Why We Are Premillennial

 

This page answers the question of what premillennialismi is, and why we would be identified theologically as Premillennialists. It will discuss the meaning and importance of premillennialism and suggest some reasons why the doctrine has come under attack throughout the ages.

Premillennialism is actually a prophetic stance that simply believes that Jesus Christ is going to return to the earth after the seven year tribulation in order to establish His Millennial Age for 1000 years. Thus the term pre-millennialism, communicates that Jesus is coming back to earth before His millennial (1000 year) reign (Rev. 20:1-6). This understanding of prophecy (eschatology) is arrived at by employing a literal (face-value/plain/normal) interpretation of the Scriptures regarding the biblical covenant promises. These covenant promises and their fulfillment comprise a substantial portion of the Bible, integral to the plan of God.

As a part of the Evangelical Free Church of America movement, we relish the fact that our denomination would take a stand on the important issue of premillennialism (What We Believe #11), identifying us as conspicuously biblical regarding the covenants and the future hope of Israel. The Evangelical Free Church’s 1950 doctrinal statement was clearly founded on premillennial convictions coming from a consistently literal hermeneutic (bible study method) which regarded all prophetic scripture literal and at face-value; A.T. Olson documents this carefully in his book, This We Believeii (chapter seventeen on Eschatology).

One needs only a cursory understanding of the Scriptures to see four prominent covenants, namely, the Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic and New covenants. These covenants form the very infrastructure of biblical revelation and the plan of God; they are repeated and emphasized from Genesis to Revelation and develop God’s redemptive program for the world. However, their distinctive elements have generally been amalgamated into an ecclesiocentric (church-fixated) theological grid that excludes Israel from God’s plan. Clear teaching regarding these biblical covenants has suffered at the hands of theologians dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries beginning with the powerful influence of Origen and Augustine. The many passages describing these covenants have since then, not enjoyed a consistently literal interpretation. The interpretations of these fundamental promises (that God made to His chosen people Israel) have been allegorized, explained away, distorted, spiritualized and changed with such a result that the future hope of Israel has historically, been under continual attack throughout almost the entire Church age.iii

The substance of these covenants has typically been interpreted as being fulfilled generally in, through and by the Church. This has resulted in the false understanding that the church has replaced Israel as far as the plan and purpose of God is concerned in history. In many cases, this “replacement theology” has translated into anti-Semitism even within the church. This kind of theological move, historically has certainly lent itself to anti-Semitism.iv Also, in recent history, a political or theological move marginalizing Israel has typically been a move to the left, acquiescing to pressure from the mainstream. Regardless of the motive for a move away from premillennialism, the result is the same ultimately resulting in an open door for anti-Semitism.

Premillennialism is distinct in that it interprets these biblical covenants at their face-value, maintaining a clear distinction between God’s plan for Israel and God’s plan for the Church. This distinction preserves a very clear and literal fulfillment of all God’s covenant promises to His chosen people Israel in the promised-land; it also holds a plethora of information as to the future state of both the church and the Gentile nations in relation to Israel. It’s our conviction that premillennialism holds the key to Israel’s future hope which is in fact the future hope of the world – including the Church. To remove this essential element of our theological paradigm would be to undermine a huge portion of the Scriptures, our theology, and exegesis.

Let’s dig a little deeper and look at these four major biblical covenants keeping in mind that these covenant promises should be interpreted in their plain, normal, historical and grammatical context, being taken at face-value as they are revealed progressively in the Bible (when the plain sense, makes sense, we should seek no other sense).

vBefore developing the Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic and New Covenants, we should note that the promise God made to Adam and Eve after the fall that her “‘Seed’ (or decedent) would crush the head of the Serpent and the Serpent would bruise His heel,” was the protoevangel (the gospel before or the earliest gospel). Genesis 3:15 was the first picture of the substitutionary cross-work of the Christ, the promise of forgiveness of sins and eternal life (salvation by grace) in the Old Testament. Salvation was at that time (and forevermore) procured by faith looking forward to the promised “Seed of the woman.” This “Seed” is traced through the genealogical tables of Genesis which brings our attention patently to Abram.

