Undusting Postmillennialism – for Theological Readers

The below was written today by the proprietor for a friend with whom he was having a theological dialogue. It outlines the Classical Preterist view of Postmillennialism. Because it is a summary, there are many terms he leaves unpacked for those who desire to delve more into the topic. Postmillennialism draws from so many doctrinal points to reach its conclusions that it would be impossible here to explain each one in depth. . . .

Christ has covenanted with His people! He covenanted with the nation/state of Israel under the Old Covenant and with His church under the New Covenant. The old wineskins of apostate Israel could not contain the new wine of the church (Matt. 9:17). It would (and indeed has) burst forth to the Gentiles! What had to happen to the old wineskins of apostate Israel? They had to be cut down (Matt 3:9-10), for God raised up children for Himself from the dead stones of the Gentiles. Jesus warned Israel of this, “that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.” Matthew 23:35-36. Why? They had committed the unpardonable sin (something only that generation could commit) by denying the power of the Holy Ghost working through the Holy Son of God (Matt. 12:31-32). The kingdom was taken away from the wicked vinedressers of apostate Israel (Matt. 21:43). Judgement was coming upon that generation who denied their Lord. The destruction of apostate Israel would be so total as to knock down every stone of their temple (Matt. 24:2). “The ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (Matt. 24:15) was coming to destroy the apostate covenant people of God. The Gospel of Mark records this same “abomination of desolation” (Mark 13:14). Luke explains what it is: “but when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near.” Luke 21:20. Then, “let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her.” Luke 21:21. They were to flee, for the great tribulation was about to break forth upon apostate Israel, the rejected people of God. Those days were shortened for the sake of the elect (Matt. 24:22). It was to happen within the timespan of one generation (about 40 years as counted by the Jews), as Christ foretold: “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.” Matt. 24:34. “when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors!” Matt. 24:33. The judgement was coming swiftly upon dead Israel, rolling like a runaway freight train. Christ was “coming quickly” (Rev. 22:7). The judgements upon apostate Israel were “shortly to take place” (Rev. 1:1). Daniel was told, when he received the prophecy of the Messiah’s judgement upon the old covenant people, “shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” Dan. 12:4. In other words, the time was not yet at hand. Israel still had time to repent. John the Baptist is more urgent. He tells the people “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” Matt. 3:2, and the “ax is laid to the root of the trees.” Matt. 3:10. Apostate Israel was about to get the ax! However, they still had a little time. But, John in Revelation is told “Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand.” Rev. 22:10. In other words, it was time to release the judgments. The ax was beginning to swing. Like a baton race, the age of the Old Covenant and the age of the New Covenant were running side by side, the old passing the baton to the new before the conditions of the Old Covenant were exercised (the sanctions upon apostate Israel). The Testator (Christ) had died and risen, and in the Heavenly courts, He breaks the seals of the New Testament (Rev. 5-6), and in so doing unleashes the sanctions upon the old (by exercising the Old Testament sanctions upon those who broke its ethical stipulations).

The historicity of the Great Tribulation is verifiable under the reign of Nero (Side note: This means that John authored Revelation before 70AD, verifiable in most early church fathers’ writings – the modern belief that it was authored in the 90s AD comes from only one early father who was confused upon many other transcription errors and doubtless was confused upon the dating of Revelation, also). The temple of Jerusalem was vanquished in 70AD, crushed by the Roman armies (the Abomination of Desolation). Another parenthetical note: There was a brief time of about 24 hours when the Roman armies, who had been surrounding Jerusalem, withdrew because of rumored attacks elsewhere. This allowed those believing Jews/Gentiles within Jerusalem one last opportunity to “flee to the mountains” before the end of apostate Israel came. Nero, the beast of Revelation (for proof of that, I advise reading The Beast of Revelation by Gentry) persecuted the Christians for forty two months before his death, but the days of tribulation were shortened that the elect might bear it! The church was about to be born, and the birth pangs had come upon them (John 16:21).

