A big difference between ancient Chiliasm and modern-day Premillennialism

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sovereigngrace

Puritan Board Freshman
I have added a proviso about many Reformed Historic Premillennialists to my initial post.

Premillennialists are very vocal and passionate in emphasizing their early Patristic roots. They confidently claim the early Chiliasts as their own. They employ this connection as strong support to verify the current authenticity and ancient heritage of their cherished doctrine. But is this boast fair, accurate and legitimate? Are these two doctrines synonymous?

A closer look at the facts tell a completely different story. In fact, for the first 220-230 years after the cross, early Chiliasm had more in common with modern day Amillennialism than popular modern-day Premillennialism.

While ancient Chiliasm and modern-day Premillennialism share the expectation of a future thousand years on this earth after the second coming, there are some key elements that set ancient Chiliasm apart from typical Premillennialism.

The three major differences that I see are (1) their view of the intermediate state, (2) their vision of the nature and quality of the millennial earth and how that will look like after the appearing of Christ, and, also, (3) their view of the position of natural Israel and the old covenant arrangement on a future millennial earth.

No one could argue these are insignificant issues or irrelevant to the overall discussion. They are right at the core of the debate of how the age to come will look like.

While many Reformed Historic Premillennialists shy away from the old covenant extremes that many other Historic Premillennialists espouse, including the elevation of national Israel, and restarting of the abolished Jewish ceremonial system, most accept that sin, sinners, mortality, decay, death, marriage and procreation, war and terror, and eventually Satan and his minions, all enter the age to come. This was not held by the early Chiliasts.

The intermedia state

The first difference between the two is the location of the elect in the intermediate state. The early Chiliasts believed that the dead in Christ descended immediately into Abraham’s bosom when they died to await the resurrection. The earliest orthodox Chiliasts actually believed that the righteous would undergo a purgatory-style refining period in their disembodied state in order to prepare them for a future millennial kingdom in their new incorruptible bodies. Modern-day Premillennialism, on the other hand overwhelmingly holds that the righteous enter into heaven upon death, there to await the Second Advent and the physical resurrection of the dead.

The nature and quality of the millennial earth

While Premillennialists often try to present their future millennium as some Utopia in an age of Aquarius, the reality is what they hold to is a millennial earth that will contain all the sufferings and evil that exists in this present age, albeit suppressed by the physical presence of Christ ruling with a rod of iron over the earth. They present a bipolar age full of justice and injustice, deliverance and bondage, light and darkness, righteousness and unrighteousness, perfection and sin, glorification and corruption, sin and sinlessness, immortality and mortality, peace and harmony and war and terror. It is truly hard to grasp this biblically.

The Premillennial millennium culminates in the greatest global uprising in history as Satan is released from his prison to deceive the millennial inhabitant in their billions. The Premillennial millennium descends into chaos and anarchy at the end as the millennial inhabitants wholesale reveal their true allegiance. They swiftly switch their feigned allegiance to Christ to the true veneration of their father Satan at the drop of a hat. We have the biggest religious turn-around in history: from a millennial kingdom where the nations wholesale submit to Christ in righteousness to a mass revival of Satanism.

Early Chiliasm was more akin to modern day Amillennialism. For the first 220-230 years after the cross, ancient Chiliasm believed the millennial earth would be devoid of sin and corruption. They saw it as a perfect pristine environment that the righteous would enjoy for 1000 years before the new heavens and new earth.

It was not until Victorinus, 240 years after the cross, that any early Chiliast foresaw corruption on the coming earth. No others taught the populating of the millennium with the wicked and the release of Satan 1,000 years after the second coming. This is in stark contrast to modern-day Premillennialism. Victorinus is the first Chiliast to suggest that a significant amount of mortals would survive the return of Christ and then enter in to populate a future millennium.

