The Old Testament Prophecies of
by Simon Medhurst
Our subject concerns
the Old Testament Prophecies of Christs
Why Study These Things?
We study these things that we might have understanding of that which God has revealed in His Word by His Spirit. Concerning the reason why we ought to study this subject, I was impressed recently when reading Daniel 10: 1, In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.
John Gill in his commentary said, Daniel understood the word, or words of the prophecy, in which it was expressed; they were clear and plain, and not obscure, dark, and doubtful; and he had a clear view of the several parts of it, of the whole series of things, the connection of facts, and their dependence on one another, and their certain accomplishment; he saw them in their order, as they were presented to him in vision and prophecy; and was not at any loss about the meaning of any part of them, or the words by which they were signified. So Daniel understood the vision.
In verse 11 it says, He said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling. Then in verse 14, Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days. This then gives us the subject of this vision of chapters 10, 11 and 12, what shall befall thy people in the latter days. This vision belongs to the concluding scenes of the history of Daniels people prior to the Lords coming and their restored blessing.
Daniel 10: 21 gives us an important point to grasp I will shew thee that which is noted in the Scripture of Truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince. You will observe the word noted. At first glance we may well think of a short note on a memo pad, but the word means marked or engraven, that is, in the eternal mind of God, and recorded in the Scripture of Truth. What a blessed thing it is to have the Scriptures of Truth! It is a real blessing, for we read in Revelation 1: 3, 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 once heard a preacher say, I do not preach on future things because the subject is too controversial. You may have heard a similar remark. It is a very sad state for any believer to get into. 2 Timothy 3: 16-17 reminds us that All scripture (that is without exception) is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
Do we remove the Book of Genesis because some people wrongfully make it a controversial issue?
Another scripture which spoke to me is Jeremiah 36: 22-24. Now the king sat in the winterhouse in the ninth month: and there was a fire on the hearth burning before him. And it came to pass, that when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, he cut it with the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth. Yet they were not aftaid (and these words are particularly telling), nor rent their garments, neither the king, nor any of his servants that heard all these words. What a vain attempt to frustrate the divine predictions in the Scriptures, or avert the judgments threatened!
What a contrast to Daniel, who stood trembling (Daniel 10: 11). Then in verse 12, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God. The literal meaning of the word chasten is to humble. So Daniel humbled himself before God. How different from the king!
Man cannot frustrate Gods purpose by destroying, neglecting or rejecting the literal fulfilment of the plain statements of the Word of God. We should be afraid to neglect any part of Scripture; we should be afraid to alter the plain meaning of the Word of God. Yet there are men who will neglect and reject the plain statements of Holy Scripture. When you contend for the truth, problems come your way. An old RAF saying is very true the most flak comes when you are over the target; but nevertheless we should not be afraid to declare any part of Gods Word.
There is a hymn written by Joseph Hart which says, -
Say, Christian, wouldst thou thrive in knowledge of thy Lord?
Against no Scripture ever strive, but tremble at His Word.
With blind and feeble rage, a hard and haughty heart.
If aught there dark appear, bewail thy want of sight.
No imperfection can be there for all Gods words are right.
The Scriptures and the Lord bear one tremendous name;
The Written and the Incarnate Word in all things are the same.
When we ask why we should study these things, the reply must be that it is because they are part of the Scripture of Truth.
Where Will Christs Millennial Kingdom Be?
This reign of a thousand years upon earth appears to us to
be indisputable. Jeremiah 23: 5-6 says, Behold,
the days come, saith the LORD, that
I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper,
and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In His days
Regarding the millennial reign of Christ, Charles Hadden Spurgeon was emphatic. It was not a topic to which he gave a great deal of attention, but when he did speak of it, he spoke with a consistent view. In 1865 he stated: The day will come, when the Lord Jesus will descend from heaven with a shout, with the trump of the archangel and the voice of God. Some think that this descent of the Lord will be post-millennial - that is, after the thousand years of His reign. I cannot think so. I conceive that the advent will be pre-millennial; that he will come first; and then will come the Millennium as the result of His personal reign upon earth. This comment not only seems to clearly demonstrate Spurgeons position on the subject, but makes it clear that he was conversant with other millennial positions and their key features.