In the Abrahamic Covenant of Genesis chapter twelve, the Lord made an unconditional covenant promise to Abram guaranteeing he would become the father of a great nation through which the entire world would be blessed. Through this great nation and through His “Seed,” Abram would become the father of many nations (Gen. 12:1-3; 15:1-21; 17:1-8). Abraham’s descendants would be permanently situated in Canaan – the Promised Land. The “Seed” promised to Abram spoke of both the person of Jesus Christ and the nation Israel. Thus, we see that the remainder of Genesis documents how God birthed, built, preserved, and prepared Israel to become the vessel that delivered the Messiah and His marvelous redemption to mankind (Gen. 18-50).

The Old Testament becomes Israel’s story as God providentially led His chosen people to prepare for their coming Messiah. The history of Israel, past, present and future can be followed simply by understanding God’s Covenant promises to His chosen people. Following the Abrahamic covenant in Genesis, God made three more very important covenant promises to Israel: the Mosaic, Davidic and New Covenants.

The Mosaic Covenant served to preserve Israel as a people and set them apart from all other nations (Ex. 20:1-17). The law provided for worship of Holy God by a sinful people, while clearly establishing the need for a Savior from sin (Ex. 20-40; Leviticus). The Mosaic Law also established Israel as God’s holy people in the promised land of Canaan, providing for God’s blessing for obedience and discipline for disobedience (Lev. 26; Deut. 28-30). The Jews were God’s chosen people with a special relationship with Him that promised blessing, but required obedience. Thus the Mosaic Covenant was a conditional covenant that guaranteed blessing for obedience and cursing for disobedience, while always holding out the unconditional promissory, prophetic and typical hope of the coming Messiah. When Israel would rebel, God would send prophets who would call them back to the Law in repentance. The nation was continually warned of the consequences of judgment that would result from their sin. Sometimes the nation responded in repentance and was restored to fellowship and blessing; and sometimes the nation persisted in disobedience to the Law and were disciplined and judged. This cycle of blessing for obedience to the law and cursing for disobedience to the Law characterizes all of Israel’s tumultuous history from Sinai up to the present and into the future second coming of Christ. Israel’s history and God’s dealings with His chosen people has always reflected its relationship with the Law of Moses.

The Davidic Covenant was an unconditional covenant declaring that one of David’s descendants would be King over the nation Israel forever (II Sam. 7:12-17; Ps. 89:33-37; Jer. 33:15-17). This King, coming from Judah’s tribe would reign eternally and in perfect righteousness from Jerusalem over a united Israel. His reign would bring perpetual peace and righteousness to God’s chosen people Israel. Through the Davidic Covenant the “Seed” of the woman promised to Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:15) and the “Seed” of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was known as the Seed (or Son) of David. His coming would mark the golden age of Messiah’s kingdom and a total and complete fulfillment of the Abrahamic and Mosaic Covenants.

Finally, the New Covenant promised several things: forgiveness of sins, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, a new heart, a complete and eternal inheritance of all the land promised to Abraham and the advent of the “Davidic” Messiah/King reigning eternally from Jerusalem (Ezek. 36-37; Jer. 30-33). In effect, all previous covenant promises would be completely fulfilled in this New Covenant to a believing Israel in Christ’s Messianic Kingdom. The work of Jesus Christ on the cross would inaugurate the New Covenant with the indwelling Holy Spirit, forgiveness of sins and a new heart. However, the remaining promises of an eternal inheritance of the promised land and the advent of the Davidic King reigning from Mt. Zion would not be fulfilled until the second coming of Christ and only after Israel returns to the Lord in wholesale national repentance. The prophetic timing of this national repentance will be during the seven year tribulation which comes after the Times of the Gentiles foretold in Daniel (Dan. 2; 7; 9:24-27). In the meantime (between the 1st and 2nd coming of Christ), the Church-age constitutes an inter-advent era when all Jewish and Gentile believers are united in the body of Christ. At this time, unbelieving Israel is under God’s discipline (in keeping with the Mosaic Covenant), only to be restored to the Lord when the “fullness of Gentiles” are brought in (Rom. 10:25-26). Thus, during the Church-age, we commemorate the New Covenant in communion, by looking backward to the cross and forward to His return; we “proclaim the Lord’s death… till He comes” (I Cor. 11:26).

