Chapter 3: The Pessimistic Millennial Views

Kenneth L Gentry

Narrated By: Aidan McGuire
Book: He Shall Have Dominion
Topics: ,


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Chapter Text

Therefore, when they had come together; they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6)

The discussion of cosmic eschatology necessarily involves the entire sweep of history, including the spiritual forces that impel the forward movement of history toward its God-predestined consummation. It also includes the complex series of events associated with the end of history. There is one aspect of the popular debate, however, that has risen to dominance. This is the idea of the millennium, which has been called “one of the most controversial and intriguing questions of eschatology.”[1]

The Millennial Idea

The word “millennium” is derived from the Latin, being a combination of mille (thousand) and annus (year). This theological term, employed as early as 1638 by Cambridge scholar Joseph Mede,[2] is ultimately based on the reference to the “thousand years” of Christ’s reign in Revelation 20:2-7. The Greek-based derivation is chiliad, from the Greek “thousand” (chilias). “Millennialism” and “chiliasm” etymologically have the same connotation and are used interchangeably in eschatological discussion, although the term “millennialism” is far more common today.

Though common in modern discussion and debate, the reference to a thousand-year millennium as associated with the divine kingdom in history is rare in Scripture. In fact, it is found only in the first few verses of one chapter in all of Scripture. Oftentimes it seems the eschatological debate is somewhat hampered due to the inordinate influence of Revelation 20.[3] Princeton Seminary’s postmillennial theologian Benjamin B. Warfield commented on this as long ago as 1915: “The term ‘Millennium’ has entered Christian speech under the influence of the twentieth chapter of the book of Revelation. From that passage, imperfectly understood, there has also been derived the idea which is connected with this term…. ‘Pre-millennial,’ ‘post-millennial’ are therefore unfortunate terms, embodying, and so perpetuating, a misapprehension of the bearing of an important passage of Scripture.”[4] Hoekema notes that “the Book of Revelation speaks of certain individuals who are said to live and reign with Christ a thousand years (chap. 20:4). Divergent interpretations of this passage have led to the formation of at least four major views about the nature of the millennium or the millennial reign here described.”[5]

It is often the case that premillennial theologians and dispensational theologians are more enamored with Revelation 20 than are others.[6] Writing of some of the great non-premillennial Christian theologians of this century, dispensationalist L. S. Chafer derides such exegetes because of their view of Revelation 20: “Their abandonment of reason and sound interpretation has but one objective in mind, namely, to place chiloi (‘thousand’) years – six times repeated in Revelation, chapter 20 – back into the past and therefore something no longer to be anticipated in the future. The violence which this interpretation imposes upon the whole prophetic revelation is such that none would propose it except those who, for lack of attention, seem not to realize what they do…. In sheer fantastical imagination this method surpasses Russellism, Eddyism, and Seventh Day Adventism….” He speaks of “antimillennialism” as a “strange theory, the origin of which is traced to the Romish notion that the church is the kingdom.”[7]

In a calmer tone, historic premillennialist Ladd admits: “We must recognize frankly that in all the verses cited thus far it would seem that the eschatological Kingdom will be inaugurated by a single complex event, consisting of the Day of the Lord, the coming of the Son of Man, the resurrection of the dead, and the final judgment. However, in the one book which is entirely devoted to this subject, the Revelation of John, this time scheme is modified…. The theology that is built on this passage is millennialism or chiliasm…. This is the most natural interpretation of the [Rev. 20] passage, and it is the view of the present author. One thing must be granted: this is the only place in Scripture which teaches a thousand-year reign of Christ.”[8]

The Standard Millennial Positions

In developing a systematic eschatology, the standard evangelical viewpoints have tended to be sorted out along millennial lines. The term “millennium” is used in association with prefixes that tend to modify the Second Coming of Christ as to its relation to the millennium: amillennial, premillennial, and post-millennia!. The privative a in “amillennialism” emphasizes that there will be no earthly millennial kingdom as such.[9] The prefix pre indicates that system of eschatology that expects there to be a literal earthly millennial kingdom that will be introduced by the Return of Christ before (pre) it. The prefix post points to the view of the millennium that holds there will be a lengthy (though not a literal thousand years) earthly era of righteous influence for the kingdom that will be concluded by the Return of Christ. Puritan era postmillennialism tended to expect a literal thousand-year millennium introduced by the conversion of the Jews (rather than the Return of Christ) as the last stage of Christ’s earthly kingdom. Modern postmillennialism tends to see the thousand years as a symbolic figure covering the entirety of the Christian era.[10]