In the same sermon, Mr Spurgeon also spake of the millennial reign in these terms: Now, while speaking of glory, I think I must divide the glory which God gives to the justified into three parts. There is, first of all, the glory which disembodied spirits [souls] are enjoying even now; there is, secondly the resurrection glory, which they will enjoy when the soul and body shall be re-united, and when, through the Millennium, they shall be for ever with the Lord; and then there is the eternal weight of glory, which is to be revealed both in body and soul, in the never-ending state of bliss which God has prepared for His people. But we do not have to take a mans word, we have the inspired Word of God.
One of the Lords main
purposes in His second coming is to show His glory, that all may know He is
God. We turn to Psalm
the LORD shall build up
There are so many Psalms that speak of the Millennium. An excellent book worth possessing is a handbook of the Psalms entitled, Dark Sayings upon the Harp (available from S. G.A. T price £1.25 ‑ Ed.) Mr B W Newton says in this book, Some Psalms do speak of manifestations in Glory, and yet they are being applied to things on earth, which will be true in the future.
Let us look at Psalm 47, a wonderful millennial psalm. O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. For the LORD most high is terrible; He is a great King over all the earth. He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet. He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom He loved. Selah. God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding. God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of His holiness. The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: He is greatly exalted.
Then in Psalm 72, Blessed be His glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with His glory; Amen, and Amen. And in Psalms 93 and 97, The LORD reigneth. These words always refer to the Millennium, as Satan is at present the god of this world [age]
In Psalm 67 there is the desire of
When we turn to other parts of the Old Testament, we read the same truth. In Isaiah 60: 1-3, Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
In Job 19: 25-27, For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
This passage comes from one of the oldest books of the Bible. These verses show that from the very beginning Gods people were expecting a Saviour to deliver them in the end times. Mr Spurgeon stated, This same Jesus literally went up. This same Jesus will literally come again. He will descend in clouds; and, He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth, even as beforehand. Then he made this lovely remark. Brethren, do not let anyone spiritualise away all this from you.
What Will Christs Millennial Kingdom Be Like?
I suggest that we look at this under four headings: Geography, Ecology, Health, and Politics. At this point, I would like to read a quote from Robert Browns Outlines of Prophetic Truth. He wrote, As the Millennium, therefore, although a vast advance ... upon this present time, will not be a perfect state to the inhabitants of the earth because they will still be in the flesh; it will be necessary ... that there should be ... a test of their obedience ... in the Millennium.
Geography: The second coming of
Christ, when the Lord stands upon the Mount of Olives, will be accompanied by a
great earthquake and the landscape of the
Zechariah 14:4 tells us, His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the cast, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
Ecology: Starting with the millennium, there will be a removal of the curse upon the earth which began with Adams fall and continues down to the present, unabated.
As the coming again of Christ will be to save the spared remnant of Israel and to destroy their enemies, so it will also be to deliver creation from the bondage of corruption in which it now travails (Romans 8: 21), Because the creature [creation] itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Hence we see in Isaiah 11: 9, They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. Note the earth, not heaven. The earth has never yet been full of the knowledge of the Lord. Therefore it must be future.
Still speaking of the
earth, Isaiah 35: 1-2 says: The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them
In Romans 8: 18-23 we read, I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature [creation] waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature [creation] was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him Who hath subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.'
and especially the
Animals will once again be friendly to one another and to humans. The wolf will lie down with the lamb, and the leopard with the baby goats. Little children will be able to play near serpents without fear. Isaiah 11: 6-8: The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice den.
Wolves and lambs will feed together, and even the lions will eat straw like the bullock. Isaiah 65:25: The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, saith the LORD.
Lord, how long shall this creation groan and travail sore in pain;
Waiting for its sure salvation, when Thou shalt in glory reign;
The parched ground will become a pool. Isaiah 35: 7: The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
The trees shall clap their hands, and instead of thorns there will be trees. Isaiah 55: 12-13: Ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands (there will then be no more creation-groan). Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
The earth will be fruitful, and there will be no famine. Ezekiel 34: 27-29: The tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them. And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid. And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more.
Health: People will live longer during the Millennium. A person one hundred years old will be considered a child, since, presumably, a person could live throughout the 1000 years in the restored environment (Isaiah 65: 20-23). There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of My people, and Mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.