Up until Victorinus, the Patristic writers did not anticipate any wicked being among the righteous. The wicked and all wickedness would be destroyed at the coming of Christ. Satan would be destroyed at the coming of Jesus. The bodies of the millennial inhabitants, they speculated, would be similar to that of Adam before the fall, only this time man was not expected to sin and therefore die. This is in stark contrast to modern-day Premillennialism.

Natural Israel and the old covenant arrangement

Ancient Chiliasm believed the New Testament Church to be true Israel and therefore heirs of all the promises of God “in Christ Jesus.” Their theological philosophy could be described as ‘Inclusion Theology’ or ‘Expansion Theology’. They understood that there was a continuity between God’s people in both the Old and New Testament. The New Testament Church was considered to have been grafted into faithful Israel (God's elect).

Mirroring the process that a caterpillar undergoes developing into the maturity and beauty of a colorful butterfly, the Old Testament Church was seen as undergoing a significant metamorphic change in the New Testament, progressing into the current Spirit-filled international New Testament Church. The ekklesia essentially took on wings! They viewed both as the same organic entity. Basically, just because Old Testament Israel and the New Testament Church carry different names and possess a different outward appearance and scope of movement does not negate the fact they are the same overall entity.

They believe that Christ fulfilled the whole old covenant arrangement and perfectly satisfied every demand of the old covenant law, thus removing its usefulness and temporal status. The shadow, the type, the deficient and the temporal have now been replaced by the substance, the fulfilment, the perfect and the eternal. Early Chiliasm was totally devoid of all the Judaistic features that mark the modern Premillennial hope for the age to come. It is notable that not one of the orthodox Chiliasts promoted the elevation of national Israel in a future millennium, any parallel path between the Church and Israel, the rebuilding of the Jewish temple, the full restoration of all the old covenant feasts and festivals, the universal observance of Jewish customs, the return of blood sin offerings in a future temple (whether real or memorial) or the restarting of the old covenant priesthood in the future.

While these are beliefs that are widely held within a large swage of modern-day Historic Premillennialism and throughout Dispensational Premillennialism, they are unknown to the early Church Chiliasts. Along with the reintroduction of all the bondage of corruption on a future earth (including sin, death and decay) and the rising up of Satan after 1000 to influence billions of millennial inhabitants against Christ and the glorified saints, this advocacy for the return of all the old covenant apparatus is probably the most unsavory aspect of modern Premil.

The early orthodox Chiliasts believed that the Church was the legitimate heir to the promises made by God in times past to the Jewish nation. They held that the new covenant Church was the only people of God.

It is therefore wrong to say the early Church was Premillennialist, because it wasn’t.
 
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BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Something seemed really familiar about this post, and then I realized who posted it. You've been gone for how long? 9, 10 months? This post is simply a summary of your conclusions reached in the last long thread we had on this very topic. And there aren't many premils on this board. You would probably get better interaction posting on Rapture Ready, which actually holds to premil.
 

sovereigngrace

Puritan Board Freshman
I can assure you that this is not a repeat of what I previously wrote. It is fresh research and comments. I thought it would be informative to my Reformed brethren. And yes, there are Premils on this board. I have interacted with them. What is more, contrary to what you assert, I posted on here last in Sep 2, 2020 on an unrelated topic. I am not sure why you would have an issue with this.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
What is more, contrary to what you assert, I posted on here last in Sep 2, 2020 on an unrelated topic.

I am truly surprised. I stand corrected. But seriously, if one clicks on "your posting" under your profile, a distinct patter emerges. I don't have an issue with it. As long as someone isn't promoting eternal subordination of the Son or Doug Wilson, I don't really care.
 

sovereigngrace

Puritan Board Freshman
I am truly surprised. I stand corrected. But seriously, if one clicks on "your posting" under your profile, a distinct patter emerges. I don't have an issue with it. As long as someone isn't promoting eternal subordination of the Son or Doug Wilson, I don't really care.

I don't know what you are talking about and what your issue is. I think you need to take a chill pill.
 
