The Lord is King! The Millennium

The Bible thoroughly excludes the possibility of a future millennium. It yields not even a hint to suggest that we should expect it but is brimming with proof that the whole concept is false. Until I began to research the Bible for the book, "Then Comes the End," I had no idea that the Scriptures fairly scream the message that premillennialism is a lie. This is significant, for dispensationalists admit that the doctrine of the pretrib rapture requires a future messianic millennial kingdom in order to stand and the millennial kingdom requires the pretrib rapture in order to exist. They are mutually interdependent. If one is not true, neither is the other. Here are five strong Biblical reasons why the dispensationalist concept of a future millennium is false. The book contains these, and twenty-five more, all thoroughly explained.

The Very Last Day

Jesus said repeatedly regarding everyone who comes to Him that He will raise him or her up on the "last day" (John 6:37-54). That means that the Last Day is when the body of Christ will be raised up. John's emphasis, especially in John 6:39-40, makes it clear that no one will be raised up either before or after the Last Day. These are the ones He saved by His shed blood, mediating a new covenant between them and the Father. For Jesus said, "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:54 NIV)

As long as one can still count days, we will not have reached the "last day." So the catching up of the saints must take place on the last day before eternity. It cannot happen before the great tribulation or the millennium. If the millennium is one thousand years long, then it continues for about 365,000 more days! So obviously there will not be a millennium after Jesus raises up His people.

Furthermore, Jesus identified the "last day" as the Day when He will judge the ungodly, so that day cannot be the day of a pretrib rapture. Jesus said, "There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day" (John 12:48 NIV). Consequently, the "last day" is both Resurrection Day and Judgment Day. That description perfectly matches the Second Advent of Jesus Christ. Since He will come to raise up the righteous and judge the wicked, no one will be left for a millennium. Only eternity comes after that.

The Age to Come

There will only be one more age after this one. Both Jesus and the apostle Paul referred to it in the singular as the "age to come." Jesus described it as the age where the righteous will be granted eternal life on the Day of Judgment (Mat 12:32; Mark 10:29-31; Luke 18:29-30). He did not have a one thousand year period or earthly "kingdom age" in mind. A millennium is too short for eternal life. Paul, in Ephesians 1:20-23, wrote about Christ who reigns over His heavenly kingdom at the right hand of God, far above all power, might, and dominion, both in this age and in the one to come.

…which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. (Eph 1:20-23 NIV)

In verses 22 and 23, Paul declared that the Church, which is Christ's body, is "the fullness of Him who fills everything." That makes the Church God's main event both in this age and in the next. This is confirmed by the statement, that God has "appointed him to be head over everything for the church." In other words, in this age and on through eternity, Christ will still reign over all things, including His Church, and He always directs everything for the benefit of the Church, which is His body and His Bride. The Church will ever be His dwelling place and the instrument for the fulfillment of His plans. There is no room left for national Israel to get even the smallest tidbit. This is the exact opposite of the dispensational concept of an earthly millennial kingdom over which Christ is head and the Church is dispatched elsewhere!

In Hebrews 6:5, it is clear that Christian believers tasting the "powers of the coming age" are not sampling an earthly millennium, for what they have tasted is "the heavenly gift" and what they have shared in is "the Holy Spirit" (Heb 6:4). The dispensational millennium would not be heavenly, and, unlike the members of the Church, her inhabitants would not be indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Thus the "coming age" bears no similarity to a messianic millennial kingdom.

Also, if there were such a future millennium, there would have to be two more ages. But only an age where "time shall be no more" can follow "the last days" because days are a means by which we reckon time. When the last of these last days has passed, there cannot be any more days. We must progress from time into eternity. Eternity, therefore, will characterize the "age to come." Only eternity is capable of encompassing an eternal kingdom and a new heaven and new earth. That is the environment that Jesus, Paul, and the writer to the Hebrews foresaw for all the redeemed of the Lord. (See Mat 12:32-37; Mark 10:29-31; Luke 18:29-30; 20:33-36; 22:69; Eph 1:20-23; 1 Tim 6:14-16,19; Titus 2:12-13; Heb 6:4-5; Rev 21:25.)