Sickness will not be a problem because in Malachi 4: 2 it says, Unto you that fear My name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
Politics: Jesus Christ will be King of kings and Lord of lords, and of the increase of His government there will be no end. Isaiah 9: 6-7: Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. This is an important scripture as here we have the whole of history in a nutshell Christs birth, a child is born; His death, a son is given (see John 3: 16); and His coming again [to rule] His government and peace.
For a thousand years the devil, the god of this age, the prince of this world, the prince of the power of the air, will be bound that he should deceive the nations no more.
The Millennium will be marked by peace. Isaiah 2: 4: He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
With Horatius Bonar we would say,
Come, and make all things new; build up this ruined earth;
Restore our faded paradise, creations second birth.
Come, and begin Thy reign of everlasting peace;
Come, take the kingdom to Thyself,
great King of righteousness.
will be the capital of the world, and all nations will come to
Then in Ezekiel 5: 5: Thus saith
the Lord GOD; This is
greater Son will reign as King over
No sin or
rebellion will be allowed, because the Lord will withhold rain and send plagues
on any who would rebel. Zechariah 14: 16-19: It
shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came
against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of
tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso
will not come up of all the families of the earth unto
We do not have to change the Scripture to fit a scheme; not at all. I quote Dean Alford, who wrote the words of the well known hymn, Come, ye thankful people, come. He also wrote, I cannot consent to distort words from their plain sense and chronological place in prophecy, on account of any considerations of difficulty, or any risk of abuses which the doctrine of the Millennium may bring with it. Those who lived next to the Apostles, and the Church for 300 years, understood them in the plain literal sense.
Who Will Be In This Millennial Kingdom?
I thank God that the name of this Testimony includes the words sovereign grace - Sovereign Grace Advent Testimony.
Who will be in this kingdom? It will be only those who have been worked on by the grace and mercy of a sovereign God; those who have tasted and seen that the Lord is good; those that have been born again by the powerful work of the Spirit of God in regeneration. Whether Jew or Gentile they must all come the same way, the way of the cross. How wonderful is the sovereign grace of God.
Psalm 40: 2 says, He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
The millennial saints will be Christians in the same way in which we are Christians. They will be reconciled through the same atoning Blood. They will have the same Everlasting Priest. For whom He justified, them He also glorified.
So what do we look
for? The hope of millennial
The apostle Peter tells us to look forward to the new heavens and new earth. The prophet Isaiah bids us do the same. Isaiah 65: 17: Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. The former heavens and earth, even though they will have been the scene of much millennial blessedness, shall not be remembered, nor come to mind.
If there is to be no
millennium on this earth, the Bible becomes a meaningless book. So much is written of blessing to come to
this earth as also to
Nathaniel West in his book Daniels Great Prophecy said Thus did the Old Testament saints look to the second coming of Christ with an intensity of faith and ardour of expectation, that puts to shame the attitude of the Christian Church to-day, with reference to that sublime and glorious event.
Let us not be found guilty of closing our eyes, but let us obey the injunction, study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2: 15).
One of the aims of the Sovereign Grace Advent Testimony is to promote the searching of the Scriptures to see if these things be so, and to foster such study among young people. May we adhere to the principle stated in the manifesto (first published in 1919, but as relevant today as it was then) of receiving the Word of God, in its literal sense, except where obviously figurative, and in so receiving prophetic truth, rejoice in the fact that this enhances and does not diminish the enjoyments of the Doctrine of Grace. Bishop Hooper stated where a literal interpretation will stand, the farthest from the literal is generally the worst.
Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand (Daniel 12: 10).