There is an important sub-class in the premillennial view that has arisen since the 1830s. It is known as “dispensationalism.” It is worth noting that historic premillennialists strongly disavow any systemic commonality with dispensationalism. Premillennialist George E. Ladd vigorously protests the equation of dispensationalism and historic premillennialism. He even calls any equating of the two a “mistake.”[11] This explains why the popular book edited by Robert G. Clouse is entitled The Meaning of the Millennium: Four Views.[12]

Dispensationalists are aware of their own distinctive differences, as well.[13] Ryrie even comments: “Perhaps the issue of pre-millennialism is determinative [for dispensationalism]. Again the answer is negative, for there are those who are premillennial who definitely are not dispensational. The covenant premillennialist holds to the concept of the covenant of grace and the central soteriological purpose of God. He retains the idea of the millennial kingdom, though he finds little support for it in the Old Testament prophecies since he generally assigns them to the Church. The kingdom in his view is markedly different from that which is taught by dispensationalists since it loses much of its Jewish character due to the slighting of the Old Testament promises concerning the kingdom.”[14]

There is a helpful theological sorting device, created by O. T. Allis and modified by Jay Adams, that works generally well in classifying the three basic millennial positions.[15] Two questions tend to sort the positions into one of the three most basic schools. These questions are: (1) What is the chronology of the kingdom? (2) What is the nature of the kingdom? The question of chronology has to do with the timing of Christ’s Second Advent in relation to the establishment of the kingdom. If His coming is before the kingdom, then the position is premillennial; if it is after the kingdom, then it may be either amillennial or postmillennial. The question as to the nature of Christ’s kingdom has to do with the historical character of the kingdom. If the kingdom is to have a radical, objective, transforming influence in human culture, it is either premillennial or postmillennial; if it is not to have such, it is amillennial.

I will now turn to a summary of the millennial positions and a brief listing of some their leading advocates. The positions will be considered in alphabetical order. Three millennial positions will be defined in this chapter; postmillennialism will be dealt with in the following chapter and in somewhat more detail. Two qualifications need to be borne in mind as the list of adherents is surveyed. First, the ancient examples of the various millennial views hold to certain distinctive features of the millennial views, and would not necessarily adhere to a full-blown systematic presentation. Second, it should be understood that any particular adherent to one of the following views may disagree with some aspect as presented in my summation. There are always differences of nuance among adherents to any particular system. Nevertheless, the presentation attempts to portray accurately the salient features of the systems.



Definition. Hoekema describes amillennialism in the following words:

…Amillennialists interpret the millennium mentioned in Revelation 20:4-6 as describing the present reign of the souls of deceased believers with Christ in heaven. They understand the binding of Satan mentioned in the first three verses of this chapter as being in effect during the entire period between the first and second comings of Christ, though ending shortly before Christ’s return. They teach that Christ will return after this heavenly millennial reign.

Amillennialists further hold that the kingdom of God is now present in the world as the victorious Christ is ruling his people by his Word and Spirit, though they also look forward to a future, glorious, and perfect kingdom on the new earth in the life to come. Despite the fact that Christ has won a decisive victory over sin and evil, the kingdom of evil will continue to exist alongside of the kingdom of God until the end of the world. Although we are already enjoying many eschatological blessings at the present time (inaugurated eschatology), we look forward to a climactic series of future events associated with the Second Coming of Christ which will usher in the final state (future eschatology). The so-called ‘signs of the times’ have been present in the world from the time of Christ’s first coming, but they will come to a more intensified, final manifestation just before his Second Coming. The amillennialist therefore expects the bringing of the gospel to all nations and the conversion of the fullness of Israel to be completed before Christ’s return. He also looks for an intensified form of tribulation and apostasy as well as for the appearance of a personal antichrist before the Second Coming.

