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- Historic(Classic) Premillennialism

Why is our position on the timing of Christ’s return in relation to the millennium important? The reason is because our understanding of God’s plan of salvation drastically changes depending on the position we hold to. Is it a “salvation issue?” No, most things are not in my view. But our understanding and knowledge of God’s plan for the future being correct and biblical keeps us grounded and protects us from deception. There are 4 primary positions in which each have small variations within them. Historic Premillennialism is the position held here as the truth of scripture. The other 3 positions are not considered to have everything wrong in their teachings. They all have truths in them, but their ultimate conclusion is wrong. Dispensational Premillennialism, Amillennialism, and Postmillennialism are the other views we will discuss. 

Dispensational Premillennialism - Discover why it is false.

Postmillennialism - Discover why it is false.

Amillennialism - Discover why it is false.

Historic(Classic) Premillennialism - Discover why it is the truth of scripture.

The Gospel Of The Coming Kingdom Of God - What is the good news or Gospel that Jesus and the apostles taught. Was it about Jesus himself, or a coming kingdom?

God’s 7000 Year Plan Of Redemption - Is the earth really hundreds of millions and billions of years old? If not, how old is the earth and why does it matter?

The 1000 Year Reign, And The New Heavens And New Earth? - You will be shocked by the plethora of scripture that speaks of the afterlife. It's been in our bible's all this time, but sometimes our spiritual eyes need to be opened.

Why The Unending Debate?

The reason is simple, each person chooses to “die on a different hill.” When I say that, I don’t mean literally die on a literal hill. The “hill” is the topic of discussion. And to “die” in this figure of speech is choosing to stake your claim on a particular topic(hill). You are taking your stand and not budging. Everyone knows the saying and what it means to “pick your battles.” It means that not every battle is winnable, so save your time, attention, and energy toward the battles that are winnable. Let some things go, but take a stand on what you feel is important to ensure victory on those issues. With this in mind I believe it is important to be objective and unbiased when approaching scripture. Understand and be honest about the fact that MOST texts can be understood more than one way when taken in isolation. And context is often times debatable and not always absolute. This doesn’t mean that truth is relative, but instead it is acknowledging that many times our presuppositions determine our perspective and interpretation of a particular text. And this is ok as long as our presuppositions are correct. So we should focus heavily on our presuppositions right? This is important when it comes to these hotly debated topics. Eschatology is definitely one of those topics. There are many passionate advocates representing each of the positions. My approach with this topic is to first determine what “hills” are and are not worth “dying” on. I will show that most “hillls” are not worth “dying” on. And then I will show which “hills” I do believe are worth “dying” on. But let’s first address the “hills” that are NOT worth “dying” on.

Revelation 20

And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time. I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. Rev. 20:1-8

Revelation 20 is a pivotal text in this debate. It is important to remember that all views account for this text, however it is in a very different way. How we interpret the book of Revelation as a whole determines the presupposition we bring to this text. Revelation 17,18, and 19 reveal the destruction of mystery Babylon and the return of Christ. Then in chapter 20 the millennial reign is the next topic. Premil sees these chapters as chronological and therefore sees the natural reading to be that the return of Christ in chapter 19, precedes the millennial reign in chapter 20. The Postmil and Amil views however do not see these chapters as chronological. They see Revelation 20 as starting over back in the 1st century. While Premil can also share this parallel/layered understanding of Revelation, they do not agree that there should be any separation between those chapters and that they should continue chronologically.

One Or Two Resurrections?

All Premils will believe in 2 separate resurrections. The believers at the return of Christ and the unbelievers at the end of the millennium. But you will see that that is not the only possible way to read the following verses. We will naturally be biased toward this understanding because of the presupposition we have in Premil. And Amil and Postmil believe that both resurrections occur at the same time at Christ’s return. But again, it is not a necessary way to read the following verses. Therefore, while I do believe there is only one correct truth on this issue, I don’t think it is wise for either side to “die on this hill.”

...have a hope in God - a hope that they themselves also accept - that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous. Acts 24:15 (All parties acknowledge that everyone will experience a resurrection from the dead, both the righteous and the unrighteous. But is it a separate event or the same event?)

And many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. Dan 12:2 (This verse does not say that these resurrections occur at the same time. It simply says that both will occur.
 It is not necessary to read it either way. It is possible to understand it both ways.)

Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth - those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. John 5:28-29 (This verse is not saying that both resurrections occur at the same time. It is simply saying that the time is coming for both. It is not necessary to read it either way. It is possible to understand it both ways.)