It is important to note that all four of these covenants are dependent on the existence and continuance of Abraham’s seed (Israel) forever (Jer. 31:35-36; 33:19-26). Thus, if Satan could extinguish the Jewish people, he could stop God’s plan and prevent God from fulfilling His promises to His chosen people, Israel. Israel becomes the focal point of God’s enemy, who aims to destroy the apple of God’s eye (Zech. 2:8) – the vessel of redemption and the future ruling dynasty of the world. We can begin to imagine the long-suffering of God as He anticipates Satan’s final judgment. At the same time, we can begin to comprehend Satan’s urgency as he narrows his scope of antagonism toward what he sees as God’s Achilles heel – the existence of the chosen people of God. Thus, Israel being center-stage of this spiritual war, has historically suffered more world-wide and incessant antagonism than any nation in the history of mankind; this supposition becomes evident as the Bible and Israel’s history are compared. Thus, God constantly reiterates His covenant promises to His chosen people throughout the Old Testament. These promises become Israel’s only immutable hope in a history marked by unimaginable trial and unrelenting satanic opposition.vi Historically, Israel’s mere existence becomes a greater and greater testimony to God’s preserving love and faithfulness to His promises (this faithfulness cements the credibility of our own hope of our future residence with Him through the New Covenant of promise).

The following passages outline the covenant promises (all fulfilled in the New Covenant, irrevocably and conclusively through the first and second coming of Jesus Christ). These passages teach that Israel is destined by God to be a redeemed people who will reign supreme as a nation on earth in the land of Palestine in millennial kingdom under their Messiah/King (Ps. 2; 8; 24; 72; 78:68-72; 89; 110; 132:13-18; Isa. 1:25-29; 2:2-5; 4:1-6; 6:13; 9:6-7; 10:20-27; 11:1-9, 10-16; 24:23; 25; 27:6, 12, 13; 40:1-11; 43:1-21; 51:1-16; 54:7-10; 59:16-21; 60; 66:7-21; Jer. 3:18; 12:14-16; 23:1-8; 24:4-7; 29:11-14; 30:1-24; 31:7; 32:36-44; 33:7-26; 50:4-7, 19; Ezek. 11:17-21; 20:33-44; 28:25-26; 34:11-31; 36:7-10, 24; 37:1-14; 39:25-29; 40-48; Dan. 7:13-14, 27; Hos. 1:10-11; 2:14-24; 3:4-5; 6:2; 11:8-9; 12:9; Joel 3:1; 3:20; Amos 9:14-15; Mic. 4:6-8; Zeph. 2:6-7; 3:10-20; Zech. 2:6-7; 8:8; 9:10-17; 10:1-12). It’s in fulfillment of these promises through the first and second coming of Christ that God will redeem all (believing) Israel, mankind, and earth itself (Isa. 26:15; 29:17; 30:23-25; 33:10-11, 17; 35:1-7; Ezek. 34:26-27; 36:29-35; 47:1-12; Joel 3:18; Zech. 4:8; 14:4, 8, 10; Rom. 8:18-25).

There is only one place in revelatory plan of God to insert the fulfillment of these passages and that is in the Millennial Kingdom of Jesus Christ foretold in Revelation 20:1-6.