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Andrew35

Puritan Board Sophomore
I am truly surprised. I stand corrected. But seriously, if one clicks on "your posting" under your profile, a distinct patter emerges. I don't have an issue with it. As long as someone isn't promoting eternal subordination of the Son or Doug Wilson, I don't really care.
Anyone else, upon reading this, click on "your posting" under their own profile to see what "distinct pattern" emerges? I confess I did.

Apparently, I'm more the political animal than I thought.... :oops:
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Anyone else, upon reading this, click on "your posting" under their own profile to see what "distinct pattern" emerges? I confess I did.

Apparently, I'm more the political animal than I thought.... :oops:

I post primarily in book reviews. I don't hide the fact. Around 2004 when I became a Bahnsen disciple I posted primarily in....that's right, you guessed it.....apologetics, eschatology, and politics.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Senior
I post primarily in book reviews. I don't hide the fact. Around 2004 when I became a Bahnsen disciple I posted primarily in....that's right, you guessed it.....apologetics, eschatology, and politics.

What does Bahnsen have to do with apologetics, eschatology, and politics? ;)
 

Andrew35

Puritan Board Sophomore
Apologetics, eschatology, and politics = preoccupations of the young, guilty pleasures of the old. ;)

(I overstate, but suspect of something at least 'truthy.')
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Back to the OP, while it might appear I have premil tendencies, I am not saying don't attack premillennialism. I myself have problems with the premillennial construction of Gog/Magog. But in our last discussion of this, when my position was likened to Mormons who baptize for the dead, I realized this wasn't going to be the most fruitful use of time.
 

sovereigngrace

Puritan Board Freshman
Back to the OP, while it might appear I have premil tendencies, I am not saying don't attack premillennialism. I myself have problems with the premillennial construction of Gog/Magog. But in our last discussion of this, when my position was likened to Mormons who baptize for the dead, I realized this wasn't going to be the most fruitful use of time.

One will look in vain through the writings of the Early Church Fathers to find any support for the any observance of Jewish ritual, feast and sacrifice in a future millennium. None of them anticipated the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem, the restarting of animal blood sacrifice, the validation again of circumcision, and the celebration of the Jewish Sabbath. These beliefs were considered by all orthodox believers as anathema to the Christian faith and were dismissed as belonging to the heretics and Judaizers.

The early Chiliasts to a man held that the Old Testament sacrifices and ordinances had expired at the cross. They believed that Christ was the final sacrifice for sin. He rendered the rest needless and obsolete. It was anathema to them that there would be a rival system of sin offerings, raising up of the old covenant sinful priests and the rebuilding a destroyed temple. Their position was that the New Testament Scripture makes clear that Christ was the final sacrifice for sin (Romans 6:10, Hebrews 7:27, 9:12, 28, 10:10, 12, 14 and 1 Peter 3:18) and that there are no more offerings for sin (Hebrews 9:26, 10:18, 26 and 1 John 3:5). To think otherwise was considered to be an early Judaizing heresy.

So where did it come from? It clearly came from outside the orthodox camp. It is important then to piece together any surviving historic evidence that might exist that describes the restoration of the old covenant arrangement and a favored place for national Israel in a future millennial kingdom. From it, we can grasp the general expectation of a future millennial kingdom.

When we look for the originators and formulators of modern-day Premillennialism we actually arrive at four shadowy early figures. The first two operated at the very infancy of early church history – Cerinthus of Asia Minor (50-100 AD) and Marcion of Sinope, Asia Minor (Born: 85 AD, Died: 160 AD). Both of these were viewed as arch-heretics and were strongly resisted by the early church fathers for their corrupt perversion of Christianity. They invented a dual covenant concept of two parallel yet coexisting peoples of God, under two different agreements, serving two different gods, with two different time-tables and two different ultimate outcomes. This was seasoned throughout with Gnostic elements.

