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Below is a writing that Elder Poole posted on a Discussion forum back in 2007. Nobody answered his questions at the time. The forum moderator then re-posted it towards the end of 2013, to which Elder Poole gave permission. Following the post below is an attempt at an answer from someone that happened to come upon it. But what is interesting to me is that the person who responded was not part of the forum and just sent his reply to the moderator to post (the forum is a public forum to read but you have to be part of it in order to post anything). After the attempt at a reply, I have posted some thoughts for your consideration about the reply. – Thanks, Tom

PRE-MILLENNIAL QUESTIONS

Brethren:

Perhaps someone can provide us with information, based on scripture, relative to what is today called the millennial reign of Christ on earth.

Having known many persons of this persuasion I am somewhat surprised by their silence. No one has ever given out any substantial ideas, or even perceived theories, of what is to take place in this 1000 year kingdom, or reign of Christ. At least I have not heard from them. Rumor has it that there will be a restored throne, a new temple, universal peace, and many other benefits worthy of the reign of God on earth. But, is this so?

“While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease (Genesis 8:22).” In pondering this text there comes to mind several questions: will there be any suspension of this text? If not, could it not be possible that there would remain the attending weather problems so common now? Ice storms? Floods? Tornadoes and hurricanes? Will these things affect the nations, assuming there will be nations? There are to be nations, are there not? It would be a pleasure to learn of these matters in this wondrous kingdom of Christ on earth.

Again, assuming there will be nations, will their depravity be suspended for the 1000 years, or will they, the nations, continue in enmity against God as previous to the kingdom? Any light on the conduct of these nations will be greatly appreciated.

Also, will the earth’s plates that cause so many earthquakes about our globe be frozen in place for this earthly kingdom, or will these sad disasters continue to plague mankind, even while Jesus is supposed to be reigning in absolute authority. Would earthquakes disrupt the prevailing peace or would they somehow have no effect as they now do?

On another point, where will all the elect from all ages be housed in this future kingdom? They surely are beyond numbering, so what will they all do for a 1000 years. Will they be crowded together, possibly in Palestine or maybe even in a desert place where there would be more room? I shall resist asking what will happen to all those positions of mayor, governor, senators and so on that Arminian millennial hawks promote for the dutiful.

And, what will Christ himself be doing all this time? Will he heal the sick? Then there must be sickness. Cure deformities and disease? These too must be prevalent then. Will Jesus go out among the people? If so will he use modern transportation or walk, sandals and so on. I ask this, not casually, but in genuine sincerity.

Another area of concern is the future of the various habitations on earth. Will Las Vegas be somehow reformed, vile nature and all, or will they be deprived of their natural inclinations? What of all the other places, almost without number, of base conduct, and the venting of human emotions unfit for mention here? Will they bow in submission to the personal reign of Jesus? If so, will they bow in hypocrisy or will they somehow be born again? If born again, will they be added to the Church that Jesus built? What of the millions of jobs related to war? Gone, or will they simply start producing plow shears without number?

Human life! How long will man live? Surely death would be banished from the presence of Jesus. Will there be any births? Then sex will remain, will it not? Can all humans have sex, or only those that can do it without sin?

On we might go. A thousand questions come to mind but these should suffice. Any information will be appreciated but it is to be hoped that all answers will be based in biblical fact and not simple speculation.

To each who may help I extend my sincere thanks.

James Poole

Should any millennialist desire to castigate me for my ignorance, they may forget it. I already know all about it.