We list the passages above to demonstrate the strong scriptural support and iteration of the covenants as forming the future hope of Israel (a matter of obvious immeasurable gravity in light of the current world-wide anti-Semitic sentiment). One cannot allegorize, spiritualize, abrogate or change the elements of these promises without doing violence to the Scriptures and assaulting the integrity and immutability of God. Anything other than a normal, face-value fulfillment of these passages makes God a liar or at the very least, a God of confusion. The literal fulfillment of the above passages is essential to develop any consistent outcome of the promises themselves, otherwise, their interpretation and fulfillment is virtually impossible to consistently confirm against other Scripture. Again, the literal fulfillment of these passages can only be consistently interpreted in a premillennial return of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham, for the purpose of redeeming Israel, upheaving the nations from Satan’s rule, and ruling over all the kingdoms of the earth during the age specific to the 1000 year reign of Christ.

Of course, this interpretation presents a huge threat to Satan, the god of this age who seeks the deception and total subjection of all the nations (Dan. 7:1-28; Luke 4:6; Eph. 6: 11-12; Heb. Rev. 12:5-12). Consequently, there will always be a spiritual battle over the understanding of the prophetic passages regarding the future of Israel. Sir Isaac Newton said, “About the time of the end, a body of men will be raised up who will turn their attention to the prophecies, and insist upon their literal interpretation in the midst of much clamor and opposition.” That clamor and opposition is nearly overwhelming today.

As stated, it makes perfect sense that these passages would come under continual attack since the entire program of God hinges on their fulfillment. Satan would certainly seek to explain away the clear teaching that God has chosen a people through which He would redeem lost humanity (at Christ’s first advent) and literally rule the world as the King of kings (at Christ’s Second Advent). Satan is called the god of this age (2 Cor. 4:4; 1 Jn. 5:19); if he could twist the meaning of these Scriptures that promise to preserve the Jewish nation in the program of God, then humanity would lose sight of God’s extraordinary plan for Israel. Because of this deception, Satan could then instigate the total destruction of the Jews from the earth with little human opposition. Wouldn’t you think that Satan would want to assault the Lord at the center of His heart, “the apple of His eye” (Zech. 2:8)? Anti-Semitism is entirely satanic and has never had a purely secular reasoning fueling it. The fuel for anti-Semitism is an evil (satanically inspired) distortion of God and His plan as laid out in the biblical revelation of His promises to His chosen people Israel.

At this point it’s important to note that the early church fathers predating Augustine were strongly premillennial. Men such as Papias, Polycarp, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Clement of Rome and Ignatius all believed in a literal return of Jesus to the earth in order to establish a 1000 year Kingdom reign from Jerusalemvii. Church historian Philip Schaff accounts, “The most striking point in the eschatology of the ante-Nicene age is the prominent chiliasm, or millenarianism, that is the belief of a visible reign of Christ in glory on earth with the risen saints for a thousand years, before the general resurrection and judgment. It was indeed not the doctrine of the church embodied in any creed or form of devotion, but a widely current opinion of distinguished teachers, such as Barnabas, Papias, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Methodius, and Lactantius, while Caius, Origen, Dionysius the Great, Eusebius (as afterwards Jerome and Augustine) opposed it.”viii

Following the influence of Origen (ca. 184–254) and Saint Augustine (350-430 AD) an allegorical system of interpretation developed that viewed almost all prophetic passages related to Israel’s future [cf. above passages] as applying to the Church. Augustine’s influence on theology was absolutely unprecedented and became the theology of the Roman Catholic Church. While Augustine did some good for Christendom, his Bible study method in interpreting prophecy has led to the very common misinterpretation that the Church has replaced Israel. Augustine’s hermeneutic resulted in “amillennial” theology (no millennium – and no literal Second Advent and reign of the promised Messiah/King on the earth).

Amillennialism was inherited by the reformed church of Calvin, Luther, Zwingli and Knox. As stated above, the influence of this theology throughout the Church-age has led to a predominantly less-than-literal view of the future of Israel even up through the 18th century; and it’s never been a secret that the theology of the reformers was Augustinian – not only in regard to salvation, but also to prophecy. Even today strict reformed theology mostly reflects Augustine in its prophetic views on the Church and Israel. We should not however, condemn the reformers for their prophetic affinity to the Catholic Church since during their time; they were fighting primarily battles related to salvation (and the corruptions of the Roman Church during the middle ages). We’re very thankful for the wonderful result of reformation throughout Europe as the people discovered the scriptures and salvation by faith, and not tethered to the Roman Church.

