Part 3 All Saints will(are) Literally Coming Back BEFORE the Millennium to FULLY Restore Order
Are you ready? The Bible tells us in dozens of places that all the old Saints of True Christian Israel (not the one tribe called Jews, but 13 Christian tribes of true Israel!) are going to ressurrect and come back before the Hebrew millennium. If you’re not ready they’re (or we are) going to kick your butt to get you ready for the coming of Christ who will rule on the earth from David’s throne for 1,000 years. He’s coming back for a church that is without spot or wrinkle and will step down when His enemies are made His footstool (and as in TCAWW’s study, all the Majesty/Elders/Marshals are feeding those that trust in YAHWEH).
I would like to send you the notes from Peters in his “The Theocratic Kingdom of Our Lord Jesus Christ”.
(You can download the full text of “Theocratic Kingdom” if you have e-sword (all freely downloadable). The best part is you can click on each verse if you have e-sword and it opens up the full reference Bible texts. Ignore most of these references to any Jews. None of the Bible text says “Jews”, I don’t know how he mixes that part up with the saints. However, it’s the part on the ressurection I want to share. There are several parts all below. )Rev Stephen MK
Minister, The Christ’s Assembly
Grand Marshal, Priory of Salem
Prop. 127. In support of our view, the Apocalypse unmistakably teaches a Pre-Millennial resurrection of the saints.
IT IS MOST REASONABLE TO SUPPOSE THAT “THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS” THE LAST WORDS, GIVEN EXPRESSLY TO IMPART INFORMATION ON ESCHATOLOGY, SHOULD COINCIDE WITH THE OLD TESTAMENT TEACHING, AND BESTOW UPON US ADDITIONAL INFORMATION. THIS IT DOES AS FOLLOWS:
Obs. 1. The reader is directed to Rev_11:18, and under the last trumpet, preceding (as all must admit) the Millennium, we have “the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward,” etc. Here is a distinctive Pre-Millennial resurrection asserted in connection with a time of wrath and rewarding, which the general analogy asserts as belonging to the Second Advent of Jesus. To acknowledge a resurrection of dead ones to be here announced, and then to postpone the same until after the 1000 years, is a mere subterfuge, seeing that the connection demands its fulfillment, under the seventh trumpet, or at the period of time thus designated.
The weak and unsatisfactory manner in which this passage is handled by our opponents is well illustrated by Barnes, Com. loci. Not knowing what to do with such a resurrection in his system of Eschatology, and unwilling to deny its plain reference to a literal one, he, unable to spiritualize it away (or introduce his favorite “as if”), represents this occurrence at a specific time as one that is embraced by the events introductory to, contained in, and concluding the 1000 years, quoting Rev_20:4-6; Rev_20:12-15; Mat_25:34-40; Revelation 21 and 22. How hard pressed and defective a theory must be which is forced to such a wholesale application of a chronological prediction. The time of rewarding the Prophets e.g. is Pre-Millennial as seen e.g. in the case of Daniel (Prop. 126): so the time of wrath, the time of judgment, the time of rewarding the righteous, the time of destroying the enemies of God, the time when the Christ assumes His reign-all, as we show in detail under various Propositions, is Pre-Millennial.
Obs. 2. We now come to Rev_20:1-6 which was so universally held by the early Church to teach a literal resurrection, and to be so thoroughly consonant with Jewish views, that the Apocalypse narrowly escaped proscription by the enemies of Chiliasm (comp. e.g. Lardner’s Works, vol. 2, p. 643; Stuart’s Introd. to Apoc., Barnes’s Introd. respecting Caius and Dionysius). The application of the Origenistic system of interpretation, as many have noticed, saved and gave it canonical authority.336 [Note: 36 336. It is a source of gratification that this book is so well fortified by authority, that the ablest critics, even of the destructionist school, allow its antiquity and canonical place. The Introductions, etc., almost invariably ascribe to it the best given historical proof of any of the New Testament writings.] If we reject the early Church belief in this particular, the veracity of Apostolic Fathers, who assert that they received their interpretation of it from the Apostles and their associates (see Prop. 75) is impeached, and the teaching of the Apostles themselves which directly led to such a faith in all the churches established by them is open to grave suspicion. It is not necessary to trace the varied spiritualistic opinions engrafted on this Scripture, denoting either a spiritual, moral, or ecclesiastic resurrection, or to note in detail the varied dating of the thousand years based on such interpretation337 [Note: 37 337. THE TERROR, ETC., AT THE CLOSING OF A.D. 1000, AND ONE OR TWO OTHER PERIODS, ARE FALSELY CHARGED (EVEN BY SCHOLARS) TO OUR ACCOUNT, WHEN THE FACT IS, THAT WE HOLD THE 1000 YEARS TO BE ENTIRELY IN THE FUTURE, WHILE THE OTHER VIEW LOCATED IT IN THE PAST.] from the ministry of Christ, conversion of Constantine, etc. Popery indeed (Prop. 77) almost crushed the early interpretation of the passage; but others held fast to it, as e.g. Paulikians, Waldenses, and Albigenses. Various writers, some men of acknowledged ability and talent, have continued from the Reformation (Prop. 78) down to the present, to entertain the same, and today some of the most able men in nearly all, if not all, denominations, accept of this ancient faith.338 [Note: 38 338. See e.g. the lists given by Brookes, Bickersteth, Seiss, Taylor, etc., and compare Props. 75, 76, 77 and 78.] The prevailing view taken, is that of Daniel Whitby (who died 1727), who was the first writer339 [Note: 39 339. So Bh. Henshaw, Brookes, Dr. Seiss, Bickersteth, and others. The reader must here be guarded. This has been denied by some, but thus far they have failed to produce a writer preceding Whitby. Some have sought refuge in Augustine, Jerome, and others, as teaching a spiritual resurrection and Millennium, but this we do not deny, but only that they taught it as something still future and linked with this passage, as Whitby. This we emphatically deny, as their writings testify. Compare, however, what is said under Props. 175, 158, and 76-78.] who advocated what he himself calls “a new hypothesis,” viz., a spiritual resurrection and Millennium still future before the Advent of Christ.340 [Note: 40 340. We present Whitby’s testimony under Props. 175 and 78.] Men of the highest ability have adopted this “hypothesis,” and through their influence it is almost generally received. While this is so, it is also true that some of our most bitter opponents unhesitatingly yield this passage to us as teaching a literal first resurrection. Thus Prof. Stuart (Com.), before alluded to, who appeals to Php_3:8-11; Luk_14:14; 1Co_15:23-24, etc., as favoring the idea, and even makes this admission, “Even the Old Testament contains some passages which may very naturally be applied to the Messianic or first resurrection.” Prof. Bush, and many others, who spiritualize it, frankly acknowledge that the language itself, literally understood, unmistakably presents the notion of such a resurrection, but regard it as a presentation of truth in the shape of “milk,” such as “the babes” in that early period required; forgetting, however, that this “milk” happens to be just like that which the Jews previously received, and hence, if the former is deleterious the latter must be the same.341 [Note: 41 341. So e.g. Barnes, Com. loci, where the reader will find numerous “as ifs” drawn from the thus acknowledged plain sense of a literal resurrection. Again and again he admits that this resurrection will be “as if the martyrs were raised up from the dead;” “as if the most eminent saints were raised up from the dead;” “as if they were raised up from the dead, or which might be represented as a resurrection from the dead,” etc. The language itself of the passage is admitted to teach a resurrection from the dead, but is to be spiritualized to mean moral or spiritual revival, etc.] With these preliminary remarks, let us proceed to give the reasons for holding that this Scripture presents the doctrine of a literal Pre-Millennium resurrection, aside from the one which might be urged at length, viz., that the language and spirit of it accord with the Old Testament delineations and confirm the interpretations of the Jews (which latter, even as Reuss, His. Ch. Theol., p. 57, the Pharisees made “one of the principal points of their teaching”).
Obs. 3. 1. This describes a resurrection of persons. The word “soul” is used to denote the person (as e.g. Num_31:8; Pro_6:30; Isa_29:8; Lev_22:11; Jos_11:11; Jer_2:34; Act_3:33; Act_2:41; Act_27:37; 1Pe_3:20, etc.). The “souls” are persons because (1) they were “beheaded,” which can only apply to such; (2) the language “foreheads,” “hands,” etc., indicates such; (3) the resurrection of the members is appropriately described in terms similar to that of the Head. Thus, “Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell (Hades, grave), neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption,” is applied by commentators, following Peter, to a literal resurrection; (4) the word designedly chosen is in accord with Jewish usage, so that, e.g. the Targum renders “The souls which I have made” in Isa_57:16, “I will restore the souls of the dead” (Dr. Clarke, Com. loci); (5) the early Christians familiar with the phrase in a living language had no difficulty unanimously in making such an application; (6) David foreseeing his resurrection from the power of death calls it a deliverance of “my soul,” Psa_6:4, etc.; (7) a change of condition is predicated of these “souls” that had died, implying a previous “living,” which can only be asserted of persons. May we not, therefore, ask (Psa_89:48), “Shall he (man) deliver his soul from the hand of the grave?” and answer, No! for his soul can only be delivered through the power of Christ.342 [Note: 42 342. For the usage that we contend for, let the student compare Dr. Etheridge’s Transl. of the Targums of Onkelos, etc., vol. 2, p. 687, who remarks that the word “soul” is used “both in the Bible and Targums for ‘a dead body,’ and in the Jerusalem Talmud for ‘a stone or monument which marks the place of the dead.’” He also notices the following places as indicative of its meaning “the person,” Genesis 17; Exo_1:5; Lev_4:2; Lev_4:27; Lev_7:20; Lev_22:11; Deu_24:7; 2Sa_14:14; Eze_27:13; Act_2:43; 2Pe_2:14; Rev_18:13; to which may be added Act_7:14; Gen_19:20; Psa_55:18; Psa_119:175; Isa_38:17; Jos_11:11, etc. Indeed, so seldom is the word “soul” employed to designate the disembodied spirit, that some eminent writers (as e.g. Bh. Law in Cons. on Theory of Religion, and others) have called into question the fact whether it is employed in such a sense, especially in connection with the intermediate state. This only indicates how freely the term is employed in the manner advocated by us. Even Barnes palpably contradicts himself on this point. Thus on Revelation 20 he remarks: “By no possible construction can it mean the bodies of the saints,” but on Act_2:27 he refutes himself when he applies the term soul to Christ, to His person, saying: “There is no clear instance in which it is applied to the soul in its separate state or disjoined from the body.” In reply to Fairbairn and others it is only necessary to say that Revelation 20 is in accordance with Scriptural usage, and that there is exquisite propriety in speaking of the resurrection of the saints just as Christ’s (Act_2:27) is spoken of, and as that of the believer is predicted, e.g. Psa_99:15, “But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave.” Our interpretation is vindicated by previous usage and by the express promises of God. (Comp. also Sep. Version on Lev_19:28; Num_6:11; Lev_21:1; Eze_44:25, where “soul” designates the dead.)] 2. These souls previous to this resurrection were “beheaded,” suffered death because they witnessed for Jesus, remained faithful to the truth. It seems absurd to press this passage into a spiritual or moral conversion in the face of the beheading which was endured for the Word, since it is virtually affirming that the sinner, previous to his conversion, suffers death because of his witnessing for Jesus; that the unregenerated man endures a beheading for his unswerving devotion to the truth; and then, after such an exhibition of love, he is resurrected, i.e. converted, etc. 3. The beheading itself indicates a literal death. For (1) it cannot be asserted, taking our opponents’ views of spirit, that the spirit or soul can be beheaded. (2) The state of a wicked man cannot be called a headless stone, for in the case of these souls it would prove too much, viz., being beheaded, implies that previously they had them in possession. (3) The beheading results from their previous moral action. (4) The word translated “beheading” denotes “decapitation by the axe,” a violent death. This literal death is shown in Revelation 13 and 14. 4. The persons who have part in this resurrection are such as were converted to the truth before this death. This is proven by (1) the witnessing they gave which caused others to put them to death. (2) The “holy” only have part in it. (3) A distinguishing resurrection is promised to the saints. Hence, this is a promise of a resurrection given because they are “holy,” and not one to make the wicked “holy.” 5. This resurrection is bestowed as a reward of well-doing. This agrees with Luk_14:14, “Thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just” (also Rom_8:11; Rom_8:23; Heb_11:35, etc.). The entire spirit of the prophecy claims this as a great, unspeakable blessing. 6. The “thrones” that were placed, is only met by a similar Millennial description of Dan_7:9; Dan_7:22; Dan_7:27, the promise to the Apostles, Mat_19:28, the enthronement of the saints. 7. The same is true of the “judgment” mentioned, and as will, farther on, be shown in the judgment committed to saints. 8. The reign with Christ corresponds with the dominion mentioned by David, with the promises of Kingship and Priesthood to risen and glorified saints. The passages bearing on the enthronement, judgment, and reign will be given under separate Propositions. 