Historic Premillennialism – The (Almost) Dead Eschatology

Bad Eschatology – Part 11

We have finally reached the most Biblical eschatology that we can find. It has the most literal view. It doesn’t insert ideas into the Bible that are not there. It tries hard to not symbolize that which is not symbolic.

It is the least popular eschatology, precisely because it tries to be truthful. It doesn’t offer an easy way out of suffering. It doesn’t cry “onward, Christian soldier!” It doesn’t paint a rosy view of the future.

Unfortunately, modern Historic Premillennialists lost the plot, and killed off what was good about their view of the Last Days.

Why must we always do that?


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Historic Premillennialism – The (Almost) Dead Eschatology

Bad Eschatology – Part 11

I am getting more than a little sick of reading ‘scholarly’ articles by ‘esteemed’ theologians about why this or that philosophy of the Bible is the ‘best approach’. It’s as if they forgot that we’re talking about God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth. It’s as if we are free to redefine what God is telling us, that it’s ‘okay’ to make God more ‘reasonable’.

Do Bible ‘scholars’ have ANY self awareness?

Don’t they know that we will one day stand before the Author and face His judgment on our lives?

I am truly amazed at what ‘scholars’ have done to us. Every young man or woman sent to our ‘scholarly’ seminaries are deluged with one foolish idea after another, until they can barely read the Bible without the help of a library of commentaries.

When did we forget to submit ourselves to the Words of God in complete humility?

What happened to us?

Well, the answer is quite simple:


The same sin that caused Satan to fall, is the same that has destroyed our ability to see what the Bible actually says. Our ‘theologians’ love their ThD certificates that require you to bow before them. They love being invited to speak and having honors heaped upon them. And, it’s just like the Pharisees during the time of Jesus:

5 But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. 6 They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, 7 greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’

 – Matthew 23:5-7 (NKJV)

I’ve run into so much of this in our churches and on the Internet, that I am never surprised when I see it. In fact, it is so rare to see a truly humble man of God behind the pulpit, that every such experience is truly memorable.

Why has the humble pastor become so rare?

Because we don’t want humility.

We don’t want to hear a humble submission to the words of God. We want thunderous proclamations that scratch our itchy ears.

3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

 – 2 Timothy 4:3-4 (NKJV)

So, that’s what we’ve done. We hired pastors who would tell us stories that we want to hear – delicious fables that would scratch our itching ears. And that is why even the least popular eschatology – Historic Premillennialism – has corrupted itself.

So What Is Historic Premillennialism?

So, what is this other premillennial eschatology, and why do they call it ‘historic’?

Premillennialism is the group of beliefs that make the claim that Jesus will Return before the Millennium. It also teaches that the First Resurrection happens before the Millennium and that Satan is bound for a thousand years. Both Historic and Dispensational premillennialism agree on these points.

The difference is that Historic Premillennialism says that Christians will experience the Great Tribulation and will see the judgment that God rains down upon the ungodly. Only after all that, will there be the Resurrection of the Just (Luke 14:14) and the Rapture. And, it is called ‘historic’ because it was the eschatology of all Christians before Augustine stuck his foot in with his Amillennialism. After that, Premillennialists had to be very quiet about their eschatology or get burned at the stake.

Two Versions Of Historic Premillennialism

Unfortunately, this now-tiny group of Historic Premillennialists has now found itself further divided into two camps:

Those who see the Redemption of Israel before the Great Tribulation.

Those who shoot themselves in the foot.

And, I must tell you that I am deeply shocked that any Historic Premillennialist would toss Israel out of their eschatology. And, when I bring it up, they throw me out. Literally. I am unwelcome in their forums and unwelcome in their churches.

John Gill Defined Historic Premillennialism And Corrupted It

Part of the reason for why Historic Premils lost sight of Israel, is due to someone named John Gill. He was a Baptist pastor in England during the mid-1700s, who was also a prolific commenter on the Bible and the first to refute the Amillennialism of the Protestants and lay out a clear set of arguments for Premillennialism. Unfortunately, he dumped the Redemption of Israel into the tiny window of time called the Great Tribulation. That is not Biblical, but he obviously saw the terrible events that happen in Zechariah 13 and made the connection with the time of the Antichrist which would also be terrible.