The 19th century, however, saw a strong resurgence of a more literal and consistent hermeneutic regarding prophetic passages.ix With a greater focus in theological circles on prophecy, a clear distinction between God’s plan for Israel and the Church emerged. As stated above, premillennialism is credited with the teaching that Jesus Christ is literally going to return to the earth after the church-age and the seven year tribulation period in order to establish His Kingdom (on earth) in fulfillment of all the covenant promises He made to Israel (who at that future time, will have been restored to their promised land in Palestine and will be awaiting their Savior/King in humble repentance). It has been the influence of premillennial theology that has given support to the Jews and their future hope in Zion for the past century. Today, more than ever, we believe there must be a clarion call to see God’s promises to Israel as being literal, historical, earthly, and eternal.

Jeremiah 31-33 is only one among many New Covenant passages, but it demonstrates the connection between the aforementioned covenant promises with the New Covenant and how the future plan of God played out in history hinges on God fulfilling these covenants in the future, literally and historically.

Jeremiah 31:31-42 says, 31“Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. 33“But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34“They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

      35Thus says the LORD,
            Who gives the sun for light by day
            And the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night,
            Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar;
            The L
ORD of hosts is His name:

      36“If this fixed order departs
            From before Me,” declares the L
ORD,
            “Then the offspring of Israel also will cease
            From being a nation before Me forever.”

37Thus says the LORD,
            “If the heavens above can be measured
            And the foundations of the earth searched out below,
            Then I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel
            For all that they have done,” declares the L
ORD.

      38“Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when the city will be rebuilt for the LORD from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. 39“The measuring line will go out farther straight ahead to the hill Gareb; then it will turn to Goah. 40“And the whole valley of the dead bodies and of the ashes, and all the fields as far as the brook Kidron, to the corner of the Horse Gate toward the east, shall be holy to the LORD; it will not be plucked up or overthrown anymore forever.”

Continuing on and still speaking of the New Covenant in 32:37-41… 37“Behold, I will gather them out of all the lands to which I have driven them in My anger, in My wrath and in great indignation; and I will bring them back to this place and make them dwell in safety. 38“They shall be My people, and I will be their God; 39and I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me always, for their own good and for the good of their children after them. 40“I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me. 41“I will rejoice over them to do them good and will faithfully plant them in this land with all My heart and with all My soul.

Jeremiah ends this treatise on the New Covenant saying (33:14-26),  14‘Behold, days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will fulfill the good word which I have spoken concerning the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 15‘In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth. 16‘In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will dwell in safety; and this is the name by which she will be called: the LORD is our righteousness.’ 17“For thus says the LORD, ‘David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel; 18and the Levitical priests shall never lack a man before Me to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings and to prepare sacrifices continually.’”

      19The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying, 20“Thus says the LORD, ‘If you can break My covenant for the day and My covenant for the night, so that day and night will not be at their appointed time, 21then My covenant may also be broken with David My servant so that he will not have a son to reign on his throne, and with the Levitical priests, My ministers. 22‘As the host of heaven cannot be counted and the sand of the sea cannot be measured, so I will multiply the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister to Me.’”

      23And the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying, 24“Have you not observed what this people have spoken, saying, ‘The two families which the LORD chose, He has rejected them’? Thus they despise My people, no longer are they as a nation in their sight. 25“Thus says the LORD, ‘If My covenant for day and night stand not, and the fixed patterns of heaven and earth I have not established, 26then I would reject the descendants of Jacob and David My servant, not taking from his descendants rulers over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But I will restore their fortunes and will have mercy on them.’” (NASB)

