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We want you to turn in your Bibles today to Revelation chapter 20. Let us begin reading in verse 1:

Revelation 20:1-10
1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. 7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

    What we are going to talk about today is the doctrine of premillennialism. The term millennium means one thousand years. We derive the doctrine from the scripture that we just read in Revelation 20. The words “one thousand” occurs six different times in the first seven verses of Revelation 20. Revelation 20 establishes at least 7 different doctrines. It first of all establishes the doctrine of a literal millennium. Revelation 20:2-3 establishes the fact that Satan will be bound for 1,000 years unlike now when he is going about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). Revelation 20:4  establishes the fact that the preferred method of execution for Christians during the tribulation will be beheading which is the favorite terrorist act of those peace loving Muslims and those friendly Catholics of the Devil’s Millennium. It also shows that the saints of God will sit in judgment with the Lord Jesus Christ and will rule and reign with him one-thousand years. Revelation 20:5 establishes the fact that there will be at least two resurrections and not a general resurrection.  Verses 5 and 6 also further explain the doctrine of the second death which we know to be eternal death in the Lake of Fire. In verses 7-9, we see earth’s final war. Verse 10 of this chapter adds further to the doctrine of eternal punishment. Let’s continue with our discussion of premillennialism.

    What we mean by the doctrine of premillennialism is that we believe that the Lord Jesus Christ will return in the air to take the saved folks out of this world to heaven BEFORE the Millennium starts. In fact, we believe in a pretribulational, premillennial return of the Lord Jesus Christ. While many refer to this event as the rapture of the church a more correct scriptural term is the catching away, or a catching up of the saints BEFORE the tribulation starts because according to 1 Thessalonians 5:9 the Lord Jesus Christ has not appointed his Bride to wrath. Part of the Bride is the church of the redeemed that is on this earth when the Lord Jesus Christ returns for his saints. We refer to this great event as the BLESSED HOPE. The Rapture is Christ coming for his saints. The Revelation is Christ coming with his saints.

    It is clear from Psalm 72, Isaiah 2:2-4, Isaiah 11:1-9, Isaiah 35:5-10, Jeremiah 23:5-8, and etc. that there will be a glorious, everlasting kingdom established by God on this earth. It is also clear from 2 Samuel:7:12-13, Isaiah 9:6-7, Zechariah 14:9, Luke 1:30-33 that the Messiah, or Christ the anointed one, will reign upon the earth. With the fact of a kingdom established and the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ will reign in that kingdom established the only thing remaining is to establish the order of the events leading up to that kingdom.  That is the purpose of todays discussion. A literal interpretation of scriptures will always lead to the conclusion that the Lord Jesus Christ will return before the Millenium. As we have already stated, Revelation chapter 20 identifies a literal one thousand year period FOLLOWING the return of the Lord Jesus Christ when the Lord Jesus Christ will rule and reign on this earth for one thousand years. Again, the phrase “one thousand” occurs six different times in Revelation 20. Premillennialism is demonstrated in the book of Daniel, in the book of Revelation, in the book of Zecahriah, in the Olivet Discourse in the book of Joel, in the book of Acts, and by the Abrahamic Covenants.

    The book of Daniel has a premillennial order. Of all the books in the Bible that support premillennialism, the book of Daniel is by far the clearest and strongest of these. In chapters 2, 7, and 9 it is very clear that prophetic events will unfold in a premillennial order. Turn in your Bibles to Daniel chapter 2 and let us read verses 31-45:

Daniel 2:31-45
31 Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. 32 This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, 33 His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. 34 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. 35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. 36 This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. 37 Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. 38 And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold. 39 And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. 40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. 41 And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. 43 And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. 44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. 45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.

    In verses 31-33 we see an image whose description  describes the progression of kingdoms from the time of Daniel until the establishment of the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and his Christ in verses 34-35. The period in the kingdoms of men is known as the times of the Gentiles from Luke 21:24. The kingdoms of men are followed by the eternal kingdom of our Lord and His Christ. The progression within the kingdoms of men from the time of Daniel’s prophecy has been, and will be, in the following order:

(1)  Babylon represented by the head of gold rises first (Daniel 2:32,38; Daniel 7:4)).

(2) Babylon is followed by the Medo-Persian kingdom represented by the arms and breast of silver (Daniel 2:32, 39; Daniel 5:31; Daniel 7:5; Daniel 8:3-4; Daniel 11.1-2).

(3) The Medes and Persians are followed by Greece represented by the belly and thighs of brass (Daniel 2:32, 39; Daniel 7:6; Daniel 8:5-8; Daniel 11:5-31).

(4) The Roman Empire  represented by the legs of iron follows the Grecian Empire (Daniel 2:33,40; Daniel 7:7).   

(5) Then, the revived Roman empire represented by the feet of iron and clay (Daniel 2:33, 41-43; Daniel 11:36-45).

(6) All these kingdoms of men will be followed by the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and then his everlasting kingdom (Daniel 2:34-35, 44-45; Daniel 7:9-14).