All authority of the nations was transferred to Christ at His resurrection/ascension (Matt. 28:18; Rev. 11:15; Psalm 2:7-8). He is ruling the nations with “a rod of iron” (Psalm 2), and He is doing so through His church (Romans 16:20). In order to plunder the nations that formerly belonged to the evil one (the Gentiles lived in darkness in the time of the Old Covenant), Jesus had to first “bind the strongman” (Satan, Mat. 12:25-30). Satan is therefore bound (Rev. 20:1-3) so that the light can come to the Gentiles! Light has no fellowship with darkness, but the master of darkness was bound that the gospel might shine forth. This does not mean that Satan has no influence, for even a bound lion can still be a deadly one. But, his head has been crushed, and now, Christ is reigning. “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ” Rev. 11:15. It’s important to point out that at the time of Christ, there was a “change of kingdoms” from under the dominion of Satan to the dominion of Christ. (Side note: God was sovereign and active over the Gentile nations when they were under Satan’s rule, for Satan can do nothing without God’s permission. In fact, God used the Gentile nations to judge His people when they would fall into sin. However, it’s important to note that Christ was not directly ruling them, as they were “given” to Him upon His ascension. The nations lived in darkness until the time of Christ.) Throughout Old Testament literature, there are many examples of “the moon being turned to blood, the stars falling, the sun dying” (Isa. 13:10, Ezekiel 32:7, Joel 3:15, etc.). This is prophetic language and is always used in connotation with a change of kingdoms. In Matthew 24, when Christ says, “after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” (vs. 29), He is not stating that the sun would really die when Jerusalem was destroyed (the sun is still shining after Jerusalem’s destruction, after all), but He was linking the judgements He had prophesied about in the OT to the judgements about to fall upon apostate Israel as the kingdoms were changing. (As my dad says, “The church is policy; get behind it!”) 😉

Christ must reign at the right hand of the Father until His enemies are made His footstool (Ps. 110:1, the most quoted verse from the OT in the NT). As long as the nations are not subjected under the authority and light of the gospel, He shall reign through His church’s work, seated at the Father’s right hand. The gospel is going forth and will continue to spread until, “No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” Jeremiah 31:34. “For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, As the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14. There is no place in the sea that is not wet. The gospel will go forth and convert the Gentiles, for Christ is at the helm. His purpose shall stand. The curse is slowly being rolled back as light is brought to the dark corners of the globe. Christ’s saints are reigning with Him (Rev. 20:4-6; Rom. 16:20). The “millennium age of the church” (a figurative 1,000 years; same as in Ps. 50:10 the usage is figurative – God owns the cattle on hill 1,001, too) is progressing and will continue to progress until all the nations are converted by the gospel. This does not mean that every person in their heart shall be born again before Christ’s return; there will still be tares in the wheat (Matt. 13:24-30), but every nation will be a wheat field. There will no longer be fields ruled by tares, for the darkness cannot remain when the Light of the world is reigning. The nations will continue to fill with light until “No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; For the child shall die one hundred years old, But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed. . . . The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, The lion shall eat straw like the ox, And dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain”. Isaiah 65:20, 25) This period cannot be prophesying after Christ’s final return because there is still death and serpents (always used in conjunction with the evil one). Christ is slowly bringing creation back to Himself. It fled to the darkness under the First Adam, but under the Second Adam, it is being brought back to its Lord.

Once the nations are subdued, Revelation 20 tells us that Satan shall be released to make a final attempt at changing the hearts of the nations back to himself. He will fail in this task, for Christ shall then return and usher in the final judgement (called the Great White Throne judgement). This is when the dead will rise, the sheep separated from the goats, the unelect cast into eternal flame, and the elect brought to their lord forever and aye!

In summation, the above means that Revelation 1-19 deals with Christ’s judgement upon apostate Israel in the first century of the church (as well as the prophecies in Matt. 24 and the other quoted verses above). We are now inside of the “millennium” of Rev. 20, with Christ’s final return yet to come. The gospel is going forth and converting the nations, and Christ will be victorious through His church.

Comment with your own opinions!