May our eyes be opened daily to the truth of Gods Word for the wise will understand.*
* Commenting on Pauls words on the resurrection out from the dead (Phil. 3: 11), D. M. Panton says:-
Paul defines so exactly what he means as to place the truth, finally, beyond all doubt. If by any means, he says, I may attain unto the out-resurrection, that which is from among the dead: an out-resurrection, not out of the earth (Lange), but out from among dead ones: that is, as the context suggests, the first resurrection (Ellicott). It was exactly this which puzzled the first disciples when Christ foretold His rising out of (ek) the dead, for like Martha (John 11: 24) they had never conceived of any emergence from the grave except the general rising of the mass of mankind:- questioning among themselves what the rising again from the dead should mean (Mark 9: 10). The first resurrection is of necessity a resurrection from among the dead (Govett); it is a prior emergence from the tombs: it necessitates a later resurrection of those left; and the rest of the dead LIVED NOT until the thousand years should be finished (Rev. 20: 5). Thus all difficulty attending Pauls uncertainty vanished the moment we realize that the [out-resurrection] is one of the golden prizes for which God summons us [Christians] to compete. As Dr. J. Hutchisan says:- The allusion is undoubtedly not to the general resurrection of the dead. All must attain unto that. No striving is needed thereto. It stands fast in the decrees of heaven, and none can fall short of it or frustrate it. What is referred to here is that which is attained after danger and toil, and attained as a blissful reward. It is what is elsewhere called a better resurrection (Heb. 11: 35); the resurrection of the just (Luke 14: 14; Acts 4: 2); the first resurrection (Rev. 20: 5). It is the resurrection par eminence.
* * * * * * *
The New Testament Prophecies of
by Paul Toms
I regard it an honour to be here today. My association with the Sovereign Grace Advent Testimony goes back many years. I can remember, as a child, being taken to Alliance Hall month by month to hear godly men preach prophetic truth, and I feel most unworthy to be here, standing in the footsteps of such men.
It was only a few years ago that the whole world seemed to celebrate the incoming of a new millennium. Across the globe, in the closing stages of 1999, there were big plans to welcome in the year 2000, the start of a new millennium, a new one thousand year period. So we are all well acquainted with the term millennium as meaning a period of one thousand years. Thus, when we speak of the millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are considering just that, a reign of one thousand years of the Lord.
Many people would say that because this period of one thousand years is mentioned in only one chapter of the Bible, Revelation 20, it cannot be taken in its truest sense; and as some think that the whole of the Book of the Revelation is symbolic and figurative, they regard this period as merely symbolic and figurative, and not a set period of time. But it is my belief that where Scripture can be taken literally and with sense, then it must be taken literally; and where the language and words of Scripture obviously have a symbolic and figurative meaning then the meaning of the figure is to be sought out, prayerfully, for the understanding thereof.
When it comes to periods of time, I have no difficulty
whatsoever in believing that God says what He means and means what He says. When the Israelites went down into
When, as recorded in Luke 1: 30-33, the angel Gabriel came to Mary to
give her a promise concerning the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, he spoke of
Him as being given the throne of His father David. This intimates that He will have an earthly
kingdom, a kingdom that will centre itself not only in the Nation of Israel,
but also in
The Teaching of the Lord Jesus
We look first at the words of the Lord Jesus Christ. We find His words to His disciples in Matthew 6: 9-13. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father Which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven ... Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. The Israelites looked, and many of them still look for the Messiah, the One Who will come and reign on this earth. But this was not the purpose of the first coming of the Lord. He came in humility, but there will be a day when He will come in power and glory, and every eye shall see Him. In the Sermon on the Mount, He said that we [i.e., His disciples. (Matt. 5: 1, 2)] ought to pray, Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. This prayer that the Lord taught was not only for His early disciples but for all believers through this age to pray. It requests that Gods kingdom will come and that His will be done in the earth as it is in the heavenly courts above. We know that God reigns as sovereign in heaven and earth. In heaven the angels come and go at His bidding, and His Name is praised for ever; it is a place where sin is not known, and where all are subject to the perfect will of God.
This is not so on the earth. As we look around we see the practice of evil abounding on every side. Peter, in his epistle, said that our adversary the devil goes about seeking whom he may devour; and certainly we do not see the perfect will of God being manifested in this present evil age. Man has no thought of God, and tries his hardest to put Him out of his and his fellow mens thoughts, and so the commands of God, both in the Old and New Testaments are universally disobeyed and disregarded. We can say of a certainty that Gods will is not, at present, done on earth as His will is done in heaven.
