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Premillennialism: An Insult to
We are seeing, what I call, "Millennium
Mania" among the religious world. TV, Radio, pulpits, books,
magazines, and Bibles (Scofield, Open) are filled with teachings
about the theory of Premillennialism.
We are being introduced to new words (rapture,
pre-tribulation, dispensationalism) and new concepts (seven
resurrections, five judgments, coming vs. appearing). Many
obscure passages are being quoted to us and we are not familiar
enough with them to respond.
This is a difficult subject to study because:
A. There is a great variety of sub-set
B. They use several obscure passages from Daniel and Revelation.
C. There are many non-biblical terms.
D. Many biblical words are given unique meanings.
E. Taught in some form by almost every religious group in
1. Definition of Terms
A. The word - PREMILLENNIALISM
1. Pre = before, in front of, ahead
2. Mille = Latin for one thousand
3. Annum = A year
4. Ism = the doctrine or teaching about
B. Chiliast = Early Christians who
looked for the earthly return of Christ.
C. The major tenets of the theory of
- God promised and His prophets (Isaiah
2:2-4 and Daniel 2:44) prophesied that He would set up an
earthly kingdom with Christ on David's literal throne in
- That the kingdom of Old Testament promise
and prophecy has not yet come into existence.
- Though the kingdom was announced "at
hand" by both John and Jesus, it has never happened.
Many still pray "Thy kingdom come."
- Jesus is King by right only, but is not
now actually on His throne.
- The kingdom of Old Testament prophecy was
postponed because national Israel rejected Christ.
- Between Christ's first and second coming
was a valley which the prophets were unable to see. They
just saw the two mountain peaks.
- There are many unfulfilled prophecies
regarding the land of Israel, the throne of David and the
rebuilding of the temple that are yet to be fulfilled.
- Christ presented in parables a new
announcement of the new and unexpected aspect (church
age) the kingdom would assume during an anticipated age
of the king in rejection and absence from the world.
- In order for the prophecy of Daniel 2:44
to be fulfilled, pagan Rome must come back into existence
with a world dictator over a 10 part kingdom. Most
believe that it will be a "symbolic Rome" (a
world empire like USA or CIS).
- The Jews must be restored as a nation,
return to Palestine, and be converted en masse, in order
that Christ can be king "in fact," instead of
merely a "crown prince."
- The temple of Solomon will be rebuilt and
a Jewish system of worship will be restored. Some believe
the temple will be built by the anti-Christ, others say
it will be built before the rapture.
- There will be a "rapture" - the
saints, both living and dead, will meet the Lord in the
air and continue there for a period of seven years. This
period is call the marriage of the Lamb.
- There will be two resurrections in the
future, [a] the saints at the "rapture", and
[b] the wicked at the end of the 1,000 years which will
be the end of the world.
- At the time of the "rapture"
there will come a time of "the great
tribulation" upon the earth, which the saints will
- After the "rapture" a period of
time will pass, perhaps 7 years, and Christ will leave
the throne of His majesty in heaven and occupy the
literal throne of David for a literal 1,000 years.
- As king on David's throne in Jerusalem,
Jesus will engage in a carnal "battle of
- Christ's coming is eminent!
D. It is very difficult to deal with
this doctrine because there are so many variables to it.
- Spiritual, Premillennialism,
- Old line (John R. Rice), Dispensational
- Rapture Pre-Tribulation,
- 2 Resurrections, 3 Resurrections, 7
- 2 Judgments, 5 Judgments, 7 Judgments
E. Biblical Terms (What
Premillennialism teaches about:)
Kingdom - Literal reign in Jerusalem
Second Coming - In two phases
(parousia - presence; epipheneia - manifestation)
Resurrection - In 2 or 3 phases
Judgment - In 2 to 7 phases
Tribulation - Anti-Christ causes suffering
Anti-Christ - World ruler seeks to be worshipped
F. Non-Biblical Terms (What
Rapture - "To be caught up"; The
taking up to heaven of all true saints before the great
tribulation begins here on earth.
2. What is the harm in this
Many people say, "All of this is future,
and who is right will not make any difference. By the time we
learn who is right, it will already be taking place."
Here is why this is an important
matter of doctrine.
- Premillennialism denies that Christ is now
reigning. (Revelation 1:5-6; Hebrews 1:1-3)
- It annuls this dispensation as the Last
Days. (Hebrews 1:1; Acts 2:16)
- God becomes a failure, one unable to keep
His promises. (Mark 9:1; Daniel 2:44; 2 Corinthians 1:20)
- Premillennialism insults God by denying
his foreknowledge of what the Jews would do when Christ
came to offer the kingdom.
- Alternates Judaism and Christianity and
makes Judaism the final choice. (Hebrews 8:5-7; Hebrews
9:8-11; Ephesians 2:14-15; Colossians 2:14-17)
[ NOTE: This means a return to the priesthood of
Levi, animal sacrifices, day of atonement, Sabbath
worship, etc. It means that the death of Christ was in
- Belittles the church as a last minute
substitute. (Ephesians 3:9-11; Ephesians 5:25-27; Acts
- Revokes the Great Commission. (Matthew
28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16)
- Nullifies salvation of the Gentiles. (Acts
15:14-17; Isaiah 11:1-11; Ephesians 2:16)
- Demotes Christ from the throne in heaven
to the footstool. (Hebrews 1:3-13)
- Makes the first Coming of Christ a
failure. (John 17:4)
- Premillennialism makes the OT prophets
false teachers. (Deuteronomy 18:21-22)
4. The Core Issue in
A. The following quotations taken
from those who believe in and teach Premillennialism.
