Israeli Flag

"I will take the sons of Israel out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land." Ezekiel 37:21

Historic Premillennialism

The Locus Classicus:

"They came to life and reigned with Christ for
a thousand years."
Revelation 20:4

Wolf and Lamb

"And the wolf will dwell with the lamb." Isaiah 11:6

"They will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled." Luke 21:24

Shortly before his crucifixion, Jesus in his Olivet discourse predicted the destruction of both the temple and Jerusalem. It was fulfilled about 40 years later by the Romans in A.D. 70. But then Jesus added another remarkable prediction: from that point on, "Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled." In 1948 Israel was reestablished as a nation in her ancestral land promised to them by God as "an everlasting possession" (Gen. 17:8). During the Six Day War of 1967, Israel captured Jerusalem. For the first time since A.D. 70, Jerusalem was no longer under Gentile control. It is now the capital of the State of Israel. What follows the restoration of Jewish control of Jerusalem according to the Olivet discourse? The cosmic signs that portend the second advent of Jesus.

With the eyes of the world on Israel and the Near East, eschatology, and in particular millennialism, should today be the most important branch of theology. We take a rather polemic approach here, more so than on other topics discussed on this Web site. That is because of the importance we attach to these issues. We hope you find these papers helpful. Note: some of the papers below are written by dispensationalists, and their commitment to a pretribulational rapture is at times apparent. We do not believe that this detracts from the value of the articles as a whole.

Author

Title

Nature of Our Reprint

Kenneth J. Morgan

"A Comparison of the Three Millennial Views"

Original paper. Each view is defined, and a list of signs or events preceding the second advent according to each view are given. The paper closes with a summary of the central role played by Israel, the apple of God's eye and the nation written on the palms of his hands.

Horatius Bonar

Prophetical Landmarks: Containing Data for Helping to Determine the Question of Christ's Pre-Millennial Advent

This is one of the best books on prophecy ever written. Not only does it give a singularly strong defense of premillennialism, but it also argues forcefully for the future of ethnic, national Israel as set forth in the covenants God made with her and in her prophets. In fifteen chapters, Dr. Bonar has dealth with virtually every aspect of premillennialism.

We have posted the entire book. Clicking its title here takes you to the Horatius Bonar page, where three sermons by Dr. Bonar from another book are also posted.

The bibliographic source for Prophetic Landmarks is as follows:

Horatius Bonar, Prophetical Landmarks: Containing Data for Helping to Determine the Question of Christ's Pre-Millennial Advent (London: James Nisbet & Co., 1847).

Alan Johnson

"A Brief Summary of the History of Millennialism"

This excellent and succinct summary of the history of premillennialism is taken from Dr. Johnson's commentary on the Book of Revelation. He writes,

We may note that the ancient church down to the time of Augustine (354-430) (though not without minor exceptions) unquestionably held to the teaching of an earthly, historical reign of peace that was to follow the defeat of Antichrist and the physical resurrection of the saints but precede both the judgment and the new creation. . .To be sure, in the ancient church there were various positions as to the material nature of the Millennium. . .but the true conception of the thousand years was a balance between the worldly aspects of the kingdom and its spiritual aspects as a reign with Christ.

Johnson then discusses in some depth how Augustine effected a major shift in the thinking of the church: amillennialism becomes the official view. From the Reformation to the present day, the eschatological landscape becomes considerably more complicated.

The bibliographic source is as follows:

Alan Johnson, Revelation, in The Expositor's Bible Commentary, 12 vols., gen. ed. Frank E. Gaebelein (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984), XII:578-581.

J. C. Ryle

"Scattered Israel to Be Regathered"

Sermon 5 from his book, Coming Events and Present Duties: Being Miscellaneous Sermons on Prophetical Subjects (1867).

Note: this link takes you to our sister Web site, MessiahStudies.org.

The entire book can be found on this Web site here.

John F. Walvoord

"Israel's Restoration"

Journal article from Bibliotheca Sacra 102 (Oct-Dec 1945):405-416.

Romans 11:25-27 reads:

For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation--that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, "THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB." "THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS."

"All Israel will be saved." Simple, right? Not if you're an amillenarian. Then this is a very difficult passage. In his article Dr. Walvoord argues for the natural, contextual interpretation of this passage and shows how untenable are the attempts to avoid this conclusion within amillennial and replacement theology circles. He also discusses when this restoration will occur.

D. D. Buck

The Future of Ethnic, National Israel According to Romans 11

Pages 372-377 of An Original Harmony and Exposition of the Twenty-Fourth Chapter of Matthew and the Parallel Passages in Mark and Luke by Rev. D. D. Buck (Auburn: Derby & Miller, 1853).

Rev. Buck gives an excellent analysis of Romans 11, which he argues presents a clear case for the future conversion and full restoration of ethnic, national Israel.

Mitch and Zhava Glaser

The Future of Sukkot--The Feast of Booths or Tabernacles--for both Israel and Gentiles

This entry is Chapter 17, "Tabernacles Tomorrow," in The Fall Feasts of Israel (Moody Press, 1987), by Mitch Glaser and his wife Zhava. It is a fascinating little study of how the Feast of Booths (Sukkot is the Hebrew name) will be celebrated in the Messianic Kingdom by both Israel and the Gentiles. Special attention is given to Zechariah 14:16:

Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, Yahweh of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths.

S. P. Tregelles

The Hope of Christ's Second Coming

Entire book. One of the early (1864) scholarly refutations of the new "secret rapture" theory, today called the "pretribulational rapture." We do not know when the Great Tribulation will begin, but if you think you are not going to face its horrors, should it begin soon, you might consider reading this book.

John J. Scruby

The Great Tribulation: The Church's Supreme Test

Entire book. Another classic work (1933) you might consider reading if you accept the view of a pretribulational rapture.

Edmund Shackleton

Will the Church Escape the Great Tribulation?

Entire book. A hard-to-find critique of the pre-tribulation rapture you will enjoy.

Merrill C. Tenney

"The Importance and Exegesis of Revelation 20:1-8"

Journal article from Bibliotheca Sacra 111 (April 1954):137-148. A defense of premillennialism.

Jack S. Deere

"Premillennialism in Revelation 20:4-6"

Journal article from Bibliotheca Sacra 135 (Jan-Mar 1978):58-73. A somewhat more technical and detailed defense of premillennialism than Tenney's.

Robert D. Culver

Daniel and the Latter Days

Entire book (1954). The four sections, "Basic Definitions," "Specific Reference," "Further Qualifications," and "Related Events" give perhaps the best description and defense of premillennialism in print.

Alva J. McClain

"A Premillennial Philosophy of History"

Chapter 28 of The Greatness of the Kingdom (1959).

John F. Walvoord

"Amillennialism from Augustine to Modern Times"

Journal article from Bibliotheca Sacra 106 (Oct-Dec 1949):420-431. An excellent paper tracing the history of amillennialism and describing its character and hermeneutical principles.

John F. Walvoord

"Amillennial Ecclesiology"

Journal article from Bibliotheca Sacra 107 (Jan-Mar 1950):420-429. This paper examines the influence of amillennialism on ecclesiology, or the doctrine of the church. It was essentially in tandem with amillennialism that replacement theology first infected the church.

John F. Walvoord

"Postmillennialism"

Journal article from Bibliotheca Sacra 106 (Apr-Jun 1949):149-168. In this paper Dr. Walvoord describes the various forms postmillennialism has taken as well as the principle arguments against it.


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