The amillennialist understands the Second Coming of Christ to be a single event, not one that involves two phases. At the time of Christ’s return there will be a general resurrection, both of believers and unbelievers. After the resurrection, believers who are then still alive shall be transformed and glorified. These two groups, raised believers and transformed believers, are then caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. After this ‘rapture’ of all believers, Christ will complete his descent to earth, and conduct the final judgment. After the judgment unbelievers will be consigned to eternal punishment, whereas believers will enjoy forever the blessings of the new heaven and the new earth.[16]

Engelsma adds:

As the theology of hope, the Reformed faith [amillennialism] directs the saints’ expectation to the great good in the future that is the genuine object of hope. This is not some event within time and history, but the event that is the end of time and history: the coming of Jesus Christ…. Faithful to its calling as the theology of hope, the Reformed truth [amillennialism] vigorously uproots all false hopes that spring up among Christians: earthly success; establishing the kingdom of Christ on the earth in a carnal form, before the Day of Christ (utopia).… [17]

Descriptive Features.

  1. The Church Age is the kingdom era prophesied by the Old Testament prophets.[18] The people of God are expanded from Israel of the Old Testament to the universal Church of the New Testament, becoming the Israel of God.
  1. Satan is bound during Christ’s earthly ministry at His First Coming. His binding prevents him from totally hindering the proclamation of the gospel. This allows for the conversion of great numbers of sinners to Christ and insures some restraint upon evil.
  1. Christ now rules spiritually in the hearts of believers. There will be but occasional, short-lived influences of Christianity on culture, where Christians live out the implications of their faith.
  1. History will gradually worsen as the growth of evil accelerates toward the end. This will culminate in the Great Tribulation, with the arising of a personal Antichrist.
  1. Christ will return to end history, resurrect and judge all men, and establish the eternal order. The eternal destiny of the redeemed may be either in heaven or in a totally renovated new earth.

Representative Adherents. In the ancient church, the following are non-millennialists, who seem best to fit in with the amillennial viewpoint: Hermas (first century), Polycarp (A.D. 69-105), Clement of Rome (A.D. 30-100), and Ignatius (ca. A.D. 107).[19] In the modern church, we may note the following: Jay E. Adams, Louis Berkhof, G. C. Berkouwer, William E. Cox, Richard B. Gaffin, W. J. Grier, Floyd E. Hamilton, Herman Hanko, William Hendriksen, Jesse William Hodges, Anthony A. Hoekema, Philip E. Hughes, Abraham Kuyper, R. C. H. Lenski, George L. Murray, Albertus Pieters, Vern S. Poythress, Herman Ridderbos, Ray Summers, E. J. Young, and Bruce K. Waltke.[20]



Definition. Ryrie, the leading dispensational theologian of our time, defines dispensationalism in the following manner:

Premillennialists [sc., dispensationalists] believe that theirs is the historic faith of the Church. Holding to a literal interpretation of the Scripture, they believe that the promises made to Abraham and David are unconditional and have had or will have a literal fulfillment. In no sense have these promises made to Israel been abrogated or fulfilled by the Church, which is a distinct body in this age having promises and a destiny different from Israel’s. At the close of this age, premillennialists believe that Christ will return for His Church, meeting her in the air (this is not the Second Coming of Christ), which event, called the rapture or translation, will usher in a seven-year period of tribulation on the earth. After this, the Lord will return to the earth (this is the Second Coming of Christ) to establish His kingdom on the earth for a thousand years, during which time the promises to Israel will be fulfilled.[21]

Elsewhere he defines the idea of a “dispensation” within the dispensational schema of history:

A dispensation is a distinguishable economy in the outworking of God’s purpose. If one were describing a dispensation he would include other things, such as the ideas of distinctive revelation, testing, failure, and judgment.[22]

Descriptive Features.

