“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

6.17 Dispensational Premillennialism False Teaching

You are in Beware the Wolves -> List of False Teachings

(i.e., Earthly Millennial Reign of Christ)

This false teaching views most New Testament “end-times” Bible prophecy (especially the book of Revelation) from a “futurist” perspective – meaning that fulfillment is still in our future. Christians today, in large part (especially in America), are almost completely ignorant of early church history and of the intense suffering and persecution unto death that the early Church suffered at the hands of Rome Pagan and Rome Papal. This ignorance is then preyed upon and serves as fertile ground for the “wolves” to plant sensationalistic futuristic seeds of Bible prophecy, which are further lapped up by “itching ears” who find it all emotionally exciting and titillating. This is how the false prophets capture the imagination.

This false teaching in particular claims that Christ will come to rule and reign on the earth again from Jerusalem in a rebuilt “Third Temple” (with resumed sacrifices!) for a literal “thousand years” (i.e., millennial) reign. They claim that the church age will have ended (the church will have been “raptured” off the earth, see the “Secret Rapture” false teaching) and that the nation of Israel will be restored with the Messiah (again, not necessarily Jesus!) ruling worldwide from Jerusalem with a restored Jewish temple (see the “Third Temple” false teaching) along with its priesthood, and that it will be a state of Jewish domination over all the world. They claim this millennial reign will start after some specific nationalistic, political “Antichrist” person has risen to worldwide power and control and torments the world in the “7-year great tribulation period” followed by the literal “Battle of Armageddon” on earth (yes, those are still yet three more false teachings!).

The proponents of this false teaching also argue violently among themselves about whether the “secret rapture” comes at the beginning of the supposed “7-year great tribulation” period (pre-tribulation), in the middle of it (mid-tribulation), before the wrath period (pre-wrath) and even after it (post-tribulation). These are all wrong – you simply have the blind arguing with the blind over who is more wrong than the other!

This false teaching is primarily based on Revelation 20:4, where a figurative phrase of “a thousand years” is interpreted literally when it is actually symbolic, representing a long period of time which is up to the discretion of God (i.e., this church age). The “wolves” who proclaim this false teaching wrongfully interpret that symbolic verse literally, despite there being many verses elsewhere in Scripture that contradict their teaching! Amazing, eh?

What Revelation 20 with its “thousand years” verse and also 2 Peter 3:8 is describing is symbolism, as if someone were making a wide sweeping gesture with their arms saying, “that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day” (i.e., it is just a long period of time, which isn’t exactly specified). Both verses are symbolic, not literal! In fact, please realize that nearly all numbers used in the book of Revelation are symbolic! Those verses were meant to give you a sense of the scale and magnitude of the time period on which the Lord operates. Remember, God lives outside of (beyond) time as we know it and that we shouldn’t judge God or place our own preconceived notions of time on Him about what is “long enough.” This is why Scripture also indicates that while we think the Lord is “tarrying” (2 Peter 3:9, Hebrews 10:37, Revelation 10:6, Revelation 6:10, etc.), He is, in fact, exactly right on time – His time, not ours. We are to be living each and every day as if we were expecting His return today (see Matthew 25, Romans 13:11-12, Hebrews 10:37, Revelation 3:11, Revelation 22:12, Revelation 22:20, etc.).

This particular false teaching/deception is enormously popular today, being widely taught, preached, published, and broadcast in absolutely deafening volume from nearly every single pulpit, radio or media station, book, internet site, so-called “Christian” movie, etc. – nonstop, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year, from both heathen (secular) and Christian sources! The fact that secular God-denying factions support this false teaching should tell you all you need to know about it.

I hope you noticed how this one false teaching is intimately tied together with a whole PLETHORA of other false teachings, all woven together into an intricate fabric/web of lies and deception. Yes, the “wolves” and “vipers” combine together bizarre and mind-bending distortions of clear and straightforward scripture verses in an effort to support their false teachings, which in actuality are nothing more than the schemes of man in disguise. As indicated previously, where you find one false teaching, you will surely find others with it.

Do not be such a gullible Christian to just go along with all of these false teachings, and this one is at the center of them all when it comes to matters of eschatology. In fact, it is the fulcrum. That’s why I suggested earlier that if you pick one false teaching to dig into first, this is the one – for when you untangle its web of lies, many other areas of Scripture suddenly become clear, and you can see the truth, and you also start to see the cults/sects/groups/churches which are the source of these lies.