Dear Elder Poole:

I read with interest your question regarding the Millennium. I am an Old Baptist that is just as solidly PreMill. I do not pretend to be an expert in these matters but I would like to take this opportunity to lay out in a brotherly way why I hold to the PreMil view. In the first place I hold this view because I believe it is the only eschatalogical model that interprets Scripture properly. Let me explain, if you would be so kind as to permit me. The O.T. is full of prophecies regarding the glories of the Messianic kingdom. This leaves the student of Scripture with one of three possible solutions. First, the Scriptures are not inspired and these are merely the ultra-nationalistic ravings of “prophets” who were simply patriots. Of course, we would all agree that this is not the proper approach. Secondly, one can take them in the plain and natural sense. If we do that then one is compelled to hold to a future 1000 year Millennial kingdom. Thirdly, one can spiritualize them all away and make them refer to “the Church.” A example of this is Calvin’s “exposition” of Zech. 14 (which I personally find nauseating). Now if, the Scriptures are to be allegorized and spiritualized in this way on this question why not on other questions? Let me give an example, if I may. In CONSERVATIVE Reformed and Presbyterian religious societies today one of the most heated controversies taking place is whether the 6 days of Creation are in indeed 6 literal 24 hour days or whether they simply represent millions of years. This is a natural outcome of a spiritualizing methodology applied to Scripture.. If one can employ this methodology in regard to the prophecies of the glories of the Messianic Kingdom then why not to the whole Bible?. Consistently applied, this must ultimately lead to liberalism (I do not for a second suggest such a pitiful outcome in your case dear brother). Secondly, the faith of the Primitive Baptist churches for a century after the death of the last apostle was uniformly premillennial. Amillennialism first reared its head with Origen and his spiritualizing/allegorizing methodology of interpreting Scripture – which was a new unheard of methodology up to that point. The first major formulation of Amil comes from Augustine and the corrupt apostate Church begun in 313 .A.D. The Reformers did NOTHING in the area of eschatology except carry this Romish doctrine into the bosom of “Protestantism.” From there it is seeped into Baptist churches which I personally find appalling. We are people of the book. We take the book to contain the literal Words of God but why oh why in such a critical area are we so willing to run back to Rome and inbibe her notions??? It is quite revealing that in Acts 1.6 the disciples asked our Lord, “dost thou at this time RESTORE THE KINGDOM TO ISRAEL?” They certainly expected a literal fulfillment of the O.T. prophets. And if they were wrong and all these prophecies were really talking about “the Church” this was a perfect teaching opportunity for our Lord to correct their faulty expectations. But He does not rebuke them or correct their thinking. His answer was simply “it is not for you to know the times or seasons, which the Father hath set within His own authority.” Acts 1.7. And in Acts 3.21 we are told that the heavens must receive Christ until the times OF RESTORATION.” Now as to your sincere and honest questions I do not pretend to be a scholar of any sort and I would be less than truthful with you if I pretended to have so carefully studied every facet of the matter that I have fully resolved and understood every aspect of the issue. I will give, in brief, my thoughts as to your question. First, the Scriptures do indicate significant changes in the geographical feature of the Millennial earth. J.R. Graves in his book “The Work of Christ consumated in Seven Dispensations” on pages 497-503 delves into this question in some detail.. As to the subjects of this Millennial reign they seem to be composed of (1) All the Jews then living, and all the nations that are saved at the judgment of the nations with the nations of heathendom will constitute the MORTAL subjects of the earthly Millennial kingdom. (2) The raised and translated saints as Kings, and priests and rulers will be associated with Christ in the government of the nations of the earth. Note please in Rev. 2.26-27 Jesus promises His faithful saints that they will be given “authority over the nations” and “shall rule them with a rod of Iron.” I simply cannot conceive how any Amil can find a place in his scheme for this passage. Indeed, most ignore it. I would like to close by pointing out that some wise man once said that we can never hope to understand THE DETAILS of unfulfilled prophecy until the prophecy is fulfilled. And that is in my view an important idea to always keep in mind. Do I understand all the DETAILS of the Millennium?. No, Nor do I believe anybody can. But like the disciples I eagerly await the restoration of all things and the Millennial rule of my blessed Saviour. That is principle which I shall always cleave to. On a personal note the few sermons by you that I have listened to I have really profited from. If you are still actively preaching is there a web address I can go to to to access them?