Part of John Gill’s problem was the same mistake that I once made, thinking that the events of Zechariah 14 are directly connected to the previous two chapters – Zechariah 12 and 13. They aren’t. Not even a little, but you won’t be able to see all that until you’ve looked at the other prophecies of the Redemption of Israel to see the timeline. By the way, if you want to do that, my book When Gog Comes actually does that.

The other problem that John Gill had – and it’s a big one – was his love of Jewish commentaries on the Bible, called the Talmud. He even references the Zohar. You might not think that this is a big deal, but I’ve had a lot of experience with those who study Talmud, and it’s heresy from one end to the other. And with his mention of the Zohar, he didn’t just dip into the heretical but also the truly demonic.

Please, I’ll beg if I have to, but never look to Rabbinic Judaism for insight into the Bible. What truth Judaism had at the Fall of Jerusalem in AD 70, was completely twisted out of shape and destroyed by the Rabbis who wrote the Talmud, and then… the Zohar. The Rabbis tried to ‘save’ Judaism by changing it into something that could survive without a Temple and ‘protect’ the Jews from following Christ. John Gill chose a dark path when he consulted their writings.

Furthermore, Gill was writing down his thoughts during the 1700s. His whole view of the Last Days was wrapped around the events of his day, which is completely natural – since we do the same thing today. The problem lies with those of us who accept John Gill’s comments uncritically and promote them as truth to our congregations.

That is a giant mistake, one that we keep making.

John Gill had good intentions and might have been a good pastor. He certainly said some things that were correct, but that doesn’t change the fact that his ideas were seriously flawed – even corrupted.

Our job as Christians is to seek the literal truth of God’s Word, by looking only at the words of God and submitting to them through the Holy Spirit. If you want to see what I mean by the ‘literal truth’ of Last Days prophecies, you’ll need to go here:

When Gog Comes – Correcting The Timeline Of The Last Days

That effort was the result of my attempt to determine whether Historic Premillennialism was the correct way to look at Bible Prophecy. And, I chose the coming of Gog and Magog as the best, most clear, point to start my examination of what the prophets foretold about the days we seem to be entering. I wanted to be proven wrong, but found that the situation was even more dire than I had originally thought.

To be fair to John Gill and others, the Bible says that we would not understand the prophecies of the Last Days until they came upon us, so some mistakes are understandable. And, for all that I know, I might be completely mistaken myself. I certainly would be happy for that to be the case. Few things would thrill me more, than being proven wrong about what I wrote in that book. (And, if you think that I’m kidding, think again.)

Spurgeon – The Historic Premillennialist Who Got It Right

But, there is a better example to look at – Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

He has been revered for over a century, and his devotions are still in print. They call him the Prince of Preachers, but I doubt that very many of them know that he was a Historic Premillennialist who understood that Israel would become followers of Christ before the Great Tribulation began. He also knew that our ability to understand the Last Days was very limited, which is why he didn’t talk about it very much. But, what he did say was really astute.

According to a study of his writings and sermons, Spurgeon’s eschatology was as follows [emphasis mine]:

1. After Pentecost, the church will continue for an undetermined time working in the world to spread the gospel by the power of and under the sovereignty of God.

2. In the last days the spiritual condition of the gentile world will grow progressively worse, while Israel as a national and political entity will both return to their land and submit themselves to the Gospel of Christ.

3. As a result of the spiritual deterioration, true believers will be increasingly persecuted, led by the “antichrist system” which for Spurgeon was the Papal system of the Roman Catholic Church.

4. God will judge the unbelieving world and the Antichrist system with a period of tribulation. During this great tribulation the true church, God’s elect (Jews and Gentiles) will be supernaturally protected and demonstrate a miraculous joy.

5. The personal and visible return of Christ will bring an end to the tribulation, as well as the end of the Antichrist system. His return will apparently also culminate the process of world- wide evangelism. Unbelievers will be swept away, Satan and the demons bound and the dead saints in Christ resurrected. Those Christians living on earth both Jew and Gentile), protected during the great tribulation will prosper and reign with Christ during the millennial kingdom on earth. Christ will personally reign from the throne of David in Jerusalem and the Jews will enjoy the full blessings of God that the earlier generation at the time of Christ had forsaken.