- "John the Baptist came preaching,
"Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at
hand" (Matt. 3:2). Jesus began to preach from the
same text in His early ministry (Matt. 4:17)....But the
statement, "the kingdom of heaven is at hand,"
was dropped and not repeated any more, though the kingdom
is mentioned dozens of times. The reason is that the Jews
rejected Christ their King, and the kingdom was postponed
(Luke 13:34-35)." Christ's Literal Reign on Earth,
John R. Rice, p. 12
- "Whether there had been any formal
offer of the kingdom made to them, and, upon their
rejection of it the same was withdrawn and postponed, is
no essential matter. But if salvation was offered to the
nation by Jesus, all else was implied therein as a matter
of course; and if that was nationally rejected, the
fulfillment of all their prophetic hopes was thereby made
impossible, and automatically deferred until the time
when the nation would turn to acknowledge Jesus Christ
and be forgiven."
- "These parables are really an
announcement of the new and unexpected aspect the kingdom
would assume during an anticipated age of the king's
rejection and absence from the world." R. H. Boll
quoted in Prophecy and Premillennialism, James
Bales, p. 166
- "But God in HIS foreknowledge knew
that Israel would reject the King when he came, and
therefore the Kingdom would be POSTPONED, and not set up
until His second coming. They rejected the King and now
instead of the kingdom comes the Cross, the resurrection,
the setting aside of Israel, the calling out of the
church, and THEN AFTER that will come the kingdom."
Richard DeHann on "Radio Bible Class" quoted in
Prophecy Foretold Prophecy Fulfilled, E. R.
Harper, p. 4
- "We know that the earthly kingdom has
been postponed because the King was rejected of the
Jews." 12 Tremendous Themes, John R. Rice, p.
- "Dispensationalism holds that the
Jewish rejection of the Kingdom caused Jesus to postpone
the Kingdom until the second advent and to establish the
church as an interlude between the two advents, and that
the church was in no sense a fulfillment of the Old
Testament prophecies and promises but something entirely
new and revealed for the first time to the Apostle Paul.
According to that view Judaism remains intact as one of
the true and acceptable forms of worshipping God, runs a
predicted course and does not give way before nor merge
into the New Testament Church as held by Post- and
- "Thus the key point of the
dispensational system may be said to be the
mystery-parenthesis doctrine of the Church, which is that
the Christian Church is a stop-gap between two phases of
an earthly Jewish kingdom, one past and the other
future." The Millennium, Loraine Boettner p.
- "It is held that the OT prophets
predicted the re-establishment of David's kingdom and
that Christ himself intended to bring this about. It is
alleged, however, that because the Jews refused his
person and work he postponed the establishment of his
kingdom until the time of his return. Meanwhile, it is
argued, the Lord gathered together "the church"
as a kind of interim measure." Baker's Dictionary
of Theology, Ernest F. Kevan, p. 352
B. The PRIMARY Question to ask about
- Did Jesus come 2,000 years ago to reign on
David's throne forever and ever OR did he come to die on
STUDY: Matthew 4:17; Matthew 16:28; Mark
9:1; Acts 1:6-8
C. EXAMINE THIS CHART:
||Acts 8:28, 32-35
||Revelation 1:9; Colossians 1:13
To prove that Christ came to die, be buried,
raised, ascend and receive the kingdom - - proves that he did not
come to reign in an earthly kingdom, on a literal throne in
D. Think about the "WHAT
IFS" in Premillennialism.
What if Christ had been successful in the
mission which Premillennialism claims? Think about the
consequences of his success.
- Still under Judaism
- Animal sacrifices still required
- No forgiveness of sins
- No hope of eternal life
- Under Levitical priesthood
- Nullifies salvation to the Gentiles
- No hope of a resurrection
- Christ could not be our High Priest
6. Their Proof Text Examined -
Outline of the chapter
1. Introduction, Setting and Questions Raised. (1-3)
2. Destruction of Jerusalem (4-35)
- The remote signs. (4-8)
- The near signs. (9-14)
- The immediate sign. (15-28)
- The sign of the Son of Man. (29-31)
- The lesson of the fig tree. (32-35)
3. Second Coming of Christ. (36-51)
A. No warning signs will be given. (36-44)
B. Parable of faithful and unfaithful servants. (45-51)
A Consideration of the Background Regarding the Temple and
the Questions Asked by Jesus Disciples.
1. They asked three questions.
2. They thought it was one question.
3. Jesus answered two questions.
An exposition of Matthew 24.
1. Remote signs - false Christs, wars and rumors
2. Nearer signs - tribulation, false prophets, persecution
3. Immediate sign - Desolating sacrilege
- Flee from Jerusalem - end is at hand.
- Run, dont stop, flee to mountains
- This is the destruction of Jerusalem (Lk. 21:20)
- This is not about the end of the world. (Matt. 24:21)
4. Difficult text (29-31)
- Sun, moon stars - fall of nations (Is. 13:10; Ez.
- Angels - messengers (See Lk. 7:24; Matt. 11:10)
5. Learn from the fig tree - "Heed the signs."
6. No Signs for the coming of Christ.
- Sudden, unexpected, no warning,
- No man, angel, or Jesus knows that day
- Life will be normal when Jesus comes
This message continues in Matthew 25.
1. Parable of wise and foolish virgins. (1-13)
2. Parable of the talents. (14-30)
3. Picture of judgment. (31-46)
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