Premillennialism Is A Descent Of Ancient Judaism

celestial-garden

William Masselink

The History of Chiliasm

“What is the origin of this strange doctrine?” you ask. The careful study of church history will furnish us with the conclusive answer. Premillennialism is a descent of ancient Judaism. There is a striking resemblance between the off-spring and the parent. The old Jewish conceptions of an external Messianic kingdom have found their perfect embodiment in the Chiliastic theory of the millennium. Premillennialism is a relic of Judaism. Dr. Hodge says of this, “It is a Jewish doctrine. The principles adopted by its advocates in the interpretation of prophecy are the same as have been adopted by the Jews in the time of Christ; and have led substantially to the same conclusions. The Jews expected that when the Messiah came He would establish a glorious earthly kingdom at Jerusalem; that those who had died in the faith should be raised from the dead to share the Messianic reign; that all nations and peoples on the face of the earth should be subject to them; and that any nation that would not serve them should be destroyed. All the riches and honors of the world were to be at their disposal. The event destroyed these expectations; and the principles of prophetic interpretation on which these expectations were founded were proved to be incorrect,” Hodge Systematic Theology – Eschatology.

EXAMINATION OF OLD JEWISH WRITINGS

The Judaistic features of Chiliasm can be readily seen by an examination of the Apocalyptic writings of the Jews. The genesis of this doctrine may be found in these writings which are generally dated in the pre-Christian period. The Jews divided the future into two separate periods. The first era is considered to be of a temporal nature and is designated as the kingdom of the Messiah. The second era is of eternal duration and is called the kingdom of God. The transient Messianic kingdom prepares the way for the final setting up of the eternal kingdom of God. This is exactly the position of the Premillennialists of today. Christ’s Messianic kingdom comes first and after that the kingdom of God. That the Chiliasts have incorporated a part of ancient Jewish eschatology in their scheme of the future is very evident. A general survey of the Jewish writings is all that is necessary to establish this fact. In the book of Enoch (chap. 91, 93) the entire course of the world is divided into ten weeks. At the close of the tenth period the eternal stage begins. In the third book of Sible the Messianic reign is first represented and after it has overcome its enemies, the kingdom of God begins. We find the same distinction in the Psalms of Solomon where the preliminary Messianic kingdom is described as something transitory. In Psalms 17 and 18, and in Psalm 3:12, we read of the resurrection to eternal life.

Coming down to the Christian period we meet this two-fold kingdom idea in the Slavic Enoch and in the Apocalypses of Ezra and Baruch. In these writings the duration of the Messianic period is fixed by a definite number of years. In 4 Ezra 7:28 the reign of Christ lasts four hundred years. After that time Christ with the rest of His earthly creatures, dies. Then the dead awake and the eternal judgment begins. So also in Baruch 40:3 the reign of Christ is represented as lasting till the world comes to an end.

In many of the Jewish writings, the presentation of these two stages has resulted in an orderless confusion. Continue reading

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The REAL Jews of South Africa?

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Grant Swart

Over time we have posted numerous articles on this blog in both English and Afrikaans which address the subjects of British-Israelism (“Israel Vision”) and the Hebrew Roots Movement. In South Africa, these belief systems have a rather large following, and in particular among the Afrikaner people. Although there are many different streams within these belief systems, they all have in common some form of false belief that they are either descendants of the Jewish people by inheritance, by birthright or by divine proclamation.

Additionally, as in some other, mostly Western, countries, these remain highly controversial subjects and the indoctrinated followers of these cult-like movements vehemently defend their positions, often with great eloquence and with what they firmly believe to be, Old Testament Scriptural support. Many of the deceived followers of these incorrect and false belief systems have commented at length in opposition to our articles and, in an almost equal number of instances, we have not approved their comments. With predictable regularity, these misled people lose all semblance of the measured, intellectual decency and Christian attitudes they portray at first, once they resort to cursing us when we do not publish their deceitful responses. There are very few names which we have not been called by these religious terrorists.

Although, to some this may seem to be unfair practice on our part, it remains our prerogative as to what is made public on this blog. This blog is not entitled, “For the Love of Falsehood”. We are accountable to all true Christians and to all those whom we do not know, but whom God has drawn to faith and salvation by His grace. The reason for posting the related articles has always been to expose the dangers posed by these false belief systems and to refute them. We do not post articles which oppose the “Israel Vision” and Hebrew Roots Movements in order to create a platform from which followers of these religious falsehoods, can further advertise their deceptive messages.

Neither has it been our intention to use the blog as a forum for any long-winded and, more than likely, fruitless, debate with those who are opposed to simple biblical and historical facts. By not approving many of the comments which support the South African form of British-Israelism, “Israel Vision” and Hebrew Roots Movements, we are at least able to limit, to a small degree, the exposure given to their false and deadly religious beliefs.

