"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of truth." — (Psalm 60:4)
"Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them." — (Isaiah 13:2)
Devoted To The Defense Of The Church Against All Errors And Innovations
Vol.VI No.IV Pg.11-12
November 1943

Heaven -The Kingdom -And Premillennialism

T. B. Wilkinson

By premillenialism I mean everything in that line from Russellism to Bollism, including the modern Jehovah Witnesses, and other intermediate grades. They are all of

a kind when you run them down, and in all essential points believe about the same thing. Russell perfected the theory, and most of the others just dabble at it trying to escape some of the absurdities of Russellism, but under pressure show that they hold all of the essentials. Russell was the first man to invent a workable theory, and his theory is the center around which all of the others revolve. They float around in an ocean of speculation until they meet up with difficulties from fair criticism, and Scriptural arguments which cannot be met, and then they flee to the refuge prepared for them by Charles T. Russell and hide under its fog banks.

Concerning Heaven

It is easily deducible from their numerous writings that they do not think very highly of that place we call heaven. It is well enough as an abode for angels which they esteem as creatures of a much lower order than they expect to be when they reach their perfection, and a good enough place for Jesus to wait until the people of this world are ready to receive him, and then he will bid heaven goodbye.

It is not heaven, but this old earth, especially the land of Palestine, which will be the center of God's government when Christ takes up his residence down here. The whole works will be literally transported, city and all, down to this earth, and heaven will be left an empty shell, depopulated completely of its God, its Christ, and all of the holy angels which Jesus is going to bring with him.

Heaven will be used for a short time as a proving ground for the saints who are to be the real rulers when they come back to take possession of their inheritance on the earth. The church, which they say is only a little flock, are being selected now for this training period, but the church state is not the training period--it is a selection period, and the training will take place in heaven during a period of seven years which they call the times of tribulation for the people on the earth. The saints will be caught up to heaven for their training at the beginning of the seven years tribulation. Then the Lord and the trained saints will come back to the earth with rods of iron in their hands, and take possession of the kingdoms of the world and beat the people of the nations into submission. What a wonderful theory has been thought up. Even the Lord never thought of it, or if he did he never mentioned it.

Every thing is literal with them, and material. All the promises of the covenants made with Abraham, and all the prophecies that foretold this kingdom, are to be accepted in a literal sense, and in no other. They shall plant vineyards and eat the fruit thereof, and every man shall sit down under his own vine and fig tree. This indicates we will have free enterprise in that new world, and private property, but we need not suppose that the real saints will do any of the hard work. They will be rulers over cities, some over five, and the best of them over ten cities, and we suppose they will have their slaves do the work, while the saint sits under his vine and fig tree and enjoys the shade. They will be armed with rods of iron, and of course they will beat their subjects, and whip them into line.

It will be some consolation to know that we will not be bothered by communism, and socialism, over there, just free enterprise with private property, and every saint with plenty of servants at his disposal. They will have sheep, and if sheep then goats, and camels, and that means

more work, milking goats and camels, and churning the butter, and shearing the sheep. We know they will have sheep for it is said the lion and the lamb will lie down together, and a little child shall play on the hole of the asp. Little children implies they will have mothers, and if so, then fathers are implied, and that means marriage. Or does it? All the hills will be made low, and all the valleys filled up, and the crooked ways shall be made straight. That will mean lots of hard work, but it will be a great help to travel, there will be no winding roads, or roads leading up hills, and down hills, like we have them now.

I have never been able to figure out why the immortal saints will need roads, or cars to run on them. They can flap their wings, if they need wings, and fly through the air, if they need air, or ride on the clouds, if they have clouds, and reach their destination in the wink of an eye. Neither can I see what they want with vineyards, and fig trees, or other meats that perish with the using, since they will eat fruit from the tree of life, and drink from the river of life. "For the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold I make all things new." There is not one thing so far as we can know that goes to make the present world and the life it is suited to, that the immortal saints will need, or can use. If there is one thing let these materialists name it, I challenge them to try it.

Speaking of literal things, I once remarked that the Bible speaks of a millennium during which Satan will be. bound with a gospel chain. I am asked to give chapter and verse for that gospel chain, and if I cannot find it to never be guilty of speaking of it again. To this I replied, I admit freely that John does not call it a gospel chain, neither does he call it a material chain, a brass chain, an iron chain, or a steel chain. But John was a gospel man, and he was writing a gospel book, on a gospel subject, and for gospel people, and it seems only fair to me to say that he was writing about gospel things. Whatever the chain, it was one that could bind Satan. Will my critics maintain that Satan can be bound with a material chain, and contained in a material dungeon, or prison house? If Satan a material being, or a spirit? Can a spirit be bound with a literal chain made of iron or steel?

Satan can be only be bound by taking away from him the powers by which he deceives mankind, and this can only be done through the instrumentality of man himself without destroying free moral agency in man.

