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THE DIVINE PROGRAM
X---The Millennial Kingdom
BY C. T. RUSSELL
Pastor Brooklyn Tabernacle
S IS WELL-KNOWN, the basis posed of the chosen "little flock” of one of the word Millennium hundred and forty-four thousand selected Mille, which signifies a thou- in part from Israel in the end of their
sand. For long centuries, God's age, and, since then, the remainder from people have looked forward to times of all nations. As soon as this great Mediarefreshment, when the curse imposed up- tor shall be completed his work will beon the world because of Adam's sin would gin—the New Covenant will be sealed bebe lifted by reason of the Redeemer's sac- tween God and Israel, and Messiah, Head rifice. It has been the theory that he and Body, will be its Mediator. (Jer. who redeemed mankind is to come a sec- 31:31; Rom. 11:1, 27, 31.) The blessing ond time, not as a sin-offering, as at the will extend to all nations, in that all first, but as the great Deliverer, to release nations will be welcome to become “Israelmankind from sin and death conditions, ites indeed” and sharers in the blessings and to restore the willing and obedient of that New (Law) Covenant. As they to close harmony with God, and, indeed, to thus come into line with the Divine proall that was lost in Adam. Those "res- visions, they will, as foretold, become titution times” or years, as St. Peter says, children of Abraham. As it is written, have been declared by “all the holy pro- “Abraham, I have constituted thee phets since the world began.” (Acts Father of many nations." But the chief 3:19-21.) In other words, as the heathen hope of salvation for the Millennium is have had their theory of a coming Golden usually based upon the statements in Age, the Israelites had the direct assur- Revelation 20th, which assure us that in ance of God that such a period of general
period of general the end of this Gospel Age the Divine world-wide blessing would surely come. power will restrain Satan, hindering the This hope was associated with Israel's an- further deception of humanity during ticipation of worldly greatness under the that period. Meantime, Christ will take Head Shepherd, the expected Messiah. unto himself his great power and reignFoundation for the hope lay in the Divine control, order, rule, bless. This same perpromise to Abraham, "In thy Seed shall iod is elsewhere called “the day of Christ" all the families of the earth be blessed.” -the epoch during which The Christ, Israel hoped and prayed for the fulfill- Head and Body, shall hold the sway of ment of this promise, which meant special earth. (Rev. 20:4-6.) The same period honor and exaltation to them, as well as is referred to by St. Paul in 1 Cor. refreshment to others. They understood 15:22, 23, when telling us that, “as all that Messiah would come first, and that it in Adam die, so all in Christ will be made would be under his direction and minis- alive,” but, he assures us, “every man in tration of affairs that his Kingdom would his own order,” for he, Messiah, “must be established—in their nation for the reign until he shall have put all enemies blessing of all nations.
under his feet”—until he shall have subThese ancient hopes of Israel will dued everything that is not in harmony shortly have realization very nearly as an
with the divine arrangement. ticipated. The difference is that Messiah, The suggestion of Revelation that not instead of being one person, is to be com- only Satan shall be bound for a thousand Vears, but that the Church shall reign knowledge, etc. Thus the assurance of the with Christ, etc., is in full harmony with Scriptures is that during Messiah's Kingwhat we know respecting the Lord's deal- dom nothing shall be permitted to hurt or ing with our race in the past. If we do injury, but on the contrary, it shall count the six thousand years as six days cause the light of the knowledge of the of evil-six days of the reign of sin and glory of God to fill the earth.—Isaiah death—and then speak of the thousand- 11:9, Habakuk 2:14. year "day of Christ” in which righteous- The earthly agents of Satan and the ness shall reign unto life eternal, we thus other fallen angels (the present powers of have in mind the week of seven-thousand spiritual control) are evil men and evil year days. And a week, a cycle of sevens, women and the whole array of sin and stands for completeness.