  1. The Davidic Kingdom, an earthly, political kingdom, was offered by Christ in the first century. It was rejected by the Jews and thereby postponed until the future.[23]
  1. The Church Age is a wholly unforeseen and distinct era in the plan of God. It was altogether unknown to and unexpected by the Old Testament prophets. It is called a “parenthesis.”
  1. God has a separate and distinct program and plan for racial Israel, as distinguished from the Church. The Church of Jesus Christ is a parenthetical aside in the original plan of God.
  1. The Church may experience occasional small scale successes in history, but ultimately she will lose influence, fail in her mission, and become corrupted as worldwide evil intensifies toward the end of the Church Age.
  1. Christ will return secretly in the sky to rapture living saints and resurrect the bodies of deceased saints (the first resurrection). These will be removed out of the world before the Great Tribulation. The judgment of the saints will be accomplished in heaven during the seven-year Great Tribulation period before Christ’s bodily return to the earth.
  1. At the conclusion of the seven-year Great Tribulation, Christ will return to the earth in order to establish and personally administer a Jewish political kingdom headquartered at Jerusalem for 1,000 years. During this time, Satan will be bound, and the temple and sacrificial system will be re-established in Jerusalem as memorials.
  1. Toward the end of the Millennial Kingdom, Satan will be loosed and Christ surrounded and attacked at Jerusalem.
  1. Christ will call down fire from heaven to destroy His enemies. The resurrection (the second resurrection) and judgment of the wicked will occur, initiating the eternal order.

Representative Adherents. In the ancient church: none (created ca. 1830).[24] In the modern church: Robert Anderson, Gleason L. Archer, Jr., Charles F. Baker, Emery H. Bancroft, Donald G. Barnhouse, W. E. Blackstone, James M. Brookes, Richard H. Bube, L. S. Chafer, John Nelson Darby, M. R. DeHaan, William Evans, Charles Lee Feinberg, John S. Feinberg, Paul Feinberg, A. C. Gaebelein, Norman Geisler, James M. Gray, Harry A. Ironside, Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., William Kelly, Hal Lindsey, Robert P. Lightner, Alva J. McClain, G. Campbell Morgan, J. Dwight Pentecost, Charles C. Ryrie, C. I. Scofield, Henry C. Thiessen, John F. Walvoord, and Warren Wiersbe.[25]



Definition. George Eldon Ladd, a leading advocate of historical premillennialism in recent times, defines the system for us:

…Premillennialism is the doctrine stating that after the Second Coming of Christ, he will reign for a thousand years over the earth before the final consummation of God’s redemptive purpose in the new heavens and the new earth of the Age to Come. This is the natural reading of Revelation 20:1-6.

Revelation 19:11-16 pictures the Second Coming of Christ as a conqueror coming to destroy his enemies: the Antichrist, Satan and Death. Revelation 19:17-21 pictures first the destruction of Antichrist and the hosts which have supported him in opposition to the kingdom of God. Revelation 20 then relates the destruction of the evil power behind the Antichrist…. this occurs in two stages.

First, Satan is bound and incarcerated in ‘the bottomless pit’ (Rev. 20:1) for a thousand years…. At this time occurs the ‘first resurrection’ (Rev. 20:5) of saints who share Christ’s rule over the earth for the thousand years. After this Satan is loosed from his bonds, and in spite of the fact that Christ has reigned over the earth for a thousand years, he finds the hearts of unregenerated men still ready to rebel against God. The final eschatological war follows when the devil is thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone. Then occurs a second resurrection of those who had not been raised before the millennium….[26]

Elsewhere he adds:

The gospel is not to conquer the world and subdue all nations to itself. Hatred, conflict, and war will continue to characterize the age until the coming of the Son of Man…. [E]vil will mark the course of the age.[27]

Descriptive Features.

  1. The New Testament era Church is the initial phase of Christ’s kingdom, as prophesied by the Old Testament prophets.
  1. The New Testament Church may win occasional victories in history, but ultimately she will fail in her mission, lose influence, and become corrupted as worldwide evil increases toward the end of the Church Age.
  1. The Church will pass through a future, worldwide, unprecedented time of travail. This era is known as the Great Tribulation, which will punctuate the end of contemporary history. Historic premillennialists are post-tribulational.
  1. Christ will return at the end of the Tribulation to rapture the Church, resurrect deceased saints, and conduct the judgment of the righteous in the “twinkling of an eye.”
  1. Christ then will descend to the earth with His glorified saints, fight the battle of Armageddon, bind Satan, and establish a worldwide, political kingdom, which will be personally administered by Him for 1,000 years from Jerusalem.
  1. At the end of the millennial reign, Satan will be loosed and a massive rebellion against the kingdom and a fierce assault against Christ and His saints will occur.
  1. God will intervene with fiery judgment to rescue Christ and the saints. The resurrection and the judgment of the wicked will occur and the eternal order will begin.