Your Brother in Christ,


I have no idea who the person was who replied to Elder Poole’s original post. And I have nothing against him personally. But, I ask that you the reader take these thoughts below into consideration and take Scripture for what it is saying. I am only bringing these things up to show their inconsistency.

One of the first things that I noticed about the reply is that this person didn’t really answer ANY of Elder Poole’s questions. And it simply amazed me that Elder Poole can end his post with this request: “...it is to be hoped that all answers will be based in biblical fact...”. And yet this person goes to quoting J.R. Graves instead of going to Scripture. My initial thoughts went to (whether they are accurate or not), “Does this person not have thoughts of his own? Can he only parrot what someone else has said instead of sharing what the Lord has revealed to him?” It never ceases to amaze me how many so-called believers go first to someone’s writing when they are trying to prove a point. Why not simply stick with what Scriptures say and what the Lord has revealed to you personally?

This writer states: “In CONSERVATIVE Reformed and Presbyterian religious societies today one of the most heated controversies taking place is whether the 6 days of Creation are in indeed 6 literal 24 hour days or whether they simply represent millions of years. This is a natural outcome of a spiritualizing methodology applied to Scripture. If one can employ this methodology in regard to the prophecies of the glories of the Messianic Kingdom then why not to the whole Bible?”

I don’t agree with the days representing millions of years, but before any judgments can be made, what do the scriptures have to say about the creation?

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

And God said Let there be light: ... And the evening and the morning were the first day.

And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, ... And the evening and the morning were the second day.

And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, ... And the evening and the morning were the third day.

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.” (Genesis 1:1-19)

From this person’s comment that I copied above, I am assuming that it is imperative to him to believe in a strict 24 hour day of creation. Now with looking at the above scriptures, we see that God did not speak into existence a way to measure time until the fourth day. “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:” In other words, even though Scripture clarifies what God spoke into existence, and signifies that it was “the first day”, “the second day”, etc., there is NO WAY to dogmatically say what that time period was until the fourth day. Saying this, I would like to state that I have also been a pretty staunch 24 hour day believer for the creation up until now, but I can’t argue with Scripture. It is something that we just don’t know. And to have this as a base for an argument like the writer appears to do, is building on a false premise. And then we can’t discount what God said to Job!

“Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.

Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.” (Job 38:1-4)

Did Job have an answer? Then is it not extreme arrogance to think that we have the answer now and that we can be dogmatic about something that Scripture is not?

A little bit further in the reply, the writer says: “Note please in Rev. 2.26-27 Jesus promises His faithful saints that they will be given “authority over the nations” and “shall rule them with a rod of Iron.” I simply cannot conceive how any Amil can find a place in his scheme for this passage. Indeed, most ignore it.” Now remember at the beginning of his reply the writer makes it a point to emphasize that spiritualizing the Scriptures is wrong. So, what do the scriptures that he mentions actually say and who are they written to?

“And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” (Revelation 2:18-29){bold emphasis added to show the verses that were referenced – TA}

The writer says very specifically that the faithful saints will be given “authority over the nations” and “shall rule them with a rod of iron.” And yet these verses are explicitly written to the church of Thyatira. So, is this writer part of the church of Thyatira? Is that why he feels he should be part of the promise? Or is he spiritualizing these verses and taking them out of context? Also it sure appears to me that with these quotes, the emphasis is not on Christ but on the supposed “power” or “authority” that he thinks he will get.

So, I will end this with these thoughts. Is it that difficult for some to just answer the question given? And in that answer is it really that difficult to stick to what Scripture says? and not rely on what man says for your “proof”? Also, I don’t know about you, but everything that the “mass” of people believe is suspect to me (“And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.” – Luke 16:15) and I know that I still have plenty of baggage, but I hope that I will not trust in man’s opinions but rely on the Lord and His revelation.

In hope,
Tom
January 2014