However, before we do that, it may be helpful to first provide a general outline of the basic tenets of premillennialism so as to have a focal point for my exegesis when I come to those passages. I did touch on the historical background of premillennialism in my previous study on eschatology. That post can be read HERE.
Also, I have left off from any discussion regarding distinctions between so-called historic premillennialism and dispensational premillennialism in its varied forms. Some readers may think I am being thoughtless and irresponsible to do so. Believe me, I understand there are theological nuances, and proponents of each variation will adamantly insist those nuances are significant, but the historic position, along with classic and progressive dispensationalists, all have to affirm some core theological points in order to be premillennial. Some may say the distinction dispensationalists make between Israel and the Church is so sharp it brings about a radical alternative to the historic group, but premillennialism, in order for it to be true, must for example recognized a restoration of the nation Israel to a physical land. It is those similarities I am seeking to note.
The following represents the main outline I took from Robert Duncan Culver’s excellent little book defending premillennialism from the book of Daniel called Daniel and the Latter-days. I felt his outline of premillennialism was succinct, but at the same time precisely detailing the points I wish to defend, and even though the book is out of print, it is thankfully available on line, so it is readily accessible. The points under consideration here are located in “Part 1” of the book, chapters 1, 2, and 3 in the table of contents, but linked as part 3, part 4, and part 5 at the site. If folks need more information fleshing out the details they can dig a bit deeper for themselves at the website.
The basic points of premillennialism are as follows:
1) The period of time between the resurrection of the just and of the unjust.
2) The period of Satan’s imprisonment.
3) An initial stage in the everlasting kingdom of Christ.
4) A period begun by the visible return of Christ in glory to judge and rule the nations.
5) A period closed by the final eradication of all evil from God’s universe at the final judgment of the wicked.
6) A period during which the saints of the first resurrection will be associated with Christ in His reign.
Related to these 6 major tenets are 3 important details taking place before the millennium and leading up to it:
1) A final personal Antichrist shall appear near the close of the present age who will become master of the world and will be destroyed by Christ at His coming.
2) A period of great tribulation for Israel is to transpire during Antichrist’s oppression, from which deliverance will be provided by Christ at His coming.
3) The closing days of the present age will witness the restoration of Israel to the land and the conversion of the nation, to be followed in the millennium by the fulfillment of the Old Testament covenant promises distinctive to that nation.