FREE EBook – THE FIRST AND THE LAST by Ira Surface 1921
Republished by TheBibleGuy Thomas Spencer 2014
In closing this book, we think it unnecessary to give much space to the discussion of the age known as the millennium.
Five things of world-wide interest will take place at the close of the reign of terror, and the opening of the reign of peace.
I. THE GLORIOUS APPEARING OF CHRIST
First: The long looked for glorious appearing of Christ will take place immediately after the marriage of the Lamb (see chart). Christ will come to the earth. No one is caught up to meet Him at this time.
He will not come unaccompanied, for with Him will be His beautiful heavenly Bride, and all who are to reign with Him and minister to Him while He is on the earth. We are told (Rev. 19:11-16) that there will be a wonderful white horse cavalry. All will be clothed with the glory and splendor of heaven. Then all the people of the earth will know of the great victory which His coming will bring.
s coming with the hosts of heaven will terminate it.
III. THE ANTICHRIST AND THE FALSE PROPHET
Third: The Antichrist and the false prophet will be taken and cast alive into a lake of fire. Thus will terminate the career upon the earth of these two persons who have overthrow Israel’s government and caused two thirds of her people to perish during the reign of terror, Zech. 13:8, 9.
It will last only three and a half years, but the conflict will be terrific. The earth will flow with blood, and none but the all-conquering hosts of heaven could win the victory.
IV. THE DEVIL CHAINED
Fourth: The devil will be bound and cast into the bottomless pit, where he shall remain during the thousand years of the millennial glory of Christ. This is the stroke that will rid the earth of all that hurts or destroys. There will be no devil to accuse us, no imps of hell to molest, no Antichrist or false prophet to deceive; for the morning of the day in which all wounds will be healed will have broken and earth will begin to bloom forth like the Garden of Eden.
V. JESUS REVEALED
Fifth: Another all important prophecy will be fulfilled just as that morning breaks. Jesus, who will then be King of kings and Lord of lords, will make Himself known to His brethren.
It will not be His glory that they will recognize, but they will know Him by the wounds in His side, His hands, and His feet. They will ask, “What are these wounds in Thine hands?” and He shall say, “those with which I was wounded in the house of My friends,” Zech. 13:6.
These five things must come to pass before the reign of terror can come to a close, and the reign of peace be ushered in. This will be the great day of the earth. It will be the commencement of the time of peace, rest, and righteousness.
Let us now study this thousand years of millennial glory.
- VI. THE KINGDOM ORGANIZED
This is the kingdom for which we pray when we say, “Thy kingdom come.” There will be a definitely organized kingdom during this reign. Its seat of power will be at Jerusalem, and its beneficence will radiate through the whole world.
1. Throne of Glory
When Jesus said , in Matt. 19:28, “When I come into the throne of My glory,” He meant this throne that will be set up at Jerusalem. This will be a time of realities. No doubt there were many who made light of His first coming, but the reality of the prophecies of that coming was seen in their fulfillment. At this time many are making light of the prophecies of His second coming, and scoff at the idea of a real kingdom being set up; but God’s word was fulfilled in the first coming of Christ, and it will be fulfilled in His second coming. The one is a proof that the other will be, also.
The plan of God may have been changed when the Jews rejected Jesus and crucified Him, but God never changes His purpose. His purpose is to set up an earthly kingdom, with a real throne and a real King.
After the awful slaughter at the battle of Armageddon, and every one who had been in the ranks of the Antichrist had been slain, the veil was lifted and thrones appeared to John, Rev. 20:4:
Associated with these thrones are those who suffered martyrdom, among them the apostles of Christ. Our thought has often been arrested by what the fifth seal (Rev. 6:9) disclosed. You will remember that John said he saw the souls under the altar (sacrificial altar), and their blood was poured out at its base. They were told to rest yet a little while. If they had been Gentiles they would have belonged to the Gentile rapture.
It is possible they were the apostles whom Jesus appointed, for they lost their lives thus. Some may say that the apostles whom Jesus said should occupy twelve thrones, will be in the rapture of the Gentile church; but they say this without fully considering this part of Revelation. We still see them under the altar after the Gentile rapture has taken place. That of itself is proof that they did not go unpin that order. They were told to rest yet a little while longer, until their fellow servants and their brethren (Jewish) should be killed as they were. The apostles will rule on the twelve thrones Jesus promised them, and all who have suffered with Him and overcome shall also reign with Him, but Gentiles will sit down with Jesus in His throne (Rev. 3:31) and the apostles will sit on twelve thrones, Matt 19:28.