The “wolves” and “vipers” who are espousing this false teaching claim that Christ will return to the earth a second time only to “rapture” the church (See the “Secret Rapture” false teaching), and then come back a third time to reign on earth from Jerusalem, with restored Israel as ruler over all nations, with a mixture of half-saved saints in eternal bodies living on earth along with unbelievers still in their fleshly, sinful bodies, and a whole jumbled up mess of other nonsense.

But I ask you, where in the Bible does it mention a third (or even fourth) coming of Christ? And most importantly, this false teaching shows a clear lack of understanding of Christ’s kingdom – which we are in right now! Yes, this very second, Christ is “seated at the right hand” of the Father in heaven, “ruling and reigning” in His Kingdom! The earthly millennialists deny this rule and reign. They are denying that their own Lord and King is ruling this very day; they do not even seem to understand the Kingdom of God and His Christ. What about Christ’s clear and explicit statement that “My kingdom is NOT of this world” (John 18:36) do they not understand? It is further written:

Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.” – Luke 17:20-21 [i.e., The Kingdom is among you, within each of you, for that is where Christ dwells, and it is also His Church.]

This earthly millennial reign false teaching also leads (or stems from) a distorted understanding of the meaning of Isaiah 11, in particular the verse: “the wolf will dwell with the lamb.” That verse does not mean that literal lamb and wolf animals will co-habitat a future renovated Earth during a literal 1000-year reign of Christ on Earth. Scripture often utilizes various animals to represent the different characters/natures of various types of men. The Isaiah verse speaks prophetically of how men who are lambs (Christians, followers of Jesus) will get along (through the power of the Gospel/Christ) with those who were formerly wolves (men who denied God, persecuted Christians, etc.) during the Kingdom of Christ, which is this age of grace, this church age we are in now. The apostle Paul was a great example of this prophecy: he was first a wolf devouring and persecuting the early church saints, but when converted to Christ, he became like a lamb and peacefully dwelt together with the apostles/disciples in the Kingdom of Christ. The power of Christ converted him from a “wolf” type of man to a “lamb” type of man.

Scripture also declares that the kingdom of heaven is not to be seen with visible signs and wonders, nor is it to be found among the nations of this world or the political agendas of man; the kingdom of God resides where Christ is – which is in heaven (where Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father ruling and reigning right now) and also inside each the heart of believer, where Christ is abiding (Luke 17:20-21, John 15:4, Ephesians 1:20-21, Colossians 3:1).

And while I do think that there will be those of differing “millennial” kingdom beliefs in heaven (i.e., I agree that having a correct understanding of this subject is not a condition for eternal salvation), I strongly disagree with those who say that it is just a minor matter.  First, this false teaching is disrespectful to Christ, for how someone can claim Christ as their King and not even know that He is ruling right now in His kingdom?

Secondly and much more importantly, while a correct understanding of this matter may not affect your eternal destiny, it can greatly affect the eternal destiny of others – especially those who don’t yet know Christ. Let me explain why. This false teaching is designed by Satan to mislead and deceive millions of souls by causing them to procrastinate in coming to know Christ – because the false teaching implies that there is “more time”! If you are not sharing the gospel message with your family, friends, loved ones, and co-workers because you are counting on them to finally “get serious about all this Jesus stuff” when they see you “raptured,” you are horribly deceived. At Jesus’ return, the great Day of Judgment will have arrived – there will not be “more time.”

At its core, this false teaching is a complete rejection of what He did at the cross when taken to its fullest extent, for this false teaching indicates a resumption of sacrifices in a “Third Temple.” As Wayne Jackson writes, it is a “system of infidelity.” [1] So, no matter whether you think it’s fundamental to the faith or not, you are teaching wrongly about it and greatly impacting others by leading them astray – possibly even to eternal death.

The truth is that we are currently in the “thousand year” reign of Christ today as He rules and reigns on His throne – with the“thousand years” being symbolic (not literal) of the church age. When Christ returns, it will be on the great Day of Judgment, not the start of some earthly reign. This (correct) interpretation of Revelation 20 is sometimes given the name “amillennialism” – although I do not use that term myself because it literally means that there is “no” millennial period. If you must give a name to the correct teaching, I prefer to use now-millennial, as we are right now this very day in the “thousand years” (symbolically speaking), which coincides with this church age and the age of grace. These are also called the “last days” in Scripture.