The later advocates of ancient Premillennialism who ran with, and widely promoted, it were Porphyry [or Porphyrius] of Tyre (232- 305) and Apollinarius of Laodicea, Asia Minor (died 382). These too were also condemned by the ancient orthodox fathers as heretics and blasphemers.

It is a sad indictment of Premillennialism that the genesis of the doctrine within Christendom can be found in the ancient writings of these gross heretics.

What set them apart from the orthodox Chiliasts was obviously not their opinion of the idea of a future millennial earth, no, it was their elevation of the nation Israel in a future millennium, their two-peoples-of-God-theory (including a clear discontinuity between Israel and the Church), their advocacy for the renewal of all the old covenant feasts and festivals, a return of blood sin offerings in a future temple (whether real or memorial) and their support for the restarting of the old covenant priesthood on a future millennial earth.

While these are beliefs that are widely held within both Historic Premillennialism and Dispensational Premillennialism today, they were unknown to the early orthodox Church Chiliasts. Along with the reintroduction of all the bondage of corruption on a future earth (including sin, death and decay) and the rising up of Satan after 1000 to influence billions of millennial inhabitants against Christ and the glorified saints, this advocacy for the return of all the old covenant apparatus is probably the most unsavory aspect of modern Premil.

Notably: none of the ancient Chiliasts supported the idea of Israel rising again to a place of racial superiority in a future millennial kingdom. They all looked upon the Church as true Israel today. They rejected any idea of God blessing any aspect of the redundant Jewish ceremonial arrangement. They strongly opposed any validity for, or efficacy in, any coexisting dual covenant theory.

They resisted any advancement of the fanciful idea of any type of reintroduction of the old abolished covenant system, including the rebuilding of the Jewish temple and the performing of multiple additional sin offerings to atone for the sins of man for a thousand years in the future. Such a thought was anathema to them.
 
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BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
One will look in vain through the writings of the Early Church Fathers to find any support for the any observance of Jewish ritual, feast and sacrifice in a future millennium. None of them anticipated the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem, the restarting of animal blood sacrifice, the validation again of circumcision, and the celebration of the Jewish Sabbath. These beliefs were considered by all orthodox believers as anathema to the Christian faith and were dismissed as belonging to the heretics and Judaizers.

The early Chiliasts to a man held that the Old Testament sacrifices and ordinances had expired at the cross. They believed that Christ was the final sacrifice for sin. He rendered the rest needless and obsolete. It was anathema to them that there would be a rival system of sin offerings, raising up of the old covenant sinful priests and the rebuilding a destroyed temple. Their position was that the New Testament Scripture makes clear that Christ was the final sacrifice for sin (Romans 6:10, Hebrews 7:27, 9:12, 28, 10:10, 12, 14 and 1 Peter 3:18) and that there are no more offerings for sin (Hebrews 9:26, 10:18, 26 and 1 John 3:5). To think otherwise was considered to be an early Judaizing heresy.

So where did it come from? It clearly came from outside the orthodox camp. It is important then to piece together any surviving historic evidence that might exist that describes the restoration of the old covenant arrangement and a favored place for national Israel in a future millennial kingdom. From it, we can grasp the general expectation of a future millennial kingdom.

When we look for the originators and formulators of modern-day Premillennialism we actually arrive at four shadowy early figures. The first two operated at the very infancy of early church history – Cerinthus of Asia Minor (50-100 AD) and Marcion of Sinope, Asia Minor (Born: 85 AD, Died: 160 AD). Both of these were viewed as arch-heretics and were strongly resisted by the early church fathers for their corrupt perversion of Christianity. They invented a dual covenant concept of two parallel yet coexisting peoples of God, under two different agreements, serving two different gods, with two different time-tables and two different ultimate outcomes. This was seasoned throughout with Gnostic elements.

The later advocates of ancient Premillennialism who ran with, and widely promoted, it were Porphyry [or Porphyrius] of Tyre (232- 305) and Apollinarius of Laodicea, Asia Minor (died 382). These too were also condemned by the ancient orthodox fathers as heretics and blasphemers.