9. The meaning of the word “lived,” and the use made of the same, fairly teaches a literal resurrection. Barnes, loci, tells us that Robinson (Lex.) gives the primary meaning to be, “to live, to have life, spoken of physical life and existence,” and adds: “It may be applied to those who were before dead, Mat_9:18; Mar_16:11; Luk_24:23; Joh_5:25; Act_1:3; Act_9:41, ” etc.343 [Note: 43 343. He adds: “but it does not necessarily imply this, nor does the mere use of the word suggest it.” But the primary meaning, the use of the word, the context, etc., all is calculated to suggest it, as it did to the early Church, to Prof. Stuart, etc. Fairbairn (On Proph., p. 461) is fairly driven from the old position that only a moral change is denoted, when he informs us that it is used as a figure derived from the literal resurrection, because the state here delineated partakes more of the final resurrection state than any that had preceded. His interpretation is, however, vague. We rest satisfied with his concession that there is reference in the language to a literal resurrection.] Prof. Stuart (Com. Rev. loci) says that the word means “revived,” came to life, i.e. returned to a life like the former one, viz., a union of soul and body. So does the word signify in Rev_2:8; Rev_13:14, and in many other passages cited in the remarks on Rev_2:8. In addition to the texts given by Barnes, he adduces Act_25:19; Rom_6:10; Rom_6:13; 2Co_13:4. Nothing stronger can be given in our favor than the argument of Prof. Stuart: “If, then, as it would seem, we must reject all these meanings” (viz., those opposed to the early Church view), “how can we well avoid coming to the conclusion that ezesan here must mean a reviving or rising from the dead? The use of zaō elsewhere in the Apocalypse shows very plainly that it may mean revived, lived again in reference to the body which had been dead. Thus the Savior speaks of Himself in Rev_2:8, as being He who had been dead, kai ezese, and had revived, lived again, after the death of the body. Thus, too, it is said of the beast (Rev_13:14), which had the deadly wound of the sword, that ezese, it revived.”344 [Note: 44 344. PROF. STUART HAVING BEEN UNFRIENDLY TO THE MILLENARIAN VIEW, HIS TESTIMONY, SO CANDID, IS THE MORE WEIGHTY AND VALUABLE. WE GIVE HIS CONCLUSION: “PUTTING NOW ALL THESE CONSIDERATIONS TOGETHER, I DO NOT SEE HOW WE CAN, ON THE GROUND OF EXEGESIS, FAIRLY AVOID THE CONCLUSION THAT JOHN HAS TAUGHT, IN THE PASSAGE BEFORE US, THAT THERE WILL BE A RESURRECTION OF THE MARTYR SAINTS AT THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE PERIOD AFTER SATAN SHALL HAVE BEEN SHUT UP IN THE DUNGEON OF THE GREAT ABYSS.” “I CANNOT ADMIT ANY SERIOUS DOUBT, EITHER ON THE GROUND OF GENERAL PHILOLOGY, OR OF THE USUS LOQUENDI OF THE APOCALYPSE.” THE CRITICAL STUDENT WILL DO WELL TO OBSERVE HOW OUR OPPONENTS EXPLAIN THIS SAME WORLD “LIVED” IN Rev_2:8; Rom_14:9, ETC., AND THEN CONTRAST THE CONCESSIONS MADE WITH THEIR COMMENTS ON REVELATION 20. IT GREATLY CONFIRMS OUR POSITION BY EXPOSING THEIR CONTRADICTIONS.] Surely, if the Spirit employs the word to signify the literal resurrection of Jesus, and that, too, in the same book, we are justified in applying it in the same way to the resurrection of His brethren, contrasted as it is with a previous death. 10. Those who thus “lived” enjoyed the Millennial period, and those who “lived not,” i.e. the rest of the dead, did not realize it.345 [Note: 45 345. If to avoid this issue the resurrection of the rest of the dead is literal, as some contend, this ends the discussion, for if literal in the one clause it is literal in the other also, the same word being employed. It is a mere shiftless gloss, opposed to the word “dead,” etc., to make “the rest of the dead” “weak Christians,” “sickly portion of the flock,” etc., afterward devoted in piety.] Now, if the word “lived” means (as our opponents declare) conversion, increased Christian zeal, etc., it proves too much, viz., that not a single soul of “the rest of the dead” will be converted, etc, until the thousand years are finished. Then we have a moral resurrection at the beginning of the age, and the other at the end. For, the same word “lived” is used of both parties, and consistency demands the same meaning in both places. 11. But if this meaning is preserved, then it follows that after an interval of one thousand years “the rest of the dead” are all converted, etc., which is forbidden by numerous explicit passages.346 [Note: 46 346. Barnes loci, against the express declaration of the prophecy, has the rest of the dead living through the thousand years, but in a lower grade of piety! On the other hand, Augustine (City of God, b. 20, c. 9) gives them no piety, and, by implication, has no conversion during this period, for he says: “‘In these the second death hath no power.’ Therefore it has power in the rest of whom he said above, ‘The rest of them did not live until the thousand years were finished;’ for in this whole intervening time, called a thousand years, however lustily they lived in the body, they were not quickened to life out of that death in which their wickedness held them, so that by this revived life they should become partakers of the first resurrection and so the second death should have no power over them.”] 12. Those who have part in the first resurrection are never subjected to “the second death,” but the implication is that “the rest of the dead” will experience it, and this is confirmed by the resurrection following after this Millennial period (same chapter), in which the second death largely figures. Now, if the living of these two classes is the same, it legitimately follows that the one portion will be given over to the power of the second death, for having no lot in the first, it falls under the second resurrection. The reason why they did not have part in the first is not removed before the second takes place, for they remain “dead” until the second occurs after the thousand years. 13. What is asserted, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection, on such the second death shall have no power,” is a bestowal of eternal life by the power of the resurrection, as is seen at length in I Corinthians 15, etc. It is the bestowal of immortality to that which was mortal, so that as in Luk_20:36, “neither can they die any more,” or, they become like the Head, Rom_6:9, “that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him.”347 [Note: 47 347. This meets the quibble of Barnes, loci, that “we do not need the assurance that ‘on such the second death hath no power,’ that is, that they would not perish forever. That would be a matter of course and there was no necessity for such a statement.” But the necessity exists even in Barnes’ case, for with it appended he still refused credence. Beside, such an objection is an impeachment of the language we have just quoted. Beside this, the student will observe that this phraseology is intensely Jewish. Thus e.g. in Etheridge’s Transl. Targums, we have in Targum of Onkelos: “Let Reuben live in life eternal and not die the second death;” the Targum of Palestine and the Jerusalem Targums: “Let Reuben live in this world, nor die the second death which the wicked die in the world to come.”] 14. This again is confirmed by the natural conclusion which the passage impresses, that each one thus raised up lives and reigns during, at least, a thousand years, which cannot be applied to mortal man. Moral or spiritual advancement does not bestow such longevity.348 [Note: 48 348. It is to be observed that the thousand years does not limit the reign (Prop. 159), and hence the objection (so Gipps, etc.), that “forever” ought to have been added, is futile, seeing that the thousand years embrace the incarceration of Satan and the non-resurrection of the rest of the dead. It is sufficient to say that the scope of the prediction requires this reign during the thousand years (whatever may be the result afterward) to be given as a reward to those who have been faithful, and in the promised reign of the saints we find that this very reign is identified with a previously experienced glorification (Props. 118, 153, and 154), because “flesh and blood do not inherit the Kingdom of God.” Any theory, therefore, that limits this reign to one in mortal bodies or to a succession in mortality, is opposed to the promises of God and, hence, defective. The reason why Satan is bound the one thousand years, and the saints are said to reign the specific thousand years, is found in the Sabbatism comp. Prop. 143).] 15. These resurrected ones “reigned with Christ.” Jesus then sits on His own throne, and the saints reign with Him (Mat_19:28; Luk_22:29-30, etc.). This involves a consideration of the period of Christ’s reign, etc., but it is sufficient to point out what even our opponents admit, that such a reign of Christ will be witnessed at His Coming, and that it is the happy portion of saints to reign with Him. Hence, this prediction is in sympathy with such a reign. 16. Martyrs (one class) obtain this resurrection, not that the resurrection produces martyrs, as some affirm, or revives the martyr spirit, as others say, or causes, as others declare, a eulogy of martyrs. And, we may well ask, Does the Millennial period here described with Satan bound, Christ and the saints reigning, with, as the prophets write, all righteous, with peace, safety, prosperity, knowledge, and glory covering the earth, does this require martyrs or the spirit of martyrdom? Is the binding of Satan and this reign so ineffective that murderers of saints, that dangerous enemies, still exist? What, then, becomes of God’s promises, if persecution, sore trial, threatened death and violent death itself is the characteristic of the Millennium?349 [Note: 49 349. Reference has already been made to the theory of Gipps (Treat. on First. resurrection) of a succession of martyrs, making the blessed Millennium a season of blood and death; of Bush (The Millennium), who transposes it into the same, and is forced to say: “This may strike the reader as a very revolting conclusion. To represent the Apocalyptic Millennium, which he has always conceived as but another name for the golden age of the Church, as actually synchronizing with the most calamitous period of her annals will no doubt do violence to his most cherished sentiments respecting that distinguished era.” Well may he thus describe it. A more recent writer, Waldegrave (New Testament Millenarianism), anxious to wrest this passage from us, follows in the same strain, making the Millennium a period for the retention and propagation of religious imposture-only not new imposture-for actual suffering even unto death while at the same time reigning, so that “the thousand years will prove to be a period in which Christ’s witnesses are witnesses even unto death-a period, in short, of martyrdom and not of triumph-a period in which Satan (being precluded, indeed, from the invention of fresh delusions) is able, notwithstanding, to wield those already in existence with such effect as to make the Church of God to prophesy in sackcloth and ashes.” A theory that can thus deliberately violate the text and context, the general analogy of Scripture on the subject, the ten thousand express declarations to the contrary, and give up all hope of ever realizing the precious, glorious predictions of Millennial peace, blessedness, and glory, is not only dark, gloomy, and disheartening, but dishonoring to God’s Word and faithfulness. Thousands of our opponents justly recoil from such saddening interpretation.] 17. The persecuting beast and prophet are removed before this Millennial period begins, as is seen in preceding chapter. The persons resurrected are those who had previously refused His worship, mark, etc., and as we read (Rev_13:15, etc.) were killed. In this Millennial age they have no such power, for the reason given, Rev_19:20. All persecuting power (Rev_19:2-3) shall be confined. This exactly corresponds with the prophetic delineations of the Millennium (as e.g. Isaiah 25, 26, etc.). The very persons (not others) killed by the beast are the ones who live and reign during the thousand years. 18. This resurrection is accompanied by God’s heavy judgment upon His enemies, resulting in their overthrow and destruction, which agrees with what is said of this literal resurrection elsewhere.350 [Note: 50 350. Dr. Brown (Ch. Second Com., p. 209, note) remarks that the Duke of Manchester holds that the judgment of Rev_20:11-15 is a counterpart of Daniel’s (Daniel 7) vision of the Ancient of Days, and is for the destruction of the four monarchies, and hence is Pre-Millennial. But this is to violate the chronological order of Daniel 7 and of Revelation 19 and 20, as well as the general analogy of prediction. The theory is utterly untenable. (Comp. e.g. Props. 123, 132, 133, 134, etc.)] 19. Taking the explanation given by our opponents to the word “first,” it cannot denote what they claim. Thus e.g. Barnes, loci, “It is called the first resurrection in contradistinction from the second and last, the general resurrection.” Now, if it means conversion, revival of martyr spirit, distinguished piety, etc., how can it properly bear such a contrast to the second, seeing the difference in kind?351 [Note: 51 351. Prof. Stuart, Com. loci, says: “Any great change from a degraded and wretched condition, temporal or spiritual, may indeed be figuratively called a resurrection unto life, i.e. to happiness, but it would be out of the question to name it a first resurrection. This implies of necessity a comparison with a second in kind, but must precede it in the order of time.” If the meaning of the word “first,” as given by Barnes, etc., is to be observed, then the reader will notice the inconsistency (1) in making the last literal and not the first, and (2) of calling that “first” which, according to their own showing, is only a continuation (moral, spiritual) of past experienced conversion, piety, etc.] The fact that it is called “the first” or “better” or pre-eminent resurrection implies a second of the same kind, but of a lower grade, i.e. not so distinguished, etc. If we make the one moral, etc., the other must be the same. 20. The rest of the dead only live after the one thousand years are finished, and as this resurrection is not included in the first or better one, it must be the second. In the same chapter after the thousand years we do read of a second one that transpires in which “death and the grave delivered up the dead which were in them.” If the second is literal (as nearly all admit) the first must be also the same. 21. the juxtaposition of these two resurrections, the one at the beginning and the other at the close of this age, indicates a peculiarity and significance in the use of the word “first.” This does not mean priority of time, as is almost universally supposed, for this would not be true either of the theory of our opponents or of our own.352 [Note: 52 352. Thus e.g. if this denotes conversion, piety, etc., it would not be true that this was the first, seeing that in all ages this has been experienced. So also in reference to martyrs or martyr spirit, which was frequently previously manifested. Again: if it denotes a literal resurrection, then it is not correct to call it the first, in relation to time, for instead of being in this sense the first it was preceded by the resurrection of Christ, the resurrection of Lazarus and others, the resurrection of the many saints who arose out of their graves after Christ’s crucifixion, and the resurrection of those who precede the last great tribulation, the 144,000, the resurrection under the seventh trumpet, Revelation 11, when the prophets are mentioned. In regard to the latter we are convinced by careful comparison that the resurrection here only includes those who pass through that last tribulation, martyrs and others, while a silent, unperceived, but happy resurrection of preceding saints, those who come with Jesus, Revelation 19, Zechariah 14, and who sit on the thrones, etc., has taken place previous to this period. These last having also endured and passed through tribulation faithfully are accounted worthy of the same position, rank, etc., with the others; and hence “This is the first resurrection,” i.e. this too or also is included, etc.] The word “first” has reference to the privileges of the first-born, which were, Deu_21:17, (1) a double portion, i.e. distinguished position, comp. Gen_25:31-34; (2) a right to the priesthood, Num_3:13; (3) government and dominion, Gen_27:29. God already so early in history develops the idea purposed in the Divine Will of a selected number of the first-born, first begotten of the dead, of whom Christ is the Head. Hence the peculiarity of the language here, “first resurrection” is, that these also, the ones subject to this great tribulation during the period of Rev_14:9-13, shall come forth also having the privileges of the first-born, i.e. they are not of the second or future ones, but belong to the first as well as those who may have preceded them. (The reader will clearly see the force of this when we come to the reign of saints, etc.) The word “first” is, as Parkhurst (Lex.) and others assert, employed to denote “dignity of persons” in the sense of “chief,” “principal,” etc., as in Mat_20:27; Act_13:50; 1Ti_1:15; Act_17:4; Act_25:2; Act_28:7; Act_28:17, etc. This resurrection is, therefore, the chief, principal, pre-eminent one, because it pertains to that of the first-born, constitutes the persons embraced in and experiencing its power the first-born that belong exclusively-in a peculiar sense typified by the Jewish first-born-to God Himself. Hence not time but distinction is denoted. Now, this forms a unison with the general tenor of the word respecting this very resurrection pertaining to the saints, and the harmony is remarkable, being never broken by the slightest discord. 