The disciples, Jewish men well-schooled in the prophets, understood the Kingdom issues of the promises so much so that they had a very difficult time understanding the suffering aspect of the Messiah (Mt. 16:23; Lk.24:19-21). The suffering of the Messiah like Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 occupied a minuscule portion of the Hebrew Scriptures compared to the passages holding out the glorious fulfillment of the Messianic Kingdom promises. When Jesus said to the disciples in the upper room, “this cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood” (Lk. 22:2) they were expecting the kingdom fulfillment of that covenant in the Davidic/Messianic Kingdom when He came to reign (cf. Mt. 24 where Jesus explains how Daniel’s 70th week must precede His 2nd advent to Jerusalem. Also note Acts 1:6 when the same disciples expected this fulfillment as the “restoration of the kingdom to Israel”). Paul, including the Church in the rite of communion said, “as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes” (I Cor. 11:26). So, as we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, we are connecting His first advent with the expectancy of His coming at His 2nd advent. And, again, the disciples expected a very literal and physical return of Jesus as they questioned Him in Matthew 24:3 and Acts 1:6 (which Jesus never corrected, but confirmed with only more detail, confirming the word of the Prophets). If Jesus’ 2nd Coming is not literal, physical and historical (in exact fulfillment of these promises) what exactly are we waiting for (Titus 2:13)?x

The restoration of Israel spoken of in all the prophets has not yet been fulfilled and is clearly defined as the fulfillment of the New Covenant of which we have become partakers and grafted into the rich future of Abraham’s descendants; albeit the church has not in any way replaced God’s chosen people Israel (Rom. 9-11). Let’s not become arrogant toward the branches that were broken off that we may be included… for “they will be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again.” (Rom. 11:18-24).

It is our conviction that premillennialism (again, which teaches that Christ will literally return to the earth to establish His literal/physical/geopolitical kingdom from Jerusalem), is directly gospel related in that it is the ultimate fulfillment of the New Covenant. The complete fulfillment of the New Covenant is part and parcel to the fulfillment of God’s Plan which He literally bets the “order” of the universe over in Jeremiah 31:35-36. This conclusive covenant is the New Covenant that is sealed with the blood of our Savior… “In My blood” (Mt. 26:28-29)! The ultimate fulfillment of the New Covenant is an unconditional blood covenant continually confirmed by the prophets, Christ and the apostles and is spoken of as: the “end of the age” (Mt. 24:3); the restoration of the Kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6); the “restoration of all things” (3:21); the “revelation of Jesus Christ” (I Cor. 1:7); the “day of Christ” (Phil. 1:10); the “Day of the Lord” (II Thes. 2:1-2); and the “Coming of the Lord”.vi Premillennialism articulates the very fabric and substance of the entire plan and program of God and is no minor or insignificant cog in our theological system. Premillennialism should be diligently studied, developed, refined, and held onto with great exegetical and theological tenacity.

Finally, let’s make no mistake about it, premillennialism is divisive in that it strikes at the heart of Satan’s historical agenda to have dominion over the world (Lk. 4:6; I Jn. 5:19)! The devil has always loathed the concept of a world-wide theocracy with Jesus Christ as the Monarch and Israel as the client-nation with David as their Prince (cf. above passages Ezek. 34-37; Zech. 8:23). He revealed his rebellious ambition in eternity past, in his fifth “I will;” Satan wants to be like El Elyon, “God Most-High” (Isa. 14:14). This title is designated ONLY for The Sovereign One alone (Gen. 14:19; Deut. 32:8; Ps. 83:18; 97:9; Dan. 5:17-23) and so Satan’s motive of world-wide dominion is revealed. The devil, in all his blind diabolical arrogance, wants to be The Sovereign; and because of this ambition, he will pull out all stops to disparage and discredit the doctrine of premillennialism since premillennialism is tantamount to declaring that “Jesus Christ is coming again to judge and rule the nations as The Most-High, Sovereign, Savior and King.”

