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Debunking Premillennial Eschatology

29 Jan
Premillennialism - 1

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I am involved in a study of Matthew 16:27-28. According to the premillennial[1] interpretation of eschatology, we must place a gap between verses 27 and 28 of Matthew 16. The reason being, the Second Coming of Christ could not have occurred in the first century AD, when Jesus said it would in Matthew 16:28. Therefore, Jesus’ coming in his Kingdom (verse-28) **must** be different from his coming in the glory of his Father (verse-27). The problem with this point of view is that the scriptures never speak of a third coming of Jesus, nor do they speak of a second Second Coming, i.e. a Second Coming in two parts.

For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. (Matthew 16:27-28 – emphasis mine)

The normal reading of the text would never separate the two verse. Nevertheless, this is the premillennial understanding of Matthew 16:27-28, and the gap between the two verses is 2000 years and counting. One has to wonder, under what condition a premillennialist would come to admit: “the gap is too large, and my current understanding **must** be wrong.” What evidence would be strong enough for someone who is in error to understand he is in error?

Daniel 7 Matthew 16
In the days of the Roman Empire In the days of the Roman Empire
Persecution of the saints (verse-21 & 25) Persecution of the saints (verses-21 & 24-25)
Coming of the Lord (verse-13-14 & 22) Coming of the Lord (verse-27)
Judgment / reward (verse-10, 22 & 26) Judgment / reward (verse-27)
Establishment of the Kingdom (verse-14) Establishment of the Kingdom (verse-28)
In the days of the Roman Empire Some shall not taste death (verse-28)

It is difficult for me to see either the difference the premillennialists find in Matthew 16:27 and 28, or more than one coming predicted by Daniel in chapter seven of his prophecy. Both the coming and the judgment are one event or at least occur simultaneously. The Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:22) in the person of Jesus (cf. John 5:22) comes and judges. There is neither more than one coming nor is there more than one judgment intended in the prophecy. The coming and the judgment are united in one whole event or historical experience. The Messiah comes and destroys the persecuting authority, and in doing so he vindicates his saints, giving them the Kingdom.

Putting this into human history, Jesus came (Second Coming) cir. 70 AD in the person of Titus, the Roman general, who with his armies conquered and destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple. At this time, the Jews were without the necessary functional elements to perform their covenant with God. Thus the Old Covenant came to an end with the destruction of the Temple. The Jewish religion had to be redefined, and that without any mandate from God.

With the end of the Old Covenant, the New Covenant was established, and Jesus disciples were vindicated. They preached that Jesus would come and destroy Jerusalem and the Temple (cf. Matthew 26:64), and, now that it occurred, they were vindicated. The Kingdom of God was established with a new nation, namely the elect or believing Jews who trusted in Christ and the gentiles who came to believe the Gospel during that cir. 40 year “minnennial” period between Christ’s crucifixion and his subsequent return cir. 70 AD.

Thus, Jesus’ words in Matthew 16:27-28 are just another way of expressing Daniel’s prophecy in Daniel 7. There aren’t two comings. Neither are there two judgments. Any attempt to make them into two would be reading into the text. If we permit God’s word to interpret God’s word, there is absolutely no difference between what Daniel said in Daniel 7 and what Jesus said in Matthew 16.

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[1] Premillennialism is the belief that Christ’s Second Coming would occur before the so-called 1000 year age. This understanding is embraced by historical premillennialists and dispensational premillennialists. The difference is any tribulation and / or apostasy of believers would occur prior to the Second Coming, while dispensational premillennialists believe the Second Coming occurs prior to or in the middle of the Great Tribulation.

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3 Comments

Posted by on January 29, 2018 in 70 AD Eschatology, Prophecy

 

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3 responses to “Debunking Premillennial Eschatology

  1. Dave White

    January 29, 2018 at 08:25

    Eddie, I appreciated this simple explanation. Thank you. My only confusion in this is how Jesus came in the form of Titus; wasn’t he an evil man?

     
    • Eddie

      January 29, 2018 at 08:37

      Greetings, Dave, and thank you for reading my study – – and for your comment.

      Titus was no more evil than the king whom God used to destroy Egypt: “The burden of Egypt. Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it.” (Isaiah 19:1). Wasn’t that Nebuchadnezzar, the same one whom God used to destroy Jerusalem and the Temple the first time?

      Lord bless you in your studies, Dave.

       
      • Dave White

        January 29, 2018 at 09:15

        Thanks. Well stated

         

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