22. The resurrection at the close of this chapter is almost generally acknowledged as a literal one. Now, the same rules of interpretation that make this one literal, will, if applied to the first, make it the same. For both represent a visionary spectacle embracing persons, acts, events, and conditions still future, which prefigure or symbolize persons, etc. They both stand or fall together. Sound criticism must acknowledge this feature.353 [Note: 53 353. Hence the warning of Bh. Newton to those who make the first figurative, lest the same principles be applied to the last, and the resurrection be entirely ignored; which is fulfilled in many instances. A very recent writer, Rev. Burdick, in the New York Evangelist (Feb. 3d, 1876), says: “In the second resurrection, implied from the first, the fact described is an uprising of the spiritual forces in the kingdom of Satan.” Strange “uprising” indeed, when the whole tenor of the prediction is to describe a crushing out of evil. But we must say that here at least is consistency of interpretation; for if the first resurrection is spiritualized, it is only a fair and legitimate procedure to spiritualize the second.] 23. “This is the first resurrection,” is an explanatory clause, and, like all explanatory language, must be received in the sense that usage, etc., affords. 24. These resurrected saints are “blessed,” which is the condition promised to believers raised up at the last day, Luk_14:14, etc. 25. In this Millennial period Satan is bound so that he shall not “deceive the nations” during its continuance. But this cannot be realized down to the personal Advent of Christ, for a multitude of passages authoritatively teach that wars, wickedness, even so great that it is contrasted with that of the days of Noah, nations hostile to Christ, the Church itself a commingling of tares and wheat, shall exist down to the Advent, which is connected with the resurrection of the saints. 26. The “harvest” (Mat_13:30; Mat_13:39), which is identified with the resurrection period, is one that precedes this Millennial era, as is seen by reference to Revelation 14 and 19, when “the harvest of the earth is ripe,” and it is gathered, following, too, closely on a terrible persecution.354 [Note: 54 354. Our opponents, when not directly attacking us, themselves acknowledge that “the resurrection” is connected with “the harvest.” Thus e.g. Barnes (Com.) on the Parable of the Tares and Wheat. But as it can be readily shown that the harvest precedes the Millennial era, it follows that a resurrection also precedes.] 27. If the Advent recorded in Revelation 19 can be proven to be a personal Pre-Millennial one, then this resurrection as a literal one follows. Leaving this for a separate Proposition (Prop. 121), we only now say, that the fact of such a special Advent being designated as immediately preceding this resurrection, and the acts that He performs being similar to those ascribed to Him when He comes to raise the dead, is in direct accord with the doctrine of a resurrection. It is a resurrection linked directly with a Coming of Jesus for purposes of vengeance and salvation. 28. The thousand years specifically mentioned were identified by the Jews with a literal resurrection, and the Messianic reign. Now, the adoption of the same phraseology, united with a resurrection, which-primarily understood-refers to a restoration of life to dead ones, is virtually an endorsement of the Jewish idea of a literal resurrection, or else it is a most cruel deception, confirming men in error.355 [Note: 55 355. Dr. Meyer (Com. on Mat_3:2) gives the following summary of the Jewish view: “The common idea of the Jews in regard to the Messianic Kingdom was predominantly politico-national, with the fanatical stamp of an universal dominion, to last a thousand years; the Messiah awakes the descendants of Abraham; then follow the reign of a thousand years; the resurrection and condemnation of the heathen; the descent of the heavenly Jerusalem, and the eternal life of the descendants of Abraham on the earth, which is to be transformed, along with the universe” (quoted Bib. Sacra, Jan., 1851). Comp. Wetstein on Revelation 20, and commentators generally. Prof. Bush (Millennial) quotes a number of Jewish authorities that directly refer to the thousand years. See also Prop. 143.] 29. This resurrection is sustained by the “lake of fire burning with brimstone,” Rev_19:20. Almost every one acknowledges that a resurrection of the saints either precedes or is connected with Mat_25:31-46. Now, in this latter passage, we have the personal Advent, the holy messengers with Him, the sitting on His throne, the gathering of the nations (as Joel, John, etc., describe), the saints inheriting the Kingdom, and then, notice, the wicked cast into the fire preceding the Millennial age; for “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” These wicked are cast into the fire which is only prepared for the devil, etc.; for, as the Spirit carefully (Revelation 20) shows, after the thousand years, the devil is cast into the lake of fire where the others have been during the thousand years (see Prop. 134). 30. The “marriage of the Lamb,” and “the marriage supper,” Rev_19:7; Rev_19:9, sufficiently identify the nature of this resurrection with that connected with “the manifestation of the Son of God,” in Rom_8:19-23, with the one related to the feast of Isa_25:6-8, etc. 31. A comparison of the expression “but the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished,” with other Scriptures sustains a literal resurrection.356 [Note: 56 356. Our opponents are hard pressed with this last phrase respecting the rest of the dead. Some, as Bush and others, endeavor to correct our version by late mss. and render it so that it shall mean that they never lived again, but as this is antagonistic to the leading authoritative mss., our opponents are forced to yield us the passage as it stands, and seek out some interpretation to suit their theory. Simple consistency drives them, of course, to give them the same kind of a spiritual life (seeing that the same word expressive of living is given to both), that those entitled to the first resurrection received. Thus e.g. Fairbairn (On Proph., p. 463) makes this a resurrection of “mongrel characters,” of classes of characters lukewarm, polluted, etc., to a renewed Christian life; Waldegrave (Lectures) informs us that it denotes that “the great body of truly living souls should be brought to God;” but Barnes (Com. loci), forgetting his own distinction of “spiritually dead in sins,” etc., actually makes the pious spiritually dead, for he says: “‘The rest of the dead’-the pious dead-would indeed be raised up and rewarded, but they would occupy comparatively humble places,” etc., i.e. at the end of these thousand years these “pious dead” (spiritually dead) would also receive a quickening, etc., and thus distinguishes the living of the one class to be higher than that of the other. Thus with all of them; not one of them can give a consistent interpretation of this clause bearing the test of the slightest examination. Hence Bh. Newton (On Proph.) well observes that the allegorizing of this text “cannot be admitted without the greatest torture and violence. For with what propriety can it be said that some of the dead, who were beheaded, ‘lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years; but the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished;’ unless the dying and living again be the same in both places, a proper death and resurrection?”]
Obs. 4. The last reason assigned is so much overlooked that it is worthy of more extended notice. Remark (1) the same word “lived” is applied to both, the saints favored with the first resurrection, and to the rest of the dead, and must mean in both cases the same kind of a resurrection; i.e. a corporeal one; (2) that “the rest of the dead” not being raised up from the dead, do not live or exist during this Millennial period, remaining in their graves. Is this view that John gives sustained by the analogy of faith? The answer from numerous passages and different writers is affirmative. But first let us observe that “the rest of the dead” are the wicked or unbelieving, seeing that the reason why they did not obtain the resurrection is because they were unholy, did not witness for Jesus, and did not reject the worship and mark of the beast. They were regarded as unworthy of it, and the reign, etc., is only promised to the righteous. Now let us compare what the Spirit, alone capable of indicating the line of God’s purpose, says the fate of the wicked dead is during these thousand years, and if the general tenor of the Word represents their condition similar to the one here portrayed, then we have an ample vindication of our position. 1. Even the wise man in Pro_21:16 intimates their fate: “The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shalt remain in the congregation of the dead.” Now, both righteous and wicked are still “in the congregation of the dead,” but this shall not always be so, for the “set time” is coming when the man void of understanding “shall remain,” among “the dead,” while the man of understanding shall be removed “out of or from among the dead ones.” 2. Hannah in the prayer already alluded to, 1Sa_2:9, after expressing her faith in a resurrection, in God’s bringing up again from the grave, and then in the exaltation of saints to be princes, significantly shows her faith in its priority: “He will keep the feet of His saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness, for by strength shall no man prevail.” How often is this repeated, that God will deliver the feet of His saints from the pit or grave, that by strength no man can deliver himself from death, that the wicked shall remain in darkness, that “they shall be blotted out of the book of the living and not be written with the righteous,” etc. 3. Then a large class of passages teach that a time is coming when (as Psa_52:5, etc.) the wicked shall be utterly “rooted out of the land of the living.” The righteous shall live and rejoice, while the wicked are removed from the face of the earth. To what period can this refer but to this one, seeing that down to the very Advent itself a multitude of the wicked do exist. This is the more conclusive when we come to examine the passages more closely. Thus, e.g. Malachi 3 and 4, gives (a) a day or time when God will “make up,” bring together, His “jewels”; (b) “Then shall ye return;” (c) For there shall be “a discerning between the righteous and the wicked;” (d) the wicked shall be utterly rooted out; (e) the righteous shall in that day find the wicked “ashes under the soles of their feet;” (f) it is a time for “healing” the breach of His people and is performed by Christ.357 [Note: 57 357. Tertullian (On the resurrection of the Flesh, ch. 31) renders Mal_4:2-3, “Ye shall go forth from your sepulchres as young calves let loose from their bonds, and ye shall tread down your enemies.”] In the 37th Psalms it is united with the time when “the meek shall inherit the earth,” for “evil-doers shall be cut off; but those that wait upon the Lord they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while and the wicked shall not be; yea thou shalt diligently consider his place and it shall not be,” etc. (see Psa_37:20; Psa_37:22; Psa_37:28; Psa_37:34). This inheriting of the earth Christ promises to all the meek (Mat_5:5), but to do this they must, of necessity, arise from the dead, and when they inherit the wicked are “cut off,” “perish,” “are not,” etc., thus corresponding with the period under consideration. 4. In the 140th Psalms is typically presented the last confederation of wickedness, under the title of “the violent man,” who is not “to be established in the earth,” but is to be “overthrown,” for it is said “Let burning coals fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire: into deep pits, that they rise not up again,” while the poor are delivered and “the upright shall dwell in Thy presence.”358 [Note: 58 358. To indicate how this was understood anciently, we refer to the version given by the Chaldee Paraphrase to the phrase “that they rise not up again,” which (Clarke’s Com. loci) is as follows:. “From which they shall not have a resurrection to eternal life.”] In Psalms 146 there is (a) the dead, even princes, perish; (b) but he is happy who has God for his help in such an extremity; (c) because “the Lord looseth the prisoners, and (d) reigns.” Then is verified Psalms 147, “The Lord lifteth up the meek, He casteth the wicked down to the ground;” Pro_12:7, “The wicked are overthrown and are not, but the house of the righteous shall stand.” 5. The concealment of the wicked in their graves during a certain time is to be verified in the case of “every one,” and is appealed to as God’s prerogative to perform. In Job_40:13, the Lord Himself is represented as saying: “Look on every one that is proud and bring him low, and tread down the wicked in his place. Hide them in the dust together and bind their faces (persons, Barnes, loci) in secret” (“in prison,” so Barnes, “darkness,” others). The meaning of this may be found in another part of the same book, Job_27:19, where they are represented as not among “the gathered.” For opening with Job_27:13, “This is the portion of a wicked man with God and the heritage of oppressors, which they shall receive of the Almighty” he announces, “The rich man (wicked) shall lie down, but he shall not be gathered; he openeth his eyes and is not.”359 [Note: 59 359. The interpretation usually given to the latter clause, that it denotes sudden destruction (Barnes, loci) may be correct, but that given to the gathering, meaning that he shall not meet an honorable burial, is evidently a gloss, for “the portion” of multitudes of wicked rich men is an honorable burial, while many a believer has had a dishonorable one. Other Scriptures do teach a gathering from which the wicked are excluded. The death being once admitted, the not being gathered is naturally to be referred to his being left when a gathering of the dead takes place. For of the wicked it may be truly said, Pro_20:20, “his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.” To this may be added (although some render it differently, as if it referred solely to this life or to the funeral pomp) Job_21:30, “Do ye not know their tokens, that the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath.”] 6. A most circumstantial statement indicating the Pre-Millennial resurrection and that the rest of the dead do not participate in it, is found in Isaiah 24, 25, and 26. (A) In Isaiah 24, after delineating the fearful “day” when the Lord shall punish the high ones and kings of the earth (as in Revelation 19, etc.) just preceding the Millennial glory, the prophet, referring to the wicked, adds: “And they shall be gathered together as prisoners are gathered in the pit (Heb.