Four Major Views of the Millennial Reign
Lecture 3: Premillennialism
Definition: Christ’s second coming occurs before (pre) his earthly MR.
How do they read Rev. 20:1-6? Earthly MR of risen believers with Christ (v.4). “Came to life” (v.4) and “come to life” (v.5) = Physical resurrection. However, the word in Greek is also found in Luke 15:24, 32 in reference to the spiritual rebirth of the Prodigal Son. We also find the word again in revelation referring to the counterfeit resurrection of the beast (Rev. 13:14). Again, this is where holding to a literal interpretation of every passage breaks down.
What Occurs At Christ’s Second Coming?
Second coming is a single event, but it occurs in two stages. Resurrection of dead believers with living believers are caught up to meet Christ in the air. Antichrist is defeated. Vast majority of Jews are saved.
Then the MR begins. Jesus with redeemed (resurrected and transformed) reign on earth for 1,000yrs over unbelieving nations. Sin and death still exist (Isa. 65:20), but evil is greatly restrained (Rev. 2:26-27; 12:5-6; 19:15). Near the end of the millennium, Satan is released for a final battle, the Battle of Gog and Magog. Fire from heaven will consume Satan’s army, and Satan will be cast into the “lake of fire.”
After the millennium, resurrection of believers > great white throne judgment. Then the final state will begin (NH & NE).
- Rev. 20:1-6 poses a few difficulties.
- Most premillennialists believe the MR includes resurrected believer + transformed living believers, but the latter group is never mentioned in the passage.
- Ladd argues “those who had not worshipped the beast” refers to living believers, but this creates two meanings for “came to life” (res and trans). It also creates problems for understanding “the rest of the dead” (v.5).
- 1 Cor. 15:23-24 no earthly MR (Ladd’s 3 stages: 1. Christ’s Resurrection (gap) 2. Christ’s return when believers are resurrected (gap) 3. Unbelievers are resurrected and Christ delivers the kingdom to the Father.)
- Paul never mentions the MR.
- No resurrection of unbelievers mentioned. No lengthy gap required.
- John 5:28-29 pictures resurrection of believers and unbelievers at the same time.
- How is the presence of sin and death compatible with the state of glory for Christ and those reigning with him?
- Believers presently enjoying sinless immediate state will regress back into a state of conflict?
- Christ’s reign in glory not a time of “qualified peace”.
- MR doesn’t fit present age or age to come.
- No mention of 3rd age.
- Isa. 65:17 indicates picture of NH & NE.
- Christ’s return ushers in the new age (Acts 3:19-21, no MR).
- Mt. 25:31, 46 throne of judgment, no MR.
- Christ’s return immediately followed by judgment (1 Cor. 4:5).
- 2 Pet. 3:10-13 Christ’s return > NH & NE.