“O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?…. Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Gal 3:1, 3) (emphases added)
These are Apostle Paul’s harsh words directed against the believers in Galatia, because some among the church were being swayed by those who were teaching that the Jews should turn back to the Old Testament ceremonial laws and sacrifices. This pointed rebuke might as well be directed against today’s dispensationalists such as John Hagee, Tim Lahaye, Hal Lindsey, and the rest of the Left Behind and Millennium crowd.
Dr. Kim Riddlebarger points out glaring errors in dispensational teachings, which Paul calls astonishing and foolish, in “A Return to Types and Shadows in the Millennial Age? â€“ A Problem for Dispensationalists“:
- After Christ reigns for 1,000 years over glorified saints who came back from heaven, multitudes led by Gog and Magog rebel against God! (Rev 20:7-9) From where would all these wicked people come? Does this mean that in the perfect age to come, glorified saints will mingle with sinful people?
- After God destroys the Temple in AD 70, thus ending the old covenant forever, Christ will reign again from a rebuilt Temple! Will Christ trample himself and his once-for-all sacrifice underfoot (Heb 10:29) by re-instituting obsolete animal sacrifices in a rebuilt Temple? (Heb 8:13; 9:26)
- After Joshua says, “Thus the Lord gave to Israel all the land that he swore to give to their fathers…. Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass” (Jos 21:43, 45), why do dispensationalists teach that the promises to Abraham are yet to be fulfilled during the millennial reign of Christ?
- After all the New Testament writers “spiritualized” many Old Testament prophecies relating to Christ’s fulfillment of types and shadows, the Left Behind crowd accuses Reformed amillennialists of “spiritualizing” the Bible! They might as well accuse the inspired NT writers of “spiritualizing” the OT.
For example, dispensationalists in effect accuse the inspired Apostle James of lying when they teach that “David’s fallen tent,” which God foretold he would raise up and rebuild in Amos 9:11-12, refers to the re-establishment of David’s eternal throne (2 Sam 7:12-13) in the reign of Christ during the millennium. Why so? Because they contradict James’ address to the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15:12-18 that God’s promise “to take from [the Gentiles] a people for his name” is the fulfillment of Amos’ prophecy!
And here’s what Jesus himself says about the foolishness of an earthly millennial reign, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). Why then do premillennialists, like the foolish Jews of Jesus’ day, insist in forcing Jesus to sit on an earthly throne in an obsolete Temple presiding over obsolete ceremonies during a symbolic 1,000 years?
More on this topic in â€œNuke Iran!â€ – John Hagee and Evangelical Zionists.”
My Favorite Eschatology Books
Beale, G. K. 1-2 Thessalonians. IVP New Testament Commentary Series. Downers Grove, IL: IVPress, 2003.
_________. The Book of Revelation: A Commentary on the Greek Text (New International Greek Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998.
Demar, Gary. Last Days Madness: Obsession of the Modern Church. Atlanta: American Vision, 1999.
Johnson, Dennis E. Triumph of the Lamb. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2001.
Hoekema, Anthony. The Bible and the Future. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994.
Koester, Craig R. Revelation and the End of All Things. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001.
Mathison, Keith. From Age to Age: The Unfolding of Biblical Eschatology. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2009.
Poythress, Vern S. The Returning King. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2000. (This book is published online by permission of publisher.)
Riddlebarger, Kim. The Man of Sin: Uncovering the Truth About the Antichrist. Grand Rapids: Baker, June 2006.
Venema, Cornelis. The Promise of the Future. Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2000.