-with the gathering of prisoners), and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days they shall be visited.”360 [Note: 60 360. As a specimen of early free rendering we give that of Gildas (a.d. 546, Works, s. 45): “And it shall be that our Lord in the same day shall look… on the kings of the earth, who are upon the earth, and they shall be gathered together in the bundle of one burden into the lake and shall be shut up in prison, and after many days shall they be visited.”] When this is done, “then the moon shall be confounded and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in Mt. Zion and in Jerusalem and before His ancients gloriously.” Here we have (a) a complete overthrow of God’s enemies; (b) their confinement to prison or the grave at the very time Christ reigns at Jerusalem; (c) that after “many days,” corresponding with the thousand years, “they shall be visited,” i.e. made manifest, released, “live again.”361 [Note: 61 361. Delitzsch’s rendering is: “And it cometh to pass in that day, Jehovah will visit the army of the high place, in the high place, and the kings of the earth on the earth. And they are imprisoned, as one imprisons captives in the pit, and shut up in prison, and in the course of many days they are visited.” The exact parallel to this is found in Rev_19:20, although Nägelsbach justly includes the binding of Satan and his loosening out of prison after many days (one thousand years after), Rev_20:3; Rev_20:7. Nägelsbach’s rendering is: “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall punish (visit upon) the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit (with the gathering of prisoners), and shall be shut in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited.”] (B) In the Millennial prediction of Isa_25:6-8, we find it preceded and followed by a representation that the wicked are destroyed, removed from the face of the earth, a work directly attributed to God. In the Millennium death is swallowed up in victory alone in the case of the righteous, as we have already shown, while the enemies of God are removed and the impression is made, nothing being said of them but what indicates death and the grave, that they remain under the power of the grave, while the people of God are released. If both the righteous and the wicked are to be resurrected at the same period, how do we then account for the resurrection of the saints being mentioned in connection with this period, while the wicked are represented as non-resurrected? (C) This is clearly established in the next chapter, Isaiah 26, in “the Song,” which is to be “sung in the land of Judah,” “in that day” viz., at the time the Millennial age is ushered in. The peace, happiness, prosperity, deliverance from enemies in that day is alluded to, and of the enemies it is emphatically said: “They are dead; they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise; therefore hast Thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish.” And in order that we need not misapprehend the meaning, the condition of these wicked is contrasted with that of the righteous, as follows: “Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing ye that dwell in dust; for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.” Do we need stronger confirmatory evidence, when it is added that, as in Revelation, etc., “the Lord cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain,” i.e. those martyred for the truth, etc.?362 [Note: 62 362. The passage, “Thy dead men shall live,” etc., is interesting in view of Luther’s reading it to his dying daughter Margaret, sustaining his own heart by the hope, of a resurrection. Calvin (Institutes, *) also quotes it as proving a resurrection. Thus a multitude of writers. The Jews also held to the same, for e.g. Kimchi remarks on it “then many of the saints shall rise from the dead,” and for confirmation quotes Dan_12:2. Even Rosenmüller and Hitzig (Alexander’s Isa. loci) understand the last clause of Isa_26:21 as a prediction that the dead should actually come out of the graves; while such writers as Barnes (Com. loci), following the rationalistic lead, make all figurative of a restoration to their own land, thus frittering away a magnificent promise as if it had been fulfilled in that weak and still oppressed condition after the return from Babylon. Strange, when some men can see no resurrection in the plainest passages, others find it even in Isa_26:20, as e.g. Clement (First Epis., ch. 50, a.d. 97) renders it: “Enter into thy secret chambers for a little time, until my wrath and fury pass away; and I will remember a propitious day and will raise you up out of your graves” (comp. Tertullian, On the resurrection of the Flesh, ch. 27). We append a few renderings of Isa_26:19 : Tertullian (On the resurrection, ch. 31) gives: “The dead shall arise and come forth from their graves; for the dew which cometh from Thee is medicine to their bones.” Augustine (City of God, b. 20, c. 21), “The dead shall rise again, and all who were in the graves shall rise again; and all who are in the earth shall rejoice; for the dew which is of Thee is their health, and the earth of the wicked shall fall.” Dr. Tregelles (On Dan., p. 156): “Thy dead men shall live; they shall arise, my dead body,” and adds: “such are the words literally. Identified with Christ, as being His members.” Nägelsbach (Lange’s Isa.) heads this portion of prophecy: “The resurrection of the dead and the concluding acts of the judgment of the world.” He gives: “Thy dead men shall live; together with my dead shall they arise (or, my dead body shall arise). Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust, for thy dew is as the dew of herbs (lights), and the earth shall cast out the dead.” Delitzsch: “Thy dead will live, my corpses rise again. Awake and rejoice, ye that lie in the dust! for thy dew is dew of the lights, and the earth will bring shades to the day.” Prof. Bush renders Isa_26:14 : “They are dead men, they shall not live; they are deceased tyrants, they shall not rise, therefore,” etc., and he adopts Bh. Lowth’s of Isa_26:19 : “Thy dead shall live, my deceased, they shall arise; awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust! For thy dew is as the dew of the dawn; but the earth shall cast forth, as an abortion, the deceased tyrants.” (He undoubtedly mistakes in the last member, in his reference to “the deceased tyrants.”). Compare Fausset and commentators generally.] 7. In Psalms 31, when death is represented as befalling the Psalmist, he expresses his hope in redemption from the grave, and says of God, Thou “hast not shut me up in the hand of the enemy (i.e. death); thou hast set my feet in a large room” (i.e. equivalent to rich deliverance), and repeating his trust, he contrasts his hoped-for experience with that of the wicked: “let me not be ashamed, O Lord; for I have called upon Thee; let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave (marg. read., let them be cut off for the grave.)” But this is more definitely given in Psalms 49, where all men are said to “see corruption,” being unable to redeem themselves from death, so that “like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them,” and marg. reads, “the grave being a habitation to every one of them,” but a hope is expressed in favor of the righteous; “but God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave,” etc., while the others remain in their graves, for farther on it is said of this class that “they shall never see light,” comp. Psa_56:13, as those who are brought again into the land of the living under the Millennial light of the glorious Sun of righteousness. 8. Indeed, on all sides we find Scripture which imply or take for granted this detention of the wicked dead in their graves and the priority of the resurrection. of the righteous. Even in such passages as Luk_20:34-36, in addition to the argument already based on the preposition “out of or from among,” the use of the phrase “they that shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world and the resurrection from the dead,” implies that some shall not be accounted worthy, and hence shall not then be raised up. So also the language of Psa_115:17-18, comp, with Psa_88:10-13, receives increased pertinency if this idea is noticed. To illustrate our meaning, Isaiah 42 is selected as an example. Here is (1) the promise of the Messiah; (2) the work He shall perform, including the delivering of “the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house;” (3) the Millennial blessedness; (4) for the Lord cometh as “a man of war” (comp. Revelation 19); (5) to the utter overthrow of His enemies; (6) the release of His own people; (7) but while He asserts this release and the blessings that follow, He declares of the wicked and of those addicted to image-worship (comp. Revelation 19 and 20): “But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses; they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore.” But in the redemption promised, as parallel passages show, only the pious portion of Israel is restored, which implies that the image-worshippers and other wicked remain in their “prisons.” For the more obscure passages must be interpreted by those decisive, as Isaiah 26, etc. The connection of this doctrine can even be seen in Isa_43:17, for of the Babylonians (we need not consider whether typical name or not) it is said, “They shall lie down together; they shall not rise; they are extinct, they are quenched as tow,” and the prophet passing rapidly to “the new thing” which God will perform in the Millennial period, speaks of those first-born of the dead who shall arise: “This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise” (comp. Psa_102:18, etc.; Eph_1:10-12, etc.). 9. But there is still another class of passages which confirm the rising of the rest of the dead at the end of the thousand years, as in Isa_24:22, when after “many days” those detained by death shall be released. Thus in Psa_6:10, there is an evident allusion to the return of the wicked dead after an interval of time. Observe that the Psalm describes (1) the death of the saint; (2) prays for a release from death and the grave; (3) asks “how long,” as the martyrs do, before the release comes; (4) expresses the fact that God has heard and granted his supplication and prayer, which implies, of course, his resurrection; (5) but while this prayer is answered in his own experience, the enemies, the wicked, are to “be ashamed and sore vexed; let them return and be ashamed suddenly;” (6) he declares that the Lord will “return” (implying, as the facts in the history of Christ prove, that He is removed for a while), that “the workers of iniquity” shall be removed, but finally “return” and realize a sudden shame, such as a second resurrection will produce; (7) and the earnest praying, longing, and even weeping, for such a resurrection shows it to be a significant one, very different in order and allotments from that of the wicked. In Psalms 109 we have the wicked, Psa_109:15, “cut off from the earth,” but the poor and needy shall be delivered, and then follows again, in reference to the adversaries, “when they arise, let them be ashamed.” Psalms 59, so difficult of explanation by commentators, receives new light and consistency when viewed from this standpoint. For (1) “the mighty,” the wicked are described as arrayed against God, just as predicted (Revelation 19, etc.) before the Millennial period; (2) the God of Israel is to consume them with His wrath, just as then happens; (3) they are removed, “that they may not be,” i.e. cease to exist on earth; (4) but they shall return again; for, as we shall abundantly show hereafter, the Millennial day has its morning and its evening, they return in the evening of the day, “they return at evening,” i.e. the same enemies destroyed shall come back again at the close of the Millennial day; (5) when they return then shall “they make a noise like a dog and go round about the city,” which encompassing the city is precisely what follows the ending of the thousand years, Rev_20:9; (6) for “a city” pre-eminent for dignity and glory shall characterize the Millennial era; (7) and this is done when “God ruleth in Jacob unto the ends of the earth,” i.e. when the predicted Theocratic Kingdom is firmly and universally established.
Now, taking all these considerations together, and how they so accurately correspond with the general tenor of the Word, with the Covenant and the promises based on the Covenant, it seems that the early Church faith was eminently logical, scriptural, and necessary, end that we have a literal Pre-Millennial resurrection of saints unmistakably presented.363 [Note: 63 363. This subject might be extended. The allusion in Hab_1:12 seems to refer to this period of resurrection, for in the second chapter those just who live by faith are represented, when the vision shall be realized in its “appointed time,” as finally triumphing over the culminated Antichrist, the “proud man” “who enlargeth his desire as hell and as death (persecutes to the grave) and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations (Revelation 10, etc.) and heapeth unto him all people.” But how is this triumph brought about, just as John here describes: “Shall they not rise up suddenly that shall bite thee and awake that shall vex thee?” etc. So Psalms 118: this gathering of nations foretold their overthrow and destruction, a deliverance of the righteous from death, while the others are not thus delivered. Some (Kimchi) render Psa_1:5, “The wicked shall not rise in judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the just,” which, with the Scriptural idea of the saints’ judgeship, would be in harmony with our view. But these instances are amply sufficient, and refute the opinion of Curry (Bible Examiner, vol. 14, p. 519, etc.) that “the doctrine of the resurrection of the wicked is not contained in the Old Testament.” To sustain this position only two passages of the Old Testament (Job_21:30 and Dan_12:2) are brought forward and disposed of-all others being ignored. Job is removed by another rendering, which may or may not be correct. Daniel is corrected as follows: “And many of the sleepers in the dust of the earth shall awake, these to everlasting life, but those to shame, to everlasting abhorrence,” and the inference is made that “those who do not awake” are given to shame. But is the inference a just one? To decide this question it is requisite to let the general analogy of Scripture speak, and this leads us to another inference, viz., that “those” who also ultimately “awake,” but not in the order of “these” (i.e. the former ones), are given to shame. For no clearer truth is taught in God’s Word than this: that there are two resurrections (as e.g. in Joh_5:28-29 -the parabolic objection has no force, seeing that actual real resurrections were “now” (i.e. then) witnessed- Act_24:15, etc.), one for the righteous unto life, and the other for the wicked unto condemnation. We see no necessity for this modern departure from the primitive church view, especially when antagonistic to so much Scripture that can only be bent to its purpose by special pleading.