Representative Adherents. In the ancient church: Papias (60-130), Justin Martyr (100-165), Irenaeus (130-202), and Tertullan (160-220). In the modern church: Henry Alford, E. B. Elliott, W. J. Erdman, A. R. Faussett, Henry W. Frost, F. Godet, H. G. Guinness, Robert H. Gundry, S. H. Kellog, D. H. Kromminga, George Eldon Ladd, Philip Mauro, J. Barton Payne, George N. H. Peters, Alexander Reese, R. A. Torrey, S. P. Tregelles, Nathaniel West, and Theodor Zahn.[28]


Certainly each of the millennial views presented above has characteristic features that are different enough to distinguish them. These differences are of no small consequence. Yet one thing unifies these millennial views: overall pessimism regarding the hope for Christian civilization in present history. Such pessimism is a fundamentally important matter when men attempt to develop and promote a Christian worldview. It is this intrinsic pessimism that is a characteristic distinctive of these views when classed together in opposition to postmillennialism.

In the next chapter, I will tum to consider postmillennialism in a somewhat fuller manner. As I do, it will be important to appreciate the optimism inherent in postmillennialism – an optimism that is of the very essence of a genuinely Christian worldview and which is so essential to the building of a Christian civilization. The kingdom of God in history is a civilization as surely as the kingdom of Satan in history is a civilization. Both kingdoms are spiritual; both are civilizations. One wins in history.

[1] Alan F. Johnson, Revelation (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1983), p. 180.

[2] “Millennium,” The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1971), 1:1797.

[3] “Certainly one of the most controversial and intriguing questions of eschatology is that of the legitimacy of the expectation of a thousand-year reign – the millennium – before the return of Christ…. Obviously one’s view of the thousand years of Revelation 20 is intimately connected with the rest of his eschatology. How he thinks of this passage gives a specific color and structure to his expectation.” G. C. Berkouwer, The Return of Christ (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1972), p. 291. For a brief interpretation of the Revelation 20’s millennium, see Chapter 14, below. Of Revelation 20, when compared to the broad sweep of Pauline eschatology, Vos writes: “The minor deliverances ought in the harmonizing process be made to give way to the far-sweeping, age-dominating program of the theology of Paul.” Geerhardus Vos, The Pauline Eschatology (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed, [1930] 1991), p. 226.

[4] Warfield, “The Gospel and the Second Coming” (1915), The Selected Shorter Writings of Benjamin B. Warfield I, John E. Meeter, ed. (Nutley, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed, 1970), p. 348.

[5] Hoekema, The Bible and the Future (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1979), p. 173.

[6] “There are some who connect with the advent of Christ the idea of a millennium, either immediately before or immediately following the second coming. While this idea is not an integral part of Reformed theology, it nevertheless deserves consideration here, since it has become rather popular in many circles.” Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1941), p. 708.

[7] Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, 8 vols. (Dallas: Dallas Theological Seminary Press, 1948), 4:281-282.

[8] George Eldon Ladd, The Last Things: An Eschatology for Laymen (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978), pp. 108-110.

[9] Many amillennialists are disturbed by the negative prefix: “The term amillennialism is not a very happy one. It suggests that amillennialists either do not believe in any millennium or that they simply ignore the first six verses of Revelation 20, which speak of a millennial reign. Neither of these two statements is correct.” Hoekema, Bible and the Future, p. 173. Hamilton, Adams, and Hughes agree. Philip E. Hughes, Interpreting Prophecy: An Essay in Biblical Perspectives (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1976), pp. 99-100 and Floyd E. Hamilton, The Basis of the Millennial Faith (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1942), p. 35. See the discussion of the problem with a proposed solution to it in: Jay E. Adams, The Time Is at Hand (Nutley, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed, 1966), pp. 7-11. There are amillennialists, however, who do not mind the term, when literally interpreted: The word ‘amillennial’ is “a term which indicates a denial of any future millennium of one thousand years’ duration.” George L. Murray, Millennial Studies: A Search for Truth (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1948), p. 87. See also Berkhof, Systematic Theology, p. 708.

