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Maybe You are Premillennial but Don’t Know It

by Robert B. Boyd

Take a look at the following facts and you’ll discover-perhaps to your surprise that if you accept God’s Word exactly as He has given it to us, you are premillennial! To simply accept the facts, as stated in the 19th and 20th chapters of Revelation, is to accept the fact that the coming of Jesus is premillennial.

            These chapters-Rev. 19 and 20 contain a series of events that occur in logical order and sequence. If you believe that the events mentioned, or revealed, in the 19th chapter come before the events revealed in the 20th chapter, then you are premillennial; you therefore believe Jesus Christ is coming before the millennium, or the thousand years, spoken of in the 20th chapter of Revelation. Now, it takes no great scholarship, or theological training, nor any special brilliance to discover the fact that the events recorded in the 20th chapter of Revelation are simply the continuance of a train of events that are recorded in the 19th chapter. Therefore, to simply believe the Bible, speaking where the Bible speaks, and calling Bible things by Bible names…well, to do that is to be premillennial. The coming of Christ from heaven to the earth is depicted in Rev. 19. The thousand-year period is presented in Rev. 20. Therefore, if we “let God be found true;” if we speak scripturally, the coming of Christ precedes (comes before) the thousand years.  Another way of saying the same thing is to say Christ’s coming is premillennial.

DEFINING THE WORD

            Perhaps just here it would be well to define the word “premillennial.” Since it is a big word, and sometimes a tongue-twister, and not a word that is used in the vocabulary of the average individual, it has been easy, for those so inclined, to  make a “scare-crow” out of it, so that when it is spoken, it carries with it to the  minds of the unenlightened, all sorts of ridicules and unscriptural ideas. Therefore, if the word has been made, through misrepresentation, to sound like poison to you when it is spoken or when you see it in print, it may surprise you to know that that this big word has a very simple meaning.  Premillennial simply means BEFORE the millennium, that is, BEFORE the thousand years. “Pre” means “before;” “millennium” means “a thousand years,” just like the word “century” means “a hundred years.” So, when the word premillennial is used in connection with the return of Jesus, it simply means that Christ will return BEFORE the thousand years reign spoken of in the Bible. Now the purpose of this message is to simply point out that, instead of the premillennial position being speculative, it is merely the result of taking God at His Word! In other words, if you take God at His Word, you are premillennial. Furthermore, the language used to describe the coming of Christ (in Rev. 19) which precedes the millennium (Rev. 20), is not confusing nor difficulty of comprehension, as we shall soon see.

“THESE ARE THE TRUE WORDS OF GOD”

            With your Bible open to the 19th chapter of Revelation, you will notice in the very first verse that the scene is laid in heaven. Keep this in mind. Some scenes that John saw are on the earth, and some are in heaven. Early in the chapter, our attention is focused on a very important event, namely, “the marriage of the lamb.” In verse 7 we read these words: “For the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. Blessed are they that are bidden to the marriage supper the Lamb.” (v. 9) And then there’s a statement regarding the dependability, not only of the message, but of the very WORDS of the book. “These are the true words of God.” Evidently the Lord anticipated that men would turn away in unbelief from the WORDS of this book. And sad to say, such is the case represented. Well, here is the scene: Up in heaven the Lamb is getting married and celebrates with a marriage supper. “Let us rejoice and be exceeding glad and let us give glory unto him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.” Is there anything confusing about the language, or the words, here? Who is the Lamb? God’s Son, Jesus Christ, of course! In foretelling the suffering of Christ, Isaiah referred to him “as a lamb that is led to slaughter.” And John the Baptist pointed Him out as “the lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29.) Who is “his wife?”  Surely there is no difficulty at this point either. In Ephesians 5, beginning at verse 22, Paul suggests that the husband-wife relationship by Christ and His church. The wife who hath made herself ready is the Church. Therefore, we cannot escape the obvious conclusion that, at this point in the book of Revelation, the church is no longer on the earth, but up in heaven with Jesus Christ, and the time for the marriage and the marriage celebration has arrived. And it logically follows that, if at the 19th chapter of Revelation the church is in heaven, then that means the “catching up” sometimes referred to as “the rapture,” spoken of in I Thess. 4:13-18, has taken place previous to this heavenly scene.                                                    

“CAUGHT UP’

            Here’s what we read in 1 Thess. 4:16ff.: “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord,  Wherefore, comfort one another with these words.” Now, if the church is already up in heaven when we come to the 19th chapter of Revelation, with her Lord, that can mean but one thing: This “catching up” of 1 Thess. 4 has already taken place. He has already come FOR His saints. Obviously, the coming of Christ into the air FOR His saints necessarily precedes the coming of Christ to the earth WITH His saints (which Rev. 19 depicts the coming of Christ); and ALL of this precedes the events of Rev. 20. In other words, the coming of  Christ FOR His saints and the coming of  Christ WITH His saints, precedes the events of Rev. 20, in which chapter the thousand-year reign of Christ is revealed. Therefore, biblically speaking, the coming of Christ is premillennial.