Yet the Lord teaches us to pray that this will be done, and we have a God who loves to hear and to answer the prayers of His saints. He has said in Isaiah 65: 24, which is a millennial, verse but with an application for all ages, Before they (and the context here is the blessed of the Lord) call, I will answer. So God has already heard the prayers of His myriads of people who have thus prayed, for He has appointed a time when the Lord Jesus Christ shall come in power and in great glory and He shall reign Whose right it is to reign upon this earth. We should look forward to that age when the Lord shall reign triumphant upon this earth, and all nations shall be subject to Him, and His will shall be done upon the earth. Here then, the Lord Jesus Christ instructs us, as believers, to earnestly pray for the time when His kingdom will come and His will shall be done, not only in heaven, but also upon this earth.
I think it is quite significant that the Lord placed this request in a prominent place, at the very start of the prayer, and we too should give these things a similar prominence in our prayers. At the end, the prayer says Thine is the kingdom, and truly His is the kingdom.
The Lord Jesus Christ further spake in Matthew 12: 32 about the forgiveness of sin in this world and in the world to come; and we can more correctly use the word age in place of the word world. We know that we live in the day of grace, a period of time when the grace of God is extended towards sinful man and there is, for man, forgiveness of sins, by, and only by, the grace of God. Thus justification, and hence [eternal] salvation, is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. We also know that in the eternal age, there is no forgiveness of sin, for [a new earth and a new] heaven will be a place where sin has been dealt with and is no more. So here the Lord Jesus Christ spoke of an age to come upon this earth where there still shall be, by the grace of God, forgiveness of sins. Surely this world or age to come mentioned here by the Saviour is His own millennial reign upon earth, when the grace of God will still be extended towards sinful man.
In Matthew 19: 27-30, we read of Peter saying to the
Lord Jesus that the disciples had
forsaken all, and he asked what their reward
would be. The Lord gave him the answer,
Ye which have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne
of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes
The parallel passage to this is Luke 18: 30 where we read of this period as the age to come, an age which we have already discussed as being a period of time upon this earth and not in heaven.
In Luke 22: 29-30 the Lord spoke of similar
things. Here again, He spake of the
the twelve tribes of
Luke 19:11-27 records the parable of the nobleman going into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom. In this passage the Lord taught that it was He Who was to leave (and now has left) this world scene. But the purpose of this is that He has returned to His Father in heaven to receive the kingdom unto Himself, for He said in John 14: 3, that He will come again to receive His people unto Himself. But we read on in the parable that His command to His servants was to occupy till I come, to use the talents that He has bestowed to each of His people, to bring forth fruit unto Him. Sadly, we read that the cry of the citizens was that they did not want this man to rule over them. How much this typifies the desires of this current generation, and every generation since His earthly ministry. Man does not want to submit to King Jesus. There is that rebellious nature in each of us that will not have this Man to rule over us. But He will, as the nobleman did in the parable, return from whence He has gone and He will rule over the people with justice. But He will also call to reckoning His own servants for them to account for what they have done towards the furtherance of His kingdom whilst He has been away. This comes as a warning to each [regenerate] believer, to seek to serve Him, to be a light in a dark place, to witness for Him and to lift the Name and Person of Christ on high that men may be drawn to Him. This will be when the Lord will return to this earth to take the heaven-given authority, to rule on this earth which has for the meantime been delegated to earthly rulers; but the scene of His humiliation and death will be the scene of His victorious triumph over the kingdoms of this world and they all shall become the kingdoms of our God.
We next look at Matthew 23 and read at the close of this chapter
how Jesus spoke of the time of the restitution of the Nation of Israel. He quoted from Psalm
118: 26 (a millennial psalm) and said that they would not see Him again
till the time when they would say Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord. This psalm has its complete fulfilment at the
restoration of the Nation of Israel at the coming again of the Lord to reign in
In John 5: 24-29 we again see the Lord gave teaching on the future kingdom over which He shall rule. We see initially that He spoke in verse 24 of the gospel age, and how that those who hear the Word of God and believe on Him shall pass from death unto life and shall not be condemned. He then went on to state that as the Father has given to the Son life, so He has also given to Him authority to execute judgment. But we notice from the verses that the order of the events shows that there is belief in the Lord Jesus Christ that exempts [obedient] believers from condemnation, then there is the resurrection of life when the dead in Christ shall rise first; followed by the giving of judgment to the Son of God; and finally we have the second resurrection when those who have done evil shall rise to a resurrection of damnation.