It is a sad indictment of Premillennialism that the genesis of the doctrine within Christendom can be found in the ancient writings of these gross heretics.

What set them apart from the orthodox Chiliasts was obviously not their opinion of the idea of a future millennial earth, no, it was their elevation of the nation Israel in a future millennium, their two-peoples-of-God-theory (including a clear discontinuity between Israel and the Church), their advocacy for the renewal of all the old covenant feasts and festivals, a return of blood sin offerings in a future temple (whether real or memorial) and their support for the restarting of the old covenant priesthood on a future millennial earth.

While these are beliefs that are widely held within both Historic Premillennialism and Dispensational Premillennialism today, they were unknown to the early orthodox Church Chiliasts. Along with the reintroduction of all the bondage of corruption on a future earth (including sin, death and decay) and the rising up of Satan after 1000 to influence billions of millennial inhabitants against Christ and the glorified saints, this advocacy for the return of all the old covenant apparatus is probably the most unsavory aspect of modern Premil.

Notably: none of the ancient Chiliasts supported the idea of Israel rising again to a place of racial superiority in a future millennial kingdom. They all looked upon the Church as true Israel today. They rejected any idea of God blessing any aspect of the redundant Jewish ceremonial arrangement. They strongly opposed any validity for, or efficacy in, any coexisting dual covenant theory.

They resisted any advancement of the fanciful idea of any type of reintroduction of the old abolished covenant system, including the rebuilding of the Jewish temple and the performing of multiple additional sin offerings to atone for the sins of man for a thousand years in the future. Such a thought was anathema to them.

I am not sure what any of that has to do with my comment. I actually mentioned a difficulty I had with premillennialism.
 

Eyedoc84

Puritan Board Freshman
...the elevation of national Israel in a future millennium, any parallel path between the Church and Israel, the rebuilding of the Jewish temple, the full restoration of all the old covenant feasts and festivals, the universal observance of Jewish customs, the return of blood sin offerings in a future temple (whether real or memorial) or the restarting of the old covenant priesthood in the future.

While these are beliefs that are widely held within both Historic Premillennialism...

No they aren’t.

Maybe a future temple. All the rest are hallmarks of dispensationalism and NOT historic premil.
 

sovereigngrace

Puritan Board Freshman
No they aren’t.

Maybe a future temple. All the rest are hallmarks of dispensationalism and NOT historic premil.

Not true. Historic and Posttrib Premils believe in a rebuilt millennial temple, the restoration of the ancient sacrifices (which they call "memorial sacrifices"), and the restarting of the old covenant priesthood of Zadok (Ezekiel 40-48, Zechariah 14).
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
Not true. Historic and Posttrib Premils believe in a rebuilt millennial temple, the restoration of the ancient sacrifices (which they call "memorial sacrifices"), and the restarting of the old covenant priesthood of Zadok (Ezekiel 40-48, Zechariah 14).

Can you provide some citations?
 

sovereigngrace

Puritan Board Freshman
Can you provide some citations?

I don't think there is any debate over the position of Dispensational Premils, but Historic and Posttrib Premils are split into 2 camps. Those who accept the return of the old covenant arrangement and those who do not. This article might help:

Dean Davis' High King of Heaven:

"Historic Premillennialism

This view is called premillennial because it teaches that Christ will come again before a thousand year reign upon the earth. It is called historic because, according to some, it was the dominant view of the early Church, and also because, in various forms, it has appeared throughout much of Church History.