[10] Some postmillennialists have accepted the possibility that there may be a future millennial era of unique blessings within the general millennial era of the New Covenant. See Gary North, The Sinai Strategy: Economics and the Ten Commandments (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1986), pp. 86-92: “The Sabbath Millennium.”

[11] George E. Ladd, The Blessed Hope (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1956), pp. 31ff; Ladd, Crucial Questions About the Kingdom of God (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1952), p. 49.

[12] Robert G. Clouse, ed., The Meaning of the Millennium: Four Views (Downer’s Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1977). See my discussion in Greg L. Bahnsen and Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., House Divided: The Break-up of Dispensational Theology (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1989), pp. 234-238.

[13] See also: Rolland Dale McCune, “An Investigation and Criticism of ‘Historic’ Premillennialism from the Viewpoint of Dispensationalism” (unpublished Th.D. dissertation, Grace Theological Seminary, 1982). Gleason L. Archer, et al., The Rapture: Pre-, Mid-, or Post-Tribulational (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984).

[14] Charles C. Ryrie, Dispensationalism Today (Chicago: Moody Press, 1965), p. 44 (emphasis mine).

[15] O. T. Allis, Prophecy and the Church (Philadelphia: Presbyterian &: Reformed, 1945), p. 4. Adams, Time Is at Hand, pp. 8-11.

[16] Hoekema, Bible and the Future, p. 174.

[17] David J. Engelsma. “The Reformed Faith – Theology of Hope,” Standard Bearer 66:7 (Jan. 1, 1990) 149.

[18] Unlike earlier amillennialists, Hoekema sees the fulfillment of the kingdom prophecies in the New Heavens and New Earth, rather than in the Church: Bible and the Future, ch. 20.

[19] This is according to the research of dispensationalist Alan Patrick Boyd, “A Dispensational Premillennial Analysis of the Eschatology of the Post-Apostolic Fathers (Until the Death of Justin Martyr)” (Dallas: Dallas Theological Seminary Master’s Thesis, 1977), p. 50 (n. 1), 91-92. Premillennialist D. H. Kromminga provides evidence in this direction, as well, in his book, The Millennium in the Church: Studies in the History of Christian Chiliasm (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1945), pp. 267ff. See also: Louis Berkhof, The History of Christian Doctrine (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, [1937] 1969).

[20] Adams, The Time Is at Hand (1966). Louis Berkhof, The Second Coming of Christ (1953). G. C. Berkouwer, The Return of Christ (1972). William E. Cox, Amillennialism Today (1966). Richard B. Gaffin, “Theonomy and Eschatology: Reflections on Postmillennialism” in William S. Barker and W. Robert Godfrey, eds., Theonomy: A Reformed Critique (1991). W. J. Grier, The Momentous Event (1945). Floyd E. Hamilton, The Basis of the Millennial Faith (1942). Herman C. Hanko, “The Illusory Hope of Postmillennialism,” Standard Bearer, 66:7 (Jan. 1, 1990). William Hendriksen, Israel in Prophecy (1974). J. W. Hodges, Christ’s Kingdom and Coming (1957). Anthony A. Hoekema, The Bible and the Future (1979). P. E. Hughes, Interpreting Prophecy (1976). Abraham Kuyper, Chiliasm, or the Doctrine of Premillennialism (1934). R. C. H. Lenski, the Interpretation of St. John’s Revelation (1943). George Murray, Millennial Studies (1945). Albertus Pieters, The Seed of Abraham (1937). Vern S. Poythress, Understanding Dispensationalists (1987). Herman Ridderbos, The Coming of the Kingdom (1962). Ray Summers, Worthy Is the Lamb (1950). Bruce K. Waltke, “Kingdom Promises as Spiritual,” in John S. Feinberg, ed., Continuity and Discontinuity (1988). E. J. Young, The Prophecy of Daniel (1945).

[21] Charles C. Ryrie, The Basis of the Premillennial Faith (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Bros., 1953), p. 12.

[22] Ryrie, Dispensationalism Today, p. 29.

