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It is written:
2 John 9-Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.
The doctrine of premillennialism is widespread in the current religious world. It is a doctrine which can be very dangerous in its’ implications. I want to share some of those with you today.
The word “premillennialism” literally means “before the thousand years..”. It has reference to the belief that Christ will return before starting a thousand year reign of a political kingdom in the world. It is based upon what John writes in Revelation 20:
Revelation 20:1-4-Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
What shall we make of these things?
First, the idea of premillennialism denies the period of the millennium. The Book of Revelation is a seres of seven visions that John experiences, each beginning with the First Coming, going through the Christian Age, and ending with the Second Coming. At the close of each vision, the next opens with the First Coming. We see this pattern continually throughout Revelation. With that in mind, look what happens at the end of chapter 19:
Revelation 19:11-21-Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. 17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, 18 that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.” 19 And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.
So the end of chapter 19 shows the Second Coming of Christ. Following the same pattern we see throughout Revelation, this means that the events of Revelation 20:1-4 take place now at the First Coming and Christian Age.
In other words, Revelation places the millennium as taking place during the Christian Age, not at the time of the Second Coming.
Premillennialism denies the period of the millennium.
Second, premillennialism denies the place of the millennium. Notice that Revelation 20 has the saints reigning in Hades, not on Earth! We know that they are in Hades because they are disembodied spirits. If these saints were on Earth, they would have resurrected bodies:
John 5:28-29-Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice. 29 and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.
The fact that these saints are still disembodied reminds us that this millennium has its’ primarily place as being in Hades. This is not a reigning that is taking place on Earth. It is John telling us and reassuring us that those who are in Hades are safe, no longer in danger from the powers of darkness and the sway of Satan.
Third, this reminds us again that premillennialism denies the people of the millennium. The millennium is not about every Christian: rather, it is for those Christians who have died during the First and Second Coming. This was especially relevant to the Christians here, since many of them in John’s time were being horribly killed by the Romans.
Fourth, premillennialism denies the plan of the millennium. Everything about this millennium in Revelation 20 revolves around Jesus and what He has accomplished. Indeed, we see throughout Revelation that the entire events of this Book are based upon what Jesus has accomplished. For example:
Revelation 1:11-saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”
Revelation 1:18-I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.
Revelation 3:14-And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:
Revelation 5:9-10-And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10 And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.”
Revelation 13:8-All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Jesus’ death is the only thing which makes our redemption possible. Yet premillennialism claims that the death of Jesus is not necessary for our redemption. Listen to the words of one well-known premillennialist:
“It can be said at once that His dying was not God’s own plan. It was a plan conceived somewhere else, and yielded to by God. God had a plan of atonement by which men who were willing could be saved from sin and its effects. That plan is given in the old Hebrew code. To the tabernacle, or temple, under prescribed regulations, a man could bring some live animal which he owned. The man brought that which was his own. It represented him. Through his labor the beast or bird was his. He had transferred some of his life and strength into it. He identified himself with it further by close touch at the time of its being offered. He offered up its life. In his act he acknowledged that his own life was forfeited. In continuing to live he acknowledged the continued life as belonging to God. He was to live as belonging to another. He made, in effect, the statement made long after by Paul: “I am offering up my life on this altar for my sin; nevertheless I am living: yet the life I live is no longer mine, but another’s. Mine has been taken away by sin.” There was no malice or evil feeling in the man’s act, but only penitence, and an earnest, noble purpose.” (S.D. (Samuel Dickey) Gordon, Quiet Talks About Jesus by S. D. (Samuel Dickey), 150-151 (Kindle Edition); Public Domain Book)
Friends, these are some of the reasons why premillennialism is a dangerous doctrine. It denies the period of the millennium, the place of the millennium, the people of the millennium, and the plan of the millennium.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.