Premillenialism stands as one of the doctrinal issues that have caused disruption and division among the Lord’s people. Please carefully note the following summary of the premillenial doctrine as we will then proceed to see the scriptures’ response.
Christ came to earth for the purpose of establishing His kingdom. He was, however, surprisingly rejected by the Jews. Hence, He postponed the kingdom, and set up the church instead. When He returns, He will raise only the righteous dead (commonly referred to as the rapture). The rapture ushers in the Tribulation Period during which Solomon’s temple is rebuilt and Old Testament sacrifices are restored. The second half of the tribulation period is consumed by a conflict that is consummated by the Battle of Armageddon. He will then restore national Israel, sit upon David’s literal throne in Jerusalem, and then reign for 1,000 years. After the 1,000 year reign comes the resurrection of the wicked and the judgment.
Following are some of the necessary implications of premillenialism:
Abrahamic promise not fulfilled
Restoration promise not fulfilled
Church substituted for the kingdom
Kingdom was not imminent in the days of Jesus, John and apostles
Kingdom of Daniel 2:44 not yet established
Great world conflict ending in physical battle of Armageddon
Nation of Israel restored to prominence with Jesus reigning as king
Jesus will reign for a literal 1,000 years
Land Promise to Abraham not fulfilled Genesis 12:1-7; Deut. 1:8
“So Jehovah gave unto Israel all the land which He sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein. And Jehovah gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; Jehovah delivered all their enemies into their hand. There failed not aught of any good thing which Jehovah had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.” Joshua 21:43-54
Restoration Promise not Fulfilled
Israel and Judah were taken into captivity and scattered as prophesied by Joshua (Joshua 23:14-16) and Jeremiah (Jeremiah 18:17). Following seventy years of exile, Cyrus was raised up by God as prophesied by Isaiah (Isaiah 44:28) and was the instrument used by God for the return of Israel from captivity. Note the following from Ezra 1:1-3.
“Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of Jehovah by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, Jehovah stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath Jehovah, the God of heaven, given me; and he hath charged me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whosoever there is among you of all his people, his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of Jehovah, the God of Israel (he is God), which is in Jerusalem”
Church Was a Substitute for the Kingdom
“To the intent that now unto the principalities and the powers in the heavenly places might be known through the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” Eph 3:9-11
Kingdom Not Imminent in Days of Jesus, John and Apostles
John came preaching, “Repent ye for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” Matthew 3:2
Jesus came preaching, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”
Jesus further says in Mark 9:1, “There are some here of them that stand by, who shall in no wise taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God come with power.”
Apostles Not in the Kingdom
Paul says in Colossians 1:13, “who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love.”
John says in Revelation 1:9, “I John, your brother and partaker with you in the tribulation and kingdom.”
Christ Will Reign on Literal Throne of David in Jerusalem
It was clearly prophesied that one would come and reign on the throne of David (II Samuel 7:12-13). It is just as clearly stated by Peter on Pentecost that Jesus had been raised up to sit on the throne of David (Acts 2:29-36). However, Jesus was raised to sit and reign over a spiritual kingdom and not a physical kingdom. To this point, Jesus clearly stated in John 18:36 that “…my kingdom is not of this world.” We add to this the very clear message of Jeremiah 22:24-30.
“Is this man Coniah a despised broken vessel? Is he a vessel wherein none delighteth? Wherefore are they cast out, he and his seed, and are cast into the land which they know not? O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of Jehovah. Thus saith Jehovah, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days; for no more shall a man of his seed prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling in Judah.”
The scriptures respond very clearly to the basic premises embedded in the premillenial doctrine and provide undeniable evidence that it is contrary to teachings set forth in the New Testament.
- Jerry Curry