God and His promises have not changed; but theologians change all the time. There has always been a very strong current in theology to draw men and their bible study methodology away from a literal interpretation of the Scriptures especially as it relates to the future of Israel. Satan’s first deception began with the words, “Indeed, has God said?” Brothers, the abovementioned promises on which all of human history hinge, are written eternal in the heavens (Ps. 119:89) and spoken by our Immutable God (Heb. 6:17-18). “The gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (Rom. 11:25-29).xi Christ’s rule and Satan’s doom are sure.

– Pastors and Elders of Faith Evangelical Free Church, Spring Hill, Florida
March 2015 

 

Endnotes:

i The debate of premillennialism (the discussion of whether or not Jesus is literally coming to the earth to reign for 1000 years after the Church-age and the Seven year Tribulation) is not to be confused with debates concerning pretribulationalism (the discussion as to when the church is removed from the earthly scene in the rapture). Although most premillennialists are pretribulational, there’s an ongoing and healthy debate between the Pre, Mid and Post – tribulation positions among premillennialists. However, all three positions are resolute premillennialists. This paper only addresses premillennialism.

ii Arnold T. Olson, This We Believe Third Edition (Minneapolis, Minnesota. Free Church Publications, 1993).

iii Cf., Nathaniel West, The Thousand Year Reign of Christ; The Classic Work on the Millennium (Grand Rapids, MI. Kregel, 1993), 419-427.

iv Cf., Dr. Tom McCall, The Olive Tree, Anti-Semitism and Bible Prophecy http://scofieldprophecystudies.org/Columnists/TM/article2.htm

v Shaded area is taken primarily from Slayden MacGregor, A Panoramic Study of God’s Plan (Faith Evangelical Free church, Spring Hill, Florida. 2007), 15-18.

vi History clearly accounts for this satanically motivated cosmic agenda to remove from the Promised Land, subjugate, persecute and even extinguish the Jewish people. Pharaoh (Ex. 1, 14), Balak (Nu. 22), Haman (Esther), Antiochus Epiphanes (Dan. 8, 11; 175-168 B.C.), Stalin (1879-1953) and Hitler (1889-1945) are easily recognizable for their anti-Semitism, but in fact there have only been brief intervals in history when the Jewish people were not persecuted. No other people group in history has suffered such a sustained onslaught of persecution as the Jews. (cf., http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/jewish/lazare-anti.html and http://www. simpletoremember.com/vitals/HistoryJewishPersecution.htm.) Today, the most obvious and virulent threat to the Jewish people is Islam. The Islamic religion has persecuted the Jews throughout its history; however, today, more than ever, anti-Semitism is manifested through Islamic thought and doctrine. There is an unprecedented hatred for the Jew and the Jewish state of Israel being spread across the globe through the broadening influence of Islam. Clear intentions of exterminating the Jewish race have been repeatedly made by recent Islamic extremists and hundreds of Muslim leaders, clerics and journalists.

How could there be such a variety of seemingly unrelated cultural and geopolitical forces over such a large expanse of history to remain consistently unified on one theme – to be rid of Jews? The only viable connection between these perpetrators of anti-Semitism is the satanically motivated agenda to foil God’s plan of restoring Israel to the land of Palestine and establishing a theocratic reign over all the nations of the earth in His Messianic Kingdom.

viiDr. Thomas Ice, A Brief History of Early Premillennialism, http://www.ldolphin.org/premillhist.html

viii Philip SchaffHistory of the Christian Church, Vol. 2 (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, Third printing – July 2006) 614 cf. 614-620.

ix West, Appendix 1: Extracts from Eminent [19th century] Authors 465-471.

x Cf., I Cor. 1:7; 15:23-24, 51-52; I Thes. 2:19; 3:13; 4:13-17; 5:2-3, 23; II Thes. 1:7-8; 2:1,8; I Tim. 6:14; II Tim. 4:10; Titus 2:13; Jas. 5:7; Jas. 5:8; I Pet. 1:5, 7, 13; 3:4, 12; 4:13; I Jn. 2:28; Jude 14; Rev. 1:7; 3:10.

xi A clear reference to the nation Israel makes up the context of Romans 9-11.