6. At the end of the 1,000 years the time for judgment of the ungodly will arrive and the second resurrection of the unjust will occur. Satan and the demons as well as all unbelievers from all ages will be cast into the “lake of fire” for all eternity. The New Heavens and New Earth will be revealed and all believers will move into the eternal state of heaven.

Dennis Swanson Charles H. Spurgeon and Eschatology: Did He Have a Discernible Millennial Position?

Remember that Spurgeon died in 1892, long before there was much hope for a State of Israel. Yet, he knew that it would happen at some time in the future. And, he also knew that Israel would one day accept Christ as their Lord and Savior before the Antichrist arose.

Why is it that so few are willing to accept such a remarkably Biblical view of the Last Days?

They Cast Israel Out Of The First Resurrection

I am shocked at how unwilling we are to humble ourselves and submit to what the Bible actually says. Unfortunately, like all the other eschatologies, the vast majority of Modern Historic Premillennialists have failed to see where Israel fits in the Last Days. They think that Gog is the Antichrist and that the Battle of Gog and Magog happens at the Battle of Armageddon and that the salvation of Israel is… (waves hands) …for the Millennium. And that is just not possible.

I get it that the purpose of the Millennium is difficult to figure out. But, there are many things in the Bible that are hard to understand. Just because something is baffling, that doesn’t give you permission to play games with it.

If someone claims that the Redemption of Israel does not occur before the Great Tribulation, they are taking a knife to all the prophecies that foretell of Israel’s return to God. That means discarding a huge part of the Hebrew Scriptures.

Why would ANYONE do that?

Yet, they are doing that, and it’s completely maddening.

It’s as if we have decided to stone the prophets in absentia, for the crime of not conforming to our pet theories. That didn’t end well for the Jewish people 2000 years ago, and it won’t end well for us.

The prophets weren’t writing ‘apocalyptic literature’. They were warning us of a real cataclysm in an all to real future.

Historic Premillennialism Shot Itself In The Foot

So, I’m sad to say that modern Historic Premillennialism shot itself in the foot and is now aiming at its head. What they have now is Modernized Historic Premillennialism, since it is NOT what the early church believed. Instead of following the Bible, they decided that a more ‘scholarly’ approach was called for. And God despises ‘scholars’ who seek to extract meaning that isn’t there.

It’s as if we have thrown the Redemption of Israel onto the rubbish heap, claiming that Zion is an outcast – that no one should seek the peace of Jerusalem.

16 ‘Therefore all those who devour you shall be devoured; And all your adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; Those who plunder you shall become plunder, And all who prey upon you I will make a prey. 17 For I will restore health to you And heal you of your wounds,’ says the Lord, Because they called you an outcast saying: “This is Zion; No one seeks her.”

 – Jeremiah 30:16-17 (NKJV)

I am aghast at those who would claim that the nation of Israel has no place in the Body of Christ – that they will not receive Messiah in the way that the prophets decreed.

Why do we argue against what God clearly said, speaking to us through the Hebrew Scriptures and even the New Testament for thousands of years?

What insanity keeps us from seeing the proper place for Israel’s Return?

Not a single, modern eschatology has a clue about what God is doing with the Children of Jacob, and what He will do at Jerusalem.

This is a bitter state of affairs. We have gathered to ourselves false teachers because we wanted them to tell us fables that would scratch our itching ears. We chose ‘scholarship’ over the guidance of the Holy Spirit. And, we now find ourselves in the same place as the Pharisees, when Jesus said:

7 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:

8 ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. 9 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”

 – Matthew15:7-9 (NKJV)

And, since we have ignored what God has been telling us, we will be unprepared for the moment when God brings Jacob back to Himself in the biggest cataclysm since the Great Flood. I call that event, Ezekiel’s Fire, but you could just as easily call it Zechariah’s Horses or Isaiah’s Sun. But, it will NOT be the Great Tribulation, even though every city around the world will be destroyed and billions will die.

You can ignore prophecy, but you cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring prophecy.


I truly hope that you’ll be ready for this

A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.Proverbs 22:3


Keep this ministry alive with a donation.

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