Understanding The Bible
BY THE AUTHOR
Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
Edited by Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Premillennialism designates that teaching which maintains that Christ's second advent precedes, and is the basic factor in, the establishment of the predicted glorious 1000 year kingdom of righteousness and peace upon the earth. During that time Christ, with His saints, will exercise His kingly authority over the earth from Jerusalem (cp. Isa. 11:1-9; Jer. 23:5-6; Micah 3:8-4:5; Rev. 19:11-20:10). This view is based upon the literal, grammatical, historical method of interpretation of Scripture, which is the normal method of interpretation.
The word Premillennialism is derived from the Latin words (mille, thousand; annus, year) meaning a thousand years, to which the prefix pre- (from Latin, meaning before) and the suffix -ism (from Greek, denoting a_ doctrine) have been added. Therefore, the word designates the belief that Christ's second coming will precede the millennium or the 1000 years mentioned in Rev. 20:1-6. (In the early Church this view was called Chiliasm, based on the Greek word for thousand.)
Of course, the kingdom to be established by Christ will be an everlasting kingdom, for the millennium is just the first phase of that eternal kingdom. The word premillennial merely pinpoints the time of the predicted second coming of Christ to the earth as related to the establishment of that kingdom.
Postmillennialism is the teaching that Christ's second coming will be after (post-) the millennium has been established through the preaching of the gospel or through human ability, or after that kingdom has run its course of a thousand years. The keynote of postmillennialism is progress. According to post millenarians, the millennium is not ushered in by a cataclysmic coming of Christ, but through human endeavor, which includes but is not limited to the preaching of the gospel. This view is not widely held today.
Postmillennialism is based upon a figurative method of interpretation which is called spiritualization.
Amillennialism is a theological position which denies that Christ will reign personally upon the earth for a thousand years following His second coming. It views the present period between the two advents as the millennium and holds that Christ is now fulfilling His kingly office as He rules from heaven over the saints on earth. The binding of Satan (Rev. 20:1-3) is taken to mean that Christ through His work on the cross has broken the power of Satan over man. Amillennialists are not optimistic about man's ability to convert the world through the gospel. They believe that a period of tribulation will precede the second coming and that following His coming there will be a general resurrection and a general judgment which will conclude time and introduce the eternal state.
Amillennialism would be better described as non-millennialism. (The a at the beginning of the word is a Greek way of making it negative.) The position is also based upon a figurative method of interpretation.
|"Before the times of the ages" (ages of time)||"during the times of ages" (ages of time)||"NOW" in this present time|
|"Saved. . .called... given in Christ" 2 Tim. 1:9||"NOW made manifest by appearing of JX" 2 Tim. 1:10|
|"eternal life... promised" Titus 1:2||"in due time manifested. .. His word" Titus 1:3|
|"kept secret in times of the ages" Rom. 16:25||by "my gospel.. .NOW made manifest" Rom. 16:25-26 "NOW revealed"|
other generations not made known..." Eph. 3:3-11
"from the ages hid in God" Eph. 3:9
it is NOW revealed" Eph. 3:5
"NOW... might be known" Eph. 3:10
|"hid in generations and ages" Col. 1:26||"NOW made manifest' Col. 1:26|
This is not the case. Actually the only conditional covenant (the Mosaic) has no cut-off point brought about by human failure, for human failure took place even before Moses brought down the tables of stone from the mount, nor to mention (lie continual declension and ultimate apostasy of the northern and southern kingdoms. Calvary was God's appointed time for the cut-off of the Mosaic Covenant. Israelitish failure did not and could not bring the covenant to an end. God disclosed that the covenant was to be in force "until the Seed should come ... when the fullness of the time was come" (Gal. 3:19; 4:4).
Thus, again it is emphasized that the distinction between the conditional and unconditional covenant is the method of its institution by God, rather than the content of the covenant itself or its implementation in human experience.
200 Manor Avenue
Langhorne, PA 19047
United States of America
|"Mason's Notes" Study materials on this website are made available here free, through the generosity of Cairn University, and may be copied for use in Bible study groups, in limited numbers, providing that no charge is made for them. No further distribution or use of these materials is allowable under U.S. or International Copyright Law without the express permission of Cairn University.|