Dr. Thomas, as in his Works, rejects an ultimate resurrection of the wicked, and in Eureka advocates that “the rest of the dead” refers to those who die during the Millennial period, thus foisting on the passage a meaning which is not contained in it. Other Christadelphians, more logically, endeavor to get rid of the passage by questioning its Scriptural authority. So also Russell and Barbour endeavor to get rid of the phrase in order to make out their peculiar (Rellyite) restoration of “the rest of the dead” during the Millennial age. As the passage stands, it is utterly and positively antagonistic to their view. Hence as the Sinaitic mss. has it omitted, they conclude (in behalf of their theory) that it is an interpolation. They forget (1) that Tischendorf (The New Testament) pronounces this, in view of the ancient evidence, “a mere error;” (2) that the Alexandrian, Vatican, and numerous other authoritative mss. contain it; (3) that so decided is this that it is found in the ancient and modern versions recognized by the ablest critics, retained in the Variorum, New Revision, etc.; (4) it is quoted or alluded to by men who lived even before these mss. as an authoritative reading; (5) that the opponents of Pre-Millenarianism, who would gladly rid themselves of it (as not in harmony with their views) if they could, concede it as Scriptural; (6) the retention of the passage is, as we have shown, in full accord with the general teaching on the subject. So noted, in the estimation of opposers, is this Scripture, that e.g. Lindsay (Art. “Millennial” in Ency. Brit.) by this living or “resurrection is intended the temporary restoration of the reign of evil after the Millennial”]
Obs. 5. Some might regard our work imperfect if we did not notice the objections alleged against our interpretation of Revelation 20. For this passage is wrongfully supposed to be the citadel (when merely an outpost) of our doctrine, and hence is the chief object of attack. Let us therefore briefly pass them in review.364 [Note: 64 364. These objections have been met by Rev. Carleton’s articles in the Theol. and Lit. Journal for 1853-4 on “The Rev. Al. Barnes’s Notes on Rev_20:4-6, by Dr. Lord’s criticism of Dr. Brown’s work in same journal, and by numerous Millenarian writers, such as Noel, Brookes, Seiss, etc. An excellent Treatise is Rev. Sirr’s First Res. In these the objections are answered at length.] 1. That it is presumptive evidence against us that a literal Pre-Millennial resurrection, if taught at all, is only found in this place, so Barnes, etc. Reply: We leave the student to judge for himself, in view of the Jewish belief and that of the early Church based on Old Testament passages.365 [Note: 65 365. It certainly is unjust to ignore the Jewish and early Church belief, that the covenant would be fulfilled in the restored Davidic throne and Kingdom, which was to be accomplished by a resurrection of saints, and the numerous passages alleged to sustain this view as found in the Old Testament Revelation 20 was adduced by the Primitive Christians in confirmation of this doctrine. The foundation of the Millenarian system is the covenant, and Revelation 20 only illustrates how a certain feature pertaining to it is to be realized. Hence any attack upon us which leaves untouched the covenant and covenant promises is one-sided and unavailing. For the Jewish belief, we may e.g. refer to the works of Lightfoot, Mede, Bush, etc., as well as to the articles in the Biblical Cyclopedias; and for the Primitive Church view we may alone cite the Ante-Nicene Library.] 2. It ought, if teaching such a resurrection, to be less ambiguous, so Barnes, etc. Reply: It is sufficient, distinctive for the wise and prudent, even for Prof. Stuart, etc., for God’s expressed purpose is that it shall come as “a snare” upon the wicked.366 [Note: 66 366. The plea of ambiguity does not exist when a moral, or spiritual, or ecclesiastical interpretation is urged. Yet our opponents frankly admit that the language is expressive of a literal resurrection, for (1) they inform us that the figure is derived from the doctrine of the resurrection, and (2) they confess (as Dr. Hodge, Sys. Div., vol. 3, p. 841) “it must be admitted that that passage (viz., Rev_20:4-6), taken by itself, does seem to teach the doctrine (i.e. literal resurrection) founded upon it” (but still shields himself behind its obscurity, overlooking the previous usage of its language both in the Scriptures and among the Jews). On this point the reader will be pleased to observe the emphatic testimony of Dean Alford (Gr. Testament, on Rev_20:4-6). Comp. Obs. 11.] 3. The objection grounded on the use of the word “souls,” urged by Witsius, Brown, Barnes, Fairbairn, etc., has been sufficiently met.367 [Note: 67 367. How Barnes (Com. loci) can say, “By no possible construction can it (souls) mean the bodies of the saints,” how Lindsay (Art. “Millennial” in Ency. Brit.) can remark that our interpretation “would outrage all propriety of language,” how a multitude reiterate such statements in the face of Scriptural and Jewish usage, must undoubtedly be attributed to prejudice. The vision simply represents by “the souls” certain persons, which includes, as usage demonstrates, the bodies who experienced this resurrection. A theory that must sustain itself by such extravagant assertions is palpably defective. The answering feature is that these same critics when they come to the “beheading” (for these souls were beheaded), suddenly forget their own objections, and then speak of them as persons, including the bodies which were decapitated.] 4. That nothing is mentioned of “books being opened,” so Barnes and others. Reply: This is done by the Spirit in Dan_7:11; Dan_12:1, both Pre-Millennial. 5. That Millenarians differ in the details, so Waldegrave and others. Reply: This is a double-edged weapon that can be turned with damaging force against themselves, for while we are a unit in the grand outlines of our doctrine, our opponents have fundamental diversities and antagonistic theories based on the passage.368 [Note: 68 368. Some in spiritualizing make it past, others present, and others still future; some interpret it as a continued representation of martyrdom and suffering, others of triumph and peace, and still others a kind of combination of the two, etc. Bush (Millennial), Gipps (First resurrection), make martyrdom its prominent feature; Barnes (Com. loci), Whately (Essays) gives us the revival of martyr spirit and energy; Ralston (The Rev. of John) and others constitute it an era of missions; Hazard (Rev. Revealed) and others make it a restoration of the Church to civil and religious power; many Augustineans constitute it a representation of this dispensation; others again unite several of these features.] Besides, diversity of opinion among themselves is not urged by us as proof of the falsity of a doctrine, our appeal is to the Word itself. 6. Nothing is said of their employments, so Barnes. Reply: It is said that they shall reign. 7. No “reason” is assigned “why they are raised,” Barnes. Reply: It is given in their reigning. 8. Nothing is stated “of the new circumstances of their being,” Barnes. Reply: It is given in their immortality and reigning. 9. Nothing is said “of their condition when the thousand years shall have ended,” Barnes. Reply: That is done in other places, for the thousand years do not limit their reign (Prop. 159). 10. But various writers urge that reigning during these thousand years limits it only to that period, so Barnes, etc. Reply: This is a mere quibble, for the thousand years are expressly referred to as intended to denote the period of the binding of Satan, and that also during this period of binding the reign of the saints is established. The duration of the reign must be sought for in passages which describe it. 11. No mention is made of “bodies,” so Ralston, Barnes. Reply: Not necessary, as we have shown, according to usage of language. Besides, this is spoken of dead ones who have been beheaded, etc. See Barnes, Com. Act_2:27, and compare with his Com. Rev_20:4 for a complete answer. 12. It is alleged that if this is a lit. resurrection, then all the righteous must be included, but only two classes are referred to, viz., the martyrs and those who did not worship the beast, so Barnes and many others. Reply: If it were necessary, the concessions of numerous critics, Stuart, etc., might be used to embrace others also, but we, with the meaning of “first resurrection” before us, cordially accept of these two classes alone, believing as we do that the resurrection of the others preceded this one. The line of argument adopted by our opponents proves too much, for it would exclude the resurrection of the saints after Christ’s crucifixion (Mat_27:51-53), etc.369 [Note: 69 369. The confinement of the resurrection to particular classes at a specified time does not invalidate its literalness or exclude previous ones, just as Christ’s assertions did not that of “the many who arose.” Winthrop (Lec. 132) advocates two cases as mentioned in this passage, viz., the martyrs and those who did not worship the beast, saying that such “is the general opinion of critical commentators.” The author of The Kingdom of Grace calls this into question and (overlooking Barnes, Stuart, etc.) stigmatizes these critical commentators to be “of course” Millenarian, asserting “that there is not a single rule of grammar in the world which will justify the use of this ellipsis.” This writer thus exhibits his lack of knowledge of what frequently occurs in Greek, and which is frankly acknowledged by the ablest of our opponents. Thus e.g. Fairbairn (On Proph., p. 456) translates: “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them; and (I saw) the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness (testimony) of Jesus and for the Word of God; and such as had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mart upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Compare Roe’s Analyt. Arrange. of Apocalypse, who also makes (a) of “the souls,” those who had been beheaded, “and (b) whoever had not worshipped the beast,” etc. So Witsius (Exer. Sacra, p. 516), and many after him explain it. Our view of the passage confines it exclusively to the persons who suffer and die under the last terrible persecution of the Antichrist, and that they also pertain to the rights and privileges of “the firstborn” as already explained. The first resurrection, for aught we know, may embrace Mat_26:52-53; 1Th_4:16-17; Rev_7:9-17, and Revelation 12 and 14-this, at least, is the opinion of many (see e.g. an editorial, Proph. Times, vol. 8, p. 31, etc.); for as Selnecker (quoted by Seiss) remarks: “To this resurrection belongs everything that is raised to immortality before the last day.” One thing is self-evident, however we may consider the different stages (as Baxter and others), less or more, this resurrection does not prevent preceding, but identifies it as belonging to that of the righteous by the emphasis placed on the word “first.”] 13. No resurrection of the unjust is mentioned, so Brown, Barnes. Reply: This is a mistake, it is to take place after the thousand years. This objection is based on the supposition (Popish) of a general universal resurrection, simply because both resurrections, without specifying order or time, are mentioned together. This has been sufficiently answered. 14. That such a reign of Christ as we hold, with “a splendid capital at Jerusalem,” etc., is not mentioned in the passage, so Barnes. Reply: If we are to adopt such a criterion to test the truth of any portion of Scripture, then we must yield up many a valuable proof of our Christianity. Our answer is, a comparison of Scripture must indicate what belongs to the period. The Spirit to test faith, etc., gives us truths in a disconnected form, often isolated, which we are to bring together. 15. That if this is a lit. resurrection, saints do not need the assurance “on such the second death hath no power,” so Barnes. Reply: This has been already answered. We add: It is not for us to prescribe what is needed. Besides, a resurrection of dead ones being mentioned, it appears exceedingly appropriate, since so many desire to doubt it, to declare it to be a resurrection unto immortality. 16. That there are two classes only, one who are resurrected, and another who are under the power of the second death; “into which of these classes are we to put the myriads of men having flesh and blood who are to people the world during the Millennium?” so Barnes. Reply: Into neither of them, for this passage only describes the dead, and not the living. Who the rest are can easily be ascertained. 17. If a lit. resurrection, then the rest of the dead must also literally arise “immediately after the thousand years are finished, but that is not stated,” so Barnes and Brown. Reply: The concession is made that if the first is literal the other must be the same; this at least indicates our consistency. But the rest does not follow, for the phrase “immediately after” is not in the text. If we can show, as we have done, that “after” the thousand years, even if some time after (for the text only alludes to their non-resurrection during the thousand years), a second resurrection, also literal (as Barnes himself admits), takes place, that is amply sufficient to sustain our position. 18. It is a symbolic representation, so Barnes, etc. Reply: Precisely so, and real, actual occurrences are symbolized, not figurative ones. Besides, the symmetry of symbolism must be observed, for e.g. it would be incongruous to make a violent death received, and dead ones, made so for the truth’s sake symbolize sin, evil, etc.370 [Note: 70 370. Lord (Theol. and Lit. Journal, vol. 6, p. 453) concisely states this as follows: “As the apostasy of the soul to sin is the antecedent and cause of the death of the body, so the renovation of the soul is a necessary antecedent and prerequisite of the resurrection of the body to a glorious life. A resurrection of the body cannot therefore be used as a symbol of the renovation of the soul. It were to reverse the order of nature and of grace, and make a consequent the representative of an antecedent, an effect the symbols of an indispensable condition of its own existence, which were absurd.” Besides this, the objection is futile, for the simple reason that these same objectors interpret the concluding portion of the chapter, also largely symbolic, as denoting a literal resurrection. Lord falls into an inadvertency when in the context he asserts that no other symbol could be found to indicate the saints, for he overlooks the fact that he in another place makes “the stone” of Daniel 2 to symbolize the same (which latter statement we cannot receive, for the reasons assigned under another Proposition).] 19. All the dead, Revelation 20:l-l5, will be raised up at Christ’s Coming, so Brown, Barnes, etc. Reply: This proves too much, for some of the dead have been previously raised. Besides, concise passages which state in general terms and in juxtaposition the resurrection of both just and unjust must be interpreted by those in which the order is laid down; while in Rev_20:11-15 the dead then mentioned are those found in that condition at that period, for in no shape or form is it intimated that it is the only resurrection.371 [Note: 71 371. Professor Sanborn (Essay on Millenarianism) makes even the extravagant assertion that “the Church has believed in all ages that there would be a simultaneous resurrection of the dead, both of the just and of the unjust.” A scholar acquainted with the history of the doctrine could not make such a declaration, so utterly opposed by the Jewish faith, the early Church belief for several centuries, and the expressed views of many eminent men in the Church. The passages alluded to by Prof. Sanborn merely assert the fact that both shall be raised, but says nothing of the order or of a simultaneous resurrection, leaving the order to be evolved by other passages relating to the subject, just as the Jews and primitive believers did in their teaching. It will not answer (as Dr. Hodge) to confine ourselves to one class of passages which, as all admit, can be referred to a resurrection of dead ones, both just and unjust, and ignore another class which teach a particular resurrection out of or from among dead ones, or which speak of the resurrection of the righteous as something separate and distinct from that of the wicked. If the resurrection is simultaneous, as our opponents claim, then we certainly see no propriety or force in Paul’s wish as expressed Php_3:11, viz., expressing undue anxiety about that which is inevitable. Perhaps the greatest inadvertency to be met with in a serious controversial article is that found in the Presby. Quarterly Review for 1853, where the writer in one place makes even Rev_20:12-14 “a resurrection or reappearance on earth of the old spirit of persecution,” and then in another place, a literal resurrection of the dead, arguing as if we did not also hold that the resurrection and judgment of Rev_20:12-14 was post-millennial. Some of our opponents, in charity, we trust, misapprehend our doctrinal position and ascribe views and interpretations to us that we do not hold.] 20. There is no Advent of Christ connected with this resurrection, so Barnes. Reply: There is; see preceding chapter. 21. “All the righteous and wicked will be judged together, and both at the Coming of Christ,” so Barnes, Brown, etc. Reply: Notwithstanding the assertion that “it is utterly impossible to explain these passages,” etc., given as proof, we unhesitatingly pronounce this doctrine pure assumption, a virtual adoption of old monkish views, irreconcilable with the facts stated in those very Scriptures, and antagonistic to the statements of the Divine Spirit. For full proof we refer the reader to the Propositions on Judgment (Props. 132 and 133), to the analysis (Prop. 134) of Mat_25:31-46 (the main proof text relied on), and to the order of Judgment which follows that of the resurrection (as e.g. Props. 161-164). Many of the proofs alleged simply refer to judgment of all men, which we receive; or to the judgment of the righteous and of the wicked at Christ’s Advent, which we also believe, and not one of them asserts that at the Coming of Christ both the righteous and the wicked dead shall be raised up, and a general judgment of these two classes will then be held. This is simply inferred, as we shall conclusively show hereafter. If the modern notion is correct, then the pious Jews and early Church groped in worse than Egyptian darkness.372 [Note: 72 372. The critical reader will observe that this resurrection is already based on a previous judgment. To insure a first resurrection there must be a corresponding fitness, and the resurrection itself is evidence of the divine acceptance of the person experiencing its power. In the nature of the case there must be an antecedent estimate and judgment of character, worthiness, etc. The Popish notion of judgment, so largely entertained by Protestants, is one that is simply inferred from a few passages considered isolated from the general analogy of Scripture on the subject (comp. Props. 132, 133, 134, 135, etc.). Sometimes we are unjustly charged (as by Prof. Sanborn and others) as if we did not associate a final judgment of the quick and the dead with the Second Advent of Christ. But our entire argument shows that we thus connect them, observing an order in the judgment as well as in the resurrection. Indeed, in one sense, it might even be designated “simultaneous,” seeing that the non-resurrection of the rest of the dead until the thousand years are ended, implies already a judgment passed upon them by which they are accounted unworthy of the position and blessings entailed by the first resurrection.] 