    Christ’s kingdom is symbolized by the stone cut out without hands becoming a mountain that fills the entire earth. All that being said, the foregoing discussion proves a premillenial order of events in the scriptures.

    The prophecy of Daniel Chapter 7 is also premillennial. Turn in your Bibles to Daniel 7:1-28

Daniel 7:1-28
1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters. 2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. 4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. 5 And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh. 6 After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it. 7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. 8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things. 9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. 10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. 11 I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. 12 As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. 13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. 15 I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. 16 I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. 17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. 18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. 19 Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; 20 And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. 21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; 22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. 23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. 24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. 25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. 26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. 27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. 28 Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.

    We see the times of the Gentiles outlined  in verses 3-7 followed by the rise of a despot who is the Antichrist in verses 8, 20, 24-26. The rise of the Antichrist is followed by a period of judgment given to the Son of Man through the ancient of Days in verses 10-12 which is followed by an everlasting kingdom in verses 13-14.

    The prophecy of Daniel Chapter 9 is also premillennial in order. Let us read Daniel 9:24-27:

Daniel 9:24-27
24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. 25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

    Note the order of events that take place in these verses. In verse 25, we see the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem. In verse 26, the Messiah (the Lord Jesus Christ) is cut off (crucified), followed by the destruction of the city of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and desolations upon the people. In verse 27, we see that the covenant is confirmed with the Antichrist prince that shall come. This covenant is referred to as the covenant with death and hell in Isaiah 28:18. The overspreading of abominations in verse 27 is the appearance of the abomination of desolation in the rebuilt temple referred to by the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14.  The abomination of desolation is the appearance of the Antichrist in the rebuilt temple claiming himself to be God as stated in 2 Thessalonians 2:4. The consummation in verse 27is a reference to Isaiah 10:22-23 where it promises a final and everlasting restoration of Israel to the land. These facts from Daniel 9:24-27 show a premillennial order also.   
    The book of Joel is also premillennial in its order. In chapter 2 we see the events of the judgments of the tribulation and the battles leading up to Armageddon. In chapter 3:1-14, we see the battle of Armageddon followed by the return of the Lord Jesus Christ in verses 15-16. Then in verses 17 through 21 we see the establishment of the millennial kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    The book of Zechariah also demonstrates a premillennial order. Chapters 10-11 picture a restoration of the Jews to the land of Israel. Chapter 12 shows a gathering of the nations in siege against  the city of Jerusalem followed by the wars of the tribulation in chapter 13. In Zechariah 14:1-5, we see the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ followed by the glorious millennial kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ in verses 6-11.

    The Olivet Discourse also presents a premillennial order of events leading up to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Olivet Discourse is the preaching that the Lord Jesus Christ done  on the Mount of Olives just prior to his crucifixion. This discourse is the subject of Matthew chapters 24 and 25, Mark 13, and Luke 21. Here, we will deal specifically with Matthew chapters 24 and 25. In Matthew 24:1-14, we see the events of the present age described followed by the rise of the Antichrist in Matthew 24:15. Matthew 24 verses 16-28 describe the events of the tribulation followed by the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 24:29-31. In Matthew 25:31-33 we see the judgment of the nations followed the establishment of the millennial kingdom in Matthew 25:34.

    Acts 15:13-18 also present a clear premillennial order. In verse 14, we see the salvation of the Gentiles followed by the return of the Lord Jesus Christ in verse 16 and the establishment of millennial worship in verses 16-17.

    The order of the book of Revelation is also premillennial. Chapters 1-3 cover the events that then were including the churches that then existed at Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. Some students of Bible prophecy believe that the seven churches in the book of Revelation present a prophetic picture of the history of the Christian church. At any rate, at the end of chapter 3, the church is taken out of this world into the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ and is not seen again until Revelation chapter 19. In chapters 6-18 we see the events of the tribulation take place followed by the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in Revelation chapter 19. In Revelation chapter 20, we see the millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ mentioned six times followed by the Great White Throne Judgment. In chapters 21 and 22, we see the heavenly eternal state. 

    While the Abrahamic covenants present a premillennial order of events, we will not deal with them here, but will instead deal with them in our sessions on the nation of Israel where we will give a broad overview of the Biblical history of the nation of Israel followed by a broad overview of her secular and modern history

    We will close our broad overview of the doctrine of premillennialism by making fourteen (14) different comparisons between premillennialism, postmillennialism, and amillennialism.

