZEPHANIAH 3: 9; ISAIAH 19: 18, 23-25; PSALM 96: 7-10; 97: 1; 98: 1, 2; 89: 15-17; DEUTERONOMY 32: 43; REVELATION 15: 4; ZECHARIAH 14: 16. Here apply a vast number of the Messianic Psalms.

 

Such are the main features of the [Millennial] Kingdom that comes at the close of the last 1260 days of the 70th week of Daniel, the same 1260 days that we find in the Apocalypse of John.  It is the work of Him who is "the Lion of the tribe of Judah," "the Root and Offspring of David," who has "the key of David," - ["who holds the keys of Death and Hades"] - and whose name is "the Bright and Morning Star," the "Star out of Jacob," "the Lamb," who alone has "prevailed to open the Seals," and disclose the future of Israel, the Nations, and the Church.

 

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MODE OF LIFE AMONG THE RESURRECTED

 

By Nathaniel West

 

As to the mode of intercourse between the glorified and un-glorified, there are many vain speculations.  We only "know in part," and time will bring the answer to our various askings.  The whole discussion binds itself to our conceptions of the Resurrection-Body, - what it needs and what its functions, are.  From the very first, the Jewish teachers were embarrassed here, and much divided in their views. The later Jews are not more clearSaadias and Maimonides maintained that "they who rise in the resurrection, eat, drink and marry, and their bodily members serve them, for these are not in vain and they die again," (Eisenmenger. Eut. Jud. 11. 943.)  It was an ancient view, and founded on the cases of the resurrection of the son of the Shunamite, and the son of the widow of Zarepta, "both women," says Saadias, "ate and drank and doubtless took wives." On the other hand, Bechai and Abarbanel maintained that "they who rise in the resurrection neither eat, nor drink, nor marry, for there is no further need of these, after the resurrection, nor do the risen righteous ones return to dust again.  They have their bodies, in which the fleshly functions have ceased, as in the case of Moses, when in the Mount with God." (Ibid 495.)  Our Lord corrects both these views when, confronting the Sadducees, He replies that "they who shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world (Olam Habba) and the resurrection out from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage, neither can they die any more; for they are equal to the angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the Resurrection." Luke 20: 35,36Saadias and Ben Maimon said that the risen "eat, drink, marry, die." Bechai, Abarbanel, Talmud and Cabbala, aver they "neither eat, drink, marry, nor die."  Our Lord declares they "neither marry nor are given in marriage, neither can they die any more," but says nothing as to the "eating" or "drinking."  What He teaches is that the children of the resurrection are as the sexless angels.  Beyond the fact that Lazarus ate after his resurrection, John 12: 1, 2, remains the fact that the Lord Himself, after His resurrection, had a tangible and visible material body, already free from the limitations of His former humiliation, and possessed of resurrection-life, and yet "ate" food in Jerusalem and at the shore of Galilee, Luke 24: 30, 41, 42, John 21: 12, and not only promised to the Twelve to "drink of the fruit of the vine, new in the kingdom of God," Matthew 26: 29, but appointed them "a Kingdom," in which, said He, "ye may eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom, and sit on 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel." Luke 22: 29, 30.  We can grossly carnalise this, on the one hand, and ethereally spiritualise it on the other. The fact remains that the Resurrected Kingdom is "ON THE EARTH," and that the "children of the resurrection" have material bodies, adapted to spiritual uses, and free from certain physical functions.  While we must shun an Ebonite Chiliasm on the one hand, we must equally avoid a Gnostic Chiliasm on the other, and not rob corporeity of its rights in the resurrection, or dissolve, under the idea of "glory," the resurrection body into a gauzy texture ballooning in the sky.  Such a conception is foreign to the whole word of God.  The risen [resurrected and changed translated] ones shall have a human body, like our Lord's, the saints upon the earth, and to the Nations.  Their mode of immorality and intercourse are not revealed. It is enough for us to know that not more difficult is the faith of Christ's companionship with His disciples during the 40 days next following His resurrection.  It is enough to know that death is robbed of its empire, and that, as Professor Milligan himself admits in his able work on the Resurrection, our Lord's body was a true spiritual, glorified body, immediately upon His rising, and not first after His ascension, and that our bodies are to take the form and quality of His.  Equal to the "angels" we shall be, in one respect.  Like "Him," we shall be, in another.  As both, in all. "Flesh and blood" cannot inherit God's Kingdom, because "corruption" cannot "inherit incorruption." 1 Corinthians 15: 50.  And yet "flesh and bones," pervaded by the Spirit, and made incorruptible, is what our Lord's body was in His resurrection, Luke 24: 26, a "glorious body," and "like" which - not "equal" to which - ours shall be AT HIS COMING. Philippians 3: 21In such bodies, the Risen Saints shall have fellowship with the un-risen in the Millennial Age.  For the rest, our curiosity must be restrained, and will be, if we listen to the Angel's voice to Daniel, "Go thy way, Daniel, till the End shall be!" Inquire no more.  Be content with what is already spoken.  Leave the unrevealed future to God.

 

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