Justin Martyr on Premillennialism

 

George Peters (Vol 1, pgs 480 -) quoting Justin says: http://www.messiahskingdom.com/hpremill/biblevs/theocratic.html


Our doctrine is traced CONTINUOUSLY from the Apostles themselves, seeing that the first fathers, who present Millenarian views, saw and conversed either with the Apostles or the elders following them. So extensively, so generally was Chiliasm perpetuated, that Justin Martyr POSITIVELY ASSERTS THAT ALL THE ORTHODOX adopted and upheld it. Justin's language is explicit (Dial. with Trypho, sec. 2); for after stating the Chiliastic doctrine, he asserts "It to be THOROUGHLY PROVED that it will come to pass. But I have also signified unto thee, on the other hand, that many - even those of that race of Christians WHO FOLLOW NOT GODLY AND PURE DOCTRINE - DO NOT ACKNOWLEDGE IT. For I have demonstrated to thee, that these are indeed CALLED Christians; but are Atheists and impious heretics, because in all things they teach what is blasphemous, and ungodly, and unsound."

 

He adds: "But I and whatsoever Christians ARE ORTHODOX IN ALL THINGS do know that there will be a resurrection of the flesh, and a thousand years in the city of Jerusalem, built, adorned and enlarged, according as Ezekial, Isaiah, and other prophets have promised. For Isaiah saith of this thousand years (Ch 65:17) 'Behold I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind; but be ye glad and rejoice in those which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem to triumph, and my people to rejoice,' etc. Moreover, a certain man among us, whose name is JOHN, BEING ONE OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES OF CHRIST, in that Revelation, which was shown to him prophesied, that those who believe in our Christ shall fulfill a thousand years at Jerusalem; and AFTER THAT the general, and, in a word, the everlasting resurrection, and last judgement of all together."

 

Justin Martyr's testimony is SO OVERWHELMING that some of our opponents seek to break its force by various shifts, e.g. by disparaging the man, by advocating an interpolation, by silently passing him in the enumeration of the fathers, etc...we only add: that Justin is far more competent (in view of the time he lived, his scholarship, his pre-eminence as an apologist, his consistent Christian life sealed by martyrdom for the truth) to tell us what was "The Orthodox" view in his day than 'Westminister,' [Or Mr. Anderson] with his heart filled with enmity and prejudice, is today...The testimony of opponents...may properly be presented because impartial. We select for this purpose the originator and defender of the generally received view. Dr. Whitby (Treatise on traditions) gives us the following often-quoted statement: "The doctrine of the Millennium, or the reign of the saints on earth for a thousand years, is now rejected by all Roman Catholics, and by the greatest part of Protestants, and yet it passed among THE BEST CHRISTIANS, FOR TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY YEARS, FOR A TRADITION APOSTOLICAL; and, as such, is delivered by MANY fathers of the second and third century, who speak of it as the tradition OF OUR LORD AND HIS APOSTLES, AND OF ALL THE ANCIENTS THAT LIVED before them...THAT IT WAS HELD BY ALL CHRISTIANS THAT WERE EXACTLY ORTHODOX."

 

http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-01/anf01-48.htm#TopOfPage

 

Jesus did say, “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:44). The only time frame I can think of when we believers would not be expecting Jesus to return would have to be before the tribulation.

 

Epharaem the Syrian said, in 373 AD, “For all the saints and Elect of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins.”

 

If I put some effort into it I am sure I could find you a hundred quotes from every century, but the question is, do I want to cater to man's flesh, your flesh or do I care about taking from the Word of God and making His Word my guiding principle? I think the answer is obvious.

 

Did you know that if you are ready to be received before the throne and keep the Word of His patience (Rev. 3.10) God will account you worthy (Luke 21.36) to escape the Hour of trial, not just trial itself of the past 20 centuries), but that Hour itself that is to come upon the whole world. The only way to escape for certainty is to be taken out of the world not by death and not by running and hiding but as a matter of maturity in Christ and overcoming and readiness, prayerfulness and watchfulness. Praise the Lord!