Notes By Dr. Randy White:
Premillennialism in History
• Seldom has premillennialism received fair treatment among theologians, either in the past or the present.
• The complete evidence of history shows that premillennialism was the undisputed worldview among Christians and Jews until
the time of Augustine.
Premillennialism in the Old Testament
• The foundational information for premillennialism is found in the Old Testament, and a premillennial doctrine can be built
completely in the Old Testament.
• “The premillennial interpretation offers the only possible literal fulfillment for the hundreds of verses of prophetic testimony” (pg.
• The “two main routes of escape” for amillennarians:
• The literal interpretation of Scripture is wrong. The error of premillennialism is making the same mistake that the Jews
• The Kingdom promises of the Old Testament required faith and obedience. Since Israel failed, the promises will never be
• These are mutually exclusive arguments. One assumes the literal interpretation is right, the other assumes it is wrong.
Premillennialism in the New Testament
• The New Testament gives plenty of evidence that the promises of the Kingdom are literal.
• Gabriel’s announcement to Mary – Luke 1:32-33 “Did Mary for one moment hold the amillenarian view?” (Pg. 117).
• The teaching of Christ, in which He never “denied, corrected, or altered, but…instead confirmed” (pg. 117).
• The request of the mother of James and John was not denied on the grounds of a mistaken interpretation.
• The apostles were told they would sit on 12 thrones—the night of the betrayal.
• Acts 1:6, the apostles wanted to know the timing of the restoration of the Kingdom.
• The teachings of Paul: He says, “God forbid!” when asked if God could rescind His promises (Rom. 11:1).
• The confirmation by John: John 20 is the “calssic passage” on premillennialism (pg. 118).
• The absence of any hint of millennial controversy in the New Testament.
Premillennialism since the New Testament
• 1st Century: each of the “early church fathers” taught premillennialism, and “no less than fifteen advocates of premillennialism”
can be verified from 1st century extra-Biblical documents (pg. 119).
• 2nd Century: Undisputed, and found in writers like Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, and others. No opposition to
• 3rd Century: The historic decline began and the allegorizing method of Scripture interpretation began an almost total reign.
• From then till now:
• Roman Catholicism needs Amillennialism to continue its existence. It will collapse without it.
• The Reformation brought the renewal of personal study of Scripture that gave birth to modern premillennialism, but the
reformers themselves failed to recognize the amilllennial error.
Modern Premillennialism’s DNA
• Infallibility of Scripture
• Fundamentalists: Inerrancy of Scripture
• Literal interpretation of Scripture
• Belief in an orthodox gospel, opposition to legalism, emphasis on grace.
• Rarely part of ecclesiastical organizations.
• An emphasis on informal church services and exegetical preaching
• Prophetically oriented
Distinctive Premillennial Doctrine
• Doctrine of the present age
• There are no prospects of a “golden age” before the Second Coming.
• There are no commands to improve society.
• Evangelism and Bible teaching are the tasks of the Christian today.
• Doctrine of Israel
• Protestants have held three views:
• Calvin: the church is the true Israel. The nation of Israel is set aside permanently.
• William Hendriksen / Charles Hodge: Israel’s promises are to Israel, but only the part of Israel that comes into the church. Israel’s promises will be fulfilled in the present age.
• Both of the above views:
• Cancel some promises as conditional
• Spiritualize other promises
• Premillennialism: the prophecies to Israel are literal, unconditional, and future.
Premillennialism and the Church
• Three types millennial ecclesiology:
• Covenant theology:
• “Conceives the purpose of God as essentially soteriological, or concerned with the salvation of the elect” (pg.
• Every stage of God’s work is simply a progression of God’s work to fulfill the “covenant of redemption.”
• Israel merges into the church.
• Kingdom theology:
• The Kingdom includes the work of the church in this age and the millennium in the future.
• The emphasis is ”soteriological rather than governmental,” (222), thus the kingdom is internal over external.
• When you minimize the governmental character of the kingdom, you end up building a theology of
moralism that leads to liberalism (the social gospel).
• Dispensational theology:
• It sees at least three dispensations: Law, Grace, Kingdom.
• Believers of the present age are separated in duty from believers of previous and future ages.