"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.V No.VII Pg.4a-5
February 1943

"Doctor Brents And Brother Boll"

T. B. Wilkinson

Doctor Brents wrote a sermon on the millennium which has been a source of great comfort to premillennial preachers, and how they love to refer to it as justification for their wild theories. But I doubt if a single one of them will endorse the positions Doctor Brents has set out in this sermon, and I am sure that if he were alive today he would blush with shame to see himself held up before the church as an endorser of their wild speculations.

Doctor Brents was a great writer, and his book has been a great help to young preachers of the gospel for many years, but he was only a man, and wrote as a man, and his sermon on the millennium is about as wild a guess as I have ever seen from any man. But Brother Boll appeals to him, and many admirers of Brents might think that if he taught something like the theories of Boll there must be some good in it, and very few know anything about what Brents did teach.

In his Gospel Sermons, page 330, we have his sermon on the millennium, and here is what we find in brief. Jesus will come back to the earth in the clouds and take up a personal residence upon the earth for a thousand years reign. The righteous dead will all be raised with immortal bodies, the righteous then living will all be changed and given immortal bodies, and they shall reign with Christ for the time of the millennium. The wicked will not be raised at that time, and the wicked then living will all be killed with the sword that proceeds out of the mouth of the rider of the white horse. The bodies of the wicked will not be buried, but will lie upon the earth until they are devoured by the fowls of the air, and the beasts of the field. The devil will be bound during the thousand years, and cannot go out to deceive the nations of the earth until the thousand years are finished. Then he will be loosed, and shall go out and deceive the nations, and gather them for battle, and shall encompass the camp of the saints, and fire shall come down from God out of heaven and devour them, and the devil will then be cast into a lake of fire.

This is about the sum of his arguments on what he understands will happen during the millennium. There are a number of questions that his sermon raises in the mind of the reader that he does not attempt to explain for us, leaving it, I suppose, for the reader to figure them out as best he can. He makes no provision for any class except the wicked and the righteous. We do not know whether he means to kill the infants, idiots, and other unresponsible souls, with the wicked, or change them with the righteous, and let them reign, too, over whatever it is that they are to reign during the millennium.

He fails to inform us what they will reign over, or who, and I am sorry for this omission for I was anxious to see this point cleared up. It is not the wicked for they were all killed when the reign began, and were devoured by the beasts and the fowls, and it is not the righteous for they will be doing the reigning. I am sorry he failed to clear up this point for if we are to reign we ought to have something, or someone, to reign over to make it even interesting.

Satan was chained, and locked up in prison during the entire one thousand years. Just why, he does not explain, except to say it was to keep him from going out to deceive the nations. But he has already informed us that there were no nations left for him to deceive, the righteous had all been changed and given immortality, and the wicked had all been killed, and fed to the wild beasts. It looks to me like the Lord has locked him up at the wrong time; it was a barren old world, even of the wicked, and the only souls left upon it are these immortal saints who are reigning with their Lord over in Palestine, and certainly there was no chance for Satan to deceive them.

But hear him again. At the end of the millennium Satan will be loosed a little season, and shall go out and deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, the number of whom is as the sands of the sea. Now we are mystified again. Where did those nations come from that he found when he was released? Undoubtedly they were not children of these immortal saints who had been reigning, and the wicked could not beget children after they were devoured by wild beasts. He has accounted for everything but the idiots, and irresponsibles, including the infants, and maybe they had fathered these nations.

This is the learned Doctor Brents, truly a great man, with exceptional ability, trying to fix up a theory that will bring the Lord back to the earth to reign as material king a thousand years before the end of time and the judgment.

But he does tell us that the wicked who were killed at the beginning of the millennium will be raised when it is over, and given indestructible bodies. Maybe he means to have them raised before the devil is turned loose, and reinstate them in their nations, just as they were before the Lord destroyed them, and then turn Satan loose on them a second time and let him deceive them over again.

This must be what he means to do, since we cannot find any other possible source for these nations which he deceived during this second spree he was allowed among them. If this is true, Satan should find his job an easy one this time, they were his already, and had already been killed by the Lord once, and fed to the beasts, and the Lord had condemned them at the beginning of the millennium.

Then the Lord has nothing whatever to offer these nations who are still here after the millennium closes, even if we grant that there can be any such nations. Maybe that is where Russell got his idea of a second chance, Satan got a second chance, so why not the wicked people the Lord condemned back there and killed with a sword, and fed to the wild beasts? Russell says they will get a second chance, but the salvation offered them will be of a poorer grade, and of course they will never get to reign like the saints did.

I am glad that Doctor Brents calls it speculation. If he had been writing a burlesque on premillennialism he could not have done a better job. An empty reign of the saints on the earth for a thousand years with no one for them to reign over is about the most senseless theory that a human mind can think up.

Fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them, and yet the Doctor had given them indestructible bodies when he raised them at the end of the millennium. But is the Lord satisfied He has done enough to these wicked people? Apparently He is not, for the Doctor informs us that He now raises them with all the rest of humanity, and has them brought before Him in judgment, and sent away to a lake of fire, forever and ever.

The wicked were raised at the end of the millennium, according to Brents, but he does not mention that they got a second chance. I suppose that Boll also agrees with this point, but they both have to admit that the wicked got a second chance at sin, raised a monstrous rebellion against the immortal saints sitting down there in Jerusalem minding their own business, only they had no business since there were no people for them to reign over, and fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.

I believe that if I had to make a choice, I would prefer Russell to either Brents or Boll. He does have a theory that gives the saints something to do besides sitting upon thrones. He has them preaching a second grade salvation to the wicked. But not Boll, or Brents. They have them on thrones for a thousand years with no one to reign over, and the devil locked up a thousand years to keep him from deceiving anyone when there was not a soul upon earth that he could deceive. They mess it up worse than Russell does and then walk off and leave it as if to say, Here it is, see what we have done to it; fix it if you can. Yes, I am sure there is more sense to Russell's speculations.

But I do wish Brother Boll would come out and tell us, since he has endorsed Brents, or rather has called upon Brents to endorse him, whom the saints shall reign over during that thousand years? Do they reign over each other, taking turns at the thrones? There were no other living souls on the earth at the time, according to Brents, and he might tell us why the Lord had the devil locked up when there was not a soul upon earth that he could deceive. Also, where the nations came from that the devil did deceive when he was loosed. Speculation? Well, Brents was fair enough to admit that it was only speculation, but not Boll.