by Scott Christensen. I refer to Galatians 6:15-16, "Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation. The headings of the New Scofield Bible once again apply this prophecy to the restoration of Israel to its land during the millennium. If Paul had in mind possible later resurrections of believers (or a possible later resurrection of believers), should he not have written, "But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming some of those (or most of those) who belong to Christ"?We look next at I Thessalonians 3:12-13, "... May the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all men, as we do to you, so that he may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints (meta pantn tn hagin autou)." First, the term Israel. One can find a description of the millennium in this passage, however, only by deliberately overlooking what is said in verses 17 to 19. Thus, treating the ‘coming’ of Christ and the ‘end’ in 1 Corinthians 15:23—26 as events that are closely connected, or even conjoined, is in keeping with the ordinary pattern found in the New Testament. Robert G. Clouse, p. 39. Verses 2 and 3 picture the joyful participation of all nations in the worship of the one true God. Earlier it was shown, however,440 that no distinction should be made between a coming of Christ for his saints and a coming of Christ with his saints. Obviously, all those who are new creatures in Christ, for whom neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything. He admits that 1 Corinthians 15:23—26 confirms a premillennialist position only when this position has already been established from the clearer teaching of Revelation 20:1—6. I would suggest that the historic premil. Dispensationalists interpret these words as referring to the second phase of Christ's Second Coming, when Christ will return with his church. A. In Chapter 14 I quoted Charles Ryrie's statement that the earthly purpose of Israel will be fulfilled by Jews during the millennium as they live on the earth in unresurrected bodies.448 To the same effect is the following statement by J. Dwight Pentecost: The conclusion to this question would be that the Old Testament held forth a national hope, which will be realized fully in the millennial age. While popular, this doctrine holds some errors and this article will present the first in our series. 1:6—10). (See the book by a non-dispensational premillennialist professor of history, Dwight Wilson, Armageddon Now! First, we will consider what might be termed the ‘general analogy’ of the Scripture on the return of Christ at the end of the age. It would seem that the editors of this Bible, while compelled to admit that verse 17 describes the final new earth, restrict the meaning of verses 18-25 to a description of the millennium which is to precede the new earth. The passage speaks of a residence of Israel in the land which will last not just for a thousand years but forever.Dispensationalists reply that "this regathering of Israel and restoration to their own land will be permanent. For example, we learn from the New Testament that the wall of partition or hostility which formerly divided Jews and Gentiles has been permanently taken away by Christ (Eph. In fact, they may be fulfilled in a threefold way: literally, figuratively, or antitypically. The third clause I would render as does the NIV,420 "he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth." 191-92.451See J. F. Walvoord, The Revelation of Jesus Christ (Chicago: Moody, 1966), pp. Isaiah often mentions the fact that the salvation God will give to his people Israel in the future is also intended for Gentiles. The salvation of Gentiles, however, is described in this passage under the figure of their being grafted into the same olive tree into which Jews are being grafted. 4:8, 2 Tim. How can a church so described be thought of as a parenthesis in the purposes of God? We see, therefore, in these Old Testament prophecies inspiring anticipations of the glorious visions of Revelation 21 and 22. Though the word dispersion is often applied to Jews, it is evident from the contents of this epistle that Peter was writing to Christians in these provinces, many of whom, if not most of whom, were Gentiles.415 Peter is therefore addressing members of the New Testament church.When we now look carefully at I Peter 2:9, we notice that Peter is here applying to the New Testament church expressions which are used in the Old Testament to describe Israel. The Consequence of Premillennialism. The word "dispensation" comes from the idea “to dispense, that is, to measure out and appoint for.” Especially,… Two aspects of dispensational premillennialism have already been critically dealt with and will therefore not be taken up again: the two-phase Second Coming,407 and the dispensationalist understanding of the rapture of the church.408. But this is precisely the word used in the Pentateuchal description of the Old Testament sacrifices to indicate their propitiatory or expiatory purpose (see Lev. To view this article, please click on one of the following file formats: 6-16-08 – EIGHT problems with