"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.III No.X Pg.4-5
May 1941

Brother Roberson's "A-Millennium"


In a recent issue of the Firm Foundation, under the caption of "The Millennium Controversy," Brother C. H. Roberson, Head of Bible in Abilene Christian College, makes another labored attempt to set forth his views on Premillennialism. He states that he is not a post-millennialist, nor a pre-millennialist, but an "a-millennialist."

It will be remembered by the readers that Brother Roberson's book, "What Jesus Taught," has been shown very definitely to teach Premillennialism. Brother Roberson's friends have admitted that the statements in his book are premillennialism—no more, no less. Brother Don Morris, the president, admits this. But their attitude is that the statements should be classed as "unfortunate" and that Brother Roberson should be allowed to withdraw them, and to restate his views more clearly. When a man of education and scholarship has so much difficulty in making clear his views it is the proof that his views are not clear. Most people, whether educated or not, can understand plain language. When a man who puts himself up as a teacher cannot use plain language to set forth his views there is something wrong with what he is trying to set forth. Lawyers sometimes use language to keep from saying a thing directly and to keep certain parties from seeing what is actually said. I do not at all make such a charge against Brother Roberson, for I regard him as a man of fine character, but this is nevertheless the effect of his several efforts to clear himself when, as a matter of fact, a simple repudiation of the teaching in his book, and a forthright declaration on the issues involved would have settled the "controversy" so far as he is concerned. As it stands, he has withdrawn the remaining copies of his book from the market in order to delete the Premillennial teaching that it contains. But while doing so he yet attempts to justify the objectionable teaching by affirming in each "explanation" what he has "always" believed and taught "throughout his entire religious life." Then, he simply failed to write what he believed in his book, but wrote what he does not believe and is still failing in each and every attempt to explain what he believes, as both the statements of his book and of his explanations express exactly the opposite of what he avows pro and con.

In his book entitled "What Jesus Taught," Brother Roberson says:

1. "There is a time to come when the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea, hence, it must be that our dispensation is not the last, for the effects stated in that are not contemplated in the instructions and results of this. So there is no millennium prior to the second advent of Jesus.

2. "A millennium of universal righteousness and knowledge of the Lord is impossible until the separation takes place at the harvest" ("the end of the world," or "the end of the age").

3. The scripture warrants the belief that there will be the blessedness of universal righteousness and prosperity that shall fill the earth, and if so, it must be after Jesus returns to this earth."

4.."From the day this parable was spoken to the hour of his coming again, He offers no place for a thousand years of blessedness for men on earth."

That the above statements are premillennialism, everybody who knows premillennialism will admit. The president of Abilene Christian College has admitted that it is: other teachers in the school have admitted as much. But they tell us that Brother Roberson stoutly disavows believing the doctrine and has withdrawn his statements. This would be fine, indeed, and we should all rejoice. But Brother Roberson continues to make and repeat the same things in all of his explanations, and he has withdrawn his statements only to repeat them again, and then again.

His first published explanation reads as follows:

1. "The doctrine of a future era of righteous government upon the earth, to last a thousand years, is nowhere taught in the Scripture."

"At no time have I ever believed or taught:"

2. "That the Jews will be delivered from all their enemies, recover Palestine, and reign literally there with their Messiah in equaled splendor."

3. "That the Jewish conception stated above is correct with the exception that Jesus is the Messiah;"

4. "That there will be two resurrections, the first separated from the second by a period of a thousand years;"

5. "That Jesus Christ will reign literally on earth for a period of a thousand years;"

6. "That the preaching of the gospel will result in the conversion of the world and usher in a golden era of righteousness and a government of justice and peace to last a thousand years, after which the Lord will return for a `general' judgment' and introduction of an eternal state."

According to the above statement, Brother Roberson does not believe in a literal millennium of a one thousand years reign of Christ on earth. But he does say, and evidently believes, that the thing which cannot be accomplished by the preaching of the gospel in this dispensation, must be accomplished after the return of Christ—that something is, as expressed by himself, "the universal knowledge of the Lord." Brother Roberson says plainly that this time of universal knowledge and blessedness is future, and furthermore that it is "impossible" in this age and "must be after Jesus returns to this earth." In his book and in his subsequent statements Brother Roberson declares that there is no time for this era of "the universal knowledge of God", until after Jesus returns to the earth. Herein is his hold-over from the premillennial essay in his book.