I’ll end with what Wayne Jackson has written: [2]

The premillennial concept is the result of literalizing a few symbolic verses in the book of Revelation, coupled with a considerable disregard for scores of Bible passages of clearest import. The word “premillennial” itself is derived of two components–“pre” signifies before, and “millennium” denotes a period of one thousand years. The theory thus suggests that Christ will return to the earth just prior to a one-thousand-year reign.

The premillennial theory is advanced in several different ways. It is, therefore, not an easy task to generalize regarding this system of doctrine. We will focus mainly on that branch of millennialism that is known as dispensational premillennialism. The following quotations are introduced to bring some of the main points into focus:

It is held that the Old Testament prophets predicted the re-establishment of David’s kingdom and that Christ himself intended to bring this about. It is alleged however, that because the Jews refused his person and work he postponed the establishment of his kingdom until the time of his return. Meanwhile, it is argued, the Lord gathered together “the church” as a kind of interim measure (Kevan 1999, 352). [3]

Generally, premillennialists believe that shortly before the second coming the world will be marked by extraordinary tribulation and evil and the appearance of the Anti-Christ. At his coming, Christ will destroy this anti-Christ and believers will be raised from the dead. There will then follow a millennium of peace and order over which Christ will reign with his saints. At the close of this time, Satan will be loosed and the forces of evil will once again be rampant. The wicked will then be raised, and a final judgment will take place in which Satan and all evil ones will be consigned to eternal punishment (Harvey 1964, 151). [4]

For centuries the Jews have been scattered among many nations. In preparation for the return of Christ and the beginning of the millennium, they are being gathered back to their own land, according to prophecy, in a national restoration. David’s throne will be re-established at Jerusalem, and through these restored people as a nucleus Christ will reign with his immortal saints over the whole world (Nichols n.d., 279). [5]

To summarize, the premillennial view asserts that Christ came to this earth for the purpose of setting up his kingdom. He was, however, surprisingly rejected by the Jews. Hence, he postponed the kingdom plans and set up the church instead—as sort of an emergency measure. When he returns, he allegedly will raise only the righteous dead, restore national Israel, sit upon David’s literal throne in Jerusalem, and then reign for a span of one thousand years—after which comes the resurrection of the wicked and the judgment.

One of the primary fallacies of the premillennial concept is a materialistic view of the reign of Christ. This same notion was entertained by the ancient Jews and actually was responsible for their rejection and crucifixion of the Messiah. The fact is, this mistaken Jewish expectation of a literal, material kingdom spawned the millennial doctrine that was taught in the early post-apostolic age. As one historian observed:

The idea of a millennial reign proceeded from Judaism, for among the Jews the representation was current, that the Messiah would reign a thousand years on earth, and then bring to a close the present terrestrial System. This calculation was arrived at, by a literal interpretation of Psalm 90:4, “A thousand years are in thy sight as one day.” It was further argued that as the World was created in six days, so it would last six thousand years, the seventh thousand would be a period of repose, a sabbath on Earth to be followed by the destruction of the World (Neander 1858, 248). [6]

The necessary implications of the premillennial doctrine are grave indeed. This teaching strikes treacherously at numerous facets of biblical truth.

I’ve pointed you towards truth herein; now you need to also take some steps towards it on your own. God will lead you into all truth, but you must want it. This false teaching is brought to you by those who scheme endlessly in the lustful pursuit to glorify man and political and nationalistic power and control, not God. I really hope you are starting to see the massive sea of lies and deceptions that you are being taught and fed to you, and maybe you also have believed? Wake up, fellow brother or sister in Christ! While I also used to believe many of these lies, I have woken up to the truth and come out of “Babylon”!

[1] Jackson, Wayne, Premillenialism, A System of Infidelity, Christian Courier Publications
[2] Jackson, Wayne. “Examining Premillennialism.” ChristianCourier.com. Access date: April 1, 2019. https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/examining-premillennialism
[3] Kevan, Ernest F. 1999. Wycliffe Dictionary of Theology. E. F. Harrison, G. W. Bromiley, C. F. Henry, eds. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson.
[4] Harvey, Van A. 1964. A Handbook of Theological Terms. New York, NY: Macmillan.
[5] Nichols, James A., Jr. n.d. Christian Doctrine—A Presentation of Biblical Theology. Nutley, NJ: Craig.
[6] Neander, Augustus. 1858. History of Christian Dogmas. Vol. 1. London, England: Bohn.

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Cite this article

Anderson, R. John. "6.17 Dispensational Premillennialism False Teaching." EachDay.org. Access date: July 15, 2024. https://eachday.org/part-vi-beware-the-wolves/6-17-dispensational-premillennialism/