Dispensational premillennialists hold that Christ will come before a seven-year period of intense tribulation to take His church (living and dead) into heaven. After this period of fulfillment of divine wrath, He shall then return to rule from a holy city (i.e., the New Jerusalem) over the earthly nations for one thousand years. After these thousand years, Satan, who was bound up during Christ’s earthly reign, will be loosed to deceive the nations, gather an army of the deceived, and take up to battle against the Lord. This battle will end in both the judgment of the wicked and Satan and the entrance into the eternal state of glory by the righteous. This view is called premillenialism because it places the return of Christ before the millennium and it is called dispensational because it is founded in the doctrines of dispensationalism.
Features and Distinctions:
- Favored method of interpretation: strict literal.
- Israel and the church: views church and Israel as two distinct identities with two individual redemptive plans.
- The rapture of the Church: The church is raptured before a seven-year tribulation (the seventieth week of Daniel – Daniel 9:24-27). This tribulational period contains the reign of the AntiChrist.
- Millennium: Christ will return at the end of the great tribulation to institute a thousand-year rule from a holy city (the New Jerusalem). Those who come to believe in Christ during the seventieth week of Daniel (including the 144,000 Jews) and survive will go on to populate the earth during this time. Those who were raptured or raised previous to the tribulational period will reign with Christ over the millennial population.
- Higher degrees of interpreting present-day events in the light of end-times prophecy.
- The Millennium will see the re-establishment of temple worship and sacrifice as a remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice.
- From the millennium-ending “white throne” judgment (by which Satan and all unbelievers will be thrown into the lake of fire) Christ and all saints will proceed into eternal glory.
- Major proponents: John Walvoord, Charles Ryrie, Louis Sperry Chafer, J. Dwight Pentecost, Norman Geisler, Charles Stanley, Chuck Smith, and Chuck Missler.
View the visual interpretation
A strictly literal hermaneutic is foundational to the dispensational premillenialist viewpoint. Interpreting Scripture in this manner will in fact demand such perspectives unique to dispensationalism as:
- an earthly kingdom of God from which Christ will reign
- a future redemptive plan for national Israel
- a seven year period of great tribulation
- the rejection of prophetic idiom
Dispensational premillennialism holds that a seven-year tribulation (forseen in Daniel 9:27) will precede a thousand-year period (Revelation 20:1-6) during which time, Christ will reign on the throne of David (Luke 1:32).
Immediately previous to the time of great tribulation, all the dead saints will rise from their graves and all the living members of the church shall be caught up with them to meet Christ in the clouds (1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17); this is known as “the rapture.” During this time of tribulation, there will be three-and-a-half years of world peace under an AntiChrist figure (Daniel 7:8; Revelation 13:1-8) who will establish a world-church (Revelation 17:1-15), followed by three-and-a-half years of greater suffering (/help.htmlRevelation 6-18). At the end of this period, Christ will return (Matthew 24:27-31; Revelation 19:11-21), judge the world (Ezekiel 20:33-38; Matthew 25:31; Jude 14-15), bind Satan for one thousand years (Revelation 20:1-3), and raise the Old Testament and tribulation saints from the dead (Daniel 12:2; Revelation 20:4).
At this time, the millennial reign will begin and Christ will reign politically over the earth at this time from His capital in Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:3). Throughout His reign, there will be no war (Isaiah 2:4) and even the natures of animals will dwell in harmony (Isaiah 11:6-9). At the end of this era of peace, Satan will be released and instigate a colossal (but futile) rebellion against God (Revelation 20:7-9). After this fated battle, Satan and the wicked are cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10), while the righteous proceed into their eternal state in the realm of the new heaven and the new earth Revelation 21:1ff).
- Pentecost, J. Dwight. Things to Come. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1978. (ISBN 0310308909)
- Ryrie, Charles. The Basis for Premillennial Faith. New York: The Loizeaux Brothers, 1953. (ISBN 0872137414)
- Walvoord, John. Every Prophecy of the Bible. Colorado Springs: Chariot Victor Publishing, 1999. (ISBN 1-56476-758-2)
- Walvoord, John. The Revelation of Jesus Christ. Chicago: Moody Press, 1966. (ISBN 0-8024-7310-5)
- Blaising, Craig A. “Premillennialism.” Three Views of the Millennium and Beyond. Ed. Darrell L. Bock. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House,1999. (ISBN 0-310-20143-8)
Study Resources :: Four Views on the Millennium. Retrieved from http://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/mill.cfm