They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. Rev. 20:4-6 (At first glance this appears to be an easy win for the Premils. The straightforward reading seems clear. But the alternative understanding for Amil and Postmil is addressed on this page under the headline “Revelation 20.”)

And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that I should lose nothing of all that He has given Me, but raise it up on the last day. This is indeed the will of My Father, that all who see the Son and believe in Him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day. No one can come to Me unless drawn by the Father who sent Me; and I will raise that person up on the last day. John 6:39-40;44 (Those that believe in a general resurrection will see this “last day” as being at Christ’s return. Premil’s will understand the “last day” as referencing the millennium as the last day. The righteous come to life at the beginning of the last day and the unrighteous at the end of the last day. The point is that it is possible to understand it both ways. And our presupposed eschatology will determine the way we interpret the text.)

But those who are considered worthy of a place in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. Luke 20:35 (Premil’s will say that since some are “considered worthy” of that resurrection, that means some are not and will be resurrected at a later time.)

and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Phil. 3:11 (Premil’s will say that since some “attain” this resurrection, that means other’s do not, but will be resurrected at a later time.)

For in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming. Then comes the end... 1 Cor. 15:22-24 (Both sides will understand this text differently. But again, your eschatological position will determine your understanding. And that is the point I’m making.)

For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 1 Thess. 4:16 (This can be read both ways as well. Just because the dead in Christ are raised first, that doesn’t mean the 2nd is immediately after or 1000 years after. It’s not necessary to read it either way. Again I’m not saying there are multiple truths, but multiple possible truths. This is just not the hill to die on.)

Is Satan Bound Today?

The claim made by Amil and Postmil believers is that the binding of Satan for a thousand years in Revelation 20 is the same binding of Satan spoken about in the 1st century. They make a seemingly sound argument for this with many verses to support it. But the key missing component to this argument, which prevents it from being a necessary reading of those verses, is that Satan can only be bound one time for all time. Satan can be bound in the 1st century and also bound in a Premil millennium. They readily admit that the binding of Satan is not a complete binding. In other words, it’s not like Satan can do nothing, he just is bound from deceiving the nations and from preventing the spread of the gospel. And so he can still somehow roam around like a lion looking to devour his prey, yet be limited. So if the binding is limited, it could also be understood that the 1st century binding was limited. It could be understood to be temporary, and separate from the later more complete binding of Satan in the millennium.

So again we have a situation where we have multiple ways it could be understood. No need to examine all the verses because none of them connect the 1st century binding of Satan to being the same one in Revelation 20. That is an assumption based on their presuppositions.

“Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can plunder his house. Matt. 12:29 (Amil and Postmils will use this verse to show that the binding of Satan in Rev. 20 occurred in the 1st century. But while that can be said to be a possible understanding, it is not a necessary understanding. Premil will say that Satan was partially bound but not completely as he is said to be in Rev. 20. The whole church age is a gradual binding, with a complete binding and sealing away at Christ’s return.)

Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” John 12:31-32 (Some translations will say “cast out” as if it’s a complete binding of Satan. But at Christ’s death, Christ will then gradually draw all men to himself. That is just the beginning point as Christ defeats the stranglehold Satan had on death. So the “driving out” is also a gradual process that begins as Christ draws all people to himself. So the driving out is not a single event. So it is not a necessary reading to understand this to be the binding of Satan in Rev. 20. Also, if the binding of Rev. 20 did occur at Christ’s death, then that prophecy would no longer be prophecy. It had already happened by the time John received his vision.)

Also, there are many more verses in the Bible that indicate that Satan has immense power in the world today. So Amil and Postmil believers will say that the binding of Satan is not a complete binding, despite the language used to indicate a complete sealing and imprisonment. Nevertheless, I’m not sure this is the “hill you want to die on” either. A biblical case can be made both ways. Most people will see the merit of their view as being stronger. But if we allow scripture to interpret scripture I think we can find a stronger case elsewhere to pick our battle and determine our eschatology.

Is The Kingdom Physical? Spiritual? Or Both?

It’s important to understand that all views believe that the kingdom of God is BOTH physical AND spiritual, which is correct. However, they understand this in different ways. It is NOT disputed by any position that the Bible teaches that there will be a physical kingdom on the earth. Amil sees the physical kingdom in the new earth rather than the millennium. Premil and Postmil see the physical kingdom in the millennial reign, except one sees it before the return of Christ, and they other sees it after the return of Christ. So all the verses that speak of Christ and the saints reigning on the earth, inheriting the earth, and so on, everyone is saying “amen.” Nobody is ignoring these verses and not accounting for them. They just understand them differently. 

Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. Acts 1:6-7