When Satan interfered in the affairs of this world, and intervened between man and his creator, he started something right there in the garden of Eden that has kept him busy for six thousands years. But the Lord set in motion a plan that would undo the damages Satan had wrought in his creation, and that plan embraced the active cooperation of man. These plans culminated in the gospel of Jesus Christ, the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. Into the hands of God's Son was committed all power in heaven and on earth, and this power he bound up in the gospel, and gave it to his church as the one weapon that would destroy the power of the devil in the world.

Concerning The Kingdom

Brother Boll affirms, "When Satan shall be dethroned, bound, and imprisoned (Rev. 20-1-4)-When the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of the Lord and of his Christ (Rev. 11-15)-If there is ever to come such a time, and the word of God bears this out, then Christ must and will come before that time."

How does Brother Boll know that Christ must and will come before that time? No one has said so but him, and he quoted no Bible to prove it. It is a bold assertion of something the Bible does not say, and Brother Boll could never prove it if his life depended upon it.

I might differ from Brother Boll about what these events mean, but that feature is not in controversy. He raised no question on that point, but introduced a third point, the second coming of Christ, which is not contained in either of the passages which he cites, and boldly affirms that it must happen before either of the other two can take place. The Bible nowhere says, or intimates, that Christ must and will come first, only Brother Boll said that.

He has three separate questions, or points, in his argument: the binding of Satan, the kingdoms of this world becoming the kingdoms of the Lord and of his Christ, and the second coming of Christ. For the first two he offers passages of Scripture which he claims proves them to be true but offers no proof for the third point. He mixes them up, shuffles and pours them out, and invites the reader to accept his word that the third point is true because the others are. He assumes there is something in the passages which is not there--the second coming of Christ.

What the Bible means by the binding of Satan and by the kingdoms of the world becoming the kingdoms of the Lord has no necessary connections with the second coming of Christ. If the Bible had said he was coming to bind Satan, or to take over the kingdoms of this world, he would have an argument. But there is no such text, if there had been one he would have quoted it.

In fact what texts we do have that might bear on that point are all on the opposite side. The only passages that speak of a second coming of Christ, and its bearing on Satan, and the kingdoms of this world, show clearly that it will have a different effect on them. Satan will not be bound then, he will be destroyed by the brightness of his coming, and cast into a lake of fire where he will be tormented forever and ever.

If Jesus had wanted a material kingdom he would have set up one. He never wanted such power, he refused it, and did all he could to teach us how vain it is, how futile, how insignificant, when compared with the powers which he does wield. He could have taken over the Roman Empire if he had wanted it, even easier than Moses could have taken over the throne of Egypt.

Not only did the Lord refuse that kind of dominion for himself, he taught his disciples also that he had none of it for them. In Matt. 20:25-26, we have the following: "Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever shall be great among you, let him be your minister, and whosoever shall be chief among you let him be your servant." This is the very kind of dominion Brother Boll covets for the saints. He teaches that every saint is promised a throne during the millennium.

Suppose we grant him that there are some people left in the world, not saints, over whom the saints will reign, what is the object of that reign? Here is an interlocutory reign of a thousand years that has no real meaning. It is an interlocutory judgment awarded them of a reign that comes in between the gospel age and the final reward of the saints for a thousand years, no more, and no less. A thousand years is a short time compared to eternity--Methuselah lived that long. It is a small thing compared to a greater reward which has no end, promised them at the judgment. If a saint misses it he has not missed much, and if he gains it he has not gained much, just a few years reign over somebody, or something, which Brother Boll has never taken time to define sufficiently. Russell furnishes them a job, and Brother Boll will have to come to it, or take out.

Like their Lord the only reign a true saint ever wants, or will ever get as a saint, is a spiritual reign. If one who is a saint should be any chance occupy some material, earthly, throne, or seat of worldly authority, he will reign as a citizen of some earthly government, not as a saint. Civil government is an ordinance of the Lord, but it is separate and distinct from his spiritual government, although a man may be a citizen of both. A man can be a good citizen of his country and not be a saint, and he can be both a saint and a good citizen of an earthly government. Being a saint' makes a man a better citizen, and if he is a ruler he should be a better ruler.

But that is not the kind of dominion the Lord promised the saints, that kind of dominion belongs to this world. Such dominion is upheld by policy, and force, and is authorized in the Bible to use the sword when necessary. The powers that be, civil powers, are ordained of God. The dominion which is promised to the saints is joint dominion. One saint does not reign over some other saint, or some poor sinner who is not a saint, the saints reign jointly, or with each other. They also reign with the Lord. His reign is a spiritual reign and their reign must be the same. In this reign one saint does not exercise dominion over other saints, like the princes of the Gentiles, but joins in the reign with all other saints, and with the Lord who reigns with them, and through them.

Brother Boll is blinded by material power, just as the Jews were who rejected the Lord.