The Millennial Reign
It is difficult for us to understand the infinite sweep of liberty which will be given to the glorified beings who will come back to the earth with Christ. After the resurrection of Christ He had the power of coming and going, of appearing and disappearing at will, of eating and drinking; and when the resurrected ones shall see Him, “they shall be like Him, for they shall see Him as He is.”
We believe they will have a wonderful power of freedom. The devil will no longer contend with them, for he will be bound. Doubtless time and space will be annihilated, so that they will move to Africa, Greenland, or to any other place like a flash of thought, at the call of Jesus; even as now our thoughts are flashed to the ends of the earth at the touch of the telegraph or wireless operator.
VII. CHANGES DURING THE MILLENNIUM
There will be physical changes. We are told in Zech. 14:4 that His (Christ’s) feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, and that it shall cleave asunder and there shall be a very great valley. The mountains shall be made low. Isa. 54:10 says, “The mountains shall depart and the hills be removed.”
Barren deserts shall blossom as the rose, for Isa. 35: 1, 2 says; “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing.”
The islands and mountains shall change. Rev. 15:20 says, “And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.”
Desolate cities shall become prosperous, for Isa. 53:1-3 says:
“Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, though that didst not travail with child; for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord.
“Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations; spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; for thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.”
Physical weakness shall disappear, Isa. 35:5,6:
“Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing; for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.”
Earth shall be restored to Edenic beauty, Isa. 51:3:
“for the Lord shall comfort Zion: He will comfort all her waste places; and He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.”
There will be changes concerning Israel and the Gentiles, Isa. 60:14-18:
“The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
“Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.
“Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings; and thou shalt know that I the Lord am thy Savior and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.
“For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron: I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness.
“Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.”
There will be social changes. As space will not permit us to quote all these references let us turn to Isaiah, sixtieth chapter. Here we see that Israel will become the light bearers.
Gentiles shall come to that light, verse 3.
They shall come with great merchandise, verse 6.
They shall come with great flocks and herds, verse 7.
They shall come from the isles of the sea, verse 9.
They shall come to minister as servants, verse 10.
They shall come continually and in great multitudes, verse 11.
There will be great changes in man’s physical nature. We are told that a man shall live out his days during the millennium. Isa. 65:20 says, “There shall be no more an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old.” The thought is that men shall again return to the length of days they once possessed. At a hundred years old they will still have the vigor and freshness of a child, and, in all probability, will live to be a thousand years old.
All this is not out of harmony, for Jesus is coming back to reign on the earth and to restore all things. He will remove the curse, and the earth will then respond. He not only will remove the curse, but will organize all things and set them moving in the way of righteousness.
We know that when man fell, his hand of perversion was felt over all things, as Paul shows us in Rom. 8:20-22:
“For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by rason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.”
In all this passage “creature” means creation, the same as in the last verse.
Oppression has caused a hatred against man in most animals, and the desire to kill has taken possession of them. All this will be changed, however, for we read in Isa. 65:25:
“The wolf and the lamb shall feed together and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock; and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, saith the Lord.”
There will also be changes in the reception of the gospel. We grow weary now, as we see so few who heed the message of salvation. Our hearts weep because of the utter indifference expressed by most of those who hear the gospel of Jesus Christ; but when the millennial age shall dawn, there will be a marvelous change. There will be no change in the gospel of salvation, for the gospel of grace, which saves both Jew and Gentile now, will be the gospel of grace then. The change will be in the readiness and eagerness with which it will be received.
There will be no opposing spirit to hinder the acceptance of the gospel, and man’s hunger will be great. Practically all who hear this great message will believe it and receive it. It will be like fire driven before the win; it will spread until salvation shall cover the earth.
There will not only be a change in the reception of the gospel, but in the messengers who will minister it. Since the early days, the gospel of grace has been given out by the Gentile church; but during the millennium it will again radiate to all the world from Jerusalem.
Now the Israelites are scattered among all nations, and are subjected to much humiliation; but during the millennium, Israel will again be clothed with power and authority. Christ Jesus will again send forth disciples, but with royal authority, not in humility. Not seventy only, but a whole nation will be empowered and sent forth. Then Heb. 8:10, 11, which has already been quoted, will be fulfilled.
Israel must fulfill her part of the covenant. There was a time when Israel received the law of the covenant on tables of stone; but the time is coming when the law of God will be written in the tables of their hearts. This will be in the millennium. Ezek. 36:26, 27:
“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will put My spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them.”
VIII ALL NATIONS WILL BE REACHED
God’s covenant provides that all the nations of the earth shall be blessed. There were several things provided for in the covenant between God and Abraham, Gen. 12:2, 3. Abraham’s part was to separate himself, as shown in the first verse of this chapter, then God would do three things for him.