the rapture theory (PDF) 6-16-08 – EIGHT problems with the rapture theory (MS Word) Dispensationalists reply: look at verse 20, "No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an old man who does not fill out his days, for the child shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed." One of the most basic problems with premillennial teaching is that it perverts the promise that God made to Abraham. One of the problems in theology today is that many people who refer to dispensationalism do not adequately understand its roots, and therefore they dismiss it without giving it due … Problems for Premillennialism. The definition of a dispensation found in this Bible is as follows: "A period of time during which man is tested in respect to his obedience to some specific revelation of the will of God. In concert with the Calvinist impulse to view history theocentricly, I believe that dispensational premillennialism provides the most logical eschatological ending to God’s sovereign decrees for salvation and history. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord" (NIV). It is like turning the clock of history back to Old Testament times. The problems with dispensational premillennialism are too numerous to be satisfactorily dealt with here. There seems to be problems with all the main views. Question: "What is dispensationalism and is it biblical?" The common feature of all premillennial teaching is the claim that Christ’s return at the end of the age will take place before the period known as the millennium. Question: "What is dispensationalism and is it biblical?" When the Bible talks about Israel it does not mean the church, and when the Bible talks about the church it does not mean Israel. Though we will return to this passage and the subject of the rapture in the next section of this chapter, this communion with the Lord, as it is described in this passage, does not fit the conception of the millennium and Satan’s ‘little season’ which characterizes the premillennial view. How a once-mocked idea began its domination of the evangelical world. Premillennialism – Historic and Dispensational C.S. To the same effect are the following words from I Peter 1:10-11, "Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow" (NIV). The whole dispensational schema is based upon a division of the people of God into two peoples, a national people and a … . It is a commonly recognized rule of thumb for interpretation that the general analogy of Scripture has more weight in determining what the Bible may be said to teach than one or two passages that are somewhat more obscure or difficult to interpret. . But it has occurred, and it … 6:30; 8:15; 16:6, 11, 24, 30, 32, 33, 34; Num. Is it not far more likely that we have here another picture of the future which awaits all the people of God on the new earth?We turn now to Ezekiel 36:24, "For I will take you from the nations, and gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land." II. 100-102, 298.424For further elaboration of these thoughts, see Chapter 20.425It may be granted that there could be an additional fulfillment of this prophecy in the far-distant future. As we have just seen, all the prophecies quoted about the restoration of Israel to its land have been literally fulfilled, either in the return from Babylonian captivity under Zerubbabel and Joshua (in 536 B.C. The future of Israel is not to be seen in terms of a political kingdom in Palestine lasting a thousand years, but in terms of everlasting blessedness shared with all the people of God on a glorified new earth. None of the Church Fathers, the Reformers, the Puritans, or mainline denominations before the late … The problem with this dispensationalist answer, however, is that one must then, because of the demands of the dispensational scheme, disregard what the New Testament says about the removal of the wall of partition between Jews and Gentiles. . James, who was apparently presiding over the council, now goes on to say, "Brethren, listen to me. The Lamb, a descendant of Abraham, has ransomed a vast blood-bought throng from every tribe and nation on earth—this was God's purpose with Israel. In theology, a dispensation is the divine administration of a period of time; each dispensation is a divinely appointed age. As a matter of fact, however, the Old Testament says nothing about such a millennial reign. An elaborate description is given of the temple and its measurements, and of the various sacrifices which are to be offered at the temple: sin offerings, trespass offerings, burnt offerings, and peace offerings. 