The Absurdity of Premillennialism – H. Leo Boles

H. Leo Boles

The whole scheme of pre-millennialism is based upon the theory of a millennium. The doctrine of the “millennium” comes from two Latin words—mille, “thousand,” and annum, meaning “year.” The Greek equivalent for millennium is chiliasm.

Briefly stated, the theory of the millennium teaches that the fleshly and earthly, or sublunary, state of man is not terminated with the coming of Christ, but that a new order of things is to be set up at that time; that when Christ comes with His glorified saints, He will reign in person on a literal, material throne of David at Jerusalem for 1,000 years, over a world of men yet in the flesh, eating and drinking, planting and building, marrying and giving in marriage; and that this new order of affairs will continue exactly to a day for 1,000 years. Hence, millennialism is the belief that Christ will reign personally on the earth with His saints for 1,000 years over an earthly kingdom.

The millennial theory represents Christ as King in Jerusalem, who had begun His reign on earth in the Spirit, but will end it in the flesh on a literal throne. It is a significant fact that in all His teaching, Jesus did not speak of a millennium. Paul and the other apostles, guided by the Holy Spirit in their speaking and writing, did not mention it. No ancient prophet, speaking by the Holy Spirit, ever used any language that could be correctly interpreted as a “millennium.” Indeed, it is nowhere to be found in the Bible.

What Is Premillennialism?

Premillennialism is a theory based on the theory of the “millennium.” It is a theory based on another theory. The word simply means “before the millennium.” Those who believe that the second coming of Christ marks the beginning of the “theory of the millennium” are called premillennialists, while those who believe the second coming of Christ marks the close of the “theory of the millennium” are called postmillenialists. The difference between the pre and the post millennialists is a definite period of 1,000 years separated from the rest of human history by strictly definite boundaries, called “the millennium.”

The Bible does not teach anything about premillennialism. Christians who are guided by the New Testament are neither pre nor post millennialists. Neither are they millennialists in any sense of the word. Anyone who calls himself a premillennialist is taking a name that is not given in the New Testament and subscribing to a theory about which the New Testament says nothing.

The scheme of the premillennialists, as diagrammed by their own leaders, has periods of time known as “The Rapture,” “The tribulation,” and “The Revelation” (See W. E. Blackstone, Jesus Is Coming, pp. 48-50). By The Rapture, they mean the translation of the saints who, like Enoch, are caught up to meet Christ in the air. They define The Tribulation as the period of time between the saints being caught up in the air and their return to earth with Christ. The Tribulation comes between The Rapture and The Revelation. The Revelation is defined as the time when Christ and His saints shall return to the earth in flaming fire to execute judgment on the earth, and at the end of The Revelation begins the millennium.

It is strange that anyone would want to believe such a wild scheme of religious errors. But there are some who accept the theory without any investigation. These are curious and restless spirits who feed upon anything that has to do with the future. The bare statement of the theory carries to their minds something new, and they are ready to accept it without any proof.

There are others who are sincere in accepting this theory. But their sincerity cannot be taken as proof of the theory. Mohammedans and Jews are sincere in their worship, but their sincerity does not render their worship acceptable to God. Neither does it prove the truthfulness of their claims.

A Fatal Fallacy

There are many clumsy interpretations of prophecies and gross fallacies of premillennialism. Chief among these is the one that makes the kingdom of God an earthly kingdom. Every argument that premillenialists advance is based upon the assumption that the theory of the millennium is true. Therefore, before any premillennial argument can be logical or sound, those advancing them must first prove that the Bible teaches that Christ came to the earth to establish an earthly kingdom, because their theory presupposes an earthly kingdom. Their interpreters say that “the kingdom of heaven” and “the kingdom of God,” as used by Christ, means an earthly and temporal kingdom.

Jesus taught the very opposite of this theory. In Luke 22:24-30, He contrasted His reign with that of Gentile kings. He said the governments of the Gentiles are typical of all earthly governments, but that His reign in His kingdom is far different from theirs. He told Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence” (John 18:36). This should settle the matter. His kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. He never intended that it should be an earthly kingdom at any stage of its existence. Neither was it to be a temporal dynasty in any sense.

Again, Jesus said to His disciples just before leaving them, “I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me” (Luke 22:29). What is the kingdom which was appointed unto them? One thing is definite—it was not a kingdom of this world, though it was to be in this world. Jesus never spoke of having two kingdoms. The Holy Spirit nowhere guided any New Testament writer to speak of two kingdoms. He claimed to establish only one, and He has only one, but it is not an earthly kingdom.

By inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul denied the theory of premillennialism in Second Thessalonians 2:1-3. He says there, in brief, that he besought the Thessalonians not to quote him as ever implying anything of the kind, as ever saying anything of the kind, or as ever writing anything of that sort. He denies that by spirit, word or letter he had ever given any warrant to the advocates of this doctrine to quote him as endorsing it. He said that if anyone should say that this theory is the spirit or purport of his teaching, or if anyone should say that he sometimes preached it, or if anyone should say that the doctrine can be found in any of his letters, they should not believe it. “Let no man deceive you by any means,” he said.

Christ always rebuked His disciples for entertaining the idea that He would set up a temporal or worldly kingdom. We cannot allow any interpretation of prophetic symbols and language to contradict the plain and simple teaching of Christ. Every interpretation of prophecy must accord with the fundamental doctrine of the Gospel.

Premillenialists admit that Jesus came to establish a kingdom, but they deny that He did what He came to do. They teach that the Jews rejected Christ while He was here on earth, and that instead of establishing His kingdom, He established the church. Hence, they call the church the “spiritual contingent of the kingdom.” But all the work of the salvation of man from sin will be completed by the gospel before the return of Christ, according to the New Testament. Christ is now king and will reign until all His enemies are subdued (1 Cor. 15:24-28).

Other Fallacies

Premillennialism depends upon an unsound and illogical method of handling scripture. Those who advocate it give a literal interpretation to figurative, symbolic and poetical language. The advocates of this theory have the wrong conception of the kingdom. They deny that the kingdom of God is now present in the world, and affirm that it will not be inaugurated until Christ comes.

The premillennial theory is Judaistic in that it presses the literal interpretation of the scriptures to an extreme degree in order to bolster up the “theory of the millennium.” It is further Judaistic in its view of the kingdom as an earthly empire with its capital at Jerusalem, and a vast hierarchy of ecclesiastical and political government extending over the world.

Finally, this theory teaches that the Gospel as God’s power to save, the work of the Holy Spirit, and the church are not sufficient for the redemption of man, and that the earthly life of Christ, His crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection and ascension were all failures.

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Author: Editor

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