First: “I will make of thee a great nation.”
Second: I will bless thee and make thy name great.”
Third: “In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
There were three separations clearly mentioned as conditions in this covenant.
First: A separation from his country.
Second: A separation from his kindred and his father’s house.
Third: As separation unto a land which God would give him.
The conditions laid upon Abraham were fulfilled and his faith, which led him to act upon God’s call, was put to his credit, for we are told that “Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness,” Rom. 4:3.
God will surely fulfill His part in this covenant, but we can not say that it has yet been done. It was renewed throughout the ages, down to the coming of Jesus Christ; but suddenly, as it were, He was rejected and crucified, and the kingdom was postponed.
Now the postponement of this kingdom is what the prophets could not understand; it was the mystery, hidden in God. We can now see that the great purpose of God was not only that Abraham should b a blessing, or that a nation should come forth; but the great thing was that Abraham and the nations should come forth for the great purpose of blessing all families of the earth.
We can see that all families have not yet been reached and blessed. God’s part of the covenant involved time, and it is not yet all fulfilled. The business of Israel during the millennium will be to minister the gospel of Jesus Christ to all the families of the earth, for it is through that gospel that all families are to be blessed.
IX. THE END
This is the end to which Jesus referred when He said, in Matt. 24:14, “And this gospel shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all the nations; and then shall the end come.”
There are only a few things concerning this end of time that we will mention.
1. Satan Loosed
We note the loosing of Satan for a little season, Rev. 20:7-8:
“And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together ot battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.”
We can not understand God’s mind in loosing Satan, but we may conjecture that it will be for the purpose of letting the unworthy ones sift themselves out from the ranks of those who have fully accepted Christ during the thousand years. During this time no one has been tested, for Stan has been chained. Now they will be tested, and all who remain true will be saved.
2. Satan Cast Into the Lake of Fire
“And the devil that deceiveth them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever,” Rev. 20:10
This is Satan’s last overthrow. We see Isaiah’s forecast of this once mighty one in chapter 14: 12-22 to which we refer you. We see that Satan was first cast out of heaven; then he will be bound, and cast into the pit for a thousand years. His final overthrow is seen in the passage of scripture quoted above.
3. The Great White Throne
“And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
“And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered p the dead which were in them; and they were judged every man according to their works. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life were cast into the lake of fire,” Rev. 20:11-15.
Here a marvelous thing will take place. Notice, we are told that after those books were opened another book was opened-the book of life. We can not tell what will be in the first books, but they may be figuratively speaking, groaning under the weight of sinful lives. However, we do know what will be in the BOOK OF LIFE, and why it will be opened.
It will not be opened to record names, but to see whose names have already been recorded. Notice the glory attending the opening of this book of life. He who holds it is the glorified Son of Man. He is the representative of everyone who’s name has been recorded there.
Before this throne of Almighty God, all the wicked dead will be summoned. Here the books will be opened, and every phase of the life of each person standing there will be judged. Sins long forgotten and sins remembered, sins of omission-all will come under the searching eye of Almighty God. There will be no escape. Many will have successfully passed off their lives before men, but nothing can pass this point.
“And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books according to their works.
4. Second Death
“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Christ gave Himself, His blood, His life, that everyone might have his name recorded in this book of life. He has done all He could to save mankind, but the end has come and millions are not saved from the lake of fire. This will be their irreparable loss.
Thank God, there is now still time to act. The record of our lives will be exposed to the eyes of that shining, glorified host of angels, unless our sins are covered by the precious BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST. Reader, have you had this blood applied?
Notice that (see chart) after the great white throne judgment all classes and orders will again pass into the realm of the skies and the earth will be dissolved, 2 Peter 3:10: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens shall pass away with a great notice, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”
These classes will be the Bride, the Lamb’s wife;
All the saved of Israel; and
The Gentile nations who are saved in all time, Rev. 21:24:
“And the nations of them which are saves shall walk in the light of it; and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it.
These classes will constitute the city of the New Jerusalem which will come down, after this earth has been renovated by fire. They will inhabit the new heaven and the new earth.
As one write has said, we dare not speculate on this. We can go no farther than the scriptures, as we have them in the twenty first, and twenty second chapters of Revelation.
* * * * * *
For this book, which is now to close, we ask a place in your study. We pray that it will work for the unity of the body, the perfecting of the saints, the salvation of souls, the baptism of believers with the Holy Spirit; and that the glory of God may be better expressed by all those who read it.