22. The rise of Gog and Magog is against the idea of a literal resurrection, so Brown and others. Reply: We fail to see it; for if God intends to raise up certain of the dead previously to Gog and Magog (whatever these names may denote), it will be performed. 23. That if the resurrection be literal, then some of the Apostles and other good Christians would be excluded, so Fairbairn. Reply: This has been answered, but we may add: This objection overlooks the fact that not all martyrs, but only those at a particular period of time (during the time of the beast and prophet) are specified, viz., those under the last persecution. Again, it reads this resurrection isolated, whereas to obtain the whole doctrine all the passages (as e.g. in Revelation 11; I Corinthians 15; Isaiah 25, etc.) bearing on the subject are to be recognized in their proper order, which, of course, includes the Prophets, Apostles, all saints. 24. “The rest of the dead neither awake nor live during the thousand years, nor at any other time,” so Bush and Paraeus. Reply: This is directly opposed by the text, as admitted by many-nearly all-of our opponents. The effort to sustain this objection by altering the text from “lived not again” to “lived not,” on the authority of a few mss., is a failure, since all the mss. more ancient are opposed to it, fully sustaining our version. Even if the change were allowed, it would still favor our doctrine. These are the leading objections urged against our interpretation, and the student can readily see that many of them are merely captious, i.e. seeking for difficulties and manufacturing them; others, nearly all, are inferential; while not one of them is based on a direct, positive, scriptural statement, unless Obj. 21 forms an exception. The value of the latter will appear as we proceed. Recent writers (as Hodge, Sys. Div., in part relating to Eschatology) have presented no new objections, but simply reiterate what have been repeatedly answered, without observing and replying to our line of argument founded in the covenant itself.373 [Note: 73 373. We have presented and replied to the objections urged by Brown in Christ’s Second Coming, and in addition show how utterly erroneous is the declaration made by him, that if a first resurrection is taught at all, it can only be found in Revelation 20. The general analogy of Scripture on the subject speaks for itself. The plea that if taught it ought to be “a clear and unambiguous revelation,” is decidedly ambiguous after the clear statements of the Old Testament, which we have shown, God Himself condescending to explain. The concessions coming from such a source are worthy of notice. Thus he concedes that the word “souls” does not forbid in connection the idea of “a bodily resurrection,” for “‘they lived,’ not their souls, but themselves.” Again he fully admits that while there is no specific mention of “the earth,” yet that it is sufficiently “clear” “that the earth is the theatre of the Millennial reign,” thus rejecting the notion of Ash, Piscator, Moore, etc., of locating this reign in heaven above. He confidently remarks (p. 226) in reference to the second resurrection of Rev_20:12-15, that it is “a clear and unambiguous prophecy of the resurrection of all the righteous and wicked at once, and in proof of this I appeal to the all but universal voice of the Church. Has there ever been any testimony approaching to this, either in amount or harmony, in favor of the literal sense of the Millennial prophecy? No! there has not.” We refer the reader to the history of the doctrine (Props. 74, 75, 76, 77, and 78), which indisputably shows that in the first period of the Church Dr. Brown’s “all but universal voice” did not exist, but was brought into existence through the Alexandrian and Popish influence. Smith (Key to Rev.) spiritualizes the resurrection of the martyrs so that it “means the revival of the cause in which they lived and died,” but the weight to be attached to such an opinion is self-evident from the annexed assertion that none of the saints resurrected are “to be raised to dwell again on the earth,” so Gnostic is his feeling and so hostile to covenant promises. The spiritualizing and objections of Scott, Doddridge, etc., are sufficiently answered in our brief review of Barnes. Ralston (Apocalypse, p. 163) explains, “This is the first resurrection, or resuscitation of characters, resembling the ancient worthies; for John saw, not the bodies, but the souls of those martyrs, which must imply a resuscitation of spiritual powers.” And this is the only reason given for spiritualizing the resurrection, based on the passage itself. According to his system (to show how arbitrary) Rev_11:15-19; Rev_14:14-20; Rev_20:11-15 are synchronous, and descriptive of “the general resurrection and final judgment.” We asserted the danger of making the second, resurrection of Revelation 20 to be also spiritual, and thus to find no real resurrection in the Apocalypse whatever. This is done by many writers. Thus, e.g. Rev. Burdick in the N. Y. Evang., Feb. 3, 1876, says: “In the second resurrection, implied from the first, the fact described is an uprising of the spiritual forces in the Kingdom of Satan.” Strange and unscriptural as this view is, it at least is consistent with the interpretation of the first resurrection, for it makes the second one in kind to the first. To indicate how little the whole subject is understood, and yet how rashly and confidently some write concerning it, Lord (Theol. and Lit. Jour., Oct., 1853, p. 270) points out how a writer in the Presby-Quart. Review against Millenarianism positively asserts that the resurrection of Rev_20:12-14 denotes “a resurrection or reappearance on earth of the old spirit of persecution, which had slumbered or been kept in abeyance during the long and prosperous period of the Millennium;” and then on a succeeding page, forgetting his own interpretation thus given, the same author, to make out a general, universal resurrection, as positively makes it a real resurrection, saying that it means the following: “The dead observe, not the living, but the race whose probation is ended, and on whom death has already set his seal, are judged.” Some, as Butler(Lec. Apoc.), endeavor to patch up a kind of compromise, declaring this resurrection to be a raising up of disembodied saints to positions of honor and glory, without receiving a body-which is opposed to the covenant promises, the proper conception of a resurrection, the relation that the saints sustain to the Christ in the coming Kingdom, etc. Such views with but unimportant variations might be extensively quoted, but this is amply sufficient for illustration. And yet that the reader may have before him all that the most respectable and able writers opposed to us can produce, we select two of the most noted. Martensen (Ch. Dog., s. 281), in giving his “ spiritual” conception of the meaning of Revelation 20, refers to the first resurrection as follows: “A general historical resurrection will take place in the Church; the graves of Church History will be opened, and all the past will rise again in an all-embracing, living, and spiritual remembrance; and under the influence of this great consciousness the Church will display a universal activity, a universal development of her various gifts.” His entire exegesis is based on the preconceived idea, expressed by himself, that the Kingdom of God is to be established by and under “the conditions of historical development,” i.e. by existing agencies extending themselves in the way of progress. On the other hand, we hold, with Scripture and Early Church tradition, that it is to be established by Christ Himself at His personal Coming, not by man or through the present agency of man. When reading Martensen, one wonders how he would have spiritualized the promises relating to the First Advent, had he lived before its realization. Pressense (The Early Days of Christianity, p. 439) mixes concessions and inconsistencies as follows: “The triumph of the Church is connected in the Apocalypse as in the first Gospel, with the return of Christ. To proclaim that triumphant return and to describe its glorious results is the great object of the Book of Revelation, as to wait for it is the highest consolation left by the Master to His disciples. In the Apocalypse two distinct periods are marked in this final triumph of Christianity over Antichrist. The first victory is brought about by the direct and visible intervention of the Savior, taking up the cause of His people, and gloriously establishing the reign of His Church upon earth.” In reading this one would be led to suppose that Pressense was a pronounced Pre-Millenarian, being so directly opposed to Brown, Barnes, Hodge, etc., and so in unison with a cardinal doctrine of ours bitterly resisted by the great majority of our opposers. But in a foot-note he vitiates his concession by the following: “The idea of a Millennium preceded by a first resurrection is suggested by Revelation 20; but we must not forget the symbolical character of the book. The glorious triumph of the Church is in itself a judgment of the world. The world is judged by the saints whom it had made its victims; their victory is its condemnation. The writer of the Revelation, when he shows us the saints raised from the dead and sitting upon thrones, employs an image analogous to that used by him to describe the triumph of the two faithful witnesses in the Church, Rev_11:11. We may observe that at the close of Rev_20:12-15 mention is made of a general resurrection of the dead in which all are to be judged according to their works. The judgment had then yet to take place, and the Christians appointed to salvation were not yet raised.” The preconceived ideas of judgment, resurrection, the nature of the Kingdom, etc., are self-evident. It is strange that “the symbolical character” of the prediction does not forbid him to accept of the greater doctrine (viz., a personal Pre-Millennial Advent), while it urges him to reject the lesser (viz., a literal Pre-Millennial resurrection). It is also strange that he did not observe the fact that the general analogy of Scripture associates the resurrection of the saints with the future personal Advent of Jesus, His Second Advent, so that when He comes-whenever that is-those that sleep in Jesus shall experience His resurrecting power. Having carefully met all the objections urged, it is unnecessary to repeat.]
Obs. 6. The subject of the resurrection is frequently referred to and implied in the Apocalypse, but it would be foreign to our design to enter into a detailed statement respecting each allusion. A few remarks respecting the more prominent will answer, and we can only specify, leaving the student to investigate. The resurrection of Rev_11:18, occurring under the last trumpet, and thus Pre-Millennial, has been sufficiently noticed (Obs. 1, with which compare the concessions of many of our opponents, e.g. Barnes, etc.). Rev_14:1-5, embracing the first-fruits preceding the harvest, includes necessarily a resurrection, and will be treated under the subject of the translation. The “man-child” of Rev_12:5 is by many able prophetical writers interpreted as symbolic or representative of the resurrected saints. Those who (like Dr. Seiss and others) hold to a literal day fulfillment, still future, of the Apocalypse, find the resurrection implied in the 4th and 5th chaps, of Revelation and in ch. 7, etc. The passages which obscurely refer to it or imply it are to be interpreted by the plain and decided teaching on the subject (comp. Prop. 130).
Obs. 7. Two things connected with Rev_20:4-6 may be noticed-the persons raised and the time when raised. 1. The persons raised are martyrs, and only martyrs. Mede was so strongly in favor to apply this to the martyrs and “confessors equipollent to martyrs” as “a prerogative to their sufferings above the rest of the dead,” that he inclined to the opinion “that all the righteous will rise during the course of the Millennial Kingdom.” Burgh, and many others, insist that martyrs only are designated. Brown and others make two classes, viz., martyrs and those who did not worship (although others, in our estimation, more correctly apply the latter as a characteristic of the martyrs and the reason assigned why they were martyred). Pre-Millenarians and Post-Millenarians make two classes or bodies, the former to include all saints in the first resurrection, and the latter as a mere exegetical addition, having more (so Barnes) than the martyrs intended. Even Witsius (Exer. Sac, p. 516) has a class beside the martyrs. Kliefoth (Offenbarung Johannes, p. 260) advocates a literal resurrection, and has, like Bengel, two bodies announced (not of the dead, but) one of the dead (martyrs) who are raised up, and another of the living (confessors), who are translated. But this evidently is designed to make it fit with 1Th_4:17 and 1Co_15:51-53; comp, also Sirr on The First resurrection, and works advocating the same view, and it will be found that under the impression that all the righteous are raised simultaneously, and in order to make Revelation 20 to correspond with other passages supposed to teach the same, two classes are introduced into the passage, and into the last body (confessors) the remaining righteous are crowded. We are not forced to this procedure, which is an evident violation of the passage, because it refers exclusively to “the dead,” as the phrase “the rest of the dead” plainly shows, and to a body of men who suffered martyrdom in view of their confession of faith and rejection of the still future Antichrist. Even if it were admitted, on exegetical grounds, that two bodies are included, these bodies could not possibly, by any legitimate reasoning, be made to include all the saints of this, and past centuries, seeing that it is entirely descriptive of those who pass through the yet future tribulation under the culminated Antichrist.374 [Note: 74 374. Hence we cannot fully receive Dr. Schmucker’s (Exp. of Rev.) interpretation of Rev_20:4-6. He correctly makes it teach a literal resurrection, and one pertaining to martyrs, who “in their immortal bodies shall live again and reign with Christ as His associates in His universal Monarchy on earth,” but, overlooking that these martyrs designated are those only who fall under a still future tribulation, he includes among them all martyrs, of every age, ancient and modern. Martyrs before this period have already risen, and these follow them-both having part in the preeminent resurrection pertaining to the first-born.] A misconception of the meaning of “first” (comp. Obs. 2) has a weighty influence in its application. The resurrection and translation of a select portion occurs previous to the fulfillment of this prediction, as seen e.g. in Revelation 14, as the first-fruits are similar in nature to the succeeding harvest, and precedes the rise and persecution of the culminated Antichrist. All these resurrections occur under the Second Advent in its secret or thief-like stage. But this will appear plainer by looking at the second subject. 2. The time when these martyrs are raised up is of course associated by all Pre-Millenarians with the Second Advent, but many, by not distinguishing between the stages, and by being exclusively wedded to some favorite year-day interpretation of the Apocalypse, apply its fulfillment to the period immediately after the open Parousia of Revelation 19. Now while, as against our opponents who deny a literal personal Second Advent, we can properly use (as we have done) this passage as one associated with the resurrection of the saints (for without a personal Second Advent there is no resurrection), yet when we come to consider the exact time in the period of the Second Advent when this resurrection of the martyrs is experienced, we find the most conclusive evidence that it also takes place during the secret stage, and previous to the open Parousia of Revelation 19. Let the reader consider, as introductory, two facts proven in detail in other places (Prop. 130 and Prop. 166, etc.), the two stages in the Second Advent, and the still future Advent of the last Antichrist (Props. 161-164), who causes the death of these martyrs and is overthrown at the open manifestation of King Jesus and His saints. Now turn to Revelation 15, and we find that before the seven last plagues, which fill up the wrath of God, are poured out, the identical persons described in Rev_20:4, who resisted the beast and his image and mark, are already exultant in acquired salvation, and this follows the gathering of the first-fruits as the enforced worship of the beast, image, and mark (Rev_14:9) also follows it. It precedes the open Parousia, as these victorious ones witness (Rev_16:2) the vials poured out upon “the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.” It precedes the open Parousia, because they, with all saints, shall be connected with the announced “marriage of the Lamb,” and they belong (as a portion due to them “to execute the judgment written”) to the armies that accompany the King of kings. In view, therefore, of the deliverance of these martyrs before the vials are poured out and their coming with Jesus at His open Advent, Rev_20:4-6 is retrospective. If the student carefully ponders the construction of the passage he will find (1) the binding of Satan and its duration announced; (2) then follows the reign of the saints in place of Satan’s previous dominion, and this is portrayed (a) by the “thrones” and “judgment,” a general announcement; (b) by a particular specification (as an encouragement, and to lead us not to limit these reigning ones) of the martyrs; (c) by expressions indicative of the nature of the reign, and that all who participate in it have the privileges and honors of the first-born.375 [Note: 75 375. These martyrs have part in “the first resurrection,” and this implies that others also have part in it. Indeed, “this is the first resurrection” includes not merely the martyrs, but all to whom are given thrones and judgment or rulership. This may reconcile a historical difficulty in relation to the doctrine. The Primitive Church always associated the resurrection with the Second Advent, and held that (as we do) all saints, together with those martyrs, had a part in the first resurrection. Brown (Ch. Second Com., p. 224) objects to Burgh’s statement of a limited resurrection of believers being “generally held in the early ages of Christianity,” and says: “I have not been able to verify this statement by reference to the early Chiliastic Fathers. Probably Mr. Burgh gives as their actual belief the impression merely which their language conveys as a whole. But this is hardly fair, in opposition to pretty plain statements extending the first resurrection to believers generally, which may be adduced, for example, from Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, and Tertullian, high authority certainly on this point.” Dr. Brown is correct as to the historical fact that all believers have part in a first resurrection at the Second Advent, and Burgh as to the special reference to the martyrs, which, however, must, as the context and other passages show, be associated with that of other believers who preceded them. The evident distinction as to exact time, the decided reference to martyrs, and yet the associated nature and honor of the same kind of a resurrection, and the inability to explain and apply the same, has led to a confusion of ideas and contradictory statements, which our position avoids.