Now comes his latest explanation in the Firm Foundation. In reiterating much that he said in his book, and in his former explanations, he tells us now that he is not a "pre" nor a "post" millennialist but that he is an "a-millennialist." Notice some of these latest statements.

First: "The coming of the Lord and the judgment are contemporaneous." That means that the second coming of Christ and the judgment will occur at the same time.

Second:: "The harvest is the end of the world; of the good and the bad. Jesus said: 'Let both grow together until the harvest'; under such conditions, a millennium of universal righteousness and knowledge of the Lord is impossible until the separation takes place at the harvest."

Can you not see the conclusion? Here it is—in Brother Roberson's own explanations: He says there is an "a-millennium;" he says that this "a-millennium" is impossible until the separation takes place at the judgment; but he says that the judgment and the second coming of Christ are contemporaneous; it follows therefore that this "a-millennium" cannot take place until the second coming of Christ. Then the second coming of Christ will take place before Brother Roberson's "A-Millennium," therefore the second coming of Christ is "pre-millennial" in Brother Roberson's theory, or pre-a-millennial. Since Brother Roberson insists that the second coming of Christ and the judgment will occur before this "a-millennium" of his explanation begins, what keeps him from being a premillennialist of the "a-millennium" variety? There is an "a-millennium," he says; but this "a-millennium" is impossible until the second coming of Christ and the judgment, which are contemporaneous; so Christ must come before his "a-millennium" but he is not a premillennialist! ! If R. H. Boll should write the same thing, we would all understand that he would be teaching premillennialism.

But again Brother Roberson says that "is not that space-time continuum which some men have espoused." In other words he has a theory of an "a-millennium" without "space" or "time" for it to fill, still it is an "era" of "universal knowledge of the Lord" which is impossible" before he comes, and must occur after he "returns to the earth,' yet there is no "space-time continuum" for it to occur! And this is the language of scholarship, friends! Brother Roberson is not a premillennialist, and he is not a postmillenmalist—he only believes in an "a-millennium-continuum," without space or time for it to occur or continue.

It is how in order for Brother Roberson to give the scriptures that teach his "a-millennium" theory. He cannot go to Rev. 20 because he has already said "the high symbolism in Revelation, and the uniform absence of the idea of the millennium from the teaching of last things elsewhere in the new covenant should make one extremely cautious before affirming its presence in Rev. 20:1-6." Not only is "the millennium" not taught in Revelation, but the idea of ''the millennium" is absent from "the teaching on last things" everywhere else in the New Testament, according to Brother Roberson. But while the idea of the "the millennium" is absent, the teaching of the New Testament "on last things" includes the idea of an "a-millennium" because Brother Roberson says ''there will be an "a-millennium," but without that "space-time continuum that some men have espoused." What we want now, and have the right to demand, is the scripture either "in Revelation" or elsewhere "in the new covenant" that teaches this "a-millennium" after the second coming of Christ. Rev. 20 is the only passage that mentions the thousand years, and from this passage they get their word "millennium," a word nowhere used in the New Testament. Since Brother Roberson admits that Rev. 20 does not teach it, we should like very much to see the passage that does teach it. And while he is furnishing the passage that does teach his "a-millennium" we should like to have his explanation as to how an "a-millennium" could take place even after the coming of Christ and the judgment without "space" or "time" or "continuum" for it.

The theory that Brother Roberson so blundering seeks to set forth sounds very much like the school of Scofield Premillennialists who hold that the Judgment is a Dispensation, that is, the "day of judgment" is a dispensational day. We are made to wonder if Brother Roberson uses the Scofield Reference Bible. It contains these very doctrines.

Brother J. N. Armstrong says that he does not believe "Bollism"—but he does believe and teach premillennialism. He has his own brand of premillennialism—but it is pre millennialism just the same. Brother Roberson likewise disavows the premillennialism "which some men have espoused" but his "a-millennium" is, as we have shown, premillennialism—his own brand of it, if not the Scofield brand. These are not misrepresentations, but the actual teaching of these brethren in the record of their own words. It is evident that the battle to make the church safe for sound doctrine must continue.