However, there is a group of South Africans who can rightfully lay claim to being of Jewish descent, and I’m sure that there will be many readers, and in particular many of our South African readers, who will find the following article very surprising. Continue reading

Jesus Christ: The True Israel

Jesus is the true Israel

Kim Riddlebarger 

If we stand within the field of prophetic vision typical of Israel’s prophets after the exile and captivity, and with them we look to the future, what do we see?  Israel’s prophets clearly anticipate a time when Israel will be restored to its former greatness.  But will that restoration of the nation of Israel to its former glory mirror the days of the monarchy?  Or does the monarchy itself point us to the monarch?

Such a prophetic vision includes not only the nation, but the land of Canaan, the city of Jerusalem, the throne of David, as well as the temple in Jerusalem.  Since the nation had been divided and the people were hauled off into captivity in Babylon some five centuries before the coming of Jesus, the magnificent temple destroyed and the priesthood gone, such prophetic expectation related to Israel’s future quite naturally spoke of a reversal of fortune and the undoing of calamity which had come upon the nation.

But with apostolic hindsight Peter speaks of how “concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories.  It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.” (1 Peter 1:10-12). Continue reading

What stone Temple ? Jesus, is the True Temple !

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Jesus, the True Temple

By Kim Riddlebarger 

When Jesus declared of himself, “I tell you, something greater than the temple is here,” (Matthew 12:6) and when he told a Samaritan woman that he can give her “living water” (John 4:10-14), we are given a major clue that the authors of the New Testament have reinterpreted the pre-messianic understanding of God’s temple in the light of the coming of Jesus, Israel’s Messiah.

When we consider the fact that the temple occupies a major role in the witness of Israel’s prophets regarding God’s future eschatological blessing for the nation, and that this imagery points forward to person of Jesus, we are greatly aided in our understanding of the nature and character of the millennial age as a present reality.

We begin with the Old Testament expectation regarding the temple of the Lord.  Both Isaiah 2:2-4 and Micah 4:1-5, speak of God’s future blessing upon Israel in the last days, when God’s people will go up to mountain of the Lord, and to the temple, where God’s people will once again learn the ways of the Lord. Continue reading

DISPENSATIONALISM = ASSUMPTION + SENSATIONALISM + CONSPIRACY

GRANT SWART

Dispensationalism is a complicated system of belief about the “last days”, the Jewish nation, the millennium and other related subjects. This system is extremely popular and has been heavily promoted around the world during the last two centuries.  The system of Dispensationalism is built on false assumptions about Scripture and Bible prophecy. If ANY ONE of these assumptions is wrong then the entire system collapses and in essence, NONE of these assumptions can be biblically supported. With reference to my previous post on this subject, what follows is an outline of Dispensational assumptions.   

Assumption One

Dispensationalism assumes God deals differently with people in different time periods called dispensations [hence the name]. Although there is some disagreement among dispensationalists, most agree that there are seven distinct dispensations. The dealings of God with mankind are seen as separate – with perhaps some overlap.

Is God’s plan really broken up into different ways of dealing with people at different times? This is a dangerous assumption to make because it means that God is unpredictable. He has had different unrelated plans in the past and may then have different plans in the future. It also means that salvation in some of these dispensations was possible without the cross. Some people are saved, in this view, simply because of their national heritage. Continue reading

Dispensationalism: Focusing eschatology on assumption and human politics, and reducing Christ’s role in Bible prophecy

Grant Swart

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Dispensational Premillenialism sharply focuses the events surrounding the end times, on the so-called “secret” rapture and a perceived forthcoming millennium. At the center of this focus is national Israel, daily events which take place in the Middle-East and in the realm of international politics and, of course, the increasing popularization of any number of future personalities representing the Antichrist. Sensational speculation and enthusiastic debate, motivated mainly by geo-political human affairs and major natural events, are designed to divert attention away from biblical prophecy regarding the end times. The end time is thereby reduced to a small window of time in the future and fragmented and isolated events in recent human history, rather than an ongoing eschatological understanding of biblical prophecy which stretches from Genesis to Revelation.

Some of the most commercially successful books, television shows and even certain reference Bibles, have been remarkably innovative and convincingly sincere in finding ways to support the false assumptions which are necessary to support the  “concept” of dispensational premillenialism in its various forms. Continue reading

POLL: Who is the Antichrist?

 by Grant Swart

Speculation regarding antichrist, different antichrists and the Antichrist has always been rife. Discussion regarding the identity of the Antichrist has certainly not been limited to Christian circles, but is also the topic of countless conversations among non-believers throughout much of the world. A plethora of movies, books and even TV and computer games have been produced, which have portrayed the Antichrist in many different guises. It is a topic which has been the catalyst for many to employ overly-dramatized imagery, much poetic license and vivid imaginations.

The virtual or internet realm has brought an added dimension to the world’s fascination with Antichrist, some even believing that it will be through the medium of the internet that Antichrist will gain eventual control of our armies, finances, natural resources and the minds of people. Much of this has served, in large degree, to add even more speculation and undeserved mystery to the prophesied events surrounding the coming Antichrist. Even to the extent that the personality of Antichrist has been glorified and portrayed as being “an interesting and not really such a bad guy”, or simply someone who will be unfairly persecuted or demonized by Christians for their own ideals.

More often than not, popular secular adaptation of perceived coming events, portrays Antichrist as a perfect-looking Continue reading