[23] There is a growing fragmentation in dispensationalism today over the notion of the kingdom. Some have recently begun to teach a “now and not yet” approach to the kingdom, which allows for a spiritual presence of the kingdom in the present. See: Robert L. Saucy, “The Presence of the Kingdom and the Life of the Church,” Bibliotheca Sacra 145 (Jan./March 1988) 33ff; John S. Feinberg, “Systems of Discontinuity,” and Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., “Kingdom Promises As Spiritual and National,” Continuity and Discontinuity, chaps. 3 and 13.

[24] “Indeed, this thesis would conclude that the eschatological beliefs of the period studied [to A.D. 150] would be generally inimical to those of the modern system (perhaps, seminal amillennialism, and not nascent dispensational premillennialism ought to be seen in the eschatology of the period).” “This writer believes that the Church rapidly fell from New Testament truth, and this is very evident in the realm of eschatology. Only in modern times has New Testament eschatological truth been recovered. Dispensational premillennialism is the product of the post-Reformation progress of dogma.” Boyd, “Dispensational Premillennial Analysis,” pp. 90-91. See also: Harry A. Ironside, The Mysteries of God (New York: Loizeaux, 1908), p. 50.

[25] Gleason L. Archer, Jr., in The Rapture: Pre-, Mid-, or Post-Tribulational? (1984). Charles Baker, A Dispensational Theology (1971). Donald Gray Barnhouse, His Own Received Him Not, But… (1933). William E. Blackstone, Jesus Is Coming (1878). Lewis S. Chafer, Dispensationalism (1951). J. N. Darby, Synopsis of the Books of the Bible (1857-1867). M. R. DeHaan, The Jew and Palestine in Prophecy (1950). William Evans, Great Doctrines of the Bible (1949). Charles Lee Feinberg, Millenniaiism: Two Major Viewpoints (1980). John S. Feinberg, Continuity and Discontinuity (1989). Paul D. Feinberg, in The Rapture: Pre-, Mid-, or Post-Tribulational? (1984). William Kelly, Lectures on the Gospel of Matthew (1868). Arno C. Gaebelein, The Harmony of the Prophetic Word (1907). Norman Geisler, “A Premillennial View of Law and Government,” Moody Monthly (Oct. 1985) James M. Gray, Prophecy and the Lord’s Return (1917). Harry A. Ironside, The Great Parenthesis (1943). Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. in Continuity and Discontinuity (1989). Robert P. Lightner, The Last Days Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding the Different Views of Prophecy (1990). Hal Lindsey, The Road to Holocaust (1989). Alva J. McClain, The Greatness of the Kingdom (1959). J. Dwight Pentecost, Thy Kingdom Come (1990). Charles C. Ryrie, Basic Theology (1986). C. I. Scofield, Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (1920). Henry Thiessen, Will the Church Pass Through the Tribulation’ (1941). John F. Walvoord, Prophecy Knowledge Handbook (1990). Warren W. Wiersbe. The Bible Exposition Commentary (1989).

[26] George E. Ladd, “Historic Premillennialism,” Meaning of the Millennium, p. 17.

[27] George Eldon Ladd, Theology of the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974), pp. 202, 203.

[28] Henry Alford, The Greek Testament (1872), 4:732ff. William J. Erdman, The Parousia o f Christ a Period o f Time; OT, When Will the Church be Translated? (1880). A. R. Fausseu, Commentary, Critical and Explanatory (ca. 1885). Henry W. Frost, The Second Coming and Christ (1934). F. Godet, Studies on the New Testament (1873), pp. 294ff. H. Grattan Guinness, The Approaching End of the Age (1880). Robert H. Gundry, The Church and the Tribulation (1973). George Eldon Ladd, The Blessed Hope (1956). S. H. Kellogg in Premillennial Essays (1957). Philip Mauro, The Gospel of the Kingdom (1929). George N. H. Peters, The Theocratic Kingdom (1884). J. Barton Payne, Bible Prophecy for Today (1978). Alexander Reese, The Approaching Advent of Christ (1932). S. P. Tregelles, The Hope of Christ’s Second Coming (1886). R. A. Torrey in Archer, The Rapture (ca., 1910). Nathaniel West, “Introduction,” Premillennial Essays of the Prophetic Conference Held in the Church of the Holy Trinity, New York City, Oct. 30-Nov. 1, 1878 (1879). Theodor Zahn, Introduction to the New Testament (1909).