18-20, January 14, 1982 . Rather than teaching that the return of Christ will bring a provisional phase of God’s kingdom, the millennium, which itself will be surpassed in the final state of God’s eternal kingdom, the New Testament teaches that Christ’s return will introduce the final state of new heavens and a new earth (2 Pet. The Bible indicates that the land of Canaan was indeed a type of the everlasting inheritance of the people of God on the new earth. Though we expect to see that kingdom in the final state, and though our understanding of the future kingdom differs from theirs, we do agree that there will be such a future earthly kingdom. eita’) are found, they are used to express events in the closest temporal connection, without any protracted period of time intervening (Luke 8:12, Mark 4:17, John 20:27). It is therefore all the more significant that nothing of this alleged central purpose is mentioned in the only biblical passage which deals directly with Christ's millennial reign, Revelation 20:4-6.We conclude that dispensational premillennialism must be rejected as a system of biblical interpretation which is not in harmony with Scripture. In the premillennialist conception of the return of Christ, the resurrection of believing saints is commonly distinguished and separated in time — by at least one thousand years! All thought of a separate purpose for believing Jews is here excluded. “Problems with Premillennialism” by Sam Storms. . Think, for example, of the twelve, of the many women who followed him, of the many who were healed by him and came to believe on him in this way, of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus; of Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea. Progressive dispensationalists, in addition to viewing the dispensations as chronologically successive, also view the dispensations as progressive stages in salvation history. Dispensational premillennialism often assumes the opposite. the modern system of dispensationalism premillennialism with patristic premillennialism to see how similar the two brands of premillennialism were. In other words, the purpose of the millennium is to set up the earthly kingdom which was promised to David, in which Christ, David's seed, will rule from an earthly throne in Jerusalem over a converted Israelite nation.If this is to be the purpose of the millennium, is it not passing strange that Revelation 20:4-6 says not a word about the Jews, the nation of Israel, the land of Palestine, or Jerusalem? The New Testament makes quite clear that God has no such separate purpose for Israel.In the passage from Ephesians to which reference has just been made Paul clearly shows that the middle wall of partition between believing Gentiles and believing Jews has been broken down (Eph. The problems that dispensationalists have with Hebrews 8 is clear, is it not? An interpretation of these chapters which is in agreement with New Testament teaching, and which avoids the absurdity of positing the need for memorial animal sacrifices in the millennium, understands Ezekiel to be describing here the glorious future of the people of God in the age to come in terms which the Jews of that day would understand. The passage is therefore thought to be a description of the millennium. the problem with amillennialism and its close cousin, postmillennialism. Are Christian Ethics Merely Reflections of the Primitive Beliefs of the Ancient Greco-Roman World? 4:1). In chapter 49:6 God is reported as saying to his servant, here thought of as an individual, "It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations (or Gentiles, ASV), that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth." All interpreters, including dispensationalists, agree that this passage deals with the rapture of the church at the time of Christ's return. In the light of these passages one can understand the universal invitation found in Isaiah 45:22, "Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! In a previous article (Joel Richardson Issues Challenge to Hank Hanegraaff Over “Replacement Theology”) I dealt with some of the exegetical issues related to the charge that if a Christian does not follow the end-time prophetic scenario of dispensational premillennialism and some of its sister views, then that person is labeled a “supercessionist” who believes that the Church … Current Issue 3:6, 14; 6:11, 1 Pet. "450When, however, we read Revelation 20:4-6 in the way dispensationalists want us to read it, we find in the passage no reference whatever to people still living at the time the millennium begins or to people with "unresurrected bodies." The pervasive testimony of the New Testament conforms to the natural reading of the Apostles’ Creed when it describes the return of Christ ‘to judge the living and dead’. They will participate with Christ in certain judgments, and will descend from the New Jerusalem (which during the millennium will hover in the air above the earth) down to earth in order to engage in these judgments. First, it is not correct to give the impression that all the Jews of Jesus' day rejected the kingdom he offered them. The latter is the more important passage because without its teaching some premillennialists acknowledge that 1 Corinthians 15:23—26 would not obviously suggest a return of Christ before the millennium.1. How can this oneness of Jew and Gentile, which is an abiding result of Christ's death on the cross, be set aside in a dispensation yet to come?Dispensationalists often appeal to Romans 11 as teaching a separate future period of blessedness for Israel. 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