The critical student will observe that if we are to receive the renderings (e.g. Fairbairn’s and others) and interpretations (e.g. Brown’s and others) which emphasize two classes, viz., the martyrs “and such as had not worshipped the beast” (so Fairbairn), or martyrs “and of them who worshipped not the beast” (so Wordsworth), etc. (and we do not by any means discard them, for such a meaning may be intended), still our position as to exact time and the persons denoted remains the same. For then we have-not the saints of past ages, but-the martyrs and those associated with them under the last great tribulation of the culminated Antichrist. All that we contend for is, that the persons designated are persons who at a time still future experience this persecution and martyrdom, and that the rest of the saints are included in the “thrones,” “judgment,” and general affirmation respecting the first resurrection and the reign.
It may be well to notice, briefly, an effort to bend this passage against us by Prof. Bush (Anastasis, p. 309, with which comp. Gipp’s First Res., p. 133), who proposes to change the verbs into the present tense, in order to make out-according to his theory-a succession of persons who suffered and reigned, and to prevent the beheading and not worshipping to be antecedent to the reign. But such a change would not help their cause, for the reasons that the vision is described as passing before the seer, that the future is frequently spoken of as present, that each one having part in the resurrection is represented as reigning the thousand years, and that the passage itself must be interpreted by the general analogy on the subject.]
Obs. 8. If Mede’s argument is once admitted, viz., that Rev_20:4-6 and Daniel 7 are synchronous, then it is impossible, without direct violation of the order laid down, to avoid a Pre-Millennial resurrection. Bush, in his Anastasis, admits Mede’s position, owing to the parallelism of the two prophecies, but endeavors to avoid our conclusion by making both to describe the Gospel dispensation. But in doing this, he not only makes a fearful Millennium of suffering and martyrdom (against all prophecy), but he reverses the facts of history. For, instead of such a removal of antagonistic powers-a sealing, binding, and detention of Satan so as not to deceive-the history of the Church and of the kingdoms clearly proclaim, in the persecutions endured, the tyranny exercised, the murders committed, the crimes and wars indulged, etc., that neither Daniel nor John have yet been fulfilled. It matters not whether we make the dragon a symbol of tyrannical dominion or of a personal devil; in either case the predictions of the Prophets have not been realized; and what is more to the point, in the order laid down by themselves, if followed in the evolution of history, it was impracticable, for the simple reason that before this exaltation, etc., of the saints, certain events, running down to the present and still extending in the future, must first be fulfilled. Any other position makes the Bible contradictory both to itself and to history.
Obs. 9. Those who deny a literal resurrection in Revelation 20 generally have much to say concerning the indefiniteness and obscurity of figurative and symbolic prophecy-the difficulty of understanding it until the fulfillment shows its intended meaning, being upheld by some-but when they come to explain it themselves, then all difficulties vanish, and no other interpretation can possibly be allowed. This, to say the least, is indicative that they have no confidence in their assumptions against us, and that, when necessity requires it, they esteem themselves fully competent to elucidate, with the utmost charming confidence, even “obscure” predictions. The reader may draw his own conclusions.
The careful reader must have noticed with what assurance this has been carried out in Christian Theologies, Biblical Dictionaries, Religious Cyclopedias, etc. The subject of the resurrection is at length introduced, and notwithstanding our scriptural argument, the early Church belief, the Jewish view, the concessions of opponents, the subject of a literal first resurrection is either entirely ignored or merely hinted at, just as if the popular interpretation of Revelation 20 was beyond all contradiction the correct one. Some who slightly advert to it claim the indefiniteness of prophecy, which disappears in favor of their own view. The truth is, that any work or intended complete article, on the resurrection which refuses to recognize our doctrine, and in some measure discuss it, is certainly un-scholarly and defective, seeing that it passes over that which the ablest men in the Church profess to be solidly based in Scripture and antiquity.
Another peculiarity may here be noticed. Brown (Ch. Second Com.) and others endeavor to make the impression that our opponents are in perfect accord in the interpretation and application of Rev_20:1-6, while Pre-Millenarians differ. And they carefully point out our differences, but with greater carefulness conceal their own differences. Now the fact, as the slightest comparison shows, is that far less unity exists among them than among us. While Pre-Millenarians differ as to the exact order, the persons resurrected, the duration and nature of the reign, and a few minor details, they are a unit on the grand outlines, respecting its being a literal resurrection, its eclectic nature, its realization at the Second Advent, its connection with a glorious following Millennium, etc., whereas our opponents differ on all these points. Some make the resurrection spiritual, others make it literal; some make it civil, others civil and religious; some make it illustrative of persecution, others a poetical effusion, and others a Jewish superstition; some make it past, others past and present, and others future. Surely our opponents ought to be the last to speak of differences of opinion.
Obs. 10. There is a resurrection of the wicked dead, Obs. 4. It will not answer, as many do, to assert a resurrection of just and unjust at the beginning of this age and none after; or to affirm, as others do, that there is no resurrection of the wicked whatever. Without discussing the destiny of the wicked, the passages that we have presented distinctly show that after the thousand years are ended the rest of the dead “lived again,” i.e. were raised up from the dead; that they, “after many days shall he visited;” that they shall “return,” and return at evening time: that they shall be made subject to the endurance of “the second death;” that those dead whose names are not found in the book of life are also raised up and judged; that there is a resurrection of some unto shame and contempt, which those that return in the evening experience; that the resurrection of the dead is affirmed in their order of all men, both just and unjust; that a prior, pre-eminent resurrection, etc., involves another of a lower class, which must include the wicked; and that the resurrection of the dead and a judgment to follow is held up as a motive of repentance to men. These considerations are sufficient to sustain the position, of John in Revelation 20. To quote the passages which speak of the wicked as “silent in the grave” as “not being,” “remaining in the congregation of the dead,” etc., to prove a non-resurrection, is only bringing forth part of the truth, viz., that there is a non-resurrection of the wicked for a certain period of time, and this is thus strongly, by way of contrast to the blessed condition of the righteous, presented. But the whole truth as given by the Spirit demands their “return,” their also “living again” Any other interpretation flatly contradicts divine statements.376 [Note: 76 376. By pressing Scripture (“shall not be,” etc.) beyond all analogy, we could easily adduce proof that the believer, as represented by the Psalmist, will not rise again, when it is said, Psa_39:13, “before I go hence and be no more,” etc.] Let us receive all that is written, observing the same order laid down by the Spirit. If it be asked, Of what practical use or benefit can such a resurrection unto condemnation and shame be? the answers are various; such as, to vindicate the justice of God; to prove the truthfulness and reality of His representations and mercy; to apportion “the few or many stripes” that the guilty merit; to fulfill His declaration that all the wicked shall see and acknowledge the Divine power; to show that death itself, as many fondly hope, is no refuge for the sinner; that a resurrection unto eternal life is the special gift of God through Jesus Christ; to contrast the condition of the resurrection saints with their own; to root out in the most effectual manner every remnant of evil; to give to the creatures of God, the universe itself, a sublime and abiding idea of the nature and consequences of sin. If it be asked, Why does God give the righteous so long a priority and cause the wicked only to “return” after so long an interval? the reason, as we gather it from intimations, here and there, seems to be this: This Millennial era is designed to fulfill covenanted promises; these require the resurrection of the saints and their triumphant establishment in the earth. To do this demands, as almost every Millennial description portrays, the removal of God’s enemies to clear “the inheritance” of its oppressors. Being thus removed, the triumph of the saints, their victory over death, the bestowal of dominion-in brief, the ample and continued fulfillment of God’s promises in real, actual experience is fully exhibited and tested during these thousand years, clearly and fully vindicating the truthfulness and faithfulness of God, and the honor, dignity, and power of David’s Son. Now, it is declared that this faithfulness, etc., is to be manifested not only to angels, to the glorified, to the restored Jewish nation, to spared Gentiles, but also to the wicked. The time selected is at the close of the Sabbath of the world’s week, in the very height of completed fulfillment of promise, and sway of saintly reign, and the accumulated glory of the rule of David’s Son; then the wicked arise and are filled with “sudden shame” and “confusion” when they behold the justly forfeited blessings in the possession of those whom they despised, rejected, and even persecuted. This resurrection is therefore delayed, not merely to give the saints an honorable precedence by way of reward, and as a punishment to the wicked for refusing Christ and His proffered mercy, but to place the saints, the inheritance, the world, yea, even Christ Himself in the covenanted position by which the majesty and glory of God is the more fully seen, felt, and appreciated in the then proven, tested immortality and reign of the saints, renewal of the earth or removal of the curse, etc. At the end of the thousand years, so faithfully is it proven that all the promises of God are “yea and amen” in Christ, that none can gainsay it, for the covenant is more than fulfilled, and to forfeited blessings additional and greater have been added. This is the time, gloriously, yea, sadly suitable, which God has appointed for “the rest of the dead to live again,” and behold with their own eyes the glory they have lost by not obeying God-a glory shining forth in the land, in the Theocratic government, in the subjects, in the immortal kings and priests, and in the exalted, enthroned Son of Man. Imagine just such a “return,” under such circumstances, and then tell us, are “holy men of old” wrong when they depict the shame, degradation, and unhappiness of the wicked at this period? Imagine Voltaire, Paine, Strauss, and a multitude like them to thus “return” and see what they ridiculed, and what must then memory and conscience say?377 [Note: 77 377. How terrible the contrast of situation and doom! The haters and persecutors of believers, the scoffers of pious ones, then stand amazed and confounded at the shining glory of the once detested followers of Jesus. It is but reasonable that a Voltaire should be raised up to account for his blasphemy; a Strauss, to tell why he was so indignant at the Christ’s assumption of Judgeship; a Renan, to explain his detraction and disgusting allusion to “the Galilean girls;” ten thousand, thousand others, to meet the hypocrisy, malice, brutality, etc., exhibited-and then there will be (Luk_13:28) “weeping and gnashing of teeth, when they shall see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the Kingdom of God, and themselves thrust out.” It is but just that men should thus arise and witness to the utter falsehood and maliciousness of their detractions of Jesus and His Messianic claims. Eminent and talented men have written works specially designed to degrade Jesus; multitudes have jubilantly urged their defamatory statements; sarcasm, ridicule, blasphemy, etc. are devised and circulated by hosts of enemies, and it is but just that they should be raised up to meet an ample and shame-confounding manifestation of their willful and deliberate hostility to Jesus. How inquisitors, executioners, defamers, etc. will face their victims, then exalted and glorified, and especially the magnificent King of kings, is clearly and pointedly represented in the Word.
