The 12th chapter in The Coming Millennial Kingdom is titled Evidence from I Corinthians 15 written by D. Edmond Hiebert. This is one of the shortest chapters in the book. The author sets forth a pretty convincing case based on the language of verses 20-28 of I Cor. 15. What the author sets out to do is prove that the reign of Christ is positioned in between the coming of Christ and the end, which must occur after the reign of Christ. I think he proves his case and I have only one disappointment. I believe that verses 50-55 of the same chapter could be brought into the discussion since they cite two OT prophecies which could help us see the timing of Christ’s reign. But let us look briefly at the author’s argumentation without being overly critical.
The author spends time looking at the resurrection of Christ since this is the theme of the chapter. Since Christ is only the firstfruits of the resurrection, this ensures that His people will also be resurrected. But when does the passage state that Christ’s people will be resurrected? This is at the coming of Christ in the future, so already there is a gap between the firstfruits and the next stage in the resurrection. Then comes the question of the millennial reign. Hiebert sets forth the principle of Christ’s reign including a series of conquests, of which death is the last in that series. Christ comes, He begins to reign, He destroys enemies including death, then comes the end when He delivers the kingdom up to the Father. This shows another stage to the resurrection at the end because this is set forth in just such terms along side the firstfruits and those that belong to Christ at His coming. Of all places to turn in the NT to support his claim, Hiebert goes to Hebrews 1-2. He shows how the author to the Hebrews and Paul in I Corinthians 15 both quote from Psalm 8 and Psalm 110. It’s a brilliant thought, although he is reiterating a work by Wilber Wallis. His point is that both passages are united that the reign of Christ is future, so positioning the reign of Christ now is dismantled by two different passages saying the same thing. The points he makes are short and sweet which is the style that I prefer reading. His ten pages of argumentation are better than most who write twenty pages in this same book.
Let me turn back for just a minute at my dismay of the omission of verses 50-55 of the same chapter. The reign of the Messiah is evident throughout Isaiah, especially in chapters 24-27. We should be able to see the Premillennial reign of Christ especially in Isaiah 24:21-23. Notice in verse 22 how the wicked rulers in the heavenly places are imprisoned in a pit, but ultimate judgment is held in abeyance until “after many days”. It should be clear that this “after many days” is the reign which is spoken of in verse 23. This same passage contains the resurrection of the righteous in Isaiah 25:8, 26:19-21, one of these is quoted in I Corinthians 15:54. This is also the time when Israel will be regathered back into her land, Isaiah 27:12-13. So the righteous are resurrected, the wicked are imprisoned in a pit, Israel is regathered into her land, the LORD begins to reign in Zion, yet the wicked do not receive their final sentence until “after many days” implied “after many days of the reign of the Messiah”. Couldn’t someone set the author’s argumentation side by side with these principles to bolster the case for Premillennialism more effectively? Well, maybe I just did. But couldn’t someone do it in print?
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman