The Great End-Time Error
COPYRIGHT ©1999 - James M. Frye
All scripture quotations are taken from the Authorized King James Bible. Any deviations are not intentional. All underlines, bold and words within brackets are the author's.
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Every once in a while you run across a false doctrine that is so firmly entrenched within professing Christianity that it (the lie) has become the standard by which truth and orthodoxy are judged. The doctrine of Dispensational Premillennialism is just such a doctrine. It has been taught repeatedly to so many people on so many occasions that no one seems to realize that the Bible does not actually teach it. Anyone who dares to question this doctrine is viewed as either being hopelessly ignorant or as being someone who just simply refuses to accept what scripture teaches. Prophecy conferences, Christian book stores and this nation's pulpits are filled with this teaching. But the question we need to ask is not "Is it popular?" but "Is it Biblical?"
In the following pages we will examine this doctrine. We will not be able to examine every facet of this false teaching for to do so would require a full-length book. But we will examine its main tenants in light of scripture. Once those main tenants are shown to be false the entire system falls apart like a house of cards.
The Doctrine Stated
What is the Doctrine of Dispensational Premillennialism? Although few people would recognize it from its technical name, most Christians have been exposed to it. This false teaching goes like this:
The second coming of Christ will take place in two phases. In the first phase, Jesus will supposedly return secretly to accomplish three things:
1) Resurrect believers
2) Rapture believers - delivering them from the coming tribulation.
3) Judge believers (referred to as “The Bema Seat Judgment”)
Jesus will then return to heaven, taking all believers with him. After the 7 year tribulation period is over, Jesus will again return to Earth (phase 2) to set up his kingdom. At this time, He will sit upon the throne of David and reign from earthly Jerusalem for a literal 1000 years.
After the 1000 years are over, Jesus will supposedly do three things:
1) Resurrect Unbelievers
2) Judge Unbelievers (referred to as “The White Throne Judgment”)
3) Create a New Heavens and a New Earth.
Test All Things
The Bible tells us that we are to test all things.
1 Thessalonians 5:21 Prove [test] all things; hold fast that which is good.
We shouldn't just accept this doctrine because many people teach it. We should instead test it with scripture, to see if it is true.
Acts 17:10-11 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
The Bereans were accounted as being “more noble” because they didn’t immediately believe the things Paul taught. They instead searched the scriptures daily (for days) to see if what he was teaching was true. What were the Bereans looking for? They were looking for passages of scripture that either agreed or disagreed with what Paul was teaching. We, like the Bereans, need to search the scriptures to see if Dispensational Premillennialism is true.
In Matthew chapter 4, we see Jesus being tempted by Satan.
Matthew 4:5-7 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Here we find the Devil quoting scripture. There is nothing wrong with Psalm 91 which he quotes. It means what it says and says what it means. The problem is with the Devil's interpretation and application of Psalm 91 (therefore, Jesus should jump off the temple). Notice how Jesus responds. Being infinitely familiar with scripture, He didn’t need to search its contents for days as the Bereans did. He simply quotes another passage that contradicts the Devil's misinterpretation. If Jesus would have jumped off the temple, He would have forced God to prove Himself, thereby testing (tempting) Him. This would be a sin according to Deuteronomy 6:16, which Jesus quotes.
There is a very important principal in all of this. Since all of Scripture is true (Psalm 119:160), no scripture may be interpreted in a way that causes it to contradict any other scripture. After all, God doesn’t disagree with Himself. So in testing any teaching, we need to search the scriptures to see if there are any verses that disagree with it. Let's also keep in mind that we only need one verse. Jesus didn’t say it is written again, and again, and again. He simply quoted one verse, and even the Devil knew that was enough. So, let's test the doctrine of Dispensational Premillennialism. Are there any verses in the Bible that disagree with it?
The Biblical Teaching on the Resurrection
Refutes This Doctrine
According to Dispensational Premillennialism, the resurrection of the believers will supposedly take place 1007 years before the resurrection of unbelievers. What about this? Does the Bible teach that there will be two resurrections separated by a period of 1007 years?
John 5:28-29 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation.
This passage tells us clearly that there is an hour (one point in time) coming in which all (not some) that are in the graves shall come forth (be resurrected). Some will be resurrected unto life and some unto condemnation. There will be one resurrection but two destinations. Also, notice that there is one voice (one speaking) not two different voices spoken 1007 years apart.
So does the Bible teach that there will be two resurrections - one for believers and one for unbelievers separated by 1007 years? No! The Bible teaches that both believers and unbelievers will be resurrected at the same time.
Since we only need one verse to refute a false teaching, we could stop right here. This doctrine is a false doctrine! If even one verse of scripture contradicts a teaching, that teaching is wrong. You might say "But what about this verse or what about that verse?" If so, you're missing the point. If your interpretation of those verses is correct, it will not contradict this verse. Let's look at another passage.
Acts 24:14-15 But this I [Paul] confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and the prophets: And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.
Here we have Paul telling us what he believes (surely we know that he is right). He tells us that there will be a (one) resurrection of the dead. Who will be there? - Both the just and the unjust. Now, if I told you that I was going to give you a car, would you expect two? Of course not! You would expect one. So when the Bible says that there will be a resurrection and that both the saved and the unsaved will be there, it eliminates the possibility of there being two resurrections separated by 1007 years.
Daniel 12:1-3 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time [THE GREAT TRIBULATION]: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
Here again we have believers and unbelievers being raised at the same time. Notice when it takes place – after the tribulation. Scripture is so clear that it is hard to see how someone could possibly miss it. Most people, however, don’t get their beliefs from what the Bible actually teaches, but rather from what someone “tells” them it teaches.
The Biblical Teaching on the Judgment
Refutes This Doctrine
Dispensational Premillennialism not only teaches that there will be two separate resurrections, but it also teaches that there will also be two separate judgments. Does the Bible teach that there will be two separate judgments - one for believers and one for unbelievers separated by 1007 years?
Acts 17:30-31 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commented all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
God has appointed a (one) day in which he will judge the whole world. Not two separate days 1007 years apart. How can so many people believe this doctrine, when it is so clearly refuted in scripture?
Matthew 25:31-34,41,46 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory; And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd dividethhis sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep oh his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: ... Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: ... And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
This is a passage that has been twisted by many today (2 Pet. 3:16), but it means exactly what it says. When Jesus Christ comes, He will sit in judgment over all (both believers and unbelievers). The saved and the lost will both be judged at the same time, not 1007 years apart.
According to Dispensational Premillennialism, the above passage is speaking of yet another “third judgment” which they refer to as “the judgment of the nations”. The purpose of this judgment is to supposedly judge which nations will be allowed to enter the millennium based upon how they treated the Jews during the Great Tribulation.
Where does the passage actually say this? It doesn’t! In order to misinterpret this passage in such a way, they must twist this scripture and cause it to contradict many other scriptures. We should follow the example of Jesus which we saw earlier and respond to such things by saying “It is written again …” and give scriptures which contradict such false teachings. Such, is the purpose of this article.
People used to talk about judgment day, but you don't hear that term much anymore. This false teaching has changed judgment day into judgment days. The Bible, however, speaks of the day (not days) of judgment.
2 Peter 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust [UNBELIEVERS] unto the day of judgment to be punished:
Unbelievers will be judged on “the day of judgment”.
1 John 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we [BELIEVERS] may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
Believers will be judged on “the day of judgment”.
Both believers and unbelievers will be judged on the one “day of judgment”. It couldn't be any clearer. Both will be judged on the same day, not on two different days 1007 years apart.
2 Peter 3:7,10 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against THE DAY OF JUDGMENT and perdition of ungodly men. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
This passage tells us that on “the day of judgment” the heavens and the earth will be burned up. We have previously seen that both believers and unbelievers are judged on this same “day of judgment”. So the heavens and the earth will be burned up one the same day in which everyone is judged, despite what Dispensational Premillennialism teaches. Let God be true, but every man a liar (Rom. 3:4).
The Biblical Teaching on the Last Day
Refutes This Doctrine
Dispensational Premillennialism teaches that believers will be resurrected 1007 years before eternity (the end of time). Is this true?
