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DEVELOPMENT IN THE MILLENNIUM
Says a brother in a recent letter: „Your views in regard to the Little Flock are plain and readily enough understood. I find, however, much difficulty in my researches relative to that other great company of mankind—those who may attain to everlasting life and perfect manhood.
1st. Among this class, what will be the status and mode of development, if any, of those who have died in babyhood?
2d. How can they be benefitted by evil, never having tasted evil? How can evil have taught them? If God designed that man should fall into evil that thereby man might be benefitted, infants and very young children who die in infancy and childhood would seem to be excluded from this course of schooling.
3d. Again, will they marry and be given in marriage in this state of perfect
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manhood and everlasting life? If so, where will the offspring of these perfect men and women find their school of evil and where will there be room for the ever increasing population in the multiplied centuries to come? Increase would not be diminished by death. These and kindred questions perplex me, and I earnestly desire light thereon.”
These questions are worthy of consideration and we suggest answers to them through the TOWER, because they may have presented themselves to other minds. We presume our Brother’s difficulty is not so much that by his research he cannot find human restitution clearly taught in the Bible, but that he finds it difficult to harmonize what is clearly taught, with surrounding facts and his reasonings therefrom as to the future.
In dealing with such questions, upon which God’s revelation contains no direct communication of His plan, it becomes us to tread carefully and to avoid dogmatism. Things revealed belong to us, but things not revealed to God. Our Father tells us the great outlines of his plan, and evidently expects and demands confidence and trust on our part that His wisdom is sufficient for every detail. He declares to us His intention that all in their graves shall „come forth,” and he gave us proof of His power to do this greatest of all wonders, though he does not explain to us the process or method by which being can be restored after dissolution. So also, He declares to us His purpose to restore all things—to save that which was lost, etc., and leaves a margin of mystery as to the process by which it shall all be accomplished.
Hence without attempting to teach it for doctrine, or in any way enforce any particular ideas of how these things shall be, we may and do as below, attempt to lay what we know not positively, along side of and in harmony with what we do know. Therefore the answers below must be considered merely as suggestions. We number the answers to correspond with the questions.
First: The manner of the resuscitation in the case of Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5:43), may furnish us some idea of the future work which Jesus’ miracles illustrated or showed forth. This case and that of Lazarus (John 11:44), indicate that the revived ones will require clothing, nourishment and assistance, and will acquire strength gradually. We infer the same of babes. We may not unreasonably infer that none of the worldly class will be called from their graves, until after the living generations shall have reached a measure of elevation morally and physically, and until the earth shall have begun to „yield her increase.”
The climate will probably gradually undergo a change also, such as will not only be favorable to man’s comfort, but favorable as well to the usefulness of large tracts of country at present almost or quite uninhabitable. How this will be accomplished, we cannot at present say. But of one thing we are satisfied—He who is at the helm and has thus far ordered matters, is abundantly able to furnish mankind a fit and perfect home—an Eden, when the curse is removed.
Of another thing we are satisfied, viz: That what scientists term the „laws of nature” are by no means as regular and fixed as they seemed at one time to imagine. As an illustration of this we note the fact that the telegraph brought word of severe cold and thousands of cattle destroyed in Texas while we at the North were having quite moderate weather. And we have known times in summer when the thermometer rose higher in Pittsburgh than in New Orleans. These things in addition to our trust in the Omnipotent, set at rest fears in regard to climate. As regards the helplessness and necessities of infants, we should bear in mind that every infant had a mother, and the mother as well as the babe will awake.
Second: We must not forget that there will be evil in the Millennial Age. But instead of being active and in control, it will be under restraints like its prime mover Satan; it will not be totally blotted out, until the end of the Millennium.
When we read of „the world to come wherein dwelleth righteousness”, we must no more conclude that there is no evil there, than we should deny all righteousness now because this is called „the present evil world.” As evil now reigns and rules and opposes good, so then righteousness will reign and rule and oppose all evil. And „He [Christ] must reign till he hath put all enemies [evil and every form of opposition] under his feet.” (1 Cor. 15:25).
Mankind is morally and physically impaired, or evil now, and the awakening will find them the same, and the object of Jesus in the coming age, is to help to life, liberty, and happiness everlasting, those whose right to release from death he purchased once for all. „The times [years] of restitution” in which evil will gradually be yielding, will furnish abundant opportunity to all for contrasting evil and imperfection with good and perfection.
When we say that evil will continue during the Millennium, we need to guard the statement by remarking that not active evil, not stealing, lying, etc., but evil in the sense of imperfections with possibly unholy and imperfect desires which cannot be gratified because the penalty would be severe, as well as sure. These desires will give place to a proper recognition of holiness and desires in harmony therewith, as the being progresses in restitution towards perfection. Those in whom holiness of desire shall not rule by the close of the Millennium, are doomed with Satan as incorrigible and as his messengers, will be destroyed—their second death.
Third:—They that attain to the spiritual condition and have part in the first or chief resurrection, will not marry, as saith the Lord. Matt. 22:30. But your question does not relate to these. If Adam and Eve were twain yet one before evil and the fall, is it not reasonable to suppose that they will be similarly paired when the perfect restitution has taken place?
The command to „be fruitful and multiply” is limited—until the earth is „replenished,” (literally „filled„—Leeser’s Trans. of Gen. 1:28.); consequently when the earth has been filled, the multiplying and fruitfulness should cease according to God’s arrangement. If so, there would be no perfect children of perfect parentage born at a time when there will be no evil wherewith to prove them.
It is probable that the fruitfulness will decrease as the race approaches perfection. It is a noticeable fact that an old, dying tree will sometimes put forth more blossoms and attempt more fruit which it is unable to bring to maturity, than when it was in its prime: So with the human family, early maturity and prolific offspring, weak, sickly and dying from the moment of birth, are marks of weakness and imperfection which will soon be reversed as the restitution work begins and the curse is being removed. See Gen. 3:16.
— March, 1885 —