error, superstition and anarchy. Many of It might be urged that as Sin and these agents of sin are themselves deDeath reigned for six thousand years the ceived and know not whom they serve. reign of righteousness and light for a per- Nevertheless, as the Scriptures declare, , iod of one thousand years would be in- “His servants ye are unto whom ye rensufficient for the uplift of humanity. But der service.” The servants of the Kingwe hold to the contrary that it is abund- dom of God, on the contrary, will be glad, antly sufficient and really what might willing, intelligent servants of God and have been expected. Some of us with the righteousness, as we shall now show. light of Present Truth, being by the The Scriptural presentation is that Abgrace of God transformed by the renewing raham, Isaac and Jacob and all the proof our minds, can well realize a great phets, together with others who developed work accomplished in our own hearts in similar faith and character, in the period ten, twenty or thirty years; and we won- preceding our Lord's First Advent, will der what marvelous transformations might constitute the earthly phase of the Kingbe effected in mankind during a hundred dom of Heaven. St. Paul calls our attenyears or a thousand. We remember that
tion to this in Hebrews XI., and declares the work of grace in our hearts has had that "all these died in faith, not having our willing co-operation and that we thus received the things promised to them”have much advantage over such of the earthly inheritance, dominion—and “that world as might prove unwilling and re- they without us should not be made perbellious. But we remember also that we fect.” In other words, the church of this now are in conflict with oppositions from Gospel Age must first be exalted with her the world and from the Adversary, and Lord to the heavenly dominion before the that the Divine program is that neither Ancient Worthies will be called forth of these oppositions shall hinder the pro- from the sleep of death to full human gress of mankind up the highway of holi- perfection, to constitute the earthly repreness toward the mark of human perfection sentatives of the Heavenly Kingdom and during the Millennium.
its laws and regulations. Moreover, each To rightly understand the condition of these Ancient Worthies will in himself which will prevail during the Millennium be a pattern or sample of perfect manhood we must keep distinctly in memory the -of all that the race as a whole may atfact that there will be two Kingdoms, a tain to by obedience to the laws of the heavenly, invisible one, and an earthly, Kingdom and its uplifting influences. visible one. Our Lord and his Church, The bringing forth of the Ancient Worhis Bride, will be like unto the angels, thies from the tomb to instantaneous per
, spirit beings, and their rule or dominion fection will be, as the Apostle explains, will be only through the earthly King- because of their having stood certain trials dom. class, their earthly representatives. and testings of faith, which brought to As the "kingdom of darkness” now oper- them the Divine approval as worthy to be ates through the servants of sin along lines used as the earthly seed of Abraham, in of ignorance, superstition, sin and death, the great work of Messiah-the blessing the Kingdom of Light will
Light will operate and uplifting of all the families of the through earthly agencies, in harmony with earth. its principles of righteousness, truth, Those Ancient Worthies
styled the "fathers.” But as the Scrip- "The day of his preparation"—for the tures point out through the further devel- Millennium, the time in which the Lord's opment of the Divine Plan their relation- blessings will fill the earth. The wonship to Christ and the Church will alter. derful inventions of our day are already As we read, “Instead of thy fathers shall making the world rich. But what will a be thy children, whom thou mayest make thousand years of progress signify in the princes in all the earth.” (Psa. 45:16.) way of accumulated wealth? If, as inIn other words, Abraham, Isaac and ventors assure us, we are merely on the Jacob, David, et al., were the forefathers edge, as it were, of still more wonderful of Messiah according to the flesh; but inventions and devices for human comfort, Messiah's sacrifices of the flesh and his what may we reasonably expect the world attainment by resurrection to the Divine will have before the close of the thousand nature- -gave
him a valuable asset of years of Christ's Millennial reign? If human rights, which he is at liberty to dis- present inventions are but preparations pense to humanity. The giving to men of for that glorious day, and the work of imthose human rights, earthly restitutions, perfect men, what may we not expect in includes the giving of life rights: thus the the day itself at the hands of a growingly Mediator became the age-lasting Father" intelligent race and under the special of the whole world of mankind—or so supervision of the Ancient Worthies permany of them as ever shall attain to eter- fected in human nature, and under the nal life.—Isaiah 9:6.
further supervision of the great Messiah, The Ancient Worthies will receive this Prophet, Priest, King, Judge and Media
. earthly life or restitution to human nature tor for the race? in common with the world; hence they, If any are disposed to fear that the as well as all the remainder of the human great wealth of the world at that time family, will occupy to Messiah the rela- would inure to the comfort and blessing tionship of children, offspring--those who of only a wealthy few and not to the genreceive life from Messiah at his expense- era! prosperity of the race, let such reflect and the result of his sacrifice of himself. upon the fact that the great Messiah, EmThe superiority of the Ancient Worthies manuel, has given us assurances, not only in station and honor and ruling power in his own character and teaching, but above the remainder of mankind will be also directly through the prophets, that he based upon the fact that they will be per- will lay righteousness to the line and jusfect men,
while the remainder of the world tice to the plummet. Let such remember, will be imperfect. As we have already also, the distinct promise that he will reseen, their instantaneous resurrection to member the poor and needy. Note the perfection will be the result or reward of prophecy: “He shall judge the poor of their fidelity to the Lord under severe the people; he shall save the needy childtrials during their time of contact with ren, and shall break in pieces the oppres. sin. As we have already seen, the world sor. In his day shall the righteous fourof mankind will experience gradual resur- ish, and an abundance of peace.” (Psalm rection from death conditions to life con- 72.) ditions. First will come the awakening, Let us remember, also, the figurative “Every man in his own order," and then promise of the Scriptures respecting the during the thousand years a gradual rais- Millennial Day, that "every hill shall be ing up (resurrection) out of degradation brought low and every valley exalted.” Let and sin and imperfection, to righteousness such remember also the Scriptural assurand perfection in proportion as each in- ance that “the meek shall inherit the dividual shall heartily avail himself of earth ;" that “the righteous shall be exthe knowledge and opportunity which he alted and that evil-doers shall be cut off.” will then possess. All who refuse to pro- Surely there is abundant evidence that gress will die the Second Death.