John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him [BELIEVERS], may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
No. It's not true. Believers will be resurrected on the last day of human history. How could you have 1007 years after the last day? If you did, it would not have been the last day. And if it is the last day, there can't be any other days after it. The Bible makes it so clear. All you have to do is believe what is says. Dispensational Premillennialism is a lie!
John 12:48 He that rejecteth me and receiveth not my words [UNBELIEVERS], hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
According to this verse, Unbelievers will be judged on the last day. We have already seen that believers will be resurrected on this same last day. The Bible says that both of these events will take place at the same time. Dispensational Premillennialism says that they won’t. Who are you going to believe, God or men?
The Biblical Teaching on the New Heavens
and New Earth Refutes This Doctrine
Dispensational Premillennialism teaches that there will not be new heavens and a new earth until 1000 years after the Second Coming of Christ. Is this true?
2 Peter 3:10-13 But the day of the Lord [THE DAY OF CHRIST'S COMING] will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
The present heavens and earth will be destroyed at the Second Coming of Christ, not 1000 years later. We will also have new heavens and a new earth at that time.
Acts 3:20-21 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
Jesus “must” remain in heaven until the time comes for the restoration of all things. This will include, not only the resurrection of our bodies, but also the renewal of the earth.
Romans 8:22-23 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
Jesus must remain in heaven and will not come back to earth until the time comes for us to have a new earth.
The Biblical Teaching on the Reign of Christ
Refutes This Doctrine
When did Jesus begin to reign upon the throne of David? Premillennial Dispensationalism teaches that this event has not yet occurred. It teaches that Jesus will sit upon the throne of David and begin to reign from earthly Jerusalem at the second coming. Is this true?
Acts 2 29-33 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
This passage is very clear. When God promised David that Christ would sit upon his throne, He was speaking about the resurrection and ascension of Christ - not his second coming. This promise was fulfilled when Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father. Jesus is reigning now, not from earthly Jerusalem but from heavenly Jerusalem (Heb. 12:22, Gal. 4:25-26).
1 Corinthians 15:24-28 Then cometh the end, when he [JESUS] shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
Here again, we see that Jesus is reigning now. He will continue to reign until he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be put under his feet will be death (by the resurrection) at the second coming. At that point, Jesus shall deliver the kingdom over to the Father.
What about Revelation Chapter 20?
But, what about Revelation chapter 20, doesn't it teach that there will be a 1000 year period between the resurrection and judgment of believers and the resurrection and judgment of unbelievers? No, it doesn't. One of the most important principals of interpreting scripture is that we must always interpret unclear passages in light of clear ones. The book of Revelation is an unclear book filled with much imagery and symbolism (Rev. 1:1). We have already seen a number of clear passages that prove that there is no such time gap. Therefore, we may not interpret Revelation chapter 20 to teach one. There is another way to interpret this chapter that does not contradict any clear passages of scripture. Think about it. There is a way of interpreting Rev. 20 that doesn’t contradict any clear passages of scripture. And there is a way of interpreting Rev. 20 that contradicts many clear passages of scripture. Which do you think is correct?
We could go on and on showing the errors of this doctrine. There are many other passages that could be sighted. We have, however, already given more than enough verses to prove that this doctrine is false. After all, we only needed one. If you aren't convinced by this point, giving you more verses won’t help. Sometimes it's not that people can't see that something is false but that they won't. Maybe your church teaches this doctrine. Maybe you have believed it yourself for a long time. Maybe you have even taught it to others. None of these things excuse you from accepting the truth. It takes humility to admit that you were wrong.
If, on the other hand, you refuse to drop this false doctrine, your problem is with God and His word, not with me. We will all give an account for the beliefs that we choose to hold on the Day of Judgment.
Some of you who are reading this article, however, will be convinced by it. You may even be upset with those who have taught you wrong. Many people teach things wrong because they have been deceived themselves (2 Tim. 3:13). Others deceive people knowingly (Eph. 4:14). Regardless of how or why you were misled, you now know the truth. I would encourage you to stand for it. There are many people out there who are very good at twisting scripture. They can make the Bible seem to teach the exact opposite of what it actually does. Don’t let them deceive you. Get this message out to as many others as possible. And most of all don't let anyone talk you out of the truth.
May God bless you as you do His work.