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Presented by Dr. Randy White:  Based on Dr. Jon Walvoord’s book, “The Millennial Kingdom,” this session teaches the importance of premillennial theology.  Why is this so important as it relates to the rest of Theology?
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.

Joshua Toupos

Free Theology Center, Amos37 Ministries

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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. 114). • 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 made. • The Kingdom promises of the Old Testament required faith and obedience. Since Israel failed, the promises will never be fulfilled. • 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 premillennialism exists. • 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 • Evangelism • Belief in an orthodox gospel, opposition to legalism, emphasis on grace. • Independence • 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. 222). • 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.
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