There are two kinds of Historic Premillennialism (HP). The first may be called New Covenant (or Christian) Historic Premillennialism (NCHP). Its chief characteristic is that it places the Church at the center of the millennial scenario. Here, OTKP is fulfilled under the New Covenant, whether in the Era of Proclamation, the Millennium, or the World to Come. Accordingly, NCHP does not anticipate the exaltation of ethnic Israel in the Millennium, or a return to OT ordinances such as Temple worship, animal sacrifices, and Jewish Feasts. Rather, the Millennium is that stage in Salvation History where Christ’s Kingship is publically vindicated and celebrated in a renewed (but not yet perfected) world, and where His faithful New Covenant people are rewarded by sharing in His earthly reign.

All of the ante-Nicene premillennarians were of this persuasion. They include Papias, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, the Montanists, and Lactantius. After Augustine, NCHP was eclipsed for over a thousand years by amillennialism. However, in the 17[SUP]th[/SUP] and 18[SUP]th[/SUP] centuries a number of Protestant thinkers embraced it once again. They include Johann Alsted, Cotton Mather, Philipp Spener, Joseph Bengel, John Gill, Joseph Mede, and Charles Wesley. In the 19[SUP]th[/SUP] century, many premillennarians began to experiment with a more literal interpretation of OTKP, and therefore showed a lively interest in God’s plans for ethnic Israel. In time this trend led to the triumph of Dispensational Premillennialism, with its unprecedented focus upon Israel’s millennial glory. However, since the mid-20[SUP]th[/SUP] century a large number of evangelicals, following the lead of theologian George Ladd, have rejected Dispensationalism and returned once again to the classic NCHP. Prominent among them are Clarence Bass, Jim Hamilton, Carl Henry, Robert Mounce, Grant Osborne, J. Barton Payne, and John Piper. Arguably, this is now the majority position of American theologians. If, then, it is essential conformity to Ante-Nicene premillennialism that makes one a “true” historic premillennarian, these men are the rightful heirs to that mantle.

There is, however, a second form of HP. Again, it arose primarily in the 19[SUP]th[/SUP] century, when many evangelicals, adopting a more literal interpretation of OTKP, began to assert that God will fulfill certain OT promises by restoring and exalting ethnic Israel, both prior to and during the Millennium. Their company is impressive. It includes David Baron, Andrew and Horatio Bonar, Franz Delitzsche, Frederick Godet, Robert M’ Cheyne, George Peters, Charles Spurgeon, Samuel Tregelles, and Nathaniel West. Because of its interest in the future of ethnic Israel, we may call this view Old Covenant (or Jewish) Historic Premillennialism (OCHP).

While there are significant differences among them, most Old Covenant premillennarians would endorse the following sketch of Salvation History. In OT times God promised, prefigured, and prepared for an eschatological Kingdom that would appear in three stages: The Church Era of Gospel Proclamation, the Millennium, and the World to Come. The mission of the Church will advance in history infallibly, though with great difficulty. Towards the end of the age, the world will plunge into deep spiritual darkness, thereby triggering the rise of the Antichrist, a brief season severe persecution, and the apostasy of many professing believers. Then Christ will come again. When He does (or shortly before it), the great mass of Jews will be converted. Acting in judgment, Christ will destroy the Antichrist and his followers, and then confine Satan to the abyss. Acting in redemption, He will resurrect the saints of all time (or the martyrs alone), glorify living believers, partially lift the curse from the earth, and welcome believing Jews and the spared children of unbelievers into the Millennium. Now begins the theocratic stage of the Kingdom, when God’s eschatological David reigns over Israel and the nations. His kingship emanates from earthly Jerusalem, where (according to some) a glorious new Temple is situated, commemorative animal sacrifices are offered, and the ancient Mosaic feasts are observed. Though it is indeed a season of universal peace, the Millennium ends, mysteriously enough, with war: Released from the abyss, Satan uses his deceptive powers to incite a global rebellion against Christ and the saints. However, God immediately steps in so that fire falls from heaven, the rebels are consumed, and Satan is cast into the Lake of Fire. This brings on the (final) Consummation, wherein God raises the wicked dead (and, according to some, the millennial saints), judges the world in righteousness, destroys the present cosmos with fire, and creates new heavens and a new earth. Thus begins the third stage of the Kingdom, in which Jew and Gentile dwell together with God forever as a single glorified Church in the World to Come.

