FOUNDATIONS

Lessons designed to promote the integrity of scripture and church!

I Corinthians 3:11“For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is    JESUS CHRIST  

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

 

THE BODY OF CHRIST

ADDITIONAL DESIGNATIONS FOR THE BODY OF CHRIST – ESTABLISHED KINGDOM vs. PREMILLENNIALISM – INTRO.

In our previous lesson, we established some fast facts concerning the kingdom. As we introduce the origins of premillennialism, we will additionally continue to give scriptural support for the present existence of the kingdom and God’s true eternal purpose in Christ Jesus – Ephesians 3:10-11.

Introduction to Premillennialism –

In this series of lessons, we are going to look into one of the most prolific doctrines to be spread over the last few decades. It has become so widespread that it has effected in one way or another, virtually everyone we try to teach concerning the Gospel of Christ. This doctrine has even found its way into the Lord's body.

The title ‘premillennialism’ has its origins in the premises of the doctrine – “pre”, meaning before; and “Millennialism”, referring to the number 1,000. This doctrine promotes that Jesus the Christ will return to earth before He literally begins a 1,000 year reign here on earth.

Origins –

The origins of premillennialism are relatively new! Prior to the individuals we are about to introduce, there may have been a few others who may have considered similar doctrines concerning an earthly kingdom; however, the primary origins of this doctrine is found in the men we will introduce.

#1.

John Nelson Darby (18 November 1800 – 29 April 1882) was an Anglo-Irish evangelist, and an influential figure among the original Plymouth Brethren. He is considered to be the father of modern Dispensationalism and Futurism in the English vernacular. He produced a translation of the Bible based on the Hebrew and Greek texts called The Holy Scriptures: A New Translation from the Original Languages by J. N. Darby.

wikipedia.org

John Darby would be considered to be the originator of the modern version or understanding of premillennialism.

#2.

William Eugene Blackstone (October 6, 1841 – November 7, 1935) was an American evangelist and Christian Zionist. He was the author of the proto- Zionist Blackstone Memorial of 1891. Blackstone was influenced by Dwight Lyman Moody, James H. Brookes and John Nelson Darby.

Blackstone was born in Adams, New York and became an evangelical Christian when he was 11 during revival meetings at a local Methodist church. He enlisted for military service during the American Civil War but was not accepted due to "frailness of body". Instead he joined the United States Christian Commission (similar to the modern Red Cross) and was stationed much of the time at General Ulysses S. Grant's headquarters as coordinator of medical services for injured combatants.

On June 5, 1866, Blackstone married Sarah Lee Smith (daughter of Philander Smith) and settled in Oak Park, Illinois in 1870, where he very successfully engaged in the "business of building and property investments". Blackstone, in a single night of personal spiritual struggle, decided to dedicate his life to God. Renouncing material pursuits, he proclaimed for the balance of his long life, in his preaching as well as in his writing, the premillennial return and rapture of the Church. As he ministered across the U.S., Blackstone spoke with increasing fervor in support of Jewish Restorationism.

In 1878, he wrote, Jesus is Coming. His book became the veritable reference source of American dispensationalist thought. Over the next 50 years, Jesus is Coming sold multi-millions of copies worldwide and was translated into 48 languages.

He initially focused on the Restoration of the Jews to the Holy Land as a prelude to their conversion to Christianity, out of a pious wish to hasten the coming of the Messiah; but he increasingly became concerned with the deadly, Russian, government-instigated pogroms and believed that it was necessary to create a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

He was, furthermore, persuaded that neither the European nations nor the United States would accept as many Jews as needed to escape from Europe.

Blackstone and his daughter traveled to the Holy Land in 1888. He returned convinced that a return of the Jewish people to its ancient homeland was the only possible solution to the persecution Jews suffered elsewhere. On November 24–25, 1890, Blackstone organized the Conference on the Past, Present and Future of Israel at the First Methodist Episcopal Church in Chicago where participants included leaders of both Jewish and Christian communities, albeit not leaders of the Reform movement.

The conference issued a call urging the great powers, including the Ottoman Empire, to return Palestine to the Jews. Resolutions of sympathy for the oppressed Jews living in Russia were passed, but Blackstone was convinced that such resolutions - even though passed by prominent men - were insufficient. He advocated strongly for the voluntary resettlement of the Jewish people, suffering under virulent anti-Semitism, in Palestine.

wikipedia.org

Although Mr. Blackstone would give added influence to this doctrine with his book which would be printed in forty different languages; his influence pales in comparison to the Scofield Reference Bible.

#3.

Cyrus Ingerson Scofield (August 19, 1843 - July 24, 1921) was an American theologian, minister, and writer whose best-selling annotated Bible popularized futurism and dispensationalism among fundamentalist Christians.

wikipedia.org

The Scofield Bible was not a translation of the Bible, but an edition of the King James Version with his personal notes scattered throughout the text (hundreds of them, promoting premillennialism). When he introduced this Bible, thousands of dollars were spent to promote it (a sizable amount at the time). It became highly popular.

Dr. Scofield never argues, never explains that his assertions are true. By withholding his reasons for his assertions, he simply gives the impression to those who obtained his Bible that they simply are true without need to investigate.

Those who purchased the Bibles considered in the majority of cases, that since it was in the Bible, even the notes of Scofield were scripture!

In addition to these, out of the 1800’s we would also see William Miller. His teachings are at the heart of the Seventh Day Adventists and the Jehovah Witnesses. He would predict the second coming of Christ in 1843, and in 1844.

#4.

Harold Lee "Hal" Lindsey (born November 23, 1929) is an American evangelist and Christian writer. He is a Christian Zionist and dispensationalist author.

wikipedia.org

One of the last influences that would help advance modern premillennial doctrine would be Hal Lindsey. He is the author of the book, “The Late Great Planet Earth”. This book would be highly popular because of its simplistic story style explanation of premillennialism.

Lindsay himself was a student at Dallas Theological Seminary, which used Blackstone’s book, “Jesus is Coming” as a textbook. 

One of things that should jump out at you right out of the gate is that this modern, extremely popular doctrine is so new in its origins that we actually have pictures of the originators of this doctrine. This also tells us that for far longer a period of history, the universal acceptance of the existence of the kingdom, as the Apostles of Jesus Christ revealed, was never in question.

Next: “The Overall Premise of Premillennialism!”