The Hopes of the Ages Are Fulfilled in the Church

In 1 Corinthians 10:11, Paul wrote, "These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come." The people Paul referred to as "us" were and are members of the Jewish-Gentile Christian Church. Paul taught that God intended the Old Testament accounts of Israel's trials in the wilderness to serve as examples for the Church. Furthermore, "the fulfillment of the ages has come" upon that same Church! What is being fulfilled? The Law and the Prophets! Right now, we can begin to experience the promises God made to the Jews so long ago! The fulfillment is realized through the redemption of every one of Jesus' followers. We behold it in the Church and revel in it as we contemplate our blessed hope and the eternal kingdom God has given. The "fulfillment of the ages" is ours to experience and enjoy. It means that the ultimate destiny and purpose of mankind is being played out in and through our lives and that we alone will inherit the eternal kingdom. We have been given great responsibility and hope as we anticipate the Lord's coming.

Contrast Paul's words with the following statement made by a prominent dispensationalist:

…dispensationalism not only sees the various dispensations as successive manifestations of God's purpose but also as progressive manifestations of it. The entire program culminates, not in eternity but in history, in the millennial kingdom of the Lord Christ. This millennial culmination is the climax of history and the great goal of God's program for the ages. -- Charles Ryrie in his book entitled, "Dispensationalism"

You and I must disagree with this unscriptural statement. We who are now experiencing "the fulfillment of the ages" look for history's climax when Christ returns for His Bride. But that Day can bring no blessing to national Israel. Jews must repent and believe in the Savior today. The Church has already become the main event; the focal point of God's eternal plan. God needs no Jewish millennium to fulfill His promises, and the apostle Paul decisively confirms this.

Everything Goes to the Bride

We read in Ephesians 5:25-27 that Christ so loved the Church that He gave Himself up for her so that he might present her to Himself, radiant, holy, and pure. The Church is His Bride, thus the two are eternally joined together in sacrifice and love. This self-emptying of Christ speaks of the incarnation and the cross by which we believers are saved. It demonstrates that the blood covenant is solely for the Bride. Christ's commitment to her is absolute and exclusive. She is His purpose, dedication, and focus, all of which point to His longing for the consummation at His return. The preparation of the Bride is God's design for world history. All human endeavors pale by comparison. Christ was never distracted by plans for an earthly Jewish kingdom. The Book of Revelation unfolds glorious detail concerning the Bride's eternal home with God. The Bride is the new Jerusalem (Rev 21:2,9-10; 22:17)! Yet the Book promises condemnation for all others (Rev 20:14-15; 21:7-8,27). From out of the entire human race, only the Bride will live forever with God! Her members are drawn from faithful Jews who believed before Christ appeared on earth, and from all those who later put their faith in the shed blood of Jesus (Heb 11:39-40; Rev 21:12-14). She is the "heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God…the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven" (Heb 12:2-23). The Bride will receive her reward when Christ comes, and there is no plan to save any other group of people, such as so-called millennial saints (Rev 22:7,12-17). If anyone is not included in the Bride when Jesus comes, then he is described by Revelation 22:15! Let everyone know the true purpose of Christ!

The Church Is the Restoration of the House of David

You may think that this to be a strong statement, yet the prophets foretold and the apostles declared that David's house would be renewed and restored in our own age through the work of Christ in His Church. Consider the following passage:

When they finished, James spoke up: "Brothers, listen to me. 14Simon has described to us how God at first showed his concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for himself. 15The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written: 16"'After this I will return and rebuild David's fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, 17that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things' 18that have been known for ages. 19"It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God." (Acts 15:13-19 NIV)

These words are part of the discussion that transpired at the Council of Jerusalem, where Paul, Barnabus, the apostles, and elders, and other believers responded to the claim that Gentiles must be circumcised and adhere to the customs taught by Moses in order to be saved. Thus the discussion is entirely concerned with the Church, and focuses on the converted Gentiles.

In this passage, James picked up on what Simon Peter just said to emphasize that God from ages past has always planned to call out "from the Gentiles a people for himself." By that time, many such Gentiles had been joined to the Church through faith in Christ.

Then James drove his argument home, declaring that the prophets agree. Quoting from Amos, he said, "After this I will return and rebuild David's fallen tent." James was still discussing the Church! He could only have meant that the Church is the restoration of the House of David! Christ has come "that the remnant of men may seek the Lord" (the "remnant" refers to the faithful Jews) "and all the Gentiles who bear my name" (that refers to all the Gentile Christians). The Lord knew of this plan and has been working on it for ages! Since David's house is now being restored, and will be perfected without spot or blemish in the age to come, there remains no reason to have a restored natural Israel or a millennial kingdom. (See also Luke 1:32; Acts 2:29-32; 13:34; Rev 3:7.)