during the Millennium the blessing of life
will be justly, unerringly distributed. The The Day of His Preparation.
Divine promise is that the great King As already seen, the world has been for will lay justice to the line and righteousmore than a century in what is termed ness to the plummet and sweep away all
the refuges of lies. The high ones will all The promise of the Lord that the whole be brought low and the lowly ones will be earth shall be brought to a Paradise conexalted. This will mean more than a ful- dition will be gradually effected during fillment of socialist dreams. Their well- the thousand years, just as human restitumeant scheme is a thoroughly impracti- tion to Adamic perfection will be graducable one; first, because if they could effect ally attained. The blessings which will such a change as they desire, it would be then prevail, the comforts, the leisure, only a question of time when the selfish
will be for all, because all will be rich and ness of the human heart would re-distrib- under the supervision of the Millennial ute the wealth of the world much after Kingdom. This leisure will not be perthe manner of the present; secondly, their mitted to be used for sinful or depraved view is impracticable because the wealthy pleasures, but merely in accord with the and favored class, believing that they are highest interests of all. Love, joy and justly possessed of their wealth, would see peace will be the characteristics of that the streets run with blood rather than per- time. mit distribution of their wealth and spec- By the close of the Millenium God's will ial privileges. We are not discounting the shall be done on earth, even as it is done benevolence and goodness of the wealthy, in heaven, and every human creature but neither are we discounting the innate shall have attained to full perfection—the selfishness of all classes.
rebellious being cut off in the “Second The Divine program has taken into Death." The loss incurred through consideration every feature of the situa- Adam's transgression will have been fully tion in its providence, and the results will retrieved. The race, so far from being inbe glorious. The wreck of the present jured by the experiences of sin, will really social system in anarchy, shortly, will have been blessed ; because of their greater teach humanity the necessary lesson that appreciation of Truth and righteousness it cannot trust itself under present con- and their experiences under the reign of ditions. The help necessary must come sin and lessons that will be learned during from the Lord. The new Kingdom will be the Millennial period of reclamation from a strong one and its judgments, its de- the influences of the curse. All refusing cisions, its rewards, its punishments, will these gracious provisions, after trial, the be world-wide. The righteous will be Scriptures assure us, will be utterly, hopeblessed with the true comforts of life lessly destroyed in the Second Death. health, strength and earthly blessing. The Acts 3:23. unrighteous will be made to feel the un- When the Mediatorial Kingdom of profitableness of their course—that the Christ shall have acomplished its design way of transgressors is hard. Gradually, of blessing all the families of the earth, this system of rewards and punishments- by uplifting of the willing and obedient or, as the Scriptures put it, these "judg- out of sin and death conditions, that specments of the Lord”—will teach the right ial and provisional Kingdom will termilesson of the sinfulness and undesirable- nate. ness of sin in its every form and of the As the Apostle says, Christ shall blessedness of righteousness and equity, give up the Kingdom to God and he will “when the judgments of the Lord are be all in all. Meantime by his Millennial abroad in the earth and the inhabitants of Kingdom he shall have put down sin and the world will learn righteousness."
all opposed to the Divine Government and Isa. 26:9.
everything in opposition to the highest The condemnation of Divine Justice interests and welfare of the race. Love will be lifted immediately at the begin- and mercy having done everything possining of the millenium, when the great ble, their utmost, for the race during the Mediator shall apply the merit of his sac- Millennium, the regenerated race will be rifice on behalf of the world (as he applied handed over at its close to strictest Jusit to the household of faith at Pentecost.) tice. Thenceforth, no allowance will be Nevertheless the “curse,” the imperfec- made for imperfections, because no impertions, the blemishes, of humanity and the fections will exist. Ignorance and superearthly home will be gradually recovered. stition having been done away with, de