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2. An examination of Pre-millennialism.

Pre-millennialists, as their name indicates, are looking for their Redeemer to return before the Millennium begins, looking for Him to introduce and usher in the Millennium itself. To them a Millennium without Christ is unthinkable. From their cradles they have been taught to pray, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven,” and they cannot conceive of a Kingdom without a King. The Millennium is the time when men’s desire for a Golden Age will be realized, but that Golden Age cannot dawn until the Sun of righteousness arises with healing in His wings. The Millennium is the time when the sword shall be made into a plough-share and the spear into the prunning-hook, when for a thousand years there shall be no war, but earth-wide peace will only be made possible by the return and personal presence of the Prince of Peace.

Pre-millenialists believe that in the Millennium Christ will set up on the earth a visible, material Kingdom, that He will occupy the literal throne of David and reign from Jerusalem as the King of the Jews. They base their belief upon many plain declarations in Scripture to that effect. Isaiah predicted it—“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the Kings of the earth upon the earth. And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited. Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before His ancients gloriously.” Ezekiel foretold it—“And He said unto me, Son of man, the place of My throne, and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever, and My holy name, shall the House of Israel no more defile by their admonitions that they have committed” (Ezek. 43:7), while at the close of his prophecy he says of Jerusalem in the Millennium, “And the name of the city from that day shall be, The Lord is there.” Zephaniah heralded it—“Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. The Lord hath taken away thy judgments, He hath cast out thine enemy: the King of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of thee” (Zeph. 3:14–17). Zechariah announced it—“Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord. And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be My people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent Me unto thee. And the Lord shall inherit Judah His portion in the holy land and shall choose Jerusalem again” (Zech. 2:10–12, and see further 8:3, 23 and 14:16).

Pre-millenialists believe that the Messianic reign and Kingdom of the Lord Jesus are yet future. They believe that Christ Himself so taught. In the Parable of the Nobleman, He declared, “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for Himself a Kingdom," and to return. And it came to pass, that when He was returned, having received the kingdom, then He commanded these servants to be called unto Him, to whom He had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading” (Luke 19:12, 15). Here we learn that Christ’s return and His reception of the “Kingdom” are inseparably connected together. Not only do the Scriptures plainly refute the assertion that Christ is now reigning, but existing conditions cannot be made to square with this belief. How absurd it is to say that Christ is now reigning over the earth when His authority is despised and rejected by the whole of the unbelieving world! No Christ-rejector can be termed a follower of the Lamb, and if he is not a “follower” then he is not subject to the will and rule of the Lord Jesus, and if he is not subject to Christ, then in no sense is Christ his “King.” Moreover, the conditions which prevail upon earth to-day repudiate the idea that Christ is even now reigning over it. The scepter which the first man lost has never been restored, the “Curse” has not yet been removed, and Satan is still at large! But all these things will be changed when the Lord Jesus takes the government upon His shoulder and reigns in power and righteousness.

Pre-millennialists believe that it is God’s purpose in this Age to take out of the nations “a people for His name” (Acts 15:14). To effect this the Gospel has been given and the Holy Spirit has come down to this earth. As the Gospel is preached, as many as are ordained to eternal life believe (Acts 13:48), for though “many be called,” there are “but few chosen” (Matt. 20:16). God’s purpose in this dispensation is an Elective one, and let it be said with emphasis, God’s purpose has not failed, is not failing, will not fail—“Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure” (Is. 46:9, 10). The Gospel is not a failure, the Holy Spirit has not failed in His mission, it is theologians who have failed—failed to understand the purpose of God and to read aright His present programme.

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