Shorn of its emphasis on ethnic Israel and the (partial) restoration of Mosaic ordinances, this is how NCHP views Salvation History as well.

Observe from our time-line that by opting for a future Millennium both forms of HP require two each of the great eschatological events, whether last battles, comings of Christ, resurrections, judgments, or cosmic transformations. In the pages ahead we will inquire as to whether the NT actually confirms this complex version of the Consummation, and, indeed, the entire HP scenario."
 
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BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I don't think there is any debate over the position of Dispensational Premils, but Historic and Posttrib Premils are split into 2 camps. Those who accept the return of the old covenant arrangement and those who do not. This article might help:

Dean Davis' High King of Heaven:

"Historic Premillennialism

This view is called premillennial because it teaches that Christ will come again before a thousand year reign upon the earth. It is called historic because, according to some, it was the dominant view of the early Church, and also because, in various forms, it has appeared throughout much of Church History.

There are two kinds of Historic Premillennialism (HP). The first may be called New Covenant (or Christian) Historic Premillennialism (NCHP). Its chief characteristic is that it places the Church at the center of the millennial scenario. Here, OTKP is fulfilled under the New Covenant, whether in the Era of Proclamation, the Millennium, or the World to Come. Accordingly, NCHP does not anticipate the exaltation of ethnic Israel in the Millennium, or a return to OT ordinances such as Temple worship, animal sacrifices, and Jewish Feasts. Rather, the Millennium is that stage in Salvation History where Christ’s Kingship is publically vindicated and celebrated in a renewed (but not yet perfected) world, and where His faithful New Covenant people are rewarded by sharing in His earthly reign.

All of the ante-Nicene premillennarians were of this persuasion. They include Papias, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, the Montanists, and Lactantius. After Augustine, NCHP was eclipsed for over a thousand years by amillennialism. However, in the 17[SUP]th[/SUP] and 18[SUP]th[/SUP] centuries a number of Protestant thinkers embraced it once again. They include Johann Alsted, Cotton Mather, Philipp Spener, Joseph Bengel, John Gill, Joseph Mede, and Charles Wesley. In the 19[SUP]th[/SUP] century, many premillennarians began to experiment with a more literal interpretation of OTKP, and therefore showed a lively interest in God’s plans for ethnic Israel. In time this trend led to the triumph of Dispensational Premillennialism, with its unprecedented focus upon Israel’s millennial glory. However, since the mid-20[SUP]th[/SUP] century a large number of evangelicals, following the lead of theologian George Ladd, have rejected Dispensationalism and returned once again to the classic NCHP. Prominent among them are Clarence Bass, Jim Hamilton, Carl Henry, Robert Mounce, Grant Osborne, J. Barton Payne, and John Piper. Arguably, this is now the majority position of American theologians. If, then, it is essential conformity to Ante-Nicene premillennialism that makes one a “true” historic premillennarian, these men are the rightful heirs to that mantle.

There is, however, a second form of HP. Again, it arose primarily in the 19[SUP]th[/SUP] century, when many evangelicals, adopting a more literal interpretation of OTKP, began to assert that God will fulfill certain OT promises by restoring and exalting ethnic Israel, both prior to and during the Millennium. Their company is impressive. It includes David Baron, Andrew and Horatio Bonar, Franz Delitzsche, Frederick Godet, Robert M’ Cheyne, George Peters, Charles Spurgeon, Samuel Tregelles, and Nathaniel West. Because of its interest in the future of ethnic Israel, we may call this view Old Covenant (or Jewish) Historic Premillennialism (OCHP).