THE EVENTS LISTED

            To make the matter perfectly clear, let’s simply look now at the events recorded in the 19th chapter of Rev., beginning with verse 11. Following the marriage of the Lamb, Jesus Christ is seen leaving heaven, and His destination is THE EARTH. Now, there can be no doubt that this One who descends from heaven to the earth is Jesus Christ. Notice the expressions used to describe Him. He is called “Faithful and True;” “arrayed in a garment sprinkled with blood;” “his name is the WORD OF GOD;” “There is on his thigh a name written, ‘King of kings and Lord of lords.’” (By the way, where is all this language that is supposed to be so difficult of comprehension?)  Now, one thing is sure. When Jesus leaves heaven to descend to the earth, His Bride will accompany Him. According to the Bible, once she is caught up to be with Him, she will never, no never, be separated from Him. “So, shall we ever be with the Lord.” (I Thess. 4:17.) And it is clearly stated in Rev. 19:14 that “the armies which are in heaven followed him.” Without a doubt, then, pictured in Rev. 1911-16 is the Lord Jesus Christ, with His bride, coming down out of heaven, “to smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of God, the Almighty.” (v. 15.) As we continue reading, we notice that the story unfolds quite simply and logically. All opposition to Him is subsequently and quickly dealt with, and at verse 19-21, we see what happens to the kings of the earth and their armies (who set themselves against Him. Ps. 2), and we see what happens to the Beast and the False Prophet. These last two are cast alive into the lake of fire.

            Now, coming to the 20th chapter, it is easy to see the train of events, which started in the preceding chapter, simply continues to a victorious end. With the Beast and the False Prophet out of the way (as well as the rebellious forces), next in order to be dealt with is Satan, as depicted in Rev. 20:1-3) According to these verses Satan is placed into an abyss, it is shut, sealed over him, and he is bound therein. Why? “To deceive the NATIONS no more, until a THOUSAND YEAR period (a millennium) has elapsed; “after this he must be loosed for a little time.” (v. 3.) Now in these verses we’ve been introduced to a specific time period which God calls a thousand years, or a millennium. Once again, we call your attention to an obvious fact. The coming of Christ preceded this; therefore, the coming of Christ is premillennial

            Continuing with the order of events, we come to Rev. 20:4, and learn of the purpose of Christ’s dealing in judgement with all the forces of evil prior to this. It is in order that Christ can reign as King of kings and Lord of lords, in glory, over the earth. And praise God, His saints, who are joint-heirs with Him (see Rom. 8:17), share in this glorious reign! “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgement was given unto them.” Seen here are those who came with Jesus from heaven, sharing with Him in judgment. (Why should we be surprised at this? See I Cor. 6:2 and Rev. 2:26, 27.) The fact that “judgement was given unto them” is obvious in view of the fact that when Jesus comes to reign, He brings His wife with Him, the one who is to be with the Lord! Next, in the same verse, the writer mentions others: “And I saw the souls of them that had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the Word of God (see Rev. 6:9); and such as worshipped not the beast, neither his image,  and received not the mark upon their forehead, and upon their hand; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. The rest of the dead lived not until the thousand years should be finished.” It is clear, therefore, that those spoken of in Rev, 20:4 are those spoken of as having part in “the first resurrection” and of these it is stated, “They shall reign with him a thousand years.” (v. 6.)

CONCLUSION

It would be profitable for us to continue reading on to the very end of the book of Revelation, but time does not permit. However, our purpose in this message is to simply point out that God’s Word clearly teaches that the coming of Jesus Christ precedes the millennium, and we believe our presentation has made this quite clear. Just believing the Bible, as it is written, speaking as the Bible speaks, calling Bible things by Bible designations, necessarily makes one premillennial in reference to the coming of Jesus Christ. To avoid this fact by saying, “Oh, but maybe God doesn’t mean a thousand years, even though He says it,” doesn’t change the fact that this is the term used by God and doesn’t change the fact that the coming of Christ does precede it. Surely, therefore, you cannot scripturally condemn or even criticize me for calling this period a thousand years, for in so doing I am speaking where the Bible speaks and calling Bible things by Bible names. The Bible name for this period of time is one thousand years, or a millennium. Christ clearly is revealed as coming BEFORE this period; hence the term that expresses the Bible meaning can be nothing more or less than PREMILLENNIAL. Without a doubt, Christ will come BEFORE this period of time which the Bible calls a thousand years.

 

         Robert B. Boyd was a preacher of the Gospel in various churches and was on the staff of Southeastern Christian College in Winchester, KY., as well as an International Bible preacher on the Radio




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Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

2 corinthians 1:3-4