(1) Premillennialists  practice a literal method of interpreting Bible prophecy whereas the postmillennialists and amillennialists spiritualize the scriptures which leads to much confusion and inconsistencies in their interpretations.
(2) The theology of premillennialists is dispensational whereas the theology of the postmillennialists and amillennialists is associated with the old covenant (works) and the new covenant (grace). Most dispensationalists believe that God has, or will, deal with mankind through seven different dispensations.
(3) Premillennialists correctly believe that Israel is still God’s chosen people who will be restored at Christ’s second coming whereas postmillennialists and amillennialists wrongly believe that God has replaced Israel and its people with the church.
(4) Premillennialists believe that the woman of Revelation 12 is the nation of Israel while the postmillennialists and amillennialists believe the woman is some form of the church. The Roman Catholic Church wrongly believes that the woman is the Roman Catholic idol Mary.   
(5) Premillennialists and amillennialists believe that the events described in Revelation 19:11-21 are the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ whereas the postmillennialists believe that those events describe the victory of the gospel.
(6) Premillennialists, postmillennialists, and amillennialists all believe in a literal, visible, bodily, and personal return of the Lord Jesus Christ. Their disagreement is over the timing of his return.
(7) Premillennialists believe the Lord Jesus Christ will return before the millennium. Postmillennialists believe that He will return after the millennium. Amillennialists believe He will return at anytime.
(8) Premillennialists believe that Revelation 20 describes a literal millennial kingdom upon the earth followed by the final revolt of Satan and judgment. Postmillennialists believe that a kingdom age will be brought in by the church while amillennialists believe that the kingdom is the present “Church Age”.
(9) Premillennialists believe in a literal millennium while the amillennialists do not. Some postmillennialists believe in a literal millennium while others do not.
(10) Premillennialists believe that Christ’s millennial reign will be on the literal throne of David in a literal earthly Jerusalem. Postmillennialists believe that Christ is reigning now on David’s throne in heaven. Amillennialists believe that Christ is seated at the Father’s right hand in heaven. While that is true right now, it will not be true during the millennium. Further, all the Old Testament prophecies teach a literal earthly reign by the Messiah in a literal earthly Jerusalem. Revelation chapter 20 reveals the length of that earthly reign to be one-thousand years.
(11) Premillennialists believe Satan will be bound at the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ as is literally taught in Revelation 20:1-3. Postmillennialists and amillennialists teach that Satan was bound at the cross which is a direct contradiction of 1 Peter 5:8 which states:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8 was given by the Holy Ghost and penned long after the crucifixion. If you believe that Satan was bound at the cross you are not in touch with the reality of the vile wickedness that abounds throughout the world today.
(12) Premillennialists believe that the first resurrection occurs at the rapture. Postmillennialists believe that the first resurrection occurs at the second coming of Christ. While that is partially true, it falls far short of the whole counsel of God. More on that in a moment. Amillennialists believe that the first resurrection occurs at salvation. That confuses the spiritual regeneration with the physical resurrection. In the scriptures the resurrection always refers to the physical body and never to the soul and spirit. The soul never dies. In other words, the resurrection is the redemption of our bodies referred to in Romans 8:23. The Bible plainly teaches two different resurrections. The first resurrection is referred to as a resurrection unto eternal life. The second resurrection is a resurrection unto eternal death. The first resurrection is referred to as the resurrection unto everlasting life, the resurrection of life, the resurrection of the just, and the first resurrection. The second resurrection is referred to as the resurrection to everlasting contempt, the resurrection of damnation, the resurrection of the unjust, and the second resurrection. Scripturally these terms are found in Daniel 12:2, John 5:28-29, Acts 24:15, and Revelation 20.The first resurrection obviously has many stages starting with the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and some saints immediately following the crucifixion in Matthew 27:51-53. We also have the resurrection of the dead in Christ, commonly called the rapture, that takes place before the tribulation and is described  in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 1 Corinthians 15:51-58, Philippians 3:20-21, and Titus 2:13. We also have two other phases of the first resurrection described in the book of Revelation: one at the midpoint of the tribulation involving at least the two witnesses and one at the end of the tribulation involving the saints that were martyred during the tribulation.

(13) Premillennialists believe that the second resurrection takes place after the millennium as described in Revelation 20 while postmillennialists believe that the second resurrection takes place at the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
(14) Premillennialists believe that there will be three future judgments while postmillennialists and amillennialists believe in one general judgment at the second coming. Premillennialists believe that there will be a judgment seat of Christ to take place between the rapture of the saints and the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Judgment Seat of Christ is mentioned twice in the New Testament in Romans 14:10 and 2 Corinthians 5:10. The Judgment Seat of Christ is clearly identified with believers only. The Judgment Seat of Christ is a judgment for reward for works after salvation. The issue at the Judgment seat of Christ is not salvation, but rewards. Premillennialists believe in a Great White Throne Judgment for unbelievers only because Revelation 20:11-15 clearly identifies that judgment with unbelievers only because that judgment is based upon their works. The eternal destiny of those in Christ is never based upon their works, but is based upon the completed work and works of the Lord Jesus Christ only. Hallelujah! The issue at the Great White Throne Judgment is not salvation, but degrees of eternal punishment in the lake of fire for unbelievers. Bible believers will be at the Great White Throne judgment, but only as observers. We do know that according to 1 Corinthians 6:3 that believers will sit in judgment of angels. Premillennialists also believe in a separate judgment of the nations as described in Matthew 25:31-46.

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