A few words of caution may be added. Rev_20:12-15 is not necessarily to be restricted (as by Dallas and others) to “the rest of the dead;” for it includes (so Lord and others) those who may have died during the thousand years. Lord (Sep. Apoc.) makes it to embrace “all the wicked dead of all ages;” but we would not dogmatically restrict it even solely to such, because it may, for aught we can tell, include far more. For, while translations, glorifications, etc. may result during the Millennial age as a reward for holiness, yet the mention of the book of life and the reference to all the dead then existing may imply that others, not accounted worthy of special honor and exaltation-although ultimately to be saved-are included in those dead. Again: in reference to a resurrection of the wicked, we add this: it is true (see e.g. Art. “Resurrection” in M’Clintock and Strong’s Cyclop.) that while the Jews held to a Pre-Millennial resurrection of the pious, some discarded the ultimate resurrection of the ungodly, but others (“the prevailing opinion”) held that the unjust would also finally be raised. Now observe how the language of Jesus and Paul accords with the latter prevailing view, as e.g. in “all that are in their graves,” etc. (Joh_5:28-29), “a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust” (Act_24:15). Such language is, of course, powerfully confirmatory of the then existing opinion; so corroborative that it can only be avoided by special pleading. Again: this resurrection of the rest of the dead is after the thousand years. We, therefore, have no account whatever of any other resurrection preceding the Millennial age. It has been pointed out (Obs. 4, note) how some endeavor to discard this verse as unauthorized, in order to make out (so Russell and Barbour, Three Worlds, etc.) a distinct and separate resurrection of the heathen at the beginning of the Millennial age, so as to give them another probation, etc. This view of a future probation for heathen, etc., is not new, for such men as Tholuck, Stilling, etc., adopted it, but inform us that the Bible keeps it in the background, teaches it only inferentially and not in a dogmatic form. Barbour, etc. make it very prominent, a corner-stone (as Rellyites) in their system, and largely build upon it. We are only concerned (passing by the stress laid upon “all men” and “all,” etc.) with this theory as it relates to a Pre-Millennial resurrection, and his main proof text in support of the same. To make out a Pre-Millennial resurrection they frequently quote the restoration of the Sodomites, Eze_16:55, arguing that the passage of necessity implies their resurrection, having been destroyed. But they overlook (1) how the word Sodom is used, viz., to designate others (of like character) besides the literal Sodomites as e.g. Rev_11:8; Zep_2:9. Even “the prophets of Jerusalem” “are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah” (Jer_23:14; comp. Isa_3:9, and especially Isa_1:9-10). This usage enables us to appreciate Eze_16:55, for we have the warrant of Isa_1:10 that “rulers of Sodom” and “people of Gomorrah” exist independently of the literal Sodom and Gomorrah. If we observe Ezekiel 16 with care, we observe (2) that Jerusalem is the subject of prophecy-the earthly, as evidenced by Eze_16:3 -and God’s care and protection, as well as her perverseness, etc., are specified. The city, with its privileges, blessings, conduct, and punishment, is represented. Her supporters are designated: first, Samaria, i.e. that portion pertaining to the ten tribes (Samaria being the capital city); and second, Sodom, i.e. Judah (“the lesser than thou,” so marg. reading). Both return from captivity, Judah first, then the ten tribes; and they are given to Jerusalem as daughters (with which we need only compare, e.g. Mic_4:8; Zep_3:10; Zep_3:14; Zec_9:9, etc.). Hence whatever truth there may be in Tholuck’s and Stilling’s theory, it is evident that it can only be realized after the thousand years, if realized at all. The same is true of Barbour and Russell’s view, for the student will notice that their entire argument is purely inferential, being utterly unable to give a direct passage favoring it. The fact that spared nations (Isaiah 66) are mentioned refers to living (not dead) nations, and “the ruling with a rod of iron” is not over the resurrected heathen, but, as a comparison of passages clearly show, over the anti-Christian hosts and living nations at and after the Second Advent.]
Obs. 11. Out of the abundant testimony favoring a twofold resurrection, and the literal, eclectic resurrection of Revelation 20, we select a few as illustrative. Dean Alford (Com. loci) remarks: “I cannot consent to distort the words from their plain sense and chronological place in the prophecy, on account of any considerations of difficulty, or of any risk of abuses which the doctrine of the Millennium may bring with it. Those who lived next to the Apostles, and the whole Church for three hundred years, understood them in the plain literal sense; and it is a strange sight in these days to see expositors who are among the first in reverence for antiquity, complacently casting aside the most cogent instance of consensus which primitive antiquity presents. As regards the text itself, no legitimate treatment of it will extort what is known as the spiritual interpretation now in fashion. If, in a passage where two resurrections are mentioned, where certain persons lived at the first, and the rest of the dead only at the end of a specified period after that first-if, in such a passage, the first resurrection may be understood to mean spiritual rising with Christ, while the second means literal rising from the grave; then there is an end of all significance in language, and Scripture is wiped out as a definite testimony to anything. If the first resurrection is spiritual, then so is the second, which I suppose none will be hardy enough to maintain; but if the second is literal, so is the first, which, in common with the whole Primitive Church and many of the best modern expositors, I do maintain, and receive as an article of faith and hope.” Van Oosterzee (Ch. Dog., vol. 2, p. 786) advocates “more than one resurrection; first a partial one and then an absolutely universal one. Of the former, not only does the Apocalypse seem to speak, Rev_20:4-6, but also the Lord, Luk_14:14, and Paul, 1Th_4:16, as also 1Co_15:23, as compared with verse 26, ” etc., and then, referring to the latter (the universal one), speaks of a poetic-prophetic grouping together of that which in reality will be seen realized, not side by side, but in succession.” Ebrard (The Rev. of John) advocates a literal Second Advent, a literal first resurrection, a literal reign here on earth over the spared nations, etc., and in his Gospel His. (p. 576, footnote Clark’s ed.), thus refers to Revelation 20: “Chaps. 18 and 19 (Apocalypse) depict the victory achieved over this Kingdom by Christ at His Coming. Then follows the first awakening, namely, of those who have died in the Lord, and now in glorified bodies live upon the earth, and maintain a spiritual rule over so much of humanity as is not yet glorified (just as Christ after His resurrection lived for forty days upon the earth in a glorified body). Then, after this last offer of salvation, follows the second resurrection to judgment.” Hagenbach (His. of Doc, vol. 1, s. 139) pertinently says respecting the spiritual interpretation: “The first resurrection (Rev_20:5) is explained by Augustine as the deliverance of the soul from the dominion of sin in this life; as, in general, an orthodoxy which maintains the authority of the Apocalypse, and yet will not allow Millenarianism, can only escape from its difficulties by an arbitrary exegesis, like that of Augustine on this passage.”
For the student wishing to see how others express themselves decidedly in favor of a literal resurrection, we append the following references. Aside from the Commentaries of Alford, Olshausen, Bengel, Gill, Steir, Lange, Fausset, Meyer, and others, many works endorse our position. Compare e.g. Dr. Kling’s Arts. “Eschatology” and “Resurrection of the Dead,” in Herzog’s Encyclop.; Dr. Fr. Volkmar Reinhard’s Dogmatik, sec. 189; Dr. Hofmann in Prophecy and Fulfilment; Starke’s Synopsis New Testament, vol. 10, p. 179, etc.; Lange’s Bremen Lectures, p. 244, etc.; Selnecker on Dan_12:2; Sirr on The First resurrection; Seiss, Last Times (who gives various references of value); Brookes’s Maranatha (who gives John Bunyan’s and Toplady’s testimony); Gordon on The First resurrection (paper before the N.Y. Proph. Conference); Luthardt’s Lehre von der Letzten Dingen; Koch’s Das Tausend-jährige Reich; Auberlen’s Prophecies of Daniel and the Rev. of St. John; Delitzsch on Genesis; Elliott’s Horae Apoc.; Mag Fred. Roos on Dan. and Rev.; Christlieb, Mod. Doubt and Ch. Belief, p. 452; Pfleiderer, Der Paulinismus, p. 264-5; Danhauer’ s Hodosophia, p. 1445; and, in brief, Pre-Millenarian writers in general (who are specified in the His. of the Doctrine). To give the testimony of a large portion of these would itself require an extended work, even if presented in brief extracts. In such references we must not overlook the remarks of Dr. Craven in Lange’s Com. (Amer. Ed.), or the writers (e.g. p. 440) quoted favoring our view. The old Berlenburger Bibel (t. 6, pp. 397-399) has a fair argument in favor of a literal first pre-eminent, Pre-Millennial resurrection, appealing e.g. to 1Co_15:23; 1Co_15:51-52; Luk_20:35; Luk_14:14; Heb_11:35, etc. Indeed we are largely indebted to old writers (like Mede in Clavis Apoc., Brightman in A Revelation of the Apoc., Goodwin in Exp. of Rev., and others) for keeping this doctrine before the Church. Even such testimonies as are given in The Crit. and Exp. Com. possess weight; while incidentally the concessions of a Chalmers (on Psalms 50), Wesley (Tyerman, Life of), and many others are to be regarded. We append the testimony of two persons, who cannot be accused of extreme partiality to our views. Spurgeon (quoted by Dr. Brookes, p. 50, Proph. Times, vol. 10) in his sermon on The First resurrection, says: “I do look forward to this with joy, that though I may sleep in Christ before my Master come, and I know not whether that shall be or no, yet I shall rise at the day of His appearing, and shall be recompensed at the resurrection of the just, if I have truly and faithfully served Him; and that recompense shall be to be made like Him; and to partake of His glories before the eyes of men, and to reign with Him during the thousand years.” “Meyer (so Lange’s Com. Rev., p. 441) remarks on 1Co_15:24, that Paul, following the example of Christ Himself, has bound up the doctrine of a twofold resurrection with the Christian faith” (comp. next Prop.).
Obs. 12. We have already referred to the astounding opinion entertained by Prof. Bush, Gipps, Waldegrave, and others, that this resurrection and Millennium is a portraiture of suffering and martyrdom in behalf of the truth. To indicate the amazing perversions of the passage, Rev_20:1-6, by our opponents in their efforts to wrest it from us, attention is called e.g. to Waldegrave’s statements (New Testament Millenarianism), and we select him purposely, because he has been eulogized (The Bib. Rep.) as a model of an interpreter and as a triumphant opponent. The binding and restrainment of Satan as well as the little season, both “set before us the working of Satan, for it is his working especially which is here exhibited to view during two distinct periods in the history of Christendom. The first-the longer period-said to last a thousand years, is one in which Satan, forbidden to launch forth into the world any fresh impostures, does, notwithstanding, prevail, with the aid of the civil power, to persecute even unto death those faithful souls who, being risen with Christ, are made kings and priests unto God and His Father. The second-the shorter period-said to last but a little season, is one in which, the number of God’s living saints being marvellously increased, and martyrdom being no longer the rule, Satan attempts by other means, even by the multiplication of religious delusions, to compass the destruction of the Church.” The resurrection of the martyrs, therefore, is simply a revival of the martyr spirit, made necessary by Satan’s reigning, and this too while the saints are reigning: “They are also sufferers at the hands of men-sufferers even to the extent of laying down their lives for Christ’s sake-sufferers, I say, even unto death, and that at one and the same time with their reigning.” “The thousand years will prove to be a period in which Christ’s witnesses are witnesses even unto death-a period, in short, of martyrdom, not of triumph-a period in which Satan (being precluded, indeed, from the invention of fresh delusions), is able, notwithstanding, to wield those already in existence with such effect as to make the Church of God to prophesy in sackcloth and ashes.” This caricature of the Millennium and the reign of the saints is presented by one largely eulogized as the champion against Chiliasm. No Chiliast ever produced anything so flatly contradictory to all testimony of Scripture, to all analogy on the subject; so plainly antagonistic to numerous predictions, that the large majority of our opponents recoil from it as unworthy of credence, because it actually reverses the blessed teaching of prophecy. It is utterly unworthy of serious refutation, and affords a sad illustration how good men, in their eagerness to wrest the passage from us, can fall into the most absurd interpretation.
Prof. Bush (Mill.) in accord with his theory of a past Millennial age, in which persecution, more or less, predominated, says: “We strenuously maintain that it is the same persons who live, and reign, and judge, and are beheaded, and all too at precisely the same time.” What a blessed reward! What a glorious Sabbatical period! He approvingly quotes the Jewish Midrash Tillin, fol. 42:1, where it is said that “upon the Coming of the Messiah the world shall be desolated for a thousand years” (which theory the Seventh-Day Adventists have recently revived), and adds: “This accords with the view we are now advocating, that this Millennial period is not intrinsically a prosperous era, but the reverse.”
Obs. 13. Sufficient has been said to vindicate our usage of the word “souls” to denote the person (Obs. 3), and yet in view of certain statements, it will be in place to add a few remarks. Fairbairn says that “it is quite frivolous to insist upon the term souls being often used to denote persons; no one doubts that it is; but the question is, can it be so taken here?” Now, the frivolity arises from the fact that a large class on his side-in fact nearly every work against us-gravely insist that because “souls” are mentioned it cannot mean persons. Of course, to meet such an objection, “frivolous” as it may be, we are forced in self-defence to show that the term is used to denote persons. Thus e.g. Barnes (Com. loci) lays great stress on the word “souls,” as if it alone denoted the spiritual nature, and carefully conceals from the reader this meaning, but when not controverting us, he in another place (Com., Act_3:20, on the phrase “every soul”) admits this usage, thus: “Every person or individual soul is often put for the whole man by the Hebrews, Act_7:14; Jos_10:28” (with which compare his remarks on Act_2:27, where he makes the term “soul” equivalent to “me,” and applies it to the corporeal resurrection of Jesus, thus flatly contradicting his comment on Rev_20:4-6). Indeed, our opponents contradict themselves in the same comment on this point, when e.g. they admit that “he” (Rev_20:6) and “they,” and “the rest of the dead” are declarative of persons and not simply of disembodied spirits, and speak of them as such. We insist that the reason why the Spirit, through human agency, gives us the term “souls” in preference to any other, is this: it is most in accord with scriptural usage, for not only is the resurrection of Jesus thus predicted and declared to be the resurrection of a “soul,” but it is predicted of, and promised to, individual believers, as e.g. Psa_99:15, “But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave.” Now then, when the resurrection is actually described, it is reasonable, it is strengthening, to find the same term employed, thus making prediction and fulfillment, promise and realization to correspond (comp. Obs. 3, note).
Please follow and like us: