The Doctrine of the Millennium Part IV: The Heavenly Jerusalem -- By: John F. Walvoord

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 115:460 (Oct 1958)
Article: The Doctrine of the Millennium Part IV: The Heavenly Jerusalem
Author: John F. Walvoord

The Doctrine of the Millennium
Part IV:
The Heavenly Jerusalem

John F. Walvoord

The Heavenly Jerusalem

One of the theological problems in relation to the doctrine of the millennium is the Scriptural teaching concerning the heavenly Jerusalem. This has not only confused opponents of premillennialism, but often has not been understood by those who hold to a millennial reign of Christ. Bound up in the problem also is the question of the relation of resurrected saints to the inhabitants of the millennial kingdom who are still in their natural bodies. Opponents of premillennialism have frequently heaped ridicule upon the teaching on the ground that it is impossible for resurrected beings and nonresurrected beings to mingle freely in the millennial scene. George L. Murray, for instance, refers to this when he states “…premillennialism makes no provision for the reconciliation of such irreconcilables as resurrected saints and mortal sinners in the same society” (Millennial Studies, p. 91). Solution to this entire problem, however, is afforded by a proper understanding of the Scriptural doctrine of the heavenly Jerusalem (cf. Pentecost, Things to Come, pp. 563-83). It may be demonstrated from Scripture that (1) the heavenly Jerusalem is the eternal habitation of all resurrected and translated saints; (2) the heavenly Jerusalem is in existence in the millennium; (3) the Scriptures teach that there is some

participation of these resurrected saints in the government of the millennium; (4) objections to comingling or resurrected with nonresurrected beings is unjustified.

The eternal home of all the saints. Much of the confusion that exists in regard to the millennium and the eternal state stems from a failure to distinguish between the promises that are given to the last generation of saints who are on the earth at the time of the second advent and the promises that are given resurrected or translated saints in both the Old and New Testaments. The prophecies of the Old Testament give adequate basis for the doctrine that Israel has an earthly hope. The prophets in Israel’s darkest hours painted the most glowing picture of the coming earthly kingdom in which Israel would participate as a favored nation and possess their Promised Land under the reign of the Son of David. The promises as given, however, clearly refer to those who were not resurrected and were directed to the nation of Israel as it is to be constituted at the time of the second advent, that is, the Israelites who will survive the great tribulation. They and their seed will inherit the Promised Land and fulfill the hundreds of prophecies that have to do with Israel’s hope in the millennial kingdom. T...

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