We then look at the
Lords words as He departed bodily from this world. His disciples asked Him the question in Acts 1: 6-8, Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore again the kingdom to
So we see that in the teaching of the Lord Jesus, He spoke of a time when He will return to this earth, not in meekness and humility, characteristics that He had at His first coming. He will return in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, and come to rule and to judge the nations.
The Teaching of the Apostles
We then go into the
Book of Acts, and also the teaching of the apostles in the epistles. In Acts 3: 12-26
we read that Peter spoke to people in the temple, and he showed how Jesus in
His life, death, resurrection and ascension, fulfilled much of what had been
prophesied about Him. He then spake of the times of
refreshing, and the times of restitution of all things. He stated that it was Jesus, Who was preached
unto the people, that shall be sent unto them.
It is of these times God had been speaking through the mouths of His
prophets since the world began, and that Moses had said that God would raise up
a Prophet like unto him, a leader of the people to deliver them. Moses was a spiritual leader to the people of
Acts 15: 14-18 is a passage which speaks about a dissension in respect of the Gentiles hearing and believing the gospel but not being circumcised. James said that God had visited the Gentiles to take out a people for His Name, a people elect from the foundation of the world. It is after these people have been brought out (verse 16) that He will return, and what would He do? He will rebuild the tabernacle of David, and the residue of men will seek after the Lord. These two ages, the present age of the in-gathering of the elect, when the Lord will take out a people for His Name, and the age when the residue of men will seek the Lord, are intersected by His return, signifying there will be a time, after His return, when the residue of men shall seek Him. This will be the time we have already mentioned of a great spiritual awakening upon the earth. How thankful we are that events are in the hands of a sovereign God, Who in His purpose has known these things since the beginning of the world.
We come now the Book
of Romans and perhaps our thoughts turn
straightaway to chapters 9-11 which speak so
much of the restoration of the Nation of Israel. But in chapter 8:
22-23 the apostle spoke of the whole of creation groaning and
travailing. Paul did not speak of a new creation, but of this current creation
being delivered from the bondage of corruption.
There will be a period of time when this earth, before it is wrapped up
like a cloth, will enjoy the glorious liberty that once it enjoyed in
So we come to those
chapters that deal with the restoration of
We turn to the letters
to the church at
Next, we look at the
epistles to the churches at
We then turn to the pastoral letters of the apostle and in 2 Timothy 2: 11-13 we read one of those faithful sayings, If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him. If we suffer for the gospels sake, and it is true that in this world we shall have tribulation, then we shall, and it is a glorious fact, reign with Him as kings and priests on the earth. The millennium will truly be a glorious period for the redeemed of the Lord. So we are exhorted in Titus 2: 13 to be looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing [appearing of the glory Lit. Gk., & R.V] of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.
We come to the Epistle to the Hebrews where Paul - [or whoever the inspired writer might have been] - quoted much from the Old Testament, and in particular, from the Psalms. In chapter 2: 5-9 he spoke of the world [or inhabited earth] to come, and said that God hath not put it (the world) in subjection to angels, but went on to say that all things are put under the subjection of His feet, and here he is talking about the Son of Man Who has been crowned by God with glory and honour. He was made for a while to be a little lower than the angels, but God has set Him to be over all the works of His hands. But in the final part of verse 8, Paul said that this has not yet happened. This speaks of a future time when all creation shall be under the rule of King Jesus, when He comes to reign over all creation upon this earth. To these things, we ought to give the more earnest heed (verse 1). What greater commendation can the apostle give to the believing church than to be those that are watching, waiting, and looking for the appearing of the Lord Jesus?