While there are significant differences among them, most Old Covenant premillennarians would endorse the following sketch of Salvation History. In OT times God promised, prefigured, and prepared for an eschatological Kingdom that would appear in three stages: The Church Era of Gospel Proclamation, the Millennium, and the World to Come. The mission of the Church will advance in history infallibly, though with great difficulty. Towards the end of the age, the world will plunge into deep spiritual darkness, thereby triggering the rise of the Antichrist, a brief season severe persecution, and the apostasy of many professing believers. Then Christ will come again. When He does (or shortly before it), the great mass of Jews will be converted. Acting in judgment, Christ will destroy the Antichrist and his followers, and then confine Satan to the abyss. Acting in redemption, He will resurrect the saints of all time (or the martyrs alone), glorify living believers, partially lift the curse from the earth, and welcome believing Jews and the spared children of unbelievers into the Millennium. Now begins the theocratic stage of the Kingdom, when God’s eschatological David reigns over Israel and the nations. His kingship emanates from earthly Jerusalem, where (according to some) a glorious new Temple is situated, commemorative animal sacrifices are offered, and the ancient Mosaic feasts are observed. Though it is indeed a season of universal peace, the Millennium ends, mysteriously enough, with war: Released from the abyss, Satan uses his deceptive powers to incite a global rebellion against Christ and the saints. However, God immediately steps in so that fire falls from heaven, the rebels are consumed, and Satan is cast into the Lake of Fire. This brings on the (final) Consummation, wherein God raises the wicked dead (and, according to some, the millennial saints), judges the world in righteousness, destroys the present cosmos with fire, and creates new heavens and a new earth. Thus begins the third stage of the Kingdom, in which Jew and Gentile dwell together with God forever as a single glorified Church in the World to Come.

Shorn of its emphasis on ethnic Israel and the (partial) restoration of Mosaic ordinances, this is how NCHP views Salvation History as well.

Observe from our time-line that by opting for a future Millennium both forms of HP require two each of the great eschatological events, whether last battles, comings of Christ, resurrections, judgments, or cosmic transformations. In the pages ahead we will inquire as to whether the NT actually confirms this complex version of the Consummation, and, indeed, the entire HP scenario."

I guess we are looking for quotes from historic premils that argue for a return to sacrifices et al.
 

Eyedoc84

Puritan Board Freshman
It seems to me the quote from Davis proves my point. A return to sacrifices and the OT “system” is NOT part and parcel of the historic premil position at large. That some men have advocated it within an HP position is beside the point if the refutation sets it up as if the system requires it. It’s just a straw man.

I would bet, apart from what Davis calls OTKP, which seems to be a 19th century phenomenon, that the historic premil camp at large throughout history did not require a return to sacrifices. Today’s HP’s largely follow in the path of GE Ladd, the primary proponent of HP in the 20th century.

And no HP person I have ever read advocated a “parallel” path for Jews. Even some dispensationalists rejected this part of Darby’s system.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
And no HP person I have ever read advocated a “parallel” path for Jews. Even some dispensationalists rejected this part of Darby’s system.

Almost all Dispensationalists today reject that. You are correct.

The only HP guy I know that interacted with the "rebuilt" Ezekiel temple is Michael Brown. Brown dealt with it in response to Jewish apologetics. Brown notes that even for the rabbis Ezek. 40-48 presented a big problem since it didn't exactly match the Mosaic prescriptions for the tabernacle.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Senior
The first individual I thought of was the eminent Baptist John Gill. I would think he would have an allergic reaction to the idea of a rebuilt temple together with reinstituted sacrifices. Has anyone read him on this? @JM?
 

sovereigngrace

Puritan Board Freshman
Spurgeon believed in a return to sacrifices?

First, I quoted that article because Davis is accepted for his reliable research on modern HP. I have concentrated my historic research on the ECFs because there is so much error advanced in regard to their beliefs.

Secondly, my research on Spurgeon on this subject is minimal. Reading him in most of his writings you would think he is Amil. My only personal understanding of this comes from archive.spurgeon.org, which I have found to be typically factual, reliable and objective on his position

 
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