We turn to the writings of the other apostles, and see that Peter in his second epistle wrote to those that have obtained like precious faith, to believers all down the ages. In chapter 3: 8-12, we read that one day with the Lord is as a thousand years.* He also warned that God is not slack concerning His promises and all that He has said, He will do. When all He intends to save [eternally] in this age have come to repentance, the age will end and it is then that the day of the Lord will come. How we ought to be those who, though we cannot know the exact time or day, are watching the signs so that we are ready for His appearing. It will be at the end of this great day that will last for a thousand years, that the heavens will pass away, the elements shall melt with fervent heat and the earth and all the works that are therein shall be burned up. Then will be the new heavens and the new earth of which John wrote in Revelation 21. This, says the apostle, should be a warning and encouragement to us to live in the light of this great day, and seek to live in all godliness and holy conversation, to look for His appearing and pray with John, Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
The Teaching in the Book of the Revelation
We then come to the final book of holy writ, the Revelation, and truly this is a book of revelation by God regarding the last times. Some would make it a book of mystification. Certainly there are many things which we, with our finite minds, find difficult to understand. We ought to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in these things that He will guide us into the ways of all truth, that He will reveal to us the deep and hidden things of God. Turn to chapter 2: 26-27, where we have that blessed promise of the One Who stood in the midst of the candlesticks, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. He said [to the churches], that he that overcometh, and keepeth, or abides by His works to the end, shall have power over the nations and shall rule the nations with a rod of iron. This can only mean an earthly kingdom, for it is a ruling over nations, and there are no nations in heaven; and there will be no need in [a new] heaven [and a new earth] to rule with a rod of iron for only the redeemed of the Lord shall be there.
In chapter 3: 21 we have a distinction between the throne of God in heaven and the throne of the Lord Jesus, which is the throne of His father David upon this earth. Once more, the promise was to those that overcome, that they shall sit with Him upon His throne, i.e. to rule over the nations. In chapter 5: 10 we have the new song that is sung to the Lamb, that He has made us to be kings and priests, and we shall reign on [Gk. on (? over] the earth. This is a wonderful promise of Scripture that though we now live in days when the wicked flourish, there will be a day when the saints will rule in majesty upon [and over] this earth. Then we read in chapter 11: 15 those remarkable words confirming all that the prophets, and particularly Daniel, had spoken in centuries gone by, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever. There will be a day when all earthly kingdoms will be handed to our sovereign Lord, and He shall rule over the nations in majesty. John, in his vision, heard that song of Moses, and the song of the Lamb, and he recalled in chapter 15: 4 that all nations shall come and worship before Thee; for Thy judgments are made manifest.
And so, having noticed that earlier chapters refer to the rule of Christ on earth, we come to chapter 20, which so definitely deals with this period of one thousand years, which is the millennial reign of Christ upon this earth with all His saints. It is a time when the enemy of all true believers, the devil, is bound. Yes! Satan is to be manifestly limited by the Lord at this time, but Peter tells us of a truth that presently he goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, and do we not witness in this age an increase in devil worship and the occult? Oh that Gods people in this present time were as aware of this truth; then, perhaps, there would be less flirting with the things of this generation and more time spent in studying the Word of God. It seems that believers are being deceived by the devil not to look into the things concerning the Lords coming because they seem too contentious. In that period of a thousand years he will be more than bound, he will be thrust into the bottomless pit and this will be sealed by the seal of God. He will not be free to roam this earth deceiving the nations. It is in this period that the saints of God will reign for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead, those that died in their sin, will not rise at this time; they will remain in the grave for the thousand years, whereas those that are part of the first resurrection, the saints of God, those trusting alone in the Blood of Christ, will rise and will be priests of God and of Christ, for a thousand years. At the end of the thousand years Satan will be released from the bottomless pit, and will go about that which he has always been about, deceiving the nations once more into rebellion against God and Christ. His eventual and everlasting defeat will be when he is thrust into outer darkness, into the lake of fire and brimstone, into [an eternal] hell itself. It is an interesting fact, that even he shall be tormented in that place forever.
And then we come into that beautiful chapter 21 where John spoke of the new heaven and the new earth and there the Lord will reign for ever, in a place where there is no sea (verse 1). How different from that spoken of in Psalm 72: 8 which speaks of his reigning from sea to sea!
Yes, the New Testament Scriptures have much to say concerning that glorious kingdom to come when Christ shall reign in peace upon this earth.
The Glorious King
Having thought much of
the kingdom, let us briefly consider the glorious King. Think of another of Pauls faithful sayings to
Timothy, which speaks of His coming to this earth the first time in meekness
and humility, to live a life of obedience to the Father, and to be the
substitute for His people upon
[* See John 15: 10, 14; Matt. 5: 19, 20, 43, 44, ect.]